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02.11.09

Links 11/02/2009: New JBoss Product; Lots of Censorship

Posted in News Roundup at 11:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

  • Linux, Windows Seek Strength in Competition

    A competitive market, in which a number of producers offer a variety of similar products that all have their own unique selling points, is good for consumers. That’s because producers gain customers only by tailoring products to match consumers’ demands. Or put another way, consumers can look at a selection of competing products and choose the one that’s best for them. Innovation by one producer is followed by others’ imitations, so over time the overall quality of all the product offerings improves.

  • Bodog Introduces Instant Play Option for Mac and Linux Poker Players

    Recently, online poker room Bodog unveiled an Instant Play option designed for Mac and Linux players as well as Windows users who might find it helpful. The Instant Play software loads right in your web browser using Flash. In fact, it took me just 15 seconds to open it. It provides the easiest outlet for Mac poker players to be able to compete with many of the bells and whistles of their Windows counterparts without having to hunt down a program like Parallels or Boot Camp. The Instant Play option, however, does have a few drawbacks.

  • The BoxeeBox Cookbook

    Inspired by Roku’s awesome Netflix video download box and impressed with Boxee’s free A/V media center platform, it was merely a matter of time before I’d create the BoxeeBox, an Ubuntu-powered HTPC that I call my “one box to rule them all.” Here’s how it’s done.

  • The ultimate Windows apologists reference

    In order to save them some time and possibly prevent them from causing a devastating BSOD I’ve decided to collect their comments and publish them here, so they just need to reference this page. Here we go.
    1. You will have to waste hours learning a new OS and applications.
    (So what is the difference?)
    2. I like Windows, it works for me.
    (Writing this blog with pins stuck in my face works for me, but I can imagine more comfortable ways to do it.)

  • German schools pilot remote virtual Debian/KDE desktops

    An educational software organization in Germany is pilot testing an educational software system based on virtualized Debian/KDE desktops. Kreisbildstelle Stade’s “Desque” system serves up virtualized desktops over “standard” broadband connections, letting students and teachers access their desktops from home or school, the organization says.

  • Is using Windows Dumb? It will be.

    That was a real question, asked by someone considering buying a new computer. It surprised me: I’ve been seeing more people asking if they should consider Mac or Linux (mostly Mac, very little Linux), but this question goes way beyond that. It made me pause; the answer is complicated.

    It’s certainly not “dumb” to buy a Windows machine today. I have to quickly qualify that by saying that I think most people would be better off with a Mac, except (of course) those that need certain Windows only apps on a daily basis. Even those folks could use VM software to run the Microsoft stuff but I wouldn’t recommend that right now unless it’s casual use.

  • Linux has no domino effect.

    Way back when I was a wire jerker and learning about electronics there was explained to me a phenomenon called the domino effect. This means that when one part of an electronic component fails, the surrounding parts also fail. Just like a row of falling domino’s, hence the name.

    The same thing can also happen in software. When programs are tightly bound with each other and one program fails it effects all other programs. On some operating systems the only way to recover from that situation is to reboot the computer.

  • SGI

    • 10-Q: SILICON GRAPHICS INC

      We are a leader in HPC and data management. We sell a broad line of mid-range to high-end computing servers, data storage and visualization systems and software that provides additional differentiation to these offerings as well as on a stand alone basis. In addition, we provide customer support and professional services related to our products. We are a leading developer of enterprise-class, high-performance features for the Linux operating system. We provide our customers with a standard Linux operating environment combined with our differentiated Linux extensions that improve performance, simplify system management and provide a more robust development environment.

    • SGI Altix Systems Make Giant Leap to 21 Terabytes of Globally Addressable Memory at Customer Sites

      Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) (Nasdaq: SGIC) is in a category all by itself when it comes to massive globally shared main memory and globally addressable memory on SGI(R) Altix(R) 4700 systems. With numerous installations in the 4 TB range, and a number more in the 8 TB range, the groundbreaking scalability of SGI systems extends to 21 TB of globally addressable main memory at customer sites. This is over five times the size of memory that other vendors can offer today. The system is designed to accommodate 128 terabytes of globally shared memory under the control of a single instance of the Linux operating system! The system may also be partitioned among multiple instances of Linux and provide globally addressable shared memory among OS instances via SGI’s unique NUMAlink(R) interconnect technology.

  • Kernel Space

    • NVIDIA Pushes Out Another Binary Driver Update

      NVIDIA has released the 180.29 Linux driver for x86 and x86_64 platforms. The release notes list quite a few changes, but in fact they are just copied forward from the earlier beta releases.

    • Nouveau Driver 2009 Status Update

      The Nouveau driver has seen a lot of progress in the past year when it comes to new NVIDIA GPU support, improved 2D acceleration, 3D acceleration working for some GeForce series, and various other improvements. All 3D work for this open-source community-generated driver for NVIDIA graphics card is being done within Gallium3D.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Plasma Team Looks at the Future

      Over the last weekend, the Plasma team held their second meeting in Porto, Portugal. The meeting was organised by Akademy Award winner Nuno Pinheiro inviting the Akademy Award-winning Plasma team to his home country. The meeting was kindly hosted by the Departamento de Engenharia Informatica (Department of Software Engineering) of the Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto. The Plasma team (and most probably many of the KDE users) are grateful for being provided this opportunity to collaborate on the desktop.

