Like JPMorgan, EPO Management Has Started a Defamatory Smear Campaign Against Critics

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Think along the lines of, EPO wrote attack pieces after suspending an independent (board) judge who had blown the whistle

JPMorgan article

Summary: A just-released New York Times report about JPMorgan (shown above) reminds us a great deal of the EPO’s media strategy against critics inside and outside the notorious European organisation

THE EPO is so out of control that the management is threatening bloggers who show embarrassing things (about the management). Recently, with help from the strangely cooperative media, right after a massive PR contract in Washington got signed (for external communication, i.e. press) the EPO’s management also produced defamatory [1, 2] attack pieces against a suspended judge. It happened around the same time that I received threatening legal letters. Shortly afterwards the EPO pushed/leaned on the Administrative Council (AC) and pressured a board to oust the suspended judge. Is this all just a coincidence? Seems like the latest media strategy. The timing suggests that it’s not improbable.

“Seems like the latest media strategy. The timing suggests that it’s not improbable.”There was an article on Thursday in the New York Times. It’s titled “JPMorgan Wrote Complaints After Firing a Whistle-Blower” and it speaks about how JPMorgan dealt with an ethical person who exposed institutional corruption. JPMorgan manufactured smears against him in order to demonise and get rid of him. One might expect this from the CIA or the NSA, but private companies too use these ugly tactics.

What are we trying to suggest here?

Well, it seems likely that the EPO is doing to the judge whom it suspended (for allegedly speaking about the management) the same thing JPMorgan did to its whistleblower.

“Well, it seems likely that the EPO is doing to the judge whom it suspended (for allegedly speaking about the management) the same thing JPMorgan did to its whistleblower.”Regarding the EPO’s attack on yours truly, the trigger was something I wrote about PACE, which is a nasty sham that destroyed the EPO’s reputation and threatened to drive a wedge between applicants and the EPO (loss of trust). We have already written many pieces which debunk the EPO’s talking points regarding PACE, but to recapitulate, consider how they keep PACE a ‘pilot’ (and low key) so that only large corporations are in it. What if everyone applied? A sham for sure. It doesn’t add up. To use the queuing analogy again, the EPO set up a fast lane for business/first class, then alleged that it would speed things up for everyone, not just for the rich (that’s the first lie). It then said that anyone could apply to use the business/first class lane. What then is the advantage really? The business/first class becomes just another de facto economy lane. The truth is, only if few (rich) people know the tricks for using the fast lane would it really remain a lane for business/first class.

Watch patent lawyers’ media trying to explain PACE. It’s nonsensical and it’s marketed as some kind of magic potion that can provide “accelerated prosecution of patent applications at the EPO” (only for few selected ‘partners’).

“You are only taking the risk of being sued for “defamation” by the “EPO”.”
The point we are trying to make here, the EPO’s management is bonkers and it is already using crude personal attacks against perceived ‘enemies’ (we will give more examples later this month, in relation to staff representatives). Battistelli has gone ad hominem while claiming a personal campaign against him. The hypocrisy!

Watch this comment left earlier today in Merpel’s blog: “You are only taking the risk of being sued for “defamation” by the “EPO”.”

“EPO” is in inverted commas probably because the EPO lawyers don’t even know what “EPO” actually is.

Here is an even more serious comment from the same comments thread:

The Dutch Court established that the European Patent Organisation of which the AC is a part and the highest supervisory body breaches the Human Rights. It is a fact regardles of whether the order of the Dutch Court can be executed or not due to the immunity issue.
Til today the AC failed to change this sorry state of afairs and if any change has taken place it is to the wors.

The EBA which is, for all intents and purposes, an independent court decided that the AC has failed to substantiate properly the allegations of misconduct raised against a member of the Boards and therefore refused the request of the AC.
The AC decided to put the board member again before the court (EBA), by requesting a decision of the EBA, again, as far as it is known in the absence of any new and compeling evidenec. This means that the AC is prepared to “knock on the doors” of the EBA until the AC gets what it wants, regardless of the principles of the law.

The above shows that this AC is determined to proceed with its plans no matter what and is prepaired to take any kind of collateral damage.

Thus, I do doubt very much whether an opinion of who-ever it may be, which is not fully supportive of the plans of the AC can be seriously considered by this AC.

The EPO’s management is doing terrible things and it was found guilty (losing party) in The Hague. How convenient it must seem for those brutes inside the management to simply project and attempt to portray those who expose them as ‘guilty’, in the same way that the NSA tries to paint a whistleblower, Edward Snowden, as a guilty traitor who ‘defected’ to the enemy (much like JPMorgan treats its whistleblower right now).

Don’t believe a single word that comes out of the EPO’s mouth. After their attacks on my free speech they actually told the media that they respect freedom of the press and protect employees. Actual EPO employees can only hysterically laugh at both claims.

“The best way to keep one`s word is not to give it.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

Vista 10 is ‘Swiss Cheese’ With Critical Bugs, More Microsoft Layoffs (HoloLens) Announced. So Why Did OpenBSD Accept Microsoft’s $1,000,000 Bribe?

Posted in BSD, Security, Vista 10, Windows at 7:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New evidence of Microsoft’s advocacy of back doors and of dangers to SSH security

Back door

Summary: Concerns about OpenSSH and its acceptance of Microsoft (after relatively huge payments), which not only facilitates back door access (with secret code) but is already descending into oblivion anyway

MICROSOFT’S business, as we pointed out this morning, is in a sorry state. The common carrier, Vista 10, is widely rejected, so Microsoft is now trying to force people to download and install it. This is a new kind of aggression from Microsoft. It forcibly gives people software that they don’t ask for and explicitly reject.

“One has to be seriously misinformed to actually believe that effective disk encryption is possible in Windows. There are back doors and it’s intentional.”There are permanent back doors in Vista 10, as leaks about Microsoft’s special relationship with the NSA serve to highlight. The British technology press calls Vista 10 “spyware-as-a-service” and points out that drive encryption in it is permanently broken. One article shows that security not a priority at all in Vista 10 and another states that “Microsoft can be pretty secretive about its spyware-as-a-service Windows 10, but Redmond has now taken its furtiveness to a whole new level.” The clever headline says “Microsoft encrypts explanation of borked Windows 10 encryption”. Well, Microsoft doesn’t make drive encryption that actually works. There are back doors in it, as we explained last year and earlier this year. There are even bits of material related to this in leaks-oriented sites such as Cryptome. One has to be seriously misinformed to actually believe that effective disk encryption is possible in Windows. There are back doors and it’s intentional. We know this, at the very least, based on Edward Snowden’s leaks. The FBI does not even publicly complain about encryption in Microsoft’s products; that’s because the FBI already has a door into everything from Microsoft. Remember CIPAV?

“To make matters insanely dangerous, OpenSSHL “will also have Redmond’s proprietary cryptology interfaces rather than standard open-source implementations of the Secure Sockets Layer” (in other words, compromise of security is almost guaranteed).”To make matters worse, Microsoft is now trying to bring this whole crazy mentality into FOSS projects like OpenSSH (hence into BSD, Linux, Solaris, and so on) — a move which we criticised here before (even quite recently). OpenSSH, according to this article, is getting closer to NIST (the NSA’a back doors facilitator, which recommended ciphers with back doors in them). To make matters insanely dangerous, OpenSSHL “will also have Redmond’s proprietary cryptology interfaces rather than standard open-source implementations of the Secure Sockets Layer” (in other words, compromise of security is almost guaranteed).

“Microsoft needs them more than they need Microsoft, but Microsoft handed them a nice bribe in order to do this (we covered this earlier this year).”What are NIST and Microsoft doing anywhere near SSH? Both of them are proponents and facilitators of back doors? IETF is there too. We already wrote a great deal about its malice over the years. What are OpenSSH developers getting into here? Microsoft needs them more than they need Microsoft, but Microsoft handed them a nice bribe in order to do this (we covered this earlier this year).

Microsoft itself continues to collapse. The people who made Vista 10 marketing gimmicks are being laid off right now. More Microsoft layoffs are being reported this month. Just notice the trend. It is an ever-shrinking company trying to reinvent itself and find a new identity, with a new logo and new CEO, led by Bill Gates (the real boss who amasses all the money, hoarding more and more of it while pretending to run a ‘charity’ in order to get tax breaks, like Mark Zuckerberg).

We are saddened to see the OpenSSH community opening its door (maybe its back door) to a dying company which they neither need nor can trust.

“In doubt a man of worth will trust to his own wisdom.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

Links 6/12/2015: New Linux Mint Releases, No Ads in Firefox

Posted in News Roundup at 6:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • From Closed Source to Open Source: A Journey

    Since joining GigaSpaces a few months ago, I thought it would be interesting to write down some thoughts about my experience on the journey from the closed-source, enterprise world to the open source, startup mentality of getting work done, both internally at the office as well as from a client-facing perspective.

  • Intel Open Sources Snap Cloud Telemetry Tool to Promote Cloud for All

    Intel’s latest move in its “Cloud for All” initiative — which it says will accelerate enterprise adoption of public, private and hybrid clouds — is an open source tool called snap, which helps organizations understand the telemetry of their clouds.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird 38.4.0 Brings A Bunch Of FIxes Only
      • Advancing Content

        One of the many benefits of the Web is the ability to create unique, personalized experiences for individual users. We believe that this personalization needs to be done with respect for the user – with transparency, choice and control. When the user is at the center of product experiences everyone benefits.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • What’s the Intersection of Docker and OpenStack? [VIDEO]

      OpenStack and Docker are both open source technologies with a lot of excitement and momentum behind them. But where is the intersection between Docker and OpenStack? And why isn’t Docker Inc part of the OpenStack Foundation?

