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08.23.20

Edwin Black Explains Why IBM Was the Worst and the Only One to Obstruct His Research (Into IBM’s Dark Past)

Posted in Deception, IBM, Microsoft at 6:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: The Full Story (With References) of IBM’s Role in a Purge of Black People and Mixed-Race Couples

Edwin Black on stonewalling by IBM
From “War Against The Weak”

IBM versus words
Today in ZDNet, a propaganda site of advertisers like Microsoft and IBM. It relays IBM's PR talking points alongside Microsoft’s (Microsoft helps ICE and other oppressors who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity).

Summary: It is important to understand that IBM never apologised or expressed remorse for what it did; instead if keeps pretending that it never happened — a chronic sense of deep denial — and right now it wants us to think that banning a bunch of words will be enough (or a substitute for lack of apologies and substantial action)

[Meme] Free/Libre Software in CoC-Land (or Never-Criticise-Land)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 5:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: They Tell Us Linus Torvalds is Sexist But Evidence Suggests Otherwise

Finding Neverland Masks: They said mean things about my project and code; You never code, but I will ban them anyway

Summary: Condemning bad code (or malicious code, unethical code, ethical breaches, conflict of interest) may become impermissible if some oversensitive people’s feelings are hurt (by truth itself); this is how scientific endeavor dies and people are discouraged from thinking or expressing themselves

The Likes of Gartner Group Help Microsoft Get ‘Bailed Out’ by Donald Trump and the Military

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 5:07 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Article reproduced with permission from Mitchel Lewis

AWS and Azure

Summary: Very poor (one might say laughable) advice from so-called ‘analysts’ of Gartner would have one believe that the Pentagon needs Microsoft

One of the technology trends emerging today can be found in various analytic firms, consultants, and the like recommending that their clients invest in multi-cloud infrastructure and distribute workloads between AWS and Azure rather than using either of them exclusively. Although this was not the first time that multi-cloud was brought to my attention, I hadn’t given it much thought before a Gartner analyst began suggesting that route for the government’s new JEDI project. But I have since developed reservations against multi-cloud as it does not pass the smell test, at least with respect to the cloud solutions presently available in their present which I will outline here.

Lydia Leong

For starters, it’s important to point out that Azure is a distant second to AWS from a financial perspective, both from the perspective of its financial performance in the market and the performance their clients can find within it. The financial performance and long-term viability that can be determined from this metric of potential hosts matter greatly when you’re determining which cloud infrastructure to adopt. This matters simply because it can take years to break even after a cloud migration as migrations can be complex and consequently expensive while having to migrate to a new service from a defunct one is even worse.

'Cloud' meters

By the numbers and although Azure has roughly 13 million tenants, it is still not profitable to date nor has Microsoft posted its financials since its inception around a decade ago. Meanwhile, AWS has roughly 1 million tenants and is wildly profitable. Amazon also has no problem reporting AWS financials as opposed to Microsoft who lists Azure under their Intelligent Cloud and averages its losses with its more profitable solutions. With regard to their financial performance and long-term viability, it’s generous to even list Azure on the same field, let alone put it at second place to AWS.

“For starters, it’s important to point out that Azure is a distant second to AWS from a financial perspective, both from the perspective of its financial performance in the market and the performance their clients can find within it.”Further and while they’re similar in licensing costs and entry burden, another major setback of Azure is the ownership costs found after purchase associated with it. Compared to AWS, Azure comes with much more downtime, is much more complex and has significantly more attack vectors than AWS, and consequently requires much more staffing to keep a tight ship due to all of this. All of which seems minor to some at first, but it’s important to remember that productivity lost from downtime is the #1 IT expense for any company. #2 is the staffing required to manage and support technology while #3 is the initial cost of the solution which is odd given how much priority is given to the entry burden of solutions these days.

With all of this in mind, the notion of multi-cloud between AWS and Azure seems quite ludicrous. Since competitive trade is a form of war and that efficiency is their plane of battle, it wouldn’t make sense to distribute half of your technological needs on a hyper-efficient platform while artificially limiting the other half of your infrastructure by distributing it on a much less efficient platform and artificially limit productivity while increasing downtime and staffing costs as a consequence.

“The simplest solutions are the most profitable along with being the easiest to fix, upgrade, support, warranty, and scale.”For comparison, this is as irrational as a country comprising their air forces with an equal distribution of P-51 Mustangs and A10 Thunderbolts or any company outfitting their office with 50/50 distribution of MacBooks and Surfaces. While multi-cloud may hold water under circumstances where competing platforms were at all comparable, the deltas between their relative complexities and efficiencies of AWS and Azure are too significant to dignify and companies would not achieve the efficiency within multi-cloud that they could achieve on AWS alone.

Even worse, it is well-known in engineering and architecture that simplicity wins. The simplest solutions are the most profitable along with being the easiest to fix, upgrade, support, warranty, and scale. Although they tend to cost more upfront, they tend to generate less downtime and require the least amount of staffing among their competitors and cost less in the long run when looking at the whole. But when you go multi-cloud, your complexity doubles at an optimistic minimum, as do your costs from staffing and downtime, and this is especially the case when going multi-cloud with AWS and Azure. Taking such a hit to complexity isn’t justifiable unless there is a significant financial reward that I have yet to see from Azure.

“Ironically and based on most objective measures, the only time that a company should ever be in a state of AWS and Azure coexistence is when you’re migrating all of your workloads over to AWS with the intention of relying on it exclusively.”In summary and while upfront costs are similar, Azure is nowhere near the financial performance of AWS nor can it come near offering the operational efficiencies companies can achieve with AWS. Distributing your cloud resources across multiple cloud hosts also only makes sense if said hosts are remotely comparable which Azure is not to AWS. It artificially limits your efficiency across half of your infrastructure while increasing its overall complexity and the costs associated with its upkeep. Ironically and based on most objective measures, the only time that a company should ever be in a state of AWS and Azure coexistence is when you’re migrating all of your workloads over to AWS with the intention of relying on it exclusively. The same goes for Google, IBM, Oracle, and the like for now.

“It’s important to remember that chaos is a ladder for consultants and that many operate with a conflict of interest, are paid to play by their vendors, and often engineer little else than their own necessity.”Although there may be extreme outliers, multi-cloud infrastructure only seems viable if you will never be around to actually implement it, support it, or operate within such an environment ripe for chaos. It’s important to remember that chaos is a ladder for consultants and that many operate with a conflict of interest, are paid to play by their vendors, and often engineer little else than their own necessity. All of which may explain why they love the idea of multi-cloud so much in the first place.

However, if it is your goal to pay a heavy idiot tax for your infrastructure then by all means ignore the fundamentals of IT finance and engineering philosophy in favor of magic quadrants fueled by proprietary algorithms from the likes of Gartner, then go multi-cloud. Maybe go with G-Suite and Office 365 simultaneously for reasons unknown and throw even more money into the enterprise bonfire while you’re at it.

Addendum

Halloween documents (Halloween Document VI to be more specific) on the Gartner Group:

ESR on Gartner

The World Has Inconsistent Standards of Impermissible Speech

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 4:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Free software projects are international projects. In some countries deviation from some superficial norm/view is punishable by death. Whose standards should be emulated and why?

A map of the world

ABSOLUTISM is nice

Seems nice on the surface
Death threats excluded
Or libel at the preface

Some would argue that an insult is a crime
Some would reserve that privilege for a dime

People died for free speech over the centuries
How quickly we’ve abandoned these memories

Freedom the criticise is the right to challenge
It only ever works if adversaries we can manage

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” — Abraham Lincoln

When You Say the Truth They Call You “Toxic” (Inconvenient to Big Corporations/Sponsors?)

Posted in Debian, Deception, GNU/Linux at 3:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gas mask: They called me 'toxic' but I was being sincere and polite

Summary: We hereby reproduce a couple of publicly-accessible E-mail messages; those shed light on the censorious atmosphere which can tarnish Free software projects and discourage productive contributors

Censorship in Debian






Hi all,

I was recently at the UN forum on business and human rights,
listening to an Iranian dissident talk[1] about the extremes that
his country goes to in censoring and silencing people who don’t
agree with their rulers.  I would encourage people to watch the
video.

At that very same moment, the anti-harassment team were
censoring[2] a Debian Developer’s blog from Planet Debian. 
Chilling.

I actually looked at Planet shortly after attending that panel
discussion and immediately noticed that Norbert Preining[3] had
been censored.  Disappearances of Khashoggi[4] and Kamphuis[5]
came to mind.

At that moment, being surrounded by experts on human rights and
freedom of _expression_ who may have far more experience than most
of us in Debian, I did a quick survey.  I couldn’t find one person
who supported the actions of the censors.

Some of Norbert’s blogs make people think, but they appear to be
overwhelmingly motivated by legitimate issues and his recent blog
thanking[6] Lars[7] appeared to end in an upbeat and sincere
manner.  Whether I agree with either of them or not, I’d like to
take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank both Lars and
Norbert for their contributions as fellow Debian Developers and
fellow bloggers.

Norbert had also made political statements[8] concerning the way
codes of conduct are used in our communities.  People who speak up
like this are frequent targets for political plots, protecting
these people is imperative.

Looking at Debian’s code of conduct[9], there is no compelling
violation of the code in Norbert’s writing.  Indeed, the only
violation of the code of conduct may be the act of censorship
itself: the very first point tells us “inevitably there will be
people with whom you may disagree, or find it difficult to
cooperate. Accept that, but even so, remain respectful.”

Even without contemplating the code of conduct, censorship has a
sinister effect on discussion.  People notice when somebody
disappears and they become hesitant to speak about problems,
whether they are technical issues or social issues.  I feel
compelled to speak up but as I write this, I contemplate the risk
that some people will try the same tactics as the Iranians,
censoring me, threatening me or dragging my name through the mud. 
If they try that, they may give each other a pat on the back but
they don’t fool our community at large.

Nonetheless, article 30 of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights[10] clearly states that no institution should act in any
way to destroy the rights enshrined in the UDHR.  The definition
of an “institution” there clearly applies to a group with the
influence of Debian, it is not only for states and courts.

