The EPO Cannot Guard Fake European Patents From Scrutiny (in the Long Run)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Put It Somewhere Else Patrick: You take all these fake patents. Then make sure independent counts don't touch them.

Summary: Legal certainty associated with newly-granted European Patents is already pretty low and as long as the EPO refuses to acknowledge that its courts (or boards) lack autonomy the EPO merely brushes a growing problem under the rug

ANY TIME European Patent Office (EPO) presidents promote software patents and demote/punish judges who can put an end to these illegal patents they merely reinforce the idea or the “perception” — a word they habitually use — of institutional lawlessness. President António Campinos is happy to crush perfectly legitimate challenges to President Battistelli‘s illegal attacks on judges, which likely render years of rulings legally invalid (remember what ILO-AT said about hundreds of cases involving disciplinary actions against EPO staff as well).

Jane Evenson and Ella Wells (CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP) have put in Lexology their new article about the “Revised Rules of Procedure of the European Patent Office Boards of Appeal, which are due to come into effect from 1 January 2020.”

It’s quite long, there’s nothing new or exciting in there (we wrote about that countless/dozens of times before, stressing that nothing was done to restore independence), and it says:

The Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal are the rules that govern the way appeals are conducted at the European Patent Office (EPO). The EPO has recently approved changes to these rules, which are due to come into effect from 1 January 2020. The new rules (known as “RPBA 2020″) can be found here. The EPO has said that the aims of the revisions are to increase (i) efficiency, by reducing the number of issues to be treated, (ii) predictability for the parties, and (iii) harmonisation.


In addition to the changes listed below, a list of appeal hearings expected to be heard by each Board will now be published at the beginning of every working year, allowing parties to more effectively budget and plan for hearings.

How many hearings? With a backlog of 10,000+ cases (appeals) justice itself is clearly not a priority at the EPO, only mass-granting operations. And speaking of such operations, Bart van Wezenbeek has just highlighted this case of Bayer, highlighting the limits of oppositions as well (under pressure to hurriedly decide):

Bayer was not granted an injunction in preliminary proceedings because the Court found that there was a serious chance that Bayer’s patent would be held invalid. The fact that the patent had survived opposition before the EPO was of no influence since new, closer prior art had subsequently been found.

So an actual court found a patent that even EPO oppositions had upheld to be likely invalid. Regardless of it, embargoes were attempted by Monsanto’s owner with its notorious past. This is the kind of problem caused by EPO injustice — a problem that isn’t at all being addressed by EPO management. The avalanche will come one day.

Links 19/10/2019: DeX Discontinued, DXVK 1.4.3 and Wine 4.18 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Samsung discontinues ‘Linux on DeX’ program, removing support w/ Android 10

      Late last year, Samsung and Canonical partnered on an app that allowed select Galaxy phones to run a full Linux desktop on top of Android. Less than a year later, Samsung has announced that they’re discontinuing the Linux on DeX program, coinciding with the update to Android 10.

      One of the sci-fi-style dreams that many of us have had since the onset of smartphones is the idea of plugging your phone into a desktop-size monitor to get a desktop-style experience. Through the years, many have attempted it in earnest, and the latest offering from Samsung brought an interesting approach.

    • Samsung Calls It Quits on the ‘Linux on DeX’ Project

      Samsung DeX, if you have heard of it, allows the users to turn their Galaxy phones into desktop PCs simply by connecting a monitor and other peripherals. The company made DeX more welcoming and useful for Galaxy flagship users by partnering with Canonical earlier last year. It made it possible for users to run a full Linux desktop instance on its DeX-supported flagship phones.

      This was an amazing feature for developers and users who didn’t really like carrying a laptop with them. They could rely on their Galaxy flagship (including the Galaxy S and Note-series) for a desktop-like experience, running Ubuntu on the move. However, the response to Linux on DeX seems to have been lackluster and Samsung has decided to shutter this project.

    • Samsung is discontinuing Linux support on Dex

      Samsung goes on to explain that starting with its Android 10 beta ROMS, already rolling out on certain devices, Linux support will be removed from Dex altogether. This does make us wonder if, perhaps, the third-party OS emulation setup Samsung was employing to get Linux to work in the first place somehow breaks certain rules or security policies Google implemented with the latest Android version.

      Regardless of whether or not this is the case, if you are currently using Linux on Dex, you definitely want to start keeping regular backups of your data. Since, given current developments even staying on Android 9 and not updating your phone’s Android OS still might not be a sure-fire way to keep the feature running.

    • A Humorous Take on macOS: Like Linux of Old

      After wrestling mightily with an install that was sabotaged by macOS “reserved space,” this developer got to thinking…

    • Desktop

    • Server

      • GraalVM: Clearing up confusion around the term and why Twitter uses it in production

        What does the “umbrella term” GraalVM stand for? We interviewed Chris Thalinger (Twitter) at JAX London 2019. Hear what he has to say about the meaning of Graal and how it can benefit Twitter as well as the environment.

      • Pensando Systems Exits Stealth Mode With Plans To Take On Amazon AWS

        While normally we don’t cover hardware start-ups on Phoronix, Pensando Systems has just exited stealth and given their focus will be heavily involved with Linux and in fact already have their first kernel driver mainlined.

        After announcing a $145 million (USD) Series-C round, Pensando Systems exited “stealth” and revealed the first details of what they are trying to achieve with this company led by many ex-Cisco staff.


        Pensando has been on our radar since as I wrote about last month when they were just a stealth networking startup they already upstreamed their first Linux kernel driver. In the Linux 5.4 kernel is a Pensando “Ionic” driver for a family of network adapters. In this week’s press release, Pensando didn’t specifically call out Ionic but presumably is the backbone to their hardware. Now that they are beginning to talk about their ambitions, hopefully we see more Linux kernel patches from them soon.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Rooting for ZFS | TechSNAP 414

        We dive into Ubuntu 19.10’s experimental ZFS installer and share our tips for making the most of ZFS on root.

        Plus why you may want to skip Nest Wifi, and our latest explorations of long range wireless protocols.

      • 2019-10-18 | Linux Headlines

        Researchers discover a kernel bug that can crash Linux devices, Fedora 31’s release date slips, Cedalo opens up its Streamsheets code, Google announces the Android NDK 21 beta, and Unix turns 50.

    • Kernel Space

      • Announcing the release of LTTng 2.11

        We’re happy to announce the release of LTTng 2.11 “Lafontaine”.
        This is a combined release announcement for the 2.11.0 – “Lafontaine” release of the LTTng Tools, LTTng UST, and LTTng modules projects.
        This release is named after a modern Saison beer from Montréal’s Oshlag microbrewery. It is a refreshing, zesty, rice beer with hints of fruit and spices. Some even say it makes for a great Somaek when mixed with Chamisul Soju, not that we’ve tried!
        Lafontaine is also a tongue-in-cheek reference to a water leak that affected EfficiOS’s offices during the development of this release.

      • LTTng 2.11.0 “Lafontaine” released
      • Graphics Stack

        • Gallium3D’s Mesa State Tracker Sees “Mega Cleanup” For NIR In Mesa 19.3

          AMD developer Marek Olšák has landed a “mega cleanup” to the Gallium3D Mesa state tracker code around its NIR intermediate representation handling.

          As part of getting the NIR support in good enough shape for default usage by the RadeonSI driver, Marek has been working on a number of clean-ups involving the common Gallium / Mesa state tracker code for NIR.

        • AMDGPU DC Looks To Have PSR Squared Away – Power-Savings For Newer AMD Laptops

          It looks like as soon as Linux 5.5 is where the AMDGPU kernel driver could be ready with Panel Self Refresh (PSR) support for enabling this power-savings feature on newer AMD laptops.

          While Intel’s Linux driver stack has been supporting Panel Self Refresh for years, the AMD support in their open-source Linux driver code has been a long time coming. We’ve seen them working towards the support since Raven Ridge and now it appears the groundwork has been laid and they are ready to flip it on within the Display Core “DC” code.

    • Applications

      • Proprietary

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • DXVK 1.4.3 Works On State Cache Improvements, Lowering CPU Overhead

        As another release in time for weekend gamers, DXVK 1.4.3 was released today as the newest update for this library mapping Direct3D 10/11 to Vulkan for accelerating the Wine/Proton-based Linux gaming experience.

        The biggest change with DXVK 1.4.3 is the introduction of a new state cache file format, which should lead to smaller file sizes for the caches. DXVK 1.4.3 still supports reading old state caches for automatically converting to the new format.

      • DXVK 1.4.3 released helping games with a large number of different shaders

        No doubt some of our readers will be in for a busy weekend testing, with another release of DXVK now officially available.

        Developer Philip Rebohle put out DXVK 1.4.3 this evening which adds in a new file format for the state cache, which should give smaller files. The state cache from previous versions of DXVK should be converted automatically, so no manual effort is required.

      • Wine 4.18 Released

        The Wine development release 4.18 is now available.

      • Please look at this Wine graph showing a 4.18 increase

        I decant believe that title! The latest and greatest code from the Wine hackers has been sweetened to perfection with the Wine 4.18 development release now available.

      • Wine 4.18 Released With Many Bug Fixes, Some Feature Work

        While three weeks have passed since the previous Wine development release compared to the usual two week cadence, Wine 4.18 is out today and isn’t too busy on the feature front but there are more than three dozen bug fixes.

        The delay and Wine 4.18 not being particularly big appear to be due to WineConf taking place last week in Toronto keeping many of the developers busy. New Wine 4.18 feature work includes implementing more VBScript functions, cleanups/improvements to the Apple macOS Quartz code, and fixes for test case failures.

    • Games

      • Fantasy tactical RPG Wildermyth blends a mix of hand-painted 2D and 3D art & arrives on Steam soon

        With character art during the turn-based battles that look like paper cutouts in a 3D environment, Wildermyth certainly has a strange and lovely charm to it.

        Currently available on itch.io where users have been testing it for some time, Worldwalker Games have now announced that their character-driven tactical RPG will enter Early Access on Steam on November 13. In Wildermyth, your party will be tasked with defending the lands from various threats, switching between the turn-based combat and making decisions on the over-world map. It has choice-based comic-styled events, which can end up changing your heroes’ appearance, personalities, relationships, and abilities.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Top 20 Best Openbox Themes for Linux System in 2019

        Have you ever heard about the stacking window manager, Openbox? It is broadly used in Unix-like systems. Most probably, it’s among the most customizable parts out there. You can easily modify and beautify this with a little bit of effort. The question may arise- with what and how can you do this? Well! We are going to disclose it now. It’s by Openbox themes, which lets you have a minimalist and fantastic visual interface for your desktop manager.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Thanks to our Sponsors

          The Kubuntu community is delighted and proud to ship Kubuntu 19.10. As a community of passionate contributors we need systems and services that enable us to work together, and host our development tools.

          Our sponsors page provides details and links to the organisations that have supported us through our development process.

          Bytemark is a UK based hosting provider that generously provide racked and hosted bare metal hardware upon which our build chain KCI ( Kubuntu Continuous Integration ) operates.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • g_array_steal() and g_ptr_array_steal() in GLib 2.63.1

          Another set of new APIs in the upcoming GLib 2.63.1 release allow you to steal all the contents of a GArray, GPtrArray or GByteArray, and continue using the array container to add more contents to in future.

          This is work by Paolo Bonzini and Emmanuel Fleury, and will be available in the soon-to-be-released 2.63.1 release.

        • GNOME Shell Hackfest 2019

          This week, I have attended the GNOME Shell Hackfest 2019 held in Leidschendam, The Netherlands. It was a fantastic event, in a fantastic city! The list of attendees was composed of key members of the community, so we managed to get a lot done — a high amount of achievements for only three days of hackfest, in fact.

    • Distributions

      • Android-x86: Run Android on your PC: Release Note 7.1-r3

        The Android-x86 project is glad to announce the release of 7.1-r3. This is the third stable release for Android-x86 7.1 (nougat-x86). The prebuilt images are available in the following site as usual:



        Key Features

        The 7.1-r3 is mainly a bugfixes release of 7.1-r2. It based on Android 7.1.2 Nougat MR2 security updates (android-7.1.2_r39). Some newer features are also back-ported from 8.1 release. We encourage users of 7.1-r2 or older release upgrade to this release.

      • Reviews

        • Solus Brightens Computing Across the Linux User Spectrum

          Regardless of how you spend your time at the keyboard, Solus can be an ideal solution for all your computing needs. It comes with a collection of specially designed tools to make using and maintaining the operating system a uniquely easy experience.

          For technically minded users, Solus supports a wide variety of editors, programming languages, compilers and version-control systems. It has tools for containerization/virtualization technology, such as Docker and Vagrant. Whether you’re writing drivers in C or writing backend Web services in Go, there is software that will fit your needs.

          Home or office users will be pleased with the latest LibreOffice suite version The Solus Software Center has options for accounting, Personal Information Management and more. Content Creators can animate in Synfig Studio, produce music with Musescore or Mixxx, do graphic designing with GIMP or Inkscape, and edit videos with Avidemux, Kdenlive or Shotcut.

          Gamers can enjoy open source games natively configured for Solus with support for many gamepads and controllers. With little or no setup required, gamers can play Steam titles for Linux with a modern, optimized gaming runtime. There is also built-in support for the Itch.io and Lutris gaming platforms.

