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IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: February 27th, 2009 – Part 1

Posted in IRC Logs at 11:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

Links 27/02/2009: New XFCE Released, PC/OS 2009v2 is Out

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • The Bizarre Cathedral – 41

    Should I tell him the router runs on Linux?

  • Cisco Goes Deep for Linux and Open Source

    Without much fanfare or self-congratulations, networking giant Cisco Systems has become one of the top contributors to the Linux kernel and an active contributor to the broader open source community.

    It’s a message that Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) isn’t boasting about yet, but was willing to discuss with InternetNews.com. Cisco is the world’s largest networking vendor and a technology juggernaut that is seeing the value in using and contributing to open source.

  • It’s Not the Cost of the OS – It’s the Cost of Apps

    Software costs now dwarf hardware costs

    Times have changed though, pretty thoroughly: at this point you can get a pretty rocking computer loaded with RAM, a quad core processor, a great graphics card, and a gi-normous fast hard drive for about $700. And have room in the budget for a great big gorgeous color LCD to see it all on and maybe even a nice big graphics pen-tablet. Meanwhile, the cost of Photoshop and all the other creative software has not come down one iota. Something’s gotta give.

    So it was the lure of free-libre programs like the Gimp, Blender, Audacity, Inkscape, and Rawstudio that first drew me in. Actually, I think it was probably OpenOffice that was the first FOSS program I downloaded and installed onto Windows 2000. You see, with the relatively small amount of word processing and office type stuff I do, it seemed crazy to keep buying office software. (I used WordPerfect ages ago, and I’ve never used MS Office at all.) So I tried OOo and guess what? It was just brilliant, exactly what I needed and more. Wow, I thought, how can a program this good be completely free?

  • More reasons to use Linux: How green is Linux?

    * First of all there’s the tickless kernel

    The tickless mode is an option in the newest kernels keeping power consumption low by having the processor staying asleep, in the normal state the kernel is waking up the processor on an automated interval. With the tickless kernel it’s possible to wake the processor only when there’s a real need for it. Effectively saving on power consumption in notebooks and servers alike.
    * Better virtualization support

    Which brings me to my second point, the tickless kernel brings great benefit in virtualized environments.


  • Celtx jumps a version, releases 2.0

    After years of perpetual beta (it’s vogue these days), Celtx, the open source media pre-production and screenwriting application, finally earned its 1.0 status this past June. So it might seem a little odd that only eight months later, Celtx is making the jump to 2.0 (and it does seem a little sudden) so let’s take a look and see if this new version worth its version number.

  • The Linux Connection

    Turns out that all you need is a satellite dish (a one meter model will do), some knowledge of satellite communications (if you are of the geekish persuasion, you can become self-taught in these arts rather quickly) and familiarity with Linux, and tools (freely available on the Internet) for hacking Linux data feeds, you can access lots of useful data that is not supposed to be open to everyone.

  • Linux liberty: Are you overpaying for wireless data-collection devices?

    As the Wal Marts of the world increasingly press suppliers for real-time inventory tracking, the pressure gets passed right down the supply chain.

  • Training course in Leyte tackles 5-day Linux systems administration

    In order to provide professional training to students and current systems administrators who want to be familiar with configuring and managing Linux based systems in an integrated network environment, a five-day Linux Systems Administration I (LISA 1.3) course will be conducted from March 9-13, 2009 at the Leyte ICT Park, Academic Center, Palo, Leyte.

  • Linux Outlaws 79 – A Community Gone Wild

    In this episode, we talk about Koalas, training robots, a bunch o’Irish bastards, as well as some open source and Linux topics as well. Fab also reviews World of Goo for Linux.

  • Games

    • QuakeLive for Linux a “High Priority”
    • Quake Live beta opens to all, Mac and Linux support coming

      Quake Live, id Software’s experiment into taking its classic multiplayer shooter Quake III Arena online and integrating it with the Web, is now in open beta for all challengers.


      By “PC,” the legendary id programmer also refers to Mac and Linux users, and their versions of Live are on the way. “It’s pretty high on my priority list to have the Mac and Linux support,” he told Joystiq.

    • Out of the Park Baseball 10 Announced

      OOTP 10, scheduled for release in Spring 2009 for PC, Mac, and Linux, is a further evolution of the game that GameSpy said, “is firmly atop the baseball general manager simulation heap,” offering gamers the ultimate in realistic baseball simulation.

  • Interviews

    • The Buzztard Project, Part 2: an Interview with Stefan Kost

      This interview with lead developer Stefan Kost continues my report on the development of Buzztard. As the interview reveals, Stefan’s work on Buzztard represents only one level of his deep involvement in Linux software development.

