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Memo to Mr. Galli: Enough with the OpenDocument FUD

Posted in Deception, FUD, OpenDocument at 9:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Ballmer on ODFHow many times can a misleading and uninteresting story be repeated? Apparently, as long as Peter Galli is able to attract traffic and make Microsoft happy. This pointless CDF confusion continues at eWeek, despite the fact that Andy Updegrave has already stated (straight from the guru’s mouth) that CDF is not suitable for rich-text documents. It no longer matters also because its backers closed the shop (garage).

But back to the eweek article from which the quote above is taken: Former ODF Leaders Turn Hopes to Compound Document Format. Isn’t December 3, 2007 a bit late for that news, Mr. Galli?

Again and again and again. This is like the fifth article covering pretty much the same irrelevant story, and quite poorly at times. We also complained the last time he did this (last week) because it’s clearly a pattern. See the open letter to eWeek. So, here’s just a polite plea: cover more interesting and recent stories. Cover them accurately as well and create no unnecessary drama if you post to a news Web site, rather than your blog (Peter does have one).

Patents That Companies Have Got to Protect Linux Devices

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, OIN, Patents, Red Hat at 9:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Primary prevention is better than cure”

Free software is against the idea that software should be patentable. That said, Red Hat holds quite a few defensive patents (a promise was made not to use them offensively). As Linux.com reported a month ago, Linux patents indeed exist. Where does that leave Free software? Is this a case of hypocrisy? A chicken-and-egg scenario that hinders resolutions to a patent mess? How does OIN fit into all of this? Not everyone can afford to file for a patent.

”It is not just mathematical knowledge, but an actual physical product with physical designs.“Exceptions are made with regards to patentability. For example, when an instrument is involved which is an integral part of the software, then some patent systems consider that patentable. This may be fine and it also protects Linux devices where there is more than just code. It is not just mathematical knowledge, but an actual physical product with physical designs. This sometimes adds an element of art and creativity.

Embedded.com has just released an extensive (albeit not in-depth) survey which covers embedded Linux patents.

As an electrical engineer with an automotive background, when I think of Linux, I think of servers, PCs, supercomputers, and so forth. Embedded applications don’t really come to mind when I consider Linux. However, Linux is used as an operating system for many phones, games, and other devices with embedded software.


You can search for patents by looking in the appropriate classes and subclasses if you can determine them. However, embedded Linux applications could be located in many different classes because they can be classified by the end system’s application.


In summary, most of the patent documents related to embedded Linux located in this search were filed between 2002 and 2005. No one company dominates the list of assignees but, rather, several companies from across the world. The number of U.S. patent applications filed related to the subject has seen as generally upward trend over the last few years, indicating increased popularity. Finally, even though Linux is a free-software operating system, it would be wise to search the U.S. patent database before commercially using Linux in an embedded application. Of course, refer to a licensed patent attorney if there is any doubt.

GNU and LinuxThis may sound like unnecessary hassle. Google’s Android (Linux-based platform/stack), for example, encountered release delays due to patent licensing issues. It remains unknown if this was related to Sun Microsystems or some other unnamed party/ies.

It is worth remembering that Microsoft itself has admitted in court that in order for software to be patentable, there must be a device. You see, deep down inside, Microsoft knows that software patent opposes are correct, but it’s too selfish to admit it out in the open. Unless you go back to days when Microsoft was an underdog and spot the sheer hypocrisy…

The GNU GPLv3 is Going Mainstream

Posted in FSF, FUD, GPL, Microsoft, SUN at 8:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Ballmer scared of GPLv3

The GNU GPLv3 is a software licence that makes Microsoft very angry and scared (by Microsoft’s own admission). The licence is being adopted rapidly and it puts under threat Microsoft's plan to tame GNU/Linux through a reign of so-called ‘patent terrorism‘. It’s a regime of fear that can do the most to suppress or at least slow down adoption of Free software.

Several weeks ago it was quietly revealed that Sun Microsystems would dip its feet in GPLv3 waters. For a company of this scale, that takes courage and deserves respect. Sun’s adoption of GPLv3 for a minor project has just been confirmed and made official.

Ops Center aims at managing all of this, and the first version will only do that when it is released on January 8th. More interestingly, the source code will be put out on December 10 for those into messing around with low level details. To shake things up a lot more, at least some of it, the Common Agent Container, will be licensed under the GPL3. Won’t that ruffle some feathers.

The press release is here by the way and there is another noteworthy company that has just gotten involved with GPLv3.

The name change coincides with a change of strategy and a new open source project, as the authentication software has been released under the GNU GPLv3 license as Likewise Open.

GPLv3 territories can no longer be considered scarcely explored. Many large companies have already welcomed the licence and ignored FUD which came from Microsoft, its several lobbying arms, hired ‘researchers’ (shills), and other proxies in disguise [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. In case you have not explored the source of funding of ‘GPL doubters’, now is the time. People get exposed to Microsoft-funded brainwash [1, 2, 3], which leads to unfounded prejudice and unnecessary lawsuits.

