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11.30.08

Mono Tries to Enter KDE

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 10:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME textWELL, it’s not just Ubuntu and Mono 2.0. The lobby for .NET inside GNU/Linux is being spotted once again as it’s being pushed closer to KDE [1, 2, 3] but the offer declined so far. This was seen by our readers, who probably wish to deny and reject this dangerous product from Novell/Microsoft. Here is the first message from about an hour ago and the first reply to it, which says:

Depending on a closed company like Microsoft to have new APIs, new technologies, new improvements is i think a bad point. Mono just implement .Net APIs, this project has no creativity. Ok .Net is developer friendly, yes but comparing to first point it is nothing. We have already a toolkit with Qt which save us a bit from C++ crap. Gnome start to port their applications to Mono, that is their choices. I don’t want to start a flameware here but i think it is a very bad idea.

Here is the latest reply.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: November 29th, 2008

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft Imprisons the Ukraine and a South African University

Posted in Africa, Europe, Microsoft at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Unshareable ‘special’ deals

Ukraine flag

A few days ago we wrote about seemingly-illegal deals that Microsoft signs across Europe. The public is not allowed to know what it pays for [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Well, it’s happening again, this time in the Ukraine. Someone from Microsoft says:

Following the visit of Steve Balmera in Kiev in May this year, we signed MOUs with a number of ministries and departments, and continue fruitful negotiations with the State Department of Intellectual Property.

Who could forget the Hungary incident?

Anyway, that’s not all.

The Live @ edu scam is coming to a South African university, so there is backlash.

Students at the correspondence-based University of South Africa (Unisa) will be required to sign up for a Microsoft-provided email address before they are able to receive correspondence from the university.

The required email address is part of the first phase to build the MyLife portal to foster a “sense of belonging” among students, the university says.

Phase two of the project will see the university encouraging students to use other “Microsoft live services such as social networking facilities … online file storage, and Office Live workspace”.

Part of the requirements from applicants is that they must be willing to become digitally enslaved to a convicted monopolist. This makes no sense, especially in South Africa.

It’s not much better in Portugal, in Italy and in Finland. Microsoft wants to capture those youngsters before they are able to make their own choices.

Is Silverlight About ‘Killing’ GNU/Linux?

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, Microsoft at 3:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It killed kwin for me

PERSONAL experiences are good at teaching oneself about the nuisance some Microsoft technology can bring. Such is the case with Silverlight, whose presence forced me to restart my entire session today, with minor data losses. Yes, my whole KDE session practically became unmanageable, which is exceptionally rare (could not see an ad in Firefox, so tried Konqueror, which had it frozen, needed killing, which then brought down kwin.). This happened after I had received the following message from another regular reader who experienced difficulties:


I’ve seen the interminable battles about whether Silverlight is supported by Linux (aka “is Moonlight the same as Silverlight?”). Try this experiment. See this page:

http://www.parismatch.com/parismatch/Dans-l-oeil-de-match/Rep…

Hopefully, you will find an advert for a Windows mobile device made by Samsung. If you click the link for the advert, it redirects you to a page on Microsoft.com for the full spiel:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/startdoingmore/…

I notice that some text at the top says “CE SITE EST PLUS AGRÉABLE À VOIR SOUS SILVERLIGHT INSTALLEZ-LE MAINTENANT” (i.e. This site is better viewed under Silverlight <link>Install it now</link>) I tried to “install it now” under my Linux-based Konqueror browser and it told me that “My hardware or operating system are unsupported.” That should put to rest the silly debate about whether Moonlight is the same as Silverlight (it’s obviously not!) and about whether Silverlight is supported under Linux (again, it is obviously not supported under Linux!) Anyone who disagrees can easily repeat the test above and see for themselves (bonus points if they actually have Moonlight installed, which I don’t.)


People need to abolish Silverlight, whose only supporters are Microsoft and Novell (virtually the same entity these days). Moonlight is not Silverlight for GNU/Linux [1, 2] and both plug-ins need to be fought away [1, 2, 3, 4] while still in their digital diapers.

What was Samsung doing with Silverlight anyway? Samsung, as we have shown many times before, is close to Microsoft not only because it stabbed Linux with a ludicrous patent deal. Those two companies collaborate a lot and then there’s also Korea's trouble with Windows lock-in to take into consideration. Samsung is one of the largest business entities in Korea, but a very corrupt one nonetheless.

Silverlight toilet

Patents Roundup: Patent Failure, Rambus Ambush, and Death by Patents

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Patents at 3:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s Not Working

THE FOLLOWING new article does not necessarily focus on software patents, but on the whole, the article does address an important issue that leads to patenting by large and wealthy companies whose so-called ‘innovations’ are not actually theirs. A portion of the article that speaks of software specifically tackles the issue of litigation burden, mostly costs.

