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12.07.07

Novell Bashing in Today’s Register Podcast

Posted in Audio/Video, GNU/Linux, Novell, Red Hat at 11:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Movell and Nicrosoft

The Open Season show is proof of the fact that we’re not alone when it comes to criticising Novell.

The usual crew – me, Matt Asay and Dave Rosenberg – went after Novell in Episode 7. Then we went after Novell some more. And finished off the Novell bashing with some Novell bashing.

[...]

Show Notes – Novell wounded

  • Page One PR takes the show down a notch
  • Novell with layoffs
  • Novell charged by Red Hat with releasing buggy code
  • All agree – Novell is frustrating to watch
  • Lonn has a secret Linux kernel contribution survey coming – Red Hat and Novell are neck-and-neck at about 10 per cent
  • Last but not least, Novell delays SEC filings

The podcast is MP3-formatted.

Direct link

Friends or Foes? Ubuntu+CNR (from Linspire), GNOME+OOXML (from Microsoft)

Posted in FUD, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, Ubuntu at 11:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Odd and controversial couples

There will always be a strange and uncomfortable dilemma when someone who is not your friend offers you gift (not even on Christmas day). Just a few days after the beta of CNR debuted on the Web, Ubuntu Forums went abuzz. Some people do not want anything to do with Linspire software.

Money Divides

”KC took Microsoft’s role of Linux FUDmeister for a few moments.“We are still wondering if/how much money was made by Kevin Caromony (KC) after the Microsoft deal. As Groklaw points out, Linspire is a privately-held company, so nobody knows for sure. Remember that KC is no longer worth trusting. KC took Microsoft's role of Linux FUDmeister for a few moments. For that, he shouldn’t be taken seriously anymore. Then, come to consider rich people like Miguel de Icaza (don’t forget the Ximian acquisition), who makes a very good living (even relish the wealth) by evangelising/building Microsoft technologies. So, as far as OOXML goes, there’s a dilemma similar to that which involves CNR. Is it worth trusting?

The folks at NoOOXML refuse to buy the arguments made jointly by Jeff Waugh and Miguel de Icaza in the recent podcast. Consider this:

A statement as clear as “MS delivered OOXML to ECMA as-is MS make the decisions about changing it we’re drilling for docs” was missed which lead to a lot of confusion in the Gnome user community. According to some unconfirmed rumours a popular SCO case blogger was so pissed that the person considered to switch from Gnome to another Desktop environment. I find it nice that the Gnome Foundation “drilled” Microsoft for more documentation. But maybe that was soo wrong, too? What if the amount of documentation helped them to sell their “standard” to ISO?

There remains a difference between OOXML and CNR. While OOXML is Microsoft’s property which serves its own purposes, CNR is not and does not. However, as one vocal Linspire opposer said, anything that supports Linspire and serves a lifeline/dependency needs to be avoided. It keeps Linspire going for longer and — by association — its ties with Microsoft alive. With these controversial ties come all sorts of damaging ‘liabilities’ and patent ammunition. This helps create a flock situation where Microsoft is is able to gather GNU/Linux users under a single 'umbrella' which is destructible.

Quick Mention: Another Major Case for the GNU GPL

Posted in Courtroom, GPL, Law at 10:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNU logoA few weeks ago we explained and showed why GPL is a licence that had already been tested in court. It may not have gotten a victory (nor a loss) in all the courts around the world, but so far it has a flawless track record where people comply rather than complain. The big news today is SFLC’s lawsuit against a company as large as Verizon, which only recently joined Google’s Android embracers. Android is a phone stack that contains the Linux kernel and Java, both of which are GPLv2-licensed.

Groklaw has the text of the filing (PDF) transformed into plain text.

The same two principal developers already successfully sued Monsoon Media, and they have litigation pending against Xterasys Corporation and High-Gain Antennas, LLC. Here is the press release from the Software Freedom Law Center on the Verizon suit, followed by the complaint as text.

This ought to be an interesting case to watch. Many routers in many homes contain GPL-licensed code where Verizon infringements were involved. Who will be compensated, how much, and what will be the impact on the perception and uptake of the licence? It remains to be seen.

