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05.26.09

Links 26/05/2009: KDE4 Bits, Ubuntu and Shops

Posted in News Roundup at 5:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Government Users Start Looking Under Linux Hood

    If you are a local government IT official in the U.S. today, it’s likely easier for you to pick up a phone and get easy, quick answers from proprietary software vendors to find technology products to fill your needs, rather than having to manually sort through the sometimes fragmented world of open source projects to find a good fit.

  • Invisible Linux: The Details

    Invisible Linux would essentially do for Linux what Apple did with NeXTStep / BSD: take the open source core and wrap it in a layer that may not be open source but which is polished to a degree that makes it irresistible to end users. Such a package would consist of three things: a stable and dependable ABI/API layer for programmers; a professionally designed and use-tested interface for end users; and an organized deployment of all these things for the sake of administrators and commercial software creators.

  • Vistec rolls e-beam for 8-nm devices

    The system includes Linux-based operational software. Users can choose the preferred data preparation scheme.

  • Giving New Life to Old Macs With Linux

    If you’ve run older PowerPC-based Macs in your businesses you may be wondering what to do with them now that Apple has made the transition to Intel, and the G3, G4 and G5 processors are beginning to show their age.

    One possibility is to scrap OS X, and turn the machines into servers (or workstations) running Linux. Several distros run on PowerPC Macs, including familiar names like Ubuntu and OpenSUSE, as well as one that is probably less familiar: Yellow Dog Linux (YDL).

    YDL is a distro based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux/CentOS core.

  • Why Your Boss Wants You to Use Linux

    As you “already know” – boss knows the best. If bosses were given to choose an operating system which would be right for their employees, that will be Linux. Here is the reasons:

    1. Since Linux is free, you have no reason to ask him for part of its budget every time you install, upgrade, and get new software applications. Now instead of buying you a Windows Vista Ultimate Edition, He now has extra money to spare for a spa.

    2. Because “he loves you and your job” so much, he wants you and your computer to be free from virus always. In addition, most bosses want the working place to be always clean and just hearing the words like virus, bacteria, or etc make them angry because they know that in the near future someone can absentee from the job.

    [...]

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Unified Kernel 0.2.4

      On May 22nd, 2009, Linux Unified Kernel project development team officially issued Unified Kernel 0.2.4. This version ports the file managment functions into kernel with one interface, and fixes bugs of registry managment in the previous one. With the improvement, applications will perform better on Linux Unified Kernel than on Wine. And the .rpm and .deb installation files are provided in the new release to save the installing time and storage space.

    • New Open-Linux Firmware for ICY BOX IB-NAS4220-B and IB-NAS4210

      With immediate effect there is an improved open Linux firmware available for the ICY BOX IB-NAS4220-B and IB-NAS4210-B (version no. 2.6.3.2 and no. 2.6.3.1). It is the first update since the last official release in November 2008.

  • Applications

    • NetFlix Where Art Thou ?

      OK…I think we can put the old wive’s tale to bed that Linux Users just don’t spend money.

      2DBoy will be the first to punch a pin in that bubble.

      I could have linked the same data with a personal quote from Kyle from 2DBoy in my blog but that wouldn’t have proven much. The fact that Linux Users absolutely destroyed all previous first-day sales of World Of Goo by 40% is a powerful indicator.

  • K Desktop Environment

    • KDE 4.3 Beta 1: A Short Preview

      There are a ton of features in KDE 4.3, more than I could possibly mention in one article. It seems that there are improvements all over the place.

    • 15 Beautiful KDM Themes

      KDM (KDE Display Manager) is the default graphical login interface of the K Desktop Environment. Anyone who uses KDE should know that KDM is highly customizable and can be easily configured.

  • Distributions

    • Sooner (Linux Mint 7), Later (Fedora 11) and Now (ooVoo 2.1)

      It looks like Linux Mint will be making their next release, 7 or “Gloria”, in the next few days, according to the Linux Mint Blog. This is good news, because the new release is based on Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope”, which means you will get OpenOffice 3, and quite a few other nice updates. Of course, there are lots of Mint-specific updates as well, many of which look very nice. I’ve been running the Release Candidate for a couple of weeks now, and it is very good.

    • Fedora 11: Virtual(ization) Reality

      8. Working on virtualization must be awfully time consuming and involved. Do you enjoy it? What do you do to get away from the pressures of hacking?

