[Meme] We’ll Be Seeing Lots of China Blame-Passing in Years to Come

Posted in Finance at 5:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Boris Hotline Bling: Not my problem! How dare they spy like I do?

Summary: 50,000 dead Brits? Don’t blame the person whom it almost killed (because of his sheer arrogance) and instead focus on countries that allegedly spy (like the UK does along with the US)

Power Shift or Power Transition

Posted in Finance, Patents at 4:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

World button

Summary: A massive pile of patents cannot change the inevitable cycle; empires always rise and fall, but the falls are painful and ruinous (they also take a number of years; it’s never immediate but a process)

THIS is a somewhat unusual post for this site (usually fits better in my personal blog, not here), but there are big ramifications for the European Patent Office (EPO) and for Western technology companies we routinely cover here.

“It’s not Russia that’s standing to gain the most but China, along with its own ‘sweatshop’ countries to the south.”Who shall inherit the Earth (amid crisis of health), in terms of nations? (we say “nations” because it’s clear billionaires control the Earth, irrespective of their passports)

It’s not Russia that’s standing to gain the most but China, along with its own ‘sweatshop’ countries to the south. The salaries there are lower than in today’s China.


China has a lot of work sent to it not just from Europe and America but also Japan, Taiwan (assuming it’s still independent) and South Korea. Japan’s debt is about 2.5 times the worth of its economy (Singapore’s national debt is also very high) and the US is now valued about 7 trillion dollars less than its total debt, so we’re talking about trouble ahead. Donald Trump hopes to hide all this (more borrowings; about 4 trillion) until after the election. His seventh bankruptcy?

United States Government Debt

“Over the past few days I’ve been studying some of the underlying figures, which were laid bare partly due to COVID-19 (governments reaching to the depths of their wallets to save households and businesses).”Patent extremists in sites like Watchtroll keep sounding the alarm about China when they lobby the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to grant more and more monopolies (patents), hoping that this will magically save their rich clients from better-priced competitors. Even if China is in WIPO, and even if China was to respect US patents, look at many patents China is granting. Quality does not seem to matter much, only quantity. It’s like nuclear weapons; you don’t need 10,000 of them to assure domination. Less than 1,000 should be more than enough to obliterate just about any country in one single afternoon (those who survive the blasts and the fallout will likely die from starvation and meet the ugly face of cannibalism; ask Ukraine).

Over the past few days I’ve been studying some of the underlying figures, which were laid bare partly due to COVID-19 (governments reaching to the depths of their wallets to save households and businesses). In the US a lot of the borrowed money was passed to the wealthy rather than the needy and hungry. Our Daily Links are full of articles about that.

Microsoft is Defrauding Its Shareholders While Laying Off About 5,000 Workers

Posted in Finance, Fraud, Microsoft at 4:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s financial situation has long been manipulated (it not only defrauded shareholders before, but it also got caught, then paid bribes to silence whistleblowers)


Summary: Contrary to what Microsoft ‘moles’ inside the media want us to believe, the layoffs at Microsoft are considerable and the financial results are at least partly faked

“Microsoft Corp.-owned LinkedIn today said that it is laying off about 960 employees, or approximately 6% of its global workforce,” says this article. We cited another article yesterday.

Who inside Microsoft decided on this number? We can imagine a conversation going on along the lines of:

“In recent weeks Microsoft laid off about 5,000 people (yes, we count contract workers too; it’s a loophole), assuming part-timers in stores add up to about 20 people per store, plus 2,000+ more layoffs that Microsoft failed to hide (the disposed-of employees spoke to journalists with strong cryptography “apps”).”“OK, so we can lay off 960 employees…”

“But why 960? Who decided on the number?”

“Well, it’s less than a thousand…”

“So why not 999? Or 990?”

“Obviously, because then people will realise Microsoft just creates an illusion of a small number…” (triple- rather than four-digit)

In recent weeks Microsoft laid off about 5,000 people (yes, we count contract workers too; it's a loophole), assuming part-timers in stores add up to about 20 people per store, plus 2,000+ more layoffs that Microsoft failed to hide (the disposed-of employees spoke to journalists with strong cryptography “apps”).

“What kind of company fires so many people if it has real and sustainable growth?”The Microsoft-friendly ‘journalists’ are bombarding the media (earlier this week to present) with claims of growth. What kind of company fires so many people if it has real and sustainable growth? As insiders told us, Microsoft is basically defrauding its shareholders (a complaint was submitted to the SEC). The supposed "big growth" areas are actually suffering layoffs and cuts.

As an associate of ours put it, having studied some of the latest puff pieces (Microsoft-connected ‘news’ sites), Microsoft is just “shuffling the diminishing money around” and it is trying to seize people’s medical records to assure/secure government bailout (if or when it becomes necessary; like JEDI); “this is where Microsoft is aiming its attacks of late,” he said, pointing to media puff pieces that lobby for outsourcing of people’s most sensitive data to Azure.

Microsoft Abusing Monopoly Position Again

Posted in Antitrust, Microsoft at 3:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“…[Windows 98] must be a killer on shipments so that Netscape never gets a chance…”

Former Microsoft Vice President James Allchin in an internal memo

Tell me what's worse than proprietary software that spies on whole businesses; Microsoft's proprietary software that spies on whole businesses

Summary: “Microsoft has illegally tied its Teams product into its market-dominant Office productivity suite, force installing it for millions, blocking its removal, and hiding the true cost to enterprise customers,” according to Slack

  • Slack says Microsoft is up to its old tricks, “browser-war” style

    Slack—the now-nearly ubiquitous, purple work-chatting platform—has filed a formal complaint alleging that tech titan Microsoft is unlawfully abusing its power to squeeze newer rivals out of the market—almost the exact same accusations Microsoft infamously faced 20 years ago.

    San Francisco-based Slack filed a complaint with the European Commission detailing “Microsoft’s illegal and anti-competitive practice of abusing its market dominance to extinguish competition in breach of European Union competition law,” the company said today.

  • Slack files competition complaint against Microsoft in Europe

    Workplace messaging service Slack announced Wednesday it has filed a complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission on Wednesday, alleging the tech giant is using its market dominance to crowd out competition.

    The complaint accuses Microsoft of illegally tying its workplace product, Teams, to its suite of productivity tools, forcing millions of installs and hiding the true costs from enterprise customers.

  • Slack files EU antitrust complaint against Microsoft, cites anti-competitive Teams bundling

    Slack has filed a complaint with the European Commission that accuses Microsoft of unfairly bundling its Teams collaboration app with its Office 365 suite. That move, Slack argues, allows Microsoft to abuse its market dominance to “extinguish competition in breach of European Union competition law.

    “Microsoft has illegally tied its Teams product into its market-dominant Office productivity suite, force installing it for millions, blocking its removal, and hiding the true cost to enterprise customers,” Slack said.

Links 23/7/2020: Antitrust Complaint Against Microsoft, More Software Patents Invalidated in the US

Posted in News Roundup at 1:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Behind the Scenes of System76: Web Team

      Almost exclusively. For the homepage we use Nuxt and VUE. Elixir for the back-end is open source. Visual Studio Code has a pretty open architecture, but I’m not sure that one’s fully open source. I also use Atom which is a GitHub product, so that’s pretty much open source by default. When it comes down to it, open source is a way of life for me…

      For development tools I’d actually say it was easier. Often on macOS I’m having to find software libraries that are ports of the officially supported tools, When I finally got a hold of one of these [System76] laptops and had to set everything up, it was like butter. Everything just worked. It was great.

    • Is Linux an Operating System?

      An operating system is a set of tools or software that you install on your computer or device and create a base system that allows you to extend its functionality by installing additional applications. In other words, an operating system is the minimum environment necessary to make your computer or device usable, then Linux is not an operating system because Linux by itself does not make your computer usable, in fact if you grab the Linux source code and compile it you will not get any practical use because the first thing you need is a boot loader (GRUB the most used is part of the GNU project), second an initialization system like systemd that take care of the initialization process (drivers, devices, file system, services) and finally the user tools: bash, ls, dir, top, find, grep (part of the GNU project) so what is Linux? Linux is a kernel, a kernel is a very important component of any operating system that interacts with the computer hardware (manages memory, processes, interrupts, devices, …), interact with the file system and with the user land, which is the correct name? GNU/Linux, see What’s in a Name? for more details.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Google Finally Begins Their Open-Source Dance Around Linux User-Space Threading

        Way back in 2013 there was a presentation at the Linux Plumbers Conference around Google’s work on user-level threads and how they were working on new kernel functionality for using regular threads in a cooperative fashion and building various features off that. Fast forward to today, that functionality has been in use internally at Google for a range of services for latency-sensitive services and greater control over user-space scheduling while now finally in 2020 they are working towards open-sourcing that work.


        While FUTEX_SWAP could be honored for the Linux 5.9 cycle, this is just the start and will likely be a few more cycles before all of this Google work is finally open-source and mainlined.

      • Operations restrictions for io_uring

        The io_uring subsystem is not much over one year old, having been merged for the 5.1 kernel in May 2019. It was initially added as a better way to perform asynchronous I/O from user space; over time it has gained numerous features and support for functionality beyond just moving bits around. What it has not yet gained is any sort of security mechanism beyond what the kernel already provides for the underlying system calls. That may be about to change, though, as the result of this patch set from Stefano Garzarella adding a set of user-configurable restrictions to io_uring.

        As one might expect from its name, io_uring is based around a ring buffer shared between the kernel and user space that allows user space to submit operations to the kernel. There is a second ring that is filled with the results of those operations. Each operation can be thought of as a way of expressing a system call; operations may read or write buffers, open files, send network messages, or request any of a number of other actions. Operations can be made contingent on the successful completion of previous operations. In short, the operation stream feeding into the kernel is a sort of language expressing a program that the kernel should execute asynchronously.

        Operations executed by io_uring result in calls to the code within the kernel that implements the corresponding system calls; an IORING_OP_READV operation, for example, ends up in the same place as a readv() system call. That code will perform the usual privilege checks, using the credentials of the process that created the ring in the first place. So, in the absence of bugs, a process can do nothing with io_uring that it would not be allowed to do with direct system calls — with the exception that seccomp() filters do not apply to io_uring. This model has worked well for io_uring so far, but it turns out that there is a use case that could use a bit more control.

        In particular, what happens if a process wants to create a ring and hand it over to another, less-trusted process? For example, I/O from within virtualized guests could perhaps be accelerated considerably if it used io_uring. This I/O, which often goes through the Virtio mechanism now, involves a certain amount of data copying and context shifting that could be avoided this way. The hypervisor could create whatever file descriptors the client would need, which would correspond to specific devices or open network connections, then let the guest handle things directly through the ring from there.

        The problem with this idea is that the guest could then perform any operation that io_uring supports. Remember that the ring retains the credentials of the creator, which would be the hypervisor in this case; giving such a ring to a client would open the door to actions like accessing other file descriptors opened by the hypervisor or opening new files with the hypervisor’s credentials. This is likely to prove extremely disappointing to anybody counting on virtualization as a security barrier.

      • Graphics Stack

        • RenderDoc 1.9 Released – The Open-Source Graphics Debugging Tool Gets Even Better

          RenderDoc as the open-source, cross-platform, cross graphics API debugger tool for profiling and analyzing issues across Vulkan / Direct3D / OpenGL / GLES continues getting even better with its advanced tool set.

          RenderDoc 1.9 was released on Wednesday and comes with support for pixel history and shader debugging along with various other enhancements and fixes. The Vulkan shader debugging with RenderDoc 1.9 covers SPIR-V shaders at vertex, fragment and compute shader stages. Meanwhile Google engineers contributed support for RenderDoc’s Vulkan support to fetch pixel history.

        • LLVMpipe Gallium3D Driver Now Exposes OpenGL 4.3

          It was just at the start of July that the LLVMpipe software driver gained OpenGL 4.0 support at long last. Days after that milestone OpenGL 4.2 support was reached for this driver that offers OpenGL acceleration atop CPUs either for fallback purposes or a vendor-neutral debug path. Now just days before the Mesa 20.2 branching, OpenGL 4.3 support has been cleared!

          With Mesa 20.2 coming out around the end of August, that now takes this Gallium3D software rasterizer from OpenGL 3.3 to OpenGL 4.3 (or possibly even GL 4.4)! Red Hat’s David Airlie who has been leading the charge on LLVMpipe added the remaining bits today for being able to expose OpenGL 4.3 with LLVMpipe. Those bits included the OpenGL robust buffer access and also enabling OpenGL ES 3.2.