New Chinese Patents Called ”Garbage”, European Patent Office Takes Out the Garbage

Posted in Asia, Europe, Patents at 10:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

China, Europe express and show intent to ‘clean up’ the mess

Wise men once argued that a lot of inventions worth patenting had already been patented. They insisted that there is little room for more great ‘innovations’. This report from China appears to confirm this.

On November 27, 2007, the Innovative National Construction and Intellectual Property Symposium was held in Beijing. Representatives from a variety of industries spoke at the event; most of them expressed their worries and frustrations with China’s IPR protection framework. Mr. Fu Shaoming, head of the IPR unit from Foxconn, China’s largest electronics OEM firm, claimed in his speech that 90% of China’s new and practical patents are de facto garbage and should be discarded.

Amazon doesn’t appear to be learning a lesson in patent tactlessness. It carries on filing so-called ‘junk patents’, which are fortunately getting revoked, at least by the EPO. Check out this description of the following revoked patent.

The so-called “Gift Order Patent” has been revoked by the EPO in an opposition proceeding today after a hearing involving three opposing parties and the patent proprietor, Amazon Inc. The patent relates to a method for purchasing goods over the Internet to be sent as gifts.

Here is a little update on our favourite patent trolls, Ray Niro and Acacia. Of interest:

Assuming it files one per month for the next 39 months until the patent expires, then what Acacia is really seeking is $600M from US industry for the JPEG-on-a-website patent. My guess is they’ll sue many more companies than that, and seek up to a billion dollars – which, assuming a 33% contingency fee (which is low, probably), amounts to a cool $100 million per year for the Niro firm.

And people wonder why he’d like to shut down websites critical of Acacia and other patent trolls. The real question is what does he want from you and me, for our photo blogs, our personal websites. His statements to IP Law 360 only referred to companies.

The other real question is how many companies will spend millions in attorneys fees to fight rather than pay the $500K or $1M or $2M that Acacia is demanding. That’s the sad state of patent litigation these days.

Thank you, TrollTracker, for documenting such valuable nonsense.

Quick Mention: The Other Side of OpenSUSE 10.3

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE at 9:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mea Cupla

The digest which was posted half an hour ago to cover OpenSUSE news did not contain negative reviews of OpenSUSE 10.3. However, as indicated therein, DistroWatch Weekly did not give OpenSUSE brilliant marks either. For what it’s worth, here are some of the less flattering new bits about OpenSUSE 10.3:

1. The Inevitable Annoying Quirks (OpenSUSE 10.3)

After a few days of having used OpenSUSE 10.3, the Inevitable Annoying Quirks have reared their ugly heads and bitten me. Here goes.

2. OpenSuse 10.3 for My Friend

OpenSuse 10.3 certainly has plenty of enhancements like its more polished theme, faster boot time speed, and improved responsiveness. However, I think it fell a bit short on hardware support. In my friend’s computer, it worked like a charm. But in mine, its performance is very frustrating. The installation should also be improved, as not everyone has patience like mine.

OpenSuse still has enough room for improvement. I just hope that they will capitalize on their 10.3 achievements and learn from its blunder for their next major release, because definitely, I will give it another chance.

No operating system is perfect. Denying the flaws won’t make them magically disappear, either. Consider this a self-balancing post? I hate doing this, but this type of FUD against an open-source project seems unavoidable. It’s rarely done. As for Linpsire, Freespire, Xandros, and Turbolinux, they rarely get a mentioned anywhere.

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: Quiet Week of Quiet Stars

Posted in Asia, Marketing, Microsoft, NetWare, Novell, Videos at 9:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

”…Novell received some positive press coverage as well.“The most major news, at least from Novell’s perspective for this week, is all to do with postponement of its financial report (due to a SEC probe). We covered this on Thursday after the Wednesday’s downtime (caused by heavy load). It was the same day that Novell received the grim news. However, Novell received some positive press coverage as well. Some of it is presented below.

Novell Partnerships

Novell is still chasing its partners in the channel for their assistance, in terms of marketing and reach.

Novell is scouting for sale and service partners to create better business opportunities and to provide wide range of business solutions in the Indian market.

There is one lucky partner. Novell grants a special honour to Novacoast, which is claimed “partner of the year”.

Novacoast, Inc., an IT professional services and product development firm, won Novell’s 2007 Solution Partner of the Year award for the Americas, seizing the top honor for the fifth time in the past six years. A Santa Barbara-based company, Novacoast continues to hold top partner status with Novell due to a strong customer focus, technology expertise, and a results-oriented approach. Novacoast has been a key partner in helping Novell expand its Linux and enterprise management offerings to new customers and new markets in 2007.

In Novell’s PR blob you’ll find information about Novell’s role in Science Applications International Corporation.

Just recently, government information technology vendor Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) announced that it, along with its team members, has been awarded a certificate of completion for its HSPD-12 vendor evaluation. Team members include Novell, Honeywell, ImageWare and ActivIdentity.

For future reference, Sequiam’s ties with Novell’s technology are worth taking note of. They are described in the following new press release.

Sequiam Corporation (OTCBB: SQUM), a leading provider of innovative consumer and commercial identity-management technologies and services, announced today that production is underway on several versions of the new biometric hardware kits for Fujitsu. These kits will be used in multiple applications, including Novell® eDirectory(TM), enabling NMAS Authentication for client and server login. They will also be used for secure access to www.annesdiary.com, the world’s first secure social networking site for children, which utilizes Novell eDirectory.

More information on this story with a less promotional language:

The hardware kits will be used by Fujitsu for multiple security access applications including Novell’s eDirectory and www.annesdiary.com, which Orlando-based Sequiam (OTCBB: SQUM) touts as the world’s first secure social networking site for children, particularly young girls. The site has 600,000 subscriptions around the world.

Novell Marketing

The following Novell commercial seems similar to a bunch of older ones. It may be just a part of them, but it might also be a new one based on the datestamp.

Novell’s PR blog reveals a migration from Windows to GNU/Linux where Novell’s SUSE was chosen.

Guangdong Mobile’s Windows environment couldn’t provide the stability and security the company needed, so after testing a variety of alternative solutions, Guangdong Mobile replaced its Windows with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

ELCOT’s migration to SUSE Linux, which has been covered here several times before, makes the news again.

That day, Elcot’s managing director, C. Umashankar, walked into his office in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and was handed a brand new laptop. He recalls promptly giving it back to his PA. “I asked him to load Suse Linux on it. I guess he was surprised. But when the installation — complete with drivers and wireless networking — only took 45 minutes and very little external effort, there was a new confidence in my PA.” That confidence spread quickly. And with it came more penguins. Within weeks, the Rs 750-crore Elcot was undergoing a enterprise-wide migration to Suse Linux. A year later, Umashankar and his team had moved 30,000 computers and 1,880 severs belonging to some of the state’s schools to Linux — creating possibly the largest Linux rollout in India.

[...]

As users caught on with Umashankar’s infectious enthusiasm, they started getting more familiar with the features of their new OS. Soon a cycle of interest developed and users found new ways of switching mail clients to work on Suse Linux.

Miscellany

Techworld has an article that servers as somewhat of a non-technical networking primer. Of course, Novell doesn’t escape the author’s attention.

While Novell has its Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition and Microsoft has its Small Business Server offerings, you have some research to do before deciding which way to go. And there are several open-source products that will probably work well for you as well.

A story that first made the news about 4 months ago has recently returned.

The judge’s approval of 200 hours of community service drew comments from law enforcement officials frustrated by an MIT professor who faked his own death.

[...]

Donovan is well-known and widely respected in the IT community because of his text books and inspirational speeches. A serial entrepreneur, he started several companies, the most famous of which was Cambridge Technology Partners, which was sold to Novell for $266 million in 2001. The Cambridge Technology Partners operation was recently spun off by Novell.

This story was not mentioned here before because it barely has anything to do with Novell. Being a large company with an even more glorious past, the number of people out there in industry who are also former Novell employees is quite vast. Eric Schmidt is doing well at Google and Matt Asay cannot help criticising Novell for its deal with Microsoft. Both of them are former Novell employees (among many more).

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: A Young OpenSUSE 11.0 Sees the Light of Day

Posted in Novell, OpenSUSE at 9:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The first early build of openSUSE 11.0 has arrived. Here is an E-mail from Stephan:

Hi!

We’d like to kick start the development of openSUSE 11.0 in releasing
the current state of Factory as Alpha0 release.

Since the release of 10.3, we checked in 2187 packages including
such pretty fundamental package updates as:

– gcc 4.3.0
– kernel 2.6.24-rc4
– X.org 7.3
– KDE 3.5.8
– KDE 4.0 RC1
– CUPS 1.3.4
– gdb 6.7.1
– Alsa 1.0.15
– Gimp 2.4
– Yast2 2.16

The change between 10.3 and Alpha0 is pretty big, but it still works pretty
nicely. So please join the openSUSE 11.0 development in downloading, testing
and using Alpha0 or daily updated Factory distribution.

The most annoying bugs are as usual listed on
http://en.opensuse.org/Bugs:Most_Annoying_Bugs_11.0_dev

So far there are some glitches in the installation process, that are mostly
harmless. But the new kernel in particular can cause some regressions we would
love to hear about through bugzilla.

You can get it from http://en.opensuse.org/Development_Version#Downloads

Greetings, Stephan

Copy here along with some feedback.

Screenshots here.

The first alpha release of OpenSuSE 11.0 is now available for download. OpenSuSE 11.0 integrates a number of new packages, including GCC 4.3.0, the latest Linux 2.6.24 development kernel, X.Org 7.3, ALSA 1.0.15, GIMP 2.4, and Yast2 2.16. OpenSuSE 11.0 Alpha 0 is available as a DVD or via KDE and GNOME CD s

The second batch of weekly news was posted along with news from Indonesia.

Masim informs us that the Indonesian openSUSE Community’s (OpenSUSE-ID) Annual Meeting will be held in Jakarta on 8th December 2007. This is their monthly meeting that becomes the first annual meeting to prepare the project of openSUSE-ID in 2008.

Several OpenSUSE reviews seem to have caught more attention than most. Here is one such review.

I don’t often try a new distro seriously (I have a folder full of QEMU images, but it’s just not the same as a proper installation), but recently I felt the itch and downloaded OpenSUSE 10.3 and installed it on my laptop.

Here is another review.

I haven’t actually used it much, but so far I am very impressed.

OpenSUSE received some decent scores in last week’s comprehensive comparison in DistroWatch Weekly. Here are the results in a fairly concise and tabular form:

  Ubuntu PCLinuxOS openSUSE Fedora Mint Sabayon MEPIS Freespire
Ease of installation 8 10 7 7 9 5 7 9
Ease of use 9 9 9 6 9 5 7 7
Package management 10 7 8 5 10 6 7 9
Speed 8 8 7 8 8 8 8 7
Average 8.75 8.5 7.75 6.5 9 6 7.25 8

The OpenSUSE Web site does a profile of Keith Kastorff.

The ‘People of openSUSE’ publishes this week one more interesting interview, one of the most active openSUSE community members – Keith Kastorff – the man who has his own Beagle and spends his time helping people at SUSE Forums.

Francis added a demo of KDE 4 (on OpenSUSE) with emphasis on KWin. It’s all in his blog.

I’ve now updated to the latest openSUSE KDE4 Packages and got another video (first one being: KDE 4.0 RC1+ Video Tour) to add, and it’s one all about the new KDE 4.0 KWin composite; that is, the new desktop effects that will be available with KDE 4.0.

Thanks to Stephan’s work you can finally watch the new YaST on Qt4 (preview).

Here’s a screenshot of what can be done with a little editing of the styles…

That’s all for this week. People have begun taking their December vacations, so there’s not much news to report.

Videos: SCO Before the Linux Lawsuits

Posted in Courtroom, FUD, GNU/Linux, SCO, Videos at 4:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The following set of videos, all of which were added to YouTube just a couple of weeks ago, might be of interest to those who have followed the SCO case. Here is what the videos present:

Recorded live at the Coconut Grove in Santa Cruz, CA on Saturday, April 21, 2001. The final SCO Follies occurred shortly after Caldera purchased the Santa Cruz Operation. Thus the show’s theme is change, with Caldera as the Cossacks. The show opens with the “Dawn of Spam” sequence adapted from Stanley Kubrick’s classic odyssey. Ironically, the mood of the “Linux Company” finale was overturned when the radically downsized, later-named “SCO Group” turned against Linux.

Part 1 is presented below.

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