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04.27.17

Team UPC and CIPA Are Lobbying, Publishing Puff Pieces, and Rewriting the Law for Unitary Patent (UPC) Behind Closed Doors

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

CIPA on UPC
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Summary: A collection of the latest news and views on the UPC, which is being lied about by those who stand to benefit from it and is probably going nowhere because Brexit means that the UK stays out, in which case it must be reset and pertinent ratifications done all over again

THE EPO‘s management is eager if not desperate to bring legal chaos to Europe (in the form of UPC), even if the public and businesses object to it.

So why did the UPC have some momentum? Well, Team UPC was pushing for it in private events where it habitually lied (for instance claiming that UPC was “for SMEs” — the very opposite of what’s true). Christopher Weber, for example, part of the litigation ‘industry’, ignored what didn’t suit his position and wrote: “Very little opposition to the UPC in the U.K.?”

“Despite political will & legal creativity, Brexit is end of UK in UPC.”
      –KlunkerIP, Munich law firm
No, not really. There is a lot of opposition among people who know what is going on. There is in fact this new petition titled “Reject the ratification of the Unitary Patent treaty by the UK and Scotland”. Someone from FFII started it and the summary states: “The Unitary Patent contain articles which refers to the supremacy of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), while politicians have promised to respect the democratic Brexit vote of UK citizens to leave the EU; The UPC court will provide case law in favor of software patents.”

KlunkerIP, a “Munich IP law firm reflecting on professional issues” (based on its Twitter profile), has meanwhile said: “Despite political will & legal creativity, Brexit is end of UK in UPC. #CJEU held only #EU states can make #UPC. #UK like #CH or #NO (fm)”

The supposed “political will” is due to mischief and lobbying from Team UPC, CIPA, etc. Someone from the patent microcosm has just selectively quoted in a tweet something from a new article: “Great quote in The Times UK IP supplement Raconteur “There may be a compromise and we’ll be allowed into the UPC th…”

“I thought it was a quite good piece as it states quite clearly that the UPC is incompatible with the CJEU not having jurisdiction in the UK after Brexit.”
      –Anonymous
We’ve decided to chase the source and see what’s behind it, knowing that Team UPC has turned lying into somewhat of an art form. We have produced a screenshot of this article (requires Flash and bloat to view otherwise) and it looks like News Corporation doing another puff piece for a stakeholder. “Not sure if you have seen this one,” one reader told us, but “look at page 3…”

Not News Corporation’s page 3 of The Sun…

Having just read it quickly, it looks familiar. It repeats a lot of myths. I asked the reader if there was “anything in particular” in that article that’s worth repeating, for it’s “full of lies” and it was published in association with CIPA, i.e. it’s lobbying. “I thought it was a quite good piece,” the reader told me, “as it states quite clearly that the UPC is incompatible with the CJEU not having jurisdiction in the UK after Brexit.”

“Team UPC does not want the public to understand what’s going on, for fear it might — gasp! — get involved.”Why didn’t Team UPC cite these passages then? Not convenient enough? Where is the coverage from IP Kat? Something about these serious issues? Well, Bristows’ virtual takeover of IP Kat seemed further cemented yesterday. Bristows, based on this nonsensical post, now speaks for “the entire IPKat team!” (direct quote)

In this post, Bristows' lobbyist also sucks up to Microsoft’s patent extortionist once again. Serial litigators who shake down companies for ‘protection’ money…

So anyway, why is it so hard to obtain accurate information about the UPC? Well, that’s a design flaw. Team UPC does not want the public to understand what’s going on, for fear it might — gasp! — get involved.

“It’s ‘laundering’ of law or abject hijack of law (stealing democracy) by those who want more litigation because they would profit from it at everyone’s expense.”Ever heard how lobbyists are writing laws on behalf of corporations? Watch what Team UPC is trying to do right now, based on this tweet and corresponding blog post from Louise Amar (part of Team UPC).

“The Preparatory Committee published the new draft rules of procedure,” it says, not quite noting who’s in this committee (it’s an embarrassment if not institutional corruption). It’s an “undemocratic procedure,” Benjamin Henrion (FFII) told them. They have detailed a list of changes to procedures, written by so-called ‘experts’ who are actually the wolves pretending to guard sheep. That in its own right should disqualify the UPC. It’s ‘laundering’ of law or abject hijack of law (stealing democracy) by those who want more litigation because they would profit from it at everyone’s expense. Letting these people write these laws is like allowing oil companies to compose environmental regulations which govern them.

China’s Suffering From Patent Maximalism Has Europe Forewarned

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: ‘SIPO Europe’: The EPO’s Race to the Bottom of Patent Skills and Patent Quality

The Chinese Are Coming

Summary: The parasitic elements inside China — those that just want lots of litigation (even if from patent trolls) — are winning over, much to the detriment of the Chinese economy, and Team UPC threatens to do the same in Europe with help from Battistelli

THE direction China has taken with patents is worrisome. We have written about a dozen articles about it in the past few months alone. China is basically destroying itself with patent maximalism; those who envy China are patent maximalists from the West but never actual businesses.

According to IAM, a site of patent maximalists, China is now “a key patent litigation hub” and it “poses challenges for its companies” (that’s the headline alone). To IAM, this is probably a good thing; they probably think it sounds all lucrative and jealousy-worthy. “While new software patent rules and overseas cases like the recent Unwired Planet v Huawei decision were discussed,” IAM says today, “it was clear that one of the biggest issues companies are grappling with is China’s new IP court system…”

“China is basically destroying itself with patent maximalism; those who envy China are patent maximalists from the West but never actual businesses.”Well, patent maximalism necessarily leads to that. This, some believe, is why Battistelli wants patents granted at a mad pace — to feed his fantasy of a UPC! Who needs examination anyway when there are courts? Never mind if the innocent defendant might be forced to pay a fortune to prove his/her innocence. The plaintiff too can spend a fortune only to see his/her own patent invalidated by a court. That question was purely sarcasm by the way. Because examination is definitely needed. That’s the whole point of it.

Who benefits from the destruction of China’s economy at the hands of a gold rush of patents? Well, Patent law firms like this one, Reinhold Cohn & Partners, which today speaks of “Brighter Prospects For Patent Protection In China” (headline of an article by Rachel Lu and Ilan Cohn).

Based on the name of this firm, it’s not even Chinese. It’s just preying on the Chinese economy using patents.

“It’s just preying on the Chinese economy using patents.”Meanwhile, upon that lobbying event called “World Intellectual Property Day” (of WIPO), citing SIPO (eager for propaganda that creates more demand for it), published today by Chinese state media was this article stating: “Satisfaction to IPR protection rated 72.38 (out of 100), said the report issued by the Patent Protection Association of China, China Trademark Association and Copyright Society of China to mark the World Intellectual Property Day on Wednesday.”

This isn’t an actual study from an independent entity. This mirrors all those fake ‘studies’ and bogus statistics we so habitually hear about from the EPO. This is the Office where patents run like water and examination is merely a shadow of its former self. A lot of the talented people left, yet somehow (miraculously) so-called ‘production’ soared by 40% in one year.

“It certainly seems like everything to do with justice at the EPO has been outsourced, not necessarily to ILO (which the EPO’s management ignores anyway) but to a ruinous and non-existent UPC which Battistelli is so eager to make a reality that he lies, cheats, and breaks the law.”Watch this new press release titled “EPO intends to grant patent in microwave tomography”. It says “EUROPEAN PATENT OFFICE (EPO) INTENDS TO APPROVE (SO-CALLED INTENT TO GRANT) MEDFIELD DIAGNOSTICS A PATENT IN MICROWAVE TOMOGRAPHY,” but recent experience suggests that the EPO intends to approve just about anything, sloppily (or erroneously reject), leaving the courts (already understaffed and marginalised) to deal with the aftermath, just like in China. Here is another new press release [1, 2], this one about the USPTO. At the USPTO they at least have PTAB now and it's growing, unlike the appeal boards at the EPO. It certainly seems like everything to do with justice at the EPO has been outsourced, not necessarily to ILO (which the EPO's management ignores anyway) but to a ruinous and non-existent UPC which Battistelli is so eager to make a reality that he lies, cheats, and breaks the law. More on that in our next post…

Links 27/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.5 RC1, Git 2.13.0 RC1, and Linkerd 1.0

Posted in News Roundup at 10:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 3 Linux questions from the community

    In the last The Queue, I flipped the script and asked you questions as opposed to answering them. It was so well received, I’m going to keep it going with three more questions this month. I’ll resume answering next month, so don’t forget you can fill the queue with your questions about Linux, building and maintaining communities, contributing to an open source project, and anything else you’d like to know. While the previous two questions were a bit philosophical, this month we’ll keep it fun.

  • Desktop

    • Here’s the master list of Chromebooks that will get Android apps, straight from Google itself

      One of the most exciting advances in the Chromebook world was Google’s announcement that certain Chrome OS devices would support Android apps. Google first started experimenting with Android apps on Chromebooks in 2014, but fully brought the Google Play Store to certain models in summer 2016.

    • Don’t install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft

      Microsoft has urged non-tech-savvy people – or anyone who just wants a stable computer – to not download and install this year’s biggest revision to Windows by hand. And that’s because it may well bork your machine.

      It’s been two weeks since Microsoft made its Creators Update available, and we were previously warned it will be a trickle-out rather than a massive rollout. Now, Redmond has urged users to stop manually fetching and installing the code, and instead wait for it to be automatically offered to your computer when it’s ready.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Tumbleweed Snapshots Update Fonts, Perl, Python Packages

        openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots this week gave many newer versions of Perl and Python packages, but several other packages were updated in the repositories including some open fonts.

        Google and Adobe fonts were updated in snapshots 20170424 and 20170420 with google-croscore-fonts and adobe-sourcehansans-fonts being added to the repositories respectively.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat announces the Red Hat 3scale API management platform
      • Red Hat Introduces Fully Containerized API Management Platform

        As the first major release of the platform following Red Hat’s June 2016 acquisition of 3scale, Red Hat 3scale API Management – On Premise builds on Red Hat’s vision to accelerate digital transformation and innovation with API-driven hybrid cloud architectures. Described as the “new language of collaboration,” APIs serve as the building blocks underpinning today’s hyperconnected economy, driven by mobile, the Internet of Things (IoT), and new application architectures such as containers and microservices.

      • Red Hat debuts containerized API management platform to boost flexibility, scale and control
      • Catching up with Red Hat Mobile to talk about low code in the enterprise

        Low code is a movement that has emerged in the marketplace in recent times, not only for mobile but also for business process management (BPM) and other application development areas. What company can resist the pull of low-cost and relatively fast development times? Especially when it’s as simple as a drag and drop gesture away. So it’s not surprising that many big names are throwing themselves into the ring to see how well they can compete against other providers in a thriving marketplace.

      • Holistic approach imperative to digital transformation: Red Hat

        MALAYSIAN organisations embarking on digital transformation initiatives must embrace a holistic strategy that encompasses the deployment of a gamut of ideas and should not just approach it on a piecemeal basis, cautioned open source software giant Red Hat Inc.

        Speaking to the media after revealing a new study on enterprise mobility recently, Red Hat vice president and general manager for Asean Damien Wong (pic, bottom right) said the term digital transformation is being bandied about so much these days and companies are so keen to embrace it that they may not be approaching the process correctly.

      • Red Hat Brings Cloud-Native Java to OpenShift

        The latest release of OpenShift, Red Hat’s packaged distribution of the open source Kubernetes container management and orchestration system, comes with new support for cloud-native Java.

        OpenShift already supported traditional Java EE applications, including fully integrated enterprise middleware services from the Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Middleware portfolio. Version 3.5 of the platform, announced last week, expands that support with a new Java container image for cloud-native workloads.

      • Red Hat job opening for Linux Graphics stack developer

        So we have a new job available for someone interested in joing our team and work on improving the Linux graphics stack. The focus of this job will be on GPU compute related work, but you should also expect to be spending time on improving the graphics driver stack in general. We are looking for someone at the Principal Engineer level, but I do recommend that even if you don’t feel you are quite at that level yet you should apply because to be fair the amount of people with the kind of experience we are looking for are few and far between, so in the end there is a chance we will hire two more junior developers instead if we have candidates with the right profile.