    • Applications

      • Managing tasks with Org mode and iCalendar

        Org mode is an Emacs mode for note-taking and project planning, though Org’s workflow and file format have found adoption outside of Emacs, as we’ll see. Org mode makes it easy to keep notes, maintain to-do lists, plan projects, and more in Emacs. Worg, a community site for Org, describes it as a “powerful system for organizing your complex life with simple plain-text files”. This sounds rather appealing since many readers probably appreciate the power of simple text files and might agree that modern life is getting increasingly complex.

        What makes Org mode interesting is that it’s not merely a task manager, but a system to organize your life. Org mode can also be used to keep a variety of notes, such as ideas, quotes, a list of links, or code snippets. What I noticed is that I often jot down thoughts and ideas throughout the day as I perform a range of activities, such as working on a problem, reading articles, or interacting with others. Some of those notes might just be random observations that I want to preserve, while others may lead to specific tasks later. Keeping both notes and tasks in the same document seems natural from this perspective.

        Org mode offers a rich set of features, such as folding sections (i.e. hiding information under a particular heading), keeping a time record for tasks (clocking in and out), capturing notes or tasks from within Emacs or other applications (such as a web browser or PDF viewer), maintaining tables (including support for text spreadsheets), and exporting to other formats (such as HTML, LaTeX, or Open Document Format). In terms of tasks, Org mode sports features commonly found in task managers, such as states (e.g. TODO and DONE), task dependencies (expressed via sub-tasks), priorities (e.g. [#A] for the highest priority), and tags (e.g. :@home:).

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Beyond a Steel Sky gets a first major patch, some big Linux improvements

        Beyond a Steel Sky, the recent big release from Revolution Software that acts as a sequel to the classic point and click adventure Beneath a Steel Sky has a most needed patch.

        While an interesting and quite fun game to explore overall, the initial release was, uh—rough. On all sides, not just for Linux and there’s been lots of reports about big bugs (some game breaking too). Thankfully, Revolution pushed through to support it and a first major update is out now.

        On the Linux side the game should now use the correct GPU if you have a hybrid NVIDIA/Intel device and there’s OpenGL support for those that need it. Looking at their launch script, it appears to default to OpenGL for NVIDIA and Intel but Vulkan for AMD. You can switch between using “-opengl” and “-vulkan” as a Steam launch option.

      • A Hand With Many Fingers is a first-person investigative thriller out now

        Fancy becoming an investigator? A Hand With Many Fingers puts you inside a dusty CIA archive to search through historical documents to uncover a real Cold War conspiracy. Inspired by real events that actually happened which makes it quite interesting, however to ensure the overall story isn’t immediately given away the actual documentation you go through is fictional.

        “A Hand With Many Fingers is a first-person investigative thriller. While searching through a dusty CIA archive you uncover a real Cold War conspiracy. Every document you find has new leads to research. But the archive might not be as empty as you think… ”

      • Drink More Glurp brings some truly hilarious party gaming on August 6

        Now confirmed for release on August 6, Drink More Glurp is one party game I am especially looking forward to.

        Set on a world where the alien inhabitants copied Earth’s summer games and got everything just a bit wrong, players compete in various events and crazy contests. With a ton of single-player challenges and local hot-seat multiplayer for up to 20 people it’s a very promising game.

      • Designed for big-screen TV gaming, the SteamOS-like ‘GamerOS’ has a new release

        Celebrating one year of existence, the impressive Linux distribution ‘GamerOS’ has a brand new release out for this updated SteamOS-like experience.

        With the idea of giving you a decent out-of-the-box experience when gaming from a big screen, say on your big TV in your living room to game from your sofa, GamerOS can take away some hassle of the setup. Building upon the idea of SteamOS, it includes a bunch of extra enhancements to make Linux gaming on the big screen better while still using Steam and the Big Picture Mode.

        GamerOS 19 went out this week on July 22, updating a bunch of the core components. This include the Linux Kernel 5.7.7 for new hardware support, Mesa 20.1.3 drivers for improved AMD/Intel GPU support, NVIDIA 450.57 drivers, RetroArch 1.8.9 and updates to their own steam-buddy and steam-tweaks tools.

      • Slide is an upcoming split-screen racer with a colourful animal cast

        Slide is colourful, it’s family friendly and it actually looks like a sweet upcoming split-screen indie racing game that’s releasing later in 2020.

        Currently in development by Mathias Fontmarty, a French indie game dev with their studio Oneiric Worlds whose aim is to create inspiring and feel-good video games. Slide will be their first title, which is a colourful racing game with a unique twist on the characters. You each play as a particular aquatic animal across wild and colourful environments, with the ability to dive below the surface to boost.

      • Unity 2020.1 Released With Many Fixes For Vulkan & Linux

        Unity 2020.1 is out today as the latest feature release for this popular, cross-platform game engine.

        Unity 2020.1 ships with package manager improvements, continued work on the Unity Editor and other enhancements to the programmer tools to ease the game development experience, 2D animation performance improvements, graphics and scalable quality improvements, the GPU and CPU lightmapper has improved sampling, improvements to the AR platform support, and other changes.

      • Unity 2020.1 is now available

        Our first TECH stream release of the year is available as of today. Unity 2020.1 includes a wide range of features and improvements that make Unity workflows even more intuitive and make you more productive, while Unity 2019 LTS remains the recommended version for projects in production.

      • Iago Toral: V3DV Vulkan driver update: VkQuake1-3 now working

        A few weeks ago we shared an update regarding the status of the Vulkan driver for the Raspberry Pi 4. In that post I mentioned that the plan was to focus on completing the feature set for Vulkan 1.0 and then moving on to conformance and bugfixing work before attempting to run actual games and applications. A bit later my colleague Alejandro shared another update detailing some of our recent feature work.

        We have been making good progress so far and at this point we are getting close to having a complete Vulkan 1.0 implementation. I believe the main pending features for that are pipeline caches, which Alejandro is currently working on, texel buffers, multisampling support and robust buffer access, so in the last few weeks I decided to take a break from feature development and try to get some Vulkan games running with our driver and use them to guide some inital performance work.

        I decided to work with all 3 VkQuake games since they run on Linux, the source code is available (which makes things a lot easier to debug) and seemed to be using a subset of the Vulkan API we already supported. For vkQuake we needed compute shaders and input attachments that we implemented recently, and for vkQuake3 we needed a couple of optional Vulkan features which I implemented recently to get it running without having to modify the game code. So all these games are now running on the Raspberry Pi4 with the V3DV driver. At the same time, our friend Salva from Pi Labs has also been testing the PPSSPP emulator using Vulkan and reporting that some games seem to be working already, which has been great to hear.

      • V3DV Vulkan Driver Now Running vkQuake On The Raspberry Pi

        It was just at the start of July that the Raspberry Pi 4 “V3DV” Vulkan driver started running more sample code while now it reached the milestone of being able to run vkQuake — the Vulkan ports for the classic Quake games.

        Iago Toral of consulting firm Igalia who has been working on V3DV for the Raspberry Pi Foundation mentioned they are nearly complete on their Vulkan 1.0 implementation and even getting vkQuake1 through vkQuake3 up and running on the Raspberry Pi 4.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Slimbook Linux Ultrabook is Here with AMD Ryzen 4000, KDE Neon loaded

          KDE Project announced the first KDE Slimbook which is a Linux Ultrabook laptop with the latest AMD Ryzen CPUs.

        • Linux Slimbook Laptop with AMD Ryzen 4000 released

          KDE project and Slimbook released a new Linux ultrabook with AMD Ryzen 4000 CPU that comes with eight cores, 16 threads, and a Plasma desktop. Let us look into Linux Slimbook Laptop hardware specifications and other information.

        • The superfast Ryzen-powered KDE Slimbook

          I’ve had the privilege of testing and using the brand-new 15.6″ Ryzen-powered KDE Slimbook laptop for the past month. During that time, I worked with the Slimbook developers to perform QA and polish Plasma for this laptop. They’re awesome people who hosted our Plasma+Usability & Productivity Sprint last year at their offices. I’d like to share my impressions of their latest laptop.

          Full disclosure: this laptop was sent to me for free for testing and development, so I have no financial skin in the game. They haven’t asked for it back yet, but I plan to either send it back, or purchase it, if I want to keep it. My configuration retails for 930€ (roughly $1,075), which is a steal for what you get. Regardless, what follows is what I believe to be an honest, unbiased review.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME OS Is Taking Shape But Its To Serve For Testing The Desktop

          The virtual GNOME conference kicked off today, GUADEC 2020, and one of the talks was focused on running “GNOME OS” on real hardware.

          Valentin David of consulting firm Codethink talked about GNOME OS, which has loosely been talked about before. But before getting too excited, the principal focus of this Linux distribution is on testing the bleeding-edge GNOME.

          GNOME OS has traditionally been a virtual machine image for testing, but with the work done by Codethink and other GNOME developers it’s becoming possible to run GNOME OS on bare metal hardware. Additionally, thanks to the likes of Flatpak and OSTree, it’s becoming more like a working Linux distribution in terms of package availability.

    • Distributions

      • The Best Linux Distributions for Beginners in 2020

        Traditionally, Linux was a reserve for developers, system administrators, and Enterprise users for hosting websites and other applications. There was a time when Linux posed a great deal of complexity to beginners and simply discouraged them from embracing it.

        Over time, the vibrant Open source community has made enormous efforts in bringing Linux closer to the ordinary Windows and mac users by making it more user-friendly and easy to use.

        Read Also: Top Linux Distributions To Look Forward To In 2020

        This guide covers the best Linux distributions for beginners in 2020.

      • Meet Karmbian OS: Kali Linux For ARM-Based SBCs Like Raspberry Pi

        Kali Linux is undoubtedly one of the most popular operating systems for ethical hackers and pentester. But when it comes to small systems like ARM-based Single Board Computers (SBC) using low power, we need a specific and optimized Kali image to run it efficiently.

        Even though you can use other Linux distro like Armbian based on Debian and Ubuntu, Kali is not a widely usable option for ARM-based SBC units. Hence, GoVanguard, an Information Security firm, has launched a new operating system, Karmbian, that lets you run Kali Linux on numerous SBCs.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Memory Loads Comparison on Ubuntu 20.04 Family

          Released April, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS family including Kubuntu and others made available to all computer users worldwide. With one of these a person can make their computer working – fortunately different to Microsoft Windows they are Free/Libre Open Source Software operating system. To help people choose an Ubuntu edition, as I continuously do since 18.04 LTS two years ago, I present you here again my comparison chart 2020 edition accompanied with screenshots. As you can see here Ubuntu with GNOME requires the most memory while Lubuntu requires the least and Kubuntu’s is equal Xubuntu’s. I hope I help you choose the best and switch to the best one in this Focal Fossa release. Enjoy!

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Build your own open source alternative to Google Suite with Nextcloud

        A few years ago, I installed Nextcloud for a local theatre and museum that was looking for an on-premises cloud solution. As an advocate for open source, I always seek out open source options first, and Nextcloud was the most-common open source cloud solution among my peers. I’ve also used it for some personal projects, but I hadn’t looked at it in a while.

        I recently revisited Nextcloud and was amazed by all the changes I saw. The project has evolved into a complete solution that can replace big-name solutions like Google Drive and Microsoft 365. Nextcloud’s new feature set, especially Nextcloud Hub, is outstanding, offering collaborative documentation editing, file version control, integrated chat and video calling, and more.

      • Web Browsers

        • How and why I (attempt to) use Links as main browser

          Many browsers today are gigantic resource hogs, which are basically VMs for various web applications. On the other hand, Links is a HTML browser. It is not able to do everything. It allows me to avoid most distractions and control the content-experience. The goal of this exercise is not to force anyone to use this browser, but just to be watchful and conscious of their hypertext based internet usage (one might use gopher, and this phlog is available there, but probability tells me that a person reading this reads this from hypertext source and I am sure they are lovely).

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice: the next five years

          In response to these problems, members of the LibreOffice community have been working on a five-year marketing plan, the core of which can be seen in the slides linked above. The intent is to create differentiated versions of LibreOffice while avoiding open-core or proprietary business models. Part of that involves getting a better handle on the LibreOffice brand.

