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Free Software Sentry – watching and reporting maneuvers of those threatened by software freedom
Updated: 16 min 36 sec ago

The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

1 hour 18 min ago

Maintaining convenient illusions using sheer lies and distortion of facts

Summary: The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)

ON “ILOAT decisions,” as per what the EPO‘s ‘Employment Law’ wrote a week ago (Target group: DG4, DG5, President-DG0, DG1, DG2, BoA), there aren’t many facts or much information. Lazy(ier) EPO staff might actually believe these ‘Employment Law’ people, in spite of the Office’s history defying labour law and then falling back on “immunity” (after losing high-profile cases). We don’t honestly think that ordinary staff is gullible enough to swallow this spin from ‘Employment Law’. It’s just an echo chamber (“DG4, DG5, President-DG0, DG1, DG2…”), telling one another what they want to hear and might actually believe. The statements can later be (re)used for lobbying purposes.

“Lazy(ier) EPO staff might actually believe these ‘Employment Law’ people, in spite of the Office’s history defying labour law and then falling back on “immunity” (after losing high-profile cases).”We wrote many articles on the subject and thought a rebuttal would be in order. “That’s how the ILOAT decisions were presented to the EPO staff,” a source told us, giving us the complete text for independent assessment.

Shall we start? In quotes, in the remainder of this article, are the EPO’s own words.

“ILO is not at all effective at dealing with EPO complaints. The ILO has repeatedly complained that it’s unable to cope with the load. It always blames the EPO.”“Report on the 123rd session of the ILOAT At its 123rd session, the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization (the Tribunal) delivered 97 judgments involving 21 Organisations. In total the Tribunal dismissed the complaints in 60 judgments and granted them, partly or in full, in 37 judgments.”

Notice the artistic pretense here (intended to disguise gross imbalance): 21 organisations. Among nearly 100, of which EPO is just one. About half of all the complainants are coming from the EPO. Mind this crucial omission. Does that not merit a mention? The above offers no breakdown of which organisations actually had judgments delivered. It is widely recognised as a fact that the ILO typically returns the complaints to complainants or to the Office (in other words, doing nothing at all, sometimes citing inadmissibility). ILO is not at all effective at dealing with EPO complaints. The ILO has repeatedly complained that it’s unable to cope with the load. It always blames the EPO.

“The EPO just implemented a workaround to more or less dodge compliance.”“The judgments have been exceptionally delivered in two steps with 4 judgments on 30 November 2016,” the EPO said. We’ll get to that, as we have repeatedly covered these judgments last year.

“The EPO took specific measures to address the orders contained in the two judgments delivered in November 2016.”

The EPO just implemented a workaround to more or less dodge compliance. We wrote about that. It’s a total disgrace.

The EPO says: “These judgments concerned the composition of the Appeals Committee (No. 3785) and the competent authority to hear a request for review (No. 3796).”

This has not been addressed.

“Nice selective quoting right there.”Now watch Team Battistelli leaping to exploit “immunity!” by stating: “The judgment delivered by the Dutch Supreme Court on 20 January 2017 whereby the Court upheld the legal protection available to staff of the EPO through the internal…”

What on Earth does it have to do with that? The judges there clearly did not understand, as per the ILO’s own statements, that ILO was incapable of dealing with the EPO’s ‘scatterback’ of complaints.

“As for the EPO,” says the EPO, “33 judgments were delivered in total, with 2 judgments on 30 November 2016 and 31 on 8 February 2017. In his introductory statement of the public delivery on 8 February 2017, the President of the Tribunal noted with satisfaction that: safeguarding the role of the Tribunal in the legal protection of staff of international organisations.”

“Notice terms like “high success rate”. It’s utterly offensive to the victims of Team Battistelli.”Nice selective quoting right there.

“Out of the 33 judgments involving EPO, the following figures are worth highlighting. 25 judgments confirmed in full the position of the Office. This is a high success rate in absolute (i.e. when compared to the EPO’s own figures) as well as relative terms (i.e. when the EPO is compared to other international organisations).”

Notice terms like “high success rate”. It’s utterly offensive to the victims of Team Battistelli.

“3 judgments in which the substance of the challenged decisions was not at stake but where, due to the length of the procedures, moral damages have been awarded to the complainants (Nos. 3782 and 3795 for the duration of the internal appeals procedure and No. 3792 for a medical issue).”

How much was that damage (compensation)? They don’t want to say. It’s so meager that it’s typically offensive; it doesn’t even cover the lawyers’ bills.

“…Team Battistelli will brush these under the carpet.”“2 cases were lost on the substance (No. 3781 regarding school fees – Article 120a ServRegs – and No. 3788 regarding the computation of reckonable experience).”

Yes, just 2.

“3 judgments referring cases back to the EPO for resuming the internal procedures, without any comment on the substance of the challenged decisions. The decisions concerned relate to the right to strike and the New Career system (Nos. 3786 and 3796).”

In other words, Team Battistelli will brush these under the carpet.

“On the substance the following needs to be highlighted. In judgments Nos. 3786 and 3796 the Tribunal confirmed its case law (No. 3700, consideration 7) concerning the competent authority to hear a request for review or an appeal. Hence the Tribunal interpreted the applicable provisions (Articles 107(2), 109(2), 109(4) and (110(1) ServRegs) as follows.

“For employees appointed by the President, all requests for review must be lodged with, and decided by, the President; For employees appointed by the Council: requests for review against individual decisions concerning them and taken by the Council must be lodged with, and decided by, the Council, whereas requests for review against individual decisions concerning them and taken by the President must be lodged with, and decided by, the President.

“Furthermore, the Tribunal conveyed the following messages to the stakeholders. Defendant organisations need to handle staff requests and internal appeals diligently (judgments Nos. 3782, 3795 and 3792). Thus the Tribunal confirms its case law that dealings between an organisation and its staff should comply with the duty of care and due diligence.

“The overall message from the EPO: don’t complain about the EPO.”“Complainants should pay attention to the following messages. Care needs to be taken to identify the right decision to be challenged and to exhaust all internal means of redress before filing a complaint (judgments Nos. 3779, 3780, 3791, 3811).

“If a given situation has already been settled through previous judgments further cases raising the same topic will therefore be rejected on the same grounds (judgments Nos. 3786, 3789, 3806, 3810).”

More creative nitpicking:

“Several cases were found to be clearly devoid of merits as they raised “entirely unsubstantiated allegations [of harassment] and amount[ed] to mere assertions” (judgment No. 3806, consideration 6) and a further complaint was considered as being “no more than a collateral attack on judgment 3426″ (judgment No. 3807, consideration 4) or “speculative assertions” (judgment No. 3808, consideration 5).

“Contact Claude Rouiller (ILOAT) at claude.rouiller@hispeed.ch to tell what the EPO thinks of his Tribunal.”“To conclude, the Tribunal stressed again the respective responsibilities of the stakeholders for the functioning of the legal protection of staff through a system of internal and external means of redress. It is of paramount importance for all stakeholders to preserve it by using it in line with the above.”

The overall message from the EPO: don’t complain about the EPO. The ILO is too weak and understaffed to handle these complaints and we’ll waste EPO budget on lawyers who will exhaust them to the point of inaction.

Of course, anyone who read the above message might have been led to the belief that all is “greener pastures” at EPO and Battistelli is just a victim of meritless complaint. Contact Claude Rouiller (ILOAT) at claude.rouiller@hispeed.ch to tell what the EPO thinks of his Tribunal. It’s disgraceful. He ought to know about this.

EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

1 hour 45 min ago

IP Watch too has noticed the EPO’s shameless lobbying for software patents at CeBIT


This EPO presentation from just months ago spoke of software patents (“CII”). Photo credit: EPO Patent Information Conference 2016 (Grant Philpott)

Summary: The EPO’s promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly

WE HAVE just read with great interest this report from IP Watch, which published some critical articles about the EPO lately, in spite of the risks associated with the EPO’s bullying of journalists and bloggers. Last year we took note of the EPO’s promotion of software patents in Europe, specifically (although not limited to) CEBIT in Hannover [1, 2].

An “EPO Official Aggressively Promotes Software Patents At CeBIT Fair,” IP Watch wrote in a report this afternoon, helping/seerving to remind us that the EPO is a rogue institution which ignores all the rules in the name of increasing grants and destroying patent quality (not to mention validity rates). To quote IP Watch:

At the world‘s biggest computer fair, the CEBIT in Hannover, Germany today, an official of the European Patent Office promoted patents for computer-implemented inventions (CII), also called software patents by critics. CII continues to grow considerably, according to EPO.

While mathematical methods, programs for computers, and presentations of information are excluded by the Europe Patent Convention, that in no way stops CII, said EPO’s Georg Weber. There is a fix in the European Patent Convention which allows the software patenting nevertheless, he said.

Article 52.3 states that patentability for computer programs (and some other subjects) are excluded “only to the extent to which a European patent application or European patent relates to such subject matter or activities as such,” Weber said.

The EPO therefore would grant CII patents after a two-hurdle test. To pass hurdle one, an application just has to have a “technical character.” When someone has an algorithm, but no one knows what the algorithm is doing, it cannot be patented, Weber explained to the CEBIT audience.

“If it is used for encryption, though, it is already technical and the first hurdle is passed,” he said.

With statements like these, we doubt Georg Weber will impress anyone but Team Battistelli. Software patents are extremely unpopular inside and outside the profession of programmers. What’s behind all this and whose idea was it to promote software patents in European expos? Can they not see how damaging this is to the reputation of the EPO? Judging by some of the latest comments posted regarding news articles, people have come to accept that the EPO flagrantly and intentionally disregards the EPC. That makes the EPO somewhat of an invalid office — one that defies the very treaty that gave it an existence (and monopoly in Europe).

“That makes the EPO somewhat of an invalid office — one that defies the very treaty that gave it an existence (and monopoly in Europe).”Some people out there, e.g. IAM, didn’t get the memo that the EPO just flagrantly violates the EPC. Earlier today IAM published this thing from Turkey (let’s not start an argument about its membership in the EU, as opposed to the EPO), titled “Direct applicability of European Patent Convention while invalidation actions pending”

“Article 138/3 of the European Patent Convention,” says the author (patent microcosm), “is inconsistent with Turkish national patent law, so the IP courts and the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office previously refused to apply Article 138/3 in national invalidity proceedings. However, recently the Istanbul IP Court applied Article 138/3 and accepted claim limitation in national proceedings.”

“Maybe IAM should put at risk all these perks from the EPO and belatedly produce a report about the EPO.”As we all know (thanks to know-it-all tyrants with giant egos), the Rule of Law in Turkey currently suffers a similar crisis to that inside the EPO, which neither obeys the EPC nor ILO (among many other things). To think that the EPO under Battistelli still has anything to do with the EPC is like believing that the Central Intelligence Agency spreads “freedom and democracy” or “Microsoft loves Linux”.

IAM, a loud promoter of software patents (and even trolls that use these), is still close to the EPO. It helps bolster the illusion of patent quality under Battistelli while Battistelli's PR firm pays IAM. Maybe IAM should put at risk all these perks from the EPO and belatedly produce a report about the EPO. Right now these people willfully opt to be silent about it, and occasionally promote the UPC. Unlike IP Watch

Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

2 hours 19 min ago

Finding balance between restrictions and collectively-beneficial liberalism

“The copyright laws attempt to strike a balance between protecting original works and stifling further creativity.” Bridgeport Music, Inc. v Dimension Films, opinion of the court (2004)

Summary: As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what’s to come regarding patents

AS EXPECTED, the Justices at SCOTUS bring forth some new output for law firms to comb through before analyses/interpretations get published by the hundreds/thousands. First there was today’s decision on uniform copyrights (just covered in our latest daily links, under the copyright section, with three reports we’ve found within hours).

“To summarise, in the area of copyright the Justices sidle with the maximalisms, whereas in the area of patents it’s not quite as depressing.”Professor Crouch took note of the Lexmark case, which is still ongoing (orally). To quote a portion: “Truthfully, most of the oral arguments involve Justice Breyer explaining to other members of the court that Lexmark’s approach violate’s Lord Coke’s 300 year old maxims – “that’s been the kind of basic legal principle for an awfully long time.” Lexmark’s primary answer: “the common law changed a lot after Lord Coke.” In the two most recent IP Decisions by the Court – Star Athletica and SCA Hygiene – the majority ruled in favor of the IP rights-holder over Justice Breyer dissents in both cases.”

We’ve already covered this case before. MIP, in the mean time, takes note of the laches defence, writing this afternoon that “The Supreme Court rejected wholesale the Federal Circuit’s stance that laches be an available defence in patent law, in its SCA Hygiene v First Quality ruling” (we wrote about this last night).

“We certainly hope that in the coming days, weeks and months the Justices will recognise that for patent law to be respected and be seen as legitimate it needs to adhere to public interests and be limited to what is reasonable.”To summarise, in the area of copyright the Justices sidle with the copyright maximalisms, whereas in the area of patents it’s not quite as depressing. The likes of IAM and Watchtroll will no doubt write about that soon; IAM has just published this rant from a law firm, asserting that “Patent Trial and Appeal Board, state anti-troll laws and anti-patent Supreme Court and Federal Circuit decisions have eroded patent protection.”

No, these have improved patent quality — something we should all celebrate unless we make money by peddling patent feuds. We certainly hope that in the coming days, weeks and months the Justices will recognise that for patent law to be respected and be seen as legitimate it needs to adhere to public interests and be limited to what is reasonable. This means, among other things, that the ruling on TC Heartland (last update a couple of days ago) should be made against patent trolls infesting the Eastern District of Texas.

Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

2 hours 55 min ago

Contents GNU/Linux Free Software/Open Source
  • JS package catalog npm frees its team software for open source devs

    npm Inc, the company behind the Node.js package manager and command-line utility known by the same three letters, on Wednesday plans to make its developer collaboration tool known as Orgs free for open source projects.

    Those using npm to manage private packages still have to pay. “This lets us decouple the paid features from the team management features,” said npm cofounder Isaac Schlueter in a phone interview with The Register.

    Orgs, or Organizations, depending upon where one looks on the inconsistent npm website, costs $7 per month per user. There’s also a sensible requirement for at least two users. Otherwise it’s not much of an organization.

  • A new (slow) open source JPEG algorithm makes images 35% smaller and looks better than older compression systems

    Guetzli is Google’s new free/open JPEG compression algorithm, which produces images that are more than a third smaller in terms of byte-size, and the resulting images are consistently rated as more attractive than traditionally compressed JPEGs. It’s something of a web holy grail: much smaller, better-looking files without having to convince people to install a plugin or browser makers to support a new file-format.

  • Open source: The new normal in enterprise software

    Open source software — that is, software that gives users permission to modify, copy and distribute its source code and is either freely distributed or licensed — used to be viewed as the red-headed stepchild of enterprise software.

    “It took time for enterprise to come on board,” said Rafael Laguna, CEO of Open-Xchange, a German open-source company specializing in open-source email software. “If you go back 10 years, [proprietary software from] Microsoft, IBM dominated the architecture of enterprise software, but that is changing.”

  • Blender Making Progress On Its Realtime PBR Engine

    F
    Eevee is the codename for the Blender project to implement a realtime engine with physically-based rendering (PBR) within Blender 2.8.

    This realtime, PBR-based engine is aiming to deliver high-end graphics with a responsive realtime view-port. The developers working on “Eevee” have made progress with lighting, materials, and other features.

  • Chef automation survey: what shape is the continuous enterprise?
  • Cloud Foundry connects open-source standards for quicker code development

    Tech businesses are discovering a powerful truth: building custom code is no fun. It takes time, it’s a distraction from working on core products and it’s likely someone out there already did it better. The real solution is for a company to integrate mature and tested products into their own systems, but that can be a job in itself.

    Open-source software, built around specific abstract standards, can help simplify the work involved. Cloud Foundry is an organization dedicated to creating and maintaining an open-source abstraction platform to speed up software development.

  • IBM’s cloud dreams soar on the wings of AI, open source
  • IBM launches cloud-based blockchain service for Linux Hyperledger Fabric

    IBM also announced availability of blockchain governance tools and new open-source developer tools aimed at shortening the time it takes to build with Hyperledger Fabric.

  • 10 Vendors Jumping on the Kubernetes Bandwagon
  • From supply chain to equity, seven real-world uses of the blockchain today

    A blockchain is a digital ledger that is available for all parties to see, providing transparency across the chain – and businesses in financial trading, insurance, and supply chain management are all taking notice.

  • Events
    • Two open source secure email services

      As much we all complain about email, for most of us, email is still our primary conduit for online communication. That said, numerous hacks and revelations about government surveillance have made it clear that email is also one of the most vulnerable of those conduits.

      What you send via email is your business and yours alone. Besides you and the recipient, no one else should be reading that message. Not hackers, not government agencies, and definitely not nosy siblings or friends.

    • 33C3 – Event Report

      I recently had the opportunity to attend the 33rd Chaos Communication Congress (33C3). The event, as its name suggests, was chaotic. Let me give you two hints: twelve thousand (12000) participants, plus twenty-four (24) hours unrestricted access to the venue.

    • LibrePlanet free software conference returns to MIT this weekend, March 25-26

      LibrePlanet is an annual conference for people who care about their digital freedoms, bringing together software developers, policy experts, activists, and computer users to learn skills, share accomplishments, and tackle challenges facing the free software movement. LibrePlanet 2017 will feature sessions for all ages and experience levels.

      In accordance with the theme “The Roots of Freedom,” the conference’s sessions will examine the roots of the free software movement, including the Four Freedoms, the GNU General Public License and copyleft, and the community’s focus on security and privacy protections. Other sessions will explore new ideas and current work that has arisen from those roots, reaching in to activism, the arts, business, and education.

      Keynote speakers include Kade Crockford, Director of the Technology for Liberty Program at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and author Cory Doctorow, Changeset Consulting founder Sumana Harihareswara, and Free Software Foundation founder and president Richard Stallman.

    • ZTE’s Approach to Digital Transformation with Software-Defined Networking

      The dawn of new services such as 5G, IoT, AR/VR, e-commerce, connected cars,and more, is driving us to digitalization — a massive transition that also requires the network to change.

    • Easier Persistent Memory Programming with Extensions to libstdc++ and libc++

      Persistent memory, unlike volatile memory, retains its contents even if the server has a power failure. However, as Tomasz Kapela, Software Engineer at Intel, points out during his LinuxCon Europe 2016 talk, persistent memory is hard to achieve. Since persistent memory programming is non-trivial, they have been focused on making it easier for the end user and for applications to use persistent memory correctly.

    • Persistent Memory Extensions to libstdc++/libc++ by Tomasz Kapela, Intel
  • Web Browsers
    • Chrome
      • Chromium Rolls Out Enhanced GTK3 Theme Support

        Chromium is sporting greater GTK3 support in its latest daily development snapshots. Developers have begun building the browser with proper GTK3 theme integration enabled by default. I know: hardly ground breaking, but as Chromium (and its more popular sibling, Google Chrome) are widely used by Ubuntu users, it’s a change worth a note.

      • Chrome 58 Beta: IndexedDB 2.0, an improvement to iframe navigation, and immersive full screen for PWAs

        The IndexedDB 2.0 standard is now fully supported in Chrome, making it simpler to work with large data sets in the browser. IDB 2.0 features new schema management, bulk action methods, and more standardized handling of failures.

      • Chrome 58 Beta Supports IndexedDB 2.0, New Developer Features

        Google developers are busy today not only with the Android O Developer Preview but the Chrome team has delivered the first public beta for the upcoming Chrome 58.0.

        The Chrome 58 beta adds full support for IndexedDB 2.0, improvements to iframe navigation by adding a new sandbox keyword to control iframe top navigation behavior, immersive full-screen support for Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), and various other developer changes.

    • Mozilla
      • Mozilla has proposed ‘Obsidian’, a low-level GPU API for the web

        So it looks like after Vulkan for desktop and mobile, the web may be getting a low-level API for interactions with the GPU. They are calling it Obsidian right now (temporary name) and they state it’s not a specification just yet, as they are looking to gather feedback.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice
    • LibreOffice 5.3.1 is out

      Last week, LibreOffice released version 5.3.1. This seems to be an incremental release over 5.3 and doesn’t seem to change the new user interface in any noticeable way.

      This is both good and bad news for me. As you know, I have been experimenting with LibreOffice 5.3 since LibreOffice updated the user interface. Version 5.3 introduced the “MUFFIN” interface. MUFFIN stands for My User Friendly Flexible INterface. Because someone clearly wanted that acronym to spell “MUFFIN.” The new interface is still experimental, so you’ll need to activate it through Settings→Advanced. When you restart LibreOffice, you can use the View menu to change modes.

  • Programming/Development
    • anytime 0.2.2

      A bugfix release of the anytime package arrived at CRAN earlier today. This is tenth release since the inaugural version late last summer, and the second (bugfix / feature) release this year.

    • GitLab 9.0 released with Subgroups and Deploy Boards

      Today we are releasing GitLab 9.0, 18 months after releasing 8.0. We’ve made significant advances to GitLab during this period, shipping a version every single month on the 22nd. Let’s quickly recap how far we’ve come since 8.0, and see those features dovetailing into today’s 9.0 release. Or jump ahead to 9.0 features.

