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07.09.08

Links 09/07/2008: Garmin Emits GPL-licensed Code, Dimdim Nets 6 Million Dollars

Posted in News Roundup at 3:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

Proprietary Felony

F/OSS

Microsoft

Yahoo

Microsoft and Citrix Celebrate Love After Vendor Capture (Xen)

Posted in Apple, Corel, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Turbolinux, Virtualisation, Xandros, Xen at 2:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We will do some buying of companies that are built around open-source products.”

Steve Ballmer

I

t was less than a day ago that we explained what had probably happened with VMWare. The story is similar to that of XenSource, which we have painted endlessly before as a victim of Microsoft and its ecosystem. It’s all about platforms, not virtualisation technologies, which Microsoft merely uses to defend its crown jewels. Virtualisation caught Microsoft asleep on the wheel and when it woke up it seemed too late. it has no choice but to play dirty to catch up.

Anyway, shortly after the grabbing of XenSource, Citrix and Microsoft celebrated with a big trophy. Citrix became Microsoft’s Partner of the Year. Now comes a vanity site which is similar to that of Microsoft and Novell.

magnify360 Brings Personalization to Citrix-Microsoft Website, OneGreatPartner.com

magnify360 (www.magnify360.com), the leading provider of 1-to-1 personalization technology, has been tapped to build OneGreatPartner.com, a Citrix community site for premier partner, Microsoft.

This orgy of influence and assets is part of Microsoft’s attempts to turn rivals into partners. With so many Linux companies and much GNU/Linux affinity out there, it’s hard to compete. If Microsoft could change the positions of its opponents, e.g. have VMWare favour Windows over GNU/Linux, then it gains great traction. Novell is another such example, not to mention Corel, XenSource, and even Xandros, which helps with OOXML. Turbolinux too showed off its love for Microsoft. Watch this video of Apple. It’s quite an eye opener.

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

Quick Mention: Microsoft Astro…Bloggers Unite!

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 2:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We wrote about fake Microsoft blogs just a few days ago. Rather than just repeating those many examples we’ll just add another interesting new exhibit to the pile.

Are you someone who blogs about Microsoft? Maybe you’re an end user, developer, mobile user, Xbox player, admin, security researcher, writer, author, detractor or enthusiast who blogs about Microsoft related topics regularly or on occasion? Want a way to increase the exposure and readership of your blog? That’s what the Microsoft Bloggers Network is all about.

Well, well…

“Microsoft has announced the “Microsoft BlogStars” contest, to Hunts for Developer Bloggers in India. After feeling the power and increase of the Bloggers community in India, Microsoft tries to trap and hunt Bloggers in India to buildup the blogging community, for writing blog posts supporting towards Microsoft Technologies.”

Microsoft Traps and Hunts for Bloggers in India !!

“Many Microsoft employees do blog, reportedly more than 4,000 of them.”

Microsoft Watch

More here

Intellectual Monopolies Demand Draconian Law, G8 Says OK

Posted in Courtroom, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents at 2:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

T

his will be far from the first time that we mention the ACTA, which is a wish list from Hollywood et al to be passed as law [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. According to this update from Glyn Moody, they are indeed above the law and this is troubling for so many reasons.

The extremely pernicious Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) continues to move forward. Here’s what the anachronistic back-slapping club known as the G8 has to say on the subject:

We encourage the acceleration of negotiations to establish a new international legal framework, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and seek to complete the negotiation by the end of this year.

Remember, this is an agreement that has been drawn up behind closed doors, with input from the industries that depend on intellectual monopolies, and zero input from the rest of us. Democracy? Who needs it?

The effect on software patents is very much related to the scrupulous process seen above. Alcatel-Lucent/Microsoft are still crossing swords over this issue. The case involves the legitimacy of software patents as a whole [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

Alcatel-Lucent appeals loss of $1.5 billion award

Appeals court arguments in a battle over MP3 digital music patents between Alcatel-Lucent (ALUA.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) focused Monday on a joint development pact struck nearly two decade earlier.

What’s at stake here is rather significant. With ACTA passing through as though diplomats are well-greased tubes, there’s little or no chance of defeating the monopolies at a litigious level. The system is broken, sadly enough.

Be sure to read the ACTA [PDF] if you haven’t. It’s a dreadful document that only reached the public diue to a leak (WikiLeaks).

Embargo, Ignore Microsoft-Controlled ISO

Posted in Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML at 1:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Killed again by Microsoft’s well-documented corruption

There is not much to add to the news. Andy Updegrove has already offered this fairly detailed analysis.

