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03.20.09

Links 20/03/2009: New Compiz and New GNU/Linux in the Philippines

Posted in News Roundup at 6:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Sun’s Niagara gets Linux (again)

    Server maker Sun Microsystems has a new Linux partner for its “Niagara” family of multicore processors and their related servers: Wind River Systems.

  • Penguin floats hybrid Linux supers

    Linux supercomputer maker Penguin Computing is ramping up its use of nVidia Tesla graphics processing units as co-processors for its x64-based Linux clusters.

    Back at the SC08 supercomputing show in November, Penguin was showing off what it called a “personal supercomputer,” the “Bumble Bee” Niveus HTX workstation, which uses Intel’s “Seaburg” chipset and supports the “Harpertown” Xeon DP processors. The Intel side of the workstation has two quad-core E5400 chips running at 2.8 GHz or 3 GHz and from 8 GB to 32 GB of main memory.

  • Injecting Linux onto a Laptop, Using Windows

    The amount of time I have wasted in the past while trying to fix things in Windows has been irritating to say the least. I can’t say enough how beneficial it is to a self-employed individual these days, to have a computer or computing environment that is stable and secure, and does not require constant maintenance.

    I believe a computer is meant to be a tool for productivity, not a constant money pit with many inherent problems. Anyone that leads a busy life, and whose time is a valuable commodity will understand this.

    I hope this rundown, albeit a bit silly and rudimentary, offers an idea or ideas to anyone looking for a another way to install Linux, or just benefit from tools such as Qemu. Maybe you’ll develop ideas from this that I just don’t see. More power to you.

    Time is something we can never get back, but computers are. I genuinely hope Linux helps you make the most of your time.

  • Linux For The Masses: A Universal Package Manager

    Actually, there’s one way it could happen. The Linux Foundation could start the ball rolling on it. After all, one of their prime directives is standardization. A UPM is one step toward that goal and a darn fine one at that.

  • HP refunds 520$ for unused software

    It is unfortunate to notice how difficult it is to assert ones’ rights in IT tax removal. I dare to hope that this kind of initiatives as well as those relayed by the project “detaxe” from swisslinux, the racketiciel.info site at the French level and racketware.info at the international level, will allow everyone not to pay pointless expenses of licenses for software of no use (whether they do not wish to use them, or because they already possess them) whatever their choice of equipment. A clear display of the prices of this ” inclusive software ” as well as their optionality would be to the advantage of the consumers and the computers makers.

  • Linux, the adventure with benefits.

    I should probably add that the Thinkpad is a rather good choice for using Linux on, support is solid and it just works (am typing this on a X41 tablet, my partner has a X31 and my eldest son an ancient a22e, all of which run Debian and work magnificently).

  • New version for RP-made Linux for gov’t ready

    The fifth version of “Bayanihan” Linux for Government is ready, the Advanced Science and Technology Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (ASTI-DOST) said.

    The new version has been updated with a new K Desktop environment, OpenOffice desktop application suite, the latest Mozilla Firefox web browser, an optical drive burning application, XVidCap screen capturing tool and the MPlayer music and video player, the agency said.

    Bayanihan Linux 5 for Government has also been enhanced with security features like ClamAv antivirus and GuardDog firewall.

  • [FusionComm] Compiz 0.8.2 fully released !

    This is the first stable release of Compiz 0.8 series. This release is the first merged release of both (former) Compiz and Compiz Fusion projects, and what is newly released here is what previously was the -fusion part ; the core part was released on Sunday, March 1st. This release is the result of the 0.7 development series and is mostly a bugfix release. A fully detailed changelog is available below.

  • Linux. Liposuction for your computer.

    With Linux you have an operating system that uses your hardware resources efficiently and can even run off of floppy disks (remember those?) In the days of hundreds of gigabytes of free space we still seem to fill it up with files that are now gigabytes in size. In the days of multiple gigabytes of ram it never seems to be enough for the programs we run.

