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08.04.08

Links 04/08/2008: LinuxWorld Kicks Off, Many GNU/Linux Ports Announced

Posted in News Roundup at 5:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Béranger Gives Up on Novell’s SUSE, MSI Cripples SUSE Laptops

Posted in Debian, Microsoft, Novell, OpenOffice, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

YaST bootGetting the boot

This didn’t even take long [1, 2]. It was actually package management that broke the camel’s back (among other things) and Béranger has just decided to move to a solid Debian.

Next, I was trying to find newer Oo.org builds made for openSUSE 11.0. The openSUSE build service is a mess, anyone can have a repository there, and it was easy to find two repositories for Oo.org 2.99.* (3.0 betas) that were simply broken (not just RPM hell, but simply hell). Eventually, adding OpenOffice.org:/UNSTABLE/openSUSE_11.0/ provided me with a working 2.99.25-12 build, but to no avail (and it was ugly, and it had missing toolbar icons, and it was missing the integration with the GNOME open/save dialog, and it couldn’t load the Antidote RX add-on).

So I can’t use a vital Oo.org add-on under openSUSE 11.0. I had to dump Novell’s jewel. Oh well…

This may seem like unnecessary criticism of OpenSUSE, so moving to a more curious item, watch this.

MSI’s Web site also finally acknowledges a version of Wind carrying a Novell’s Suse Linux OS instead of Windows XP. People searching for the mini-laptop will have to turn to page two on the Web page to have a look. Unfortunately, it appears the Wind-Linux will come with a 3-cell battery instead of the 6-cell batteries on the devices coming out in August.

Previously, the Linux version of Wind was not on the company’s Web site.

So, here one can find some bogus or semi-hearted support where GNU/Linux is considered a Microsoft asset and is therefore being taxed (for mythical software patents). Furthermore, after Microsoft's considerable discounts and tying up of key vendors, there’s little less than just a hidden option that is not very appealing, hardware-wise. Acer too offers inferior specs (yet a lower price too) for the Linpus-based Aspires. Is this a triumph? Microsoft’s market distortion must be combated, not accepted or even tolerated. Novell remains a big part of this problem.

Even Microsoft Uses Free Software, So Why Does Novell Harness Microsoft?

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 3:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Does Novell send the message that Microsoft trumps Free software?

It need not really be news that Microsoft’s Hotmail might still be running on FOSS. Whether that’s true or not, Microsoft uses a lot of GNU/Linux in-house, but the company is understandably too shy to talk about it. It’s not good for its marketing people (morale and sales pitch), but it’s good for its internal business which cannot rely on Windows.

One reader has pointed out the following old article.

Microsoft Corp., even while mounting a new campaign against open-source software, has quietly been using such free computer code in several major products, as well as on key portions of a popular Web site — despite denying last week that it did so.

Software connected with the FreeBSD open-source operating system is used in several places deep inside several versions of Microsoft’s Windows software, such as in the “TCP/IP” section that arranges all connections to the Internet. The company also uses FreeBSD on numerous “server” computers that manage major functions at its Hotmail free e-mail service, whose registered users exceed 100 million and make it one of the Web’s busiest sites.

Microsoft acknowledged its repeated use of open-source code Friday, in response to questions about the matter. Just two days earlier, it had specifically denied the existence of any such software at Hotmail.

According to all of this, Microsoft truly believes that Free software is capable. It considers it to be the #1 competitor.

Adobe rightly points out that Microsoft does not take GNU/Linux seriously when it comes to fair treatment though. In fact, there will never be a version of Silverlight for GNU/Linux. There is just a poor copycat.

Ludwig [of Adobe] also questioned Microsoft’s commitment to “making it [Silverlight] fully functional across operating systems.” Yet, Microsoft is working with Novell to deliver Silverlight functionality on Linux in a project known as Moonlight.

The original plan was for Moonlight to serve as a second-class Web browser plug-in, but Miguel made it clear last week that he wants to also emulate WPF and make it part of the desktop. In other words, it’s almost as though Novell reverse-engineers everything that Microsoft wants Windows to be. This was discussed in the IRC channel a few days ago.

One person says: “If I want Microsoft I’d use Windows. Thanks but not thanks.” Another issue is raised here.

In its own domain, Mono is reasonably successful, but again, it rides right off the back of everything Microsoft does. It ignores the past twenty five years of history, and totally ignores Novell’s own experience.

A few hours ago, another enlightening comment was posted to explain just why Moonlight is Novell's recognised trap, as well as Microsoft’s. Here is what Microsoft says:

“Moonlight is usable for anyone on any distribution of Linux (redhat, ubuntu, etc.) — it is not limited just to Novell as Mono is.”
-Brian Goldfarb [Microsoft]

There you have it from Silverlight’s lead dev. So clearly MS believes that only Novell via the ‘patent covenant’ can use Mono. So this clearly tells us that since Moonlight depends on Mono libs, it is a potential patent trap.

Does anyone still think that Mono and Moonlight do not belong in the bit bucket? Moonlight requires Mono. A Microsoft senior openly says that Mono is limited just to Novell.

Steve Ballmer license

Image from Wikimedia

Novuel’s de Icaza: The Man Who Gives GNU/Linux to Microsoft

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Interview, KDE, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Red Hat at 8:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’d like to see Gnome applications written in .NET in version 4.0 – no, version 3.0. But Gnome 4.0 should be based on .NET.”

Miguel de Icaza

If plans and predictions are any indication, Novell is getting out of hand. It virtually takes instructions from Microsoft and obeys Microsoft’s need to have its technologies penetrate the Web, the desktop, people's files (formats), etc.

Fedora wants nothing to do with Moonlight, which is a patent trap from the company that rattles a saber.

In the previous post we showed how Novell uses Microsoft technologies to ‘punish’ other GNU/Linux distributions. Watch what it intends to do with Moonlight. [thanks to reader "bendie" for the pointer]

Miguel de Icaza: “We could refresh the look and feel of the entire desktop with Moonlight”

[...]

de Icaza: This is a new group inside of Novell. Basically my team grew from about 30 to 40 people over the last year and a half. Most of the hires went to Moonlight, so now with 15 people working on Moonlight, the biggest part are new hires.

[...]

derStandard.at: You talked about re-using Silverlight / Moonlight for the desktop, is there already some concrete work happening, or are those still just ideas for the future?

de Icaza: We are actually doing that right now, we have a couple of projects. Lunar Eclipse is our Silverlight designer for Linux and that is actually built entirely as a desktop Silverlight application. The idea is to have both a desktop and a web version. We also built Moonlight desklets, which is like Apples Dashboard.

I am also trying to convince people that we need to redo certain desktop components using Moonlight because we could get a flashier, nicer user interface with the designers actually prototyping this interface in Inkscape or blender.

No Mono infection, eh? What might Jeff Waugh and other Novell apologists have to say? Novell is, without a doubt, letting Microsoft control programmers, helping its attempts to dominate the Web [1, 2, 3], and putting Microsoft-patented junk everywhere it desires. With Plasma, KDE developers have shown that none of this is necessary. With KOffice, they showed that OOXML can (and should) be ignored.

While Novell is axing engineers, its number of .NET developers keeps increasing, as Novell insinuated in an interview over a year ago. It won’t be long before Novell is all about Microsoft, due to personnel. Just watch what happened to Corel.

Another trouble is that Novell tries to exploit ‘special’ privileges on the desktop and it can then brag about (as it already does in virtualisation) about “peace of mind” in its products. As the interview above shows, and by the way it’s a very interesting read, Novell is also a bridge for Microsoft to befriend and influence FOSS projects to grab them away.

Mono is Novell

Novell Brags About Excluding Other GNU/Linux Distributions

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, SLES/SLED, Virtualisation, Xen at 8:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Found in this month’s Novell newsletter:


Novell Joins Microsoft Server Virtualisation Validation Program

Now you can confidently run Windows Server 2008 as a virtualised guest on top of the Xen hypervisor in SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 and receive co-operative support from either company. As part of its extensive interoperability agreement with Microsoft, Novell holds a unique position as SUSE Linux Enterprise is currently the only Xen hypervisor on which Microsoft will provide full support today for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 running as a virtual guest. Read full press release now.


Put in Novell’s own words, having struck an exclusionary deal with Microsoft, “Novell holds a unique position as SUSE Linux Enterprise is currently the only Xen hypervisor on which Microsoft will provide full support today for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 running as a virtual guest.

Remember that this Validation Program involves licensing/software patents, so it’s not open to others. Increasingly, as Hyper-V shows, Microsoft considers SLES as though it’s a version of Windows. Whose franchise is it anyway?

A bad penguin -- Novell

Patents Trolls Gaining More Momentum

Posted in America, Microsoft, Patents at 5:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

How long before USPTO takes notice?

In a tough economy, will patent-trolling be encouraged or will it finally be eliminated? In which direction will the pendulum swing? Sadly, in the bad guys’ direction.

