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02.28.17

IAM Just Can’t Stop Pushing for Software Patents in India

Posted in Asia, IBM, Patents at 7:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I-AM lobbyist

Mumbai

Summary: The shaming tactics against India, which come from many directions (notably front groups in the West), still try hard to convince Indians to shoot themselves in the foot and allow foreign companies to privatise algorithms

IT HAS barely been two months since IAM last did this and here they go again, pushing for patent maximalism in India as if a bunch of writers in London area (lawyer全民彩票网址s’ capital) can offer sound advice to Indians who were, for a long time, colonised by the British Empire.

“As a reminder, India does not permit software patenting and it should keep it that way to combat digital colonialism.”The latest approach of this IAM lobbying is already familiar. Microsoft’s ‘puppet’ Tata (TCS) is obsessed with — and lobbies for — software patents [: “It’s clear that Tata gets the importance of IP, but it is one of the few Indian businesses which does” (how loaded a headline, “importance of IP”).

Putting aside the fact that patents and “IP” are not the same thing (trademarks, for example, are entirely separable), watch what they say:

Even more notable, though, is the absence of Indian companies among the lists of big patent filers, not only in key foreign markets, but also at 全民彩票官网下载. Clearly, Tata does see the benefits that patents and other forms of IP bring, but right now it is one of the few Indian entities that does. If the Americans appreciate the resources that India can bring to the table, surely business leaders based in the country全民彩票网址 – as well as its government and other decision-making authorities – must too. A talent drain may suit Silicon Valley, but it cannot be in India’s best interests. It’s hard to believe that persuading the country全民彩票网址’s brightest scientific, engineering and computing stars that they are best off working at 全民彩票官网下载 for local businesses will not bear substantial fruit further down the line. Just ask Tata and its CTO.

It means that the patent system in India now exists mostly for foreigners — a fact which we remarked on before. This also mentions IBM, which keeps lobbying for software patents in India in order to better occupy/control/dominate India.

As a reminder, India does not permit software patenting and it should keep it that way to combat digital colonialism. When it comes to software, India can do just fine on its own. It has some of the world’s brightest developers and it employs many millions of software professionals.

More Hardware Companies Adopt Software Patents and Become Like Patent Trolls

Posted in Hardware, Patents at 7:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Intel too has been lobbying for software patents (and its employee Peter Detkin co-founded Intellectual Ventures)

“We cannot hope to own it all, so instead we should try to create the largest possible market and insert ourselves as a small tax on that market.”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft at the time (now a patent troll at Intellectual Ventures)

Summary: A glance at the ‘trollisation’ of large companies that are tempted by the prospects of patent bullying, even if it’s known to be damaging to one’s brand and a distraction from productive activities

Softbank and Inventergy

Qualcomm’s software patent attacks were the subject of some recent articles of ours, e.g. [1, 2] and so was Softbank, which had just bought ARM from the UK (one of the biggest technology companies here). As we noted earlier this month, Softbank was potentially becoming a Japanese patent troll. It looks like it may be about to happen, primarily as a by-product of inheritance of longtime patent bullies.

As :

It is not clear what role, if any, Fortress played in the decision to file the suit against Apple, but it’s notable that such a high-profile case has been filed so close to the restructuring vote. The investment giant now looks set to become a significant force in the assertion market just as it is in the process of being taken over by Softbank, the Japanese tech and telecoms giant, in a $3.3 billion deal.

Maybe it’s time for Softbank to just abandon negotiations with Inventergy and dump this troll altogether. When firms resort to this kind of behaviour it is often a sign of misery and desperation. Softbank, if it was to allow itself to become another Qualcomm, would tarnish ARM’s powerful and highly valuable brand.

BlackBerry and Nokia

Speaking of large companies that flirt with patent trolling, the Canadian press has belatedly realised that Canadian giant BlackBerry is now effectively (although only in part) a patent troll. Earlier today it , right there in the headline in fact, that “BlackBerry may have a brighter future as patent troll than as a software developer” and to quote the opening sentence: “BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY), the former smartphone and software technology developer run by CEO John Chen, may have a brighter future as patent troll than as a software developer with a portfolio of some 44,000 patents worldwide, many of which have been described by Envision IP as high quality based on reverse citations.”

“Speaking of large companies that flirt with patent trolling, the Canadian press has belatedly realised that Canadian giant BlackBerry is now effectively (although only in part) a patent troll.”Several months ago we showed that speaks of how one large troll attacks another, as we pointed out a few weeks ago. This new report says that “Blackberry And Nokia ]are] In Court over patent infringement issues. BlackBerry is asking Nokia to obtain license for use of as many as 11 patents” (Nokia will probably demand something similar from BlackBerry, if it still makes any phones by then).

USAA

In other news from today — news that was quite widely spread in fact [, , , , ] — in spite of absence of software patents in India USAA managed to get an Indian firm to swallow the bait. As one report put it: “San Antonio-based financial services company USAA inked a deal with a software development firm in India to exclusively license some of its patented technology, which will be used to create new commercial software.

“India is a smart choice for such things because India barely has any patent trolls and it certainly does not tolerate patents lawsuits over software development.”“Persistent Systems plans to use the patents and security algorithms USAA developed to detect fraudulent activity on its customers’ accounts using an authentication system that considers risk and previous activity — beyond passwords and even biometric scanning.”

Whether or not this was patented, in India these patents have no potency, unless the eventual product is to be exported to the US, at which point injunctions can be pursued. But the point of the matter is, did the media need to focus so much on these software patents? It sounds as though USAA just merely contracted/hired some software developers to implement things. India is a smart choice for such things because India barely has any patent trolls and it certainly does not tolerate patents lawsuits over software development. We’ll say more about India in our next post.

Yes, Michelle Lee is Still in Charge of the US Patent Office, in Spite of the Patent Microcosm’s Endless Attacks on Her

Posted in America, Patents at 6:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Michelle K. Lee
Reference: (as of minutes ago)

Summary: In spite of many attacks on Michelle Lee — all of which courtesy of rude patent maximalists — she remains in charge of the Office and we wish her continued success in that role

SINCE the beginning of this year we have seen many false rumours about Michelle Lee. Evil tongues had been attempting to brew a scandal out of nothing, or simply ended up spreading misinformation so as to promote and usher in corrupt people like Rader into Lee’s position. This served to remind us just how disgusting, cruel and dirty our opposition (idealogical or professional) really is.

“It should be widely recognised that patents are a time-limited monopoly but not a property.”According to from one with many connection in and around the USPTO, “Michelle Lee appears to still be leading the PTO and again signed this week’s patents.” That has been the case for quite a while, in spite of Watchtroll’s fake news and perpetual attack pieces on the Director of the USPTO, Michelle Lee ([1, 2, 3, 4]. Are they really so eager to alienate themselves, casting themselves as enemies of the system? Because that’s just what they are accomplishing. “Meanwhile,” as Patently-O put it today, “Michelle Lee appears to still be leading the PTO and again signed this week’s patents. A somewhat odd and steady steady drumbeat from several sources has been demanding Michelle Lee’s resignation or removal. Lee has acted in pro-patent-applicant ways in several respects. Notably, she has issued more patents per year than any other USPTO director in history; acted to limit the much of the impact of the Supreme Court’s Alice/Mayo on patents being prosecuted (except in the business method area); and has substantially reduced patent application pendency. The calls for her removal, however, appear to be coming from the PTO’s new role as arbiter of patent disputes at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. Still, during her tenure, the PTAB has been somewhat tamed as compared to its initial cancellation pace under Director Kappos. The problem largely seems to be that Lee has not been an outspoken advocate of patents-as-property.”

That last part about “patents-as-property” (a term that Crouch has been using a lot lately) is pure nonsense and , where people are apparently being compelled to pay the toll several times over, paying tax on imaginary things! To quote the key part (the rest is mostly behind a paywall anyway): “Christopher M Neumeyer reviews the lessons to be learned from two recent cases where Taiwan companies were ordered to pay taxes on licensing fees paid to a foreign licensor” (the flow of money here makes no sense at all, for numerous reasons).

“The one thing that the patent microcosm really hates right now is PTAB, and a lot of these patent maximalists view Lee as PTAB’s enabler or embodiment; that’s why they want her ousted, by any means possible (even lies, distortions and conspiracy theories).”The above from Patently-O also mentions PTAB, referring to the (in our opinion) corrupt one such decision, noting: “In a new pair of decisions, the Federal Circuit has again rejected the PTAB’s obviousness findings as inadequate and remanded for further proceedings. As she has done in the past, Judge Newman agreed with the merits dissented from the remand – arguing that the challenger should not be so freely given what amounts to a new trial.”

The one thing that the patent microcosm really hates right now is PTAB, and a lot of these patent maximalists view Lee as PTAB’s enabler or embodiment; that’s why they want her ousted, by any means possible (even lies, distortions and conspiracy theories). To them, ends justify nefarious means. Reformers, as in those looking for reformist changes in the patent system (Lee repeatedly spoke of her displeasure at the sight of trolls, i.e. the very opposite of Rader) need to get involved and help protect Lee from these literary thugs, who sometimes send letters to officials, using terms like “swamp” in reference to Lee (not necessarily because she looks ‘foreign’ and is of the gender that Donald Trump belittles).

Links 28/2/2017: Wine 1.8.7, AWS Goes Belly-up

Posted in News Roundup at 5:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Are physical keyboards for mobile devices making a comeback? TCL and BlackBery just launched a new phone with a QWERTY keyboard. A keyboard module for the Moto Z smartphone is generating some buzz. And an Indiegogo campaign for a 7 inch, pocket-sized Windows notebook has raised over $1.7 million (so far).

    Now the folks at UK-based Planet Computers want to bring back the idea of a small, clamshell computer. And they’ve partnered with the designer of the classic Psion Series 5 to do it.

  • Desktop

    • Are you a bit tired of the same old options of salt and pepper, meaning having to choose only between the venerable Windows and MAC computer operating systems?

      Looking to branch out a bit, maybe take a walk on the wild side, learn some new things and save money?

      If so, the Linux operating system, which has been around for a long time and is used and loved by many hard-core techies and developers, may now be ready for prime time with the masses.

  • Kernel Space

    • We are now through week one of two for the Linux 4.11 kernel merge window. I’ve already written a number of news posts this past week covering features I find interesting for Linux 4.11. If you are short on time and behind in your Phoronix reading, here’s a quick overview of the material so far for this next major kernel bump.

    • CentOS developer and maintainer Johnny Hughes announced the availability of an important Linux kernel security update for all users of the CentOS 5 operating system series.

      The CentOS Errata and Security Advisory 2017:0323 has been marked as important, and it urges users to update their CentOS 5 installations to either kernel-2.6.18-419.el5, kernel-PAE-2.6.18-419.el5, or kernel-xen-2.6.18-419.el5, which are available for both 32-bit (i686) and 64-bit (x86_64) 全民彩票网址, along with the source package.

    • Alexandre Oliva from the GNU Linux-libre project, a non-profit organization chartered to develop and promote a deblobbed and libre Linux kernel, announced the general availability of GNU Linux-libre 4.10.

    • Linux kernel developer Ben Hutchings announced today the availability of two maintenance updates for the long-term supported Linux 3.16 and 3.2 kernel series.

      Linux kernels 3.16.41 and 3.2.86 are now available for download if you’re using a GNU/Linux operating system powered by any of these long-term supported (LTS) branches. However, they are small patches that include minor changes to the networking and filesystems areas.

    • It’s going on five years since there was the call for deprecating FBDEV within the mainline Linux kernel and various ongoing efforts to get more drivers to making use of the Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) rather than FBDEV. But with Linux 4.11, FBDEV still remains in place.

    • David Airlie sent in another pull request of DRM material for Linux 4.11, which follows last week’s main DRM feature update for Linux 4.11.

    • Graphics Stack

      • For many months now there has been vkQuake as a port of Quake 1 to Vulkan while now there is a port of that pulling in SteamVR support.

        If you want to relive Quake 1 in virtual reality, vkQuakeVR is a project you will want to watch. vkQuakeVR that is a fork of vkQuake, which in turn is based on QuakeSpam. The Vulkan implementation is the same as what vkQuake provides, but vkQuakeVR is tieing in SteamVR / OpenVR support.

