Why the United States is Likely Last to Migrate to Free Software

Posted in America, Bill Gates, Microsoft, Security at 7:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

American flag
God bless Microsoft?

Summary: Another closer look at the issue of Microsoft intersection with US politics

Microsoft is already close to the Democratic Party [1, 2, 3]. It smoothly realigned itself after the parties had swapped positions*. Some days ago we saw Obama putting a FOSS-hostile person from Microsoft inside the Technology Advisory Panel and now we are seeing this:

Does experience at Microsoft make for a good politician?

State Rep. Ross Hunter, a former Microsoft general manager, announced today that he’s running for King County Executive, competing against four other candidates for the position. He’s one of many former Microsofties now in the political arena — and he’s pointing to his experience at the Redmond company as a major selling point

We’ve already covered what some people call the "Microsoft religion" and others call the Microsoft "political movement". It’s a huge subject that we’ve explored in many dozens of posts already and to give just example, Bill Gates’ father, who has connections with the BSA, is doing quite a lot politically. Last month we saw the BSA lobbying the government to put corporations in charge of security. Coincidentally, around the very same time, a Microsoft employee was put in change somewhere at the DHS (Department of Homeland Security).

There are other examples of Microsoft people in the US government. And this is why — as the title already stated — the United States is likely to be last to migrate to Free software.
* Not as a matter of rule, to the best of my understanding, the United States virtually relies on one big party (the business party) which comprises two separate factions (blue and red, just like the flag). The party rallies the two sides at the same time and funds them handsomely to take turns and run PR campaigns with prospective leaders serving as icons, brands/slogans, or even mere symbols, whose role more of less resembles that of the Queen of England. A lot of the impact comes from behind the leadership, so while the two sides do take turn (illusion of choice), votes never receive a real opportunity to elect decision-makers. Information as seen on TV (also owned by big business) assures that a barrier is installed before those who challenge the status quo of this unbalanced system.

Real Environment Activists Don’t Use Windows

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 6:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Boy in gas mask

Summary: Activists have their computers intruded by predatory multinationals

The Mad Hatter has just informed us that “there’s an article in the Financial Times about the French Nuclear Energy operator EDF spying on Greenpeace, through use of a Trojan. If they [had] been running anything other than Windows, the Trojan wouldn’t have worked.” From this article:

EDF, France’s nuclear energy operator, paid investigators to infiltrate the anti-nuclear movement around Europe, according to testimony given in a French judicial investigation.

The investigation is looking into whether the state-controlled group condoned illegal practices as part of a surveillance operation.

The affair has exposed an underworld of computer hackers and private investigators who claim to have worked for some of the world’s most respected companies. It also raises questions over the methods employed to ensure the safety of nuclear operations in France and abroad.

Now is a good time to reread last week's post about CIPAV, especially since the BBC has also just published the following:

US ‘should go on cyber-offensive’

A US Air Force officer has told the BBC that his country should create an offensive botnet to target any forces that launch a cyber-attack against it.

In simple terms, the US Air Force is prepared to hijack its own citizens’ Windows PCs for “good cause”. See references [22] and [23] in this post for details about other plans of the United States government to physically bomb sources of cyber-attacks (e.g. suspected botmasters). This has developed like some sort of a Hollywood movie plot; it’s no conspiracy of course, it’s verifiably true. It’s talked about openly.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the national security is also implicated by the efforts of hackers to break into computing networks. Computers, including many running Windows operating systems, are used throughout the United States Department of Defense and by the armed forces of the United States in Afghanistan and elsewhere.”

Jim Allchin, Microsoft

Windows Vista 7 + XP = Comedy

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 5:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7

Summary: Promises of XP VM (through a fake ‘leak’) proving too steep to be real

XP Mode in Windows 7 is a scam

IF YOU HAVEN’T been stuck in a cave lately, you will undoubtedly have heard that Windows Vista SP2.1, aka Windows 7, will have an ‘XP mode’. Before you jump up and down for joy, you should know that it won’t do what you think it will, it is a scam.

Microsoft is conducting a very carefully crafted PR campaign to make Windows 7 seem less broken than the Broken OS (Vista / Me II), but it isn’t. It gives long lead previews to people it knows will kiss up and not criticize the OS in order to create ‘good buzz’. Sadly, with regard to Microsoft’s Windows 7, the PC industry press is abdicating its responsibility to report objectively about a vendor’s product, and the public is, well, dumb as rocks. It will believe almost anything it’s told and never question the source. Yes, I am talking about you.


