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Corrupting Democracy? Growing Frequency of Rumours That the EPO’s President Battistelli is ‘Buying’ Votes of Small Member States

Posted in Europe, Patents, Rumour at 12:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The best vote/ballot money can buy or just an incredible coincidence?

EU flagSummary: Several sources suggest that rather than appease the Administrative Council by taking corrective action Battistelli and his notorious ‘circle’ now work hard to remove opposition from the Administrative Council, especially where this is easier a task to accomplish (politically or economically)

THE EPO is an institution like no other institution. Even FIFA/UEFA pale in comparison to the abuses at the EPO, but since more people understand football (than complex subjects like patents) media attention has been grossly disproportionate. The media in Europe has been mostly uncooperative, apathetic and unwilling to give thought/iota/space to EPO staff’s complaints. We already wrote many hypotheses or theories about why this may be, ranging from national interests of Germany, the “better good” of the European Union, the corporate ties of large media operations, and so forth.

“Even FIFA/UEFA pale in comparison to the abuses at the EPO, but since more people understand football (than complex subjects like patents) media attention has been grossly disproportionate.”Whatever one knows about the EPO, in reality it’s probably a lot worse. I have written more than 700 articles about the EPO specifically (not just as a side issue) and the lack of intervention/involvement from authorities is truly jaw-dropping. I have never come across anything like this (having run this site for a decade).

Continuing a string of anonymous comments (as anonymous as they can be over at Google’s Blogspot), one person wrote about sanctions against EPO staff that already left the Office:

Still, imposing restrictions upon someone who is no longer an employee of the EPO is a significant step further than everything that has gone before – even the retroactive extension of the period by which an employee may be suspended before a final decision is taken on their case (or, if we are speaking bluntly, extension of the period by which an employee might be “detained without trial”!).

As I understand it, the deal that every EPO employee signed up to was that the EPO would have no claim to infringe or limit the liberty of the employee after they left the employ of the EPO. It would therefore simply be impossible for any court of an EU Member State to validate a “condition of employment” that was unilaterally imposed (i.e. without consent of the employee, or even any form of additional compensation) and that purported to limit the liberty of an individual beyond the term of the contract of employment.

I know that we are operating in Eponia here, and not the EU. Nevertheless, the fact that the above is such a blatantly unarguable point means that, even if the AC erred in rubber-stamping previous proposals, they would really have no excuse for making the same mistake on this occasion.

As another person put it, citing/highlighting the amazing behaviour of Mr. Minnoye (on public television, nothing less!):

Very true. They would have no excuse.
But if they made the mistake, who would call them to account?
Remember, they enjoy “immunity” for their actions.
Some court or tribunal might at some far distant date find the measure to be unlawful.
But even that is my no mean certain.
Do you think they will loose any sleep over such trivia?
Remember Wille Minnoye’s famous words on Netherlands television.

We have been hearing for a while, from 4 sources by now (including this from today), that Team Battistelli — seeking to protect itself from justice (people like Minnoye included) — sought to stack panels and warp the vote in the same way that DNC does it in the United States (e.g. in Nevada more recently).

Here is, once again, a claim that Battistelli “is literally buying the votes of the small countries.” We wrote about this two days ago and here it is again:

The idea that some restrictions were applicable to employees after they left the EPO has always been in the service regulations. It makes sense: the EPO is dealing with confidential matter (unpublished applications), the employees are bound to confidentiality even after they left.

All these have always existed and have always been a potential problem: confidentiality, lack of independent justice, internal sickness insurance, lack of control on spending, etc… But it has never been an acute problem because it was never systematically abused (although some limited abuse was already there). The EPO has functioned quite well for the last 30+ years.

The problem today is that someone is systematically (ab)using the regulations and even strengthening them. That is why the EPO is suddenly in the Press.

Quite frankly, I don’t see any way out. Battistelli will manage to get the council at his side, because he is literally buying the votes of the small countries. Countries with the most economic weight: Germany, France, UK, Italy, Netherlands, Swiss, etc… want him out but will be outvoted by a coalition formed by, maybe, Greece, Cyprus, Macedonia, Romania…

Whether the rumour mill is wrong or not, one sure thing is that we are hearing this from more and more separate sources, so there’s probably some level of truth to it. Recall Battistelli signing a deal with Lithuania just around the same time as the Administrative Council's meeting. Very suspicious timing, no?

“Will the delegations let the president weakening the council secretariat? Will they act upon what may be interpreted by the outside observers as basically a “power-play”?”
One source recently noted: “Last B28 [Board 28 meeting] seems to have only tackle with [sic] DG3 matters and nothing has transpired about the social situation. Only rumours concern some changes proposed by the President – this is one of his ample prerogative- in the Council secretariat. Shortly after having stated in the March resolution that a reinforcement of the Secretariat capacity and independence was a top priority, it will be an interesting to observe the next session of the AC: Will the delegations let the president weakening the council secretariat? Will they act upon what may be interpreted by the outside observers as basically a “power-play”?

Well, that would not be the first from Battistelli. Also regarding the B28 we have learned that “since January the situation of Ion and Malika [staff representation] has remained unchanged! It seems that we were left with the wrong impression that the president was in dire need of their personal Request for Review to show its benevolence. Presumably this was just a “teaser”: Today, one month after filling the “long awaited” Request for Review, NO decision has been taken yet. Presumably, one can expect a more “PR-effective” date of “release” around the next B28 or Budget and Finance Committee (24-25.05)” (that’s this coming week).

It’s easy to see the cause for angst. The angst is totally just and Battistelli’s regime is — to use a understatement — unjust. Writing in IP Kat anonymously, some people have gone poetic. One writes:

Eponia boss Battistelli
Tried moving the Boards to New Delhi
But later that evening
He went through the ceiling
When they criticised him on the telly.

Another poetic one reads:

A judge once wrote a decision
The president saw with derision.
He was removed from his post,
And given at most
A pension that no one could live on.
LC Lovegood

The poetry continued with this comment that said: “The EPO enlarges itself, becomes methodised and refined and the whole, though it takes long, stands almost complete and finished in my mind, so that I can survey it, like a fine picture or a beautiful statute that I can present to the AC at a glance” (there are some bogus ‘studies’ in the pipelines, as we noted before).

On a more serious note, one person notes:

I know some colleagues who have installed on their smartphone a backwards counter to monitor the leaving date of BB.
About two years from now.
In the mean time the work goes on. We try to survive in the mess created by this ill advised management. With shame and disgust.
Because the heart of the EPO is (still) good. Made of multi cultural, competent and very patient people. For these people, my friends, we have to maintain hope and try to save what can be saved of the working life and atmosphere at the EPO.
Unfortunately this top management is only interested in short term benefits and neither in the staff wellbeing nor the european people interest. This is sad, unwise and without any issue. But these people will not last forever. Time to rebuild will come, time for justice and intelligence.
La bêtise, l’énorme bêtise à front de taureau, will go back home forever and for a well deserved and extremely quiet, rest.

“AC creativity may cause spark,” one person noted today. “It can be excruciating when they’re rubbing two rocks together and getting again nothing. Maybe one day sitting at my desk, seeing nothing, hearing nothing, yet through the silence something throbs and gleams…a flame catches and a new era of hope sweeps through the IP world.”

“Most examiners, who are academically trained, wish to the right thing.”In our next post we shall try a more optimistic tone. We invite EPO staff to help our push for tighter EPO patent scope (no software patents), which probably also means blocking the UPC. A lot of the current so-called ‘reforms’ are due to the UPC, which tilts the whole system in favour of the rich and the powerful, and it’s obvious at whose expense and at what cost. The EPO became a battleground (or battle scene) and it’s not the fault of examiners, whose moves are largely reactionary. Most examiners, who are academically trained, wish to the right thing.

[ES] Los Mitos de la EPO ‘Calidad’ de Patentes y de ‘Creación’ de Patentes: Basados en Ventas de Cafe y Trauma

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Article as ODF

Publicado en Europe, Patentes at 6:46 pm por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Crear’ (otorgar) más y más patentes artificiálmente bajar a sus valores

Hiperinflaciones son causadas generalmente por grandes déficits públicos persistentes financiados principalmente por la creación de dinero (en lugar de impuestos y los empréstitos). Como tal, la hiperinflación se asocia a menudo con las guerras, sus consecuencias, en agitación sociopolítica, u otras crisis que hacen que sea difícil para el gobierno de gravar la población. Una fuerte disminución de los ingresos fiscales reales junto con una fuerte necesidad de mantener el status quo, junto con la incapacidad o falta de voluntad para prestar, puede llevar a un país a la hiperinflación.


Referencia: Hyperinflation

Sumario: La carrera hacia el fondo, o la ridícula asumpción de Battistelli de que otorgar más y más patentenes más rápidamente (e.g. usando PACE) sería beneficióso a largo término, puede guíar al final colapse del valor de la EPO y la pérdida de su lárgamente ganada reputación a nivel mundial

Frecuéntemente hacemos la amplia afirmación de que el terrible régimen de Battistelli, el cual no tiene idea acerca de calidad de patentes (no hay científicos a cargo. i.e. a la cabeza, a diferencia de antes), artificialmente aumenta los númoers de patentes de la EPO al reducir su calidad, e.g. al presiónar que sean otorgados rápidamente (sin suficiénte busqueda de arte previo) simplemente al igual que la USPTO. Falsas patentes hieren/afectan a los “pequeño jugador” (o jugadora), quien no tiene los medios/tiempo/experiéncia por la cual apele/oponga/pelee una patente hóstil. Eso es poniendo aparte el circulo vicióso de Battistelli de aplastar las Salas de Apelaciónes, lo que significaría menos oportunidades de revisiónes de patentes errónemente otorgadas por los examinadores. Para prestarnos el ejemplo de la India acerca de patentes de software y otras controversiales clases de patentes, consideren este nuevo artículo de los medios de la India:

La Política de Derechos de Propiedad Intelectual de Modi sólo beneficiará a los jugadores con mucho dinero

En noviembre de 2014, cinco gobiernos nacionales escribieron al Departamento de Política y Promoción Industrial (DIPP) para informar el proceso de toma de decisiones de la primera política nacional de derechos de propiedad intelectual de la India (política de DPI). El DIPP recibió 300 trabajos enviados por varias otras partes interesadas, incluidas las ONG y la sociedad civil, las empresas multinacionales, las empresas y asociaciones de comercio, que atraviesa varios sectores. El proceso de toma de decisiones en sí se vio empañado por pasos extraños, injustas e inexplicables, como la repentina disolución del primer grupo de reflexión puesto a cargo de la producción de un proyecto de política, un proceso opaco y prolongado de la liberación de un primer borrador, la fuga de un proyecto final casi completo y no hay publicación de las respuestas (todavía) de las 300 presentaciones extrañas que fueron realizados por las partes interesadas. Por último, el DIPP lanzó la política de la semana pasada.

A pesar del largo proceso de elaboración y extensa, la política se inclina a favor de los titulares de derechos, y coloca una confianza indebida en derechos de propiedad intelectual para estimular la innovación y el crecimiento. Es obvio que afirme lo contrario, pero hay algunos defectos fundamentales en la premisa de la política que hacen que las afirmaciones del DIPP sentido. Ahondar brevemente en el tema de derechos de propiedad intelectual, se trata de una cuestión de principio que un régimen equilibrado de propiedad intelectual (IP), es decir, un modelo que equilibre los derechos adecuados con limitaciones / excepciones, contribuye de manera óptima para el desarrollo integral y el crecimiento de la nación. Limitaciones o excepciones son las flexibilidades en la ley, que redujo el control absoluto conferido por derechos de propiedad intelectual, y asegurar que la utilización y el intercambio de conocimientos con fines tales como la investigación, la educación y el acceso a los medicamentos no son anuladas por los titulares de derechos de propiedad intelectual reivindicaciones. Los aspectos relacionados con el comercio de acuerdo Derechos de Propiedad Intelectual (ADPIC), que es el mayor acuerdo internacional que rige los mecanismos DPI de los países también promueve el uso de estas flexibilidades para construir regímenes equilibrados. La política no indicar en ocasiones su compromiso con el Acuerdo sobre los ADPIC y la Declaración de Doha, pero no se compromete o enuncian las nuevas medidas concretas. Por lo tanto, no se presenta ninguna seriedad en la defensa y la promoción de un régimen de “equilibrada” – en marcado contraste con la forma detallada y quirúrgico en el que se pretende aumentar la conciencia sobre los DPI y comercializarlas.

