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12.10.16

Links 10/12/2016: KDE neon User LTS Edition, AsteroidOS in Headlines Again

Posted in News Roundup at 6:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • 5 Things To Expect From The World Of Linux In 2017

    Linux has come out of oblivion to become a mainstream technology today – making its presence felt in the world of marketing, finance, operations and in every other domain. The New Year 2017, should hold promise for Linux, as Bryan Lunduke said recently. There will be some crucial outcomes of the Linux Foundation-Microsoft partnership as well, which made waves in the tech circles the world over. From the predictions available, there will be increased focus on some areas, while the others will witness a lot of trial and error, and even predictive failure, for that matter.

  • Desktop

    • The Libreboot C201 from Minifree is really really really ridiculously open source

      Open source laptops – ones not running any commercial software whatsoever – have been the holy grail for free software fans for years. Now, with the introduction of libreboot, a truly open source boot firmware, the dream is close to fruition.

      The $730 laptop is a bog standard piece of hardware but it contains only open source software. The OS, Debian, is completely open source and to avoid closed software the company has added an Atheros Wi-Fi dongle with open source drivers rather than use the built-in Wi-Fi chip.

  • Server

    • Docker 1.13.0 Just Around the Corner as Docker 1.12.4 Enters Development

      Victor Vieux from the open source Docker app container engine released new development versions of the upcoming Docker 1.13.0 major milestone and Docker 1.12.4 maintenance update for the current stable series.

      The third Release Candidate (RC) version of Docker 1.13.0 arrived a couple of days ago with numerous minor tweaks and fixes to polish the software before it’s tagged as ready for production and hits the streets, which should happen in the coming weeks. Docker 1.13.0 RC3 comes two after the release of the second RC build.

    • Pet Containers: You’re Not Doing it Wrong

      The conventional wisdom of Linux containers is that each service should run in its own container. Containers should be stateless and have short lifecycles. You should build a container once, and replace it when you need to update its contents rather than updating it interactively. Most importantly, your containers should be disposable and pets are decidedly not disposable. Thus the conventional wisdom is if your containers are pets, you’re doing it wrong. I’m here to gently disagree with that, and say that you should feel free to put your pets in containers if it works for you.

    • Best Open Source Hosting Control Panels

      Most website owners use web hosting control panels to manage their hosting environment. The fact is, the control panel facilitates the server administration and allows users to manage multiple websites without hiring an expert. Today, with so many options available, you don’t have to be a command line guru in order to host a simple website. All you need is a server and a web hosting control panel. There are paid control panels like WHM/cPanel or DirectAdmin which are very powerful, but if you don’t like to pay for a control panel you can simply choose one of the open source alternatives. In this guide, we will present to you some of the most popular open source hosting control panels.

    • ZEPL Announces $4.1M Funding to Accelerate Innovation and Adoption of Apache Zeppelin For End-to-End Analytics Workflow
    • Apache Zeppelin Gets Commercial Backing from ZEPL

      NFlabs rebrands as ZEPL and announces $4.1M in funding in support of open-source Apache Zeppelin data analytics project.

      The open-source Apache Zeppelin project is an increasingly popular, web-based notebook for interactive data analytics that directly integrates with the Apache Spark project for Big Data analytics. Among the commercial backers of Zeppelin is ZEPL, formerly known as NFLabs. On December 8, the newly branded ZEPL announced that it has raised $4.1 million in an initial funding round.

      The funding round was led by Vertex Ventures and it included the participation of Translink Capital, Specialized Types and Big Basin Capital. The funding is set to be used to help ZEPL build a successful business model. Sejun Ra, co-founder and CEO at ZEPL said that the plan for the new money to help his company build and develop a single platform for end-to-end data analytics workflow.

    • New Amazon Web Services Region Opens in Canada

      Amazon launches AWS Canada (Central) Region in Montreal, extending Amazon’s cloud infrastructure to 15 regions and 40 availability zones around the world.

      At long last, the cloud is coming to Canada. Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced on December 8, the official launch of the new AWS Canada (Central) Region, providing cloud infrastructure from data centers in Montreal, Quebec. The new AWS region is set to help serve customers in Canada with Amazon already highlighting a number of well-known organizations including National Bank of Canada, Porter Airlines and clothing retailer Lululemon.

    • MEF, TM Forum Unite With Open Source Groups on Network Vision

      MEF Thursday announced the release of a new white paper – “An Industry Initiative For Third Generation Network and Services“ – spearheaded by MEF and co-authored by ON.Lab, ONOS, OPEN-O, OpenDaylight (ODL), the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV), and TM Forum. The white paper describes an industry vision for the evolution and transformation of network connectivity services and the networks used to deliver them. MEF refers to this vision as the “Third Network,” which combines the agility and ubiquity of the Internet with the performance and security of CE 2.0 (Carrier Ethernet 2.0) networks.

    • The New Role of Assurance for Virtualized Networks

      For as long as any of us can remember, fulfillment and assurance were two independent processes, mostly because they were conceived, operated and purchased by separate departments. As Alfred D. Chandler demonstrated in his classic book “Strategy and Structure,” operations and even business structure follow organizational charts and vice-versa. Fulfillment and assurance are no exceptions, with those organizations driving processes and supporting software purchases. While many know that its not ideal, the situation has mostly worked.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 4.8.13

      I’m announcing the release of the 4.8.13 kernel.

      All users of the 4.8 kernel series must upgrade.

      The updated 4.8.y git tree can be found at:
      git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.8.y
      and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

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

    • Linux 4.4.37
    • Linux Kernel 4.4.37 LTS Is a Minor Patch with AArch64 Changes, Updated Drivers
    • Linux Kernel 4.8.13 Launches with ARM64 and AMDGPU Improvements, KVM Fixes

      A few moments ago, renowned Linux kernel maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman had the pleasure of announcing the general availability of the Linux kernel 4.8.13 and Linux kernel 4.4.37 LTS maintenance updates.

      While many rolling GNU/Linux distributions have just received the Linux 4.8.12 kernel, it looks like Linux kernel 4.8.13 is now available with more improvements and bug fixes, but it’s not a major milestone. According to the appended shortlog and the diff since last week’s Linux 4.8.12 kernel release, a total of 46 files were changed, with 214 insertions and 95 deletions.

    • Linux Foundation adds an open source networking specialist to the team

      In recognition of the increasingly central role open source technology has played for the networking sector, the Linux Foundation today named Arpit Joshipura as its general manager for networking and orchestration.

      Joshipura, a veteran tech executive who has worked at Dell, Ericsson, and Nortel, among others, is considered by the organization to be a foundational contributor to open source software in general and networking in particular. Currently, he’s the chief marketing officer for Prevoty, an application security startup in Los Angeles.

    • The Linux Foundation Appoints Veteran Networking Professional as General Manager, Networking & Orchestration
    • Three serious Linux kernel security holes patched

      The good news is developers are looking very closely at Linux’s core code for possible security holes. The bad news is they’re finding them.

      At least the best news is that they’re fixing them as soon as they’re uncovered.

      The latest three kernel vulnerabilities are designated CVE-2016-8655, CVE-2016-6480, and CVE-2016-6828. Of these, CVE-2016-8655 is the worst of the bunch. It enables local users, which can include remote users with virtual and cloud-based Linux instances, to crash the system or run arbitrary code as root.

    • At Long Last, Linux Gets Dynamic Tracing

      When the Linux kernel version 4.9 will be released next week, it will come with the last pieces needed to offer to some long-awaited dynamic thread-tracing capabilities.

      As the keepers of monitoring and debugging software start using these new kernel calls, some of which have been added to the Linux kernel over the last two years, they will be able to offer much more nuanced, and easier to deploy, system performance tools, noted Brendan Gregg, a Netflix performance systems engineer and author of DTrace Tools, in a presentation at the USENIX LISA 2016 conference, taking place this week in Boston.

    • It’s Been A Quiet Year-End For BUS1, The Proposed In-Kernel IPC For Linux

      With the Linux 4.10 kernel merge window expected to open this weekend, I was digging around to see whether there was anything new on the BUS1 front and whether we might see it for the next kernel cycle.

      While I have yet to see any official communication from the BUS1 developers, it doesn’t look like it’s happening for BUS1. In fact, it’s been a rather quiet past few weeks for these developers working on this in-kernel IPC mechanism to succeed the never-merged KDBUS.

    • Intel Working On 5-Level Paging To Increase Linux Virtual/Physical Address Space
    • IBM building blockchain ecosystem

      IBM believes blockchain technology, with its capability to create an essentially immutable ledger of digital events, will alter the way whole industries conduct transactions. To make that happen, Big Blue asserts, requires a complete ecosystem of industry players working together.

      To that end, IBM today said it is building a blockchain ecosystem, complete with a revenue sharing program, to accelerate the growth of networks on the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger Fabric. IBM envisions the ecosystem as an open environment that allows organizations to collaborate using the Hyperledger Fabric.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE neon User LTS Edition Out Now

        KDE Plasma 5.8 is designated an LTS edition with bugfixes and new releases being made for 18 months (rather than the normal four months). This will please a category of user who don’t want new features on their desktop but do want it to keep working and bugs to be removed. Because Neon aims to service Plasma and its users in every way we have now created the KDE neon User LTS Edition.

      • neon User LTS, openSUSE Upgrades, Best Distro Poll

        Jonathon Riddell today announced a new release of KDE Plasma flagship neon, KDE neon Long Term Supported. neon LTS features Plasma 5.8 and will not change to 5.9. Elsewhere, two users shared their methods for upgrading from openSUSE Leap 42.1 to 42.2 and Tumbleweed received several interesting updates this week. Dedoimedo posted a best distro poll and Sourceforge said watch out for your project founder’s “mentality.”

      • KDE Neon User LTS Edition Released, Powered By Plasma 5.8

        Jonathan Riddell has announced the KDE Neon User LTS Edition availability. Rather than tracking the bleeding-edge KDE developments as KDE Neon traditionally does, the User LTS Edition tracks Plasma 5.8 LTS.

      • KDE e.V. Community Report – 2nd Half of 2015

        The KDE e.V. community report for the second half of 2015 is now available. It presents a survey of all the activities and events carried out, supported, and funded by KDE e.V. in that period, as well as the reporting of major conferences that KDE has been involved in.

  • Distributions

    • Antivirus Live CD 21.0-0.99.2 Helps You Protect Your Computer Against Viruses

      4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki proudly informs Softpedia today about the general availability of the Antivirus Live CD 21.0-0.99.2 bootable ISO image for scanning computers for viruses and other malware.

    • Best distro of 2016 poll

      Time for you to express yourselves. It’s been another year full of ups and downs, good distros and bad distros. Or if I may borrow a quote from a movie, Aladeen distros and Aladeen distros. Indeed.

      The rules are very similar to what we did in years gone past. I will conduct my own annual contest best thingie wossname, with a sprinkling of KDE, Xfce and other desktops, having their separate forays. But then, I will incorporate your ideas and thoughts into the final verdict, much like the 2015 best distro nomination. Let us.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • ROSA Desktop Fresh R8 Plasma 5: is it near-perfect?

        ROSA is a Linux distribution forked some time ago from Mandriva Linux by a team of Russian developers, Rosa Lab, or officially LLC NTC-IT ROSA.

