Links 2/7/2016: Kodi 17 Alpha 2, Slackware 14.2

Posted in News Roundup at 6:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Oracle Loses Again, Red Hat Competes With FOSS & More…

    Also included: LinuxQuestions.org has a birthday, six new distro releases, Ubuntu considering dropping 32-bit support and the feds were after Snowden.

  • Desktop

    • Is Your OS Working For You Or Enslaving You?

      Essentially, folks bought a PC to use, run their applications and browse their networks and MS has installed malware on them to advertise “10”. Malware. That’s what this is. If the guy who made your OS deliberately installs malware on your PC, what are you going to do?

    • Microsoft’s Windows 10 nagware goes FULL SCREEN in final push

      As the Windows 10 free upgrade period draws to a close, Microsoft is stepping up its operating system’s nagware to full-screen takeovers.

      The Redmond software giant confirmed today it will start showing dark blue screens urging people to install the latest version of Windows. The full-screen ads will pop up on Windows 7 and 8.1 desktops from now until July 30, when the free upgrade period ends.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Check out ‘Why, Phil?’, new Linux audio webshow series

      Philip Yassin has recently started an upbeat Linux audio webshow series called ‘Ask Phil?’. Only recently started, the series has already notched up an impressive 7 episodes, most of which revolve around Phil’s favourite DAW, Qtractor.

  • Applications

    • Grammar and style-checking tools for Emacs

      Grammar be hard. Both for human beings and for software programs. These days, writers who use free software generally have their choice of reliable utilities for catching spelling mistakes, regardless of what editors or word processors they use. The outlook for grammar-and-style checking is not nearly as rosy. I recently explored the options available for Emacs, and was underwhelmed with the status quo.

    • Unblock Censored Websites Using Lantern Browser in Debian/Ubuntu/Linux Mint

      Lantern is an open source, free software that allows reliable and secure access to open Internet. It is Internet proxy tool developed to access blocked websites anywhere in the world and it is cross-platform available for desktop OS (Linux, Mac and Windows), as well as for Android. Lantern is built by the Brave New Software Project and lead by Adam Fisk as developer, a non-profit dedicated to creating software that tackles tough global challenges, the basic idea behind this project was to allow user an unfiltered Internet access.

    • VLC media player with skins for Ubuntu/Linux Mint/other Ubuntu derivatives

      VideoLAN and the VLC development team released the new major version of VLC, 2.2.2. With a new audio core, hardware decoding and encoding, port to mobile platforms, preparation for Ultra-HD video and a special care to support more formats, 2.2.2 is a major upgrade for VLC. Rincewind has a new rendering pipeline for audio, with better effiency, volume and device management, to improve VLC audio support. It supports many new devices inputs, formats, metadata and improves most of the current ones, preparing for the next-gen codecs.

    • Kodi v17 “Krypton” Alpha 2

      Since the dawn of time, or at least since 2008 each released version has received a code name next to the version number. Giving each development iteration a code name in a certain category is kind of a tradition that is not only applicable for software but also for hardware. Google does so for Android, Intel and NVIDIA also names their chips. Who are we to break this tradition and as such we follow in their steps with a theme that started out with mythical places or names. For our v17 release we actually let the public chose the name and with an overwhelming majority they chose the name “Krypton”.

    • Kodi 17 Alpha 2 Released
    • Kodi 17 “Krypton” Media Center Gets Ready for Android 6.0, Alpha 2 Out Now

      Today, July 2, 2016, the development team behind the popular Kodi open-source and cross-platform media center software has announced the release of the second Alpha build for the upcoming Kodi 17 “Krypton” series.

      Work on Kodi 17 started in early December 2015, but it took the developers about six months to push an Alpha build to public testers, which should have arrived in May 2016. Two weeks ago, on June 21, they announced that there are only ten days left until the first Alpha hits the streets.

      Well, today is the tenth day, but we didn’t get the first Alpha. Instead, we can download the second Alpha milestone, which should be more stable and offer us an early taste of what’s coming later this year in Kodi 17. This happened because of some code issues that needed to be fixed first.

    • The Numerous Features Coming To Ardour 5.0

      If you use Ardour as your digital audio workstation software, you’ll want to read this article about the features coming to Ardour 5.0.

      Last month we talked about Ardour 5.0-pre0 and since then Ardour 5.0 has continued moving along for release later this year. The developers behind Ardour for Linux and OS X have published a feature guide for this next release.

    • 5+ Linux Video Editing Tool Tips

      Finding a video editor in Linux that isn’t severely handicapped or come with an extreme learning curve is difficult. But this article isn’t about fancy video editors. As it turns out many of the things you need to get done are easiest with a few command-line tools. The packages you’ll want to install are mpv, ffmpeg, mencoder, normalize, and sox.

    • Pitivi 0.96 Video Editor Promises Fast and Accurate Editing for Any Video Format

      The road to Pitivi 1.0 continues, and the development team was proud to announce the release of the 0.96 milestone, which is yet another step in the development cycle of the powerful, open-source video editor.

      Therefore, Pitivi 0.96 arrives with the usual bug fixes and code cleanup maintenance stuff, but it also introduces a new feature, something that the Pitivi developers like to call “Proxy editing,” and that it promises fast and accurate editing with any video file format.

      “To provide the best experience, we decided to give you the ability to seamlessly work with media formats suitable for video editing,” explained the devs. “Now you can edit and render a video project with any video files with great accuracy, thanks to proxy files.”

    • Pitivi: An Open Source and Powerful Video Editor for Linux

      Pitivi is a well known video editor, the initial release was back in May, 2004 and still in active development. It is an open source, non-linear video editor for Linux developed by various contributors from all over the world, licensed under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). It aims to be a powerful and flexible video editor that can attract to prosumers and professionals.
      In February, 2014 the project held a fundraising campaign through Gnome foundation, the goal was to raise €100,000 for further development. The fundraiser did not reach the goal but raised above €23,000 as of 2015, which allowed partially funded development.

    • Proprietary

      • Veeam Agent for Linux, the Beta is now available!

        At Veeam, we all love virtualization and truly believe that modern data centers should be virtualized to guarantee the highest degree of Availability. However, the reality is that not every workload is virtualized. Some workloads cannot be reached through the hypervisors they run on even when they are virtualized, like in public cloud environments.

        This is one of the reasons Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE has seen such tremendous success since its initial launch in 2015. Now, that’s just one side of the story –– especially when you consider that in public cloud the vast majority of deployed virtual machines (VMs) are running one of the many flavors of Linux.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Locally-made Linux distro gets an upgrade

        You may not know it, but South Africa actually produces two maker-oriented boards offering an alternative to popular names like Arduino. One of those boards, the Blue Penguin, runs its own distro of Linux called “Guinnux”, and it just got an upgrade.

