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08.18.08

Links 18/08/2008: Fedora Scholarship Launched, Canonical Joins LF

Posted in News Roundup at 4:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

  • People Behind KDE: Michael Pyne

    What’s your advice to people who want to get into KDE development-type stuff but don’t know where to start?

    1. Figure out if you want to “develop-develop” or if you would be better at non-coding but still important types of tasks.

  • Review of CrossOver Linux 7.0.2
  • Why would anyone choose Windows over Linux?

    So after her success I was back to the question that perpetually plagues me: Why would anyone choose Windows over Linux?

    * There’s far less risk for viruses and malware.
    * It’s free.
    * Applications are free.
    * It’s far more flexible.
    * It has multiple routes for support.
    * It is improving at a far faster rate than Windows.
    * Bugs and security holes are patched much quicker.

  • Review: OpenGEU 8.04 ‘Luna Crescente’ Beta Live CD

    WHEN I decided to try the OpenGEU Linux distribution, I had little experience of its Enlightenment window manager. I had played around with Elive, the Debian-based live CD featuring Enlightenment, in the past but had never spent any time getting to know and understand this elegant-looking WM.

  • IBM: Mainframes enjoying global resurgence
  • Canonical Joins The Linux Foundation
  • The Linux Kernel
  • Linux and Web 2.0: the Killer Combo

    I said I wouldn’t post as much about technology unrelated to the Web, but I have noticed that Linux is a hot topic on Digg right now. The OS – and, let’s face it, Linux is easier to define when we just view it as an OS – has been gaining momentum ever since Windows Vista turned into a nightmare for Microsoft. Actually, the word “momentum” is probably too strong, it is more like “gaining a little traction after spinning its wheels for so long” or maybe “finally emerging from complete obscurity”.

  • Concept Distro

    In the Linux world, while we appear to have direct competitions between the distributions, the reality is that we co-operate far more than you might expect unless you’re involved with development. A Concept Distro would need upstream work from just about everybody.

  • The Fedora Project Announces Fedora Scholarship

    Helping develop and foster up and coming talent in the open source software field, the Fedora Project, a Red Hat sponsored and community-supported open source collaboration, has announced the newly created Fedora Scholarship programme.

  • Ubuntu growing its ecosystem of apps, partners, Canonical says

    Malcolm Yates, the global independent software vendor (ISV) alliance manager at Canonical Ltd., traveled halfway around the world, flying from London to San Francisco with a message for LinuxWorld: Ubuntu is growing up. No longer just an operating system for geeks, Ubuntu has begun to evolve into a mature ecosystem with a small but growing cache of applications to run on top of an OS and more partners to expand its reach, he said.

Periodicals

  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 104
  • Mandriva Flash 2008.1 on ASUS Eee PC 900

    After some three months of keeping the default Xandros installation on my ASUS Eee PC, it was time for a change. While the Eee PC variant of Xandros Desktop is an extremely well-designed and an excellent entry-level Linux for anyone looking for basic Internet and computing functionality, it’s unlikely that it would satisfy an average computer geek for too long. Sooner or later its limitations in terms of power computing and software installation, not to mention the “don’t leave it alone” desire to tinker with any new toy, would likely see many of these netbooks’ flash drives being wiped clean, making room for a new, more powerful operating system.

  • The Linux Gazette: August 2008 (#153)

F/OSS

Media Monopolies

Leftovers

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman – Part 16 on copies (2004)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

ISO Pegged Its Own Vote to Shelter Microsoft OOXML

Posted in Deception, Formats, IBM, ISO, Java, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard, SUN at 4:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ISO Sold Out to ECMA

Details begin to surface about ISO’s decision to give countries in search of justice… well, the finger [1, 2, 3]. ISO has come to the point where its goal is to give OOXML a thumbs-up and pretend that all that corruption never existed.

ISO seems to have done something similar to what Novell and Microsoft did in order to equip their marketing departments and Microsoft did to promote Windows Vista. They conduct surveys or polls that are hugely biased. It’s almost as though they are rigged by design. Watch what they did this time around:

I have now received the actual voting results for the IEC vote, and an indecipherable screenshot of the ISO votes. I’ll hope to add the ISO votes later on when I get more comprehensible information, but in the meantime, here are the IEC results.

In each case, the questions included in the ballot were the same:

a) Not to process the appeal any further

b) To process one or more of the appeals, which would require setting up of a conciliation panel

Rob Weir has seen this by now and he is angry because it’s clear that they asked the wrong questions with the intention of cleaning up the mess and sweeping the abuse under a rug.

So the results in the SMB ballot are highly tainted by a poorly written ballot question, given to them by the Secretaries General, which clearly caused confusion among the SMB votes, and which had a material effect on the voting results. My analysis of IEC/SMB shows that like ISO/TMB’s vote, the results are nearly equally divided, and IEC/SMB should hang their head in shame if they persist in denying a hearing to these four appeals because of ambiguous results from a poorly written, botched ballot.

Where have we heard this before?

“This was horrible, egregious, process abuse and ISO should hang their heads in shame for allowing it to happen.”

Tim Bray

ISO drips bias. Its goal was to defend its reputation through denial. It’s a pattern [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and it’s hugely appalling.

Meanwhile, the news gets filled with disinformation like this:

Posted by Zealot on 08/17/08 in Microsoft

[...]