      Working on open source virtualization technology is a great experience because it is a really interesting and challenging field, having plenty of talented developers to work with and learn from. There is plenty of work still to be done at all levels of the stack from kernel/hypervisor right through to end user applications and not nearly enough time to do it all. I’m fortunate to be able to spread my work between upstream projects, the Fedora community and RHEL releases and maintenance.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu AppCenter

        The following is only an idea, but it could become reality in one of the next releases of the popular Ubuntu operating system. Back in August 2005, Matthew Paul Thomas submitted, on the Ubuntu wiki page, an idea and design of a piece of software that would unify all the existing package managers in the Ubuntu distribution. At the moment, the software is called AppCenter, and it was recently brought into spotlight. If you look at the mockup below, it pretty much looks like the Add/Remove application that is already an important part of the Ubuntu OS, but… if you look closer, you can notice that it also includes the ability to retrieve security and software updates.

      • Canonical developers aim to make Android apps run on Ubuntu

        As Android’s platform gains a stronger following and attracts commercial software vendors, the ability to use Android software on a conventional Linux distro could be a significant asset for users and hardware vendors. It would also boost the inherent portability of Android applications, potentially making Android a more palatable target for some third-party application developers.

      • Android Full Screen on Ubuntu

        Hacking pays off. I can now run the Android stack on Ubuntu with applications and the launcher running full-screen.

      • Ubuntu to get Appstore

        It seems every man plus dog is trying to build an AppStore to mirror Apple’s success. The latest comes from Open Source outfit Canonical which makes the user-friendly Linux OS Ubuntu. Of course the Linux fanbois claim that they had the idea first as Apple’s AppStore is very similar to their idea of Linux repositories. However there is no doubt that the AppStore does things a lot better with an awful lot of software.

      • Dell Studio XPS 13 with Ubuntu Linux

        Dell have certainly been showing Ubuntu some much needed attention over the last few months, and now they have decided to offer a Linux-based operating system on their new Dell Studio XPS 13 notebook, this is one of their hottest items at the moment.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Router platform runs OpenWRT Linux

      Ubicom is shipping a OpenWRT Linux-based router platform and reference design using the company’s new Ubicom IP7100 Router Gateway Evaluation board. The Ubicom board incorporates its StreamEngine IP7100 series network RISC processor, and includes a gigabit WAN port and four gigabit LAN ports, says the company.

    • Phones

      • HTC plans Android-based ‘OPhone’ for China

        For a holiday, it’s been an eventful day in the world of HTC-Android-phone news. First came those leaked internal AT&T documents that showed, among other things, a new HTC Android device called the Lancaster that’s supposedly targeted for an August U.S. launch. Now comes word of HTC’s plans, starting next month, to sell an Android-powered smartphone in China, the world’s largest wireless market.

      • New Open Source Mobile Phone Targets Business Users: Report

        Also consider this: For a few months, now, analysts have been calling for flexible open source platforms to fuel sales of smartphones, which some say will double their share of the entire cell phone market by 2013.

        [...]

        Officials at the international firm, whose U.S. headquarters are in Boston, say support from developers, vendors and operators is driving adoption of the open source devices.

      • Hacking Android on Ubuntu

        Great now I can run Android, right? Not yet. I came to find out that there are many things in the Android code that rely on specific hardware features. For example, is the device powered on? Of course it is on — we are a computer :)

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Feature-packed UMPC survives four-foot drops

        Data Ltd announced a ruggedized UMPC (ultra-mobile PC) claimed to survive multiple four-foot drops onto concrete. The Linux-compatible “DLI 8400″ uses a 1.6GHz Atom processor, has hard disk or SSD (solid state disk) storage, and operates for nine hours via two hot-swappable batteries, the company says.

      • At last! Moblin has made Linux look cool!

        Moblin, though, is different. It’s not a boiler. It’s sleek, it’s slick, it’s almost sexy.

        So naturally, somebody’s going to bugger it up. Of course they will. It’s Linux!

        Instead of a single version of Moblin, there’s going to be loads, and netbook firms are going to muck around with it, and we’re going to end up with the same old confusion that stops Linux from breaking through and becoming the OS your mum, dad and grandparents use.

