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02.04.09

Novell Pretends Employees Don’t Leave Due to Microsoft Deal

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Quote at 5:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I removed the statement about my departure having nothing to do with the deal. It was a false statement made without consulting me. I did not want to make my departure a statement about the deal, but by using my name in this way on this page, it forces me to state a correction. My departure did have something to do with the Novell-MS deal. I would likely still be at Novell if it had not happened. I prefer to focus on the positive side of why I left, so please do not cite my departure as unrelated to the MS-Novell deal.”

Ted Haeger (after departure from Novell

Jacqueline de Rojas (Country Manager UK) Jumps the Novell Ship

Posted in Europe, Novell at 5:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jacqueline de Rojas was appointed head of Novell UK a year and a half ago [1, 2, 3, 4] and now she’s leaving.

Software vendor Novell has appointed Sean McCarry to spearhead the UK and Ireland’s sales, marketing and partner strategies.

Replacing Jacqueline de Rojas, who is leaving to pursue other interests, McCarry has taken on the role of UK and Ireland country manager.

This come after channel turbulence at Novell. Novell’s EMEA president even quit the company.

Over at the OpenSUSE project, it turns out that one of the volunteers, namely a guy who ran People of openSUSE, is stepping down from this role.

Anyway, Carlos the previous maintainer of the series can’t do it anymore because of time reasons. It would be a shame if we let it die … If someone from the community is willing to do that job? It could be even a small team, there is no strict schedule when to release an interview, and everybody will love you

The permanlink for this post is here, but there is a blog problem producing the following error:


Object not found!

   The requested URL was not found on this server. The link on the referring
   page seems to be wrong or outdated. Please inform the author of that page about the error.

   If you think this is a server error, please contact the webmaster.

Error 404

   news.opensuse.org
   Wed Feb 4 13:04:20 2009
   Apache/2.2.3 (Linux/SUSE) mod_ssl/2.2.3 OpenSSL/0.9.8a PHP/5.1.2 

Hmmmmm…

Microsoft and Apple Pay Net Applications (Hitslink)

Posted in Apple, Finance, Google, Microsoft at 10:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Linux under 1%,” says company with Apple/Microsoft money on its table

YESTERDAY we wrote about the Big Lie which is Net Applications 'statistics'. Even the company admits that its statistics are flawed. Well, guess what? Their Marketing and Strategic Relations writes:

Our Partners/Clients include Microsoft, Apple, Amazon/Alexa, Opera and ExactTarget..”

Mind the order in this list. Additionally, Net Applications is among the minority of Web sites that choose a pure Microsoft stack for hosting.

Well, where else have we seen this recently? Oh yeah, that’s right. Google-hostile ‘statistics’, coming from a company founded by a former Microsoft manager.

Net Applications
Trust is lost when there is money on the table

Patents Roundup: Linux, Microsoft, Apple, Patent Trolls and Reform

Posted in America, Apple, Europe, GNU/Linux, IBM, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 9:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rusty barbwire
An apparatus for stifling competition

Linux

THE LINUX Defenders initiative makes a small comeback [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] with this IDG article that puts it among the headlines. It doesn’t really present any new information, though.

Are you tired of hearing of patents granted for obvious innovations? Are you weary of hearing about old patents that are purchased by firms like Niro, Scavone, Haller & Niro which “concentrates its practice in intellectual property law” and became notorious as a hugely successful “patent troll”? Do you think that the people suing Google, Apple and Microsoft for infringement of a patent ludicrously granted for “a system and method for iconic software environment management” that they claim covers thumbnail images should be granted their day in court?

Linux Defenders faces challenges not only from Linux foes like Microsoft but also from its trolls, which we’ll come to in a moment.

Microsoft

Microsoft has meanwhile patented the utterly trivial.

Microsoft has asked for a patent to protect its idea for a smartphone docking cradle that would turn your handheld into a mini-laptop.

This was also covered in:

The more one reads, the more laughable it seems. This is also covered here and it’s preposterous.

A few days ago we wrote about patent hawks and Microsoft. Well, here is a decent analysis from Mike Masnick, who is always hostile towards software patents.

Microsoft Claims Patent Holder Got A Job At Microsoft To Get Info Used In Patent Lawsuits

We see all sorts of strange patent-related lawsuits around here, but this one probably qualifies for the most extreme attempt by a patent holder to come up with info for the sake of a patent lawsuit. Apparently (and this is according to Microsoft), Miki Mullor, CEO of a company called Ancora Technologies, applied for a job at Microsoft while still working for Ancora.

There are still some more articles where Microsoft’s charges are being publicly denied.

Here is another silly Microsoft patent.

Last week, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office made public a new Microsoft patent application titled “Content Management System and External Data Storage System Data Synchronization.” (Interestingly, it specifically mentions SharePoint by name.)

Microsoft is basically trying to patent the idea of letting data synchronization be triggered by administrator actions in a content management system. According to the Abstract of the application: “In one example, an administrator creates or modifies an event at the content management system, and if the event is coordinated with the external data storage system, the content management system is synchronized with the external data storage system.”