        The Blue Penguin and Guinnux is created by local company Keystone Electronic Solutions. Director and co-founder John Eigelaar runs us through the changes between the previous version, Guinnux 4, and Guinnux 5.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

    • Arch Family

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • GeckoLinux 421.160527.0

        GeckoLinux is one of the more recent distributions to land in the DistroWatch database. GeckoLinux (or Gecko, as I will refer to the distribution) is based on openSUSE. Gecko offers two key features above and beyond what its parent provides: patent encumbered software installed by default and live desktop editions. The openSUSE project avoids shipping software with licensing or patent restrictions and offers just two editions of Leap (a full DVD and a net-install disc). The Gecko distribution provides some extra packages, including multimedia support, and provides live discs for seven different desktop environments: Budgie, Cinnamon, GNOME, KDE Plasma, LXQt, MATE and Xfce. For people who want something lighter, Gecko offers an eighth “Barebones” edition.

        I decided to try Gecko’s MATE edition which is available as a 966MB download. While I was downloading the ISO file, I looked into why Gecko uses such long version numbers, such as 421.160527.0. I learned the first part indicates which version of openSUSE Gecko uses as a base, in this case openSUSE 42.1. The second number is the date the ISO was created, 27th of May, 2016. The final number is reserved for revisions or re-builds. In this case the trailing zero indicates no rebuilds were necessary.

    • Slackware Family

      • Zenwalk 8.0 Is Based on Slackware 14.2, Gets New Desktop Layout for Xfce 4.12.1

        Jean-Philippe Guillemin, the developer of Zenwalk, proudly announced today, July 2, 2016, the final release of the Slackware-based Zenwalk 8.0 GNU/Linux operating system.

        Based on the just released Slackware 14.2 operating system, Zenwalk 8.0 is finally here, powered by Linux kernel 4.4.14 LTS, the same one that powers the monumental Slackware Linux, thus offering users support for the latest hardware devices. Zenwalk’s default desktop environment is Xfce 4.12.1, and it now ships with a new layout that’s more user-friendly than ever.

      • Slackware Release Announcement

        Slackware 14.2 brings many updates and enhancements, among which
        you’ll find two of the most advanced desktop environments available
        today: Xfce 4.12.1, a fast and lightweight but visually appealing and
        easy to use desktop environment, and KDE 4.14.21 (KDE 4.14.3 with
        kdelibs-4.14.21) a stable release of the 4.14.x series of the award-
        winning KDE desktop environment. These desktops utilize eudev, udisks,
        and udisks2, and many of the specifications from freedesktop.org which
        allow the system administrator to grant use of various hardware devices
        according to users’ group membership so that they will be able to use
        items such as USB flash sticks, USB cameras that appear like USB storage,
        portable hard drives, CD and DVD media, MP3 players, and more, all
        without requiring sudo, the mount or umount command. Just plug and play.
        Slackware’s desktop should be suitable for any level of Linux experience.

      • Slackware 14.2 is Here, Mageia 6 STA1 is too

        Woohoo! Slackware 14.2 is here! Patrick Volkerding announced the release early July 1 saying it brings “many updates and enhancements.” Elsewhere, the Mageia project announced the first stabilization snapshot for upcoming version 6 and Dominique Leuenberger posted this week’s Tumbleweed review. The end of life for Fedora 22 is fast approaching and the end of an era is upon us as distributions drop 32-bit support.

      • Slackware 14.2 Officially Released

        Slackware 14.2 was released today to kick off July. Slackware 14.2 has been long in development while today it was christened.

        Slackware 14.2 features Xfce 4.12.1 and KDE 4.14.21 desktops, is powered by the Linux 4.4.14 kernel, glibc 2.23, BlueZ 5 for Bluetooth, GCC 5.3 is the default compiler, and various other updated packages. Slackware 14.2 is also notable for finally making use of PulseAudio.

      • Slackware 14.2 Released
      • Slackware Linux 14.2 Officially Released with Linux Kernel 4.4, without systemd

        After many months of hard work, two Betas and two RCs, Patrick J. Volkerding was extremely proud to announce today, July 2, 2016, the release and immediate availability for download of the final Slackware 14.2 Linux operating system.

        Slackware Linux 14.2 arrives two and a half months after the mid-April release of the second and last Release Candidate (RC) build, and it has now been declared stable and ready for deployment as your daily driver. Powered by the latest (at the moment of writing this article) long-term supported Linux 4.4.14 kernel, Slackware 14.2 ships with many up-to-date components and GNU/Linux technologies.

      • Slackware 14.2 released
      • sbopkg 0.38.0 is out for Slackware 14.2

        What a busy day today with all the releases for Slackware 14.2, MATE 1.14, Cinnamon 3.0 and now sbopkg 0.38.0.


        We are finalizing SBo repository for Slackware 14.2, but at least you don’t have to wait 3 months just like previous cycle as we have prepared it since last January. Stay tune for SBo announcement on slackbuilds-user mailing list.

      • MATE 1.14 and Cinnamon 3.0 for Slackware 14.2

        Just hours since Slackware 14.2 is released, we proudly present to you MATE 1.14 and Cinnamon 3.0 for Slackware 14.2 users!!! We have been working under the hood of testing these two projects since they were released last April.

        The binary packages are compiled against Slackware 14.2 official ISO and it’s now uploaded to the usual repository in http://slackware.org.uk/msb and http://slackware.org.uk/csb. Thanks to Darren Austin for providing a place to host these two projects.

      • Bear is working for its money

        Since I made the new Slackware 14.2 data available 24 hours ago, the server has been pushing out 1.67 Terabytes of data, at an average of 155 MBytes/sec. Needless to say that this server was a good investment, I could never have managed this on my old platform.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Realtek spins wireless oriented Arduino compatible SBC

      Realtek has launched a $25, Arduino compatible “Ameba” SBC, built around a 166MHz Cortex-M3 RTL8195AM chipset, and offering WiFi and NFC.

      When you think of Realtek Semiconductor, you probably think about audio codecs, but the company makes a wide variety of other ICs and MCUs that end up on hacker boards. Realtek is now trying its hand at its own Arduino compatible SBC: the Realtek IoT Ameba Platform. The board is backed by a community site with plenty of examples of robots, drones, home automation gizmos, and more that run on the Ameba.

    • That Open, Upgradeable ARM Dev Board Is Trying To Make A Comeback

      Remember that Improve Dev Board using an open-source, upgradeable design and running Mer from 2013~2014 before the project collapsed? It’s back now in the form of a new crowdfunding campaign with some changes to the hardware and the option of a build-your-own laptop.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

        • Tizen OS gets ported to Russia’s Elvees microprocessor

          During the Skolkovo Startup Village – Russia’s largest conference which took place last month, we had reported of a customized corporate version of Tizen OS being showcased on the Samsung Z3. Now, we have come across the news that the event also saw Tizen OS being implemented on the multi-core processor 1892ВМ14Я belonging to Russian manufacturer Elvees Multicore. The Tizen OS was ported to this ARM based processor thanks to a joint effort from the Russian consortium experts and engineers from Tizen.RU. The project proves to showcase the flexibility and open source nature of Tizen and according to the officials at the event, this implementation of Tizen OS in a Russian made hardware helps in leveraging security to higher levels, while we believe the intention is also to reduce the use of processors from foreign brands like mediatek, qualcomm, rockchip, etc.

