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Microsoft is Dying Due to Free Software, Tries to Infect GNU/Linux With .NET and to Infect Moodle in Schools With Microsoft Office and OOXML Lock-in

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Open XML at 12:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates


Summary: ‘Free’ drugs (a proprietary software analogy) the new strategy of Microsoft in its latest battle against Free software, especially in schools where choice is a rarity (if not an impossibility), with the premeditated intention of forming dependency/addiction among young people

The Microsoft marketer from the CBS-run ZDNet says that GNU/Linux has now successfully pushed the price of Windows down to $0. No wonder the company is laying off many employees and fighting with the IRS over its tax violations. Microsoft is a company in rapid decline and there are many ways to show this. Just because Microsoft pressures and even bribes people to pay lip service to Vista 10 doesn’t mean it’s real news or that FOSS sites should cover it too (but some do). It’s more of a distraction or a decoy amid a lot of negative publicity for Microsoft. Vista 10 is not ‘free’, neither gratis nor libre. That’s a lie perpetrated by Microsoft and propagated by Microsoft-friendly media. As Pogson put it in his rebuttal: “Freedom isn’t just about the price. An operating system isn’t a service. One needs software on a device to make it seem intelligent, nothing more. Bundling that other OS with every kind of device on the planet doesn’t make any sense at all.”

Microsoft has been trying to infiltrate the FOSS community and even infiltrate GNU/Linux (the winners at Microsoft’s expense). Here we have Microsoft’s proxy Xamarin producing yet another Microsoft entrapment for GNU/Linux users (Mono) and here we have Microsoft trying to repurpose Free software as Microsoft lock-in. When Microsoft says “open source” it means proprietary plus some exploitation of FOSS in the Trojan sense, based on its silly press releases that it pushed even into CNN, (i.e. paid for by Microsoft handsomely). For those who missed it, Microsoft is now trying to push proprietary software with OOXML lock-in, which Microsoft committed crimes for, into Moodle. Microsoft’s ally in schools, Blackboard (proprietary), also tried to accomplish that when it acquired the competition (Moodlerooms). It is capture by proxy (Microsoft uses its own proxy) and it serves to highlight an inherent vulnerability in the ‘openness’ of Free software (it leaves itself open to Trojan horses unless it is willing to put up some resistance). Microsoft did the same thing to Linux (proprietary Hyper-V through Novell as the bribed proxy) and it is becoming a serious issue. The media too plays a role in it (see the paid press releases above) and Bill Gates’ bribes to The Guardian are clearly paying off because this wicked paper is now portraying Gates as a champion of education with another mindless advertisement/puff piece. This is often about imposing Microsoft software on schools. Gates has already made it explicitly clear that he views children the same way drug dealers view them. It’s market share. It’s money. “In other news,” wrote a reader to us, “he is attacking Moodle quite heavily. I guess the goal is to make it 100% tied to MS Office, Sharepoint, Exchange and all the other crap.”

“Microsoft has been been trying to infiltrate the FOSS community and even infiltrate GNU/Linux (the winners at Microsoft’s expense).”“Wired still sucks up to Bill,” he added, linking to this latest puff piece. Gates has spent over a billion dollars so far bribing news sites, blogs, etc. so we have grounds for suspicion that Wired too (Condé Nast) has an unstated conflict of interest. Another news site of Condé Nast has employed full-time Microsoft boosters and one of them, Peter Bright (Microsoft Peter), is now openwashing Internet Explorer despite admitting that “Internet Explorer is closed from end to end.”

Watch out as Microsoft and Bill Gates try to hijack school curriculum to impose Microsoft as part of what’s obligatory (imposed from above). The attempt to make Moodle connected to the NSA PRISM-complying (Microsoft was first in PRISM) OOXML-spreading Microsoft Office is just the first step.

Microsoft Symptoms of a Dying Company: More Boosters Depart, Back Doors Revealed, Microsoft’s Outlook Cracked

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Vista 10, Windows at 12:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Journalists currently under heavy barrage from Microsoft marketing (outsourced and in-house)

Office of telemarketing

Summary: Bad news for Microsoft shortly before the marketing extravaganza served to cover much of it up

IF YOU believe the hype (Microsoft has been talking about it for nearly 2 years), you will easily believe that Vista 10 is the return of Windows monopoly and supposed OS ‘leadership’, even though Microsoft is shrinking along with its notorious back doors and criminal behaviour (less Microsoft means less crime).

Those of us who have watched Microsoft closely for years saw a lot of the company’s boosters ebbing away. Microsoft laid off a lot of marketing people. It’s a ‘luxury’ it cannot afford anymore as breaking/infiltrating the media is not cheap. Last week we learned that Paul Thurrott left as well; he had been one of Microsoft’s leading boosters and now, according to a source of ours, he “[p]robably moved to be able to change focus, adding FUD against non-Microsoft stuff in the guise of coverage. This is how far he has gone.” (notice the usual and typical propaganda we have been seeing for weeks now).

Some falsely claim that Android is losing share and others try to paint Windows as running Android apps even though it cannot. That is the type of FUD we have been debunking here for years. This FUD is not dead yet. Just notice the patterns, part of the PR campaign perhaps. If many people repeat the same lie in unison, then the lie gains legitimacy. Just watch Microsoft’s propaganda network 1105 Media trolling FOSS yet again over ‘security’ (only yesterday). A lot of this PR/FUD started last April when a Microsoft-connected firm gave a name and a logo to a bug in OpenSSL. It did it exactly when Windows XP ran out of support (i.e. left totally vulnerable to crackers).

“A lot of this PR/FUD started last April when a Microsoft-connected firm gave a name and a logo to a bug in OpenSSL.”Either way, Microsoft boosters continue to be dissolved. We used to see many more FUD attacks on GNU/Linux or Free software several years ago and as Soylent News put it: “Longtime Microsoft-centric journalist and blogger Paul Thurrott has left Supersite for Windows, and the website he founded sixteen years ago, and its sister site Windows IT Pro, for reasons explained in his farewell post. The sites (the former of which is still branded ‘Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows’ for now, but that will surely change) will be maintained by a staff of journalists employed by Penton, an information services conglomerate.”

Microsoft very much relies on propaganda agents who blame Google for Microsoft's failings and incite against Microsoft’s top competitors (Chromebooks seem to be Microsoft’s nightmare at the moment, not just Google Docs and ODF). Consider this rebuttal from Thom Holwerda:

First, this article makes the usual mistake of calling these vulnerabilities “zero day”. They are not zero day. They are 90 day. A huge difference that changes the entire context of the story. Microsoft gets 90 days – three months – to address these issues.

The accusations against Google were repeated later, at around the beginning of last week (second time) and the end of last week (third wave). This is totally insane an accusation to make, but given that those blaming Google are longtime Microsoft boosters, one can expect it.

In other news, a new Bloomberg puff piece glamourises Microsoft privacy violations, milking the Paris shootings for Microsoft PR. What an unbelievably shallow puff piece; then again, it’s Bloomberg. In similar news, Outlook has been cracked [1]. Even Microsoft cannot maintain a state of security. “Clumsily done” labelled it our source. Maybe the back doors have taken their toll in the wrong country. That won’t be good for business.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft Outlook hacked following Gmail block in China

    Microsoft’s Outlook email service was subject to a cyberattack over the weekend, just weeks after Google’s Gmail service was blocked in China.

    On Monday, online censorship watchdog Greatfire.org said the organization received reports that Outlook was subject to a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack in China. A MITM attack intrudes on online connections in order to monitor and control a channel, and may also be used to push connections into other areas — for example, turning a user towards a malicious rather than legitimate website.

The Collapse of European Patent Office Management Culminates With Resignations

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Benoit Battistelli

Summary: No blood is spilled, but even the management of the EPO is falling apart as the Director of Internal Communication is said to have just resigned

Battistelli does not have a monopoly on deciding which people must leave the EPO. He does not even need to throw people out because some are leaving on their own volition, at least based on what we can gather from our sources. Perhaps they realise that leaving the scandalous embarrassment that is EPO management would be better for their career.

Latest rumours from the EPO serve to show and at the very least reaffirm that the EPO is “burning”, as some have told us months ago. One source told us: “The latest rumour that we have heard is that the recently recruited Director of Internal Communication has “resigned”. We don’t have any details of the exact circumstances so we can’t say at this point whether he jumped or whether he was pushed.

“The person in question is Vincent Bénard who was formerly Head of Corporate Internal Communications at the Airbus Group. He had been widely tipped to take over from Oswald Schroder who departed under mysterious circumstances in October last year.

“If you look carefully at the recent internal EPO announcement concerning the “Public Apology to Zeljko Topic” you will see that it doesn’t bear any name for the “Author” which just given as “Internal Communication”.”

“Perhaps they realise that leaving the scandalous embarrassment that is EPO management would be better for their career.”For some background, see our recent articles about it. The censorship is backfiring. Mike Masnick dubbed it the “Streisand Effect”.

“The “Internal Communication” department is part of Directorate-General 4 and thus it comes under Topic’s direct control,” told us a source. “We suspect that Bénard had some kind of a “disagreement” with his boss i.e. Topic, over the publication of the “Public Apology” announcement on the EPO Intranet.”

This publication already led to some action that embarrasses Željko Topić and meanwhile, in response, Vesna Stilin is working hard to revoke the apology and restore the article from Zeljko Peratovic's 45lines.com. Imagine the size of the audience after restoration. The article that Topić wants to hide can be read here in English.

“All of this is just speculation on our part,” said our source, “but the rumour of Bénard’s departure at this particular juncture is a clear indication that all is not well on the upper floors of the EPO’s headquarters.”

We welcome sources to come forth with information if they have any that is relevant. We have never — in our history of nearly a decade — let down or got in trouble a source. The goal here is justice; if embarrassing those in positions of unjust power helps restore justice, then so be it.

New LCA Talk: Open Invention Network’s Deb Nicholson on Software Patents and Patent Trolls

Posted in Patents, Videos at 10:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Deb Nicholson’s LCA talk is now publicly accessible

Talk by the Open Invention Network’s Deb Nicholson; see “Software Patents: Trolls and Other Bullies” and this schedule. Direct YouTube link (for downloading applications).

