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Maureen O’Gara is Again Spinning SCO’s Defeat

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, GNU/Linux, Novell, SCO, UNIX at 9:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Roller coaster

Summary: Be careful of Maureen O’Gara’s reality distortion field for SCO

PEOPLE CAN TELL APART SCO boosters from actual reporters when they just read the former’s tabloids-style reporting which is skewed by agenda. Several years back, Maureen O’Gara “planted” an attack story targeted against Linux [1, 2] together with Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft's PR department. She has also been using the SCO case to attack GNU/Linux, and the GPL/GNU in particular.

A few days ago we wrote about the high likelihood that SCO will be liquidated pretty soon, but O’Gara just can’t let go because she spins it wildly, whereas Groklaw presents the testimony from an actual eyewitness.

Stuart Singer of Boies Schiller argued for SCO, and I gather he did a fabulous job with very little to work with. Considering that Boies Schiller claims it is “way into the red” on SCO, it’s interesting that they still sent one of their very best, a partner in the firm. Michael Jacobs of Morrison & Foerster argued for Novell, and he is consistently excellent. Both attorneys, Clocks says, were spectacular to watch.

There is one more update from Groklaw and some newer, sparse coverage in the press:

SCO to fight US bankruptcy trustee’s motion to liquidate it

The Department of Justice’s Trustee program, which has finally had enough of SCO’s stalling tactics and failed reorganization attempts, has filed a motion to transition the company to Chapter 7. SCO CEO Darl McBride says that the company will oppose the motion and will present a new reorg plan to the court.

SCO threatened with Chapter 7 destruction

SCO Group’s long-standing legal battles over its claimed Unix copyrights may finally end with US bankruptcy court forcing a Chapter 7 cyanide capsule down the company’s throat.

On Tuesday, the trustee appointed by the federal bankruptcy court in Delaware asked for permission to dissolve the ailing shell-of-a-software-company and pawn off its assets.

SCO being pushed toward liquidation

One of the most notorious and dragged-out court cases in the technology industry may soon find a quick end.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion Tuesday to convert SCO Group’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing to Chapter 7. As a result, all non-exempt property—most likely including SCO’s mobile offerings—would be sold off and the proceeds from the sale would be distributed to SCO’s creditors, among them Novell and potentially IBM and Red Hat.

But, What Will We Do Without SCO?

The saga of SCO v. Linux, known variously as SCO v. Novell, SCO v. IBM, SCO v. Everybody and their Mother, may be coming to a close. Yes, we know this comes as a shock — if anyone needs a moment to compose themselves, or, you know, dig out a case of Dom, we’ll wait — but it may well happen faster than any of us ever expected.

SCO vs. Linux – the end is nigh

There’s been a new twist in the dispute between the SCO Group and Novell over UNIX Intellectual Property. The end may be nigh for the SCO Group – the US Trustee’s Office official responsible for SCO has applied to have the company’s Chapter 11 protection from creditors removed, stating that there is no reasonable prospect that the SCO Group can be “rehabilitated” to the extent that a sound, debt-free business can be re-established.

SCO has not been relevant for years, but with its final burial answers may somehow arrive. Those answers are already obvious to many, but the mainstream press is more reluctant to put emphasis on them.

“[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

Friedman Leaves Novell

Posted in Novell at 9:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Senior vice president of the People Organization for Novell has left

THE headcount at Novell stays at 3,900 right now and someone called Alan Friedman (not to be confused with Nat) has apparently just left. From a press release it turns out that he was quite senior, so to speak.

Friedman was most recently senior vice president of the People Organization for Novell, Inc., a publicly traded maker of infrastructure software for mixed IT environments, employing over 3, 900 people.

A lot of talented people have left Novell over the past couple of years. Perhaps they know what’s coming.

Novell News Summary – Part III: Virtualisation, GroupWise, People, and Videos

Posted in Mail, Marketing, NetWare, Novell, Red Hat, Servers, Videos at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell’s news for this week, with the exception of SUSE

NOVELL IS SAID to be running to partners again, but it’s worth remembering that Novell's channel is broken by its very own admission.

Read the rest of this entry »

Novell News Summary – Part II: SLED on ProBook, Moblin, Wyse; SLES and ScaleMP; Xandros and Presto

Posted in GNU/Linux, HP, Novell, Servers, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 8:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Desktop (SLED)

MACHINES with SLED 11 preinstalled on them are still appearing in some places, but it’s mostly old news. Here is a belated story about the ProBook for example.

Read the rest of this entry »

Novell News Summary – Part I: OpenSUSE Reloaded with KDE4

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, KDE, Novell, OpenSUSE at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: News about OpenSUSE, of which there is a scarcity this week

AS WAS mentioned before, Novell celebrates the funding from Google and CIOL, as usual, just modifies the press release a little bit and then reposts it.

Read the rest of this entry »

EPO and the Swiss Department of Justice Want to Make Some Free Software a Crime

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Law, Patents at 7:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Criminalisation of Free(dom) software still on Europe’s agenda due to patent law and cybercrime debate

NOW THAT the president of the EPO resigns, voices of dissent will have more ammunition with which to show that the EPO is heading the wrong way. As one person puts it, the EPO is just putting lipstick on an old pig that got rejected and it also permits patents (i.e. monopolies) on real pigs in the process.

Do you remember Council Directive 91/250/EEC of 14 May 1991 on the legal protection of computer programs? The Directive which requires EU members to protect computer programs as literary works and to provide for interoperability, decompilation and the making of back-up copies? Well, it is being repealed and re-enacted in consolidated form because a sufficient number of amendments have been made to it. It has now become Directive 2009/24/EC of 23 April 2009 on the legal protection of computer programs.

This law essentially forbids the distribution of Free software, making it illegal by imposition of scarcity on ideas (not implementation, which is already covered by copyrights quite successfully).

Glyn Moody highlights a response from the FSFE and in another writeup he discusses the silliness of it all, alluding to Alison Brimelow’s “as such” trickery.

As readers of this blog will know, software cannot be patented in Europe “as such”; quite what that wretched “as such” means is the subject of major arguments. As I noted earlier this week, the European Patent Office is currently conducting a consultation into that and much else concerning the patentability of software, to which it is relatively well disposed.

Mike Masnick weighed in on the same topic, namely the phasing in of software patents via the UK (where Brimelow is from).

Rather than just saying “uh, the courts said so,” it claims that it allowed the patent because it’s “more than just a software program,” saying that the invention was a “technical contribution.” Apparently, the new rules mean that as long as software makes a “technical contribution” it can be patented. But… uh… what software doesn’t make a “technical contribution” of some sort

Speaking of software patents, here is another attempt to use laws to criminalise some Free software (as if law alone will actually prevent possession of binaries and code rather than just daemonise it).

The Federal Department of Justice and Police recently proposed to introduce legislation illegalizing so-called «hacker tools» in Switzerland as well. However, the proposed paragraph deviates massively from the original European cybercrime convention which it attempts to implement. Consequently, the legislation would not only outlaw «hacker tools» which can be used only by evildoers breaking into other people’s machines without permission, but in fact any type of tool used to test or ensure system security (such as Nessus, Metasploit, or even simple administrative tools used for network debugging, such as tcpdump, snoop or wireshark).

It’s already ‘enforced’ in the UK and Germany. To be sarcastic, cybercriminals will surely be terrified by the thought of just possessing 0s and 1s, never mind the actual crime that they commit.

As DRM teaches, policing this is impossible and it only ever harms the innocent. Cybercriminals don’t obey laws pertaining to neither conduct nor possession; that’s what makes them criminals in the first place.