  • Distributions

    • Minty fresh Linux

      As such, Mint is an up-to-date desktop Linux. It’s based on the Linux 2.6.27 kernel and uses Gnome 2.24 and X.org 7.4 for its graphical interface. Mint comes in two versions. The first, the Main Edition, is the one that comes with support for multimedia codices and drivers for proprietary hardware. The other, the Universal Edition, doesn’t include any proprietary multimedia or hardware support.

    • PCLinuxOS 2009 Beta 3 Released

      Don’t count out PCLinuxOS just yet. The Ripper Gang announced today the release of the third public beta of PCLinuxOS 2009. According to them, the series of beta ISOs are released under the name of N1PTT to honor the loss of Robert Green, a long time friend of PCLOS community who recently died of cancer.

    • Red Hat

      • Red Hat CEO Kills Open Source Financial Myth

        Sometimes The VAR Guy is a little slow. Red Hat has achieved two important company milestones, according to CEO Jim Whitehurst (pictured), that The VAR Guy nearly overlooked. It took some time for our resident blogger to realize the significance of Whitehurst’s statement. Take a look for yourself.

      • Red Hat cranks up JBoss rollouts engine

        The next few months should see three supported and modular versions of Red Hat’s JBoss application server rolled out, scaling from web to full enterprise-class scenarios.

      • The JBoss Virtual Experience

        Do you know what’s happening in middleware? Budget crunch keeping you from attending industry gatherings? Bring the conference to your desktop. Take a minute (or a few hours) and attend the JBoss Virtual Experience.

      • New Red Hat Project Looks to Simplify JBoss Migrations
  • Devices/Embedded

    • ARM gets a fast boot Linux stack

      PC BIOS giant Phoenix Technologies announced a new ARM version of its new previously x86-only Linux fast-boot add-on. HyperSpace has now been optimized for the ARM Cortex-A8 architecture running on netbooks, and is initially targeted at Freescale Semiconductor’s new i.MX515 system-on-chip (SoC), says Phoenix.

    • Analysis: Dell has dragged the Linux-ARM Trojan horse inside the Wintel PC

      The Dell Latitude E4200 and E4300 laptop computers run a version of Linux as an “instant-on” operating system running on hardware with flash memory that is separate to the main Windows Vista or Windows XP operating system running on an Intel Core2 Duo processor. In theory, users can do email and other light applications under Linux, Mozilla and so on, and only switch to the Windows operating system and the Intel processor for the heavier applications.

    • 14 days in gaming: Open source handhelds

      Project Pandora is looking increasingly more like it actually might result in providing us with a real world, actual device to play with (ie, not be over-ambitious vapourware after all) while the GP2X Wiz finally gets a commercial release over here in early March. Stay tuned for our first hands on impressions with both of these tasty open source handheld gaming consoles as soon as we manage to get hold of them.

      Elseware, Atari founder and ‘Pong’ man Nolan Bushnell is to be awarded a BAFTA Fellowship Award at next month’s gaming BAFTAs. Bushnell is only the second games designer to be honoured by the Academy in this way. He was also, as an aside, the founder of the Chuck E Cheese pizza chain in the US. A solid-gold FACT!

    • Networking middleware adds backbone bridging tech

      Networking middleware vendor IP Infusion announced it will ship a new version of its Linux-compatible, carrier-grade networking software in April. ZebOS Network Platform 7.7 adds support for OpenSAF high-availability (HA) standards, as well as Provider Backbone Bridge-Traffic Engineering (PBB-TE), a technology aimed at large carrier Ethernet networks, says the company.

    • Phones

      • ZTE to show 10 smartphones at Mobile World Congres

        There had been speculation in the past that ZTE was working on a Google Android powered smartphone, possibly for T-Mobile, but we’ve heard little recently to support that notion.

      • ACCESS China and NEC Electronics Develop Smartphone Reference Design

        ACCESS China Inc., a subsidiary of ACCESS CO., LTD., a global provider of advanced software technologies to the mobile and beyond-PC markets, and NEC Electronics Corporation, a leading provider of semiconductor solutions, today announced that they have jointly developed a reference design for smartphones. This solution is compliant with the CDMA2000 1x mobile telecommunications standard and based on ACCESS Linux Platform(TM) mini, developed for price-sensitive and emerging markets, and NEC Electronics’ MP201 application processor.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Hands On with the HP Mini 1000 Mi Netbook

        The Linux environment was a pleasure to use, and the quirks didn’t take long to get used to. The file structures are similar to what I’m used to seeing in XP, and the programs are close enough that I didn’t have any trouble working on the system. We haven’t run benchmarks on the Mini, so I can’t comment on its performance comparatively. However, Linux is less resource-intensive than the XP on our earlier review unit, which bodes well.

