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Don’t Get Mooned by Microsoft/Novell Moonlight

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 9:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Moonlight mooning

WITH much disproportional hype, Moonlight 1.0 made some headlines again, but it’s really just patent-encumbered non-Free software from Microsoft and Novell and therefore it should not be touched.

Do not be mooned by the hype that Novell generated by reannouncing old news (it’s still fooling some innocent reporters) and always be aware that Moonlight is not Free software. It is a patent Trojan horse that’s suitable for Novell customers who purchased ‘protection’. It’s not something to promote to GNU/Linux users, who instead should insist on Web standards, not DRM and software patents on the World Wide Web.

To the extent possible, warn friends, peers, and family. Friends don’t let friends be mooned.

Novell race track

Vista 7 — Just Like Vista — Starts Dropping Features Several Months Before Release

Posted in Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 9:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7


T’S Déjà vu all over again,” to borrow the famous saying from Yogi Berra. There is a defensible reason why we labeled Windows 7 just “Vista 7″ and it’s not just the fact that Vista and Vista 7 are codebase siblings sharing identical DNA in the digital sense. There are many other parallels in the marketing techniques, such as the endless AstroTurfing, public availability of test builds, and bribery of bloggers (the first time it was carried out by Edelman on behalf of Microsoft and this time around it is Waggener-Edstrom).

When it comes to Windows Vista, so much was promised and so little was eventually delivered*. But due to heavy marketing, people had not realised this until Vista was released and drove early adopters to misery or disgust.

Vista 7 has already lost some of its promised features (i.e. vapourware) such as quick booting, but people are convinced to forget about this very fast. Talk about quickly booting memories instead…

Here is yet another component of Vista 7 being dumped ahead of release.

Microsoft dumps Ultimate Extras from Windows 7


Ultimate Extras was among the elements Microsoft cited in the months leading up to the early-2007 release of Windows Vista Ultimate to distinguish it from lower-priced versions. According to Microsoft’s marketing, Extras was to be “cutting-edge programs, innovative services and unique publications” that would be regularly offered only to users of Vista’s highest-priced edition.

But users blasted Microsoft for the paltry number of add-ons it released and its leisurely development pace. Just five months after Vista was launched, critics started to complain, which led Microsoft to promise that it would do better.

Over at Chris Pirillo’s Web site (he is a Microsoft MVP), more dissent can be seen in the form of Vista 7 bashing. Well, even some of Microsoft’s fans have already expressed dissatisfaction/disappointments, so this is just another example.

Die Windows! Die!


None of this would have come about without the regressive behavior of Windows 7, the interface’s thinly veiled rewrap of the Windows 3.1 look and feel, and the lack of real innovation. No, putting the system on a diet does not qualify as innovation.

As I have shown before, touch is not a new item on the list of things an operating system can enable either, so Microsoft should stop its harping on that, too.

Last but not least, here is a new article from the Herald News:

Dear N.W.: Microsoft’s Vista is an errant abomination. Picture a black, foul-smelling and bloated whale carcass washing ashore and thousands of angry, yelling beachgoers trying to pull, push and tow it back to sea. That’s Vista! Frankly, the older Windows 95, Windows 96, Windows 97, Windows 98, etc. operating systems are superior to 2007 Windows Vista by orders of magnitude.

Based on these patterns of coverage and taking into consideration the artificial crippling we found out about at the beginning of the month, there may be a good reason why BetaVista7 got pulled some days ago. It is no longer available for downloaders perhaps because radical changes are being made to it, and not necessarily improvements. It may also be rushed through. As an amusing signature from Peter Köhlmann goes, “Microsoft software doesn’t get released – it escapes, leaving a trail of destruction behind it.”
* It became a poster child for "freezing the market", with a Longhorn release projected/promised by the end 2003 (Vista was only released in 2007).

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: February 15th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

Links 15/02/2009: KDE 4.3 Preview; Cuba Uses Sabayon Technology

Posted in News Roundup at 7:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Aleutia E2: low power to the people

    Green computing frequently makes the news either for its cost-saving potential to businesses, or as a way for eco-conscious consumers to reduce their environmental footprint. But UK-based Aleutia, Ltd takes a different approach, using green to produce ultra-low-power-consumption Linux PCs for classrooms and businesses in developing countries. The company’s flagship product is the E2, a compact desktop system that consumes just 8 watts.