    • Suggests != Depends

      A number of packages on CRAN use Suggests: casually.

    • 2038: only 21 years away

      Sometimes it seems that things have gone relatively quiet on the year-2038 front. But time keeps moving forward, and the point in early 2038 when 32-bit time_t values can no longer represent times correctly is now less than 21 years away. That may seem like a long time, but the relatively long life cycle of many embedded systems means that some systems deployed today will still be in service when that deadline hits. One of the developers leading the effort to address this problem is Arnd Bergmann; at Linaro Connect 2017 he gave an update on where that work stands.

      That work, he said, is proceeding on three separate fronts, the first of which is the kernel itself. He has been working for the last five years to try to prepare the kernel for 2038. Much of that work involves converting 32-bit timestamps to 64-bit values, even on 32-bit systems. Some 32-bit timestamps also show up in the user-space API, which complicates the issue considerably. There is a plan for the enhancement of the user-space API with 2038-clean versions of the problematic system calls, but it has not yet gotten upstream. One recent exception is the statx() system call, which was merged for 4.11; statx() will serve as the year-2038-capable version of the stat() family of calls. There are quite a few other system calls still needing 2038-clean replacements, though.

Leftovers
  • Amid boycott, Google changes ad policy to give advertisers more control

    Google’s Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler explained in a blog post how the company will revamp its advertising policies to give companies more control over where their ads appear on YouTube and the Google Display Network. Schindler also signals a new epoch for Google and YouTube, one in which the company will focus more effort on preventing hate speech on its online video platform.

  • 2 new tools for creating more accessible projects

    Accessibility has been an afterthought in development for far too long. The result has been costly retrofitting, the risk of inaccessible solutions, and unhappy users.

    We are where we are because developers often ignore accessibility in hopes that it will resolve on its own.

    But solutions should be accessible by all—including the blind, deaf, those with cognitive disabilities and more. This is especially important considering the 1 billion people (including the aging population) with disabilities, the proliferation of new technology, and new industry standards. Further, it’s more than just the right thing to do. It is required by any organization working with the U.S. government, and increasingly, those in the private sector too.

  • Science
    • 5 big ways AI is rapidly invading our lives

      Open source projects are helping drive artificial intelligence advancements, and we can expect to hear much more about how AI impacts our lives as the technologies mature. Have you considered how AI is changing the world around you already? Let’s take a look at our increasingly artificially enhanced universe and consider the bold predictions about our AI-influenced future.

  • Health/Nutrition
  • Security
    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Reproducible Builds: week 99 in Stretch cycle
    • Government Agencies to be Rated on Cybersecurity Using NIST Framework

      The Trump administration has announced that it will impose new metrics on federal agencies related to cybersecurity. Agencies and departments will be required to comply with the framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and report back to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the White House.

      Homeland security advisor Thomas Bossert stated that the President’s budget will include an increase in federal funding to combat cyber threats, and that the administration’s priorities vis-à-vis cybersecurity are to modernize and centralize the existing system. To this end, the Administration intends to partner with business, including Silicon Valley, and state and local governments, on cybersecurity.

    • Firefox gets complaint for labeling unencrypted login page insecure

      The operator of a website that accepts subscriber logins only over unencrypted HTTP pages has taken to Mozilla’s Bugzilla bug-reporting service to complain that the Firefox browser is warning that the page isn’t suitable for the transmission of passwords.

      “Your notice of insecure password and/or log-in automatically appearing on the log-in for my website, Oil and Gas International, is not wanted and was put there without our permission,” a person with the user name dgeorge wrote here (the link was made private shortly after this post went live). “Please remove it immediately. We have our own security system, and it has never been breached in more than 15 years. Your notice is causing concern by our subscribers and is detrimental to our business.”

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Customer security awareness: alerting you to vulnerabilities that are of real risk
    • Cisco’s WikiLeaks Security Vulnerability Exposure: 10 Things Partners Need To Know

      Cisco’s security team has discovered that hundreds of its networking devices contain a vulnerability that could allow attackers to remotely executive malicious code and take control of the affected device.

      “We are committed to responsible disclosure, protecting our customers, and building the strongest security architecture and products that are designed through our Trustworthy Systems initiatives,” said a Cisco spokesperson in an email to CRN regarding the vulnerability.

      Some channel partners of the San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant are already advising customers on how to bypass the critical security flaw. Here are 10 important items that Cisco channel partners should know about the security vulnerability.

    • Linux had a killer flaw for 11 years and no one noticed

      One of the key advantages of Open sauce software is that it is supposed to be easier to spot and fix software flaws, however Linux has had a local privilege escalation flaw for 11 years and no-one has noticed.

      The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2017-6074, is over 11 years old and was likely introduced in 2005 when the Linux kernel gained support for the Datagram Congestion Control Protocol (DCCP). It was discovered last week and was patched by the kernel developers on Friday.

    • 6 Hot Internet of Things (IoT) Security Technologies
    • Microsoft Losing Its Edge

      However, despite these improvements in code cleanness and security technologies, it hasn’t quite proven itself when faced with experienced hackers at contests such as Pwn2Own. At last year’s edition of Pwn2Own, Edge proved to be a little better than Internet Explorer and Safari, but it still ended up getting hacked twice, while Chrome was only partially hacked once.

      Things seem to have gotten worse, rather than better, for Edge. At this year’s Pwn2Own, Microsoft’s browser was hacked no less than five times.

    • Microsoft loses the Edge at hacking contest

      And for every hack perpetrated against Edge, there was a corresponding attack against the Windows 10 kernel, indicating that it has a way to go in terms of security, according to Tom’s Hardware.

    • Wikileaks: Apple, Microsoft and Google must fix CIA exploits within 90 days

      The 90-day deadline is the same that Google’s own Project Zero security group provides to companies when it uncovers flaws in their software. If a company has failed to patch its software accordingly, Project Zero publishes details of the flaw whether the vendor likes it or not.

    • NTPsec Project announces 0.9.7
  • Defence/Aggression
    • [Older] Lucknow encounter: Are moderate {sic} Indian Muslims losing Lucknow to the Islamic State now?

      Given that the congratulatory letter was issued by a senior teacher in India’s leading madrasa—Nadwatul Ulama in Lucknow— it clearly reflected a sharp turnaround in the attitude and approach of the Lucknow-based clergy towards the emergence of a global Islamic caliphate. However, in his letter, Nadwi was only a spokesperson of the petro-dollar-funded Wahabi seminaries in India.

    • India could strike Pakistan with nuclear weapons if threatened, says expert

      In February, both countries extended a bilateral pact, dealing with reducing the risk of nuclear weapon-related accidents including a war, for a period of five years. India hand Pakistan have fought three full-fledged wars besides the 1999 Kargil hostilities.

    • Former NZ defence minister admits civilians were killed in bungled special forces raid

      The former New Zealand defence minister has admitted for the first time that civilians were killed during a bungled raid by New Zealand SAS troops in Afghanistan in 2010.

      For years, New Zealand politicians and military commanders denied this, claiming that the people killed were insurgents responsible for an earlier attack on the troops.

      Today’s comments by the former minister, Wayne Mapp, come less than 24 hours after the launch of an explosive new book Hit and Run by investigative reporters Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager.

      The book claims the controversial operation killed six civilians and wounded 15.

    • Why would Google take sides in Syria’s Civil War?

      This morning, an apparently innocuous AP article eventually led me to the question, “Why would Google take sides in Syria’s civil war?”

      The article announced that Google was getting involved in protecting “news organizations and election-related sites” from cyberattacks and hacking though Jigsaw, a research arm of Google and Alphabet Inc.

    • What They Won’t Tell You About the American Military
  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
    • In a letter to the editor, CIA Public Affairs Director corrected the record with a lie of omission

      In 1981, the CIA took exception with newspapers reporting that Frank Sturgis was a former CIA employee. Herbet Hetu, the Agency’s then-Director of Public Affairs, had such a problem with the reporting that he wrote to the editors of several newspapers to try to issue a correction. The first letter, dated January 6, 1981, was sent to the editor of The Washington Star objecting to an article that had been published that day.

    • Whoops: The DOJ May Have Confirmed Some of the Wikileaks CIA Dump

      The US government says it wants to keep some of the now-public documents out of court because they contain classified material, suggesting that they could be authentic.

      Last week, the US government may have confirmed the authenticity of a number of CIA documents concerning the agency’s hacking operations, but not in the way you might expect.

      Judging by a recent court filing, at least some of the CIA files Wikileaks published earlier this month are genuine, because the government pushed back against having them admitted in court due to the documents’ classified content.

      “The government is not able to declare non-government records as classified, unless they are taking ownership of the records themselves,” Bradley P. Moss, a national security attorney, told Motherboard in an email.

  • Finance
  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
    • [Old] `I Don`t Recall` Marks Excerpts Of Reagan Testimony
    • Ivanka Trump has West Wing office and will get access to classified information [iophk: "somehow the word nepotism is missing from the entire article"]
    • Ivanka Trump getting West Wing office in White House ‘like a coup’, says former Labor secretary Robert Reich

      Shaun King, a senior justice writer and activist, simply called the news “disturbing”

    • Cyber Firm at Center of Russian Hacking Charges Misread Data

      An influential British think tank and Ukraine’s military are disputing a report that the U.S. cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election.

      The CrowdStrike report, released in December, asserted that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulting in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine’s war with Russian-backed separatists.

      But the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) told VOA that CrowdStrike erroneously used IISS data as proof of the intrusion. IISS disavowed any connection to the CrowdStrike report. Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense also has claimed combat losses and hacking never happened.

      The challenges to CrowdStrike’s credibility are significant because the firm was the first to link last year’s hacks of Democratic Party computers to Russian actors, and because CrowdStrike co-founder Dimiti Alperovitch has trumpeted its Ukraine report as more evidence of Russian election tampering.

    • 5 congressional staffers in criminal probe over unauthorized computer access

      Five people employed by members of the House of Representatives remain under criminal investigation for unauthorized access to Congressional computers. Former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz employed at least one of those under investigation.

      The criminal investigation into the five, which includes three brothers and a wife of one of the men, started late last year, as reported by Politico in February. The group is being investigated by US Capitol Police over allegations that they removed equipment from over 20 members’ offices, as well as having run a procurement scheme to buy equipment and then overcharge the House.

      House Speaker Paul Ryan said last week Capitol Police are receiving additional help for the investigation. “I won’t speak to the nature of their investigation, but they’re getting the kind of technical assistance they need to do that, this is under an active criminal investigation, their capabilities are pretty strong but they’re also able to go and get the kind of help they need from other sources,” Ryan said.

    • Trump ex-aide Paul Manafort ‘offered to help Putin’

      US President Donald Trump’s one-time campaign chairman secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to assist President Vladimir Putin, the Associated Press (AP) news agency reports.

  • Censorship/Free Speech
    • Arkansas Legislators Want To Make Corporate Whistleblowing Illegal

      Another “ag gag” law is in the works in Arkansas. These bills are brought under the pretense of safety — both for the person supposedly breaking them, as well as for the employees of the entity “trespassed” upon. The unspoken aim of these laws is to prevent whistleblowing, and they often spring into existence after someone has exposed horrible practices at local businesses — in most cases, the mistreatment of animals. The other consequence of most of these laws — unintended or not — is to deter employees from speaking up about questionable business practices, as there often is no exception carved out for employees of the companies protected by these laws.

      Kaleigh Rogers of Vice reports another ag gag bill has passed the Arkansas state House and is on its way to a Senate vote. And once again, the bill’s wording would deter whistleblowing and make journalistic efforts a civil violation.

    • Twitter suspends 376k more accounts linked to ‘terrorism’

      Twitter said Tuesday it suspended 376,890 accounts in the second half of 2016 for “promotion of terrorism,” an increase of 60 percent over the prior six-month period.

      The latest suspensions bring the total number of blocked accounts to 636,248 from August 2015, when Twitter stepped up efforts to curb “violent extremism,” the company announced as part of its latest transparency report.

    • UK’s Piracy Blocklist Now Exceeds 3,800 URLs

      By now, most UK Internet users have gotten used to pirate sites being blocked by their ISPs. Internet providers have been ordered to block a wide variety of torrent, direct download and streaming portals that offer copyright-infringing content. The full list uf URLs, which includes several reverse proxies, has now swelled to more than 3,800 according to one of the ISPs involved.

  • Privacy/Surveillance
    • Adobe buddies up with Microsoft for new ways to mine your data

      Adobe and Microsoft have announced new product integrations along with the XDM (Experience Data Model) language for interchanging behavioural and marketing data between platforms.

      Microsoft has a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) offering, Dynamics 365, but is weak in marketing automation, while Adobe lacks a CRM product to compete with Salesforce, so it makes sense for the two companies to integrate.

      A new piece announced at the Adobe Summit under way in Las Vegas is that Adobe Campaign – which manages cross-channel campaigns across web, mobile, email and print – is integrated with Dynamics 365.

    • The CIA’s New Guidelines Governing Publicly Available Information

      On January 18, 2017, the CIA declassified and released new internal Central Intelligence Agency Activities: Procedures Approved by the Attorney General Pursuant to Executive Order 12333, approved by the Attorney General under Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333. These new guidelines will be known as Agency Regulation (AR) 2-1 when they take effect on March 18, 2017. They will replace AR 2-2, including Annexes A and B, which were originally issued in 1987, most recently revised in 2012, and released to the public in 2015. The new CIA guidelines were part of a larger effort by the Obama administration, commenced before 2013 and completed two days before President Trump’s inauguration, to update Intelligence Community (IC) guidelines.

    • With appeals ruling, the United States has effectively outlawed file encryption

      An appeals court has denied the appeal of a person who is jailed indefinitely for refusing to decrypt files. The man has not been charged with anything, but was ordered to hand over the unencrypted contents on police assertion of what the contents were. When this can result in lifetime imprisonment under “contempt of court”, the United States has effectively outlawed file-level encryption – without even going through Congress.

  • Civil Rights/Policing
    • Should You Have Any 4th Amendment Rights In An Airport?

      For many years, we’ve written about the craziness of the so-called “border search exception” to the 4th Amendment, in which the US government has insisted that the 4th Amendment doesn’t apply at the border, and thus it’s allowed to search people at the border. The initial reasoning was — more or less — that at the border, you’re not yet in the country, and thus the 4th Amendment doesn’t apply yet. But that’s expanded over time — especially in the digital age. Perhaps, back when people just had clothes/books/whatever in their luggage, you could understand the rationale for allowing a search, but today, when people carry laptops and handheld electronic devices that basically store their whole lives, the situation is a lot scarier. Unfortunately, (with just a few small exceptions) the courts have simply taken the historical ability to search luggage at the border and expanded it to cover electronic devices. Then, things got even more ridiculous, when Homeland Security decided that anywhere that’s within 100 miles of the border could be “close enough” to count as a “border search,” making the “border search exception” apply. That’s… messed up.

    • Sex slave’s rescue in Riyadh reveals widening web of traffickers in India

      Of an estimated six million Indian migrants in the six Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Oman, domestic workers are among the most exploited, campaigners say.

      “Housemaids are treated like cattle here. This woman didn’t even know where she was when I asked her location. She kept crying to be saved. India should ban sending housemaids to the Gulf,” Sriniwas said.

    • The International Women’s Peace Group hosts a seminar for BAN FGM
    • Saudi ‘prisoner of conscience’ ordered to pay $270,000 fine

      His sentence was extended to ten years imprisonment and 1,000 lashes in 2015.

    • Aceh’s latest tourist attraction? Dozens of Malaysian tourists come to watch public caning in Banda Aceh

      On Monday, dozens of tourists from Malaysia came by bus to visit the Lamteh Mosque in Banda Aceh to witness a dozen people getting publicly caned for crimes ranging from gambling to ikhtilat (the intermingling of men and women who are not married).

      Among the tourists was a Malaysian State Senator from Klanten, Dato Dr Johari bin Mat, who said that he respected Aceh implementation of Islamic law and use of public canin to ensure security and public order.

    • ‘Multilingual Society’: German Educators Call for Compulsory Arabic in Schools
    • UK follows US on cabin device ban [iophk: “in 7th gen Intel“]

      The devices were listed as: laptops, tablets, e-readers, cameras, portable DVD players, electronic game units larger than a smartphone and travel printers/scanners.

    • WATCH: Lucknow girl thrashes molesters with police baton

      When police stood as mute spectators in Lucknow, a girl decided to take law in her hands and ensured that she teaches her molesters a lesson.

      A group of girls were allegedly eve-teased by a bike-borne gang in Gautam Palli area on Sunday night. However, the police standing there didn’t come to their rescue, that is when the girls from the group snatched the baton from the cops and thrashed the men on bike.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
    • From bad to worse: the del Castillo Report on the European Electronic Communication Code

      To understand what it’s about, let’s step back a little.

      Since 2002, the regulation of telecommunication has been based on a group of European directives called “the telecom package”. The second revision of this package (the first was in 2009) began in September 2016 with the publication by the European Commission of a draft bill for a European Code of Electronic Communication. This massive bill of more than a hundred articles aims to recast and reform the current telecom package. It is now being negotiated at the Council of the European Union, and a report just had been published at the European Parliament. This report published by the MEP Pilar del Castillo (ES – EPP) will be discussed in the coming months.

    • IPv6 and CGNAT

      Today I ended reading an interesting article by the 4th spanish ISP regarding IPv6 and CGNAT. The article is in spanish, but I will translate the most important statements here.

      Having a spanish Internet operator to talk about this subjet is itself good news. We have been lacking any news regarding IPv6 in our country for years. I mean, no news from private operators. Public networks like the one where I develop my daily job has been offering native IPv6 since almost a decade…

  • DRM
    • Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware

      Tractor hacking is growing increasingly popular because John Deere and other manufacturers have made it impossible to perform “unauthorized” repair on farm equipment, which farmers see as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time.

    • W3C moves to finalize DRM standardization, reclassifies suing security researchers as a feature, not a bug

      The World Wide Web Consortium has announced that its members have until April 19 to weigh in on whether the organization should publish Encrypted Media Extensions, its DRM standard for web video, despite the fact that this would give corporations the new right to sue people who engaged in legal activity, from security researchers who revealed defects in browsers to accessibility workers who adapted video for disabled people to scrappy new companies who come up with legal ways to get more use out of your property.

  • Intellectual Monopolies
    • Italian Supreme Court rules that mere reproduction of Vespa image may amount to counterfeiting

      Italian online IP resource Marchi & Brevetti has just reported a very interesting and recent decision of the Criminal Section of the Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione) regarding the crime of counterfeiting within Article 474 of the Italian Criminal Code.

    • Trademarks
      • The Changing Perspective Of Well-Known Trademarks In India

        The innovative advertisements of famous trademarks we come across remind us of the image they have created in our minds and the quality of the respective products or services they reflect. Millions are spent by the owners of such marks to build their reputation and maintain their popularity in this competitive globalised world.

    • Copyrights
      • University Puts 20,000 Lectures Behind A Registration Wall In Response To DOJ Pressure On Website Accessibility Compliance

        Back in 2012, a federal court ruled US websites were “places of public accommodation.” The ruling (overturned on appeal) came in a lawsuit brought against Netflix by the National Association of the Deaf. It seems like an obvious conclusion — more people get their information, news, and entertainment from the web than other sources. But the ruling had plenty of adverse consequences, especially for smaller, less profitable purveyors of online content.

      • Supreme Court Cheers on Copyright Separability

        In a new Copyright decision, the Supreme Court has modified the doctrine of separability that allows for copyright of works of authorship associated with useful articles.

      • US Supreme Court holds cheerleading uniforms eligible for copyright protection

        The US Copyright Act, §101 states that “pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features” of the “design of a useful article” can be protected by copyright as artistic works if those features “can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.”

      • US Supreme Court finds cheerleading uniform designs copyright eligible

        The Supreme Court has held that the designs in a cheerleading uniform satisfy the test for copyright protection in its Star Athletica v Varsity Brands ruling. Observers say the decision provides a standard test to be applied to the separability analysis

      • Unpaywall: The Browser Add-on That Finds (Legal) Free Copies Of Academic Papers You See As You Browse The Web

        Techdirt has just written about ResearchGate, which claims to offer access to 100 million academic papers. However, as we wrote, there’s an issue about whether a significant proportion of those articles are in fact unauthorized copies, for example uploaded by the authors but in contravention of the agreement they signed with publishers. The same legal issues plague the well-known Sci-Hub site, which may deter some from using it. But as further evidence of how the demand for access to millions of academic papers still locked away is driving technical innovation, there’s a new option, called Unpaywall, which is available as a pre-release add-on for Chrome (Firefox is promised later), and is free. It aims to provide access to every paper that’s freely available to read in an authorized version.

      • Leaked Text: Is EU Tempted By Too Many Safeguards Limiting The Scope Of Blind Treaty?

        As the ratification by the European Union of an international treaty creating an exception to copyright for visually impaired people nears, a leaked text shows that the directive implementing the treaty in the EU might come with safeguards limiting the scope of the treaty, allegedly pushed by the publishing industry.

        The leaked document (from the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU to the Permanent Representatives Committee), seen by Intellectual Property Watch, is the latest draft proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and the Council. The directive would be on “certain permitted uses of works and other subject-matter protected by copyright and related rights for the benefit of persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled and amending Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.”