        I reviewed their distributions several times: ROSA KDE R7, ROSA Desktop 2012 and even interviewed the ROSA team.

        The most recent release of ROSA is now ROSA Desktop Fresh R8, which is available in several flavours: MATE, GNOME 3, KDE 4 and Plasma 5. I decided to try the Plasma 5 edition of this distribution, especially as my interest to Plasma increased after the good impression Kubuntu 16.10 left on me.

        There are links to the ISO images available on the ROSA download page, and I used it to get my own version of this Linux distribution. The size of ROSA Desktop Fresh R8 Plasma 5 64-bit image is 1.9 Gb. The dd command helped me to “burn” the image to the USB stick.

        So, the USB drive is attached to my Toshiba Satellite L500-19X laptop. Reboot. Choose to boot from USB. Let’s go!

    • Arch Family

      • Manjaro Deepin 16.10.3 released

        Manjaro Deepin is an edition of Manjaro Linux that uses the Deepin Desktop Environment, which is a desktop environment that originated from the Deepin Linux, a desktop distribution that’s based on Ubuntu.

        The main edition of Manjaro uses the K Desktop Environment (KDE). Manjaro Deepin is just one of many community-supported desktop environments available to users of the Arch Linux-based desktop distribution. The others are: Budgie, Cinnamon, GNOME 3, i3, LXQt and MATE.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Says Goodbye to AMD/ATI Catalyst (fglrx) Proprietary Graphics Drivers

        openSUSE developer Bruno Friedmann, informed the community of the openSUSE Linux operating system about the fact that he’s planning to remove the old ATI/AMD Catalyst (also known as fglrx) proprietary graphics drivers.

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed Users Get Git 2.11, Xfce 4.12.3, FFmpeg 3.2.1 & Mesa 13.0.2

        openSUSE’s Douglas DeMaio reports on the latest Open Source and GNU/Linux technologies that landed in the repositories of the openSUSE Tumbleweed rolling operating system.

      • Git, Kernels, LightDM, More update in Tumbleweed

        Topping the list of updates for snapshot 20161129 was the update to Light Display Manager 1.21.1, which added an Application Programming Interface (API) version to the greeter-daemon protocol for future enhancements. Other updates in the snapshot include openVPN, which added a recommended utility for network and traffic protocols, and subpackages for systemd relevant for 32-bit users. Desktop manager xfdesktop updated to version 4.12.3 and introduced rotating wallpaper images if the images contain rotation information.

        The programming language vala, which aims to bring modern programming language features to GNOME developers without imposing any additional runtime requirements, updated in the 20161129 and 20161201 snapshots.

      • openSUSE Leap 42.1 upgrade to Leap 42.2
      • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the Week 2016/49

        I’m sure nobody doubted it, but Tumbleweed is back on the roll! And in fact, we did the impossible and released 8 snapshots in a week. This review will cover {1201..1208}.

    • Slackware Family

      • Based on Slackware 14.2, Absolute 14.2.2 Linux Is Out with Updated Kernel, X.Org

        Paul Sherman, the developer of the Absolute Linux distribution based on Slackware, has announced the availability of the second point release to the stable Absolute 14.2 series.

        Absolute 14.2 launched in mid-September 2016, and it’s based on the latest and most advanced Slackware 14.2 operating system, but from time to time there’s need for updated installation medium in case you want to deploy the OS on new computers without the need to download any updates. That’s why Absolute 14.2.2 is here, bundled with all the latest kernel and graphics stack updates released for Slackware 14.2 since its July launch.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

    • Devices/Embedded

      • ST launches sensor module and open source dev kit

        ST unveiled a Cortex-M4F based “SensorTile” sensor and BLE module plus an open source dev kit that adds audio, micro-USB, and an Arduino-like interface.

        STMicroelectronics (ST) announced its SensorTile sensor module at its developer conference in October where it was one of the highlights of the show. Now the company has officially launched the 14 x 14mm SensorTile module along with an open source “STEVAL-STLKT01V1” development kit. The kit can be used for developing wearables, gaming accessories, smart-home, and other Internet of Things devices.

      • Open Source Smartwatch Operating System AteroidOS Alpha 1.0 Released (video)
      • With Android Wear critical, open source AsteroidOS offers smartwatches a life line
      • AsteroidOS is an Open Source OS for Smartwatches

        Florent Revest is a French computer science student who has been working on an open source operating system for smartwatches for the last two years. Yesterday, he officially launched version 1 of the alpha for AsteroidOS.

        The goal for the platform was to create something that gave smartwatch owners more control over their privacy, as well as the hardware they purchased.

        Florent feels that the current proprietary platforms do not guarantee this, and this was the basis for AsteroidOS. He wanted his open source smartwatch operating system to provide freedom with free software, more privacy than other wearable platforms offer, interoperability so it could communicate with other devices, modularity that enabled the user to tweak and change the OS as they see fit, the ability to port the software to as many devices as possible, and gathering a community who is passionate about the platform.

      • AsteroidOS Brings Open Source Functionality To Smartwatches

        Smartwatches may not have taken off like companies were hoping, but they have come quite far in terms of what they can offer and what sorts of features are available for the many different models of smartwatches that are out there. Even with the updated functionality of options like Samsung’s Gear S lineup and Android Wear platforms, though, smartwatches can still feel a little bit limiting, and part of this undoubtedly includes the reason that the operating systems aren’t as open as platforms like Android. That is now changing thanks to a platform called AsteroidOS which is an open source operating system for smartwatches.

      • AsteroidOS alpha release gives Android Wear smartwatches a new hope
      • AsteroidOS is an alternative open source OS for your Android Wear device
      • Mini Apollo Lake module takes the heat — and the cold

        Congatec’s “Conga-MA5” is a Linux-ready COM Express Compact Type 10 Mini module with Apollo Lake SoCs, up to 128GB eMMC 5.1, and -40 to 85°C support.

        Congatec was one of the first embedded vendors to announce computer-on-modules based on Intel’s Atom E3900 and other Apollo Lake Pentium and Celeron SoCs. The offerings included a Qseven module, a SMARC 2.0 module, and a COM Express Compact Type 6 Conga-TCA5. The company has now followed up with a COM Express Compact Type 10 Mini Conga-MA5 module.

      • Conexant voice board lets you summon Alexa from a Raspberry Pi

        Conexant and Amazon have launched an Alexa Voice Service development kit for the Raspberry Pi 3. The kit includes a Conexant AudioSmart CX20921 voice board.

        Since Amazon opened up access to its Alexa Voice Service (AVS) agent inside the Amazon Echo smart speaker/IoT hub, including an open source port to the Raspberry Pi, several projects have emerged for creating Echo-like devices built around the RPi. For example, earlier this year, a Novaspirit Tech hack along these lines was promoted by the Raspberry Pi blog. Now Conexant Systems and Amazon have teamed up on a higher end “AudioSmart 2-mic Development Kit” for the RPi that’s designed specifically for voice-controlled smart home IoT functionality.

      • New Smartwatch OS Debuts on GitHub

        Can a new smartwatch operating system based on Linux breathe some new life into the smart wearables market? Florent Revest hopes so.

        Revest, a French computer science student, on Wednesday announced the alpha release of AsteroidOS, an open source operating system that will run on several Android smartwatch models.

        “Many users believe that the current proprietary platforms can not guarantee a satisfactory level of control over their privacy and hardware,” noted Revest, who has been working on his OS for two years. “Hence, I noticed a need for an open wearable platform and AsteroidOS is my attempt to address this issue.”

      • Rugged EBX single board computer sets off on the Bay Trail

        VersaLogic’s Linux-friendly, EBX style “Viper” SBC offers a Bay Trail Atom E3800, up to 16GB DDR3L, -40 to 85°C support, and MIL-STD-202G ruggedization.

      • Upcoming Retro Console Promises To Play Almost All Classic Games Across All Consoles, Supports 4K
      • RetroEngine Sigma release date, specs, latest news: Crowd-funded retro gaming device can emulate 28 different consoles
      • Doyodo RetroEngine Sigma Release Date, News & Update: Linux-Powered Emulation Console For Classic Games Soon To Launch!

        Doyodo has launched a mini-console RetroEngine Sigma that can run classic video games and soon to release in the market. The mini-console is said to directly compete with Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition console.

        Doyodo, a design company has introduced its crowd funding campaign console called RetroEngine Sigma. The mini-console is also a plug-and-play media player that is capable of running thousands of classic video games using an emulator.

      • Make Raspberry Pi Portable With 5-inch Touch Screen

        You can be your own Geordi La Forge and build yourself a fully capable GNU/Linux pocket computer with this uber inexpensive five-inch touch screen and a Raspberry Pi.

      • Phones

        Free Software/Open Source

        • Apache Zeppelin open-source analytics startup reveals new name, fresh funding

          The team behind the Apache Zeppelin open-source notebook for big data analytics visualization has renamed itself ZEPL and announced $4.1M in Series A funding.

          ZEPL, which swears a certain professional football organization had nothing to do with it ditching its former name (NFLabs), is one of numerous companies smelling blood in the water around Tableau, the $3.5 billion business intelligence and analytics software vendor that has stumbled financially in recent quarters and seen its stock price plummet accordingly. The pitch from ZEPL entering my email inbox read: “Is Open Source project eating Tableau’s lunch?”

        • OpenMake Software turns its ARA solution into open-source offering

          OpenMake Software wants to improve how developers use the Continuous Delivery pipeline with its recently open-sourced Application Release Automation (ARA) solution, Release Engineer, which is based on version 7.7 of the ARA solution and offered under the FreeBSD license.

        • Open source needs social freedoms for business to thrive

          When open source was first introduced in 1991 with Linux, it was considered a novelty in the industry, a new toy for developers to play with. Today, it’s a fundamental driver of technology innovation across all software companies, according to Dirk Hohndel, VP and chief open source officer at VMware Inc.

          “Open source is more than software development methodology; open source is how a group of people interact and how you create fantastic technology,” said Hohndel.

        • 6 organizational growing pains you can avoid

          Everything has a season, and as organizations age—communities, charities, companies, churches and more—they face similar diseases of time. These are emergent patterns of failure that arise not from mistakes but from the consequences of earlier success. In open source, we are seeing the same patterns emerge; this should not be a surprise.

          Some of them are unavoidable. Understanding them helps leaders reduce the risk that will arise and helps identify them when they do. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but we have encountered all of these modes of systemic failure, some of them often.

        • Maximizing the benefits of open source in IoT

          With the dawn of the Internet of Things, software is making its way into every product, into every industry. And along with software come developers, who bring their beliefs, attitudes, expertise, and habits along with them. One of those is open source technology — a staple in the software industry since the 1980s, but a new and often scary concept for many traditional industries, whose businesses are built on protecting their assets and intellectual property.

          In this article, we will illustrate how open source technologies permeate every part of the IoT development stack, and outline how open source can be used as a means of market control as well as a booster of innovation and a way to tap into the IoT developer talent pool. The data have been collected from 3,700 IoT developers in 150 countries across the globe, surveyed in Q4 2015 and shines a light on how big a deal open source really is in IoT, why developers love it, and how companies can create a successful commercial strategy around the use of open source by aligning themselves with the values of that core stakeholder group that are developers.

        • A tour of Google’s 2016 open source releases

          Open source software enables Google to build things quickly and efficiently without reinventing the wheel, allowing us to focus on solving new problems. We stand on the shoulders of giants, and we know it. This is why we support open source and make it easy for Googlers to release the projects they’re working on internally as open source.

          We’ve released more than 20-million lines of open source code to date, including projects such as Android, Angular, Chromium, Kubernetes, and TensorFlow. Our releases also include many projects you may not be familiar with, such as Cartographer, Omnitone, and Yeoman.

        • Why this CTO believes open source should be the new norm for all software companies

          Open source is personally very important to me, and my team has a long track record of contributing to open source projects, so it was a simple decision to open source our platform. Doing that encourages transparency and community engagement, which is key for any product that has security at its core. We had a vision to be a secure and completely transparent messaging app and we stuck to it.

        • Google’s Open Embedded Projector is a Cool Data Visualization Tool

          With 2016 closing out, there is no doubt that cloud computing and Big Data analytics would probably come to mind if you had to consider the hot technology categories of the year. However, there is an absolute renaissance going on right now in the field of artifical intelligence and the closely related field of machine learning. In fact, in its top 10 strategic technology trends for the year 2017, Gartner put AI and machine learning at the top of the list.

          Google is among several companies making big contributions in this space. It recently gathered some compelling AI and machine learning demonstrations and placed them in its Google AI Experiments showcase. Now, Google has announced that it is open sourcing its data visualization tool, Embedding Projector. The tool will aid machine learning practioners as they visualize data without having to install and run Google’s TensorFlow tool (also open source, which we covered here).

        • Nextcloud’s Promising Advances Continue

          The extremely popular ownCloud open source file-sharing and storage platform for building private clouds has been much in the news lately. CTO and founder of ownCloud Frank Karlitschek resigned from the company a few months ago. His open letter announcing the move pointed to possible friction created as ownCloud moved forward as a commercial entity as opposed to a solely community focused, open source project. Karlitschek had a plan, though. He came out with a fork of ownCloud called Nextcloud, and we’ve reported on strong signs that this cloud platform has a bright future. In recent months, the company has continued to advance Nextcloud.

          Now, if you’re running the Nextcloud platform, a convenient new addition is coming your way. The Nextcloud 9.0.54 and 10.0.1 releases come with a new updater. This new updater allows reliable upgrading to new Nextcloud versions via the web and in the upcoming 11 release even via the command line interface.

        • Don’t Let Your Project Suffer Because of Founder’s Mentality

          There’s a certain mentality that can creep up and slowly destroy open source project development. It’s dangerous in a way that nobody really notices it’s there or that it is destructive, except at the very last moments. It’s the founder’s mentality.

        • How Gratipay helps solve the ‘free rider’ problem
        • Rhizome is working on an open-source tool to help archive digital content

          “The stability of this kind of easy archiving for document storage, review and revision is a great possibility, but the workflow for journalists is very specific, so the grant will allow us to figure out how it could function.”

          Another feature of Webrecorder that journalists might find appealing, and one of the software’s core purposes, is to preserve material that might be deleted or become unavailable in time.

          However, the tool is currently operated under a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Takedown policy. This means any individual can ask for a record of their web presence or materials to be removed, so Rhizome will be working to “answer the more complicated questions and figure out policies” around privacy and copyright with the latest round of funding.

        • An ode to releasing software

          There is one particular moment in every Free and Open Source Software project: it’s the time when the software is about to get released. The software has been totally frozen of course, QA tests have been made, all the lights are green; the website still needs to be updated with the release notes, perhaps some new content and of course the stable builds have to be uploaded. The release time is always a special one.

          The very day of the release, there is some excitement and often a bit of stress. The release manager(s), as well as everyone working on the project’s infrastructure are busy making sure everything is ready when the upload of the stable version of the software, binaries and source, has been completed. In many cases, some attention is paid to the main project’s mirror servers so that the downloads are fluid and work (mostly) flawlessly as soon as the release has been pushed and published.

        • Events

          • Diversity Scholarship Series: My Time at CloudNativeCon 2016

            CloudNativeCon 2016 was a wonderful first conference for me and although the whirlwind of a conference is tiring, I left feeling motivated and inspired. The conference made me feel like I was a part of the community and technology I have been working with daily.

        • Web Browsers

        • SaaS/Back End

          • Spark and Hadoop Training Can Lead to Top Job Prospects

            In the tech job market race these days, hardly any trend is drawing more attention than Big Data. And, when talking Big Data, the subject of Hadoop inevitably comes up, but Spark is becoming an increasingly popular topic. IBM and other companies have made huge commitments to Spark, and workers who have both Hadoop and Spark skills are much in demand.With all this in mind, several providers are offering free Hadoop and Spark training.

        • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

          • Michael Meeks: 2016-12-08 Thursday.

            Mail chew; really encouraged to see Kolab’s lovely integration with Collabora Online announced and available for purchase. Wonderful to have them getting involved with LibreOffice, doing testing, filing and triaging bugs up-stream and so on, not to mention the polished marketing.

          • LibreOffice Goes Online

            Well, Meeks and company have done it. What was at first a rather limited demonstration of LibreOffice running in a browser window is now available as a Docker image for everyone to try out. I haven’t yet, because I’m under the weather with yet another winter cold, but that shouldn’t delay you.

        • CMS

          • WordPress 4.7 Content Management System Provides New Design Options

            WordPress is among the most widely used open-source technologies in the world, powering more than 70 million websites. WordPress 4.7 was released Dec. 6, providing a new milestone update including new features for both users and developers. As is typically the case with new WordPress releases, there is also a new default theme in the 4.7 update. The 2017 theme provides users with a number of interesting attributes including the large feature image as well as the ability to have a video as part of the header image. The Theme Customizer feature enables users to more intuitively adjust various elements of a theme, to fit the needs of websites that use will upgrade to WordPress 4.7. In addition, the new custom CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) feature within a theme preview lets users quickly see how style changes will change the look of a site. As an open-source project, WordPress benefits from participation of independent contributors and for the 4.7 release there were 482 contributors. In this slideshow eWEEK takes a look at some of the highlights of the WordPress 4.7 release.

        • Education

          • Psychology Professor Releases Free, Open-Source, Preprint Software

            The Center for Open Science, directed by University of Virginia psychology professor Brian Nosek, has launched three new services to more quickly share research data as the center continues its mission to press for openness, integrity and reproducibility of scientific research.

            Typically, researchers send preprint manuscripts detailing their research findings to peer-reviewed academic journals, such as Nature and Science. The review process can take months or even years before publication – if the research is published at all.

            By contrast, “preprinting,” or sharing non-peer-reviewed research results online, enables crucial data to get out to the community the moment it is completed. That, said Nosek, is critical.

        • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

        • BSD

          • GCC 6.2/7.0 vs. LLVM Clang 3.9/4.0 SVN Compiler Performance

            Earlier this week I published some GCC 5.4 vs. GCC 6.2 vs. GCC 7.0 SVN development benchmarks with a Core i7 6800K Broadwell-E system. For those curious how the LLVM Clang compiler stack is comparing, here are some tests on the same system when running fresh benchmarks of LLVM Clang 3.9 as well as LLVM Clang 4.0 SVN.

            These tests were done with LLVM Clang 3.9 and 4.0 SVN added in to the GCC results from this Core i7 6800K system running Ubuntu 16.10 with the Linux 4.8 kernel. The CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS were maintained the same throughout all testing with the “-O3 -march=native” flags.

          • LLVM 3.9.1 Expected For Release Next Week

            While LLVM 4.0 isn’t coming until its planned release in Feburary, the LLVM 3.9.1 point release is expected this coming week.

            Tom Stellard of AMD released LLVM 3.9.1-rc3 on Friday and anticipates this being the last release candidate. This 3.9.1-rc3 build just has some ARM/AArch64 fixes compared to his earlier RC2 milestone.

        • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

          • GCC Patch To Support Google’s Fuchsia OS

            It’s been a while since last hearing anything of Google’s experimental Fuchsia OS but it looks like things are moving along as they are now looking to merge support for it into the GCC compiler.

        • Public Services/Government

          • Slovenia voting analysis tool shared as open source

            The President of the Parliament of Slovenia, Milan Brglez, last Monday unveiled Parlameter, a web-based software solution that displays in the National Assembly voting results and helps analyse them. The software, made available as open source, is developed by ‘Danes je nov dan’ (Today is a new day) an NGO focusing on eParticipation, openness and government oversight.

          • Bulgaria to make EUPL preferred open source licence

            Next week, the government of Bulgaria will make the European Union Public Licence (EUPL) the preferred licence to be used for governmental software development projects. An ordinance, to be adopted on Wednesday, will allow projects to use around ten popular free and open source software licence approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) – an open source advocacy organisation.

          • Bulgaria, France, UK, US support OGP free software policy

            The United States of America and three EU Member states – Bulgaria, France and the United Kingdom – have pledged support for the open source policy, making it an official part of the ‘Paris Declaration’, the outcome of the 4th Global Summit of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), taking place in Paris this week. The open source policy is also supported by the city of Austin (USA).

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Open Source Software A Core Competency For Effective Tech M&A

            Imagine your company just acquired its competitor for $100 million. Now imagine the company’s most important asset – its proprietary software – is subject to third-party license conditions that require the proprietary software to be distributed free of charge or in source code form. Or, imagine these license conditions are discovered late in the diligence process, and the cost to replace the offending third-party software will costs tens of thousands of dollars and take months to remediate. Both scenarios exemplify the acute, distinct and often overlooked risks inherent to the commercial use of open source software. An effective tech M&A attorney must appreciate these risks and be prepared to take the steps necessary to mitigate or eliminate them.

            Over the past decade, open source software has become a mainstay in the technology community. Since its beginnings, open source software has always been viewed as a way to save money and jumpstart development projects, but it is increasingly being looked to for its quality solutions and operational advantages. Today, only a fraction of technology companies do not use open source software in any way. For most of the rest, it is mission critical.

          • Facing down copyright claims, Doom roguelike fan game goes open-source (correction)
          • Doom-inspired roguelike goes open-source in a bid to outrun Zenimax lawyers

            Last week news broke that Zenimax is threatening legal action against the developer of DoomRL, a free Doom-inspired roguelike. Now, DoomRL’s creator is open-sourcing it in an attempt to put it beyond the reach of Zenimax’s legal team.

            Many devs will probably appreciate the symbolic resonance of this move, given that id Software open-sourced the original Doom code almost twenty years ago.

          • DoomRL creator makes free roguelike open-source to try and counter Zenimax legal threat
          • DoomRL Goes Open-Source in Face of Copyright Claims

            Earlier this week, ZeniMax Medi hit DoomRL, a popular roguelike version of the original first-person shooter, with a cease-and-desist order. This order instructed producer ChaosForge to remove the free downloadable game to prevent further legal action. Instead of taking it down, co-creator Kornel Kisielewicz turned the game open-source.

        • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Programming/Development

          • This Indian software company just partnered with the world’s biggest open source community

            In what can be called a major motivation for Indian tech firms, Amrut Software, an end-to-end Software, BPO services and solutions provider has become a GitHub distributor for India region.

            GitHub hosts world’s biggest open source community along with the most popular version control systems, configuration management and collaboration tools for software developers. It has some of the largest installations of repositories in the world.

