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Links 31/03/2009: GNU/Linux @ 95% Market Share for Zend PHP

Posted in News Roundup at 9:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux, It Does a Body Good: Approachable Promotion Efforts

    The Linux Dairy Council hopes to be something different from LUGs or the Linux Foundation. It’s not distribution-specific, it’s not there to necessarily provide support or govern, organize or standardize the Linux world. It’s there to promote it in a friendly, unassuming, accessible way for the average computer user. These potential new users will probably never opt to develop open source software, but there are other ways they can contribute — actively, or simply by telling friends and contacts they use it regularly.

  • OpSource, [Linux-powered] Akamai Unite to Score a Slice of $56B Cloud Market Pie

    Cloud-services platform provider OpSource and content-distribution kingpin Akamai today are announcing some details about strategic partnership that’s now a few months old.

  • Zend Technologies Readies a New PHP Application Server

    Gutmans sees that consistency as important when 75 percent of Zend’s customers develop on Windows boxes — but 95 percent of them go on to deploy on Linux.

  • Gauteng Linux users to expand activities

    More than 12 years after it first started, one of South Africa’s largest Linux user groups is regrouping to broaden and increase its advocacy activities. The Gauteng Linux Users Group (Glug) earlier this month elected a new committee and is already planning series of events over the coming months to promote both Glug and Linux and free software.

  • GhostNet is a wakeup call to switch to Linux

    It’s compromised over 1,000 machines in 103 countries, with targets including the Dalai Lama and government departments. It’s called GhostNet, it’s a spy network, and it wouldn’t exist if government departments and other public bodies used Linux.

    The scale of GhostNet is staggering, but at heart it’s no more complicated than a script kiddie attack.

  • Mac, Linux skills grab higher salaries than Windows

    Microsoft likes to tout the cost savings that derive from paying Windows-skilled employees less money.

  • Enable (Some) Multi-Touch Gestures in Linux

    As the author notes, three-finger tapping for a right-click is kind of hit-and-miss, and many users may not want any kind of tap-to-click powers at all. Luckily, it’s easy to remove the last line or two from the config file posted to disable it—or, in systems like Ubuntu, simply disable tap-to-click from the Mouse configuration.

  • ParaScale cloud storage software hits general availability

    Storage start-up ParaScale is heading into general availability with software that aggregates disk storage on standard Linux servers to create pools of storage that can be used by cloud services providers and to build private clouds.

  • Swisscom Taps into New Mobile Internet and Mobile Broadband Revenues with 724 Solutions

    The solution is available on commodity x86 based blade hardware running Linux, which further extends the total cost of ownership advantages available to operators.

  • The key to Linux’s mainstream success

    Our esteemed editor, Tim Danton, recently ran a thought piece wondering whether Linux would ever hit the mainstream, his ten cents worth clattering down on the side that says “probably not.”

    His conclusion was an interesting one, principally because I haven’t heard it before. To paraphrase Tim, Linux will remain niche because open-source vendors don’t have the inclination to push it that extra mile, to front up for “the hassle-free” experience that users expect in their operating system. Not when they have a devoted, tech-savy user base already to hand.

  • Hunch in Beta: Good For Some Questions, Not for Others

    For example, I asked Hunch if switching to Linux was a good idea for me. Hunch then asked me if I was familiar with computers, if I used free software, where I planned to run Linux, if I was interested in gaming and so on before rendering its decision.

  • Tempe Computer Company Announces Free Linux Installation

    RedSeven Computer Company is kicking off it’s birthday month by offering a free installation of Linux on April first at their Tempe location, on the southeast corner of Guadalupe and McClintock.

  • Review: From Windows To Linux In A Flash

    Perhaps the biggest hurdle preventing some IT pros used to running Windows shops from deploying Linux desktops is the learning curve involved for both their staffs and their end users.

    Or maybe it’s because the seemingly unlimited number of Linux distributions out there can make choosing the appropriate one for a business a daunting task.


    Yet, Pendrivelinux2008, as the other three flash-drive bootable Linux offerings, impressed us. Booting Linux from a USB is free, generates little to no headaches and requires no additional equipment.

  • Startups and the choice of Linux Distributions

    It’s a general notion amongst people who have used Windows say for years that switching to Linux isn’t beneficial and easy. But the ones who did so have fallen in love with this OS. If you are a start-up or possess an ubiquitous desire to save some money, GNU/Linux is the obvious choice for Linux is free, licensed under GNU General Public License (GPL). Various packaged versions of Linux kernel along with applications result in the so called Linux distributions where each distribution is fundamentally different from each other in the way they’re packaged, they appeal they have and the size of course. Assortment of various software and hardware management tools along with different desktop environments add a flavor to the selection. However, most Linux distributions run on the same Linux kernel for the core.


    Startups, who would like to work on free and open source technologies should consider driving their servers and workstations on Linux.

  • Kernel Space

    • From ext3 to ext4: An Interview with Theodore Ts’o

      While you can read the on-line documentation and articles about ext4, you can gain some important perspective by going directly to the horse’s mouth. Jeff Layton talks with Theodore Ts’o to talk about designing ext4, painless migration and the work still to do.

  • Applications

    • 10 Must-Have Linux Applications

      9. Pidgin

      While I work hard not to spend my days in instant messenger, the fact remains that I do conduct a fair amount of business in my favorite IM. And that IM of choice is known as Pidgin.

      Unlike other IM clients, Pidgin is cross platform, open source, and best of all, highly extensible. Just look at the list of add-ons you can bring to the party here!

      What makes this a must-have application?

      Pidgin can provide protocol support to just about anything. Not just AIM, MSN, ICQ, and Yahoo. No, Pidgin also can use add-ons to provide support for Twitter updates and Facebook chat, amongst other new ways of communicating.

      10. KINO

      Not my only choice for handling the needs of video editing, but definitely what I use to extract video off of my DV camera without using CLI and DVGrab.

      KINO also is a great means for a fast edit without needing to bother with more complex video editing programs. Visual effects are provided, and despite it being a little strange to work with at first, the code is very stable to use.

      What makes this a must-have application?

      Simplicity and speed. I love alternatives like Cinelerra. But for most people, this is too much. And unlike Kdenlive, which spends more time crashing than working, KINO gives anyone the ability to edit video easily and without worrying about their application crashing.

    • Ardour 2.8 released – Install with One Click on Ubuntu

      A more than a month ago, Ardour project lose his major sponsor SAE (SAE Institute originally the School of Audio Engineering) but we are happy to announce that development is going strong and the 3.0 version will follow in near feature. Development is now supported mainly by donations and everybody is invited to donate to this very important and powerful, free open source professional music software for Linux and MacOS.

  • KDE4

    • more plasma screencastiness

      Ok, so .. Plasma screencast! I demonstrate a couple of cute little features we’ve put into 4.3: a nicer moving desktop toolbox that performs little tricks when you click on it, a KRunner that is self-documenting (huzzah for discoverability) and a new KRunner results layout. As you watch it, you may also want to marvel at the speed of it: KRunner is feeling a lot faster in current trunk/. Wilder, David Faure and I have the blisters to prove we earned it. ;)

    • decision trees

      The patch that Dave submitted in this case provides a “fake” translucency for panels that shows the “desktop wallpaper” (a concept that doesn’t actually exist in that form in Plasma) not unlike what we had in kicker in KDE3.

    • Review: Dolphin 1.2.1 File Manager

      Since my main system is Debian Lenny (KDE3) I must say I did not have much time to test KDE4 (although lately I spent some time with Kubuntu Jaunty Beta), but I was impressed in a pleasant way by Dolphin. What I’ve read before was mostly how crappy of a file manager it is, how limited it is and so on. Although I prefer Konqueror, I must say this isn’t true: Dolphin is actually pretty feature-complete and easy to use.

  • Distributions

    • 8 Rocking Linux Distros

      Defining the best Linux distros is like defining the best car–one does not exist; instead, the best cars are the ones that meet your needs, and your needs may vary wildly from the needs of another person. Just as an F150 might be the best vehicle for you and a Civic for me, Ubuntu might be what you need from Linux while I’ll be fine with DSL.

    • Puppy 4.2 ScreenShots

      This is the first time I ever used Puppy Linux and the interface is really impressive. The install was not as simple as I expected it to be. ( But then again, the Ubuntu based Distro’s have spoiled me, what can i say??? :) ). Also this is the first time I used JWM ( Joe Window manager ). What really grasped me about Puppy Linux was how fast the applications launched. Also Puppy Linux reminded me of Slax on how fast the applications loaded, which is a good thing.

    • Gentoo

      • Using Gentoo Linux in K-12 School’s Computer Lab

        GHCA recently updated all their computers to run the Gentoo distribution of the Linux operating system. This video interviews system administrator Michael Surran, exploring the details as to why the school switched to Gentoo and how Gentoo is used to improve productivity and functionality. Of particular interest is the use of distributed compiled computing (distcc) among the 20 Athlon computers to greatly speed the software building process. …

      • Gentoo releases, my point of view

        Reading the article and the comments it looks like PR and advertising are the main issues. I couldn’t agree more. When a distro comes out with a new version, popular sites (slashdot, distrowatch…) write an article, popular bloggers try the distro and write their opinion, other bloggers publish screenshots… A lot of buzz is generated, and people are aware that the new distro is out.

    • Red Hat

      • Fedora releases version 11 beta

        A couple of hours ago the Fedora team rolled out Fedora 11 Beta, the first test release of its latest open source release. As well as a truck-load of desktop enhancements and the latest desktop environments, including Gnome 2.26, KDE 4.2.1 and Xfce 4.6.0, Fedora 11 Beta also includes the ext4 filesystem as the default as well a experimental Btrfs support.

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Beta vs. Fedora 11 Beta Performance

        Last week marked the release of the Ubuntu 9.04 Beta and this week there is the planned release of the Fedora 11 Beta. Both distributions are similar in the respect they will be upgrading several common packages like GNOME 2.26, but in Fedora 11 are more upstream (and experimental) bits like kernel mode-setting, the EXT4 file-system by default, and various other features. Being the Linux benchmarking fanatics that we are, we set out to run a few performance tests comparing the Ubuntu 9.04 Beta to the latest Rawhide packages that will make up today’s Fedora 11 Beta release.

      • Red Hat Q4 Earnings Call Transcript
    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Beta Preview

        So in closing, this version really is the next great thing. While not revolutionary, it is definitely evolutionary. Its features just work with very little futzing around with the settings or even opening the terminal. The attention to detail continues to be top-notch and when Windows 7 comes out, I think that Ubuntu 9.04 is an excellent alternative – and if you are running a system a little bit older, a great replacement for Windows XP.