Links 22/1/2015: GNU/Linux Sysadmin Opportunities, TraceFS Introduced

Posted in News Roundup at 8:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • University’s Virtual Reality Setup Runs on Linux and Open Source Software

    Virtual reality may be best known for its entertainment value, but its practical applications are at least as compelling. With Cave automatic virtual environments (CAVE), for instance, engineers can save time and resources by testing out products and solutions in the lab to see which are best-suited to a particular problem or site in the real world.

  • From the Blogosphere With Love: A FOSSy Farewell

    It is with no small sense of regret that Linux Girl brings you this week’s Linux Blog Safari, dear readers, because in writing it she must convey some very difficult news.

    Namely, Linux Girl is departing LinuxInsider — her home away from home for lo all these years — and so must hang up her cape for good. By the time you read this, she’ll be off on new adventures — traveling new lands, telling new tales and testing new tequilas.

  • Desktop

    • Are Linux Graphic Apps Ready for Professionals?

      Yet the apparent reasonableness disappears on closer investigation. Blender, for one, was originally an in-house application for the Dutch design house Neo Geo and Not a Number Technologies (NaN) – a bit of history that immediately refutes any claim that it is not ready for professionals.

      Similarly, Krita owes its increasingly popularity to the project’s habit of consulting designers about each feature. Boudewijn Rempt, Krita’s maintainer, adds that ImagineFX, a major print magazine for illustrators and concept artists, recently gave Krita its Artist’s Choice Award.

    • Acer Unveils 2 New Chromebooks for Education

      Acer has unveiled two new Chromebooks aimed at schools and students, featuring durable construction to hold up under rough treatment and a myriad of technology features to help students get their schoolwork completed at home or at school.

    • Amazing Amazon.com

      That’s a testimony to how far Wintel has fallen as a force in consumer-IT. Wintel used to have >90% of the market. Intel used to have 80% of the legacy PC market. Now they have to sell Atoms and Celerons to remain relevant because Chromebooks do more computing on servers. Of course Intel is doing great on servers but so is GNU/Linux. Acer struggled to make a living with Wintel but is thriving with ChromeBooks. Acer has 35% of that market and is making a 15.6″ ChromeBook.

    • Why Chromebooks are killing Microsoft

      Chromebooks have generally been cheaper than Windows-based laptops…

    • Should You Use Linux for A Start Up?

      My personal experiences with Linux in the workplace actually started shortly after I adopted Linux on my home PC (well I was am still am dual booting Windows). I was at a startup who had installed Ubuntu on all the desktops, other than a few, and had no idea what they were doing. Luckily the IT guy and myself both were familiar enough with it to work through some of the early problems (mostly on the fly problem solving). Once we got past the growing pains that all start ups go though, we were in the clear. It saved the company a lot of money and, even though the new people we eventually hired did grumble about having to learn a new OS, it eventually worked out for the best.

  • Server

    • ​Get on the Linux job train with a new system administration class

      Want a good job in tech? Then learning Linux is well worth your time. In 2013, the tech job site Dice reported that senior Linux administrators were making $90,853. Last year, Dice stated that Linux jobs were more in demand than ever and that salaries and bonuses were going up.

    • Linux system administrators make big bucks

      The Linux job market has been hot for a while, and system administrators make top dollar. But being a successful Linux system admin requires some education and training.

    • How OpenPOWER Went From Zero to 80 in Its First Year

      In its first year, the OpenPOWER Foundation, an open development community created to leverage IBM’s POWER processor, went from zero to 80—figuratively and literally. After its formation in December 2013, the foundation now has more than 80 members across the full hardware and software stack from 20 different countries.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux Foundation Delivers 2015 Guide to the Open Cloud
    • Linux Foundation publishes open-source cloud guide
    • TraceFS: The Newest Linux File-System

      So basically TraceFS provides the same functionality now for kernel traces that is done currently via DebugFS. With TraceFS though you don’t need to worry about enabling the potentially security-prone DebugFS and by having their own file-system it can implement features not supported by DebugFS (e.g. mkdir and rmdir support). Assuming it clears developer review fine, it’s possible we could see TraceFS for Linux 3.20 or another near-term kernel update.

    • CoreOS Moves From Btrfs To EXT4 + OverlayFS

      CoreOS developers have had enough issues with the Btrfs file-system that they’ve decided to move from using the Btrfs file-system to instead use EXT4 plus OverlayFS.

      Since December the CoreOS developers and stakeholders have been debating switching off Btrfs due to issues. The original proposal mentioned, “We chose btrfs because it was the most straightforward Docker graph driver at the time. But, CoreOS users have regularly reported bugs against btrfs including: out of disk space errors, metadata rebalancing problems requiring manual intervention and generally slow performance when compared to other filesystems.”

    • Google Admin Encourages Trying Btrfs, Not ZFS On Linux

      Last year at LinuxCon a Google administrator was talking up Btrfs and encouraging attendees to try it. That Google admin, Marc Merlin, traveled down to New Zealand last week for LCA2015 to further promote the Btrfs file-system.

      Marc Merlin’s presentation at Linux.Conf.Au 2015 was entitled “Why you should consider using Btrfs, real COW snapshots, and file level incremental OS upgrades.” The talk was much like the one last August at LinuxCon Chicago where he was trumpeting Btrfs. Aside from openSUSE beginning to ship with Btrfs by default, most Linux distributions still tend to be EXT4/XFS based and leaving Btrfs as just an experimental install-time option. In fact, CoreOS switched away from Btrfs to EXT4+OverlayFS. Whether or not this next-generation Linux file-system is ready for production use remains a very controversial topic.

    • SDN Series Part VI: OpenDaylight, the Most Documented Controller

      Modular application development, in which a set of loosely coupled modules can be integrated into one large application, has been one of the most successful software development practices. The term “loosely coupled” highlights the fact that the modules are both independent and can communicate with one another. OSGI (the Open Services Gateway Initiative), a dynamic module system for Java, defines one such architecture for modular application development. The SDN controller OpenDaylight (ODL), which we will be discussing in this article, is one such controller (apart from Beacon/Floodlight) that is based on the OSGi architecture. ODL is an open-source collaborative project that focuses on building a multi-vendor, multi-project ecosystem to encourage innovation and an open/transparent approach toward SDN. We need to look at these terms, “open,” “multi-vendor,” “multi-project,” “innovation,” etc., in detail to really appreciate the strengths of ODL.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Intel’s Open-Source Graphics Team Poaches A Top Nouveau Driver Developer

        Martin Peres is now one of the newest members of Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center, working to improve the open-source Linux graphics support. On Monday there was a trivial Mesa commit but what was interesting is that it marked Martin Peres’ new email address as coming from “linux.intel.com.” After checking, on the X.Org BoD page it also now lists Martin’s affiliate as Intel. I’ve also confirmed Martin working for Intel through a source at XDC2014 last year in France where he originally heard this information, which was organized by Martin. (To be clear, Martin isn’t replacing Keith, the timing is just a coincidence.)

      • Mir 0.11 Working On Better Performance, Android External Display Support

        Earlier this month we covered new Mir features that ended up being incorporated into the Mir 0.10 release. Mir 0.11 is now under development and it’s already packing significant improvements.

      • 2D and 3D graphics with WebGL

        OpenGL is a well-known standard for generating 3D as well as 2D graphics; it’s extremely powerful and has many capabilities. OpenGL is defined and released by the OpenGL Architecture Review Board (ARB) and is a big state machine. Most calls to OpenGL functions modify a global state that you cannot directly access. WebGL is a JavaScript implementation of OpenGL ES 2.0 that runs on the latest browsers. The OpenGL ES (Embedded Subsystem) is the mobile version of the OpenGL standard and is targeted towards embedded devices. OpenGL ES is a C-based, Platform-Neutral API. The OS must provide a rendering context that accepts commands as well as a framebuffer that keeps the results of the drawing commands.

      • The Raspberry Pi Gallium3D Driver Has Made Much Progress In Less Than A Year

        It was just last June that Eric Anholt left Intel for Broadcom to focus on creating the Broadcom VC4 open-source graphics driver stack for the Raspberry Pi to have a new DRM/KMS driver and a Gallium3D driver. In less than one year, he’s made a lot of progress.

      • VMWare X.Org Driver Updated To v13.1
    • Benchmarks

      • Disk Encryption Tests On Fedora 21

        If you’ve been wondering about the impact of enabling full-disk encryption when doing a fresh install of Fedora 21, here’s some reference benchmarks comparing the Anaconda option of this latest Fedora Linux release.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Enlightenment’s Elementary 1.13 Beta 1 Released

      One week after the Elementary 1.13 Alpha release, Enlightenment developers have released the first beta of v1.13.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Akademy 2015 – A Coruña, Spain – 25-31 July

        For more than 1800 years, the Tower of Hercules has guided ships sailing near A Coruña. Soon it will beckon KDE users and contributors, when Akademy—the annual KDE community meeting—is held in A Coruña (Galicia, Spain) 25–31 July. The conference is expected to draw hundreds of attendees from the global KDE Community to discuss and plan the future of the Community and its technology. Many participants from the broad free and open source software community, local organizations and software companies will also attend.

      • KDAB Continues Its Overview Of Qt3D 2.0, Demos Custom Rendering Effects

        KDAB has continued their interesting blog series about Qt3D 2.0 and what’s coming for this new component to Qt5.

      • Theme “Leaves” added to “KDE – Pairs”

        “Leaves” is the newest theme I created for KDE-Pairs as a part of my ongoing project ‘Theme Designing of Pairs’. This is done under the guidance of my mentor “Heena Mahour” who initially gave the idea about leaf structures. This will only work in 3 game modes namely, pairs, relations and logic.

