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07.16.18

Links 17/7/2018: Catfish 1.4.6 Released, ReactOS 0.4.9, Red Hat’s GPL Compliance Group Grows

Posted in News Roundup at 11:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Warehouse Clearance Sale! Librem laptops starting at $999

      We sometimes get asked whether we will sell previous Librem models at a discount. The fact is that we normally don’t have a lot of Librem laptops lying around–the current stock sells out quickly and we order new batches. However, we also sometimes offer more than one type of Librem 13 or 15 laptop so customers can pick which hardware appeals most to them. Most recently this happened when we offered you the choice of i5 vs. i7 CPU and the choice of adding on a TPM chip. The demand for the i7 CPU and TPM chips were overwhelming to the point that both the i7 and TPM chip are now standard on our entire product line.

  • Server

    • How The Update Framework Improves Software Distribution Security

      In recent years that there been multiple cyber-attacks that compromised a software developer’s network to enable the delivery of malware inside of software updates. That’s a situation that Justin Cappos, founder of The Update Framework (TUF) open-source project, has been working hard to help solve.

      Cappos, an assistant professor at New York University (NYU), started TUF nearly a decade ago. TUF is now implemented by multiple software projects, including the Docker Notary project for secure container application updates and has implementations that are being purpose-built to help secure automotive software as well.

    • IBM’s new Nabla containers are designed for security first

      Companies love containers because they enable them to run more jobs on servers. But businesses also hate containers, because they fear they’re less secure than virtual machines (VM)s. IBM thinks it has an answer to that: Nabla containers, which are more secure by design than rival container concepts.

      James Bottomley, an IBM Research distinguished engineer and top Linux kernel developer, first outlines that there are two kind of fundamental kinds of container and virtual machine (VM) security problems. These are described as Vertical Attack Profile (VAP) and Horizontal Attack Profile (HAP).

    • [Podcast] PodCTL #42 – Kubernetes 1.11 Released

      Like clockwork, the Kubernetes community continues to release quarterly updates to the rapidly expanding project. With the 1.11 release, we see a number of new capabilities being added across a number of different domains – infrastructure services, scheduling services, routing services, storage services, and broader CRD versioning capabilities that will improve the ability to not only deploy Operators for the platform and applications. Links for all these new features, as well as in-depth blog posts from Red Hat and the Kubernetes community are included in the show notes.

      As always, it’s important to remember that not every new feature being released is considered “General Availability”, so be sure to check the detailed release notes before considering the use of any feature in a production or high-availability environment.

    • Red Hat Looks Beyond Docker for Container Technology

      While Docker Inc and its eponymous container engine helped to create the modern container approach, Red Hat has multiple efforts of its own that it is now actively developing.

      The core component for containers is the runtime engine, which for Docker is the Docker Engine which is now based on the Docker-led containerd project that is hosted at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF). Red Hat has built its own container engine called CRI-O, which hit its 1.0 release back in October 2017.

      For building images, Red Hat has a project called Buildah, which reached its 1.0 milestone on June 6.

  • Kernel Space

    • PDS 0.98s release

      PDS 0.98s is released with the following changes

      1. Fix compilation issue on raspberry pi.
      2. Minor rework and optimization on balance code path.
      3. Fix wrong nr_max_tries in migrate_pending_tasks.

      This is mainly a bug fix and minor optimization release for 4.17. The rework of balance code doesn’t go well, it actually make more overhead than current implement. Another rework which based on current implement is still on going, hopefully be included in next release.

    • PDS-MQ CPU Scheduler Revised For The Linux 4.17 Kernel With Minor Optimizations

      Alfred Chen announced this week the release of PDS-mq 0.98s, his latest patch-set of this CPU scheduler against the Linux 4.17 upstream code-base and includes minor optimization work and bug fixes.

      The PDS scheduler stands for the “Priority and Deadline based Skiplist multiple queue scheduler” that is derived from Con Kolivas’ former BFS scheduler with Variable Run Queue (VRQ) support. PDS design principles are to be a simple CPU process scheduler yet efficient and scalable. PDS-mq differs from Con Kolivas’ current MuQSS scheduler.

    • Add infrastructure for Vblank and page flip events in vkms simulated by hrtimer

      Since the beginning of May 2018, I have been diving into the DRM subsystem. In the beginning, nothing made sense to me, and I had to fight hard to understand how things work. Fortunately, I was not alone, and I had great support from Gustavo Padovan, Daniel Vetter, Haneen Mohammed, and the entire community. Recently, I finally delivered a new feature for VKMS: the infrastructure for Vblank and page flip events.

      At this moment, VKMS have regular Vblank events simulated through hrtimers (see drm-misc-next), which is a feature required by VKMS to mimic real hardware [6]. The development approach was entirely driven by the tests provided by IGT, more specifically the kms_flip. I modified IGT to read a module name via command line and force the use of it, instead of using only the modules defined in the code (patch submitted to IGT, see [1]). With this modification in the IGT, my development process to add a Vblank infrastructure to VKMS had three main steps as Figure 1 describes.

    • The State Of The VKMS Driver, Preparations For vBlank & Page Flip Events

      One of the exciting additions to look forward to with the upcoming Linux 4.19 kernel cycle is the virtual “VKMS” kernel mode-setting driver. The driver is still a work-in-progress, but multiple developers are working on it.

    • Linux Foundation

    • Graphics Stack

      • NIR Continues To Be Prepped For OpenCL Support

        Longtime Nouveau contributor Karol Herbst who joined Red Hat several months ago has been working on Nouveau NIR support as stepping towards SPIR-V/compute support and this summer the work very much remains an active target.

      • Nouveau Gallium3D Moves Closer Towards OpenGL 4.5 Compliance

        While the RadeonSI and Intel i965 Mesa drivers have been at OpenGL 4.5 compliance for a while now, the Nouveau “NVC0″ Gallium3D driver has been bound to OpenGL 4.3 officially.

        This Nouveau Gallium3D driver for NVIDIA “Fermi” graphics hardware and newer has effectively supported all of the OpenGL 4.4/4.5 extensions, but not officially. Originally the NVC0 problem for OpenGL 4.4 and newer was the requirement of passing the OpenGL Conformance Test Suite (CTS), which at first wasn’t open-source. But now The Khronos Group has made it available to everyone as open-source. Additionally, the proper legal wrangling is in place so the Nouveau driver could become a conforming Khronos adopter under the X.Org Foundation without any associated costs/fees with Nouveau being purely open-source and primarily considered a community driver.

      • NVIDIA 390.77 Linux Driver Brings Updated Kernel Support, Fixes

        NVIDIA released today the 390.77 Linux driver, the latest in the 390 “long-lived” driver branch, for those not using the short-lived 396 bleeding-edge driver series.

        With the NVIDIA 390.77 Linux driver release it now works with up through the Linux 4.17 stable kernel series. Additionally, there are several pressing bug fixes.

      • Igalia Aligns Latest Patches For Giving Intel’s Mesa Driver OpenGL 4.6

        Igalia developers have been very involved with the Intel open-source developers on getting the long-awaited OpenGL 4.6 support into the “i965″ Mesa driver. As has been the case for a while, out-of-tree patches can allow this to happen but with the Mesa 18.2 branching soon, it doesn’t look like this will materialize ahead of this next release.

    • Benchmarks

      • Comparing Latencies and Power consumption with various CPU schedulers

        The low-latency kernel offering with Ubuntu provides a kernel tuned for low-latency environments using low-latency kernel configuration options. The x86 kernels by default run with the Intel-Pstate CPU scheduler set to run with the powersave scaling governor biased towards power efficiency.

        While power efficiency is fine for most use-cases, it can introduce latencies due to the fact that the CPU can be running at a low frequency to save power and also switching from a deep C state when idle to a higher C state when servicing an event can also increase on latencies.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Catfish 1.4.6 Released, Now an Xfce Project

      It’s a great day for fans of the fast and powerful Catfish search utility. With the 1.4.6 release, Catfish now officially joins the Xfce family. Additionally, there’s been some nice improvements to the thumbnailer and a large number of bugs have been squashed.

    • Catfish Search Utility Joins The Xfce Project

      The Catfish search utility now officially lives under the Xfce umbrella.

      Catfish is a GTK3-based and Python 3.x written program for searching for files on the system. Catfish has long been common to Xfce desktop systems and complementary to the Thunar file manager. The Catfish 1.4.6 release was made this weekend and with this version has now officially become part of the Xfce project.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Applications 18.08 branches created

        Make sure you commit anything you want to end up in the KDE Applications 18.08 release to them :)

        We’re already past the dependency freeze.

        [...]

        August 16: KDE Applications 18.08 Release

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Petr Kovar: GUADEC 2018

        Back from GUADEC, held in the beautiful Andalusian city of Almería, Spain, from 6th July through 11th July, 2018, I wanted to share a few notes wrt documentation and localization activities at the conference and during the traditional post-conference hacking days.

      • GUADEC18 Developer Center BoF Part 1: The Developer Experience

        At this year’s GUADEC lightning talks I spontaneously announced and arranged a Developer Center BoF (Birds of a Feather) session. We were six attendants who met together Wednesday the 11th September. I think it is important that we communicate our doings to the rest of the community, so I will make a few short blog posts based on our meeting notes and my own thoughts on the subject.

      • GSoC 2018: Safe Shared Access to Cairo Image Surfaces

        I’m working on librsvg, a GNOME SVG rendering library, to port the SVG filter effects and related infrastructure from C to Rust. Librsvg uses Cairo, a 2D graphics library, for most of its drawing operations. Cairo can draw to a number of different surfaces like XCB and Xlib windows and pixmaps, PDF documents and PostScript files.

      • Have you ever commented while angry?

        Here’s my proposal (feature request for GitLab / irssi? 😉): if I feel heated when writing a reply, I will take 5 minutes before hitting the send button. I expect when I come back that I’ll look like the bad guy, some re-wording will happen, and the world will become a little bit less bad than it would have.

  • Distributions

    • DistroWatch The Best Website For Distro Hoppers

      The DistroWatch features release announcements of new versions of hundreds of Linux and other distributions. It does host reviews of distros, podcasts, and newsletters. DistroWatch first published by Ladislav Bodnar, the founder, and maintainer, on May 31, 2001.

      DistroWatch initially focused on Linux distributions. But later based on user requests, it went on adding different flavors of operating systems like BSD family, Android x86, Oracle Solaris, MINIX, and Haiku etc.

      The DistroWatch presents detailed information at one place in a very convenient manner. At the time of writing this article, the DistroWatch hosted information of more than 300 active distributions (referring the list of distros populated under drop-down feature on the first page of the DistroWatch) and more than hundred in queue. It is said that the DistroWatch lives out of advertising and donation. LinuxCD.org is the first to advertise on the DistroWatch site.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed: a Linux Distro review

        The bittersweet result: I may be free of the operating system release cycle, but have spent far more time fussing over my rolling distro than I ever would have fussed to upgrade from point release A to point release B. openSUSE impresses, but I probably should have (sigh …) adopted their point release distro Leap instead, or stood pat with Mint. (Although I’ll likely Tumble from here on in, now that I’ve hacked my way through the worst of the Tumbleweed learning curve.)

        If also tempted by the Tumbleweed bleeding edge: Dost thou know how to make and restore a disk image, either via the fabulous free Clonezilla or a commercial equivalent? Canst thou partition a disk, and, perhaps, fix a broken boot loader? I’ll dare to name these skills as entry bars for Tumbleweed adoption, especially the first one. I figured out how to do this stuff, still judge my knowledge as barely adequate to drive Tumbleweed daily. (Although one can install the Tumbleweed ISO in a virtual machine, fiddle to one’s heart’s content.)

    • Slackware Family

      • The oldest, active Linux distro, Slackware, turns 25

        For many early Linux users, Slackware was their introduction. One user told me her first Linux install was Slackware—and she had to use a hex editor to fix the partition tables so that Slackware would install. Support for her hardware was added in a later release. Another got his start building the data center that would power one of the first internet-enabled real estate sites. In the mid-1990s, Slackware was one of the easiest distributions to get and didn’t require a lot of effort to get IP masquerading to work correctly. A third person mentioned going to sleep while a kernel compile job ran, only to find out it had failed when he woke up.

        All of these anecdotes would suggest a hard-to-use operating system. But Slackware fans don’t see it that way. The project’s website says the two top priorities are “ease of use and stability.” For Slackware, “ease of use” means simplicity. Slackware does not include a graphical installer. Its package manager does not perform any dependency resolution. This can be jarring for new users, particularly within the last few years, but it also enables a deeper understanding of the system.

        The different take on ease of use isn’t the only thing unique about Slackware. It also does not have a public bug tracker, code repository, or well-defined method of community contribution. Volkerding and a small team of contributors maintain the tree in a rolling release called “-current” and publish a release when it meets the feature and stability goals they’ve set.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS Amazon Linux AMIs Now Support Amazon’s SSM Agent

            As of July 2018, Amazon’s Linux AMIs (Amazon Machine Images) that are based on either the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating systems now come pre-installed with the AWS Systems Manager Agent (SSM Agent), an Amazon software designed to run on hybrid or Amazon EC2 instances in public and private clouds on AWS (Amazon Web Services).

            “With this new feature release, AWS Systems Manager Agent is installed by default on all instances launched or built from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (2018.07 and later) and 18.04 LTS (all versions) AMIs,” said Amazon. “By having the agent pre-installed, you can quickly start using AWS Systems Manager features such as Run Command, State Manager, Inventory and Patch Manager.”

          • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 536

            Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 536 for the week of July 8 – 14, 2018.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache Cassandra at 10: Making a community believe in NoSQL

    Ten years ago this month, when Lehman Brothers was still just about in business and the term NoSQL wasn’t even widely known, let alone an irritant, Facebook engineers open-sourced a distributed database system named Cassandra.

    Back then, the idea that huge numbers of companies would need a scalable database was almost laughable – and that grip of traditional relational database systems is reflected in the mythical moniker given to what would become one of the first of many databases designed to run on a cluster of machines.

    Named after the Greek figure who was cursed to utter the truth but was never believed, Cassandra might seem an odd choice for a system whose raison d’être is believability – but it delivered a nice dig at the stalwarts of the RDBMS world… and their trust in a false Oracle.

  • Google Launches Jib, Automated Container Packaging for Java Apps

    Google has released software that could automate the packaging of a Java program so that it can be run in the cloud-native environment.

    Jib is an open-source Java “containerizer,” one that handles all the steps of packaging your application into a container image, according to Appu Goundan and Qingyang Chen, two Google engineers who co-wrote a blog post announcing the new technology.

    Created over two decades ago at Sun Microsystems, Java was introduced as a “write once, run anywhere” programming language, where all the code would be packaged in a JAR file, and run by a Java Virtual Machine on any platform. The requirements for running code anywhere have expanded with the introduction of containerization, however. Few shops are Java-only these days, and many are turning to containerization for true application portability,

  • WSO2 Summer 2018 Release Brings Agility to Secure Microservices Integration
  • New Operations in Mexico Extend WSO2’s Reach Across Latin America
  • How Open Source Became The Default Business Model For Software
  • 10 Best Kodi Addons You Should Install In 2018 | Legal Addons

    Kodi is one of the most popular media player software which enables you to access videos, music, and pictures via the internet or local storage on a host of platforms. Managed by XBMC foundation, Kodi is an open source software. However, its reputation has been soiled by labeling it as a piracy bearer, and that is why many ask “Is Kodi legal?” You can read more about Kodi and whether it is legal or not here.

  • Summer of Code: Plan for the grand finale

    To get that done, I have to polish up my smack-openpgp branch which has grown to a size of 7000 loc. There are still some minor quirks, but Florian recommended to focus on the big picture instead of spending too much time on small details and edge cases.

    I also have to release pgpainless to maven central and establish some kind of release cycle. It will be a future challenge for me personally to synchronize the releases of smack-openpgp and pgpainless.

  • Pharmaceutical industry gets first open source platform for Level 4 serialization

    Pharmaceutical companies today for the first time have an open source alternative for level 4 serialization with the launch of QU4RTET, a platform that provides them with new flexibility, transparency and affordability as they comply with global drug anti-counterfeiting laws.

  • Kontron Uses Open Source to Move Beyond Bare Metal

    Kontron, a company known for its embedded computing technology, is leveraging virtualization and open source to become a direct supplier to large service providers, promising to integrate hardware and operating system software with best-of-breed virtual network functions.

    That new sales strategy has evolved to support containers, particularly as they fit at the edge of the network, which for Kontron AG is the cell tower. In May, Kontron announced that its integrated SYMKLOUD open source platform now supports the latest versions of OpenStack for virtual machines and bare metal, as well as Kubernetes v1.10 for Docker and containers, via its distribution partnership with Canonical.

  • Open Source Expands In Finance With The FINOS Platform
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Popular Firefox extensions now available in 7 new locales

        Firefox is available in over 90 languages, giving millions of people around the world access to the web in words they understand. Our community of translators and localizers do this because they believe that the web belongs to everyone, not just those who speak a popular tongue.

      • No Longer Lost in Translation

        You might have noticed that while Firefox supports 90 languages, many extensions and their listings on addons.mozilla.org (AMO) are only available in English.

        At present, we don’t have a way to connect extension developers with the translation community at scale, and Pontoon, Mozilla’s tool for localizing products and websites, currently only supports translating the AMO site itself.

        What we do have, however, is a desire to make translation resources available, a longstanding and active community of localizers, and friends on Mozilla’s Open Innovation team who specialize in putting the two together. Part of Open Innovation’s work is to explore new ways to connect communities of enthusiastic non-coding contributors to meaningful projects within Mozilla. Together with Rubén Martín, we ran a campaign to localize an initial group of top Firefox extensions into the 7 most popular languages of Firefox users.

      • Measuring Localization Time (in CI)

        As we all know, measuring things is a good way to get concrete information. Now that Firefox CI is fully on Taskcluster this was a good opportunity to measure and see what we can learn about timing in localization tasks.

        The code that generated the following charts and data is viewable in my Github repo, though as of this writing the code is rough and was modified manually to help generate the related graphs in various configurations. I’m working on adjusting them to be more general purpose and have better actual testing around logic.

      • Mozilla Reps Community

        The Reps program is working to prepare the ground for Mission Driven Mozillians and there are different tasks and issues to face for that.

        The most important point for the Reps Council is the Roles of Reps inside the communities. We know that in Mozilla there are a lot of international communities, local community and project specific communities, and we need to understand and be ready to support all of them.

      • QMO: Firefox 62 Beta 8 Testday Results
  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Synopsys ARC HS4x Processors Now Supported By GCC

      The GCC 8 compiler brought the Synopsys ARC CPU target while for the GCC 9 release is going to be support for the company’s HS4x processors.

      Merged today to mainline GCC is support for the HS4x CPUs within the ARC target. Adding this newer generation of ARC processors to the GNU Compiler Collection code-base was just a few hundred lines of code with building off the existing target code.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • A Movement Builds as a Diverse Group of 14 Additional Leaders Seek Greater Predictability in Open Source Licensing

      Today’s announcement demonstrates the expanded breadth and depth of support for the GPL Cooperation Commitment. Companies adopting the commitment now span geographic regions, include eight Fortune 100 companies, and represent a wide range of industries from enterprise software and hardware to consumer electronics, chip manufacturing to cloud computing, and social networking to automotive. The companies making the commitment represent more than 39 percent of corporate contributions to the Linux kernel, including six of the top 10 corporate contributors.1

    • ARM: Arm joins industry leaders in commitment to fair enforcement of open source licenses

      Today, Red Hat announced that several leading technology companies, including Arm, are joining a diverse coalition of organizations that have come together to promote greater predictability in open source license enforcement. Alongside Amazon, Canonical, Linaro, Toyota, VMware and many others we have committed to ensure fair opportunity for our licensees to correct errors in compliance with their GPL and LGPL licensed software before taking action to terminate the licenses.

    • Debian “stretch” 9.5 Update Now Available, Red Hat Announces New Adopters of the GPL Cooperation Commitment, Linux Audio Conference 2018 Videos Now Available, Latte Dock v0.8 Released and More

      Red Hat announced that 14 additional companies have adopted the GPL Cooperation Commitment, which means that “more than 39 percent of corporate contributions to the Linux kernel, including six of the top 10 contributors” are now represented. According to the Red Hat press release, these commitments “reflect the belief that responsible compliance in open source licensing is important and that license enforcement in the open source ecosystem operates by different norms.” Companies joining the growing movement include Amazon, Arm, Canonical, GitLab, Intel Corporation, Liferay, Linaro, MariaDB, NEC, Pivotal, Royal Philips, SAS, Toyota and VMware.

    • Collaboration in open source license enforcement — a community movement is happening

      “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.”

      This was Abraham Lincoln speaking in the mid-1800s but his advice is still relevant today. Litigation is almost always a poor tool for fostering collaboration, whether among neighbors or software developers.