Quicker, cheaper solutions needed for patent law

[...]

A further possibility, which is being trialled in the US in relation to software patents, is to expose patent applications to comment from those in industry. This would enable interested players to draw prior art to the attention of the examiner, and potentially also to identify ambiguity or lack of clarity. This would presumably assist examiners greatly in dealing with complex and new technologies.

The second major protection for the system is to ensure that those who wish to challenge the validity of a patent have access to a cost-effective dispute resolution mechanism. Typically, running a hotly contested patent case in the Federal Court can cost upwards of $2 million and take over a year to get to trial. On this basis, smaller players and issues that affect smaller markets will be shut out.

A particular district (or two) in Texas continues to be a major loophole and therefore a major part of this issue.

How to Attract Patent Litigation

If you’re a federal district court, that is.

The answer? You need something not every federal district has. The Eastern and Southern Districts of Texas have them. The Northern District of California has them. The Districts of Pennsylvania (Western), Georgia (Northern) and Illinois (Northern) have them. In fact, so many U.S. District Courts have them that its getting difficult to keep up. Like so many things in life, at first its an advantage to have them, and eventually it becomes necessity.

Black Sheep

Digital Majority, by pointing to this slightly older post, shows just how a single company or a minority of a much larger group can stand in the way of a reasonable system.

Except for the few patent holders and Accenture, the tax strategy business community has been largely anti-patent – going so far as to lobby congress to introduce legislation to create a specific exception that would block enforcement of those patents.

Another company that gives a bad name to patenting is Rambus, whose ambush is almost unprecedented and is causing a lot of trouble in several industries.

Judge Ronald M. Whyte of the US District Court, Northern District of California in San Jose, who has already presided over other cases involving Rambus and Hynix, has now reached a number of decisions, which were preceded by a legally and technically interesting 42-page set of findings. According to the court findings, DDR2, DDR3, GDDR2, and GDDR4 SDRAM chips made by Hynix, Micron, Nanya and Samsung infringe claim 16 of Rambus patent 6,266,285, granted on July 24, 2001; where GDDR3 memory is concerned, only Hynix, Micron and Samsung are affected. Rambus had also filed complaints over patent infringements related to nine further US patents, but Judge Whyte denied them for the most part.

If Rambus, which is a struggling and therefore merciless company, gets its way, this will be a serious injury to the integrity of the whole system. It would raise question with regards to the aim of patents and whether or not they are beneficial.

Sick Patents

Back in March we showed that collaboration in the drug-developing industry is seen as preferable by an increasing number of companies that set aside their patents and adopt what they refer to as an “open source” approach. This marks a turning point where science benefits the most and those whose illnesses depend on science likewise.

There is a stream of new articles at the moment which are very critical of patents in the medical field, particularly those that prevent access to vital medicine. Here is the story as told by Reuters.

The Commission said it had found documents during the inquiry, which contained admissions from brand-name companies that they had tried to stop generics, and many examples of obstacles being placed in way of less-expensive competitors.

A catalyst for action here is indeed the Commission, which rarely seems to intervene in this area. It’s nothing to sneeze at when patents kill.

Glyn Moody labels the situation “patently outrageous” and one of our readers, pointing to this interesting story on the BBC, said: “My take from it is what I have suspected all along. At least in the EU (and theoretically in the US), anti-trust law overrides patent protections. The EU is considering anti-trust action against the big pharmacy companies. This is good news especially since I consider that, since Microsoft does so little that is original, the big pharmacy companies have a better case than Microsoft has.”

Other coverages of this include:

1. Commission accuses drug developers of blocking rivals

The inquiry has revived calls for the creation of a single European Union patent, an issue that regulators have struggled with for 30 years due to disagreements over the languages used. Kroes said that the preliminary findings of the sector inquiry supported the case for a community patent, which she argued could help avoid litigation and cut costs.

2. Sick babies denied treatment in DNA row

BABIES with a severe form of epilepsy risk having their diagnosis delayed and their treatment compromised because of a company’s patent on a key gene.

It is the first evidence that private intellectual property rights over human DNA are adversely affecting medical care.

It is true that some patents may result in unnecessary deaths.

Medicals

11.29.08

Why Journalism is Junk

Posted in Deception, Novell at 11:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Traditional coverage of Novell deemed untrustworthy

We have consistently been critics of the press, always arguing against blind trust in the integrity of mainstream media, which disregards important issues such as where the publisher's money is sometimes derived from. Occasionally, the press uses sensationalism for profit and sloppiness is seen as acceptable as long as it conforms with ‘popular view’, i.e. that which aligns with consensus among companies involved.

