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05.25.16

The Latest EPO Victim Card (Played by Željko Topić) Should be Treated as Seriously as Those Bogus Claims of Violence by a Judge (Updatedx3)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sports equipment is charactered as a "weapon" when the narrative of "victim" is sought by the thugs

EPO cricket club

Summary: In its desperate pursuit of a narrative wherein the staff of the EPO is violent and aggressive the management of the EPO, renowned for institutional aggression, finds (or claims to have found) a little tampering with a bicycle

THERE are bad liars, good (skilled) liars, pathological liars, and chronic liars. For some it’s a career path.

“Incident,” as a source put it to us, was allegedly reported “yesterday on EPO premises and today’s official announcement by Željko Topić” can be seen below:

Home→Organisation→DG 4→The Vice-President→Announcements→2016

Incident yesterday on EPO premises


25.05.2016

Deliberate damage to personal property of the President

Dear colleagues,

I would like to draw your attention to an incident which happened at some time yesterday in the non-public underground parking area of the Isar Building.

The bicycle belonging to President Battistelli was damaged to an extent that even the brakes were tampered with. This was without doubt a deliberate act of vandalism.

I strongly deplore this utterly unacceptable act and trust that you, the staff of the European Patent Office, join me in condemning the behaviour of the person or persons who committed this offence.

I remind staff of their duty to behave at all times in the manner expected of an international civil servant.

Željko Topić

Vice-President DG 4

25.05.16 | Author: Željko Topić – Vice-President DG 4

Now let’s critically assess this bizarre message, which looks almost like it belongs in the April 1st spam folder/filter. This is Željko Topić we’re talking about here; it’s the person who faces many criminal charges for a variety of alleged abuses. This is the man whom Zagreb Police Department may be after right now (he has been avoiding judges and courts as of late, including on April 1st itself). Topić is just about the least reliable source at the EPO right now. He is probably a lot worse than Battistelli.

“I am expecting something more deep and stronger against Mr. Topić in [the] next weeks from State prosecutor or attorneys office in Zagreb…”
      –Anonymous
Someone wrote to us only yesterday about Topić (same day as the above ‘incident’). “I am expecting something more deep and stronger against Mr. Topić in [the] next weeks from State prosecutor or attorneys office in Zagreb,” told us this person, who is from Croatia.

What a convenient way for Topić to distract everyone and portray Team Battistelli as the victim. There is a lot coming from Zagreb these days (regarding Topić) and we shall give details/contacts/documents in the coming weeks/months.

“There is a lot coming from Zagreb these days (regarding Topić) and we shall give details/contacts/documents in the coming weeks/months.”Unsurprisingly, EPO staff (like examiners) aren’t startled by the words of Topić. “It sounds funny or like a joke,” one person told us, “however the opposite is true it’s deadly serious according to Željko Topić and his thugs!”

“Enjoy the lecture,” the person added.

It would be mean and unprofessional to treat is as merely a prank or a joke, but obviously some people cannot help the temptation and say things like this:

EPO Staff obviously condemns without any reservation such act of appalling violence. EPO staff is also relieved to learn that the anarchist group who tried to kill Mr Battistelli has not stolen the saddle of the presidential bike since this could have caused him serious and painful injuries.

Considering the severity of the events EPO staff suggests:

1 – that the EPO offers a bounty to anyone denouncing the culprits (plural is needed as it is obvious that such an action can only have been executed by a group of very well organised individuals presumably with the help of structured international networks)

2 – that the EPO via its investigative unit immediately takes DNA samples from all EPO staff + all external providers + all neighbours of the Isar building within a radius of 500 m.

3 – that the EPO hires without further delay additional bodyguards (if possible ex Navy Seals) in charge of securing the presidential bicycle 24/7 plus some in charge of the presidential cars, presidential lift and presidential toilets (since no place will ever be secured after this sabotage).

Our position on all this is that it’s not severe, we don’t know if it’s true (or to what degree it’s true), and given the messenger, Mr. Topić, we strongly urge/call for scepticism. Remember that what was called a “weapon” by these thugs later turned out to be sporting equipment, or a club used for leisurely activities.

Some people who spoke to us wouldn’t necessarily suspect that it’s a “false flag” but might suggest that the timing for the above is perfect. To quote: “Of course all this has absolutely NOTHING TO DO with the fact that…IPkat published the costs of his bodyguards (550,000 for six months which means they are more expensive than examiners) AND that in Munich yesterday and today a meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee is being held…”

Update: Some comments have just appeared about this at IP Kat. An anonymous person writes: “Well, it appears that someone has deliberately damaged Battistelli’s bicycle in the office’s Isar building car park (announced by VP4 internally to all staff, deploring the action which appears to have been an inside job). The brakes were tampered with too. And all this so soon after Merpel’s visit… Now I may be adding 2 and 2 and making 9 lives, but until we get a katagorical denial…”

Even Merpel replies humorously with: “Merpel can kategorically deny any involvement in such activity, which naturally she completely deplores. Not only does she lack the opposable digits that would be necessary for such tampering (scratch marks would be much more her thing) but also she understands that this action took place in a non-public part of the office, into which she would of course not scamper uninvited. She reckons she still has several lives left yet.”

It doesn’t look like anyone takes the above very seriously. But it sure contributes to the atmosphere of fear and helps defend Battistelli's notorious paranoia.

Update #2 (the day after): Comments continue as follows: “The president never comes at the EPO by bicycle. This story looks very strange (probably a new propaganda). The purpose is to show that the president really needs bodyguards and an investigation unit. Also, it will be a pretext to cut some additional staff (representative) heads.”

This is actually a sentiment shared among other people we spoke to.

Other people treat this mostly as a joke. One wrote: “Ever bike? Now that’s something that makes life worth living! …Oh, to just grip your handlebars and lay down to it, and you ripping and tearing through the Munich streets and road, over railroad tracks and bridges, threading crowds, avoiding collisions, at 40 kilometres or more an hour, and wondering all the time when you’re going to smash up. Well, now, that’s something! And then you arrive at the office after an hour of it… and then to think I can do it this evening all over again!…. sh..t somebody ruined my bbbbbbike!”

Another joke (about the notorious surveillance of EPO staff and even visitors using hidden cameras): “Obviously they forgot to set up security cameras this time.”

The connection to the budget (for expensive bodyguards) is then mentioned as follows: “It was reported (on Wednesday) that it happened on Tuesday – the day that both the B28 and the Budget and Finance committees of the AC met in Munich, presumably in the Isar building? The list of suspects grows.”

Lastly there is this: “Mr. Topić tells us that someone tampered with the brakes on the presidential bike yesterday. The clear message is that there has been an attempt to harm the President. That’s quite serious, isn’t it?

“Topić goes on to condemn the damage to the bike (but not the attack on the President, strangely) and reminds staff to behave like international civil servants.

“This is a ridiculously inadequate response. The person who is ultimately responsible for the president’s security should be dismissed. He or she has clearly failed in their duty.”

This is especially funny (like black comedy) coming from Topić, who preaches about behaviour of international civil servants while he himself faces many criminal charges and refuses to even attend the courts upon demand. Like his colleagues at the EPO’s management, professionalism means not obeying the law and ignoring court rulings, apparently.

Update #3 (later on the same day): More noteworthy observations are made, as it’s no longer just about a bicycle but increasingly a question of integrity, i.e. whether the EPO’s management is simply lying (or hyping). As one person put it: “The President now uses a Bike? Really? Someone who does not go around without his bodyguards, who has personal lift that cannot be used by anybody else at the main building would take the time to ride a bike to go to work? To stroll around on Sunday and mingle with the commoners in such a trivial activity?

“By the way, did they also damage the bikes of his bodyguards? Or do they run behind him when e [sic] bikes around?”

“They’re just recycling old Sarko-stuff,” one person wrote, linking to “Sarkozy misused French ministry to find scooter, critics say” (remember that Sarkozy and Battistelli are connected politically). “That being said, when cars are keyed in the Examiner´s/Formalities’ buildings (which are quite distant from the Isar building), it does not make it to the intranet… Sorry for the bike though.”

Another person wrote: “I wouldn’t be surprised that the bodyguards run around him, like the gardes suisses around the papamobile. (The thought of a presidential bicyclette shielded by Panzerglas in the Munich traffic just rushed through my head).

“But seriously, do you honestly believe that Mr. B would ever mingle with the riff raff and risk the possibility of an encounter with one of them?

“My own bike was damaged on EPO premises years and years ago, under the Shell building, as it was still called. (The parking facility was rather shoddy, you could get around the door easily by pulling the fence towards you). I don’t remember this making it in the pages of the Gazette or the nascent intranet…

“I suspect a sinister motive behind Topic’s announcement, i.e., creating some pretext for a form of collective punishment, or inventing a new chicanery for harassing staff, or even launching a new witch hunt.”

There might also be the timing (budget fodder). One commenter agrees with the above and adds: “Indeed, it is in the script of every respectable Dictatorship: use an attempt to the life of the Great Leader to request special powers from the Central Committee – ahem, Administrative Council, to further reduce Civil Liberties and get rid of the last Members of the Opposition.

“(I also heard that in addition the Presidential Bike, the Tricycle of VP5 Raimund Lutz and the Bobby-Car of VP4 Guillaume Minnoye were also damaged … I’m shocked to think that an International Civil Servant could act like this …)”

The last comment for now also agrees with the above: “This only looks like a pretext for more and harsher security measures. Just wait. I suppose that in less than four weeks there will be a notice on the Intranet announcing new kinds of (ridiculous) controls etc., maybe even more hidden cameras.”

Links 25/5/2016: Nginx 1.11, F1 2015 Coming to GNU/Linux Tomorrow

Posted in News Roundup at 8:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Your Occasional Reminder to Use Plain Text Whenever Possible

    I myself have lost access to many WordPerfect files from the ’80s in their original form, though I have been migrating their content to other formats over the years. I was fortunate, though, to do most of my early work in VMS and Unix, so a surprising number of my programs and papers from that era are still readable as they were then. (Occasionally, this requires me to dust off troff to see what I intended for them to look like then.)

  • Science

  • Networking

    • Disruption in the Networking Hardware Marketplace

      The idea behind software-defined networking (SDN) is to abstract physical elements from networking hardware and control them with software. Part of this is decoupling network control from forwarding functions so you can program it directly, but the main idea is that this separation allows for a dynamic approach to networking – something that the increasing disaggregation in IT makes a necessity.

    • Facebook Lauds Terragraph Cost Savings

      Facebook says its Terragraph system could revolutionize service provider economics, insisting the cost point it is targeting for the wireless technology is “significantly” less than that of rival connectivity solutions.

      Announced last month, Terragraph uses unlicensed spectrum in the 60GHz range to provide high-speed connectivity in densely populated communities. (See Facebook Debuts Terragraph & ARIES to Extend Wireless.)

      The social networking giant says it plans to make Terragaph available to service providers through its recently launched Telecom Infra Project (TIP), which is developing open source network technologies in partnership with various telecom operators and vendors. (See Facebook TIPs Telcos Towards Open Source Networks.)

    • AT&T will launch SDN service in 63 countries simultaneously this year, de la Vega says

      Ralph de la Vega, vice chairman of AT&T and CEO of AT&T Business Solutions and AT&T International, told investors during the 44th Annual JP Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference that while he could not name the service yet, it’s something that the company could not have achieved on traditional hardware architectures.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • What the Media and Congress Are Missing on Zika and Poverty

      Somewhere along the way the focus shifted. What began as coordinating a response to Zika that is rooted in smart public health policy and caring for our fellow citizens became a funding fight on Capitol Hill in which many conservatives seem completely divorced from reality—particularly the reality of low-income women and children of color living in the South.

    • Commission may offer defining criteria on hormone disruptors by June

      After a delay of more than two years, the criteria defining hormone disruptors could be presented at the meeting of the College of European Commissioners on 15 June, Le Monde reported on Friday (20 May). EurActiv’s partner Journal de l’Environnement reports.

      Vytenis Andriukaitis, the European Commissioner for Health, had promised MEPs in February to present the criteria for the definition of endocrine (hormone) disruptors by this summer. Their publication was originally planned for December 2013.

      Hormone disruptors are already mentioned in two European regulations, one from 2009 on biocides and the other from 2012 on crop protection products, but they remain undefined.

    • Initiative To Find New Antibiotics Being Launched At WHA

      A new initiative seeking to develop new antibiotic treatments is being launched today at the annual World Health Assembly. The Global Antibiotic Research and Development (GARD) is a partnership between the World Health Organization and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi).

      The partnership has secured the necessary seed funding to build its scientific strategy, initial research and development (R&D) portfolio, and start-up team, according to a DNDi release.