      • New CloudLinux 7 Beta Linux Kernel Available for Testing, Two Crashes Addressed

        CloudLinux’s Mykola Naugolnyi announced today, April 26, 2017, the availability of a new Beta kernel for users of the CloudLinux 7 operating system series, addressing various vulnerabilities discovered lately.

      • Red Hat Bets on Innovation in the Channel

        Red Hat has launched the Red Hat Application Partner Initiative, working with partners to build a practice around core platforms for emerging use cases.

        IT solution providers tend to focus more on technologies that are just hitting the top of the bell curve in terms of mainstream adoption. But Red Hat is making a case for partners to place more focus on emerging technologies.

      • Huawei takes on servers, HPC and cloud with Red Hat, Intel and GE

        Company unveils plans to build high performance computing centres in in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, and in Munich, Germany.

        Chinese ICT company Huawei has unveiled a series of agreements and collaborations with some of the world’s largest companies to advance cloud and high performance computing (HPC).

        Firstly, Huawei has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Intel to cooperate in HPC.

      • Red Hat Unveils JBoss AMQ 7

        Red Hat, Inc. (RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today introduced Red Hat JBoss AMQ 7. The latest release of Red Hat’s messaging platform combines the performance and efficiency of reactive programming with a more flexible architecture, giving customers a strong foundation for building distributed, reactive message-driven applications.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Installation Workshop in Ranchi

          Fedora Installation workshop was organized at Ranchi, Jharkhand, India on 23 April, 2017 to introduce Fedora OS to local students and computer users. The workshop was conducted by Mohan Prakash and was attended mostly by undergraduate students. Fedora DVDs and stickers were distributed. The participants used Fedora Live and also installed Fedora on their machines. Mohan Prakash spoke about important packages shipped with the Fedora DVD and introduced different websites related to Fedora.

        • Flock Cod Registration Form Design
        • Encrypt all the Fedora Project
        • Flatpak 0.9.3 Linux App Sandboxing Framework Released with Many Builder Changes

          Alex Larsson from the Flatpak team announces the release and immediate availability of the third maintenance update to the Flatpak 0.9 series of the open-source Linux application sandboxing and distribution framework.

        • FCAIC in the House, part III

          Ok, not that “Hello”. I’ve been writing quarterly updates on what I’m working on to help the Fedora Community. If you’re new to the party, welcome. I have the privilege of being the current Fedora Community Action and Impact Coordinator. I wrote last week on the Red Hat Community blog about what this role means and how it interacts with the world.

    • Debian Family

      • Improve Your Online Security with Tails

        The popular image of online dangers is scary bad guys trying to steal our stuff. This image is accurate if you remember to include unfettered corporate interests as the scary bad guys.

        Our protections against our good friends the telcos and cable companies have never been strong, and now they’re nearly non-existent. Repealing Broadband Privacy Rules, Congress Sides with the Cable and Telephone Industry sums it up beautifully: “Internet providers will be given new powers to harvest your personal information in extraordinarily creepy ways.” And buy and sell it with no oversight or accountability, and law enforcement will get their hands on it as surely as road apples draw flies.

        What can we do about it? I believe that the best solution is legislative. I prefer technical solutions for protecting ourselves from hostile and predatory interests, but there aren’t many, and they’re incomplete. Internet access is a requirement for many routine aspects of our daily lives, and even if you avoid going online you have no knowledge or control of the information the vendors and service providers that you use are collecting and trading, or what people share about you on social media. Stores, electric and gas utilities, healthcare providers, tradespeople, private clubs, non-profit organizations, charitable groups, banks, insurance companies, and on and on. They all collect information about you, and many trade it freely. Of course, it’s not fair to assume that everyone is venal, but even when a vendor has a heart of gold they may be lacking in technical competence.

      • Debian Project to Shut Down Its Public FTP Services, Developers Are Not Affected

        The Debian Project, a group of developers from all over the world who create one of the most popular and used free operating systems on the planet, Debian GNU/Linux, announced that they’re shutting down their FTP servers for users.

      • Derivatives

        • LinuxAndUbuntu Distro Review Of The Week Debian Linux 8.7 (Jessie)

          ​I have always been a Ubuntu guy. I use Ubuntu or some other derivatives like Mint or elementary but never have I tried Debian. Well not anymore. I tested Debian and I must say I really like it. The thing with Debian is that stability is prioritized over all other factors. So if you are looking for the latest updates to packages, Debian is not the one. Debian is very popular amongst Linux users and rightly so. It enjoys a very superior community support compared to many other distros and most importantly the stability. So my experience? Let’s start the distro review of the week, Debian 8.7.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry WebKiosk 6.0 released

      Raspberry WebKiosk 6.0 has been released today with a complete update of its underlying operating system, from Raspbian Wheezy to Raspbian Jessie Lite (a Debian Jessie derived OS for the Raspberry Pi microcomputer).

      Raspberry WebKiosk is designed for the cheapest possible web kiosks and multi-user web workstations (think about using it in cafès, offices, schools, hotels, hospitals, libraries) with the Raspberry Pi base, where people can surf the web with a normal browser. It’s a port of the more powerful Instant WebKoisk system for PCs.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • 5 more open source companies to watch in 2017

    An exciting class of startups with a focus on enterprise IT are those built on open source foundations, in some cases commercializing and adding value to an already popular open source project.

    We recently highlighted 5 such open source-oriented companies, and below we introduce you to 5 more. Note that this list only contains companies that have announced funding over the past year or so, and isn’t intended to be an all-inclusive compilation. Without further ado…

  • Events

    • Nimble services, happier customers – how DBS Bank is transforming IT with DevOps and open source

      At M|17, MariaDB‘s first user conference, we heard plenty about the virtues of open source. The story of Singapore-based DBS Bank stood out, in part due to their scale. But I especially liked how they tied digital change/customer experience into their DevOps and microservices ambitions. Here’s what I learned during our sit down after the keynote.

    • Get your GNU on at the GNU Hackers’ Meeting in Hessen, Germany

      The GNU Hackers’ Meeting is a friendly, semi-formal forum to discuss technical, social, and organizational issues concerning free software and GNU. This is a great opportunity to meet GNU maintainers and active contributors. This year, accommodation and all meals are included in the cost of registration.

    • Upcoming FreeBSD Events
    • Linux Security and Isolation APIs course in Munich (17-19 July 2017)

      I’ve scheduled the first public instance of my “Linux Security and Isolation APIs” course to take place in Munich, Germany on 17-19 July 2017. (I’ve already run the course a few times very successfully in non-public settings.) This three-day course provides a deep understanding of the low-level Linux features (set-UID/set-GID programs, capabilities, namespaces, cgroups, and seccomp) used to build container, virtualization, and sandboxing technologies. The course format is a mixture of theory and practical.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Happy Document Freedom Day

      It is with great pleasure again that we are announcing Document Freedom Day celebration. As we mentioned we gave people 1 more month to prepare for the event and run it on Wednesday April 26th so it’s today!

      DFD is the international day to celebrate and raise awareness of Open Standards. Open Standards goes beyond essays and spreadsheets and covers all digital formats from artwork, sheet and recorded music, email, or statistics. They provide freedom from data lock-in and the subsequent supplier’s lock-in.

    • LibreOffice in The Matrix [m]
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • React to React

      The Additional Grant of Patent Rights is a patent license grant that includes certain termination criteria. These termination criteria are not entirely unprecedented when you look at the history of patent license provisions in OSI-approved licenses, but they are certainly broader than the termination criteria [or the equivalent] in several familiar modern licenses (the Apache License 2.0, EPL, MPL 2.0, and GPLv3).

    • BetConstruct declares the source code for its front-end as open source

      The project is distributed under MIT license.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Prototype of eParticipation portal shared as open source

      The EU’s Publication Office has just published the source code for a prototype of an eParticipation portal, allowing citizens to help draft EU legislative proposals. The code for the prototype is the result of a so-called pilot project, launched by the European Parliament in 2015. Such pilot projects are tacked onto the Parliaments’ approval of the annual budget for the European Commission.

    • Portugal to harmonise usability of govt portals

      All of the code, information and tools are made available for reuse.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Why GPL Compliance Education Materials Should Be Free as in Freedom

      I am honored to be a co-author and editor-in-chief of the most comprehensive, detailed, and complete guide on matters related to compliance of copyleft software licenses such as the GPL. This book, Copyleft and the GNU General Public License: A Comprehensive Tutorial and Guide (which we often call the Copyleft Guide for short) is 155 pages filled with useful material to help everyone understand copyleft licenses for software, how they work, and how to comply with them properly. It is the only document to fully incorporate esoteric material such as the FSF’s famous GPLv3 rationale documents directly alongside practical advice, such as the pristine example, which is the only freely published compliance analysis of a real product on the market. The document explains in great detail how that product manufacturer made good choices to comply with the GPL. The reader learns by both real-world example as well as abstract explanation.

      However, the most important fact about the Copyleft Guide is not its useful and engaging content. More importantly, the license of this book gives freedom to its readers in the same way the license of the copylefted software does. Specifically, we chose the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 license (CC BY-SA) for this work. We believe that not just software, but any generally useful technical information that teaches people should be freely sharable and modifiable by the general public.

    • JRC: ‘Releasing code without a licence hinders reuse’

      Projects that publish source code without a licence weaken the reusability of their code, warns Stefano Gentile, a copyright and trademark specialist working for the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). Currently just 20 % of all projects published on GitHub, one of the most popular source code sharing platforms, have selected a licence for their work – down from about 60% in 2008, Gentile said, quoting numbers published in 2015 by GitHub.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • RcppTOML 0.1.3

      A new bug fix release of RcppTOML arrived on CRAN today. Table arrays were (wrongly) not allowing for nesting; a simply recursion fix addresses this.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenChain Specification 1.1 Makes Compliance Easier for Everyone in the Open Source Software Supply Chain

      The Linux Foundation today announced the OpenChain Specification 1.1 and an accompanying Online Self-Certification service. These allow organizations of every size to ensure consistent compliance management processes in the open source supply chain. The OpenChain Project is proud to welcome Siemens, Qualcomm, Pelagicore and Wind River as the first four organizations to self-certify to the OpenChain Specification 1.1.

Leftovers

  • Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales exits Guardian board over conflict of interest with Wikitribune news site [iophk: "will they dare to openly and objectively cover GNU?"]

    Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, will leave the board of the Guardian newspaper after opting to launch his own rival news operation that will compete for staff, stories and donations.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Sick children’s wellbeing ‘compromised’ by shortage of NHS staff

      ‘After seven years of Tory mismanagement our health services are dangerously understaffed,’ says shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth

    • Air Force snubs Michigan law on tainted well

      Oscoda area residents whose wells are affected by groundwater contamination from the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base have been urged by state and local public health officials to seek an alternative water supply. And a new Michigan law that took effect in January would make the U.S. Air Force responsible for covering the cost of those alternative water supplies.

      But Air Force officials will not comply with the new law, Public Act 545, said Paul Carroll, the Air Force’s environmental coordinator for Wurtsmith, at a public forum on the contamination issue in Oscoda on Tuesday.

    • US Government Grants Exclusive Licence On Zika Patent Over Objection Of Civil Society

      The United States Department of Defense has announced that it intends to grant Sanofi Pasteur, a French pharmaceutical corporation, exclusive rights to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus. The decision follows outcry from the public and civil society groups over concerns of affordability and accessibility in taking such a step.

      The drug candidate was originally developed at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research using public funds.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Guernica massacre: Madrid removes facade that glorified Nazi role

      Eighty years after Nazi bombers devastated the Basque town of Guernica, inspiring Pablo Picasso’s famous painting, Madrid city council has removed a last, lingering trace of the most notorious atrocity of the Spanish civil war.

      The council announced on Wednesday that it had dismantled a mausoleum in La Almudena cemetery where seven pilots of the German Condor legion are buried.

      Adolf Hitler lent the Condor Legion, a unit of the German Luftwaffe, to Gen Francisco Franco’s nationalist forces during the civil war of 1936-39, to help them fight the republicans. The loan also allowed the Nazis to practise their blitzkrieg tactics, later used in the second world war.