Por desgracia para la política, una razón de ser miope captura la ambición del documento. El documento de política establece que: “La razón … radica en la necesidad de crear conciencia sobre la importancia de los DPI como un activo financiero comercializable y herramienta económica.” Como tal, la política no reconoce la filosofía del bienestar y el equilibrio incrustado en derechos de propiedad intelectual: para asegurar la innovación, el progreso social, científico y cultural y la promoción del acceso al conocimiento. Para ser justos, mientras que el documento rinde homenaje saludable para objetivos tales como “lograr un crecimiento económico y el desarrollo socio-culturales, al tiempo que protege el interés público; también del avance de la ciencia y la tecnología, las artes y la cultura, el conocimiento tradicional y la biodiversidad, transformando en conocimiento compartido propiedad del conocimiento, “que nunca se eleva por encima de su tratamiento de los derechos de propiedad intelectual como herramienta para servir exclusivamente a los intereses de los titulares de derechos.

Este es la clase de “lógica” que aquellos a los que embauca Battistelli son guiados en cada vez que se habla de la UPC . Lo que Battistelli ha estado haciendo en la EPO se puede resumir como la inclinación de todo el proceso en favor de las grandes corporaciones, incluso los que no son europeos (véase PACE). Podría decirse que logra esto mientras brutalmente atacar a los trabajadores (científicamente cualificado, a diferencia de él) que ‘atrevieron’ para expresar escepticismo. Se burló de la democracia (UPC es claramente antidemocrática), se negó a obedecer a la ley, probablemente causado bastantes muertes (por suicidio después de que sus políticas represivas), y contrató a sus filas a las personas que se enfrentan a muchos cargos criminales. Battistelli es un hombre peligroso, pero él está allí para un propósito y es un propósito para beneficio de las personas hostiles (ganancias corporativas, a expensas de los no millonarios, que no son a los Battistelli se inclina a aceptar de todos modos).

El otro día encontrámos esta nueva evaluación de una patente que acababa de ser reafirmada por la EPO (para ganáncias de Nespresso France). Para citar:

A finales de enero el año 2016 El EPO del procedimiento oral en relación con una oposición por Nestec S.A. y Nespresso Francia contra la concesión de EP2312978 en nombre de la ECC. Al final del procedimiento se desestimó la oposición y la patente mantiene como sentado. Un recurso contra esta decisión ya ha sido presentada por los oponentes.

La patente ECC en cuestión no proteger directamente a productos innovadores de ECC (tienen otras patentes para eso), o incluso impedir que un tercero de la producción de un producto de la competencia, sino que está destinada a evitar modificaciones particulares a las máquinas de Nespresso que los harían incompatible con el producto ECC.

Esta es una forma de candado (restricciónes) DRM/lock-in o algo parecido al caso Lexmark en los Estados Únidos.

Reciéntemente, basado en este pequeño reporte de Reuters y las ampliámente publicaciónes pagadas/financiadas [1, 2], “la Oficina Europea de Patentes (EPO) ha emitido dictámen al caso de oposición contra BioPorto NGAL Forms patente no. EP 2215481. La EPO decidió en la validez de la patente basado en que ella cumple os requisítos de novedad, paso inventivo y suficiente descripción” (dice la parte que defiénde la patente).

La fuerza total de una oficina de patentes no debiera medirse por el número de patentes otorga y/o defiende, sino por la falta de controversia sobre una patente concedida (o patentes), debido a la novedad ampliamente aceptada y la calidad percibida. Tememos que Battistelli, después de haber visitado algunos regímenes bastante totalitarios – Cuba, Marruecos – en los últimos tiempos, su deseo de correr de manera unilateral a fondo y disminuir la calidad de las patentes, probablemente, a fin de lograr lo que la ENA le enseñó/entrenó a que haga (neoliberalismo). Battistelli esta perdido ‘sin ideas’ acerca de ciencia, como Regan que fué un actor, lo estuvo acerca de economía y política. Lo menos que Battistelli sepa y entiénda, lo más fácil es para la clase afluente (o corporaciónes/cabilderos) lo utilicen.

El punto de vista del Gobierno acerca de la economía puede ser resumido en unas pocas frases cortas: Si se mueve, imponle impuestos. Si sigue moviéndo, regulala. Y si deja de moverse, subsidiala.”

Ronald Reagan

Links 22/5/2016: Systemd 230, Debian Installer Alpha 6

Posted in News Roundup at 10:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • 1000 contributors!

    On the ownCloud blog, Jos shared today that the ownCloud community has hit an impressive milestone!

    The project I started 6 years ago just got a contribution from the 1000th volunteer who considered ownCloud worth the time and effort to contribute code to! Only a year ago, we were so proud having hit over 550 contributors at our 5 year anniversary. It is stunning how fast ownCloud has continued to grow.

  • 7 ways to make new contributors feel welcome

    Sumana Harihareswara and Maria Naggaga gave back-to-back talks at OSCON 2016 on how we can build our open source communities in such a way that contributors feel safe and loved.

    First, recognize that people participate in open source for many reasons. Some of us are lucky enough to get paid to work on it, others are doing it for a school project, and others are doing it just for fun or for the passion of the project. Start by looking at your project as an outsider and try to think about what they might find discouraging or not helpful. There are things in our projects that can be alienating. Evaluate these weird things in your projects and decide if you want to make changes or not.

  • Events

    • DORS/CLUC 2016 – Event Report

      Between 11-13 May 2016, Zacharias Mitzelos and I had been to Zagreb, Croatia for the 23rd DORS/CLUC. We were joined by Elio Qoshi, Jona Azizaj from Albania and Gergely Rakosi from Hungary.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Firefox 46.0.1 Lands in the Ubuntu Repos, But No Sign of Thunderbird 45

        Canonical recently pushed the first point release of the Mozilla Firefox 46.0 web browser to the stable channels for all supported Ubuntu Linux operating systems, along with Mozilla Thunderbird 38.8.0.

        Mozilla Firefox 46.0.1 is a small bug fix update to the acclaimed and widely used open-source and cross-platform web browser, patching various security issues discovered by Mozilla’s skillful developers or reported by users since the release of Mozilla Firefox 46.0.

      • CSS coding techniques

        Lately, we have seen a lot of people struggling with CSS, from beginners to seasoned developers. Some of them don’t like the way it works, and wonder if replacing CSS with a different language would be better—CSS processors emerged from this thinking. Some use CSS frameworks in the hopes that they will have to write less code (we have seen in a previous article why this is usually not the case). Some are starting to ditch CSS altogether and use JavaScript to apply styles.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Enforcement and compliance for the GPL and similar licenses

      The Free Software Legal & Licensing Workshop (LLW) is a three-day event held every year for legal professionals (and aficionados) who work in the realm of free and open-source software (FOSS). It is organized by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and, this year, the event was held in Barcelona (Spain), April 13-15. The topics covered during the event ranged from determining what constitutes authorship, how to attribute it, and what is copyrightable, to the complexity of licenses and how to make them more accessible for potential licensees lacking in legal background. In addition, license enforcement and compliance were discussed, with a particular focus on how the GPL and related licenses have done in court.

      According to the organizers, there were approximately 90 attendees, 70% of whom were legal professionals and 30% technical professionals linked in some way to legal matters in their communities or companies. Attendees came from legal firms, traditionally open-source companies and communities, such as the Linux Foundation, Red Hat, and Debian, tech companies with some open-source products (Intel and others), and companies that are using open-source software embedded in their products. Discussions were held under the Chatham House Rule, which means that names and affiliations of participants are only available for those who have explicitly agreed.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • ReText and Markdown

      Markup formats can inspire just as much devotion and loathing as programming languages. TeX versus HTML, DocBook versus Mallard—the list is probably endless. But the “lightweight” markup formats (Markdown, reStructuredText, AsciiDoc, and so on) are the subject of particular scrutiny. Users almost always write them by hand, not in a dedicated tool, and the formats are becoming ever more widespread: as input formats in web applications and as the preferred document format on sites like GitHub. But these lightweight formats, Markdown in particular, have developed a reputation for compatibility problems in recent years—see the CommonMark effort for one of several attempts to impose order on the chaos. Thus, when version 6.0 of ReText, a GUI editor for Markdown and reStructuredText documents, was released recently, I was curious enough to take a look.

    • Embrace Open Source culture: the 5 common transformations.

      This is a story of what I have lived or witnessed a few times so far. A story of an organization that used to consume, develop and ship proprietary software for many years. At some point in time, management took the decision of using Open Source. Like in most cases, the decision was forced by its customers, providers, competitors… and by numbers.


      This organization gained control over its production and, by consuming Open Source, it could focus many resources in differentiation, without changing the structure, development and delivery processes. At some point, it was shipping products that involved a significant percentage of generic software taken “from internet”.

      It became an Open Source producer.

      You can recognise such organizations they frequently create a specific group, usually linked to R&D, in change of brining all the innovation that is happening “in the Open Source community” into the organization.

      Little by little this organisation realised that giving fast and satisfactory answers, to its customer demands became more and more expensive. They got stuck in what rapidly became an old kernel or tool chain version…. Bringing innovation from “the community” required back-porting, solving complex integration issues, incompatibilities with what your provider brings, what your customer wants.

    • The rise of APIs

      It’s been almost five years since we heard that “software is eating the world.” The number of SaaS applications has exploded and there is a rising wave of software innovation in the area of APIs that provide critical connective tissue and increasingly important functionality. There has been a proliferation of third-party API companies, which is fundamentally changing the dynamics of how software is created and brought to market.

      The application programming interface (API) has been a key part of software development for decades as a way to develop for a specific platform, such as Microsoft Windows. More recently, newer platform providers, from Salesforce to Facebook and Google, have offered APIs that help the developer and have, in effect, created a developer dependency on these platforms.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • How expiring patents are ushering in the next generation of 3D printing

        The year 2016 is quickly shaping up to be one of the hottest years on record for 3D printing innovations. Although there is still a lot of hype surrounding 3D printing and how it may or may not be the next industrial revolution, one thing is for certain: the cost of printing will continue to drop while the quality of 3D prints continues to rise.

        This development can be traced to advanced 3D printing technologies becoming accessible due to the expiration of key patents on pre-existing industrial printing processes.

      • Hackaday Prize Entry: Open Source Electrospinning Machine

        Electrospinning is a fascinating process where a high voltage potential is applied between a conductive emitter nozzle and a collector screen. A polymer solution is then slowly dispensed from the nozzle. The repulsion of negative charges in the solution forces fine fibers emanate from the liquid. Those fibers are then rapidly accelerated towards the collector screen by the electric field while being stretched and thinned down to a few hundred nanometers in diameter. The large surface area of the fine fibers lets them dry during their flight towards the collector screen, where they build up to a fine, fabric-like material. We’ve noticed that electrospinning is hoped to enable fully automated manufacturing of wearable textiles in the future.

  • Programming/Development

    • Upcoming changes in PHP 7.1

      Below are the key changes that will be introduced (or removed) in PHP 7.1. For a full list, and to see which changes are being discussed, check out the official PHP RFC.

    • Changes Being Worked On For PHP 7.1

      PHP 7.1 is coming later this year as the first significant update to last year’s PHP 7 release that delivered huge speed improvements.

      We’ve already been looking forward to new features with PHP 7.1 and in not looking at the 7.1 work in a few months, more improvements have materialized.

    • Perl 5.24 upgrade
    • Selected projects and mentoring organizations

      The following projects have been selected to participate to SOCIS 2016.

      Instruction for students: you can apply now, but you must first contact the mentor of the project of your choice and discuss the contents.


  • A Day in the Life of an F-35 Test Pilot

    Here at the F-35 integrated test force, pilots spend their days simulating real missions to prepare the jets to one day operate on the battlefield.

    Defense News got a glimpse into the day-to-day life of an F-35 test pilot during a May 4 visit to Edwards Air Force Base. We followed Maj. Raven LeClair, assistant director of operations for the 461st flight test squadron, as he zipped up his flight suit, climbed into the cockpit, taxied to the runway and finally took off into the clear, desert sky.

  • An Oral History of Our Week Without Slack [iophk: "It's just getting proper Swedish-style dot-com hype. That doesn't stop it from being proprietary garbage and all-around useless though."]

    Our announcement got a lot of attention—much more than we were expecting. Throughout the week, our friends, fellow media workers, and coworkers at VICE have been asking us how the experiment is going.

    The short answer is, the experiment went well. We are learning what Slack is essential for, and in what ways it has been serving as a bandaid for what could be a more robust editorial structure.

  • Science

    • EgyptAir: Images released of debris found in plane search

      The Egyptian military has released images of items found during the search in the Mediterranean Sea for missing Egypt Air flight MS804.

      They include life vests, parts of seats and objects clearly marked EgyptAir.