      • New Releases

        • Dragora 3.0-beta1 released
          I am pleased to announce the release of Dragora 3.0 Beta 1.
          Dragora is a complete and reliable distribution of the GNU/Linux operating 
          system that is entirely free software. Dragora is founded on the concepts
           of simplicity and elegance, it can be run for almost any purpose (desktop,
          workstation, server, development, etc.). The intended audience is people
          interested in learning more about the technical aspects of a friendly
          GNU/Linux distribution.  Also people looking to use the purest ethical
          software for daily use.
          The beginning of the development of the series 3.0 represents the
          migration towards a new C library, Musl.  The continuation of
          supervision capabilities (introduced for the services in 2012).
          The restructuring of the hierarchy of directories, the improvement of
          the tools provided by the distribution, a new automatic method to build
          the distribution, the prebuilt cross-compiler set, and much more!
          The homepage is at www.dragora.org
          Current development pages are located at
          https://git.savannah.nongnu.org/cgit/dragora.git/ and
          Changes in this version:
            * A new installer for this series has been introduced, it can be
              invoked from the command line as `dragora-installer'.
            * A new tool (based on dialog(1)) has been introduced to
              configure the keyboard mapping in the console, it is called
            * Our simple and friendly package manager has reached version 1.3,
              which contains minor changes and fixes.  It is worth mentioning
              that Qi now uses `tarlz' to produce, list packages in parallel.
              Tarlz uses a simplified and safer variant of the POSIX pax format
              compressed with our favorite compressor "lzip".
            * To complement the security in general, for binaries with PIE and
          SSP (both are default features in Dragora), they are now complemented
              with RELRO by default.
            * The main toolchain has been upgraded.  This -beta1 have Binutils
              2.33.1, The GNU C Compiler 9, GNU Linux libre 4.19.78, and
              Musl 1.1.24.
            * LibreSSL has been upgraded to the version 3.0.1
            * Ruby (programming language) version 2.6.5 has been introduced.
            * Support for FUSE (in the kernel) and user space, is now available
              in Dragora.
            * Xfce 4.14 has been introduced in this version.
            * dragora-ice, a customized version of IceWM has been added.
            * All the official X.Org components has been updated (drivers, server,
              applications, etc.).  Included new drivers: xf86-input-elographics,
              xf86-video-amdgpu, xf86-video-vboxvideo.  The configuration for the
              xf86-video-intel driver has been fixed this time.
            * Work to complete DocBook support in Dragora is underway.
            * Build recipes for new packages have been built:
              Please, traverse the /usr/pkg hierarchy for a full view of
              installed packages.
            * Many general fixes, improvements, and clean ups have been performed.
          The ISO images may be fetched at:
          See http://dragora.org/en/mirrors.html for a list of available mirrors.
          The sha256sums are:
          59a1c1693d62c2d61a0d5b4b826313ce8b736768b1a42097f1478a20a37f7a80 dragora-3.0-i586-beta1-live.iso 3127ea5b619b8e049b45a17e1e4d9c538b35ac067a7cd63d2262a30782e7cc2d dragora-3.0-i586-beta1-packages.iso 1c0f63a69cd4b674b742550562605f240e98cdbc63ab670c9f8cdd5d2d134efc dragora-3.0-x86_64-beta1-live.iso 2dd58b1e6429876aa1883b4682914184bce6cac2adfe53ea7c2e0c46d7987385 dragora-3.0-x86_64-beta1-packages.iso
          Dragora is available in "live" or hybrid ISO image form. You need the .iso
          for the packages if you want to perform a hard disk installation.
          * The password for the root user in the Live CD is: dragora
          This beta version can be considered as stable, it is catalogued just as
          beta because it lacks many things that we will try to complement in future
          We welcome feedback at our Freenode IRC channel, #dragora, and on our
          mailing list.  We are looking for help with documentation, testing,
          bug reports, patches, etc.
          Thank you to all of you who support this humble project made with great
          sacrifice.  And thank you especially for supporting the philosophy and
          spirit of software freedom that Dragora aims to promote.
          Best regards,
          Matias Fonzo, Dragora author and maintainer.
          ``Someone told me I would never be free
          The way you are is way you'll always be
          But it's all wrong!
          There's Time To Burn'' - Ronnie James Dio
      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

        • PCLinuxOS 2019.10 updated installation media release

          The PCLinuxOS project has announced the release of updated installation media for PCLinuxOS. The new media carries the version number 2019.10 and contains a fully updated system as of October 15 2019. Please note it is not required to do a clean installation each month since PCLinuxOS is a rolling release. These ISOs are being provided so new users don’t have a large update to perform after installation from a dated ISO.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Can I deploy Ceph on older hardware?

          You just retired a bunch of servers and disk arrays, but before you place hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars’ worth of equipment on the curb, you’re wondering if you can use it for a Ceph-based storage solution like SUSE Enterprise Storage. The answer is: maybe.

          SUSE prides itself on supporting a wide range of hardware, from blades to retail terminals to IoT devices. In fact, SUSE makes it possible to easily deploy a wide range of software on that hardware and certify it will work through the SUSE YES Certification Program. SUSE Yes Certification assures your IHV equipment is fully compatible with SUSE software, including SUSE Enterprise Storage.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2019/42

          Another week has passed with again four snapshots published. This pace seems to be holding pretty solid and I think it’s not the worst speed there is. During this week, we have released the snapshots 1011, 1012, 1014 and 1016. As usual, some were smaller, some were bigger.

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora IoT Review

          With the rise in IoT use, we are witnessing a demand for ready-made operating systems to support smart device development. Currently, the race is between proprietary versions such as IoT Plug and Play by Microsoft and open source operating systems.

          One such emerging open source player is Fedora which has a workstation that supports virtualization and containers. Fedora is also slated to release an Internet of Things edition called “Fedora IoT” in future.

          Here is a review of the open source product’s support capabilities for IoT and relevant installation details.

        • David Cantrell: rpminspect-0.8 released (and a new rpminspect-data-fedora)

          Work on the test suite continues with rpminspect and it is finding a lot of corner-case type runtime scenarios. Fixing those up in the code is nice. I welcome contributions to the test suite. You can look at the tests/test_*.py files to see what I’m doing and then work through one inspection and do the different types of checks. Look in the lib/inspect_NAME.c file and for all of the add_result() calls to figure out what tests should exist in the test suite. If this is confusing, feel free to reach out via email or another means and I can provide you with a list for an inspection.

        • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-42

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. Fedora 31 was declared No-Go. We are currently under the Final freeze.

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 19.10 lands with GNOME 3.34, Linux Kernel 5.3, Raspberry Pi 4 support and more

          Canonical, the company behind Linux Ubuntu, has put the finishing touches on Ubuntu 19.10 (or Eoan Ermine, if you’d rather). There’s a lot of new features and updates with this release to dig into, so be sure to check out the release notes. Otherwise, there’s a few main draws for Ubuntu 19.10.

          One of the highlights of Ubuntu 19.10 is improved hardware support, especially as it pertains to Nvidia users. Ubuntu 19.10 comes with Nvidia drivers directly in the ISO, and Canonical notes other Nvidia-specific enhancements such as rendering smoothness, frame rates and reliability. Ubuntu 19.10 is also based on the Linux Kernel 5.3, and with it comes support for AMD’s Navi-based GPUs, Ryzen 3000-series motherboards, Zhaoxin x86 processors, and new Arm SoCs.

        • Ubuntu Linux 19.10 released: New Features and Download

          Ubuntu Linux 19.10 is a notable upgrade that ships with much-updated software that developers like to build web apps, container workloads, AI/MI programming, or gaming using NVIDIA GPU. The desktop provides a pleasant experience and could be a great addition to newly announced XPS 13 or Thinkpad T or X series laptops. I am using it and loving it. Go for it.

        • Ubuntu Studio 19.10 Released

          The Ubuntu Studio team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu Studio 19.10, code-named “Eoan Ermine”. This marks Ubuntu Studio’s 26th release. This release is a regular release and as such, it is supported for 9 months.

          For those requiring longer-term support, we encourage you to install Ubuntu Studio 18.04 “Bionic Beaver” and add the Ubuntu Studio Backports PPA, which will keep 18.04 supported through April 2020.

          Since it’s just out, you may experience some issues, so you might want to wait a bit before upgrading. Please see the release notes for a complete list of changes and known issues.

        • Ubuntu 20.04 code-named Focal Fossa will release on April 23

          From what we know so far, the upcoming Ubuntu 20.04 LTS has been given the code name “Focal Fossa,” and is expected to be available to the general public starting from April 23rd of the coming year.

          The code names of major Ubuntu updates are chosen in alphabetical order. Since ‘Eoan Ermine’ was suggested to be the code name of Ubuntu 19.10, we already knew that Ubuntu 20.04 would be codenamed after the letter ‘F.’ And, this is just what happened as the news broke out that this LTS version of Ubuntu will be called Focal Fossa.

          Now that we know what it’s called, it only makes sense to dig deeper and find out the real inspiration behind its code name.

          When it comes to Ubuntu code names, the first word is an adjective, whereas the second is an animal species. Here, Focal means necessary, and Fossa is a carnivorous mammal that looks similar to a cat and could be seen in Madagascar.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 – Overview of the GNOME Desktop & Usage Tips
        • Ubuntu 19.10 releases with MicroK8s add-ons, GNOME 3.34, ZFS on root, NVIDIA-specific improvements, and much more!

          Yesterday, Canonical announced the release of Ubuntu 19.10 which is the fastest Ubuntu release with significant performance improvements to accelerate developer productivity in AI/ML.

          This release brings enhanced edge computing capabilities with the addition of strict confinement to MicroK8s, which will safeguard the complete isolation and presents a secured production-grade Kubernetes environment. This allows MicroK8s add-ons like Istio, Knative, CoreDNS, Prometheus, and Jaeger to be deployed securely at the edge with a single command. Ubuntu 19.10 also delivers other features like NVIDIA drivers which are embedded in the ISO image to improve the performance of gamers and AI/ML users.

        • Ubuntu 19.10 is here nearly 15 years after first Ubuntu release

          Ubuntu has been one oft he most popular GNU/Linux distributions for well over a decade… but the operating system has changed quite a bit over the years.

          The latest release, Ubuntu 19.10, came out this week… almost exactly 15 years after the first version of Ubuntu was released on October 20th, 2004.

          In a blog post, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth notes that some of the biggest changes since the early days include Ubuntu’s move from a desktop-first operating system to one that now powers servers, IoT devices, and AI applications. But there are still a number of new features in Ubuntu 19.10 aimed at home users.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • OSI Announces Appointment of New Board Directors

        The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is pleased to announce the appointments of Deb Bryant and Tracy Hinds to fill the two vacant seats on the OSI Board of Directors. Their terms will begin immediately and run through October 2021. We hope you will join us in welcoming both to the OSI.

        Deb Bryant is returning to the OSI Board after spending several years away. After spending her days as the Senior Director of the Open Source Programs Office at Red Hat, Deb volunteers for open source organizations and supports the open source community. Bryant is passionate about open and transparent governments, bringing open source technology and ideas into the public sector.

        Tracy Hinds has an impressive history of managing development, operations, and growth for non-profit and for-profit organizations. Previous Education and Community Manager as well as Board Director of the OpenJS(formerly Node.js) Foundation, Hinds now works as Head of Platform at Samsung NEXT and is the president of GatherScript, where she works to support startup engagement and community, inspired by her prior work as a web engineer, community builder, OSS advocate, and strategist.

      • To space and beyond with open source

        The Cambridge Dictionary defines curiosity as “an eager wish to know or learn about something.” It’s curiosity that fuels our drive to acquire knowledge about outer space, but what drives our curiosity, our “eager wish,” in the first place?

        I believe that our curiosity is driven by the desire to escape the unpleasant feeling of uncertainty that is triggered by acknowledging our lack of knowledge. The intrinsic reward that comes from escaping uncertainty pushes us to find a correct (or at least a less wrong) answer to whatever question is at hand.

        If we want space discovery to advance at a faster pace, we need more people to become aware of the rewards that are waiting for them when they make the effort and discover answers for their questions about the universe. Space discovery is admittedly not an easy task, because finding correct answers requires following rigorous methods on a long-term scale.

        Luckily, open source initiatives are emerging that make it easier for people to get started exploring and enjoying the beauty of outer space.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Faster Layouts with CSS Grid (and Subgrid!)

            CSS Grid has been available in most major browsers since early 2017, and it makes web layout more powerful than ever before. But complex-looking new syntax (line-names! grid-areas! minmax! fit-content! fr units!) and missing IE11 support can make it scary to many developers.

            Don’t let that stop you: CSS Grid has made my layout process faster and simpler, with more flexibility. We can get started with a few basics, and the fallbacks don’t have to be overwhelming:

          • Firefox Reality Top Picks – Bringing You New Virtual Reality Experiences Weekly

            So you bought yourself a fancy VR headset, you’ve played all the zombie-dragon-laser-kitten-battle games (we have too!) and now you’re wondering… what else is there? Where can I find other cool stuff to explore while I have this headset strapped to my face? We felt the same way, so we built Firefox Reality to help you in your quest for the most interesting, groundbreaking and entertaining virtual reality content on the Web.

            The real promise of VR is the ability to immerse yourself into countless other places and perspectives – both real and imaginary – and to experience things you’ve never done before. Our Top Picks page is a great place to start exploring, with fresh recommendations coming weekly so you always have new content to check out. Of course, if you want to explore on your own, you can use Firefox Reality for that too.

            Firefox Reality Top Picks is the start of what we hope will evolve into a thriving and sustainable ecosystem connecting creators, VR content, and audience.

      • Linux Foundation

        • Databricks contributes Delta Lake to the Linux Foundation

          The Databricks-led open source Delta Lake project is getting a new home and a new governance model at the Linux Foundation.

          In April, the San Francisco-based data science and analytics vendor open sourced the Delta Lake project, in an attempt to create an open community around its data lake technology. After months of usage and feedback from a community of users, Databricks decided that a more open model for development, contribution and governance was needed and the Linux Foundation was the right place for that.

        • Databricks’ Delta Lake Moves To Linux Foundation

          Databricks is transferring governance of Delta Lake to The Linux Foundation.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Mirantis Partners With OpenStack Foundation to Support Upgraded COA Exam

          “With the OpenStack market forecasted to grow to $7.7 billion by 2022 according to 451 research, the demand for Certified OpenStack Administrators is clearly strong and set to continue growing for many years to come,” said Mark Collier, COO of the OpenStack Foundation. “We are excited to collaborate with Mirantis, who has stepped up to provide the resources needed to manage the COA, including the administration of the vendor-neutral OpenStack certification exam.”

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • New Feature in Libreoffice: Full-Sheet Previews

          The feature was developed on the cp-6.2 branch of LibreOffice code-base (which is basicly Collabora Office 6.2), and is already available in Collabora Office snaphots. And is being backported to LibreOffice master, so it will be also available in LibreOffice development builds and soon in the Collabora Office snapshots.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

        • Paragon Looks To Upstream Their Microsoft exFAT Driver For The Linux Kernel

          With the upcoming Linux 5.4 kernel release there is now an exFAT file-system driver based on an old Samsung code drop of their exFAT driver support for mobile devices. This comes after Microsoft made the exFAT specification public recently and gave their blessing for a native Linux driver for the file-system. The Linux developers acknowledge though the current exFAT code is “horrible” and a “pile of crap” but is within the staging area.