      • Make your Ubuntu distro look like the Mini Mi

        The HP Mini MI netbook provides one of the slickest available Ubuntu GUIs. Hobbyists have now figured out how to install that pretty GUI on non-Mi platforms.

        [...]

        If you’re a Ubuntu user and are considering giving the theme a spin, make sure to check out the entire thread. Installation and use are not as clear-cut as you might hope and there is a real risk involved, particularly for users who are not experienced with these kinds of mods. You may have to do a little clean-up work on Open Office and a few other packages. But as one poster writes, ” I love this new look!” and you may too.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source is Already Naturally Green

    For years now, there’s been talk brewing about the concept of Green IT. Pundits have predicted in years past that sustainable IT would be job one soon, really soon. Gartner said in 2007 that in 2008 it would be THE most important checklist item for IT managers. 2008 has come and gone, and I don’t remember hearing a whole lot about green-ness being the top priority for tech executives. Perhaps that has something to do with sustaining the company being more important than sustaining trees. In any case, it looks like green IT is still in the forefront of executive minds, and with a new administration it may become even more important even than Gartner said it would – it may become the law. So where does open source software fit into the mix? How green is the GPL? Pretty green, if you ask me. In fact, companies that already use open source software are well on the way to greening their IT departments.

  • Rigs of Rods goes Open Source and Glest 3.2

    Rigs of Rods is going open source. How cool is that?

  • Open source OpenEdit Digital Asset Management Mini Release v5.2059

    OpenEdit DAM is a web-based, open source digital asset management solution integrated with web content management. Licensed under a royalty free, perpetual and transferable GNU LGPL license, OpenEdit is free to download and use, including all upgrades.

  • Events

    • FOSDEM 2009

      The volunteer organisers of the “Free and Open Source Developers’ European Meeting” (FOSDEM 2009) demonstrated the fine art of scalability with a very well organised event. 250 talks for 5000 developers arriving from all over Europe, were held with very few problems. If such an event can have a general technical hot topic, then it was the omnipresent netbook and any number of Android mobiles: open source can slim down, be purged of non-essentials, start faster and look forward to a buoyant open future, running as a stable OS on many new small devices.

    • Open Source News from FOSDEM 2009 – Day 1

      This weekend, the 9th Free & Open Source Developers’ Europe Meeting (FOSDEM) took place at the Université Libre Bruxelles (ULB) in Brussels. Your editors Sander Marechal and Hans Kwint attended this meeting to find out for you what’s hot, new in the area of the Linux environment and might be coming to you in the near future.

    • SCALE 6x – A Look Back and Forward to 7x

      SCALE, the Southern California Linux Expo, is returning to Los Angeles February 20th through 22nd. I’ve had the opportunity to attend the first event and a few more since then, including SCALE 6x. I look forward to SCALE 7x, and my schedule will allow me to attend the Friday sessions.

  • Mozilla/Firefox

    • Fennec Gestures and Chromeless browsing

      This video is a demonstration of the Gestures Module for Mozilla Fennec browser that I’ve been working on the latest days. The video shows the engine working, along with user experience ideas and concepts that I believe to work well with a mobile device and a chromeless browser.

    • Episode 20 – Reacting

      In this issue…

      * Firefox 3.1 beta 3 test week is on now!
      * The new (draft) SeaMonkey vision
      * New Mozilla Education weekly call
      * Redesigning the Mozilla.org website
      * Extension developer survey
      * Graph server rewrite
      * Ubiquity and Weave documentation
      * Analytics and Firefox support (SUMO)
      * New SUMO identity system

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Ready, Set, Go: Mark Cuban’s New Open-Source Funding Reality Show

      Mark Cuban’s Open-Source Funding Rules

      1. It can be an existing business or a start up.
      2. It can not be a business that generates any revenue from advertising. Why ? Because I want this to be a business where you sell something and get paid for it. Thats the only way to get and stay profitable in such a short period of time.
      3. It MUST BE CASH FLOW BREAK EVEN within 60 days
      4. It must be profitable within 90 days.

    • Mark Cuban Doesn’t Understand Open Source

      Mark Cuban, entrepreneur, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and all-around rich guy, put an interesting offer on the table this week. Post your business idea on his blog and if he likes it, he’ll toss some cash your way to fund it.

      Cuban expects people to comment on the business plans people come up with, and acknowledges that some plans might even get stolen. “That is the idea,” he says. “Call this an open source funding environment.”

  • FSF

    • The smallest unit of freedom: a Fellow

      Colin Turner is a dedicated Free Software activist and Fellowship member, working as a scientist and teacher at the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. He has been advocating Free Software in schools and universities for many years and generously shared some of his experiences with us in this fourth instalment of our Fellowship interview series.

    • The Free Software Foundation (FSF), Apple, Activism and DRM. Lessons to be learned?

