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No, Miguel, I Will Neither Shut Up Nor Will I Retract (Unless You Are Being Specific)

Posted in Novell, Security, Site News at 11:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I’ll make a confession. I’m a little worried about criticising Novell. But why should I? If Novell does something wrong, this needs to be pointed out, doesn’t it?

As our reader gpl1 said the other day, making subtle statements which accuse me of defamation makes it seem like muting attempts. Shades of SCO?

I noticed the same type of thing in Rob Weir’s blog. Even ideas such as “lawsuits” are now being raised in that comments section. He received a lot of press exposure after he had criticised Microsoft’s OpenXML (rightly so!) .

I refuse to let companies like Novell win by changing the tone of this blog, which relies on decent sources that are being cited. Mistakes are being corrected as well.

So, here is short little outburst to show that Novell has some problems, which I am no longer going to ignore. Holding back evidence of weaknesses is akin to censorship.

You may wish to know that Novell, just like its ‘partner’ Microsoft, suffers from some critical flaws on this ‘patch Tuesday’. According to a recent article, Novell continues losing customers as well.

When Novell announced it would no longer support NPS, “we decided it was time to move to something we would have more control of,” Cash says. “It was time to look for an open source solution.”

To Novell’s staff that has criticisms, please propose a correction and please be specific. Calling something “defamatory” without an argument to back this is akin to Microsoft’s IP accusations against Linux.

Linspire Continues Bragging About OOXML Support

Posted in Formats, Linspire, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 10:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shortly after announcing its acceptance of an ‘ODF killer’, Linspire expresses some excitement using another press release.

Linspire, Inc., developer of the Linspire commercial and Freespire community desktop Linux operating systems, today announced the immediate availability of the Open XML Translator within their latest released Freespire and Linspire products.

Lindows follows the footsteps of Windows. Is this the future of Linspire? Surely enough they give their customers an excuse to ignore the international standard. But why? Because Microsoft paid them to do so? They took the money and they must now support an abusive, manipulative monopoly. It is sad.

The following new article explains just why these formats must not be accepted.

Vendor Lock-In
Proprietary formats, such as DOC and MP3, are dangerously common. While almost everyone on the planet uses these formats to save and share their data, the formats themselves are not in the public domain, but belong to corporations (in these cases, Microsoft and Thomson Consumer Electronics (et al.), respectively. Admittedly, this doesn’t usually pose much of a problem in the short term. Songs you ripped to MP3 ten years ago still play just fine on your current player, and you can still open Word docs you created in the early ’90s. The trouble comes when you – or the company that owns the format – decides it’s time for a change.

Case in point: This year, Microsoft has decided to introduce a new format, Open XML (aka DOCX) which it has declared the new standard for Word files. Immediately, a schism broke open. While almost everyone on earth is still using the older DOC format, many who upgrade to Office 2007 unwittingly began using the new format (set as the default for Word 2007), which is unreadable to their colleagues without the use of a conversion utility. Time spent fiddling around converting file formats means lost productivity and lost revenues for businesses, governments, and end users who didn’t think there was anything particularly wrong with the old format.

If there a more resources on these matters, please share them. Let’s build a Web of information. This site serves over 3,000 pages per day (excluding search engines and bots), so surely we can make a difference together, essentially by informing as many people as we can.

Richard Stallman’s new talk at CERN might be of interest to some.

Companies Choose a Patent Peace After Storm, Microsoft Patents Up for ‘Trashing’ (Updated)

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patent Covenant, Patents at 7:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Here is a pleasant sight. Several companies previously decided to battle in court. They wrestled over some silly ‘intellectual property’ and have finally realised that there are better things to do. Actions such as threats are perceived as harassment or bullying, so they went the other way.

Peace breaks out in mobile patent wars

Ericsson/Samsung, Visto/Seven settle differences

Also in the news, remember Peer to Patent? After it was announced and also introduced in a variety of Web sites, Ars Technica ushers the arrival of some patent candidates. Unsurprisingly, the Groklaw community already gives patent applications some beating.

A system for selling media clips in an offline economy. Catchy. Well, Microsoft always did grok the Internet. Snark.

At last! The iTunes killer. I surely hope you guys can deep six this one with prior art. Although, I must admit I find it appealing to think of a world where Microsoft and Hollywood hopped off the Internet and played in their own separate offline playground.

It is rather amusing to see what companies perceive an patentable ideas nowadays. Perhaps they have run out of ideas or perhaps they no longer bother to check a pile of millions of patents, let alone do research on prior art. They only want to enumerate and grow some portfolio, never mind its quality.

Update: an important press release has just come from IBM.

IBM Pledges Free Access to Patents Involved in Implementing 150+ Software Standards

IBM today announced that it is granting universal and perpetual access to certain intellectual property that might be necessary to implement more than 150 standards designed to make software interoperable.

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