  • How to get the instant-on PC you’ve dreamed of

    Why does nearly every modern computer – whether it runs OS X, Vista or Linux – take considerably longer to boot than an ancient Amiga?

    With a hard drive, an Amiga could go from power socket to Workbench in around five seconds.

    With a modern multicore processor and a 12-month-old installation of Windows, you’re lucky if your desktop is responsive before the kettle boils.

  • Another desktop test for Linux

    I’m also encouraged, as well, to see Dell offering this hybrid line of computer that put Windows and Linux side by side with capable hardware support for both. Don’t think it means much for Linux to be a quick-boot option? Check out some of Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin’s thoughts, which I think help put this potential in perspective.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Air and KDE 4.3.

      Air was the wallpaper we introduced in KDE 4.2, but that is just the beginning of something larger. Air is supposed to be different than what Oxygen is, something that tries to appeal to a user base looking for a more “sexy” experience than Oxygen (yeah I know you are out there :) ), but to still have the capability of merging nicely with what we have now.

  • Distributions

    • Nova Linux released, Cuba joins the Linux bandwagon with Sabayon technologies

      Today is a good day, the University of Informatics Sciences – Havana, Cuba, released Nova Linux, the Official Cuban Linux distribution and guess what, it uses Entropy, the most promising Sabayon Linux technology.

    • Debian: New Features

      Debian 5 Lenny is an excellent desktop or server option that is worthy of consideration. I have been running the Debian 5 Lenny candidate for awhile and have been very pleased with the stability and features. It actually functions and acts more like the distribution I need and work on than Ubuntu. Not so say that Ubuntu is bad, just that I typically do not need or use the latest applications.

    • 10-second distro review: Puppy Linux 4.1.2

      I decided to get deeper into Puppy 4.1.2 on my Toshiba Satellite 1100-S101 laptop.


      The end result is that while Puppy 4.1.2. runs quite well at first blush, I need to look closer at why I was so unsuccessful at getting Flash and Java to work. It should be easier than this.

    • PCLOS 2009 On the Wing

      As I write here I’m downloading the beta 3 of PCLinuxOS 2009, which will be my first go at the Ripper gang’s newest version since 2007. Based on that experience, my expectations are high. I guess that’s what happens when you produce quality stuff, Texstar: people start anticipating better and better.

    • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 129

      Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #129 for the week February 8th – February 14th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Ubuntu LoCo Teams Meeting, New MOTU’s, Rockin’ LoCo Docs Day, Ubuntu Hug Day, Improved mail server stack: Testing needed, Drupal 5.x and 6.x LoCo Suite Released, Ubuntu Honduras being organized, Launchpod #17, Triage in Launchpad suite, PPA page perfomance improvements, Ubuntu Training for USA, HP Mini Mi Screenshots, Server Team Meeting Feb. 10th, and much, much more!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Palm Gives Up On Palm OS, Time To Turn To Open Source?

      Palm has finally decided to abandon its Palm OS operating system after an illustrious run of over twelve years in favour of its new webOS operating system that is expected to power its Pre range of smartphones.

    • Top 5 Netbook Linux Distributions

      Hi there! Have you already jumped onto the netbook bandwagon? I currently own a MEDION PC, a MacBook and a Nokia E71, but my inner-geek still craves for a cool little Linux netbook. Sub-notebooks are great stuff: they are, like Linus Torvalds said in a recent interview, “laptops done right”. You can carry them around, they are light, small and cheap so you do not have to worry as much if you lose, or break them. At the same time though, you can do some serious work with thee mini laptops.

Free Software/Open Source

  • ‘Head-to-head’ match between Google, Microsoft shows Google in lead

    After months of courting three potential e-mail service providers to replace the current Webmail system, members of the Student E-mail Initiative have chosen not to accept an offer from Zimbra, a subsidiary company of Yahoo!

    If the initiative signs with a new e-mail provider, the choice will be between Google’s Apps for Education and Microsoft’s Live at Edu, according to Stan North Martin, the director of Outreach, Communications and Consulting for the Office of Information Technology.