  • At the airport + Linux, virtualization, and the cloud

    I’m in DC because I gave some talks this morning about Linux along with our Red Hat partner. To summarize:

    * Linux is more than ready for business critcal deployments.
    * The ability to run Linux on multiple hardware platforms offers great flexibility to match your IT workloads to the systems you already own or to systems that are tuned to the applications you will be running.
    * Linux and virtualization go together very naturally, with Linux fitting above, below, and probably sideways to many other operating systems.
    * Linux and cloud computing are also naturals.
    * Linux is “green” in that it can be an important element in datacenter consolidation to reduce hardware footprint, energy used, heat output, and CO2 emitted.

  • Applications

    • Basic Video Editor For Ubuntu Called KDENLive

      KDENLIVE is SIMULAR to a Linear editor like Microsoft Windows Movie Maker, but with a few more flexible options in rendering. Very easy to use, no special tweeks.. all around good decent editor.

    • Music playing time with Listen

      If you love music then you’re probably looking for the music player of your choice. You could choose among several types of music players out there. In my case, as long as it doesn’t hang, as long as it shows me all the important information I need as well as store playlists well, then everything’s alright.

    • Install An Open-Source Cloud Operating System On Your Server

      In this article we’re going to take a look at another great cloud operating system, EyeOS. EyeOS differentiates itself from other solutions, such as Cloudo, by being licensed under AGPLv3. You can install EyeOS on your own server as easily as you would install WordPress. This eliminates many issues, as we’ll prove by the end of the article.

  • Kernel Space

    • New firewall for the Linux kernel

      The Netfilter development team’s Patrick McHardy has released an alpha version of nftables, a new firewall implementation for the Linux kernel, with a user space tool for controlling the firewall. nftables introduces a fundamental distinction between the user space defined rules and network objects in the kernel: the kernel component works with generic data such as IP addresses, ports and protocols and provides some generic operations for comparing the values of a packet with constants or for discarding a packet.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Linux for a new user: Gnome or KDE?

      I honestly have no idea. I find myself going back and forth on this one. The safe and easy choice would be GNOME, the pretty and challenging one would be KDE.

    • KDE

      • KDE in Google Summer of Code 2009

        This summer KDE will once again be participating in Google Summer of Code! This will give KDE another opportunity to achieve the massive forward momentum and influx of new developers that has been the hallmark of each Summer of Code.

      • Mandriva helps porting K3b in Qt4

        Mandriva has decided to help porting K3b, the leading and award-winning KDE burning software, to Qt4.

        2 engineers of our KDE team are working together with Sebastian Trueg, the lead developer of this project, so that new version can be released sooner and hopefully for 2009 Spring release. Linux users will finally be able to make K3b use the full power of the KDE4 platform through Solid, Phonon and all the Plasma environment. Boiko is one of our 2 engineers working at the moment on this port.

    • GNOME

      • GNOME 2.26 big on device, messaging integration

        GNOME 2.26 now offers support for 48 languages with at least 80 percent of strings translated.

      • GNOME to migrate to git

        The GNOME Release Team would like to announce that git will be the new Version Control System (VCS) for GNOME. In our opinion, the decision reflects the opinion of the majority of our active contributors.

      • First Look: GNOME 2.26

        I’m especially excited about the new per-application volume control feature in PulseAudio and the fact that Brasero, my all-time favorite burning application, is now the default one in GNOME 2.26. We’ll meet again with a new version of the GNOME desktop environment six months from now, when 2.28 is expected to be released.

  • Distributions

    • Ultra X Linux

      We are releasing a new Linux Distro called Ultra X Linux.

    • Tiny Core Linux — A Minimal Distro with Big Possibilities

      Tiny Core Linux runs great on minimal hardware and might be just what you’re looking for to put that machine gathering dust in the basement to good use. The Opera browser provides a solid foundation for a simple Internet machine you could remote boot without even installing on a local hard drive. Other scenarios for utility computing require only a little research to get the right modules loaded and running. All that’s left now is for you to drag that old machine out and give it a spin.

