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11.19.08

Novell’s Moonlight Finds Fans: Microsoft Bloggers

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 10:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad Silverlight

WE have already shown that Microsoft pretty much bribes for Silverlight to be adopted. It’s not exactly working though because Silverlight is occasionally being dumped, despite the misleading hype from Microsoft.

Major League Baseball to Silverlight: You’re Out

A year and a half after Microsoft proudly claimed baseball games nationwide would be streamed using its Silverlight streaming media player, Adobe’s Flash gets to pinch hit.

What can Microsoft do then? Novell to the rescue.

Many Microsoft fan blogs (e.g. Joe Wilcox, Ina Fried, Joe Tartakoff) are blogging about it, going as far as calling Moonlight “Silverlight for Linux”, which is deceiving because Moonlight and Silverlight are not the same thing and Silverlight will never run on GNU/Linux.

One of our readers, Eruaran, posted the following correction to the post (almost like a press release) from Seattle P-I’s Microsoft blog.

“Moonlight” is not Free Software, its not Silverlight and it is an insult to the idea and principles of Open Source. It is a patent trap that is only “licenced” to be available through Novell (Microsoft sock puppet) and run on Microsoft approved Novell Ballnux (Ballmers patent infected and compromised Linux) as part of Microsoft’s protection racket.

The editor of Microsoft Watch could not keep his mouth shut either. It’s all about Moonlight, whose main benefactor is Silverlight’s trailblazer, Microsoft.

The Microsoft advocates celebrate this development from Novell. One of the most ‘promiscuous’ Microsoft shills was no exception.

Microsoft and Novell said Tuesday they are nearly ready with a beta version of Moonlight — a Firefox add-on that allows Silverlight content to play on Linux PCs.

Who else? Scott Fulton, the man who wrote literature about Microsoft technology for decades. He covered this too.

In the next stage of what has turned out to be a more successful project than even its creators envisioned, the public beta of Moonlight — a runtime library for Linux supporting sites that expect Silverlight — is expected within days.

To summarise, lots of Microsoft journalists/bloggers seem to be promoting Microsoft DRM on the Web and neglect of Web standards. it was almost the same when Mono got released. Microsoft rejoices at the sight of Novell’s strategy that advances Microsoft’s control of developers, developers, developers, developers.

What can be done about it? In the words of Jeffrey Antony, “BOYCOTT NOVELL.”

The Analysts Know Everything

Posted in Finance, Microsoft, Novell at 4:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“In January [2008], Jefferies analyst Katherine Egbert predicted the buyback when she raised her rating on Novell stock from hold to buy and jacked her price target 50 cents to $7.50.”

NetworkWorld on 'Über' analyst Katherine Egbert

Novell down 10%

 

 

“Microsoft: Next Stop, $40?”

Eric Savitz in barrons.com (Microsoft ‘fan site’), 2007

Microsoft falls

Patents Roundup: Microsoft Sues, Patents Critic Become Nobel Laureate, and More

Posted in America, Courtroom, Europe, Interoperability, Microsoft, Patents at 1:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Sues in Patent Dispute

Microsoft is already using its patents offensively and business woes might be tied to this strategy. Microsoft is doing it again, but it insists this is done defensively. Readers can judge for themselves based on the following reports:

1. Microsoft Files Suit to Defend Visual Studio Users

Microsoft is not mentioned in any of the three complaints. However, in the suit that Microsoft filed against WebXchange, it says that the charges relate to the companies’ use of Microsoft’s Visual Studio software. By asking the court to declare WebXchange’s patents invalid, Microsoft hopes to defend its customers FedEx, Dell and Allstate and spare the thousands of other Visual Studio users from similar suits, Microsoft says.

FedEx, Dell and Allstate have already sought indemnification from Microsoft, Microsoft said in the lawsuit. Most large software makers like Microsoft indemnify their customers, meaning that if their products are found to cause harm including patent infringement, the software developer will bear the responsibility for the problems.

2. Guess which patents are not infringed in the Microsoft Visual Studio suit?

WebXchange is suing Microsoft–or, rather, three of its customers–for allegedly infringing its patents in Microsoft Visual Studio, as CNET reports. Just desserts? Nah. Microsoft rarely sues anyone, preferring instead to threaten to sue.

3. Microsoft in patent battle over Visual Studio

“Microsoft filed this action to protect our customers and ourselves against spurious patent infringement lawsuits filed by WebXchange,” Microsoft said in a statement. “We will demonstrate to the Court that WebXchange’s patents are not infringed by Microsoft technology and that WebXchange’s patents are invalid and unenforceable.”

Communication

One of the biggest sorts of chaos — cold or nuclear war with IPR — is caused by software patents and can be found in wireless and mobile communication. There are hardly any signs of abatement during this storm, as the following new reports ought to show:

1. Alcatel Lucent Files Contextual Advertising Patent For TV Over IPTV

This should be particular interest to Media companies – Telecom major Alcatel-Lucent has filed for a patent in India, for contextual advertising on IPTV networks. Since advertising will be delivered to the screen over the broadband network, it gives them the opportunity of contextualizing ads based on location, personal TV viewing habits etc. The ads will probably be stored on the Personal Video Recorder (PVR) or Set Top Box (STB), and delivered during specific TV spots, based on selection.