  • FLOSS Weekly 56: Étoilé

    Étoilé, a GNUstep-based user environment that enables users to create their own

  • Flowplayer – The Next Open Source Success?

    I first heard from Flowplayer from the guys at Floobs. Kaitsu, their CEO, said that I might want to check out these guys. The line was something in the lines of ‘…yeah, He’s really good. He worked for us before but wanted to go and develop his own open source project. It’s all cool’. This healthy attitude is something that other industries should copy. Very rarely you hear such a supportive attitude toward someone who takes off to develop his own project.

  • Google

    • Programming news roundup: Google feature may kill apps, Microsoft covers IronRuby, and more

      Let’s face it, Google’s influence on the Web is quickly approaching that of Microsoft’s on the desktop. This means that, just as Microsoft can’t make major changes to the Windows API without breaking thousands of apps, when Google makes a major change, it breaks thousands of apps too.

      From Search Engine Land comes news that Google is toying with a new, AJAX-ified search result system. Good for the user, right? Maybe. But in the process, it changes the format of the referrer header that the destination Web site will be sent. This means that anyone parsing those referrer strings from Google trying to do analysis of their keywords… well, they will need to rewrite their software to parse the new strings. Is it an easy rewrite? Sure, probably one line of code for most applications, and three or so if you want to include the old and the new referrer strings.

    • Why open source is good for Google

      At Google, we love open source for a few reasons. First, it speeds innovation. Open source lowers the barrier to entry for users, website owners, and application developers. It means there can be another Google, or another Yahoo!, started from someone’s garage in Auckland or Arhus with very little capital required, because the building blocks for success are freely available.

  • Business

    • Open Collaboration within Corporations Using Software Forges

      Over the past 10 years, open source software has become an important cornerstone of the software industry. Commercial users have adopted it in standalone applications, and software vendors are embedding it in products. Surprisingly then, from a commercial perspective, open source software is developed differently from how corporations typically develop software. Research into how open source works has been growing steadily [1]. One driver of such research is the desire to understand how commercial software development could benefit from open source best practices. Do some of these practices also work within corporations? If so, what are they, and how can we transfer them?

    • Funambol and a la Mobile Enhance Android Open Source Sync Software

      The open source client and server software enable Android handsets to sync contacts, calendars, pictures, music and videos with any backend data source and desktop.

  • Releases

    • syslog-ng OSE 3.0 [Released]

      The syslog-ng Open Source Edition application is a mature, stable system logging application that has become the most common alternative logging server of the Linux/Unix world. It is estimated to be used by tens of thousands of organizations on hundreds of thousands of computers, which probably makes it one of the most successful Hungarian products.

    • RawSpeed and Rawstudio: exciting projects

      These are exciting times for photography on Linux. With Krita 2.0 round the corner and GIMP getting (some) higher bit depth functionalities in its next 2.8 version.

  • Funding

    • Economic crisis no impact on OSS jobs

      Exponents of open source software (OSS) hail the technology as a way to help organizations cut cost in the current downturn, but HR executives are less convinced that the recession has boosted demand for skills needed to manage open source environments.

  • FSF

    • GNU is Not Unix, but it is 25

      In the earliest days of computers, just about everything could be considered free software. Computers were so large, unwieldy and difficult to understand that any reasonably well-written program would be passed around via punch cards or paper tape. Into that free software world Richard Stallman was born.


      “I spent a couple of years punishing Symbolics by attacking it and giving an ultimatum to the people at the AI lab,” he said. “I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life punishing somebody. I wanted to rebuild what was destroyed. I wanted to be able to use computers while having freedom. This is impossible if you have a proprietary program.”

  • Asia

    • More doors open for graduates

      The demand for open-source software in the ­country and the expertise required in this area is rising, according to the Multimedia Development Corp (MDeC) which spearheads the MSC Malaysia initiative.

      Open-source software, said networking systems giant Sun Microsystems, is gaining popularity mainly because the advantages of user malleable programs are becoming more apparent.

      Since the source code is ­accessible to users, a company could tweak open-source software to better meet its needs, compared to proprietary software which arguably has to be used as is.