      In approaching the topic of open source license enforcement, it is important to consider Lincoln’s advice. Collaboration during open source license enforcement is a key to successful compliance just as it is an important element to success in the software development process. In assessing license enforcement tactics, you need to ask whether they will foster greater collaboration in open source software development. If the ultimate result of excessive or abusive enforcement is that developers and enterprises are turned off from participating in upstream open source communities, the ecosystems will wither and we all suffer as a result.

    • GPL Cooperation Commitment gets more support for open source licensing

      Red Hat has announced its open source license enforcement initiative is making new strides. As part of the GPL Cooperation Commitment, 14 new companies have joined the effort to promote greater predictability for GPLv2 and LGPLv2.x licenses.

      “Through this initiative, we hope ultimately to increase participation in the use and development of open source software by helping to ensure that enforcement, when it takes place, is fair and predictable,” according to the commitment’s website.

    • The Global IP Exchange: Human ingenuity and open source technology

      He said: “Customers do increasingly care about open source, and if you don’t comply you are at risk of upsetting authors, as well as litigation and injunctions.”

      “If you’re just distributing internally, then you’re fine, but as soon as it leaves your company, then you’ve triggered an obligation.”

      For those who don’t comply, he warned that either the licensor, or the Free Software Foundation will find out.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Collaborative World Shaping: Why Open-Source Tech Matters in a For-Impact Future

      How many lives could be saved if there was a way to vastly cut down inefficiency and through bureaucracy, by problem solving at a global scale? Could technology help us reach more individuals in need more meaningfully, substantially helping people affected by disasters – in less time?

      The technology is already out there – but not enough people know about it.

      In 2017, Hurricane Irma—the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean—made landfall; with widespread, “catastrophic” damage, disaster relief organizations were overwhelmed. “A lot of traditional means of crisis response are very top down, and they didn’t really kick in — we saw headlines about how the Red Cross didn’t show up to shelters,” said Greg Bloom, a community organizer and civic hacker who knew he had to step in to assist.

    • The First Open-Source Smart Contract Platform to be Started by Rootstock

      RSK Labs, formerly known as Rootstock, an Argentinian startup building the first open-source smart contract platform with a 2-way peg to Bitcoin.RSK Labs CEO Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar on Bitcoin Smart Contracts Sidechain and Crypto Industry Challenges.

      Even though at this point of time the 2-way peg security of the RSK blockchain is still relying on a group of third parties called ‘Federation’, in the future the developers promise to bring a “trustless” automatic peg. How fast this happens to some degree depends on the overall miners support.

      The company says its goal is to add value and functionality to the Bitcoin ecosystem by enabling Ethereum-like smart-contracts, near instant payments and higher-scalability, and this past January after almost two years of development its mainnet dubbed Bamboo was finally launched.

    • Creality’s Ender 3 3D Printer is Now Fully Open Source

      Creality3D, founded in 2014, is a 3D printer manufacturer based in China, offering more than 20 products. Their popular Ender 3 was recently voted “Best 3D Printer Under $200” by All3DP (review here).

      Now, the company is making their most popular 3D printer, the Ender 3, completely open source.

      This makes it the first Open Source Hardware Association certified 3D printer in China. This means not just a few files have been shared, but all hardware, CAD files, board schematics and firmware files are available. You can find the updated versions on the company’s GitHub page.

    • Charité’s researchers integrate open-source platform into the ‘Human Brain Project’

      Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) are pleased to announce that ‘The Virtual Brain’ neuroinformatics platform has joined the EU’s Flagship ‘Human Brain Project’. With financial support from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, Charité’s researchers are now integrating their open-source platform into the ‘Human Brain Project’. This will provide participating researchers with a research infrastructure that promotes efficiency and reproducibility. The researchers will focus on refining the theoretical underpinnings of the computer models used, developing efficient simulation technology, and working on neuroinformatics solutions that enhance the reproducibility of studies.

  • Programming/Development

    • Opinion: GitHub vs GitLab

      So, Microsoft bought GitHub, and many people are confused or worried. It’s not a new phenomenon when any large company buys any smaller company, and people are right to be worried, although I argue that their timing is wrong. Like Microsoft, GitHub has made some useful contributions to free and open-source software, but let’s not forget that GitHub’s main product is proprietary software. And, it’s not just some innocuous web service either; GitHub makes and sells a proprietary software package you can download and run on your own server called GitHub Enterprise (GHE).

      Let’s remember how we got here. BitMover made a tool called BitKeeper, a proprietary version control system that allowed free-of-charge licenses to free software projects. In 2002, the Linux kernel switched to using BitKeeper for its version control, although some notable developers made the noble choice to refuse to use the proprietary program. Many others did not, and for a number of years, kernel development was hampered by BitKeeper’s restrictive noncommercial licenses.

      In 2005, Andrew Tridgell, working at OSDL, developed a client that bypassed this restriction, and as a result, BitMover removed licenses to BitKeeper from all OSDL employees—including Linus Torvalds. Eventually, all non-commercial licenses were stopped, and new licenses included clauses preventing the development of alternative version control systems. As a result of this, two new projects were born: Mercurial and Git. Created in a few short weeks in 2005, Git quickly became the version control system for Linux development.

      Proprietary version control tools aren’t common in free software development, but proprietary collaboration websites have been around for some time. One of the earliest collaboration websites still around today is Sourceforge. Sourceforge was created in the late 1990s by VA Software, and the code behind the project was released in 2000.

    • Is BDFL a death sentence?

      A few days ago, Guido van Rossum, creator of the Python programming language and Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL) of the project, announced his intention to step away.

      Below is a portion of his message, although the entire email is not terribly long and worth taking the time to read if you’re interested in the circumstances leading to van Rossum’s departure.

    • Thoughts on Guido retiring as BDFL of Python

      I’ve been programming in Python for almost 20 years on a myriad of open source projects, tools for personal use, and work. I helped out with several PyCon US conferences and attended several others. I met a lot of amazing people who have influenced me as a person and as a programmer.

      I started PyVideo in March 2012. At a PyCon US after that (maybe 2015?), I found myself in an elevator with Guido and somehow we got to talking about PyVideo and he asked point-blank, “Why work on that?” I tried to explain what I was trying to do with it: create an index of conference videos across video sites, improve the meta-data, transcriptions, subtitles, feeds, etc. I remember he patiently listened to me and then said something along the lines of how it was a good thing to work on. I really appreciated that moment of validation. I think about it periodically. It was one of the reasons Sheila and I worked hard to transition PyVideo to a new group after we were burned out.

    • How to Setup Python Virtual Environment on Ubuntu 18.04

      Python is a versatile programming language that can be used for many different programming projects(Web – Mobile – Desktop).

      Easy to set up, and written in a relatively straightforward style with immediate feedback on errors, Python is a great choice for beginners and experienced developers alike. Python 3 is the most current version of the language and is considered to be the future of Python.

      This article will guide you through installing Python 3 on your local Linux machine and setting up a programming virtual environment via the command line. This article will explicitly cover the installation procedures for Ubuntu 18.04, but the general principles apply to any other distribution of Debian Linux.

    • How expensive is globbing for sources in large projects

      Since we have the measurement script, let’s use it for something more interesting. Modules are an upcoming C++ feature to increase build times and a ton of other coolness depending on who you ask. The current specification works by having a kind of “module export declaration” at the beginning of source files. The idea is that you first compile those to generate a sort of a module declaration file and then you can start the actual compilation that uses said files.

      If you thought “waitaminute, that sounds exactly like how FORTRAN is compiled”, you are correct. Because of this it has the same problem that you can’t compile source files in an arbitrary order, but instead you must first somehow scan them to find out the interdependencies between source (not header) files. In practice what this means is that instead of single-phase compilation all files must be processed twice. All scan operations must be done before any compilation jobs can start because otherwise you might start to compile a file before its dependencies are fully processed.

      The scanning can be done in one of two ways. Either the build system scans the sources meaning it needs to understand the syntax of source files or the compiler can be invoked in a special preprocessing mode. Note that build systems such as Ninja do not do any such operations by themselves but instead always invoke external processes to do their work.

Leftovers

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • CIA collaborated with Gülen – Lobbyist

      Turkey’s public enemy number one, Islamist preacher Fethullah Gülen, has U.S. politicians on his payroll and a history of cooperation with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, London-based lawyer Robert Amsterdam told Turkish news channel A Haber in a filmed interview on Monday.

      Amsterdam, on retainer by the Turkish government to lobby internationally against Gülen, discussed the fruits of his activities, which he said had accelerated legal repercussions against Gülen’s organisation in the United States and raised awareness about the group.

    • UK ‘complicit in killing civilians and risks being prosecuted over illegal drone operations’, major report suggests

      British military personnel could be prosecuted for killing civilians in drone strikes and risk becoming complicit in alleged war crimes committed by the US, an inquiry has found.

      A two-year probe by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Drones revealed that the number of operations facilitated by the UK in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia has been growing without any public scrutiny.

      As well as launching its own strikes, the Ministry of Defence is assisting operations by the US and other allies that could violate both national and international law, it said.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • The War on Assange Is a War on Press Freedom

      The failure on the part of establishment media to defend Julian Assange, who has been trapped in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, has been denied communication with the outside world since March and appears to be facing imminent expulsion and arrest, is astonishing. The extradition of the publisher—the maniacal goal of the U.S. government—would set a legal precedent that would criminalize any journalistic oversight or investigation of the corporate state. It would turn leaks and whistleblowing into treason. It would shroud in total secrecy the actions of the ruling global elites. If Assange is extradited to the United States and sentenced, The New York Times, The Washington Post and every other media organization, no matter how tepid their coverage of the corporate state, would be subject to the same draconian censorship. Under the precedent set, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court would enthusiastically uphold the arrest and imprisonment of any publisher, editor or reporter in the name of national security.

      There are growing signs that the Ecuadorean government of Lenín Moreno is preparing to evict Assange and turn him over to British police. Moreno and his foreign minister, José Valencia, have confirmed they are in negotiations with the British government to “resolve” the fate of Assange. Moreno, who will visit Britain in a few weeks, calls Assange an “inherited problem” and “a stone in the shoe” and has referred to him as a “hacker.” It appears that under a Moreno government Assange is no longer welcome in Ecuador. His only hope now is safe passage to his native Australia or another country willing to give him asylum.

    • Pamela Anderson Defends Assange and Putin: ‘Everything Is So Anti-Russia’
    • Pamela Anderson Opens Up About Being Romantically Linked to Julian Assange: ‘It Is Sexism’
    • Pamela Anderson Thinks ‘The World Of Julian’ Assange
    • Pamela Anderson Stands Up for Julian Assange and Vladimir Putin
    • Pamela Anderson: Americans are programmed to blame Russia when things go wrong
    • DoJ claims Assange colluded with the Russians in the US elections

      The Justice Department’s indictment Friday of 12 Russian military intelligence officers undermines those denials. And if the criminal charges are proved, it would show that WikiLeaks (referred to as “Organization 1” in the indictment) received the material from Guccifer 2.0, a persona directly controlled by Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, also known as GRU, and even gave the Russian hackers advice on how to disseminate it.

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • On Speech And Subpoenas, New York Giveth And Taketh (First, The Good News On Platform Jurisdiction)

      Like the anti-SLAPP statute does for unmeritorious litigation Section 1987.2 of the Code of Civil Procedure allows for mandatory recovery of fees for unmeritorious unmasking subpoenas that courts quash. Unfortunately, like robust anti-SLAPP laws, not all states have such a provision, which is another reason why it’s important that platforms not be exposed to these other jurisdictions simply because they may have completed the purely ministerial task of registering with the Secretary of State or having some users there and not any more substantive connection. Platforms are in the business of facilitating speech, and they should be able to choose which laws to expose themselves to that will give them the best ability to do it.

    • On Speech And Subpoenas, New York Giveth And Taketh (Now, The Bad News On Journalist Protection)

      On the other hand, both anonymous speech and free press cases affect the interests of third parties and both vindicate important First Amendment rights upon which public discourse depends

    • Leyonhjelm: Censorship is treating us all like children

      Free speech involves both the freedom to communicate and the freedom to receive communications. Yet the Commonwealth restricts what we can read, watch, play and listen to.

      This hurts those Australians who would choose to read, watch, play or listen to censored material. It also does nothing for other Australians, who would have a clear option if this censorship was not present: we can choose to not read, watch, play or listen to the material. Free speech involves no obligation to listen.

      One of the three free speech bills I recently introduced in the Senate seeks to remove the ban on publications, films and computer games on the grounds that they offend against standards of morality, decency and propriety.

    • Educators reject censorship, encourage student exploration of ‘problematic’ literature of the past

      From Confederate memorials to “problematic” literature in schools, communities across the country are wrestling with how to acknowledge the past and its imperfections without offending the sensibilities of modern schoolchildren and their teachers, with most solutions employing one of the three R’s: remove, rename, revise.

      But some educators are encouraging another way. They are engaging with children in an exploration of values and culture to better understand the mores of the past and the present.

      “Why is Ma so scared of Native Americans? Where does prejudice come from in pioneers? What prejudices do we still have today?” Melissa Scholes Young, an associate professor in the writing studies program at American University, offers as questions to explore the cultural landscape and significance of the “Little House on the Prairie” series of children’s books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

      [...]

      Dr. Gilboa said it’s wrong to censor authors for “accurately reflecting their time and history” even when their prose clashes with the ideals of the modern enlightened age. A far better response, she said, is to talk directly to children about the issues in question with the proper values and context.

    • Chinese island eyes oasis from web censorship for foreigners

      China’s Hainan island has proposed allowing foreign visitors access to censored websites such as YouTube and Facebook, a double standard that has raised cries of indignation from the country’s internet users.

      The province, known as China’s Hawaii thanks to its resorts and tropical beaches, is set to become the country’s largest free trade zone and hopes to attract increased investment in hi-tech industries, as well as more tourist dollars.

      Part of that effort includes making the island more hospitable to foreign tourists through such steps as instituting visa-free travel and making it easier to use foreign credit cards.

      [...]

      Chinese internet users wanting to view the proposal will struggle to find it, after the Hainan government quickly removed the document from its website.

    • University of Kansas caved to ‘censorship’ over blackened American flag art, civil liberty groups say

      Three civil liberties groups sent a letter to the University of Kansas demanding that the school reinstate a piece of artwork, a blackened American flag collage, meant to represent political polarization in the United States, after the Kansas governor ordered its removal last week.

      “Censorship won last week, but today, we’re fighting back for the First Amendment,” said Will Creeley, senior vice president for legal and public advocacy at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, according to a press release Monday. “The law is clear: The government can’t censor artistic expression just because powerful people don’t like it. Artistic freedom is especially important at our public colleges and universities, and we’re proud to stand with the ACLU of Kansas and the National Coalition Against Censorship in its defense.”

    • NCAC Joins FIRE and the ACLU Urging the University of Kansas to Restore American Flag Artwork

      NCAC has joined the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kansas in a letter to the University of Kansas (KU) strongly urging it to take a stand against censorship by restoring a public artwork that the university removed last week. The artwork, “Untitled (Flag 2),” by artist Josephine Meckseper, is part of a nationwide public art program, “Pledges of Allegiance,” organized by Creative Time and featuring 16 artworks that incorporate flags that address a variety of themes and topics by artists around the world.

    • University Refuses to Apologize for Desecrated, Anti-Trump American Flag
    • Civil liberties groups now demanding that KU put flag art back on flag pole
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Oregon Supreme Court Adopts Use Restrictions on Nonresponsive Data for Computer Warrants

      As regular readers know, I have argued in my academic writing that the Fourth Amendment should be interpreted to impose use restrictions on nonresponsive data seized pursuant to a computer search warrant. In a new decision, State v. Mansor, the Oregon Supreme Court appears to have adopted my approach under Oregon’s state equivalent of the Fourth Amendment.

      Let me start with some context. Computer warrant searches require the government to find a needle in an enormous electronic haystack. When the police execute a warrant to search for and find the needle of evidence, they usually need to seize the haystack first to search it. I have argued that a warrant to seize the needle should allow the police to seize the haystack to search for the needle. But there’s a catch: The government should ordinarily not be allowed to use whatever else they find in the haystack. If the warrant is only to seize a needle, the police can only take away and use the needle, unless there are exigent circumstances exposed by the discovery of other evidence. The nonresponsive data — other evidence that may exist in the haystack but is not described in the warrant — ordinarily can’t be used. For the details of my view, see this article.

    • Oregon Supreme Court Sets Up New Limits For Digital Device Searches

      Searching digital things isn’t like searching physical things. But a majority of Fourth Amendment jurisprudence relies on making inapt comparisons between houses/papers and devices capable of holding several housefuls of papers, communications, photos, etc.

      Guidelines for digital searches are an inexact science. Given the nature of these searches, there’s clearly room for abuse. It’s almost inevitable. Access must be granted to an entire device (computer, phone, hard drive) to find what’s sought as evidence. Files aren’t named incriminating.docx so files must be opened to determine their contents. In almost all digital searches, law enforcement gets the haystack and then goes looking for needles.

    • Everything That’s Wrong With Social Media Companies and Big Tech Platforms, Part 3

      I’ve written two installments in this series (part 1 is here and part 2 is here). And while I could probably turn itemizing complaints about social-media companies into a perpetual gig somewhere — because there’s always going to be new material — I think it’s best to list only just a few more for now. After that, we ought to step back and weigh what reforms or other social responses we really need. The first six classes of complaints are detailed in Parts 1 and 2, so we begin here in Part 3 with Complaint Number 7.

    • FBI Wish List: An App That Can Recognize the Meaning of Your Tattoos

      We’ve long known that the FBI is heavily invested in developing face recognition technology as a key component in its criminal investigations. But new records, obtained by EFF through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, show that’s not the only biometric marker the agency has its eyes on. The FBI’s wish list also includes image recognition technology and mobile devices to attempt to use tattoos to map out people’s relationships and identify their beliefs.

      EFF began looking at tattoo recognition technology in 2015, after discovering that the National Institute for Standards & Technology (NIST), in collaboration with the FBI, was promoting experiments using tattoo images gathered involuntarily from prison inmates and arrestees. The agencies had provided a dataset of thousands of prisoner tattoos to some 19 outside groups, including companies and academic institutions, that are developing image recognition and biometric technology. Government officials instructed the groups to demonstrate how the technology could be used to identify people by their tattoos and match tattoos with similar imagery.

      Our investigation found that NIST was targeting people who shared common beliefs, with a heavy emphasis on religious imagery. NIST researchers, we discovered, had also bypassed basic oversight measures. Despite rigid requirements designed to protect prisoners who might be used as subjects in government research, the researchers failed to seek sign-off from the in-house watchdog before embarking on the project.

      Following our report, NIST stopped responding to EFF’s FOIA requests. The agency also rushed to retroactively alter its documents to downplay the nature of the research. In a statement issued to the press, NIST denied our findings, claiming that its goal was simply to evaluate the effectiveness of tattoo recognition algorithms and “not about the many complex law enforcement policies or approaches that may be related to images of tattoos.”

    • ‘Utah has long stood as one of our nation’s most patriotic states’ — Declassified documents show the pitch to lure National Security Agency Data Center [Ed: Violating the Constitution makes you unpatriotic, not patriotic]

      In January 2006, David M. Winberg wrote a two-page paper lobbying the National Security Agency to build a computing center at Camp Williams.

      Winberg, a Utahn with a long history with the NSA, lauded the technical advantages of the site. Then he used the last paragraph to promote Utahns as a whole.

      “Utah has long stood as one of our nation’s most patriotic states,” Winberg wrote. “The people of Utah are committed to the principles and practices of maintaining and improving our national security.”

    • German Police searches Tor-supporters Zwiebelfreunde on flimsy bases

      On 20 June, searches were carried out1 at the homes of several board members of the German association “Zwiebelfreunde”. All their computers and storage media (hard drives, USB keys) were seized by the German police.

      The reason? These three people are supposedly “witnesses” in an ongoing investigation into a blog calling for anti-fascist protests in Augsbourg, in Germany. The Police consider that this blog calls for violent actions.

      And the link between this blog and Zwiebelfreunde? Hold onto your hat. The email address associated with the blog is hosted by the American organisation Riseup. And Zwiebelfreunde collects donations on Riseup’s account. It’s hard to imagine Google’s hardware being seized by the Police if the people behind the blog had chosen Gmail.

      It’s a bit as if La Quadrature du Net’s offices, as well as the homes of its leaders, had ben searched because of an account created on mamot.fr, La Quadrature’s Mastodon instance.
      It doesn’t make sense.

      This is clearly an attack on Zwiebelfreunde, which for years has been promoting and facilitating the use of privacy-protecting tools such as those of the Tor project. It helps collect funds for these projects, in this case Riseup.
      The money raised by Zwiebelfreunde is used in particular to develop the tools and services provided by Riseup, to reimburse travel expenses and to maintain RiseUp’s Tor infrastructure.

    • DOJ Tells Ron Wyden About The Times It Has Collected Journalists’ Communications; Leaves Some Facts Out

      The Trump Administration — much like the administration before it — has declared war on leakers. The government prefers to selectively leak info using anonymous sources, but only the sort of leaks that serve its political/PR purposes. Everything else — no matter how much the leaked info serves to better inform the public — is the target of investigations and prosecutions.