    • Interview: the return of the realtime preemption tree

      On February 11, realtime developers Thomas Gleixner and Ingo Molnar resurfaced with the announcement of a new realtime preemption tree and a newly reinvigorated development effort. Your editor asked them if they would be willing to answer a few questions about this work; their response went well beyond the call of duty. Read on for a detailed look at where the realtime preemption tree stands and what’s likely to happen in the near future.

  • Kernel Space

    • Video: Ted Ts’o on Ext4, BtrFS and first steps with Linux

      Linux Magazine Online took the opportunity of Fosdem 2009 in Brussels to track down and talk to kernel developer and CTO of the Linux Foundation, Ted Ts’o.

      Ted talks about the improved acceleration of ext4 and the difference between ext4 and BtrFS.

    • LinuxDNA Supercharges Linux with the Intel C/C++ Compiler

      Exciting news from the LinuxDNA project, which earlier this month successfully compiled a recent Linux kernel with the Intel C/C++ compiler (ICC). This is not just a compile without errors, this is — for the most part — a fully bootable, compatible Linux kernel that can boot into a full Linux system. The full system is based on Gentoo Linux, and utilizes kernel version 2.6.22.

    • Linux Foundation Unveils Plans for Upcoming Summit

      The Linux Foundation — the not-for-profit that keeps Linus in keyboards, and most recently, has been looking to glam things up a bit — earlier this month provided a first glimpse into its plans for the 2009 Collaboration Summit, to be held April 8-10 in San Francisco.

  • Xfce

    • Xfce 4.6 final released

      After more than two years of development, Xfce has been updated to version 4.6 which includes several bug fixes and new features. The open source desktop environment for Unix and Linux platforms aims to be fast and lightweight, while still being visually appealing and adhering to standards.

    • A Visual Tour of Xfce 4.6.0

      Since desktop icons have been introduced in Xfce 4.4, people have expressed the need to allow the selection of multiple icons (rubber banding). With Xfce 4.6, the Xfdesktop manager finally implements this feature: you can select multiple icons, move them, remove them, etcetera…

  • Distributions

    • Debian Variants

      • Mepis 8.0 Desktop – A Debian Joyride

        Overall Mepis 8 is snappier than ever. Needless to say it is rock solid based on Debian Lenny. I have been tinkering with it for 3 days, but it has never borked. And the best thing in using Mepis 8 is that you can you can enjoy very easy Linux computing yet access thousands of Debian applications.

      • Debian 5.0 Continues Strong Linux Tradition

        Version 5 of the Debian GNU/Linux open-source operating system offers the same top management tools and processor support that previous versions of the Linux operating system have. There also are a host of updates to open-source components, and the Linux distribution is still a great fit for servers and a solid desktop choice. However, the top reason for upgrading from version 4 may be the relatively short three-year security fix window, less than the coverage time offered with Ubuntu and Red Hat Enterprise Linux-derived CentOS.

      • A Short Review of KNOPPIX v6.0.1

        What can I say but Knoppix is a great distribution! Always has been. Even back when I was in college I used to use Knoppix on the Microsoft Windows 2000 client desktops just so I can remain somewhat sane and continue to work in an environment I was more comfortable in. Even when I used to be a service technician, Knoppix was always around to be able to perform data recovery/transfers from one medium to the other. Over the years I have continued to use Knoppix as the excellent tool for data recovery that it is. To those less familiar with the GNU/Linux operating system, Knoppix is based off of Debian and designed to run from a CD/DVD. It is a good way to run an operating system without installing it, which also gives you access to all your hardware. The latest CD image is only 661 MB.

      • 5 Minute Comparison – Ubuntu 8.10 and Debian Lenny
      • Ubuntu Variants

        • Ubuntu 9.04 Alpha 5 Screenshot Tour

          The fifth alpha version of the upcoming Ubuntu 9.04 (codename Jaunty Jackalope) was uploaded a few minutes ago on the official mirrors. As usual, we’ve downloaded a copy of it in order to keep you up to date with the latest changes in the Ubuntu 9.04 development.

        • Jaunty Alpha 5 released

          Welcome to Jaunty Jackalope Alpha-5, which will in time become Ubuntu 9.04.

          Pre-releases of Jaunty are *not* encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. They are, however, recommended for Ubuntu developers and those who want to help in testing, reporting, and fixing bugs.

        • Review: Ubuntu Mobile Edition

          Overall this version represents a good start toward making the Linux operating system a viable alternative to Windows for these ultra portable devices. You can follow the development on any of the Ubuntu mobile mailing lists and IRC discussions listed on the UME wiki.