          The plan starts by creating the concept of the “LibreOffice Engine”, which is a term to describe the core LibreOffice code. It is meant to be a way to enable products selling under their own brand to associate themselves with LibreOffice while maintaining their own identity. “LibreOffice Engine” is described in the plan as a sort of equivalent to the highly successful “Intel Inside” branding effort. Presumably this term would be trademarked by the Document Foundation; the plan does not get into what constraints would be put on who could use the trademark (and how).

          Then, there is the Personal Edition, which would be “forever free” and only available from the Document Foundation. This release would be tagged, according to the plan, “volunteer supported, not suggested for production environments or strategic documents”. The alternative would be “LibreOffice Enterprise”, which would only be available from “ecosystem members”. This version would come with commercial support and a corresponding price tag.

          LibreOffice Online seems to be a place where a lot of tension resides, perhaps unsurprisingly, since that is where the bulk of the money is being made with LibreOffice now. Companies would like to keep parts of LibreOffice Online to themselves, but that threatens to disrupt the volunteer part of the development community. The plan involves the same split between “personal” and “enterprise” offerings, but adds a little note: “There will be an X month gap between the release of the two versions: LibreOffice Online Enterprise and LibreOffice Online Personal”.

          The hope is that this plan will give the true “ecosystem members” something attractive to sell and, to an extent, free them from the difficult challenge of competing with the free LibreOffice offering. It is, in many ways, reminiscent of the path Red Hat took years ago to differentiate its Enterprise Linux offering, complete with insinuations that the free version might not be fully trustworthy. That approach has clearly worked well for Red Hat; it would be hard to argue that it has not worked well for the wider Linux community too.

          Free software is an inherently challenging base upon which to try to build a company. Many in the free-software community are happily indifferent to the fate of companies working with the code, but without successful companies we would not have much of the code that we depend on every day. As Meeks pointed out, LibreOffice without companies would look a lot like the cobweb-strewn OpenOffice project; it is hard to see that as a win for anybody. So one can only wish LibreOffice and the Document Foundation luck as they seek a way to solve this problem while remaining true to the free-software principles that sparked the project’s launch in the first place. Ten years of LibreOffice is nowhere near enough.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Improve Internationalization Support for the Guix Data Service

            The first half of my Outreachy internship is already over and I am really excited to share my experience. Over the past weeks I’ve had the opportunity to work on the Guix Data Service, watch myself change, and accomplish way more than I thought I would.

            The Guix Data Service processes, stores and provides data about Guix over time. It provides a complementary interface to Guix itself by having a web interface and API to browse and access the data.

            The work I have done so far revolves around storing translated lint checker descriptions as well as package synopsis and descriptions in the Guix Data Service PostgreSQL database and making them available through the Guix Data Service web interface.

          • GNU Parallel 20200722 (‘Privacy Shield’) released [stable]

            GNU Parallel 20200722 (‘Privacy Shield’) [stable] has been released. It is available for download at: http://ftpmirror.gnu.org/parallel/

            No new functionality was introduced so this is a good candidate for a stable release.

      • Programming/Development

        • What’s new in Lua 5.4

          Lua version 5.4 was released at the end of June; it is the fifteenth major version of the lightweight scripting language since its creation in 1993. New in 5.4 is a generational mode for the garbage collector, which performs better for programs with lots of short-lived allocations. The language now supports “attributes” on local variables, allowing developers to mark variables as constant (const) or resources as closeable (close). There were also significant performance improvements over 5.3 along with a host of minor changes.

          Lua is a programming language optimized for embedding inside other applications, with notable users such as Redis and Adobe Lightroom. It has been used as a scripting language for many computer games, including big names such as World of Warcraft and Angry Birds; Lua was the most-used scripting language in a 2009 survey of the game industry. Part of the reason Lua is good for embedding is because it is small: in these days of multi-megabyte downloads for even the simplest applications, the entire Lua 5.4 distribution (source plus docs) is a 349KB archive. To build a Lua interpreter with the default configuration, a developer can type make and wait about five seconds for compilation — the result is a self-contained 200-300KB binary.

          Major versions of Lua are released every few years, not on any particular release cycle. The previous major version, 5.3, was released over five years ago, in January 2015, with the addition of a separate integer type (previously Lua used only floating-point numbers), bitwise operators, a basic UTF-8 library, and many minor features.

        • Microsoft drops support for PHP

          Short term, with PHP 8.0 Alpha 2 just released and less than two weeks before Alpha 3, the next release seems like the most immediate concern this news has for the project. So far, all of the PHP 8.0 releases have also included Windows builds thanks to Microsoft.

          Longer term, the project shouldn’t have much difficulty providing Windows builds of PHP 8.0 — it is something the community used to do itself before Microsoft stepped in. A potentially more significant concern, however, might be support for SQL Server. A PHP application coupled with SQL Server certainly isn’t a significant percentage of use cases, but those who do rely on it will not be happy to lose it, either. Ongoing maintenance for the extension could be a challenge if Microsoft is unwilling to lend a hand. Hopefully, Microsoft (or the PHP project) will address these concerns in the near future so that those who currently depend on these technologies can plan accordingly.

        • Cross-Platform GUI Library wxWidgets 3.1.4 Released with macOS 11 Support

          After 9 months of development, Cross-platform GUI Library wxWidgets released it latest version 3.1.4 with improvements and additional supports.

        • [Raspberry Pi] Super cool favourites picked by fabulous judges
        • Master the Raspberry Pi with this absolutely loaded $15 Humble book bundle

          Proceeds go to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which is the non-profit that actually designs the world’s favorite mini-PC and provides it at low cost. It’s hard not to love this bundle if you’re all about the Raspberry Pi.

        • Inside a Collaborative Text Editor

          Collaborative editors are defined by the size and speed of their updates. On a website you might submit a form, but in a collaborative editor you can send a single character or key press.

          Those tiny edits are shared quickly so you feel connected to your collaborators and can anticipate their actions. This experience is described as real-time editing.

          Inside your editor, however, the frequent edits form a hotbed of conflicting updates. Solving or avoiding these conflicts is the real challenge of a collaborative text editor.

        • Why you shouldn’t write your content in Uppercase, instead use CSS.

          First, a caveat, if something is meant to be uppercase, like an acronym, that is okay to write as uppercase, e.g CSS. If your text makes sense semantically in uppercase then it’s not a problem. (Note: HTML has an abbreviation element you should totally use)

          With that in mind, if your content is uppercased, only for design or styling purposes, then it should always be done with CSS. The way that you accomplish this is with the text-transform CSS property.

  • Leftovers

    • Sitting Idol in Locked-Down Kumartuli

      “I have not received any order for a Durga idol until now because of corona. But I have made a few on my own. I hope they sell,” said Tapas Pal of Krishna Studio in Kumartuli, the historic neighbourhood of potters and idol makers in north Kolkata. “You know me for more than eight years,” he added. “Have you ever seen my studio without idols in the middle of June?”

    • Tech Policy In The Time Of Trump: Mid-2020 Edition

      We’re not partisan here at Techdirt. We have our personal preferences, certainly, but technology policy tends to transcend normal political divisions. We have been just as likely to see good policy proposals from Democrats as Republicans, and bad ones just the same. What we care about here is ensuring that the founding principles of liberty articulated by the Constitution can be meaningfully applied in a modern, technology driven world. That value is not a partisan one. We don’t care who is the hero who makes sure we do not spiral into dystopia; we just want to make sure we don’t. And our job is to point out how we may already be.

    • The Palace Letters and Royal Secrecy

      On July 14, Jenny Hocking was breathless.  “Forty-five years after they were written,” the political scientist pennedwith excitement in The Conversation, “hundreds of previously secret letters between the queen and the governor-general of Australia, Sir John Kerr, relating to the dismissal of the Whitlam government in 1975 will be released by the National Archives in Australia this morning.”

    • Losing Thoreau in Boston

      Henry David Thoreau has inspired generation of Americans to live fuller, freer lives. From his story of spending a night in jail as a tax protestor in “Civil Disobedience” to his chronicle of solitary living in Walden, Thoreau reached higher ground by going against the herd.

    • An Emotional Science Project

      “Look at very small things with your eyes / & stay warm,” wrote Bernadette Mayer, addressing herself in the 1968 poem “The Way to Keep Going in Antarctica.” “Nothing outside can cure you but everything’s outside,” she continues. For the past five decades, Mayer, the author of more than 30 volumes, has marked herself as a cataloguer par excellence of everyday life, attuned to the rhythms of the world and her position as an artist in it. Steeped in the conceptualism of the 1970s, her early work eschewed the boundaries of genre and form to capture life’s grand moments and its minute details. In 1971, then age 26, she set out to synthesize such experiences in an artistic investigation of memory by recording the world as she lived it over the course of a single month.

    • Sponsorship Headaches

      Today, I checked my PO Box for the first time since sending those books. I don’t get much mail there, and I’ve avoided leaving the house because of the plague. The length of this delay is 100% my fault. Fortunately, mail service to Estonia has been restored. I can now reship this package. AGAIN. The good news is I’m entitled to a refund on postage, so I don’t have to pay postage a third time.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Mask-Shaming Won’t Work. Try These 5 Things Instead

        Make it seem like changing one’s mind is an honorable thing to do, rather than shameful.

      • In Scathing Obituary, Texas Woman Blames GOP ‘Carelessness’ for Mother’s ‘Undeserving’ Covid-19 Death

        “Your inaction and active denial of the devastation from Covid-19 has made it clear that the people dying, and the families they’re leaving behind, are just numbers to you,” Fiana Tulip wrote in an op-ed directed at Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

      • Warren Urges CDC Director to Push Mask Mandates as Covid-19 Cases and Deaths Surge Across the US

        New polling shows a bipartisan majority of registered voters support states requiring people to wear face coverings in public.

      • How NOT to Resist Trump: Kayleigh McEnany’s Anti-Science Comments

        Yes, the White House is against science. No, McEnany didn’t say it like that.

      • You’re a Doc, You’ve Got This, but Your Face Shield’s Foggy

        Cuernavaca, Morelos—They say that a person can get used to anything, except not eating. I guess that’s true. After five months of exercising extreme caution as a doctor, it all seems comfortable and easy now compared with those distant days of late February, when the pandemic had just begun to dawn on us all.

      • George Goehl Talks Deep Canvassing During the Age of Covid

        For the past several years, People’s Action has worked on innovative campaigns to engage residents in conservative, often rural, parts of the United States about progressive social change. Their canvassers and activists have worked on issues ranging from health care access to environmental pollution. In talking with residents of regions of the country such as rural North Carolina—areas too often ignored by other progressive groups—they have helped to reshape local political conversations. Now, with a method they term “deep canvassing,” they are seeking, in the run-up to the November election, to impact the national discourse on race relations and immigration. George Goehl, director of People’s Action, talked about this with The Nation earlier this month

      • When COVID-19 Science Comes Home to Roost

        We are in this moment precisely because this administration—and too many of its predecessors—have stood in the way of science. 

      • Moscow saw a surge in coronavirus cases in June, but it didn’t show up in the official statistics

        On July 20, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that neither voting in the nationwide constitutional plebiscite on July 1, nor the Victory Day parade on June 24, led to any coronavirus outbreaks. Official data from Russia’s public health authority, Rospotrebnadzor, shows that the country’s COVID-19 epidemic is winding down. But official data doesn’t always reflect reality: identifying new cases not only depends on the number of infections, but also on the number of tests conducted and the effectiveness of testing. This means the situation on the ground could be far more complicated. According to Meduza’s calculations, Moscow did see a spike in coronavirus cases during the month of June, it just didn’t show up in the official statistics.

      • COVID Deaths Quintuple for Older Latinx Workers Keeping California Going

        Amid a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations across the United States, the Latinx community has been hit especially hard in places like California, where many Latinx workers fill essential jobs as farmworkers and meatpackers. “Latino and people of color basically do the scut work that keep the state going, its economy going, but get very little of the resources,” says Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. His recent study shows Latinx Californians between the ages of 50 and 64 have died at more than five times the rate of white people of the same age.

      • Oxfam America Calls for Tax on ‘Pandemic Profiteers’ to Fund Covid-19 Recovery and the Common Good

        “Taxing excess profits during a crisis is an old idea whose time has come again.”

      • As COVID Spikes in California, Latinx Workers Who “Keep the State Going” See Up to 5x the Deaths

        Amid a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations across the United States, the Latinx community has been hit especially hard in places like California, where many Latinx workers fill essential jobs as farmworkers and meatpackers. “Latino and people of color basically do the scut work that keep the state going, its economy going, but get very little of the resources,” says Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. His recent study shows Latinx Californians between the ages of 50 and 64 have died at more than five times the rate of white people of the same age.