Typically Microsoft, rather then settling on the readily available OpenDocument standard developed by Sun…

It is not developed by Sun! The critics, in this case an author called “Zealot”, keep trying to put a company name on the face of ODF. It’s disinformation, period. It’s intended to make it seem like a battle between peers, as opposed to one company (Microsoft) against the entire world, which includes companies, independent developers, academic institutions, businesses and home users. OpenMalaysia once wrote: “what is the point is that we have collectively, globally, bore witness to an awesome display of power by a single corporation. Awesome. Ruthless, even.

To set the record straight on ODF, from an Indian perspective comes (fresh off the news):

On the other is the Open Document Format (ODF), supported by the likes of IBM, Sun Microsystems, Red Hat, Google, the Department of Information Technology (DIT), National Informatics Centre (NIC), CDAC, IIT-Mumbai and IIM-Ahmedabad.

Microsoft technologies are exclusionary and isolative by design (see this for details). In that respect, OOXML and .NET have something in common.

Java was cross-platform. Microsoft could not permit such ‘abomination’, so it tried to ‘extend’ so as to ruin it or make it Windows-reliant. Failing that, .NET, along with the illusion de Icaza helps create that .NET will work on other platforms (as a second-class citizen under the patent sword, of course), Microsoft tried to replace Java, somewhat of an analogical equivalent of ODF.

“That particular meeting was followed by an anonymous smear campaign against one of the TC members. A letter was faxed to the organization of the TC member in question, accusing the TC member in question of helping politicize the issue (which is, of course, untrue). I too had the dubious pleasure of hearing first hand how Microsoft attempted to remove me from the TC (they did not succeed, thanks to integrity and cojones of the organization I am affiliated with).”

“If this unethical behaviour by Microsoft was not sufficiently despicable, they did the unthinkable by involving politics in what should have been a technical evaluation of the standard by writing to the head of the Malaysian standards organization and getting its business partners to engage in a negative letter writing campaign to indicate lack of support of ODF in the Malaysian market. 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

How Microsoft and Its Analysts Entrap the Industry from the Top

Posted in Deception, Europe, Microsoft, UNIX at 4:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Corruption as “industry standard”

For quite some time now, things have been rotten in the British procurement process, which excludes Microsoft’s competitors [1, 2, 3]. There was nothing ethical or logical about it and The Guardian, for example, has just published this article which says: “At the last count, the Treasury that Mr Brown ran did less than 1% of its operations with open source. This is strange because open source combines the cooperative spirit that was at the heart of the Labour party in the past with the entrepreneurial skills needed today. No wonder David Cameron called the prime minister an analogue politician in a digital age.” Hungary too has had its suspicions and claims of Microsoft corruption, as was covered here before [1, 2]. Here is a new fascinating bit that comes amid similar complaints that were mentioned yesterday.

HU: Hearing on Competition Office complaint over Microsoft deal

The Metropolitan Court’s (Fővárosi Bíróság) second hearing on a complaint by Hungary’s Competition Office over a government software tender requesting “Microsoft or equivalent solutions” is scheduled for 1 September, the Hungarian IT news site IT Cafe reports.

The Competition Office in March decided to take the Hungarian Public Procurement Authority to court for refusing to annul the 25 billion HUF (about a 100 million euro) tender. The request to cancel the software tender was filed earlier that same month by three Hungarian IT companies specialising in Open Source software solutions, ULX, Multiráció and Open SKM.

The companies say that the tender is anti-competitive since it explicitly calls for Microsoft products.

The Public Procurement Authority denied the request.

How can a tender explicitly call for Microsoft products? Since when is it a vital ingredient that cannot be disputed? Well, previously we showed some complaints about market distortion and self-fulfilling prophecies from Gartner et al. The following new article from Server Watch may shed light on parts of the notorious Intel-Microsoft collusion which, like many other coordinated moves, was designed to pressure out competition using predictions of doom and gloom. And again, there’s nothing ethical about it might be against the law.

A couple of innocuous words that have insidious consequences. A simple marketing tagline, yet it appears to be seriously undermining a vast segment of the computer sector. What is it? The phrase, “industry standard.”

It comes from the same warped (but ingenious) minds that coined the term “legacy” back in the 1990s. That harmless word served to forward the Windows NT – Intel processor gravy train at the expense of so-called inferior technologies like mainframe, OpenVMS and even Unix. Yet many would argue that despite all the genuine improvement to Windows in recent years to make it much more enterprise friendly, it still can’t hold a candle to many of these legacy systems.

The rumor goes that the legacy propaganda was originated between a Gartner analyst and someone in the Windows NT development/marketing camp. Whether true or not, it certainly helped sell an awful lot of Wintel gear. Now we have “industry-standard” weaving its way into the computer lexicon. The hidden intention appears to be to outlaw RISC and everything else except x86-Intel fare.

[...]

I attempted to track down the origin of the term “industry standard,” but I didn’t have much success. Web searches are sabotaged by the fact that the term industry standard architecture (ISA) was coined in 1981 for something else entirely. So it isn’t even an original concept.

Making accusations in the press is hard, but the above is probably true. Other people have already echoed similar sentiments, independently. We have already shown how Gartner serves Microsoft and it's not alone. It’s part of Microsoft’s strategy (see quote at the bottom).

It would be interesting to see what role money has played in this trend-setting attempts and contempt. It’s among those reasons for tenders to favour Microsoft products with no reasonable justification other than pressure from ‘experts’ who are indirectly paid by Microsoft to do this.

“Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy’s, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. “Independent” analyst’s report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). “Independent” consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). “Independent” academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). “Independent” courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: August 17th, 2008

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Enter the IRC channel now

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