        • PC/OS 2009v2 released

          Today, Thursday February 26 2009 we are happy to announce the general availability of PC/OS 2009v2. The new release also introduces the new PC/OS WebStation 1.0. PC/OS OpenDesktop 2009v2 and PC/OS OpenWorkstation 2009v2 have been fully tested and ready for broad consumer adoption.

          Some of the changes include a slightly tweaked user interface and updated packages and all important security updates applied. Some of the updated packages are as follows.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • First impressions of the Neuros Link

      Having recently constructed the BoxeeBox, I naturally was eager to check out Neuros Technology’s somewhat similar IP-TV set-top box. Though currently at a “gamma” release, the Neuros “Link” shows great promise.


      Even in its current, “gamma” state the Neuros Link strikes me as an irresistible gadget for early adopters itching to connect their TVs via the Internet to a wide range of TV shows, movies, and other A/V content. On top of all that, it’s a Linux PC!

    • Phones

      • Comment: Android beyond the phone

        Look out, Microsoft, I’m seeing signs that Google’s Android could wind up in netbooks, digital picture frames and a host of embedded devices as a friendly, app-rich face for Linux.

        In this recession-battered economy, designers will turn to open source code whenever they can. After all, Windows is often one of the most expensive components in a system, prompting some to dub it the Redmond tax.

      • The Android Developer Experience

        With the success of the Apple iPhone, a new surge of development opportunities has arisen in the consumer mobile computing space. However, due to Apple’s walled garden approach, some developers have been less compelled to spend a lot of time investigating its SDK.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • 9-inch netbooks seeing sharp price declines
      • Freescale Plans Reference Design for Linux ARM Netbooks

        When will power-saving and affordable ARM netbooks become available? Freescale Semiconductor has ventured into an advanced standard, albeit with their homegrown i.MX515 chip.

      • Still room on the netbook bandwagon for Nokia + Linux + ARM

        Nokia has invested considerable resources in building a robust Linux-based platform for ARM. The Maemo operating system, which is used on the company’s Internet Tablet devices, provides a relatively complete stack that could easily be adapted to run on a laptop.

      • Telephony stack ports to Moblin, Moorestown

        Open-Plug is working to integrate its Linux feature-phone telephony stack with the Intel-sponsored Moblin stack for mobile Internet devices (MIDs) running on Intel’s “Moorestown” processor. Open-Plug’s ELIPS Linux Telephony Stack will voice-enable Moblin- and Moorestown-based MIDs when they ship next year, says the French software vendor.

      • Linpus Linux To Launch QuickOS Next Week

        During the CeBit conference in Germany, Linpus Technologies is set to introduce Linpus QuickOS, which is their new quick booting Linux distribution. According to the information we have received, QuickOS boots in a speedy manner due to “fine-tuning and maximizing software performance for less powerful hardware platforms” and removing unneeded Linux libraries.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla/Browsers

    • Thunderbird 3 Beta 2 is Now Available

      We’re happy to announce the release of Thunderbird 3 Beta 2, now available for download.

    • FSFE engages in the EU browser case

      Free Software Foundation Europe today announces that it will support the European Commission’s antitrust investigation against Microsoft and to this effect it has formally requested to be admitted as an interested third party.

    • Arora, a refreshing new Qt/WebKit browser

      The Gentoo Qt maintainers have been doing a fantastic job of getting cutting edge Qt software into shape with the qting-edge overlay. I’ve been running Qt 4.5 since beta1 and am pleased with the direction it is going. Recently the devs bumped the Arora ebuild to version 0.5. Arora is a lightweight browser based on Qt and WebKit.

  • Sun

  • Government

    • Digital Ombudsman, a Brazilian government free software project, starts taking complaints for more public and private sector organizations

      OUV is one of many software applications developed and released by CELEPAR. While Brazil’s government is saving millions of taxpayer dollars using free software and cultivating a digital community that encourages citizen participation, Microsoft is kind enough to offer US taxpayers some volume discounts for government organizations.

    • Open Source Vendors welcome new UK Government policy, but want more action

      Simon Phipps, Chief Open Source Officer at Sun Microsystems was the first person The H called. He was pleased to see the updated policy, “It’s a great thing to see it published, as the 2004 policy didn’t help very much”. The new policy had “a lot of good things in it” such as the costing in of exit, or as Phipps calls them, sundown costs and the preference towards open source because of, as the policy puts it, “its inherent flexibility”. Phipps explained “Open source has inherent benefits in that it gives a CIO control of the complete life-cycle. The four freedoms put the CIO in control”.