Wake up, people.  If we are repressing members of our own
organization like this, we haven’t got a hope in hell of achieving
our mission[11] for society at large.

The UN calls on us to “stand up 4 human rights” on this 70th
anniversary of that declaration.  You can do that now by standing
up for Norbert.  It takes minutes for anybody, Developer or not,
to submit a merge request in Salsa[12] to uncomment his blog.  You
can also email the Debian Project Leader, leader@debian.org

If you know people in other organizations concerned with human
rights, discuss Norbert’s case with them and get their opinion,
just as I did.

You can’t pick and choose human rights, having some freedoms and
not others, the declaration even implies this too.  Anybody who
tries to do that is on a very slippery slope indeed.

In my role as a representative in another organization and in my
extensive work with Debian, various people have approached me
about incidents of censorship and overbearing efforts to control
participation in the free software community.  It is far more
widespread than many people realize.  It only happens because
people fail to speak up.  For example, an FSFE volunteer was
censored at 34C3 after distributing leaflets questioning Google’s
funding to FSFE.  There is increasing fear that “anti-harassment”
efforts are being used as cover for political agendas, they are
operating in a bubble and diverging significantly from what would
be acceptable in any other organization or field of endeavour. 
They post big newsletters to debian-devel-announce boasting about
their work but many people feel those reports reek of gloating and
one-upmanship.

On a technical level, we may want to consider whether Planet is
fit for purpose: if we want to showcase best practice in creating
a platform where freedom of _expression_ can thrive and remain
immune to abuses, should we simply make more efforts to migrate to
a decentralized tool, eliminating the risk that any subgroup or
faction within Debian will be able to carry on like that now or in
future?

As somebody more famous once said, “I Disapprove of What You Say,
But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It”.  I welcome
responses to this topic whether you share my concerns or not but
if nobody cares about this stuff, please tell me, so I can stop
contributing to Debian and go elsewhere.

Regards,

Daniel

1. http://webtv.un.org/meetings-events/human-rights-council/forum-on-business-and-human-rights/watch/panel-on-safeguarding-human-rights-defenders-forum-on-business-and-human-rights-2018/5972123912001/?term=
2. https://salsa.debian.org/planet-team/config/commit/99662c1548fac57813e5288002e3c6eeccf25ec6
3. https://preining.info/
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamal_Khashoggi
5. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2018/sep/14/speculation-over-fate-of-missing-dutchman-linked-to-wikileaks
6. https://www.preining.info/blog/2018/11/on-lars-wirzenius-fun-and-debian/
7. https://blog.liw.fi/posts/2018/11/18/retiring_from_debian/
8. https://www.preining.info/blog/2018/09/sharp-did-it-again/
9. https://www.debian.org/code_of_conduct
10. http://standup4humanrights.org/en/article.html?article=30
11. https://www.debian.org/social_contract
12. https://salsa.debian.org/planet-team/config


Re: Censorship in Debian






Hi everyone,

(please Cc me, I am not subscribed to d-p)

first of all thanks to Daniel for bringing this up and standing up for
me, this is very much appreciated.

For those not aware of the issue, here is *my* view onto the events.
AH and DAM can answer and provide their own interpretation. I will try
to stay as objective as it is possible for me.

2018/09/21
	I published the post "Sharp did it again" [1] using "it" as pronoun
-same day-
	Chris Lamb disabled my blog on Planet based on "it"
2018/09/22
	based on suggestions and explanations from others but Lamb I 
	update the blog to use "they"
2018/09/24
	Chris Lamb re-enables my blog on Planet
2018/11/26
	I published the post "On Lars Wirzenius, Fun, and Debian" [2]
2018/11/27
	Laura Arjona Reina disables my blog on Planet
2018/11/28
	I respond to Laura Arjona Reina's email asking for clarification
	due to the explanation being unclear to me (see attached email 1)
2018/12/04
	Due to absence of any answer at all, I enable my blog on Planet,
	but remove the post about Lars Wirzenius from the respective
	RSS feed
2018/12/17
	The DAM sends me an email about demotion to Debian Maintainer 
	based on a set of emails mostly from 2012-2014 during the
	discussions on systemd and coc:
		2012: 1 email
		2013: 7 emails
		2014: 5 emails
		2015: 1 email
		2016: 0 emails
		2017: 2 emails
		2018: 2 emails
	some of these emails are actually not from me, but these are the
	emails used as argumentation (see attached email 2)

Points I consider disturbing:
* AH never answered my questions, and above that I assume that the
  email the called out in their recent "bit from the anti harassement team"
  about being "a harassment of the team" is my email.
  I ask everyone to judge by himself whether my email as attached is to 
  be considered harassment.
* The demotion to Debian Maintainer is - as far as I read the
  consitution [3], the delegation of DAM [4], and the DAM Wiki page 
  about their rights and powers [5], not legit since besides expulsion
  there is not procedure laid out for demotion, but I refrained from
  raising this for the sake of peace.

There are more disturbing things going on where I suspect that members
of Debian have taken unduly influence on procedures concerning me, but
since I don't have proofs I cannot raise them here.


Coming back to the argumentation of DAM, I agree that back in 2012-2014
I have written a few strong emails during the systemd and coc
discussion. Not to defense myself, but I have the feeling that I was not
the only one. Furthermore, most of the emails cited by DAM clearly
predate the CoC, and the emails after installment of the CoC are, in my
opinion just simply frank and staight.

Anyway, this is the status. I invite everyone to form his/her own
opinion. As I posted on the Debian TeX ML, I will not be doing an awful
lot of work for Debian due to this demotion. I still think that Debian
is the best Linux distribution - but *only* due to the excellent work of
its developers.

Best

Norbert

[1] https://www.preining.info/blog/2018/09/sharp-did-it-again/
[2] https://www.preining.info/blog/2018/11/on-lars-wirzenius-fun-and-debian/
[3] https://www.debian.org/devel/constitution
[4] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel-announce/2018/03/msg00001.html
[5] https://wiki.debian.org/DAManager
--
PREINING Norbert                               http://www.preining.info
Accelia Inc.     +    JAIST     +    TeX Live     +    Debian Developer
GPG: 0x860CDC13   fp: F7D8 A928 26E3 16A1 9FA0 ACF0 6CAC A448 860C DC13

— Begin Message —

Dear Laura,

thanks for your email.

To make things clear from the start: Unless explicitely stated below,
I do not consider this email communication private and will publicize it
if need arises. Thanks for your understanding.

Now to the matter at hand. I am a bit surprised that without even one
word of notice you have disabled by blog on Planet Debian. Furthermore,
I consider the explanation of your verdict unclear and bare of any
argumentation, and thus ask you to answer the following questions:

Question 1: persistent pattern of disrespectful communication
-------------------------------------------------------------

You state that
	... evaluate your long term behaviour, ...
	... persistent pattern of disrespectful communication towards
	other members of the community.
without providing any evidence. I have been contacted once by Chris Lamb
(in Cc in case you want to verify my statements) about my blog
	Sharp did it again [1]
where I used the incorrect pronoun. Within 24h I have updated the blog
  original email by Chris: Fri, 21 Sep 2018 17:20:22 +0100
  mail about update by me: Sat, 22 Sep 2018 05:09:42 +0900
  second update by me:     Sat, 22 Sep 2018 08:29:47 +0900
Besides this, please point me to other instances of
	disrespectful communication towards other members
(besides, Sharp is not a member of Debian).

I have published about 400 or more posts on my site. Please explain me
what your definition is of
	persistent pattern
even if you take the above one into account, and how your definition
applies to me.


Question 2: tone that is inappropriate for Planet Debian
--------------------------------------------------------
My post consists mostly of quotes from blogs aggregated on Debian
Planet. Where in specific is the "inappropriate tone"?

Furthermore, this post is modeled after Lars Wirzenius original post
	On Norbert Preining, Sarah Sharp, and Debian [2]
Please explain why his post is not considered "inappropriate" and he has
not been banished from Debian Planet!


Question 3: not to harm
-----------------------
I clearly stated my gratitude for his long work for Debian, despite our
obvious differences in opinions. I honor his work, even if I disagree
with some things Lars has proposed and forwarded within Debian.
Please explain why you feel like this post is harming, in particular
who, how, and why?



References
[1] https://www.preining.info/blog/2018/09/sharp-did-it-again/
[2] https://blog.liw.fi/posts/preining/

On Tue, 27 Nov 2018, Laura Arjona Reina wrote:
> Hello Norbert,
> 
> I'm writing to you on behalf of the Debian anti-harassment team.
> We had been asked to evaluate your long term behaviour,
> after one high-visibility instance of disrespect on Planet Debian.
> 
> We notice that there is a persistent pattern of disrespectful communication
> towards other members of the community.
> 
> In addition to this, we believe the recently published post
> https://www.preining.info/blog/2018/11/on-lars-wirzenius-fun-and-debian/
> has a tone that is inappropriate for Planet Debian.
> 
> Maybe it's written with no intention to do harm, but it seems it's not written
> to *not do harm* either. The result is several people feeling uncomfortable
> and undermining of efforts to improve the health of the community.
> 
> Therefore, regardless of other actions that may be taken, I have removed
> your blog from Planet Debian.
> 
> Regards,
> Laura Arjona Reina
> https://wiki.debian.org/LauraArjona

--
PREINING Norbert                               http://www.preining.info
Accelia Inc.     +    JAIST     +    TeX Live     +    Debian Developer
GPG: 0x860CDC13   fp: F7D8 A928 26E3 16A1 9FA0 ACF0 6CAC A448 860C DC13

— End Message —

— Begin Message —

Hello,

recently we got contacted with complaints about your attitude and
behaviour in Debian. Looking deeper into this, it appears to be a long
history and our impression is that you seem to ignore the issues raised
while attacking the people who raise them.

This appears on both, planet and mailing lists, with some posts
calling[1] you[2] out, and you being temporarily[3] removed from planet.

Not that other[4] posts[5] from you seem to be respectful or
constructive, nor does it appear to be the[6] case[7] with[8] loads[9]
of[10] mailing[11] list[12] posts[13]. This is damaging the working
environment in the project, with people needing to step[14] in[15] to
restore a decent working environmet after one of your interventions.

