Tag Archives: alleged

Intel Sues Former Employee For Alleged Theft of Xeon Data

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Stealing data on your way out the door is a great way to guarantee consequences — a lesson that various individuals in Silicon Valley have had to learn the hard way. Despite occasional enthusiast rumor-mongering around the idea that Nvidia, AMD, or Intel would steal technology from each other, the practical impacts of such a finding in a court of law would outweigh any potential gain.

Intel has accused Dr. Varun Gupta of stealing trade secrets when he accepted a job with Microsoft as Principal for Strategic Planning in Cloud and AI. After a decade at Intel, Dr. Gupta had access to documents regarding processor pricing and product strategies. Intel alleges that he copied some 3900 documents on to a mixture of Seagate external drives and USB sticks, including files marked “Intel Confidential” and “Intel Top Secret.”

As an aside, files marked “Intel Confidential” aren’t always all that confidential, at Intel or anywhere else. “Intel Confidential” gets stamped on just about every press deck or product announcement that goes out to press prior to NDA. Obviously the restrictions matter, but “Confidential” is a pretty low bar on the secrecy totem pole. AMD and Nvidia follow similar labeling patterns. The theft of “Top Secret” documents carries a bit more weight.

Microsoft is now working on its own ARM CPU designs, but Gupta isn’t accused of stealing any information related to the physical design of Intel processors. Rather, Intel claims Gupta stole pricing and strategy documents in order to give Microsoft an edge “in head to head negotiations with Intel concerning customised product design and pricing for significant volumes of Xeon processors.”

Why Does Microsoft Need Xeon Pricing Information?

In its filing, Intel also claims that Gupta “used that confidential information and trade secrets to gain an unfair advantage over Intel in the negotiations concerning product specifications and pricing.”

This raises the question of why Intel is negotiating Xeon pricing with Microsoft in the first place, given that the software giant isn’t in the server construction business. Roughly a decade ago, major cloud companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon began to shift their server-buying strategies. Instead of relying solely on servers built by the likes of Dell and HPE, cloud compute companies began working directly with vendors to design and customize hardware. Secondary companies like Supermicro, Wistron, Foxconn, and Quanta began to play a more direct role in server sales, rather than merely building boxes for other companies.

The “ODM Direct” category now accounts for 28 percent of all server sales, larger than any other single vendor. The big-name brands still account for 52.71 percent of the market, but ODM Direct sales is growing rapidly. The reason why Intel is unhappy about Microsoft having access to this information is because, thanks to the ODM Direct market, Microsoft is probably making more decisions about the customization and pricing of the hardware in its servers than it was 10+ years ago, when companies were more likely to buy whatever HP and Dell were selling.

Intel and Microsoft conducted a forensic analysis of the data files, including when and how Gupta accessed them, claiming that he plugged the drives in 114 times between February 3, 2020 and July 23, 2020, and that he accessed specific documents, including a slide deck related to Intel’s engagement strategies and its product offerings for “Xeon customised processors.”

Gupta denies claims that he stole the information, while Intel wants a jury trial and damages of at least $ 75,000, along with payment of its legal fees.

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COVID-19 vaccine queue-jumping alleged at Ontario nursing home

Amid a vaccine shortage in Canada, at least one board member and the family of some managers at a Toronto-area nursing home are being accused of inappropriately keeping COVID-19 vaccinations for themselves.

A health-care union claims a nurse was required to inoculate at least 10 individuals who were not care-home residents or front-line staff at Villa Leonardo Gambin, a non-profit home managed by Sienna Senior Living in Vaughan, Ont.

The union filed a grievance against the home on Thursday.

“I believe that they got the vaccine because they know somebody who’s a manager at a long term care home who gave them priority access to the vaccine,” Charlene Nero, secretary treasurer of Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 3000 told CBC News.

The union further asserts that one of the home’s medical staff left the premises with approximately five doses of the Moderna vaccine “for what appeared to be [their] personal use.”

“If these allegations are proved to be correct, this is just completely unacceptable,” said Dr. Samir Sinha, the director of geriatrics at Sinai Health in Toronto.