      • Android

Free Software/Open Source

  • SourceForge eyes a comeback

    Years ago, SourceForge.net was the premiere hosting service for open-source and free-software projects. But, after changing hands several times, the site ran seriously afoul of the development community in 2015; its staff was accused of secretly commandeering inactive project accounts and of replacing project downloads with installers side-loaded with adware or even malware. In early 2016, however, the site changed hands yet again, and its new owners have set out to regain the community’s trust.

    To recap, SourceForge was launched in 1999 by VA Linux Systems, which was initially a hardware vendor. Over the next few years, the company acquired several other free-software related sites, including Freshmeat, Slashdot, and NewsForge (where I worked for several years). For a while, VA operated SourceForge.net for “community” open-source projects and offered a separate “enterprise” edition to corporate clients.

  • NEC establishes Open Source Software Technology Centre in India

    NEC Corporation and NEC Technologies India Private Limited (NTI) announced the establishment of the “OSS Technology Centre,” an organization specializing in technical support related to the use of open source software (OSS).

  • Why an international sports betting and gaming operator uses open source

    Enterprise business is one thing, but most people live down in the trenches. The common business doesn’t have a budget or staff to match the big dogs, but they do have the same needs. One of these needs is for solid, reliable server and data operations. The open-source movement has become a refuge for smaller companies, offering software and services that, in many cases, match what enterprise uses.

  • The WRT54GL: A 54Mbps router from 2005 still makes millions for Linksys

    In a time when consumers routinely replace gadgets with new models after just two or three years, some products stand out for being built to last.

    Witness the Linksys WRT54GL, the famous wireless router that came out in 2005 and is still for sale. At first glance, there seems to be little reason to buy the WRT54GL in the year 2016. It uses the 802.11g Wi-Fi standard, which has been surpassed by 802.11n and 802.11ac. It delivers data over the crowded 2.4GHz frequency band and is limited to speeds of 54Mbps. You can buy a new router—for less money—and get the benefit of modern standards, expansion into the 5GHz band, and data rates more than 20 times higher.


    Linksys doesn’t bother promoting the WRT54GL much. But La Duca mentioned the continued production of the WRT54GL recently when I interviewed him for a story on Linksys’ project to let users install open source firmware on new routers without breaking the latest FCC anti-interference rules. The WRT54GL was the first wireless router I ever purchased about a decade ago; I was surprised that Linksys still produces them, so I asked the company for more details.

  • Events

    • Hadoop Summit Brings Big Data News

      Multiple Big Data vendors and efforts debut new Hadoop technologies at this week’s summit in California.

      It was a big week for Big Data, with multiple vendors making announcements at this week’s Hadoop Summit in San Jose.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Improving LibreOffice User Experience (UX)

      Effective from May 2016, Heiko Tietze has started working as a consultant to drive LibreOffice UX one step further.

      Heiko has been one of the most active UX volunteers during the last few years, and has been instrumental in a rather large number of the user interface improvements since LibreOffice 4.4.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Twisted in an asyncio world
    • Pyjion
    • Automated testing of CPython patches
    • Why is Python slow?

      Python users often complain that the language is slow. Kevin Modzelewski presented some of his findings on Python’s slowness at the 2016 Python Language Summit. He works at Dropbox on the Pyston just-in-time (JIT) compiled version of Python; that project has learned some interesting things along the way about what causes Python to be slow.

    • The Python JITs are coming

      Nathaniel Smith envisions a future where just-in-time (JIT) compiler techniques will be commonly used in Python, especially for scientific computing. He presented his ideas on where things are headed at the 2016 Python Language Summit. He currently works at the University of California, Berkeley on NumPy and other scientific Python projects. Part of what he has been doing is “working on the big picture of what JITs will mean for scientific computing”.


  • Security

    • 11 essential data security tips for travelers [iophk: "unfortunately VPNs have dated crypto"]

      I travel all over the world for my job, and for my hobbies. Although there are still plenty of places I haven’t been, I’ve visited enough foreign countries that I don’t deny it when someone calls me a world traveler. Over the years, I’ve experienced my fair share of foreign spying. I know what it’s like to be snooped on.

      I’m no longer surprised when I suddenly get gobs of spam from a country I’ve visited. My best guess is that someone in the country intercepted my email and recorded my email address. I still get porn spam in Arabic and ads for weight loss products in Mandarin. I’ve had my laptop and USB keys searched at countless borders.

    • Yet another letsencrypt (ACME) client

      Well, I apparently joined the hordes of people writing ACME (the Protocol behind Let’s Encrypt) clients.

      Like the fairy tale Goldilocks, I couldn’t find a client in the right spot between minimalistic and full-featured for my needs: acme-tiny was too bare-bones; the official letsencrypt client (now called certbot) too huge; and simp_le came very close, but it’s support for pluggable certificate formats made it just a bit too big for me.

    • Keynote – Complexity: The Enemy of Security
    • Security Holes Found in Widely-Used File Compression Library, Leaving Other Products Dangerously Exposed
    • StartEncrypt considered harmful today

      Recently, one of our hackers (Thijs Alkemade) found a critical vulnerability in StartCom’s new StartEncrypt tool, that allows an attacker to gain valid SSL certificates for domains he does not control. While there are some restrictions on what domains the attack can be applied to, domains where the attack will work include google.com, facebook.com, live.com, dropbox.com and others.

    • Unikernels Will Create More Security Problems Than They Solve

      Unikernels, the most recent overhyped technology in search of a problem to solve, have a number of claimed attributes that make them a “better choice.” One most often claimed is that they are “more secure.” This is the first in a series of articles bringing some light to the reality of unikernels so that you can think about them properly, employ them for what they are good for, and avoid the hype.

    • The Python security response team

      As the final presentation of the 2016 Python Language Summit—though it was followed by a few lightning talks that we are not covering—Christian Heimes led a discussion on the Python security response team. There have been some problems along the way that generally boil down to a need for more people working on the team.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Bangladesh siege: Twenty killed at Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka

      Twenty people, most said to be foreigners, have been killed in an attack on a cafe in Bangladesh claimed by so-called Islamic State.

      Gunmen stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery cafe in Dhaka late on Friday before troops entered almost 12 hours later.

      Six attackers were also killed and one was arrested, officials said. Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina has declared two days of national mourning.

      At least nine Italians and seven Japanese were among those killed.

      Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said one other Italian was still unaccounted for. Many of the Italians reportedly worked in the garment industry.

    • Where To Invade Next by Michael Moore

      Europeans regard America as “exceptional” only in its social backwardness and lack of social compassion.

  • Finance

    • Joe Macare on Brexit, Rory O’Connor on the Danny Award

      UK politics are up in the air in the wake of a referendum calling for Britain to leave the European Union. The so-called Brexit campaign is drawing comparisons to that of Donald Trump, due to the nativism and racism that marked it, but what else is at work here? Joe Macare is publisher of Truthout, the news organization.