      The 1937 air raid on the Basque market town lasted for four hours, killing hundreds of people and wounding hundreds more.

    • The Armenian genocide is still being denied: “This human tragedy has been allowed to be treated as a debate rather than actual history”

      In referencing “Schindler’s List,” Berlinger wasn’t being overly dramatic. He was talking about an actual event in history from the 1930s, when another Armenian genocide film, “The Forty Days of Musa Dagh,” was in production but scrapped because Turkey pressured the U.S. State Department to lean on MGM to not make the movie. Berlinger (“Metallica: Some Kind of Monster,” “Paradise Lost,” “Brother’s Keeper”), a nimble and revered documentarian, has managed to construct an incisive, emotional look at the genocide itself, as well as its representation, and lack thereof, in the movies.

    • Flashback! Questions from the Last Time America was Supposed to “Take Out” Assad
    • Do American Airports Suck? Yes, Yes They Do

      Traveling by air in America is one of the best ways to see the country, although it is not always the nicest view.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Public Records Sought on Trump Communications Over Renewable Energy Censorship

      The Center for Biological Diversity filed a Freedom of Information Act request Tuesday demanding records relating to the Trump administration’s attempts to stall renewable power growth to benefit energy companies reliant on coal and other fossil fuels.

      The filing requested communications between the Department of the Energy, Office of Management and Budget and fossil fuel representatives. In the request the Center demanded records of any directives and instructions to remove mentions of renewable energy from formal agency communications.

  • Finance

    • They finally suspended operations [iophk: "except for the last model they were great, but the writing has been on the wall for a few years :("]

      Due to declining sales, limited resources available to design new products, and increased competition from Asia, Soekris Engineering, Inc. has suspended operations in the USA as of today.

    • Trump tells Mexico, Canada he won’t terminate NAFTA ‘at this time’

      “President Trump agreed not to terminate NAFTA at this time and the leaders agreed to proceed swiftly, according to their required internal procedures, to enable the renegotiation of the NAFTA deal to the benefit of all three countries,” according to a White House account of the calls.

    • Britain could lose 4,000 Deutsche Bank jobs over Brexit

      Deutsche Bank could move up to 4,000 jobs away from Britain, the group’s compliance chief said Wednesday (26 April), as Germany’s largest lender struggles to work out the consequences of Brexit.

      “For front office people who want to deal with a European Union client, you need to be based in continental Europe,” Deutsche Bank chief regulatory officer Sylvie Matherat told a Frankfurt banking conference.

      That requirement could see some 2,000 of Deutsche’s 9,000 posts in the UK moved.

    • Brexit puts security cooperation at risk

      Brussels is calling Theresa May’s bluff on security.

      In her Article 50 letter, the British prime minister warned European leaders that cooperation in the “fight against crime and terrorism” would be at risk if the two sides failed to reach a deal on Brexit.

    • New York Landlords Exploit Loophole to Hike Rents Despite Freeze

      In October 2015, Scherrie and Langston Donaldson received a cryptic notice from their landlord, labeled “preferential rent credit removal.” At first glance, they weren’t sure what to make of it.

      “As you know, we have been billing you at a preferential rent for your 2013-2015 lease,” it read. “Unfortunately, at this time we are no longer able to extend this courtesy to you.”

      Then Scherrie Donaldson realized what it would mean for her family: A $571 increase in the monthly rent. That would upend the budget of the Brooklyn couple, who had recently welcomed a baby boy into their family. They could no longer afford family vacations, she thought, and summer music lessons for her two older sons, Tristan and Avery, were in jeopardy. They might even have to leave the neighborhood they loved.

      Suddenly, the middle school special education teacher felt priced out of the city that she and her husband — an ironworker who helped rebuild the transit hub at the World Trade Center — have called home for more than 25 years.

      “It makes it just harder to stay in the city,” she said. “Harder to be a New Yorker … just feel like we just keep getting pushed and pushed.”

    • Lawmakers Seek Stronger Monitoring of Racial Disparities in Car Insurance Premiums

      Six Democratic members of Congress are urging Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to appoint a director for the Federal Insurance Office, which monitors access of minority and low-income Americans to affordable insurance, and has been targeted for elimination by House Republicans.

      Their letter to Mnuchin was spurred by an April 5 article, co-published by ProPublica and Consumer Reports, that documented that residents of minority neighborhoods in four states frequently pay higher car insurance premiums than residents of other areas that are similarly risky. Our investigation has also prompted two Illinois lawmakers and a California consumer group to call for strengthening protections against redlining in auto insurance.

    • TRIPS Flexibilities Under Threat From Investment Disputes: A Closer Look At Canada’s “Win” Against Eli Lilly

      In the first known investment dispute regarding patents, Eli Lilly & Co v. Canada, Canada recently prevailed over the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly. Although Canada won in a unanimous decision, the ruling does not, however, guarantee domestic discretion going forward, contrary to the suggestion of some.

      [...]

      Although investment disputes challenging domestic decisions on IP consistent with TRIPS are still in their infancy, these initial state “wins” should not lull countries or policy makers into complacency. Although no state has yet had to pay money for TRIPS-consistent action, the decisions to date have nonetheless left the door open to this possibility in the future. These initial disputes should be viewed as a troubling regime shift that has a serious chilling effect on proper use of TRIPS flexibility. Accordingly, greater attention to this threat and how to combat it are needed.

    • ​Trump tax plan could save him millions under guise of helping small businesses

      A tax plan released by the White House on Wednesday could deliver many millions of dollars annually in tax savings to Donald Trump personally under the guise of helping small businesses, multiple tax experts have told the Guardian.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Can Facebook Fix Its Own Worst Bug? [iophk: "social control network"]

      With its huge reach, Facebook has begun to act as the great disseminator of the larger cloud of misinformation and half-truths swirling about the rest of media. It sucks up lies from cable news and Twitter, then precisely targets each lie to the partisan bubble most receptive to it.

    • Facebook needs to face up to the new political reality

      The big question in any general election is which party will win. Not this time: it’s going to be the Tories. Any other outcome will be be the result of events so unpredictable that they aren’t worth speculating about. What is contested in this election is the political landscape in which the next one will take place, in which one prize that might be up for grabs is getting Facebook to do something about disclosing political ad spending (see wise @steiny on the same cause here).

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Who Is Publishing NSA and CIA Secrets, and Why?

      There’s something going on inside the intelligence communities in at least two countries, and we have no idea what it is.

      Consider these three data points. One: someone, probably a country’s intelligence organization, is dumping massive amounts of cyberattack tools belonging to the NSA onto the Internet. Two: someone else, or maybe the same someone, is doing the same thing to the CIA.

      Three: in March, NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett described how the NSA penetrated the computer networks of a Russian intelligence agency and was able to monitor them as they attacked the U.S. State Department in 2014. Even more explicitly, a U.S. ally—my guess is the U.K.—was not only hacking the Russian intelligence agency’s computers, but also the surveillance cameras inside their building. “They [the U.S. ally] monitored the [Russian] hackers as they maneuvered inside the U.S. systems and as they walked in and out of the workspace, and were able to see faces, the officials said.”

    • Another NSL Gag Order Successfully Challenged In Court

      Another National Security Letter is on its way to being published. There’s no way of telling when it will arrive, but it will be sooner than the government’s clear preference: never.

      Adobe is the unlikely recipient of the NSL and accompanying gag order. The decision in a recently unsealed case says indefinite gag orders aren’t Constitutional, which is good news for the recipients of the thousands of NSLs the FBI issues every year.

    • NSA blimp spied on U.S. citizens
    • Bose Lawsuit For Collecting Headphone Data Is Flimsy, But Highlights Continued Lack Of Real Transparency

      To be clear, the complaint, filed last week by Bose customer Kyle Zak in federal court in Chicago, seems more than a little thin. The suit appears to piggyback on growing concern about the wave of internet of things devices (from televisions to smart dildos) that increasingly use internet connectivity to hoover up as much as possible about consumers. Often, this data is collected and transferred unencrypted to the cloud, then disseminated to any number of partner companies without adequate disclosure.

    • In China, Daydreaming Students Are Caught on Camera [iophk: "probably the goal"]

      Some experts warn that live-streaming in schools will make Chinese youth, already accustomed to the nation’s extensive internet censorship and use of outdoor security cameras, even more sensitive to surveillance.

    • British Cops Will Scan Every Fan’s Face at the Champions League Final

      South Wales Police is piloting facial recognition at one of Europe’s biggest sporting events.

      When thousands of football fans pour into Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on June 3 to watch the final match of the UEFA Champions League, few will be aware that their faces will have already been scanned, processed, and compared to a police database of some 500,000 “persons of interest”.

    • Police will scan every fan’s face at the Champions League final

      If you’re headed to the UEFA Champions League final in Cardiff on June 3rd, you might just be part of a massive experiment in security — and a privacy uproar. South Wales Police are conducting a face recognition trial that could scan every one of the 170,000 visitors expected to show up in the city for the match, whether or not they’re heading to the stadium. Cameras around both the stadium and Cardiff’s main train station will compare faces against a police database of 500,000 people of interest. If there’s a match, police will get a heads-up that could help them stop a terrorist or frequent hooligan.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • AT&T Unveils A Fake 5G Network In The Hopes You’ll Ignore T-Mobile Is Kicking Its Ass

      To be clear: fifth generation (5G) wireless should be really impressive when it actually arrives, providing significantly faster mobile broadband speeds at lower latencies. The catch: the 5G standard hasn’t even been created yet, and any real deployment of the ultra-fast technology isn’t expected to even seriously begin until 2020. That hasn’t stopped wireless carrier and hardware vendor marketing departments, which have been hyping the technology as the second coming for several years now. Sure, these salesmen don’t know what 5G really even is yet, but they’re pretty sure it’s going to fix everything.

    • Internet providers are thrilled with the FCC’s plan for weaker regulations

      Instead of classifying internet providers as “common carriers” under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, they’ll instead be classified as “information services” under Title I. That’ll subject them to much more lenient oversight — and naturally, internet providers are happy to hear it.

    • The fight for net neutrality is officially back on

      In its first wave of propaganda, the FCC says that its proposal to roll back internet regulation will “Restore Internet Freedom for all Americans” — a mendacious slogan on the level of the “Patriot Act,” or the “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan.” Like the first fight for net neutrality, this one is going to be about words and what they mean. For instance: “internet freedom.”

    • Ajit Pai announces plan to eliminate Title II net neutrality rules

      Vote to begin net neutrality rollback scheduled for May 18.

    • FCC announces plan to reverse Title II net neutrality

      His proposal will do three things: first, it’ll reclassify internet providers as Title I information services; second, it’ll prevent the FCC from adapting any net neutrality rules to practices that internet providers haven’t thought up yet; and third, it’ll open questions about what to do with several key net neutrality rules — like no blocking or throttling of apps and websites — that were implemented in 2015.

      [...]

      It’ll be voted on by the FCC at a meeting on May 18th. From there, months of debate will follow as the item is opened up for public comment. The commission will then revise its rules based on the feedback it receives before taking a final vote to enact them.

    • The FCC just released a plan to undo its own net neutrality rules

      Tech companies nationwide have urged the FCC to keep the rules in place. Etsy, Vimeo, the start-up incubator Y Combinator and 800 other start-up firms sent a letter to Pai on Wednesday arguing that weakening the net neutrality rules would allow ISPs to “impede traffic from our services to favor their own services or established competitors.” And the Internet Association, a major trade group representing Google, Facebook, Netflix and others, said repealing the common-carrier classification would result in “a worse Internet for consumers.”

    • FCC head unveils plan to roll back net neutrality

      During a speech at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Pai said he plans to hand regulatory jurisdiction of broadband providers back to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an agency that critics argue is less prepared to handle them.

    • Trump’s FCC Has Begun Its Attack on Net Neutrality

      No act of the recklessly authoritarian Trump administration poses a greater threat to the democratic discourse than the now-announced plan to gut net-neutrality rules. With newspapers dying, radio syndicated, broadcast television commercialized beyond relevance, and cable television mired in scandal and dead-end punditry, the Internet is the essential tool for the communication of ideas and the mobilization of those who choose to resist the autocratic impulses of Trump and his crony-capitalist cabal.