      • Stories Dooming Vaccine Hopes Overlook Immunity’s Complexity in Search of Easy Clicks

        “With Coronavirus Antibodies Fading Fast, Vaccine Hopes Fade, Too,” read a recent headline in the San Francisco Chronicle (7/17/20). As of July 20, it was the most popular article on the paper’s website—which isn’t surprising, given that it stokes one of many people’s greatest fears right now, which is that there will be no clear end in sight to their completely upended lives. But is it true? Or just clickbait?

      • AAPS: A crank medical “association” promotes COVID-19 disinformation

        I’ve been writing about the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) since I first discovered this far right wing/libertarian crank organization disguised as a legitimate medical society and its crank journal, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (JPANDS) in 2006. At the time, I noted that the group was pretty much a fusion of a John Birch Society-like right wing group with a medical society and that it trafficked in the most vile antivaccine misinformation (e.g., that shaken baby syndrome is a “misdiagnosis” for vaccine injury and Andrew Wakefield’s recent claim that the measles vaccine will result in a mass extinction of humans), anti-immigrant fear-mongering, climate science denial, blaming breast cancer on abortion using execrable “science,” and more. The AAPS views doctors as some sort of mythical brave mavericks outside the herd whose godlike total autonomy must never be infringed by the government or anything else and rejects even the concept of a scientific consensus about anything. (Donald Trump’s first Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, is a member of AAPS.) Earlier this year, it’s even sued to protect its “right” to promote antivaccine misinformation. So naturally, six months plus into the COVID-19 pandemic, I wondered with AAPS was up to with respect to medical and political issues surrounding coronavirus. I was not surprised to learn that it’s as cranky and pseudoscientific as ever from their email newsletter. (Yes, I’m on a fair number of crank mailing lists. I do it for blog material.)

      • COVID-19 Lays Bare South Africa’s Rampant Inequality & Fault Lines of Post-Apartheid Society

        COVID-19 infections are skyrocketing in South Africa, now fifth in the world for coronavirus cases, with an already fragile hospital system. “I really think it’s our inequality reckoning moment,” says Fatima Hassan, a human rights lawyer with the Health Justice Initiative. “All of the fault lines of South Africa’s post-apartheid democracy, and its inequality and its violence, is actually coming to the fore.”

      • McCarthy introduces legislation to sanction foreign [cr]ackers targeting COVID-19 research

        The Defend COVID Research from [Cr]ackers Act would allow the president to impose sanctions on foreign individuals engaging in [cr]acking activity that compromises economic and national security or public health and freeze any American assets of these individuals.

        The bill also requires the secretary of State, in consultation with the director of national intelligence, to submit a report to Congress within 180 days of the bill’s passage on “the extent of known cyber-enabled activities or attempted cyber-enabled activities” around COVID-19.

      • Yale psychiatrist: Trump’s psychosis has infected his followers. Here’s how to get them better

        There are many medically unjustifiable misconceptions we have about mental disease, but none is perhaps as consequential as the denial that it can be contagious. Indeed, its contagion could be more efficient than other forms of infection since it does not require physical exposure but only emotional bonds. We noted at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic that the more important pandemic to gain control over was “the mental health pandemic.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Slack says Microsoft is up to its old tricks, “browser-war” style

          Slack—the now-nearly ubiquitous, purple work-chatting platform—has filed a formal complaint alleging that tech titan Microsoft is unlawfully abusing its power to squeeze newer rivals out of the market—almost the exact same accusations Microsoft infamously faced 20 years ago.

          San Francisco-based Slack filed a complaint with the European Commission detailing “Microsoft’s illegal and anti-competitive practice of abusing its market dominance to extinguish competition in breach of European Union competition law,” the company said today.

        • Slack files competition complaint against Microsoft in Europe

          Workplace messaging service Slack announced Wednesday it has filed a complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission on Wednesday, alleging the tech giant is using its market dominance to crowd out competition.

          The complaint accuses Microsoft of illegally tying its workplace product, Teams, to its suite of productivity tools, forcing millions of installs and hiding the true costs from enterprise customers.

        • Slack files EU antitrust complaint against Microsoft, cites anti-competitive Teams bundling

          Slack has filed a complaint with the European Commission that accuses Microsoft of unfairly bundling its Teams collaboration app with its Office 365 suite. That move, Slack argues, allows Microsoft to abuse its market dominance to “extinguish competition in breach of European Union competition law.

          “Microsoft has illegally tied its Teams product into its market-dominant Office productivity suite, force installing it for millions, blocking its removal, and hiding the true cost to enterprise customers,” Slack said.

        • Microsoft’s LinkedIn to lay off 6% of its global workforce

          Microsoft Corp.-owned LinkedIn today said that it is laying off about 960 employees, or approximately 6% of its global workforce, amid reduced demand for its recruiting solutions among business customers.

          Microsoft acquired LinkedIn four years ago in a $26.2 billion deal that propelled it to a key position in the social media landscape. Since the acquisition, LinkedIn has grown from about 433 million users worldwide to 690 million as of Microsoft’s last fiscal quarter. The social network generates revenue by selling tools that enable companies to find job candidates, target potential customers and provide training resources for employees.

        • New Hack Can Trick Power Bricks into Starting Fires

          In a study published by Xuanwu Labs (which is owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent), researchers detailed the BadPower hack which works by manipulating the firmware inside fast charge power adapters.

          Normally, when a phone is connected to a power brick with support for fast charging, the phone and the power adapter communicate with each other to determine the proper amount of electricity that can be sent to the phone without damaging the device—the more juice the power adapter can send, the faster it can charge the phone.

          However, by hacking the fast charging firmware built into a power adapter, Xuanwu Labs demonstrated that bad actors could potentially manipulate the power brick into sending more electricity than a phone can handle, thereby overheating the phone, melting internal components, or as Xuanwu Labs discovered, setting the device on fire.

        • Fusion 360 on Linux | Architectural Design Blathering

          I have previously reviewed Fusion 360 and have since been gaining experience using it. I find it to be a very capable CAD application package that I rather enjoy using it too. Since most of my design experience has been using PTC Creo, I have had to relearn a lot of tools but the process has been fun (sometimes frustrating but mostly fun). To be absolutely clear, I have no architectural design experience. I am building this out of observation from hands-on experience.

          These are my musings about it after spending several hours on it, understanding how to design a more complex assembly. For this project, I set my units to inches and I worked at designing my ideal garage with the idea that I am renovating the existing structure. I have many unanswered questions about the structure I am digitally assembling this at the time of writing but I hope to do updates on it as the project progresses.

          I started out by placing the two walls I have to keep of my existing garage (over sized crappy shed). As I am “grandfathered in” to the current location so tearing it down and rebuilding would not be possible.


          I really don’t know if Fusion 360 was ever intended on being used for “architectural design” or not but I had fun doing it. I can very easily made modification and extract the necessary dimensions as needed when I go to build this. Having the mobile application is nice for just looking at it as well and as I am picking up the lumber for it, I can look at the 3D model very easily and verify whatever it is I am thinking about.

          I am still only scratching the surface of Fusion 360. The more I use it, the more I like it. I am very happy by the ease of use, and resource utilization of this application. It doesn’t tax my aging system much and the fact that the tools are intuitive makes working on projects very enjoyable.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Creating open data interfaces with ODPi

                Connecting one source of data to another isn’t always easy because of different standards, data formats, and APIs to contend with, among the many challenges. One of the groups that is trying to help with the challenge of data interoperability is the Linux Foundation’s Open Data Platform initiative (ODPi). At the 2020 Open Source Summit North America virtual event on July 2, ODPi Technical Steering Committee chairperson Mandy Chessell outlined the goals of ODPi and the projects that are part of it. She also described how ODPi is taking an open-source development approach to make data more easily accessible.

                While perhaps not as well-known as other Linux Foundation efforts, ODPi has actually been around since 2015. Chessell explained that ODPi’s initial role was to help different vendors using Apache Hadoop to interoperate, since each had its own set of data connectors. As usage and the number of Hadoop vendors has declined in recent years, ODPi defined a broader vision to be an initiative focused on creating open-source data standards to help users understand and make use of data across different platforms.


                While code is an important part of ODPi, technology alone isn’t the only way to make effective use of data. Chessell noted that as organizations try to become more data-driven, they face cultural, organizational, and technology problems. “For many organizations they operate as a sort of hierarchy that creates silos between each of the different IT systems, and to make use of data you have to sort of break down those silos and allow data and collaboration to flow laterally across the organization,” she said.

                The OpenDS4All project is one such non-code effort within ODPi. OpenDS4All is an open data-science project that is focused entirely on education, creating materials that educators and organizations can use to build a data-science curriculum. The project got started in February 2020 based on materials originally created by professors at the University of Pennsylvania.

              • Linux Foundation Newsletter: July 2020
        • Security

          • REMnux 7.0 Linux Distro for Malware Analysis Released in Celebration of 10th Anniversary

            More than five years in the works, REMnux 7.0 is now available with an up-to-date collection of free tools that help you analyze malware, perform memory forensics, investigate system interactions, examine static properties, statically analyze code, explore network interactions, and dynamically reverse-engineer code.

            In fact, Lenny Zeltser, founder and lead developer of REMnux, tells me that REMnux 7.0 has been re-architected from the ground up. The distro is now based on the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating system series and makes use of the open-source SaltStack tool for automating the installation and configuration of software.

          • REMnux 7.0 Released: Ubuntu-based Linux Distro For Malware Analysis

            After almost 5 years, Lenny Zeltser, REMnux Linux founder, has announced the release of a new version REMnux 7.0. Obviously, it comes with major updates, changes, and more classic tools.

            For those who don’t know, REMnux is a Linux toolkit developed ten years ago by Lenny, especially for reverse-engineering and analyzing malicious software. It provides a ton of free tools for examining executables, documents, scripts, and other forms of malicious code.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • DHS Is Engaging In Domestic Surveillance To Protect The Homeland Against Threats To Statues

              The DHS doesn’t mind engaging in domestic surveillance. After all, it’s the Department of Homeland Security, so its purview is the homeland and everyone in it. The problem is the American public has rights and that is always something to consider, however briefly, when doing things like flying drones over American cities or, more questionably, placing people engaged in First Amendment expression under surveillance.

            • Latest VPN Security Scandals Show (Yet Again) That VPNs Aren’t A Panacea

              Given the seemingly endless privacy scandals that now engulf the tech and telecom sectors on a near-daily basis, many consumers have flocked to virtual private networks (VPN) to protect and encrypt their data. One study found that VPN use quadrupled between 2016 and 2018 as consumers rushed to protect data in the wake of scandals, breaches, and hacks.

            • [Old] Study: Online trackers follow health site visitors

              Internet trackers are more likely to follow people who visit popular health sites, such as WebMD.com and mayoclinic.org, to other types of sites, a Cornell Tech study has found – suggesting that advertisers might be more likely to target people based on sensitive health information than previously understood.

              The study examined how the order in which users visit 15 major health, education and news sites affects the way third-party trackers follow them around the internet. Although the health sites may have fewer trackers than other types of sites, the researchers found, those trackers are more persistent in following page visitors.

            • Erdogan Eyes Social Media: The Last Refuge for Turkey’s Journalists

              Local journalists and digital rights experts say the proposals are a concern in a country that has limited space for independent journalism and where social media plays a key role in reporting on and sharing news.

              “I check the pulse of the public [on social media],” said Kızılkaya, who is vice president of the International Press Institute’s national committee in Turkey and project editor at Journo, a nonprofit news platform. “Social media is a part of history. Controlling it would mean to rewrite the history.”

              Erdogan called for further controls on social media on July 1, the day after social media users posted insulting comments when his daughter and son-in-law announced the birth of their child. Police detained individuals alleged to have been behind 11 of the 19 accounts that criticized the family.

              “These platforms do not suit this nation,” Erdogan told members of his Justice and Development (AKP) party. “We want to shut down, control [them] by bringing [a bill] to parliament as soon as possible.”

