Links 29/11/2019: Ubuntu’s 32-Bit Plans and Lakademy 2019

Posted in News Roundup at 12:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • My Linux story: Covering open source in Spanish

        got to know GNU/Linux at university about 25 years ago; it attracted my attention, and I used it for several months. For whatever reason—maybe I wasn’t sufficiently prepared, maybe the distribution, Slackware, was too much for me—I decided to abandon it when I started working. However, it stuck in my memory.

        About 10 years ago, I was tired of bringing office work home, and I decided to come up with a solution. At that moment, some recollection of that GNU/Linux operating system came back to me, and I thought using a different operating system might be the solution. The incompatibility between the two would make it hard to bring work home, I thought.

        I chose Ubuntu as my platform, and this distribution has stayed with me until today, a distribution that showed me my mistake: With Ubuntu, or really any other distro, I can still do office work at home!

        Yes, in the beginning, I had some difficulties. And these difficulties were what led to the birth of Atareao.es, because that was where I posted the lessons I learned from this incredible operating system.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • YJFX Adopts Red Hat OpenStack Platform to Build Out Customer Service Infrastructure

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that YJFX, Inc., a financial subsidiary of Yahoo Group focused on foreign exchange services, has adopted Red Hat OpenStack Platform to build out the company’s private cloud infrastructure. Red Hat’s massively scalable Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering, Red Hat OpenStack Platform offers YJFX extensive scalability, helping it deliver new infrastructure more quickly as it seeks to bring differentiating applications and services to end users.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • 18 Essential LaTeX Tools – typeset beautifully (Updated 2019)

        LaTeX is a document preparation system and document markup language for high-quality typesetting. The system was originally developed by Leslie Lamport in the early 1980s. LaTeX is based on Donald E. Knuth’s TeX typesetting language. Lamport says that LaTeX “represents a balance between functionality and ease of use”.

        LaTeX is often used for technical or scientific documentation, particularly because it generates well formatted papers with beautifully crafted formulae, but the system can be used for any form of publishing. It employs beautifully crafted typesetting algorithms. Academic journals will often accept submission in this format.

        Using the LaTeX system leads the author to concentrate on the structure of the document rather than its appearance. The author therefore focuses on what he/she wants to say, instead of fretting over page borders, font attributes, or formatting. Moreover, the author will be guided in the organization, structure, and flow within the document.

        The recommended LaTeX distribution is the one that comes with TeX Live, the replacement of its counterpart teTeX. This is a general TeX distribution that is actively maintained by the TeX Users Group.

        Almost any editor or wordprocessor can be used to write LaTeX documents, but many users of the system prefer to use software specially designed for LaTeX.

      • The 20 Best Control Panels for Hassle-Free Server Management

        It’s not very hard to manage web servers for most Linux powers users. However, it’s certainly not a child’s play, and new site owners often find it extremely difficult to manage their servers properly. Thankfully, there’s a huge list of robust control panels that makes server management hassle-free even for beginners. It can also be useful for experienced server owners who’re looking for convenient hosting panel management solutions. That’s why our editors have curated this guide outlining the 20 best admin panel for modern web servers.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Techland have updated Dying Light again, Drop Attack should be fixed on Linux

        Techland continue to improve their 2015 game, Dying Light. Another patch went out this week and it’s a nice one for Linux owners of Dying Light too.

        For some people, an issue that has plagued Dying Light on Linux is a crash when using the Drop Attack ability. Techland said with Patch 1.22, that’s actually been finally fixed. Additionally they said the overall stability of the game has been improved.

      • Impostor Factory, following on from To the Moon has a new trailer and more confusing details

        Freebird Games are finally starting to give us a little more information on the upcoming narrative-driven adventure Impostor Factory.

        If you’ve not been following Freebird Games previously made To the Moon, A Bird Story and most recently Finding Paradise. All of which support Linux and it seems their next game, Impostor Factory, will as well. Details have been extremely light on it, at least until now. Still not exactly clear what’s going on and their updated description of it doesn’t exactly help “Impostor Factory is a narrative-driven adventure game that is categorically out of its mind.”—okay then.

      • Hinterland tease new info for the upcoming Survival Mode update to The Long Dark

        Cold and lonely survival game The Long Dark is getting a huge update to the survival mode next month, it sounds great too with some of the details Hinterland Studio have teased.

        The Long Dark is certainly an interesting one, especially since it has a Story Mode and a Survival Mode to give the best of both worlds. It hasn’t been long since the release of Episode 3 for the story back in October, so Hinterland have certainly been busy.

      • Google Stadia Pro games for December, Buddy Pass is live and new hires – a roundup

        For people who purchased the Founders Edition, it came with a Buddy Pass system enabling you to gift a three month Stadia Pro subscription to a friend. That’s now actually live. If you have it, you can find the option to do so in the Stadia mobile application (the little ticket button in the top left corner).

        Also announced recently is the next set of games available to those with Stadia Pro, which everyone has right now since Stadia Base doesn’t launch until next year.

      • teach your kids to build their own game with Python – 2

        Since the last part of this series got a lot of positive reactions, I am publishing this second one and will make sure to publish the last part before this weekend hopefully so stay tuned!

        (want to jump and see the final outcome of this lesson? feel free to visit the original repo or jump to the end of this)

        So, without further due, lets pickup from where we left last time.

      • MOLEK-SYNTEZ from Zachtronics is now DRM-free on GOG and it’s great

        Combine and convert ordinary industrial chemicals into a variety of small molecules with various pharmacological effects in MOLEK-SYNTEZ, the latest puzzle sim from Zachtronics. Recently, the team at Zachtronics announced that GOG have accepted their game onto their store!

      • DRM-free store GOG have started up their own big Black Friday sale

        No store will miss an opportunity to run a big sale now of course, we already have Steam and Humble Store running their own and now the DRM-free store GOG has a massive sale too.

      • Khronos + W3C Collaborating On SPIR-V Potentially Being The Shading Language For The Web

        The W3C put out an interesting status update this week on web games technologies and the various standardization efforts at play.

        The updated included that the core WebAssembly specifications are “imminent” for publishing, the web gamepad specification continues being moved along, WebCodecs continue to be explored, and on the WebGPU front they are exploring the choice of shading language to use for next-generation web graphics.


        The report from the Workshop on Web Games, held in June 2019, recommended next standardization steps for individual topics discussed at the workshop to enrich the open Web platform for games. Now, less than 6 months after the workshop, thanks to the efforts of workshop participants and a few others, most of these topics have already made significant progress. This seemed to warrant a status update.
        The creation of a games activity at W3C, to gather continuous feedback on Web technologies from the games community, track identified needs and steer standardization efforts, is still being investigated. If you’re interested, please reach out to François Daoust.

    • Distributions

      • Kali Linux 2019.4 released with new DE, undercover, and more

        This new release allows users to use a BTRFS filesystem for the root partition. What is great about this is that it allows users to very easily roll back to older versions after a system upgrade.

        Also, pentesters (while learning or even otherwise) tend to use a lot of VMs. Users often need to take a snapshot of their stable system state, so that if it gets messed up, they can quickly revert. This had become somewhat difficult in the bare metal versions of Kali. Now with BTRFS as an option for the root partition, this becomes much easier.

      • Why Are There So Many Linux Distribution? How To Choose The Most Appropriate?

        The title above is one of the questions that once existed in my mind, maybe also the readers. I am currently a Xubuntu user, but many of my community partners use different distributions. Some use Linux Mint, Arch, Ubuntu, Kali and many others.

        Each linux user have their own preferences. We as users also cannot force other Users to use the same Linux distribution that we use. The point is need. The needs of every linux user are definitely different. Some people use Linux distributions for the purposes of programming, design, or network security and others.

