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Links 19/07/2008: More GNU/Linux-based Appliances, KOffice Reaches Alpha 9

Posted in Boycott Novell, News Roundup at 4:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish


New versions of Gibraltar, Vixta, Slitaz, TFM, xPUD, CentOS (Live), Absolute, and Webconverger GNU/Linux have been released.



  • The suspicious death of XP support

    As Microsoft slowly kills off Windows XP itself — over the protest of many users — it’s still unclear exactly when Redmond will formally cut off all support for its old OS. But one reader’s experience in dealing with a series of update fiascos over the last few months suggests that XP support may actually have expired already, and under suspicious circumstances.

    “I lost my XP system near the middle of May, and it took me until the end of June to get it back,” the reader wrote. “What happened was that, suddenly, all of my hardware disappeared from the Windows device manager as did my administrator privileges. I had a lot of licensed apps on my system, and the prospect of starting with a fresh install was too daunting, so I decided to recover instead. During this time, I spent over eight cumulative hours talking to Microsoft’s Indian ‘support technicians.’ I was at least six hours into that ordeal before I finally spoke with one that had a small clue what he was talking about.”

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: The Non-Free Side of Novell

Posted in Africa, GNU/Linux, Novell, Security, SLES/SLED, Virtualisation, Xandros at 1:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Netware and Legacy

Going back to the days when Novell found itself unable to maintain dominance, Chin Wong has this story to tell.

Read the rest of this entry »

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: OpenSUSE Still a Subject of Discussion

Posted in GNU/Linux, HP, Mandriva, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED, Ubuntu, Virtualisation at 7:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Following the release of OpenSUSE 11.0, quite a few people decided to explore the distribution. Novell has begun studying OpenSUSE 11.0 users. It’s doing it at the moment using a survey that was launched last week. In addition, the OpenSUSE community pays its respect to Bryen Yunashko and Frank Sundermeyer, both of whom seem like veterans.

Listed below are articles and blog posts that shed some light on opinions and assessments of the latest distribution and its surrounding system.

Read the rest of this entry »

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: July 12th-18th, 2008

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Read the rest of this entry »

Links 19/07/2008: Dell Expands GNU/Linux Efforts, Mandriva Preinstalled on GDium

Posted in News Roundup at 5:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish


  • Linus Torvalds, Geek of the Week

    RM: ‘I can’t end without asking you about the Steve Ballmer quote. You know the one where he said ‘Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.’ What do you think he meant by this?’

    LT: ‘I have a hard time really seeing what the heck Ballmer is doing. First the monkey dance, then the chair throwing. At some point he called Linux ‘un-American’, apparently because he doesn’t like the competition. Then the cancer thing. And now this fixation with Yahoo! When will it end?

    So what can I say? I think he tried to say that open source grows very aggressively and takes over (which is good – if you’re into that whole expanding markets thing), but he wanted to put it in terms of something that grows out of control and is bad for what it is growing in. Thus: cancer.

    So I can certainly see the logic of choosing that word. ‘

    RM: ‘Do you think it makes any sense?’

    LT: ‘Do I think it makes sense? No. Of course open source grows aggressively: what’s not to like? Low cost, great quality, and a lack of being shackled to some commercial company that you can’t really trust further than the fact that they’ll happily continue to take your money. Sure, it grows.

    And yes, it does grow at the cost of Microsoft, but that’s called ’competition’. It doesn’t make it ‘cancer’ any more than it ever made it ‘un-American’.

  • Linus Torvalds’ Followup On Software Security, Sensationalism And Self-Stimulating Simians

    Here is his response:

    Heh. I did talk to an OpenBSD [developer], and offered to apologize if they really thought “masturbating monkeys” was offensive, but at least that developer just found it funny.

  • Mandriva leaps into the netbook market with the GDium
  • Dell’s Ubuntu love-in expands to new laptops
  • OSCON: Linux Rocks in Mobile, Embedded Realm

    Jim Zemlin of the Linux Foundation says Linux is the platform of choice for the mobile and embedded platforms. Zemlin will speak on the state of mobile Linux at OSCON.

  • ASUS’ Big Development

    The ASUS sneak attack. The most interesting story the media is downplaying is the ASUS announcement that it will have a ROM boot chip on all its motherboards, which will boot Linux instantly on start-up. When you flick the switch the machine is instantly on. (It’s about time.) Of course, you will have to press another button for the machine to load Windows.

