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06.03.09

Links 03/06/2009: A Lot of Sub-notebooks News

Posted in News Roundup at 7:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • “Lackdose-Allergie” helps Linux admins

    Developer Michael Prokop has announced the release of grml 2009.05, codenamed Lackdose-Allergie. grml is a Debian based Linux distribution that’s specifically aimed at system administrators and users of text tools, such as awk, sed, grep, zsh, mutt[ng], slrn, vim and many others. The release features several new boot options, including the persistent boot option which allows users to easily store their settings and reuse them on reboot, avoiding the older config framework. The new findiso option searches for ISO files on all disks and the bsd option allows users to boot the minimal MirOS BSD operating system and run the minimalistic hardware detection tool (HDT).

  • Intel paints rosy future at Taiwan confab

    And Tuesday at Computex, Maloney discussed and demoed some of the chips that those investments will produce. For example, he gave the first public demo of the two-chip Atom-based platform known as Pine Trail, along with a demo of version 2.0 of the Linux-based Moblin OS designed for such small form-factor, low-power systems.

  • SanDisk next-gen SSDs are faster, target netbooks and Linux

    SanDisk today announced that it has begun shipping its next-generation solid state drives for the 12 million-strong netbook market in 8, 16, 32 and 64 GB flavors.

    The drives employ a new technology called nCache, a non-volatile write cache capable of supporting burst performance up to five times the steady state vRPM2, the company says. nCache improves user responsiveness and helps prevent incidence of “stalling” or “shuddering” often seen in first generation netbook SSDs, SanDisk says.

  • Linux: Lean on Me

    I received a newsletter from rPath concerning Lean IT and it occurred to me that Linux is the keystone in each one of the elements listed in it: Virtualization, Cloud Computing and Cost reduction mandates. As more businesses work toward saving money, they’ll look for ways to save on IT infrastructure (Hardware), labor and external services.

    All of those cost-cutting changes point suspiciously to Linux.

  • Cisco Announces 10 Finalists in its Linux App Contest

    The finalists look to be quite savvy when it comes to routers, deep network services and the like. There were several unified communications applications among the finalists, network security applications, a phone call validation application, video streaming services ideas, rich media environment applications for networks in hotels, and more.

  • Cisco developer contest drives great applications to Linux
  • [Linux Gazette] June 2009 (#163)

    * News Bytes, by Deividson Luiz Okopnik and Howard Dyckoff
    * The LG Backpage, by Ben Okopnik and Kat Tanaka Okopnik

  • Linux Picks Up Where Windows FAIL!

    So; knowing that, we tried it on my installation of Fedora and I tried it with Epiphany and Firefox and BoYAH! We’re in! Just one more reason to switch from Windows to Linux. Linux can get you into online banking.

  • Desktop

    • Screen shots in the package manager

      I’ve been doing some thinking about what would make Mandriva stand out and also what could help Linux distributions in general. I think that although rpmdrake is pretty good, it has room for improvement. Two features I am thinking of are screenshots of packages that are graphical and ways for end users to provide feedback about packages.

    • Linux: I’ve got to admit it’s getting better

      I recently installed Linux (Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” to be exact) on my not-so-old pentium 4 HT machine, the very same computer where different Linux distros have been installed over the course of two years. What struck me most after this very latest installation is how Linux has evolved and has become a more than capable desktop operating system.

    • Are there not enough netbooks in the world?

      This “standardization” has left PC makers to differentiate their offerings mostly through price, the operating system used (the sexy-and-sleek HP Mini 1000 Mi generated excellent buzz by offering a highly customized and über-slick Ubuntu Linux experience that, alas, remains unavailable to the Filipino market), and, of course, cosmetic details (the unbelievably slim Sony Vaio P series, which the company refuses to call a netbook).

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel v2.6.30-rc8
    • Available Now: Nvidia Linux Video Driver 180.60

      Nvidia has announced today, June 1st, the immediate availability of another maintenance release for their proprietary video driver for Linux, FreeBSD and Solaris operating systems. The new 180.60 display driver comes with improved stability for GeForce 6200, 7200 and 7300 cards running on SMP and multi-core machines. Several other fixes are also part of this new release….