“We have so many people who are vulnerable of dying from COVID.… This actually means we’re wasting doses and we’re actually costing lives.”

The care home said the doses were administered to avoid wasting open vials of vaccine.

Staff at Villa Leonardo Gambin wave from a window. A health care union claims a nurse was required to inoculate at least 10 individuals who were not care-home residents or front-line staff there. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

4th outbreak at home

The 168-bed home is in its fourth outbreak. It has lost 25 residents to COVID-19 since the pandemic started.

The nurse was instructed to record that the vaccines were given to essential caregivers on paperwork, Nero said.

“She was actually offered the opportunity to call her own family members in, who are not yet on the priority list for vaccines and have them vaccinated,” Nero said. “She declined.”

The matter has also been raised to both Public Health Ontario and York Region Public Health, which says it is now looking further into the matter.

It also says public health officials will now be on-site at a subsequent clinic planned at Villa Leonardo Gambin.

Board says vaccines were set to expire

A statement from the board chair at Villa Leonardo Gambin, Andrew Iacobelli, confirmed that the vaccine was “offered to non-front-line staff who work or volunteer for the residence … including myself,” but only after “all of the available staff and residents” received the vaccine.

Iacobelli confirms he received the Moderna vaccine.

“We further extended the remaining unused vaccines to family members of staff and volunteer board members, [who] are often present in the home”.

Iacobelli claims the leftover vaccine with a limited shelf life “would go to waste” and thus “a decision to prevent this from happening was made.”

“We took all steps possible to ensure team members and residents were offered and encouraged to take the vaccine before deciding to provide it to others.”

He also says allegations that vaccine doses were removed from the residence are taken “very seriously and we are taking all the necessary steps to look into this matter.”

WATCH | Nurse told to inoculate at least 10 individuals who were not care-home residents or front-line staff

A nurse at a Toronto-area long-term care home says she was told to give COVID-19 vaccines to at least one board member, and family members and friends of several managers. Her union has filed a complaint with public health authorities. 2:59

However, staff who are not front-line would not even normally be permitted inside a home during the province’s pandemic lockdown.

His statement did not say which non-front-line staff received the vaccine. It also does not explain how these individuals learned of the opportunity or happened to be in the home which, during the pandemic, is locked down to anyone other than front-line staff and essential visitors. Board members and their families would not ordinarily be exempt.

Nero says the union is also concerned about people entering the care home, which she describes as a serious breach of infection control measures.

“There’s supposed to be an absolute lockdown in terms of people visiting. If you have an ill family member who is a resident at Villa Gambin, you can only have one designated essential caregiver who can go in.

“As a result of the personal relationships of these folks to senior management at the home that was allowing them to jump the queue,” she said.

Once a vial of the vaccine had been punctured, it cannot be moved to another location and must be used within six hours, said York Public Health. The care home said shots were given to non-front-line workers to avoid wasting doses. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Moderna vaccine vials contain 10 doses each, so the maximum wastage per vial would typically be nine, after one is administered. The union alleges as many as 15 doses were improperly used or taken. 

York Region Public Health said in a statement that “once a vial has been punctured, it cannot be moved from the service delivery location and must be used within six hours.”

The health unit said its procedure when there is leftover vaccine is now to reach out to medical first responders to attend a home to receive end-of-vial doses.

It’s not clear whether that is a new policy, or one that has existed when this vaccination clinic took place.

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PSG, Basaksehir players walk off field after alleged racial slur in Champions League game

The Champions League game between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir was postponed until Wednesday when players walked off the field on Tuesday after alleging that fourth official Sebastian Coltescu of Romania used a racial term when identifying an assistant coach.

Players from the Turkish team were furious after assistant coach Pierre Webo was shown a red card by referee Ovidiu Hategan of Romania at Parc des Princes. They said Coltescu had used a racial term to describe Webo, who is from Cameroon, before he was sent off.

Basaksehir substitute Demba Ba demanded that Coltescu explain himself, while PSG players Neymar and Kylian Mbappé also demanded an explanation.

Basaksehir coach Okan Buruk told Coltescu “you are racist.”

