08.05.07

Evil Sunday: NetWare Vulnerability and Novell’s Way Out of a Windows Dependency

Posted in Formats, NetWare, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Security at 11:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Do-No-Evil Saturday series might sometimes give the wrong impression. It seems to insinuate that Novell news which does not fit the theme of this Web site is always positive. It is not the case however. Last week, for example, a serious vulnerability was found in the NetWare client for Windows.

Novell has released an update for its NetWare Client, which fixes a critical vulnerability. A buffer overflow can be triggered remotely in the NWSPOOL.DLL file, allowing code to be injected and executed with system privileges. Novell Client v4.91 SP4 for Windows 2000/XP/2003 is affected. Novell do not provide any further details.

For its open source strategy, it is important that Novell transforms and migrates its existing userbase to GNU/Linux. There is no time to rely on legacy. The underlying insecurities of Windows give Novell a bad name and there are other factors that escape one’s mind. For instance, if Novell wishes to encourage the use of OpenOffice.org, then OpenDocument (ODF) is an excellent bridge. One blogger argues that the best way to deploy OpenDocument and make it a reality is by requiring the use of Linux. This makes perfect sense.

Let’s not forget that OOXML, as opposed to ODF, is tied to particular platforms, which means that without Microsoft Office, it is simply incomplete. FSFE called the ‘translator’ a hoax. There are many more observation in a new article from Groklaw. If Novell wishes to encourage Linux sales, it must embrace ODF without hesitation or compromises. It is a mutual relationship. ODF encourages platform independence and vendor-independent platforms/environments thrive in a symbiotic relationship with real standards such as ODF. As long as Novell supports Microsoft’s OOXML, its SUSE sales will be cannibalized at best.

SUSE Community Moderators Escape GPLv3 Issues, Warn Those Who Defend GNU

Posted in GPL, OpenSUSE at 6:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OpenSUSE a reflection of Novell’s own stance?

An online friend of mine, who is not hostile towards Novell, let me know that SUSE apparently escapes the GNU GPLv3. I believe he sought some help in the forums simply because he uses SUSE.

Yesterday, just a day or two after the initial discussion, a warning was sent to him for no justified reason, which seems to indicate that GPLv3 truly hit some nerve. Parts of the E-mail exchange are quoted below (spanning a couple of days).

Here is the thread in question

Are all these forums packed with corporate shills. I post URLs to developers moving to GPL 3 and the response is abuse and get accused of baiting.

Later came this:

I got beat up on an earlier thread by ‘elsewhere’ and some other admins. I suggested going private, but got no response. It’s a classic case of trolling from them, post abuse and when the OP responds accuse him of trolling.

And this:

…Wilson Phillips just came back with a comment after i said I wasn’t going to respond, classic baiting ..

[quote name='Wilson Phillips' date='Aug 4 2007, 01:06 PM' post='191344']
This means you won’t be posting here anymore???? :D
[/quote]

Finally, action was taken for no apparent reason.

Got this msg from an admin ..

- cut -
“I’ve put you in a moderated state indefinitely. Behave, and I’ll remove the moderation. Any other rants like the one posted today will get you banned” kastorff
- paste -

Do you see any reason for getting banned from my posts in this thread. Me = ‘emacsuser’.

So, what is OpenSUSE’s take on GPLv3 and why is it such a sensitive subject?

Microsoft Honours Competition…… Not.

Posted in America, Antitrust, Dell, Google, Microsoft, Novell, Quote, Steve Ballmer at 6:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It can be frustrating to find that some people rely too heavily on what they read the press. They live under rock so-to-speak and as far as technology goes, they are actually unaware of Microsoft’s true spirit.

The recent events in Massachusetts ought o have taught us (again) that Microsoft is a sociopath , as Sam Hiser repeatedly puts it. Nothing has changed. To warn people about Microsoft’s approach towards Linux and OSI, one ought to remember the words of Cringely, who was interviewed just a fortnight ago.

Davidson: Which software company would you hate to compete against? What makes you single them out?

Cringely: Microsoft of course. They have the deepest of pockets, unlimited ambition, and they are willing to lose money for years and years just to make sure that you don’t make any money, either. And they are mean, REALLY mean.

Davidson: Why do you think Microsoft is mean? Are you implying some kind of malicious intent rather than just ruthlessness?

Cringely: Maybe “mean” is the wrong word to use for Microsoft. “Ruthless” is good. The company is built in the image of Bill Gates and Bill is a guy who gets caught-up in the game of business and doesn’t typically see its personal cost. To use what might seem to be an obscure example, just look at all the various partnerships and industry consortia that Microsoft has announced through the years that never produced a product or even a usable specification. There have been literally dozens of these operations that are intended solely to freeze the competition until Microsoft can figure what the heck it actually wants to do. To Microsoft its a PR exercise that helps them compete but to customers it is just a damned lie. That’s ruthless. There are plenty of other examples I can give but you get the point. I represent the concerns of users, not vendors, and Microsoft doesn’t really care about users.

To intensity these words and knock sense into an innocent observer’s mind, perhaps the following quotes will do.

I’m thinking of hitting the OEMs harder than in the past with anti-Linux. … they should do a delicate dance

             –Joachim Kempin, Microsoft OEM Chief

Fucking Eric Schmidt is a fucking pussy. I’m going to fucking bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I’m going to fucking kill Google.

             –Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.

             –Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

We should whack them [Dell over Linux dealings], we should make sure they understand our value.

             –Paul Flessner, Senior Vice President, Server Applications Unit

I’d be glad to help tilt lotus into into the death spiral. I could do it Friday afternoon but not Saturday. I could do it pretty much any time the following week.

             –bradsi, Microsoft

We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.

             –Jim Allchin, Platform Group Vice President

Good luck, Novell. You’re going to need it.

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