Microsoft Trolls

The bigger among patent trolls, Acacia, is still on a mission to collect more software patents and then use them for extortion or litigation. It is a form of racketeering and it remains very relevant to us because Acacia may be close to Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] and it is not reluctant to attack Free software. Since if offers no products, it just hasn’t a reputation to harbour. Here is the company’s latest extortion:

Acacia Research Corp. (ACTG: News ) said its Hospital Systems Corp. subsidiary has entered into a license agreement with Intelerad Medical Systems covering a portfolio of patents that apply to medical picture archiving and communication system technology.

Nathan Myhrvold

An even bigger troll (probably the world’s biggest troll) is Nathan Myhrvold and his company which is backed by Microsoft. We wrote about this Übertroll some days ago and now comes this report.

Transmeta IP sold to not-patent troll

[...]

IV said it grabbed 140 US patents and “a substantial number” of pending patent applications issued in the US and abroad. The firm intends to license the technology to other vendors on non-exclusive terms. IV is run by former Microsoft chief technology officer-turned-IP collector, Nathan Myhrvold. It claims to have more than 2,000 patents in the semiconductor field.

It’s funny how the press is scared of labeling IV a “troll”, despite all the extortions it quietly engaged in (e.g. with Cisco).

Apple

There is great deal of hypocrisy in Microsoft which used to dislike patents and began hailing them when it needed fences to defend a monopoly. The same goes for Apple, as the following good analysis shows rather vividly using actual quotes.

For all the talk among patent system defenders about how patents are most necessary for young startup companies that need to grow, most tech startups couldn’t care much less about patents (other than as a bogus currency to increase their valuation in talking to VCs). Startups are focused on actually building a product and getting it out to the market. Instead, what we see time and time again is that it’s the big, more established companies that use patents to stifle startups, rather than the other way around. Startups innovate, while big companies litigate.

[...]

The company was incredibly open in sharing ideas and concepts, and wasn’t going around threatening others for ripping off its IP (that did come later… especially with the graphical user interface, which Jobs himself admitted “ripping off” from Xerox… which had “ripped it off” already from SRI). It’s really only when you’re afraid of competing in the marketplace that you rely on patents. When you’re young and innovative you focus on the possibilities and opportunities in front of you, rather than on ways to block others from innovating.

These days, Apple is too busy supposedly “innovating”.

In a newly published patent filing (#20090022329) known as the “Method and Apparatus for Using a Sound Sensor to Adjust the Audio Output for a Device,” Apple is working on a system that automatically adjusts the volume of the iPhone, iPods, and Macs based on a combination of ambient noise and user feedback.

Does that sound sophisticated? Is it an idea worthy of ownership and assignment to a person or one company? As TechDirt correctly points out, Apple might be doing itself more harm than good by sheltering this antiquated attitude towards software patents.

After Palm showed off its new Pre smartphone, including the device’s multitouch interface, at the Consumer Electronics Show last month, Apple made some threatening noises about how it would go after anybody who “ripped off” its intellectual property. As always, we didn’t see how this would benefit anybody in the marketplace, since competition pays benefits to consumers, and drives participants, even Apple, to continually innovate and improve their products. Now, a wireless industry analyst has called Apple’s threats into question. He makes the point that a long, drawn out IP fight won’t help Apple’s business in the long run: “Building on the company’s legacy as one of the greatest innovators in the technology industry may be a smarter business model than taking on the rest of the industry in a battle that may be impossible to win.”

Why does Apple make itself enemies?

More Patent Trolls

To demonstrate the failure of the patent system, trolls are pretty handy. Here are some new reports of interest:

1. Coughlin Files Major Patent Infringement Suit

Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP, the world’s leading plaintiffs’ law firm, representing IntusIQ, announced that it has filed a major patent infringement suit against Oncor, Reliant Energy, Comverge, Datamatic, EKA Systems, Sensus, Tantalus, Tendril Networks, and Trilliant on behalf of its client IPCO LLC d/b/a IntusIQ.

2. Will the ITC Become the New Troll Hangout?

Each year a growing number of IP lawyers heads to the International Trade Commission, asking officials there to enforce Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930. That Depression-era law forbids various “unfair trade practices,” including the importation of products that infringe a U.S. patent–the goal is protecting domestic industries and jobs.

3. Troll Tracker update: Frenkel told the truth, says Cisco

There’s a lot of information here, but the takeaway point is this: Cisco says Frenkel’s articles were accurate. And in the United States, of course, you’re allowed to publish true information, even if it hurts someone. What Albritton said was defamatory was either true (the docket was altered), or fell into the categories of opinion and rhetoric (words like “conspiracy”) or just wasn’t about him, says Cisco’s lawyer, Charles Babcock of Jackson Walker.

For those who are interested, we already have a complete copy of the Patent TrollTracker blog, which was pulled because of the trolls. We also wrote about Rick Frenkel in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

US Reform

Software patents may actually vanish from the United States rather than expand to other countries. Here is an interesting analysis.

As I noted at the time it was decided, people care about Bilski largely because of what it says about legality of software patents. Software patents are intensely controversial, with many geeks arguing that the software industry would be better off without them. What I found striking about the conversation was that both guests (and perhaps the host, although he didn’t tip his hand as much) took it as self-evident that there needed to be patents on software and business methods

Here is a more formal page about the Bilski petition and some new coverage about Peer-to-Patent, courtesy of Mark Webbink.

