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09.30.16

Dutch Court Rules Against SUEPO (in a Reversal), But EPO Management Would Have Ignored the Ruling Even If SUEPO Won (Updated)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Correction: Based on the translation we have received, this is not final yet. See the translation added to the bottom.

Does the 'slayer' Willy Minnoye accept this ruling (because it’s in his favour)?

Willy Minnoye caricature

Summary: SUEPO loses a case against EPO management, but the EPO’s overzealous management was going to ignore the ruling anyway

THE EPO‘s management is so extremely arrogant that it perceives itself as above the law, immune from courts (even at The Hague which is famous for some of its courts), and totally unaccountable. If Eponia was a real nation, it would probably be something like North Korea, where reporting is frowned upon and unhappiness (in public) is barely an option. Dissent is a heinous crime and the Internet is blocked from inside the country全民彩票网址 ‘for protection’ (like the EPO blocking Techrights).

“Dissent is a heinous crime and the Internet is blocked from inside the country全民彩票网址 ‘for protection’ (like the EPO blocking Techrights).”Willy Minnoye, speaking on behalf of the EPO’s top-level management, said he would ignore the ruling from the highest Dutch court if it ruled in favour of SUEPO, the Staff Union of the EPO. To say so publicly on Dutch television is to basically insult the citizens of the Netherlands, a host country全民彩票网址 of the EPO (Minnoye is not Dutch by the way).

“Severe defeat for SUEPO, Union and Labour rights, Human rights in The Netherlands” was after “SUEPO [had] lost the case in cassation!” [sic]

Here is the (in Dutch). Stay tuned as we shall update this article with a manual translation very shortly.

Update: has produced for us a translation of the aforementioned article and as far as we are aware, it’s the first English translation of the news (with our highlights added):

AG: Dutch judge unauthorized in dispute between European Patent Office and unions

The European Patent Office (EPO) was right to claim immunity from jurisdiction in a dispute. That means that the international organization can not be brought before the Dutch courts in disputes about the official activities of the organization. The Dutch court has no jurisdiction to adjudicate in a dispute between the Rijswijk-based European Patent Office, a unit of EPO, and the trade union association of the European Patent Office and the umbrella union for employees of EPO. Advocate General Vlas wrote today in his opinion, an advice to the Supreme Court.

A conflict arose between the EPO and the union union of EPO (VEOB) and the umbrella union for employees of EPO (SUEPO). The reason for this conflict are, among others new lines crossed in the service rules of the European Patent Office. VEOB and SUEPO find that the rules restrict the right to strike too much and that EPO should recognize them as social partners in collective negotiating. This case concerns the question whether the granting EPO immunity constitutes an impermissible restriction on the right of access to justice within the meaning of the European Convention on Human Rights.

A preliminary injunction judge dismissed EPO’s claim on immunity but rejected the claims of VEOB and SUEPO – the withdrawal of the strike rules and recognition as social partners. According to the court VEOB and SUEPO can address their demands to the central organization. On appeal the court also ruled that EPO can not rely on immunity. The court upheld the claims of the unions. Against this judgment the EPO brought an appeal in cassation. The State supports the position of EPO as intervener. According to the Minister of Justice, the State need to abide by agreements on immunity of international organizations.

Advocate General Vlas states that the right of access to justice in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights is not absolute. According to Vlas, VEOB and SUEPO’s rights must be sufficiently guaranteed by the EPO in existing internal dispute procedure with an appeal of individual employees and employee representatives at the Labour Tribunal of the International Labour Organisation in Geneva. The core of the right of access to justice guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights is therefore not affected, says Vlas.

A conclusion is an independent, non-binding, legal opinion to the Supreme Court. The Advocate General is a member of the Public Prosecutor at the Supreme Court. The prosecutor at the Supreme Court is an autonomous, independent part of the judicial system. It does not belong to the Public Prosecutor.

It is expected that the Supreme Court will deliver its verdict on 20th January 2017.

New Paper Provides Evidence of Sinking Patent Quality at the EPO, Refuting the Liar in Chief Battistelli

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

So much for patent quality claims

US patent 6368227 B1
Being better than the USPTO is not the same as having acceptable patent quality (US 6368227 B1)

Summary: In spite of Battistelli’s claims (lies) about patent quality under his watch, reality suggests that so-called ‘production’ is simply rushed issuance of invalid patents (one step away from rubberstamping, in order to meet unreasonable, imposed-from-the-top targets)

PATENT QUALITY at the EPO has sunk pretty low, as insiders tell us and staff representatives say as well (they have this new paper about it [PDF] — a paper which somebody leaked to us). It seems to be the consensus inside the EPO that patent quality is far from what it used to be; it’s only EPO management that keeps lying about it and the above was published internally because “the President is advertising our quality all over the world.” Yes, the liar in chief is now making a career out of lying about everything. He calls himself “President” but acts like the world’s worst boss, whose words are less than worthless. Some believe that he was intended to morph the EPO into the French model, which would basically render all the examiners redundant. The worst case scenario is, the guy is a ‘liquidator’ of the EPO. He’s put in charge to destroy it.

“The analysis is particularly relevant now that the President is advertising our quality all over the world.”
      –Internal document
A few days ago we saw . “European Patent Office discussed the objection of doctors in the world against the patent for the hepatitis C drug Solvaldi / decision on 5 October expected,” says . Also recall for which we could use a translation. It’s Battistelli talking points in ‘interview’ form and the summary is as: “The European Patent Office has reformed its Boards of Appeal in July. Until the beginning of 2017, the reform must be implemented. For a new Board President must be found. Critics complain that the reform does not bring enough independence for the EPO-court. JUVE interview EPO President Battistelli Beno it take a position and explains why the renewal fees for the EU patent reduce not necessarily when the UK, the EU and thus the new European patent system should leave.”

We could use an English translation, so if someone can provide an outline or a complete translation, that would be great. Automated translations just aren’t so reliable and there is room for misunderstanding that might impact our credibility.

Without the Boards of Appeal we can expect patent quality to decline even further without that decline being publicly acknowledged. This may be one plausible explanation for Battistelli’s attack on these boards. An which speaks about one particular aspect of European patents. It says: “The grounds of opposition are set out in Article 100 EPC. To paraphrase, these include that the subject-matter of the European patent is not patentable under Articles 52 to 57 (novelty, inventive step, industrial application, specific exclusions and non-inventions), that the patent is insufficiently disclosed and that the subject-matter of the patent extends beyond the content of the application as filed. The only substantive pre-grant criteria for patentability which is not also a ground for opposition is that of Article 84 EPC (that the claims shall be clear, concise and be supported by the description).”

“Remember that the lower the quality of EPO patents, the more damage will be done to the European economy, including by foreign entities like patent trolls.”Under Battistelli, as we have shown here before, oppositions are being suppressed (made more expensive, time being prohibitive, and so on), so obviously the quality of patents will decline, without this decline even being detectable.

Why does this matter? Two main reasons:

  1. Businesses are willing to pay the EPO a lot of money in order to properly check if their patent, once scrutinised in a court, will be upheld, in which case all the pricey legal proceedings will bear fruit and monetary compensation for patent infringement will be granted
  2. Small businesses are afraid of being falsely accused of patent infringement (i.e. attacked by a patent that should never have been granted in the first place) as to them it can be a matter of life or death (bankruptcy)

The latter case is more relevant to us because it alludes to the plea of the vulnerable and the powerless, whereas in many cases (1) above is applicable to large companies that stockpile or hoard patents by the thousands. Legal fees are very high (too expensive for most, who would rather settle quickly) and even if the accused is found not guilty (e.g. of patent violation, as the patent is ruled invalid) the financial cost is enormous and can never be redeemed from the accuser/plaintiff (except (the EPO did it to me, misusing defamation law) and here is what it says:

Provisions exist in the United Kingdom to prevent unjustified threats of legal action relating to infringement of patents, designs and trademarks. The provisions were originally conceived with the intention of stopping the holder of an IP right from damaging a person’s business by threatening their customers or distributors with an infringement action of the IP right. The current provisions, however, are inconsistent across different forms of intellectual property and are worded such that an innocuous communication from an IP rights holder may be interpreted as an actionable threat. This results in an increased risk of litigation proceedings between the parties. This is contrary to the overriding principle enshrined in the UK’s Civil Procedure Rules, which encourage pre-action correspondence and negotiation in order to ensure that disputes are dealt with at proportionate cost.

The UK’s government issued a draft Bill setting out proposals to address some of these issues. The Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill 2016 would update legislation relating to unjustified threats to provide greater consistency and clarity.

For example, the Bill proposes positive definitions for “permitted communications” to provide a safe harbor to allow rights holders to communicate with potential infringers, without running the risk of a threats action. In this way, parties should find it easier to comply with the Civil Procedure Rules by exchanging information prior to the start of any litigation.

Remember that the lower the quality of EPO patents, the more damage will be done to the European economy, including by foreign entities like patent trolls. See what is going on in the US, where the USPTO blessed almost every application. Lots of litigation and now a lot of invalidations (at a very high cost to the accused).

Battistelli Locks EPO Staff Union Out of Social Conference So That He Can Lie About the Union and the Social Climate

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The liar has quit pretending to even be capable of handling the truth

Battistelli liar
Source (original):

Summary: The attacks on staff of the EPO carry on, with brainwash sessions meticulously scheduled to ensure that Administrative Council delegates are just their master’s voice, or the voice of the person whom they are in principle supposed to oversee

LATE on a Friday (one week ago) the next stage/phase of new EPO propaganda began, with the release of 3 documents commissioned to help Battistelli lie to the Administrative Council and the entire world. A fortnight from now another stage/phase will begin, namely a so-called 'conference', probably decorated or accompanied by shallow media coverage (planted puff pieces*). EPO management does a good job demonstrating that it’s not only a chronic liar but also a manipulator of the media, at huge expense to the EPO (other than growing reputational cost).

SUEPO sent the following letter to Battistelli earlier this week, with a copy sent to the Delegations of the Administrative Council:

27 September 2016
su16116cl – 4.6

“Social Conference” of 11 October 2016

Dear Mr Battistelli,

We refer to the letter addressed to you on 20.09.2016 from SUEPO The Hague on the subject of the Social Conference, which remains unanswered.

SUEPO, who represents about half of the EPO workforce, has not been invited.

Over the past two and half years you have consistently threatened and/or heavily sanctioned the majority of the elected officials of a Union you called in public a “mafia like organisation”. In the circumstances, we will obviously not attend voluntarily. (If you want to oblige any of us to attend as “members of Staff Committees”, we would only participate under duress)

We truly regret seeing that, rather than fostering social dialogue by respecting the terms of the March resolution of the Administrative Council (CA/26/16), you have chosen to continue persecuting SUEPO and its elected officials, most recently in The Hague, cf. minutes of the Board 28 meeting of 8 September.

We also regret that you do not seem to take seriously the requirements of a bona-fide social conference. If its aim is to launch a program to restore social peace, it is inconsistent for you to refuse to discuss the results of the Technologia survey, or to consider our counterproposal for a framework agreement between the EPO and SUEPO.

Yesterday morning we published ).

Here is the comment in full:

AC representatives being showered with “gifts” by the very body that they are supposed to oversee? If this is true, and if there is concrete proof of the same, would that not mean that the representatives concerned would need to declare a conflict of interest and step aside?

Oh, I forgot. There is no one to call them to account. And there would be no one to replace the representatives if they did step aside. Hardly a model of good governance, though. One might even go as far as to say that it is a model of governance that could easily be corrupted if undesirable types managed to secure powerful positions within the Organisation. God forbid that this ever happens!

As the Administrative Council and the Board (overlapping entities) have become ever more complicit in Battistelli’s abuses and the likely destruction of the EPO (for their short-term personal gain), we are planning to expose some unpleasant truths about the Administrative Council next week.
_____
* Managing IP, about the EPO's crushing of the boards (under the guise of “independence”). Haar is somewhat of a suburb quite some distance away, so saying that “Boards will remain in Munich” is a lie. To quote further: “In addition to predictable concerns among users of the EPO as regards preservation of quality and independence of appeal decisions, the EPO’s ambitions with regard to cost coverage are seen as problematic by many due to the future increase of the appeal fee. A four- or five-fold increase of the appeal fee may well prove prohibitive to appeals, even in respect of clearly flawed first-instance decisions, or may put a heavy economic burden on parties to proceedings in respect of cases which are subject to multiple appeals in respect of the same patent or patent application.” We should remind readers that payments and working conditions are eroding, motivating what’s left of staff at the Boards to simply leave, giving the impression that these Boards are dying naturally on their own.

Unprecedented Levels of UPC Lobbying by Big Business Europe (Multinationals) and Their Patent Law Firms

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Business Europe on UPC
Original: Business Europe on UPC [PDF] (we wrote about Business Europe, which is a front group, several times before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5])

Summary: A quick look at some of the latest deception which is intended to bamboozle European politicians and have them play along with the unitary [sic] patent for private interests of the super-rich

THE EPO and Team UPC, along with their largest clients, try to take over Europe and rewrite the law.

Kingsley Egbuonu from MIP (close to the EPO) continues his Unitary Patent and UPC “progress [sic] report”, that “EU Ministers reiterate support for the system; legal opinion on UK’s participation; The Netherlands ratifies UPC Agreement; legislative process for ratification underway in Italy; new Italian course added to list of UPC representation qualifications for European Patent Attorneys; official timetable for launch of UPC may be revised; Unitary Patent system ready and UPC preparations to continue” (all sounds incredibly optimistic).

“The UK isn’t going to ratify the UPC, which puts the whole shebang in existential danger (across the whole of Europe).”Judging by this “progress [sic] report,” one might be led to believe that the UPC is inevitable and only a matter of time; but it’s far, far from it. “We understand,” Egbuonu notes below, that the “UK IP Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe did not make any statement on the UK’s position, considering the UK government is still deliberating over Brexit strategy, rather she commended the preparatory work done so far.”

The UK isn’t going to ratify the UPC, which puts the whole shebang in existential danger (across the whole of Europe). Everyone seems to know it except Team UPC, which invested so much in this change (de facto theft of democracy) that all resources are now being thrown at lobbying. Take : “Milan challenges London for patent court – Our Alan Johnson comments on the @全民彩票网址FT http://www.ft.com/content/9199ea86-80c8-11e6-8e50-8ec15fb462f4 … pic.twitter.com/DyqpSJfFBA” (FT was paid by the EPO for this kind of bias).

It seems as though the UPC will be officially dead next month, but Team UPC is working super-hard at the moment. It includes ‘hijacking’ the media for their own selfish purposes. Bristows is being amplified ( and as ‘proof’ that “European business urge continued UK involvement in UPC on eve of Competitiveness Council meeting” (utterly misleading headline).

“Usual suspects sent letters to lobby for UPC, wait until we send our letters too.”
      –Benjamin Henrion
What Bristows means by “European business” is just “Business Europe”, which is a misnomer. Here we have Bristows and meddling. To quote: “Views on UPC expressed ahead of today’s Competitiveness Council meeting.”

Competitiveness in Europe would require demolishing the UPC, but international monopolies and oligopolies want the opposite of competitiveness; they just want protectionism to cement their market position and marginalise competition (e.g. by means of patent lawsuits or threat thereof).

Looking at some of the latest junk from Bristows (relying on front groups and generalising based on them), one can see dissent in various other new comments about the UPC; these comments are not sharing the sentiments of Bristows’ propaganda (about 5 more such comments yesterday). One of them that selective “letters from Business Europe and consorts are a wonderful pro domo plea. But they all stem from Big Industry.” Writing about “Business Europe” (Big Business Europe and Multinationals with Branches in Europe), here is the complete comment:

That all firms having been heavily involved in the preparations of the UPC want it to come alive is understandable, be it only because of the time and efforts invested in it. That their might not be a return on investment is bitter for all of those them. But c’est la vie.

The letters from Business Europe and consorts are a wonderful pro domo plea. But they all stem from Big Industry. Did you expect that Air Liquide would be against the UPC?

On the other hand, we were always told that the UPC is primarily there for the benefit of the SMEs.

I do not see any federation of SMEs, but the French CGPME having participated in such a plea. The CGPME being one among the plenty members of the UJUB, even if it had a restrictive opinion, it would be overthrown by all the other members.

I get the feeling that lots of people have lost track of the political reality. How can a sensible person advocate immediate ratification by the UK of the UPC Agreement when the terms of the Brexit are not even known? There might be ways for UK to continue its participation, but this means accepting EU law. I dare think what the EuCJ will have to say if UK participates to the UPC after Brexit and does not fully accept EU law supremacy. But then why the Brexit?

Why on earth push for something which nobody knows how it will end up? That UK participation would be good is certain, but as somebody in charge in the UK said Brexit means Brexit.

It is clear that if the UPC does not enter into force because of the lacking ratification of the UK, it will be delayed for a while. And then the can of worms will be opened again. But that is a reality which is tangible and which should be accepted.

Whether we like it or not, it is time to look at reality and not hope for something which has been lost.

The “Big Business Europe UPC letter,” , is “not supported by CEOE, the Confederation of Employers and Industries of Spain” (Spain is generally against the UPC, to its credit, but language has a lot to do with this opposition). “Usual suspects,” , “sent letters to lobby for UPC, wait until we send our letters too.” He told me that he was unable to find any video stream/access to the proceedings (the perception of transparency) and : “Is there any video recordings of EU Ministers Council meeting of today?”

We have seen nothing of that sort yet. Team UPC has no sense of shame and no respect for democracy at all. Sometimes it feels like politicians are on the same bandwagon.

Here is a timely new comment about UPC (found this afternoon):

That’s the problem with the UPC, it is not counter-balanced by an elected parliament, such as the European Parliament.

It is an undemocratic monster.

If the UK is out, the bare minimum would be to reintroduce art6 and art8.

It’s not just an “undemocratic monster” but an antidemocratic monster. It must be scuttled.

09.29.16

Links 29/9/2016: Russia Moving to FOSS, New Nmap and PostgreSQL Releases

Posted in News Roundup at 8:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Moscow plans to open the replacement cycle by swapping Exchange and Outlook for email systems developed by New Cloud Technologies and distributed by by state-run carrier Rostelecom PJSC, Bloomberg reports. The software will be eventually deployed to as many as 600,000 computers.

    The city is also considering dropping Windows and Office, but state officials are still looking into alternatives, says Moscow’s head of information technology Artem Yermolaev.

    Putin has been pushing for technological independence after American corporations were forced to sever ties with major Russian institutions following the annexation of Crimea back in 2014.

    To actively encourage the adoption of local solutions, Putin’s internet czar German Klimenko has plans to raise taxes on Western tech companies operating within Russia.

  • Moscow city will replace Microsoft Corp. programs with domestic software on thousands of computers in answer to President Vladimir Putin’s call for Russia’s authorities to reduce dependence on foreign technology amid tensions with the U.S. and Europe.

    The city will initially replace Microsoft’s Exchange Server and Outlook on 6,000 computers with an e-mail system installed by state-run carrier Rostelecom PJSC, Artem Yermolaev, head of information technology for Moscow, told reporters Tuesday. Moscow may expand deployment of the new software, developed by Russia’s New Cloud Technologies, to as many as 600,000 computers and servers, and may also consider replacing Windows and Office, Yermolaev said.

  • Since the German city of Munich decided to ditch Microsoft Windows and Office, a growing number of European agencies have followed suit – from France’s national police force to the Italian military.

    The latest authority to turn its back on Microsoft is reportedly Moscow City Hall, which is transferring employee email from Microsoft Exchange Server and Outlook to the Russian-built MyOffice Mail.

    About 6,000 Moscow state employees will be switched over, including teachers, doctors and civil servants. If the move is a success, the city will consider shifting 600,000 PCs and servers away from Microsoft, and may also replace Windows and Office, according to Bloomberg.

  • Microsoft might lose a whole city of customers in Russia. According to Bloomberg, Moscow will begin replacing Redmond’s products with 全民彩票官网下载grown software as a result of Vladimir Putin’s urging to stop depending on foreign tech. Artem Yermolaev, the city’s head of information technology, told reporters that Moscow will begin by dropping Microsoft’s Exchange Service and by replacing Outlook on 6,000 computers with state-run carrier Rostelecom PJSC’s email system. Authorities are looking to deploy the email software to as many as 600,000 computers in the future. They might even replace Windows and the Office suite entirely, though there seems to be no solid plan for that at the moment.

  • Desktop

    • Four years after Microsoft (MSFT) first tried to give the world unified PC/mobile operating systems via the dual fiascoes known as Windows 8 and Windows RT, Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google appears set to take its own stab at the concept. And there are reasons to think the company will see a measure of success.

      Citing “two independent and reliable sources,” Android Police reports Google plans to launch a notebook in the third quarter of 2017 that will likely be the first new device to showcase Andromeda, a version of Android that will integrate many features associated with Google’s Chrome OS PC operating system.

      The notebook will reportedly be called the Pixel 3, and carry a $788 price. Its feature set reportedly include a 12.3-inch display, an Intel (INTC) processor, a glass trackpad, a tablet mode and stylus support.

    • For the past year Microsoft has offered free upgrades to their latest operating system, Windows 10. This was mainly due to the fact that Windows 8 and 8.1 were poorly received, especially when compared to Windows 7. Unfortunately the free upgrade period has passed, so if you want to give Windows 10 a try, you’ll have to dig into your wallet to do it. If your faith in the tech giant has waned over the years, you’re not alone. The latest versions of Windows have all been heavily criticized, proving that they have been a far cry from the world dominance of Windows XP.

      If you’re one of the many people turned off by the latest iterations of Windows, the jump to Linux might look very appealing. Unfortunately, a new OS often comes with a steep learning curve. Windows, with the exception of the fumble that was 8, has more or less looked and behaved the same for years. Having to re-learn everything can be a daunting task, one that could pressure you into staying with Windows forever.

      However, you do have options. There are many different distributions of Linux out there, with some aiming to replicate the look and feel of Windows. The goal of this is to make transitioning relatively painless. With Linux boasting improved hardware support, long term stability and a wider range of software applications, there is no better time to try it out!

    • [Ed: Microsoft exodus)

      Lu has been heading up the Applications and 全民彩票网址 Group — the unit that has encompassed the Office applications team and the Bing search team.

      In an email to employees on September 29, CEO Satya Nadella announced Lu was leaving so as to recover from “health conditions caused by a prior injury.” (A couple of other reports, including the Wall Street Journal’s, say Lu’s injury was related to a biking accident.)

      Lu will continue to act as a “personal advisor” to Nadella and Microsoft Founder Bill Gates after his recovery, but he won’t be returning in his former role, Nadella said in his mail.

  • Server

    • For most people, computers don’t stay the same. Software is added, removed, and updated. Configurations are changed. Think about the changes you’ve made to your computer since the first time you booted it up. Now imagine making those changes to 10, 100, or 1,000 more computers. Configuration management tools are what make implemententing and enforcing these changes possible.

    • There are big transformations going on in the world today that are driving rapid changes to the business of networks, said Santiago Rodriguez, VP of Engineering and head of the product development unit SDN & Policy Control at Ericsson, in his keynote Tuesday at OpenDaylight Summit.

      “Society is transforming, the way we do business is transforming, and accordingly the way we build our networks is transforming,” Rodriguez said.

      The three pillars of this network transformation include: 5G, virtualization and open source.

    • Initial OpenDaylight-based products expected to receive the “Powered by OpenDaylight” mark are offerings from Brocade, Ericsson, HPE, Inocybe and Serro.

    • The latter service led Telstra to re-think its fiber deployment strategy, choosing to use pre-provisioned fiber connections to data centers in advance of customer demand, because the company knew that demand was coming, Blackall said. The strategy worked well with Telstra’s acquisition of Pacnet, which had already deployed SDN capabilities to connect its 27 points of presence around Asia.

    • As LJ readers well know, Linux drives many of the technologies we use every day, from smart TVs to Web servers. Linux is everywhere—except most 全民彩票官网下载s and classrooms.

      That’s a problem if we want to help breed the next generation of engineers and computer scientists. In fact, if teenagers (or any other group of curious individuals) want to learn about Linux, they often must rely on a geeky friend or parent willing to show them the way.

      This three-part series seeks to change that by offering a way for anyone to learn about Linux by building what is essentially a tiny, self-contained Internet. Using old equipment and free software, you’ll build a private network (with your own domain name), build Web sites, set up an e-mail server, install and use a database, and set up a Linux distro mirror.

      Read more

  • Kernel Space

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD developer Marek Ol?ák initiated the discussion about calling for the next Mesa release to succeed version 12.0. Regardless, it’s looking like it will be another release off their three-month cadence.

        Marek pointed out that it’s been four months since Mesa 12.0 was branched and three months since 12.0 was actually released. He’s asking why a stable branch hasn’t been created yet and that ideally they should have got this release out 1~2 months before the fall distribution updates, per this mailing list thread.

    • Benchmarks

      • Given yesterday’s Ubuntu 16.10 final beta release ahead of the official “Yakkety Yak” debut in two weeks, I decided to run some benchmarks of Ubuntu 16.10 compared to Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS on the same system plus also throwing in the Intel Clear Linux distribution given it tends to be one of the most performant.

        For those that haven’t yet tried out Ubuntu 16.10 nor followed its development, GCC 6.2 is now the default compiler in place of GCC 5.4 from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Mesa 12.0.3 provides the stock graphics drivers and Linux 4.8 is the stock kernel.

      • A few days ago I posted my first Core i7 6800K benchmarks under Ubuntu Linux compared to various other CPUs. Out of requests from some premium members, here are some straight-forward memory clocking tests of the i7-6800K on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with the Linux 4.8 kernel. Tests were done from dual-channel DDR4 up through quad-channel DDR4 at DDR4-3000MHz.

  • Applications

    • Docker’s Victor Vieux announced the other day the release and immediate availability for download of the first RC (Release Candidate) snapshot of the upcoming Docker 1.12.2 open-source application container engine.

      The first point release of Docker 1.12, a major branch that introduced built-in orchestration and routing mesh, a brand new Swarm Mode, as well as numerous networking security improvements, Docker 1.12.1, was announced last month on the 18th, and since then the development team never stopped improving the software.

    • In January of 2015, the Open vSwitch team announced that they planned to start a new project within OVS called OVN (Open Virtual Network). The timing could not have been better for me as I was looking around for a new project. I dove in with a goal of figuring out whether OVN could be a promising next generation of Open vSwitch integration for OpenStack and have been contributing to it ever since.

      OVS 2.6.0 has now been released which includes the first non-experimental version of OVN. As a community we have also built integration with OpenStack, Docker, and Kubernetes.

    • A pure maintenance release 0.2.6 of the gcbd package is now on CRAN. The gcbd proposes a benchmarking framework for LAPACK and BLAS operations (as the library can exchanged in a plug-and-play sense on suitable OSs) and records result in local database. Recent / upcoming changes to DBMI and RSQLite let me to update the package; there are no actual functionality changes in this release.

    • Want to get quick, at-a-glance details about your connected drives while on Ubuntu? A new indicator applet aims to help. UDisks-Indicator is a small panel-based applet that shows disk usage information about mounted partitions.

    • Integrated all 12 of your IPv6 OS fingerprint submissions from June to September. No new groups, but several classifications were strengthened, especially Windows localhost and OS X.

    • Today, September 29, 2016, the Nmap developers proudly announced the release of Nmap 7.30, the latest stable version of the free, open source and cross-platform security scanner and network mapper software.

      As expected, Nmap 7.30 is a major release that adds numerous new features and improvements, among which we can mention twelve new IPv6 OS fingerprints and seven NSE (Nmap Scripting Engine) scripts that have been submitted by various developers. There are now a total of 541 NSE scripts included in Nmap.

    • Are you involved in DevOps and web development, or are you aiming to be? If so, you’re probably very aware of many of the tools from the open standards and open source arenas that can make your work easier. Still, these are always spreading out at a fast clip and there are some applications and tools that are rarely discussed. Here at OStatic, we try to regularly update our collections focused on them. In this post, you’ll find our latest roundup of free resources for web development that range from complete online courses available for free to unsung applications.

    • Proprietary

      • Microsoft today released a new update of Skype for Linux users. Skype for Linux Alpha 1.9 comes with dark theme support, the ability to mute notifications and more. Read the full change log below.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Today, September 29, 2016, is another great day for Linux gamers all over the globe, as Feral Interactive proudly announced the availability of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Retribution on the SteamOS, Linux, and Mac platforms.

        Released back in 2010 by developer Relic Entertainment, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising was only available for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Retribution followed a year later to continue the Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II series set in Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40,000 fictional universe.

      • Hybrid Wars [Official Site, Steam] is a rather good looking futuristic top-down mech shooter that has now officially released, and it has day-1 Linux support.

      • The Steam Hardware Weekend sale is now live and it seems Valve now sell accessories for the Steam Controller.

        All items are now 30% off, but this does not include Steam Machines. Although for me in the UK it seems the Alienware Steam Machine is currently on a deal too.

      • If you’re going to post in that forum topic to give your support, remember that just “+1″ is considered spam by Steam. It’s also rather unhelpful, voice your support properly.

      • Failbetter Games [Official Site] have announced their next game titled ‘Sunless Skies’ as the follow-on from ‘Sunless Sea’. Linux will be supported.

      • We Are The Dwarves [Official Site, GOG], an action-based tactical adventure is now available for you GOG fans in their usual DRM free form.

      • Feral Interactive have ported another set of cracking good games. This time we have Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, Chaos Rising and Retribution to fill our strategy needs!

      • [Ed: Microsoft.]
      • [Ed: Microsoft Mono.]
      • If you have been put off from ordering a Steam Controller for your SteamOS/Linux gaming system due to the $50 USD price-tag, it’s been marked down to $35.

        Back in June it was temporarily reduced to $35 USD but then a few days later shot back up to $50 at major Internet retailers. Judging from those that clicked our Amazon links, it was of interest to many readers. If you missed that discount the first time around, the Steam Controller is back to being listed as a $34.99 product.

        It’s not clear how long this deal will last or if it is permanent — there has been speculations about a “Steam Controller 2″ but I haven’t seen any public confirmation yet.

      • One imagines that this kind of thing builds up goodwill amongst potential buyers of PM Studio games. Some of the comments on the thread state as much. It won’t do anything with the pure-pirate folks out there, but, then again, nothing will. Worrying about those that were never going to buy the game would have been wasted time and energy. Instead, the developer chose to try to win over those that might indeed want to support its efforts.

        Here’s hoping PM Games gets the positive reinforcement needed to confirm that this kind of thing is the right way to deal with piracy. And that other studios are paying attention, as well.

      • I’m going off their twitter and other sites for the main info right now, as it seems we are still not on InXile’s press list.

        It is already confirmed to have Linux support, along with multiplayer, vehicles, and some form of base building.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME Calendar is one of the few decent desktop calendaring apps available on Linux — and it’s going to get better.

      • Today, the Calendar Team had the first meeting in history. Isaque, Lapo, Renata, Vamsi and I attended it, and the meeting was extremely productive! In fact, we were able to sketch out the general direction that GNOME Calendar will head towards.

  • Distributions

    • In the West, we take the Internet for granted. Oh, we may grumble about a slow connection, but that’s a first-world problem. For many, however, the Internet is a “maybe” thing. For those users, Endless’s Endless OS 3, may be just what they need.

    • New Releases

      • I’m happy to announce that today we’re releasing Qubes OS 3.2!

        This is an incremental improvement over the 3.1 version that we released earlier this year. A lot of work went into making this release more polished, more stable and easier to use than our previous releases.

        One major feature that we’ve improved upon in this release is our integrated management infrastructure, which was introduced in Qubes 3.1. Whereas before it was only possible to manage whole VMs, it is now possible to manage the insides of VMs as well.

      • Today, September 29, 2016, Joanna Rutkowska announced the general availability of the second point release of the Qubes OS 3 stable series of the security-oriented and open-source Linux-based computer operating system.

        Qubes OS 3.2 is a maintenance release, which means that it mostly adds general fixes and improvements to various of the distribution’s core components and functionalities, including the integrated management infrastructure that was introduced as part of the previous update, Qubes 3.1, allowing users to also manage the “insides” of a virtual machine.

      • Today, September 28, 2016, Alpine Linux creator and lead developer Natanael Cop has the pleasure of announcing the release of the fourth maintenance update to the latest stable Alpine Linux 3.4 server-oriented operating system series.

        Alpine Linux 3.4.4 is out as the most advanced version, powered by the recently released, long-term supported Linux 4.4.22 kernel and bringing up-to-date components to make your Alpine Linux-based server(s) more stable and reliable than ever. Most of the core components have been updated, but the most important one is OpenSSL 1.0.2j, which received the latest security fixes, just like in the rest of the GNU/Linux distros.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat, the open-source software company, said its India business was growing at more than double the rate of the overall company and would be an important contributor to its target of reaching $5 billion in the next five years.

        Red Hat has over $2 billion in annual revenue currently and grew over 21% in constant currency last year. Open-source software is freely available, so Red Hat’s business model depends on customers paying for the support and service it offers and not on license fees, making the company’s offerings typically cheaper than proprietary software. “India is one of our fastest growing markets. Red Hat does really when there is net new infrastructure to be set up. And the rapid pace of development that India is seeing sets really well with our offerings,” James Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat, told ET.

      • While the smallest in terms of revenue contribution, Asia is Red Hat’s fastest growing region and is likely to continue its upwards trajectory as emerging markets roll out new infrastructure.

        Developing nations in the region were embarking on many net new infrastructure projects, rather than replacement for existing technology, and open source would be involved in a large share of such projects. The decisions on which technology to deploy would rarely be between proprietary or open source, but rather on which open source vendor to go with or to do so internally, said Red Hat President and CEO Jim Whitehurst.

      • Finance

      • Fedora

        • Node.js? is a JavaScript runtime built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. It uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient. Its package ecosystem, npm, is the largest ecosystem of open source libraries in the world. You can read more about Node.js at the project website.

        • Perhaps you already noticed it, I have switched all the sites for a secured browsing using HTTPS.

          So, new addresses are:

          http://blog.remirepo.net/ for this Blog (with an automatic and permanent redirection)
          http://forum.remirepo.net/ for the Forum (with an automatic and permanent redirection)
          http://rpms.remirepo.net/ for the Repository, but classical address stay available.

        • Fedora Hubs provides a consistent contributor experience across all Fedora teams and will serve as an “intranet” page for the Fedora Project. There are many different projects in Fedora with different processes and workflows. Hubs will serve as a single place for contributors to learn about and contribute to them in a standardized format. Hubs will also be a social network for Fedora contributors. It is designed as one place to go to keep up with everything and everybody across the project in ways that aren’t currently possible.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu Linux, was an early backer of OpenStack as well as containers. This week, Shuttleworth’s company Canonical announced new commercial support for Kubernetes, which is a widely deployed container orchestration and management engine.

            In an interview with Datamation Shuttleworth emphasized that it’s important to understand the different use cases for containers and what the different types of container systems are all about.

          • Canonical, through Sergio Schvezov, announced the release of yet another maintenance update to the Snapcraft open-source utility that helps application developers package their apps as Snaps.

          • Softpedia was informed today, September 29, 2016, by David Mohammed from the budgie-remix project about the availability of the second and last Beta release of the upcoming Ubuntu Budgie Remix 16.10 operating system.

            Coming hot on the heels of yesterday’s Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) Final Beta release, Ubuntu Budgie Remix 16.10 Beta 2 is based on most of the GNU/Linux and Open Source technologies used in Ubuntu 16.10, such as systemd 231 and Linux kernel 4.8, but it’s built around the latest version of the beautiful Budgie desktop environment created by the Solus Project.

          • Budgie-Remix, the unofficial Ubuntu spin making use of the Budgie Desktop, has released its 16.10 Beta 2 milestone following this week’s Yakkety Yak Beta 2 release.

            Budgie-Remix is re-based to the latest Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety package changes. In addition, a number of the Budgie-0Remix packages have been working their way into Debian proper and thus are available to Ubuntu 16.10 users via the official channels. Now available this way is the budgie-desktop package, Moka icon theme, Faba icon theme, and the Arc theme. The Ubuntu repository has also pulled in the Budgie artwork and wallpaper packages too.

          • Canonical, the lead commercial vendor behind the open-source Ubuntu Linux operating system, is getting into the Kubernetes market. Canonical now offers a freely available implementation of Kubernetes as well as commercial-support options.

            “I have no doubt that Kubernetes will be one of the major container co-ordination systems,” Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, told ServerWatch.

          • I’ll be honest with you from the off: I had zero idea what sous-vide cooking was before I started writing this post. Wikipedia dutifully informs me that’s Sous-Vide is a style of cooking that involves a vacuum, bags, and steam.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • We reported earlier today, September 28, 2016, on the availability of the Final Beta (Beta 2) development milestone of the upcoming Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) operating system and its official derivatives.

              We’ve already talked here about what’s new in the Beta 2 of Ubuntu MATE 16.10, Lubuntu 16.10, and Kubuntu 16.10, and now we would like to tell you a little bit about Ubuntu Studio 16.10, which promises to offer users an up-to-date multimedia oriented Linux-based operating system.

              That’s right, it looks like today’s Ubuntu Studio 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) Beta 2 snapshot comes with all the latest software releases and a bunch of new apps that you might need for audio, video, or graphics processing jobs. But first, we need to tell you that Ubuntu Studio 16.10 is powered by a low-latency Linux 4.8 kernel.

            • As part of yesterday’s Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) Final Beta launch, some of the opt-in flavors received their Beta 2 release, including Ubuntu GNOME 16.10, about which we would like to tell you all about in this article.

            • We already know that work on Linux Mint 18.1, the next major release of the popular Ubuntu-based operating system loved by many users, already begun, and Clement Lefebvre shares with us today some of the improvements coming to XApps.

            • MintBox Mini Pro

              The new model is called “Mintbox Mini Pro”, it’s just as small as the original Mintbox Mini but with much better specifications.

            • This week a new version of the popular Mintbox Mini Linux PC has been launched for $395 in the form of the Mintbox Mini Pro which is now equipped with 120 GB of SSD mSATA together with 64-bit AMD A10-Micro6700T system-on-a-chip with Radeon R6 graphics and features 8GB of DDR3L.

              The latest Mintbox Mini Pro is shipped preloaded with the awesome Linux Mint 18 operating system and includes a microSD card slot a serial port, and a micro SIM card reader.
              The new Mintbox Mini Pro is the same size as the original and measures 4.3 x 3.3 x 0.9 inches in size and weighs in at around 255g. The Linux mini PC incorporates a fanless design and features an all-metal case made of aluminium and zinc.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • VIA’s “Artigo A830” IoT gateway runs Android on an i.MX6 DualLite SoC and offers HDMI, GbE, microSD, numerous serial and USB ports, plus -20 to 60° operation.

      As the name suggests, the VIA Technologies Artigo A830 Streetwise IoT Platform is designed for outdoor Internet of Things gateway applications. These are said to include smart lockers, vending 全民彩票网址, information kiosks, and signage devices that run “intensive multimedia shopping, entertainment, and navigation applications.” The outdoors focus is supported with an extended -20 to 60°C operating range, as well as surge and ESD protection for surviving challenges such as a nearby lightning strike.

    • Today the Raspberry Pi Foundation formally announced the Raspberry Pi PIXEL, their own desktop that will be used in future Raspbian spins.

      PIXEL is short for Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight desktop. PIXEL is derived from the LXDE desktop environment but with both appearance and fundamental changes, including some new applications.

    • Today, September 28, 2016, Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Simon Long proudly unveiled a new desktop environment for the Debian-based Raspbian GNU/Linux operating system for Raspberry Pi devices.

      Until today, Raspbian shiped with the well-known and lightweight LXDE desktop environment, which looks pretty much the same as on any other Linux-based distribution out there that is built around LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment). But Simon Long, a UX engineer working for Raspberry Pi Foundation was hired to make it better, transform it into something that’s more appealing to users.

    • CompuLab’s Linux Mint flavored MintBox Mini Pro mini-PC updates the Mini with an AMD A10 Micro-6700T, plus BT 4.0, mini-PCIe, and twice the RAM and storage.

      The CompuLab built, $395 MintBox Mini Pro, which ships with the Linux Mint 18 Cinnamon distribution, updates the $295 MintBox Mini with a lot more performance and features in the same compact 108 x 83 x 24mm footprint. That’s considerably smaller than earlier collaborations between CompuLab and the Linux Mint project, such as the circa-2013 MintBox 2.

    • 全民彩票网址Phones

      • Android

        • To recap, Oracle claimed the 37 Java application programming interface (API) packages Google used to develop Android are covered by copyright. Of course, that’s not really the issue. True, the the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals foolishly ruled that APIs could be copyrighted. But the US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled in May 2016 that Google’s use of the Java APIs were not subject to copyright licensing fees. Instead, Android’s use of the APIs was covered by “fair use.”

        • Few things are more tantalizing than a good mystery, and Google is making waves for an open source-centric mystery that may end up having profound implications. It all started in August when an extensive and unusual code repository for a new operating system called Fuchsia was discovered online, and now the growing source code set is on GitHub.

          Thus far, Google officials have been mostly mum on the aim of this operating system, although they have made a few things clear in chat forums. Two developers listed on Fuchsia’s GitHub page — Christopher Anderson and Brian Swetland — are known for their work with embedded systems. The Verge, among other sites, has made a few logical deductions about the possible embedded systems focus for Fuchsia: “Looking into Fuchsia’s code points gives us a few clues. For example, the OS is built on Magenta, a “medium-sized microkernel” that is itself based on a project called LittleKernel, which is designed to be used in embedded systems,” the site reports.

          The GitHub postings that confirm that Fuchsia is based on Magenta are particularly notable because Magenta has had applications in the embedded systems space. Here are some direct quotes: “Magenta is a new kernel that powers the Fuchsia OS. Magenta is composed of a microkernel as well as a small set of userspace services, drivers, and libraries necessary for the system to boot, talk to hardware, load userspace processes and run them, etc. Fuchsia builds a much larger OS on top of this foundation.”

        • On the fence about whether your child is old enough for their own smartphone? A new app called Luna Launcher can help you warm to the idea, by offering a simple way to limit access to select apps and actions, including who they can call or text – a list you can restrict to family members, for example. Of course, because of the way it needs to interact with your phone’s operating system in order to restrict access, Luna Launcher is only available on Android.

        • Google’s next-generation smartwatch platform, Android Wear 2.0, will not be seeing the light of day this year. The company announced today that it is delaying the launch of the update, which was originally scheduled for this fall, to sometime in early 2017.

          Instead of launching the final version this fall, Google is extending the developer preview program for Android Wear 2.0, and today it’s releasing the third preview of the platform for developers. The company says that it is using the extra time to fine tune the software via feedback from developers, and it will have another preview build released before the end of the year. Today’s version adds a number of new features, most notable of which is the Play Store for smartwatches.

        • Microsoft Exchange mobile users on Android and iOS users have been unable to access emails on their phones due to a planned shift away from its Exchange Active Sync (EAS) protocol.

          The issue first appeared yesterday and is still affecting users.

          One customer got in touch to say: “Exchange Mobile device access seems to be up the Swanny for iOS and Android users.” They quipped: “Fortunately neither of the Windows Mobile users are affected.”

        • The Fitbit Blaze is a deceptive little fitness tracker. It may look like a smartwatch on the surface, but dive a little deeper and you’ll find it’s actually missing most of the smartwatch-y features we’ve come to expect from fitness tracker/smartwatch hybrids. When we reviewed the Blaze a few months ago, the lack of third-party notification support and poor selection of watch faces were some of our biggest gripes with this tracker. Thankfully Fitbit has finally heard our cries and released a new update that fixes these issues.

        • One of Android Wear’s biggest strengths is it that the platform is designed to be cross compatible with Android and iOS. However, a number of consumers are reporting that they can’t connected a range of Android Wear smartwatches up to the new i全民彩票网址Phone 7 or i全民彩票网址Phone 7 Plus.

        • Buying a new car comes with myriad of considerations. Is it fuel efficient? Is it safe? Will it play nicely with my phone? People sometimes neglect the last one, but you’re going to be carrying the phone literally every time you get in the car, so why not make sure? Mercedes and Kia seem to get that. They’ve added support for Android Auto to a ton of new cars today.

        • Sony’s Xperia X Compact is basically the newest version of the Z5 Compact that hit the US earlier this year. But just because it’s a newer version of the (comparatively) tiny handset doesn’t mean it’s an upgrade in every way. Sony is pushing the camera sensors in the X Compact and the flagship-level XZ, as well as new features like five-axis image stabilization and HDR photo mode. Sony knows cameras, so we know the shooter in the X Compact will at least be competent. However, it has to be good enough to encourage photography buffs to shell out $499 for this unlocked handset while delivering solid performance across the board as well.

        • In the meantime, I was able to convince Phil to step out of his metaphorical kitchen for a few minutes to chat about how he uses Android in his day-to-day life. This is a man who has seen and used practically every Android device over the past several years, after all — and a fair number of apps and customization tools, to boot.

          So what devices does someone with so much knowledge carry around in his own trousers, and how does he make the most of what they have to offer?

          Enough with the suspense already. In his own words, this is how Phil Nickinson uses Android.

        • There’s no question that Samsung hit a 全民彩票官网下载 run with its Galaxy S7 line. We already think the smaller GS7 is the best phone under 5.2 inches, and the larger, curved-screen Galaxy S7 edge is our pick for the best phone under 5.7 inches. Why? It takes everything we love about the smaller phone and makes it bigger — but not too much.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Most of the open source questioners come from larger organisations. Banks very rarely pop up here, and governments have long been hip to using open source. Both have ancient, proprietary systems in place here and there that are finally crumbling to dust and need replacing fast. Their concerns are more oft around risk management and picking the right projects.

    It’s usually organisations whose business is dealing with actual three dimensional objects that ask about open source. Manufacturing, industrials, oil and gas, mining, and others who have typically looked at IT as, at best, a helper for their business rather than a core product enabler.

    These industries are witnessing the lighting fast injection of software into their products – that whole “Internet of Things” jag we keep hearing about. Companies here are being forced to look at both using open source in their products and shipping open source as part of their business.

    The technical and pricing requirements for IoT scale software is a perfect fit for open source, especially that pricing bit. On the other end – peddling open source themselves – companies that are looking to build and sell software-driven “platforms” are finding that partners and developers are not so keen to join closed source ecosystems.

    These two pulls create some weird clunking in the heads of management at these companies who aren’t used to working with a sandles and rainbow frame of mind. They have a scepticism born of their inexperience with open source. Let’s address some of their trepidation.

  • To business leaders, “open source” often sounds too altruistic—and altruism is in short supply on the average balance sheet. But using and contributing to open source makes hard-nosed business sense, particularly as a way of increasing innovation.

    Today’s firms all face increased competition and dynamic markets. Yesterday’s big bang can easily become today’s cautionary tale. Strategically, the only viable response to this disruption is constantly striving to serve customers better through sustained and continuous innovation. But delivering innovation is hard; the key is to embrace open and collaborative innovation across organizational walls—open innovation.

    Open source communities’ values and practices generate open innovation, and working in open source is a practical, pragmatic way of delivering innovation. To avoid the all-too-real risk of buzzword bingo we can consider two definitions of “innovation”:

    creating value (that serves customer needs) to sell for a profit; or
    reducing what a firm pays for services.

  • Google’s Minijail sandboxing tool could be used by developers and sysadmins to run untrusted programs safely for debugging and security checks, according to Google Software Engineer Jorge Lucangeli Obes, who spoke last month at the Linux Security Summit. Obes is the platform security lead for Brillo, Google’s Android-based operating system for Internet-connected devices.

    Minijail was designed for sandboxing on Chrome OS and Android, to handle “anything that the Linux kernels grew.” Obes shared that Google teams use it on the server side, for build farms, for fuzzing, and pretty much everywhere.

    Since “essentially one bug separates you and any random attacker,” Google wanted to create a reliable means to swiftly identify problems with privileges and exploits in app development and easily enable developers to “do the right thing.”

    The tool is designed to assist admins who struggle with deciding what permissions their software actually needs, and developers who are vexed with trying to second guess which environment the software is going to run in. In both cases, sandboxing and privilege dropping tends to be a hit or miss affair.

    Even when developers use the privilege dropping mechanisms provided by the Linux kernel, sometimes things go awry due to numerous pitfalls along that path. One common example Obes cited was trying to ride a switch user function that will drop-root and then forgetting to check the result of the situation relief, or setuid function, afterwards.

  • For the past year, we’ve taken note of the many Big Data projects that the Apache Software Foundation has been elevating to Top-Level Status. The organization incubates more than 350 open source projects and initiatives, and has squarely turned its focus to Big Data and developer-focused tools in recent months. As Apache moves Big Data projects to Top-Level Status, they gain valuable community support.

    Recently, the foundation announced that Apache Kudu has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP). Kudu is an open source columnar storage engine built for the Apache Hadoop ecosystem designed to enable flexible, high-performance analytic pipelines. And, Apache Twill has graduated as well. Twill is an abstraction over Apache Hadoop YARN that reduces the complexity of developing distributed Hadoop applications, allowing developers to focus more on their application logic. In another Apache-related Big Data move, Cloudera and Intel have announced that they’ve contributed a new open-source project to the Apache Software Foundation targeted at using Big Data analytics and machine learning for cybersecurity.

  • Twitter announced the open sourcing of Heron, a stream-processing engine that is a successor to Apache Storm. Heron is backwards compatible with Apache Storm, which eases its adoption amongst developers. Heron has replaced Apache Storm as the stream data processing engine inside Twitter due to its scalability, debug-ability, ability to work in a shared cluster infrastructure and better performance. A comprehensive list of features is listed in the documentation.

  • Events

    • I come from a place where everyone worships competitive coding and thus cpp, so the experience of attending my first pycon was much awaited for me.

      This year’s PyCon India happened in Delhi and i along with a couple of my friends reached on 23rd September, the first day. We were a bit late but it was all right because, we didn’t miss anything.

    • LibrePlanet is an annual conference for free software enthusiasts. The conference brings together software developers, policy experts, activists and computer users to learn skills, share accomplishments and face challenges to software freedom. Newcomers are always welcome, and LibrePlanet 2017 will feature programming for all ages and experience levels.

      This year, the theme of LibrePlanet is “The Roots of Freedom.” This encompasses the historical “roots” of the free software movement — the Four Freedoms, the GNU General Public License and copyleft, and a focus on strong security and privacy protections — and the concept of roots as a strong foundation from which the movement grows.

      “LibrePlanet is an impactful, exciting free software conference. Attendance has grown each year, yet the community-minded atmosphere has grown even stronger,” said John Sullivan, executive director of the FSF.

    • The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the schedule for MesosCon Asia, taking place November 18-19 in Hangzhou, China全民彩票网址.

    • “SDN can really transform the way we do networks,” said Tom Bie, VP of Technology & Operation of Data Center, Networking and Server, Tencent, during his Wednesday keynote address at the Open Daylight Summit. The China全民彩票网址 telecom giant should know about the issues of massive scale networks: they have more than 200 million users for QQ instant messaging, 300 million users of their payment service, and more than 800 million users of their VChat service. Bie noted that Tencent also operates one of the largest gaming networks in the world, along with video services, audio services, online literature services, news portals, and a range other digital content services.

    • In today’s world of platforms, services are increasingly connected. In the past, PaaS offerings were pretty much isolated. It’s that new connected infrastructure that is driving the growth of Cloud Foundry, the open source, service-oriented platform technology.

      Sam Ramji is CEO of Cloud Foundry, which is holding its European event in Frankfurt this week. At the conference, we spoke with Ramji to discuss, among other topics:

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • In the last week, we landed 96 PRs in the Servo organization’s repositories.

        Promise support has arrived in Servo, thanks to hard work by jdm, dati91, and mmatyas! This does not fully implement microtasks, but unblocks the uses of Promises in many places (e.g., the WebBluetooth test suite).

        Emilio rewrote the bindings generation code for rust-bindgen, dramatically improving the flow of the code and output generated when producing Rust bindings for C and C++ code.

        The TPAC WebBluetooth standards meeting talked a bit about the great progress by the team at the University of Szeged in the context of Servo.

      • It’s been nearly two months since last writing about Mozilla’s Servo web layout engine (in early August, back when WebRender2 landed) but development has kept up and they continue enabling more features for this next-generation alternative to Gecko.

        The latest is that Servo now supports JavaScript promises. If you are unfamiliar with the promise support, see this guide.

        The latest Servo code has improvements around its Rust binding generator for C and C++ code plus other changes.

      • The Rust team is happy to announce the latest version of Rust, 1.12. Rust is a systems programming language with the slogan “fast, reliable, productive: pick three.”

        As always, you can install Rust 1.12 from the appropriate page on our website, and check out the detailed release notes for 1.12 on GitHub. 1361 patches were landed in this release.

      • Rust 1.12 has been released as the newest version of this popular programming language with a focus on “fast, reliable, productive: pick three.”

  • SaaS/Back End

  • Databases

    • Until recently, doing time series analysis at scale was expensive and almost exclusively the domain of large enterprises. What made time series a hard and expensive problem to tackle? Until the advent of the NoSQL database, scaling up to meet increasing velocity and volumes of data generally meant scaling hardware vertically by adding CPUs, memory, or additional hard drives. When combined with database licensing models that charged per processor core, the cost of scaling was simply out of reach for most.

      Fortunately, the open source community is democratising large scale data analysis rapidly, and I am lucky enough to work at a company making contributions in this space. In my talk at All Things Open this year, I’ll introduce Riak TS, a key-value database optimized to store and retrieve time series data for massive data sets, and demonstrate how to use it in conjunction with three other open source tools—Python, Pandas, and Jupyter—to build a completely open source time series analysis platform. And it doesn’t take all that long.

    • PostgreSQL 9.6, the latest version of the world’s leading open source database, was released today by the PostgreSQL Global Development Group. This release will allow users to both scale up and scale out high performance database workloads. New features include parallel query, synchronous replication improvements, phrase search, and improvements to performance and usability, as well as many more features.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Today, September 29, 2016, Italo Vignoli from The Document Foundation informs Softpedia via an email announcement about the general availability of the first point release of the LibreOffice 5.2 open-source and cross-platform office suite.

      On September 28, the LibreOffice project celebrated its 6th anniversary, and what better way to celebrate than to push a new update of the popular open source and cross-platform office suite used by millions of computer users worldwide. Therefore, we would like to inform our readers about the general availability of LibreOffice 5.2.2, which comes just three weeks after the release of LibreOffice 5.2.1.

      “Just one day after the project 6th anniversary, The Document Foundation (TDF) announces the availability of LibreOffice 5.2.2, the second minor release of the LibreOffice 5.2 family,” says Italo Vignoli. “LibreOffice 5.2.2, targeted at technology enthusiasts, early adopters and power users, provides a number of fixes over the major release announced in August.”

    • September 28 was the official birthday for LibreOffice and Italo Vignoli looked back at some of the milestones for the project. Elsewhere, the Ubuntu family got new betas and Clement Lefebvre announced a new Mintbox Mini. Jack M. Germain reviewed Panther OS and Ryan Lynch recommended four distributions for Windows users.

      Happy Birthday LibreOffice! It was officially six years ago September 28 that The Document Foundation and LibreOffice were announced. The project consisted of former OpenOffice.org developers and volunteered who feared the worst after its sale to Oracle. Since that time, LibreOffice has grown and matured into an award winning Open Source office suite. Group photos taken at the LibreOffice conference at Brno were also shared including one of the attendees who were there on day one, as Bjoern Michaelsen explained. Although they were the seed, the project has grown to hundreds of contributors from all over the world. Italio Vignoli said the project attracted new developers every month for 72 straight months. He also said tomorrow begins the LibreOffice 5.3 developmental cycle, which is planned for release in January 2017.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

    • [Ed: Microsoft ‘open’ code already being used to promote proprietary software with back doors]
  • BSD

    • The delayed FreeBSD 11.0 release just suffered another last-minute set-back. While “FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE images” were distributed to FTP mirrors and the official announcement expected today, these images need to be re-spun to contain some security fixes and thus pushing back the official release.

      Glen Barber noted today on the mailing list, “Although the FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE has not yet been officially announced, many have found images on the Project FTP mirrors. However, please be aware the final 11.0-RELEASE will be rebuilt and republished on the Project mirrors as a result of a few last-minute security fixes we feel are imperative to include in the final release.”

    • A few minutes ago, Glen Barber informed the FreeBSD community that they should not hurry and install the ISO images of the FreeBSD 11.0 operating system made available a few days ago on the official FTP mirrors.

      These images aren’t safe to use and contain various security vulnerabilities that need to be fixed before the FreeBSD Project will officially unveil the final release of the FreeBSD 11.0 operating system in the coming days. According to the release schedule, FreeBSD 11.0 should hit the streets later today, September 29, 2016.

      However, until then the FreeBSD development team is hard at work patching those nasty security issues and rebuilding the final ISO images, which will be made available on the respective FTP mirrors later today as FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE-p1. If you’re already running FreeBSD 11.0-RELEASE, you will soon be provided with instructions to safely update your system

    • For over one year there’s been talk of LLVM pursuing a mass relicensing from its University of Illinois/NCSA Open Source License, which is similar to the three-clause BSD license, to the Apache 2.0 license with explicit mention of GPLv2 compatibility. As mentioned in that aforelinked article, this re-licensing is moving ahead.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • I can try and do more coding, more code reviewing, revive designing discussions… that’s cool, yet never enough. GIMP needs more people, developers, designers, community people, writers for the website or the documentation, tutorial makers… everyone is welcome in my grand scheme!

      Many of my actions lately have been towards gathering more people, so when I heard about the GNOME newcomers initiative during GUADEC, I thought that could be a good fit. Thus a few days ago, I had GIMP added in the list of newcomer-friendly GNOME projects, with me as the newcomers mentor. I’ll catch this occasion to remind you all the ways you can contribute to GIMP, and not necessarily as a developer.

  • Public 全民彩票网址/Government

    • First CEF AS4-compliant b2b solution developed as open source by a public administration

      The European Commission has tested and approved Laurentius, an eDelivery court documents and case exchange solution compliant with the AS4 profile of the OASIS ebMS standard. In September, Laurentius passed all tests by the EC’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for its so-called “e-SENS AS4 conformant solutions”.

  • Programming/Development

    • SDL 2.0 point releases have ranged from being a few months apart to as much as two years apart. Fortunately, SDL 2.0.5 is now being put together for release just nine months after SDL 2.0.4.

      With the Mercurial repository, Sam Lantinga bumped the version in preparation for the SDL 2.0.5 release. The SDL 2.0.5 release hasn’t officially happened yet, but it should be here soon.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • The use of open ICT standards is an IT requirement at Slovenia’s Supreme Court, responsible for the IT support of the entire court system in the country全民彩票网址. The Supreme Court’s IT department has a strong preference for the development of modular, reusable software solutions. This strategy provides agility and flexibility, says Bojan Mur?ec, director of IT.

      The focus on open standards frees up the IT department to concentrate on the business, Mur?ec says. The IT department takes the modular approach serious: the first reusable module ever developed by the court – a court documents dispatch and delivery system – is re-used by all IT systems across the courts. “Making everything reusable prevents creation of silos in the organisation”, the IT director says.

      A positive side effect of the IT strategy is that the court uses mostly open source software solutions. This in turn helps to keep IT costs down, says the IT director, who estimates that the court saves EUR 400 to 500 thousand per year on licence fees: “The cost of proprietary licences always goes up.”

    • We had CSS1, and CSS2. We even had CSS2.1 and we then moved onto CSS3 – or did we? This post is a quick explanation of how CSS is versioned today.

      CSS versions 1 and 2 were monolithic specifications. All of CSS was included in one massive document. Selectors, positioning, colour – it was all in there.

      The problem with monolithic specifications is that in order to finish the spec, every component part also has to be finished. As CSS has grown in complexity, and new features are added, it doesn’t make sense to draw a line at which all work is stopped on all parts of CSS in order to declare that CSS version finished. Therefore, after CSS2.1 all the things that had been part of the 2.1 specification were broken down into modules. As the new CSS modules included all that had gone before plus any new features, they all came into being at Level 3. Hence CSS3, and people like me who understood CSS as a single specification referred to the group of Level 3 modules as “CSS3”.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • You’ve probably read a few articles about driverless cars over the past couple of years. The technology is coming along quickly, with fleets of test cars already on the roads in some states. It seems like soon we’ll achieve the American dream of stuffing our faces and texting all we want while still managing to avoid public transportation.

      But the reality is quite different. We’re diving into this technology a little too quickly and ignoring all the warning signs about how we are going to screw up on the way to Driverless Car Utopia.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Charlo Greene did not plan to curse on live television, but on 22 September 2014, the words came pouring out.

      Then a reporter for KTVA, a station in Alaska, Greene ended her segment on marijuana by revealing that she was a proponent of legalization – and was the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, the subject of her news report.

      “Fuck it, I quit,” she said, before abruptly walking off camera. The 26-year-old’s stunt shocked her colleagues and made her a viral sensation overnight.

    • Marijuana-related arrests are the lowest they’ve been in 20 years, but someone’s still getting busted for weed a little more than once every minute.

      According to new statistics released by the FBI on Monday, there were 574,641 arrests in 2015 for marijuana possession, which is the lowest it’s been since 1996. Between 2011 and 2014, possession arrests hovered above 600,000. And since possession arrests peaked at 800,000 in 2007, that’s a 25 percent decrease.

      As pot gets increasingly normalized, with 10 states considering medical or adult use marijuana legalization in this year’s election, law enforcement may be less likely to see it as a threat. The divide between federal and state laws is also becoming an increasingly absurd policy to enforce. Even Hillary Clinton mentioned in Monday’s debate that the prevalent prison sentences for nonviolent crimes, like marijuana possession, are unnecessary.

      The drop in weed possession arrests likely results from from adult use policies in places like Colorado, where all marijuana-related arrests have plummeted in recent years, Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, told Motherboard. “The recent decline in arrests in New York City, as well as in other major metropolitan areas that have imposed decriminalization ordinances in recent years, is also likely playing a role in this nationwide decline.”

    • The House easily passed a major waterways bill on Wednesday that included a bipartisan compromise to address the drinking-water crisis in Flint, Mich.

      A late-night deal on Flint aid helped resolve Democratic opposition to a stop-gap spending bill that lacked emergency funding for the city, paving the way for Senate passage of a continuing resolution earlier in the day and ending the threat of a government shutdown.

      In a 399-25 vote, House lawmakers approved the Water Resources and Development Act (WRDA), which authorizes dozens of water-related infrastructure projects around the country全民彩票网址.

      Lawmakers adopted numerous amendments during floor debate, including one from Reps. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) and John Moolenaar (R-Mich.) that would authorize up to $170 million for Flint.

      “We decided we don’t want to create brinksmanship. That doesn’t do anybody any good,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Wednesday at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.

    • When an Indian farmer plants his cotton crop, there’s at least a 75% chance the seeds have been been bought from a company owned by Monsanto. If a Latin American farmer sprays insecticide on her genetically engineered soya beans, the chemical is more than likely to have been provided by German chemical and drugs company Bayer or by US firm Dupont.

      And when African farmers add chemicals to their maize fields or plant it’s odds-on that they have come from Swiss company Syngenta.

      Until recently, six or seven global agri-food businesses competed with each other for a share of the world market for seeds and chemicals. But if EU and US regulators allow a series of mega-mergers to take place, within months just three companies will be left in control of nearly 60% of the world’s seeds, nearly 70% of the chemicals and pesticides needed to grow food and nearly all of the world’s GM crop genetic traits.

    • While lots of people reading this are patiently waiting for marijuana legalization to finally reach their state — most likely passing the time by smoking marijuana — lots of others are about to see Prohibition show up at their door for the first time. They are the “kratom” users. That’s a plant-based painkiller which some people describe as “herbal heroin.” It was, up until now, completely legal. I first used it back in 2009 — not because I was in pain, but because I wanted to get high without failing a drug test (like many painkillers, you can also take it for fun). Then, a couple of years ago, I introduced kratom to someone who does live with chronic pain — Cracked contributor Marina Reimann.

  • Security

    • The notion of using robust, random passwords has become all but mainstream—by now anyone with an inkling of security sense knows that “password1” and “1234567” aren’t doing them any favors. But even as password security improves, there’s something even more problematic that underlies them: security questions.

      Last week Yahoo revealed that it had been massively hacked, with at least 500 million of its users’ data compromised by state sponsored intruders. And included in the company’s list of breached data weren’t just the usual hashed passwords and email addresses, but the security questions and answers that victims had chosen as a backup means of resetting their passwords—supposedly secret information like your favorite place to vacation or the street you grew up on. Yahoo’s data debacle highlights how those innocuous-seeming questions remain a weak link in our online authentication systems. Ask the security community about security questions, and they’ll tell you that they should be abolished—and that until they are, you should never answer them honestly.

      From their dangerous guessability to the difficulty of changing them after a major breach like Yahoo’s, security questions have proven to be deeply inadequate as contingency mechanisms for passwords. They’re meant to be a reliable last-ditch recovery feature: Even if you forget a complicated password, the thinking goes, you won’t forget your mother’s maiden name or the city you were born in. But by relying on factual data that was never meant to be kept secret in the first place—web and social media searches can often reveal where someone grew up or what the make of their first car was—the approach puts accounts at risk. And since your first pet’s name never changes, your answers to security questions can be instantly compromised across many digital services if they are revealed through digital snooping or a data breach.

    • Just a quick note that LibreSSL is not impacted by either of the issues mentioned in the latest OpenSSL security advisory – both of the issues exist in code that was added to OpenSSL in the last release, which is not present in LibreSSL.

    • Last week, security news site KrebsOnSecurity went dark for more than 24 hours following what was believed to be a record 620 gigabit-per-second denial of service attack brought on by an ensemble of routers, security cameras, or other so-called Internet of Things devices. Now, there’s word of a similar attack on a French Web host that peaked at a staggering 1.1 terabits per second, more than 60 percent bigger.

      The attacks were first reported on September 19 by Octave Klaba, the founder and CTO of OVH. The first one reached 1.1 Tbps while a follow-on was 901 Gbps. Then, last Friday, he reported more attacks that were in the same almost incomprehensible range. He said the distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks were delivered through a collection of hacked Internet-connected cameras and digital video recorders. With each one having the ability to bombard targets with 1 Mbps to 30 Mbps, he estimated the botnet had a capacity of 1.5 Tbps.

      On Monday, Klaba reported that more than 6,800 new cameras had joined the botnet and said further that over the previous 48 hours the hosting service was subjected to dozens of attacks, some ranging from 100 Gbps to 800 Gbps. On Wednesday, he said more than 15,000 new devices had participated in attacks over the past 48 hours.

    • Last week, hackers forced a well-known security journalist to take down his site after hitting him for more than two days with an unprecedented flood of traffic.

      That cyberattack was powered by something the internet had never seen before: an army made of more than one million hacked Internet of Things devices.

      The hackers, whose identity is still unknown at this point, used not one, but two networks—commonly referred to as “botnets” in hacking lingo—made of around 980,000 and 500,000 hacked devices, mostly internet-connected cameras, according to Level 3 Communications, one of the world’s largest internet backbone providers. The attackers used all those cameras and other unsecured online devices to connect to the journalists’ website, pummeling the site with requests in an attempt to make it collapse.

    • Hospitals across England are running thousands of out-of-date Windows XP 全民彩票网址, potentially putting patient data and other sensitive information at risk.

      Motherboard has found that at least 42 National Health Service (NHS) trusts in England are still using the Windows XP operating system, with many of them confirming that they no longer receive security updates for the software. Legal experts say that the NHS hospitals may be in breach of data protection regulations.

      “If hospitals are knowingly using insecure XP 全民彩票网址 and devices to hold and otherwise process patient data they may well be in serious contravention of their obligations,” Jon Baines, Chair of the National Association of Data Protection and Freedom of Information Officers (NADPO), wrote in an email.

      In April 2014, Microsoft officially ended support for Windows XP, meaning that the company would no longer release security patches for the aging operating system. Any vulnerabilities discovered after that date would therefore be left for hackers to exploit. Governments and businesses could pay Microsoft for a custom extended support deal; the Crown Commercial Service, which is sponsored by the Cabinet Office, spent £5.5 million ($9 million) to continue receiving updates for the public sector, including for the NHS. That agreement ended in April 2015 and was not renewed.

    • A Trojan named Linux.Mirai has been found to be carrying out DDoS attacks.

      The malicious program first appeared in May 2016, detected by Doctor Web after being added to its virus database under the name Linux.DDoS.87. The Trojan can work with with the SPARC, ARM, MIPS, SH-4, M68K architectures and Intel x86 computers.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Does free college threaten our all-volunteer military? That is what writer Benjamin Luxenberg, on military blog War on the Rocks says. But the real question goes deeper than Luxenberg’s practical query, striking deep into who we are as a nation.

      Unlike nearly every other developed country全民彩票网址, which offer free or low cost higher education (Korea’s flagship Seoul National University runs about $12,000 a year, around the same as Oxford), in America you need money to go to college. You need the bucks for tuition and books, and for most students, you need the bucks to not work full-time for a couple of years. Typical of America’s top end 全民彩票官网登录s, Harvard charges $63,000 for tuition, room, board and fees. That’s more than a quarter of a million dollars for a degree. Even a state 全民彩票官网登录 wants $40,000 a year.

    • The White House reacted harshly to the Senate’s overwhelming vote on Wednesday to override President Obama’s veto of a bill that would enable the family members of 9/11 victims to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in U.S. Courts.

      Press Secretary Josh Earnest called it “the single most embarrassing thing the United States Senate has done possibly since 1983.”

      As it happens, the White House’s principled opposition to the bill was based on its worry that it would open the door to lawsuits from foreigners accusing the U.S. government of crimes, possibly including the killing of hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq and Afghanistan, torture, deaths of innocent people with drones, and global mass surveillance.

      That makes Earnest’s comment the single most hyperbolic thing he’s said since — well — ever.

    • The peace deal signed between the government of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC, the largest and oldest insurgency in Latin America, is historic. More than 50 years of fighting have killed more than 220,000 Colombians, overwhelmingly poor civilians. These years have seen executions, disappearances, detentions, torture. The violence has forced some 7 million people from their 全民彩票官网下载s, the largest number of internally displaced people in the world.

    • This was my speech to the World Beyond War conference at American University, Washington DC on 24 September.

    • Nations such as this just don’t have what it takes to be Exceptional. They may have a few nice traditions that mark them out from other nations, and may even be very nice people. But Exceptional? Get out of here!

    • Everyone should read Engdahl’s article. He reports that part of the attack on Rousseff stemmed from Brazil’s economic problems deliberately created by US credit rating agencies as part of Washington’s attack to down grade Brazilian debt, which set off an attack on the Brazilian currency, the cruziero.

      Brazil’s financial openness made Brazil an easy target to attack. One might hope that Vladimir Putin would take note of the cost of “economic openness.” Putin is a careful and thoughtful leader of Russia, but he is not an economist. He has confidence in neoliberal Elvira Nabiulina, Washington’s choice to head the Russian central bank. Nabiulina is unfamiliar with Modern Monetary Theory, and her commitment to “economic openness” leaves the Russian economy as exposed as Brazil’s to Washington destabilization. Nabiuina believes that the assault on the ruble is due to impersonal “global market forces,” not to Washington’s financial clout.

    • The UK Parliament just confirmed what the alternative media has been saying for years.

      Specifically, a new report from the bipartisan House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee – based on interviews with all of the key British decision-makers, review of documents, and on-the-ground investigations in Africa – found that the Libyan war was based on lies, that it destroyed the country全民彩票网址, and that it spread terrorism far and wide.

    • Donald Trump tried to ease fears about his finger being on the nuclear button during Monday night’s presidential debate, declaring that “I would certainly not do first strike.” He added: “Once the nuclear alternative happens, it’s over.”

      But moments later, the Republican presidential nominee seemed to backpedal, claiming that he “can’t take anything off the table.”

      Two members of Congress don’t want Trump to have the option.

      Responding to the majority of Americans who say they would not trust Trump with the nuclear arsenal, Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass, and Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., introduced legislation Tuesday that would bar the president from conducting a nuclear strike unless Congress had issued a formal declaration of war.

    • Even as Hillary Clinton pushes a new scheme for defeating ISIS, the reality is that contradictory U.S. policies in the Mideast that she helped formulate are fueling the growth of jihadi extremism, writes Daniel Lazare.

    • Families of those killed in the terror attacks on 9/11 are now legally allowed to sue Saudi Arabia, after Congress voted Wednesday to override President Barack Obama’s veto of the legislation, the first override of his presidency.

      The votes by the House and Senate were overwhelming. Members of both parties broke into applause on the House floor after the vote.

      The Senate approved the override on a 97-1 vote, with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid the lone Senator voting to sustain the president’s veto. Hours later, the vote in the House was 348-77, with one Democratic member voting “present.”

      White House spokesman Josh Earnest said aboard Air Force One before the House had voted that the Senate’s override is the “single most embarrassing thing the Senate has done since 1983,” referring to the last time the Senate overrode a veto by such a large margin.

    • Barack Obama says Congress is making a “mistake” and setting “a dangerous precedent” by passing a bill that would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government for damages.

      Both the Senate and the House of Representatives voted by an overwhelming majority to override the President’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA).

      The votes on Wednesday afternoon were the first time in the whole of Mr Obama’s presidency that he has been overruled by Congress.

      And speaking on CNN in the wake of the decision, Mr Obama warned that it left the US exposed to lawsuits from people around the world who have been affected by American foreign policy.

    • Saudi Arabia’s lobbying and warnings to Congress were not enough to blunt the passing of legislation allowing families of Sept. 11 victims to sue the kingdom for the attacks.

      The oil-rich country全民彩票网址, which has a long but often troubled relationship with Washington, maintains an arsenal of diplomatic and commercial tools it could respond with.

      They include curtailing official contacts, pulling billions of dollars from the U.S. economy, and persuading its close allies in the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council it dominates to scale back counterterrorism cooperation, investments and U.S. access to important regional air bases.

    • The Sudanese government has been accused of launching chemical weapon attacks on its own civilians, killing hundreds of people including scores of children, in what would be a dramatic escalation of the Darfur conflict.

      Amnesty International says it has compiled the first credible body of evidence to suggest the forces of President Omar al-Bashir bombed swathes of the crisis-hit Jebel Marra region with chemical agents.

      The charity has released before-and-after satellite images, photographs of horrific burn wounds on children and evidence from more than 200 interviews, and called for a United Nations investigation.

      Chemical weapons attacks on the African continent in the post-war era have been extremely rare, and even the accusation that it has carried them out could represent a major setback for Sudan’s improving relations with the international community.

      But it also serves to highlight the ongoing armed conflict in Darfur that, since the peak of the violence and international attention in 2003, has continued to rage more or less unnoticed.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • A palm oil company with links to Tory party donors and friends of David Cameron has been accused of failing to prevent massive fires devastating the rainforest.

      The firm, called Astra Agro Lestari, is a subsidiary of multi-billion dollar conglomerate Jardine Matheson, which owns major retail outlets, a string of luxury hotels and construction firms – as well as selling second-hand cars – mostly in Asia.

      Jardines is largely controlled by the well-connected Keswick family, descendants of its founders as an opium trader in 19th century China全民彩票网址.

      David Cameron’s father Ian was a friend of the Keswicks and worked as a stockbroker to the family. In the 1980s, the future Prime Minister briefly worked at the company’s office in Hong Kong.

    • In a delicious turn of events at this week’s presidential debate, Donald Trump received his comeuppance over a four-year-old tweet in which he denounced climate change.

      On stage, his opponent, Hillary Clinton, referenced the tweet from 2012, and remarked that “Donald Trump thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.” His reply? An easily fact-checked lie. “I did not. I do not say that,” he scrambled to say, like a child who’s been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

    • A Finnish sheet metal manufacturer has teamed up with MiaSolé, an American company that manufactures thin-film photovoltaic products. The film is integrated into the roofing material at Virte’s Turku factory.

      CEO Jaakko Virtanen is excited about integrated solar electricity systems.

      “I’ve dreamed of building materials that would themselves generate electricity, from roofs, windows and wall. Now that’s becoming a reality,” he tells Yle.

    • On Tuesday, a new climate study sent media outlets into a frenzy. News articles declared that Earth was “locked into” 5 Celsius degrees of warming – an exceptionally dire forecast, since most climate scientists warn that a boost of just 2 degrees C. would be catastrophic.

      But fortunately for coral reefs and coastal communities, scientists now say that prediction was wrong.

      It was Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who led the charge. Dr. Schmidt was perhaps the most vocal of a group of prominent dissenters, all of whom insist that the actual committed warming estimate hovers around 0.5-1 degrees C. That number, while still significant in terms of global effects, is a far cry from the initial findings. So what caused the discrepancy: bad science or bad science journalism?

  • Finance

    • Anyone requesting an Uber ride in a 12-sq mile area in the center of Pittsburgh might now be randomly allocated a self-driving Ford Fusion rather than a human-operated vehicle.

      But passengers riding in Uber’s computer-controlled cars today might be surprised at just how experimental the technology is. According to documents obtained by the Guardian under public records laws, until as recently as June anyone not employed by Uber riding in one of its autonomous vehicles (AVs) had to sign a legal document waiving the company of any liability for their injury or death.

      One senior Pittsburgh police officer signed a waiver on 23 June: “I acknowledge that some or all of the AVs in which I ride are in a development phase, are experimental in nature, and that riding in an AV may involve the potential for death, serious injury, and/or property loss.”

      The document was required by Uber’s Advanced Technologies Center (ATC), a research hub that in early 2015 hired dozens of robotics experts from nearby Carnegie Mellon University. Since then the ATC has been working furiously to catch up with the likes of Google and Tesla in self-driving technology – a task Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has described as “basically existential for us”.

    • A lot has been said about Trump’s refusal to make his tax returns public. But despite the volume of commentary, it’s not clear the right questions even are being asked.

      Trump claims he can’t release his returns because he’s under audit. At some level, that’s a legitimate concern. It would hardly be fair if thousands of tax professionals who oppose Trump politically helped the IRS by publishing their own analyses of the returns. Ultimately, however, it’s a phony excuse.

      But rather than challenge the logic behind Trump’s refusal to release returns, a series of questions should be asked:

      First, what tax years are under audit? Does it go back beyond 2012? If not, can the 2011 return be released? After all, the statute of limitations on the audit of that year has passed, so there’s no exposure to Trump by releasing that return. If not 2011, how about 2010?

      Second, why haven’t the audit notices been released? An audit notice is a short, generic letter from the IRS stating that a taxpayer’s return has been selected for examination. There’s nothing so sensitive in such a generic notice that it could not be made public. At this point, Trump has not even offered up this most basic evidence that he is really even under audit. Why hasn’t proof been demanded?

    • Another way of seeing the inconsistency of the Government argument is this. If the Crown has the power to leave the EU without Act of Parliament, then it has always had it. The Referendum Act contains no provision that alters the constitutional position – it provided for a referendum on EU membership, defining the question to be asked, but without specifying what was to be done with the result. For that reason it is often referred to as “advisory”. Therefore, if the Government has the power to take the UK out of the EU today, then it equally had the power one year ago. But I do not think anyone would have seriously argued before the Referendum that the Government could take the UK out of the EU under prerogative power without any Parliamentary approval.

    • The U.K. has launched a behind-the-scenes diplomatic effort to influence EU affairs during the Brexit process by offering to lend officials to two small countries that will hold the bloc’s presidency next year.

      Britain gave up its six-month slot in the rotating presidency calendar, which had been scheduled for the second half of 2017, after other countries felt it would be inappropriate to have the U.K. setting the political agenda for a union it had voted to leave. But soon after the June referendum, London began hedging its bets by trying to position officials in Malta and Estonia, which will take their turns in the presidency next year.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • As usual, what may have been most important is what went unsaid. The phrase “income inequality” came up only once, and that was from moderator Lester Holt. There was little mention of education or health care; some talk of energy policy but almost nothing on global warming other than Clinton’s reference to Trump claim that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese (last night he denied ever saying it, but he has).

      And absolutely no mention of the ruinous influence of money in politics, which in retrospect made it a bit jarring that when Bill and Chelsea Clinton entered the debate auditorium they sat next to Vernon Jordan, a close family friend and adviser, certainly, but also senior counsel at Akin Gump, the biggest and most profitable lobbyist in Washington, prime peddlers of influence and privilege on Capitol Hill.

    • Now we know how candidates can get a piece of information featured in the lead story of the New York Times: They just need to declare that they aren’t going to talk about it during a national debate.

      Thus Donald Trump’s cryptic last-minute debate comment—”I was going to say something…extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, ‘I can’t do it. I just can’t do it. It’s inappropriate. It’s not nice’”—was unfolded into a piece in the top right corner of the Times‘ front-page (9/27/16), arguably the most valuable journalistic real estate in the United States, about Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs.

    • Presidential debates do as much to illustrate corporate media priorities as they do to showcase the candidates. They provide a snapshot into what the media, in this case represented by NBC’s Lester Holt, prioritizes as issues worthy of discussion.

      A week before the debate, Comcast-owned NBC announced the topics, and one could already tell we weren’t going to be in for a substantive evening: “Achieving prosperity,” “America’s direction” and “securing America.” This generic approach lead to a generic debate that focused mostly on horserace disputes and vague, open-ended questions about taxes and jobs.

      Holt didn’t ask any questions about the following topics: poverty, abortion, climate change, immigration, healthcare, student debt, privacy, LGBTQ rights or drug policy. (NBC reported before the debate that abortion and immigration were two of the policy issues that voters were most interested in, as indicated by Google searches, along with the economy and police shootings.)

      What was discussed: jobs, Trump’s tax returns, who did or didn’t support the Iraq War, raising taxes on the rich, race (framed mostly in a way that pandered to Trump’s theme of a country全民彩票网址 in disarray), Russian cyberattacks, ISIS, Obama’s birth certificate, Clinton’s physical appearance and whether the candidates would accept the election results.

    • I wasn’t planning to do a second blog about ‘the debate’ but two days after it, as we start to await the first polling to show its impact, I feel the need to write one more blog. I do believe this debate decided the election. I think many will come back to look at that Monday night as the time when Trump folded, and some will also see the brilliance of how Hillary skewered Trump and trapped him to make that debate far worse for Trump than it might have been. So, with the very rare opportunity for me to write a debate review on this blog, why not do something more serious about the blow-by-blow. How did it go? Lets get into the weeds. How did Hillary demolish Trump. I am using the full recording of the debate via Real Clear Politics which had the ABC network feed.

      Trump needed to remain Presidential throughout the first debate, he’d then get something near a tie. Hillary had to clearly win the debate, a tie was not good enough, she was expected to be the superior debater and had to now deliver.

    • May, Stédile, and Corbyn, however, aren’t technically world leaders, as none holds a top position in their country全民彩票网址’s government. May is a member of the Canadian House of Commons. Stédile is an economist and member of Brazil’s Landless Rural Workers Movement, which he helped found. Corbyn is the leader of the Labour Party in Britain.

      Johnson, sitting with Libertarian vice presidential nominee Bill Weld, was asked by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews to “name one foreign leader that you respect and look up to.” Johnson couldn’t name any.

    • You may not realize it, but there are actually two women running for president this year. In addition to Hillary Clinton, the first female major-party candidate, voters also have the choice to elect Jill Stein, who represents the Green Party.

      Stein is a practicing physician and an environmental health advocate. While her low polling numbers prevented her from participating in the first debate, Stein remains committed to her campaign. She exclusively sat down with us for this week’s Sunday Paper Q&A to explain why she’s motivated to stay in the race.

    • Today this newspaper does something it has never done in its 143-year history: endorse someone other than the Republican candidate in a presidential contest.

      Since its founding in 1873, The Detroit News has backed a Republican every time it has made a presidential endorsement (three times we have sat on the sidelines — twice during the Franklin Roosevelt elections and in the 2004 Bush/Kerry contest).

      We abandon that long and estimable tradition this year for one reason: Donald J. Trump.

      The 2016 nominee offered by the Republican Party rubs hard against the editorial board’s values as conservatives and Americans. Donald Trump is unprincipled, unstable and quite possibly dangerous. He can not be president.

    • But Johnson’s self-described “Aleppo moment” on Wednesday night’s MSNBC town hall proved irresistible for critics and rivals. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who has fallen even further back in polls than Johnson, took the opportunity on Thursday to name the foreign leaders she admired — if anyone was curious. (No one she mentioned is currently serving as the head of government in any country全民彩票网址.)

    • Last night on MSNBC, Chris Matthews asked Gary Johnson to name three foreign leaders that he admired. Rather than rejecting the question for its implicitly pro-government bias and as a silly thing to ask someone running for president, Johnson tried to answer by listing former Mexican president Vicente Fox and blanked on the name, saying it was another “Aleppo moment.” (Maybe soon they’ll be calling them Gary Johnson moments)

      Within minutes, social media was ablaze with users who probably couldn’t name a world leader (except maybe for Justin Trudeau, who’s become something of a favorite of social media progressives) claiming that Johnson couldn’t name a foreign leader at all, when the question was about leaders you respected.

      [...]

      Responding to my comment based on Twitter, Stein suggested that Politico was “just trying to play gotcha to distract from their favored candidate’s awful foreign policy record.” It’s hard to disagree with that assessment.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Jordanian authorities imposed a blackout on the country全民彩票网址’s press and social media Monday, preventing any coverage of the murder of the Christian writer shot dead outside an Amman court as protesters called for the government’s resignation.

      The censorship order by the Jordanian judiciary came after the murder of Nahed Hatter as he arrived at the city’s Palace of Justice on Sunday, accused of sharing a satirical cartoon on Facebook and of breaching the country全民彩票网址’s blasphemy laws.

    • Quebec’s long-running debate over secularism and the place of religious minorities moved into the courtroom Monday as a slander trial opened against an outspoken critic of Islamic fundamentalism.

      A crowd of supporters, including two who arrived from France, filled the room to hear the case against Djemila Benhabib, who is being sued by a private Muslim 全民彩票官网登录 after she likened its teaching to the instruction received in terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

      Benhabib, who was born in Ukraine but spent much of her childhood in Algeria, was invited on to a Montreal radio show in 2012 after writing a blog post about the Muslim School of Montreal.

      Benhabib told 98.5 FM host Beno?t Dutrizac that she was shocked by what she found on the 全民彩票官网登录’s website.

      Koranic verses being taught to children were “extremely violent” and “misogynistic,” she told Dutrizac in a recording played in the court. She said the 全民彩票官网登录 offers students “an indoctrination worthy of a military camp in Afghanistan or Pakistan.” The 全民彩票官网登录, she said, “is creating fundamentalist activists who in a few years will be demanding accommodations and all sorts of bizarre things … We are an extremely long way from citizenship, from the values that belong to our society.”

    • Professor of Ethics Ann Heberlein has argued that blonde people in Sweden are subjected to racist abuse and violence from “people with a non-European appearance”.

      Ms. Heberlein, who appears regularly on Swedish Radio’s “Thoughts for the Day” and “Philosophical Room”, says blonde and Swedish victims of this racism choose to stay silent because “anti-racist” left wingers say that as a “privileged” group, ethnic Swedes have no right to complain.

      The professor at Lund University describes the racist abuse hurled at white women in Sweden, with phrases like “Svenne (meaning ethnic Swede) whore” and “bloody racist whore” shouted at them by people with migrant backgrounds.

    • Amos Yee, a 17-year-old blogger in Singapore, is to spend six weeks in jail for “wounding religious feelings.” It is his second such jail term: he spent a month in jail last year for criticizing Christianity.

    • While politics isn’t generally a topic we dive into around here, technology policy and issues certainly are. And, since presidential election cycles infect every conceivable topic like a wine stain spreading across your favorite couch, we’ve talked about the two mainstream candidates quite a bit recently. And I get the complaints from all sides against both candidates, but it’s become somewhat breathtaking to watch Donald Trump build a campaign in large part on nonsensical and easily debunked conspiracy theories, such as how the planned internet governance transition will cede control of the web to China全民彩票网址 and Russia, or that our current sitting President might be a secret communist Muslim clay-person, but maybe not.

      And, of course, there is the constant claim of victim-hood at the hands of that damned liberal establishment, which now apparently includes Google. Some background for you is in order. Over the summer, a really dumb video went viral after claiming to show that Google was manipulating autocomplete searches to keep any bad press out of the results for searches about Hillary Clinton. Compared with Bing, for instance, Google’s autocomplete failed to finish off a search for “Hillary Clinton cr” with “Hillary Clinton crimes”, instead completing as “Hillary Clinton Crimea.” While your drunk uncle lost his goddamned mind over a conspiracy surely proven, Google chimed in to note that it specifically designed its autocomplete feature to keep disparaging results from anyone’s name, not just Hill-Dog’s. This was easily shown by putting in “Donald Trump cr”, which likewise autocompleted as “Donald Trump Crimea.”

      And that really should have been the end of that. But, because Donald Trump’s campaign isn’t one to pass on a good chem-trails story, its candidate tried to deflect a general panning of his debate performance by repeating this already disproved accusation.

    • Take Twitter, for example. The online social networking service is often criticized for not protecting its users and allowing pretty much anything on its platform. Because it does allow anything on its platform and that’s part of why people love it so much.

      Twitter is also kind of like a filing cabinet that records and preserves our digital history for us. You can go to Twitter, search a hashtag and find photos, articles and all the opinions you could ever want to hear on a particular moment from (recent) history. That’s pretty cool, when you think about it. But what’s not cool is finding tweets that you never saw, tweets that seemingly disappeared even though the 140-characters were typed.

      Twitter has been caught removing tweets, hiding tweets and deleting trending hashtags. Such accusations have opened the doors to how such a prominent platform—which sources the news for over half the population-gets away with censorship before our very eyes.

      It was just a few months ago that Twitter was accused of censoring tweets under ‘#DNCLeak’ during the WikiLeaks e-mail debacle. In this particular scenario, conservative Twitter users accused the platform of removing the hashtag from the trending bar, despite it displaying an estimated 250,000 tweets about the leaked employee e-mails from the Democratic National Committee.

      On the other side of the political spectrum, of course, is the whole Milo Yiannopoulos situation, which involves permanent censorship in the form of banning. Another accusation comes from Trump supporters, which say the social platform concealed his tweets asking for campaign donations.

      But is this censorship? Or is it just the work of a flawed algorithm?

    • The Human Rights Commission(HRC) has released a statement regarding Freedom of Expression in relation to Cayman’s Prohibited Publications Order.

      The statement has been released during World Banned Books Week which is held each year, the last week in September and is recognised by the American Libraries Association. During the week, attention is focused on freedom of expression in relation to reading and the issue of censorship. In the Cayman Islands censorship of reading materials is found in the Prohibited Publications Order (under the Penal Code) which first came into effect in the Cayman Islands in 1977.

    • Facebook revealed that within the last month it deleted 100,000 posts by German users for containing “hate”, but Justice Minister Heiko Maas has blasted the figure as too low.

      At a conference in Berlin, Maas said that to be accountable, social networks must publish the number of posts contested by users. The Justice Minister’s remarks implied that complainants on social media are valid judges of what constitutes criminal speech, something usually only determined by a court.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • The idea behind smart meters — that detailed information about how you consume electricity will allow you to use power more efficiently and thus cut your bills and your 全民彩票官网下载’s carbon emissions — is a good one in theory. And yet smart meters are still not used very widely, even in countries like the UK, where the government has a strategy to install millions of them by 全民彩票网址. Actually, the likely savings by users are small, but smart meters also promise to allow the electricity industry to lower salary costs by carrying out meter readings remotely, which is one reason why it is so keen on the idea. Another is because smart meters make it is easy to cut off someone’s supply if they don’t pay their bills.

      The slow uptake of smart meters seems in part to be due to public concerns about security. People are worried that their smart meter will spy on them, sending back information to electricity companies that might be intercepted and used for targeted burglary when they are away. Similarly, there are fears that if the smart meter control system were compromised, domestic electricity supplies might be at risk on a large scale.

      One of UK Parliament’s most important committees, the one monitoring science and technology, has just published a report into the UK smart meter roll-out, offering recommendations for ways to speed it up.

      [...]

      has reported, one of the worst features of the UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill that is currently wending it way through Parliament is that it creates a legal framework to allow GCHQ and the other intelligence agencies to hack into any kind of equipment in order to carry out surveillance. Of course, that’s really rather easy when you were the one who designed its security systems.

    • The FBI’s use of a controversial program that collected Americans’ phone records decreased significantly after Edward Snowden exposed it to the world in 2013, a new report has found.

      The program allows the FBI to get access to phone records—but not the content of phone calls—with permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Between 2012 and 2014, that court approved 561 so-called “business records orders,” but that number dropped from a nine-year high of 212 in 2012 to 170 in 2014, a nearly 20 percent decrease, according to a review by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

      The number fell again in 2015 to 142 orders. Snowden’s revelations helped fuel a change in U.S. law that ended the government’s practice of collecting and storing the phone records. Now, the government must request the information from phone companies.

    • While waiting for ten minutes on “hold” to make an appointment with my local branch of Scotiabank, I had time read through the new “Digital 全民彩票网址 Agreement. Most of the eighteen pages were unremarkable, but a couple of things stood out.

      When you click “Accept”, you are agreeing to not give your password to police if they ask!

    • Changes to WhatsApp’s data sharing rules are causing more controversy this week. The company refuses to comply with a court order from India’s Delhi High Court, which requested that the company delete any and all data collected by users who opted out of the company’s new privacy policy before September 25th.

      Since WhatsApp announced that it would be sharing some user data, including phone numbers, with Facebook, the app has come in for some serious critisism for undermining consumer privacy in India. These changes were made under the guise of cutting down on spam and improving services, but a good portion of users remain unconvinced.

    • The European Commission has set out new measures to stop European companies exporting surveillance gear to despotic regimes. The proposal would also partially relax the rules on exporting cryptography tools.

      The proposal to overhaul the EU’s export controls on dual-use products—powerful technologies such as crypto software or rocket engines that can be used for good or evil—was presented on Wednesday (PDF) and includes a new human rights dimension.

      “It’s not a revolution. It’s an evolution of our current structure,” a commission source told Ars. “The foundation that is already there, is fairly solid, but this new proposal is more efficient, and will reduce the cost of the control, both for authorities at national level and also for the industries that have to apply for licenses.”

      “This new human security dimension comes from a conviction that our export controls should also enable us to prevent the misuse of items that are used to violate human rights. The types of technologies we are talking about, surveillance, etc., do not fit clearly within the current military regulation,” the source continued.

    • Apple promises that your iMessage conversations are safe and out of reach from anyone other than you and your friends. But according to a document obtained by The Intercept, your blue-bubbled texts do leave behind a log of which phone numbers you are poised to contact and shares this (and other potentially sensitive metadata) with law enforcement when compelled by court order.

      Every time you type a number into your i全民彩票网址Phone for a text conversation, the Messages app contacts Apple servers to determine whether to route a given message over the ubiquitous SMS system, represented in the app by those déclassé green text bubbles, or over Apple’s proprietary and more secure messaging network, represented by pleasant blue bubbles, according to the document. Apple records each query in which your phone calls 全民彩票官网下载 to see who’s in the iMessage system and who’s not.

      This log also includes the date and time when you entered a number, along with your IP address — which could, contrary to a 2013 Apple claim that “we do not store data related to customers’ location,” identify a customer’s location. Apple is compelled to turn over such information via court orders for systems known as “pen registers” or “trap and trace devices,” orders that are not particularly onerous to obtain, requiring only that government lawyer全民彩票网址s represent they are “likely” to obtain information whose “use is relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation.” Apple confirmed to The Intercept that it only retains these logs for a period of 30 days, though court orders of this kind can typically be extended in additional 30-day periods, meaning a series of monthlong log snapshots from Apple could be strung together by police to create a longer list of whose numbers someone has been entering.

      The Intercept received the document about Apple’s Messages logs as part of a larger cache originating from within the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Electronic Surveillance Support Team, a state police agency that facilitates police data collection using controversial tools like the Stingray, along with conventional techniques like pen registers. The document, titled “iMessage FAQ for Law Enforcement,” is designated for “Law Enforcement Sources” and “For Official Use Only,” though it’s unclear who wrote it or for what specific audience — metadata embedded in the PDF cites an author only named “mrrodriguez.” (The term “iMessages” refers to an old name for the Messages app still commonly used to refer to it.)

    • For a few months, the European Parliament has been discussing a directive aimed at updating the European legislation on combating terrorism. After a vote in the LIBE Committee, MEPs agreed to send the text directly to a trialogue discussion; this reduces opportunities for a democratic debate on an issue that bears strong consequences for fundamental rights.
      Today, Wednesday 28 September, the third trialogue between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of the European Union is to take place. Faced with the deadlock organised by European institutions, La Quadrature du Net emphasises the dangers of this text.

    • Google recently released a new messaging application called Allo that it calls “revolutionary,” but whistleblower Edward Snowden warns that the app could be used for government surveillance.

      Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear spoke with Professor Bryan Ford, leader of the Decentralized/Distributed Systems lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, about the app and its potential impact on personal privacy.

    • According to Edward Snowden, if you want to avoid giving law enforcement the green light to check out all your communications, don’t use it.

      “What is #Allo? A Google app that records every message you ever send and makes it available to police upon request,” the whistleblower tweeted.

      Tech giant Google has been working hard to infiltrate the virtual chatting world, launching Spaces, Duo, and most recently, Allo, all in the past couple of months.

      On its site, Allo is described as “a smart messaging app that helps you say more and do more. Express yourself better with stickers, doodles, and HUGE emojis & text. Allo also brings you the Google Assistant, preview edition.”

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Anyone watching this year’s elections knows that Latinos are going to play a critical role. The Age of LatinX is upon us. Without a doubt, LatinXs will play a determinate role in these important elections. As the presidential candidate for the Green Party, I take seriously the urgently critical role of the Latino vote in the 2016 elections. That’s why our campaign continues the work of raising LatinX and other issues.

      In an election where some are depressed because they see no path other than one that winds between two obsolete but deadly choices, this is a race to the bottom between the “lesser evil” and the “greater evil,” Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Such a choice starkly reflects the problems Latinos and we all face, ones that reach far and beyond Donald Trump. Trump’s candidacy is a virulent symptom of a far more sinister problem infecting our entire political system, something every community, including Latinos, experiences in very particular ways, regardless of their political affiliation.

      Growing numbers of Latinos are among the millions who helped push the question—“How do I vote for Jill Stein?”—as a top Google search term for our campaign after Monday’s debate. LatinXs have heard our message and are acting on their desire for change. I am confident and see every day on the campaign trail that even more are preparing to join us in this election. Our presidential platform is packed with the policies and positions—student debt forgiveness, free college education, fair trade, not free trade, labor rights, racial justice and police reform, a Green New Deal, and others—that we all know are necessary, and that Latinos especially have good reason to be concerned with.

    • Last week, imprisoned whistle-blower Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 14 days in solitary confinement as punishment for her suicide attempt in early July at the prison barracks at Fort Leavenworth. The Fort Leavenworth disciplinary panel could not explicitly punish Manning for attempted suicide. Completed suicide is not a disciplinary violation and, to be guilty of attempting a crime, it’s necessary for the act which is attempted to be one. They disciplined her instead under a charge known as “conduct which threatens,” stating that Manning’s attempt to die interfered with “orderly running, safety, good order and discipline, or security” of the facility. (She is also being disciplined for possessing an unauthorized book). The whistle-blower stated that she was driven to suicide over the prison’s then-failure to appropriately treat her gender dysphoria. Why Manning injuring herself is deemed a threat to the facility’s functioning says much about the nature of that place’s function, says much about the true function of prisons.

      Before 1823 in England, according to early common law, if a person committed suicide, they would be posthumously punished. The body would be buried at the crossroads of a highway, impaled by a stake, often with a stone laid over the face (to prevent resurrection as a ghost or vampire). The deceased’s property would be forfeited to the king. Suicide was criminal because sovereignty over life and death did not then reside with the individual but with God, and with his chosen earthly emissary, the king. And since suicide was deemed an ungodly, criminal act, so too was an attempt—at times punishable by hanging. There’s no contradiction here: To execute a person who has herself tried to die is still punishment, not wish fulfillment. It’s the punishment of removing every last shred individual sovereignty; it’s the state’s reminder of where sovereignty really resides. Current state punishment of attempted suicide, in its rare cases like Manning’s, serves the same purpose.

    • The case involves weight loss products, including colon cleanses, vended by LeanSpa. To generate more sales, LeanSpa hired LeadClick to act as an affiliate marketing manager. LeadClick coordinated promotion of LeanSpa’s products with LeadClick’s network of affiliates. Some affiliates promoted the products using fake news sites, with articles styled to look like legitimate news articles and consumer comments/testimonials that were fake. Apparently, all of this added up to big business. LeanSpa paid LeadClick $35-$45 each time a consumer signed up for LeanSpa’s “free” trial (which was a negative billing option). LeadClick shared 80-90% of these sign-up fees with affiliates and kept the remainder for itself. In total, LeadClick billed LeanSpa $22M, of which LeanSpa paid only $12M. Still, LeanSpa turned into LeadClick’s top customer, constituting 85% of its eAdvertising division’s sales.

    • Everyone in government is talking cyber-this and cyber-that, even though a majority of those talking don’t have the technical background to back up their assertions. This leads to dangerous lawmaking. The CFAA, easily one of the most abused computer-related laws, came into being thanks to some skittish legislators who’d seen one too many 80′s hacker films. (“WarGames,” to be specific.)

      Faulty analogies have led to other erroneous legislative conclusions — like the comparison of email to snail mail — which has led to the government treating any unopened email as “abandoned” and accessible without a warrant.

      But the problem goes further than the legislative branch. The executive branch hasn’t been much better in its grasp of technical issues, and the current slate of presidential candidates guarantees this won’t change for at least another four years.

      The judicial branch has its own issues. On both sides of the bench, there’s very little technical knowledge. As more and more prosecutions become reliant on secretive, little-understood technical tools like cell tower spoofers, government-deployed malware, and electronic device searches, unaddressed problems will only multiply as tech deployment ramps up and infusions of fresh blood into the judicial system fail to keep pace.

    • In 2012, Cleveland police officers engaged in perhaps the most one-sided “shootout” ever with two suspects at the tail end of an (unauthorized) police chase. By the time it was over, officers had fired 139 bullets into a vehicle they had trapped in a 全民彩票官网登录 parking lot. Twenty-three of those hit the driver. Twenty-four hit the passenger. Both vehicle occupants were killed.

      One officer — Michael Brelo — apparently thought he was starring in his own action film. He unloaded 49 rounds in just over 20 seconds while standing on the hood of the stopped vehicle. All told, more than 75 Cleveland PD vehicles joined the chase/shooting. At the end of a yearlong investigation, 63 officers were suspended for their participation. Six officers were charged.

      The genesis of the horrific debacle was nothing more than a car backfiring. One cop mistook this for a gunshot and all hell broke loose. No weapons were recovered from the vehicle.

      One of the stranger offshoots of the infamous shootings was a lawsuit filed by several Cleveland police officers who took part in the chase. In their view, they were punished more harshly than African American officers who also participated in the unauthorized pursuit.

    • The Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Awards were established in 1979 to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to protect the First Amendment rights of Americans. They are looking for nominees for this year’s awards, and I’d like to send them a name.

    • “His case represents the A to Z of where we went wrong as a nation,” said former FBI agent Ali Soufan, who interrogated some of the most prized captives of the war on terror, and considered Abu Zubaydah “a high-ranking terrorist” at his capture. “In a way, it was the original sin that led to the institutionalization of the so-called Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.”

    • There’s zero doubt that police forces across the nation are caught between the crosshairs of politics and systemic racism; their losses and crimes either championed or hurriedly swept beneath the rug on the campaign trail.

      Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump addressed race relations in the United States as a symptom of a larger criminal justice problem. Trump went as far as to call America’s legacy of police brutality a matter of “law and order,” mirroring the strategic oversimplification of racism that has contributed to the killings of 285 black and Hispanic people by police officers in 2016 alone.

      But despite desperate efforts by citizens to document the unlawful abuse of minorities by officers, police departments still wield considerable control over their images and public messages. Thanks to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, police are attempting to humanize themselves online, whether or not they’re physically repairing their relationships with America’s communities.

    • An award-winning journalist who exposed voting fraud during Russia’s parliamentary elections has himself been arrested for alleged fraud.

      Denis Korotkov, a correspondent for the independent news website Fontanka, was scheduled to appear in court in St Petersburg on Wednesday on charges of “illegally obtaining a ballot”.

      But campaigners say Mr Korotkov was working undercover to expose vote rigging in the Duma elections, which have provoked international concern, and is now being harassed for his work.

      Mr Korotkov documented how he posed as a voter on 18 September and was given a sticker by polling station officials, who then arranged for him to be transported around St Petersburg with others to cast multiple ballots for specified candidates.

    • Specifically, the agency concluded that the separate living quarters would violate the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to one’s “private and family life”.

      Josephine Fock, an MP for The Alternative who raised the issue with DIS, cheered the reversal.

      “It is completely outrageous. We are talking about people who have fled to Denmark who are being split from each other. Some of them have children together and investigating individual [asylum] cases takes an unbelievably long time,” Fock told Metroxpress.

      In January, the Integration Ministry obtained an overview of the Danish asylum system that revealed that there are currently 27 minors who have spouses or partners. According to an earlier report in Metroxpress, there are two married 14-year-old girls at Danish asylum centres. One is married to a 28-year-old man, while the other is pregnant and has a 24-year-old husband.

    • In a controversial article, Lejla Colak said forcing women to wear the Islamic headscarf was like forcing them to strap a sex toy to their heads.

      Twisted online trolls have launched a sick hate campaign against the Bosnian reporter, offering a cash prize if anyone kills or rapes her.

      One social media user, reportedly a member of the Bosnian army, wrote: “Are there any volunteers to rape lovely Lejla? I will personally pay for it.”

    • The story out of El Cajon, Calif., a San Diego suburb, had an eerie familiarity: The police respond to a person exhibiting some kind of disturbing behavior, but the subject — perhaps lost in his own, altered world — does not comply with the usual commands, does not heed the standard warnings, acts in a way that seems to invite danger, and ends up dead.

      An officer in El Cajon fatally shot a man identified as Alfred Olango on Tuesday, after Mr. Olango’s sister called 911 for help because he was acting erratically. The police released a still frame from a bystander’s video showing Mr. Olango, 30, mirroring the shooting stance of the officer facing him — feet apart, hands clasped and pointed at the officer. But one man had a gun and the other, it turned out, did not.

      “I called for help; I didn’t call you guys to kill him,” the sister wailed on a Facebook video recorded by a bystander.

      Far too little is known about what happened in El Cajon to judge the officer’s conduct, law enforcement experts and advocates for mentally ill people say. But the police use of force — sometimes lethal — against those with diminished mental capacity is distressingly common. The experts and advocates say that while training and practices have improved in the last generation, officers in many agencies still receive little or no education in how to recognize and deal with people who may not behave rationally.

      Like other police uses of force, confrontations involving people with diminished mental capacity have increasingly been caught on video and turned into national news. In July, officers in Sacramento shot and killed a man who was walking and running in the street, gesticulating wildly, and who refused to obey orders to drop the knife he was holding or to lie down.

    • English PEN is continuing to hold monthly vigils in support of imprisoned writers Raif Badawi, Waleed Abulkhair and Ashraf Fayadh. Please join us to show them they have not been forgotten.

      English PEN has been holding regular vigils outside the Saudi Embassy in London in support of imprisoned blogger Raif Badawi and his lawyer全民彩票网址 Waleed Abulkhair since January 2015 when Badawi was first flogged for his peaceful activism. While Badawi has not been flogged since, he is continuing to serve a ten-year prison sentence, while Abulkhair is serving 15 years in prison for his human rights activism.

      PEN is also continuing to call for the immediate release of Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh. Originally sentenced to death, Fayadh is now serving 8 years in prison and, like Badawi, continues to have the threat of hundreds of lashes looming over him.

      Please join us on Friday 30 September from 9 – 10am for a peaceful vigil at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London. Activists are asked to meet at the Curzon Street entrance to the Embassy. (note: the postal address of the Embassy is 30-32 Charles Street, Mayfair, London).

    • Abu Sin (his name means “toothless”) and Christina Crockett jokingly declared their love for one another in a silly YouNow stream that has since been uploaded to YouTube. They struggled through language barriers and acted like goofy young people.

      Evidently, being a cute kid is a crime in Saudi Arabia, where the 19 year old internet goofball lives.

      A Saudi attorney told Okaz newspaper the videos violate the country全民彩票网址’s interpretation of Sharia law and internet regulations. Abu Sin could face up to three years in prison.

    • At least 20 people were involved in the fight, believed to have been between a group of Chechen and Turkish migrants, in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Tuesday evening.

      Austrian media reported that the trouble started when a Chechen man approached a group of 15 Turkish men socialising in an internet cafe and told them to be quiet.

      A brawl ensued, spilling out of the cafe and into the streets of the city’s Favoriten district.

      There was reports that one man was armed with a knife.

      Vienna is also 全民彩票官网下载 to a large population of Chechen migrants.

    • Former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who served a prison sentence at a federal prison in Loretto, Pennsylvania, joined Shadowproof managing editor Kevin Gosztola to talk about the case of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, which they have both followed closely.

      Kiriakou’s reporting describes how officials at the Englewood federal prison, where Sterling is confined, failed to give him proper medical treatment for heart attack symptoms. Gosztola recently exchanged letters with Sterling and published a report on how the Bureau of Prisons is failing him.

      During the interview, Kiriakou shares his experiences with prison medical care and how all too often those who need care are denied proper treatment. He talks about how the Bureau of Prisons thinks prisoners like Sterling are malingering, which means they are lying about and faking serious health problems. He also describes why it is so important for a person in this situation to have outside support.

      Sterling has demanded the prison give him access to an outside doctor so that he can have his severe heart problems addressed.

    • When the clerk called Willie Mae Swansey’s case in a crowded courtroom last February, the 72-year-old approached the judge slowly, supporting herself with a four-pronged cane. It had been a busy afternoon in the Daley Center’s civil forfeiture courtroom, with more than a dozen quick hearings and a pair of trials preceding her own. The crush of defense lawyer全民彩票网址s and hopeful claimants had thinned by the time Swansey stepped up to the bench. She steadied herself beside a prosecutor and stood with a stately straightening of her back.

      Swansey was here to reclaim her car. The Chicago Police Department had seized the 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser two years prior, arresting the driver, Swansey’s son, and charging him with manufacturing or delivering 15 to 100 grams of heroin. The car had been impounded ever since. Swansey herself was never charged with a crime, and it was her name, not her son’s, on the title. All the same, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office had agreed with CPD that the vehicle, which the office valued at $1,400, was worth keeping for good.

      [...]

      “I’m a poor black woman,” Swansey says. “I don’t have no money for an attorney.” Instead, she continued to represent herself.

      At her next appearance in May, she informed the court that her son’s criminal case was over. He had pleaded guilty, and having been under house arrest for 745 days, he was credited with time served and put on probation, according to county records.

      So on June 30, Swansey’s trial date finally arrived, two years and four months after CPD took her car. She had brought her son with her to court to testify that he had taken her keys without her knowledge. But the judge she saw that day, Paul Karkula, didn’t want to hear from him, she says.

      Instead, Swansey recalls, “The judge said, ‘I can’t give you back your car, because it would be right back on the road with drugs.’?” (Karkula declined to comment for this story.)

      The decision struck Swansey as racist and deeply unfair. Swansey says she watched as four other cases that day were called and resolved, including one involving a wheelchair-bound white woman with a case very similar to hers. This woman got her car back, Swansey says. She did not.

    • A few weeks ago, CNN had a story on how a jury failed to convict Peter Wexler, an unemployed IT worker, who had been arrested and spent nearly a year in jail (without bail) for writing some mean stuff on his blog. He was literally arrested for five blog posts (which came with 20 criminal charges, as they had multiple charges on each post) and was facing up to 15 years in jail for those posts. Ken “Popehat” White blogged briefly about it, noting that it was a huge First Amendment win in a case where the defense team included one of his partners, Caleb Mason (along with lawyer全民彩票网址 Marri Derby, who was appointed by the court to represent Wexler through the Criminal Justice Act). It’s also a case that involved… me. I was an expert witness in the case, brought in to explain to the jury the nature of internet discourse, including how trolls quite frequently say outrageous things to get attention, and how it’s (for better or worse) not that uncommon to see people post angry rants on the internet, or to talk about how certain people should die, or to photoshop famous people into weird scenarios.

      I’ve avoided writing about the case up until now, mostly because of my involvement. And since Wexler was found not guilty on some charges, while the other charges resulted in a hung jury (the jury foreperson said that they voted 8 to 4 to acquit on those other charges), there’s a chance there may be a second trial. So recognize that it’s a case that I may still have future involvement in — and where I’m choosing my words carefully (the prosecutors in the case tried to take some of my posts on Techdirt out of context to attack my credibility, and it’s possible that could happen again — though I will admit to some confusion over being asked, twice, on the stand if I consider myself “an advocate for internet freedom,” as if that were a bad thing).

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday postponed a vote on its highly-anticipated proposal to increase competition in the video “set-top box” market after the chairman of the agency failed to secure the necessary votes to approve the plan.

      The delay amounts to a humbling setback for FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who had made reforming the $20 billion set-top box market a centerpiece of his pro-consumer agenda. With 40 days to go before a presidential election that will determine the makeup of the FCC going forward, the fate of the reform measure is now in doubt.

      As recently as Thursday morning, the vote was still scheduled, but Wheeler was ultimately unable to come to an agreement with his fellow Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, who had previously raised concerns about his plan, and who represents the key swing vote at the five-member agency.

      “Commissioner Rosenworcel came to Chairman Wheeler’s office with a bunch of edits on the order, and those edits were unacceptable to his office,” according to a person familiar with the matter. “And that led to an impasse. As of 8 a.m. this morning the vote was on, and then by 9 a.m. the vote was pulled.”

  • DRM/Broadcast

    • Over 10,000 of you have joined EFF in calling on HP to make amends for its self-destructing printers in the past few days. Looks like we got the company’s attention: today, HP posted a response on its blog. Apparently recognizing that its customers are more likely to see an update that limits interoperability as a bug than as a feature, HP says that it will issue an optional firmware update rolling back the changes that it had made. We’re very glad to see HP making this step.

      But a number of questions remain.

      First, we’d like to know what HP’s plans are for informing users about the optional firmware update. Right now, the vast majority of people who use the affected printers likely do not know why their printers lost functionality, nor do they know that it’s possible to restore it. All of those customers should be able to use their printers free of artificial restrictions, not just the relatively few who have been closely following this story.

    • Last year, Chicago proudly declared that the city would be expanding its 9% amusement tax (traditionally covering book stores, music stores, ball games and other brick and mortar entertainment) to online streaming services and cloud computing. While Chicago was hungrily pursuing the $12 million in additional revenue the expanded tax would provide, it ultimately faced a lawsuit questioning the legality of Chicago’s move. The ongoing lawsuit by the Liberty Justice Center claims Chicago violated city rules by not holding a full vote on the changes, and is violating the Internet Freedom Tax Act.

      Legal or not, Chicago’s push to impose a Netflix tax has opened the floodgates.

    • We’ve noted time and time again that the cable and broadcast industry could compete with cord cutting by lowering prices, it just chooses not to. Even with last quarter seeing the biggest quarterly defection by paying subscribers ever recorded, time and time again you’ll see sector sycophants proclaim that cord cutting either doesn’t exist, or has been violently over-hyped and isn’t worth taking seriously. In fact, most sector executives still believe that the shift away from traditional cable will magically end once Millennials start procreating (protip: it won’t).

      As such, they’ve continued to raise cable TV rates at an absurd rate in the belief that they can keep milking the legacy cable TV cash cow in perpetuity. And while broadcasters certainly take the lion’s share of the blame for raising the cost of programming, you’d be hard pressed to find a cable TV provider that isn’t making things worse by also saddling consumers with misleading fees for nothing and soaring cable box, modem, and other hardware rental costs.

      The end result is users paying 40% more for cable TV than they did just five years ago. In fact the average cable bill is now $103.10 per month, an increase of 4% in the past year. And while the cable sector is quick to proclaim that this just reflects the “increased value” of cable TV, the reality is that most cable ops are trimming back overall channels to try and offset the bloated, soaring cost of sports programming.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Speakers at a side event to the United Nations General Assembly last week commended a new report on access to medicines prepared by a high-level panel hand-chosen by the UN secretary general as containing fresh ideas and the potential to bring change to a longstanding problem.

      The breakfast dialogue, entitled, The Role of Health Technology: Innovation & Access in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, was organised on 23 September by the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, whose report was released last week (IPW, United Nations, 14 September 2016).

    • [Ed: about time?]

      The legal counsel to the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Staff Council has called for the immediate removal of Francis Gurry as the UN agency’s director general and the lifting of his diplomatic immunity so that he might face possible criminal investigation or civil proceedings over the findings of a report into alleged misconduct that was delivered to the Chair of the WIPO General Assemblies in February.

      The demand is contained in a letter sent to “All Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva” yesterday. IAM has obtained a copy of the letter and has verified that it is authentic.

      The letter was sent following the distribution earlier this week of a heavily redacted version of the findings of an investigation, carried out by the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight 全民彩票网址 (OIOS), into a series of allegations originally levelled at Gurry by the former deputy director general of the organisation James Pooley back in April 2014. Although the OIOS submitted its findings in February it is only now that WIPO member states have been able to see a copy of the report – albeit one in which large chunks have been blacked out.

    • On intellectual property, the EU has published factsheets and position papers on what they would like to see in the agreement, she said. One of the focuses of those documents is raising awareness on the benefits of IP, and “we regret that the focus is not also on the human right to access information,” she said.

    • Trademarks

      • In the case, Simon Tam is seeking to register a mark on his band name “The Slants.” The USPTO refused after finding that the mark is disparaging toward individuals of Asian ancestry.

      • The US Supreme Court has granted cert in Lee v Tam, the case involving Asian-American band The Slants and the issue of offensive trade marks.

        The issue presented is: “Whether the disparagement provision of the Lanham Act, 15 USC 1052(a), which provides that no trademark shall be refused registration on account of its nature unless, inter alia, it ‘[c]onsists of . . . matter which may disparage . . . persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute’ is facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.”

    • 全民彩票官网下载s

      • For the last year, the music industry has been waging a bitter war against YouTube, accusing the popular video site of paying too little in royalties. The conflict has often seemed tribal, with record companies and stars on one side, and Silicon Valley on the other.

        Now, YouTube has brought over a major player from the music side.

        Lyor Cohen, who got his start in the early days of hip-hop and went on to top executive positions at Def Jam and the Warner Music Group — earning a reputation as the most tenacious force in any deal — has joined YouTube as the service’s global head of music, YouTube announced on Wednesday.

        It is the latest effort by a tech company to fortify itself by hiring a music insider. Two years ago, Apple bought Beats, which was founded by Dr. Dre and the producer Jimmy Iovine; in June, Spotify hired Troy Carter, the former manager of Lady Gaga.

        In a statement, Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer, suggested that Mr. Cohen’s role was, to some degree, to be a bridge to the music world.

      • After more than four weeks the extradition appeal hearings of Kim Dotcom and his former Megaupload colleagues have concluded. In his closing arguments, Dotcom’s lawyer全民彩票网址 urged the court to carefully weigh the facts and give his client a “fair go,” which he says the District Court failed to do. However, even if the High Court sides with the defense, the case is still far from over.

      • Last month, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected efforts by Kim Dotcom to regain control over millions of dollars in assets seized by the US Government. Yesterday, Dotcom’s legal team petitioned the Court for a rehearing and rehearing en banc on the issues of forfeiture of assets and fugitive disentitlement.

Team UPC is Interjecting Itself Into the Media Ahead of Tomorrow’s Lobbying Push Against the European Council and Against European Interests

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 10:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Also see: European Digital SME Alliance: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Unconstitutional”, Harms SMEs, Brings Software Patents to Europe, “Should be Based on EU Law and Not on an International Agreement.”

European Digital SME Alliance

Summary: A quick look at the growing bulk of UPC lobbying (by the legal firms which stand to benefit from it) ahead of tomorrow’s European Council meeting which is expected to discuss a unitary patent system

THE EPO has been paying various media companies, including British giants that continue to produce UPC propaganda ahead of the big day tomorrow (embedding talking points from Team UPC). This is beyond a disgrace and should be a very major scandal, but somehow the EPO managed to paralyse the media, including so-called ‘IP’ ‘media’ (trying to play nice with the EPO by simply being silent when catastrophic mistakes are being made). FTI Consulting much?

Reluctantly, as we prefer to make allies rather than foes, earlier today . An article titled “European Council to discuss unitary patent system” got published and it’s little more than a copy-paste job of Bristows talking points. Here is a fragment:

As the UPC is listed as “any other business” for this week’s meeting, there is not likely to be any substantive discussion, according to law firm Bristows.

[...]

Alan Johnson, partner at Bristows, told WIPR: “Everyone has to accept that the result of the UK referendum will delay the commencement of the UPC—and not just by a few months. It is unrealistic politically to expect the UK to ratify as if the vote had never happened, but also without some real certainty that the UK can continue to participate post-Brexit.

“The main question for me is whether the other states involved will be patient and try to work with the UK to find a solution which would allow continued UK participation. It’s not enough, no matter how well-meaning, just to offer words of reassurance that a solution will be worked out in the future if we sign up now.”

He added: “It’s better to get on immediately with the work required to put a modified system together. This is not starting again, but a question of working out a new legal arrangement which the Court of Justice of the European Union will find lawful. If the UK knows exactly what it needs to sign up to, and has the certainty that it will be lawful, it can then take a decision.”

Johnson continued: “I really hope the other states will wait for the UK and work toward this, but if they won’t, that is their choice and there is probably not much the UK can do to stop them. And it should be remembered that if the other states do go down this route, they still have work to do to reach a replacement agreement excluding the UK, including resolving the political question of where the London branch of the central division should go.

“Plus they would have to go through a new round of ratifications, and I can’t see that being a particularly quick process either.”

Hey, who needs the media anymore? Just paste a link to Bristows’ own Web site and be done with it. WIPR should know (and probably does know) that Bristows isn’t a mere observer when it comes to the UPC; it is still interjecting itself into the media for agenda and it’s not alone. Bird & Bird do this as well and this afternoon we found . Some patent firms are still fantasising about the UPC that will probably never become a reality (ever!). Well, even from IAM comes a to , saying “Well, it’s not likely to be London anymore!”

So clearly, as before, IAM does not believe the UK will ratify anything related to this. Why does Bristows keep fighting? Because it bet the farm on it. It even rebranded accordingly, with its silly Bristows UPC blog (as if it’s trying to ‘own’ the UPC).

In responses to the previous Bristows lobbying, which got published yesterday, commenters are nowhere as optimistic as the Bristows lobby. Virtually all the comments are pessimistic. Here they are in full (so far). Here is the first comment:

Finally, people seem to be addressing the elephant in the room that so far seems to have been almost completely ignored by all interested parties including the EPO, CIPA, and big business: regardless of the pros and cons the current political reality in the UK is that the government will not sign the UK up to any system that requires the acceptance of the supremacy of EU law over UK law. The sooner this is accepted the better. Then people can start working on the practical reality of the situation, no matter how much they dislike that reality.

And then:

I don’t know whether you’ve noticed: nobody seems to know what the political realities are.

So far, the fat lady has not sung – and the thin lady is simply saying Brexit means Brexit and telling the three Brexiteers to keep schtum.

The question of who can trigger Article 50 is a live issue before the UK courts.

Uncertainty reigns and chaos beckons.

Fine, but here it is not supremacy of EU law. It is supremacy of an international agreement over national law, which is quite widely accepted.

Any international agreement, be it on free trade or on the privileges of diplomats, usually has supremacy over national law.

You may well be right on the current political reality, but it is besides the point.

“I think that the UPCA will never enter into force,” one person added, “unless of course the UK decides to remain.” Well, it seems very unlikely at this point and there’s not much time left to decide, either.

Legally speaking, it is absolutely impossible for a non-EU UK to stay in the UPCA (see e.g. art. 1), unless the agreement is amended with an unanimous vote (art. 87.3).

Since the UPCA has been already signed by 26 EU States and ratified by 11 States, I think that the UPCA will never enter into force, unless of course the UK decides to remain.

This is why we’re likely to see nothing emanating from this:

This is from Counsel’s opinion on the UK joining the UPC:

“The Unitary Patent Court is required to “apply Union law in its entirety and … respect its primacy” (Article 20). Union law must therefore be applied in preference to the other sources of law mentioned in Article 24.”

Article 24 specifies national law as an other source of law. That is, the UPCA explicitly requires acceptance of the supremacy of EU law over UK law. The current government may not be pressing full-steam ahead with Brexit at the moment but they certainly aren’t going to ratify any agreement, international or otherwise, that requires this.

And finally (for now):

It is not just any international agreement. It is signing up to an agreement, the rules of which are outwith your control. If the UK does leave the EU, eventually, it will effectively be an observer who recognises and implements the EU laws. That would place it in the position of EPC validation states such as Morocco but still having to participate as a court. That isn’t run of the mill.

In the next 24 hours we should expect a lot more lobbying, timed strategically for tomorrow’s meeting. Bristows has already expressed intent to publish some more of their tripe today (at IP Kat). Don’t let them steal democracy for their own selfish motivations (profit through increased litigation that would be ruinous to SMEs).

IP Kat is Lobbying Heavily for the UPC, Courtesy of Team UPC

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not news; mostly agenda in disguise, courtesy of Battistelli’s “” and collaborators

Bristows LLP and EPO

Summary: When does an IP (or patent) blog become little more than an aggregation of interest groups and self-serving patent law firms, whose agenda overlaps that of Team Battistelli?

THE EPO no longer comes under scrutiny from IP Kat, as we noted late last night. But to make matters worse, when it comes to UPC matters in particular, IP Kat became somewhat of an advocacy platform. They hopefully, at the very least, realise this and can acknowledge this.

“…when it comes to UPC matters in particular, IP Kat became somewhat of an advocacy platform.”It is no secret that the UPC would harm SMEs; their representative groups even say so explicitly. But they’re looked down upon by patronising self-serving elements which claim to speak about what’s good for them, if not falsely speak on ‘their behalf’. This is outrageous.

Part of the problem is is just more lobbying with selective evidence, and this was promoted yesterday.

“The countdown has seemingly begun again,” she wrote, “but the stakes seem to be even higher. The IPKat will be back tomorrow to report on the Competitiveness Council’s session tomorrow and future debates on this topic.”

“Has IP Kat become UPC Kat? Or Bristows Kat?”So now it’s a daily lobbying spiel? Has IP Kat become UPC Kat? Or Bristows Kat? When a writer is using the blog for her employer (she’s not the only writer there from Team UPC) we can’t help but feel that we’re seeing very low journalistic standards and basically alignment with at least a certain element at IP Kat with Team Battistelli.

Bristows lobbying for the UPC is not limited to IP Kat. We are seeing more of . It is evident that this firm continues to stomp over British and European democracy with this abomination known as UPC, noting that “UPC EPLC Rules amended to include additional Italian qualification, by @全民彩票网址Liz_Cohen_” (they’re pushing in this direction, essentially meddling in politics). In they are quoting other members of Team UPC, i.e. the echo chamber, that “DAV says UK could still participate in the UPC system after Brexit and ‘a quick decision of the UK is needed’” (again, they’re trying to rush British officials into an unacceptable trap, using panic and trauma).

We have come to expect this dirty playbook from Bristows, but why has IP Kat been dragged down like this? Why does IP Kat keep pushing for the UPC under the guise of news while no longer criticising the EPO? Here is where they say “To be, or not to be?”

“They just keep renaming and repurposing the same garbage, dodging the negative publicity (from the press and politicians, not to mention public interest/advocacy groups such as FFII).”Well, it’s clear that the UPC cannot happen in the UK after the Brexit vote. Why even make it seem like a probability? “Post #Brexit everyone is lining up their bargaining chips,” . “the UPC is just one of those.” (reporting from a CIPA event)

The UPC is little more than a conspiracy of patent law firms trying to steal democracy and then pocket European companies’ money. The EPO helps them for obvious reasons and the public is never being consulted at all. This is the kind of behaviour which motivated Brits to vote for Brexit in the first place. I have personally written about the UPC (in previous incarnations) for nearly a decade; I’m not unfamiliar with it. They just keep renaming and repurposing the same garbage, dodging the negative publicity (from the press and politicians, not to mention public interest/advocacy groups such as FFII).

“To say [the UPC can] “take years to build” is optimistic,” I told , as “my bet is, it’ll never happen, just be rebranded, repackaged” (remember EU Patent, Community Patent and other names).

“The UPC is little more than a conspiracy of patent law firms trying to steal democracy and then pocket European companies’ money.”WIPR‘s David Brooke, in the mean time, about “Opportunities after Brexit,” . Team UPC must recognise that Brexit was the winning side (I was against it by the way) and that UPC won’t happen; neither in the UK nor in the rest of Europe (Spain for sure). We’re disappointed to see what IP Kat has turned into quite recently. When you know you’re misleading people and people call you out on it, why carry on? It’s an exercise in futility when one writes for one’s greed and self interest; or whenever speaking ‘on behalf’ of the public, hoping that nobody will pay attention or reject/refuse the obvious deception. When the only criticism of the UPC can be found in IP Kat comments rather than in IP Kat articles you know someone is suppressing one side of the argument (the side which represents the interests of more than 99% of the European public).

Team UPC are very, very sneaky. They pretend things will happen even before they happen (and they never happen). Remember those UK job advertisements for the UPC? How did that work out for applicants?

Leaked: Conclusions of the Secretive EPO Board 28 Meeting (8th of September 2016)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO Board 28 Meeting

Summary: The agenda and outcome of the secretive meeting of the Board of the Administrative Council of the EPO

LAST night we wrote about the EPO‘s further union-busting escalation, based on evidence extracted from the conclusions of Board 28. We are pleased to report that, after repeated requests, the entire document has been leaked to us. We present it below with highlights on important bits, excluding the cover page (seen above):

The Board of the Administrative Council (“the Board”) held its 74th meeting in Munich on 8 September 2016, with Mr Kongstad in the chair. Mr Debrulle had sent his apologies.

1. Adoption of the provisional agenda (B28/8/16 e)

1. The Board adopted the provisional agenda set out in B28/8/16 e.

2. Follow-up of the 148th meeting of the Administrative Council

2. -

3. Preparation of the 149th meeting of the Administrative Council

3. The Board discussed the draft agenda for the 149th meeting of the Administrative Council.

4. Concerning AC and General Affairs,

- the Board noted new elements of information provided by the President on the disciplinary case of a Council appointee. Following an exchange of views, it indicated that it would reflect on the information, pending receipt of a legal note from the President;

- the Board noted information provided by the President about three current investigations/disciplinary proceedings involving SUEPO members in The Hague. Three requests for review addressed to the Council were also briefly discussed.

5. Concerning Appointments/Elections,

- the Board noted that the vacancy notice for the Presidency of the Boards of Appeal had been published and that the intention was for the Boards of Appeals Committee (BOAC) and the President to submit a joint proposal for the Presidency of the Boards of Appeal to the Council meeting in December 2016. The Board agreed that whilst BOAC members should represent the diversity of the Council, qualifications took precedence over nationality. External BOAC members should be judges with experience in the functioning of judicial bodies rather than IP experts and should be highly regarded by the judges’ community in Europe;

the Board noted the President’s thinking with regard to Vice-Presidencies VP 2 and VP 4 as well as Boards of appeal appointments and reappointments.

6. Concerning Building Matters, the Board agreed that the contract for the rent of the new building of the Boards of Appeal Unit would first be submitted for opinion to the Budget and Finance Committee in October 2016, followed by a decision in the Council either at its meeting in December 2016, or earlier, by written procedure, if the rent negotiations imposed time constraints.

7. Concerning Personnel/Policy Matters and Financial Matters/Budget Planning,

- the Board noted information given by the President on the Social Conference, which would take place in Munich on 11 October 2016, as well as on the Social, Financial and Risk Assessment studies. It noted that these would be made available to staff and would be presented first for information to the Council at its meeting in October 2016 and later submitted for opinion/decision to the Council at its meeting in December 2016. The Financial study would first be discussed in the Budget and Finance Committee meeting in October 2016 with a view to preparing the discussion in the Council meeting in December 2016. The President informed that the Social and Financial Studies were complementary and that the Organisation now, for the first time, had a “positive equity” covering all its liabilities in the next 20 years;

- regarding the Revision of the Service Regulations-Standards of conduct and administrative fact findings as well as the Reviews of the disciplinary procedures framework and of Articles 52 and 53 ServRegs, the Board noted and discussed comments received from a Board member as well as presentations given by the Office on revised proposals. These proposals already addressed some of the Board member’s comments and issues raised at the Council meeting in March 2016. The Board had an in-depth discussion on the (i) right to silence/duty to co-operate, (ii) hierarchy of norms and resulting competences of the President and the Council, (iii) need for efficient proceedings, but also for a perception of fairness of the proceedings from the outside, (iv) need for an atmosphere of mutual trust etc. The Board agreed to discuss proposals which were further revised at its next meeting on 22 September 2016;

- the Board also noted information given by the President about various legal proceedings initiated by SUEPO against the EPO, both in The Hague and Munich.

4. Any other business

The Board noted information provided by the President on a global package to be submitted to the Council meeting in December 2016, in closed session, concerning IT and physical security.

A few minor remarks about the above-mentioned bits that are highlighted in yellow:

  1. VP 4 is a thug with history (even predating the EPO)
  2. Tenders at the EPO are farcical and sometimes don't exist (for large projects)
  3. The social ‘study’ was mentioned here on Friday and it's a load of nonsense or hogwash
  4. Regarding the social climate, there has been an escalation in union-busting (it gets worse by the week/month), so clearly enough that Council has accomplished nothing and Battistelli still acts like a lunatic autocrat
  5. Battistelli is wasting a lot money on bodyguards for him and Bergot (and conveniently this is discussed only “in closed session”); insiders tell us there is absolutely no need for these, but it helps perpetuate the atmosphere of fear and the perception that the staff is armed, violent and dangerous (fiction for an opportunistic politician)

That is all for now. Board 28 is clearly part of the problem because it refuses to tackle any of the hard questions.

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