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03.27.20

The Fall of the UPC – Part VIII: Team UPC Celebrates Death, Not Life

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Any dying wish? UPC by next year? Not gonna happen, buddy

Summary: Team UPC plays psychological games now; it is trying to twist or spin its defeat as good news and something to be almost celebrated; it is really as illogical (and pathetic) as that sounds

TEAM UPC is beyond insane. It’s clinically insane. It’s devoid of sanity and reality. That’s the impression one can get by looking at responses to the FCC’s decision, which was handed down last Friday.

In this part we wish to tackle one particular pattern we’ve come across and may come across again in days or weeks to come.

Team UPC didn’t take the decision too well and ad hominem tactics are adopted again, as we’ll note in future parts. It’s not even the first time.

“The UPC itself was a blow to Europe. Team UPC had to lie and cheat a lot to get it as far as it has gotten.”Despite much evidence that European businesses do not want the UPC (lawyers have lied on ‘their behalf’) days ago we saw this is a Big Lie from LexisNexis (in an upcoming ‘webinar’): “How the Collapse of the UPC is a damaging blow to Europe”

No. It is not. The UPC itself was a blow to Europe. Team UPC had to lie and cheat a lot to get it as far as it has gotten. Then, judges (or Justices) assessed the evidence of the lying and cheating, whereupon they did the right thing.

LexisNexis may be a bunch of self-serving liars, but as noted in past years "Reed Tech (a LexisNexis company) ... is the government contractor that carries out the printing of US patents."

It’s just part of the patent ‘printing machine’, even literally.

But that’s just where the ‘fun’ begins…

Move over, LexisNexis, Christian Liedtke over at Watchtroll does necrophilia. “Death at a Funeral – or Birth? Why the German Court’s Decision on the UPC May Not be the End” (say what?)

This was the headline.

Wishful thinking again.

“Team UPC spins the death of something it has long lobbied for as a good thing.”Christian Liedtke says “the coffin to be far from shut. Instead, the UPC may have been given a second lease on life…”

Oh…

OK.

So when something dies it is actually “given a second lease on life…”

Interesting spin you got there, Mr. Liedtke.

I see.

So when something dies it actually comes to life. What are you, a karma or zombie enthusiast?

Team UPC spins the death of something it has long lobbied for — at very great and considerable expense — as a good thing.

If it is, indeed, a “lease on life,” then why are you all bemoaning last week’s decision?

“So even the negative (to them) is suddenly a positive?”After all… “lease on life,” you know?

That’s like a mother saying, “good riddance to my dead kid” because “now I’m going to get pregnant again…”

But Mr. Liedtke wasn’t alone. Oh no…

Charlotte Kilpatrick has just just published “UPC: defeat could be opportunity for growth” (so now they’ll go about flaunting and bragging about how their defeat is actually a Good Thing™).

“Recent setbacks from the UK and Germany could be a starting point for needed reforms, according to in-house counsel,” the summary says.

So even the negative (to them) is suddenly a positive? Make up your minds, will you?

That’s like a failing presidential candidate saying, “it is good that I lost because I learned some lessons and next time I can do better…”

Or, “it’s good at I failed at the sporting event because it gives me something to strive for.”

“Team UPC, please do not bring booze to the funeral. You’re obviously too drunk already.”This infantile kind of thinking is just so typical of Team UPC.

To quote these delusional ones: “Those who have gone into full mourning over this decision, calling it the death knell of the UPC, may find the coffin to be far from shut. Instead, the UPC may have been given a second lease on life, and those with substantive concerns about the UPC may end up wearing the black ribbon in the long run.”

What? No further comment needed. Team UPC, please do not bring booze to the funeral. You’re obviously too drunk already.

Links 27/3/2020: GNU/Linux Versus COVID-19 and Release of GNU Guile 3.0.2

Posted in News Roundup at 4:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Coronavirus: Linux laptops and long hours helped this team switch 4,000 staff to home working

        The laptops were all installed with Linux, a much lighter weight OS. “This worked really well,” says Miller. “The team turned the refresh around in a matter of a few days and were able to get the devices issued by the end of the week. It was an example of local government working at the speed of light.”

        In parallel, the team worked to set up colleagues with remote working tools, while constantly monitoring the system to make sure that it was holding up under the burden of 4,000 employees suddenly logging in remotely. HackIT started figuring out how to bring key services online, such as support forms for residents with COVID-19 or emergency phone lines.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Linux Drivers Explained

        Linux Drivers Tutorial Let’s go over all the ways Linux drivers get installed in Linux. I will be talking about both the DKMS package and linux-firmware in this tutorial.

      • Brunch with Brent: Aleix Pol | Jupiter Extras 66

        Brent sits down with Aleix Pol, president of KDE e.V., KDE software developer, co-founder of Linux App Summit and Barcelona Free Software. We discuss his longstanding collaborations within the KDE community, developer sponsorships in open source business models, and more.

      • Well, Actually | User Error 88

        The details that make a great distro, things that make us wince, smug people online, great photos, imposter syndrome, and more.

    • Benchmarks

      • A Curious Look At Eight Core Server CPU Performance From Intel Xeon Haswell To AMD EPYC Rome

        When it comes to the AMD EPYC 7002 “Rome” processors we have looked at the various higher-end SKUs since their launch last August up to and including the EPYC 7742 with its 64 cores / 128 threads per socket. But for those wondering about the EPYC 7002 series performance at the bottom end of the spectrum, here are some fun benchmarks of the EPYC 7232P and EPYC 7262 on the near-final Ubuntu 20.04 LTS state compared to various vintages of Intel Xeon CPUs — most notably, a curiosity driven look at the 8 core / 16 thread Intel Haswell Xeon performance.

        The EPYC 7232P comes in at the bottom end of the EPYC spectrum at around $500~509 USD for the retail price as an 8 core / 16 thread Zen 2 server processor. The EPYC 7232P has a 3.1GHz base clock and 3.2GHz boost clock while having a 32MB L3 cache and a 120 Watt TDP. Common EPYC Rome features like the eight channels of DDR4-3200 remain supported with this low-priced EPYC processor.

    • Applications

      • Filelight is an open source disk space analyzer for Linux and Windows

        What do you do when you’re running low on storage space? I run disk cleanup to clear the updates and system files, purge the browser data, and if that doesn’t help I use a program like SpaceSniffer or WizTree.

        That’s on Windows of course. For a cross-platform solution, you can use something like Filelight; this is a KDE application that was officially ported to Windows. The start screen of Filelight displays a circle for each hard drive and partition. The colored part of the ring shows the used space and the white areas indicates the free space on the drive. Mouse over the colors to view the storage information in Gigabytes.

      • 13 Nifty Free Image Viewers

        One of our favorite adages is “A picture is worth a thousand words”. It refers to the notion that a still image can convey a complex idea. Images can portray a lot of information quickly and more efficiently than text. They capture memories, and never let you forget something you want to remember, and refresh it in your memory.

        Images are part of every day internet usage, and are particularly important for social media engagement. A good image viewer is an essential part of any operating system.

        Linux offers a vast collection of open source small utilities that perform functions ranging from the obvious to the bizarre. It is the quality and selection of these tools that help Linux stand out as a productive environment. This is particularly true when it comes to image viewers. There are so many image viewers that are available for Linux that it can make selection difficult.

        From our detailed investigations, we strongly recommend feh if you’re looking for a command-line based viewer. If you insist on a graphical user interface, plump for gThumb and/or QuickViewer. There’s other good free and open source image viewers which we’ve also compared.

      • Get Unsplash Wallpapers on Linux with Fondo Wallpaper App

        Some people change wallpapers on their desktops, phones or other devices more frequently than they change clothes. Finding new wallpapers on the internet is not that difficult. However, you do start to see the same images over and over the more you look. And then it starts to get a little difficult. That’s when many people flock over to Unsplash. Unsplash is a royalty-free photography site, not remotely aimed at providing wallpapers. However, it is a very popular source of wallpapers for many users. Fondo wallpaper app is a new app for Linux that makes it much easier to find and apply wallpapers from Unsplash.

        To be fair, browsing images on Unsplash is by no means a remotely difficult task or a hassle. Similarly, setting an image from your browser as your wallpaper is not that difficult either. But having an app just makes it all so much more fun and cohesive. It’s one of the reasons why wallpaper apps are so popular on smartphones. While on a desktop, browsing the internet and finding wallpapers is not as difficult as on a small phone, an app still provides a much better experience. In case you also use a Windows PC, you should also try these best wallpaper apps for Windows 10.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • A new stable Steam Client update is out with plenty of Linux fixes

        Valve continue to polish the Steam Client with a bunch of recent changes that have been in Beta for a little while now pushed out for everyone. Here’s what’s new.

        On the Linux side, it’s had a lot of cleaning up done. Valve disabled CEF keyring integration by default, which was annoying plenty of people. An issue that caused some Proton enabled games to redownload was solved, Big Picture Mode’s on-screen keyboard should now actually pop up when clicking on text fields with Touch Screen Mode enabled, Steam Overlay should now work for titles that use XInput2 and a client crash was solved while iterating directories.

        We had a few little updates too for the Linux Steam Runtime as it now includes the latest version of libvulkan, Valve has added exports for more WSI functions for Proton and they improved the runtime diagnostic tools.

      • AI War 2: The Spire Rises is a huge expansion to the space RTS out now, plus a big update for everyone

        Arcen Games are continuing to improve and update their massive grand-scale real-time strategy game, AI War 2, with a huge expansion name The Spire Rises out now.

        In addition to some new things to capture, turrets, and other ships that are available in any game once this expansion is installed, there are two major new factions. The Scourge is your greatest foe, the smartest and most dangerous sub-group of the AI. The Fallen Spire is your greatest ally, providing you with unprecedented firepower. You get to mix and match too, having both or neither or even make the Scourge your ally with new customization options.

      • Ant colony sim game ‘Empires of the Undergrowth’ has a huge update and still makes my skin crawl

        Empires of the Undergrowth is a game that makes me freak out, it makes me feel like my skin is crawling with little bugs and all sorts and yet I can’t tear myself away from it whenever I load it up. A game all about managing a colony of ants, in a real-time strategy type of setting with some great visuals.

        It’s been quite a long time since the last major update but Slug Disco Studios have been crazy-busy. They’ve actually been pushing out Beta updates for months with it all coming together in the 0.21 update out now for everyone. One of the biggest behind-the-scenes changes is the movement code, which they said will increase performance a lot allowing more and bigger creatures and the same for maps.

      • Dark narrative RPG ‘Vagrus – The Riven Realms’ has a massive new update with an open-world

        Vagrus – The Riven Realms is one of the most promising game in-development right now, a dark narrative RPG with a supreme style and fantastic writing that continues expanding.

        Currently doing the hybrid Early Access/Crowdfunding ‘Open Access’ model on Fig, so you pledge funds on their campaign and get access right away. I’ve written about it a few times, mainly out of excitement after playing plenty of it and being massively impressed by it.

      • Project Heartbeat is a brand new community-driven rhythm game out in Early Access

        With fast beats and quick finger work needed to hit all the notes, the community-driven rhythm game ‘Project Heartbeat’ is now available with Linux support in Early Access.

      • Sono is a beautiful and relaxing free exploration game now available on Linux

        It’s Friday, things are terrible everywhere so how about a nice casual and relaxing free game? Sono is what you need. Released earlier in March, the developer added a Linux build recently too.

        Quite a relaxing and almost meditative experience, and one that requires very little effort. You control a tiny little organism that you guide through an abstract microcosm collecting lost fragments of sound.

      • Unbeatable is a rhythm-adventure about siblings, creative blocks, and rocking out coming to Linux

        Unbeatable from developer D-Cell Games is an upcoming rhythm-adventure where music summons dangerous monsters and it looks really quite sweet.

        According to the developer it’s a “rhythm-adventure about siblings, creative blocks, and rocking out in a world where music summons dangerous monsters”. You talk your way out of trouble as you explore and fight through arcade-styled rhythm-game action with an original soundtrack by Peak Divide.

      • Soldat 2 returns with a demo available now and it’s just as nuts as I remember

        Soldat 2 was announced recently, as a return to the classic side-scrolling multiplayer shooter currently in development by Transhuman Design and a demo is out now.

      • Valve have a new Beta installer for the Linux Steam Client for the brave tester

        Valve continue to push Linux gaming forward and today they have a new Beta installer available to try for the Steam Client. Currently, it’s aimed at Debian and derivatives (Ubuntu and so on).

        What’s new? It includes “improved distribution compatibility, updated first start dependency checks, updated udev rules..” as mentioned to us on Twitter (original tweet was removed due to wrong link) by Valve contractor Timothee Besset. All of that is quite important of course, especially things like the udev rules to ensure various hardware works with Steam like the Steam Controller, DualShock 4, VR headsets and so on.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kubuntu 20.04 Testing Week

          The Kubuntu team is delighted to announce an ‘Ubuntu Testing Week’ from April 2nd to April 8th with other flavors in the Ubuntu family. April 2nd is the beta release of what will become Kubuntu 20.04 and during this week, there will be a freeze on changes to features, the user interface and documentation. Between April 2nd and final release on April 23rd, the Kubuntu team and community will focus on ISO testing, bug reporting, and fixing bugs. Please join the community by downloading the daily ISO image and trying it out, even beginning today.

        • KDE Working On “Plasma Bigscreen” As TV Interface With AI Voice Assistant

          Plasma Bigscreen is a new KDE project aiming to provide a user interface for television screens

          Besides having an UI adapted for TV use, Plasma Bigscreen also incorporates the Mycroft AI voice assistant in aiming to be a robust Smart TV platform. KDE Plasma Bigscreen aims to be innovative, support full voice control, and easy to expand with new “skills” capabilities.

        • KDE Announces a Smart TV Platform That Can Run on Raspberry Pi

          KDE has just announced Plasma Bigscreen, a new project that brings its very own user interface to smart TVs with all the typical bells and whistles that such a device requires, including media-rich apps.

        • KDE Plasma Bigscreen for TVs and TV Boxes Offers a Linux Alternative to Android TV

          KDE Plasma is a desktop environment initially developed for Linux Desktop PC or SBCs, but that’s also available on Linux phones with Plasma Mobile (previously known as Plasma Active).

          The developers have now decided to work on a version for the big screens with Plasma Bigscreen suitable for TVs and TV boxes and offering an open-source, Linux-based alternative o Android TV.

        • Krita Weeky #13 | 4.2.9 released

          So one of the toughest Krita releases is up today. Tough not in the sense there were a lot of regressions to solve but the mountain of build issues faced by the team. The credit of course goes to the new Python release and just like every other hurdle we face, Apple.

          The beta was released a couple of weeks ago and as artists reported it was rock solid. David was upset cause he was unable to crash it even after 20 hours of usage. It brings a ton of bug fixes and a bunch of new stuff, to pick some of them…

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Meet the GNOMEies: Regina Nkemchor Adejo

          Well, My full name is Regina Nkemchor Adejo, I am a Nigerian. I am a technology enthusiast who transitioned into sciences from an arts background. I currently work as a database and application specialist in a tax organization. I am a YouTube content creator, I create technical videos related to database and Linux administration.