The GNU GPLv3 gains acceptance

Patent Troll Watch: Polaris Sues, Klausner sues, and Ray Niro Harassess Bloggers

Posted in Apple, Law, Patents, Videos at 7:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Once in a while we point out various stories which show how much interference patents can cause to real “innovation” (a word to avoid and a word which Microsoft loves enormously).

Here is a video coverage of the Polaris case.

If you want to see some truly large demands, how about this new case?

Klausner Technologies said on Monday the company had filed a $360 million suit against Apple (AAPL.O) and AT&T Inc (T.N) over voicemail patents that Klausner claims the Apple iPhone infringes.

If you search the Web for “Klausner Technologies”, then you’ll find little more than patent stories. Quite clearly, Klausner Technologies is some form of patent troll. It’s a patent portfolio in the sky.

Speaking of patent trolls, one of them has just resorted to really ugly actions; even uglier than the act of patent trolling alone. Ray Niro has offered a bounty targetting TrollTracker. This brings back shades of the bounty on Pamela Jones’ identity, not to mention gagging attempts [1, 2] .

Yes, Ray Niro has decided to offer $5,000 to find out who I am. According to the article, he wants to know “who is saying all those nasty things” about him. I don’t think that’s fair. I may have disparaged the validity of Acacia U.S. Patent 5,253,341, and I may have claimed that Niro was asserting the ’341 patent against me just to shut me up, as he did to Greg Aharonian so many years ago (something that the article’s author also implies), but that’s not nasty. Is it?

Mr. Niro, here is a hint: if you behave [1, 2] and join civilisation, so to speak, you will not have to police the Web and fear what people say about you. Don’t be a Novell [1, 2, 3].

Will Novell Apologise or Will Novell Conceal?

Posted in Finance, Microsoft, NetWare, Novell at 7:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Admission of mistake versus denial

It’s midnight here in the United Kingdom, so it is officially the Wednesday when Novell is expected to deliver its big report.

When Novell reports results on Wednesday afternoon, watch for $0.04 EPS. NOVL’s PowerRating (for Traders) is 4.

As pointed out yesterday, Novell is likely to hide the true unhealthy state of its business. There are a variety of methods for concealing losses or diverting an investor’s attention. Former Novell employee, Matt Asay, made some observations just hours ago.

They may be good changes, but word on the street is that Novell is laying people off and reorganizing its operations, apparently quite extensively (the reorg, that is, not the layoffs). A source close to the company has suggested that Novell is trying to change its model again (perhaps indicated by the news that it is overhauling its channel program), and that some very good people have been let go.

Let’s wait and see how things turn out. The rumours were never encouraging and there’s news about another large customer that Novell lost to Microsoft.

The DHB has already announced it will dump its current Novell Netware and GroupWise authentication, email, calendaring, scheduling, task management and personal address books in favour of Microsoft Exchange and Outlook.

Not to worry. Novell and Microsoft are partners now (the word “alliance” is used in the press. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Jim Allchin on Novell

Novell Vice President Again Defends Microsoft’s OOXML

Posted in GNOME, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument at 3:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ODF formatAll of this was expected (and even scheduled). Just as Miguel de Icaza, as (now former) President of the GNOME Foundation may have had GNOME associated with OOXML through ECMA presence, de Icaza, now wearing his Novell hat (mind the listings in the event) defends OOXML.

Who is Novell fooling? As far as attendant of the XML 2007 conference are concerned, Novell, represented by de Icaza in this case, opines that OOXML is needed.

During the XML 2007 interoperability panel — sponsored by Microsoft and of which Rajagopalan was a part — the ongoing battles that have raged for the past couple of years between Microsoft and the backers of ODF were a mere sidenote.

You can read some remarks in Mary Jo Foley’s blog.

More Arrogance Found in OOXML

Posted in ECMA, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 12:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

One of the deficiencies of OOXML is its inability to cater for a wide international community. It is very America-cetric. Most worrisome, however, its inability to evolve. As the following story shows, one of the largest populations in this world is essentially being snubbed by Microsoft’s OOXML. This is far from the first time and we mentioned some examples a week ago.

Some of the Microsoft comments have just been leaked out of the ECMA fortress. Microsoft continues to ignore the Muslim world, and they don’t want to correct its WORKDAY function in order to ‘do not break backward compatibility’: “Weekend days (Saturday and Sunday) are not considered as working days.”


Microsoft/ECMA rolls over cultural diversity. Does someone wants to call Al Jazeera?

Who would accept such a proposal without serious revisions to it? There will be some serious lost of trust in the standards bodies if OOXML ever passes. By the GNOME Foundation’s own admission here, the route taken w.r.t. OOXML is partly political, not technical, which is bad news. Mind the comments from Jeff Waugh (username jdub).