    • PCLinuxOS

      • Linux Distro Test: PCLinuxOS 2009.1

        PCLinuxOS has come out with a beauty of a distro with 2009.1 The overall handling is like a Cadillac and is full featured enough to get right down to business without too much setup.

      • Linux Distro Test: PCLinuxOS Gnome 2009.1

        PCLinuxOS Gnome 2009.1 is a slick looking offering with plenty of tools to get started with. The repros have most of the more popular packages, and it tricks out nicely. This distro always has a place on my HD.

    • Ubuntu

      • Open-Source ATI Graphics In Ubuntu 9.04

        Ubuntu 9.04 (the Jaunty Jackalope) will be released towards the end of next month and it is picking up the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, GNOME 2.26, and other improvements like install-time support for the EXT4 file-system and some subtle improvements. When it comes to the X.Org side it is shipping with X Server 1.6 and the stabilized version of Mesa 7.3. Specifically in regards to the ATI Linux graphics, it will be shipping with an updated xf86-video-ati driver by default and Catalyst 9.4 will be an option for the user (in fact, right now Ubuntu 9.04 is using an unreleased driver).

      • New wallpapers for Jaunty. Don’t hold your breath.

        Being so bright, and contrastful, I can’t see it being the default wallpaper, at least as it is now, but would be nice to have some alternative wallpaper shipped with Jaunty. Sadly, the LiveCd space is limited, so it’s unlikely we’ll see more than one or (maximum) two wallpapers shipped by default.

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Has a Brand New Wallpaper
      • Is Ubuntu good for Linux?

        Ubuntu is the face of GNU/Linux for many non-techies.

        While there is no question that Ubuntu has brought some high-powered marketing to the table for GNU/Linux, I’ve heard many discussions recently about Ubuntu actually hurting Linux and the Linux community.

        I ask the question, “Is Ubuntu good for Linux?” Of course, this depends largely on your definition of what being “good” for Linux means.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Failure recovery service targets embedded Linux

      Lineo Solutions has launched a failure analysis service for embedded Linux developers. The “LL-rescue” service reproduces and analyzes embedded Linux kernel, middleware, application, and hardware problems and bugs, and then offers corrective action and performance improvement solutions, says the Japanese embedded firm.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Netbook uses new Via chips

        Top Crown says the 3G Netbook is available with a 2.5-inch SATA HDD in sizes from 40GB to 160GB, or SSD storage in capacities from 16GB to 64GB. Offered with three- or six-cell batteries, the device runs Linux or Windows XP.

      • HP Mini 1000 Mi Edition
      • Meet The Nettop: The Netbook’s Thrifty Desktop Cousin

        Embedded-systems OEM CompuLab wants to jump-start the nettop market with a system one hardware site describes as the “smallest, most energy-efficient PC ever.” The company’s Fit-PC2 is about the size of a ham sandwich, but it can pack up to a 1.6MHz Atom processor, 160GB of SATA or solid-state storage, and 1GB or memory, with Ubuntu Linux 8.04 running the show.

        Judging from photos of the Fit-PC2 posted on DesktopLinux.com, the system also includes six USB ports (including two mini-USB ports on the front), Ethernet and wireless LAN capability, audio line-in and -out jacks, and a DVI video connector.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source and Cloud Computing Series – Introduction

    Open Source has played a major role in the progress of Cloud Computing. The Open Stack like LAMP are the ones that provide the backbone to many Cloud based solutions. Hadoop is transforming the way organizations and companies use Cloud. Whether you are an enthusiastic geek trying to set up a Cloud like infrastructure at the basement or an enterprise trying to run a private cloud inside the firewall, Open Source software like Hadoop and Eucalyptus are playing a significant role.

  • Must-Have Free Open Source Tools for Freelancers

    As a freelancer, you don’t have to fork over expensive commercial software: there are plenty high-quality open source applications and utilities that can help you to run your daily business smoothly. Even if you are new to open source, you are probably already familiar with the usual suspects such as OpenOffice.org, Mozilla Firefox, and Thunderbird. But there are quite a few other useful applications that deserve a place in your freelancer toolbox.

