07.20.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 20/7/2021: PiStorm News and Microsoft Shamelessly Trying to Shift Blame to ‘China’ (Again)

Posted in News Roundup at 3:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Rust on Ubuntu 20.04 – LinuxCapable.com

        Rust is an open-source systems programming language that focuses on speed, memory safety and parallelism. Developers use Rust to create a wide range of new software applications, such as game engines, operating systems, file systems, browser components and simulation engines for virtual reality. Rust is syntactically similar to C++ but can guarantee memory safety by using a borrow checker for validating references.

        For users and especially developers wanting to try out Rust Programming language, at the end of this guide, you will know how to install Rust on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. The same principle will work for the newer version Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo).

      • How to post code as code in forum posts

        User Information: To post code as code in the window where one writes their reply or post use the icon. Highlight the part that is code and click on that icon. Any output in a terminal or Konsole is considered code. Contents of system files and any configuration files are code.

      • Install Shutter in Fedora 34 and Above

        This quick guide explains the steps required to install shutter in Fedora 34 and above.

      • How to Install and Configure Memcached with Apache and PHP

        Memcached is a key-value store to cache the dynamic database calls and stores them in memory. This reduces the database load helps in speeding up the dynamic database driven websites.

        In this guide you are going to learn how to install and configure Memcached in your server alongside with Apache and PHP on Ubuntu 20.04.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Madeline ‘Madds’ Holland: Making Progress

          My first steps into working on this internship with Librsvg was learning about what to learn about. From Rust to the internals of Librsvg itself, I had a lot of unfamiliar things thrust at me, but I used the bits of time I had the first weeks and poured time into learning about everything I could for this project. I tried to go into this with as much of an open mind as I could, learning about all these new things with eagerness. Largest on the to-do list was organizing what needed to be done, so I did what I generally do and made a list! I listed out in a spreadsheet a subset of the features SVG 2 had added, then Federico (my mentor, maintainer of Librsvg and GNOME co-founder, for those of you not seeing this post on planet GNOME) and I sorted that list, removed things that weren’t applicable, and added things that were, until we got a more detailed list up on the Librsvg Gitlab wiki.

          [...]

          Finally, we’re to the present day! GUADEC is this week, and I’ll be participating in the intern lighting talks on Friday, so make sure to register for it and attend! Learning about so many different things and becoming a part of this community has been an amazing experience so far, I’m very thankful for the past half of the internship and so excited about the future. Thank you!

    • Distributions

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Progress on OM Lx 4.3 release

          OM Lx 4.3 final release has been delayed. In our internal testing our hard working, all volunteer, developers uncovered some issues within our core libraries. The decision made was to delay and fix these issues even though the “fixes” have gotten complicated and time consuming. These issues do not really mean all that much was wrong, just a bit of code here or there. But a huge number of other packages depend on core libraries so they all need to be rebuilt. That is a lot of work. We are doing the work and will report when we get to the next step.

      • Debian Family

        • Getting help with autopkgtest for your package

          If you have been involved in Debian packaging at all in the last few years, you are probably aware that autopkgtest is now an important piece of the Debian release process. Back in 2018, the automated testing migration process started considering autopkgtest test results as part of its decision making.

          Since them, this process has received several improvements. For example, during the bullseye freeze, non-key packages with a non-trivial autopkgtest test suite could migrate automatically to testing without their maintainers needing to open unblock requests, provided there was no regression in theirs autopkgtest (or those from their reverse dependencies).

          Since 2014 when ci.debian.net was first introduced, we have seen an amazing increase in the number of packages in Debian that can be automatically tested. We went from around 100 to 15,000 today. This means not only happier maintainers because their packages get to testing faster, but also improved quality assurance for Debian as a whole.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • CMS

        • 10 Best Free and Open Source JavaScript Static Site Generators

          LinuxLinks, like most modern websites, is dynamic in that content is stored in a database and converted into presentation-ready HTML when readers access the site.

          While we employ built-in server caching which creates static versions of the site, we don’t generate a full, static HTML website based on raw data and a set of templates. However, sometimes a full, static HTML website is desirable. Because HTML pages are all prebuilt, they load extremely quickly in web browsers.

          There are lots of other advantages of running a full, static HTML website.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Deurbanising the Web

        Let HTML5 become the web application platform. Let the browser vendors keep developing forever more. We can’t fight them (and besides, we all still want to watch YouTube), but we can escape to the countryside and rebuild something human-scale, human-controlled and human-understandable! It is true that the PDF spec has suffered feature creep (3D models?!), so we should use PDF/A instead, which forbids interactive content (normal PDFs can contain JavaScript!) and ensures your PDFs are absolutely self-contained, even embedding the fonts.

        “But how can you just throw away all of the semantic qualities of HTML?!”

        HTML’s semantic capabilities were oversold. Tagged PDF is just as expressive for all practical purposes. Maybe HTML supports richer metadata, but metadata is crap. Stick the right keywords in a document and 99% of semantic use cases are met.

  • Leftovers

    • Even Noah Would Be Amazed

      An extensive televised BBC News story of 16 July 2021, titled “Catastrophic flooding across western Europe as politicians blame climate change,” showed the devastation caused by the rapid massive flooding in the region of Western Europe at the confluence of the borders of Germany, Belgium, France and Luxembourg during the third week of July 2021, when three times the monthly average of rainfall was dumped in only a day or two. In that report, the likely next Prime Minister of Germany forthrightly assigned blame for the catastrophe to global warming climate change, and urged serious and immediate national, European and world action to counter it by reducing anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide.

      If this flooding in Germany and Belgium this last week, and the vast fires and massively deadly heat in Northwestern USA and Canada, and Siberia the previous week, can cause such devastation despite occurring in the most technologically sophisticated and economically advanced and developed countries on Earth, how do you think such similarly “natural catastrophes,” amplified and accelerated by global warming, would affect (and are affecting) the hundreds of millions — even billions — of the Earth’s poorest and most vulnerable people — as in Sub-Sahara Africa, Amazonia, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and the Pacific Islands?

    • The Campaign Against Me
    • Nothing is Happening in South Africa (Just Devastation)

      The crisis has been going on since Friday 9th, and really took off on Monday. Indicative of how little international coverage there has been is that it took until Thursday for me to start receiving a smattering of messages asking if we are OK – “I heard something is going on…”

      The contrast to Lebanon (where I lived for 17 years, until 2019) is incredible. Whenever there was a bomb or another security incident, I’d invariably get messages within minutes if not hours checking in.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • California Cannabis, Summer 2021: Lindsay Davey, OGs and the Gang at CannaCraft

        Millions of Americans, many of them aging boomers, professional athletes and people formerly addicted to Oxycodone, disagree with the federal government, as the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) points out. No surprise there. NORML, which has been in existence for more than 50 years, only reports good news about cannabis. The latest good news comes from NORML’s executive director, Erik Altieri, who says, “The days of federal prohibition are numbered.” Maybe so, but I’ve heard those same sentiments expressed for more than 50 years.

        In June, the disqualification of the 21-year-old sensational Black sprinter, Sha’Carri Richardson, was one of the best things that could happen to cannabis, though it was bad news for the U.S. team. “This is the last time the Olympics don’t see Sha’Carri Richardson,” she said. “This is the last time the U.S. doesn’t come home with the gold in the 100 meters.”