The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

12 hours 41 min ago

When even Kluwer Patent Blog speaks out against you perhaps it’s time to resign, Mr. Battistelli

Summary: The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole

THE EPO was, for many consecutive decades, vastly superior to any other patent office, including the American one that’s the de facto patent office across the world (because of the economic might of the US). The EPO was never the biggest patent office, but it was at least the best. That can no longer be said, as the Administrative Council was reckless enough to put a politician in charge — a person whose disdain for science and paranoia go over a decade back. In turn, after a multi-year coup, the Administrative Council became subservient to this politician. Stakeholders hate him and recognise that he must go, but nobody seems capable of firing him anymore. He created and fortified a kingdom, which not even a bailiff is allowed to enter. He and his cronies pocket EPO budget and secretly/covertly build themselves luxury palaces with bars and baths at the top floor of a patent office! Guess who foots the bill. Is this a patent office or a sultanate? EPO staff certainly isn't tolerating it.

We haven’t had much positive stuff to say about Kluwer Patent Blog (a UPC propaganda blog, filled to the rim with fake news), but Kluwer folks were at least courageous enough to publicly speak against Battistelli in the rather distant past. Today it happens again and people have already noticed:

Kluwer Patent Blog has a long article detailing the situation at the European Patent Office:

President Battistelli under pressure to improve ‘unacceptable’ social situation at EPO

About the 40% increase in granted patents they asks:

“But is this really what the economy needs, as the EPO claims?”

Another new comment said:

Shameful hardly begins to describe the situation. A serious threat to the very foundations of patent law in Europe would be a more accurate description.

The EPO is there to uphold the law, as set out in the EPC. Now we know that, when it so desires, the EPO ignores provisions of the EPC that its management finds “inconvenient”. We also know that the AC allows the EPO management to get away with this.

This all begs the question: which provisions of the EPC can we rely upon the EPO to properly enforce?

If rumours are to be believed, which rumours would certainly explain developments that I have personally witnessed, then Article 84 EPC will be the next “casualty”. Also, the EPO’s extraordinary decision to suspend examination of certain plant (product) patent applications suggests that even more fundamental provisions (including Article 113 EPC) could be under threat.

Not the most sustainable situation, really… and one that should be of grave concern to us all.

This means that even Team UPC is getting visibly fed up with Battistelli. Behind the relatively polite and diplomatic language there is a great deal of distrust and the blog post at hand contains little or nothing that we haven’t already covered. It’s just taking stock of many recent events across Europe (all of which covered here before), e.g.:

The Dutch Government has warned the social situation at the EPO will have to improve soon. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has complained it is not acceptable that over half of the workload of its Tribunal is generated by complaints filed against the European Patent Office. Parliaments in Germany and France have called for action to ‘uphold the fundamental rights’ at the EPO. Pressure on president Benoit Battistelli to resign or finally change things seems higher than ever. Will it happen?

‘The Council had an exchange of views on the social situation at the Office and on the issue of the appointment procedure for the next President.’ Just one single phrase in the press release was dedicated to the ongoing social unrest at the EPO, after the 151th meeting of the EPO Administrative Council, 15 and 16 March 2017 in Munich.

It hardly reflects the mounting pressure that EPO president Benoit Battistelli has had to face over a wide range of issues that have led to a disastrous social climate at the EPO: the controversial introduction of a new career system and rules on sick leave, Battistelli’s failure to review staff investigation guidelines and disciplinary procedures, as had been requested by the supervisory Administrative Council (AC) in a Resolution of March 2016; conflicts with the Boards of Appeal over their judicial independence; failure to recognize the SUEPO trade union and the dismissal or demotion of several union leaders, among others.

[...]

But is this really what the economy needs, as the EPO claims? The German legal website JUVE recently published the results of a survey (English version here) among 186 technology companies worldwide, which revealed serious concerns about the functioning of the European Patent Office. 87 percent of the respondents said Battistelli is not doing a good job. Less than one third is happy with the reform of the Boards of Appeal. 54 percent wants Battistelli to step down and only 8 percent says he must stay. Also, there is growing concern about the effect of the EPO unrest on patent quality, according to the survey.

Still, Battistelli’s term as president ends in July 2018 and though he is under high pressure to improve the social situation at the EPO, it is not likely he will leave sooner than that. The appointment procedure for the next president, mentioned in the EPO press release was initiated and shortly discussed last week and the intention is to agree on a text for a vacancy notice in the next meeting in June, with the selection procedure for a successor possibly starting in October.

To put it quite bluntly, it seems like they’re worried about their clients (see this leaked letter from Dutch patent attorneys) and maybe even the UPC, which will likely collapse thanks to Battistelli as its shameless flag bearer. Speaking of which, Team UPC, which dominates (or is) “The UPC Preparatory Committee” (it’s not quite what it sounds like, it's wolves guarding the sheep), allegedly had one of its typical closed doors meetings some days ago. To quote: “The UPC Preparatory Committee met for the last time last week in the Hague. It was an opportunity for the Preparatory Committee to agree minor amendments to the Rules of Procedure, which it will soon publish.”

Is there any chance that Team UPC too will soon lobby to oust Battistelli? It’s not impossible. In fact, it would be a very rational thing to do as Team UPC has more than just the UPC at stake and under Battistelli the whole patent industry of Europe may soon collapse (see comment above).

The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn’t Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders’ Money

16 hours 25 min ago

This is where EPO budget goes… (budgetary scandals again)


Even a shower! What kind of guests does Battistelli bring over?

Summary: The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)

THE EPO moves from bad to worse. 0% of stakeholders support Battistelli (the same goes for staff), so it can’t get any worse than this, but what happens to the reputation of the Office as a whole?

“What’s worth noting or showing here is not the photos in their own right but the clandestine nature of the Office, even in this case.”Watch the photos above; this is where the money goes while Battistelli and his cronies continue to pocket more of the EPO's budget and there are rumours that Battistelli wanted his own limousine too (even his own private elevator, but we were unable to verify this). He already spends millions on bodyguards which are neither needed nor acceptable (until he tells some bicycle tale).

One one comment said: “He’s doing a great job of pushing the boundaries and proving where the flaws in the system are by exploiting them for his own profit” (posted on this new article from Kieren McCarthy).

What’s worth noting or showing here is not the photos in their own right but the clandestine nature of the Office, even in this case. Well, the photos say it all really (there seem to be a lot more based on their numbers), as well as the attempts by the Office to take down these photos (which is why we reproduce them here, a sort of Streisand Effect). Here is how McCarthy put it:

Very few people have seen the 10th floor of the European Patent Office’s ISAR building in Munich since it’s been renovated – and for good reason.

Although hundreds of staff once worked on that floor, EPO president Benoit Battistelli decided that – at the same time the patent office budgeted €205m to construct an entirely new building in the Hague – he would turn the top floor of the ISAR building into his own private office.

The cost of that renovation is impossible to ascertain due to it being lumped in with the massive construction costs of the new building. But thanks to new pictures of the penthouse on the architect’s website, recently noticed by eagle-eyed EPO staff, it is likely to have stretched into millions of euros.

“A grand palace for King Battistelli,” one staffer remarked on the pictures, using a common nickname for the man whose behavior is increasingly more like a 17th-century monarch than the administrator of an international organization.

If the EPO attempts to resort to McCarthyism against McCarthy (e.g. the architect and/or the EPO using copyright for takedown requests), we’ll keep our copies here. We encourage readers to spread these photos around to deter against censorship attempts.

Similarities to the shrine of Trump (many point out similarities in behaviour)? Whatever it is, Trump is still a President and so is Battistelli. Sometimes it pays off to skirt the rules and Battistelli is a perfect example of that.

In the US Patent System, Evolved Tricks for Bypassing Invalidations of Software Patents and Getting Them Granted by the USPTO

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017 12:42:01 AM

@fmbutt isn’t Cloud just a fancy new buzzword for “Internet” though?

— Anthony De Rosa

“Then They Came For Me—And There Was No One Left To Speak For Me.”

Tuesday 21st of March 2017 11:34:46 PM

The EPO’s campaign of censorship (removal of essential information) must stop


“My Party is my church, and I believe I serve the Lord best if I do his will, and liberate my oppressed people from the fetters of slavery. That is my gospel.” (he spoke of the Nazi party, not Team Battistelli)

Summary: The decreasing number of people who cover EPO scandals (partly due to fear, or Battistelli's notorious "reign of terror") and a cause for hope, as well as a call for help

THE EPO successfully neutered and muted the cat (or Kat) after it had attempted to do the same thing to me (at the time, people said the Kat would be next in line and last year the Kat too was sanctioned by the Office). Here are just two of the legal threats that the EPO sent to me [1, 2]; they ought to be in the public domain. Invoking something like state secrets to suppress journalism is a very old trick.

“The new quality standards have been specifically designed to allow management to hide any drops in quality.”
      –Kieren McCarthyJudging by El Reg comments — and we don’t need to quote them as there’s not much new information there (no EPO insiders among them, or very few based on the tone and the content of messages*) — the 'pampered' party line (borderline trolling) is spreading. The only ‘defense’ of the EPO right now is a bunch of accusations against ‘spoiled’ examiners.

The original author of the article, Kieren McCarthy, weighed in to clarify (amid distractions/diversions) as follows:

I don’t understand why you would imagine that the number of patents approved in any way diminishes the fact that the EPO management is mistreating its employees.

That’s what the stories and the strikes and the public rebukes and the critical reports have all been about: the president is trying to force through changes that he believes will make the EPO more efficient and when he’s met with anything but compliance, he reacts very aggressively.

Battistelli created an investigation team that carried out surveillance of union workers that is illegal under the laws in the countries where they are based. He has run disciplinary hearings that have been criticized by all arms of the EPO and by politicians, and other staff unions and even the ILO. His own administrative council ordered him to stop – and he ignored it.

Each time the EPO’s checks and balances have been invoked, Battistelli has responded by changing the rules to award himself greater power. And when he is faced with increasingly angry people around him, he responds by diminishing them and by using the EPO’s resources against them. Or, in the case of his personal bodyguards, using the EPO’s funds to benefit himself.

The EPO management team is well aware that increasingly the number of patents processed is likely to result in lower quality but rather than work hard on making that work, or facing up to the issue and recognizing a likely drop but arguing it will rebound (and providing targets and metrics for recover), it has done what every bad management team in history has done: fixed the results.

The new quality standards have been specifically designed to allow management to hide any drops in quality.

Now if, after all that, you feel you can simply point at the number of patents granted and say: wow, they’re doing a terrific job, then you are either willfully ignorant or painfully short-sighted. Unfortunately you would not be alone: a large number of the administrative council members also appeared to be persuaded that so long as the numbers look good, you can ignore the day-to-day workings of the organization.

Someone later highlighted a point that we had made last year regarding the way EPO counts applications. To quote: “Number of applications is a dodgy statistic which includes some formal applications in China which never proceed due to no fee being paid. You need the lower figure of applications which ever come to the EPO. Granting more doesn’t mean better performance. The Americans used to grant almost all and that was criticised (rightly) for being too easy. There is a balance between rejecting some and granting some based on whether they meet the criteria. The danger is to too easily drop standards to grant more.”

“We are gratified to know that Britain’s largest news site for techies is now regularly covering the EPO conflict and is being cited even by politicians in Parliamentary sessions (e.g. recently in Dutch Parliament).”We don’t want to waste too much space and time quoting provocations against EPO staff (examiners that is). Instead, in the coming days/weeks, IP Kat comments will be quoted, along with anonymous sources of ours who know the system from the inside. ‘Radical’ transparency is well overdue as the more people know, the worst things become for EPO management.

We are gratified to know that Britain’s largest news site for techies is now regularly covering the EPO conflict and is being cited even by politicians in Parliamentary sessions (e.g. recently in Dutch Parliament).

“…writing about the EPO’s management sometimes feel like covering Mexican drug gangs, Russian elites, or the Sicilian Mafia.”The important thing right now is to help defend, support and encourage the few who are left to cover EPO scandals. Team Battistelli is suffering (it's afraid of information/reporting, as opposed to its paid puff pieces that are easily refuted) and it is attempting to silence — sometimes by scare tactics — those who persist and actually understand the system well enough to highlight the abuses and explain these to a wider audience (as the El Reg did, even in that long followup comment).

In Russia, as per today’s news, a lawyer has been thrown out of a building (sounds like a familiar story because it happens to journalists too, but media reports frame it somewhat differently now [1, 2]) and writing about the EPO’s management sometimes feel like covering Mexican drug gangs, Russian elites, or the Sicilian Mafia. We don’t think Merpel is a coward; in fact, people should be thankful to her for covering EPO scandals for as long as she had.
_________
* “Granting patents is easy – it’s rejecting patents that’s hard,” one noteworthy comment has noted.

As Expected, the Patent Microcosm is Already Interfering, Lobbying and Influencing Supreme Court Justices

Tuesday 21st of March 2017 10:24:27 PM

Insulting Justices/judges, like hitting them under the belt


Justice Breyer was pro-Alice or in favour of what’s now known as the Alice test that eliminates many software patents

Summary: The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is preparing to deliver some important decisions on cases with broad ramifications, e.g. for patent scope, and those who make money from patent feuds are attempting to alter the outcome (which would likely restrict patent scope even further, based on these Justices’ track record)

SOME of our earliest articles about SCOTUS were quite critical of it; the same goes for the USPTO. But nearly a decade has passed and the United States is nicely reforming the patent system, led by key decisions from SCOTUS (decisions such as Alice and Mayo).

“…nearly a decade has passed and the United States is nicely reforming the patent system, led by key decisions from SCOTUS (decisions such as Alice and Mayo).”There are some important and relevant (to us) cases coming from SCOTUS, possibly with new Justices joining quite soon (following the death of Scalia and the change of political party in power). A loosely-closeted patent maximalist (disguised as academic) seemed rather bothered about the upcoming decisions. He wrote a lot about them recently, noting for instance that “Justice Breyer dissented – arguing that “for more than a century courts with virtual unanimity have applied laches in patent damages cases” in order to fill an important gap in the statutory regime.” (regarding SCA Hygiene Prods. v First Quality Baby Prods)

He also wrote regarding the Lexmark case which we recently wrote about in light of the attacks on Justice Breyer. The patent maximalist quotes from this SCOTUS oral arguments [PDF]: “If you look it the Alice case, for example, that obviously had tremendous implications…”

“There are some important and relevant (to us) cases coming from SCOTUS, possibly with new Justices joining quite soon (following the death of Scalia and the change of political party in power).”Yes, fantastic implications to software developers, albeit negative for patent trolls, patent lawyers etc. (in other words, people who produce nothing of use)

SCOTUS will likely rule for common sense yet again, as it so persistently did in the patents domain (the composition of Justices is still very similar). Here is Watchtroll attempting to influence the outcome by giving the platform to “an associate in Womble Carlyle’s Intellectual Property Transactions Group.” (i.e. patent microcosm).

No doubt there will be a lot of lobbying to that effect in the coming days, weeks, and beyond.

A great headline that we found earlier today said, “In Apple v. Samsung, SCOTUS Sided With Reason Over Rounded Corners

“No doubt there will be a lot of lobbying to that effect in the coming days, weeks, and beyond.”There may be more such decisions (regarding Apple and Samsung) heading into SCOTUS, with nearly billions of dollars hanging in the balance (for this case alone, irrespective of impact it would have on other, future cases). To quote the article: “After almost five years of legal volleying, the U.S. Supreme Court finally issued a decision in the highly anticipated Apple v. Samsung design patent case late last year. On Tuesday, Dec. 5, the court delivered a unanimous decision in favor of Samsung, finding that damages for design patent infringement may be limited to revenues attributable to a component of an article of manufacture rather than profits from the entire article. While this is an important victory for startups and innovators—from global corporations to inventors toiling in garages—courts must still work to provide the guidance and clarity necessary to prevent bad actors from abusing the patent system to the detriment of innovation. And they have a new opportunity to do so: On Feb. 7, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit took a significant step in that direction by remanding the Apple v. Samsung case to the Northern District of California court.”

We have been trying to figure out where a Justice Gorsuch (if appointed, not just nominated) would stand on patents, but it’s still too much of a mystery [1, 2]. We have not yet seen any indication — except perhaps this — that Trump is going change course and attempt to reverse/undo the progress made.

Intellectual Ventures — Like Microsoft (Which It Came From) — Spreads Patents to Manifest a Lot of Lawsuits

Tuesday 21st of March 2017 09:51:16 PM

They are still close friends…


Bill Gates (Microsoft co-founder) and Nathan Myhrvold (Intellectual Ventures founder, former Microsoft CTO). Credit: Reuters

Summary: That worrisome strategy which is passage of patents to active (legally-aggressive) trolls seems to be a commonality, seen across both Microsoft and its biggest ally among trolls, which Microsoft and Bill Gates helped create and still fund

TWO days ago we wrote that it certainly seemed (based on new evidence) like Microsoft would start siccing trolls on (and against) companies such as Amazon and AWS customers — something that some pundits had already hypothesised about (since the “Azure IP Advantage” announcement [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]).

“Is this a new modus operandi for Intellectual Ventures? Is Microsoft, a close ally of Intellectual Ventures, in the know about this?”We are now hearing, right from the mouths of Intellectual Ventures apologists, that the patents it gives away to other fake companies (which produce nothing) are being used to attack legitimate companies down in the Eastern District of Texas. Is this a new modus operandi for Intellectual Ventures? Is Microsoft, a close ally of Intellectual Ventures, in the know about this? Will some of these firms that Intellectual Ventures is arming go after AWS customers and never against Azure customers? We shall see…

As IAM put it today (remember that IAM repeatedly groomed this troll, the world’s largest patent troll): “In December last year, however, IV’s Invention Science Fund made three separate transfers of 49 assets to an entity called Location Based Services LLC, a Plano-based business that appears to be controlled by Leigh Rothschild. He is listed on IV’s website as being part of its invention network and, according to the site, has turned to IV in the past to help monetise his own patents. He has also been only too happy to pursue alleged infringers through the courts and now appears prepared to try to monetise some of IV’s grants. Last month, Location Based Services filed three infringement lawsuits in East Texas against Rand McNally, MITAC Digital Corp and Garmin International.”

“It’s going to be difficult to keep track as Intellectual Ventures already has literally thousands of proxies, based on reliable press reports.”It’s not an isolated example. The title of the article is, “As IV increases its rate of patent sales, more of the assets it divests are ending up in court”.

So it’s Intellectual Ventures — not just Microsoft — which is now fueling massive number of lawsuits by giving patents to trolls. It’s going to be difficult to keep track as Intellectual Ventures already has literally thousands of proxies, based on reliable press reports.

What the Patent Microcosm is Saying About the EPO and the UPC

Tuesday 21st of March 2017 09:21:38 PM

The patent microcosm is the military-industrial complex of the patent world

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

Summary: Response to 3 law firms and today’s output from them, which serves to inform or misinform the European public at times of Big Lies and fog of (patent) war, revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric patent warfare and lobbying

THE EPO is not the only ‘department’ accusable of spreading lies. Around the EPO — just like the USPTO for that matter — there are various legal firms looking forward and eagerly awaiting for a bite at the EPO’s corpses (like hyenas).

“The last thing Battistelli wants is a process that helps highlight (or quantitatively determine) the rapid demise in patent quality under his watch — something which insiders believe is intentional.”Simon Kahn of Boult Wade Tennant, for example, has just published this article that helps remind us that patent parasites and trolls will benefit if Battistelli gets his way (eliminating patent quality, oppositions, appeals and so on). “Nevertheless,” Kahn notes, “the low cost of EPO Oppositions and their central effect on the European Patent across all the countries in which it is in force, still makes them a valuable tool. It should be borne in mind that an Opposition can only be filed within nine months of the European Patent’s grant, so keeping track of patents in relevant sectors can be of great benefit.”

Battistelli shortens such appeal/opposition windows, raises the associated costs, understaffs the appeal broads, demotivates them and so on. The last thing Battistelli wants is a process that helps highlight (or quantitatively determine) the rapid demise in patent quality under his watch — something which insiders believe is intentional. We recently published EPO leaks (from which the EPO attempted to distract on the same day) that show admissions from the inside that patent quality control is an utter disaster.

“If they’re not a mere victim of EPO deception, then they are willfully complicit in a disinformation campaign, which doesn’t bode well for Awapatent (albeit Battistelli will love them for it, forever and a day).”As is usual, patent law firms are too afraid to express their concerns about all this (maybe because they benefit financially from overpatenting, or maybe for fear of retaliation). Earlier today Awapatent took the role of Battistelli and EPO ‘mouthpiece’, repeating claims about EPO ‘results’ and even repeating patently false claims. If they’re not a mere victim of EPO deception, then they are willfully complicit in a disinformation campaign, which doesn’t bode well for Awapatent (albeit Battistelli will love them for it, forever and a day).

Speaking of patent law firms that spread lies, watch this latest Bristows tweet and corresponding — cough cough — article. They are are lying about Germany again (we debunked this in [1, 2], among other posts). They say a German “bill makes it possible for Germany to ratify the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court (UPC)(Drucksache 18/11137 here) and the other to implement the unitary patent system into German law (Drucksache 18/8827 here).”

