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Links 11/09/2008: Many New Releases, KDE in CERN

Posted in News Roundup at 6:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

New Kernel/Distribution Releases








“Some folks running Quake 3 on a 12 machine Linux cluster with a total of 24 monitors and using the cool Gyro Mouse.”

Direct link

More Wins for ODF, Another Potential Loss for ISO’s Reputation

Posted in America, Asia, Europe, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, OSI at 2:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Protest against OOXML

The European Commission will report about its findings and possibly fine Microsoft when that investigation is complete. ISO’s reputation will suffer another blow.

In the mean time, seeing the acceptance of ODF is encouraging and those who adopt ODF are doing a commendable thing. According to the OSI’s Web site, a new addition comes from Yale Law School, demonstrating ODF adoption among academics and scholars where it’s very important (more so than in the industry).

Open Document Formats have finally become the default document format for presentations. Having been at all three editions, I am personally impressed that the ISP has come this far. In the first edition, we had proprietary document formats; during the second edition, there was a 50-50 thing going on but the default still remained proprietary. The third edition has proved to be 100% ODF.

The following new press release commends ODF as well.

Also integrated into the MarkMail archives are group messages from OpenOffice.org, a community in excess of 1 million volunteer and sponsored contributors who develop, translate, support and promote the leading open-source office productivity suite. Its file format, the OpenDocument Format, an ISO standard, has fundamentally revolutionized the ecology of electronic documents and is now being used or considered for use by dozens of national and regional governments and enterprises around the world.

India’s potential plan to bypass ISO recommendations was noted in recent days [1, 2] and ANSI seems to have opened up for feedback. This could invite and even spur some complaints about ISO, whose name was shattered by Microsoft’s OOXML. From ANSI’s Web site:

There are just two weeks left before the submissions deadline for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)’s Standards That Make a Difference poll. A great opportunity to raise awareness of the standards that have the biggest impact on today’s ever-changing global marketplace, the survey allows organizations and interested stakeholders to highlight the specifications that they value the most.

It’s not only India and ANSI that are open to public feedback at the moment. A constructive discussion is taking place in Jomar’s blog (Brazil). There’s intention to obviate reliance on ISO.

So, these are the first ideas that I would like to share with you, and I would really appreciate it if you would send me your thoughts by posting comments. I sincerely believe that with a small contribution by each of us, we’ll be able to design a new process for standards development that will allow anyone to participate without needing to be a representative of Company Y, or to have a certain degree, and so on. At the end of the day, standards developers or not, we’re all standards users.

Curiously enough, also worth noting is this blog post about Microsoft technology and ODF.

So an interesting challenging was brought up. Why not have an ODF Viewer in microsoft technology. This means VB and ActiveX. This will be as tactical as having a ODF plugin for Microsoft office.


I guess the language doesn’t matter and some might even think that this is doable using python with win32 or even in Visual C++ or C#. However the challenge is on.

This seems like a bad idea for so many reasons.

ASUS: Want GNU/Linux (Express Gate)? Buy Windows.

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Vista, Windows at 1:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Penguins swim

ASUSTeK did not exactly fulfill those expectations from "Express Gate" after getting “closely tied up with Microsoft,” to borrow the company's very own words. We previously explained how Microsoft was fighting boot-level GNU/Linux. It has been a couple of months since we last wrote about it and a reader of this Web site reports based on the experiences of one shop.

“Has anyone seen Asus’ ‘Express Gate’,” he asked, later adding that “You have to have Windows to install it.”

Further he said: “If you want that ‘instant on’ option, there is only an XP or Vista installer. Nothing else. So, you can’t install this Splashtop, GNU/Linux based environment without Microsoft Windows installed. [...] there are only XP and Vista installers.

“Our company has started offering systems with the new Asus mobo’s with Express Gate. Auus has provided no way of installing it without Windows already installed. [...] It’s on the Asus utilities disk. You can’t install it without Windows installed first because Asus only provides a Windows installer.”

As pointed out before, ASUS had promised ‘Express Gate’ on all motherboard. Could that “closely tied up with Microsoft” thing have already changed the company’s strategy?

Links 11/09/2008: CERN Does GNU/Linux, KVM Will Be Free

Posted in News Roundup at 5:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish


  • $98 Linux laptop makes Netbooks look pricey
  • Netbooks, Chrome and the future of computing
  • A Tiny Laptop With a Difference: No Hard Drive
  • Acer Perspire One

    Enough about me, let’s get back to the sweaty business in hand. Of course, I decided that the installed Linpus Lite linux (based on the venerable Fedora), which works perfectly adequately, had to be ripped out and replaced with Ubuntu. It has become an obsession of mine, to install Ubuntu linux on everything. The fridge runs Ubuntu now, as does the PC and the mobile phone, and I’m considering an implant for the dog.

