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12.09.07

Microsoft on ‘War Mode’ in ”Scandalous” OOXML

Posted in ECMA, Formats, FUD, IBM, ISO, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 9:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

”Scandalous” is what the experts have recently called it

Yes, indeed we’ve seen this before. Microsoft’s sheer arrogance gets its best. Microsoft yet again thinks that nothing will stand in its path of corruption. Yes, a strong word is used here because corruption, lies and fraud have been an intgral part of Microsoft’s pursuit for OOXML standardisation. This is very well documented and Microsoft will have no chance to hide the truth.

”Is Microsoft still trying to portray IBM as unethical and dangerous in order to justify its own corruption of the whole system?“It seems like Brian Jones finds new excuses to declare war or describe this situation as a war. He even puts the blame on somebody else by taking the word “standards war” completely out of context. In BetaNews, when Brian Jones claimed victory amid a stunning defeat, some said that he pulled a George Bush (reference to the war in Iraq). Speaking of blame passing, how about those mythical weapons of mass destruction? Is Microsoft still trying to portray IBM as unethical and dangerous in order to justify its own corruption of the whole system? There have already been insinuation about IBM’s role in Kenya, so this type of strategy isn’t unprecedented.

Anyway, here is what Brian says and here is a decent response.

Just because MS produces 90% of the office documents, does not give it carte blanche for the ratification of their defacto formats as an ISO. Perhaps it is this arrogance, why MS fails to understand what “Open” is and for that matter why OOXML is not.

All the conjecture means nothing; it won’t make the square peg fit in the round hole. The fact still remains that OOXML does not represent a common ground for the majority. Is represented by one company and a few entities aligned to that company financially for the sole purpose of keeping the “playing field” lopsided.

So MS and their friend ECMA (who does not mind MS’s vision of standards) are now finding that the ISO process is definitely not friendly. This is not because of any bias against Microsoft, but because the “standard” MS is proposing flies in the face of everything ISO has attempted to do in its long history. What is hard not to understand.

So, Brian, if there’s any ‘war’ here then it is, as Larry Ellison once said, a case of Microsoft against everyone else in industry and the customers as well. You guys are not above the law (you mustn't be) and as long as you continue to corrupt the system in your vicious pursuit for money and power, we shall catch you, name you, and shame you. Even those involved in ISO have already named and shamed you for virtually ‘raping’ the innocent system that was never subjected to quite so much abuse.

Related articles:

OOXML is fraud

“Intellectual Property” Wars Taken to the World Wide Web

Posted in EFF, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents, Videos at 8:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

WIPO is still seen as a foe of Free software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Itmixes copyrights with “intellectual property”, which is a term companies strive to use in order to associate things like software patents with 'harder' things like trademarks and copyrights. The following video shows that sharing of information is actually encouraged in an age where it is very much possible.

This presentation and characterisation from WIPO may seem optimistic, but meanwhile, in the news you find that Freedoms on the Net are gradually taken away. People are assumed to be criminals until proven otherwise. This is akin to lobbying for DMCA and software patents. Very troubling.

The music and film industry continues to pursue its idea of a politically “corrected” Internet – one that they imagine could protect their old business models without requiring any extra costs on their part.

This time, the fix is Internet-wide filtering. In a memo to European policy-makers, the International Federation of Phonographic Industries has called upon ISPs in Europe to filter the content sent across their networks, block protocols used by their customers, and cut off access to persistently infringing sites from the Net (you can read their full memo here). Left unsaid in it was the obvious implication: if ISPs aren’t willing to comply, EU regulators should force the ISP’s hand.

This could easily affect distribution channels (availability) of Free software and GNU/Linux distributions in particular. Additionally, this demonstrates the almost infinite power corporations have, which enables them to toy with lawmakers [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

Intellectual Ventures Does Not Like GNU/Linux

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents, Videos at 7:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold from Microsoft is now managing Intellectual Ventures, which is arguably a bigger patent troll than Acacia [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. We mentioned this company before because Microsoft could use Intellectual Ventures for lawsuits against competitors like Linux, by proxy [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Watch the following recent video and jump to 35:20, which contains some GNU/Linux FUD. For future reference, as you can see, this guy is quite hostile towards open source. This includes myths about the technical abilities of Free software programmers, user friendliness, cost, etc.

Quick Mention: The FSF’s Software Patents Coalition, Introduction to AGPLv3

Posted in FSF, GPL, Patents at 7:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Free Software Foundation is taking steps to address issues associated with software patents in the United States.

Our primary goal in this campaign is to reverse the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) decision of ‘In re Alappat’. Here, I will explain the history of what that ruling meant, and why that same history has shown us that it should be the focus of our campaign.

FSF GNU GPLv3Brett Smith has released some explanatory notes about the GNU Affero GPLv3. He released a similar quick guide about a month ago — one that addresses the GNU GPLv3, which is probably bound to become the most widely used software licence (inheriting GPLv2′s place).

Third, AGPLv3′s new requirement degrades gracefully. If you use AGPLv3-covered code in a program that doesn’t interact with users over a network, there are no additional obligations for you to meet. You can share and modify the program under the same conditions that apply to GPLv3-covered software.

Related articles:

Might Microsoft Money ‘Buy’ Love?

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell at 2:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What the world gets when philosophy and money collide…

Over the years, Microsoft has maintained a very strategic tradition which encourages not only keeping its friends close, but also keeping its enemies closer. In some cases, as we sometimes find in Novell and the OSI, Microsoft is able influence the minds of its enemies and make them easy prey. Deep pockets make everything possible. There is enough evidence to support all of this, but not enough to include ECMA and ISO in this definition and contention (that would be sleeping with the shepherd and the judge, respectively).

”Invitations for ‘free lunch’ include fancy air trips to Redmond, Washington, possibly with Kool-Aid on the menu (program).“A reader has made us aware us a very curious mailing list thread. “Someone harshly criticized Microsoft security making some very good points,” he writes. “Suddenly a Microsoft rep materialized on the mailing list to refute them, offer to put on a security dog and pony show for the group and buy everyone lunch, and that’s where it ended! I’m dumbfounded at how easily Microsoft manages Windows users. Like a shepherd herding sheep!”

There are prior incidents where Microsoft invited over those who have it criticised. It seems like a pattern. Invitations for ‘free lunch’ include fancy air trips to Redmond, Washington, possibly with Kool-Aid on the menu (program). Invited parties have already included Slashdot, LifeHacker, Linux.com, and even The Inquirer. None of them is renowned as sympathetic towards Microsoft. Au contraire in fact. Here are some relevant articles, starting with The Inquirer:

The Vole [Microsoft] supposedly invited The INQ over for tea because we are notorious “Microsoft doubters” – and we were accompanied by other supposed Vole doubters such as the folk from lifehacker and a very nice man from Slashdot, as well as some Microsoft MvPs.

Microsoft even invited Robin ‘Roblimo’ Miller, who did the podcast with us on Wednesday.

Microsoft flew me there from Florida at its expense, put me up in a nice hotel, provided decent food, and comped me and four other invitees to this “special conference” with presentations about the marvels of Vista and other recent or upcoming Microsoft products. They didn’t quite play the old Beatles song “Love Me Do” in the background, but it was the event’s unstated theme.

You might be wondering why these issues are being raised here. Well, come to consider the fact that Microsoft’s invitations that targeted at hostile press, GNOME developers, Novell representatives (Microsoft stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Novell executives every now and then), and maybe even Pia Waugh (it does not say where the invitation for an OOXML conference came from). It is almost safe to assume that Microsoft is trying to get deep inside ‘enemy territories’ and turn its rivals into its supporter (or lead to ‘civil wars’, i.e. divide and conquer the opposition).

Here are some stories about incidents where Microsoft sent gifts to influential bloggers:

In conclusion, everyone loves freebies (and Microsoft). Why wouldn’t they?

Mono is greed

OpenDocument and BoycottNovell in Video

Posted in Europe, GNOME, Open XML, OpenDocument, SUN, Videos at 1:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

YouTube contains a new video from Spain Portugal where an explanation about OpenDocument format is given. The video contains bits in Spanish Portuguese and in English.

It was pleasant to find our site mentioned in the new weekly video from Linux.com. Here isan on-page embedment of it.

Suspicious OOXML Fanboyism, Clues About IE8′s New Engine

Posted in ECMA, Formats, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Rumour, Standard, Windows at 12:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Speculation: shill tactics and OOXML Web ‘extension’

Doug Mahugh is said to be getting a “new horse”. Microsoft continues to use various individuals to push forward its OOXML agenda.

You see how humilation works at Microsoft: You get the guys that preserve an independent mind in charge of propaganda for broken specs and let them keep a big smile about standardization torture. Smile, not laughter.

An anonymous reader sends us a pointer to an interesting comment that Miguel de Icaza has just left. He participates in a discussion in Brian Jones’ own blog. From de Icaza’s comment:

The work that was done by Jody Goldberg while at ECMA had a much higher quality as he was actually trying to implement the specification.

[...]

So I applaud Brian’s work (driven for whatever business reason) that allows third parties (and in this case, free software users) to interop better with their software.

Yes, well done Microsoft. Congratulations on luring in GNOME developers (and until recently — a former GNOME Foundation President) who praise or at the very least re-implement your proprietary formats, which are slightly more XML-structured now. XML does not mean open. Interoperability is not open standards but a case against them.

Watch the last comment about proprietary IE capabilities getting integrated with Microsoft Office [PDF] and get a load of this new Internet Explorer 8 shocker. It has just landed in a few Web site with contextual remarks suggesting that Microsoft might already have intentions to ‘extend’ the World Wide Web (once again).

IE8

Don’t ask what it’s going to fix. Ask what it’s going to break… And I’m not even kidding :

” I do realize that there is a new engine, there is some other information, and this information is not being made public — we are being asked not to talk about it ” — Molly Holzschlag

Remember that Outlook 2007 had its rendering engine replaced at the last minute. This surprised (and annoyed) quite a lot of people. The Office rendering engine is not the same as that which you find in Internet Explorer. .NET, XAML and other issues return to one’s mind. Here are some previous posts that we wrote on this topic:

Related and external references:

Quick Mention: Acacia Claims Inventions It Does Not Own

Posted in FUD, Patents at 12:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Blogger abuse aside (an outrageous case where a patent troll, Ray Niro, threatens his critic using the fine art of patent terrorism), our old friend Acacia [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] faces an embarrassment. It turns out that Acacia claims others’ so-called “innovations” its own. Might Acacia be as credible as SCO, which launched a desperate and bogus lawsuit? Have a look.

Now I have looked further, and two items are pointing me away from Acacia. First, Acacia’s first post-acquisition press release described the GPH patents it acquired, but none of them seem to describe the ’341 patent. Second, the USPTO assignments database doesn’t reflect an assignment from GPH to an Acacia subsidiary. That is not to say there was a transfer without a recordation – that happens all the time. But other GPH patents were apparently assigned to Acacia. Of course, when Mr. Niro sent me his threat letter, he didn’t say on behalf of whom he was sending the letter.

Remember that Acacia's stock sank like a rock 3 weeks ago. It lost after its claims turned out to be weak at best (and probably just baseless). Perhaps, just perhaps, one ought to fear Acacia as much (or as little) as the dwindling SCO. Trolls are very brave in their natural habitat (under the bridge), but when faced with a judge and jury, they turn out to be bulls**t artists.

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