      Let me issue a disclaimer right off. Before I ever typed my first GNU/Linux command in a terminal the Free Software Foundation was fighting the good fight for free software and all the issues surrounding individual freedom and privacy both on and offline. All of us owe it a debt of gratitude for the work is has done and continues to do on behalf of the principles of a free society and free computing. It’s commitment to these things is unswerving but one of the down sides of this unremitting focus is the danger of a loss of perspective on certain campaigning issues. This article takes a look back at one in particular. DRM.

  • Sun

    • There is no L in Sun’s LAMP

      I believe Sun has an absolute right to compete with Linux, but its misuse of LAMP does it a disservice and can only serve to antagonize would-be customers who do very much care that their middleware stack runs on Linux. If Sun wants to market Glassfish Portfolio as an integrated LAMP stack it needs to come with Linux services (even if it is just for paying customers, as is the case with MySQL support).

      Without Linux, it’s not LAMP.

    • Sun offers integrated Web platform

      The platform, called Sun GlassFish Portfolio, features open source technologies that have been productized and pre-integrated. Besides the application server, Sun GlassFish Portfolio also is built on open source projects like the Apache Tomcat servlet container, the Ruby and PHP languages, and the Liferay Portal. The components have been tested and offer increased productivity and faster time to market, Sun said. Mission-critical environments and departmental applications can use the platform, the company said. All components of the suite except Sun Enterprise Manager are offered via open source.

  • Government

    • Russian Federation Commits to Open Source

      Open source software development in Russia is one of the most important directives for Igor Schegolev – the Head of the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications of the Russian Federation. At a key meeting with Werner Knoblich, Red Hat Vice President for EMEA, he announced support for a Russian Fedora association and for Red Hat development in the Russian Federation. He also expressed support for open source infrastructure and applications, and the development of a repository for industry best practice.

  • Licensing

    • Why “open source” is not “free software”

      Choosing to release a piece of software under the terms of a free software license is an important step through which many programmers and writers first approach the free software community. However, the myriad of licenses available can sometimes confuse and disorient the user, sometimes making this first step much harder than it should be. Let’s try and make things clearer.

    • Why free trade results in less freedom.

      Free trade? What kind of free do you mean? In the Open Source world, when people are talking about what the term “free software” means, a well-informed geek will tell you about the distinction between free-as-in-beer and free-as-in-speech.

  • Hardware

  • Office Suites/Applications

    • 5 Must-have Linux office applications

      If you work in a business environment then you know the value of the office application. And if you have ever thought about using Linux in your office you know there are boundaries to adoption. The good thing is those boundaries are growing smaller and smaller with every year. The reason those boundaries are shrinking isn’t dictated by an ever-improving kernel. Nope. The acceptance of Linux in the office is directly proportional to the amount of outstanding office applications available.

      But how many people can actually rattle off the names of five linux-based office applications? I would venture to say not many. And that’s where I come in. In this article I will list five must-have office applications that will allow you to introduce Linux into your office. Naturally this list won’t be perfect for everyone. There will always be those with proprietary needs that are simply not met by Linux. But for those who needs are more standard, this list is just for you.

    • Installing OpenOffice 3 in *buntu

Censorship

  • Conroy announces first filterers and not a big one in sight

    Communications minister Stephen Conroy has named the first six ISPs that will take part in the Government’s trial of ISP side content filtering, and only one of them comes from the top ten.

  • UPDATE: Say No to Copyright Filtering in Broadband Stimulus

    UPDATE: The House and Senate stimulus packages passed without copyright filtering language attached, but now the concern is that the language could return in the closed-door conference committee that works out the differences between the bills. Right now, we need you to contact those conferees and tell them to leave out this controversial provision.

  • US lawmaker injects ISP throttle into Obama rescue package

    Clearly, a lobbyist whispering in Feinstein’s ear has taken Comcast’s now famous euphemism even further into the realm of nonsense.

    According to Public Knowledge, Feinstein’s network management amendment did not find a home in the stimulus bill that landed on the Senate floor. But lobbyists speaking with the Washington DC-based internet watchdog said that California’s senior Senator is now hoping to insert this language via conference committee – a House-Senate pow-wow were bill disputes are resolved.

  • Tories admit to Wiki-alteration

    The Tories have admitted a member of staff altered a Wikipedia entry on the artist Titian after a row between Gordon Brown and David Cameron.

Leftovers

  • Beeb borrows copyrighted Flickr image

    A Brum snapper is a little annoyed with the BBC after it apparently borrowed a copyrighted snap from Flickr showing Birmingham’s crepuscular skyline and used it as a “live” news backdrop.

  • EU threatens ‘formal action’ against UK.gov on Phorm

    The European Commission has given its strongest signal yet that it will hold the UK government to account for its failure to act over BT and Phorm’s secret and allegedly illegal internet monitoring trials in 2006 and 2007.

    Telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding has again demanded answers from the UK as to why no enforcement action has been taken over the wiretapping and profiling of tens of thousands of BT broadband subscribers without any permission or notification. An unsatisfactory response could eventually land the government in the European Court of Justice.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Bdale Garbee, Hewlett Packard computer wizard and Debian lead 07 (2004)

Ogg Theora

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

Microsoft and Novell Approach Convergence

Posted in Boycott Novell at 5:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell is Microsoft’s GPL ‘shadow’

Microsoft has pretty much admitted that it uses Novell to implement Free software ‘on behalf’ of Microsoft because the company from Redmond hates the GPL and constantly incites everyone against it. But Microsoft still needs the GPL in order to get ardent GPL supporters ‘addicted’ to its patents-encumbered APIs (e.g. Mono).

Those who are responsible for this work are occasionally working for Novell from inside Microsoft and Novell is even welcoming Microsoft employees to join Novell’s management [1, 2, 3]. This is how convergence is gradually achieved.

The class of convergence in this case is more like assimilation because Novell is adopting Microsoft APIs and constantly adapting to its new paymasters (Microsoft, in essence, pays some of the wages at Novell). It’s not a reciprocal relationship because output does not flow the other way around.

Novell seems to have just paid for a press release to celebrate the 1.0 release of Microsoft's "pet project".

The Mono® Project, an open-source initiative sponsored by Novell, today announced the availability of MoonlightTM 1.0. The first and only open source project that provides Linux* users access to Microsoft* Silverlight* content, Moonlight demonstrates Novell’s commitment to making Linux a first-class platform for multimedia and Rich Internet Applications. Moonlight provides the platform Linux users need to use Silverlight and Windows* Media content. In combination with BansheeTM, a Novell-sponsored project to produce an open source media player, Moonlight is part of a complete multimedia solution on Linux.

There is some more balanced press coverage in OStatic.

The Financial Times is abuzz with the standards-hostile term known as interoperability, claiming it is “the great enabler.”

Global financial markets are in disarray but prospects for innovation in the real economy have never been more robust. Innovations once crafted to stand alone are increasingly built to work together, or “interoperate”.

Well, interoperability is not needed if one complies with open standards, but Microsoft does not like these. It never did. For example, in a bit of internal correspondence [PDF], Bill Gates wrote: “In one piece of mail people were suggesting that Office had to work equally well with all browsers and that we shouldn’t force Office users to use our browser. This Is wrong and I wanted to correct this.

“Another suggestion In this mail was that we can’t make our own unilateral extensions to HTML I was going to say this was wrong and correct this also.”

Does Microsoft sound like a company that is interested in interoperability, let alone in standards?

Anyway, in another disturbing but unsurprising news about a development, Novell and Microsoft are sharing a room again. It’s a joint seminar.

Web seminar: Driving datacentre agility

[...]

The speakers will walk through an overview of the technology, discuss a number of offerings in the market with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server preconfigured as an optimised guest on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, and share insights into how mixed source virtualisation can help improve operational efficiency.

This is a GNU/Linux-hostile spiel that promotes only software patents and a form of ‘Microsoft tax’ to be forcibly imposed on GNU/Linux. This point was explained in [1, 2].

Novell is not about Freedom. It’s not about open source, either. It’s primarily about the Microsoft ecosystem these days.

Monopoly

Microsoft: Intel Ain’t Done Until Windows Can Run?

Posted in Dell, GNU/Linux, Hardware, HP, Microsoft, Novell, Servers, UNIX, Windows at 4:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ken and Dennis (UNIX)

THIS is almost the last part in a series which has thus far included the posts:

  1. Bill Gates: “Where Are We on This Jihad?” (Against Linux at Intel)
  2. Microsoft on Intel’s Anti-Linux: “Please Keep Confidential. This is a Nightmare”
  3. Bill Gates on Linux@Intel: “This Huge Driver Group Scares Me.”
  4. Steve Ballmer: “We cannot let intel do chip design on Linux ever”
  5. Bill Gates et al Lean on Other Companies to Derail GNU/Linux as “Main Stream Operating System”

This time we look at Exhibit px06797 (2000) [PDF]. Therein, Bill Gates writes to top executives and other characters with copies to people like Steve Ballmer, Joachim Kempin, Paul Maritz, and Eric Rudder. Bill Neukom and Carl Stork, whom we saw in earlier parts of this series, are digitally present as well.

Gates writes regarding “Intel call — Paul Ottelini” and he consistently misspells the man’s surname (should be written “Otellini” in other exhibits too). The original message is marked “Privileged”, but a few responses shed light on it.

Microsoft’s Carl Stork replies to this entire group — Gates included — when he says:

> I don’t have the feeling that Intel is spending 80% of their Itanium energy on Windows. Neither on the technical/development side nor on the marketing side. They seem to be investing in the Monterey Unix project (this is the SCO/HP Unix), in Linux, in Novell. I don’t know what they are doing with ISVs directly, but in marketing I think they are being neutral/even. We can get more data if you want.

In addition, Dell seems to be blaming Microsoft software — not just Intel — for a considerable launch delay, but the main issue is perceptually low demand for Itanium.