ISO TMB Recommends Rejection of OOXML Appeals

[...]

A final source of frustration is that despite the fact that one basis for appeal under the Directives is a negative impact to the reputation of ISO/IEC, the document makes almost no response at all to the comments made in this regard. Whether one concludes that ISO and IEC have justifiably or unjustifiably suffered such an impact, I think that it would be hard to conclude that a substantial hit has not been taken.

In my view, ISO/IEC would be wise to acknowledge that fact, and take more intelligent actions to address it. Acting in the open (i.e., publicly releasing documents like this) and acknowledging that those that must live with the results of what ISO/IEC decides are entitled to better answers than they have received to date would be a great place to start.

[...]

At the end of the day, even winning an appeal is cold comfort after the time has been wasted by countless peole around the world, the marketplace has been confused, and the reputation has been tarnished.

Groklaw has posted information as well.

In short, it’s all been a farce, in keeping with the rest of the OOXML processing. ISO thinks there not a thing wrong with the job they did on OOXML, they do not countenance criticism, and if we don’t like it, we can lump it. Or, ISO has decided to go down with the ship. Anyway, stay tuned. It ain’t over ’til it’s over.

“ISO should hang their heads in shame for allowing it to happen.”

Tim Bray

Earlier on I received the following interesting response from Rex Ballard. ISO has been irrelevant for quite some time in fact — only a hero in its own mind and the perception it bought itself.


Message-ID: <2ef3a606-bcc3-4c0d-b82d-371a7a4435bc@b1g2000hsg.googlegroups.com>
From: Rex Ballard <rex.ballard@gmail.com>
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
Subject: Re: Leaked ISO Document Reveals Crooked ISO Amid MS OOXML Corruptions
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 2008 00:19:06 -0700 (PDT)

[...]

This wouldn’t be the first time that the ISO was bought and sold like
a $3 hooker. Dig into the OSI specifications, especially the versions
circulating in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and you can easily see
the work of shills working for IBM, DEC, HP (Apollo), AT&T, IT&T,
Xerox, and several X.25 switch vendors.

The result was a specification that spanned about 65,000 pages, cost
about $150,000 per reader, and was impossible to implement.
Furthermore, the extensions, subsets, supersets, and options pretty
much assured that there would be no interoperability.

As a result, the ARPA/NSF RFC standards, which were freely published,
and were required to be so clear and complete that each RFC could be
implemented by an undergraduate college student, resulted in a set of
standards that became what we now know as the Internet. It was based
on the ARPA Internet, but included the directory services, LDAP,
security, encryption, and other key standards required to handle a
huge network that eventually grew to over 2 billion users.

The IETF did adopt some good ideas from OSI, including LDAP,
tunneling, and Mime types, as well as improvements in e-mail routing,
but even then, the specifications were so clear and concise, that they
could be implemented by undergraduates, eliminating the threat of
patents that would “lock up” the internet, allowing one party to work
against the best interests of the whole community.

One of the key factors in the success of the Internet, was the
availability of Open Source implementations of the protocols and
drivers. BSD Sockets, Lynx, Viola, Mosaic, Mozilla, and Firefox, for
example, made it possible to implement working solutions we now know
as “The Web” and deploy it to millions of Windows 3.1 machines, as
well as Linux workstations, back when Bill Gates and Microsoft were
saying that the Internet would never be a viable network. For almost
2 years, Gates and Windows were under direct threat, because Linux,
Java, and low priced Unix Workstation options, as well as Warp had
already implemented robust internet support, much of which didn’t make
it into Windows until Windows XP (and much of which is still missing
in Windows).

Even when the Internet did become established, Microsoft attempted to
pervert and corrupt these standards. They tried to corrupt HTML by
introducing VBScript and ActiveX controls. The result was a plethora
of viruses, worms, and malware that often adversely affected corporate
networks for weeks, even months, because the Windows PCs spread them
so quickly using these corrupted standards.

Today, Microsoft is trying to do the same thing with OpenXML,
embedding “oleObjectx.bin” objects into zipped documents, making it a
trivial matter for hackers to embed malware in OpenXML documents and
spread them to carefully qualified targets. These documents, when
read, or even previewed, to create, open, read, write, execute, and/or
delete any file on the hard drive, to modify the registry, and to send
or receive content from almost anywhere on the internet that can be
accessed by the user, including VPNs, protected networks, and secured
corporate networks.

