Links 11/6/2018: Qt 5.9.6 and Weblate 3.0.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 4:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source big data projects that will revolutionize your business

    Twenty years ago, the Open Source framework was published, delivering what would be the most significant trend in software development since that time. Whether you want to call it “free software” or “open source”, ultimately, it’s all about making application and system source codes widely available and putting the software under a license that favors user autonomy.

    According to Ovum, open source is already the default option across several big data categories ranging from storage, analytics and applications to machine learning.

    In the latest Black Duck Software and North Bridge’s survey, 90% of respondents reported they rely on open source “for improved efficiency, innovation and interoperability,” most commonly because of “freedom from vendor lock-in; competitive features and technical capabilities; ability to customize; and overall quality.”

    There are now thousands of successful open source projects that companies must strategically choose from to stay competitive.

    While every company must develop its own strategy, and choose the open source projects it feels will fuel its desired business outcomes, there are some projects that we feel are worth strong consideration.

  • 3 open source alternatives to Adobe Lightroom

    You wouldn’t be wrong to wonder whether the smartphone, that modern jack-of-all-trades, is taking over photography. While that might be valid in the point-and-shoot camera market, there are a sizeable number of photography professionals and hobbyists who recognize that a camera that fits in your pocket can never replace a high-end DSLR camera and the depth, clarity, and realism of its photos.

    All of that power comes with a small price in terms of convenience; like negatives from traditional film cameras, the raw image files produced by DSLRs must be processed before they can be edited or printed. For this, a digital image processing application is indispensable, and the go-to application has been Adobe Lightroom. But for many reasons—including its expensive, subscription-based pricing model and its proprietary license—there’s a lot of interest in open source and other alternatives.

  • 12 fiction books for Linux and open source fans

    For this book list, I reached out to our writer community to ask which fiction books they would recommend to their peers. What I love about this question and the answers that follow is this list gives us a deeper look into their personalities. Fiction favorites are unlike non-fiction recommendations in that your technical skills and interests may have an influence on what you like to read read, but it’s much more about your personality and life experiences that draw you to pick out, and love, a particular fiction book.

    These people are your people. I hope you find something interesting to add to your reading list.

  • Open source serverless: Fission, Fn, Kubeless, and OpenWhisk

    The word “serverless” is a beguiling buzzword if there ever was one because servers are kind of pain. All of those patches for those security holes that are described in a bazillion words in a million emails sitting in your inbox? If you could get rid of a server, you could forget about those patches. All of those ports on the firewalls that you’ve got to remember to keep closed? They won’t be your worry anymore either. The serverless world will set you free. At least that’s what the word seems to promise.

    The serverless world looks relaxed and full of time to devote to your one true mission: whatever your suits tell you it should be. But don’t be fooled. You’ll pay for this freedom from worry by sacrificing your freedom to wander or change. The serverless platforms in the Amazon, Microsoft, and Google clouds deliver their magic through a proprietary interface and every time you offload some of your worries into their waiting arms, you become addicted. Absorbed by the Borg. “Owned” is much too strong a word, but you may find it just as hard to escape.

  • Databricks Releases Open Source Machine Learning Platform MLflow Aimed To Standardize ML Workflows

    San Francisco headquartered Databricks that provides a unified analytics platform released MLflow, a new open source project that strives to provide some standardization to the complex processes that machine learning engineers face during the course of building, testing, and deploying machine learning models. Announcing the release of the open source platform, CTO Matei Zaharia, also the creator of Apache Spark noted that even though there are a number of open source tools that cover each and every phase of the machine learning ifecycle, such as data preparation and model training, it is hard to track experiments and reproduce the results.

  • Events

    • Linux Audio Conference videos available

      The 2018 Linux Audio Conference has just concluded in Berlin. A substantial set of videos of talks from the event has already been published, with the rest slated to appear in the near future.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Our past work with Facebook

        Over the last three months, Mozilla has been a vocal critic of Facebook’s practices with respect to its lack of user transparency. Throughout this time we’ve engaged with Facebook directly about this and have continued to comment publicly as the story about Facebook’s data practices evolves.

        Mozilla Corporation recently received two termination notices from Facebook about work that we did with them in the past. These appear to be part of Facebook’s broader effort to clean up its third-party developer ecosystem. This is good – we suspect that we weren’t the only ones receiving these notices. Still, the notices, and recent reporting of Facebook data sharing with device makers, prompted us to take a closer look at our past relationships with the company and we think it is important to talk about what we found.

      • Mozilla All Hands

        Today, from across the world, Mozillians are gathering in San Francisco for our six-monthly All Hands.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • Ericsson’s Chris Price on the need for collaboration between open source communities and projects

      The open source community is a huge collection of often inter-related projects and initiatives, so how can telcos and their vendor partners best engage and benefit? In addition to his Ericsson role, Chris Price is also a Board Member of both the Linux Foundation and the OpenStack Foundation, so is ideally placed to offer advice.

    • What Is GitLab & Why Do So Many People Flee To It After The Purchase Of GitHub By Microsoft?

      After the bombing in the media about the sounded purchase, in GitLab they began to receive more than 10 times the normal amount of repositories that they usually receive. From their Twitter account, they commented how they work to try to deal with the new traffic and invite to monitor the progress of the work.

    • Linux Foundation: Microsoft’s GitHub buy is a win for open source [Ed: LF bought by Microsoft, too]

      Some open-source adherents weren’t happy about Microsoft snapping up GitHub, the world’s most popular code-hosting repository, but the Linux Foundation reckons it’s a win for open source.

      “This is pretty good news for the world of open source, and we should celebrate Microsoft’s smart move,” wrote Jim Zemlin, the executive director at the Linux Foundation.