            • Next Steps for EU companies & FAQs

              We are fully aware that many controllers are overwhelmed with the recent judgment by the CJEU on EU-US data transfers and the lack of a grace period. We have summarized the most common questions and answers below. We also provide two model request texts that you can send to any US partner or any EU partner with US ties. Taking swift action may be a relevant factor should a DPA consider fines for non-compliance with the CJEU’s ruling. We will update these FAQs and publish specific FAQs and model texts for users (“data subjects”) in the coming days. Let us know if you have any feedback.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Time is Not on Our Side in Libya

        Ahmed, who lives in Tripoli, Libya, texts me that the city is quieter than before. The army of General Khalifa Haftar—who controls large parts of eastern Libya—has withdrawn from the southern part of the capital and is now holding fast in the city of Sirte and at the airbase of Jufra. Most of Libya’s population lives along the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea, which is where the cities of Tripoli, Sirte, Benghazi, and Tobruk are located.

      • Bats With Napalm Vests and Other Great American Innovations

        Nicholson Baker’s new book, Baseless: My Search for Secrets in the Ruins of the Freedom of Information Act, is staggeringly good. If I point out any minor complaints with it, while ignoring, for example, the entirety of Trump’s latest press conference, this is because flaws stand out in a masterpiece while making up the uniform entirety of a Trumpandemic Talk.

      • Top VP Contenders Diverge as Warren Votes ‘Yes’ and Harris Votes ‘No’ on Slashing Pentagon Budget to Fund Health and Education

        Sen. Kamala Harris’ no vote “makes her a dubious choice” to be Joe Biden’s running mate, said one progressive organizer.

      • Militarism and COVID-19

        After six months of enduring this tragic but preventable COVID-19 pandemic, there is still no national leadership. More than 200,000 Americans will die, and hundreds of thousands will suffer through the disease process, and then continue to have debilitating symptoms long after. Compare the response to how quickly our nation mobilized for war after less than 3000 died on 9/11; war that we continue to fight in the Middle East and Africa.

      • “Silence the Guns”: Africa’s CDC Head on Delayed Pandemic, Health Equity & Dangers of War

        The African continent has mostly escaped the worst of the pandemic, but the World Health Organization is now warning of an impending acceleration of its spread. “We have always been very clear that the pandemic in Africa was a delayed pandemic, that the continent wasn’t spared,” says Dr. John Nkengasong, director for Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

      • We Can No Longer Afford the Military-Industrial Complex

        More than 100 members of Congress recognized reality this week. Ninety-three members of the House of Representatives voted Tuesday, as did 23 senators on Wednesday, to cut the Pentagon budget by 10 percent because we can no longer afford to squander our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor on a military-industrial complex that is robbing America of its future.

        “Every dollar wasted at the Pentagon is a dollar not being spent on test kits, personal protective equipment or contact tracing,“ declared Congressional Progressive Caucus cochairs Pramila Jayapal and Mark Pocan, who with Representative Barbara Lee proposed the historic move to reorder American priorities. “Every handout to Lockheed Martin or Northrop Grumman is money that could have been spent on ending this pandemic, keeping small businesses afloat and staving off an economic meltdown.”

      • DHS’s Anti-Protest Gestapo Tactics Headed To Other Major Cities, Starting With Chicago

        The tactics seen recently in Portland, Oregon — unidentified federal officers grabbing demonstrators off the street and hauling them away in unmarked vans — are apparently going to be deployed in other cities. The federal government’s response to ongoing demonstrations provoked by a Minnesota police officer’s killing of an unarmed Black man has been escalating in recent days. In cities like Portland — where protests have been a continuous fixture since early May — a blend of CBP, ICE, US Marshals Service, and Bureau of Prisons personnel have been brought in to, supposedly, protect federal property and investigate federal crimes.

      • Trumpfen Sturmabteilung (Trump’s Stormtroopers)

        It is not hard to see the forces kidnapping individuals and teargassing Portland’s streets as the Trump administration’s private stormtroopers. Although they are operating under the aegis of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the truth is it is the Executive Branch that issued their orders. If that branch is headed by someone who believes in the rule of law, the likelihood of the current operation in Portland occurring would be considerably less. However, this is the Trump administration we are talking about. This administration has proven over and over that it does not believe the law applies to anyone in it.

      • New York, Chicago vow court action if Trump sends in federal agents

        The mayors of New York City and Chicago said on Tuesday they would take President Donald Trump to court if he sent unidentified U.S. government agents to police their cities, pushing back on a threat that has sparked widespread controversy over the use of federal force.

      • Trump’s “Shockingly Dangerous” Fed Squads Expand Their Reach

        Trump’s anti-protest squads are broadening their reach and expanding their mission. Kelly Hayes and author Shane Burley assess the threat and put these events in their fascist context.

      • How NATO-Member Turkey Reverted Back to Being an Islamic Dictatorship

        This signals the end of Turkey’s being ruled by a secular Government, which it had been, ever since 1923. It is the end of Turkey’s secular Government and the restoration of the Islamic Mehmed the Conqueror’s 1453 order that it be a mosque. That ended the Byzantine Roman Catholic Empire, and started Islamic-ruled Turkey. It ended Constantinople and started Istanbul. Mehmet, however, allowed Christianity to continue, in the Islamic Ottoman Empire, but only as an accepted part of the Greek East (“Orthodox”), not as part of the Roman West (imperialistic), Christianity (which he had just then conquered with the fall of Constantinople on that same date, 29 May 1453). And now, even the Orthodox Christians are being marginalized in Turkey, because the Hagia Sophia had been “for almost 1,000 years the most important Orthodox cathedral.”

        This is an act with huge international implications. It is an important event in human history.

        Turkey’s dictator, Recip Tayyip Erdogan, whose entire actual education was only in Islamic schools though he lies about it and claims to have received a degree from a non-Islamic university, is in the process of transforming Turkey back again into a specifically Islamic type of dictatorship, a Sharia-law-ruled state. The secularist Turkish Republic that was instituted in 1923 by the Enlightenment-inspired Kemal Attaturk has now decisively ended. [...]

      • Should the UN Declare a Responsibility to Protect Americans from the Trump Administration?

        Should the United Nations Security Council consider a resolution calling for a responsibility to protect the people of the United States from the Trump administration’s handling of COVID-19?

        Responsibility to Protect, otherwise known as R2P, is a 2005 UN resolution that declares that when a state either participates in, permits, or is unable to stop large-scale civilian deaths, it has forfeited its sovereignty and the international community has the responsibility to halt the slaughter. Has the Trump administration failed in its fundamental responsibility to protect its population, and should the international community intervene? Nothing of the kind will happen, of course—but that is because of politics, not because a case cannot be made.

      • Trump to send ‘surge’ of hundreds of federal agents to cities

        On Tuesday night, federal agents fired tear gas, pepper balls and flashbangs at demonstrators in central Portland, which has seen 54 consecutive night of protests.

        The officers quickly used crowd-control munitions in an attempt to disperse hundreds of people gathered outside a federal court.

        The agents have been accused of driving in unmarked vehicles around Oregon’s biggest city while wearing military fatigues and arbitrarily arresting a handful of demonstrators.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • In Early 2020, Pentagon Launched ‘Aggressive’ Investigation Into ‘Bad Leaks’

        The Pentagon launched an “aggressive” investigation of leaks earlier this year that relies upon an insider threat program established and expanded under President Barack Obama. Officials are also employing “continuous evaluation,” or total surveillance, of personnel, yet there is very little evidence that safeguards have been implemented to protect the rights of employees and ensure a chilling effect that already lingers does not intensify against potential whistleblowers.

      • Political reporters can’t handle the truth: Trump is never going to “pivot”

        These are all words that Trump said. But they don’t mean anything. As Dan Rather sagely observed on Twitter, Trump “does not pivot” and whatever temporary behavior we see on display, he will always, always, always revert to being “who he is, and always has been,” which is to say a rancid monster with no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

        Unfortunately, much of the media coverage gave an entirely different impression, presenting Trump’s performance at Tuesday’s press briefing as if it represented a real shift, and seeding the absolutely false hope that Trump might actually start doing something to fight the coronavirus, instead of acting like the coronavirus’s biggest champion.

      • No, a Reporter Did Not Call the White House Press Secretary a ‘Lying Bitch’

        Right-wing pundits with large Twitter followings such as Ann Coulter and Benny Johnson; a reporter for far-right site Breitbart; and hellhole content farm the Washington Examiner all circulated versions of the clip (some of which were actually video taken by cell phones pointed at a TV) accompanied by captions priming viewers to believe Halkett said “lying bitch.” And on first viewing, it does kind of sound like Halkett said “lying bitch”—again, especially if one was previously conditioned to listen for exactly that.

        Unfortunately for anyone who would derive joy or outrage from the matter, that’s not what happened. Simple adjustments to enhance the audio of the exchange backs Halkett’s version of the story: She responded to McEnany’s refusal to answer the question with “OK, you don’t want to engage.”

    • Environment

      • As Planet Edges Closer to Multiple Climate Tipping Points, Scientists Identify First Active Methane Gas Leak in Antarctica

        “It is not good news.”

      • 115+ Groups Unveil ‘Transformational’ Actions for Next President to Kick Off Climate Justice Agenda ‘From Day One’

        “We demand the next president commits to end fossil fuels, hold polluters accountable, and stand up for climate justice and human rights.”

      • ‘Excessive’ rains hit millions across Asia

        Unusually heavy monsoon rainfall is driving severe flooding over large swathes of Asia, from northeast India and Bangladesh, to China, Mongolia, and Japan.

        Floods have hit nearly 10 million people in South Asia, destroying crops and farmland, forcing evacuations, and killing at least 550 people in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

        In Bangladesh, a third of the land has been submerged, hundreds of thousands are stranded, and more than 500,000 homes have been inundated, the UN reported. More than 100 people have died in floods and landslides in Nepal, where rapid urbanisation has also exacerbated disaster risks.

      • Energy

        • Bicycles multiply as the capital expands it bike lanes network

          But since June, cyclists have had much of the key north-south city route all to themselves as the capital’s government, like many around the world, has rolled out emergency bike lanes to encourage safe, socially distant travel during Covid-19.

          Already, the number of cyclists on the 54 kilometers of new paths down major arteries has doubled, amid ambitious goals to put cycling on the map for residents of a metropolis where you could knit nine sweaters or read Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past nearly one and a half times in the hours people spend stuck in rush hour traffic every year.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • The Forest Service Has Failed to Protect Wilderness
        • Save the Saffel Wolf Pack

          There’s an old saying about the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. In the West, this could easily apply to public lands ranching and predator management. Ranchers want the predators gone to protect their bottom line but predators are a key part of ecosystem health and are critically important to the natural function of the nation’s public lands.

        • New Brazilian map unmasks its illegal foresters

          Those who illegally clear protected forests for profitable soy and beef exports are now revealed by a new Brazilian map.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Young Man Trump: Or the Portrait of a President as a Young Man

        Effective presidencies are all alike; ineffective presidencies are ineffective in their own ways. Recounting and explaining why the Trump presidency is ineffective has become a cottage industry. Two recent books, John Bolton’s The Room Where It Happened and Mary Trump’s  Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man  are the latest of a collection of expose books on Donald Trump that describe a dysfunctional presidency and why. While Bolton describes the Trump presidency, Mary Trump offers the reader a psychological portrait of a president as a young person, locating the roots of a troubled presidency in a troubled upbringing where the worst of Donald Trump’s behavior which is presently reinforced by his staff was originally imprinted upon him by his family, and especially his complicated relationship with his father

      • King Joe and the Round Table: Biden’s America in a Multipolar World

        Unfortunately, Biden’s past loyalty to military-industrial interests does not bode well for the kind of leadership we need, and which we have not seen from any U.S. president of this generation. We must demand better.

      • ‘Abuse of Power’: Trump and Barr to Deploy More Federal Agents to US Cities

        “In case you were wondering, this is precisely what fascism looks like.”

      • Kremlin-linked businessman Evgeny Prigozhin allegedly donated one million rubles to Navalny’s shuttered Anti-Corruption Foundation

        Evgeny Prigozhin, the catering magnate notorious for his close ties to the Kremlin and purported links to the Wagner PMC, allegedly donated one million rubles (nearly $19,000) to opposition leader Alexey Navalny’s recently closed non-profit organization, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK).

      • Because US Can’t Be Counted On to Uphold Basic Rights, Canadian Court Strikes Down Bilateral Asylum Agreement

        “The Federal Court confirmed what we have been saying for years: sending refugees back to the United States is not safe.”

      • Flying Blind: Delusional, Our “Favorite President” Is
      • Iran-China Deal Must be Green

        When ultra-conservative members of Iran’s parliament and the usual neo-con suspects within the United States power structure agree on an issue you can be certain geopolitical watchers will be getting the popcorn out and will want to find out what is really going on. For now nobody has the full details of the Iran-China deal though this is supposed to be a leaked Farsi version.

      • Former Presidents of Bar Association Urge “Disciplinary Proceeding” Against Barr

        A letter to the District of Columbia Bar Association is asking the organization to take the serious step of investigating Attorney General William Barr’s conduct on at least four important matters, a move that could lead to the group taking disciplinary steps against him in the future.

      • Trump’s Last Hand

        It has served the Trump administration well to play off onto the public image of blundering stupidity while they quietly and with hardly a shred of real resistance pull off the greatest coup in history. So far “The Donald” has managed to dodge mounds of documented common-place corruption and scandal, multiple questionable and devious connections, the Mueller investigation, the Ukraine impeachment, and several attempts to investigate his taxes, his businesses, and his life. The almost constant character assassinations have not put a dent in the loyalty of his base or in his bravado as he moves about in the world. If Trump and his team are bumbling idiots then they are the luckiest fools to ever take chances with something as treacherous as treason against the United States and performing a totalitarian coup.

      • How Voter-Fraud Hysteria and Partisan Bickering Ate American Election Oversight

        On March 20, state election administrators got on a conference call with the Election Assistance Commission to plead for help. The EAC is the bipartisan federal agency established for the precise purpose of maintaining election integrity through emergencies, and this was by every account an emergency. In a matter of weeks, the coronavirus had grown from an abstract concern to a global horror, and vote by mail was the only way ballots could safely be cast in the states that had not yet held their primaries. But many officials didn’t know the basics: what machines they would need and where to get them; what to tell voters; how to make sure ballots reached voters and were returned to county offices promptly and securely. “I have a primary coming up, and I have no idea what to do,” Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske said on the call.

        She and her colleagues didn’t get the help they were looking for. Of the EAC’s four commissioners, only chair Ben Hovland spoke, and his responses were too vague to satisfy his listeners. The lack of direction was “striking,” said one participant, Jennifer Morrell, an elections consultant and a contractor for The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). “It felt to me that there was no leadership. Nobody was saying, ‘Hey, let’s figure this out.’ Questions just went unanswered.”

      • Twitter says [attackers] accessed the DMs of one elected official in last week’s attack

        In total, Twitter said it believes attackers accessed the DMs of up to 36 of the 130 targeted accounts, including that elected official. Twitter has “no indication” that other elected officials had their DMs accessed as part of the attack, however.

      • House-passed defense spending bill includes provision establishing White House cyber czar

        The House version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed Tuesday included a provision establishing a national cyber director at the White House, a role that would help coordinate federal cybersecurity efforts.

        Bipartisan legislation establishing this position was originally introduced last month, and was added to the NDAA as part of a larger cybersecurity package on Monday. The national cyber director would serve as the president’s principal advisor on cybersecurity and emerging technology issues, and serve as a coordinating force for federal cyber action.

      • Debbie Dingell Is Afraid the Trump Polls Are Wrong—Again

        I don’t trust polling. I don’t believe that Biden is 16 points up in Michigan; that’s a bullshit poll, and it’s the same people who said Hillary had it in the bag. I worry about polling suppressing votes. I don’t want anybody to think their vote doesn’t matter.

        I’m seeing lots of Trump signs start to pop up. There are some very complicated issues that Trump is playing to divide this country. He is energizing his base, and we have to energize ours. If the election were held today, Joe Biden would win, but I don’t know what’s going to happen between now and November.

      • When Will the Media Stop Grading Trump on a Curve?

        All in all, it was a typical Trump performance of glib bravado hiding a lack of policy knowledge. Yet it won praise from an array of outlets, all united in the view that Trump had pivoted to a more serious and sober engagement with Covid-19.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Can An Open Encyclopedia Handle Disinformation? (2005)

        Summary: Wikipedia was founded in 2001 and the open encyclopedia that anyone could edit grew much faster than most people (including its founders) expected. In 2005, one of the first big controversies concerning disinformation on Wikipedia arose, when journalist and political figure John Seigenthaler wrote an article in USA Today calling out claims on Wikipedia that, among other things, he was involved in the assassinations of both John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy (for whom he worked for a time).

      • Why Reforms to Section 230 Could Radically Change How You Use the Internet

        Jeff Kosseff’s book details the origins and impact of Section 230, and the EFF provides Section 230 resources and news on its website.

      • America’s backwards coronavirus strategy

        America’s strategy of repeated enormous stimulus to cushion the blow of an ineffectual national strategy for containment resembles a hospital that invests mightily in palliative care while eliminating the oncology department. America has already spent 13% of GDP on fiscal stimulus, with more on the way. The most important economic policy, in the absence of a vaccine, is to contain the virus’s spread. Leaving it all up to governors no longer seems like a viable White House strategy. Nor does the campaign of attacking the public-health messenger, Anthony Fauci.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Ex-cop suspected of staging ‘Meduza’ journalist Ivan Golunov’s false arrest wants prosecutors to reopen the case

        Former Moscow police officer Igor Lyakhovets, who investigators suspect organized the false arrest of Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov last summer, is asking prosecutors to reopen the drug dealing case against him.

      • Prominent Pakistani Journalist Kidnapped, Was Critical Of Country’s Powerful Army

        After being fired by Pakistan’s Waqt TV station, allegedly under pressure from the military — a frequent target of his criticism — he continued to maintain a voice via social media, including on YouTube and Twitter, even receiving a contempt of court notice earlier this month for a tweet.

        Criticism of the army has long been seen as a red line for the media, with journalists and bloggers inside Pakistan complaining of intimidation tactics including kidnappings, beatings, and even killings if they cross that line.

      • New York Times Acquires Serial Productions

        Serial was originally developed by Snyder and Sarah Koenig while they worked at radio show This American Life. The show’s first season became a widespread hit (each episode has been downloaded 20 million times on average) and has been credited with helping introduce podcasting to many Americans. Serial Productions teamed up with This American Life to release the longform podcast S-Town in 2017. Neil Drumming joined the team from This American Life in February.

        Alongside the deal to acquire Serial Productions, the newspaper is also entering into a strategic alliance with This American Life to produce longform audio stories with Serial and to collaborate on marketing and sales. TAL will remain an independent company and continue its weekly radio broadcasts.

      • Index.hu editor-in-chief fired amid fears of takeover
    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Asylum, Now an American Horror Story

        What we are now witnessing is an assault designed to suffocate the hopes and life prospects of human beings desperately seeking safety and a better life.

      • Yakut shaman Alexander Gabyshev released from psychiatric clinic

        The medical commission at the Yakutsk Psychoneurological Dispensary has decided to discharge Alexander Gabyshev, the self-described shaman best known for making multiple attempts to travel on foot to Moscow with the intention of exorcising President Vladimir Putin. Gabyshev has been under forced hospitalization at the clinic since mid-May.

      • Another Long Day of GOP Disrespect for Women

        I didn’t love the Democratic Party’s “war on women” rhetoric against the GOP in 2012, though it seemed to work. And sometimes it was hard to know what else to call it. The new GOP House majority opened the 2011 session trying to defund Planned Parenthood. Rush Limbaugh called Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a “slut” after she lobbied for contraception without a co-pay under the Affordable Care Act. Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin insisted women couldn’t get pregnant during rape (and thus opposed a rape exception from abortion bans) because our bodies “have a way of shutting that whole thing down.” Newly elected GOP state legislatures enacted myriad abortion restrictions (including Virginia’s attempted “transvaginal ultrasound” requirement). If it wasn’t a war, it certainly looked like a deliberate effort to make the GOP the party of white men.

      • An Ankh Hoodie Tribute to Trayvon Martin
      • When John Lewis Left Us

        When John Lewis left us, editorials and columns paid tribute to his leadership, his courage, his moral example. The praise was well deserved. A broader context helps understand his true contribution.

      • Nine photos: Russia put a historian on trial twice for supposedly abusing his foster daughter sexually. Here’s how Yuri Dmitriev became a ‘political prisoner.’

        On July 22, the Petrozavodsk City Court convicted historian Yuri Dmitriev of committing violent sexual acts against his underage foster daughter and sentenced him to three and a half years in prison. Because of time already served in pretrial detention, Dmitriev should go free in November 2020. This was his second trial. In April 2018, the same court acquitted him of molesting his foster daughter and using her to create child pornography. Two months later, that verdict was overturned and investigators brought new charges against Dmitriev, this time accusing him of sexual abuse. Dmitriev maintains his innocence and says he’s been persecuted because of his efforts to uncover mass graves from the Stalinist period. Meduza reviews how the case against Karelia’s most famous historian unfolded.

      • Stirring Fears of Pre-Crime Policing, DHS Head Chad Wolf Confirms Federal Agents in Portland Making ‘Proactive’ Arrests

        “Welcome to 2020: Minority Report Edition.”

      • Tear Gas, Beatings and Projectiles in Portland

        The last couple of nights I have been heavily involved in demonstrations in Portland, Oregon. ( July 18-19, 2020.) As most of you probably know these demonstrations have been going on in front of the Federal Justice  Center for over 50 straight nights. Since Trump called in the Feds, the  turmoil and violence has escalated. We all know what Trump is doing, the Feds are baiting the demonstrators, and when they react to the  police violence, Fox News is there to convince the American people that the demonstrators are the bad guys, and the police are the good guys. This is a political recipe that is as old as lying itself. The Feds and  the News want to shape public opinion that these violent protests are being committed by mobs of anarchists and thugs. Now, if the American people really want to know about mobs and thugs, they can go back in  history and examine the U.S. Empire, when their military is sent all over the world to steal and murder for corporate profits. But, I am getting ahead of myself, as the U.S. swarming locust have come to Portland to convince people all over the nation that the Federal Government is protecting us  from violent descent. The murder of George Floyd, and so many other  Black Americans has set off a powerful Rebellion. Black Lives Matter  has awakened, and it has become the consciousness of a sleeping giant.

      • ‘This Has to Stop’: Oregon Senators Unveil Amendment to Bar Trump From Sending Secret Police Into US Cities

        “What we’re seeing in my hometown is authoritarian brutality unleashed against peaceful protesters,” said Sen. Ron Wyden.

      • ACLU Says Release of Adham Hassoun Confirms US Government Lacks Power to ‘Lock Someone Up Without Due Process’

        “The government’s claim that it could imprison Mr. Hassoun indefinitely without any court looking into the facts is both deeply authoritarian and fundamentally unconstitutional.”

      • We Must Not Exchange One Cage for Another — Let’s Abolish All Forms of Prisons

        As millions of people ponder a future without police and prisons, and as authorities try to dream up ways of derailing the momentum of popular insurrection, Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law’s new book, Prison By Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms, provides a guide to staying on the path to transformation. In the book, Schenwar (Truthout’s editor-in-chief) and Law (an investigative reporter who has been covering prison issues for Truthout and other outlets for years) balance two critical needs. First, they alert us to reformist policy tricks and rebranding that authorities will use to keep “reproducing oppression on a mass scale.” Second, they help us shape our imagining of a different society to “view abolition not like a monumental goal we have no hope of ever reaching, but something we practice every day.” In this interview, Schenwar and Law discuss how they came to write the book, why “reform” movements can often co-opt the push for abolition, and why working toward abolition is not simply a distant vision but something we must practice every day.

      • Historian Yuri Dmitriev is sentenced to 3.5 years in prison on sexual abuse charges and should go free in November because of time already served

        A court in Petrozavodsk has sentenced historian Yuri Dmitriev to three and a half years in prison for violent sexual actions against his underage foster daughter. Given the time Dmitriev has already served in pretrial detention, he should go free in November 2020. (His release date was originally reported as mid-September.) State prosecutors wanted him imprisoned for 15 years.

      • Here’s historian Yuri Dmitriev being escorted from court after his sentencing
      • The Bizarre Fall of the CEO of Coach and Kate Spade’s Parent Company

        When I asked Jide Zeitlin late last year about a 10-year-old article accusing him of using “deception to lure a woman into an unwanted romantic relationship,” his denial was absolute. “It’s not true,” Zeitlin stated. “OK? That’s on the record. It’s not true.”

        Zeitlin, then the CEO of Tapestry — parent company of luxury brands such as Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman — went so far as to urge me to dig into his background. “I’m pretty certain you’re not going to find any paper trail on me playing those kinds of games,” Zeitlin said.