The score was 0-0 when the incident took place about 15 minutes into the match.

WATCH | Players from both sides exit field after alleged racial slur:

The Champions League game between Paris Saint-Germain and Istanbul Basaksehir was postponed until Wednesday when players walked off the field on Tuesday after alleging that fourth official Sebastian Coltescu of Romania used a racial term when identifying an assistant coach. 9:58

Match to resume Wednesday with new officials

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) said the match would resume on Wednesday evening with new officials.

“Following an incident at tonight’s UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain FC and Istanbul Basaksehir FK, UEFA has — after discussion with both clubs — decided on an exceptional basis to have the remaining minutes of the match played tomorrow with a new team of match officials,” the organization said in a statement late Tuesday.

“A thorough investigation on the incident that took place will be opened immediately,” the statement said.  

Television footage captured the exchange between the fourth official and the referee, with Coltescu telling Hategan that Webo should be reprimanded for his behaviour on the sidelines.

“Go and give it [the red card] to the Black one, this is not possible [tolerable], go and identify him, go verify, the Black one over there,” Coltescu allegedly said in Romanian, about Webo.

In soccer, the fourth official is the title of one of the referees.

Players demand explanation

Webo was enraged and was heard to repeat at least six times “Why you say negro?” as he sought an explanation from Coltescu.

Moments later, Ba came off the bench and stood in front of Coltescu and said: “Why when you mention a Black guy, you have to say ‘This Black guy?’ “

During the interruption, Basaksehir posted a message on Twitter against a UEFA backdrop with the message “NO TO RACISM.” 

PSG retweeted the message and PSG defender Presnel Kimpembe, who was on the field during the game, also posted that message on his Twitter account.

Seven years ago, Hategan was in charge of a match between CSKA Moscow and Manchester City when City’s Black players were racially abused.

City captain Yaya Toure directed referee Hategan toward fans making monkey noises at the English club’s Black players.

Michel Platini, UEFA’s president at the time, requested an internal inquiry involving the referee to examine why guidelines were not followed to respond to discrimination incidents during matches.

WATCH | How activism has increased among Black athletes:

From the NBA to the NHL, our sports panellists look at the different responses from pro athletes in the wake of another police shooting of a Black man, in Wisconsin. Plus, the role fans need to play moving forward. 9:39

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Protesters sue Chicago police over alleged attacks and false arrests in wake of George Floyd’s death

Dozens of protesters sued Chicago’s police chief and several officers on Thursday in federal court, accusing them of brutal attacks and false arrests during social justice demonstrations this summer.

The 205-page lawsuit that 60 protesters filed in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Illinois named Chicago Police Department (CPD) Supt. David Brown as a defendant. It claims officers violated protesters’ constitutional rights and it calls for the department to pay them unspecified monetary damages.

“The CPD and other city agencies responded to these demonstrations with brutal, violent, and unconstitutional tactics that are clearly intended to injure, silence, and intimidate,” the suit said.

Demonstrations calling for racial justice and police reforms unfolded in Chicago and other U.S. cities after George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis in late May. Some of the demonstrations in Chicago this summer turned violent with rioters destroying property and looters stealing from retail stores.

The suit claims police officers used unjustifiable tactics such as tackling and beating protesters and using chemical agents against them. It also accuses police of falsely arresting protesters and trapping them in enclosed areas.

The city’s law department said it had not been served with the lawsuit.

“It is important to remember that these are allegations at this stage and not proof. We will review the complaint thoroughly, and each allegation it contains, once we have been served and respond through the courts as appropriate,” the department’s spokesperson, Kathleen Fieweger, said in an email to Reuters.

Before the lawsuit, protesters filed more than 520 complaints against Chicago police officers for their conduct during the demonstrations.

Five officers were referred to state and federal law enforcement for potential criminal prosecution while eight were reassigned or relieved of police duties, the suit noted.

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Illinois judge OKs extradition of alleged Kenosha gunman Kyle Rittenhouse to Wisconsin

An Illinois judge on Friday ordered a 17-year-old accused of killing two demonstrators in Kenosha, Wis., to be extradited across the border to stand trial on homicide charges, saying it wasn’t his role to vet a case brought by Wisconsin protesters and approved by a Wisconsin judge.