U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (Windows Shop) Gets Cracked Again

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Corollary: People may start caring about computer security not when businesses become less productive but when disaster eventually strikes

WE’VE already shown that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is relying on a great deal of Windows [1, 2], so it’s not surprising to find it getting cracked again. From the news:

i. FAA admits problems with hackers

According to CNET, the US Federal Aviation Administration has admitted that hackers have broken into the air traffic control mission-support systems several times in recent years. In one case they managed to become ‘insiders’ to the network.

ii. Report: Hackers broke into FAA air traffic control systems

Hackers have broken into the air traffic control mission-support systems of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration several times in recent years, according to an Inspector General report sent to the FAA this week.

Also in the news in recent days:

i. Researchers Release Bootkit Code Targeting Windows 7

Dubbed Vbootkit 2.0, the software was first presented by researchers Vipin Kumar and Nitin Kumar at the Hack In The Box security conference in Dubai in April. At the conference, the two researchers demonstrated how attackers could circumvent security features implemented in the kernel and gain control over Windows 7 (x64).

ii. Microsoft to patch ‘critical’ PowerPoint hole

Microsoft plans to patch a hole in its PowerPoint presentation program, the company said in an advanced bulletin that was notable because it contained only a single update.

iii. Botnet master hits the kill switch, takes down 100,000 PCs

Those behind the Zeus botnet recently decided to press the big red button, bluescreening 100,000 computers around the globe. Security experts aren’t sure why yet, although they have some ideas.

iv. Windows and Viruses – Made for each other

This is the screenshot of the cnet’s download.com which shows the most popular downloads for windows. The first five positions are taken by anti-virus software :-). Sadly there is no ‘Linux’ download section but ‘Mac’ has a place.

v. Microsoft ‘fixes’ its malware problem

Computerworld has an Microsoft WGA/WAT spokesman quoted as saying: “When we went out and talked to customers, we found that activation was the concept that resonated most strongly with them”.

The quote ends there, but may have ended: “…Like memories of the first time they were kicked in the groin.”

In any case, Microsoft’s draconian licensing enforcement ‘technology’ is malware by its own definition. And it’s forced on the user through EULAs of questionable legality.

There is no advantage to it for the user, only advantages for Microsoft. And renaming it won’t make it more attractive to users or any more palatable.

Maybe someday, smart users will stop buying software products that have a built-in remote off switch.

Name changes never resolve problems, except for perceptual problems.

Opera Complains About Vista 7

Posted in Antitrust, Google, Microsoft, Rumour, Vista 7, Windows at 6:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7

Summary: Microsoft breaks the law with Vista 7 and Microsoft may intend to use Google as its excuse

Microsoft is in trouble with the law because of Vista 7, which is designed to be anti-competitive. It turns out now that not only Mozilla (Firefox) is complaining as the Financial Times initially reported. Opera too is part of the complaint. The source which made this claim adds:

Yes, if you choose a “Custom” install, you can control which browser will be the default. But most users will choose the express option; and if they’ve already selected a default browser other than IE, why not leave it that way? This isn’t accidental behavior; it was intentionally done by Microsoft, and today things like these don’t go unnoticed.

If rumours are true, Microsoft already prepares for the “equally evil” strategy to defend itself in this case. What is the “equally evil” strategy? It’s the strategy whereby Microsoft starts attacking another company rather than defend its own actions. This time it allegedly plans to attack Google.

MICROSOFT WILL APPARENTLY try to distract the European Commission antitrust inquiry by pointing a finger at Google and claiming, “If you destroy our browser monopoly, Google will just step right in instead”.

Yahoo is already giving up to Microsoft on the face of it and Microsoft is still insisting that it’s wrong for “evil Google” to have a deal with Yahoo whilst perfectly fine for “gentle Microsoft” to do the same.

When asked about Microsoft’s failed bid to buy Yahoo last year, he said a partnership would have been “valuable.” “I’m glad we went down the road,” Ballmer said. He repeated earlier comments about the potential opportunities of a search deal with Yahoo, which would likely attract more customers and advertisers.

For more information about the Yahoo-Microsoft situation, a decent place to start would be this.

“Too many of us look upon Americans as dollar chasers. This is a cruel libel, even if it is reiterated thoughtlessly by the Americans themselves.”

Albert Einstein

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