    • Marijuana social network is denied listing on Nasdaq

      The Denver-based social network has 775,000 users from the 24 states where marijuana is legal medicinally (including those states where it’s also legal recreationally), who use the platform to find like-minded people in their area, learn about nearby dispensaries, and follow pot legalization news. MassRoots has said it meets the criteria for listing on Nasdaq—it has a $40 million market capitalization value and “well over 300 shareholders” through over-the-counter markets, according to CNN Money.

      MassRoots alleges that the decision to deny the social media platform a place on Nasdaq was due to the fact that marijuana use and cultivation remains a federal crime. “On May 23, 2016, Nasdaq denied MassRoots’ application to list on its exchange for being cannabis-related,” the company wrote. “We believe this dangerous precedent could prevent nearly every company in the regulated cannabis industry from listing on a national exchange, making it more difficult for cannabis entrepreneurs to raise capital and slow the progression of cannabis legalization in the United States.”

    • WHO Engagement With Outside Actors: Delegates Tight-Lipped, Civil Society Worried

      This week, country delegates meeting at the annual World Health Assembly are expected to come to an agreement on a framework managing the UN World Health Organization’s relationship with outside actors, such as the private sector, philanthropic organisations and civil society groups.

    • Global Health R&D Under Debate At World Health Assembly

      Panellists included David Kaslow, who oversees PATH’s product development partnerships; Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant director-general in charge of the Health Systems and Innovation Cluster at WHO; Suerie Moon, research director and co-chair of the Forum on Global Governance for Health at the Harvard Global Health Institute; Bernard Pécoul, who leads the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi); and Ambassador Guilherme Patriota, the deputy permanent representative of Brazil to the UN organisations in Geneva.

    • Samantha Bee: In the Big Tobacco vs. Little Vape Fight, the Underdog Keeps on Puffing

      New government regulations announced earlier this month may give Big Tobacco a huge advantage over its major competitor—the vape market.

    • GMOs Are Complicated, And Our Food System Is Not Designed To Handle Complicated. That’s A Problem.

      The report comes at an important time in the overall debate about GMOs and their place in the American food system. In a country almost constantly polarized, an overwhelming majority of Americans think that GMOs should be labeled. According to a Pew poll, more than half of Americans believe that GMOs are unsafe. At the same time, proponents of the technology argue that GMOs are safe for human consumption and will help farmers meet growing demands for food, even as population increases and climate change intensifies.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Kerry Threatens War-Without-End on Syria

      Alleged peace-maker John Kerry threatened to wage war-without-end on Syria – if the Middle East country does accept the US demand for regime change.

      That’s hardly the language of a supposed bona fide diplomat who presents an image to the world as a politician concerned to bring about an end to the five-year Syrian conflict.

      The US Secretary of State repeatedly sounds anxious to alleviate the appalling suffering of the Syrian nation, where over the past five years some 400,000 people have been killed and millions displaced as refugees.

    • More Game-Playing on MH-17?

      The West keeps piling the blame for the 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on Russian President Putin although there are many holes in the case and the U.S. government still withholds its evidence, writes Robert Parry.

    • House simmers with criticism for Saudi Arabia

      House lawmakers appear eager for an opportunity to beat up on Saudi Arabia, amid persistent allegations about the kingdom’s support for international terrorism.

      Legislators from both parties took shots at the kingdom during a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, in what could presage a one-sided effort to pass legislation opening the kingdom up to legal jeopardy for alleged activity ahead of 9/11.

      “If a foreign country — any country — can be shown to have significantly supported a terrorist attack on the United States, the victims and their families ought to be able to sue that foreign country, no matter who it is,” said Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), the head of the subcommittee on Terrorism and a co-sponsor of the bill that would allow 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia. “Like any other issue, we should let a jury decide that issue and the damages, if any.”

      “What concerns me is the Saudi government comes to us and say ‘You’re our friend and you should protect us from this statute,’ while defending every day the Wahhabi mullahs who not only preach orthodox practices of Islam, but preach violence and murder against those whom they disagree with,” added Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.)

    • Tony Blair Admits His Ignorance of Middle East; Immediately Calls for New War

      Former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair admitted underestimating “forces of destabilization” in the Middle East when Britain joined the U.S. in invading Iraq in 2003, the Guardian reports, but stopped short of actually apologizing for the U.K.’s role in the Iraq War in remarks at an event on Tuesday.

    • How to Disappear Money, Pentagon-Style

      The United States is on track to spend more than $600 billion on the military this year — more, that is, than was spent at the height of President Ronald Reagan’s Cold War military buildup, and more than the military budgets of at least the next seven nations in the world combined. And keep in mind that that’s just a partial total. As an analysis by the Straus Military Reform Project has shown, if we count related activities like homeland security, veterans’ affairs, nuclear warhead production at the Department of Energy, military aid to other countries, and interest on the military-related national debt, that figure reaches a cool $1 trillion.

    • Kosovo: Hillary Clinton’s Legacy of Terror

      Hillary owns Kosovo – she is not only personally responsible for its evolution from a province of the former Yugoslavia into a Mafia state, she is also the mother of the policy that made its very existence possible and which she carried into her years as Secretary of State under Barack Obama.

      As the “Arab Spring” threatened to topple regimes throughout the Middle East, Mrs. Clinton decided to get on board the revolutionary choo-choo train and hitch her wagon to “moderate” Islamists who seemed like the wave of the future. She dumped Egyptian despot Hosni Mubarak, whom she had previously described as a friend of the family, and supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s bid for power. In Libya, she sided with Islamist rebels out to overthrow Moammar Ghaddafi, celebrating his gruesome death by declaring “We came, we saw, he died.” And in Syria, she plotted with Gen. David Petraeus to get around President Obama’s reluctance to step into the Syrian quagmire by arming Syrian rebels allied with al-Qaeda and other terrorist gangs.

    • Israel’s Army Goes to War With Its Politicians

      IN most countries, the political class supervises the defense establishment and restrains its leaders from violating human rights or pursuing dangerous, aggressive policies. In Israel, the opposite is happening. Here, politicians blatantly trample the state’s values and laws and seek belligerent solutions, while the chiefs of the Israel Defense Forces and the heads of the intelligence agencies try to calm and restrain them.

      Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer last week of the post of defense minister to Avigdor Lieberman, a pugnacious ultranationalist politician, is the latest act in the war between Mr. Netanyahu and the military and intelligence leaders, a conflict that has no end in sight but could further erode the rule of law and human rights, or lead to a dangerous, superfluous military campaign.

      The prime minister sees the defense establishment as a competitor to his authority and an opponent of his goals. Putting Mr. Lieberman, an impulsive and reckless extremist, in charge of the military is a clear signal that the generals’ and the intelligence chiefs’ opposition will no longer be tolerated. Mr. Lieberman is known for ruthlessly quashing people who hold opposing views.

      This latest round of this conflict began on March 24: Elor Azariah, a sergeant in the I.D.F., shot and killed a Palestinian assailant who was lying wounded on the ground after stabbing one of Sergeant Azariah’s comrades. The I.D.F. top brass condemned the killing. A spokesman for Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, the chief of staff, said, “This isn’t the I.D.F., these are not the I.D.F.’s values.”

    • A Worrisome New Plan to Send U.S. Troops to Libya as ‘Advisers’

      The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General James Dunford, said last week that the United States is engaged in a “period of intense dialogue” that could lead to an agreement with the government of Libya that would allow U.S. “military advisers” to be deployed there in the fight against Islamic State.

      “There’s a lot of activity going on underneath the surface,” Dunford told The Washington Post. “We’re just not ready to deploy capabilities yet because there hasn’t been an agreement. And frankly, any day that could happen.”

      This plan should worry every American. If the past is any lesson, the new U.S. military advisers will likely be permanent and will presage a large combat contingent in Libya.

      U.S. military advisers first arrived in Vietnam in 1950, a move that presaged the eventual arrival of 9,087,000 military personnel, and reaching a peak in 1967 of 545,000 combat troops. The last U.S. troops didn’t leave Vietnam until 1975, and only after 58,220 had been killed. U.S. troops entered Kuwait in February 1991 to push invading Iraqi forces out of that country. Twenty-five years later, 13,500 troops remain.

    • Jeremy Scahill: Corporations Are Making a Killing Off US Targeted Killing

      If drone warfare has come up at all this election season, it’s been in passing. The candidates don’t differ much on the use of pilotless drones. But how is the face of war changing, and how do our peace movements need to respond?

      Jeremy Scahill is an award-winning investigative journalist and a founding editor of The Intercept. He’s the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, Dirty Wars (the book and the film), and now The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Program, written with the staff of The Intercept.

    • As Hillary Clinton Defends Her Role in 2009 Coup, Is U.S. Aid to Honduras Adding “Fuel to the Fire”?

      We speak with Annie Bird about Hillary Clinton’s role as secretary of state during the 2009 coup that ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. “There’s no other way to categorize what happened in 2009 other than a military coup with no legal basis,” Bird says. “The U.S. was not willing to cut off assistance to Honduras, and that is the only reason it was not called a coup, a military coup. At the time, activists like Berta called for the assistance to be cut off, and today her children are calling for it to be cut off, because the U.S. assistance is actually adding fuel to the fire and stoking the economic interests of the people behind the coup.”

    • Philippine death squads very much in business as Duterte set for presidency

      On May 14, five days after voters in the Philippines chose Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as their next president, two masked gunmen cruised this southern city’s suburbs on a motorbike, looking for their kill.

      Gil Gabrillo, 47, a drug user, was returning from a cockfight when the gunmen approached. One of them pumped four bullets into Gabrillo’s head and body, killing the small-time trader of goods instantly. Then the motorbike roared off.

      The murder made no headlines in Davao, where Duterte’s loud approval for hundreds of execution-style killings of drug users and criminals over nearly two decades helped propel him to the highest office of a crime-weary land.

      Human rights groups have documented at least 1,400 killings in Davao that they allege had been carried out by death squads since 1998. Most of those murdered were drug users, petty criminals and street children.

    • Insane NRA video warns Iran: Americans are crazier and more violent than ‘flower child’ Obama

      The National Rifle Association wants the government of Iran to take heed: The United States of America is much crazier than President Barack Obama is letting on. In a new video message that’s addressed to the “ayatollahs of Iran and every terrorist you enable,” an NRA supporter warns Iran that the real America is nothing like “our fresh-faced flower child president and his weak-kneed, Ivy League friends.”

    • Obama in Hiroshima: A Case Study in Hypocrisy

      Interestingly, the question of nuclear weapons will likely also not be addressed in a substantive way. There may indeed be some discussion of the subject in general terms, but it will be veiled in the typically flowery, but utterly vacuous, Obama rhetoric. Given the opportunity, an intrepid reporter might venture to ask the President why, despite winning the Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples [and] vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons,” he has presided over an administration that will spend more than $1 trillion upgrading, modernizing, and expanding the US nuclear arsenal.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Scientists Warn of 10C Warming as we “Dial up Earth’s Thermostat”

      So far this year we have had warnings that the Great Barrier reef is “dying on our watch” due to coral bleaching caused by record temperatures; dramatic early seasonal melting of the Arctic Ocean sea ice and Greenland’s massive ice sheet; devastating wild-fires in Canada which are being linked to climate change, and month after month of record temperatures.

    • Trump’s Climate Change Denial Is Already Complicating the Paris Climate Deal

      If Donald Trump wins and pulls the U.S. out of its climate change commitments, some countries wonder, why should they keep their own?

    • Into the Zone

      This is the countryside of Fukushima. Five years after the nuclear meltdown, it remains full of radiation, and virtually empty of people.

    • World could warm by massive 10C if all fossil fuels are burned

      Arctic would warm by as much as 20C by 2300 with disastrous impacts if action is not taken on climate change, warns new study

    • Businessman’s arrest for forest fires is “slap in the face” for Indonesian government

      Tensions between Indonesia and Singapore are simmering as a kerfuffle is developing over the decision by a Singaporean court to grant a warrant to the National Environment Agency (NEA) for an Indonesian businessman suspected of involvement in last year’s forest fires. The warrant was obtained after the businessman, whose identity remains hidden, failed to turn up for an interview with the Singaporean authorities while he was in the city-state.

      The saga took an interesting twist as Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied its counterpart’s repeated claims that a formal complaint against the warrant had been lodged by the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore.

      The reason for Indonesia’s umbrage remains unclear, although implicit in the protest was the notion that Singapore had tried to force Indonesia’s hand in acting against responsible parties for last year’s environmental disaster, which saw much of South East Asia engulfed in a haze. Jakarta’s reaction suggests that it deemed Singapore to have overstepped its scope of action. By contrast, Singapore’s NEA felt that it had every right to prosecute those deemed responsible, based on the 2014 Transboundary Haze Pollution Act.

    • Shock and Awe, The Chevron Way

      With pockets deep enough, you can buy justice. That’s what Chevron assumes since they lost a $9.5 billion verdict at the Supreme Court of Ecuador in 2013. But can Chevron justify their mockery of the justice system at the shareholder meeting on Wednesday, May 25th? Some shareholders are gearing up for a battle.

      The funds from the $9.5 billion judgment are needed to set up a health programme for the tens of thousands of victims of Chevron’s toxic dumping in Ecuador, and to clean up a contaminated part of the Amazon rainforest bigger than Lake District. Chevron left Ecuador years ago, but it “forgot” to take home 16 billion gallons of toxic waste that contaminates streams and rivers relied on by local inhabitants for their drinking water, bathing, and fishing.

    • Ecuador Activist Accuses Chevron of ‘Harassment and Defamation’

      Santiago Escobar began getting death threats after he revealed information against the oil giant. Now he says publications financed by Chevron are trying to smear him.

    • Anti-Frackers Vow Fierce Resistance as UK Goes Back ‘Up for Shale’

      Furious environmental campaigners vowed to fight back on Tuesday after councilors in North Yorkshire approved the UK’s first fracking permit in five years.

      The North Yorkshire County Council on Monday approved Third Energy’s application to frack the fields near the North York Moors National Park—just days after people across the country celebrated five years of being “frack-free.”

    • ExxonMobil tried to censor climate scientists to Congress during Bush era

      ExxonMobil moved to squash a well-established congressional lecture series on climate science just nine days after the presidential inauguration of George W Bush, a former oil executive, the Guardian has learned.

      Exxon’s intervention on the briefings, revealed here for the first time, adds to evidence the oil company was acutely aware of the state of climate science and its implications for government policy and the energy industry – despite Exxon’s public protestations for decades about the uncertainties of global warming science.

      Indeed, the company moved swiftly during the earliest days of the Bush administration to block public debate on global warming and delay domestic and international regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to former officials of the US Global Change Research Program, or USGCRP.

      The Bush White House is now notorious for censoring climate scientists and blocking international action on climate change by pulling the US out of the Kyoto agreement.

    • China’s New Dietary Guidelines Could Be Good News For The Climate

      Chinese food has fans around the world, but in China it’s creating a problem. A recent study found obesity and other diet-related diseases are skyrocketing.

      Recently, the Chinese government took a major step to reverse that trend by issuing a new set of dietary guidelines.

      While dietary experts will weigh in on the nutritional aspects, buried in the pages is a recommendation with potentially huge implications for climate change.

    • Gulf Coast Activist Crashes Shell Meeting to Decry Destruction of Her Home

      Just two weeks after Royal Dutch Shell’s offshore drilling operations released nearly 90,000 gallons of oil into the water off the Louisiana coast, an Indigenous activist from the Gulf region spoke out at Shell’s annual shareholders meeting in the Netherlands on Tuesday, highlighting the company’s history of environmental devastation in the place she calls home.

      “In the late 90s, after learning that their community was plagued by an open-air, toxic, oil-field waste facility, I began documenting my Houma relatives living in a small, mostly American Indian and Cajun community called Grand Bois, located just south of Houma, Louisiana,” Monique Verdin told Common Dreams via email. “As I was taken further and further down the bayous I also became more and more aware of our rapid land loss and the other environmental impacts caused by the oil and gas industry.”

  • Finance

    • Elizabeth Warren Calls On Americans To Fight Wall Street

      On Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) headlined an event that launched a new coalition calling itself “Take On Wall Street.”

      The group includes lawmakers like Warren, Reps. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), labor leaders like the AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka and the AFT’s Randi Weingarten, as well as civil rights groups, community groups, and the organizing giant Move On. It aims to put pressure on lawmakers at all levels to pass stricter rules governing the financial system.

    • Armed with Policy Solutions and Populist Rage, Campaign Vows to ‘Take on Wall Street’

      On Tuesday, a coalition of more than 20 progressive activist and labor groups is launching a new campaign to reform the financial industry.

      The group, Take on Wall Street, aims to utilize public anger at the banking industry and the momentum of the Occupy Wall Street movement, as well as the efforts of groups like the AFL-CIO and Communications Workers of America (CWA), to introduce an agenda that would change the way the financial sector operates.

      Take On Wall Street will formally announce its campaign launch at an event Tuesday night, which will feature a headlining speech by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), an outspoken proponent of financial reform.

    • Obama Overtime Plan Won’t Hurt Businesses, Executives Admit

      Business interest groups and their allies engaged in hyperbolic rhetoric about the supposed negative impact of overtime regulations before they were announced last week. By changing a salary threshold, the new rules will make millions of workers newly eligible to be paid for their overtime hours.

      “Businesses will be forced to look for cuts in the face of such massive costs,” Competitive Enterprise Institute policy analyst Trey Kovacs predicted. Right-wing economist analyst Michael Carr even worried that the overtime rules could help start another recession.

    • Apple, Microsoft and Google hold 23% of all U.S. corporate cash, as tech sector accumulates wealth

      Apple, Microsoft and Google are the top three cash-rich U.S. companies across all sectors of business, not including banks and other financial institutions — holding a combined $391 billion in cash as of the end of 2015, or more than 23 percent of the entire $1.68 trillion held by the nation’s non-financial corporations.

    • McDonald’s ex-CEO: $15/hr minimum wage will unleash the robot rebellion

      For years, economists have been issuing predictions about how automation will impact the world’s job markets, but those studies and guesses have yet to make a call based on what would happen if a given sector’s wages rose. Instead, that specific guesswork mantle has been taken up by a former McDonald’s CEO, who declared on Tuesday that a rise in the American minimum wage will set our nation’s robotic revolution into motion.

      In an appearance on Fox Business’ Mornings with Maria, Ed Rensi claimed that a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour would result in “job loss like you can’t believe” before ceding ground to our new robotic overlords. “I was at the National Restaurant Show yesterday, and if you look at the robotic devices that are coming into the restaurant industry—it’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries.”

    • CEOs Paid 335 Times Average Rank-and-File Worker; Outsourcing Results in Even Higher Inequality

      CEO pay for major U.S. companies continues to soar as income inequality and outsourcing of good-paying American jobs increases. Outsourcing has become a hot presidential election topic with candidates calling out corporations who say they need to save money by sending jobs overseas. Meanwhile, according to the new AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch, the average CEO of an S&P 500 company made $12.4 million per year in 2015 – 335 times more money than the average rank-and-file worker.

    • ‘Desperate’ Verizon Seeks Scabs to Offset Labor Strike

      Telecom giant Verizon has put out an urgent call for temporary employees as the company’s bitter feud with thousands of striking workers enters its seventh week.

      Last month, some 40,000 Verizon technicians and service employees walked off the job after a year of labor negotiations failed to produce a new contract.

      The workers, who are represented by the Communications Workers of America and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, argue that Verizon wants to freeze pensions, slash benefits, and outsource jobs to Mexico and the Philippines. The unions also say that the company has refused to negotiate improvements to wages, benefits and working conditions for a group of Verizon Wireless workers who joined CWA in 2014.

    • Takin’ It to the Streets—Brazilians Protest President’s Ouster

      Another Temer miscue was appointing Brazil’s first all-white, all-male cabinet in seventy years, going back even further than the military dictatorship of 1965-1984. The move, in a land that is majority Afro-Brazilian, has angered and energized women and Afro-Brazilians opposed to Temer’s government.

    • Brazil’s New Government Is Already Planning to Balance the Budget on the Backs of the Poor

      Just days after the Brazilian Senate voted to suspend former President Dilma Rousseff and subject her to an impeachment trial, the country’s new right-wing government is already planning to balance the budget on the backs of the poor.

    • The Embarrassing Referendum

      Personally I remain an EU enthusiast, but I am horrified by the arguments being put forward by the Remain campaign, and even more by the personalities associated with it. I could never display a Remain poster in case people felt I agreed with David Cameron. I strongly suspect that explains the mass public apathy, which friends tell me is no different down south. Whatever their views on the EU, people do not want in any way to be associated with George Osborne, David Cameron, Nick Clegg, Tony Blair or Peter Mandelson on one side, or with Ian Duncan Smith, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson et al on the other.

    • Study confirms that the national press is biased in favour of Brexit

      A new research study has confirmed what most people, including this commentator, knew: national press coverage of EU referendum campaign has been “heavily skewed in favour of Brexit.”

      The bald figures produced by researchers at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism tell the story: 45% of 928 referendum articles it studied were in favour of leaving while 27% backed the remain case.

      Some 19% were categorised as “mixed or undecided” and 9% were designated as adopting no position.

    • Obama Visits Vietnam To Promote TPP. Wait, VIETNAM? Really?

      President Obama is in Vietnam promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Vietnam? Really?

      A year ago the post “Obama To Visit Nike To Promote the TPP. Wait, NIKE? Really?,” noted how Nike pioneered moving jobs out of the country to take advantage of low wages and lack of environmental protections in places like Vietnam, which led to many of the problems in our economy today. It seemed that Nike was possibly the worst company to use to support claims that TPP would benefit the American economy.

    • Sanders Bucks Dem Leaders, Calls for Opposition to Puerto Rico Bill

      In a message to fellow Senate Democratic caucus members, Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Monday called for the defeat of emergency legislation to address Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis.

      A bill introduced last week by House Republicans would require the island territory to give up its budget-making autonomy in exchange for debt relief. The measure has the tentative support of the Obama administration and Democratic leadership.

      Puerto Rico is currently $72 billion in the hole, and already defaulting on financial obligations. Sanders, a presidential hopeful, said in a statement that the proposed initiative would “make a terrible situation even worse.”

    • INTO THE WORLD OF WORK

      What do you need to know – about the new world of work, but also about yourself – as you graduate and launch yourself into the world of work? We made a short film of my last class of the semester, where I speak to graduating seniors about these questions and more. If you’re a graduating senior (or know one) we hope this is helpful.

    • Warren Incensed at GOP Effort to Gut Financial Protections for Retirees

      The Labor Department rule, issued last month, requires financial advisors to adhere to a “fiduciary standard” that places client interests ahead of potential profits for themselves.

    • Armed with Policy Solutions and Populist Rage, Campaign Vows to ‘Take on Wall Street’

      On Tuesday, a coalition of more than 20 progressive activist and labor groups is launching a new campaign to reform the financial industry.

      The group, Take on Wall Street, aims to utilize public anger at the banking industry and the momentum of the Occupy Wall Street movement, as well as the efforts of groups like the AFL-CIO and Communications Workers of America (CWA), to introduce an agenda that would change the way the financial sector operates.

    • Does Venezuela’s Crisis Prove Socialism Doesn’t Work?

      When the price of oil slumped, it was therefore inevitable that Venezuelans would see a downturn. Indeed, in some ways, the current crisis isn’t anything new: Venezuela has experienced boom and bust cycles coinciding with oil prices since the 1970s. With historically high oil prices, Chavez had luck on his side during his golden years, while Maduro has drawn a short straw. However, it’s worth noting that no other petro state in the world is facing the same kind of crisis that has hit Venezuela. Back luck aside, the Maduro administration could avoided the current conditions by reforming monetary policy in 2013 or 2014. While low productivity or anti-government sabotage are issues that can’t be resolved overnight with the wave of a hand, monetary policy could have been shored up in a relatively short period of time. Unlike international oil prices or long term issues like Dutch Disease, the Maduro administration had meaningful agency here, but failed to act. If serious reforms had been enacted, Venezuela would still be facing a nasty downturn, but probably not a fully fledged economic and political crisis. Likewise, even if the oil crash never happened, Venezuela would almost certainly still be heading towards a crisis sometime down the road anyway, largely thanks to failed monetary policy.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The massive scale of the Clintons’ speech-making industry

      Last week, Hillary Clinton’s campaign released her most recent personal financial disclosure, detailing ways in which she and her husband earned money in 2015. Most of their income came from book royalties and giving paid speeches. Bill Clinton, for example, gave a speech to the National Association of Manufacturers in March 2015, being paid $325,000 for his time.

    • LISTEN: Amy Goodman on NPR’s Weekend Edition

      NPR’s Scott Simon asks Amy Goodman about Bernie Sanders’ chances of getting the delegates he needs to claim the Democratic nomination.

    • Americans’ Dislike for Trump and Clinton Bolsters Sanders’ Superdelegate Pitch

      Most Americans can’t stand the frontrunner of either major political party, a new NBC News/Survey Monkey poll released Tuesday has found.

      Almost 60 percent of respondents said they “dislike” or “hate” Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, and 63 percent said the same about Republican nominee Donald Trump.

      In fact, the poll found that the roughly one-third of respondents on either side of the political aisle were voting for their candidate solely to defeat the other nominee.

    • Why I Am #NeverHillary

      It’s one hell of a choice. The more I delve into Donald Trump and his past (to research my biography, which comes out in June), the more scared I get. Nevertheless, there is no way I’ll vote for Hillary. I won’t vote for her if she stops shaking down rich right-wing Republicans for donations. I won’t vote for her if she adopts Bernie’s platform. I won’t vote for her if she names Bernie her vice president. I won’t even vote for her if Bernie invites me to spend the summer with him and Jane in Vermont.

      #NeverHillary. That’s me.

      There are millions of us.

    • Bernie’s not-so-secret-weapon

      For months, Bernie Sanders and his supporters have pointed to polls that show him running comfortably ahead of Donald Trump in November. But now that Hillary Clinton’s lead over Trump has disappeared — and the two likely nominees are now running neck-and-neck in national polls — his argument is gaining new resonance.

      Clinton and her campaign argue that the Vermont senator hasn’t undergone the kind of scrutiny that Clinton and Trump have — and that his poll numbers are over-inflated compared to candidates who have faced intense political attacks from the other party.

    • I watched Hillary Clinton’s forces swipe Nevada: This is what the media’s not telling you

      It probably wasn’t the best time for me to go to Vegas. My beloved father had just died the week before, and I was feeling hazy and vulnerable, prone to weeping at the slightest provocation. Grief made me feel like I had no skin and no brain; grief had turned me into a cloud, and I was in that floaty state when I got on the plane with my husband—a state delegate headed to the Nevada Democratic Convention—and our 6-year-old son. I wasn’t sure what would happen once we got to Vegas, whether all the lights and bells would hammer me back into my body, or whether I would drift even further away from myself, hover like the cigarette smoke over the casino floor.

      I had wanted to be a delegate, myself, but knew I was going to be out of town during the county convention in April, so I didn’t put my hat in the ring at the February caucus, where I had served as a precinct captain for Bernie. It was my first election season in Nevada, my first caucus, and the whole process seemed wild to me, taking what was normally such a private experience—voting quietly in an individual booth—and turning it into a political game of Red Rover, people taking sides in a room, trying to sway folks to come over to their side, their candidate; it was a civil game in our precinct, but I could see how easily things could turn nasty. I was grateful my husband had volunteered himself to be a county delegate, and was excited when he got the email that he was chosen to be a state delegate, as well. Nevada has a strange three-tier system—Hillary had won a majority at the February caucus, but more Bernie delegates showed up at the county caucus, negating Hillary’s win, so the race for delegates at the state convention promised to be a tight one. I looked forward to seeing the process in action; I never expected that process would become so chaotic and surreal, although I had become used to surreal of late.

      We arrived late Friday night and all around me, women were dressed to the nines and looking miserable. My heart broke for them. I wanted to know their stories; why were they so unhappy? The weight of crumbling expectations seemed to fill the smoky air. I found myself sending little silent affirmations to all these sad, fancy women—You are beautiful, I beamed to them. It will be okay. Perhaps I was channeling my dad, who always did whatever he could to make people feel better about themselves.

    • Study: One Out Of Every 178 Posts To Chinese Social Media Is Government Propaganda

      In Russia, we’ve talked about how Vladimir Putin employs a massive army of Internet trolls to ridicule and shout down political opponents and critics. In China, the government’s tactics are notably different. According to a new study out of Harvard (pdf), the Chinese government posts about 488 million fake social media comments — or roughly one day of Twitter’s total global volume — each year. In China, these propagandists have historically been dubbed the “50 Cent Party,” because it was generally believed they were paid 50 Chinese cents for every social media post.

    • Across Europe, distrust of mainstream political parties is on the rise

      The narrow defeat – by just 0.6 percentage points – of the nationalist Freedom party’s Norbert Hofer in this week’s Austrian presidential elections has focused attention once more on the rise of far-right parties in Europe.

      But despite what some headlines might claim, it is oversimplifying things to say the far right is suddenly on the march across an entire continent. In some countries, the hard right’s share of the vote in national elections has been stable or declined.

      In others – particularly the nations of southern Europe, which, with memories of fascism and dictatorship still very much alive, have proved reluctant to flirt with rightwing extremism – it is the far left that is advancing.

      Some rightwing populist parties are relatively new, but others have been a force to be reckoned with for many years now, sometimes – as in France – enjoying a large share of the vote but being unable, as yet, to break through nationally.

    • Bernie Sanders Draws Thousands at ‘A Future to Believe In’ Rally

      The California primary is only eight days away, and Bernie Sanders isn’t slowing down.

      If anything, the 74-year-old Vermont Senator is picking up the pace as he tours California this week, stopping at as many as three cities a day for rallies and events.

      On Monday night, Sanders held a rally on the football field of Santa Monica High School in Santa Monica, Calif. The Sanders campaign estimated a turnout of 10,000 people—and the numbers may have swelled to more than that, considering the vast numbers of people who turned up but couldn’t fit inside the football field. Sanders told ABC News that he hopes to speak with “200,000 Californians at rallies statewide.”

    • Tim Canova on Bernie Sanders’ Endorsement, Challenging Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Video)

      Canova, a lawyer and activist who supported the Occupy Wall Street movement and opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, among other causes, recently received a big boost in the form of an endorsement from Sen. Bernie Sanders, with whom Canova has worked previously. Sanders’ backing has helped Canova’s cause, both financially and in terms of publicity, as has the scrutiny focused on Wasserman Schultz in the ongoing controversy about her leadership of the DNC vis-a-vis Sanders’ and Hillary Clinton’s bids for the Democratic presidential nomination.

    • Elites vs. Too Much Democracy: Andrew Sullivan’s Afraid of Popular Self-Government

      British expatriate writer Andrew Sullivan recently returned to the public eye with a piece that has aroused considerable comment, some of it reasonably on point, and some bloviatingly incoherent.

      What is all the fuss about? Sullivan, in critiquing the Donald Trump phenomenon and the political factors that gave rise to it, makes a few good points, but buries them under a ridiculous premise: The culprit responsible for Trump is too much democracy, and the cure is more elite control of the political process.

    • Sanders: Yes, A Convention About Real Issues Might Be ‘Messy’

      DNC should focus on welcoming energized newcomers, not attending private fundraisers hosted by big donors and corporate lobbyists

    • The BBC has lost touch: here’s how it could re-connect

      A filmmaker advises BBC news staff on how to better engage with the harsh realities of life for many in Britain.

    • Hillary’s Cowgirl Diplomacy?

      Like Obama, Hillary Clinton is a liberal internationalist and a strong believer in American exceptionalism, meaning she is convinced that the world looks to America for leadership, that US involvement everywhere is unavoidable as well as desirable, that US-based multinational corporations are a positive force for global development, and that the US should be ready to commit force in support of humanitarian ideals and American values—but not necessarily in accordance with US or international laws—as much as because of concrete strategic interests. It’s the traditional marriage of realism and idealism that we find in every president (though a Trump presidency would drop the idealism). But each president, as Henry Kissinger once said, inclines somewhat to one side or the other, and in Hillary Clinton’s case, she is more the realist than Obama—more prepared, that is, to commit US power, unilaterally if she believes necessary, in support of a very broad conception of national security.

    • Shock Poll: Sanders Ahead of Trump by 15 Points, Hillary Just by 3

      A shocker. A new NBC News/Wall St Journal poll has Bernie up 54 to 39 over Donald Trump.

      Meanwhile, according to the same poll, Hillary Clinton no longer has a double digit lead over Donald Trump like she did just a month ago — her lead over Trump is just 3 points.

    • Sanders Endorses Down-Ticket Democrats Running for ‘Bold Change’

      “These candidates are standing up against the wealthy interests and biggest corporations, and putting working families first.”

    • Green Party’s Jill Stein Shares Her “Plan B” for Bernie Sanders Supporters: A Green New Deal

      As Bernie Sanders’ voters begin facing the question of whether or not to support Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton if she becomes the party’s nominee, many of his supporters have pledged never to support her. In fact, voters in both major parties are seeking alternatives in this year’s presidential election — and third-party candidates are seeing an explosion in social media interest in their campaigns.

    • Donald Trump: He can’t win, can he?

      In a book published in 2004, Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington argued that Latino immigration was endangering the American way of life. Trump has campaigned on a shrill version of the same sinister idea.

    • Progressive women are running for office all over the country

      Hillary Clinton’s bid to become the first woman president has gotten far more attention in the media, but there are hundreds of female candidates running for office in 2016. And although Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is rightly credited for calling attention to the fundamental unfairness of our rigged economic and political systems, inspiring women such as Zephyr Teachout, Pramila Jayapal and Lucy Flores are carrying the mantle of progressive populism in congressional races across the country. Notably, Sanders has endorsed and fundraised for all three women in their upcoming primaries, recognizing them as important allies in the battle to create progressive change.

    • ‘Fighting For Every Last Delegate,’ Sanders Requests Kentucky Primary Recanvass

      A recanvass is not the same thing as a recount “but a review of the voting totals,” notes AP.

      If the process finds that Sanders actually won the primary, it would mean that one delegate will go to Sanders instead of Clinton.

    • Sanders campaign requests Kentucky vote recanvass

      Clinton holds 1,924-vote lead over Sanders out of 454,573 votes cast…

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Web Sheriff Abuses DMCA In Weak Attempt To Hide Info Under UK High Court Injunction, Fails Miserably

      Last week, Twitter engaged in some dubious behavior on behalf of a few super-secret someones who’d rather the press didn’t discuss their sexual activity. Twitter was apparently firing off “letters of warning” to users who had dared break an injunction issued by the UK Supreme Court forbidding anyone in the media from discussing a threesome involving a prominent British celebrity.

      There was very little legal force behind the “warning letters” (despite threats from local authorities) and Twitter users were under no obligation to comply with the company’s request. The fact that Twitter even bothered to issue these highlights the utter futility of injunctions/super-injunctions of this variety, which are really just a way for British citizens of a certain level of importance to control local media. It doesn’t really matter if the UK’s highest court upholds a super-injunction if it has no way of enforcing it beyond its super-limited purview.

    • Fantastic: Now British Firms Are Getting In On The Bogus Website/Bogus DMCA Notice Scam

      Here we go again: intellectual property laws being abused to silence critics. In this case — which resembles the tactics exposed by Pissed Consumer recently — bogus copyright claims contained in bogus DMCA notices are being used to remove negative reviews from websites.

      In this case, it’s a British firm — one that first tried to abuse that country’s oft-abused defamation laws.

    • Glenn Beck and other conservatives are in denial about Facebook censorship — so how do we fight back?

      Twitter was recently caught for shadowbanning conservatives and now it’s been leaked that Facebook is equally biased. You can’t have right wing opinions anywhere these days without mass amounts of backlash and censorship.

    • Mapping Media Freedom marks second year of monitoring censorship in Europe

      Journalists have been murdered and burned in effigy. Reporters have been publicly discredited by government officials, prosecuted for under anti-terrorism laws and excluded from public meetings on the refugee crisis. We’ve even recorded journalists being menaced with mechanical diggers.

      Mapping Media Freedom launched to the public on 24 May 2014 to monitor media censorship and press freedom violations throughout Europe. Two years on, the platform has verified over 1,800 incidents, ranging from insults and cyberbullying to physical assaults and assassination.

    • Google To France: No You Don’t Get To Censor The Global Internet

      As we’ve been covering here at Techdirt, French regulators have been pushing Google to censor the global internet whenever it receives “right to be forgotten” requests. If you don’t recall, two years ago, there was a dangerous ruling in the EU that effectively said that people could demand Google remove certain links from showing up when people searched on their names. This “right to be forgotten” is now being abused by a ton of people trying to hide true information they just don’t like being known. Google grudgingly has agreed to this, having little choice to do otherwise. But it initially did so only on Google’s EU domain searches. Last year, a French regulator said that it needed to apply globally. Google said no, explaining why this was a “troubling development that risks serious chilling effects on the web.”

      French regulators responded with “don’t care, do it!” Google tried to appease the French regulators earlier this year with a small change where even if you went to Google.com, say, from France (rather than the default of Google.fr), Google would still censor the links based on your IP address. And, again, the French regulators said not good enough, and told Google it needed to censor globally. It also issued a fine.

    • Timeline of Amos Yee’s latest arrest by the Singapore Police Force over Section 298 of penal code

      TOC understands that Amos has uploaded a video titled “Refuting Islam With Their Own Quran” on 19 May 2016. The video is taken off of Youtube within an hour (possibly for violating Youtube community standards). Amos then re-uploads the video on Vimeo.

    • EU:s EPP group calls for Internet censorship

      If we introduce far-reaching online censorship you can be absolutely sure that it will be extended beyond its’ original purpose.

    • Myanmar court convicts man over penis tattoo poem

      A court in Myanmar has sentenced a young poet to six months in jail for defaming former president Thein Sein, making him one of the first political activists sentenced since Nobel peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi took power in April.

      Maung Saung Kha, 23, used his Facebook account to publish a poem about having a tattoo of a president on his penis. He was charged for defaming Thein Sein under telecommunications laws, used to curb free speech in several other recent cases.