2. Calypso Wireless sues T-Mobile USA for patent Infringement

Calypso says it owns a patent on Automatic Switching of Network Access Points, technology, which helps carriers achieve more efficient allocation of resources by freeing more wide area cellular spectrum space for voice, video and data, and increasing overall bandwidth available to other users.

3. Revenue news boosts Wi-LAN; Patent dispute with RIM settled

Shares of Wi-LAN Inc. shot up more than 25% in trading after the technology licensing company announced it was revising its revenue guidance for the year after the settlement of a pending patent infringement lawsuit yesterday with BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd.

Software Patentability on the Cliff

Yet another opposer of the patent system is made a Nobel Laureate.

The FFII congratulates Eric S. Maskin, an economist who has long criticised the patenting of software, for receiving the 2007 Nobel Prize for Economics. Prof. Maskin and two colleagues receive the Prize for research into the optimal design of economic mechanisms. By applying his theory to the IT sector, Maskin demonstrated “that in such a dynamic industry, patent protection may reduce overall innovation and welfare.”

Stiglitz, another Nobel Laureate whom we mentioned in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], is a renowned vocal critic of the patent system.

Fortunately, as we stressed before, the re Bilski ruling has changed a lot of things [1, 2] and here is another article with text of interest. [via Digital Majority]

Q: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently has been trying to curtail the flood of software and business method patent applications by limiting the interpretation of what constitutes patentable subject matter. What accounts for this deluge of business method applications?

A: The PTO has been deluged, truly, with patent applications on various methodologies that involve the use of a computer. I have applications on … business methods, and we file periodic status reports for the patent office so we can find out when these patent applications are going to be examined. You write one, you file it, and you wait until it gets assigned to a particular patent examiner before it gets reviewed and the overall process starts. I have been getting responses now that say it may be a year or two before it gets to an examiner, and it may be as much as five years. That’s why the patent office doesn’t want any more; they can’t handle what they’ve got. So that’s their natural reaction, is to try to … develop some clearly rudimentary standards for (rejection).

Pointing to this new xkcd cartoon, PJ (of Groklaw) writes: “If you think software isn’t mathematics, take a look at this cartoon. It will help you grasp it, and you’ll smile at the same time, which is the pleasantest way to learn.”

It is new complications such as this that a reform can hopefully resolve for good.

US print procurement company e-Lynxx has been awarded a patent covering competitive tendering of a specified item on an electronic platform, such as print management.

The company plans to licence the business method to users.

William Gindlesperger, patent inventor and chief executive of e-Lynxx, said: “Every organisation with an electronic procurement system… that follows the steps outlined in this new patent, will need a licence to use the patented methodology.”

However, the UK patent office said that merely transferring a process that already existed to an electronic platform was unlikely to result in an enforceable patent.

In this particular case, the producer might choose inferior solutions to get around fences. How on earth is this beneficial to the consumer? Also worth noting is motion from Encyclopaedia Britannica, which returns to pursuing its junk patent.

Last year, we pointed out how rather ironic it seemed that a company like Encyclopaedia Britannica, who is supposed to be in the business of spreading knowledge, would sue GPS makers for patent infringement. However, at the time, we were unaware of the history of the patents in question. Joe Mullin, over at The Prior Art, has the full story, including the fact that the case relied on a rather infamous patent, that gave many folks a preview of future patent battles to come.

The likes of Wikipedia must really be injuring Britannica.

Patent-swatting

A Peer-to-Patent-inspired project — or one that is only akin to Peer-to-Patent — strives to elevate patent quality.

The company hopes to build on the progress being made by Peer-to-Patent, a program run by New York Law School that publishes patent applications online in order to gather prior art to be passed along to the Patent Office during the examination process.

But there is one key difference. Unlike Peer-to-Patent, Article One Partners offers people a financial incentive to donate their time and expertise. “We feel people should be compensated for the value of their information,” Milone said.

Incentives for the assassination of poor patents are finally being offered, rather than incentives to those who pursue more patents.

Information gathered from bounty winners will be used in two ways. It may be sold, either to a patent owner wishing to strengthen or replace a weak patent, or to a competitor.

Europe

“Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to make more money.”

“One of the ways that the EPO has done this is by issuing software patents in defiance of the treaty that set it up.”

Richard Stallman

The Stop Software Patents initiative echoes the sentiments expressed by protesters from the EPO. Those who bear guilt have been milking the system for far too long and it’s time for refreshing changes.

Examiners of the European Patent Office have recently invaded one of the secret meetings of the Administrative Council with chocolate coins, pointing to the conflict of interests between the National Patent Offices (NPOs) and their appetite of “more patents, more money”.

Another threat to Europe’s exclusion of software patents seems to be drifting away.

I am currently at the EPO offices in The Hague for Trilateral Authorities users’ meeting. There are a lot of big names here and, obviously, I could not let that pass without finding out a bit more about the status of the negotiations surrounding the Community patent and single European patent. For those hoping for a breakthrough under the French presidency – which comes to an end on 31st December – things do not look good…

We also wrote about this two days ago. Digital Majority provides information about the European Interoperability Framework, which may be at risk due inclusion of pro-Microsoft and pro-patent 'tax' groups like CompTIA.

The Commission has published on its website the list of stakeholders who contributed to the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) consultation. Even if the European Interoperability Framework is mostly directed to provide open standards to be used by governments when they communicate with citizens, it can be expected that some large industry players wants to put their patents and restrictions on how citizens can communicate with their governments.

There is probably an argument brewing there. Monopolists won’t allow interoperability to be standard-based, free, and genuinely decentralised.

Software patents protest against EPO

Waggener-Edstrom Behind the 2008 Laptop Bribes, Edelman Behind 2006′s

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7 at 12:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kid with laptop

“I receive an e-mail from Julie McCormick at Waggener Edstrom in which she extends a “special save-the-date” invitation to attend a “unique, invitation-only” event being hosted by the Windows Client team. She labels the subject matter as “confidential”…”

Randall C. Kennedy

AS we stressed many times before, Microsoft’s interference with Web coverage is rarely done directly. Microsoft hires one of its several marketing agencies that are not tied to Microsoft, which makes them look relatively innocent [1, 2, 3, 4].

In the case of Waggener-Edstrom, we have already seen how they “plant” stories in the news. This is well documented, with court evidence in fact [1, 2].

It has just come to our attention that this year's laptop bribes (for Vista 7) came from Waggener-Edstrom, not Edelman like the last time (bribes for Vista reviews). Edelman was almost boycotted by PCWorld for that incident, so why not Waggener-Edstrom?

“I’ve been thinking long and hard about this, and the only conclusion I can come to is that this is ethically indistinguishable from bribery. Even if no quid-pro-quo is formally required, the gift creates a social obligation of reciprocity. This is best explained in Cialdini’s book Influence (a summary is here). The blogger will feel some obligation to return the favor to Microsoft.”

Former Microsoft manager

AstroTurfers Pretend to be GNU/Linux Users?

Posted in Site News at 11:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Appended below is the IRC log from just minutes ago. As regular readers are probably aware, our reader “twitter” has abusive stalkers (‘witch hunters’) in this Web site. They followed his footsteps all the way from Slashdot just to discredit him personally wherever he goes, whatever he does. Speaking from experience, “twitter” is intimately aware of Microsoft’s dirty secrets and he talks about it in public.

The log below (particularly the end) is self explanatory, but the summary is that people who go under names like “Gentoo user” are actually Windows users and they are busily attacking critics of Microsoft. The name is probably supposed to lend them credibility (Gentoo is, after all, a hardcore distribution) and also encourage people to explore distributions that will lead to negative judgment of GNU/Linux.