Gates responds by expressing frustration with Intel, but more interestingly, he seems to be trying to alter a hardware release just in order for Windows to support Intel’s product at the same time as UNIX. In other words, Microsoft may be holding back a release that benefits GNU/Linux and UNIX just so that Microsoft is given enough time to catch up or match up.

Michael [Dell] said that Intel was pushing him to have a workstation out in October because Microsoft wants to have a vehicle for Windows which we aren’t getting from the other OEMs and since we don’t want HP-UX or others to ship first Michael should put his product out with us in October.

[...]

I am very frustrated about our mapping our what Intel is doing against us and coming up with a way to get intel to be more balanced. They are hurting themselves.

The full exhibit lies below, as plain text.


Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit px06797, as text


Read the rest of this entry »

Large-Scale Novell Layoffs Imminent

Posted in Finance, Microsoft, Novell, Ron Hovsepian at 11:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

RON HOVSEPIAN never had the chance to know Microsoft for as long as Ray Noodra knew them. It’s not entirely clear though what Jack Messman would have done, either [1, 2]. But in any event, Hovsepian’s strategy appears to be failing because we hear that massive layoffs are coming to Novell very shortly (probably next week or maybe the week after). This was said to us privately by a source that can be relied upon. None of this is particularly surprising given recent posts like:

According to our source, who heard it ‘first hand’, the figure to be announced may be close to the figure in that last link, i.e. around 25% of the workforce. Gartner made a prediction of 100 employees (~2.5%), which is quite unrealistic amidst the economical crises. Besides, the Gartner Group is highly corruptible [1, 2, 3, 4] and therefore very wrong. They probably said “100 employees” simply because the word had leaked and whilst the real figure could not be divulged (maybe still a subject of discussion), the big announcement was deferred. According to Novell’s latest financial report, layoffs of the scale an order of magnitude higher would be needed to stop the company’s quarterly losses, taking into account some rough calculations.

“This may be high time that people pressure Novell’s management and protest against the patent deal which they must get out of.”We happen to know that Novell staff thinks that Novell should have never signed the deal with Microsoft. Quietly, some staff was fully against it, but opposition came in different forms.

That “this week is going to be big at Novell” is we’ve heard as “announcements will be made regarding layoffs. Most of the employers are not aware of it, [as the] only thing they do is sit behind their desk [...] They are like zombies working to get the standard dollars in their pockets.”

This may be high time that people pressure Novell’s management and protest against the patent deal which they must get out of. Novell is in a very bad position, based on expert polls.

Microsoft is not interested in rescuing Novell. It’s interested in exploiting Novell and obviously it’s easier to exploit that who is feeble, confused, scared, vulnerable and desperate.

Ron Hovsepian begs Ballmer

Is Windows to Blame for Cracking of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)?

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 11:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Emergency person

SEVERAL MONTHS AGO we wrote about the disasters which the FAA had been experiencing, probably due to its reckless choice of Microsoft Windows. Now we’re witnessing planes that are being grounded due to similar problems (Microsoft denies this). But it may all be just be ‘small potatoes’ compared to a crack of this scale, which the Associated Press wrongly characterises as “hacking”.

Hackers broke into the Federal Aviation Administration’s computer system last week, accessing the names and Social Security numbers of 45,000 employees and retirees.

Wonderful.

TechDirt has meanwhile gotten around to commenting on related news.

Unpatched, Virus-Infected Windows To Blame For Grounded French Fighter Pilots And Halt To Traffic Arrests In Houston

Reader Calvin sends in two separate stories of government institutions who apparently failed to patch their Windows machines to protect against the Conficker virus — despite the patch being available for many months. First, Houston police have stopped arresting people with outstanding traffic warrants and shut down the municipal court system for a few days to try to deal with their computer systems being overrun by the virus.

Whether a person is troubled by use of Windows or not, the side effects appear not only in billing (damage is compensated for collectively) but also in people’s E-mail. This is made possible owing to massive Windows-based botnets.

Virus authors are attempting to hoodwink unwary and lovestruck internet users with malware that poses as Valentine’s Day-related games and email greetings.

The hacker tactic is a familiar companion to annual holidays, such as Christmas, New Year’s Day and Valentine’s Day. McAfee reports that the Valentine’s Day spam links to URLs pushing the Waledac Trojan, a strain of malware that has copied many of its techniques and features from the infamous Storm Trojan.

Another side effect of these turbulent experiences is being combated by a victim of the very same botnets which it fights, namely DNS. IDG published this report:

OpenDNS has added a feature to its Domain Name System (DNS) services to fight a widespread worm, with help from Russian security company Kaspersky Lab.

OpenDNS has its own network of DNS servers that translate domain names into IP (Internet Protocol) addresses so, for example, Web sites can be displayed in a browser. The company says its system is faster than using the DNS servers run by ISPs (Internet service providers) and provides better protection against phishing as well as other features such as Web content filtering.

As far as Microsoft is concerned, there is no solution to this (not even Vista 7) and some people are meanwhile dying. This is totally preventable because secure platforms like GNU/Linux exist and are readily available.