Why is this important? Well, the main difference between AMD-V and VT is that AMD-V is able to virtualize memory access in a much more transparent way. When AMD-V based VMs look to memory, they take a few cycles hit, but VT VMs get hammered by having to do a bunch of translations on the memory addresses. The speed difference is quite extreme, and it is why AMD had a huge advantage in VMM deployments for several years. With Nehalem, Intel has caught up.

Neither however is able to virtualize peripherals, and the prospects of doing so are fairly dim. If either side puts that capability into the CPU and chipset, you will also have to wait for peripheral makers to get up to speed. On the high-end enterprise side, things like multi-port NICs will probably get there first, but consumer widgets won’t see it for a long time.


Windows 7 will grab the GPU to run the desktop, and it can’t share the device. If it were even possible, you could possibly assign the GPU to XPM, but that would mean you’d lose GPU acceleration for the desktop, CPU use would spike, and things would start to resemble molasses in the winter very quickly. This much brain twisting logic is unlikely to be implemented even if it could somehow technically work. Basically, the host OS, Windows 7, can and must own the GPU fully.


So, what you will get with XPM is not an XP machine but a bloated resource hog that emulates the worst of 2004. Slowly. It may be a good fit for green screen COBOL apps that won’t run on the Broken OS, but that is about it, and you will pay for the ‘privilege’ in terms of resources used and speed of operation.

We won’t get into the funniest parts (yet), but think about this, Microsoft is claiming that XPM will be able to interact with Windows 7 apps seamlessly. I don’t doubt that it will be appear seamless to the user, but there will have to be some pretty horrendous low level OS contortions going on under the surface to make it work.

Windows 7′s XP Mode may not work on many PCs

The news that people will not be able to run applications designed for XP on Windows 7 by tapping virtualization, as XP Mode supports, is discouraging for cash-strapped consumers and small businesses that hoped to upgrade without ditching existing hardware or upgrading their software.

Windows 7′s virtual ‘XP mode’ could mean support nightmares

Microsoft Corp.’s decision to give some Windows 7 users a tool to run Windows XP applications in a virtual machine may have been necessary to convince people to upgrade, but it could create support nightmares, analysts said today.

Microsoft gives users Windows 7 free for 13 months

Windows 7 RC, slated for download by MSDN and TechNet subscribers today and by the general public on May 5, doesn’t expire until June 1, 2010, 13 months from tomorrow, Microsoft confirmed today.

When asked why the company is giving users such a long free pass for the software, a spokeswoman declined to comment.

XP to still be available on netbooks after Windows 7′s release

Microsoft Corp. plans to continue offering Windows XP to hardware vendors for use on netbook PCs for a year after the upcoming release of Windows 7.

Are Microsoft’s Sub-notebook Kickbacks Now Confirmed?

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Taking a buck

Summary: Microsoft is said to be selling Windows XP “below cost to OEMs”

GROKLAW MAY have just found the ‘smoking gun’ we have been looking for ever since it came to our attention that ASUS had allegedly received money from Microsoft in order to demote GNU/Linux. According to SJVN over at IDG:

[R]eluctantly, Microsoft gave Windows XP Home a new lease on life and sold it below cost to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to kill the Linux desktop at the root.

Pamela Jones adds: “Are monopolies allowed to sell below cost to kill off a competitor? EU Commission? Anyone?

If the EU Commission actually decides to investigate this*, then it should also take a careful look at Microsoft’s anti-Linux dumping in Russia and in Turkey. To pay people to suffocate the competition is the same type of felony that — as shared just moments ago — Intel will need to pay $1.3 billion in fines for (in Europe alone).
* The Commission appears to have neglected and eventually turned a blind eye to the OOXML crimes.

Links 30/04/2009: New Mandriva, New ELive, Sabayon

Posted in News Roundup at 5:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Smart videocam boasts Linux development framework

    Supercomputing Systems (SCS) is shipping a $300 programmable video camera with open source hardware and software. The LeanXcam is based on a 500MHz Analog Devices Blackfin processor, captures 752 x 480, 60fps video, and runs a uClinux-based OSCar (Open-Source Camera) Software Framework, supporting machine-vision application development.

  • Getting Into Linux the Easy Way (Linux for Beginners)

    In Linux For Absolute Beginners: 3 Easy Ways to Test-Drive Linux I reviewed some simple ways to safely test-drive Linux. All of them involved selecting a Linux distribution to try, then downloading and burning it to a CD. Anyone can learn how to install Linux in different ways, such as dual-booting, standalone on a single PC, or in a virtual machine. While installing Linux is very easy as far as installing operating systems goes, it still requires a bit of geekery. If anything goes wrong it can eat up a lot of time troubleshooting, especially when you’re not familiar with Linux.