      Zemlin has taken potshots at Microsoft over the years for its past attacks on Linux and the open-source community. He acknowledged that there are still “small pockets of deep mistrust” of Microsoft but encouraged the community to get with the times.

    • Crack Open ACRN – A Device Hypervisor Designed for IoT [Ed: LF now being used for pure marketing for OSDL founding member Intel; remember that the marketing manager at LF (McPherson) gets higher salary than Torvalds!]

      As the Internet of Things has grown in scale, IoT developers are increasingly expected to support a range of hardware resources, operating systems, and software tools/applications. This is a challenge given many connected devices are size-constrained. Virtualization can help meet these broad needs, but existing options don’t offer the right mix of size, flexibility, and functionality for IoT development.

    • Linux: Microsoft Gives in and Becomes a Believer with Introduction of a Custom Linux-Powered Chip [Ed: It’s not a “Linux-Powered Chip” and Dick Weisinger should know better. It’s a chip they can run Linux on for Linuxwashing and openwashing purposes
    • Open-source PLC and HMI library makes headway

      AchieveDE, an integrator and software distributor in Houston, created all of the SiVArc rules, tested them and then added them to the library for others to utilize this powerful feature. Now an engineer can start with the Siemens Open Library, utilize tested function blocks for control of many standard objects in industry, as well as automatically generate HMI icons and faceplates that have been properly mapped to the PLC code.


    • MIPS Finally Posts GCC Compiler Patch For P6600 Series, But Might Be Rejected

      The MIPS P6600 processor was announced in 2015 as one of the Warrior Processors based upon MIPS64 Release 6. The P6600 is based on a 28nm process, clock speeds up to 2.0GHz, and is the fastest performing of the MIPS Warrior cores. Only now has MIPS posted an enablement patch for the MIPS P6600 with GCC.

      At the start of June a MIPS Technologies engineer posted the GCC patch for bringing up the P6600 and allowing -march=p6600. But even though this patch is here three years later, at this point it’s not going to be accepted.

    • Unifont 11.0.01 Released – Upgrade Recommende

      Unifont 11.0.01 was released on 5 June 2018, coinciding with the formal release of Unicode 11.0.0 by The Unicode Consortium.

      I wanted to check over this release before recommending that GNU/Linux distributions incorporate it. So far there only appears to be one new bug added: U+1C90 has an extra vertical line added to it, making the character double-width instead of single-width. This will be fixed in the next release. Unifont 10.0.x went through 7 updates in about half a year. I felt that was not stable enough for those trying to maintain GNU/Linux distributions, so I did not keep recommending that each update, with minor changes from one to the next, be propagated. I plan to have more stability in Unifont 11.0.x.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Data

      • OpenStreetMap Should Be a Priority for the Open Source Community

        Open source has won. The fact that free software now dominates practically every sector of computing (with the main exception of the desktop) is proof of that. But there is something even more important than the victory of open source itself, and that is the wider success of the underlying approach it embodies. People often forget just how radical the idea of open, collaborative development seemed when it appeared in the 1990s. Although it is true that this philosophy was the norm in the very earliest days of the field, that culture was soon forgotten with the rapid rise of commercial computing, which swept everything before it in the pursuit of handsome profits. There, a premium was placed on maintaining trade secrets and of excluding competitors. But the appearance of GNU and Linux, along with the other open software projects that followed, provided repeated proof that the older approach was better for reasons that are obvious upon reflection.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Interview: Steve Wygant, SeeMeCNC, ‘open source projects generally do more for society at a faster pace’

        To mark the 10th Anniversary of RepRap, 3D Printing Industry is interviewing early pioneers from the RepRap project and others who continue to share their work through Open Source licenses.

        Steve Wygant is the founder and CEO of SeeMeCNC. The Indiana based company designs and builds a variety of Delta 3D printers including the ARTEMIS and Rostock Max v3.

        Visitors to 3D printing shows, such as the Midwest RepRap Festival, may have also seen the Partdaddy – a large format Delta 3D printer capable of extruding 2 – 4lbs of pelletized feedstock and creating prints over 9 feet (3 meters) tall.

  • Programming/Development

    • Early PHP 7.3 Performance Benchmarks Are Looking Good

      Released this week was the first alpha of PHP 7.3 and I decided to take it for a spin with some benchmarks. While not as dramatic as going from PHP5 to PHP 7.0, the performance of PHP7 continues getting better.

      PHP 7.3 so far introduces several new functions, finally drops support for BeOS, updates the bundled SQLite version, expands WebP support, improves PHP garbage collection, and other enhancements. PHP 7.3 is tentatively planned for release at the end of November while over the months ahead are more alphas/betas/RCs.

    • This Week in Numbers: Managing JavaScript Packages with NPM and Yarn

      This week we analyze more data from the Node.js Foundation‘s user survey. Almost three-quarters (73 percent) of survey respondents said they use a package manager. NPM was used by 60 percent and Yarn cited by 13 percent. Since Yarn sits on top of NPM, in reality these respondents are referring to an interface or tool they actually use day-to-day. Yarn’s use rose 44 percent compared to last year’s study.

    • RcppZiggurat 0.1.5

      A maintenance release 0.1.5 of RcppZiggurat is now on the CRAN network for R.

    • RcppGSL 0.3.6

      A maintenance update 0.3.6 of RcppGSL is now on CRAN. The RcppGSL package provides an interface from R to the GNU GSL using the Rcpp package.

    • A Gentle Intro to PLT

      Programming Language Theory (PLT) is an extremely rich subject with a relatively high bar to entry. Most of the literature is written for a reader already well versed in the subject; it’s hard to find a tractable introduction. This post will take you through the construction of a simplistic toy programming language (and an interpreter for it) from first principles. I assume no knowledge on your part, aside from general programming experience.