      The Airbus A320 was en route from Paris to Cairo with 66 people aboard when it vanished from radar early on Thursday.

    • Bad News

      I think it could be months or years before the cause will be known unless explosive residue is discovered on the stuff already recovered.

  • Hardware

    • Petition for Intel to Release an ME-less CPU design

      Please sign below, allowing Purism to provide this petition to our Intel Partner Account Manager that users want an “ME-less” CPU. “ME-less” is a defined term from within Intel created when discussing with Purism the need to have a CPU without the Management Engine (ME).

    • One Billion Drive Hours and Counting: Q1 2016 Hard Drive Stats

      For Q1 2016 we are reporting on 61,590 operational hard drives used to store encrypted customer data in our data center. There are 9.5% more hard drives in this review versus our last review when we evaluated 56,224 drives. In Q1 2016, the hard drives in our data center, past and present, totaled over one billion hours in operation to date. That’s nearly 42 million days or 114,155 years worth of spinning hard drives. Let’s take a look at what these hard drives have been up to.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Activists, Farmers, Indigenous People Rise Up to March Against Monsanto

      Anti-corporate activists, organic farmers, Indigenous peoples, environmental groups and others took the streets across six continents and over 400 cities on Saturday in a global grassroots march against bioengineering giant Monsanto.

      “The fight against corporate control of our food is global,” a food sovereignty campaigner with UK-based nonprofit Global Justice Now rallied the crowd marching in London.

    • Big Pharma Seeks to Capitalize on Pain-Reducing Compound Derived From Cannabis

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    • Congress Approves A Major Step Forward For Medical Marijuana

      In states that allow it, veterans are a major step closer to being able to obtain medical marijuana.

      On Thursday, both chambers of Congress approved measures prohibiting the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from enforcing a policy prohibiting government doctors from prescribing medical marijuana to veterans. That essentially means doctors will now be able to recommend medical marijuana to veterans in the 24 states (plus D.C.) where it’s legal.

    • City of Long Beach Sues Monsanto for Ongoing PCB Contamination of Storm Runoff, Waterways

      The city of Long Beach filed a lawsuit against Monsanto Co. Thursday, claiming the manufacturer’s long-banned cancer-producing polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, are responsible for the contamination of the city’s storm water, port waters, and other bodies of water.

    • Microplastics in the sea a growing threat to human health, United Nations warns

      Millions of tons of tiny debris from plastic bags, bottles and clothes in the world’s oceans present a serious threat to human health and marine ecosystems.

      This is the stark warning issued by the United Nations in a report on the most dangerous environmental problems facing the world today.

      Global plastic production has increased dramatically in recent years. Between 2004 and 2014, the amount of plastic produced rose by 38 per cent, the report said.

    • Florida Man Says He Killed Sick Wife Because He Couldn’t Afford Her Medicine, Sheriff Says

      William J. Hager, 86, said he had run out of options.

      His wife, Carolyn Hager, 78, had been ill for the last 15 of the more than 50 years they were married. The cost of her medications had become so burdensome that they could no longer afford it, he said. So on Monday morning while she was sleeping, he shot her in the head, he told the deputy who came to their Florida home.

      The killing in Port St. Lucie and Mr. Hager’s explanation were detailed in an arrest affidavit and by local news media. Mr. Hager was arrested and charged with first-degree premeditated murder. But the case appeared to also highlight the difficulties faced by older people who are retired or on fixed incomes and struggle to pay for their medicine when they are ill or in pain.

      At the sheriff’s office, Mr. Hager told deputies that his wife had a “lot of illnesses and other ailments which required numerous medications,” which he “could no longer afford,” the affidavit said.

      According to a study by the AARP, an advocacy group for people over 50, specialty drugs that treat complex, chronic conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis come with huge price tags.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Friday
    • Security brief: CoreOS Linux Alpha remote SSH issue

      On May 15, CoreOS was informed of a vulnerability in the alpha version of CoreOS Linux. Within 8 hours of this notification, over 99% of affected systems had been automatically patched. Though this issue was limited to an alpha version, we hold all of our releases to the same security standards, and we immediately responded, reported, and corrected the issue. This post describes the nature of the vulnerability, our response, and our plans to avoid similar issues in the future.

    • Purism Laptops to Protect You from Surveillance Capitalism

      There’s a new hardware company on the scene called Purism, and the name is a significant clue as to what the company is all about: pure software. At its heart, Purism is dedicated to providing computer hardware driven entirely by open source software so that users can “trust, but verify.” Purism is putting itself in direct opposition to what it considers “surveillance capitalism.”

      I spoke with CEO Todd Weaver at Pepcom, and it was one of the most significant conversations I’ve had with a tech exec in a long time. I was already on board with Mr. Weaver’s general message when he laid that phrase on me, “surveillance capitalism.” That’s when he really had me hooked.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • U.S. Set to Deploy (More) Ground Troops to Libya

      The decision by President Obama, egged on by his then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to depose Libya’s long-time leader Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, led to near-complete chaos inside a country that had been otherwise stable since the 1960s.

    • Israel Veers Even Further Right

      Now come reports that Netanyahu is offering the Defense Ministry to former Moldovan nightclub bouncer (and resident of a West Bank settlement) Avigdor Lieberman. This will bring into the ruling coalition Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, which even within the Israeli context is usually described as “hard right.”

      Bringing Lieberman into the government is indicative not only of the overall orientation of that government but also of some larger disturbing trends in Israeli attitudes that the government has fomented more than it has discouraged.

      If Lieberman is made defense minister he would replace Moshe Ya’alon, who in recent days has backed the Israeli military in prosecuting (though only for manslaughter, not the murder that occurred) an Israeli soldier who was caught on videotape shooting in the head, at close range, a Palestinian man who was wounded and lying on the ground, already subdued and obviously not a threat. Lieberman has joined other hardliners in expressing support for the soldier. (Netanyahu has visited the soldier’s family to express sympathy.)

    • The Republicans’ Military Budget Could Make Every Homeless Person In America A Millionaire

      Last year, the United States spent more than $596 billion on the military, a total greater than the next six countries in the world combined. But the Republican-controlled Congress is looking to increase that number for next year.

      On Wednesday, the House passed its version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), allowing for $602 billion to be spent on the country’s defense in 2017, but the way the money is budgeted could mean that total military spending could actually end up being far higher.

      Under the bill, $18 billion would be moved from the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), which is currently used primarily to fund operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, to the general budget to be used for additional troops and equipment. As Politico reported, this would likely leave enough money for such operations only through April, forcing the next president to request additional funding. Thus, the House bill would effectively increase the total military expenditure for next year.

    • The Parable of the Fat Man Earrings

      This rationalization perpetuates one of the great frauds of the war in the Pacific. As described in John Dower’s excellent War Without Mercy, by the spring of 1945 the Japanese military had been demolished. The disparities in the casualties figures between the Japanese and the Americans are striking. From 1937 to 1945, the Japanese Imperial Army and Navy suffered 1,740,955 military deaths in combat. Dower estimates that another 300,000 died from disease and starvation. In addition, another 395,000 Japanese civilians died as a result of Allied saturation bombing that began in March 1945. The total dead: more than 2.7 million. By contrast, American military deaths totaled 100,997.

    • The West’s Needless Aggression

      If we continue down the road toward a totalitarian society, propaganda may become even more pervasive. With the population unendingly surveilled, relentlessly entrapped, enslaved by debt, permanently profiled and all-too-frequently imprisoned, elites will go about their exploitation with calm impunity as ordinary citizens internalize the dictates of power. The question is whether the flashpoints of unrest seemingly everywhere in the world will coalesce into a popular front that can stem the tide of empire. We have little time left before state repression, blood-soaked bombing campaigns, and ecological ruin overcome us. It’s either a Green New Deal or Mad Max. The choice is ours.

    • First Take: Taliban leader’s death may not reduce war

      The apparent death of Taliban leader Mullah Mansoor on Saturday won’t have an immediate impact on the military operations of the insurgent group, which has been expanding in recent months, analysts and Afghan government officials said.

    • How We Got the Tanks and M-16s Out of LA Schools

      To return all military grade weapons to the Department of Defense “Excess Military Equipment Program” AKA the 1033 Program that is arming police departments all over the U.S. In particular, they returned 1 Tank, a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, 3 grenade launchers (“37 mm less less-lethal launch platforms” and 61 M-16 rifles).

    • Venezuela and the Silence of the Left

      Venezuela is nearing collapse It can turn violent soon. Last week Nicolás Maduro decreed a state of emergency and suspended constitutional rights. He fears “the Empire” is set to strike soon. This measure comes abruptly as the opposition demands Venezuelan Electoral Panel to ratify the 1.8 million signatures collected in just a few hours as a first step to constitutionally call for a referendum to remove him from power. And he is looking for ways to delay this process.

      An article in Counterpunch written by Eric Draitser characterized the referendum as a coup orchestrated by the opposition to oust Maduro and destroy the legacy of Chávez’ revolution. It further argues that Venezuela’s economic predicament—already a humanitarian crisis—is the product of a plot of the Venezuelan right-wing elites that control the National Assembly and the U.S. imperial interests, comparing the current crisis in Venezuela with the overthrow of Allende in the seventies by Nixon, Kissinger, the CIA and the Chilean elites.

    • New Turkish PM backs constitution to strengthen Erdogan

      Turkey’s incoming prime minister said on Sunday his top priority was to deliver a new constitution to create an executive presidency, giving President Tayyip Erdogan the broad powers he has long sought.

      As delegates from the ruling AK Party unanimously elected Transport Minister Binali Yildirim as their new party leader, and therefore the next premier, Yildirim left no doubt that he would prioritize the policies closest to Erdogan’s heart.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Haze war worsens as Indonesia halts joint projects with Singapore

      The tussle between Singapore and Indonesia over last year’s crippling haze escalated with Jakarta saying it will halt cooperation with Singapore on environment, forestry and haze-related issues.

      Indonesia’s environment and forestry minister also said Jakarta will undertake a unilateral review of several agreements with Singapore on collaboration on haze related matters.

    • Antarctic glacier melt could raise sea level by 3m

      One of Antarctica’s great glaciers could become unstable if global warming continues at the present pace. As warm seas wash the ice shelf, the land-based mass of ice could begin to retreat, cross a critical threshold in the present century and then withdraw 300 kilometres inland.

      In the course of doing so it would spill tremendous quantities of water into the oceans: enough to raise global sea levels by 2.9 metres and threaten cities that are home to billions.

    • Top Democrats Ally With Oil and Gas Industry to Fight Colorado Anti-Fracking Ballot Measures

      Oil and gas companies are spending heavily to crush three Colorado ballot initiatives that would limit fracking. And some of the state’s most powerful Democrats are helping them.

      The stakes are particularly high for several Colorado communities that have voted to limit or ban oil and gas development locally. Those limits were nullified in two cities by state Supreme Court decisions earlier this month. So the ballot initiatives may be their last best chance to slow development whose speed has surprised even cities that initially supported oil and gas projects.

    • Another Gulf oil spill adds fuel to movement against new offshore drilling leases

      Last week a damaged pipeline at a Royal Dutch Shell deepwater production field about 100 miles off the Louisiana coast spilled what’s been officially estimated at 90,000 gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico before the leak was stopped.

    • How To Socialize America’s Energy

      Coming out of last December’s landmark climate negotiations in Paris, the question is no longer if societies will shift toward renewables, but when and how. For all the limitations of the deal—that it is largely unenforceable, contains only passing reference to human and indigenous rights, and treats historical polluters with kid gloves—its clearest and most redeeming feature is that it signals an end to the fossil fuel era.

    • This Country Just Set A Major Renewable Energy Record

      Last week, Portugal set a record for renewable energy use. Through a combination of hydroelectric, solar, and wind power, electricity use in the country was completely covered for four consecutive days.

      The news was reported by the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association (APREN) in collaboration with ZERO System Sustainable Land Association. According to their measurements, from 6:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 7 to approximately 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11, Portugal was able to rely entirely on renewables for an impressive 107 hours, the longest the country has ever been able to go.

    • Noam Chomsky on Donald Trump: ‘Almost a death knell for the human species’

      As he appears in new documentary The Divide, the great intellectual explains why Brexit is unimportant, why Trump’s climate change denial is catastrophic – and why revolution is easier than you think

    • Cherry Blossoms Paint A Lake Purple Making Tokyo Look Like A Fairytale

      Tokyo-based photographer Danilo Dungo uses drones to take stunning pictures of Japanese cherry blossoms. Every spring, he goes to the Inokashira Park to admire the blossoms, and while regular photography capture the park’s beauty, the drones reveal something else altogether.

      When seen from a great height, the lake Inokashira Park lake appears to be entirely covered in blossoms! Resembling pollen in a river stream, the blossoms turn the lake a surreal pink, a view unseen by most before the drone age. Be sure to check out Dungo’s other photographs at the National Geographic link below!

  • Finance

    • Sierra Club Statement on the U.S. International Trade Commission’s TPP Study

      Today the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) released a study on the potential impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as required by law. The report projects that the controversial trade deal would result in a decline in U.S. manufacturing due in part to an increase in manufactured imports in some sectors from Vietnam and Malaysia, where production spurs far more climate pollution than in the U.S. It also notes the controversy surrounding the TPP’s conservation provisions, which are too weak to actually curb environmental abuses in TPP countries. The report further acknowledges broad concern that the TPP would empower polluters to sue the U.S. government in private tribunals over climate and environmental protections.

    • Will Hillary Clinton’s Plan to Have Her Husband Fix the Economy Hurt Her at the Polls?

      Hillary Clinton is dishing out details on how her potential administration would function—and apparently, it includes a lot of help from her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

    • Trump Attacks On Hillary Take Violent Turn

      Less than one day after his speech at the annual National Rifle Association (NRA) convention, Donald Trump tweeted that a Hillary Clinton presidency would not only eliminate people’s gun rights but strip Clinton of her armed security team as well.

    • ‘This is for Our Families’: Children of Striking Verizon Workers Join Picket Line

      From Indianapolis to Philadelphia, there were new, younger voices joining the usual chant on the Verizon strike picket lines on Saturday: “What do we want? A contract! When do we want it? Now!”

      Children of striking workers joined their parents for 25 nationwide “Family Day” protests organized by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), one of the unions behind the strike.

    • Economist Dimitris Kazakis: Greece Can and Must Leave the Eurozone and EU

      As discussions continue to take place between the Greek government and the country’s lenders, Greece’s economic crisis is showing no signs of abating. Meanwhile, new cuts to pensions, wages and social services are currently on the table. Unemployment remains at record levels, while large-scale privatizations of profitable publicly owned assets are moving forward to appease the demands of Greece’s lenders.

    • The Privatization of the Public Sphere

      The attempt to privatize Social Security and Medicare are but two of a growing number of campaigns underway to privatize key aspects of public or social life. These efforts range from local water services, schools and healthcare insurance as well as prisons and the military. And this says nothing about the effort by private corporations to control the postal service and the telecommunications superhighway. With privatization comes increased cost, the deterioration of quality, the increased power of the 1 percent and America’s deepening social crisis.

    • Testing The Limits on Wealth Inequality

      In this post, I pointed out that we are going to see an empirical test of Piketty’s theory of rising wealth inequality. The theory itself is not well understood, and Piketty has revisited it since the publication of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, and published an economist’s dream of a paper in full mathematical glory here. The American Economics Association devoted space in its journal to arguments about the theory, giving Piketty an opportunity to discuss his theory in what I think is a very readable paper, and one worth the time.

      He starts by saying that the relation between r, the rate of return to capital, and g, the rate of growth in the overall economy, are not predictive. They cannot be used to forecast the future, and are not even the most important factor in rising wealth inequality. The crucial factors are institutional changes and political shocks. Neither can the relation tell us anything about the decrease in the labor share of national income. He points to supply and demand for skills and education in this paper, as he does in his book, but this is a at best an incomplete explanation, owing more to the neoliberal view that the problems of workers are their fault than to a clear understanding of social processes in the US. A better explanation lies in tax law changes, changes in labor law and enforcement of labor law, rancid decisions from the Supreme Court, failure to update minimum wage and related laws, and government support for outsourcing and globalization.

    • Amazon bought this old hotel in Seattle and turned it into a homeless shelter

      Last month, Amazon announced that it’s turning an old hotel it bought in downtown Seattle into a temporary shelter for homeless people.

    • Noam Chomsky Reveals The Hypocrisies of Capitalism in the Financial Capital of the World

      Chomsky spoke at the New York Public Library last month about why the financial sector is basically tax-funded.

    • Karl Polanyi and twenty-first century socialism

      Gold certificates were used as paper currency in the United States from 1882 to 1933. These certificates were freely convertible into gold coins.Wikicommons. Public domain. Polanyi, however, brought a new angle of vision to this question. He had watched closely the process by which the Labour Government in England in 1931 and the Popular Front government in France in 1936 were effectively forced to abandon their radical reform agendas by international economic pressures.

    • Pensions may be cut to ‘virtually nothing’ for 407,000 people

      The Central States Pension Fund has no new plan to avoid insolvency, fund director Thomas Nyhan said this week. Without government funding, the fund will run out of money in 10 years, he said.

      At that time, pension benefits for about 407,000 people could be reduced to “virtually nothing,” he told workers and retirees in a letter sent Friday.

      In a last-ditch effort, the Central States Pension Plan sought government approval to partially reduce the pensions of 115,000 retirees and the future benefits for 155,000 current workers. The proposed cuts were steep, as much as 60% for some, but it wasn’t enough. Earlier this month, the Treasury Department rejected the plan because it found that it would not actually head off insolvency.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Democrats Can’t Unite Unless Wasserman Schultz Goes!

      To paraphrase the words of that Scottish master Robert Burns, the best laid plans of mice, men — and women — go often astray, or “gang aft agley,” as they say in the Highlands. No one knows this better than Hillary Rodham Clinton.

      Twice now, the flight of her presidential aspirations has been forced to circle the airport as other contenders put up an unexpected fight: In 2008, Barack Obama emerged to grab the Democratic nomination away and this year, although all signs point to her finally grabbing the brass ring, unexpected and powerful progressive resistance came from the mighty wind of the Bernie Sanders campaign.

      Certainly, Hillary Clinton is angered by all of this, but the one seemingly more aggrieved — if public comments and private actions are any indication — is Democratic National Committee chair and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Hillary surrogate who takes umbrage like ordinary folks pop their vitamins in the morning.

      As we recently wrote, “… She embodies the tactics that have eroded the ability of Democrats to once again be the party of the working class. As Democratic National Committee chair she has opened the floodgates for Big Money, brought lobbyists into the inner circle and oiled all the moving parts of the revolving door that twirls between government service and cushy jobs in the world of corporate influence.”

    • Dems in a pickle

      I’ve written before about how the Hillary Democrats are running against hope, and how the Sanders campaign have outed them as frank corporate shills and enemies of even mild social democracy. But now even nominal liberals, or progressives, or whatever we’re calling them these days have gotten in on the act. Not content with merely saying “No!” to new programs like single-payer health insurance and free college, they’re highlighting the worst aspects of the New Deal in an effort to…well, what exactly? Promote Hillary? Fight Trump? It’s hard to tell.

    • Trump and the Dance to the Right

      Donald Trump’s nationalism echoes that of Europe’s rising right-wing parties and movements — but is far more dangerous.

    • Hyperdemocracy or Hypermodulation?

      It’s the encompassing paradigm we are in, one that has made us vulnerable to the demagoguery of Donald Trump.

    • Yes, Bernie’s Waging War on the Democratic Party—But if Hillary Loses, It Won’t Be His Fault

      Hey, remember what I said about the coming civil war in the Democratic Party, and how it wouldn’t necessarily be a whole lot more polite than the Republican version? Well, everybody who spouts opinions for a living loves to say “I told you so,” but in this case I can’t claim that: Neither I nor anyone else thought it would get here quite this quickly. After the ugly, angry chaos of the Nevada state convention last weekend and Bernie Sanders’ big victory in the Oregon primary on Tuesday — to go with a virtual tie in Kentucky, where Hillary Clinton won by fewer than 2,000 votes — Democrats now face the possibility of a highly contentious convention in Philadelphia this summer, where the outcome may not be in doubt but the mood will hardly be harmonious.

    • 8 European Far-Right Parties Who Are Celebrating Donald Trump

      Donald Trump’s campaign is truly testing the limits of the old saying “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Unless one operates under the assumption that a hate-filled platform fueled by bigotry, xenophobia and sexism is what the world needs right now. In which case, the Trump cloud appearing on the horizon is seen by some as an invitation to open their arms in exaltation, awaiting the inevitable Trumpian shower to follow.

    • Hillary Clinton’s ‘House of Cards’

      For “House of Cards” fans who can’t get enough of fictional President Frank Underwood and his First Lady Claire, it must be tempting to view Bill and Hillary Clinton as their real-life political doppelgangers. Certainly there’s fertile ground for those seeking parallels between the main protagonists of this quintessential political soap opera, and our more flesh and blood “heroes.” Like their imaginary foils, the Clintons’ moral compass is functionally impaired, so much so one suspects the HoC scriptwriters modeled their lead characters on the Democratic Party’s resident “royal couple.”

    • $25 vs $30, Hats Off to the Two-Party System!

      It is sad comedy to view working class individuals lather themselves up about Mexicans (when in fact more Mexicans are leaving this nation than entering these days) and steam up over Black Lives Matter (cause White Lives Matter, too, they bellow….the best response to this I’ve seen is….just because you say “Save the Rainforest” doesn’t mean you believe “Fuck the Tundra”)…..and these people don hats that say “Make America Great Again”, as if there was a magical time and place with greatness falling from the heavens on the white and shining American hordes. Okay, maybe that sort of happened, but there were quite a few “others” who did not receive such blessings. Some even received blessings like genocide and slavery, but those are pesky details, “Make America Great Again!” Sometimes these people seem just lost, not evil (but plenty are bile dripping Evilsaurus Rexes to be sure). The billionaire knows these people are disgruntled souls to actively mine–lots of rancor, insecurity and lust for authoritarianism under that crust and mantle. The hats sell for $25.00 on the official Trump site, or about 3 ½ times the Federal Minimum Wage, so what a bargain.

    • Project Censored Invited to Speak at Ralph Nader’s Breaking Through Power in D.C.

      More specifically, Nader states the goals for day two on Breaking Through the Media: “Leading authors, documentary filmmakers, journalists, cartoonists, new media content producers and other creative advocates will gather to discuss tactics to reform our communications landscape, and open the airwaves and internet up to serious and compelling content. Together we will launch a new organization – ‘Voices’ – a full-spectrum advocacy group to champion an open, democratic communication commons.”

    • Millions Now Understand That Capitalism Needs Socialism to Work—Which Is Why Bernie Is So Popular

      Context is important. When Sanders describes himself as a democratic socialist, he is referring to democratic socialism as practiced in Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, Norway and many other countries in Western Europe; in other words, capitalism with a safety net. Sanders is essentially a capitalist who rejects the type of crony capitalism and ruthless corporatism that is killing America’s middle class. By European standards, Sanders is a mainstream liberal, which is a far cry from orthodox Marxist-Leninism as practiced in the old Soviet Union. And compared to some of the left-wing parties that have been gaining momentum in parts of Europe (such as Podemos in Spain or Syreeza in Greece), Sanders is not that far to the left. Rather, the political discourse in the U.S. moved so far to the right in the 1980s and ’90s that openly embracing socialism on any level was considered toxic.

    • The Most Reliably Democratic County in America Just Sent Hillary Clinton a Signal [iophk: "And how many tens of billions per year is the US willing to spend on incarceration?"]

      Through most of the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton has been seen as the Democratic contender who appeals to Democrats. Bernie Sanders might attract independents in open-primary states, and political newcomers in most states, but Clinton, we’ve been told, is the candidate of the party faithful. That did not turn out to be the case in rural Kentucky, however.

      In what has been characterized as the most consistently Democratic county in the United States—Elliott County in eastern Kentucky—Sanders was an easy winner Tuesday night. The strength Sanders showed in the historically Democratic counties of eastern Kentucky helped him to hold Clinton to a virtual tie in the Bluegrass State. With 99 percent of the ballots counted Wednesday morning, Clinton was clinging to a 1,923 lead out of more than 400,000 votes cast statewide and the candidates split the elected delegates 28-27. On a night when Sanders easily won Oregon, Clinton had hoped for a big win in Kentucky, a state where she beat Barack Obama by a 65-30 margin in 2008.

    • Key Sanders backer: DNC chair must apologize [iophk: "DNC has been acting fucked up this whole election cycle. It has failed to remain neutral even from the beginning."]

      The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee should apologize to Bernie Sanders for her handling of the primary fight with Hillary Clinton, says Nina Turner, the Ohio state lawmaker and high-profile Sanders surrogate.

      In an interview with The Hill, Turner stopped just short of calling for Wasserman Schultz to resign, but said that at a minimum there should be an apology.

      “My husband told me I needed to be ready to answer this question,” Turner said. “It’s hard for me to say because I try not to judge people based on one snapshot of their lives or their career, but she should certainly apologize to Sen. Sanders for her words and deeds in making this an unfair fight.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • DMCA ‘reform’ harbors return of SOPA

      Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: The open Internet is under attack by lawyers and lobbyists hoping to promote their own narrow interests under the guise of reform.

      Similar “reform” efforts gave us the controversial SOPA and PIPA legislation that died four years ago in the face of massive protests by Internet users. Those threats to free speech have since been recycled into backroom-negotiated trade deals and court cases.

    • Pirate Bay’s Domain Shuffle Has Come Full Circle

      After years of rotating domain names, The Pirate Bay is now back at its original .ORG domain. The notorious torrent site started redirecting users after a Swedish court ruling put its .SE domain at risk. Today we take a look at the rather impressive domain shuffle the site went through.

    • Fox ‘Stole’ a Game Clip, Used it in Family Guy & DMCA’d the Original

      This week’s episode of Family Guy included a clip from 1980s Nintendo video game Double Dribble showing a glitch to get a free 3-point goal. Fox obtained the clip from YouTube where it had been sitting since it was first uploaded in 2009. Shortly after, Fox told YouTube the game footage infringed its copyrights. YouTube took it down.

    • Amid Censorship Allegations, Conservative Activist Says Facebook Removed This Post and Briefly Suspended Her Account

      Conservative activist Lauren Souther claimed on Friday that Facebook deleted one of her posts because it didn’t “follow the Facebook Community Standards.”

      Ironically, the post was about Facebook allegedly “censoring” one of her conservative friends.

      “As I suspected my friend who res Disdain for Plebs has been banned on all his accounts that run the page AND Facebook deleted his post calling them out for censoring conservatives. This is utterly insane,” she wrote in the offending post.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Enterprises Stumble on Data Management

      Information governance essentially describes an end-to-end approach to managing, protecting and extracting the maximum value of enterprise data, typically stored as business records or documents. To accomplish this, CIOs, IT managers and business leaders use a wide range of technologies, management tools and policies to ensure that information is not only routed, stored and used appropriately, but that it doesn’t wind up in the wrong hands causing regulatory compliance and privacy headaches.

    • TorrZan Allows You to Download Torrents Via Telegram

      TorrZan is a new service that allows Telegram users to download torrents through their favorite instant messaging application. The Telegram bot can find files on popular torrent sites and downloads them securely through its service. When the transfers are complete, users can download or play the files directly through the instant messaging service.

    • Steve Allen: @GCHQ stop looking at cat pictures [Ed: they look at naked people through webcams]

      Given that social media is a mixed bag for a radio presenter, I’m not sure why GCHQ joined Twitter this week.

    • Terrorists no longer welcome on OneDrive or Hotmail [Ed: or, Microsoft spies on everyone, everything]]

      Microsoft says that it will be using the Consolidated United Nations Security Council Sanctions List to determine whether something is terrorist or not; content posted by or in support of the individuals and groups on that list will be prohibited.

    • Uber Knows When You’ll Pay Surge Pricing, But Promises Not to Use It Against You

      Other than the company’s notoriously lax attitude about background checks, allegations of drivers kidnapping and raping riders, and that, um, interesting new logo, the worst thing about Uber is surge pricing. And, not surprisingly, the company has figured out exactly when you are more likely to pay double or triple the cost of your ride: when your phone battery is low.

    • This Is Your Brain On Uber

      Uber is built on the scourge of surge. When demand is high, the company charges two, three, even NINE-POINT-NINE times as much as normal for a ride. Riders hate it… but not so much that they stop riding. “Dynamic pricing” has helped the company to grow into one of the largest ride-booking services in the world. What’s the psychology behind it? Shankar sits down with Uber’s Head of Economic Research Keith Chen to talk about when we’re most likely pay for surge, when we hate it the most, and why monkeys would probably act and feel the same way.

    • British Airways website blocking non exit relays IPs?
  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Detained and interrogated for 10 hours in North Korea

      The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes was last week expelled from North Korea and forced to apologise for his reporting. He was held incommunicado for 10 hours and interrogated. Here he gives his first account of what happened.

      After a week in North Korea I was more than ready to go home. The trip, to cover a visit to Pyongyang by a delegation of three Nobel laureates, had been exhausting and stressful.

      I couldn’t move anywhere in Pyongyang without a team of five minders following my every step. At night the BBC team was confined to an overheated villa in a guarded compound. We’d fallen out with pretty much everyone. Our North Korean minders were now openly hostile.

    • Ted Nugent Reelected To NRA Board After 2016 Of Hate

      Ted Nugent was reelected to the National Rifle Association’s board of directors just weeks after he promoted a fake video of Hillary Clinton being shot and during a year in which he caused a national controversy for promoting anti-Semitic material.

    • Guantánamo Prisoner, Never Convicted, To Be Released After Decade-Plus Detention

      An Afghan man detained for 14 years in Guantánamo—without ever being convicted of a crime—was on Friday recommended by the Pentagon for release.

      The man, known as Obaidullah, was arrested and detained in 2002, when he was about 19, but the U.S. government failed to successfully prosecute him for any crimes, AP reported. Charges were eventually made against him in 2008, but were dismissed in 2011.

      “This young man should have been released years ago,” Marine Maj. Derek Poteet, who has represented him since 2010, told the Miami Herald. “He was taken from his bed at his home peacefully without resistance. He was subjected to real abuse at Bagram.”

      Obaidullah was allegedly arrested by U.S. special forces in 2002 because unarmed land mines were discovered buried near his house. The U.S. government did not formally bring charges against him until 2008.

    • As peace deal nears, Colombia’s journalists and activists still live in fear

      In the following months, his investigation into the killing and disappearance of hundreds of men, women and children in the department of North Santander by the paramilitary group Frente Fronteras (linked to the AUC, Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, or United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia) resulted in dozens of threats against him and his family.

    • Colombia: the Displaced & Invisible Nation

      The latest thematic report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) concerning Colombia makes for shocking though quite important reading. [1] In short, it details human rights abuses on a massive scale, and lays the blame for these abuses chiefly upon the right-wing paramilitaries aligned with the Colombian State. Citing Colombia’s Center for Historical Memory, the IACHR concludes that Colombia, with its over 6 million internally displaced persons, is indeed “a displaced nation.”

    • ‘America Was Never Great’ Hat Leads to Death Threats

      A Staten Island woman who supports Senator Bernie Sanders said she received death threats after photos of her wearing a cap with the message “America Was Never Great” were posted widely on social media.

      The woman, Krystal Lake, 22, said Thursday that she had ordered the custom-made hat online with the phrase, a play on the slogan “Make America Great Again,” popularized by the campaign of Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

      Ms. Lake said she had gotten tired of hearing Mr. Trump’s slogan from his supporters and thought America “was never great.” She said that Mr. Trump’s slogan did not make room for bigger aspirations beyond the past and that he was dismissive of groups that did not fit his ideal demographic.

    • Corruption in Latin American Governments

      It should be remembered that Joseph Stalin, with Lenin’s approval, robbed banks to finance the Bolshevik party. Chavist politicians have also robbed banks: their own. This may seem relatively lacking in glory, but at least most of the time it is also in the service of political ends.

    • Can Sisi stop Egypt’s implosion?

      Contrary to popular belief, there has been a steady increase in under-reported forms of protests since the military coup. The regime has also moved from one security blunder to the next. From the increasingly sophisticated insurgency in Sinai, the bomb on a Russian airliner, and the murder of Mexican tourists by the Egyptian military in the western desert, the tourism industry is crashing.

    • After Fatal Shooting Of Unarmed Black Woman, San Francisco Police Chief Resigns

      Shortly after an unarmed black woman was fatally shot by police in San Francisco, Police Chief Greg Suhr resigned at the urging of Mayor Ed Lee. The move comes days after Lee defended the chief’s leadership, despite a string of department scandals and months of protests calling for Suhr’s departure.

    • A Federal Judge Just Ordered A Dox Attack Against 100,000 Innocent People

      A federal judge with a history of anti-immigrant sentiment ordered the federal government to turn over the names, addresses and “all available contact information” of over 100,000 immigrants living within the United States. He does so in a strange order that quotes extensively from movie scripts and that alleges a conspiracy of attorneys “somewhere in the halls of the Justice Department whose identities are unknown to this Court.”

      It appears to be, as several immigration advocates noted shortly after the order was handed down, an effort to intimidate immigrants who benefit from certain Obama administration programs from participating in those programs, lest their personal information be turned over to people who wish them harm. As Greisa Martinez, Advocacy Director for United We Dream, said in a statement, the judge is “asking for the personal information of young people just to whip up fear” — fear, no doubt, of what could happen if anti-immigrant state officials got their hands on this information. Or if the information became public.

    • Brazil’s Guarani Indians killing themselves over loss of ancestral land

      The small Apy Ka’y community of around 150 Guarani Indians has lived in squalor by the side of Highway BR 463 in southern Brazil since 2009. Since then, they have been forced out three times by unknown gunmen, had their makeshift camp burned down twice by arsonists and three young people from the group have killed themselves.

      Each time they were intimidated they returned and reoccupied their last patch of land but last month a Brazilian judge ordered the Apy Ka’y community to permanently move off the land that was theirs for hundreds of years but was seized without compensation by wealthy plantation owners in the 1970s.

      “It will be a death sentence,” says anthropologist and community leader Tonico Benites Guarani who estimates that 1,000, mostly young, Guarani, have killed themselves in the last 10 years throughout Brazil – hundreds of times more than the average Brazilian suicide rate, and unequalled among all other indigenous peoples in Latin America.

    • GOP Senator’s Dying Wish Was To Apologize To Muslims On Behalf Of His Party For Trump

      As former Utah senator Bob Bennett lay dying this spring, the staunchly conservative lawmaker voiced a final, unexpected wish: he wanted to apologize to Muslims for Donald Trump.

      “Are there any Muslims in the hospital?” the Republican asked his wife and son, according to the Daily Beast. “I’d love to go up to every single one of them to thank them for being in this country, and apologize to them on behalf of the Republican Party for Donald Trump.”

    • How Kosovo Was Turned Into Fertile Ground for ISIS

      Every Friday, just yards from a statue of Bill Clinton with arm aloft in a cheery wave, hundreds of young bearded men make a show of kneeling to pray on the sidewalk outside an improvised mosque in a former furniture store.

      The mosque is one of scores built here with Saudi government money and blamed for spreading Wahhabism — the conservative ideology dominant in Saudi Arabia — in the 17 years since an American-led intervention wrested tiny Kosovo from Serbian oppression.

      Since then — much of that time under the watch of American officials — Saudi money and influence have transformed this once-tolerant Muslim society at the hem of Europe into a font of Islamic extremism and a pipeline for jihadists.

      Kosovo now finds itself, like the rest of Europe, fending off the threat of radical Islam. Over the last two years, the police have identified 314 Kosovars — including two suicide bombers, 44 women and 28 children — who have gone abroad to join the Islamic State, the highest number per capita in Europe.

      They were radicalized and recruited, Kosovo investigators say, by a corps of extremist clerics and secretive associations funded by Saudi Arabia and other conservative Arab gulf states using an obscure, labyrinthine network of donations from charities, private individuals and government ministries.

    • Islamophobia on the Rise in England

      During a casual conversation inside a store on a swanky shopping street located a short distance from London’s fabled Kensington Palace a twenty-something retail clerk said she feels a strange sense of discomfort that she’s never felt before in London, the city where this native of Algeria has lived most of her life.

      She traces this alienating discomfort to the sharp increase in Islamophobia.

      Islamophobia is generally defined as dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims.

      This London resident is an identifiable target for Islamophobia because she wears a modest headscarf that is traditional in her culture and religion – Islam. (She does not wear a full-face covering burka.)

      For her and others, Islamophobia ranges from disdainful stares and caustic comments to physical assaults. A few assaults have ended in fatalities. And then there are British government policies like ‘Prevent’ – the professed counter-terrorism program that seemingly is targeted solely at Muslims. Prevent enlists citizens to report actions and attitudes deemed suspicious.

    • Police make naked dead woman sandcastle, then swiftly apologise

      A local police force has come under fire for building a fictitious crime scene from sand, featuring a naked dead woman.

      The peculiar sandcastle, surrounded by police tape and even featuring a green beach spade sticking out of her back, won the Cornwall Beach Games competition.

    • The crisis in European social democracy: a crisis like no other

      That said, representative democracy must itself be more open to a more balanced selection of representatives (in terms of generations and gender), while the various implementation mechanisms must facilitate genuine debate on issues and challenges that are impossible to face in isolation. These are all huge changes, but constitute only the beginning, a beginning that might suffice in restoring self-confidence, prompting the first steps towards major transformation, by way of the required social and ecological transition.

    • We Can Dream, or We Can Organize

      The swift rise, and swift crumbling, of the Occupy movement brings to the surface the question of organization. Demonstrating our anger, and doing so with thousands of others in the streets, gives us energy and brings issues to wider audiences.

    • Price of calling women crazy: Military women who speak out about sexual assault are being branded with “personality disorder” and let go

      As all too many rape victims discover when they speak out, many react by just wishing the victim would shut up and go away.

      Most rapists attack someone they know, which means that holding them accountable means tearing apart whatever community — school, work, friend group — that the accused and accuser belong in. Often, it feels just easier to pressure the accuser to shut up and go away so everything can return to normal, even though that often requires ignoring that there’s a sexual predator in your midst.

      In a report released on Thursday, Human Rights Watch turned up alarming evidence that, in the military, forces that want to shut accusers up and make them go away have found a disturbingly potent weapon: Misogynist stereotypes. By leaning on prejudiced beliefs that women, especially outspoken women, are either dishonest or crazy, the military was able to get rid of women who came forward with rape accusations.

    • GOP Senator Says America, The World’s Leading Jailer, Doesn’t Put Enough People In Prison

      Many lawmakers appear ready to begin unwinding the system that’s left millions of Americans rotting in prison and blocked those who do make it out from the economic opportunities they need to rejoin polite society. But one Republican lawmaker rejects the idea that America has a mass incarceration problem at all.

      “The claim that too many criminals are being jailed, that there is over-incarceration, ignores an unfortunate fact,” Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said Thursday at the right-wing Hudson Institute. “For the vast majority of crimes, a perpetrator is never identified or arrested, let alone prosecuted, convicted, and jailed.”

    • House Republican Staffer: If You Don’t Support The Confederate Flag You Are Just Like The Terrorists

      On Thursday, the U.S. House approved a measure to ban most displays of the Confederate flag in national cemeteries.

      The final tally was 265-159, but a majority of Republicans opposed the measure, with 158 voting nay and 84 voting in favor. Before the vote, a staffer working on behalf of one of the Republicans who voted against restricting the Confederate flag, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), distributed an email comparing those who support the measure to ISIS.

      “You know who else supports destroying history so that they can advance their own agenda? ISIL. Don’t be like ISIL. I urge you to vote NO,” Westmoreland’s legislative director, Pete Sanborn, wrote, signing the email, “Yours in freedom from the PC police.”

    • Obama’s Civil Rights Hypocrisy

      There is nothing new about people being transgender or using the restrooms they choose. They have been doing so for years. In contrast, black people risk death constantly just because they exist in this society. Driving, walking, riding a bicycle, being in a public space at the wrong moment, or even calling the police for assistance can get them killed. Yet Obama’s FBI doesn’t even maintain a record of killings committed by the police.

      Black people unilaterally surrendered their history of fighting for justice ever since Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses in 2008. From the moment it became clear that he could become president there was no amount of contempt or indifference from him that would dissuade millions of people from giving him unquestioned support.

    • Don’t Let the CIA Disappear the Senate Torture Report

      Torture is a war crime under international law and is prosecutable under federal law. The Senate Torture Report contains evidence of crimes. Destroying, disappearing, or continuing to hide the report undermines the rule of law and denies the American people their right to know when the government engages in criminal conduct.

      The CIA’s lawlessness cannot be allowed to subvert justice and erase history. Unless the report is preserved and made public it could be lost forever.

    • Daddy Knows Best

      I’m staring at that separation of politics and life, Obama’s saying “In politics and in life.” But politics IS life, or it at least is where decisions about people’s lives are legislated.

      “Ignorance is not a virtue.” No, it’s not. Yet Obama, this nation’s daddy, decides when we’re better off unaware. As a candidate for president, he promised transparency, but his tenure has been the least transparent in American history.

    • An open letter to #NuitDebout from the Indignados’ districts of the internet

      The strength of r-evolutions like #NuitDebout or 15M lies in:

      (1) decentralization and a distributed leadership according to expertise, not according to media visibility; these new ways of organising will overcome the limits of the horizontal governance of assemblies and will transform into networks.

      (2) Our abilities, well above those of the institutions and political parties, to resolve specific problems with specific solutions that are derived from the specific experiences and expertise of each of us, and not from ideologies. It’s about collaboration between people with different skills and abilities, not about merging under a single banner or a unique trade mark. The strength of a federation based on diversity.

      (3) Shared responsibility: we want grown-up, adult societies that don’t need a parental figure whose proclamations are fanatically observed, or in the same vein, a leader for whom we are the critical current, and who we legitimise ‘democratically’ through our disagreements.

    • Truthdiggers of the Week: Brazilians Protesting Absorption of the Ministry of Culture

      What would you do if a bunch of politicians ousted your democratically elected president and installed one of their own?

    • Is Pope Francis a Teamster at Heart?

      And I say the following not only as a non-Catholic and non-Christian, but as a non-theist. Who is the American public more apt to listen to? The Pope and Jesus? Or Wal-Mart executives?

    • After Damaging Washington Post ‘Redskins’ Poll, Change The Mascot Movement Moves On

      For Native American leaders who have been fighting for the Washington team to change its name — and making strides, at least on the local level — this poll felt like a slap in the face.

      “This is just an investment in white supremacy, plain and simple,” Dr. Adrienne Keene wrote on her website, Native Appropriations. “It is an attempt to justify racism, justify the continued marginalization of Native peoples, justify divide-and-conquer techniques that are pitting Native people against one another. It devalues Native voices, stories, and experiences.”

      Joel Barkin, a spokesman for the Oneida Nation and the Change The Mascot campaign, agreed.

    • ‘I’m sorry, I’m scared:’ Killing of student enrages ABQ

      Jonathan Sorensen, a 25-year-old University of New Mexico student, died at the K-Mart location at Carlisle and Indian School Road after he was held down by three loss prevention employees who suspected him of shoplifting.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Net neutrality complaints have flooded into FCC since rules took effect

      The data includes 86,114 Internet service complaints filed since October 31, 2014 against home Internet and cellular ISPs. Net neutrality has been the most common type of complaint since the rules went into effect and is near the top of the list even when counting the first seven months of the data set in which net neutrality complaints weren’t yet being accepted. In the full data set, billing complaints led the way at 22,989—with 16,393 since June 12. The other top categories for the entire period since late 2014 were service availability with 14,251 complaints, speed with 11,200 complaints, and privacy with 7,968 privacy complaints.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Deborah Cohn on a year of progress for the Trademark Caucus

        Deborah Cohn has been busy since starting as INTA’s Senior Director of Government Relations in March last year. “We are trying and succeeding in raising the visibility of trademark issues and INTA on Capitol Hill,” the former Commissioner for Trademarks for the USPTO says of her role.

    • Copyrights

      • ISP: Police Request Most User Data for File-Sharing “Crimes”

        For the first time Swedish Internet service provider Bahnhof has shared details on the nature of police requests for subscriber identities. The data reveals that with 27.5% “file-sharing” is by far the largest category. The ISP, however, doesn’t see piracy as a serious crime and has refused to hand over any subscriber data.

      • Why Is Oracle Suing Google and What’s at Stake?

        For the past week or so, Google — which, uh, I imagine you’re familiar with — and Oracle, an enormous but less flashy technology company, have been sparring in court over Google’s use of a version of Java, the programming language owned by Oracle, in its Android operating system. At the heart of the matter is the question of whether or not the Java API could be copyrighted, and whether Google’s use of it was exempt under fair use. In short, Oracle wants to know if it can get some cash because Google used a program it created.

      • How an Oracle win over Google could set the software industry back to the licensing age

        What’s at stake in Google and Oracle’s copyright dispute over Java isn’t really about the future of open source, as Quentin Hardy seems to argue, but rather about the future of software licensing, period. A pro-Oracle verdict essentially dumps us back into the software Stone Age, an era of arcane software licensing designed to mimic the pre-digital world of physical goods.

      • Google’s legal war with Oracle could undermine a core pillar of the software industry

        Oracle alleges that Google violated its copyright when it put pieces of the crucial Java technology into the Android operating system, which now ships on 80% of smartphones sold. Google’s defense hinges on “fair use,” the idea that it was legally allowed to use Java as it did.

      • Music Industry Wants More Money From YouTube

        UK music industry group BPI is not happy with YouTube and other streaming sites that can feature their music for just a few pennies. According to the major labels, EU legislation needs an overhaul to deter piracy and make sure that labels and artists are properly compensated for their work.

      • Ancillary Copyright: bad for both end-users and creators

        The Commission’s public consultation on whether to grant additional rights to press publishers is aimed at audiences beyond the publishers themselves, to include a wide range of stakeholders – including end users, consumers, and citizens. In this third post of our series on the consultation, we highlight what the introduction of an additional right for publishers would mean for end-users of news and online information, as well as content creators. We encourage everyone to make their views known to the Commission by answering the consultation questionnaire by 15 June.


EPO Patent ‘Quality’ and ‘Patent Creation’ Myth: Capsule-Based Coffee Sales and Trauma

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘Creating’ (granting) more and more patents will artificially lower their value

Reference: Hyperinflation

Summary: The race to the bottom, or Battistelli’s ludicrous assumption that granting more and more patents faster (e.g. using PACE) would be beneficial in the long run, may lead to the ultimate collapse of the EPO’s value and demise of its long-earned reputation worldwide

WE OFTEN make the rather broad claim that Battistelli’s terrible regime, which is clueless about patent quality (no scientists in charge. i.e. at the top, unlike before), artificially increases EPO patent numbers by reducing the quality, e.g. by pressuring to grant faster (without sufficient prior art search) just like the USPTO. Bogus patents hurt the most the “small guy” (or gal), who hasn’t the means/time/expertise by which to appeal/object/fight a hostile patent. That’s putting aside Battistelli’s vicious crushing of the Boards of Appeal, which would mean fewer reassessments of patents erroneously granted by examiners. To borrow India’s example of software patents and other controversial kinds of patents, consider today’s new article from the Indian media:

Modi’s New Intellectual Property Rights Policy Will Only Benefit Players with Deep Pockets

In November 2014, five national governments wrote to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to inform the policy-making process of India’s first national intellectual property rights policy (IPR policy). The DIPP received 300 submissions from various other stakeholders, including NGOs and civil society, multinational companies, businesses and trade associations, cutting across various sectors. The policy-making process itself was marred by bizarre, unfair and unexplained steps such as the sudden disbanding of the first think tank put in charge for producing a draft policy, an opaque and long-drawn process of releasing a first draft, the leak of a near-complete final draft and no publication of responses (yet) of the 300 odd submissions that were made by stakeholders. Finally, the DIPP released the policy last week.

Despite the long and extensive drafting process, the policy is tilted in favour of right-holders, and places undue reliance on IPRs to stimulate innovation and growth. It obviously claims otherwise, but there are some fundamental flaws in the policy’s premise which render the DIPP’s claims meaningless. Delving briefly into the subject of IPRs, it is a matter of principle that a balanced intellectual property (IP) regime, i.e. a model that balances rights with adequate limitations/exceptions, contributes optimally to the holistic development and growth of the nation. Limitations or exceptions are flexibilities in the law, which cut down absolute monopoly conferred by IPRs, and ensure that use and sharing of knowledge for purposes such as research, education and access to medicines are not overridden by IP rightholders’ claims. The Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights agreement (TRIPS), which is the largest international agreement governing countries’ IPR regimes also promotes the use of these flexibilities to build balanced regimes. The policy does occasionally state its commitment to the TRIPS agreement and the Doha Declaration, but does not commit or spell out any new concrete steps. Thus, it fails to show any seriousness about upholding and promoting a ‘balanced’ regime – in stark comparison to the detailed and surgical manner in which it aims to raise awareness about IPRs and commercialise them.

Unfortunately for the policy, a myopic rationale captures the ambition of the document. The policy document states that, “The rationale… lies in the need to create awareness about the importance of IPRs as a marketable financial asset and economic tool.” As such, the policy fails to recognise the philosophy of welfare and balance embedded in IPRs: to ensure innovation, social, scientific and cultural progress and furtherance of access to knowledge. In all fairness, while the document pays a salutary tribute to objectives such as “achieve economic growth and socio-cultural development, while protecting public interest; also of advancing science and technology, arts and culture, traditional knowledge and biodiversity, transforming knowledge-owned into knowledge shared,” it never rises above its treatment of IPR as a tool to solely serve the interests of rights-holders.