      • Seven Water Protectors Protesting Line 3 Pipeline Arrested at the Shell River

        At least seven water protectors from the Indigenous-led movement to stop Enbridge’s Line 3 were arrested on Monday while protesting at the Shell River in Minnesota, which the partially completed tar sands pipeline is set to cross in five places.

        “Today women and other water protectors from across multiple communities in Minnesota sat together at the Shell River, near Park Rapids, Minnesota, in peaceful prayer to oppose the construction of Line 3,” the group Honor the Earth said on Instagram. “These women represent many others who stand in solidarity with the protection of water across Anishinaabe treaty lands.”

      • Testing the Air to Tell a Story: How We Investigated Air Pollution Near Florida’s Sugar Fields

        The Glades is an area of Florida just south of Lake Okeechobee, the large body of water in the center of the state you can easily spot on a map. As a Floridian, I probably should have known that this area produces more than half of America’s cane sugar, but I only learned that recently while reading our stellar Local Reporting Network investigation into how air pollution from the area’s sugar industry poses health risks for residents who live there. Reporter Lulu Ramadan of The Palm Beach Post worked with ProPublica engagement reporter Maya Miller and news applications developer Ash Ngu to shed light on how sugar cane companies set fire to dozens of cane fields across western Palm Beach County. The smoke from setting the crop ablaze — a harvesting method that saves sugar companies money — affects the day-to-day lives of people living in the Glades.

        I encourage you to read the entire story, but I want to highlight the deep level of community engagement and involvement of Glades residents in the reporting. Working closely with residents was particularly complicated for this investigation because many of the same people who are affected by the seasonal burns also benefit from the industry’s role as one of the biggest employers in the region. To reach residents, reporters sent letters to public school teachers and custodians across the area; they knocked on doors, attended a virtual church service, canvassed food distribution sites, distributed flyers to local businesses and organizations, and reached out to doctors and nurses in the area.

      • “Crime of the Century”: How Big Pharma Fueled the Opioid Crisis That Killed 500,000 and Counting

        As the U.S. continues to deal with the fallout from the devastating opioid epidemic that has killed over 500,000 people in the country since 1999, we speak with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney, whose latest documentary, “The Crime of the Century,” looks at the pharmaceutical industry’s methods in promoting and selling the powerful drugs. “I realized that the big problem here was that we had been seeing it as a crisis, like a natural disaster, like a flood or a hurricane, rather than as a series of crimes,” says Gibney. “You had these terrible incentives, where the incentive is not to cure the patient. The incentive is to just make as much money as possible.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says U.S. drug overdose deaths skyrocketed to a record 93,000 last year — a nearly 30% increase. It is the largest one-year increase ever recorded, with overdoses rising in 48 of 50 states.

      • The Delta Variant Is Feasting on the Unvaxxed — and It’s Getting Worse
      • George Soros And Bill Gates’ Backed Consortium To Buy U.K. Maker Of Covid Tests For $41 Million

        The Soros Economic Development Fund and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced the launch of a new initiative, Global Access Health (GAH), aiming to strengthen the global rollout saving medical technology and the subsequent acquisition of Mologic Ltd, best known today for the deep-nostril technology used to deliver rapid Covid-19 tests. The technology can also be used to test for dengue, bilharzia and river blindness.

      • DNA Has Four Bases. Some Viruses Swap in a Fifth.
      • Texas Democrats who fled state in protest of GOP anti-voting bill test positive for COVID
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Don’t Wanna Pay Ransom Gangs? Test Your Backups.

          Browse the comments on virtually any story about a ransomware attack and you will almost surely encounter the view that the victim organization could have avoided paying their extortionists if only they’d had proper data backups. But the ugly truth is there are many non-obvious reasons why victims end up paying even when they have done nearly everything right from a data backup perspective.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Spyware targeted Khashoggi’s wife before his death: report

              On Sunday it was reported that the spyware, used by governments to track terrorists and criminals, had been used to [cr]ack smartphones belonging to activists and journalists.

            • Pegasus scandal shows risk of Israel’s spy-tech diplomacy: experts

              But the Washington Post, the Guardian, Le Monde and other news outlets that collaborated on an investigation reported on a leaked list of up to 50,000 phone numbers believed to have been identified as people of interest by clients of NSO since 2016, not all of whom were [cr]acked.

            • Massive Data Leak Shows Israeli Spyware Targeted Journalists Around the World
            • As UN Human Rights Chief Urges Stricter Rules, Snowden Calls for End to Spyware Trade

              The United Nations human rights chief and American whistleblower Edward Snowden on Monday joined the wide range of public figures demanding urgent action after reporting that Pegasus hacking spyware, sold by the Israeli firm NSO Group, has been used to facilitate human rights violations worldwide, including to target activists, journalists, and politicians.

              “If they find a way to hack one iPhone, they’ve found a way to hack all of them.”—Ed Snowden, whistleblower

            • Leaked Data Shows NSO Group’s Malware Was Used To Target Journalists, Activists, And World Leaders

              A massive data leak has confirmed what’s been suspected (and reported by security researchers like Citizen Lab) for a long time: Israeli malware developer NSO Group’s powerful cellphone snooping tools have been used to target journalists, activists, and dissidents all over the world.

            • Modi’s main rival among Indian Pegasus targets: reports

              Forensic analyses performed on 22 smartphones in India whose numbers appeared on the list showed that 10 were targeted with Pegasus, seven of them successfully, the newspaper said.

              Analysis of the Indian phone numbers strongly indicate intelligence agencies within the Indian government were behind the selection, the Guardian reported.

            • Data breach reveals extensive government spying on journalists and political activists

              The list consists of at least 180 targeted journalists, with reporters, executives, and editors from the Financial Times, CNN, the New York Times, France 24, the Economist, Associated Press and Reuters, all identified by the Pegasus project. The Guardian, which has produced a series reporting on the leak titled “The Pegasus project” in coordinating with 16 other news outlets, has stated that it will release further information about the targeted individuals in the coming days as part of its reporting on the issue.

              Without forensic analysis of each phone number listed, it is impossible to determine how many phones were actually infected. However, an analysis of a sample of the listed phones by the Pegasus project determined that half, 37 of 67, were infected, indicating potentially tens of thousands of infections.

            • Malware From An Infamous [Cr]acker-For-Hire Group Was Found On Nearly 900 Phones

              From a list of more than 50,000 cellphone numbers obtained by the Paris-based journalism nonprofit Forbidden Stories and the human rights group Amnesty International and shared with 16 news organizations, journalists were able to identify more than 1,000 individuals in 50 countries who were allegedly selected by NSO clients for potential surveillance.

              They include 189 journalists, more than 600 politicians and government officials, at least 65 business executives, 85 human rights activists and several heads of state, according to The Washington Post, a consortium member. The journalists work for organizations including The Associated Press, Reuters, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde and The Financial Times.

            • The Pegasus leak: What you need to know right now

              On 19 July, a consortium of 17 international media organisations published an investigation around a leaked list of phone numbers from across the world, dubbed the Pegasus Project. These numbers are allegedly a “target list” of phones [cr]acked/to be [cr]acked by the Pegasus spyware product sold by Israel’s NSO Group. The list is apparently notable for its sheer size, as well as for containing the numbers of prominent journalists, dissidents from various countries, politicians, judges, businessmen, rights activists and heads of state. Some targets listed have cooperated with the consortium of media and Amnesty International for a forensic examination of their devices, and have found evidence of [cr]acking using the Pegasus suite.