    • FCC Chief Sparks Clash With Call to Repeal Net Neutrality

      The rules, passed with only Democratic votes at the FCC in 2015, forbid broadband providers from blocking or slowing web traffic, or from charging higher fees in return for quicker passage over their networks.

    • [Old] ‘Cable Company F*ckery’: John Oliver Explains Net Neutrality

      “They should call it cable company fuckery,” Oliver said.

    • FCC Boss Unveils Ingenious Plan To Replace Net Neutrality Rules With Fluff & Nonsense

      FCC boss Ajit Pai has made no secret of his disdain for net neutrality. Or, for that matter, his general disregard for the consumer-protection authority granted the agency he’s supposed to be in charge of. Pai had already stated that his “solution” — to his perceived injustice that is net neutrality — is to replace the government’s existing, hard net neutrality rules with “voluntary commitments” by the likes of AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. From there, he hopes to leave any remaining regulatory enforcement to the under-funded and over-extended FTC (we’ve explained why this is a notably bad idea here).

      Pai clarified his plans a little during a speech today in Washington, DC at an event hosted by FreedomWorks (which, not coincidentally, takes funding from the giant ISPs Pai is clearly eager to help). According to Pai, the FCC will issue a Notice of Proposed Rule Making tomorrow to begin the process of rolling back Title II and killing net neutrality. The FCC will then vote on the proposal on May 18, according to the agency head. That means there will be a full public comment period (that’s where you come in) ahead of a broader vote to kill the rules later this year.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • For World ‘Intellectual Property’ Day, A Reading From Thomas Macaulay

      As we mentioned recently, today is “World Intellectual Property Day,” an event put together by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to promote ever greater protectionism and mercantilism in favor of copyright holders and patent holders, while ignoring any impact on the public of those things. It’s a fairly disgusting distortion of the claimed intent of intellectual property, which is often promoted for the claimed benefits it brings to the public, but extreme supporters, such as WIPO, are never willing to actually weigh out the pros and cons of copyrights and patents, and how over-protection and over-enforcement can cause serious problems for the public, innovators and creators.

    • Copyrights

      • Pirate Site Blockades Violate Free Speech, Mexico’s Supreme Court Rules

        Broad pirate sites blockades are disproportional, Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice has ruled. The Government can’t order ISPs to block websites that link to copyright-infringing material because that would also restrict access to legitimate content and violate the public’s freedom of expression. The ruling is a win for local ISP Alestra, which successfully protested the Government’s blocking efforts.

      • House Votes Overwhelmingly To Make The Copyright Office More Political & To Delay Modernization

        This isn’t a huge surprise, but unfortunately, today — after a mostly ridiculous “debate” on the House floor full of claptrap and bullshit about how important copyright is to “protecting jobs” (despite this bill having nothing to do with any of that) — the House voted 378 to 48 to approve a bill that makes the head of the Copyright Office, the Copyright Register, a Presidential appointment rather than an appointment by the Library of Congress, as it’s been throughout the entire history of the Copyright Office. As we pointed out just yesterday, Congress appears to be rushing this through for no clear reason. It held no hearings on the issue (other than the fact that the current Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, was getting ready to appoint her own Copyright Register).

      • US House of Representatives approves register of copyrights selection bill

        The House of Representatives has approved by a vote of 378-48 the Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act, which would make changes to the selection process for the head of the Copyright Office

      • Big content cheers as Congress votes on changes to US Copyright Office

        Copyright Office will be split off from Librarian of Congress, an Obama appointee.

        The US House of Representatives will vote today on a bill that will make the US Register of Copyrights a presidential appointment, confirmed by the US Senate.

      • Megaupload User Asks Appeals Court to Help Get His Files Back

        Millions of users lost access to their personal files when Megaupload was raided, and after more than half a decade not much has changed. Former Megaupload user Kyle Goodwin has been trying to get his files back for years. This week he urged the Appeals Court to intervene, before it’s too late

      • Selling Piracy-Configured Media Players is Illegal, EU Court Rules

        Selling devices pre-configured to obtain copyright-infringing content is illegal, the European Court of Justice effectively ruled today. The decision, which evolved from a case involving anti-piracy group BREIN and a shop that sold piracy-configured media players, will have far-reaching consequences across the EU, particularly for those selling piracy-enabled Kodi setups.

      • Lack of trust in Internet privacy deters online shoppers

        Internet users in many countries, including Australia, are increasingly concerned about their online privacy, and 49% say lack of trust is the main reason for not shopping online, according to a new global survey.

      • [Older] Torching the Modern-Day Library of Alexandria

        You were going to get one-click access to the full text of nearly every book that’s ever been published. Books still in print you’d have to pay for, but everything else—a collection slated to grow larger than the holdings at the Library of Congress, Harvard, the University of Michigan, at any of the great national libraries of Europe—would have been available for free at terminals that were going to be placed in every local library that wanted one.

The Latest Expensive PR Blitz of the EPO, Led by Jana Mittermaier and Rainer Osterwalder Under the ‘European Inventor Award’ Banner

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO preoccupied with lobbying officials rather than patent examination

Portugal and Battistelli

Summary: The PR agencies of the Corsican in Chief, who appears to be buying political support rather than earning any, are very busy this week, as yet another reputation laundering campaign kicks off

REMEMBER “European Inventor Award”? That incredibly expensive (wasteful) EPO PR and lobbying charade which is artificial (manufactured) hype?

“Battistelli thinks he is “improving lives” (the headline/title); Except thousands of his workers’ lives (plus their families’), including those who committed suicide due to him.”Well, it’s back again and yesterday the EPO wrote (warning: epo.org link) in the monarch’s narrative, as usual: “”This year’s finalists demonstrate that Europe continues to be a world leader in innovation. The outstanding inventors nominated for the European Inventor Award allow us to honour the men and women whose ingenious work contributes to the competitiveness of the European economy and improves our daily lives,” said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. “The European patent system remains a pillar for securing Europe’s position as a global marketplace for innovation.”

“The European patent system remains a pillar” of a broken chair maybe. Battistelli broke it.

“Under Battistelli, as a matter of fact, the Office actually rewarded those whose fake ‘innovations’ were killing many people.”It didn’t take long for the EPO’s PR department to then tweet a link to Battistelli’s ‘blog’ (warning: epo.org link). Battistelli thinks he is “improving lives” (the headline/title); Except thousands of his workers’ lives (plus their families’), including those who committed suicide due to him. How about the lives of all those inventors and businesses that got sued (or will get sued) with bogus EPs granted under Battistelli’s regime due to pressure? Patents don’t improve lives on their own. They can sometimes support an important discovery, but the patents in their own right don’t “improve lives”.

“These innovations,” he wrote, “have improved and even saved the lives of millions”; well, how many ill people were denied access to live-saving medicine due to patents that killed off generics? Battistelli is quite a newbie when it comes to this topic (only in his mid-fifties he belatedly got introduced to it), so one can almost excuse him for such ignorance.

Under Battistelli, as a matter of fact, the Office actually rewarded those whose fake ‘innovations’ were killing many people. That’s hardly a good thing. He helped legitimise a fraud.

“Jana Mittermaier and Rainer Osterwalder are behind at least some them (they are explicitly listed) and occasionally other firms…”Later in the day the EPO retweeted some nonsense from Siemens (Philips probably did the same thing). “Siemens Healthineers Jan van den Boogaart & Prof Dr Oliver Hayden are finalists for 2017 European Inventor Award,” they said. But wait, it didn’t quite happen like this. There is a big, expensive PR campaign going on. It started with this tweet and then another which said: “Behind every invention is a scientist who made it happen.”

Soon thereafter we found a lot of puff pieces about it, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. On the surface it may look like superficial, poor journalism, but actually it’s almost ghost-written or coordinated in advance. See for example this one. Some of the above are ‘planted’ pieces and/or paid EPO press releases intended to promote Battistelli’s lobbying event. They are being published right now in tandem. Jana Mittermaier and Rainer Osterwalder are behind at least some them (they are explicitly listed) and occasionally other firms, with names like these showing up (more PR help from the outside?):

Jonathan Weinberg
Shepard Fox Communications
Tel. +44 2033 184491
Mobile: +44 7947 141014
jonathan.weinberg@shepard-fox.com

The matter of fact is, a lot of stakeholders’ money is being totally wasted on utter nonsense. Mittermaier and Osterwalder, together with FTI Consulting we suppose, are trying to paste/plant their rubbish in news sites, quite frankly as usual.

Lo and behold. This is what the EPO has become.

04.26.17

Links 26/4/2017: SMPlayer 17.4.2, Libreboot Wants to Rejoin GNU

Posted in News Roundup at 5:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • What was Linux like ten years ago?

      Linux has improved by leaps and bounds over the last decade, and more and more people have come to appreciate its power and flexibility. But a redditor recently wondered what it was like to run Linux ten years ago, and he got some very interesting responses from Linux veterans.

  • Kernel Space

    • Testing F2FS With Its Multi-Drive Capabilities

      Late last year F2FS picked up multiple device support for this Flash-Friendly File-System. This F2FS multi-drive capability isn’t native RAID support like Btrfs but just allows a single F2FS file-system to span multiple devices. But it’s more than that in that block allocation and the garbage collection policy is modified to boost I/O performance by taking advantage of the multiple SSD/flash devices.

    • EdgeX Foundry Promises IoT Security and More
    • EdgeX brings open source interoperability to IoT

      In a ground-breaking development, the Linus Foundation and 50 other companies announced the launch of an open-source Internet of Things (IoT) interoperability framework to standardise and simplify edge computing through the new open-source consortium EdgeX Foundry. IoT hasn’t enjoyed the predicted positive market growth due to lack of conformity and fragmented edge computing development resulting in non-compatibilities of applications and security reservations. Adapting IoT technology to business needs is fraught with difficulties and integration issues due to separate development and discordant systems. The evolution of edge computing, however, provides a standardised framework in which to integrate business applications of significant value-adds or standalone systems.

    • What Is The Year 2038 Problem In Linux? Will Unix Clocks Fail On Jan. 19, 2038?

      If you follow the developments of Linux world closely, you must be knowing about the Year 2038 bug. This problem exists because the latest time that can be represented in Unix’s signed 32-bit integer time format is 03:14:07 UTC on Jan. 19, 2038. After that, the C programs that use the standard time library will start to have problems with dates.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Radeon RX 580: AMDGPU-PRO vs. DRM-Next + Mesa 17.2-dev

        Last week I posted initial Radeon RX 580 Linux benchmarks and even AMDGPU overclocking results. That initial testing of this “Polaris Evolved” hardware was done with the fully-open Radeon driver stack that most Linux enthusiasts/gamers use these days. The AMDGPU-PRO driver wasn’t tested for those initial articles as it seems to have a diminishing user-base and largely focused for workstation users. But for those wondering how AMDGPU-PRO runs with the Radeon RX 580, here are some comparison results to DRM-Next code for Linux 4.12 and Mesa 17.2-dev.

      • AMD Is Hiring More Developers For Their Open-Source Graphics Team
    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Plasma 5.9.5 Is the Last in the Series, KDE Plasma 5.10 Is Coming End of May

        As expected, today KDE announced the availability of the fifth maintenance update to the current stable, yet short-lived KDE Plasma 5.9 desktop environment for GNU/Linux operating systems, versioned 5.9.5.

        KDE Plasma 5.9.5 is here more than a month after the release of the KDE Plasma 5.9.4 update, which most probably many of you use on your favorite GNU/Linux distributions. But the time has come to update your installations to KDE Plasma 5.9.5, the last point release in the series, adding more than 60 improvements across various components.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GStreamer 1.12 Multimedia Framework to Support Intel’s Media SDK and CineForm

        The GStreamer 1.12 major release is coming next month, but Collabora’s Olivier Crête is sharing with us today some of the most important new features implemented so far by various developers.

        Collabora made several contributions to the widely-used open-source and cross-platform multimedia framework, and now that many of you already managed to get an early taste of the new features coming with the GStreamer 1.12 release during the RC (Release Candidate) testing phase, let’s take a look at the upcoming changes.

      • Receiving an AES67 stream with GStreamer

        GStreamer is great for all kinds of multimedia applications, but did you know it could also be used to create studio grade professional audio applications? For example, with GStreamer you can easily receive a AES67 stream, the standard which allows inter-operability between different IP based audio networking systems and transfers of live audio between profesionnal grade systems.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Void GNU/Linux Operating System Adopts Flatpak for All Supported Architectures

        Void Linux, an open-source, general-purpose GNU/Linux distribution based on the monolithic Linux kernel, is the latest operating system to adopt the Flatpak application sandboxing technologies.

      • Kali Linux 2017.1 Security OS Brings Wireless Injection Attacks to 802.11 AC

        Offensive Security, the developers of the BackTrack-derived Kali Linux open-source, security-oriented operating system announced the availability of the Kali Linux 2017.1 rolling release.

        Since Kali Linux become a rolling distro, the importance of such updated images was never the same, but Kali Linux 2017.1 appears to be a major release of the ethical hacking distro, adding a bunch of exciting new features and improvements to the Debian-based operating system.

      • Kali Linux 2017.1 Released With New Features | Download ISO Files And Torrents Here

        Offensive Security has updated the Kali Linux images with new features and changes. Termed Kali Linux 2017.1, this release comes with support for wireless injection attacks to 802.11ac and Nvidia CUDA GPU. You can simply update your existing installation by running few commands if you don’t wish to download the updated images from Kali repos.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat repackages its application management tech into software containers

        A year after buying application connectivity startup 3scale Inc., Red Hat Inc. is making the technology that it obtained through the deal available in a new form geared toward tech-savvy firms.

        Unveiled on Thursday, Red Hat 3scale API Management – On Premise runs on the company’s OpenShift Container Platform and is designed to be deployed inside Docker instances. It’s an alternative to the original cloud version of 3scale for organizations that wish to keep their operations behind the firewall. The software should be particularly appealing to government agencies and firms in regulated industries, which often can’t move certain workloads off-premises due to security obligations.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Debian-Based Q4OS 1.8.4 Operating System Lets Users Select Alternative Desktops

          Today, April 26, 2017, the developers behind the Debian-based Q4OS GNU/Linux distribution announced the release of the fourth stability and security update of the Q4OS 1.8 “Orion” series.

          Q4OS 1.8.4 comes almost two months after the release of the previous point release, and besides incorporating all the security patches backported from the upstream repositories of the Debian GNU/Linux 8 “Jessie” operating system series, it adds an exciting new feature, namely the integration of alternative desktop environments.

        • Which is Free, Which is Open … [Also]

          Devuan and Debian need not defer to the Open Source Initiative regarding
          what is Open Source, since the OSI is just using Debian’s Free Software
          Guidelines. Debian’s Free Software Guidelines are a definition of Free
          Software, not specifically Open Source. At the time they were created, RMS
          personally approved of them as “a good definition of Free Software”.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 12 Features That Made Unity The Best Linux Desktop

            There I said it. So, naturally, I am feeling a little sad that Unity is retiring from its role as the default Ubuntu desktop. It will be replaced by (the also-awesome) GNOME Shell in Ubuntu 17.10 onwards.

            For the past 6 and a half years I, like millions of Ubuntu users, have been able to rely on Unity. From Qml to Compiz, from controversy to controversy, the Unity desktop has held firm. As (arguably) the one element that helped to define and mould the Ubuntu identity it’s only natural that one wonders what Ubuntu is without it.

          • Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) Daily Build ISO Images Now Available to Download

            Canonical’s Adam Conrad announced that Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark) is officially open for development, and it looks like the first daily build ISO images are already available for download.

          • Ubuntu 17.10 Daily Build Downloads Now Available

            Ubuntu 17.10 daily build images are available to download.

          • This Script Can Make GNOME Shell Look like Windows, Mac, or Unity

            GNOME Shell’s stock experience is fairly vanilla, but with the right ingredients you can give it an entirely different flavour. GNOME Layout Manager is a new script in development that takes advantage of this malleability.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Qiana Studio Complete Multimedia Production

              ​Qiana Studio is a Ubuntu and Linux Mint based system for multimedia productions. It comes with many powerful tools and applications that make it a media creation powerhouse. The developers seek to make a lightweight – but powerful A/V-distro basing on Linux Mint! Let us take a look at this distro if it’s worth your time.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Huawei, Google supercharge Android with new Raspberry Pi-like board

      Prepare to run Android at blazing fast speeds on a new Raspberry Pi-like computer developed by Huawei.

      Huawei’s HiKey 960 computer board is priced at US$239 but has some of the latest CPU and GPU technologies. Google, ARM, Huawei, Archermind, and LeMaker all played roles in developing the board.

      The HiKey 960 is meant to be a go-to PC for Android or a tool to develop software and drivers for the OS. The board development was backed by Linaro, an organization that develops software packages for the Android OS and ARM architecture.

    • Bash Bunny: Big hacks come in tiny packages

      Bash Bunny is a Debian Linux computer with a USB interface designed specifically to execute payloads when plugged into a target computer. It can be used against Windows, MacOS, Linux, Unix, and Android computing devices. It features a multicolor RGB LED that indicates various statuses and a three-position selector switch: Two of the positions are used to launch payloads, while the third makes Bash Bunny appear to be a regular USB storage device for copying and modifying files.

    • Most powerful 96Boards SBC yet offers M.2 expansion

      Archermind and LeMaker have launched a “Hikey 960” 96Boards CE SBC for AOSP using HiSilicon’s 4x -A73, 4x -A53 Kirin 960 SoC, and featuring M.2 expansion.

      The Hikey 960 design from Linaro’s 96Boards.org is now available from Archermind and LeMaker, which sell the boards via their Alpha Star and Lenovator sites respectively. The SBC is also available on Amazon ($240) and Seed ($239), among other venues. The open source boards comply with the same 85 x 55mm 96Boards CE spec adopted by LeMaker’s Hikey SBC, and run Android Open Source Project (AOSP). Linaro plans to add Linux support over time (see farther below).

    • 96Boards Officially Launches The HiKey 960 ARM Board

      The 96Boards organization has announced the official launch and shipping of the HiKey 960.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Top 4 CDN services for hosting open source libraries

    A CDN, or content delivery network, is a network of strategically placed servers located around the world used for the purpose of delivering files faster to users. A traditional CDN will allow you to accelerate your website’s images, CSS files, JS files, and any other piece of static content. This allows website owners to accelerate all of their own content as well as provide them with additional features and configuration options. These premium services typically require payment based on the amount of bandwidth a project uses.

    However, if your project doesn’t justify the cost of implementing a traditional CDN, the use of an open source CDN may be more suitable. Typically, these types of CDNs allow you to link to popular web-based libraries (CSS/JS frameworks, for example), which are then delivered to your web visitors from the free CDN’s servers. Although CDN services for open source libraries do not allow you to upload your own content to their servers, they can help you accelerate libraries globally and improve your website’s redundancy.

  • Codesmith Students Garner National Praise for Open-Source Contributions

    Reactide is an Integrated Development Environment built for React, which intends to make React development easier for Software Engineers. The project has been widely praised, amassing over 6,000 stars on GitHub.

  • Airbnb’s new open source library lets you design with React and render to Sketch

    Today, Airbnb’s design team open sourced its internal library for writing React components that easily render directly to Sketch. Instead of trying to get Sketch to export to code, the Airbnb team spent its time on the opposite — putting the paintbrush in the hands of the engineer.

  • [Older] Telecoms copying cloud providers make beeline for open source, say analysts

    The supersonic growth of Amazon Web Services and other cloud providers in the past few years owes much to open-source communities that fed them cutting-edge tech free-of-charge. Now telecom is mimicking this strategy through involvement with the Linux Foundation, according to Scott Raynovich (@rayno) (pictured, right), guest host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile live streaming studio.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Back End

    • Users stand up, speak out, and deliver data on OpenStack growth

      Last week, the OpenStack Foundation announced the results of its ninth user survey. OpenStack users responded in record-breaking numbers to participate, and their voices as revealed in the data tell the real story of OpenStack. The OpenStack community is growing, thriving with new users, deployments, code contributions, and collaborations, all on the rise. User diversity is expanding across geographies and organizational sizes. And OpenStack’s ability to integrate with innovative technologies is paving the way for advancements not even dreamed of just five years ago.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle draws curtains on OmniOS

      With its openly stated operational remit of ‘aggressive acquisitions’ (albeit positively aggressive), Oracle is (very) arguably a firm known for buying, swallowing, acquiring those companies it decides to consume.

  • Healthcare

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • The many ways of running firefox on OpenBSD

      Maybe i haven’t talked about it enough on the lists, but since i’ve been maintaining the various mozillas in the portstree (cvs log says i started around firefox 3.6.something… 7 years ago. *sigh*) a lot of things changed, so i wanted take the 6.1 release as an occasion to sum up the various ways one could run which version of which firefox on which version of OpenBSD.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Libreboot Applies to Rejoin GNU

      Last week we reported that after reorganization, Libreboot was considering rejoining GNU and was seeking input from its community to determine the amount of support it had for such a move. From reading the comments posted both on our article on FOSS Force and on Libreboot’s website, it comes as no surprise that the project’s core members feel they have the necessary consesus to proceed.

      Last night, FOSS Force received an email — sent jointly to us and Phoronix — letting us know of the decision.

      Rather than repeat what’s already been written and said on the subject (for that, follow the first link above), we’re publishing a slightly edited version of the email, which will pretty much bring everyone up to date on the situation.

  • Programming/Development

Leftovers

  • Wikitribune is Jimmy Wales’ solution to the Donald Trump cavalcade of bullsh*t [iophk: "those with the most money to hire people to camp on articles will continue to win out"]

    Wikitribune will combine professional journalism with volunteers to offer ‘factual and neutral’ articles. It will be offered ad-free and free-to-use, relying on donations, as Wikipedia does.

    The service will require the same levels of fact-checking as Wikipedia, with sources cited and linked. Which basically is going to screw Donald Trump in the most splendid way.

  • Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is launching a news website

    Wikitribune says it will be transparent about its sources. It will post the full transcripts of interviews, as well as video and audio, “to the maximum extent possible.”

  • An interview with Cory Doctorow on beating death, post-scarcity, and everything

    Cory Doctorow’s new book Walkaway centers on the rise of a counterculture built on open-source technology that fabricates nearly everything from the “feedstock” provided by the refuse and wreckage of a world ravaged by climate change and economic ruin.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Lesson from Flint: ‘Test your dang water’ [iophk: "there are no safe levels of lead in drinking water or food"]

      “You still can’t drink the water, you still can’t cook with the water and bathing. … You get bumps and rashes from the water,” said Jones, 39, as he showed the red marks on his neck in the parking lot of the water station at the far north end of Flint. “It’s still a struggle, a day-to-day struggle. Even if we get cases of water, you don’t know how long that’s going to last.”

    • ‘Fossil’ groundwater is not immune to modern-day pollution

      Groundwater that has lingered in Earth’s depths for more than 12,000 years is surprisingly vulnerable to modern pollution from human activities. Once in place, that pollution could stick around for thousands of years, researchers report online April 25 in Nature Geoscience. Scientists previously assumed such deep waters were largely immune to contamination from the surface.

    • ‘There is no place for any religious organisation in 21st century care’ – Irish midwives

      A representative for Irish midwives said they want relocation but they do not want any religious order to have a say in modern hospitals.

      Ally Murphy, of the Irish Midwives Association told Breakfast Newstalk that they want what is best for Irish women.

      She was speaking as the controversy over the decision to give ownership of the new €300m National Maternity Hospital to the Sisters of Charity rumbled on.

  • Security

    • NSA backdoor detected on >55,000 Windows boxes can now be remotely removed

      After Microsoft officials dismissed evidence that more than 10,000 Windows machines on the Internet were infected by a highly advanced National Security Agency backdoor, private researchers are stepping in to fill the void. The latest example of this open source self-help came on Tuesday with the release of a tool that can remotely uninstall the DoublePulsar implant.

    • Turns out, pacemaker security is terrifying

      Ultimately, St. Jude Medical’s stock plunged as much as 10 percent in the aftermath. The company launched a lawsuit against MedSec and Muddy Waters, and the three firms skirmished in the press again when MedSec’s findings were allegedly reproduced by security firm Bishop Fox. What’s more, the second set of researchers claimed they could take over the pacemakers at a distance of around 10 feet.

    • Chrome, Firefox, and Opera users beware: This isn’t the apple.com you want
    • [Older] Phishing with Unicode Domains

      From a security perspective, Unicode domains can be problematic because many Unicode characters are difficult to distinguish from common ASCII characters. It is possible to register domains such as “xn--pple-43d.com”, which is equivalent to “аpple.com”. It may not be obvious at first glance, but “аpple.com” uses the Cyrillic “а” (U+0430) rather than the ASCII “a” (U+0061). This is known as a homograph attack.

    • New Strain of Linux Malware Could Get Serious [Ed: ECT thinks that people having default username+password is a “Linux” issue? Seriously?

      A new strain of malware targeting Linux systems, dubbed “Linux/Shishiga,” could morph into a dangerous security threat.

      Eset on Tuesday disclosed the threat, which represents a new Lua family unrelated to previously seen LuaBot malware.

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • GrSecurity Kernel Patches Will No Longer Be Free To The Public

      The GrSecurity initiative that hosts various out-of-tree patches to the mainline Linux kernel in order to enhance the security will no longer be available to non-paying users.

      GrSecurity has been around for the better part of two decades and going back to the 2.4 kernel days. In 2015 the stable GrSecurity patches became available to only commercial customers while the testing patches had still been public. That’s now changing with all GrSecurity users needing to be customers.

    • Passing the Baton: FAQ

      This change is effective today, April 26th 2017. Public test patches have been removed from the download area. 4.9 was specifically chosen as the last public release as being the latest upstream LTS kernel will help ease the community transition.

    • grsecurity – Passing the Baton

      Anyone here use grsecurity and have any thoughts about this?

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • CIA director Mike Pompeo repeatedly cited WikiLeaks to attack Clinton during campaign

      Donald Trump’s administration has taken a tough stance on WikiLeaks in recent weeks.
      US officials told CNN last week that the Justice Department has prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a news conference on Thursday that Assange’s arrest is a “priority” of the administration.

      But no Trump administration official went further in condemning the group than CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who, in a speech two weeks ago, called WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service.”
      Pompeo’s comments immediately drew attention to a tweet from July 2016 in which he linked to the WikiLeaks document dump of emails from the Democratic National Committee. Critics used the tweet to call out Pompeo for his dramatic reversal on WikiLeaks.

    • Julian Assange: The CIA director is waging war on truth-tellers like WikiLeaks

      Mike Pompeo, in his first speech as director of the CIA, chose to declare war on free speech rather than on the United States’ actual adversaries. He went after WikiLeaks, where I serve as editor, as a “non-state hostile intelligence service.” In Pompeo’s worldview, telling the truth about the administration can be a crime — as Attorney General Jeff Sessions quickly underscored when he described my arrest as a “priority.” News organizations reported that federal prosecutors are weighing whether to bring charges against members of WikiLeaks, possibly including conspiracy, theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act.

    • Chomsky: CIA Targeting of Julian Assange of WikiLeaks is “Disgraceful Act”

      NOAM CHOMSKY: If the charge is true, he should be honored for it. Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden carried out heroic, courageous acts. They fulfilled the responsibility of somebody who takes citizenship seriously—that is, who believes that the people of a country ought to know something about what their government is up to. OK? Like if their government is carrying out murderous, brutal attacks in Iraq, people should know about it. Takes us back to Martin Luther King’s talk in 1967. If the government is, and corporations, too, incidentally, are listening in to your telephone conversations and what you’re doing, you know, tapping this discussion and so on, we should know about it. Governments have no right to do things like that. And people should know about it. And if they think it’s OK, fine, let them decide, not do it in secret. And I think people wouldn’t agree to it. That’s why it’s kept secret. Why else keep it secret? You know? And these are people who exposed it at great risk to themselves. So those are heroic, courageous acts. If WikiLeaks was abetting them, more power to them. That’s what they should be doing.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Winners Of Ideas4Change For UN Sustainable Development Goals

      Inventions to contribute to the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have been rewarded. A reactor which converts carbon dioxide into ethanol, a method for the detection of pesticides and contaminants in food, and renewable leather created from bacteria won the heart of the jury.

  • Finance

    • Outgoing Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer will likely get $186m payout

      Shareholders will be asked to approve a huge payout for Mayer, as Yahoo is currently being sold to Verizon, the US’s largest telecom company, for $4.49bn

    • CETA bringing changes to pharma patents in Canada

      On Oct. 30, 2016, Canada signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union. Just one day later, Bill C-30: An Act to implement the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union and its Member States and to provide for certain other measures was introduced.

      Among other changes, Bill C-30 introduces significant amendments to the existing regulatory scheme by which generic drugs are granted market authorization and new provisions for extending the term of certain pharmaceutical patents. The following provides a brief overview of the upcoming changes for pharmaceutical patents.

    • Here Comes The Attempt To Reframe Silicon Valley As Modern Robber Barons

      It’s difficult for me to read Jonathan Taplin’s cri de coeur about Google and other technology companies that have come to dominate the top tier of successful American corporations without wincing in sympathy on his behalf.

      But the pain I feel is not grounded in Taplin’s certainty that something amoral, libertarian and unregulated is undermining democracy. Instead, it’s in Taplin’s profound misunderstanding of both the innovations and social changes that have made these companies not merely successful but also—for most Americans—vastly useful in enabling people to stay connected, express themselves and find the goods and services (and, even more importantly, communities) they need.

    • E-Commerce Serving Mostly Rich Economies; UNCTAD Launches Online Platform For Inclusivity

      Electronic commerce is booming but mostly for high income economies, speakers said at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which is holding a weeklong event on digital trade. Technical assistance is needed for developing countries to hop on the e-commerce train, they said, as UNCTAD launched a platform designed to help developing countries navigate the arcane of electronic trade.

    • Trump’s ‘huge tax cut for the rich’ would slash taxes for businesses and wealthy

      The Trump administration unveiled what it called the biggest tax cuts “in history” on Wednesday in a move that will simplify the US tax system, slash taxes for businesses large and small (including his own), eliminate inheritance taxes and set the president on a collision course with Congress over the likely $2tn-plus cost of the proposal.

      Critics immediately called it “basically a huge tax cut for the rich”.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Democracy campaigner: governments are scared of the participation revolution [iophk: "FB is part of the problem"]

      “But over the last few years we’ve been issuing alarms about the UK, US, Hungary and Poland. What’s begun to emerge is that we really think there is a global emergency around civil space, that for a variety of reasons governments and sometimes non-state actors are going out of their way to shut down the ability of citizens to collectively organise and mobilise.”

    • The Media Bubble Is Worse Than You Think

      How did big media miss the Donald Trump swell? News organizations old and new, large and small, print and online, broadcast and cable assigned phalanxes of reporters armed with the most sophisticated polling data and analysis to cover the presidential campaign. The overwhelming assumption was that the race was Hillary Clinton’s for the taking, and the real question wasn’t how sweeping her November victory would be, but how far out to sea her wave would send political parvenu Trump. Today, it’s Trump who occupies the White House and Clinton who’s drifting out to sea—an outcome that arrived not just as an embarrassment for the press but as an indictment. In some profound way, the election made clear, the national media just doesn’t get the nation it purportedly covers.

    • Putin Derangement Syndrome Arrives

      He will explain that Donald Trump, compromised by ancient deals with Russian mobsters, and perhaps even blackmailed by an unspeakable KGB sex tape, made a secret deal. He’ll say Trump agreed to downplay the obvious benefits of an armed proxy war in Ukraine with nuclear-armed Russia in exchange for Vladimir Putin’s help in stealing the emails of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and John Podesta.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • NSA Blimp Spied in the United States

      To residents of Maryland, catching an occasional glimpse of a huge white blimp floating in the sky is not unusual. For more than a decade, the military has used the state as a proving ground for new airships destined for Afghanistan or Iraq. But less known is that the test flights have sometimes served a more secretive purpose involving National Security Agency surveillance.

    • The Intercept publishes details on Maryland’s other surveillance blimp

      According to The Intercept, the NSA tested a blimp at an airfield near Solomons Island in Southern Maryland back in 2004. It’s the latest revelation to be published from the site’s “Snowden Archive.”

    • The NSA’s Eye in the Sky: Blimp Spies on Americans

      The surveillance hawks — it would appear — are never satisfied. When it comes to harvesting the data of American citizens, their mantra seems to be “too much is never enough.” The most recently revealed tool in the considerable arsenal of the surveillance state is a three-engine blimp equipped with eavesdropping apparatus.

      As the online magazine The Intercept is reporting, the 62-foot diameter airship — ominously named the Hover Hammer — was fitted “with an eavesdropping device” back in 2004. The Intercept published a classified document on Monday as part of the Snowden Archive. That classified document shows that the Hover Hammer “can be manned or remotely piloted and has already done demonstration flights up to 10,700 feet” including a test in which “the airship launched from an airfield near Solomons Island, Maryland and was able to intercept international shipping data emanating from the Long Island, New York area, including lines of bearing.” Just to clarify, both Maryland and Long Island, New York, are in the United States, so the fact that the Hover Hammer intercepted “international shipping data” is considerably less than the whole story. In sweeping up that data, the “Digital Receiver Technology model 1301 receiver onboard the airship” undoubtedly also picked up domestic communications — including mobile phone calls, texts, mobile data traffic, and presumably WiFi and other signals.

    • NSA’s ‘Hover Hammer’ Spied on ‘International’ New York Shipping Data

      A 62-foot-diameter blimp deployed by the US National Security Agency was able to “intercept international shipping data emanating from the Long Island, New York, area” after taking flight from Solomons Island, Maryland, according to a classified NSA document published on Monday.

    • Leaked Documents Reveal the NSA Spying on Scientists to Find ‘Nefarious’ Genetic Research

      A new document made public this week via Edward Snowden’s leak of NSA documents reveals a fascinating aim of signals intelligence program: The agency, it turns out, monitored international scientific developments in hopes of detecting “nefarious” genetic engineering projects more than a decade ago.

      SIGINT is intelligence collected by monitoring electronic and communications signals. In 2013, documents leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the extent of the agency’s reliance on this kind of intelligence to provide insight into the capabilities and intentions of foreign entities, as well as domestic targets. In the years since, documents have continued to trickle out of the Snowden leak that shed additional light on those efforts.

    • Man suspected in wife’s murder after her Fitbit data doesn’t match his alibi

      The arrest warrant shows a detailed breakdown of all her movements and locations from waking up through the time she was killed. From the sync locations and activity monitor, investigators were able to produce a timeline down to the minute of when she left for the gym, the duration of her trip home, when she walked into the garage, her intermittent moving around in the home, and when her body stopped moving.

    • Service Faces Backlash Over a Widespread Practice: Selling User Data

      In 2014, after concluding its investigation, the F.T.C. called on Congress to protect consumers against the unchecked collection and marketing of their digital data. The F.T.C. report detailed how some of the companies classify consumers in data-driven social and demographic groups for marketing purposes with labels like “financially challenged,” “diabetes interest” and “smoker in the household.” The concern is that such classifications could be used to limit fair access to financial services or health insurance.

      The F.T.C. recommendation, which was endorsed in a separate report by the Obama administration, was not taken up in Congress.

    • How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All

      They have ample means to do so: the immense data trail you leave behind whenever you place something in your online shopping cart or swipe your rewards card at a store register, top economists and data scientists capable of turning this information into useful price strategies, and what one tech economist calls “the ability to experiment on a scale that’s unparalleled in the history of economics.” In mid-March, Amazon alone had 59 listings for economists on its job site, and a website dedicated to recruiting them.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Hatred against non-Muslims grows as radical movements expand

      Throughout the election campaign, the most extremist Islamic leaders tried to influence the vote by manipulating the religious sentiment of voters (pictured). This led to many street demonstrations, which often turned violent.

      “They want to adopt laws inspired by Sharia, and their demands will become more and more radical,” Sinta Wahid warned. This trend represents a serious threat to national unity and to the pluralist spirit on which the country was founded.

    • Hyderabad man dies after being set ablaze in Riyadh, kin seeks govt intervention

      Abdul Qader, who was working in Riyadh, was allegedly set on fire following dispute with a family member of his employer.

    • TSA: Tiny Little Thugocrats Need To Show Travelers Who’s Boss

      This confirms what security expert Bruce Schneier has said for years — that this is security theater, not meaningful security.

    • ‘Mass murder’ complaint filed against Philippines’ President Duterte at ICC

      In the first publicly known filing to the Hague court against Duterte, Jude Sabio submitted the 77-page complaint that says the president has “repeatedly, unchangingly and continuously” committed extra-judicial executions or mass murders over three decades, amounting to crimes against humanity.

    • British woman jailed in Iran loses final appeal
    • Iran rejects detained British-Iranian woman’s final appeal, family says

      She still has not been allowed to know the exact charges for which she was convicted, Ratcliffe said.

    • US government lodges appeal on Amos Yee’s asylum case

      US government attorneys are appealing a Chicago immigration judge’s decision to grant asylum to Amos Yee.

      That means 18-year-old Yee remains in US custody. The judge concluded in March that Yee had a “well-founded fear” of being persecuted upon return to Singapore. He was first detained by US immigration authorities in December at O’Hare International Airport.

    • British ‘hacker’ Lauri Love can appeal extradition to US, solicitors announce

      No date has yet been set for the challenge, which will be heard at the High Court in London.

    • Lauri Love can appeal his extradition ruling

      The High Court has granted Lauri Love permission to appeal against his extradition to the United States.

      Liberty have also been granted permission to intervene in the appeal. A hearing date has still to be scheduled.

    • IGD: Black Bloc Defends Berkeley As Trump Supporters Give Nazi Salutes

      Clashes erupted in Berkeley, CA today as anarchists and antifascists fought with members of the Alt-Right, neo-Nazis, and Trump supporters. Trump supporters openly carried anti-Semitic signs, fascist symbols, and gave neo-Nazi salutes.

      Police had stated the day before that they would search people coming into the park for weapons and other items that could be used for “rioting,” however it was clear that police by and large had failed to do so – much less police the area. Law enforcement also set up plastic barriers in the park that gave the Trump supporters access to a “stage” area, in effect, protecting them from counter-demonstrators and enforcing a permit, although one was never obtained, as they focused on policing antifascists.

    • White Nationalists, Neo-Nazis & Right-Wing Militia Members Clash with Antifa Protesters in Berkeley

      In Berkeley, California, at least 20 people were arrested as fights broke out between white nationalist Trump supporters and antifascist protesters during competing rallies on Saturday. Photos show some of the Trump supporters posing with the Nazi salute. Police say at least one person was stabbed during the clashes. Several more were injured. In one instance, a known white supremacist was videotaped punching a young antifascist woman named Louise Rosealma in the face. The man who is seen punching her is Nathan Damigo, a former marine who founded the white supremacist organization known as “Identity Europa.” For more, we speak with award-winning reporter Shane Bauer. His most recent article is titled “I Went Behind the Front Lines with the Far-Right Agitators Who Invaded Berkeley.”

    • Prosecutors Overturn More Than 21,000 Drug Convictions In Wake Of Massive Drug Lab Misconduct

      Back in 2012, it was discovered that a Massachusetts state drug lab technician had falsified thousands of tests submitted as evidence in criminal cases. Technician Annie Dookhan was able to “produce” three times as many test results as her coworkers, mostly by never actually testing the submitted substance — something that went unquestioned for far too long. Dookhan went to jail for three years, but many of those convicted on faulty evidence spent far more time locked up.

      Dookhan’s prolific fakery resulted in a list of 40,000 cases possibly tainted by her work. This list was turned over to prosecutors, who managed over the next few years to trim it down to 23,000 possibly-tainted convictions. Faced with the daunting task of sorting this all out and notifying former defendants, the district attorney’s office decided the best approach was to do as little as possible.

    • Security Forces Put On Alert As Trump Set To Ban Laptops On Planes Originating From Europe

      In late March U.S. intelligence sources announced that terrorist organizations have found a novel and deadly way to smuggle explosives onto airplanes utilizing everyday laptops. Though officials declined to provide additional details, some believe that the intelligence highlighting the new threat was the result of President Trump’s raid on an Al Queda compound in Yemen that left at least 14 Al Queda fighters. Navy SEAL Ryan Owens was also killed in the raid. The President called it a “winning mission,” and officials said the mission’s stated purpose, to gather information, had been accomplished.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Cord Cutting Is Very Real, And 25% Of Americans Won’t Subscribe To Traditional Cable By Next Year

      For years the traditional cable and broadcast industry has gone to great lengths to deny that cord cutting (getting rid of traditional cable TV) is real. First, we were told repeatedly that the phenomenon wasn’t happening at all. Next, the industry acknowledged that sure — a handful of people were ditching cable, but it didn’t matter because the people doing so were losers living in their mom’s basement. Then, we were told that cord cutting was real, but was only a minor phenomenon that would go away once Millennials started procreating.

      Of course none of these talking points were true, but they helped cement a common belief among older cable and broadcast executives that the transformative shift to streaming video could be easily solved by doubling down on bad ideas. More price increases, more advertisements stuffed into each minute, more hubris, and more denial. Blindness to justify the milking of a dying cash cow instead of adapting.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • More IP Attorneys Predict More Craft Beer Trademark Disputes As The Industry Continues To Grow

        If you want to take the temperature on where the craft beer brewing industry is on the convergence of an exploding industry and the greater use of trademark law, you need only look at what intellectual property lawyers are saying. We had just discussed a Q&A with several IP attorneys in wine country lamenting on how trademark law is throwing up roadblocks to a likewise expanding wine industry and the need for a more nuanced interpretation of marketplaces within the alcohol industries. Even within the craft beer industry itself, IP attorneys are starting to recognize that the industry has a problem.

    • Copyrights

      • Five Million Brits Go Crazy For Illegal Streaming
      • Five years later, legal Megaupload data is still trapped on dead servers

        The files on Megaupload should have just been backups for Goodwin, but unfortunately he experienced a hard drive failure just days before the 2012 Dotcom arrest. That means the “backup” files on Megaupload are the only copies available for some of his material. In addition to losing video that he provided to parents of their kids’ sports achievements, he’s been unable to complete a documentary he was making about a girls’ soccer team in Strongville, Ohio. OhioSportsNet also lost its promotional videos and other news packages.

      • Kim Dotcom Asks Police to Urgently Interview FBI Director Jim Comey

        Kim Dotcom has filed a formal complaint with police in New Zealand after FBI director James Comey arrived in the region for a conference. Dotcom’s complaint says that Comey should be urgently interviewed over the unlawful removal of hard drive clones obtained following the raid on Megaupload in 2012.

      • Dutch Court Rules That Freely Given Fan-Subtitles Are Copyright Infringement

        For some reason, there has been a sub-war raging for more than a decade between anti-piracy groups and fans who create free subtitles for content so other regions can enjoy that same content. While much of this war has been fought for years on the anime front of all places, the conflict has spread to mainstream movies and television as well. And it is a painfully dumb war to fight at all for the content creators, whose publishers have failed to provide the subtitle translations that are obviously in demand, and which would open up new markets at no cost for them. Instead, they typically choose to scream “Copyright infringement!” at these fans instead.

      • Why Is Congress In Such A Rush To Strip The Library Of Congress Of Oversight Powers On The Copyright Office?

        In the past few weeks, we’ve written a few times about this weird urgency among some in Congress to rush through a pretty major change to Copyright Office oversight. I wrote a deep dive piece over at The Verge discussing the issues at play, but Congress is pushing a bill to stop the new Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, from appointing a new head of the Copyright Office. Instead, the Congressional plan is to make the position a political appointee, nominated by the President, and approved by Congress. In that Verge piece, we explained why it was a major change, and scratched our heads at the fact that there appears to be no reason for pushing for this change other than (1) the legacy copyright industries know that their lobbying power will mean that the appointment will be to their liking and (2) they fear who Hayden might appoint. But, what’s really odd is how quickly Congress is trying to push this through. As if the matter is incredibly urgent. There have been no hearings on the matter. There’s been no public discussion on the pros and cons of such a move. Just a mad dash by a bunch of people in Congress to make this change official before Hayden can appoint someone.

PatentShield is Not the Solution and It Won’t Protect Google/Android From Patent Trolls Like Microsoft’s

Posted in America, Google, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The problem is the underlying software patents and trolls

PatentShield

Summary: A new initiative called “PatentShield” is launched, but it’s yet another one of those many initiatives (Peer-to-Patent and the likes of it, LOT Network, OIN, PAX etc.) that serve to distract from the real and much simpler solutions

FIGHTING patents with patents is a worthless exercise of endless war and sometimes just reckless stockpiling which accomplishes nothing at all. We wrote about this in relation to Red Hat 8 years ago.

“This is why Microsoft loves using trolls as satellites, including Intellectual Ventures, which has thousands of satellites of its own and is controlled by Microsoft.”A decade or more ago, around 2005, Red Hat helped fight against software patents at the EPO, but later on both Red Hat and Google started accumulating software patents of their own, falsely arguing that they need these for “defence”. Acacia, a patent troll with Microsoft connections, repeatedly disproved them. One cannot sue trolls; there’s nothing to sue over. This is why Microsoft loves using trolls as satellites, including Intellectual Ventures, which has thousands of satellites of its own and is controlled by Microsoft.

“There is a lot of hype this morning about PatentShield, which wrongly assumes that what we need to shield us from patent attacks are more patents.”Not too long ago Google bragged about something called “PAX” (or Pax, i.e. peace), which we criticised several times. It doesn’t really help address the underlying problems. It tackles neither trolls nor software patents. See this latest new example where the buzzword “AI” gets used as a loophole for post-Alice software patent grants. There were two puff pieces about it this morning [1, 2], the latter of which says: “A new patent for “whole brain” systems for autonomous robotic control has been issued by the U.S. Patent Office to Neurala, the software company that invented The Neurala Brain, a deep learning neural networks platform. This new invention will enable AI to function more like a human brain because it integrates multiple brain areas.”

I have personally developed programs in this area (machine learning, autonomous vehicles etc.) and it’s abundantly clear that it’s all about software.

“What PatentShield is likely to accomplish is little but distraction from the real solutions (which Google isn’t genuinely interested in).”There is a lot of hype this morning about PatentShield, which wrongly assumes that what we need to shield us from patent attacks are more patents. We found quite a few articles early this morning [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], accompanying several copies of the press release (there was clearly a large, well-coordinated effort to get the word out, including paid press releases and probably PR agencies). No doubt there are many more articles on the way and almost none will go beyond repeating quotes from the press release (and those who paid for these, or their PR agents).

For those who think that PatentShield is a sort of “Eureka moment” or some brilliant thing “to Defend Startups from Patent Litigation” (as the headline of the press release claims) we have a good offer; land on the Moon and on Mars!

“Microsoft, for instance, habitually sends out trolls to attack its competition.”What PatentShield is likely to accomplish is little but distraction from the real solutions (which Google isn’t genuinely interested in). Meanwhile, MOSAID (now known as Conversant) gears up for more litigation. IAM has just been writing about this Microsoft-fed patent troll that pays IAM too. “According to USPTO data,” IAM wrote yesterday, “Conversant was assigned 29 US patent assets by Seoul-based semiconductor foundry Dongbu HiTek and its affiliate Dongbu Electronics in a transfer executed at the end of last year. The patents appear to relate to CMOS image sensor technology.”

It’s not hard to imagine what will happen next. The industry is already suffering from trolls abundance (there is a new site called “Don’t Bully My Business”) and Conversant/MOSAID is just one of many. Microsoft, for instance, habitually sends out trolls to attack its competition. It’s a convenient loophole. Microsoft is like Qualcomm in that sense and regarding the FTC (critic of PAEs in its recent report) which we wrote about some days ago, IAM says this:

The FTC’s case against Qualcomm was filed amid the dying embers of the Obama White House and accused the chipmaker of anti-competitive practices in the supply of its baseband processors and in its patent licensing. But the move was not without controversy. In a 2-1 decision in favour of bringing the suit, Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen wrote a strongly worded dissent in which she claimed the court action was “based on a flawed legal theory”. Trump has appointed Ohlhausen the acting FTC chairman as the administration searches for a permanent appointee and, should the new head share her sentiments, the government’s support of the suit against Qualcomm may become lukewarm at best. The letter is a clear attempt to try to ensure that doesn’t happen.

We very much doubt that a corporations’ government — be it Obama’s or Trump’s — will tackle the underlying issues. So far it has been mostly SCOTUS which contributed to progress with decisions like Alice and hopefully TC Heartland some time soon.

The bottom line is, small trolls and ‘institutionalised’ trolls continue to prey on the system, both directly and indirectly. PatentShield is more like a PR ploy of Google and Intertrust; it won’t actually help victims of trolling. Ignore and move on.

Patent Quality Crisis and Unprecedented Trouble at the European Patent Office (EPO) Negatively Affect Legitimate Companies in the US As Well

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Patent monopolies are believed to drive innovation but they actually impede the pace of science and innovation, Stiglitz said. The current “patent thicket,” in which anyone who writes a successful software programme is sued for alleged patent infringement, highlights the current IP system’s failure to encourage innovation, he said.”

IP Watch on Professor Joseph Stiglitz

Summary: The granting en masse of questionable patents by the EPO (patent maximalism) is becoming a liability and growing risk to companies which operate not only in Europe but also elsewhere

THE USPTO isn’t perfect, but at least it’s improving. We have repeatedly commended its Director for steering the Office in a positive direction which is widely supported by most of the industry, just not the patent microcosm (which is eager to oust her and undo all the progress).

At IP Watch, Steven Seidenberg has just published behind paywall this piece about a SCOTUS decision which he says “will benefit patent trolls and other unscrupulous patent owners, at the expense of companies,” citing “few observers” of the SCA Hygiene Prods. Aktiebolag v First Quality Baby Prods case. We wrote about this before.

“…the EPO’s inability to operate in a capacity other than rubber-stamping has wide-ranging and long-ranging (beyond Europe) ramifications.”“On the positive side,” he added, “the ruling brings US patent law more in line with Europe’s patent law.”

So what? That in itself is not necessarily a positive thing. Watch what the EPO has become and how flagrantly it disregards European patent law, including its founding document, the EPC. The dysfunctions of the EPO are in fact becoming a headache and a liability even well outside the continent of Europe. This new article, titled “Planning to Request Discovery for a European Patent Office Proceeding? Not So Fast, Rules the District of Massachusetts”, says the following:

The Hon. F. Dennis Saylor, IV of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts recently denied a petitioner’s request under 28 USC § 1782 to take discovery related to patent inventorship in connection with an Opposition proceeding pending before the European Patent Office (EPO). The court, in exercising its discretion under the U.S. Supreme Court’s so-called Intel factors set forth in Intel Corp. v. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., 542 US 241, 264 (2004), denied the petitioner’s request for discovery because the EPO generally does not allow the type of discovery requested by the petitioner in an Opposition proceeding, thus the petitioner’s requested discovery would have no place in an EPO Opposition.

Put in simple terms, based on a x86 case from 13 years ago, it is not possible for US entities to look into the reckless actions (widely known by now) of the EPO, where patents are granted in error.

The author, Alison C. Casey from Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, says this “illustrates the need for inventors to be familiar with patent laws, procedures, and proceedings in foreign jurisdictions.” That’s like saying, “come to me! Give me business, I’ll advise you.”

But between the lines we see that the person affected in his capacity as an attorney is actually European. To quote:

The petitioner, George Schlich, is a European patent attorney who brought this action as an agent of Intellia Therapeutics, Inc., a genome editing company based in the United States. Schlich petitioned the district court to order discovery under 28 USC § 1782 in connection with a proceeding before the European Patent Office related to an EPO-issued patent for an invention known as the CRISPR/Cas9 system, which provides scientists with an inexpensive and precise method of editing DNA for biological and medical research. The underlying dispute in the EPO is whether The Broad Institute, Inc., a biomedical and genomic research institute affiliated with MIT and Harvard, can rely on its U.S. provisional applications filing date for priority in its European patents.

We wrote a great deal about this CRISPR fiasco in the US and in the EPO. The above is a reminder that the EPO’s inability to operate in a capacity other than rubber-stamping has wide-ranging and long-ranging (beyond Europe) ramifications.

Blog ‘Takeovers’ by Bristows and Then Censorship: Now This Firm Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Then Deletes Comments That Point Out the Errors

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Bristows-Run IP Kat Continues to Spread Lies to Promote the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Advance the EPO Management’s Agenda

Brian Cordery
Photo credit: Managing IP

Summary: Not only are Bristows employees grabbing the mic in various high-profile IP blogs for the purpose of UPC promotion (by distortion of facts); they also actively suppress critics of the UPC

THE EPO‘s management isn’t alone; some people do in fact stand to benefit from its so-called ‘reforms’, notably Team UPC. But only if the UPC ever becomes a reality, which seems far-fetched a concept. They try to make it desirable and inevitable, but it’s anything but.

IP Kat does censor comments, but apparently not as zealously as Kluwer.”Bristows, a core part of Team UPC in the UK, is exploiting external blogs for marketing, as almost nobody reads (or even knows about) its own blog. They’re doing this not just in IP Kat (two more puff pieces from the Bristows lobbyist there yesterday and another one this morning, with pro-trolls bias) but also in Kluwer, which doesn’t seem to mind poor track record of the messengers (they may also be falsifying quotes). Brian Cordery (Bristows) published something in Kluwer some days ago and it didn’t go too well, especially if commenters are not denied a voice. In IP Kat, for example, whenever there is an article promoting the UPC we find that almost every single comment refutes it. IP Kat does censor comments, but apparently not as zealously as Kluwer.

“Have you seen the discussion in the comment section here,” one reader asked us, pointing to this puff piece which boils down to amplifying Team Battistelli. “Very remarkable,” our reader called it. Here is the key part from this echo chamber, which excluded critical voices as usual:

The second session looked at the topic of Brexit and IP. Margot Fröhlinger, the Principal Director of Patent Law and Multilateral Affairs, spoke first. She addressed the state of implementation of the Agreement. 12 have ratified so far but not Germany and the UK. Both however are on track – according to the latest reports. Turning to the impact of Brexit, Margot noted that most commentators had initially assumed Brexit was the death knell for the UK’s participation in the UPC and possibly for the whole project. Over time, these views had softened but it was still a surprise when the UKIPO announced on 28 November 2016 that the UK was going to proceed with ratification. Nevertheless this was seen as very positive news by proponents of the system. Margot considered that the UK’s participation could be secured if there was sufficient political will, given the marginal influence of the CJEU in the UPC regime. Moreover in the unlikely event that the UK left the system, arrangements will be put in place to ensure that participants are not prejudiced. Margot felt that the system would be impoverished without the UK judges and practitioners. Panellist Joel Smith thought that there was political will for the UK participation but it was just one of many pieces in a very complicated puzzle. Panellist Trevor Cook wondered if we may end up with the UPC system applying in the UK but not unitary patents. Judge Klaus Grabinski thought that all options remained on the table and Margot Fröhlinger pointed to Denmark’s involvement in the Brussels Regulation as a precedent.

The ‘fun’ part starts in the comments, which help highlight — however difficult these things tend to be — that there is suppression in the comments.

Read the first comment:

UPC and the Brexit

Declaring that the influence of the CJEU in the UPC regime will be marginal is quite daring and has more to do with wishful thinking than a robust analysis of the situation.

That a lot of stakeholders, especially UK law firms, would like UK to stay in the UPC is understandable but does not make it more likely.

In any case, it is a bare minimum to consider that arrangements will be put in place to ensure that participants are not prejudiced should UK leave the UPC. The contrary would be astonishing.

Overall, it is nevertheless doubtful that that UK will stay in the UPC after Brexit. If this would be the case, it would mean that EPLA is revived in a different form. It is anything but sure and certain that the CJEU would agree on this. Ever heard of Opinion 1/09? It makes it even more strange to decide upfront about the marginal influence of the CJEU….

I hope that this post will be published, contrary to my earlier one. In the contrary I would like to be told the reasons for non-publication. If only nice things can be said in a blog, then it is not a blog….

So Bristows, a key lobbyist for the UPC, not only lies about the UPC but also engages in censorship of UPC critics. “Having had two comments blocked,” as the above person points out, means that it’s no accident. Here is another comment:

Having had two comments blocked, I take it for acquired that any comment slightly critical of the UPC and hence not corresponding to the interests of Brystows is not to be published in this blog.

I find this appalling. A blog is there to confront points of view, not to exclusively express a positive opinion on the UPC and/or considering a post-Brexit participation of UK in the UPC highly likely.

Even IPKat accepts dissenting opinions.

I am therefore not agreeing with Techrights that IPKat has been taken over by Brystows. I am even of the opinion that often Techrights deserves the cause it wants to help in being apodictic and extreme in its view.

Should I not get a reply giving me the reasons as to why my comments were blocked, I will make the matter public.

In our defense, in the context of the UPC, we view ourself as counterpropaganda, or the voice that helps counter the propaganda, without being propaganda on its own. The only thing we have at stake is fear of patent trolls, which UPC would make possible here.

The above commenter continues, later adding:

The above comment was not to made public at once. I want a detailed reply first.

That’s when “Kluwer Blogger” weighed in to say:

The author would like to point out that he was just reporting the views of those expressed by the speakers at the conference. Personally, he feels that where there is a political will, a way will be found. Though he recognises that there is a long road ahead.

As a reminder, this is who leads this echo chamber, based on a screenshot taken 3 days ago:

Bristows and Microsoft

Here is another person complaining about censorship:

Daniel Thomas laments that his postings were “blocked”. I sympathise with him. But readers will be aware that blocking is sometimes appropriate. For example, if you follow the lively Patently-O blog (or the Comments threads on the UK newspaper The Guardian), you will know that some posters are offensive and so it is appropriate to “block” their offensive outpourings.

Of course, it is a difficult judgement, what has to be “blocked”. Me, I cannot imagine Daniel Thomas ever being offensive. In my experience he is an exceedingly courteous man.

Daniel, the blockings on Patently-O are done by a computer and often for me inexplicable. Perhaps something like that happened here, with your non-appearing postings?

The best comment we’ve found mentions the impact on IP Kat as well:

Please note that, unfortunately, this “blog” is primarily not an academic playground, but rather a marketing tool for Kluwer and their authors, trying to push public opinion in a way suiting their needs. Another example for such tool is the above mentioned IPkat blog after Jeremy’s departure.

As a consequence, it should not come as too much of a surprise that comments expressing a view contradicting that of Kluwer et al are swept under the blanket. For instance, they have long abandoned publishing critical voices on the UPC as it would be required for an open debate and instead prefer presenting their exclusive narrative on how things stand and where they go. Of course, usually this has not much to do with reality which allows certain deductions to be made as regards the UPC project as a whole if it can only be kept alive based on skewed perspectives and the input of obviously biased individuals, apparently having to be protected from an open discussion.

From an academic standpoint and the perspective of free speech, this is a rather depressing situation, but clearly it is the path Kluwer et al have chosen to follow. We will see if this comment makes it to publication or whether it will be suppressed as many others. In the latter case, there will at least be a screenshot confirming that it has been successfully submitted.

For the record, here in Techrights we have 33,894 comments. We never in our entire history censored even one comment. Not even extremely rude ones!

IP Kat used similar excuses as well. They censored me several times — to the point where I complained to the blog’s founder and altogether stopped commenting there.”Bristows are, as always, utterly terrible liars and the more they do this shameful suppression of speech, the more eager we are to expose what they’re up and stop them. Brian Cordery and his colleagues long ago abandoned facts; all they care about is money. Cordery concluded the thread with: “The author reiterates that all non-derogatory comments will be published and apologises for any delay caused due to his travel schedule.”

Well, there was probably nothing derogatory in them (nobody can see to verify); that’s just a typical excuse after removing ‘unwanted’ comments. IP Kat used similar excuses as well. They censored me several times — to the point where I complained to the blog's founder and altogether stopped commenting there.

“Proverbs are always platitudes until you have personally experienced the truth of them.”

Aldous Huxley

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