EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.19.09

Should Boycottnovell.com Homepage be Changed?

Posted in Boycott Novell, Site News at 2:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell cafe

IN A recent discussion, the realisation was reached that newcomers to this Web site are presented with a sequence of information which may not be an embodiment of the Web site and its key message/s as a whole. So the question is this: “should we radically change the front page so as to make it more of an index, a la http://www.sourcewatch.org?” The sequence of posts will remain the same but moved to a smaller, confined area. The front page is viewed over a thousand times per day (excluding bots/crawlers), so it might be worth improving.

The OOXML Frauds and Other Potential New Frauds

Posted in America, Bill Gates, Finance, Fraud, ISO, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 9:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OOXML is fraud

Summary: From ISO to Washington, a vigilant’s view helps the understanding of particular deeds

ANDY UPDEGROVE has just found this news which is titled “New ISO Technical Committee Addresses Fraud Countermeasures and Controls.”

Oh, the irony! Can ISO use this standard to finally take care of itself? For the uninitiated, OOXML’s reputation as a fraud is well earned and the evidence too compelling, not just plentiful. ISO took part in this alongside Microsoft, which has its share of cronies inside ISO [1, 2].

Looking at the news, we find this article which speaks about Microsoft’s deprecation of old formats that application adapted to over the years. In relation to this article, writes Andre:

The latest discussed advocacy scheme for OOXML: The old binary formats implementations are insecure and attention to fix security flaws of implementations is reduced.

This would not be the first time that Microsoft is using this strategy. We wrote about it many time since the issue first arose [1, 2, 3, 4]. The only security menace appears to be Microsoft OOXML, which is new, untested, and whose code is not available for inspection.

For those who want a mature product which uses the international standard, there is already OpenOffice.org, whose situation is explained in the following new article from IT Pro.

IBM, Sun and OpenOffice.org

During the ongoing flirtation between IBM and Sun Microsystems, little has been said about OpenOffice.org, which has been viewed as one of the less significant parts of Sun’s open source portfolio.

Here are some remarks on the product’s relation to Novell’s fork [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

“OpenOffice.org [...] is claimed to be downloaded 2-3 million times per week.”More and more nations are moving to OpenOffice.org and the software is claimed to be downloaded 2-3 million times per week. That’s a stunning number which shows it just about doubling in over a year. It’s probably due to the economic slump around the world — a slump which stimulates savings. Microsoft is of course very worried about this because its Office margins are hurt just like Windows', so it resorts to FUD and thinks about software patents as a weapon.

On a separate note, does the state of Washington even consider anything but Microsoft Windows and Office? Of course not, according to the latest findings. Their choice is based on ‘faith’ or relationships (or whose pockets the diplomats are in). Speaking of Washington, watch what Microsoft is doing right now.

Microsoft is offering 30,000 of the vouchers in Washington as part of a national program.

This is part of a broader scam which we covered last week. There are some more Gates public relations stunts at the moment. It helps shift focus away from the principal functions of the Gates Foundation (where far bigger amounts of money are circulating — billions, not millions [1, 2]).

VMware and Juniper Serve Windows After Appointing Microsoft Employees as CEOs

Posted in GNU/Linux, HP, Microsoft, Virtualisation, VMware, Windows, Xen at 6:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Puppet
Company CEO: running a company or taking orders from another?

Summary: Companies promote Microsoft’s agenda after accepting Microsoft executives as CEOs

IT IS hardly deniable that Microsoft has — to an extent — hijacked the agenda at VMware. It put no less than three of its employees at the very top of the company. VMware was very hostile towards Microsoft prior to that; in fact, it was going to take it all the way up to the top with antitrust complaints. In 2007 Microsoft used a similar strategy against XenSource, which probably began with the Redmond relocation, a special deal, an the involvement of former Microsoft employees (Ignition Partners). The Linux Foundation is already willing to take Xen to the cleaners.

A longer-term ally of Microsoft is H-P. To give just a couple of examples (although there are many more), H-P lobbied for Microsoft OOXML and it also promotes Silverlight through a toolbar.

Putting two and two together, who would have guessed that a Microsoft-dominated VMware management may join forces with H-P to advance Microsoft? Watch this news report. It’s all about Windows, probably competing against GNU/Linux-based thin clients.