  • Finding Linux Systems Where They Never Were Found Before

    I regularly receive a catalog from Tiger Direct in the mail Up until very recently every system, desktop and laptop, in their catalog ran Windows and sported a Windows logo in the ad. While the majority still do a half a dozen laptops, all low-end netbooks, are sold with Linux preinstalled and the Tux logo is prominently featured in some of the ads. Linux netbooks by Sylvania, Asus, HP, and Acer are all prominently advertised alongside Windows systems. Searching for Linux on their website reveals additional models available preloaded with Linux.


Desktop Environments




Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Michael Robertson, Chairman of Linspire, Inc. 07 (2004)

Ogg Theora

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

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: September 10th, 2008

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

New Report Slams the Intellectual Monopoly System

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 4:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Battle of Trafalgar
Death by patents

As critics of software patents, it’s worth taking the time to discover that other areas of patenting are equally harmed by a system which has become too lenient and therefore useless. It brings more friction than that promised “innovation”.

There are morel issues too because death can be inflicted by patents. Nobel Laureates seem supportive of the contention that there is an inherent problem and now comes this new report.

The world’s intellectual property system is broken. It’s stopping lifesaving technologies from reaching the people who need them most in developed and developing countries, according to the authors of a report released in Ottawa today by an international coalition of experts.

Looking beyond software in the news, it seems like even battery-charging techniques are being fenced with patents.

Patent Issued for O2Micro’s Battery Charging Architecture


“O2Micro’s charger family of products is built on this core architecture. Continuation of this patent allows us to continue expanding the benefits of charger solutions,” commented Dr. Alex Hartular, vice president, O2Micro.

Apple has also applied for something rather abstract about the processing of signal from multiple input devices.

As the patent application explains, computer systems generally have various means of input, but usually these are all independent of each other and not combined.

Apple might argue that this patent is merely defensive, but in reality, its patents stifle the development of Free desktop environment. It helps nobody.

Software patents protest in India

Novell Keeps the Beast Happy

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Virtualisation, Windows at 4:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Monopoly now, community later

As stressed many times before, Novell has placed its bets on relying on Microsoft. It hopes that by obeying the wishes of the company behind Windows, it might receive a reward. Without it, Novell would be experiencing financial difficulties.

NindowsA couple of weeks ago, Novell’s CEO stated that the number of collaborations with Microsoft were expected to roughly triple. In other words, those who believe they have seen Microsoft and Novell getting closer have plenty left to witness. How long before Novell just becomes a part of Microsoft?

Earlier this morning (around midnight in Waltham), the following press release hit the wires.

Microsoft and Novell Deliver Joint Virtualization Solution Through Partners


Supported by Dell and other channel partners, solution includes SUSE Linux Enterprise Server running as optimized guest on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V.


The virtualization solution is the first to include technology developed by both companies at their joint Interoperability Lab, including virtual machine adapters built to optimize SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as an optimized, or often referred to as enlightened, guest operating system on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, providing optimized performance to SUSE Linux guests.

It is clear that Novell’s plan has not changed, but practical progress is being made twards making GNU/Linux a guest machine under Windows hosts, using Microsoft’s own virtualisation products that discriminate against Red Hat, for instance. It’s a predatory joining of former rivals to just hurt other rivals and hand over power to one company: Microsoft.

Microsoft could play with all GNU/Linux distributions, but instead it chose to separate between those that pay Microsoft for the ‘privilege’ to function and those that do not. Stephen Withers, failing to realise the complexity of this situation, is quick to proactively dismiss critics as ‘anti-Microsoft’.

inux and Windows working nicely together might not be the dream scenario for Linux purists committed to a Microsoft-free world. Indeed, there are some who will likely slam this development as little more that Microsoft hype and hoo-hah.

Sean Michael Kerner published this quick article as well.

It also comes at an opportune time for Novell, which is trying to differentiate itself from competitor Red Hat and its virtualization offerings.

Just a few days ago, Novell’s Jaffe talked about the “depth of partnership with Microsoft.” Has it ever occurred to Novell that it could partner with GNU/Linux counterparts rather than partner against them?

Depth of partnership with Microsoft

The depth of our partnership with Microsoft is the significant. Some of the key aspects of this partnership are:

  • Technical collaboration as part of our original agreement. This was broad covering many areas: documents, directory, management, and virtualization
  • A joint laboratory in Cambridge, MA to work on interoperability
  • An expansion of this technical collaboration into new areas. This includes the Moonlight project for the Silverlight framework and accessibility.
  • Bolstering the technical collaboration by building companion offers. A great example is our Advanced Management Pack for Linux.
    Regular meetings at working levels and executive levels to understand customer problems and explore where additional interoperability is required.

Overall, this comes to prove that proprietary software agenda comes before Free software at Novell. What a shame and what a waste. A reality check is needed for those inside Novell who are still fooled into thinking that the company is a friend of freedom rather than its paid suppressor.

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

Steve Ballmer 2007

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