      • Kolab Enterprise 14 Released with Advanced Tagging and Notes

        Following a month of usage at a group of pre-selected customers, Kolab Systems is happy to announce general availability for Kolab Enterprise 14. This latest feature release of Kolab Enterprise will be supported until 2019 and packs a whole set of new capabilities including tags, notes, better resource management, task delegation capabilities, usability improvements for deployments with very large numbers of shared groupware folders and much more.

      • Kolab Enterprise 14 Released
      • KWin on speed

        With the 5.2 release basically done, I decided to do some performance investigation and optimizations on KWin last week. From time to time I’m running KWin through valgrind’s callgrind tool to see whether we have some expensive code paths. So far I hadn’t done that for the 5.x series. Now after the switch to kdecoration2 I was really interested in the results as in the past rendering the decoration used to be a bottle neck during our compositing rendering loop.

      • KWin 5.3 To Have New Speed Optimizations

        Martin Gräßlin has fixed some outstanding bugs and further tuned the performance of the KWin window manager for the KDE Plasma 5 stack.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Moving update information from the distribution to upstream

        For a real-world example, see the GNOME MultiWriter example commit that uses this.

      • GNOME Shell 3.15.4
      • GNOME Shell Adds VP9 Screencasting, Mutter Improves Wayland

        Mutter 3.15.4 was checked in this morning by Florian Müllner and it has Wayland improvements and other exciting changes with GTK+ now drawing all window decorations, a change to replicate the monitor EDID parsing for Mutter on Wayland so it acts the same way as under X11, Mutter now handles input device configuration, and there’s support for pointer barriers with Mutter on Wayland. The pointer barriers on Wayland will ensure that the pointer never enters “dead areas” of the screen due to different monitor sizes, etc.

      • GNOME Now Lets Mutter Handle Input Device Configuration

        GNOME now has support in Mutter to synchronize and apply input device settings via a session-wide configuration.

      • Sandboxed applications for GNOME

        It is no secret that we’ve been interested in sandboxed applications for a while. It is evident here, here, here or here, to name just a few.

        What may not be widely known yet is that we have been working on putting together a working implementation of these ideas. Alexander Larsson has made steady progress, and we’re now almost at the point where it is useful for other people to start playing with it.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots

    • Red Hat Family

      • Want to join our innovative development team doing cool open source software?

        So Red Hat are currently looking to hire into the various teams building and supporting efforts such as the Fedora Workstation, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Workstation and of course Fedora and RHEL in generaL. We are looking at hiring around 6-7 people to help move these and other Red Hat efforts forward.

      • The European Space Agency Builds A Private Cloud Platform With Red Hat
      • Fedora

        • Getting Linux Adopted and Fedora 22 Previewed

          Today in Linux news Matt Hartley has the key to getting Linux adopted. Christian Schaller discusses some of the coming attractions of Fedora 22 and Phoronix.com is reporting that KDE 5 may also be coming to Fedora 22. Elsewhere, Jamie Watson gives Tumbleweed a roll and Softpedia.com is reporting that Steam is safe for Linux again.

        • Fedora’s 32-Bit Scare
        • Fedora Workstation 22 To Have Better Wayland Support, Better Battery Life

          Fedora 21 was just released last month but already there’s a lot to get excited about for Fedora 22 when it’s released around the middle of May.

        • Fedora 23: 64-bit Only?

          For those of you keeping score at home, Smoogen is a long-time Fedora contributor who now serves on Fedora’s EPEL Steering Committee. And EPEL? That’s what’s commonly known as Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux, “a Fedora Special Interest Group that creates, maintains, and manages a high quality set of additional packages for Enterprise Linux, including, but not limited to, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), CentOS and Scientific Linux (SL), Oracle Linux (OL),” according to their wiki.


          My guess is that this proposal will be debated among those in the Fedora Project, and my hope is that it crashes and burns. Smoogen made a “Devil’s Proposal,” but I hope he was prepared to catch hell for it.

        • See what’s coming in Fedora 22 Workstation

          Even though Fedora 21 is just over a month old, the Fedora Workstation developers are already hard at work planning the next release, Fedora 22. In a detailed post on his blog, Christian Schaller details some of the areas that the developers are focusing on for Fedora 22.

        • Mea Maxima Culpa

          I would like to apologize for my last blog post. My original intention was to make an absurd point by proposing to drop 32 bit architectures from being primary in Fedora. I didn’t communicate clearly that this was meant to be absurd. It also did not clearly state that the problem I am worried about is that with many core developers only focusing on x86_64 and hardware that is less than 4 years old that people using x86_32 and ARM32 are in effect on borrowed time.

        • Special update information for Fedora 21 users: PackageKit errors

          We have found some bugs in PackageKit and related components which require an update to fix. Unfortunately, the bugs can prevent Fedora Workstation’s default update mechanism – the ‘offline update’ system, where a notification of new updates appears, and you reboot to install them – from working correctly. The bugs can also cause problems with software installation and/or removal when using GNOME Software or Apper (the KDE software manager).

        • Python 3 Is Close To Becoming The Default In Fedora 22

          For Python stakeholders using Fedora, the Fedora 22 release is preparing to ship Python 3 as the one and only Python implementation on the installation media.

        • GCC 5 Will End Up Coming To Fedora 22

          Earlier this month it didn’t look like GCC 5 would be added to Fedora 22 unless the release was delayed and at least week’s FESCO meeting, the committee decided not to delay Fedora 22. After this week’s FESCo meeting, GCC 5 will now be added as the Fedora 22 compiler while still aiming for a mid-May release.

    • Debian Family

      • Expired keys in Debian keyring

        A new version of Stellarium was recently released (0.13.2), so I wanted to upload it to Debian unstable as I usually do. And so I did, but it was rejected without me even knowing, since I got no e-mail response from ftp-masters.

      • Derivatives

        • Systemd Will Be Adopted Starting With Linux Mint 18 And LMDE 3

          Not long ago, the Linux Mint team has decided to change their release policy and adopt only the LTS versions of Ubuntu, the systems released between to LTSs being only point releases that update the main components. Also, they have moved Linux Mint Debian Edition’s (LMDE) code base from Debian Testing to Debian Stable.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Wants To Power Your Open Source Robot Servants Of The Future

            Earlier today, Canonical (“the company behind Ubuntu”) announced the arrival of Snappy Ubuntu Core, an operating system for the Internet of Things. The lightweight OS is designed to power things like drones, robots, appliances, and home automation platforms.

          • Canonical Extends Snappy Ubuntu Core to Smart Devices
          • Opening up the Internet of Things, Robots and Drones

            As I’ve noted before, open source is perfect for the currently-fashionable Internet of Things, where you need an extremely lightweight, low-cost, customisable but secure and rock-solid operating system that can be easily ported to thousands of devices. Only free software fits that bill. I’ve written a couple of times about AllSeen’s bid to become the de facto operating system for the Internet of Things. But of course, it would be too simple – and not necessarily advisable – if there were only one solution, even an open source one. And so it’s probably a good sign that other projects are starting to pop up to address this important sector.

          • Ubuntu Wants To Power Your Open Source Robot Servants Of The Future

            After years of hype, the Internet of Things is finally making its way into this here reality of ours. The array of connected devices trying to integrate themselves into our lives—from watches and workout clothes to kitchen appliances and cars—only seems to grow as time marches futuristically onward. And if the company behind Ubuntu Linux has anything to say about it, this vast array of intelligent objects will all be open source.

          • Canonical unveils Snappy Ubuntu Core, a lightweight operating system for your home
          • Open source Ubuntu Core connects robots, drones and smart homes
          • Canonical Embeds Ubuntu Linux Into Devices to Secure IoT

            The new effort will extend Ubuntu’s Snappy Linux technology to help enable the Internet of things.

          • What the heck are Ubuntu Unity’s Scopes?

            One of the elements of Ubuntu Unity that I have been able to handle the least is Scopes. Part of that is due to the fact that Canonical has done a pretty terrible job of properly showing people what Scopes are and what they do. The other part is… no… actually, that’s really the whole problem. Here is how Ubuntu defines this feature:

          • Ubuntu Aims to Make the IoT Snappy
          • Smart things powered by snappy Ubuntu Core on ARM and x86

            “Smart, connected things” are redefining our home, work and play, with brilliant innovation built on standard processors that have shrunk in power and price to the point where it makes sense to turn almost every “thing” into a smart thing. I’m inspired by the inventors and innovators who are creating incredible machines – from robots that might clean or move things around the house, to drones that follow us at play, to smarter homes which use energy more efficiently or more insightful security systems. Prooving the power of open source to unleash innovation, most of this stuff runs on Linux – but it’s a hugely fragmented and insecure kind of Linux. Every device has custom “firmware” that lumps together the OS and drivers and devices-specific software, and that firmware is almost never updated. So let’s fix that!

          • Canonical Brings Ubuntu to the Internet of Things

            The Internet of Things promises to immerse us in a world of intelligent everyday objects, from self-regulating heating systems and chargers than know when your device is fully charged to weight-watching kettles to the cliched “internet refrigerator”.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Why Jeff Hoogland Returned to Bodhi

              Not going to lie, talking with you a few weeks ago had me feeling a bit nostalgic about the project. This past weekend was one of my first full weekends at home in the last four months. I sat down to finish cleaning up the Bodhi build scripts and before I knew it I was spinning up some fresh ISO images.

              My schedule in the future is looking to be less hectic and I was able to set aside more time in the next six weeks to get things really ironed out for the new release. The new folks are still helping with the project, but I feel I asked too much of them by dumping the responsibility of a new major release on them.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • PC/104 “OneBank” option targets SoC-based SBC designs

      The venerable PC/104 stackable connector/mezzanine form-factor has gone through half a dozen major updates during its 24-year history. This time, the advancement takes the form of the addition of a significantly more compact OneBank bus connector option, added as part of rev 3.0 of the PC/104 Consortium’s “PCI/104-Express and PCIe/104 Specification.”

    • Smart Cars are the New Smart Phone

      While this is certainly exciting, virtualization remains a roadblock to some in the smart car industry. I personally had the opportunity to demonstrate GlobalLogic’s Nautilus platform for automotive virtualization at GENIVI’s CES demo and networking event. Leveraging a TI J6 SoC, I demo’d a dual-screen virtual cockpit with one screen emulating a Linux-powered driver information display, and the other screen emulating an Android-powered IVI system. The entire configuration ran on Xen Project Hypervisor 4.5 with three domains: Dom0 (thin control), DomU (Linux), and DomU (Android).

    • Social Robot Jibo Fueled for Mass Production With $25.3 Million

      The infusion comes just a few weeks after investors backed Rethink Robotics Inc. and highlights the latest in a string of artificial intelligence startups leveraging algorithms based on user preferences that deliver different results as the user evolves.

    • Phones

      • Smartphone Market Set To Mature In 2015

        General-purpose PCs have long since made a mature market and everyone in the food-chain is desperately trying to wring “value” from the legacy PC while they still can. There will continue to be a need for large screens, keyboards and mice but with voice-input becoming feasible in mobile, it won’t be long before keyboards will be optional on desktops. In such a market, adoption of GNU/Linux is one of the few ways forward that can still provide income to most of the food-chain. GNU/Linux costs less to buy and less to maintain but there’s still enough maintenance to provide a living to retailers and IT-types.

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • 50 Open Source Mobile Tools

    In a relatively short period of time, mobile devices have become ubiquitous in the workplace. A recent survey of enterprise and small business workers found that just 3 percent of organizations ban their employees from using personal iPads or iPhones for business use, and only 7 percent ban Android devices. In fact, 40 percent of organizations provide iPhones for more than a quarter of employees, and 25 percent provide Android-based smartphones.

    The open source community has responded to this trend with a host of new projects, including solutions that help enterprises track and manage mobile devices, mobile development tools for creating new apps and open source apps that enable greater productivity. This month, we’ve put together a list of 50 of these tools that are worth notice. While there are many good open source mobile apps for home users, this list focuses instead on those that would be most useful in the workplace.

  • How the New York Times uses open source

    Marc Frons, senior vice president and chief information officer of the New York Times, discusses how The Times actively contributes to open source communities.

  • Open-source Java pals Groovy and Grails seek moneybags backer

    Two major open source Java projects, Groovy and Grails, are looking for new sponsors.

    Pivotal, a company which supplies tools for big data analytics and cloud-oriented agile development, has announced the end of its funding for Groovy (a dynamic language that runs on the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) and Grails (a web application framework which uses Groovy) from March 2015.

  • 7 questions to ask any open source project

    Whether you’re starting an open source project or deciding whether to participate in one, you don’t want to waste time in an endeavor that imposes arbitrary restrictions that will stop you in your tracks down the line.

    The Open Source Initiative, of which I am president, has successfully focused on copyright licensing as a concrete expression of software freedom. OSI does not only provide guidance in the form of the Open Source Definition; it also manages a process by which the copyright licenses used for outbound licensing by open source authors can gain OSI approval.

  • 007 DevOps: Ansible’s secret agentless route to IT automation

    AnsibleFest comes around at an interesting time i.e. every major software player from CA to HP to IBM and onwards is currently trying to sex-up the abilities of its software orchestration engines, configuration management tools and continuous delivery offering — and the term DevOps is never far away.

  • Events

    • The Daala Video Codec Still Needs At Least Another Year Of Development

      The Daala open-source, royalty-free video codec being developed by Xiph.Org and other organizations continues to be developed as an alternative to H.265 and VP9. While much progress is being made, it looks like another year of heavy development will be needed before Daala is ready for primetime.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Interview: Mirantis Co-Founder Boris Renski Talks OpenStack

      Earlier this month, Mirantis announced the launch of Mirantis OpenStack 6.0, the latest version of its OpenStack cloud computing distribution. According to the company, it is based on OpenStack Juno, and version 6.0 is the first OpenStack distribution to let partners write plugins that install and run their products automatically.

    • Mirantis Expands OpenStack Cloud Computing Training

      “Pure-play” OpenStack vendor Mirantis believes existing cloud computing training programs for OpenStack don’t meet the soaring demand for expertise in the open source cloud platform. That’s why it’s expanding its OpenStack training offerings with two new courses and a certificate verification portal.

    • Platform9 Launches Managed OpenStack Private Cloud Solution

      Platform9 is hoping to make it easier for organizations to adopt private cloud with the introduction of Platform9 Managed OpenStack. The company is describing the new solution as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that “transforms an organization’s existing servers into an AWS-like agile, self-service private cloud within minutes.”

    • Building a successful OpenStack group

      A conversation on the OpenStack-Community listserv caught my eye this week, which started with a simple question: “I’ve been contemplating starting a new OpenStack meet-up and am excited about meeting with and hearing what folks are doing in the local area. While continue working on this, I’m wondering how others who have created user groups got the word out and evangelized?”

    • A New Service Discovery Tool for Use with Apache Mesos

      Recently, Mesosphere has been covered here on OStatic in a series of posts, including an interview with the company’s Ben Hindman, in which he discusses the need for a “data center operating system.” Mesosphere’s data center operating system is built on the open source Apache Mesos project, which is being leveraged by many organizations for distributed resource and network management.

    • Targeted Tools Proliferate in the Hadoop, Big Data Ecosystems
    • IBM scores a $500M deal to build a hybrid cloud for Anthem

      IBM is announcing a significant stride in its bid to be the best cloud company with a $500 million services contract today with Anthem.

      Under the deal, IBM will build a hybrid cloud environment for Anthem, transforming that company’s information technology infrastructure. IBM recently formed its IBM Cloud business unit, bringing together a team of services, software, development, and research initiatives to further fuel IBM’s momentum in this market and accelerate new innovations into the marketplace.

  • CMS

  • Business

    • Open Source Strategies Releases Opentaps CRM2

      Open Source Strategies has released opentaps CRM2, a new free extension for online stores running Magento.

      Using big data analytics, the opentaps CRM2 extension for Magento automatically links email with orders. All past customer communications, support requests, and tasks for a customer are right where the customer’s orders are.

  • BSD

    • afl-fuzz – American Fuzzy Lop

      So, I dug in to how to set this up in an OpenBSD environment. First of all, whatever porting effort needed to make it run was already fixed, so “sudo pkg_add afl” takes care of that. Then you need to have a space to run the tests in, and since the fuzzer is going to create a huge amount of junk files to throw at your program, you really want this to be inside a tmpfs or mfs. This affects the speed a lot. It doesn’t need to be very big, just fast in creating and deleting files.

    • Apple Works To Bring Loop Distribution/Partial Vectorization To LLVM

      Adam Nemet as part of Apple’s compiler team is looking to work out loop distribution and partial vectorization for upstream LLVM. He explained, “We’d like to propose new Loop Distribution pass. The main motivation is to allow partial vectorization of loops. One such example is the main loop of 456.hmmer in SpecINT_2006. The current version of the patch improves hmmer by 24% on ARM64 and 18% on X86. The goal of the pass is to distribute a loop that can’t be vectorized because of memory dependence cycles. The pass splits the part with cycles into a new loop making the remainder of the loop a candidate for vectorization.”


  • Project Releases

    • Whatsapp now available to use in Linux through web browser

      Popular messaging service WhatsApp over 700 million monthly active users has now launched a new services called WhatsApp web. “Today, for the first time, millions of you will have the ability to use WhatsApp on your web browser”, Jan Koun, founder of WhatsApp posted on facebook. Let’s see how to use this on our PC or Chromebook.

    • Stellarium 0.13.2 Is a Premium Planetarium App Available for Free

      Stellarium is an open source planetarium software that displays a realistic and accurate sky in 3D that is built for multiple platforms. The supported platforms include Linux and the developers have added a large number of features and they’ve also ported some of the changes to an older version.

    • NetworkManager Now Supports WiFi Power Savings

      The latest feature added to NetworkManager is support for WiFi power-savings.

      With devices that support WiFi powersave for WiFi adapters that support a power saving mode, NetworkManager will now enable it when appropriate.

  • Public Services/Government

    • City of Arnhem aims to increase open source use

      The Dutch municipality of Arnhem wants to increase its use of free and open source solutions, says Martijn Leisink, municipal executive councilor responsible for ICT. The primary aim is to replace proprietary server solutions by open source alternatives. Getting rid of IT vendor lock-in on the desktop workstations will be difficult, and is deferred until later.

  • Licensing

    • What is a software forge?

      As we know, use of the term “infographic” generally causes involuntary gagging and may result in unwelcome skin irritation.

      Paradoxically, open source licensing and vulnerability management solutions company Protecode (pron: pro-ta-code) appears to be using the “information graphic” (to use the old school expression) approach to good effect.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Source Haptics Kit Aims to Democratize Force Feedback

      If you’ve been keeping up with augmented and virtual reality news, you’ll remember that spacial haptic feedback devices aren’t groundbreaking new technology. You’ll also remember, however, that a professional system is notoriously expensive–on the order of several thousand dollars. Grad students [Jonas], [Michael], and [Jordi] and their professor [Eva-Lotta] form the design team aiming to bridge that hefty price gap by providing you with a design that you can build at home.

    • Tap sat app gap, yaps Inmarsat chap: Orbiting bird API opened to devs
    • Open Data

      • Open Source Data and the Future of Mineral Exploration

        As a former database manager of a junior exploration company, I have had the run-down of how data should be kept: a secret. The majority of mining data is proprietary and companies carefully guard this data for a variety of different reasons. One of these reasons is the sheer cost of obtaining this data. My company spent over $20 million in exploration and at the end of the day what remains valuable is the data. Another reason that data is guarded so carefully is that it needs to go through a careful vetting process before it can get released to the public. Geologists must qualify for professional designation before being eligible to release technical reports to the public, in Canada; those technical reports are referred to as 43-101s. This requirement is in place to stop market scandals and hold geologists accountable for their scientific integrity. I agree that geological data should be released to investors and the public with ethical standards. The last reason that mining data and methods are kept proprietary is to maintain an edge over competitors. Logically speaking, it does make sense to avoid leaking trade secrets, however, the world is a rapidly changing place and we should consider radically new approaches to one of the oldest industries.

    • Open Access/Content

      • A shift in education: Teachers who create content, not consume

        I first met Stephen O’Connor, a fifth grade public school teacher at Wells Central School, at the New York State Association for Computers and Technology in Education Conference in 2007. I don’t recall the exact subject of his presentation, but I came away from his presentation with some new information that helped me implement Moodle in my classroom. He pointed me in the direction of a good hosting company that allowed me to work on Moodle, Drupal, and WordPress development, which I was most interested in at the time.

    • Open Hardware

      • The year in open hardware computers

        An open hardware computer is a computer for which all the specifications for manufacturing the computer are provided, not just the source for the software that runs on it. Software source code of an application enables experienced developers to rebuild, modify, and extend that software application. Similarly, the source code for an electronics printed circuit board (PCB) or mechanical drawings for a computer enclosure enables experienced developers to build, modify, and extend the hardware. By hardware, I mean that computer board in a case you put on your desktop, by your television, in your car or wherever you might be using it, even in your thermostat or water sprinkler.

  • Programming

    • MediaFire File Sharing Adds Open-Source Linux Support

      At MediaFire, it’s no secret that we are huge fans of the open source community. From server management, to building next generation storage applications, open-source tools enable us to do great things.

    • Got an open source project? SimplyBuilt has a website for you

      Open source has helped shape the team at PushAgency.io into the programmers and developers we are today. We’ve used it throughout our educations and careers, and now incorporate it into the products and services we deliver.

      We look up to people like Linus Torvalds and companies like 37Signals for their contributions to the open source movement, and it’s a goal of ours to give back to the community in some way. Now that our business has reached a level of maturity, we feel we’ve made it to the point where we can devote some development time to open sourcing small parts of our product, SimplyBuilt. This is how our first open source project materialized.

    • New open source dependency manager on the scene

      When biicode began, almost two years ago, many risks were taken by both the founders and investors. Our funders invested a lot of money with just a simple prototype in their hands. Our founders quit their safe and well-paying job positions at prestigious universities. The opportunity was huge though, because there are approximately 4 million C/C++ developers, and both languages represent up to almost 20% of the world’s code. Moreover, these tools easily become standardized. Once the most popular and reused libraries of a specific programming language are handled with ease and effectiveness by a given dependency manager, this tool naturally becomes the standard.

    • Facebook Releases HHVM 3.5 As A PHP Alternative

      Facebook developers have released version 3.5.0 of HHVM as a faster alternative to the reference PHP implementation.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Science

    • Wild pollinators at risk from diseased commercial species of bee

      A new study from the University of Exeter has found that viruses carried by commercial bees can jump to wild pollinator populations with potentially devastating effects. The researchers are calling for new measures to be introduced that will prevent the introduction of diseased pollinators into natural environments.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • BBC Make Me Vomit

      The BBC led their 10 O’clock News today with a five minute piece on the delay to the Chilcot report. It gave a retrospective on the Iraq War that did not mention, once, Weapons of Mass Destruction as the raison d’etre but told us the war “removed a brutal dictator”. They said the dead of the war were in thousands – not hundreds of thousands, not even tens of thousands. “Thousands died”, they said. Literally true, but diminishing the scale. They could equally have said dozens died, also literally true – just an awful lot of dozens.

    • Inevitable Payback

      We caused it by our invasions, occupations and bombings of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, none of which had ever attacked the UK. We caused it by all the dead women and children that British bombs, missiles or bullets killed accidentally. We caused it by the terrible deaths of the people we killed deliberately, who were only defending their country from foreign invaders, just as most of us would do. We caused it by the detainees killed or tortured. As a country, the United Kingdom caused it.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • What Corporate Media Don’t Want You to Know About Joni Ernst

      CNN offered just a tiny bit more, saying that “she was a tea party favorite for her positions on everything from abortion to the federal minimum wage”–on the latter, “she doesn’t believe in a ‘one-size-fits-all approach’”; her position on abortion, and on everything else, went undescribed.

    • Bill O’Reilly Lies About His Role Pushing Debunked “No-Go Zones” Myth

      Fox News host Bill O’Reilly falsely claimed that he had no role in hyping the myth that Muslim “no-go zones” exist throughout France, just days after Fox News apologized for spreading the fiction. In fact, O’Reilly previously cited the so called “no-go zones” as one of the contributing causes of the Paris terror attacks.

    • Koch Party Delivers SOTU Response

      Newly-elected Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) will give the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address, perhaps providing further proof that the Koch political network has evolved into an independent political force.

    • Obama’s SOTU: Not Enough Blood, Sweat or Tears

      The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank complains that Obama’s State of the Union address didn’t have enough terrorism in it. Why, it only mentioned “terrorism,” “terror” or “terrorists” nine times!

    • This Washington Post Writer Has A Million Dollar Ethics Problem

      Rogers is a Republican strategist who chairs and co-founded the BGR Group with former Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) in 1991. As the Post itself has reported, the firm is one of the top Washington D.C. lobbying firms, having banked more than $15 million in 2014. The newspaper’s reporters have described Rogers as a “Republican mega-lobbyist,” “lobbyist extraordinaire,” and “a go-to guy for Republicans.”

    • 5 Years after Citizens United, Democracy Is for Sale

      This week, Republican presidential hopefuls like Gov. Scott Walker, Gov. Chris Christie, and Sen. Rand Paul will travel to an exclusive resort near Palm Springs, Florida to kiss the rings of David and Charles Koch.

    • Curious Cure: WI GOP Injects Partisan Politics into Nonpartisan Elections Board

      After a scorching two-year controversy involving a “John Doe” criminal investigation into potential illegal coordination between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s campaign and outside big money groups, state GOP leaders are readying a legislative package to dismantle the nonpartisan elections board.

  • Censorship

    • Sky wants to know if you watch porn

      BROADCASTER SKY is joining the puritanical push for pornography filters and, like the rest of the industry, is throwing up a thick curtain in front of the more salacious elements of the web, and some of its security risks.

      Such curtains, we’ll call them sainted aunt filters, are employed by the majority of ISPs because that is how the UK government likes it.

  • Privacy

    • HealthCare.gov Sends Personal Data to Dozens of Tracking Websites

      The Associated Press reports that healthcare.gov–the flagship site of the Affordable Care Act, where millions of Americans have signed up to receive health care–is quietly sending personal health information to a number of third party websites. The information being sent includes one’s zip code, income level, smoking status, pregnancy status and more.

    • Legislating For Unicorns

      I remain convinced her and the Cabinet’s position on encryption is based on a non-technical misinterpretation of detailed advice from within the Home Office. Her response, and other responses by her colleagues and by the US government, imply that the security officialdom of the US & UK believes it can resurrect “golden key” encryption where government agencies have a privileged back door into encryption schemes.

    • Opinion: Show us your internet search history if you’ve got nothing to hide

      “I guess seeing your passwords on someone else’s computer screen generates some strong feelings,” cyber expert Markus Alkio said to me, as I stared at the results of what he’d managed to dig up.

      He was right. After two weeks of having my personal information raked over by researchers tasked with digging out as much as possible, I was indeed bewildered by just how much of what I’d thought was private turned out to be nothing of the sort.

  • Civil Rights

    • #Gamergate: Victim of video games trolling launches anti-harrassment network

      Video games developer Zoe Quinn is fighting a hate-filled online campaign against her by launching Crash Override – a service dedicated to helping other whose lives are made miserable by online abuse and threats

    • Child abuse inquiry panel member accuses counsel of intimidation

      The chaos behind the scenes of the official inquiry into child abuse has been laid bare with accusations of bullying and silencing members as the investigation struggled to get off the ground.

      One panel member, Sharon Evans, an abuse survivor and chief executive of the Dot Com children’s charity, told MPs the inquiry’s counsel, Ben Emmerson QC, had in effect taken it over in the absence of an appointed chairman, and had made threats and intimidated panel members.

      She made the accusations to the Commons home affairs select committee as the home secretary, Theresa May, considers whether to disband the independent panel and create a fresh statutory inquiry.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Broadband Industry Takes To Congressional Hearing To Praise Wimpy, Neutrality-Killing Proposal It Helped Write

      To derail February’s expected unveiling of Title II-based neutrality rules, the broadband industry is engaged in a last ditch effort to pass some of the flimsiest net neutrality rules we’ve seen yet. Spearheaded by Senator John Thune and Representative Fred Upton (the latter a particular magnet of Comcast campaign contributions), the goal appears to be to propose intentionally awful neutrality rules, offer a few meager concessions, then insist the marginally-less-awful result was crafted only after a long “public conversation” and with bipartisan support.

    • Proposed net neutrality bill is a ‘solution in search of a problem’

      The Senate and House are holding hearings today on a legislative proposal to prevent Internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or throttling online traffic. It is encouraging that the bill’s sponsors, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), now recognize that net neutrality is a legitimate public policy concern rather than a “solution in search of a problem,” as Upton, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, described it last year. However, as is often the case in policymaking, the devil is in the details.

  • DRM

    • Cory Doctorow To Push For Ending DRM

      This is Copyright Week, in which various people supporting more reasonable copyright laws highlight some of the problems with existing laws and important concepts that should be in copyright reform efforts. Today’s topic is “you bought it, you own it,” — a concept that is often held back due to bad copyright laws. A few months ago, a bill was introduced in Congress called YODA — the You Own Devices Act — which would allow the owner of computer hardware to sell the devices with the software on it without creating a copyright mess. It was a small attempt to take back basic property rights from copyright law which often stamps out property rights. Hopefully, a similar bill will show up in the new Congress, and become law. Even better would be for copyright law to actually recognize true property rights, rather than limiting them at nearly every turn.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • European Commission’s Clever Ruse To Introduce Corporate Sovereignty Regardless Of Ratification Votes In EU

      Because of the complicated nature of power-sharing in the European Union, some international agreements require the approval of both the European Parliament and of every Member State — so-called “mixed agreements.” It is generally accepted that both the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA) and TAFTA/TTIP are mixed agreements, and will therefore require a double ratification: by the full European Parliament, and all the EU governments. Indeed, the European Commission has frequently cited this fact to bolster its assertion that both CETA and TAFTA/TTIP are being negotiated democratically, since the European public — through their representatives — will have their say in these final votes.

    • Copyrights

      • Who Will Own the Internet of Things? (Hint: Not the Users)

        From phones to cars to refrigerators to farm equipment, software is helping our stuff work better and smarter. But those features come at a high hidden cost: the rapid erosion of ownership. Why does that matter? Because when it comes to digital products, owners have rights. Renters on the other hand, have only permission.

      • Pirate party founder: ‘Online voting? Would you want 4chan to decide your government?’

        In 2012, a contest for US schools to win a gig by Taylor Swift was hijacked by members of the 4chan website, who piled ​on its online vote in an attempt to send the pop star to a school for deaf children.

        Now, imagine a similar stunt being pulled for a general election, if voting could be done online. Far-fetched? Not according to Rick Falkvinge, founder of Sweden’s Pirate ​party.

        “Voting over the internet? Would you really want 4chan to decide your next government?” he said, during a debate about democracy and technology in London, organised by the BBC as part of its Democracy Day event.

      • Fair Use Is Not An Exception to Copyright, It’s Essential to Copyright

        Over the past two years, as talk of copyright reform has escalated, we’ve also heard complaints about the supposed expansion of fair use, or “fair use creep.” That kind of talk woefully misunderstands how fair use works.

      • Where Copyright Fails, New Laws and Guidelines Help Secure Your Right to Tinker

        It may seem odd to say so during Copyright Week, but copyright in itself isn’t very important. Sure, EFF expends a lot of time and energy arguing about copyright law, and some of our adversaries spend even more. But we don’t do so because copyright has any independent value. Rather, its value is derived from its ability to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts” (in the words of the US Constitution), as well as to promote other important values such as the rights to freedom of expression, privacy, education, and participation in cultural life.


Links 21/1/2015: Andrew Tridgell, Torvalds Being Baited

Posted in News Roundup at 12:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

    • Linux Foundation Announces Lineup for Vault Open Source Storage Event

      Open source storage now has a convention all its own in the form of Vault. Organized by the Linux Foundation, this event will take place for the first time in March with speakers and sessions focused on distributed storage, the Btrfs and Ext4 file systems, memory management and much more. Read on for details.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird 31.4.0 Lands in Ubuntu Repos

        Canonical published details about a number of Thunderbird vulnerabilities in its Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems, which means that a new version is now available.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle Names Leon Panetta to the Board of Directors

      The Oracle Board of Directors today announced that it has unanimously elected the Honorable Leon Panetta, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, to the company’s Board of Directors. The election is effective as of January 19, 2015 and increases the size of the Board to 12 directors.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Finnish open source map service platform

      A public competition has been launched to boost the development of Oskari – a collection of map tools made available as open source by National Land Survey of Finland. Interested software developers have until the end of this month to submit proposals for applications using Oskari or for improvements to the existing tools. National Land Survey of Finland will award EUR 3,000 to the best application and EUR 1,000 for the best concept. Two more prices, EUR 1,000 each, will go to the next best projects.

    • Peterborough City Council wants to drop ‘expensive’ Microsoft for open source and collaborative tools

      Peterborough City Council is looking to drop Microsoft and its “expensive” user agreements in favour of other, more open source applications and collaborative tools.
      That’s what Richard Godfrey, ICT, strategy, infrastructure and programme manager for Peterborough Council, revealed to Computing in a recent interview.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Tim Berners-Lee applauds UK government for ‘open data transparency’

      NON-WRESTLING ORGANISATION the World Wide Web Foundation (WWWF) has published its latest Open Data Barometer and awarded the UK government the ‘most open’ crown.

      However, Tim Berners-Lee, head of the WWWF, said that it is a shallow win, and does not mean that the UK government is really open, just more open than others.

      Openness, in these instances, relates to the way in which governments make official data available and usable.


  • No more Page Three: The Sun newspaper drops topless pics after 44 years

    Page Three has split opinion in recent years. A ‘No more Page Three’ campaign, started in 2012 by Lucy-Ann Holmes and featuring the tagline “boobs aren’t news,” has attracted more than 200,000 signatures. It’s also been backed by MPs and anti-sexism charities.

  • 14 nightmare clients — and how to defang them

    Here are 14 nightmare clients you may very well encounter on your quest for success as an independent software developer. May you have strength in recognizing, avoiding, and neutralizing them, when possible. Please feel free to add your own in the comments below.

  • Questions Raised about Apple Software Quality

    Jean-Louis Gassée writes in Monday Note that the painful gestation of OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) with its damaged iWork apps, the chaotic iOS 8 launch, iCloud glitches, and the trouble with Continuity, have raised concerns about the quality of Apple software. “It Just Works”, the company’s pleasant-sounding motto, has became an easy target, giving rise to jibes of “it just needs more work”.

  • Apple Software Quality Questions

    For the past six months or so, I’ve become increasingly concerned about the quality of Apple software. From the painful gestation of OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) with its damaged iWork apps, to the chaotic iOS 8 launch, iCloud glitches, and the trouble with Continuity, I’ve gotten a bad feeling about Apple’s software quality management. “It Just Works”, the company’s pleasant-sounding motto, became an easy target, giving rise to jibes of “it just needs more work”.

  • Will the Mac dump Intel for the same chip as the iPad?

    The rise of iPad apps such as Microsoft Office would make the transition easier than you might expect, but it’s still no slam-dunk

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Contagious Courage; Countering the Banality of Evil

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (2012) predicted this banality of evil in the digital age, alerting us to how the internet has been transformed into a “threat to human civilization” (p. 1). In his recent book When Google Met WikiLeaks (2014), Assange exposed Google’s part in the hijacking of large swaths of the Internet for surveillance in collusion with the U.S. government. He pointed out how by getting close to Washington halls of power, this Silicon Valley tech giant lost the “language to see, much less to express, the titanic centralizing evil they are constructing” (p. 60).

  • Finance

    • Bank of Canada shocks markets with cut in key interest rate

      The Bank of Canada surprised markets today by cutting its key overnight lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point, citing the economic threat posed by plunging oil prices.

      Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz will hold a news conference at 11:15 a.m. ET Wednesday from Ottawa to comment on the bank’s rate cut as well as the lowered growth outlook. CBC is livestreaming his remarks.

    • Bitcoin ‘Could Be Helping Terrorists’, Says Major Banking Group

      The British Bankers Association (BBA), which represents organisations including Barclays, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland, has written to the Chancellor warning that his push to make Britain a haven for virtual currencies could be putting the country at risk.

    • Richest 1% wealthier than the rest of the world combined

      By 2016 the richest 1% of people in the world will own over 50% of its wealth, according to a study by Oxfam.

      The latest calculation shows an increase on the 48% of wealth owned by the wealthiest 1% in 2014.

    • 1,700 Private Jets Descend on Davos For World Economic Forum

      Billionaires, world leaders and pop stars are clogging up the skies with their private jets as they descend on the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to liaise over issues such as terrorism, the central banks and growing economic inequality.

      Over the course of this week, approximately 1,700 private jets are expected to fly into the region, resulting airport traffic increasing by 10% which means that landing spots are in short supply.

    • Switzerland: Whistleblower Found Guilty of Giving Offshore Banking Docs to WikiLeaks

      In Switzerland, a whistleblower has been found guilty of violating bank secrecy laws by giving information on offshore accounts to WikiLeaks. Rudolf Elmer headed the Cayman Islands office of the bank Julius Baer until his firing in 2002. In 2011, he publicly handed compact discs containing information on offshore account holders to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a bid to reveal what he called the “damaging” impact of hiding money offshore. Elmer’s attorney has vowed to appeal the guilty verdict, which comes with a suspended fine, but no prison time.

    • Rudolf Elmer, former Swiss banker, fined $20,000 for giving Wikileaks tax data

      A former private banker found has been found guilty in Switzerland of breaking the country’s strict secrecy laws by passing confidential client data to WikiLeaks in 2007.

      Rudolf Elmer claims he was trying to expose rich tax evaders banking with his former employer, Julius Baer, which fired him in 2002.

      Elmer’s lawyer, Ganden Tethong, says Zurich’s district court also found her client guilty of forging a document purporting to be a letter from the bank to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Paris mayor: I’m suing Fox News over false report on Muslim ‘no-go’ zones

      The mayor of Paris plans to sue Fox News for its reporting on the city in the wake of the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

      “When we’re insulted, and when we’ve had an image, then I think we’ll have to sue, I think we’ll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed,” Mayor Anne Hidalgo told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday. “The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honor of Paris has been prejudiced.”

  • Censorship

    • Default censorship is wrong and unfair to Sky’s customers

      Sky Broadband have announced they will force web-filters on all customers, starting this week, unless the account-holder opts out.


      All ISPs promised David Cameron they would make all customers choose whether to use filters or not. Sky is not offering a choice however – they are imposing filtering unless customers opt out – an approach that the government rejected after running their own consultation. In addition, most households do not contain children so, Sky’s default-on approach seems over-reaching.

      Could Sky Broadband be seeking to increase adoption of web filters through “nudge” tactics in order to avoid Government criticism for a lack of uptake? Public interest in activating filters has been low since the Government started pressuring ISPs to introduce them in summer 2013. Ofcom said in July 2014 that just 8% of Sky Broadband subscribers had switched them on. The same report showed a 34% adoption-rate for competitor TalkTalk, who promote filters aggressively, and have made them the default option for new subscribers for a long time. Nudge tactics rely on the principle that most people don’t bother changing defaults.

    • Sky will soon switch on adult broadband filters for indecisive customers

      As part of David Cameron’s plan to protect young internet users, broadband providers have been forced to offer an “unavoidable choice.” This impels new subscribers to decide whether they want to enable or disable blocks on adult content. However, UK consumers have already highlighted their dislike for such filters, with only one in every seven customers letting the big four UK ISPs guard them from porn and the darker parts of the internet. One of those major providers, Sky, saw just eight percent of customers enable the option before July 2013, but that statistic could change drastically as part of new measures announced today.