  • Security

    • Security updates for Monday
    • InvisiMole: surprisingly equipped spyware, undercover since 2013

      The first part of the malware we are looking at is a wrapper DLL, compiled with the Free Pascal Compiler. From our telemetry, we have observed that this DLL is placed in the Windows folder, masquerading as a legitimate mpr.dll library file with a forged version info resource.

    • InvisiMole Spyware Turns Your Computer Into A Video Camera And Steals Secrets

      The working of this spyware can be explained using its modular architecture. The very first module is a wrapper DLL that makes the malware look like legitimate DLL file. The malware can be launched by hijacking a DLL and loading the wrapper module during the Windows startup process instead of the legitimate DLL.

    • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 100 – You’re bad at buying security, we can help! [Ed: No, you do not need to "buy security", just use stuff that is secure to begin with]
    • Yet Another Study Shows The Internet Of Things Is A Privacy And Security Dumpster Fire

      Day in and day out, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the smart home revolution simply isn’t all that smart.

      Security analysts like Bruce Schneier have been sounding the alarm bells for years now about the lax to nonexistent security and privacy standards inherent in the internet of broken things space. From refrigerators that leak your Gmail credentials to Barbie dolls that can be easily hacked to spy on kids, it’s increasingly clear that dumber technology is often the smarter solution. Not only do many of these devices actually make us less secure, their lack of real security has resulted in their use in historically large DDoS attacks.

      Study after study shows it’s a problem that’s not really getting better. For example, despite a decade of reports about the lack of real security and privacy standards in smart TVs, Consumer Reports recently found that most smart TVs remain impressively open to attack and abuse. And a new study out of the UK by Which? studied 19 different smart gadgets and found a “staggering level of corporate surveillance of your home” by devices that routinely hoovered up consumer data, then funneled it out to dozens of partner companies — often without clear consumer permission…

    • Google Outs Chrome OS 67 to Fix Spectre V2 on ARM Chromebooks, Add New Features
  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • They could, if they wanted, bring him home, at the expense of US ties

      June 19 marks six years since Julian Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Kellie Tranter weighs back in.

      Media reports that Australian government officials have visited Julian Assange in his Ecuadorian embassy refuge in London is welcome news. But the Turnbull Government still won’t say whether or not it agrees with the 2016 findings of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

    • WikiLeaks founder marks six years at Ecuadorian embassy with new headache

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange marks the sixth anniversary of his enforced sojourn at the Ecuador Embassy in London as a wanted man and facing a new headache from across the Atlantic.

    • The pseudo-left stabs Assange in the back

      Journalist Julian Assange, who exposed US government war crimes, CIA conspiracies and rampant political corruption, has had all his connections with the outside world severed for ten weeks.

      Assange has been effectively imprisoned in the Ecuadorian Embassy for nearly six years, forced to flee trumped-up allegations of rape, which have since been dropped, and the threats of the US government to extradite and prosecute him on equally false espionage charges.

      In addition to being denied visitors and adequate medical care, the Ecuadorian embassy has severed his internet access and jammed all his electronic communications, leaving him cut off from the outside world.

      With one of the world’s most famous political prisoners facing such intolerable conditions, and confronted with such imminent danger, one would expect that all political organizations that consider themselves left-wing would rush to his defense.

      However, despite initially voicing opposition to Assange’s hounding by US authorities, the entire gamut of the middle-class “left” has either ignored, downplayed or supported Assange’s persecution.

    • Press conference to be held in Sydney ahead of rallies in defence of Assange

      The Turnbull government must act now to secure WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange’s right to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London and return to Australia, with guaranteed protection from extradition to the US.

      A demonstration will be held on Sunday, June 17 at 1:00 p.m. in Sydney Town Hall Square. Journalist John Pilger and Socialist Equality Party (SEP) national secretary James Cogan will demand that the Australian government meet its obligations to protect Assange, as it did for Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste.

      James Cogan will be available at a press conference on Wednesday, June 13, at 11:00 a.m. in central Sydney, to answer questions.

      On December 15, 2010, Australian media editors and journalists issued a statement condemning US threats to charge Assange and WikiLeaks as “a serious threat to democracy,” which “relies on a free and fearless press.”

      On June 23, 2012, the ABC’s “Four Corners” broadcast a damning exposure of the politically motivated character of a Swedish investigation into allegations that Assange had committed sexual offences.

    • Australia has a legal obligation to protect Julian Assange

      It is a well-established principle of international law—and part of Australian law recognised by its own courts—that if a country’s citizens face improper treatment, persecution, and human rights violations, they may be the subject of diplomatic action, in that sovereign power’s discretion, to protect its citizens abroad. The Australian government must exercise that discretion and request from Britain the safe passage of Assange to Australia, to protect Assange and also Australia’s reputation as a rule-of-law state.

    • Is Julian Assange a bargaining chip in Ecuador’s relations with the U.S.?

      The General Assembly vote in support of Espinosa was a substantial: 128 votes for 62 votes for the other nominee, Honduras’s UN ambassador, Mary Elizabeth Flores Flake. There were two abstentions. Washington was believed to favor Honduras because its right-wing government supported the provocative relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. After the vote, Espinosa again hinted that Ecuador is working to force Assange out of the embassy into the clutches of waiting police and the prospect of extradition to the United States on charges of espionage. She stated she was in discussion with both British authorities and Assange’s lawyers. “I think all parties are interested in finding an outlet, a solution, to this complex situation,” she declared.


      Such “freedom” apparently does not include freedom of speech or freedom of the press, at least as far as WikiLeaks is concerned. “Democracy” apparently does not include the right to expose war crimes and other misdeeds of the U.S. and other Western governments. The “freedom” espoused by Pence means submitting to the world’s wealthiest interests.

