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11.17.16

Techrights Under DDOS Attack From Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Network

Posted in Site News at 3:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Status report on the site’s issues today

Some readers have noticed and have reported to us site access issues (downtime or other difficulties). I personally have spent all day today (since 7AM and more so after 1PM) combating a bizarre kind of DDOS attack, which always came from the same network, owned by Lockheed Martin Corporation. I can say so with certainty. I spent many hours trying to tackle and properly investigate this.

I do not know what motivates this and whether some machines at the Lockheed Martin network (Fairfield, Connecticut, United States) got compromised, but all I know is that for one reason or another someone wants to drive the servers out of memory and knock the site offline. These attacks have been pretty persistent over the past 8 hours.

11.08.16

Celebrating Our 10th Birthday

Posted in Site News at 12:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Quick remarks on today’s (or yesterday’s) milestone, which happens only once in a decade

Some geeks’ media has already noticed that, as we pointed out several days ago, this site turns 10. I wasn’t planning much for it, but my wife surprised me with some stuff she bought yesterday and hid somewhere in the house. She then took some photos that she wanted me to publish.

Techrights cake

Techrights cake

We have a lot of EPO coverage on the way, so stay tuned. We’re quite badly backlogged as a matter of fact, we have piles of stuff we are eager to publish and will only eventually — somehow — get around to publishing. The anniversary was technically yesterday, but the site had technical issues due to rogue traffic (or DDOS), forcing me to stay indoors to manually stave it off.

11.04.16

Techrights Turns 10 This Monday

Posted in Site News at 5:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ten

Summary: Tenth anniversary for Techrights when this weekend ends; plus, some statistics…

STARTING with focus on Novell and its patent deal with Microsoft, the site was registered and born 10 years ago (not exactly today but a few days from now).

Perfect record of never exposing or causing problems for our sources (of which there were plenty) is something we take pride in. We value and protect our sources. We intent to maintain this perfect record.

“Perfect record of never exposing or causing problems for our sources (of which there were plenty) is something we take pride in.”Never publishing anything fake is another achievement of ours. We do verify the credibility of sources and authenticity of material we receive. We also anonymise everything and strip metadata all the time. We thankfully have the technical skills and we don’t rely on a third party or Big Company for hosting (these can leak/spill out IP addresses to unwanted hands). We never retain logs older than 4 weeks. They get deleted for good.

In that sense, we have done better than Wikileaks (another kind of site) where sources like Elmer and Manning got caught but nothing fake was published in 10 years. Their site is only about a month older than Techrights.

Techrights officially turns 10 on the 7th of this month and is actively or passively pursuing new leaks which can be sent anonymously.

We don’t plan anything big for the anniversary; we’ll probably just do a small wine celebration in the house (wife and I).

“We never retain logs older than 4 weeks.”Regarding statistics, there are nearly 30,000 pages in the site now, aside from attachments, multimedia and various documents. The site is about 40 GB in ‘weight’ and is powered by several servers with 8 cores each. We recently had to make expensive upgrades in order to better cope with attacks.

We are not actively asking for donations (which are possible) because we wish to maintain 100% financial independence. This means that I run this site at my own expense, for no profit, only loss (because it’s the ethical and moral thing to do). I separately work full time in order to earn money and pay the site’s bills. This has always been the case.

10.21.16

Disruption to Site’s Service

Posted in Site News at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

WE HAVE A LOT to publish (drowning in material). We have a lot to publish specifically about the EPO, but I am home-bound due to the site being overloaded with crap traffic (some things cannot be automated and must be done manually in order to keep the site available). A series we are trying to publish (see part one and its addendum) is well overdue, but as I stated a couple of nights ago, it is difficult to even keep the site online (since just over a week ago when the Kongstad series had hit the Danish press). The site is having severe issues whenever I go to sleep and I have had to cancel many things, making a lot of personal sacrifices for this. I slept only 2 hours 2 nights ago.

We are, sooner or later, going to publish all that we intended to publish. All this mess only makes me ever more eager to get it out of the way (or put it out in the open).

Some people ask us about the issues. One message we received a few hours ago said: “I notice that there are a lot of 503 messages with Varnish at Techrights lately. I suppose that is because of a DDoS of the backend server or just of key daemons (esp MySQL). The DDoS is usually an indication that you are on the right track and that the recent posts are effective and timely.”

As of today, for example, “European Patent Office” (e.g. 145.64.134.245) is hammering Techrights (IPs are being banned by our defenses, but it’s not enough). As we stated here before, we are not sure if it’s their filtering equipment that does this (we explained the technical reasons it might be so). We’re managing to keep Techrights afloat only by banning lots of IP addresses and it’s usually not enough. My wife and I monitor the server and intervene almost 24/7. I canceled the gym today.

Among the IP addresses banned today for excessive access (requests) we also have 155.201.34.7, which belongs to:

NetRange: 155.201.0.0 – 155.201.255.255
CIDR: 155.201.0.0/16
NetName: PRWATERHOUSE
NetHandle: NET-155-201-0-0-1
Parent: NET155 (NET-155-0-0-0-0)
NetType: Direct Assignment
OriginAS:
Organization: PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP (PRICEW-16)
RegDate: 1991-11-22
Updated: 2012-02-24
Ref: https://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-155-201-0-0-1

“PriceWaterhouseCoopers” is Battistelli’s liars for hire (the so-called ‘social’ ‘study’). They are still hammering the site today, for the second day in a row in fact. Whether it’s abuse or abusive traffic (or excessive requests that may be related to this article which tarnishes their image) we leave others to decide on. “PricewaterhouseCoopers” was automatically banned from the site for traffic abuse, but the addresses keep changing and our system automatically bans them.

We have had yet another IP address auto-banned for traffic floods that render the site unaccessible. Here is the report (notice the number of attempts, in a short period of time):

The IP 155.201.34.7 has just been banned by Fail2Ban after
216 attempts against VARNISH.

&showARIN=false&showNonArinTopLevelNet=false&ext=netref2
#

NetRange: 155.201.0.0 – 155.201.255.255
CIDR: 155.201.0.0/16
NetName: PRWATERHOUSE
NetHandle: NET-155-201-0-0-1
Parent: NET155 (NET-155-0-0-0-0)
NetType: Direct Assignment
OriginAS:
Organization: PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LLP (PRICEW-16)
RegDate: 1991-11-22
Updated: 2012-02-24
Ref: https://whois.arin.net/rest/net/NET-155-201-0-0-1

Also:

The IP 164.143.240.34 has just been banned by Fail2Ban after
183 attempts against VARNISH.

person: DCS Gov
address: PricewaterhouseCoopers UK
address: 161 Marsh Wall
address: Docklands
address: London
address: E14 9SQ
address: United Kingdom
phone: +44 207 583 5000
fax-no: +44 207 212 2921
nic-hdl: DCS17-RIPE
mnt-by: AS1849-MNT
created: 2005-09-09T14:46:07Z
last-modified: 2005-09-09T14:46:07Z
source: RIPE # Filtere

I have to go to work now, but when I finish I intend to work hard (well into the weekend), with the goal is releasing many EPO articles (if the state of the site/server permits). Stay tuned and be sympathetic not to Battistelli and his goons but to those trying hard — at a great personal cost (and pro bono) — to expose them.

10.19.16

Site’s Infrastructure Under Attack and Upgrades Ahead of Major New Publications

Posted in Site News at 9:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Availability problems have not been self-induced but due to nefarious/suspicious activity

Server lights

Summary: Protections for the Web site have been improved and capacity increased in order to avoid or at least prepare for another week of abusive/spam traffic

WHILE it’s hard to pin-point the culprit, amid several new leaks from the EPO and an important series we have come under a lot of stress and pressure. The server, at times, was unable to cope. Bursts of dodgy traffic even crashed our cache server several times, resulting in disruption not just to Techrights but several other very large sites. It makes our site a liability to the host, which lost some large customers as a result of that. The back end is usually able to cope with many hits (millions per day), so in order to cause all this damage one must be pretty clever (or malicious). We have grown accustomed to server issues, especially at times when major releases of information were in the front page. Several companies out there offer DDOS attacks as a service.