      • Upgrading to Ubuntu 9.04 Beta

        If you’re interested in trying out this beta release, remember that it’s intended for testing and not mission-critical systems. The release candidate is coming on April 16, and the final on April 23. Use the Bittorrent downloads to get your disk ISO the fastest!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Embedded network server gets Linux SDK

      The MatchPort AR is the first Lantronix networking product to support Linux, and the beginning of a company-wide switch to Linux as its “base platform,” says the company. Like many of its other products, the network server also runs the company’s own “Evolution OS” device-server oriented operating system. Lantronix products include devices that remotely connect and control electronic equipment via the Internet, provide secure remote access to firewall-protected equipment, and enable remote management of IT equipment, says the company.

    • Ubicom(R) Provides Flexible, High-Performance Processor Platform With Release of Linux BSP

      EMBEDDED SYSTEMS CONFERENCE — Ubicom(R), Inc., a leading provider of networking and multimedia processors, today announced the release of a Linux Board Support Package (BSP) with a complete implementation of the Linux 2.6.28 SMP kernel, device drivers, GNU tool suite and documentation for rapid development of networking and multimedia products.

    • Linux support for Altera’s Nios II

      Wind River has announced the availability of Linux support for Altera’s Nios II embedded processor. Embedded developers deploying products based on the Nios II processor can use this Linux solution across Altera’s entire portfolio of FPGAs and HardCopy ASICs.

    • LynuxWorks’ BlueCat(R) 5.6 Supports Portwell’s PEB-2737 Embedded Computer Board

      LynuxWorks(TM), Inc., a world leader in the embedded software market, and American Portwell Technology, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Portwell, Inc., a world-leading innovator in the embedded computing market, today announced that BlueCat 5.6 Linux operating system now supports Portwell’s commercial off the shelf (COTS) PEB-2737 embedded computer board.

    • McObject – LynuxWorks Partnership Targets Real-Time Medical Systems

      McObject®, developer of the eXtremeDB™ embedded database product family, and LynuxWorks, a world leader in the embedded software market, today announced a technology alliance in which McObject has ported its eXtremeDB Kernel Mode (KM) embedded database to LynuxWorks’ BlueCat Embedded Linux 5.6 operating system. The companies will jointly target the medical technology market with this software combination, which accelerates development of Linux-based time- and safety-critical applications ranging from personal carry-along medical devices to larger-scale clinical systems.

    • RadiSys rolls out ATCA single-board computer for 4G, IMS applications

      Software support includes Wind River’s Carrier Grade Linux platform. The board will also support Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0 and MontaVista CGE 4.0 and 5.0 to cover RadiSys’ entire customer base. Certification is also planned with VMware ESX 3.5.

    • CompactFlash computer gains more flexible mobo

      C Data Solutions has developed a new motherboard for its customizable CompactFlash (CF)-based Compact Computer (CoCo). Designed for use in an upcoming data acquisitions system, the tiny motherboard offers a databus via the FPGA built into its uClinux- and 500MHz Blackfin-based CoCo processor module.

    • Linux POS Solutions 2009: Volante POS Systems Enhances Revenues Through Innovation

      The world of Linux POS technology has come a long way in recent years. Today’s restaurant & hospitality operators are much more tech savvy than they’ve ever been, and the POS industry is slowly responding to this fact.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Verizon to ape AT&T with netbook sales

        Google’s Willy Wonka insists that subsidized netbooks will one day bring Linux to the Joe Consumer promised land. “[Netbooks] today are not completely done. Things are missing,” Eric Schmidt told an analyst conference last month. “It’s perfectly possible that operating systems that are Linux-based will become a significant player in that space, whereas they have historically not been a significant player in the PC space.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • 25 highly anticipated open-source releases coming this year

    When big companies release new software, they launch it with lots of hoopla: press tours, technical conferences, free T-shirts. Open-source projects, even the well-known ones, generally release their major new versions with a lot less fanfare. The FOSS (free and open-source software) community is often too busy coding and testing to bother with marketing, even when the new “point release” of the software is really remarkable.

    And there are plenty of remarkable open-source applications on the way this year. Quite a few projects are quietly (or not so quietly) working on major releases or significant upgrades that they aim to make available sometime during 2009. I’ve rounded up 25 of the most notable here.

  • ES: Cenatic joins campaign against unlicensed software

    Cenatic, Spain’s national resource centre for open source software, this Wednesday will join other organisations in a campaign meant to reduce the use of unlicensed copies of software. “Free and open source software provide a legitimate alternative that respect the rights of its creators”, the organisation said in a statement.

  • Happy Birthday, Mozilla

    On this day, eleven years ago, 31st March 1998, the Mozilla codebase was unleashed on the world with the simple command “Come and get it”. And, since then, people have – at least 865 million times.

  • Open Source vs Closed Source — Its about investing in People

    2. Open Source is an investment in People instead of Vendors

    When an IT executive chooses a Closed Source solution such as the Windows product line of Data center software solutions, they are choosing to invest a large portion of their budget in a vendor, in this case Microsoft. When selecting an Open Source solution, to maximize the return on that investment, the IT executives must invest in People. Open Source provides the user with access to the source code, the user in this case is the business. This is an incredibly powerful feature if it is managed properly, as you can fully support yourself with the source code.

  • Sun

    • Multiplatform OpenOffice.org 3.0 Benchmark

      Which OpenOffice.org edition is fastest? All OpenOffice.org editions and both operating systems performed well, and it’s not possible to identify a single champion. Go-oo’s tweaks often (but not always) gave it an advantage over Sun Microsystem’s Vanilla edition, but OpenOffice.org PPA’s system libraries gained the most substantial advantage.

      OpenOffice.org 3.1 is just around the corner, and the rumor is the new performance improvements make is fast. I hope to see Go-oo and OxygenOffice fix the automation bugs, so they can be better represented in the next showdown. (I’d even more hope they would upstream all their patches despite the political drama, but that’s another story.)

  • Open (But No Source Code)

    • Cornell Librarians Protest Bill Closing Access to NIH Research

      The letter suggests that open access does not deter the publishing of academic work: “to our knowledge … no publisher has refused to publish an article because of the existence of a prior non-exclusive license to NIH. Indeed, hundreds of publishers are actively collaborating with NIH on the implementation of the system.”

    • Trailing Clouds of Openness

      Notice that this talks of “open collaboration”, but only “standards” – that is, it does not require *open* standards. Moreover, despite the fine words about “the potential pitfalls of proprietary technologies that can lead to lock-in and limited choice” mentioned above, I can find no commitment to use open source either.

  • Programming

    • GNU Automake tops reuse survey

      That explains why GNU Automake is so popular: It automatically generates Make files for compilation of a software project. In a world where Linux is not the standard and not everyone who compiles binaries is a programmer, GNU Automake can simplify builds for end users. GNU Automake is written in Perl.

    • Open Source Study Reveals High Level of Code Reuse

      An analysis of 1,311 open source projects revealed that open source developers reused code from those projects in other projects more than 365,000 times, saving the open source community over 316,000 staff years and tens of billions of dollars in development costs. The study conducted by Black Duck Software, a provider of products and services for accelerating software development through the managed use of open source software (OSS), points to the dramatic efficiencies and cost savings of open source code reuse.

    • Shedding new light on No Java SE 7 JSR

      There is a direct connection between the ‘Sun vs Apache Harmony’ dispute and the lack of a Java SE 7 platform JSR. Using newly available evidence I hope to shed new light on what that link is.

  • ODF


  • EA ‘dumps DRM’ for next Sims game

    Electronic Arts have confirmed that the next version of The Sims will be free of Digital Rights Management (DRM).

  • Hal Halpin to game pubs: disclose DRM and standardize EULAs

    Hal Halpin is fighting the good fight for consumers, and the Entertainment Consumer Association has told the FTC it wants two things: full disclosure, on the box, of included DRM, as well as a standardized End-User Licensing Agreement. What’s crazy? They might get it. Ars speaks to the man who wants you to have a voice in the gaming industry.

  • The ACTA Timeline (or Everything You Need To Know About ACTA But Your Government Won’t Tell You)

    October 2007 – The United States, European Union, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Canada announce plans to negotiate ACTA.

    November 2007 – April 2008 – Governments conduct initial consultations on ACTA. Australia consults in November 2007 on whether to participate. The U.S. consults in February 2008. Canada consults in April 2008.

    The results of the Canadian consultation are not released to the public but an Access to Information request uncovers a report on the results that note that “individual Canadian citizens were generally critical of Canada’s role in the formal negotiation of ACTA.” Individual responses cited the lack of transparency associated with the process, the absence of evidence that a new treaty is needed, the exclusion of developing countries from the negotiations, and the concern that ACTA might undermine Canadian law.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Western internet censorship: The beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

      Shortly after 9pm on Tuesday March 24, Wikileaks related buildings in Dresden and Jena, were raided by 11 plain clothes German police.


      Over the last two years, Wikileaks has exposed detailed secret government censorship lists or plans for over eight countries, including Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, and Germany.

      Although Wikileaks’ main site has been censored by the Chinese Public Security Bureau since early 2007, last week saw the site placed onto a secret list of sites “forbidden” by the Australian Media and Communications Authority, or ACMA.

  • Copyrights

    • Open Clip Art Library Release 0.19 Announcement and OCAL10K Goal Exceeeded

      Release 0.19 of Open Clip Art Library (http://www.openclipart.org), containing over 12,000 high quality scalable vector graphics (SVG) files released into the public domain by over a 1000 artists, is now available for download and use. In celebration of this accomplishment, since OCAL’s last release happened in 2005, and March being 5th anniversary of the Open Clip Art Library (OCAL), the OCAL community set a goal to achieve 10,000 uploaded pieces of vector graphics. The project achieved this with the 10,000th submission from user Boobaloo who uploaded a graphic of an onion. The project congratulates Boobaloo for uploading the 10,000th upload. Also, project congratulates all artists who have uploaded in this anniversary OCAL10K sprint.

    • EU Rejects Copyright Extension… For Now

      Following the recent debates on copyright extension, there’s a bit of good news. It appears that the Council of the European Union rejected yet another attempt to extend the copyright on sound recordings from 50 to 95 years. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like this is (by any means) the end of such proposals.

    • The Pirate Bay punts BitTorrent cloaking device

      The Pirate Bay’s swashbuckling Swedes have launched their very own VPN service, hoping to combat a new Swedish law that would force ISPs to cough up the personal details of suspected copyright infringers.

    • MPAA Negotiates With ISPs to Disconnect or Penalize Copyright Offenders

      Hollywood studios are negotiating with broadband providers to take action against customers caught downloading movies repeatedly. Penalties range from redirecting infringers’ browsers to an anti-piracy message and disconnecting them entirely, a movie industry source familiar with the talks said Friday.