This is the kind of ‘logic’ that those whom Battistelli bamboozles are led into whenever the UPC is brought up. What Battistelli has been doing at the EPO can be summed up as tilting the whole process in favour of large corporations, even those that are not European (see PACE). He arguably accomplished this while viciously attacking workers (scientifically qualified, unlike him) who ‘dared’ to express scepticism. He mocked democracy (UPC is clearly antidemocratic), refused to obey the law, probably caused quite a few deaths (by suicide after his repressive policies), and hired to his ranks people who face many criminal charges. Battistelli is a dangerous man, but he’s there for a purpose and it is a people-hostile purpose (corporate gains at the expense of non-billionaires, who aren't those Battistelli is inclined to acquiesce anyway).

The other day we found this new assessment of a patent just reaffirmed by the EPO (for gains at Nespresso France). To quote:

At the end of January 2016 the EPO held Oral Proceedings in respect of an Opposition by Nestec S.A. & Nespresso France against the grant of EP2312978 in the name of ECC. At the end of the proceedings the opposition was dismissed and the patent maintained as granted. An appeal against that decision has already been filed by the opponents.

The ECC patent in question does not directly protect ECC’s innovative product (they have other patents for that), or even prevent a third party from producing a competing product, but it is intended to prevent particular modifications to Nespresso machines that would render them incompatible with the ECC product.

This is like a form of DRM/lock-in or something akin to the Lexmark case in the United States.

Recently, based on this short Reuters report and the widely-spread paid-for press release [1, 2], “the European Patent Office (EPO) has ruled in the opposition case againts BioPorto’s BioPorto’s NGAL Forms patent no. EP 2215481. The EPO ruled the patent valid on the grounds that the patent meets the requirements of novelty, inventive step and sufficient description” (says the party which defends this patent).

The overall strength of a patent office oughtn’t be measured by how many patents it grants and/or defends but by the lack of controversy over a granted patent (or patents), owing to widely-accepted novelty and perceived quality. We fear that Battistelli, having visited some rather bizarre regimes of late, wishes to unilaterally race to the bottom and decrease patent quality, probably so as to accomplish what ENA taught/trained him to do (neoliberalism). Battistelli is as ‘clueful’ about science as Reagan, an actor, was about economics and politics. The less Battistelli knows and understands, the easier it is for the affluent class (or corporations/lobbyists) to game him.

“Government`s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

Ronald Reagan

Guest Post: How Vista 10 Imposes Itself on Users of Windows

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 5:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A reader’s experience being nagged by Microsoft, as documented and explained by this reader

The attached screen capture shows what the update procedure looks like.

On 19 May 2016:

Vista 10 nags
The update utility showing KB3122862

Vista 10 nags
The official Microsoft info on KB3122862

What third parties are saying [1, 2]. The previous attempt to dump Win10 on my machine was less than a fortnight ago, on 7 May 2016

Vista 10 nags
The second update is this time classified as
“important” rather than “optional”.

Vista 10 nags
Uh oh, time to grab the barge pole…

Vista 10 nags
Another “innocuous” sounding update on 8 April 2016.

And on 13 April 2016, there were a lot of updates, no Win10 stuff, but I had to go through them one by one to check that nothing sneaky was included.

I’m almost ready to make the switch to Linux but it’s more complicated than I thought, I’m running into technical problems which I don’t really want to have to deal with, e.g. video drivers. I’ve been getting familiar with OpenSUSE for the last few years, and reviewed many other distributions. I’ll stay away from Ubuntu as they seem to be in bed with Microsoft, and after I looked into the other choices (Mint, Debian, Fedora), I’ll stick with the devil I know.

[ES] El Notorio Tirano de la EPO, Benoît Battistelli, Se Reune Con Otros Tiranos, Reportes de Que ‘Limpia’ el Consejo Administrativo

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Article as ODF

Publicado en Europe, Patentes at 6:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Este es el tipo de gente con la que Benoît Battistelli se asocia:

Las acusaciones de corrupción

participación real en los negocios es un tema importante en Marruecos, pero la discusión pública de que es sensible. La embajada de Estados Unidos en Rabat informó a Washington en un cable filtrado que “la corrupción es frecuente en todos los niveles de la sociedad marroquí”. [11] La corrupción supuestamente alcanza los niveles más altos en Marruecos, donde los intereses comerciales de Mohammed VI y algunos de su influencia asesores “cada gran proyecto de vivienda”, según los documentos de WikiLeaks citadas por el diario británico Guardian. [34] los documentos dados a conocer por el sitio web denunciante también citan el caso de un hombre de negocios que trabaja para un consorcio de Estados Unidos, cuyos planes de Marruecos estaban paralizadas durante meses después de que él negado a unir fuerzas con una empresa vinculada con el palacio real. Las decisiones sobre grandes inversiones en el reino fueron tomadas por sólo tres personas, los documentos citan a un ejecutivo de la empresa ligada a la familia real por el diario. Los tres son el rey, su secretaria Mounir Majidi, y amigo cercano del monarca, asesor y ex compañero de Fouad Ali Himma, dijo el ejecutivo en una reunión con inversores potenciales en un país del Golfo. Esto afecta especialmente a la corrupción del sector de la vivienda, los documentos de WikiLeaks muestran. [35]

En abril de 2016, Mounir Majidi, secretario personal de Mohamed VI, ha sido nombrado en los documentos de Panamá. [36]


Artículo principal: 2011-12 protestas de Marruecos

Movimiento 20 de febrero

La legitimidad del rey Mohammed VI fue disputada en 2011 con el Movimiento 20 de Febrero que intentó minar el funcionamiento del sistema monárquico.

Real escándalo perdón

Artículo principal: Daniel Galván escándalo

Las protestas estallaron en Rabat, capital de Marruecos, el 2 de agosto de 2013, después de Mohammed VI indultó a 48 españoles encarcelados, incluyendo un pedófilo que había estado cumpliendo una condena de 30 años por violar a 11 niños de edades comprendidas entre 4 y 15. Desde entonces, ha revocado el perdón, después de la indignación popular. [37]

Mohammed VI of Morocco

Referencia: Mohammed VI of Morocco

Sumario: El régimen de Battistelli, talvez la fuente de verguénza más grande, alegadamente está “cortejándo países pequeños/corruptos para asegurárse de que los delegados que votarón contra él serán remplazados

DE acuérdo a nuevo post de Benoît Battistelli (warning: epo.org link), el viaje a Marruécos estaba previsto. El Rey Sol (Battistelli) se reunió con el Rey Mohammed VI, cuyo record puede ser visto arriba. Ayer bromeamos acerca de Tunez (con el imperialismo Frances en mente) de acuerdo a Battistelli, “Moldova implementó un acuerdo similar el pasado Noviembre y se espera que Tunez lo haga este año.”

Vigílen cuando Battistelli vaya a otros – corruptos – países (otros que los Latino América -recuérden su viaje a Cuba -) y de dónde él contrata gente (como el VicePresidente de Croatia, donde enfrénta cargos críminales). Si esto no es el síntoma de que la EPO es otra FIFA (o peor), ¿Qué es lo que es? Esta clase de tiranía no sólo es tiranía corpórativa pero también una carrera al fondo, en lo concerniénte a derechos humanos y de trabajo (no sorprende los muchos suicidios). Ayer menciónamos su viaje a Marruécos y los ataques de Battistelli a los básicos derechos de los trabajadores. Hace dos meses mostramos como Battistelli firmó un tratado con Lithuania al mismo tiempo de una reunión del Consejo Administraivo, presuntamenete para comprar un voto a su favor. Ahora mismo estámos viéndo alegaciónes símilares en este comentario. ¿Llenando el panel (Consejo Administrativo), Sr. Battistelli?

La imposición de restricciones en un futuro empleo no requiere el consentimiento de los empleados a someterse a estas restricciones. Eso es lo que la gente no entiende cuando se inscriban: piensan que la EPO está obligado por sus reglamentos. Sin embargo, las regulaciones se pueden cambiar a voluntad y que ya estaban: el personal se impusieron nuevas normas de la carrera, las nuevas regulaciones de enfermedad, y su seguro de invalidez (pagado por años) fue simplemente cancelados. No son las condiciones de empleo que acordaron más y de hecho cada vez menos personas están dispuestas a firmar (la OEP no encontró candidatos adecuados para más de la mitad del mensaje que querían para llenar). Sin embargo, las personas que han firmado tienen una sola opción: aceptar las nuevas regulaciones o encontrar otro trabajo. Es un contrato de un solo sentido: el personal tiene que respetar, la EPO puede cambiar las reglas a su antojo.

También: Battistelli fue informado por el Consejo para revertir la sentencia relativa a 3 personas, que labios restableció el recorte de pensiones 20%. No hay razones legales estaban en juego. Por el momento, él está ocupado cortejando a los países más pequeños para asegurarse de que los delegados que votaron contra él seán reemplazados. El consejo de junio será masivamente a su favor, por lo menos desde los países pequeños y países como Alemania, NL, Reino Unido y Francia se dará cuenta de que sólo tienen un voto. Battistelli controlará entonces el consejo de administración.

Si esto es verdad, la gente necésita contactar a sus políticos y delegados, a quiénes Battistelli también está amenazando. Este tipo está tán loco como Mohammed VI of Morocco, mucho peor que Blatter (de lejos), juzgando por sus propias acciónes.

Otro nuevo comentario dice:

“Con todo esto en mente, ¿cómo podría el AC incluso contemplar el estampillado en la imposición unilateral de tales restricciones en concepto de” nuevas reglas “que no han recibido el consentimiento de los trabajadores a los que afecta?”

Muy fácil. De la misma manera que el caucho estampadas-CA / D 18/15 en diciembre.


¿Había alguna consulta sobre eso?

Sin no la hubo, eso no impidió que el AC- lo selle.

Eso responde tu pregunta?

FIFA allá vamos …

Recuérden que Battistelli alardeó “un terremoto será necesario para que el Consejo Administrativo no apoye mis decisiónes.” Este tipo no sólo cree que es un rey, se comporta como tal. Si algo político lo afecta, asalta el sistema: journalistas, bloggers, abogados, políticos y lo demás. El incluso me amenazó, como si fuese un rey (no le interésa sí desafía la ley).

De acuredo a este comentario mañanero en otra hebra, Battistelli esta en el proceso de prepara otra ‘encuesta’ auto-gratificante, otra más que su llamado ‘estudio social’ el cual menciónamos a principios de semana. Para citar:

En cuanto a la situación social, la oficina está organizando una encuesta de salud en el trabajo, llevado a cabo por una empresa externa (Wellkom). cuestionarios en línea acaban de ser enviado a personal seleccionado de forma aleatoria. Sorprendentemente (?) El número de preguntas relativas a cuestiones laborales son de baja proporción. Una proporción muy baja. Por otra parte, la gran mayoría parecen estar relacionadas con factores personales o domésticas de una alimentación sana, beber, etc. Tal vez esto es normal.

Mientras que un maleánte como Battistelli permanezca en el poder, Europa tiene un problema de legitimidad y credibilidad. Este tipo es peor que Blatter y comparándolo con él es un insulto a Blatter. Comparándo Battistelli a Mohammed VI de Marruécos es más realista y análogo.

[ES] Comentadores Anónimos Debaten Si la EPO de Battistelli Puede Revocar las Pensiones de Empleados Que Se Atreveen — GASP — a Buscar Empleo Alternativo

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Article as ODF

Publicado en Europe, Patentes at 2:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

¨Desastre para la EPO¨

Siege Philips Amsterdam

La gente no saltará de este edificio donde la ley de los Países Bajos todavía es aplicable (a diferencia de la EPO)

Sumario: Una mirada a las causas de desesperación e imensa presión en la EPO, donde las pensiónes pueden ser cortadas como medio de represália y la gente puede ser negada empleo aún después de dejar la Oficina Europea de Patentes (EPO)

LA EPO todavía está en estado de crisis, basado en lo que la Sala 28 dijo. Nada ha mejorado desde entónces.

Battistelli fundó un régimen a un nivel bajo incluso para él, habiéndo acabado de visitar Marruécos (warning: epo.org link, también publicado en Frances). Para ser justos, después de ignorar las leyes Europeas no puede hacer muchos amigos. No muchos políticos desean ser asociádos con él en alguna manera si actualmente hiciéron su trabajo. Battistelli es un pária excepto en círculos téñidos en la tinta de maximalistas de patentes y largas corporaciónes hambriéntas de patentes como Philips.

El maltrato de sus propios trabajadores por parte de Battistelli le ha ganado una tasa de aprobación de nivel cero (sí, 0%), basado en un extenso estudio reciente (miles de encuestados). No sólo los abusos del personal, mientras que este personal trabaja para la Oficina, sino también cuando el personal está enfermo. Él los está castigando incluso después de salir de la oficina para su bien (después de despedir ellos en circunstancias muy controvertidas). ¿Qué tipo de “Presidente” es este? Tal vez el tipo de tiráno que uno podría esperar encontrar en Marruecos o Túnez.