“…[S]loppiness is seen as acceptable as long as it conforms with ‘popular view’, i.e. that which aligns with consensus among companies involved.”Among the key issues: parroting of PR, sound bites, daemonisation terms, words from the sponsor and all sorts of self-appointed analysts whose clients often include the companies they comment on.

Richard Stallman encourages people to shun mainstream journalism and instead subscribe to the views and interpretations of trusted blogs. A couple of examples from the past week show just how poor the press can be, but in order to find out for oneself, one must align some sources and lay out the evidence, which we did.

Virtualisation Example

Here’s a couple of new ‘articles’ about PlateSpin, which is a old acquisition target of Novell. The following two items have shown up in the Indian press. One is a press release and the other is a case of very cheap pseudo-journalism. Mind the subtle differences between the two:

Exhibit #1: Novell’s PlateSpin tech helps supercomputing leader

Novell today announced that the New Zealand Supercomputing Centre (NZSC) has chosen one of its PlateSpin® workload management products to automate the management of its on-demand computing infrastructure. Together with partner InterGrid, the NZSC hosts high-intensity computing projects for oil companies, bio-pharmaceutical enterprises, movie production houses and universities.

Exhibit #2: Novell PlateSpin helps in cost-cutting

Novell announced that the New Zealand Supercomputing Centre (NZSC) has chosen one of its PlateSpin workload management products to automate the management of its on-demand computing infrastructure. Together with partner InterGrid, the NZSC hosts high-intensity computing projects for oil companies, bio-pharmaceutical enterprises, movie production houses and universities.

Novell’s involvement in supercomputing is also mentioned in the following press release from New Zealand’s Webzine, which is identical to Exhibit #1.

Novell today announced that the New Zealand Supercomputing Centre (NZSC) has chosen one of its PlateSpin® workload management products to automate the management of its on-demand computing infrastructure. Together with partner InterGrid, the NZSC hosts high-intensity computing projects for oil companies, bio-pharmaceutical enterprises, movie production houses and universities.

The ‘article’ in the middle is actually not very original. Looking at the three items above (especially the opening paragraph, which is just a bite-sized sample representing a broader pattern), what might one conclude? Does it inform the reader?

Since we already know that PR lies, it’s too dangerous to just repeat the words of press releases without a single challenge. It’s copied almost verbatim. If people conduct research using the Web some time in the future, what message will be taken away?

Love birds
Parroting is not reporting

GWAVA Example

Here is a new press release from GWAVA.

GWAVA Delivers GroupWise Web Access Users More Security and Flexibility

GWAVA, Novell’s largest technology partner for GroupWise, announced today the latest version of WASP 2, the leading spam and anti-virus solution for GroupWise WebAccess. This release comes at a time when an increasing number of GroupWise users are enjoying the flexibility of the internet to access their important messaging information. However, with the flexibility comes challenges to filter unwanted content and keep viruses from invading your organization.

One can always rely on TMCnet to rewrite the press release very slightly and then publish it to make pseudo-journalism that merely casts press releases as “articles”.

GWAVA’s Latest Version WASP Enhanced with More Security and Flexibility

GWAVA, a company focused to provide best solutions to the Novell GroupWise community and to meet the unique needs of GroupWise organizations, has released the latest version of WASP 2, spam and anti-virus solution.

The recipe at TMCnet: copying and pasting press releases, then editing some more. This does not turn a press release into an article. To the best of our understanding, it may be illegal in Japan.

What are the chances of collecting a critical assessment from the press? Heck, who needs reporting anyway? Being cynical, let companies just write the news for the ‘mere mortals’. Let us subscribe to the belief that if SCO says Linux stole code, then it must be true. But… we can do better.

“On the same day that CA blasted SCO, Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond revealed a leaked email from SCO’s strategic consultant Mike Anderer to their management. The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.”

Bruce Perens

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part III: Managed Objects Managed by Novell, Identity Management, and Lots More

Posted in Identity Management, Mail, Marketing, Novell, Videos at 10:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell’s acquisition of Managed Objects is now a done deal.

By adding the Managed Objects toolset to the Novell portfolio of data center solutions, we are unique in providing technology-agnostic and proven cross-platform solutions that span both the physical and virtual worlds – all in one unified view. Expect to hear more about our M.O. for Managed Objects soon

Mail

Last week we wrote about Novell's release of GroupWise 8, but the coverage is not over yet.

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Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: SLED at Lenovo and Wyse, SLES, Xandros

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, Servers, SLES/SLED, Videos, Xandros at 10:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ThinkPad laptop
Lenovo Thinkpad

Lenovo

FOR STARTERS, Novell secured itself a place on Lenovo IdeaPads, as was initially announced several weeks ago. There are numerous articles about the early appearance of this unit, e.g.:

Read the rest of this entry »

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