    • RIAA, MPAA Copyright Warnings: Facts and Fiction

      This week several scary stories surfaced about how the MPAA and RIAA are negotiating with ISPs on how to deal with copyright infringers. Even though it was often presented as news, those who look deeper will realize that this is nothing new at all, just the same old threats dressed up in a new jacket.

    • South Korea prepares to nuke its technological competitiveness with a three-strikes copyright rule

      Joe sez, “South Korea is arguably one of the world’s most internet-connected countries. Regrettably, the corrupt dinosaurs in the Korean National Assembly have just passed a bill in-committee to use a “three strikes” law against ISP connections there. The law awaits approval by the legislature.

    • The Vanishing YouTube Videos and a Look Behind the Scenes

      Would you like to take a leisurely day trip with me, instead, so I can show you what’s been happening in the Google/YouTube-Viacom litigation? There’s been a hearing on a motion to compel discovery with some humorous elements to share with you, among other tidbits, that will show you a really effective lawyer at work educating the judge, who admits she’s not a techie, on what might work well technically in resolving issues.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Nat Friedman 08

Ogg Theora

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

IBM in Negotiations to Acquire Novell

Posted in Humour, IBM, Mono, Novell at 6:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: IBM still looking for the breakthrough deal with Big Red mond

“JAVA was just too powerful for us to have,” confessed Bob Satire, “so we decided to pursue a once-in-a-lifetime contract opportunity with Microsoft by buying a poor-but-functional copy of its key technology — called Perro — along with its parent company.”

It emerged last night from a source which does not wish to be identified that a bandit from a large city at South of the Border, who had spent the majority of his career copying the inventions of Gary Killdadd, wanted a new corporation from which to spread a language called C$ and a framework called Perro (meaning “dog” in Spanish). “We had some painful experiences with C and C++, and when Killdadd came out with Perro, we said, ‘Yes! That is what we want’,” he wrote in response to our inquiry.

“Novell is said to have been actively pursuing takeover possibilities, having witnessed its stock slip below $3 earlier this year.”IBM Commander-in-chief Sun Foot Moono was approached for a comment regarding this rumour about negotiations, yet he declined to comment.

Novell is said to have been actively pursuing takeover possibilities, having witnessed its stock slip below $3 earlier this year. “We struggled to find a suitor,” said Novell’s SCO. “Our technologies were so Microsoft-centric and not a single company cared for it. Most companies had already embraced GNU/Linux with Java or Python, so our Perro enhancements and accompanying patent protection, which is due to expire in 3 years, did not impress them.”

Apologetically, said the SCO, “we had to sell ourselves for a very low price. Our landmark agreement from November 2006 turns out to have rendered us next to worthless.” In a separate filing it emerged that Novell’s SCO laid off many of his GNU/Linux developers in order to make the company more attractive for potential takeovers, but pundits suggest that he did so in order to facilitate a $8 million bonus for his decision to put the company on sale.

Patents Roundup: Red Hat, Former USPTO Commissioner on Patent Demise, and WIPO Notes

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, IBM, Law, Oracle, Patents, Red Hat at 10:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red Hat Revisited

AMIDST AND DESPITE some AMQP controversy [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], Red Hat is inviting people to join an AMQP Conference at the University of California. AMQP made the headlines recently because of software patents that Red Hat obtained in this area.

Regarding the question “did Red Hat lobby for, or against software patents in Europe?” says Simon Phipps from Sun:

Against. I was there & saw it.

“Correct,” says one person from the FFII, “RedHat was always the most supportive company. Sun itself was more in a transition but they were able to defend the Article 6a.”

This is not a resolved issue yet, but Red Hat’s competitors have reasons for skepticism. It makes sense to weigh both sides of this debate.

Bruce Lehman Predicts the Demise of Patents?

A very interesting article that Groklaw has just found states that “Lehman predicts IP will be sidelined under Obama.”

“The age of IP rights being at the forefront of American trade policy is over”, according to former USPTO commissioner Bruce Lehman

What does this mean (the full article requires a subscription)? That things would remain unchanged? That patents would be abolished? The latter is improbable given the source of this tidbit, but then again, he is the former commissioner, not the existing one, so perhaps he saw some ugliness inside and foresaw bad things to come. More here:

As the news about ACTA gets nastier and publishers push to recapture publically funded research, there’s some fresh air from former USPTO Commissioner, Bruce Lehman regarding “intellectual property” and US trade policy:

[During Lehman's tenure at the USPTO] TRIPs Agreement was finalised, the DMCA passed into law and WIPOs two copyright treaties were developed. Lehman said that there was a widespread perception among Democrats that the US lowered its trade barriers in 1994 in the expectation that it would be able to switch to exporting high-tech products but, because IP protection remains poor in many countries, it hasnt been able to do this. “The bargain we thought we made in 1994 hasnt worked out as we expected,” he said [and predicted IP would be sidelined by the Obama administration].

The UK-IPO is meanwhile teaching children not to share, which is an utterly poor strategy for development because only in collaboration will development thrive. Just watch how Wikipedia crushed Microsoft this month.

The Intellectual Property Office-backed exhibit will also feature some of the first ever patented inventions from the Science Museum’s own collection.

Unsurprisingly, the IPO is heavily pushing for youngsters to appreciate ownership, creativity and innovation as well as highlighting what “financial rewards” inventors can expect to receive.

Microsoft actually plays a big role in brainwashing British children in favour of intellectual monopolies. Similar moves are spotted elsewhere in the world and Microsoft told its investors in a quarterly filing that it intends to carry on doing this. It’s about mind control and changing of rules. Microsoft is trying to turn back the clock and restore dying revenue paradigms with imaginary property in an age of broadband.