  • Podcast Season 1 Episode 7

    In this episode: Ubuntu 9.04 is here and Renai LeMay says it’s as slick as Mac OS X. We also get to play with the GP2X Wiz portable games console and ponder on the announcement that Oracle is going to buy Sun Microsystems. Our open ballot asks whether we should dump OpenOffice.org.

  • Spam From Hijacked Webmail Accounts

    Assuming your system is equipped with up-to-date antivirus software, and that you’ve conducted a full system scan, you can get a second opinion by turning to one of my favorite diagnostic tools, Ultimate Boot CD.

    This is basically a distribution of Linux that you can burn to a CD. Assuming your system is configured to boot from a CD (if not, you can try these suggestions), it will allow you to boot up into another operating system environment that lets you run a slew of diagnostic checks on the underlying hard drive and operating system, including virus scans from at least three different anti-malware vendors. It is generally safe to delete any suspect files found in these scans, but the scans themselves can take many hours to complete, depending on how many files you have on your system.

  • Cloud computing with Linux thin clients

    Usefulness, however, is not always the primary factor that determines wide-scale adoption. A more accurate determination can be made in terms of absolute cost—especially when adoption is considered in developing countries—as well as relative cost in relation to value. A client’s thinness bears a direct relationship to its cost, because less capable systems are less expensive to produce. Similarly, the cost of cloud-based software is directly related to its large-scale adoption.

  • Applications

    • Free powerful CAD software achieves record numbers, big Linux following

      MEDUSA4 Personal is a fully featured advanced drafting system with smart editing and drafting power tools, basic 3D, parametrics, and even a Sheet Metal Design module. It supports Windows as well as six different Linux distributions (CentOS, Fedora, Mandriva, RedHat, SuSE and Ubuntu) .

  • Games

    • Alien Arena 2009 Screenshots

      The Alien Arena development team has released 16 screenshots of the upcoming Alien Arena 2009. This release features “some very significant advances” in the game engine and new arenas, and player models. It’s also mentioned that they are planning to release the new version in June; thanks to jay for the heads up.

    • Crysis Wars v1.5 Dedicated Server for Linux

      As part of the Crysis Warhead® package which is offered for about $30 the new multiplayer focused game called Crysis Wars® will be included as well.

  • Distributions

    • Mandriva

      • Celebrate Spring with Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring

        The Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring range is now available in the office format which corresponds to your choice, KDE, GNOME or LXDE and all this in more than 70 languages.

        Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring not only offers you the most advanced and easy to use Linux operating system on the market but also integrates a list of some of the most complete software.

      • Top 10 reasons why you’ll love Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring

        Desktop environments. KDE 4.2.2, GNOME 2.26.1 et LXDE. Each of them comes with a lot of innovation and new features, improvement in ergonomy and efficicency. Learn more.

    • Ubuntu

      • 10 reasons you’ll want to install Ubuntu 9.04

        1: Ext 4 file system


        2: GNOME 2.26.1


        3: Speed


        4: Cleanup Janitor


        5: Nautilus encryption


        6: Xorg 1.6

      • Ubuntu, Now More Popular than Windows XP!

        Ubuntu has finally eclipsed Windows XP in terms of popularity. –That is according to the most recent data from Google Trends.

      • Linux Distro Test – PC/OS 2009v2a

        Time to boot LiveCD: 55 seconds, Time to install: appox. 25 minutes, Time to HD boot: appox 45 seconds
        This is a very strange boot. It seemed to lag in the middle, but it did finish booting with a very nice desktop in the end. I like the way the menu is set up; lately, I’ve found that you have to drill down quite a ways for the menu items in some other XFCE distros, while this one seems to be clean, quick and better organized.

      • Linux Distro Test – Xubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

        This was your normal average Ubuntu boot/install. But I did something that I regretted later; I tried to skip the language packs during install…a bad move. Luckily, the DM is smart enough to know that certain things were missing, and prompted me to fix things by reinstalling the missing items, and after that, all was well. I really doubted the notification area’s worth when I first read about it, but after that incident, I had a greater appreciation for it’s purpose.

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Boot Times

        Charles Dickens wrote that “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. I have a feeling that he wasn’t referring to computer operating system boot times, but that’s what I’m going to discuss today. More specifically Ubuntu 9.04′s boot times.

      • Xubuntu vs. Debian Lenny with Xfce

        I’ve done this sort of thing before, but luckily somebody else is comparing the Xfce environments of Debian Lenny and Xubuntu/Ubuntu.

        Results are not surprising and are in line with what I found over a year ago when I did a major comparison of everything from Xubuntu and Debian to Slackware and gOS, as well as Wolvix and standard Ubuntu.


        In all fairness, I haven’t tried Slackware again since 12.2 came out, so maybe things have changed, and I also haven’t tried Lenny since it went stable (my experience was during the three or so months leading up to that point). Put simply, Ubuntu worked, so I use it.

    • New Releases

      • Press Release: Sabayon Linux x86/x86-64 4.1 KDE

        Dedicated to those who like order over chaos, to those who like simplicity over complexity, to those who think that less is more, to those that just want more for less. Sabayon 4.1 will catch you, based on Sabayon 4 LiteMCE, represent what can be the future of our Operating System: just the best of the Out-Of-The-Box, KDE, multimedia applications and nothing more than what you need for your daily tasks, but what about your free time? We’ve got it. XBMC (formerly known as Xbox Media Center) 8.10 is what you’ve ever wanted to build up a fantastic HTPC or Internet Multimedia Box, so what’s better than having it ready to use? Show off the new Sabayon Linux to your friends, they have no more excuses to not try it!

      • RIPLinuX 8.3
      • NetBSD 5.0
      • DragonFly BSD 2.2.1
      • Elive 1.9.26 development released

        The Elive Team is proud to announce the release of the development version 1.9.26

    • Devices/Embedded

      • $200 E-book Reader set to Make its Debut

        It runs Linux operating system and unlike the Amazon Kindle has no wireless capability. BeBook like most of its rivals uses the E Ink display.

      • Phones

        • Google Android on the Skytone Alpha 680

          In these videos 2 employees of Skytone demonstrate the Alpha 680, which is likely to be the first netbook to be shipped with the Android mobile operating system. You get an impression of browsing the Web with a browser based on the WebKit engine, using Skype, and the Palringo instant messaging client on the Alpha 680.

        • Palm’s Pré: the $170 phone

          The Pré smartphone could cost just $30 (£20/€23) more to buy that it actually costs Palm to make, according to a report by market analyst iSuppli.

          iSuppli forecasts that the phone will sell for roughly $200 (£135/€150) when it eventually comes to market. That’s despite a cost analysis calculating that that each unit will cost Palm $170 in components to produce.

        • Mole talks up Palm Pré… 2

          Everyone knows salt’s bad for you in large amounts, but you’ll need a fair sized dose if you’re to swallow the latest Palm Pré rumour. But it’s Register Hardware’s duty to report that a second Pré smartphone’s supposedly in the works.

        • Acer ponders Android smartphone

          Acer has followed in the footsteps of arch rival Asus with talk of possible plans to launch an Android-based smartphone.

      • Sub-notebooks

        • Genie To Bottle Microsoft

          How far should Microsoft feel threatened by Linux? Quite a bit, if ARM’s CEO Warren East is to be believed.

          “Today the Linux world is not as good as Microsoft from the point of view of the user, but it’s getting rapidly better,” East told me this afternoon, “so it will get to be as good as Microsoft and, when that happens, the genie will be out of the bottle. Because Linux is much more cost-effective than Microsoft. People will ask: ‘Why do we use Microsoft?’”

          East told the FT recently that ARM “almost doesn’t care” that ARM-based netbooks will not be Windows-based, pointing out that if people find Linux and Android just as good an experience as Windows, then Microsoft’s reluctance to get involved doesn’t matter although “it’s a dangerous missed opportunity for them”.

        • Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.04 hands-on

          Sure, Ubuntu haters won’t go near it, but everyone else with a netbook needs to give UNR a try because we think you won’t be disappointed.

        • Netbook market? What netbook market?

          Today’s ‘default’ netbook, from a name-brand vendor, delivers quasi-desktop functionality, costs as much as that vendor’s (now non-existent) lower-cost notebooks/laptops, ie in the US$500 range, and we have the tier-1 name brand vendors perpetually pushing the price further uphill, introducing pointless feature-creep to justify this price-hike.


          So, how does Linux lose in this market? In short, it doesn’t – the ‘netbook market’ has instead morphed into something else: it’s become the ‘smaller form-factor notebook’ market. And in this market, Microsoft has traditionally held a 95% slice (in the OEM, non-Apple realm).

          Therefore, what we have here is not so much a case of Linux losing ground in the netbook market, but of Microsoft and OEM hardware partners reshaping the market into “the same ol’, same ol’”. It has become a market where Microsoft has substantial monopoly market advantages, dating back to 1981, and where it has honed substantial, oft-times illegal anti-competitive market capture machinery.

          And yet, even in this market, now reshaped to favour Microsoft’s monopoly machinery, Linux still snared 24% of ‘netbook’ shipments.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free vs Open Source software

    People do not like to talk about morality much these days, but that’s exactly the thing at heart here. An Open Source person is using OSS software because it’s generally better and because that policy brings in practical benefits. A Free Software person would use Free Software even if it was worse because, to him, it’s the right thing to do.

  • Can free, open source software make us more desirable?

    The sociobiology of humankind is predicated on an evolutionary or ‘reproductive fitness’ approach to analysing human behaviour.

    This has never been articulated more succinctly than by Scott Adams, the author of Dilbert, who devoted a whole chapter to the topic in his book – ‘Thriving on Stupidity in the 21st Century’.

  • The Kindness of strangers can defeat Proprietary Cloud Computing. Free Software Solutions

    Fashion is fickle. One day thin clients and clusters are the fashion de jour, the next it’s Web 2.0, Virtualisation or distributed computing and Grids. They who live by the sword of fashion will surely perish by it but a new model has been strutting its stuff along the catwalk of web fashion and she goes by the name of Cloud Computing. Like all fashions there is a deal of hype surrounding it but there is a consistent concern emerging from all that hype and is about the dangers of proprietary cloud computing. Richard Stallman has called it a “trap”. He is right—but it is more than that. It is a well-baited, DRM-like honey trap for the unwary. That is not immediately obvious. Like all good traps it suckers you in before the wire noose tightens around your neck. You don’t have any wire cutters in your rucksack but you do have the GPL and free software to effect an escape. Can it save us from vendor lock in and proprietary software?

  • Business

    • The Pitch: Open source search venture

      THE BUSINESS: Lucid Imagination Inc. provides commercial services for Apache Lucene and Solr open source software, nonproprietary technologies that are used to create full-text search engines. Apache Lucene/Solr downloads have grown nearly tenfold over the past three years, with a current run-rate of more than 6,000 downloads a day.

    • Open source biz apps coming to the cloud

      SugarCRM, for its part, on Wednesday detailed a new lineup that features Sugar Express, which costs $8 a month per user, Professional for $30 per user per month, and the Enterprise iteration that costs $50 per month for each user.

    • Open source IP cuts costs

      He notes that a VOIP or IP telephony system can be integrated with core business applications ensuring users have faster, more detailed access to business information on their own business contacts. “These applications can be pushed right down to the handsets themselves, enabling the entire IP telephony network to be customised right through to the endpoints,” says Wortt.

    • An open and shut case

      Ingres appears to be prospering under its open-source direction, with revenues more than doubling since 2006, and with over 300 employees.

  • Funding

    • Likewise Secures $10 Million in Funding; Sets Sights on New Users and Product Development

      There are a lot of mixed networks out in the wild, of course. This is why Likewise has successfully secured a $10 million Series C round of funding, which the company plans to use to pursue growth in new markets and fund the development of its product line.

    • Miro’s Creative Fundraising: Adopt a Line of Incredibly Cute Code

      The Miro internet TV player is completely open source, and licensed under the GPL. The content it delivers is free of charge, and the organization backing it (the Participatory Culture Foundation) is a registered non-profit. Developers and contributors are always welcome to donate their time and effort in any capacity they are able.

    • Cutest funding move ever? Adopt a line of Miro code

      Those behind the open source Internet video player Miro have launched a new adoption system! No, you won’t be adopting babies or kittens, or even polar bears in Antarctica—instead, users can “adopt” a line of source code from Miro for $4 in order to help support the continued development of the software.

    • Eucalyptus in the cloud: researchers commercialize OSS project

      The researchers behind the open source Eucalyptus project have launched a company to commercialize the technology. They plan to offer services and support to companies that want to use Eucalyptus to build self-hosted elastic computing clouds.

    • Google to invest 90,000 USD in Drupal

      The accepted students, their projects, and the mentors are listed on the official Drupal.org announcement. Congratulations to all successful applicants, and thanks to the Drupal Summer of Code organizers, the Drupal mentors, and last but not least, Google. Awesome!


