Business Method Patents Raise Serious Questions; Software Patents Assault Again

Posted in America, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 11:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TrollTracker has identified an interesting and quickly- or widely-covered story about a key case that puts in jeopardy patents on business methods, an equally ugly sibling of software patents.

Dennis Crouch has an excellent summary of the Federal Circuit’s en banc order today, revisiting whether business method claims are patentable and whether State Street Bank should be overruled.

In other news, this time about software patents, both Google and Microsoft become the victim of trivialities being owned.

Last year, 13 patent-infringement claims were filed against Google, eight of them in the Eastern District of Texas. Seventeen patent suits were brought against Microsoft in the Eastern District of Texas in 2007, to say nothing of the wide array of cases brought against the company elsewhere.

Mind the fact that the plaintiff is from Ohio and the lawsuit was filed in — you’ve guess it — Eastern District of Texas. Maybe that district should start constructing some theme parks, hotels and motels. It will be getting many visitors and plenty of business unless the USPTO gets its act together. And fast!

Software patent on rise

Quick Mention: Room for Improvement in Novell’s SLED (via Lenovo)

Posted in IBM, Novell, Review, SLES/SLED at 11:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SUSE in Blue

Take it from the man, Steven Vaughan, whose conclusion is that Dell’s laptops with GNU/Linux preloaded may be a better deal to many who consider SUSE on Lenovo Thinkpads.

But then Ohlhorst found some flies in the soup. First, one of the boot options was to bring SLED up with the Xen virtualization program. Whoops. It didn’t work.

I’m not sure what Lenovo thought it was doing by making that a boot option, anyway. I mean, if you want to use virtualization, you’re going to need to get in there and install another operating system and set its system settings first. Why not leave setting up Xen until it’s time to set up Xen, or, as I’d be more likely to do, install and set up VirtualBox?

Steven and Frank did not bash SUSE. They made an observation and the fault might be with Lenovo, not Novell.

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part IV: Novell’s Products Past and Present

Posted in Identity Management, Novell, Security at 11:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell-SUSE event


Here is a newly-reported case of SUSE Linux being used in the far east.

“Halalan is basically a relational database system running on SUSE Linux. When first used in 2007, its developer platform was PostSQL. However, it has been enhanced this year and migrated to the MySQL platform. Both run on Open Source,” Bitanga added.

Here is a fairly new SUSE advert. It ought to be new on the face of it, based on the YouTube datestamp and judging by the upload time.

New Products

Novell’s mainframe push gets another mention and this includes some interesting statistics assuming they accurate, as well as adherent to proper definitions.

Novell SUSE Linux rules the mainframe

But according to Clabby, this is yet another way for Novell to strengthen its hold on the Linux mainframe market, which it dominates. According to Novell’s Steinman, “three-quarters of Linux running on the mainframe is running on SUSE,” while Clabby thinks it might even be more, a “stronghold 80% share or so.”

In the area which revolves around payment cards, there is this new press release.

Novell today announced a significant enhancement to its security and information event management solution, Novell® Sentinel(TM), that will help retailers meet the detailed requirements of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). One of the most critical compliance requirements for online and endpoint point-of-sale merchants, financial institutions, credit and debit card processors and credit card companies, PCI-DSS protects consumers from data fraud and identity theft by providing stringent guidelines for merchants on how to safeguard credit card information at various points in the payment process.

The PR is accompanied by some early coverage (it may be too early for journalists to have spotted and written about it).

Networking software firm Novell has announced enhancements to its security and information event management system Novell Sentinel. The improvements aim to help retailers meet the requirements of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, one of the most critical compliance requirements for online merchants and credit card companies.

Here is another new article from BetaNews.

It is not an area of business where you’d normally think of Novell providing the infrastructure. But business and retail transaction security is becoming a burgeoning business for the company that helped create the PC network.


While Novell’s technology is being implemented into future ATM scanners found in grocery stores and retail outlets, consumers will not notice an increased level of difficulty, but Novell promises there are additional layers of security available that other companies haven’t yet implemented.


TechEncyclopedia adds an entry/article about NetWare, which is still alive and ubiquitous, but it gradually being phased out.

A family of network operating systems from Novell that support Windows, Macintosh, DOS and OS/2 clients. Unix client support is available from third parties. In the early 1990s, NetWare was the largest installed base of LAN operating systems (see Novell).

That’s about all from the past week. One reader has expressed dissatisfaction with these weekly “Do-No-Evil Saturday” posts, so if one dislikes them, it’s advised to omit them. It should be easy to filter them out and drop them in some newsreaders by matching the string “Do-No-Evil” (technically or mentally). These remain essential for studying Novell, identifying and understanding their behavioural patterns.

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part III: Waltham Forest Council, SiteScape and Novell Partners Including GWAVA

Posted in Deals, Novell at 11:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There have been several key events in the past week, including SCO’s return to the headlines and the big (some say rather predictable) Novell acquisition. Let’s break it down using headings.

Business Affairs

Novell can finally get some of that money SCO owes it ‘thanks’ to the latest rubbish.

Waltham Forest Council (not Novell’s Waltham) is taking a look at Novell’s solutions but also at Microsoft’s.

Building on the IT overhaul, Wilde is considering virtualisation and an electronic document management system. He is also deciding whether to stay with a Novell operating system, or move to either Microsoft or open source.

“Changing operating system is incredibly difficult. Open source seems a lot cheaper because you do not have to buy licences, but you do have to invest in a lot of experts and pay people to put it in. You do not have the support network that you would with either Microsoft or Novell,” said Wilde.

SiteScape Acquisition

Press release announcing this development is here, among many other places.

Novell today announced it has acquired SiteScape, a leader in open source team collaboration, extending Novell’s leadership in, and commitment to, innovative and open collaboration solutions.

The New York Times had an article covering this.

Novell also says it will continue to support other SiteScape tools at least through 2010, including Forum ZX and ST, which provide chat, threaded discussion, blogs, wiki, workflow, and document sharing among other tools; SiteScape Zon, which is integrated into ZX and provides voice and Web conferencing; and Web Work Zone, an online hosted platform based on Forum.

Here is another article from a lesser-known outlet.

Novell Inc. said Wednesday it has acquired SiteScape Inc., a company that specializes in open source team collaboration products.

John Dragoon explains why the acquisition was made.

You may recall that in early 2007, Novell announced an agreement with SiteScape to license their technology for Novell Teaming + Conferencing. As a result of that agreement, SiteScape open sourced its technology, resulting in the ICEcore open source project. This project, to which SiteScape and Novell have been contributors, underpins Novell Teaming + Conferencing and its SiteScape corollary: SiteScape ICEcore Enterprise.


GWAVA makes a few headlines again because of this press release.

GWAVA, Novell’s largest Collaboration partner for GroupWise and Teaming + Conferencing, announced today that sales of Retain for GroupWise have surpassed sales of previous products, becoming the fastest growing offering in GWAVA history.

In CRN, Novell’s attempt to reaffirm its relationship with partners produces an article.

After roughly 90 days on the job, Novell’s new VP of Global Channel Sales, Pat Bernard, knows the company has some work to do in order to regain a partner-centric focus — and the trust of former partners. By focusing on margin protection and weaving partnering into every aspect of the business, Bernard says Novell can begin to realize its vision to be a preferred channel partner for the most companies it can get.

Pat Bernard is pretty new. His predecessor left the company not so long ago.

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: Novell’s Donation, Past Managers and Roots of Legacy

Posted in NetWare, Novell at 10:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The following lump of news is not technical, so if you don’t care for ‘fluff’, you are advised to skip this post, which is intended to balance criticisms of Novell and serve as an archival record for future reference.


Earlier this week somebody offered a donation to this Web site, but this was politely declined because we are not prepared for this. Shane just about manages to cover the hosting fees because of AdSense, which the last time I checked (or at least heard from him) pays less than a dollar a day. This site makes no profit at all and it is driven by voluntary effort alone.

Also on the subject on donations, Novell has just donated some software.

Catholic Charities recently received almost $40,000 in donated software from Novell Inc. as part of the Massachusetts-based corporation’s community relations program.

Former Novellers

A company which is headed by a former Noveller is coming to Novell’s back yard for some more staff and growth.

Data virtualizer xkoto moves from Canada to Waltham


xkoto CEO David Patrick, a former general manager of Waltham’s Novell Inc., said each location is on a hiring track as part of a growth plan that includes nearly doubling the company’s total staff from 30 employees now to approximately 50 by December 2008.

Jack Messman makes a surprise appearance in the news as well.

Telogis, Inc., the leader in real-time GPS location technologies, today announced that the Board of Directors has named Jack L. Messman as a Director and Chairman of the Board.

For those who do not know Jack Messman, here is a video from The Digital Tipping Point. Here is a Messman-era SuSE/SUSE:


Business Relationships

The Yahoo/Microsoft hard-to-get we-don’t-want-you affair continues. Novell gets a mention.

Now, some prognosticators are suggesting AOL and Yahoo! are in talks. Two dinosaurs talking merger reminds me of Novell running around and buying companies. Remember Novell? They owned the networking business until their policies stripped them of success. Novell ran around buying companies that were starting to falter. Novell is now a big “N” for “Not.”

Microsoft loves to grow through acquisitions, too. Yet, they usually purchase new companies and not failing ones.

The Novell/Microsoft relationship is mentioned here:

But is there a real discrepancy here, or are Google and Nokia just showing the kind of “coopetition” that has long marked relationships between firms such as Microsoft and Novell, or Sony and Toshiba, where two vendors partner in one market while competing against each other elsewhere?

The next post will look at more technical news from the past week.

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: OpenSUSE, Hackweek 2 and the Eee PC

Posted in GNU/Linux, Linspire, Novell, OpenOffice, OpenSUSE, Turbolinux, Videos, Xandros at 10:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista-SUSEThe big news of the week is quite arguably Novell’s new acquisition (the second being SCO returning from its grave). But let us start with OpenSUSE.

Jake Rogers of OpenSUSE gets its profile done and put online.

It’s community week, and as so ‘People of openSUSE’ interviewed the most popular openSUSE IRC helper around there, Jake Rogers!

OpenOffice.org’s superstar Michael Meeks has his profile done too.

GNOME and full time OpenOffice.org developer Michael Meeks was invited by ‘People of openSUSE’ to an interview, and here are his answers!

A blogger who is rather popular within the LXer community took OpenSuSE 10.3 for a spin and his impressions are not too bad.

It was decent enough, but too many annoying glitches kept popping up, such as the Amarok update that refuses to either install or be removed from the update list. The setup confused me initially as well. Note that a 3 out of 5 score indicates a very decent system. Yes, I am setting the standards pretty high.

Michael Larabel (of Phoronix fame) took OpenSuSE 11.0 Alpha 2 for a spin and posted some screenshots as he regularly does.

For KDE users, Alpha 2 has integrated KDE 4.0.1 which replaces the KDE 3.5 branch for this desktop Linux distribution.

Over at Linux Magazine, the inclusion of KDE 4 (see above) gets a mention.

The biggest change to the second alpha version of Opensuse 11 has to be the inclusion of KDE 4, which now replaces the older KDE version 3.5.8.

The KDE 4 repositories for OpenSUSE are listed here.

Francis Giannaros gives the news from OpenSUSE’s point of view in his latest newsletter.

Issue nine of openSUSE Weekly News is now out! You can read it in
English[0] or German[1].

In this week’s issue:

* openSUSE 11.0 Alpha 2 is out
* openSUSE Membership Now Open for Applications
* Hackweek Part II this week at SUSE
* In Planet SUSE: Lightning-fast package management for 11.0,
Command-line 1-Click-Install
* Upcoming: FOSDEM

[0] http://en.opensuse.org/OpenSUSE_Weekly_News/9
[1] http://de.opensuse.org/OpenSUSE-Wochenschau/9

Have a lot of fun!
– Francis Giannaros

Novell carries on with its hackweeks although this latest one should now be over. Ubuntu has one too (“developer week” is what they call it).

Glancing over at Xandros, which can be accused of the same sins as Novell’s, here is its derivative from ASUS running on the Eee PC, which we have neglected to mention for quite some time.

No Linspire news in recent weeks. Nothing from Turbolinux in almost a month.

Links 16/02/2008: Dell and GNU/Linux, Sun and (Not So) FOSS

Posted in News Roundup at 10:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 15/02/2008: LiveContent, Low Open Source Barriers, and Open Access in Harvard

Posted in News Roundup at 7:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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