          So in Linux 5.4′s staging is this preliminary read-write driver for exFAT that continues to be cleaned up and further improved upon. Meanwhile there is also another out-of-tree exFAT Linux driver based on Samsung’s sdFAT code that is said to be in better shape than the mainline code. But now there’s another option with Paragon Software wanting to upstream their own exFAT driver into the Linux kernel.

        • VMware’s Joe Beda: Enterprise Open Source Is Growing [Ed: “Enterprise Open Source” means proprietary software and openwashing for marketing purposes]

          One of the fathers of Kubernetes says enterprise customers see the most benefit from the community-driven approach because their users get the opportunity to influence the direction development takes.

      • BSD

        • OpenBSD 6.6 comes with GCC disabled in base for ARMv7 and i386, SMP Improvements, and more

          Yesterday, the team behind OpenBSD, a Unix-like operating system, announced the release of OpenBSD 6.6. This release has GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) disabled in its base packages for i386 and ARMv7 and expanded LLVM Clang platform support.

          OpenBSD 6.6 also features various SMP improvements, improved Linux compatibility with ACPI interfaces, a number of new hardware drivers, and more. It ships with OpenSSH 8.1, LibreSSL 3.0.2, OpenSMTPD 6.6, and other updated packages.

        • Project Trident Ditches BSD for Linux

          Recently, Project Trident announced that they had been working behind the scenes to move away from FreeBSD. This is quite a surprising move (and an unprecedented one).

          According to a later post, the move was motivated by long-standing issues with FreeBSD. These issues include “hardware compatibility, communications standards, or package availability continue to limit Project Trident users”. According to a conversation on Telegram, FreeBSD has just updated its build of the Telegram client and it was nine release behind everyone else.

          The lead dev of Project Trident, Ken Moore, is also the main developer of the Lumina Desktop. The Lumina Desktop has been on hold for a while because the Project Trident team had to do so much work just to keep their packages updated. (Once they complete the transition to Void Linux, Ken will start working on Lumina again.)


        • GNU poke: Dealing with alternatives – Unions in Poke

          Computing with data whose form is not the most convenient way to be manipulated, like is often the case in unstructured binary data, requires performing a preliminary step that transforms the data into a more convenient representation, usually featuring a higher level of abstraction. This step is known in computer jargon as unmarshalling, when the data is fetch from some storage or transmission media or, more generally, decoding.

          Once the computation has been performed, the result should be transformed back to the low-level representation to be stored or transmitted. This is performed in a closing step known as marshalling or, more generally, encoding.

          Consider the following C program whose purpose is to read a 32-bit signed integer from a byte-oriented storage media at a given offset, multiply it by two, and store the result at the same offset.

      • Public Services/Government

        • EPA Rule Will Make Its Custom Code Open Source By Default

          The Environmental Protection Agency is getting ready to default to making all its custom code open source, finally meeting an Office of Management and Budget policy instituted during the last administration.

          The EPA will publish a notice Friday in the Federal Register soliciting public comment on a new open-source policy that will be added to the agency’s acquisition regulations. The clause—which will be added to all EPA contracts that include the use of open-source software or the development of custom code that may or may not be shared widely—will require contractors to provide the agency with all “underlying source code, license file, related files, build instructions, software user’s guides, automated test suites and other associated documentation as applicable,” according to the notice.

        • Environmental Protection Agency Acquisition Regulation (EPAAR); Open Source Software

          A Proposed Rule by the Environmental Protection Agency on 10/18/2019


          The EPA is writing a new EPAAR clause to address open source software requirements at EPA, so that the EPA can share custom-developed code as open source code developed under its procurements, in accordance with Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Memorandum M-16-21, Federal Source Code Policy: Achieving Efficiency, Transparency, and Innovation through Reusable and Open Source Software. In meeting the requirements of Memorandum M-16-21 the EPA will be providing an enterprise code inventory indicating if the new code (source code or code) was custom-developed for, or by, the agency; or if the code is available for Federal reuse; or if the code is available publicly as open source code; or if the code cannot be made available due to specific exceptions.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • A Trustworthy Free/Libre Linux Capable 64bit RISC-V Computer

            My goal is to build a Free/OpenSource computer from the ground up, so I may completely trust that the entire hardware+software system’s behavior is 100% attributable to its fully available HDL (Hardware Description Language) and Software sources.
            More importantly, I need all the compilers and associated toolchains involved in building the overall system (from HDL and Software sources) to be Free/OpenSource, and to be themselves buildable and runnable on the computer system being described. In other words, I need a self-hosting Free/OpenSource hardware+software stack!

          • Brief on Behalf of Amicus Curiae Open Source Hardware Association in Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions Inc., No. 18-2214 (Fed. Cir.)

            Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions Inc. is a case of first impression for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The question on appeal is whether a design patent’s scope is tied to the article of manufacture disclosed in the patent.

            In this amicus brief, the Open Source Hardware Association (“OSHWA”) explains the potential effects on open source hardware development, and design practice generally, of untethering design patent protection from the article of manufacture disclosed in the patent. A large percentage of open-source hardware combines both ornamental and functional elements, and industrial design routinely involves applying design concepts from disparate fields in novel ways. To engage in this practice, open-source hardware designers need to know the universe of available source material and its limits. Further, understanding the licensing requirements of open-source hardware begins with understanding how the elements that make up that hardware may or may not be protected by existing law. Accordingly, while many creators of open-source hardware do not seek patent protection for their own creations, an understandable scope of design patent protection is nonetheless essential to their ability to collaborate with other innovators and innovate lawfully.

            The brief argues that the District Court in the case—and every district court that has considered the issue—correctly anchored the patented design to the article of manufacture when construing the patent. The brief explains that anchoring the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture is the best approach, for several reasons. Connecting the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture calibrates the scope of design patent protection to the patentee’s contribution over the prior art. It avoids encumbering the novel and nonobvious application of prior designs to new articles of manufacture, a fundamental and inventive practice of industrial design. It aligns the scope of design patent protection with its purpose: encouraging the inventive application of a design to an article of manufacture. This balances protection for innovative designs with later innovators’ interest in developing future designs. Finally, anchoring the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture helps fulfill design patent law’s notice function by clarifying the scope of protection.

      • Programming/Development

        • Extend C++ capabilities with LLVM STLExtras.h

          The LLVM compiler project provides a header file called STLExtras.h that extends the capabilities of C++ without any dependency on the rest of LLVM. In this article, we take a quick look at its basic functionality.

        • Rewriting Old Solaris C Code In Python Yielded A 17x Performance Improvement

          While we normally hear of rewriting code from Python and other scripting languages into C/C++ when its a matter of performance, in the case of Oracle Solaris it was taking old C code and modernizing it in Python 3 to yield a ~17x performance improvement.

          Shared today on Oracle’s official Solaris blog was an interesting anecdote about their listusers command being rewritten in Python 3 from C. Oracle’s Darren Moffat noted the C code was largely untouched since around 1988 and given its design at a time when systems were less dense than today with hundreds or even thousands of users per system.

        • Python Projects for Beginners: The Best Way to Learn

          Learning Python can be difficult. You can spend time reading a textbook or watching videos, but then struggle to actually put what you’ve learned into practice. Or you might spend a ton of time learning syntax and get bored or lose motivation.

          How can you increase your chances of success? By building Python projects. That way you’re learning by actually doing what you want to do!

          When I was learning Python, building projects helped me bring together everything I was learning. Once I started building projects, I immediately felt like I was making more progress.

        • PyCon 2019: The People of PyCon

          I can’t tell you how amazing it was to meet the individuals I read, listen to, or who make the tools I use.

          I was so happy to meet the authors that helped me to grow over the last few years, especially Dan Bader, Peter Baumgartner, Matt Harrison, Reuven Lerner, Harry Percival , and Lacey Williams Henschel.

          I love podcasts, so it was wonderful to meet Michael Kennedy and Brian Okken in person.

          And I was happy to meet Paul Ganssle, Russell Keith-Magee, Barry Warsaw, and other maintainers and contributors.

          It was a delight to meet Bob Belderbos and Julian Sequeira from PyBites.

        • Find the first non-consecutive number with Python

          Your task is to find the first element of an array that is not consecutive.

          E.g. If we have an array [1,2,3,4,6,7,8] then 1 then 2 then 3 then 4 are all consecutive but 6 is not, so that’s the first non-consecutive number.

          If the whole array is consecutive then return None.

        • Perceiving Python programming paradigms

          Early each year, TIOBE announces its Programming Language of The Year. When its latest annual TIOBE index report came out, I was not at all surprised to see Python again winning the title, which was based on capturing the most search engine ranking points (especially on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube, and Baidu) in 2018.

        • Android NDK r21 moves to beta

          Android announced that NDK r21 is now in beta. Android NDK is a toolset for implementing parts of an app in native code. The release — which is the first long term support release — includes improved defaults for better security and performance.

          One of the key features in the release is an update to GNU Make to version 4.2, which provides a number of bug fixes, and enables ‘–output-sync’ to avoid interleaving output with error messages, the team explained. This is enabled by default with ndk-build.

          Additionally, GDB, the GNU project debugger, has been updated to version 8.3, which includes fixes for debugging modern Intel CPUs.

        • What is the history behind C Programming and Unix?

          If you think C programming and Unix are unrelated, then you are making a big mistake. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, if the Unix engineers at Bell Labs had decided to use another programming language instead of C to develop a new version of Unix, then we would be talking about that language today.

          The relationship between the two is simple; Unix is the first operating system that is implemented with a high-level C programming language, got its fame and power from Unix. Of course, our statement about C being a high-level programming language is not true in today’s world.

          This article is an excerpt from the book Extreme C by Kamran Amini. Kamran teaches you to use C’s power. Apply object-oriented design principles to your procedural C code. You will gain new insight into algorithm design, functions, and structures. You’ll also understand how C works with UNIX, how to implement OO principles in C, and what multiprocessing is.

  • Leftovers

    • Journey to the Unknown Interior of (You)

      Pinchbeck and Rokhlin discuss the Amazon Rainforest milieu in which the of the ayahuasca vine thrives. The authors remind us that the forest encompasses seven countries, including Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela and Ecuador. It covers the size of the continental United States. It’s called the ‘world’s lungs’, due to the vast proliferation of photosynthetic foliage. Pinchbeck and Rokhlin claim that there are still tribes in the forest who have not met ‘outsiders’, and you could get lost in its lush underbelly and never be seen again.

    • “Grim Positivism” vs. Truthiness in Biography

      Clare Carlisle took exception to my review in the Times Literary Supplement of her biography of Kierkegaard (“Alone for dinner” TLS 4 October 2019). She accused me in a letter to the editor in the next edition of being either “unable or unwilling to approach [her] life of Kierkegaard on its own terms, i.e., as a literary work combining biography and philosophy” (“Letters,” TLS 11 October 2019). I have no objection, however, to combining biography and philosophy. In fact, I can’t imagine a biography of a philosopher that wouldn’t do that. How would it be possible to treat fully the life of a thinker without giving any attention to the character of his or her thought? (You can read my response to Carlisle’s letter here.)

    • Calling the Kettle White: Ishmael Reed Unbound

      Ishmael Reed is one of America’s greatest writers. His fiction is both comic and surreal. His body of work reveals cultural and historical truths while keeping an insightful eye at the situation we currently exist in. Over the course of time, he has angered colleagues and critics, been championed and ignored by the mainstream media, written plays, novels and essays, and run a couple journals and a publishing company. His fictional works satirize US history while his essays attack it head-on. They have celebrated African and African-American culture and stripped the hypocrisy from white America’s presentation of that culture.

    • Boeing reportedly misled FAA about safety of its grounded 737 Max jets

      Forkner, who is the chief technical pilot for the 737, went on to admit that he may have misled safety regulators about the plane. “I basically lied to the regulators (unknowingly),” he said, according to the Times. The messages are from November 2016, eight months before Forkner made a request to the FAA to remove mention of MCAS from the pilot’s manual. The FAA, believing MCAS could only be activated in rare cases, approved the request.

    • Sunset Songs

      The sun never sets over the setting of the British Empire.


      By the 80s these erstwhile teenyboppers were feeding their Anglophilia in tv room easy chairs or movie theatre bucket seats, rather than standing and screaming in Shea Stadium. It was there in the summer of 1965 that the Beatles had played a concert before their biggest crowd yet, the band introduced to 50,000 screaming youths by Ed Sullivan: “Honored by their country, decorated by their queen, and loved here in America!” Fittingly enough the stadium was in the Borough of Queens, and Sullivan’s words ring down the decades and across the subsequent waves of invasion to The Crown and Downtown Abbey, the latter recently diversifying its strategy of attack and surging onto these shores in the form of a movie.

    • Games Blamed For Moral Decline And Addiction Throughout History

      Video games are often blamed for unemployment, violence in society and addiction – including by partisan politicians raising moral concerns.

    • How “Hustlers” Hustles Us

      Hustlers, the Fall 2019 film that grossed $33 million on opening weekend, focuses on a group of gorgeous, sassy, New York women earning an honest living through stripping.

    • The Irishman Cometh: Teamster History Hits the Big Screen (Again)

      When I was working with the Teamster reform movement forty years ago, truck drivers concerned about union corruption had to proceed warily.

    • The woman with the green accordion The story of a Russian music teacher who died alone and lay unnoticed in her apartment for 13 years

      According to 2018 census data, at least 3 percent of elderly people in Russia are single and have never been married. The total number of people who grow old on their own is even higher. Every year, dozens of them die completely alone, and it is common for their deaths to remain unnoticed by relatives (if they have any), by neighbors, even by city services. There are no official statistics on these kinds of deaths, but Russia’s Investigative Committee acknowledges that their number has been on the rise every year. Meduza special correspondent Irina Kravtsova recounts a few of those cases.

    • Science

    • Education

      • Race Against Time (and For Palestinians)

        When the story began there was no clear ending. Two had to be written, one tragic and one triumphant, while waiting to see which one applied by the end of the tale.

        The Galilee Foundation, a British registered Charity, raises funds for higher education scholarships which are awarded to talented but financially disadvantaged Palestinian citizens of Israel, and as the economic woes of the occupied Palestinian territories increase, for Palestinian students in East Jerusalem and the West Bank as well.