    • To Lump Him With Trump, Zakaria Lies About Sanders on Brexit

      It’s a subtle but potent lie. Sanders, unlike Trump, has long been opposed to Britain leaving the European Union. How can Zakaria casually claim two opposing positions are “largely indistinguishable”? How could the editors at Washington Post allow such a blatant falsehood to reach print?

      And it’s not an inconsequential one, either. If Brexit wreaks the havoc on the UK economy many are predicting, Washington Post’s millions of readers thinking Sanders supported such a measure would go a long way toward damaging both his credibility and that of the broader progressive movement.

      The piece, of course, is not really about Sanders or Trump. It’s clear the framing is a gimmick to hook the reader into hearing Zakaria’s boilerplate cheerleading for “free trade” while continuing the long tradition of lazy pundits lumping Sanders and Trump into the same ideological space.

    • Brexit supporters one week on: ‘It is ridiculous there was no plan’

      Under the headline “Take a bow Britain”, the paper’s edition last Saturday celebrated “the day the quiet people of Britain rose up against an arrogant, out of touch elite”.

    • In Brexit Britain the elites will run amok

      A week on from the referendum that was going to take back democracy from the elites, and we still don’t know exactly who will be taking back democracy for us. But it will be one representative of the elites or another. At the moment, it looks like Michael Gove or Theresa May will be their political face. Unless someone else in the Tory party offers them a better deal between now and September.

    • ‘We are the 48%’: tens of thousands march in London for Europe

      The hollow, bitter wit of the banners and placards was a fair indication of who took to the streets of London, in their tens of thousands, on the March for Europe on Saturday, hastily scrambled on Facebook. “And if this isn’t big enough,” said Jonathan Shakhovskoy, who is with a marketing firm in the music industry, “we’ll do it again next week, and the week after. Normalise the mood, make it less ugly.”

      “Un-Fuck My Future”, “No Brex Please, We’re British”, they read. Pictures of Whitney Houston with “I Will Always Love EU”, “Europe Innit” and “I wanna be deep inside EU”. “All EU Need is Love”, “Fromage not Farage”, “Eton Mess” and, more seriously, “Science Needs EU”. “Hell no, we won’t go!” they shouted, rounding Piccadilly Circus.

      No one was fooling themselves that these were the penitent huddled masses from Ebbw Vale or Sunderland come to beg after all for EU funding; this was a vocal segment of the 48% for whom departure from the EU is a disgrace, a catastrophe or both.

    • Post EU Referendum Racism Documented Online And It’s Really Scary
    • Brexit research suggests 1.2 million Leave voters regret their choice in reversal that could change result

      Up to 7 per cent of the people who voted for a Brexit in the EU referendum now regret their choice, new research has found.

      When the survey’s findings are projected on to last week’s vote, they would cut the Leave share by 1.2 million, almost wiping out the majority that gave Friday’s shock result.

      Research by Opinium found that 3 per cent of those who voted Remain also regretted their choice and that British people are now divided on the priorities in the negotiations ahead.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • SABC censorship allegations serious – ANC

      The allegations of censorship at the SABC are very serious and should be investigated, the ANC said on Friday.

      There was no place in a constitutional democracy for censorship and the ANC expected the SABC to deal with the allegations in a way that upheld freedom of the press, spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said.

      He said an entire institution should not be made into a problem because of one individual – SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

    • Security researcher gets threats over Amazon review

      For the average Amazon shopper, reviews are just a casual part of the experience. You might pay attention to a pun-filled review by George Takei or spend half an hour laughing at the parody reviews for “Fresh Whole Rabbit,” but you probably don’t thoroughly examine every review before buying a product.

      But for sellers, reviews are no laughing matter. Amazon retailers sometimes go to extreme lengths to guarantee good reviews, as security developer Matthew Garrett recently discovered when he wrote a one-star review of an internet-connected electric socket. When Garrett politely pointed out that the socket in question was woefully insecure, he received emails from the manufacturer claiming that the review would get employees fired and that other reviewers were campaigning to get Garrett’s review taken down.

      The socket in question is the AuYou Wi-Fi Switch, a $30 device that lets you turn the power from a wall outlet on and off using your phone. It’s a nice way to turn your lights on and off if you don’t want to invest in smart bulbs, or to turn other plugged-in devices on and off. The AuYou Switch works whether or not you’re home — so you can switch your lights on in your apartment while you’re still in your office.

    • Thin-Skinned Chinese Govt. Declares Media War On Lady Gaga For Meeting With The Dalai Lama

      It’s pretty common knowledge at this point that the Chinese government spends a great deal of time and effort attempting to censor the internet at its own whim. And, while the walls of censorship erected are penetrable with enough effort, it still results in much of the population being unable to search out information that might be embarrassing to the Chinese government, such as references to the Tiananmen Square incident, for instance. But while examples like that can make some measure of sense to outside observers, even as they still decry the censorship, the fact is that the Chinese government’s application of this censorship has been managed so erratically and unpredictably that the result is everyone watches where they step for fear of a takedown.

      Which naturally brings us to Lady Gaga, whose meeting with the Dalai Lama recently resulted in the Chinese government attempting to wipe her off of the China-facing interwebz.

    • Lawmakers Question Colorado University President Over Censorship of Students and Professors

      At least two Colorado state lawmakers have contacted the University of Northern Colorado’s president, expressing concerns after reporting by Heat Street revealed that the Bias Response Team’s behavior had restricted free speech on campus over the past two semesters.

    • ‘It is freedom of expression that gave us this vocation’ – Thandeka Gqubule

      The SABC’s economics editor, Thandeka Gqubule, who was suspended last week for challenging a decision in an editorial meeting not to show footage of violence at protests, was among journalists who picketed outside the public broadcaster’s offices in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, this morning.

      She addressed the crowd in a touching speech, which was met with resounding nods of agreement and ululation.

      In her speech, she called on the “ancestors” of journalism such as Ruth First, Peter Magubane and Can Themba to be with them in spirit as they marched to the Constitutional Court to defend freedom of expression.

    • Scores join censorship protest at the SABC
    • Crimes against journalism stop today – suspended SABC journalists
    • ANC leaders break ranks on SABC censorship
    • Zizi Kodwa slams media, starts #SaveOurSABC
    • Sanef plans to meet with MPs to discuss concerns over SABC censorship
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Run, don’t walk, from China’s Big Brother law

      China’s National People’s Congress has drafted a second version of a controversial cybersecurity law. It would bring a great deal of censorship for both foreign and domestic citizens and businesses, whether they use the cloud or not.

      China is a wasteland for the modern internet. Websites like Facebook and Google are blocked. Moreover, web traffic is monitored and censored by the government. It’s Big Brother for real.

    • People Support Ethical Automated Cars That Prioritize The Lives Of Others — Unless They’re Riding In One

      This social dilemma sits at the root of designing and programming ethical autonomous machines. And while companies like Google are also weighing these considerations, if utilitarian regulations mean less profits and flat sales, it seems obvious which path the AV industry will prefer. That said, once you begin building smart cities where automation is embedded in every process from parking to routine delivery, would maximizing the safety of the greatest number of human lives take regulatory priority anyway? What would be the human cost in prioritizing one model over the other?

