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04.24.13

Google Should Condemn CISPA

Posted in Site News at 1:39 am by Guest Editorial Team

Silence or support for CISPA plays into Microsoft’s long standing smear campaign against Google.

For weeks, people have been claiming that Google supports CISPA. Ten days ago, a trade group []. Five days later, right before getting the bill passed by Congress, ,

They’ve been helpful and supportive of trying to find the right language in the bill … I always said if I could get Palo Alto and New York City on the same bill, I got something. We found that sweet spot in this particular bill.

Even , “Google has not taken a public position on the bill [27] but has shown previous support for it, and now says they support the idea but believe the bill needs some work”

Voice jacking may be a downside of being and [] but the Microsoft press is having a field day with it. Microsoft’s long slog against Google paints the company as, , , screwing partners and violating user privacy for commercial gain at every turn, basically everything Microsoft is or wants to be. Recent examples include much noise about , , , really, , , . Google support for CISPA really would be a reversal and betrayal.

Google’s is baffling. but it does not mention CISPA.

Informed opinion is , but they need help. Today, and [, ]. The same groups also opposed SOPA but were unable to effectively reach the public without help from sites like Google and Wikipedia.

Continued silence allows the wrong people to control the narrative and demoralizes opponents. There have been several articles about how no one showed up for the first round of blackouts and how passage is inevitable without Google and Wikipedia support and how that’s not going to happen. They also say not to worry because Senate does not care and Obama will veto it. This is the usual narrative of the rich and powerful: You little people are weak and helpless, don’t struggle because it will only waste your time.

and [] people trying to fix things.

Readers wanting to know the basics of CISPA are urged to read . Then . We really can’t depend on Obama’s veto for this, and the house vote is sufficient to override a veto.

04.21.13

Links 21/4/2013: GNU/Linux Desktops/Laptops at Dell, Google Glass Runs Linux

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

[Away for a sunny vacation (100 degrees Fahrenheit) until May]

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The recent emergence of the mini PC has opened up new horizons for the Linux user.

    The form factor of the Mini PC is a square having approximately the same dimension as the long side of a DVD box and thin in profile. The mini PC is designed to be very power efficient, typically using a 65 Watt power supply. The CPU is a low-voltage power efficient type, there are no fans, and the power supply is often an external DC adaptor like that of a laptop. Because there are no fans, the computer runs silently.Fanless microserver aims Linux on Core-i7 at harsh environs

  • Desktop

    • I’ve been terribly curious about the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition since we first covered it back in November. This is a different beast from the flippy-touchscreen-equipped XPS 12—this Ultrabook contains zero touchscreens. However, it comes preloaded with Ubuntu Linux, and Dell has spent a substantial amount of time and effort in ensuring that it works—and works well.

    • The Files app of Chrome OS is getting a brand new UI as well as status of a ‘full-fledged’ Chrome packages app status.

      Fran?ois Beaufort has also shared the instructions if you are interested in testing out the new UI of the file manager.

  • Server

    • Revenue dropped five percent over that period as the company missed expectations, with a 13 percent drop in hardware revenues leading a one percent drop in profits in Q1 2013. Year-over-year, System x revenues dropped nine percent compared to a seven percent increase for IBM’s System z mainframe business, which the company is not looking to sell. Lenovo told investors today in a clarification announcement that it “is in preliminary negotiations with a third party in connection with a potential acquisition,” but it has not confirmed talks with IBM specifically.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA’s graphics driver supports hybrid graphics now. As in other areas, NVIDIA took it easy, waiting until other people had done the dirty work building the necessary foundations.

      • Kristian H?gsberg has clarified the scope and goals of Weston, Wayland’s reference compositor. Now that Weston has become somewhat of its own desktop environment, Kristian has clarified its intentions to benefit future patches.

        In hopes of clarifying future development work that could be potentially accepted upstream, Kristian has written on the developer’s mailing list about clarifying the scope and goals for Weston.

      • For many months there has been a “shader optimization” branch of Mesa/R600g that sought to rather noticeably boost the performance of the AMD R600 Gallium3D driver. While this work by Vadim Girlin didn’t look like it would be merged, after being revived and cleaned-up, it might reach mainline Mesa/Gallium3D as a new performance-boosting option.

        Vadim Girlin had been working on shader optimizations for some time to more efficiently generate shader code and the back-end has evolved quite a bit in recent months. Diminishing prospects for this code has been that it doesn’t use the R600 LLVM GPU back-end, which will eventually become the default for AMD’s Gallium3D driver as it’s needed for OpenCL/GPGPU support. With this custom back-end not using LLVM, it looked like it wouldn’t be merged, but now the story is different.

    • Benchmarks

  • Applications

    • Since I’m tired of trying to get work done with the Gimp development team constantly pissing on the very idea of “utility,” I’ve been investigating some Gimp alternatives. While it’s going to be painful doing without the Gimp, there’s other FOSS graphics applications that don’t get nearly the attention they deserve. If we gave them some exposure, perhaps they would get some support and introduce those few remaining crucial features that will put them over the bar as Gimp replacements.

    • If you frequently write tutorials and manuals for helping other users, screen capture tools are something you can’t do without. Be it capturing a small section of your desktop or capturing a whole video for a tutorial, screen capture makes it easy for you to show your desktop to the world. These recorded tutorials can be posted on sites and even YouTube for helping other users out with their problems. Screenshots and screencasts can also be used for demonstrating a new software to users so that they get a good preview of what they’re going to download or buy.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Dystopia, a total conversion of the Source Engine that requires Half-Life 2, could arrive on Linux, in the coming months.

      • What happens when you mix a child’s perspective and imagination, with the surreal nature of dreams? Quite a lot, I guess, but we think one of those things is an interesting premise for a horror adventure.

      • Shoot and swing your way to victory across 40 intense platform/action and puzzle-solving levels in Gravi from Hashbang Games for OS X, Windows, and Linux.

      • So rather than spamming everyone’s feeds here is a list of some recently released Linux games on Desura, three of which have a native version to buy and a further one comes with the source which you can use.

      • Valve has launched yet another Beta version for its Steam for Linux client, this time with just a few minor fixes and improvements.

        After a development version garners sufficient changes, Valve promotes that version to stable. The work for the next beta starts almost immediately.

      • Among the Sleep, a horror game developed by Krillbite Studio, will arrive on multiple platforms including Linux, if their Kickstarter campaign will be successful.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • The 2013 Libre Graphics Meeting is over and everyone has returned 全民彩票官网下载 and gone back to the drawing board or the keyboard. Krita has been very well represented at this LGM with three artists and a coder, giving three presentations and two awesome workshops!

      • Praised, cursed, often misunderstood, what are KDE’s semantic desktop tools for anyway?

        The idea of taking the myriad kinds of information stored on a computer, and trying to find the relationships between it so it’s more usable, has been around for a long time. “Semantics”, the dictionary tells us, “is the study of meaning”. The goal of a “semantic desktop” is to take all the bits and pieces of information we as users collect over time, and make it more meaningful, and ultimately more useful.

      • Nepomuk is becoming a great tool, but it still has it’s drawbacks.

        A hobby of mine that I’ve done for over twenty-five years now is genealogy. Over the course of that time I’ve acquired a lot of documents and scans of documents, not to mention photos, web snippets, text notes, pdf files and other such things.

        As an ardent KDE user, the natural thing to do for keeping track of all these files – and being able to find them again – is by tagging for Nepomuk. With Dolphin I give them a tag or two, add a comment, and I should have no trouble finding the file in the future. While for many users that would hold true, for my usage (and I suspect many other users) there’s still a problem with relying solely on Nepomuk. It’s tags and comments don’t transfer to the cloud, or another computer. In other words, because Nepomuk’s stores all those tags and comments in it’s database and not in the file itself, the tags and comments don’t transfer elsewhere. With me, I sync all my research files in Dropbox, but when I access them with my laptop out in the field, none of those tags or comments are there. That’s a serious handicap to my research.

      • KDE’s Martin Grasslin blogged today that despite what the rest of the industry/community does, KDE’s future will be on Wayland. He said he and his fellow developers decided to travel the road more annoying, if not by choice by process of elimination.

        It’s been interesting to follow the various desktop camps as they discuss the future of their software in relation to desktop graphical servers. Xorg has been the recipient of some mighty harsh words as far back as when it was still XFree. GNOME already stated their interest in developing for Wayland and Grasslin thinks even the smaller projects will move away from X as well. Basically, Grasslin thinks Wayland is the future.

      • Ok, I know, migrating to kmail2 is old news now. But only today I decided to try migrating to kmail2. Gentoo is going to remove kmail1 from their repository in a few months so I did not have much of a choice.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Ubuntu 13.04, which debuts next week, will have an official GNOME version. That news slipped under the radar for most folks, but it should please some Linux desktop users who don’t like Canonical’s Unity interface. And it could also impact Canonical’s big aspirations of “Ubuntu convergence” across all devices offered by channel partners.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Another month has passed, so time to mention again what we have all been doing lately ;-)

        Toolchain

        Version 4.8 of GCC is available in the tree, but currently masked. The package contains a fix needed to build hardened-sources, and a fix for the asan (address sanitizer). asan support in GCC 4.8 might be seen as an improvement security-wise, but it is yet unclear if it is an integral part of GCC or could be disabled with a configure flag. Apparently, asan “makes building gcc 4.8 crazy”. Seeing that it comes from Google, and building Google Chromium is also crazy, I start seeing a pattern here.

    • Slackware Family

      • There are a lot of ways to support Slackware Linux Project. One of them is by subscribing to Slackware Linux CD/DVD releases or by using Slackware Store to purchase merchandises or even donate to the project.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Hortonworks, Red Hat and Mirantis have announced that they will be cooperating on Project Savanna which aims to make provisioning Hadoop clusters on OpenStack systems fast and easy. Savanna is being designed as an OpenStack component with a REST API and UI accessible through OpenStack’s Horizon Dashboard.

      • Fedora

        • Another week of rawhide rolling along and only one really interesting bug hit:

        • So, the other day I wrote the Fedora Got Game story and have been continuing to make my transition from Fuduntu which as you may or may not be aware announced that it would close it doors.

          Initially, I had selected the Fedora 18 KDE 64-bit spin but found that it put a bit of a strain on my Netbook. Then, I opted to simply install the Xfce Desktop group onto the KDE spin. The problem with doing that is that your menu winds up having the combined items from both KDE and Xfce and so I opted to reinstall with the Xfce spin.

    • Debian Family

      • McGovern said fixes are in the works for most of them. There was no mention of the new installer, but recent reports elsewhere state it is shaping up nicely as well with some new features. Ext4 is the new default filesystem, systemd is an option, and UEFI on 64-bit system is supported. Wheezy features Linux 3.2, GCC 4.7.2, Xorg 1.12.4, KDE 4.8.4, and GNOME 3.4.2.

      • Derivatives

        • It’s been ages since I last took a look at Elive. A development release has just come out so now is a good time to take a peek at it.

          Elive is a desktop distro based on Debian, and it uses the Enlightenment window manager. Elive is geared toward providing you with a high quality desktop, with minimal hardware requirements.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Nicholas Skaggs, a Canonical software engineer and quality assurance community co-ordinator, wrote, “I’m happy to announce the Ubuntu touch images are now available for testing on the isotracker. And further, the images are now Raring based! [That is to say, they're based on the soon to be released Ubuntu 13.04 codebase] As such, the Ubuntu Touch team is asking for folks to try out the new images on their devices and ensure there are no regressions or other issues.”

            Specifically, there are four officially supported devices and images for each of them: Nexus 7, grouper; Galaxy Nexus, maguro; Nexus 4, mako; and Nexus 10, manta. These are all early releases and I recommend that only power Ubuntu and smartphone/tablet users try them at this point.

          • I’ve already decided that the next PC I build won’t include an internal optical drive. I just don’t need one often enough anymore to warrant the cost or installation. I can instead rely on a USB optical drive I already own. And I think that’s the case for a lot of PC owners now. They either use hardware that has already dumped the optical drive (e.g. Ultrabooks), or won’t consider it a great loss if their next system doesn’t include one.

          • Ubuntu Touch, Canonical’s mobile aspirations, is getting ready for the market. If the developer preview was nothing more than demo-ware, with place holders, now there are images which you can test of your device with some ‘working’ and functional apps.

          • Today I got in touch with Nathan Heafner, a community member who is actively participating, and wanted me to leave you with this message:

          • Ubuntu Touch, the version of the Linux operating system for smartphones and tablets, is now available.

          • But what can you expect to find in it? Unlike the last few releases Ubuntu 13.04 features few dramatic changes, instead bringing some much need polish and performance-boosts.

          • A few days ago, I decided to give the Ubuntu 13.04 ‘Raring Ringtail’ Beta version a test. I downloaded the Daily Build and installed it successfully. The first thing I have got to share with you all is there are many things to put in mind whenever you’re using any program/system in beta. Do not set too much expectation or you will be let down or frustrated. I was doing some work related word processing using the new LibreOffice Writer and my first experience was terrible

          • Despite all the technical and commercial hurdles, Canonical is well on its way to transforming Ubuntu for mobile devices into the real deal. For proof, look no further than the rapidly maturing application stack for touch-enabled hardware that both Ubuntu engineers and independent developers are churning out.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • This year January, I reviewed the 2013.1 update from Fuduntu and was extremely impressed by it. Since then Fuduntu has been one of my favorite distros and I use it on my netbook, dual boot with Linux Mint 13 XFCE. Fuduntu, though the name has resemblance to Ubuntu in it, is more of Fedora with the advantage of rolling release. However, to me it is truly Fedora + Ubuntu, as it combines the simplicity and professionalism of Fedora with the fun of Ubuntu. It means that once you install it, you need not re-install it again – by just downloading the updates, your system has always the latest release.With the present release, Fuduntu also comes with a Fuduntu Lite version for advanced users and netbooks, which actually provides the basic shell without much pre-installed applications. For this review, I used the Fuduntu “heavy” version only – may be I’ll take Fuduntu Lite next time.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • CompuLab has introduced a rugged, fanless, microserver based on 3rd Generation Intel Core Processors, clocked up to 2.5GHz. The Linux-friendly “uSVR” runs from -20 to 60° C, accommodates up to four internal 2.5-inch drives, networks via WiFi and up to six GbE channels, and expands modularly.

    • The payload will carry a model A Raspberry Pi, plus an Arduino Mini Pro, a UBlox GPS receiver, and 2 Radiometrix NTX2 transmitters. The latter will be on nearby frequencies primarily to avoid conflict with some other flights this weekend, but also to allow those with SDR (Software Defined Radio) receivers to listen to and decode the signals from both transmitters.

    • Mentor Graphics has merged the Linux-based automotive infotainment technology it acquired in February from MontaVista Software into its own in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) platform. Additionally, the new Mentor Embedded Automotive Technology Platform (ATP) complies with Yocto Project 1.3 and GENIVI 3.0 requirements, says Mentor.

      Mentor’s ATP and its Sourcery CodeBench and Sourcery Analyzer development tools are aimed at simplifying the process of tuning the Linux kernel and selecting suitable components for Linux-based IVI systems. In particular, ATP’s support for LLTng (LInux Trace Toolkit, Next Generation), helps developers “more easily visually analyze and debug complex interactions between the Linux OS and automotive application software with the Mentor Embedded Sourcery Analyzer,” states the company.

    • The single-circuit-board Raspberry Pi computer, only as big as a credit card, makes it easy to gain experience with embedded Linux systems. We’ll show you some hands-on examples of how to use the Raspberry Pi in an everyday environment.

    • 全民彩票网址Phones

      • Ballnux

        • Samsung Electronics plans to introduce its Galaxy S4 at the end of April in 50 countries and sources from the supply chain predict shipments in the first month will be close to 10 million units. There have been no rumors regarding component shortages.

        • Samsung’s Galaxy S4 was revealed, all signs point to another hit smartphone and big growth for the Sammy. They keep expanding the Galaxy series as was expected and the juggernaut should continue to roll on. I found it funny that the Galaxy Camera only now arrived to American shores, we’ve had it here in Asia since last year. Samsung’s Q1 financial guidance said massive growth in smartphones, driving up their profits.. yeah, this ‘surprised’ some after the Christmas season, but not our readers, we know China全民彩票网址’s gift-giving season is in January for Q1 and as Samsung is China全民彩票网址’s top-selling smartphone nowadays (used to be Nokia) that means big good sales for the Samster…

      • Android

        • Google announced their latest quarterly earnings yesterday, and the company had another good three months in the black, earning a revenue of $14 billion, with $3.35 billion of that as cold, hard income. However, Google’s recently-acquired Motorola Mobility is struggling, losing $271 million, but Google CEO Larry Page seems to have big plans for the subsidiary, and teased some of the features we may see on upcoming devices.

        • Google Inc’s core Internet business grew net revenue 23 percent in the first quarter, softening the effect of a sharp decline in its Motorola mobile phone division.

          Shares of Google, which reached an all-time high of $844 (552.28 pounds) in March, were up 1.5 percent to $777.75 in after hours trading on Thursday.

        • Android is moving in to fill the gap created by the failing Windows 8, according to reports. There is no doubt that Microsoft has failed to boost the sales of PC hardware and traditional PC vendors are now losing with Microsoft.

        • Google released specs of its glasses, Project Glass, earlier this week. While it included information like the camera resolution, storage and everything else, one key piece of information was missing – the operating system.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Airbnb today announced that it is open sourcing Rendr, its library for running Backbone.js apps seamlessly on both the client and the server. After launching its Chronos cron replacement a few weeks ago, this marks the company’s second major contribution to the open source ecosystem this year. Airbnb originally developed Rendr for its mobile site.

  • A workshop to promote the use of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Open Web Technology was organised successfully at S N Ghosh auditorium, of the J K Institute of Applied Physics and Technology of Allahabad University, on Saturday.

    The workshop was conducted by Mozilla foundation, an open source non-profit organisation working in open web technology.

    The workshop was inaugurated by head of the department of Electronics & Communication R R Tiwari who was also the chief guest of the workshop, aimed to benefit B Tech, MCA and BCA students of AU.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mitchell Baker has blogged that since Mozilla is celebrating its 15 year anniversary, it was time to tweak their Manifesto first published in 2007. Mozilla gathered input for a year and three new proposed changes are suggested.

      • Want your website to load faster? Slim your images. According to the HTTPArchive, images account for roughly 60 percent of total page size. That means the single biggest thing most sites can do to slim down is to shrink their images.

      • Mozilla CEO says that the Firefox Mobile OS will be available this summer in Venezuela, Poland, Brazil, Portugal, and Spain.

      • We’ve already heard that another mobile operating system will soon be made available courtesy of Mozilla. This summer Firefox OS powered devices will be made available in 5 countries spread over Europe and South America.

      • If you’ve wanted to be one of the first people to check out the new OS then Spanish e-retailer Geeksphone has you covered as they will be releasing two Firefox OS powered devices which they say “will be available for dispatch anywhere on earth.”

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • VMware has contributed plug-ins to the OpenStack Project that guarantees the project’s networking platform will recognize and work with virtual 全民彩票网址 running under VMware’s vSphere management environment and VMware’s Nicira Network Virtualization Platform.

    • The second Open Government Summit will take place on 25 April 2013 at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, London. This second event evolves from last year’s debate on open source and open standards, which the UK government adopted last November following a detailed consultation led by the Cabinet Office. This year’s event will examine how the open source model has driven a wave of Cloud computing innovation that government organisations can tap into to deliver major cost savings and avoid the political and fiscal dangers of vendor lock-in.

    • Security is improving in the open source OpenStack cloud platform, but more work is needed and is still being done. That’s the message coming from the recently formed OpenStack Security Group (OSSG) at the OpenStack Summit in Portland this week.

  • Databases

    • The MariaDB Foundation has expanded its Board of Directors and has appointed Simon Phipps as its Secretary and interim Chief Executive Officer. Rasmus Johansson has been appointed Chair of the Board, which also includes Andrew Katz, Jeremy Zawodny, and Michael “Monty” Widenius as members. Speaking to The H, Phipps said: “The key change here is the Foundation is now officially under the direction of a diverse Board rather than just one director.” With this change, it is on track to be completely member-led in the second half of the year.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • A few days ago Guillermo Garron wrote a piece on his website after seeing you speak live. A link to that article was posted at Scot’s Newsletter Forums – Bruno’s All Things Linux, where a discussion ensued. During the course of that conversation, I thought that maybe it was about time that we started using a less bulky nomenclature for the GNU/Linux operating system. I posted a few suggestions, but I think I like GNix the best.

    • The FSF contends that sometimes, proprietary software actually helps its fight for freedom but that Windows 8 is “so bad it’s almost funny” — the group claims that it is “full of spyware and security vulnerabilities” and that it is confusing for users.

      The group sets out its stall as follows:

      “As our society grows more dependent on computers, the software we run is of critical importance to securing the future of a free society. Free software is about having control over the technology we use in our 全民彩票官网下载s, 全民彩票官网登录s and businesses, where computers work for our individual and communal benefit, not for proprietary software companies or governments who might seek to restrict and monitor us.”

      This infographic is linked here, but not shown here in full due its arguably somewhat reactionary nature.

    • As an open source project gathers momentum and the possibility of corporate engagement beckons, developers can frequently be heard saying they need to start a foundation for their project.

      But do they? Ask many of the people who have gone down that path, and they’re likely to advise against it. The bureaucracy is daunting, the skills needed to run such an organization are similar to those of any other business, and there’s a very real risk the IRS will refuse to grant tax-exempt status.

  • Public 全民彩票网址/Government

    • We take a first reading of the recent modification to the fundamental law that governs the digital aspects of the Public Administration in Italy. These modifications require Public Administrations to prefer internally made solutions and FOSS solutions over proprietary ones, mandate an increased degree of interoperability and strengthen the push for open data.

    • As I was skimming through a solicitation document the FBI posted surveying vendors that might provide it with new video monitor technology, one word jumped out at me: open.

      The FBI is looking for a system that will allow it to monitor video from all sorts of devices, including those it owns itself and those owned by other law enforcement agencies. It also wants to be able to plug tools into the system that help it identify faces and license plates.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Endy is the co-director of the International Open Facility Advancing Biotechnology — BIOFAB, for short — where he’s part of a team that’s developing a language that will use genetic data to actually program biological cells. That may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but the project is already underway, and the team intends to open source the language, so that other scientists can use it and modify it and perfect it.

      The effort is part of a sweeping movement to grab hold of our genetic data and directly improve the way our bodies behave — a process known as bioengineering. With the Supreme Court exploring whether genes can be patented, the bioengineering world is at crossroads, but scientists like Endy continue to push this technology forward.

    • Open Data

      • A patient facing search engine app MedWhat wants to achieve something its co-founder believes is lacking from similar tools — fast, comprehensive responses to patient questions no matter how simple or complex.

        In an interview with MedCity News, entrepreneur and co-founder Arturo Devesa said he believes two ingredients are essential to achieving that: open source data from respected medical institutions and natural language processing — allowing people to ask questions in their own words. He envisions a platform that can transform mobile phones into virtual primary care physicians.

    • Open Access/Content

      • The Business, Innovation and Skills committee’s new inquiry into Open Access in academic publishing has revealed a familiar collision between the accepted practices of a sector unused to change, and the disruptive power of the internet, with its greater transparency, economy and reach.

    • Open Hardware

      • A modular, open-source workhorse to help rebuild civilization.

      • Welcome全民彩票网址 to our 5 Engineers section, part of this blog and our Fun Friday newsletter, where we toss out a question and invite our audience to respond with their wittiest answers.

        This week, on the cusp of DESIGN West and its many open-source hardware and software (OSHS) sessions, we’re thinking specifically about open-source hardware (OSH).

  • Programming

    • Rob Pike explains how Google designed Go to address major development issues they encounter while using other languages: long build times, poor dependency management, lack of robustness, etc.

    • jQuery, arguably the most popular JavaScript library, is out with their much awaited major release v2.0. It comes with a 12% reduced size footprint, API compatibility with v1.9.x, and 45 bug fixes & feature improvements. But the most notable change is dropping of support for Internet Explorer (IE) versions 8 and less.

    • Oracle has decided to delay the release of Java 8 into 2014 over their engineers tackling various security-related issues with the language as of late.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The German Federal Ministry of Economics advocates an “unpatronising” internet, said Otto. The internet and social networks have become a powerful voice for freedom that mustn’t be jeopardised through control and regimentation, he added. However, Otto noted that citizens must also be able to defend themselves against online violations of their personal rights. The Liberal politician spoke out against giving governments more technical control over the global network through established bodies such as the IETF and the ICANN internet management authority. Otto also noted that genuine internet politics require an understanding of “how the underlying technologies work”.

Leftovers

  • For years, we’ve discussed the problematic nature of “distracted driving” laws that seek to outlaw things like talking on your phone or texting while driving. It is not that we don’t think these behaviors are dangerous. It seems clear that those activities can take one’s attention away from driving and potentially increase the likelihood of an accident by a significant amount. However, the laws are often broad and inconsistent — and, worse, they can have serious unintended consequences. As we’ve noted there are lots and lots of things that can distract a driver which are still considered perfectly legal, such as changing the radio station, talking to passengers, eating, etc. Trying to ban each and every distraction one by one is a ridiculous and impossible task. In fact, studies have suggested that bad distracted drivers will often just find a different distraction to occupy their time. And, thanks to these laws, those drivers are often still texting while driving, but are simply holding their phones even lower, taking their eyes further off the road, so as to avoid detection… actually making the roads more dangerous. The real answer is to focus on stopping bad driving, not trying to call out specific activities.

  • Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) director Jamie Love — formally James Packard Love — is the brain behind the “$1 a day” HIV drugs that have saved millions of lives in Africa and other poor parts of the world. Basically, he went around asking, “How much would it cost to make this HIV medication if the patent cost was removed?” At first, no one could answer. After a while, the answer came: Less than $1 a day. At that price, the Bush administration set up a massive program to deliver generic anti-HIV drugs to Africa. Jamie also works on copyright issues, boosts free software (he’s a Linux user/evangelist and had more than a little to do with the Microsoft antitrust suit), and generally tries to make the international knowledge ecology more accessible and more useful for everyone, especially those who aren’t rich. Or necessarily even prosperous. He’s a smart guy (read the Wikipedia entry linked above), but more than that he’s bullheaded. Jamie has worked on some of his initiatives for years, even decades. In many cases you can’t say, “He hasn’t succeeded,” without adding “yet” on the end. (You’ll understand that statement better after you watch the video, which we broke into two parts because it is far longer than our typical video interview.)

  • Yahoo’s China全民彩票网址 arm will shut down its email service later this year, state media reported Friday, illustrating the brand’s diminishing profile in the country全民彩票网址.
    China全民彩票网址 Yahoo! announced it will close its email service by August 19, a move the China全民彩票网址 Daily said will leave it with just its web portal business.

  • Digital technology makes documents easy to alter or copy, leading to multiple non-identical versions that can be used in unauthorized or illegitimate ways. Unfortunately, the ease of alteration has introduced doubt in users’ minds about the authenticity of many of the digital documents they encounter.

  • Science

    • Most people think computers are built by intelligent design. How on earth can you say their development follows Darwin’s mechanism of “survival of the fittest”? Yet an article at Science Daily announces, “‘Survival of the Fittest’ Now Applies to Computers: Surprising Similarities Found Between Genetic and Computer Codes.” (Emphasis added.) Certain similarities between Linux code and bacterial genomes may obtain, but one thing should be clear: they are not Darwinian.

  • Security

    • Since retinal scans still mainly are used in the movies to set the scene for gruesome eyeball-stealing, for the foreseeable future (pun intended), we’re stuck with passwords. In this article, I want to take some time to discuss best practices and give some thoughts on cool software designed to help you keep your private affairs private. Before getting into the how-to section, let me openly discuss the how-not-to.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The president of the humanitarian organisation International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) this week warned of the organisation’s concerns over drones being used in situations that are not official armed conflicts.

    • Germany’s neo-Nazi NPD party is holding its national conference this weekend – on Adolf Hitler’s birthday. Facing an attempt to have it banned, an expert believes financial strains, internal conflicts and dwindling support are already crippling the far-right extremists.

    • Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is determined to curb American CIA operations in his country全民彩票网址, his spokesman said.

    • The CIA and the United States Government have had considerable success in toppling democracies around the world but they may have met their match in Presidente Nicolas Maduro, the legitimately elected leader of Venezuela.

    • An Opa-lock building served as the CIA base for an operation that overthrew a leftist Guatemalan president in the 1950s.

    • And it wasn’t just Afghanistan–Iraq’s “infrastructure must be destroyed and the population made to endure yet another round of intense pain…. Maybe then the people there will finally overthrow Saddam.” And if Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi did not leave his country全民彩票网址, “we bomb his oil facilities, all of them. And we mine the harbor in Tripoli. Nothing goes in, nothing goes out. We also destroy all the airports in Libya. Let them eat sand.”

    • It is perfectly possible that this is not relevant at all, and the Tsarnaev brothers became radicalised in the United States by real, and non-Chechen related, terrorists, or simply auto-radicalised. But presuming the Tsarnaevs really did plant these bombs, just who was ultimately pulling the strings and why may be an extremely complex question – and one to which young Dzokhar Tsarnaev is most unlikely to know the real answer.

  • Cablegate

    • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange met Google Chairman (and then CEO) Eric Schmidt in 2011, secretly in the UK. Jared Cohen, a former Secretary of State advisor to Hillary Clinton and Lisa Shields of the Council for Foreign Relations were also present during this secret meeting. Shields was, according to the transcript, responsible for going through the transcript and to adjust it for accuracy and clarity. The interview was conducted to gather content for a book “The New Digital World” which is expected to be released on April 23, 2013. So this leaks is timed well to create some buzz around the upcoming book.

    • Goa’s beaches were in the cross hairs of suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba terror suspect Nasir Raizuddin, being tried for the 2008 Bangalore serial blasts, Wikileaks has claimed citing a recently declassified US diplomatic cable.

      The cable, dated February 2008, was drafted by David T. Hopper, then consul general at the US consulate in Chennai.

      Hopper quotes top police officials about other areas identified by Riazuddin before his arrest in Karnataka.

      According to Hopper, Raziuddin told the police that along with accomplices from the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), he had identified sites across the country全民彩票网址 for a series of bomb blasts.

      And “beaches in Goa frequented by foreigners” were one of those specifically identified as targets, according to the diplomatic communique.

    • Manning follows in the footsteps of those patriots before him who willingly and knowingly broke the law on matters of conscience, and did so knowing the consequences. King broke the law to expose the savagery of apartheid to white America. Ellsberg broke the law to reveal the lies of the US government about its deepening involvement in Southeast Asia. All three — King, Ellsberg, and Manning — were branded as traitors. But all three remind us that following one’s conscience, even if it means breaking the law, is an act of courage and true patriotism.

    • For anyone interested in open standards, privacy, encryption or just general advancements in digital technology, one of the jewels delivered online this week was Wikileaks’ release of a transcript for what is reportedly a five-hour “secret” meeting between Wikileaks’ Julian Assange and Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google. The transcript of the 2011 meeting is here, and it is well worth jumping around in it for surprises. Among them, Assange–who specializes in all things related to privacy and the lack of it online–says that he does not use email.

  • Finance

    • A paper used to justify austerity economics appears to contain an Excel error.

    • Detroit is a city that has been in the national and world news once again. Since March, when Gov. Rick Snyder declared a so-called “financial emergency” in Detroit, therefore setting the stage for the appointment of an “Emergency Manager”, many press reports drew a direct connection between the recent corruption trial of former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and businessman Bobby Ferguson. In fact just prior to Snyder’s declaration, Kilpatrick and Ferguson were found guilty of numerous corruption charges in the months-long federal trial.

      Of course the corporate and government-controlled media has never focused on who are the real culprits in the underdevelopment and consequent destruction of Detroit and other majority African American municipalities in Michigan. These media entities fall back on the same notions that have prevailed inside the United States since the period of Reconstruction, i.e. that African American political leadership is inherently corrupt and inefficient rendering them incapable of managing the affairs of governments locally, statewide and nationally.

    • What’s worrying investors the most appears to be the strange mixture of anemic customer trading revenue and institutional bravado when it comes to Goldman’s own money. Such high-risk/high-reward behavior was rather typical of institutions like Goldman Sachs (and indeed Goldman Sachs itself) prior to the crash, and it was largely seen as having created a toxic financial atmosphere.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • The Walton Family Foundation has an overriding interest in 全民彩票官网登录 pro privatization. They commit about $160 million each year for charters, vouchers, Teach for America, think tanks, and media. Everything they do has the singular goal of dismantling public education and opening the 全民彩票官网登录s to untrained, uncertified teachers.

      Here is news from the Chicago Teachers Union about the role of Walton in the proposed closing of 54 public 全民彩票官网登录s.

    • News Corp. COO Chase Carey said his conglomerate is considering moving programming from its Fox broadcast network, which viewers can receive over the air, for free, to its pay cable networks.

    • Fair-trade officials in Taiwan are looking into reports that Samsung paid people to criticise rival HTC online.

    • In a new report, entitled “P is for Payoff: Inside the Bradley Foundation’s Campaign to Privatize Education in Wisconsin,” the non-profit activist group One Wisconsin Now has detailed the Bradley Foundation’s funding of a coordinated campaign to promote 全民彩票官网登录 privatization in Wisconsin and across the nation.

  • Censorship

    • Now, he describes what happened after its wildly popular debut, and what it says about “doing business” in China全民彩票网址.

    • The latest twist in the Leveson saga is the Government’s proposed amendments to protect ‘small scale bloggers’.

      We previously warned the drafting meant groups like Big Brother Watch could be covered, along with websites like Con全民彩票官网下载 and Mumsnet.

      The amendment makes clear if you’re a multi-author blog with a turnover below £2m, you won’t be considered a ‘relevant publisher’ for the purposes of exemplary damages and cost protections. This is an important clarification. (Although the bill does still appear to lack a definition of ‘blog’, which could prove interesting – and expensive to argue in court.)

      However, the drafting only protects either ‘incidental’ publishers of news-related material, or multi-author blogs. So someone who is not a blog, who publishes news-related material on a regular basis, remains in scope even if their turnover is £10,000.

    • Copyfighter, journalist, sci-fi writer and Boing-Boing editor Cory Doctorow has fallen victim to the almighty content empire of Rupert Murdoch. In an attempt to remove access to infringing copies of the TV-show 全民彩票官网下载land, Fox has ordered Google to take down links to Doctorow’s latest novel of the same title. Adding to the controversy, Doctorow’s own publisher has also sent DMCA notices for the Creative Commons licensed book.

  • Privacy

    • House intelligence committee chairman Mike Rogers, left, with the committee’s ranking Democrat, CA “Dutch” Ruppersberger. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP

    • Facebook debuted its Android app family Facebook 全民彩票官网下载 today. This means those of you with compatible devices (sorry Windows 全民彩票网址Phone and iOS users) have a snazzy new product to try out if you’re looking for a tightly-Facebook integrated mobile experience.

    • The group believes the tax collection agency has run afoul of the Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable searches.

    • The Dangers of Surveillance, written by Neil M. Richards, Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis, was recently published on the Social Science Research Network. In it, Richards proposed “four principles that should guide the future development of surveillance law.” Yet he said we must first recognize that: “Surveillance transcends the public-private divide;” that “secret surveillance is illegitimate;” that “total surveillance is illegitimate” and that “surveillance is harmful.” The courts may understand that surveillance could be potentially harmful, but “have struggled to clearly understand why.”

    • All of those questions, messages, and stern commands that people have been whispering to Siri are stored on Apple servers for up to two years, Wired can now report.
      Yesterday, we raised concerns about some fuzzy disclosures in Siri’s privacy policy. After our story ran, Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller called to explain Apple’s policy, something privacy advocates have asking for.
      This is the first time that Apple has said how long it’s keeping Siri data, but according to Nicole Ozer, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer全民彩票网址 who first brought these Siri privacy questions to our attention, there’s still more that Apple could do.

    • Plans for a data center in San Antonio were also announced by the agency in 2007. Although the exact size of the San Antonio facility is unknown, it took the place of a 470,000 square foot former Sony microchip plant, reported DataCenterKnowledge.

      President Obama’s Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative calls for “upgraded infrastructure” and “increased bandwidth” as part of enhancing the nation’s cybersecurity capabilities. Yet, the San Antonio data center is only one part of the agency’s capacity.

    • North Korean hackers and the Boston bombings might not appear to have much in common. But not according to some American lawmakers, who are using both to justify passing a controversial cybersecurity bill that civil liberties advocates claim “undermines the privacy of millions of Internet users.”

      Yesterday, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, was approved by the House of Representatives by a vote of 288 to 127. The law was first introduced in 2011 and approved last year by the House, though it died in the Senate after an outpouring of opposition from privacy and civil liberties groups. But it has been resurrected and is heading to the Senate for the second time. Predictably, the storm of criticism has also reappeared. Rights groups have consistently raised concerns over how CISPA would allow corporations to pass unanonymized user data to federal government agencies for vaguely defined “cybersecurity” purposes—and be covered by full legal indemnity when doing so.

  • Civil Rights

    • Over the past few months and weeks there’s been much greater attention paid to both the CFAA and the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA, and how both are in need of serious reform. The attention to anti-circumvention was galvanized around the fact that unlocking your mobile phone became illegal again, after the Library of Congress allowed an exemption to expire, making many people realize that the anti-circumvention clause of the DMCA, also known as section 1201, meant that they often don’t really own the products they thought they owned. The attention to CFAA reform came in response to Aaron’s Swartz’s untimely death, and the light it shed on the parts of the CFAA that he was charged under. Of course, many of us have been fighting back against both laws for years, but the public attention on both has been key over the past few months.

    • To some, hacker Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer is a cause celebré. To others, he’s a famous douchebag. To many, he’s a polarizing figure in a debate that’s roiled Silicon Valley, pitting established tech companies against rogue innovators. When Auernheimer was sentenced to 41 months in prison for collecting and publicizing the names of 114,000 AT&T iPad users, reporters grappled over the right words to characterize him. A headline in Venture Beat reflected their ambivalence: “Terrorist, hacker, freedom fighter: Andrew Auernheimer parties tonight in expectation of jail tomorrow.”

    • In the last three months alone, the House has released three different cybersecurity bills and has held over seven hearings on the issue. In addition, the House Judiciary Committee floated changes to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)—the draconian anti-hacking statute that came to public prominence after the death of activist and Internet pioneer Aaron Swartz. Politicians tout this legislation as necessary to protect against foreign threats every single time they introduce a bill with “cyber” somewhere in the text. And it comes as no surprise that every hearing has opened up with a recap of computer security attacks faced by the US from China全民彩票网址, Iran, and other foreign countries.

    • Though extensive due process protections apply to the investigation of crimes, and to criminal trials, perhaps the most important part of the criminal process — the decision whether to charge a defendant, and with what — is almost entirely discretionary. Given the plethora of criminal laws and regulations in today’s society, this due process gap allows prosecutors to charge almost anyone they take a deep interest in. This Essay discusses the problem in the context of recent prosecutorial controversies involving the cases of Aaron Swartz and David Gregory, and offers some suggested remedies, along with a call for further discussion.

    • Nearly 200 senior IBM executives are flying into Washington to press for the passage of a controversial cybersecurity bill that will come up for a vote in the House this week.
      The IBM executives will pound the pavement on Capitol Hill Monday and Tuesday, holding nearly 300 meetings with lawmakers and staff. Over the course of those two days, their mission is to convince lawmakers to back a bill that’s intended to make it easier for industry and government to share information about cyber threats with each other in real time.

    • Today, thirty-four civil liberties organizations sent a joint letter to Congressional Representatives urging them to continue to oppose the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). CISPA is a misguided “cybersecurity” bill that would provide a gaping new exception to privacy law. The House of Representatives is likely to vote on it on Wednesday or Thursday of this week. This means that there’s little time remaining to speak out against this bill.

    • Mr. Brown came under the scrutiny of the authorities when he began poring over documents that had been released in the hack of two private security companies, HBGary Federal and Stratfor. Mr. Brown did not take part in the hacks, but he did become obsessed with the contents that emerged from them — in particular the extracted documents showed that private security contractors were being hired by the United States government to develop strategies for undermining protesters and journalists, including Glenn Greenwald, a columnist for Salon. Since the cache was enormous, Mr. Brown thought he might crowdsource the effort and copied and pasted the URL from an Anonymous chat server to a Web site called Project PM, which was under his control.

    • The always patriotic U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham says the Boston bombing “is Exhibit A of why the 全民彩票官网下载land is the battlefield.” In an interview with the Washington Post:

      “It’s a battlefield because the terrorists think it is.” Referring to Boston, he observed, “Here is what we’re up against,” and added, “It sure would be nice to have a drone up there [to track the suspect.]” He also slammed the president’s policy of “leading from behind and criminalizing war.”

    • In 2009, defending the promise he made to close Guantánamo Bay, President Barack Obama insisted: “The existence of Guantánamo likely created more terrorists around the world than it ever detained.”

      This weekend, the case for the closure of Guantánamo Bay, promised by Obama on his second day in office, has never been more compelling. A hunger strike by the camp’s inmates, half of whom had been cleared for release, has underlined the growing desperation of those 166 still detained. Of that number, some 86 had been approved for transfer (while the rest had been earmarked for trial) but have become stuck in a political and legal limbo that has seen such transfers almost completely halted in the last two-and-a-half years. A recent report by a bipartisan panel of experts has condemned both the conditions there and the use of abusive interrogation techniques.

    • Local and state lawmakers opposing the tyranny of the NDAA and indefinite detention stand on very sound constitutional ground in their battle against federal overreaching. Any unconstitutional act of the federal government is prima facie void and must not be given the respect or force of law. In fact, such measures are not law at all.

    • For many constitutional watchers, the Bill of Rights are in danger. That will be the message of speakers Debra Sweet and Michael Figura, who will be on a tour of Maine from April 19-21. After speaking in Bangor on April 19, Sweet and Figura will travel to Belfast to speak at the Belfast Free Library on Saturday, April 20 at 2:30 p.m. On April 21, they will wrap up their Maine tour in Portland.

    • 19-year-old Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev is in custody. Assuming that Tsarnaev is indeed guilty of these crimes, a very real threat to public safety has been taken off the streets. That’s the good news.

      The bad news is that the Tsarnaev brothers have taken the last vestiges of a free society in America down with them.

      The Bill of Rights was already on life support before this tragedy. Before the dust settled after 9/11, the 4th Amendment had been nullified by the Patriot Act. The 5th and 6th Amendments were similarly abolished with the Military Commission Act of 2006 and the 2012 NDAA resolution, which contained a clause allowing the president to arrest and indefinitely detain American citizens on American soil without due process of law.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Google has formally submitted a package of concessions to European Union competition regulators in a strong signal that the world’s No. 1 search engine may be able to settle a two-year antitrust investigation without a fine.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Hitachi Ltd. (6501) lost a U.S. patent- infringement trial in which it sought as much as four years of royalty payments from TPV Technology Ltd. (903) on sales of high- definition televisions.
      A federal jury in Marshall, Texas, last week said TPV, the world’s fourth-largest maker of LCD televisions, didn’t infringe four Hitachi patents and that two of them were invalid.

      The dispute is over inventions related to an industrywide standard for a process to transmit digital audio and visual signals, as well as program data, over the airwaves. Hitachi claimed that televisions made by TPV and its units infringed the company’s patents.

    • Trademarks

      • In an Office action filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last week, the attorney examining Apple’s “iPad mini” trademark withdrew their primary objections to the application, saying only a disclaimer clarifying the mark’s use of the term “mini” is needed in order to move forward.

      • In a brief opinion issued today, Judge Richard Seeborg of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California awarded Christopher Recouvreur more than $46,000 in attorney fees and expenses for having had to defend himself against a series of wild and baseless threats of suit for trademark infringement by Charles Carreon. After we were finally able to get service on Carreon and moved for an award of the costs of service, Carreon served a Rule 68 judgment granting the declaratory relief for which we had sued. We then sought to have fees awarded on the grounds that Carreon had bought threatened trademark claims that had no reasonable basis, thus forcing Recouvreur to seek a declaratory judgment to protect himself against damages claims; that Carreon ducked service and then refused to pay the costs of such service but rather forced us to move to collect those costs; particularly after Carreon demanded the opportunity to conduct discovery over the fee claims, we also argued that his litigation conduct made the case exceptional.

    • 全民彩票官网下载s

      • Hundreds of thousands of people have been sued for copyright infringement in the past three years using a controversial litigation strategy.

      • Mendeley, an open collaboration platform for scientific research, has promised that it won’t become less open after being acquired by journal publisher Elsevier, but some prominent users aren’t waiting around.

      • As Gary Fung is seeking a rehearing of the IsoHunt case in the 9th Circuit, two amicus briefs were filed yesterday. The first from the EFF and the second from Google. Neither brief suggests that Fung should get off as innocent, or that he did nothing wrong. Rather, both are worried about how the broad ruling by the court for the specific situation regarding Fung and IsoHunt will lead to further abuse by copyright holders and massive chilling effects on service providers. The EFF notes that while Fung/IsoHunt may have been bad actors, it appears that the court used this to go way overboard in creating new and dangerous standards for copyright

      • In an epic clash between old and new media, Google Inc.’s video website YouTube has scored another huge victory in the long-running skirmish over copyright infringement brought by television giant Viacom Inc.
        A federal judge in New York on Thursday ruled that YouTube had not violated Viacom’s copyright even though users of the popular online site were allowed to post unauthorized video clips from some of Viacom’s most popular shows, including Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and Nickelodeon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

      • Media giant Viacom just can’t win — at least when it comes to the company’s long-running, landmark copyright infringement lawsuit against Google‘s YouTube video service. A federal judge handed a major victory to YouTube on Thursday, one year after a federal appeals court breathed new life into Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit. Viacom had accused YouTube of illegally hosting videos that infringe on the company’s intellectual property, including popular content like MTV videos and TV shows like Comedy Central’s “South Park.”

The Steep Decline of the Patent System: Scope Expanded While Barriers Lowered, USPTO Promotes Yet More Patenting

Posted in Patents at 9:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Protectionism for all. What could possibly go awry?

Keys

Summary: Patents are being cheapened in pursuit of increased relevance and excessive dependence on the USPTO, the US-based monopolies office which lacks oversight

THE cult of patents branches off from the flawed hypothesis that without patents, whose original goal was publication, there would no longer be much innovation. It could not be further from the truth and it is arguably the very reversal of the truth.

Patents are these days being granted on designs, which are orthogonal to innovation. Isn’t copyright enough? Surely not for the maximalists, to whom protectionism is never quite enough. The new business for so-called ‘IP’ lawyer全民彩票网址s is in . These are people to whom copyright rarely provides a job. Here is a new post about being encouraged using a scholarship.

…the fundamental question of how (or if) we should protect designs using intellectual property law.

全民彩票官网下载s already achieve this and they require no filing. Implementation is itself supporting evidence. No lawyer全民彩票网址s, no authoring of patents. But this is never sufficient for the maximalists, who wish to make patents more and more abstract, making it complex to find prior art and thus just granting almost everything for cash, causing litigation and spurring no real innovation, just devaluing patents as a concept (creating a bubble). Here is while the and , noting that this corruptible office has a . This same office has been seeking to legtitimise software patents with , as well as a . They , but only pro-software patents people get the stage. The ACLU is when referring to , with (IBM, a software patents proponent, lets Marc Ehrlich, Senior Patent Counsel, do his thing). Pamela Jones opposes this by stating: “The current patent system no doubt looks fine if you are the company with the most patents. But I dispute that patents encourage anything but greed. Microsoft didn’t build its business on patents. It is now, because it’s going down the drain. If Mr. Erlich’s theory was sound, it could not have built Microsoft. Yet it happened.

“Finally, while there may be, by his definition, three business models, when it comes to software — which is where most of the patent litigation is concentrated — there’s only two sides — proprietary and open. And there, both proprietary business models are teaming up to attack the newer open model, with the stated goal by one of them of destroying it. Tell me how that promotes innovation.”

Jones also found and now promotes Application Developers Alliance — one we alluded to some days ago. In Los Angeles they are having their debate which has . Rackspace will speak (Rackspace has become very active against patents), hopefully antagonising lots of lawyer全民彩票网址s and patent people (patent microcasm). We find the same in . Patent lawyer全民彩票网址s and their institutions are ganging up against software engineers.

“Writing non-free software is not an ethically legitimate activity, so if people who do this run into trouble, that’s good! All businesses based on non-free software ought to fail, and the sooner the better.”

Richard Stallman

The SCOTUS-endorsed USPTO’s Bet Against Public Life and the Bribery for Patent Policy

Posted in Patents at 9:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dizzy

Summary: The scandalous policy of privatising genetics continues to come under extraordinary fire

The practice of patenting non-ideas such as nature has been under fire here for years, but now the SCOTUS has a chance to do something about it. Don’t hold your breath though, there might be a patent on this process. Seriously though, the Supreme Court has a habit of supreme systemic corruption which favours corporations over public interests and sanity. The infamous genetics patents will probably be no exception.

Timothy B. Lee asks,

“…Supreme Court has a habit of supreme systemic corruption which favours corporations over public interests and sanity.”Probably not. Here are the and SCOTUS Blog .

The and other patent sites . If you deviate from their consensus, you are ‘radical’. Speaking of patents on genetics, see about corruption, starting as follows: “As I reported a couple of weeks ago, a recent Senate bill came with a nice bonus for the genetically modified seed industry: a rider, wholly unrelated to the underlying bill, that compels the USDA to ignore federal court decisions that block the agency’s approvals of new GM crops. I explained in this post why such a provision, which the industry has been pushing for over a year, is so important to Monsanto and its few peers in the GMO seed industry.” The article names Sen. Roy Blunt as one whom Monsanto paid to pass policies relating to its patent monopolies (on crop genetics).

Jones says: “So, anti-software patents folks could just collect some money and hand it to a Senator and get patent reform? hat’s how it works?”

Yes, of course. Not just when it comes to patents. The system is rigged.

Patent Trolls and ‘Royalties’: Distracting From the Real Issue Which is Software Patents

Posted in Patents at 9:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A lawyer全民彩票网址s’ (or politicians’) mindset

Parliament

Summary: A lawyer全民彩票网址s-led debate neglects to target the core issue, which is patenting of software, instead resorting to attack on the symptom, which most often exploits software patents

Software patents have always been the #1 subject in this Web site. These patents — and by extension the patent system — are the #1 barrier to GNU/Linux domination in the post-Vista, post-Nokia/Symbian, post-x86 era.

Rather than discuss what’s “Fair” and “Reasonable” (to charge innovators) we should start tackling the source of the problem we all face because lawyer全民彩票网址s and their clients took over. Weak reformists do not advocate the end of software patents, they advance coexistence with them. FRAND is a common line for software patents apologists. As one site put it, “standard-essential patent owner is obligated to enter into binding baseball-style (or “final offer”) arbitration with any willing licensee to determine the royalty rate.”

“Rather than discuss what’s “Fair” and “Reasonable” (to charge innovators) we should start tackling the source of the problem we all face because lawyer全民彩票网址s and their clients took over.”Why discuss rates for something that might not be valid in the first place, such as the case in Europe? In the USPTO, where Apple is (the institutional bias for large corporations), software patents might be acceptable and even enforceable internationally through the it likes to block Korean, i.e. non-US, companies). Watch , which is part of a bigger picture of Apple versus Android FRAND battles [, ]. Here is from patent lawyer全民彩票网址s’ (hence biased) blogs.

Mark Lemley, an academic lawyer全民彩票网址 himself, rather than rejection. From his new paper:

Standard Setting Organizations (SSOs) typically require their members to license any standard-essential patent on Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Unfortunately, numerous high-stakes disputes have recently broken out over just what these “FRAND commitments” mean and how and where to enforce them.

One lawyer全民彩票网址s’ site that , meaning that patents on software become enforceable in bulk where those patents, individually, are neither valid nor legal.

Aiming at trolls is another pattern of distraction, for instance with Obama nominating/appointing the problematic people while claiming to address the issue of trolls. Where is the protest? Where it the uproar? SOPA need not have a monopoly on outrage.

Here is . As Pamela Jones notes: “Don’t miss this incredible article, everyone. It’s eye-opening. Mr. Ewing advises WIPO and is the attorney who first coined the phrase “patent privateering”, and this letter is his comment filed, along with many others which he makes available here — scroll down — in connection with a workshop that the FTC held on PAEs, or trolls, in December. The link doesn’t work any more, by the way, the one he includes in his letter regarding the workshop, but the cache is still available if you go to that page and then search for atr/public/workshops/pae in the search box.”

The EFF, not to its credit, left aside its old pitch of “against software patents” and now it is and going after particular patents or players one by one (like the ineffective Patent Busting project). Here is a .

“Targeting trolls is not enough. All these reformists are going after the symptom rather than the disease.”Pamela Jones notes that the US government is , but it is not enough. Jones points out the article titled and then correctly points out: “That means that if you solve the patent troll problem, you still have nearly half of the problem unsolved.”

Nazer from the EFF is in the headline he helps imply that some software patents are “good”.

“Considering that algorithms are mathematics,” writes Jones, “and mathematics is non-patentable subject matter, I can’t see how this proposal will solve the fundamental problem.”

Rackspace, on the other hand, has gotten Jones’ support. With , the company shows that it wants the system itself fixed. In its blog it says: “When it comes to fighting this particular troll, we believe an IPR is our best option to have this patent abolished at its source – eliminate the root, destroy the weed.”

Watch the from the troll’s site (it says “monetized to date” at the top). They call patent infringement theft. Here is a Patent Progress guest post from Rackspace, titled

The site Patent Progress and :

USING THE FULL POWERS OF THE FTC TO COMBAT PATENT TROLLS

A century ago there was a lively debate in Congress over the enforcement of the antitrust laws. Much of the 1912 presidential campaign had focused on the lack of effective antitrust enforcement by the Justice Department and the failure of the Sherman Act to stop growing anticompetitive conduct in the marketplace. In 1913, Congress focused on the urgent need for reform of the antitrust laws and stronger enforcement.

Targeting trolls is not enough. All these reformists are going after the symptom rather than the disease. That’s not to say that patent trolls are not an issue; they are. But if a huge number of people petition President Obama on the subject of software patents and receive a response about trolls, then someone is trolling and distracting them; the trolls will go away when large corporations, which are behind the government, decide that they must go away. Pursuing the end of trolls is leaving all the power in the hands of corporate cartels that use patents to harm everyone, including Android (a notable victim).

Microsoft May be Hiding Something Big as It Pays All Its CFOs Millions of Dollars to Keep Quiet After Financial Fraud Whistleblowing

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 8:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft, the world’s most valuable company, declared a profit of $4.5 billion in 1998; when the cost of options awarded that year, plus the change in the value of outstanding options, is deducted, the firm made a loss of $18 billion, according to Smithers.”

The Economist, 1999

Summary: Yet another CFO receives a lot of money to keep his mouth shut about Microsoft’s accounting practices

, which echoes what Microsoft did when its previous CEO (Mr. Liddell) left. Remember that Charles Pancerzewski, who had worked for Microsoft in accounting, was paid $4 million to keep quiet [1, 2]. He got this money after had revealed systematic financial corruption at Microsoft. The issue got buried thereafter. Here is what the latest report says:

Microsoft’s chief financial officer, Peter Klein, will receive $2 million in the year after he retires from the company, according to documents filed Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Klein and Microsoft announced Thursday that he will leave the company after an 11-year stint. He will work through the end of the fiscal year, which for Microsoft wraps up June 30.
As part of his separation package, Klein will receive a $1 million payment on Jan. 15, 2014, and a second $1 million check on June 30, 2014, a Form 8-K filed by Microsoft said.
The payments are “compensation for his services during fiscal year 2013 and performance of his obligations under the Agreement,” the 8-K stated.
That agreement, also posted on the SEC website, bars Klein from working for any firm that competes with Microsoft for a period of one year and mandates that he keep confidential all information about Microsoft.

Microsoft needs to be raided again and properly investigated with no option of settlement (bribery) to stop the process. It sure seems like there is systematic bribery whose purpose is to cover up misconduct. Unless or until all those briberies stop we can — within reason — assume Microsoft to be guilty but too big to jail. “Big to jail” means that you are capable of paying people to subvert the course of justice, be it by ousting someone(s) or bribing someone(s).

Behind the Patent Deal With Foxconn, a Conspiracy to Harm Android is Possible

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 4:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Meanwhile in Taipei…

Taipei

Summary: Foxconn and other Taiwan-based corporations seem to be grouping against Android, which has mostly benefited the Koreans

Foxconn, which sold Linux down the river (to Microsoft), does not self-brand devices it makes, so adding it to the list of companies to avoid for Linux patent tax would be hard. But there are other issues to consider.

The other day we saw Microsoft seeding some new types of FUD against Android; I heard some of those lies repeated by salesmen at a store when I bought Android devices. The reality is, and when Google got cracked it was Windows’ fault (thereafter it got banned for internal use). There is still , but Microsoft is always behind it. The Foxconn patent deal may in fact involve nothing but FUD; we don’t know if Microsoft is really being paid and we cannot check due to secrecy. This secrecy should be challenged by government officials; it’s detrimental to everyone but the conspirators, that’s why they insist on it.

Upon the signing of this deal Pamela Jones wrote: “I hope Foxconn loses all that business, then, followed by the FTC and DOJ investigating antitrust issues.” Wishful thinking. Microsoft has got the government in its pocket. It is one of its biggest sponsors (Obama’s top technology funder when he got elected).

Recently it turned out that the 全民彩票官网下载 of Foxconn . To quote a pro-Apple site:

Apple is also believed to be playing a key anti-Samsung role for Taiwanese companies over display panels. Last year, device manufacturer Foxconn attempted to buy a 10 percent stake in panel maker Sharp Corp., a move that the AP noted was believed to have been spurred by Apple as the company expressed “eagerness to find an alternative supplier to Samsung.”

“Well, well,” wrote Jones. “This puts the Foxconn-Microsoft patent deal into an interesting context, wouldn’t you say?”

Pamela Jones separately added: “Remember when SCO Group complained to the courts that the GPL, the license on Linux, was UnConstitutional? No one, Darl McBride, told them can compete with free. And Microsoft helped to fund SCO. So did Sun, now belonging to Oracle. And here we go again. How pitiful.

“Evidently the first complaint against Google didn’t go the way they hoped, so they regroup and try a new angle. Here’s the problem: Google isn’t guilty of anything like what they claim. You can just modify you phone any way you want, including removing Android altogether and using Linux, purely, instead. Or you can fork Android, without any consequences, as Amazon has done, without consequences and without having to prominently display a thing for Google. You have freedom of choice. So this new complaint is, frankly, ludicrous. It’s actually offensive, because it’s cynical. Here’s how I read their complaints: they are saying to me, “We can’t compete with Google as far as products are concerned. We are accustomed to gouging our customers on price, and with a free offering in the market, we can’t keep doing that.” Is that really something antitrust agencies like the EU Commission should be helping them with? And how about the EU Commission look into how come the same companies keep suing and complaining about Google? Any antitrust implications if the old guard plots together to kill off the new guy trying to compete with something better than the world has fallen in love with? I do want to commend Apple for apparently not joining in this.”

The European authorities have been too weak for effective action recently. They also helped ligitimise software patents after they had rejected them in 2005. US law keeps spreading. As noted recently in relation to the CFAA, (and thus we cover a lot of US news):

How can all of us non-US people help with this? Just by mentioning “Your senseless laws will create dangerous precedents and will “inspire” other law-makers around the world!”?

In relation to Android a new petition , stating:

As can be seen in the Oracle v Google lawsuit, legacy vendors are getting together to try to overturn a court ruling that APIs are NOT copyrightable. If successful in their appeal, the ruling would prevent competitive implementations of the same API, resulting in a new kind of lock-in that reduces competition and set a precedent that affects all APIs and programming languages

Oracle is a member of the which states/quotes claims as follows:

“Since the Attachmate acquisition, Novell has been asleep at the wheel in several competitive markets,” said Hyoun Park, principal analyst at IT research firm Nucleus Research

Well, Nokia is the same. Microsoft destroyed it just for its patents. A pattern is emerging here, with Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, Nokia, and even some manufacturers in Taiwan seeking to use their patent-stacking tactics to destroy the market leader, Linux/Android. Apathy from the public is the greatest thing the conspirators could hope for.

Microsoft is Allegedly Helping State Spying in Exchange for Money (Contracts)

Posted in Microsoft at 4:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The spooky side of Microsoft…

ECHELON

Summary: Microsoft surveillance may be going much further than Skype, Windows, etc.

(we wrote about this subject more than half a decade ago):

On Wednesday, April 17th, 2013, the Canard Encha?né (a French satirical weekly 1) published new revelations about the “Open Bar” contract currently being negotiated between Microsoft and the French Ministry of Defense. Originally revealed by PCInpact, on February 5th, 2013, these decisions, made in secret and criticized by the rapporteur of the State Public Procurement Commission, seem to have been driven by NATO. April renews its calls for the French Prime Minister to send the Ministry of Defense to rehab. The association is worried about the threats, detailed in the satirical weekly, that such a contract could represent to national security, and about the risks that other ministries might follow suite. Finally, it asks for transparency on this contract’s negotiations.

The initial “Open Bar” contract was about the rental of Microsoft Office software and was entered into in 2009, for a period of four years; yet, the Public Procurement Commission’s rapporteur had pointed out that the contract presented many exceptions to the principles of public procurement. Since the agreement made the Ministry of Defense unacceptably dependent on Microsoft, April called for the Prime Minister to suspend the contract renegotiations, so that all the facts surrounding the issue might be brought to light and so that we might start afresh on healthy foundations. April has moreover written to the Prime Minister, to the Defense Minister, and to parliamentarians to inform them about these requests.

[...]

This week, the Canard Enchainé shines new light on the file and gives new information about the reasons leading the army to “capitulate to Microsoft”, without the government services being able to do anything about it. The weekly newspaper quotes Patrick Bazin, the central director of the Department of Interministerial Information Systems and Communication (DISIC, Direction interministérielle des systèmes d’information et de communication), who campaigns for the renewal of this contract because of interoperability obligations between allies, to the extent that “NATO chose Microsoft solutions for its work stations.” However, this argument is untruthful: interoperability entails being able to run on all systems, and not only on those within an editor’s hegemony.

[...]

Tax evasion

The Canard Enchainé article ends with “the contract’s ultimate joke”: by signing the “Open Bar” contract with Microsoft Ireland, instead of with Microsoft France, the Ministry of Defense would be engaging in tax evasion.

That last point is noteworthy, but it is not the main point, which we covered here before.

So what is it that Microsoft does to facilitate spying? It is not as though Microsoft ever respected privacy. The man behind Microsoft, using his :

Actors do it. Professional athletes do it. Now Bill Gates wants the country全民彩票网址 to spend $5 billion for every teacher in every classroom in every district to be filmed in action so they can be evaluated and, maybe, improve.

Pamela Jones writes: “Nobody in the classroom has a camera on a phone already? And I don’t want any child of mine being filmed in 全民彩票官网登录 for any purpose at all, ever, thanks, and if it were to happen, I don’t want Bill Gates to receive it.”

The privatised surveillance complex has always been having a fun time with Microsoft. Now that Microsoft lets spooks listen to Skype communications the bond is ever more strong. But let Microsoft chastise Google over privacy…

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