trmanco http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2008/11/19/no… Nov 19 15:32
schestowitz Yay! Google can shove clocks and weather in my eyes. :-) Well, at least they open-sourced it. Nov 19 15:32
trmanco :-P Nov 19 15:32
twitter Ick, China to buy GM.  They could make it even more corrupt than it is already. Nov 19 15:33
schestowitz Apache still eats Microsoft’s lunch. Nov 19 15:34
schestowitz 1.8 compared to 1.1 Nov 19 15:34
schestowitz Remember that Google’s is an Apache fork. Nov 19 15:34
twitter That lead is going to get bigger, despite the FUD M$ spews. Nov 19 15:35
twitter WAMP is insane. Nov 19 15:35
schestowitz That’s what MS is hoping. It would be interesting to see how Apache/Linux does against Apache/Windows Nov 19 15:36
schestowitz They keynoted ApacheCon recently. RMS is against it and there’s plan to discourage people from attending such events. Nov 19 15:37
schestowitz How can one give Microsoft such a spot when it’s actively threatening to sue? Nov 19 15:37
schestowitz Re: OSCON, PJ said the same. Nov 19 15:37
schestowitz Microsoft wants the world to believe that there are two Microsofts: good cop and bad cop. Nov 19 15:38
twitter M$ does this on purpose.  It destroys the ability of their “competitors” to communicate. Nov 19 15:38
twitter They stack the con panel and shove M$ into it.  This destroys the conference.  What’s left is M$ only. Nov 19 15:38
twitter Did you see this lovely example of what the M$ world enables?  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/19/d… Nov 19 15:39
schestowitz twitter: yes, Tim O’Reilly had to apologise for saying something negative about the convicted monopolist Nov 19 15:39
schestowitz [cause they sponsored his  event] Nov 19 15:39
schestowitz They gag critics this way. I saw it with Krill. Nov 19 15:39
twitter More reason to avoid M$ money. Nov 19 15:39
schestowitz As you say, people like me are already repelled slightly … wrt Apache Nov 19 15:40
schestowitz As soon as they defend Microsoft I feel like I need to get a puke pouch. Nov 19 15:40
trmanco schestowitz, “Remember that Google’s is an Apache fork.” -> I forgot to mention this when I posted the link :-P Nov 19 15:41
schestowitz People from Apache confronted us in BN. They tried to defend selling out… Microsoft is pressuring many FOSS groups, consortia and LUGs. They try to stink up the place by attending. This IRC channel too used to have ‘cj’ (for Microsoft). Nov 19 15:41
schestowitz trmanco: Microsoft will surely spin this though as Apache not doing so well. Lies, damn lies, and stats, y’know… Nov 19 15:42
twitter I’m not too worried.  When things really go wrong, projects like Debian fork and everyone runs to the better fork. Nov 19 15:42
schestowitz That’s the stories they’ll tell uncritical journos anyway. Nov 19 15:43
twitter Stinking up conferences is an old practice.  I read about them doing this to Apple. Nov 19 15:43
schestowitz Wait until Microsoft tries to plant some people inside Debian [hypothetical]. Nov 19 15:43
twitter My trolls have already bragged about being Debian contributors. Nov 19 15:43
schestowitz That would ruin it. All they need to do is seed the project with an apologist or a village fool that will open up the door… like Alex Brown in ISO. Nov 19 15:43
schestowitz Mono too is entertaining Microsoft chaps. Nov 19 15:44
twitter I ignored it because the project’s commitment to freedom and organization are too strong to let M$ fuck it over. Nov 19 15:44
schestowitz Novell did this in India. Nov 19 15:44
schestowitz Hence the protests Nov 19 15:44
schestowitz Read the remarks from Anivar.. they excluded OpenOffice.org, Red Hat, etc. It was Novell stealing the show stealthily. Nov 19 15:45
schestowitz RMS approved what the guys did. Nov 19 15:45
twitter M$ can damage Debian by setting up arguments that waste time but M$ will fail before Debian does. Nov 19 15:45
schestowitz It’s claimed that they already do this in Ubuntu Nov 19 15:45
twitter They do it everywhere. Nov 19 15:46
schestowitz Requesting Silverlight, defending Mono’s presence, etc. I’m told this by people. Nov 19 15:46
twitter “Mind Control: To control mental output you to have to control mental input.  Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them.  Thus, you control mindshare!”   http://docs.google.com/Present?docid… Nov 19 15:47
twitter Everywhere developers meet, M$ will spew poison. Nov 19 15:47
schestowitz Yes, I know. Nov 19 15:47
schestowitz That’s a MUST-ATTEND talk at Microsoft. Nov 19 15:47
schestowitz The guy who wrote it said so. Nov 19 15:47
twitter M$ wastes untold billions of dollars pushing that kind of poison. Nov 19 15:48
schestowitz “Gentoo user” is one of your stalkers in BN Nov 19 15:49
schestowitz That ‘person’ never talks about the subjects at hand. Just ad hominem, IIRC. Nov 19 15:50
twitter yes.  They keep posting the same crap. Nov 19 15:50
twitter It’s spam. Nov 19 15:50
schestowitz Who goes by the Linux vanity name “Gentoo user” anyway? Nov 19 15:50
schestowitz And why Gentoo? To say “I’m hardcore 1337 *nix”? Nov 19 15:50
twitter For a while, while it was new and difficult, the M$ trolls were promoting gentoo. Nov 19 15:51
twitter There’s nothing like throwing a newbie to the something like that to sour them on the whole GNU/Linux experience for years. Nov 19 15:52
twitter The name choice may lend credibility for readers who know nothing, which is what M$ is interested in. Nov 19 15:53
twitter Anyone who knows anything quickly dumps Windows as a platform. Nov 19 15:54
twitter M$ is all about delaying that and staying relevant. Nov 19 15:54
twitter The trolls used to bug me about the name “twitter” too. Nov 19 15:56