  • VMware exec says Windows days are numbered

    OK. I know people at Red Hat who would say that that’s exactly what will happen. That’s right out of the new Red Hat KVM-based virtualization playbook. But, someone from VMware saying this? Wow.

  • Dual-core PPC SoC drives 55
  • PCLinuxOS : The Best Desktop GNU/Linux

    I have no reservations or doubts of any kind to recommend PCLinxOS to a newcomer or a home user with a reassurance that this distribution will rarely fail upon you. Just go and spin the PCLinuxOS CD and see what wonders it brings for you.

  • AMD Phenom Gets Linux Thermal Driver


Web Censorship Using the “War on Child Pornography” Excuse

…’Placeholder’ Laws to Extend in Terms of Scope Later.

  • Cable giants bullied into new child porn censorship deal

    It is unclear what, if any, notification cable customers will receive before their Web sites are deleted, or what legal rights they will have to appeal the classification of their content as illegal child pornography.

  • Mom continues to chase Prince over ‘fair use’L

    enz, who resides in a rural Pennsylvania area, claims that her video is protected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Fair Use provision in copyright law. She fought the order, and eventually, Universal Music abandoned any claim that she violated Prince’s copyright. YouTube has since reposted her clip.

    Now Lenz is out to teach the music industry a lesson.


  • Ex-Microsoft Manager Gets 22 Months for Fraud

    Carolyn Gudmundson, 46, formerly a program manager at Microsoft’s MSN division, pleaded guilty in January to charges that she used her position within the company to run a number of scams between 2000 and 2004.

  • EU files new charges against Intel

    European Union antitrust regulators made new accusations against chipmaker Intel on Thursday, saying it paid retailers to not sell PCs using chips made by rival Advanced Micro Devices.

Microsoft’s OOXML Dirty Tricks Are Back

Posted in Deception, ECMA, Europe, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 4:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ECMA is Microsoft

Buying the elections because the world stays asleep

You would not believe this unless you have already seen the hundreds — if not thousands — of documented cases where the OOXML process had been abused.

Watch this new observation:

Next week on Monday and Tuesday there will be an SC34 meeting, where the maintenance of the inexistant DIS29500 specification will be discussed. Surprise, half of the seats will be occupied by Microsoft and ECMA:

Adam Farquhar (Ecma)
Alex Brown (UK)
Benjamin Henrion (BE)
Brett Roberts (NZ)
Dave Welsh (US)
Doug Mahugh (Ecma)
Francis Cave (GB)
Isabelle Valet-Harper (Ecma)
Istvan Sebestyen (Ecma)
Jasper Hedegaard Bojsen (DK)
Jean Paoli (Ecma)
Jean Stride (GB)
Jesper Lund Stocholm (DK)
Jirka Kosek (CZ)
Keld Simonsen (NO)
Ken Holman (CA)
Kimmo Bergius (FI)
Manu Setälä (FI)
Michiel Leenaars (NL)
Murata Makoto (JP)
Patrick Durusau (US)
Pia Elleby Lange (DK)
Rex Jaeschke (Ecma)
Shahzad Rana (NO)
Wemba Opota (CI)

Some of them, Jesper Lund Stocholm for instance, are Microsoft partners and fans [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. This is a joke, right? And Alex Brown [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21]? Should they also bring Fidel Castro in to cast a vote on democracy?

Additionally, be sure to learn who Adam Farquhar is [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]. Isn’t he also with Microsoft and the British Library? This is ridiculous; it’s a syndicate of money and influence taking over shell establishments like ISO. Some of these people trade Microsoft products for a living!

“Microsoft (and its ecosystem) is set to decide on Microsoft (and its ecosystem).”Let’s pick some other examples. It’s most amazing how Microsoft employees are ‘dressed up’ as ECMA employees. Doug Mahugh at ECMA? He works for Microsoft. Is he swapping hats for cover-up? Again? What is ECMA doing there anyway? ECMA is being paid handsomely by Microsoft. Remember Jan van den Beld, who changed directives especially for Microsoft and then left ECMA to join a Microsoft lobbying arm and behave even more aggressively?

How about Rex Jaeschke? Follow the links at will. It’s all too clear to see what is happening here.

At the moment, Rick Jelliffe [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] accuses concerned people of being “afraid of openness”. He refers to OOXML, which is definitely not open. In fact, the word “Open” in the acronym should be forbidden given all the binary components which are undocumented, not to mention allergy to open source software (Microsoft reserves the right to sue open source implementations over OOXML-related patents it applies for).