      • School Security Officer Fired for Repeating Racial Slur Aimed at Him

        Now, students and residents are rallying around Mr. Anderson, 48, who is fighting to get his job back. He said in an interview on Thursday night that the policy was flawed because it failed to put his use of the slur in its proper context.

        “So if the class is reading ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and the teacher is reading the book out loud and it gets to the part where the N-word is, the teacher gets fired?” Mr. Anderson asked. “It has nothing to do with context, but it has everything to do with the actual word.”

      • “Financialization” Is How Colleges and Universities Are Buying Into Wall Street’s Logic on Money

        The pattern of schools taking in tremendous amounts of money in order to expand amenities while growing the administrator roster represents a trend that has been largely ignored in the national conversation about reforming higher education policy, particularly in the context of the 2020 presidential race. While many voters may assume colleges and universities serve a public good, these schools are sometimes prone to risky, profit-driven behavior, sometimes to the detriment of their students. Some argue that certain investment-driven funding strategies can actually make colleges more accountable for student success and the public good they serve, but critics of the current state of affairs warn about what they call “the financialization of higher education.”

        “The term ‘financialization’ is used to describe the growth of the financial sector, in terms of its increased power over our economy and society as a whole,” Julie Margetta Morgan, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, told Teen Vogue. “In higher education, the logic of the financial sector has taken hold over so much of how our colleges and universities work, from the increased use of student loans instead of government aid to pay for college, to colleges’ use of risky financial instruments to borrow for their operating expenses.”

      • Polish Parliament Should Scrap Bill Against Sex Education

        Threatening sex educators with jail may seem extreme – but it seems Poland’s ruling Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS) party is willing to go there to cement power by generating fear and misinformation.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Asia-Pacific Trade Deal: Trading Away Indian Agriculture?

        On the back of Brexit, there are fears in the UK that a trade deal will be struck with Washington which will effectively lower food and environmental standards to those of the US. At the same time, it seems that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is being resurrected and could have a similar impact in the EU. These types of secretive, corporate-driven trade deals ride roughshod over democratic procedures and the public interest.

      • The PR Campaign to Hide the Real Cause of those Sky-High Surprise Medical Bills

        Most people assume that if they are treated at a hospital in their insurance network, the doctors they see will accept their insurance. But that’s not always the case. Since 2010, an increasing number of hospitals have outsourced their emergency rooms, radiology, anesthesiology, and other specialized services to physician staffing firms. Patients who need these critical services may inadvertently receive care from a doctor outside of their insurance network and find that they owe thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in surprise medical bills.

      • African Swine Fever Does Its Worst

        You cannot get away from it, at least in print or in Google land. African swine fever is doing its rounds, cutting through the swine population of Asia with remorseless dedication. Since its deadly debut in China last year, it has done away with some 25 percent of the globe’s pig population. The symptoms are dramatic and lethal (mortality rates range from 95 to 100 percent), with the infected animal haemorrhaging and perishing between a period of five to fifteen days. This decline has sparked all manner of comment: a feared deprivation of pork dishes, a spark of hope in exports of pork untouched by the disease and alternative meat supplies, and the more serious issue of food security.

      • We’re Having the Wrong Mental Health Conversation

        America’s mental health crisis is rooted in recent history that led not only to inadequate facilities and resources for those with illnesses, but also to a lack of understanding on a broader scale about the nature of the health issues. Another urgent problem inextricably linked to mental health is homelessness, given that not only do many people with psychological illnesses end up homeless due to a lack of options and resources, but that the conditions of living without adequate—or any—housing aggravate any mental health issues already present.

      • The war inside: America’s veteran suicide epidemic has a silent, unaddressed cause

        The statistics on active duty military and veteran suicides are also telling. The largest number of active duty military suicides since the Department of Defense began collecting the data occurred last year, with 325 deaths. Veteran suicide rates are well above those in the general population and is rising for young veterans.

        Nationally, the suicide rate in the United States has increased 30% from 2000 to 2016.

      • Patients’ Needs, Not Personal Beliefs, Come First in Health Care
    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • This Week In Security: A Digital Café Américain, The Linux Bugs That Weren’t, The Great Nation, And More

        A problem in sudo was disclosed this week, that allowed users to run commands as root even when they don’t have permission to do so. Sudo allows a user to specify a numeric user ID instead of a username. It was discovered that specifying -1 as the user did something unexpected, it failed. Trying to switch to user -1 fails, but sudo runs the rest of the command anyway, as root instead of user -1. I was excited to test this simple vulnerability on a slightly out-of-date system. I created an unprivileged user, ran the sudo command, and got the expected security error, but no root access.


        In some ways a similar story, a problem in the Linux Kernel’s Realtek driver was found on Monday. At first glance, it’s another terrifying vulnerability that affects every Linux user with a Realtek wireless card. It’s appears to be a standard buffer overflow, where the length of a field is checked in one way, but not checked to be under the maximum length. A longer than expected data field will overflow the buffer and cause problems. A code execution exploit has not yet been discovered, but it’s likely to be eventually found.

        The catch with this bug is that before the vulnerable code is called, the driver checks whether the card is currently connected in p2p mode. Here’s the check in question if you’re interested. This means that rather than being vulnerable to attack any time your Realtek is powered on, you aren’t actually at risk unless you’re talking to another device using the p2p WiFi mode. In all the Linux WiFi work I’ve done over the years, I don’t think I’ve ever used p2p mode on a wireless card under Linux.

      • A Linux Bug Can Be Exploited To Hack Systems Using Wi-Fi Signals

        An unpatched bug in Linux systems could be exploited to crash the entire operating system, even worse, gain control of the system via nearby devices using Wi-Fi signals.

        The flaw stems from the RTLWIFI driver that supports Realtek Wi-Fi chips in Linux systems. The driver flaw can be activated as soon as the affected device is brought under the radio range of a malicious device.

      • Unpaired Linux bug can open devices for serious attacks via Wi-Fi

        The vulnerability is tracked as CVE-2019-17666. Linux developers suggested a fix on Wednesday that is likely to be included in the OS kernel in the coming days or weeks. Only then will the fix find its way to various Linux distributions.


        The article notes that the error “cannot be activated if Wi-Fi is disabled or if the device uses a Wi-Fi chip from another manufacturer.”

      • Four-Year-Old Critical Linux Wi-Fi Bug Allows System Compromise

        A critical Linux bug has been discovered that could allow attackers to fully compromise vulnerable machines. A fix has been proposed but has not yet been incorporated into the Linux kernel.

        The flaw (CVE-2019-17666), which was classified as critical in severity, exists in the “rtlwifi” driver, which is a software component used to allow certain Realtek Wi-Fi modules, used in Linux devices, to communicate with the Linux operating system.

        Specifically, the driver is vulnerable to a buffer overflow attack, where a buffer (a region in physical memory storage used to temporarily store data while it is being moved) is allocated in the heap portion of memory (a region of process’s memory which is used to store dynamic variables). That excess data in turn corrupts nearby space in memory and could alter other data, opening the door for malicious attacks. This specific flaw could enable attackers to launch a variety of attacks – from crashing vulnerable Linux machines to full takeover.

      • How to use containers with an eye on security

        Containers are all the rage. With good reason. With containers, your company’s apps and service deployments become considerably more agile, more reliable, and even more secure. This is true for software development companies (who develop apps and services for other businesses), as well as companies looking to roll out web-based and mobile applications with an unheard of speed and reliability.

        But with any new technology, comes hurdles. One of the biggest hurdles for any business is security. Data breaches have become rampant and it’s on the shoulders of every company to do everything in their power to make sure they are rolling out technology that is as secure as possible. This idea should certainly be applied to containers.

        But what can you do to use containers security? Fortunately, there are a few steps that you can take from the very beginning.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Yearning to Breathe Free

        On October 8 there were two appalling reports about the plight of the Afghan people. One was that in September the US Air Force dropped more bombs and fired more missiles in Afghanistan than in any other month for ten years. The other concerned an investigation by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan which concluded that the massive aerial blitz on May 5, targeting supposed drug-production facilities, killed 30 civilians.  The findings of this exhaustive four-month-long inquiry were rejected by the US military. What a surprise.

      • Nuclear Weapons are an Existential Threat

        There’s a growing awareness now that climate change is an existential threat to humanity. Inspiring movements are demanding solutions, and politicians are scrambling to offer them.

      • Pressing Done Here: Syria, Iraq and “Informed Discussion”

        Yes, Iraq too again. Innocent Iraqis, most of them young, are being shot and killed now by the hundreds as they protest the corruption and incompetence of the current government. The title of Patrick Cockburn’s last article about Iraq is “Iraq is in Revolt” (CounterPunch, October 7, 2019). The US “liberation” of Iraq in 2003 is the gift that keeps on giving. The people who launched that war, wholly ignorant of Iraq’s history and Iraqi society, laid waste to the country. Names like Abu Ghreib and Fallujah are now repressed in the political unconscious of America. They make some Americans squirm. Others are indifferent. Old news. They’ve been fighting over there for thousands of years. Still others may—if they recall them—revel in the images the names summon.

      • Russophobia at Democratic Party Debate

        Russophobia was on full display during Tuesday night’s Democratic Party debate, with ominous repercussions for the future of American foreign policy.

      • OYAK to acquire majority of Miilux – Translink acted as the Seller’s advisor

        Miilux is part of the Raahe based Miilukangas Group, which was established in 1967. Miilux sells and manufactures abrasion resistant and protection steel products and solutions for demanding applications. Typical applications for Miilux abrasion resistant steels are structures exposed to abrasive wear by soil, gravel and mineral aggregates. Miilux Protection steels are used among other things in banks, shooting ranges, money transportation vehicles, police vehicles and a wide range of applications in the civil protection equipment and defence industries. Miilux’s turnover in 2018 was approximately EUR 45 million.

      • [Old] Turkish Oyak reaches initial deal to buy British Steel

        The pension fund of the Turkish Armed Forces has reached a preliminary agreement to acquire U.K.-based industrial giant British Steel, said a written statement on Aug. 16.

      • Russia’s Putin revokes Geneva convention protocol on war crimes victims

        Russian President Vladimir Putin has revoked an additional protocol to the Geneva Conventions related to the protection of victims of international armed conflicts, a Russian parliamentary website cites a letter from him as saying.

        The Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Convention was ratified by the Soviet Union’s Supreme Council, or parliament, in 1989.

      • The Turkish Gambit

        The only certainty in war is its intrinsic uncertainty, something Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could soon chance upon. One only has to look back on America’s topsy-turvy fortunes in Iraq, Afghanistan and even Syria for confirmation.

      • US-Turkey Frictions Raise Doubts About Nukes at Turk Base

        Frayed U.S. relations with Turkey over its incursion in Syria raise a sensitive question rarely discussed in public: Should the United States remove the nuclear bombs it has long stored at a Turkish air base?

      • America forsakes Syria’s Kurds in a ceasefire deal with Turkey

        The official aim of Turkey’s invasion was to remove the YPG, which Mr Erdogan’s government considers a terrorist group, from the border areas. The unstated one was to thwart the prospect of Kurdish autonomy inside Syria, which would embolden Turkey’s own Kurdish nationalists (the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, from which the YPG stems, has fought an insurgency in Turkey for 35 years). Turkey seems to have succeeded on both counts. This has come at a cost, however. Turkey’s international reputation is damaged. Beyond America’s equivocal stand, only Pakistan, Qatar and Azerbaijan have endorsed the invasion. Several European countries have banned arms sales to Turkey. Mr Erdogan’s relationship with practically everyone in Washington, aside from the occupant of the White House, has been strained. A group of congressmen, led by senator Lindsey Graham, have vowed to press ahead with crippling sanctions against Turkey despite the ceasefire.

      • Media Alarmed by Imaginary US Pullout From Syria

        President Donald Trump’s modification of the US’s Syria policy has generated a torrent of confusion, so it’s worth reviewing the record.

      • Blast at Afghan Mosque Kills 62 at Prayer

        An explosion rocked a mosque in eastern Afghanistan as dozens of people gathered for Friday players, causing the roof to collapse and killing 62 worshippers, provincial officials said. The attack underscored the record-high number of civilians dying in the country’s 18-year war.

      • Death, Misery and Bloodshed in Yemen

        Writing about his visit to the world’s largest weapons bazaar, held in London during October, Arron Merat describes reading this slogan emblazoned above Raytheon’s stall: “Strike with Creativity.” Raytheon manufactures Paveway laser-guided bombs, fragments of which have been found in the wreckage of schools, hospitals, and markets across Yemen. How can a weapons manufacturer that causes such death, bloodshed, and misery lay claim to creativity?

      • A Russian prison warden denied reports of torture until he was caught torturing prisoners himself. We interviewed the journalist who broke the story.

        At the end of September 2019, Alla Konstantinova wrote an article for the legal news source Mediazona that described a regular practice of torturing prisoners at Correctional Colony No. 9 (IK-9) in the journalist’s hometown of Petrozavodsk, Karelia. After the article was published, both Russia’s Investigative Committee and its Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) committed to investigating the prison. At the same time, prison warden Ivan Savelyev said he would sue Konstantinova and asked the Investigative Committee to investigate Konstantinova’s article for slander. On October 12, a video appeared online that appeared to show Savelyev beating a prisoner himself. On the morning of October 15, Konstantinova discovered that Savelyev and his deputy, Ivan Kovalyov, had been tracking her. She brought that information to the media as well. The press service for Karelia’s FSIN branch argued that the journalist’s assertions were “absurd” and that its employees had only “driven up to buy water” when Konstantinova encountered them. Meduza spoke with Konstantinova about the incident and her work more broadly.

      • Trump as the “Anti-War” President: on Misinformation in American Political Discourse

        It is a great propaganda victory for Donald Trump that he has managed to sell himself as “anti-war.” Broadly speaking, Trump has no anti-war bona fides to draw upon. He’s torn up the Iran agreement, while threatening war in its place. He’s threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea. Trump has presided over consistent increases in spending for the American warfare state. And he’s engaged in more drone strikes than Obama up to this point in both presidencies. Trump has put forward no timetable for the final withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. He’s continued for more than two years the U.S. military presence in Syria, in the name of defeating ISIS. And he’s now greenlighted ethnic cleansing against the Kurds in Northern Syria by removing U.S. troops from the region and enabling Turkey’s invasion.

      • Trump on the March

        Here’s Trump’s march, as Krugman offers it: “He has the backing of a party whose elected representatives have shown no sign of democratic scruples. He has de facto state media in the form of Fox News and the rest of the Murdoch empire. He has already managed to corrupt key government agencies, including the Justice Department.”

