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05.05.09

Intel’s Co-Founder Spills the Beans on the Great Patent Lie

Posted in Hardware, Patents, Quote at 3:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Intel’s Andy Grove compares patents to toxic loans

Setting aside Intel's many market-bound crimes for a moment, here we have another abusive monopolist saying what he really thinks about intellectual monopolies:

Andy Grove: Patents Are Like Mortgage Backed Securities

It’s an interesting comparison and one that does seem apt the more you think about it. In separating out the “security” from the underlying asset, we tend to distort things. It was that distortion that resulted in the financial crisis, as it enabled those who wanted to sell risky things to obscure the actual risks and pretend that their securities were safer than they were.

Grove Says Patent System May Have Same Flaws as Derivatives

Andy Grove, who oversaw Intel Corp.’s emergence as the world’s largest chip company, says the U.S. patent system suffers from the same kind of flaws that brought about the global financial crisis.

Patents have evolved to a point where they often aren’t developed into products, and instead are instruments traded by speculators looking for the highest possible profit, Grove said May 2 at an event in Mountain View, California. Similar to financial derivatives, the link between patents and the products they protect is getting more tenuous, he said.

Intel’s Grove: Something foul in Silicon Valley

Speaking to a diverse Silicon Valley audience that included Gordon Moore (founder of both Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel); Ted Hoff (co-inventor of the microprocessor); Carver Mead (VLSI concept); Intel CEO Paul Otellini; and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Grove said the patent system is slouching toward the model that precipitated the financial crisis in the U.S.

Isn’t it sad that while Intel’s origins insist that patents are toxic, Intel is also accused (in China for example) of being an abusive monopoly which is endlessly using its patents to terrorise competitors? It’s sincere hypocrisy.

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

Bill Gates (when Microsoft was smaller)

Microsoft Cuts 5,000 Staff, More Likely to Come

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 11:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sunken boat

Summary: Overview of the coverage regarding Microsoft’s latest round of layoffs

WE WROTE about this yesterday and it turns out to be true. The company which relentlessly attacks GNU/Linux and also suppresses Freedom is down for the count (again).

Cringely said 50,000, but Microsoft may make it another 5,000 — for now.

UK coverage:

More details will come soon. It will also be realised which products/services/divisions get reduced or altogether axed.

The company’s shares are down today. Well, obviously they are. The company’s earnings are down 32% and GNU/Linux is partly responsible.

“[If I ask you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be?] Open…Linux. I don’t want to say open source. Linux, certainly have to go with that.”

Steve Ballmer (Microsoft’s CEO), February 28th, 2008

Consumer Watchdog Funded by the Rose Foundation, Which is Funded by Exxon, Banks, Others…

Posted in Deception, Finance, Google, Microsoft, SCO at 8:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Following the anti-Google grant…

“…Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”

Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO

Summary: Consumer Watchdog, formerly hosted by an AstroTurfing firm, has its Google attack funded ($100,000) by the Rose Foundation, which in turn has other funders

YESTERDAY’S POST about Consumer Watchdog brought the attention of those involved, who mostly defected the questions we asked.

Here is slightly tidied-up log from a conversation that took place over the past hour.

