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03.16.09

Links 16/03/2009: Cloudera Debuts, OpenOffice.org 3.0.x Approaches 50 Million Downloads

Posted in News Roundup at 8:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Fear and loathing in Holland

    With “Linux’s dirty little secret: Uninstall” professional journalism has reached another, unprecedented low. Frequent readers of my blog know I’ve exposed and criticized IT journalists and editors for years. I’m a customer and I expect nothing less than high quality articles of knowledgeable professionals. For this, I’ve always liked German magazines, which I consider to be the best in the world. Nothing simply compares to “iX”, “c’t” or “Linux Magazine”. It’s sound stuff of people who know their thing and are not afraid to research it. I’ve learned a lot of neat things reading their work. Most of the articles are signed with the initials of the writer. These guys take pride in their work and are not out to become pop stars.

    [...]

    It is clear that Mr. ‘newbie’ Ramel has a Windows-centric view on the world. To him, the only way to set up a home network is to use SMB/CIFS, you know that proprietary Microsoft framework that kept Samba developers busy for years until a billion dollar fine from the European Union forced Microsoft to open up. Next time, try NFS and CUPS for a change. BTW, Mr. Ramel hates Apple computers as well. You really have to read his interesting article with all those compelling arguments. His love for Windows XP is.. well, touching.

  • Cloudera floats commercial Hadoop distro

    The analogy with Linux is plain enough: They want something akin to the hardened and slow-changing Red Hat Enterprise Linux, not the Fedora development release.

  • Cloudera Lands $5 Million in Series A Financing; Unveils Hadoop-centric Distribution

    Last October, Sam introduced us to Cloudera, a company founded by highly-decorated industry veterans hoping to bring Hadoop’s data processing power to a variety of businesses. Though Cloudera came into existence just last summer, it has already closed a $5 million round of Series A funding led by Accel Partners.

  • Give a presentation? Use a LiveCD!

    Güindous = esoterism, GNU/Linux = determinism.

    Come on…. think about it… I was able to do the whole thing in 10 minutes…. I left the computer as it was before I had a finger on it…. the other guy? he had to install a whole operating system beforehand in order to see a dhcp service working. Does it even make sense at all?

  • What have the black boxes wrought

    Use of Microsoft products and sloppy system maintenance are both pervasive enough that similar incidents are likely happening right now elsewhere, somewhere near you too. The news reports about the Norwegian police force’s IT problems contained one item that was particularly shocking to IT types like me…

  • The Linux Stimulus Package

    I expect to see corporate tax breaks for those who:

    1. Implement Green Technology.
    2. Use Open Source Software.
    3. Give Something Back to the Open Source Community.
    4. Continue to Innovate.
    5. Create New Jobs.

    [...]

    What doesn’t stimulate the economy?

    1. Offshore Outsourcing.
    2. Giving More Money to Those Who’ve Wasted it Already.
    3. Providing Tax Breaks to Those Who Aren’t Paying Taxes.
    4. Rewarding Greed.

  • Essential Linux tools for the PC technician

    Here are more good reasons why a bootable Linux CD can really save your bacon including indispensable tools you must have.

  • Dell Inspiron Mini 12 notebook-not-netbook

    Mainly its a question of storage. While the Mini 9 only came with SSD storage, in either 4, 8 or 16GB flavours, the Mini 12 only comes with an HDD, either 40GB or 80GB, respectively included on the Linux – Ubuntu 8.04 – and Windows XP varieties of the netbook.

  • Some personal thoughts about Ubuntu and Linux

    I’m currently using Ubuntu 7.10, I started with 7.04. I have briefly tried also OpenSUSE (with both KDE and Gnome), Fedora, Linux Mint, Xubuntu (the XFCE edition of Ubuntu), Fluxbuntu, Mandriva and I installed almost correctly Slackware :P (I screwed the network configuration few times and then I got tired and decided that maybe some other time).

  • Guest article: Ubuntu Linux on Dell laptops

    The laptop market is flooded with Windows operating systems. As most PCs and Laptops available are pre-built, most open-source customers are getting a hard time in getting a nice and balanced laptop, with pre-installed Linux.

    Dell has come up with a line of laptops offering factory installed Linux along with set of drivers and applications. These laptops are from the Dell’s elite XPS line-up. The two models which come with pre-installed Ubuntu are the Dell XPS M1530n and Dell XPS M1330n.

  • Reviewed and rated: the best Linux newsreaders

    Ah, Usenet newsgroups… Online communication and file sharing for the masses, still equal today to what it was before the advent of blogs, instant messaging and P2P networks: a fascinating universe with its own culture, from emoticons to killfiles and Godwin’s law.

  • eOn Communications Corp. Reports Operating Results (10-Q)

    eOn Communications Corporation designs develops and markets next-generation Linux-based communications servers and software that integrate and manage voice e-mail and Internet communications for customer contactcenters and general business applications.

  • NoMachine and Leostream Collaborate to Deliver Linux Virtual Desktops on Demand

    NoMachine, award-winning provider of remote desktop and application delivery software, and Leostream™ Corporation, a leading developer of virtual hosted desktop software, today announced a partnership that will fully support and integrate NoMachine’s NX protocol into the Leostream Connection Broker. This combined solution will allow enterprises to easily deploy and manage Linux virtual desktops within their IT environments.