      Moreno’s evidently friendly discussion with Pence, and Espinosa’s victory in the UN, follow Moreno’s own attacks on Assange last week.

  • Finance

    • Brexit millionaire Arron Banks briefed CIA on his Russia talks

      Arron Banks briefed the CIA’s London bureau on his dealings with the Russian ambassador, he is set to claim to a Commons committee tomorrow.

      Links between the multimillionaire founder of Leave.EU, his business associate Andy Wigmore and the Kremlin were revealed yesterday after a cache of emails was handed to The Sunday Times.

    • Blockchain’s Once-Feared 51% Attack Is Now Becoming Regular

      At least five cryptocurrencies have recently been hit with an attack that used to be more theoretical than actual, all in the last month. In each case, attackers have been able to amass enough computing power to compromise these smaller networks, rearrange their transactions and abscond with millions of dollars in an effort that’s perhaps the crypto equivalent of a bank heist.

      More surprising, though, may be that so-called 51% attacks are a well-known and dangerous cryptocurrency attack vector.

    • UK Citizens: Please Write to Your MPs Today about the Big Brexit Votes

      There’s an important series of Brexit votes taking place tomorrow. The UK government will seek to overturn some sensible amendments made in the Lords, allotting just a few hours to consider many important issues.

      If you can, please write to your MPs today urging them to support amendments that will minimise the damage caused by the self-harming hard Brexit.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Despite Supreme Court Ruling, Voting Is Still Not a ‘Use It or Lose It’ Right

      The 5-4 ruling is a setback for voting rights, but it’s not a signal for states to purge as they wish.

      The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that an Ohio voter purge program can resume, finding that the practice does not violate the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. The decision is a setback for voting rights in America and devastating for the thousands of Ohio voters who will show up at the polls only to learn that they have been purged and barred from casting a ballot — which happened to our client Larry Harmon in 2015.

      The ruling, however, is not a green light for states to initiate wholesale purges of registered voters however they see fit. While the court concluded that Ohio’s practice was permitted under the NVRA, it was unmistakably clear that states cannot purge registered voters without first providing notice and an opportunity to stay on the rolls.

      Along with our partners, the ACLU challenged Ohio’s voter purge process, which targets registered voters who do not vote in a two-year period for removal from the rolls. Here’s what the process looks like: Ohioans who don’t vote for two years are sent a nondescript postcard from the Ohio secretary of state’s office requesting a confirmation of their address. If those voters don’t respond to the notice or vote within the next two federal election cycles (or four years), they are kicked off the rolls without further notice.

      For decades, the Department of Justice, which enforces the NVRA, in both Republican and Democratic administrations, maintained that these kinds of purges are illegal — including in the run up to the 2016 election in this very case. Under Trump, however, the Justice Department flipped sides. It’s a stark reminder of the administration yet again reversing course on civil rights.

    • CNN’s Warm Welcome to Far-Right Pundit Shows No Limit to Trumpwashing

      As FAIR has noted before (7/3/16, 12/30/17), centrist and liberal media have a disturbing tendency to rehabilitate some of the most vile, reactionary forces on the American right simply because they say vaguely negative things about Donald Trump—a phenomenon we call “Trumpwashing.” In the understandable service of shoring up forces against a destructive president, producers and editors check their memories at the door and help rebrand a laundry list of war criminals, anti-LGBTQ weirdos and Islamophobic media hustlers simply because they also happen to not like Trump.

      The latest version of this terrible trend is the recent veneration of retired Lt. Col. Ralph Peters. A long-time Fox News presence, Peters quit the network in March to much fanfare, calling it a “propaganda machine” in service of Trump. But Peters is a strange arbiter of what is and isn’t propaganda, given his long history of bigoted, warmongering virtrol. From insisting Islam “is not a religion of peace,” to constantly suggesting Black Lives Matter and Obama were Islamists, to calling Yemenis “primitive,” to writing an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal headlined “Civilian Casualties: No Apology Needed” (7/25/02), Peters has been one of the most bloodthirsty hawks and overtly anti-Muslim trolls in American media. He even lobbied for one of the very things he criticizes Putin for doing, the killing of journalists—calling for “military attacks on the partisan media” in the Journal of International Security Affairs (5/24/09).

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • French Thought Police and the Creeping Dictatorship of Virtue

      A new French law to combat so-called “fake news” fits in all too well with the growing establishment campaign to censor dissident opinion by one means or another, argues Jean Bricmont.

    • Dozens rally against ‘censoring’ of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoonist Rob Rogers

      Supporters of longtime, award-winning Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoonist Rob Rogers gathered outside the newspaper’s former Downtown location today to condemn what they’re calling the censorship of his work by the paper’s higher-ups, particularly art that is critical of President Donald Trump.

      “The silencing of Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh’s premier political cartoonist, by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has outraged the paper’s readers and drawn national attention and condemnation,” said a press release from rally organizers, the “Ad Hoc Group to Free Rob Rogers.”

      “The local paper is one of the foundations of American democracy. Its purpose is to inform the citizens and to hold the powerful in the public and private sectors accountable. But who is there to hold the Post-Gazette accountable? We, the people. That’s who. And that is why we’ll be demonstrating…”

    • French Thought Police and the Creeping Dictatorship of Virtue

      A new French law to combat so-called “fake news” fits in all too well with the growing establishment campaign to censor dissident opinion by one means or another, argues Jean Bricmont.

    • CPJ Blasts Belarus’s ‘Veiled Attempts At Tightening Censorship’

      The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has called on Belarusian lawmakers to reject proposed laws that could “further censor” the media in the country.

