Monday Morning: Calm, You Need It

Another manic Monday? Then you need some of Morcheeba’s Big Calm combining Skye Edward’s mellow voice with the Godfrey brothers’ mellifluous artistry.

Apple’s Friday-filed response to USDOJ: Nah, son
You can read here Apple’s response to the government’s brief filed after Judge James Orenstein’s order regarding drug dealer Jun Feng’s iPhone. In a nutshell, Apple tells the government they failed to exhaust all their available resources, good luck, have a nice life. A particularly choice excerpt from the preliminary statement:

As a preliminary matter, the government has utterly failed to satisfy its burden to demonstrate that Apple’s assistance in this case is necessary—a prerequisite to compelling third party assistance under the All Writs Act. See United States v. N.Y. Tel. Co. (“New York Telephone”), 434 U.S. 159, 175 (1977). The government has made no showing that it has exhausted alternative means for extracting data from the iPhone at issue here, either by making a serious attempt to obtain the passcode from the individual defendant who set it in the first place—nor to obtain passcode hints or other helpful information from the defendant—or by consulting other government agencies and third parties known to the government. Indeed, the government has gone so far as to claim that it has no obligation to do so, see DE 21 at 8, notwithstanding media reports that suggest that companies already offer commercial solutions capable of accessing data from phones running iOS 7, which is nearly three years old. See Ex. B [Kim Zetter, How the Feds Could Get into iPhones Without Apple’s Help, Wired (Mar. 2, 2016) (discussing technology that might be used to break into phones running iOS 7)]. Further undermining the government’s argument that Apple’s assistance is necessary in these proceedings is the fact that only two and a half weeks ago, in a case in which the government first insisted that it needed Apple to write new software to enable the government to bypass security features on an iPhone running iOS 9, the government ultimately abandoned its request after claiming that a third party could bypass those features without Apple’s assistance. See Ex. C [In the Matter of the Search of an Apple iPhone Seized During the Execution of a Search Warrant on a Black Lexus IS300, Cal. License Plate #5KGD203 (“In the Matter of the Search of an Apple iPhone” or the “San Bernardino Matter”), No. 16-cm-10, DE 209 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 28, 2016)]. In response to those developments, the government filed a perfunctory letter in this case stating only that it would not modify its application. DE 39. The letter does not state that the government attempted the method that worked on the iPhone running iOS 9, consulted the third party that assisted with that phone, or consulted other third parties before baldly asserting that Apple’s assistance remains necessary in these proceedings. See id. The government’s failure to substantiate the need for Apple’s assistance, alone, provides more than sufficient grounds to deny the government’s application.

Mm-hmm. That.

Dieselgate: Volkswagen racing toward deadline

  • Thursday, April 21 is the extended deadline for VW to propose a technical solution for ~500,000 passenger diesel cars in the U.S. (Intl Business Times) — The initial deadline was 24-MAR, establishing a 30-day window of opportunity for VW to create a skunkworks team to develop a fix. But if a team couldn’t this inside 5-7 years since the cars were first sold in the U.S., another 30 days wouldn’t be enough. Will 60 days prove the magical number? Let’s see.
  • VW may have used copyrighted hybrid technology without paying licensing (Detroit News) — What the heck was going on in VW’s culture that this suit might be legitimate?
  • After last month’s drop-off in sales, VW steps up discounting (Reuters) — Trust in VW is blamed for lackluster sales; discounts aren’t likely to fix that.

Once around the kitchen

  • California’s winter rains not enough to offset long-term continued drought (Los Angeles Times) — Op-ed by Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory–Pasadena and UC-Irvine’s professor of Earth system science. Famiglietti also wrote last year’s gangbuster warning about California’s drought and incompatible water usage.
  • Western scientists meet with North Korean scientists on joint study of Korean-Chinese volcano (Christian Science Monitor) — This seems quite odd, that NK would work in any way with the west on science. But there you have it, they are meeting over a once-dormant nearly-supervolcano at the Korea-china border.
  • BTW: Deadline today for bids on Yahoo.

There you are, your week off to a solid start. Catch you tomorrow morning!

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
5 replies
  1. lefty665 says:

    Re Hybrid technology, from the link, Toyota and Hyundai have already settled patent infringement suits with Paice. Ford is resisting and contesting some of the patents.
    .
    Paice is essentially claiming that you can’t build a hybrid vehicle without using their patents, For example, Ford is contesting
    one that covers a hybrid car run by a microprocessor. That does not make VW good guys, but may take them out of the “There you go again” category.
    .
    Technology patents have a notorious history and are different critters than copyrights.

  2. bloopie2 says:

    Speaking of “the intersection of technology and transportation”, some scientists think they have figured out how the Monarch butterflies can successfully travel over 2,000 miles to Mexico each year. Has to do with working off of the position of the sun and the time of day.
    .
    Tremendous stuff. And I’ll bet they don’t run into self-driving Googles, either.
    .
    http://www.futurity.org/monarchs-migration-1141242/

  3. Rayne says:

    lefty665 (10:31) — This part right here:

    …Paice and its partner, the non-profit Abell Foundation, said it spent time “teaching its patented hybrid technology to VW” more than a decade ago. …

    This is technology transfer. Corporations should NOT get into situations like this without having licensing negotiated BEFORE any such teaching begins.

    This tells me that VW’s culture was running fast and loose, really careless, as indifferent to the long-term outcomes with hybrids as they were with passenger diesel technology.

    Were three other car companies similarly exposed? Probably, and fie on them for such negligence.

    bloopie2 (1:43) — Thanks for the link, was in my TBR list, will try to make time to read it later. Wonder how much buzzards may rely on similar attributes to get to Hinkley every March 17th, or the swallows at San Juan Capistrano.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Thanks for pointing out likely systemic corruption at VW. It’s business policy reviews, its ability or willingness to self-correct, appears moribund. It is also likely to be the canary in the coal mine. I shouldn’t think that GM, for example, is any more able or willing to self-correct until it’s caught – and until being caught becomes considerably more expensive than the profits made from negligent, reckless or fraudulent conduct.

  5. lefty665 says:

    Rayne @5:54 Neither you nor I know what the content of that “teaching” was or the contractual arrangement around it, so there’s no reason to jump to the conclusion from that alone that “VW’s culture was running fast and loose”. Plus, all we’ve heard so far is Paice’s side.
    .
    At least one of the Paice patents was apparently profoundly broad, covering hybrids that are controlled by a microprocessor. Ford apparently has a pretty good shot at overturning that one. In which case VW won’t owe Paice anything for it. Toyota and Hyundai may end up wishing they’d written checks to lawyers rather than Paice.
    .
    Technology patents are a swamp and it looks like this is an example from the automotive business that is every bit as ugly as in the semi-conductor and phone businesses. Paice doesn’t make cars so there isn’t the opportunity for cross licensing that greases the skids elsewhere.
    .
    Remember too, we’re talking patents here not copyrights. Copyrights would be for software, the specific expression of an idea, like VW screwed with on the patented emissions devices.

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