      • First look: Intel’s Moblin 2.0 Linux desktop for netbooks

Free Software/Open Source

  • Code alteration isn’t what open source is about

    Many vendors are jumping on the open source bandwagon and trying to make a ‘quick buck’ out of an emerging trend. Skewed versions of the definition of open source can largely be attributed to these vendors and it is recommended that companies seek out only certified and reputable open source vendors.

    Open source technology is by nature practical and pristine. Reputable vendors will not boast that their software and hardware have new and sexy features; they will not use alterable code as a selling point or claim to be absolutely “free”.

    Open source can only be considered to be so if it has a strong open source community backing. Anything less is something else entirely.

  • Innovation’s Catalyst

    Enthusiasts have had a central role developing the Web and open-source software, often doing what they loved doing without wondering whether they would make money at it. At O’Reilly, we’ve been following enthusiasts to learn more about the technologies they’re playing with. Tim O’Reilly calls them “alpha geeks.” (See “Where Real Innovation Happens.”)

    [...]

    Most importantly, he saw that users benefit from their own innovations. This insight speaks to the motivation of enthusiasts: They are doing it for themselves. Innovation results from making something you want to use yourself. It’s the same idea that Eric S. Raymond described when he remarked that open-source projects were started by developers who were “scratching their own itch.”

  • Browsers

    • Five Questions With Dion Almaer – Co-Creator Of Mozilla Bespin

      Dion Almaer is a name you will find 80,700 results for when searching on Google, so it is clear that people know how Dion Almaer is however, let’s kick this interview of with, like the shower scene in a slasher movie, the obligatory first question, who is Dion Almaer?

      Haha, yeah, I guess people could find a lot about me if they wanted huh? :) I am a Brit who moved to the US many moons ago and now live in the bay area, California. Some may know my work at Ajaxian.com, which is a blog discussing Ajax technology. I founded that blog with my partner in crime, Ben Galbraith, and we recently had a chance to join forces at Mozilla to startup a new Developer Tools Lab together. Bespin is the first experiment out from that lab.

    • Flock 2.5 Delivers the Promise of Social Media on the Web

      It’s been a long time in coming, but with the 2.5 release, the Flock folks have pulled all of the pieces together to deliver a cohesive “Social Web Browser.” The 2.5 release of Flock, coupled with the increasing mainstream interest in social media, might just be enough to make Flock more than a niche browser for Web 2.0 junkies.

  • Business

    • OpenX Gets $10.4 Million in Funding, Squares Off With Google

      OpenX Technologies, an open source advertising community that helps online publishers make money, has just announced a $10.4 million third round of venture funding, bringing total investment in the company to nearly $31 million since mid-2007.

    • OpenX Raises $10 Million to Serve Ads

      Now, it has raised $10 million in its third round of funding, which brings the total investment in OpenX to $31 million. DAG Ventures led the new investment round and was joined by existing investors Accel, Index Ventures, Mangrove Capital, First Round Capital and Jonathan Miller, chairman of OpenX and the new digital head of News Corp.

  • Programming

    • Adobe acts against Flash video stream recorder

      SourceForge, the open-source project host, has removed the pages of the rtmpdump stream-recording software from its network in response to a cease-and-desist notice from Adobe. The program uses the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) to record not only streamed Flash media but also encrypted streams. Adobe added encryption to its proprietary protocol on introducing Flash Media Server 3 in order to prevent the recording of Flash content, and defined RTMPE (RMTP encrypted) for the purpose. Adobe takes the view that its copy protection can be circumvented by the RTMPE support incorporated in rtmpdump and, in its cease-and-desist notice, invokes the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to prevent the distribution of the software.

  • Applications

    • click2try(TM) Adds XOOPS CMS to Content Management System Offerings

      click2try(TM) (http://www.click2try.com) today announced that it has added XOOPS Dynamic Web CMS version 2.3.3 (http://www.xoops.org) to its online catalog of virtualized Open Source applications. A Community site, click2try enables users to try applications for free and use by subscription.

Leftovers

  • Are Free Bandwidth And Distribution Bad? Ask Susan Boyle

    But, you have folks at the NY Times who seem to think that it’s a bad thing, because the producers of the TV show aren’t making any advertising revenue from the clip being on YouTube. No, but they’ve created a huge singing sensation that is getting attention from millions of people. If they can’t figure out how to make money off of that in the long run, they don’t deserve to be in business.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Kendall Dawson, Linspire Community Liaison 04 (2005)

Ogg Theora

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

Links 26/05/2009: Nokia N900, X Server 1.7 and X.Org 7.5 Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 11:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Justice Rules Police Can’t Steal Other Kid’s Toys

    According to the police, who couldn’t even identify Windows, much less Linux, calling it “not the regular B.C. operating system,” Calixte was suspected of — as are all citizens being smacked around with the CFAA — “obtaining computer services by fraud or misrepresentation” and obtaining “unauthorized access to a computer system,” because the emails — if they were from him — were sent anonymously.

  • Search engine for Debian sources

    Peter De Wachter has created a Debian source code search engine for developers. It lets them find out quickly what files contain, for example, the usb_device structure required for accessing USB devices.

  • Start-up built on free software

    Open source programs, which started to gain currency around the dot-com boom in the late 1990s, initially had difficulty attracting mainstream users because volunteer-maintained software was thought to be less reliable and less secure than products from blue chip technology providers like IBM and Microsoft. But over the past 10 years, as such open source programs as Apache, Linux, and MySql have been integrated into mainstream corporate technology settings, acceptance has steadily increased.

  • IBM

    • Linux desktops easier to install than expected

      LAST WEEK, IBM released research which showed that Linux desktops were easier to implement than IT staff expected

      That said, however, techies had to target the “right groups” of users, such as those who have moderate and predictable use of e-mail and office tools

    • IBM to invest in Vietnam

      And where better than to make your dent in a newly developing economy than in its universities? IBM is doing just that by teaming up with the University of Technology in Ho Chi Minh City and the College of Technology in Hanoi, to tap young minds for free on subjects from cloud computing to service science research. The firm says university students can also help develop a local language version of IBM’s Developerworks technical resource site while they’re at it.

  • Kernel Space

    • Ubuntu Picks Up X Input 2 Support In PPA

      With the release of X Server 1.7 as part of X.Org 7.5 hopefully coming in July, X Input 2 will finally be entering the limelight after being long in development. This updated X Input Extension is critical in allowing Multi-Pointer X support in this next X Server release.

  • Applications

    • 9 of the Best Free Linux BitTorrent Clients

      BitTorrent is an open source peer-to-peer file protocol for sharing large software and media files. It is a well established protocol which accounts for a significant proportion of internet traffic.

    • Linux backup and recovery tools roundup

      Linux data backup products are adding new capabilities and becoming even more mainstream. Today most major storage management vendors such as Hewlett-Packard (HP) Co. and Symantec Corp. have Linux versions of their storage management tools. In some Linux data backup software, vendors are offering the ability to back up to the cloud, handle virtualized systems and deduplicate data. Clearly there are more choices, and more sophisticated capabilities for users looking to back up their Linux systems.

    • Qt vs. GTK: Kopete, KMess, Pidgin and Emesene

      A clear win for GTK and Emesene here, because of its simplicity, speed and looks. KMess is a close second though, and even in beta looks like a better, easier chat client than the dinosaur Kopete.

    • Linux data backup and recovery strategies

      As cloud backups are becoming more popular, Linux backup vendors such as Zmanda are adding Linux cloud backup to their repertoires. In Zmanda’s case, its Zmanda Enterprise backup product allows backing up to Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage Service) cloud from Linux devices.

  • Distributions

    • Do we need our own Linux?

      These are tough but fair questions to ask. It’s great that we already have a national Linux distribution. It would be greater still if a thriving community of developers and end-users formed around that distribution. After all, that’s what the concept of bayanihan, the spirit of communal unity, is all about.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • SOFTWARE TOOLS: Ultra-tiny embedded-Linux RTOSes open Renesas MCUs to Linux and POSIX compatible development

      RoweBots Research, Inc., has launched two ultra-tiny embedded-Linux compatible RTOSes that for the first time enable Linux and POSIX compatible development of Renesas’ R8C, M16C and R32C/100 microcontroller (MCU) families.

    • Is the Nokia N900 Internet Tablet really coming to T-Mobile USA

      I enjoy using the Nokia N810 device from time to time to surf, use some old Palm apps with GarnetVM, and watch movies. I do find it to be a bit laggy at times though so it isn’t always with me. MobileCrunch posted some rumored news on the next Nokia Internet Tablet referred to as the N900, Rover, and Maemo Flagship. It is very similar to the Nokia N97, but with a higher resolution display and Maemo OS rather than S60.

    • Nokia Internet Tablet: More Power Than Smartphone, Less Weight Than Netbook

      Nokia’s going to re-invigorate some life into its Internet Tablet market after a pretty successful stint with the N810. A successor is being planned to give the new Internet Tablet some new features, a more polished OS and it might actually become affordable.

    • Infiniband Strikes Back with Help from Linux

      Ethernet has emerged over the last decade as the dominant fabric for networking communication, but it’s not the only one. Infiniband, a technology that offers the promise of lower latency for high speed computing applications is making inroads according to analyst reports and the Infiniband Trade Association (IBTA).

    • Phones

      • The Android Momentum Continues

        In recent weeks, the Android operating system has seen tremendous, encouraging momentum. After the Mobile World Congress show took place earlier this year, with very little Android news of any kind there, some speculated that the open source operating system might be an outright failure. Now, though, there are signs of interest in Android from the number two personal computer manufacturer in the world, new forks of the operating system arriving, and lots of new Android smartphones on deck. GigaOm has a summary of the past week’s important Android headlines, including the possibility of a new Android tablet device, and we’ve been on the Android watch as well.

      • O2 inked as UK’s official Pré distributor

        An unnamed source has told The Guardian that the network operator fought off fierce competition from the likes of Vodafone and Orange, and that the Pré will arrive here in time for Christmas.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Moblin netbook Linux preview

        Once up, the desktop felt incredibly fast. If I didn’t know I was running it on 1.6GHz Aton equipped netbooks with 512MBs to 1 GB of RAM, I never would have guessed I was running it on such low-end hardware. Moblin is the anti-Vista. It runs great on minimal equipment instead of requiring the fastest possible hardware and still running at a snail’s pace.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Announcing first Africa Open Source Fellowship in memory of Guido Sohne

    Launched on the eve of his birthday, the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) and the Advanced Information Technology Institute of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Center for Excellence in ICT (AITI-KACE), have decided to join forces with the Sohne family to establish a Fellowship in memory and honour of the great work that Guido accomplished. So I was not worried to make the 15-hour road trip to get to Accra to be part of the event.

  • Harvard using Drupal

    I recently learned about the fact that the Berkman Center for Internet and Society is using Drupal.

  • Openness

    • Wired For War or How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Let Dystopian SF Movies Inspire our Military Bots

      PWS: The way I think about it is this — just like software, warfare is going open source. That is, we’re starting to use more and more systems that are commercial, off-the-shelf — some of it is even DIY. You can build your own version of the Raven drone, which is a widely used military drone, for about $1,000 dollars. So we have a flattening of the landscape of war and technology that is just like what happened in software. A wide variety of actors can utilize these systems.

    • RMS and His Magic Bread

      Imagine that you are in a world where people are starving. Imagine you have some bread, and you were confronted with starving people: most would feel a compulsion to share that bread. But imagine now that you had RMS’s special kind of bread that could be eaten once or a million times: how much greater would the duty to share that bread with the hungry be? And how much more despicable would the person who refused to share that bread be?

      Translate this now to the realm of ideas. We are surrounded by people hungry for knowledge, and we do possess that magic bread – digital copies of knowledge that can be shared infinitely without diminishing it. Do we not have a similar moral duty to share that magic bread of digital knowledge with all those that hunger for it?

  • Programming

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Kendall Dawson, Linspire Community Liaison 03 (2005)

Ogg Theora

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

Gnote Gets Positive Reviews, Its Developer Runs for GNOME Foundation’s Board of Directors

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux at 10:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Garden gnome

Summary: Gnote continues to earn good feedback and Hubert Figuiere puts his name down for a place in GNOME’s board

Gnote may be a young project, but it is already superior to Tomboy in some ways and it has entered most of the ‘big’ GNU/Linux distributions by now [1, 2, 3, 4]. This program has just gotten another public endorsement, which is great.

What is a big deal is that Gnote does what I need it to do. The controvery surrounding it be hanged (and you can use your favourite search engine to learn about the controversy). I like Gnote. It’s useful. And until something better comes along, it’s going to be my note application of choice

GNOME elections are coming and the developer of Gnote is among the listed candidates.

Below you will find a list of candidates who are running for the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors. A short summary statement from each candidate and a link to their full candidacy announcement is provided to help you learn more about them.

[...]

5. Hubert Figuiere

Affiliation: None
Full statement at http://mail.gnome.org/archives/foundation-list/2009-May/msg00035.html

I have been involved with Free Software for a decade or so, mostly working on the application side: AbiWord, gnote, etc. I have attended several Free Software conferences as resources permitted and given talk on several occasion. I have a true faith in GNOME and what it brings to users of Free Software, and I truly believe that’s where the future is.

Richard Stallman has told me that he invites Gnote (and Hubert Figuiere) to come closer to GNU. This would have a positive effect when it comes to reducing Microsoft's impact.

New Zealand’s Freedom Fighters Defeat Microsoft’s Latest ‘Colonisations Directive’

Posted in Australia, DRM, Fraud, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Open XML at 10:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Australia and New Zealand

Comment: Did politicians and Microsoft just get scared of public uproar, or are Microsoft’s products really so bad that a renewed deal is outright rejected?

Microsoft has already tried to shove its DRM down the throats of taxpayers in New Zealand. The fight against the colossal OOXML corruption (trying to shove it down ISO’s throat) was also very heated down south in New Zealand [1, 2, 3, 4]. Thus, there is absolutely no reason to respect the company from Redmond over there, even if only for the things it did locally.

Attempts have been made by Microsoft to control just about any country around the globe, with recent examples that include Spain and Australia. We gave new examples from both this morning [1, 2].

Microsoft has been up to similar tricks in New Zealand, but this is no more, according to the new press release which we append at the bottom, in full.

The State Services Commission today announced the government has concluded negotiations with Microsoft on a pan-government agreement for the next three years.

It became apparent during discussions that a formal agreement with Microsoft is no longer appropriate.

This smells like the MOUs that we see in the UK, for example [1, 2, 3, 4]. As we wrote a couple of days ago, there is now precedence supporting legal action too. No country should be up for sale to a foreign corporation whose status includes crime and monopoly abuse in several continents (with convictions).

Here is an interesting new explanation of how Microsoft achieves (and maintains) monopoly.

It’s that their entire product line rests upon state enforcement of legal monopolies of duplication called “copyrights” (that’s what a copyright is: a monopoly on the duplication of an intangible such as software). And the most outrageous thing is that they outsource their costs of enforcement to you, the taxpayer.

Let’s go with an example here. Imagine you want to enter the potato business. You buy one potato, and you plant it. You invest time and energy of your own into multiplying said potato and making a huge-ass farm, and when time comes for harvest, you can pick them up and sell them in direct competition with the guy who sold you the first potato.

Now imagine you wanted to sell Windows instead of potatoes: you buy a copy of Windows, duplicate it N times (certainly a cheaper investment, but an investment in time and money nonetheless), and start selling it. Exactly like in the potato example above. What happens here is that armed dudes show up at your doorstep and yank you into a cell, and your assets are taken away from you, whether they were involved in the commission of this act, or not.

This ought to explain why we so regularly bring up issues that revolve around copyrights, DRM, and stifling of sharing of data over the Internet (censorship of sorts). These are all essential or at least relevant for suppression and repression of a free society. Microsoft is a major part of this problem.
______

Outcome of G2009 Microsoft negotiations

The New Zealand Open Source Society — 26 May 2009 The State Services Commission today announced the government has concluded negotiations with Microsoft on a pan-government agreement for the next three years.

It became apparent during discussions that a formal agreement with Microsoft is no longer appropriate.

Microsoft have agreed to provide recommended retail price certainty for agencies as a basis for their individual negotiations, and the State Services Commission will be supporting agencies to explore how they can maximise their ICT investment and achieve greater value for money.

Since 2000 the government has negotiated a series of three-year agreements with Microsoft, enabling public sector agencies to purchase Microsoft products on an opt-in basis.

In late 2008 the State Services Commission commenced leading the re-negotiation of the G2006 Microsoft agreement on behalf of government agencies, and established an advisory steering committee comprised of senior executives from the largest IT purchasers in the public sector.

Contact: Marian Mortensen, State Services Commission: 04 495 6620 or 021 2441475

Bill Gates Uses Malaria to Attack GNU/Linux

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Europe, GNU/Linux, Windows at 8:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mosquito

Summary: The real purpose of the Gates family trip to Spain is finally made public

IN TWO previous posts [1, 2], we wrote about the unfolding of disturbing events in Spain, where Microsoft had plans of turning children into its customers and vassals.

The predictions are now confirmed. To Bill Gates, a major lobbyist these days [1, 2, 3, 4], the whole charity gig [1, 2, 3] is a convenient excuse and a tool for political power struggles. He uses that power to ensure that countries sell their entire population and public sector to Microsoft. With it, the commercial sector must follow (Microsoft ensures interoperability is a no-go).

An informant from Spain has just sent us the following update regarding this news article (English translation):

The excuse of Bill G. visiting Mr.Zapatero was collaboration with the developing world under the disguise of the Gates Foundation.
Seems Mrs. Rosa Garcia, former Microsoft CEO for Spain and current person in charge for the whole EMEA region of Microsoft business had to “call the cavalry” in order to ensure GNU/Linux would be banished from Spanish educational system.
It seems clear that the “high diplomacy game” visit of William Henry Gates III has nothing to do with curing malaria and its real aim is to ensure GNU/Linux has no place in the recent plan to bring netbooks to Spanish schoolchildren.
Several regions in Spain have developed successful programs with GNU/Linux, but Microsoft wants to push the only one that has used an All-Microsoft (including the failed Tablet-PC concept) approach in the Aragon region in order to sabotage GNU/Linux educational initiatives already working in many other regions of the country like Extremadura, Andalusia, Madrid, Catalonia and Valencia.

So, the purpose of this trip turns out to be as many people expected.

Microsoft’s Latest Netbooks Collusion and Attack on Spanish and Australian Education

Posted in Asia, Australia, DRM, Europe, Fraud, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Lenovo, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 7:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Let them eat Vista

Kids versus Microsoft
Protests in India used Boycott Novell banners

Summary: More collusion to exclude GNU/Linux and more pressure to impose Windows+DRM on innocent schoolchildren

ASUS and Microsoft kickbacks are a subject we have not re-raised for weeks [1, 2, 3], but fresh signs are suggesting that Microsoft’s anti-competitive tactics in this area of sub-notebooks continue unabated.

Over at InfroWorld (IDG), a writer has just accused Microsoft (and OEMs) of collusion and here is the summary:

Microsoft is colluding with netbook hardware vendors to deny customer choice and protect profits

On to the impacts that are most disturbing, yesterday we wrote about Bill Gates and his visit to Spain. Today we find this new report:

A widespread project to equip Spanish primary students with laptops was under attack by the free software community for being an undercover operation from Microsoft to take over the educational system in the country. Now the government is considering a kind of dual booting system.

[...]

But it still seems that the powers that be in Spain haven’t given this new focus much consideration: publishing school textbooks in Spain is a multimillion-euro business and many publishers have insisted that the digital books that go on to the laptops be DRM-protected. How exactly this would be technically and legally implemented on an all FLOSS-based device remains to be seen.

It’s just like Portugal and the Magalhães fiasco. The company involved was brought to court for charges of fraud. Microsoft et al seemingly pass on their scam on to a bigger country accommodating even more children whom they want to become prisoners of Microsoft and DRM.

In other news, now that we’ve seen the invalid reasons for rejection of GNU/Linux in NSW education, having used children to advance corporate agenda (the Linux-hostile Lenovo is among those to blame, Adobe being a problem as well but for other reasons), there is this report which reveals that children will become marketing tools and beta testers for Microsoft. Who will pay? taxpayers of course.

“It’s just like Portugal and the Magalhães fiasco. The company involved was brought to court for charges of fraud.”Our informant from Australia writes: “I don’t think I’ve ever been more disgusted and angry at the state of IT and education in Australia… ever. Today the blatant nepotism and conflicts of interest (corruption) has reached a new level, especially in New South Wales.

“They won’t use Linux but they’ll voluntarily become beta testers for Microsoft and make our children beta testers for Microsoft as well as part of their corporate advertising slog [PDF].

“They reject the top flight Linux distro’s and then they willingly agree to become Microsoft guinea pigs and test bunnies. Do I smell CORRUPTION ? Money changing hands…

“Ubuntu is not good enough but Windows 7 is ???? It is nothing short of sheer brinkmanship, disgusting corruption, and child abuse. Making our children corporate beta testers for Microsoft and offering kickbacks to schools who adopt and push Microsoft software.”

We have already seen kids waging protest against it.

“It reeks of collusion — collusion in which our children are used,” concludes our informant and reader.

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

Bill Gates

“DRM is the future.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: May 25th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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