            • Rahul Gandhi, Ashwini Vaishnaw among Pegasus’s potential targets: Report

              Pegasus snooping scandal snowballed into a political potboiler on Monday with latest revelations showed that Union Ministers Ashwini Vaishnaw and Prahlad Patel, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, top Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee, election strategist Prashant Kishor and former Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa were either spied or were potential targets.

              Five friends and at least two aides of Rahul, 18 numbers of family and associates of Vaishnaw and Patel, a former close aide of Union Minister Smriti Irani, an aide of BJP leader Vasundhara Raje, late VHP leader Pravin Togadia and the sexual harassment victim and her husband in the case involving former Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi were also in the leaked list of targets or potential targets of the snooping using Israeli spyware Pegasus, The Wire reported.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ’39 Men Still Remain’: After Prisoner Released, Biden Urged to Close Gitmo Completely

        While relieved over the transfer of one Guantánamo Bay prisoner on Monday, human rights advocates pressed the Biden administration to speed up the pace of its efforts to release or move all other remaining detainees and shutter the offshore facility once and for all. 

        “The administration has much to do to fulfill President Biden’s mandate to close the prison and show greater respect for human rights.”—Center for Constitutional Rights

      • Migration Is Not a “Crisis.” It’s Survival and Resistance to Ongoing Genocide.
      • If Biden Wants to “Stand With the Cuban People,” He Can Ease the Cruel Blockade
      • Where Do Wars Come From?

        Ever since the publication, in 1984, of Barbara W. Tuchman’s The March of Folly, I have associated the decision to go to war with the word and concept of “folly.” In her book, Tuchman examined several cases, beginning with the Trojans’ famous decision to move the Greeks’ warrior-filled wooden horse into their city and ending with the US decision to intervene in Vietnam, to show how those who make military decisions often do so in ways that run contrary to their own and their country’s fundamental interests. For anyone who came of age during the Vietnam War era, as I did, this folly has proved to be an inescapable lesson of history, one that continues to be taught to this day: From the Gulf War of 1990–91 to the 2001 intervention in Afghanistan and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, wars inevitably result from errors of judgment.

      • Who Authorized America’s Endless Wars?

        Sometimes, as I consider America’s never-ending wars of this century, I can’t help thinking of those lyrics from the Edwin Starr song, “(War, huh) Yeah! (What is it good for?) Absolutely nothing!” I mean, remind me, what good have those disastrous, failed, still largely ongoing conflicts done for this country? Or for you? Or for me?

      • The USA’s Gun-Buying Spree
      • Man faces 1st sentencing for felony in [insurrection] at US Capitol

        Video footage shows Hodgkins, 38, wearing a Trump 2020 T-shirt, the flag flung over his shoulder and eye goggles around his neck inside the Senate. He took a selfie with a self-described shaman in a horned helmet and other rioters on the dais behind him.

        His sentencing Monday in Washington could set the bar for punishments of hundreds of other defendants as they decide whether to accept plea deals or go to trial. Hodgkins and others are accused of serious crimes but were not indicted, as other were, for roles in larger conspiracies.

      • 20 Years of U.S. Occupation Was Brutal in Afghanistan—And So Will Be the Exit

        The president shifted focus, saying, “The economy is growing faster than anytime in 40 years, we’ve got a record number of new jobs, COVID deaths are down 90 percent, wages are up faster than any time in 15 years, we’re bringing our troops home.” The war’s end is merely the icing on the cake he is seemingly gifting the American public: an end to a war in addition to peace, prosperity, and health at home (even if such achievements are more marketing than reality).

        At the very least, one can give Biden credit for formally ending the U.S. role in the war, even if he had nothing substantive to say about the devastation we have wrought over the years. Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said they “commend President Biden for fulfilling his commitment to ending the longest war in American history” and took his withdrawal of troops to mean that “there is no military solution in Afghanistan.” (They made no mention of Biden’s role during the Obama presidency in prolonging the war.)

      • The US steps up efforts to save Afghan allies amid Taliban offensive

        The Biden administration will begin evacuating thousands of Afghans who worked for the US government later this month, ahead of an August 31 deadline for the end of US military operations in Afghanistan.

        Current and former Afghan translators, interpreters, and others who have worked with the US government in Afghanistan are facing deadly danger as the US drawdown continues and the Taliban reclaims territory once controlled by Afghan and coalition forces.

        As Task & Purpose reported this month, “an estimated 70,000 Afghans who have worked for the United States — and their family members — are at risk of being killed as the Taliban push for a final victory.”

      • Al-Qaeda Calls For Murder of Americans In First Magazine Issue Since 2017

        The establishment media and the national security apparatus has begun to speak about the jihad threat as a thing of the past, far smaller today than the phantom threat from “white supremacists” which is getting the lion’s share of their attention. But jihadis are working to use the obvious weakness of those elites to remind them that the global jihad, which has continued uninterrupted for 1,400 years, is not a thing of the past just yet.

      • Tommy Chong fumes over MAGA rioter’s paltry jail sentence: ‘I got nine months for selling bongs!’
    • Environment

      • In Gift to Rich Tax Cheats, Republicans Strip IRS Funds From Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

        Under pressure from well-heeled conservative advocacy organizations and donors, Republican senators have removed funding for IRS enforcement from an emerging bipartisan infrastructure plan, threatening to tank a proposed crackdown on rich tax cheats.

        “Fully funding the IRS = $1.2 trillion in revenue over 10 years. No wonder Republicans want to protect their rich friends.”—Rep. Ro Khanna

      • The Climate Change and Infrastructure Crises Are Interconnected

        This is not just happening in Orange County; this is a problem throughout our state and country. California’s most recent wildfire season was the worst on record, with over 4 million acres burned last year. That’s larger than the state of Connecticut and more than double California’s previous record for the most land burned in a single year. Across the United States, we saw nearly 60,000 wildfires last year.

      • ‘A False Solution’: 500+ Groups Urge US, Canadian Leaders to Reject Carbon Capture

        More than 500 organizations on Monday pressured political leaders in the United States and Canada to reject carbon capture as “a false solution” that has become “a dangerous distraction driven by the same big polluters who created the climate emergency.”

        “It’s time for decision-makers to abandon the dirty, dangerous myth of CCS.”—500+ groups

      • Sunrise Launches Green New Deal Jobs Website to Celebrate Future of Climate-Friendly Work

        Amid a sustained push for the inclusion of a Civilian Climate Corps in federal infrastructure legislation, the Sunrise Movement on Monday rolled out a new tool showcasing the potential for over 15 million jobs that simultaneously tackle economic inequality and the climate crisis.

        “We’re hoping that through this we can bring hope and vision for a livable future as we push our politicians to deliver for us.”—Varshini Prakash, Sunrise Movement

      • Global Alliance for a Green New Deal Launches Visionary Campaign for the World

        A group of global politicians on Monday launched the Global Alliance for a Green New Deal to advance “the creation of a greener, fairer world where all people and the planet can flourish.”

        With founding members including U.S. Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Joênia Wapichan, Brazil’s first Indigenous congresswoman, the alliance of 21 politicians spanning all inhabited continents is focused on a truly transformative Covid-19 recovery and is calling on fellow lawmakers to help make their vision a reality.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Decaying Democracy and the Deadly Lag

        Kicking life-saving solutions endlessly down the road is the mark of the brutish power of the corporations over the innocents.