    • Mohawk Regional releases yearbooks in censorship flap; will reprint page that was removed

      The yearbook was supposed to have been released on Friday, but was held back at the last minute by Superintendent Michael Buoniconti, who had previously ordered a single page cut from each book so as not to “harm the well-being of several students.”

      The page contained a photograph of former teacher Ivan Grail, who earlier this year was accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with students, said Sarah Wunsch, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

      Grail was placed on paid leave in March. His current employment status is not known. Buoniconti did not respond to an email and telephone message from The Republican seeking comment.

    • Lessons in Censorship

      Public schools, we all agree, should teach civics and promote democracy, including respect for constitutional rights. Unfortunately, regardless of the official curriculum, schools routinely teach students through censorship and punishment that those in charge decide what may be said.

      In Lessons in Censorship: How Schools and Courts Subvert Students’ First Amendment Rights, George Washington University law professor Catherine Ross presents and analyzes dozens of legal cases concerning the free speech rights of students in K-12 public schools. She also provides a convincing critique of the state of the law, an urgent warning about what students experience in school, and concrete suggestions for protecting student speech.

      Ross does not address censorship of college students, which has been much in the news over the past year. But her book is an important reminder that censorship of students begins long before they get to college. She organizes her presentation around five key U.S. Supreme Court decisions.

    • Censorship or justified Concern?

      While the University accepted that the proposed conference was a legitimate academic event, it became increasingly concerned by the end of March 2015 that the conference speakers had a ‘distinct leaning’ to one point of view (essentially anti-Israel) rather than the original intention of a balanced exchange of views, and more significantly that there was an unacceptably high risk of disorder if the conference were to go ahead.

    • Campus censorship is holding women back

      That a significant proportion of female students is willingly supporting censorship is very depressing. But it’s hardly surprising. The vast majority of censorship on campus is aimed at protecting women from offence. spiked’s 2016 Free Speech University Rankings (FSUR) found that almost a third of UK universities banned the Sun and the Daily Star, as part of the No More Page 3 campaign, and 25 banned the controversial pop song ‘Blurred Lines’. All of this is done in the name of cleansing campus of ‘demeaning’ representations of women.

    • Facebook changes policies on Trending Topics after activist accused site of right-wing censorship – and blames any bias on rogue employees
    • Facebook Censorship Concerns Could Hurt Engagement, Advertising Dollars
    • Facebook denies systemic bias in Trending Topics but changes how they are chosen
    • Facebook Makes ‘Trending Topic’ Change Following Conservative Backlash
    • Facebook Inc makes changes to ‘Trending Topics’ policies after conservative criticism
    • Facebook’s ‘sweeping’ reforms to trending topics won’t actually change much
    • Facebook tweaks ‘Trending Topics’ policy: Will it restore faith in neutrality?
    • Facebook denies ‘systematic’ content bias, but admits possibility of rogue employees
    • Facebook Trending Topics Will Undergo Changes Following Allegations of Political Bias
    • Facebook is tweaking Trending Topics to counter charges of bias
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Another Court Finds FBI’s NIT Warrants To Be Invalid, But Credits Agents’ ‘Good Faith’ To Deny Suppression

      Yet another court has found that the warrant used by the FBI in the Playpen child porn investigation is invalid, rendering its NIT-assisted “search” unconstitutional. As USA Today’s Brad Heath points out, this is at least the sixth court to find that Rule 41′s jurisdictional limitations do not permit warrants issued in Virginia to support searches performed all over the nation.

      While the court agrees that the warrant is invalid, it places the blame at the feet of the magistrate judge who issued it, rather than the agents who obtained it.

    • British govt hackers report vulnerabilities to Apple [Ed: Yet another one of those “saves the day” puff pieces]

      Britain’s main spy agency has reported two serious operating system vulnerabilites to Apple, as concerns over government stockpiling of zero-day exploits continue.

    • Huge Scale Of Road Camera Surveillance Revealed

      The massive scale of surveillance cameras on the UK’s roads has been revealed in new figures obtained by Sky News.

      Automatic number plate recognition – or ANPR – technology uses cameras to scan number plates and log car journeys.

      Whenever a car passes a camera, its registration is scanned and added to a central database, accessible by police forces.

    • Consumers Demanding Online Privacy in Light of Snowden Leaks

      He pointed to companies in Germany that market their social networking services by underscoring their commitment to enhanced privacy, meaning that the security of personal information has become something that can be sold.

    • The U.S. Surveillance State

      It was the most significant government leak since the Pentagon Papers and revealed an unprecedented level of spying by the U.S. state on the American people and those far beyond the America’s borders. We’ll feature highlights from the Academy Award-winning documentary film “Citizenfour” about whistleblower Edward Snowden and his revelations of massive NSA surveillance.

    • Where The 2016 Candidates Stand On Cybersecurity And Civil Liberties

      While Trump wants to strengthen the government’s surveillance and cyberattack capabilities, the Democrats have fought for civil liberties.

    • Pentagon Whistleblower’s Disclosures Put a Lie to Obama, Clinton Claims About Snowden

      Mark Hertsgaard broke the story of Pentagon whistleblower John Crane in his new book, “Bravehearts: Whistle-Blowing in the Age of Snowden.” The book details how senior Pentagon officials may have broken the law to punish National Security Agency whistleblower Thomas Drake for leaking information about waste, mismanagement and surveillance. “I think that’s what’s important about John Crane’s story, is it puts the lie to what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are saying and have been saying about Edward Snowden from the beginning,” Hertsgaard said.

    • ‘Lots of surprises inside’: Activist David Miranda tells RT about planned mass Snowden file leak

      On August 18, 2013, Miranda’s life was turned upside down when he was detained at London’s Heathrow Airport for 12 hours under anti-terrorism laws. This came after his partner Glenn Greenwald had published numerous documents released by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

      Now the Brazilian-born Miranda says the public has the right to “see what is inside” the documents, which he plans to leak within the next few weeks, despite coming under pressure from governments not to publish the files.

    • Edward Snowden wants you to give a damn about privacy

      In October last year the Government passed the metadata legislation, with bipartisan support, that forces all telecommunications companies to keep the records of their customers for two years.

    • A new study shows how government-collected “anonymous” data can be used to profile you

      After Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, showed the world that intelligence agencies in the US and the UK were monitoring call records on a massive scale, there was a collective gasp, but then mostly silence. There was outrage at the discovery that elected governments had been snooping on law-abiding citizens, but there was also confusion about what information, exactly, those governments were gathering, and what they could use it for.

    • We Asked Edward Snowden if Online Privacy Has Improved Since His Massive NSA Leak

      This Friday, May 27, HBO will air a new episode from season four of our Emmy-winning show. On the last episode, we met the team of female volunteers working to eradicate polio in Pakistan, as well as expert disposal teams trying to detonate unexploded land mines in Southeast Asia. This week we head to Russia to meet Edward Snowden to discuss the current state of digital privacy and government surveillance in America.

    • Scoop: VICE on HBO on Friday, May 27, 2016

      “State of Surveillance” The show is also available on HBO NOW, HBO GO and HBO On Demand. NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked details of massive government surveillance programs in 2013, igniting a raging debate over digital privacy and security. That debate came to a head this year, when Apple fought an FBI court order seeking to access the iPhone of alleged San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook. Meanwhile, journalists and activists are under increasing attack from foreign agents.

    • NSA Whistleblowers Before Snowden Illegally Suppressed By Pentagon
    • FSB’s Snowden War:Using the American NSA against Itself [Ed: The idea that if one distrusts corporate/Western media, then one is fooled by Russia and alternative media is “Russian propaganda”]

      It is important to note that this form of intelligence media propaganda is not effective in isolation. It was not Russian propaganda that caused widespread distrust of the US government. However, the FSB and Russian media conglomerates are able to effectively profit from the damning Snowden disclosures by casting the US in a suspicious, negative light, while at the same time minimizing its own supposed flaws and political sins. More study should be devoted in future to this softer but still significant aspect of US-Russian relational conflict.

    • Observations and thoughts on the LinkedIn data breach

      Last week there was no escaping news of the latest data breach. The LinkedIn hack of 2012 which we thought had “only” exposed 6.5M password hashes (not even the associated email addresses so in practice, useless data), was now being sold on the dark web. It was allegedly 167 million accounts and for a mere 5 bitcoins (about US$2.2k) you could jump over to the Tor-based trading site, pay your Bitcoins and retrieve what is one of the largest data breaches ever to hit the airwaves.

      But this is not a straightforward incident for many reasons and there are numerous issues raised by the data itself and the nature of the hack. I’ve had a heap of calls and emails from various parties doing stories on it over the last week so I thought I’d address some of those queries here and add my own thoughts having now seen the data. I’ll also talk about Have I been pwned (HIBP) and the broader issue of searchable breach data.

    • Five Years of Cookie Law: Politicians’ good intentions and incompetence create security, privacy nightmare

      Five years with the “cookie law”, taking effect in 2011, shows how politicians’ good intentions – when coupled with incompetence – can create a security and privacy nightmare. It was supposed to give users choice, privacy, and security. Its effect, over and above causing developer facedesks and headaches, has been the exact opposite.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Cocky-Doody Politics and World Affairs

      Truman, for instance, on civil rights: “I think one man is as good as another so long as he’s honest and decent and not a nigger or a Chinaman.” (He regularly referred to Jews as kikes, to Mexicans as greasers.)

      When Oppenheimer expressed to Truman his misgivings about having developed the atomic bombs, the president told his chief of staff, “I don’t want to see that son of a bitch in this office ever again.” He later called Oppenheimer a “crybaby scientist”.

    • Federal Judge Catches DOJ Lying, Sanctions Lawyers With Mandatory Ethics Classes

      The lies the DOJ told involve a 2014 DHS directive that changed its handling of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The DOJ told the court and opposing counsel that no action under the new guidelines would commence until February 2015. These statements were made both orally (January 15, 2015) and in a filing (December 19, 2014). But in reality, the guidelines were already being used to process immigrants, resulting in over 100,000 modified DACA applications being granted or renewed by the DHS prior to either of these statements.

      This was caught by the court in April 2015, but the DOJ insisted its statements weren’t lies, but rather the “innocent mistakes” of poorly-informed counsel, shifting the blame towards the DHS. Months later, the real truth has come out.

      [...]

      This isn’t the DOJ lying about a minor procedural detail. This is the DOJ lying about the DACA modification central to the states’ lawsuit against the US government. To purposely mislead the court and the defendants about the status of DACA applicants cannot be waved away with claims of foggy memories. It also cannot be waved away with claims that the DOJ had no idea so many applicants were already being processed using guidelines still being contested in federal court.

      [...]

      Unfortunately, the court is limited to what it can do in response to the DOJ’s misconduct. Holding the DOJ responsible for the involved states’ legal fees would result in the participating states effectively paying their own legal fees. It would be nothing more than moving around money collected from taxpayers and, thanks to federal taxes, robbing plaintiffs to pay plaintiffs. Instead, Judge Hanen has ordered that any DOJ lawyer who has — or will — appear in the courts of the 26 states involved in the lawsuit attend legal ethics courses. The courses will be provided by a legal agency unaffiliated with the DOJ, and the DOJ itself will be required to provide annual reports to the court confirming these courses are being attended.

    • 1,000 fake 999 calls by G4S to raise performance figures

      Another day another scandal at G4S, this time it has been claimed that staff made fake calls to a 999 emergency contact centre to ensure they met targets of answering 92 per cent of calls within ten seconds.

      This dire situation took place between November and December 2015 reports the Daily Mirror.

      There have been five staff who are now on suspension after they supposedly made over a thousand “test calls” at quiet times to ensure they were picked up quickly.

    • Judge Rules Edward Nero ‘Not Guilty’ in Freddie Gray Case, but Social Media Disagrees

      A judge has found Officer Edward Nero not guilty on all charges in the Freddie Gray case on Monday, but many on social media disagreed with the verdict.

      Nero was one of six Baltimore police officers charged in the 2015 arrest and death of Gray. Nero was accused of assault, misconduct in office and reckless endangerment.

    • Oklahoma’s Insane Rush to Execute

      Ever since the dramatic last-minute halt of the execution of Richard Glossip in Oklahoma last fall, exactly what happened that day has remained a mystery. In Washington, D.C., the U.S. Supreme Court had given the green light for Oklahoma to proceed with the execution using a protocol the justices had upheld just months before, in Glossip v. Gross. Outside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary that afternoon, Glossip’s lawyers, his family, and members of the press were all convinced the execution was imminent. Inside, witnesses thought they were about to be escorted to the death chamber. Glossip, meanwhile, stood in his boxer shorts inside a holding cell, waiting to be taken to the gurney.