    • Going deep into GCC 4.4 with Red Hat

      GCC 4.4 is a critically important component of the open source software landscape. It officially was released last week and I blogged on it briefly, but felt the need to get more insight. Fedora 11 which hit its preview release yesterday lists GCC 4.4 as one of its key features and Red Hat is a key contributor to GCC, so I asked Red Hat for their views on how GCC 4.4 will make a difference.

  • Government

    • Open source hits the government sphere

      And Canada is not alone in adopting open source models in its public institutions, although local technology analyst Michael Geist argued the country is behind other jurisdictions.

      The French national police force has been using open source for years, he said – making him wonder why Canada didn’t adopt it earlier.

  • Licensing

    • GPL: why Eric Raymond is wrong

      In the midst of such a situation, a man who advances an argument that the markets can seek efficiency and attain it is talking rubbish. The markets are controlled by human beings. And it is these flawed human beings who decide the direction things take by means of the crooked or straight tactics they use.

      Thus, the most efficient system does not win. The system that is willing to bend the rules to its advantage, use its contacts to avoid prosecution and its money to lessen resistance and shape public opinion wins. Let me say just one word here: Microsoft.

      If the markets were efficient, then companies like Citibank would have failed. The same goes for AIG, General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford – all companies where the management failed.

    • India Inc Voice Concern Over Sun s Open Source

      My Twitter network points out as I write this that MySQL is open source and under the GPL, so it can’t really be killed; it’s already been spun off in a slimmer form into the open source community, as Drizzle.

  • Programming

  • E-mail

    • Need open source e-mail security? Get it ASSP!

      What is the best way to prevent spam and viruses from entering your inbox? According to its makers, the open source Anti-Spam SMTP Proxy (ASSP) server project takes the honours because of its design and feature set, and best of all it is free and cross-platform.

    • Funambol Mobile Open Source Community Testing Grows 2,000%, Downloads Gain 34% and Active Servers Increase 42%

      In the past three months, Funambol’s open source community testing increased 2,000%, open source downloads grew 34% and active servers increased 42%. Funambol’s community continues to enhance the software’s interoperability with many systems, including Google apps, MS Exchange, Android and Mozilla Thunderbird. Furthermore, Funambol’s expansion into mobile social networking has fueled significant developer interest and activity.

    • Open source Exchange replacements

      The messaging and groupware landscape has altered significantly in the last few years with, like it or loathe it, Microsoft’s Exchange Server now firmly ensconced as the number one solution regardless of customer size or industry sector. There are alternatives, of course, but rival developers have more or less given up on trying to beat Microsoft at (what’s now) it’s own game. Instead most now concentrate their efforts on developing alternative messaging and collaboration servers which to end users, and their applications, look and behave just like the Exchange they’re hoping to replace.

  • CMS

  • Healthcare

    • Nationally Recognized Psychiatric Hospital Selects Medsphere’s Open Source Electronic Health Record to Transform Clinical Care

      Medsphere SystemsCorporation, the leading provider of open source healthcare IT solutions, todayannounced a five-year contract with Connecticut’s Silver Hill Hospital forimplementation, training and support of the company’s OpenVista electronichealth record (EHR) solution.

    • An Affordable Fix for Modernizing Medical Records

      But commercial vendors, noting a common complaint against open-source software that is developed by engineers here and there, say that they can provide a more reliable soup-to-nuts system and offer many features that users of the VA system have to tack on, notably billing and financial programs that commercial hospitals need to run their business.


      Many start-up companies adapting VistA for commercial use, including Blue Cliff Inc., MELE Associates Inc., Sequence Managers Software and Medsphere Inc., say their systems will still be less expensive for hospitals to deploy. Medsphere, which put together the system for Midland Hospital, says OpenVistA enables hospitals to run system checks for security problems and bugs. And Chief Executive Mike Doyle says the open-source software community can quickly share information and patches to fix or correct them.


  • Using the Internet To Subvert Democracy

    All the recent talk about various polls and elections being pranked or hijacked, serious and silly alike, prompted me to write an article about the technical realities behind online polling, and the political fallout of ever becoming subject to online voting for serious elections

  • Meet Phorm’s PR genius

    Well, Phorm’s public image has had a bit of bother from the European Commission, so it would sort of make sense.

    And this couldn’t be the same “PR guru” Patrick Robertson who orchestrated the £200,000 campaign by Tory grandees against the extradition of ex-Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet, could it?

  • In Europe, Intel Faces a Large Antitrust Fine

    Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, has faced the biggest financial penalties to date, accused of abusing its dominance. It paid a fine in 2004 of 497 million euros, or $663 million at current exchange rates.