These issues have[16] been[17] raised[18] to you[19] several[20]
times[21] over[22] the years, and you have normally responded by denying
the issues and attacking the people who tried to raise them. See for
example[23].

On nov 27, the antiharassment team removed your blog post from Planet
again, because of yet another reiteration of these problems. Your
response, even though it was framed like asking questions, again it read
as an accusation to the people, a delegated team in this case, who, once
again, called you out.

On dec 4, you have unilaterally readded yourself to Planet Debian.

This has gone on for long enough. We do not believe that you currently
have any intention of being a constructive member of Debian, and we see
little hope for improvement as it is.

Therefore, we are revoking your status as a Debian Developer with
immediate effect. You remain a Debian Maintainer for a minimum of 6
months, after which you can apply for getting your Debian Developer
status back.

All packages in which you are currently listed as maintainer or uploader
will be added to your Debian Maintainer whitelist as soon as possible.

Your blog has been removed again from Planet Debian, and will remain so
for 3 months. After 3 months you can ask any DD or the Planet admins to
readd your feed.

After a minimum of 6 months you can apply to get your Debian Developer
status back by mailing da-manager@debian.org

We are sending this email privately, leaving its disclosure as your
decision (although traces in public databases are unavoidable).


The Debian Account Managers,

Enrico Zini
Joerg Jaspert
Jonathan Wiltshire


Footnotes:
[1] https://blog.liw.fi/posts/preining/
[2] https://blog.tincho.org/posts/Pining_for_the_good_ol__39___days/
[3] https://salsa.debian.org/planet-team/config/commit/216930f1f3f906ef4cc28457b94d10ba844e3074
[4] https://www.preining.info/blog/2018/08/perl-policy/
[5] https://www.preining.info/blog/2017/04/systemd-again/
[6] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2013/10/msg00486.html
[7] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/07/msg01014.html
[8] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/12/msg00003.html
[9] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2017/10/msg00425.html
[10] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2015/09/msg00039.html
[11] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/01/msg00270.html
[12] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2013/09/msg00104.html
[13] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2012/11/msg00747.html
[14] https://lists.debian.org/debconf-discuss/2018/08/msg00134.html
[15] https://lists.debian.org/debconf-discuss/2018/08/msg00148.html
[16] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/07/msg00841.html
[17] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2014/07/msg00856.html
[18] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2013/05/msg00070.html
[19] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2013/05/msg00081.html
[20] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2013/05/msg00085.html
[21] https://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2017/10/msg00438.html
[22] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2013/05/msg00079.html
[23] https://lists.debian.org/debian-project/2013/05/msg00080.html

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: PGP signature

— End Message —

Come on, kids; We're going to a community that respects free speech as much as it respects free software

Links 23/8/2020: Chromebooks With External Drive GNU/Linux, First Impression of Archcraft OS

Posted in News Roundup at 3:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Weekly Roundup: Kernel 5.9-rc1, Kdenlive 20.08, NVIDIA Driver – Aug 23, 2020

      Here’s the Linux Weekly roundup series, curated for you from the Linux and opensource world on application updates, new releases, distribution updates, major news, and upcoming highlights.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Google working to allow Chromebook users to run Linux from an external drive

        Assuming this change goes forward, it could let some otherwise Crostini-capable Chromebooks with limited storage space run the virtual machine for Linux on a USB-drive or even an SD memory card. You’ll want fast media in either case if you get the chance to try this; running a virtual machine with a Linux container on slower media wouldn’t be optimal.

        Although I see the potential need for this on Chromebooks with smaller internal drives, it could benefit all Chromebooks users.

        For example, you might have 64 or more GB of storage capacity on your device but perhaps you’re using the majority of it just for Chrome OS, Android apps and file storage. It would be handy to just whip out a USB drive with your Linux instance, boot up and do whatever you need to in the virtual machine.

      • [Older] System76 Bonobo WS Linux laptop returns with Core i9 and GeForce RTX 2080 Super

        Fans of computer maker and seller System76 will undoubtedly remember the Bonobo WS. This was a desktop-class laptop that provided insane power. Of course, calling it a “laptop” is only true in form factor — it isn’t likely that many will use the hulking beast on their laps. Instead, it is intended to make high performance portable — and then be used on a desk or table.

        Today, System76 brings the Bonobo WS Linux laptop back with very modern specifications. In fact, on the top-end, it can be configured with a 10th generation Intel Core i9 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super. All of this power is cooled by an impressive number of heat-pipes and dual-fans.It is absolutely loaded with useful I/O, including ports on the rear. For an operating system, you can choose between Ubuntu and System76′s own Ubuntu-based Pop!_OS. Best of all, it comes with Coreboot plus System76′s own Open Firmware and Embedded Controller Firmware.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Going Linux #395 · Listener Feedback

        Bill is still on Manjaro! The Ubuntu MATE Guide is now available online. We answer questions about MeWe, dual booting, fresh install, replacing a sheet feed scanner, System76, Crossover, and LibreOffice spell check.

      • Why we shouldn’t judge Linux based on its inability to run Unsupported Apps

        Linux is a great platform, but it’s just that, a platform. Many people out there judge Linux based on unofficial metrics, such as its inability to run unsupported apps such as those made for Windows. In this video, I talk about why this is a problem for the community, and why the inability of Linux to run unsupported apps isn’t an accurate measure of its value.

      • First Impression of Archcraft OS

        Archcraft OS is yet another minimal linux distribution, based on Arch Linux. It’s supposed to be light, fast, and attractive.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.10 To Bring Rework To Raspberry Pi 4 USB Firmware Initialization

        One of the early changes queued in the USB area for the Linux 5.10 cycle later this summer is a “reset-raspberrypi” driver set for introduction as another upstream improvement for the current-generation Raspberry Pi 4 single board computer.

        This “reset-raspberrypi” driver is for a rework of the Raspberry Pi 4 USB firmware initialization. With this budget ARM SBC, after a PCI reset the VL805 USB host controller on the board needs to be loaded directly from an EEPROM or the SoC’s VideoCore co-processor.

      • ATGC Could Come In Linux 5.10 For F2FS, Much Faster Decompression Speeds Too

        We previously reported on F2FS “ATGC” functionality for increasing the garbage collection efficiency for the Flash-Friendly File-System. Those patches are now queued up in F2FS’ “dev” branch meaning we could see the functionality in place for Linux 5.10.

        F2FS Age Threshold based Garbage Collection is for enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the background GC process for the file-system by evaluating older candidates first based on a configurable age threshold.

      • Cachy Is The Latest Effort To Provide A Better Linux CPU Scheduler

        Cachy is a Linux CPU scheduler that has been generating some attention over the past month that aims for optimal CPU cache usage and based on a Highest Response Ration Next (HRRN) policy.

        Cachy drops all balancing code except for idle CPU balancing, it guts out grouping for tasks and NUMA, each CPU has its own run queue, and a variety of other interesting design decisions.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Perfetto Profiler Now Supports Mali GPU Hardware Counters via Panfrost

          Perfetto is an open-source system profiler, app tracer, and trace analyzer for Linux, Android & Chrome platforms, and user-space apps. The program can already visualize CPU and memory usage, as well as power consumption. GPU support is more limited with the program only capable of sampling the GPU frequency when the driver outputs that information via ftrace.

          When Perfetto is also extendable thanks to a Tracing C++ SDK that “allows userspace applications to emit trace events and add more app-specific context to a Perfetto trace”. Collabora made use of the tracing SDK to add support for Mali Midgard GPU performance profiling in gfx-pps project using the Mali GPU hardware counters exposed via Panfrost open-source Mali GPU driver.

    • Applications

      • 4 Nifty Grub Themes for Your Linux Boot Menu

        Boring with the default boot menu in purple? Try installing some themes for this Grub boot-loader.

        There’s an open-source project maintains 4 modern design themes for Grub2. They are Vimix, Stylish, Tela, and Slaze.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • How to Play Easy Anti-Cheat Games on Linux

        This video shows you how to play Fortnite or any GeForce Now game on Linux. This includes a variety of easy anti-cheat games that were unplayable before.

      • GSoC: Final Report of My Work on GNOME Games

        GSoC is finally coming to end, and what an exciting experience it has been! In this post I’ll be showing off the fruits of my labor.

        User collections were added to Games last week, and that marks the last major milestone of my GSoC project of “Implementing game collections in GNOME Games”. I’m very glad that I was able to finish all the major milestones in time. Below I’ll give a quick summary of my journey.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Final Evaluation

          Pheww!… GSoC coding period is in its last stage, The final evaluation is starting from tomorrow, I am really happy that all activities have been finished on time, 7 of them already merged in master and I hope the last one would also merge soon.

        • KSyntaxHighlighting – Example Files Wanted

          In the KSyntaxHighlighting framework we use small example files for the individual languages as regression tests. See the current collection here.

          We will create HTML output and two internal formats to check highlighting attributes & folding regions. These results are then diffed with version controlled reference files.

          At the moment we only check the default light theme for the HTML output, but I intend to extend this to check the dark theme, too. This will e.g. make it easier to spot problematic hard coded colors that are not readable in one of both variants.

          I updated our tooling to link the test output HTML files we actually have already on our syntax overview page.

          As you can see there, still a lot of languages we support are lacking example files. Just scan the page for the “submissions welcome” lines ;) These words are linked to the part of our README that talks about our regression tests. If you can provide an example file under a permissive license (MIT/BSD/GPL/…), please submit them e.g. as merge request.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Running for the openSUSE board – ad-hoc board elections 2020

          In case you follow the mailing lists or openSUSE groups in social media you might have come to know that the openSUSE community holds ad-hoc board elections to refill an open spot in the openSUSE board.

          If you did not know or even if you knew, you might not know that I was honored by being suggested as a candidate for that elections by Gerald and that I accepted the nomindation.

      • Debian Family

        • DebConf20 Debian Conference Kicks Off Today for Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye”

          This year, the Debian Project celebrates two major events, the project’s 27th anniversary and 12 years since the launch of the first DebConf Debian developer conference.

