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11.05.08

OOXML Convenor Might be Shooting the Messenger (Groklaw)

Posted in Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 7:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The disparity of rules for PAS, Fast-Track and ISO committee generated standards is fast making ISO a laughing stock in IT circles. The days of open standards development are fast disappearing. Instead we are getting “standardization by corporation”, something I have been fighting against for the 20 years I have served on ISO committees.”

Martin Bryan, Former Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1/SC34 WG1

ALEX Brown, a major participant in Microsoft cronyism inside ISO [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22], is not so interested in facts and evidence, such as the simple observation that Microsoft is attempting to grab control ODF [1, 2, 3, 4], having attacked it viciously before.

To make matters worse, smears appear to be making a comeback [1, 2 and they came from Brown’s mouth. He not only denied the obvious but he also dismissed their source, which is typical of Microsoft employees, saying that Groklaw is “unfair”.

However, Alex Brown, the convener of SC34, told ZDNet Asia sister site ZDNet UK at the time that Jones’s post was “chock-full of misinformation and spin”.

When will the posturing end, if ever?

“…Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”

Larry Goldfarb, investor in SCO

Praise Microsoft, Receive Bribe

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 3:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

So, this is why Vista 7 [sic] is covered positively…

Taking a buck

A few days ago we showed how Microsoft had essentially kicked out journalists that it does not like. A couple of days later we also came to realise that those who were ‘obedient’ received a 2,000-dollar gift. it’s a bribe by several people’s definition.

Needless to say, not everyone is happy and this new letter tells the rest.

Dear Microsoft: I’m writing in regard to your recent FREE LAPTOP COMPUTER giveaway program for members of the industry media/analyst community. It is my understanding that authors and pundits who are “friends” of Microsoft -– i.e. those who praise Windows Vista and generally write positive stories about your products and strategies –- were eligible to receive their FREE LAPTOP COMPUTER during the super-secret, invite-only workshop that you held on the Sunday just prior to your Professional Developers Conference.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Microsoft's control of the media.

Net Neutrality Mischiefs?

Posted in Australia, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, OpenOffice at 3:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Satellite dish
Dishing some dirt on Free software?

COMCAST’S DISREGARD for net neutrality was particularly interesting not just because it’s an assault on Freedom and also form of censorship. It was also their close relationship with Microsoft which seemed worth exploring. Another such company is Australia’s largest ISP, which has just announced an alliance with a foreign convicted monopolist, Microsoft.

Smack bang in the middle of the timeslot that Telstra was meant to be speaking at a Sydney broadband conference about its NBN plans in a panel mostly comprised of its competitors, Telstra has instead pulled out, as reported, and has made a major announcement with Microsoft instead.

This is also covered in:

The development is particularly relevant to us because of this report from less than a year ago.

Major Aussie ISP Telstra BigPond shafts open source OpenOffice

Australia’s largest Internet service provider Telstra BigPond has removed the free open source office suite OpenOffice from its unmetered file download area following the launch of its own, free, hosted, office application, BigPond Office.

[...]

Our reader was outraged by Telstra’s move, which he sees as an attack on the open source software movement.

“The principle of the matter upsets me,” he said. “The fact that BigPond has removed previously allowed open source software is un-ethical. They are discriminating against me, even though I pay the same as other customers. They are attacking the Free Software movement.”

It’s too risky to allow ISPs to police traffic, especially when they liaise with other companies and can throttle traffic depending on business interests.

“Mr. Emerson and I discussed a variety of investment structures wherein Microsoft would ‘backstop,’ or guarantee in some way, BayStar’s investment…. Microsoft assured me that it would in some way guarantee BayStar’s investment in SCO.”

Larry Goldfarb, investor in SCO

Unconfirmed: Novell is Closing Offices in Europe (Now Confirmed)

Posted in Europe, Novell at 2:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ONE year ago, Novell shut down 4 offices. A rumour has just reached us claiming that Novell is doing this again. Can anyone confirm? There is nothing appropriate about this in the news, but the source seems reliable.

Update: It’s confirmed now.

Im Zuge einer neuen Partnerstrategie will Novell die Kosten herunterfahren und schließt deshalb kleinere Niederlassungen. Betroffen sind Deutschland die Büros in München und Berlin. In Österreich soll der Standort Wien geschlossen werden.

Novell will sich künftig noch stärker auf das Partnergeschäft und den Vertrieb von Novell-Lösungen konzentrieren. “Teil der damit verbundenen Umstrukturierungen ist die Konsolidierung von Büroräumlichkeiten, um den tatsächlichen Bedarf und Nutzen besser abzubilden”, so begründet Novell den Schritt in einer Mitteilung.

Translation here.

G^H^H… Boo-Hoo!

Posted in Antitrust, Deals, Google, Law, Marketing, Search at 12:57 pm by Shane Coyle

Quick Mention

Google has announced that it will be canceling its proposed advertising arrangement with Yahoo!, due to a desire to avoid a protracted inquiry process by antitrust regulators.