HP is adding three new thin-client devices to its family of systems that will support Microsoft Windows Embedded Standard. HP also is incorporating software enhancements to improve the overall user experience in VMware View environments, and is working with VMware to enable improved performance for remote desktop sessions. In adddition, HP is offering its Client Automation management software as an option with the new thin clients.

Hewlett-Packard is expanding its thin-client offerings with new devices, greater collaboration with VMware and enhanced manageability.

Here is a way to put it more clearly, in the words of Dana Gardner: “HP teams with Microsoft, VMware to expand appeal of desktop virtualization solutions”

“It sure seems like another new alliance which is hostile towards GNU/Linux.”Wow. It sure seems like another new alliance which is hostile towards GNU/Linux. Is anybody surprised?

The new article which is titled “Virtualization: VMware vs. Microsoft vs. Xen, 2009″ neglects to point out that all three options are now pretty much controlled by Microsoft (through its allies, partners, and/or former employees).

There’s more in this week’s news however. Remember Juniper Networks, which had a Microsoft executive put in charge of it? The following was published some days ago by Associated Press and it is serving as a reminder that Microsoft’s Kevin Johnson is now the CEO of Juniper.

Juniper Networks Inc. Chief Executive Kevin Johnson received a compensation package for 2008 valued at $36.1 million, according to an Associated Press analysis of figures released in a filing last week.

Look what they are doing right now at Juniper, becoming defenders of Windows.

It is important to realise the dangers of Microsoft employees landing in other companies. A European government delegate compared this company's methods to "Scientology cult".

“He [Bill Gates] is divisive. He is manipulative. He is a user. He has taken much from me and the industry.”

Gary Kildall

Redmond Death Watch

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Vista, Windows at 5:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s Inferiority Complex On Display in New Ads

Caolo believes Microsoft has a serious identity crisis. It’s simply not sure who its target market is and this has resulted in them trying to be all things to all people. “The current batch of ads puts their identity crisis front-and-center,” Caolo says. “Microsoft doesn’t sell computers, they sell an operating system; an operating system which is conspicuously absent from the current campaign.

UPDATE on the Microsoft VISTA issue

Since so many of you so kindly responded to my previous commentary re: the various issues with VISTA incompatibility and poor Microsoft support, I wanted to update you that Microsoft finally agreed to send me a free copy of its Windows XP Professional software.

However, the catch is that Microsoft will NOT offer free support or warranty coverage on the XP software once I install it.

Conficker worm still infecting computers

Champion suggests investing in spyware like AVG, which is free, to avoid future viruses, and install Microsoft updates regularly.

Economic crisis threatens to spark rise in cyber crime: Microsoft

Five years after Gates’ prediction, Nigerian prince still wants money

It’s not exactly good news for Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates’ famous prediction, in 2004, that the problem of spam would be “solved” two years from that point.

GNU/Linux is Killing Microsoft Financially in Sub-notebooks

Posted in Deception, Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s the margins

Tux illustration

Summary: Why GNU/Linux is by all means Microsoft’s #1 competitor, as Microsoft admits repeatedly

FOR MICROSOFT to sell Windows for just $5 apiece is not a sustainable business model; when it comes to Vista 7, Microsoft intends to offer it almost gratis, but only a crippled version of it. Even Intel has publicly claimed this strategy to be misguided.

Intel’s concerns are actually closely related to Microsoft’s. ARM and Linux go hand in hand and some days ago we found reports about ABI on GNU/Linux and ARM.

ABI Research reports that a downturning economy may be advantageous for inexpensive netbook computers. In 2008, 75% of netbooks ran Microsoft Windows XP, but ABI Research predicts that in 2012, netbooks running Linux-based and mobile operating systems will outnumber those running Microsoft operating systems.

Here is the original.

All of this is not particularly new or surprising, but Microsoft uses NPD to spread lies. It is part of the following strategy from Microsoft:

“Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry. We want to place selection pressure on those companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for competitors’ technologies, to make the industry increasingly resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

The reality of this matter is that the news is not about market share, either. It’s about Microsoft compromising profit (not just in the short term) because anything that runs GNU/Linux is Microsoft's lost revenue anyway.

One of Microsoft’s biggest fans, who makes a living from consulting/writing in that area, is admitting that “netbooks are destroying the laptop market” for Microsoft.

Netbooks are a cheap narcotic. They bring Windows OEMs a brief sales high, while laying their margins low. Microsoft and its Windows PC partners must get back to basic business fundamentals before netbooks destroy the lifeblood of the laptop market: margins.

Even Microsoft’s pseudo-journalists are now echoing this concern.

So, will it impact Microsoft or will it not? Well, it most certainly will. It already does.

Ahead of Microsoft’s next quarterly report it got a slap on the wrist. As Market Watch put it, “Microsoft expected to post sharp drop in profit.”

Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft’s quarterly results are generally expected to have been undercut by growing demand for cheaper computers with relatively low-cost software.

Look what happened shortly afterwards (on Friday):

Microsoft shares dip after analyst cuts forecast

Microsoft shares stumbled Friday after a Thomas Weisel analyst cast some doubt on Wall Street’s earnings and sales forecast for the company’s fiscal third quarter.

Microsoft has done badly for several consecutive quarters, but its aggressive buybacks and risky financial strategy can truly deceive those who just watch the stock price.

So what will it be next for Microsoft? Other than suing companies like TomTom for using Linux?

Microsoft is now suing its partners a little more, this time not necessarily sending them to prison though. Here is what Microsoft is doing to computer shops, comparing them to murderers, just as the BSA did last week.

Microsoft New Zealand says it has entered settlement agreements with three Auckland PC stores that sold knock-off versions of its software. They are:

TDM Technology, operated by Ayman Franso and Nicholas Jansen;
Pars TV, operated by Al-Huseiny Ibrahim; and
PCTown, run by Linjiang Yu.

A Microsoft guy responded to this and so did a lot of the New Zealand press.

To summarise the points we showed here using evidence from the past week’s news:

  1. GNU/Linux is doing well on sub-notebooks and is expected to do even better in the future, thanks to energy-efficient ARM chips
  2. In order to fight GNU/Linux on sub-notebooks, Microsoft lowered the price of Windows considerably
  3. Microsoft’s financial results will take a huge hit from the decrease in the cost of Windows
  4. To create new revenue streams, Microsoft began suing Linux
  5. To create some more revenue streams, Microsoft began suing shops that distributed Windows cheaply

Good times for GNU/Linux. As Microsoft’s profits decline, its ability to hold on to products like Encarta (and even its employees) becomes limited. The harder Microsoft tries to suffocate GNU/Linux with price reductions, lawsuits, and a crackdown on Windows shops, the quicker it will injure itself. This changes the perceived value of Windows and alienates Microsoft partners.

Microsoft may not be announcing yet another round of layoffs, but judging by the news, Microsoft keeps offshoring its jobs (for savings) as much as it is allowed; it can also use those visas that were earned using corruption with Abramoff.

Here is another preposterous claim that what’s good for Microsoft is good for America.

Well, no – actually, Microsoft’s obligation is to keep itself afloat in these difficult economic times, so that it can continue creating revenues for the American economy. And it’s no surprise Microsoft would look to foreigners for help – 35 percent of the company’s patent applications last year came from its H-1B and green-card employees.

But these are delicate things to point out to the American public. Fearing more political demagoguery, Microsoft swiftly backpedaled, claiming that it plans to file “substantially fewer” H-1B applications this year, and adding that none of the foreigners will be replacing fired American workers.

This is a lie that was dismissed before. In many ways, Microsoft is a parasite to the American economy. There is also this in the news:

Foreign companies seeking to place workers in American jobs were the big winners in the past, with Indian technology companies Infosys Technologies Ltd., Wipro Ltd. and Satyam Computer Services Ltd. netting 9,154 spots for the 2008 fiscal year, according to Citizen and Immigration Services. By comparison, Microsoft was awarded 1,037 H1-B visas and Intel got 351.

Microsoft’s workforce scale is almost on par with Intel’s, so the Microsoft rates almost triple those of Intel. It’s worth adding that Intel is among the most notorious companies in this area, and that’s not even mentioning Microsoft's lobby, which by far outweighs others’.

Software Patents Roundup: Protests in the EU, OLPC Suffers, Microsoft Seeds More Patent FUD

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, OLPC at 4:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Software patents are a huge potential threat to the ability of people to work together on open source. Making it easier for companies and communities that have patents to make those patents available in a common pool for people to use is one way to try to help developers deal with the threat.”

Linus Torvalds

The protests in Germany may over, but the photos remain and so does some press coverage.