twitter I chose it because that’s what I do to equipment to make it work well.  It turned out to be a good choice from the way the M$ people hear my posts like a gaggle of angry birds. Nov 19 15:58
twitter If Kennedy thinks someone at M$ hates him, Kennedy should watch my stuff sometimes.  :) Nov 19 16:00
trmanco Hey cool, Portuguese media promoting Ubuntu: http://ciberia.aeiou.pt/?st=10581 Nov 19 16:02
twitter M$FT, still under $20, and they will fall off the cliff with the rest of the market as the GWB administration has promised to sit on it’s hands instead of bailing out home owners.  LA Times had a good article on this. Nov 19 16:03
trmanco and some more: http://tek.sapo.pt/noticias/computadores/open_so… | http://tek.sapo.pt/noticias/computadores/ope… Nov 19 16:06
schestowitz Microsoft promoting Gentoo, eh? I think I know why. Nov 19 16:06
schestowitz Create some more bitter experiences… Nov 19 16:06
schestowitz twitter: I can check the logs to see what ‘Gentoo user’ runs. Nov 19 16:07
schestowitz [unless there's header spoofing] Nov 19 16:07
twitter that will be interesting. Nov 19 16:07
twitter here’s the article http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi… Nov 19 16:07
twitter Basically, Paulson has promised to do nothing and to ignore homeowner problems.  The stock market and economy will tank on that kind of news. Nov 19 16:08
schestowitz Hehe. Nov 19 16:10
schestowitz I just realised that Microsoft employed Gentoo’s founder. Take that thought further… Nov 19 16:10
schestowitz [sarcasm] What if Microsoft created and promoted the most difficult and frustrating Linux, then promoted it? Nov 19 16:11
twitter That may have happened but it backfired. Nov 19 16:11
twitter I have yet to try it out but I keep hearing good things about it and that people actually use it. Nov 19 16:13
twitter I like the Debian way better because most people only want to tweak one or two programs at a time. Nov 19 16:13
schestowitz Ha! Nov 19 16:15
schestowitz This is funny. Nov 19 16:15
schestowitz Gentoio user in November: Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz ┌─(roy@localhost Wed, 19 Nov 08)─—————————————— ——————─(/home/roy/Desktop)────┐ Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz └─(16:12 $)─> gunzip bo Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz boycottnovell.com-Nov-2008.gz       boycottnovell.com-Nov-2008.gz.part Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz ┌─(roy@localhost Wed, 19 Nov 08)─—————————————— ——————─(/home/roy/Desktop)────┐ Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz └─(16:12 $)─> gunzip boycottnovell.com-Nov-2008.gz Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz ┌─(roy@localhost Wed, 19 Nov 08)─—————————————— ——————─(/home/roy/Desktop)────┐ Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz └─(16:14 $)─> grep 12.10.219.36 boycottnovell.com-Nov-2008 Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz 12.10.219.36 – - [03/Nov/2008:12:49:47 -0500] “GET /wp-content/themes/ocadia/sty Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz le.css HTTP/1.0″ 200 8903 “http://boycottnovell.com/category/irc-logs/” “Mozilla Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz .0.17″ Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz 12.10.219.36 – - [03/Nov/2008:12:49:47 -0500] “GET /category/irc-logs/ HTTP/1.0″ Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz 200 69745 “-” “Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.17) Gec Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz ko/20080829 Firefox/2.0.0.17″ Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz 12.10.219.36 – - [03/Nov/2008:12:49:51 -0500] “GET /wp-content/uploads/2008/11/9 Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz 35815___mine__.jpg HTTP/1.0″ 200 17438 “http://boycottnovell.com/” “Mozilla/5.0 Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.17) Gecko/20080829 Firefox/2.0.0.17 Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz 12.10.219.36 – - [03/Nov/2008:12:49:51 -0500] “GET /wp-content/uploads/2008/11/9 Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz 52151_abraham_lincoln.jpg HTTP/1.0″ 200 12788 “http://boycottnovell.com/” “Mozil Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz la/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.17) Gecko/20080829 Firefox/2 Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz .0.0.17″ Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz 12.10.219.36 – - [03/Nov/2008:12:49:51 -0500] “GET / HTTP/1.0″ 200 99315 “http:/ Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz en-US; rv:1.8.1.17) Gecko/20080829 Firefox/2.0.0.17″ Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz 12.10.219.36 – - [03/Nov/2008:12:49:51 -0500] “GET /wp-content/uploads/2008/11/j Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz onathan_20zuck.jpg HTTP/1.0″ 200 96877 “http://boycottnovell.com/” “Mozilla/5.0 Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.17) Gecko/20080829 Firefox/2.0.0.17 Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz 12.10.219.36 – - [03/Nov/2008:12:49:52 -0500] “GET /wp-content/uploads/2008/11/1 Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz 016609_laundry.jpg HTTP/1.0″ 200 9346 “http://boycottnovell.com/” “Mozilla/5.0 ( Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.1.17 Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz That’s just a portion. Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz It’s always Windows. Nov 19 16:16
schestowitz Seems like your stalker “Gentoo user” has not much to do with GNU/Linux at all. Nov 19 16:17
schestowitz He came with this IP address several times this month. Nov 19 16:17
schestowitz I assume it’s a daily routine because there are gaps in the logs (probably dynamic IP) Nov 19 16:18

Analyst Lies and Novell Business Growth

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 11:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No Value

A reader from Brazil has just informed (even warned) us that Novell is trying in Brazil what it has already done in India [1, 2, 3, 4] and in China.

Novell’s non-organic growth and proprietary niches aside, the company constantly deceives the public in order to earn some new business. In the process, Novell ridicules software like GNU/Linux (anything other than SUSE) and OpenOffice.org (in order to sell Go-OO support).

“Novell ridicules software like GNU/Linux (anything other than SUSE) and OpenOffice.org (in order to sell Go-OO support).”It’s a horrible way of doing business, but that’s just what Novell does, for Microsoft’s benefit and with Microsoft’s endorsement (sometimes assistance too). That’s the key point. Watch what happened in India less than a week ago. Novell did exactly that.

Some readers might remember a bogus study on satisfaction with the Novell deal. It was conducted by the very ‘impartial’ (and increasingly-assimilated) Novell and Microsoft, then shredded to pieces [1, 2]. The public scrutiny and criticism did not prevent Novell’s Justin Steinman from making outrageous statements like “I think the vast majority, and I’d quantify that at about 80 percent to 85 percent, of the open source community actually supports this deal [with Microsoft].”

Mary Jo Foley cites the new ComputerWorld article where I am interviewed, but she refutes my claims with the words of the Yankee Group.

Red Hat held firm and wouldn’t succumb to CEO Steve Ballmer’s infringement sabre-rattling. In March 2007, Yankee Group issued a study noting that Novell’s share was growing vis-a-vis Red Hat’s, and said Microsoft’s certificate distribution was the main reason. And Microsoft and Novell proudly touted customers who they claimed were eager to seek shelter from potential Microsoft patent lawsuits by signing up for SuSE Linux.

Yankee Group, eh? Their history with Microsoft [1, 2] speaks more loudly than their so-called ‘research’, which is merely being ordered by clients (IBM is one of them too). Would this study from the Yankee Group be anything like those other lies which they produced a few months ago and were later forced to retract for falsehoods?

“Open source is not a movement; it’s a religion. It is a set of principles and practices that let everyone share non-existent or semi-existent intellectual property. Remember the Communist Manifesto: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” It is this generation’s Woodstock.”

Howard Anderson Framingham
Founder of The Yankee Group (2007)

If anyone is interested in other figures about Novell’s growth (or lack thereof), the results from Alfresco's barometer are worth revisiting. Alfresco’s bias, if any, is in Novell’s favour. As Alfresco’s marketing VP stated some days ago, “I was at Novell when Novell vice-chairman Chris Stone and others began to feel their way toward Linux, first with the Ximian acquisition and then with the SUSE acquisition.

Analysts: “Just Ignore Them”

The last time we wrote about the Gartner Group was yesterday. Glyn Moody had kicked off quite a debate around the Web, stretching from CNET to OStatis and beyond.

Moody spoke to Eben Moglen of the Software Freedom Law Center who indicated that while license violations happen, a civil phone call explaining the situation results in companies willingly complying. Moglen indicates that serious consequences for an infringing company would only arise from a willing, persistent disregard for the applicable license.

Asay makes the further point — a good one — that a company should plain and simple have a plan for managing software whether it be open source or proprietary. I’d go so far to add that a plan is needed, regardless of company size or industry (it doesn’t matter that IT isn’t the business’s main focus — it is necessary to know what is running, where). Part of software management is license management — and though there are differences between development licenses, and end user licenses, there are overlaps.

Software has rules — regardless of whether the source is open or not. Businesses (and users) shouldn’t think (or be led to believe) otherwise. But the open source method — and approach to upholding the licenses — seems a compelling reason to use it, rather than a liability.

Moody has just identified similar ‘analyst’ disinformation being disseminated, so he comments on “analyst cluelessness” yet again.

[F]or Wikipedia: nobody gets paid, but look at the results. In just a few years it has succeeded in creating an unmatched respository of human knowledge, to the point where it is pretty widely regarded as the first place to look stuff up, despite its undeniable imperfections.

As with Gartner, this seems to be a case of analysts simply telling their clients what they want to hear, rather than what they need to know. Hence my general contempt for the breed, with a few honourable exceptions – RedMonk and the 451 Group spring to mind – that both know what they are talking about, and tell it as it is.

The problem with analysts is not that they are clueless; their main problem is that in order to earn money they need to lie, spin, deceive, embellish and accentuate every now again, on behalf of their paying customers, future (prospective) paymasters [1, 2, 3], or former paymasters.

There used to be something that’s akin to analysts who are less corruptible and less likely to be bribed; it was called academia, but that too is being deluged by corporations these days [1, 2, 3].

We will soon have a detailed FAQ that sheds light on Novell and its negative impacts. A lot of semi-truths are disinformation get spread by the press to confuse people and rewrite the story we all knew it back in 2006.

Liability for Software When Life is at Stake

Posted in Europe, Law, Microsoft, Security, UNIX, Windows at 9:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A few months ago we used the London Stock Exchange (LSE) as an example of hugely costly Microsoft failures. The stock market crashed in the technical sense and Microsoft, along with those who are informed or responsible, dodged questions about the problem, which recurs once in several months. That was about money, but this time around it’s about people’s welfare, health, and even lives.

With roughly 320,000,000 zombie PCs out there, how can any sane person put Windows in mission-critical settings like a hospital? Well, that’s just what some people do. They apparently learned nothing from a hospital near Microsoft Corporation turning into a massive botnet and it’s happening again, this time in London. Yesterday’s reports indicate that 3 hospitals were shut down due to Windows virus infections:

BBC: Computer virus affects hospitals

Three London hospitals have been forced to shut down their entire computer systems for at least 24 hours after being hit by a virus.

The Register: PC virus forces three London hospitals into computer shutdown

Three London Hospitals shut down their computer systems on Tuesday in response to a computer virus infection.

[...]

The infection at Barts and London Trust was reportedly caused by the Mytob worm, which contains built-in spyware functionality. Mytob spreads by email and has the ability to plant backdoor software on compromised Windows PCs.

Database leaks are only natural to expect. This means that any person’s personal information and health record can make its way into a hot BitTorrent within hours. It’s wonderful, is it not?