Earlier, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) opened the patent examination process for online public participation. With the consent of the inventor, the Peer-to-Patent: Community Patent Review pilot, developed by the New York Law School Institute for Information Law and Policy in cooperation with the USPTO, enables the public to submit prior art and commentary relevant to the claims of pending patent applications in Computer Architecture, Software, and Information Security (TC2100).

Europe

The Enlarged Board of Appeal will be handling ambiguity or mixed messages with regards to software patents in the European continent. We’ve mentioned all this in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], but the main reports are in [1, 2]. Here are the latest two updates: [via Digital Majority]

1. G 3/08: Have your say

This month’s Official Journal of the EPO contains an announcement relating to the EPO President’s referral under Article 112(1)(b) EPC on software patents. As well as reproducing the questions first announced back in October 2008 (commented on by the IPKat here, here and here) and the composition of the board, the announcement says the following:

“It is expected that third parties will wish to use the opportunity to file written statements in accordance with Article 10 of the Rules of Procedure of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (OJ EPO 2007, 303 ff). To ensure that any such statements can be given due consideration they should be filed together with any new cited documents by the end of April 2009 at the Registry of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, quoting case number G 3/08. An additional filing of the statement and documents in electronic form would be appreciated (Dg3registry_eba@epo.org).”

2. EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal to Clarify Software Patentability

The President of the European Patent Office (EPO) has referred several questions of law to the EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) in an attempt to clarify the patentability of software-based inventions.

Philosophy

Patents are a partly philosophical issue. At the end of the day, let’s ask ourselves, what’s it all good for? Some people already ask this sort of question.

Are My Ideas Being Stolen? If So, What Then?

[...]

“…Folks, it’s not the ideas; it’s design, implementation, and especially hard work that make the difference.”

Considerable difference in opinion is also expressed in the Web site NewEconomyPatents.org.

After hearing oral arguments on May 8, 2008, in the patent case In re Bilski, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the Federal Circuit) reached a 9-3 decision on Oct. 30, 2008 to uphold the ruling by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The appeal followed the rejection by the USPTO of a patent application for a process for hedge fund risk management, filed by inventors Bernard Bilski and Rand Warsaw.

In Re Bilski is not over yet. As FFII had correctly predicted, lobbying was bound to ensue.

“IBM is proud of its patent portfolio, and the fact that they produce patents at a rate of 10 a day. With such an extensive arsenal of patents, backed by unlimited legal funds – what chances are left for the VC backed company? This is like the US going to war against Micronesia.” —Daniel Cohen, Gemini Israel Funds

Vista 7 is EDGI Enabled

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 7 at 8:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Genuine disadvantage, limited potential

SHADES OF EDGI SEEM to be ‘bolted onto’ Vista 7, which comes in some form of “EDGI Edition” (but better known as “Starter Edition”).

Microsoft’s delivery/promotional tool is presenting this message over at CNET where the role of Bill Veghte gets mentioned too. For those who cannot remember, Bill Veghte was involved in what we call the “analysts cartel” (examples in [1, 2]) and he also helped derails Dell GNU/Linux, along with some involvement in Intel’s anti-Linux [1, 2].

Anyway, here’s what we find in Vista 7:

Home Basic, which will be sold only in emerging markets, removes the screen size, processor, and open application limits and adds support for Internet connection sharing and the new sensor and location-based features.

It will be sold “only in emerging markets,” eh? Why might this be? Because Microsoft knows that GNU/Linux gains there tremendously? Only hours ago we wrote about Brazil getting hundreds of thousands more GNU/Linux PCs.

IDG has some more information about this news.

Windows 7 Starter Edition

The Starter Edition (SE) is mainly aimed at emerging market and netbook users. With SE customers will be able to run only 3 applications at the same time but will benefit from user interface (UI) improvements such as the new taskbar and JumpLists.

More details can be found here. It is also amusing to discover that sub-notebooks will have the option of running a heavily-crippled version of Vista**. Why not GNU/Linux? Because of Microsoft’s strangulation tactics [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]?

Hands in union
United we stand against digital colonialism

____
** Roughly Drafted has just described Vista 7 as follows: “Microsoft is getting ready to relaunch Vista under the new “Windows 7” brand, in the hopes that Windows XP users find it worth the upgrade.”

‘Sabotaging’ Motherboards to Work Only with Windows

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft at 7:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Motherboard

“I found this issue in a newsletter from an Italian political party that I think is lunatic,” says one reader, “but the issue is an important issue [...] the deliberate sabotage of motherboards to only work with Windows.”

This is a familiar issue. What Microsoft does in Italy is bordering the illegal, so below we are presenting this portion of text that was sent in by a regular reader.

On the substitution of operational systems of portable computers

Several Italian consumers declared the problem in acquiring portable computers furnished with pre-installed operational systems. In particular, when one decides to substitute the furnished operational system with an HP computer, there have been cases of technical impossibility in de-installing the pre-installed system (Windows Vista) and substituting it with a different one. Restoring disks furnished with the portable computers do not solve the problem and the only solution seems to be, in all its complexities, the substitution of the apparatus, often made impossible by the manufacturer. With reference to the answer already given by the EC in 2007, the Radical MEPs asked if the EC is in possession of data related to the percentage of portables sold with the pre-installed systems and if not, if it intends to gather information on the present situation; if it does not think that, independently of the trade agreements between producers of hardwares and softwares, consumer rights must be guaranteed in renouncing the softwares furnished with the purchase and change it as one pleases and if it intends to take an initiative against the incorrect practices of producers that constrain consumers’ choices. (L. Lipparini)

Microsoft still fights against unbundling [1, 2, 3, 4]. As its chief puts it, OEMs are Microsoft’s “delivery people”.

Microsoft Invades Another Free Software Conference: AsteriskWorld

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Novell at 7:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mantis

DESPITE Microsoft’s bad behaviour, some FOSS groups are successfully being lobbied to give room to this hostile company. It is a company that actively fights against Free(dom) software and one whose plan is to ruin by supposedly 'embracing'.

We used OpenBravo as example a couple of days ago and now comes similar tactlessness which relates Digium’s conference.

Instead of ignoring open source conferences, Microsoft continues to invade them. The latest example: John Frederiksen (pictured), general manager of Microsoft’s Response Point business, is scheduled to speak at Digium AsteriskWorld on February 3. Why is Microsoft paying such close attention to an event for open source IP PBX advocates? The answer is obvious.

Why is this happening? Did they not learn from disasters like Microsoft at OSBC 2008 [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]?

As one commenter puts it (regarding the article about OpenBravo), the people are “on leave from MSFT”

I’ve often wondered how many Microsoft employees have been released on leave to get into other companies only to return to Microsoft with details for harming that other company. They have paid for partners to subvert ISO processes, they have assigned a dozen or so employees just to one reporter to ensure that reporter get Microsoft’s story told Microsoft’s way. And they’ve used various leverages to curtail their partners from profiting from non-Microsoft products.

I would trust a Microsoft employee as far as I could throw them. They have been that bad in the past and present.

Regarding the latter article (Microsoft speaker), says one person: “When will people learn?”

Here is another insightful remark that’s titled “why are they allowed to invade other companies conferences.”

Who are the morons who think anything a Microsoft rep is going to say is going to benefit the people at the conference? They lie in court, they pay people to flood industry standards org to get their way, etc ,etc etc. Microst is bad news to anyone doing open source and especially anything Gnu/Linux based.

So here we are with an Asterisk conference and Microsoft gets a session? They do not play with Asterisk, they play with their own platforms( Windows ) products and one they own. Now what kind of idiotic reasoning could someone have to allow them into the conference to speak to Asterisk customers and think those customers will be getting anything but lies, smoke, and mirror tricks and the normal Microsoft marketing pitch?

Microsoft is not a friend. It can’t afford to. It’s its obligation to the investors to steal from other people by causing them damage [1, 2]. Ultimately, as Microsoft's evangelism presentations state, they are all “here to help MICROSOFT.” It’s about turning competitors into serving allies, i.e. part of the Microsoft ecosystem.

Watch Novell’s Joe Brockmeier over at OStatic again. Never does he criticise a criminal company (with proven record), but he feels comfortable enough to publicly slam many of Microsoft’s rivals, this time Oracle. At least he appends a disclosure.

Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier is a longtime FOSS advocate, and currently works for Novell as the community manager for openSUSE. Prior to joining Novell, Brockmeier worked as a technology journalist covering the open source beat for a number of publications, including Linux Magazine, Linux Weekly News, Linux.com, UnixReview.com, IBM developerWorks, and many others.

Perhaps because his current employer is a Microsoft ally, never does he really criticise Microsoft, even in FOSS Web sites. Just Apple, Google and on [1, 2]. Yes, they are the villains when Microsoft pays your wage.

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

Links 04/02/2009: Big GNU/Linux Migration in Brazil, Migrations to GNU/Linux in Business

Posted in News Roundup at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

  • Brazilian Ministry of Education Embraces Open Source in a Big Way

    The Brazilian government officially embraced open source software in its schools, announcing it had selected Userful,Positivo, and ThinNetworks to supply 324,000 virtualized desktops in each of the country’s municipalities. This is not only the largest deployment of virtualized desktops in the world — it’s also the largest single deployment of Linux desktops.

  • Now Brazil Goes Big on the GNU/Linux Desktop

    At the end of last year I wrote about a big Brazilian project to provide 150,000 GNU/Linux notebooks for schools. Now the Brazilian Ministry of Education has topped that by ordering 324,000 “green” workstations running on GNU/Linux (although I can’t quite tell whether this is as well as or instead of – anyone know?).

  • Helping Newbies Learn to Love Linux

    The Linux blogs were feeling the love a bit early this week, perhaps in preparation for Valentine’s Day. Much of the discussion centered on how to support those who are new to the Linux experience, and how to help them break out of the “Windows mindset.”

  • E-tailer dumps Windows for Red Hat

    UK-based online lingerie and nightwear retailer figleaves.com has turned away from Microsoft and to virtualisation and open source software to revamp the technology platform that will support its upcoming ecommerce site.

  • Bank of New Zealand Reduces Carbon Footprint with Red Hat on the Mainframe

    Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Bank of New Zealand, a subsidiary of the National Australia Bank Group, has deployed Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 on IBM System z mainframes to solve environment, space and cost issues related to its datacenter. With Red Hat and IBM solutions, Bank of New Zealand has significantly reduced its hardware footprint, power consumption, heat and carbon emissions and costs, including an expected 20 percent cost reduction over the life of the platform.

  • Nomad & Compiz++ To Merge Back Into Compiz

    Following today’s Compiz Conference Call, it has been decided that both Compiz++ and Nomad (another branch of Compiz) will be merged back into Compiz.

  • OpenCL In Gallium3D By Summer

    Zack Rusin, one of the influential developers behind the Linux graphics scene, has blogged about OpenCL support in the free software stack. Just yesterday we talked about support for OpenCL in GCC, but Zack’s work deals with implementing support for the Open Computing Language into the open-source X.Org drivers.

  • Take a hard look at the command line.

    When I started up my first computer I was very excited. I unpacked it from its box. Set it up on a table and turned it on. As the screen flickered into life my excitement mounted. Watching it boot up with some unknown messages scrolling up the screen my excitement became almost unbearable. Then there was a beep and a black screen with a flashing green block. My excitement flashed over into puzzlement. What am I supposed to do?

  • Out With The Slow, In With The Linux

    If you’re hesitant to convert you may want to consider creating a dual boot system so that you can switch back and forth between Windows and Linux until you are comfortable making the switch.

    Either way you have options when it comes to choosing an Operating System that is right for you so don’t feel like all you have is Windows or Macs to choose from .

  • The HeliOS Project Kicks off 2009 Hardware/Funding drive

    The HeliOS Project is looking for community members to donate their old computers for financially and socially disadvantaged kids and students. They are also in need of small paypal donations to take care of day to day operational costs. This announcement officially kicks off their 2009 hardware and funding drive. HeliOS Project Directors and volunteers will pick up the computers, use DoD spec software to wipe the drives, installs needed open source software, and delivers them to the students in need.

  • The “I’m Linux” Video Contest

    That said, there’s a world of difference between billion-dollar proprietary software companies and a grassroots community of mass collaboration. For one thing, the available budget is enormously different, but making up for this, Linux arguably has a far more passionate and enthusiastic fan base. (Well, moreso than Microsoft anyway; I think we all know Apple fans are in a league of their own!)

    Consequently, and considering these two points, the Linux Foundation have opted not to embark on their own production but rather sponsor a community contest, exploiting the minds and talents of Linuxphiles globally.

  • Partnerships

    • LinuxForce Expands Partnership with The Franklin Institute

      LinuxForce, Inc., a leading Linux-based technology services firm and a thought-leader in the Linux and open-source technology spaces, today announced a major expansion of their technology partnership with The Franklin Institute. With this expansion, LinuxForce will be responsible for the maintenance, monitoring and security of three of The Franklin’s key information systems including ten virtual servers. The new agreement is the culmination of a series of successful consulting projects during which LinuxForce assisted museum staff with the administration of these systems and demonstrated their ability to meet The Franklin’s critical business needs.

    • Joint Venture

      I’m excited to personally announce the joint venture between SevenL Networks and MediaHost™, StartCom’s long-standing hosting department. What started as a noble gesture from SevenL, developed into a partnership for our combined hosting companies and has the potential to grow much stronger at different fields and interests where both our companies are actively involved.

  • HPC

    • US Orders Massive Supercomputer to Manage Nuclear Stockpile

      Sequoia will occupy 96 server racks over an area a bit larger than a tennis court. IBM won’t discuss the machine in detail because it is still being developed, but Dave Turek, vice president of IBM’s Deep Computing initiative, said it will be similar in design to its predecessor, Blue Gene/P, but on a much larger scale. The system will run a version of the Linux OS, use IBM’s embedded Power processors and have 1.6 petabytes of main memory.

    • IBM’s 20 petaflops supercomputer to keep tabs on US nukes

      IBM HAS TEAMED up with the US government to try and build the most powerful, most super supercomputer ever.

    • Need a supercomputer? This guy builds them himself

      For instance, his first supercomputer was built from a Linux cluster of bargain 48 DEC Alpha Servers that had been discontinued, each with a single 300-MHz, 64-bit AXP processor. “So I got a very good deal on them. I think the list price was $6,000, and I bought them after they were end-of-lifed for $800,” Allen says. “The switch was a 3Com Superstack 100Mbit/sec. Ethernet switch. I think it was a pair of them, each with 24 ports connected by a matrix cable.”

  • Distributions

    • Time to move to Funtoo Linux

      My primary reason to move to Funtoo is just for fun. I miss the days back in 2004 where I stayed up all night getting my new Gentoo system to run. I learned a lot about Linux in those days. I feel it is time for me to brush up on my skills. Also, Funtoo makes it easier for users to create and update their own Funtoo Portage system. A must if a Gentoo-based system ever wants to become bleeding edge again.

    • Torvalds rejects one-size-fits-all Linux

      Linus Torvalds has rejected the argument that Linux developers should pool their resources behind a single distribution.

  • Ubuntu

    • Full Circle magazine: Issue 21

      Sorry again for the delay folks, but here it is: FCM#21!

      * Command and Conquer – Formatting Output. (shell script can be downloaded from this page)
      * How-To : Program in C – Part 5, Web Development – Part 2, Changing Video Aspect Ratios & Ubuntu ISO to Bootable USB.
      * My Story – Creative Zen V Plus in Ubuntu
      * Game Review – Tribal Trouble 2
      * My Opinion – Missed Opportunity
      * MOTU Interview – Nicolas Valcarcel
      * Top 5 – Torrent Tools
      * PLUS – FCM#20 Survey Results

    • The case for Ubuntu on the server

      Something I haven’t discussed much over the years is Ubuntu’s usefulness on servers. The original idea behind Ubuntu was to take Debian, a super-stable distribution that’s always had more success on servers than desktops, and polish it up for desktop use, with easier installation and configuration and a quick, regular release cycle.

    • Welcome to Ubuntu

      When it comes to software nothing could be bigger than the operating system that runs the computer — even here, there are freeware operating systems based on Linux that enthusiasts and even casual users can install.

      Currently, the most full-featured and user-friendly freeware operating system has got to be Ubuntu, a Linux-based consumer and server grade operating system that’s been getting better and better with each upgrade.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Timesys Announces LinuxLink Support for the Freescale MPC8313E Processor

      Timesys Corporation (https://linuxlink.timesys.com/3/Home), a premier provider of embedded Linux software solutions, today announced LinuxLink support for the Freescale MPC8313E communications processor and its RDB reference board. Taking full advantage of the Freescale e300′s processing core, LinuxLink for the MPC8313E leverages a rich set of common features, including Gigabit Ethernet, High-Speed USB 2.0, and power management.

    • Canonical, Commercial Sponsor Of Ubuntu, Joins ARM Community

      Canonical Ltd, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, has joined the ARM Connected Community, the industry’s largest ecosystem for ARM technology-based products and services.

    • Dual-core PowerPC XMC ships with Linux

      The module ships with board support packages (BSPs) for Linux, VxWorks, QNX Neutrino, and Green Hills Integrity, says the company.

    • Embedded Systems: Linux Update

      A view of Linux from several perspectives will help embedded-system designers better understand how they can use this open-source operating system. Experts at Eurotech, Texas Instruments, and Rowebots share their approaches.

      “Contrary to what some engineers might think, Linux provides a mature operating system,” said Arlen Nipper, president and CTO at Eurotech. “You can obtain best-in-class security, TCP/IP stacks, and support for wireless networking, for example. The associated code drops into Linux and works right away.”

      “Customers can get everything they need; cross-compiler tools ready to run a development system, all the linux source code, utilities to run Python, embedded Java, or XWindows, and so on,” noted Nipper. “So engineers who use Linux get a complete software-development system and run-time code at essentially no cost.”

    • Carrier Supports Four LXI Function Cards

      Running the Linux 2.6 kernel via a 300-MHz processor, Bustec’s ProDAQ 6100 LXI function card carrier provides access for up to 4 Bustec ProDAQ function cards through a standard Gigabit LAN interface.

    • Citigroup Analyst: 500,000 Kindles Sold Last Year

      The Kindle, Amazon’s e-book reader, has been sold out for months. Over 7,600 (mostly positive) reviews have been written on its official product page. And even though Amazon’s chosen not to share official figures, a Citigroup analyst has now estimated that around 500,000 Kindles were sold last year.

    • Linux-driven BitTorrent appliance ships

      Myka is shipping an embedded Linux device that downloads, stores, and plays BitTorrent media files on an attached TV. Available in 80GB, 160GB, and 500GB models, plus a Developer’s Edition with a 1TB disk, the Myka appliances offload BitTorrent peer-to-peer duties from a PC.

    • Linux dev service offers free videos, “mainstreaming”

      Free Electrons has posted 32 free videos from last November’s CELF Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE). Additionally, the company says it will work for free to get any drivers or BSPs (board support packages) it is hired to create merged into the mainline Linux kernel.

    • VoIP

      • VoIP recording appliance runs Linux

        The OrecX VoIP Recording Appliance combines OrecX’s Oreka TR Total Recorder application with a 1U, Linux-based, rack-mounted server aimed at the small-to-medium business (SMB) call-handling market, says the company.

      • VoIP-over-WiMAX design runs Linux

        D2 Technologies is shipping a WiMAX mobile-phone reference design based on Linux, with Google Android and Windows CE/Mobile flavors to follow in Q2.

      • Video of Verizon’s new Hub home VoIP, messaging, and internet device

        Of course for any of this to work, the Linux powered Hub will have to be connected to your existing broadband internet connection. That connection can be through a wired ethernet cable or via 802.11b/g WiFi wireless access.

    • Phones

      • T-Mobile G1 update rolling out now

        T-Mobile has let it slip that the next firmware update for the G1 Android phone will roll out starting on Feb. 5 but an employee says the updates have already started.

      • HTC Android phone set for dream launch in Australia – Gee!

        The first Android smartphone to hit the shores of the land down under looks set to arrive tomorrow courtesy of HTC and Optus. The HTC G1 Dream, with its landscape slide out keyboard and 3.2 inch screen launched in the US on the T-Mobile network last October.

      • Search with your voice on Android

        Don’t want to type a long query, like “U.S. economic stimulus plan”, on your T-Mobile G1? Just say it. Or, perhaps you’d like to browse the web without sliding out the keyboard? Well now you can. For those of you with a G1 in the US, the next time you get an Android update (which will gradually roll out starting this week), you’ll be able to start searching — and surfing — with your voice. And you can use the feature quickly and easily because it’s integrated in the Android browser and the home screen search widget.

      • Wikitude: A Promising First Step for a Virtual Tour Guide

        Wikitude bills itself as “augmented reality,” and it does that by overlaying data on points of interest over the image in your G1′s camera viewfinder. However, with a database that contains only 350,000 points of interest worldwide, the augmentation runs a little flat.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Moblin 2 Alpha Screen Shots
      • Second netbook wave begins

        Another possibility may be Android. A netbook version has been rumored to be under development by Google, and VentureBeat recently reported that a “reliable source” has informed them that Intel is “preparing for the mass production of Google Android-based netbooks.” Meanwhile, The Girvan Institute has stated that it will present a conference on Android development for the Intel Atom, as part of its “Mobile Internet Developers Conference” series this year.

      • Frustration and flight for my Linux netbook

        Since then, we’ve been enjoying our Linux netbook very much. We’ve tuned the desktop to the look and feel we each like using different user profiles, downloaded some of our favorite open source games and given the new computer a comprehensive test drive. I’m happy to report I still have confidence that Linux is a great fit for netbooks. I wonder if folks getting Windows XP-based netbooks will also be wanting to upgrade to a more modern OS? Time will tell.

      • First look: the Maemo 5 multimedia framework

        Nokia has announced the availability of the second Maemo 5 SDK pre-alpha release. This version introduces some important functionality, including a sophisticated new framework for multimedia development. Although it is still at an early stage of development, the SDK provides deep insight into the architecture of the next generation Maemo platform.

      • Entering dragon land—the Loongson laptop

        Hu Weiwu began to develop the Loongson in 2002 at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Well, actually at the Institute of Computing Technology, but those are kind of attached. The first generation chip, a 32-bit almost-MIPS-compatible, was put into a handful of computers for rural children in Sichuan in 2006: the Sinomanic Tianhua GX series. These systems were similar to a Commodore64 and were basically keyboards that plugged into a TV and ran a bare bones Linux OS.

      • Mobile Linux at linux.conf.au

        The first two days at linux.conf.au are dedicated to “miniconfs,” which cover specific areas of interest. The 2009 event in Hobart, Tasmania included a miniconf for mobile Linux; your editor attended a few talks there. As might be expected, there is a lot going on with mobile Linux, and a lot of interest.

Free Software/Open Source

  • FOSDEM: Open source developers to meet in Brussels

    The 9th Free and Open Source Developer Meeting (FOSDEM) scheduled for the 7th and 8th of February, is expecting 5,000 open source developers to attend at the University of Brussels.

  • Open source telephony without breaking the bank

    Telephony continues to remain the dominant form of customer interaction for most businesses today, and is certainly a fundamental component of effective service. However, given the current downturn economy, many businesses are looking for ways to cut costs, and open source systems have been proven to do just that – resulting in most companies gearing themselves for a boost in open source adoption this year.

  • New Sidekick Will Run NetBSD, Not Windows CE

    Many sites are reporting that the next Sidekick LX 2009/Blade, from Danger (acquired by Microsoft early in 2008), is going to run NetBSD as their operating system, causing Microsoft’s recruiters to look for NetBSD developers.

  • VMWare delivers open source client

    VMWare has delivered a virtual client system under the Lesser GPL, VMWare View Open Client.

    Both the code and support are already available on GoogleCode.

  • VMware ships open source Linux VDI client

    VMware is offering a free (LGPL-licensed) client for use with its VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) thin client technology. The VMware View Open Client lets users access personalized, data center-hosted desktops from “almost any” device, VMWare claims.

  • Spreading the Spread Firefox Effect

    One of the most powerful forces in free software is the community behind the code. Its potential can be seen most clearly in the Spread Firefox site, which has mobilised hundreds of thousands of Firefox users to spread the word about the browser.

  • FSF

    • OPINION Beyond Software Quality: The Ethics of Freedom

      Eric Raymond, resembling furthermost advocate of “open cause,” argue that allowing user to move to and fro and dispatch software be joyous inwardly lay of a passageway of produce technically superintendent software. That is the nonspecific part of the open-source time of war, which be launch as a ad hoc effect to the free-software movement where on earth I am a view.

    • Fair Dreams

      Q 14. Lastly, sir do you have any message for our readers?

      Stallman: If you want to keep your freedom, you must be prepared occasionally to make sacrifices to defend it.

      We in the free software movement constantly work to make it easier for computer users to keep their freedom. But we have not yet made it 100% painless. Thus, using free software occasionally requires an
      inconvenience. Those are the sacrifices needed in our field to maintain our freedom.

    • Leader in free software movement speaks at UdeM

      To Stallman, the fact it’s illegal to copy, modify or give away much of today’s computer software is an assault on people’s fundamental rights and freedoms.

      But he knows it’s all there, written down, saying that people can’t do it. So for almost 25-years, it’s this fine print he’s been fighting.

      “It’s never good to break an agreement,” said Stallman before getting too far into his public lecture at l’Université de Moncton yesterday. He quickly added that should it ever have to come down to the option of giving copied software away to a friend or staying true to such an agreement, the lesser of the two evils would be to go with giving it away.

      “Sharing with your neighbour is the right thing to do,” he said.

    • Free Software Awards – Trophees du Libre 2009

      Do take time to have a look through the other candidate projects, there are some very interesting projects in the list and some that I hadn’t previously heard of.

    • Closing tech gaps with open-source fixes

      Six projects, two days and one cause: creating open-source software to improve the lives of members of the disabled community.

      Over the weekend, 40 students participated in “SS12: Coding for a Cause” and created software to enhance the lives of disabled persons.

  • Business

    • SugarCRM’s new features previewed

      SugarCRM has fundamentally overhauled the web services framework and has now added a REST (Representational State Transfer) interface that will allow for easier development of the services based upon Sugar data. Another new feature is a CSS based themes framework, which will allow developers to create new themes, without writing any code. The new Mobile Studio Editor will help to optimise SugarCRM for mobile devices with pre-built layouts and views for specific mobile use. Dynamic teams enables users to add multiple or individual teams to a CRM record, to help with collaboration on larger and more complex projects.

    • SugarCRM Previews Upcoming Cloud, CRM Features

      CEO John Roberts pledges to help customers reposition their companies to take advantage of cloud computing trends and more open source code.

    • Davos09: Open Bank

      They proposed the Open Bank. It would feature radical transparency: full disclosure of performance and compensation. The group decided that a banker should not sell a product unless he could pass a test about it. They even decided that there had to be a means to confirm that customers understood what they were buying. They proposed collective risk assessment, creating a means for its constituents to select and perhaps vote on investments. They explored how to offer transparency on each product and customers’ performance with them so that you could compare your returns with fellow customers. And they argued that bankers should be compensated on profit. It wouldn’t be an easy business to run; being answerable is hard. I said later that its slogan should be, “the only bank you can trust.” That is what would make it successful. When I asked, most in the room said they would be such a bank’s customers; many said they’d work for it; almost everyone said they’d invest in it.

  • Healthcare

    • Rewiring the VA

      Much of the attention of the healthcare industry over the past several weeks has been focused on Washington and the various proposals before Congress to boost the faltering economy, including spending billions of dollars subsidizing health information technology.

      [...]

      The question is whether the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture, or VistA—the clinical information system that powers the VA health system—will wither or bloom in the months and years ahead. It’s an issue that has implications not only for millions of veterans but also millions of other potential users of open-source and proprietary versions of VistA, both in the private and public sectors in the U.S. and abroad.

    • ‘Rockefeller Amendment’ for Studying Open Source in Stimulus Bill

      About page 701 of the stimulus bill is a provision for studying Open Source: “…(A) the current availability of open source 6 health information technology systems to Fed7 eral safety net providers (including small, rural 8 providers); 9 (B) the total cost of ownership of such sys10 tems in comparison to the cost of proprietary 11 commercial products available; 12 (C) the ability of such systems to respond 13 to the needs of, and be applied to, various pop14 ulations (including children and disabled indi15 viduals); and 16 (D) the capacity of such systems to facili17 tate interoperability…’

  • Sun

    • Enterprise Applications Slideshow: eWEEK Labs Walk-Through: OpenSolaris 2008.11

      OpenSolaris 2008.11, the second major release of Sun Microsystems’ freely licensed, Solaris-based operating system, hit the Web late in 2008 packed with feature enhancements intended to illustrate that Sun isn’t about to cede the platform stage to Linux. Click on for a walk-through of the most newcomer-friendly Solaris release to date.

Copyrights

  • Free Ubuntu book tops 150,000 downloads

    Keir Thomas informs us that his new Ubuntu book has been downloaded 150,000 times. Freely downloadable in PDF format and available from Amazon in paperback form for $10, MacFreda Publishing’s 164-page Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference offers a beginner’s overview of the popular distro.

  • BitTorrent Researcher: Copyright Will Be Obsolete by 2010

    Johan Pouwelse is a busy man. The P2P researcher based in the city of Delft, in the Netherlands, is heading up development of the social BitTorrent client Tribler; he’s also deeply involved with the EU’s P2P Next project, which aims to use P2P streaming for an open source, next-generation video delivery infrastructure. And Pouwelse, who’s been tracking the P2P phenomenon over the last decade, has just published along with some of his colleagues an article highlighting some of the key points of his research. It’s a good 21-page read, but here’s the short version: That whole copyright thing ain’t gonna work.

  • EU Plots Pirate Bay Ban and Piracy Clampdown

    In a few weeks time, members of the European Parliament will vote on the Medina report, which proposes a wide range of anti-piracy measures and regulations. The report specifically mentions The Pirate Bay, and it approves actions by national courts against the popular BitTorrent tracker.

  • Irish ISP Eircom in ‘three strike’ filesharer crackdown

    Eircom had argued it was under no obligation to monitor the content of traffic over its network.

    The music labels originally wanted the court to order Eircom to install software from a US firm to detect copyrighted music files sent over its network. The ISP objected, saying the software could breach its customer’s privacy.

    Instead, Eircom settled for the increasingly-familiar three-strikes “graduated response” program. The first time a subscriber’s IP is detected infringing copyright, a warning is sent out. The second time, the subscriber is cautioned that they will be disconnected. Number three is the big disconnect.

Leftover

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Bdale Garbee, Hewlett Packard computer wizard and Debian lead 02 (2004)

Ogg Theora

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

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