    In the Intel case, “I’d be surprised if the fine isn’t as high or higher than in the Microsoft case,” said Howard Cartlidge, the head of the European Union and competition group at the law firm Olswang in London. “Technology markets are where the European Commission has perceived particular problems due to dominant companies.”

    Some legal experts speculate that Intel’s fine could reach about a billion euros, or $1.3 billion. Intel’s annual sales were $37.6 billion in 2008.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Second chance for French net bill

      A controversial French bill which could disconnect people caught downloading music illegally three times returns to parliament on Wednesday for debate.

  • Copyrights

    • Best-selling Swedish author uploads audio book to the Pirate Bay to protest court verdict

      The well-known Swedish author Unni Drougge was so upset by the court verdict against the Pirate Bay that she uploaded a home-made audio book version of her best-selling new novel Boven i Mitt Drama Kallas Kärlek (The villan in my drama is called love) to the site, complete with a manifesto for free file sharing and a link to her Paypal account.

    • Not Smart: Warner Music Issues DMCA Takedown On Larry Lessig Presentation

      If there were anyone out there to whom you would not want to send a random takedown notice for an online video, it would probably be Larry Lessig. Given that Lessig has become the public face for those who feel that copyright has been stretched too far, as well as being a founder of Stanford’s Fair Use Project, and who’s written multiple books on these issues, you would think (just maybe) that any copyright holder would at least think twice before sending a DMCA takedown on a Larry Lessig presentation.

      Apparently, you’d be wrong.

    • Hadopi : l’UMP, parti pirate !

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Natasha Humphries on globalization and job security with Free Open Source Software 14 (2004)

Ogg Theora

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

Gnote Supports 6 More Languages, Does Not Support C#

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Mono, Novell at 7:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FOR those who are looking to detoxify their GNU/Linux distribution which contains GNOME, Gnote 0.3.0 is finally out.

Related posts:

Alcatel-Lucent Versus Microsoft (Video)

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Patents, Videos at 7:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: New video about the Alcatel-Lucent/Microsoft patent dispute

WE WERE NOT able to produce an Ogg version of the following report, which relates to what was covered a fortnight ago.

Direct link

About a month ago, YouTube (Google) began denying the downloading/grabbing of some videos. Are there any infallible solutions that are known? Google appears to be moving goalposts again.

Update: we found a workaround. Here’s the Ogg.

Ogg Theora

The Illusion of Transparency at the European Parliament/Commission (on Microsoft)

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Microsoft at 4:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Money for mortgage

Summary: How does it feel to be left out of the public arena while Microsoft perverts it?

ACCORDING to The Register, after long and repeated procrastination Microsoft has finally responded to antitrust charges. For background:

The original complaint was made by Norwegian browser maker Opera. It accused Microsoft of leveraging its desktop monopoly to distribute the browser and of ignoring web standards. Because of its large market share web developers were encouraged to optimise their sites for IE – to the disadvantage of other browser makers which did follow web standards.

In another news report, it is made publicly known right now that transparency in the EU is seriously deficient. It’s specifically about access to documents.

Being refused access to documents was “by far” the most common allegation made by citizens to the EU Ombudsman last year, revealed a report presented yesterday (27 April).

We have personal and very bitter experience with that, so we’ll present the latest from last week. For the first part of the story, see this long post. It’s about Microsoft attacking Free open source software through European panels. We are still waiting for the Commission to mail us the documents we asked for. It’s taking weeks if not months already and it’s a violation of the regulations.

OpenPGP: *Parts of the message have NOT been signed or encrypted*

Dear Mr Schestowitz,

We acknowledge receipt of your message.

Yours sincerely,


—–Original Message—–
From: Roy Schestowitz
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 5:47 PM
To [anon]
Cc: s at schestowitz.com; [anon] (INFSO); [anon] (INFSO)
Subject: Re: Gestdem 2009/1562 FW: Document access application purpusant to Article 6 EC/1049/2001 (A/617056)

********* *BEGIN ENCRYPTED or SIGNED PART* *********

“Draft input to all WG prepared by the Commission” means the documents
the chairs of the working groups or participants received from the
Commission to guide the work in a particular group.

Roy S. Schestowitz
http://Schestowitz.com | GNU/Linux | PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
Freelance journalist at http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

OpenPGP: *Parts of the message have NOT been signed or encrypted*

Dear Mr. Schestowitz,

Thank you for your e-mail of the 20th of March registered on 23rd of March applying for a copy of documents in accordance with Regulation (EC) N° 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.

Your application will be dealt with within the prescribed delays. You have requested access to the documents as follows:

“I hereby request electronic access to all documents related to the Towards the European Software Strategy process in the posession of the EU-Commission, in particular access to the following documents:
* the list of participants in the industry expert group
* the list of WGs, WGs sleaders and observing Commission officials
* draft contributions of all industry Working groups on a the European Software Strategy
* draft input to all WG prepared by the Commission
* the participant list of the related meeting on January 20th in Brussels
* all submissions from industry to the ESS consultation under the applicable provisions of regulation 1049/2001 which grant me a right of access to all documents mentioned above.”

However, we are unable to identify the documents refereed to in the fourth item “draft input to all WG prepared by the Commission” and the sixth item “all submissions from industry to the ESS consultation”. Please could you clarify your request so that we may continue to process it.

Yours sincerely,


—–Original Message—–
From: [anon]
Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 9:27 AM
Subject: Gestdem 2009/1562 FW: Document access application purpusant to Article 6 EC/1049/2001


En tant que correspondant du réseau accès aux documents, je me permets de vous adresser la demande ci-dessous relative à l’accès au document suivant: “GESTDEM 2009/1562″ all documents related to the Towards the European Software Strategy

Cette demande est introduite dans le cadre du règlement 1049/2001 qui impose un délai impératif de réponse endéans les 15 jours ouvrables soit le 20/04/2009.

Elle a été enregistrée dans ADONIS sous le N° A/09/612974. Je vous saurais gré, par conséquent, de bien vouloir préparer un projet de réponse conformément aux procédures décrites dans le guide ci-dessous, et de l’enregistrer dans ADONIS en lien avec la fiche arrivée ainsi que de faire parvenir une copie du projet de réponse signé à la boîte fonctionnelle INFSO ADONIS

Pour de plus amples détails, vous pouvez consulter notre site reprenant le guide pour le personnel, à l’adresse: http://intra.infso.cec.eu.int/S1/dm_new/docs/special_issues/accesdoc/house_rules_dginfso_04_08.pdf

Je reste à votre entière disposition pour toute information complémentaire.

Bien à vous.


—–Original Message—–
From: [anon] (INFSO)
Sent: Monday, March 23, 2009 5:19 PM
Subject: FW: Document access application purpusant to Article 6 EC/1049/2001

Please registrer in GESTDEM.


—–Original Message—–
From: Roy Schestowitz
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2009 5:15 PM
To [anon] (INFSO)
Subject: Document access application purpusant to Article 6 EC/1049/2001

********* *BEGIN ENCRYPTED or SIGNED PART* *********

As a reply, please answer the following

1. If you intent that

> > The document you are referring to is not a European Commission document, but a document that are made by Zuck and many others from industry.

is a negative reply upon my 1049/2001 request of access to the document
please consider the specific provisions of the regulation that guide
your obligation in the formal processing of an application under
1049/2001. For instance you have the formal obligation to “inform the
applicant of his or her right to make a confirmatory application in
accordance with paragraph 2 of this Article.” and the statement above is
not in line with the formalities under 1049/2001.

If your statement was such a negative official reply, please regard this
mail as a request for a confirmatory application under 1049/2001 for
access to European Software Strategy documents. The origination of the
document is irrelevant. You have to state reasons for access refusal. I
inform you about the substance of Art 4.4 “As regards third-party
documents, the institution shall consult the third party with a view to
assessing whether an exception in paragraph 1 or 2 is applicable, unless
it is clear that the document shall or shall not be disclosed.”

If you regard it as just an informal preliminary communication please
just process the following clarified primary application.

2. I hereby request electronic access to all documents related to the
Towards the European Software Strategy process in the possession of the
EU-Commission, in particular access to the following documents:
* the list of participants in the industry expert group
* the list of WGs, WGs leaders and observing Commission officials
* draft contributions of all industry Working groups on a the European
Software Strategy
* draft input to all WG prepared by the Commission
* the participant list of the related meeting on January 20^th in Brussels
* all submissions from industry to the ESS consultation under the
applicable provisions of regulation 1049/2001 which grant me a right of
access to all documents mentioned above.”

I appreciate your kind assistance. If you feel that you are unable to
process my request yourself it is your obligation to forward it to the
competent person in the Commission.

********** *END ENCRYPTED or SIGNED PART* **********

Still waiting. It has been over a month and it has been very time consuming. Why can’t the document just be handed over immediately?

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