      • Screwing Over the Kurds: An All-American Pastime

        I have long been a vocal supporter of the Kurds, even before the Syrian clusterfuck sparked the Rojava Revolution. Part of this comes from my checkered past as a lapsed Tankie-Guevarist. I grew up gorging myself on New Left folk tails of Third World rebellion. The fearsome PKK were one of a dozen or so clans of crimson bearded renegades, fighting like Castro for some post-colonial utopia. I read everything I could find about the Bolshevik adventures of groups like FARC, Hezbollah and the Naxalites. But the thing that set the Kurds apart was their fourth quarter conversion to anarchism which closely mirrored my own.

      • Syria-Russia Attack on Refuge an Apparent War Crime

        A Syrian-Russian military alliance strike on a displacement compound in mid-August is an apparent war crime, Human Rights Watch said today.

      • Syria: Exposing Western Radical Collaboration with Imperialism

        Despite so many self-defined radicals’ reading and claims to understand Gramsci’s corrective to Marxism-Leninism’s mechanistic understanding of the relationship between the base and the ideological superstructure, the ease by which some radicals are manipulated by the crude ideological machinations of the ruling class is truly astonishing. It is quite understandable that liberals would be manipulated by fairly innovative ideological gimmicks like the notion of “humanitarian intervention” and the “responsibility to protect,” which relied on the assumption, proving correct, that the liberal consciousness would react favorably to appeals to oppose “authoritarians” and authoritarian systems. However, I suspect that state propagandists didn’t realize the potential effectiveness of this ideological device when they first began to disseminate this framework for its ability to also mobilize radicals to the side of the bourgeois state and imperialist adventures.

      • Bret Stephens’ American Fantasy

        “Goodbye, America. Goodbye, Freedom Man,” laments Bret Stephens in the October 11 New York Times. The conservative columnist was reacting to President Donald Trump’s abandonment of Syria’s Kurds. On October 5, after a telephone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Trump ordered US forces back from the Syrian border with Turkey. Trump’s action put out the WELCOME mat for a Turkish incursion (to which Turkey has given the mocking appellation “Operation Peace Spring”) which began on October 9. Turkey’s objective is the ethnic cleansing of the reason in order to repatriate Syrian refugees presently in Turkey. By Friday, the UN estimated that 100,000 civilians had fled advancing Turkish forces. Turkey has already killed dozens of Kurds, including Kurdish prisoners.

      • Syria, the Kurds, Turkey and the U.S.: Why Progressives Should Not Support a New Imperial Partition in the Middle East

        In the face of Turkey’s renewed invasion of Syria, it seems we are hearing across the entire span of elite opinion in the US, from Liberals to extreme Conservatives, the cry “Don’t abandon our allies the Kurds!” Even on what passes for the Left in our country, many progressives have joined the chorus.

      • Syrian Forces Enter Key Border Town, Blocking Turkish Plans

        Syrian forces on Wednesday night rolled into the strategic border town of Kobani, blocking one path for the Turkish military to establish a “safe zone” free of Syrian Kurdish fighters along the frontier as part of its week-old offensive.

    • Environment

      • The Amazon hasn’t stopped burning. There were 19,925 fire outbreaks last month and ‘more fires’ are in the future

        The number of fires decreased by 35% in September, but experts say this is merely a slowdown in a crisis with global repercussions.

        There were still 19,925 fire outbreaks in September on the Brazilian part of the rainforest, which accounts for nearly 65% of the Amazon basin. Moreover, through the first nine months of the year, the number of fires soared by 41% compared to the same period in 2018, Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) reported.

        “The factors that led to such widespread fires in the first place – decreased enforcement of forest law, illegal deforestation for agriculture and invasion of indigenous territories – remain in place,’’ said Nigel Sizer, chief program officer for the advocacy organization Rainforest Alliance. “It is good news that there are fewer fires in the Amazon right now, but this is a short-term respite from the larger problem.’’

      • Can business tread more lightly on the planet?

        Almost 50 years before Extinction Rebellion, a British-born protest movement, exported its brand of climate activism to the world, young Americans did so on Earth Day, April 22nd 1970. The youth then was more bell-bottomed than nowadays but felt no less “bamboozled and cheated” (as The Economist put it at the time) that their elders were bequeathing them a wrecked planet.

      • Healing the Rift Between Political Reality and Ecological Reality
      • Opinion: We Owe Greta and the Youth More Than a Nobel Prize

        Greta and the young people worldwide urging adults to care about their future don’t need a Nobel. They need grown-ups to take them seriously and heed the scientific evidence about global warming.

      • Saving the Green New Deal

        The Green Economy Reconstruction Program and Budget

      • India builds homes to resist climate-linked floods

        Bamboo, lime and mud are traditional materials being used innovatively in southern India to rebuild homes that can withstand the impact of recurring floods.

      • Greta the Disturber

        Greta Thunberg has become an international figure. The sixteen-year-old Swedish environmental activist has gone from a lonely student skipping school on Fridays to protest for more action on global warming to being nominated for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Greta has become a global player. The New York City Board of Education officially excused over one million students from school if they participated in a Manhattan climate change protest with her. Students from around the world have joined her Friday protests.

      • Energy

        • How A Scientist Took On The Company That Poisoned The World

          Fun fact: Ethanol, aka grain alcohol, actually worked better for this, but GM worried that they couldn’t patent it, and that their friends in the oil industry saw it as a threat to their profits. Another fun fact: When leaded gas hit the market in 1923, Midgley was home sick, recovering from, you guessed it, lead poisoning. Alright, these facts actually aren’t fun at all.

          Even less fun: Refinery workers immediately started dying from lead exposure. The lucky ones merely got palsy, hallucinations, and other severe neurological disorders. Meanwhile, all of the millions of cars belching the stuff into the air meant the people breathing the fumes would suffer from more subtle and insidious symptoms — hyperactivity, lowered IQ, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems up to and including brutal violence. Of course, most Americans weren’t aware of this for the several decades that lead was being vaped into the atmosphere, mainly because all health science on it was performed by the very people putting lead in the gasoline in the first place: the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation.

        • Will the Public End up Paying to Clean up the Fracking Boom?

          “It’s starting to become out of control, and we want to rein this in,” Bruce Hicks, Assistant Director of the North Dakota Oil and Gas Division, said in August about companies abandoning oil and gas wells. If North Dakota’s regulators, some of the most industry-friendly in the country, are sounding the alarm, then that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the nation.

        • After Second Deadly Crash, Regulators Say Trucks Leaking Fracked Gas Cargo Are Fine

          “Let me put this in perspective, if one of these trucks blew up in the right conditions, it could destroy a neighborhood,” said Bill Huston, director of a research and advocacy program called Terra Vigilate, and one of a small group of advocates raising awareness about the extreme risks of fire and explosion of Virtual Pipeline trucks. “We have called every state and federal agency, we have called the news media, and nobody is responding. These trucks are a brand-new technology, and nearly entirely unregulated — it’s very frustrating.”

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Leadership Lacking for Wolf Protection
        • Rare Wildflower vs. Mining Company

          In a remote corner of Nevada is a wildflower that grows nowhere else on earth. Named “Tiehm’s Buckwheat” (Eriogonum tiehmii), it has been found on only ten acres of public land in the Silver Peak Range of Esmerelda County, and is virtually unknown except to a handful of botanists. Tragically, it is at risk of extinction due to mining activities that have just started in its habitat.

          Tiehm’s Buckwheat is a “low, spreading, perennial herb that forms a dense mat” [source]. Its blossoms are globes, one to a stem, made up of dozens of individual flowers, each with half a dozen bluntly-pointed petals arranged around a clutch of pollen-bearing anthers and a single stigma (which are the male and female sex parts, respectively). The basic shape of this inflorescence is common in the genus, Eriogonum, which grows all over North America, though with the most diversity in the arid western lands. The name is Greek for “woolly angle” and refers to the fuzzy-looking flowers that grow at the stem joints of some species in the genus (but not this one).

          In 1985, E. tiehmii was officially described in the journal, The Great Basin Naturalist, Vol. 45, No. 2, by noted Eriogonum authority James L. Reveal who wrote: “This remarkable species, named for Arnold (‘Jerry’) Tiehm, may be immediately recognized by its large, distinctly lobed involucres, cream-colored flowers, and stipitate-glandular tepals. In this latter feature, Eriogonum tiehmii is unique.”

          I’m personally quite fond of wildflowers in the genus Eriogonum, having met many of them in California and Oregon, so this story struck me with a particular poignancy. Perhaps my favorites in the genus are in the Mojave Desert, where—like fireworks—they take myriad forms in various colors: red, yellow, orange, pink and white. Pollinators are also attracted to plants in the genus. A patch of California Buckwheat (E. fasciculatum), for example, will be at the center of a veritable cloud of buzzing, hovering and fluttering insects during flowering season.


          To which I would answer: All life is interconnected and an injury to one is an injury to all. Whether we consciously know it or not, with each extinction of a species and with every razing of an ecosystem, something inside of us dies. We are less, each of us, with every loss. Technological society mutes our senses to this pain, but it is still there.

        • The Governor, the Mining Company and the Future of a Montana Wilderness

          One might credibly think that someone running in the Democratic primary to be the party’s presidential nominee might, just might, want to be on the right side of the pressing environmental issues of the day. But last week Governor Steve Bullock and his Department of Environmental Quality sided with a disreputable “bad actor” mining company that wants to drill and blast for copper and silver under the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness instead of protecting the wilderness and its 60 lakes and abundant streams.

        • Tracking Superbugs: Antibiotic Resistance Spreads Among Marine Mammals
        • Widespread Chytrid Fungus Infections Found in 80 Species of Frogs in Peruvian Amazon Rain Forests

          University of Michigan biologists have documented, for the first time, the widespread presence of the notorious chytrid fungus in 80 species of frogs from lowland rain forest sites in the Peruvian Amazon.

          The chytrid fungus causes a deadly skin disease and has been linked to dramatic amphibian declines worldwide over the past 40 years, most notably in moderate- and high-elevation frog communities—where the climate is cool—in mountainous regions of western North America, Central America, South America, and eastern Australia.

          But little attention has been paid to the role of tropical lowlands in the pathogen’s persistence, because such areas were thought to be too warm to harbor significant levels of the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis fungus, which is known as Bd.

        • Team finds deadly fungus in Amazon frogs for the first time

          The chytrid fungus causes a deadly skin disease and has been linked to dramatic amphibian declines worldwide over the past 40 years, most notably in moderate- and high-elevation frog communities—where the climate is cool—in mountainous regions of western North America, Central America, South America, and eastern Australia.

          But researchers have paid little attention to the role of tropical lowlands in the pathogen’s persistence, because they thought such areas too warm to harbor significant levels of the Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis fungus, known as Bd.

          Researchers found widespread Bd infection across 80 frog species from three sites in lowland tropical rain forests of the Peruvian Amazon, a region with no documented Bd-related amphibian declines.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Centrism of Elizabeth Warren

        The mainstream media, and elite opinion, seem to be coming to a consensus on who’s going to be the next president of the United States and they seem to be breaking for Elizabeth Warren. Warren was given by far the most speaking time at CNN’s most recent debate and the overall treatment of her in the corporate media continues to be mostly favorable.

      • Extorting Ukraine is Bad Enough But Trump Has Done Much Worse

        Recently a friend who follows the news a bit less obsessively than I do said, “I thought George W. Bush was bad, but it seems like Donald Trump is even worse. What do you think?”

      • Trump Can’t Survive Where the Bats and Moonlight Laugh

        During the Trump presidency there has been much talk about the lack of civility–the nature of discourse infecting the nation. There is a surreal sensation to it—that this is somehow new, but the only thing new about it is that the naked hate is just a bit more evident now. Are there more raging racists mouthing off or is it just that we now have phones to capture the behavior? A nation with a history of slavery and lynching doesn’t seem like one that has a happy golden hour to long for. True, something is clearly malevolent and addictive currently, but to confront where we are now, we must look at where we came from.

      • Will the GOP Become the Party of Blue-Collar Conservatism?

        From the days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt onward through to the 1990s, the Democrats had long been considered the party of the working class. That perception lingered long after the fact that by the 1990s, they had more accurately become the party of Wall Street and Silicon Valley, often embracing policies at variance with their traditional blue-collar supporters. As Thomas Ferguson, Paul Jorgensen, and Jie Chen outline in a paper sponsored by the Institute for New Economic Thinking: “Within the Democratic Party, the desires of party leaders who continue to depend on big money from Wall Street, Silicon Valley, health insurers, and other power centers collides [sic] head on with the needs of average Americans these leaders claim to defend.” So the Democratic Party, a historically center-left political grouping, has increasingly embraced a neoliberal market fundamentalist framework over the past 40 years, and thereby facilitated the growth of financialization (whereby the influence and power of a country’s financial sector become vast relative to the overall economy).

      • Why Trump’s customary “brazen it out” strategy isn’t working with Ukraine scandal

        In the past, striking a “whatcha gonna do about it?” pose has been incredibly effective for Trump at disappearing a daunting number of scandals that could all have led to impeachment, but somehow didn’t. The cycle seemed set: Journalists report the latest evil, there’s a flutter of outrage, Trump blows it off, and the scandal goes away while Trump emerges seemingly unscathed.

        So when Mulvaney told reporters to “get over it” in a White House briefing Tuesday, after admitting that Trump had pushed for a quid pro quo with Ukrainian leaders — demanding support for his discredited conspiracy theories in exchange for military aid — you can see why Mulvaney thought that simply blowing it off might work.

        But this time, the strategy just doesn’t seem to be taking. Instead of treating this like checkmate, as they have in the past, the mainstream media instead treated Mulvaney’s comment as what it was: A confession of a crime.

      • Lateral Astroturfing Attacks on Twitter Trending Topics

        Astroturfing attacks use automated accounts to artificially propel a chosen keyword to the top of Twitter trending topics. Lateral astroturfing is a sophisticated subset of such attacks in which the automated tweets 1) are posted by compromised accounts and 2) are deleted immediately after they are created. The former makes the attack more effective and the latter aids in evading detection. We present the first large-scale analysis of lateral astroturfing attacks. We detected over 20 thousand astroturfing accounts that were used between February 2019 and June 2019 to manipulate 3,710 unique keywords — at least 10% of daily trending topics in the region analyzed. Lateral astroturfing pollutes trending topics; allows for the manipulation of users’ opinions; and permits content that could otherwise be filtered by the platform, such as illicit advertisements. Our results aid in understanding user manipulation on social media and more generally shed light on the type of adversarial behavior that arises to evade detection.