          • Python 3.6 released with many new improvements and features

            Python,the high-level interpreted programming language is now one of the most preferred programming language by beginners and professional-level developers.So,here Python 3.6 is now available with many changes,improvements and of course the ease of Python was not left in the work list.

        Leftovers

        • Health/Nutrition

          • Els Torreele Named Executive Director Of Global MSF Access Campaign

            Veteran public health advocate Els Torreele of Belgium has been named the new executive director of the high-profile Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) Access Campaign, based in Geneva.

          • Spain: Brexit Britain must pay for expats’ healthcare

            Britain will have to reach a deal to pay for the healthcare of its citizens in Spain once the country leaves the EU, Spain’s foreign minister has said.
            Speaking at a conference in Alicante, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said Spain would try to reach a deal for the UK to pay for the healthcare of the estimated 800,000 Brits living in the country.

            “We must reach an agreement for residents to access health services in Spain, but covered by the United Kingdom” he told the conference held by accountancy firm PWC, according to Spanish news site Estrella Digital.

        • Security

        • Defence/Aggression

          • What if the terrorists won?

            Like 9/11 for New Yorkers, the Paris attacks of November 2015 have become that rare thing for city slickers — a topic of conversation in which everyone can participate. There are two million Parisians, each of whom has a story about the night suicide bombers and gunmen killed 130 people at cafés, restaurants, the Stade de France and the Bataclan music hall.

            Some offer a poignant mix of tumult and tragedy, like the one my high school friend tells of diving under a table at a café when a terrorist opened fire on drinkers with an assault rifle. (She performed CPR on a shooting victim who ended up dying from loss of blood). Others, like mine, are less riveting. After making sure my friends and family were safe, I got to work covering the story. The tales all have one thing in common: a moment in which the person recounting it is struck by the enormity of what occurred.

        • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

          • Julian Assange issues statement, destroys Sweden’s rape case

            In the statement Assange also complains at considerable length about what he says is the oppressive behaviour of the Swedish authorities towards him: reviving a rape investigation after it was closed down, issuing an arrest warrant against him without proper cause and in breach of due process, and insisting on his extradition from Britain to Sweden instead of questioning him in Britain, as he had repeatedly offered.

            In this part of the statement Assange says that the Swedish prosecutor’s decision to interview him in the Ecuadorian embassy in London – something which the Swedish prosecutor had previously consistently refused to do – was the result of a decision in March 2015 of the Swedish Supreme Court that she was in potential breach of her duties, and of the February 2016 decision of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the UN Human Rights Council that he has been illegally denied his freedom as a result of her actions and of the actions of the British authorities.

            Assange’s statement is obviously partly intended to give his side of the story after years of legally enforced silence.

            As Assange rightly complains, numerous stories about him and about his case have appeared in the Western media, some undoubtedly leaked to the media by the Swedish authorities. These leaks and stories were clearly designed to ruin his reputation, and have in fact been very effective in doing so.

          • Anonymous Leaks to the WashPost About the CIA’s Russia Beliefs Are No Substitute for Evidence

            The Washington Post late Friday night published an explosive story that, in many ways, is classic American journalism of the worst sort: the key claims are based exclusively on the unverified assertions of anonymous officials, who in turn are disseminating their own claims about what the CIA purportedly believes, all based on evidence that remains completely secret.

            These unnamed sources told the Post that “the CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system.” The anonymous officials also claim that “intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails” from both the DNC and John Podesta’s email account. Critically, none of the actual evidence for these claims is disclosed; indeed, the CIA’s “secret assessment” itself remains concealed.

        • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

          • In U.S., there are twice as many solar workers as coal miners

            SolarCity, the largest installer of residential solar systems in the U.S., nearly doubled its workforce last year, hiring 4,000 people to do everything from system design and site surveys to installation and engineering.

            The hiring spree at SolarCity isn’t slowing; it’s picking up speed as the company attempts to install twice as many rooftop solar systems than last year and readies its 1.2 million-square foot factory in New York, which is scheduled to reach full production in 2017.

          • Trump team’s demands fuel fear of Energy Department ‘witch hunt’

            Donald Trump’s transition team wants the Energy Department to provide the names of any employees who have worked on President Barack Obama’s climate initiatives — a request that has current and former staffers fearing an oncoming “witch hunt.”

            The president-elect’s team sought the information as part of a 74-point questionnaire that also asked for details about how DOE’s statistical arm, the Energy Information Administration, does the math on issues such as the cost-effectiveness of wind and solar power versus fossil fuels. POLITICO obtained the document Friday, after Trump’s advisers sent it to the department earlier in the week.

        • Finance

          • TPP, TTIP And CETA Are Disasters For The Public: Are There Better Ways To Do Trade Deals?

            As well as calling for truly independent and impartial judges, the Declaration also wants any dispute resolution mechanism to be available to small companies and even members of the public.

            The Namur Declaration is mostly of interest because it grew out of Magnette’s personal experience with CETA (article in French). The fact that a few dozen leading academics have lent their names to it adds weight, but is unlikely to bring about major changes to the way that trade negotiations are conducted. However, seismic political developments on both sides of the Atlantic are already doing that; let’s hope these provide an opportunity to debate and maybe even adopt some of the Declaration’s bold ideas.

          • Trump’s Labor Pick, Andrew Puzder, Is Critic of Minimum Wage Increases

            President-elect Donald J. Trump on Thursday chose Andrew F. Puzder, chief executive of the company that franchises the fast-food outlets Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. and an outspoken critic of the worker protections enacted by the Obama administration, to be secretary of labor.

            “Andy Puzder has created and boosted the careers of thousands of Americans, and his extensive record fighting for workers makes him the ideal candidate to lead the Department of Labor,” Mr. Trump said in a statement.

            Mr. Puzder, 66, fits the profile of some of Mr. Trump’s other domestic cabinet appointments. He is a wealthy businessman and political donor and has a long record of promoting a conservative agenda that takes aim at President Obama’s legacy. And more than the other appointments, he resembles Mr. Trump in style.

          • Italy’s banking nightmare just came true

            The road back to health for Italian banks just became rockier. A lot rockier.

          • Why It’s Pointless For Trump To Renegotiate TPP, Even If He Wanted To, And Even If He Could

            Last month, we pointed out that that pretty much everyone agrees that TPP is dead… except that some still cling to the hope that Trump might be persuaded to carry out another swift U-turn and revivify the zombie deal. As Mike noted, Trump doesn’t seem to be against these kinds of mega-trade deals in principle, it’s just that he says the US generally concedes too much in them. That means he’d need some kind of high-profile win to make TPP 2.0 compatible with his earlier condemnation of TPP 1.0′s terms.

            The hope amongst true TPP believers seems to be that Trump could reopen the negotiations, talk tough, and strike a deal that is far more favorable to the US, which he could then ratify, holding it up as another Trump triumph. But in an article on the Cobram Courier site, the Australian ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey, says it would be “fanciful” to think the other TPP nations would happily reopen negotiations so that Trump could rewrite it in his favor.

        • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

          • A ‘Political Horror Show’ of Recounts, 16 Years After Hanging Chads

            The recount of the presidential election ended on Wednesday night as abruptly as it had begun. By Thursday, workers were packing away canvas bags of ballots, board records and tables and chairs. A legal battle halted proceedings before all of Michigan’s votes were counted again, but not before a flood of perplexing peculiarities emerged.

            An effort to recount the votes here and in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin led by Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, was never viewed as very likely to change Donald J. Trump’s election to the presidency, but it revealed something else in stark terms: 16 years after a different presidential recount in Florida dragged on for five agonizing weeks, bringing the nation close to a constitutional crisis, recounts remain a tangle of dueling lawyers, hyperpartisanship and claims of flawed technology.

            States still have vastly different systems for calling recounts and for carrying them out. Counting standards are inconsistent from state to state, and obscure provisions, like one in Michigan that deems some precincts not “recountable,” threaten to raise more public doubt about elections than confidence. Some of the most basic questions — is it better to count by hand, or with a machine? — have not been settled.

          • Green Party’s Jill Stein on Obstacles to Vote Recount: “This is Not What Democracy Looks Like”

            A Wisconsin judge is set to decide if a recount of the state’s presidential vote can proceed. We speak with Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein, who has requested recounts in three states where Donald Trump narrowly beat Hillary Clinton: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. But Stein has faced obstacles in all three states. Today’s hearing in Wisconsin comes after two pro-Trump groups, the Great America PAC and the Stop Hillary PAC, filed a federal lawsuit seeking to stop the recount process. Meanwhile, in Michigan, a judge has already halted the recount. Another hearing will be held in Pennsylvania today to decide if a recount there can begin.

          • Redo Election For POTUS
          • Jill Stein: US election recount is vital to reform our broken voting system

            The election didn’t end on 8 November, it just morphed into a crisis whose resolution is not in sight. Hillary Clinton’s campaign was impacted by an October surprise delivered by a partisan FBI, but November was not short on surprises, and there may yet be one in December. A little more than a week ago, while people were wondering what it would take to get the Clinton campaign to pursue a recount, Jill Stein’s campaign amazed everyone by taking on the job. Exuberance for the idea immediately inspired small donors to contribute $6.5m in about 48 hours.

          • The Michigan Vote Recount Halt Isn’t Distracting Jill Stein From Her Main Post-Election Goal

            A Michigan judge ordered that the state start its vote recount on Dec. 5, but by Dec. 7, he had changed his tune and halted that very same recount. You might think this effectively knocks out Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s recount effort, but according to her team, the Michigan vote recount isn’t stopping Stein.

            U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith had originally ordered the ballot recount to start at noon on Dec. 5 so as to complete the recount by the Dec. 13 soft deadline before the Dec. 19 Electoral College vote. But the case came back to him when a Michigan Court of Appeals panel rejected the recount after determining that Stein was not considered an “aggrieved party” in the election. (Due to her fourth place finish in the state with around 1.1 percent of the votes, it wasn’t considered realistic that Stein could have actually won the election.) Goldsmith upheld this decision and lifted his previous order, citing the lack of evidence of “significant fraud or mistake” in his decision.

            Interestingly enough, Stein chose to spearhead vote recounts in battleground states rather than her opponent Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote over President-elect Donald Trump. And for Clinton, whose campaign agreed to cooperate with Stein’s effort, not winning Michigan’s electoral votes in the recount effectively puts her out of the running to overturn Trump’s Electoral College victory. (She needed to win Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania to put her vote count ahead of Trump’s.)

          • Constitutional Lawyer: It’s an “Outrage” That Judge Halted Michigan Presidential Election Recount

            On Wednesday, a federal judge ordered Michigan’s Board of Elections to stop the state’s electoral recount. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith said he would abide by a court ruling that found that former Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein could not seek a recount. Goldsmith concluded, “A recount as an audit of the election has never been endorsed by any court.” Stein has pledged to continue to push for a recount. Michigan is one of three battleground states where Stein had demanded a recount. The other two states are Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. President-elect Donald Trump narrowly defeated Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton in all three states. For more, we’re joined by John Bonifaz, attorney and political activist specializing in constitutional law and voting rights. He was one of a group of leading election lawyers and computer scientists calling for a recount in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

          • Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s final campaign spending revealed

            Donald Trump’s campaign spent about $94m in its final push for the White House, according to new fundraising reports.

            The Republican continued his campaign-long trend of spending far less than Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Her campaign spent almost $132m in its closing weeks, according to reports filed on Thursday with the Federal Election Commission. The latest reports cover 20 October to 28 November.