      • All Abbott (No Costello)

        As a result of his experience and the financial windfall the tree fall landed on him Abbott realized the need for tort reform in Texas so others would not have such exaggerated benefits from injuries they suffer. As  governor he was the enthusiastic supporter of tort reform that, among other things, limited the amount a person could recover for pain and suffering and for economic damages.  The terms of the Abbott settlement have not been disclosed so it is not possible to know how his settlement would have been affected had tort reform been in place.  There is a strong likelihood it would have been considerably less.

        It is not only plaintiffs in personal injury actions for whom Abbott has little sympathy today. In May he joined other states in announcing that effective June 26, 2021, Texas would no longer accept the $300 supplemental federal unemployment benefits that were to continue at least through September 6.  Among the recipients of those payments were gig workers and self-employed Texans who did not qualify for state unemployment benefits. The federal payments to Texas came to an end on June 26.

      • Presidential Prerogatives

        In recent times Congress either votes to “authorize” a war already underway or is only casually consulted if at all. Though the 1973 War Powers Resolution was meant to restrain an imperial president who had led the country to defeat in Vietnam, no president since has faithfully followed that law’s requirements. Thus, whereas in authoritarian systems the great leader simply orders troops into action, in democracies like ours, going to war is sneakier, in two ways.

        First, in justifications, as when the President dispatches troops on the basis of his role as commander-in-chief, invoking “national security,” the “national interest,” “regional stability,” “humanitarian intervention,” “restoring order,” and other wide-open categories that most Congress-members are loath to challenge.

      • ‘Which Side Are You On?’ Arrests in DC as Women Put Their Bodies on the Line for Voting Rights

        Nearly 100 women from 42 states were arrested Monday as they participated in a Washington, D.C. march demanding legislation to safeguard voting rights and deliver relief to poor and marginalized Americans.

        “We’re planting seeds today. And we are building the movement that will give our children and the next generations the life that they deserve.”—Kenia Alcocer, Poor People’s Campaign

      • The Politics of Fear and Hope

        The Republicans present Fear like a paperback novel you can’t put down. Will you be murdered on an evening stroll by someone who doesn’t look like you? And did you notice there’s more of them moving into your neighborhood?

        For the Democrats, Fear is like a chapter in an assigned textbook. There are x number of guns in America, unless we reduce them by 10%, thousands of lives will be lost by gunshot wounds.

      • This Texas Democrat Doesn’t Want Proud Boys Standing Over His Grandmother as She Votes

        Democratic Texas Representative James Talarico didn’t come to Washington, D.C., to embarrass Fox’s Pete Hegsuth, but that’s what he did last week. The youngest member of the Texas delegation, now 32, Talarico violated a lot of Democrats’ precepts, including my own (I’m a Never Foxer), to mix it up with the lightweight Trump-backing Fox prime-time host. He took him down.

      • Biden Clarifies ‘Facebook Isn’t Killing People’ After Blaming Social Media Companies for Covid-19 Deaths

        U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday clarified his remarks from last week that social media companies like Facebook are “killing people” by allowing the spread of Covid-19 misinformation, explaining instead that users are posting deadly “bad information.”

        “By remaining the platform of choice for insurrectionists, extremists, and far right radicals, Facebook continues to wallow in filth—from Q-anon to January 6th to Covid disinformation.”—The Real Facebook Oversight Board

      • Biden softens criticism of Facebook after accusing company of ‘killing people’

        He said the remarks Friday were in response to a report he had recently seen that identified a dozen Facebook users as being responsible for the majority of false information about the vaccine.

      • Joe Biden says Facebook isn’t ‘killing people,’ but misinformation causes harm

        On Monday, President Joe Biden said that vaccine misinformation on Facebook harms people, while partially walking back a statement he made last week in which he told reporters that platforms like Facebook were “killing people” by allowing misinformation to spread.

      • Microsoft Exchange email [cr]ack was caused by China, US says [iophk: Microsoft is getting help from the Biden administration in shifting the blame away from their own shoddy products and onto China.]

        The administration and allied nations also disclosed a broad range of other cyberthreats from Beijing, including ransomware attacks from government-affiliated [cr]ackers that have targeted companies with demands for millions of dollars. China’s Ministry of State Security has been using criminal contract [cr]ackers, who have engaged in cyber extortion schemes and theft for their own profit, according to a senior administration official. That official briefed reporters about the investigation on the condition of anonymity.

      • U.S. accuses China of abetting ransomware attack

        The announcement was part of a broader effort by the U.S. and a large group of allies, including the European Union, NATO, the U.K., Australia and Japan, to condemn China’s government for “malicious cyber activity,” a senior White House official told reporters on a call Sunday night. The official asked to not be identified as a condition of participating in the call.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Dane Who Drew Controversial Muhammad Caricature Dies at 86

        From the early 1980s, Westergaard worked as a cartoonist for Jyllands-Posten, one of Denmark’s leading newspapers, and was associated with the daily until he turned 75.

        Westergaard became known worldwide in 2005 for his controversial depiction of the Prophet Muhammad in Jyllands-Posten, which published 12 editorial cartoons of the principal figure of Islam.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • How we got here Meduza looks back on Russia’s most high-profile incidents of repression over the past six months

        Six months ago, on January 17, 2021, opposition politician Alexey Navalny returned to Russia and was immediately arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. Russian prison authorities accused him of violating probation while in Germany (where he spent about five months recovering from an assassination attempt) and a Moscow court incarcerated him under a reinstated sentence on February 2. Over the next several months, the Russian authorities destroyed Navalny’s political and anti-corruption movement and launched an all-encompassing campaign of repressions against activists, human rights defenders, and independent journalists. Meduza looks back at the key moments in this crackdown.

      • The brain behind Russia’s Eye of God: How Evgeny Antipov created a platform that aided the investigative work of police and journalists alike, and what comes next

        Until recently, the Telegram channel and chat room “Eye of God” was one of the Russian Internet’s main data-leak hubs, indexing services that allowed lawbreakers to gain access to private personal and corporate information sold by insiders abusing their privileges at work. In early July 2021, however, Eye of God suddenly disappeared from Telegram after a court order based on a complaint filed by Russia’s federal censor, RKN, which argued that the channel violates privacy rights. The authorities have blocked other platforms like this, but RKN’s campaign against the black market for personal data didn’t begin in earnest until after researchers at Bellingcat used leaked records from the Federal Security Service to tie the agency to the attempt on Alexey Navalny’s life. Russia’s intelligence agencies “fear the Novichok stuff like Woland and Voldemort combined,” says Evgeny Antipov, who created Eye of God. Meduza special correspondent Lilia Yapparova asked Antipov about the legality of his project, how Eye of God managed to track both FSB agents and journalists, how he collected several dozen state certificates, and whether he monitors his own clients for the police.

      • Pushed By Press Freedom Advocates, Garland Limits DOJ’s Ability to Seize Reporters’ Phone Records

        In a move that press freedom advocates said would “ensure journalists can do their job of informing the public without fear of federal government intrusion,” the U.S. Department of Justice on Monday announced new rules limiting federal prosecutors’ ability to secretly seize journalists’ phone and email records, which were expanded under the Obama and Trump administrations as the government sought to crack down on leaks.

        “Attorney General Garland has taken an important step towards protecting journalists and their First Amendment rights.”—Claire Finkelstein, Center for Ethics and the Rule of Law

      • Morocco court jails journalist Omar Radi for six years

        Amnesty in a statement labelled the proceedings “flawed” and “not justice”, calling for “a fair retrial in line with international standards”.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Politics of American Protest, With a North Korean Twist

        A number of right-wing politicians and commentators called her unpatriotic and demanded that she be kicked off the Olympic team. As Tom Cotton, Republican senator from Arkansas, put it: “If Gwen Berry is so embarrassed by America, then there’s no reason she needs to compete for our country at the Olympics.”