      • California governor gives OK for state, local agencies to destroy emails

        California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a measure last weekend that would have required local governments to preserve copies of email records for disclosure under the state’s public records law.

        The measure, Assembly Bill 1184, would have required local and state agencies to preserve communications sent by email for at least two years so that members of the public may inspect and copy them.

      • Two Americans who run English-teaching firm detained in east China [iophk: Facebook in place of official communications :( ]

        China Horizons, which arranges for Americans to teach English at Chinese schools, said it would shut down at the end of October.

        “Unfortunately, because of increasing political and economic problems between the U.S. and China, we are no longer able to send teachers to china safely,” the company wrote on its Facebook page.

      • Mark Zuckerberg on lies in political ads: ‘I don’t think it’s right for a private company to censor politicians’

        Zuckerberg’s comments come at a time when Facebook is under fire for helping spread misinformation and is being investigated by the Justice Department and 40 state attorneys general for possible antitrust violations. Politicians from Josh Hawley (R-MO) to Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are calling for the company to be broken up.

      • ‘Final straw’: GOP ex-Ohio Gov. Kasich supports impeachment
      • The Last Lifeline: The Real Reason Behind Abbas’ Call for Elections

        The call by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for elections in the Occupied Territories is a political ploy. There will be no true, democratic elections under Abbas’ leadership. The real question is: why did he make the call in the first place?

      • Russia’s ‘Press Council’ sides with central election commissioner in ethics dispute against ‘Associated Press’

        Russia’s “Independent Press Complaints Council” has sided with Central Election Commissioner Ella Pamfilova against the American news agency The Associated Press in a dispute over an article published in late August about Moscow’s City Duma elections. According to the complaints council, AP’s reporting was biased. Here’s what happened.

      • Boris Johnson’s Brexit “Betrayal”: Elect a Clown, Expect a Pie in Your Face

        “We have a deal!”, said the European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, on 17th October, following intense negotiations with the UK. Juncker was referring to a new draft treaty on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union (EU). But early reports suggest that British Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson has merely rehashed former PM Theresa May’s disastrous Withdrawal Agreement. The hardcore Brexiteers within and without the Conservative and Unionist Party (Tories) will not be pleased. When May presented her treaty as a bill to the British Parliament three times earlier this year, she lost on every occasion. May’s first loss was the biggest in Parliamentary history: 432 against, 202 in favor. Once May stood down, the Tory Members of Parliament whittled their choice of successor, and thus the new PM for the whole country (without a general election), to two: Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt.

      • Roberto Fabio Monda Cardenas ‘Meduza’ tracks down the Spaniard whose mysterious donation led Russian officials to designate the Anti-Corruption Foundation as a ‘foreign agent’

        On October 9, Russia’s Justice Ministry announced that it was adding Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) to its list of “foreign agents.” Officials based the designation on donations sent to the organization from abroad: one from “Star-Doors.com LLC” in the United States, and another from a Spanish citizen named Roberto Fabio Monda Cardenas. 

      • What’s So Awful About Foreign Interference?

        The idea that our “democracy” is under attack by foreign adversaries rings hollow to anyone who thinks about it for more than a second or two, or rather it should. The reason is obvious: we don’t have a democracy to attack.

      • Donald Trump vs. William Shakespeare

        When William Shakespeare wrote Richard III, around 1593, he probably didn’t imagine that the play (an abstract here from Act V, Scene III) would resonate in later times, as the following tweets demonstrate.

      • #OUTNOW

        To all who feel in their hearts that Trump and Pence must go now, who can no longer tolerate the unacceptable – a regime that puts children in cages and tens of thousands in concentration camps, escalates the danger of world war and the slaughter of civilians, clears the way for ruthless environmental plunder when the earth is already burning and melting, and every day brings a new outrage, all while people around the world are rising up in unprecedented numbers in sustained, non-violent protests to demand a future worth living in:

      • U.S. Picks Trump Resort for G-7; Critics Call Choice ‘Brazen’

        President Donald Trump’s suggestion that his Miami golf resort host next year’s Group of Seven summit became a reality Thursday, sparking an outcry from critics who called it the most blatant example yet of him using the power of his office to boost his business empire.

      • American Brexit

        Donald Trump may prove to be the ultimate Brexiteer. Back in August 2016, in the midst of his presidential campaign, he proudly tweeted, “They will soon be calling me MR. BREXIT!” On the subject of the British leaving the European Union (EU) he’s neither faltered nor wavered. That June, he was already cheering on British voters, 51.9% of whom had just opted for Brexit in a nationwide referendum. They had, he insisted, taken “their country back” and he predicted that other countries, including you-know-where, would act similarly. As it happened, Mr. “America First” was proven anything but wrong in November 2016.

      • Trump’s Ending of Wars Could Derail the Democrats

        I hate to say I told you so, but well … as predicted, in the wake of Trump’s commanded military withdrawal from northeast Syria, the once U.S.-backed Kurds cut a deal with the Assad regime. (And Vice President Mike Pence has now brokered a five-day cease-fire.) Admittedly, Trump the “dealmaker” ought to have brokered something similar before pulling out and before the Turkish Army—and its Sunni Arab Islamist proxies—invaded the region and inflicted significant civilian casualties.

      • Why I Can’t Get Excited About Impeaching Trump
      • Khury Petersen-Smith on Turkey & the Kurds, Alex Vitale on the Purpose of Policing

        This week on CounterSpin: “US withdraws from Syria, in a remarkable betrayal of the Kurds”  is a fair characterization of corporate news media’s take on recent events—the only problems being that the US has not withdrawn from Syria, and a US betrayal of the Kurds is not at all remarkable, if by that we mean surprising. World events can be confusing, but they’re made much more so by media coverage that insists, against all evidence, that righteousness is what guides US foreign policy. We talk about Syria and Turkey and the Kurds with Khury Petersen-Smith of the Institute for Policy Studies.

      • Trump’s Withdrawal From Forever War Is Just Another Con

        On Monday, October 7, the U.S. withdrew 50 to 100 troops from positions near Syria’s border with Turkey, and two days later Turkey invaded Rojava, the de facto autonomous Kurdish region of northeast Syria. Trump is now taking credit for a temporary, tenuous ceasefire. In a blizzard of tweets and statements, Donald Trump has portrayed his chaotic tactical relocation of U.S. troops in Syria as a down payment on his endless promises to withdraw U.S. forces from endless wars in the greater Middle East.

      • The Pro-Trump Super PAC at the Center of the Ukraine Scandal Has Faced Multiple Campaign Finance Complaints

        Last year, a Department of Defense contractor quietly donated half a million dollars to a group supporting President Donald Trump’s reelection.

        Once a watchdog organization noticed it, the contribution raised an alarm. Federal contractors are not allowed to donate to political entities. And groups are required by law to examine all donations for potential legal issues. If they discover that a contractor has made a contribution, the money has to be returned.

      • White House: Ukraine Aid Held Up in Part Over Election Probe

        The White House acknowledged Thursday that President Donald Trump’s decision to hold up military aid to Ukraine was linked to his demand that Kyiv investigate the Democratic National Committee and the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.

      • What Really Happened to American Socialism?

        Despite the corporate hype, Democratic Socialism and Social Democracy are deeply rooted in the mainstream of our nation’s history.

      • Joe Biden’s Disgraceful New Attack on Sanders and Warren

        Speaking to reporters during a campaign event in Ohio on Wednesday, former Vice President Joe Biden accused Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren—his two top rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination—of “playing Trump’s game and trying to con the American people” by supporting Medicare for All.

      • The Down Side of Impeachment

        Unless there’s some dramatic change in the political landscape over the next month or so, I believe that the US House of Representatives will impeach President Donald Trump.

      • Donald Trump Is Getting Off Easy

        When the seemingly endless Russiagate investigation finally fizzled over the summer, the long-awaited impeachment of Donald Trump seemed to be a dead letter. “Liberal” cable news shifted from its two-year immersion in “the Russia conspiracy trap” (Masha Gessen)—with occasional interruptions for mass shootings, hurricanes, war scares, presidential tweets and other matters—to its next populace-paralyzing fixation: the big money, major party candidate-centered quadrennial presidential electoral extravaganza.

      • Russian State Duma commission accuses foreign media, including ‘Meduza,’ of violating election laws

        The State Duma’s commission on foreign interference in Russia’s internal affairs has openly accused a number of news outlets based outside Russia of election violations. The committee’s chair, Vasily Piskaryov, first announced the accusations to the state-owned wire service Interfax.

      • In Ohio Debate, Media Stuck to an Increasingly Rigid Script

        This week’s Democratic presidential debate, hosted in Westerville, Ohio, by CNN and the New York Times, confirmed that media are stuck in a fairly rigid debate script that elevates questions about healthcare and the economy above all else, and leaves many pressing topics deeply underexplored.

      • Boris Johnson Gets EU Brexit Deal; Next Hurdle Is Parliament

        British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s career of disdain for the European Union was a thing of the past on Thursday as he and the bloc’s leaders celebrated their long-sought Brexit deal. He now faces an opponent closer to home: his own Parliament.

      • U.S., Turkey Agree on Turkish Cease-Fire with Syrian Kurds

        The U.S. and Turkey agreed Thursday to a cease-fire in the Turks’ deadly attacks on Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, requiring the Kurds to vacate the area in an arrangement that largely solidifies Turkey’s position and aims in the weeklong conflict. The deal includes a conditional halt to American economic sanctions.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Blizzard is banning people in its Hearthstone Twitch chat for pro-Hong Kong statements

        But there’s a catch: anybody who posts anything pro-Hong Kong seems to be earning an automatic 24-hour chat ban, as reported by Dot Esports. (On Twitch, a chat ban means that you can’t post anything in a channel’s chat for a certain amount of time; offenses and ban lengths are both specified by moderators.)

        That said, the bans seem inconsistent. On Friday afternoon, over at the @PlayHearthstone Twitch channel, the chat filled up with pro-Hong Kong messages that didn’t seem to be getting deleted. That might be because the channel was showing a rerun of an earlier match and the moderators weren’t around to see what was happening; either way, Blizzard did not reply to a request for comment.

      • Twitch viewers receive 24-hour chat ban for typing “Free Hong Kong” during Hearthstone Masters Tour

        Viewers who type “Free Hong Kong” during the Hearthstone Masters Tour will receive a 24-hour chat restriction from the PlayHearthstone Twitch channel. Dot Esports tested this by typing the message in the chat. Our message was instantly erased and we were timed out from chat for 24 hours.

      • Blizzard Digs Its Heels In And Issues 6 Month Ban To College ‘Hearthstone’ Team Over Hong Kong Message

        Blizzard has found itself trying to navigate its self-made storm over the past several weeks. It started when a professional Hearthstone player relayed a message of support for the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, leading Blizzard to issue a 1 year ban and pull back prize money for that player. With many eSport and IRLsport leagues either being directly confronted by the regime in Beijing, or simply self-censoring in fear of such a confrontation, the whole ecosystem of eGaming has felt the effects of Blizzard’s actions. And, while Blizzard eventually did lighten the punishment it had initially doled out, the company also thumbed its nose at the principle complaint in the protests: that Blizzard was kneeling at an altar constructed of the Chinese government’s thin skin.

      • Marc Benioff Calls For Section 230 To Be Abolished At The Same Time His Company Is Relying On 230 To Get Out Of A Lawsuit

        I like Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff, in part because he doesn’t act like most tech CEOs and isn’t afraid to speak his mind and actually sound fairly human, rather than a rehearsed automaton who has a gazillion PR people vetting every message. That doesn’t mean I always (or even often) agree with him, but I appreciate his willingness to speak his mind. I’m even not that surprised that he’s jumped on the bandwagon in calling for Facebook to be broken up, even though the reasons he cites are based on false statements that he’s apparently been convinced are true (which… maybe is a little scary) or that it still remains totally unclear to me how breaking up Facebook fixes any of the problems discussed by supporters of such a plan (unless the problem is just “I don’t want Facebook to exist.”).

      • Report On Global Social Media Censorship Shows Russia, India, And Turkey Are Still Leading The Censor Pack

        Millions of people around the globe are using blogging services and social media platforms created by US companies to communicate with each other. Unfortunately, these US companies have been helping censorial governments shut their citizens up by complying with a large variety of content removal requests.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Zuckerberg’s Warped History Lesson and the Age of Incoherence

        The problem for Zuckerberg, however, were the inconvenient facts about how Facebook operates. Recently, Zuckerberg met with President Trump in the White House, and shortly thereafter Facebook changed its internal rules to allow the Trump campaign (and other politicians’ campaigns) to spread misinformation. (It’s true that correlation doesn’t necessarily prove causation, but the timing of the rule change looked fishy.) Zuckerberg even had the nerve to refer to this species of misinformation as “primary source speech.” (I distinctly remember being told in high school to consult primary sources to be most accurate.)

        How, exactly, does allowing the current president to spend millions on false advertising help every person have a voice? Zuckerberg answered that question with another question: Hey, what is misinformation, anyway?

      • Zuckerberg Hearing May Be the Start of Next Phase of Tech Battle [iophk: they are omitting the worst culprit of all, Microsoft]

        “We fully expect politicians to use this forum as another major shot across the bow on broader antitrust concerns for FAANG names,” Ives said. He sees a regulatory and legal focus on Facebook’s WhatsApp and Instagram acquisitions, with “the convergence of Facebook’s messaging platforms likely a hot button issue.”

      • Congressional Reps Targeting Homegrown Terrorism Are Pushing A Bill That Would Allow Congress To Subpoena Citizens’ Communications

        In the name of securing the homeland, Congressional reps are tossing around the idea of regulating online speech. This isn’t the first effort of its type. There’s always someone on Capitol Hill who believes the nation would be safer if the First Amendment didn’t cover quite so much speech. But this latest effort is coming directly from the Congressional committee that oversees homeland security efforts, as the Hill reports.