  • LogMeIn Linux support coming this year

    Hosted computer access and management application LogMeIn is planning to support Linux “this year” in response to growing demand for the platform.

    LogMeIn supports Windows, Mac OS X and the Windows, Symbian and Blackberry mobile operating systems and works by installing a temporary agent on the client device allowing it to be administered via a hosted Web portal.

  • Games

    • Linux On The Playstation 3

      The PlayStation 3 is capable of running Linux as well as other operating systems if installed on the console’s hard drive. Because it’s so powerful yet so cheap with Linux installed, it’s actually become somewhat of a favored research tool in academia. Many distributions are compatible with the console, including Yellow Dog Linux, Debian, Fedora 8, Gentoo, OpenSUSE and Ubuntu.

    • Wormux 0.8.3 released

      Production cycle for this version was not the usual one (stabilization of development version before official release). In fact, Wormux 0.8.3 corresponds to version 0.8.2 enhanced with some backports of the modifications done on the development version.

  • Linux Foundation

    • Linux gains social networking hub

      The Linux Foundation has taken over hosting and content for the linux.com domain from SourceForge Inc with the aim of producing a dynamic web 2.0 site that is high on collaboration and utility. Potential ideas touted so far include a Linux AppStore, Digg-like news aggregation and location-based support.

    • Linux.com to Bring “Social Web” To Linux Geeks?

      If you care about Linux in anyway, you probably heard that The Linux Foundation has bought Linux.com from Sourceforge. The domain is in the forefront in representing Linux and it’s community, and The Linux Foundation has promised us to bring newer and fresher ideas to a domain that is used to give us Linux related articles only.

    • The seven best Linux Foundation contest videos

      The winning designer will get a free trip to Tokyo, Japan to participate in the Linux Foundation Japan Linux Symposium in October 2009. The Linux Foundation doesn’t have the money for a major, or for that matter even a minor, television advertising campaign. But, at the very least, the winning ad will get some news and online exposure for both the winner and Linux.

  • Weekly

    • Weekly Distribution Release Roundup for March 9-15

      Time for our weekly distro release roundup. We have another slew of Ubuntu-based alpha releases and numerous other new distro releases.

    • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 37
    • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 133

      Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #133 for the week March 8th – March 14th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Jaunty Jackalope Alpha 6 released, Ubuntu Testing Day: Notify-OSD, MOTU Council News, Hug Day: March 19th, Ubuntu Florida Rocks Florida Linux Show, gmail filters for bug email, Inside Launchpad AJAX sprint, Ubuntu Forums Beginners Team, Ubuntu Forums Interview: Connor Imes, Canonical QA Desktop Automation Sprint, Ubuntu Women project status, Ubuntu Drupal 6.2.0 released, Ubuntu Podcast #21, Server Team Meeting Minutes, US Teams Meeting Minutes, and much, much more!

    • FLOSS Weekly 60: BOINC

      Hosts: Randal Schwartz and Leo Laporte

      BOINC, The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, a middleware system for volunteer grid computing.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Review 11: Arch Linux

      After 11 successful looks at Linux, I think I may have found my favorite…

      Arch Linux is a Linux distribution striving to Keep it simple. My opinions on this? Its great. Arch is lightweight and you can do anything in relation to Desktop Managers and configuration. I installed it on my Eee PC 904HA, and had similar results to Fedora. Sound from the headphone output is full of static, but I think that might be a hardware problem. Wireless basically worked out of box. Even with the core install, essentials to a laptop configuration were working. I went from there, installing and configuring X.org, GDM, Gnome, XFCE, and getting programs like Firefox, Pidgin, and OpenOffice.org. What I got out of doing this all by hand was a fast, slim system with only the essentials.

      [...]

      Arch is a nice Linux distribution. It is lightweight and fast. It works great, once you have it configured properly. It gives you flexibility. You only download things you need. I have to say, with all of these things together in one distribution, it is my favorite. I have to give it a 5/5. I think this will be my distribution of choice for a while. Until something similar to arch comes along with a better mixture of performance and features, Arch will be my favorite. For now, I will stop distribution hopping and stay with Arch.

    • Popularity VS Usability

      I am just waiting to find the ones that aren’t. There are a lot of Distros out there, and quite a few “popular” ones.

      When I find the “popular’ ones that don’t sacrifice usability for popularity , I promise to feature them prominently here.

      Some come close. Some come very close, in that some do many things to inhibit usability and others only sacrifice a few.

      PCLinuxOS comes to mind as very very close, as close as a Mandriva base can get to it anyway.

    • PCLinuxOS 2009.1 – a worthy successor

      It’s been two years now since Texstar and his Ripper Gang released their most successful distro. The 2007 made it to the number one spot on Distrowatch, and although it is based on a rolling model and shouldn’t need a new distribution release, the connotation with the number 2007 made newcomers skip that ‘old’ distro in favor of newer ones. So it was time to release a rejuvenated PCLinuxOS.