        Conservative outrage at protests against the American flag and the national anthem is not unusual. When football player Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem during the 2016 season, to protest racial injustice in the United States, he was roundly criticized in conservative circles. When he became a free agent the next year, no football team would sign him, despite his obvious talents as a quarterback.

      • Challenging Supremacy: BLM, Palestine and the Struggle for Equal Rights in Burma

        Approximately three years ago, during the Great March of Return, thousands of Palestinians peacefully marched to Gaza-Israeli border fences demanding an end to their illegal blockade. Thousands of peaceful protesters were subsequently injured and several killed after being fired upon by live ammunition and tear gas grenades. Yet there was hardly much fuss in the Western press nor did it register much on the public radar during these events.

        This time, however, the public engagement on this issue was surprisingly high, with large scale Palestinian solidarity protests in most Western capitals. Pro-Israeli advocates in the American media were frequently found on the defense. Representatives in the US Congress, most notably Palestinian-American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, spoke passionately against the atrocities happening. Polls taken during and after the violence show a sharp drop for support for Israel in all demographics except the most loyal Republican base.

      • Outrage as Biden Says Fate of Immigration Reform Is ‘For the Parliamentarian to Decide’

        President Joe Biden said Monday that he would defer to the advice of the Senate parliamentarian regarding whether Democratic lawmakers can approve a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants using budget reconciliation, prompting outrage from immigrant rights advocates who argue that an unelected official should not be allowed to determine the fate of millions of people.

        “Are we going to let an unelected person decide on the lives of folks with DACA?”—Cristina Jiménez

      • ‘We’re like a bone in their throat’ After seven years of defending Russia’s most difficult political cases, prominent legal group Team 29 disbands fearing prosecution

        August 2021 should have marked the seventh anniversary of Team 29 — an independent association of lawyers, attorneys, and journalists known for tackling some of Russia’s most hopeless human rights cases. But on July 18, the group announced it was disbanding to protect its members and supporters from criminal prosecution. The shutdown came just days after Russia’s censorship agency blocked Team 29’s website for allegedly publishing content from an “undesirable organization.” In a statement, Team 29 said that they couldn’t ignore the risks associated with continuing their work and that going forward, their lawyers will defend clients in an exclusively personal capacity. In conversation with Meduza, now-former Team 29 member Evgeny Smirnov said that he and his colleagues have long been a “bone in throat” of the Russian authorities.

      • The Republican Party Is an Enemy to American Families
      • The US Must Prioritize Children’s Safe and Legal Resettlement

        In 2013, Wendy and her sister crossed the border on a bus into the United States hoping to reunify with their mother. When Border Patrol agents stopped them and asked for papers the girls didn’t have, they were taken off the bus and placed in handcuffs. Wendy and her sister spent days, their wrists and ankles shackled, in freezing-cold holding cells commonly called hieleras—iceboxes. They huddled together under their Mylar blankets to try to keep warm.

      • Our ‘Racial Reckoning’ Is Turning Out to Be a White Lie

        With inevitable regularity, racial injustice and violence lead to moments of national conflict when even white Americans can no longer ignore the issue. And just as inevitably, instead of addressing this country’s pervasive racism and anti-Blackness, white Americans locate the problem somewhere within Black people themselves.

      • Texas Senate Passes Bill Removing MLK, Suffrage From Required Curriculum
      • ‘We still haven’t ruled out aliens’ After journalists find an abandoned private prison outside St. Petersburg, it’s promptly bulldozed shut

        A strange facility now lies in ruins outside St. Petersburg. Until bulldozers arrived on Monday, July 19, a compound 44 kilometers (27 miles) from the city concealed an abandoned private prison with three cells, a guard station, and a furnace that may have served as a crematorium. Viktor Smirnov and Andrey Karov, two local journalists from 47news, say they learned about the site through a tip “from some migrant worker.” Meduza summarizes what they found underground.

      • With Abortion Under Assault, Time for Pro-Choice Men to Break Their Silence
      • If the Supreme Court Overturns “Roe v. Wade,” It Will Impact Us All
      • Oregon Will Protect Reproductive Health Care When Hospitals Merge

        Pope Francis emerged onto a hospital balcony in Rome where he is recovering from colon surgery on Sunday and declared that he had “experienced once again how important good health care is—accessible to all, as it is in Italy and in other countries.”

      • Appeals Court Affirms State Trooper Who Responded To An F-Bomb With An Arrest Owes $15k In Legal Fees

        By now, there’s enough case law in place that law enforcement officers should definitely know it’s a violation of rights to arrest someone for momentarily offending them. Even without the case law, these officers know it’s not okay to bust people for flipping them off or yelling expletives in their general direction. That’s why those that do, buttress their rights violations with absurd claims that doing these things “disturbs the peace” or violates any other “contempt of cop” law that can be deliberately misread to criminalize hurting a cop’s feelings.

      • Using The George Floyd Protests As An Excuse, Minneapolis Police Destroyed Evidence And Case Files

        Immediately following the murder of George Floyd by former-officer and current-convict Derek Chauvin, Minneapolis burned. Literally. Unchecked violence by cops provoked violence by some city residents, who looted businesses and, most provocatively, set the Minneapolis PD’s Third Precinct building on fire.

      • Native Youth Lead Return of 10 Children’s Remains From Carlisle Indian School
      • After 140 Years, Native Youth Lead Return of 10 Children’s Remains from Carlisle Indian School in PA

        The remains of nine Indigenous children were buried by the Rosebud Sioux in South Dakota after being transferred back from the former Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, where the children were forcibly sent over 140 years ago. Carlisle was the first government boarding school off reservation land, and it set the standard for other schools with its motto, “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” The schools were known for their brutal assimilation practices that forced students to change their clothing, language and culture. The Rosebud Sioux Tribe negotiated the return of the children’s remains buried at the school, and a caravan of Rosebud Sioux youth returned them to their tribe this week. Dozens of other Native American and Alaskan Native families have asked Carlisle to return their relatives’ bodies. Knowledge of the boarding schools is still being recovered as many survivors are reluctant to revisit the trauma, says Christopher Eagle Bear, a member of the Sicangu Youth Council. “These schools, they played a key part in trying to sever that connection to who we are as Lakota,” he says. “They took away our language, and they made it impossible for us to be who we really are.”

      • Photographing and recording the TSA

        After stalling for more than five years, the Transportation Security Administration has made public a curious internal memo regarding photography and audio and video recording at TSA checkpoints.

        The TSA wants to photograph us and track our movements and activities using facial recognition, but wants to limit our ability to photograph and record its activities.

        The memo was released in May 2021 in response to a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request made by Sai in March 2016. The memo itself is undated, but was distributed in July 2011 to TSA Federal Security Directors (FDSs) “for your immediate dissemination and implementation.” Needless to say, that “dissemination” did not include disclosure to the public, then or at any time until now, ten years after the fact.