      In a video interview, Ben Golub, CEO of Docker Inc. the lead commercial sponsor behind the open source Docker engine, explains where it all fits together.

      At a high-level, OpenStack is a popular widely deployed Infrastructure-as-a-Service open source platform, while Docker provide an open-source container technology to build, deploy and manage containers. Golub noted that organizations are using Docker together with various flavors of OpenStack from different vendors including HP, Red Hat and Mirantis.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Introducing the LibreOffice Online App for ownCloud

      While digging through the Internet, we’ve discovered that there’s now a LibreOffice application for the ownCloud open-source self-hosting cloud server, which lets users edit all sorts of LibreOffice documents online.

  • CMS

  • Pseudo-/Semi-Open Source (Openwashing)


    • Reproducible builds and standalone GNU systems with Guix 0.9

      Version 0.9 of the Guix package-management system was released on November 5. Since the previous major release in 2014, the Guix project has evolved to include not only the package manager itself, but the Guix Software Distribution (GuixSD) as well. With the large set of packages it supports, Guix already provides, in essence, a full operating-system layer that can be deployed and maintained on top of a minimal core Linux distribution. GuixSD goes one step further, and provides a Linux kernel and core OS components as well. Regardless of whether one uses GuixSD or simply installs individual packages with the Guix tools, the new release adds quite a bit of interesting new functionality, including automatic container provisioning, new tools for graphing package dependencies, and a mechanism for users to verify reproducible software packages.

    • GIMP 2.9.2 Released

      We are excited to announce the first development release of GIMP in the 2.9.x series. It is another major milestone towards making GIMP a state-of-the art image editing application for graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, and scientists.

    • A CEO’s Guide to Emacs

      Years—no, decades—ago, I lived in Emacs. I wrote code and documents, managed email and calendar, and shelled all in the editor/OS. I was quite happy. Years went by and I moved to newer, shinier things. As a result, I forgot how to do tasks as basic as efficiently navigating files without a mouse. About three months ago, noticing just how much of my time was spent switching between applications and computers, I decided to give Emacs another try. It was a good decision for several reasons that will be covered in this post. Covered too are .emacs and Dropbox tips so that you can set up a good, movable environment.

    • Gimp 2.9.2 Released
    • Got a light? Help the FSF’s guiding light shine brighter

      For thirty years, the Free Software Foundation has been seen as a guiding light for the free software movement, fighting for computer user freedom worldwide — but we can’t continue this work without your support.

    • New GIMP, Ubuntu’s New Year’s Gift & More…
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • OpenHardware and code signing (update)

        I posted a few weeks ago about the difficulty of providing device-side verification of firmware updates, at the same time remaining OpenHardware and thus easily hackable. The general consensus was that allowing anyone to write any kind of firmware to the device without additional authentication was probably a bad idea, even for OpenHardware devices. I think I’ve come up with an acceptable compromise I can write up as a recommendation, as per usual using the ColorHug+ as an example. For some background, I’ve sold nearly 3,000 original ColorHug devices, and in the last 4 years just three people wanted help writing custom firmware, so I hope you can see the need to protect the majority is so much larger than making the power users happy.

  • Programming

    • How old were you when you started learning how to program?
    • So you think that you know what “hacker”means?

      Given the negative connotation of the term today, I recall my surprise when I first read (alas, the source has long been forgotten) that in the world of mainframe computer in the 1960′s, where the principal revenue stream were licensing fees for the hardware, “hacker” referred to a person who was encouraged to tinker with the software to improve its performance. After all, there was no or little money to be made in the software per se, so that any improvements in performance would only serve to enhance the value of the mainframe itself. Hacking appeared to be a beneficial activity in support of the hardware.


  • Health/Nutrition

    • This Scientist Uncovered Problems With Pesticides. Then the Government Started to Make His Life Miserable.

      Until fairly recently, Jonathan Lundgren enjoyed a stellar career as a government scientist. An entomologist who studies how agrichemicals affect the ecology of farm fields, he has published nearly 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals since starting at the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service laboratory in Brookings, South Dakota, in 2005. By 2012, he had won the ARS’s “Outstanding Early Career Research Scientist” award, and directorship of his own lab.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • A Missed Chance to Connect Paris Massacres, Past and Present

      It does no dishonor to those killed in Paris last month to acknowledge that at least 200 people were killed in that city on October 17, 1961. It was nearly seven years into the war for Algeria’s independence from French colonial rule, and some 30,000 Muslims demonstrated in central Paris against a curfew imposed solely on Muslims. They were met by a police force led by prefect Maurice Papon, who would later be charged with crimes against humanity for his collaborationist role in the World War II Vichy government.

    • Fox’s Megyn Kelly Attacks Attorney General For Promising To Address Violent Anti-Muslim Rhetoric
    • Yemen: Nine Wounded in Saudi-Led Coalition Airstrike on MSF Clinic in Taiz

      Airstrikes carried out yesterday by the Saudi-led coalition hit a clinic in southern Yemen run by the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and wounded nine people, including two MSF staff members.

      According to local sources, at 11:20 a.m. local time on December 2, three airstrikes targeted a park in Taiz city’s Al Houban district, about two kilometers from MSF’s tented clinic. The MSF team immediately evacuated the Al Houban clinic and informed the Saudi-led coalition that their jet planes were mounting an attack nearby. The clinic itself then came under attack.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Republicans’ Climate Change Denial Denial

      Future historians — if there are any future historians — will almost surely say that the most important thing happening in the world during December 2015 was the climate talks in Paris. True, nothing agreed to in Paris will be enough, by itself, to solve the problem of global warming. But the talks could mark a turning point, the beginning of the kind of international action needed to avert catastrophe.

      Then again, they might not; we may be doomed. And if we are, you know who will be responsible: the Republican Party.

      O.K., I know the reaction of many readers: How partisan! How over the top! But what I said is, in fact, the obvious truth. And the inability of our news media, our pundits and our political establishment in general to face up to that truth is an important contributing factor to the danger we face.

    • Is Indonesia underreporting its emissions at COP21?

      Official documentation submitted by Indonesia to the UN climate talks in Paris this week dramatically underestimates deforestation and emissions in the archipelago, according to an analysis by Greenpeace. However, not everyone agrees with Greenpeace’s assessment.

      The documentation’s omissions include 10 million hectares of deforestation, millions of hectares of peatland degradation and emissions from the annual farm and plantation fires, threatening to undermine Indonesia’s prospects for receiving international assistance for peatland protection and REDD+ schemes, according to the NGO.

      “The people of Indonesia deserve to know the truth about how much forest and peatland has been destroyed,” Greenpeace Indonesia forest campaigner Annisa Rahmawati said. “Only from a truthful foundation can we build a solid climate plan for Indonesia.”

    • Climate deniers agree their key messages for journalists (with a journalist in the room)

      This afternoon, I went along to a fringe event in central Paris put on by the UK climate denier brigade. There were about 15 people – all older white men but for one woman, me, and Brendan Montague, editor of DesmogUK, with whom I’d arrived.

      Among the small number at PCC15, as they called their event, were a number of prominent figures from the movement against the scientific consensus on climate change. Patrick Moore, the controversial former director of Greenpeace who has questioned both whether global warming is man-made, and whether it is dangerous, was leaving as we arrived. UKIP MEP Stuart Agnew was there, as were Christopher Monckton, a prominent climate change denier, and Canadian Tom Harris, executive director of the “International Climate Science Coalition” – and former operations director of the “High Park Group”, a Canadian lobbying company. I was told we’d missed the journalist James Delingpole and Piers Corbyn (MD of WeatherAction and brother of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn)..

  • Censorship

    • Feds Drop Case Against Torrent Site, ‘Return’ Domain After 5 Years

      After more than five years the Department of Justice has released the Torrent-Finder.com domain, which is now back in the hands of the original owner. The authorities had a very weak case and decided to accept the torrent site’s “offer in compromise.”

    • Sharing of television news clips hangs in the fair-use balance

      All of this begs the question of what is fair use. It’s complicated, and there is no bright-line rule. “In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and ‘transformative’ purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work, according to Stanford University. “Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner. In other words, fair use is a defense against a claim of copyright infringement. If your use qualifies as a fair use, then it would not be considered an illegal infringement.”

  • Privacy

    • My fridge is listening to me

      There is no presumption of privacy riding in a tour bus, so it probably isn’t illegal to listen-in. Bus security cameras and their footage have been around for years now and appear regularly on TV news after bus crimes. But there’s something about this idea of not only our actions being recorded but also our words that I find disturbing. It’s especially so when we consider the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT). What other devices will soon be snitching on us?

    • Responding to “Nothing to hide, Nothing to fear”

      Every time we talk about mass surveillance, privacy or the security services’ powers we and our supporters find ourselves at the other end of that familiar phrase, “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear”. It’s time to challenge that.

    • German Parliament Spy Oversight Board Sues German Government Over Data Sharing With NSA

      After Edward Snowden’s revelations about the extent of spying being carried out around the world by the NSA and its Five Eyes friends, there have been a number of attempts in other countries to find out what has been going on. One of the most thoroughgoing of these is in Germany, where there is a major parliamentary inquiry into NSA activities in that country. As Techdirt reported back in May, a surprising piece of information to emerge from this is that Germany’s secret service has been carrying out spying on behalf of the NSA, which sent across various “selectors” — search terms — that it wanted investigated in the German spies’ surveillance databases.

    • A Journey Into the Heart of Facebook

      We are running late to the Facebook Data Center. I keep checking my watch, as if the seconds might start moving backwards if I stare hard enough. This is not a particularly safe way to drive. I am, apparently, more concerned with being late than I am with possibly totaling a car. Being late is far more heinous act.

    • Former Bush Press Secretary Says The Answer To Mass Shootings Is… More Domestic Surveillance

      The tragic shootings in San Bernadino earlier this week have created a political field day for the usual idiotic partisan arguments — which tend to have little to nothing to do with whatever actually happened. You have people on one side using it to call for gun control and folks on the other side using it to spark fears of “domestic terrorism.” And, of course, it didn’t take long for someone to pop up with using it as an excuse to call for greater surveillance. That was the argument that former Bush Press Secretary Ari Fleischer took on MSNBC yesterday when asked what should be done in response. MSNBC Kate Snow asked if this could lead to bipartisan support for gun control (ha ha!) and Fleischer turned it around to say the answer is more surveillance.

    • NSA ‘reform’: Fewer phone records, but data flow continues

      No sooner had the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records for millions of U.S. citizens come to an end, then members of Congress swung into action to dilute even that small step toward reform. Meanwhile, other programs that have much greater implications for privacy survive and thrive in the NSA’s sprawling surveillance system.

      The USA Freedom Act passed overwhelmingly in June, but its reform banning the NSA from scooping up more phone data only went into effect last weekend. Metadata already collected can be kept by the NSA until Feb. 29, and your phone data will continue to be collected by telecom companies, but the NSA must now go to the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance) court for permission to gain access. Documents leaked by Edward Snowden showed it was the secret FISA court that gave the NSA permission to indiscriminately collect Americans’ phone records in the first place.

  • Civil Rights

    • American Nightmare: the Depravity of Neoliberalism

      Deciphering the meaning of Neo-liberalism as a historical force and societal form requires the energies and know-how of a sagacious sleuth like Hercule Poirot. Wendy Brown, a philosophy professor at UCLA (Berkeley) and author of Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution, has a Poirot intellectual sensibility and acuity that sees what most of us cannot.

      Those of us who have written on neo-conservative politics and neo-liberalism as an economic form have illuminated many dimensions of “something new” that has emerged out of the collapse of welfare state liberal democracy in the West over the last five decades.

    • The Completely Nonsensical Differences In Punishment For Revenge Porn Kings

      Earlier this week, Hunter Moore — the guy who basically invented the concept of revenge porn with his “Is Anyone Up” site — was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail along with a $2,000 fine… and he has to pay $145.70 in “restitution” to a single victim. Moore was arrested for violating the CFAA, and as we noted at the time, it may be one of the few legitimate uses of the CFAA. He didn’t just run a revenge porn site, he hired a guy, Charlie Evens, who got a similar sentence a week ago, to hack into the computers of unsuspecting women, and swipe naked photos of them to put on his site. The sickening bit: that “$145.70″ in “restitution”? That’s how much Moore paid Evens (also, Evens is jointly liable for that money, meaning that Moore might not even pay it). It’s difficult to understand why the $145.70 makes any sense at all as the “harm” caused to the anonymous woman “L.B.” whose computer got hacked into.

    • Sharia courts in Britain lock women into ‘marital captivity’, study says

      Sharia courts in Britain are locking women into “marital captivity” and doing nothing to officially report domestic violence, according to an academic who gained unprecedented access to Islamic divorce hearings.

    • Court: Breaking Your Employer’s Computer Policy Isn’t a Crime

      The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an opinion rejecting the government’s attempt to hold an employee criminally liable under the federal hacking statute—the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”)—for violating his employer-imposed computer use restrictions. The decision is important because it ensures that employers and website owners don’t have the power to criminalize a broad range of innocuous everyday behaviors, like checking personal email or the score of a baseball game, through simply adopting use restrictions in their corporate policies or terms of use.

      The court also ruled that the government cannot hold people criminally liable on the basis of purely fantastical statements they make online—i.e., thoughtcrime.

    • SJW attitude in science

      The arguments are quite easy to summarize: The meritocracy party proposes that “One’s contribution should only be evaluated based on the content and the quality”, while the SJW party asserts that in case the submitter as from a minority group, in particular everyone outside the white straight group, the contribution has to be accepted with higher probability (or without discussion) to ensure equality.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • If the FCC Loses in Court Today, It Could Be the End of Net Neutrality

      The US government’s landmark net neutrality policy faces a crucial test Friday when advocates and opponents of the new rules face off in federal court. The Federal Communications Commission, along with a coalition of public interest groups, is battling some of the biggest cable and telecom interests in the country over whether the agency has the authority to enforce a policy it says is necessary to protect internet openness.

    • Eight Questions About Friday’s Net Neutrality Hearing

      The Federal Communications Commission will head to court on Friday to defend its net neutrality rules against opponents who want to overturn the broadband regulations, a hearing that may help determine how consumers get access to content on the web.

      If this sounds familiar, it’s because the F.C.C. has twice appeared in front of the same federal court to argue over net neutrality policies, in particular a set of regulations aimed at preventing favoritism on the Internet. In both cases, the F.C.C. argued that it had the authority to regulate high-speed Internet providers, while opponents argued the agency was overstepping the mandates of Congress. Both times, the agency lost.

      Hoping that the third time will be the charm, the F.C.C.’s lawyers will tell a panel of judges at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that its most recent version of net neutrality rules is on firmer legal ground. With all the twists and turns of the F.C.C.’s yearslong net neutrality push, we offer this guide on the latest developments and what they may mean for you.

    • Appeals court weighs government’s rules requiring equal access to Internet content

      In this March 17, 2015 file photo, Federal Communications Commisison (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on net neutrality, on Capitol Hill in Washington. A long-running legal battle over government rules that require Internet providers to treat all Web traffic equally is back for another round before a federal appeals court. Cable and telecom industry groups will urge a three-judge panel on Dec. 4 to throw out regulations that forbid online content from being blocked or channeled into fast and slow lanes

    • Net neutrality supporters optimistic after court arguments

      Internet providers suing the Federal Communications Commission to overturn net neutrality rules got their day in court today as oral arguments were heard by a three-judge panel at the US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC.

      A decision might not come for months, but net neutrality supporters said the judges’ questions indicate that a ruling may defer to the FCC’s determination on the crucial question of whether Internet providers can be reclassified as common carriers. Opponents of the net neutrality rules believe the judges are skeptical about some of the FCC’s arguments, however.

      The FCC’s decision to impose common carriage restrictions on Internet providers hinges on whether they can be considered “telecommunications services,” as opposed to more lightly regulated “information services.” ISPs argue that Internet access is properly defined as an information service, but ultimately the FCC may have the discretion to make that decision.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

European Private Office (EPO) Increasingly the Subject of Media Scrutiny Despite Huge Spendings on Reputation Laundering

Posted in Deception, Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 9:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The EPO is now buying ‘megaphones’ in the corporate media

EPO megaphone

Summary: A look at EPO-leaning media coverage and a response to it, clarifying the EPO’s real worry, which is a public that’s properly informed by the media about the EPO’s rogue management

AT THE end of last month we leaked evidence of media manipulation by the EPO. This hasn’t been getting media attention, whereas the EPO’s SLAPP actions against critics quickly became mainstream news [1, 2] (it reached the British press the day before the Dutch protest, whereupon we got contacted by journalists, the latest being from the BBC). The EPO now spends, on average, €2444 per day on reputation laundering alone. Think what they can do with such an obscene budget! And for a supposedly ‘public’ body. What a total waste of money, which goes to a shady company in the US. One would expect the media to at least say something about it (some try to inform journalists); a French politician did (Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’).

“Think what they can do with such an obscene budget! And for a supposedly ‘public’ body.”On Tuesday there was a massive EPO staff protest in the Netherlands and on Friday there was an even bigger protest in Munich, the EPO’s main site. There is a lot to be angry about and now that the biggest ever protests take place (there is at least one more next week) we can expect more media coverage.

Based on this update from European authorities, secrecy will prevail. As IP Kat put it yesterday: “This is frustratingly vague and adds very little to what the Unitary Patent Regulation prescribes in Article 13. What the IPKat was hoping to find out is what percentage each country is planned to receive. Is this going to be revealed, or will it remain a secret?”

“Well, they already confirmed that the E-mail itself (the one which made them go ballistic) was authentic.”What kind of democracy is this? It often seems like large corporations are the main beneficiaries here, at the expense of people. The media isn’t helping in getting this point across. A week ago we saw an article titled “Microsoft Corporation Does Not Receive Special Treatment: EPO” (the previous headline said “EPO Rejects Accusations of Special Treatment for Microsoft”, so we assume the editor changed it). Well, that’s what they say, but leaked evidence contradicts them. Here is what the article said: “The European Patent Office (EPO) is now giving out legal threats, in response to recent allegations made against it, regarding maintaining a special cooperative relationship with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). The agency denies such accusations and says that it will not accept its staff being subject to such accusations. EPO is shifting to a more offensive strategy from the defensive one that it previously practiced.

“In October, Roy Schestowitz, along with his site Techrights, was the first to claim Microsoft was getting preference in its patent applications by the EPO. He published a leaked EPO internal email from February 16 that lists Microsoft’s submitted patent documents, and asks examiners to give the applications top priority as soon as possible. The email’s author and a senior member at the agency, Grant Philpott, mentioned of a “close cooperation project” with the software giant in the message.”

Well, they already confirmed that the E-mail itself (the one which made them go ballistic) was authentic.

“They try to blame the messengers who speak out instead.”The article continues: “Now that the agency has defended its position in the matter, it is aiming to go after the people who started allegations of this nature. Since the issue was sparked by Mr. Schestowitz, other blog posts made numerous accusations about the EPO tossing out patent applications submitted by small European businesses. The patent authority said that these allegations were not only false but detrimental to its reputation as a public servant.”

Rightly so. If they have a reputation issue, it’s because of the management. They try to blame the messengers who speak out instead. How pathetic is that?

“There’s a good reason why we now call the EPO the European Private [sic] Office.”Well, based on the EPO’s actions as of late, it’s now better aligned for corporate objectives, not public objectives. The public interest is hardly even something at the corner of the room, it’s hardly a consideration, much like in Europe’s copyright ‘debates’ (dominated by conglomerates, foreign monopolies/oligopolies, and their lobbyists).

The article correctly states: “The patent authority did not hesitate to issue legal threats to Mr. Schestowitz and his long-time running website. Some bloggers, who closely follow the patent and intellectual property industry, did not hold back to express their opinion of how they felt about the EPO’s action and its legal threats to Mr. Schestowitz.”

One person who seems to be EPO staff wrote sarcastically that “they just want to protect staff and their families…Ooohh, I see… ” (that’s their convenient excuse).

“This whole institution of just a setup of some few magnates and plutocrats, designed to perpetuate their power and wealth in Europe and beyond.”Regarding the leaning to private interests, commenters who are likely not working for the EPO (just commenting on the above article) wrote: “The patent regulations are more business these days than an authentic public service [...] I think that they will get away with it. The authorities and the big companies always get away with it” (the EPO is turning private).

There’s a good reason why we now call the EPO the European Private [sic] Office. It’s run for private interests. In the coming weeks we are going to show that the EPO’s roots are also poisoned or tarnished by private interests. This whole institution of just a setup of some few magnates and plutocrats, designed to perpetuate their power and wealth in Europe and beyond. They only need to pretend, in order to appease the masses, that they protect the ‘little guys’ or the lone inventors.

“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

EPO All-Time Low: Memorandum From the Praesidium (of the Boards of Appeal) Complains to the Administrative Council About Latest Questionable Moves

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Napoleonic President — not the boards — should be sent to exile

Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoleon Bonaparte surrounded by members of the Council of Five Hundred during the Coup of 18 Brumaire, by François Bouchot (drawing edited by us)

Summary: Tensions inside the European Patent Office (EPO) have increased to the point where the Administrative Council (AC) is directly contacted by the Praesidium regarding Battistelli’s outrageous plan to effectively send ‘unwanted’ (to him) people to ‘exile’

THE EPO‘s massive new propaganda budget (€880,000 in a year) is rather revealing (we included it in the image above). The EPO’s management has managed to convince itself that perception — not its behaviour — is the real problem. This helps explain the war on information itself and the war on people who ‘dare’ to speak out. It’s a war of occupation and forceful silencing of dissent thereafter.

Strolling around IP Kat, we often find interesting statements from EPO staff, enjoying the cover of anonymity. Patent “applicants in their droves are choosing to file their applications at the national offices,” wrote one person yesterday. “EPO management [is] monitoring telephone traffic at the desks of Examiners,” wrote another person, wondering if the management “intimidates its Examiners so much that such speed and efficiency is frustrated?”

“The EPO’s management has managed to convince itself that perception — not its behaviour — is the real problem.”A new article about judicial independence at the EPO was posted yesterday by Merpel. It speaks of the Praesidium of the Boards of Appeal. As Merpel put it: “The Boards take a very different view. Their Praesidium (overseeing body) has written to the AC members in frustration, disputing that they were properly consulted, and asking for their voices to be heard. Not unreasonable, given that it is they whose careers are on the line, and it’s their children who will have to move schools if they are relocated to Vienna, Berlin or anywhere else.

“…applicants in their droves are choosing to file their applications at the national offices…”
“Merpel reproduces the memorandum from the Praesidium below, which addresses the current proposal in depth, questions why their views have been largely ignored until now, and asks the AC to let the Boards present their views directly to the Council.”

One can find the full text in there, but here is the summary: “The Presidium is of the opinion that the proposed measures do not achieve the declared aims of increasing the Board’s autonomy and improving the perception of independence. What’s more, certain elements even cast further doubt on their independence and make them less independent than before. The most important legal question has not been answered yet – that of whether the proposed delegation of powers from the President of the Office to the President of the BoA can take place under the EPC. Further crucial aspects such as autonomy in budgetary and communication matters are not addressed.”

“…will the members of the Praesidium now be subjected to sessions with the Investigating Unit and subsequent disciplinary proceedings?”
This article raises all sorts of interesting questions and attracts interesting comments too.

Citing Battistelli’s crazy rules that deny access to his potential overseer (those who can sack him), one person asks, “will the members of the Praesidium now be subjected to sessions with the Investigating Unit and subsequent disciplinary proceedings?”

Here is a good comment:

Clearly, El Presidente is going for the big one: while he still can (before the political shit really hits the fan) he would like to ‘reform’ the BoAs in a ‘reasonable’ way which will ‘extend their independence’ by putting them at a physical distance from the rest of the administration.

This is, of course, the purest cant: as the assembled staff of DG3 point out, in common with his treatment of the rest of the EPO staff, Battistelli is at present deliberately trying to intimidate DG3 by:

1. Deliberately not filling vacant posts in DG3, which not only makes the allocation of work more difficult, but raises the question of who will be retained in post of those already in post;

2. threatening to move them to a new site (which, for reasons of service, they may not be able to oppose – see ServRegs, if you can find the relevant passages) – which may (will) ultimately lead to the resignation of many of these ‘turbulent priests’ (look it up).

Despite the apparent enshrinement in EPC of the independence of the boards, we see that there are, nevertheless, ways in which the president can apply pressure to DG3, even if this is not a direct pressure to individual members or chairman.

Is this really what the framers of the EPC intended? If not, Quo Vadis DG3?

Someone wrote in response to that: “The President´s paper is a perfect illustration of the way the Office is managed in general: profound disrespect for the staff concerned, shameless misrepresentation of facts, abysmal ignorance of elementary principles of law.

“Almost two years lost now, the AC desperately passive. The Boards of Appeal will never fit into the Unitary Patent system.”

Yes, here we have another reason why the Unitary Patent (or UPC) isn’t all that people imagine it would be. There are false promises, disseminated in irresponsible media (or media ‘for sale’) with the intention of manufacturing consent inside the EPO and outside it.

“I have been following this EPO story for some time,” another person writes, “and I agree with Merpel and the Presidium of the Boards. The only conclusion I can draw from the President’s paper for the Council is unfortunate: it looks like the President intends to mislead and deceive the Council, his supervisory authority. If that is correct, I personally believe the Council should dismiss the President.

“…it looks like the President intends to mislead and deceive the Council, his supervisory authority. If that is correct, I personally believe the Council should dismiss the President.”
“Unfortunately, the chances that the Council will do their job are slim. Some delegations will voice concerns, but in the end, the Council will very likely rubberstamp whatever the President has sent in. They have done it in the past, they will do it in the future. The only exception was the desired dismissal of the Board of Appeal member where they had obtained independent external advice.

“I will appreciate to be proven wrong, both on the President’s intention and the Council’s behaviour.”

It will be interesting to see if, as some people have warned me, the EPO will soon attempt to buy opponents (there’s a huge new budget for reputation laundering), which can in turn flip-flop on EPO coverage, either in expectation of monetary compensation or because a payment was quietly made. Watch out.

What looks like patent examiners or friends of some examiners are not exactly happy. “The story about a director effectively deciding a case looks quite incredible,” one of them wrote. Another one wrote: “This is how their management understands quality. #EPC trampled and spat upon. Oh but to serve the citizen of course.”

Congratulations to Sun King (Battistelli) for totally demolishing the EPO after Alison Brimelow left something which was at least working.

Protests by staff need to go on. There is at least one more next week.

“Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.”

Napoleon Bonaparte

How Patent Lawyers Cover Alice v. CLS Bank (Alice Case/§101)

Posted in America, Deception, Patents at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Christopher Moncktons of the (patent) world…

Christopher Monckton

Summary: Introducing the notion of Alice denialists in relation to many patent lawyers, who (at risk of over-generalising) make money from patenting software and conveniently deny the consequence of Alice v. CLS Bank, even in the face of strong evidence

IT IS impossible to deny that SCOTUS has had major impact after Alice, more so than after Bilski. Only a chronic denier would say that SCOTUS did not change anything, with factual evidence of even pro-software patents courts like CAFC (where software patents got started) having to invalidate software patents and the USPTO altering guidelines for patent examiners accordingly.

“The denialists profess, as they have for about a year and a half, that nothing has changed and they bamboozle their clients accordingly, in order to protect the flow of money.”Allegedly invoking the Holocaust to strongly denounce people who belittle or deny human impact on the weather, despite strong scientific evidence and often because of a massive PR campaign (like the EPO’s €880,000 reputation laundering campaign) from fossil fuel/coal industry moguls/magnates like the Kochs, some of those who deny the undeniable are now called global warming denialists. Likewise, in the patent lawyers’ circles, we now have Alice denial. The denialists profess, as they have for about a year and a half, that nothing has changed and they bamboozle their clients accordingly, in order to protect the flow of money.

Along the lines of global warming denial, this is a new form of Alice denial (denying the impact on software patents), as just published in IAM.

“They think of what’s more profitable for them (i.e. expensive for the client), not what’s most economic and sensible for the client.”It’s not an isolated example. In another lawyers’ site, the Microsoft-connected patent aggressor Finjan is mentioned by Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP. These US-based patent lawyers only ever speak out about Alice when they can defend software patents. It’s cherry-picking of data or selective coverage, much like the data which global warming denialists prefer to rely on. This new article says that “[t]his goes to show that despite the significant shift that has occurred since the Alice decision, all hope is not lost for plaintiffs asserting patents in the software space.”

Tone of positivity in favour of software patents wouldn’t be helpful to their clients. Then again, that’s how a lot of lawyers operate (especially the ones I’ve had displease working with). They think of what’s more profitable for them (i.e. expensive for the client), not what’s most economic and sensible for the client.

“Maybe it’s time for us not just to coin the term but also use the term Alice denialist, meaning one (usually a patent lawyer) who continues to deny the post-Alice reality, often lobbying to change it while misleading clients in the interim.”Samsung has just been forced to pay obscene amounts of money to a super-wealthy company [1, 2] because of patents. What kind of justice is that?

Maybe it’s time for us not just to coin the term but also use the term Alice denialist, meaning one (usually a patent lawyer) who continues to deny the post-Alice reality, often lobbying to change it while misleading clients in the interim. Alice denialists show a lot of the same characteristics of global warning denialists.

In other noteworthy news, the Wall Street media (Bloomberg) now writes about patent monopoly on ‘green’ energy. Here is how Bloomberg put it:

The U.S. is currently experiencing a boom in clean energy patents, but in interviews with Big Law Business, several experts expressed skepticism that this will lead to an increase in frivolous patent litigation.

On the contrary, they said clean energy patents are unlikely to wind up in the hands of patent trolls, also known by their more technical name, non-practicing entities — essentially, companies that amass patents for the purpose of filing infringement lawsuits.

Several such fake companies, trolls and parasites are backed (for profit) by Bill Gates, who at the same time invests a lot of money in fossil fuel companies which sponsor global warming denial (we covered this many times before). These patent trolls actively discourage the use of ‘green’ or sustainable alternatives to fossil fuel. There are some areas where patents are evidently a threat to the planet, not just to human health.

Patent maximalism can, in the long term, undermine the whole system. Patent maximalism is what happens when patent lawyers — not scientists — steer the system and sacrifice quality. Limiting patent scope to what’s rational based on evidence is a way to protect (through reformation) this system. We object to software patents (abstract), not every kind of patents.

“Your faith is what you believe, not what you know.”

Mark Twain

Decreased Focus on Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft at 6:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In focus

Summary: Why we are writing less about Microsoft these days and some recent news regarding Microsoft’s dysfunctional business

BACK in the days, more than half a decade ago, we wrote a great deal about Microsoft, after we had focused on Novell. Microsoft was a big threat to software freedom. It still is, but there are now other threats, some of which more potent than others. Microsoft is now buying back its own shares to artificially elevate the share/stock price (fewer stocks available for the public to buy means higher price per share). Microsoft also lays off a lot of employees and moves into small offices. We know this based on insiders. There’s a serious cost-cutting process inside Microsoft. Some people may then say, Microsoft is now a “cloud” company (or “cloud first”). These are just marketing-oriented buzzwords for servers/hosting. Microsoft servers are going down [1] and Microsoft is jacking up the price of servers with Windows on them, according to Microsoft Peter [2]. It’s a poor strategy which will most likely drive away customers even more quickly (quicker migration) to GNU/Linux, in the form of AWS, Red Hat, IBM, Rackspace and so on.

Microsoft is in a free fall.

“Focusing on issues rather than brands ensures we will stay on target all along, even when companies like Novell die.”Vista 10, the common carrier, is reportedly a massive failure (growth already flattens) despite Microsoft’s many dirty tricks, which included force-feeding Vista 10 (to further be escalated next year). The trends matter, not the absolute numbers, as media reports typically cite Microsoft-linked firms’ figures (like Net Applications), not legitimate or independent figures. The fact remains though, not only on the server but on the desktop too (not to mention mobile) Microsoft is struggling. We are therefore not as interested as before in Microsoft’s business. We shall focus more on patents in the coming months or years. Focusing on issues rather than brands ensures we will stay on target all along, even when companies like Novell die.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Exchange email bounces back as Microsoft resolves Office 365 issues

    MICROSOFT HAS CONFIRMED that Office 365 is back up and running after suffering downtime across Europe on Thursday.

    The downtime left users, including us here at The INQUIRER, unable to access their Exchange email account via a web browser.

    At the time, Down Detector showed that Microsoft’s cloud service has been stuttering since 9.17am on Thursday, and confirmed that the outage is affecting users across Europe.

  2. Windows Server 2016 moving to per core, not per socket, licensing

    Windows Server 2016, not likely to arrive until the second half of next year, is going to shake up the way Microsoft licenses its server operating system, moving away from per socket licensing to per core. The change was first spotted by Wes Miller who is, for his sins, an expert on Microsoft licensing policies.

    Windows Server 2012 introduced a great rationalization in the way Microsoft licensed its server operating system. The two main editions, Standard and Datacenter, had identical features, and differed only in terms of the number of virtual operating system instances they supported. Standard supported two VMs (in addition to the host OS); Datacenter was unlimited. Beyond that, they were identical. The licenses for both editions were sold in two socket units; one license was needed for each pair of sockets a system contained.

Links 6/12/2015: CoreOS News, MediaTek Development Platform

Posted in News Roundup at 5:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Science

    • The dawn of the Digital Dark Age threatens us with ‘bit rot’

      Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the Internet and the vice president of Google, is now warning of a new type of degradation threat: “bit rot.”

      Bit rot is basically created by a sort of planned obsolescence in software, and the formats associated with that software. As an example, Microsoft phased out Windows XP officially in 2014, which now won’t install on most newer computers.

  • Hardware

    • Plummeting SSD prices are quickly closing in on traditional hard drives

      The decision between solid state and hard disk drives should become a lot less agonizing over the next couple years as consumer SSD prices plummet.

      Research firm DRAMeXchange projects average SSD prices to hit $0.24 per gigabyte in 2016, down from $0.39 per gigabyte this year, Computerworld reports. Those prices will see another dramatic drop to $0.17 per gigabyte in 2017. Meanwhile, HDD prices are projected to stagnate at $0.06 per gigabyte over the next few years.

    • SSDs aren’t as cheap as hard drives yet, but they’re getting there

      CPUs, GPUs, chipsets, motherboards, RAM, Wi-Fi, and all the other components you think of when you think about a PC have all been getting continuously faster over the last five years, but so far this decade nothing has offered the performance boost of a solid-state drive. Putting an SSD in a five-year-old computer is enough to make it feel like a new machine even if every other component stays the same, and at this point you’re really doing yourself a disservice if you’re buying a new machine without one.

    • Seagate and Newisys Demonstrate 1 TB/s Flash Architecture

      Today Seagate and Newisys announced a new flash storage architecture capable or 1 Terabyte/sec performance. Designed for HPC applications, the “industry’s fastest flash storage design” comprises 21 Newisys NSS-2601 with dual NSS-HWxEA Storage Server Modules deployed with Seagate’s newest SAS 1200.2 SSD drives. These devices can be combined in a single 42U rack to achieve block I/O performance of 1TB/s with 5PB of storage. Each Newisys 2U server with 60 Seagate SSDs is capable of achieving bandwidth of 49GB/s.

  • Security

    • OpenSSL Affected By Four More Security Vulnerabilities
    • Let’s encrypt all the things

      Now that letsencrypt is more widely released, I took the opportunity to generate the certificates and install them manual on my hosting. In the future I will flip the switch to force HTTPS here. For now I made sure to avoid mixed-content as much as I could.

    • I jumped on the SSL-bandwagon
    • Friday’s security updates
    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Let’s Encrypt Enters Public Beta
    • SSH SHA-2 support in Twisted

      Launchpad operates a few SSH endpoints: bazaar.launchpad.net and git.launchpad.net for code hosting, and upload.ubuntu.com and ppa.launchpad.net for uploading packages. None of these are straightforward OpenSSH servers, because they don’t give ordinary shell access and they authenticate against users’ SSH keys recorded in Launchpad; both of these are much easier to do with SSH server code that we can use in library form as part of another service. We use Twisted for several other tasks where we need event-based networking code, and its conch package is a good fit for this.

    • Can you keep Linux-based ransomware from attacking your servers? [Ed: this isn’t a Linux issue but an unpatched CMS issue. Lazy sysadmins.]
    • Elasticsearch Servers Targeted by Linux-Based Botnet Operators

      A honeypot experiment ran by AlientVault has shown that the recent security vulnerabilities discovered in Elasticsearch servers over the summer are now actively being used by botnet operators.

    • Researchers Found Another Malware Targeting Linux Users

      Many analysts believe Rebooke is a harmless Trojan which is true, but its simple design allows the attacker to maneuver the type of attacks which can allow them to deliver powerful payloads on the systems.

    • Let’s Encrypt May Improve Security for Regular People More Than Any Other Initiative This Decade

      Secure websites have always been standard for ecommerce companies like Amazon or Shopify, and in recent years companies that handle private communications like Google and Facebook have invested millions of dollars in enabling encryption for all users. But what about everyone else?

    • Public Beta: December 3, 2015

      Let’s Encrypt will enter Public Beta on December 3, 2015. Once we’ve entered Public Beta our systems will be open to anyone who would like to request a certificate. There will no longer be a requirement to sign up and wait for an invitation.

      Our Limited Beta started on September 12, 2015. We’ve issued over 11,000 certificates since then, and this operational experience has given us confidence that our systems are ready for an open Public Beta.

      It’s time for the Web to take a big step forward in terms of security and privacy. We want to see HTTPS become the default. Let’s Encrypt was built to enable that by making it as easy as possible to get and manage certificates.

    • Let’s encrypt automation on Debian
    • DHS to Silicon Valley: Tell us how to secure this “Internet of Things”

      The US Department of Homeland Security has announced that its Silicon Valley Office (SVO)—the agency’s liaison point with the technology industry—will hold an event on December 10 to kick off a recruiting drive for startups and “non-traditional small businesses” interested in latching onto government funding. The Industry Day, being held at the Menlo Park, California, offices of SRI International, will be focused on the current leading source of worry for DHS officials: the “Internet of Things” (IoT).

    • Millions of smart TVs, phones and routers at risk from old vulnerability

      There’s growing concern over how manufacturers of devices such as routers and smart TVs deal with security vulnerabilities that emerge in their products. Their patching regimes are not nearly as rigorous as those from major software manufacturers, which could expose consumers to attacks as the products age.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Is Turkey Really Benefiting From Oil Trade With ISIS?

      Relations between Russia and Turkey hit a new low this week after Moscow doubled down on its claims that Turkey shot a Russian warplane in order to protect its supply of oil with the militant group ISIS.

    • War Porn

      Scotland is being dragged into a war it voted near unanimously against. 96.5% of Scotland’s MPs voted against the airstrikes in Syra. On platforms all up and down this country, I argued that I do not care a damn about how strong powers are given to Scotland’s parliament in domestic affairs, it we are not a sovereign nation and can still be taken to war against our will. I was proud of Alex Salmond last night for expressing contempt at the notion that civilians are not killed in British airstrikes, a big lie nobody else directly challenged.

    • Deselection is Essential to Democracy

      This goes to the heart of the Blairite cause. It is apparently not “undemocratic” for them to take legal advice on whether they can keep Jeremy Corbyn’s name off the ballot in a future membership ballot. It is not “undemocratic” to discuss deselecting the Leader, but it is a heinous offence against democracy to consider deselecting an MP. The odious Blairites are the most self-centred, selfish and indeed sociopathic group ever to have a serious presence in the UK parliament.

    • Zionist Benn’s Grab For Power

      It is worth reading the next article BICOM published. Brigadier General Michael Herzog, head of strategy for the Israeli defence Force, sets out a strategy for Israeli interests in Syria which dovetails precisely with what Benn and Cameron were pushing in the Commons. Note that Herzog says an overall diplomatic solution is not realistic and rather de facto partitioning of Syria suits Israel’s interests. Therefore there should be no waiting for diplomatic progress before western military action.

    • Emily Benn and Alex Salmond
    • O’Reilly And NYPD’s Ray Kelly Hype NYPD’s Failed Muslim Surveillance Program To Combat Terrorism

      Bill O’Reilly and former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly defended the NYPD’s now defunct surveillance program called, “The Demographics Unit” in response to the deadly attacks in San Bernadino, California. Kelly argued that the program foiled sixteen terror plots in New York City, but a report found that the program never produced one viable lead since being adopted.

    • CNN’s New Day Explains How “Ease Of Access” To Guns Is Linked To High Levels Of Gun Violence

      CNN Analyst: “It’s Easier To Buy A Gun In The United States … Than Most Comparable Countries”

    • Murdoch Trails Behind Murray

      Eight days ago I published a leak from an MOD source that the MOD’s Defence Intelligence Service fundamentally disagreed with Cameron’s “70,000 moderate rebels claim” and were incensed about. Today the Murdoch Press – the Times and the Sun – publish as massive front page exclusives exactly what I published eight days ago.

      Interesting isn’t it that they didn’t publish it before the parliamentary debate on Syria?

    • Guns killed more Americans in 12 years than AIDS, war, and illegal drug overdoses combined

      At least 14 people were shot and killed at Wednesday afternoon’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California. It’s a shocking number, one that will contribute to a rolling national tragedy: roughly 33,000 Americans every year are killed with firearms (homicides, suicides, and accidents).

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Seeing Through the Smoky Pall: Observations from a Grim Indonesian Fire Season

      In September and October 2015, tens of thousands of fires sent clouds of toxic gas and particulate matter into the air over Indonesia. Despite the moist climate of tropical Asia, fire is not unusual at this time of year. For the past few decades, people have used fire to clear land for farming and to burn away leftover crop debris. What was unusual in 2015 was how many fires burned and how many escaped their handlers and went uncontrolled for weeks and even months.

    • Manslaughter charges dropped in BP spill case—nobody from BP will go to prison

      In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and began spewing oil into the US Gulf Coast. In all, this released some 134 million gallons of crude over a span of almost three months. Eleven workers were killed in the nation’s worst offshore oil spill.

      Today, federal prosecutors moved—and a judge agreed—to drop manslaughter charges against two supervisors aboard the Deepwater Horizon when it exploded. This development, in which prosecutors said they believed they no longer could meet the legal threshold for a conviction, means that nobody will go to prison for the disaster that soiled coastlines from Texas to Florida, killed nearly a dozen people, and was an environmental disaster that perhaps brings with it never-before-seen longterm consequences.

    • Facebook Has Activated Safety Check in India for the Chennai Floods [iophk: "making money off of disasters"]

      The website activated its Safety Check feature early Thursday, allowing people to mark themselves as “safe” from the floods. The feature, which debuted in October 2014, has now been deployed on several occasions, the most recent — somewhat controversially — being last month’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

    • The High Cost of Indonesia’s Fires

      Enormous fires have been burning for several months on the Indonesian side of Borneo, and on Sumatra. The resulting haze has been a catastrophe for the region, with severe impacts for human health and wildlife. The fires are also a climate disaster, resulting in 1.62 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions so far this year — triple Indonesia’s normal annual output.


      Indonesia, is the global leader in terms of palm oil, pulpwood, and timber production, and fires are used to clear the land and make way for agricultural produftion. The driving force behind this destructive system is foreign demand. In the United States, palm oil is being used by companies including PepsiCo, Nissin, and Frito Lay as an alternative to hydrogenated oils. In Europe, it is used as a biofuel. Today, the biggest markets for palm are China and India.

      Of course, there are other ways to clear forest, but fire is often cheaper — set a fire and then nature takes over. Fires also provide an opportunity for land grabs in Indonesia, adding an additional incentive for those who want land. Due to restrictions on deforestation, pristine forests are more difficult to legally convert into palm oil or pulp plantations. But recently burned forest and peat? It becomes “degraded land” that is ripe for agricultural production. Greenpeace has already observed this pattern of land grabbing on recently-burned land in Borneo.

  • Finance

    • JPMorgan Wrote Complaints After Firing a Whistle-Blower

      Mr. Burris complained in 2013 that JPMorgan was pressuring brokers like him to sell the bank’s own mutual funds even when the offerings from competitors were more suitable. A few weeks after an article in The New York Times about Mr. Burris’s concerns appeared, complaints from some of his former clients in Arizona began showing up on his disciplinary records that are maintained by a regulatory agency and publicly available.

    • Six Key Flaws In The EU’s Proposed ‘New’ Corporate Sovereignty Court

      A few months back, Techdirt wrote about the European Commission’s proposal to replace the traditional corporate sovereignty system — generally known as “investor-state dispute settlement ” (ISDS) — with what it called the “Investment Court System” (ICS). That seemed to us little more than a re-branding exercise; now an international investment law scholar has weighed in on the issue with his own, rather more expert opinion. Gus Van Harten is Associate Professor at York University in Canada.

    • Facebook shares: what’s behind Mark Zuckerberg’s ‘hacker philanthropy’?

      Whatever motivates them, these new philanthropists aren’t happy with the model for altruism that they’ve inherited. In his WSJ article, Parker, dismissing traditional philanthropy as “largely antiquated” and motivated by “safe” gifts that result in the chance to “name buildings”, described a new approach that would be at ease with failure, agile, and sceptical of received wisdom – just as its proponents had been in tech. “They’re much more comfortable with risk,” says Breeze. “This is not an easy area: trying to do something about intense social problems outside of the state and outside of the market. If they take a risk and they learn from it, that’s held up as a success. The willingness to talk about failure is another part of their gift.”

    • Imagining a World Without Growth

      Could the world order survive without growing?


      Economic growth took off consistently around the world only some 200 years ago. Two things powered it: innovation and lots and lots of carbon-based energy, most of it derived from fossil fuels like coal and petroleum. Staring at climactic upheaval approaching down the decades, environmental advocates, scientists and even some political leaders have put the proposal on the table: World consumption must stop growing.

    • Zuckerberg Responds To Critics, Explains How He’s Spending $45B

      The revelation generated a lot of attention, much of it due to the sheer volume of Zuckerberg’s net worth — $45 billion!

    • Mark Zuckerberg explains why he didn’t give his Facebook billions to charity

      Earlier this week, Mark Zuckerberg made the surprise announcement that he, along with his wife Priscilla Chan, would be donating 99 percent of their Facebook shares — worth around $45 billion — to the causes of “advancing human potential” and “promoting equality.” The gesture appeared altruistic, but some have criticized the way Zuckerberg is using the money, giving it to a limited liability company rather than a charitable foundation. Now Zuckerberg has responded to those complaints, posting another message that attempts to explain why he set up the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and what he and his wife want to do with the money.

    • Justice Department Collects More Than $23 Billion in Civil and Criminal Cases in Fiscal Year 2015

      Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced today that the Justice Department collected $23.1 billion in civil and criminal actions in the fiscal year (FY) ending Sept. 30, 2015. Collections in FY 2015 represent more than seven and a half times the approximately $2.93 billion of the Justice Department’s combined appropriations for the 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices and the main litigating divisions in that same period.

      “The Department of Justice is committed to upholding the rule of law, safeguarding taxpayer resources and protecting the American people from exploitation and abuse,” said Attorney General Lynch. “The collections we are announcing today demonstrate not only the strength of that commitment, but also the significant return on public investment that our actions deliver. I want to thank the prosecutors and trial attorneys who made this achievement possible, and to reiterate our dedication to this ongoing work.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Trump wins because he lies: Truthiness, Fox News, and why the right likes a fact-free zone

      Conservatives decided years ago, as a matter of strategy, to attack the mainstream media as hopelessly liberal. There’s a kernel of truth to this, in that there are likely more liberals than conservatives working in media. But the coverage, if it’s biased at all, isn’t biased in favor of liberals. If anything, the media favors the sensational and the attention-grabbing – this is what drives ratings and clicks.

      The media, after all, is a commercial enterprise, and so its biases are financial, not political.

    • Donald Trump Praises Leading Conspiracy Theorist Alex Jones And His “Amazing” Reputation

      Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump appeared on Alex Jones’ program, where Trump praised Jones as having an “amazing” reputation and promised, “I will not let you down.” Jones is America’s leading conspiracy theorist — he believes the government was behind 9-11 and several other catastrophes.

    • Neo-Con YouGov At It Again With Leading Questions

      There is no need to mention the RAF in this question – it is not their decision and the impression is subtly conveyed that the RAF want to do it. The question is carefully designed to tap in to the public’s well-documented inclination to support the armed forces in any conflict situation.


      Nevertheless, there are two very interesting facts. Even on this biased question opinion is swinging very fast against airstrikes. Secondly, yet again there is a very real divergence of opinion between England and Scotland.

    • In “Extraordinary” Move, WI Supreme Court Fires Scott Walker Prosecutor to Stave-Off SCOTUS Review

      “What a mess this court has wrought!” Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson declared in the latest chapter in the state’s John Doe legal saga.

      On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s majority contorted itself to find a new way to protect both Scott Walker and the Court’s biggest supporters–not to mention itself–following its decision in July rewriting the state’s limits on money in politics and ending the “John Doe” investigation into Walker’s campaign coordinating with dark money groups.

      Wednesday’s ruling was supposed to be a straightforward decision on a motion to reconsider, in light of additional evidence that Walker and his allies had violated the campaign finance laws that the Court upheld in July.

    • Conservative Media React To San Bernardino Mass Shooting With Evidence-Free Solution Of More Concealed Guns

      Conservative media are using the mass shooting that claimed 14 lives in San Bernardino, California, to once again push the carrying of concealed guns as a deterrent for mass shootings. There is no evidence that concealed guns are a real-life solution to mass shootings; according to an analysis of public mass shootings over a 30-year period, not a single one was stopped by an armed civilian with a concealed carry permit.

  • Censorship

    • After Illegally Censoring Websites For Five Years On Bogus Copyright Charges, US Gov’t Quietly ‘Returns’ Two Domains

      One of the craziest stories of outright censorship by the US government isn’t getting any attention at all. Five years ago, ICE — Immigrations and Customs Enforcement — a part of the Department of Homeland Security, illegally seized a group of domain names, claiming that they were violating copyright law. As we noted soon after this, the affidavit that ICE used to get a court to sign off on the seizures was particularly ridiculous, showing a near total lack of understanding of both the law and how the internet worked.

    • It’s time to smash the cosy Question Time chumocracy

      Not every white person thinks the same: Boris Johnson, Jeremy Corbyn, Nicola Sturgeon and Nick Griffin share not much more than a skin colour. There are class, gender, cultural, political, national and religious differences that are far more powerful than ethnic similarities.

      Everyone, of course, realises this – not least the media. Watch a programme such as Question Time and you will see a wide range of white panellists representing the wide range of views that white people in the UK hold.

      Why, then, is the same civility not extended to Britain’s ethnic minorities? Instead, the select few BAME (Black Asian minority ethnic) “representatives” are wheeled out again and again as if somehow they alone who speak for Britain’s 8.1 million ethnic minority citizens.

      Here’s an open secret: they don’t. Political views are just as broad and diverse among people of colour as they are among white citizens. It is worrying that this still needs pointing out.

    • If Any Kind of “Shaming” Can Be Called Legitimate and Useful, It Must Be Prayer Shaming

      I would go a step further to suggest that prayer is not just insufficient but harmful—not only in crisis situations (when it is just empirically ineffectual), but every single day. Every prayer is a tacit and/or explicit affirmation that the navigation of human life, human interaction, and human interdependence are somehow not the responsibility of humans. This can obviously take much more malign significance in the minds of the deeply faithful, but even in those little “god, give me strength”/”wow, the universe is really looking out for me today” moments, all of humankind is subtly diminished by the suggestion that there is a deity whose plan is being served by our suffering, and, more to the point, other people’s suffering.

  • Privacy

    • Facebook to stop tracking people without Facebook accounts in Belgium after privacy ruling

      Facebook will stop tracking browsers of Facebook pages in Belgium who are not signed into a Facebook account, seeking to comply with a court ruling last month ordering it to do so or face daily fines.

      The company’s action means Belgians will have to log into Facebook before they can see Facebook pages, forcing them to create and sign into an account if they want to view the pages or related content.

      Previously non-users could view public Facebook pages from sports teams, celebrities, tourist attractions and businesses without needing to log into Facebook. As a result of the changes registered Facebook users in Belgium who attempt to log in from an unrecognised web browser will be forced to comply with some added security steps, the company said.

    • Google Cloud Vision API Could Revolutionize Machine Vision

      You can currently call the API by embedding an image as part of the request. In future phases, Google will add support for integrating with Google Cloud Storage. The Vision API enables you to request one or more annotation types per image.

    • Amazon wants to fill your living room with sensors and cameras to bring you augmented reality

      We’ve had a couple virtual reality headsets in the Digital Trends office, and whether or not they’re comfortable to sport on your face, they make the wearer look kind of ridiculous. If your living room was one big augmented reality space, though, that would mean you’re not constantly hunting for your headset. That’s Amazon’s idea, away, according to a couple new patents the retailer recently filed.

    • Submission to Science and Technology Committee on Investigatory Powers Bill

      Parliamentary committees have started examining the draft Snooper’s Charter, so it is important to engage and explain what is wrong with the bill. In this submission we decided to focus on the provisions to create “internet connection records”. We ask for these to be scrapped as they are disproportionate and technically unworkable without the excessive and intrusive collection of everything we do online. There are alternatives that should be explored.

    • The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work

      Cryptography rearranges power: it configures who can do what, from what. This makes cryptography an inherently political tool, and it confers on the field an intrinsically moral dimension. The Snowden revelations motivate a reassessment of the political and moral positioning of cryptography. They lead one to ask if our inability to effectively address mass surveillance constitutes a failure of our field. I believe that it does. I call for a community-wide effort to develop more effective means to resist mass surveillance. I plea for a reinvention of our disciplinary culture to attend not only to puzzles and math, but, also, to the societal implications of our work.

    • Is Google spying on students who use Chromebooks?

      I’ll let you make up your own mind about Google’s response. To me it doesn’t carry much weight, but I’ve become somewhat cynical regarding Google’s motives and behavior over the years. So you’ll have to decide for yourself if the company’s explanation trumps the EFF’s report.

    • After Safe Harbour ruling, legal moves to force Facebook to stop sending data to US

      The Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems has sent complaints to the data protection agencies in three EU countries—Ireland, Germany, and Belgium—asking them to suspend the flow of personal data from Facebook’s operations in Ireland to the US. This follows his earlier success at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which ruled that the Safe Harbour framework under which personal data was being transferred was no longer valid because of mass surveillance of EU citizens by the NSA. Subsequently, the Irish High Court said that the Irish data protection commissioner (DPC) was obliged to investigate Schrems’ earlier complaints.

      His letter to the authorities in Ireland, where Facebook has its European headquarters, asks the Irish data protection agency “to suspend all data flows from ‘Facebook Ireland Ltd’ to ‘Facebook Inc’.” Schrems makes the same request to the data protection agencies in Germany and Belgium. In a release accompanying his complaints, Schrems explains why he has taken this unusual approach of involving several data protection agencies (DPAs): “My personal experience with the Irish DPC are rather mixed, which is why I felt involving more active DPAs make proper enforcement actions more likely. I hope the DPAs will cooperate in this case.”

    • LinkedIn’s revised Android app emulates Facebook
    • Why Electronic Health Records aren’t more usable

      Federal government incentives worth about $30 billion have persuaded the majority of physicians and hospitals to adopt electronic health record (EHR) systems over the past few years. However, most physicians do not find EHRs easy to use.

      Physicians often have difficulty entering structured data in EHRs, especially during patient encounters. The records are hard to read because they’re full of irrelevant boilerplates generated by the software and lack individualized information about the patient.

      Alerts frequently fire for inconsequential reasons, leading to alert fatigue. EHRs from different vendors are not interoperable with each other, making it impossible to exchange information without expensive interfaces or the use of secure messaging systems.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Police Were Right That Someone Could Abduct Her Son

      Video here. Check out how close the playground is to the houses. This is like my parents allowing us to play in our backyard, except apartment dwellers don’t have their own yard.

    • University Islamic Society students ‘make death threats’ as they disrupt controversial blasphemy lecture by human rights activist who they said ‘violated their safe space’

      One student switched off the projector after the speaker showed a cartoon of Muhammad, while a member of the audience claimed that an activist pointed his fingers at his head in the shape of a gun and said ‘boom’ in a bid to intimidate him.

      The Islamic Society spoke out in advance of the talk – titled ‘Apostasy, blasphemy and free expression in the age of ISIS’ – insisting Ms Namazie should not be allowed to speak because of her ‘bigoted views’.

    • Islamic students pull plug on talk by atheist who ‘violated safe space’

      A secular campaigner has told how she was heckled and shouted down by members of a student Islamic society who said that she was violating their “safe space”.

      Maryam Namazie claimed that the Islamic society at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she was addressing the institution’s atheist group, tried to stop her talk going ahead by invoking a “no platform policy”.

    • Goldsmiths’ Islamic Society students disrupt human rights activist’s speech

      A renowned human rights campaigner has told how she was “intimidated” by Muslim students at a London university during a talk on radical Islam.

      Members of the Goldsmiths University Students Union’s Islamic Society switched off a projector and heckled as Maryam Namazie delivered a lecture on Monday evening.

      The students disrupted the speech, entitled ‘Apostasy, blasphemy and free expression in the age of Isis’, because they claimed it “violated their safe space”.

    • Pakistan Aims To Take Home ‘Worst Cybercrime Legislation In The World’ Trophy With Prevention Of Electronic Crimes Bill

      Pakistan is pushing forward its version of CISPA/CISA, the PECB (Prevention of Electronic Crime Bill). Much like here in the US, legislators have put this together without the input of legal or technical experts and, to make matters worse, this one is being pushed under a regime already notorious for censorious actions and intrusive surveillance.

    • Gitmo Prisoner Held For 13 Years Was Victim Of ‘Mistaken Identity’

      He’s been held without charge at Guantánamo Bay for 13 years. Believed to be an al-Qaeda courier or trainer, he was deemed dangerous enough to be held for an “indefinite” amount of time at the prison camp.

      But on Tuesday, in documents released at a Guantánamo hearing, U.S. officials admitted that the man — a Yemeni named Mustafa al-Aziz al-Shamiri — was not who they thought he was. His arrest, they conceded, had been partly a case of “mistaken identity.”

      Al-Shamiri, the documents revealed, had been a low-level Islamic fighter — and not a significant member of al-Qaeda as had previously been suspected.

      “It was previously assessed that YM-434 (al-Shamiri) also was an al-Qaeda facilitator or courier, as well as a trainer, but we now judge these activities were carried out by other known extremists with names or aliases similar to YM-434’s,” officials said.

    • Saudi woman seeks asylum in UK after death threats from her family

      A Saudi woman who fled to the UK with her young son after leaving her husband has told a court how she received death threats from relatives – one of whom told her they would “cut off your head like we do to the sheep” for bringing shame upon their family.

      The woman, who is in her 30s but has not been named, is claiming asylum in Britain after her decision to separate from her husband angered her family. In one incident recounted to the court, her father attacked her with a piece of furniture and her brother tried to strangle her.

    • Will Ukip break up? These bookmakers think Ukip could disband and Nigel Farage could step down
    • Massive Collapse in Tory Vote Share in Oldham

      The Tory vote in Oldham West was not tiny and statistically insignificant. In 2010 it was 23%. The national media has been plugging a narrative about the political dominance of the Tories for months, which bears no relationship to people’s experience in real life. Tens of thousands of words of utter bilge have been written about the Conservatives “Northern powerhouse” strategy and how it will enable them to win in the North, and especially in precisely this Greater Manchester region. This is revealed as complete and utter nonsense. This by-election shows the Tories are deeply unpopular.

    • The mask slips: Oldham result brings out the real Nigel Farage

      Now before I get into the substance of Farage’s argument, it’s worth actually taking a look at the article he referred to in all his interviews this morning.

      The Guardian’s Northern editor is a journalist called Helen Pidd. You can read the article she wrote about the Oldham by-election last Saturday in full here.

      As you can see, there is absolutely no mention of a street where “nobody spoke English, nobody had ever heard go Jeremy Corbyn, but they were all voting Labour.”

      There is one woman quoted who had not heard of Corbyn and another man quoted who had heard of him, didn’t like him, but was still voting Labour because of the local candidate.

    • Ken Livingstone: ‘After Oldham, all those MPs who think we can’t win with Jeremy Corbyn might start to rethink’

      Ken Livingstone gazes out of his kitchen door, where the autumn leaves are floating gently down towards his cherished pond. “The garden wouldn’t be such a mess,” he says laconically, “if Jeremy hadn’t won.”

      At 70, he was meant to be retired by now, devoting himself to domesticity. When he lost his last mayoral election three years ago, he swapped roles with his wife, Emma, who had previously put her career on hold to support his; she has now retrained as a teacher while he became a househusband, running around after 12-year-old Thomas and Mia, 11. (He also has three grownup children by previous partners.)

    • Oldham may be the end for UKIP

      In 1997, Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling threatened the very existence of Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation. The WWF was being beaten in television ratings, pay-per-view buy rates, merchandise sales and all the other pecuniary methods of measuring success in professional wrestling. McMahon, however, is a canny operator and managed to turn around his company the following year, destroying the insurgent organisation and eventually buying it out for a paltry $2.5 million.

      Fast forward to December 2015 and another McMahon, Labour’s Candidate Jim in the Oldham West and Royton by-election, may also prove to be a canny operator who spells doom for an insurgency. UKIP, who had high hopes of causing another by-election headache for the increasingly desperate Labour party, have been held off in a distant second place. McMahon stormed home with a 10,722-vote majority, smaller than predecessor the late Michael Meacher’s due to turnout but with an increased share of the vote over the General Election result.

    • Death Mob Bays For Blood of MPs

      It is astonishing that Tom Watson says that anybody in that video should be expelled from the Labour Party, and that the entire mainstream media has described it as “intimidation”. There really is a genuine attempt to delegitimise even the concept of dissent from the neo-con war agenda.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Can We Save Wireless from Regulators?

      Linux was born and grew within an ecosystem of norms, not laws. Those norms were those of programming (C), operating systems (*NIX), command shells (bash, etc.), e-mail (SMTP, etc.) licenses (GPL, etc.) and Internet protocols (TCP/IP and the rest).

    • NetworkManager and privacy in the IPv6 internet

      The other problem (privacy) is a bit harder to solve. An IP address (be it IPv4 or IPv6) address consists of a network part and the host part. The host discovers the relevant network parts and is supposed generate the host part. Traditionally it just uses an Interface Identifier derived from the network hardware’s (MAC) address. The MAC address is set at manufacturing time and can uniquely identify the machine. This guarantees the address is stable and unique. That’s a good thing for address collision avoidance but a bad thing for privacy. The host part remaining constant in different network means that the machine can be uniquely identified as it enters different networks. This seemed like non-issue at the time the protocol was designed, but the privacy concerns arose as the IPv6 gained popularity. Fortunately, there’s a solution to this problem.

  • DRM

    • I Can’t Let You Do That, Dave

      DMCA 1201 prohibits breaking “digital locks” that restrict access to copyrighted works. Though it was originally conceived as a means of preventing piracy, it has proved most useful at preventing competition and the creation of legitimate, otherwise legal technologies. Copyright law has many flexibilities and exclusions that product designers, developers, and users can freely exercise, without any permission from the copyright holder. But under 1201, you can only make these uses if you do not have to break a lock.

    • Adobe Renaming Flash Software To “Animate CC”
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • University: ‘Pirating’ Students Being Deliberately Targeted

        Data published by Central Michigan University has revealed a worrying trend in copyright complaints. Out of 1,912 received so far in 2015, more than 80% were from Rightscorp, a company that demands cash to settle. The university’s chief information officer believes that campuses like his are being deliberately targeted.

      • Popcorn Time Developers Poke MPAA with A New Fork

        A new group of Popcorn Time developers has officially launched a “Community Edition” of the popular application. What started as a relatively simple fix to get the most used fork working again has turned into a fork of its own, challenging the MPAA’s efforts to bring Popcorn Time down.

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