          An annual gathering, DebConf is the most important event for Debian developers and users, who gather together to share their knowledge and plan on the features of the next major Debian GNU/Linux release.

          Initially scheduled to take place in Haifa, Israel, from August 23rd to 29th, the DebConf20 conference is for Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye,” which is heavily developed under the Debian Testing umbrella since July 2019.

        • The Virtual DebConf20 Kicks Off With A Number Of Interesting Debian Talks This Week

          The virtual DebConf 20 is happening now through 29 August. Due to COVID-19, the annual Debian Conference is happening exclusively as a virtual event for those wanting to watch a number of interesting Debian/Linux/FLOSS-related talks.

          DebConf20 talks include the likes of covering APT-Repos, assembling Linux distributions, what’s new in the Linux kernel and missing from Debian, Debian on mobile devices, FreedomBox, Lenovo and Debian relationship, an update on the GSoC projects, and a wide assortment of other talks. Outside of the technical talks DebConf is traditionally known for, there are also a number of talks on social matters like using free software to improve social equality, doing things together, moving to solar power, a poetry night, and more. See the DebConf 20 schedule here.

        • Laura Arjona Reina & Debian, Carnival Mafia murders

          One of the revelations from the expulsion of Dr Norbert Preining is the role of Laura Arjona Reina (larjona) sending him nasty emails a few days before Christmas.

          Drawing attention to an email chain like this inevitably encourages other victims to ask for help. We now know that Dr Preining isn’t the only recipient of harassment and abuse from Arjona. With that in mind, we are doing a more thorough analysis to see if other victims of the Anti-harassment team will come forward.

          Dr Preining has contributed many years of effort maintaining the LaTeX packages. Debian records show that Arjona is only a novice, non-developing Developer who has been present for a much shorter period. Unlike Dr Preining, Arjona never contributed a single package.

        • Enrico Zini: Doing things /together/

          Here are the slides of mine and Ulrike’s talk Doing things /together/.

          [...]

          nd tools that we think could help understand and shape cooperation.

          A recording of the talk should be available in the next day, and I’ll replace this phrase with a video link once it’s available.

          The slides have extensive notes: you can use View → Notes in LibreOffice Impress to see them.

        • Philipp Kern: Self-service buildd givebacks now use Salsa auth

          As client certificates are on the way out and Debian’s SSO solution is effectively not maintained any longer, I switched self-service buildd givebacks over to Salsa authentication. It lives again at https://buildd.debian.org/auth/giveback.cgi. For authorization you still need to be in the “debian” group for now, i.e. be a regular Debian member.

        • Gis Weather

          There is a new application available for Sparkers: Gis Weather

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 10 Good Open Source Speech Recognition Systems [2020]

        A speech-to-text (STT) system is as its name implies; A way of transforming the spoken words via sound into textual files that can be used later for any purpose.

        Speech-to-text technology is extremely useful. It can be used for a lot of applications such as a automation of transcription, writing books/texts using your own sound only, enabling complicated analyses on information using the generated textual files and a lot of other things.

        In the past, the speech-to-text technology was dominated by proprietary software and libraries; Open source alternatives didn’t exist or existed with extreme limitations and no community around. This is changing, today there are a lot of open source speech-to-text tools and libraries that you can use right now.

      • Micron’s HSE Open-Source Storage Engine 1.8 Released

        HSE amounts to a well optimized key-value store database geared for high performance solid-state drives and persistent memory. Micron’s original announcement talked of HSE providing as much as doubling the throughput and improving read latencies by around four times. With HSE is also a modified MongoDB implementation as a real-world reference implementation. Besides MongoDB, Micron hopes HSE will see use for various NoSQL, SDS, and big data use-cases along with other verticals.

      • [Old] Scaleway offers free video conference powered by BigBlueButton

        The free service is available until end of July 2020.

      • How I Found Myself in a Command Line vs. GUI Meeting

        Coming to an agreement took a lot of discussion. Apparently, we all care deeply about the UI and everyone has a strong opinion on how an CLI SSH client needs to behave. Eventually, we agreed on an implementation and you can scroll down to the bottom of this post to see the YouTube demo link.

        But if you want to hear what options we’ve discussed, below are some of the questions that heated up that conversation.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Play GeForce Now in your browser, no Chromebook needed

            Earlier this week, NVIDIA dropped a bomb on the gaming world by releasing the web-based version of GeForce Now. Much to the surprise of many, the service that lets you bring your games with you didn’t arrive for browsers of any flavor. Instead, NVIDIA made our day by launching GeForce Now as a Chrome OS exclusive. We can, and probably will wax philosophic about the implications this could have for Chrome OS as a platform. Today, however, I’m reaching out to the masses who were left out in the cold when GeForce Now debuted.

            [...]

            You should now spoof Chrome OS anytime you navigate to Geforce Now’s streaming player. I can’t guarantee that NVIDIA won’t put a stop to this at some point but for now, it’s a sure-fire way to play GeForce Now on your Linux device.

          • Chromium devs want the browser to talk to devices, computers directly via TCP, UDP. Obviously, nothing can’t go wrong

            Google’s Chromium team has proposed a way to allow web apps to establish direct TCP and UDP network connections, a powerful capability that could complicate web security.

            The Raw Sockets API, which may end up being renamed the Direct Sockets API, represents an attempt to give browser apps networking capabilities that aren’t possible via data transport options like HTTP, WebSockets and WebRTC. It essentially allows the browser to talk directly to devices and other computers via the network.

            Chromium engineer Eric Willigers announced plans to prototype the API on Wednesday. Assuming testing goes well, the intent is to ship the tech for Chrome OS before there’s a general Chromium release.

            “Many network devices use their own protocols over TCP or UDP, instead of using HTTPS or a WebSockets-compatible server,” Willigers explained. “Like WebUSB, WebMIDI and WebBluetooth, this API allows web apps to communicate with local devices and information systems.”

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla’s Incredible Speech-To-Text Engine Is At Risk Following Layoffs

            For a while now a Mozilla software project that’s been an “unsung hero” has been DeepSpeech as their speech-to-text engine. Sadly, following the recent major layoffs at Mozilla and restructuring along with a shift to focusing more on their profitable activities, DeepSpeech for now has an uncertain future.

            Reuben Morais of Mozilla provided some guidance today on the state of DeepSpeech following the recent Mozilla changes… But the state right now is basically more uncertainty. There is no clear guidance right now if DeepSpeech “will have a new home” or not at the restructured Mozilla or what changes may be involved.

            That’s quite a pity as Mozilla DeepSpeech is among the best speech-to-text engines (if not the best, certainly the best among open-source options) that supports real-time translation on a wide range of hardware. DeepSpeech utilizes deep learning based on Baidu’s research and leverages Google’s TensorFlow. DeepSpeech is quite a quality piece of software and has delivered excellent speech-to-text results for translating audio into accurate text. I’ve personally experimented with it a lot as part of DeepSpeech benchmarking in evaluating its CPU performance.

      • Education

        • 7 Open-source School Management Solutions with Virtual Classroom Support

          It’s still uncertain for many countries if the school will reopen for the current season. COVID-19 cases are increasing in several countries like Japan, some countries at the European Union and Turkey.

          However, remote education has proven to be the current valid alternative for education in such an uncertain state. But in Turkey as an example, they have called-in the teachers to schools for planning and organizing the educational season.

          Therefore we decided to write this article to offer an open-source solution for school and virtual classroom management.

        • Venyon: An innovative Free Solution to Monitor and Manage Computerized Classrooms for Linux and Windows

          The computer laboratory is must-have in the schools right now, Where every student set on a computer and follow-up a lesson or instructions as they perform certain tasks.

          While computerized classrooms have been managed by commercial solutions for the last decade, It’s time to get the open-source alternative that competes with them. Thanks to Tobias Junghans from Germany who pushed with the open-source alternative: Veyon.

      • FSF

      • Programming/Development

        • Now We Can All Build A SpotMicro

          If you go to YouTube and search for SpotMicro you will find a number of videos showing completed robots. The one that attracted my attention was built by Michael Romanko. What is special about this version is that it has a Raspberry Pi as its brain.The original uses an Arduino and the printer files have to be changed to accommodate a Pi.

          The important thing about installing a Pi is that you can easily fit Ubuntu, complete with a version of ROS (Robot Operating System). For most robot builders, ROS is the way to go and it makes development of software easier. I wouldn’t say easy, it’s still a challenge. The ROS nodes have been written in C++ and Python. You can see it in action in the video…

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 74: Majority Element and FNR Character

            These are some answers to the Week 74 of the Perl Weekly Challenge organized by Mohammad S. Anwar.

            Spoiler Alert: This weekly challenge deadline is due in a few hours from now. This blog post offers some solutions to this challenge, please don’t read on if you intend to complete the challenge on your own.

          • Self Challenge and Weekly Challenge (CY’s Take on #074 Task 1)

            Thanks for the volunteers, there are code Reviews on Perl/Raku; in addition, on each Monday, you can read the RECAP linking others’ solutions and blogs; I often learn something from both RECAP and Perl Review.

          • The [Perl] Weekly Challenge #074

            Ever since I started doing Swift, I find myself too busy again with my weekly video sessions on top of all.

            I need to re-visit my time management chart, may be?

            Having said that, I get excited by the doing task in a new language. I wanted to do it in Java to refresh my memory. But couldn’t find time for it as I am editing the next week Perl Weekly newsletter also.

            Highlight of the week, was the live session by Lance Wicks. During the live session, I had lots of trouble with my Sky Broadband, disturbing the flow. Luckily he posted the video later, which I watched during my break.

        • Python

    • Standards/Consortia

      • [Old] Everything You Need to Know About OAuth (2.0)

        However, because of the way these applications protect their data, developers run into a challenge: How do we delegate access? Almost every application is protected by a basic username/password schema. To allow Application A to access the data it needed from Application B would require constantly logging into Application B on behalf of Application A – how unwieldy! The workaround was to give Application A the username and password credentials to log in to Application B, which was problematic for few reasons:

        Application A stored credentials as cleartext

        Application A was given broad, unfettered access to Application B

        Users could not easily revoke access for Application A

        A compromised Application A puts Application B at risk

        OAuth was formed as a solution to this Catch-22 situation: How to provide delegated access without putting the end user’s data at risk.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Algorithmic vs. Faith-based Learning

        Not all activities have activities that can or should be captured into text files, but many do. And making a change to a list of steps—an algorithm—is a tangible way to convert new knowledge into new behavior.