In his six-page ruling rejecting Kyle Rittenhouse’s bid to remain in Illinois, Judge Paul Novak noted that defence attorneys had characterized the Wisconsin charges as politically motivated.

“This Illinois court shall not examine any potential political impact a Wisconsin District Attorney potentially considered in his charging decision,” Novak wrote.

He added that, according to Illinois law, it is not for an Illinois judge to “reevaluate probable cause determined by a Wisconsin court.”

The ruling came several hours after a hearing on the matter. It was not immediately clear how soon Rittenhouse might be transferred to Wisconsin or whether he might appeal.

Lake County Judge Paul Novak is seen during an extradition hearing for Rittenhouse in Waukegan on Friday. (Nam Y. Huh/The Associated Press)

The shootings happened Aug. 25, two days after a white police officer trying to arrest Jacob Blake shot the 29-year-old Black man seven times in the back, paralyzing him from the waist down. Video of the police shooting sparked outrage and helped spur on the protests.

Rittenhouse’s case has become a rallying point for some conservatives who see him as a patriot who was exercising his right to bear arms during unrest. Others portray him as a domestic terrorist who incited protesters by showing up wielding a rifle.

At Friday’s hearing, Rittenhouse’s lawyer said he’d had a change of heart since notifying the court that he planned to call witnesses, including Rittenhouse’s mother. Instead, John Pierce focused on what he called “fatal defects” in extradition papers.

A local prosecutor said the law is unambiguous in requiring Rittenhouse’s extradition, saying that blocking his transfer would undermine the justice system.

“You can imagine the chaos if someone can commit a crime and step over the [state borderline] and get sanctuary,” Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Stephen Scheller said.

Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Stephen Scheller reads documents during an extradition hearing for Rittenhouse in Waukegan on Friday. (Nam Y. Huh/The Associated Press)

Rittenhouse sat at a defence table Friday wearing a dress shirt and tie — mask across his face. He appeared calm and at least once turned to look at his mother, Wendy Rittenhouse, on a spectactors’ bench. Later, as officers led him from the hearing room, she began to cry.

In his ruling, Novak said an extradition to another state can be halted only under several clear conditions, including if the extradition papers aren’t in order, if a suspect hasn’t yet been charged or if the identity of the suspect is in doubt. He said none of that applied.

Without witnesses from either side, the part of the hearing meant for evidence and testimony lasted less than 30 seconds, when Scheller handed the judge Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signed warrant calling for Rittenhouse’s extradition.

Pierce told Novak that Wisconsin authorities were required by law to present charging documents to a magistrate judge and that their failure to do so rendered their extradition request invalid.

Rittenhouse, left, looks at as he listens to defense attorney John Pierce during an extradition hearing on Friday. (Nam Y. Huh/The Associated Press)

Novak dismissed that argument, saying in his ruling that Rittenhouse’s lawyers had offered no evidence that a magistrate judge did not review the charges.

“Even if this court were to find the complaint [was] not made before a magistrate. Rittenhouse’s argument would still fail,” he wrote.

The warrant signed by Pritzker, he said, “satisfies all the requirements.”

Caught on video

The most serious charge Rittenhouse faces in Wisconsin is first-degree intentional homicide, which carries a life prison sentence. He is also charged with attempted intentional homicide in the wounding of a third protester, as well as a misdemeanor charge of underage firearm possession. His lawyers have argued he was acting in self-defence.

Rittenhouse and the man he allegedly injured are white, as were the two men who were killed.

A day after the shooting, Rittenhouse surrendered to police in his Illinois hometown of Antioch, some 16 kilometres southwest of Kenosha.

A shrine at an intersection in downtown Kenosha, Wis., memorializes Anthony Huber and Joseph ‘JoJo’ Rosenbaum. (Susan Ormiston/CBC)

According to prosecutors and court documents, Rittenhouse killed 36-year-old Joseph Rosenbaum, of Kenosha, after Rosenbaum threw a plastic bag at Rittenhouse, missing him, and tried to wrestle his rifle away.