“Don’t they realise that they actively work against everyone in Europe except themselves, and possibly their largest clients that are not even European (American pharmaceutical giants, for instance)?”Actually, as per the rules, it’s probably an invalid ‘vote’, more like a publicity stunt from Team UPC. A 1:30 AM (yes, AM!) vote with just 5% of the German politicians is about as valid one person in a classroom coming to school at 4 AM to act as a Students’ Union. As one can imagine, patent lawyers’ media continues to promote these claims, but the “UPC is clearly against the interest of Europe (except some law firms in Europe, preying on legitimate businesses),” I told them.

Well, to their credit, they did share my words to their followers. Don’t they realise that they actively work against everyone in Europe except themselves, and possibly their largest clients that are not even European (American pharmaceutical giants, for instance)? The patent microcosm is doing a lot to disgrace itself each time it lies to the public and to public officials about the UPC (and its effects on European businesses), in a purely lobbying (in nature) effort to tilt laws in their favour.

Tough Day for the EPO’s Media/Press/PR Team, Trying ‘Damage Control’ After Important Techrights Publications

Tuesday 21st of March 2017 08:45:58 PM

Summary: In an effort to save face and regain a sense of legitimacy the EPO publishes various things belatedly, and only after Techrights made these things publicly known and widely discussed

Poor Benoît…

The EPO is collapsing around him and simply going on mysterious money-sharing tours (an issue we’ve mentioned since 2014, in relation to Croatia) raises more questions than ever…

“The above is a great example of ‘damage control’.”The USPTO never in its entire history earned the same level of disgrace that Benoît managed to ‘accomplish’ in just a few years on the job. Tonight we have much planned for publication, as sources multiply and truth is becoming too much for Benoît to bear (most of the large European nations already want him ousted, only to be outmaneuvered by this Danish man who keeps Battistelli’s salary secret).

The above is a great example of ‘damage control’. It doesn’t get any greater than that and it feels like they play catchup while we, thanks to our sources, are virtually running circles around the PR team of Team Battistelli whom it serves so diligently (nothing but 100% loyalty is tolerated by the ‘king’).

What we see here is responsive or reactionary publication. Earlier this year, for example, just hours after we had leaked these internal E-mails about patent quality the EPO came up with some recycled old news about “quality” in an apparent effort to distract and divert away from the leaks.

“What we see here is responsive or reactionary publication.”This evening, less than 24 hours after our post about it (see what we posted earlier today, just after midnight), the EPO published this nonsense (warning: epo.org link). In it, the PR people conveniently do not mention the date, as it happened quite a while back (with strategic timing) and they chose not to report/mention anything about it (as it would raise the very questions we raised this morning — causing internal rumours that are definitely damaging to Battistelli). Only after Techrights had reported on it the EPO felt like it needed to pretend to be transparent. In Twitter it wrote (a short while ago): “President Battistelli signed bilateral co-operation plans with heads of the patent offices of Latvia and Lithuania”

Why was the EPO silent for so long about it? The question is rhetorical.

“You know that Techrights exposed your crooked dealings,” I told them in Twitter, “so again you manipulate history” (to make it seem like they were open about it all along).

“The EPO is just getting desperate and trying to appear more popular than it really is.”Speaking of the EPO’s Twitter account, compare these statistics that we shared earlier this year to the latest. In 2 months EPO gained just 22 fake “followers” and just 36 real followers. Is this SEO? SPAM farming? Whatever it is, for the sake of comparison, in the same period of time I gained ten times as many legitimate followers and there are hardly any “fakes” associated with me. The EPO is just getting desperate and trying to appear more popular than it really is. The rapid growth in “follower” count magically stalled when we pointed this out. Maybe they read what we write on a regular basis and respond accordingly. This comes to show that our sources have a real impact.

Earlier today in Twitter the EPO continued to mention nations where there was a decline in patent applications (it only started doing this after we had criticised it for omissions). One tweet said: “Norway is the only Nordic state to register growth in patent applications in 2016, up 1.8%”

That’s one out of three if not one out of seven. “Aren’t you going to add the map from which you removed Scandinavia?”

That’s what I asked them. For those who missed it, the EPO decided it doesn’t recognise Scandinavia because it didn’t like the numbers from Scandinavia. We addressed the subject in the following previous posts:

The last among the above was published earlier today. They haven’t shared that map since. Instead they said, more humbly than usual: “Finnish companies filed fewer patent applications at the EPO in 2016″

“Earlier today in Twitter the EPO continued to mention nations where there was a decline in patent applications (it only started doing this after we had criticised it for omissions).”No excuses!

Bravo!

That’s the first time we’ve seen an honest tweet from the EPO about its results. Brutally honest. “Well done,” I said to Finland, “people there seems to have realised that EPO is a rogue institution…”

“How can Battistelli and his cronies explain that, other than play dirty games with statistics and attempt to distort the figures for lobbying purposes?”It’s not just Finland. The majority of Europe also saw decline in demand [sic] for EPs. How can Battistelli and his cronies explain that, other than play dirty games with statistics and attempt to distort the figures for lobbying purposes? Maybe Donald Trump and Benoît Battistelli can have alternative facts as a good “topic” for discussion some day, perhaps debating how to hide the fact that demand [sic] for EPs nosedived in the US last year.

Earlier today the EPO wrote: “The EPO will be at #LESI2017 http://www.lesi2017.org/ We look forward to seeing you all at our booth!”

“We encourage readers to send us material as it’s evident that EPO management is squirming and grappling with the facts.”I asked the EPO: “Do French applicants know that as supposed retaliation against French politicians Battisetlli got them demoted?” (in the patents examination pile)

Guess what happened to patent demand [sic] in France? It’s down.

We encourage readers to send us material as it’s evident that EPO management is squirming and grappling with the facts.

Links 21/3/2017: PyPy Releases, Radeon RX Vega, Eileen Evans at Linux Foundation

Tuesday 21st of March 2017 07:49:38 PM

Contents GNU/Linux
  • Desktop
    • Red Flag Windows: Microsoft modifies Windows OS for Chinese government

      China has long been both a huge lure and a thorn in the side for Microsoft. Massive piracy of Windows XP, a decade-long effort to replace Windows entirely with a home-grown Linux variant called Red Flag and an OpenOffice variant called RedOffice, and a ban on Windows 8 for government use following the leak by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden of information on National Security Agency spying all have combined to hinder Microsoft in the Chinese market. But now Microsoft—in partnership with the state-owned China Electronics Technology Group (CETC)—is preparing to reboot its relationship with Beijing, thanks to a modified version of Windows produced specifically for China, Dow Jones Newswires reports.

    • [Old] Windows 10 May Delete Your Programs Without Asking

      When you install a major Windows 10 update, you may reboot to find some of your programs missing. Yes, Windows 10 may remove your programs without asking you–but you can get them back pretty easily.

      This is the takeaway from some people’s experiences with the “November update,” Windows 10’s first big update. Microsoft has refused to comment on this, but it seems like the update process is designed to remove incompatible programs. Here’s what’s going on, and what you can do about it.

  • Server
    • DevOps still very much a work in progress, survey suggests

      That’s the key takeaway from a recent survey of 2,045 IT managers and professionals, released by Quali, an IT automation solutions provider. While most people in enterprises would say at this point that they have DevOps underway in some shape or form, achieving agility is another story.

    • IBM chases Google, Microsoft with Kubernetes in the cloud

      It’s only a matter of time before every major cloud vendor offers a version of Kubernetes as a service. Now it’s IBM’s turn.

    • In The Virtualization Space, Containers Are Making A Move

      Wow has it been a whirlwind over the last ten years in the virtualization space. Where once Xen and then KVM sat on the pedestal, the baton has been passed to the projects revolved around containers. Names like Docker, Kubernetes and Mesos are most often mentioned. As is generally the case in the FLOSS arena, evolution is a constant. Therefore, if one is in the DevOps arena, it is time to familiarize yourself with containers if you have not already done so.

    • The DOE and NSA Construct Doomsday Scenario for American HPC

      One last point. The Chinese economy continues to expand faster than that of the US, and, depending on who you talk to, will reach the size of the US sometime between 2018 and 2028. Such an economy would be expected to field an HPC capability on par with that of the US. Furthermore, China and the US should both be able to maintain an indigenous and self-sustaining HPC capability for their own use, and it’s unreasonable to think either could prevent the other from doing so. In such a world, the US may no longer enjoy technological supremacy, but it can surely have the wherewithal to control its own future in HPC.

    • [Older] Getting Down To Bare Metal On The Cloud

      When you think of the public cloud, the tendency is to focus on the big ones, like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform. They’re massive, dominating the public cloud skyline with huge datacenters filled with thousands of highly virtualized servers, not to mention virtualized storage and networking. Capacity is divvied up among corporate customers that are increasingly looking to run and store their workloads on someone else’s infrastructure, hardware that they don’t have to set up, deploy, manage or maintain themselves.

    • Avoid complex infrastructure when building simple things

      For local development, go crazy. For real production use.. I think you should avoid this until you’re the size of business that someone else will do this for you. If this seems controversial do the math: include backing it up, patching it, keeping it highly available, the time spent not working on your differentiating features etc. There are plenty of datastore services available that will do all this for you and let you focus your limited time on your app, and they’re really very cheap when you consider the actual cost of running a production database. Write your app so that the cost of moving to your own database later if you need to is unlikely to be high. Managing a simple web app instead of managing a web app, a production database, a message queue etc is a big win.

  • Kernel Space
    • Intel Has More DRM Graphics Driver Code Ready For Linux 4.12

      Intel had already sent in a batch of feature updates to DRM-Next targeting the Linux 4.12 kernel and yesterday an additional feature pull was submitted of work to premiere in this next kernel series.

    • Eric Anholt Continues Tuning GLAMOR, Cleaning Up ARM CLCD Driver

      For those following the development of the open-source VC4 driver stack that notably supports the Raspberry Pi graphics hardware, developer Eric Anholt has published another status update.

      As covered already, VC4 HDMI audio is coming to Linux 4.12 as a big milestone.

    • The Linux Foundation’s Arpit Joshipura to Host Open Networking Q&A on Twitter [Ed: If you do not join (i.e. give data to) surveillance and censorship platform Twitter you can't speak to the Linux Foundation now?]

      On Friday, March 31, The Linux Foundation will kick off a new initiative. No, it’s not a new project, event, or training course, although there are plenty of those in store. Instead, the foundation will begin a monthly Twitter chat, called #AskLF, with leaders at the organization.

    • CoreOS Donates its rkt Container Technology to CNCF

      At the same time that Docker offered to donate its containerd technology to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), CoreOS did the same with its competing rkt.

    • The Linux Foundation Appoints Eileen Evans to Board of Directors

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, today announced that Eileen Evans, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Software and Open Source at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), has joined The Linux Foundation Board of Directors as an At-Large director. Ms. Evans had represented HP and then HPE from 2012 through 2016 on the Board as a Platinum director.

    • Graphics Stack
      • AMD GPU Linux driver patches is listing seven Vega 10 IDs

        100 Linux patches amounting to over fourty thousand lines of code was sent out today for review in order to provide “Vega 10″ support within the Linux AMDGPU DRM driver.

        Adding Vega support to AMDGPU is a big task due to all of the changes over Polaris and other recent GPUs reports Phoronix.

      • Mesa 17.0.2 Brings Improvements to Radeon RADV and Intel ANV Vulkan Drivers

        Immediately after announcing the last maintenance update to the Mesa 13.0 3D Graphics Library series, Collabora’s Emil Velikov published the second point release for the new Mesa 17.0 branch.

        Mesa 17.0.2 is here only two weeks after the release of the first maintenance update to Mesa 17.0, which is currently the most advanced stable branch of the graphics stack used by default in numerous Linux-based operating systems.

      • Mesa 13.0.6 Is the Last in the Series, Users Encouraged to Move to Mesa 17.0

        Collabora’s Emil Velikov is announcing today the general availability of the sixth and last scheduled maintenance update for the Mesa 13.0 3D Graphics Library series for GNU/Linux distributions.

        Mesa 13.0.6 is here only to backport many of the improvements from the newest stable branch, Mesa 17.0, to the Mesa 13.0 series, which some of you are still using on your Linux distro. However, you should start migrating to Mesa 17.0 as soon as you read this.

      • 140 Patches Posted To Wire Up Radeon RX Vega In RadeonSI Gallium3D Driver
      • Porting Mesa/Libdrm’s Build System To Meson Brings Up Controversy

        Last week an independent developer proposed replacing the build system of libdrm — the DRM library that sits between Mesa and the Linux kernel DRM — to using the Meson build system as a potential replacement to using Autotools. That has led to another colorful discussion around build systems.

        Dylan Baker’s RFC patches can be found on the dri-devel list and the discussion that ensued. He argues that the build system with Meson would be better since it’s written in Python, Meson makes use of Ninja rather than CMake, its syntax is arguably simpler, and it’s quicker. Dylan found that his build times dropped from 26 seconds to 13 seconds when going from Autotools to Meson. When making use of ccache, the build times dropped from 13 seconds to 2 seconds. He also mentioned he’s planning on porting Mesa’s Autotools/CMake build system over to Meson.

      • AMD’s Linux GPU patches seven Vega 10s

        These 100 patches add up to 40,000 lines of code and have been sent out today for review. The idea is that AMD will use them as the basis to provide “Vega 10″ support within the Linux AMDGPU DRM driver.

      • Seven AMD Vega GPU IDs have appeared in the latest Linux driver release

        More than forty thousand lines of updated code have been sent out with 100 little patches for AMD’s Linux graphics drivers so they can deliver Vega GPU support when the new architecture launches. Inside the latest drivers have appeared seven discrete Vega 10 device IDs.

      • AMD Linux Driver Team Releases Over 100 ADMGPU Driver Patches Including Vega 10, Polaris 12 Support

        More than 100 patches for ADMGPU driver, including some much talked about support for Vega 10, were released by AMD’s Linux driver team yesterday.

  • Applications
    • Buku – A Powerful Command-line Bookmark Manager for Linux

      I can damn sure, managing bookmarks is one of the major/important tasks to everyone now a days. Everyone have different requirement and holding bunch of URL’s for their needs and keeping those in bookmarks.

      We all knows about bookmarks, usage, and how to do in web browser, especially in GUI mode. What about command-line? Most of us doesn’t know about this awesome utility which used to create bookmarks in command-line.

    • Indicator DOOM Gives Your Ubuntu Desktop the Badass CPU Monitor It Deserves

      Say hello to the flat-out coolest way to keep and eye on your desktop’s CPU load.

      Because as handy as tools like Indicator Multiload are, they lack a certain …badassery.

      Indicator DOOM is a CPU load indicator for Ubuntu that displays processor load using Doomguy‘s face from the iconic DOOM video game.

    • PiCluster 1.7 – Efficient Container Management

      I am pleased to announce PiCluster v1.7. In this release, I wanted to make PiCluster easier to use by having the Web Console handle most of the common configuration file changes. Not everyone enjoys editing json files including myself. Now let’s go over what is new in this release.

    • Command-line document conversion tools for writers

      Today, we have ample tools available for editing memos, letters, essays, books, presentation slides, and other documents on our computers. This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage: on the one hand, if you don’t like a piece of software, you can simply move on to another one any time; on the other hand, a lot of these tools, especially proprietary software, are fully compatible with their own formats only. As a consequence, the more documents you have created with such a program, the less likely switching over to another solution will be possible without investing significant time, energy, and even money. This phenomenon is called vendor lock-in.

    • Instructionals/Technical
    • Games
      • The 25 Best Games for Linux and Steam Machines

        When I was first introduced to Linux and the Open Source community gaming was an issue that users always complained about. Interested gamers always had to use wine or implement one workaround or the other.

        There were either not good enough drivers to run certain games on Linux or the games themselves weren’t available for the platform.

        Fast forward to 2017 and the story has changed. Linux gamers now have a variety of games they can choose from ranging from free to the relatively pricey ones.

        Today, I bring you a list of the 25 best games you can play on your Linux system.

      • Dota 2 patched for AMD Ryzen

        Valve have put out a small Dota 2 update that aims to improve performance on the new Ryzen processors from AMD.

      • Jack Orlando: Director’s Cut now has a Wine-port on Steam for Linux

        Jack Orlando: Director’s Cut [Steam], an adventure game published by Topware is the latest game of theirs to get a Wine-port on Steam.

      • RPG Maker MV now has a Linux version and a Linux game export option

        We saw signs of RPG Maker MV [Steam] coming to Linux early last year, but now it’s official. RPG Maker MV now has a Linux version and it can export Linux games.

        With the release of the 1.4.0 update, anyone who owns it now has access to the Linux version on Steam. So anyone wanting to make simple RPG games on Linux has access to a highly rated tool.

      • Dota 2 Receives Optimization For AMD Ryzen CPUs

        If you were an early buyer of AMD Ryzen hardware, Valve has pushed out a Dota 2 game update with some Ryzen optimizations.

        Today’s Dota 2 update from Valve mentions, “Improved threading configuration for AMD Ryzen processors.” Presumably this is with better dealing of Ryzen’s new SMT capabilities for AMD processors.

      • Space sandbox game ‘Avorion’ has a whopper of an update, considering getting a server for it

        I am a massive fan of ‘Avorion’ [Steam] as this Early Access space sandbox has a lot going for it and it just got a major update. I am also considering setting up a GOL server for it!

        This new update will mean a re-design of your ships, so be warned. The flight model has been reworked and you now need to make use of three new blocks: Directional Thruster, Gyro Array, Inertia Dampeners.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
    • GNOME Desktop/GTK
      • GNOME Photos 3.24.0

        It was high time that we overhauled our old GtkIconView-based overview grids. Their inability to reflow the thumbnails leads to a an ugly vertical gutter of empty space unless the window is just the right size. The other problem was performance. GtkIconView gets extremely slow when the icons are updated, which usually happens when content is detected for the first time and start getting thumbnailed.

  • Distributions
  • Devices/Embedded
    • Rugged, Linux-ready sandwich style SBC packs Skylake CPUs

      VersaLogic’s 125 x 85 x 37mm “Blackbird” offers Skylake CPUs, up to 32GB of DDR4, 3x mini-PCIe sockets, wide-range power, and MIL-STD-202G ruggedization.

      VersaLogic calls its dual-layer Blackbird an Embedded Processing Unit (EPU). Like the other VersaLogic EPUs we’ve seen, such as the Atom-based Osprey EPU, the Blackbird is a three-layer sandwich consisting of a COM Express module in the middle, a same-sized I/O interface board on the top, and a heat spreader on the bottom. Compared to the Osprey, the Blackbird has a lot more real-world ports, making it more SBC-like rather than a COM with SBC-like characteristics. The Blackbird is “supplied fully assembled and tested, including heat plate, ready to install in a system,” says Versalogic.

    • Phones
Free Software/Open Source Leftovers
  • Health/Nutrition
    • Chile: Civil Society, Members Of Congress Urge Issuance Of Compulsory Licences

      Representatives of Chilean civil society and Congress this week presented the Chilean health minister with a proposal urging the government to take advantage of international trade law and a newly passed congressional resolution to issue compulsory licences on high-priced drugs for hepatitis C and prostate cancer.

      The proposal was made under the advisement of Luis Villarroel, director of Corporación Innovarte, a non-governmental organisation in Santiago.

    • Eli Lilly Loses Quixotic Quest To Get Canada To Pay $500 Million For Rejecting Its Bad Patents

      Over the last few years, we’ve written a ton about “corporate sovereignty” provisions in trade agreements. Technically, these tend to be called “Investor State Dispute Settlement” or ISDS provisions, but I really believe that a decent part of the reason they’re called something so boring is to stop people from paying attention to just how nefarious these provisions truly are. One of the reasons we first started paying attention to these provisions — as they were showing up in agreements under negotiation, such as the TPP and TTIP — was following a story involving the pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly demanding $100 million from Canada for rejecting two of its patents.

      The issue was that Canada had rejected these two patents because the company couldn’t prove that the patented drugs were actually useful. Eli Lilly claimed that Canada had no right to reject patents on that basis, arguing that it was a “dramatic” shift in how patents were reviewed, and thus it was “expropriating its property” and undermining the company’s “expected future profits.” Think about that for a second. By the time this case went to an actual tribunal, the amount that the company was demanding had ballooned from $100 million to $500 million. This battle has waged on for many years — and for Eli Lilly, this was a huge deal. Management at the company basically bet the company on continuing to get new patents, and any hiccup — even a rejection of patents for not being useful — could be a disaster for the company. The company even pushed to get Canada slammed during diplomatic proceedings in the infamous Special 301 Report for the USTR for daring to reject its patents — and the USTR complied.

    • Patients, Members of Congress Ask Chilean Government to Issue Compulsory Licenses on Prostate Cancer and HCV Drug Patents

      Members of the Chilean Congress and a group of 6 patients visited the Chilean Ministry of Health yesterday to ask that the government use its authority under Chilean law to end patent monopolies on the prostate cancer drug enzalutamide (U.S. brand name Xtandi) and on sofosbuvir-based combination drugs for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV).

      The patients and members submitted a petition (signatures here) that outlined the legal authority and public policy rationale for the grant of compulsory licenses on the patents for the drugs described in the petition. Those compulsory licenses would allow prescription drug manufacturers to produce affordable generic versions of the drugs, subject to a reasonable royalty.