schestowitz UK Gov’t Considers Google Tax? http://techdirt.com/articles/20… See my argument with a PAID anti-Google shill: http://boycottnovell.com/2009/05/04/consumer… May 05 13:08
schestowitz Holy FUD! The Mother Of All Anti-Google Rants: Comparing Google To The Taliban < http://techdirt.com/articles/2… > May 05 13:11
oiaohm You will find its a web in the PR world to hide exactly where the money came from. May 05 13:13
schestowitz oiaohm: yes, there’s a limit to how much you can follow May 05 13:13
schestowitz It becomes challenging at some stage May 05 13:14
schestowitz See SCO->BayStar->MS May 05 13:14
schestowitz “On the same day that CA blasted SCO, Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond revealed a leaked email from SCO’s strategic consultant Mike Anderer to their management. The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.” –Perens May 05 13:14
schestowitz “…Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.” –Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO May 05 13:14
schestowitz “[Microsoft's] Mr. Emerson and I discussed a variety of investment structures wherein Microsoft would ‘backstop,’ or guarantee in some way, BayStar’s investment…. Microsoft assured me that it would in some way guarantee BayStar’s investment in SCO.” –Larry Goldfarb May 05 13:14
oiaohm Hmm that template looks strangely linked at www.rosefdn.org  going to check out domain would not be surprised if it not another grassroots site. May 05 13:15
schestowitz http://techdirt.com/ar… — Intel’s co-founder says patents are like a bubble waiting to burst. May 05 13:16
schestowitz oiaohm: which one? May 05 13:17
schestowitz I mean, which is like the rosenfdn? May 05 13:17
schestowitz SourceWatch has some good research that show who created what umbrella/shells and why May 05 13:17
schestowitz More details on Elsevier’s corruption. http://techdirt.com/articles/2009… Another reason for me never to publish in Elsevier (other than the MS connection) May 05 13:18
oiaohm http://electricembers.net/aboutus.php  I wonder if we should contact www.rosefdn.org host. May 05 13:20
oiaohm They have a strict rule against advertisement of any form. May 05 13:20
schestowitz oiaohm: what about? May 05 13:21
schestowitz I don’t quite follow. What to look at..? May 05 13:21
oiaohm electricembers.net is www.rosefdn.org web host. May 05 13:22
*kentma has quit (Read error: 110 (Connection timed out)) May 05 13:22
schestowitz it took the Bulldogs (Watchdog) just HOURS to mail me after I posted in BN May 05 13:23
schestowitz So they stalk their own image May 05 13:23
schestowitz And then they try to police it… May 05 13:23
oiaohm Opp I left out a them and about. May 05 13:23
schestowitz It’s not easy to find me E-mail addy, either. May 05 13:23
schestowitz is rosenfdn rotten? May 05 13:23
schestowitz All we know is that they make donations to attack Google May 05 13:23
schestowitz But the question is, on whose behalf, if anyone? May 05 13:24
schestowitz People don’t just attack Google as a hobby May 05 13:24
schestowitz That’s just how people portray themselves in foundations May 05 13:24
oiaohm http://techdirt.com/articles/200…  Its simple to find the hosts email address. May 05 13:24
schestowitz Like the Gates Foundry May 05 13:24
schestowitz Or Baystar May 05 13:24
oiaohm Oops wrong link. May 05 13:24
schestowitz Microsoft’s funnel for lawsuits against Linux May 05 13:24
schestowitz Oh wait May 05 13:24
oiaohm http://toolbar.netcraft.com/si… May 05 13:24
schestowitz http://blogs.ft.com/maverecon/2009/… May 05 13:25
schestowitz Google=Taliban May 05 13:25
schestowitz Says the FT, which is praising Microsoft a lot May 05 13:26
schestowitz oiaohm: is there anything to say what rosenfdn attacks Google? May 05 13:26
schestowitz I look at their pages May 05 13:26
schestowitz NOTHING about privacy May 05 13:26
schestowitz So the idea that they promote privacy seems moot May 05 13:26
oiaohm rosenfdn is all meant to be about the environment. May 05 13:27
oiaohm I think contacting them is required to find out if this is a fake link. May 05 13:27
oiaohm It would not be the first time I have see a PR try that. May 05 13:28
oiaohm http://www.rosefdn.org/contactus.php  If they are not in it they will be highly offended. May 05 13:28
oiaohm Fake linking basically says astroturfer. May 05 13:29
schestowitz I’ll check May 05 13:29
oiaohm http://www.rosefdn.org/downloads/…  They are the funding source. May 05 13:32
schestowitz “My name is Roy Schestowitz and I am a reporter investigating an entity called Consumer Watchdog. They claim that you funded a campaign of theirs against Google and I just wanted to confirm this because I realise that you focus on benefits to the environment and communities.” May 05 13:32
schestowitz “Looking forward to your response.” May 05 13:32
oiaohm Its down right huge $100 000 USD> May 05 13:32
schestowitz That’s the E-mail I just sent them May 05 13:32
oiaohm I googled. May 05 13:32
oiaohm And found there list of 2008 grants. May 05 13:32
schestowitz Useful May 05 13:33
schestowitz Ha May 05 13:33
schestowitz Google is there May 05 13:33
schestowitz $100,000 May 05 13:33
schestowitz “watchdogged” May 05 13:34
schestowitz This is sick May 05 13:35
schestowitz They are basically funding lots of lobbyists May 05 13:35
schestowitz Why? May 05 13:35
schestowitz Who gains? May 05 13:35
oiaohm So you are right the first one is just a hired gun. May 05 13:36
oiaohm Why are lobbyist funding lobbyist. May 05 13:36
schestowitz oiaohm: money chain May 05 13:37
schestowitz Yes May 05 13:37
oiaohm http://www.rosefdn.org/article.php…  Found more of the money chain. May 05 13:40
schestowitz Ha. May 05 13:41
schestowitz Well, yesterday I tried to find an MS funnel without much success May 05 13:41
schestowitz “San Francisco Bay-Delta Fund: Originally seeded with a $900,000 restitution award from Exxon and supplemented by payments from many additional settlements involving San Francisco Baykeeper, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance,” May 05 13:42
schestowitz Wha wha? May 05 13:42
schestowitz Exxon? May 05 13:42
schestowitz “…Union Bank and Cal Fed Bank…” May 05 13:43
schestowitz So it’s not some God-like rich dude giving this money May 05 13:43
schestowitz It’s corporations May 05 13:43
schestowitz Instead of Exxon funding Grassroots.com  (AstroTurf) it’s just some <X> foundation May 05 13:43
oiaohm And the banks were most likely given the money to give to the PR group. May 05 13:44
schestowitz http://www.rosefdn.org/article.ph… May 05 13:44
oiaohm So effectively the money has been well and truly washed. May 05 13:45
schestowitz Banks given by whom? May 05 13:45
schestowitz Companies that have vested interests? May 05 13:45
oiaohm Yep. May 05 13:45
oiaohm That would be normal. May 05 13:45
schestowitz Some funds come from settlements though May 05 13:46
schestowitz I.e. from penalised companies May 05 13:46
oiaohm This money laundering on a grand scale. May 05 13:47
oiaohm You get ordered to pay money so you pay it to a PR group who will attack your competition. May 05 13:47
oiaohm If you can of course. May 05 13:48
oiaohm So unless they come clean about the complete source of this money we cannot even tell if what they are doing is legal or not. May 05 13:48
oiaohm Remember I said the USA system was rotten to the core this is what I was talking about schestowitz. May 05 13:49
schestowitz I know about the PR riddle May 05 13:49
schestowitz I mean, look at SourceWatch May 05 13:49
schestowitz it has extensive documentation of just the edge of the machinations of this system May 05 13:49
oiaohm Dig deep enough and there is illegally used money. May 05 13:49
schestowitz It had no page that I could find about the Rosefdn May 05 13:50
schestowitz Sue May 05 13:50
schestowitz Sure May 05 13:50
schestowitz Let’s stop it there May 05 13:50
oiaohm SourceWatch does not track funders. May 05 13:50
schestowitz I’ll post this bit of of the log separately May 05 13:50
oiaohm Only the PR doers. May 05 13:50
schestowitz I don’t have much time today to organise the facts May 05 13:50
schestowitz oiaohm: yes May 05 13:50
*schestowitz processes the log May 05 13:52
oiaohm SourceWatch was more created by press people who did not want to be tricked by PR with no interest in finding the source of the fake PR. May 05 13:52