        This is not a fix for having low self-discipline. You still have to actually do what’s in your algorithm. But it is a way to concretely benefit from the time you spend on learning.

    • Hardware

      • Optical Media Durability: Update

        A year ago I repeated the mind-numbing process of feeding 45 disks through the reader and verifying their checksums. It is time again for this annual chore, and once again this year I failed to find any errors. Below the fold, the details.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Federal Investigation Finds Hospital Violated Patients’ Rights by Profiling, Separating Native Mothers and Newborns

        ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A prominent women’s hospital here violated patients’ rights by singling out pregnant Native American women for COVID-19 testing and separating them from their newborns without adequate consent until test results became available, according to a federal investigation disclosed to New Mexico In Depth and ProPublica.

        Lovelace Women’s Hospital did not admit to any wrongdoing but reported that the practice has been halted. Hospital officials submitted a plan to fix problems identified by investigators, including a promise to conduct internal audits to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations and COVID-19 screening guidance.

      • If Trump Had Followed Vietnam’s Lead on COVID, US Would Have Fewer Than 100 Dead

        As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, exposing to the fullest the glaring weakness of our inequitable health system, and as the unemployment situation goes largely unaddressed, it’s becoming more than obvious that the U.S. is in dire need of fixing. An advanced social welfare state, with a full employment agenda, is the way out, argues world-renowned progressive economist Robert Pollin in this exclusive interview with Truthout. Pollin is distinguished professor of economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and co-author (with Noam Chomsky and me) of the forthcoming book The Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal: The Political Economy of Saving the Planet.

      • In-house: tough legislation needed to stop fake medicines [Ed: The monopolists have long attempted to stigmatise competition, generics and alternatives as "fake" and "health hazard" in order to maintain their price-fixing monopolies]

        Innovator and generics companies say tougher legislation and more public assistance is needed to help stop a potentially deadly rise in medical counterfeiting

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • University of Utah Pays $457K After Ransomware Attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Cyber insurance policies, like the one utilized by the University of Utah, is also changing the ransomware game, and has drawn concerns about how it will change the overall security landscape. For instance, some have wondered if companies could slack on proactive security measures if they have a fallback buffer of cyber-insurance.

        • Epic practically gives up on Fortnite, prioritizes Unreal Engine in reply brief pushing for temporary restraining order against Apple

          Epic’s reply brief completely fails to address the legally most powerful part of Apple’s opposition to the TRO motion: that Epic brought this situation upon itself, and “self-inflicted wounds” can’t give rise to the requested type of relief in the Ninth Circuit. While Epic described as a “hotfix” its tactic of firstly running a Fortnite version by Apple that already contained the code for an alternative payment system and later triggering the display of that option to end users by means of data the Fortnite app retrieved from Epic’s servers, Apple’s opposition brief said this breach of a longstanding App Store rule became Epic’s “hot mess.”

          Epic’s decision not to address the “self-inflicted wounds” part is consistent with my overall impression that they’ve already given up with respect to Fortnite–not formally in the sense of a partial withdrawal of the motion, but practically. They must have realized that Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers is hardly going to force Apple to offer a Fortnite version via the App Store that clearly breaches Apple’s terms. Instead, Epic’s reply brief focuses on the Unreal Engine, arguing that even if Apple was in its right to terminate any Fortnite-specific Epic accounts, “the breadth of Apple’s retaliation is itself an unlawful effort to maintain its monopoly and chill any action by others who might dare oppose Apple.” By “breadth” Epic means that Apple terminated multiple accounts, and that there are two Epic legal entities: Epic Games, Inc. of Maryland and Epic Games International S.à.r.l. of Switzerland. However, Apple argues that all those Epic accounts are managed as one, and Apple generally terminates the contracts of affiliated entities when a major breach occurs.

        • Microsoft supports Epic Games’ quest for temporary restraining order against Apple, stresses importance of Unreal Engine

          After Apple filed its opposition to Epic Games’ motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) in the App Store antitrust dispute in the Northern District of California, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers allowed the Fortnite and Unreal Engine maker to file a reply brief of up to 10 pages by 9 AM Pacific Time today.

          The very first document Epic’s lawyers filed in this context is a declaration by Kevin Gammill, General Manager of Microsoft’s Gaming Developer Experience division, supporting Epic against Apple by stressing the relevance of the Unreal Engine to Microsoft (this post continues below the document)…

        • Microsoft says Apple’s move against ‘Fortnite’ creator would hurt its games
        • Apple apologizes to WordPress, won’t force the free app to add purchases after all

          On Friday, the internet erupted in a small way to learn that Apple had successfully forced WordPress to monetize its free app — forcing it to sell premium plans and custom domain names seemingly just so that Apple could get its traditional 30 percent cut.

          But one afternoon and evening of surprise and outrage later, Apple is backing off. The company is issuing a rare on-the-record apology, and it says that WordPress will no longer have to add in-app purchases now that all is said and done.

          Here’s Apple’s full statement: [...]

        • Apple Reverses Move for WordPress to Add In-App Payments

          Apple Inc. on Saturday reversed course on a decision to force popular blogging platform WordPress to add in-app purchases to its app, a move that could help lessen tensions between Apple and developers amid a public battle with Epic Games.

          On Friday, WordPress said that Apple had informed it that it had 30 days to add in-app-purchases to its application, which would have given Apple a 30% cut of purchases of WordPress.com plans purchased via the app. Apple’s request was questioned by developers online as the WordPress app previously didn’t offer a way to purchase plans inside their app, rather just on its website.

        • Epic Games’ App Store antitrust case against Apple reassigned to Oakland judge presiding over Pepper v. Apple and Cameron v. Apple class actions

          What remains to be seen is whether Epic’s case against Google will end up in Oakland, too. Epic’s two app distribution antitrust cases involve many common questions of law and fact. Maybe Epic v. Google will be consolidated with Epic v. Apple.

        • Fortnite’s absence from Apple’s App Store will be short-lived–here’s why and on what basis Epic Games will put it back soon

          Epic Games provoked Fortnite’s removal from the iOS App Store and the Android Play Store by running a promotion that circumvented the in-app payment rules of those platforms–and already had that Nineteen-Eighty-Fortnite video as well as two partly-overlapping antitrust complaints, each more than 60 pages long, prepared at the time.

          This legal dispute may very well take years to be resolved and go all the way up to the Supreme Court. Epic Games isn’t seriously going to forgo its revenue opportunity on iOS (and Android) for the better part of the 2020s.

          Epic would have us all believe that they’re idealistic freedom fighters, the Braveheart of the mobile app universe. Realistically, they’re more principled than a self-serving Spotify (trying to capitalize on the fact that the EU presently has the least principled competition commissioner in the bloc’s history), but neither are they prepared to die for this cause nor are they just drama queens (well, maybe to some degree if that YouTube video is any indication). At the end of the day, they’re businesspeople running a company recently valued at $17.3 billion and trying to change some parameters in their favor. Also, I do find it credible that it’s not only about money but also about their view of what would be fair.

        • Gibson Dunn lawyers to defend Apple against Epic Games’ App Store antitrust action in the Northern District of California

          Gibson Dunn frequently represents Apple as well as parties whose interests are aligned with Apple’s. The two most important cases of this kind that I’ve followed are the second Apple v. Samsung case in the Northern District of California and the Apple v. Qualcomm antitrust and contract litigation in the Southern District of California. In the latter case, Gibson Dunn worked for Apple’s contract manufacturers (Foxconn/Hon Hai, Pegatron, Compal, and Wistron)–and squared off with the very firm on the other side that filed Epic Games’ complaints against Apple and Google: Cravath, Swaine & Moore of New York City.

        • Apple gets more time to respond to Epic Games’ motion for a temporary restraining order–Monday hearing postponed, case may be transferred to Oakland

          I’ve previously expressed doubts over whether this motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) was truly as urgent as Epic’s lawyers claimed. Originally they would have preferred a hearing to be held the same day, which would practically have required Judge Edward Chen to make a decision without the benefit of an opposition filing. With the court having vacated the Monday hearing, Apple’s ultimatum for a termination of Epic’s developer agreement may expire prior to a decision on the TRO motion. While there is no doubt that Epic sooner or later needs access to Apple’s developer program, it’s not like the Unreal Engine would instantly stop working for any of Epic’s licensees in the event of a termination.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Open organizations through the ages

              Consider the evolution of humankind. When we do, we will recognize that having global discussions and acting on global decisions is a relatively new phenomenon—only 100 years old, give or take a few years. We’re still learning how to make global decisions and execute on them successfully.

              Yet our ability to improve those globally focused practices and skills is critical to our continued survival. And open principles will be the keys to helping us learn them—as they have been throughout history.

        • Security

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • FBI Reports On Linux Drovorub Malware [Ed: This is mostly distorted coverage]

              The rootkit won’t persist if you have UEFI boot fully enabled (although many Linux computers turn UEFI signing off rather than work through the steps to install an OS with it enabled). The malware is easy to spot if you dump raw information from the network, but the kernel module makes it hard to find on the local machine. It hooks many kernel functions so it can hide processes from both the ps command and the /proc filesystem. Other hooks remove file names from directory listings and also hides sockets. The paper describes how to identify the malware and they are especially interested in detection at scale — that is, if you have 1,000 Linux PCs on a network, how do you find which ones have this infection?

            • Drovorub: Russia Pushing Invisible Malware, say NSA and FBI [Ed: Just reposting other people's stuff, no critical assessment]
          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Palantir, Tech’s Next Big I.P.O., Lost $580 Million in 2019

              Palantir’s revenue in 2019 was $742.5 million, nearly 25 percent more than the year before. Its net loss of $580 million was about the same as 2018. And expenses were up 2 percent in 2019 to a little more than $1 billion.