    • Local IT firm strengthens expertise in open systems enterprise solutions

      Uy, also the founder of Touch Group of Companies, is regarded as one of the leaders in open systems services in the Philippinese. He has introduced the use of enterprise grade Linux and other open source software to the country’s top companies as well as small and medium enterprises.

  • Sun

    • Remember to install extensions for OpenOffice.org

      The flexibility of open source, and the handy Extensions system, lets the community write functionality for OpenOffice.org without having to make it part of the main program…

    • RedOffice Offers OOo User Interface Ideas

      RedOffice is one of the “distros” of OpenOffice.org, along with Go-OOo, Lotus Symphony, OxygenOffice, NeoOffice, EuroOffice, and probably some others.

      RedOffice is developed by a company in Beijing and specifically addresses the Chinese-language market.

    • Open data is the antidote to closed clouds

      It’s a good point, but again, I don’t think “encouraging…cloud operators to use open source software” does much to prevent lock-in, unless they actually make that software transparent and usable to end-users. Regardless, most, if not all of them, already use open source in abundance due to the quality of open-source components like MySQL.

      No, the real emphasis must be on open data. Perhaps we need to invent open-data licenses, similar to open-source licenses. Perhaps the Open Source Initiative should get involved.

  • Government

    • Open Source Study Included In US Stimulus Package

      Buried deep in the details of the US stimulus package is an interesting provision that might go a long way toward helping Open Source software break into the medical area. It says that the Secretary of Health and Human Services should study the availability of open source health technology systems (PDF, page 488), compare their TCO against proprietary systems and report on what they find no later than Oct 1, 2010. Slashdotters may also be interested in the language that starts on page 553 of that PDF to see just what the final package says about broadband.


Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Bdale Garbee, Hewlett Packard computer wizard and Debian lead 11 (2004)

Ogg Theora

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

Moonlight Called “Patent Encumbered“, Crashes Firefox

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 12:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“”[...] we know that Microsoft is getting patents on some features of C#. So I think it’s dangerous to use C#, and it may be dangerous to use Mono.”

Richard Stallman

AS STATED before, Moonlight is not Free software, but it’s actually a lot worse. Moonlight is also a patent trap, as finally acknowledged by CNET.

Moonlight and the patent encumbrances thereto serve as a constant reminder that Microsoft really doesn’t grok the Web, which is about freedom of access and open protocols.

Patent issues (and freedom) aside, Moonlight is also a technical mess, unless the user is a SUSE user, i.e. one is encouraged to use the Ballmer-blessed GNU/Linux distribution, aka “Ballnux”.

As pointed out by one of the few commenters in SJVN’s Web site: “So I made sure Firefox was 100% up-to-date, installed the Moonlight plugin, then Firefox crashes any time I go back to the http://abock.org/moonshine/ site to install the Moonshine plugin.

“I think I’ll stick with my flaky, buggy, proprietary flash video… as unreliable as it is from a linux box, at least it doesn’t make Firefox insta-crash.”

This was written in reference and response to SJVN’s post about Moonshine, which is new. Another usual suspect promotes Moonshine, having done the same for Moonlight just a few days ago.

Don’t let Mono and Moonlight tarnish GNU/Linux

Novell Speaks About Its Trashing of YouTube

Posted in Marketing, Novell, Videos at 12:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No Value : Novell

A week ago we noticed that Novell had flooded YouTube with its commercials. Two days later Novell wrote this post, acknowledging that this may all be coordinated by the PR department headed by Ian "Intellectual Property Peace of Mind" Bruce. Here it goes:

A while back Novell created a YouTube channel to collect and share some of the great videos that we create showing Novell solutions at work around the globe from Copenhagen to Cape Town.

That’s nice of Novell to admit that it rubbishes YouTube with the same disinformation that already floods many television sets.

Leave Microsoft Alone

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Servers, Windows at 11:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chris Crocker
via Wikipedia

“IT IS NEVER our own fault,” Microsoft would vigorously insist. Even when its systems are open to user intervention-free hijacking, it wants to find scapegoats, be them the ‘stupid’ users or those ‘evil’ crackers who merely exploit an open door.

Had the world embraced Microsoft’s logic, banks would not be liable for loss of money when the safe is left open to intruders and the ‘stupid’ customers would be blamed for not spotting anomalies in their bank statements.

Anyway, rants are being written at a high pace at the moment, particularly because even military computers are being suspended for running Microsoft Windows.

Here is Carla having a go at it:

So why isn’t Microsoft being sued into oblivion? Businesses sue each other all the time for stupid stuff. Is it against the Secret Code of the Suit to engage in litigation on meaningful issues? I don’t get it. Manufacturers get in trouble with government regulatory agencies all the time for unsafe products, and even when customers misuse their products and get hurt. I would say that using Windows at all is a classic case of misuse, because it is impossible to use it safely.

Why aren’t news media treating this like the scandal that is? They get all foamy over some Congresscritter using public funds to buy him or herself some expensive goodies, which for an especially talented spendthrift is a few tens of thousands of dollars. That is nothing compared to the tens of billions of damage caused by Redmondware every year, and I can’t put a price tag on not being able to fly the fighter jets when they’re needed. Is Microsoft more powerful and fearsome than Congresspeople?

Lawsuits are an interesting possibility, which we wrote about a few months ago.

Here is another valid complaint that Carla referenced yesterday.

Conficker affected me… though I don’t use Windows


I hadn’t thought about it for a while, but given the recent Conficker outbreak, I got to rethink of the whole thing again. Now…. there was something that bothered me A LOT…. and it still does (though I’m not working with them anymore, I still feel like I’m a part of the family). They are still developing applications in-house using proprietary frameworks tied to Windows. And here is why it bothers me: They have invested and continue to invest time (hence money.. public money, should I add) on getting themselves tied to one proprietary platform. Every line of code that they add up to their already enormous code stack is another line of code that ties them even tighter to Windows. And that’s sad. What’s done is done.. there’s not much they can do about the code they have already written… but they could be changing the languages they use to develop their applications that could allow them to move to another platform if they so wished later on (doing it gradually). When I was about to leave, the head of development quit his job as well… and that would have been (probably) the best moment to make a push for multiplatform languages, but unfortunately I was quiting as well so there was no change in development frameworks.

It hurts me to see one organization that I care so much about tied to that security hole disguised as an operating system that’s Windows. And even more that they still don’t take the necessary measures to try to get out of that platform, even if it’s one small step at a time. Conficker just reopened that small wound I carry with me.

One reader recommended this lecture series. He wrote: “The first lecture, by Clarke, is quite interesting, especially if consider the Microsoft Exchange / Microsoft Windows Server angle to preventing access to records. Being able to blame “technology” is a lot easier than carting off and locking up / burning shelf meters of paper.”

Paul Allen’s Company Goes Bankrupt, Might Microsoft Be Next?

Posted in Apple, Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft at 11:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft has clearly entered a phase of self destructive behavior that began with the “tissue paper campaign” in 1995.”


BILL Gates and Paul Allen have moved much further since the days of sabotaging computers for personal gain. Now they are associated with some big companies and they possess personal wealth (separate from the companies’). However, Allen’s company has just filed for bankruptcy and some might be wondering whether Microsoft is next. The idea is not far fetched and other people independently suggest it as well.

Here are some reports on the subject:

Charter Communications Inc, which is controlled by Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by 1 April after striking a deal with senior debt holders yesterday.

Charter, which was started by Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, said its planned Chapter 11 filing was intended to trim about $8 billion from its $21 billion in debt. After extensive negotiations, a committee of debtholders agreed to the plan, under which Mr. Allen will retain control of the company.

Allen turns out to also have influence on the media. Like Microsoft and the Gates family, he owns shares in at least one media company — shares that he is now selling, according to MSN and this report from the Canadian Press:

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has sold all of his remaining shares in DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.

It’s very fascinating to see just how much of Microsoft’s money is hovering among and landing on media companies that inform or misinform people. Apple’s Steve Jobs is another party that’s involved in this type of investments.

Lastly, according to Associated Press, Bill Gates keeps dumping his shares of Microsoft. It does not inspire much confidence in this company, whose leadership he gave up after it had reportedly lost $18 billion in just one year. Now he keeps busier with politics and pharmaceuticals.

Bill Gates and Paul Allen

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