The arrogance culture, which is demonstrated in this case where islam’s needs are ignored, is something that was discussed a few weeks ago. Adding to the examples presented back then as evidence, there are some more examples below (collective arrogance rather than individual arrogance):

1. Microsoft’s Jeff Bell Calls Out Message Board Poster

The poster was especially critical of Bell during the press conference, which Bell didn’t take kindly to, as his private message read:

“And your contribution to society is…what?”

Wait, wait, wait. It’s one thing to insinuate a high-ranking Microsoft executive has effectively called you out, but the connections grew as more people started watching the train wreck.


We’re still waiting on a response from Microsoft, but between Peter Moore leaving for EA Sports and a top-ranking executive taking message board taunts to heart, it’s been an interesting week for the company.

2. Microsoft : Arrogance leads to Vulnerability

Chatting with the Microsoft senior sales people, I was struck by their incredible arrogance. They know the company’s products are good, but they have no qualms whatsoever about charging top dollar as a result.

It reminds us how Microsoft used to behave when it comes to their products’ security records. IE5 and 6 were nothing short of being proper Swiss Cheese with loads of holes in them but hey, they had 95% of the browser market at that time and couldn’t care less.

3. Microsoft says some way to go on software piracy

Microsoft on Friday said it may take decades to tackle software piracy in large emerging economies, despite some recent progress, and called on Asian governments to invest more in policing the practice.

4. Jim Cramer’s Wall Street Confidential Picks, 8/6/07

Ultimately, Cramer thinks Microsoft simply has too much hubris, and it feels it’s better at everything than anyone. Maybe it was at one time. But that’s a terrible amount of hubris to run a company with.

5. Partners to Microsoft: Don’t Make Us Licensing Police

Microsoft licensing has numerous wrinkles and is notoriously complex, which means it’s easy for users to violate the terms, says Scott Braden, senior Microsoft analyst at Miro Consulting, Fords, N.J.

6. Microsoft becoming ‘software police,’ say users

Microsoft Corp. last week slammed the door on a free utility out of Australia that outflanked one of the company’s touted security features in Windows Vista, by having the program’s digital certificate revoked.

Users took Microsoft to task for the move, noting the slippery slope the company was walking on, with some blasting the vendor for playing “software police.”

7. INSECURITY WARNING — Windows Vista and W2K3 Server Do Not Support SNMP v3

Some computers may get compromised, unfortunately, because Microsoft has chosen to go this route.

8. Funny Thing – M$

And if they AREN’T brainwashing them, then they are just hiring incompetant, pompous dumbasses. And if either is the case, why should anyone support their company?

9. Microsoft Is Sheer Arrogant Claim Xbox 360 Customers

“Sheer arrogance from MS and they have lost what was once a loyal customer, I will never purchase another MS product again!! As a consumer I expect and Demand to be treated better than that or simply put I will take my business elsewhere!”

10. How Microsoft Refused to Speak With Me About Windows Error Reporting

Have you ever wondered what really happens to those Windows error reports you can send to Microsoft whenever a Windows app crashes? How many reports it must receive before taking action? Or whether it’s worth your time and effort to send duplicate reports if the error occurs repeatedly? I did, and I asked Microsoft. Unfortunately, after a week and a handful of assurances that they were working on responses, the software giant refused to speak with me.

The role of all the references above is to illustrate a key point. Microsoft’s arrogance as a company (also see these letters) remains a principal reasons for Microsoft’s terrible treatment of ISO. Microsoft sees itself now only as a company that is above the national law, but also as one that is above international standards regulations. It is prepared to spend money to run over the entire process, buy supporters, pressure people out of their jobs if they resists this, buy votes, and bribe business partners. All of this is well documented.

Quick Mention: Eben Moglen Interview in ComputerWorld

Posted in FSF, Interview, Patents at 12:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rarely does one find an interview with Eben Moglen, but here is one which has just been published. As always, the discussion with Eben is quite fascinating

What about Microsoft and its occasional patent threats to Linux? My job has been preparing for those activities for more years than Microsoft has been preparing. I have been thinking about how their patent portfolio might be used against the free world since long before the bulk of the free world was my client. I have spent more time studying that problem than Microsoft has spent creating that problem. It doesn’t keep me awake at nights but it keeps me at work during the day. If in the process of irreversible change, Microsoft launches its missiles, which other dying empires like the Soviet Union, have managed not to do, but if as a dying empire Microsoft launches its missiles, we will protect our clients. If they die without launching their missiles, it will be better for everyone.

FSF GNU GPLv3One of the main issues that Professor Moglen addressed in the latest software licence is software patents and abuse that comes from various trolls, including Microsoft and its siblings. Groklaw brings back from the past the story about “the original patent troll”. Now, that’s innovative.

Raymond Niro rarely looks for clients anymore. Instead, the charming, Chicago-based litigator hunts for patents. This unconventional strategy has made him rich and, in some circles anyway, infamous.

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