      • The bill Jeff Bezos doesn’t want you to know about

        Amazon and other architects of inequality don’t just wield enormous economic power. They now wield immense political power, allowing them to get away with egregious labor law violations. Even though public support for unions is as high as it’s been in 50 years, when nearly 6,000 predominantly Black workers dared to try to unionize their Bessemer, Alabama warehouse, they were thwarted by Amazon’s “shock and awe” union-busting campaign against them. The National Labor Relations Act makes it illegal for employers to fire workers for trying to organize a union. But the penalties for violating the Act are so laughably small that employers like Amazon routinely do it anyway.

      • I’m Fine With Sending Jeff Bezos Into Space, As Long as He Pays His Taxes Here on Earth

        It wasn’t like Bezos fell on hard times in the mid-2000s. According to Forbes magazine, his personal fortune increased by $3.8 billion in 2007. Yet Bezos somehow avoided taking a hit from the IRS.

        “How did a person enjoying that sort of wealth explosion end up paying no income tax?” asked ProPublica. Well, the forensic investigators explained, “In that year, Bezos, who filed his taxes jointly with his then-wife, MacKenzie Scott, reported a paltry (for him) $46 million in income, largely from interest and dividend payments on outside investments. He was able to offset every penny he earned with losses from side investments and various deductions, like interest expenses on debts and the vague catchall category of ‘other expenses.’”

      • More than 57 percent of workers in German metropolitan areas could work from home

        An analysis of working from home, based on monthly measurements since spring 2020, shows that it also reaches a particularly high rate of over 31 percent in districts surrounding Berlin and Munich. Its prevalence is low, at less than 21 percent, in many districts in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein.

      • Is the Sharia a Threat to American Values?

        According to court documents, Mariam claims that she was essentially hoodwinked and defrauded into signing the document. At the time, she believed she was signing two copies of a marriage acknowledgment form, which is customary in Muslim cultures.

      • Saudi Arabia Releases Two Prominent Women’s Rights Activists

        On June 27th, news spread that prominent Saudi Arabian women’s rights activists, Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah, were released early after three years of imprisonment. Badawi and al-Sadah were arrested in August of 2018 and were initially sentenced to five years in prison. Prosecutors within Saudi Arabian-held trials alleged that they disturbed the “public order” by communicating with international actors and human rights NGOs, citing these acts as a “criminal offense” in a report by the Human Rights Watch.

        Both Badawi and al-Sadah, before their arrest, protested against sexist policies in the country, such as its male guardianship law. Al Jazeera states this law removes a woman’s autonomy, requiring them to “obtain the consent of a male relative” to perform activities such as receiving healthcare, running in office, and leaving prison. These activists ultimately sought to raise awareness about the harm of these policies, challenging the government to rethink its long-held patriarchal practices. Yet, the Saudi Arabian government, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, seems to demonstrate little interest in doing so.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Josh Hawley Throws a Challenge at Big Tech—and at the Left

        My assignment: read and critique The Tyranny of Big Tech, the new book by Missouri’s Republican junior U.S. Senator Josh Hawley.  

      • Internet Companies’ $234 Million in Political Spending Harms Efforts to Close Digital Divide: Report

        To help close the digital divide and curb the pernicious influence of internet service provider lobbying, Congress must pass legislation and the Federal Communications Commission should restore net neutrality regulations, according to a report published Monday.

        “The powerful ISP lobby will seemingly spend whatever it takes to keep politicians beholden to them.”—Beth Rotman, Common Cause

      • Patents

        • Apple might leave the UK market, claims its lawyer in patent troll case

          Apple might leave the UK market if it is forced to pay too much money to a patent troll, after losing a case last month, says the company’s lawyer. The case relates to a claim by Optis Wireless, which initially won a $506M award against Apple in the US, before the judgment was overturned on appeal.

          Optis – which bought some standards-essential LTE patents in order to make claims like this – then won a separate case against Apple in the UK, this time claiming billions rather than millions …

        • Huawei Settles Two Patent Lawsuits It Filed Against Verizon

          Huawei Technologies Co. agreed to settle two U.S. patent-infringement lawsuits it brought against Verizon Communications Inc., avoiding at least one public fight over the Chinese electronics maker’s role in the telecommunications supply chain.

          Verizon said the agreement, announced Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, covered allegations Huawei filed in two federal courts in 2020. The Shenzhen-based electronics giant had demanded that the American cellphone carrier pay it fees for the use of dozens of patents. Verizon has previously called the allegations meritless.

          “Verizon is happy with the settlement reached with Huawei involving patent lawsuits,” the U.S. company said Monday. “While terms of the settlement are not being disclosed, our team did an outstanding job bringing this protracted matter to a close.”

          A Huawei spokesman confirmed the settlement ended litigation between the two companies. News of the settlement was earlier reported by Reuters.

        • USPTO Conducting Patent Eligibility Jurisprudence Study

          At the request of Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Marie Hirono (D-HI), Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Chris Coons (D-DE), the US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) is undertaking a study on the current state of patent eligibility jurisprudence in the United States and how the current jurisprudence has impacted investment and innovation, particularly in critical technologies like quantum computing, artificial intelligence, precision medicine, diagnostic methods and pharmaceutical treatments. On July 9, 2021, the USPTO issued a Federal Register Notice seeking public input on these matters to assist in preparing the study. The deadline for submitting written comments is September 7, 2021.

        • Why Biden and Congress cannot lose momentum on patent quality

          We are midway through the first year of the Biden administration and the 117th Congress, and when it comes to intellectual property, each branch of government is off to a good start.

          They are striking balances that favor innovation, competition and public interests. A Senate subcommittee is thinking about how to make the patent system more inclusive, and improve the quality of U.S. patents. This administration has supported a limited waiver of IP protections for COVID vaccines, and in an executive order earlier this month, it set out to fix how the government treats the licensing of standard patents found in everyday technology.

          But the work isn’t finished. President Biden still needs to nominate a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) director — someone who will play a vital role in shaping IP policy. And while congressional hearings are a necessary first step toward inclusive and quality-oriented legislation, hundreds of other members need to agree before we see anything across the finish line.

        • Barring Immoral Speech in Patent and Copyright [Ed: How about discussing the immorality of the monopolies themselves?]

          In the past three years, the Supreme Court has twice ruled that Congress’s moral bars to trademark protection violate the First Amendment. Those rulings raise a simple question in other areas of intellectual property. Does the First Amendment preclude Congress from denying patent or copyright protection based on a moral reason? Congress, for instance, might deny patent protection for inventions directed toward the consumption of marijuana. Inventors would accordingly choose not to disclose knowledge about those inventions to the public, and the denial would chill their speech. Similarly, Congress would chill speech if it denied copyright protection for moral reasons. A copyright bar to statues of the Confederacy, for instance, would deter artists from speaking such content. Hence, through patent and copyright, Congress might seek to influence speech in accord with its moral viewpoint. This Article considers whether that use of intellectual property would violate the First Amendment.

          The Article concludes that moral denials in patent and copyright may be constitutionally permissible in certain instances. On the patent side, Congress’s choices about which invention to patent may plausibly be construed as government speech, suggesting the absence of any First Amendment violation. Yet even if those choices are not government speech, they represent Congress’s attempt to regulate conduct relating to the embodiments of the inventions—not the knowledge about the inventions. That suggests that the incidental effect on an inventor’s speech is permissible.

          Copyright law is a different matter. The copyright system appears to comprise a limited public forum, which implies that moral denials of copyright protection must be viewpoint neutral to pass First Amendment muster. In other words, moral denials of copyright protection may be permissible but only if the reason for denial is not related to the expression’s message or effects responsive to that message. This principle severely limits Congress’s power. Thus, for moral denials of patent protection, the First Amendment affords Congress broad discretion whereas for moral denials of copyright protection, it affords Congress very limited discretion.