            • Snapchat’s Latest Move Targets TikTok

              Driving up awareness of Snapchat’s political coverage would also be timely to stand out as a more trustworthy social platform for news, as competitors Facebook and Twitter continue to struggle with fake news to a more noticeable degree.

              The test by Snapchat also signals the app is continuing to evolve past its ephemeral walled-garden roots. Snap started letting users share certain content off Snapchat in January 2018, for example. That June, the company started letting developers integrate its Bitmoji avatars in other apps, and developers have also been encouraged to integrate Snapchat Stories into their apps since then.

            • TikTok confirms it will sue the Trump administration

              TikTok confirmed Saturday that it will file a lawsuit against the Trump administration over an executive order demanding parent company ByteDance divest its TikTok operations in the US. It’s the first time the company has confirmed it will pursue legal action, a move that has been rumored for several weeks. Reports began surfacing Friday that a lawsuit was likely imminent.

              “Even though we strongly disagree with the administration’s concerns, for nearly a year we have sought to engage in good faith to provide a constructive solution,” TikTok spokesman Josh Gartner said in a statement to The Verge. “What we encountered instead was a lack of due process as the administration paid no attention to facts and tried to insert itself into negotiations between private businesses.”

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Crushing US sanctions devastate Syria’s people and post-war reconstruction
      • A row between Turkey and Greece over gas is raising tension in the eastern Mediterranean

        The scramble for resources and how best to exploit them is aggravating international tensions. That is partly because of the awkward history and geography of the eastern Mediterranean. Greece argues that each of its scattered islands, however small, is legally entitled to its own continental shelf with sole drilling rights. Turkey, hemmed into the Aegean by a forbidding archipelagic wall of those islands, counters that the eastern ones rest on Turkey’s continental shelf and refuses to accept that they generate economic zones around them. It is one of only 15 countries, including Israel and Syria, that have refused to join the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which largely supports Greece’s case.

      • Taiwan’s Military Has Flashy American Weapons but No Ammo

        In an emotional press conference, Huang’s mother alleged that her son was subjected to hazing by his superior officers, and that he was pressured to procure tools and spare repair parts out of his own pocket. Screenshots of private messages, receipts, and photos of items purchased by Huang were shown to the public as proof. For some time before Huang’s death, the novice lieutenant was desperately trying to make up for the shortages in his depot by buying a variety of items like repair hammers and fire buckets from the civilian market. Huang’s brother even used a U.S. website in Arizona to purchase a pair of spark plug gap gauges for him that used imperial measurements instead of metric ones.

        “It is against the rules of the army to buy parts with soldiers’ own money,” said Taiwan’s defense minister, Yen Teh-fa, when questioned by Taiwanese legislators. “If something is broken or missing, a soldier can request a replacement part by filling the necessary paper works.”

        But to serving officers and soldiers, that response was a grim joke. In fact, during the same parliament hearing the inspector general of the military directly contradicted Yen and admitted that “there were indeed occurrences” of soldiers being pressured to purchase parts. Army inspectors also found at least 31 items still missing from Huang’s depot after his death.

    • Finance

      • Corporate Landlords Get Big Tax Breaks. They Should Pay Our Rent During COVID.

        The Covid-19 crisis has both exposed and exacerbated racial and wealth inequality in the United States. As unemployment skyrockets and tens of millions of Americans struggle with a sudden loss of income, many are unable to pay rents or mortgages and are facing eviction, foreclosure, and possible homelessness.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Police Response to Press at Black Lives Matter Protests Tests First Amendment

        During recent protests in Washington over the death of George Floyd in police custody, police in riot gear were videotaped striking a news crew as officers cleared media and protesters from Lafayette Square, an area near the White House.

        The footage, captured on June 1, was of a scene repeated in cities across the United States during Black Lives Matter demonstrations following the May 25 death of the 46-year-old African American in Minneapolis.

        Journalists have been tear-gassed, hit by rubber bullets and detained. Many say they identified themselves as press or showed credentials that police ignored.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Families and Advocates Call for Evacuation of Prisons Amid California Wildfires

        As wildfires rage in California, advocates are pushing for Gov. Gavin Newsom to evacuate prisons in the line of the fires.

      • Prosecutors Have No Place in Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commissions

        As abolitionist organizers on the ground in Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco, we are appalled and angered by the announcement by three district attorneys (DAs) — in partnership with Shaun King’s “Grassroots Law Project” — to pilot “Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commissions” (TJRC) in our cities. These commissions, according to the announcement, will hold hearings on state violence committed in these cities in the hopes of moving toward community healing. Yet placing district attorneys — those leading offices that helped to imprison large swaths of people in those cities — at the head of these TJRCs ensures that they will fail to produce the change which harmed parties seek.

      • Which Black Voices Should Their White Supporters Heed?

        Black Lives Matter: Three times as many whites as blacks participated.

      • Some Black women activists feeling left out of BLM movement
      • [Old] Trial by proprietary software

        Unfortunately, with the shutdown of in-person institutions around the world, people have turned to the proprietary software companies that had the sales and marketing resources to quickly insert themselves as “solutions.” Among these institutions are courts of law, many of which have been conducting some proceedings over Zoom. While Zoom is a “service,” it also requires those using it to run nonfree software on their local devices — either the official client application, or downloaded nonfree JavaScript when connecting via a Web browser.

        While Zoom’s software itself doesn’t cost an individual any money to use, it raises two clear categories of concern: requiring people to agree to Zoom’s arbitrary demands as a condition for access to justice, and the state’s public endorsement of Zoom.

      • Lawyer: Iranian Baha’i Woman Sent to Prison to Start Sentence for Practicing her Faith

        Etemadzadeh said Tebyanian was imprisoned on the order of Iran’s Supreme Court, which overturned an appellate court’s January 2019 ruling that had acquitted the Baha’i woman of spreading anti-government propaganda. A lower Revolutionary Court had convicted Tebyanian of the charge in August 2018 and sentenced her to a seven-month prison term.

        Tebyanian initially had been arrested in March 2017 and released on bail the following month pending trial. What prompted her initial detention has remained unclear.

        Etemadzadeh said he did not know why Iran’s top court overturned Tebyanian’s acquittal. “It seems that Iran’s Islamist rulers cannot accept that one of their courts refuses to criminalize the practice of the Baha’i faith,” he said.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • New Developments in Digital Services: Short-(2021), medium-(2025)and long-term (2030) perspectives and the implications for theDigital Services Act

        To make sure these predictions become reality and to prevent the misuse of digital tools, we advise the European Parliament to take a leading stance in the global digitalisation. Three main recommendations are given in the study: A European cloud / European internet could secure a reliable, trustworthy digital ecosystem in Europe. Funding programmes for eGovernment would use the innovative capabilities of start-ups throughout Europe to create the most digital and advanced government in the world. And all this should be communicated in a visionary and exciting way, making sure the right regulations are in place, but also encouraging boldness and showing a willingness to change (see Figure 2).

        [...]

        Action Plan 1: European Cloud / European Internet

        A European firewall/cloud/ internet would foster a digital ecosystem in Europe based on data and innovation. It would drive competition and set standards, similar to what has happened in China in the past 20 years. The foundations of such a European cloud are democratic values, transparency, competition and data protection.

        [...]

        Technologically, it would require a top-level infrastructure, high-speed 5G or a 6G data network and a firewall. Setting up such a network would promote many European companies and therefore boost business and drive innovation.

        Like the Chinese firewall, this European internet would block off services that condone or support unlawful conduct from third party countries.

        [...]

        As e-commerce and remote working solutions became widely used and even smartphone tracking to prevent infections met very little scepticism. Now in the aftermath of this pandemic it’s the perfect time to act and to push for ambitious goal in digitalising Europe.

        [...]

        Update 2 of the Visionary Communication Programme: i.e. crypto, quantum computing. Here it is important to include visionaries, think tanks and influences to communicate the update to the public.

        Phase 2 of the eGovernment Venture Programme: Testing and evaluating first technologies and ideas developed in the programme.

        Initialising the European internet: setting up think tanks to creating the cornerstones and possible pitfalls of such a project.

        Long term 2025 – 2030

        Update 3 of the Visionary Communication Programme: i.e. 6G, European internet, DNA products. Further communication within the Europe of the new digital goals.

        Phase 3 of the eGovernment Venture Programme: Implementation of innovations developed in the programme. Officially Launching the European Internet: Similar to the Chinese Firewall.

        The Digital Services Act (DSA) is the foundation of such an action plan timeline.

      • Five Defining Features to Build the New Generation Internet

        Recent geopolitical events, such as President Trump’s order to ban TikTok and WeChat in the United States, have exemplified the imperative of decentralization. The next generation internet will empower individuals to own their data, exchange their wealth, and control their digital footprint — all without being subject to the whims of politicians and tech giants, which have historically weaponized the web for their own gain.

    • Monopolies

      • When I stopped believing in Google’s fundamental good nature

        Watching all of this happen, watching all of the protesting and good arguments and everything go exactly nowhere, is when I knew that my image of Google was wrong (and gone). Now I extend no more trust to Google than I think supported by their corporate and commercial interests. Google employees may care about “don’t be evil” and doing the right thing and so on, but Google as a whole does not, and the employees do what Google tells them to.

      • Why the Ninth Circuit’s Qualcomm FRAND ruling is a big deal

        The ruling that Qualcomm’s licensing model is competitive makes it ‘bulletproof’, according to sources, who say an appeal is more likely if Trump loses November’s election

      • Patents

        • Qualcomm’s huge licensing victory; Avanci dominates 3G and 4G SEPs; Pharma IP deals good news; PanOptis’s $500m Apple win; PTAB danger for US innovation; plus much more

          In a letter to USPTO director, senate IP subcommittee chair Thom Tillis throws his weight behind proposals to increase transparency around patent ownership.

        • Partial priority under European patent law

          Article 87 of the EPC allows anyone who has filed a first patent application in almost any jurisdiction to file a European Patent (EP) application for the same invention within 12 months of the first application. That EP application will then benefit from the filing date of the earlier application (as set out by article 89 EPC), in particular during the evaluation of its patentability.