            Over the course of the primary and general elections the Trump campaign raised about $340m including $66m out of his own pocket. The Clinton campaign, which maintained a longer and more concerted fundraising focus, brought in about $581m.

          • Obama orders full review of Russian hacking during the 2016 election

            President Obama has ordered a full review of foreign-based digital attacks that U.S. intelligence agencies say were aimed at influencing this year’s presidential election, a top White House official said Friday.

            The disclosure came after President-elect Donald Trump again dismissed a blunt U.S. intelligence assessment that concluded senior Russian authorities had authorized the digital theft of emails from Democratic Party officials and Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager during the campaign.

          • Obama orders review of Russian election-related hacking

            President Barack Obama has ordered a full review into hacking aimed at influencing US elections going back to 2008, the White House said Friday.
            “The President has directed the Intelligence Community to conduct a full review of what happened during the 2016 election process. It is to capture lessons learned from that and to report to a range of stakeholders,” White House Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Adviser Lisa Monaco said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters Friday. “This is consistent with the work that we did over the summer to engage Congress on the threats that we were seeing.”

            White House spokesman Eric Schultz added later that the review would encompass malicious cyber activity related to US elections going back to 2008.

          • Russia Hacked Republican Committee but Kept Data, U.S. Concludes

            American intelligence agencies have concluded with “high confidence” that Russia acted covertly in the latter stages of the presidential campaign to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances and promote Donald J. Trump, according to senior administration officials.

            They based that conclusion, in part, on another finding — which they say was also reached with high confidence — that the Russians hacked the Republican National Committee’s computer systems in addition to their attacks on Democratic organizations, but did not release whatever information they gleaned from the Republican networks.

            In the months before the election, it was largely documents from Democratic Party systems that were leaked to the public. Intelligence agencies have concluded that the Russians gave the Democrats’ documents to WikiLeaks.

            Republicans have a different explanation for why no documents from their networks were ever released. Over the past several months, officials from the Republican committee have consistently said that their networks were not compromised, asserting that only the accounts of individual Republicans were attacked. On Friday, a senior committee official said he had no comment.

          • A Clinton Fan Manufactured Fake News That MSNBC Personalities Spread to Discredit WikiLeaks Docs

            The phrase “Fake News” has exploded in usage since the election, but the term is similar to other malleable political labels such as “terrorism” and “hate speech”; because the phrase lacks any clear definition, it is essentially useless except as an instrument of propaganda and censorship. The most important fact to realize about this new term: those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

            One of the most egregious examples was the recent Washington Post article hyping a new anonymous group and its disgusting blacklist of supposedly pro-Russia news outlets – a shameful article mindlessly spread by countless journalists who love to decry Fake News, despite the Post article itself being centrally based on Fake News. (The Post this week finally added a lame editor’s note acknowledging these critiques; the Post editors absurdly claimed that they did not mean to “vouch for the validity” of the blacklist even though the article’s key claims were based on doing exactly that).

            Now we have an even more compelling example. Back in October, when WikiLeaks was releasing emails from the John Podesta archive, Clinton campaign officials and their media spokespeople adopted a strategy of outright lying to the public, claiming – with no basis whatsoever – that the emails were doctored or fabricated and thus should be ignored. That lie – and that is what it was: a claim made with knowledge of its falsity or reckless disregard for its truth – was most aggressively amplified by MSNBC personalities such as Joy Ann Reid and Malcolm Nance, The Atlantic’s David Frum, and Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald.

          • Rather Than Exposing Propaganda, WaPo Shows How It’s Done

            As the Hillary Clinton campaign slogged toward victory in the long primary campaign against Sen. Bernie Sanders, word came from WikiLeaks that it had scored a trove of hacked emails to and from the Democratic National Committee. Among other things, they proved that DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, along with their organizations, had been working hand-in-glove to skew the primaries in Clinton’s favor.

            The day before the party’s convention opened in Philadelphia on July 24, Wasserman-Schultz had to resign her post or face a floor revolt. Sanders delegates were so angry at what they were learning from WikiLeaks about the sabotage of their candidate that hundreds walked out on the second day of the convention, tossing away their delegate credentials over the security fence and vowing never to support Clinton.

          • Washington Post Issues Correction To “Fake News” Story

            The Washington Post has been under fire for its publication of an article entitling “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say.” The article by Craig Timberg relied on a controversial website called PropOrNot, which published what is little more than a black list of website that the authors deemed purveyors of fake news including some of the largest sites on the Internet like Drudge Report. However, the previously unknown group was itself criticized for listing “allies” that proved false. Yesterday, Hillary Clinton ramped up the call for action against “fake news” which she described as an epidemic. Now the Washington Post has published a rather cryptic correction to the fake news story. The controversy is the subject of my latest column in USA Today.

            The organization listed a variety of news sites as illegitimate. It included some of the most popular political sites from the left and right Truthout, Zero Hedge, Antiwar.com, and the Ron Paul Institute. It even includes one of the most read sites on the Internet, the Drudge Report. Notably, it also included WikiLeaks, which has been credited with exposing political corruption and unlawful surveillance programs.

          • Trump says U.S.-China relationship must improve

            President-elect Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States needed to improve its relationship with China, which he criticized for its economic policies and failure to rein in North Korea.

            “One of the most important relationships we must improve, and we have to improve, is our relationship with China,” Trump told a rally in Iowa. The United States and China are the world’s two biggest economies.

            “China is not a market economy,” he said. “They haven’t played by the rules, and I know it’s time that they’re going to start.”

          • Trump has declined many intelligence briefings offered to him according to Senate aide

            Intelligence community officials have confirmed that president-elect Donald Trump has declined many of the daily intelligence briefings that have been offered to him, a Senate aide confirmed to CBS News’ Margaret Brennan. The Washington Post first reported that Mr. Trump was turning away intelligence briefings in the weeks after the election.

            Two key Senate Democrats — Ben Cardin of Maryland and Dianne Feinstein of California — expressed dismay about this in an op-ed published Thursday by USA TODAY.

          • Russia Hacked Republican Committee but Kept Data, U.S. Concludes

            American intelligence agencies have concluded with “high confidence” that Russia acted covertly in the latter stages of the presidential campaign to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances and promote Donald J. Trump, according to senior administration officials.

            They based that conclusion, in part, on another finding — which they say was also reached with high confidence — that the Russians hacked the Republican National Committee’s computer systems in addition to their attacks on Democratic organizations, but did not release whatever information they gleaned from the Republican networks.

            In the months before the election, it was largely documents from Democratic Party systems that were leaked to the public. Intelligence agencies have concluded that the Russians gave the Democrats’ documents to WikiLeaks.

            Republicans have a different explanation for why no documents from their networks were ever released. Over the past several months, officials from the Republican committee have consistently said that their networks were not compromised, asserting that only the accounts of individual Republicans were attacked. On Friday, a senior committee official said he had no comment.

          • Attorney Calls For Florida Voters To Demand A Hand Recount Of All Ballots

            On December 11th, 2016, voters around the state will demand that their votes be counted and will respectfully request that the courts approve a full hand count of the paper ballots of the 2016 Florida Presidential Election.

          • Michigan owes Jill Stein a refund since recount stopped

            Green Party candidate Jill Stein is in line for a big check from the state of Michigan after the recount she requested was stopped by a federal judge and the state Board of Canvassers after only three days of counting ballots.

            Under state law, Stein had to pay $125 per precinct — or $973,250 — to count Michigan’s 7,786 in-person and absentee voting precincts. That check was delivered to state officials when she requested the recount last week.

            Now, with only a fraction of the recount completed, Michigan’s Secretary of State is prepared to refund a portion of that amount, said Fred Woodhams, spokesman for Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. Stein will have to pay for the precincts in Michigan that were counted, but she will not be charged for the precincts that couldn’t be counted because of problems with the ballot containers.

        • Censorship/Free Speech

          • Breitbart News pushes deeper into Europe

            A NOTABLE American commentator, Charles Krauthammer, once explained Rupert Murdoch’s success in founding Fox News, a cable channel, by pointing out that he had found a niche market—half the country. The same may be true of Breitbart News, a conservative website whose fortunes have risen with those of Donald Trump, and whose chairman, Stephen Bannon (pictured), is Mr Trump’s chief strategist.

            Milo Yiannopoulos, an editor at Breitbart, explained after Mr Trump’s victory that half of voters are “repulsed by the Lena Dunham, Black Lives Matter, third-wave feminist, communist, ‘kill-all-white-men’ politics of the progressive left.” Breitbart saw it coming a while ago, he added. The company’s expansion plans suggest it sees something coming in Europe, too. It already has a website in Britain and in January it will launch French and German sites.

          • Fake News About Fake News Leads To (Fake?) Defamation Threat

            So, it seems like “fake news” is all the rage these days. As we’ve discussed, the sudden focus on fake news is a silly distraction. It’s not likely to be changing many minds — and the talk about fake news seems mostly to be leading to calls for censorship. And a big part of the problem is that “fake news” is such a broad and vague label. It’s been applied to outright propaganda, to satire, to serious reporting, to serious reporting people don’t like… and to serious, but mistaken, reporting. The problem is that when you lump all those things together, things get pretty damn messy.

            Take, for example, this “fake news” story that got a lot of attention when it came out right around Thanksgiving: the Washington Post claimed that some “experts” had shown that Russian propagandists were behind the fake news explosion during the election. Which experts? The story doesn’t say. What evidence? The story doesn’t say. The article is focused on a brand new organization called “PropOrNot” that claimed to be run by experts, but won’t identify who’s involved, and the Washington Post didn’t seem to care. But still it made incredibly broad claims about “fake news” and Russian propaganda.

          • The Thin Line Between Political Censorship and Fighting Fake News in Iran

            The Iranian government is reportedly taking steps to expand regulations on large public news channels on the instant messenger Telegram. The move would apparently affect groups with more than 5,000 subscribers.

            It remains unclear, however, if state officials seek dramatic changes to controls on these online communities (ostensibly in the battle against “fake news”), or if the government merely plans to extend and continue existing Internet controls.

            As reported by Tasnim News, a hardline news agency affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards, Iranian ICT Minister Mahmoud Vaezi made the announcement at a press conference during the National Conference on Public Service. Vaezi cited the dangers “unofficial news channels” pose in Iran’s rural and less developed regions, where fake news and misinformation have gained sizeable audiences.

          • Tunisian-American Comic Pokes Fun at the Censorship of Corrupt State-Sponsored News During the Arab Spring

            In February 2011, Arab Spring protests spread from Tunisia and Egypt to Zitounia, a fictional island-nation in the Mediterranean. At least that’s the plot line for “Good Morning, Zitounia!” a new off-Broadway play from comic and activist Leila Ben-Abdallah.

            Ben-Abdallah takes the audience back to a time when protests raged and reporters maintained their propaganda directed by the corrupt government. Despite extreme restrictions, state-owned media did their best to cover the news; a phenomenon some American journalists seem to be emulating in an all-Trump era.

            “This show is for anyone who doesn’t want to read the news because it is too sad, or wants to learn more about the Middle East and North Africa, but is afraid it is too dense or boring,” Ben-Abdallah explained.