        • Mandatory remote hearings can continue, EPO rules [Ed: Illegal court approves illegal practices and in the process it has also confirmed that all those courts are themselves corrupt. We think EPO can easily win an award for Europe’s most corrupt institution — to the point of also bribing the media to weed out criticism of the corruption. What’s the point having ‘courts’ that are controlled by the very same people they’re ruling on?]
        • English patent torpedoes and the UPC [Ed: “The UK is not participating in the UPC” because the UPC does not exist, partly because the UK must participate for it to exist. Taylor Wessing does not live in the same planet as the rest of us. They reject reality, the law etc. Team UPC keeps paying the media to plant lots of lies in it, heralding the unlawful as a desirable thing. EPO already showed that it is possible to buy unlawful and unconstitutional agenda even at the level of courts. ]

          The UK is not participating in the UPC, but the two systems will be inextricably linked when considering a European patent litigation strategy. One tool in the armoury of litigants when using these jurisdictions will be the English cross-border non-infringement declaration, which has the potential to affect UPC infringement proceedings concerning both European and Unitary Patents.

        • Patent Quality Week: Public Interest Patents, The AIA At Ten, And More

          This week marks the first annual Patent Quality Week. Low quality patents can have huge negative impacts on business sectors from Main Street retailers to Silicon Valley startups, and everywhere in between.

          Coordinated by Engine, a policy advocate for startups, Patent Quality Week includes a number of events focused on patent quality and how it impacts the innovation ecosystem. This includes events describing efforts to promote the issuance of valid patents; prevent the issuance of weak, overbroad patents; find efficient mechanisms to eradicate bad patents; and to craft balance in patent enforcement.

        • Congratulations to Judge Tiffany Cunningham

          The Senate has confirmed Tiffany Cunningham, President Biden’s first pick for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Judge Cunningham is expected to be sworn in this week and immediately step into her new role (although the court typically slows down during August).

        • In-house wary of equivalents doctrine – here’s how they win [Ed: Notice how they only ever speak to lawyers, whop also fund this propaganda mill of theirs]

          In-house lawyers from five companies reveal how expert witness selection and good planning can help businesses win on doctrine of equivalents claims

        • District court TM filings H1 2021: top plaintiffs, venues and firms [Ed: When you treat patent courts like corporations with market share and stock holders]

          The Emoji Company filed the most trademark cases, the Northern District of Illinois was the most popular court and Greer Burns & Crain was the ‘busiest’ firm

        • Compulsory Licensing Singapore [Ed: "Compulsory Licensing" typically means having to pay for patents that ought not exist in the first place (so the 'compromise' is making a licence compulsory)]

          The legal basis for compulsory licenses under Singapore patent law is the Patents Act under Chapter 221, Part XI, Section 55 (Patents Act).

          As of January 1, 2020, Singapore changed its patent system and applications are now required to go through local substantive examination prior to issuance.

        • Wonders of Ancient Greek Technology on Display at Kostanas Museum [Ed: EPO still uses art fetish to distract from its crimes]

          The inventions have traveled to most continents, and been shown at museums, the European Patent Office at the Hague, universities and the National Library of France, among others.

        • Federal Constitutional Court clears the way for the UPC [Ed: No, insurmountable barriers remain. TeaM, UPC in fantasy land. But the lies, they hope, can make it a reality regardless.]

          Following delays throughout 2020 (see previous article here), on Friday 9 July 2021, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled on two urgent applications against the ratification of the Unified Patent Court (UPC). In both cases (2 BvR 2216/20 and 2 BvR 2217/20), the petitions were rejected as inadmissible, as – in the court’s view – there was insufficient substantiation.

          Thus, the path is finally clear for Germany to ratify the UPC, creating a common court system for patent litigation across European Union member states.

        • Finally a green light for the start of the UPC – an analysis of the ruling by the Bundesverfassungsgericht and the remaining preparatory work [Ed: Chronic liar Wouter Pors is at it again]

          On 23 June 2021 the German Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) issued an order rejecting the requests for a preliminary injunction against ratification of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement. The order was published on 9 July 2021 and immediately drew a lot of attention, because this removed the most important obstacle for the start of the UPC. In fact, the UPC will now almost certainly open for business by the end of 2022, or the beginning of 2023 at the latest.

        • Paris Court of Appeal confirms no preliminary injunction against Mylan

          A Paris court has rejected Allergan’s request for preliminary injunction measures against defendant Mylan over treatment for eye condition glaucoma. This upholds a Paris Court of First Instance decision, issued in June 2020. However, the Court of Appeal judgment contrasts with the view among some patent lawyers that French patent judges more willingly grant preliminary injunctions than their European colleagues.

          [..]

          EP 17 54 434 concerns an eye drop treatment for glaucoma, a common eye condition where fluid build-up at the front of the eye damages the optic nerve. Allergan filed an application for EP 434 in March 2006, under the priority of US patent application 83261 of 16 March 2005. The European Patent Office granted the patent in 2009, and it is valid until 2026.

        • Oral Hearings Before The Patent Senate Of The German Federal Court Of Justice During The Corona Pandemic [Ed: Safety last, lawfulness also last]

          The Patent Senate of the German Federal Court of Justice restricts physical access to the court room in oral proceedings. Only two attorneys are admitted for each party. All other in-terested persons are to participate online.
          Public trials with contact restrictions?

          One of the many challenges posed by the Corona pandemic is the organisation of oral proceedings in court. In Germany, the general principle applies that hearings must be “public” as set out in section 169 of the German Judicature Act (GVG). This leads to challenges especially in patent cases, for which the Tenth Senate of the German Federal Court of Justice has jurisdiction as the second instance in patent invalidity cases and as the third instance in patent infringement cases. Often several attorneys at law, patent attorneys, the parties and other persons interested in the case are involved. How can contact restrictions be reconciled with the general principle that a trial must be “public”?

        • PTAB Generally Affirms Eligibility Rejections[Ed: More fake patents thrown out by PTAB and Crouch will never be happy (he’s sponsored by litigation profiteers)]

          If affirmances by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) are any guide, patent examiners appear to now have a good handle on applying the PTAB eligibility examination guidance. I looked at PTAB patent eligibility decisions from the past month and found that examiner eligibility rejections were affirmed in 92% of cases (55 of 60 decisions). There were also five cases where the PTAB added eligibility as a new ground for rejection.

          92% affirmance for eligibility issues is quite high compared to other issues being appealed. So far in FY2021, the PTAB is fully affirming examiner decisions in only 56% of cases and partially affirming in an addition 10%.

          The PTAB’s general approach is to follow the USPTO’s eligibility examination guidance and then supplement that approach with Federal Circuit and Supreme Court cases. Most often, the PTAB is able to draw a direct analogy with a prior appellate decision.

        • Patent Quality Week: This One Weird Trick Could Solve Most Patent Quality Problems

          This week is the very first Patent Quality Week, in which a bunch of folks in the innovation space explore what it will take to improve patent quality. Unfortunately, for years, patent maximalists have tried to attack those of us who support a better patent system with somehow being totally against patents. They will regularly conflate arguments people have made to get rid of bad patents, and about how bad patents are abused to hinder, stifle, and slow down innovation, as if they mean that we hate all patents entirely. That’s not true. So this week we’ll be posting a variety of articles from different perspectives about how we can get better quality patents.