          In other words, only documents published before the filing date of the earlier application will be considered when assessing the novelty and inventive step of the EP application (articles 54(2) and 56 EPC), and the content of EP applications filed before the priority date but published after will only be considered when assessing the novelty of the European application (article 54(3) EPC).

        • This week in IP: Nokia wins in Mannheim, Unwired Planet ruling scheduled, new IPR guidance out

          Germany’s Mannheim Regional Court ruled on Tuesday (August 18) that Daimler had demonstrated unwillingness to take a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licence for Nokia’s LTE technology patents, and rejected a request from Germany’s Federal Cartel Office to refer legal questions to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU).

          The court referred to Daimler as an ‘unwilling licensee’ in its ruling, meaning that it considered Daimler’s unwillingness to be evident in its general licensing conduct. This part of the decision could affect other lawsuits involving Daimler across Germany, and perhaps elsewhere.

          With so much now at stake for Daimler, in-house sources tell Managing IP that they are baffled by the behaviour of the car maker, which some say appears to be engaged in a standard essential patent (SEP) licensing ‘holy war’.

          “It is as if Daimler is marching their suppliers into a holy war, insisting on component level licensing,” says Eeva Hakoranta, chief licensing officer at InterDigital in Finland and former head of IP at Nokia. “Several alternative options are available but it seems like the people who are handling this by Daimler and Continental don’t want to see, or refuse to see, any other way than the one they insist on.”

        • Survey: Companies will leverage patents as revenue driver

          Budget cuts and lost revenues are driving more interest in patent licensing activity, according to our survey of in-house counsel

        • German patent judges turn legality on its head: limited patent term justifies antitrust violations and other types of injustice (Nokia v. Daimler)

          These days the FOSS Patents blog is more of a “FOSS Antitrust” blog, but when I chose the name more than ten years ago, I had no idea. So at the moment I’m primarily following the FRAND issues in key automotive cases (with Germany being the patent litigation hotspot it’s traditionally known for, while falling behind in innovation) and the app store cases in the Northern District of California.

          The most outrageous part of yesterday’s Nokia v. Daimler decision by the Mannheim Regional Court involves antitrust law, too. The court’s press release already said that the “relatively short remainder of the term of the patent-in-suit led the three-judge panel to exercise its discretion to the effect of denying a stay of the case for the purpose of referring to the Court of Justice of the EU certain questions of competition law raised by the Federal Cartel Office of Germany.

          Actually, the European Patent Office’s Espacenet search delivers an October 2007 priority date, meaning the patent is still going to be valid for more than seven years .

          What was–to my dismay–unsurprising is that German patent judges would deem the limited term of a patent to weigh in a patentee’s favor with respect to pretty much any question that has a bearing on access to injunctive relief. It’s the exact opposite of what I typically see when eBay v. MercExchange is applied in the United States.

        • Nokia demolishes Daimler ‘holy war’ with German injunction

          Automotive and communications in-house counsel say Daimler can no longer avoid taking a licence and speculate if Nokia will post the €7 billion bond to enforce its injunction

        • Mannheim Regional Court orders Germany-wide Mercedes sales ban over Nokia patent despite Nokia having violated EU competition law

          The Mannheim Regional Court’s Second Civil Chamber (Presiding Judge: Dr. Holger Kircher) has just ordered a Germany-wide sales ban against Daimler over a standard-essential patent (SEP) held by Nokia. The court issued a press release (in German) to announce this decision in case no. 2 O 34/19 over EP2981103 on an “allocation of preamble sequences”).

          What I’m still trying to find out is the amount of the security Nokia will have to give in the form of a deposit or a bond. According to Bloomberg, the court set the amount at €7 billion.

          Unless this has changed since last time I checked, Nokia’s litigation campaign against the Mercedes maker does not target cars that come with telematics control units (TCUs) supplied by Samsung subsidiary Harman. However, in parallel cases before the Munich I Regional Court, Daimler argued that a sales ban would still affect roughly half of its German sales during the relevant period.

        • Dallas Invents: 144 Patents Granted for Week of Aug. 4

          Dallas Invents is a weekly look at U.S. patents granted with a connection to the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area. Listings include patents granted to local assignees and/or those with a North Texas inventor. Patent activity can be an indicator of future economic growth, as well as the development of emerging markets and talent attraction. By tracking both inventors and assignees in the region, we aim to provide a broader view of the region’s inventive activity. Listings are organized by Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC).

        • Varta reaches settlement with Samsung in battery dispute

          EP 2 394 324 B1 protects button cells that offer as much battery power as possible in a small space. For example, the technology is used in wireless headphones. Previously, Varta argued that the batteries used by Korean manufacturer Samsung in its products infringed its patent EP 324. A Chinese manufacturer supplies the batteries. However, both parties have now reached a global settlement.

          [...]

          However, Varta withdrew its application for an injunction against Samsung in Munich. Varta also extended its application for an injunction in Braunschweig to include the Korean manufacturer. Previously, Varta directed the suit only against Amazon and Expert.

          At the end of February, following an initial hearing in Braunschweig, Varta also withdrew its suits for a preliminary injunction in Braunschweig. Following the global settlement, the infringement proceedings in Mannheim were resolved. Furthemore, the parties have also resolved another lawsuit in the US, at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (case ID: 2:2020cv00029).

        • MBHB Webinar on Traps for the Unwary Patent Prosecutor [Ed: Selling litigation as if it is a product]

          McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP will be offering a live webinar entitled “Traps for the Unwary Prosecutor: What Practitioners Should Know About US and European Patent Practice” on September 15, 2020 from 10:00 am to 11:15 am (CT). In this presentation, Patent Docs author and MBHB attorney Donald Zuhn, MBHB attorney Sarah Fendrick, Forresters attorney Charlotte Teall, and D Young & Co attorney Simon O’Brien will review some aspects of U.S. and European patent practice that can, if patent practitioners are not aware of them, lead to issues during the prosecution of U.S. and European applications. Among the topics that the panel will discuss are priority claims, double patenting, novelty-only prior art and disclaimers, and data requirements and plausibility in Europe, and Patent Term Adjustment, Information Disclosure Statements, inequitable conduct, and obviousness-type double patenting in the U.S.

        • Are Patent and Trademark Deadlines Extended Due To COVID-19? (Updated)

          Many offices have asked their employees to work from home, potentially causing delays. Most or all offices, including the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and European Patent Office (EPO), are conducting oral proceedings via telephone or videoconferencing.

        • Software Patents

          • IPO Webinar on AI and Section 101 [Ed: The patent extremists use “HEY HI” hype to push software patents' agenda and this one is closely connected to IBM]

            The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) will offer a one-hour webinar entitled “Drafting Patents to Ground Electric Power: AI and Section 101″ on August 27, 2020 from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm (ET). Thomas Burton of Siemens Corp., Michael Kiklis of Bass, Berry & Sims PLC, and Christine Lam of NetApp will analyze the Electrical Power Group line of cases and provide patent prosecutors with practical advice on how to avoid its pitfalls for AI related inventions, consider more than a year’s experience with the USPTO’s 2019 patentable subject matter guidelines for software inventions, and share lessons from six PTAB ex parte decisions on this issue that were recently deemed precedential or informative, including both affirmances and reversals of examiner rejections.

      • Trademarks

        • Look-Alike Chart 2020 update published

          The Look-Alike Chart has already become a classic project for the Unfair Competition Team and is updated periodically.

          This year, the project team (comprised of Felipe Dannemann Lundgren, Anne-Virginie La Spada, Yana Tsygankova, Selma Ünlü and Bence Bozóki) introduced some new questions and substituted others, to make the chart even sharper. They also included further relevant information for practitioners dealing with look-alikes on a global basis.

          We hope MARQUES Members will enjoy the updated chart and will find it useful for consultation.

        • Teva’s headache over slogan trade marks

          We’ve been seeing a lot more interest from life sciences companies in applying for slogans recently. After all, advertising campaigns are increasingly a fierce battlefield for IP litigation. However, slogan marks often run at but rarely manage to take the hurdle of distinctiveness applied by the EUIPO and usually confirmed by the European Courts.

          Two applications by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries have now suffered that fate again. In cases T‑696/19 and T-697/19 – Teva v EUIPO, the General Court confirmed that EU trade mark applications for Moins de migraine pour vivre mieux and Weniger Migräne. Mehr vom Leben (which can be translated as Fewer migraines for a better life or Less migraine. More life) for printed materials and services such as providing information relating to the treatment of migraines had to be refused for lack of distinctive character. The relevant public would perceive both slogans as mere promotional statements rather than source indicators.

          The Court confirmed that the relevant public, in this case, was both the general and the specialist public. This means that the “average consumer” consisted of both uninformed consumers and those that were specifically targeted by the goods and services – migraine treatments, and whose degree of specialization was high. Therefore both signs would be understood as promotional slogans, indicating a promise to live better with fewer migraines and as such giving hope to improve daily life. This also corresponds with the pharmaceutical market reality, where the information originates from both professionals and patients.

        • COTUS Grants ‘Booking.com’ Trademark Protection: How Far can Domain Name Trademark Protection Extend?

          Recently, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS), in the Booking.com decision held that a generic .com domain name can obtain a trademark registration under certain conditions. With SCOTUS granting limited protection to generic .com domain names, an interesting question arises as to what will happen when there is a trademark dispute between a .com domain name and a .in domain name and if it is now possible for a trademarked generic .com name to block the registration of a generic .in domain name. This post explores these questions.

          [...]

          The evidence (pg. 37) submitted by Booking.com to the DC showed that 74% of consumers recognized ‘Booking.com’ as a brand name. The Court observed that although the word ‘booking’ is an unprotectable generic term, its combination with ‘.com’ giving rise to ‘Booking.com’ did transform it into a descriptive term that could be protected once it had acquired secondary meaning.

          Affirming the same, SCOTUS also noted that the existence of a ‘Booking.com’ trademark does not restrict the registration of similar generic marks like ‘carbooking.com’ or ‘flightbooking.com’ (at pg. 59 in the judgment). The issue of overbreadth of the mark was addressed by holding that in any future case, to enforce their mark in an infringement suit, Booking.com would have to prove that there is a ‘likelihood of confusion’. The Court added, “given that domain names are unique by nature and that the public may understand a domain name as indicating a single site, it may be more difficult for domain name plaintiffs to demonstrate a likelihood of confusion.”

