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02.20.08

Hey Amanda [McPherson], the C in Comments in Not Censorship (Corrected)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, OSDL at 11:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[Correction: as indicated at the bottom, there may have been an accident here and no censorship was involved. Below is the original post.]

Linux Foundation, open up already

I don’t mean to start another unnecessary argument with the Linux Foundation (there is more than one in the past), but having advised the Foundation not to start an argument with Sun Microsystems I also posted the following polite comment:


Hi Amanda,

As someone who advocates Linux passionately, I’d advise against provoking a war of words again Sun. Other companies will use it against us.

Take care, I’m subscribed to this blog now.


A day went by. Many new comments showed up, but mine did not. I’ve just had to post another test comment to confirm that moderation is applied to everything. Therefore, that comment of mine (quoted above in full) was discarded, rejected. What is that all about?

Links 21/02/2008: GNU/Linux Laptop Make the Day, Ubuntu 8.10 Called Intrepid Ibex

Posted in News Roundup at 11:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Readers.

Would you prefer portions of text to accompany each link, or are the links sufficient?

Did Microsoft Hijack XenSource Like It Tries to Hijack Yahoo?

Posted in Deals, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Red Hat, Servers, Virtualisation, Xen at 10:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Back to Citrix, ‘aka’ XenSource, formerly Xen (RIP)

As we showed a fortnight ago, Citrix is no longer interested in Xen as a virtualisation technology.

What was XenSource’s bread and butter again? Virtualisation.

How much did Citrix pay for Xen(Source)? Half a billion dollars.

How many customers did XenSource have? Hundreds or a few thousands.

What does Citrix claim it needed XenSource for? The trademark, the name.

Citrix insists that it’s not a virtualisation company and has no intentions of becoming one. So why did Citrix buy a company solely focused on visualisation (and probably overpaid to snatch it)? Most likely: Microsoft.

Microsoft has admittedly fallen behind in hypervisors, which place GNU/Linux well ahead of Windows. Microsoft is still trying to get its hypervisor technology (it actually bought one) to work and it had to drop it from Server 2008 (formerly Longhorn) due to implementation difficulties. Don’t say this to anyone *wink wink*, but Microsoft told its developers that Windows Vista is screwed and that he codebase is apparently a mess.

2 days ago, Mary Jo Foley said that Server 2008 shares a common codebase and even the patches are merely identical, so the first server release (RTM) will be called SP1 (for perception and PR purposes, of course). Will Windows Server 2008 rock? Yes, as much as Windows Vista, with an almost identical DNA. Or as much as the Zune (mind the sarcasm here!).

Anyway, going back to the main point, Xen was a huge threat to Microsoft, not to mention VMWare. Microsoft is at the moment using both of them (there’s a new strategic alliance involving Microsoft and Citrix with Xen), whose clear purpose is to knock down VMWare, on which companies like Red Hat depend. Feel free to browse our “Xen” category if any (or all) of this information is new to you because this was covered extensively before, with quotes and citations to back it. None of this is truly speculative.

Discussing Yahoo would have us pulled off-topic and into territories where there is endless discussion to weigh. It’s a distraction to our focus on Novell and Free software. However, be aware that what you find in Yahoo may be eerily similar to what we saw in XenSource.

Back over two years ago, Microsoft began collaborating with XenSource. They signed some form of a deal when XenSource was still a small company without much at all in terms of funding (KVM probably did not exist at the time).

“It later turned out that XenSource management began to even contain former Microsoft employees. This included a general manager.”XenSource needed some love and support. Shortly afterwards, XenSource opened some form of a branch nowhere other than Redmond, Washington. It later turned out that XenSource management began to even contain former Microsoft employees. This included a general manager. Sounds familiar? We shall discuss this phenomenon shortly on in this Web site when we get around to Nokia’s snub of Free software (teaser: Nokia has Microsoft insiders).

In any event, some months later, despite growth, XenSource pretty much sold out to a Microsoft partner (Citrix). Coincidence? Your call. All we know is that a company which began as an ‘all about open source and Linux’ business ended up in Redmond with Microsoft chums at the top, cheerfully running the the show.

This brings us to yesterday’s news about Microsoft’s proxy fight against Yahoo (we’re watching it very closely but not writing about it).

A word of caution: Don’t accuse us of using ‘conspiracy’ terminology like “proxy”. Don’t blame us. Blame the press. Blame Microsoft. They are the ones describing a hostile takeover in this way. New articles include:

1. A Yahoo Proxy Contest: How Good Are Microsoft’s Chances?

Microsoft refuses to boost its Yahoo bid, valued at $31 a share a few weeks ago. It refuses so thoroughly, in fact, that the Redmond, Wash., software giant may be willing to wage a proxy battle to oust Yahoo’s board, according to this report. (To do that, Microsoft must nominate a new slate of directors for Yahoo within the next three weeks).

2. Microsoft Usually Doesn’t Do This Sort of Thing. Except It Does. All The Time.

When Microsoft proposed its $31 a share takeover of Yahoo, the deal’s rich 61% one-day premium seemed a necessary part of the audacious bid: at a price like that, who could refuse?

3. How Yahoo went from Web star to Microsoft prey

A desperate, expensive bid to beat Google; turf wars among divisions

Putting aside the irresponsible lack of government intervention amid such abuse (Yahoo employees on campus are said to be nervous or absolutely terrified), Microsoft may have used the same tricks against XenSource. It invited the company to reside next to its main headquarters, put some ex-Softies in positions of power and then used the “Citrix proxy” to acquire Xen, escaping the FTC’s scrutiny and the GNU GPL’s obligations by doing so.

Which company will Microsoft ‘steal’ tomorrow? Less importantly, what was behind Sun’s acquisition of Innotek (VirtualBox)? Another attempt to prove that Sun is “sort of a little pregnant with open source” when witness testimonies [cre 2508 suggests otherwise]?

Remember that Steve Ballmer said that he was prepared to buy open source software companies (roughly in October 2007, unless memory betrays here). Microsoft wants to replace LAMP with WAMP, so acquisitions along the way is small money. They are long term investments under the assumption that in a market lacking competition the monopolist sets the price.

Mono, Mono, Mono… What to Do About Mono?

Posted in Debian, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Ubuntu at 9:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A few days ago we published an analysis of Mono in Ubuntu. That post has been viewed close to 6,000 times so far and it generated ongoing discussions such as this one in LXer. Some people attack the messenger and others appear to make incorrect assertions. Among my latest observations:

Mono comes in separate forms depending on what’s covered and documented and what’s not, IIRC. There are bits that are bound to come under scrutiny, shall one want to scrutinise them. The Mono project divided them up recently.

[...]

Have you seen the Novell contract (redacted) with Microsoft? Have a look. See how it treats Mono and WinE. Then, look at the Linspire and Xandros ones. Not the same. Not a coincidence, in my humble opinion.

People would be wise to refrain from attacking individuals and suggesting that I spread FUD (against Linux). Those who know my activities on the Web would laugh at the idea of me spreading FUD against Linux, so such accusations take us nowhere.

A few hours ago, the following analysis of Debian GNU/Linux “Lenny” came up. Let this quote do its thing:

Simple mental exercise: Identify the OS!

[...]

mono\gac\System.ServiceProcess\2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a\System.ServiceProcess.dll
mono\gac\System.Transactions\2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089\System.Transactions.dll
mono\gac\System.Web.Services\2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a\System.Web.Services.dll
mono\gac\System.Web\2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a\System.Web.dll
mono\gac\System.Xml\2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089\System.Xml.dll
mono\gac\System\2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089\System.dll

Hint: Replace the backslashes with slashes, then prefix each path with /usr/lib/.

The correct answer is: no, it’s not Microsoft Windows, it’s Debian GNU/Linux “Lenny” (testing), with the minimum dependencies needed to run F-Spot! (Actually, I guess that all not the files are needed, but this is how they package them, and how the dependencies are set.)

Is this the future of GNU/Linux and the Free Desktop? Need something be done to address this?

A bad penguin -- Novell
Novell’s idea of Linux (Mono is a Novell project and it supports MSOOXML)

If You Live in Australia, Justice Needs Your Help

Posted in Australia, Deception, Europe, Formats, Fraud, ISO, Open XML, Standard, SUN at 9:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Analysts: Analysts sell out – that’s their business model But they are very concerned that they never look like they are selling out, so that makes them very prickly to work with.”

Internal Microsoft document

It has already been mentioned quite recently that a person whom Microsoft paid in the past will go batting for Australia at the BRM in Geneva. The Australian press is confirming this now while ODF advocates are calling for Australian citizens to take action and stop this.

Last year [Rick] Jelliffe was implicated in editing OOXML Wikipedia entries at the request of Microsoft. A public explanation is available on Jelliffe’s blog.

Here is my theory. Previously, Mr. ‘Devil’s Advocate’ Jelliffe said “No” to OOXML at the last minute in order to gain credibility and steal this “Devil’s Advocate” role, which is crucial. Watch the following quote from Microsoft:

“Consultants: These guys are your best bets as moderators. Get a well-known consultant on your side early, but don’t let him publish anything blatantly pro-Microsoft. Then, get him to propose himself to the conference organizers as a moderator, whenever a panel opportunity comes up.

Internal Microsoft document

Do watch Microsoft’s "Evangelism is War" exhibit. The full text is available too, as plain text. It’s part of the classic tactic. Mind the bit about analysts and consultant needing to appear independent.

It’s the playing-hard-to-get routine. It’s like when a girl says “no” (e.g. to a man wooing her, or to OOXML) but what she actually means to say is “yes”. It makes victory sweeter.

In other news, Document Freedom Day is approaching. [via Simon Phipps]

The Document Freedom Day (DFD) is a global day for Document Liberation with grassroots action for promotion of Free Document Formats and Open Standards in general. The DFD was initiated and is supported by a group of organisations and companies, including, but not limited to the Free Software Foundation Europe, ODF Alliance, OpenForum Europe, IBM, Red Hat and Sun Microsystems, Inc.

if you live in Australia, be sure to protest against this suspicious appointment might greatly affects OOXML adoption (other documented examples). The same goes for Denmark, England and Portugal (similar examples we are aware of alone).

Microsoft won’t go down without a dirty trick (or two… or even hundreds). If we don’t speak out, the system will continue to get corrupted. Don’t let a convicted monopolist speak ‘on behalf’ of your entire nation in Geneva [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

This is not a fight between Windows and GNU/Linux. It is not a fight between Sun and Microsoft, either. This is a fight involving justice and complete mockery of everything we have come to know as integrity.

OOXML is fraud

Links 20/02/2008: eBay Boycott, Yahoo Under Attack, Push for GNU/Linux in Russia

Posted in News Roundup at 10:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bill Gates Bashes GNU/Linux and Out Comes His Fear

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Linux is a very complete and sophisticated operating system. And there is a lot of work being done to improve it in and of itself, particularly to make it easier to use and easier for people to set up on their personal computers.”

Paul Maritz, Senior Vice President, Microsoft

A reader has just made a suggestion, one which he probably will nag us about repeatedly (albeit in a good and constructive way). “It would be smart to always include a reference and live links to the technologies Microsoft is trying to imitate or bury,” he says.

“One obvious component of operant conditioning is that along with each and every criticism, there should be a clear push towards the desired behavior or knowledge. That’s for the readers,” he says.

“It is probably web 2.0 stuff and Java Server pages, J2EE, to guess wildly at a few that Microsoft is trying to bury”He continues: “For Microsoft, if one fails to mention the products and technologies they are trying to distract you from, then Microsoft has still gained a win.”

A previous post on the subject which brought these suggestions spoke about Silverlight. “It is probably web 2.0 stuff and Java Server pages, J2EE, to guess wildly at a few that Microsoft is trying to bury,” says the reader. “Someone into web application development should be able to give some real relevant technologies,” he advised us.

Further: “Promoting MySQL, Postgresql, Apache (including Tomcat, Lenya, Lucene, etc), Java, Javascript, Perl, Python, NetBeans, Eclipse, Kdevelop, Qt, Qtopia, GTK+, wxWidgets and so on helps neutralize Microsoft’s anti-media tactics of saturate, diffuse and confuse.”

He gives an example: “I bet a lot of people don’t know that they could be making GUI-based programs with native look and feel for 3-4 platforms at once. Qt does that.”

Okay, so the reader appears to be right on point. We ought to advocate rather than negate. Watch, for example, the following new observations which are made on the very same subject in Bruce Perens’ Technocrat:

“Gates said students will want to try Microsoft’s tools because they’re more powerful than the open-source combination of Linux-based operating systems, the Apache Web server, the MySQL database and the PHP scripting language used to make complex Web sites.”

…sounds like someone’s in denial.

Bill Gates appear to be drawing attention to the technologies which worry him. He even includes (by name) the platform which Microsoft pretends to be negligible — GNU/Linux. Microsoft’s SEC filings suggest otherwise, but that’s where we are. Microsoft keeps that infamous poker face on.

An analyst who studies Microsoft almost exclusively, Joe Wilcox, adds this:

Microsoft is looking to get a whole lot back from its program. DreamSpark isn’t charity. It’s business–protecting Microsoft’s entrenched desktop-and-server software business model from competing products, and, most importantly, from the Web 2.0 platform.

Mind the fact that he agrees with us that it’s only charity in disguise. There are expectation for something to come in return. Microsoft has mastered the use of charity as a business tool, but that’s far from news [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9].

Ray Niro’s Latest Mud Fight (and Other Patent Nonesnese)

Posted in Action, Deception, Patents at 7:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Why patent for innovation when you can patent just for profit?

To those who do not know, Ray Niro is a man ‘fortunate’ (or rather notorious) enough to have earned the crown bearing the letters “FATHER OF PATENT TROLLING” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. That is of course one among several factors that rendered the function of the USPTO moot, obsolete and so utterly broken.

Having harassed a blogger (headhunting), Niro now picks another fight with — you’ve guessed it — another fellow troll.

Some interesting developments in the Global Patent Holdings litigation going on in Nevada (against Zappos) and Florida (against Boca Resort). The long sad story is below, but for those with a short attention span, here is the abbreviated version: Essentially, Global Patent Holdings, hurting that Boca Resort called it a patent troll, said “oh yeah, GPH is really an 80-year-old and a 70-year-old in a wheelchair – who you callin’ troll, son of Enron?” Meanwhile, at the same time in Nevada, GPH told the court that it, not the inventors, owned the rights to the patents. Boca Resort replied by saying, “Hey Niro, you started it – you were the one who wrote the article saying you’re a patent troll anyway. And by the way, if the inventors have a stake, then where’s the real party in interest? Dismiss this case, your honor!”

Yes, that’s the crazy life of people who made a fortune by exploiting every loophole in the system, thereby making a complete mockery of it.

Do you want to see some really crazy and outrageous patent? Here is a good new example from Zoobab at Digital Majority. It’s a total ripoff.

Thanks Huwaii and Miao for this great invention and stealing my work. I really appreciate it. I bet Marshall T. Rose will also be delighted.

Zoobab also pointed to an update on the business method patents kerkuffle.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) could reconsider its own landmark decision on business method patents after ordering an en banc hearing in an appeal from the USPTO

Things have never looked worse for the USPTO, but the good news is that more and more people are becoming aware of the problem. This makes a crowd that will have the system put under greater pressure to get its act together and rectify itself.

Many of us were taught that the purpose of patents is to protect ourselves and to spur innovation. These goals must now be met by restoring order. Taking care of the likes of Ray Niro would make a fine start.

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