      Jeff Sessions claims this administration has opened three times as many leak investigations as Obama’s. If so, it will rack up unprecedented numbers. Both the Obama administration and the Trump administration have decided it’s OK to target journalists’ communications to hunt down leakers, an act that strikes at the very heart of the First Amendment.

      An indictment against James Wolfe, a longtime Senate Intelligence Committee advisor, was put together by harvesting emails and other private communications between Wolfe and various reporters. This document confirmed what was already suspected by Ron Wyden, who demanded late last year the DOJ turn over information on its targeting of journalists’ communications.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Why There Must Never Be a Speech and Assembly Tax

      In Massachusetts, rally organizers are burdened by unlawful charges.

      A historic level of activism and protest has been seen in our nation’s streets and public parks over the past two years. These protests reflect the profound importance of our constitutional right to peaceful assembly: People come together, voice their dissent, and organize for change. The right to join with neighbors in protest is core to the First Amendment and critical to a healthy and vibrant democracy.

      On Jan. 20, 2018, thousands of people gathered on Cambridge Common in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the second Women’s March. As in hundreds of other cities around the world, the Cambridge event was organized in protest of the Trump administration’s attacks on the civil rights of women and other marginalized people. The event was peaceful, with a light police presence.

      And yet, Cambridge event organizers were billed for thousands of dollars for police details and emergency medical services. They were also told to expect additional invoices for police from neighboring cities and towns and the local transit system.

      Despite successfully completing the permitting process and paying permit application fees before the event, organizers were told less than two weeks before the event that they could be additionally charged for public safety services. That discussion happened after the organizers mentioned to police that there could be counter-protesters present at the event.

      Charging rally organizers for public safety services as a condition for granting permits deters political participation — plain and simple. Most event organizers would think twice about coordinating a protest if they thought they might owe $4,000, like the Cambridge Women’s March organizers ultimately owed. In fact, the Cambridge organizers flagged the bills to the ACLU for that very reason. They feared the impact of the city’s practices on the exercise of free speech of all who seek permits for the Cambridge Common and other public parks.

    • A Baby Was Separated From Her Uncle at the Border. Three Months Later, Her Mother Is Still Trying to Get Her Back.

      Sendy Karina Ferrera Amaya opened her mouth, and a gloved hand gave each cheek a perfunctory brush with a cotton swab.

      Fifteen seconds, and the $429 DNA test she’d paid for was over. “Eso es todo,” the lab technician said last Thursday. That was it. Ferrera, 25, gave a tentative smile and walked out to join her fiancé. Squeezing his hand as they drove away, she allowed herself to hope. To imagine her curly-haired 1-year-old daughter wrapped in her arms, much bigger and more wiggly than last time she held her. Maybe next week, she would finally be reunited with Liah, whose name she wore around her neck like a talisman.

      Even though the Trump administration is under a court order to reunite children who were separated from their parents under the “zero tolerance” immigration policy, Ferrera has no idea what that means for her family. Liah had traveled from Honduras with her uncle in mid-April. Ferrera was in the U.S. already, having entered undetected months earlier.

    • CIA Mind Control Survivors Seek Restitution From Canadian Government

      More than 40 years after the notorious MK Ultra program became public knowledge, the CIA’s mind-control program is still shrouded in mystery and unanswered questions. Now, Canadians who became non-consenting test subjects in experiments are seeking closure for the inhumane LSD and electroconvulsive therapy research that left hundreds of psychiatric patients permanently scarred. Despite the well-documented cases of patients who suffered lifelong consequences as a result of the inhumane experiments, the Canadian government has neither accepted responsibility nor apologized for its role in the CIA project.

    • Black Lives Matter Is Still Here—and Avoiding the Mistakes of Their Predecessors

      The fifth anniversary of the founding of Black Lives Matter (BLM) makes me think back 50 years, not five. Shortly before he was killed, Martin Luther King lamented that the gains of the civil rights movement had come at “bargain rates” because it cost America nothing to integrate lunch counters and buses or give Blacks the right to vote.

      King knew that the real fight—against systemic forces such as the criminalization of African-Americans—lay ahead. As a 10-year-old growing up in Memphis, Tennessee, I did not understand—I just saw what looked like visible progress until King was killed, and it seemed like the progress not only stopped, it rolled back.

      The young activist started at 26 and was dead at 39. Richard Nixon’s nefariously designed “war on drugs” came next, fueling the over-policing and mass incarceration of Black bodies.

    • Inside the Family Separation Legal Drama

      Federal court blocks government from deporting any families it separated, lambasts HHS official for ‘exasperating declaration

      The federal judge who ordered the Trump administration to reunite the nearly 3,000 children it separated from their parents has temporarily blocked the government from deporting any of the families it reunites until at least July 23.

      The ACLU had requested the temporary restraining order due to concerns that families may have been coerced into agreeing to voluntarily return to countries where they may be in danger because they believed that was the only way they could get their children back. We wanted to make sure that parents would have time to consider their options and be fully informed of their rights before making their decision.

      The ruling came after a rollercoaster few days in which Judge Dana Sabraw both praised the administration for its good faith and compliance with court orders, then lambasted it for fundamentally misunderstanding what it was being asked to do.

      On Friday, July 13, when Judge Dana Sabraw held a status conference on the government’s efforts to reunite the children by the July 26 deadline, he seemed pleased with the progress.

      [...]

      “It is clear from Mr. Meekins’s Declaration that HHS either does not understand the Court’s orders or is acting in defiance of them,” Judge Sabraw said. He added that Meekins appeared to be providing cover for the government’s “lack of foresight and infrastructure necessary to remedy the harms” caused by separating families and that HHS appeared to be “operating in a vacuum, entirely divorced from the undisputed circumstances of this case.” Judge Sabraw then ordered the government to submit its plan for reunifying the children with their parents, which the government did on Sunday.

    • In New York, Intolerance Has Become Routine

      It is just a snapshot, but it makes for a plenty ugly picture all the same: The New York City Commission on Human Rights surveyed more than 3,000 Muslim, Jewish and Sikh residents of the city late in 2017 and found striking rates of racially and or religiously motivated assault, harassment and workplace discrimination.

      Some 38 percent of those surveyed said they had been verbally harassed or taunted because of their race or faith. Nearly 10 percent said they had been the victim of an actual physical assault. A similar percentage of those surveyed said they had seen their property vandalized or otherwise defaced.

      Lurking in those broad numbers are some more specific outrages: 18 percent of Sikhs surveyed said they had been denied service by a local business; roughly 6 percent of those surveyed who said they wore religious garments reported having had someone try and tear those garments off them.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Ajit Pai Pretends To Care About Identity Fraud That Plagued Net Neutrality Repeal

      You’ll of course recall that during the net neutrality repeal the FCC’s public comment process was flooded with bogus comments in support of (and in a few instances in opposition to) the FCC’s plan. Many of these comments came from a bot that filled the proceedings with fake comments in perfect alphabetical order, something that should have been pretty easy to prevent (had the FCC actually wanted to). Many of the comments came from people that had their identities lifted to support the repeal (like myself), while other commenters were, well, deceased.

      Nobody’s been able to yet confirm who was behind the identity fraud and bot attack, in part because the FCC actively blocked a law enforcement investigation attempting to find out. The general consensus is that “somebody” (either ISP-linked outfits or some group of partisans) was hoping to erode trust in the comment process to try and downplay the massive public backlash to the repeal. But it should also be noted that this is a problem that extends beyond the FCC, and has impacted other major policy decisions at major agencies government wide.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • A complex patent trail shows how NPE litigation might be developing in China

      Over the past couple of years, several major NPEs have announced big Chinese portfolio acquisitions. But a new litigation in Beijing shows that this is not the only way foreign assertion entities are affecting the market here – some patents formerly owned by now-defunct NPEs are re-emerging in Chinese lawsuits. Xiaomi’s strong smartphone sales and its IPO in Hong Kong have put a bull’s-eye on its back. It is facing down lawsuits from Ericsson in India and Coolpad in China, having recently beaten an SEP assertion by KPN.

    • Expect closer supervision of US biologics settlements in wake of Humira ‘reverse payment’ concerns

      Two US senators have called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to examine patent settlements involving biologic and biosimilar producers, echoing calls from patient advocacy groups. Raising particular concerns about AbbVie’s recent high-profile Humira agreements, the legislators have cast doubt on the legitimacy of settlements that have otherwise been interpreted as a triumph of the Illinois entity’s patent strategy. But whether or not the FTC decides to inspect the Humira settlements, rights owners should expect an increase in legal, regulatory and public scrutiny of such deals in the future.

    • If runway models are performers…is France in breach of its international obligations?

      In a recent post, this GuestKat explored the possibility for runway models to claim performers’ rights under UK law (here), concluding that runway models could make a reasonable claim for performer’s rights protection under several legal bases. One such basis relies on the definition of “protected performers” under the Rome Convention and WIPO Performance and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) [as interpreted here]. International treaty or no international treaty, the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) in the UK are arguably broad enough to fit runway models within the scope of performers’ rights (see also, Richard Arnold (2016) para 2.17). As such, invoking the Rome Convention and WPPT is most germane in the face of a narrow [conservative?] interpretation of the CDPA.

    • Interview: All Via’s saying is give peace a chance

      Joseph Siino, president of patent pool manager Via Licensing, tells Managing IP about his peace plan to end wireless patent wars, the impact of China and the coming challenges of 5G technology

    • Copyrights

      • More than a million Europeans spoke out to stop internet-destroying censorship rules, but the fight’s not over

        Ten days ago, the European Parliament dealt a major blow to a radical proposal that would force online services to deploy copyright bots to examine everything posted by users and block anything that might be a copyright infringement; the proposal would also ban linking to news articles without paid permission from the news sites.

        The July 5 vote means that the European Parliament will debate these clauses in September. In the meantime, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes scurrying around as members of parliament and giant corporations lay out their forces for the fight in September.

      • A Key Victory Against European Copyright Filters and Link Taxes – But What’s Next?

        Against all the odds, but with the support of nearly a million Europeans, MEPs voted earlier this month to reject the EU’s proposed copyright reform—including controversial proposals to create a new “snippet” right for news publishers, and mandatory copyright filters for sites that published user uploaded content.

        The change was testimony to how powerful and fast-moving Net activists can be. Four weeks ago, few knew that these crazy provisions were even being considered. By the June 20th vote, Internet experts were weighing in, and wider conversations were starting on sites like Reddit.

        The result was a vote on July 5th of all MEPS, which ended in a 318 against 278 victory in favour of withdrawing the Parliament’s support for the languages. Now all MEPs will have a chance in September to submit new amendments and vote on a final text—or reject the directive entirely.

        While re-opening the text was a surprising set-back for Article 13 and 11, the battle isn’t over: the language to be discussed on in September will be based on the original proposal by the European Commission, from two years ago—which included the first versions of the copyright filters, and snippet rights. German MEP Axel Voss’s controversial modifications will also be included in the debate, and there may well be a flood of other proposals, good and bad, from the rest of the European Parliament.

        There’s still sizeable support for the original text: Article 11 and 13′s loudest proponents, led by Voss, persuaded many MEPs to support them by arguing that these new powers would restore the balance between American tech giants and Europe’s newspaper and creative industries—or “close the value gap”, as their arguments have it.

        But using mandatory algorithmic censors and new intellectual property rights to restore balance is like Darth Vader bringing balance to the Force: the fight may involve a handful of brawling big players, but it’s everybody else who would have to deal with the painful consequences.

      • The MEP behind Europe’s proposed copyright censorship proposal can’t explain all the copyrighted images in his social media

        Axel Voss is the German MEP responsible for Article 13 of the pending EU Copyright Directive, which says that it’s not good enough for companies to remove infringing material posted by users once they’re notified of its existence; instead, Voss wants then to spend hundreds of millions of dollars implementing automated filters that prevent anyone from posting copyrighted material in the first place (even if they have the right to do so under fair dealing, and even if that means that a lot of legitimate material gets accidentally blocked).

        Voss’s explanations for this proposal have been incoherent and technologically illiterate, so maybe it’s no surprise that he turns out to be a serial copyright infringer whose social media feeds for the past two years include at least 17 images from major German news agencies, used without permission.

        Buzzfeed Germany found the images; then they asked Voss, who had insisted that Article 13 had been proposed to end the posting of copyrighted images where “there is no remuneration of the concerned author” whether he’d paid the photographers whose work he’d used without permission.

      • Guy In Charge Of Pushing Draconian EU Copyright Directive, Evasive About His Own Use Of Copyright Protected Images

        There’s one person who wields more power than anyone to shape the awful EU Copyright Directive: the MEP Axel Voss. He’s the head of the main Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) that is steering the Directive through the European Parliament. Voss took over from the previous MEP leading JURI, Therese Comodini Cachia, after she decided to return to her native Malta as member of the national parliament. Her draft version of the Directive was certainly not perfect, but it did possess the virtue of being broadly acceptable to all sides of the debate. When Voss took over last year, the text took a dramatic turn for the worse thanks to the infamous “snippet tax” (Article 11 of the proposed Directive) and the “upload filter” (Article 13).

        As Mike reported a couple of weeks ago, Voss offered a pretty poor defense of his proposals, showing little understanding of the Internet. But he made clear that he thinks respecting copyright law is really important. For example, he said he was particularly concerned that material is being placed online, where “there is no remuneration of the concerned author.” Given that background, it will probably come as no surprise to Techdirt readers to learn that questions are now being asked whether Voss himself has paid creators for material that he has used on his social media accounts…

Links 16/7/2018: Linux 4.18 RC5, Latte Dock v0.8, Windows Back Doors Resurface

Posted in News Roundup at 4:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • TxFS Linux File-System Supports ACID Transactions, Simple API

      Presented at this past week’s 2018 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (ATC18) was TxFS, the Texas Transactional File System for Linux.

      Texas Transactional File System (TxFS) has been in the works for a number of years and is a transactional file-system that offers a simple API, wide range of hardware support, high performance while supporting ACID transactions, and relatively low complexity.

      TxFS has been worked on by the University of Texas at Austin as well as VMware Research. Papers on TxFS have been published before but their ATC18 paper can be found here (PDF).

      One of the professors involved in this work has also tweeted some different remarks including the file-system is down to just five thousand lines of code by utilizing the file-system journal, how they provided isolation for TxFS transactions, and its very simple API of just three system calls.

    • Linux 4.18-rc5

      For some reason this week actually felt very busy, but the rc5 numbers
      show otherwise. It’s all small and calm, and things are progressing
      nicely.

      I think the “it felt busy” was partly due to me stressing out over a
      nasty VM bug that turned out to have a trivial two-liner fix. But
      there were also a fair amount of email threads for future stuff, so
      that probably also made me feel last week was busier than the actual
      rc5 tree shows.

      Anyway, of what little happened in rc5 (see appended shortlog for
      details), it’s just a fairly random collection of smallish fixes all
      over. About a third drivers (nothing in particular stands out – rdma,
      usb, ata, mmc, sound) with the rest being some tooling (mostly perf),
      some arch updates, some filesystem stuff (mostly reiserfs), some arch
      fixlets (mips, arm[64], x86) and some misc core kernel (tracing, VM
      fixes, timers, yadda yadda).

    • Linux 4.18-rc5 Kernel Released: Regressions Continue To Be Tackled
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • This week in Usability & Productivity, part 27

        Get ready for a humongous week for KDE’s Usability and Productivity initiative! KDE developers and contributors squashed a truly impressive number of bugs this week, all the while adding features and polishing the user interface.

      • New client languages for Qt WebChannel

        At the company I’m working at, we’re employing Qt WebChannel for remote access to some of our software. Qt WebChannel was originally designed for interfacing with JavaScript clients, but it’s actually very well suited to interface with any kind of dynamic language.

        We’ve created client libraries for a few important languages with as few dependencies as possible: pywebchannel (Python, no dependencies), webchannel.net (.NET/C#, depends on JSON.NET) and webchannel++ (header-only C++14, depends on Niels Lohmann’s JSON library).

      • Latte Dock 0.8 Released For This KDE-Aligned Desktop Dock

        Latte Dock 0.8 is now available as the latest feature update for this open-source, KDE-aligned desktop dock.

        Latte Dock 0.8 adds multiple task separators, new layout settings, new appearance settings, panel/dock mode changing, various new community layouts, larger badges, new command-line options, a number of Wayland improvements, new global shortcuts, and various other enhancements.

      • Latte Dock v0.8, “…a friendly smile…”

        Latte Dock v.0.8 released!!! The third stable release has just landed!

      • Eighth & Ninth week of coding phase, GSoC’18

        The API to interact with browser user-scripts. This will enable the plugin to create, register, remove, and get all the user-scripts loaded in the browser. Also the scripts registered by it will automatically gets unregistered when the plugin unloads.

      • GSoC 2018 – Coding Period (June 26th to July 15th): RAID on Linux

        I’ve passed in the second evaluation of Google Summer of Code 2018. I am ready for the third phase, but before that I’ll give some updates about how my progress with RAID on kpmcore is going. This post will explain how RAID management works on Linux.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Description view

        Now, coming to the description view itself, along with displaying metadata objects like Developer, Publisher, Co-op, Release Date, Genre as GtkLabels, Cover is being displayed in a thumbnail view with the game’s title placed just below the thumbnail as a GtkLabel, additionally a game’s Rating is rounded off and shown as a Star Rating. Description is shown in a GtkScrolledWindow placed just adjacent to the thumbnail.

      • GUADEC 2018 Almeria – reflections

        Almeria was a grand time, as usual being able to connect with friends and acquaintances is a large part of what makes GUADEC special. I found all the evening events to be spectacular and full of surprises. The beach party was awesome, and the flamenco night was just spectacular. I was really moved by the music and the dancing. There was clearly a lot of different influences there.

      • Ruxandra Simion: GUADEC 2018

        I would like to begin this special blog post by congratulating everybody for contributing to a memorable GUADEC. This was my first time officially attending the GUADEC conference, after attending as a visitor some of the events held in Manchester during the GUADEC 20th edition last year, and this time it was truly an amazing experience.

        [...]

        I would like to thank through this blogpost the organising team for the effort and dedication put into holding the GUADEC conference in the beautiful city of Almeria. Without all of your hard work I would not be writing this post now.

        To the women of GNOME, thank you for kindly receiving me at the women’s dinner and sharing your experiences with me. I truly appreciate it, and I will try my best to keep in touch with you all and continue to share ideas and experiences with you.

        Thank you to everyone who interacted with me after delivering the lightning speech on modernising Five or More. It really means the world to me you came by to say hi, are willing to offer feedback, or even help with some aspects.

      • Nautilus and GTK+ 4
      • GNOME’s Nautilus Port To GTK4 Making Progress

        While GTK4 likely isn’t coming out until next spring, the Nautilus file manager port to this updated tool-kit is well underway.

        GNOME contributor Ernestas Kulik has provided an update on the porting effort of Nautilus to GTK+ 4. Nautilus is now building under GTK4 and can run, but a lot of work remains.

      • GUADEC 2018 Almería

        I recently attended the recent GNOME Users and Developers European Conference (GUADEC) in Almería, Spain. This was my fifth GUADEC and as always I was able to attend thanks to my employer Canonical paying for me to be there. This year we had seven members of the Ubuntu desktop team present. Almería was a beautiful location for the conference and a good trade for the winter weather I left on the opposite side of the world in New Zealand.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Review: Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre 0.2.4

        Hyperbola GNU/Linux-libre is a curious project that takes a number of interesting approaches which set it apart from other distributions. The Hyperbola distribution is based on snapshots of Arch Linux. While Arch Linux is a rolling release distribution, Hyperbola maintains fixed releases taken from Arch snapshots and then, according to the project’s website, the Hyperbola developers mix in security updates from Debian. The idea is to create an Arch-like operating system with a fixed base and minor patch updates.

        The distribution is dedicated to free software ideals and ships only libre software as defined by the Free Software Foundation. Finally, Hyperbola makes a special edition called Hypertalking which is based on TalkingArch and provides accessibility software for visually impaired users.

        I downloaded the distribution’s main edition which is available as a 672MB ISO. The distribution media will boot on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems with the option to select which architecture we want from the ISO’s boot menu. When the disc boots we are presented with a text console where we are advised we can see documentation for getting on-line using the Lynx web browser by typing “lynx network.html”.

        The default, text-based interface on the disc is quite minimal, but it’s enough to partition our hard drive and set up a local copy of the operating system. I don’t think it’s intended to do much more than that.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Major updated packages for Lx 3

        Good news for OpenMandriva Lx 3 users. While OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 in on the way, we keep taking care of OMLx 3.03. Developers crisb, itchka, and TPG have made available a long list of updated packages just released to our updates repositories after the normal testing.

        Updated packages include Firefox 61.0.1, Thunderbird 52.9.0, Plasma 5.12.6, Quassel 0.12.5, Qt5 5.9.6, Libre Office 6.0.5, Mesa 18.1.3 and number of other updated KDE packages.

      • While Waiting for OpenMandriva Lx 4, OpenMandriva Lx 3 Users Get Lots of Updates

        While waiting for the forthcoming OpenMandriva Lx 4 operating system series, users of the current OpenMandriva Lx 3 release have received numerous updated packages.