          The case brings to the forefront the need to balance two fundamental principles of trademark law. First, the need to avoid a likelihood of confusion in the minds of consumers and second, to avoid trademark protection to generic names and terms in order to protect competition in the marketplace. As an exception trademark protection can, however, be offered to terms that are ‘descriptive’ when consumers associate the descriptive term with a single product.

        • Amazon Files Another Joint Counterfeit Suit, This Time With KF Beauty

          Just two months after teaming up with Valentino to file a counterfeit lawsuit against sellers on its marketplace platform, Amazon has partnered with another brand – KF Beauty – to file a joint trademark action. According to the complaint that they filed on Wednesday in a federal court in Washington, Amazon and KF Beauty claim that four companies and 16 individuals are on the hook for selling counterfeit versions of KF Beauty’s WUNDER2 beauty products, including its best-selling WUNDERBROW eyebrow gels, on Amazon’s sweeping third-party marketplace site.

          In the newly-filed lawsuit, Amazon and London-based KF Beauty assert that the defendants – Sirowl Technology, a Wyoming corporation; Shenzhen Mingyanfeng Tech Ltd., Topogrow, General Medi, and more than a dozen individuals – “conspired and operated in concert with each other to … advertise, market, offer, and sell counterfeit products as genuine WUNDER2 products to Amazon,” thereby, running afoul of KF Beauty’s federally registered trademarks.”

          “From on or about August 8, 2018, to on or about October 30, 2018,” Amazon and KF Beauty claim that the defendants “advertised, marketed, offered, and sold counterfeit WUNDER2 products to Amazon, using KF Beauty’s registered trademarks, without authorization, to deceive Amazon and customers about the authenticity and origin of the products, and the products’ affiliation with WUNDER2.”

      • Copyrights

        • CJEU: The breach of an IP clause of a software licence agreement constitutes a copyright infringement.

          The Court of Justice of the EU has handed down its judgment (18 December 2019, Case C-666/18) following the request for a preliminary ruling from the Paris Court of Appeal (IT Development v Free Mobile, 16 October 2018, No 17/02679; see our post here). In answer to the question: does the breach of a software licence agreement constitute a copyright infringement, or may a contractual liability regime apply to that breach?, the CJEU answers: the breach falls within the concept of ‘infringement of intellectual property rights’, and the owner of the program must be able to benefit from the guarantees provided for by Directive 2004/48 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, regardless of the liability regime applicable under national law.

          [...]

          The CJEU explains that ‘Directive 2009/24 does not make the protection of the rights of the owner of the copyright of a computer program dependent on whether or not the alleged infringement of those rights is a breach of a licence agreement’ (para. 33), and that the scope of Directive 2004/48 must be defined as widely as possible in order to encompass all the intellectual property rights covered by the provisions of EU law in that field or by the national law of the Member State concerned (para. 38).

          The CJEU adds that even though the determination of the liability regime applicable in the event of infringement of the copyright of a computer program by a licensee of that program falls within the competence of the Member States, ‘the application of a particular liability regime should in no way constitute an obstacle to the effective protection of the intellectual property rights of the owner of the copyright of that program as established by Directives 2004/48 and 2009/24’ (para. 46).

          The CJEU concludes by recalling that the national court is required to interpret national law in conformity with the requirements of EU law and to thus ensure the full effectiveness of EU law (para. 48), and rules that ‘Directives 2004/48 and 2009/24 must be interpreted as meaning that the breach of a clause in a licence agreement for a computer program relating to the intellectual property rights of the owner of the copyright of that program falls within the concept of ‘infringement of intellectual property rights’, within the meaning of Directive 2004/48, and that, therefore, that owner must be able to benefit from the guarantees provided for by that directive, regardless of the liability regime applicable under national law’.

          The case has returned before the Court of Appeal of Paris, which must now determine the liability regime applicable to the infringement of the copyright of the computer program by the licensee. The Court of Appeal will no doubt rule that the breach of contract by the licensee, who modified the source code, constitutes copyright infringement and that the specific copyright regime applies. Indeed, only this solution will enable the licensor to benefit from the guarantees provided for by French copyright law, in compliance with Directive 2004/48, and in particular specific procedural rules and measures, as well as specific rules to calculate the damages.

        • Movie & TV Giants Tell Court That Nitro IPTV Operator Destroyed & Withheld Evidence

          In April, a coalition of entertainment companies headed up by Universal, Paramount, Columbia, Disney and Amazon sued ‘pirate IPTV provider Nitro TV for massive copyright infringement. After obtaining a court order to shut the service down, they now claim that the service continued to operate, with its alleged operator supposedly lying during discovery while destroying vital evidence.

        • Dutch ISPs Unblock Pirate Bay Proxies, Because They Can

          Dutch ISPs Ziggo and XS4ALL have unblocked dozens of Pirate Bay proxies and mirrors. While the companies must block the torrent site itself, the latest court order supersedes the injunction which covered the site’s proxies. Anti-piracy group BREIN characterizes the ISPs move as “shenanigans” and “downright silly.”

Leak: FSFE Incurred Over €10,000 in Projected Losses Due to Outsourcing

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Law at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Outsourcing persisted regardless

There is no Cloud, just other people's computers.

Summary: A look at the management (or mismanagement) of FSFE funds, based on an E-mail sent from Jonas Öberg, the FSFE’s Executive Director

THE FSFE found traction if not fame for calling “clown computing” somebody else’s computer (or derivatives to that effect; see above). We agree and it’s a catchy campaign/motto; it’s about the importance of independence/autonomy in computing.

But does the FSFE follow its own principles? Like almost everything in today’s FSFE, it’s all Germany. The site is hosted with PlusServer GmbH and the staff is hardly diverse (unless Europe just means Germany). “Happy Black Ribbon Day,” the leak’s source told us, alluding to a “[d]ay of remembrance for the victims of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes,” as Wikipedia puts it (that’s today).

Let’s examine events.

In the FSFE’s own words: “The Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop (also known as the LLW) is organized every year by the FSFE to allow legal experts to discuss legal issues and best practices surrounding Free Software licences. This event has become the world’s foremost gathering of lawyers, technologists, and thought leaders on Free Software legal and licensing topics. With up to three days of talks in an informal and confidential atmosphere, the Workshop advances the state of the art of knowledge on topics ranging from license compliance to patent management, from project governance to corporate responsibility and even further to the cutting edge issues themselves.”

The event attracted about 90 individuals in 2015, then 120+ in 2017, about 120 in 2018 and about 130 in 2019 (according to their own tally). The event used to be organised by Matthias Kirschner and Polina Malaja, who is also in the Central CARE Team, basically Code of Conduct enforcer. CARE stands for CoC Active Response Ensurers. “We as a welcoming community,” it says, “encourage all participants to be excellent to each other.”

Even welcoming to Microsoft. It would be “rude” to say no…

Some of these people are full-time employees, so what are they doing all day long if not setting up such events (instead of paying “to contract an external event coordinator to carry out some of the activities in preparation for, and at the LLW, to offload work”)?

The event did not happen this year, based on the calendar of events, but then again many of their events got canceled because of COVID-19. This is what happened in 2018 when the numbers of people attending apparently deceased (contrary to expectations):

Subject: [GA] Interim report: LLW budget 2018
From: Jonas Oberg <jonas@fsfe.org>
Date: 22/01/2018, 13:27
To: ga@lists.fsfe.org

Dear all,

First of all, my apologies for not sending you our proposed budget for 2018 yet. We’ve yet to agree on the whole budget proposal in the council. (And apologies for sending you so many mails on a Monday!)

However, I would like to bring your attention to the cost of organising the LLW 2018. This has been discussed in our legal team, but the team asked us to also brief the GA about it.

As you know, the Legal and Licensing Workshop is our premier legal event. It’s a high profile event which contribute greatly to the FSFE activities. The budget for the LLW has increased in line with the event growing, and in most cases the income generated from participation fee and sponsorships have surpassed that increase.

For this years LLW, there was a decision to contract an external event coordinator to carry out some of the activities in preparation for, and at the LLW, to offload work from Matthias and Polina.

Unfortunately, this has lead not only to an increase cost for the event coordinator, but also to an increased cost for the LLW location, owing to the contracted event coordinator failing to secure the venue agreed upon.

This means the new budget requested by our legal coordinator for the LLW 2018 is ca €74,000. This is a significant deviation from our previous calculation of €63,000, and much above the 2017 budget of €57,000. At this point, we are not certain if the income generated from the event will in fact surpass the increased costs, but the feeling is that it will.

However, unlike previous years, this means that the income generated from LLW sponsorships, or in relation to the LLW, will likely not cover the costs of maintaining the legal network.

To mitigate this, the legal team has recommended the contract with the event coordinator is terminated, but we feel that any other changes right now, so close to the event itself, would only be detrimental to the success of the event.

Rather, the intention is to go ahead with the plannning [sic] and costs as they are, organise a successful event, and then do a proper analysis of this after the event, such that the risk of this repeating 2019 can be avoided.

Best regards,


Jonas Öberg
Executive Director

FSFE e.V. – keeping the power of technology in your hands. Your support enables our work, please join us today http://fsfe.org/join
_______________________________________________
GA mailing list
GA@lists.fsfe.org

https://lists.fsfe.org/mailman/listinfo/ga

The signature ironically says “keeping the power of technology in your hands.” How about keeping one’s own events in one’s hands?

[Meme] Microsoft Does to Free Software Projects What Bill Gates Has Done to the Media for Two Decades

Posted in Deception, Finance, Microsoft at 11:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

"Supporting" projects and "supporting" journalism (as long as the ‘annual performance’ is pleasing)

Vader Mask Off: Take the money, kid, no strings attached. Unconditional? Yes, but if you join GitHub we'll renew next year

Summary: The impact of Microsoft money is underestimated; as somebody put it a few hours ago, “Microsoft continues buying off its critics…”

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