While trying to get away in the immediate aftermath, Rittenhouse was captured on cellphone video saying, “I just killed somebody.” According to a complaint filed by prosecutors, someone in the crowd said, “Beat him up!” and another yelled, “Get him! Get that dude!”

Video shows that Rittenhouse tripped. As he was on the ground, 26-year-old Anthony Huber, of Silver Lake, hit him with a skateboard and tried to take his rifle. Rittenhouse opened fire, killing Huber and wounding Gaige Grosskreutz, of West Allis, who was holding a handgun.

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Maduro airs video of American detained in alleged Venezuela plot

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Wednesday touted a video showing a scruffy-looking American divulging details about a failed invasion as proof that U.S. authorities backed an alleged attempt to forcibly remove him from power.

Maduro aired a video of Luke Denman on state television in which the 34-year-old Texas native claims he signed a contract with a Florida-based company to train rebel troops and carry out the assault in exchange for up to $ 100,000.

“I was helping Venezuelans take back control of their country,” he said.

Denman and Airan Berry, both former U.S. special forces soldiers who served in Iraq, were detained Monday following what Venezuelan authorities described as a botched beach landing in the fishing village of Chuao. Both men are associated with Silvercorp USA, a private firm founded by Jordan Goudreau, an ex-Green Beret claiming responsibility for the alleged incursion.

President Donald Trump has said the United States had nothing to do with the purported attack, and Goudreau is under federal investigation for arms trafficking, according to current and former U.S. law enforcement officials. Nonetheless, the Venezuelan leader insists his U.S. adversary was behind the apparent attempt to force him out.

“There’s the proof,” he said, pointing to the video, in which Denman indicates that Trump was behind Silvercorp’s incursion. “And there will be more.”

‘He is being forced’

Opposition critics and observers said the testimony should be taken with a grain of salt, noting that Venezuelan authorities have a record of forcing statements. Though Denman did not appear under duress, one expert noted that he made an unusual and exaggerated gesture with his eyes in what may have been a covert signal to those watching.

“Special operation[s] soldiers are trained to find creative ways to discredit any propaganda videos they are forced to make if captured by the enemy,” said Ephraim Mattos, a Navy SEAL who had visited the rebel training camps in Colombia but was not involved in the operation.

He said that the odd eye movement immediately after saying Trump was Goudreau’s boss is “a clear sign from Luke that he is being forced.”

The confusing events have sparked new tensions between Venezuela and the U.S., which has been a staunch ally of opposition leader Juan Guaido, the lawmaker recognized by nearly 60 nations as the country’s legitimate interim president. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday reiterated Trump’s claims from a day earlier that there was no direct U.S. involvement.

“If we’d have been involved, it would have gone differently,” he chided.

A senior Trump administration official reiterated Pompeo’s stance and said the U.S. government is intensely monitoring for any potential threats to the safety and security of Guaido.

Democratic congressional staff, meanwhile, contacted the State Department multiple times Monday seeking any information about possible contacts with Goudreau or knowledge of his activities.

In the video aired Wednesday, Denman said Goudreau tasked him with training troops and then staging an attack to “secure” Caracas and the airport. He said he arrived in Colombia in mid-January, driving to the border with two others to instruct about 60 people.

WATCH | Venezuelan TV clips show Luke Denman revealing details of an alleged operation to seize the airport  and capture Nicolás Maduro:

Venezuelan TV clips show accused man revealing details of an alleged operation to seize the airport, capture President Nicolas Maduro and transport him to the U.S. 1:02

“I believed it was helping their cause,” he said, dressed in a grey T-shirt and sporting a coarsely cut hairstyle and goatee.

Denman’s family released a statement describing him as a decorated soldier who took up civilian jobs at a tree farm and a hotel since leaving the military in 2014. More recently, he’d begun working as a deep-sea diver.

“The first indication we had of anything different is the images coming out of Venezuela,” said Mark Denman, his older brother. “Our only concern at this time is getting Luke home safely.”