What should be duly noticed is that high-profile representatives of centre-right political parties are openly lobbying against patentability of biotechnological inventions, for example Mr Söder (CSU), Minister for Healthcare & Ecological Affairs of Bavaria. One prominent reason for this surely is of populist nature: There are general elections for the European Parliament and for the German Parliament (“Bundestag”) later this year. As utilisation of genetically modified organisms in food chains is hopeless unpopular in Germany and angrily attacked in particular by conservative farmers in Bavaria, there is a big incentive for politicians to go exactly that way as demonstrated yesterday.

[...]

While most of the media coverage was directed to the EP 1651777 B1 patent, FFII had attempted to jump on the bandwagon by joining the rally, pointing towards patents on CIIs or, vulgo software patents. To this end they had invited a well-known heavyweight, namely Mr Richard M. Stallman himself.

Spiegel concentrated only on the Greenpeace side of these protests, but Georg Greve, who comes from Germany, keeps pressing hard on WIPO in his latest good essay.

The disconnect between what Member States preach at WIPO and what they practice at home can to some extent be traced back to tactical considerations, but not be explained by tactics alone. There is an obvious disconnect within governmental departments, and a lack of engagement from industry, in particular, which has not briefed its government sufficiently on the benefits that local industry of developed countries can reap from a WIPO that can offer the full range of Free Software, Open Standards and Open Innovation Model competency alongside its traditional arsenal of exclusive rights.

Digital Majority has just found this new page from the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. Watch how software patents are hurting even charities (not-for-profits).

rproxy codebase is now a bit dated, and its reliance on the rsync protocol is problematic, as the rsync protocol is encumbered by software patents. To resolve this Rusty Russell has been working on a new implementation based on a rolling CRC algorythm, called crcsync, and there are efforts underway to integrate into the appropriate modules of Apache 2.2.x, as Apache is an excellent and modular http proxy.

This would not be the first time that OLPC gets stung by patents. How does that help the children, literally? It’s only taking away from the world’s least privileged children. Let’s not forget how Microsoft got into this.

Speaking of which, Microsoft’s patent propaganda textbooks has reached the hands of a writer from Linux Journal. It must be one among the several complimentary copies sent to FOSS people in advance. Here is how this book review ends:

At times it reads like a combination of Microsoft marketing, and occasionally the evil Microsoft raises its head in the tone, especially in the last chapter. As we have seen with TomTom and the Linux Foundation’s suggestions that File Access Table (FAT) be abandoned, Microsoft, despite some of the protestations in this book, is not shy about asserting its patents and other IP. If nothing else, having read this book gives you a slim glimpse into what might be on the near horizon for software development and a nice history of where it has been.

Moving on a bit, the secret ACTA, which includes bits with considerable impact on patent law, gets analysed further over at TechDirt.

This is a key point that plenty of folks have made clear over the years: assuming that every shared file would have been a lost sale is absolutely false. Putting that into the law and suggesting judges use that false concept as a basis for calculating damages is quite troubling. In the meantime, we’re still trying to figure out why ACTA is even necessary? And… on top of that, no one has yet explained why industry lobbyists have been integral to the negotiations, but the public and public interest groups are being blocked from any information based on bogus national security claims.

TechDirt had another good post that caught Amazon obtaining a patent on ‘reliable ratings’. The description from theodp was short and sweet:

theodp writes “Do bad patents bring bad karma? Less than 24 hours after a hacker identified as ‘Weev’ claimed he exploited a feature for reporting inappropriate content to wreak havoc on Amazon’s product ratings (Amazon blamed a “glitch”), the USPTO issued Amazon.com a patent for the Automatic Identification of Unreliable User Ratings, an ‘invention’ which – you guessed it – purportedly prevents Amazon’s product ratings from being gamed by providing a feature for reporting inappropriate content (‘Section 244 also contains a link 254 to a display (not shown) where customer CCC can report that item review 222 contains scandalous or inappropriate material’).”

A third relevant post from TechDirt shames the proposition of some automated way for assessing patent applications. It sure sounds like a lot of mumbo jumbo because of the complexity of the task.

[I]t sounds like gibberish trying to sound intelligent. But, back on point, it’s hard to see how any “automated” system would actually help in the process of approving patents. Considering how many mistakes are made and bad patents allowed through, I’d worry that automating the process is only likely to create significantly more problems.

Patently-O has just published this essay which challenges the existing attitude towards patent applications, which lowers the barrier to acceptance and makes a mockery of the whole system.

One of the next major legal challenges to patent rights will be against the strong presumption of validity associated with the patent grant. Section 282 of the patent act says only that a patent and its claims “shall be presumed valid.” Under longstanding doctrine, this presumption can only be overcome with clear and convincing evidence of invalidity. The challenge to this presumption is most likely on two fronts: (1) expanded post-grant review and (2) court challenges to the weight of the presumption.

Witness the burden incurred due to the presence of patents out there (with or without a lawsuit).

Time Warner Inc’s AOL has asked a federal court to rule that it is not infringing patents held by Yahoo Inc.

The request, in the form of a complaint seeking declaratory relief, cites an ongoing intellectual property dispute between Yahoo and Quigo, an online advertising company that AOL acquired for $340 million in 2007.

Sit back and enjoy the patent comedy. Bad things like this can’t (and won’t) last forever.

Guy Claims His Patent Covers Everyone Making Computers, Cell Phones, Hard Drives, DVD Players, HDTV & MRIs

Joe Mullin has been digging into the saga of Gregory Bender — a guy no one seems to know anything about, but who just a few weeks ago started suing some big name companies, such as Broadcom, Freescale, AMD and National Semiconductor for patent infringement. A week later, he had also sued IBM, Agilent, Cirrus Logic, Siemens, Nokia, Sony, Motorola, and ST Microelectronics. Apparently that wasn’t enough, as a week later, he filed new lawsuits against AT&T, AT&T Mobility, Sony-Ericsson, Panasonic, Samsung, Toshiba, Hitachi, Seagate and Western Digital. At latest count, in the last month or so, he’s filed 22 lawsuits against 28 different companies.

Wonderful. Smell the innovation. That’s a very large pig at the bottom, in case it’s not clear enough.

EPO sign

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: April 18th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

Links 19/04/2009: A Lot from Android, Firefox

Posted in News Roundup at 3:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • First look: Kogan Agora

    The Australian-owned Kogan Agora is among the first netbook on the market that comes out of the box with gOS, an Ubuntu-based Linux operating system that has the look and feel of Mac OS X. You get a dock, a set of freely movable widgets, and even windows that resemble Mac OS X.

    It would be safe to say that out of all of the netbooks out there running Linux, the Agora easily has the best Linux installation yet. gOS is more user-friendly and looks better than any other version of Linux we have seen.

    gOS is fast, too. Very fast. This is an excellent candidate for surfing the web, checking email, and writing documents with the keyboard and mouse easily rating among the best in the netbook-class. We expect that while there aren’t as many programs available for Linux, users will still be able to get full use out of comparable applications such as Gimp, OpenOffice, and Wine which lets you run Windows programs under gOS.

  • Do operating systems still matter?

    This shift creates opportunity for open source, and particularly for OpenSolaris. Performance, scalability, security, etc. have never been an issue for Solaris, and neither has innovation (I often say that Solaris has innovated more than any other OS in the past five years which even in Linux circles is usually met with grudging agreement). The problem has been developer familiarity—in a world where developers know Linux, will they take the time to learn Solaris, no matter how much better or more innovative its features are? That was the impetus behind Project Indiana—lowering barriers to adoption for Solaris technologies like ZFS and DTrace. The cloud potentially lowers barriers to adoption even further: If you’re a Java or PHP developer, and DTrace is just a feature of the Java or PHP stack, fully integrated with the tools you use to build your applications—i.e., you don’t have to learn Solaris or even know it’s there to take advantage of DTrace—you’d probably consider that compelling, wouldn’t you? The OS is still there, and it still matters, but it plays a very different role.

  • Dumping Windows for Ubuntu

    After playing around with Ubuntu for a week, and noticing further deteriorations (either that, or I was just not in the mood for being sympathetic with Windows) I decided that it was time for another wipe all, reinstall all session, only this time, I decided that I wasn’t going to reinstall Windows at all, I was going to have a Ubuntu only machine.

  • Open source software – has its time come?

    If you ask Tom Watson, the UK’s minister for digital engagement, the answer would be a resounding yes. Recently he issued a rallying cry for government to adopt open source technology in far greater volumes than it has in the past (and this is despite the fact that 35% of NHS organisations already use Linux in the backbone).

  • ETC Urges New Approach for Open Source Voting

    What remains to be seen is how long the government can hold out against the benefits of open source. TMC (News – Alert) recently reported that even the military is now considering a Linux-based operating system as a money saving option when compared to current costly proprietary OS’s.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation using Drupal

      In 1996, Linux kernel development is what first attracted me to Open Source, and what led me to contribute to the Linux WLAN project in 1999. Ever since, I’ve worked on or with Open Source projects pretty much full-time.

    • Linux: Drivers Should NOT be Closed Source

      In one of my previous blog entries about a Dell Support issue some of the comments suggested that the reason we were in this mess was because of the inflexible nature of the Linux kernel, the start of which was this blog entry about how evil the GPL is when it comes to making closed source drivers and why this is stopping hardware manufacturers from contributing to the kernel.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Changes to the GNOME System Administration Team

      We’d like to announce a formal system administration team. GNOME has long had an informal sysadmin team that has managed the gnome.org services. Putting this team on a more formal basis similar to the GNOME Release Team will allow us to involve and recognize contributors more effectively, and better coordinate with other parts of the GNOME project.

    • KDE

      • KDE Brainstorm: 30 days, 700 ideas!

        As we have had the KDE Brainstorm running for almost a month, reaching its 700th idea today (excluding invalid submissions). This means 27 pages of well discussed ideas that are voted upon by users and managed by developers/staff are now available.

      • “Quarterly” Report: Yakuake

        First up is moving/rearranging tabs using drag and drop. Click and hold on a tab with the left mouse button (or right mouse button, if you’ve reversed them) and drag and drop to the desired location. Drop indicators will appear on the tab bar, indicating where you’re allowed to drop a tab. People using tabs in Konsole might be familiar with this behavior.

  • Distributions

    • Thoughts from a two-day-old Gentoo newbie

      Gentoo to me is easy and simple to use, just as the many distributions follow the holy philosophy, KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid), but this is actual one. With Gentoo (after newbie phase), you control and know stuff well. The package management and system administrate management are also easy to use. Every distribution has own pros and cons, no one is perfect in all aspects. But there may be one is perfect for you, and I just found mine. I believe as long as you pay a little more efforts, you can transform Gentoo into an eagle and command it to fly.

    • Ubuntu 9.04: Faster, but more of the same.

      Another six months, another solid Ubuntu release. It’s not exciting, but it does fulfill its traditional role of workhorse OS on my laptop. I’m okay with that. Trying to do too much rarely results in a useable product.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Hard Plastic Books That Talk

      Although in many ways the less than $10 “Talking Books” lack features of the OLPC laptops, they also offer some advantages over their big brothers. The first is obviously in cost. Second, the audio-only interaction enables education where illiteracy often is a stumbling block. Paired with freely available audio recordings and the ability to record and share additional content, the Talking Books will be able to reach people that even the OLPC Project left behind.

    • Envizions Announces 3-D Online Community for Linux Game Console

      I have a confession: When I read press releases about Envizions’ EVO Smart Console I am unsure if the company is run by self-assured, confident visionaries or if — well, the situation is actually quite the opposite. I like (love?) the idea of an open source, Linux-powered gaming console. I like the potential it holds, the almost limitless features it could deliver, the creativity it could inspire.

    • Android

      • Android set-tops, TVs, VoIP phones are coming

        It’s official: The Google-designed Android platform is reaching out beyond the cellphone.

        Android set-tops, TVs, VoIP phones, Karaoke boxes and digital photo frames are coming soon to a retailer near you.

        The world of Android is rapidly unfolding in Asia. Software developers, chip suppliers and system companies are all racing toward the same goal: enabling the development of lean and mean, efficient consumer products built on Linux, open source and free software.

      • Android-based PMP to ship in October

        GiiNii will ship its Android-based portable media player (PMP) and digital picture frame (DPF) in October and January, respectively, according to a spokesperson. The Movit Mini portable and larger Movit Maxx DPF include touchscreens, WiFi, a webcam, and optional Bluetooth, says the company.

      • Confirmation: Motorola Will Deliver an Android-Based Set-Top Box

        Recently, we’ve covered several new opportunities, including non-phone platforms such as netbooks, e-ink devices, and set-top boxes, for Google’s open source Android operating system. Today, GigaOm and Information Week are discussing confirmation of what is likely to be the first fully-realized, non-phone hardware implementation of Android: a set-top box from Motorola called “au Box.”

      • Google CEO Eric Schmidt: Android Poised to Have Strong 2009

        Google executives used the company’s April 16 earnings call as a chance to talk about the expansion of Google Android, their open-source operating system for mobile devices, onto mini-notebooks, known popularly as “netbooks.”

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Software for Automation and Other Industries

    Open Source is a way to get a broader community to help with development and to share in its costs. OSADL allows those members interested in developing particular Open Source software to come together in an OSADL project supported by membership fees. With the agreement of a majority of members, OSADL can delegate the development of Open Source software components.

  • 12 Open Source Games that Don’t Suck

    Open source rocks. A year or two ago I had no idea what was available out there for free…well, except for the torrent sites, not that I ever visited any of those. ;) From entire operating systems to just about any sort of application under the sun, you can find open source and/or free software. Not to mention other free fun stuff (like pr0n :p). Just finding www.openoffice.org was amazing for me, and 7-zip, and of course Firefox, and Thunderbird.. the list goes on, and I’m not including all the fun stuff I have found since I started using Linux.

  • PrismTech Enables Hughes to Switch to Open Source Middleware Technology

    PrismTech, a provider of advanced software integration and infrastructure solutions, has successfully helped Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes) migrate its VisionEMS Network Management solution to OpenFusion JacORB, an open source CORBA implementation.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla Prism – Site-Specific Browser

      Alongside Ubiquity, Prism seems another fine candidate for the future Internet. They both blur the distinction between desktop and web. If you’re an old-timer, you may instinctively flinch from “Web 2.0″ stuff, because you don’t like the bells and whistles. No need to do that with Prism. If anything, Prism is spartan and glitter-free. It’s a clean, lean, practical utility. What more, it can add to the security and stability of your browsing.

    • Things You Didn’t Know About Firefox Browser Tabs

      Sure, you use Firefox, but are you really making the most of it? I mean, I know plenty of users who never bother to change the home page, even though they always go straight to another site upon starting the browser. (Just make that site your home page, people!)

      And then there’s tabs. I’ve found that not everyone knows everything they should know about Firefox tabs.

    • Mozilla Weaves a New Services Backend

      Still, ambitions remain high. Weave represents a new model for Mozilla, where users rely on Mozilla for more than just a browser interface, but for data as well. In some ways, the effort can be seen as competitive with social bookmarking sites like Delicious, though the overall goal for Weave is intended to be broader than just bookmarks.

  • Bioinformatics

    • Bioinformatics Open Source Conference, Stockholm, Sweden

      The Bioinformatics Open Source Conference (BOSC) will be held on 27 and 28 June in Stockholm, Sweden.

      A variety of open source bioinformatics packages are used by the research community across many application areas and enable research in the genomic and post-genomic era. Open source bioinformatics software has facilitated innovation, dissemination and adoption of new computational methods, reusable software components and standards.

Leftovers

  • Copyrights

    • Why the Pirate Bay verdict is GOOD for piracy

      All in all, thanks to today’s verdict – which I do hope would be overturned in higher courts – we should expect piracy to emerge as a full-fledged political issue, at least in Europe. This is no longer a debate about entertainment. As of today, it’s a debate about digital liberties. I think that the record industry does not fully grasp the level of political resistance it’s going to face from the young people in Europe and elsewhere. They remain ignorant at their peril.

    • Music bill forces police off beat

      Wiltshire Police officers have been banned from listening to music after the force received a £32,000 bill from the Performing Rights Society (PRS).

    • Legally Speaking: The Dead Souls of the Google Booksearch Settlement

      In the short run, the Google Book Search settlement will unquestionably bring about greater access to books collected by major research libraries over the years. But it is very worrisome that this agreement, which was negotiated in secret by Google and a few lawyers working for the Authors Guild and AAP (who will, by the way, get up to $45.5 million in fees for their work on the settlement—more than all of the authors combined!), will create two complementary monopolies with exclusive rights over a research corpus of this magnitude. Monopolies are prone to engage in many abuses.

      The Book Search agreement is not really a settlement of a dispute over whether scanning books to index them is fair use. It is a major restructuring of the book industry’s future without meaningful government oversight. The market for digitized orphan books could be competitive, but will not be if this settlement is approved as is.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Natasha Humphries on globalization and job security with Free Open Source Software 02 (2004)

Ogg Theora

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

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts