Links 19/01/2009: BETT 2009 Reports, Camp KDE Report

Posted in News Roundup at 9:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish


  • The facts behind Microsoft’s anti-Linux ‘Get the Facts’ campaign

    Back in 2002, Jim Allchin was co-president of Microsoft’s Platforms and Services Division and was, in his own words, “scared” of the momentum behind Linux, as noted in an email [PDF] sent to several of his direct reports.

    Why scared? Because Windows was starting to lose to Linux:

    My conclusion: We are net on a path to win against Linux We must change some things and we must do it immediately. The current white papers, etc. are too high level and they are not going to cut it.

    So what did Allchin do? As court documents in the Comes vs. Microsoft antitrust suit demonstrate, and as Roy Schestowitz points out on his blog, Allchin started to buy facts. Lots of facts.

  • Shuttle completes its reinvention

    KPCs are the name of the new low end/Linux line that Shuttle put out last year. We told you about them first a year ago, and now they have a bunch of models sold under the KPC brand. The latest is the K5600, a Via C7 + CN7000 based computer. It retails for $139 or so including the box and CPU. If you want a really nice machine to build an HTPC around, get one of these and slap an ATI 4500/4600 in. Add in some Ram, an HD, Mythbuntu, and for under $300, you have a complete system. Damn nice.

  • Mobile device syncing in Linux made easy

    There’s a long history of syncing mobile devices with Linux.

    That long history is mostly filled with one device not synchronising, followed by another device not working, followed by another.

  • CherryPal Announces the World’s First Truly Green Nettop, the BingTM, During the Sundance Film Festival This Week in Park City, Utah

    Running on the basis of the Linux based GreenMaraschino operating environment, Bing was designed for environmentally savvy, budget minded consumers, and provides excellent web browsing, file sharing, media and music capabilities. It can be used with or without the CherrypalCloud™, which makes the user experience simple, efficient and highly secure.

  • Kernel Log: What’s new in 2.6.29 – Part 3: Kernel controlled graphics modes

    With the release of 2.6.29-rc1 last weekend, Linus Torvalds concluded the first phase, called the merge window, of the development cycle. This phase allows for incorporating the substantial changes intended for the next kernel version into the source code management system of the Linux kernel.

  • Active Directory comes to Linux with Samba 4

    Enterprise networks now have an alternative choice to Microsoft Active Directory (AD) servers, with the open source Samba project aiming for feature parity with the forthcoming release of version 4, according to Canberra-based Samba developer Andrew Bartlett.

    Speaking at this year’s linux.conf.au Linux and open source conference in Hobart, Bartlett said Samba 4 is aiming to be a replacement for AD by providing a free software implementation of Microsoft’s custom protocols.

  • Pagico v3.2 is coming to Ubuntu on January 19th, 2009

    The last version of Pagico on Ubuntu was v2.3, released a long while ago. As Ubuntu was not our priority platform, we didn’t put too much energy on it. However, things have changed. Now we’re more interested in supporting this fantastic desktop platform than ever, and this time we’re not going to let it fall behind. Together with the v3.2.2 software, the Pagico on Ubuntu brings you the best user experience and unique feature set as an organizer software.

  • The Advantages/Disadvantages of Leaving the Mainstream

    A recent Free Software Magazine article points out that using Linux protects you from potential governmental spying or hacking in two ways. First, Linux is open-source, so it would be extremely hard to inject a backdoor into its code. Second, since Linux is far less commonly used than, say, Windows, a governmental organization is far less likely to target it. All of this logic basically also applies to ordinary hackers, too. (And if you don’t think that governmental hacking will be an issue, it will almost undoubtably be an issue in some major country in the next few years.)

  • LCA

  • Education

    • 2 Sore Feet, 200+ CDs, 400+ Teachers: BETT 2009

      We had a couple of shiny new Samsung 2343BW widescreen monitors showing off Edubuntu/Ubuntu to full effect. There were a variety of sub-notebook class devices demonstrating various Free OSs and just what £99 can get you if you care to look.

      We discussed – sometimes at great length – philosophical, financial, technical, security and educational benefits that can be had from using FOSS solutions in an education context. (Why would anyone in their right mind use proprietary software if they had a choice or a clean sheet to start from?)

      We promoted and extolled the virtues of many individual FOSS projects including, Moodle, Elgg, Mahara, Ubuntu, Edubuntu, and countless others.

    • Last VLE ever?

      BECTA..can you either quietly drop your sponsorship of VLEs or persuade your political masters to force teachers to use them?

    • Computing in Education and the Credit Crunch

      You may have noticed that high quality free, open source software, free to download and legally distribute now exists for nearly all the applications commonly used in education. They work on Windows and Mac computers as well as they do on Linux computers.

  • KDE

    • Camp KDE Takes off in Jamaica

      In a warm Jamaica around thirty KDE developers have gathered for the first Camp KDE. The following article is an impression of the first days of this event, a short summary of what is going on here. Read on for the full report!

    • My sweet desktop environment – KDE 4.2 RC

      About a month ago I installed Gentoo Linux on my MacBook Pro as I’ve become really disappointed with OSX. Being a linux user for a few years it’s hard to get used to such a limited operating system like OSX…Anyway I just want to show you some screenshots of a just released KDE 4.2 RC that is totally amazing…


      This is something like QuickSilver in OSX. I use KRunner to open applications or access files, but you can use it for many other tasks like calculations, spell checking, opening web bookmarks etc.

    • Banner selection for KDE 4.2

      Some weeks ago Emil Sedgh told me that there is a countdown banner for KDE 4.2. That one is on kde.org as well

  • Distributions

    • All things Linux; Ubuntu vs Mandriva and paradigm shift

      Mandriva is actually my ‘favourite’ distribution and has been for quite a number of years, but the main reason I ended up with Ubuntu on the desktop was primarily due to wireless support – after endless problems with Mandriva wireless (with 2 different USB wireless adapters) I gave up and migrated to Ubuntu instead. Shame on me! In the past I didn’t like their development model as much but it has improved a lot over the last few releases so I was prepared for “words on toast” and change to Ubuntu. On the laptop I still kept Mandriva as it worked well for what I wanted and wireless support was OK etc. As they all use the ’standard’ Linux kernel the main differences between the various distributions are the things they add on compared to the standard kernel. Things like the user admin interface, package manager (for software installation), etc.

    • Arch Linux in review

      The “keep it simple” philosophy of Arch Linux really shines through in all aspects of this distribution. It lets the user control the system and doesn’t do anything unless told to. It has the speed and convenience of binary with the power of source and is very flexible when it comes to optional dependencies. Being a rolling release, the packages are also reasonably up-to-date. Other than the problem with the Intel video driver, I have not had any issues with the quality of the packages. Still, I have to wonder how well a smaller distribution like this can provide overall stability. Perhaps time will tell. It also remains to be seen how well Pacman will perform after installing and removing thousands of packages. Certainly, Arch Linux isn’t for everybody, no distribution is, but it sure is plenty of fun and you learn a lot. If you’re the kind of person who likes to fiddle and tweak your system, then definitely give it a shot. Once you have your system up and running the way you want, it’s very easy to maintain and it feels great. If you’ve been tempted to try it out, there is a Wiki page listing how it compares to others. As for my dream distribution, Arch Linux comes pretty darn close.

    • Red Hat

      • Review: Fedora 10

        Ignoring the proprietary graphic drivers issue (which, if you’re a Fedora veteran you won’t have any issue with anyway) Fedora comes across as a very solid, stable and clean distribution. Their repositories are large and there’s a strong user community to ensure that bugs are squashed and the noobs get the support or flames they deserve. If you’re wondering what your next distribution might be, have Fedora 10 on your short-list of ones to try out.

      • Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst: It’s OK to Say ‘I’m Sorry’

        In a brief interview after his speech, Whitehurst said his first preference would be to remain at N.C. State’s Centennial Campus, where the company now occupies two buildings.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 3 Screenshot Tour

        Originally scheduled to be released on January 15th, the third alpha version of the upcoming Ubuntu 9.04 (codename Jaunty Jackalope) was uploaded a few hours ago on the official mirrors and. As usual, we’ve downloaded a copy of it in order to keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in the Ubuntu 9.04 development. To please our readers, starting with this third alpha, we will also list the new features brought by the Kubuntu edition, as well as the screenshot tour.

      • Laptops, ergonomics, and batteries

        I installed Ubuntu 8.10 on this laptop (as a multiple boot option) the weekend before last, and one of the first notices that Ubuntu gave me was that the battery would only charge to 17% of capacity. Score one for Ubuntu over Vista for giving an accurate message.

      • TechCrunch’s prototype CrunchPad runs Ubuntu

        TechCrunch have shown a working prototype of the CrunchPad running Ubuntu Linux. Last July, Michael Arrington grew tired of waiting for a $200 web tablet and announced that he had decided to work on making such a device a reality, although some observers suggested that this was just an attempt to garner publicity for Arrington’s blog. In a posting on the site today, Arrington brought readers up to date with the progress on the device.

      • My first year with Linux

        As of December 25, 2008 it has been a year since I first installed a Linux distro on my home computer. With the help of my brother, I installed Debian based sidux and I have to say, I have been very pleased with the results. You can read about my first impressions of sidux here and here. I thought I would share a few of my thoughts about my first full year of using Linux.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 125

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #125 for the week January 11th – January 17th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Jaunty Alpha 3 released, Ubuntu Developer Week, Fridge Mockups, Technical Board Run off, UDS Jaunty Proceedings, Awards: Ubuntu Forums, Ubuntu, and Canonical, Dutch LoCo bringing it home, How Launchpad will open source, What’s new with Launchpad API, Ubuntu-UK podcast #20, Ubuntu Podcast #17, Technical Board Meeting Minutes, Server Team Meeting Minutes, Desktop Team Meeting Minutes, and much, much more!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Bug Labs’ BUG: modular, open-source platform for DIY gadget

      While we’ve heard the term “mashup” apply to music and web services before, we think the hardware mashups that Bug Labs’ BUG platform enables have far more to offer.

      BUG is a modular electronics platform that starts with a BUGbase – a Linux-based computer that’s roughly the size of a Nintendo DS Lite. The BUGbase has the kind of grunt you would expect from a five-year-old laptop, and four expansion slots that you can slot BUGmodules into.

      There are currently 5 BUGmodules available: BUGlocate (GPS), BUGcam2MP (2 megapixel digital camera), BUGmotion (motion sensor and accelerometer), BUGview (touchscreen LCD), and BUGvonHippel (breadboard).

    • Quad-band MCM runs Linux

      Telit is shipping a multi-chip module (MCM) integrating an ARM-powered baseband processor and RF module, together with a 200MHz ARM9-based Atmel AT91SAM9260 application processor supported by 4MB of flash and 64MB of RAM. The Telit GE863-PRO is available with a development board and Linux 2.6 implementation.

    • MIPS32 SoCs decode HD, run Linux

      Linux 2.6 drivers are provided for the Mali GPE, along with a full Linux board support package (BSP) for the Au1300 SoCs (see farther below).

    • Neugent Powers New Line of Cutting-edge Embedded DVR

      In a move to cater to desktop DVR enthusiasts, Neugent Technologies, a leading developer of Linux-based digital video surveillance solutions has expanded its line of embedded DVR with the introduction of SP-2000 desktop standalone.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Eee PC Operating System Choices

        From my experience, Arch Linux is an extremely small and customisable distrubtion aimed at Linux professionals who know their way around a command line. Because it comes with very little installed by default, its small size is a great advantage on the Eee PC. You can customise and tailor the installation to your own requirements, but it does require some experince with the Linux console, otherwise it can be a very daunting process.

      • GreenMaraschino Bing Netbook Offers Same Old

        Don’t expect the GreenMaraschino Bing to offer something different – it will feature just about the same specifications as other standard issue netbooks in the market. Without much further ado, here they are :-

        * Intel Atom N270 1.6GHz processor
        * 1GB RAM
        * 160GB hard drive

      • The status of Sugar, post-OLPC

        We’ve been working to establish Local Labs, grassroots organizations which, in our mind, will fill up the gap left by OLPC in deployments.

    • Phones

      • Android moves to home phone

        A COMPANY THAT we had never heard of before had one of the most interesting toys at CES, an Android based home phone. Actually, it is a lot more than that, almost a full PC in a small box, the Nimble by Touch Revolution.

      • Google portable device runs Debian Linux

        This is the first time since switching to Linux that I have given serious thought to changing distributions. I really like Ubuntu; it’s still the most comprehensive desktop distro I know. But I don’t know if I want to be part of a community that can rise up on a moment’s notice and band together to become one giant mega-jerk.

      • EFF Kicks Off Campaign to Free Your Phone

        The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is asking for the public’s help in its new campaign to free cell phones from the software locks that stifle competition and cripple consumers. The campaign’s website is FreeYourPhone.org.

        Hundreds of thousands of cell phone owners have modified their phones to connect to a new service provider or run the software of their choosing, and many more would like to. But the threat of litigation under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) has driven them underground.

      • Maemo & Openmoko Community Survey results published

        I got an e-mail this morning publishing the results of a Maemo and Openmoko community survey I had answered with 1232 others some months ago. The survey was run by ETH, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich. Here are some notes I made.



    This is, what the open source and open formats are about. They,

    * Consolidate strong points;
    * Use the IPR to prevent the hoarding of technology;
    * Invite others to participate in its development.

    It is ‘Make love, not war’ in atypical way. In term of Gandhi’s philosophy, they are right means and are the key to the future: they will lead us to the desired end.

    Mahatma Gandhi once said,

    ‘You must be the change that you want to see in the world.’

    Lead by example: show the world how changes can be effected. This is, why we use and advocate Open Source Software and Open Formats.

  • Vyatta gives Nortel the half-Nelson

    Vyatta vice president of market and strategy Dave Roberts administered the “ha” on his blog, Opensourcejuicer:

    It was very clear when I was there that anybody who wanted a long term career in Nortel had to be associated with the carrier group, preferably an optical product line. That was where all the momentum was within the company. If you were an employee working on other things (enterprise products in my case), it was clear that you weren’t going to get any of the investment, attention, or promotions. In contrast, the optical management teams were masters of the universe.

    Now I want to turn that into an “ah-ha”.

    Nortel became dependent on phone companies, outfits like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. After DWDM brought the benefits of Moore’s Law to fiber, these companies stopped buying. And they’re still not buying.

  • Open Source Helps In Economic Crisis

    BizCubed, the premier Australian Pentaho partner and BI consulting company, announced additional Pentaho training courses, reduced course costs in Australian dollars and Pentaho introduction packages to support companies during the economic crisis. Pentaho is the commercial open source, open standards alternative for business intelligence (BI), suitable to support global enterprises as well as small and medium business as a cost effective alternative to proprietary software.

  • FSF

    • Richard M. Stallman at the Université de Moncton

      The Department of informatics at the Université de Moncton, as well as its Student Council are happy to invite you to attend Dr. Stallman’s conference on Free Software in Ethics and in Practice. Dr. Stallman is a renowned computer scientist who launched the development of the well known free GNU operating system in 1984. The talk is aimed at the general computer-using public and is not intended to be technical.

    • Psst! Pass it on! Psst! Pass it on!

      Posting the FSF widget on your website is a fairly simple thing to do, but it turns out that it’s very effective! We’ve already gotten 24 new members during our year-end drive through member referrals that came in through widgets. The widgets have been posted by free software supporters all over the world — from Chicago to Italy to South Africa.

  • Multimedia

    • Xara LX and the leading, bleeding edge of free software graphics

      The latest vector graphics package for GNU/Linux is a Linux port of a proprietary Windows application called “Xara Xtreme”, which is in the process of being converted to a GPL license. There are a number of sharp broken edges along this path, including non-free library dependencies that need to be free-licensed or replaced with free versions, and support for free graphics standards like SVG in order to interoperate with other packages. As a result, you won’t find this new application, called “Xara LX” in the main distributions yet. In Debian, it is filed under “non-free” in the unstable “Sid” distribution. However, this is an opportunity to get a sneak preview of what’s coming.

    • Open Souce Multi Track Audio Editing Software Jokosher

      Jokosher is an Open Source Multi Track Audio Editing Software. Could be used in creating Audio record, Podcasts. Some of the features are :
      1) Multi-track volume mixing with VU sliders.
      2) Import audio (Ogg Vorbis, MP3, FLAC, WAV and anything else supported by GStreamer) into your projects.
      3) Export to MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, WAV and anything else GStreamer supports.
      4) Documentation (User Guide, FAQ, Tutorial) and User Community (Forums, IRC).

    • Linux Broadcasts

      As a big proponent of the GNU/Linux operating system, I thought I would recommend a few broadcasts you can listen to on the Internet that deal with this great alternative to Microsoft Windows. This is a good way to listen and learn about how to use Linux and the benefits you can derive from it.

  • Microblogging

    • Open Source Microblogging and the Enterprise

      This ticks all the boxes – open source, open data and open standards. Moreover, Identi.ca recently received some handy VC dosh to help the platform grow. But Google’s recent decision to open source its own microblogging platform Jaiku adds another possibility to the mix…

    • A look at Mozilla Snowl

      Mozilla Snowl is a new experimental Firefox addon that acts as a more advanced feed reader. It can display RSS feeds and also Twitter messages. I’ve never gotten into microblogging, but it’s an interesting concept. Here’s how Snowl works as an RSS/ATOM aggregator.

  • Applications

    • SA election body opens website to open source users

      The South African Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has made good on its promise to open up its website to free software users.

      With just three weeks to go to the final voter registration date for this year’s national elections the IEC has removed the error messages that greeted non-Microsoft users and allowed them access to the full site.

    • Open Source Alternatives

      Open source is rarely taken seriously. It has became a buzzword just like going green. What can open source actually do for your organization? What alternatives are available to replace our proprietary systems while simotaneously lowering costs across the board from license fees, administration, and deployment. The following is a list of open source alternatives that exist which could actually replace existing applications.


      Linux and Open Source provide a flexible solid foundation for custom tailoring your entire infrastructure. Continuing to ignore the avenues of opportunity provided by these freely available solutions will only prove to put you behind the curve.

  • OpenOffice.org

    • Linux Monday: An Open Office Test Drive

      For the next couple of Linux Monday posts, I’ll be testing out my legacy Microsoft Office files in Open Office, Linux world’s main alternative. This is, by necessity, a one-way test. Files in Microsoft Office formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt) can be opened in Open Office; the open source community recognizes the need. But Microsoft doesn’t want to admit that there are alternatives, and Open Office .odt format files won’t open in Microsoft Office.

    • What’s up in OOo 3.1?

      At the weekend the upload of DEV300m39 build started. This is the first developer milestone after Feature Freeze for OOo 3.1. To bring it into a final status the community projects can start their work. The L10N team can take this version to check new strings for translation. The QA team can begin to test the new features and make quality assurance for the general quality of the product.


  • Open Kernel Labs Attracts $7.6 Million in Venture Funding

    The Open Kernel Labs leading technology in embedded systems software and virtualization enables the development of safe, trustworthy and affordable devices.

  • Behavioral Advertisers Try To Come Up With Code Of Conduct Before FTC Writes One For Them

    While the US Congress came down hard on NebuAd for its “behavioral targeting” ad program that would be used by ISPs to track everywhere you surfed and toss up relevant ads based on overall surfing activity, the FTC was a lot more hands-off.

  • Top Sites That Every BitTorrent User Should Know About

    The last few years have seen a tremendous growth in the number of BitTorrent users and the content that is available via BitTorrent. Nowadays it is no big deal if you can find a TV Show on BitTorrent before it has premiered on TV. The number of sites indexing and searching BitTorrent files have kept pace with this growth.

    So much so that there is an overwhelming number of search engines that only search torrent files. Here are some of the top sites which every BitTorrent User must know about:

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Lawyer John Koenig on how people make money with Free Software 08 (2004)

Ogg Theora

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

How Microsoft May Deal with European Antitrust: Mouthpieces

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, FUD, Microsoft at 1:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Guest post

EDGI - Microsoft - talking points

Source: Microsoft internal memo [PDF], labeled “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL”

SEVERAL YEARS ago Wired Magazine published the following article:

The author of the email, posted on ZDNet in a Talkback forum on the Microsoft antitrust trial, claimed her name was Michelle Bradley and that she had “retired” from Microsoft last week.

“A verbal memo [no email allowed] was passed around the MS campus encouraging MS employee’s to post to ZDNet articles like this one,” the email said.

“The theme is ‘Microsoft is responsible for all good things in computerdom.’ The government has no right to prevent MS from doing anything. Period. The ‘memo’ suggests we use fictional names and state and to identify ourselves as students,” the author claimed.

“Bizniz® as usual for Microsoft,” says Slated. We wish to present his message regarding this incident because Microsoft is again under fire from the authorities, so it’s likely to be using similar tactics. According to this new article from Roughly Drafted, it currently uses talking points from Dan Lyons and Paul Thurrott:

Two notorious Microsoft shills, Dan Lyons and Paul Thurrott, have sunk to new lows of historical revisionism order to decry that “the media” is conspiring to uncritically fawn over a company other than the one they have uncritically fawned over as paid flacks over the last decade. They’re wrong, here’s why.

Below is the take of Slated on this former issue about Microsoft employees battling the government anonymously (or via pressure groups [1, 2]):

Note the carefully constructed and wholly evasive response, by Microsoft’s hired mouthpiece, Heidi Rothhauser of Waggner Edstrom:

“Microsoft has never had an employee by the name of Michelle Bradley,”

“Note that “not aware” is not synonymous with “does not exist”.”Well naturally, after all, Microsoft’s shills have been instructed to “use fictional names”.

“We are not aware of any memos or verbal directives of this nature.”

Note that “not aware” is not synonymous with “does not exist”.

“It is against Microsoft policy for any employee to misrepresent him or herself by email or any other means.”

Again, this carefully evades the truth. I’m quite prepared to believe that such a policy really does exist (after all Sweaty needs something to show the auditors), but it’s likely this policy document is currently being used as an “Out of Order” notice in a disused toilet somewhere at Redmond HQ. The “official line” and “working practises” are not necessarily the same, and given ‘s documented history of hired shills (i.e. “Technology Evangelists”), it’s pretty obvious this “policy” is just a sham.

Here’s the truth that Waggner Edstrom won’t tell you:

Here’s what happened. In January of this year, a newcomer popped up in
the Canopus forum named Steve Barkto. He said he was from Oklahoma City
and had been an IBM customer for seven years. He wasted little time
before attacking IBM, Dave Whittle, and your fearless reporter over
issues we had previously discussed with Rick Segal.

This Bartko character had a writing style which was so similar to that
of Rick Segal’s that it immediately caught my eye. In fact, I responded
to his first message to me by asking if he were Segal in drag. Nobody
(including myself) took my question seriously. At least not at first.

Then one of the forum Sysop’s noted that instead of calling from
Oklahoma City, where he claimed to be from, Bartko’s calls were
originating from the node closest to Microsoft’s headquarters in
Redmond, Washington. This led Will Zachmann, who ‘owns’ the forum and is
Wizop there, to look more closely.

What he found was incredible: Barkto’s account was in fact owned by
Microsoft. It had been opened with a corporate credit card belonging to
Rick Segal. Will sent a letter to the Microsoft Board of Directors
demanding an investigation and explanation, but no explanation has ever
been forthcoming.

And, of course, this:

Effective Evangelism
James Plamondon, Technical Evangelist


Our mission is to establish Microsoft’s platforms as the de facto
standards throughout the computer industry…. 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).


“Between 1992 and 2000, I was a Technology Evangelist (TE) with
Microsoft, where I was widely considered to be its leading TE theorist
and practitioner. For example, in the late 1990′s, I was the only
Microsoft employee to design and lead TE training seminars that all of
Microsoft’s newly-hired TE’s were required to attend.” ~ James Plamondon

So, which one of these two Microsoft representatives is lying (“it is against Microsoft policy for any employee to misrepresent him or herself by email or any other means”) … Microsoft’s hired PR firm, or their ex-head of Technology Evangelism?


Note also that if they do astroturf for Microsoft, then they’re violating more than just company policy. In the EU they’ll be breaking the law:

The European Union’s Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (PDF),
enacted in May, 2005, already bars companies from “falsely claiming or
creating the impression that the trader is not acting for purposes
relating to his trade, business, craft or profession, or falsely
representing oneself as a consumer”

And (from that same page):

“Kentucky Representative Tim Couch filed a bill this week to make
anonymous posting online illegal. The bill would require anyone who
contributes to a website to register their real name, address and e-mail
address with that site. Their full name would be used anytime a comment
is posted.

If the bill becomes law, the website operator would have to pay if
someone was allowed to post anonymously on their site. The fine would be
five-hundred dollars for a first offense and one-thousand dollars for
each offense after that.”