The user must trust that proprietary code, known only by a hand-full
of people at Microsoft, hasn’t opened up other back-doors that are
also unknown. Even the so-called “trusted” applications and OLE
objects can’t really be trusted, but they will get circulated to
Banks, insurance companies, politicians, corporate executives, and
other key leaders, giving Microsoft executives direct access to
information that even the FBI, NSA, and DHS can’t get, with the
ability to publish what it finds, and trigger scandals,
investigations, and even corporate collapse of any who oppose the
interests of Microsoft.

Meanwhile, Open Document format, which is much more robustly
documented, and much more secure, has been gaining the support of
major players including numerous government agencies, companies like
IBM, and key players all over the world.

Ironically, the opinion has come full circle. In 1994, people assumed
that only high-priced software like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint could
be trusted, and that Open Source software couldn’t be trusted. Today,
most network administrators are for more concerned about the
consequences of proprietary shareware, proprietary 3rd party software,
and even Microsoft software, because they have discovered that these
are the vehicles used for spreading all sorts of Malware,

Meanwhile Open Source, with it’s public peer review process, has
gained endorsements from the NSA, the FBI, MI5, and numerous other
police, military, and intelligence organizations, many of which have
even expressed that OSS and Linux is “too secure”, making court
ordered wire-tapping into PCs more difficult, sometimes even
impossible.


It sums it all up really.

I sold out

Links 09/07/2008: Red Hat Reboots Graphical Boot, Yang Complains About Fifth Columnists

Posted in News Roundup at 10:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

New versions of Absolute, Foresight, DSL, KnoppMyth, and Berry Linux were released.

F/OSS

Virtual Worlds and Standards

Mozilla

Microsoft

Quick Mention: The Big Lie About GNU/Linux ‘Market Share’

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We wrote about this before, but the following new item is well worth reading.

As I recently reported, there is an order of magnitude difference between the market share of Linux “out there” in the world, and the market share of LInux on Scienceblogs.com and on this very blog. Subsequently, I was trolled by my very own brother “… so, when is Luniux going to reach 1% market share?….” and this item has come out on ZDNet (which we all know is essentially funded by Microsoft, right?): Linux – Still chasing that elusive 1% market share.

[...]

So I went and looked. Here is the description of the database used by the Market Share service that everyone seems to rely on:

We collect data from the browsers of site visitors to our exclusive on-demand network of live stats customers. The data is compiled from approximately 160 million visitors per month. The information published is an aggregate of the data from this network of hosted website statistics. The site unique visitor and referral information is summarized on a monthly basis.

WTF?

Is this supposed to be some kind of unbiased sample? But wait, there’s more…

[...]

The complexity of this problem is actually rather large. But I can tell you one thing: If you were my graduate student and you came to me with this sampling strategy, I’d send you back to kindergarten. (If I had that power.)

The aim is clear: to demoralise, to prevent vendor support from materialising, and to support marketing decisions. As we showed before, in Boycott Novell over one third of the requests come from GNU/Linux users.

There is a Big Lie out there. Just like all Big Lies, it’s hugely dangerous. Shoot it down whenever it comes up. Failing to do so makes the Big Lie a reality in people’s minds, being the self-fulfilling prophecy it’s intended to serve as.

IBM Gets Its Microsoft-taxed GNU/Linux for the Mainframes

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Servers at 6:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Is it a Linux discount, a Microsoft discount, or both?

Perhaps — but only perhaps — this is what IBM wanted. Several weeks ago we mentioned how Novell was going to keep Red Hat out of the mainframe. It’s not a definite thing, but the same strategy from Novell definitely lives on.

Novell Chops Tags on SLES for IBM Mainframes
Novell says it’s going to “simplify” pricing and discounts on SLES for mainframes for the rest of the year. That means it’s going to cut prices by 33%-47% by offering a three-year subscription for the price of a two-year subscription or a five-year subscription for the price of a three-year subscription. The discounts apply to workload consolidation from non-System z platforms and renewals of existing SLES subscriptions.

Where is IBM in all of this? Big Blue hardly ever protested against the verbal assault from Microsoft last May. It never protested against the Novell/Microsoft deal. In many ways, IBM is part of this mess and it’s believed to be among those that destroy Free software because they want to reform it for software patents, corporate control, and other antithetical things that require some ‘taming’. In many ways, it’s not much better off than Nokia.

“People that use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us.”

Steve Ballmer

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