Refléxionando en el maltrato a los antiguos miembros del personal de EPO, varios comentarios en IP Kat eran demasiado bueno para ignorarlos. Una persona escribió:

He aquí una pregunta interesante: ¿cuál sería la consecuencia si un empleado EPO (asumamos por el momento un miembro de DG 3) fueron desafiar una “prohibición” impuesta por el presidente de la EPO en la consideración de un nuevo empleo?

Presumiblemente, sería imposible que la EPO para tomar acciones legales en contra de su ex empleado. Esto se debe a que tendría que ser puesto en marcha ante los tribunales nacionales, que se aplican las leyes nacionales y no a las normas internas de EPO dicha acción. (Además, por supuesto, la EPO puede ser reacios a tomar medidas a la luz de la muy alta probabilidad de que las reglas de la EPO se encuentren ser contrarias a las leyes nacionales.)

¿Eso quiere decir que la única acción que la EPO podría tomar sería privar a su ex-empleado del beneficio de una pensión de la EPO? Si es así, eso podría ser una estrategia arriesgada – ya que podría abrir la puerta a una acción legal en contra de la EPO. En una situación de este tipo, lo que la defensa pudo montar la EPO contra una acusación de “robar” los derechos adquiridos de su ex empleado? Si la respuesta es sus normas internas, a continuación, volvemos a la cuestión de si sería realmente quiere tratar de justificar esas normas ante un tribunal nacional …

Un problema aquí tal vez podría ser el reto de conseguir un tribunal nacional a aceptar la jurisdicción de la disputa. Sin embargo, se puede argumentar que la inmunidad de la EPO no se aplicaría a litigios con las propuestas, nuevas reglas. Esto se debe a que la inmunidad de la Organización se aplica sólo dentro “del ámbito de sus actividades oficiales” (Art. 3 (1) PPI). Además, tales “actividades oficiales” se definen en el art. 3 (4) PPI como “aquellas que son estrictamente necesarios para su funcionamiento administrativo y técnico, tal como se establece en la Convención”. Es difícil ver cómo podría argumentarse que la nueva normativa podría argumentar que ser “estrictamente necesarias” cuando la EPO ha funcionado perfectamente durante décadas sin ellos!

Aquí está una respuésta a esto:

La Oficina simplemente iniciar medidas disciplinarias y decidir reducir la pensión. Y si usted piensa que tiene una forma legal de que a través de los tribunales nacionales, le sugiero que informar a la gente recientemente despedida acerca de sus hallazgos.

Sí: lo que sé de arte. 3 (4) PPI. En la práctica, nunca se aplica. Les recuerdo que la Oficina fué condena por un tribunal holandés y que el vicepresidente dijo en frente de la televisión holandesa que no van a seguir el juicio? ¿Qué más necesitas?

También hay esto:

Demandar a un ex empleado por la EPO puede no ser tan fácil, pero la retención de la pensión o ingreso es un castigo muy severo para cualquier ex empleado, pero especialmente para los pensionistas que desean continuar trabajando por ejemplo, como agentes de patentes. Y es un caso tal, es la EPO que pueda ser demandado por el ex empleado, que, como todos sabemos, lleva años. En el momento en el pensionado ha ganado ese caso, ya está muerto.

El asunto de quitar las pensiónes a las personas atrajo mucha atención esta semana. “Esto es una decisión importante,” una persona me dijo y otra dijo [1, 2, 3]: “Verdad mientras se trate del procedimiento de la ley nacional, sin embargo ellos inmediatamente comenzaríán un proceso interno disciplinario y decidir cortar tu pensión! Probablemente en su mayoría sin éxito! Triste pero es verdad en Europa del 2016! Contengan la respiración y prepárense a que las cosas empeóren en el futuro!”

Más (reciéntes comentarion) hablarron del corte de pensión de la Srta. Hardon:

puedas estar correcto. Sin embargo, la única pensión que soy consciente de haber sido “cortada” (es el de la Srta Hardon) al parecer fue restaurado. Dudo que señor presidente invirtió su decisión puramente por la bondad de su corazón … lo que podría significar que había otros (por ejemplo legales) razones que lo dejaron sin otra opción que entregar lo que, en cualquier caso, eran derechos adquiridos.

La cuestión de si la EPO respeta la sentencia de un tribunal nacional es, en última instancia, una cuestión para la AC. Es decir, que tienen el poder de ordenar al presidente a respetar ningún juicio – y para expulsarlo si se niega a hacerlo y / o para levantar su inmunidad. Supongo que si el AC decide tomar cualquier acción depende de la cantidad de presión política que se sienten bajo de sus jefes de vuelta a casa. No es la más ideal puesta a punto para asegurar que los derechos fundamentales sean respetados en la EPO, pero no del todo inútil.

Aquí es otro punto interesante: las propuestas, nuevas condiciones de empleo (incluyendo lo que aquellos en el sector privado podría ver como un equivalente de un convenio restrictivo para los miembros DG 3 … y tal vez otros) no eran las que los empleados de EPO acordaron al firmar para arriba. La imposición de restricciones en un futuro empleo es un asunto muy serio, y por lo tanto requiere el consentimiento explícito (e informado) de cualquier empleado en obligarse por estas restricciones. Con esto en mente, ¿cómo podría el AC incluso contemplar el estampillado en la imposición unilateral de tales restricciones en concepto de “nuevas reglas” que no han recibido el consentimiento de los trabajadores a los que afecta?

Eso por sí solo parece haber una muy buena razón para el CA a limitarse a denegar las reglas propuestas de las manos.

“Batistelli ha reciéntemente negado el poder a la AC para decirlo que hacer,” una persona añadió luego. “Desastre para la EPO.” He aquí el comentario en su totalidad:

En primer lugar, las muy buenas razones de laAC durante un largo tiempo no han sido seguidas, menos aún bajo la administración Batistelli.

En segundo lugar, Batistelli ha negado recientemente la AC el poder para decirle qué hacer.

Entonces, ¿cuál es la suma total de esta imagen?

Desastre para el OPO.

En relación a las Salas, de las que escribímos el pasado fin de semana y a principios de esta [1, 2, 3], una persona dijo:

Acerca de las salas de recurso y la UPC: la UPC, como la junta de EPO de apelación y el alemán “Bundespatentgericht” prevé miembros legales y técnicos. Encontrar a miembros legales no debe ser demasiado problema (aunque los requisitos de idioma puede llegar a ser un problema), pero la búsqueda de miembros técnicos lo será probablemente. Los miembros técnicos tienen que ser:

formados técnicamente, básicamente, deben tener un diploma de ingeniero

-fluentes en los 3 idiomas oficiales y

formación esmeradas legalmente (aunque no tanto como un miembro legal).

Básicamente, la idea es que los tribunales deben tener especialistas capaces de entender en detalle lo que la patente se acerca (especialmente importante en un tema difícil como la química, la biotecnología, la informática …).

En el tablero de EPO de apelación y el Bundespatentgericht, los miembros técnicos fueron reclutados de los examinadores.

La junta de EPO de apelación es la mayor colección de personas que llenan los requisitos de los miembros técnicas (sobre todo cuando se tiene en cuenta los requisitos de idioma).

Ahora Battistelli, siendo motivado por su venganza personal contra el órgano de apelación, ha causado un problema importante. En una oficina bien dirigida, el órgano de apelación estaría suficientemente atendido, de manera que una fracción de sus miembros podría ser enviado a la UPC para capacitar al personal futuro y hacer frente a los primeros casos. Battistelli ha cerrado esa ruta dos veces: por asegurarse de que van a ser excluidos legalmente a hacerlo y al negarle al personal, el Comité de EPO de apelación durante años. Nada de esto es la gestión adecuada: cada gerente sabe que cuando se inicia una nueva rama, formación de nuevo personal es un cuello de botella. Esta en todos los libros de gestión.

Hay muchos otros comentarios en la materia que no mencionamos, pero muchos sugieren que “Battistelli, motivado en su vendeta personal contra la sala de apelaciónes, ha causado un problema mayor.” (o algo entre esas líneas)

Esperamos que los empleados de la EPO, incluyendo la Sala de Apelaciónes, pelearán contra Battistelli y su ‘babe’, la antidemócratica UPC. Bienvenimos datos alrededor de ello. La UPC se hundiría si más del público Europeo conozca más acerca de la verdad de esta forzada alimentación de ella y que es lo que la motiva y promueve: grandes corporaciónes del otro lado del charco y su afan de subyugación en contra de las PYMEs Europeas.

[ES] Otra Casi Vacía Presentación de la EPO en La Hague

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Article as ODF

Publicada en Europe, Patentes at 5:06 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Empleados han desertadoy son todavía leáles a sus compañeros, no a la gerencia

SUEPO support

Sumario: El propagandísticoestudio socialde Battistelli (básicamente un montón de engañosas afirmacionesdisfrazadas como investigación’) ayuda a demostrar que los empleados de la EPO no tiene absolutamente fe en la gerencia

A principios de año la gente bromeaba acerca del evento “Reúnase con el Presidente” (Battistelli) en Rijswijk. Fué una verguénza total. Hace un pare de meses reportamos que hubo menos de una dozena de personas en la reunión de la FFPE-EPO meeting. Parece que la popularidad cero de Battistellise hace aparente a medida que pasa el tiempo. Su herramiénta del sindicato amarillo es también unpopular.

La información interna sobre el EPO “estudio social” fue enviado a nosotros no hace. “Asumo que ya ha recibido información acerca de este tema,” nuestra fuente nos dijo, “sin embargo te dejo saber en caso de que no la tengan.”

Menciónamos muchas veces este “estudio social study”, incluyendo en los siguiéntes artículos:

“Según la información recibida,” nuestra fuente nos dijo, “ayer en La Haya tan sólo apróximadamente. 85 compañeros asistieron a la presentación del estudio social de la EPO”.

85 de mayo suena como un número decente, pero recuerda cuántas personas trabajan en la Esta muy baja cifra incluye gerentes, SST y consultores, el personal DG4 etc., de acuerdo con nuestra fuente. “En Munich también,” nuestra fuente nos dijo, “la participación fue muy baja y sólo una parte de los funcionarios” de la EPO “estuvieron presentes para llenar la habitación que estuvo por lo demás vacía. Fuera de 2800 en La Haya el personal esto no es mucho por decir lo menos.. 85 es poco más del 1% de la plantilla, que es de alguna manera simbólica. Se puede decir que sólo “el 1%” apoya Battistelli y su orden del día.

Consutores PWC de Italia y Chipre fuéron escogidos por la EPO para realizar este estudio al que una vez más los representantes de empleados fuéron marginalmente asociados.”

Hablándo de los representantes de empleados (lo que queda de ellos, no la unión amarilla), hay una falta de progreso de Battistelli, quién estáde empeórar las cosas mucho más aún. La reunión del Consejo Administrativo es en menos de un mes, yun nuevo comentariolo pone:

… Los estatutos del personal que tenemos en este momento, incluyendo las directrices de investigación, han sido aceptadas y toleradas por el AC. Pero ahora hay una clara petición de la CA para cambiar el estatuto del personal para asegurar que las sanciones disciplinarias y procedimientos no son solamente justo sino también parecerlo, y considerar la posibilidad de participación de un evaluador externo o de arbitraje o la mediación ¨. Las solicitudes de CA también: la espera del resultado de este proceso y antes de tomar nuevas decisiones en casos de disciplina, para informar a la corriente alterna en detalle apropiado y hacer propuestas que mejoran la confianza en los procedimientos y sanciones justas y razonables. Las solicitudes de CA también a presentar a la AC de un proyecto de revisión del Estatuto, que incorpora las directrices de investigación (incluyendo la unidad de investigación) y los procedimientos disciplinarios que se han examinado y modificado. Me parece, pero puede ser un mal, que el aire acondicionado quiere ver acciones definidas claras, no sólo un soufflé lleno de aire caliente que se derrumba tan pronto como usted lo toca. El AC se da cuenta también que estas sanciones disciplinarias y procedimientos de un amplio e intenso están siendo interrogados en la opinión pública.

La EPO está todavía en un estado caótico. No podemos dejar de preguntarnos ¿cuánta gente queda allí y simplemente trabaja a causa de las sanciónes injustas introducidas despues de su contrato con la EPO (lo que puede significar varios años de desempleo). El Consejo Administrativo sería sabio en despedir a las cabezas el mes que viente; es la única manera de deshacerse de la crisis. El tiempo de por sí no ayuda a nada.

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