      Instead, just before 4 p.m. on September 30, 2015, Gov. Mary Fallin — who had repeatedly denied relief for Glossip despite his vociferous claims of innocence — suddenly intervened, stopping the execution while making an embarrassing admission: The state did not have the correct execution drug in its possession. In a short statement, Fallin announced a temporary stay of 37 days to determine whether a drug named potassium acetate was “compliant” with the state’s lethal injection protocol.

    • When a Killer Cop Retires: The Resignation of Dante Servin

      On May 19, organizers and community members around the United States engaged in #SayHerName actions in support of women and femmes who have been harmed by state violence. This national day of action should have coincided with the start of the termination proceedings for Dante Servin, the Chicago police officer who murdered 22-year-old Rekia Boyd on March 22, 2012. Instead, Servin resigned on May 17, two days before an evidentiary hearing was scheduled to begin: as the last stage in his firing process.

    • The “Moscow Consensus”: Constructing autocracy in post-Soviet Eurasia

      Across the former Soviet Union, a new type of authoritarianism has become the default — with commerce, parliaments, military, media and civil society used to consolidate elite economic and political power.

    • T.S.A. Replaces Security Chief as Tension Grows at Airports and Agency

      Facing a backlash over long security lines and management problems, the head of the Transportation Security Administration shook up his leadership team on Monday, replacing the agency’s top security official and adding a new group of administrators at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

      In an email to staff members, Peter V. Neffenger, the T.S.A. administrator, announced a series of changes that included the removal of Kelly Hoggan, who had been the assistant administrator for the Office of Security Operations since 2013.

      Beginning late that year, Mr. Hoggan received $90,000 in bonuses over a 13-month period, even though a leaked report from the Department of Homeland Security showed that auditors were able to get fake weapons and explosives past security screeners 95 percent of the time in 70 covert tests.

    • How Anti-White Rhetoric Is Fueling White Nationalism

      I opened Twitter recently and saw 20+ notifications. Most of the time that means the new generation of white nationalist Twitter trolls are filling my feed with racist and anti-Semitic cartoons. It was the trolls, but this was different. They were celebrating my use of the word “anti-white” in a tweet. They saw it as a victory that a “mainstream conservative” was using this term that for so long has been their calling card.

      They had a point. Until recently I would have been unlikely to use the term. Not because I didn’t believe some people harbored animosity towards whites, but because that was a fringe attitude removed from power, which represented little real threat. That is no longer the case. Progressive rhetoric on race has turned an ugly corner and the existence of “anti-white” attitudes can no longer be ignored.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Freedom of choice of terminal, key issue for Net Neutrality

      La Quadrature du Net publishes an article from Benjamin Bayart, member of the Strategic Directions Council of La Quadrature du Net. This article was written on behalf of the Federation FDN and was initially plublished in French here.

    • Transition Of Core Internet Functions (IANA) Oversight From US Government No Done Deal

      Will the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) be able to handover oversight over the management of the DNS root zone and other core databases of the internet in September? At a hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee in Washington today, proponents and opponents showed off and Senator Marco Rubio, former presidential candidate, strongly supported a delay.

    • Reddit, Mozilla, Others Urge FCC To Formally Investigate Broadband Usage Caps And Zero Rating

      We’ve noted how the FCC’s latest net neutrality rules do a lot of things right, but they failed to seriously address zero rating or broadband usage caps, opening the door to ISPs violently abusing net neutrality — just as long as they’re relatively clever about it. And plenty of companies have been walking right through that open door. Both Verizon and Comcast for example now exempt their own streaming services from these caps, giving them an unfair leg up in the marketplace. AT&T meanwhile is now using usage caps to force customers to subscribe to TV services if they want to enjoy unlimited data.

      In each instance you’ve got companies using usage caps for clear anti-competitive advantage, while industry-associated think tanks push misleading studies and news outlet editorials claiming that zero rating’s a great boon to consumers and innovation alike.

      The FCC’s net neutrality rules don’t ban usage caps or zero rating, unlike rules in Chile, Slovenia, Japan, India, Norway and The Netherlands. The FCC did however state that the agency would examine such practices on a “case by case” basis under the “general conduct” portion of the rules. But so far, that has consisted of closed door meetings and a casual, informal letter sent to a handful of carriers as part of what the FCC says is an “information exercise,” not a formal inquiry.

    • Medium, Mozilla, and Kickstarter Signed a Letter Against Zero-Rating

      A coalition of leading open internet advocates is pressuring federal regulators to crack down on the controversial broadband industry practice of “zero-rating,” calling it a threat to net neutrality, the principle that all content on the internet should be equally accessible.

      Zero-rating refers to a variety of practices that broadband companies use to exempt certain internet content and services from data caps, effectively favoring those services by giving consumers an economic incentive to use them instead of rival offerings.

    • AT&T Begins Capping Broadband Users Today

      Just a reminder to AT&T customers: the company’s usage caps on U-Verse broadband connections take effect today. When AT&T originally announced broadband caps on fixed-line connections back in 2011, it capped DSL customers at 150 GB per month and U-Verse customers at 250 GB per month. But while the DSL customer cap was enforced (by and large because AT&T wants these users to migrate to wireless anyway), AT&T didn’t enforce caps for its U-Verse customers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • What does the timing of the US Defend Trade Secrets Act and EU Trade Secrets Directive really mean for companies? [Ed: Those who promote UPC (for big foreign corporations, AmeriKat in this case) also promote ‘law’ for corporations to punish staff]

      So with two new trade secrets laws on both sides of the Atlantic, what does this really mean for companies seeking to protect and enforce their valuable trade secrets?

    • Copyrights

      • Australia Officially Abandons Three Strikes Anti-Piracy Scheme

        After indications earlier this year that copyright holders and ISPs were having serious problems reaching agreement on who will pay for the three-strikes anti-piracy regime, the project has now officially been canned. In a letter to the Australian Media and Communications Authority, the Communications Alliance and rightsholders have confirmed its demise.

      • Hollywood Withdraws Funding for UK Anti-Piracy Group FACT

        The UK’s Federation Against Copyright Theft has received a major blow after the Motion Picture Association advised the anti-piracy group it will not renew its membership. The termination of the 30-year long relationship means that FACT will lose 50% of its budget and the backing of the six major Hollywood movie studios.

      • Hollywood Writers: Set-top Box Piracy Fears Are Overblown

        Copyright holders and cable companies are fiercely against FCC’s plan to open up the set-top box market. They fear that this will facilitate piracy and degrade security. As a notable exception, the Writers Guild of America West contradicts these concerns, arguing that more choice for consumers is likely to benefit all sides.

      • How Piracy Became a Cause Celebre in the World of Academics

        In October 2008, two of the big names in academic publishing, Elsevier and Thieme, celebrated victory against an “international piracy scheme involving the unlawful copying, sale, and distribution of scientific journals.”

        In the defeated scheme, a Vietnamese entrepreneur had used throwaway email accounts to pose as a salesman. He contacted academics, offering discounted access to subscription journals. The unsuspecting marks made payment through fake websites that mimicked the publishers’, and received paper printouts of the journals in the mail.

        Now, another international piracy scheme commands the attention of Elsevier—but this one looks more like a Silicon Valley startup than a black market.

      • Sony Thinks It Can Charge An ‘Administrative Fee’ For Fair Use

        Mitch Stoltz, over at EFF, has been writing about a ridiculous situation in which Sony Music has been using ContentID to take down fair use videos — and then to ask for money to put them back up. As Stoltz notes, the videos in question are clearly fair use. They’re videos of lectures put on by the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association, teaching people about bluegrass music. They’re hourlong lectures in a classroom setting, that do include snippets of music here and there as part of a lecture, with the music usually less than 30 seconds long.

05.24.16

The Media Starts Informing the European Public About the Downsides of UPC While EPO Accelerates Its Lobbying for Ratification

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hoping it will be too late and too hard to rescind this antidemocratic scheme?

EPO UPC promotion

Summary: The EPO’s shameless UPC promotion takes another step forward as the European press outlets (even television channels) begin to explore the secret deal that’s negotiated by patent lawyers (with corporate clients) and patent offices, not the public or any public interest groups

More UPC lobbying was caught by us just earlier today. This kind of lobbying (totally antidemocratic and by an unaccountable entity above the law) was coming from the EPO's PR department. The UPC and EPO should be seen as increasingly inseparable. The management of the EPO is trying to change the system in favour of large corporations (not even European ones), clearly at the expense of ordinary European citizens and even patent examiners, board members, etc. The public will sooner or later find out about it, just as it found out about ISDS and what it really meant to ordinary citizens, as opposed to large corporations (global corporations can sue local governments overseas, i.e. claim damages from citizens overseas for alleged losses due to policy/representatives).

“The management of the EPO is trying to change the system in favour of large corporations (not even European ones), clearly at the expense of ordinary European citizens and even patent examiners, board members, etc.”We are seeing more about the UPC in the press. Coverage in Italy, for example, was mentioned here earlier this month. One reader told us that “the program on Italian television [on] patents and EPO has caught some attention and even some alarmed reaction. So far it is still all under the radar but the authors of the show are known to follow up their investigations consistently. The program (15 May) had just a significant part on EPO and its obscure behavior, even an examiner got interviewed anonymously, but it has been mainly reporting on the perverse development that patents in general have become, including a critical view on UPC. So in general EPO remained an important part of the program, but not its main focus.”

There may be more coming, not just from Italian national television. How deep will the journalists dig and what will they tell the public about the UPC? The EPO is lobbying Italy pretty hard to ratify the UPC (Italy is a longtime thorn on the UPC’s side) and there are some dubious reports on the matter.

“Does the public need to know more before taking the battle to the streets of Europe?”Bristows LLP staff, in the mean time, continues with the UPC cheerleading. There’s no sense of shame when one does it for one’s financial interests (it’s like promoting/ushering in TPP and TTIP, except not many European citizens know anything about the UPC). Funnily enough, down in the comments, what seems like a patent lawyer explains why UPC is problematic and may make no sense at all.

Is it time to call the whole thing off? Does the public need to know more before taking the battle to the streets of Europe? There is more coming from the media and perhaps also from activism groups, so stay tuned.

Some Details About How the EPO’s President is Rumoured to be ‘Buying’ Votes and Why It’s Grounds/Basis for “Immediate Dismissal”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bank robbery

Summary: Some background information and a detailed explanation of the systemic financial dependency, created by Battistelli at the cost of €13 million or more, which prevents effective oversight of Battistelli

THE PRESIDENT of EPO is not exactly a model manager. He is so widely loathed that he now believes he needs to surround himself with bodyguards (while lying to the press about his relationships) and people who work under him allege that he is buying votes in his support (0% of the polled staff actually approves/supports him), having allegedly done that for quite a while. We keep hearing this from many sources, some more reliable than others (like anonymous ones).

“We keep hearing this from many sources, some more reliable than others (like anonymous ones).”Is Battistelli digging his own hole (grave)? Will this end up any better than the Bygmalion affair? To summarise some information we have just gained, there was a rather recent discussion about the relationship between the EPO and its Council, i.e. the member states. It was pointed out that bigger member states, e.g. Germany, France and the UK, or more economically advanced member states like Switzerland, are traditionally applying for and receiving more patents. This is what everyone ought to expect, but how does that really scale when it comes to representation? Can Switzerland have an equal voice to that of the UK? And what about Croatia? Does it count as much as Germany? Under Battistelli, an ENA mindset adopter, none of this matters really; the main if not sole interest of the EPO is issuing as many patents as possible so as to receive a large share of the annual renewal fees. But then there is also the loyalty dimension, especially now that Battistelli risks losing his job and the UPC is at stake (nations vote on it or vote to ratify/reject it).

“The date is 2014, so this is a Battistelli policy.”There is a divide or a growing disparity when it comes to member states and also when it comes to patent applicants and their supposed representatives (or delegates). Policy at this level is virtually irrelevant to the vast majority of tiny states as they have very few patents designated to their citizens, but they have other things to be gained, other than favouritism at the patent examination process. Their delegates, as one might expect, work for their national patent offices (colleagues/friends) and for themselves, not for ordinary citizens, especially in nations where corruption is rampant. Thus, these delegates are probably more interested in EPO “co-operation” budget. In this context, as we noted here some years ago, see this EPO document [PDF] (“Co-operation Roadmap: update and plans” submitted by “President of the European Patent Office”). We have made an HTML version of it (thanks, Marius Nestor) in case the EPO removes the ‘evidence’ some time in the future. The date is 2014, so this is a Battistelli policy. How convenient a way to 'buy' the loyalty of members.

