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Archive for March, 2011

The escalation and the attack on Qaddafi’s Lybia to enforce the no-fly zone is a brilliant strategic move of Nicolas Sarkozy and the French nation. Sarkozy’s right wing challenger Marine Le Pen took a more traditional French position, and voiced scepticism in recent days. Even Internal Market Commissioner Barnier intervened in the matter, a highly unusual move for an EU official. It is common knowledge that France had good relations with Qaddafi which makes the French intervention and Sarkozy more credible. Even the abstention of Germany in the UN security council perfectly fits the scene because it strenghtened the leadership of the neighbour on the matter.

US president Obama prematurely announced a few days ago he was not interested to lead the effort. Today the Pentagon severely struggled to admit that they don’t lead the ad hoc military action or to explain the objectives. Furthermore the EU’s foreseeable unability to initialize action only plays in the hands of the French and cannot be seen as a midterm weakness, institutionally the prior EU, UN and Arab league consultations backed the swift French leadership on the matter. A broader European coalition takes part in the warfare. The US is in a similar position as the German Kaiser was in his preassigned support for Austria in 1914, they have to engage, win the conflict and overtake the risks. The US were coerced into the confrontation theatre and have to contribute substantially to regain a leadership role.

The news was French military air crafts, not US and UK missiles. While the European leaders convened in Paris, the US media spin machine had to overstress the UK and the US role and diminish the French one. Though NATO may build a new expensive headquarter in Brussels it loses massive political ground in European security affairs. Any follow-up response on the Atlanticist side, and you can expect Germany’s political class to be very supportive, would strengthen European influence within the occidental forces. Lybia is not Iraq, because the ad hoc coalition responded to popular pleas from Lybia and a sympathetic rebel movement close to military defeat.

Update:

Hillary Clinton: “We did not lead this” or even more confusing Director of Joint Staff Bill Gortney “We are on the leading edge of a coalition military operation.”

Other WP article: Here Clinton is keeps even more distance.

Update 2:

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Apparently Fidonet was used during the Egypt uprising.

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Triggered by the catastrophic developments in Japan Germany undergoes an energy revolution. Friedbert Pflüger (CDU) openly speaks of a “revolution” and describes the approach of his party to back nuclear technology as a mistake.

When social democrat Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed the republic his party colleague Friedrich Ebert was furious, whether Germany would become a republic, he argued, was to be decided by a constitutional assembly, not by Scheidemann. Later Ebert became the first president of the republic. While the opposition calls for a need of a legal base the responsible minister Norbert Röttgen emphasizes the state of exception. Exceptional are the events in Japan but no nuclear victims so far and radiation levels are not spectacular, in particular compared to the earth quake/tsunami crisis. Today the Chinese Emperor made a highly unusual TV appearence, developments in the reactors appear to worsen.

David Crossland finds Germany cripples itself with nuclear angst.

Merkel has pandered to irrational fears, sacrificing her energy policy to secure her political future. A stronger leader would have told the nation to stop whining and get real, for its own sake.

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CNN NationalJournal

The United States military (U.S. Pacific Command) blocks internet access to high-volume internet media sites in order to free bandwidth for the Japan rescue operations. Internet site blocking is depicted as “a precaution to make sure that information is flowing back” or a “routine precaution” in cases of natural disasters. Sites at least temporaly affected by their measure include:

  • Youtube.com
  • Googlevideo.com
  • Amazon.com
  • ESPN.go.com
  • eBay.com
  • Doubleclick.com
  • Eyewonder.com
  • Pandora.com
  • streamtheworld.com
  • Mtv.com
  • Ifilm.com
  • Myspace.com
  • Metacafe.com

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A press release by my colleagues from the French group APRIL comments on the ECJ patent court judgement.

Paris, March 11st, 2011. Press release.

On March 8th 2011, the Court of Justice of European Union (CJEU) has published an opinion [1] emphasizing the illegality of the proposal for a unified jurisdiction on patents which is currently discussed by the European Union. April welcomes this clear, concise and accurate decision, which strongly reasserts basic principles of law. The French association also points out [2] that the European Court of Justice uses many points raised by April during the debates on the unitary patent [3], casting doubt on the enhanced cooperation on the unitary patent. The European Parliament’s vote in February [4] and the Commission’s assertion [5] of a successful unity on this matter appear to be only a giant with feet of clay.

The CJEU itself asserts that the current proposal “would alter the essential character of the powers conferred on the institutions of the European Union and on the Member States which are indispensable to the preservation of the very nature of European Union law.” [6]. It moreover finds that the current proposal questions both the judicial system of the EU and the primacy of EU law.

“These issues have already been raised by the Advocates General’s opinion [7]”, explains Jeanne Tadeusz, public affairs officer at April. “Consequently, this decision is not surprising. Nevertheless, it is
comforting that the CJEU emphasizes so clearly the threats in this project and that the Court reaffirms the basic democratic requirements applicable to everyone including patent organizations in Europe [8].”