      Granted this is getting well ahead of ourselves. We’ll also have to figure out how to change traffic law enforcement for the automated age, have broader conversations about whether or not consumers have the right to tinker with the cars they own, and resolve our apparent inability to adhere to even basic security standards when designing such “smart” vehicles. These are all questions we have significantly less time to answer than most people think.

    • In Bill Ford’s Future, the Cars Talk to Each Other

      Bill Ford’s seen the future, and it’s crowded.

      The great-grandson of both Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone, now executive chairman of Ford Motor Co., certainly knows his way around cars. What he doesn’t know is how they’re going to get around in an increasingly congested world.

      “Some of it’s just mathematics,” Ford says. “We’re going from 7 billion people on the planet today to 9 billion by mid-century. At the same time, people are increasingly moving into cities. We’re going to see many megacities with populations of 10 million or more, and gridlock will accompany that growth.”

    • Facebook-Dependent Content Farms Will Finally Die

      Facebook has made the drastic and controversial announcement that it will value content from friends over content generated by pages of media outlets and brands. Truthfully, it’s only controversial if you are a publisher of content meant to invade the feeds of regular people.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Here’s how police arrested Lauri Love – and what happened next

      Lauri Love was arrested on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 early in the evening of 25 October 2013, when a National Crime Agency officer wearing dungarees and posing as a UPS courier told Love’s mother that Lauri himself had to come to the porch to collect his delivery.

      In his dressing gown and pyjamas, Love confirmed his identity and was then informed of the ruse and handcuffed. Over the next five hours a total of 14 NCA officers attended the property wearing agency-branded windbreakers, which were easy visible to the neighbours.

      Six of these officers had been tasked with searching for digital media which are alleged to contain evidence that the 28-year-old had criminally accessed private sector, military and government computer systems in the United States.

    • North Georgia newspaper publisher jailed over open records request

      A North Georgia newspaper publisher was indicted on a felony charge and jailed overnight last week – for filing an open-records request.

      Fannin Focus publisher Mark Thomason, along with his attorney Russell Stookey, were arrested on Friday and charged with attempted identity fraud and identity fraud. Thomason was also accused of making a false statement in his records request.

    • Cop who drew gun on man filming him says man deserved it

      In May, we told you of a lawsuit involving a Rohnert Park, California, cop who looked ready to fire his handgun at a man who was filming him. Last year’s standoff happened right outside the resident’s house. Claiming civil rights violations, the alleged victim sued (PDF) the officer and police department that is located about an hour north of San Francisco.

      The police department and officer, David Rodriguez, have now responded to the lawsuit. They essentially say it was resident Don McComas’ fault from the get go and that McComas’ own actions outside his house prompted the officer to draw his weapon on the Rohnert Park man.

      “And for a third, separate and affirmative defense, these answering defendants allege that the sole proximate cause of the injuries and damages, if any, claimed by plaintiff was the negligence and fault of the plaintiff…,” they responded in court documents. (PDF)

      Besides that, police claimed the suit should be tossed because the officer held an “objectively reasonable belief that the safety of the life of the defendants and others were imminently threatened… ” The authorities said McComas wasn’t complying with repeated orders to take his hands “out of his pocket.” McComas eventually complied, and the situation escalated. The officer continued wielding his weapon, according to the video.

    • ‘We the Prisoners’: The Demise of the Fourth Amendment

      In a carceral state—a.k.a. a prison state or a police state—there is no Fourth Amendment to protect you from the overreaches, abuses, searches and probing eyes of government overlords.

      In a carceral state, there is no difference between the treatment meted out to a law-abiding citizen and a convicted felon: both are equally suspect and treated as criminals, without any of the special rights and privileges reserved for the governing elite.

  • DRM

    • Encrypted Media Extensions and exit conditions

      In March, we reported on the contentious argument surrounding the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) framework developed by a working group at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). At the time, there were several active protest efforts underway to dissuade the W3C from renewing the charter for the working group in question, since that renewal was slated to come up for a vote soon. Since then, although public activism has quieted down significantly, there have been several important developments.

      To recap, the EME framework defines a set of APIs for Content Decryption Modules (CDMs) that implement some form of authentication scheme used to enable or disable playback of audio or video elements. While there is a simple, plain-text CDM defined in the specification (and even though open-source CDMs have been developed), the ultimate goal of EME is to allow media-delivery companies like Netflix or Hulu to deploy proprietary, binary-only CDMs that implement a DRM scheme.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Ford Dealership Swipes Game Image For Ad, Thinks It’s Kosher Because It Came From A DMCA Compliant Site

        A brief review of the many, many posts we’ve done here about the DMCA and its notice and takedown platform will reveal to even the casual reader that the whole thing is rife with complications, abuse, and inconsistencies. It can be a difficult realm to navigate, but there are times when an entity’s claims of ignorance just don’t ring true.

        Which brings us to one independent Ford dealership that decided to simply yoink an image from a relatively new video game and use it to advertise automobiles.

      • Video game art swiped this week by Beijing hockey team, Ford dealership

        On Wednesday, news hit the wire that a video game’s indistinguishable logo and art style had been lifted without permission, all done to advertise a wholly unrelated product. Sadly, the news brought on a real case of deja vu. As in: wait, didn’t this just happen?

        As it turns out, it had. Two very similar stories unfolded within 48 hours of each other, and they each speak to a pair of modern copyright issues: the ease with which images can be lifted and reappropriated by a lazy design firm, and how easy it is for such copycats to be busted by the court of public opinion.

      • EU to tax links to news

        Germany and Spain introduced in their legislation what some people call a “Google tax”. The idea came from the publishers. They claimed the right to get an additional copyright, “ancillary copyright”, on any news that are published online. The idea of this “tax” (that is actually not a tax) was to charge the online news sites who publish news snippets, short extracts of news, such as Google News. Even if the main target of publishers was Google News, the laws affect other similar services, for example meneame in Spain. Ultimately it could even undermine the whole concept of links to information.

        The result of this “Google tax” was a complete failure: Google decided to close Google News in Spain, while in Germany everyone except Google ended up paying the “tax”. Now, even after these clear failures, the European Commission (EC) is determined to make this error a European one; it’s considering implementing the ancillary copyright everywhere in the European Union (EU) – and on an even bigger scale than in Spain and Germany.

[ES] Como Era de Esperarse, El ´Equipo UPC´ Continúa Luchando para que Su Proyecto Sobreviva a Pesar de Brexit

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Article as ODF

Publicado en Europa, Patentes at 5:02 pm por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tratándo de mantenerse a flote de un fracaso total incluso sin cambiarle de nombre (como en sus previos intentos)

A shipwreck of UPC

Sumario: Los desésperados intentos para irse al fondo con la Corte Unitaria de Patentes y el esfuerzo mal guíado/intenciónado de Battistelli para reducir la calidad de patentes y hacerla aumentar, además de creciéntes pagos por matrículas (para desánimar apelaciónes, retiros, etc)

Los llamados ‘equipos expertos ‘ que conspiraron (conjúntamente con la gerencia de la EPO) para crear y pasar (enyucarnos) la UPC se encuéntran en un estado pobre al presente. ‘Brexit’ los dejó sin habla o en retirada.