        • When the Patent Trolls Come Calling, Mind your NDAs

          Here is a short article on Intel’s recent run-in with a company accusing one of Intel’s open source projects — and its downstream users — of patent infringement.

        • Software Patents

          • In memoriam Philippe Aigrain (1949-2021)

            It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Philippe Aigrain on Sunday 11th of July, in the mountains, near his home in the French Pyrénées.

          • PTAB Won’t Take Up Unified’s Challenge Of Video Patent

            Unified Patents was dealt a loss when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board refused to review a video compression standard-essential patent owned by the Electronics Telecommunications Research Institute and other Korean institutions.

            In a decision issued Friday, the PTAB said Unified failed to show that at least one of the challenged claims in the patent owned by ETRI, Kwangwoon University and Sejong University were invalid for being anticipated or obvious over prior art.

            Among other things, the PTAB said an earlier U.S. patent known as Nishi did not disclose either the horizontal or vertical intra prediction modes that would render a…

      • Copyrights

        • Instagram Asks Court to Delete Users’ Suit Over Embed Feature

          Instagram reiterates that anyone who creates an account agrees to its Terms of Use, which grants “a nonexclusive license to publicly reproduce and display the content the user uploads and posts to their account.” It also dives into the tech underlying the embedding feature, essentially offering a World Wide Web 101 class: The web is a “global file system,” HTML files are “a recipe” for the website a person is looking for, and adding in an embed code tells the webpage to bring in elements from another server.

          The company points to something called the “server test,” which was established by the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in 2007 in a lawsuit involving Google and image thumbnails. Under that test, Instagram argues, “an [I]nternet company can be found to directly infringe a copyright owner’s rights only if it hosts and transmits the copyrighted material from its own servers.”

          Here, it’s Instagram that hosts and transmits the content — not the third parties who are embedding it.

        • US Copyright Groups Want ‘Adequate’ Anti-Piracy Penalties in South Africa

          The IIPA, which represents the MPA, RIAA, and other entertainment industry groups, is calling for stricter anti-piracy enforcement in South Africa and a thorough redraft of the country’s Copyright Act. These measures are needed to deter copyright infringement, the groups argue, noting that the country shouldn’t be eligible for trade benefits if it fails to show progress.

        • Operation Dark Stream: Police in Portugal Arrest 9 For IPTV Piracy

          Law enforcement agencies in Portugal have coordinated an operation targeting a pirate IPTV service. In addition to domestic and non-domestic searches, six men and three women were arrested. Various items of computer equipment, bank accounts, cash, and a car were seized. One of the arrested was detained for possession of illegal firearms according to the national crime agency.

        • French Competition Authority Fines Google Nearly $600 Million For Failing To Negotiate A Nonsensical Deal With Publishers ‘In Good Faith’

          France has long been in the vanguard of passing bad copyright laws. For example, it rushed to bring in probably the worst implementation of the EU Copyright Directive’s upload filters. It’s also keen on forcing Google to pay French press publishers for sending traffic to them when it displays clickable snippets of their news stories for free. Last year, the French Competition Authority said Google had no choice in the matter, and ordered the company to negotiate with French news organizations and come up with a deal that pays them to display even short excerpts. A year on, it seems that the French Competition Authority is not happy with the way that Google has responded:

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    Links for the day



  13. [Meme] 'Linux' Foundation is Greenwashing Microsoft Again, Misusing the Linux Brand Like Nobody's Business

    Microsoft has weaponised the Linux brand to dub a toxic company like itself (helping notoriously polluting companies and generating lots of waste, both directly and through planned obsolescence, inefficient software, DRM, etc.) as "green"



  14. Richard Stallman to Speak (in Person) in Poland, Dedicate the Talk to Medical Professionals

    Days after his talk in Ukraine Richard Stallman plans to do the same in Poland (just announced)



  15. Links 24/9/2021: 30 Years of Europe’s First Root Name Server, Repairability of Laptops Discussed

    Links for the day



  16. ZDNet Has Failed

    ZDNet is on the decline and its demise appears to have greatly accelerated in recent months; we take a quick look at this month's coverage and explain the conflict of interest (it's PR, not news, and it's far too shallow/blatant to simply overlook)



  17. [Meme] Some People Are Just Above the Law

    A lot of people are still flabbergasted or at least baffled/miffed to discover that some people are in effect above the law; not even Europol and Interpol can apprehend and hold them accountable; that needs to change. Had Benoît Battistelli worked for France Télécom S.A. (not the EPO), would he be arrested? What about António Campinos and his drunk son?



  18. NPR and PBS, Both Funded by Bill Gates, Try to Save Him

    Bill Gates continues to corrupt the media and corrupt social control media (such as Twitter) using his money



  19. The EPO Must Forsake Its Diplomatic Immunity and Quit Pretending It's About Patent Law (or Any Law)

    There's no sign of the EPO actually trying to obey the law and correct the mistakes of the past; to make matters worse, the existing administration adds yet more corruption to an already-massive pile while dismissing any form of oversight



  20. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 23, 2021



  21. Links 24/9/2021: Ubuntu 21.10 Beta, Istio 1.11.3, and More Milestones for Steam Deck

    Links for the day



  22. [Meme] President Campinos Addresses the Legacy of Battistelli's “Strike Regulations”

    A sequence of four EPO memes about those infamous and unlawful “strike regulations” that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have exploited to abuse thousands of workers



  23. [Meme] Bill Gates Keeps Digging Himself Deeper in the Grave Each Time He Speaks

    These sorts of ‘interviews’ with Gates’ own propaganda mills (he also pays Twitter now) aren’t going to improve his image; people aren’t infinitely gullible (Source)



  24. Linux Foundation and Other 'Diploma Mills' Say There's Demand for Their Products in Their New 'Research' (Marketing)

    The so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation (LF), together with edX, are basically marketing their services and products, but this is disguised as 'research' (a false narrative widely parroted by shallow and paid-for media partners of theirs), piggybacking brands like “Linux” and buzzwords like “Open Source” (even when they promote proprietary things, e.g. memorisation of proprietary GUIs)



  25. [Meme] The EPO's Carte Blanche and 'Diplomatic Immunity' Card

    EPO staff is being taken for another ride by António Campinos and his cohorts, whose popularity among staff has likely gone down to sub-zero levels already (even faster than Benoît Battistelli)



  26. As Expected, Minimal Pseudo Compliance From EPO Management, Adding Insult to Injury

    SUEPO Central, the core of the staff union of EPO staff (almost 7,000 workers at the EPO, most of whom are SUEPO members), has strong words about the EPO's attitude and stance, which is perhaps unsurprising but still extremely disappointing



  27. Links 23/9/2021: PostgreSQL 14 RC 1 and MidnightBSD 2.1

    Links for the day



  28. Links 23/9/2021: More UPC PR Stunts and IBM (Poettering) TPM for Linux

    Links for the day



  29. The EPO is on the Run (Escaping Negative Press Coverage)

    Aside from tens of millions of euros granted to media and academia (to keep them complicit or silent about EPO corruption, which also implicates the EU) there’s also SLAPP and threats against staff representatives; but Members of the European Parliament are becoming interested in what’s really going on in Europe’s second-largest institution, so this utter waste of EPO money (manipulating the press and gaming universities’ research) might in itself become a scandal sooner or later



  30. [Meme] Lowering the Standards...

    It's time for another round of fluff at the EPO, this time without even travelling (PR-over-'ViCo')


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