“This means that any person’s personal information and health record can make its way into a hot BitTorrent within hours.”We have already produced and provided some evidence to show that Windows is insecure by design and probably irreparable. Unless it’s overhauled radically or reimplemented from scratch, it can never benefit from several decades of UNIX doctrine, mostly trials and errors which made a robust, scientifically-backed model.

With Microsoft whistleblowers crying foul about critical failures and then getting sacked, one can’t help wondering how Microsoft perceives liability. Appended below are several fairly recent articles about liability, bad software, dangers in healthcare, and questionable EULAs.

For information about the NHS and Microsoft, see this page (to avoid needlessly repeating old references).

_____
[1] Experts are calling for product liability for software

“Product liability does not apply to software,” Gerald Spindler of the Faculty of Law of the University of Göttingen complained. “But what if a whole company comes to a standstill due to faulty software?” he mused.

[2] “Microsoft’s 10Q Risk Factors Lists Conceivable Liability for Data Leaks

Improper disclosure of personal data could result in liability and harm our reputation. We store and process significant amounts of personally identifiable information. It is possible that our security controls over personal data, our training of employees and vendors on data security, and other practices we follow may not prevent the improper disclosure of personally identifiable information. Such disclosure could harm our reputation and subject us to liability under laws that protect personal data, resulting in increased costs or loss of revenue. Our software products also enable our customers to store and process personal data. Perceptions that our products do not adequately protect the privacy of personal information could inhibit sales of our products.

[3] Linux guru argues against security liability

Alan Cox, one of the leading Linux kernel developers, has told a House of Lords hearing that neither open- nor closed-source developers should be liable for the security of the code they write.

[4] New banking code cracks down on out-of-date software

The banking industry has re-affirmed a policy that makes online banking customers responsible for losses if they have out of date anti-virus or anti-phishing protection. New Banking Codes for consumers and businesses took effect on Monday.

[5] Secure web browsing through Live Linux distros

Banking isn’t the be-all and end-all: there’s many other reasons you’d want a secure system, separate from what’s on the hard disk, besides Internet banking. Traveller’s can’t necessarily trust the integrity of a computer in an Internet cafe.

[6] Online banking fraud ‘up 8,000%’

The UK has seen an 8,000% increase in fake internet banking scams in the past two years, the government’s financial watchdog has warned.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) told peers it was “very concerned” about the growth in “phishing”.

[7] Swedish bank hit by ‘biggest ever’ online heist

Haxdoor typically installs keyloggers to record keystrokes, and hides itself using a rootkit. The payload of the .ki variant of the Trojan was activated when users attempted to log in to the Nordea online banking site. According to the bank, users were redirected to a false home page, where they entered important log-in information, including log-in numbers.

[8] Microsoft confirms OneCare zaps Outlook, Outlook Express e-mail

Microsoft Corp. has acknowledged that a bug in its Windows Live OneCare security suite has been causing users’ e-mail to vanish from Outlook and Outlook Express.

[9] In zombies we trust

A little over a year ago, I wrote an editorial where in back-of-the-envelope style (.pdf) I estimated that perhaps 15-30% of all privately owned computers were no longer under the sole control of their owner. In the intervening months, I received a certain amount of hate mail but in those intervening months Vint Cert guessed 20-40%, Microsoft said 2/3rds, and IDC suggested 3/4ths. It is thus a conservative risk position to assume that any random counterparty stands a fair chance of being already compromised.

[10] Your data or your life

As unlikely and alarmist as this sounds, it could really happen. Intracare is the publisher of a popular practice management system called Dr. Notes. When some doctors balked at a drastic increase in their annual software lease, they were cut off from accessing their own patients? information.

This situation is completely unconscionable. There can be no truly open doctor-patient relationship when an unrelated third party is the de facto owner of and gatekeeper to all related data.

[11] Use Health Vault, Lose Your Rights

Microsoft has announced (NY Times Article) Health Vault. What should have followed here is a review of the service by my actually trying it.

[...]

Heard enough? So had I. I’m absolutely going to pass on Health Vault. In addition to looking like the Microsoft Passport debacle redux, this is a very one-sided contract. They can harm you but you cannot harm them. There is no way for any 3rd party to verify that their privacy and security software works.

[12] Microsoft Healthvault Patient Safety in Question

One topic I’ve not seen addressed is the safety and effectiveness of the data within HV – and I don’t mean “safety” as in the data is secure from unauthorized access or misuse. I mean “safety” as in the utilization of data stored in HV by other applications won’t result in an unsatisfactory patient outcome, you know, like death or injury.

[13] HealthVault: No Commitments and a Sleeping Watchdog.

Has Microsoft committed to keeping the promises that it has already made? No, just the opposite. Their privacy policy concludes:“We may occasionally update this privacy statement”

Which means that when the commitments that Microsoft has made regarding HealthVault become inconvenient, they will simply change them.