      • Philadelphia DA Says Trump’s Police Will Be Arrested If They Assault Protesters

        As President Donald Trump defends his questionable use of federal agents to arrest and detain protesters in Portland, Oregon, in recent weeks, suggesting also that such actions could happen in other places across the country, one district attorney of a city Trump said might be next said he’d take direct action against any federal officers that unlawfully detained individuals.

      • Trump’s Reelection Strategy Involves Terrorizing Us With Secret Stormtroopers

        Donald Trump and his cohort of propagandists at Fox News would have us believe the major cities of the United States have been turned to ashes and rubble by mobs of racial justice and antifa activists. But after weeks of sustained protests in the aftermath of the police murder of George Floyd, the only thing actually in ashes is Trump’s credibility.

      • In “Significant Rebuke” to Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Administration, House Passes NO BAN Act
      • A New America Is Possible—Now

        The word “jubilee” comes from the Hebrew “yovel,” meaning a “trumpet blast of liberty.” It was said that, on the day of liberation, the sound of a ram’s horn would ring through the land. These days, I hear the sound of that horn while walking with my kids through the streets of New York City, while protests continue here, even amid a pandemic, as they have since soon after May 25 when a police officer put his knee to George Floyd’s neck and robbed him of his life. I hear it when I speak with homeless leaders defending their encampments amid the nightmare of Covid-19. I hear it when I meet people who are tired, angry, and yet, miraculously enough, finding their political voices for the first time. I hear it when I read escaped slave and abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass’s speech on the eve of the Emancipation Proclamation.

      • Black Business Owners Had a Harder Time Getting Federal Aid, a Study Finds

        Critics of the $660 billion program — which was intended to prop up small businesses through forgivable loans — have said that its structure was likely to perpetuate historical inequalities in the financial system, where Black Americans have struggled to obtain credit and capital.

        Since the government didn’t begin collecting data on the race and gender of aid recipients at the outset, it is nearly impossible to use data recently released by the Treasury Department to determine whether Black business owners were approved for loans as often as white business owners. During the first phase of P.P.P., when competition for aid was fiercest, 75 percent of loans went to businesses in census tracts where a majority of residents are white. By comparison, 68 percent of the population lives in majority-white areas, according to a New York Times analysis of government data that was compiled by the Urban Institute.

      • Watchdog questions why Wells Fargo reported giving only one large PPP loan to a Black-owned business

        The Trump administration’s reliance on big banks to distribute small business aid under the Paycheck Protection Program and a lack of transparency requirements have resulted in many Black-owned businesses being shut out of the program. One bank, Wells Fargo, reported distributing only one PPP loan larger than $150,000 to a Black-owned business out of the more than 12,000 it gave out.

      • Silicon Valley’s richest are getting richer just as the pandemic is getting worse

        But the particulars of their staggering success matter because at the other end of America’s income inequality divide, the extra money would not feel so irrelevant. More than 30 million Americans are now depending on unemployment benefits, some of which are set to expire at the end of the month. Low-wage workers are especially prone to layoffs. And the pandemic is pounding poorer neighborhoods in particular, where the number of Covid-19 cases is higher.

      • Why Portland Became the Test Case for Trump’s Secret Police

        But the city is hardly wracked by chaos. Outside of the few square blocks downtown that are marked by graffiti, boarded-up windows, and metal fencing, things feel normal—or rather, as normal as possible given the impact of Covid-19, which has had a far more disruptive effect than have the protests. The bulk of the “violence” cited by Wolf amounted to graffiti and other property damage. Meanwhile, his agents and other federal officers have seriously injured a number of protesters, including a Navy veteran who had his hand broken by federal officers after he tried talking to them. The mood in the crowd downtown is often jovial—at least until law enforcement arrives—with people dancing and chanting and giving out vegan stew, barbecue, and donated bike helmets. On Friday night around 10:30 pm, shortly after federal forces started spraying tear gas, filling a city block with noxious fumes, a few families were strolling by shuttered storefronts just a few blocks away, apparently unaffected by the “siege.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • U.S. Tribes Have until August 3rd to Apply to Help Bring Internet to Their Communities

        Educational Broadband Service, or EBS, is a band of spectrum (a space to transmit information over radio waves). Long ago, EBS was set aside in the United States for purposes that further the public good, primarily education. It has always been under-utilized and recently the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced intentions to drop the educational requirements and auction off the spectrum to the highest bidder.

        But before selling it off, the FCC agreed to establish a window during which rural Tribal communities can get licenses to the unassigned EBS spectrum over their territory. This allows some of the most underserved regions to obtain the spectrum required to build their own Internet networks, become Internet Service Providers, lease the spectrum to other ISPs or use it as leverage in negotiations.

        EBS is uniquely suited to remote locations, requiring fewer towers and less extensive infrastructure to reach hard-to-connect locations.

    • Monopolies

      • Weaponizing Intellectual Property: the Scientist and the Spy

        China is the latest in the long list of post-World War II villains who threaten the American way of life, or America’s deserved spot at the head of the table, or the peace and prosperity of America’s allies, or the values of the West.

      • Patents

        • Another Nokia patent case against Daimler practically stayed as patent-in-suit may be invalid

          The additional Nokia v. Daimler trial day that the Munich I Regional Court (Landgericht München I) had scheduled for this week’s Thursday has been pushed back to February 8, 2021, as I just learned from a spokesman for the court. The court’s 7th Civil Chamber (Presiding Judge: Dr. Matthias Zigann) had suggested this postponement to the parties, and Nokia ultimately consented. Daimler had moved for a stay anyway, so it just depended on Nokia. This postponement is practically a stay because the whole reason for it is just that the court would like to await the Federal Patent Court’s preliminary opinion on the (in)validity of the patent-in-suit, which is expected to come down in September.

          The patent-in-suit is EP1671505 on a “redundancy strategy selection scheme.” The original trial took place on February 6 (further to a first hearing held in 2019), but since then there have been various delays, and now that trial is going to continue one year and one day later…

          Two other Nokia v. Daimler cases have recently been stayed on a consensual basis (one in Munich, one in Mannheim). In my original blog post on those stays, I prematurely said that this case over EP’505 had been stayed. It hadn’t yet, but has by now. Nokia apparently has a huge patent quality problem. While that is good news for Daimler, the automotive industry at large (car makers and suppliers alike) is waiting for a German court to refer the antitrust questions raised by the country’s Federal Cartel Office to the Court of Justice of the EU. Technically, however, it’s understandable that a court would firstly ascertain whether an asserted patent is valid. If it’s not, then the antitrust issues aren’t reached in the first place.

          There’s still going to be an automotive patent trial in Munich on Thursday in one Sharp v. Daimler case. Sharp, unlike Nokia, has meanwhile granted an exhaustive component-level license to Huawei, resolving more than half of the case in economic terms and giving Daimler an option for uninterrupted supply. But other suppliers haven’t managed to secure a license from Sharp yet, which is why those infringement cases are going forward, at least for now.


          Also, a Nokia v. Daimler trial (case no. 21 O 3891/19 over EP1388234 and the related German patent DE60240446C5 on a “hybrid automatic repeat request (HARQ) scheme with in-sequence deliver of packets”) is still scheduled for next week.

        • Timber Pharmaceuticals Announces European Patent Office Intends to Grant Patent for BPX-01 and BPX-04

          Timber Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Timber” or the “Company”) (NYSE American: TMBR), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of treatments for orphan dermatologic diseases, today announced that it has received notice from the European Patent Office (EPO) that it intends to grant a patent for the company’s topical composition of pharmaceutical tetracycline (including minocycline) for dermatological use (European Patent Application No. 16714168.8).

          In May 2020, Timber announced the closing of a merger with BioPharmX Corporation and its intention to evaluate BioPharmX’s Phase 3 ready proprietary topical programs in the treatment of inflammatory lesions of acne vulgaris and papulopustular rosacea for a strategic partnership, co-development or other non-dilutive value creation strategy. The new EPO patent will further protect these assets.

        • Software Patents

          • Uniloc patent held unpatentable

            On July 22, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a final written decision in Unified Patents, LLC v. Uniloc 2017 LLC, holding all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 7,020,252 unpatentable. Each claim was invalidated on two different grounds, and the Board also agreed that Unified was the sole real party in interest (RPI). The ‘252 patent is owned and asserted by well-known NPE, Uniloc 2017 LLC. The ’252 patent, directed to a “communal recording system” that restricts access to recorded audio messages to subsequent users, has been asserted against Apple, Microsoft, and Hike in district court.

          • Federal Circuit Holds That PTAB Should Consider § 101 When Reviewing Proposed Amended Claims

            In today’s Uniloc v. Hulu decision, the Federal Circuit held that the PTAB is permitted to consider all issues of patentability, including § 101 (and presumably including § 112), when a patent owner proposes new claims in an inter partes review (IPR). While a petitioner can only file an IPR petition based on § 102 and § 103 and relying on patents and printed publications, the PTAB can consider § 101 and § 112 when reviewing any amended claims proposed by the patent owner.

            This should come as no surprise. As the brief for the Patent Office noted, “if a patent owner seeking amendments in an IPR were not bound by § 101 and § 112, then in virtually any case, it could overcome prior art and obtain new claims simply by going outside the boundaries of patent eligibility and the invention described in the specification.” As the majority opinion notes, there is no context in which the USPTO “is required or authorized to newly issue a patent claim without ever having determined that the particular claim meets the statutory requirements for patentability”—one of which, of course, is § 101. And while the petitioner is limited in its challenge in the petition, there is no such limitation in the statutory text as to what the Board may consider. Instead, the Board is simply instructed to determine “the patentability of any patent claim challenged by the petitioner and any new claim added under section 316(d).”

            It’s also in clear accord with Congressional intent. The purpose of IPR is to enable review of claims that shouldn’t have been issued. Barring the PTAB from considering § 101 and § 112 would instead convert it into a mechanism for obtaining claims that not only should not have been issued, but in fact could not have been issued by the USPTO in the original application. It is a stretch to think that Congress would want the PTAB to permit invalid claims to issue, much less to think that it intended to enable claims that are facially invalid to issue.

          • Federal Circuit Rules Public Key Cryptography Algorithm Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

            The Court began its analysis “by first determining whether the claims at issue are directed to a patent-ineligible concept, such as law of nature, natural phenomena, or abstract idea.” This did not take long, as it noted that, “[t]he focus of the claims, as is plain from their terms, is on encoding a message into ciphertext using mathematical techniques and decoding the message from the ciphertext using complementary mathematical techniques — that is all abstract.”

            MIT countered, arguing that the claimed invention was “revolutionary in nature.” It asserted that, prior to the ’829 patent, encryption was largely based on symmetric keys. Such systems involved using a key to encrypt a message to ciphertext, and the same key again to decrypt the ciphertext back into the message. The disadvantage of such a system is that the symmetric key had to first be shared or distributed across an insecure medium in order to be effective. The claimed invention, according to MIT, overcame this technical barrier by generating two mathematically inverse keys — a public key (e), and a private key (based on d, p, and q). The security of the system relied on the intractability of factoring large prime numbers (p and q). Further, MIT contended that the claimed cryptosystem would facilitate “many future innovations, such as electronic commerce, virtual private networks, security of stored data, and military communications.”

            The Court was not convinced, stating that “even if the techniques claimed are groundbreaking, innovative, or brilliant, that is not enough for eligibility — a claim for a new abstract idea is still an abstract idea.” Notably, the Court found that “the subject matter is nothing but a series of mathematical calculations based on selected information.” Moreover, the Court was skeptical about the potential of the claimed cryptosystem, relying on statements made by the challengers’ expert indicating that “it would be dozens of years before computers were powerful enough to carry out the claimed exponentiations a reasonable time frame.”

            Finding the claim directed to an abstract idea, the Court moved on to determining whether the remaining elements of the claim constitute an inventive concept. Such a concept needs to be “sufficient to transform the claimed abstract idea into a patent eligible application.” Here, the Court found that all additional elements, such as the encoding means, decoding means, and communications channel, “merely invoke well-understood, routine, conventional components and activity to apply the abstract idea identified previously.” Indeed, the Court noted that the encoding means and decoding means were “functionality claimed at a high level of generality, thus failing to limit the claim to a particular embodiment of this abstract idea.” Particularly, “nothing in the claims, understood in light of the specification, requires anything other than an off-the-shelf, conventional computer, or components thereof.”

      • Trademarks

        • Stone Brewing, One-Time Battlers Of ‘Big Beer’, Out Here Trying To Cancel Non-Confusing Trademarks

          In the past few years, as the craft brewing industry exploded, it became something of a regular thing for us to write about one craft beer trademark dispute or another. The idea is that as the industry has grown, it’s become corporatized. The once congenial atmosphere of the industry, one which saw breweries heavily borrow from one another, or skirt the line of potential confusion, devolved into suited lawyers arguing about beer brands. And if that doesn’t make you sad, you simply have no soul.

      • Copyrights

        • If Twitter Shuts Down Trump’s Account For Repeat Infringement Then Will Trump Fans Finally Realize That Copyright Is The Problem?

          Over the last few months we’ve seen President Trump and his supporters repeatedly attack social media in general — and Twitter specifically — for apparently “arbitrary” moderation decisions. Yet, as we’ve pointed out repeatedly, it seems that the only times that Twitter has actually taken down content from Trump’s Twitter account, it’s been because they were effectively required to in response to DMCA takedown requests. It happened in early June, and then it happened to a Trump supporter, and last week it once again happened to Trump himself, when the band Linkin Park issued a takedown after Trump used their song in a video he posted to Twitter:

        • PRS for Music off to a Flying start in copyright infringement claim against Qatar Airways

          In a High Court decision – under Covid protocol of course – published 17/07/2020 – Mr Justice Birss dismissed an appeal by Qatar Airways, finding that a copyright infringement case brought by the Performing Right Society (PRS) should be heard by the English courts.


          The defendant, Qatar Airways (QA), is the national passenger airline for Qatar, with 206 commercial passenger aircrafts which fly to 160 destinations in 80 countries. QA offers an inflight entertainment system known as “Oryx One”. Not everyone agreed on the details of how Oryx One operates! PRS say that passengers can access audio and audio-visual content via individual onboard screens and headphones, or via an app called Oryx One Play, downloadable on a laptop, mobile or tablet. The app, PRS claim, allows passengers to create playlists of content prior to boarding that can be accessed by the passenger before, during and after a flight. QA say that the app is only available on aircrafts that do not have the Oryx One, onboard screen system and that it cannot be used on laptops. They say that Oryx One does not stream audio/audio-visual content except for some trailers and scheduled content which can only be transferred from the application to the onboard entertainment screen if the aircraft is fitted with near field communication. They also say that the system is only providing during flight, not before or after.


          PRS asserts that at least 5,800 of their repertoire works are made available through the QA System. QA accepts that, under UK law, PRS is likely to be the owner of the UK performing right that is embodied in at least some of the audio/audio-visual works that passengers of QA are able to listen to or view on QA’s aircrafts, but maintain that the app does not have access to any relevant audio works.

          PRS wants to license QA in respect of its repertoire works on a worldwide or territory-by-territory basis. Moreover, PRS believe that they can obtain an extension to their reciprocal agreements with other collecting societies which would enable PRS to license works beyond their own repertoire.
          Airlines are generally granted licences by copyright collecting societies domiciled in the same country as the airline. Collecting societies also tend to have reciprocal agreements that allow them to grant licences in respect of rights assigned to foreign collecting societies. That said, as of May 2020, PRS does not directly license any airline domiciled outside the UK.


          In sum, Birss noted that a large number of states laws are relevant to this dispute, whilst it may not be necessary to examine every single one of those laws distinctly, whichever court handles the case will be required to examine laws other than its own.

          A major part of QA’s argument at stage 1 was that a factor strongly favouring Qatar as the natural forum was that Qatari law will apply to the vast majority of the acts complained of and many more than those to which UK law will apply. It was accepted that in terms of the amount of time, or the number of plays of a work, Qatari law will apply to many more of those instances than UK law.

          However, the case is not a Qatari copyright dispute in which the events in and law of the UK and other countries are a kind of ancillary aspect. Every non-domestic flight engages the copyright laws of at least two states.

        • How Hollywood accidentally built Netflix

          A contractual loophole let Netflix get Disney’s and Sony’s stuff without cutting deals with Disney and Sony. But soon enough, media companies were scrambling to sell their stuff directly to Netflix: They saw Netflix as an easy source of nearly free money — if Reed Hastings and company wanted to pay them for old shows and movies they were already selling other places, then they’d be happy to do it.

        • ‘Copyright Troll’ Lawyer Wants to Restart Pirate Honeypot From Prison

          Paul Hansmeier, one of the convicted attorneys behind the controversial Prenda Law firm, has plans to sue alleged pirates from prison. Hansmeier is sitting out a 14-year sentence but has informed the court that he now has the rights to a short adult film. In a separate case, he unveils his plans to, once again, make copyrighted works available on known pirate sites.

        • Warning for Twitter Users in Japan Following Supreme Court Copyright Ruling

          Twitter users in Japan are facing uncertainty after the Supreme Court ruled that people who retweet copyright-infringing images can have their details passed to copyright holders. The case centered around the posting of an image that was posted to Twitter without permission and was then retweeted in an automatically cropped format.

        • Copyright Troll Richard Liebowitz Says It’s Really Unfair That He Should Have To Tell Clients And Courts How Frequently He’s Been Caught Lying In Court

          Last month we wrote about the ultimate benchslap against noted copyright troll Richard Liebowitz. Judge Jesse Furman in the Southern District of NY published a 61 page opinion that goes into massive detail on Liebowitz’s longstanding pattern and practice of lying to courts over and over and over again. Beyond going into the cringe-worthy details of many lies told in this specific case — Arthur Usherson v. Bandshell Artist Management — it includes an appendix with 40 examples of Liebowitz lying, misrepresenting, and/or being sanctioned in other cases. It’s pretty stunning. The order dumped over $100k in sanctions on Liebowitz, but much more damning, it referred Liebowitz to the Court’s Grievance Committee, required Liebowitz to give a copy of the order to all of his clients, and said that it needed to be filed along with any new lawsuits he filed — which is notable, since Liebowitz seems to file new lawsuits every other day or so.

Judging by What the EPO Did to European Media, in Effect Dooming It, Workers of the EPO Are Right to Call Their Managers “Mafia”

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 12:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Family business for family gain

Summary: The EPO’s misinformation and threats (directed at journalists and publishers) may have accomplished what the management wanted; it’s a culture of fear, resulting in self-censorship and lack of oversight by the media

THE European Patent Office (EPO) is as messy as ever. The only thing that changed is, SUEPO became too terrified to speak in public as much as it did in 2015, causing many staff representatives to be attacked by Benoît Battistelli. And back in 2018 they were told to wait for the ‘peacemaker’ António Campinos, who turned out to be more of the same, including advocate of illegal software patents in Europe. Another thing that changed — and it may be related to the gagging of SUEPO — is the demise of the media in general and its coverage of EPO scandals in particular. Secrecy now prevails and blackmailed/bribed media is complicit in maintaining that secrecy (failing to inform the public about corruption in Europe’s second-largest institution). When I speak to mainstream and investigative journalists, as I occasionally do, they always have some excuses ready. They nowadays use “COVID” as an excuse to not scrutinise the EPO (usually they just keep silent about the whole thing because speaking out can put their job at risk). Their publishers prepare puff pieces instead (see everything WIPR, IAM and MIP publish these days) and we already know that some of these publishers were bribed by the EPO; others were blackmailed (we published hard evidence of this). If EPO workers call their managers “Mafia”, then who are we to disagree? In Mexico the drug cartels, which can be connected at all sorts of levels to politics/army/police, are notorious for murdering lots of journalists. In Europe the murder is a bit more subtle and slightly more organised. No need for anyone to literally die for a story to be killed (spiked). The Mafia says, “write nice things, pay your protection money, otherwise bad things will happen…”

Speaking based on my experiences communicating with people who study (or studied) EPO corruption, the EPO’s workers shouldn’t be hesitant to call their managers “Mafia”. It’s a “family business”; it’s all about cover-up and silence. It’s about blind loyalty. It’s a cult, it’s a patent religion, complete with its own ‘Élodie Kushner’.

EQE to Become Another Example of EPO Outsourcing (Updated)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

COVID-19 certainly helps take the EPO elsewhere, e.g. Skype (Microsoft) and Sword Group, and it moreover helps lay off EPO staff (downsizing long planned by the management)

Europe Map

Summary: The European Patent Office is outsourcing more and more of its functions to private for-profit corporations; António Campinos seems to think that the objective of the Office is nothing but rubber-stamping monopolies (as many as possible)

THE EPO was routinely outsourced to external parties under Benoît Battistelli. We gave many examples of it. It often seemed like the EPO’s decision-making processes too had been outsourced, notably to litigation giants that want injunctions (embargoes), software patents in Europe and other toxic things. Remember that just before Campinos left EUIPO, an EU agency one might add, he had outsourced much of its IT work to India (quite likely in violation of EU rules, which then caused a major controversy/uproar EUIPO sought to suppress by overt censorship of critics). At the EPO he sent a lot of work to Serco [1, 2, 3]. For those who don’t know why Serco is so controversial (and the EPO sought to hide this), look it up. Lots of information about their scandals all over the Web. Security? Let the Nazi firm handle that. Better to hire highly controversial bullies than to hire in-house to ‘go Kapo’ on EPO staff.

“Remember that just before Campinos left EUIPO, an EU agency one might add, he had outsourced much of its IT work to India (quite likely in violation of EU rules, which then caused a major controversy/unroar EUIPO sought to suppress by overt censorship of critics).”This afternoon IP Kat published this “BREAKING” post about EQE; for those who don’t know, the PEB and EQE posts attracted more comments than all other posts combined in recent months (hundreds of them), mostly because PEB is a scam and the cancellation of exams caused an uproar. As for the EQE, when they discussed it I posted a comment to mention EQE misconduct (details in this series/index) and of course IP Kat deleted it; instead of covering EPO corruption, nowadays IP Kat covers it up. This wasn’t the first time they did this. Today the IP Kat blogger reveals that EPO President Campinos talks about EQE but he does not address his own corruption of it (see the said scandal); instead he wants to outsource EQE to an external private company and dub it “e-EQE” or whatever. Based on their Web site, it’s some Dutch company (based in Amsterdam) with proprietary software and a number of partners we barely know anything about. “Mike Williams is relatively new to the PEB governance board,” IP Kat wrote, “having joined in April of this year. Mr Williams first went through the arrangements that are being made for the remote exams. The exams will take place using automatic proctoring software provided by the external provider, Proctor Exam.”

The key part is this:

IPKat has just received the breaking news that the EPO plans to move the EQE online next year (many thanks to Katfriend Gwilym Roberts for sending us the news!). The information comes from the EPO president himself in the final episode of the popular “Two IPs In A Pod” podcast, in which the EPO President Campinos and CIPA’s own President Richard Mair are in conversation.

President Campinos confirms:

“We plan to move to an e-EQE next year. You hope for the best but you plan for the worst and in March next year we will probably be in the same situation as we are in presently. So I think there is no alternative but to move to an e-EQE and we are working very hard with epi to make it happen.”

IP Kat never wrote about the illegality of the EPO outsourcing proceedings to Microsoft. Nor did it mention any of the other scandals. In this particular case they blindly celebrate something whose legality is questionable for a number of reasons. Notice, based on the above, how CIPA (part of Team UPC) gets to shape the EPO’s policy. This is perverse. Heck, why not let Big Banks directly control the Federal Reserve as well? Who’s really running the EPO? Member states or the litigation sector?

Update: Well, this is now confirmed and as a comment put it:

as it is published on the EPO website

EQE 2021 –Important information from the Supervisory Board

The European qualifying examination (EQE) 2021 is planned tobe conducted online.

A working group composed of EPO and epi representatives has been set up to work out the arrangements fornext year’s EQE. Their aim is to ensure that the examination can be conducted in an orderly manner in a safe environment and to guarantee fair conditions for all candidates. The Supervisory Board is in close contact with the working group and oversees all itstasks.

Further details will be announced at a later date, including an optionfor candidates to test the system in good time before the examination.

The EQE syllabus and the structure of the various examination papers will be as outlined in the REE and IPREEand in line with previous years’ examination papers (Compendium).

For the time being, individual questions on the online examination will not be responded to directly. However, they will be collected and used as a basis for FAQs to be published at a later stage.

which can be found under


but also in German and French, since we still have three official languages


[Meme] This Did Not Age Well, Did It?

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 7:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bristows on robes

Cops: Why are you dressed like a policeman? So that people will do what I tell them, like EPO in 'UPC' clothing

Willy Minnoye speaks

Benalla selfie
Source: En pleine présidentielle, Benalla dégaine son arme pour un selfie

Summary: The illusion of the EPO caring about courts and about law is just an illusion

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