  • FSF/GNU

    • Scale 7x Keynote Redux

      Many people have been commenting on and/or asking about my keynote, When Software Is A Services, Is Only the “Network Luddite” Free? from Scale 7x in late February. There is finally a downloadable H264/MPEG-4 AAC version (114MB) available. Also, please note that the keynote is substantially similar to my Plone Conference Keynote, which we released as a podcast, if you want an audio-only version.

  • Sun

    • SA’s new supercomputer powered by open source

      At the front-end, Sun will be providing the CHPC with its Visualization system which allows for users to assemble and view 3D models of their data. The Open Storage solution is based on ten AMD Opteron-powered Sun Fire X4540 Open Storage servers, which provide 480 terabytes of data storage.

  • Open (But No Source Code)

    • OpenStreetMap: the data behind the maps

      The main api only lets you grab 5,000 points per request; you have to page the request to get the additional data. To pull out a really large chunk of data, or to filter it (for example to just download all the pubs in the city) use the extended OSM API (XAPI, or ‘zappy’). Access to really enormous amounts of data, such as the entire planet or a country, can be found in the frequently updated dumps listed on the Planet.osm wiki page.

Leftovers

  • Freeing Journalists From Newsprint’s Straitjacket

    Moving online will give the PI vastly more flexibility to adapt to changing market conditions and focus on those areas where they can create the most value. The PI says they’ll have about 20 people producing content for the new web-based outlet. That’s a lot fewer than the print paper employed, but it’s enough to produce a lot of valuable content. And now that they’re freed of the costs and constraints of newsprint, and the expectation to cover every topic under the sun, it’ll be a lot easier to experiment and find a sustainable business model.

  • Coming to an ID Card Near You: Your DNA

    One of the many disgraceful aspects about the disgraceful ID card programme is the reluctance of the UK government to make key documents available.

    For such a momentous change in the relationship of government to governed, it is critically important that a full debate about all the issues be conducted; but without key details of the scheme, that is made more difficult – which is presumably why the UK government has resisted the publication of the so-called “Gateway reviews” so long.

  • German Court Says Data Retention is “Invalid”
  • Utah Allows Elected Official To Lobby… And Vote For Bill Her Company Is Pushing

    Then, there’s Rep. Jennifer “Jen” Seelig, who voted for the bill. But, that shouldn’t be surprising. You see, even though she’s an elected official in the state legislator, she’s also still employed as a registered lobbyist for 1-800 Contacts, the company that has been pushing the bill. Apparently that sort of conflict of interest isn’t seen as a problem in Utah.

  • Why Do Newspapers Keep Publishing Bogus Piracy Numbers From Lobbyists As Fact?

    The latest gullible reporter? Tony Wong of the Toronto Star, who has written an article that probably could have been written every year for the last decade about the awful threat of piracy to the satellite TV industry. What’s amusing is that it really does look just like an article years ago, even quoting bogus 2001 “piracy” stats and then just saying “that number is likely far higher today.” But the reporter does nothing to verify this at all. He then goes on to talk about how the satellite TV companies are “fighting back,” with a “tough new encryption system.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Blacklisted websites revealed

      The Australian communications regulator’s top-secret blacklist of banned websites has been leaked on to the web and paints a harrowing picture of Australia’s forthcoming internet censorship regime.

      Wikileaks, an anonymous document repository for whistleblowers, obtained the list, which has been seen by this website, and plans to publish it for public consumption on its website imminently.

    • Wikileaks tells Aus censorship minister to rack off

      Conroy claimed the list published yesterday of sites banned in Australia was not the full Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) list. But he also threatened a police investigation and possible legal action against the leaker.

    • CORRESPONDENCE: A New Era of Corruption?

      Critics of online media raise concerns about the ease with which gossip and unsubstantiated claims can be propagated on the Net. However, on the Net we have all learned to read with a grain of salt between our teeth, like Russians drinking tea through a sugar cube. The traditional media, to the contrary, commanded respect and imposed authority. It was precisely this respect and authority that made The New York Times’ reporting on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq so instrumental in legitimating the lies that the Bush administration used to lead this country to war. Two weeks ago and then last Friday, The Washington Post was still allowing George Will to make false claims about the analysis of a scientific study of global sea ice levels without batting an eyelid, reflecting the long-standing obfuscation of the scientific consensus on the causes of climate change by newspapers that, in the name of balanced reporting, reported the controversy rather than the actual scientific consensus. On some of these, the greatest challenges of our time, newspapers have failed us. The question then, on the background of this mixed record is whether the system that will replace the mass mediated public sphere can do at least as well.

  • Copyrights

    • ISOHunt search site lawsuit could make Google, Yahoo, others illegal

      The owner of the ISOHunt search engine website (used specifically to find Bittorents submitted by users) is fighting the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) in court against claims that his site pirates music. The company’s president, Gary Fung, wants Canada’s Supreme Court to rule on the legality of search engines being used to identify material which may ultimately be used illegally to determine if they, too, are culpable.

    • Fred Benenson, March 20th, 2009

      Gawker MediaGawker Media, the blog conglomerate that includes Gizmodo, Gawker, and Lifehacker among others has adopted our Attribution-NonCommercial license for all of their original content.

    • Extending Copyright Law Is Like Banning Wikipedia

      Richard Smith has an interesting post discussing James Boyle’s excellent book, The Public Domain, which we’ve been discussing as well. In his post, though, Smith makes a really good point, comparing the extension of copyright to the banning of Wikipedia.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Bhaskar Chakravorti, business theory visionary (SF) 04 (2005)

Ogg Theora

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

Has GNU/Linux Won Pwn2Own Again?

Posted in Apple, DRM, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Ubuntu, Windows at 9:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell shield

Summary: GNU/Linux is a no-show, but it was last year’s winner

A LOT of people may not remember this, but Apple’s Mac OS X was the first to fall last year due to a flaw in Safari (proprietary) and Windows Vista was second. Ubuntu GNU/Linux, which was there for people to crack, stayed untouched until the end and thus won. It’s a similar story this year, but having already emerged victorious, Mr. GNU/Linux did not bother attending to defend its title. This is of course a mostly tongue-in-cheek statement, but nonetheless, here is the coverage from Heise:

Safari was the first to fall this week at the Pwn2Own 2009 security competition held at the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver, Canada. The competition, sponsored by TippingPoint Technologies, awards a prize for each vulnerability found on various mobile phone platforms and internet browsers. Participants were invited to attack Internet Explorer 8, Firefox and Google Chrome on Windows 7 and Safari and Firefox on Mac OS X, each of which was fully patched.

Heise has another interesting story about Windows Trojans in ATMs

Windows Trojan on Diebold ATMs

Vanja Svacjer, a virus expert for Sophos, has reported his latest find in a blog entry: a Trojan that spies on PINs. The difference is that this example specialises in cash dispensers made by Diebold, which run Windows.

It is utterly foolish to run ATMs on Windows for reasons that we listed before using plenty of evidence.

As a side note, we still try to determine or at least wait for a response from Apple regarding its new headphones. Is the following report truthful? It is being actively challenged.

“Latest iPod Suggests that Apple Still Loves DMCA-Assisted Lock-in

Back in January, we noted that despite Steve Jobs’s posturing on the music DRM front, Apple remains a big supporter and user of DRM and DRM-like schemes throughout their product lines. Over at the EFF blog, Fred von Lohmann suggests another potential example. The new iPod Shuffle has no buttons; the controls are on the included headphones.

Until Apple sheds some light it will remain an area that is hard to comment on.

European Patent Office Continues March for Software Patents

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 8:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EU flag

Summary: The Community patent, which the EPO almost endorses now, is a back door to software patents

THE EPO has been making suspicious moves recently [1, 2]. It is almost opening its doors to software patents without the necessary consultation.

Watch this strategy document [PDF] which states: “The IPR system also needs to be improved by the creation of a Community patent for innovative ICT companies to protect their inventions in the single market (14).” Benjamin from Digital Majority found it and he also spotted this from the EPO’s Web site:

The EPO also welcomes the emphasis the report places on the need for the creation of a Community patent, and a centralised, specialised European patent judiciary.

This is cause for pause concern. The StopSoftwarePatents Web site has issued this warning which heralds: “Commission says the Community Patent is all about Software Patents.”

The European Commission has issued a communication asking for the creation of the Community Patent in order for “ICT companies to protect their inventions in the single market”. Large companies were rejecting the software patent directive, aiming to validate software patents via the Community Patent and skip the debate about patentable subject matter.

This comes after heavy lobbying from Microsoft-hired lobbyists and 'innovation' parties that are quite openly about lobbying politicians. This is a serious problem that TechDirt wrote about a couple of days ago. It stated:

Since When Did We Give Lobbyists From The Tech, Entertainment And Pharma Industries Security Clearance?

With the new administration sticking by the old one in declaring negotiations over the ACTA treaty somehow a matter of national security as a way of avoiding revealing any info about the proposed treaty or its ongoing negotiations, the folks over at KEI have pointed out the long list of corporate lobbyists who have been involved in the negotiations, including those from the RIAA, MPAA, ESA and a long list of tech, telco and pharma companies.

The EPO is already attempting to cover its back. As IDG points out, the latest tune from the EPO is that the number of granted patents declined last year and therefore — hopes the EPO — people might believe that quality of patents has improved.

The European Patent Office rejected more patent applications than it passed for the first time last year, in an effort to raise the quality bar in the European Union.

The number of applicants was larger than in 2007, the EPO said in a statement.

This number means absolutely nothing if abstract ideas pertaining to software become patentable. They rely on the wrong yardstick amid tough economic times in order to defend their practices. Patenting is just not a priority for many companies right now; litigation, on the other hand, might be.

“Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to make more money.

“One of the ways that the EPO has done this is by issuing software patents in defiance of the treaty that set it up.”

Richard Stallman

TomTom Sues the “Patent Troll” Microsoft

Posted in Courtroom, Microsoft, Patents, TomTom at 8:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gavel in silk

Summary: A quick glance at TomTom’s response to Microsoft’s lawsuit that jeopardises the GPL and Linux

THIS IS NOT COVERAGE of the TomTom case against Microsoft (countersuit) but rather, this is a quick sampling of early coverage. A closer look will come later.

Here is the official filing [PDF] which contains all the details.

The most cited article about this appears to be from CNET.

TomTom has responded to Microsoft’s patent suit by filing a patent claim of its own against the software maker.

The GPS device maker, based in the Netherlands, filed the countersuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Thursday.

Pamela Jones adds some fantastic details.

Can you believe it? This is so great!! Morrison & Foerster are representing TomTom in a new patent infringement lawsuit TomTom has just filed against Microsoft! I love covering their cases. Patent law is usually soooo boring to me, but these guys will keep me awake, and no doubt if I pay attention, I’ll learn a lot.

Todd Bishop covered this also and Tectonic mentioned it briefly.

This development is a very important one because, as Tim from TechDirt (among other good sites) has put it, TomTom is entangled, so inevitably it also fights for the GNU GPL.

This creates a problem for a company like Microsoft that wants to extract licensing revenues from firms distributing GPLed software. Ordinarily, a patent holder sues in the hope that it will be able to get a quick settlement and a nice revenue stream from patent royalties. But the vendor of GPLed software can’t settle. And if the patent holder wins the lawsuit, the defendant will be forced to stop distributing the software, depriving the patent holder of an ongoing revenue stream. Either way, the trial will generate a ton of bad publicity for the patent holder.

This was mentioned here as well, under the headline: “Why TomTom Is Fighting Microsoft On Linux — It Has To (MSFT)”

The only comment on a recent article from IDG is suggesting that Microsoft is a patent troll.