We mentioned this angle two years ago in relation to some of the Željko Topić affairs. This document as a whole merits careful reading. The total budget at hand is at least, as is often the case at the EPO, €13 million. Now, recall the delegates, who are typically heads of their national patent offices (with very few and rare exceptions). There is almost half a million at stake for each and these are the people who attend Administrative Council meetings. With so much money on the table, would they want to jeopardise the money by invoking the wrath of Battistelli? For large/affluent nations this money can be spared, but what about small and/or poor nations? Some of them have fewer controls that help combat corruption, so the temptation is high. If delegates get to decide how much their national patent offices get in co-operation money, then there is great pressure on them, even from within the national offices, to suck up to Battistelli. Such financial strings must never have existed in the first place, as here we have mutual financial dependence, which imperils supervision/oversight tasks. To some of the smaller states that don’t care much about patents (or have very few patents at the EPO) this is a lot of money, enough to buy their silence or complicity. The money passage is further disguised (made harder to track) because it’s part of bilateral agreements that are not at all transparent. We previously wrote about other potential 'sweeteners' such as dental care, but let’s leave that aside for now as the total value of that is a lot less than the per-nation budget (an average of about €350k for each nation).

“The money passage is further disguised (made harder to track) because it’s part of bilateral agreements that are not at all transparent.”How is proper supervision ever possible? The whole thing is basically rotten and Battistelli can get away with just about everything he does, even breaking the law, throwing out staff representatives, and causing a "crisis", as per Board 28. It shouldn’t be so shocking that EPO staff cannot stand Battistelli and delegates, especially those from small nations, suck up to Battistelli. There is apparently more to come on this front, as work is done to highlight such injustices. Well, “firstly,” said one person, “admittedly, the Staff Representation in its dramatically reduced capacity is very busy or, more to the point, kept busy by a lot of activism on several fronts, such as reviewing investigation guidelines, disciplinary guidelines, health insurance, surveys over surveys to measure the obvious presumably.”

Regarding why “in effect nothing concrete has really happened yet” we learned that: “While it is laudable to try to fix all that has been broken over the past years, attempting to pretend this will be done in a few months may indeed be seen as unrealistic or lacking good faith. Bottom-line is that the Staff Representation cannot report any positive signs nor genuine interest in fixing past reforms in the interest of staff and the organisation. Needless to say no effective changes have been proposed so far.”

We are not expecting much to happen until the next protest, but two staff representatives might learn this week if they can get their job back (which we doubt) or get their previous position back. In the mean time, as one person pointed out this week in IP Kat

Confidentiality restrictions are one thing, restrictions upon the freedom to choose one’s own employment is a completely different matter.

An employer might reasonably take action to prevent misuse of confidential information gained by an ex-employee. However, for an employer to impose a “ban” on an ex-employee taking up new employment with certain organisations represents an infringement of the civil liberties of that ex-employee. Such infringements are typically either not permitted or, if precisely defined in a contract of employment in a manner that protects only the legitimate interests of the employer (and no more), are permitted for only a very limited duration – certainly no more than 1 year. However, even in those exceptional circumstances, what is permitted is rarely a total “ban” on taking up new employment, but more frequently a limitation (for a short duration) on the permitted activities (e.g. a ban on contacting ex-clients) of the ex-employee in their new role.

If any employer wants their employee to not take up a new role for a set period after handing in their resignation, then they have to pay them to stay at home (i.e. put them on so-called “garden leave”).

What are the precise proposals from BB? I recall a period of 2 years being mentioned, but that seems way over the top (especially if those 2 years are not paid garden leave). And is there any precise definition of what “bans” can be imposed and for what reasons? Also, is there any scope for discretion in how or whether any “bans” are imposed? If so, are there any checks and balances that prevent such discretion being misused?

Finally, I note that there have been several references to BB “buying” votes at the AC from some of the “smaller” countries. Such a tactic would certainly be a “political” response to the fix that BB found himself in at the last AC meeting. However, is there any real evidence of such Machiavellian tactics being employed? If so, could that count as grounds for immediate dismissal?

So Battistelli ‘buying’ votes at the Administrative Council might be short on evidence, except some of the above (and the articles cited therein). “If so,” the commenter argues, this “could that count as grounds for immediate dismissal?”

“So Battistelli ‘buying’ votes at the Administrative Council might be short on evidence, except some of the above (and the articles cited therein).”Who would be behind dismissal of Battistelli? The delegates who want Battistelli to send money their way? Here is the last paragraph in full: “Finally, I note that there have been several references to BB “buying” votes at the AC from some of the “smaller” countries. Such a tactic would certainly be a “political” response to the fix that BB found himself in at the last AC meeting. However, is there any real evidence of such Machiavellian tactics being employed? If so, could that count as grounds for immediate dismissal?”

Several responses were posted, including:

listen mate, all your erudite arguments here to explain us how all these rules that are enacted by BB at the European Patent Office could never be in the … – shall I say, civil society: why don’t you put them in a letter and send it to the Representative of your country at the Administrative Council?

Because either he/she is as dumb as you get or he/she does not give a shit about what happens at the European Patent Office – as long as the money keeps flowing.

Thanks!

Yes, it could be a reason to fire Mister BB….
But! His immunit can only be lifted by the AC.
Any disciplinary measures can only be started and decided by the AC.
Any decission to fire, replace, send on “garden leave” with pay, … of the president of the EPO can only be taken by the AC.

The same people who either vote yes because they want the money for their country/office, or because “we are only one vote, despite being one of the big three”.

There was a time, not long ago, where it was diplomatic standard to not vote against the “big countries”, especially not against the host countries.
BB played that card by pushing the smaller ones to show a “we do not like you and vote out of spite against you” vote.

What does the Dutch Hoge Raad? The current situation shows they cannot hope for the problem to solve itself, witho the SUEPo having been destroyed. They are facilitating the “Justice denied” by taking their time….
The Dutch government is getting in a really difficult situation here by not demanding more respect from the other member states, who outvote the Netherlands and telling the Netherlands to deny citizens their Dutch rights when going to work.

Notice the argument about big nations in there. Heiko Maas, who is responsible for the largest such nation, gets criticised in this comment which says: “Don’t forget the hypocritical little weasel in Berlin who preaches to the world via Twitter that there should be no “legal vacuum” at the FIFA. But when it comes to the EPO where he derives an income of millions per annum he is completely silent.”

Maas has been getting many letters from EPO staff and their lawyers, but he never seems to be writing anything in return. Total stonewalling. How embarrassing for Germany. Does justice matter at all or just money and self interest?

How the Patent Lawyers’ Microcosm Continues to Boost Software Patents Filth by Misdirecting Readers, Relying on Highly Selective Coverage

Posted in America, Patents at 2:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Narrowly covering Enfish v Microsoft as though it’s the only case law in the world, in order to bypass the law-making process, hoping to salvage software patenting

Caselaw

Summary: Under the guise of reporting/analysis/advice the community of patent lawyers is effectively lobbying to make software patents popular and widely-accepted again, based on one single case which they wish to make ‘the’ precedent

OVER the past week we have composed not one but two articles about how the USPTO distorts patent law [1, 2]. We showed examples of USPTO bias when it comes to software patents, which are a source of USPTO revenue (at everyone else’s expense). The bias is showing, as even post-Alice the USPTO cherry-picks cases about software patents, trying to re-enable them. Reed Smith LLP, i.e. patent lawyers, is reaffirming what we wrote [1, 2] and so do people from the “The Software Intellectual Property Report” (Bejin Bieneman plc). Another firm of lawyers, Burns & Levinson LLP, is framing this as an “availability” problem, as if software patents are products. Where are the voices of reason in all this and why aren’t actual developers consulted on these matters? Ricardo Ochoa of PretiFlaherty (patent lawyers) failed to even hide his bias on the subject. They all try to attract customers based on the misguided belief or hope that they’ll manage to sneak software patents into the system, with help from an apathetic (about quality) USPTO. Where does this end? The most vocal longtime proponents of software patents even try using CAFC to broaden the appeal and scope of such patents. All of them rely on pretty much one single case which we mentioned here before, namely Enfish v Microsoft [1, 2, 3].

“Quite simply, being sincere and honest would not be convenient a strategy for people who make money ramming software patents down the USPTO’s belly.”Jason Rantanen, writing as a guest at Patently-O, deals with Enfish v Microsoft and In re TLI Communications. He is now comparing cases/studying CAFC to better understand how to get software patents granted in spite of the Alice decision.

“This month’s decision in Enfish,” he writes, “was an overnight sensation—almost literally, as mere days later the PTO issued the new examiner guidance to implement the decision that Dennis wrote about last week. That guidance emphasizes the Federal Circuit’s recognition of Mayo Step-1 as a meaningful inquiry and focuses on particular aspects of Enfish that relate to that inquiry: comparisons to prior abstract idea determinations; a caution against operating at too high a level of abstraction of the claims, and the rejection of the tissue-paper argument that use of a computer automatically dooms the claim (it doesn’t).”

But actually, those two cases are just a couple among many more (even at CAFC alone), and the overwhelming majority of them were against software patents. Patent lawyers latch onto Enfish v Microsoft as opportunists with agenda and the public is barely told anything at all about this overwhelming majority of cases, which reaffirm the demise of software patents. One person, writing about another CAFC case, says: “This case is notable mainly because it is the first Federal Circuit decision to distinguish itself from Enfish LLC v. Microsoft Corp., and also because it is another reminder that the wall between patentable subject matter, obviousness, and written description is now rubble.”

But why only rely on the latest two cases to discern/differentiate between patent-eligible and patent-ineligible? Why not rely on Alice and all the cases that cite it (probably many hundreds if not over a thousand)? Quite simply, being sincere and honest would not be convenient a strategy for people who make money ramming software patents down the USPTO’s belly.

One new report, titled “Claims to Devices Sharing GPS Addresses Not Patent-Eligible in E.D. Texas”, says:

Claims to Devices Sharing GPS Addresses Not Patent-Eligible in E.D. Texas

[...]

Judge Schroeder began by explaining that the magistrate judge was correct to decide the patent-eligibility question at the pleadings stage. The plaintiff had objected to the court’s refusal to consider its expert’s declarations, which were outside the pleadings. However, the magistrate properly relied on the plain language of the patent claims, and the plaintiff’s own description of the claimed subject matter. The expert’s declarations were not material to patent-eligibility and failed to provide adequate basis for their conclusions. Where “patent claims on their face are plainly directed to an abstract idea,” a dismissal at the pleadings stage was appropriate.

Moreover, Magistrate Judge Love properly “found that the ’503 Patent is directed toward the abstract idea of address retrieval.” The plaintiff argued that the magistrate judge had improperly used the “machine-or-transformation” test. Instead, Judge Schroeder explained, the magistrate judge had simply found that each of the problems the ’503 patent purported to solve “simply relate[s] to ease, accuracy, and efficiency benefits achieved when any fundamental or well-known concept is implemented on a computer device.”

Finally, addressing the second prong of the Alice/Mayo test, the claims recited no inventive concept. The plaintiff had essentially argued that “that the ‘503 Patent is inventive because it requires specialized hardware and software, and is limited to a specific type of data.” However, as the magistrate judge found, “a GPS device performing generic computer tasks does not transform the claims into patent-eligible subject matter.”

That last sentence is interesting because it shows how much effort was made to exploit EPO-style loopholes, wherein one tries to portray software as “hardware” using the device it happens to be running on (even a generic computer or GPS device).

The US is moving away from software patents. Many patent lawyers are either in denial about it or hope to use self-fulfilling prophecies to impose their will on the system.

Documents Show Zagreb Police Department in Investigation of Vice-President of the European Patent Office

Posted in Europe at 1:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FIFA may turn out to be small nuggets compared to the EPO…

Željko Topić and FIFASummary: Željko Topić’s troubles in Croatia, where he faces many criminal charges, may soon become an extraordinary burden for the EPO, which distances itself from it all mostly by attacking staff that ‘dares’ to bring up the subject

“Hot new document from Croatia,” as our source put it, landed on our lap today. At the moment, this redacted document [PDF] is only available in Croatian, but we at least have the gist of it. Things aren’t getting any better for Topić and the EPO. The EPO is silent and inactive on the union-busting front, but people carry on speaking about it. It’s also on national TV channels.

“Remember that Topić’s shenanigans led to a lot of legal chaos, resulting even in suicide in Croatia (before the same thing began happening at the EPO, after Topić had come aboard).”Earlier this month we wrote about Željko Topić, EPO Vice-President under Battistelli, dodging judges and courts as though he was above the law. Remember that Topić’s shenanigans led to a lot of legal chaos, resulting even in suicide in Croatia (before the same thing began happening at the EPO, after Topić had come aboard).

“According to our information,” said our source, “the document is a request from the Office of the Public Prosecutor to the Zagreb Police Department carry out investigations and to gather evidence in relation to a criminal complaint filed against Željko Topić. The request from the Public Prosecutor was issued on the 10th of March and the police were supposed to respond within 30 days. We are trying to get a translation and obtain more information about the current state of the proceedings.”