  • Privacy

    • Crypto Won’t Save You Either

      “cryptography is bypassed, not penetrated”

    • Microsoft Outlook hacked following Gmail block in China

      Microsoft’s Outlook email service was subject to a cyberattack over the weekend, just weeks after Google’s Gmail service was blocked in China.

      On Monday, online censorship watchdog Greatfire.org said the organization received reports that Outlook was subject to a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack in China. A MITM attack intrudes on online connections in order to monitor and control a channel, and may also be used to push connections into other areas — for example, turning a user towards a malicious rather than legitimate website.

    • The Whole Haystack

      The N.S.A. claims it needs access to all our phone records. But is that the best way to catch a terrorist?

    • You’ll Never Guess Who’s Trying to Hack Your iPhone

      The FBI wants to search through your electronic life. You may think it’s a given that the government is in the business of collecting everyone’s personal data — Big Brother run amok in defiance of the Constitution. But under the limits of the Fourth Amendment, nothing it finds can be used to prosecute its targets. Now the FBI is taking steps to carry out broad searches and data collection under the color of authority, making all of us more vulnerable to “fishing expeditions.”

    • The never-ending quest to dethrone email

      Inbox has the right idea, in that the protocol and API set it has devised are open source (GNU Affero GPL licensed), and the project is designed to appeal most directly to developers of email applications building on mobile platforms. A similar project both in its approach and its design is JMAP, a protocol proposed by FastMail. JMAP uses JSON to encompass and package all the possible requests and responses used for email: sending and receiving, calendaring, contacts, and so on.

    • New police radars can ‘see’ inside homes

      At least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies have secretly equipped their officers with radar devices that allow them to effectively peer through the walls of houses to see whether anyone is inside, a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance.

    • Palantir CEO Alex Karp To Become A Billionaire As Data-Mining Company Raises Millions

      In the past, Alexander Karp, the CEO of data analytics firm Palantir, has called wealth “culturally corrosive.” A former money manager for high-net-worth individuals, the cofounder of the CIA-backed data analytics firm has maintained that personal riches were of little importance to him, despite associating with some of the world’s wealthiest to raise funds for his company.

  • Civil Rights

    • Don’t Believe What the Government Says About Barrett Brown

      On January 22, jailed American journalist Barrett Brown will finally learn his sentence. This had been expected to happen last month, on December 16, but the government unleashed a torrent of exhibits, supposedly to demonstrate “relevant conduct”, and wasted the day with testimony from an FBI agent, eventually leading the judge, Sam A. Lindsay, to decide that he needed more time to make his decision.

      Judge Lindsay should sentence Mr. Brown to time served. The man has been in jail for 28 months now, and I’ve been advocating for him at each step of the way. By now, many people have heard his name, and much has been written about him. The popular perception of Mr. Brown is based on his work with Anonymous and his crowd-sourced research outfit Project PM. He’s noted as an activist who made an impact to exact greater transparency: helping to overthrow Middle Eastern dictatorships, and investigating private intelligence firms.

      Not a spokesperson for the group, but one who thoroughly understood its potential for collaboration and effecting change, Brown holds some Anonymous operations closest to his heart: OpTunisia, OpBahrain, the hack of HBGary’s Aaron Barr and the investigation that followed, which was termed OpMetalGear. He focused on the secret surveillance regime at a time when it was regarded as a paranoid conspiracy, as in before Snowden. Because of his activist brand of journalism, people messed with him – starting with security contractors and confidential informants, and rising to the FBI. This is all true and known information.

    • GCHQ captured emails of journalists from top international media

      GCHQ’s bulk surveillance of electronic communications has scooped up emails to and from journalists working for some of the US and UK’s largest media organisations, analysis of documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals.

      Emails from the BBC, Reuters, the Guardian, the New York Times, Le Monde, the Sun, NBC and the Washington Post were saved by GCHQ and shared on the agency’s intranet as part of a test exercise by the signals intelligence agency.

    • Man says police probing Biden shooting ‘accosted’ him

      A Hockessin man arrested about 30 minutes after multiple gunshots were fired near Vice President Joe Biden’s Greenville home says he was “accosted” during an altercation with New Castle County Police.

      Rock Peters, 57, was not charged in connection with the shooting incident, The News Journal has learned. But he faces reckless endangering and resisting arrest charges after fleeing from an officer near the Biden estate and scuffling with two others just before 9 p.m., according to a police affidavit.

      “They’re lying through their teeth,” Peters said Monday night during an interview at his Hockessin home, saying the officers were the aggressors.

    • Why the CIA Is So Eager to Demolish Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling

      Midway through the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, one comment stands out. “A criminal case,” defense attorney Edward MacMahon told the jury at the outset, “is not a place where the CIA goes to get its reputation back.” But that’s where the CIA went with this trial in its first week — sending to the witness stand a procession of officials who attested to the agency’s virtues and fervently decried anyone who might provide a journalist with classified information.

    • Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab sentenced to 6 months in prison for a tweet

      In another tweet, the activist explained that he has to pay 200 BHD (£350) bail if he wants to stay out of prison until the appeal.

      Rajab, who is president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) was freed in May 2014 after serving two years in prison for his role in the pro-democracy uprising. He was arrested again last October and charged with publicly “insulting a public institution” on the microblogging site.

      The Bahraini ministry of interior said they summoned Rajab “to interview him regarding tweets posted on his Twitter account that denigrated government institutions”.

    • Government Pioneers Hairdresser Venue-Shopping in Jeffrey Sterling Case

      “There is no hairdresser privilege,” the judge presiding over the case, Leonie Brinkema, ruled.

    • Why the CIA Is So Eager to Demolish Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling
    • CIA’s Small World at the Jeffrey Sterling Trial: Racial Profiling and Leaked Identities

      While the jury will likely neither note nor learn of them, there were details from last week’s testimony in the Jeffrey Sterling trial that resonated with two other notable cases involving the CIA: the New York Police Department’s spying on Muslims and the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity.

    • First Published Book by a Guantanamo Prisoner Vividly Recounts Torture & Rendition

      The 466-page handwritten manuscript was written in his single cell at Camp Echo in 2005. The Guardian and Canongate Books worked together to publish a declassified version. It still was censored by the United States government, and 2,500 black bars appear throughout the text accentuating the criminality described vividly by Slahi.

    • Guantánamo Diary exposes brutality of US rendition and torture

      Memoir serialised by Guardian tells how Mohamedou Ould Slahi endured savage beatings, death threats and sexual humiliation

    • Dutch Court Blocks Extradition to US Over Torture Concerns

      A Dutch court on Tuesday blocked the extradition of a man accused of having fought against U.S. troops in Afghanistan, saying it could not be ruled out that the CIA had been involved in his torture after his arrest in Pakistan.

      Dutch court documents showed the suspect, a Dutch-Pakistani dual citizen named Sabir Khan, was tortured after his arrest by Pakistan’s ISI security service.

      He faces charges in New York of conspiracy to commit murder and of supporting al-Qaida.

      The court said the Netherlands could not transfer him because Dutch and international law prohibits the extradition of torture victims to countries that played a role in abuse.

    • Prison Dispatches from the War on Terror: Ex-CIA Officer John Kiriakou Speaks

      John Kiriakou is the only CIA employee to go to prison in connection with the agency’s torture program. Not because he tortured anyone, but because he revealed information on torture to a reporter.

      Kiriakou is the Central Intelligence Agency officer who told ABC News in 2007 that the CIA waterboarded suspected al-Qaeda prisoners after the September 11 attacks, namely Abu Zubaydah, thought to be a key al Qaeda official. Although he felt at the time that waterboarding probably saved lives, Kiriakou nevertheless came to view the practice as torture and later claimed he unwittingly understated how many times Zubaydah was subjected to waterboarding.

    • John Conyers, who first proposed an MLK holiday, marks 50 years in Congress

      Four days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., a junior member of Congress introduced a bill to establish a federal holiday to honor the slain civil rights leader.

      Five decades later, the holiday is on the calendar, and that lawmaker, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), is now the longest-serving member of Congress.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Which of UK’s major ISPs will let you have exotic p0rn? NONE OF THEM

      Virgin Media, Vodafone and EE have promised to be more upfront with their subscribers about traffic management policies two and half years after rival, big name UK ISPs signed up to the voluntary “Open Internet Code”.

      The telcos have also vowed not to choke the services of competitors, such as over-the-top players – Microsoft’s Skype for example, and the BBC’s iPlayer.

      However, the code has long made it clear that it is perfectly acceptable for ISPs to throttle traffic to “manage” congestion or block sites and services based on a court order to, for example, cut off access to pirated material or to prevent illegal child abuse images from being served up on broadband networks.

      BT, Sky, EE, KCOM, giffgaff, O2, Plusnet, TalkTalk, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone are signatories of the code, trade body the Broadband Stakeholders Group said.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Failed MPAA / Xunlei Anti-Piracy Deal is Shocking

        After signing an anti-piracy deal with Xunlei last year the MPAA is already suing the Chinese file-sharing giant. What went wrong is unclear but documents obtained by TorrentFreak reveal the toughest and most shocking set of anti-piracy demands to be found anywhere on the planet.

      • Pirate MEP Proposes Major Reform of EU Copyright

        Julia Reda, a politician for the German Pirate Party and member of the European Parliament, has this morning released her draft report for the overhaul of EU copyright. In her role as rapporteur, Reda says that EU copyright rules are “maladapted” to the increase of cross-border cultural exchange facilitated by the Internet.

      • Reform Agenda for Overhaul and Updating of EU Copyright

        It would be something of an understatement to say that European copyright is a mess, with different rules applying in each of the 28 Member States, making cross-border cultural exchange and business hard to the point of impossibility. But worse than that inconsistency is the fact that European copyright is simply not fit for the digital age. There is now a huge gulf between what copyright allows, and what the public would like to do – and, in many cases, is already doing online, irrespective of the law. That was revealed in the results of the European Commission’s consultation on copyright last year – shown most dramatically in this interesting visual representation of the widely-differing views on various aspects.