Patent Trolls Attack in Texas

Yet another one strikes in the notorious venue. [via Digital Majority]

Palm Inc., Motorola Inc., Research In Motion Ltd., and other makers of mobile communications devices were sued by a closely held company that claims its patent used for networking browsing has been violated by the companies.

In the suit filed this week in federal court in Marshall, Texas…

Acacia’s Racket Extends

Acacia, which welcomes Microsoft employees [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], continues to extent itd not-so-intellectual arsenal. It accumulates ammunition and even brags about it.

“Acacia continues to grow its base of future revenues by adding new patent portfolios,” commented Paul Ryan, Acacia Chairman and CEO. “As our licensing success grows, more companies are selecting us as their partner for the licensing of their patented technologies,” concluded Mr. Ryan.
This patented technology generally relates to automatically retrieving database information stored in a plurality of formats, including structural and/or relational information.

Some companies tell their investors about a new product or service. Contrariwise, this shell company only ever talks about pieces of paper. It uses paper to shoot down other companies and their products. This is ‘innovation’?

The Ray Niro Troll is Back

The father of patent trolls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] wishes not only to ban the term “patent troll” (mentioned the other day) but also to ban the term “shell”. Here is a brilliant response to it.

However, it looks like some patent attorneys are trying to go even further with that concept. Ray Niro, in defending Scott Harris (who, you may recall, licensed his own patents to be used in lawsuits against his own firms’ clients), is demanding that the phrase “shell entities” not be used either, claiming that they, too, are used negatively.

[...]

Separately, it is also rather amusing to see patent system defenders get upset about the phrase “patent trolls” when they’re so quick to refer to any sort of patent reform as “patent deform”, companies in favor of patent reform “The Piracy Coalition,” while, of course, insisting that any individual in favor of patent reform a “shill.”

The hypocrisy knows no boundaries. What’s more vexing is the behaviour of Ray Niro, who not only abuses the system but also attacked his critics.

The patent had been used, repeatedly, by lawyer Ray Niro, against a wide range of opponents, including a patent system critic. The end result was a drawn out review process where all of the original claims were rejected, but a single new claim was added to the patent, which Niro insisted covered JPEGs on a website.

With people like Ray Niro, Carl Icahn and Nathan Myhrvold [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] out there, it’s possible to name culprits for some anti-America sentiments across the world. These chaps are users, exploiters, leeches. They haven’t morals.

“I Have Spoken with Maureen O’Gara (Based on go Ahead from BrianV) and Planted the Story”

Posted in Asia, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“As discussed in our PR meeting this morning. David & I have spoken with Maureen O’Gara (based on go ahead from BrianV) and planted the story. She has agreed to not attribute the story to us….

“[...] Inform Maureen O’ Gara (Senior Editor Client Server News/LinuxGram) or John Markoff (NYT) of announcement on Aug 28, 2000. Owner dougmil (Approval received from BrianV to proceed)

“Contact Eric Raymond, Tim O’Reilly or Bruce Perrins to solicit support for this going against the objectives of the Open Source movement. Owner: dougmil [Doug Miller]. Note that I will not be doing this. Maureen O’Gara said she was going to call them so it looks better coming from her.”

(From Microsoft’s smoking guns)

Yesterday we gave some examples of ‘journalists’ who are serving Microsoft using what they refer to as “plants”. It is no secret that Microsoft realises the power of influencing or poisoning the press. A good example of this would be the lack of critical reporting about SCO and Novell. People still need to rely on comments such as this new one to understand the issues better.

“Can Melvin be trusted after receiving gifts from Microsoft and spending time with them?”Some months ago we also spotted Melvin Calimag, who took a free trip to Microsoft. Look at the article he has just published. The headline is “Microsoft gains ground as school dumps Linux OS” and it’s very one-sided. It contains a very typical old chorus. Can it be trusted? Can Melvin be trusted after receiving gifts from Microsoft and spending time with them? It’s part of a pattern.

Also just spotted in Redmond’s own press: “Addressing Microsoft Interoperability.” It’s claimed to be sponsored by IONA. Well, IONA has always been a little weird (proprietary-leaning while pretending to be FOSS and making deals with Microsoft) and now there’s this new ‘study’ on “interoperability” (possibly sponsored by Microsoft where it’s available).

Follow the money, always. The Fortify debacle (it’s in alliance with Microsoft) is still being discussed, so it harms Free software adoption. These deceptive things must end.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: August 3rd, 2008

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Enter the IRC channel now

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