          Most importantly, I love computers! I spend most of my time on them.

    • Distributions

      • Cartesi launches Layer-2 Linux infrastructure for developing blockchain DApps

        The approach taken by Cartesi, is to bring all the tools and capabilities available in a modern operating system (Linux) to the decentralised web. The Cartesi solution provides a legitimate and fully-fledged Linux OS that:

        Enhances the capabilities of decentralised applications
        avoids compromising on the security guarantees of blockchain.

      • Reviews

        • MintBox 3 Review

          This is a very subjective review of the MintBox 3. I say “very subjective” because not only do we get 5% of each sale (that in itself wouldn’t matter all that much), but we absolutely love this unit, the very long partnership we’ve had with Compulab and the fact that this amazing computer is running our software and wears our name.

          No computer is perfect though, we’ll make some criticism, but as an introduction I’d rather warn you. This is by far the best computer we’ve ever played with, it runs Mint and it has our logo on it. It’s hard not to feel any bias.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 32 Upgrade Test Day 2020-04-02

          Thursday 2020-04-02 through Monday 2020-04-06, is the Fedora 32 Upgrade Test Day(s)! As part of the preparation for Fedora 32, we need your help to test if everything runs smoothly!

        • Pulling podman images from a container repository

          There are many new changes and additions that have happened to the pull functionality in the podman build command. As of Podman version 1.7.0, which was released in January 2020, the ways that you can pull and how you pull container images during podman build have been changed and added to. Let’s dive in.

        • The 2020 Call for Code Global Challenge takes on COVID-19

          From its inception, Call for Code has tackled society’s most pressing issues. More than a month ago, IBM participated in a health hackathon, and the ideas generated there addressed many of the most pressing needs we face today – from testing kits to drug discovery and supply chain. We were inspired to see what developers could create in just one weekend to help respond to COVID-19. We realized we can and should do more through the amazing ecosystem and infrastructure we’ve created through Call for Code.

          Just last week we announced that the Call for Code Global Challenge would expand to address both climate change and COVID-19, and we’re already receiving overwhelming support and some exciting early ideas. In a single day, we received over 1,000 registrations from developers. First responders, at-risk individuals, and coders are reaching out to us to share their experiences and brainstorm solutions. Together with Creator David Clark Cause and in partnership with United Nations Human Rights and the Linux Foundation, we’re asking developers, data scientists, and problem solvers to answer the Call.

          [...]

          We’ve also published the 2020 Call for Code Challenge climate change starter kits (see here). To help define the specific situations caused by climate change where your innovations could be most helpful, a few weeks ago IBM partnered with the world’s leading humanitarian experts for our kickoff event in Geneva at the historic Palais Wilson, Headquarters of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Together with UN humanitarian experts, and eminent technologists from Red Hat, JP Morgan Chase, Persistent Systems, Unity Technologies, NearForm, and Johnson & Johnson, we collaborated to create our three climate change starter kits.

          Each kit focuses on a key topic — water sustainability, energy sustainability, and disaster resiliency — essential to halting and reversing climate change, and grounded in real-world needs defined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. These are the areas where you can have the greatest impact:

        • Red Hat XML language server becomes LemMinX, bringing new release and updated VS Code XML extension

          A new era has begun for Red Hat’s XML language server, which was migrated to the Eclipse Foundation under a new project name: Eclipse LemMinX (a reference to the Lemmings video game). The Eclipse LemMinX project is arguably the most feature-rich XML language server available. Its migration opens more doors for future development and utilization. In addition, shortly after its migration, the Eclipse LemMinX project and Red Hat also released updates: Eclipse LemMinX version 0.11.1 and the Red Hat VS Code XML extension.

        • Building a clear path for maintainers in open source projects

          Nearly everyone who is working on an open source project likely has motives beyond helping others. It can be as straightforward as a personal “I need something to help me do X, and I am willing to work with others to help me achieve that goal.” Or perhaps a company is heavily using the project’s software and the contributor needs to be active as part of their job.

          Regardless of how a person comes to the open source table, it’s very possible that they will find themselves wanting to do more. Again, this could be to help their company make a bigger impact in the project, or something desired out of a sense of personal gain. As community organizers, it’s very important to recognize these needs and foster them, lest you lose a potentially fantastic contributor to your project.

          One path projects can provide to those who want to do more is enabling contributor/commiter permissions, ultimately with an eye towards giving that person more say into the direction of the project through the contributions of others as a maintainer. Setting up a path to maintainership can be very important as a community onboarding best practice, because it says to contributors, this is a goal you can achieve in our community, should you wish to go in this direction.

          A clear maintainer path is a mutual benefit to the other maintainers of the project as well, since a broader distribution of maintainer tasks can help balance workload, reduce the chance of burnout, and introduce greater diversity into the decision-making process. It’s also important to the health of a project long-term. A project that isn’t growing new contributors, committers and maintainers is in danger when its existing maintainers and committers find themselves too busy, changing jobs, or otherwise unable to drive the project with the same commitment they have today.

        • AI/ML A Top Emerging Workload For Red Hat OpenShift

          More organizations are said to be using Red Hat OpenShift as the foundation for building artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning (ML) data science workflows and AI-powered intelligent applications.

      • Debian Family

        • Linux Mint releases Linux Mint 4 Debian Edition

          The popular Linux distribution Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu but the developers are maintaining a side-project that bases the Linux distribution on Debian instead.

          There are several reasons for that: first, because it provides them with an option if Ubuntu would no longer be maintained, disappear, or be turned into a commercial application. Second, because it provides Linux Mint developers with an opportunity to test Linux Mint software designed specifically for the distribution using another Linux distribution that is not based on Ubuntu.

          The developers of Linux Mint have released LMDE 4, Linux Mint Debian Edition 4, last week.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • PHP 7.4 Lands For Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          It shouldn’t come as a big surprise but PHP 7.4 has now landed in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS to replace the existing PHP 7.3 support within the “Focal Fossa” package archive.

          PHP 7.4 released back in November with support for accessing C functions / structs / variables using FFI, Opcache preload functionality, and a variety of other improvements as the annual big update to PHP7.

        • Learn snapcraft by example – multi-app client-server snap

          Over the past few months, we published a number of articles showing how to snap desktop applications written in different languages – Rust, Java, C/C++, and others. In each one of these zero-to-hero guides, we went through a representative snapcraft.yaml file and highlighted the specific bits and pieces developers need to successfully build a snap.

          Today, we want to diverge from this journey and focus on the server side of things. We will give you an overview of a snapcraft.yaml with two interesting components: a) it will have more than one application; typically, snaps come with one application inside b) it will have a simple background service, to which other applications can connect. Let’s have a look.

        • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Magazine #155

          This month:
          * Command & Conquer
          * How-To : Python, Ubuntu & Security, and Rawtherapee [NEW!]
          * Graphics : Inkscape
          * Graphics : Krita for Old Photos
          * Linux Loopback: nomadBSD
          * Everyday Ubuntu
          * Review : QNAP NAS
          * Ubuntu Games : Asciiker
          plus: News, My Opinion, The Daily Waddle, Q&A, and more.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • How open source software is fighting COVID-19

        Work is hard right now. COVID-19 makes it a challenge to stay focused and motivated. But it was cathartic for me to do some research into how the open source community is responding to the global pandemic.

        Since the end of January, the community has contributed to thousands of open source repositories that mention coronavirus or COVID-19. These repositories consist of datasets, models, visualizations, web and mobile applications, and more, and the majority are written in JavaScript and Python.

      • This open source ventilator hackathon could help fight the coronavirus

        Infineon engineers developed a 3D printed lung ventilator to help address the shortage of ventilators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

        The German federal government held a hackathon called #WirvsVirus (“We against the virus”) where 42,000 people met to find solutions to challenges from the coronavirus. Infineon engineers, led by Mahmoud Ismail who has a doctorate in lung mechanics, submitted a 3D print design and a design for the electronics and algorithms to develop and open-source lung ventilator.

      • open source tools to combat pandemic

        Starting April 1st, the Decentralized AI Alliance and partners SingularityNET and Ocean Protocol plan to host an online, not-for-profit hackathon called COVIDathon.

        The goal is to bring together the decentralized artificial intelligence community in an effort to help find solutions to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

      • 6 Best Self-hosted Open Source Video Conferencing Solutions for Companies And Remote Teams

        Nowadays at the time of the outbreak, many companies adapt to working from home in several countries as a measure to reduce the rate of infection.”Working from home” is the new trend here, Companies like Amazon initiated this strategy for their employees which turned out to be effective.

        Video conferences are essential solutions for companies, especially, with remote employees and companies which taken “Work-from-home” measures.

        Video conferencing is used in several sectors like software development, consultation, digital media, healthcare, logistics and more.

      • 12 Leading Open Source Data Tools

        For any number of reasons, open source software is embraced by data analytics researchers and professionals. This might be because many top researchers work in the education sector, and the emphasis is on cutting costs – hence the attractiveness of an open source free download. Or might be because the same mindset required for the deep exploration of data is similar to the love of software development common among many open source developers. Whatever the case, the data tools on this list are open source leaders as data analytics becomes ever more important.

      • [Older] Top 5 Free and Open Source Inventory Management Systems for Small and Medium-sized Businesses

        Inventory Management Software is a computerized system to manage and keep track of the number of stored goods, serial numbers, barcodes, costs, location…etc

        Inventory management solutions keep track of the goods while moving through the process or stored in the warehouses. This can help in decreasing costs and enhance customer support service.

        In the following list, we take a look at the top free and open source solutions which are suitable for small and medium-sized companies.

      • [Older] 8 Open-source/ Free Text Mining and Text Analysis solutions

        Ever wanted to analyze text documents for documents or articles? There are several tools, web services that provide such services but what about desktop programs?

        So here in this article, we have collected several tools to help you achieve that, and even more, they are free and open-source as well. We will try to list the specific and unique features per item to make it easy for our readers to pick what they need.

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • FSFE in times of Corona: How a virus affects us

            Among all the serious diseases and deaths it causes, the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its accompanying COVID-19 disease also keep the FSFE and the whole Free Software community in suspense. For our community and other charitable organisations we would share our experiences and lessons learnt from the Corona crisis.

            First of all, we are glad that we can fall back on years of experience with remote collaboration crossing borders and continents. Since its foundation, the FSFE has had its roots in all over Europe, working together with people and organisations in various time zones. Luckily, we are trained to use asynchronous communication tools. But the FSFE as an organisation and community still has to deal with new challenges and serious drawbacks that make our work for Free Software much harder. Your help is needed to balance these!

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Guile 3.0.2 released

            We are pleased to announce GNU Guile 3.0.2, the second bug-fix release of the new 3.0 stable series! This release represents 22 commits by 8 people since version 3.0.1.

            Among other things, this release fixes a heap corruption bug that could lead to random crashes and a rare garbage collection issue in multi-threaded programs.

          • GCC’s New Static Analysis Capabilities Are Getting Into Shape For GCC 10

            One of many new features in the GCC 10 code compiler releasing in about one month’s time is finally having a built-in static analyzer. This static analyzer can be enabled with the -fanalyzer switch and has been maturing nicely for its initial capabilities in the GNU Compiler Collection 10.

            The static analyzer was added to GCC 10 just back in January with an initial focus on C code. This static analyzer for GCC was spearheaded by GCC’s David Malcolm and was available in patch form a few months prior. This static analyzer isn’t as mature or robust as what’s been built into the likes of LLVM Clang for a while now, but it’s getting there.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Business Source License Adoption

            The summary is that, many well-known databases that were previously Open Source have either moved to an Open-Core Model and/or changed to Source Available licensing. There are various reasons behind this including refinement of business models and protecting investment in intellectual property. I won’t debate the motivations or merits of such approaches in this article, there are already many other articles out there which do! Instead I will look briefly at one such Source Available license, the Business Source License, and whom has adopted it and how.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • Dutch share decentralised data exchange as open source

            Nuts, an open source, decentralised data exchange solution offering a large-scale trusted chain of custody, is inviting healthcare organisations to join. The project is being tested by hospitals, general practitioners and companies involved in healthcare, and hopes to launch the first version this summer.

      • Programming/Development

        • It’s just a matter of selecting the right search terms

          Once more, I wanted to push a small change to a Git repository to which the owner gave me write access. This repo is currently the only one for me, for which I need to use https as transport protocol and therefore have to enter username and password for each and every push.

          On the other hand, I keep all my valuable credentials in Pass: The Standard Unix Password Manager for a couple of years now. It stores them with strong GPG encryption on my disk, is nicely integrated into Firefox by a plugin and there is also a KDE plasma widget available, created by my fellow KDE developer Daniel Vrátil. So why can’t Git read (I was about to use pull here, but that might be confusing in the context of Git) the credentials from my password store? There must be a way!

          Next, I started reading the documentation about git-credentials which seems to provide all that is needed. Just that pass was not on the list of helpers. Reading the specs, I expected it to be pretty easy to write a small wrapper that solves the issue. But: this sounds like a problem too obvious and to be solved already. So the search began.

          Using all kinds of combinations of git-credentials, pass, password-store and some more I don’t remember, I always ended up on some general Git documentation, but no sign of what I was looking for. So maybe, it really does not exist (oh, I have not consulted the yellow pages) and I have to develop and provide it to the internet community myself.

        • New QML language features in Qt 5.15

          While big changes are on their way for Qt 6.0, QML got some new language features already in 5.15. Read on to to learn about required properties, inline components and nullish coalescing.

        • 6 tricks for developing a work from home schedule

          When you start working from home, one of the first things you might have noticed is that there almost no outside influences on your schedule.

          You probably have meetings—some over team chat and others over video— that you have to attend, but otherwise, there’s nothing requiring you to do anything at any specific time. What you find out pretty quickly, though, is that there’s an invisible influence that sneaks up on you: deadlines.

          This lack of structure fosters procrastination, sometimes willful and other times aimless, followed by frantic sprints to get something done. Learning to mitigate that, along with all the distractions working from home might offer, is often the hardest part of your home-based work.

          Here are a few ways to build in that structure for yourself do you don’t end up feeling like you are falling behind.

        • Booting from an FFS2 filesystem

          Developer Otto Moerbeek (otto@) has been working on support to boot from FFS2. He writes in with the below article, to give us a little insight into the challenges he faced while working on this.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • mypy: how to use it in my project? Part 3: kick-ass tools that leverage type annotations

            Type annotations are a formalized way to add some extra information about types to your project. Once you get through adding mypy to your project and annotate your code (remember you can do it automatically, at least to some extent) you will find yourself at the ocean of possibilities.

            Interested in good code and even better tests? Check out my upcoming book on the architecture – Implementing the Clean Architecture.
            This post will show the most impressive libraries that leverage type hints that I know.

          • How long did it take you to learn Python?

            Beginners seem to ask this question when they are feeling daunted by the challenge before them. Maybe they are hoping for a helpful answer, but it seems like most answers will just be a jumping off point for feeling bad about their own progress.