There must be some more (newer) documents where this came from.

“We are going to publish more information (and perhaps a translation) once we have it.”As we noted here before, Topić is a well connected person in Croatia and he hired some expensive lawyers with powerful connections, but can these connections thwart legal actions at reasonably high levels? Is the system rife with corruption? Time will tell, but one sure thing is, in the lawless Eponia things aren’t any better (autocracy, mass surveillance, overt nepotism and controversial interrogation to name just few among many abuses).

We are going to publish more information (and perhaps a translation) once we have it.

[ES] Interrumpiendo la Propagánda Distractante de Battistelli: los Empleados de la EPO Protestará de Nuevo en una Quincena

Posted in Deception, Europe, Marketing, Patents at 12:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

English/Original

Article as ODF

Publicado en Decepcción, Europa, Marketing, Patentes at 1:28 pm por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Blatter and Qatar

Sumario: La exágerada extravagancia (desperdicio de dinero) en la Ceremonia de Premiación al Inventor Europeo de la EPO tendrá que competir por atención de los medios con miles de empleados de la EPO (en todaslas sedes de la EPO) marchándo en las calles para protestar por los abusos de la EPO

LA EPO se convirtió en un gran foco de escándalos y es la culpa de Battistelli conjuntamente con su ‘circulo’, quienes subvierten la democracia y trabajan burlando (si no atropellándo) a la EPC. En esta etapa, para las personas que trabajan en la EPO, la pregunta clave para contestar no es“¿por que protestar?” pero “¿porqué NO protestar?”

En unos pocos años, habiéndo existido y prosperádo por muchas décadas (casi la mitad de un siglo), la Oficina (EPO) se ha convertido en fuente de burla y una fuente de escándalos sin precedencia en Europa. Esto causa daño a la institución (o Organización) en su totalidad, trayéndola a un estado de crisis (por admisión propia) si no al borde del colapso. ¿Qué futuro habra para los examinadores de la EPO si completamente incompetentes idiótas y sinverguenzas como Battistelli permanencen a cargo por unos años más? La EPO ahora dañá la legitimidad de la Unión Europea en su totalidad. Esto no es bueno.

En unos pocos años, habiéndo existido y prosperádo por muchas décadas (casi la mitad de un siglo), la Oficina (EPO) se ha convertido en fuente de burla y una fuente de escándalos sin precedencia en Europa.”

Temprano este mes oficiáles Franceses observaron una protesta en la EPO en Munich. Otros oficiales Franceses se han dado cuenta de la situación. Como alguién cercano a estas acciónes lo puso (no a nosotros directa o indirectamente): “El gobierno Frances ha sido informado completamente del problema causado por su compatriota el Sr.Battistelli, entre otros por el Sr. Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, el Sr Philip Cordery, Srta. Claudine Lepage y otros. Pero no hemos visto mucho esfuérzo (diplomático o de otra manera) del gobierno Frances para enfrentar la situación. Por lo tanto me parece [sic] que debemos recordárselo al gobierno Frances. La demostración ha sido autorizada por las autoridades locales competentes en Alemania.”

Separádamente en relación a estas acciónes, una persona escribió: “Los empleados no deberían esperar que el calvario llegue de su propio impulso y resolver los problemas de la EPO, o que rescate a sus empleados. Para mi el observador de afuera notará el estado de decadencia (cantidad, calidad, motivación, servicio, etc…), será demasiado tarde. He aquí es ahora el tiempo que los empleados demuestre al mundo que la EPO no es como su ¨Presidente¨ lo describe, o dejar que la Gazette intente hacerlo pareces. De acuerdo a la Technologia Survey, la realidad hoy es que la situcación en la EPO es peor que nunca: para aquellos“férus de Benchmarking”, es reportadamente peor que la crisis en la France Télécom lo fué…”

La EPO ahora dañá la legitimidad de la Unión Europea en su totalidad. Esto no es bueno.”

Hay varios falsos ‘estudios’ preparándose en este momento. Sabemos acerca de estos y sabemos que fuéron designados (por la gerencia de la EPO) para hacerse propaganda. Son como grupos de interes o cabilderos, no encuéstas genuínas o investigación, por razones notadas aqui este mes. En adición a estos llamados ‘estudios’ (producidos para ayudar a influenciar a políticos) también hay ese estúpido evento de propaganda el cual se esfuérza en crear falso cubrimiénto de prensa de “socios en los medios” de la EPO. SUEPO ha organizado una demostración que coincidirá con este evento de propaganda, pero no esperamos que los “socios en los medios” de la EPO incluso menciónen tal demostración, habiéndo sido testigos de como ellos borraron parrafos enteros cuando cometiéron el horrible ‘error’ de cubrir el crticismo durante el evento mismo. He aquí las palabras de la SUEPO, notándo la falta de progreso de Battistelli (debería ser despedido brevemente después de este evento al menos que se las arregle para ‘comprar’/asegurar su puesto de maneras nefástas por las que ya es conocido. Para citar: “No hay progreso en los reclamos de los empleados (ver e.g. la última llamada a la huegla: “Ilegalidad en la EPO”). También no hay señal que el sr. Battistelli intente respetar la resolución de Marzo del Consejo Administrativo. Al contrario: nuevas controversiáles reformas estan planeados (plan de salud de la EPO, procedimiénto de despido, obligaciónes posterióres al empleo), algunas ya para ser decididas en la próxima reunión del Consejo Administrativo el 29-30 de Junio. Para resáltar la falta de progreso al Consejo Administrativo una demostración es planeada en cuatro sitios para el Jueves 9 de Junio. La demostración coincidirá con la ceremonia de premiación al Inventor Europeo de la EPO en Lisboa.”

Esto es un oportunismo astuto. La huelga debería coincidir con la reunión del Consejo Administrativo, pero el equipo Battistelli usó lo que pareció (en ese momento) tácticas dilatorias. “La demostración coincidirá con la ceremonia de premiación al Inventor Europeo de la EPO en Lisboa,” dice lo de arriba. Va a dañar al equipo Battistelli donde duele más por que la gente de relaciónes públicas de la EPO está trabajando el fin de semana de nuevo (ambos Sábado y Domingo), ayudándo a distraer de los escándalos [1, 2] usando la mencionada ceremonia. Simplemente es ‘control de daños’ y esto es todo lo que han estado haciéndo por un mes ahora. ¿Puede la SUEPO aplastar este evento de propagánda? Si no, ¿Cómo tomar como objetivo al ‘baby’ de Battistelli, la UPC?

La huelga debería coincidir con la reunión del Consejo Administrativo, pero el equipo Battistelli usó lo que pareció (en ese momento) tácticas dilatorias.”

De acuérdo a este nuevo tweet, El equipo Battistelli todavíá esta en modo de profecía autocumplible (tratándo de pretender de que ya es un hecho, cuándo incluso no lo es) acerca de la UPC. Para citar: “Es interesánte que los tipos de la cabina de información de la EPO en la AIPLA estaban confíados que Brexit fallaríá–Whistling pasando el cementerio?”

Recuérden que la UPC está en riésgo en lo que viene a Brexit y es cualquier cosa pero algo definitivo por varias otras razónez. Incluso el vocero de la EPO, escribiéndo acerca de casi novia de la EPO, finalmente reconoce que Brexit importa (algunos abogados británicos trataron de negar esto anteriórmente). Para citar las columnas de hoy del editor de IAM: “En un mes y un día el electorado del Reino Unido decidirá el inmediato y talvez permanente futuro de la propuesta patente unitaria de la EU y el régimen de la Corte de Patentes Unitaria. Eso es porque el 23 de Junio, los Británicos votarán si el Reino Unido permanecerá siendo un miembro de la Unión Europea. Como discutimos anteriórmente aquí, si ellos votan por permanecer, dentro de un año podemos esperar ver ambas la UPC y la patente Unitaria en su lugar.”

Pero también hay otras barreras, la menor de todas es la salida Británica, así como Finlandia (un referéndum allí seríá lelos de una llamada cercana basado en encuéstas) y la larga oposición del fiero pueblo Español.

Nada enojaría más a Battistelli y sus chácales ver su difunto ‘proyectoUPC irse en una trayectoria para abajo.”

Invitamos a los trabajadores de la EPO a unirse a una buena causa y ayudar a la economía de Europa. Pedimos recordar a su gerencia no patentar todo lo que exista bajo el Sol (trampa común cuando se máxmimiza el parámetro malo, como un negociánte en vez de un científico) y si esto signfica rechazar a la UPC, entonces sea así.

Nada enojaría más a Battistelli y sus chácales ver su difunto ‘proyecto’ UPC irse en una trayectoria para abajo. Esto no sólo lo vengaría (por sus muchos abusos) pero también serviría para restaurar a la ‘antigua’ EPO, antes de toda esas mamadas como “Patente de EU” o “Comunidad de Patentes” o “UPC” se asomen por la ventana, con la ayuda y colaboración de grandes aplicantes (incluso no Europeos, simplemente un grupo de billonarios y sus cabilderos buscando a someter al resto del mundo). La UPC tiene muchas similaridades/parecidos con la TPP y la TTIP, como hemos explicado antes.

Windows and Microsoft’s Other ‘Burning Platforms’

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 12:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

To use Elop’s own words (we shall write about Nokia separately some time later)

Summary: It’s not just Windows for phones that’s reaching minuscule market share levels but also Windows, but Microsoft is skilled at hiding this (cannibalising Windows using something people do not even want, then counting that cannibal, Vista 10)

THE REASON why Microsoft is not being covered here as much as before is that it’s not as relevant. Right now even Microsoft’s and Bill Gates’ friends at Gartner admit that Windows Phone market share is approaching 0%. Rumours we have been hearing suggest that Windows Phone will be called off and die not too long from now. Even Microsoft’s biggest fans (some of whom pretend to be journalists) have dumped Windows Phone (usually in favour of Android). We didn’t write about it when it happened because we worry more about what Microsoft intends to do with its patents (recall IBM) as its business is reduced to rubble.

“Rumours we have been hearing suggest that Windows Phone will be called off and die not too long from now.”For those who have not seen or heard the news, “Windows Phone market share falls below one percent”, according to a Microsoft-connected firm. As iophk put it: “Market share or sales? The numbers might be lower still.” They probably are. To quote CBS: “Microsoft’s Windows Phone may not be long for this world. Although the first quarter of 2016 saw a 3.9 percent increase in global smartphone sales year-on-year, Windows Phone saw a nearly 2 percent drop in sales. According to the latest Gartner report, Windows Phone sales went from 2.5 percent and 8.27 million units in Q1 2015 to 0.7 percent and 2.4 million units in Q1 2016.”

Glyn Moody cites this as proof that Microsoft won’t come back to greatness (in the market share sense) any time soon, or ever. Here is another article about it, this one titled “Windows Phone market share sinks below 1 percent” (also from a Gates-connected source). There are even more pessimistic reports in other places. FOSS proponent Sam Varghese notes that “Android sales were the highest (84.1%).” We have intentionally chosen Microsoft-friendly sources so as to show just how serious the problem is. Even the Microsoft choir cannot spin its way out of it.

“Microsoft’s Vista 10 installs itself without consent, still.”On the desktop, Microsoft is forcing people to use what Microsoft tells them to have, basically by hijacking people’s PCs. As the Bill Gates-funded The Guardian has just put it, “Microsoft has ruined my day, and possibly my life” (article by Michele Hanson). the summary says: “An unwanted software update has moved my files, broken my printer and stopped the sound on iPlayer” (which was originally notoriously Microsoft-friendly, as we noted over the years).

“Microsoft is in shambles.”As a matter of preference and priority, we don’t write much about Vista 10 anymore, but we keep hearing new stories about forced ‘upgrades’. For instance, “yesterday,” said one person, “Microsoft updated to windows 10 without my consent…” [1, 2]. Microsoft’s Vista 10 installs itself without consent, still. The solution? Goodbye Windows, hello GNU/Linux. Much to our disgust, Microsoft continues to exploit the “Linux” brand in its miserable effort to whitewash Vista 10, based on what Microsoft published yesterday. Is this whole provocative charade not over yet? Microsoft does not love Linux, it just realises that now, as Chromebooks outsell Apple-branded PCs, GNU/Linux is the growing/huge force not only in mobile (tablet/phones) but also on the desktop (or laptop rather). Microsoft does not love Linux and it does not love FOSS either. Yesterday, for instance, we learned of yet another case of Microsoft censorship [1] because someone dared to suggest making Visual Basic FOSS upon its 25th anniversary [2].

Microsoft is in shambles. To use Elop’s words (from that infamous memo), Microsoft’s operating systems are now “burning platforms”.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Visual Basic Reaches 25th Birthday – Microsoft Censors Campaign To Open Source VB6
  2. Microsoft marks Visual Basic’s 25th birthday, kicks off marathon celebration

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