“If I have to stay up until 7AM (same as last week), so be it.”We’ve just completed a series of significant upgrades of our infrastructure (several large servers) in order to better cope with abusive traffic, like the traffic experienced since approximately one week ago. We shall now proceed to publication of another major new series, which took a lot of researching to prepare and will certainly ruffle some feathers at the EPO.

I am paying out of my own pocket for these expensive upgrades. Ideology makes it worth the money and we are not asking for donations as these would only damage the image of the site. The past week’s ordeals (sleepless nights due to server issues, a lot of tinkering and dozens of hours lost to maintenance, not to mention many hours of downtime) only made us ever more eager to expose the abuses at the EPO. We won’t be silenced, no matter the cost. If I have to stay up until 7AM (same as last week), so be it.

10.04.16

Radio Silence in the Quarters of Patent Lawyers as Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) Likely Ends Software Patents

Posted in Site News at 5:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The CAFC‘s Haldane Robert Mayer has issued a detailed and abundantly clear ruling, but patent law firms are still ignoring it

Haldane Robert Mayer

Summary: The historic decision from Haldane Robert Mayer (above) is slowly starting to gain some traction in the media, but proponents of software patents pretend not to see it and hope that prospective clients (software patent applicants) won’t notice what’s happening

SOMETHING very big happened at the end of last week, but it is not being properly covered (if at all) by the patent microcosm. Today, IAM ‘magazine’ is pushing for software patents (cherry-picking cases to focus on the ones that are pro-software patents) behind a paywall [1, 2] — all this in spite of the fact that most of them are dead (more of them, more than ever before).

We didn’t expect IAM to stand out though. It was probably the first to cover the McRO outcome (pro-software patents), but regarding the above there’s radio silence. WIPR, by contrast, finally wrote about it under the headline “Software patents are deadweight loss to economy, says Federal Circuit” and it didn’t mince words:

Software patents impose a “deadweight loss on the nation’s economy”, according to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

This was the concurring opinion of Circuit Judge Haldane Mayer in the case of Intellectual Ventures v Symantec and Trend Micro, decided on September 30. He concurred with Circuit Judge Timothy Dyk.

Mayer added that software patents erect “often insurmountable barriers to innovation” and force “companies to expend exorbitant sums defending against meritless infringement suits”.

The ruling found that three patents asserted by licensing company Intellectual Ventures (IV) against anti-virus software business Symantec and IT security company Trend Micro were invalid.

US patent numbers 6,460,050; 6,073,142 and 5,987,610, which all cover anti-virus software, were held not to cover patent-eligible subject matter.

It is good that someone in MIP (Managing IP) covered it as well, albeit MIP called it “controversial” as if to antagonise software patents is something questionable. To quote:

In a controversial concurring opinion in a Federal Circuit decision finding claims of three Intellectual Ventures patents invalid, Judge Haldane Mayer argues: “It is well past time to return software to its historical dwelling place in the domain of copyright.”

This is what software developers have been arguing all along. There is nothing “controversial” about it. What likely “controversial” is a site like IAM openly promoting software patents and its editor in chief arguing with me online, insisting that being against software patents is the same as (or moral equivalent of) wanting layoffs. Whose layoffs? Definitely not software developers’. This is just a politician’s trick, trying to equate some policy with “creating” or “destroying” jobs (appeal to “families”).

How long before Watchtroll personally attacks this CAFC Judge (as usual)? And maybe Patent Docs also? Both have a tendency to go ad hominem when they dislike the outcome. Here is the patent microcosm shooting the messenger. It didn’t take long. This one dismisses the judge as “one senior judge with no business experience nor extensive technology background-baying at the moon” (there’s more here).

Some of the worst ad hominem attacks we have come across discredit the US Supreme Court, which, according to this new article from Patently-O, virtually if not practically refuses to refute (technically overturn) Alice:

Not Eligible: Supreme Court Denies All Pending Subject Matter Eligibility Petitions

The Supreme Court has greatly simplified the patent docket by denying certiorari in 10+ cases. Gone are GEA Process (IPR termination decision), Amphastar (scope of 271.e safe harbor) , Commil (appellate disregard of factual evidence), MacDermid (obvious combination), Jericho (Abstract Idea) , Trading Technologies (mandamus challenging CBM initiation), Tobinick (interference), Neev (arbitrator autonomy), Genetic Tech (eligibility), Essociate (eligibility), Dreissen, and Pactiv (ex parte reexamination procedure). Notably, all of the eligibility petitions have been denied.

“Meanwhile,” the above adds, “on October 11, the court will hear oral arguments in Samsung v. Apple.”

Yes, that’s about design patents, which are related to software patents but not quite the same. Here is patent the maximalism site MIP catching up with the latest of Apple litigation, saying that a “jury in the Eastern District of Texas has awarded VirnetX $302.4 million in a verdict against Apple for infringing four patents. This is the third time a federal jury has found Apple liable for infringing VirnetX’s patented technology.”

The VirnetX case was covered here thrice in the past week alone and it is still being covered quite a lot by media large and small all around the world (because it’s about “Apple”, which typically attracts/baits readers). Here is AOL’s coverage of it. This involves a court in Texas, i.e. the cesspool of all patent courts. They actually boast/gloat about their bias. It’s their marketing strategy.

Speaking of design patents and Apple, Vera Ranieri from the EFF published “Stupid Design Patent of the Month” (later crossposted in TechDirt) in which she wrote:

On October 11, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the long-running Apple-Samsung litigation. The issue is whether Apple, by virtue of having its designed patents infringed by Samsung, is entitled to all of Samsung’s profits made from the infringing phones (regardless of how much that design contributed to the value of the phone).

This case—in which EFF submitted an amicus brief arguing the award of Samsung’s total profit is improper—is important for many reasons. But one reason stands out: it is trivially easy to get a design patent on trivial designs and, unless the Supreme Court changes the law, that can lead to anything-but-trivial awards in court.

This month’s stupid patent, a design patent, shows just how broken the current system of design patents is. Design patents, unlike the utility patents we usually feature, consist only of a single claim followed by pictures. It is generally the pictures that inform the public as to what is claimed. Importantly, in a design patent only the features drawn in solid lines are claimed. Anything in dotted lines is generally not part of the claim.

If SCOTUS rules against Apple and in favour of Android/Linux/Samsung, this may spell the end of design patents too. Wait and watch how patent lawyers would squirm and deny everything if this was to occur. Is it not funny (or suspicious) that not a single patent law firm is ‘seeing’ (after several days) the decision where CAFC slams software patents? A lot of patent lawyers are liars, and in light of the latest silence they are more so. They refuse to inform people about decisions where software patents are trashed. It’s just not good for their business.

“Well done, Haldane Robert Mayer, for saying what a lot of us software developers have been arguing for well over a decade. Patents are not needed for software, which is a copyright domain (like prose).”Today we found the new article “Federal Circuit Finds Claims Implemented on General Purpose Cellphone Not Patentable”, but the patent microcosm is still stuck in the past, persistently pushing an old case like McRO [1, 2, 3] as if we’re in the middle of September. This so-called ‘analysis’ too got reposted (mentioned here before), provocatively asking (in the headline), “Is the Pendulum Finally Swinging Back to Center?”

No, it’s swinging in the side that’s software patents being verboten and thus worthless. Just don’t ask IAM or the patent microcosm as they’ll pretend not to know about it. Surely they saw the decision, but they probably just don’t know what to say in order to somehow save face, spin it etc. If all they can do is attack the judge (i.e. shoot the messenger), then they’d be better off keeping quiet.

Well done, Haldane Robert Mayer, for saying what a lot of us software developers have been arguing for well over a decade. Patents are not needed for software, which is a copyright domain (like prose).

08.14.16

21,000 Posts in Techrights in Less Than a Decade

Posted in Site News at 1:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cake for birthday

Summary: This post is the 21,000th post and the next one will make it more than twenty-one thousand posts in total. We are turning 10 in November.

WIKI pages and other pages/documents aside, in terms of the blog we have just crossed a milestone with 21,000 blog posts, months ahead of the tenth anniversary of the site. Keep us strong by linking to us and recommending us.

07.24.16

Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face ‘Exile’ or ‘Extradition’ in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

Posted in Site News at 5:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO Martial Law?

Jean-Baptiste Deprecq

Summary: A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli’s successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli’s totalitarian powers

THE EPO is in a state of deepening crisis and the other day we mentioned Haar as the likely location for the new site of the Boards of Appeal, following the exile/purge. Shortly thereafter the staff of the Boards of Appeal received the following confirmatory message:

To all members of DG3

Following a decision taken by the Administrative Council in June, the President has instructed PD44 to implement the relocation of the Board of Appeals.

PD44 has visited eleven locations in order to find a building that would best suit the requirements of staff and business partners of the BoA. The principles for the search were:

· Modern building with highly professional accommodation standards
· In the area of the European School
· Very good access to public transport
· Short distance to the city centre and Munich airport

Having considered the above factors, the relocation will take place to Richard-Reitzner-Allee 8 in Haar in the South-East of Munich.

“It is no longer a rumour,” one person told us, as “DG3 was sent an email on Friday.” Another person wrote: “It is no longer simply a rumour that the Boards of Appeal will be sent to Haar. A note was sent to all DG3 staff yesterday late afternoon, informing them that the Boards will move to the office building at Richard-Reitzner-Allee 8 in Haar. The rent contract will be signed after the Budget and Finance Committee approves the plan in October. The goal is to start the move in July 2017. It should be stressed that neither the Boards nor the stakeholders were consulted or even informed beforehand, just like no meaningful consultation took place on any other part of the reform proposal that was submitted to the Administrative Council. Being in DG3 myself, I can say that the current atmosphere is not very positive.”

Around the same time as the Munich shootings (which no doubt Battistelli will exploit to the fullest tomorrow) somebody responded with: “I wonder if any attention has been paid to the security aspects of the proposed new site …”

Quite a few people have mentioned this to us. Another asked, “did you hear the latest about Haar?”

“The building reserved for the BoA is supposed to be in Vaterstetten, which is near Haar (just a bit farther),” told us another person. “If they are really going to move there I would regard it as a total waste of EPO money. A sign of further erdoganization of what was once a respectable European organization fallen prey today to the megalomaniac ambitions of a ruthless president.”

That note about “erdoganization” of the EPO is timely as we have made this kind of comparison for about a year now.

“Interesting article about Erdoğan,” one reader told us about this one from the time of the coup. “Same problem with Battistelli…”

To quote: “You’d be wrong. Instead, the order came down from Erdogan’s thousand room palace that one Binali Yildirim — and only Yildarim — would replace Davutoglu as leader of the AKP and as Turkey’s new prime minister. Yildirim has been part of Erdogan’s inner circle for decades, an absolute loyalist certain to do his bidding. In a display of party discipline that would have made Lenin proud, more than 1,400 AKP delegates thereupon saluted smartly, sang paeans of praise and obedience to their great “chief” Erdogan, and voted unanimously to confirm his chosen candidate.”

“Sounds like the AC,” told us this reader, referring to the Administrative Council that has been reduced into a bunch of Battistelli lapdogs — those who recently helped him send the Boards of Appeal to exile near Haar.

Speaking of Erdoğan, coups and sovereignty/security (in light of Friday’s shootings), there is further militarisation going on at the EPO where the coup plotter is actually Battistelli and his ‘troops’ (so he is, in some sense, on the opposite side of Erdoğan, who was actually elected unlike the Turkish military).

“To better understand why people are treated so badly inside the EPO (and even outside of it, e.g. bloggers who are critics) look closely to what happened in Turkey over the past 10 days or less.”Writing about “who is who [at the] EPO,” one reader told us: “I know we both ***love*** FB. Here an interesting page of one recently-promoted BB’s [Battistelli] pet. Even more interesting [is] one of her “friends”: Perhaps a next director?”

This alludes to Jean-Baptiste Deprecq (photo above is from his account), who is connected to the recently-promoted Nadja Merdaci-Lefèvre.

“This give a lot to think about the saying “you chose your friends not you family”,” added our reader.

To better understand why people are treated so badly inside the EPO (and even outside of it, e.g. bloggers who are critics) look closely to what happened in Turkey over the past 10 days or less. Collective punishment at the hands of a megalomaniac isn’t so extraordinary. One might call it Martial Law.

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