One could go on and on analyzing one person at the time, or at least those who attend to serve Microsoft. The motives say it all. Microsoft (and its ecosystem) is set to decide on Microsoft (and its ecosystem).

Remember how Bryan complained and prematurely left ISO after a long career there, having witnessed how his committee got stuffed by Microsoft? He even spoke out about it.

Be sure to view this list of the attendants at the OOXML BRM. It’s equally appalling, just like the BRM itself [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. it was controlled by ECMA, Microsoft and some other OOXML-sympathetic figures.

ISO should be utterly ashamed of itself. Ashamed. And humiliated. Tim Bray, who attended the BRM, had this to say:

“This was horrible, egregious, process abuse and ISO should hang their heads in shame for allowing it to happen. Their reputation, in my eyes, is in tatters. My opinion of ECMA was already very negative; this hasn’t improved it, and if ISO doesn’t figure out away to detach this toxic leech, this kind of abuse is going to happen again and again.”

Tim Bray

ISO is being abused by Microsoft and its affiliates that exploit ISO for their wallets. To make matters worse, ISO chose to try and bury all of this under the rug. This makes it an accomplice in a sense.

You could take a rich crook and put him in a suit. But it’s still a crook in a suit, who probably made a fortune ‘thanks’ to bad behaviour. This must not be tolerated.

Despite all of these dirty tricks, ODF is going strong. Yesterday we wrote about NATO and ODF without sufficient certainty. It’s finally more official, based on Andy Updegrove’s Web site and even Heise.

NATO has included the International Standardization Organization’s (ISO) certified Open Document Format (ODF) in its list of mandatory standards to promote interoperability. NATO’s standards list includes Rich Text Format (RTF), extensible markup language (XML) and Office XP formats as requirements for the sharing of data.

Don’t ever let dirty tricks and misconduct of biblical proportions take over your precious personal documents. Stand up for justice and digital preservation.

Protests in Norway (OOXML)

Microsoft on AstroTurfing in USENET Newsgroups

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft at 4:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s poisoning of the literature, the press, and the World Wide Web continues to fascinate. it’s not a secret. It’s all very real and overwhelming heaps of evidence exist to support it.

This subject was dealt with several times in the past. Microsoft dubbed those involved in it “Munchkins” and none of this has ever stopped [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Today’s gem from Microsoft is about newsgroups and how Microsoft expressed its plan to subvert and incline them to its advantage.

Right from the horse’s mouth (Microsoft). [PDF]

Channel of Information, On-line Forums

  • Monitor the relevant Usenet groups at all times
  • Write well
  • Be exceedingly formal and polite
    • It is very easy to give offense
    • Always assume that you are wrong; ask others to explain it to you
    • Developers are impressed by clear, precise, polite communication
    • Don’t sound like a prig

This was worth bringing up in light of the personal abuse directed at several people in Linux newsgroups. Some of these discussion groups are occupied by former Microsoft employees (you have to squeeze out of them to finally admit this). In the Linux advocacy newsgroup, for example, you could find regular posters Greg Cox, Larry Qualig and John Bailo. All are former Microsoft employees who bother to pay a visit to Linux newsgroups in order to praise a former employer. Why? Might the answer lie above in Microsoft’s own literature, which leaked our to the courtroom?

At the moment, there is another class of Munchkins there and they admit extending and branching out to Slashdot and Digg (you can see their comments, but they admittedly use pseudonyms). Some are extremely rude Internet trolls that try to drive away readers using insults, libel, xenophobia, homophobia, ugly imagery and personal threats. According to one member of Groklaw, he disengaged from OS/2 advocacy after he had received death threats.

Yes, going back to OS/2 days, there are some fairly well-documented testimonies. To this date, Microsoft marketing people exist not just in fictitious blogs but also in newsgroups and in government. It is not just unethical but also illegal in the European Union. Microsoft’s political power is immense though, so it’s unlikely to be punished.

There is a lot more to be explored on this subject. Going back to the document at the top, be sure to read some of the things around page 45, including this from Microsoft:

During the mopping-up phase, ensure that the enemy technology is routed. Use the press, the Internet, etc. to heighten the impression that the enemy is desperate, demoralized, defeated, deceased.

Remember how people complained about the press taking things out of proportion when Wal-Mart said it would continue selling GNU/Linux on-line but not on store shelves? Microsoft has a lot of power over the press, some of which it owns. Literally. Big Lies are no exception here.

“Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry. We want to place selection pressure on those companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for competitors’ technologies, to make the industry increasingly resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

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