          • The Attack on “Fake News” Is An Outright Campaign for Censorship of the Truth

            The buzzword “fake news” has popped into the popular lexicon in recent weeks.

            We’ve been using that term for years, though, when referring to the mainstream media.

            While poll numbers show that about 9 out of 10 people don’t trust the information they get from the mainstream media, they likely still have no idea just how fake it all is.

            As someone who travels the world, I often walk by a television program and it’s called program for a reason, with the local media and can’t even believe what I am seeing or hearing.

          • Application of problematic CJEU ruling on copyright infringement by hyperlinks is getting out of hand

            That’s just unbelievable. I have read this sentence over and over again, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that in a U.S. ruling, let alone by higher courts. It happens in all jurisdictions that concepts get conflated or confused, but the words “conflation” and “confusion” are by far not strong enough to describe this.

            It’s highly illogical that unrelated factors such as a profit motive and knowledge of an infringement cold have any bearing on the term “communication to the public.” You either communicate (including that you make available) something to the public or you don’t, but that is unrelated to whether you do it for profit, for fun, or pro bono, just like it has nothing to do with whether you do it on a Tuesday or a Wednesday. Also, a “communication to the public” (including a “making available”) is a communication to the public regardless of whether it’s legal or illegal. That is a subsequent question then.

          • Information Warfare: Chinese Software Supports Subtle Censorship
          • Jihad crackdown slippery slope of censorship
          • Another View: Introducing censorship on social media can be a slippery slope
          • Slippery slope of censorship
        • Privacy/Surveillance

        • Civil Rights/Policing

          • Geert Wilders guilty of incitement

            Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders was on Friday found guilty of incitement and encouraging discrimination, but was not given a penalty.

            A judge said that freedom of expression is fundamental to a democracy, but said there were limits to how far people could go.

            The case against Wilders dates back to 2014 when, during a rally of his Freedom Party (PVV), he asked supporters if they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. The crowd responded by chanting “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!”

            Wilders answered them by saying, “We’ll take care of that.”

            Prosecutors asked for a €5,000 fine to be the penalty for Wilders and argued that he deliberately tried to distinguish Dutch citizens of Moroccan origin from others, calling his comments “unnecessarily offensive.”

        • Intellectual Monopolies

          • In Search of Evidence: The IP Statistics For Decision Makers Conference (IPSDM) 2016

            The already existing problem of cross-licensing agreements and also the problem of “cluttering” of patent or trade mark registers, particularly in the information technology and life sciences industries.

          • Trademarks

            • Will Iceland’s EU trade mark end up on ice?

              As the Northern European weather turns to a cold chill, a trade mark dispute is just starting to heat up…

              Iceland is known for its chilly temperatures and occasional financial difficulties. It is also the name of a Nordic country.

              You might think that a supermarket which primarily sells frozen foods would not be readily confused with a country which is known (in no particular order) for Bjork, hot springs, Northern Lights* and the pirate party. But a recent war of words (the main word being “Iceland”) has erupted like a geyser and once again brought trade mark law to the mainstream media’s attention.

            • Indian Trade Marks Registry to widen its doors for recording “well known” marks

              The role of recordation of well-known marks varies across jurisdictions. Against that backdrop, the step about to be taken by the Trade Marks Registry in India in connection with recording well-known marks is especially noteworthy. Kat friend Ranjan Narula, of RNA Intellectual Property Attorneys, describes what can be expected to shortly take place.

          • Copyrights

            • It Begins: Congress Proposes First Stages Of Copyright Reform, And It’s Not Good

              The House Judiciary Committee has been “exploring” various copyright reform proposals for a few years now, asking for feedback, holding a “listening tour” and more. Through it all, it seemed pretty clear that the Judiciary Committee is (reasonably) fearful of getting SOPA’d again, and thus was trying to figure out some less controversial proposals it could push forward first to see how they worked. Two, in particular, have been brought up multiple times: moving the Copyright Office out of the Library of Congress… and creating a “small claims court” for copyright infringement. And it appears that’s what the Judiciary Committee is now moving forward on, even though both are pretty bad ideas.

            • Coming in 2017: Reforms to Copyright Law and the Copyright Office
            • CBS Sues Public Domain For Existing

              This is of course not the first time we’ve seen such an attempt to nibble (or chomp) away at the edges of the public domain. Other examples include the high-profile fight over Sherlock Holmes, and the recent loss over Wizard Of Oz promotional materials. But each is subtly different, and together they form a trifecta that snuffs out giant swathes of the public domain.

              In the case of Sherlock Holmes, we’ve got the rule that early works falling into the public domain can be freely used, but if you’re building on them or adapting them, you can’t incorporate character traits or story points from later works that are still under copyright. While this still raises a huge host of “perpetual copyright” concerns, at its core it seems… somewhat reasonable. The Wizard Of Oz situation is similar, stemming from the idea that just because some materials from the film have fallen into the public domain doesn’t mean everything else is fair game. But, it pushed the borders: the court didn’t simply say that building on the public domain material with other still-copyrighted material from the film becomes infringing, but that building on it with anything or changing it in any way makes it infringing.

  • “Corrupt Benoît Battistelli and Željko Topić Today in Zagreb at 25th Anniversary of SIPO Croatia”

    Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

    Photos just sent to us from Croatia

    Battistelli at SIPO
    Photo: Stanley Hoffmann

    The anniversary of SIPO
    “Polanski ball of vampires at the moment in Zagreb.” –Anonymous reader

    Summary: Shortly after Željko Topić lost his court case for the third time (over allegations of corruption at SIPO), his EPO boss Benoît Battistelli joins SIPO celebrations

    The US Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Maintains High Pace of Patent Invalidation, in Spite of Appeals to CAFC

    Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 3:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

    CAFCA (or Kafka) won’t save bad patents from their inevitable demise, as the boards of appeal in the US grow stronger, whereas in the EPO (Eponia) they grow weaker and increasingly understaffed, lacking independence, and too expensive to be reachable

    USPTO and EPO

    Summary: The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), i.e. the court system, has become the last resort of serial litigators, as the PTAB gets in their way more and more often following AIA and Alice

    THE quality of patents enshrined or ‘blessed’ by the USPTO must improve in lieu with high courts’ decisions, e.g. Alice (2014). Otherwise the applicants with their newly-granted patents will simply lack confidence in their patents and will be too reluctant to pursue patent licensing, litigation. etc. Patents are only worth anything if there is sufficient evidence to back claims of novelty and non-triviality. Otherwise, these patents are only useful for trolls (preying in cash-limited businesses and pursuing out-of-court settlements en masse). Patents were originally conceived for the purpose of publication and dissemination of knowledge, but nowadays nobody with a clue will look into them for insight because that can lead to wilfulness in infringement (i.e. higher damages). Some patent professionals at very large companies have said so explicitly and publicly.

    Last year and earlier this year, the appeals board at the US (PTAB) eliminated a very large number patents. This has had a profound effect not only on the patents directly affected; companies and patent trolls found out that even if they don’t sue with a patent but merely strut around and pursue ‘protection money’ they can have their patents spontaneously eliminated (shortly after petition/s for review). Suffice to say, patent maximalists and apologists of patent trolls were upset about it; in some cases CAFC was chased to rescue them from the justice of the board, after they had claimed injustice. This merely wasted CAFC’s time (and limited resources) as CAFC usually did nothing to oppose the boards’ decisions; it barely even bothered looking into it.

    Another CAFC case regarding patents reviewed by PTAB made some headlines last week. As Patently-O put it:

    In an important obviousness decision, the Federal Circuit has reversed the PTAB IPR decision – holding that the PTAB failed to sufficiently explain its ruling that a person having ordinary skill in the art (PHOSITA) would have been motivated to combine the prior art teachings to create the patented invention. Although expressing its intent to follow KSR, the court here comes closer to trodding upon that (oft maligned) precedent.

    The case involves an Inter Partes Review (IPR) challenge of NuVasive’s spinal fusion implant patent (U.S. Patent No. 8,361,156). The claims require that the implants include, inter alia, radiopaque markers on the medial plane. The PTAB found the claims invalid as obvious based upon a collection of prior art references related to spinal fusion.

    “Federal Circuit vacates PTAB decision on NuVasive patent” was the headline of another article about this case. To quote:

    The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has vacated and remanded a patent suit which NuVasive had appealed against after having patent claims invalidated.

    The decision from yesterday, December 7, followed an appeal from the US Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which held that certain claims of US patent number 8,361,156 are invalid as obvious.

    NuVasive is the owner of the ‘156 patent, which relates to a “System and method for spinal fusion comprising a spinal fusion implant of non-bone construction releasably coupled to an insertion instrument dimensioned to introduce the spinal fusion implant into any of a variety of spinal target sites”.

    This patent does not involve software, but it has an impact on various future PTAB cases, many of which do involve software. Any Inter Partes Review (IPR) can end up in the CAFC’s queue/desk, so this has broader ramifications, hence the media coverage. Patently-O‘s Dennis Crouch has meanwhile been asking about Ex Parte, not IPR: “Have you read any great writing on the difference between the process of judging a contested case vs an uncontested (or ex parte) case?”

    These things are worth keeping track of as they generally define the level of certainty associated with patent lawsuits (or other forms of patent assertion). Michael Loney, writing for MIP from New York, shows that the number of PTAB filings is roughly steady compared to last year, in terms of petitions files. “This year is still below the record highs of 2015,” he notes (by a small margin), “but it has got closer as the year has progressed. The monthly average for the whole of 2015 was 149.8 petitions filed. So far this year the monthly average is 145.6.”

    That’s just an average difference of 4 petitions per month. In other words, PTAB isn’t going away. Compare that to the massive year-to-year difference when it comes to patent litigation in the US — a subject covered here on numerous occasions before. It sure sounds promising and we certainly hope that patent disputes will, over time, be brought before PTAB (cheaper to both parties) rather than courts. It’s certainly not good for patent lawyers, but then again, what were they ever good for if not just themselves?

    Good Luck to the US Supreme Court in Eliminating a Supremely Unjust Misuse of Patent Law

    Posted in Courtroom, Patents at 3:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

    The history of personal attacks on Justices shows that such shameful resistance tactics are to be expected from the patent microcosm

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

    Summary: In an important upcoming patent case, gross abuse of patent laws for the support of dubious business models can finally be tackled

    As we noted here the other day, a big decision on patents is afoot. Great printer manufacturers heist (monopoly on toner/cartridges) can be stopped by the Supremes, but the implications go beyond just printing as global trade is at stake. The case of Lexmark affects every company that produces printers and also every company that tries to enforce its patents — so as to defend a notorious business model — abroad. A lot of articles have been written about this in recent days, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], and in the words of the National Law Journal, “Justice Stephen Breyer seemed persuaded on Tuesday that supplying a single component of a product for overseas assembly isn’t enough to trigger extraterritorial application of U.S. patent laws.”

    Breyer has already come under attacks from the patent microcosm for his views on other domains of patenting and we defended him. In this case too, Breyer seems capable of recognising that patents need to justify themselves at a broader sense than just someone’s business model. We hope that Lexmark will lose this case. When you purchase a printer or a cartridge, than both should basically be treated as your properly and anything you do with them oughtn’t be artificially limited by patent law. This relates to a recent controversy — one which the EFF too got involved in — where HP basically artificially limited people’s printers (remotely even) given updates that induced a sort of physical DRM (machines or software refusing to take orders from their operator/owner, in spite of having the capacity to do so).