      The petition was written by Chilean attorney Luis Villarroel, and signed by Luis and five members of civil society and patient groups, and four members of the Chilean Congress, including Diputados Giorgio Jackson, Karla Rubilar, Miguel Alvarado, and Gabriel Boric.

      Knowledge Ecology International was asked to provide technical advice on the petition.

    • Norway Is No. 1 in Happiness. The U.S., Sadly, Is No. 14.

      After placing fourth last year, Norway is now the world’s happiest country, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report, released on Monday. The Central African Republic was the least happy of 155 countries.

      The authors of the report found that a half-dozen socioeconomic factors explain much of the difference in happiness among countries, but that social factors play an underappreciated role. As evidence, they cite periods of substantial economic growth that were nonetheless matched by declining happiness in China and the United States, which ranked 14th.

  • Security
    • Security updates for Monday
    • Old Linux kernel security bug bites

      OK, hands up, who knows what High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC) is? It’s an archaic networking data framing protocol that’s used in modems, X.25, frame-relay, ISDN, and other now uncommon networking technologies. I know it because I used to work with them back in the day. You’ll get to know it now because a researcher discovered a security hole hidden within the Linux kernel driver that implements it.

    • Seven year-old Linux vulnerability now patched

      An old vulnerability was just discovered in the Linux kernel, potentially allowing hackers to gain privilege escalation, or cause a denial of service. The vulnerability was quickly fixed and there have been no signs of it in the wild, although that does not necessarily mean it went unnoticed.

    • OpenSSH 7.5 released

      OpenSSH 7.5 has just been released. It will be available from the mirrors listed at http://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

    • OpenSSH 7.5 Has Security Fixes, Removes OpenSSL 1.0 Support for Portable OpenSSH

      OpenSSH, the cross-platform and open-source 100% complete SSH 2.0 protocol implementation offering both SFTP server and client support was updated today to version 7.5.

      OpenSSH 7.5 comes three months after the release of OpenSSH 7.4 in late December 2016, and promises to be a maintenance update that addresses two important security issues, implements support for the “=-” syntax to make removing of methods from algorithm lists a lot easier, and fix numerous reported bugs.

    • Is Linux Mint a secure distribution?

      Linux Mint has been lambasted by some in the media for security problems over the last few years. But how accurate are such perceptions? Does Linux Mint really suffer from security problems or is it all much ado about nothing?

      A writer at DistroWatch wades into the controversy and examines some of the myths and misunderstandings about Linux Mint and security.

    • Linux Mint’s security record

      Some of the more common misunderstandings I have encountered recently have involved the Linux Mint distribution. Mint has been a popular project in recent years and, with many people using the distribution and talking about the project, there is bound to be some mis-communication. In particular, most of the rumours and misunderstandings I have encountered have revolved around Mint’s security practises and history. I would like to clear up a few of the more common rumours.

    • Mozilla Firefox is the First Pwn2own 2017 Victim to be Patched

      Some vendors respond to security issues faster than others. Last week, the 10th annual Pwn2own hacking challenge was hosted by Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), with multiple groups of researchers taking aim at web browsers, operating systems and virtualization technology.

      Mozilla’s Firefox web browser was successfully exploited on March 16, the second day of the Pwn2own event. Researchers from Chaitin Security Research Lab were the only group to attack Mozilla Firefox, and earned $30,000 for demonstrating a new zero-day exploit. The day the exploit was demonstrated, the only thing publicly revealed about the exploit is that it made use of an integer overflow flaw in combination with an uninitialized memory buffer in the Windows kernel.

  • Defence/Aggression
  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
    • [Older] Leaked travel advice for spooks from the CIA

      AMONG the trove of American intelligence agency documents released by Wikileaks this week is one that instructs the country’s spies on protocols to follow while travelling abroad. Some of these are specific to the CIA’s needs. (“Talk to CCIE/Engineering about your planned TDY timeline,” the document begins, adding such tidbits as “Breeze through German Customs because you have your cover-for-action story down pat.”) But others are just good common-sense business-travel tips—for spies and corporate sales managers alike.

      The first universal advice in the document, which appears to be designed for spooks visiting an operations base in Frankfurt, is this: “If you are using a personal credit card, be sure to call your credit card company and notify them of your travel to Germany.” That seems like sound guidance.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature
    • Indonesia’s Peat Fires Still Blaze, But Not As Much As They Used To [iophk: "transmigration"]

      Indonesia is home to half the world’s tropical peat lands, and the catastrophe focused unprecedented attention on their importance. Despite being illegal, clearing peat land by fire remains widespread in Indonesia, as it is the cheapest way to clear land for agriculture and industry.

      [...]

      Subandi says he moved with his parents from the island of Java to Borneo in the early 1970s. Many of today’s peat land residents were moved there by the government [...]

    • Hunt Saboteurs Assaulted by Notorious Yorkshire Hunt

      Hunt saboteurs were assaulted by members of the Middleton Hunt at their meet in Uncleby, North Yorkshire on Saturday 18th March. Riders from the hunt stole a video camera and two body cams, hit sabs on the head with whips, attempted to ride them down and jumped off their horses to continue the attacks. One female saboteur has cracked ribs after being crushed between two horses.

  • Finance
    • US Apple users urge company to ‘do the right thing’ and pay NZ taxes

      He was commenting on revelations today in the Weekend Herald that Apple paid zero tax to the NZ Government in the past 10 years in a period when its sales in this country totalled $4.2 billion.

    • Goldman to move hundreds of staff from London pre-Brexit: Europe CEO [Ed: Getting rid of parasitic banks may be good for society, but when they leave because we have nothing to offer it's a loss]

      Goldman Sachs will begin moving hundreds of people out of London before any Brexit deal is struck as part of its contingency plans for Britain leaving the European Union, the Wall Street firm’s Europe CEO said.

      “We are going to start to execute on those contingency plans,” Richard Gnodde, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs International, the European arm of the Wall Street bank, told CNBC on Tuesday.

      “For this first period, this is really the period as we put in place contingency plans, this is in the hundreds of people as opposed to anything greater than that,” he said.

      British Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger EU divorce proceedings on March 29, launching two years of negotiations that will shape the future of Britain and Europe.

    • Tory MPs are attacking the BBC for not telling the public fairytales about Brexit

      Donald Trump might have sunk to record levels of unpopularity across the Atlantic, but that hasn’t stopped 72 Brexiteer MPs from taking a leaf out of his playbook.

      The august Parliamentarians have come together to form a little corp of Trump-kin Mini-Mes by signing a letter lambasting the BBC for its coverage of Brexit.

      It claims, among other things, that the corporation’s “pessimistic and skewed reporting” risks undermining the project and damaging Britain in the process.

      “It particularly pains us to see how so much of the economic good news we’ve had since June has been skewed by BBC coverage which seems unable to break out of pre-referendum pessimism and accept new facts,” it opines.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
  • Censorship/Free Speech
    • Judge Decides Free Speech Is Still A Right; Dumps Prior Restraint Order Against Mattress Review Site

      A couple of weeks ago, a federal judge in Utah decided prior restraint was the best way to handle a recently-filed defamation suit against Honest Mattress Reviews by Purple Innovations, makers of the Purple Mattress.

      Purple’s lengthy filing contained numerous allegations of harm caused by Honest Mattress Reviews’ extended commentary on the white plastic powder covering every mattress Purple ships. It also alleged HMR was just a front for site owner Ryan Monahan’s brand management work with Purple’s competitor, Ghostbed. Rather than give HMR a chance to respond, the judge decided the review site could publish nothing further about Purple or the lawsuit. It wasn’t even allowed to refer to its previous rating of Purple’s mattress.

      Honest Mattress Review didn’t care much for this decision — one it had been given no chance to contest. It immediately posted an article about the case and offered to comply with the letter of the order, but perhaps not its spirit.

    • Censorship Is Never Acceptable

      Doing a sociolinguistics module last semester made me well aware of the power of language. We use the words we do to construct our own identities, and therefore language contributes to the shaping of society. This means that it can be used in harmful ways. Yet the beauty of language is in its variety and its flexibility, and therefore we should oppose any attempt to censor language.

      Alas, that is what Cardiff Metropolitan University has done. By banning the use of certain words, they are impinging on people’s right to use language in whichever way they choose. Freedom of expression is not just about being able to express any opinion, it is about being able to express that opinion in any way you choose. Cardiff Met are restricting this freedom and therefore, whilst well-meaning, this policy is actually a step away from a more liberal society.

    • Censorship allegation made as Bruce Township officials toss newspaper from hall

      Cory said the treasurer gave away copies of The Record to residents coming into her office for them to read articles relating to Brockmann’s arrest, which is being adjudicated through the 42-2 District Court in New Baltimore. Sobczak said that he never told Obrecht to personally distribute The Record, but stands by her right to do so.

    • Filing Bogus Lawsuits As Part Of A ‘Reputation Management’ Strategy Costs Firm $71,000

      Because abusing the DMCA process only goes so far, some reputation management entities have begun exploiting an inattentive legal system to push lawsuits past judges. In some cases, these suits have featured fake plaintiffs filing bogus libel lawsuits against fake defendants and using a fake affidavit to fraudulently obtain court orders requiring Google to delist URLs.

      Those engaged in this fraudulent behavior aren’t likely to get away with it for much longer. Paul Alan Levy and Eugene Volokh managed to track down the person behind one set of bogus lawsuits and get the presiding judge to take a closer look at the bogus documents he was being handed. Pissed Consumer has also been reporting on others using the same MO, and has headed to court to get these suits examined and tossed.

      The end of line for supposed reputation manager Richart Ruddie came at the hands of Volokh and Levy, with the judge granting discovery to the defendant after being apprised of the apparently fraudulent filings. Now that Richart Ruddie of Profile Defenders has been exposed, it looks as though he’s given up the fight. Levy reports Ruddie has settled anti-SLAPP claims brought against him and is paying restitution for his reputation mismanagement.

    • To censor or not to censor? YouTube’s double bind

      YouTube has found itself fighting battles on two fronts this week.

      Advertisers have launched a concerted attack against the video-streaming platform for its devil-may-care attitude to extremist content. They argue it is too hard to guarantee that advertising spend won’t end up going to the likes of far-right group Britain First, and have decided to boycott the platform en masse until YouTube can confirm changes.

      In response, YouTube’s parent company Google has apologised, and promised a raft of changes to appease the big spenders, from better categorisation of hate speech to simpler, more powerful controls for advertisers. It’s also promised to hire “significant numbers of people”, on top of the thousands who already do the work, to review questionable content.

      At the same time, in a very different community, YouTube creators are lambasting the site after the discovery that its “restricted mode”, a feature intended to let schools, parents and libraries filter out content not appropriate for children, also removed a vast amount of LGBT content. Some videos from pop duo Tegan and Sara, who are gay, were hidden from view, as were videos from bisexual YouTuber NeonFiona – but only those which talked about her sexuality.

    • Man Actually Arrested For Assault With A Deadly Tweet

      Late last year, we wrote about the crazy case in which journalist Kurt Eichenwald was suing an anonymous Twitter troll, claiming that the troll had sent Eichenwald a flashing gif designed to cause some small percentage of epileptics to have a seizure. Eichenwald claimed that it had worked and he’d had a seizure on the spot. As we noted at the time, we’re no fans of Eichenwald. In our opinion, he’s an absolutely terrible journalist with a fairly long history of really weird issues, and a strange obsession with massively overselling stories. He has me blocked on Twitter and has indicated that he’s no fan of us either.

      [...]

      If you can’t see those, it’s a series of Direct Messages from the “@jew_goldstein” account, saying things like that Eichenwald “deserves to have his liver pecked out by a pack of emus.” “I hope this sends him into a seizure.” “Spammed this at [Eichenwald] let’s see if he dies.” “I know he has epilepsy.”

      [...]

      If you can’t see it, that’s the flashing gif that @jew_goldstein sent Eichenwald and it says “You Deserve A Seizure For Your Posts.” This was the same one that Eichenwald’s wife found on Kurt’s computer when she found him having a seizure. The affidavit includes a screenshot she took of his computer screen showing that exact gif. Oh, and also stored in Rivello’s iCloud? A screenshot of an edited Wikipedia page of Eichenwald, claiming that he’d died the day after the gif was set. And also screen shots of an article about epilepsy seizure triggers, and an article about how the police were trying to track down the troll.

      So that’s a lot of pretty damning evidence. As lawyer Keith Lee notes, it’s something of a miracle he was tracked down. Even though he took some fairly basic precautions to cover his tracks (fake account, Tracfone phone connection), he didn’t take that many and didn’t seem to realize how many other ways there were to track him down.

    • A Cuban film about gay repression pulled from festival. Was it censorship?

      Cuban filmmaker Carlos Lechuga has pulled an acclaimed film, based on repression against gay writers in the early years of the Revolution, from an upcoming presentation in New York after festival organizers banned it from official competition and instead categorized the screening as a special presentation.

    • Goodbye craft and DIY inspo: Pinterest falls victim to China’s Great Firewall
    • Chinese Internet Censors Have Banned Pinterest
    • Pinterest Gets The Boot In China
    • Pinterest—the Largest Digital Design-Inspiration Board—Is Blocked in China
    • Power Rangers next to be banned in Malaysia?
    • Nazri to LPF: Don’t ban Power Rangers, slap on P13 rating instead
    • Nazri appeals for Power Rangers not to be banned (Updated)
    • Nazri hopes no ban on Power Rangers
    • You are not our appointed moral guardian, Nazri tells Censorship Board
    • Now Power Rangers in the sights of censors for minor lesbian scene
    • Australian Senator Attacks Game Censorship, Classification Board

      Australian Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm has criticised the Government and the Australian Classification Board in a speech delivered to the Senate yesterday.

      The Senate crossbencher highlighted the recent case of Outlast II, which was refused classification late last week due to a rape sequence during one of the game’s cut-scenes.

    • Censorship and extremism worry content creator even as tech helps: Uday Shankar
    • STAR CEO Uday Shankar on courts, censorship and the Internet as a “progressive challenger”
    • Uday Shankar:Rising censorship,hooliganism killing creativity
    • Benegal committee recommends immediate abolishment of censorship: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
    • Shyam Benegal committee recommends abolishment of censorship: Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra
  • Privacy/Surveillance
    • Home Office admits it’s preparing to accept EU ruling on surveillance

      The Home Office has acknowledged that it is preparing to accept a landmark EU ruling from last year which restated that access to retained data must only be given in cases of serious crime, unlike the range of cases provided for under the new Investigatory Powers Act.

      When the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) handed down its judgment last December, the Home Office said it was “disappointed with the judgment… and will be considering its potential implications”.

      Among those implications was the requirement for a far higher bar to access the range of data which the government had made it a legal requirement for ISPs to store on their users, including prohibiting the police and public bodies from authorising their own access to this data. Instead the CJEU ruling requires that access requests receive prior authorisation by independent courts or similar bodies.

    • Met police accused of using hackers to access protesters’ emails

      The police watchdog is investigating allegations that a secretive Scotland Yard unit used hackers to illegally access the private emails of hundreds of political campaigners and journalists.

      The allegations were made by an anonymous individual who says the unit worked with Indian police, who in turn used hackers to illegally obtain the passwords of the email accounts of the campaigners, and some reporters and press photographers.

    • NSA Director Backs Agency Surveillance Procedures

      Adm. Michael Rogers, head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, said that the section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that allows the NSA to collect information on foreign nationals is “instrumental” in providing U.S. political leaders with intelligence.

    • NSA officials deny mass surveillance during Utah Olympics

      Former CIA and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden is denying allegations from a former Salt Lake City mayor that the NSA conducted a mass warrantless surveillance program during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah.

    • Fox News drops legal analyst Andrew Napolitano over GCHQ Donald Trump spying claims
    • Legal analyst Andrew Napolitano pulled from Fox News over claims GCHQ helped spy on Trump
    • Fox drops analyst who said UK might have helped spy on Trump
    • How do you feel about the government sharing our personal data?

      In October 2016, the digital economy bill began its progress through the UK parliament, including, as a Guardian editorial noted, a big shift: when it becomes law, the public’s personal data will be shared across departments without specified safeguards.

      For some, this is an essential move towards making the government more efficient. Others are concerned that government departments will be able to pool data collected without having put in place robust privacy protections, and fear that public sector bodies may end up following the “data free-for-all” that exists in the private sector.

    • Three UK’s mobile customers experience new data breach

      The mobile phone company Three has experienced a fresh data breach after some customers logging into their accounts were presented with the names, addresses, phone numbers and call histories of strangers.

      Three said it was investigating a technical issue with its systems and urged those affected to contact its customer service department.

      One customer, Andy Fidler, told the Guardian he was presented with the data usage and full call and text history of another named customer when he logged in on Sunday night. Another, Mark Thompson, said on Facebook he received a call from a complete stranger who said she had logged on to her account and was shown his details.

    • US forbids any device larger than cellphone on airlines from 13 countries

      The new edict was distributed in an email described as “confidential” from the US transportation safety administration (TSA) on Monday.

      The requirement forbids passengers from bringing laptops, iPads, Kindles and even cameras larger than mobile phones into the cabin. All such devices must be checked.

    • TSA will ban flyers from 13 countries from bringing laptops, tablets onboard

      US authorities will no longer allow travelers from 13 African and Middle Eastern countries to bring computers and laptops into airplane cabins anymore, two news agencies have reported.

    • U.S. to ban some airline passengers from carrying larger electronics [iophk: "makes them easier to steal or break into"]

      Passengers traveling on certain U.S.-bound foreign airline flights will have to check electronic devices larger than a cell phone once U.S. authorities formalize a new ban in response to an unspecified terrorism threat, U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday.

    • New mass warrant reverses concepts: demands all data about everybody who searched for a specific term on Google

      A Minnesota judge has issued a warrant to Google to provide the local police with all data relating to anybody who searched for specific keywords. This is an enormous expansion of the concept of mass surveillance, and turns all previous concepts of search and seizure on their heads: no longer is a suspect subject to search, but the entire population is dragnetted without restraint.

    • Adobe, Microsoft team up to share sales and marketing data [iophk: "both companies infamous for failed security"]
    • RAND Study Suggests 0-Day Exploits Should be Stockpiled
    • Disable TELNET! Cisco finds 0-Day in CIA Dump affecting over 300 Network Switch Models

      Cisco is warning of a new critical zero-day IOS / IOS XE vulnerability that affects more than 300 of its switch models.

      The company identified this highest level of vulnerability in its product while analyzing “Vault 7″ — a roughly 8,761 documents and files leaked by Wikileaks last week, claiming to detail hacking tools and tactics of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

  • Civil Rights/Policing
    • Jailed ex-sergeant loses contempt case over device passwords

      “It’s quite possible he remains in jail for failing to comply with an order he can’t comply with,” he said.

    • After Trump, Amos Yee blames US judge in phone call from jail

      Singaporean blogger Amos Yee blamed a U.S. judge for his extended incarceration in a U.S. jail, this after blaming US President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration executive order.

      In a phone call from jail, Amos Yee spoke to Han Hui Hui in what appears to be instructions on what he expects the activist community in Singapore to do for his release.

      The video was sent to TISG by Han Hui Hui after her telephone call with Amos Yee. The video is also uploaded on Youtube with the Prickly Porcupine handle.

    • Dear recruiter, “open floor space” is not a job benefit

      The fundamental problem facing managers is that productivity is hard to measure. Faced with the inability to measure productivity, managers may feel compelled to measure time spent working. Never mind that it’s counter-productive: at least it gives management control, even if it’s control over the wrong thing.

    • Homeland Security Starts Banning Laptops & Tablets On Planes From The Middle East

      It’s been a very long time since I last flew somewhere without my laptop. I actually am more productive than usual on planes, and I tend to use flying time to just focus in and get a ton of stuff done. I can’t even begin to explain how ridiculously frustrating it would be to find out that I wouldn’t be allowed to bring a laptop onto a plane, and yet it appears that our new Homeland Security overlords have put in place new restrictions on flights to the US from certain countries in the middle east barring tablets and laptops from the cabin (apparently no American carriers are impacted — just foreign ones). Passengers are being told to check such things (which is odd, since normally you’re not supposed to check lithium ion batteries…). Flights from 13 countries are being hit with this, and Homeland Security won’t give any further explanation beyond the usual “national security.” And, just this morning, the UK announced that it would be doing the same thing.

      Homeland Security has been hinting that this is due to some sort of specific threat — so it sounds like there’s intelligence around a planned attack using such a device. Perhaps then the extra precaution is sensible. But, once again, this feels like a form of overkill security theater: inconveniencing basically everyone (to extreme levels) based on the slight possibility of a very small number of bad actors. There has to be a better way. Every time one of these new restrictions is put in place, it not only completely inconveniences people, but it shows people that if they somehow convince the scaredy cats at DHS of some new type of threat, they can inconvenience people even more. It’s almost as if each additional inconvenience is impacting things way more than an actual exploding laptop or whatever might.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
    • San Francisco Ponders The Largest Community Broadband Network Ever Built

      Despite being considered one of the technology capitals of the country, San Francisco and the Bay Area continue to suffer from a lack of broadband options — just like the rest of us sorry sods. If they’re lucky, most locals there still only have the option of one of two large ISPs: AT&T and Comcast. Both companies have a long, proud history of fighting competition tooth and nail, often by quite literally writing shitty state telecom law that ensures the status quo remains intact. Attempts to break through this logjam and bring faster, better broadband service to the city have seen decidedly mixed results.

      Like most areas, ultra-fast next-generation broadband in particular is notably lacking. Some estimates suggest that just 2.6% of San Francisco residents have access to gigabit broadband service. Sonic CEO Dane Jasper, whose company is also busy deploying gigabit services to the Bay Area, tells me he believes those figures are stale and gigabit penetration rates in the city are closer to 17%. And while Google Fiber had tinkered with the idea of bringing fiber to the city, the company’s pivot to wireless has left that added avenue of competition up in the air.

    • Despite Gigabit Hype, Comcast Is Facing Less Broadband Competition Than Ever

      Despite the rise of heavily-hyped-but-highly-scattered gigabit deployments, the broadband industry is actually seeing less competition than ever before across huge swaths of the country. Once upon a time, broadband “competition” consisted of an equally matched telco going head to head with the incumbent cable provider (if you were lucky). These days, most phone companies lack the finances or competitive motivation to improve lagging DSL speeds across their footprints — speeds that don’t even meet the FCC’s base definition of broadband (25 mbps).

      That’s resulting in a growing monopoly for the nation’s cable broadband providers, who have quietly been absolutely butchering phone companies over the last several years. Just take a look at the latest data from Leichtman Research, which notes that while cable broadband providers collectively added 2.7 million net additional high-speed Internet subscribers last year, phone companies collectively shed roughly 600,000 broadband users.

  • DRM
    • DRM in HTML5 takes its next step toward standardization

      Ever since W3C decided to start working on a DRM proposal, there have been complaints from those who oppose DRM on principle. The work has continued regardless, with W3C director and HTML inventor Tim Berners-Lee arguing that—given that DRM is already extant and, at least for video, unlikely to disappear any time soon—it’s better for DRM-protected content to be a part of the Web ecosystem than to be separate from it.

  • Intellectual Monopolies
    • US must bolster fight with China over intellectual property rights [Ed: Person from the "IP" industry wants more "IP" action]

      But promoting innovation is only part of the Founding Fathers’ mandate — without enforcing those property rights, American competitiveness is at risk. A new administration with Lighthizer at the helm of U.S. trade policy, should help solidify recent gains with China and reinforce efforts to overhaul China’s IP system.

    • Intellectual property rights in a virtual world [Ed: "IP" maximalists ('owning' concepts) don't get enough 'ownership' in the real world, go after virtual world too ]

      This article will explore the key legal issues relating to intellectual property (IP) rights, traditionally only used in the real world, and their role in the virtual or augmented world. The basic legal position on including virtual or augmented versions of IP in virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) experiences is straightforward; if the creator of VR or AR content does not hold the requisite IP rights to include certain material in its content, it should seek permission from the owner of such rights.

    • A Look At Optimal Patent Regimes For Canada

      Blit argues that Canada’s patent regime has not contributed to domestic innovation, and therefore has not offset the potential welfare losses which strong IP rights may bring. It is countries which have the highest innovation intensity, Blit says, which advocate for stringent IP protections beyond the level that would maximise global welfare.

    • Traditional Knowledge: beware of patent protection

      Protection of Traditional Knowledge (TK) is a complex legal issue, owing to its dynamic nature, lack of definition and the difficulty in establishing ownership and the
      geographical origin of TK, as well as the absence of an appropriate scheme for its protection. Indigenous communities and traditional knowledge practitioners all over the world are greatly concerned about the increased biopiracy and usurpation by commercial entities. It is in this context that the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in India formulated the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL), which is an endeavor to preempt the grant of patents on India’s TK. TKDL contains approximately 2,08,000 formulations based on the traditional healing systems, such as Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Yoga.

      TK Digital Libraries are the best defensive mechanism to prevent the patenting of TK already written down in ancient texts and manuscripts, although it still leaves scope for private appropriation of TK by making cosmetic improvements on it. India has signed access agreements with the European Patent Office and US Patents and Trademark Office, on the condition that secrecy be maintained and the database may be used as prior art for search and examination only. ‘Prior art’ is meant to encompass everything that has been published, presented or otherwise disclosed to the public as of the date of the patent and it includes documents in foreign languages disclosed in any format in any country. However, it is common sense that secrecy cannot be maintained on something that is classified as ‘prior art’.

    • UN Development Programme Calls For Reform Of IP And Investor Protection Regimes

      A United Nations Development Programme report released today places importance on transforming global institutions, and establishing fair trade and investment rules. The report calls for global reform of the intellectual property rights regime and investor protection regime. In addition, the report ranks countries on their human development level, putting Norway first followed by Australia and Switzerland.

    • Copyrights
      • Industry-Hated Game Emulators Save Two Video Games For Posterity

        For far too many years, the video game industry struggled to assert its place as a true artform, one deserving of the kind of respect granted to movies, music, television, and literature. This has been a source of frustration to those of us who can recognize the powerful storytelling device that video games represent, as well as the way modern games contribute to art and social commentary. But by its nature as a relatively new medium, games have also struggled to preserve the industry’s history in the way more widely and permanently disseminated artforms have accomplished. And that’s where the gaming industry has taken a turn against its own artistic interests, often demonizing methods for preserving gaming history over intellectual property concerns. Emulators are the chief method at hand, where games that are ancient by gaming standards can be digitized and preserved for posterity, save for the threat of legal action over copyright infringement and the industry’s attempts to stave off these useful tools.

        Like so many issues in the intellectual property world, it’s not hard to understand the gaming industry’s consternation. There’s no doubt that many people use emulators simply to play games from old consoles and cabinets rather than pay for physical copies. Still, there’s also no doubt that these same emulators work to preserve the artistic output in the gaming realm. This was most recently evidenced in two games that might never have seen the light of day again, save for emulators.

      • Yes We Scan: Why Concordia Should Not Shelve Its Book Scanner

        The copyright mistake at Concordia – a poetry centre scanned several books and posted them on the Internet without permission – has attracted considerable attention in the press and social media. Kate Taylor wrote a Globe and Mail column placing much of the blame at the feet of fair dealing, while I responded with a post yesterday that noted that no one claimed that the posting of the full-text books was permissible and that Concordia was an ill-advised target for fair dealing criticism given that it has a copyright collective licence with Copibec that compensates for copying on campus.

      • Kim Dotcom’s Historical Speeding Conviction Still a Deportation Danger

        Somewhat bizarrely, however, more than two years later and the case is still ongoing. According to the NZHerald, the case is now in its 29th month and is set to be the “longest, most drawn out investigation of its type.”

      • Getty Images Slams Google For Seeking Copyright Safe Harbor

        The notion that online platforms should not be held responsible for the infringing acts of their users is something entrenched in law in many regions, including the United States and Europe.

        In Australia, however, a perceived drafting error in the implementation of the Australia – US Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) means that safe harbor provisions only apply to commercial Internet service providers.

      • ‘Free TV’ Android box dealers lose court appeal to lift sales ban

        Cable giants won another victory today in the legal battle over fully loaded Android TV boxes. The Federal Court of Appeal in Montreal quickly dismissed an appeal of an injunction banning defendants from selling the controversial devices.

        Cable companies and content producers Bell, Rogers and Quebec’s Vidéotron won the temporary injunction in June after launching a legal case to stamp out the Android box business.

      • The Delhi University photocopy case comes to an abrupt end after publishers withdraw lawsuit

        In a rather bizarre end to the long running copyright infringement lawsuit filed against Delhi University (DU) and a photocopy shop, the three publishers: Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Francis & Taylor who filed the lawsuit have announced that they are withdrawing the lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the publishers in 2012 to restrain DU and the photocopy shop from reproducing portions of copyright protected books for the purpose of creating course packs for students of DU. This had been the practice in DU and most Indian universities for several decades and was never challenged till the filing of this lawsuit. As a result, the lawsuit provoked protests and rallies by students and also rallies and a legal intervention by a society of academics and students who supported the university’s position that the educational use was covered by an exception in the Copyright Act, 1957.

      • Marrakesh Treaty For Blind Readers Jeopardised By EU Publishing Industry Lobbying, Group Says

        The treaty adopted almost four years ago in Marrakesh allowing for exceptions to copyright for the benefit of visually impaired people was hailed as a victory for human rights over private rights. However, as the European Union is preparing to ratify the treaty, according to a civil society group report, intense lobbying by the publishing industry is influencing the debate and might diminish the hard-gained ground in the treaty on copyright exceptions. The World Blind Union, meanwhile, said it finds the report “revealing and shocking”.

      • Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra – Needs More Theatre To Tackle Piracy [Ed: Millionaires and billionaires trampling all over blind people to ensure they stay rich and powerful (control over information)]

        Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra at Ficci Frames 2017, expressed that unless we build more theatres, piracy will be only way to take content out.

        Established in 1927, FICCI is the largest and oldest apex business organisation in India. Its history is closely interwoven with India’s struggle for independence, its industrialization, and its emergence as one of the most rapidly growing global economies, kick started the FICCI Frames 2017 today.

In IAM, Asian Courts That Deliver Justice Are “Unfriendly” and Asian Patent Trolls Are Desirable

Tuesday 21st of March 2017 02:23:19 PM

Think tank for Battistelli and trolls, who dislike judges and would rather settle without them

Summary: Rebuttal or response to the latest pieces from IAM, which keeps promoting a culture of litigation rather than sharing, collaboration, negotiation, and open innovation

IAM’s writers have become — and clearly remained — mouthpieces of EPO/Battistelli, funded (their salaries) in part by the EPO's PR firm, which had received more than a million Euros from the EPO's budget in just one year (there is probably a continuation/expansion of that contract, which definitely needs leaking).

“At IAM, it’s just patent maximalism disguised as news.”Better headline for this morning’s nonsense from IAM would be “trolls-funded IAM is fuming at Japan for not being a vassal of patent maximalists,” but the current headline reads like their usual lobbying (they’re not really a news site) and says “data suggests that Japanese courts continue to be deeply unfriendly to patent owners” — mirroring/echoing the same sort of party line we see/hear whenever IAM covers the United States. At IAM, it’s just patent maximalism disguised as news. Anything goes, even notorious trolls such as Intellectual Ventures (habitually celebrated by IAM).

Recently, as the article at the top serves to show, IAM began promoting patent trolls in east Asia. Also see:

“Korea’s economic growth, which was very much real (its GDP surpassed even Russia’s), meant that companies such as Samsung and LG managed to accumulate capital and then pursued a lot of patents, even in the US and in Europe.”China’s patent hype and low quality of patents has led to a surge in patent applications, coming from various hopefuls who will successfully sneak in bogus patents through lazy/overworked/careless examiners (or in the case of SIPO, examiners whose job is to bolster the illusion of “China Rising” by just granting loads of patents, seeding a surge in patent lawsuits too).

Korea’s economic growth, which was very much real (its GDP surpassed even Russia’s), meant that companies such as Samsung and LG managed to accumulate capital and then pursued a lot of patents, even in the US and in Europe. Korea, however, is known for a reasonably non-aggressive patent culture (how often do Korean companies initiate legal action using patents, unless attacked/provoked first?) and it does not permit patents on software. A Korean patent troll (ish), Intellectual Discovery (ID), is now “facing a “crisis”, based on this new admission from it departing CEO: “Speaking with IAM on the day following his resignation as CEO, Kim described the organisation as facing a “crisis”. ID’s budget, he claimed, had been drastically slashed when responsibility for the organisation transferred from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). Kim also suggested that working under KIPO made it difficult to pursue some business opportunities because many of the biggest potential licensees are also big patent filers. Overall he made clear his opinion that if ID were to have any future it would have to be as a private entity.”

He means a proper troll (“private entity”), not just a patent troll (ish). IAM would certainly like to see more patent aggression; that’s like the raison d’être of IAM, which is a pro-litigation site. Bear this in mind any time something is published by this think tank, which Battistelli likes to share (as he last did earlier this month, see below for a reminder).

At EPO “I Have the Feeling That Lowering Quality is Part of a Concerted Plan.”

Tuesday 21st of March 2017 01:44:31 PM

Good for top-level management, bad for staff. Profitable to the Office in the short term, but the public (or industry) will pay the price.


Reference: Wikipedia

Summary: Growing concern about patent quality at the EPO — a subject which causes managers to get rather nervous — is now an issue at the forefront

THE EPO can’t help repeating the same mistakes that had made the US patent office a trolls factory until not too long ago (patent scope was belatedly limited — a subject to be explored again separately, maybe later today).

“Sloppy patent examination may be profitable to the Office (in the short term at least), but it externalises — in the externality sense — all the damages.”The latest cartoon from inside the EPO serves to show that even patent examiners recognise the effect of low-quality patents on small businesses and trolls. The patents can be invalidated by the courts, but at what cost and whose expense? Sloppy patent examination may be profitable to the Office (in the short term at least), but it externalises — in the externality sense — all the damages.

A relatively long new comment, posted some time last night, speaks of the reduction in patent quality at the Office. It’s worth reproducing in full because it’s buried several pages deep in some old Merpel article (from last year, before the self-censorship became more official):

The comments above give the impression that the plan was to improve production and that quality was just an unfortunate casualty of production pressure. But I think that lowering quality may actually have been a goal of its own, even if I don’t exactly understand what is achieved by a lower quality. Consider what happened in the past years:
-first, about 4 years ago, search and examination were reorganized, officially so that technical domains were not split between The Hague and Munich. In practice, however, in many cases it seems that domains were chosen to insure that a maximum of examiners had to change and therefore search and examine something which did not correspond to what they had learned to do. The training which was offered was often minimal.
-this completely unnecessary destruction of competence is not a huge problem in examination (people can adapt much more easily in examination) but is a much bigger problem in search (it takes one to two years for an engineer to be familiar with the collection of documents), but…
-second, about 3 years ago, search became a top priority and examiners had to do search files under time pressure (as an arbitrary short delay was set on them). Many had no time for examination any more
-because of the strange way production is internally measured, this also meant that examiners had artificial higher production figures (search is counted with 50% more points than examination)
-third, about a year ago, searches dried up and reducing examination backlog became a top priority. The examiners had to do more examination, but only final actions count towards our internal production figures (only grants or refusal, no intermediate communications). Examiners are not supposed to have their production figure decrease ever or your director will come to you and start to discuss retirement or dismissal for professional incompetence. That means that an examiner who had done, say, 80 “urgent” searches in 2015, not finding much prior art in a domain he or she was not familiar with, suddenly had to do 120 final actions in 2016 (they count 50% less). Many of them worked longer hours or brought files home.

Add a few items to fine-tune the process:
-we hire as much as we can, the new people must be trained by existing examiners, only do searches in the beginning (while common sense would have them start by examination) and are under an enormous production pressure.
-some examiners, particularly less scrupulous ones with very high production figures, are moved around, become team leaders (so that they can explain their colleagues how to increase production) and generally are spread around so that each directorate has a few high producers (and the note at the end of the year is dependent on the ranking within a directorate).
-there are still regular transfers of people to technical domains they do not really know
-I know at least two examiners who were pushed toward retirement because they rejected too many patents.

So, I may of course be wrong, but I have the feeling that lowering quality is part of a concerted plan. It does not happen by chance, just as it did not happen “by chance” that of 3 people dismissed, all 3 of them were prominent union officials.

What Battistelli has been doing is going to cost literally billions (if not more than a trillion Euros) to Europeans. He is a parasite that enriches himself and his friends while at the same time planting the seeds of patent war and ruin. Then there’s the UPC — a combination of low-quality patents and long reach of prosecution (gold mine to abusers, aggressors, and facilitators such as lawyers, who keep promoting it all the time, even days ago in a so-called ‘workshop’).

“What Battistelli has been doing is going to cost literally billions (if not more than a trillion Euros) to Europeans.”“Don’t forget that the President and his friends earn considerably more for a work which, at best, can be described as mediocre,” one person just wrote, adding a reference to Merkel by saying: “Thank you for all these years. Is there any way we can convince you to come by from time to time?”

A letter to Merkel in German and in English was reproduced here very recently. It’s sad that by silence (as in “conspiracy of silence” one might argue) she facilitates a destructive force at the very heart of Europe — one which without a doubt is going to ruin a lot of Europe’s industry and the taken-for-granted leadership.

EPO Reduces the World to Just Seven Nations to Bolster an Illusion of Growing ‘Demand’ for European Patents

Tuesday 21st of March 2017 01:11:33 PM

Doesn’t take a genius to see what’s wrong with this new picture…

Summary: The unscientific — if not antiscientific — attitude of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to show with the arrival of yet more misleading ‘infographics’ (disinfographics would be a more suitable term)

THE MANY EPO lies about its latest numbers, which in themselves are dubious (the way they come up with these numbers too deserves challenging, as we did last year), refuse to end. The EPO has just produced the nonsense above, continuing if not accentuating a pattern we’ve already covered in:

Many of the results are simply missing. Not due to lack of space but due to lack of will.

“Many of the results are simply missing. Not due to lack of space but due to lack of will.”Missing from this chart: all/most the countries where it’s negative or just marginally positive. It’s the Trump approach to science, echoed by Battistelli’s antiscientific press team.

Today, just hours ago, the above chart (with all the countries that have negatives just conveniently removed) was reused again, as part of a larger disinfographic. “Find out how innovative Europe has been in 2016,” says the tweet, but it’s constructed to simply mislead those who are too lazy to look at the underlying numbers (which are themselves dubious, for various reasons).

“Anything goes, no matter the collaterals (including truth itself), as long as the Fuhrer approves.”Again, as before (e.g. Poland and the Netherlands), the EPO tweets something without a map (as Sweden was deleted from it). “Sweden saw a decline in European patent applications in 2016,” it says. That’s why Sweden is now treated as a non-state by the EPO, at least judging by disinfographics that it keeps spreading.

A more detailed debunking of the latest EPO lies (it’s a daily occurrence now, with frequency of lies increasing when delegates needs to be lobbied) can be found in our prior articles about the subject (4 listed above). They discredit Europe, not just themselves (EPO), as it stigmatises a “European” (technically international) institution with Goebbels-like behaviour. Anything goes, no matter the collaterals (including truth itself), as long as the Fuhrer approves.

“The best propaganda is that which, as it were, works invisibly, penetrates the whole of life without the public having any knowledge of the propagandistic initiative.”

Source: The Nazi Conscience, London and Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University (2004) p. 13. Quote from March, 1933. (Joseph Goebbels)

Letter to Angela Merkel Expresses Concerns About Impact of EPO Scandals on Germany and Its Image

Tuesday 21st of March 2017 07:47:51 AM

Summary: Dr. Angela Merkel, arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is being warned about the consequences of Germany ignoring (and hence facilitating) the abuses of Benoît Battistelli

THREE days ago we published a copy of the letter to Merkel regarding the EPO scandals. SUEPO has just published an English translation of it. We are reproducing it below with added highlights.

IPSO
International and European Public
Services Organisation
Heinrich-Bingemer-Weg 15
60388 Frankfurt am Main

Office of the Federal Chancellor
Federal Chancellor
Angela Merkel
Federal Minister of Justice
Heiko Maas
Willy-Brandt-Strasse 1
10557 Berlin

27 February 2017

Rights of the Staff and Staff Representatives at the European Patent Office (EPO)

Dear Federal Chancellor,
Dear Minister,

As representatives of the “International and European Public Services Organisation” (IPSO), the staff union recognized by the European Central Bank (ECB) for ECB personnel, we are turning to you to express our extreme concern with regard to the developments at the EPO with its headquarters in Munich, and with regard to its management.

The EPO, with its core task of guaranteeing patent rights, does not itself appear to be in a position any longer to recognize and respect the perfectly valid rights of its staff and their duly appointed representatives.

There are many reports on the matter, in a wide range of media; as well as a documentary (http://www.br.de/br-fernsehen/sendungen/kontrovers/traumjob-albtraum-arbeit-belastung-story-100.html) by Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) of 21 March 2016, there have been numerous articles in the national and international press (SZ, FAZ, die Welt, Le Monde, Mediapart, Libération, De Volkskrant, NRC, EI Mundo etc.) as well as countless contributions in blogs by specialists in the field of copyright (e.g. IPkat, Juve, WIPR, IAM). Prominent jurists, such as Prof. Dr. Siegfried Bross, have made strenuous appeals to the EPO to embark on a change of course.

Never before has the Management of the EPO been subjected to such a barrage of public criticism as under its current President, Mr. Benoît Battistelli. The reputation of the Office and of its host country have both likewise been tarnished by these events.

A good appreciation of the poisonous atmosphere at work was released by Politico(http://www.politico.eu/article/labor-relations-turn-toxic-in-the-european-patent-office/) in August 2015; since then, the situation has become even worse. In January 2016 Mr. Battistelli dismissed two union representatives and elected staff representatives in Munich. A third was fired on 4 November 2016 at The Hague. In all three cases, it is entirely justifiable to speak of a “witch hunt” and Kafkaesque proceedings, with gross abuses of the most fundamental legal principles for the protection of staff representatives. At the present time two further union and staff representatives are in the firing line. With the aim of de-escalation, in March 2016 the Administrative Council of the EPO approved a Resolution CA/26/16, in which Mr. Battistelli was called upon to review the existing rules and regulations with a view to achieving fair and equitable formulation and implementation. The Council urged Mr. Battistelli that until this had been achieved there should be no further investigations or disciplinary procedures initiated and pursued against members of staff and union representatives – an appeal which Mr. Batistelli has completely ignored.

For decades, Germany has been viewed as a fine example for the world with its well-functioning social model, a model which is based primarily on dialogue and negotiation, and specifically for the avoidance of inflammatory conflicts and power games. It is against this background that we call upon Germany, as an important EU Member State and host country for the EPO, at this time of direst crisis at the EPO since its creation, to take on a clear position in support and defence of the fundamental rights of the staff and their representatives. Sadly, it has been reported to us that the German representative on the Administrative Council of the EPO appears not only to have adopted a passive attitude, but actually to have repeatedly supported initiatives by Mr. Battistelli by providing further powers of authority, even though the existing rules have led to massive abuses on Mr. Battistelli’s part.

We are sure to be of one voice in our conviction that management practices such as fear, isolation, and revenge have no place in a democratic society, and especially not in a European and international institution such as the EPO. All the more important, then, that authoritarian, indeed dictatorial, attitudes, which we are experiencing at the present time at the EPO and from Mr. Battistelli, should not serve as a negative example for other European and international organizations; organizations for which, due to their functional independence, it is often difficult for staff and their representatives to demand their rights and to lay their grievances before the courts.

Mr. Battistelli’s term of office as President of the EPO still runs until 30 June 2018, provided that no successor has been found by then. Our concern is that Mr. Battistelli will leave no stone unturned in seeking to extend his period in office by means of political intrigues. Europe cannot afford such a scenario, particularly not in the current political situation. We therefore cannot stand idly by until Mr. Battistelli voluntarily takes his leave.

Please let us know what measures Germany has taken, and will be taking, to restore the rule of law, including the respecting of the rights of staff and staff representatives at the EPO, a European and international organization of which the Federal Republic of Germany is not only an important member, but also a host country.

With best regards
Johannes Priesemann
Carlos Bewies
Jörn Paulini
International and European Public Services Organisation
cc: USF, SUEPO

As far as we are aware, Angela Merkel’s government has done nothing since. Is passivity a form of complicity?

EPO Caricature: Low Patent Quality Not an Achievement

Tuesday 21st of March 2017 07:22:02 AM

Summary: A new cartoon about the legacy of Battistelli, which ruins both inventors and staff (examination) while handing money to abusers

Are Lithuania and Latvia the Latest Additions to the List of Benoît Battistelli’s Vassal States?

Tuesday 21st of March 2017 12:34:53 AM

The EPO did not mention the trip to Croatia, either (Croatian media coverage ignored the bigger story). Well, until much later

Summary: Benoît Battistelli’s ‘back room’ deals came at an interesting, strategic time and the Office uncharacteristically kept quiet about these

It’s not unusual for Battistelli to give some money to nations (the smaller the economy, the cheaper) in order to garner support; some allege that he is simply buying votes in order to get his proposals approved and keep his job no matter how severe his abuses become. We previously mentioned this in relation to Lithuania, e.g. [1, 2]. We have seen that before in other countries as well; they seem to become ‘zombie’ states once the money lands on their lap, perhaps at the instructions/behest of the government officials who are recipients of monetary grants (‘gifts’).

Well, a reader sent us some information regarding something which we had completely missed (it was nowhere in the news, even though we watch these things very closely).

“Might be of interest,” our reader explained is the following:

A casual inspection of the official websites of the Lithuanian and Latvian Patent Offices revealed some recent reports of new bilateral “cooperation agreements” with the EPO. It seems that these agreements were signed last week on the margins of the Administrative Council’s quarterly meeting in Munich.

According to the report on the website of the Latvian Patent Office (translation): “On 15 March 2017 in Munich Latvian Patent Office Director Sandris Laganovskis and the European Patent Office (EPO) President Benoît Batistelli signed a new cooperation plan for patents for the next three years.”

The report on the website of the Lithuanian Patent Office reads as follows (translation): “State Patent Bureau (SPB) Director Arunas Želvys and the European Patent Office (EPO) President Benoît Battistelli this week signed a bilateral cooperation plan for the years 2017-2019, according to which international cooperation will be carried out with Lithuania in the field of industrial property protection projects.”

These reports do not appear on the English language pages of the websites. Also there is also no mention on the EPO’s website which is rather strange given Battistelli’s well-known predilection for loudly trumpeting about each and every bilateral agreement concluded in the most obscure corners of the globe.

It’s almost as if there is a concerted effort to bury this “news” because it might reveal too much about how the EPO operates and expose the unhealthy conflicts of interests that seem to compromise the activities of the Administrative Council.

In the meantime observers of the EPO are advised to keep a close eye on the voting records of Lithuania and Latvia which appear to be the latest additions to the list of Battistelli’s “vassal states”.

Latvia

Lithuania

In the photo below, the Vice-President of DG5 Raimund Lutz can be seen (third from the left). Lutz is in charge of the EPO’s Legal and Internal Affairs department. Through his influence as the director of the EPO’s legal services and his role as the main legal advisor of the Administrative Council he is rumoured to be one of the chief architects and facilitators of Battistelli’s regime.

As we noted here several times recently, Battistelli is not meeting prominent politicians from large states anymore, as certainly they are aware of the scandals he’s presently embroiled in (like Blatter or Savile, where photo ops are a liability rather than bragging rights).

Links 20/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC3, OpenSSH 7.5 Released

Monday 20th of March 2017 11:56:43 PM

Contents GNU/Linux
  • Linux, not Microsoft, the real winner of Windows Server on ARM

    Cutting to the heart of it, it doesn’t actually matter if Microsoft releases Windows Server for ARM. Windows isn’t the future and even Microsoft knows it. The upcoming availability of SQL server on Linux is all the proof we need that the game is over and, in the data centre at least, Microsoft didn’t win.

    Quite frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that. Legacy x86 Windows applications have been a millstone around the neck of the entire industry for ages now and its long past time they were relegated to a niche and left to quietly slip away into the night. What’s interesting here isn’t that Microsoft managed to take its existing code base, strip out some of the cruft and compile it on ARM. What’s interesting is what Microsoft’s experiment unlocks outside the Windows ecosystem.

  • Desktop
    • Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 ad annoys Chrome users with taskbar pop-ups

      Microsoft’s aggressive advertising push inside Windows 10 is going beyond pop-ups for Microsoft Edge.

      Myce recently spotted yet another pop-up ad on the taskbar in Windows 10. This time around Microsoft was advertising its extension for Chrome dubbed the Personal Shopping Assistant (Beta). The extension is a Microsoft Garage project that lets you compare prices across shopping sites.

      Prior to the Chrome extension pop-up, Microsoft was advertising its rewards program for Microsoft Edge, which we spotted in early November. The earlier ad appeared to be targeted at people who didn’t use Edge that frequently.

  • Server
    • Docker to Donate its Container Runtime, containerd, to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation

      Docker plans to donate its containerd container runtime to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to organizing a set of open source container-based cloud-native technologies.

      In December, Docker released as open source the code for containerd, which provides a runtime environment for Docker containers. By open sourcing this component of the Docker stack, the company wanted to assure users, partners, and other actors in the container ecosystem that the core container component would remain stable, and that the community would have a say in its advancement.

    • Docker at 4: The Container Revolution Continues

      The open-source Docker container project held events around the globe last week as it celebrated its fourth birthday. Docker is more popular than ever as the standard bearer for the container microservices DevOps movement, though Docker Inc. as a company now faces more challenges than ever before as well.

      Three years ago, I wrote about the first anniversary of Docker, predicting significant growth in 2014. As it turned out, I was right about the growth, though I was wrong about Docker Inc. Back in 2014, I had predicted that Docker Inc. would likely be acquired, but to date that hasn’t happened—though there has been no shortage of speculation over the last three years.

      Docker Inc. and the open-source container ecosystem that Docker helped create have evolved significantly since 2014, and over the course of the project’s four-year existence. This past year has arguably been the most significant yet for Docker Inc., both as a business and an open-source project.

  • Kernel Space
    • Linux 4.10.4

      I’m announcing the release of the 4.10.4 kernel.

      All users of the 4.10 kernel series must upgrade.

      The updated 4.10.y git tree can be found at:
      git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.10.y
      and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

      http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st…

    • Linux 4.9.16
    • Linux 4.4.55
    • Linux Kernel 4.4.55 LTS Arrives with Various MIPS Changes, Updated USB Drivers
    • Linux Kernel 4.10.4 Released with MIPS Improvements, Updated USB Drivers

      The fourth maintenance update to the Linux 4.10 kernel series arrived this weekend with various improvements to some of the supported filesystems and architectures, as well as updated drivers.

    • Linux Kernel 4.9.16 LTS Has Various MIPS and PowerPC Changes, Updated Drivers

      Immediately after announcing the release of the Linux 4.10.4 kernel, Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the community about the availability of the sixteenth maintenance update to the long-term supported Linux 4.9 kernel series.

    • Standards for ARM computers and Linaro

      It looks like someone else figured it out, ergo Linaro. Unfortunately, they do not seem to be eager to create a real platform, but rather slap a veneer of something OpenFirmware-like on top of exising systems. Also, they are buddying with Ubuntu. So, a half-hearted effort and a top-down deal. But it’s a step in the right direction.

    • Linux 4.11-rc3

      Another week, another rc.

      As is our usual pattern after the merge window, rc3 is larger than
      rc2, but this is hopefully the point where things start to shrink and
      calm down. We had a late typo in rc2 that affected arm and powerpc
      (the prep code for the 5-level page tables), and hopefully there are
      no similar brown-paper-bugs now in rc3.

      On the whole rc3 looks pretty normal, with two thirds being driver
      updates (late qla2xxx scsi driver updates stand out, but ethernet
      drivers for broadcom and cavium aren’t that far behind, and there are
      updates for gpu, md, cpufreq, x86 platform drivers etc).

      Outside of drivers, the rest is a mix of arch updates (parisc,
      powerpc, x86), filesystems (afs, nfs, xfs) and “misc” (mainly core
      kernel and general networking updates).

      Shortlog appended for those who want to see some overview of the
      details, but what we really want is testing. Please.

      Linus

    • Linus Torvalds Announces the Third Release Candidate of the Linux 4.11 Kernel

      It’s still Sunday in the US, and that means Linus Torvalds has prepared yet another Release Candidate (RC) milestone for the upcoming Linux 4.11 kernel for GNU/Linux distros.

      That’s right, Linux kernel 4.11 Release Candidate 3 is now ready for public testing, and, according to Linus Torvalds, it appears to be a fairly normal patch that’s just a bit larger than last week’s Release Candidate because of a typo that affected the PowerPC (PPC) and ARM architectures.

    • Linux 4.11-rc3 Released
    • Raspberry Pi VC4 HDMI Audio Support Coming To Linux 4.12

      The ongoing work for HDMI audio support with the VC4 DRM driver is being wrapped up and will be working in the Linux 4.12 kernel.

      HDMI audio will work in conjunction with the open-source VC4 driver when the Linux 4.12 kernel rolls out. This was among the changes queued today in drm-misc-next and in turn called for landing into DRM-Next, which will be merged next month into the Linux 4.12 mainline code-base.

    • Graphics Stack
    • Benchmarks
      • Benchmarks Of Many ARM Boards From The Raspberry Pi To NVIDIA Jetson TX2

        For some weekend benchmarking fun, I compared the Jetson TX2 that NVIDIA released this weekend with their ARM 64-bit “Denver 2″ CPU cores paired with four Cortex-A57 cores to various other ARM single board computers I have access to. This is looking at the CPU performance in different benchmarks ranging from cheap ~$10 ARM SBCs to the Raspberry Pi to the Jetson TX1 and Jetson TX2.

  • Applications
  • Desktop Environments/WMs
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
      • Plasma Team Discusses Web-browser integration, Bundled Apps and new Features

        In February, KDE’s Plasma team came together in for their yearly in-person meeting. The meeting was kindly hosted by von Affenfels GmbH, a webdesign agency in Stuttgart, Germany. The team discussed a wide variety of topics, such as design, features new and old, bugs and sore points in the current implementation, app distribution, also project management, internal and outward-facing communication and Wayland.

      • KDE Plasma Planning Browser Integration, Possible Touchpad Gestures

        Key developers of KDE’s Plasma team met last month in Stuttgart. More details on this Plasma developer meeting have now come to light.

        KDE Plasma developers continue eyeing Flatpak, Snap, and AppImage for possible next-generation packaging solutions. The developers also discussed better browser integration within Plasma to have native notifications and download progress, better multimedia handling, and more. Another new feature discussed was touchpad gestures support to control the window manager.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK
      • WebKitGTK+ 2.16

        The Igalia WebKit team is happy to announce WebKitGTK+ 2.16. This new release drastically improves the memory consumption, adds new API as required by applications, includes new debugging tools, and of course fixes a lot of bugs.

      • 6 Features You’ll Love in GNOME 3.24

        We look at 6 of the best new GNOME 3.24 features, including the ‘night light’ blue light filter, a pair of ace new apps, and integrated weather forecasts.

      • Builder 3.24

        I’m excited to announce that Builder 3.24 is here and ready for you to play with!

        It should look familiar because most of the work this cycle was underneath the hood. I’m pretty happy with all the stabilization efforts from the past couple of weeks. I’d like to give a special thanks to everyone who took the time to file bugs, some of whom also filed patches.

      • Gnome Encfs Manager – An Ease way to Create a Encrypted Directory in Linux

        Gnome Encfs Manager (short name is GEncfsM) is a tool to manage EncFS filesystems in Linux whihc is best alternative for Cryptkeeper and has lots of unique features. It’s very useful when you use EncFS with cloud sync / storage services such as Dropbox, etc.,

      • Blender Constraints

        So what are they and how are they useful in the context of a GNOME designer? We make quite a few prototypes and one of the things to decide whether a behavior is clear and comprehensible is motion design, particularly transitions. And while we do not use tools directly linked to out stack, it helps to build simple rigs to lower the manual labout required to make sometimes similar motion designs and limit the number of mistakes that can be done. Even simple animations usually consist of many keyframes (defined, non-computed states in time). Defining relationships between objects and createing setups, “rigs”, is a way to create of a sort of working model of the object we are trying to mock up.

  • Distributions
  • Devices/Embedded
    • Raspberry Pi Surges To 3rd Best Selling Computer Of All Time Surpassing The Commodore 64

      In many regards, the Raspberry Pi family of computers is quite modest, which is of course by design. For a relatively small price, you can pick up a fully-functional RPi single board computer that can be used for many purposes, whether it is for learning, creating homemade bots, or cobbling together your own purpose-built media player or server solution. Given RPi’s flexibility, it should come as no surprise that the open source Linux-power min PC has proven to be such a popular computing platform for scores of consumers, businesses and educational institutions.

    • How to secure your Raspberry Pi

      The Raspberry Pi and many other inexpensive computer boards like it have become part of the “Internet of Things” or IoT revolution. Internet-connected computing devices have emerged beyond traditional servers, desktops, laptops, and mobile devices. Now your TV, DVR (digital video recorder), thermostat, refrigerator, Internet radio, Raspberry Pi, and other devices are on the network too.

      IoT has been huge for experimentation and innovation. But as projects get rushed to completion, there have been severe consequences for ignoring security. And this applies both to commercial products and hobby projects. I’ll talk about the Raspberry Pi specifically in this article, so this post is oriented more toward do-it-yourself projects.

    • Pico-ITX board gives you Rockchip RK3288 and optional wireless

      Aaeon’s RICO-3288 Pico-ITX SBC runs Android 6.0 on a quad Cortex-A17 RK3288, and offers up to 4Kx2K resolution and optional wireless, CAN, and -20 to 70°C.

      The RICO-3288 is the first Aaeon product we can recall featuring a Rockchip SoC, and one of the relatively few Rockchip RK3288 based SBCs we’ve seen outside of Firefly’s open-spec Firefly boards, such as the sandwich-style Firefly-RK3288 Reload. The other main exception is the recent, maker oriented Tinker Board from Aaeon’s owner, Asus.

    • Jetson TX2 module gains third party carrier boards

      Connect Tech released three carriers for the Jetson TX2 and TX1: Cogswell with GigE Vision, Spacely for cam-intensive Pixhawk drones, and a $99 Sprocket.

      Last April, Connect Tech announced an Astro carrier board for Nvidia’s Tegra X1-driven Jetson TX1 COM, and then followed up with the Orbitty and Elroy boards in May. Now, following Nvidia’s release of the Jetson TX2 earlier this month, Connect Tech has launched three new carriers that support both the TX2 and TX1 modules.

    • The Intel Edison: Linux Maker Machine in a Matchbox

      The console is a great place to start to see if the Edison is up and running. Connect the micro USB labeled console on the Base Block breakout to your desktop Linux machine and check dmesg to see something like the below to discover where the console is. The Base Block has power, TX, and RX LEDs on board so you can get some feedback from the hardware if things are working. If things go as they should, you will be presented with a root console to the Edison. There is no default password, you should just get right onto the console.

    • Phones
Free Software/Open Source
  • 10 BEST OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE IN 2017

    When we talk about open source software, we are talking about software program which has been created with the idea of being shared. Open source software is developed, tested, and improved through public collaboration. The main objective is that in future the collaboration is maintained i.e. the user is able to make changes to the program and tailor it to suit their own needs.

    In the past years, the world of open source software has changed tremendously. No longer are the old programs used and each year, you will find a new innovation in the field. On year, you will find a particular program leading the market, while the other year, you will find the same program in the pits of obsolescence. That’s how innovations move through this field.

  • Open source seen as door to digital innovation by decision-makers in Malaysia, survey finds

    According to a new Forrester Consulting survey in the Asia Pacific region, 76 percent of survey respondents in Malaysia view open source as computing as a door to business innovation, cost-saving and the forming of deeper customer experience.

    Damien Wong (pic below), vice president and general manager, ASEAN, Red Hat, said, “It is encouraging to see IT decision makers in Malaysia thinking beyond the traditional approaches and taking a cue from the companies championing digital innovation through open source.”

  • Software And Choice

    Some projects, whether intentionally (e.g., LLVM) or by accident (e.g., Linux) will grow beyond this scope (in those cases, vastly so). The question then becomes murkier. The two projects I’ve chosen for example here are both, I would say, “fork-proof” – LLVM has a very lenient code acceptance policy (see: all of the ghc-specific portions of the backend), while Linux has an extremely powerful module interface against which things can be built that do not merit inclusion into mainline. A user could fork LLVM, or Linux, but their version is extremely unlikely to become authoritative. Even if one does become authoritative, or close to it, that decision may also revert if the new fork does not live up to the quality standards of the old (I’m thinking about ffmpeg/libav here).

  • Giessen Public Works using open source for energy supply

    The German City of Giessen is using open source software for IT Service Management (ITSM) functions in its municipal energy supply. The most visible part of the setup is openITCOCKPIT, a web-based front-end for the Nagios and Naemon packages for IT infrastructure monitoring.

  • OpenSSH 7.5 released

    OpenSSH 7.5 has just been released. It will be available from the
    mirrors listed at http://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

    OpenSSH is a 100% complete SSH protocol 2.0 implementation and
    includes sftp client and server support. OpenSSH also includes
    transitional support for the legacy SSH 1.3 and 1.5 protocols
    that may be enabled at compile-time.

  • OpenSSH 7.5 Released, Legacy Crypto Functions Still Heading For Retirement
  • IBM unveils Blockchain as a Service based on open source Hyperledger Fabric technology

    IBM unveiled its “Blockchain as a Service” today, which is based on the open source Hyperledger Fabric, version 1.0 from The Linux Foundation.

    IBM Blockchain is a public cloud service that customers can use to build secure blockchain networks. The company introduced the idea last year, but this is the first ready-for-primetime implementation built using that technology.

  • IBM launches blockchain tool on Linux Hyperledger Fabric

    IBM unveiled a cloud-based Blockchain offering on Monday along with governance and developer tools.

    Calling it the first enterprise-ready blockchain service, the company said that the technology makes it possible for developers to build and host production of blockchain networks on the IBM Cloud in a secure environment.

  • IBM launches enterprise-ready blockchain service

    The U.S. technology company said on Monday its new product called IBM Blockchain was the first service for developers to build enterprise-grade technology using Hyperledger Fabric, the first code set to be released by the open source group.

  • IBM Launches Enterprise-Ready Blockchain Services for Hyperledger Fabric v 1.0 on IBM Cloud

    IBM today announced the new release of IBM Blockchain, the first enterprise-ready blockchain service based on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric version 1.0. The service enables developers to quickly build and host security-rich production blockchain networks on the IBM Cloud, and is underpinned by IBM LinuxONE, the industry’s most secure Linux server.

  • How One Service Provider Developed On Demand Network Services with SDN and NFV

    IT virtualization has radically changed the face of compute, storage, and network services in data centers and beyond. In response, Colt — a network and communications service provider — back in 2015 began developing a program that has transformed the way the company offers network services to customers, says Javier Benitez, Senior Network Architect, Colt Technology Services, who will be speaking at Open Networking Summit.

    According to Benitez, the aim was to move away from a traditional consumption model to one where network services are consumed through an on-demand model based on software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) technologies. Here, Benitez explains more about Colt’s SDN and NFV solutions, focusing on current development efforts and future plans.

  • Open Source at the Heart of IoT Revolution

    Internet of Things (IoT) can be transformative for businesses, by opening up novel ways to connect with customers, creating new avenues and converting data into insights. Several organizations have already moved beyond the experimental phase to actual deployments of IoT. Government, healthcare, retail, transportation and many more industries have come up with innovative applications for improved customer experience and competitive differentiation.

    However, considering its vast scope, IoT has currently not achieved its full potential. Enterprises are grappling with multiple issues. Nevertheless, IoT enthusiasts believe that open source plays a key role in ensuring that the technology moves past the hype cycle to become a disruptive trend for enterprises.

  • Events
  • Web Browsers
    • Mozilla
      • There’s Now an Arc Theme for Thunderbird

        If you use both the Arc GTK theme and Mozilla Thunderbird as your e-mail app, we’ve found a theme you’ll want to use.

      • WebVR and AFrame Bringing VR to Web at the Virtuleap Hackathon

        Imagine an online application that lets city planners walk through three-dimensional virtual versions of proposed projects, or a math program that helps students understand complex concepts by visualizing them in three dimensions. Both CityViewR & MathworldVR are amazing applications experiences that bring to life the possibilities of virtual reality (VR).

  • SaaS/Back End
    • Community leadership charts course for OpenStack

      Last week, about 40 people from the OpenStack Technical Committee, User Committee, Board of Directors and Foundation Staff convened in Boston to talk about the future of OpenStack. We candidly discussed the challenges we face as a community, but also why our mission to deliver open infrastructure is more important than ever.

      To kick things off, Mark Collier opened with a state of the union address, talking about the strength of our community, the number of users running OpenStack at scale across various industries and the progress we’ve made working across adjacent open source projects. OpenStack is one of the largest, global open source communities. In 2016 alone, we had 3,479 unique developers from dozens of countries and hundreds of organizations contribute to OpenStack, and the number of merged changes increased 26 percent year-over-year. The size and diversity of the OpenStack community is a huge strength, but like any large organization, scale presents its own set of challenges.

    • OpenStack® Board Elects Huawei as Platinum Member and H3C as Gold Member of the Foundation
    • Community leadership planning, new board members, and more OpenStack news
  • Education
    • Open project collaboration from elementary to university classrooms

      In this article, we share our experiences: two examples of fostering creative collaboration among students from elementary school to higher education. Aria F. Chernik, an open educator and director of OSPRI (Open Source Pedagogy, Research + Innovation) at Duke University, introduces an open-by-design, learning innovation project at Duke. Anna Engelke, a tinkering and technology educator, speaks about using open pedagogy to design a Scratch-based maker club at a local elementary school.

  • BSD
    • MIT-Stanford project uses LLVM to break big data bottlenecks

      The more cores you can use, the better — especially with big data. But the easier a big data framework is to work with, the harder it is for the resulting pipelines, such as TensorFlow plus Apache Spark, to run in parallel as a single unit.

      Researchers from MIT CSAIL, the home of envelope-pushing big data acceleration projects like Milk and Tapir, have paired with the Stanford InfoLab to create a possible solution. Written in the Rust language, Weld generates code for an entire data analysis workflow that runs efficiently in parallel using the LLVM compiler framework.

  • Public Services/Government
    • EC study recommends that policies emphasise open source

      Europe’s public administrations should support the use of open source in all sectors of the economy and in public administration, a study for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology recommends. The report by German and French ICT researchers, concludes that “open source is important for the future of the European software industry.”

  • Licensing/Legal
    • Why viral licensing is a ghost

      A brief analysing of the distinction between weak and strong copyleft (sometimes called viral licensing – a pejorative name for copyleft licences) based on the European Directive on the legal protection of computer programs.

  • Programming/Development
    • Rcpp 0.12.10: Some small fixes

      The tenth update in the 0.12.* series of Rcpp just made it to the main CRAN repository providing GNU R with by now over 10,000 packages. Windows binaries for Rcpp, as well as updated Debian packages will follow in due course. This 0.12.10 release follows the 0.12.0 release from late July, the 0.12.1 release in September, the 0.12.2 release in November, the 0.12.3 release in January, the 0.12.4 release in March, the 0.12.5 release in May, the 0.12.6 release in July, the 0.12.7 release in September, the 0.12.8 release in November, and the 0.12.9 release in January — making it the fourteenth release at the steady and predictable bi-montly release frequency.

Leftovers
  • Science
    • Ancient Giant Penguin Unearthed in New Zealand

      The fossil was found by amateur fossil collector Leigh Love in the Waipara Greensand at Waipara River, Canterbury Province, New Zealand.

      It was analyzed by a team of paleontologists from Canterbury Museum in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany.

      According to the researchers, the new find is one of the oldest penguin fossils in the world.

      “Together with the fossils of the recently discovered penguin-like bird Waimanu manneringi, the new specimens are the earliest published penguin remains,” they said.

  • Health/Nutrition
    • Record numbers of EU nurses quit NHS

      The number of EU nationals registering as nurses in England has dropped by 92% since the Brexit referendum in June, and a record number are quitting the NHS, it can be revealed.

  • Security
    • Hire a DDoS service to take down your enemies

      According to Neustar, almost three quarters of all global brands, organizations and companies have been victims of a DDoS attack. And more than 3,700 DDoS attacks occur each day.

    • Apollo Lake 3.5-incher doubles down on security

      Kontron’s Linux-friendly, Intel Apollo Lake based “3.5″-SBC-APL” SBC features triple display support, a TPM 2.0 chip, and optional security services.

    • Leading Linux distros dawdle as kernel flaw persists

      A local privilege esclation flaw has been fixed in the Linux kernel, but several upstream distributions have yet to release updates. Administrators should plan on mitigating the vulnerability on Linux servers and workstations themselves and monitor the distributions for their update plans.

    • More than 300 Cisco switch models vulnerable to CIA hack

      A cache of CIA documents was dropped on the internet two weeks ago via WikiLeaks. It was a huge volume of data, some of which detailed CIA tools for breaking into smartphones and even smart TVs. Now, Cisco has said its examination of the documents points to a gaping security hole in more than 300 models of its switches. There’s no patch for this critical vulnerability, but it’s possible to mitigate the risk with some settings changes.

      Cisco’s security arm sent out an advisory on Friday alerting customers that the IOS and IOS XE Software Cluster were vulnerable to hacks based on the leaked documents. The 318 affected switch models are mostly in the Catalyst series, but there are also some embedded systems and IE-series switches on the list. These are enterprise devices that cost a few thousand dollars at least. So, nothing in your house is affected by this particular attack.

    • Assange chastises companies who haven’t responded to CIA vulnerability offers

      Wikileaks head Julian Assange slammed companies not taking the site up on the sites offer to share security flaws the CIA had exploited in their products.

      In a screen-shot statement tweeted on Saturday, Wikileaks noted that “Organizations such as Mozilla” had responded to the site’s emails offering unreleased security vulnerabilities from leaked CIA files. “Google and other companies” had not.

      “Most of these lagging companies have conflicts of interest due to their classified work with US government agencies. In practice such associations limit industry staff with US security clearances from fixing holes based on leaked information from the CIA. Should such companies choose to not secure their users against CIA or NSA attacks users may prefer organizations such as Mozilla or European companies that prioritize their users over government contracts,” the statement read.

      Wikileaks recently published a trove of files leaked from the CIA, including descriptions of hacking techniques. The site made an effort to redact source code showing how to actually accomplish the techniques, although enough code slipped through the cracks for researchers to reverse engineer at least one of the security flaws.

    • Gentoo: 201703-02 Adobe Flash Player: Multiple vulnerabilities
  • Defence/Aggression
  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting
    • As CIA Director, George Bush waffled on promise to not destroy records of Agency’s illegal activities

      Declassified records recently unearthed in CREST show the CIA waffled on a promise to obey the law in destroying records of Agency’s illegal activities and wrongdoing

      In 1976, Congresswoman Bella Abzug wrote to CIA Director George H.W. Bush about the existing moratorium on the destruction of CIA files. As the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Government Information and Individual Rights, which had jurisdiction over government information policy including FOIA and the Privacy Act, she wanted the moratorium extended – specifically, she wanted to ensure that Congress had time to enact legislation in response to the Church, Pike, and Rockefeller hearings and the resulting reports.

    • The Assange case – coming to a close, or not?

      In the Assange case, Swedish prosecutors seem to be running out of excuses for dragging their feet.

      [..]

      And this goes all the way back to the Prosecutors Special Unit for »Advancement« of Sex Crimes re-opening this case after it had been closed by the regular branch of the Prosecutors’ Office.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature
    • As Trump Slashes EPA, Worry Over the Fate of an Agency Doing Similar Work

      It has little name recognition, a budget less than 10 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s, and is part of a government institute embraced by both of the nation’s major political parties.

      Still, those concerned about the future of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences are wary of what’s to come.

      “In light of what President Trump wants to do to the EPA, I don’t think any agency that deals with issues unpopular with the current government is going to escape,” said Tracey Woodruff, a professor at University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine.

    • Bald eagles: scientists decry overturn of ban that would save American symbol

      “The short answer is that no level of lead is acceptable for living things – eagles, condors and people,” said raptor biologist Glenn Stewart.

  • Finance
  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
    • Fired U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Said to Have Been Investigating HHS Secretary Tom Price

      Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was removed from his post by the Trump administration last week, was overseeing an investigation into stock trades made by the president’s health secretary, according to a person familiar with the office.

      Tom Price, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, came under scrutiny during his confirmation hearings for investments he made while serving in Congress. The Georgia lawmaker traded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of shares in health-related companies, even as he voted on and sponsored legislation affecting the industry.

      Price testified at the time that his trades were lawful and transparent. Democrats accused him of potentially using his office to enrich himself. One lawmaker called for an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, citing concerns Price could have violated the STOCK Act, a 2012 law signed by President Obama that clarified that members of Congress cannot use nonpublic information for profit and requires them to promptly disclose their trades.

    • Angela Merkel is now the leader of the free world, not Donald Trump

      The US President isn’t motivated by protecting liberal democracy or freedom, his sole ideology is Trumpism: corporate autocracy with a populist facade. And he surrounds himself with white nationalists even more hostile to liberal democracy than he is

    • No evidence of Trump/Russia Collusion
    • Donna Brazile Finally Admits Giving Hillary Clinton Debate Questions. Democrats Still Demand Unity

      Democrats and progressives too frightened of Trump to demand major DNC reforms must review the following timeline.

      First, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other DNC officials were forced to resign for cheating Bernie Sanders.

      In a twist of fate, POLITICO stated “With just three months until Election Day and the Democrats’ official party apparatus struggling to right itself from months of dysfunction and the scandal caused by the WikiLeaks email hack, interim Democratic National Committee chair Donna Brazile cleaned house Tuesday with the ouster of three top officials.”

      Yes, Donna Brazile forced others to resign for cheating Bernie.

      Welcome to Democratic politics.

  • Censorship/Free Speech
  • Privacy/Surveillance
    • Former CIA Director Blame Millennials Lack Of Loyalty For All The Government Leaks

      That’s Hayden’s response to the CIA leak, which exposed the agency’s exploits and device-targeting tactics. Hayden’s saying people used to trust the government more. That’s what this breaks down to, even if couched in Hayden’s implicit demand youngsters remove themselves from his lawn, but leave any and all government documents behind.

      “Transparency” should mean what it’s always meant. But “transparency” is defined by government agencies and officials harboring zero desire to engage in it. We spent years listening to Obama pat himself on the back for increased government obfuscation and secrecy, something he referred to as the “most transparent administration.” The word “transparency” is meaningless in the government’s hands. That’s why almost anything of significance is revealed by leakers/whistleblowers routing around the “official channels.”

      “Secrecy” means the same thing it always has as well. The government likes it. Citizens are not quite as enthralled with government secrecy, especially considering more and more of their lives are open books. An example: anyone shot by a police officer will have their criminal record immediately delivered to the press while EMTs are still checking for a pulse. Weeks or months will pass before law enforcement agencies release the name of the officer whose gun “discharged,” much less their disciplinary record.

      People of all ages are likely tiring of the government’s insistence on keeping secrets, even as it engages in mass surveillance, reinterprets privacy-shielding laws on the fly, builds massive biometric databases, and declares the Constitution invalid within 100 miles of the border. It’s not just millennials. It’s everyone.

    • US Court Decides Name Search Makes You a Suspect

      This case also highlights the usefulness of privacy-focused search engines such as StartPage. The editor of Tech Rights, Dr. Roy S. Schestowitz, told me that he believes Google is far too invasive, but he also implies that people who use Google may be opening up their data to this sort of invasion:

      “The core of the problem is that Google maintains logs about people who search, what they search for, and even compiles this information (for purposes of advertising or customized results) in a fashion that facilitates such warrants. No search engine ought to collect this much information. People who choose to use search engines that do, put themselves at risk of wrongful accusations, i.e. a potential legal Hell even if they are entirely innocent.”

      It is also yet another fantastic example of why everyone should use a virtual private network (VPN) for even the most mundane tasks. VPN subscribers don’t have to worry that their data might get hoovered up in cases like these. Using a VPN and a private search engine is something everyone should consider for protecting their digital footprint.

    • Leading NSA officials deny claims of “blanket” surveillance at 2002 Winter Olympics

      Senior officials of the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) have denied claims that the intelligence organisation conducted a “blanket” surveillance programme of Salt Lake City-area residents during the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

      The Salt Lake Tribune reports that current NSA director of operations Wayne Murphy and former NSA director Michael Hayden have rejected allegations made in a lawsuit against the Agency.

    • How Facebook, fake news and friends are warping your memory

      Memory is notoriously fallible, but some experts worry that a new phenomenon is emerging. “Memories are shared among groups in novel ways through sites such as Facebook and Instagram, blurring the line between individual and collective memories,” says psychologist Daniel Schacter, who studies memory at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “The development of Internet-based misinformation, such as recently well-publicized fake news sites, has the potential to distort individual and collective memories in disturbing ways.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing
    • The Hardening of Society and the Rise of Cultures of Cruelty in Neo-Fascist America

      What does the culture of cruelty look like under a neo-fascist regime?

      First, language is emptied of any sense of ethics and compassion.

      Second, a survival of the fittest discourse provides a breeding ground for racial and social sorting.

      Third, references to justice are viewed as treasonous or, as at the present moment, labelled dismissively as “fake news.”

    • Useless Eaters and Ethnic Purity: the Trump/Bannon War for Biological Nationhood

      The Trump regime has defended its plan to cut the “Meals on Wheels” program by saying it “doesn’t show any results.” What kind of “results” are they talking about? The program delivers meals to shut-ins; the shut-ins eat the meal; they don’t starve to death. That is the result, and it happens all day every day. It is one of the most “resultful” programs in existence. But notice that the Trumpists aren’t saying we can’t afford the program; they are clearly saying it’s not delivering the results they want to see. And what are the only “results” produced by not delivering meals to the sick and shut-in who can’t provide for themselves? THEY WILL DIE.

      Therefore, we can only conclude that the “result” Donald Trump and his ideological Svengali, Stephen Banon, are looking for is a higher death count for the sick and elderly. We know that throughout his public life, Trump has often expressed his belief in genetic superiority, that the right genes, the right blood are responsible for success in life. (Particularly his succes!) The flipside, of course, is that those who haven’t “succeeded” according to his lights, the people who are “weak” and “losers” (to quote two of his favorite epithets), are therefore genetically inferior. We know this is his belief from his own statements.

    • Tamil Nadu man hacked to death over atheistic FB posts
    • Muslims will be majority in India by 2050 and they will be majority in the world by 2070.
    • Appeals Court Says Prior Restraint Is Perfectly Fine, Refuses To Rehear 3D-Printed Guns Case

      It looks as though the Supreme Court may have to step in and settle a particularly thorny question involving the First Amendment, Second Amendment, national security interests, and 3D-printed weapons. Cody Wilson and his company, Defense Distributed, sued the State Department over its demands he cease distributing instructions for the creation of weapons and weapons parts.

      The State Department came along too late to make much of a difference. It claimed Wilson’s instructions violated international arms distribution laws, but by the time it noticed what Defense Distributed was doing, the instructions were all over the web. They still are, and no amount of litigation or government orders is going to change that.

    • CIA’s first ‘Black Site’ prisoner to take stand in Guantánamo court

      The judge in the Sept. 11 war crimes case has agreed to hear testimony next week from forever prisoner Abu Zubaydah, the guinea pig in the CIA’s post- 9/11 interrogation program who has never been charged with a crime and never been allowed to speak in public.

      At issue is a claim by accused 9/11 plot deputy Ramzi bin al Shibh that someone is intentionally disrupting his sleep at the clandestine Camp 7 prison. Bin al Shibh, 44, blames the CIA or troops doing its bidding for noises and vibrations that interfere with his ability to prepare for his death-penalty trial, which has no start date.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
  • DRM
    • Encrypted Media Extensions

      The DRM proposal is now in final consideration to become an official Web standard. We have until April 13th to stop it. Act now and spread the word!

      [...]

      Decision-making about the standard lies with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The standards body is under heavy pressure from Microsoft, Netflix, Apple, Google, and others to enshrine DRM in Web standards. But through in-person protests and online activism, we push back. Along with allied organizations, we have already significantly slowed the progress of Encrypted Media Extensions.

  • Intellectual Monopolies
    • Copyrights
      • Things Looking Even Worse For Prenda’s Paul Hansmeier: Bankruptcy Fraud On Deck

        So, let’s just say that things probably haven’t been looking very good for Prenda’s Paul Hansmeier lately. Obviously, there was a long series of legal losses in the Prenda and Prenda-related cases, but those are in the distant past now. Back in September, he lost his law license for some of the Prenda copyright trolling activities (if you haven’t been playing along, Prenda set up their own honeypots with their own films –which they pretended were some other company’s, filed bogus CFAA charges to try to get IP addresses, demanded cash from people to drop lawsuits, lied in court multiple times and more…). Then, in December, the two main players: John Steele and Hansmeier were finally indicted and arrested. Then, just a couple weeks ago, Steele took a guilty plea, making it clear he’s thrown Hansmeier under the bus and will testify against him (given the history of Steele throwing many others under rapidly approaching buses, this is no surprise).

        [...]

        Ouch. The document below, in which Hansmeier reveals the bankruptcy fraud investigation, is actually part of his effort to have the bankruptcy court to hold off on these proceedings while all this other stuff gets taken care of. But, even if he weren’t facing criminal charges where his partner in crime has already admitted everything and agreed to testify against him, and even if he weren’t also facing separate investigations over bankruptcy fraud and ADA trolling, it appears that Hansmeier’s bankruptcy case is getting even worse than it was before. This is beyond big leagues. This is beyond the All-Star game. This is truly Hall of Fame material.

      • Google Gets More WordPress.com Takedown Requests Than WordPress Itself

        WordPress has published new data on the number of piracy takedown notices the company receives. Of all the DMCA requests copyright holders sent, roughly 40% were rejected due to inaccuracies or abuse. Most interesting, perhaps, is that Google processes more WordPress.com takedowns than WordPress itself.

      • EU High Court Ruling’s Implications For Content Streaming In Europe And Worldwide

        A recent Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling relating to TV internet broadcasts from the UK underscores tight restrictions in place for content streaming in the European Union (EU), legal scholars say.

More in Tux Machines

Microsoft vs GNU/Linux

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today's howtos

KDE/Qt

  • Device Tailored Compositors with Qt Wayland at CLAAS E-Systems
    Have you heard about software in cars that run on embedded devices? Do you think that creating such software might be challenging? Well, welcome to a complete new world of complexity, welcome to the world of agriculture machines! For many years, automatic steering (on fields), terminals to control the complex mechanical operations of a self-driving 16 ton combine harvester on a soft ground, and self-optimization systems to optimize any tiny bit of your harvester, are key demands from customers. I, myself, am working at CLAAS E-Systems, the electronics and software department within the CLAAS group. Our group is well known for being among the leading manufacturers for combine harvesters, tractors and forage harvesters.
  • Qt Wayland Is Next Appearing On Tractors & Farm Equipment
    With Qt 5.8's Qt Wayland Compositor Framework taking shape, more developers are beginning to tailor a Qt Wayland compositor to their use-cases. One of those is a company specializing in farm equipment like combine harvesters, tractors, and harvesters. As a guest post on the official Qt blog, developer Andreas Cord-Landwehr of CLAAS E-Systems talked up Qt Wayland for their purposes in the highly-regulated agriculture industry.
  • KDevelop 5.1 Open-Source IDE Launches with LLDB and OpenCL Support, Many Changes
    The development team behind the popular, open-source, cross-platform, free and powerful KDevelop IDE (Integrated Development Environment) were proud to announce the official release and general availability of KDevelop 5.1. KDevelop 5.1 is now the most advanced stable version of the application, which is written entirely in Qt and designed to be used on various GNU/Linux distributions that usually ship with the KDE Plasma desktop environment, but also on the latest releases of the Microsoft Windows operating system.