        From these various needs, there are many Linux distributions that can be chosen by users based on their needs. There are thousands of Linux distributions listed in Distrowatch. In fact, almost every week we will get information about new releases that are listed on this site.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Fedora Family

        • A quick introduction to Toolbox on Fedora

          Toolbox allows you to sort and manage your development environments in containers without requiring root privileges or manually attaching volumes. It creates a container where you can install your own CLI tools, without installing them on the base system itself. You can also utilize it when you do not have root access or cannot install programs directly. This article gives you an introduction to toolbox and what it does.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • i386 in focal: an update
          Thanks to thorough feedback from our community, we now have a reasonably
          comprehensive answer to the question of what 32-bit compatibility library
          packages are needed on x86 for Ubuntu 20.04. 
          Some developers will have noticed changes this week to the behavior of focal
          builds in Launchpad.  Out of 30,000 source packages in focal, there is now a
          whitelist of about 1,700 source packages which will trigger builds on i386
          in Launchpad.  This means that other packages which previously built on i386
          will need to have the binaries from the old version of the package removed
          before they will be migratable from focal-proposed to focal.
          As a side note, the implementation of this also affects PPA builds, because
          the whitelist applies to the focal series as a whole.  In general, you
          should not expect to need i386 builds of third-party packages in PPAs for
          focal either, given that i386 in focal exists solely for compatibility with
          legacy binary software.  However, if you have a third-party package that you
          believe it's important to continue producing i386 binary builds of in
          Launchpad for Ubuntu 20.04, please contact the Ubuntu archive admins
          (ubuntu-release at lists.ubuntu.com, or #ubuntu-devel on freenode.net for best
          results), and we can evaluate including your PPA package in the whitelist.
          At the moment, I am doing some manual removals of the i386 binaries as I see
          them show up as blockers on
          and as I'm able to determine that the removals aren't going to cause
          near-term knock-on problems.  But if some i386 binaries aren't being removed
          fast enough and this is blocking your work, feel free to reach out to an
          archive admin to ask for their removal.
          In the slightly less near term, the plan is to do a mass binary removal of
          all of the i386 binary packages in focal built from sources other than those
          in the whitelist.  However, before pulling the trigger on this mass removal,
          there are some changes that should be landed to our autopkgtest
          infrastructure, so that we can continue to run autopkgtests for those
          remaining 1700 packages.  In summary: the plan is not to retain the test
          dependencies of those 1700 packages on i386, but instead to cross-test the
          i386 libraries on an amd64 host, which ultimately means testing them in an
          environment that better models the expected real-world usage.  The work is
          in progress for this change and I'm currently anticipating landing it next
          In the meantime, if you need any help getting packages migrating to the
          focal release from -proposed, please reach out on #ubuntu-release on IRC.
        • Canonical Formulates The 32-Bit Support Strategy For Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          Canonical’s Ubuntu engineers in cooperation with community members have figured out their 32-bit support adjustments for the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release.

          After dropping their original proposal of clearing out 32-bit packages entirely, Ubuntu 19.10 shipped with a trimmed down set of 32-bit packages (32-bit x86) available to x86_64 users. Those 32-bit packages on Ubuntu 19.10 were based on popularity with what 32-bit packages might still be in prevalent use today on modern Intel/AMD systems. For Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, some minor adjustments are being made.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • [Older] OpenZFS Developer Summit 2019

        The much-discussed hope to unify the OpenZFS code bases across the supported operating systems went from dialog to action item with the bold declaration by OpenZFS co-founder Matt Ahrens that the ZFS on Linux repo will be renamed simply “OpenZFS” and that the next milestone release will be “OpenZFS 2.0”. “As far as I’m concerned, this can’t come too soon,” said one attendee. Remarkably, there has been zero public objection to this effort. OpenZFS developer on macOS and Windows Jörgen Lundman supported this point with Michael Dexter in their talk “OpenZFS Everywhere”, in which they reported on the status of OpenZFS on the obvious platforms: Illumos, FreeBSD, and GNU/Linux, but also macOS, NetBSD, and Windows.

      • Events

        • Mini-DebCamp pre FOSDEM 2020

          This is to inform you about a Mini-DebCamp happening right before FOSDEM 2020, in Brussels, which is a city in Belgium in Europe on planet earth.

          The Mini-DebCamp will take place at the Hackerspace Brussels (HSBXL) from Wednesday, the 29th of January 2020 until Friday, the 31st, as part of Byteweek and you should all come around if you can!

          Not so much more information can be found at the event wiki page.

        • Lakademy 2019

          In this post, I will relate my experience at Lakademy 2019. For who doesn’t know what it is, it’s the Latin American meeting of KDE community, it happens every year and this year it was hosted on Salvador – Bahia. It exists since 2012 and this year I had my first participation and my first experience in person with KDE community.

          I arrived on November 14th, in the middle of the afternoon. I didn’t know what to expect because it was my first experience, but I actually felt welcomed and comfortable. I spent the rest of this day with Caio (my GSoC mentor) trying to prepare the laptop to work, because I don’t have a laptop then they lent me one.

          My purpose on Lakademy was to continue my GSoC work, what means: work on Khipu bugs and on what is missing. Then on the next day I actually focused on fix the search bug on Khipu. When I searched on the search bar to find the spaces by their names, it was returning the correct spaces, but if I edit any of these results, the change was happening on the wrong index. I was stuck on this bug for months, because I knew that I needed to use mapToSource to fix it, but I didn’t know how to use it. I spent the day thinking and thinking and in the end of the day I could solve the most of this problem.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla and the Contract for the Web

            Mozilla supports the Contract for the Web and the vision of the world it seeks to create. We participated in helping develop the content of the principles in the Contract. The result is language very much aligned with Mozilla, and including words that in many cases echo our Manifesto. Mozilla works to build momentum behind these ideas, as well as building products and programs that help make them real.

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • The last 12 months in the light of software freedom

            In the last 12 months, we have achieved a lot with the help of our volunteers, through their donations and hard work. Thanks to their support, we were able to successfully continue our PMPC campaign, simplify licensing practices through our REUSE initiative, and stand up for router freedom in Europe. We will be back in 2020 with even more vigour towards our work. Please help us with a donation so that we can continue our successful commitment to Free Software.

        • Licensing / Legal

          • Racket 7.5 Changes License

            Racket has been updated and is being released under a new, less-restrictive license: either the Apache 2.0 license or the MIT license. The new release also adds a standard JSON MIME type for the Web Server.

            Racket is described as a “full-spectrum programming language” that goes beyond Lisp and Scheme with dialects that support objects, types and laziness. When coding in it, you can link components written in different dialects, and write your own project-specific dialect if you want. The Racket libraries support applications from web servers and databases to GUIs and charts.


            Chez Scheme is both a programming language and an implementation of that language, with supporting tools and documentation. It is a superset of the language described in the Revised Report on the Algorithmic Language Scheme (R6RS). Chez Scheme supports all standard features of Scheme, including first-class procedures, proper treatment of tail calls, continuations, user-defined records, libraries, exceptions, and hygienic macro expansion. The Racket team says they expect that Racket CS will be ready for production use by the next release.

            Elsewhere in this release, the Web Server now provides a standard JSON MIME type, including a response/jsexpr form for HTTP responses bearing JSON; and GNU MPFR operations run about three times faster.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • SDL is expanding gamepad support with 8Bitdo SN30 Pro, Google Stadia and more

          Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL), the awesome cross-platform development library used by Valve, Feral Interactive, Unity, MonoGame, FNA, DOSBox and so many more is expanding.

        • 64 Bits ought to be enough for anybody!

          How quickly can we use brute force to guess a 64-bit number? The short answer is, it all depends on what resources are available. So we’re going to examine this problem starting with the most naive approach and then expand to other techniques involving parallelization.

          We’ll discuss parallelization at the CPU level with SIMD instructions, then via multiple cores, GPUs, and cloud computing. Along the way we’ll touch on a variety of topics about microprocessors and some interesting discoveries, e.g., adding more cores isn’t always an improvement, and not all cloud vCPUs are equivalent.

        • Python

          • Select Pandas Dataframe Rows And Columns Using iloc loc and ix

            In this post, I will talk about how to use Python library Pandas iloc, loc and ix functions to select rows and columns from csv and excel files

          • Navigating Python Code with Wing Pro 7 (part 3 of 3)

            Last week and the week before, we looked at some of the code navigation features in Wing, including goto-definition, find uses, and project-wide search, code index menus, and the Source Browser.

            This week we’ll finish up this mini-series by looking at how to quickly and easily find and open files or visit symbols in Python code by typing a name fragment.

          • API access for Google Calendar and Google Sheet access

            Doing some research, it seemed that gspread python library was the easiest one to get the access to the spread sheet and then be able to process it.

            Access requires setting up a credentials.json that is created using the google developers console (we should create a new project, create new credentials, etc). Please, read gspread documentation on requisites and steps for obtaining this file.

          • How I learned Python

            I never thought about learning python. However, once I got into machine learning it was a no-brainer. Everything was python and I just had to know it. So when I did the AI Nanodegree course at Udacity, I learned all the python I needed.


            Python is super fun and you can prototype stuff so fast it’s insane. If you are just a little skilled, you can write scripts to scrape the web, shuffle and move your data around, develop a UI etc. in less than half an hour. It just doesn’t get in your way in any shape or form.

          • Python CSV

            A CSV (Comma Separated Values) format is one of the most simple and common ways to store tabular data. To represent a CSV file, it must be saved with the .csv file extension.

          • How to write a Python web API with Django
          • Variable Explorer improvements in Spyder 4

            Spyder 4 will be released very soon with lots of interesting new features that you’ll want to check out, reflecting years of effort by the team to improve the user experience. In this post, we will be talking about the improvements made to the Variable Explorer.

            These include the brand new Object Explorer for inspecting arbitrary Python variables, full support for MultiIndex dataframes with multiple dimensions, and the ability to filter and search for variables by name and type, and much more.

            It is important to mention that several of the above improvements were made possible through integrating the work of two other projects. Code from gtabview was used to implement the multi-dimensional Pandas indexes, while objbrowser was the foundation of the new Object Explorer.


            As can be seen above, this viewer will also allow users to browse extra metadata about the inspected object, such as its documentation, source code and the file that holds it. It is very important to note that this work was accomplished thanks to the generosity of Pepijn, who kindly changed the license of objbrowser to allow us to integrate it with Spyder. To expose this new functionality, we decided to set the option to hide arbitrary Python objects in the Variable Explorer to disabled by default, and introduced a new one called Exclude callables and modules. With this enabled by default, Spyder will now display a much larger fraction of objects that can be inspected, while still excluding most “uninteresting” variables.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Data validation on entry with YAD

            The best way to clean a data table? Clean the data before it gets entered.

            A straightforward method is to build and check a stand-alone lookup list, then enforce the use of that lookup list for data entry. It may not be possible to do this for every field in the data table, but for a field with only a limited number of potential entries, a lookup list can save a lot of data cleaning work in future.

  • Leftovers

    • Thankful for Montana and Much More
    • Just Part of Doing Business

      Songwriter James McMurtry released a song several years ago that told the story of many working people in the United States. Titled “We Can’t Make It Here Anymore,” McMurtry’s lyrics described broken lives in a broken town in a nation broken by an economic disaster engendered by the greed of the capitalist class. Describing broken people and broken homes bedeviled by addiction and poverty, disability and despair, this tune is an angry cry virtually bereft of hope even while its characters refuse to give up. McMurtry points his acerbic pen and accomplished guitar at those whom he holds responsible…

    • Hardware

      • Debullshitifying the Right to Repair excuses Apple sent to Congress

        Apple’s response to the Congressional committee investigating monopolistic behavior by tech giants contains a chapter on Right to Repair, whose greatest enemy is Apple — the company led successful campaigns to kill 20 state level Right to Repair bills last year.

        Apple’s response was parsimonious with the truth.

      • Right-to-Repair Groups Don’t Buy Apple’s Answers to Congress

        iFixit and US PIRG both contest some of Apple’s responses, particularly around the ways in which Apple may or may not advise against non-authorized repairs. Another point they take issue with is Apple’s use of the phrase “same unit repair,” which is worth unpacking. Many key components within an iPhone or Mac can be repaired, Apple says in its response, but “same unit repairs” aren’t possible for all products because of the challenges around disassembling and reassembling devices.

        In other words, a customer might go into the Apple Store or other authorized repair shop for a fix, and the repair might be so complex that the product is effectively replaced. The topic of “repairs” not only becomes one of semantics but also raises the question of whether Apple (and other electronics makers) could be slotting full replacement devices into a definition of repairs. Proctor, of US PIRG, says in his blog post that this is Apple attempting to “create a new category of repair.”

    • Health/Nutrition

      • New Online Tool Aims to Help You Have That Big Medicare for All Talk at This Year’s Thanksgiving Feast

        “Turkey, mashed potatoes, and arguing politics with your family: the holidays are just around the corner! But talking about politics doesn’t have to get heated. The vast majority of people are unhappy with our hugely expensive, profit-driven health care system and are ready for a change.”

      • I Have Multiple Sclerosis. Here’s Why I Am Fighting for Medicare for All

        Family, friends, and fellow patriots,I have Multiple Sclerosis. Every morning, the first thought I have in the first millisecond that I am awake, is that I can’t do it—I can’t go to work, for a walk, to the gallery, to my studio, I can’t get out of bed. And almost every morning, I do anyway. Imagine that you have the flu every day. That is not so far off from how I feel.

      • Wilderness of Mirrors .co.uk

        There is only one question that really matters about the origin of the document leak:

        Is the leaker a private individual, or an organisation (in particular, a state intelligence agency)?

        Creating a matrix for an Alternate Competing Hypothesis analysis is pretty easy when there are only two options.

      • Why are Americans’ lives getting shorter?

        Two data points, it is often said, do not make a trend. Researchers studying America’s dismal life expectancy now have three. After climbing gradually over the past half century, life expectancy in America reached a plateau in 2010 and then fell for three consecutive years from 2015 to 2017, the latest for which data are available. An American baby born today can expect to live 78.6 years, on average, down from 78.9 in 2014. A new paper by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, attempts to explain why.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Jony Ive has left Apple

          Apple will be a client of Ive’s new design company, LoveFrom, which the designer started in collaboration with his long-time friend and collaborator Marc Newson. “Apple will continue to benefit from Jony’s talents by working directly with him on exclusive projects, and through the ongoing work of the brilliant and passionate design team he has built,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook at the time. Software and hardware design is now the responsibility of COO Jeff Williams.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • ByteDance Moves To Separate TikTok from Its Chinese Operations

              Reuters is reporting that ByteDance, which is the parent of TikTok, is stepping up attempts to separate the app from its Chinese operations in the wake of a U.S. government investigation of its data handling policies.

            • Public SSH keys can leak your private infrastructure

              This article describes a minor security flaw in the SSH authentication protocol that can lead to unexpected private infrastructure disclosure. It also provides a PoC written in Python.

            • Choosing the Right Messenger

              One of the most common questions users have when it comes to privacy is about messaging services. It seems almost all of them mention some level of privacy or encryption to entice the user to sign up for their service, but how can you be sure you’re using the most secure, privacy respecting platform?

              The answer actually lies in one’s threat model, which is often an ignored step in choosing all privacy related apps and services, meaning a lot of users limit their internet and communication experience because they believe they need Edward Snowden level privacy settings.

            • [Old] The Schrems Saga Continues: Schrems II Case Heard Before the CJEU

              The CJEU’s judgment in the Schrems II case, which is not expected before early 2020, could cause a real earthquake in the EU data protection landscape as it may result in the invalidation of the SCC, the mechanism that is most commonly used in practice to legitimize transfers of personal data from the EU to non-EU countries. There is also a risk that the CJEU’s decision on the broad questions that were referred to it may impact the validity of other transfer mechanisms, such as the EU- U.S. Privacy Shield, potentially leaving companies with limited alternatives to legitimize international data flows that are crucial for their business. For now, these mechanisms remain valid, but organizations should take steps to identify potentially impacted data flows, and consider whether alternative data transfer mechanisms are available. This issue should be kept under close review.

            • [Old] ANALYSIS: Will Privacy Shield Withstand Schrems’ Second Strike? [iophk: paywall]

              The European Commission recently released its highly anticipated Third Annual Report on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. Unlike prior reports, however, the Commission did not confirm that the U.S. continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred under the Privacy Shield Framework. That omission is highly significant for companies that currently rely on the Privacy Shield; it signals the need to explore other data transfer mechanisms should the Privacy Shield fall.

            • You’re Tracked Everywhere You Go Online. Use This Guide to Fight Back. [iophk: better to fight through improved legislation]

              Here are some mildly terrifying things I learned when I recently did an online privacy checkup: Google was sharing my creditworthiness with third parties. If you want Target to stop sharing your information with marketers, you have to call them. And, my favorite: If you would like Hearst, the publishing giant, to stop sharing your physical mailing address with third parties, you have to mail a physical letter with your request to the company’s lawyers.

            • Judge says Facebook users entitled to better security but not $ damages

              In San Francisco on Thursday night, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said neither credit monitoring costs nor the reduced value of stolen personal information was a “cognizable injury” that supported a class action for damages.

            • Facebook must face data breach class action on security, but not damages: judge

              A federal judge said up to 29 million Facebook Inc (FB.O) users whose personal information was stolen in a September 2018 data breach cannot sue as a group for damages, but can seek better security at the social media company after a series of privacy lapses.

            • India reportedly wants unrestricted access to non-personal data

              The Indian government is planning to gain unrestricted access to non-personal data of people in India, according to a report by Tech2. Non-personal data is anonymized data which can’t be traced back to identify a person. For example, weather sensors without a specific location or e-Commerce data without personal identification.

              This comes on the heel of the data privacy bill, which is listed to be tabled in the winter session of parliament. Apart from access to non-personal data, the bill will also tackle topics such as intermittent liability of social media platforms, and data localization and storage issues.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • How to Commit War Crimes and Get Away With It

        U.S. President Donald Trump sacked his Navy secretary on Twitter. The main reason is that the Navy secretary did not follow Trump’s advice regarding Navy Special Warfare Operator Edward Gallagher. Trump wanted Gallagher to retain his position as a Navy Seal. Gallagher was accused of stabbing to death a wounded fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in 2017; he was also accused of other incidents of murder (of a schoolgirl and an elderly man), and then of obstruction of justice. In July 2019, a military court acquitted Gallagher of most of the charges but found him guilty of posing with the body of the fighter who had been stabbed to death.

    • Environment

      • Boris Johnson replaced by ice sculpture after dodging election debate on climate crisis

        The program’s editor had earlier said Johnson “sent his two wing men” — Gove and Johnson’s father, Stanley — to attempt to “argue their way into” a program intended only for leaders.

        Johnson and fellow no-show Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party, were ultimately replaced with ice sculptures bearing their parties’ logos, which Channel 4 said was intended to “represent the emergency on planet earth.”

      • Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against

        Here we summarize evidence on the threat of exceeding tipping points, identify knowledge gaps and suggest how these should be plugged. We explore the effects of such large-scale changes, how quickly they might unfold and whether we still have any control over them.

      • Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists

        More than half of the climate tipping points identified a decade ago are now “active,” a group of leading scientists have warned.

        This threatens the loss of the Amazon rainforest and the great ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, which are currently undergoing measurable and unprecedented changes much earlier than expected.

        This “cascade” of changes sparked by global warming could threaten the existence of human civilisations.

        Evidence is mounting that these events are more likely and more interconnected than was previously thought, leading to a possible domino effect.

      • Zimbabwe ‘on brink of man-made starvation’, UN warns

        Ms Elver said the Zimbabweans she spoke to “explained that even if food is generally available in supermarkets, the erosion of their incomes combined with an inflation skyrocketing to more than 490%, made them food insecure”.

      • Who is Greta Thunberg, the #FridaysForFuture activist?

        One day in late August 2018, Greta Thunberg took up position outside Sweden’s Parliament for the first time. She held a simple sign, black letters on a white board, that said “School Strike for Climate.”

      • Climate Tipping Points Could Hit Harder — and Sooner — Than We Think

        Citing an “existential threat to civilization,” a group of top climate scientists have put out a new paper warning that the latest evidence related to climate tipping points—when natural systems reach their breaking point and cascading feedback loops accelerate collapse—could mean such dynamics are “more likely than was thought” and could come sooner as well.

      • EU Lawmakers Declare ‘Climate Emergency,’ But Campaigners Say Only ‘Emergency Action’ Will Prove They Mean It

        “Our house is on fire. The European Parliament has seen the blaze, but it’s not enough to stand by and watch.”

      • Eating Well Without Destroying the Climate

        As you sit down to eat a holiday dinner with family or friends this year, the Earth’s climate may be the farthest thing from your mind. But if you are looking for a good New Year’s resolution in a few weeks, you can’t go wrong with climate-friendly eating. The links between food and climate are significant but fairly simple to understand.

      • Eating Is Profoundly Political. Which Food Future Will You Choose?

        It’s time to talk turkey!No, not the Butterball sitting in the Oval Office. I’m talking about the real thing, the big bird, 46 million of which we Americans will devour on this Thanksgiving Day. It was the Aztecs who first domesticated the gallopavo , but leave it to the Spanish explorers to “foul up” the bird’s origins. They declared it to be related to the peacock — wrong!

      • Earth nears irreversible tipping points

        Changes afoot now in at least nine areas could drastically alter the Earth’s climate. There’s no time left to act on these tipping points.

      • ‘Existential Threat to Civilization’: Planetary Tipping Points Make Climate Bets Too Dangerous, Scientists Warn

        “I don’t think people realize how little time we have left,” said one co-author of a new paper warning that the systems of the natural world could cascade out of control sooner than was previously thought.

      • Dear DNC, What Happened to All Those ‘Early and Often’ Climate Debate Questions?

        As the Democratic Party prepared for its first presidential primary debates in June, climate activists pushed the DNC to schedule a single-issue debate on the climate crisis, given the urgency of the problem and the lack of attention given to it in previous debates.

      • Energy

        • Why We Mu Permanently Safeguard Chaco Canyon


          In New Mexico, there are some places where oil and gas development makes sense. But there are others, like in the Greater Chaco area, where the risks of additional development are far too great. That is why I was so excited to see that the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act with bipartisan support (“House vote on Chaco a huge win for sacred sites,” My View, Nov. 1).

          The Senate now must do its part and take action as soon as possible, because the clock is winding down on the one-year moratorium on oil and gas leasing within 10 miles of Chaco Culture National Historical Park announced by Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt in May.

          It is our responsibility — as ranchers and stewards of our public lands — to continue to work to preserve places like the Greater Chaco Landscape for future generations. Passage of this bill is a great first step toward doing just that.

          As the owner of a ranch in northwest New Mexico, I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with the oil and gas industry. My family has been running cattle since the 1870s, and while we’ve never minded producers as long as they drill responsibly, the concentration of oil and gas wells has grown so great that the federal public lands surrounding our property can no longer support an operating ranch.

          I am not opposed to oil and gas development.

        • Trump’s Climate Recklessness Is Grounds for Impeachment

          It is time to take Donald Trump’s disregard for climate crisis seriously. As Commander in Chief, Trump is abdicating his duties to protect his people, instead actively aiding and abetting the corporate polluters who are causing the climate chaos. Trump is wasting irreplaceable time that we need to prevent a worsening climate crisis. l

        • ‘Be on the Right Side of History’: Ahead of COP 25, Demand for Govts to Break Free From Fossil Fuels

          “We expect governments to come to these climate talks to live up to the moral urgency at hand.”

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • A Humboldt Thanksgiving

          It’s Thanksgiving here in America, a day of infamy for turkeys. At my place in Humboldt County, northern California, turkeys learned their lesson a few years ago, when five fine specimens of Meleagris gallopavo—wild turkey to you—wandered onto my property. I assume they forgot to check the calendar. Under California fish and game regulations, you can shoot them legally for two weeks around Thanksgiving.

        • A Collective Ignorance of Ecosystems

          A researcher in California is collecting seeds of sugar pine that appear to have resistant to bark beetles. Her goal is to capture and propagate trees that can withstand beetle attacks. According to the article, past logging of sugar pine has dramatically reduced the genetic diversity of the sugar pine population.

          Loss of genetic diversity is one consequence of the Industrial Forestry Paradigm that dominates the timber industry and all public agencies from the state forestry agencies to the federal agencies like the Forest Service.

          For example, on a recent field trip, the foresters in the group told us they were going to log some fir trees that had “root rot” as well as adjacent fir trees that “might” get the pathogen. No one in our group, which included several so-called “conservation groups”, questioned the starting assumption that it was desirable to eliminate root rot. When I asked the lead forester, why he felt it was necessary to log the trees, he responded by saying the trees were likely to die.

          So I inquired further. “So, you want to kill the trees by logging, so they don’t die from root rot?” And then I went on and said: “Isn’t that kind of like our policy in Vietnam where we had to dest

    • Finance

      • ‘An Unjust Society Is Far Costlier’: AOC Says Beware the Deficit Scolds Who Only Complain About Paying for Stuff When It Benefits People

        “I see decisions made every day that cost the American public billions of dollars a year for bogus reasons and nobody asks how we pay for it.”

      • Retail Giants Gear Up for Black Friday—And Political Giving

        Ready, shoppers? Your long-awaited holidays are afoot — so are the countless deals up for grabs.But as millions of Americans gear up to flood drop-in shops and online stores for Black Friday sales, some of the top retail giants are pouring big bucks into the political sphere.

      • A Nation Run by Billionaires and Lobbyists

        In 1961, I left Greece for the United States. The reason for that life-changing decision was education. The University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin welcomed me and gave me a free education. I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Illinois and my doctorate from Wisconsin.

      • China Has Hugely Outgrown the US Under Trump

        This is one in the “whose is bigger?” category; which country has added the most to their GDP over the last three years. There is not any particular reason anyone should care about this, except that Donald Trump has made a big point of touting something about how no one says China will soon be the world’s largest economy anymore.

      • Cryptoqueen: How this woman scammed the world, then vanished

        Ruja Ignatova called herself the Cryptoqueen. She told people she had invented a cryptocurrency to rival Bitcoin, and persuaded them to invest billions. Then, two years ago, she disappeared. Jamie Bartlett spent months investigating how she did it for the Missing Cryptoqueen podcast, and trying to figure out where she’s hiding.

      • Black Friday Alternative Planning

        It has become an odd tradition in America to effectively “battle shop” on the Friday following the Thanksgiving holiday. It is already weird that we even have the Thanksgiving holiday here as it is something that pretty much only Canada and the USA have.


        As for me, I am going to be avoiding the stores Friday if at all possible. Going out in the craziness is just not worth it at this time…

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Labour’s New Internationalism: Chagos and Western Sahara

        There are a number of issues pertaining to UK foreign policy which campaigners and activists have long believed will forever reside at the margins. Never to be taught in schools or discussed on panel shows, these sidelined issues affecting the ‘unpeople’ wordlessly trampled by consecutive British governments were assumed to remain hidden in little-reported legal cases, written about only in dusty volumes undisturbed on library shelves. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party manifesto, unveiled last week, changes this considerably. Vowing to end the ‘bomb first, talk later’ approach to ‘security’ (a term of propaganda referrring typically to state-corporate interests, not the welfare of the UK public), Labour intends to place human rights, international law and tackling climate change at the forefront of international policies.

      • Trump in Afghanistan for Surprise Thanksgiving Visit
      • A Meaningful Thanksgiving

        The impeachment proceedings to investigate allegations of impropriety in the Donald Trump presidency will impact many American households this Thanksgiving. Families will be confronted by political tensions of a profound nature this year. There is no sugar coating it, there is a base of people who believe Trump’s lies and the absurd defenses offered for his corrupt acts.

      • Will Impeachment Affect Trump’s Re-Election Chances?

        One of the hallmarks of a democratic political system is that voters change their minds. In North Korea, 100 percent of voters support the ruling party coalition in election after election. In South Korea since 1998, voters backed 10 years of progressive candidates followed by 10 years of conservative candidates. Then, after a dramatic turnaround in public opinion, South Koreans rallied to impeach the previous president, Park Geun-hye.

      • “God Bless Martin O’Malley”: Former Maryland Governor Takes Trump Administration Immigration Hardliner Ken Cuccinelli to Task at DC Bar

        “We all let him know how we felt about him putting refugee immigrant kids in cages.”

      • On This Day of Thanks and Mourning, a Call to Demilitarize the US Border

        One year ago this week, as families across the country were preparing to sit down together for a Thanksgiving (or Day of Mourning) meal, families at the U.S.-Mexico border were facing a potentially deadly threat…

      • Now Is Not the Time for Democrats to Waver

        As the House Judiciary Committee opens the final round of hearings next week in the impeachment investigation of Donald Trump, there are, once again, reports of wavering among centrists and moderates in the Democratic Party. Although conservative news outlets have taken the lead on such reporting, there is little reason to believe the coverage is fake or exaggerated.

      • WTO Shutdown: What Now and What Next

        We remember Seattle 1999 in a moment when the world is exploding with people’s uprisings.

      • FDR Got Everything that Trump Does Not About Thanksgiving

        When he is not ranting at rallies or speaking off the cuff to reporters, Trump has offered up rather more traditional fare with the Thanksgiving proclamations he has issued since assuming the presidency. But he doesn’t go much beyond the predictable recitation of a first Thanksgiving story and rumination on “the virtue of gratitude.”

        Contrast that with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who mastered the art of giving thanks.

      • How a Would-be Thanksgiving Argument Can Spawn a Revolution

        It’s become something of a cliché: Many people dread Thanksgiving in part because they have to break bread with friends — and especially relatives — who they adamantly disagree with politically.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Rabbi Michael Lerner: The Pied Piper of Love

        Few figures on the American left have elicited more antipathy than Rabbi Michael Lerner, and, at the same time, few figures have elicited more admiration and even adoration. Over the past half-century, and ever since the protest against the Vietnam War, no one has been a more polarizing figure among radicals and progressives than he. In part, that’s because he’s defended Palestinians and Muslims and criticized Zionists and the State of Israel. He can be awfully blunt. His own personality and big ego have contributed to the syndrome that attracts people and repels them.

      • How the International Media Greenlights Israeli Aggression Toward Palestine

        In November, an Israeli-led assassination effort targeted senior Islamic Jihad leader Bahaa Abu el-Atta and his wife, reporting that it killed them both as they were sleeping in their home in Gaza. Armed factions of Islamic Jihad retaliated by launching homemade rockets and mortars toward southern Israel.

      • Jordan: New Arrests of Activists

        Jordanian authorities are seeking to limit protests over austerity policies throughout 2019 by targeting protest leaders, participants, and other critics for harassment and arrest, Human Rights Watch said today. At least seven activists have been detained since September.

      • New Bill Would Strip Medals of Honor From Soldiers Behind Wounded Knee Massacre

        On Wednesday, presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, released the Senate companion to the Remove the Stain Act.

      • The Fader Fires CEO Andy Cohn Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations

        In the wake of The Fader firing its head of content Eric Sundermann as a result of sexual misconduct allegations, the site has further fired publisher Andy Cohen after working there for 16 years.

      • Moscow Theater Targeted by Law Enforcement Authorities

        This month, police in Moscow launched an audit of Theater Doc, an independent theater in Moscow known for productions focusing on pressing societal issues in contemporary Russia. Authorities say they are looking for signs of promotion of terrorism, drugs, and “gay-propaganda” in three Theater Doc productions. 

      • Russia: Conviction in Politically Motivated Case

        A court in Moscow found Roman Udot, an election rights activist, guilty on November 28, 2019 of threatening the life of two broadcast journalists in a politically motivated prosecution, Human Rights Watch said today. The court sentenced Udot to 320 hours of correctional labor.

      • Thanksgiving Is Dedicated to Erasing the Ruthlessness of English Settlers

        Thanksgiving is a colonial holiday meant to erase the ruthlessness of English settlers. In a way, Thanksgiving is the perfect American holiday: It is based on the erasure of Indigenous peoples, promotes a false vision of peaceful cooperation between nations, and has now become an excuse to indulge in the spectacles of hyper-consumption and football.

      • Thanksgiving Should Be America’s Day of the Dead

        Once upon a time, in a land far far away, There lived a group of magical white Christians called the Pilgrims. After growing weary of their King’s discrimination against witch trials and buckle-hats, they climbed aboard a magic ship called the Mayflower and sailed the deadly Atlantic on a quest for religious freedom and laissez-faire capitalism. They found a wild, mysterious and sparsely populated New World and quickly busied themselves building the foundation of the exceptional American Dream. When they came face to face with pestilence, they graciously excepted agricultural advice from an unwashed horde of noble savages, who were intern thanked with an invite to a grand feast of Thanksgiving.

      • Prompted by Local Activists, Congressman McGovern Condemns the Coup in Bolivia

        Thirteen of us squeezed into Congressman Jim McGovern’s small office in Northampton, Massachusetts, far outnumbering the number of chairs available. At the head of the table sat Koby Gardner-Levine, the congressman’s Northampton district representative. Outside, a couple dozen more stood in the near-freezing temperature chanting, “Evo, amigo, el pueblo está contigo” (Evo, brother, the people are with you), holding signs that read “Say no to the coup!” and “Hands off Bolivia.”

      • The Indigenous Worldview Is Our Only Hope for Survival

        The recent U.S.-supported overthrow of Bolivia’s Indigenous president, Evo Morales, is but one example of how endemic anti-Indigenous sentiment is within neoliberal movements. This includes many of us who are influenced by their hegemonic strategies and media, including the Organization of American States, which accepted the legitimacy of right-wing Morales replacement Sen. Jeanine Áñez. In 2013, Áñez tweeted: “I dream of a Bolivia free of satanic indigenous rites” and recently disregarded the comments of Christian right-wing minister Luis Fernando Camacho, who stood next to her when she announced her acceptance of the presidency and said, “Pachamama will never return. Today Christ is returning to the Government Palace. Bolivia is for Christ.”

      • How the OAS, and the Media’s Lack of Scrutiny, Caused a Violent Coup in Bolivia

        As often happens when an elite-driven coup leads to US-endorsed regime change, there are powerful attempts to disguise its real character. A recurrent method is to blame the coup on its victim. Of this, the November 10, 2019 coup in Bolivia is a textbook example. The narrative went as follows. Bolivian president Evo Morales, eager to perpetuate himself in power, orchestrated a fraudulent election. His people saw this as deceitful and authoritarian. A popular uprising ensued, eventually leading to Morales’s resignation and exile.

      • Native Women Were Forcibly Sterilized — and They Fought Back

        I was 12 years old when I first heard about the forced sterilization of my people. A close friend of my family — the kind of person you call “auntie,” even though you’re not related — who was Menominee, like me, told me and my sister that she worried about Native girls who were registered tribal members. Even though we didn’t live on a reservation, our “auntie” feared the reach of the government and the violence it had so often disguised as “health care.” She came of age during the 1970s, at the height of the government’s forced sterilizations of Native women. Close friends of hers had been sterilized without their knowledge. I was too young to fully understand the trauma she carried, knowing that such violence had been perpetrated against people she loved, and knowing that any Native person, like her, who was capable of giving birth, was under threat. Looking back, I understand why she remained frightened, in spite of public health victories that had caused forced sterilizations to ebb in the U.S., and in spite of the fact that we didn’t receive our medical care through the Indian Health Service. My “auntie” had lived through a massive genocidal onslaught. Her sense of dread was permanent.

      • ‘This Was a Test Case to See How a Couple of Photos Could Silence Women’
      • China warns of retaliation after Trump signs bill backing Hong Kong protesters

        The bill slaps levies on individuals who commit human rights violations in Hong Kong and prevents them from entering the U.S. It also requires the State Department to give an annual report to lawmakers on whether Hong Kong remains “sufficiently autonomous” from mainland China.

      • Eyewitnesses on the Unrest in Iran

        Poverty, hardship and a sense of hopelessness are driving protesters into the streets in Iran, where they have been met with brutality by the Revolutionary Guard. Witnesses describe the dramatic events unfolding in the country.

      • 1 in 2 Indians paid a bribe at least once in the past year, survey finds

        The survey, conducted by independent anti-corruption advocates Transparency International India (TII) and social media platform LocalCircles, found that bribery had actually reduced by 10% over the past year. But it remains rampant, with 51% of respondents admitting they had paid bribes.

      • The fight to get citizenship for descendants of German Jews

        A British lawyer is accusing the German government of violating the country’s constitution by refusing to restore the citizenship of thousands of people descended from victims of the Nazis. He argues that the law began to be misapplied under the lingering influence of former Nazis in the 1950s and 60s, and that it’s still being misapplied today.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Native IPv6: One Month Later

        That’s telling me I received 1.8 times as much traffic via IPv6 over the past month as I did over IPv4. Even discounting my backups (the 2 v6 peaks), which could account for up to half of that, that means IPv6 and IPv4 are about equal. That’s with all internal networks doing both and no attempt at traffic shaping between them – everything’s free to pick their preference.

        I don’t have a breakdown of what went where, but if you run a network and you’re not v6 enabled, why not? From my usage at least you’re getting towards being in the minority.

      • Why I Voted to Sell .ORG

        Hi, I’m Richard. I’ve been around the Internet for a while. I work for Cisco now, and used to lead security for Firefox. I’ve published a few RFCs and served on the Internet Engineering Steering Group (the board of the IETF). I was a co-founder of Let’s Encrypt and I currently serve on its board. I care about the Internet, and I care about nonprofits.
        I’m also a member of the Board of the Internet Society, and in that role, I joined the board’s unanimous decision to sell the Public Interest Registry (PIR), the registry for the .org top-level domain, to Ethos Capital. Since this transaction has gotten some attention, I’d like to speak a little about why, in my estimation, this deal is a good one for the Internet.

    • Monopolies

      • China issues directive to ‘intensify’ protections around intellectual property [sic] rights [sic]

        The General Offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Chinese State Council issued a joint directive designed to strengthen controls around Chinese IP [sic] rights (IPR).

        While the directive itself was not made public, the Chinese State Council announcement quotes from it, saying that “strengthening IPR [sic] protection is the most important content of improving the IPR [sic] protection system and also the biggest incentive to boost China’s economic competitiveness.”

      • No ‘phase two’ U.S.-China deal on the horizon, officials say

        In October, U.S. President Donald Trump said during a press conference with Chinese vice premier Liu He that he expected to quickly dive into a second phase of talks once “phase one” had been completed. The second phase would focus on a key U.S. complaint that China effectively steals U.S. intellectual property [sic] by forcing U.S. companies to transfer their technology to Chinese rivals, he said at the time.

      • This Czech search engine was beating Google until recently. It says Google isn’t playing fair

        If you live outside the Czech Republic, you’ve probably never heard of the search engine Seznam. But for many Czechs, as the company likes to say, “Seznam.cz is synonymous with the internet.”

        Seznam is an internet search company whose algorithms are built on the Czech language. It launched in 1996 in Prague, with about 50,000 Czech koruna (about $2,200) in funding. Early versions of Seznam.cz displayed a list of popular Czech sites—seznam means “list” in Czech—as well as a summary of Czech news.

        That was two years before Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google in Palo Alto. As Google gobbled up most of the global search market over the next decade, Seznam’s unique Czech identity made it the rare local player that held its ground in search. Seznam also expanded into other free services like maps, email, and price comparison.

      • Patents

        • Delhi HC Division Bench Restores Sanctity of Three-Pronged Test for Interim Injunctions; Sets Aside Two Interim Injunction Orders against Natco

          In a very welcome and significant development, on July 11 this year, a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court set aside two interim injunction orders granted by a Single Judge against Natco, for having been passed without the Court forming an opinion on the three elements of the well-settled test for interim injunctions i.e. prima facie case, balance of convenience and irreparable harm.

          The Court noted that an order in an interim injunction application must necessarily indicate that the court has considered these three elements in arriving at the conclusion as to the grant or non-grant of the injunction. It further emphasised that in case of patent infringement suits, particularly those involving pharma patents, the court must also consider the additional elements that have been discussed in various cases. It accordingly directed the Single Judge to decide both the interim injunction applications afresh, without being affected by the order in Sterlite Technologies case (discussed below) which had been blindly relied upon to grant the injunctions straight away.

      • Trademarks

        • ‘Day day up’ trade mark case and two English systems in China

          Many years ago, in a junior high school English exam, this Kat wrote a phrase she had encountered several times in English magazines and American movies, etc.: ‘Long time no see’. To her surprise, her favourite English teacher – at the time – circled the ‘mistake’ with harsh red ink and sharply criticised this apparently ungrammatical turn of phrase.

          The red circle has remained fresh until today… and it prompted this Kat to realise the co-existence of, at least, two categories of the English language: the one that is considered correct by, well, the ministry of education at that time and the other, which embodies the rest, which apparently includes some widely-used expressions that are not entirely grammatically correct.

          For instance, ‘long time no see’ (the metaphrase of ‘好久不见’, meaning: ‘(I) Have not seen you for a long time.’), functions as a pidgin, which facilitates communication instead of obstructing it. Consequently, it has long been used as a fixed expression in Hard to Kill (movie, 1990), Rabbit Rest (book, 1990), Cider House (book, 1992) and Mask (movie, 1994) – so, it’s not so ‘wrong’, is it?

          Recently, a case in China raised a similar question: when it comes to assessing the similarities between two verbal signs – one in Chinese and the other in English – does the ungrammatical metaphrase of the Chinese sign count?

        • EU joins Geneva Act of Lisbon Agreement on GIs

          WIPO has announced that the European Union has become the fifth member of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications. As the EU is the fifth member to join, the Act can now enter into force.

      • Copyrights

Many European Patents Lack Validity and Blogs/Press Won’t Talk About That

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Many European Patents Lack Validity. But reporting on such facts won't be good for my readers. So I look the other way while taking payments from patent maximalists.

Summary: The persistent denials from the EPO and inability of the media to cover the news (as opposed to EPO puff pieces) may mean that the avalanche of European Patents will carry on as long as the Office survives

THE USPTO can no longer grant patents on life as hastily and as easily as before. We’ve been including several links to news reports about it (in Daily Links). Mayo and Myriad (in 35 U.S.C. § 101 it’s mostly the former) contributed to this after SCOTUS overturned decisions made by the Federal Circuit. Here in Europe the European Patent Office (EPO) typically ignores justice, laws, courts, and judges. How can it? It can! It’s above the law! Look what Battistelli got away with; António Campinos covers it all up and continues promoting software patents in Europe, even by intervening (one might say “meddling”) in legal cases of BoA regarding software patents. Isn’t it astounding that here in Europe we haven’t the Rule of Law? Nontechnical career-climbing alcoholics can push around judges and punish entire courts by sending them to Haar just to ‘make a point’…

Where’s European media? Sorry, it’s dead. It’s composed by law firms, as we’ve just noted again. It’s like regulatory capture.

“Where’s European media? Sorry, it’s dead. It’s composed by law firms, as we’ve just noted again.”What about blogs? Sorry, they’re also captured by the litigation giants, more so after threats from the EPO. Rose Hughes (AstraZeneca) still leads IP Kat‘s way when it comes to EPO coverage, never touching any of the ongoing scandals, occasionally promoting UPC lies, and intentionally failing to note that the EPC is being violated. IP Kat is the opposite of what it used to be. Yesterday she wrote

Notably, Dirk Visser is not a supporter of the Board’s reasoning in T 1933/12, describing their justification of the co-applicant approach as “poor” (The Annotated European Patent Convention, Article 87(1)). Mr Visser further argues that the co-applicant approach of T 1933/12 is inconsistent with the EPO’s reasoning that all applicants (X and Y) of the priority application (or their successor(s) in title) are named on the subsequent application claiming priority (as in the CRISPR case). The latter is based on the understanding that X and Y are a legal unity that cannot be divided, whilst the co-applicant approach permits a change of the legal unity of X+Y into X+Y+Z.


The GSK patent was revoked on grounds other than invalid priority. GSK has appealed the decision. In reply to the appeal, Eli Lilly has argued that it was incorrect for the EPO to apply the co-applicant to the patent. Lilly particularly cites T 205/14 and T 517/14 in which the Board (3.3.01) required, in a situation analogous to that in the case in EP 1965823 (GSK), evidence of a transfer of the right to priority to the additional applicant (Z) of the PCT application from the applicants (X+Y) of the priority applications. None-the-less, the position of the Opposition Board in EP 1965823 is broadly in line with a number of opposition division decisions, e.g. EP2940044, and the Guidelines for Examination.

There is another pending appeal challenging the co-applicant approach. The case relates to one of AbbVie’s Humria patents (T 1837/19). In this case, Abbott Laboratories was listed as the applicant for the PCT application for all designated states apart from the US. The applicant-inventors of the US provisional applications from which priority was claimed were listed as the applicants for the US designation. The opponent has argued in their Statement of Grounds of appeal that the EP application is just one of the bundle of applications making up the PCT application, and that the EP application is different from and therefore does not include the applicants of the US provisional.

Unlike the issue at stake in the CRISPR appeal, the case law supporting the co-applicant approach is flaky at best. However, it seems likely that we will soon receive clarity on the legality of the co-applicants approach from the Boards of Appeal. Will the Boards of Appeal follow the more lenient approach to priority represented by the co-applicant approach followed by the opposition division, or will we see a tightening up of the requirements?

Well, these Boards of Appeal lack independence (the Office breaks the law). Should not that be mentioned? Notice that many of the above companies are partners and rivals of AstraZeneca, the writer’s paymasters. But the affiliation with AstraZeneca isn’t entirely concealed (to be fair to her). It’s not properly disclosed, so still…

“The lack of actual journalism in the area of patents is a very major crisis and even blogs have been hijacked by patent zealots. They’re a multi-billion-dollar ‘industry’ which produces nothing at all. Except agony.”The quality of European Patents continues to collapse and as we mentioned earlier in the week, many of them perish in courts. No wonder the number of European Patent applications is decreasing. The EPO granted a bunch of fake patents and only lawyers have benefited; it doesn’t matter to them who wins disputes, only that the disputes go on and on (more legal bills).

PR Newswire UK (press release site) has just published this press release about a high-profile dispute over a European Patent:

On November 19, 2019, the Mannheim Regional Court heard two cases brought by SolarEdge, an Israeli provider of power optimizers and solar inverters, claiming that Huawei’s PV optimizers infringed on its patents. The court concluded that Huawei did not infringe on SolarEdge’s patent for one case, and deferred the hearing for the other case due to insufficient evidence. On November 21, 2019, the European Patent Office (EPO) heard a patent opposition case brought by Huawei against SolarEdge. The EPO decided to revoke SolarEdge’s patent relating to the inverter multi-level topology.

A Huawei spokesperson welcomed the court’s decision. As one of the world’s largest holders of intellectual property rights, Huawei actively protects its own intellectual property rights and fully respects the rights of others. Huawei advocates the use of legal means to resolve disputes over intellectual property rights, and insists on taking legal action to protect its rights and interests.

Robin Whitlock of Renewable Energy Magazine has also just mentioned this fake European Patent:

The court heard the two cases on 19th November 2019, in which Israeli provider of power optimisers and solar inverters SolarEdge claimed that Huawei’s PV optimisers infringed on its patents. On 21st November 2019, the European Patent Office (EPO) heard a patent opposition case brought by Huawei against SolarEdge. The EPO decided to revoke SolarEdge’s patent relating to the inverter multi-level topology.

A Huawei spokesperson welcomed the decision by the court that the company did not infringe on SolarEdge’s patents along with the court’s decision to defer the second case on grounds of insufficient evidence.

The Huawei spokesperson said that as one of the world’s largest holders of intellectual property rights, Huawei actively protects its own intellectual property rights and fully respects the rights of others. The spokesperson added that Huawei advocates the use of legal means to resolve disputes over intellectual property rights, and insists on taking legal action to protect its rights and interests.

We derive no pleasure from such news; we feel somewhat vindicated, sure, but what we have here is a couple of companies wasting a lot of money (potential salaries for more workers) on a baseless dispute due to a fake European Patent. Who profits from all this? Lawyers. In-house or otherwise (for smaller companies it’s even more expensive as they lack the staff to deal with this).

Kilburn & Strode LLP and Freddy Thiel have meanwhile published and promoted this self-serving puff piece about the firm’s own lawyers who look to exploit the EPO for endless litigation. In their own words:

The quality of a patent can be directly linked to the relationship between in-house attorney and inventor (and outside counsel, if involved). It is quite possible that, without a good rapport, an attorney may find it hard to get the required attention from the inventor. They may miss much of the detail needed to produce a patent application that stands up in front of the EPO, where flexibility post filing is much more limited.


Keep asking questions, even ones that may seem obvious. Sometimes obvious questions elicit the best answers.

“I’ve never been afraid of telling an inventor that I know nothing about the tech. Simple questions often lead to finding a key ingredient to the recipe for the perfect invention capture. Sometimes popping a simple question or a remark can lead the inventor to think about the fundamental aspects of the invention, which they may otherwise have been overlooked. Inventors are generally much smarter than the EPO’s “Skilled Person” and often disregard what could end up being patentable inventions.The risk with a simple question is that it could cause the inventors to roll their eyes. You can back up a simple question by pointing out an inconsistency or gap in their discussion of the invention to show your true level of understanding and bring them back on board.”

Imagine that this is what counts as ‘journalism’ (and shows up in Google News as EPO and patent “news”). The lack of actual journalism in the area of patents is a very major crisis and even blogs have been hijacked by patent zealots. They’re a multi-billion-dollar ‘industry’ which produces nothing at all. Except agony.

5 Out of 6 EPO Workers Vote for a Strike as Quality (and Validity) of Patents Continues to Fall

Posted in Action, Europe, Patents at 4:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By all means go on strike, as things will only exacerbate otherwise (for all of us)

Graph extrapolated from the EPO
Graph extrapolated from the EPO’s own numbers

Summary: Examiners are being pressured to grant illegal patents (e.g. software patents ‘dressed up’ as “AI” or “hey hi”), leading to erosion of the job’s integrity and damage to the reputation of European Patents

THINGS have not improved at the European Patent Office (EPO) since António Campinos hopped on the saddle and the penthouse of Battistelli. One can argue that things got even worse (compared to 2018) and quality of European Patents is quantifiably and verifiably worse. The EPO sometimes calls software patents just “software patents” (no made-up buzzwords) and gets away with granting these.

“The EPO sometimes calls software patents just “software patents” (no made-up buzzwords) and gets away with granting these.”Will workers be going on strike again? Judging by these results, it’s very much possible. A strike ballot was initially planned in summer, but Campinos managed to buy some time. Well, not anymore. “There was a strike ballot in Munich today,” Märpel wrote on Thursday night, having “learned that 83% of staff voted in favour of the strike. Märpel wonders what is next.”

That’s about 5 out of 6 people, under an intimidating atmosphere, as we noted when the protest/demonstration was covered in the media. As we put it a fortnight ago, “EPO management in Rijswijk tried hard to prevent workers from protesting on their free time (lunch break), reaffirming that same old belief that nothing is changing at the EPO and nothing will change without truly disruptive action…”

Well, disruptive actions may be about to begin. Suffice to say, EPO management won’t say a word about these. It never does. It pretends no issues exist. That’s their “official policy”. Sometimes they drown out the media with puff pieces to dilute the signal with noise, as happened earlier this month (we wrote several articles to highlight this).

“Sometimes they drown out the media with puff pieces to dilute the signal with noise, as happened earlier this month (we wrote several articles to highlight this).”So what does Campinos have to show after nearly 1.5 years at the Office? What has he? What was accomplished?

“Four patent applications are filed worldwide every minute,” the EPO bragged yesterday. As the patent maximalists are so mentally detached, they probably think each of these applications is some major invention rather than a ploy of large companies (evergreening, slight modifications etc.) and it’s interesting to see the EPO so openly bragging about patent applications’ pace rather than merit/quality. “We could write a script to generate more than that on just one computer,” I told them, citing the likes of SCIgen, which isn’t even new.

Benjamin Henrion asked: “How many PPS (Patents Per Second) can it generate to flood the system?”

“EPO brags about 0.07 patent applications per second today,” I replied, and “I assume WIPO considers each of these to be sacred… China already games WIPO with a torrent of low-quality patents and amid decline in numbers (in other countries) Gurry and his criminal colleagues (this is well documented) are happy to accept this gaming…”

“China is perhaps the only large country that formally allows software patenting…”Maybe we can call this “patent doping!”

Henrion took note of this tweet which quotes: “China nominated a candidate to head the WIPO [...] The Chinese bid poses a challenge for the United States, which has been pushing to contain China’s rise as a technological superpower…”

China is perhaps the only large country that formally allows software patenting and Henrion noted that the EPO lies about it, arguing that “Computer programs is the only item of the list that is not clickable, plus spreading lies about business methods and software being patentable in the US” (citing the EPO’s E-courses). There’s a screenshot there. We’ve included it at the bottom, knowing that Twitter plans to eliminate millions of legitimate accounts some time very soon (including dead people’s accounts).

EPO's E-courses

EPO management (the likes of Campinos and Grant PolPott) likes to use buzzwords such as "hey hi" (machine learning) to disguise algorithm as something else, something unique. They also overuse the term because “hey hi” can generate patent applications and maybe granted patents [1] (there’s a tendency to conflate this with something else as the confusion contributes to the agenda of patent maximalists).

In [1] below there’s a new article about it, mentioning the EPO’s overdue decision on the matter.

“If the patent playground is a playground of those who profit from litigation (not actual scientists), whose agenda will be promoted and how will laws be shaped? In whose favour?”It’s no secret that the ‘European’ Patent Office uses such buzzwords and lies to let itself grant illegal software patents in Europe [2] (new article about it, albeit behind paywall) and Karl Barnfather (Withers & Rogers) continues to reaffirm what we’ve long said about media coverage regarding patents. It’s composed directly or indirectly by law/litigation firms, not journalists. It’s quite a crisis.

If the patent playground is a playground of those who profit from litigation (not actual scientists), whose agenda will be promoted and how will laws be shaped? In whose favour?

“Have you seen the new Espacenet? It’s got new features & functions,” the EPO wrote yesterday.

“The discussion forum is a dead zone,” I told them, “so one can guess not many people use Espacenet (why would they? These searches make one liable with treble damages)…”

“Well, “mock oral proceedings” are becoming routine, just like the real thing (where every trial is a mock trial, as justice does not exist).”“Trade marks can add value to #patents and extend protection beyond the life of a patent,” the EPO added. They’re basically marketing EUIPO. Trademarks are symbols and names. So what the EPO says is akin to fusion of totally unrelated laws. In practice many businesses resort to evergreening if they want patent perpetuity.

The EPO then said: “We’re running a seminar where you can take part in mock oral proceedings designed to let you experience a variety of events in real time, in a variety of roles, with the support of a tutor.”

Well, “mock oral proceedings” are becoming routine, just like the real thing (where every trial is a mock trial, as justice does not exist). We’ll say more about it in our next post.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Can artificial intelligence systems patent their inventions?

    Throughout history, innovation has been the result of direct human intervention that creates a technical solution to a practical problem. For hundreds of years, nations around the world have sought to incentivize innovation by giving inventors the right to protect their creations with patents. Recently one legal team has pressured patent offices around the world to answer one question: Can patent protections be extended to inventions developed by technology, not humans?

    Late last autumn, patent applications were filed with the UK Intellectual Property Office and the European Patent Office on behalf of an artificial intelligence inventor known as “DABUS,” which creates new ideas by altering the interconnections among a set of neural networks in the system. Once those ideas are generated, a second set of neural networks analyzes them to reinforce any that are novel or useful. DABUS is the invention of Dr. Stephen Thaler, President and CEO of the St. Charles, Missouri-based neural networking firm Imagination Engines.


    At the origin of the legal team filing the patent applications on DABUS’s behalf is Dr. Malte Köllner, Head of Dennemeyer’s Frankfurt office. He instigated an international attorney team to submit patent applications on behalf of DABUS in Great Brittain, Germany, Europe, Taiwan, Israel and the US, as well as a PCT application. The idea to file patent applications listing an AI inventor was born in the Frankfurt office following a discussion on the topic with patent attorney Markus Rieck and Ryan Abbott, a professor of law and health sciences at the University of Surrey. Dr. Köllner said that filing these patent applications was the right way to get patent offices to consider how they will address the growing issue of innovation from AI platforms. “If the court finds some solution, that is fine, but it should not simply ignore the fact that machines are inventing,” Dr. Köllner said. “We are beginning a debate and inviting both patent offices and courts to decide on how to deal with this issue. This is a question whose time has come.”


    Over at the EPO, a decision on the fate of the DABUS patent applications is expected on November 25.

    Eventually, patent offices around the world will have to find a solution how to handle this new phenomenon that AI is contributing to inventions. “It is an international discussion, and it will be interesting to see how different countries will come up with different solutions,” Dr. Köllner said.

  2. New European Patent Office guidelines protect AI and machine learning ‘inventions’

    Withers & Rogers Karl Barnfather examines the European Patent Office’s ‘Guidelines for Examination’, which took effect on 1st November

Team UPC is So Drunk on Kool-Aid That It Has Become Truly Comical!

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Where yu’ goin’ mate?

Nach Spandau!

UPC and Berlin

Summary: The lies and fabrications of Team UPC show no signs of abatement; now they just do so for our amusement and in the process they compromise what used to be reasonably OK blogs

THE US knows that the UPC is doomed. António Campinos hasn’t even mentioned it for about a year and Battistelli became virtually invisible (absent from the media since the Benalla scandals). As for the European Patent Office (EPO)? Well, it formally mentioned it about a month ago, for the first time in about a year. But notice the pattern though; what used to be on everybody’s lips on a daily basis is very seldom even alluded to.

“Did everyone notice who runs IP Kat since 2-3 years ago?”So who still mentions it? Usually media sites that are in Team UPC’s pockets. Most of the media stopped printing lies for lying lawyers, but some stand to benefit from perpetuating the lies. Heck, some of them are literally owned and edited by Team UPC! Did everyone notice who runs IP Kat since 2-3 years ago? These are patent maximalists whose clients include patent trolls and proponents of software patents in Europe (who never even wrote a single line of code in their entire lives!).

Last night we saw Kluwer Patent blogger (Bristows quite likely) publishing this nonsense with the typically misleading headline in Kluwer Patent Blog (only hours after we had complained about these headlines from Kluwer Patent Blog). The text is almost the same as in Bristows’ blog, so we assume it’s Team UPC running ahead with JUVE's utter nonsense (coordinated fluff) while guarding against opposing comments, as usual. Yes, they delete some comments from this blog. Bristows staff does this (we produced evidence of that before). “According to Ramsey,” it says, “the announcement by judge Huber in an MIP interview earlier this month, that the FCC is likely to decide the UPCA case in the first quarter of 2020, is “very good news because it’s fast approaching.””

“That phone interview with Patrick Wingrove received mostly scorn and condemnation (except from Team UPC)…”So here they are alluding to judge Huber after that inappropriate interview with a Team UPC advocacy front, Managing IP (even the courts/colleagues distanced themselves from it [1, 2, 3]). That phone interview with Patrick Wingrove received mostly scorn and condemnation (except from Team UPC) and yesterday Wingrove decided to defend the JUVE piece, writing to me in Twitter about it (I hadn’t spoken to him) and then promoting his latest UPC piece to me (“UPC: businesses still on hold despite Judge Huber announcement“).

It wasn’t an “announcement”, but never mind facts. And even Team UPC doubts the self-imposed deadline that he named would be honoured, judging by past experiences.

“…the niche that is Team UPC loved that interview, whereas everyone else just kind of looked at each other, mystified by the decision of a judge to speak directly to Team UPC, dropping words like “bullshit” in the process.”For those who aren’t aware, Managing IP has long worked with the EPO on UPC advocacy events. It’s wrong for judges to speak about ongoing cases with the media; it’s even more wrong to speak to a site like Managing IP (because of its relation to the UPC). The way I see it, Managing IP and Wingrove are trying to save face; the niche that is Team UPC loved that interview, whereas everyone else just kind of looked at each other, mystified by the decision of a judge to speak directly to Team UPC, dropping words like “bullshit” in the process.

And for the second time in a week, we might add, Wingrove and colleagues framed the perpetrators of legal bullying (such as Team UPC) as the poor victims. They’re been doing this kind of thing for months; if they think that lawyers are the marginalised, depressed, poor people, then they certainly need to screw that head back on. I’ve dealt with abusive letters from lawyers for at least a decade and these people do not deserve sympathy. They make many people’s lives a lot more miserable and usually poor, too (some go bankrupt due to frivolous litigation).

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 28, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:38 am by Needs Sunlight



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