            Everyone learns differently. They learn from different sources, at different paces. Suppose you ask this question and someone answers “one month”? Will you feel bad about yourself because you’ve been at it for six weeks? Suppose they say, “ten years”? Now what do you think?

            The question doesn’t even make sense in a way. What do we mean by “learn”? If you can write a number guessing game in Python, have you learned Python? Are we talking about basic familiarity, or deep memorization? Does something have to be second nature, or is it OK if you are still looking through the docs for details? “Learned” is not a binary state. There isn’t a moment where you don’t know Python, and then suddenly you do.

          • Test and Code: 107: Property Based Testing in Python with Hypothesis – Alexander Hultnér

            Hypothesis is the Python tool used for property based testing.
            Hypothesis claims to combine “human understanding of your problem domain with machine intelligence to improve the quality of your testing process while spending less time writing tests.”

            In this episode Alexander Hultnér introduces us to property based testing in Python with Hypothesis.

          • Hidden Markov Model – Implemented from scratch

            The Internet is full of good articles that explain the theory behind the Hidden Markov Model (HMM) well (e.g. 1, 2, 3 and 4) . However, many of these works contain a fair amount of rather advanced mathematical equations. While equations are necessary if one wants to explain the theory, we decided to take it to the next level and create a gentle step by step practical implementation to complement the good work of others.

            In this short series of two articles, we will focus on translating all of the complicated mathematics into code. Our starting point is the document written by Mark Stamp. We will use this paper to define our code (this article) and then use a somewhat peculiar example of “Morning Insanity” to demonstrate its performance in practice.

  • Leftovers

    • Globetrotters legend Fred ‘Curly’ Neal dies at 77

      Neal played in more than 6,000 games in 97 countries for the barnstorming Globetrotters from 1963 to 1985, when the team appeared in numerous televised specials, talk shows, television shows and even cartoons that included the team’s own animated series.

    • Science

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • As coronavirus spreads, the Russian Orthodox Church stays open and flouts Moscow’s calls to avoid religious sites

        The Russian Orthodox Church says it will not close cathedrals and churches next week in Moscow, during the national holiday called yesterday by President Putin to curb the spread of coronavirus. The church issued this statement in defiance of Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, who has asked Muscovites to refrain from visiting religious sites next week.

      • The Shit Has Hit the Fan: Shut the Country Down to Save Lives

        Fear the immigrant, Muslims, foreignness, black people protesting, black athletes kneeling during the Anthem, germs, foreign travel to non-Western countries, terrorism, etc., etc. Before 9/11, as a teen in the late 1990s, it was fear of marijuana, public welfare abuse and, as always, inclement weather.

        There is a clear economic driver to sensationalizing fear in the mass media: viewership and advertisement revenue will increase as more of the public watch to ‘learn’ what to fear and how to keep ‘safe’. In this sense, the American public are like people anywhere, albeit, with a different system conditioning them.

        From an evolutionary perspective, reflexive fear may help an animal survive. But acting like a prey animal, with eyes on either side of head to detect approaching predators, is no way to live. For a cornered, frightened rat will do anything their master says to not be crushed underfoot.

      • Amidst Coronavirus, It’s Time to Heal the U.S.’s Domestic and International Reputation

        It is in times of crisis, like the growing coronavirus pandemic, that deep structural inequities and the U.S. government’s mismanagement of funds are starkly revealed. Half of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Half a million Americans sleep out on the streets. Thirty million Americans don’t have health insurance. Forty-five million are burdened with $1.6 trillion of student loan debt. I could go on, but the point of these stats is to highlight the fragility of our society and its uncertain ability to weather the human health and economic impacts of crises like the coronavirus.

      • “Our Goal Should Be to Crush the Curve”

        In January 1976, flu broke out among Army recruits training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Most of the flu, tests revealed, was of a common strain, A-Victoria, but four cases (one of them fatal) proved to be swine flu, similar to the strain that caused the 1918 pandemic that killed half a million people in this country and 50 million worldwide. Swine flu had, in 1976, not been seen in humans for more than a half century, so immunity was almost nonexistent. Further testing at Fort Dix turned up some alarming results — an additional nine cases with as many as 500 recruits who had been exposed to the virus but were asymptomatic. While a vaccine had been developed for A-Victoria and many other flu strains, none existed for swine flu. Public health authorities, led by the Centers for Disease Control, quickly became alarmed.

        The CDC recommended in March that a swine flu vaccine be developed on a crash basis and that every American be vaccinated by fall. President Gerald Ford concurred, and implementation of the plan moved into high gear, with Congress appropriating money for the vaccine and later effectively indemnifying vaccine manufacturers.

      • The Virus Is Our Teacher

        Self-protection means doing what we can to protect—and understand—everyone.

      • The Truth on COVID-19 is Ugly and the Lies are Deadly

        On March 19th, the gutless depravity of failed leadership found a new poster-boy. Republican Senator Richard Burr was found to have sold off his stock in what he knew would be losing value (hotels, travel industry) before the stock market started crashing from the pandemic COVID-19 while simultaneously toeing Donald Trump’s line that everything was fine. He provided warning to his rich constituents, but set the rest of the public up.

      • Desperate Hospitals May Put Two Patients on One Ventilator. That’s Risky.

        Gunshot victims with massive blood loss and failing lungs packed the emergency room of Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas late on the night of Oct. 1, 2017. A man had opened fire on a music festival from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, spraying more than a thousand rounds of ammunition into the crowd, wounding hundreds.

        The hospital soon ran out of ventilators, machines that breathe for patients who can’t. Dr. Kevin Menes, a critical care physician, had several patients in respiratory failure. Menes remembered that a colleague from his medical residency had studied how to connect multiple people to a single ventilator. When a respiratory therapist said to Menes, “‘We don’t have any more ventilators,’ I said, ‘It’s fine,’” he later recalled. He asked for tubing and began splitting one machine’s oxygen flow into two patients, saving their lives.

      • Big Ag Switching to Vaccines to Woo Meat Eaters Wary of Antibiotics

        The global animal vaccine market is now worth an estimated $7.2 billion, which reflects a rise of $1.7 billion since 2010. One of its leaders is Merck, which currently advertises forty-nine vaccines for poultry—to prevent everything from fowl pox and turkey coryza to salmonella and E. coli—and twenty-five vaccines for cattle. Although vaccines to prevent salmonella, for example, may seem like a positive development, as Rosenberg noted, many vaccines are produced from GMO spores, which a 2018 study in Veterinary Research flagged as cause for “environmental concerns” because the spores have “the potential to survive indefinitely in the environment,” posing “biological containment” problems that the study described as “crucial.”

      • The Kremlin explains why Putin hasn’t declared a state of emergency over coronavirus
      • Russia diagnoses another 182 people with COVID-19, bringing total number of confirmed cases to 840

        In the past day, Russia recorded 182 new coronavirus infections. Health officials have now diagnosed 840 cases across 56 regions of the country. The lion’s share of the new cases (136 patients) was reported in Moscow, bringing the city’s total number of infections to 546. A federal task force has acknowledged two deaths caused by the illness. Both of these patients were senior citizens. 

      • Because Working People ‘Deserve a Rent Holiday as Much as the Cheesecake Factory,’ Demand for Relief Grows

        “We must add a 90-day grace period for those impacted by COVID-19 for rent payments before April 1.”

      • An Often Overlooked Region of India is a Beacon to the World for Taking on the Coronavirus

        K.K. Shailaja is the health minister in the Left Democratic Front government in Kerala, the state in the southwest of India that has a population of 35 million people. On January 25, 2020, she convened a high-level meeting to discuss the outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, China. What had particularly worried her is that there were many students from Kerala studying in that province of China. Shailaja had won widespread praise for the swift and efficient way she had steered her department through the Nipah virus that hit Kerala in 2018. She recognized that there was no time to be lost if the virus spread from Wuhan; the government had to set up mechanisms for identifying possibly infected persons, and then for testing, mitigation, and treatment. On January 26, 2020, her department set up a control room to coordinate the work.

      • Black Rock Profits in a Time of Crisis

        With little government support and corporate accountability, humanitarian aid workers are scrambling to address the refugee crisis in the wake of the global pandemic, COVID-19 (coronavirus).

      • A Triage Crisis is Coming, and It’s Personal

        I’m sitting here self-quarantined with my family in our 1738 stone farmhouse just north of Philadelphia. It’s an ancient building that I’m sure has known its share of epidemics over the centuries, including typhus and the deadly 1918 Spanish Flu.

      • As Trump Snubs Restrictions to Contain Coronavirus, New Poll Shows 3 in 4 Americans Back a National Lockdown

        The Morning Consult/Politico poll comes as a top Trump administration health official says of the outbreak, “You don’t make the timeline, the virus makes the timeline.”

      • “In a Week We Will Be Italy,” Says New York ER Doctor About COVID-19 in the US
      • Internal Emails Show How Chaos at the CDC Slowed the Early Response to Coronavirus

        On Feb. 13, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent out an email with what the author described as an “URGENT” call for help.

        The agency was struggling with one of its most important duties: keeping track of Americans suspected of having the novel coronavirus. It had “an ongoing issue” with organizing — and sometimes flat-out losing — forms sent by local agencies about people thought to be infected. The email listed job postings for people who could track or retrieve this paperwork.

      • Cease and Desist

        As Trump’s coronavirus lies and boasts and potentially deadly fictions mount, so does the urge to shut him up. As of Thursday evening, the U.S. had 82,404 cases, the most in the world – a number representing a 22% jump in what his foul administration insists should be called the “Wuhan” virus but which in all historical accuracy should be renamed the Trump Virus, given that, at this rate, there will be 250,000 cases by Easter, when he wants to see all those beautiful, packed, virulently toxic churches. Right now, our mortality rate is 1.4%, but there is virtual consensus among health experts it will get much worse. Still, the lies keep flowing: “The mortality rate, in my opinion, is way down,” “America continues to gain ground,” “nobody knew there’d be a pandemic,” chloroquine will be “available almost immediately” and it won’t kill you, the “LameStream media wants to keep our country closed” to mess with “my election success” but “the real people want to get back to work ASAP,” except for the 75% who say that’s insane, “We have done one hell of a job,” and, “No one has done the job that we have done.” (Well, that one might be true.)

      • During The Outbreak: All Sports Are eSports Now

        The COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world, and in many cases shutting it down, has become so pervasive so as to even dominate the headlines here at Techdirt. To say the outbreak has altered our way of life would be a massive understatement. Social distancing, shutdown states, stuck in our homes, jobs reduced and gone; this whole thing has become a nightmare.

      • Coronavirus Hospitalization Numbers Are Spotty. Journalists, Help Us Fill in the Gaps.

        Each morning when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo briefs the media and the public about the status of the coronavirus pandemic in his state, he pays particular attention to two numbers: How many patients with COVID-19 are in the hospital and how many require intensive care.

        “That is the number we watch because that’s the number that are flowing into the health care system,” Cuomo said on March 18, adding that 549 patients were in the hospital as of that morning.

      • Republican Billionaire’s Group Pushes Unproven COVID-19 Treatment Trump Promoted

        A conservative business group founded by a prolific Republican political donor is pressuring the White House to greenlight an unproven COVID-19 treatment, saying in an online petition that the country has plants in the U.S. ready to produce a drug but can’t because of “red tape, regulation, and a dysfunctional healthcare supply chain.”

        In recent days, Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus’ Job Creators Network has placed Facebook ads and texted supporters to sign a petition urging President Donald Trump to “CUT RED TAPE” and make an anti-malarial drug called hydroxychloroquine available for treating those sickened with the virus, one such message obtained by ProPublica reads.

      • ‘We Need Medicare for All’: Massive Coronavirus Job Losses Expose Obvious Failure of Employer-Based Insurance

        “3.3 million people just lost their ‘if you like your employer benefits you can keep them’ benefits. Healthcare can never again be tied to employment.”

      • State Governments Step In as Trump Makes Lethal Mistakes in COVID-19 Response

        National and local leaders are responding in dramatically different ways to the current global pandemic, which, if left uncontrolled, could reach a severity not seen since the Spanish Flu of 1918-1919.

      • Truth or Consequences

        As calls ramp up for the nation’s leaders to deal with the coronavirus pandemic as if we were at war, it’s worth remembering the advice Aeschylus, the Greek tragedy playwright, gave nearly 2,500 years ago: “In war, truth is the first casualty.”

      • Do the Deuteronomy
      • Medical Workers Treating Coronavirus Are Resorting to Homemade Masks

        Bryan White leaned in to greet his wife with a kiss on the forehead when she arrived home from a 12-hour shift at Salem Health, an Oregon hospital that’s had 19 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

        “Nope, you don’t want that,” his wife told him as she rebuffed his kiss.

      • What’s It Like on One of the Only University Campuses Still Open in the U.S.?

        Three Liberty University students, a young man and two women, sat eating lunch on Wednesday afternoon at a small table in the common dining area of the student union on the sprawling campus perched high above Lynchburg, Virginia. They compared notes on the suntans and burns they’d gotten on beaches during spring break last week. They joked about what it would be like to take the college’s gun-range classes remotely. A fourth student with a backpack strolled up to the table to chat with them for a few minutes.

        The young man seated at the table mentioned that he was thinking of going to a Starbucks off campus but wasn’t sure it was safe to do so given the coronavirus raging across the country, which has sickened at least 65,000 people nationwide, more than 400 of them in Virginia and a few of them in Lynchburg.

      • Top CDC Official: Staggering Spike in New York ‘Just a Preview’ of What’s Coming Elsewhere

        “I think what we’re seeing in New York City and New York state right now is a real warning to other areas about what may happen or what may already be starting to happen.”

      • Judgment Day for the National Security State

        The coronavirus and the real threats to American safety and freedom.

      • A Humanist Response, as a Self-Conscious Philosophy, to Pandemics

        On March 13, the Government of India announced that it would cancel all visas until April 15 in an attempt to restrict international travel. The federal government did, however, make exceptions for those with diplomatic passports, work visas, and emergency visas.

      • How Austerity and Anti-Immigrant Politics Left Italy Exposed

        As the viral blitzkrieg rolls across one European border after another, it seems to have a particular enmity for Italy. The country’s death toll has passed China’s, and scenes from its hospitals look like something out of Dante’s imagination.

      • “In a Week We Will Be Italy”: NYC ER Doctor Says the U.S. Pandemic Will Only Get Worse
      • Trump’s State of Denial, Not the Deep State, Kept Us Unprepared for the COVID-19 Pandemic

        President Donald Trump prides himself on being optimistic no matter how dire the situation. That is not necessarily a bad trait; it helps to get by in hard times. But deniability of past or repeated behavior when it results in harm to yourself or others, is not a positive trait. In fact, as president of the USA, it endangers everyone. Trump’s State of Denial has led us to the current horrendous situation of not being as prepared as we could have been for the coronavirus, i.e. COVID-19.

      • What the Government Must Do Now About Coronavirus

        Americans don’t expect much from their government. But even by the standards of a nation with one of the flimsiest social safety nets in the Western world, the inability and unwillingness of both major political parties to manage and solve the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic is shocking.

      • German cathedral dusts off relics of St Corona, patron of epidemics

        Germany’s Aachen Cathedral has dug out the relics of little-known Saint Corona, patron saint of resisting epidemics, from its treasure chamber and is polishing up her elaborate shrine to go on show once the coronavirus pandemic has passed.

        The pandemic, confirmed to have infected nearly half a million people worldwide, including more than 30,000 in Germany, has boosted public interest in the Christian martyr, believed to have been killed by the Romans around 1,800 years ago.

      • Coronavirus: First UK prison Covid-19 death confirmed

        An 84-year-old man has become the first British prisoner to die after contracting coronavirus.

        Edwin Hillier, an inmate at HMP Littlehey – a category C male sex offenders’ prison in Cambridgeshire, died in hospital on Sunday.

        Hillier, a convicted paedophile, reportedly had health issues.

        A second serving UK prisoner, a 66-year-old male inmate at HMP Manchester, died in hospital on Thursday after contracting coronavirus.

        Former school caretaker Hillier, from Hemel Hempstead, was jailed at St Albans Crown Court in 2016 for sexually abusing two girls in the 1970s.

      • 19 inmates from 10 UK prisons test positive for coronavirus

        Nineteen inmates across 10 UK prisons have tested positive for coronavirus, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed.

        It comes after it was announced yesterday that prisons across England and Wales would be shutting down jail visits in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

        A number of prisons have already confirmed cases of COVID-19 as cases soar across the UK and Boris Johnson orders Britons to stay inside.

        However anxiety inside jails over coronavirus continues to grow due to the close proximity of prisoners and fears staff will go off sick with the disease.

        Yesterday the Ministry of Justice confirmed that visitors would no longer be allowed to enter the establishments in an effort to keep staff, inmates and families safe and protect the NHS’s ability to cope with the surge in coronavirus cases.

      • ‘We discuss food banks at school gates like it’s normal’

        Six months after ex-Chancellor Sajid Javid announced an end to austerity, many families still rely on food banks to survive. The BBC’s Chris Vallance has been spending time at a food bank in Oxford, hearing the stories of those who come seeking help.
        She sits in a red plastic chair, at a table covered in a blue and white cloth and she cries. There are freshly cut daffodils in the window, fresh groceries in rows beside her and she is distraught. For 20 minutes, a volunteer at the Community Emergency Foodbank in Oxford listens to her story, takes some of the weight of it from her shoulders, and brings heavy sacks of groceries to carry home to her family.
        In the food bank’s little kitchen I speak to Mary, the volunteer who helped her. “It’s a different story from every person but it’s a similar sort of thing,” she says. “Parents struggling to feed their families, teenagers that are always hungry, looking for food that isn’t there. Sometimes you hear stories that they’ve been living on bread for a few days. They say, ‘I feel a failure, a failure that I can’t feed my children.’”
        Short presentational grey line
        Every Tuesday and Friday between noon and 2pm the food bank sign is wheeled out, outside St Francis church in east Oxford, and people who cannot afford food walk in.
        Sometimes they wait by the door, at other times they walk back and forth while they summon up the courage to enter. They are entitled to three visits a year but the food bank rarely turns people away. Sometimes it’s the job centre or social services that gives them the necessary little blue referral form. Sometimes they are referred by a doctor who can tell they are not eating.
        I have been visiting the food bank since mid-January, on and off, listening to people’s stories.

      • Health minister Hancock tests positive for coronavirus

        Health minister Matt Hancock said on Twitter on Friday he has tested positive for coronavirus and is self-isolating at home with mild symptoms.

        Less than two hours earlier, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that he too had tested positive for the virus.

      • President Trump Is So Upset About This Ad Showing His Failed Handling Of COVID-19 That He’s Demanding It Be Taken Down

        Has no one explained to Donald Trump how the Streisand Effect works yet? His campaign has apparently been sending laughably ridiculous threat letters to various TV stations that have been airing an advertisement put together by a group called Priorities USA, criticizing the President’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. The ad highlights Trump’s repeated statements playing down the virus and insisting that he had things under control, even as the numbers of infected started to rise exponentially. It’s a pretty effective ad. You can see it here.

      • Our Leaders are Terrified. Not of the Virus – of Us

        You can almost smell the fear-laden sweat oozing from the pores of television broadcasts and social media posts as it finally dawns on our political and media establishments what the coronavirus actually means. And I am not talking about the threat posed to our health.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (bluez and php5), Fedora (chromium, kernel, and PyYAML), Gentoo (adobe-flash, libvpx, php, qtcore, and unzip), openSUSE (chromium, kernel, and mcpp), Oracle (ipmitool and libvncserver), Red Hat (ipmitool and rh-postgresql10-postgresql), Slackware (kernel), and SUSE (ldns and tomcat6).

          • Unpatched bug in iOS 13.3.1 and later stops VPNs from encrypting all connections

            An ongoing security vulnerability in iPhones and iPads is keeping VPN applications from doing their job. For iOS versions 13.3.1 and later, this bug remains unpatched and has been rated with a 5.3 CVSS v3.1 base score. When a VPN connection is initiated on iOS, all existing internet connections by the operating system and other applications are supposed to be terminated and then restarted inside the VPN app’s encrypted tunnel as a proxy so no third parties are able to see your IP address. The VPN bypass bug in iOS 13.3.1 and later causes some internet connections to continue with their original, unencrypted connection – which is a security and privacy concern. This means that people on the same network could snoop on the unencrypted data stream and the endpoint of the unprotected connections are still able to see your device’s IP address.

          • Microsoft Issues Windows 10 Update Warning

            Picked up by the always-excellent Bleeping Computer and Windows Latest, Microsoft has announced that both its big March 2020 update and a new patch issued to fix buggy antivirus scans within Windows 10 have severe side-effects which users need to know about.

          • FSCRYPT Inline Encryption Revised For Better Encryption Performance On Modern SoCs

            It remains to be seen if it will make it for the upcoming Linux 5.7 kernel merge window, but the FSCRYPT inline encryption functionality has now made it up to its ninth revision for offering better file-system encryption performance on modern mobile SoCs.

            FSCRYPT inline encryption came out at the end of last summer and compared to the existing FSCRYPT file-system encryption/decryption where the work is left to the file-system and Linux’s crypto API, this inline encryption/description shifts the work off to the block layer as part of the bio.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Coronavirus delays the passage of the world’s most important new privacy law

              For obvious and justified reasons, the coronavirus pandemic dominates the news currently. One of the latest developments is that India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has put his entire country on lockdown. Ordering 1.35 billion people to stay indoors is a pretty dramatic move. A side-effect of that lockdown is that one of the most important pieces of privacy legislation, the Personal Data Protection Bill 2019, has been delayed in its passage through the Indian parliament.

            • Can ProctorU Be Trusted With Students’ Personal Data?

              One of the hard lessons that I have learned over my years of practice is that, although some lawyers believe that they can increase the in terrorem effect of a complaint or a demand letter by piling on claims, the net effect of adding silly assertions can be to make things worse for your own client and not better. That may be true as well of the demand letter recently sent by David Vance Lucas of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings on behalf of their client, ProctorU.

            • A Backdoor Is a Backdoor Is a Backdoor

              No matter what you call it, a backdoor is a backdoor. Any method that gives a third-party access to encrypted data creates a major vulnerability that weakens the security of law-abiding citizens and the Internet at large.

              Encryption is essential to security online.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Business as Usual: Coronavirus, Iran and US Sanctions

        Never discount the importance of venality in international relations.  While pandemics should provide the glue for a unified front in response – we keep being told of fighting this horrendous “invisible enemy” – it’s business as usual in other respects.  The United States, with a disparate, confused medical system that risks being overwhelmed, remains committed against that other country floundering in efforts to combat COVID-19: Iran.  Instead of binding the nations, the virus, as with everything else, has served as a political obstacle.

      • As Coronavirus Infections Spread, So Have Clashes Between ICE Detainees and Guards

        As the coronavirus pandemic spreads, so have confrontations between detainees and guards at Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities across the country, the latest in Louisiana and Texas.

        The battles come as four people — two correctional officers and two detainees — tested positive for COVID-19 at New Jersey detention facilities.

      • ‘Another Attempted Coup’: US Rebuked for ‘Absurd’ Drug Trafficking Charges Against Venezuela’s Maduro

        “An absurd demonstration of Washington’s gangsterism.”

      • Appeals Court Says No Immunity For Cops Who Shot A Man Standing Motionless With His Hands In The Air

        Federal judges continue to trip over themselves in their hurry to extend qualified immunity to law enforcement officers. No matter how egregious the violation — and how simply wrong it appears to reasonable human beings — cops can usually escape judgment by violating rights in new ways, ensuring there’s no precedent that would make them aware they shouldn’t do things like destroy someone’s house after they’ve been given permission (and a key!) to enter.

      • Norway extradites Islamist preacher to Italy

        Norway announced Thursday that it had extradited a fundamentalist Islamic preacher to Italy, despite the ongoing coronavirus epidemic, where he has been sentenced to jail for leading a jihadist network.

      • Man Who Planned to Bomb Hospital Amid Pandemic Dies in Incident With FBI

        The news comes at a time when counterterrorism experts have warned neo-Nazi extremists adhering to ‘accelerationism’—a hyper violent doctrine among the far-right seeking to hasten the collapse of society through terrorist acts—have discussed using the global coronavirus pandemic to spur the disintegration of vulnerable governments dealing with the crisis.

      • Man Suspected of Planning Attack on Missouri Hospital Is Killed, Officials Say

        Last week, Belton’s mayor issued a stay-at-home order for its residents. Authorities said Mr. Wilson said he felt compelled to act because of the mayor’s order and intended to use a car bomb to cause mass casualties at the hospital.

        The F.B.I. is reviewing the shooting, as is standard anytime agents are involved in shootings.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • KUOW statement on live White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings

        KUOW weighs each decision about preempting regular programming individually, based on perceived news value in the moment and whether a preemption is of the highest value to our local audience.

        After airing the White House briefings live for two weeks, a pattern of false information and exaggeration increasingly had many at KUOW questioning whether these briefings were in the best service of our mission—to create and serve a more informed public. Of even greater concern was the potential impact of false information on the health and safety of our community.

    • Environment

      • Fast pandemic response could tackle climate crisis

        Societies worldwide are changing overnight to meet the coronavirus threat. The climate crisis should match the rapid pandemic response.

      • Are We Prepared for a Climate Crisis in the Middle of a Pandemic?

        With the need for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to be discussing how we will handle displaced peoples and limited resources should a climate disaster occur. It is not a matter of if this will occur, but when.

      • Wildlife/Nature

      • Overpopulation

        • The Coronavirus Is Trump’s Latest Excuse to Militarize the Border

          Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has requested the assistance of over 1,500 US military personnel for border enforcement, citing immigrants’ “potential to spread infectious disease,” according to an internal Department of Homeland Security memo obtained exclusively by The Nation.

        • Experts: Trump’s plan to lift coronavirus restrictions by Easter would kill hundreds of thousands

          President Donald Trump’s plan to lift coronavirus restrictions by Easter against the advice of medical experts would result in hundreds of thousands of additional deaths from the new coronavirus, according to a model epidemiologists built for The New York Times.

          Though individual states will make their own calls, Trump says that he wants to ease restrictions intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus and see “packed churches all over our country” on Easter Sunday. But the scientific modeling shows that waiting and continuing closures and restrictions just two additional weeks would save hundreds of thousands of lives. Likewise, keeping restrictions in place for two months could prevent 1 million deaths.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Government Officials, Corporate Media Spur Fears of “Chaos” in 2020 Election

        Although the joint statement acknowledged that “no evidence of a compromise or disruption to election infrastructure” existed at the time, politicians, pundits, and news outlets have been quick and consistent in pointing fingers towards a broad list of typical foreign threats, as Whitney Webb reported for MintPress News.

      • How China Built a Twitter Propaganda Machine Then Let It Loose on Coronavirus

        Kalen Keegan, a college student at the University of Nebraska Omaha, immediately noticed when her Twitter account unleashed a torrent of posts in Chinese. “My other account got hacked👍🏽,” the soccer player posted on a replacement account. The new author tweeting as @Kalenkayyy had strong views on geopolitics — all aligned with the Chinese Communist Party. It was obsessed with the protests in Hong Kong, offered uncritical praise of the Hong Kong police and accused demonstrators of fomenting a “color revolution” backed by an “anti-Chinese American conspiracy.”

        As the coronavirus outbreak led to a lockdown of Wuhan and its surrounding cities in late January, the Hong Kong posts were suddenly deleted. The account continued to post relentlessly in Chinese, but it now focused on the burgeoning epidemic. About a month later, her Twitter profile began to change in other ways. The reference to her college disappeared and her headshot was replaced by a generic photo of two people kissing. By the end of the week, her Twitter transformation was complete. @Kalenkayyy was now a Chinese propaganda-posting zombie account belonging to someone purportedly named Kalun Tang.

      • Bernie Sanders in the Age of Coronavirus: We Need Him Now More Than Ever

        Does anyone here seriously believe we’d be hearing a loud call for party unity if it were Bernie Sanders leading in the delegate count?

      • Never in Our Lifetimes Has There Been a Call for Compassion Like This

        The time is now for the G20 to help save millions of lives and kick-start the future that humanity needs to hope again. Only a compassionate and collective global response will do.

      • ‘World Leaders Seem in Denial’: Demands for Radical Global Action on Coronavirus as Virtual G20 Summit Ends With Vague Promises

        “Only the most radical reset, akin to a post-world war overhaul of the international economy, will allow us to rebuild the international economy in a way which means we can tackle future pandemics.”

      • Facebook Names Former Treasury Official to Key Board Role

        The social media company and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg have been criticized for Facebook’s corporate structure, in which Zuckerberg has a controlling stake in the company thanks to a special class of super-voting shares. His dominance has been a point of contention for investors who believe Facebook has been irresponsible in the handling users’ personal data, and that Zuckerberg has not been held accountable.

        The board’s lead independent director is supposed to provide oversight of Facebook and Zuckerberg for shareholders.

      • Germany: “Hate-Postings Day”

        Despite the decrease in cases, German authorities nevertheless decided to have not just one, but two action days this year. The first took place on June 6, when German authorities launched coordinated police raids in 13 federal states against suspects who had allegedly posted hate speech online. In a total of 38 cases, homes were searched and suspects interrogated, the Federal Criminal Police Office reported.

      • A staff member in Russia’s government cabinet has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19

        A staff member in Russia’s government cabinet has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, a source close to the government told Meduza. Another source in the cabinet also confirmed that someone working for the government’s staff is suspected of having contracted coronavirus. 

      • Some Russians are resisting Putin’s power grab

        The spectacle of a “people’s approval” is likely to stretch over several days, requires no minimum turnout or independent verification and will include home and electronic voting. “Putin was too scared to hold a proper referendum so he came up with this fake procedure,” says Mr Navalny. “The Kremlin is desperate to draw us into it, count us up and then declare victory,” he adds. He has refused to participate in it. On March 15th a group of 350 lawyers, intellectuals and journalists signed an open letter warning of a constitutional coup that threatens to plunge the country into a national conflict. Three days later the number of signatures had swelled to 30,000.

      • 80% of coronavirus test kits ‘gifted’ to Czechs by China faulty

        On March 18, as is the case with many of its other quasi charitable acts, Chinese state-run mouthpieces used the verbs “supplied” and “delivered” to give the impression that the communist regime was donating 150,000 portable, rapid COVID-19 test kits to the Czech Republic. In fact, the central European nation’s Health Ministry paid some 14 million crowns (US$546,000) for 100,000 test kits, while the country’s Interior Ministry footed the bill for another 50,000, reported Expats.cz.

        However, Czech news site iROZHLAS on Monday revealed that local healthcare workers have discovered that up to 80 percent of the Chinese kits give false results. During a crisis staff meeting held for the Moravian-Silesian Region by regional hygienist Pavla Svrcinova, the error rate for the test kits was found to be 80 percent, prompting officials to suggest they only be used for those persons who are nearing the end of their quarantine and never previously tested positive.

      • Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here’s How.

        A crisis on this scale can reorder society in dramatic ways, for better or worse. Here are 34 big thinkers’ predictions for what’s to come.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Federal health agencies block journalists’ access to COVID-19 experts & information

        The history of restrictions on reporters trying to cover the National Institutes of Health, the FDA, the CDC, the EPA and other federal health agencies has not been researched thoroughly enough, and thus, it’s a story not told often enough or well enough. That’s the opinion of a longtime Washington observer and journalist.

        [...]

        Foxhall is not only critical of restrictive federal policies, but also of journalists and news organizations that are often silent about what’s happening.”I don’t think anything can be more dangerous than something the press will not talk about or does not understand as a danger,” she says. “It’s not ethical journalism to take information in a controlled setting and publish it without telling the public that this information control is going on. You are at high risk of being harmful to public welfare.”

      • Assange denied bail in UK amid pandemic

        WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been denied bail after arguing that his release from a UK prison would mitigate his “high risk” of catching coronavirus.

        The Australian made the application in the Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday, with less than 15 people in attendance due to the coronavirus lockdown.

        District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that Assange had absconded before and said that Belmarsh prison is following government guidelines to protect detainees with no confirmed virus cases there yet.

      • Campaigners slam ‘dangerous and cruel judgement’ to expose Julian Assange to the coronavirus

        Judge Vanessa Baraitser brushed aside the advice about coronavirus from both of the Prison Officers Association and the Prison Advisory Service and told Julian Assange he would not be bailed on fears that he would contract the virus.

        Assange’s lawyers argued that the virus can spread rapidly in Britain’s overcrowded prisons and that there are already 100 staff off sick with coronavirus symptoms at HMP Belmarsh, the high security prison where Assange is held.

        Yet despite Assange’s already weakened medical condition, including a previously reported lung complaint, the Judge refused to accept that there were fresh grounds for granting bail, even though the Justice Minister is currently reviewing whether remand prisoners like Julian Assange should be released.

        Citing Assange’s previous asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy as a reason for not granting bail the Judge refused to accept the offer of house arrest and electronic tagging made by the Assange’s QC, Edward Fitzgerald.

        HMP Belmarsh could not even arrange for Assange to be connected by video link for the whole hearing. He was removed to his cell while the proceedings went on without him.

        ‘This is a dangerous and cruel decision’, said WikiLeaks Ambassador Joseph Farrell. ‘Coronavirus will spread in Belmarsh. With 100 Belmarsh staff off ill Julian is already at risk. Visits have been cancelled. He will have no access to friends and family and his time with his legal team will be reduced further. How is anyone supposed to prepare a defence in such conditions’

      • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange denied bail amid coronavirus fears

        Assange had argued that his release from a UK prison while on remand would mitigate the risk of him catching coronavirus.

      • UK: Assange bail application highlights COVID-19 risk to many vulnerable detainees and prisoners

        Ahead of today’s application by Julian Assange’s lawyers calling for bail on the grounds that he is in imminent danger from COVID-19 spreading through the prison population, Massimo Moratti, Amnesty International’s Europe Deputy Director of Research, said

        “In light of the COVID-19 crisis, UK authorities should urgently consider releasing some people who are currently in detention or prison, especially those who are more at risk from the virus. Julian’s Assange’s claim of being vulnerable to COVID-19 must be rigorously examined.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Russia’s government cabinet asks Parliament for the power to declare a national emergency in an epidemic

        The Russian government has drafted legislation that would empower Prime Minister Mikhail Misustin’s cabinet to put the nation on high alert and declare a national emergency in the event of an epidemic. The document is now published on the State Duma’s website.

      • Stay in Your Home—And Stay Angry

        The economy’s turned upside down, people are dying, and we’re all cooped up because the people who are supposed to keep us safe didn’t.

      • The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It

        The real divide is between democracy and oligarchy.

      • Release Prisoners Now to Slow Coronavirus’ Spread

        This peril is immediate and pressing. There are 2.2 million Americans locked up at any one time, but over 11 million go through prison or jail gates in any one year.

      • In a Pandemic, Workers Need Sick Leave…Now

        Breathing hurts. The mound of tissues next to the groove you hollow into the couch grows faster than seems possible. Sound and light crash against your skull like hammers, so even binge-watching and reading become painful.

      • Organizing in the Time of Social Distancing

        Now more than ever, we need to make our digital campaigns meaningful.

      • Anti-Abortion Groups Are Using the COVID-19 Outbreak to Stop Abortions

        Officials from anti-abortion organizations asked the Trump administration on Tuesday to take steps to halt abortion access as part of the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.

      • EU Parliament Told Predictive Policing Software Relies On Dirty Data Generated By Corrupt Cops

        Predictive policing efforts continue to expand around the world. Fortunately, so has the criticism. The data witchcraft that expects a bunch of crap data created by biased policing to coalesce into actionable info continues to be touted by those least likely to be negatively affected by it: namely, law enforcement agencies and the government officials that love them.

      • Trump Labor Board Assaults Workers’ Rights

        The NLRB—which consists of unelected political appointees—have the power to postpone such hearings any time they find “good cause.” After a two-week waiting period for a hearing, the scope of the bargaining unit and the eligibility of individual employees to vote in a certification election is subject to litigation. The impact of these new changes puts unions at a major disadvantage since employers now have more time to inundate workers with anti-union propaganda in the lead up to an election.

      • Kolkata man brutally beaten to death by police after he goes out to buy milk amid coronavirus lockdown

        The state police thrashed the man in West Bengal’s Banipur Rajgung area of Howrah district after he went out to buy milk during the 21-day lockdown. He later passed away after the beating. His family has alleged he died of the injuries.

      • Saudi man, 2 Yemeni women arrested for mocking Islamic rites

        A spokesman for police in the holy region of Mecca, Brig Mohammad Al Ghamdi, said authorities had identified those involved in “this criminal act”.

      • No Soap. Broken Sinks. We Will All Pay for Coronavirus Ravaging Prisons

        Make no mistake: These conditions do not affect only those who are incarcerated. The correctional officers and many others who work inside jails and prisons, from medical personnel to maintenance workers, are also at immediate risk. Every night, they go home to their families and communities, where they can transfer the virus. What’s more, many of the over 10.5 million people who enter U.S. jails each year spend only a few days behind bars—before re-entering society.

        The deprivation of basic health and hygiene to anyone who is in the custody of the government is a disturbing violation of human dignity any time. But in a pandemic, violating the practices that are pivotal to “flattening the curve” creates a massive and unjustified burden to the public at large.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • AT&T, Verizon Will Waive Wireless Overage Fees During Pandemic. But You’ll Have To Ask.

        Earlier this month, the biggest U.S. broadband providers announced they’d be dropping usage caps and overage fees during the pandemic in order to provide a little financial relief to home-bound Americans trying to slow the virus’ spread. That’s good, since telecom CEOs, engineers, and leaked documents have all made it clear caps and overage fees on fixed-line networks are little more than the price gouging of captive customers in uncompetitive U.S. broadband markets, and do absolutely nothing to help manage congestion in the age of intelligent networks that can prioritize or deprioritize entire traffic types on the fly.

      • Homebound Workers Are Close to Overwhelming Internet Junctions

        But don’t panic yet: Operators can sidestep major jams and outages by upgrading equipment and adding components at these bottlenecks, according to the company, which likened it to a supermarket hiring more cashiers for busy times.

        “They can add more capacity, which is easily done,” Nokia said. “Networks are handling traffic well — so far.”

        Nokia’s analytics service, dubbed Deepfield, also found a 300% surge in remote-conferencing programs like Zoom and Skype in the U.S. compared with the previous week. Video games, meanwhile, soared 400%.

    • Monopolies

      • Divisional filings at USPTO and EPO ‘legal but evil’

        Generics companies say innovators abuse divisional filing systems to prolong patent life and frustrate their competitors’ freedom to launch

      • 67 Years Ago Today: Jonas Salk Announced The Polio Vaccine… And Did NOT Patent It

        It seems worth noting a historical milestone today. 67 years ago today, March 26, 1953, Dr. Jonas Salk announced the vaccine for polio, and saved millions of lives. And this is notable given the current COVID-19 pandemic we’re all living with. However, at a time when we’re having to be vigilant for giant pharmaceutical companies sneakily trying to game the system to get extra exclusivity, and patent maximalists pushing for extended patent terms as an “incentive” to come up with a vaccine, it’s worth noting the simple fact that he did not patent the vaccine. Indeed, in a TV interview with Edward Murrow, Salk famously said “could you patent the sun?”

      • ‘Big Win’: Caving to Pressure Campaign, Gilead Sciences Relinquishes Monopoly Claim for Promising Coronavirus Treatment

        “There’s no doubt that the prospect of an enormous public backlash is what made the difference.”

      • ‘There’s Never Been More Attention on the Ills of Profit-Motivated Pharmaceutical Production’
      • Coronavirus and IP – Is it time for a reflection about the patent system? Or about the life science first? [Ed: Calling it "life science" means they make up new excuses for having patents on life and nature]

        During my recent attendance at the MIP – Managing Intellectual Property, International Patent Forum 2020 in London early this month, which Daniel Law sponsored, I had the privilege of attending to a session in which the Hon. Mr. Justice Birss, judge of the High Court of Justice for England and Wales, spoke about “Comparison of international IP enforcement”.

      • Patents

        • [Older] China scientists want to patent Gilead drug to treat coronavirus patients

          Scientists in the city at the center of China’s virus outbreak have applied to patent a drug made by U.S. company Gilead Science Inc. to treat the disease, possibly fueling conflict over technology policy that helped trigger Washington’s tariff war with Beijing.

          The government-run Wuhan Institute of Virology said this week it applied for the patent in January along with a military laboratory. An institute statement acknowledged there are “intellectual property barriers” but said it acted to “protect national interests.”

          Granting its own scientists a patent might give the Chinese government leverage in negotiations over paying for the drug. But it also might fuel complaints Beijing abuses its regulatory system to pressure foreign companies to hand over valuable technology.

        • [Older] China Applies for Patent for Drug That Could Fight Coronavirus

          China has applied for a new patent on an experimental Gilead Sciences Inc. drug that its scientists believe might fight the coronavirus.

          It has applied for a patent for the use of the drug, know as remdesivir, to treat the novel coronavirus. The move is a sign that China views Gilead’s therapy as one of the most promising candidates to fight the outbreak that has now claimed almost 500 lives. A patent battle may affect Gilead’s control over the drug in China.

          Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter by clicking on this link, and please send any tips, leads, and stories to virus@time.com.

          While Gilead’s experimental drug isn’t licensed or approved anywhere in the world, it is being rushed into human trials in China on coronavirus patients after showing early signs of being highly effective.

        • Asking AI to explain itself – a problem of sufficiency

          However, development of any market-leading advantage should be done with an awareness of how to protect that investment and retain the advantage. So, can you get a monopoly on your AI’s lucrative invention? This article considers potential hurdles to patent protection and some suggested solutions.

          The IP frameworks are already being tested with respect to AI inventions. At the intergovernmental level, WIPO, on December 13 2019, published an issues paper in calling for submissions on the interaction between AI and IP. At the industry and academic level, the application to the EPO in August 2019 (rejected on December 20) for patents in the name of DABUS, an AI tool relying on a system of deep neural networks.

          Much of the industry and academic (and now patent office) focus has been on whether the patent framework is capable of allowing for an inventor which is not a legal person. Currently, the answer from the EPO, the USPTO, the UKIPO and others is no, but it seems that at some stage, inventorship, or a path to ownership at least, could potentially be solved by granting of limited legal personhood to AI if the policy arguments in favour of AI inventions win out.

        • Why the Western District of Texas could be America’s next top forum

          Managing IP asks in-house and private practice counsel why an increasing number of patent litigators are filing in Alan Albright’s court rather than in the Eastern District of Texas

        • East v west: how to pick your patent battles in Texas [Ed: Patrick Wingrove as cheerleader for patent trolls in Texas]

          In-house and private practice counsel say the Western District of Texas’s promises of efficiency are alluring, but that the breadth of case law in the Eastern District makes it more predictable

        • KEI Letter to Speaker Pelosi Regarding Use of “Other Transaction Authority” (OTA) in Coronavirus Bill to Escape Bayh-Dole Public Interest Safeguards

          On March 23, 2020, Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi regarding a provision in the current draft of the Senate version of the coronavirus funding bill (H.R. 748) that would eliminate accountability in government research and development (R&D) agreements. The draft bill proposes to expand the authority of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to use “Other Transaction Authority” (OTA) for R&D funding agreements. Agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services have asserted that OTA agreements are not subject to the Bayh-Dole Act, and expanding OTA would take away safeguards that are critical to protecting to the public’s investments in biomedical R&D.

        • Gilead’s remdesivir wins orphan drug status for coronavirus

          As expected , the FDA designates Gilead Sciences’ (NASDAQ:GILD) remdesivir an Orphan Drug for the treatment of COVID-19. Among the benefits of Orphan Drug status in the U.S. is a seven-year period of market exclusivity for the indication, if approved.

        • CORONAVIRUS TREATMENT DEVELOPED BY GILEAD SCIENCES GRANTED “RARE DISEASE” STATUS, POTENTIALLY LIMITING AFFORDABILITY

          ON MONDAY AFTERNOON, the Food and Drug Administration granted Gilead Sciences “orphan” drug status for its antiviral drug, remdesivir. The designation allows the pharmaceutical company to profit exclusively for seven years from the product, which is one of dozens being tested as a possible treatment for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

          Experts warn that the designation, reserved for treating “rare diseases,” could block supplies of the antiviral medication from generic drug manufacturers and provide a lucrative windfall for Gilead Sciences, which maintains close ties with President Donald Trump’s task force for controlling the coronavirus crisis. Joe Grogan, who serves on the White House coronavirus task force, lobbied for Gilead from 2011 to 2017 on issues including the pricing of pharmaceuticals.

        • Software Patents

          • Supreme Court Rejects 3 Alice Patent Appeals

            The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected three appeals calling for more clarification on what is and isn’t eligible for patents under the high court’s Alice ruling, despite warnings that refusing to resolve the uncertainty will lead to “staggering consequences.”

            A few months after denying numerous cases that sought to provide more clarity concerning patent eligibility standards, the justices turned down a new batch of appeals on the same issue.

            Here is a look at some of the cases the high court turned down.

            Reese v. Sprint

      • Copyrights

        • ‘Hellboy’ Must Explain Calculation For the $270,000 Piracy Damages Claim

          The makers of the movie ‘Hellboy’ recently asked for $270,000 in piracy damages against the operator of the now-defunct torrent site MKVCage. While the accused man didn’t put up a defense, U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth Mansfield recommended denying the request, as it’s unclear how the movie company ended up at this figure. As a result, Hellboy must go back to the drawing board.

        • Anti-Piracy Chief: Pirated Content is Now Harder to Find in Search Engines

          An anti-piracy memorandum aimed at removing allegedly-infringing content from search engines is beginning to have an effect in Russia. That’s according to the chief of the Internet Video Association, an anti-piracy group representing the interests of numerous licensed online video distribution platforms.

        • RIAA Realizes It Sued Charter Over A Bunch Of Songs It Doesn’t Hold The Copyrights For

          It’s been a year since the RIAA sued Charter Communications, using the same strategy it had used against smaller ISPs Cox and Grande Communications — that the DMCA actually requires internet access providers to completely kick users off upon the receipt of multiple (unproven) claims of copyright infringement. The RIAA has been plotting out this strategy for the better part of a decade.

When Your ‘Business’ is Just ‘Patent Portfolio’

Posted in Patents at 8:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Can't think of a business model... But I'll figure something out

Summary: Hoarding loads of patents may seem impressive, but eating them to survive is impossible if not impermissible

LOT Network is a One-Man (Millionaire’s) Operation and Why This Should Alarm You

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 7:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Promoting and protecting software patents while pretending to protect people (from patent trolls)

Ken Seddon
From LOT Network’s latest IRS filing [PDF]. The self-appointed chief pays himself a salary of over half a million dollars, tax exempted, for 45 hours of work. All this by collecting membership fees for his glorified ‘patent club’.

LOT Network outline
Swinging from big profits to big losses and then no visibility anymore. They surface again in the media to tell us what an awesome company Microsoft is, even as purveyor of patent blackmail and backer of the world’s biggest patent trolls.

Summary: The ugly story of Open Invention Network (OIN) and LOT; today we take a closer look at LOT and highlight a pattern of ‘cross-pollination’ (people in both OIN and LOT, even at the same time)

LAST night we learned something a tad disturbing. We had heard all sorts of things about OIN and LOT Network, whose business model is similar; they are in some sense inseparable and their “charity” (or “non-profit”) status is as dubious as the Linux Foundation‘s because they’re corporate front groups.

Remember that the enemy of OIN (and LOT) isn’t the likes of Microsoft (heck, they spread the lie that “Microsoft loves Linux” now that Microsoft is a member!). The enemy of OIN is the community of developers. Real communities. Or people like us, who oppose software patents. OIN is big patent pool if not cartel protecting software patents, including Red Hat’s. They tell us those patents are “OK” and “Safe”. Need we mention that since Red Hat’s CEO became President at IBM (appointment effective next month) the company has filed yet more extortionate lawsuits against companies, using dubious software patents? Nothing is really changing, but they want to extinguish their critics. They were very giddy to see Richard Stallman go because of an online lynch mob and dishonest press (IBM-connected media — even the very same publisher — participated in this defamation a year after it had caused Linus Torvalds to be removed from his own project though he returned later).

“Remember that the enemy of OIN (and LOT) isn’t the likes of Microsoft (heck, they spread the lie that “Microsoft loves Linux” now that Microsoft is a member!). The enemy of OIN is the community of developers. Real communities. Or people like us, who oppose software patents.”When people from the community of developers “join” OIN are they signing away their autonomy to Microsoft, IBM etc. just like with CLAs? Building a large community-hostile aggregation, in effect thinking they defend themselves from patent trolls (OIN and LOT do no such thing; this is false marketing; They’re even run by trolls and oftentimes help trolls).

Look who’s running them. Look closely. Those people are opposing authentic and legitimate causes of actual activists, looking to abolish software patents.

“Now, as it turns out, based on new information, OIN and LOT Network are run by the same people or have ‘cross-pollination’ (people with E-mail addresses in both domains).”Remember that the same people run IBM and OIN’s first CEO came from IBM. Also bear in mind that IBM still lobbies against the community’s interest when it comes to patent law.

Now, as it turns out, based on new information, OIN and LOT Network are run by the same people or have ‘cross-pollination’ (people with E-mail addresses in both domains). People like Valer Mischenko. Alarm bell and warnings all over this, so we’ve ended up researching the matter.

The trigger point was the affiliation of Valer Mischenko. We don’t know if he works for OIN, LOT, and if the two are connected. All we know is that he’s still listed as working for OIN and he’s mass-mailing developers to get them to join LOT. So he’s wearing two hats. Or swapping hats.

8 years ago he still worked for NLnet and published this article with a bio that said “Before he started working with NLnet in 2007 he worked as Operations Manager and Director within several bigger and smaller ICT companies in The Netherlands and abroad.”

“LOT is connected to IAM, the patent trolls’ front group.”Then he moved to OIN. As per a page from four years ago: “Long involvement in open source and open innovation. Currently helping to build out a no-fly-zone around Linux with Open Invention Network.”

He is listed here as “Regional Director, Licensing” at OIN, noting that: “Previously he was general director of NLnet Foundation, a charity which stimulates network research and development in the domain of Internet technology. Prior to NLnet he worked as COO within several ICT companies.”

But now he has a LOT address. LOT is connected to IAM, the patent trolls’ front group. They’re proud of this. LOT has long been advocated by Microsoft circles as well… and weeks apart Microsoft joined both LOT and OIN (LOT first), whereupon it received lots of marketing/PR in return. It’s almost as though there had been a defection, with OIN’s Mirko Boehm perpetuating Microsoft lies such as “Microsoft loves Linux” (well, maybe he loves the money they offered).

LOT identifies itself as “Promotion of Business (Community Improvement, Capacity Building)” and Mischenko called it a “non-profit.”

“Hope to see you among our members soon,” he wrote to one developer. We imagine he sent it to countless others, trying to get them to sign this second and latest version of their agreement form. We can see what LOT Network gets from it. As for developers? They get virtually nothing out of it. That acts more like a waiver, like a CLA.

“That acts more like a waiver, like a CLA.”Notice how, at present (or most recently), LOT was losing millions of dollars to enrich a millionaire and oligarchs (billionaires) he fronts for. Remember where he came from (before LOT). We covered this in the past.

At first he managed to cover his humongous salary, which would make him a million bucks in less than 2 years. But in recent years he reported massive losses… (though he still netted a huge salary)

“At first he managed to cover his humongous salary, which would make him a million bucks in less than 2 years.”He then sold out to Microsoft (months later). The filing corresponds to about 10 months earlier and no more filings are available… since 2017 (that we can access anyway).

Let’s examine what they try to get developers to sign electronically (we reproduce this in full below in case they change it, which is likely if not inevitable):

THIS LOT AGREEMENT (“Agreement”) is entered into upon the undersigned LOT User’s submission of a signed copy of the completed Agreement to the LOT Administrator, and is effective as to that LOT User upon the date of such submission (the “Effective Date”), whereby such LOT User becomes a party to this Agreement on behalf of itself and its Affiliates and becomes bound by the terms and conditions. This Agreement is by and between the undersigned LOT User and all other current and future LOT Users.

NOW THEREFORE, each LOT User agrees as follows.

1. License Grant and Release
1.1. Grant of License and Release. With respect to each of its Subject Patents, and subject to the conditions and limitations of this Agreement, each Licensor hereby grants to every Licensee a present, fully vested and irrevocable (except as provided in Section 2 below):

(a) worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, non-sublicensable, non-transferable (subject to the provisions of Section 2 below) license to make, have made, operate, have operated, use, sell, offer for sale, import, and otherwise distribute Products and Services at any time on or after any Transfer of the respective Subject Patent to an Assertion Entity; and

(b) release, effective immediately prior to first Transfer of the respective Subject Patent to an Assertion Entity, of any and all claims, liabilities and damages for all Infringement of the respective Subject Patent occurring prior to the date of such Transfer of the respective Subject Patent.

1.2. Waiver and Immunity. With respect to each Subject Patent of the Licensor, the License constitutes a present, fully vested and irrevocable (except as provided in Section 2 below) waiver of the right under the respective Subject Patent for any Assertion Entity to make any Patent Assertion of the respective Subject Patent against any Licensee or with respect to any Licensee’s Products and Services. The License further includes immunity following first Transfer of the respective Subject Patent to an Assertion Entity for use, reproduction, and further sale, offer for sale, and distribution of the Licensee’s Products and Services by a distributor, reseller, re-licensor or customer of the Licensee, including reproduction and distribution of authorized copies of software sold or otherwise distributed (including by license of copies) by such Licensee.

1.3. No Other Rights. Except as expressly set forth in Sections 1 and 2 no license or right under any Patents is granted by this Agreement, whether by implication, estoppel, or otherwise. For the avoidance of doubt, the Licenses do not release any claims, liabilities or damages for Infringement or otherwise restrict or limit any Patent Assertion of a Subject Patent that has not been Transferred to an Assertion Entity, including against any Licensee or with respect to any Licensee’s Products and Services.

1.4. Return of Financial Benefit. Each LOT User agrees that any payment due to or received by such LOT User or its Affiliates (a “Receiving LOT User”), after becoming a LOT User or its Affiliate, resulting from any Patent Assertion by an Assertion Entity against an entity that at the time of the Patent Assertion is a LOT User or its Affiliate (a “Paying LOT User”), to the extent that such Patent Assertion is based on any of the Receiving LOT User’s Patents that were Transferred by the Receiving LOT User to an Assertion Entity less than two (2) years prior to the Receiving LOT User becoming a LOT User or its Affiliate (and where the payment due or received is not the result of an agreement between the Receiving LOT User and the Paying LOT User), will be immediately cancelled or returned to the Paying LOT User against whom such Patent Assertion is made.

1.5. Full Force and Effect. All Licenses granted in this Agreement are intended to and shall run with the Subject Patents to which they pertain for the full duration of such Subject Patents and be binding on subsequent owners and licensees. Any transfer or grant of rights in or to a Licensor’s Subject Patent(s), whether by such Licensor or any subsequent transferee, shall be subject to the Licenses and continuing obligations of this Agreement with respect to such Subject Patent(s).

2. Assignment, Change of Control, Withdrawal and Amendment
2.1. Assignment. Subject to the provisions of Section 2.2 below and except as set forth in the next sentence, no LOT User, Licensor or Licensee or their respective Affiliates may assign this Agreement or its rights hereunder, including but not limited to by operation of law, and any attempt to do so shall be void. A LOT User may assign this Agreement to its Affiliate solely as necessary to effect a corporate reorganization of such LOT User that does not constitute a Change of Control.

2.2. Change of Control.

(a) LOT User. In the event that a LOT User undergoes a Change of Control, whether during or after its Participation Period, by an acquirer that is not and does not become a LOT User or an Affiliate of a LOT User within its Participation Period during the six (6) month period after the effective date of such Change of Control, then the LOT User and all of its Affiliates will be deemed to have withdrawn from this Agreement, effective six (6) months after the effective date of such Change of Control. Notwithstanding Section 6.1, an acquirer and its Affiliates prior to the Change of Control will not be considered to become an Affiliate of the LOT User under this Agreement merely by virtue of having acquired Control of the LOT User.

(b) Affiliate of a LOT User. If an Entity ceases to be an Affiliate of a LOT User and does not become a LOT User prior to the time it ceases to be an Affiliate, then such Entity will be deemed to have withdrawn from this Agreement, effective as of the date it ceases to be an Affiliate of the respective LOT User.

(c) Notice. In order to allow the LOT Administrator to determine a withdrawal date under this Section 2.2, the LOT User agrees to inform the LOT Administrator within thirty (30) days of a Change of Control of the LOT User of the fact of such Change of Control and its respective effective date.

2.3. Withdrawal. A LOT User may withdraw from this Agreement by sending the LOT Administrator a written announcement that declares the LOT User’s intent to withdraw and is signed and submitted by an authorized representative of the LOT User. The existence and date of each such announcement will be published on the LOT website. The LOT User’s withdrawal will be effective as to such LOT User and all of its Affiliates six (6) months after it sends the withdrawal announcement.

2.4. Scope of Rights Following Effective Date of Withdrawal.

(a) Inbound Licenses. The Licenses granted to a LOT User or its Affiliate that has or is deemed to have withdrawn will remain in effect only with respect to Subject Patents of Licensors that were Transferred to an Assertion Entity prior to the date on which such withdrawal is effective.

(b) Outbound Licenses. All Patents of a LOT User or its Affiliate that are Subject Patents as of the date on which withdrawal or deemed withdrawal is effective as to such Entity shall remain Subject Patents and will remain and continue to be licensed following withdrawal to all Licensees existing as of the date of withdrawal and to all Licensees that become an Affiliate of an existing Licensee after the date of withdrawal, subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, including Subject Patents Transferred to an Assertion Entity after the date on which withdrawal is effective.

2.5. Amendment. Provisions regarding amendment of this Agreement are set forth in Exhibit B, incorporated into this Agreement as if fully set forth herein.

3. Warranties
3.1. Disclaimer. EACH LICENSOR OFFERS THE PATENT LICENSES GRANTED HEREIN “AS IS” AND MAKES NO REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND CONCERNING ITS PATENTS.

3.2. Representations and Warranties. Notwithstanding Section 3.1, each LOT User represents and warrants that:

(a) it is duly organized, validly existing and in good standing under the laws of its jurisdiction of organization and that it has the full right and power to grant the licenses, waivers, immunities, covenants and releases set forth herein;

(b) this Agreement has been duly authorized, executed and delivered by such LOT User and is enforceable against such LOT User;

(c) it has and covenants that it will continue to have and exercise the rights necessary to cause its Affiliates to be bound by the obligations of this LOT Agreement (including the obligation to grant the Licenses with respect to the Subject Patents in accordance herewith); and

(d) it will not use or cooperate with any Financial Investors, Holding Companies, or non-Participating Business Groups for the primary purpose of circumventing its obligations under this Agreement.

4. Disclaimer of Liability
IN NO EVENT SHALL ANY LOT USER OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES BE LIABLE UNDER THIS AGREEMENT, OR BY VIRTUE OF GRANTING ANY LICENSES HEREUNDER, FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING LOST PROFITS, OR FOR ANY OTHER PUNITIVE OR SPECIAL DAMAGES, WHETHER UNDER A THEORY OF WARRANTY, CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE, OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF SUCH LOT USER OR ANY OF ITS AFFILIATES HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES PRIOR TO SUCH AN OCCURRENCE.

5. Miscellaneous

5.1. Relationship of the Parties. This Agreement does not create any relationship of agency, partnership or joint venture among the LOT Users or their Affiliates.

5.2. No Impact on Reasonable Royalty or Equitable Relief. Each LOT User and its Affiliates agree that this Agreement does not reflect a royalty that any LOT User or its Affiliate might otherwise have negotiated with respect to any Subject Patents. Each LOT User and its Affiliates further agrees that this Agreement is not intended to, and they will not argue that this Agreement is, relevant to whether an injunction is available or what would constitute a reasonable royalty or a measure of damages for Infringement of any Subject Patents in any dispute outside the scope of this Agreement.

5.3. Third Party Beneficiaries. Each LOT User and each of its Affiliates is an intended third party beneficiary of this Agreement. Except as expressly provided herein, nothing in this Agreement is intended or shall be construed to give any Entity, other than LOT Users and their Affiliates, any legal or equitable right, remedy or claim under or in respect of this Agreement or any provision contained herein.

Entire Agreement. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement and understanding of the LOT Users and their Affiliates with respect to the subject matter hereof.

5.5. Bankruptcy. Each LOT User acknowledges and agrees that from and after the Effective Date, and notwithstanding any limitations or conditions in Section 1 or 2 that may apply, (i) this Agreement is an executory contract as that term is used in Section 365 of the United States Bankruptcy Code; (ii) the License granted by each Licensor to each Licensee under this Agreement is subject to Section 365(n) of the Bankruptcy Code; (iii) for the purposes of Section 365(n) of the Bankruptcy Code, the Subject Patents constitute “intellectual property” within the scope of Section 101 of the Bankruptcy Code; and (iv) in the event that any bankruptcy is filed by or against a Licensor, or the Licensor is adjudged bankrupt or insolvent, and the trustee in such bankruptcy rejects this Agreement, each Licensee will have the right to exercise all rights provided by Section 365(n), including but not limited to the right to retain its license rights under this Agreement and any agreement supplementary to this Agreement.

5.6. Costs. LOT Users will pay fees for ongoing costs and operation of LOT Network Inc. and the LOT Administrator in accordance with Exhibit A.

5.7. General Release Waiver. With respect to the releases granted by it in this LOT Agreement, each Licensor voluntarily and with full knowledge of its significance, expressly waives and relinquishes any and all rights they may have under any state or federal statute, rule or common law principle, in law or equity, relating to limitations on releases. SPECIFICALLY, EACH PARTY HEREBY EXPRESSLY WAIVES ANY RIGHTS IT MAY HAVE UNDER CALIFORNIA CIVIL CODE SECTION 1542 WHICH PROVIDES THAT: “A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS WHICH THE CREDITOR DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS OR HER FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE, WHICH IF KNOWN BY HIM OR HER MUST HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS OR HER SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR.”

5.8. Release for LOT Administrator and LOT Network Inc. Each LOT User releases the LOT Administrator, LOT Network Inc. and their directors, representatives and successors from, and covenants not to action with respect to, any liability associated with their administration of this Agreement.

5.9. Notice. All notices and communications pursuant to this Agreement shall be in writing and signed by the Entity giving such notice and shall be deemed to have been given upon receipt or upon tender by electronic mail with a follow-on hardcopy using a priority or express courier, postage prepaid to the noticed party as follows: (a) in the case of the undersigned LOT User, to the email and mailing addresses provided on the signature page hereto, which addresses may be updated by notice from such LOT User to the LOT Administrator; and (b) in the case of the LOT Administrator, to the email and mailing addresses for the LOT Administrator as of the date of notice as specified on the LOT website.

5.10. Section Headings. The Section headings contained in this Agreement are for reference purposes only and shall not in any way control the meaning or interpretation of this Agreement.

5.11. Governing Law. This Agreement will be interpreted, construed, and enforced in all respects in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, without reference to its choice of law principles.

6. Definitions
6.1. “Affiliate” means, with respect to a first Entity, any Entity that directly or indirectly Controls, is Controlled by, or is under common Control with such first Entity, but only for so long as such Control exists; provided, however, that:

(a) in the event that a LOT User is or becomes Controlled by a Financial Investor, then such Financial Investor (and any Entities that (i) are Controlled by such Financial Investor, (ii) are not Affiliates of such LOT User other than because of their common Control by such Financial Investor, and (iii) do not exist for the primary purpose of attempting to avoid having Patents be subject to this Agreement) will not be considered Affiliates of such LOT User for so long as such Financial Investor remains a non-Assertion Entity; and

(b) in the event that a LOT User is or becomes Controlled by an Entity (“Holding Company”) that Controls a group of Entities that conduct substantially separate and identifiable businesses (each such Entity and its Controlled Affiliates, a “Business Group”), then such Holding Company (and any Entities that (i) are Controlled by such Holding Company, (ii) are not Affiliates of such LOT User other than because of their common Control by such Holding Company, and (iii) do not exist for the primary purpose of attempting to avoid having Patents be subject to this Agreement) will not be considered Affiliates of such LOT User for so long as such Holding Company remains a non-Assertion Entity, provided that one or more of the Business Groups that becomes a LOT User together with its Controlled Affiliates (“Participating Business Groups”) (x) owns or controls at least 10,000 active U.S. Subject Patents at the time of becoming a LOT User, and (y) has aggregate consolidated revenues, exclusive of revenue derived from Patent Assertions, measured over the full twelve (12) months preceding the date it becomes a LOT User of greater than $1 billion. Any such LOT User will confirm whether it is subject to this Section 6.1(b) upon written request from another LOT User.

6.2. “Assertion Entity” means an Entity and each one of its Affiliates if such Entity and all its Affiliates collectively derived from Patent Assertion more than half of their total consolidated gross revenue measured over the full twelve (12) months preceding a particular date (other than as a result, during such twelve (12) month period, of a damages award or settlement obtained in such period from patent infringement proceedings brought by such Entity or its Affiliates against one or more other Entities based on such other Entities’ sale or distribution of one or more infringing products or services that compete against one or more bona fide commercial products or services of such Entity or its Affiliates, provided that such Entity and all its Affiliates collectively did not derive (or were not awarded or did not otherwise obtain the right to derive pursuant to a settlement) from Patent Assertion an amount equaling more than half of their total consolidated gross revenue measured over the full twenty-four (24) months preceding the particular date). Without limiting the foregoing, the following will be counted as revenue derived by an Entity from Patent Assertion for purposes of this definition (i) royalties and other monetary compensation arising from grant of releases, licenses, covenants not to sue or other rights to Patent(s) for the primary purpose of deriving royalties or other monetary compensation under such Patent(s), where such rights are not granted in connection with Products and Services provided by such Entity or its Affiliates relating to such Patent(s) (which shall be counted as revenue at the time of receipt), (ii) monetary compensation arising from settlement of Patent Assertion (which shall be counted as revenue at the time of receipt), (iii) damages awarded arising from a Patent Assertion (which shall be counted as revenue at the time of award, even if not collected), and (iv) imputed revenue of $100,000 for each Infringement complaint filed for a Patent Assertion (which shall be counted as revenue at the time of filing). In addition, an Entity and each of its Affiliates will be deemed to be an Assertion Entity if the Entity or any of its Affiliate has, as of a particular date, a goal or plan approved by senior management or a senior executive (or under which the Entity has begun to receive revenue) to derive from Patent Assertion, either directly, or indirectly through one or more of its Affiliates, more than half of the total consolidated gross revenue of such Entity and its Affiliates collectively in any twelve (12) month period including or after that particular date.

6.3. “Change of Control” means, with respect to a first Entity:

(a) direct or indirect acquisition (except for transactions described in clause (b) below), whether in one or a series of transactions, by a second Entity or related Entities of Control of the first Entity; or

(b) a merger, consolidation or other reorganization or recapitalization of the first Entity with a second Entity or a direct or indirect subsidiary of such second Entity, provided that a result of the consummation of such merger, consolidation or other reorganization or recapitalization, whether in one or a series of related transactions, is that the holders of Control of the first Entity immediately prior to such consummation do not Control, immediately after the consummation, the Entity surviving such merger, consolidation or other reorganization or recapitalization, or its direct or indirect parent Entity. The “effective date” of a Change of Control is the date on which the relevant acquisition, merger, consolidation, reorganization or recapitalization (as applicable) occurs under applicable law.

6.4. “Control” means (i) the ownership, or the direct or indirect control, of more than fifty percent (50%) of the voting stock or other voting ownership interest of an Entity, or (ii) the sole power to elect, appoint, or cause the election or appointment of, directly or indirectly, at least a majority of the members of the board of directors (or such other governing body that exercises a similar level of control) of an Entity. The terms “Controlled” and “Controls” shall have a correlative meaning.

6.5. “Entity” means an individual, corporation, trust, partnership, joint venture, limited liability company, association, unincorporated organization, or other legal or governmental entity.

6.6. “Financial Investor” means an Entity that is not an Assertion Entity and its primary business is investing in equity securities or debt of non-Assertion Entities (examples of a Financial Investor are a venture capital firm or a private equity firm).

6.7. “Infringement” means direct or indirect infringement of a Patent.

6.8. “License” means the license rights, releases, waivers and immunities granted in Sections 1 and 2 of this Agreement, subject to the terms, conditions and limitations herein.

6.9. “Licensee” means, with respect to each Subject Patent of a Licensor: (i) each LOT User who is within its Participation Period at any time that the respective Licensor or any assignee, transferee or successor has, or after which the Licensor or any assignee, transferee or successor later obtains, the right to grant licenses, releases, waivers or immunities with respect to such Subject Patent of or within the scope granted in the License; and (ii) each Affiliate of such LOT User that is or becomes an Affiliate of the LOT User at any time during such LOT User’s Participation Period, subject to Sections 2 as applicable.

6.10. “Licensor” means a LOT User and each Entity that is, was, or becomes, an Affiliate of such LOT User during the LOT User’s Participation Period. For avoidance of doubt, each LOT User and each of its Affiliates referenced in the prior sentence shall remain a Licensor with respect to its Subject Patents, even after submission of a withdrawal announcement as set forth in Section 2.3 or Limitation Announcement as set forth in Exhibit B.

6.11. “LOT Administrator” means LOT Network Inc. or other Entity appointed by LOT Network Inc. or its successor that administers the LOT website, including receiving and publishing on the LOT website the name of Entities that submit this Agreement, withdrawal announcements (as set forth in Section 2.3), Limitation Announcements (as set forth in Exhibit B), and the associated dates of such announcements. The Entity acting as the LOT Administrator may change from time to time as determined by the Board of LOT Network Inc. or its successor and such change will be announced on the LOT website.

6.12. “LOT User” means an Entity that agrees to this Agreement by means of submission to the LOT Administrator. Once an Entity becomes a LOT User, it remains a LOT User for purposes of this Agreement.

6.13. “Participation Period” means, with respect to a particular LOT User and each of its Affiliates, the period commencing on the date such LOT User signs this Agreement and transmits it to the LOT Administrator and ending on the effective date of withdrawal or deemed withdrawal of such LOT User or its respective Affiliate (as set forth in Section 2) or applicable Limitation Date (as set forth in Exhibit B). A LOT User or its Affiliate may have more than one Participation Period, if it withdraws or is deemed to have withdrawn from the Agreement or issues a Limitation Announcement and subsequently re-enters into this Agreement, provided that a withdrawing LOT User under Section 2.3 may not re-enter this Agreement for a period of at least six (6) months after its withdrawal or issuance of a Limitation Announcement.

6.14. “Patent” means any patent, utility model, inventor certificate, or equivalent right, including but not limited to a design patent or design registration, and any application for any of the foregoing anywhere in the world, including originals, continuations, continuations-in-part, divisionals, results of reexamination, renewals, extensions, and reissues, and claims contained in such patent, inventor certificate, utility model, or equivalent.

6.15. “Patent Assertion” means either of the following assertions of rights under a Patent against another Entity: (i) asserting (including but not limited to via a written or oral demand) a claim of Infringement of such Patent for the primary purpose of deriving royalties or other monetary compensation under such Patent, or (ii) the commencement or subsequent pursuit of a claim, action or proceeding in a judicial, administrative or other governmental body, including but not limited to a court (in any country) or the U.S. International Trade Commission, based in whole or in part on a claim of Infringement of such Patent.

6.16. “Products and Services” means, with respect to an Entity, any and all products (hardware and software), technologies, components, and services, including but not limited to any software that is used, licensed or otherwise distributed (including as open source software) by or for the respective Entity, and all authorized copies of same. For purposes of the License granted to each Licensee, Products and Services also include any activities of the Licensee that, in the absence of this Agreement, would constitute inducement to infringe or contributory infringement (or infringement under any other analogous legal doctrine in the applicable jurisdiction) of the Licensors’ respective Subject Patent.

6.17. “Subject Patents” means (i) all issued Patents and pending Patent applications owned or licensable (directly or indirectly) by a Licensor at any time during its Participation Period, and (ii) all Patents that at any time issue on or claim priority (directly or indirectly) to any such Patent under (i) above for which Licensor or any assignee, transferee or successor has or later obtains the right to license, whether during or after its Participation Period, provided that the grant of a License to an applicable Licensee does not require payment of royalties or other consideration by Licensor to third parties (except for payments among Entities that form part of Licensor or to third parties for inventions made by the third parties while employed by Licensor) unless someone other than Licensor (or its assignees, transferees or successors) agrees to pay such royalties or other consideration on behalf of the applicable Licensee. If a Licensor has any interest in a Patent or an Entity that owns or controls a Patent (including the right to withhold consent for Patent Assertion of such Patent) at any time during its Participation Period, but does not have the right to grant licenses, releases, waivers and immunities of the full scope set forth in this Agreement, then such Patent will be considered a Subject Patent only to the extent Licensor has the right to grant licenses, releases, waivers or immunities within the scope set forth in this Agreement. Licensor grants such licenses, releases, waivers and immunities to the maximum extent it has the right to do so without requiring payment of royalties or other consideration to third parties as set forth above, and agrees to withhold consent for Patent Assertion by any Assertion Entity against any Licensee or with respect to any Licensee’s Products and Services to the extent it has the right to do so. Notwithstanding the foregoing, a Patent will not be considered a Subject Patent of a financial institution as defined by 18 U.S.C. § 20 solely by reason of being held by such financial institution (i) as trustee for a beneficiary that is not an Affiliate of such financial institution, or (ii) as a result of foreclosure or enforcement of a security interest in order to transfer the Patent to a third party that is not an Affiliate of such financial institution to satisfy an underlying financial obligation based on monies lent and secured by such Patent.

6.18. “Transfer” or “Transferred” to an Assertion Entity means any of the following with respect to a Subject Patent, whether during or after a Participation Period of the applicable Licensor: (i) the assignment, sale, exclusive license, or transfer, in whole or in part, of such Patent to an Assertion Entity, whether by Licensor or any subsequent transferee or exclusive licensee of the Subject Patent, or (ii) acquisition of ownership or control of the Subject Patent by an Assertion Entity (including any circumstance in which Licensor or any subsequent transferee owning or controlling the Subject Patent is or becomes an Assertion Entity or Controlled by an Assertion Entity or in which any Assertion Entity obtains any right to enforce or otherwise make Patent Assertions of the Subject Patent), with the earliest date any Entity owning or controlling such Patent is or becomes an Assertion Entity or Controlled by an Assertion Entity being deemed to be the effective date of such Transfer. For avoidance of doubt, any condition of a License based on Transfer of a Subject Patent to an Assertion Entity will be deemed satisfied at all times following the date of first Transfer of the Subject Patent to an Assertion Entity, even if the Subject Patent is subsequently transferred to a non-Assertion Entity.


A-1 Fee Schedule. The annual fee per LOT User is set forth in the following fee schedule, to be paid to LOT Network Inc. or its successor (“LOT Network”) as specified on the LOT website. An Entity that joins part way through LOT Network’s fiscal year will pay a pro-rata portion of the annual fee for that year. The pro-rata portion will be due at the time of signing.
Fee Schedule:
LOT User’s Annual Revenue LOT User’s Annual Fee
less than $5 million Free
between $5 million and $10 million Free
between $10 million and $25 million Free
between $25 million and $50 million $5,000
between $50 million and $100 million $10,000
between $100 million and $1 billion $15,000
greater than $1 billion $20,000

A-2 Updates. The Fee Schedule in Section A-1 of this Exhibit A may be updated from time to time by the Board of Directors of LOT Network in accordance with its Bylaws, and such updates shall not constitute an amendment of this Agreement. The current Fee Schedule will be posted on the LOT website by the LOT Administrator. LOT Network may waive or discount fees from time to time for particular LOT Users or for particular periods of time to attract new LOT Users or for other purposes approved by the Board of Directors of LOT Network in accordance with its Bylaws.

A-3 Failure to Pay Fees. If a LOT User fails to pay the annual membership fee due under this Exhibit A within ninety (90) days of receipt of an invoice, such delinquent LOT User and its Affiliates shall not receive the benefit of any Licenses to any Subject Patents assigned or otherwise transferred by any Licensor to any Entity that is not a LOT User or an Affiliate of a LOT User during a period of delinquency that extends from the date ninetyone (91) days after receipt of such invoice until such delinquency is cured.


B-1 Procedure. An amendment may be put to a vote under this Exhibit B only upon approval in writing of the Board of Directors of LOT Network Inc. or its successor (“Board”) in accordance with its Bylaws. The Board will determine the amendment submission procedure and the voting procedure and may publish further details on the LOT website. Unless otherwise determined by the Board, the following voting procedure will apply. Following approval of putting an amendment up for vote by the Board as set forth above, the then-current LOT Users qualified to vote will be notified of a proposed amendment via email with no follow-on hardcopy (notwithstanding Section 5.9). Such LOT Users will have 30 calendar days to vote by responding by email to the LOT Administrator at the following email address: admin@lotnet.com. If a LOT User fails to vote within the time period designated, the LOT User’s vote will not be counted. If a LOT User joins while an amendment is pending, that LOT User will be permitted to vote on the amendment that is currently pending but the time period to vote will not be extended for such LOT User.

B-2 Approval. Amendment of this Agreement requires vote in favor of the amendment by at least eighty percent (80%) of all LOT Users who timely vote and who, at the time of the vote, are within their Participation Period, have not submitted a Limitation Announcement or announcement of the LOT User’s intent to withdraw, have paid any fees due under Exhibit A, and own at least one active, issued US patent in the USPTO assignment database that is a Subject Patent. The terms of an amendment shall take effect upon the date of such approval (the “Amendment Effective Date”) which will be published on the LOT website. Notice of such approval will also be given to all LOT Users via email with no follow-on hardcopy (notwithstanding Section 5.9). Upon taking effect, such amended terms shall apply with respect to and amend this Agreement regarding any LOT User and its Affiliates who, by the end of the Publication Period, have not issued a Limitation Announcement as specified below in Sections B-3 of this Exhibit B.

B-3 Dissenting LOT User May Submit a Limitation Announcement. The terms of the amendment shall be published on the LOT website for a period of sixty (60) days after it is approved (the “Publication Period”). Any LOT User that voted against the adoption of such amendment (a “Dissenting LOT User”) may submit a written announcement signed and submitted by an authorized representative of the Dissenting LOT User to the LOT website before the end of the applicable Publication Period declaring the Dissenting LOT User’s intent to limit the scope of its participation under this Agreement to the terms in effect immediately prior to the Amendment Effective Date and to the Patents of itself and its Affiliates that are Subject Patents hereunder immediately prior to the Amendment Effective Date (“Limitation Announcement”). Any such amended terms shall not apply with respect to any LOT User and its Affiliates who, on or before the end of the applicable Publication Period, have issued a Limitation Announcement. The existence of each Limitation Announcement and the date of its submission will be published on the LOT website.

B-5 Scope of Rights Upon Limitation. The Licenses granted to and by a Dissenting LOT User and its Affiliates will be subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement in effect immediately prior to the applicable Amendment Effective Date (“Limitation Date”). The Licenses granted to a Dissenting LOT User and its Affiliates will remain in effect after the applicable Limitation Date only with respect to Patents that are Subject Patents of Licensors as of the Limitation Date, including those Transferred to an Assertion Entity after the Limitation Date. All Licenses granted to Licensees with respect to Subject Patents of the Dissenting LOT User and its Affiliates as of the applicable Limitation Date will remain in full force and effect and continue to apply to each Licensee (including those Entities that become an Affiliate of a LOT User after the applicable Limitation Date), including with respect to Subject Patents Transferred to an Assertion Entity after the Limitation Date. For avoidance of doubt, all Patents of a Dissenting LOT User or its Affiliates that are Subject Patents as of its Limitation Date shall remain Subject Patents subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement after such Limitation Date.

LOT is not a “techie” thing but a lawyer thing. “LOT Users will pay fees for ongoing costs and operation of LOT Network Inc. and the LOT Administrator in accordance with Exhibit A,” it says. So they’re in effect paying one person’s massive salary. What do they get in return? Pretty much nothing. Maybe their logo on a page. Only if they’re a big company that pays high membership fees anyway…

“Microsoft certainly gets its money’s worth from LOT; who would be foolish to participate in this?”They later uses these pages for marketing and PR purposes.

Funnily enough LOT promotes itself by citing articles about itself in Microsoft tabloids like ZDNet, which were happy to promote LOT and Microsoft, making false claims about patent peace just months before another Microsoft lawsuit. Microsoft certainly gets its money’s worth from LOT; who would be foolish to participate in this?

Faking Production With Fake Patents on Software

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I'll give you more patents... Don't mind me when I change the guidelines

Summary: The EPO with its illegal guidelines (in violation of the EPC) can carry on churning out millions of fake patents that European courts would only waste time on and small companies be blackmailed with (they cannot afford legal battles)

ERLIER this month we wrote about the European Patent Office’s (EPO) 'results', confronting some media which merely parroted the EPO’s claims. Some of that media had been paid by the EPO, so no wonder…

Adding to preexisting strains on fact-checking processes was also Coronavirus, which had already been spreading across the German borders. So basically, as usual, no real reporting could be found about false claims from António Campinos and his ‘butlers’ from EUIPO. His predecessor too managed to control the media, if not by bribery then by threats (intimidation by lawsuits). Whatever they claimed was reprinted as “fact”; no further analysis needed, critical skills or scepticism suspended altogether.

It’s no secret that the EPO uses increasingly broad and vague terms to refer to illegal software patents that courts across Europe reject (and forget about UPC!), so imagine the EPO tweeting: “If you’re interested in patenting trends in different fields of technology, click here…”

Hmmm…

“Technology…”

That’s almost like saying “Science…”

The EPO also tweeted: “EPO President António Campinos: “The rapid rise of digital technologies is the most striking trend from our 2019 index … The digital transformation of the economy is now fully reflected in the #patent applications reaching the EPO.””

So now it’s “digital technologies…”

Could that mean… let us see?

Judging by the IAM interview from earlier this month, Campinos is eager to grant patents on software. He does not seem to care what the law says and he keeps lying about the EPC and the EPO’s bogus framework for bypassing it.

A “rapid rise” in illegal patents, Mr. Campinos? Or valid ones?

It seems increasingly clear that the EPO fakes ‘growth’ by undermining the EPC and granting patents that should never have been granted in the first place. Such patents should be revoked because those patents are illegal. Since the Oppositions and the Appeals are under the thumb of the Office, the only way to get them revoked independently is to take them to courts, which can be hugely expensive. This means that today’s EPO leaves a sordid mess of hundreds of thousands of IPs (Invalid Patents) instead of EPs. We already know who will pay the price for that and who benefits financially from this fakery.

Also retweeted by the EPO around the same day was this EU account, which tweeted: “Behind every video game, there is an intricate bundle of IP. The European Patent Office @EPOorg and the EUIPO – European Union Intellectual Property Office @EU_IPO have recorded a webinar on the technical and non-technical IP rights involved: http://ow.ly/ycOT50yT0AD”

Here is the EU openly promoting illegal software patents together with the EPO (this harms the EU and its perception of lawfulness, obviously) and with the EUIPO, which is where the EPO ‘hires’ from (are there any hiring processes or are any at all needed when Campinos just ‘hand-picks’ old friends?). Remember who runs the EUIPO and why.

The EPO was then also promoting such illegal patents under the guise of “CII”. It’s illegal, but they get away with it again and again. The EU is seemingly fine with it! Who cares what the law says, right?

The EPO wrote: “The recorded webinar on “Videogaming and IP: how to play the game” is now available here…”

We wrote about this at the time; it was very obviously about software patents.

Later in the week the EPO wrote: “#5G and #AI are drivers of growth: patent applications at the EPO in digital communication grew by nearly 20% in 2019. The second-fastest-growing field was computer technology (+10%).”

Oh, we see…

Technology becomes “digital” and now it’s “computer technology”…

Could that be…?

Here’s the term “computer technology” again: “European patent applications from Sweden up +8.0% in 2019, boosted by increases in patent filings related to digital communication & computer technology.”

What is this computer technology?

It’s an umbrella term that means or includes illegal patents that EPO examiners were not supposed to grant (but the EPO breaks the law with impunity to crush staff, fake ‘performance’, and loot the institution).

We remind readers that examiners who refuse to grant those patents (i.e. those upholding the law, not disgraceful guidelines) will be reprimanded and likely fired.

Does it say “AI”? Then grant! Novel!

Buzzwords in place of illegal patents on algorithms?

“HEY HI” (AI) is certainly a popular misnomer nowadays.

Of course EPO management will continue to deny that this is a violation of the law. In recent days it wrote: “Have you got suggestions on how to improve the EPC and PCT-EPO Guidelines? Submit your feedback here…”

It also wrote: “Give us your feedback on our EPC and PCT-EPO Guidelines in our public consultation…”

They give the impression that the policy is from and for the public, but watch who submits input.

Yes, litigation firms. Today’s EPO does not bother with anyone else. Once in 12 months it throws a piece of metal or glass at some scientists it invites on stage, but that’s about it. It’s a misleading charade called “Inventor Award”…

Anyway, the EPO breaks the EPC regardless of what people are saying because the litigation ‘industry’ just wants as many patents and lawsuits as possible, even if lawsuits that go nowhere (they get paid either way).

Every single day this month we can see the EPO promoting software patents without explicitly calling these what they are.

“Self-driving vehicle technologies are making strong progress,” the EPO tweeted, as “EPO study confirms: http://bit.ly/SDVstudy” (so EPO pays someone to say something for the EPO!)

“A lot of these are bogus software patents,” I responded, “and I should know having written and published code in this domain.

“EPO keeps breaking the law (which nobody holds it accountable for)…”

With the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Out of the Way Focus Will Return to EPO Corruption

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nuked out of orbit, we don’t expect to hear much about the UPC in the coming years

Speak about EPO corruption. Promote UPC

Summary: Expect the European Patent Office (EPO) to receive more negative attention now that the ’cause’ of UPC is lost and there’s no point pretending things are rosy

I HAVE spent the past week studying very carefully all (or by far most of) the coverage about the decision that came out exactly a week ago, rendering the UPC more dead than ever (we’ve considered it dead since 2017 or 2016). “The Fall of the UPC – Part VIII” will hopefully be out by day’s end and we expect more than 10 parts in total. We group and present the coverage in a logically-coherent manner, e.g. clustering false claims that the UPC dying is actually “good news” for the UPC (yes, it has really gotten that absurd!).

We have meanwhile noticed that SUEPO does good work in Deutscher Bundestag. “On 25 February 2020,” it says, “the FDP parliamentary group submitted a “Kleine Anfrage” concerning the functioning of the EPO to the German Government. The English and French translations are available soon.”

“We don’t expect Team UPC to rear its ugly head for a while (except when spinning what happened a week ago), so hopefully we’ll be able to cover EPO corruption more frequently.”Well, since “English and French translations are available soon” and we prefer never to rely on automated translations (the EPO oughtn’t rely on these, either) we’ll wait until more material surfaces.

There’s also a reply which is dated 2 weeks ago. “The reply dated 11 March 2020,” SUEPO wrote this week, “was published by the German Government yesterday, read more here.” [PDF]

SUEPO-supportive voices called it “Questions and answers about the situation at the European Patent Office [...] The #EPO has faced widespread #criticism in the recent past. This ranged from the announced use of #financial resources, to the #quality standards of #patents , to the treatment of #employees, to a lack of independence of the boards of appeal.”

We don’t expect Team UPC to rear its ugly head for a while (except when spinning what happened a week ago), so hopefully we’ll be able to cover EPO corruption more frequently. Several scandals and big news are being “lost in Corona”.

“Several scandals and big news are being “lost in Corona”.”It’s a shame really; but journalists have priorities and some told us openly that due to Coronavirus they would not cover the latest EPO corruption scandal. I tried to mention it in IP Kat comments, but of course they deleted what I wrote. IP Kat in 2020 is ‘in bed’ with António Campinos and his patron.

Speaking of Campinos, the EPO has just shared these selective statistics: “In 2019, European companies accounted for the largest share of patent applications at the EPO in transport.”

Only transport?

An earlier tweet said: “The top 10 patent applicants at the EPO in 2019 include four companies from Europe, two from South Korea, two from the US and one from each of China and Japan…”

“The FCC is already receiving flak (from Team UPC) for calling out UPC abuses.”So only the minority are actually European! And barely a third of European Patents are actually European. So this system isn’t for Europe but for monopolists worldwide.

In the next post we’ll explain the role illegal software patents played in these statistics.

The FCC is already receiving flak (from Team UPC) for calling out UPC abuses. It named only one abuse, but it could name far more (it stopped at the first, nullifying the whole thing). Remember that it has several cases in the pipeline about EPO abuses.

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 26, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:17 am by Needs Sunlight

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