Maduro accused Guaido Wednesday of being behind the attack, holding up a written agreement with Goudreau that allegedly bears his signature as evidence.

Goudreau has said he was hired by Guaido and is backing his claim with an eight-page agreement. In a televised interview with Factores de Poder, a Miami outlet popular with Venezuelan exiles, he contends he never got a “single cent” for his work but continued to prepare men for battle. JJ Rendon, a Miami-based adviser to Guaido, said he gave Goudreau $ 50,000 as requested to cover some expenses.

Guaido has denied any involvement.

Maduro deferred when asked whether the latest developments were grounds for arresting Guaido, saying prosecutors would need to conduct an investigation.

As for the captured Americans, he said they are “convicted and confessed.”

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Patent Troll Sues to Pull Covid-19 Tests Off Market Over Alleged Infringement

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A lawsuit filed in US federal court last week by a notorious patent troll seeks to block the use of new coronavirus tests in the United States over an alleged case of patent infringement.

In a filing that may one day win some kind of award for being the worst possible idea at the worst possible time, an unknown firm named Labrador Diagnostics has sued BioFire Diagnostics LLC and its parent company, the French manufacturer BioMérieux. Last week, BioMérieux announced that it had completed testing on a real-time PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 and had clinically validated the model. The company has already submitted the test to the FDA for emergency authorization.

Enter Softbank. Yes, the same company that brought us WeWork. Evidently this is what failing upwards looks like. Softbank owns Fortress Investment Group, which it purchased for $ 3.3B in 2017. In 2018, Fortress announced that it had raised $ 400M to acquire intellectual property so it could start suing tech companies for IP infringement. Both Intel and Apple sued Fortress in the fall of 2019, alleging that various firms with connections to Fortress were attempting to shake them down for billions of dollars.

I don’t see what the big deal is. Dog looks fine to me. Image by Wikipedia

How do we know that Labrador Diagnostics is linked to Fortress? Because the specific patents Labrador is asserting were part of Theranos’ IP, which Fortress Investment Group bought in 2018.

(The line, in other words, is not exactly subtle).

BioMérieux is currently developing three SARS-CoV-2 tests, including a fully-automated version it’s building in collaboration with the Department of Defense. This is the company SoftBank’s subsidiary has targeted for patent trolling.

The definition of “late capitalism” or “late-stage capitalism,” according to The Atlantic, is “a catchall phrase for the indignities and absurdities of our contemporary economy, with its yawning inequality and super-powered corporations and shrinking middle class.”

Earlier this year, I wrote a story discussing how the concept of ownership is increasingly optimized for corporations, not human beings, and linked it to the concept of the absurd as described above. Would to God that an event like this merely qualified as absurd, as opposed to potentially deadly. This lawsuit was filed on March 9, 2020. BioMérieux didn’t even announce the tests to the public until Wednesday, March 11.

From the lawsuit:

That Defendants be enjoined from infringing the Asserted Patents, or if their infringement is not enjoined, that Defendants be ordered to pay ongoing royalties to Labrador for any post-judgment infringement of the Asserted Patents;

Issuing an injunction against a biological assay would prevent the assessment from being carried out. Effectively this is equivalent to asking BioMérieux to pull the test or agree to pay royalties on the spot.

“Labrador Diagnostics” — the company has no online presence or corporate history as far as I can tell, save for references to this lawsuit — has perhaps failed to read the room more than any corporation in history. Or maybe it didn’t. It’s entirely possible that these lawsuits were filed as part of a calculated effort to bring BioMérieux to the table, under the assumption that the company would settle quickly to avoid its tests being delayed.

Regardless, we have arrived at a point where the humans at Fortress or Labrador Diagnostics decided it was morally acceptable to sue a French firm over patent infringement over a coronavirus test, while stating that banning the test from use constituted an acceptable form of injunctive relief.

Injunctions are rarely granted in patent cases and I don’t expect one to be granted here. But moments like this demonstrate, with stunning clarity, exactly how greedy — and fundamentally short-sighted — companies can be. At some point in the discussion, possibly between the “Can we sell the families of Covid-19 fatalities into slavery?” segment and the next IPO pitch (“Water: A Luxury Humans Will DIE to Pay For”), someone ought to have pointed out the not-insubstantial risk of being completely and utterly evil at a time when people are panicked and very few Americans, including sick Americans, have been able to be tested.

I won’t try to predict whether the lawsuit is valid, though I trust any IP acquired from Theranos about as much as I’d trust a man who told me he’d invented a living squid hat that crapped gold doubloons. But whether it raises a valid legal issue or not, “Labrador’s” lawsuit is perhaps the worst-timed legal fusillade in history. Given the already terrible reputation patent trolls enjoy with everyone who isn’t a patent troll themselves, this might be the anvil that breaks the back of an entire predatory business method. We can but hope.

Current WHO guidelines for testing as of May 16, are: “We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test. Test every suspected case.” I have read the guidelines carefully. There is no provision for any additional funding to be spent lining the pockets of corporate vultures. Oversight, I’m certain.

Someone might want to call Labrador — excuse me, “Labrador” — and let them know. TechDirt has additional details on the case.

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Alleged Xbox Series X Photos Leak on Twitter

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Microsoft surprised everyone with a teaser announcement of its upcoming Xbox Series X late last year. We didn’t get much aside from the name and a render of the monolithic case, but now a Twitter user has posted what appear to be real photos of the upcoming game console, complete with a Microsoft serial number on the rear. 

On the surface, the device in these images does indeed look like the one Microsoft showed off at the 2019 Game Awards. It’s a black box about twice as tall as it is wide with a slot on the front, presumably for the disc drive. There’s a small button above the slot that ought to eject discs. Microsoft’s original render had a controller leaning against the case, blocking the lower right corner. In the new leak, we can see a USB-A port and another button down there. We’re going to assume that’s the power button. 

Microsoft didn’t show us the backside of its console at the Game Awards, but the new leak shows a full array of ports, including a head-scratcher. There’s an HDMI, optical jack, power, ethernet, and two more USB-A ports (high-speed). Sadly, there aren’t any USB-C ports to be found, at least not on this alleged prototype. Interestingly, there’s also a sizeable rectangular port next to the HDMI. It doesn’t look like anything on the current Xbox consoles, suggesting Microsoft is planning some sort of proprietary add-on, possibly a new Kinect or VR headset. (It’s also possible this is a debugging port and will be removed from the final system -Ed). 

The back of the leaked console also sports a label identifying it as a prototype that is not for sale. Above that, the label includes the text “Xbox Product Name Placeholder.” It would be reasonably easy to fake all of this, but there’s also a serial number on that label that lends credence to the leak. You can enter that number on Microsoft’s website and register it with your account. It appears as a generic device called “Non-specificNon-specific.” This is not a typo. So, it seems like this is a legitimate Microsoft serial number for an unannounced product. 

The Twitter account that posted the images hasn’t provided any additional information about the device, and no one knows who the person might be. They’ve only tweeted a few times in the last few years, usually about Xbox-related news. Still, this is an early leak of what looks like almost final hardware. With the anticipated E3 unveiling still months away, there could be many leaks between now and then.

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Flames investigating head coach Bill Peters’ alleged use of racial slur

In a series of tweets Monday, former NHL defenceman Akim Aliu accused current Flames head coach Bill Peters of directing racial slurs at him while both were with AHL Rockford in 2009-10.

“Not very surprising the things we’re hearing about Babcock. Apple doesn’t fall far from the Tree, same sort of deal with his protege in YYC,” the Nigerian-born Aliu, 30, tweeted. “Dropped the N bomb several times towards me in the dressing room in my rookie year because he didn’t like my choice of music”

Calgary GM Brad Treliving responded to the accusation following the Flames’ 3-2 overtime loss to the Penguins.

“During tonight’s game, I was made aware of a tweet from former player Akim Aliu and obviously we are playing so I haven’t had a chance to sit down with Bill or our people internally to talk about this and get to the bottom of it,” Treliving said.

