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12.29.07

Patent Humour, Baidu Adds Patent Search to Its Engine

Posted in Google, Humour, Patents, Search, Videos at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The following 2-minute video contains many figures. These were extracted from real patent applications covering very silly inventions. We have covered such amusing things before.

Turning to the news, you might wish to know that Baidu has added patent search.

With its habit of throwing out random upgrades, Google’s always demonstrated a certain ability to surprise us. Now its Chinese competitor, Baidu, has achieved the same effect by launching a patent search service.

It comes to a nation that intends to have 10,000 more standards and where 90% of the new patents were called "garbage".

Moving on, here are the obligatory patent settlements du jour:

1. Qwest Settles Patent Dispute with Ronald Katz Technology Licensing

Approximately 200 companies have already purchased licenses to use the patents in question, which cover a range of interactive services ranging from automated prescription refills to securities trading, and home shopping to teleconferencing.

2. Kodak settles patent suit with Matsushita

Eastman Kodak will receive royalties from Matsushita Electric Industrial through a settlement of a July patent infringement suit, according to a regulatory filing Thursday.

Such patent settlements have become quite routine, but they needn’t be. In many cases, patents don’t come under scrutiny; instead, they are honoured blindly. A pointless settlement might simply be cheaper than a trial. This beats the purpose of a patent system.

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part III: Technical News for OpenSUSE, Mono and SUSE Enterprise Linux

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, KDE, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As expected, there has not been much technical progress in the past week. Everyone was enjoying the break. Here are a some pointers to the very few developments worth listing.

OpenSUSE

OpenSUSE gets praised in the following blog post.

‘openSUSE’ is a rock-hard, versatile Linux based operating system and is the most admired free software distribution. Recently, openSUSE developers released the distro’s most modern 10.3 for GNOME and KDE environments. The current release comes with two live CDs and an install-only DVD. openSUSE 10.3 also offers an extra CD that includes Real Player, Opera Web browser and Acrobat PDF Reader. The live versions are carbon copies of install-only CDs and except few oddity, they seem set to rub out the older versions shortly.

OpenSUSE’s news site published a profile for Rajko Matovic and Marcus Meissner.

As a Christmas gift we present you Marcus Meissner – the teamlead of the SUSE Security Team, Wine and gPhoto coder and also packager. Keep reading!

Here is a bunch of new technical documentation pages. They received some attention in the wires.

Mono

If Mono is your type of thing, say hello to 1.2.5.1.

In part because of MoMA, the Mono analyzer, there were 1,907 new methods implemented in this release, System.Data is 99% compatible with .NET 2.0, and about 150 bugs were fixed in System.Windows.Forms alone.

SLED/SLED

SLES|D 9 Service Pack 4 was made available about a week ago. There is still some fairly long-term support.

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: Novell’s Business and Business Partners

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, SLES/SLED, Virtualisation at 5:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novatium, which works with Novell, has itsbusiness plan explained.

Novatium Solutions Pvt Ltd will build its infrastructure on Novell Open Workgroup Suite. Novell Open Workgroup Suite provides comprehensive infrastructure and productivity solutions, including SUSE Linux Enterprise server.

On the other hand, one of Novell’s old competitors is going through liquidation at the moment.

Framingham’s ePresence Inc. reports a plan to distribute cash to its shareholders as part of its dissolution plan.

[...]

EPresence was launched in 1983 as Banyan Systems, selling a network operating system and directory. But competitors such as Novell Inc. and Microsoft Corp. subsequently moved into that market and Banyan switched focus in 1997.

Moving on to Novell own business, consider this virtualization overview which includes Novell’s role in that arena.

The same is true with virtualization. There is VMware and the rest of the pack. Big players like Microsoft, Sun and Oracle have started making their moves, and open-source alternatives are being offered by Citrix, Novell and Red Hat. Additionally, interesting things are happening with startups. Even so, at this point the virtualization game is dominated by VMware.

Novell’s PR blog reported good performance with Novell Sentinel at NCDEX.

NCDEX requires rock solid process monitoring and compliance reporting and they have picked Novell Sentinel to help them with this. NCDEX will use Novell Sentinel to automate data collection, provide a centralized view of the data collected, protect against network intrusion, and simplify auditing and reporting to regulators.

There is not much else to cover because of the holiday.

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: Leaving SCOX in the Past

Posted in Corel, Finance, Novell, SCO, UNIX at 5:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SCOX is No More

Earlier this week, SCO showed some of its last signs of death. Let’s hope it’s not a case of changing SCOX (pronounced socks). It probably isn’t and in any event, Novell is unlikely to receive much (if anything at all).

SCO’s Postpetition Liabilities = $6 Million+ — Tanner’s Bills & SCO’s Operating Reports

More bankruptcy filings from the 21st of December, including two bills from the accountants, Tanner LC, and SCO’s most recent operating reports for SCO Group and SCO Operations.

[...]

That is where so much of the money went, of course, to the law firms. I wonder if Novell will try to get them to cough some of that back up again?

SCO Group delisted by Nasdaq – Salt Lake Tribune

The Nadaq stock exchange today suspended trading of the stock of the Lindon-based The SCO Group, which is trying to reorganize under federal bankruptcy protection.

For some related humour, see this fictional IRC log.

Diving Into the Past

Google’s glory frequently has Novell cited because the CEO. Here is an article from the Microsoft-affiliated Motley Fool.

So Szulik leaves the company in surprisingly appropriate hands. The Whitehurst hire reminds me of when Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) tapped Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL) CEO Eric Schmidt to lead the young company into a big, bold future, except that Red Hat looked in some mildly surprising places to find its man.

InfoWorld tells the story of WordPerfect and Novell’s role as a victim amidst Microsoft’s abuses.

But WordPerfect was late with its first Windows version, and then the bundling of Word with Microsoft Office on many PCs resulted in WordPerfect’s sale – first to Novell, then Corel in 1996 – aimed at producing a competitive office suite. While retaining popularity in some markets, particularly legal circles, WordPerfect now generally gets little attention as a Word competitor compared to free software alternatives.

It’s a blast from the past, but the article (a long blog post actually) is new and it takes some of today’s developments into account.

Quick Mention: Prelude to Microsoft’s Control of Governments

Posted in America, Bill Gates, Formats, Microsoft, Novell at 2:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A few days ago we showed how Microsoft control Europe. Andy Updegrove has just published the fourth chapter of his eBook, which concentrates on Massachusetts. Of interest:

Finally, and most fatefully (as they would learn), while overhauling the State’s IT systems would benefit some large and powerful IT vendors, by definition it would also take business away from others. Those vendors not only had lobbyists, but plenty of money to spend on them. As Peter Quinn in particular would later learn, rocking the government procurement boat was not something to be undertaken lightly.

In the coming week, we’ll show how Microsoft keeps its Asian governments leash in tact. There are many references to work on, so it might take a while. For those wondering why a site about Novell winds up discussing Microsoft and politics, well… they are all inter-connected. To quote again what was posted just an hour ago:

Gates met Noorda briefly in San Francisco to discuss the merger [...] before the merger could go forward, he said Novell had to drop its plans to buy Digital Research. [...] when Noorda raised the possibility that the Justice Department might try to block a merger between the first and third biggest software companies on the planet, Gates responded, “Don’t worry, we know how to handle the federal government.” [...] Gates denied every saying such a thing

We have yet to get to the bottom of this. The government and the IT industry remains inseparable. Both need to be understood better.

“The danger is that Microsoft is using strategic monopolistic pricing in the education market, with the government’s assistance, to turn our state university systems into private workforce training programs for Microsoft.”

Nathan Newman

MySQL Embraces Database XML, Microsoft Embraces… Well, Bribery XML

Posted in Database, Deception, Formats, Fraud, Free/Libre Software, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML at 1:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

XML is not open by nature, but only provided good design

MySQL, which is Free software, appears to be gradually embracing XML functionality for input and output, none of which involves mysterious binaries.

The unification of XML and SQL relational data has taken another significant step forward recently with the introduction of significant new XML functionality in mySQL, the world’s most popular open source database.

As for Microsoft, nobody falls for its sham quite so easily. Technical assessors can see that Microsoft’s XML is operating system-dependent and contains undocumented binaries. As such, Microsoft resorts to deception and bribery.

It might not matter much for Microsoft to get its format ISO standard as almost 95 per cent of the users are dependent on its Office suite; but to get government customer they do need the certification, hence the whole fight. Even there was a case reported in Sweden where some alleged Microsoft employees bribed to vote in OOXML’s favour. Later, Sweden withdrew itself from the voting.

If Microsoft cared about open formats, it would have supported OpenDocument Format. It was, after all, invited to join unification attempts. Instead:

Microsoft has to innovate beyond standard protocols.

Ed Muth, enterprise group manager, Microsoft

As we stated yesterday, OOXML is all about money, not openness.

“Those ‘Nasty’ Patent Trolls… Let’s Become Just Like Them”

Posted in Apple, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents at 1:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yahoo! Innovates! Nothing of Interest!

Yahoo complained about patent trolls in the past, but it seems to have just been caught red-handed as it tried to throw wood in that very same fire. [via digitalmajority.org]

The Yahoo patent revolves around the concept of “smart” drag-and-drop commands, which show users good places to move an object. The problem, according to Peer to Patent reviewers, is that there are several instances of prior art, among them Apple’s Mail and Finder applications, along with Microsoft’s Excel and Visio. In the case of the latter two, points are generated on a diagram as users drag out lines; this may or may not be enough to challenge Yahoo, as the patent mentions close proximity to the drag source.

This ought to be another good example where those who complain about the broken system are nothing short of hypocrites. These are crocodile tears. There exists a similar situation where software ‘piracy’ (copyright infringement actually) is involved. Those who complain about it often rely on it a great deal, by their own admission.

Related articles:

1. Flickr Patenting “Interestingness”

So basically, nobody else can use tags to label files. Totally original thinking from the folks at flickr.

2. Yahoo! claims! it! invented! Web! 2!

If the patent is granted, lawyers could be showing up at the door of Web 2.0 companies to demand cash.

SugarCRM CEO: GPLv3 is One of the Best Licences Out There

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GPL, Law at 12:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FSF GNU GPLv3Interesting new quote from a very enterprise-oriented business and one whose attitude towards Free software was fiercely criticised in the past:

“We wrote SugarCRM from scratch and then released it on open source — that means we are able to indemnify our customers, which is an important issue in open source. Right now, we are using the GPL version 3, which is one of the best licenses out there,” said SugarCRM CEO John Roberts.

I’ve been lobbying for GPLv3 in WordPress recently.

The GNU GPLv3 gains acceptance

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