MIP acaba de publicar un artículo originalmente compuesto antes del voto ‘Brexit’. Habla de las Salas de Recurso, a los que la UPC amenazó de hacer redundantes (basados en algunas especulaciónes pero no todas). Ahora nos enteramos que aunque la UPC no se haga realidad las Salas de Recurso está en serios problemas. Battistelli simplemente quiso aplastar el control de calidad todo este tiempo, haciendo a la EPO como a la nefasta USPTO donde la llamada ‘producción’ se dobló en materia de años (porque el control de calidad raramente es aplicable).

Ahora nos enteramos que aunque la UPC no se haga realidad las Salas de Recurso está en serios problemas.”

Escribiéndo acerca de la EPO y la UPC hoy, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP nos recuérdan que viven en un mundo de fantasía. Se habla antes de existir de un “Tribunal de la Patentes Unificado (UPC)” a pesar de que no hay tal corte y una apertura no se hace una realidad ahora (o nunca).

“El Comité Preparatorio de la UPC y el Comité Selecto de la EPO han emitido una declaración conjunta diciendo que van a continuar con su trabajo previsto a pesar del voto Brexit,” MIP informa hoy. Bueno, ‘Brexit’ hace que sea imposible hasta que engañan/engartuzen, de alguna manera, ya que probablemente lo harán. Nos esperaba esto cuando escribimos sobre ello la semana pasada y al comienzo de esta semana. UPC simplemente significaría más trolls de patentes en Europa, menor calidad de las patentes (incluyendo quizás las patentes de software), y una acción más legal en todas partes. Es el sueño húmedo de un maximalista patente.

¿Cuánto tiempo puede durar esto y quién va a pagar el precio de las patentes concedidas erróneamente?”

La EPO está de caída. Las grandes corpóraciones multinaciónales son otorgadas patentes en grupo/al por mayor (aliénando a las PYMEs las que son su mayoríá en el paisaje Europeo) y en relación con el artículo mencionado ayer y hoy temprano en Techrights ahora hay este anunciio oficial “la EPO lanza su rápido otorgamiénto de patentes con Australia” (warning: epo.org link). La EPO también toma nota de los cambios en pagos “retorno de dinero por retiros” (temprano hoy), asi que talves piensan compensar por baja calidad de patentes por alta cantidad de patentes otorgadas asi como mayores pagos. ¿Cuánto tiempo puede durar esto y quién va a pagar el precio de las patentes concedidas erróneamente? Estas son preguntas retóricas.

Europa esta a pueras de sufrir por ello (talvez por muchas decadas) como resultado de las terribles políticas de Battistelli y su fantasía de la UPC (promovidas por sus patrones al otro lado del charco), las que son un desperdicio de tiempo, energía y dinero. Nunca antes el sistema de patentes europeos ha estado en tal situación de confusión.

[ES] Traduccción Realista al Español del Anuncio de la EPO Acerca de Aplastar la Calidad de Patentes

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Article as ODF

Publicado en Decepción, Europa, Patentes at 12:02 pm por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO hogwash

Sumario: La declaración de la EPO prueba que Eric Blair (George Orwell) a la derecha, cuidadosamene reescribió para explicar mejor lo que Battistelli y sus compadres acaban de hacer para trae la situación de la EPO a un estado lamentablemente bajo

Poniéndo de lado a la nefásta USPTO por el momento, ya que hay algo urgente de responder a la EPO (algo de lo que explicamos en la tarde), considéren esta horrible pieza de propananda del estado parecido a Nor Corea, la EPO (advertencia: epo.org link y cada oración es una mentira Orweliana, excepto la oración que explica lo que la Sala de Recurso hace).

Hubo un tiempo en el cualvariosexaminádores analizában todas las aplicaciónes individualmente, pere los examinádores de la EPO reconocen una caída en la calidad de patentes y aparentemente el abandono/eliminación de la participación multipersonal también (así que Battistelli simplemente sigue mintiéndo a los medios acerca de ello).”

Es un paquete desvérgonzado de mentiras, así que decidimos volver a escribir correctamente. Como un poco de fondo, tengamos en cuenta el papel fundamental de control de calidad en cualquier oficina de patentes, especialmente una oficina de patentes, que se esfuerza por tener alta reputación (con el fin de justificar altas tarifas).Hubo un tiempo en el cual varios examinádores analizában todas las aplicaciónes individualmente, pere los examinádores de la EPO reconocen una caída en la calidad de patentes y aparentemente el abandono/eliminación de la participación multipersonal también (así que Battistelli simplemente sigue mintiéndo a los medios acerca de ello).

El día de hoy la EPO escribió: “¿Cómo se puede averiguar si su idea es novedosa? Lo hace mediante la búsqueda de la técnica anterior. “Bueno,” la búsqueda de la técnica “es exactamente lo Battistelli está esforzándose para que los veteranos examinadores trabajen más rápido (es decir, más imprudentemente) y hacer el período de apelación más corto, las salas de recurso con poquísimo personal, haciéndo todo el proceso mucho más costoso para los que retan/desafían las ´patentes´ (es decir, poniéndo fuera del alcance por su costo prohibitivo para las pequeñas empresas en particular). Así que aquí está el anuncio “corregido” de la EPO:

Mayor grado de indulgencia y la reducción de calidad de las patentes gracias a el presidente de la EPO

1 de abril de el año 2016

En una decisión Battistellian, su Consejo de Administración que explota la Organización Europea de Patentes para el cuidado dental gratuita, acordó enviar al exilio las salas de recurso (BoA), a pesar del marco de la Convención Europea de Patentes.

Aprobado con un gasto enorme de dinero de cooperación a los Estados Miembros, la Organización Europea de Patentes aceptó una propuesta de demolición completa de la Oficina para reforzar la percepción de que no hay futuro para la BoA, en particular aumentando el incentivo para buscar otros empleos, y para hacen que sea difícil de recibir la aprobación presidencial para tal empleo alternativo. La BoA es el órgano que toma las decisiones sobre los recursos contra las decisiones de la Oficina Europea de Patentes relativas a las solicitudes y las patentes europeas.

“La decisión tomada ayer por fin logra la destrucción del sistema de apelación de la EPO, que erróneamente se había previsto desde hace muchos años. Después de dos intentos de destrucción que fracasó en 1995 y 2004, esto es un logro histórico “, dijo el presidente de EPO Battistelli. “El aumento tanto de la percepción de mala seguridad en el empleo y el alto costo de la BOA es esencial para asegurar mi propio trabajo y la eliminación de sistema de apelación de la EPO y para mantener su desaprobación a largo plazo”, explicó el presidente de la EPO.