        The OpenMandriva development team announced over the weekend that a long list of updated packages await users of the OpenMandriva Lx 3 operating system series, which include the recently released KDE Plasma 5.12.6 LTS desktop environment and Mozilla Firefox 61.0.1 web browser.

        “Good news for OpenMandriva Lx 3 users. While OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 in on the way, we keep taking care of OMLx 3.03. Developers crisb, itchka, and TPG have made available a long list of updated packages just released to our updates repositories after the normal testing,” reads the announcement.

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed Users Get LibreOffice 6.1, Mozilla Firefox 61, and FFmpeg 4

        The month of July 2018 was pretty busy for the openSUSE Tumbleweed development team, and the first two weeks of the month already delivered dozens of updates and security fixes.

        openSUSE developer Dominique Leuenberger reports that a total of nine snapshots have been released in July 2018 for the openSUSE Tumbleweed Linux operating system series, which follows a rolling release model where users install once and receive updates forever. As expected, these 9 snapshots bring numerous updates and bugfixes.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Google Summer of Code with a Debian Project

        Yes! My project proposal was selected.

        First of all I want to mention that I began my open source adventure with Debian.

        I started to participate in the open source events like Hackathons, BSP and Conferences and doing small contribution to different projects and this is how everything started.

      • Debian 9.5 Released: “Rock Solid” GNU/Linux Distro Arrives With Spectre v2 Fix

        Following the fourth point release of Debian 9 “stretch” in March, the developers of the popular GNU/Linux distro have shipped the latest update to its stable distribution. For those who don’t know, Debian 9 is an LTS version that’ll remain supported for 5 years.

        As one would expect, this point release doesn’t bring any set of new features and keeps focusing on improving an already stable experience by delivering security patches and bug fixes. In case you’re looking for an option that brings new features, you can check out the recently released Linux Mint 19.

      • Your Help Is Needed to Test VeraCrypt Support in the Tails Anonymous OS, GNOME

        The team behind the famous Tails operating system, also known as the Amnesic Incognito Live System or simply Anonymous OS, needs your help to test the integration of the VeraCrypt disk encryption software.

        In an attempt to provide Tails users with better security, the team is working hard these days on the integration of the VeraCrypt open-source and free disk encryption utility used for on-the-fly encryption of encrypted disk drives into the next-generation Tails OS as well as the GNOME desktop environment it uses by default.

        This will let Tails users easily unlock encrypted volumes on-the-fly when using the anonymous live system to stay hidden online while protecting their identity and privacy. To makes things even easier, they created the VeraCrypt Mounter utility for unlocking VeraCrypt encrypted drives.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu’s Snap Apps Website Gets Much Needed Improvements

            Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, is pushing aggressively for the adoption of its universal packaging system Snap. And in the same bid, it has improved the user interface and user experience of its online Snap application store.

            Snap applications are a new kind of s self-contained, containerized applications. They contain most of the dependencies inside it and are confined from the operating system and other applications through security mechanisms. In other words, Snaps are more secure by design but they are bigger in size and take longer to load than the regular Linux applications.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Ubuntu MATE – Pimp your desktop to perfection

              Ubuntu MATE has made a quantum leap of innovation in the past several months, offering a wealth of visual and functional changes and a mindblowing level of flexibility when it comes to customization. You really have the ability to implement anything and everything, and all of it natively, from within the system’s interface. The list of options is so long that it can be overwhelming.

              Hopefully, this little pimping guide puts some order into this fine and rich chaos. Ubuntu Bionic isn’t the most refined distro, but it sure has the almost infinite possibilities to make it appear and behave how you want it. You can have a classic desktop one day and then a MAC-like thing the next and then Ubuntu Unity the day after that. It’s all there, very slick, very elegant. Well, it’s time for you to do some exploring. See you.

            • Want to Make Linux Mint Look Like a Mac? This Theme Can Help

              We’ve established how easy it is to make Ubuntu look like a Mac but theming Linux Mint, the popular Ubuntu-based offshoot, is a little trickier.

              But no more.

              It’s now possible to make Linux Mint look like a Mac too, and it’s all thanks to a customised version of the uncannily accurate macOS Mojave GTK theme we highlighted here, just a few weeks ago.

              If you’ve longed to add some Cupertino styling to the Cinnamon desktop, keep reading!

            • This Week in Lubuntu Development #7

              Here is the seventh issue of This Week in Lubuntu Development. You can read the last issue here.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • The car industry needs to embrace open source

    The race to develop software for the connected car market is heating up as consumers expect their vehicles to give them the same experience and ease of use that they have come to know with their smartphones.

    The 2017 Autotrader Car Impact Study found that 53 percent of consumers expect their vehicles to offer the same level of technology as their phones, keeping them connected on the move.

    Unfortunately, far too many of the automotive manufacturers and the other companies that are developing products for the connected car market are stuck in neutral, unable to produce software at a pace to stay competitive with smartphone level technology.

    While the eventual goal for many of the companies in this space is aimed at coming out with the first road-ready autonomous vehicle, most of the current attention is geared towards writing code for infotainment systems, the combination of interfaces that provide services like navigation and streaming music or video to make those long commutes a little bit more bearable.

  • Luxoft joins Daimler in software for next-gen cars

    The centre is looking for QA Automation Engineers with expertise in Python, Manual QA Engineers with DevOps principles knowledge, Software Developers with Linux Embedded Expertise, C++, Qt and Tools and Automation Engineer, with Jenkins, Git and Unix systems knowledge

  • Events

    • Linux Audio Conference Team: All videos now available

      The title says it all: We have finally finished up on the remaining videos.

      You can find them all either linked on the respective event pages in the schedule or in the collection of videos on media.ccc.de (linked to in the menu).

      Due to holidays and other things in life, releasing the few remaining videos (mainly concerts, a few workshops and the keynote) took longer than anticipated. We hope they’re worth the wait and are sure you will be able to enjoy them!

    • Linux Audio Conference 2018 Videos Available For Your Enjoyment

      Taking place last month at Berlin’s C-Base was the sixteenth Linux Audio Conference. The 2018 Linux Audio Conference focused on everything from different open-source sound projects to different multimedia tools and more.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Programming/Development

    • Confessions of a recovering Perl hacker

      My name’s MikeCamel, and I’m a Perl hacker.

      There, I’ve said it. That’s the first step.

      My handle on IRC, Twitter and pretty much everywhere else in the world is “MikeCamel.” This is because, back in the day, when there were no chat apps—no apps at all, in fact—I was in a technical “chatroom” and the name “Mike” had been taken. I looked around, and the first thing I noticed on my desk was the Camel Book, the O’Reilly Perl Bible.

      I have the second edition now, but this was the first edition. Yesterday, I happened to pick up the second edition, the really thick one, to show someone on a video conference call, and it had a thin layer of dust on it. I was a little bit ashamed, but a little bit relieved as well.

    • RcppClassic 0.9.11

      A new maintenance release, now at version 0.9.11, of the RcppClassic package arrived earlier today on CRAN. This package provides a maintained version of the otherwise deprecated initial Rcpp API which no new projects should use as the normal Rcpp API is so much better.

    • Mike Hommey: Announcing git-cinnabar 0.5.0 beta 4

      Git-cinnabar is a git remote helper to interact with mercurial repositories. It allows to clone, pull and push from/to mercurial remote repositories, using git.

    • Russ Allbery: Review: Effective Python

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • UK-India trade review calls for flexibility on food standards and chemical rules

      The official joint trade review – obtained by Unearthed despite the UK government’s refusal to release it – spotlights a range of non-tariff barriers to trade identified by Indian businesses, including limits on fungicides in basmati rice, the enforcement of food hygiene standards for milk and dairy products such as paneer and the use of hormone-disrupting chemicals across a range of non-food products.

      The list – drafted by the Indian ministry of commerce – stops short of demanding the rules be removed after Brexit, instead suggesting flexibility in how and when they are applied to meet the needs of exporters.

    • Monsanto ‘bullied scientists’ and hid weedkiller cancer risk, lawyer tells court

      “Monsanto has specifically gone out of its way to bully … and to fight independent researchers,” said the attorney Brent Wisner, who presented internal Monsanto emails that he said showed how the agrochemical company rejected critical research and expert warnings over the years while pursuing and helping to write favorable analyses of their products. “They fought science.”

      [...]

      Wisner also read documents that he said showed how Monsanto strategized plans to “ghostwrite” favorable research.

    • Does Roundup cause cancer? Patient’s case against Monsanto goes to trial in SF

      The case of a Benicia groundskeeper who claims he developed terminal cancer as a result of using the herbicide Roundup went to trial Monday in San Francisco Superior Court, the first of what could be a flood of cases accusing the agricultural giant Monsanto of distributing deadly poison and trying to cover it up.

    • We Have No Idea How Bad the US Tick Problem Is

      Ostfeld and his wife and research partner Felicia Keesing are in the middle of a four-year study to evaluate the efficacy of two tick-control methods in their home territory of Dutchess County, an area with one of the country’s highest rates of Lyme disease. It’s a private-public partnership between their academic institutions, the CDC, and the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation, which provided a $5 million grant.

    • A Virginia teen suffered third-degree burns after touching an invasive weed that can cause severe burns, blisters, scars, and blindness — here’s what you should know about giant hogweed

      The plant’s sap, which people can encounter when they break the stem or leaves or brush against its bristles, can make skin extremely sensitive to the sun, leading to third-degree burns in a short period. Scars from the burns can last for years, and the reaction can cause blindness if sap gets in a person’s eye.

    • ‘His Face Was Peeling Off’: US Teen Hospitalized After Touching Giant Hogweed

      A Virginia teenager was hospitalized earlier this week with second and third-degree burns after touching a giant hogweed plant, an invasive species whose sap causes one to become allergic to sunlight.

    • This Giant Invasive Flower Can Give You Third-Degree Burns

      But whatever you do, don’t touch it. The giant hogweed’s toxic sap could give you third-degree burns if you don’t get out of the sun and wash it off immediately. Like an anti-sunblock, chemicals in its juices disrupt your skin’s ability to filter out harmful UV rays. Get it in your eyes and you could go blind.

      [...]

      “We’ve been getting calls and emails with parents afraid to let their children outside,” says Elaine Lidholm, a spokesperson for the Virginia Department of Agriculture. And rightly so. Hogweed sap contains a class of chemicals called furocoumarins that absorb specific wavelengths of light. Those excited molecules bounce around in skin cells causing DNA damage and cell death, starting with blisters and a raised rash. The more time you spend in the sun, the more energy they absorb, damaging tissues even further down, which can result in second- and third-degree burns.

    • ‘These Kids Are Watching Their Parents Die’

      For children growing up in the shadow of the opioid crisis, public schools have become the safety net of last resort.

    • First death linked to air pollution as government asthma advisor finds ‘striking association’ with girl’s fatality

      A government health advisor said there was a “striking association” between the times young Ella Kissi-Debrah was admitted to hospital in an emergency, and spikes of nitrogen dioxide and PM10s, the most noxious pollutants, near her home.

    • Illegal levels of air pollution linked to child’s death

      According to a report by one of the UK’s leading experts on asthma and air pollution, Prof Stephen Holgate, there was a “striking association” between Ella’s emergency hospital admissions and recorded spikes in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and PM10s, the most noxious pollutants.

    • How Flawed Drug Testing Can Ruin Your Life

      We talked to “Ross,” who works out of a government lab in a major American city. He gave us his insider perspective on exactly what drug testing is like, and how deeply the worst parts of the system might screw you.

    • How Nestle Makes Billions Bottling Free Water

      Nestle, the world’s largest food and beverage company, bottles Michigan’s water for next to nothing and sells it at great profit. And the state has just approved its request to pump even more, despite the failed promise of jobs and 80,000 public comments against Nestle. Meanwhile, just two hours away, Flint still doesn’t have clean water. AJ+’s Dena Takruri meets those who have a stake in this fight, including local environmentalists, a tribal citizen, ordinary residents and a Nestle spokeswoman.

    • Elon Musk says he will fund fixing Flint’s foul water

      As is usually the case with plans that are barely an hour old, the details are thin as of now. But Musk—tweeting from China—told people in Flint to reply to his tweet with test results showing contamination above the recommended limits, at which point he would arrange having a water filter fitted for them. (We should note that it’s actually the EPA, not the FDA, that sets limits on environmental pollution exposure, and that the state of Michigan has already been supplying water filters to affected residents.)

    • MDEQ official who told Flint residents to ‘relax’ will lead media training for Michigan
    • He told Flint to ‘relax.’ Now, Michigan is paying him to lead media training.

      The estimated $49,000 contract lasts through 2021 and lists Brad Wurfel as one of two “key personnel” for the project, along with firm partner Deborah Muchmore. Wurfel joined the firm in 2016, about a year after resigning as DEQ communications director amid controversy from Flint’s water crisis.

    • The Flint Water Crisis Is Bigger Than Elon Musk
    • Elon Musk Calls Thai Cave Rescuer A “Pedophile” In Bizarre Twitter Outburst

      Elon Musk is known to have his meltdown moments on Twitter from time to time. Just last week, in an interview with Bloomberg, he promised to tone down his tweets and become better at the social network.

      Well, he doesn’t seem to catch a break. This time, he ended up attacking Vernon Unsworth, one of the Thai cave rescue divers who played an important role in the mission. In a now-deleted tweet, Musk called him a “pedo guy.”

    • British cave diver considering legal action after ‘pedo’ attack by Elon Musk

      British caver Vernon Unsworth, centre, gets out of pick up truck
      British caver Vernon Unsworth, centre, became the target of Elon Musk’s ire after he criticised the billionaire’s plan to use a submarine to rescue 12 trapped boys Photograph: STAFF/Reuters

      A British cave diver who was instrumental in the rescue of 12 children trapped in a northern Thailand cave says he is considering legal action after the inventor Elon Musk called him a “pedo” on Twitter.

      Vernon Unsworth, 63, told the Guardian on Monday he was “astonished and very angry” at the attack, for which Musk offered no evidence or basis. The billionaire initially doubled down on the comments made on social media, but has since deleted them.

    • Water Is a Human Right – in Flint, in Michigan, and the US

      While US standards allow for small levels of lead, from a public health perspective there is no safe level of lead.

    • ‘Nothing to worry about. The water is fine’: how Flint poisoned its people

      This is the story of how the city of Flint was poisoned by its own water. It was not because of a natural disaster, or simple negligence, or even because some corner-cutting company was blinded by profit. Instead, a disastrous choice to break a crucial environmental law, followed by 18 months of delay and cover-up by the city, state and federal governments, put a staggering number of citizens in peril.

      [...]

      What happened in Flint reveals a new hydra of dangers in civic life: environmental injustice, the limits of austerity, and urban disinvestment. Neglect, it turns out, is not a passive force in American cities, but an aggressive one.

    • Michigan DHHS director makes final push to avoid Flint water jury trial

      Attorneys for Lyon and special Flint water prosecutor Todd Flood are scheduled to argue whether the director should be bound over on charges of involuntary manslaughter and misconduct in office on Wednesday, July 10, more than a year after he was arraigned on the charges.

    • The Next Flint Water Nightmare Could Be Closer Than You Think

      Clark’s new book, The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy, out this week, retells the story of Flint in a compelling, nuanced fashion that’s sure to make readers angry all over again. It’s a story of failure and misconduct that seems all the more urgent at a time when the people in charge of the government are trying to dismantle federal agencies.

      I recently talked to Clark why citizen complaints about Flint’s water were ignored, how media pressure turned the crisis into a national conversation, and whether other cities could be at risk for a Flint-like crisis.

    • Task force set up to combat marine pollution, judicial commission told

      Officials of the PN, KPT, Port Qasim Authority, Karachi and Korangi fish harbour authorities, Karachi Sewerage and Water Board, Sindh Environmental Protection Agency, TDAP, secretary for environment and alternative energy, secretary for livestock and fisheries and others were in attendance during a meeting held by the commission at the Sindh High Court on Saturday.

      The participants discussed the issue of marine pollution and related concerns such as discharge of municipal and industrial waste across West Wharf and Karachi and Korangi fish harbours.

    • No Fish In ­Water Vapour: In Gujarat, Fishermen Are Suffering Due To Narmada Waters
    • Over 80pc water supplied through private tankers unfit for consumption: Wasa

      More than 80pc of water supplied by private tanker services in the garrison city is unfit for human consumption, a laboratory report from the Water and Sanitation Agency (Wasa) has found.

      The report was presented to Commissioner retired Capt Saif Anjum during a meeting at his offices on Saturday.

    • Nevada to become first state to execute inmate with fentanyl

      The state intends to use a synthetic opioid – involved in more than 20,000 overdose deaths in 2016 alone – to kill Scott Dozier, a double murderer, after finding it difficult to obtain other drugs for Nevada’s first execution in 12 years because of opposition from pharmaceutical manufacturers.

      But questions have been raised about whether Nevada’s department of corrections broke the law to obtain the fentanyl, and whether the multibillion dollar distribution company that provided the drug ignored evidence it was to be used in an execution.

  • Security

    • Data breaches show we’re only three clicks away from anarchy

      An IT glitch afflicting BP petrol stations for three hours last Sunday evening might not sound like headline news. A ten-hour meltdown of Visa card payment systems in June was a bigger story — as was the notorious TSB computer upgrade cock-up that started on 20 April, which was still afflicting customers a month later and was reported this week to be causing ruptures between TSB and its Spanish parent Sabadell.

      Meanwhile, what do Fortnum & Mason, Dixons Carphone, Costa Coffee and its sister company Premier Inn have in common with various parts of the NHS? The answer is that they have all suffered recent large-scale ‘data breaches’ that may have put private individuals’ information at risk. IT Governance, a blog that monitors international news stories in this sphere, came up with a global figure of 145 million ‘records leaked’ last month alone. Such leaks are daily events everywhere — and a lesson of the TSB story was that cyber fraudsters are waiting to attack wherever private data becomes accessible, whether because of computer breakdown or lax data protection.

    • UK security researcher Hutchins makes renewed bid for freedom

      British security researcher Marcus Hutchins, who was arrested by the FBI last August over alleged charges of creating and distributing a banking trojan, has made a fresh bid to go free, claiming that the US has no territorial jurisdiction to file charges against him for alleged crimes committed elsewhere.

    • Common Ground: For Secure Elections and True National Security

      An open letter by Gloria Steinem, Noam Chomsky, John Dean, Governor Bill Richardson, Walter Mosley, Michael Moore, Valerie Plame, and others.

    • Containers or virtual machines: ​Which is more secure? The answer will surprise you

      Are virtual machines (VM) more secure than containers? You may think you know the answer, but IBM Research has found containers can be as secure, or more secure, than VMs.

      James Bottomley, an IBM Research Distinguished Engineer and top Linux kernel developer, writes: “One of the biggest problems with the current debate about Container vs Hypervisor security is that no-one has actually developed a way of measuring security, so the debate is all in qualitative terms (hypervisors ‘feel’ more secure than containers because of the interface breadth) but no-one actually has done a quantitative comparison.” To meet this need, Bottomley created Horizontal Attack Profile (HAP), designed to describe system security in a way that it can be objectively measured. Bottomley has discovered that “a Docker container with a well crafted seccomp profile (which blocks unexpected system calls) provides roughly equivalent security to a hypervisor.”

    • A New Method of Containment: IBM Nabla Containers

      In the previous post about Containers and Cloud Security, I noted that most of the tenants of a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) could safely not worry about the Horizontal Attack Profile (HAP) and leave the CSP to manage the risk. However, there is a small category of jobs (mostly in the financial and allied industries) where the damage done by a Horizontal Breach of the container cannot be adequately compensated by contractual remedies. For these cases, a team at IBM research has been looking at ways of reducing the HAP with a view to making containers more secure than hypervisors. For the impatient, the full open source release of the Nabla Containers technology is here and here, but for the more patient, let me explain what we did and why. We’ll have a follow on post about the measurement methodology for the HAP and how we proved better containment than even hypervisor solutions.

      [...]

      Like most sandbox models, the Nabla containers approach is an alternative to namespacing for containment, but it still requires cgroups for resource management. The figures show that the containment HAP is actually better than that achieved with a hypervisor and the performance, while being marginally less than a namespaced container, is greater than that obtained by running a container inside a hypervisor. Thus we conclude that for tenants who have a real need for HAP reduction, this is a viable technology.

    • Measuring the Horizontal Attack Profile of Nabla Containers
    • Tron (TRX) Gives $25,000 to 5 Developers Who Spotted Bugs in Open-Source Code

      Just a couple of days ago, Binance – a very popular digital currency trading platform – credited the Binance account of thirty-one selected Tron (TRX) traders with five million TRX tokens. Recently, the Tron Foundation has also announced it gave away $25k to five developers that are actively working to redefine the community of Tron.

    • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 105 – More backdoors in open source
    • GandCrab v4.1 Ransomware and the Speculated SMB Exploit Spreader [Ed: Microsoft’s collaboration with the NSA on back doors is a gift to keeps giving…. to crackers.]
    • Rewritten GandCrab Ransomware Targets SMB Vulnerabilities To Attack Faster

      GandCrab ransomware, which has created a hullabaloo in the cybersecurity industry by constantly evolving, has yet again caused a commotion. The latest version of the ransomware attacks system using SMB exploit spreader via compromised websites. The ransomware is adding new features every day to target different countries.

      The attackers behind the ransomware are scanning the whole internet to find the vulnerable websites to unleash the attack. The latest version features a long hard-coded list of websites that were compromised and were used to connect with it.

    • France’s cyber command marched in Paris’s Bastille Day Parade for the first time

      For the first time, France’s military cyber command marched in this year’s Bastille Day parade on the Champs Elysees in Paris, alongside other units in the nation’s armed forces. The military noted that it’s a recognition of the advances that the unit has made since its formation last year, and reinforces that “cyber defense remains a national priority.”

      French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the formation of COMCYBER in December 2016, noting that the emergence of state actors operating in cyberspace was a new way to approach warfare. The command brought all of the nation’s soldiers focused on cyber defense under one command, with three main tasks: cyber intelligence, protection, and offense.

    • Should I let my staff choose their own kit and, if so, how?
  • Defence/Aggression

    • The lethal Obama’s big SA welcome

      Next week, South Africans will welcome former US president Barack Obama to the country. He will be celebrated because he is one of us – he is black, an African, a son of the soil…

      Obama will deliver the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture. However, the significance of the connection between Obama, as the first black president of the US, and our own first black president is overstated. Mandela did not side with the rich and powerful. He was also opposed to the deathly military adventurism that is so intrinsic to US foreign policy.

      Obama refined this policy and included targeted assassinations of “brown” people. Remember how apartheid’s defence force targeted and assassinated exiled South Africans? As a journalist in the 1980s, I witnessed this destruction of families. And those people Obama’s fighters assassinated? Well, they were “terrorists”. The same as the people the apartheid regime assassinated.

      That we will accept Obama uncritically says more about our own duplicities, expediencies, blindness, gullibility and, of course, our racial biases and prejudices. We like him because he is one of us – he is black.

    • 2 Killed in Gaza, 4 Wounded in Israel, in Most Intense Fighting Since 2014 War

      Two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli airstrike and four Israelis were wounded by mortar fire from Gaza on Saturday as fighting in and around the Gaza Strip escalated to what the Israeli prime minister called the most intense level since the 2014 war.

      Hamas and allied Islamic militant groups fired nearly 100 projectiles at Israeli territory throughout the day, most of them mortar rounds, though rockets were fired at the city of Ashkelon.

      Israel’s Iron Dome air-defense batteries intercepted more than 20 of those that had the potential to do damage, the military said, but some got through. A mortar struck the courtyard of a Sderot synagogue, according to the Israeli military, and local news media reported that a house in Sderot was also hit, wounding four members of a family.

    • CAL THOMAS: Is Europe awakening to the threat?

      Much of Europe was asleep, or in denial, when the Nazis took power and began rebuilding their military in violation of the Versailles Treaty that brought World War I to

    • Turkey Attempted to Stop Broadcast of Assyrian Genocide Documentary

      The Turkish Embassy in Sweden officially asked the Swedish television channel TV4 last week not to air a documentary on the Assyrian Genocide. The documentary Seyfo 1915 — The Assyrian Genocide by the director Aziz Said and produced by the Assyrian Federation of Sweden was scheduled to be aired on Sunday 24 April, the day Assyrians and Armenians commemorate the victims of the genocide perpetrated by the ruling Young Turks during the late phase of the Ottoman Empire.

    • Anti-terrorism: Hate Speech

      To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in pursuit of their anti-terrorism strategy, they will require preaching in mosques and teaching in madrassas in England and Wales to be monitored for hate speech against non-Muslims.

    • Six killed, Baptist church burnt in fresh Plateau attack

      According to an eyewitness, the fresh attack lasted for almost an hour before the intervention of the military.

    • Indonesian forces to blame for Papua killings: Amnesty

      Indonesian security forces are behind the unlawful killing of at least 95 people in Papua since 2010, with most perpetrators never held to account, Amnesty International said in a new report on Monday.

      Papua, on the western half of New Guinea island, has been the scene of a simmering independence insurgency since it was annexed by Indonesia in the late 1960s.

    • Indonesia: Falling to Radicals

      If the repatriated foreign fighters are able to radicalize Indonesia’s Muslims, all of the country may eventually resemble Aceh Province, where, after a lengthy reign of terror by Islamic militias, most Christians have been driven out.

    • Regional Election; Playing the Religion Card in North Sumatra
    • Rape of hill girls triggers protest at Shahbagh

      Three women’s rights platforms formed a human chain in front of Bangladesh National Museum in Dhaka’s Shahbagh this morning demanding immediate arrests and exemplary punishment of all the perpetrators who raped two indigenous girls in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) this month.

    • Victims of rape in South Asia face further violation from the courts

      The so-called “two-finger test”, in which a doctor examines the vagina to decide if a woman is sexually active, was banned in India in 2014, after the Supreme Court ruled that it was an invasion of privacy (as well as irrelevant). In 2016 Pakistan prohibited the test from being used in rape trials. This year Bangladesh followed suit. Yet in all three countries the test is still widely used.

      Last year Human Rights Watch, an internationtional pressure group, found that the test is still routine in Rajasthani hospitals. And this year an Indian human-rights organisation, Jan Sahas, looked at the records of 200 group-rape trials and concluded that the test was a deciding factor in 80% of them.

    • Finland has second thoughts about its women soldiers

      “We have to have a universal military service, so that we are able to train for war a military of 280,000 people,” he told Finnish public TV.

    • Taliban’s best fighters being trained by Iran

      Hundreds of Taliban fighters are receiving advanced training from special forces at military academies in Iran as part of a significant escalation of support for the insurgents, Taliban and Afghan officials have told The Times.

      [...]

      A political adviser to the Taliban at its Quetta Shura headquarters in Pakistan said: “The Iranian offer of training came with two demands: that we should put more focus on attacking American and Nato interests in Afghanistan, and devote more forces to attacking the Daesh [Isis].”

    • Telangana student shot dead in US eatery; police release suspect video
    • Wimbledon ‘ring of steel’ goes up as police chief warns vehicle terror attacks are continuing threat

      The waist-high posts are a new feature of the ‘ring of steel’ thrown around the All England Lawn Tennis Club to guard against the nightmare scenario of a vehicle being used to mount pavements and ram innocent tennis fans.

    • Salafist Scare in Sweden as Report Points to Avalanche Growth of Radical Islam

      According to the report, named “Between Salafism and Salafic Jihadism,” the number of Islamist extremists has grown tenfold over the past decade.

    • South Koreans resist arrival of Yemeni asylum seekers

      “And local people here are worried,” Kim added. “We have all read about the problems that immigrants have caused in Europe — in Germany and France in particular — and we do not want that to happen here.

      “And we are also worried because of their religion,” he admitted. “We have had no contact with Muslim people before, but we know that they all have big families and they bring their own culture instead of trying to adapt to the place where they live, so people here think that they should have gone as refugees to other Muslim countries.”

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Britain is reportedly in high level talks with Ecuador to evict Julian Assange from the London embassy

      JULIAN Assange is reportedly set to be evicted from Ecuador’s London embassy after six years of asylum, with Britain in high-level talks with the South American country.

      Ministers and senior Foreign Office officials are said to be in discussions over the future of the Australian WikiLeaks founder, who has been confined to the Ecuador embassy in Knightsbridge for more than six years.

      His refuge in the building has cost taxpayers millions of dollars since he fled there 2012.

    • New bid to kick Assange out of embassy

      BRITAIN is in high-level talks with Ecuador to evict Julian Assange from the country’s London embassy, it was reported yesterday.

    • Ecuador’s new president might be ready to kick Julian Assange out of London embassy

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy for six years, but the country’s new president is ready to evict.

      According to The Sunday Express, Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan is “said to be involved in a diplomatic effort” just weeks ahead of President Lenin Moreno’s visit.

    • Britain, Ecuador in ‘High-Level’ Talks to Evict Julian Assange from Embassy

      Speaking to reporters from the balcony’s Ecuador London embassy in 2012, Assange called on U.S. authorities to halt its investigation into WikiLeaks. “I ask President Obama to do the right thing. The United States must renounce its witch hunt against WikiLeaks,” said Assange. “The United States must dissolve its FBI investigation. The United States must vow that it will not seek to prosecute our staff or our supporters.”

      Embassy staffers in March cut off Assange’s internet access and revoked permission to receive visitors.

    • Britain ‘is in secret talks with Ecuador in bid to evict Julian Assange from South American country’s London embassy’

      Britain is in secret talks with Ecuador to evict Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from its embassy in London.

      Senior foreign officials, believed to include the Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan, are in talks to try and decide Mr Assange’s future.

      He has been living at the embassy in Knightsbridge, in London, since June 2012 and is fearful he will be extradited to the United States if he leaves.

      The top-level discussions come just weeks before a UK visit by new Ecuador President Lenin Moreno who has previously called Assange a ‘hacker’ and a ‘stone in the shoe’, according to The Sunday Times.

    • Julian Assange WikiLeaks founder could be EVICTED from Ecuador embassy

      As Julian Assange awaits possible eviction, we take a look back.

    • Report: Julian Assange Soon May Be Kicked Out of Embassy
    • New bid to kick Assange out of embassy

      But since then, Mr Assange has fallen out with the Moreno administration, which has cut off his internet access, installed jammers and banned visitors apart from his lawyers.

      Ecuador has even considered appointing Mr Assange to the United Nations in a desperate bid to get him out, according to documents from Ecuador’s intelligence agency Senain obtained by The Guardian.

      Officials believed the move would give him diplomatic immunity and enable him to escape without arrest. Last month two officials from the Australian High Commission paid a first visit in six years to the embassy in a signal that there may be a breakthrough in the stalemate.

    • Britain is reportedly in high level talks with Ecuador to evict Julian Assange from the London embassy
    • Ecuador in talks to evict Julian Assange, its ‘stone in the shoe’

      The South American state and UK ministers are trying to find a way to evict the WikiLeaks founder from its London embassy

    • Assange could soon be evicted from London embassy

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may soon be evicted from the London embassy that has sheltered him for the last six years.

      Ecuador, which has played host to the political provocateur since 2012, and Britain are in high-level discussions over Assange’s fate, the Sunday Times of London reported.

      New Ecuadorean president Lenin Moreno – who has called Assange a “stone in the shoe” – dismisses him as a problem he inherited from his predecessor.

      The South American nation’s former president granted Assange political asylum shortly after the Australian was accused of sexual assault and rape in Sweden.

      Assange claimed the charges were part of a U.S. plot to discredit him for WikiLeaks disclosures that embarrassed the Obama administration.

      Bur Ecuador’s new government, which has cut off his Internet access and banned most visitors, isn’t buying the story.

    • Assange on line over DNC email origins

      At the beginning of 2017, one of Julian Assange’s biggest media boosters travelled to the WikiLeaks founder’s refuge inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London and asked him where he got the leaks that shook up the US presidential election only months earlier.

      Fox News host Sean Hannity pointed straight to the purloined emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.

      “Can you say to the American people, unequivocally, that you did not get this information about the DNC, John Podesta’s emails, can you tell the American people 1000 per cent you did not get it from Russia or anybody associated with Russia?”

      “Yes,” Assange said. “We can say – we have said repeatedly – over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party.”

    • US Kept Tabs on Mexico’s President-Elect for Years, WikiLeaks Shows

      The two-cable series has revealed confidential exchanges between Washington and US outposts in Mexico since 2006, bearing testimony to attempts by the previous administration to profile the nation’s leftist leaders and parties.

      A 2009 memo written in the name of then State Secretary Hillary Clinton inquired about ties between Lopez Obrador, also known as AMLO, and his political allies, and the extent to which they were likely to work together in the run-up to 2010 and 2012 elections.

    • Julian Assange Scores Major Legal Victory as Court Orders Safe Passage of Wikileaks Founder Out of Embassy

      The Inter-American Court of Human Rights based in Costa Rica is a multinational independent judicial body which handles court cases relating to the human rights of individuals in or effected by the laws of the members states of the Organization of American States (OAS). At present the OAS is comprised of every North American, Central American and South American nation, although Venezuela has expressed a desire to withdraw from the body.

      Today, the Court ruled that it is the duty of nations to allow for the passage of successful asylum seekers from embassies to the mainland territory of the state that has granted an individual asylum. For Julian Assange, this would mean that according to the Court’s decision, Britain has a legal obligation to allow Julian Assange to exit the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in peace and allow for his safe transit to an airport from which he would be able to fly to Ecuador, the country that has granted Assange asylum and where he now also holds formal citizenship.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • As Electricity Returns to Puerto Rico, Its People Want More Power

      A nine-month, $3.8-billion effort to end the longest blackout in U.S. history has restored power to much of Puerto Rico.

    • Puerto Rico’s New Electric Utility Chief to Get $750,000 Salary

      Former General Electric executive Rafael Diaz-Granados will replace Walter Higgins as chief executive officer of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, according to a statement from the utility. His salary, up from the controversial $450,000 base pay that Higgins garnered during his short tenure.

    • Pope Francis warns against turning Earth into vast pile of ‘rubble, deserts and refuse’

      “There is a real danger that we will leave future generations only rubble, deserts and refuse,” he warned.

    • Mumbai beach turns garbage dump after Arabian Sea vomits trash: Horrifying photos

      Despite multiple clean-up drives undertaken by concerned citizens, Mumbai’s waste problem continues to afflict its beaches. It has been exacerbated by the flow of untreated sewage into the Arabian Sea. Dumping of plastic trash in the sea has become a killer for aquatic life and is also affecting the marine food chain.

    • Delhi Air Pollution: Introducing A Fleet Of 1,000 Electric Buses Likely To Improve Air Quality
    • How the people of Delhi saved 16,000 trees from the axe

      Delhi is one of the world’s most polluted cities, with air quality frequently reaching hazardous levels. The one mitigating factor is that large parts of the city still have substantial green cover, although this has also been depleting due to development [sic] projects.

    • Orcas of the Pacific Northwest Are Starving and Disappearing

      Normally four or five calves would be born each year among this fairly unique urban population of whales — pods named J, K and L. But most recently, the number of orcas here has dwindled to just 75, a 30-year-low in what seems to be an inexorable, perplexing decline.

      [...]

      iNot only are there fewer calves in recent years, but signs of inbreeding also point to a weakening population. In the 1970s and 80s, theme parks like Sea World captured nearly 4 dozen orcas from the region, possibly shrinking the pods’ gene pool. In the last three decades, just two males fathered half the calves in the last three decades, and only a third of the females are breeding, just once every decade instead of every five years. Researchers worry that reproducing females are aging out of the population, and won’t be replaced.

    • Scott Pruitt’s grubby tenure at the EPA is over

      Indeed, under Andrew Wheeler, its new acting administrator, the agency could be more effective at ravaging it. A former coal lobbyist, Mr Wheeler is also a climate change sceptic and considered an effective bureaucratic operator. He promises a less scandal-plagued and more quietly efficient Trumpian EPA. Mr Pruitt’s departure would in that case be good for accountability but more bad news for the environment.

    • Pruitt grants loophole to ‘super polluting’ diesel truck manufacturers on last day at EPA

      Glider trucks combine older engines–that do not meet modern emissions requirements–with newer truck bodies. The Times reported that small fleet owners have sought out glider trucks in order to evade emissions regulations, as they are cheaper to run.

    • ‘Super Polluting’ Trucks Receive Loophole on Pruitt’s Last Day

      In the final hours of Scott Pruitt’s tenure as administrator, the Environmental Protection Agency moved on Friday to effectively grant a loophole that will allow a major increase in the manufacturing of a diesel freight truck that produces as much as 55 times the air pollution as trucks that have modern emissions controls.

    • 5 Things to Know About Acting EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler

      According to Trump’s announcement via Twitter, Andrew Wheeler, Pruitt’s recently-Senate confirmed deputy, will “assume duties as the acting Administrator of the EPA” on Monday, July 9. Wheeler will hold the position until until the president formally announces a new agency head, as noted by the New York Times, which could keep Wheeler in the job for several months. Given that information, here is everything you should know about the new leader of the EPA…

    • Air pollution is triggering diabetes in 3.2 million people each year

      The new estimate, reported in July in The Lancet Planetary Health, holds air pollution responsible for about 14 percent of new cases of diabetes worldwide. Factors such as genetics, weight, activity level and diet also influence the risk of the disease, which is on the rise globally. (The World Health Organization estimates that 422 million people now live with type 2 diabetes — up from 108 million in 1980.)

    • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) – April 2017 to March 2018, Annual Report, Experimental Statistics Report

      There were 6,195 individual women and girls who had an attendance where FGM was identified or a procedure related to FGM was undertaken in the period April 2017 to March 2018. These accounted for 9,490 attendances reported at NHS trusts and GP practices where FGM was identified or a procedure related to FGM was undertaken.

      There were 4,495 newly recorded women and girls in the period April 2017 to March 2018. Newly recorded means this is the first time they have appeared in this dataset. It does not indicate how recently the FGM was undertaken, nor does it mean that this is the woman or girl’s first attendance for FGM.

    • Viral Test: Does Congress support female genital mutilation?

      Just recently, the Congress encountered backlash on social media because its spokesman Abhishek Singhvi, a top-notch lawyer himself, represented a Muslim group that defends the practice of female circumcision.

    • Network of survivors demands ban on female genital mutilation

      On the day the Supreme Court came out strongly against female genital mutilation (FGM) and circumcision, a network of survivors, ‘WeSpeakOut’, reiterated the demand for a ban on the practice prevalent among Dawoodi Bohra Muslims.

    • Supreme Court questions practice of female genital mutilation

      The plea has sought a direction to make FGM an offence on which the law enforcement agencies can take cognisance on their own. It has also sought to make the offence “non-compoundable and non-bailable” with provision for harsh punishment.

    • 6,000 Girls & Women Reported FGM in Britain Over the Past Year

      More than 6,000 women and girls who visited a doctor, midwife, obstetrician, or another public health service in England between April 2017 and March 2018 had undergone FGM at some point in their lives, official figures showed.

  • Finance

    • How Tipping Shortchanges Workers

      Tipping also perpetuates discrimination. Studies show that customers of all races tip black waiters less than white ones, no matter the level of service; conversely, white servers make more in tips than any other racial group. Customers also tip beautiful women more than those thought unattractive.

      The size of a gratuity has little to do with rewarding good service, accounting for less than a 3 percent difference in how much people tip. Instead, people’s biases are in the driver’s seat.

    • Why the world should adopt a basic income

      Contrary to conventional wisdom, the case for BI does not rest on the assumption that robots and artificial intelligence will cause mass unemployment or that it would be a more efficient way of relieving poverty than present welfare systems (although it would). The main arguments are ethical and relate to social justice, individual freedom and the need for basic security.

    • Trump driver sues over unpaid overtime

      Donald Trump’s former driver claims he was not paid for thousands of hours of overtime and is now suing the Trump Organisation.

      One of Noel Cintron’s lawyers, Larry Hutcher, told NBC News he is allegedly owed US$350,000 (AU$470,000).

      The suit reportedly lists the Trump Organisation as a defendant but not the president himself.

    • Trump’s visit marks the start of shock doctrine Brexit

      The term “Shock Doctrine” was first used by Naomi Klein in her 2007 book of the same name. With the subheader “The rise of disaster capitalism”, she outlined her thesis: while advocates of neoliberal capitalism said it would dance hand in hand with democracy as these ideologies encircled the world, in fact neoliberalism marches in step with violence and disaster.

      In Chile, the dictator Augusto Pinochet delivered the radical right plans concocted by economist Milton Friedman on the back of his 1973 military coup and aided by the torture and murder of thousands, often using electronic batons to literally shock people into acquiescence. Throughout the late 20th century, the International Monetary Fund came into former colonies when they faced crises and used the leverage of much-needed loans to force mass privatisations, tax cuts for the rich and public spending cuts for the rest.

      After the tsunami swept across the Indian Ocean in 2004, beaches were privatised by hotels. After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Klein has since written, “I watched hordes of private military contractors descend on the flooded city to find ways to profit from the disaster, even as thousands of the city’s residents, abandoned by their government, were treated like dangerous criminals just for trying to survive.”

      From the privatisation of war in Iraq and Afghanistan to the divvying up of oil contracts afterwards, the rich and powerful and their pet governments have become expert in using crises to ensure that they continue to profit as ordinary people lose everything.

    • The right to join a union is a right that is needed now

      For millions of America’s more than 153 million workers, there is still far too little “equality in the pursuit of happiness.” In fact, 90 percent of the country’s workers have wages that are stagnated since 1967, and income inequality remains at an unprecedented level. And in real terms more than 12 million American workers are still today either unemployed or underemployed.

    • Amazon will sell more online than everyone else In the U.S. combined next year

      Amazon’s market share will increase 15 percentage points from 2016 to 2019.