      • Weaponizing The GDPR: Gamers Want To Use It To Flood Blizzard With Requests As Protest Over China Appeasement

        We live in such fascinating times. We’ve had some posts concerning people getting (rightly) angry about Blizzard banning a top player who supported the protests in Hong Kong. In order to make the company feel more heat, apparently some pissed off players have been plotting to weaponize the GDPR and flood the company with data requests. This started with a Reddit post directly telling users that if they’re upset about Blizzard’s decisions regarding Hong Kong, to hit back with a GDPR request:

      • California Governor Signs Bill Banning Facial Recognition Tech Use By State’s Law Enforcement Agencies

        California has become the first state in the US to ban facial recognition tech use by local cops. Matt Cagle has more details on the ACLU-backed law.

      • UK Hospital Somehow Manages To Turn A Patient’s Private Message Into Its Voicemail Greeting

        We’ve covered a lot of data breaches on this site over the years. Most involve the leakage of personal info via unsecured databases or careless data handling. But I doubt we’ve covered anything as bizarre as this. (via Databreaches.net)

      • After Four Years Of Failing To Bring Its Plan To Completion, UK Government Pulls Out Of Porn Blockade Effort

        At long last, it appears the UK government’s porn blockade has been sunk. The government missed another deployment window in April of this year. Karl Bode reported the government was considering saying the hell with it it all a couple of months later.

      • Russian Activist Fights Use of Facial Recognition Technology

        Russian women’s rights activist Alyona Popova has filed a lawsuit against the Moscow city government, claiming its use of video with facial recognition technology violates privacy rights.

      • The Ultimate Aim Of China’s 2016 Cybersecurity Law Is Now Clear: Nothing Digital Can Be Secret From The Authorities

        It’s no secret that China is tightening its control of every aspect of the online world — Techdirt has been reporting on the saga for years. But what may not be so clear is how China is doing this. It is not, as many might think, the direct result of diktats from on high, but flows naturally from a massive program of carefully-crafted laws and new government initiatives created with the specific intent of making the online world subservient to the Chinese authorities. Central to this approach is a law passed three years ago, generally known in the West as “China’s cybersecurity law”.

      • Massachusetts: Tell Your Lawmakers to Press Pause on Government Face Surveillance

        Face surveillance by government poses a threat to our privacy, chills protest in public places, and amplifies historical biases in our criminal justice system. Massachusetts has the opportunity to become the first state to stop government use of this troubling technology, from Provincetown to Pittsfield.

        Massachusetts residents: tell your legislature to press pause on government use of face surveillance throughout the Commonwealth. Massachusetts bills S.1385 and H.1538 would place a moratorium on government use of the technology, and your lawmakers need to hear from you ahead of an Oct. 22 hearing on these bills.

      • Why Hong Kong protesters don’t just want privacy from China, they need it to survive

        Hong Kong protesters are so adamant about covering their face and using the latest privacy apps on their smartphones because they understand what is at stake. China will never understand Hong Kong’s desire for freedom. At the government level, maybe some Chinese politicians are aware that what they’re selling the Chinese populace (both within Mainland China and abroad) is a crock full of authoritarian stew. The protesters in Hong Kong are so adamant about marching because they know that they are marching for their lives. The promises that China had made in their one China, two systems spiel are now known lies to the entire world. China’s Great Firewall and cybersecurity laws already make a pretty tight leash on freedom of expression within the mainland. In Hong Kong, the leash is still tightening and protesters are aware that they’re being surveilled by the Chinese Communist Party both online and in person.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Episode 50 – Guy Fawkes and V for Vendetta – Along The Line Podcast

        Along the Line, is a member of the Demcast network, brought to you by the Media Freedom Foundation. On today’s episode hosts are Nicholas Baham III (Dr. Dreadlocks), Janice Domingo,  and Nolan Higdon explore  Guy Fawkes and the film and comic book V for Vendetta. ATL’s  Creative Director is Dylan Lazaga.  Mickey Huff is ATL’s producer. ATL’s engineer is Janice Domingo. Adam Armstrong is ATL’s webmaster.

      • A Coalition of Support: Parliamentarians for Julian Assange

        Australian politicians, and the consular staff of the country, are rarely that engaged on the subject of protecting their citizens. In a couple of notorious cases, Australian authorities demonstrated, not only an indifference, but a consciously venal approach to its citizens in overseas theatres.

      • ‘I’ll punish myself’ Public pressure leads to sexual-assault investigation, after Russian journalist comes forward about rape

        On October 13, Novgorod.ru journalist Alina Scheglova published a blog post stating that a colleague from another news outlet raped her in late September. She says a man working at the local municipal newspaper attacked her at a party after an awards ceremony. Scheglova says she hesitated to speak openly about the assault, and only went public when the authorities extended their preliminary probe by a month and replaced the investigator assigned to the case. The man she says raped her, meanwhile, “has continued to head the newspaper, hold meetings, and attend press conferences.” In her blog post, Scheglova refrained from naming her attacker, but his identity ceased to be a secret almost instantly, as other journalists quickly pieced it together. Meduza special correspondent Irina Kravtsova traveled to Veliky Novgorod and spoke to the people involved in this story.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • RIPE NCC warns that it will run out of IPv4 allocations next month

        It will still be years before most of us find ourselves unable to get an IP address allocation when we need one. Operators still have millions of unused addresses between them, but it’s unnerving that despite several ISPs telling us last year that they’d be rolling out IPv6 support during 2019, we’ve got just over two months to go and we’re not aware of any that have deployed.

      • AT&T Jacks Up Broadband Rates With Misleading ‘Property Tax’ Fee

        For years we’ve talked about how the broadband and cable industry has perfected the use of utterly bogus fees to jack up subscriber bills, a dash of financial creativity it adopted from the banking and airline industries. Countless cable and broadband companies tack on a myriad of completely bogus fees below the line, letting them advertise one rate — then sock you with a higher rate once your bill actually arrives. Despite this being false advertising, regulators have chosen to look the other way for decades.

      • States Rush To Protect Net Neutrality On Heels Of Court Ruling

        Despite the obvious fraud and false data used to prop up the move, a court recently backed much of the Ajit Pai’s repeal of net neutrality. But it wasn’t all champagne and roses for Ajit Pai and his friends in the telecom sector. The court also shot down the FCC’s attempt to ban states from protecting net neutrality themselves, pointing out that when the FCC obliterated its Title II authority over broadband providers (at lobbyist behest) it also eliminated any potential right to tell states what they can or can’t do.

    • Monopolies

      • IP Court’s Recent Antitrust Law Decision Shakes Taiwan’s Auto Parts Industry

        In August 2019, Taiwan’s IP Court rendered a first-instance judgment holding that a headlight design patented by Daimler AG (for the headlight applied to Mercedez-Benz E-Class (W212)) was infringed by one of Taiwan’s most active auto lamp manufacturers. In addition to granting Daimler’s permanent injunction claims, the decision awarded Daimler compensatory damages in the amount of NT$30 million. Daimler AG v. DEPO Auto Parts Ind. Co., Ltd., 106 Min Zhuan Su 34, Taiwan’s IP Court (August 2019). If this decision, currently appealed to the second-instance level, is eventually upheld by the higher courts, Taiwan’s robust auto parts and accessories industry might need to reshape their development strategies, because under this decision the automotive aftermarket in Taiwan is very unlikely to be considered as an independent market to earn broader protection by the Fair Trade Act.


        Regarding the outwardly resemblance of the two, the defendant’s explanation was that was a necessary result of the nature of the aftermarket auto parts industry: namely, replacement parts are required to completely match the concerned car’s external profile (as well as some functional requirements, asserted the defendant) to such an extent that buyers are actually “locked in” the aftermarket without substitute options. Based on this argument, the defendant further claimed that the aftermarket for the headlight in dispute is monopolized by Daimler.

      • Facebook reduces transparency of information on political-ad targeting

        Facebook is making information about its advertising less transparent by imposing barriers to collecting and analyzing data on political ad targeting. Users now have to complete additional steps that make it harder for organizations such as The Globe and Mail to monitor how election ads are aimed at voters.

        That move, rolled out quietly by Facebook in recent weeks, comes as the company intensifies its counteroffensive against regulatory crackdowns in several countries and as it faces antitrust investigations in the United States. On Thursday, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave a speech at Georgetown University, asserting that U.S. technology companies play a key role in safeguarding free speech online, and that new regulations could endanger free expression.

      • European countries move to block Facebook’s Libra digital currency

        France, Italy and Germany are together preparing measures to block Facebook’s new Libra cryptocurrency from use in Europe, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire announced Friday. Advertising

        “Libra is not welcome on European soil,” Le Maire told reporters the sidelines of the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

        “We will take steps with the Italians and Germans because our sovereignty is at stake.”

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Requiring SEP holders like Nokia to license automotive suppliers would spur European IoT innovation on bottom line

          While I agree with Politico.eu’s question of whether it’s a good idea for one EU commissioner to be put in charge of both digital innovation and antitrust enforcement, and have previously criticized the de facto merger of two other directorate-generals of the European Commission, I sharply disagree with the suggestion that a formal antitrust probe of Nokia’s refusal to extend exhaustive SEP licenses to component makers on FRAND terms would threaten to weaken Europe’s position in the 5G era.

          Nice try, Politico and IP Europe (an industry body representing patent monetization-focused companies)–but most likely you’re barking up the wrong tree as Margrethe Vestager may simply be immune to anyone’s attempt to implant in their head a conflict of interests between two areas of responsibility. Even more so when an article fails to meet journalistic standards: it would have been more honest to let IP Europe author an op-ed.

          The backdrop is that the Directorate-General for Competition (DG COMP) received antitrust complaints earlier this year from Daimler and four of its suppliers–Continental, Valeo, Gemalto, and BURY–over Nokia’s licensing practices. With the Juncker Commission on the way out and the confirmation of the incoming von der Leyen Commission facing delays, the EU’s executive body is basically in a state of interregnum. At any rate, Mrs. Vestager will remain in charge of competition enforcement as she sailed through her confirmation hearing. She proved just yesterday that antitrust violators can’t hope for a breathing space.

          The aforementioned Politico article basically argues that Mrs. Vestager would have to leave Nokia and, by extension (as its practices are similar), Ericsson alone at this stage because they posted losses last year and are the only European makers of 5G network infrastructure, but merely launching formal investigations would adversely affect their licensing negotiations.

        • Automating Data Verification Ineligible under Section 101

          Claims directed to automating employment verification data were held invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 in the Southern District of Indiana. Tenstreet, LLC v. DriverReach, LLC, No. 1:18-cv-03633 (S.D. Ind. Sep. 30, 2019).

          Plaintiff Tenstreet owns U.S. Patent No. 8,145,575, which is directed to peer-to-peer job applicant data transmission to verify employment history of commercial truck drivers. Defendant DriverReach moved to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) alleging that the ‘575 patent is ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

        • A casual case of contempt? Price v Filtcraft

          The infringement case and subsequent committal case, related to the alleged infringement of UK patents GB2415714 and GB2436989. Both patents relate to timber building products. The patents are owned by Mr Philip Price of Preston and licensed to Mr Price’s company, Surpawall. Mr Recorder Douglas Campbell QC, sitting as the High Court Judge, found that the timber company Flitcraft Ltd, its chairman Garry Flitcroft, and the Chairman’s son Thomas Flitcoft were infringing the patents. Garry Flitcroft is the former midfielder and captain of Blackburn Rovers football club. After the end of his football career, he founded Flitcraft construction company, which aims to provide cheap, environmentally friendly timber houses.

          Evidence of infringement of Mr Price’s patents was submitted in the form of Flitcraft’s product brochure describing their “Injectawall”. The claimant argued that each element of claim 1 of the patent could be found in the Injectawall. Mr Campbell was struck by the figure on the front page of the brochure that appeared identical to figure 1 of the patent (para. 15). Mr Campbell found the patents infringed and ordered Flitcraft and the Flitcrofts to cease offering and supplying products covered by the patents.


          Mr Campbell adjourned proceedings for sentencing for the reason of providing “Mr. Flitcroft junior the opportunity to consider my judgement and, in particular, to provide him with an opportunity to purge his contempt in those areas where I have found him to be in contempt. It will then be up to Mr. Flitcroft to decide whether he wishes to take that opportunity”.

          Mr Campbell was generally not impressed with the behaviour of the defendants, noting their “casual attitude”: “they did not seem to care whether or not they got it right or how quickly they complied with my order; indeed, even if they complied with my order at all. The defendants’ decision to adopt such a casual approach to all these issues, including the issue of patent infringement, was itself a deliberate act not an inadvertent one and all of the subsequent acts said to be inadvertent were merely consequences of the deliberate decision to adopt the casual approach.”

        • Emerging Forensics Methods in the PRC

          Chinese courts heavily rely on evidence to rule a case, and conventionally, notarization is basically the only option when a party collects evidence by itself. However, conventional notarization has its limitations and is not always an efficient approach. With the development of technology, some new forensics methods are emerging and are being explored in trials in China. We believe there will be more to come in the future. So today we would like to touch on this topic and share some of our experience.

          Article 11 of Provisions of the Supreme People’s Court on Several Issues Concerning the Trial of Cases by Internet Courts, which was implemented on 7 September 2018, stipulated that the court shall accept the probative force of evidence collected through technical approaches for collecting, securing and preventing the falsification of evidence, such as electronic signatures, trusted time stamps, hash verification, and block chain, or evidence that has been verified on an electronic evidence collection and storage platform. This article has officially recognized and legalized several technologies which can be used in evidence collection.

        • Aker Biomarine Antarctic AS v. Rimfrost AS (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          Earlier this month, in Aker Biomarine Antarctic AS v. Rimfrost AS, the Federal Circuit affirmed two final written decisions by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board finding claims 1-19 of U.S. Patent No. 9,028,877 and claims 1-20 of 9,078,905 to be unpatentable as obvious. The ’877 and ’905 patents, which concern bioeffective krill oil, are assigned to Aker Biomarine Antarctic AS.


          On appeal, Aker argued that a person of skill would not have been motivated to combine the asserted references, and with regard to the ’905 patent, challenged the Board’s finding that the prior art did not teach away from using krill oil to treat inflammatory conditions. With respect to its first argument, Aker contended that because the krill oils analyzed in the references were obtained using different starting materials and extraction methods, a person of skill in the art would not have combined the teachings of the references. In support of its argument, Aker pointed to the testimony of its expert, who opined that a person of skill in the art would have thought it was “not scientifically valid” to choose lipid components from multiple references, and that Rimfrost’s expert admitted that the ether phospholipid content of Fricke 1984′s krill oil was at most 1.5% (as opposed to “from about 3% to about 10%” as recited in Aker’s claims).