Bajo el plan de demolición de los BoA actual será reestructurado en unas Juntas de Unidad de recurso internas de la EPO manejadas por un Presidente de las Salas de Recurso – una nueva posición -, responasable sólo ante un consejo de administración controlada por Battistelli y no a Battistelli directamente . Un comité auxiliar de nueva creación del Consejo de Administración, las Juntas de Comité de Apelación (BOAC), ayudará a periodistas manosear a políticos. Este enlace entre el Consejo de Administración BoA y estará a merced de un presidente al que evidentemente le importa un comino el estado de derecho.

El presidente de la EPO nombrará a un compinche – probablemente un ex colega de Francia o de alguien que se enfrenta a muchos cargos penales en otro país – al Presidente de las Salas de Recurso y por lo tanto mantener poderes de gestión relativos a las Salas de Recurso Unidad. El Presidente de las Salas de Recurso también servirá como el perro faldero de Battistelli, que actúa como una competencia al Presidente del Consejo de Administración. La reforma, además, tiene como objetivo aumentar el costo de las Salas en los próximos años, por lo que será más fácil de justificar cierre o la reducción perpetua.

La reforma institucional estará acompañado de un sistema de carrera mucho menos atractivo para los miembros y presidentes de las Salas, y la reubicación en Munich por las Juntas de Unidad de apelación ante un edificio separado con el fin de hacer más difícil para ir a trabajar y obligar a muchos al salir de su trabajo. Por otra parte, las nuevas restricciones relativas al empleo posterior al servicio de los miembros de la boa y presidentes tienen en cuenta la necesidad de hacer que sea difícil renunciar (riesgo de desempleo perpetua) con el fin de salvaguardar la integridad [sic] del sistema de apelación de la EPO mediante la prevención de cualquier riesgo de posibles conflictos de intereses, a diferencia de, por ejemplo, el nombramiento de la esposa de un amigo a una posición superior en la EPO de recursos humanos.

Para hablar claro,” escribió una persona temprano hoy, “simplemente no hay salvaguardas en la EPC contra la corrupción (o para asegurar un apropiado balance de poder).” La amenaza de corrupcim viende no de empleados ordinarios. Al presente toda la corrupción viene del alto nivel gerencial, i.e los ¨Compadres de Battistelli¨. Para citar el comentario en su totalidad:

No, no todos son empleados de EPO. Pero, al parecer con aire acondicionado en el bolsillo de BB, ¿qué podemos hacer?

A la luz de los acontecimientos recientes, temo que sólo los acontecimientos fuera del control de los Estados miembros (por ejemplo, una decisión adversa de la corte constitucional de Alemania) posiblemente podrían pedir al CA a una acción decisiva. Pero, ¿realmente quiere que se llegue a eso?

Alternativamente, si los medios de comunicación tomaron más interés y minuciosamente investigado muy bien por qué es que el aire acondicionado toma las decisiones se hace, podría la OEP como a toda soportar las consecuencias si la evidencia clara de votos por dinero en efectivo (u otro beneficio personal), extorsión o cualquier otra se obtuvieron actividades ilegales? ¿O sería aún peor si nos dimos cuenta de que la razón es que los delegados de la AC realmente están de acuerdo con las opiniones del BB?

Es triste decir que el problema radica en el hecho de que los padres fundadores de la EPC no previeron que el presidente de la EPO podría (mal) uso de los recursos a su disposición para garantizar de manera efectiva que controle sus supervisores. Para hablar claramente, simplemente no hay suficientes garantías en el EPC contra la corrupción (o para garantizar un adecuado equilibrio de poder). (Debo señalar que no estoy alegando que no son definitivamente las prácticas corruptas pasando aquí, sólo que no hay nada en el EPC que podría detenerlos si no lo fueron).

Tiempos tristes para la EPO. Como observar un estado totalitario con sus ciudadanos a la merced del tirano. No pueden escapar debido a las nuevas sanciónes establecidas. Eponia se ha convertido en la nueva Corea del Norte, y el desgraciádo de Battistelli su LIDER SUPREMO.

Patents Roundup: Patent Maximalism, Apple’s Patent Deception, and Failure of Patent-Centric Media to Name and Shame Patent Trolls

Posted in America, Apple, Deception, Patents at 2:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Some of the past week’s patent stories grouped together for easier absorption (sans the patent lawyers’ bias)

IAM ‘magazine’, which glorifies patent stockpiling and litigation (follow the money), basically continued to promote stockpiling of patents earlier this week. It’s about USPTO registration, which IAM uses to reinforce the notion of patents as “ownership” and innovation. Nicola from IP Kat, who is often sceptical of patent maximalists (she’s one of their best writers on such topics), linked to this paper and said: “The key finding is that, “55% of triadic patents are commercialized. We also find that 17% of all triadic patents are not commercialized but are at least partially for preemption, though only 3% of all triadic patents are purely preemptive patents.” Preemption is patenting for strategic purposes, rather than commercial. (You could argue the two are one and the same, but the paper focuses on preemptive non-use, as in strategic patenting with no intention to use the patent.) The paper goes into much more detail, but the punchline is that nearly half of triadic patents are not used, but ‘strategic’ patenting may be less prevalent than popular discourse would have you believe.”

“Patenting without boundaries devalues pertinent patents and harms confidence in patents.”What we appreciate about Nicola is that in spite of backlash in the comments (probably from patent lawyers) she continues to insist that when it comes to patents, more is not necessarily merrier. Patenting without boundaries devalues pertinent patents and harms confidence in patents. That’s just overpatenting. This is particularly true when it comes to software patents, which often correspond to very old ideas being implemented on a computer, on a device, over the Internet and so on. According to this new puff piece, for example, “Viridity Energy secures patent for transport-based energy storage software,” which probably corresponds quite loosely to something like the first software patent ever to be granted in the US (granted to Martin Goetz using the guise of “transport”). Software in general isn’t adequately protectable by patents but by copyright and there is no single patent that covers an entire computer program (there is no one-to-one correspondence and a single program can potentially infringe on thousands of software patents these days). We sure hope that the EPO won’t be gullible enough to believe otherwise.

Moving on a little, GoPro, which Microsoft extorted using patents earlier this year, becomes aggressive with patents of its own. As Digital Trends put it: “After Polaroid manufacturer C&A Marketing Inc. sued GoPro for copying the Cube’s design last year, GoPro is turning the tables, saying that it’s the Cube that is using GoPro’s patented technology. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California, GoPro alleges that the Polaroid Cube copies two patents owned by the action-cam giant.”