Soon nowhere will be safe for Microsoft’s shills.

[Ed: Also see coverage here]

This is why I’m so sceptical when (supposedly) ordinary Microsoft staff protest “but we’re not evil!”. Like this guy here, Charles Carmine, self-described “spiritual advisor to Channel 9″ [*] (transcript of minute 23):

So I guess, you know, one of the things that I find interesting is, is,
you know, what is it about Microsoft, I mean you mentioned, Miguel, that
your friends called you, like they said “gee, you can’t do that, it’s
Microsoft, man”? I get the same sort of vibe from people, you know, when
I say that I work for Microsoft, that they’re immediately like “oh
man!”, you know, and these are, again these are developer friends of
mine that don’t work on our stack, which, and they’re good friends of
mine. So what is it about the community out there, that you’re
definitely, you /know/ these people, I mean why are we so evil? That’s
my question, why are we so evil?

Answer: See above.

If Microsoft staff follow these off-the-record “verbal” memos, which naturally “don’t exist” because they are “against Microsoft policy”, then at the very least they are complicit in Microsoft’s “evil”, if not actually supportive of it. IMHO the two acts are indistinguishable, both in terms of morality and outcome. So clearly this “evil” extends far beyond the boardroom. That goes for de Icaza and friends, just as much as any “official” Microsoft employee.

[*] Referred to:

C9 started as a grass roots effort on a team of evangelists. It got
going with some help of a lot of people. Now that it is up and moving,
some people move on to new jobs and others come in and join us.

Charles and Scoble are the driving forces behind the day to day. You
have to love their dedication to this site. We love to hear what we can
do better, so keep the feedback coming.

As for me being a “kingpin” ?

Carmine … I prefer “spiritual advisor to Channel 9″

PS: Carmine’s constant “interesting, interesting” responses, delivered in a tone of perplexity and scepticism, to de Icaza’s crystal-clear definition of Open Source and Free Software, as if the concept of Freedom was completely alien to him (Carmine), is both frightening and hysterical. It’s right at the start of that video. I recommend you take another look, and give yourself a good laugh (or the shivers, whichever).

Also check out the bit (a few minutes later) where Carmine tries to redefine “open source” (“we recently open sourced the base-class libraries”), and later on protests (paraphrased) “Sometimes … you’ve got IP. It’s mine, it’s mine, I don’t want it to be yours. It’s my IP.”


Want a bib with that dummy, Carmine?

Also note the sly little jibe he slipped in, after de Icaza’s protracted explanation of FOSS, spelled out in words of one syllable for Carmine’s benefit:

de Icaza: “…you are in control” Carmine: “Should you care to”

IOW in Carmine’s limited imagination, the only possible reason for the existence of Free Software, is to benefit those “few” with the necessary programming skills to capitalise on it. This is someone who apparently has no concept of the principle of Freedom, or principles in general. If someone asked him to vote for the reintroduction of legalised slavery, I wonder if he’d vote “yes” based purely on the fact that there was no one waving a banner and actually protesting against it outside his building (“Nobody cares to protest against slavery today, therefore, you know, I’ll, like, vote ‘yeah’ on this form thingy”).

It’s at times like this that I’m reminded of one of PK’s sigs:

“You’re not my type. For that matter, you’re not even my species”

What species is Microsoft?

Gartner Group Corrupted by Microsoft (Analysts Cartel Part III)

Posted in Deception, Finance, FUD, IBM, Microsoft, SUN, Windows at 11:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Clever marketing in suits, attacks on rivals

THIS POST is part of an ongoing series that includes:

This set of posts includes evidence that Microsoft uses IDC and Gartner against the competition by further corrupting their already-low integrity [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

Today’s antitrust exhibit, Exhibit PX02817 from 1998 [PDF], shows Microsoft stating that “[it] successfully lobbied and changed the Gartner Group TCO model to show Windows as providing the lowest overall TCO”. Note the financial details on the last page. The Gartner Group was paid almost half a million dollars this time around.

Based on this exhibit, we also show predatory FUD tactics and manipulation of journalists, whom Microsoft wants to poison against the Network computer (NC) competition, in order to generate negative coverage of this competition.

Here is how the whole 9-page document starts:

Some of the highlights include:
- We have been closely monitoring, attacking, and winning NC threatened accounts
- Successfully lobbied and changed the Gartner Group TCO model to show Windows as providing the lowest overall TCO

People at high levels have already complained about Gartner’s TCO figures, which they claimed were fixing the prices. Now we know that the TCO methodology came from Microsoft.

Microsoft had issues to address, e.g.

Even with this work, organizations are still in a state of confusion on the desktop. They have the issue of running multiple versions of Windows (Win95 Gold, SP1, and OSR1, 2, or 2.5, and NTW4, SP1, 2, or 3)

Like everything that we find in EDGI [1, 2, 3], they track risk and then attack, using ‘studies’:

4. Halt the NC from making any noise in FY98. Though the NC has failed to live up to its early threat of mass PC replacement, we are actively tracking threatened accounts and monitoring and attacking the NC constituents (IBM, Sun, Oracle) with high level TCO and Windows messages.

What we find below are FUD tactics against the competition, reciting the statement that “The NC is Dead.” This goes under “CORE MARKETING OBJECTIVES.”

4. NC Attack Plan – “The NC is Dead”

They needed case studies:

- PR References and Case Studies : In order to show momentum for NTW, we are driving the case study team and ECU in finding customers to act as PR references and to develop case studies. We aggressively targeting customers who fall into the following segments:
- UNIX to NTW switchers: This includes accounts like John Deere, Caterpillar, Morgan Stanley

Here is another way to pay/reward Gartner:

Utilizing our knowledge from.Win95 and NTW4 deployments we have contracted with Gartner Group and MCS to develop a “Best Practices” Guide to managing your desktop environment, and preparing for deployment of Win32 desktops.

So there is more Microsoft money on Gartner’s table.

Here are some subsidies to teachers, just like the ones found in EDGI:

We will also utilize the ATEC “train the trainer” model and subsidize NTW5 classes.

FUD tactics against NC:

4) NC Attack Plan-”The NC is Dead”

Though we have made great strides to ensure the NC does not gain footholds in any of our accounts, we can expect another big push from IBM and Sun in the 2nd half. IBM is already pushing theft NetStafions hard into accounts, and Sun is planning on releasing their Java Stations in the first half of CY98. Our focus will be to continue to expose the issues with the NC idea, while communicating the benefits of Windows and our thin client strategy with Hydra and the Windows-based Terminal.

More here:

    - Expose the NC as Dead to the press and analyst: We will spend a considerable amount of our time focused on educating the press about the pitfalls of the NC in order to generate “the NC is Dead” press articles. This will cumulate in a press and analyst tour in March, coinciding with Interact World in LA. Prior to the tour, we will be delivering monthly Windows TCO wins to the press, as well as NC trial/rejecter case studies. We’ll leverage our Net.PC and WBT OEM and Partner successes, and utilize the web, onLine news banners, and other online delivery channels to get this information to our customers.

Sounds eerily similar to Microsoft's "technical evangelism". To quote some bits from it:

“Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry. We want to place selection pressure on those companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for competitors’ technologies, to make the industry increasingly resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

“Mopping Up can be a lot of fun. In the Mopping Up phase, Evangelism’s goal is to put the final nail into the competing technology’s coffin, and bury it in the burning depths of the earth. Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry.”

James Plamondon, Microsoft

Later there is an assignment of roles which includes:

Noury Bernard-Hasan: NC Attack Lead & Evaluation and Deployment efforts
- Define and execute our NC Attack Strategy

Here are the bits about TCO and “Driv[ing] our analyst relationship”.

Bernard Wong: Demos and Demo Lab
- Define and create our Windows 98, NTW5 and TCO demonstrations
- Manage the demo lab and inventory

Clark Heindl: Technical Tools and Migration, Analyst Relations, Corporate Migration Issues
- Define and develop our technical migration tools for Windows 98 and NTW4 and 5
- Drive our analyst relationship and define and develop studies associated with Windows and TCO
- Manage our Year 2000 compliance

More NC attack groups:

Brain BJ Riseland: NC Attack, Technical Presentations, SE/MCS Swap
- Track and respond to all NC threatened accounts worldwide
- Create and deliver tools (competitive, proactive) to fight the NC
- Develop and deliver Windows technical presentations

For information on “attack groups”, see the Corel and Netscape equivalents.

It also appears in this table:


NTW4 Sustain Identify NTW4 PR references
Announce PSS support expanded to 90-days
Win98 Launch Win98 Preview Program
Windows 98 Beta Resource Kit
NTW5 Prep Finalize NTW5 pricing waterfall
Begin Platform 99 integration
NC Attack ZAW SWategy Video and CD
Gartner Group TCO Market Bulletin
IBM NetStation Competitive Response
MBNA ZAK Case Study
Events none

What on Earth is “The NC is Dead Press/Analyst Tour”?

NC Attack The NC is Dead Press/Analyst Tour
NTW ZAK TCO ad drops
European NC Tour

This repeats itself in April, May, and June (under “NC Attack”).

It’s just like with VMware and PS3 [1, 2]. Microsoft attends competitors’ events to crash their parties like a bully or a spolied brat.

The last page is very interesting because numbers are contained in it.

These numbers show that Microsoft paid almost half a million dollars to Gartner. It also paid $50,000 to Forrester, which we already know is occasionally attacking GNU/Linux and Free software (Microsoft pays it precisely for that purpose). Microsoft paid similar sums of money (50k) to Meta Consulting.

Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit px02817, as text

Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft’s Brad Silverberg: “Cut Those F*ckers Off”

Posted in Antitrust, Courtroom, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Quote at 10:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft retaliated against industry participants that supported DR-DOS. For example, when Z-Nix Inc. bundled DR-DOS 6.0 and Microsoft Windows 3.1, proclaiming no incompatibilities, Microsoft’s Brad Silverberg wrote: “look what znix is doing! cut those fuckers off.” Within three weeks, Microsoft demanded an audit of Z-Nix’s entire business and then commenced a copyright and trademark infringement action. Z-Nix was forced to file for bankruptcy in or around 1995″

Comes Petition [PDF]

This is worth bearing in mind in light of the following recent exhibits which refer to GNU/Linux:

Microsoft Enters Another Linux Conference, Changes to “Open Source” Agenda

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Windows at 8:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Thanks, Novell

“Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

ABOUT a year ago, Microsoft Australia sent an employee to a local LUG (Sydney Linux User Group, among others) in order to talk about patents and such issues. It was not an isolated incident because there are prior ones (2007) that indirectly involved Novell’s patent deal. Attendees were far from impressed and the most recently reported talk took place after Microsoft had already corrupted the nation [1, 2, 3, 4] in its pursuit for ISO approval.

Once again, as we repeatedly point out, Microsoft not only invades conferences that are about "open source"; it even invades those that are about GNU/Linux, which it very much hates and fears. It wants it replaced and it tries to mislead Australian people. Here is a report about LCA2009:

Crumpton, platform strategy manager at Microsoft Australia, had no idea of the passionate questioning he would come up against when he gave his talk, the last for the day, at a mini-conference titled “The Business of Open Source.”

Humour and deprecatory remarks are generally adopted when one tries to make oneself comfortable in an uncomfortable situation, and Crumpton went it whole hog.

Novell is often used as Microsoft’s ‘ticket’ to enter and subvert the agenda of such conferences. We provided evidence of this in the past. And in fact, based on the coverage from Sam Varghese, Novell is there at LCA2009 too.

This morning in the Dutch press, it’s the same type of charade. Novell is being used to lump Microsoft together with “open source” or “Linux”. We have no proper translation of this news article, but there is some automated translation from Google:

The sudden peace between Microsoft and Novell has a similar debate, but the cooperation is now under way. “We also want to reach customers who use Linux,” says a senior manager, Michael Fox of Microsoft.

To Novell, there is nothing funny here. After all, Novell, like Microsoft, is predominantly a proprietary software company. They share common goals, none of which account for freedom or ethics. They want to sell “patent royalties” (Microsoft’s terminology), which Novell conveniently calls “vouchers”.

Mono, ECMA, Microsoft

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: January 18th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Enter the IRC channel now

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Acacia Bites Dell with Software Patents, Reform Sought at Tilburg

Posted in Courtroom, Dell, Europe, Patents at 3:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“My message to the patent world is: Either get back to the doctrines of forces of nature or face the elimination of your system.” —Hartmut Pilch, Paraflows 06

Acacia, a highly active patent troll that attacked Free software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], has just found a new creature to bite. Dell is paying Acacia some ‘protection money’.

Acacia Research Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTG) announced today that its subsidiary, International Printer Corporation, has entered into a settlement and license agreement with Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL) covering a patent portfolio that relates to networkable multifunction printer technology. This agreement resolves patent litigation that was pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against Dell. International Printer Corporation has also entered into a license agreement with Lexmark International, Inc. (NYSE: LXK) covering the same technology portfolio.

This is very disturbing because any conceivable idea that’s implemented in software seems to be assigned to someone. Even if the patent is not granted to a patent troll it can easily have its ownership passed. Patents, i.e. ideas, can be bought and sold, which may seem bizarre to outsider. It makes harvesting of imaginary property (or “bubbles”) possible and even trivial.

Here is another patent troll getting its way:

Global IP network operator Global Crossing has settled a patent suit relating to interactive voice applications with Ronald A Katz Technology Licensing.

It delivers a dangerous message to the world when these musketeers get their way. It demonstrates that patents abuse pays off; it pays, literally.

One reader has just found another genuine, yet horrible, software patent. Even online dating sites are now a patent minefield. (mind emphasis)

The site and its powerful tools are ideal for all types of single parents who want to give online dating a try. The site allows members to remain completely anonymous and safeguards all personal information, letting members flirt and interact freely through the use of their patented technology. They can use comprehensive search tools to find others. Followed then by chats, messaging and or the VOIP phone and anonymous text messaging service to get the conversation started.

Virtual world too have patents assigned to them, which is rather absurd because they are in many ways analogous to real world situations.

$50,000 Reward Offered For Proof Worlds.Com Patent Lawsuit Is Bogus

Virtual worlds — or more broadly, 3D online spaces — have been around for a long time. But last month, worlds.com hired lawyers to enforce a patent for the idea, claiming they invented the concept back in 1995. The first target for lawsuits: NCSoft, the Korean company behind games like World of Warcraft-wannabe “Guild Wars.”

There are many people who want to see the end of this madness. In fact, an entire conference is intended to address the issue of patent reforms.


26 and 27 March 2009

On 26 and 27 March 2009, TILEC – Tilburg Law and Economics Center – hosts an international Conference on Patent Reforms in Hotel Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam. The conference features internationally renowned speakers and intends to foster discussion on patents, innovation and competition policy between lawyers, economists and practitioners.

How long can a crazy patent system last? Too many people have begun realising what’s going on, so this scam may be short lived.

“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

Software patents protest against EPO

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