    • Exploited Amazon workers need a union. When will they get one?

      Amazon has suppressed all efforts since its founding, but with widespread employee abuse, only unions can hold the company accountable

    • Union: Activation model hitting Finland’s senior unemployed hardest

      Union data showed that just 13 percent of long-term unemployed or jobless persons close to retirement age were able to avoid having their benefits cut.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • 32 arrested after India mob lynches man over WhatsApp child abduction rumour

      Indian police said on Sunday they have arrested 32 people after a man was killed by a mob in the country’s latest lynching over suspicion of child kidnapping sparked by rumours on WhatsApp.

      [...]

      The spate of lynchings started last May in eastern Jharkhand state after rumours on WhatsApp about child kidnappers led to the killing of seven men.

      The rumours have since resurfaced, with 21 deaths reported in dozens of attacks across the country mostly targeting non-locals.

    • WhatsApp group admin held in Bidar

      The Bidar police have arrested 28 persons, including the administrator of a WhatsApp group and one of its members, on charges of killing a Hyderabad-based engineer and injuring three others on suspicion of child-lifting.

    • Techie Beaten To Death By Mob In Karnataka After WhatsApp Rumours

      More than 20 people have been killed across India over fake WhatsApp rumours. The last such incident took place in Maharashtra’s Dhule, where five people were killed. The WhatsApp videos that had triggered the attack were fake – one of them was a five-year-old video from Syria that had photographs of children who died in a nerve gas attack.

    • First Earth Battalion: Bombshell book reveals classified ‘psychic warfare’ military unit

      A BOMBSHELL new book is set to reveal the secrets of a CIA unit designed to train psychic soldiers.

      The book – “Project Stargate” – unearths thousands of declassified US government on the top secret “First Earth Battalion”.

      Author Axel Balthazar claims his findings could “require us to rethink everything we think we know about physics, the human mind, and the nature of reality”.

      He told Daily Star Online: “The official story is that these things didn’t work, that they were a joke, and a waste of taxpayer money.

    • US indictments may queer pitch for ex-NSA hackers [sic]

      The US Justice Department’s indictment of 12 Russians for alleged hacking offences connected to the 2016 US presidential election on Friday has got at least one ex-NSA hacker [sic] fearing a reprisal.

    • Finns rally against Trump, Putin ahead of Helsinki summit

      About 2,500 protesters demonstrated in support of human rights, democracy and the environment in Helsinki on Sunday, a day before U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold a summit in the Finnish capital.

    • 12 Russian intel officers indicted for hacking the DNC and Clinton campaign

      The indictments were filed by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is investigating possible collusion between the presidential campaign of President Donald Trump and the Russian spies US intelligence agencies say interfered with the 2016 election. So far, Mueller’s team has indicted 32 people, including members of a Russian company that blanketed social media with fake news stories and senior members of the Trump campaign. Friday’s indictments were disclosed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at a press conference in Washington, DC.

    • UK’s Theresa May: Trump told me to ‘sue the EU’ over Brexit

      Donald Trump advised British Prime Minister Theresa May to “sue” the European Union in the tense negotiations over Britain’s exit from the bloc, May said Sunday.

      The American president told reporters Friday at a joint press conference with May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.” Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May said with an amused expression: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.”

      She added: “What the president also said at that press conference was ‘Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.’”

    • Memo to the President Ahead of Monday’s Summit

      If you are wondering why so little is heard these days of accusations that Russia hacked into the U.S. election in 2016, it could be because those charges could not withstand close scrutiny. It could also be because special counsel Robert Mueller appears to have never bothered to investigate what was once the central alleged crime in Russia-gate as no one associated with WikiLeaks has ever been questioned by his team.

      Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity — including two “alumni” who were former National Security Agency technical directors — have long since concluded that Julian Assange did not acquire what he called the “emails related to Hillary Clinton” via a “hack” by the Russians or anyone else. They found, rather, that he got them from someone with physical access to Democratic National Committee computers who copied the material onto an external storage device — probably a thumb drive. In December 2016 VIPS explained this in some detail in an open Memorandum to President Barack Obama.

      On January 18, 2017 President Obama admitted that the “conclusions” of U.S. intelligence regarding how the alleged Russian hacking got to WikiLeaks were “inconclusive.” Even the vapid FBI/CIA/NSA “Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections” of January 6, 2017, which tried to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for election interference, contained no direct evidence of Russian involvement. That did not prevent the “handpicked” authors of that poor excuse for intelligence analysis from expressing “high confidence” that Russian intelligence “relayed material it acquired from the Democratic National Committee … to WikiLeaks.” Handpicked analysts, of course, say what they are handpicked to say.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Swedish Farmers Slammed as ‘Racist’ for Flag Image in Support of Football Squad

      To support their national football team during the ongoing World Cup in Russia, Torpshammar natives Per Johan Andersson and his wife Katrine created a vibrant image of a national flag made of hay sacks and posted it on Facebook. While welcomed by thousands of buoyant Swedish fans, the image also inspired “anti-racists” to fill the comments section with hatred against the farmer and his wife.

    • Alex Jones Claims The White House Asked Him For A Report On Internet Censorship

      Alex Jones, the conspiracy theorist who called the Sandy Hook shooting a hoax, claimed that the White House asked him to prepare a report about the supposed censorship of conservative voices online when he recently spoke with President Trump.

      Yesterday, on his daily Infowars show, Jones claimed that tech industries are working to censor websites like his own but they aren’t willing to “implement the censorship fully because they’re afraid [that] Congress and Trump might call them out.” A recent Pew Research Center poll found that a majority of Americans believe that social media companies censor specific political viewpoints, despite a lack of concrete evidence illustrating any such systemic discrimination; rather, it seems the opposite is true.

    • Real danger not fake news – it’s censorship

      Social media giants like Twitter and Facebook that used to brag about promoting free speech now say they’re taking on a new role — the speech police.

      Twitter is suspending as many as a million accounts a day, with 70 million silenced in May and June, according to data disclosed recently. The massive purge is to prevent the spread of fake news, Twitter says. The problem is this: Who decides what’s fake?

    • House Lawmakers To Question Facebook, Alphabet, Twitter Over Political Bias And Censorship

      The House Judiciary Committee is set to question the biggest social media companies Tuesday on their social media filtering practices, which will likely lead to accusations of political bias from Republican lawmakers

      Top executives for Google, Facebook, and YouTube will be present to testify.

      “The advent of social media has made it possible for people to connect across continents, explore vast amounts of information, and share meaningful dialogue with friends and strangers,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte said in a statement. “However, this same technology can be used to suppress a particular viewpoint and manipulate public opinion.”

    • Social Media Giants To Testify On Alleged Censorship Of Conservative Views

      Facebook, Twitter and YouTube officials are set to testify about censorship practices on social media and whether conservative viewpoints are being suppressed.

    • House Judiciary Committee to Hold Hearing on Social Media Censorship
    • Representatives from the three social media giants will answer questions on whether they promote liberal viewpoints over conservative ones Tuesday.

    • Big tech’s censorship of conservative users is alive and well

      A study released by the Pew Research Center in late June has once again brought to the surface a key issue of the Obama-era Title II net neutrality regulations: America’s concern about big tech’s approach to privacy, censorship and political bias and how Obama ignored it.

      The study found that “seven-in-ten Americans think it likely that social media companies intentionally censor political views they find objectionable.”

    • The powers that be love censorship

      Recently, General Ghafoor fielded questions from journalists, where one asked him why Imran Khan should be spared if Sharif and Zardari were under fire. The question may be wrong, but we cannot discourage the culture of asking for answers from people in power.

      The one time that I felt this was most important was during the time that Kulbhushan Jadhav’s issue was the talk of the town. From the very start, when General Asim Bajwa, along with former information minister Pervez Rashid, introduced the Indian agent, there were many questions that should have been asked.

      The same reporter was present during this event as well, but he remained silent along with the many other journalists who chose to censor themselves. However, during this time another journalist raised another question — unrelated to Jadhav — but was asked to leave the room.

    • Bilawal terms ‘press censorship’ as pre-poll rigging

      The PPP has warned of pre-poll rigging ahead of a general election on July 25, a day after tensions were ratcheted higher by the dramatic arrest of former premier Nawaz Sharif.

      Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan PPP, said the caretaker government installed ahead of the vote was not giving his party a “level playing field” in the campaign.

      “The press is facing censorship, political activists are being detained, and this is not only a violation of human rights but also pre-poll rigging,” he told a press conference in Peshawar on Saturday.

    • ECP comes under fire in Senate

      The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) came under severe criticism in Senate on Thursday as majority of the parties accused the top electoral watchdog of dancing to the tune of ‘establishment’ in order to bring a particular political party into power.

      They said that crackdown on politicians particularly those belonging to Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) under some pretext is a clear indication that forthcoming general elections have already been managed to pave the way for a specific party.

    • On the right to publish and self-censorship

      One can observe that in the 21st century and more so in the preceding months, journalism in Pakistan has not only become more professional but has also innovated new ways to resist control. An antagonistic relationship between the state and media is the hallmark of any progressive liberal democracy. Pakistan, which has seen rare and brief spells of democracy, has witnessed a continuous attack on journalists, media outlets and the press.

      However, what warrants attention is the dilemma of self-censorship within the industry. Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan states that “there shall be freedom of the press”. On the other hand, ever since the colonial era, vindictive attacks have plagued the field of journalism.

    • On Censorship Resistance: a Chat with Mainframe CEO Mick Hagen

      The Mainframe team recently donated 1,000 ETH to the Freedom of the Press Foundation. Privacy technology skeptics in the mainstream often say of the tech, “Well I have nothing to hide, why should I personally care?” In the context of the donation to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, what’s your rebuttal to that skeptical position?

    • UncensorPat.ch Fights Censorship In Steam’s Adult Games

      Video games are, by far, the largest entertainment industry on the planet. As with most entertainment industries, a subset of these games are focused on adult themes, many of which have a subtle or downright overt sexual tone to them. Whether you play them in secret or don’t mind letting your freak flag fly, a particular problem exists with this medium of entertainment: the largest digital games distributors universally have policies in place against explicit sexual content on their platforms. Enter UncensorPat.ch [NSFW], a website dedicated to hosting uncensor patches for these games. We spoke with the site’s operator “Pat” about their site and the industry in general.

    • Censorship killed the video star

      Mihir Joshi woke up on the morning of 1 February 2015 to the news that the music video for his song Sorry was finally being telecast on Pepsi MTV Indies, a now defunct television channel dedicated to Indian independent music. It was a personal milestone for the musician, TV anchor and former radio jockey, fulfilling his childhood dream of watching one of his own music videos on MTV. But his excitement was undercut by a minor annoyance. When his label Times Music sent the video to the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), which must certify any music videos before it can go on air, the review committee insisted that he mute the word “Bombay”—used only once early on—from the song and video. Joshi says he accepted the change because he just wanted to get the song’s message, a response to the infamous 2012 gang rape case in Delhi, out to as many people as possible.

    • 100 years of film censorship in India

      Film censorship was born of fire. Early film stock had a compound called nitrocellulose, which was used in explosives as guncotton. Mixed with camphor, it became nitrate film—not explosive, but still violently flammable. In 1897, a year and a half after the first ever film screening, a nitrate fire at the Bazar de la Charité in Paris killed 126 people. A spate of similar incidents over the next decade resulted in the world’s first cinematograph legislation being passed in Britain in 1909, to improve safety standards by controlling the issue of cinema licences.

      One kind of control led to another. Since the 1909 Act made licences necessary for public screenings, local authorities used this to regulate not just the conditions in which the film would be screened but also the contents of the film itself. After a few confusing years with everyone making up their own rules, the British Board of Film Censors was formed in 1912.

    • Dibakar Banerjee: ‘All of us turn into hustlers when we go and present our films to the censor board’

      My own experiences with censorship have led me to believe that the censor board is more the symptom than the problem, because I think everyone has had incidents where you’re trying to express something and there is a gatekeeper who doesn’t let you. When you and I speak, I say something to you, you hear me out and that’s it. But imagine if there was a third person whom I have to tell beforehand what I’m planning to tell you, and he says that you aren’t ready to hear this and I think you should tell this to him instead. At the core, it’s a lot of us making films and somebody’s sitting across the table saying, “I don’t think this is appropriate.”

      The reasons (for censorship), according to the Cinematograph Act, are national security, national integrity, moral decency—terms open to wide interpretation. And I must speak to the third person before I speak to you. So I’m always trying to figure out in my head how to speak to the person between us and get it past him to you. So I start trying to be smart, slipping things under the carpet, using code that you’ll understand. Already I’m subverted. I’m already being a bit of a hustler.

    • Sacred Games row: Rahul Gandhi disapproves of censorship

      Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday appeared to disapprove demands to censor uncharitable references to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the web series Sacred Games. Sacred Games, the critically-acclaimed web series by Netflix, has run into trouble with a Congress supporter filing a police complaint against its makers for insulting late Rajiv Gandhi. Mr Rahul Gandhi in a tweet said, “BJP/RSS believe the freedom of expression must be policed & controlled. I believe this freedom is a fundamental democratic right. My father lived and died in the service of India. The views of a character in a fictional web series can never change that.” With his tweet the Congress president made it clear that Congress believes in freedom of speech and they don’t condone the complaints against it, without explicitly referring to the cases.

    • Let’s Ponder: Will Netflix’s Sacred Games throw open the floodgate of net censorship?
    • Netflix India Petitioned To Delete Content From ‘Sacred Games’ Series
    • Researchers find that filters don’t prevent porn

      This research follows the controversial news that the UK government was exploring a country-wide porn filter, a product that will most likely fail. The UK would join countries around the world who filter the public Internet for religious or political reasons.

      The bottom line? Filters are expensive and they don’t work.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Facebook loophole exposed personal info of people in ‘closed’ groups

      The loophole was investigated by security researcher Fred Trotter, who had been contacted by Andrea Downing, a moderator of a members-only Facebook group for women with a high genetic risk of developing breast cancer. The Facebook group’s members frequently shared highly personal information about their conditions, including surgical details.

    • Dark Patterns: How Tech Companies Use Interface Design to Undermine Online Privacy

      However, even though users theoretically can change their privacy settings to optimize protection for their personal data, they may not do so. In part, that’s because it requires effort, and people often simply accept the defaults. Moreover, it turns out there are other issues because of the use of “dark patterns” in screens supposedly helping the user control their privacy settings. The term was coined back in 2011 by Harry Brignull, an expert in user interface design. Here’s his definition:

    • To monitor social media like creating a ‘Surveillance State’: SC

      Frowning upon its move to monitor social media platforms, the Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre on TMC legislator MohuaMoitra’s petition challenging it.

      A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India DipakMisra asked the Centre to file its response in two weeks after senior advocate AM Singhvi, representing Moitra, alleged that monitoring of social media was akin to personal surveillance of citizens by the State.

    • Aadhaar in Ayushman Bharat desirable but not mandatory clarifies Govt

      The Government today clarified that Aadhaar is “desirable” but not mandatory to avail benefits under the Centre’s ambitious Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission (AB-NHPM).

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • ‘As Long As Solitary Exists, They Will Find a Way to Use It’

      Villa is not the only person with difficulty readjusting to human contact. In the spring of 2017, members of Stanford University’s Human Rights in Trauma Mental Health Laboratory interviewed 29 men who had spent more than 10 years in the SHU and were now in general population. The study, which is the first of its kind to study the aftereffects of prolonged isolation, found that people in long-term solitary confinement experienced a number of psychological problems, such as irritability, intense anger, anhedonia (an inability to feel joy), hopelessness, depression, anxiety, and emotional numbing. Many of these emotions did not dissipate upon release from the SHU; instead, they persisted or even worsened after the men were in general population.

    • 20-year sentence for Iranian woman who protested headscarf
    • Found: Rosa Parks’s Arrest Warrant, and More Traces of Civil Rights History

      The fragile papers, filled in with sharp signatures and characters stamped out on manual typewriters, are part of what officials believe is the largest surviving trove of legal records from the boycott. Quietly discovered by a courthouse intern during a housecleaning project and now on loan to Alabama State University, the records will be made public online this summer.

      Although historians do not believe these documents contain anything to alter the well-established story of the bus boycott, the new collection appears to hold some leads and fine-grained details for researchers studying what happened in Alabama’s capital.

    • Hyderabad man stabbed 16 times for adopting muslim girl

      “People were running all around. In the middle of the chaos I found the seven-year-old girl crying and took her to the Sultan Bazaar police station. With little response, I took her to the Shahinyathgunj police station where the police asked me to take care of her until someone comes,” he said. When no one came to claim her, he adopted her.

    • Genocide of Sikhs is taking place in Islamic Pakistan: Baba Gurpal Singh Peshawari.

      Afraid of targeted killings, Sikh families from Peshawar city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province of Pakistan are fleeing to safety days after killing of members of Sikh community including a local Sikh religious leader in recent time . As matter of fact, Pakistan’s minority Sikh community is dispersing to other parts of the country from Peshawar after repeated attacks by Islamic fundamentalists.

      Peshawar has a population of about 30,000 Sikhs, out of which, 60 per cent has left for other parts of Pakistan to avoid living under a constant threat.

    • Neighbors who call police on 12-year-old mowing lawn increase his business, customer says
    • Why female suicide in Afghanistan is so prevalent

      About 3,000 Afghans attempt to take their own lives every year, according to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC). Herat province accounts for more than half of all cases nationwide.

      According to health officials in Herat, 1,800 people tried to kill themselves in 2017 alone, of whom 1,400 were women – and 35 succeeded in taking their own lives.

      The figure is almost twice as high as the year before, when some 1,000 suicide attempts were recorded.

    • A women-only private island is not empowering – it is elitist
    • Outrage after Malaysian man marries 11-year-old Thai girl

      Muslim men are allowed to have up to four wives in Malaysia.

    • Fifth standard girl expelled from a Kerala Madrasa for sporting sandalwood paste on her forehead.

      A fifth standard school girl from Kerala has been expelled from a Madrasa after she wore sandalwood paste bindi on her forehead as a part of a short film acting assignment.

      Ummer Malayil, the girl’s father, has lashed out at the Madrasa on his Facebook post, making it clear that her daughter is lucky enough to have escaped from the stone pelting punishment.

    • George Hotz is on a hacker crusade against the ‘scam’ of self-driving cars
    • Former CIA Subcontractor Deports Immigrants for ICE

      Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)

      Less than a year after the 9/11 attacks, a Long Island plane broker began helping the CIA transport terrorism suspects to black sites around the world. Now, the owner of that company is helping to ferry a new population for the federal government: immigrants.

      Classic Air Charter Inc. was awarded a contract worth up to $635 million to help facilitate deportations. The federal government has allotted about $5.5 million for the contract so far. These contracts were originally reported in a database created by Sludge.

      In the early 2000s, the owner of Classic Air Charter had a company called Sportsflight. That company was involved in the same business – facilitating private air travel – but with a different client at the time: the Central Intelligence Agency.

    • On Toxic Femininity

      Calling good men toxic does everyone a deep disservice. Everyone except those who seek empowerment through victim narratives.

      For the record: I am not suggesting that actual victims do not exist, nor that they do not deserve full emotional, physical, legal, medical, and other support. I also do not want to minimize the fact that most women, perhaps even all, have experienced unpleasantness from a subset of men. But not all women are victims. And even among those women who have truly suffered at the hands of men, many—most, I would hazard to guess—do not want their status in the world to be ‘victim.’

      All of which leads us directly to a topic not much discussed: toxic femininity.

      [...]

      Toxic masculinity, and toxic femininity, are inherently selfish modes, and those not employing them should be interested in seeing them eradicated.

    • Two amputations a week: the cost of working in a US meat plant

      Records compiled by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reveal that, on average, there are at least 17 “severe” incidents a month in US meat plants. These injuries are classified as those involving “hospitalisations, amputations or loss of an eye”.

      Amputations happen on average twice a week, according to the data. There were 270 incidents in a 31-month period spanning 2015 to 2017, according to the OSHA figures. Most of the incidents involved the amputation of fingers or fingertips, but there were recordings of lost hands, arms or toes. During the period there were a total of 550 serious injuries which cover 22 of the 50 states so the true total for the USA would be substantially higher.

    • Can the Saudis Break Up With Wahhabism?

      Prince Mohammed is unlikely to pull off a break with the Wahhabi religious establishment because the clerics have proved to be resilient and have displayed a great capacity to adapt to transitions and vagaries of power. Attempts to marginalize the clerics date back to the early 20th century.

    • UP: Woman accuses husband of ‘love jihad’

      “10 years back I married my husband knowing that he was a Hindu, but after I moved to my in-laws’ house in Meerut, I found out that my husband was a Muslim. He also tried to convert me to Islam,” she told ANI.

      Furthermore, she alleged that her in-laws were forcing her to convert to Islam.