The farce which is the patent reform (in its current form) is facing resistance based on this report from Reuters while Glyn Moody revisits the “Patent Failure” meme.

Leading senators in the battle over patent reform urged stakeholders on Thursday to reach some sort of compromise that would allow a balanced overhaul of the patent system to win approval.

Why not just scrap it?

The net effect is that patents take away from the knowledge commons, without giving back even the paltry payment they owe. Add it to the (long) list of why patents fail.

Our list here in Boycott Novell is very long and we shall organise this in a Wiki one day.

Novell plate


FSFE was seen addressing WIPO's problems the other day. Georg Greve made it into a lot of press in the patents-oriented Web sites. His own notes contain some good conclusions.

As also highlighted in FSFE’s interventions, these criteria allow for an assessment of the usefulness of the patent system for each individual area. It follows that areas in which these benefits do not materialise lack an economic rationale for patenting. An example for such an area is software, which had no innovative market failure prior to the introduction of patents, in which patents are useless for disclosure of new ideas, and in which legal counsels suggest that developers do not study patents in order to avoid claims of intentional infringement. So this study provides an analytical rationale behind statements such as the one by Bill Gates in 1991, which voices concern about the anti-innovative effect of patents in the field of software:

“If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.”

Application of this rationale in the policy setting process would allow to assess which areas can benefit from patents, and where more innovation can be had by excluding an area from the patent system. In parallel to the “Berne three-step test” we have dubbed this the “three step test for inclusion in the patent system” in our oral intervention.

Here is a videocast of Greve.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standing Committee on the Law of Patents discussed exceptions and limitations to patentability on 24 March. Intellectual Property Watch spoke with Georg Greve of the Free Software Foundation Europe about exceptions on patents and software.

More coverage can be found mostly in IP Watch’s special coverage of the event:

i. Videocast: Georg Greve on Software Patents

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Standing Committee on the Law of Patents discussed exceptions and limitations to patentability on 24 March. Intellectual Property Watch spoke with Georg Greve of the Free Software Foundation Europe about exceptions on patents and software.

ii. Concerns Voiced At WIPO Over Potential Conflicts Between IP And Standards

Government procurement could preference open or interoperable standards, said Latif. Binding obligations to disclose all relevant IP information on standards, as well as the involvement of competition authorities in work on standards to ensure anti-competitive practices are not used, could also help.

Ultimately, said Greve, increasing the transparency of the system is useful.

iii. WIPO Patent Committee To Consider Four New Reports, Global Challenges

iv. Concerns Voiced At WIPO Over Potential Conflicts Between IP And Standards

“Both patents and standards are instruments from the toolbox of innovation policy, but they are different instruments,” said Georg Greve of the Free Software Foundation Europe. “Patents,” he said, “are intended for private, personal use [while] standards are intended for public use.”

“They are diametrically opposed in practice… maximising one instrument invalidates the other,” he added.

v. Statement by the United States on patents and standards at WIPO patent committee

In the United States, antitrust enforcers seek to ensure that our markets are competitive by preventing agreements or mergers that create or increase market power, or unilateral actions that use existing market power to protect or expand a monopoly. Our focus is on preventing harm to the competitive process, not on ensuring competitors treat each other fairly. Therefore, we would strike the use of “fair” wherever it appears before “functioning of the market” and when it modifies “competition” or “market”.

Patently Bound to Fail

Here are a couple of patents one should definitely watch out for: [via Digital Majority]

i. Smith Micro Receives Patent For JPEG Compression Technology

Smith Micro Software, Inc. (Nasdaq: SMSI) today announced that it was issued U.S. Patent No. 7,502,514 “System and Method for Lossless Compression of Already Compressed Files” by the U.S Patent and Trademark Office. The new ’514 patent extends to a system and method for losslessly compressing already compressed files including, but not limited to, archive files like ZIP, and media formats such as MP3 and JPEGs.

ii. IBM tries to patent offshoring

Two years ago, red-faced IBM executives ordered a patent application on offshoring jobs to be withdrawn. Last week it returned, more sophisticated than ever. The latest application, describes how to weigh various constraints, such as lack of a skilled workforce, against incentives such as tax breaks.

IBM is not much of a friend when it comes to software patents. IBM breeds them.


There are a couple of new patent disputes which are worth attention. The first involves a monopoly abuser that bribes, colludes, and obstructs justice by destruction of evidence. That company is Intel and Nvidia retaliates with a counter suit against Intel, which attacked first.

Nvidia’s very own Queen of hearts, CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, pouted and said, “Nvidia did not initiate this legal dispute,” but added the firm had to defend itself and the rights it had negotiated for, “when we provided Intel access to our valuable patents.”

This is also covered in:

The second case shows Oracle messing about with software patents, but none these relate to Unbreakable Linux (RHEL ripoff).

Oracle and telecom Alcatel-Lucent have settled a patent-related dispute, according to documents filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

“We reached an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties,” Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Mary Ward said Monday. Terms of the agreement are confidential, she said.


The software vendor’s suit centered on a number of Alcatel-Lucent products, including the OmniTouch My Messaging system and the 5350 XML Document Management Server, according to Oracle’s original complaint.

This is also covered here. Alcatel-Lucent is just one example of a dying company that relies mostly on intellectual monopolies for survival. It has harassed Microsoft too [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Open Cloud Manifesto Would be Absolutely Right to Exclude ISO Corrupter, Microsoft

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, IBM, ISO, Microsoft at 7:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

But Microsoft was not even excluded

THERE is some outrageous coverage in the press which not only misses the point that Microsoft was kept inside the “Open Cloud Manifesto” loop; it also falls for Microsoft’s PR stunt, which almost characterises the company as a proponent of openness.

Having witnessed how Microsoft has already subverted ISO, the OSI, ODF, and even the W3C, only one who was born yesterday would allow Microsoft to participate in such a forum or consortium. This is the company whose CEO overrules the judgment of his developers in order to break standards and injure the market. To quote one example:

“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.”

Bill Gates, Microsoft [PDF]

What sane person would allow such a company to participate in the formation of standards?

One important point to be made is that Amazon, which now has several Microsoft employees among its top ranks, is a proponent of lock-in as well. It’s not just the troublesome DRM in Swindle. Here is some more information about it:

Can you have an Open Cloud Manifesto without Amazon, Google, Salesforce and Microsoft?


The principles and document overall are cast in an open source light: If you have APIs that are proprietary—or may be—this document could look pretty rigid…. All of that sounds fine on the surface and customers should be able to cloud hop. But what if you have proprietary APIs like Microsoft’s Azure effort.

As Groklaw (PJ) put it, “it’s all about the APIs. The proprietary dudes want to stay that way and keep customers locked into their cloud. Happily, they were unable to block the Internet’s openness, but they are doing what they can to chop it up now into proprietary bits.”

“So, it turns out that Microsoft made a storm in a teacup, essentially crying about nothing, making drama..”In another article, O’Grady points out that Microsoft’s exclusion was perhaps deliberate when he says that “they may see Microsoft as a threat or impediment, or may not align with what they perceive to see as Microsoft’s ambitions in the space.” In response, wrote Groklaw: “You think? Maybe they watched the “openness” and resulting “standards” and “interoperability” a la Microsoft during the OOXML process at ISO? Maybe when you are drafting a document about openness, Microsoft is the last company that pops into your head? Or maybe, according to this article, the author of the manifesto says Microsoft’s story is surprising since it was one of the first companies shown the document? Ah, the rest of the story. Sadly, one of the authors is now doing some significant back pedaling in a NW direction.”

So, it turns out that Microsoft made a storm in a teacup, essentially crying about nothing, making drama, and hiding intent which is well characterised by the story about its total destruction of ISO’s reputation due to blackmail, bribes, smear campaigns, obstruction of justice and so on.

Speaking of OOXML, here is the latest disgrace:

Portuguese Public Administration forced to use Microsoft Office 2003/7

The Court of Accounts’s Counsil for Corruption Prevention is making a mandatory survey on corruption risks in public procurement, which all public administrators must reply, by law. However, not only the survey is available only in Microsoft’s binary format, but they also demand that it is returned in Microsoft Office 2003/7 XML format (MS-OOXML).

Microsoft is colluding with the Portuguese authorities, then abusing Portuguese taxpayers and AstroTurfing in Twitter for Microsoft Windows in Magalhães. All of this misuse of power has led to a formal complaint, which was filed with the European Commission. What happens next remains to be seen.

OOXML is fraud

Red Hat to Let Xen Drop After Microsoft Hijacked It

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Red Hat, Virtualisation, VMware, Windows, Xen at 5:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell coffee

Summary: Following Microsoft’s hijack of the main virtualisation options, Red Hat turns its back on Xen

Microsoft is disturbing the virtualisation space in order to advance Windows servers (and to an extent desktops too). Two of Steve Ballmer’s close friends are taking care of the leader, VMware, which they gradually gain virtual ownership of. The goal here is to to harm GNU/Linux' commercial leader, Red Hat, using special (sometimes backroom) deals and Red Hat seems to be well aware of it. The details about Microsoft’s partnership with EMC are telling; attempts to grab control of VMware are more or less clear to see.

Microsoft has also hijacked XenSource using its buddy Citrix and probably Ignition Partners (this firm of former Microsoft employees was pumping in the money). It’s all about reducing choice and Red Hat’s choices are now fewer indeed. In fact, Red Hat defensively bought KVM just to ensure that it can control its own destiny and not lose through another hostile acquisition of dependents (like Oracle did to MySQL).

According to this new report from Paula Rooney, Red Hat will probably let Xen rot, in due time. Citrix is not serious about developing it anyway.

Red Hat said it will continue to support the Xen hypervisor in its enterprise 5 Linux release for several years but has embraced KVM for the long term. Last year Red Hat purchased KVM pioneer Qumranet to lead the way.

As Eben Moglen says in the following video, Microsoft is “used to buying stuff or crushing stuff.” In the virtualisation space, Microsoft does exactly that for survival. But how does that benefit consumers?

Ogg Theora

Direct link to YouTube

By harming virtualisation for Red Hat, Microsoft hopes to suppress the use of GNU/Linux in the server room. It’s already working on the hijack of open source software (see OSBC 2009 for details). Regarding Microsoft’s crusade to move all of "open source" to Windows, Pamela Jones wrote a couple of days ago: “Where to begin? First, open source applications running on Windows means no Linux kernel to benefit from. Note the article tells you clearly that Microsoft is still working hard to try to get open source applications to run right on Windows. Why not benefit from the full Linux experience instead of limping along on Windows, always a step behind? No. Really. And you might want to reread this article by Bruce Perens on the overview, to understand what I mean and what I think Microsoft means.”

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Novell Releases Poisonware Factory 2.0 (MonoDevelop)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 4:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mono strings GNOME

Image contributed by Beranger

Summary: Novell unleashes MonoDevelop 2.0 to destroy the freedom of Free software

Novell and its employees are not learning the lessons of FAT, maybe because they already pay Microsoft for software patents. But to make matters worse, they are trying to spread this disease to everyone else in the Free software world, selling them out in exchange for Microsoft cash.

Novell encourages people to produce applications that depend on Microsoft 'standards' which are riddled with software patents. Removing those applications and infringements would be hard.

Here is yesterday’s press release about Poisonware Factory 2.0.

The Mono(R) project, an open source initiative sponsored by Novell, today announced the availability of MonoDevelop 2.0, an open source integrated development environment for programming with C# and other languages. Developers can also take advantage of Mono 2.4, the latest release of the open source, cross-platform .NET application framework which powers the recently announced SUSE(R) Linux Enterprise Mono Extension. Mono and MonoDevelop together streamline the development process and provide the tools that Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and corporate developers need to build and deploy .NET applications quickly and efficiently on the platform of their choice.

This is already mentioned in some places, but it should be shunned for obvious reasons.

“I saw that internally inside Microsoft many times when I was told to stay away from supporting Mono in public. They reserve the right to sue”

Robert Scoble, former Microsoft evangelist

Big Day for Microsoft Windows Tomorrow (Conficker Strikes)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 4:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red button

Summary: A quick summary of Windows security news

TOMORROW, being April 1st, Conficker is expected to cause damage using Windows installations which have thus far been idle on the network. In order to prevent problems that are shared accross the Internet, migration of PCs to GNU/Linux is advised. As SJVN put it yesterday:

Brace Yourself: DDoS Attacks Ahead

In 2009, the crème de la crème of Web sites are still vulnerable to DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks. Indeed, entire countries, such as Estonia, have had their Internet capabilities crippled by DDoS attacks. Chances are decent we’ll all get to see a massive DDoS sometime on, or after, April 1st, when the hundreds of thousands of Conficker-infected zombied Windows PCs are put to work.

SJVN suggests a solution, too.

The sad truth is no matter what you do with Windows, whether you’re running XP, Vista, or the Windows 7 beta, you’re not safe. Now, however there’s a patch that will stop Conficker, and almost all other malware programs, in their tracks. It’s called Linux.

There is other new Conficker coverage, such as:

i. “60 Minutes” freaks out over Conficker. Where’s John Hodgman when you need him?

FirefoxScreenSnapz031I love “60 Minutes,” but sometimes it just makes you scratch your head. Isn’t anyone working there who has any sophistication when it comes to technology? Lesley Stahl just finished a 15-minute freakout on the dangers of the Conficker virus, dangers which many information experts say have been blown way out of proportion … especially by reports like the one that just aired on “60 Minutes.” The segment producer would have done well to read the much less hysterical Conficker FAQ from CNet … that’s now appearing on the “60 Minutes” Conficker’s story page. (CBS owns CNet.)

ii. Busted! Conficker’s tell-tale heart uncovered

Security experts have made a breakthrough in their five-month battle against the Conficker worm, with the discovery that the malware leaves a fingerprint on infected machines that is easy to detect using a variety of off-the-shelf network scanners.

In separate news, the rise of Windows ransomware is being noticed.

From scareware to ransomware

FireEye, a malware specialist, reports that Vundo, which makes fake antivirus programs (scareware), has now started a new scam. Vundo is no longer merely alarming users with bogus warnings that their PCs have been infected to con them into buying largely useless scanning software. Their latest attacks (ransomware) encrypt all of the files (.pdf, .doc, .jpg and others) on a user’s PC and then report garbled data.

Tomorrow will be an interesting day, but when will people learn that no version of Windows ever be secure? It is designed insecurely from the bottom up. As Microsoft’s Brian Valentine put it, “our products just aren’t engineered for security.”

More on Conficker

Another Part of Microsoft Dies: Encarta

Posted in Microsoft at 4:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Another day, another dead Microsoft product/service


Summary: MSN Encarta is axed by Microsoft

SOME WHILE ago it was adCenter Analytics and this time it’s MSN Encarta which goes right into the Microsoft Graveyard. As a debt-saddled [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] company-to-be (or not to be), they simply have no choice. From Microsoft’s own mouth:

On October 31, 2009, MSN® Encarta® Web sites worldwide will be discontinued, with the exception of Encarta Japan, which will be discontinued on December 31, 2009. Additionally, Microsoft will cease to sell Microsoft Student and Encarta Premium software products worldwide by June 2009. We understand that Encarta users may have questions regarding this announcement so we have prepared this list of questions and answers below. Please keep reading if you would like more information about these changes to Encarta.

Joe credits the destruction of this biased ‘encyclopedia’ to the rise of the GFDL-compatible Wikipedia, thus symbolising the triumph of Freedom of knowledge.

The decision to cut Encarta also comes as Microsoft looks to cut costs. The company has discontinued several products this year, including its Train Simulator game. The news was first reported by Ars Technica.

Britannica is already trying to imitate the Wikipedia model; they too realise that their business model is becoming obsolete, so they could become the next victim.

The revolution won’t be televised. It will be covered by the people… in Wikipedia. Freedom did have clear competitors in the past.

“It’s a good thing we have museums to document that.”

Bill Gates

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