        As that small sample makes clear, this is pretty heady stuff. The copyright industries will doubtless fight very hard against practically everything here, as is their wont when any change to copyright in favour of the public is proposed.


Vesna Stilin Renews Her Fight for Justice in Željko Topić Case (EPO VP)

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Patents at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Željko Topić’s abuses continue to cloud the legitimacy of the European Patent Office, in which he is a Vice-President

SEVERAL days ago we highlighted Željko Topić’s skeletons (in his closet), noting that Vesna Stilin, whom we mentioned in several older articles of ours (she is one of Topić’s victims), was trying to bring light to Topić’s past. In the future we intend to show more of the history of Stilin’s fights and arguments with Topić, but today we would like to focus on her call to retract a retraction.

This Croatian “request for rectification” has been submitted to the Croatian Web site 45lines.com, which is operated by Zeljko Peratovic. After Peratovic had written an expose about Topić it mysteriously got taken down, under circumstances that we explained on Sunday. Our guess is that Peratovic is unlikely to publish his article once again, at least based on our supposition that he was scared into removing it voluntarily.

Our readers sent us an English translation of Stilin’s letter to 45lines.com and it goes as follows:

Submitted by: Vesna Stilin LL.B

Subject: Request for rectification of published information

I refer to the article on the website 45lines.com titled “A wrong man sitting in EPO? – Apology to Željko Topić: Regarding the deleted article regarding EPO”, which was published in Croatian on 16 December 2014 and in English on 19 December 2014 on the aforementioned portal, and which contains some incorrect and incomplete information:



For the purpose of providing the public with objective and complete information, and in accordance with the provisions of the Article 40 of the Croatian Media Act (Official Gazette
59/04), I hereby kindly request you to publish the following rectification.

Motivated by the “Apology” of the journalist Željko Peratović to Željko Topić, former Director of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), I would like to point out the following concerning the text of said “Apology” the accuracy of which is disputed:

The author of the “Apology”, Mr. Peratović, omits to mention the names of the three independent sources who, according to his claims, deceived him when he wrote the article “A wrong man
sitting in EPO” and which moved him to delete the original article and to apologize to Željko Topić by publishing a new article (i.e. the disputed “Apology”). Nevertheless, I consider that the following statement made by Mr. Peratovic in the disputed “Apology” implicitly refers to me:

“I have also wrote [sic] that it is a big corruption affair which grew outside the Croatian borders and that many criminal complaints have been filed and lawsuits led against him in Croatia. Now it is clear that all the criminal complaints that were initiated against Željko Topić are coming from the same source and that the only lawsuit is led for alleged slander. That lawsuit was completely refuted in court and he was completely acquitted of any responsibility.”

[Source: http://en.45lines.com/apology-zeljko-topic-regarding-deleted-article-regarding-epo/]

The above claim has been persistently and repeatedly made by Željko Topić, but it is untrue. In the disputed “Apology” Mr. Peratović restates this false claim in an apparent attempt to lend
credibility to it.

I am aware that, apart from myself, a number of other persons both from inside and from outside the SIPO have brought criminal charges and/or initiated civil proceedings against Željko Topić. With regard to matters concerning Željko Topić and myself, two private lawsuits are pending (in the first case I am the plaintiff, whereas in second case Mr. Topić is the plaintiff evidently encouraged by the lack of official oversight of the SIPO). With regard to the first private lawsuit which is the one referred to by Mr. Peratović in his “Apology”, following 6 court judgments (as a consequence of repeated remittals to the court of first instance following appeal) and what I consider to have been perjury on the part of Željko Topić’s deputy, the matter is now awaiting resolution before the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Croatia. With regard to the second private lawsuit in which Željko Topić is the plaintiff, I expect the first instance judgment to be delivered by the end of this month (i.e. January 2015).

In addition, I have filed a criminal complaint against Željko Topić in connection with a number of allegedly criminal actions which should be prosecuted ex officio. Following a request which I made in December 2014 to expedite the proceedings, I received a response from the District Public Prosecutor in Zagreb which, in essence, states the following:

“In the criminal case in question ….. we inform you that the complicated process of checking your allegations, as well as allegations from other sources, is in progress in order to determine whether the actions of Željko Topić, in his capacity as the Director of the State Intellectual Property Office and the actions of other responsible persons in that Office or other government bodies comprise the essential features of criminal offences subject to public prosecution.”

“I intend to submit evidence to Mr. Peratović regarding the above statements and expect him to do his job as investigative journalist. I am confident that afterwards he will have to issue a further apology, but this time it will not be to Željko Topić.”In his professional capacity as an investigative journalist, it would be useful for Mr. Peratović to find out what “other criminal proceedings” (as indicated in the Minutes of the Municipal Criminal Court in Zagreb – hereinafter MCC – from 4/5/2010, under No. K-163/09, in the Judgment of 31/5/2010 MCC, under no. K-163/09, and in the Judgment of 23/5/2011 MCC, under no. 34 K-238/10) were in progress against Željko Topić prior to his re-appointment as SIPO Director in early 2012 by the current Prime Minister Zoran Milanović, particularly in view of the fact that the competent supervisory Ministry of Science, Education and Sports does not appear to have reacted in spite of the warnings which it received. At the same time, there is an open question as to whether the Prime Minister Milanović was aware of the fact that the wife of his chef-de-cabinet Tomislav Saucha, i.e. Ms. Ivana Saucha, is a partner in the law firm which represents Željko Topić in court proceedings, and whether these circumstances might have had any influence on the Prime Minister’s decision to re-appoint Mr. Topić as the Director of the SIPO. Another question to be asked is why Mr. Topić reacted by filing a private lawsuit against me in April 2013, claiming inter alia that the Minutes of the MCC erroneously stated that he was “subject to a second criminal proceedings” given that he failed to react to this three years earlier when said allegation was noted in the Minutes of the MCC (4/5/2010) and in the aforementioned court Judgments (31/5/2010 and 23/5/2011). I note that the lawsuit which Mr. Topić filed against me in April 2013 has been decided in my favor in the meantime by both first and second instance courts.

I understand that the original documents reproduced along with the deleted article “A wrong man sitting in EPO?” are in the possession of a former Director of the SIPO, Mr. Hrvoje Junašević, and an official who worked as a representative at the SIPO, and that the aforementioned persons are willing to provide any explanation which may be required concerning the published documents.

I intend to submit evidence to Mr. Peratović regarding the above statements and expect him to do his job as investigative journalist. I am confident that afterwards he will have to issue a further apology, but this time it will not be to Željko Topić.

Pursuant to Article 41 of the Media Act, it is requested that this rectification be published in the same font size as the text and title and in the same section as the article to which it relates and that the rectification be linked to said article by a highlighted link.


Date: 19 January 2015

This is not the end of it because we have just learned about a resignation, potentially resulting from some of these ugly affairs. We will write about it later this week.

Failure of the EPO Can Derail the Trojan Horse of Software Patents and Patent Trolls

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Benoit Battistelli

Summary: Dazzled by his endless pursuit of infinite money and power, Battistelli pushes for expansion of patent scope (geographically too), but he won’t have it without a challenge

OUR recent posts about the EPO have had a profound impact and management of the EPO paid attention. We know this for a fact. Long-term readers of this site already know that we have a grudge not just because of abuses at the EPO but also a rogue agenda, which includes expansion of patent scope well beyond what is reasonable. The same goes for geographical expansion, transcending even Europe’s borders (see yesterday’s announcement titled “Morocco recognises European patents as national patents”). It’s like the military industrial complex in the patent sense, seeking to create itself more business; instead of promoting fear of terrorism to make money from, the EPO is promoting fear of lack of “protection” (as in protectionism) and other such stuff. It’s quite a coup d’état.

Several years ago we highlighted the possibility that Europe was opening its doors to patent trolls. A new report estimates that the U.S. economy lost $80 billion to patent troll lawsuits, so the last thing we need right now in the same in Europe. to quote the new report from a few days ago: “The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee lodging industry, today announced the formation of a coalition, United for Patent Reform. The broad-based coalition is designed to battle “patent trolls,” entities that use predatory legal tactics to sue for patent infringement. AH&LA is joined by a number of groups from the hospitality, retail, technology and construction-based industries, among others.

“This morning, the new coalition sent a letter to Leaders in Congress and Members of the Judiciary Committees in the U.S. House and Senate outlining the principles strong patent reform legislation should include. A copy of that letter is attached to this release.”

“What Europe needs is sharing, not protectionism.”In order to stop the plague of patent trolls, which usually use software patents, we need to keep the EPO in check. Like the military industrial complex, left unchecked it would expand infinitely and seek ways to justify this expansion, even to the point of costing trillions of dollars (in national debts, risking austerity everywhere). What Europe needs is sharing, not protectionism. The latter only serves few powerful corporations and makes them even stronger. It is a threat to democracy itself. Just watch the distribution of patents at the EPO; it doesn’t serve the “little guy” (or gal) but the rich and powerful.

Linux-backing players are increasingly dominant, but they face patent risk and are trying to embrace patents to defend against those who hoard patents (e.g. Nortel’s and Novell’s) to damage or tax the competition’s products, even in Europe where software patents are informally invalid. Nevertheless, EPO management, as corrupt as it has become, tries to legitimise software patents, e.g. with the unitary patent that we wrote about in past years. Here are some older articles of ours:

According to a new Unitary Patent analysis [PDF] from Ingve, an attorney at law from Düsseldorf (Germany), the recent chaos at the EPO may play a considerable role. Ingve is practicing in the area of patent litigation and he regularly writes about the Unitary Patent, so he should know. “I follow closely your blog posts,” he wrote, “on the developments at the EPO.”

“I thought you might find it interesting,” he wrote to us, “keep up your good work!”

Even those who are in the patent business seek to stop the ‘patent industrial complex’ where they see it as threatening to the legitimacy of the EPO. Battistelli is extremely unpopular in many quarters, even among his staff, stakeholders, and fellow Frenchmen.

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