“Pressing ahead risked not only a protracted legal battle but also damage to relationships with valued partners,” Google’s chief counsel, David Drummond, wrote in the statement. “That wouldn’t have been in the long-term interests of Google or our users, so we have decided to end the agreement.”
In a response, Yahoo (YHOO 13.93, +0.58, +4.3%) said it was disappointed by the move, which came after regulators signaled their opposition to the arrangement.
“Yahoo continues to believe in the benefits of the agreement and is disappointed that Google has elected to withdraw from the agreement rather than defend it in court,” the company’s statement read.

Does this failure signal the end of get-the-facts style marketing as we know it?

Microsoft Blast from the Past: Ads Banned for Spurring Violence

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft at 9:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

How might Microsoft promote XBox360? Violence, why not?

This went just a little too far.

Viral marketing leads to mock gunfight at Richmond school

Several Ottawa high school students have been suspended for re-enacting an Xbox commercial that involves a mock gun fight — the latest in a series of attempts around the world to mimic the segment that, according to media analysts, amounts to free “viral advertising” for Microsoft Corp.

The latest incident took place on Tuesday in the cafeteria at South Carleton High School when a crowd of students shot finger guns at one another and feigned death by either falling or slumping to the ground.

The advertisement was at least banned in the UK.

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority, an industry self-policing group, has ruled that an ad for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 is out of bounds and can’t be aired there again.

This is far from the only Microsoft advert that got banned for violent or sexual content.

Ideas Are Not a Property, Devices May Be

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Patents at 9:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“IP is often compared to physical property rights but knowledge is fundamentally different.”

Professor Joseph Stiglitz

ONE of the best writers on the issue of intellectual monopolies, among others like Mike Masnick, is Glyn Moody. He has no mercy when he sees an unjust system and yesterday he published this post in IDG about patents and the notion of “property”.

As long-suffering readers of this blog will have noticed, one of my favourite hobby-horses is that the whole idea of “intellectual property” is a trick, designed to plug into the warm and fuzzy feeling most people have about the idea of property, and aiming to cover up the fact that what we are really dealing with here are intellectual monopolies – of which few people are fans.

Also from Glyn, a prelude to another financial collapse caused by paper-thin monopolies? It seems possible. As pointed out in the comments, however, not patents are involved, but something a little more reasonable in this case.

The fact remains that the system was corrupted to the point where simple abstract ideas can be considered ownership, but this era appears to be ending, eliminating along with it billions of dollars in imaginary assets.

Your Business Method Patent Has Just Been Invalidated

[...]

This ruling raises a ton of questions like that across literally thousands of patents. And it is a good thing too because business-method patents tend to be overly broad and abused.

Dana Blankenhorn puts forth the assessment of Bruce Wieder, who comments on the impact of the Bilski ruling [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

“Because there’s no categorical exclusion of these things they probably ought to look at those individual patents to see if they have any value. But you have to look at it patent by patent.”

That’s the word from Bruce Wieder, who heads the patent practice over at Dow Lohnes PLLC in Washington. As always this new legal decision is really great for lawyers.

So what will they be looking for? According to Wieder the court set a simple test. “Business method patents must be tied to a machine,” one that does real transformations of something. You can’t just patent the idea.

For software it’s the same thing. “You have to look at what the software does.” The court gives the example of a machine that cures rubber. You can patent the machine, but not the software timing the process.

The world is at least moving in the right direction. It has been a long time since that last happened.

WIPO
WIPO (World Intellectual Monopolies
Organisation), Geneva, Switzerland

IBM Vice President: Requires Silverlight? No Thanks.

Posted in Apple, DRM, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Patents at 8:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IBM’s VP of open source and standards says Mo’ “No”

Truthfully, Bob Sutor never liked Mono. He asked about it several times before and wanted it removed [1, 2, 3]. When faced by Mono 'guards', he politely explained at the time, “I don’t want to get into the well-known controversies around Mono in this thread, but for those who decide not to use it, for any reason, it’s good to know how to avoid it.”

A couple of days ago, at the sight of this post, he wrote: “Requires Silverlight? Err, no thanks.”

Since he has Ubuntu GNU/Linux installed on his laptop, it may have been Mono and Moonlight that deterred him as much as it deters Fedora. Additionally, from the comments on this post:

I emailed them asking about Linux support a couple months after the Watch Instantly feature came out because I wanted to take advantage of it, and they responded saying that they were working on Linux and Mac OS support but had to work on security issues, so I stuck with it thinking that I would eventually be able to take advantage of the feature. Over a year later, there was still no Watch Instantly for Linux, so I canceled my subscription. I hope they eventually get around to it.

It was very clear from the start that Microsoft would use Silver Lie (or Novell’s Moon Lie) to harm its #1 competitor, which is also a platform of choice to IBM.

Silverlight media

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