          The Federal Circuit disagreed with Aker’s first argument, however, finding that the Board’s decision was supported by substantial evidence. In particular, the Court indicated that “[a]fter weighing the evidence, the Board found that the lipid components of krill oil can be extracted using any number of suitable solvents, that the proportions of the components could be varied in predictable ways, and that the resulting extracts could be blended to produce a final krill oil product.” While Aker asked the Court to credit the testimony of its expert over that of Rimfrost’s expert, the Court determined that the Board was well within its discretion to credit Rimfrost’s expert. With respect to Aker’s argument that Rimfrost’s expert admitted that the ether phospholipid content of Fricke 1984′s krill oil was at most 1.5%, the Court indicated that it was “not persuaded that the Board relied on Fricke 1984′s ether phospholipid content for its obviousness holding,” finding instead, that “the Board relied on those values from Catchpole and combined them with the triglyceride content in Fricke 1984.”

        • Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s Consistency-Enhancing Function
        • HZNP Medicines LLC v. Actavis Laboratories UT, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          Coming to questions of infringement, the panel majority affirmed the District Court’s holding that practice of Actavis’ product according to its label did not induce infringement. Inducement here would require the instruction in Actavis’ label to perform the three distinct steps, whereas the District Court held, and the Federal Circuit majority agreed that, only the first step, applying the inventive formulation, was required to be performed.

          Finally, regarding the District Court’s holding that Actavis had not shown by clear and convincing evidence that claim 12 of the ’913 patent was obvious, the majority here found no clear error in the District Court’s reliance on expert testimony regarding the differences between the 1.5% and claimed 2% varieties of PENNSAID® and affirmed.

        • Patent case: Bayer Intellectual Property GmbH vs. Ceva Santé Animale SA., Netherlands

          Bayer was not granted an injunction in preliminary proceedings because the Court found that there was a serious chance that Bayer’s patent would be held invalid.

        • Anan Kasei v Neo Chemicals – Court of Appeal clarifies “uncertainty” insufficiency and excessive breadth insufficiency

          On 9 October 2019, the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against the finding that a patent directed towards ceramic compounds was sufficient and allowed two procedural appeals on issues of liability.

          Anan Kasei and Rhodia (“Rhodia”) are respectively the proprietor and exclusive licensee of a patent for ceric oxide compounds for use in catalytic converters. Claim 1 of the patent claimed “A ceric oxide consisting essentially of a ceric oxide, and wherein said ceric oxide has a specific surface area of not smaller than 30.0 m2/g when subjected to calcination at 900˚C for 5 hours”, i.e. it claimed a product defined by functional limitations. Rhodia brought infringement proceedings against Molycorp, who counterclaimed for revocation. At first instance, the judge rejected Molycorp’s arguments and found the patent valid and infringed.

          Following judgment, Rhodia applied to join Neo’s parent company, Neo Canada, to the proceedings on the basis that it was a joint tortfeasor. Rhodia also argued Neo Canada was liable for acts of Neo’s previous parent company, Neo Cayman. Neo Canada was joined, on the basis that the allegation of joint tortfeasance was arguable, but its liability would be limited to specific infringing acts. Further, Neo Cayman’s liabilities had not transferred to Neo Canada on the evidence presented to the Court.

          On appeal, Molycorp, now known as “Neo”, appealed the judge’s findings on insufficiency on two grounds. Rhodia appealed the procedural decisions.

        • Campbell’s Imaginary-Tiny-Cans Fail to Invalidate

          These patents are all part of a big patent family that started with a 2002 provisional application followed by a non-provisional in 2003, then the utility patent at issue here (US Patent 8,827,111), followed later by the design patents at issue in Campbell Soup I. The design patents do not appear to claim priority to the provisional (since that is not allowed under the law).

          In the utility case, the PTAB partially instituted Campbell’s requested IPR but declined to institute as to some of the claims and some of the grounds. Under SAS, that partial institution was improper and thus the case is remanded “to address the non-instituted claims and grounds in Campbell’s petition.” SAS Institute, Inc. v. Iancu, 138 S.Ct. 1348 (2018) (all claims challenged) as expanded by Adidas AG v. Nike, Inc., 894 F.3d 1256 (Fed. Cir. 2018) (all grounds challenged). As discussed below, the court also addressed the PTAB’s holding in favor of the patentee as to the instituted claims (particularly claim 27).

        • U.S. Supreme Court snubs University of Wisconsin appeal in patent fight with Apple

          The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear a bid by the University of Wisconsin’s patent licensing arm to reinstate its legal victory against Apple Inc in a fight over computer processor technology that the school claimed the company used without permission in certain iPhones and iPads.

          The justices, on the first day of their new term, declined to review a lower court’s 2018 decision to throw out the $506 million in damages that Apple was ordered to pay after a jury in 2015 decided the company infringed the university’s patent.

          The licensing body, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), filed suit in 2014, alleging infringement of a 1998 patent on a “predictor circuit” to help speed the way processors carry out computer program instructions. The patent was developed by computer science professor Gurindar Sohi and three of his students at the university, located in Madison, Wisconsin.

      • Trademarks

        • Trademark Filing Issues

          If you have a trademark deadline coming up in the next two weeks, I’d advise that you plan ahead just a bit to ensure that you have enough time to make it through the new USPTO security. The new system will require two-step authentication both for TEAS and TEASi (international version).

        • When the unicorn loves its name recognition, but Wall Street, less so

          This Kat recently suggested that a widely recognized trademark does not necessarily mean a strong brand (using Uber as an example). That raises the question: might such a trademark nevertheless provide a commercial benefit? The answer may be “yes”, at least when unicorns are concerned.

          No, this Kat is not asking Kat readers to enter the world of ancient mythological beasts. Rather, we refer to the corporate “unicorn”, the name given to a privately held start-up company with a valuation of more than $1 billion.

          More generally, the unicorn has come to describe a privately held start-up that shows rapid growth but, alas, no profits; a company whose financial foundation still depends upon outside private investment, leading to an increasing company valuation after each round of private funding, much to the joy of those investors who got in at the beginning when valuations were much lower as well as to the delight of the fledgling company, who coffers race far ahead of its profit and loss statement. In the unforgettable words from Jerry Maguire– “Show me the money.”

          But the unicorn phenomenon has come under pressure as of late. The trigger is recent developments that have occurred when unicorns seek to take the company public via a public offering of shares (i.e., an IPO). At least until quite recently (here, “Silicon Valley Is Trying Out a New Mantra: Make a Profit”), the focus of private investors in a unicorn has been on company growth, not profits. All too often, the unicorn’s motto has been–“Burn, baby burn” (not buildings, but the unicorn’s cash reserves), all in the name of adding more and more customers or the equivalent; profits are for corporate sissies.

        • [BREAKING] A-G Tanchev finds lack of intention to use a trade mark can be indicative of bad faith & insufficiently clear and precise registrations may be contrary to public policy

          With an introduction like that, it is no surprise that the A-G finds that trade mark registrations made with no intention to use may constitute bad faith, and that goods or services specifications which are vague and uncertain may be contrary to public policy within the meaning of Article 3(1)(f) Directive 89/104 and Article 7(1)(f) Regulation 40/94.

          Those findings, if upheld by the Court of Justice EU, could have a significant impact on trade mark law and practice, so let’s take a closer look.

      • Copyrights

‘Corporate Linux’ Will Not Protect Software Freedom

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Red Hat at 4:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A token of appreciation and PR/lip service is all we should expect

Red Hat - Microsoft
So-called ‘market sharing’ agreements (fake competition) are illegal and sometimes boil down to price-fixing cartels, or collusion

Summary: The corporate model is inherently not compatible with software that users themselves fully control (or Software Freedom in general), so we must rely on another model of sovereignty over code and compiled code (binaries)

A reader has sent us this very interesting forum thread. It seems apparent that nobody trusts or believes Microsoft. Heck, they barely even trust the “large” companies that develop “parts” of GNU/Linux and have “large” distros, notably Red Hat, SUSE and Canonical. Never mind monolithic “parts” such as systemd.

“If Software Freedom was a company, the likes of Microsoft (proprietary software companies) would have put in a bid for a takeover already. Even a hostile takeover.”Software Freedom is not the same as GNU/Linux or even GNU and Linux apart. Software Freedom is a concept or a condition. Linux is a project licensed under a Free software licence and GNU is a large collection of such projects or programs. systemd too is licensed under a Free software licence, but several of our readers would argue that it reduces Software Freedom or at least choice. It makes swapping components in a GNU/Linux system a lot harder, a lot more complicated if not impossible.

Software Freedom must never be associated with a company or even a set of companies. Publicly-traded companies have one single goal: maintain and perpetually increase profits, by all means possible (even if by liaising with Software Freedom foes such as Microsoft). These companies will only ‘support’ Software Freedom as long as it’s beneficial to their public image.

If Software Freedom was a company, the likes of Microsoft (proprietary software companies) would have put in a bid for a takeover already. Even a hostile takeover. Remember that Red Hat welcomed a bid from Microsoft (to buy Red Hat) and Red Hat is perfectly happy to be financially controlled by Microsoft regardless (shades of Novell between 2006 and 2010). Suspicion of Red Hat does not imply lack of support for GNU/Linux or Software Freedom.

IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 18, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:45 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

26,000 Posts

Posted in Site News at 2:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

AS readers are aware if they’ve been following for a while (some have followed us closely since 2006!), we’re soon turning 13 and this weekend we’ve finally hit that key milestone, which is 26,000 blog posts (some of these daily links, some articles, sometimes site announcements such as this one).

“We don’t intend to ever receive corporate money/patrons; that would defeat our purpose and credibility.”We want to thank those who help spread the word; it gives us moral support and morale. It keeps us going. It’s not just myself but a bunch of us who are involved and are working behind the scenes every day of the year. We’re 100% independent from corporate money, so any ‘biases’ we may have aren’t financially motivated but likely idealogical*. We don’t intend to ever receive corporate money/patrons; that would defeat our purpose and credibility.
* For those looking or pursuing full disclosure, my ‘daytime’ job (actually nighttime) is providing support for Free software. By far our biggest client is the National Health Service and some are activism/citizen journalism sites. There’s no conflict of interest.

The Myth of ‘Analysts’

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 2:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Glorified job titles don’t make minds full of glory

“In honor of the event, Pam Edstrom, who had since left Microsoft to cofound her own agency, Waggener Edstrom, and handle Microsoft’s PR from the outside, sponsored a “Windows Roast.” Gathered at the Alexis Park Resort in Las Vegas, Gates and Ballmer made fun of themselves and not so subtly apologized for the Windows delays. “To Dream the Impossible Dream” was the theme song playing in the background. With three hundred analysts and members of the press invited to these festivities where Gates and Ballmer let it all hang out, it was another coup for “Gates’s Keeper.” Gates joked that Ballmer had insisted, ” ‘We just gotta cut features.’ He came up with this idea that we could rename this thing Microsoft Window—and we would have shipped that thing a long time ago.”

Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by Pam’s daughter

“Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry. We want to place selection pressure on those companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for competitors’ technologies, to make the industry increasingly resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Analysts sell out – that’s their business model… But they are very concerned that they never look like they are selling out, so that makes them very prickly to work with.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Summary: People with exaggerated roles (exaggerated by corporate media and corporations that control them) distort public perceptions about their clients; they’re in effect just elevated marketing or Public Relations (PR) operatives

MANY PR PEOPLE (rewriting if not writing press releases) like to call themselves “journalists”; pundits call themselves “analysts” or “consultants” (myth of professionalism) and at the Linux Foundation they’ve given the site Linux.com (after two decades of respectable existence) to a self-described “filmmaker” who never made a film, so you already know that you deal with phonies… (the chief of the Linux Foundation itself is also not qualified for that job).

So a thing called Linux Foundation and a site called Linux.com are both run by people who don’t even use Linux. So what? So what if the latter posts openwashing Microsoft propaganda(yesterday) in his personal site and the Foundation’s as well? So what? A site called Linux.com is now linking to Microsoft.com because Microsoft a client of Zemlin. It’s all about money. Pure business, so don’t call it ‘sellout’; they don’t sell themselves out, they just sell out many thousands of people who actually developed this thing called “Linux” (which they speak about but don’t use!).

“Until or unless we recognise the threat this sort of greed poses to Software Freedom — and unless we shun the culprits — things will only get worse for all of us (except those of us who opt for defection).”This isn’t another rant, however, about the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation. It’s about the systemic sellout which to the sellouts is merely a “business model”. Here’s a new example from yesterday: Stephen O’Grady of Redmonk keeps promoting the same old Microsoft lies because Microsoft pays them (and has done so for like a decade!). Sellout does pay off. And we have this kind of problem. That’s where the money is: helping proprietary software giants devour the competition.

Until or unless we recognise the threat this sort of greed poses to Software Freedom — and unless we shun the culprits — things will only get worse for all of us (except those of us who opt for defection).

The FSF Has Two Acting Presidents Now

Posted in FSF at 1:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FSF has two presidents now. And that's cool.

Summary: Alexandre Oliva, who acted as a sort of deputy of Richard Stallman in recent weeks, sheds some much-needed light on the current situation

Alexandre Oliva:

disclaimer: this is not an official announcement of any sort, it’s just a bunch of very personal observations and expectations, based on information that’s available to the general public

roy, it’s a little more complicated than that. we presently have two vice presidents, neither being a first vice president under the bylaws, so we jointly serve as acting president.

figosdev, our small but freedom-loving staff operates under high levels of autonomy, within policies, priorities and guidance given by directors. it’s not been unusual for me to come across an announcement in FSF’s social media and think “cool!”: it’s just as fresh to me as it is for anyone else. much as I know, the emacs conf satellite idea may have been in the making for a long time, or it might be a fresh new way of putting our office space in service of software freedom. I liked it either way ;-)

as for other points you brought up, I’ve been working hard to improve on them, but, being very new in the board, it shouldn’t be surprising that it takes time to negotiate changes and earn trust from directors and supporters. the FSF has historically been conservative and cautious, with focus on the long term, so changes to details of implementation have often taken place at a slow pace. that, and the unchanging long-term commitment to Free Software values and principles have served us well, and are expected to keep on doing so

thanks for your support, and for your patience ;-)

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