“I would say we take these matters, very, very seriously. And so until such time as we have a chance to speak about it internally, we obviously wanted to address [the media], we’re aware of it.”

“Like I said, I haven’t had a chance to talk to Bill. I will be doing that and until such time we won’t have any further comment about it, but we will address it and get back to you people once we have a chance to speak internally.”

WATCH | GM Treliving addresses accusation against Peters:

Treliving spoke to the media after Calgary’s 3-2 OT loss in Pittsburgh on Monday. 0:56

Treliving also released a written statement after the game. 

“Through social media, we became aware of this issue during the game this evening. We take these matters very seriously. We want to complete a full and proper investigation before we provide any further comments on the matter.”

Peters was not made available to speak with reporters after the game.

Peters coached Rockford, the Chicago Blackhawks minor-league affiliate, for three seasons from 2008 to 2011. Aliu played five games in the 2008-09 season in which he scored two goals.

Aliu dressed in 48 games the following year and amassed 11 goals and six assists before being sent down to Toledo of the ECHL.

At the time of the alleged incident, John McDonough was president of the Blackhawks while Stan Bowman was general manager.After the season, Aliu moved on from the Blackhawks organization.

Aliu, who was born in Africa but raised in Ukraine and Canada, later played seven NHL games over two seasons with Calgary.

Aliu’s allegation comes on the heels of reported controversial tactics used on rookies by Mike Babcock, who was fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 20.

Peters was hired as an assistant on Mike Babcock’s Detroit Red Wings staff in 2011, where he spent three seasons before moving on as Hurricanes head coach from 2014-2018. Peters was hired by the Flames just three days after resigning from his position in Carolina.

Peters also served as one of Babcock’s assistant’s for two seasons in the late ’90’s with the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs.

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Myanmar rejects international court probe into alleged atrocities against Rohingyas

Myanmar’s government has rejected the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to allow prosecutors to open an investigation into alleged crimes against the country’s Rohingya Muslim minority.

Government spokesperson Zaw Htay said at a Friday night news conference that Myanmar stood by its position the Netherlands-based court has no jurisdiction over its actions. His statement was the first official reaction since the court on Thursday agreed to proceed with the case.

Myanmar has been accused of carrying out human rights abuses on a massive scale in the western state of Rakhine in 2017 during what it described as a counterinsurgency campaign.

Zaw Htay cited a Myanmar Foreign Ministry statement from April 2018 that because Myanmar was not a party to the agreement establishing the court, it did not need to abide by the court’s rulings.

“It has already been expressed in the statement that the investigation over Myanmar by the ICC is not in accordance with international law,” he told reporters in the capital of Naypyitaw.

The court’s position is because Myanmar’s alleged atrocities sent more than 700,000 Rohingya fleeing to Bangladesh for safety, it does have jurisdiction since Bangladesh is a party to the court and the case may involve forced deportation.

Myanmar government spokesperson Zaw Htay has said the Netherlands-based court has no jurisdiction over its actions. (Aung Shine Oo/Associated Press)

Last year’s statement charged that the court’s prosecutor, by claiming jurisdiction, was attempting “to override the principle of national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.”

The 2018 statement also said Myanmar’s position was it “has not deported any individuals in the areas of concern and in fact has worked hard in collaboration with Bangladesh to repatriate those displaced from their homes.”

However, there still has been no official repatriation of the Rohingya, and human rights activists charge that Myanmar has not established safe conditions for their return.

Zaw Htay said Myanmar has already set up its own independent commission of inquiry, which was making progress in its investigations. He noted the military as well had established a Court of Enquiry.

“If we find abuses [of human rights], we will take action according to the law,” he said.

An independent UN fact-finding mission that collected extensive evidence that it said shows trials for genocide and crimes against humanity are merited declared earlier this year that justice could not be fairly served by judicial processes inside Myanmar. It said an international mechanism or process was needed for accountability.

Gambia, on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, filed a case Monday at the International Court of Justice accusing Myanmar of genocide in its treatment of the Rohingya.

The International Court of Justice settles disputes between nations, while The International Criminal Court seeks to convict individuals responsible for crimes. Both courts are based in The Hague.

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