      The New York-based media watchdog made the call in a statement on June 8, two days after Belarus’s Prosecutor-General Alyaksandr Kanyuk said his office was drafting legislation that would enable the state to prosecute people suspected of spreading “false” information on the Internet.

      Such a bill was “necessary” to prevent libel and curb the spread of false information that “turns public opinion upside down, which leads to big consequences,” Kanyuk told reporters in Minsk on June 6, adding that “the Introduction of a hefty fine or criminal prosecution is not ruled out.”

    • Belarus moves to prosecute ‘fake news,’ control the Internet

      The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on the Belarusian parliament to reject proposed laws that could further censor the media in the country. The Prosecutor General’s Office is drafting a bill on “fake news,” and the lower house of parliament separately is considering amendments to the media law.

      The bill being drafted by the Prosecutor General’s Office would allow the state to prosecute persons who spread “fake” information on the Internet, according to the independent Belarusian news site Tut.by and the state-owned BelTA news agency, both of which cited Belarusian Prosecutor General Alyaksandr Kanyuk.

    • Court Orders Open Source Security, Inc. and Bradley Spengler To Pay $259,900.50 To My Attorneys

      The court has ordered Open Source Security, Inc, and Bradley Spengler to pay $259,900.50 in legal fees to my attorneys, O’Melveny and Meyers. The court awarded about half what we asked for, courts usually do reduce awards.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • No Protected cloud for you: ASD knocks back Aussie firm, but not Microsoft

      The Australian Signals Directorate appears to be bending the rulebook when it comes to the granting of Protected cloud status, favouring multinational American companies and knocking back smaller Australian outfits that meet the desired criteria.

    • Attorneys In Seth Rich-Linked Defamation Case Demand Identifying Info Of Thousands Of Twitter Users [Updated]

      UPDATE: According to Dissent Doe (who runs the essential Databreaches.net), the ridiculous subpoena has apparently been withdrawn by Aaron Rich’s lawyers.

      The brother of murdered DNC employee Seth Rich is suing some right-wing writers and their publishing platforms for defamation. Aaron Rich raises some rather decent libel claims, pointing out he’s been subjected to numerous articles, tweets, podcasts, and livestreams pushing the theory he’s either responsible for his brother’s death or profited from it in some way. The lawsuit [PDF] names America First Media, the Washington Times, and writers Edward Butowsky and Matt Couch as defendants.


      This would be concerning enough if that were the end of it. Many of these Twitter accounts have nothing to do with the defendants other than their echoing of allegedly-defamatory claims and their general political persuasion. Wikileaks has nothing to do with this other than its release of DNC emails. Everything tying Aaron Rich to Wikileaks stems from the defendants’ actions and words — not anything Wikileaks has done itself. This is already overbroad and we haven’t even gotten to the really broad part.


      To be clear, Twitter has not turned over this info to Rich’s lawyers. His legal team is going to be facing a lot of tough questions from the judge once Twitter submits its challenge. (According to the docket, it doesn’t appear Twitter has done that yet, but then again, it was only served June 1st.) There’s always a small chance the judge will see nothing wrong with Twitter producing information linked to thousands of accounts, but that’s very unlikely. Twitter, fortunately, has a solid legal team. Other outlets that may be served in this case may not.

      Rich’s lawyers should know better than this. Perhaps they’re hoping the absurdity of the request will result in a narrowing that still allows them to access account info they would like to have, but haven’t shown any legal reason to demand. It’s also a reminder that subpoenas are only judicially vetted after they’ve been submitted to recipients and (this is important) after the recipient challenges them. Subpoena power is immense and it’s up to courts and recipients to ensure the power isn’t abused.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • President Trump’s CIA Sets ‘Canary Traps’ for White House Leakers

      A senior White House aide to President Trump is deliberately feeding inaccurate/misinformation stories to White House staffers in an effort to weed out those who are speaking to reporters, this is called a ‘Canary Trap’ in CIA parlance.

      In the ongoing battle with leaks of internal meetings and memos, President Donald Trump is determined to finds out and punish those ‘canarys’ passing information on to the press, the NY-T’s reported..

      President Trump will soon identify the WH leakers and bring the up to the surface.

      President Trump has publicly condemned the leaks that have come out of his administration and has reportedly made staffers sign NDAs that extend beyond his Presidency.

    • Five First Responders to the Pulse Massacre. One Diagnosis: PTSD.

      On the morning of June 12, 2016, police officer Omar Delgado pulled his cruiser up to his two-story townhome in Sanford, Florida, and sat in silence for 15 minutes, trying to process what he had seen during 3 1/2 hours inside the Pulse nightclub.

      He stripped his bloody uniform and gear off, put them in a trash bag, and took a shower. Then, he shut the door to his bedroom, locked it and tried to sleep.

      That same morning, firefighter EMT Brian Stilwell walked back to Orlando Fire Department Station 5. Working at the station just 300 feet from Pulse nightclub, Stilwell was one of the first on scene hours earlier.

      In the dawn’s light, he saw a pool of coagulated blood in front of the station. It was from a Pulse patron who had been shot in the stomach and dragged to that spot. Stilwell wondered if the man survived the night. Then, with a bucket of bleach and water, he helped clean the blood off the concrete.

      Down Orange Avenue, Alison Clarke and a fellow Orlando Police officer walked into a McDonald’s to use the bathroom. The restaurant had a TV with the news on, streaming live video of the scene she had just come from. People looked up from their coffee and breakfast, glanced at her and her partner, then back to the food. She used the restroom, washed up and bought two coffees. No one said anything. It was surreal.

    • Police in Tennessee Legally Steal a Veteran’s Car Because of His Son’s Alleged Misdeeds

      Last September, police woke up Lewis Cain at his house without a warrant and drove away with his car.

      On September 18, 2017, Lewis Cain, a disabled Vietnam veteran living in Nashville, Tennessee, woke to a flashlight shining in his eyes.

      It was officers from the Mount Juliet Police Department, who had arrived at Cain’s home with an arrest warrant for his son. Cain himself had not been accused of any crime, and the police had no warrant to enter his house or remove property from his home.

      Yet the officers later asked for the keys to Cain’s car. Confused but wishing to cooperate, he handed them over. When he objected, police told him that they were allowed to take his car.

      Then they opened his garage door and drove away in his 2009 BMW.

    • NYT Carries IDF Attack on Murdered Medic–Reveals It’s a Smear in 20th Paragraph

      A reporter at the most influential paper in English-language media appears to not know the difference between a government “tightly editing” and selectively editing video.

      New York Times reporter Herbert Buchsbaum (6/7/18) wrote up a propaganda video posted by the Israeli Defense Force, showing Rouzan al-Najjar–a 21-year-old medic the Israeli Defense Force shot and killed earlier this month—apparently throwing a tear-gas canister, along with a brief clip of her purportedly saying, “I am here on the front line and I act as a human shield.”

      The video seems to suggest that throwing a device spewing caustic gas away from people into an empty field is a sort of violence. (“This medic was incited by Hamas,” the video reads as she grabs the canister.) But the primary problem with the IDF video is that it deceptively edits her comments to distort what she said—a fact not noted by the Buchsbaum until paragraph 20, when he threw in this crucial piece of information…

    • DOJ Stacks Charges On MalwareTech, Including Stuff Put Out Of Reach By The Statute Of Limitations

      The government’s case against Marcus Hutchins, aka MalwareTech, isn’t getting any stronger. After detaining him at a Las Vegas airport following some post-conference partying, the FBI decided to hit the guy who inadvertently shut down WannaCry with charges for allegedly creating the Kronos malware. In essence, the case is about criminalizing security research, and the government’s indictment decided to hang Hutchins out to dry while allowing the people who actually sold the malware to remain unarrested and unindicted.

      The charges were weak and the government appeared to know it. Deployment of malware to cause damage and wreak havoc is one thing, but creating malware — something lots of security researchers do — isn’t a criminal activity in and of itself. Thrown into the mix were wiretap charges based on the very thin premise that the malware was used to intercept communications.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • What Ajit Pai Should Have Said About Killing Net Neutrality… And Why It Still Would Have Been Wrong
    • Even Though Net Neutrality Protections Are Ending, Congress Can Still Bring Them Back

      June 11, 2018 is the day that the FCC’s so-called “Restoring Internet Freedom Order” goes into effect. This represents the FCC’s abdication of authority in upholding the hard-won net neutrality protections of the 2015 Open Internet Order. But this does not mean the fight is over.

      While the FCC ignored the will of the vast majority of Americans and voted not to enforce bans on blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization, it doesn’t get the final say. Congress, states, and the courts can all work to restore these protections. As we have seen, net neutrality needs and deserves as many strong protections as possible, be they state or federal. ISPs who control your access to the Internet shouldn’t get to decide how you use it once you get online.

      Three states (Oregon, Washington, and Vermont) have passed state net neutrality laws. Six more (Hawai’i, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont) have executive orders doing the same. Overall, 35 states have some form of net neutrality protections in the works.

    • The FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules Are Dead, but the Fight Isn’t

      The most immediate battle to save net neutrality is legislation that would effectively force the FCC to bring back the rules the FCC approved in 2015. Under the Congressional Review Act, or CRA, Congress, with the approval of the president, can not only reject regulations issued by a federal agency but effectively bar that agency from taking similar action again.

    • Early June Update

      Eventually I will get a proper cord-cutting operation in place. Antennae are up. One receiver is in place. I need to get the personal video recorder up and going next.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Legislation For South Africa’s New IP Policy Likely After Elections Next Year

      Legislative changes giving effect to South Africa’s recently published Intellectual Property Policy “Phase 1” will not take place during this term of government, the country’s trade minister has said. Meanwhile, a side-by-side comparison with the 2017 draft legislation shows a series of changes in the final policy, and the pharmaceutical industry is complaining but appears determined to continue investing in the country.

Latest Docket Reports Show That the American Courts/Legal System Still Anything But Patents-Hostile

Posted in America, Law, Patents at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It just depends on what the patents cover, e.g. chemistry in this case

Damages from patents trebled

Summary: “Damages” (or so-called ‘harm’) from patent infringement, as demonstrated in the US earlier this month, still an overrated concept which leads to overinflated “compensation” for infringement; the patent microcosm’s claims that US courts have become “anti-patent” are laughable at best

THE EPO has its share of scandals that still severely affect EPO staff, but what about accused individuals and firms, especially cash-strapped ones?

“Disproportionate sizes in litigation have long been an issue.”Docket Navigator’s “Docket Report” about a BASF (German giant) case speaks of a discredited “expert” report. As Docket Navigator summarised it (along with some excerpts from the original): “The court granted plaintiff’s motion to strike report of defendant’s contract expert regarding whether defendant sold anticipating prior art before the critical date because the testimony was unhelpful.”

It’s so concise that it’s confusing (what actually happened there). But what’s noteworthy here is that a relatively small defender (its workforce size is less than a tenth of BASF’s) is being sort of denied the right to/of a defense. Disproportionate sizes in litigation have long been an issue.