There is some more in yesterday’s IRC log. This is where the subject, like many others that we cover, originally came up.

“[Microsoft's] Mr. Emerson and I discussed a variety of investment structures wherein Microsoft would ‘backstop,’ or guarantee in some way, BayStar’s investment…. Microsoft assured me that it would in some way guarantee BayStar’s investment in SCO.”

Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: May 4th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

OIN Explains TomTom’s Settlement with Microsoft (and Other Patent News)

Posted in America, Europe, GNU/Linux, IBM, Kernel, Microsoft, OIN, Patents, TomTom at 4:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gavel in silk

Summary: TomTom may reveal the details of its FAT settlement, Topolanek escapes the room, and an IBMer might become the next PTO Director

IAM Magazine, a site by lawyers for lawyers (i.e. patent maximalism), has just published an interesting entry (free subscription to read) whose heading heralds: “Microsoft invites TomTom to reveal settlement terms after OIN chief’s claims”

Speaking in a session based on the EPO’s Scenarios for the Future project, Bergelt explained that under Dutch law, a company only has to reveal how much it has paid to settle a dispute if the amount exceeds a certain percentage of its market capitalisation. According to Bergelt, in TomTom’s case the sum would have had to have been over $500,000. As TomTom has not made any figures public, Bergelt claimed, the settlement amount must have fallen below the threshold.

This pretty much answers the question about the amount TomTom was required to pay. It was already discussed in [1, 2]. Digital Majority found this interesting part of a thread about FAT in Linux (TomTom effect): “Steve, can you please stop the bullsh**ting? From the complete lack of technical arguments it’s pretty obvious that this seems to be some FUD fallout from the MS vs TomTom patent lawsuit.

The Linux FUD blog, which debunks Linux FUD on a routinely basis, has just written about Microsoft’s strategy with patents and lawsuits against Linux. Here is just a portion:

Microsoft vs. Linux

Microsoft has claimed that Linux violates approximately 235 patents. The company has reportedly “chosen” to not sue, and the rationale for this choice has been the topic of much speculation. Microsoft has not revealed the details of the violations, including the identifying numbers of the violated patents.

Lack of merit in the claim is probably the reason most people believe Microsoft has not filed – in other words, Microsoft is bluffing. Perhaps Microsoft knows that the patents are not enforcible for one reason or another, but it also knows fully that it retains power derived from fear so long as it can make threats that sound credible. If the claim does lack merit, that power would diminish rapidly once a case is brought against the first defendant. Either the patents would be found to be unenforcible (e.g. prior art would be proven), or legal action against one defendant would prompt the Linux community as a whole to adapt quickly. Details of the suit would provide the vital information required to ensure that Linux complies with all patents going forward.

Many Linux supporters and advocates disapproved when Novell and XandrOS succumbed to this fear when they signed their now famous “peace treaties” with Microsoft.

There is another interesting entry in IAM Magazine. Some time ago we wrote about the Microsoft-sponsored presidency from the Czech Republic and its role in lobbying for software patents in Europe [1, 2]. It is doing a lot of damage and now we find this hilarious report:

Patent change in Europe is unlikely if business leaders remain silent

[...]

With all that that in mind, Topolanek claimed that he was confident that the Czech Presidency of the EU had enabled progress which could now be built on by the Swedes, who assume the presidency at the end of June. It all sounded very impressive, I have to say – a national leader talking eloquently about the importance of patents to Europe’s future. Who’d have thought it? Then he was asked to explain what the Czechs had done in concrete terms to take things forward. He paused for a very brief moment before saying: “I do not know, this is not my area.” He then got up and left.

Priceless.

So on behalf of large multinationals, those politicians seem to be promoting more fences and barriers to competition. Then they are surprised that no support is received from local businesses, except the fake ones (AstroTurfers for monopolies).

Other patent news this week:

It turns out that the next PTO Director might sadly enough be coming from a company which is in favour of software patents (IBM).

Much of the job of PTO director involves employee relations, and Kappos continues to successfully lead one of the largest private patent departments in the world. His current and former employees are loyal to him as a leader and praise his creativity and genius. The IBM IP office is known for its spirited and open debates on policy and direction. In my view, this corporate management experience and patent prosecution experience are more relevant to running the PTO than – say – running litigation teams at a law firm, managing a congressional committee, or even teaching a group of law students.

The FSF is already taking its fight against software patents up a notch:

End Software Patents today launched en.swpat.org, a wiki to document the case against software patents. Over 100 articles have already been started to give an idea of the scope and structure of the wiki.

Any contributions to that Wiki would of course be valuable.

“Small enterprises generally adopt a rather negative position towards the current increasing granting of patents for software and algorithms because they fear that these will hamper or eventually even impede their work (more than 85%).” —German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Study of the Innovation Performance of German Software Companies, 2006, p. 86

Is Jupiter Broadcasting’s Linux Action Show Anti-GNU/Linux?

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 3:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Just “Linux” without the rest, except Mono maybe

Fear in dice

Summary: Familiar talking points promote bashing of GNU/Linux

THIS subject is not exactly new, but it is something that we never wrote about before. Vicious attacks on Richard Stallman have already come* from the “Linux” [sic] Action Show (Jupiter Broadcasting), so it is clear that the mentality over there is a little different from some.

While we see no need to produce a link to the vicious attacks on Richard Stallman and other things in GNU/Linux, surprise surprise here comes another new attack.

One of our reader asks, “just who is doing the talking?”

Here is this video of the who was giving the talk. Our reader/informant asks, “what kind of fan opens a talk with ‘Linux Sucks’, trashes 64 bit Linux (a ‘question’ from the audience), trashes Gimp, and uptalks Mono?”

Speaking of Mono, here is a new post about it:

Re-spinning famous quotes: Linux and Cancer.

[...]

The strange thing is, replace just one word in the quote and it makes perfect sense to me:

Mono is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.

On goes our reader, connecting the talk also to “Linux Hater” (of whom Novell's de Icaza is a fan):

That whole blog seems to be designed to put people off. Imagine Novell trashing their own OS on their own website. In the referenced video the first speaker talks of lets not go at this from any sort of morality or open freeness or anything like that. But from ‘Linux sucks’.

You don’t fix issues with Open Office, you report them to the developers who fix them !!

I’m very disappointing in de Icaza that he would associate with stuff like this. See the latest from linuxhaters.blogspot.com. He links to a Novell blog post about Linux being ok for ‘fun and experiments’ but not for serious professional use. A lot of I like Linux except it lacks x-feature fud. They would of course pick the the most high end intensive application they could find.

“you will have problems. I think that Linux apps will be different and will have less functionality… but you should have free time”

Then they point to a “Linux Sucks” presentation, that recommends Mono…

The problem with this kind of ‘support’ is that while it is legitimate technical criticism, it will be taken up by the astroturfers to trash the platform. As in this case being referenced on a blog referenced by Linux Hater. Well, well, well; what do you know the Novell blog references the Linux Hater blog. And now we get a classic troll of the form of appealing to authority. As in you can believe my credentials but not me. As even me wouldn’t believe me.

“I’m a professional video editor… I would never try to use linux for professional video editing. There are two reasons for this”

[...]

“Apparently Linux is bad at some video and audio tasks”

This type of trashing is already being picked up by Internet publications like ECT, for example, which has just come up with the headline “Does Linux Suck?” These insulting headlines are being defended by self-procolaimed “Linux people” who trash the platform.
________
* We would rather not link to examples, but they are easy to find. Ridiculing the very same person who is the genesis of what their show is about is a step too far. In fact, these people are some of the most offensive anti-Free software broadcasters I’ve come across recently and they also promote Novell/SUSE. That’s why I decided never to link them and their show, although I may have done this before.

Mark on the back

European Internet Falls Ill

Posted in Europe at 2:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Woman doctor

Summary: Europe’s Internet is under attack freedom-wise and bandwidth-wise

ABOUT HALF of Boycott Novell’s readers are located in the United States, but two of our readers from Europe wanted to pass on timely information. Given the nature of such information, this medium seems more or less suitable.

An anonymous reader wrote:

I suppose you are aware of this campaign: “European Emergency!: on May 6th some of the Europarlamentaries intend to finish with the freedom of the Internet.” Blackout Europe says, ““The European open internet is under imminent threat.”

Our reader explains: “You might consider writing to the MEPs so that they can vote for amendments that would assure no disconnection or Web censorship is executed upon the citizens without a judge ordering it. I saw a video of a MEP, Nigel Farage, and he seemed quite honest on the in favor for a referendum, I know he is a right-wing euroskeptic, but maybe he would be receptive to an e-mail. (I am probably wrong, just an idea). In case the telecom package gets approved without any modification that guarantees our civil rights and freedoms, we will be a great step closer to 1984. Let’s hope not.

A separate reader complains about Internet speeds being stifled in the UK. He went on about a BBC program which covered 100 MB fiber link to people’s homes, explaining that:

The BBC had a program on last night about fiber-to-home in parts of London near a football stadium. They fired it up and then went to the iPlayer site, only it stuck at 32 MB a second. They then went to an Ubuntu download site and downloaded an ISO at 7.76 MB. Finally they recommended the 100 MB link for a number of client PCs.

[...]

Well, it’s interesting as to what it says about the state of broadband in a ‘developed’ country in mid 2009. iirc from the show, ***Korea*** has better broadband than the UK. There was also an interview with a (BT?) telecom rep explaining as to how people don’t want fiber to their homes or it wouldn’t be worth it, which is why it stops at the street and then goes copper.

They then do a demo of iPlayer at 100MB, which is chocked off by the BBC at 32MB. The point being that the demo, on the BBC, of iPlayer at 100 MB, demonstrates that it don’t work. This is a consumer program, presumably designed to enthuse us to upgrade to fiber (at great expense), and it demonstrates that there isn’t a service out there that works at 100 MB !!

My comment is, why should the consumer upgrade to 100 MB broadband when there isn’t any services to handle that kind of traffic? And the media providers won’t supply rich-fast services as the link to the consumer won’t yet carry it.

It is worth adding that USENET too is under attack, but Internet freedom is not our focus here.

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