    • Sex after #MeToo

      Sex is now so complicated that many young adults seem to have given up on it entirely. Recent research suggests that one in eight British 26-year-olds has never had sex, up from one in 20 a generation ago. Last year’s National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles confirmed this trend, showing that 23 per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds had not had sex in the past year. Clearly, sex was in decline prior to #MeToo, #TimesUp and all the recent publicity surrounding allegations of rape, sexual assault, unwanted kisses, hugs that linger and, of course, knee-touching. But the interminable coverage of #MeToo has certainly ramped up the anxiety, the fear of getting it wrong, of being abused or falsely accused.

    • Illegal migrants in Paris suburb soar to 400,000 as hundreds of migrant children sleep on streets

      Illegal immigrants, now estimated to make up a fifth of the population of Seine-Saint-Denis, north-east of Paris, are severely straining public services and creating social tensions, according to a parliamentary report.

      Seine-Saint-Denis has long been the French department with the highest proportion of immigrants, but the report warns that the number of illegal migrants may have risen as high as 400,000.

    • Sharia Courts: To be or not to be

      Zakia Soman of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, who was a petitioner in the Triple Talaq case said, “Of course Sharia courts or Darul Qazas have been around for quite some time. But this special push to set up such courts all over the country is a move by the AIMPLB to remain relevant.”

      The Sharia courts are only used by men, she said. “They are supposed to function like family courts. Women do not approach these courts as decisions are usually given against women,” she explained.

    • Cleric wants separate country for Indian Muslims if Sharia courts are not allowed

      AIMPLB is planning to move the proposal for establishing Shariat courts for discussion at a meeting in Delhi on July 15. BJP lawmakers have criticised this demand and have called it unconstitutional.

    • J&K Dy Grand Mufti’s shocking demand: ‘Give us a separate nation if you can’t let us set up Shariat courts’

      Hours after All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s (AIMPLB) proposal for opening Shariat courts in all districts of India was rejected by the BJP, Nasir ul Islam, the deputy grand mufti of Jammu and Kashmir, triggered a major row with his remarks by demanding a separate nation for Muslims. “Any resistance to this effort by the BJP means it doesn’t want Muslims to stay in India. In that case, we urge them to give us a separate nation,” he said.

    • Muslim Law Board Plans To Open Sharia Courts In All Districts Of India

      The All India Muslim Personal Law Board or AIMPLB, the highest decision making body on Muslim affairs, plans to open Darul-Qaza (Sharia courts) in all districts of the country to resolve issues in line with Islamic laws.

      The proposal will come up for discussion at a meeting of the Muslim Law Board in Delhi on July 15.

    • ‘80% were grown-ups’: Swedish dentist fired for exposing migrant ‘kids’ as adults talks to RT

      The dental hygienist then sued his employers and won damages. But the Region of Gotland appealed to the highest labor court in Stockholm and hired one of Sweden’s top-ranking lawyers “to crush” him, as he says on his website. On July 4 he learned that he lost his case and also admitted “economically bankrupted him and his family.” The dentist, who had worked in the sector for 10 years, was fined some 475,000 kroner ($54,000).

    • Sikh Cop Alleges Turban Removed, Dragged By Hair From Home In Lahore

      In a video widely circulated on social media on Tuesday, Pakistan’s first-ever Sikh police officer Gulab Singh alleged that his turban was removed and he was dragged by hair out of his home along with his family by the officials of the Evacuee Trust Property Board. By releasing the video, he underscored that “everyone should be aware of the atrocities committed on the Sikh community in Pakistan.”

      He claimed that the government wants to forcefully evict the Sikh community from the country.

    • Uproar over Chinese women seen doing handstands in Malaysian tourist street, mosque

      Both the photo and video have drawn criticism on social media for inappropriate dressing in a short sleeveless top and hot pants, while the woman in the photo was criticised for “performing stunts” in front of a religious building.

    • Iran: Women Arrested for Dancing

      Iranian state television on July 9, 2018, broadcasted apologies by several women who were briefly detained in May for posting videos of themselves dancing on their popular Instagram accounts, Human Rights Watch said today. On the same day, Shaparak Shajarizadeh, who took her headscarf off in public in January to protest compulsory hijab laws, announced on her Instagram page that a court sentenced her to 20 years in prison for this act, although it suspended 18 years of the sentence, meaning she has to serve 2 years in prison.

    • Uncle, cousins ‘kill girl for honour’

      An 18-year-old girl, who claimed to be a rape victim, was allegedly killed on Wednesday by her uncle and cousins in Sharifabad village in Mirpurkhas district. The victim’s father, Muhammad Younus Bhatti, told police that his brother Allah Dito Bhatti and his sons Attaullah Bhatti and Sanaullah Bhatti strangled his daughter to death.

    • Atheists in Indonesia, Afraid For Their Lives, Fake Being Muslims

      Living a double life isn’t all that uncommon in Indonesia, where atheists live in fear of being sent to jail (or worse) thanks to fundamentalist religious groups. AFP profiled one of these atheists, identified only as “Luna Atmowijoyo,” about her de-conversion from Islam years ago.

    • Violence on the rise in Sweden’s nearly-full prisons

      With the nation’s prisons at around 95 percent capacity, attacks on prison staff are increasing. There were 91 reported incidents in which staff members were targeted by violence in 2017, a 65 percent increase from 2015 figures.

      Violence amongst inmates is also on the rise, with the 327 cases in 2017 representing a 39 percent increase.

    • The vicious circle of Islamist terrorism and far-right extremism

      Far-right groups and Muslim extremists don’t just use the same language of exclusion to divide the population essentially between Muslims and everyone else – they also depend on one another for legitimacy. That’s the conclusion of a new report that looked at both sides of extremism in Germany and how groups rely on one another to reinforce their own views.

      [...]

      “There need to be more opportunities for people to air their grievances, to feel [sic] listened to,” he says. “If there are concerns about migration or foreign policy, instead of making them into taboo topics, create opportunities to allow people to feel listened to so they don’t get channeled into extremist ideology.”

    • Valley Of No Return: Kashmiri Pandits Have Little To Hope For

      There is bitterness, despair, even resignation. From the looks of how things are going, Kashmiri Pandits have little to hope for. It has been twenty-eight years since 4,00,000 Hindus—most of them Pandits—were forced to flee the Kashmir Valley. Most of them ­believe they have lost their birthland forever.

    • Ventura County denies pulling off woman’s head-covering in response to civil rights suit

      U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson has ordered all attorneys involved in the litigation to prepare a joint status report over the next few months addressing several items related to the case. The report will be discussed when attorneys meet before Anderson at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 13.

    • Denmark confronts Islamism and integration

      The chatter about mass “Christianization” or mass loss of citizenship or similar radical measures only obscures the real debate here: whether these measures can be effective in introducing peaceability and a degree of prosperity to mainly Muslim immigrant communities. Many Europeans, not least in the continent’s Jewish communities, will be hoping that Denmark’s government succeeds.

    • “No ghettos in 2030”: Denmark’s controversial plan to get rid of immigrant neighborhoods

      The law, which was passed on May 28, is part of a broader government initiative titled “One Denmark without Parallel Societies: No Ghettos in 2030.” The plan aims to eradicate what the Danish government says are “parallel communities” in Denmark that are rife with crime and populated by poor, uneducated immigrants from “non-Western countries” who are not being properly integrated into Danish society.

    • Kano: Muslim Boy Must Not Die For Blasphemy

      Urgent steps must be taken to save the life of a muslim boy who has been accused of blasphemy in Kano state in Northern Nigeria. Local sources said that the sharia enforcement agency in the state known as the Hisbah arrested the boy after he allegedly sang a song saying that a saint that belonged to one of the Islamic traditions was greater than Allah.

    • Skewed focus in study of German anti-Semitism

      However, right wing anti-Semitic prejudice does not explain the fact that some Jewish schoolchildren are severely harassed by Muslim children. The threats of a Muslim classmate against a Jewish girl in a second grade Berlin elementary school class is a case in point. He said that she should be killed because she does not believe in Allah.

    • Teens in Germany fire anti-Semitic insults at local rabbi

      The incident took place on Friday afternoon, when Gurevitch, 39, was on his way to pray. He said he does not hide his Jewish identity, despite increasingly frequent anti-Semitic attacks in Europe.

    • Qadianis shouldn’t be allowed to vote as Muslims: Ulema

      The central leaders of the “Aalmi Majlis-e-Tahaffuz-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwwat” have termed demand of the Human Rights Commission that Qadianis should be given chance to cast vote in the general elections like Muslims, as against the Constitution of the country and facts.

    • Man cleared of murder refuses community service because of Ramadan

      Just before and after midnight at Warrender Park Road and Bruntsfield Links, the pair assaulted a number of people. Zakariyah pled guilty to two assaults and a breach of the peace.

      Then both accused and friends travelled to the Leith area where Ibnomer killed Shaun with a punch.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Rare books and when the copyright public domain might fail in its essential purpose

        or, to enact suitable legislation to ensure that ownership of the tangible right in the book does not prevent access to the contents, indeed even exercising something like the power of expropriation/eminent domain to take the tangible property from its owner in the name of the public. Either option challenges basic notions of property ownership, and with respect to expropriation, there is arguably something distasteful about relying on such a measure in order to make the contents publicly accessible.

      • Suffocating Financial Power Means Mismatches in Copyright Cases

        Being an entrepreneur in the digital age comes with risks, particularly when a business model is connected in any way with the music and movie industries. Kim Dotcom says he’s spent $40 million in legal bills fighting his corner while TVAddons founder Adam Lackman is already facing potential bankruptcy. Neither defendant is anywhere close to a full trial on the merits of their respective cases.

      • ‘Copyright’s True Purpose Is Dead, It Never Existed’

        According to the US Constitution, copyrights exist to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.” It’s meant to facilitate and encourage artists to create content, which the public can enjoy. But is this how copyright still functions today? Texan A&M law professor Glynn Lunney Jr doesn’t think so.

      • Rightscorp Prompted The RIAA to Sue Internet Provider

        With help from the RIAA, several companies are waging a legal battle against Grande Communications, accusing the company of not taking proper action against pirating subscribers. It turns out that this idea didn’t originate at the music group. Instead, it was anti-piracy group Rightscorp that prompted the lawsuit.

      • Anti-Piracy Portal Blocked Due to Alleged Phishing & Malware

        A government-backed portal set up to convince pirates that going straight is the best philosophy is being flagged as dangerous by security software. People who receive piracy notices are directed to GetitRightFromaGenuineSite.org but according to anti-virus vendors and even third-parties like Twitter, the domain should be avoided due to a potential malware and phishing threat.

Alliance for US Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) Misleads the US Government, Pretending to Speak for Startups While Spreading Lies for the Patent Microcosm

Posted in America, Deception, Patents at 12:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Alliance for U.S. Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ)

Summary: In the United States, which nowadays strives to raise the patent bar, the House Small Business Committee heard from technology firms but it also heard from some questionable front groups which claim to support “startups” and “jobs” (but in reality support just patents on the face of it)

More than a decade ago we wrote quite a lot about front groups like ACT and Computing Technology Industry Association pretending to speak for small businesses whilst actually speaking for Microsoft (in exchange for money).

Days ago there was a hearing/debate similar to those infiltrated by ACT (they have renamed since). Watchtroll called it an “Anti-Patent Panel” and obsessed over talking points from Chris Israel, Executive Director of Alliance for US Startups & Inventors for Jobs. It’s just preaching to patent maximalists, who are a tiny minority (less than one in a thousand US citizens). CCIA has already responded to Chris Israel’s claims, labeling them misleading and worse. For example:

Israel complains that there’s been an increase in investment in social networks, platforms, software apps, B2C technologies, and financial services. He claims that “these are not sectors that are investing heavily to push the outer boundaries of science and technology to remain competitive in a global market.”

But that’s simply false.

For example, social network and platform companies have invested billions of dollars in developing new software improving the efficiency of high-performance databases and new technologies that enable more efficient data centers for large-scale computing. Without that kind of technology, data centers like the ones that are enabling current advances in AI and drug discovery aren’t feasible. In fact, next week the National Institutes of Health are holding a workshop—participants will “hear from leading industry experts and scientists who are employing AI/ML in biomedical research settings.”

That’s not the only connection to AI, either. Social networking and platform companies have invested in (and released for public use) basic AI research, producing tools like TensorFlow (Google) and PyTorch (Facebook). These direct products also have follow-on impacts, enabling others to push the outer boundaries of science and technology.

There’s a ton of amazing work going on out there in AI right now. A lot of small companies are creating new ideas built on a machine learning substrate.

But that machine learning substrate probably utilizes one of those AI tools produced by a social network or platform company, and many of them run on ubiquitous compute platforms like Amazon Web Services provided by B2C service companies. Those “platform” and B2C VC investments that Israel is complaining about are why AI is now within the reach of any company, not just companies with the capital to build their own compute farm.

And once a small company has built their AI-driven product? That small company can begin selling to anyone, anywhere, using a service like Amazon or eBay’s B2C platforms.

Why have there been so many lies?

Thomas A. Hemphill meanwhile promotes the ‘STRONGER’ (actually weaker, low quality) Patents Act. This misguided anti-PTAB bill died last summer and will die again this summer, more so in light of Oil States. Here is what Hemphill wrote:

In March, Reps. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, and Bill Foster, D-Illinois, introduced the Support Technology & Research for Our Nation’s Growth and Economic Resilience (STRONGER) Patents Act of 2018.

This bill has a companion piece of the same name in the Senate, co-sponsored by Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii.

[...]

Heard before the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB), an inter partes review (IPR) is a trial proceeding where a non-patent owner may challenge (after either nine months’ post-grant patent-grant, or after the termination of a post-grant review, whichever occurs later) the validity of a patent based on prior art patents and publications.

[...]

Not surprisingly, this list of organizations does not include the biggest Silicon Valley companies — Apple, Google, Intel and Cisco, whose business models involve products with “patent thickets” of hundreds or even thousands of patents, in contrast to life sciences or small software and hardware companies who may have three to five patents protecting their product investment. For these tech giants, the status quo is working just fine.

[...]

Creative legislative and executive branch solutions, based on industry characteristics, can go a long way in ameliorating the patent validity issue.

This is being framed as a fight between technology giants and pharmaceutical giants, but as we explained in past years it’s a totally bogus framing that seeks to mislead readers. What we really have here is a fight between patent maximalists (e.g. law firms) and everybody else, including a lot of pharmaceutical companies (maybe not the very big ones) and especially generics. On the technology side both large and small companies support PTAB; we can think of no exception to that. Patent trolls with software patents aren’t technology companies but litigation operations. Like we said last week, groups which claim to support the bill led by Thomas Massie and Marcy Kaptur (and advertised by patent trolls, as one might expect) don’t help small businesses but merely harm them, just like the Alliance for US Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) does. It makes one wonders what members they have and what motivations are there; grossroots or AstroTurfing?

07.15.18

‘Blockchain’, ‘Cloud’ and Whatever Else Gets Exploited to Work Around 35 U.S.C. § 101 (or the EPC) and Patent Algorithms/Software

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 11:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hype waves that technical people can’t quite make sense of (so they issue a patent anyway)

50 cents

Summary: Looking for a quick buck or some low-quality patents (which courts would almost certainly reject), opportunists carry on with their gold rush, aided by buzzwords and hype over pretty meaningless things

Dallas, Houston and other large Texan cities have been trying to attract patent trolls with their software patents that courts in Texas would blindly accept after the USPTO granted them (instituted a monopoly). It was a short-sighted strategy because it’s a deterrence for practising companies, more so after TC Heartland (a decision issued by SCOTUS just over a year ago).

A patent boosters’ site, “Dallas Invents” (or “Dallas Innovates”) being its name, took note of some recent patents. From the summary:

Patents granted include Toyota’s steering wheel that illuminates via touch; AT&T’s electrical switch that generates signals through acoustic inputs; Frito-Lay’s method for removing part of a food product through an “abrasive stream”; and Conduent Business Services’ method to create a classifier that predicts a user’s personality type.

A lot of these are software patents, including the “method to create a classifier that predicts a user’s personality type.” These are, once again, just software patents disguised as something else — something that a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes review (IPR) would likely characterise (to reject) as abstract under Section 101 (35 U.S.C. § 101). Is the USPTO asleep at the wheel? Has it not been paying attention to SCOTUS and CAFC (Federal Circuit) decisions? Even District Court cases are nowadays mostly rejecting such patents. Towards the end of the week, for instance, Donald Zuhn covered a District Court case in which one party was “arguing that the claims of the ’831 patent are invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 as being directed to patent-ineligible subject matter and for being void of any inventive concept.”

It’s about DNA, not software. From Patent Docs‘s concluding part:

The District Court therefore determined that the ’831 patent is directed to patent-ineligible subject matter.

With respect to the second step of the patent eligibility analysis, Natera argued that the ’831 patent does not contain an inventive concept because the selective enrichment of DNA in the patent involves well-known, routine, and conventional amplification techniques. Illumina responded by arguing that the ’831 patent improves upon prior art techniques by addressing a need for selective enrichment of DNA sequencing for aneuploidy analysis to avoid producing non-target amplification products.

In denying Natera’s motion, however, Judge Illston determined that “at this stage in litigation the factual record is not sufficient for the Court to conclude whether there is an inventive concept.” In particular, the District Court noted that it “cannot determine whether the amplification of ‘at least 100 different non-random polynucleotide sequences’ and the performance of ‘successive rounds of amplification using primers that are directed to sequences within the products of prior amplification reactions’ are routine or conventional” (emphasis in order). In addition, the District Court noted that it “cannot determine whether the claimed selective enrichment leads to a technological improvement.”

Watchtroll has just found an opposite example — one which involves drugs rather than DNA:

AstraZeneca owns the ‘237 and ‘767 Patents, which are directed to pharmaceutical formulations, intranasal administration devices, or aqueous solutions of zolmitriptan, a selective serotonin receptor agonist. The ‘237 and ‘767 Patents are embodied in Zomig® (zolmitriptan), a nasal spray AstraZeneca developed for the treatment of migraines. In 2012, AstraZeneca and Impax entered into an exclusive agreement for the distribution, license, development, and supply of Zomig®. In June 2014, Lannett filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA), seeking approval for a generic version of Zomig® Nasal Spray, alleging non-infringement and/or invalidity of the ‘237 and ‘767 Patents.

Obviousness could not be established in this case and it’s considered patent-eligible subject matter. But what about software?

What we’ve been finding more and more of (over the past year or two) is the use or misuse of buzzwords. Richard Kemp from Kemp IT Law, for instance, has just perpetuated this lunacy of calling software patents "cloud" in order to bypass the rules (using a buzzword that typically means server/s). From the article:

The migration to the cloud and transformation to digital now so visibly under way are moving intellectual property (IP) centre stage as all businesses become software companies.

[...]

Waiving LOT membership fees suggests expectations are defensive rather offensive. In this use case, access to a large defensive portfolio like Microsoft’s Azure IP Advantage should also be considered.

He’s promoting Microsoft’s protection racket, “Azure IP Advantage” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20] as well as LOT Network.

Elsewhere in the news, e.g. these two pages [1, 2] (“IBM Receives Six Blockchain Related Patents In One Week”) we’re seeing patent thug IBM. It is still harvesting bogus software patents by calling them “blockchain”, “AI”, and “cloud”. In this particular example:

IBM is actively working on innovations in the distributed ledger technology (DLT). In the span of a week, the US tech giant was awarded six blockchain-related patents by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Two of the patents were awarded on Thursday, while four patent applications were approved last week.

“Blockchain” has become a catch-all phrase for “database” in some contexts (or simply storage). Servers are “cloud”. Algorithms are “AI”. Watch what Typerium is doing [1, 2]; it’s pursuing bogus software patents that PTAB would likely reject as abstract under Section 101, but with words like “Innovative” and “Blockchain” maybe these applications will be successful. Blockchain has become the hype/buzzword of choice these days [1, 2], especially in the financial sector when one seeks patents on software/business methods.

Software patents on DRM, for example, are something to be condemned, not hailed/celebrated. But what happens when the term “blockchain” is thrown in [1
2]? CoinGeek and other cryptocurrency-centric sites were absolutely giddy about it [1, 2, 3]. nChain pretends that it is “Open Source”, but actually it’s a force for bogus software patents (even in Europe or the EPO). No such thing can ever help Free/Open Source software and because the patents pertain to digital rights management (DRM) it couldn’t get any worse. “nChain,” one item says, “the global leader in research and development of blockchain technologies, is pleased to announce issuance of another three patents by the European Patent Office. These three patents, issued on July 11, 2018, are all methods to enforce digital rights through the use of blockchain technology.”

Watch the EPO falling for buzzwords:

European Patent (EP) No. 3295349, entitled “A method and system for verifying integrity of a digital asset using a distributed hash table and a peer-to-peer distributed ledger,” describes a system that uses a standard BCH transaction, with additional metadata, to reference an entry within an external distributed hash table (DHT). To show the integrity of a digital asset, its signatures must align with the signatures on the DHT as well as the signature on the blockchain transaction itself.

The second patent, EP3295362, is for “A method and system for verifying ownership of a digital asset using a distributed hash table and a peer-to-peer distributed ledger.” Just as its name suggests, this invention adds another set of cryptographic operations based on the first patent’s technique to validate a digital asset’s current owner.