“It’s almost as though law is being composed for the purpose of deterrence/retaliation rather than justice.”Another new “Docket Report” (regarding Sabinsa Corporation v Olive Lifesciences Pvt. Ltd., a herbal products manufacturer in Bengaluru, India) shows what happens when patents not only cause major fines but also treble the ‘damages’. “The court,” Docket Navigator has explained, “granted plaintiff’s motion for enhanced damages against a defaulting defendant because defendant’s motivation for harm, lack of a good faith defense, lack of remedial action, duration of misconduct, and lack of closeness of the case favored treble damages.”

The concept of treble damages or punitive damages (in the US courts assessing USPTO patents) is prepended at the top for those who aren’t familiar with it. It’s almost as though law is being composed for the purpose of deterrence/retaliation rather than justice. Appeal to the Federal Circuit would cost a lot of money for companies that size.

Next time sites like Watchtroll make some patently ludicrous claims about US courts hating patents or anything along those lines (US decline in patent protection etc.) be sure to remind them that it’s about patent scope, not ideology. US courts are pro-law, not “anti-patent”.

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Blind to Its Participation in a Scam Around Patents on Nature

Posted in America, Antitrust, Europe, Patents at 3:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Allergan/Mohawk ‘Sovereign Immunity’ Patent Scam (Dodging PTAB) Backfires Spectacularly

Tired man
Without even shedding a tear over what they’ve done (a betrayal to Native American values)

Summary: For over $20,000,000 (so far) the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe has agreed to pretend that it has something to do with controversial patents of Allergan, in effect grossly abusing the concept of tribal immunity while at the same time enabling privatisation of nature

THIS SITE typically focuses on software patents and Alice. But a few other high-level decisions, notably Mayo, impact patent scope as well. There are many bogus USPTO patents which are well overdue for a review by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and maybe the Federal Circuit as well. That includes patents of Allergan, which is visibly afraid of PTAB, knowing perhaps that its patents are questionable and would likely be voided upon closer scrutiny.

Allergan hired some dodgy law firm that bullies bloggers like myself; they are maximalists of patent law who are resorting to outright "scams" now (many people call it a “scam”).

“Allergan hired some dodgy law firm that bullies bloggers like myself…”Patently-O‘s Dennis Crouch has in fact just given the platform to these patent “scammers” who misuse tribal immunity to cushion/shield monopoly of Allergan (based on bogus patents). Michael Gulliford, an advisor to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe and the Founder of Soryn IP Group, uses terms like “controversial” and “death squad” to refer to PTAB. He compares judges and courts to assassins basically. What a lunatic.

He admits upfront that the tribe takes “$13.75 million upfront, with continuing royalty payments of $3.75 million per quarter” to participate in a “scam” of Allergan. This is pure greed and mischief. The tribe’s reputation is dead. They know it. In his own words:

Native Americans and patents don’t make headlines. That changed when the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, located in upstate New York, conceived a lucrative transaction that saw Allergan transfer patents covering the dry eye drug Restasis® to the Tribe. In return, the Tribe agreed to use its sovereign status to protect the patents from a controversial administrative proceeding coined the patent “death squad”, and to license the patents to Allergan. Allergan paid the Tribe $13.75 million upfront, with continuing royalty payments of $3.75 million per quarter.

The tribe now has very serious trouble in its hands; it has become widely associated with apatent “scammers” (especially in news headlines). These tribes are usually renowned with preservation and opposition to private ownership; this tribe is now known for the very opposite. It’s a greedy opportunist that helps a bunch of billionaires have a monopoly on nature.

“The tribe now has very serious trouble in its hands; it has become widely associated with a patent “scammers” (especially in news headlines).”Whose idea was it? The lawyers’, no doubt, both Allergan’s and the tribe’s. “AstraZeneca sign[ed] [an] $1.5B antibody deal with Allergan” a couple of years ago, so it’s clear that they increasingly just rely on notorious patents on life.

As we noted here before, Patent Docs habitually promotes patents on life (stuff like CRISPR and beyond) and a few hours ago it republished a page (“Antibodies in the European Patent Office“) from a patent law firm, noting upfront that “[t]he following article was reprinted with permission from J A Kemp.” (who habitually write about the EPO, e.g. [1, 2, 3]

It starts with a discussion about Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs), which Team UPC keeps promoting, and then there’s this:

This Advanced Guide is drawn primarily from our experience prosecuting large numbers of antibody cases before the EPO and our discussions with EPO examiners. This may raise the question: Why is there so little supporting case law?

The main reason is that antibody case law at the EPO has been relatively slow to develop in recent years. In our opinion this is because the most common pending antibody applications during this period have focused narrowly on a lead molecule or molecules of the applicant.

It really comes to show just how much uncertainty surrounds these patents. They’re almost shrouded in mystery. Well, the examiners at the EPO are resisting these, but patent maximalists such as Team UPC push back hard, sometimes together with IAM. Lately we’ve been receiving pointers to sites which oppose patents on life; EPO insiders, perhaps witnessing public protests to that effect, understand the injustice/irrationality of such a concept. What will the Boards of Appeal, whose member has allegedly been bullied into severe depression by Battistelli's abuses, do on that matter?

Post-AIA, Post-Alice/§ 101 USPTO Still Granting Software Patents in Defiance of the (Case)Law

Posted in America, Patents at 12:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nationality or sovereignty defined by one’s patent scope; the danger is, by granting patents in error they associate their patents with weak enforceability

Some questions

Summary: The patent microcosm, which looks for new ways to patent algorithms (in spite of Alice), actually dooms the US patent system by filling it up with invalid patents — software patents that are just waiting to be thrown out by courts which can better assess subject matter (no financial incentive to grant aplenty)

THE LITIGATION climate the US became renowned/notorious for is no more; at least as far as patent litigation is concerned. As we said yesterday, a lot of the litigation drifts eastwards to Europe and China, owing to patent maximalism at the EPO and SIPO. It’s estimated that this year — by year’s end — the USPTO will have marked a decline in patent filings.

“We are sadly seeing a failure to reject software patent applications, which eventually perish somewhere like the Federal Circuit or Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) — at a vastly higher cost!”The improving patent quality is good news; it’s bad news to lawyers, but they’re just a tiny minority or a non-producing, unproductive niche. Based on yesterday’s advertisement of an upcoming “webinar” of theirs, they’re trying to come up with new patenting tricks (getting patents on what otherwise would get rejected). The Practising Law Institute (PLI), a patent maximalists’ group, will cover “35 U.S.C. Sections 101/102/103″ and “35 U.S.C. 101: The Complete Guideline Breakdown of Alice, Myriad and Mayo” (basically what places restrictions on abstract patents). There’s also this upcoming “webinar” about rejections and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO), which acts as a front for IBM in promoting software patents, has this “webinar” about patents on nature/life. IBM’s Manny Schecter has meanwhile said: “Inventions can be implemented in hardware or software; both should be patentable” (in the US).

“Watch this new list of newly-granted patents; some of them sound like classic software patents. We already know that such patents, even if granted by the patent office, may perish in courts (or even PTAB).”“Software requires hardware (i.e. non-physical) to run,” I told him, “so focus on the hardware, leave abstract patents out…” (he never replies)

We are sadly seeing a failure to reject software patent applications, which eventually perish somewhere like the Federal Circuit or Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) — at a vastly higher cost!

The other day we became aware of this new lawsuit by USAA [1, 2]. The underlying patent sure sounds like a software patent. To be invalidated soon? Here are the details:

USAA has filed an intellectual property lawsuit against Wells Fargo for unspecified damages, alleging Wells has infringed on USAA’s remote deposit capture patents.

More than a year ago, San Antonio-based USAA, which says it is the inventor of remote deposit capture, started to seek licensing fees from banks using the technology.

“We’ve been abundantly patient with Wells Fargo,” Nathan McKinley, a USAA vice president and its head of corporate development, said in an interview Friday. “Now is the time for us to get the court’s assistance.”

There’s nothing seemingly physical in this so-called ‘invention’. The lawsuit may go nowhere, but maybe its sole purpose/intention is to increase the pressure on Wells Fargo (to abandon this feature or shell out money).

2020NOW, based on this new press release, is pursuing patents only for the sake of litigation. Expect lawsuits to come:

20/20NOW, the pioneer and innovator of Ocular Telehealth, has initiated legal action and other efforts to protect its patents against infringement. 20/20NOW has filed a lawsuit in New York Eastern District Federal Court against Digital Optometrics, claiming infringement of 20/20NOW’s intellectual property. The company also intends on filing for a Post Grant Review of Digital Optometrics Patent with the U.S. Patent Office. The company is confident that the recently issued Digital Optometrics Patent will be found invalid.

We actually found this under “software patents” (we do not look randomly at patents); they aren’t necessarily patenting anything physical here. Here’s another new example, this time from Acuant. “The patent focuses on remote image acquisition and the processing of ID documents,” it says (classic software patent?). “Acuant currently has more than 20 issued patents.”

But so what? Are these all valid? Have these ever been proven in a courtroom? Watch this new list of newly-granted patents; some of them sound like classic software patents. We already know that such patents, even if granted by the patent office, may perish in courts (or even PTAB). Several days ago we saw Jorge Sagastume giving bad advice as though software is still patentable. He wrote:

Depending upon the reason behind your need to hand your software to someone else, you may wish to take measures to protect your intellectual property. Patents can be used to protect the factual aspects of software, while software copyright can be used to protect the “artistic” side of things, including your code. While handing your code to another party is a relatively common behavior in the software world, it never hurts to be prepared, to be aware of the risks and to protect yourself throughout the process.

It’s really not clear what Sagastume meant by “factual aspects of software” (it sounds like mumbo-jumbo), especially as we know that software as a whole is abstract and thus patent-ineligible, e.g. under Alice.

We keep watching these things closely because ideally examiners will just stop issuing software patents; then and only then will PTAB and other tribunals not be demonised for simply applying the law as examiners ought to have done.

Another Victim of Corrupt Benoît Battistelli

Posted in Europe, Patents, Rumour at 12:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Thuggery at the EPO is taking its toll on the mental health of staff

Mafia Battistelli

Summary: The judge whom Battistelli attacked, Judge Corcoran, is rumoured to be in a psychiatric hospital after 3.5 years of legal battles and defamation against him

THE plague of suicides at the EPO is undeniable and it can directly be linked to Battistelli’s policies, (mis)behaviour, and sheer abuses.

“Topić is known for causing that (in Croatia), just like Battistelli.”Causing one’s perceived opponents to commit suicide or sink into depression isn’t a novel tactic. Topić is known for causing that (in Croatia), just like Battistelli. We know for a fact that both have been bullying — in several courtrooms (and countries) — Judge Corcoran and in a recent press dialogue/interview Corcoran’s lawyer said she thankful that Mr. Corcoran is still alive after all the abuse he was subjected to by Battistelli and his ‘bulldog’.

“Prowling around the corridors of the Isar building, Märpel learnt unfortunate news,” Märpel wrote last night. “It appears that Mr. Corcoran is in hospital. Märpel heard he was sent to be treated for “psychiatric reasons”. Märpel has no access to the medical file and cats are not familiar of psychiatric hospitals, but there are few reasons to be sent to a psychiatric hospital in Germany. The most common one is when the patient is in danger of committing suicide.”

Benoît Battistelli, if he has any morsel of guilt left in him, might be able to ‘medicate’ himself with some wine, having repeatedly abused people who ‘dared’ (or had the courage) to mention his corruption.

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