[14] HealthVault: Failing the seven generations test

…My mother died of ovarian cancer. My grandmother took a drug while my mother was in utero that increase the chances that my mother would get ovarian cancer. Any consideration given to my mothers genetic propensity to get cancer must take into account this environmental influence…My grandmothers medical record will remain relevant for at least five generations…How long should we be keeping our electronic medical records? We should ensure that they are available for the next seven generations…A private, for-profit, corporation is an inappropriate storehouse for records that the next seven generations will need. Corporations do not last long enough. Consider the Dow Jones Industrial Average, of the original 12 companies that made up the index, only one is still listed…

[...]

But this is still Microsoft we are talking about, which all things being equal, is especially bad. Microsoft has a history of abusing standards, and using those abuses to enable and extend its monopolies. In short they have a history of “being evil” in exactly the sort of way that we cannot afford to have impact our healthcare records.

[15] Bill Gates: Vista is so secure it could run life support systems

While on a visit in Romania, where Bill Gates participated in the celebration of 10 years since the Microsoft branch has been running there, and the launch of Vista, Microsoft?s president declared that, with the right ammount of administration, the new Vista could run life support systems in hospitals.

[16] Do Microsoft’s EULAs have any real legal basis?

“Microsoft has no special exemption from the sale of goods act.” Well, no, probably not – but it might still be selling you “services” instead of “goods”. But the real point to remember is that it doesn’t matter a jot what the “logical” position is, it is what the courts decide that matters.

As far as I know, no one has tested Microsoft’s EULAs in a UK court and, until someone does, Microsoft will just go on assuming that they work. And I don’t fancy the risk of taking on Microsoft’s expensive lawyers in court myself…

[17] EULA La Vista, Baby

Well, I’ve taken a good look at the license agreement — I had insomnia — and I’ve discovered some clauses that will freeze your blood, curl your hair, and do your nails.

[18] Vista’s EULA Product Activation Worries

Mark Rasch looks at the license agreement for Windows Vista and how its product activation component, which can disable operation of the computer, may be like walking on thin ice.

[...]

“Does the Microsoft EULA adequately tell you what will happen if you don’t activate the product or if you can’t establish that it is genuine? Well, not exactly. It does tell you that some parts of the product won’t work – but it also ambiguously says that the product itself won’t work. Moreover, it allows Microsoft, through fine print in a generally unread and non negotiable agreement, to create an opportunity for economic extortion.”

[19] MSN Music Debacle Highlights EULA Dangers

MSN Music’s EULA is a case in point. When active, MSN Music’s webpage touted that customers could “choose their device and know its going to work”.

But when customers went to purchase songs, they were shown legalese that stated the download service and the content provided were sold without warrantee. In other words, Microsoft doesn’t promise you that the service or the music will work, or that you will always have access to music you bought. The flashy advertising promised your music, your way, but the fine print said, our way or the highway.

More Information About Microsoft’s and Intel’s Crimes Against Customers

Posted in Courtroom, Hardware, Microsoft, OLPC, Vista, Windows at 9:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“LH [Longhorn/Vista] is a pig and I don’t see any solution to this problem. If we are to rise to the challenge of Linux…”

Jim Allchin, Microsoft

AT RISK of seeming repetitive, here is some new information about the collusion that we previously covered in:

This is not a sole incident. A recent (and therefore more memorable) example is the OLPC fiasco. Here are some more unsealed correspondences where Microsoft’s nervousness is showing.

E-mails show Microsoft’s internal reaction to Walt Mossberg column

[...]

“You also won’t have to worry about Vista if you buy one of Apple Computer’s Macintosh computers, which don’t run Windows,” Mossberg wrote. “Every mainstream consumer doing typical tasks should consider the Mac. Its operating system, called Tiger, is better and much more secure than Windows XP, and already contains most of the key features promised for Vista.”

Steve Ballmer is trying to distance himself from this crime, but he and his company seem to have granted Intel billions of dollars at the expense of consumers (and maybe OEMs). This was done knowingly and deliberately.

What did Ballmer know and when did he know it?

That’s arguably the biggest question in the Microsoft “Vista Capable” class-action lawsuit being heard by a federal judge in a Seattle court. Documents unsealed last Thursday imply that the Microsoft CEO was in on the decision two years ago to lower technical requirements for its Vista operating system as a favor to chipmaker Intel, which pressured the software giant to slap “Vista Capable” stickers on PCs with Intel 915 chipsets, hardware that lacked the firepower to run the full Vista feature set.

Intel allegedly stood to lose “billions” of dollars if Microsoft stuck to its original specs because the chipmaker would have been stuck with a whole bunch of the Vista-inadequate 915s. And while Microsoft’s concern for Intel’s quarterly earnings results was touching in that corporate bottom-line kind of way, the impact on consumers was less than heart-warming.

Over at Groklaw, Pamela Jones adds: “You know what I can’t help wondering about? Does this in any way impact the EU antitrust investigation of Intel? If I were AMD, I’d surely be paying close attention.”

By selling people the false impression that Vista 7 [sic] is lighter than Vista (it’s not [1, 2]), Microsoft may be setting itself for similar lawsuits in the future. Vapourware can be crime.

Intel puppy

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