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08.16.08

Links 16/08/2008: GNU/Linux Market Penetration, Android Likely Out Soon

Posted in News Roundup at 8:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: SCO, GWAVA, and Some Minor Developments

Posted in Finance, Identity Management, Mail, Marketing, Novell, SCO, Security at 3:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The past week has not been a congested and busy one. Here are some news that remained uncovered.

SCO

As always, Groklaw is on top of things. Vigilance had PJ suspect that the next major hearing will take place in on September 16th. She could later confirm this. She also adds:

According to SCO, the Stephen Norris deal is still being worked on, though they say now it might be either a buyout or a loan after all, and it hints at others potentially interested in funding SCO. But they want some clarity on when the appeal will be entered.

Does that make sense to you? After all, SCO mentions a figure of potential claims against SCO in the amount of $96 million, above and beyond what it owes Novell. Should it get an extension until all the claims against SCO are decided? Now, *that* would be clarity. Why is an interest calculation on $3 million or so and a date for a filed notice of appeal enough to give potential backers a feeling of finality, with so much to come? There is a much bigger cloud waiting on the horizon than anything Novell ever represented.

Read the rest of this entry »

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: SUSE, Xandros, and Turbolinux Catch-up

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED, Turbolinux, Xandros at 2:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SUSE SLED GNOME

OpenSUSE:KDE

It has been an important week for KDE, whose developers got together. At the same time, Novell seems to be hiring programmers for KDE.

OpenSUSE remains one of the bleeding-edge distributions as far as KDE4 is concerned and here’s a look at the latest stable version on OpenSuSE 11.0.

I’ve added the Factory repository to the list of repositories I use to update my OpenSuSE install and now I am running KDE 4.1.

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IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: August 15th, 2008 – Part II

Posted in IRC Logs at 10:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Enter the IRC channel now

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IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: August 15th, 2008 – Part I

Posted in IRC Logs at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

Quotable: Why Microsoft is Just a Standard Open Source Scam

Posted in Formats, Free/Libre Software, Interoperability, ISO, Microsoft, Quote, Standard at 9:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Open source? Microsoft?!?! Yes, indeedy… as long as it’s all about Microsoft and all about its proprietary software stack — from an operating system (Windows) to databases and to proprietary file formats like OOXML and XAML.

We recently commented on Microsoft’s latest scheme in the Philippines [1, 2]. Our criticism is being echoed by everyone who comments in Linux Today. Here is an example:

“The ISV program is open to all developers that have demonstrated worthy open-source projects. Our goal is to help them expand our market,” [Microsoft's] Dela Cruz said.

There you go Mr. Dela Cruz. Fixed that for you.

Remember that, from Microsoft’s point of view, open source is all about paying Microsoft [1, 2], making it reside atop a non-Free stack that would secure and amass fortunes to Microsoft.

Here is another comment on why interoperability should be easy.

Start by using open standards and then everyone will be able to inter-operate. Stop spreading all the FUD and last of all rewrite your buggy 25 year old operating system.

Interoperability is a no-brainer if one obeys open standards. But “interoperability” is a propaganda word, which Microsoft spreads in order to confuse people.

Also related to this, watch what Glyn Moody writes in Linux Journal:

I would like to suggest that the free software world should start looking at things from a different perspective – not how many percentage points GNU/Linux gains on the desktop, but how many Microsoft is losing to *all* of the alternatives to Windows. Free software has nothing to fear from a heterogeneous environment – indeed, mixing technologies almost forces open standards upon manufacturers if they want to provide full interoperability.

As a reminder of why OOXML is to be shunned and buried, watch the latest from Rambus, which started to attack the entire industry over a de facto standard.

RAMBUS IS to take an axe to its own workforce, chopping around 90 jobs, or some 21 per cent of its staff.

Read the comment that says: “And what might those be? Litigation and cry baby tactics against more productive innovative companies that do honest engineering and production work that actually make real products that benefit people.

Microsoft’s ‘open’ source and ‘open’ standards are a scam. They deserve to be mocked because they comprise redefinitions of existing terms.

“ISO has lost its credibility as a standards-setting organization. It has proven that technical merit plays no role in its decisions, which likely carries across all facets of its operation.”

Tony O’Bryan

A Black Duck Loses Its Head

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GPL, Microsoft, Novell at 9:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

T

he last time we wrote about Microsoft insiders, we also mentioned Black Duck as a possibility. Some insiders don’t perceive themselves as such, yet they naturally function in this way.

Here you have a Microsoft employee founding and heading a company that sells services around Free software FUD. The company has developed proprietary software only. It has nothing to do with Free software, yet its CEO moderates panels that discuss the subject. In a way, the CEO sought some authority over GPL matters, which is astounding. It’s a case of “do as I say but not as I do”.

Anyway, here’s what just happened at a very interesting moment. We won’t draw conclusions; rather, we simply present the case as-is.

Black Duck Software — a pioneer in the open source legal consulting business — has lost its CEO.

On Thursday, Douglas Levin, the company founder and a director at the Waltham, Mass.-based company, announced his resignation, effective Sept. 1.

The announcement came the same day that a federal appeals court issued a decision maintaining that open source licenses are valid under copyright law. Black Duck Software is a software and services company that advises developers and corporations about open source licensing requirements and compliance.

Are the two related?

No, Levin said in a broadcast email and blog posted yesterday.

Sheer hypocrisy of the company aside, recall this story. They also pretty much stole GPLv3 data from Palamida, which recently lost its GPLv3-tracking person. Black Duck is based in Waltham, Massachusetts where Novell’s headquarters are located too. Black Duck commented extensively on the GPLv3. It still does so in press release that it issues. According to this, “He [Doug Levin] moderated an OSBC panel with Microsoft just as Novell was preparing to release details of its deal with the company.” Remember that OSBC is funded and was at least partly founded by Microsoft to serve Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

There are some more details about this surprise departure in the blog of the 451 Group.

For his part, Levin sees proprietary software not being displaced by open source, but vendors being forced to evolve and, in the process, accept and embrace open source more themselves. As for open source companies, they are increasingly opting for dual-license and subscription strategies that rely on commercial licensing. Levin says open source is still very significant and now represents a checkbox item not only for companies interested in supporting or developing software, but deeply and broadly in enterprise IT beyond the LAMP stack to a host of open source components. Along those lines, Levin says he is not sure what his next move will be, but whatever it is, it will have something to do with open source.

Taking this paragraph apart, there’s room for sensing a lot of what we find in Microsoft’s ‘open source’ endeavours.

…proprietary software not being displaced by open source, but vendors being forced to evolve…

…increasingly opting for dual-license…

…beyond the LAMP stack…

This has shades of Stephen Walli, but maybe we are being overly picky. By allowing certain individuals to gain influence, their former colleagues (who tend to be clannish) can use them to steer developers in particular directions. It’s part of a very broad affinity charade [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

SCO Also Used to Contribute to Linux, Just Like Novell

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML, Patents, SCO, UNIX at 8:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SCO

SuSE logoGood deeds rarely last forever

It is typical when sleeping on the driver’s wheel not to wake up until it’s too late. We keep hearing about how nice Novell has been to GNU/Linux, but people are not foolish. Over time, they come realise just how selfish Novell is. There’s growing skepticism and dissent. If you don’t believe it, watch how an increasing number of people visit this Web site as the company makes outrageous statements about its growing relationship with Microsoft while knowingly excluding other GNU/Linux distributions from virtualisation, for instance.

BN.com stats

The interest in the impact of Novell aside, Groklaw has this great new article. It shows how SCO was all about Linux just before it turned nasty.

Here are some more screenshots for you, showing the real Santa Cruz Operation relationship with Linux before the modern day SCO Group began suing the world and its dog. Back in the late 1990s, Santa Cruz had what it called its “Linux strategy”. It included both money and support to help Linux succeed.

[...]

It’s clear Santa Cruz was trying to endear itself to the Linux and Open Source communities. The press release references its “ongoing strategy to support the Linux and Open Source movements”.

It would seem to naive back them to assume SCO can legally attack Linux. What for? On what basis? What if Microsoft came over and offered a large wad of cash, which is possible? What if Microsoft was to acquire a company like SCO or Novell, or simply change the management and — along with it — the agenda? Remember Corel and GNU/Linux. Always remember Corel and what a deal with Microsoft did to it.

Most of Novell’s apologists might think that people will forget about the Novell/Microsoft deal and cease to care. But au contraire — the severe consequences of that deal are only beginning to surface. OOXML, Mono and virtualisation are just a few pieces of a much large picture. To Microsoft, Novell is a tool. But Novell is not a victim and this is no gunshot wedding. It could be a marriage of convenience, even a collusion.

To use the words of Pamela Jones, Microsoft will be the next SCO Group. Could Novell then be part of Microsoft?

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

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