“…when Apple wants to remotely control your phone, microphone, cameras etc. (or allow others to gain such control) it’s OK “because copyrights!””GoPro may be aggressive with patents, but no company these days is nearly as aggressive as Apple, which sees its empire devoured by Google with Android. Apple is now pursuing patents on censorship, as quite a few sites correctly note. Rick Falkvinge (Pirate Party founder) correctly went with the headline “Apple patents technology enabling police to prevent iPhones from filming police abuse”. One article had the headline “Apple gets patent for remotely disabling iPhone cameras, raising censorship fears”, but many of the other articles about it (literally hundreds if not thousands of them) were so terrible that they repeated Apple’s talking points. Poor reporting took Apple’s word (at face value) on how cameras being hijack would be used; when Apple wants to remotely control your phone, microphone, cameras etc. (or allow others to gain such control) it’s OK “because copyrights!” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72]. How misleading. These lies dominated the media and made Apple’s patent look like “protecting artists” rather than censoring photographers (who are themselves artists). See the article “The New iPhone Might Shut Off Next Time You Try to Film the Police in Public” for better perspective, unlike advocacy sites of Apple patents. This one said: “The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 44 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover an Apple invention that pointed to the coming indoor GPS trend that is about to come to market first with the Lenovo-Google Tango smartphone this fall. In our report covering the Lenovo phone we pointed to a feature that will be introducing augmented reality. To a certain degree this is covered in today’s granted patent. Apple’s technology discusses working with venues like a museum that could provide visitors with guided tours and beyond on a future iPhone. In 2014 we posted a report titled “Apple and Google Headed for an Indoor Location Services War,” and indeed they are with Lenovo-Google taking the first shot. The second aspect of today’s granted invention caused a massive roar from techies who were upset with the camera being able to block smartphone video recording at concerts.”

Speaking of Apple, IAM insinuates that iPhone sales ban in China is a bad thing (suddenly IAM thinks patent assertion is bad, probably because China isn’t paying IAM) and MIP says “Apple’s latest China setback could encourage patent trolls”. “The Beijing IP Court has ruled that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus infringe the design patent of a Chinese-made smartphone, in a case that one IP lawyer believes could provide inspiration to patent trolls,” MIP writes. Well, if they are so supportive of patents, why is this bad when China uses patents? A bit of hypocrisy here, no? On the other hand, IAM published “Fujifilm’s Chinese pharma patent licensing deal marks a milestone in its IP-driven transformation” and “Qualcomm’s licensing model will be “destroyed” if it can’t win key China case, says its ex-Asian patent director” (also about china). So a monopoly abuser wishes to conquer China with patents that China doesn’t care for and IAM takes the side of the monopolist. How predictable. Moving further east to Japan, watch how IAM promotes/grooms Intellectual Ventures, the world’s largest patent troll (which came from Microsoft originally). IAM wrote: “Earlier this month, we learned that Intellectual Ventures (IV) is spinning out its Invention Development Fund (IDF) into a separate entity. The news was confirmed by Paul Levins, who has been head of IV’s Australia and New Zealand operations and is the Asia and Europe programme director for IDF, while speaking on a panel at IPBC Global 2016 in Barcelona. As I understand it, this process has been underway for a few months and is still ongoing – but this has not stopped IDF from doing deals.”

“We see more of the same bias coming from patent lawyers’ (supposedly ‘news’) sites, which prefer to treat all patents as necessary and those that sue companies as “doing the right thing” (irrespective of merit or benefit to science, technology, and society).”The word troll isn’t even mentioned in this article (nor is it mentioned in this new article about the patent troll of Ericsson, which now goes to Asia for some shakedown, extortion, blackmail or whatever). WatchTroll only puts the word troll in scare quotes, reflecting the same kind of bias. We see more of the same bias coming from patent lawyers’ (supposedly ‘news’) sites, which prefer to treat all patents as necessary and those that sue companies as “doing the right thing” (irrespective of merit or benefit to science, technology, and society). “Amicus Briefs Due Soon in Supreme Court Copyright and Patent Cases,” one such site said after it suggested how to destroy small companies using patents. “A tactic sometimes used by a well-established competitor against a startup is to accuse the startup of patent infringement,” the article said. “Unless the startup has deep pockets, it cannot really afford to defend a patent lawsuit…”

This is why patent trolls are particularly problematic for small companies. Sometimes patent trolls are just proxies/satellites of large companies. If only more patent lawyers’ sites cared to cover the subject…

Cuozzo Case Summarised, Immersion Corp. v HTC Corp. to Remain Negligible Unless it Too Reaches SCOTUS

Posted in America, Patents at 1:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A ruling from the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) on Cuozzo Speed Technologies LLC v Lee paves to way to less software patents in the United States and why this matters

The Cuozzo case was a big win against software patents [1, 2, 3], having profound implications/impact at the USPTO and more so at PTAB. Just like Alice, this decision came from the Supreme Court, so we’re likely to hear a lot more about it in the future. In a nutshell, the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) validated the approach by which PTAB invalidates software patents en masse, without relying on costly trials. Defendants or prospective defendants (i.e. victims) can eliminate patent threats without them even being asserted (and lawyers/attorneys paid a fortune to work on legal correspondence, analysis and so on).

In its article about the subject, IP Kat can’t help calling PTAB “death squad” (the patent lawyers’ insulting term for a software patents abolisher, i.e. quality control). Do we really need to compare patent (re)examination to murder or assassination (which is rarely practiced anymore for moral reasons)?

“Defendants or prospective defendants (i.e. victims) can eliminate patent threats without them even being asserted (and lawyers/attorneys paid a fortune to work on legal correspondence, analysis and so on).”A week ago we collected many opinions that had been published by law firms on the subject [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15]. We had a good laugh at patent maximalists who promote software patents for nearly a decade; they openly deny the existence or relevance of a case that they don’t like (see “Cuozzo: The Case That Wasn’t” and “Cuozzo, Phony IPR Statistics and the Death of the American Inventor”; at least these two were contrasted with “The importance of PTAB patent review proceedings for addressing low quality patents”). The “most recent example is Cuozzo Speed Technologies,” wrote Ars Technica, which as usual took a difficult subject and made it easier for non-lawyers to understand. Here is the outline: “Patent trolls don’t fare well at the Supreme Court. When they show up, their cases tend to result in decisions that are ruinous for the profit margins of their industry. Two prominent examples: the 2006 eBay v. MercExchange case effectively ended trolls’ abilities to get injunctions, and the 2014 Alice Corp. case made it far easier for patent defendants to invalidate abstract software patents.

“And yet, the cases keep coming. The most recent example is Cuozzo Speed Technologies LLC v. Lee, a case that was resolved earlier this week with an 8-0 opinion dismantling arguments presented by Cuozzo, a patent-holding entity controlled by two New York patent lawyers, Daniel Mitry and Timothy Salmon. The two attorneys own dozens of other patent shell companies through their consultancy, Empire IP.”

This case was a very important one not just because of the subject it addressed and issues it tackled. It’s important because it was decided at the highest possible level. By contract, see Immersion v HTC reports (not many of them exist) “Yesterday,” said patent law firms [1, 2], “the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed and remanded the decision of the Delaware district court in Immersion Corp. v. HTC Corp.” In a sponsored “article” (they called it “REPORT”) for the EPO/FTI Consulting-sponsored IAM this case got a mention as well. Continuation filings are applicable not just to software patents and/or invalidation thereof. Therefore we haven’t been writing much about the subject and probably never will, unless or until SCOTUS rules on it (this latest decision, one among several, was only at CAFC level).

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts