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06.19.08

Links 19/06/2008: Big News from AMD (Tux on Box), Clarinet ‘Runs’ Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 6:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

  • AMD Makes An Evolutionary Leap In Linux Support

    Tux being part of their licensed box design, forthcoming CrossFire support, and other major features coming are major wins for the Linux community. For those concerned that AMD is attempting to build back up its binary blockade, don’t worry as their open-source strategy will continue with the RV770.

  • Linux Community Should Plant Seeds for Consumer Demand

    Free and open source software has come a long way toward widespread acceptance over the years, and that can be attributed in no small part to the strength and dedication of the community behind it.

  • To Those Who Make My Job Easier

    I know that isn’t near enough to express my gratitude for the gifts you’ve given this community. There are three of you who know just how generous I can be, but that was a one-time shot and as much as I’d like to match that gesture time and time again…well, we’ll see some day.

  • Linux-powered clarinet playing robot wins international prize

    “To get networking we plugged in a daughter board, and another board for the console, so we ended up with a stack of boards. The Gumstix board is an ARM processor running an Open Embedded Linux distribution,” Judge told Computerworld.

  • Testing Linux With a Live CD
  • Releases : Zenwalk Live 5.2 is ready!

    Zenwalk Live 5.2, the latest Zenwalk in its Live CD format is ready!

  • Linux Development Thriving
  • Linux on a Wii
  • Linux Distributions explained for Windows Users
  • Review: Linux Mint 5

    One of the hallmark Linux distributions for new users that we’ve been very pleased with has been Linux Mint. As I’ve said before, it’s built on Ubuntu and is essentially “Ubuntu done right”. With the introduction of version 5, Linux Mint has upped its previous level of perfection (as though they had far to go) and created an even better distribution than before.

  • Damn Small Linux 4.4 Review

    DSL 4.4 was just released on June 9th, so this past weekend I installed it on my Compaq Deskpro Pentium III 800 Mhz machine. It only has 256 megs of RAM, so a lightweight distribution like DSL is a good choice for it. Their site claims you can run DSL 486 DX with 16 megs of RAM, so even this old Compaq should fly with what it’s got.

KDE

Red Hat

F/OSS

Firefox

Intellectual Monopolist to Keep Eye On: Commissioner Mccreevy

Posted in America, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Patents at 5:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Everybody is connected to everybody else, all data that can be shared will be shared will be shared: get used to it.”

Eben Moglen

There are several prominent people out there who seem to be pulling strings on behalf of the proprietary software giants and big media companies. One of them, whom we identified several times before, is Nicolas Sarkozy. Another such person seems to be Mr Mccreevy [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], so make a mental note. Here is his latest blow.

Today, the leading European centres for intellectual property research have released a joint letter to EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, enclosing an impact assessment detailing the far reaching and negative effects of the proposal to extend the term of copyright in sound recordings. [...] “This Copyright Extension Directive, proposed by Commissioner Mccreevy, is likely to damage seriously the reputation of the Commission…”

Larry Lessig would cringe at the sight this because he thought it was only an American problem. Just like in software patents, Mccreevy helps in spreading American law and bringing it over to Europe (especially the undesirable laws that benefit only monopolists).

Over at the MSBBC today, there is this article bemoaning the slowness of the patent system.

The world patent system is under severe stress.”

Delays in Europe of up to 10 years have left somewhere between five and ten million inventions globally queuing for approval, according to the head of European Patent Office, Alison Brimelow.

Maybe if the system was not overburdened by junk applications (trivial ‘ideas’ and duplicates), then it wouldn’t end up this way. Demonstrating shapp contrast, over at the Peer-to-Patent project, great success was reported just days ago.

Peer-to-Patent Pilot Releases Report Demonstrating Success of Public Participation in Patent Process

Peer-to-Patent, the groundbreaking Web-based governmental “social networking” project, has released a report on the results of its one-year pilot. Peer-to-Patent seeks to improve patent quality by connecting the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to an open network of scientific and technical experts to enhance the patent examination process.

See? An open-source approach works better even for patenting, whereas the US patent office currently seems to forbid or discriminate against open source algorithms. What a shame and an utter sham.

“Fighting patents one by one will never eliminate the danger of software patents; any more than swatting mosquitoes will eliminate malaria.”

Richard Stallman

Microsoft’s Bad Smell Follows OpenSUSE

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE at 5:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista-SUSEComplete disengagement from Novell the better option for OpenSUSE?

For only a few hours yesterday, we had put this banner up at the top. At the advice of some people, including my co-editor Shane, it was pulled down. Nevertheless, now that OpenSUSE 11.0 is released, it’s clear that some people hesitate or resent due to Novell’s alliance with Microsoft. Here is an example from the beginning of Andrew Hudson’s review at Linux Format:

Since the takeover by Novell and the subsequent patent covenant that Novell entered into with Microsoft, it’s been a bit of a rough community ride for Novell’s free and open source distribution. Although OpenSUSE itself is now well established, it’s having to play catch up with Fedora which split from Red Hat Linux almost five years ago (before Novell even announced the SUSE acquisition).

Here is another new example from Download Squad

Yet OpenSUSE often gets a bad wrap. There’s that whole Novell/Microsoft/the world is ending conspiracy thing going on, for one thing. Certainly when Novell bought SuSE, it was disturbing. What were Novell’s intentions? Where were things going to go from this point? Was openSUSE going to suffer for it?

No matter how hard OpenSUSE tries, the bad reputation due to the Microsoft deal just won’t go away. Someone ought to really just fork and create a truly Novell-independent SUSE — you know, without all that baggage. As long as OpenSUSE helps development of SLED and SLES, it may be better to avoid OpenSUSE. There’s just no choice.

GNU/Linux Users Locked Out of Olympics, Need Silverlight 2.0

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 4:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Silverlight puke, barf

To use his own words, Miguel de Icaza has just gone to hang out at Microsoft. Yes, that’s how close Novell’s executives are to Microsoft. But that’s totally besides the point that he’s actively assisting adoption of Microsoft Silverlight, which is a huge threat to the openness of the World Wide Web and also to viability of Free software desktops (unlike Flash).

“As the FOSS world probably knows by now, Moonlight is a semi-cooked catch-up work.”Just over a week ago we showed how Microsoft was ruining good football and also the Olympic games. We wrongly thought it was a matter of paying 'Microsoft tax'. This had happened just before it was confirmed that Moonlight may indeed be a poison pill. It’s part of a broader issue introduced by Novell.

On the face of it, however, it’s no longer just a legal matter but perhaps also one of feasibility because the Summer Olympics will require the very bleeding edge of Microsoft Silverlight. As the FOSS world probably knows by now, Moonlight is a semi-cooked catch-up work. Microsoft wouldn’t port Silverlight to GNU/Linux.

NBC’s player is based on the latest beta version of Silverlight, which the Democratic National Convention will also use to distribute video in August. Silverlight 2.0 is due out in the fall.

It sounds as though not only will GNU/Linux users be left out in the cold. Novell’s paying customers (with ‘licensed’ Moonlight) will possibly be left out as well.

This was supposed to be a huge international event (recurring just once in four year), but Microsoft and its former partner (MS)NBC received exclusivity.

Say no to Silverfish and those who support it. Say no to Novell, whose official Web site is already saturated with Adobe Flash. Expect Silverlight too. Microsoft and Novell are partners now.

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

Ron Hovsepian and Steve Ballmer

Whispers from Former Microsoft Employees Inside the Open Source World

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Patents at 4:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s important to know who is who

We apologise in advance for being a tad repetitive, but we continue to discover some little nuggets of information which are worth exploring in another post that touches on this subject.

We wrote about OpenLogic a few times so far this week [1]. We discovered also the history of the man who runs this one particular company [1].

“IDC is another warning sign.”At the moment, they only track over 1,000 People (largely GNU/Linux users), but they use the black art of statistics to over-inflate these figures and share numbers at the scale of hundreds of thousands. That’s a bad sign. It’s like “Microsoft statistics” (recall the market share lie), which are about dishonesty at best and gaming (mischievous intervention) at worst.

The company is also run by a Microsoftie (former nonetheless). It makes you wonder it’s a monitoring/spying project for self-serving ‘studies’ (follow the money, i.e. sponsorship) or polite software patents claims. Some bloggers say that it’s safer to ignore OpenLogic and shun its census at this stage. In fact, watch this newer article on this subject:

The Census, started in April by OpenLogic with help from IDC and other sponsors, relies on anonymous scans of computers to count open source installations with software called OSS Discovery.

Mind the inclusion of IDC in there. It is another renowned motor — with extensive history by all means –of pro-Microsoft propaganda [1, 2, 3]. IDC is another warning sign.

OpenLogic is not our sole concern. Consider another former Microsoft employee, whose business runs and develops proprietary software. He wants to tell us all about GPLv3 with this new press release. Remember that Black Duck is a proprietary software company in every sense of the word. I wrote about this a long time ago.

What’s the interest, you ask? They are often looking to make money out of fear associated with popular Free software licences (if not create fear too). We wrote about this yesterday as well. Little confidence can be earned by the fact that Black Duck sort of ‘stole’ Palamida’s database, as we mentioned a month ago. Trust just isn’t there, so we’ll continue to watch carefully.

Reader’s Take on OpenDocument Foundation and Microsoft (Updatedx3)

Posted in Formats, Microsoft, OpenDocument, Standard at 11:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We checked, but we remain unsure

The following has been discussed in the IRC channel for a couple of hours, but it’s still inconclusive. We share with you information that an anonymous reader claims to have found. We can’t confirm any of this to be verifiable, but this need to be considered in light of the fact that the defunct OpenDocument Foundation (not alliance) seemed close to Microsoft. It was odd at the time.


I have been observing the oiic list and the lawyer guy called marbux

He is using the signature

Universal Interoperability Council
<http:www.universal-interop-council.org>

Just did a whois on that domain name

http://www.betterwhois.com

guess what turns up

Domain ID:D150461463-LROR
Domain Name:UNIVERSAL-INTEROP-COUNCIL.ORG
Created On:23-Dec-2007 09:29:57 UTC
Last Updated On:22-Feb-2008 03:50:28 UTC
Expiration Date:23-Dec-2008 09:29:57 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:GoDaddy.com, Inc. (R91-LROR)
Status:CLIENT DELETE PROHIBITED
Status:CLIENT RENEW PROHIBITED
Status:CLIENT TRANSFER PROHIBITED
Status:CLIENT UPDATE PROHIBITED
Registrant ID:GODA-041357168
Registrant Name:Olivia Edwards
Registrant Organization:TransNet.com
Registrant Street1:232 F Street
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:Redwood City
Registrant State/Province:California
Registrant Postal Code:94063
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.6503650899
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:+1.6503645903
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email:garyedwards@yahoo.com

Now check this

Registrant Organization:TransNet.com
Created On:23-Dec-2007 09:29:57 UTC

Go to therr website  TransNet.com ..guess what...Nice logo of..

Microsoft gold certified partner

[...]

Check this out..more about the spooky guy called marbux

http://www.transnet.com/aboutTransNet.asp

.asp so this guys are all Microsoft

hum...more stuff...

Our clients include Fortune 100 organizations, primarily in the
pharmaceutical, oil and gas, finance and communications industries,
**** as well as educational and local and state governmental
institutions****. TransNet common stock is traded in the
Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board under the symbol "TRNT."

[...]

some more

http://www.transnet.com/train07.asp

microsoft, microsoft, microsoft all over the place


At the moment, Marbux seems active in a new ODF mailing list, but he is hostile towards IBM. The key questions we are unable to answer though:

  1. Is Olivia Edwards the wife of Gary Edwards? We know that his wife helped him set up an office in a garage?
  2. Is “Registrant Organization” associated with the person registering the domain or the host?

Our source was keen to be heard, but we suspect that there’s a lot of work to be done if it was ever to become credible enough. It’s actually Patrick Durusau that we are more curious about [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

There’s a lot more information in the IRC log that will be posted tomorrow.

Every single negative letter on ODF received by the Malaysian standards organization was written either by Microsoft, or a Microsoft business partner or a Microsoft affiliated organization (Initiative for Software Choice and IASA).

A Memo to Patrick Durusau

Update: More information keeps coming. We quote:




registrar is at godaddy. i have not put this email public.

but why would anyone put hosting company name in here...he seems to be
a pretty smart guy to do such a thing. normally a person will use his
own conmpany name there. plus i check that this company transnet.com
does not provide hosting or web designing. hum...very close indeed.

Registrant Organization:TransNet.com

very tricky thing indeed..

[...]

plus transnet.com has a lot of interest in government contracts, etc...

lot of things are just not right. they way he is just bullshitting in
the list and trying to just throw it off the track. does anyone
without any interest has time to write such long and baseless emails..
and he just dogs when asked for proof. they way he is throwing
aquisitions at ibm, sun, groklaw, etc. ...just dosent seem to fit
will.

why would anyone do such a thing unless they have some sort of
personal gains or interest.

i am just keeping mum unless things become more clear.

[...]

http://www.manta.com/coms2/dnbcompany_g0w5wj

SIC #Code:8748

Est. Annual Sales:$73,000

Est. Employees:1

Est. Employees at Location:1

Contact Name:Olivia Edwards

Contact Title:Owner

So this person (Olivia Edwards) runs a company called Transnet.com

All the records of ownership of the domain
www.universal-interop-council.org are with Transnet.com !!!!!

This guy called Marbux claims that he runs that website or writes
there. BTW he has left the registration/ownsership of website with
Transnet.com - I dont know how many people will do such a thing - that
also a real smart techie/lawyer.

Panelist: Buck "Marbux" Martin. Marbux is a retired Oregon lawyer who
volunteers his time with the OpenDocument Foundation as its director
of legal affairs and is also a freelance investigative writer with an
intense interest in software interoperability issues and
closely-related subjects such as software patents. Marbux is also a
member of the OpenDocument Technical Committee. He received his J.D.
from the University of Oregon School of Law. "Buck 'Marbux' Martin" is
a pseudonym used to maximize his privacy in retirement.

http://209.85.175.104/search?q=cache:qzc0Cy62

So that is not his real name but some sort of pseudonym.

this is really funny....

We have also just received almost a confirmation that Olivia is the wife of Gary, but let’s wait until some better proof is available.

Updated #2: We also hear that Gary and Olivia may have been directors of a company that owned a converter they never finished, and that they hoped to make a profit on. Further to this, from our anonymous reader, here is something for those lacking background:



Gary Edwards is president of the OpenDocument Foundation, Inc., a
501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Edwards oversees the software
standards and development work of the Foundation. The OpenDocument
Foundation provides financial and technical support to permit
individuals to participate within software standards consortia like
OASIS in an open-source manner. Edwards also leads the development
work of the ODF Plugin (to MS Office) for the Foundation and its
affiliate, OpenDocument, Inc. Edwards was a founding member of the
OASIS OpenDocument (Open Document Format for Office Applications)
Technical Committee and plays a key role on the ODF subcommittees,
including the ODF Formula and the ODF Metadata TCs. Additionally, his
influence was instrumental to the early adoption of the OpenOffice.org
software around the world. During and prior to his commitment to
software standards work, Edwards has led significant consulting
projects focused on business process re-engineering in the media, real
estate and financial fields.

hum....really strange things are going on here.....

[...]

more stuff..

http://www.betanews.com/article/OpenDocument_Foundation_Dissolves_L

So what it has all to do with Olivia Edwards and Transnet.com and
Microsoft Gold Partner  and government contracts.

Gary Edwards is president of the OpenDocument Foundation, Inc.

Olivia Edwards - Transnet.com - Microsoft Gold Partner - government
contracts. - Est. Annual Sales:$73,000

Something is really fishy.


Update #3: More input of interest arrives.



Am I missing something ? Why
would they sponser such a person/domain ? Who is this Marbux/Paul and
why is he spamming the list with such nonsense ?? Is he paid to do
that or something and what it has to do with ODF/Microsoft ?

As I can see that email for registering that domain is of Gary Edwards.



Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email:garyedwards@yahoo.com

for detailed information.   Domain Name: TRANSNET.COM
   Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC.
   Whois Server: whois.networksolutions.com
   Referral URL: http://www.networksolutions.com
   Name Server: NS13.WORLDNIC.COM
   Name Server: NS14.WORLDNIC.COM
   Status: clientTransferProhibited
   Updated Date: 03-nov-2006
   Creation Date: 03-feb-1992

http://www.transnet.com/sec.asp?mu=in

They have been public since 2001. I am not into stock market/accoutant
but this company is active since long back...someone needs to dig
through the reports. See if they got some extra money out of nowhere
since formation/disruption of OpenDocument Foundation, Inc. or
whatever is going on...

download one of them and go through them regarding anything
strange...check the last page. No mention of Edwards in the board...

http://www.transnet.com/annualReport.asp?mu=in

[...]

http://blogs.eweek.com/brooks/content/office/_the_op...

check this comment...

Michael Shigorin :

Wow, how nice this false thing spreads. Do you at eWeek get lazy at
checking the facts that often? I understand that this was a keen trick
but you bought into it: "OpenDocument Foundation" just doesn't have
any positive connection to the OpenDocument Format in the first place.

http://whois.americaregistry.com/displayWhois.php?z...
=> Registrant Organization: TransNet.com

Now TransNet is Microsoft partner, and at least one of the three
people in this "Foundation" was a marketing lead at openoffice.org --
who left his position not without scandal.

So, please do consider that we have at least company which is eager to
deceive in this area, and who are deceiving.

Posted by Michael Shigorin | November 5, 2007 10:18 AM


Microsoft Office Says ODF Files Are Corrupt

Posted in Formats, FUD, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 10:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Ballmer on ODFShades of DR-DOS FUD tactics

One day ago we wrote about ways in which Microsoft seems to be discouraging the use of ODF. It’s a must-read for background. We promised some screenshots and we finally have them thanks to Eruaran. Here is the portion of the IRC discussion which explains what you see at the bottom.

<Eruaran> The first one is what comes up if you try to open an .odt in MS Word 2007 (after I clicked ‘details’)
<schestowitz> Thanks!
<Eruaran> no problem
<Eruaran> so, you click ok and you get the second one
<schestowitz> And the third…?
<Eruaran> so, you click ‘yes’ to ‘recover the contents’ of this document and you get the third
<Eruaran> third shows after I clicked ‘details’
<Eruaran> click ‘ok’ and thats it
<schestowitz> “the file is corrupt,” eh? The last time I checked it’s Microsoft that corrupted Swedish folks for OOXML.
<Eruaran> try to open the same document back in OOo or KOffice and its perfect

[...]

<Eruaran> “Microsoft Office cannot open this file because some parts are missing or invalid” ~translation~ “Microsoft Office could open this file but wont because some parts are missing (you know, those binary blobs that keep you dependant upon us), so we’ve decided your choice of file formats is invalid”.

Dialogue 1:

ODF diagloe

Dialogue 2: (click to enlarge)

ODF error

Dialogue 3:

ODF FUD

Thoughts?

Links 19/06/2008: Linux a Supercomputing Champion, Red Hat Has Many Announcements

Posted in News Roundup at 5:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Leads the Super Pack

    Of much more interest, as I alluded to in a recent article is the penetration of Linux into this arena. Depending upon how you count the numbers provided by TOP500, between 85% and 89% of the Supercomputers are running some version of Linux.

  • Canadian Firm Shows Faith In Ubuntu Server
  • Tirupur Association trains members on Linux

    “The training is not to counterfeit Microsoft. There are customers who always insist on free operating system and software. In that case we recommend dealers to install Linux, if the customer is not ready to buy licensed software,” explains K Babu, General Secretary, TITA.

  • AMD Catalyst 8.6 Linux Driver

    In AMD’s usual fashion, this afternoon they have announced the release of new display drivers for both Linux and Windows. The Catalyst 8.6 release for Linux introduces a few bug fixes, version 2.0 of their driver installation API, and a few unannounced features are present.

  • OLPC Spin-off Developing UI for Intel’s Classmate PC

    Intel could give its Classmate PC a user interface similar to One Laptop Per Child’s XO laptop, with the chip maker preparing a version of the Sugar UI found on OLPC’s laptops for its educational laptop.

  • Nokia completes Trolltech acquisition
  • PCLinuxOS GNOME Review

Red Hat

Devcies

Open-source

Microsoft

Leftovers/Surveillance

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