Microsoft the patent troll?

A great deal of these look like they’ve been invented before. Prior art shouldn’t be hard to prove on many of these. Every PC programmer thinks he’s invented it first, not knowing that they were been doing it years ago in the mainframe world. So the Patent Office gives M’soft the patents because it needs the money, but, I believe that most of them won’t hold up in court. Especially as I’ve written some of these myself, years ago!

“Patent troll” is not an ideal label for Microsoft, but the company does support and foster the world's biggest patent troll and according to Arno Edelmann, Microsoft’s European business security product manager, “usually Microsoft doesn’t develop products, we buy products.” This means that developing products is not Microsoft’s specialty. That has a trollish ring to it and patent deals like the latest one with Lexmark seem to agree. Lexmark is a recent victim of Acacia and Lexmark actually opposed OOXML.

Finally, for readers’ amusement, Digg has just pulled a good new quote from Microsoft’s own mouth. Check it out: Hypocrite Microsoft says “the patents aren’t worth much.”

Microsoft’s Live@Edu Scam Finally Leaked

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 7:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Addiction, lock-in with strings

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

Bill Gates

Summary: Microsoft’s programme for attaching lock-in to schools and schoolchildren (or colleges) is exposed

LIVE@edu remains predatory lock-in which is targeted at children and adolescents. We previously covered this problem in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and we finally have proof and details, not just examples of the consequences.

“This is a glaring example of schwag-giving.”As this leaked Microsoft Live@Edu offer [ODF] shows, they use the programme to push lock-in like Windows Vista and Exchange along with the rest of the bundle. The person who sent this to us labeled it “evidence of Microsoft bribes.” We append the document at the bottom, as text.

Check out this part:

6. Become the most sought-after person on campus
7. And yes, win cool prizes –

  • All MSPs who successfully deploy and launch Live@Edu or MSDN AA using ELMS in their college will receive a Live@Edu goody bag
  • Top 3 colleges with maximum number of active LiveIDs and software downloads at the end of 31st of December win 4 Windows Mobile Phones (one each for the Principal, your department HOD, Faculty Champion and one for you!)

This is a glaring example of schwag-giving. We have seen that before, e.g. in Vista 7 promotion and European campuses. Even professors get bribed.

Also noteworthy:

4. What if my faculty does not agree or doubts me?
In such a scenario, please organize a call for us with your faculty. We will try to convince them to participate in the program.

This happens to also refer to ELMS, which was leaked quite recently. There might be more leaks coming pretty soon because not every academic institution is pleased to have Microsoft, a vicious monopoly abuser, behave in such a fashion. Some people suppose that even the Democrat’s CIO, who was hostile towards Microsoft’s offerings, is being targeted by Microsoft. He got pulled out and into ‘leave’ — maybe permanent.

Yesterday afternoon someone sent us this article about Microsoft in Malta. These moves from Microsoft in Malta’s education we recently wrote about in [1, 2] and it may be related to EDGI.


Appendix: Microsoft Live@Edu, as Text


Read the rest of this entry »

Help Us Spot Web Site Errors

Posted in Boycott Novell, Microsoft, Site News, TomTom at 4:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

AS SOME readers have already noticed, we experienced long downtimes yesterday. The server got overloaded, so we are working to upgrade the CMS and put better caching in place.

In the mean time, rather stripped-down pages will appear. We are assessing server load to ensure the problems do not recur. We also looking at the possibility of moving to VPS. This site has almost outgrown its capacity to deliver.

The major news right now is that TomTom countersued Microsoft. We will report on that shortly, as soon as technical work on the server is complete.

We beg readers for one thing: if you spot something — virtually anything — that seems odd or erroneous, please inform us as soon as possible in IRC or in the comments. It’s likely that the upgrades and changes result in some quirks we simply cannot see and thus cannot resolve.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: March 19th, 2009 – Part 2

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Enter the IRC channel now

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IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: March 19th, 2009 – Part 1

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

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