      Although Phipps is still disappointed by some aspects of the policy, he says he is “A little disappointed to see the loopholes in the area of open formats and I would have liked to have seen a timetable for the action plan. For this to succeed the government CIO needs to put an aggressive timetable in place”. The policy document omits any dates on the action plan items, and he felt that without that, the policy may not gain traction. Phipps also noted that without changes in how systems are purchased, open source may still find itself on an uneven playing field. Phipps preference is to move from “procurement led” buying and to an “adoption led market”.


  • MEDIA ADVISORY: Realizing Government Transparency and Openness Through Standard Web Technologies

    The World Wide Web Consortium’s eGovernment Interest Group will hold a special stakeholder meeting hosted by the American Institute of Architects on 12-13 March in Washington, DC to address the goals, benefits and limitations of implementing electronic government. The two-day meeting provides a global forum for IT and policy representatives from government and industry to address the political, legal, financial, and social factors that impact the successful implementation of open government initiatives. The goal of the forum is to document progressive solutions for electronic government as well as to develop a road map for developing Web standards to realize open and interoperable solutions.


  • The Tech Lab: Bruce Schneier

    Welcome to the future, where everything about you is saved. A future where your actions are recorded, your movements are tracked, and your conversations are no longer ephemeral. A future brought to you not by some 1984-like dystopia, but by the natural tendencies of computers to produce data.

  • Censorship

    • Phorm Phorces Which? To Retract Critical Survey, Uses Defamation Threat

      The retraction came in so quick, we hadn’t even seen the original press release. Under legal pressure, consumer mag Which? on Wednesday hastily called back a survey it issued indicating public opposition to on-ISP behavioural ad targeter Phorm. Which? sent the following statement…

      “Urgent withdrawal of press release from Which? – Internet users say: don’t sell my surfing habits. Which? has received further information and representations from Phorm about the proposed Webwise service, and it has agreed to withdraw the above press release, issued under embargo on 24 February 2008, while we consider them. Some of the information in the press release and related article is said to be inaccurate and as a consequence may be defamatory. You are strongly urged not to write an article based on the press release or the related article ‘Online privacy matters’ in Which? magazine.”

  • Copyrights

    • Music Executive Ridiculed at Pirate Bay Trial

      Laughter filled The Pirate Bay trial here Wednesday when John Kennedy, the chief executive of the International Federation of Phonographic Industries, testified that people would have purchased every music track they got free file sharing.

      Kennedy answered an affirmative “Yes” to Pirate Bay defense attorneys when asked whether that was true. Bursting laughter could be heard from the audio room beside the courtroom where the trial’s sound was being broadcast.

    • Why Are Book Publishers Making The Same Mistake The Record Labels Made With Apple?

      Back in 2005, we noted that Apple’s dominance over the online music space, which upset the record labels tremendously, was actually the record labels’ own fault for demanding DRM. That single demand created massive lock-in and network effects that allowed Apple to completely dominate the market. If the record labels had, instead, pushed for an open solution, then anyone else could have built stores/players to work as well, and it could have minimized Apple’s ability to control the market. Yes, everyone is now opening up (including Apple), but it took a long time, and Apple had already established its dominant position.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Elmer Rivera updates us on the Xubuntu lab’s use 01 (2009)

Ogg Theora

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

Virtualization Makes For Strange Bedfellows

Posted in Deals, Novell, Virtualisation, VMware at 5:23 pm by Shane Coyle

Which companies haven’t made virtualization announcements this year?

Not to be left out of the coverage of the recent virtualization collaboration announcements, which seem to be all the rage these days, Novell and VMware have announced an agreement which will allow for independent software vendors to create fully supported custom virtual appliances built with Suse Linux Enterprise.

Novell also announced today a broad collaboration agreement with VMware to deliver SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) as a fully-supported and optimised guest operating system running on VMware ESX, the industry-leading hypervisor. The two companies have signed a cooperative support agreement that enables Novell to provide enhanced support for customers running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as a guest on VMware ESX. In addition to Novell’s customary virtualisation-friendly subscription model, Novell is offering a limited time pricing promotion that gives an additional financial incentive to customers seeking to benefit from the companies’ collaboration.

Ala RedHat⁄Microsoft, there wasn’t any mention of any monetary or patent exchanges, nor was there any mention if Novell had to say they were sorry for trying to team up with Microsoft to "come after" VMware in an "open source way" a few years ago:

[emphasis mine]
Web services, that’s the proprietary aspects, making active directory and eDirectory work together- enterprise customers want to see that, virtualization is very very key, customers want to utilize Linux as either a host operating system with Microsoft as a guest operating system, or vice versa, and yes wea re going to support the XEN technology there, the XEN hypervisor technology, Microsoft is going to support it too. Yes, there is a competitive angle there, yes we’re coming at VMware yes yes yes we are, ok thats part of it because but we’re doing it in an open source way, so were going to support the XEN technologies in our server platforms and togther collaborate and ensure it works properly, supported properly, etc
Now as far as thats concerned, thats the technology aspects of it, now its broad from a Linux perspective, they’re essentially saying that anyone who is an OpenSUSE contributor is covered under the covenant. the covenant essentially is a patent agreement between Novell and Microsoft that says if you participate in the OpenSUSE distribution… as long as its not for commercial gain, that you are covered by this covenant, that they will not exercise what they believe is their patent rights…

Novell Spreads More .NET in Mac OS X, Windows, Leads to Patent Trouble

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Windows at 5:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell brings its Mono development tools to proprietary platforms and ignores the TomTom-imposed warning signs.

SEVERAL days ago we stressed that Mono is intended to ratify Microsoft's .NET as a 'standard'. This was the explanation provided by one person and evidence is quite extensive. The following new article from Heise shows that Novell is bad influence not just to GNU/Linux users but also to Mac and Windows developers, whom Novell is trying to lure into .NET using its development framework, MonoDevelop.

A blog post by Mono development team member, Miguel de Icaza, has announced plans to bring a stable version of MonoDevelop to Windows. There is currently an alpha version of MonoDevelop available for Mac OS X.

Since Mono is patent trap to everyone but Novell, this is very foolish and very, very harmful. In fact, now that Microsoft is suing Linux for FAT-related patents [1, 2], it is more than clear ever before that Microsoft can use Mono to justify the same/similar action.

Patent suit tells us why we should shun Mono, Moonlight

Microsoft has shown the world exactly how friendly it is towards open source by going to court to claim damages over patents which have been allegedly violated in an implementation of the Linux kernel. And that’s a good reason why FOSS users should avoid Mono and Moonlight like the plague.


He was then asked by Mozilla engineering vice-president Mike Schroepfer whether there would be the same protection if one downloaded and then distributed the code for Moonlight

“There is a patent covenant for anyone that downloads [Moonlight] from Novell,” he answered and was then forced to admit that “as to extending the patents to third parties – you have to talk to Microsoft.”

That’s exactly what Microsoft was saying to TomTom before it sued the GPS maker on Wednesday – talk to us and sign a licensing deal. Is that what FOSS users want to do – pay royalties for using software?


Only OpenSUSE has Mono in abundance – why, Evolution, the default mail program is dependent on it and once you remove Mono, you have to bid goodbye to Evolution as well. But then there should be no surprise about this – Novell owns OpenSUSE, a project which is facing some problems right now.

Novell should really know what it’s doing. As Byfield points out, Novell knows the wrath of patents. Now, if only he didn’t just characterise us as the “anti-Novell lobby”… typo there in “Go-OOO” as well. It’s Go-OO or Go-OO[XML]. There is no “Go-OOO” but there is Go-Mono[nono], which can only hope to be The Real Thing. All of these Novell projects are strengthening Microsoft.

Mono, ECMA, Microsoft

Novell CEO Loots the Company: Receives Huge Bonuses for Failed Business

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE, Ron Hovsepian, SLES/SLED at 2:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

breaking the bank

Novell’s poor results are a subject that we covered last night. Talks about layoffs have begun to materialise. For example, we have:

For the quarter, Novell’s sales fell by 7 per cent to $214.9m and were hurt by a dramatic drop off in software license sales, which fell by 29.7 per cent to $28.3m. Services sales at the company fell even more dramatically, down 31.7 per cent to $27.8m, while maintenance and subscription sales helped offset declines a little by growing 5.8 per cent to $158.8m. Net income fell by 36.5 per cent, to $10.7m, and what is immediately clear is that if Microsoft had not extended its SUSE Linux coupon deal with a $100m extension last year and agreed to kick in $25m this quarter, Novell would be at a loss. Quite literally.


That’s exactly what Novell has said publicly it would do. But that is a net employee headcount change. The number of employees let go could be higher in one division or department if the company was also hiring in other divisions or departments. Novell has not said this is what has happened, but the persistent rumors of larger layoffs could be the result of such hiring and firing practices.

Ron Hovsepian, Novell’s president and chief executive officer, said that software license and services sales were both below expectations, and in a conference call with Wall Street analysts, he said that “the pipe fell apart” in the last two to three weeks of the quarter and warned that it could happen again.


Looking ahead, Hovsepian said that Novell was “investigating all opportunities to lower costs,” and that might mean more layoffs. (He did not use the L-Word).

Here is another new report.

Novell could axe jobs on falling demand


The company, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, should have a better idea of whether it needs to reduce its workforce later this quarter, Russell said today in an interview.

Hovsepian smiles

Wealth for the Hovsepians

An ongoing outrage right now is to do with those people who receive huge bonuses and public money even in the form of stimulus/bailout (i.e. public looting). They expect a form of socialism to rescue them from their own corruption. That only applies to managers of course — those who are managing themselves in unaccountable, private, unregulated tyrannies. They reward themselves for the utter failures which they are collectively responsible for.

Ron Hovsepian too is an example of this trend. According to this news report:

Information technology icon Novell, Inc. (NDAQ: NOVL ) fared poorly even in this economy: down more than 50% over the last 12 months. This didn’t stop CEO Ronald Hovsepian from getting compensation valued at almost $7 million for the year, with nearly $3 million of that in cash.

Who in their right minds are giving bonuses to failing/failed executives that are buying small, irrelevant companies while sacking employees (largely GNU/Linux engineers to begin with)? Here is additional information about Hovsepian’s personal gain, which has always seemed a tad suspicious, not just unfair.

We happen to have studied this and found out that Novell’s management recently embarked on luxurious vacations in Mexico just before dropping ‘the bomb’ (delivering the results). Novell is no exception in today’s tough economy, but some of its moves are outright irrational. Even its own employees are disturbed by it. For example, says one person: “Look at what Hubert Figuiere hinted at in his blog post as to Novell’s rudderless position. Acquisitions in Novell’s state and in the current climate and laying off employees? WTF?”

SUSE Down Sharply

Novell continued to deny large-scale layoffs, but as we stressed strongly, the company can't be believed. In fact, it already mentions this as a possibility (see Russell quote above). Novell’s layoffs are inevitable because its business diminishes too quickly and even SUSE — supposedly Novell’s area of great growth — is “down sharply”. ZDNet’s editor states:

Novell’s fiscal first quarter results were a mixed bag and Linux invoices fell sharply as the company failed to sign big deals.

They are dependent on Microsoft of course, by their own choice.

Matt Asay’s analysis is good (he used to work at Novell and he has friends there). The headline is alarming though.

Novell puts Linux on sale as earnings disappoint


That should be Novell’s concern, not Microsoft’s. If Microsoft feels any compunction to assist Novell, it’s certainly not to help prop up Linux, but rather to try to hurt Red Hat. This isn’t the basis for sound, long-term strategy.

And guess what? It’s not working.


That environment hasn’t been good for Novell’s overall business, but it’s helping fuel Red Hat’s. Perhaps Novell should be looking to Red Hat, not Microsoft, for clues as to how to rejuvenate its business. The industry could use Novell as a stronger Linux player. Microsoft won’t be the source of that strength.

So the big winners here are probably Novell’s rivals in the GNU/Linux universe. Those are the companies which don’t pay Microsoft for GNU/Linux and don’t market themselves using software patents and intimidation.

Here is yet another article about the end of BrainShare [1, 2, 3], which symbolises Novell’s demise.

Next month would have marked the one time in the year thousands of technology professionals make the trek to Salt Lake City to figure out whether Novell has the wherewithal to be the world’s most successful blend of open source and proprietary technology. Except that this year, for once, the global economy as a whole is actually doing worse than sales of Open Enterprise Server. There won’t be a BrainShare 2009, and who knows about next year. We’re bracing for what gets cut next.
I found BrainShare an extremely worthy event the last time I went there, but the industry, suffice it to say, will survive its loss.

More Financial News

Associated Press (via Forbes) has the report “Novell profit drops 36 pct, still beats Street” and MarketWatch published “Novell’s first-quarter net income slides to 3 cents a share” (also in Fox Business). Reuters just states that “Novell Q1 earnings fall.” Novell must tell its investors what it intends to do next. This debate is private.

No Value

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

European Open Source Software Workgroup a Total Scam: Hijacked and Subverted by Microsoft et al

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 12:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Think tank on “open source” — brought to Europe by proprietary software vendors

WE presented and wrote about some preliminary evidence yesterday and now we have substantial, concrete proof [PDF].

Companies which want to harm Free software and protect their monopolies have taken over panels discussing and creating policies about their competitors. They are there to actually write the policies and explanations about open source*. But they don’t even do open source. They are there to spread hostile misconceptions and strike out anything not favourable to themselves, just as Microsoft’s Geri Elliot did some years back (she quit Microsoft recently). Let’s not forget the OOXML corruptions and Microsoft’s attempts to ruin ODF by subverting and polluting it. Microsoft is doing the same thing to open source while mercilessly suing it.