    EPO Protest This Coming Wednesday Strives to Restore the Rule of Law and Freedom of Speech at the Office

    Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

    It’s all about total(itarian) control now

    Tough BergotSummary: The level of autocracy at the European Patent Organisation, an institution which has effectively positioned itself above the law with Battistelli and his minions in charge of the Office, faces growing backlash from staff

    THE staff of the EPO has had enough. It’s hard not to sympathise considering the management’s pattern of lying, bullying, false accusations and so many other symptoms — clearly of the hallmarks of an autocracy. The modus operandi is, if one does not agree fully with the President (or is perceived as not agreeing deep inside), then that person is considered a potential danger to the President and thus removed using some excuse, like some tale from some years ago that Battistellites (notably Bergot) can distort, then resort to character assassination in the Intranet or the European media (by ‘leaking’ confidential and potentially erroneous intelligence). Whether or not the EPO now uses Parallel Construction or connections with spy agencies to pinpoint sources of dissent inside the Office we don’t know for sure, but it’s not unthinkable, especially after it was revealed that the EPO had hired CRG (actually connected to the Stasi in Germany, through Desa staff, as reported by German media).

    “Whether or not the EPO now uses Parallel Construction or connections with spy agencies to pinpoint sources of dissent inside the Office we don’t know for sure, but it’s not unthinkable, especially after it was revealed that the EPO had hired CRG (actually connected to the Stasi in Germany, through Desa staff, as reported by German media).”The EPO is nowadays worthy of comparisons to Stalinist if not Nazi regimes. A more modern analogy would be the regimes in Thailand and in Turkey (many parallels there, including the extreme censorship). SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO, recognises an unjust regime which not only fails the Office on technical grounds but also on human resources grounds, ethical/moral grounds, and legal grounds. We fully support this latest call for protest in Munich on the 14th of December. It’s should be almost imperative to attend (moral imperative), but we suspect those not attending are simply afraid of retribution, not consenting to Battistelli reign of terror.

    Here is the announcement from SUEPO, in full:

    Actions continue at the European Patent Office: next demonstration on 14 December in Munich

    The Administrative Council of the EPO will meet on Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 December in Munich. Topics of discussion are likely to include the controversial removal of the EPO Boards of Appeal to Haar and the Office’s reaction to Judgment No. 3785 of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organisation.

    SUEPO Munich organises a demonstration on Wednesday 14 December in front of the Isar building, starting at 12h30.

    Our claims remain:

    A return to Rule of Law
    Freedom of association and freedom of speech
    GOOD FAITH negotiation of reforms, and:
    Hands off our staff representation !

    Quite a few people, perhaps dozens, ought to have their jobs reinstated. It’s not just the named staff representatives who were subjected to injustice, such as dismissals, downgrades and other sanctions.

    The Administrative Council cannot undo all the damage done by Battistelli, but the delegates can at least make a start but showing that they recognise the issues and are prepared to take firm action. If Battistelli stays in the Office until 2018, there is almost certainly no future to the Office. Stakeholders are reading up not only about the social issues but also the lack of patent quality, which is related to the social issues (or the atmosphere at the workplace). Based on people we have heard from, a growing number of inventors now make a conscious choice to halt the filing of new applications at the EPO; they turn to their national patent offices instead.

    SUEPO is not trying to destroy the Office; it would make no sense for SUEPO to want that since it represents (and is funded by) actual EPO workers who want job security and restored pride in their job. These people recognise that Battistelli leads the Office into a dark place, so rather than stay idle they inform fellow staff and participate in internal processes. The sad thing is, those brave enough to function as staff representatives take all the blows, in the midst of what most certainly is a union-busting campaign.

    12.09.16

    The EPO is Collapsing. Attacks on Journalists, Interns as Staff, Patents on Plants, and Bureaucratic Red Tape…

    Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

    Pisa tower

    Summary: A look at some of the latest issues surrounding the European Patent Office, whose insistence on denying the problems and instead attacking those who bring up legitimate concerns, will spell its doom

    THE Administrative Council must act. It must act fast. Battistelli “will end up standing at the top of a pile of organizational rubble,” The Register said this week, alluding to Battistelli’s ambitions of power at the expense of the integrity of the EPO. WIPR wrote about the subject at least twice this month (so far) and one person noted: “What are the odds that WIPR will get by a DDOS attack soon …”

    Well, IP Watch was recently down for a very long time (almost a day) and readers of ours suspected it was due to DDOS, so we asked them about it. Some speculated it may have been DDOS due to their reporting on EPO matters, but they told us this was not the case. As a reminder to all readers, at least 3 sites that regularly write about the EPO or its managers have come under repeated, chronic attacks, so this seemingly flippant response isn’t trivially reducible to paranoia. All those sites also received legal threats from the EPO or its managers.

    The EPO is in an agonising process of collapse. It’s sad that it had to come to this and as The Register put it, “organizational rubble” may be the end result. Currently, as we noted earlier this week, the EPO is replacing staff with interns (we gave another example of this yesterday) and here comes the EPO again, reaffirming this belief with a ‘job’ advertisement (not really a job but an internship; warning: epo.org link). “Learning by doing,” they call it, “this programme involves working on actual case files & running prior-art searches…”

    Imagine how low the pay will be. The EPO under Battistelli is certainly racing to the bottom, both in Europe and internationally. Patent quality is just one among several aspects of rapid decline and software patents seem to be entering Europe not through national patent offices but through the EPO, which is acting in defiance of European authorities and their clear instructions to the EPO.

    Here again is the EPO pushing software patents. To quote: “Looking forward to tomorrow’s [today's] @EPOorg conference on #industry40, #IoT and #patents – Who will be there as well? http://bit.ly/2edht4A pic.twitter.com/EWMtUE37I0″

    The software patents proponents are going to this EPO event that promotes software patents (see event’s description) and one of them, Bastian Best (nice person by the way), told his followers: “Looking forward to tomorrow’s @EPOorg conference on #industry40, #IoT and #patents – Who will be there as well? http://bit.ly/2edht4A”

    He later told me: “EPOorg joined by many #founders, #entrepreneurs and #companies large&small who protect their inventions with #patents”

    Benjamin Henrion corrected him by saying “those are called trolls.” Maybe an exaggeration there, but no doubt the event won’t attract actual developers but those trying to prey on or tax them. As Henrion put it on an earlier occasion, “yet another echo chamber?”

    Well, yes, for sure.

    Patent scope at the EPO has truly gone bonkers under Battistelli, who measures “production” (a commercial term) not in terms like patent quality, improving reputation etc. He just wants an assembly line manned by drones like interns, who cannot distinguish between novelty and gobbledygook.

    Here is another new article from yesterday, about yet another area (not software) where the EPO simply ignores the European Commission/Parliament and patents the craziest things:

    LSPN 2016: EPO patent director talks about patentability of plants

    Heli Pihlajamaa, director of patent law at the European Patent Office (EPO), yesterday outlined the latest developments in the area of plant patentability.

    She was speaking at the Life Sciences Patents Network Europe conference hosted by Life Sciences IP Review in London.

    On November 3, the European Commission adopted a notice clarifying certain articles of Directive 98/44 on the protection of biotechnological inventions.

    The aspects of the directive concerned have “always been criticised by the European Parliament and by several non-governmental organisations”.

    The most important one, according to Pihlajamaa, is the patentability of products obtained by essentially biologic processes. The notice said such products are unpatentable.

    Although the notice is a non-binding instrument, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has “followed such notices in their decisions”.

    We are not sure why the EPO’s management actually believes this is a good idea. Well, it may be good for “production” in the short term (more patents), but what will people start to think about EPs and their worth? This actually damages anyone who has been granted EPs (European patents) over the past couple of decades.

    Speaking of “production”, it looks as though the new bureaucracy — not the scandals — continues to occupy space in legal firms’ blogs/sites. “From 1 November 2016,” one of them has just said, “it is necessary that both the Assignor and Assignee execute an assignment document in order for such document to be accepted as evidence of a transfer. It is believed that this change has been made in response to an acknowledgment by the EPO that the practice to date was not consistent with Article 72 EPC.”

    Will those new interns even manage to handle all this? It takes years to train an examiner and as for Patent Administration, this is the department under the most stress (with suicides), so giving them more work is just about the last thing the EPO needs. Does Battistelli intend to try to replace them too with machines? To quote an anonymous person who is familiar with the EPO, “For the state we’re in with EPO, an end would be an incredible progress.”

    Ignore the Bristows UPC Echo Chamber, the UPC is Not Happening

    Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

    Bristows LLP and EPO

    Summary: Response to some of the latest UPC promotion, courtesy of some of the usual suspects, who stand to benefit financially if the UPC ever becomes a reality

    THE MANY articles we have written about the UPC predate it even being called “UPC”. We’re no beginners and not mere speculators about it. I have personally written about it for many years. I have read thousands of articles about it, including quite a few papers. Over the past fortnight we have posted a 7-part series about the bizarre (totally nonsensical!) developments in the UK, namely:

    “I have personally written about it for many years. I have read thousands of articles about it, including quite a few papers.”The last couple of parts are very long. They are also the most important parts because they explain why the UPC cannot practically happen. Yesterday we added to all the above. UPC reassurances in the UK are believed — at least by some — to be a ploy or decoy, as we noted the other day, citing a valuable blog post almost nobody had noticed. After we mentioned this (just a couple of hours later) it quickly grew popular in social media sites (culminating yesterday afternoon) and then IAM too — in spite of being a UPC and Battistelli pusher — spotted this. A short while later it wrote: “Interesting & not beyond bounds of possibility: UK’s UPC ratification announcement a ploy not a commitment …”

    Dr. Luke McDonagh, who didn’t buy the latest nonsense from Lucy and May (we quoted him a lot in the 7-part series), wrote: “PM May’s view ‘We’re not leaving only to return to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice’ won’t be true for a long time, if ever https://twitter.com/IndyPolitics/status/806814104870682624 …”

    Later in the day Annsley Merelle Ward from Bristows, who habitually promotes the UPC at IP Kat (unrestrained optimism and misrepresentation irrespective of what's common sense), asked in her headline: “Will UK industry suffer from Government’s ‘ratify now, repent at leisure’ UPC stance?”

    “UPC reassurances in the UK are believed — at least by some — to be a ploy or decoy, as we noted the other day, citing a valuable blog post almost nobody had noticed.”No, because it won’t even ratify. Extremely unlikely. Forget about it.

    “The AmeriKat agrees,” she wrote about herself. “Given that the purpose of the UPC is to “enhance legal certainty” in the enforcement of patents (see Recital 5 of the UPCA), it would seem perverse that the UK’s ratification of the UPC would result in increased uncertainty for industry post-Brexit in patent law.”

    But therein lies not the main issue. There are much more pressing issues that prevent the UPC from ever coming into force here. An associate of ours spoke to UKIP about it and it’s possible that a petition too will be set up soon. The UPC is not going ANYWHERE. We wish to remind readers that this whole “unitary patent” charade (latest name among many) has been going on for many years and the EPO along with Team UPC (of which Bristows is a key part) lied repeatedly or was being internationally overoptimistic. They want their opposition to give us and descend to defeatism. They want politicians to believe that it’s inevitable and thus they must participate. Truly malicious tactics…

    “IP Federation is not “represent[ing] the views of UK industry in IP matters,” as we already noted here twice before.”Speaking of Bristows, a key participant of the UPC echo chamber that lobbies our government, watch this tweet linking to its blog that says: “Following the announcement of the UK’s intention to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement, the IP Federation (which represents the views of UK industry in IP matters) has published its response here. IP Federation recognises the potential benefits of the unitary patent and UPC system for industry and also of London hosting part of the Court’s central division. However, it also recognises that there is uncertainty over what will happen upon Brexit, because membership of the EU may (on one view) be essential to UPC membership, and because of the absence of any exit provisions in the UPCA. It therefore calls upon the UK and other contracting states “to work together urgently to enable the UK to stay in the system after Brexit and to prepare transitional provisions in case this is not possible”.”

    Bristows, you are drunk. IP Federation is not “represent[ing] the views of UK industry in IP matters,” as we already noted here twice before [1, 2]. Calling IP Federation anything in relation to “UK industry” is like calling the MPAA representative of actors and RIAA and representative of musicians (rather than mere middlemen who exploit them).

    12.08.16

    British Media Slams Battistelli for Attempting to Cover Up 2 Years of Juridical Abuses With Help From the Administrative Council of the EPO

    Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

    The Administrative Council of the EPO looks increasingly complicit, like a pack of docile chinchillas led by crooked Kongstad

    FIFA coverup
    Reference: Fifa accused of cover up as it emerges World Cup bid report to be kept secret (does it have to involve sports and celebrities for mainstream media to care?)

    Summary: A growing voice of concern about the integrity of the European Patent Organisation, whose management appears to be in cahoots (overseers/regulators included) so as to cover up its own serious abuses

    THE internal and external affairs at the EPO look uglier by the day, if it’s possible at all for things to get any uglier when staff already dies. The EPO crisis fascinates us enough to have already dedicated close to 1,500 articles to it. It won’t stop until justice gets served and the EPO is (hopefully, if not too late) saved.

    If the EPO does not fire Battistelli next week (it probably won’t, but it definitely should), then the whole Organisation (which is fed by fees from the Office) will continue to descend to new lows and it’ll definitely harm Europe’s competitiveness. A lot of the corporate media (especially in Germany) does not seem to understand — or maybe does not want to understand — how pressing an issue this is.

    Thankfully, some in the British media seem to be more responsive and are paying attention to the pleas of EPO staff. This morning the following article got published by The Register:

    Guess King Battistelli’s plan to fix the Euro Patent Office. Yep, give himself more power

    The president of the European Patent Office has responded to a formal rebuke of efforts to impose his will on the organization by asking for more power.

    The man who last week was called a disgrace to his country in the French National Assembly has been accused of targeting EPO staff who opposed his reforms and of running sham disciplinary hearings as part of a campaign of intimidation.

    Some of Benoit Battistelli’s reforms have been enacted, whereas others – especially those that grant the president additional powers and effectively place him above the EPO’s independent review and appeal processes – have been bitterly fought.

    Several staff members, including the staff union’s secretary, were placed on administrative leave by Battistelli over a year ago and have been put through what many claim have been a series of illegal and irregular hearings.

    In a decision that lent significant weight to the staff’s complaints, those hearings were effectively nullified last week by the International Labour Organization Administration Tribunal (ILO-AT). The ILO-AT found that Benoit Battistelli had delegitimized the EPO’s Appeals Committee (ApC) by inserting two staff “volunteers” on the five-person panel rather than allowing the EPO’s central staff committee to select them. It also found the EPO’s management had mishandled critical aspects of the appeals process.

    But, true to form, Battistelli has reacted by doubling down.

    [...]

    Now that approach – of having two staff volunteers – has also been deemed illegal. So what is Battistelli’s solution? That’s right: to give him the power to appoint people to the Appeals Committee.

    In a formal proposal to the EPO’s General Consultative Committee, Battistelli has attempted to reintroduce a change to the EPO’s “service regulations” that he previously put forward, but which was rejected.

    Under his “new” proposal, “if the Central Staff Committee fails to make appointments to these bodies, the President shall take appropriate steps to ensure the necessary appointments, such as by drawing lots or calling for volunteers from among all elected Staff Committee members.”

    [...]

    This approach – where Battistelli tells people what he wants to happen; is told that breaks the organization’s rules; and then attempts to rewrite the rules to give him the power to do it regardless – has become the president’s modi operandi and the reason he has been dubbed “King Battistelli.”

    This is a very good article from one who has followed these affairs closely. It’s even a two-page article, for a change. Found in WIPR yesterday [via, top story too] was this article which quotes anonymous EPO insiders. This London-based publication, which targets law firms (unlike The Register, which targets technology firms not only in Britain), said this:

    A source close to the Staff Union of the European Patent Office said: “Once more we are sad that instead of fixing what he has broken (namely a functioning internal appeals committee), Battistelli’s new proposal shows that he solely aims to circumvent the central staff committee.”

    They added that the staff committee had “solid legal reasons not to nominate staff into the internal committee after two of its members had been downgraded by Battistelli”.

    The morally corrupt patent office of Battistelli is more interested in legalising its sheer abuses rather than actually addressing them. Corrupt. Utterly.

    What can Battistelli say for himself? The headline from WIPR is far too soft (compared to The Register‘s). It says “Battistelli asks to nominate EPO appeals committee members” as if he’s some gentleman asking for staff participation. While he sharpens his sword maybe…

    “Shark asks fish to nominate sacrifices” is the analogy I used yesterday.

    Only a fool would want to issue a judgment/call that does not satisfy the monster, Mr. Battistelli. The Liar in Chief, who falsely accuses people along with his buddy’s wife (Bergot), often dismisses them (only after bankrupting them financially and mentally). When they do this they always disguise the real motivation, as Battistelli’s goon did on Dutch television, pretending that the pattern on attacks on staff representative was just an incredible coincidence, not a union-busting effort.

    The EPO is rapidly becoming synonymous with corruption. Yes, corruption. Moral corruption and some tell us fraud, too. Where is the German police? Where are the German authorities? For political/economic reasons they seem to be turning a blind eye to anything that is being presented to them. And rightly so… considering what kind of employers they have paying their salaries. It doesn’t look as though even ILO (or the UN) can compel the EPO to obey the law. Dutch courts, including the highest court in the Netherlands, are the subject of scorn inside Team Battistelli. It’s like the Mafia in Italy, except the Mafia does occasionally have to fight for its corner and corrupt some officials for protection. What Battistelli does to the EPO right now is similar to what France did to Algiers and he sucks everything that’s inside the EPO (decades’ worth of reputation and assets) for short-term personal gain. The FIFA scandal is utterly minuscule compared to this.

    To quote some new comments (posted anonymously in IP Kat, which has not yet written a single article on this subject):

    New rule to be decided by the Council next week:

    “if the Central Staff Committee, despite an invitation to do so, fails to make appointments to these bodies, the President shall take appropriate steps to ensure and make the necessary appointments, such as calling for volunteers or drawing lots from among eligible staff members.”

    Attention: “from among eligible staff members” and not “from elected staff representatives”. Deliberately. A very interesting phrase.

    Yes, we noticed this the other day. “Following their resignation they have been publically defamed by VP4 and VP5 and then abusively disciplined (both downgraded),” added another comment. To quote:

    FACTS
    the two staff reps nominees resigned during autumn 2014 (since they could not perform their work as they should have, due to several defficiencies reported to Battistelli and left uncorrected on purpose). Following their resignation they have been publically defamed by VP4 and VP5 and then abusively disciplined (both downgraded).

    Facing such appaling situation the CSC did not want to nominate anyone anew before the reported defficencies had been corredted and insurance had been given that the new nominees would not be again pressurized and sanctioned.

    As you may imagine Battistelli did nothing to redress the internal appeal system he and his associates had broken. Instead Battistelli “invited” all CSC nominees (read threathened them of disciplinary santions) and the weakest “volunteered”.

    So much for independent judicial system at EPO

    see here : http://techrights.org/2016/12/05/bunk-justice-at-epo/

    “This “mis”management team should all be fired,” added another commenter.

    Battistelli wants by all means to circumvent the staff representatives whom he truly hates since they do not wish to bend and praise his glory.

    Battistelli’s problem is simple: he is enarque functioning with a software dating back last century. He thinks he knows better only he does not – see the mess he created and he has proven incapable solving?

    The accolytes he recruited are no better. They too think they know better but the world outside is laughing at the EPO which they see sinking for the past 3 years.

    The new “solution” is likely (once more) not to fly at the ILO-AT. Let’s see next week if the Administrative Council will approve that new pack of low quality legal work produced under the supervision of a German Vice President and a German Principal Directorate.

    All this costs money and reputation. This “mis”management team should all be fired.

    As we noted here earlier this week, Battistelli hopes to retroactively legalise his abuses. Battistelli is an utter catastrophe never seen in Europe, let aside the EPO. The term “Battistelli” might make the urban dictionaries one day, alongside Microsoft's Elop and Rick Belluzzo. Battistelli seems to be only destroying — not working for — the EPO, yet somehow Battistelli receives a secret salary from the EPO and nobody seems prepared to fire him.

    “Thank you for your answers,” one person wrote. “Probably, now the usual EPO policy of changing the law when the judges interpret it in a way you do not like, will be carried out.”

    “Further questions,” continued the thread. “Would it be possible for the staff reps who stepped down to come back? Though some have been dismissed, they are still legally elected staff reps appointed by the scs, aren’t they? How is the legal situation on that? If a staff rep gets dismissed, does he automatically cease to be staff rep? But that would necessitate new elections, wouldn’t it? Have those taken place? I do not think so. Anybody?”

    Well, Battistelli is crushing anything that resembles a threat to his position and he is apparently immune, as the following comment makes clear:

    Sadly it would appear that Article 52 of the EPO Service Regulations does not appear to apply to the President, the Vice-Presidents or to the Legal Services Department of the EPO.

    Section 2 – Dismissal by the appointing authority

    Article 52 – Professional incompetence

    (1) Subject to Article 23 of the Convention, a permanent employee who proves
    incompetent in the performance of his duties may be dismissed.
    The appointing authority may, however, offer to classify the employee concerned in a lower grade and to assign him to a post corresponding to this new grade.

    (2) Any proposal for the dismissal of a permanent employee shall set out the reasons on which it is based and shall be communicated to the employee concerned. He shall be entitled to make any comments thereon which he considers relevant.
    The appointing authority shall take a reasoned decision, after following the procedure laid down in regard to disciplinary matters.

    (3) Subject to Article 13, a permanent employee shall not be dismissed without notice. The notice shall be calculated on the basis of one month for each year of actual service; it shall not, however, be less than three months, nor greater than nine. The period of notice shall commence on the first day of the month following the date of notification of the decision to dismiss the employee. The period of notice shall be increased by one month for a permanent employee having his home as defined in Article 60, paragraph 2, in a country other than that in which he is employed.

    We don’t believe that crooked Kongstad and his chinchillas (the delegates) will fire Battistelli just before Christmas, so we need to keep fighting for justice and we need to expose the serious abuses of the EPO. We continue to invite readers to anonymously send material to us. The more the public knows, the more often journalists all across Europe will need to subject authorities to scrutiny, and the more politicians will push to end the EPO’s tyranny.

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