Indeed, this decision puts on ice all the proposals for a unified jurisdiction which had been considered so far. “The Court goes beyond the Advocates General’s opinion, by making it impossible to simply fix the project with minor amendments to its architecture. Following the CJEU’s opinion, both EPLA and the unified jurisdiction have gotten the door slammed into their face”, emphasizes Gérald Sédrati-Dinet, voluntary counsel at April on patents. “The enhanced cooperation is left high and dry, since a unitary patent would not work without a unified jurisdiction to enforce it”.

April calls for the European institutions promoting the unitary patent to respect the law enacted by the CJUE, and to bring back the issue of patent law within the scope of the European Union and its institutions, in order to ensure the full application of basic rights and of the acquis communautaire.

See also the full analysis by April of the opinion published by the Court: http://www.april.org/en/analysis-opinion-european-court-justice-unified-patent-court

[1] http://curia.europa.eu/jurisp/cgi-bin/form.pl?lang=EN&Submit=Submit&numaff=Avis%201/09
[2] A more detailed analysis is also available on April’s website:
http://www.april.org/node/14866
[3] http://www.april.org/en/rationale-postpone-enhanced-cooperation-unitary-patent-after-ecj-opinion
[4] http://www.april.org/en/european-parliament-stubbornly-pushes-forward-enhanced-cooperation-unitary-patent
[5]http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/11/269&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en
[6] See the European Court of Justice’s press release: http://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/P_73113/
[7] The role of the General Advocates is to assist the Court by proposing their independent opinion about legal issues brought to the Court.
[8] April has been denouncing for a long time illegal practices of the
European Patent Office: http://www.april.org/articles/communiques/pr-20050707.html [fr] and has
already called for the legislative power to take over:
http://petition.stopsoftwarepatents.eu/.

What I find amazing: how they at APRIL spin the judgement of the ECJ on the proposed patent court. What APRIL writes makes far more sense than the swift official responses. Commissioner Barnier’s Internal Market communications appear to confirm it was a blow and they attempt to overshadow the situation by celebrating the unitary patent “enhanced cooperation” adoption. Enhanced Cooperation on a patent without common patent jurisdiction!

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Die Tagesschau berichtet über ein Interoperabilitätsproblem bei der Notfallrettung am Reaktor Fukushima:

Nach Angaben des NISA-Mitarbeiters habe TEPCO drei oder vier Generatorenfahrzeuge vor Ort, könne sie aber nicht anschließen, weil ein passendes Kabel fehle.

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EU-Commissioner Neelie Kroes announces a “No disconnect strategy” for the internet:

I am very concerned by what is going on in countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya and I think people around the world have the right to be connected. This is why I am promoting a “No Disconnect Strategy” for the Internet. I asked my services to explore how civil society organisations and individuals can be assisted to circumvent arbitrary internet and communications shut-downs by repressive regimes, where we have concluded that an authoritarian regime’s actions are illegitimate. Our experts are working on this very important issue right now.

In a similar fashion the digital rights group EDRI is pushing for a smart human rights provision inside the consumer directive to allow for checks and balances in the context of internet disconnection. But it looks like all observers lost sight what the consumer directive under Schwab is about to achieve or cover. For anti-circumvention purposes unlicensed access to radio spectrum seems key. I also remember the techniques used by German journalists in Tunesia during the World Summit of the Information Society to fence off the intimidating Tunesian authorities and communicate their news reports back home. It always concerned me that our governments were not providing the technical assistance they were able to provide.

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Die Dresdner Europaabgeordnete Elisabeth Schroedter von Bündnis90/Die Grünen spricht sich in einem Änderungsantrag gegen eine Erwähnung quelloffener Entwicklung aus. Ein radikaler Bruch mit der bisherigen Haltung ihrer Fraktion.

Änderungsantrag 9
Elisabeth Schroedter

2. betont die Bedeutung von Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien (IKT) in allen Innovationstätigkeiten, spricht sich dafür aus, die umfangreiche Anwendung der IKT und die Forschungs und Entwicklungstätigkeit zu fördern sowie offene Quellcodes zu begünstigen und so den Bürgern und den KMU eine größere Mitwirkung an der Entwicklung von Anwendungen und neuer Dienstleistungen zu ermöglichen;

Geänderter Text

2. betont die Bedeutung der Bereitstellung von Angeboten für Ausbildung und lebenslanges Lernen, um zu gewährleisten, dass auch sozial schwächere Gruppen das Potenzial der Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien (IKT) voll ausschöpfen können

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Next Friday is Lubuntu bug day. Like last time, Julien Laverge will be around on the channel to help with bugs.

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“Touch screen is not really new technology”

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