But Microsoft is not so careless. It does not edit documents directly. It hires guns to do its work on its behalf. People like Zuck from the Microsoft pressure group ACT [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] (also related to ATL) and others from CompTIA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] totally hijacked a workgroup dealing with Free/open source software. They are spreading lies and disinformation all over the document, which reached Wikileaks. It’s summarised as follows.

This file is an edited version of the EU OSS Strategy draft with the input of Jonathan Zuck, President of the Association for Competitive Technology, an organisation that has strong ties with Microsoft.

The file is a draft for an expert panel formed by the European Commission. This panel is divided into workgroup (IPR, Open Source, digital life, etc.) ACT and Comptia have been infiltrating every workgroup, even the one on Open Source (WG 7). They are doing the best they can to drown any initiative that would not only promote OSS in Europe but also that could help Europe create a sucessful European software sector.

The audience for this document could be journalists who would be interested in getting to know more how lobbies of all kind influence the European institutions. Here it is perhaps even more stringent as ACT is clearly an US organization with ties to Microsoft. Verifications might not be easy as this is an internal draft. The best contact might be commission personnel: Lars.PEDERSEN@ec.europa.eu ; Michel.Lacroix@ec.europa.eu

It has been leaked as it is important to have the public know how actual policy making is being influenced by lobbies that are precisely under the legal scrutiny of the European Commission. The urgency of the publication of this document is real in the sense that outside pressure would foce the Commission to “clean the committees” or at least give a lesser credit to the work of this workgroup.

To those not familiar with Jonathan Zuck, here is a gentle introduction from Source Watch.

Jonathan Zuck is President of the Association for Competitive Technology and founder of Americans for Technology Leadership. He was very active on the software patents directive, taking a position in favor of patenting software. ACT seems to be tied to corporate members like Microsoft, and Mr Zuck has been visited by Mr Gates in February 2005. ACT has also taken positions to defend Microsoft against the antitrust ruling of the Commission.

Having read the above, should this American man be trustworthy inside a panel that writes about open source software? How about one in Europe? Here we have an American lobbyist working for an American monopolist writing recommendations on “open source” in another continent. And he’s not alone because there are other cronies right there. Look at what these people are writing:

Regarding the “Europe Digital Independence” our group thinks it is, in general, not an issue. However there may be situation where a particular piece of software plays a key role in some economic activity or may create security related concerns under certain circumstances.

There are so many other examples. In page 6 for instance:

….while noting that the increasing use of OSS within mainstream commercial offerings and mixed-source software and solutions makes a distinct treatment of or preferences for OSS more difficult to define.

They are trying to blur the gap and pretend that open source does not truly exist. Further down it says:

OSS as part of mixed solutions blending open and proprietary code.

In page 7 they pretend it’s just a complement to non-Free software.

…technologically viable alternative or complement to dominant proprietary products and services in some areas.

As the comment points out:

COMMENT: a) Free Software was never “hobbyist” or “garage” in origin. Its concepts are derived from science, and scientific progress and innovation through allowing co-innovation by all participants. I believe the true roots of Free Software are important, and a strength, so should be mentioned. b) It is important to avoid the false antonym “commercial” vs Free Software, because it falsely implies that the interest of the software industry in Free Software is not commercially motivated. The rephrasing also explicitly counteracts that misunderstanding by emphasising commercial Free Software.

in page 8, in large fonts it says:

Open Source Software cannot be 100 % free


COMMENT: Too strongly anti-American sentiments are most likely not helpful, so tried to rephrase to keep the notion of the problem intact, but rephrase it in a more diplomatic way.

In page 9:

Indeed, much of this business is generated by players who have mixed source business models, indicating how success for this ecosystem depends on a pragmatic approach towards both OSS and proprietary software.


MS comment: NESSI figures, full reference needed. Is this consistent with CompTIA’s claim: “an estimated €1.2 billion has been invested by European firms in open source software development” ??
FSFE comment: This number indeed seems high. It is probably true for large corporations, but may neglect the impact of SMEs?

For full realisation of what is happening there, the PDF needs to be seen with the colours included. It’s hysterical. It’s a sham.

In page 10, they strike out the entire truth. They don’t want anything that emphasises the advantages of free/open source software to be seen. They essentially sabotage the document and promote “Growth of the mixed model” (hey, who needs freedom anyway, right?).

The economic success of firms based on mixed model, however, suggests it is a promising model for the future.


3.1.6. The “mixed model” is also true for OSS users OSS users are companies, administrations, public institutions, schools and universities, SOHO enterprises, end users : they usually have to integrate and use different software components to meet their needs, proprietary or open source.”

In page 15 it states:

Open Source will never be THE solution which will modify the whole economy and the IT world. Open Source is not magic. The solution will come from an intelligent cohabitation and mix of proprietary and open source components. Then, it raises issues for users, services providers and industries.

It’s just like watching Microsoft moderating and watering down a document which states the obvious.

American lobbyists for Microsoft writing about “Europe Digital Independence”?Page 19 is about RAND and patents, which involve directly CompTIA. That lobbying arm suppresses such debate in the panel and even Erwin Tenhumberg, now a SAP employee, is peddling their party line. It might be useful to properly annotate the document to get all the contributions from each participant (also have them distinctly visible).

American lobbyists for Microsoft writing about “Europe Digital Independence”? What on Earth is that???

There is so much more in there that hasn’t been touched on yet, though it’s really outrageous. Those who are ruining this document should really barred from accessing Europe, not just prevented access to panels which discuss their direct opponents’ policies. These lobbyists tend to act as colonialists who cause damage by "schmoozing" European politicians (face to face) whenever they get the chance. What exactly needed to be done there in order to invade the panel?

Glyn Moody (in 2007) and Bruce Perens (in 2008) were both correct when they suggested that Microsoft would wave some “open source” flag just so that it can harm it from within, especially in Europe. Microsoft's evangelism notes may give insight into this strategy as Microsoft pretends to be “open source” so as to redefine and sabotage it from the inside. Thanks to Wikileaks, people can see it better for themselves — or better yet — start protesting about this scam which is the “European Open Source Software Workgroup.” It’s chaotic, it needs to be amended, and failing corrective intervention it must be shunned or ignored.
* All for personal gain that directly harms those which the report is about.

Microsoft Shamelessly Lies About Windows Security (Yet Again)

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 9:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

JUST OVER a week ago, Microsoft went to great lengths to blame other parties for its own recklessness. It didn’t want people to know that security problems were its own fault; it wanted to be left alone because many critics said the truth which was not good for business. Microsoft is quietly pulling some similar stunts at the moment. It fixes a serious design issue which had NASA spaceships and even US army bases [1, 2, 3] become victims of Windows viruses and sometimes zombie chaos.

Microsoft is arrogantly pretending that the fix is not a security fix. The Register explains this paradox, on which it begs to differ.

Microsoft aims ‘non-security’ update at gaping security hole


We’re not sure about that. What we do know is that if this update is the difference between Autorun being enabled or disabled, it will make users infinitely safer, and that can only be a good thing.

Microsoft is known for its censorship of journalists who say the truth about Windows vulnerabilities — issues that UNIX/Linux are inherently immune to.

In other security news from this week:

i. Experts sound scam threat warning

Hackers are tricking people with a false warning, saying that the computer is infected with a Trojan and getting users to buy a fake anti-virus product.

ii. Hacking Jack Straw

According to the Telegraph Jack Straw has confirmed that he “started getting phone calls from various constituents asking if I was really in Nigeria needing 3,000 dollars.”

iii. Spammers Play to Recession Fears, Emotions

“At a time when concerned consumers may not be surprised to hear from their banks, phishing attacks have risen to one in 190.4 e-mails, from one in 396.2 in January 2009,” the report states.

iv. Fraud linked to US payment processor breach

The breach was significant but affected fewer records than were involved in the recent breach of Heartland Payment Systems, another US-based e-commerce payment processing firm. Heartland said that hackers planted malware on its systems, but didn’t say how many records were disclosed as a result.

It’s important never to forget where SPAM comes from: Windows zombies. A lot of scams (and malware) are enabled by mass mailing from computers that are not under the control of their owner.

Microsoft Cuts by Another 10%… of Wages

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 8:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cringely believes that half of Microsoft’s staff should be considered redundant [1, 2] and analysts insisted that Microsoft’s layoffs targeting over 5,000 employees were not sufficient because Microsoft is in deep financial trouble. Ever since then, Microsoft has cut its spendings on contractors by almost 15% and more layoffs have affected a large Microsoft subsidiary as well. Now it gets grimmer for temporary workers, some of whom are potentially foreign [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Microsoft slashes rates for temp workers, blaming bad economy


Microsoft, citing the “realities of a deteriorating economy,” will reduce by 10 percent the amount it pays employment agencies for many of its temporary workers — and cut by 15 percent the target billing rate for future temporary work.

The above news comes from Seattle, which is biased in Microsoft’s favour. There are more such reports from Seattle.

It’s no surprise that Microsoft vice presidents quit in droves just before the announcement of layoffs last month [1, 2]. They knew very well what was coming because they held top positions. There was plenty for them to be worried about.

USS Towers - sinking

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