Finally, there’s EP 3295350. This invention, titled “A method and system for verifying ownership of a digital asset using a distributed hash table and a peer-to-peer distributed ledger,” is described as a logical extension of the technique in EP 3295362, which allows a computer software to check the user’s right to execute it before the software is launched.

Why are these patents being granted? That’s software! Here’s more from Bitcoin News:

The blockchain technologies research and development firm, Nchain, has acquired three new patents that have been issued by the European Patent Office. The company’s latest intellectual property invented by Nchain’s chief scientist, Dr. Craig Wright, cover “digital rights management using blockchain.”

nChain, as we noted here before, seems to be doing nothing but harvesting software patents (even at the EPO where it’s not allowed). It’s even buying patents. Lawsuits to come? It these patents ever get tested in courts (in Europe or elsewhere), expect them to perish. But at what cost to innocent defendants?

PTAB Defended by the EFF, the R Street Institute and CCIA as the Number of Petitions (IPRs) Continues to Grow

Posted in America, EFF, Patents at 9:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Things one can accomplish with pen and paper just aren’t patent-eligible anymore

Just pen and paper

Summary: Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) come to the rescue when patently-bogus patents are used, covering totally abstract concepts (like software patents do); IPRs continue to increase in number and opponents of PTAB, who conveniently cherry-pick Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions, can’t quite stop that

THE encouraging developments at the USPTO mostly revolve around invalidations. And why? Because many patents had been granted in error over the decades, all this (or most of this) prior to AIA, whereupon many of these were taken away. It’s no secret that the EFF speaks out in support of PTAB, for instance, which is why the anti-PTAB lobby hates the EFF so viscerally. PTAB basically helps raise patent quality in the US. PTAB is being regularly defended by the EFF and also by the R Street Institute and CCIA, as the EFF noted a few days ago. To quote:

It’s already much too difficult to invalidate bad patents—the kind that never should have been issued in the first place. Now, unfortunately, the Patent Office has proposed regulation changes that will make it even harder. That’s the wrong path to take. This week, EFF submitted comments [PDF] opposing the Patent Office’s proposal.

Congress created some new kinds of Patent Office proceedings as part of the America Invents Act (AIA) of 2011. That was done with the goal of improving patent quality by giving third parties the opportunity to challenge patents at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, or PTAB. EFF used one of these proceedings, known as inter partes review, to successfully challenge a patent that had been used to sue podcasters.

Congress didn’t explicitly say how these judges should interpret patent claims in AIA proceedings. But the Patent Office, until recently, read the statute as EFF still does: it requires the office to interpret patent claims in PTAB challenges the same way it does in all other proceedings. That approach requires giving the words of a patent claim their broadest reasonable interpretation (BRI). That’s different than the approach used in federal courts, which apply a standard that can produce a claim of narrower scope.

Using the BRI approach in AIA proceedings makes sense. Critically, it ensures the Patent Office reviews a wide pool of prior art (publications and products that pre-date the patent application). If the patent owner thinks this pool is too broad, it can amend claims to narrow their scope and avoid invalidating prior art. Requiring patent owners to amend their claims to avoid invalidating prior art encourages innovation and deters baseless litigation by giving the public clearer notice about what the patent does and does not claim.

[...]

We hope the Patent Office will reconsider its proposal, after considering our comments, as well as those submitted by the R Street Institute and CCIA, a technology trade group. Administrative judges must remain empowered to weed out those patents that should never have issued in the first place.

We regularly take note of the good work of the EFF (recent examples [1, 2]). It wasn’t always the case because the strategy/policy of the EFF used to be a tad different when it comes to software patents. One reader sent us the pointer to an article titled “No, you can’t patent the ability to pause a lesson recording, EFF says” (relating to the original from the EFF, which we mentioned before). Here’s their latest target:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has stepped up to represent a small, independent online language teacher who has been threatened with a lawsuit by a British publisher that claims the teacher is infringing an American patent issued back in 2000 for a particular audio-based teaching technique.

What’s the secret sauce? Amazingly, the use of a pause button to temporarily stop the lesson.

Well, software patents are a stain on the patent system. The Office ought to stop granting these, as per Alice. But will it? At the moment many rely on courts (or PTAB) to do this. This is why courts have been coming under many attacks from patent maximalists. It’s pretty ugly to watch.

With borderline abuse, patent maximalists still try (almost every day) to discourage me from writing about patents. Little do they know that they only embolden me; if it upsets them, it means there’s impact. They just don’t like to see the “other side” expressing its views, hence the attacks on the EFF as well.

Dealing with two SCOTUS decisions regarding PTAB, this upcoming webinar has been titled “Protecting and Licensing University Patents in a Post-Oil States and SAS World” (they allude to immunity universities typically enjoy).

Michael Loney has meanwhile written about the latter decision, under a headline which later extended from “SAS appeal – how the Federal Circuit has interpreted PTAB cases” to “SAS appeal – how the Federal Circuit has interpreted PTAB cases since Supreme Court ruling” (why this revision? Clarity?).

We recently mentioned how they obsess over SAS rather than Oil States, the far more important decision.

All this cherry-picking of SCOTUS cases is quite revealing, as was yesterday’s promotion of a Practising Law Institute (PLI) webcast on WesternGeco. Loney’s colleague, Sanjana Kapila, is trying to figure out what Trump’s SCOTUS ‘coup’ means for patents, especially knowing what Gorsuch said about SAS and Oil States. Well, initially an "unknown" on the subject of patents, Gorsuch has thus far been a total disaster. As many feared, he now parrots talking points from think tanks funded by the Koch Brothers. To quote Kapila’s article:

The US Supreme Court ruled on three intellectual property cases this term, all concerning patents. This was far fewer than the eight IP cases in the previous term.

Loney is meanwhile taking note of key PTAB decisions, remarking that “PTAB designates five informative decisions” and to quote:

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board has designated five decisions as informative, two ex parte review and three inter partes review decisions

Dennis Crouch also listed these cases. He wrote: “The USPTO has recently designated five PTAB decisions as “informative.” (I have also included the recent Western Digital decision as well).”

On the 12th of July Loney revealed that filings/petitions (IPRs) were on the “up”, still. That means more patents being scrutinised. Here are the numbers:

June included an increase in Patent Trial and Appeal Board petition filing, two PTAB-related bills being introduced in Congress and the first reversal of a PGR final written decision

The first half of 2018 ended with 817 petitions filed at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, up from 766 in the second half of 2017.

The Federal Circuit weighs in occasionally. Here’s a new example of “CBM Decision Vacated: the patent does not qualify as a covered business method.”

To quote Crouch:

Apple and Google both challenged ContentGuard’s U.S. Patent 7,774,280 under the Covered Business Method Post Grant Review proceedings. The challenges raised eligibility, novelty, and obviousness challenges to several of the claims, but the Director (acting via the PTAB) only partially instituted: instituting only on novelty and obviousness, and only to three of the claims. In the end, the PTAB found those claims obvious, but also allowed the patentee to add Claim 37 as a substitute for Claim 1 and found the new claim valid (not proven invalid).

On appeal, the Federal Circuit ruled the entire event a nullity — finding that the patent does not qualify as a covered business method. See Versata Dev. Grp., Inc. v. SAP Am., Inc., 793 F.3d 1306, 1323 (Fed. Cir. 2015) and Unwired Planet, LLC v. Google Inc., 841 F.3d 1376, 1379 (Fed. Cir. 2016). A key case on point is also Secure Axcess, LLC v. PNC Bank National Ass’n, 848 F.3d 1370, 1381 (Fed. Cir. 2017). However, that case was vacated as moot by the Supreme Court in PNC Bank Nat. Ass’n v. Secure Axcess, LLC, 138 S. Ct. 1982 (2018).

The “Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patents” is not codified within the United States Code (35 U.S.C. ___) because it is only a temporary program that sunsets in September 2020. Thus, the CBM program is generally cited as Section 18 of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.

Factual errors in Patently-O (not for the first time, either) were later noted by Patently-O itself. “On July 11,” Crouch said, “I wrote about the recent Federal Circuit decision in Apple v. ContentGuard. My post erroneously stated that the court found that the patent does not qualify as a “covered business method” patent. The court did not take that bold of a step of a reversal. Rather, the court vacated the PTAB’s finding that was based upon an improper legal standard and remanded for a reconsideration.”

This was mentioned some hours ago by Watchtroll.

Google too is involved in this fight because it is also affected. And after all, Google too has challenged ContentGuard’s patent number 7,774,280. Google is just harvesting patents nowadays (new example from the news); it is patenting software, relying on patents that restrict Public Domain material/knowledge and occasionally Google sues as well. One day PTAB will turn against Google itself, rendering its own patents invalid as well.

IAM/Joff Wild May Have Become a de Facto Media Partner of the Patent Troll iPEL

Posted in America, Asia, Patents at 8:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Now producing a puff piece every week

Some pig

Summary: Invitation to trolls in China, courtesy of the patent trolls’ lobby called “IAM”; this shows no signs of stopping and has become rather blatant

THE legal terrain in the US has become trolls-hostile, as we last noted yesterday. Having run short of opportunities in the gradually-reformed US (especially the courts, not the USPTO), some patent trolls now look at China for litigation opportunities. That includes iPEL, an unethical troll which calls itself “ethical” and even trademarked this term (“ethical NPE”).

“That includes iPEL, an unethical troll which calls itself “ethical” and even trademarked this term (“ethical NPE”).”Joff Wild and his colleagues/writers/lobbying team have been doing puff pieces for iPEL, e.g. [1, 2]; the matter of fact is that almost nobody else writes about it and they speak directly to the troll, issuing puff pieces (and threats) every week or so. Yesterday’s latest puff piece was about “game-changing patent case” and by “game” they mean “trolling”. To quote:

After all, $100 million of damages from one company indicates that there is considerable further upside in the wider industry or sector the patents cover. To hand over the ability to tap that amount of revenue for anything other than a huge sum of money would be extremely careless – to say the least. From what I know of the likes of Huawei, ZTE and others that iPEL has bought from, such as Panasonic, it’s hard to see them doing such a thing.

Although Yates has been a long-time player in the US monetisation [trolling] market – and filed over 500 suits during 2015 and 2016, before falling foul of Judge Gilstrap in the Eastern District of Texas last year – he does not seem to have done much work in China up to now. It is likely, though, that he has done plenty of research and spoken to a lot of people. They would surely have told him that discretion is the better part of valour in a jurisdiction that, although it generally treats plaintiffs well, is increasingly complex and political.

Yeah, trolls are “increasingly complex and political.” So are extortion rackets.

We suppose many of our readers already know what IAM stands for (e.g. lies for Battistelli and EPO revisionism). But one must understand that these people are shown in “news” feeds and apparently pay other sites to reprint this tosh.

“We cannot stress strongly enough that media covering patent issues is in an appalling state. It’s almost entirely PR; there’s barely any investigative, critical journalism in this domain.”Patent Docs is another mouthpiece of patent maximalists’ agenda. Webinars from the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) and other proponents of software patents are still being advertised there this weekend (coming soon). It’s quite fitting that patent lawyers nowadays use the term “unclean hands” (brought up a lot recently). Webinars like this upcoming one deal with questions such as: “How will Supplemental Examination effect both unclean hands and inequitiable conduct?”

We cannot stress strongly enough that media covering patent issues is in an appalling state. It’s almost entirely PR; there’s barely any investigative, critical journalism in this domain. In the case of IAM, it’s borderline lobbying, pure and simple.

Cautionary Tale: ILO Administrative Tribunal Cases (Appeals) ‘Intercepted’ Under António Campinos

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UIMP event and FTI Consulting

Summary: The ILO Administrative Tribunal (ILO-AT) is advertised by the EPO‘s management as access to justice, but it’s still being undermined quite severely to the detriment of aggrieved staff

THE NEW President of the EPO, António Campinos, is still not complying with ILO-AT judgments. It’s problematic for a lot of reasons and sources of ours already give up on him (or concede hope that he will fix things that matter). Actions are needed; it has already been half a month.

Earlier this year we saw links to some tweets of somebody called Anette Koch, who came out in Twitter, revealing grievances she had experienced at the EPO. Just before the weekend we saw more links (or retweets) from EPO-connected accounts to documents that we decided to publish yesterday. These documents, or rather a two-page letter (E-mail/s), confirmed our suspicions that when it comes to justice Campinos and Battistelli might be indistinguishable.

“These documents, or rather a two-page letter (E-mail/s), confirmed our suspicions that when it comes to justice Campinos and Battistelli might be indistinguishable.”So we attempted to contact the person in question. It wasn’t hard because the E-mail appeared in the above documents. We now have a better understanding of what’s going on and would like to share what the EPO under Campinos is doing.

“The EPO attempts to jeopardize three of my cases with the Tribunal by arbitrarily re-starting them in internal appeal and inviting me for comments,” Koch responded to my E-mail, “[so] of course I will comment to the Tribunal only. Please note that the Tribunal did not refer them back to the EPO, i.e. the EPO acts on its own initiative.”

Remittance before judgments can even be reached? That’s odd. How many more people might this be done to? It wouldn’t be so shocking if the EPO, under instructions from high-level management (maybe Campinos himself or HR itself), is just mass-mailing this to a lot of complainants.

“I am sick and tired of this type of bullying,” Koch told me, “I have pain in my stomach and in my right wrist currently, so I have to be short.”

“Remittance before judgments can even be reached?”It doesn’t look as though the EPO changes in any concrete way under Campinos. I gave him a chance, I really did; I wanted to think that things were going to improve at least in the sense that the social climate might change. But they’re still panicking. Staff still suffers. SUEPO representatives, victims of union-busting efforts, are still in limbo.

It’s worth noting that the document (or documents, a few E-mails) was produced well after Campinos had taken over and, if so and considering the circumstances, who is most culpable (or to blame) here? The legal department, HR, or someone else?

Campinos has been President since the first of July. The documents (E-mails) are dated 9th of July and 10th of July, respectively. While the decision mentioned could still have been taken by Mr. Battistelli, the new President should normally have been informed. He is welcome to stop this.

“While the decision mentioned could still have been taken by Mr Battistelli, the new President should normally have been informed. He is welcome to stop this.”The crucial legal points are: (i) a lower judicial instance cannot re-start a case under appeal on its own initiative (notwithstanding the non-judicial character of the EPO which is a party to these cases), (ii) in the E-mails the IAC clearly threatens to adopt the current procedural rules (it points to them), i.e. all its members can be nominated by the President only or determined by lots. To adopt the current rules contravenes the principle of non-retroactivity, obliging the EPO to follow the Service Regulations at the time of filing internal appeals at which part of IAC members were still to be nominated by the CSC (where’s the IAC’s “independence” otherwise?).

“The effect of such E-mails on my health is significant,” Koch told me, “i.e. pain in my stomach, neck, wrist and elbow.”

It’s bad enough that the EPO’s poor facilities have already caused many disabilities at the EPO (we wrote about it before). It’s even worse that those people get ‘discarded’ once the EPO ‘breaks’ them and these people are then denied access to justice. What kind of employer is this? Persistent rumours suggest that the EPO isn’t even hiring anymore; it only pretends to, i.e. it’s wasting people’s time and making them nervous without any prospects of a job.

“This further reaffirms SUEPO’s allegation (from a couple of weeks back) that ILO-AT “remains very much an employer’s court” (not employees’) because it’s often doing whatever EPO management wants it to do.”Remarking on the above, Koch replied to our query by asserting that “the main aim of all this is of course to prevent treatment of my cases in substance by the Tribunal, by having them referred back to the IAC, i.e by delay. This would be another catastrophe, and I have to do everything I still can to prevent this [...] it’s about the EPO’s and partly the ILOAT’s way of proceeding, not about me in person [...] Yet it is new (in my cases) and utterly absurd that the IAC simply restarts cases in internal appeal on its own motion, even without the Tribunal referring them back to the IAC (at least SUEPO did not report such cases yet).”

This further reaffirms SUEPO’s allegation (from a couple of weeks back) that ILO-AT “remains very much an employer’s court” (not employees’) because it’s often doing whatever EPO management wants it to do. It doesn’t really feel impartial and decisions get delayed at the request of the EPO.

Asking the USPTO to Comply With 35 U.S.C. § 101 is Like Asking Pentagon Officials to Pursue Real, Persistent Peace

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 1:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Michael Frakes and Melissa Wasserman Complain About Low Patent Quality While Watchtroll Lobbies to Lower It Further

What bombs do
These cost $132,000 each about 60 years ago (more than $3 million by today’s money)

Summary: Some profit from selling weapons, whereas others profit from patent grants and litigation; what’s really needed right now is patent sanity and adherence to the public interest as well as the law itself, e.g. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions

THE SCOTUS ruling on Alice more than 4 years ago ought to have sufficed. It ought to have stopped software patent grants in the US. Sadly, however, parties often need to appeal to the Federal Circuit (very expensive) in order for such patents to be intercepted; sometimes a Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes review (IPR) would suffice, but not always. Then there are overzealous courts like the tribunal of ITC, which impose sanctions even in defiance of PTAB. For small businesses in particular, PTAB is all they can afford. Embargoes to them may mean life or death. They may declare bankruptcy overnight.

“Then there are overzealous courts like the tribunal of ITC, which impose sanctions even in defiance of PTAB.”In spite of Mayo, another SCOTUS decision that shaped 35 U.S.C. § 101, the USPTO is still granting patents on life itself (the EPO increasingly does this too, in arrogant defiance of the EPC). Here is a press release that is only a few days old:

Inscripta Granted Patents for CRISPR Gene-Editing Systems

Inscripta, a leading gene-editing technology company, today announced two significant milestones. First, the USPTO granted Inscripta its first patent covering systems using MAD7, the company’s first free CRISPR enzyme, as well as patent coverage for systems using another MADzyme, MAD2. Second, Inscripta released new data run by external partners showing MAD7 can edit mammalian cells.

“Today marks a major step forward in the gene-editing revolution we started seven months ago when we released our own, unique CRISPR enzyme (MAD7),” said Kevin Ness, CEO of Inscripta. “We and our partners have shown that MAD7 is an effective tool in editing microbial and mammalian cells. All researchers, both academics and industrial scientists alike, can use MAD7 confidently, and Inscripta is committed to providing a license to its related patents for customers to perform free research and development using the enzyme.”

Why was this granted? Need someone petition PTAB now (IPR)? Does someone have the financial incentive to do so? We sure hope so. Otherwise we need to wait for some court battle, knowing that Inscripta might prey on small companies that simply cannot afford court battles (and would rather shell out ‘protection money’). This kind of patent would do no good; if facilitates nothing except shakedown (a form of extortion) or patently frivolous litigation. The US does not, in principle, allow CRISPR monopolies. There are SCOTUS precedents to that effect.

“This kind of patent would do no good; if facilitates nothing except shakedown (a form of extortion) or patently frivolous litigation.”Cellspin Soft, Inc. v Fitbit, a case that we mentioned days ago in this post, is now being covered by Michael Borella (McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP) in Patent Docs (reposted here, maybe for a fee so as to appear more widely). Here’s the part relevant to 35 U.S.C. § 101 although the more interesting angle is the possibility that the plaintiff will get punished for frivolous litigation. Quoting Borella:

Cellspin sued Fitbit and thirteen other defendants in the Northern District of California alleging infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 8,738,794, 8,892,752, 9,749,847, and 9,258,698. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, alleging invalidity of the patents under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

As we said some days ago (for the second time), we hope this case can become a deterrent against frivolous litigation in the US, but we can’t quite count on it. Many courts, especially the lower ones, don’t pursue fact-finding. Instead they let juries decide. It’s pretty silly to do patent trials by jury, for reasons we’ve explained many times before (many in the jury are incapable of understanding the technical details inside patent claims), yet here we are in Mass Engineered Design, Inc. v Planar Systems, Inc. — the case which now potentially deals with treble ‘damages’ over alleged infringement. As Docket Navigator put it yesterday:

The court granted plaintiff’s motion in limine under FRE 403 to preclude defendant from telling the jury that damages could be enhanced or trebled at a willfulness retrial and rejected defendant’s argument that its supplier’s indemnification agreement should similarly be excluded.

What does the jury know? These aren’t professionals in the said field? It’s understandable that juries can decide cases like homicide or drug sale/use, but patents? Seriously?

“If the ultimate goal is justice rather than profit, then the status quo is “unfit for purpose” (i.e. not good enough) and always favours deep-pocketed corporations as well as law firms.”In another new development, in Shire LLC et al v Abhai LLC, “[t]The court granted in part plaintiffs’ motion for discovery sanctions and sanctioned defendant $1.5 million after defendant disclosed corrected stability dissolution testing data during a bench trial,” according to this new Docket Report.

The way things stand at the moment — and we shall elaborate on that later in the week — patent justice isn’t easy to find in the US. The law is still dominated by law firms (they write the law by lobbying/lobbyists) and patent examiners are better rewarded for granting a lot of patents rather than rejecting most. If the ultimate goal is justice rather than profit, then the status quo is “unfit for purpose” (i.e. not good enough) and always favours deep-pocketed corporations as well as law firms. The latter want eternal war.

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