“[W]e’re not going to have products that are much more successful than Vista has been.”

Steve Ballmer

“David Smith commented that Gartner will not bash MS if MS chooses to slip Vista.”

Jamin Spilzer, Microsoft

Microsoft Silver Lie Locks GNU/Linux Users Out of Italian Public TV, South African Government

Posted in America, Europe, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Videos at 10:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad Silverlight

A reader from Italy alerted us last night that the “Italian television just got everything running on Silverlight.” This is a no-go area to GNU/Linux, which Italy purports to be embracing, so who is responsible for this tasteless choice of streaming technology that hardly gains traction or acceptance anyway? Is this merely incompetence or is it shenanigans?

Another story that was apparently pulled from Tectonic (South Africa-based publication) claimed inability to access a crucial public site, stating that: “Microsoft’s own Silverlight site prompts Linux users to download and install the open source alternative, Moonlight, on their computer as an alternative to Silverlight. Moonlight, however, is only compatible with Silverlight 1.0 and the SpeedServices website requires Silverlight 2.0.”

How typical. And because of Novell, Microsoft refuses to support GNU/Linux with a port of Silverlight. It explicitly said so to the press last year. Novell helps Microsoft make GNU/Linux a dysfunctional follower [1, 2].

Related posts:

Microsoft as Political Movement in the US, Maybe India Too

Posted in America, Asia, Google, Microsoft at 9:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hypocrisy defined

“Linux is a cult that captures the best-and-brightest kids.”

Jim Gray (Microsoft Research)

Entire separation between technology and politics is a convenient simplification, but it rarely serves the prudent observer who is interested in answers. As Richard Stallman once put it, “geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won’t leave you alone.” Google may have had to learn this the hard way because it witnesses not only existing Microsoft employees but former ones aligning against it too. At the same time, Microsoft is inciting Washington DC against Google [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] in what only can be described as a contemptuous display of power. Microsoft uses cronies to achieve this and by all means, that’s just putting it as bluntly as it comes, simply because it’s true and well substantiated.

Although we mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, PR Watch has just gotten around to explaining how Microsoft uses AstroTurf campaigns against Google.

For PR support in that campaign, Microsoft turned to LMG, a secretive Washington DC public affairs firm that specializes in astroturf campaigns. Thompson and Vogelstein expect the anti-Google campaign to intensify in 2009, with a focus on painting the company as a threat to personal privacy.

Particularly, as the essay points out, LawMedia Group played a role here and PR Watch describes it as follows.

LawMedia Group — also referred to as LMG — is a secretive Washington DC public affairs firm. The firm’s website says it “unites the worlds of law, communications, strategic counseling and crisis management into seamless campaigns for Fortune 100 companies, trade associations, start-ups and non-profits.” [1] Ads for LMG describe its services as including “government relations” (lobbying), “grassroots lobbying,” “issue / initiative / petition management,” “media production” and “opposition research.” [2]

LawMedia is one of those agencies which in a decent society would be dismantled. When AstroTurfing/legalised bribery (commonly known as "lobbying") becomes a ‘norm’, justice cannot prevail, let alone be ever reached. We’ve mentioned LawMedia Group on many occasions [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] since its involvement was initially exposed [1, 2] for its dealings with Microsoft. It serves to illustrate that Microsoft’s letters-from-the-dead tactics are far from outdated.

In other news, something is happening which involves a former ELCOT officer. ELCOT’s success story with GNU/Linux (Ballnux unfortunately) was noted in a video that can be found here and we believe there may have an important update that relates to previous coverage of what Microsoft does in India, namely:

We received some additional information which may suggest that other officers whose choices favour Free software are being moved or removed, but at whose behest? According to a report from the Deccan Chronicle (newspaper in Hyderabad, India), “IAS officer faces wrath, shifted again.” Here is the ‘meat’ of the story:

Jan. 25: Senior IAS officer C. Uma Shankar has set a record of sorts. His transfer last Friday to the Small Savings department from the post of Managing Director of Arasu Cable TV Corporation was the fourth in just six months.

Said to be an efficient, tech-savvy officer and known for his role in developing and promoting e-governance, he has been credited with the introduction of open source software during his brief stint in ELCOT (Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited).

His transfer order came a day after the officer told the media in Vellore that it would be better for the State to take over the Sumangali Cable Vision (SCV). The officer was also critical of the damage caused allegedly by the SCV to the Arasu Cable TV infrastructure in some parts of the state.

Earlier, Mr Uma Shankar was said to have been transferred from ELCOT after he found fault with an errant IT firm that was run by a person with connections.

In response to this, said one person, “It’s very sad how a honest govt officer is being harassed for doing his job.”

Uma Shankar wrote back: “I saw the postings on my latest transfer today only. I am accustomed to lightning transfers. Transfers cannot affect my morale.”

“Why is that whenever someone is encouraging Free software adoption in India, something sudden and abrupt creeps in?”Another person remarks: “It is not good for the government if it punishes the sincere officers who devote their time for the welfare of the state. It will definitely encourage corruption, fraud and maladministration.”

Uma Shankar also wrote to a public group about his experience with Ubuntu and SUSE: “I have been using Ubuntu and Suse linux. Of all the distributions, Ubuntu is the best as it comes with full free online upgrade support at no cost. It has a 32 bit and 64 bit version. All of them are free. It is extremely user friendly. I have fallen in love with it.”

Why is that whenever someone is encouraging Free software adoption in India, something sudden and abrupt creeps in? The theory remains that Microsoft might be pulling strings as it did in Massachusetts, but evidence is lacking. Can anyone help?

Bill Gates et al Lean on Other Companies to Derail GNU/Linux as “Main Stream Operating System”

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Hardware, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer at 7:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell newspaper

THIS IS PART of an ongoing series of posts which explore Microsoft’s pressure on Intel. For background, c/f:

Today we dive into Exhibit px06825 (2000) [PDF], which appeared on a public site very briefly in 2007. This details the correspondence going under the subject line “Intel’s ODL Linux/Open Source Venture” and this comes from deep inside Microsoft.

Here is Microsoft’s Carl Stork pondering the application of pressure to partners who might support GNU/Linux.

—–Original Message—–
From: Carl Stork [mailto:carls@exchange.microsoft.com]
Sent: Saturday, August 12, 2000 9:43 AM
To: Flannigan, Steve
Subject: Intel’s ODL Linux/Open Source Venture

Has Intel briefed you on the Open Source development venture they are planning? Does Compaq have any plans to participate in this?

At some stage in the near future we will expose the relationship between Microsoft and Compaq (now part of Hewlett-Packard). It is not an ordinary affair by any stretch of imagination. Anyway, in reply to the above, says Steve Flannigan from Compaq:

From: Flannigan, Steve [mailto:Steve.Flannigan@Compaq.com]
Sent: Saturday, August 12, 2000 11:45 PM
To: Carl Stork
Subject: FW: Intel’s ODL Linux/Open Source Venture

Per Michael and Gary Campbell, we know what this is and have declined to participate. This is a push to make Linux a “mainstream” operating system, looks like IBM and HP are in the boat with Intel. Pool will be $500M according to rumor.

Half a billion dollars, eh? What does Microsoft’s board have to say about this? Bill Gates writes to Steve Ballmer:

From: Bill Gates
Sent: Sunday, August 13, 2000 9:59 PM
To: Steve Ballmer
Subject: FW: Intel’s ODL Linux/Open Source Venture ATTY-CLIENT PRIV

We need to decide how to deal with this on Monday.

Given the previous posts on the subject (see links at the top), we pretty much know how Microsoft handled this type of problem. “Is it legal, Microsoft leaning on other ‘independent’ companies to not use open source,” asked one reader last night. “[It] makes you wonder why the DOJ agreed on a do-not-bundle-IExplorer settlement,” he concludes.


Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit px06825, as text


**********
From: Bill Gates
Sent: Sunday, August 13, 2000 9:59 PM
To: Steve Ballmer
Subject: FW: Intel’s ODL Linux/Open Source Venture ATTY-CLIENT PRIV

We need to decide how to deal with this on Monday.

—–Original Message—–
From: Carl Stork
Sent: Sunday, August 13, 2000 7:33 AM
To: Brian Valentine; Bob Gomulkiewicz (LCA); David Heiner (LCA); Mike Porter; David W. Williams; Brian Schuster; Bill Veghte; Neil Calvin (LCA); Jim Ewel; Doug Miller; David Thompson (NT); Bill Gates; Steve Ballmer; Paul Maritz; Jim Allchin
Subject: FW: Intel’s ODL Linux/Open Source Venture ATTY-CLIENT PRIV

Privileged

—–Original Message—–
From: Flannigan, Steve [mailto:Steve.Flannigan@Compaq.com]
Sent: Saturday, August 12, 2000 11:45 PM
To: Carl Stork
Subject: FW: Intel’s ODL Linux/Open Source Venture

Per Michael and Gary Campbell, we know what this is and have declined to participate. This is a push to make Linux a “mainstream” operating system, looks like IBM and HP are in the boat with Intel. Pool will be $500M according to rumor.

—–Original Message—–
From: Flannigan, Steve
Sent: Saturday, August 12, 2000 2:04 PM
To: Boak, Jim
Cc: Campbell, Gary; Seif, Naila; Becker, Rick
Subject: FW: Intel’s ODL Linux/Open Source Venture

anyone know the answer?

—–Original Message—–
From: Carl Stork [mailto:carls@exchange.microsoft.com]
Sent: Saturday, August 12, 2000 9:43 AM
To: Flannigan, Steve
Subject: Intel’s ODL Linux/Open Source Venture

Has Intel briefed you on the Open Source development venture they are planning? Does Compaq have any plans to participate in this?

Plaintiff’s Exhibit
6825
Comes V. Microsoft

MS-CC-MDL 000000396217
HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL
**********

Thanks to Jose_X for help with this exhibit

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