  • Red Hat

  • Ubuntu

    • Qimo does it right

      For now I give a wholehearted, giant, cartoon-sized thumbs-up to Qimo, for keeping very small computer users happy, and keeping some otherwise outdated machines in circulation. And for giving me an idea or two of what to do with this K6-2.

    • Interesting New Features in Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty

      I took a look at the Alpha6 and these are the noticible differences to 8.10.

      New login screen

  • Devices/Embedded

    • SheevaPlug: the NSLU2 killer

      I received a SheevaPlug this week, an intriguing device that packs incredible power and functionality into a tiny package. As many of you know, I’ve been doing a lot of work on Debian for the Linksys NSLU2 in the last few years. The NSLU2 is a key reason why ARM has become the third most popular architecture in Debian (after 32 and 64 bit x86), and I believe a main reason is that the NSLU2 is so incredibly cheap. At a price under $100, most people don’t think too long and simply buy a device and do something cool with it.

    • Linux on a Gumstick — A Tour of the Gumstix Overo

      When I first came across Gumstix, my jaw dropped. Gumstix are fully functional computer motherboards, the size of a gumstick or smaller, that run Linux. The latest in the Gumstix line, the Overo Earth, pushes the boundaries of ultra small computers — and kicks some serious butt doing it.

      [...]

      The Overo comes with the Enlightenment Window Manager. Attach a mouse, and you now have a Linux box for your TV.

    • Actel Announces SoftConsole Version 2.2 – Free Embedded Software Development Environment

      Actel Corporation (Nasdaq: ACTL) today announced the availability of SoftConsole version 2.2, the next-generation free development environment for embedded design.

    • SYSGO celebrates 10th anniversary of ELinOS™ Industrial Grade Linux with new 5.0 major release

      SYSGO, leading supplier of software solutions for the world’s most demanding safety and security applications, announces the release of ELinOS 5.0, the most widely used embedded Linux commercial product in Europe for 10 years. This new major version of Industrial Grade Linux brings to Linux developers a large range of new functionality and improvements such as a new version of the Eclipse™-based IDE CODEO, new kernel 2.6.27 support, more than 2000 precompiled applications and libraries, and the just released support of Adobe Flash Lite.

    • Embedded Linux distro rolls in verticals

      Wind River is shipping version 3.0 of its commercial embedded Linux distribution, which now integrates vertical distributions, including networking. Wind River Linux 3.0 upgrades to kernel 2.6.27 and GCC 4.3, speeds boot-time, adds 250 applications, upgrades real-time and multi-core support, and launches a Kernel-based Virtualization Machine (KVM), says the company.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • First look: hands-on with the Kogan Agora Netbook Pro

        Kogan has chosen to release the Agora Netbook Pro with gOS, which is based on the Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. It comes with Google applications, as well as OpenOffice, Skype and Pidgin (an instant messaging program). It’s very easy to use and installing more applications will also be easy once you get online.

        [...]

        From what we’ve seen, the Kogan Agora Netbook Pro is destined to be one of the best value 10.2in netbooks on the market. If you want to spend even less than the $539 asking price for the Pro,

      • Ubuntu Linux 9.04 ported to Nokia’s Internet Tablets

        The Nokia Internet Tablet (NOK) can use a number of operating systems from Windows to Cupcake, but if you are bored with them, you could always try out Ubuntu Linux 9.04. This new OS is now ready to port over to Nokia’s N8×0 family of handhelds, the N800 and N810.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 50 Successful Open Source Projects That Are Changing Medicine

    Open source healthcare is forging forward quickly on the Internet. But, fast developments often produce many failures. But, many medicinal open source projects that have gained success development. This success shows that open source alone is not the solitary factor in development. Instead, look to great management, public relations, marketing and a sound program that stands up under the scrutiny of a growing number of peer users and, often, patients.

  • Selling open source to the powers-that-be

    And thereafter there would be a snowball effect – more take up would mean that there was a demand for more people who were familiar with open source software which would, in turn, lead to the need for more development to cater to future needs.

  • March 2009 Web Server Survey

    In the March 2009 survey, we received responses from 224,749,695 sites. This has brought the total up by more than 9 million sites, with QQ and Microsoft making the most significant contributions. Apache remains in the lead with a total of 104 million sites, while Microsoft-IIS’s gain of 3.3 million sites (mostly consisting of new Windows Live blogs) brings its total up to 66 million.

    After storming into the survey last month, this month sees QQ gain a further 8.9 million sites. QQ now hosts nearly 29 million Qzone sites under the qzone.qq.com domain, all of which are served by its own QZHTTP server. Little is known about this server, although people have noticed a similarity that suggests QZHTTP may be a customised version of thttpd.

  • FSF/GNU

    • Stallman: Free software Is Not About Saving Money

      Companies turning to open source in the recession should know that free software is about much more, according to the GNU founder

      Companies that turn to free or open source software during the downturn to save money may miss the whole point of non-proprietary code, according to free software advocate Richard Stallman.

  • Releases

    • GTK+ 2.16.0 arrives

      The GTK+ Project team have released version 2.16.0 of GTK+, which includes some new functionality and several changes. GTK+ (GNU Image Manipulation Program Toolkit +), part of the GNU Project, was originally developed for GIMP and is now used to build the GNOME desktop.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox 3.1(soon 3.5) beta 3 released

      As with the last Firefox 3.1 beta, there’s improvements to the private browsing mode, the performance has increased, pages render faster, pages with JavaScript code run much faster, with the new Tracemonkey engine.

    • Mozilla Survey: What makes a good developer platform?

      The survey contains a total of seven questions. The Mozilla team want to know which platforms developers have previously developed applications for and which platforms are the best in terms of community, documentation and ease of use. They also want to know what can be done to help potential extension developers to create the “Next Great Extension.”

  • OpenOffice.org

    • Countdown to 50 million

      Those of you who keep an eye on the OpenOffice.org downloads counter on the Marketing Planet will have noticed it creeping towards the 50 million mark (my guess is that it will reach the magic number early in the week beginning 23rd March). This is an extraordinary number of downloads since OpenOffice.org 3.0 was launched last October – and it only measures one of the channels from which users obtain OpenOffice.org (see the FAQ for more details).

    • Cross Compiling OOo for ARM

      some of you may have noticed that ARM is en vogue, though analysts deeply disagree over it’s chances e.g. in the netbook market.

  • Licensing

    • Get Things Done With Thinking Rock

      source app for implementing the GTD system. Licensed under the Common Development and Distribution License (CDDL), it works on Linux, Windows, and Mac — perfect if you run different operating systems at work and home.

    • Google Opens JaikuEngine, Fanning the Flames of Open Micro-Blogging

      ReadWriteWeb directs our attention to an announcement posted on Jaiku’s Jaikido blog stating that Jaiku is now running on Google’s App Engine, and that its code base, now known as JaikuEngine, has been open sourced under the Apache license 2.0.

    • Jaiku to become JaikuEngine

      The Jaiku developers have announced that Jaiku is now being served from the Google App Engine, which is the first step at making it “a federated, open source microblogging platform.” The customisable platform is a part of Google and is maintained by volunteer Google engineers in their spare time.

  • Programming

    • Get a Dose of Semantics: Open Source Contributors Wanted for EU Project

      The EU-funded IKS Project invites FOSS companies and projects to take part in building a software stack for knowledge management that is Open Source.

      IKS is funded with 6.5 million Euros by the European Union and 2 million Euros are being invested by the consortium partners which makes up for an overall budget of 8.5 millions. The project will run for 4 years.

Leftovers

  • Bandwidth and Service Limits Proposed to Curb Illegal Downloads

    The paper stresses that the DRA wouldn’t just be setup to tackle illegal broadband ISP file sharing (P2P), it would also be a vision for facilitating a change of approach as to how content is provided, packaged and sold to consumers. That means things such as helping legal music download channels to flourish alongside ISPs.

    Sadly the more complicated issues, such as how you can reliably and accurately identify illegal downloader’s on mass without being caught out by fake, redirected and or spoofed IPs and encryption isn’t really touched on.

  • Copyrights

    • Creative Destruction and Copyright

      the newspaper industry is in the same death spiral as the recording industry, without the lawbreaking that’s commonly blamed for the recording industry’s troubles. And it seems to me that this poses a philosophical challenge to DeLong’s theory that the problem is a lack of respect for “property rights.” The decline of the newspapers is clearly a story of technological progress producing increased competition and entrepreneurship—precisely the sort of thing libertarians normally celebrate. The news business has gotten far more competitive over the last decade, and we’re now seeing a normal shake-out where the least efficient firms go out of business.

      I think the fact that this is happening in an industry without a piracy problem should give us second thoughts about blaming the decline of other copyright industries on BitTorrent. The newspaper example suggests that even if we could completely shut down peer-to-peer networks, we should still expect the recording industry to decline over time as consumers gravitate toward more efficient and convenient sources of music. Piracy obviously accelerates the process, but the underlying problem is simply this: the recording industry’s core competence, pressing 1s and 0s on plastic disks and shipping them to retail stores, is rapidly becoming pointless, just as the newspaper industry’s core competence of pressing ink on newsprint and dropping them on doorsteps is becoming obsolete. Not surprisingly, when a technology becomes obsolete, firms who specialize in exploiting that technology go out of business.

    • Terry McBride: Songs Are Not Copyright. Songs Are Emotions

      Last year we wrote about a fascinating interview with Terry McBride, the CEO of Nettwerk Music, a Canadian record label that has proven to be quite innovative with its business models (and quite successful).

      [...]

      This is the blame game and it’s missing the point. The ISPs haven’t “gotten away with murder.” They’ve simply put in place a reasonable business model based on fundamental economics — and there’s nothing stopping plenty of others in the music business from doing the same. Demanding those who have figured out how to make money share with those who haven’t isn’t the answer either. There are business models that work just fine for those creating the music that don’t require demanding anyone else share their profits. You just focus on coming up with real scarcities that give people or companies real reasons to buy and there are tons of business models that work.

    • If Your Business Model Revolves Around Taking Some Feature Away From People, You’re Doing It Wrong

      I’m always amazed when companies think that they can take features away from users and then charge more for re-accessing those features. Taking features away from people to charge them for them almost never works. It just pisses off people who quickly go looking for alternatives.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Gabriella Coleman, an anthropologist, explains Free Software culture 13 (2004)

Ogg Theora

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

India Moves to Free Software, So Microsoft Fights Back with Gentle Bribes and Partners

Posted in Asia, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 3:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Political parties in the country embrace FOSS, but Microsoft carries on with EDGI, gifts, and dumping of software

BEFORE we begin this long post, here is a must-read background story to those who are not aware of Microsoft's abuses against the Indian people. This is part of Microsoft’s EDGI in India [1, 2].

Moreover, as we shall see later, Microsoft is assisted by corruptible professors. We already know that Microsoft is bribing professors to merely mention Microsoft software while at the same time bullying professors who do not agree with Microsoft’s agenda. This happens even in India (we are still seeing such stories) where it appears to have bribed many local charities (for advancement of agenda).

How low can one stoop? Well, having somehow sneaked a Windows mail server (as in Exchange Server) into the prime minister’s office, it turns out that it led to tremendous trouble. As with any platform that’s a petri dish to crackers, the prime minister’s office too had its server infected by viruses for several months.

E-mail system of the Prime Minister’s Office was under the grip of a computer virus for three months last year forcing officials to replace the software.

The technical glitch plagued the e-mail communication system of the PMO, which was based on the Microsoft Outlook Express, from February to April in 2008.

Although the extent of damage was uncertain, the PMO said that most of the e-mails addressed to it were not received.

This article from the Times of India wrongly calls it a “computer virus”. It’s really a Windows virus. Computers don’t have viruses. They are commodity hardware.

The good news (the fallout) is that as a result of this incident the prime minister’s office — or PMO — will be moving to GNU/Linux.

Just read it this morning in TOI at page 7. PM Office has migrated to Linux based mailing solution. Its a great achievent for the Open Source Community in India.

Here goes the complete report

BUGGED Virus gripped PMO’s email for 3 months New Delhi: Email system of the Prime Minister’s Office was under the grip of a computer virus for three months last year forcing officials to replace the software. The technical glitch plagued the email communication system of the PMO, which was based on the Microsoft Outlook Express, from February to April in 2008.

But this is just a prelude to more good news.

“This article from the Times of India wrongly calls it a “computer virus”. It’s really a Windows virus.”Someone from Red Hat has just told us that “major Indian political parties support open source and open standards.” Here is the relevant page and the vision of The Bharatiya Janata Party [PDF]. According to the person who sent this to us, this document “makes extensive reference to open source as an integral part of their IT plans. This was unveiled on Saturday, 14th March, 2009, by LK Advani who is their candidate for prime minister, if the BJP comes to power.

“The CPI(M), another major national party has been a long time supporter of free and open source software:

  1. We advocate usage of free software at all levels
  2. CPI(M) for free and open source software

“Even in the Congress, the other major national party in India, Prithviraj Chavan who is currently a minister in the Prime Minister’s Office had advocated the use of open source in India in a TV interview which was conducted immediately after your party came to power in 2004.

“What this means is that there is a broad consensus emerging around open source and open standards in a market that consists of a billion plus people. The next five years are going to be very, very interesting!”

LinuxToday has a report about this too. In short:

Indian prime minister-in-waiting and Opposition leader Lal Krishna Advani of the BJP has come out with a stand that is seen to strongly favour Free Software and Open Source, released here today. While politicians are known to be lavish with pre-poll promises, Open Source campaigners were upbeat over the development.

Even Glyn Moody has just covered it.

Microsoft Fights Back with “Addiction” Ware

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates

A few days ago we found out that an entity called IDG Ventures, which is not related to another IDG that’s in Microsoft’s pocket [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], is helping Microsoft “addict” children and startups.

IDG Ventures, Microsoft India partners to aid startups

Bangalore: In a bid to provide to aid the technology startups, IDG Ventures India and Microsoft India partnered to give access to Microsoft suite and funding of up to Rs.25 crore by IDG Ventures. Under the program Early Stage Funding Program, Microsoft will offer suite at no upfront cost under the company’s BizSpark program and IDG Ventures will invest up to Rs.100 crore in startups.

This was also covered in LiveMint.

Another person from India (not affiliated with any company) has sent us information about more of the plot which Microsoft organised to fight back against Free software adoption across the country.

“They organize something called bootcamp. The software molester is trying to molest education now. In that boot camp they train (brainwash) students [and] provide them costly food and hotel suits (as bribe) […] [...] pre-grease tomorrow’s gov and business leaders. Lots of groups try to be good to tomorrow’s leaders, but the Microsoft case doesn’t inspire confidence in me.

“I got a lot of pictorial evidence about how Microsoft is cheating engineering college students,” wrote our source. Here are the pictures that he sent us.


[Picture removed at the request of the author]
Camp organised by Microsoft India


[Picture removed at the request of the author]
Guys and girls at this Microsoft camp


[Picture removed at the request of the author]
Part of the Microsoft-sponsored tour


[Picture removed at the request of the author]
Microsoft-sponsored tour


[Picture removed at the request of the author]
Microsoft-sponsored tour


[Picture removed at the request of the author]
The luxury hotel where Microsoft put these students


[Picture removed at the request of the author]
The train whose costs Microsoft covered

Here are the crude remarks sent later to accompany these photos:

Microsoft Bootcamp details

Microsoft runs something called “Microsoft campus club” in most of the famous engineering colleges in India (not only from Tamilnadu, there are participants from other states too ). The students of corresponding colleges are chosen to take care of this club, Microsoft calls these students as “Microsoft student partners” (shortly MSP).

They use these students to teach (brainwash/addict) other students with Microsoft’s technologies like Dot net, etc.

  1. These students mostly act as a ambassador of Microsoft in colleges
  2. They motivate students to take part in competitions like http://www.goalivechallenge.com/ (Web design contest by Microsoft, the only technology allowed is ASP.NET and Silverlight)
  3. They distribute free copies of Windows, if the academic institution has a academic alliance license (colleges have to pay 2laks to get this license… just heard from someone, not sure)
  4. Setting up Microsoft ELMS (details below)
  5. Recruiting the next MSP

About bootcamp: (Recently in Hyderabad, Andra pradesh)

It’s a camp for these MSP’s

Microsoft pleases/bribes the MSP’s by providing them free copies of their DVDs, t-shirts, lots of small gifts… they take them to tour (like picnic :D see picture)
They make the students to stay in luxury hotels (see pictures) and a lot more.

The main objective of this club is to get them addicted, get the education system in their control.

It’s too bad… see how many students are getting cheated.

[...]

I haven’t included any pictures that could show individual MSP’s face for their privacy

This informant “wonders why they are doing this in India [and] also wonders if it only happens in India.” But another readers of ours, who studies in the United States says that “there are professors at my school that push Silverlight [...] these are older professors [...] they use the excuse that it’s what employers want these days (Silverlight, Adobe Flex, etc [...] I don’t know if I told you but they teach VB.NET at this place too. [...] I have a friend that’s convinced that ASP.NET is the way to go [and] considers other stuff “toys” [...] they also teach C# [...] information science majors must take a year of VB.NET based programming.”

“They wrote cheques for $200 to people who just dropped names of Microsoft products publicly.”Look back at the beginning of this post where we referred to solid proof that Microsoft had bribed professors even just to mention Microsoft software. They wrote cheques for $200 to people who just dropped names of Microsoft products publicly. It seems to be similar in parts of Europe.

Going back to India, it ought to be added that they also exploit schools for their “addiction” that’s directed squarely at students. We have this leaked letter about Microsoft ELMS, which is how Microsoft achieves a lot of the above.

Again it’s worth stressing: For those who think it’s an India-only issue, well… it’s not. Just looking a few days back at the news, we find similar stunts happening in Thailand. It’s worth remembering dirty tricks that Microsoft was pulling in Thailand because there are some large adoptions/deployments there of OpenOffice.org. Let’s not forget the OOXML irregularities in Thailand and Microsoft’s EDGI over there [1, 2]. Well, right now Thailand is being further manipulated by a Microsoft top executive who visits the prime minister. Microsoft is trying to extend an “e-Learning project” by another 5 years.

The commitments discussed with the prime minister included a five-year extension of the Partner e-Learning project, a re-training project involving 2 million unemployed workers in Thailand, and a three-year joint research and development project with the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec).

All these sudden “extensions” are very reminiscent of what we find in Finland. Informed citizens must not let them get away with it.

“As a supplicant to government, you cannot afford to bulls’t! Government reserves that right for itself.”

Famous quote, Anonymous

Microsoft Wants War: Starts Blatantly Attacking Critics with Cowardly Attacks via Employers

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 2:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s Latest Smear Campaigns Against FOSS Proponents

Man gets angry

Summary: National Microsoft CEO attacks critic, contacts boss too (part of a pattern)

IF you write critically about Microsoft, then Microsoft may be ‘kind’ enough to contact your boss and try to get you in trouble (maybe even fired). We know this from a couple of new victims, whose names and nationalities we keep off the record so as to not aggravate it further.

“One person suspects that Vivek Kundra may be the latest case of high-level retribution.”The first story story is that a national manager of Microsoft has threatened, personally, a critic of the company’s policies and attacked the person through the employer. We have actually heard a similar story from 2 people in the past week, but not in both cases was a Microsoft manager (local CEO) directly involved.

Having written critically about Microsoft, writes one person to us, “this got me in a world of shit… but it was worth it. Or I hope it was. It remains to be seen.

“The CEO of Microsoft [country name omitted] called me up on [...] and had a very long talk with me about how naughty I was. The first fifteen minutes he was all, “this is lies!” .. then he slowly changed the tone to “you shouldn’t underestimate what good we’ve done” [...] and then, at the end of it, I managed to pin him to the wall, and he kind of backed off after that.

“And then [he] called my boss.”

Remember Peter Quinn? One person suspects that Vivek Kundra may be the latest case of high-level retribution. “This looks like it might be worse retribution than what happened to Peter Quinn,” wrote a reader to us one hour ago. But in this particular case, no proof exists.

Anyway, this would be typical Microsoft behaviour. For details, see for example:

More examples (external links):

There is another incident we had reported to us, but the details are too sensitive and would lead to a risk of exposure.

What is Microsoft so scared of? Well surely, as one reader explains, “here’s some old news, but maybe worth bringing up again. Deploying FOSS, would be the functional equivalent of a major double-digit billion dollar economic stimulus plan:

“In the case of Fedora, it would be the equivalent of $ 11 billion USD,” says the reader. This is a lot of money and Microsoft is set to lose the most. But for Microsoft to turn to personal attacks against critics is utterly disgusting. And it’s part of a long, ongoing pattern.

Novell bumper sticker

LF Video of the Day: I’m (GNU)/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Marketing, Videos at 11:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ogg Theora

Direct link

Microsoft Struck by More XBox 360 Lawsuits, Xbox 360 Elite Might be Taken off the Shelves

Posted in Courtroom, Hardware, Microsoft, Patents, Rumour at 8:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gamer

Summary: Patent lawsuits against XBox 360; another Red Ring of Death PR disaster; exit of Xbox 360 Elite is already rumoured

THINGS JUST AREN’T working particularly well for Microsoft these days, no matter which division.

Microsoft’s XBox 360 got itself under a shower of lawsuits in recent months (e.g. [1, 2]). Deliberate neglect did not help the cause, but the latest XBox lawsuit are actually to do with games and with patents. Microsoft is being sued by PalTalk Holdings, which seems like patent troll.

Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, should pay a New York company $90 million for using its inventions in the Xbox video-game system, a lawyer told a federal jury yesterday.

PalTalk Holdings Inc. says Halo games and the Xbox console on which they are played infringe two patents for inventions developed by MPath Interactive Inc. PalTalk bought the patents for less than $200,000, Microsoft lawyer David Pritikin said.

Separately, there is also a settlement of this case.

Microsoft Corp. said Thursday it settled a patent-infringement suit in which a New York company was demanding $90 million in royalties on the Xbox video game system.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed, Microsoft spokesman David Bowermaster said, adding that it was an “amicable agreement.” The settlement cuts short a trial that started this week over the suit, filed by closely held PalTalk Holdings Inc.

Further details in:

There is also the following new report: Patent Lawsuit Against Nintendo, Microsoft To Begin In Tyler

The trial for a patent infringement lawsuit filed against Nintendo and Microsoft will begin in Tyler on Tuesday.

This one comes from Fenner Investments, which seems like another Texas-based patent troll.

XBox has already lost Microsoft several billions and the lawsuits above will help not at all. Right now, Microsoft and XBox face yet another public relations disaster.

Woman struggles to prove to Microsoft’s Xbox service agents that Nome, Alaska, exists

[...]

Kim Galleher’s nightmare may be coming to an end. The Nome, Alaska, mother has been trying since mid-February to get Microsoft to send her a shipping box so she could return her 13-year-old son’s Xbox 360, which died of the Red Ring of Death in the depths of winter when going outside to play wasn’t really an option.

Microsoft almost denies the existence of a town that accommodates thousands of people. What should they expect to happen as a result? Backlash.

Dear Microsoft: ‘We exist.’ Sincerely, Nome.

The Seattle Times describes the nightmare of a Nome mother trying to get Microsoft to acknowledge that she can, in fact, receive shipping.

At issue: Trying to get the company to replace her son’s broken Xbox 360 after it died from the infamous “red ring of death.” (I just had to do the same thing this winter.)

In other news, now that we are seeing many Microsoft products getting axed (latest example just days ago), a rumour emerges which suggests Xbox 360 Elite will be killed by Microsoft too.

Another gaming rumor: Citing the usual unnamed sources, tech website Fudzilla is claiming Microsoft (MSFT) may soon stop offering its $400 Xbox 360 Elite, the super-premium version of its Xbox game console. Sales of the $300 Xbox 360 Pro and $200 no-online play Xbox 360 Arcade would continue.

This is also covered here (“Microsoft Refuses Comment on Rumors of Ceasing Production of Xbox 360 Elite”). Fudzilla is usually right, about Microsoft layoffs for example [1, 2].

Microsoft seems to be going nowhere — and pretty fast at that.

Novell grave

Microsoft, a Notorious Tax Evader, Takes Money from Taxpayers to Help Its Own Business (Updated)

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hands grab money

Summary: Money is being stolen from the public in order to fund projects that are beneficial to Microsoft, which increasingly experiences financial difficulties

Microsoft’s tax evasion around the world is a topic that we previously summarised right here. Almost no other company is equally notorious for taxation irregularities — an issue that’s rather consistent across the board. So how does it feel to know that this year’s public looting (more commonly known as “bailout” or — more euphemistically — “stimulus”) will go to a tax-evading monopoly abuser? That is precisely what’s likely to happen pretty soon, according to Bloomberg.

Microsoft Corp., which has $20 billion of cash in the bank, is among the first in the Puget Sound area to benefit from the investment in roads and bridges through President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan.

Local planners allotted $11 million of $214 million awarded to the region to help pay for a highway overpass in Redmond, Washington, connecting one part of Microsoft’s wooded campus with another. The world’s largest software maker will contribute almost half of the $36.5 million cost. Other federal and local money will pay the rest.

Here is the more concise summary from Slashdot:

‘Bridge to Microsoft’ Gets Federal Stimulus Funds

“Among the first to benefit from the investment in roads and bridges through Obama’s stimulus plan is Microsoft, which has $20B in the bank. Local planners have allotted $11M to help pay for a highway overpass to connect one part of Microsoft’s wooded campus with another. Microsoft will contribute almost half of the $36.5M cost; other federal and local money will pay the rest. ‘Steve Ballmer or Bill Gates could finance this out of pocket change,’ griped Steve Ellis of the Taxpayers for Common Sense. ‘Subsidizing an overpass to one of the richest companies in the country certainly isn’t going to be the best use of our precious dollars.’ Ellis called the project ‘a bridge to Microsoft,’ alluding to Alaska’s infamous ‘Bridge to Nowhere’.”

Lest we forget that Microsoft lobbied for the bailout and Steve Ballmer got personally involved in this. Microsoft is approaching debt [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and it has been having financial problems for quite a while (with a recent investors backlash).

A few days ago we wrote about Microsoft’s prospects being further disregarded by Morgan Stanley and here is a report on the subject, which happens to come from the so-called “Wintel press”.

Microsoft shares fall on weaker PC growth outlook

[...]

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Holt expects PC unit sales to fall by 11 percent for calendar year 2009, down from his previous outlook of a 2 percent decline.

The large majority of Windows users are stuck with Windows XP. Given that fewer people are buying new PCs nowadays, the likelihood of upgrading to GNU/Linux is increased considerably.

Updated: Coverage from the ‘Microsoft press’ (Seattle):

Microsoft Grabs Washington’s Political System, Role Increased in DHS, Harvey Mudd College, VMware

Posted in Microsoft, Virtualisation, VMware at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Washington’s commerce to be handled by a Microsoft person as Microsoft’s H-1B workers fiasco continues; DHS, Harvey Mudd College, and VMware/EMC influence noted

Microsoft’s former employees — including some from the executive/senior ranks — are still entering positions of political or corporate power where they can cause greater harm to society and promote Microsoft’s interests that are typically adverse to society’s. Microsoft’s Rogers Weed is the latest example:

Gov. Chris Gregoire has named former Microsoft Vice President Rogers Weed to lead Washington’s commerce activities.

She made the announcement Tuesday at a speech to business groups in Seattle. Gregoire says he’ll work to keep the companies and jobs Washington has and to bring new ones to the state.

The Seattle Times covered this too.

Washington needs to stake out its future even as it struggles to cope with a deepening national recession, Gov. Chris Gregoire said Tuesday, introducing a former Microsoft executive to run a newly named state Department of Commerce.

Later on we realise that Microsoft is using its positions to harm the interests of the entire country. With its cronies in charge of important chairs, Microsoft gets to do whatever it feels like and always as it pleases. In fact, it’s already hiring more cheap labour that it defrauded the States for.

Microsoft cut some H-1B workers but will hire more

Microsoft Corp. is letting H-1B workers go as part of its plan to lay off about 5,000 employees over 18 months, but the vendor will continue to hire visa holders as well, according to a letter that it sent to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) last week.

We’ve already covered Microsoft’s intervention in the Department of Homeland Security and here is some more coverage, for future reference:

Interestingly enough, it’s a only the ‘Microsoft press’ where we could find coverage of this, namely CNET (with copy in CNN), BetaNews where Scott F. is still writing, and the Washington Post, which the Gates family keeps under its thumb. As the following article explains very briefly (it’s a potpourri of reports):

Phil Reitinger, who is the Chief Trustworthy Infrastructure Strategist in Redmond, late this week was appointed the nation’s new Cybersecurity Czar.

This came one day after his VP testified in congress about cyber terrorism, and within a week of the previous czar’s resignation. Rod Beckstrom claiming a turf struggle with the National Security Agency over Cybersecurity was too much to take.

Why is Microsoft allowed a place in the DHS anyway? Microsoft’s intentions of solving a problem that Microsoft itself created?

Another case of Microsoft influence will be Harvey Mudd College, whose President Maria Klawe joins Microsoft’s board of directors. This was covered in:

Last but not least, Microsoft’s grip on VMware is tightening, thanks to its partner of the year, EMC. Vance reports:

If EMC does plan to sell off its controlling stake in VMware, the company is maintaining a spectacular poker face.

On Tuesday, EMC held its first broad strategy update in almost three years. The company’s chief executive, Joe Tucci, presided over the affair, more than half of which centered on the virtualization software sold by VMware.

[...]

Mr. Maritz, once a top executive at Microsoft, boasted that VMware has shifted towards building a virtual operating system that runs not just servers but also storage and networking gear.

For a bit of background on Microsoft’s role, confer [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

Zigzag
Screwing one’s way into rival territory

Boycott Novell: Success

Posted in Boycott Novell, Microsoft, Novell at 6:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novel party

From TechSpot:

It’s clear that Novell needed the cash, the company reported disappointing first-quarter earnings and a slide in its Linux business, but Microsoft’s motivation for the move seems unclear.

More here, regarding “motivation”.

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