      • While most are focused on the OpenXR VR announcement from The Khronos Group as well as the new Vulkan extensions, less people seem to be talking about their call for participation around a new “3D Portability Initiative”, which if it succeeds could be a win for Linux gamers and others.

      • The Khronos Group not only is shipping Vulkan 1.0.42 with many new extensions for this week’s GDC but the embargo just expired on even more exciting announcements!

      • mesa-17.0.0-3 can now be installed side-by-side with nvidia-378.13 driver without any libgl/libglx hacks, and with the help of Fedora and upstream xorg-server patches.

      • Thanks to the work done in part by Fedora, Arch Linux has enabled in testing support for the GLVND-enabled Mesa that can happily co-exist alongside the NVIDIA proprietary driver.

  • Applications

    • Links is an open source text and graphical web browser with a pull-down menu system. It renders complex pages, has partial HTML 4.0 support (including tables and frames and support for multiple characters sets such as UTF-8), supports color and monochrome terminals and allows horizontal scrolling.

      It’s very useful for low resources computers because day by day the web pages are bigger and heavier. If your computer doesn’t have a suitable performance you’ll have some mistakes while you’re surfing. So, Links is much faster than any common web browser (with GUI) because it doesn’t load all the content of a website, for example, videos, flash, etc.

    • System optimizer apps are quite the thing on platforms such as Windows and Android. Their usefulness, however, is debatable considering how notorious they are when it comes to using system resources.

      On the Linux platform, however, we can almost always find the applications, a developer puts their time in developing to be mostly useful.

      Stacer is one such app created to better optimized your Linux PC in the sense that it packs quite the list of features you’d normally expect from an optimizer and more to give your system a refresh whenever you feel the need.

    • Each Desktop environment has the own launcher and doing their job nicely but it take a while to launch the application whenever we are searching. Ulauncher is a lightweight application launcher that loads instant search results, usese low resources, and remembers your previous choices and automatically selects the best option for you.

      It’s written in Python and uses GTK as a GUI toolkit. When you are typing wrong application name, after few words or spelling, it will figure out what you meant. Use Ulauncher to open your files and directories faster with fuzzy search. Type ~ or / to start browsing. Press Alt+Enter to access the alt menu.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • I always have quite a bit on my pending list to read – academic papers, blogs, planets, and the sort. Usually, when I go through the planets, such as the Fedora, GNOME or the two neuroscience planets I use – neuroscience, neuroscientists, I don’t have the time to read all the articles right then. I used to either bookmark links, or note them down somewhere to read later. One day, though, I ran into Pocket, which lets you save the article to read later and makes it available to you on multiple devices. It’s extremely convenient.

        Of course, the one issue with Pocket is that it isn’t Free software. So, like I do, I went looking for an alternative. After a few hours, I ran into Wallabag on Github. It’s written in PHP, and is licensed under the MIT license. It’s quite easy to deploy, and there’s a Gitter channel where you can get some help too.

      • More than 40% of software developers use the massively popular software development tool Git as their primary source control tool. Those new to the Git fold who are looking for a professional, up-to-date guide to get them rolling have a new resource in Brent Laster’s new book Professional Git.

      • Though social media has reduced the need of sending emails but still for almost all professional reasons we send emails. Our emails are the online letters and contain useful information hence the information must be protected. In this article, we’ll discuss how we can send encrypted emails in Linux

    • Wine or Emulation

      • The Wine maintenance release 1.8.7 is now available.
        This is the final release in the 1.8.x series.

      • The Wine development team announced today the release of Wine 1.8.7, which appears to the last maintenance update to the Wine 1.8 stable series, adding various improvements and bug fixes for existing users.

        Before we dive ourselves into the changes implemented in Wine 1.8.7, you should be aware of the fact that if you’re still using the Wine 1.8.x series of your GNU/Linux operating system, it is highly recommended that you prepare to upgrade to the new Wine 2.0 release (not Wine 2.1 or 2.2 because those are development releases).

    • Games

      • I spoke to inXile about requesting a Linux review key and they sent me on to the publisher, Techland. The good news is that they’ve agreed to supply a key. The bad news is that there was no Linux version available before release, so it will take me a short while to get even a basic report out on it.

      • Awesome news to start the day, not only is Torment now available, but it seems like Telltale’s ‘The Walking Dead’ [Steam] may be heading to Linux.

      • The beat ‘em up River City Ransom: Underground [Steam] has officially launched with the promised day-1 Linux support. So far it seems the reviews are positive.

      • I’ve been testing out SteamVR on Linux with the HTC Vive the past few days. From my time spent and trying out various graphics cards with Destinations, Dota 2, and Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter, my impressions is that for this Linux VR beta at least a GeForce GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 is really needed for good performance.

      • I had to rub my eyes a bit at this, Eschalon: Book I is officially 10 years old! It is also now completely free to download and play. Officially, it hits 10 years in November, but the developer wanted to put it up for free a little early.

      • I tested it out, as I was keen to see what’s so different about their combat system and see if it lives up to that claim.

        Honestly, it doesn’t really seem all that different to other turn-based battle systems. You start by summoning creatures and you can re-summon them to attempt to heal them, but this is all based on dice rolls. You might end up summoning three, you might end up with one. This whole system feels unfair to the core.

      • Beat Cop is a new adventure game from 11bit studios and Pixel Crow and it will arrive on March 30th with day-1 Linux support.

      • Which means it should hopefully work on Linux too, but no word on that yet.

      • Now that Vulkan 1.0.42 is public and it contains the extensions needed for SteamVR on Linux, the RADV changes are now public.

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Linux is all about what you want and having it from the ocean of free and open source software. The same applies while performing a comparison of desktop environments as they comprise of different applications and a GUI via which the user interacts with the operating system. There are many options available and our list of best Linux desktop environment and their comparison includes the likes of KDE, Cinnamon, Xfce, etc.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • We take a look at GNOME Night Light, a blue light filter that is included in the GNOME 3.24 desktop and adjusts the color temperature of the display.

      • As I mentioned in my previous post about the New Users Panel, we are happy to be able to include a new Printers panel in GNOME 3.24.

        The Printers panel is also part of the GNOME Control Center redesign effort which intents to introduce the new shell in 3.26

      • Containerised applications solve these issues. Maybe. He mentioned Flatpak, snappy, and Appimage. The former is the oldest technology dating all the way back to 2003. The solutions have in common that they bundle the app and run it in some kind of container or sandbox. From his criteria, the compatibility issue is solved, because the libraries are in the bundles. Portability is solved, because all dependencies are shipped in the bundle. And the pace of change is up to the app developer.

      • Almost four years ago, in GNOME 3.12, the ability to have custom terminal titles was removed from gnome-terminal. As is wont to happen, users who dealt with scores of similar looking terminal tabs and windows were quick to express their grief at this loss.

  • Distributions

    • A proposal floated this week on an OpenJDK mailing list calls for porting the JDK (Java Development Kit), including the Java Runtime Environment, Java compiler and APIs, to both the distribution and the musl C standard library, which is supported by Alpine Linux. The key focus here is musl; Java has previously been ported to the standard glibc library, which you can install in Alpine, but the standard Alpine release switched two years ago to musl because it’s much faster and more compact.

    • New Releases

      • If you want to learn learn Linux from top to bottom, what better way to learn than by rolling your own mini distribution?

        Linux From Scratch, a combination software project and book, now in a newly released 8.0 revision, provides a step-by-step guide to building an entire functional Linux system from the ground up. It’s a valuable and revealing project, though it doesn’t directly cover the cutting edge of the Linux world.

    • Arch Family

      • I really like to make positive, interesting, and informative posts here. Unfortunately, the real world does not always cooperate with me on that. Today is one of those days.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • Last week was SUSE Hackweek and one of my projects was to get Let’s Encrypt configured and working on my NAS.

        Let’s Encrypt is a project aimed at providing SSL certificates for free, in an automated way.

      • LinuxFest Northwest 2017, coming up the first weekend in May, promises to continue its tradition of providing a unique, active, fun experience for open-source enthusiasts at all experience levels. openSUSE continues its long-term sponsorship of the event, and we are looking forward to having a lot of fun! Submit your session proposals by March 1, 2017!

        LinuxFest Northwest, if you’re not familiar, is one of the largest community-centric conferences in the USA, and a free+libre event (no attendance fees and registration is optional) promoting open source, open hardware, and community involvement. Now in its 16th year, with an audience rapidly approaching 2,000 people, the event continues to grow, attract a broader audience, and redefine the experience of a weekend conference. With a Linux Game Den, a Robotics Lab, a Job Fair (new this year), community mini-summits, as well as the expo hall and 8 – 10 parallel tracks of sessions, LFNW is a week of conference stuffed into a weekend.

    • Red Hat Family

      • In 2015, Red Hat IoT conducted a survey around the Internet-of-Things (IoT) at the enterprise level and, from that study, Red Hat determined that enterprise IoT was proceeding in a deliberate manner. The new January 2017 Red Hat survey on enterprise IoT seems to indicate that not much has changed in terms of pace and strategy. It was conducted by TechValidate on behalf of Red Hat, and polled more than 200 IT decision makers and professionals from a variety of large organizations. It showed that interest in IoT is picking up, but actual roll-outs are being handled cautiously and carefully.

      • MWC Netherlands-based telco Altice has announced the continuation of its alliance with Cisco with the long-term aim to build a ‘holistic network function virtualisation (NFV) platform’.

      • As I shared in the first part of my “Open Leadership Development” series, we started building our leadership development system at Red Hat many years ago, by finding great leadership training designed for conventional organizations, and adapting it to fit our open organization.

      • Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of Ansible Tower 3.1, the latest version of its enterprise-grade, agentless automation platform. Ansible Tower by Red Hat helps enterprises cut through the complexities of modern IT environments with powerful automation capabilities that can improve productivity and reduce downtime. New additions to the latest version of the platform enable enterprises to better scale DevOps automation and offer the ability to link multiple Playbooks into longer, more complex jobs, enhancing productivity across the business.

      • Finance

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • MWC (Mobile World Congress) 2017 kicked off in Barcelona and Canonical is there to showcase their latest developments in mobile, cloud, server, and desktop. Today, the company announced that Dell’s Edge Gateway 3000 would be on display at the event.

            Powered by the Ubuntu Snappy Core 16 operating system, which Canonical designed specifically for use in embedded and industrial devices, including single-board computers like the well-known Raspberry Pi, the small Dell Edge Gateway 3000 series come in three variants, each one targeted at a specific market.

          • In computing, convergence — having a single device to serve many roles — is a popular idea. Using the power of a smartphone to serve as a desktop, for instance, is a great way to save money and reduce waste. Unfortunately, there really have not been any successful convergence devices in practice. Microsoft famously tried with Windows 10 Mobile, but consumers didn’t seem to care about Continuum.

            Luckily, Canonical seems fairly unfazed, as the company continues to see Ubuntu as an operating system that can run on phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and more. Like Windows 10 Mobile, Ubuntu phones have failed to pique the interest of consumers, but Linux-based solutions are arguably more appropriate for convergence thanks to the kernel’s ability to work well on ARM. To highlight the success of Ubuntu in this regard, Canonical has been given an award at Mobile World Congress 2017.

          • Canonical announced a new partnership with Technologic Systems, Inc. to deliver the open-source and free Ubuntu Snappy Core 16 operating system on the TS-4900 high-performance Computer on Module (CoM).

            Based on the NXP i.MX6 CPU, which implements the ARM CortexTM A9 architecture running at 1 GHz, the TS-4900 Compute Module has been engineered by Technologic Systems, Inc. for use in embedded systems applications, in particular those where wireless connection is required, such as industrial IoT (Internet of Things) gateways.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • After announcing the release of Zorin OS 12 Business Edition last week, the developers behind the popular Ubuntu-based operating system unleashed the first point release to the Zorin OS 12 series.

              That’s right, we’re talking about Zorin OS 12.1, which comes three months after the launch of Zorin OS 12 in November 2016 as the biggest release ever of the Linux distro. Zorin OS 12.1 is now based on Canonical’s recently released Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system, which ships with updated kernel and graphics stacks from Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak).

            • deepin is a Linux distribution devoted to provide beautiful, easy to use, safe and reliable system for global users.

              deepin 15.4 Beta has the newly designed Control Center, and it installed a series of Deepin Original Applications. It is easy to use with great beauty and has improved the user experience a lot. Besides, the kernel version has been upgraded to the latest stable version, it has improved the stability and compatibility. Due to the active feedback from alpha test users, deepin 15.4 beta has an outstanding improvement on completeness and compatibility.

            • The developers of the deepin Linux operating system have announced the availability of a first Beta build for the upcoming deepin 15.4 release, which promises new and exciting features, as well as a large number of improvements.

              The biggest new features of the deepin 15.4 operating system appear to be a revamped Control Center that makes it easier for users to set up various general settings for the desktop and the rest of the system, and a brand-new installation UI that offers smart detection for existing installation, helpful tips, and a QR code if you want to give feedback.

              “The control center has rewritten and redesigned, it has weather, notifications and convenient operations, etc. in 全民彩票官网下载page and it becomes easy to change the settings, and it makes more perfect for the system with brand new interaction and design,” reads the announcement.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Axiomtek’s PICO300 is a Pico-ITX SBC with Intel Braswell, SATA-600, extended temperature support, and both a mini-PCIe and 全民彩票官网下载grown expansion connector.

      Axiomtek has launched a variation on its recently announced Intel Apollo Lake based PICO312 SBC that switches to the older Intel Braswell generation and offers a slightly reduced feature set. The board layout has also changed somewhat, with LVDS, SATA, and USB ports all changing location.

    • The MSC C10M-AL COM Express Mini Type 10 module offers Intel Apollo Lake, up to 8GB soldered RAM, dual displays, and optional industrial temp support.

    • Compulab’s “IOT-GATE-iMX7” gateway runs mainline Linux on its CL-SOM-iMX7 COM, and offers optional GbE, 3G, WiFi, BT, and ZigBee.

      Compulab has launched a Linux-driven Internet of Things gateway built around its CL-SOM-iMX7 COM, featuring NXP’s power-sipping i.MX7 SoC. The embedded world is awash in i.MX6-based IoT gateways, but this is the first i.MX7 based model we’ve seen.

    • Axiomtek’s PICO300 is a Pico-ITX SBC with Intel Braswell, SATA-600, extended temperature support, and both a mini-PCIe and 全民彩票官网下载grown expansion connector.

      Axiomtek has launched a variation on its recently announced Intel Apollo Lake based PICO312 SBC that switches to the older Intel Braswell generation and offers a slightly reduced feature set. The board layout has also changed somewhat, with LVDS, SATA, and USB ports all changing location.

    • Today is Raspberry Pi’s fifth birthday: it’s five years since we launched the original Raspberry Pi, selling a hundred thousand units in the first day, and setting us on the road to a lifetime total (so far) of over twelve million units. To celebrate, we’re announcing a new product: meet Raspberry Pi Zero W, a new variant of Raspberry Pi Zero with wireless LAN and Bluetooth, priced at only $10.

    • In celebrating their five-year milestone, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced their latest product: the Raspberry Pi Zero W.

      The Raspberry Pi Zero W is similar to the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero but adds in wireless LAN and Bluetooth support. But for getting this variant with WLAN and Bluetooth, the cost is $10 USD.

    • Today, on the fifth anniversary of the release of the original Raspberry Pi, the Foundation has released Pi Zero W, a Pi Zero with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, for $10.

      The original Pi Zero was great (and still is!)—but many people found its lack of wireless connectivity an inconvenience. Now with Zero W, you can connect to the Internet without using any adapters, and you can even use a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard rather than wired USB, or use a Bluetooth speaker for audio.

    • 全民彩票网址Phones

      • Mobile OS maker Jolla, whose Sailfish platform remains one of the few smartphone alternatives in play these days, has signed an exclusive license to a Chinese consortium to develop a Sailfish-based OS for the country全民彩票网址.

        Jolla says the Chinese consortium will be aiming to invest $250M in developing a Sailfish ecosystem for the country全民彩票网址, though it’s not specifying exactly is backing the consortia at this point, nor over what timeframe the investment will happen — beyond saying one of its early investors, a local private equity investor Shan Li, will take a “leading role” in building it up.

        “There are very big players behind it,” Jolla chairman Antti Saarnio tells TechCrunch, speaking ahead of a press conference held to announce the news here at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow in Barcelona.

      • Tizen

        • It has been over six months since the launch of the last Tizen Smartphone which was the Samsung Z2 and hence we should soon be seeing a successor to refresh the series. Earlier today, we reported on the leaked specifications and features of one such upcoming Tizen device which is the highly anticipated Samsung Z5. Now, we are getting hints on another Tizen device in the making bearing the Model name SM-Z400F which should logically be the Samsung Z4.

        • Dino Simulator Dino World is a game where you are a dinosaur causing chaos all over the place. There is one objective and that is to kill, destroy, and to destroy more!!! By causing destuction to innocent people’s lives (and proberably killing those innocent people), you get points! (YAY!).

      • Android

        • Remember the Huawei Watch? It was one of the best Android Wear watches, with a simple and minimalist dress watch appeal. The Huawei Watch 2 (and Watch 2 Classic) are nothing like it.

          The Watch 2 is big, bulky, and plasticky. I was reminded of the LG Watch Sport I recently reviewed. Huawei’s sport watch has similar features, including NFC, GPS, and a heart rate monitor, and a similar big, chunky, sporty look. However, Huawei’s new watch feels a bit lighter and is more ergonomically shaped, and is thus more comfortable to wear than LG’s Watch Sport.

        • [Ed: What an utterly stupid question (headline) if not clickbait? As if Windows or Symbian OS were a better fit?]
        • [Ed: Microsoft booster Pedro Hernandez (when the site does not return an error as it just did) on Microsoft E.E.E. against Android]
        • Intrinsyc’s Android-ready Open-Q 650 IP Camera Reference Design is built on a Snapdragon 650, and supports up to three 4K H.264/H.265 30fps streams.

          Intrinsyc Technologies has followed up on last year’s Open-Q 410 Wearable Camera Reference Design with a more powerful Open-Q 650 IP Camera Reference Design. Like the 410 model, the 650 IP version runs Android on a Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC. However, it features a faster, hexa-core Snapdragon 650 SoC in place of the quad-core, Cortex-A53 Snapdragon 410.

        • Lately I’ve been giving this question quite a bit of thought. I depend on both Chrome OS and Android. I use them throughout every day and would find my process a bit more challenging without them. When it was first announced that Chrome OS would be able to run Android apps, my initial thoughts were positive; I considered this move by Google to be the most logical step forward. It was clearly the best way to compete with the Microsoft Surface and to bring more users into the fold. Although chromebooks continually sell incredibly well, some consider Chrome OS to be less than a legitimate platform. Why? The lack of native apps. And that is why Google gave life to the Android Play Store on Chrome OS (at least for certain devices).

Free Software/Open Source

  • Powering Potential Inc. (PPI) aims to enhance education opportunities for students in Tanzania with the help of the Raspberry Pi and open source technology.

    “I believe technology is a vital part of the modern human experience. It enlightens. It ties us together. It broadens our horizons and teaches us what we can be. I believe everyone deserves access to these resources,” says Janice Lathen, Founding Director and President of PPI.

  • Open-source projects underpin many of today’s popular apps, software packages, and online services.

    If a vendor releases code to the open-source community, license restrictions are removed and software can be integrated into other systems. From Google’s end-to-end encryption system E2EMail to the Netflix cross-scripting site vulnerability scanner Sleepy Puppy, open-source development is thriving and thousands of developers contribute their time to improving coding and ferreting out bugs every month.

  • A friend pointed me to the Open Source Guides website, a collection of resources for individuals, communities, and companies who want to learn how to run and contribute to an open source project. I thought it was very interesting for new contributors, so I thought I’d share it here.

  • Richard Craib, the South African technology guru and founder of nontraditional hedge fund Numerai, is hoping for nothing short of completely restructuring the hedge fund industry. Numerai has recently created a new type of digital currency, a so-called “digital token,” which is based on the internet and which aims to help crowdsource data-sharing and decisionmaking among Wall Street professionals. If the idea catches on, it could mean a significant shift for the way that investors do business; typically, it has been everyone-for-himself, with managers guarding their strategies and ideas closely in an attempt to gain the upper edge over every competitor. Is it possible that Craib could bring about a Wall Street in which investors actually work together in a collaborative way?

  • The Linux Foundation has announced the creation of the new Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) Project with the merger of Open Orchestrator Project (OPEN-O) and open source ECOMP. This new platform will help in designing, automating, orchestrating, and managing network services and virtual functions by creating a comprehensive and a harmonized framework that allows virtual network functions to be automated by using real-time, policy-driven software.

  • Service providers of all sizes and types should take note of some changes occurring across the open-source community—changes that promise to accelerate the adoption of software-defined networks (SDN).

    The first is a decision by AT&T to open source the ECOMP management and orchestration (MANO) framework it developed via the Linux Foundation. Through a variety of working groups, the foundation has been accelerating the development of core network function virtualization (NFV) software and associated SDN technologies. But a big piece missing from that equation has been the management plane.

  • [Ed: Remember what Microsoft did there]

    OSI Affiliate Member, the California Association of Voting Officials (CAVO), has shared some exciting news regarding their advocacy work in San Francisco: according to the San Francisco Examiner, the city of San Francisco is pushing forward with plans to develop their open source election system. In addition, the paper is reporting that the San Francisco Elections Commission voted unanimously on Feb 17th to request $4 million to fund the initial stages of the open source voting system.

    For many years board members of CAVO have been urging San Francisco to expedite, “the creation and deployment of a GPL v3 open source / paper ballot printing system that would set the standard for voting systems nationally.” According to CAVO, currently only New Hampshire has deployed a voting system using open source software, Prime III.

  • The ongoing struggle to provide encrypted email solutions that aren’t on a PGP level of complexity and difficulty is a real challenge.

    Google’s attempt at it, called E2EMail, was introduced more than a year ago as an effort to give users a Chrome app that allows for the simple exchange of private emails. On Friday, Google cut it loose to open source.

  • Google has announced that E2EMail, an experimental end-to-end encryption system, has now been given to the open-source community with no strings attached.

  • In some organizations, faster development is the primary motivation for using Open Source Software (OSS.) For others, cost savings or flexibility is the most important factor.

    Last week, we detailed how OSS speeds development. Now let’s explore how open source software reduces development costs.

  • Open sourcing of data for Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping will create a huge potential for employment and transparency in administration, secretary of OSGEO-India V. Ravi Kumar has said.

    Proprietary software for GIS costs up to Rs. .30 lakh. Instead, utilising tools developed using open software and training youth would help in creating employment locally, he said. Money will be spent on those working using GIS but not for the software, he said.

  • After the revision of Genode’s most fundamental protocols in the previous release it was time to move our attention upwards the software stack. The current release largely revisits the integration of the C runtime with the Genode component API as well as the virtual-file-system (VFS) infrastructure. The two biggest challenges were making Genode’s VFS capable to perform I/O asynchronously, and to make the C runtime compatible with the state-machine-based execution model of modern Genode components. This line of work is described in detail in Sections Enhanced VFS infrastructure and New execution model of the C runtime. One particularly exciting result is the brand-new ability to plug the Linux TCP/IP stack as a VFS plugin into any libc-using component by the sole means of component configuration.

  • Genode OS 17.02 has been released today as the latest version of this open-source operating system framework.

    Accomplished for Genode OS 17.02 were ABI improvements, a much better virtual file-system (VFS) implementation, new input event processing capabilities, and a dynamic component-composition engine.

  • heads 0.0 is a preview live CD of what heads is going to be about. This release is not intended to be used from a security point of view, but as a showcase and testing point of view.

    I am not even completely sure everything is torified, but hey, that’s what testing is for, no?

  • Events

    • I started the hackathon by upgrading a number of packages in Xenocara. The most noteworthy being the XCB (X protocol C-language Bindings) suite updated to the most recent 1.12 version.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • We are excited to announce that the Mozilla Corporation has completed the acquisition of Read It Later, Inc. the developers of Pocket.

        Mozilla is growing, experimenting more, and doubling down on our mission to keep the internet healthy, as a global public resource that’s open and accessible to all. As our first strategic acquisition, Pocket contributes to our strategy by growing our mobile presence and providing people everywhere with powerful tools to discover and access high quality web content, on their terms, independent of platform or content silo.

        Pocket will join Mozilla’s product portfolio as a new product line alongside the Firefox web browsers with a focus on promoting the discovery and accessibility of high quality web content. Pocket’s core team and technology will also accelerate Mozilla’s broader Context Graph initiative.

      • Mozilla, the company behind the Firefox browser, today announced that it has acquired Pocket, the startup that develops an app for saving articles and other content. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

        The Pocket code will become a part of the Mozilla open-source project, Mozilla chief business and legal officer Denelle Dixon-Thayer wrote in a blog post.

      • Chances are you’ve heard the new: Mozilla has acquired Pocket, the go-to ‘read it later’ service, and says it plans to open-source Pocket code in due course.

  • Summer of Code

    • The X.Org Foundation has been once again accepted as a mentoring organization for this year’s Google Summer of Code. Yes, the X.Org involvement in GSoC isn’t limited to just the xorg-server but also covers Mesa, Wayland, and other involvements.

  • Databases

    • MySQL 8 is coming and it is going to be a big change. MySQL 5.7 has been out for well over a year and has been very well received with its native JSON data type, increased security, and better performance. But there are some things about 5.7 that needed modernization and that is why MySQL 8 is on the way.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • LLVM’s LLD linker still isn’t too widely used yet on Linux systems, but the performance of this linker alternative to GNU Gold and GNU ld are quite compelling.

      We’ve written many times before about the much progress and better performance of “the LLVM linker” while some new numbers were committed to the LLD documentation.

  • Public 全民彩票网址/Government

    • The Open Government Partnership (OGP) recently launched the OGP Toolbox, bringing together digital tools to promote openness in government and improve democracy. Development of the platform started at a hackathon organised at last year’s OGP Summit in Paris. The portal currently features 190 use cases, 1277 tools, and 521 organisations.

    • The Department of Defense (DoD) announced the launch of Code.mil, an open source initiative that allows software developers around the world to collaborate on unclassified code written by federal employees in support of DoD projects.

    • The Kerala government has made a saving of Rs 300 crore through introduction and adoption of Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) in the 全民彩票官网登录 education sector, said a state government official on Sunday.

      IT became a compulsory subject in Kerala 全民彩票官网登录s from 2003, but it was in 2005 only that FOSS was introduced in a phased manner and started to replace proprietary software. The decision made by the curriculum committee to implement it in the higher secondary sector has also been completed now.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • I’m currently over at FOSDEM, and have been asked by a couple of people about the state of ZFS and Debian. So, I thought I’d give a quick post to explain what Debian’s current plan is (which has come together with a lot of discussion with the FTP Masters and others around what we should do).

      [...]

      Debian has always prided itself in providing the unequivocally correct solution to our users and downstream distributions. This also includes licenses – we make sure that Debian will contain 100% free software. This means that if you install Debian, you are guaranteed freedoms offered under the DFSG and our social contract.

    • When I was at Mozilla and WMF, I frequently got asked how to give proper credit when using Creative Commons-licensed images in slideshows. I got the question again last week, and am working on slides right now, so here’s a quick guide.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Denmark’s Agency for Digitisation (Digitaliseringsstyrelsen – DIGST) is inviting comments on its draft IT architecture for digitalisation of the public sector. The document sets out the IT principles for the country全民彩票网址’s 33 digitisation initiatives.

    • Norway’s government procurement centre (ANS) and the Agency for Public Management and e-Government (Difi) are preparing the country全民彩票网址’s first procurement frameworks related to IT. The first call, on telephony services, will be published in the next few days. The second call, for telephony and PC workstations, is expected around 24 April. Calls will be published on both Norway’s and Europe’s procurement portals, Doffin and Ted.

    • The 2017-2019 Open Government Action Plan is being prepared by the government modernisation unit (Secretariat-General for Government Modernisation, SGMAP). This week, on Tuesday, SGMAP is hosting a public workshop, where it will present a draft of the plan. The final text is expected in September.

    • Open Data

      • Agriculture production data should be public and the open source movement should be the model for analysing it, according to the Open Agriculture initiative at MIT Media Lab.

        This could involve making the data from every farming IoT sensor public – so you could use the climate data to understand how best to grow what and where, or use other IoT data points to trace where the food has come from across the whole supply chain.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • You can stop it. Stop buying Intel. Better yet, don’t buy AMD either. Buy ARM, the processor that has multiple sources of production at competitive prices all year long. No need for a time-warp to get that for which you pay.

    • It’s hard to believe that we’re mere days away from the official launching of AMD’s first Ryzen processors. It’s been a long wait, but an even longer one if you think back to a time when the world got this excited about a new CPU launch. To call Ryzen “disruptive” even before launch seems apt, but all we can do right now is wait for the reviews to go live (and of course here at HH) to see just how well it will perform under pressure.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Microbial resistance to antibiotics has been rising and the world is now facing the serious possibility of falling back to the days when infectious diseases were hardly treatable. The World Health Organization today published a list of bacteria for which new antibiotics are most urgently needed, to help with the race against time, as the medical world is running out of treatment options.

      The list of antibiotic-resistant ‘priority pathogens’ is the first published by the WHO, according to a press release. The list was drawn up “in a bid to guide and promote research and development (R&D) of new antibiotics, as part of WHO’s efforts to address growing global resistance to antimicrobial medicines.”

    • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is deliberating on how to start over on its search for a new executive director after questions arose near the end of the process.

    • Dangerous multidrug-resistant infections are surging in children across the country全民彩票网址, researchers report in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

      From 2007 to 2015, the number of kids treated in hospitals for certain types of multidrug-resistant infections rose 750 percent, researchers found. Though overall incidence is still low, researchers say the study’s findings are pointing to worrying trends—namely, silent spreading within communities, and severe, potentially life-threatening infections becoming common.

      “The rate of rise was very rapid,” the study’s lead author, pediatrician Sharon Meropol of Case Western Reserve University, told CIDRAP News. “And if that continues, it’s not going to be long before we get much higher rates.”

    • The World Health Organization has issued a list of the top dozen bacteria most dangerous to humans, warning that doctors are fast running out of treatment options.

      In a press briefing on Monday, the U.N. health agency said its list is meant to promote the development of medicines for the most worrying drug-resistant bacteria, including salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus.

      WHO’s Marie-Paule Kieny said that if such priorities were left to market forces alone, “the new antibiotics we most urgently need are not going to be developed in time.” She estimated that it would take up to a decade for new medications.

  • Security

    • There are a lot of reasons to choose a security-centric Linux distribution to test your network and system as in ethical hacking or penetration testing or security analysis. Are you looking? Luckily for you, there are a lot of them available for use. So let’s dive in and look at the best security centric Linux distributions.

    • Now that Google has proven SHA1 as unsafe, Ubuntu’s Mir display server developers were quick to abandon its usage in favor of SHA256.

      Mir cookies have the switch to now use SHA256 in place of SHA1 for their cookies in order to improve the security.

    • Windows 10 was the least secure of of current Windows versions in 2016, with 46% more vulnerabilities than either Windows 8 or 8.1, according to an analysis of Microsoft’s own security bulletins in 2016.

      Security firm Avecto said its research, titled “2016 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Study: Mitigating risk by removing user privileges”, had also found that a vast majority of vulnerabilities found in Microsoft products could be mitigated by removing admin rights.

      The research found that, despite its claims to being the “most secure” of Microsoft’s operating systems, Windows 10 had 395 vulnerabilities in 2016, while Windows 8 and 8.1 each had 265.

      The research also found that while 530 Microsoft vulnerabilities were reported — marginally up from the 524 reported in 2015 — and 189 given a critical rating, 94% could be mitigated by removing admin rights. This was up from 85% in 2015.

    • [Ed: By Microsoft Peter. People who put Vista 10 on a PC totally lose control of that PC; remember, the OS itself is malware, as per textbook definitions. With DRM and other antifeatures expect copyright enforcement on the desktop soon.]

      The latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build doesn’t add much in the way of features—it’s mostly just bug fixes—but one small new feature has been spotted, and it could be contentious. Vitor Mikaelson noticed that the latest build lets you restrict the installation of applications built using the Win32 API.

    • “Well, f**k.”

      Harsh language was appropriate under the circumstances. My router had just been hacked.

      Setting up a reliable 全民彩票官网下载 network has always been a challenge for me. I live in a cramped three-story house, and I don’t like running cables. So my router’s position is determined by the fiber modem in a corner on the bottom floor. Not long after we moved in, I realized that our old Airport Extreme was not delivering much signal to the attic, where two game-obsessed occupants fought for bandwidth.

      I tried all sorts of things. I extended the network. I used Ethernet-over-powerline connectors to deliver network access. I made a mystic circle and danced naked under the full moon. We lost neighbors, but we didn’t gain a signal.

    • According to Purism’s Youness Alaoui, their Coreboot port to the Librem 13 v1 laptop is now considered complete.

      The Librem 13 was long talked about having Coreboot over a proprietary BIOS while the initial models still had shipped with the conventional BIOS. Finally in 2017, they have now Coreboot at what they consider to be 100% complete for this Linux-friendly laptop.

    • Here are the news you’ve been waiting for: the coreboot port for the Librem 13 v1 is 100% done! I fixed all of the remaining issues, it is now fully working and is stable, ready for others to enjoy. I fixed the instability problem with the M.2 SATA port, finished running all the tests to ensure coreboot is working correctly, fixed the headphone jack that was not working, made the boot prettier, and started investigating the Intel Management Engine issue.

    • Andrey Konovalov, a security researcher at Google, found a use-after-free hole within Linux, CSO Online reported. This particular flaw is of interest because it appears to be situational. It only showed up in kernels built with a certain configuration option — CONFIG_IP_DCCP — enabled.

    • The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has published an updated version of its Smartphone Secure Development Guidelines. This document details the risks faced by developers of smartphone application, and provides ways to mitigate these.

    • CloudLinux’s Mykola Naugolnyi announced today the availability of a new Beta kernel for the CloudLinux 7 operating system series, which patches a recently discovered and critical security flaw.

    • LINUX FOUNDER Linus Torvalds was warned in 2005 that the use of the SHA-1 hash to sign code in Linux and Git was insecure and urged to shift to something better protected, but rejected the advice outright.

      Free software evangelist John Gilmore warned Torvalds ten years ago that “SHA1 has been broken; it’s possible to generate two different blobs that hash to the same SHA1 hash”.

      Gilmore penned his warning to Torvalds in April 2005, when MD5 had already been cracked and SHA1 remained “hard to crack” – but still crackable.

    • You probably saw the news last week that researchers at Google had found a scenario where they were able to break the SHA1 algorithm by creating two PDF files with differing content that produced the same hash. If you are following this story then you may have also seen that the Webkit Subversion repository had problems after a user committed these example files to their repository so that they could be used in test cases for SHA1 collisions.

    • git-annex has never used SHA1 by default. But, there are concerns about SHA1 collisions being used to exploit git repositories in various ways. Since git-annex builds on top of git, it inherits its foundational SHA1 weaknesses. Or does it?

    • OpenSSH (really, are there any other implementations?) requires Trust on First Use for fingerprint verification.

      Verification can be especially problematic when using remote services like VPS or colocation.

      How can you trust that the initial connection isn’t being Man In The Middle’d?

    • NEARLY OF THE VULNERABILITIES THAT AFFECT Microsoft’s Windows operating system could be mitigated through a little careful control.

      Avecto, a security company, is the source of the latest revelation in this direction, and it says that 94 per cent of security problems could have been killed off if admin rights had been removed from the affected computer.

      This makes a lot of sense, since a computer that cannot be molested by a user cannot be molested by a third party. 94 per cent is just one example of the differences that can be made and Avecto says that in the case of Internet Explorer 100 per cent of risks are mitigated when rights are removed.

    • This blog has featured several stories about “overlay” card and PIN skimmers made to be placed atop Ingenico-brand card readers at store self-checkout lanes. I’m revisiting the topic again because a security technician at a U.S.-based retailer recently shared a few photos of several of these devices pulled from compromised card terminals, and the images and his story offer a fair bit more detail than in previous articles.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Fighters from the Islamic State group, whose abuses against Yazidi women have been well documented, are raping and torturing Sunni Arab women too, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

      The watchdog documented cases of arbitrary detentions, beatings, forced marriages and rape by the jihadists on women who have fled the town of Hawijah, which is still under IS control.

      HRW recounted the story of Hanan, a 26-year-old whose husband had already fled Hawijah, who was captured by IS fighters along with other women when they also attempted to escape the town.

    • Fighters from the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) are arbitrarily detaining, ill-treating, torturing, and forcibly marrying Sunni Arab women and girls in areas under their control in Iraq, Human Rights Watch said today.

    • Shortly after the video appeared, the Philippine government envoy Jesus Dureza confirmed the German’s death.

      “We grieve as we strongly condemn the barbaric beheading of yet another kidnap victim,” Dureza said in a statement. “Up to the last moment, many sectors including the armed forces of the Philippines exhausted all efforts to save his life. We all tried our best. But to no avail.”

      Military officials in the south said they had not yet found Kantner’s body.

      Militant group Abu Sayyaf had demanded a ransom of 30m pesos (£480,000) be paid by Sunday to spare the 70-year-old.

      The group had previously released videos that showed a haggard Kantner appealing for payment of the ransom.

    • Enraged by the rudely-worded command, the woman from Al-Bukamal, a town on the Iraqi border, told the jihadist to “get back to Morocco,” adding that “people living around here are faithful Muslims.”

      Hearing this, the jihadist “policewoman” called a prison truck and arrested the woman and her son. The woman was sentenced to 300 lashes in public.

      Whipping her victim on her back and arms, the Moroccan terrorist kept saying that “this will serve a lesson for all women of the caliphate!”

    • Two madrassa students were arrested on Saturday in connection with the murder of a 14-year-old fellow student at Tewra village of Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh, police said.

      Kamruzama (20) and Adnan (21) were arrested for their alleged role in killing the fellow student by slitting his throat after subjecting him to sodomy, said circle officer Akhil Ahmad.

      The duo has confessed to their crime, he said.

    • In 1967, a two-month orgy of violence and hysteria swept a rural province in China全民彩票网址 and an astonishing 4,000 people were brutally slaughtered. Without the bravery of Tan Hecheng, the story of what happened to these ‘black elements’ would never have been told. David Barnett on the journalist who uncovered the Killing Wind

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • The main camp for Dakota Access Pipeline protesters was cleared this week by authorities, who arrested about 50 holdouts on Thursday at the Oceti Sakowin site near Cannon Ball, N.D.

      The eviction, ordered by the Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday in advance of spring flooding, follows an earlier request by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council that demonstrators leave camps on the reservation. And it represents a turning point for the movement, whose members pledge to block similar projects in several states, even as their opposition stiffens.

      “The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight, it is a new beginning,” said Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started.”

    • One in five species on Earth now faces extinction, and that will rise to 50% by the end of the century unless urgent action is taken. That is the stark view of the world’s leading biologists, ecologists and economists who will gather on Monday to determine the social and economic changes needed to save the planet’s biosphere.

      “The living fabric of the world is slipping through our fingers without our showing much sign of caring,” say the organisers of the Biological Extinction conference held at the Vatican this week.

      Threatened creatures such as the tiger or rhino may make occasional headlines, but little attention is paid to the eradication of most other life forms, they argue. But as the conference will hear, these animals and plants provide us with our food and medicine. They purify our water and air while also absorbing carbon emissions from our cars and factories, regenerating soil, and providing us with aesthetic inspiration.

    • The Environmental Protection Agency’s website has gotten a makeover since the Trump administration took office, with some references to climate change now wiped from its pages.

      The agency removed the word “climate” from a division’s name and webpage before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, suggesting that EPA employees may have started constraining information as the transition team settled in and in anticipation of the incoming chill from the new administration.

      The division once known as Climate Ready Water Utilities was rebranded as the Creating Resilient Water Utilities in late December, according to archived webpages. By then, Myron Ebell had been in place as head of the agency’s transition team for more than a month. Ebell, a senior fellow at the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute who has long promoted climate denial in his work, was considered a threat to the agency’s mission by many of the career employees.

    • We hear the White House tomorrow will send Cabinet officials their first draft budget numbers.

      One budget we’ll be watching especially closely is the EPA ,which is the leading edge of the first wave of Trump’s planned “deconstruction of the administrative state.” Expect massive, transformational cuts, particularly to climate-change programs, top officials tell us.

    • The Ministry for Infrastructure and the Ministry of Public Administration in Slovenia have begun a one-year pilot to test car sharing. Earlier this month, the ministries signed a contract that lets 50 staff members share electric vehicles. After one year, the cost of car sharing and their use will be compared to the costs and use of cars owned by the ministries.

    • Times are good for Fey Wei Dong. A genial, middle-aged businessman based near Shanghai, China全民彩票网址, Fey says he is raking in the equivalent of £180,000 a year from trading in the humblest of commodities: sand.

      Fey often works in a fishing village on Poyang Lake, China全民彩票网址’s biggest freshwater lake and a haven for millions of migratory birds and several endangered species. The village is little more than a tiny collection of ramshackle houses and battered wooden docks. It is dwarfed by a flotilla anchored just offshore, of colossal dredges and barges, hulking metal flatboats with cranes jutting from their decks. Fey comes here regularly to buy boatloads of raw sand dredged from Poyang’s bottom. He ships it 300 miles down the Yangtze River and resells it to builders in booming Shanghai who need it to make concrete.

  • Finance

    • A new paper from the intergovernmental South Centre argues that intellectual property provisions in recent free trade agreements would impair countries trying to fulfil the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

    • The European Commission is pushing ahead with its Multilateral Investment Court (MIC) project, but called requests to eliminate specialised investor protection mechanisms unrealistic during a dedicated meeting with stakeholders in Brussels today.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • The discussion about “fake news” certainly began with good intentions, with participants earnestly focused on how disinformation, shitty journalism and bullshit clickbait were filling the noggins of a growing segment of the public for whom critical thinking was already a Sisyphean endeavor. The solution for this problem was never as clean and easy as most of the conversations suggested, especially given that Americans — thanks in large part to our struggles with education quality and funding — have never been particularly adept at spotting disinformation, much less understanding how you expose, undermine and combat it at scale.

      None of these problems are new. Bad journalism and propaganda have plagued publishing and governments for thousands of years. Donald Trump’s violently-adversarial relationship with facts and Vladimir Putin’s warehouses full of paid internet trolls have simply taken the conversation to an entirely new level in the internet age. But it’s becoming increasingly clear that many of the folks who believe they can somehow legislate this problem away may be doing more harm than good.

      In fact, much of the moral panic surrounding the initial fake news conversation has quickly degenerated into something that vacillates quickly between comedy and terror. As we’ve consistently pointed out, a growing number of countries have moved to make fake news illegal — even before they’ve taken time to understand what it actually is. Germany’s decision to make publishing fake news illegal teeters dangerously close to censorship. Letting politicians define “fake news” (with an obvious incentive toward defining it in their favor) should be a fairly obvious slippery slope.

    • Well before fake news became a thing, Karl was reporting on the fascinating details that have emerged about Russia’s Internet troll factories that relentlessly pump out fake posts on an extraordinary scale. More recently, the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu revealed that the country全民彩票网址’s military has created a force specifically tasked with waging information warfare. We may know about Russia’s domestic activities in this area, but what about online propaganda teams active in other countries?

    • Even before the White House press corps was born—in 1896, when newspapers assigned reporters to a table outside the office of Grover Cleveland’s secretary—attentive reporters irritated occupants of the White House. To hide the fact that he had a tumor, Cleveland, in 1893, disappeared from Washington for four days to have surgery aboard a friend’s yacht. In 1913, Woodrow Wilson, who hated the press’s fascination with his three daughters, accused “certain evening newspapers” of quoting him on things he meant to stay off the record. He eventually all but abandoned news conferences. It was six years before Warren G. Harding, who had been a newspaper publisher, revived the tradition.

    • There is now mounting evidence of US interference in Britain’s EU referendum vote. From what we already know, this could constitute a flagrant breach of UK electoral rules.

      Cambridge Analytica (CA) is a US company, endorsed by Britain’s Ministry of Defence (MoD). President Trump’s adviser Steve Bannon is a board member of the company. And Trump’s main backer, Robert Mercer, is a key financier. During the EU referendum campaign in Britain, CA targeted over a million social media users. According to a prominent Leave.eu figure, it was CA technology that ensured a Brexit win.

    • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) urged Democrats on Sunday to undertake an overhaul of the party’s message as they move forward in the uncertain era under President Trump and seek to regain lost seats in midterm and local elections.

      “We need a total transformation,” the Vermont senator and former Democratic presidential candidate said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

      “We need to open up the party to working people, to young people and make it crystal clear that the Democratic Party is going to take on Wall Street, it’s going to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, it’s going to take on corporate America that is shutting down plants in this country全民彩票网址 and moving our jobs abroad,” he added.

      Senator Sanders’s remarks came just a day after Democrats voted to select former Labor Secretary Tom Perez to head the Democratic National Committee over Rep. Keith Ellison (D) of Minnesota. The contentious race pitted Mr. Perez, who served in former President Barack Obama’s administration, against Sanders-backed Representative Ellison, who embodied the party’s more progressive wave, continuing the party’s ideological battle that came to the fore during the 2016 primary race.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Google has agreed to demote so-called “pirate” sites from its search results, at the demands of the copyright industry. All experience from the past 600 years says this is a mistake.

      A story in Ars Technica and elsewhere celebrates that Google will hide the sites people are looking for, because there are others that don’t want people in general to find them. When phrased like this, it becomes obvious that Google has little or nothing to gain from this move, and that throwing whiners a bone of meat to make them shut up is a mistake, for two reasons working together.

    • The Russian government has passed draft legislation to parliament which would compel companies such as Google and local giant Yandex to remove pirate sites from search results. If the law is passed, sites that fail to respond to takedown notices will be the initial targets.

    • As Techdirt readers know only too well, doing things “for the children” is a perfect excuse to pass all kinds of ridiculous laws that would otherwise be thrown out without a thought. For example, back in 2013, we wrote about attempts to pass legislation in Russia that would ban swearing on the Internet. It was framed as an amendment to an existing law called “On the Protection of Children” that introduced a blacklist designed to block access to information on drugs, suicide and child pornography. Now the head of Roskomnadzor, the body that oversees website-blocking in Russia, has a bold proposal for protecting children from all the Internet’s possible harms.

    • A trainee Church of England priest at Oxford University has accused it of discrimination and bias after he says he was told he could not ask a lecturer critical questions about Islam.

      The student has filed a formal complaint to the university’s proctors’ office in which he claims the lecturer pointed at him in a seminar and said: “Everybody can ask a question except you.”

      The student, Shahriar Ashrafkhorasani, 33, is an Iranian-born convert from Islam who is set to become a Church of England priest in July, while the lecturer, Minlib Dallh, is a research fellow at Regent’s Park College全民彩票官网登录 in Oxford on a project about love in religion part-sponsored by the King of Jordan.

    • The Oscars celebrate films that can be both beautiful and controversial. But such storytelling is still a privilege in many parts of the world. And in Malaysia, one important British film has just experienced a serious blow.

    • AS a documentary filmmaker, I regularly screen my films and also give talks and workshops, both locally and internationally. When I am out of the country全民彩票网址, I always get asked the question of how local filmmakers deal with the strict censorship laws in Malaysia.

      My first response is always to correct their question. The question shouldn’t be how we Malaysian filmmakers deal with strict censorship laws; it should be how we deal with vague, unclear and inconsistent censorship laws.

      Take for example, Lena Hendry, who is a former employee of a Malaysian-based human rights non-governmental organisation called Pusat KOMAS. She was found guilty of screening the documentary ‘No Fire Zone: The killing fields of Sri Lanka’ without censorship approval in 2013.

    • George Orwell once said that ‘Intellectual freedom is a deep-rooted tradition without which our characteristic western culture could only doubtfully exist.’

    • Alankrita Shrivastava’s film Lipstick Under My Burkha may have been refused certification by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) back 全民彩票官网下载 but it managed to impress the audience at the Glasgow Film Festival.

    • A group of Muslim leaders in Bhopal on Saturday passed a resolution advocating the boycott of Alankrita Shrivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha, and asked the central government to ban the controversial movie for hurting the community’s religious sentiments.

      The All India Muslim Tehwar Committee, which met here under the chairmanship of Ausaf Shahmeeri Khurram, also disclosed plans to take legal action against the movie.

    • Censorship has loaded connotations. We have the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) which is a statutory body, and all our films go to them for certification. An industry such as films can be accorded a certain kind of self-censorship. I find the word ‘censorship’ itself a bit problematic. When we see films from the West, they are rated — this film needs parental guidance, this film is rated this and that. So a certain age or a certain demographic is thought suitable to watch the film. In our country全民彩票网址, we have U/UA/A certificates. The need is to certify the films. But to censor the film is something which inevitably seems contrary to freedom of artistic expression. It is a bit problematic to think of CBFC as a censor board.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • New Attorney General Jeff Sessions has just sent another message about the future of US law enforcement: there will be no policing of the police during the Trump Years. In his first on-the-record briefing, Sessions flat-out stated the DOJ’s many civil rights investigations of local police departments mean nothing.

    • So we’ve noted time and time again how so-called “smart” toys aren’t immune to the security and privacy problems plaguing the internet of broken things. Whether we’re talking about the Vtech hack (which exposed kids’ selfies, chat logs, and voice recordings) or the lawsuits against Genesis Toys (whose products suffer from vulnerabilities to man-in-the-middle attacks), the story remains the same: these companies were so excited to connect everything and anything to the internet, but few could be bothered to spend more than a fleeting moment thinking about product security and consumer privacy.

    • Of course, if the messages are deleted soon after sending, as the app advertises, then showing the app to a reporter doesn’t really prove much of anything. Either way, hold that thought.

      Security experts have ripped apart Confide, saying that it’s claims of being secure are “a triumph of marketing over substance,” however others in the White House are making use of an app that is generally considered more secure: Signal.

      And, apparently, that has some in Congress worried that the apps are being used not to undermine things like federal record keeping laws, but rather that it may be used by people inside the government to go undermine the administration or to leak information to the press.

    • Officials in China全民彩票网址’s largest prefecture, in the far-western region of Xinjiang, are requiring all drivers there to install a Chinese-made satellite navigation system in their vehicles, according to an official news report this week.

      Police officials say drivers must install the navigation system by June 30. “The installation rate will reach 100 percent,” said a report on Monday on the website of The Korla Evening Post, a newspaper in the prefecture’s capital, Korla. The report was also posted on the government-managed website of Beidou, the Chinese satellite navigation system. Beidou is China全民彩票网址’s version of the Global Positioning System, or GPS.

      The new requirement is intended to help the authorities track people in a region where violence sometimes erupts because of ethnic tensions. Parts of Xinjiang are 全民彩票官网下载 to ethnic Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking people who mostly practice Sunni Islam and often resent policies made by the ethnic Han, the dominant group in China全民彩票网址.

      The most notable burst of violence occurred in 2009, when ethnic rioting convulsed Urumqi, the regional capital, resulting in about 200 deaths, most of them ethnic Han, according to official reports. Officials responded with a harsh security crackdown. Other episodes have resembled domestic terrorism, and some officials say the attackers have connections to groups engaged in global jihadist activities, but they have not offered any evidence to buttress that claim.

    • [Ed: This GCHQ-connected propaganda site uses that old 'yearning' for nuclear conflict to 'sell' the GCHQ's agenda of domination over our Internet]

      Are we fighting a new Cold War, but this time in cyber space?

    • New FCC boss Ajit Pai, apparently taking a break from paying empty lip service to the poor, has quietly announced the FCC will be killing consumer broadband privacy protections before they even have a chance to take root. Hoping the news would get lost in the pre-weekend hustle, the FCC quietly circulated an e-mail on Friday stating that the agency would be moving to kill the rules before they arrive March 2, just as large ISPs had demanded.

    • Really can’t say enough good things about public servants, especially when their response to criticism is to expose personal details in a published interview.

      Andie Fox wrote an article for the Canberra Times about her struggle to get an ex’s debt removed from her record. Following several calls from Centrelink — Australia’s Department of Human 全民彩票网址 — attempting to recover this misplaced debt, Fox spent hours — including most of day she took off from work — trying to speak to human being directly about her situation. As is par for the bureaucratic course, this was almost impossible.

    • The German Federal Intelligence Agency (Bundesnachrichtendienst, BND) spied on foreign journalists, according to a report of German magazine “Der Spiegel”. A document obtained by the magazine showed that the BND had taps on at least 50 phone numbers, fax numbers and email addresses of journalists from the BBC, Reuters and the New York Times.

    • Half of the web’s traffic is now encrypted, according to a new report from the EFF released this week. The rights organization noted the milestone was attributable to a number of efforts, including recent moves from major tech companies to implement HTTPS on their own properties. Over the years, these efforts have included pushes from Facebook and Twitter, back in 2013 and 2012 respectively, as well as those from other sizable sites like Google, Wikipedia, Bing, Reddit and more.

    • As if not troubled enough by President Trump’s attacks, a new debate is heightening tensions in the intelligence community. The Pentagon has started to assess whether it is time to divide the leadership of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command. Such a move is dubious: Is change necessary? Can the IC tolerate another shock?

    • This contrasts with other decisions dealing with the same subject matter, where judges have found there’s no expectation of privacy in IP addresses, even when one has taken extra steps to obscure it. Those findings seem logically contradictory, at best. If someone’s attempts to keep third parties from obtaining information, this information can’t truly be considered held by a third party. Stripping away these efforts turns the FBI into the “third party,” and the government isn’t allowed to both act as a third party and excuse its actions with the Third Party Doctrine.

      But in the end, there’s no suppression. As the court points out, two things weigh against suppressing the evidence, even with the warrant being facially invalid under Rule 41. First, the FBI malware only infected registered users visiting the dark web child porn site, which makes the possibility of accidental infection almost nonexistent. Second, the fact that the FBI had no idea where the site’s visitors were actually located makes this an inelegant solution to a problem, not a case of judge-shopping for compliant magistrates.

    • The good news is the Supreme Court’s Riley decision forces law enforcement to obtain warrants before searching cell phones. The bad news, apparently, is everything else. To begin with, particularity remains a problem. As the Supreme Court pointed out in its decision, people’s entire lives are contained in their cell phones. When searching for what’s relevant to the suspected criminal activity, the government is pretty much free to dig through these “lives” to uncover what it needs to move forward with prosecution.

      The lack of strict parameters (perhaps an impossibility given the nature of digital communications/data) leads to fishing expeditions operating under the cover of Fourth Amendment adherence. There’s no way to prevent trolling for evidence of unrelated criminal activity. The only recourse is to challenge it after it happens. Sometimes the courts find the government has gone too far. Other times, courts say the evidence would have been “inevitably discovered” in the course of the search and prevent it from being suppressed.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Yee, the 18-year-old teenager who ran away from Singapore to seek political asylum in the US, looks set to spend a few more months languishing in jail over there as a result of President Donald Trump’s recent executive order barring refugees from entering the country全民彩票网址.

      Yee’s Facebook page carried a post on Feb. 21 complaining about his prolonged stay in jail and asking his supporters to call attention to his plight to expedite his release.

      However, there was no mention made about him spending time in solitary confinement in that post.

    • The BBC has hired commissioner Fatima Salaria – its second Muslim executive to take control of its faith-based output and serve as the new commissioning editor for religion and ethics.

      This places her in charge of all of the BBC’s religious content on television, including Songs Of Praise.

      The move comes after the Beeb faced criticism previously from those who believed that the job should go to a Christian given it is the UK’s main faith.

    • Passengers of a domestic Delta flight from San Francisco to New York were told to show their identity documents to uniformed agents of the Customs and Border Protection agency upon their arrival at John F. Kennedy airport on Wednesday evening.

      CBP officers are border agents, whose statutory authority is generally limited to international arrivals.

      CBP agents inspected passenger identifications on the jetbridge by the door of the aircraft. A CBP spokesman insisted to Rolling Stone that this action is “nothing new” and that there is “no new policy.” But the unusual – and legally questionable – search of domestic travelers comes days after the Department of 全民彩票官网下载land Security outlined its plans to implement President Trump’s sweeping executive order targeting millions of “removable aliens” for deportation.

    • I am accustomed to being hectored by Islamists, frightbats, anti-vaccination fruitcakes and an assortment of social justice warriors — aka government-funded Twitter trolls.

      But last week, I had the surreal experience of being scolded by an ABC host for not being sufficiently supportive of an Islamic activist advocating for sharia law.

      ABC radio drive host Rafael Epstein had the gall to admonish me, a migrant who escaped a country全民彩票网址 under Islamic law, for not supporting an advocate of Islamic law.

      It’s akin to a freed slave being criticised for a fear of slavery and reluctance to support slavery advocates.

      Can you imagine the indignation from feminists if a privileged, white, private 全民彩票官网登录-educated, heterosexual, conservative male was castigating an immigrant woman of colour about how their experience and opinions “distort the debate”?

      Epstein is all of the above except he is a typical ABC Leftist and so his behaviour is excused and even applauded by those who most enthusiastically embrace identity politics.

    • While it’s hard to make any solid, direct links between the three incidents, together they highlight a growing trend of young women becoming involved in real, perceived or forced acts of terrorism in various global locations. Research suggests groups such as IS, Boko Haram and the Islamic militant organization in Somalia, al-Shabab, are actively targeting women to join their ranks.

    • UN Watch expressed concern that Sweden’s self-declared “first feminist government in the world” sacrificed its principles and betrayed the rights of Iranian women as Trade Minister Ann Linde and other female members walked past Iranian President Rouhani on Saturday all covered up in compliance with Iran’s compulsory Hijab law, despite Stockholm’s promise to promote “a gender equality perspective” internationally, and to adopt a “feminist foreign policy” in which “equality between women and men is a fundamental aim.”
      In doing so, the Swedish female politicians ignored the recent appeal by Iranian women’s right activist Masih Alinejad who urged Europeans female politicians “to stand for [their] own dignity” and refuse to wear the hijab when visiting Iran.

      Alinrejad created a Facebook page for Iranian women to resist the law and show their hair as an act of resistance, which now numbers 1 million members.
      “European female politicians are hypocrites,” says Alinejad. “Because they stand up with French Muslim women and condemn the burkini ban—because they think compulsion is bad—but when it happens to Iran, they just care about money.”

    • Dozens of DAPL protesters were arrested after police raided and cleared the Oceti Sakowin camp near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Some activists refused to leave peacefully and set fire to their makeshift housing.

      The Oceti Sakowin camp was completely emptied shortly after 2:00pm local time (8:00pm GMT), the Morton County Sheriff’s Department said, as cited by Reuters.

    • Recently travel to the US has become even more stressful as CBP have been more aggressively exercising their authority to examine digital devices. Their theory goes something like “we can open a cargo container to check whats inside therefore we can open a digital device to check whats inside.” Along with the apparent increase in searching traveller’s laptops and phones, there has been a rise in amateur smuggling suggestions (seemingly by US citizens who aren’t exposed to any risk at the border.) This advice is terrible, dangerous and possibly endangers anyone reckless enough to follow it.

    • Both as a candidate and now as President, Donald Trump has made clear his intent to pursue aggressive policies targeting Muslims, refugees and immigrants under the banner of national security. In his first week in office Trump enacted the patently unlawful travel ban seeking to bar all refugees, and individuals from 7 Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. A second executive order the same week, as well as later accompanying policy memoranda, extended powers to law enforcement and immigration agencies to increase detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants.

      We do not know what the future holds, but the President’s statements certainly give cause for serious concern. Trump has notoriously refused to rule out the possibility of a “Muslim registry”, and has stated his intention to quickly deport between 2 and 3 million undocumented immigrants.

    • The wife of a blogger and journalist detained in Ethiopia has called on the international community to pressure local authorities to release her husband, who is among tens of thousands held since a state of emergency was declared in the emerging east African power last year.

      Anania Sorri, a 34-year-old writer and intellectual, was arrested in November on his way to a meeting at the US embassy in Addis Ababa. He is being held in a high security prison in the Ethiopian capital and has not yet been formally charged with any offence.

    • That’s according to the latest figures from the NHS, which also stated that of the women were aged between 18 and 39 at the time their FGM was recorded in 2015/16.

      FGM has been a criminal offence in the UK for 30 years, and in 2003 it also became a criminal offence to take a child abroad to have female genital mutilation. Despite this, there is yet to be a successful prosecution.

      The NSPCC set up a specialist FGM helpline in June 2013, and since then it has been contacted more than 1,500 times – on average, once a day.

      Of those, a third were considered serious enough to be referred to social services.

    • It seems we see more and more fake “hate crimes” these days, and I’ve been wondering why.

      A way to get attention? A way to get revenge? A way to get some money from sympathetic crowd-funders? A way to throw a little weight on w全民彩票官网下载ver you perceive as your opponent? Or just a way to feel you’re somebody and part of something?

      I do think social media has a lot to do with it — people seeing that other people get attention, sympathy, and money from being victims — or perhaps “victims.”

      Well, the latest apparent faked hate crime, according to a couple’s lawyer全民彩票网址, is the claim by a waitress that she was stiffed out of a tip by a couple who wrote at the bottom of the check that they “don’t tip Black people.”

    • The nice thing about truly stupid ideas is they generally have very short lifespans. Last week, the Arizona Senate did itself a huge disservice by passing a bill targeting a nonexistent problem (“paid protesters”) with fines, jail time, and seized assets if any act of destruction occurs during a protest. It wasn’t limited to just the person committing the act. Anyone else participating in the same protest could be rung up on the same charges, as well as any nonparticipants who may have been involved in the planning process.

      In support of this idiocy, idiotic statements were made, including the unforgettable assertion that a new terrible law was needed because existing rioting laws were constantly being undercut by a functioning bail system.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Earlier this month, in a classic late Friday afternoon news dump, the Federal Communications Commission announced a rollback of two key decisions made during the Obama administration. In another era, few besides policy wonks and internet activists would have noticed such a thing. But these changes drew intense attention. These days, politics isn’t just what happens on the internet—it’s what happens to the internet.

      “Trump’s FCC Pick Quickly Targets Net Neutrality Rules,” the New York Times declared. “FCC blocks 9 companies from providing low-income internet access,” CNN reported. Mignon Clyburn, the only remaining Democratic commissioner at the FCC, published sharp rebukes to the moves, complaining that her colleagues had acted “without a shred of explanation.”

    • Last month, AT&T revealed how it might structure its deal to acquire Time Warner without having to go through FCC review. The communications giant noted that it “anticipated that Time Warner will not need to transfer any of its FCC licenses … after the closing of the transaction.” That means that the FCC wouldn’t need to review the transaction, and today FCC commissioner Ajit Pai confirmed that his agency would indeed not likely look at AT&T’s purchase.

  • DRM

    • Last week, we noted how Apple was one of several companies lobbying against a right to repair bill in Nebraska. The bill would make it easier for consumers to repair their own products and find replacement parts and tools, which is generally considered to be a good thing — especially if the only Apple store is eighty miles away from your current location. But Apple tried to argue that Nebraska’s bill would not only make the public less safe (self-immolation everywhere!), but it would also result in Nebraska becoming some kind of “mecca” for nefarious hoodie-wearing ne’er-do-well hackers.

      Of course Apple, like most companies, just enjoys a repair-monopoly, which not only allows it to charge an arm and a leg for what very well may be superficial repairs, but helps prop up closed, proprietary ecosystems, hurting customers in a myriad of other ways as well.

      It’s not just in Nebraska where this conversation is happening (the Nebraska bill just happens to be the furthest along legislatively). Similar bills are also winding their way through New York, Minnesota, Wyoming, Tennessee, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Illinois state legislatures. And in most of these states, the companies lobbying against these laws are using the same disingenuous arguments Apple has been embracing. Usually it’s the trifecta of false claims that the bills will make users less safe, pose a cybersecurity risk, and open the door to cybersecurity theft.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • 全民彩票官网下载s

      • The decline in books stocked by public libraries may be far worse than official figures indicate, with industry sources claiming that it may be many millions higher than the 25 million books recorded as missing, meaning that the number of books available to borrowers has plummeted by more than 50% since 1996.

        Librarians are calling for a national audit to reveal the true extent of the problem, with the news coming as the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (Cilip) sent an open letter to chancellor Philip Hammond calling on him to increase funding for the sector, to protect it from irreparable decline as part of his strategy for economic growth.

      • The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is on an “ambivalent drift” into online content regulation through its contractual facilitation of a “trusted notifier” copyright enforcement program between the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the registry operators for two new generic top-level domains, University of Idaho College全民彩票官网登录 of Law Professor Annemarie Bridy says in a draft article for the Washington & Lee Law Review.

      • It’s easy to forget that Kim Dotcom is not the only one being hounded by the US Government. Finn Batato was Megaupload’s advertising manager, but today he’s facing extradition to the US and potentially decades in jail. After spending his savings fighting his case, he’s now trying to save his marriage while conducting his own defense.

      • At the end of 2014 Swedish police confiscated dozens of servers which many believed to belong to The Pirate Bay. The authorities later confirmed that an investigation involving copyright crimes was ongoing, but not much progress has been reported since. According to the prosecutor, the case isn’t getting any stronger, as the statute of limitations for several key crimes is expiring.

      • As negotiations take place this week in Japan for a free trade agreement covering the Asia-Pacific region, a group of intellectual property scholars is calling for the public interest to be clearly considered in the copyright rules of the future agreement.

        As the 17th round of negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is taking place in Kobe, Japan, a statement has been circulated and endorsed by 64 IP scholars from a number of countries.

        The RCEP would include the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam – as well as Australia, China全民彩票网址, India, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand.

      • In a case pitting copyright protection against competition, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit must decide whether World Programming Limited (WPL) violated SAS Institute’s copyright by copying software interfaces that enable interoperability. WPL has already won the argument in the UK and in Europe’s highest court. The case has drawn strong support on both sides from the tech sector and a civil liberties group.

The Boards of Appeal Openly Complain (in the EPO’s Web Site) About Battistelli, But Don’t Tell Battistelli About It…

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

…or this might happen

A shocked Battistelli

Summary: The Boards of Appeal have found the courage — in the face of a pattern of illegal retaliation — to state that Battistelli’s abuse of power compromises the perceived if not actual legitimacy of their decisions

Battistelli, having studied at ENA (a 全民彩票官网登录 notorious for producing French sociopaths), is accustomed to just intimidating and bullying those who don’t agree with him, even his bosses/overseers. So it’s hardly surprising that he’s scaring and punishing even judges, i.e. people who are far more qualified than he will ever be. Battistelli must feel lonesome and insecure at the EPO; he is surrounded by very clever people (although more of them are leaving over time) and at public events nobody wants to even speak to him. Any respect he may sense that he gets is purely out of fear, just like the Mafia’s Don (0% of staff and stakeholders tolerate Battistelli, based on polls). As someone from the inside put it last year: “People were chatting all around but all backs turned to him. He looked extremely alone, almost like a leper and maybe he also felt so. His body language showed enough: hunchbacked and looking down, avoiding eye contact with his staff.”

“Battistelli must feel lonesome and insecure at the EPO; he is surrounded by very clever people (although more of them are leaving over time) and at public events nobody wants to even speak to him.”The bully complex or inferiority complex is a well explained phenomenon that we probably needn’t explain to readers. It’s one possible explanation for the policies Battistelli — now enjoying immunity (crazy situation and a recipe for disaster of biblical proportions!) — foists upon everyone around him.

The other day we spotted at IP Kat (which no longer writes about EPO scandals, but certainly continues to attract comments about it, from people who trust Google for anonymity):

Wow. The EPO’s annual report on the Boards of Appeal makes interesting reading… in that case Art 23 1/16 is now officially expunged from history. There is literally no indication in the report that the case ever took place.

I had wondered how Monsieur le President would handle this. Now I know. He has decided to contravene the provisions of the EPC yet again. Having suffered no consequences for doing the same in the past, he must feel confident of getting away with it again.

Frankly, I am disgusted by the ineptitude and cronyism displayed by the AC (as a whole) which has enabled this to come to pass under their watch. It makes you wonder which breaches of the EPC (or even crimes) they would actually take action over.

The “cronyism displayed by the AC,” as this person said, should make one wonder if Battistelli controls them by things he knows (and can have them scandalised/fired over), not necessarily money (EPO budget). Would “breaches of the EPC (or even crimes) [be things they would] actually take action over”? Some people have already compared this situation to that of Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Speaking of crimes, we have something pretty big to show soon, but only after further and thorough verification (for our safety and the safety of sources).

“Speaking of crimes, we have something pretty big to show soon, but only after further and thorough verification (for our safety and the safety of sources).”Shortly after the above comment the : “The annual report of the boards of appeal of the European Patent Office 2016 is now available online” (linking to ; warning: epo.org links can potentially be used to unmask readers).

Battistelli of course still crushes these boards, in spite of the EPC which he is trying to work around. He just keeps calling exile “independence” or “perception of independence”, so we can’t help but wonder if that fellow Corsican Napoleon (same place as Battistelli’s, but a more infamous person) felt like he was liberated after he had suffered expulsion.

Now read about Battistelli:

G2301/15 made it online …

4.3.
Removal and judicial independence

The Enlarged Board stated in G 2301/15 that removing an irksome judge from office could be used to indirectly influence decisions. It was crucial to judicial independence that judges cannot be removed without special institutional safeguards. The requirement that a board member may only exceptionally be removed from office on a proposal from the Enlarged Board intended to make sure that unsubstantiated or groundless allegations could not be used as pretext for getting rid of an irksome judge.

http://www.epo.org/law-practice/legal-texts/html/caselaw/2016/e/clr_iv_f_4_3.htm

But watch it disappear soon when El Presidente finds out!!!

Well, we have taken a screenshot just in case and added the likely facial expression of Battistelli (if or when he sees this).

“In our view, anything that the boards (including the Enlarged Board of Appeal) do right now we have to assume that they do under fear/terror from Battistelli, hence their judgement — by their very own admission — may already have been severely compromised.”As a side note, Battistelli’s — a subject which we already covered here earlier this year. To quote: “A new decision from the European Patent Office (EPO) Enlarged Board of Appeal (G 1/15) marks a radical change in the EPO’s approach to assessing priority entitlement. The decision resets the EPO’s approach to assessing priority in the situation where only some parts of the claim are entitled to priority – a concept known as ‘partial priority’ – making it much easier for a claim to benefit from partial priority.”

In our view, anything that the boards (including the Enlarged Board of Appeal) do right now we have to assume that they do under fear/terror from Battistelli, hence their judgement — by their very own admission — may already have been severely compromised. The Angry Baby, baby Battistelli, will throw some more toys out of his pram if the boards do not cave in and become his toys, enabling ever-so-great ‘production’ figures (at the expense of quality, wellbeing of staff, common sense and so on). The Office is not functioning and the whole Organisation is in shambles.

Web Site of French Senator Richard Yung Cracked Just Days After Criticising the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The statement posted by Yung before his site got cracked (via , which still prevails)

Richard Yung site before crack
A “snapshot of the page as it appeared on Feb 22, 2017 14:09:52 GMT.” (Google Cache)

Richard YungSummary: A French politician finds himself red-faced after criticising the EPO, as his site gets flagged as malicious, gets blocked, and his blog post (speech) about the EPO vanishes

has been in politics for a long time. He also has a pretty decent Web site with a good mobile version, alternating backgrounds etc. We wouldn’t classify his site as something shoddy.

Previously, a Croatian site that was rather prominent in its criticism of Battistelli’s ‘bulldog’ got cracked, whereupon we decided to preserve some of its content (especially critical documents about Battistelli’s ‘bulldog’). Later on, perhaps just months apart, SUEPO and us came under DDOS attacks (it happened to us several more times over the years, in addition to tens of millions of cracking attempts). We are not suggesting that Yung’s site was targeted in connection with the EPO (we linked to his site just before the crack and shortly afterwards, just after we received nasty warnings for attempting to access the site). We are just pointing out what is known. SUEPO noticed the same thing and wrote about it, at one point bypassing his site and linking directly to the video from the French government.

“The EPO would not hesitate to state this. I was informed on good authority that this was a hacking incident and apparently it has been confirmed by Senator Yung himself.”
      –Anonymous
“Dubious incident,” one reader of ours called it, as “Senator Richard Yung’s website got attacked and hacked [...] FYI, Last Friday SUEPO published the article “[Richard Yung] Question orale sur la dégradation du climat social au sein de l’OEB: réponse du Gouvernement – Richard Yung, senateur des francais de l’etranger” on their website under the column “February 2017 press articles” however I noticed when clicking on the link the following warning message was generated: “malicious website” , “website may harm your computer” and “This is a known dangerous website. It is recommended that you do NOT visit this site.”

We noticed the same thing. I was aware of it and I actually wrote to him about it. I was unable to confirm whether he really got cracked or just simply restored from a recent backup that did not have his most recent posts (the latest post was missing at the time, yielding a “page not found” error).

We did some informal asking around, for no politician likes to publicly admit carelessness, defacement, sabotage etc. (unless it’s Battistelli, in which case even mild tampering with a bicycle is gigantic news and a prelude to a national emergency at Eponia).

“I heard from a reliable source which requires not to be identified that Yung’s site had been attacked with a technique that makes it referenced as a dangerous site by Google, hence the blockade that we all experienced (even from within the French Senat !”
      –Anonymous intermediary
One person told us that “other people confirmed this incident. I did some investigations on the same day and found out that Yung’s website was available however the article including the video about the parliamentary question on the social climate of the European Patent Office had miraculously vanished. Pure coincidence? The EPO would not hesitate to state this. I was informed on good authority that this was a hacking incident and apparently it has been confirmed by Senator Yung himself.”

We asked this reader to ask around for any more information about it because we needed an absolutely undeniable statement. Yung seems tight-lipped about it; he didn’t respond to me.

We were waiting and waiting for more input and eventually we received this:

Yung apparently confirmed the hack to my contact, however I need to double check it. Would be nice to have a written statement about this. I’m on it and let you know asap ;)

[...]

Here is the reply from an intermediary:

“I heard from a reliable source which requires not to be identified that Yung’s site had been attacked with a technique that makes it referenced as a dangerous site by Google, hence the blockade that we all experienced (even from within the French Senat !”

That is all the information that we have at the moment. It would be valuable to know what this technique actually was as here in Techrights the cracking attempts habitually speed up to the point where they choke our back-end servers, with nearly 100 attempts per second (these attempts were previously traced back to Chinese networks).

“It’s hard to believe in coincidence,” , “but it’s even harder to believe in anything else.”

New Survey Shows That Even Patent Professionals Know That Team UPC is Lying About Unitary Patent Roadmaps

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Team UPC is fooling/successfully misleading almost nobody but is still lying to everyone, finds/infers a new WIPR survey

Dave Croston in Financial Director
One example of plenty more fake news about the UPC (e.g. [1, 2, 3]), courtesy of those who stand to profit from legal Armageddon

Summary: The “Unified Patent Court (UPC) is unlikely to become operational by December 2017 [according to] nearly three-quarters of WIPR readers,” but Team UPC continues to spread lies

JUST earlier this month WIPR published the results of a survey about the UPC, which emboldened us and reinforced our predictions. See our post titled “New WIPR Survey and Other Data Points Suggest That the Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, at Least in the UK“.

“…it’s time MPs talked about it, understood it and explained it – too important not to be publicly scrutinised…”
      –David Brooke
I spoke to someone from WIPR today (David Brooke). He that he would “hardly think any MPs know what the upc is – pro or anti Brexit. not even sure carswell does either…”

“It’s not simple to explain,” I told him, and , adding that “it’s time MPs talked about it, understood it and explained it – too important not to be publicly scrutinised…”

Max Walters?, another frequent writer on the matter (not a patent practitioner, but one with profound understanding of the subject) and said: “They know that it can involve the CJEU. For some that should be enough…”

He : “How can it be ratified without a vote?”

“They know that it can involve the CJEU. For some that should be enough…”
      –Max Walters?
“The concern is,” I explained, “people who vote might know nothing about it except what CIPA (front group) says [...] that it’s good for SMEs yada yada…” (that’s a famous lie about the UPC).

Walters? then : “Didn’t the IP Bill also give the sec of state power to ratify?”

FFII is currently trying to figure out the process and we are speaking with them about it.

Days ago Walters? (adding a screenshot): “Still no MPs declaring support for Douglas Carswell’s anti #UPC motion. Have to say I’m somewhat surprised by this…”

“They try to disseminate mere belief (false belief) that the UPC is unstoppable (just a matter of time), inevitable (a question of when, not if), and even desirable.”“Not surprising given that they’re not aware of what #upc does,” I told him, “how patent law works, and #cipa lies to them…”

We still have some time to explain this to them. In a new survey, just published at the end of February, it is made abundantly apparent that WIPR’s audience — probably patent professionals in the UK for the most part — is agreeing with what surveys previously showed. People in the profession don’t swallow all the lies of Team UPC, which is just lying through its teeth with fake news in order to bamboozle politicians into a Unitary Patent hop. They try to disseminate mere belief (false belief) that the UPC is unstoppable (just a matter of time), inevitable (a question of when, not if), and even desirable. Here is :

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is unlikely to become operational by December 2017, as predicted, according to nearly three-quarters of WIPR readers.

In January, WIPR reported that the UPC preparatory committee announced that the court can become operational in December this year.

And one reader said: “I have confidence that the UPC will be operational in December but uncertainties related to Brexit diminish its use.”

But most readers weren’t quite as optimistic. One major spanner in the works, they said, is Brexit.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit speech in January sparked concerns that the UK may seek to leave the UPC after Brexit.

“We do not seek to hold on to bits of membership as we leave,” said May, setting out a 12-step plan that the UK government will use for negotiating Brexit terms.

A question less loaded would not presume that it’s just a matter of time. It might never happen at all. Most WIPR readers previously said so.

“A question less loaded would not presume that it’s just a matter of time. It might never happen at all. Most WIPR readers previously said so.”What does Team UPC do and say in the mean time? Have a look at Bristows with its “The Unified Patent Court is still on track to open in December 2017.”

That’s a lie. But keep repeating it, Bristows, and maybe some gullible politicians will actually believe you. Bristows is a truly nasty firm and anyone seeking an honest advice from them would be well advised to avoid.

“Imagine what would happen if we empowered and equipped large (often foreign) firms with injunctions Europe-wide.”The only thing the UPC would bring to Europe (and the UK, if it ever miraculously passes and pervades) is patent trolls, more patent litigation, higher damages, and more patent injunctions. The London-based IAM would certainly love it; it even got paid to promote the UPC!

Imagine what would happen if we empowered and equipped large (often foreign) firms with injunctions Europe-wide. Imagine no more!

There are patent raids in Europe and IAM seems rather thrilled about it [, ]. The Mobile World Congress was supposed to be all fun and showcases (a couple of days ago), but instead there are raids to come. IAM wrote: “Barcelona court orders seizure of phones at Mobile World Congress over possible infringement of Fractus patent. [...] 全民彩票网址Phones were being displayed at the event by French and Chinese companies. Fractus applied for the order last week.”

“It’s not hard to see who such a system is desirable to as SMEs rarely operate in more than one nation anyway.”That’s a case of “I steal all your phones, because I allege you infringe some patents (in a rush, hardly a chance for defense!).”

Laws for the rich and powerful? That’s UPC. And the above new story is a cautionary tale. Imagine what patent trolls would do with such powers; one ruling in one European city would be applicable not just in the EU but also beyond! It’s not hard to see who such a system is desirable to as SMEs rarely operate in more than one nation anyway.

Does the EPO Want Patent Quality to Decline Against the USPTO and Become Akin to SIPO?

Posted in America, Asia, Europe, Patents at 7:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Anything goes with crooked management like this

MoU signed by Bergot

Summary: The EPO, which is trying to convert a patent system into a cash cow rather than a public service, risks losing public support and an applicants base (where it hasn’t lost it already)

PATENT quality and scope (inherently similar things) have been a concern of ours predating Battistelli at the EPO. There just doesn’t seem to be the same aspiration to quality that there used to be. It got even worse under Battistelli (compared to Brimelow and her predecessors) and the Administrative Council, a bunch of spineless chinchillas, just doesn’t seem to genuinely care. It mentions “quality” every now and then, yet it takes no practical steps to assure it. The last meeting of the Administrative Council barely even brought up the subject and the next one, which is just weeks away, seems unlikely to even have it on the agenda. Battistelli continues to rely on his propaganda mill, IAM, to deny the issue with dubious surveys.

“After the US patent office ruled against the University of California in its battle for key patents on the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology last week, UC put on a brave face.”
      –California Healthline
As people who read this site closely enough (not just EPO matters) would have noticed, the USPTO aided by the AIA gifts (notably PTAB) is growingly picky and selective on CRISPR — essentially patents on life. Read this new article titled . To quote: “After the US patent office ruled against the University of California in its battle for key patents on the CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology last week, UC put on a brave face. It might appeal the decision, it told reporters. It might settle for the patent it originally filed for, in 2012, and live with the fact that the Broad Institute, which prevailed at the patent office, gets to keep crucial patents that UC challenged. Unfortunately for UC, a public institution that could really use royalty and licensing revenues from CRISPR patents, experts in intellectual property suspect that even its fallback positions are no more solid than shaving cream.”

“How many more patent applications will the EPO receive in the long run when attorneys need to tell clients that the EPO has gone awry?”Other publications too wrote about it this week [, ], as did we. Just titled “European Patent Office To Grant CRISPR-Cpf1 Patent To Broad Institute, MIT, And Harvard University” (disappointing).

So the USPTO and PTAB make sceptical moves towards or against CRISPR, but the EPO under Battistelli (where examiners are under stress and are urged to reject of grant everything, as fast as possible, without sufficient research) does the opposite. What are applicants supposed to think? Yesterday I spoke to a highly-ranked university professor about this. He seems to be aware of what goes on at the EPO and he has informed his university. How many more patent applications will the EPO receive in the long run when attorneys need to tell clients that the EPO has gone awry? Job applications (and quality thereof) have already nosedived. How many applicants out there already prepare to just pursue patents at the national patent offices (NPOs)? We’ve heard from a few.

To quote from the press release: “The European Patent Office (EPO) has announced it intends to grant its first CRISPR-Cpf1 patent to the Broad Institute, MIT, and Harvard University, based on a patent application filed in June 2015.”

Intention to grant and actual grant are not the same thing. Is this some sort of “early certainty” thing? Where people make decisions before they actually make decisions? Or make semi-official determinations without actually doing the work involved? This is Battistelli’s legacy. There are many other bad legacies, including a plethora of abuses and one might say “corruption”. Yesterday the , telling people nothing about : “Join us on Wednesday for our free webinar on recent & upcoming law changes in India!”

“If firms take these patents to court and then find out that these patents are worthless (and invalidated on the spot), what good is the EPO’s service to them?”Well, (a patent maximalist and ), offers tips for bypassing limitations. We recently wrote how India had adopted a process for speeding up applications of those with deeper pockets (the EPO did this first) and this one says: “Most patent applications in India are granted after amendments are made to the patent claims; there are few cases in which patent applications are allowed with no claim amendments. To speed up the examination process, claims can be amended on a voluntary basis or in response to objections raised in an examination report. This means that applicants can either file a request for voluntary amendment along with the associated fee or wait until the examination report is issued.”

We certainly hope that whistleblowers inside the EPO will share stories with us about the decline of patent quality at the Office, with or without intent to make the information public (some people already tell us about this, but we cannot make public any of the details as that might jeopardise these sources). Dissent is strong inside the Office, partly because insiders believe they are being pressured to hastily grant patents they would not otherwise grant. If firms take these patents to court and then find out that these patents are worthless (and invalidated on the spot), what good is the EPO’s service to them? For small companies, scenarios such as these can render them insolvent as patents are expensive to pursue and maintain (renewal), never mind the legal fees associated with litigation.

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