    • Filesystems: Data Preservation, fsync, and Benchmarks Pt. 2

      The benchmarks were run on a P35 motherboard equipped with 8GB of 800MHz DDR2 and an Intel Q6600 2.4 GHz quad core CPU. The disk was a Samsung HD642JJ, 640Gb SATA drive. The system was running an up to date Fedora 9 with the 2.6.27.19-78.2.30.fc9.x86_64 kernel. A single extended partition was used, ranging from block 35058 to 77824. As a more human digestible size indication, when formatted with the default ext3 parameters this gave a 323G blank filesystem with 195M used. I used this same disk and block range reformatted to a different filesystem for all testing.

      [...]

      In Part 3, we’ll examine the next most obvious benchmark: how many open, write, fsync, close, rename cycles can be performed per second, as well as other benchmarks.

    • Linux Foundation revamps individual membership deal

      The Linux Foundation has revamped their individual membership scheme, and doubled the price in the process. Last September, the Foundation announced an individual membership scheme which cost $49 per year, gave the member some voting rights and a T-shirt. The newly reworked package raises the price of membership to $99 and now gives users an @linux.com email address and a package of discounts on Linux Foundation conferences and events, O’Reilly books, No Starch Press books and Linux Journal subscriptions among others.

  • Applications

    • Award-Winning FileTek StorHouse Product Suite Now Available for Linux Environments Port to Linux Extends StorHouse Benefits to an Even Broader Customer Base

      FileTek, Inc., a pioneer developer of high-volume data management and information governance solutions, today announced that its StorHouse/RFS file system interface software now operates on Linux-based commodity servers. This milestone completes the port of the entire StorHouse® product suite – StorHouse/SM, StorHouse/RM, and StorHouse/RFS – to Linux, which has become the gold standard for many corporations, universities, research institutes, and government agencies worldwide. Now all StorHouse software modules can be hosted on a popular Linux distribution on the most competitively priced family of Open System servers on the market today.

    • 10 things you can do faster with the command line then with the GUI

      It is also much more convinient to do ALT+F2 gedit/firefox e.d. then opening op the menu, search for the app and then click it. Again, this is faster if you know the name of the binary. (In Mint you can search trough the start menu ^.^).
      (Note that ALT+F2 is the same as typing it in a terminal).

  • Desktop Environments

    • The GNOME Foundation Is All About People, Stormy Peters

      As open source projects mature, they tend to join or create a foundation to manage the project’s financial and software assets, provide a marketing and legal entity, and help to set the direction of the project. As non-profit organizations, foundations have a specific structure defined by the jurisdiction in which they were formed. This structure typically includes a volunteer board of directors and sometimes paid staff such as a secretary or executive director.

  • Distributions

    • Customize your distro before you download with Slax

      One of the features I always enjoyed about Slax was its use of modules. Want to add some apps to your Live CD? Just download the module, add it to the folder in the Slax ISO, burn, and away you go!

    • Should Linux and Android Fuse?

      It’s hard not to be ambivalent about Android if you’re a fan of Linux. Android is free and open source (mostly, I think) and it’s got a lot of momentum building behind it. Cool, right? On the other hand, it’s not really a Linux distro in any traditional sense even though it uses a Linux kernel. It would be one thing if it were purely a smartphone OS, but it’s increasingly looking like it will be a netbook and maybe, therefore, even a full desktop OS. A lot of people will probably find that a netbook and a smartphone are really all they need anyway, along with their TV and maybe a docking station at home with a large LCD. That’s a very plausible scenario to me when people get used to netbooks and the things inevitably become more powerful. And having the same OS on all these devices may be a really slick thing. In this light, Android may prove to be an irresistable force.

    • An acquaintance with Arch Linux

      Simple does not mean ‘newbie friendly’, instead it means that the system is structured in such a way that a user can easily configure it to his liking by changing simple configuration files and installing just what he needs.

    • Review: SimplyMepis 8.0

      SimplyMepis is a Debian-based distro developed by Warren Woodford who believed that Mandrake Linux was too hard for new users. (Mandrake, now Mandriva, was the Ubuntu of its time). I’ve heard him interviewed a few times on The Linux Link Tech Show and he seems to be of the realist (as opposed to idealist) school of Linux distro maintainers. He believes users should be able to listen to MP3s, use Adobe Flash, and so on. SimplyMepis 8.0 is based on Debian 5 stable, which I recently reviewed. So let’s load her up into VirtualBox and see how it goes.

    • Red Hat

      • CentOS Pulse – Community newsletter

        A CentOS newsletter was what I wanted to have for a long time.

      • CentOS Pulse – The Bi-weekly CentOS Newsletter #0901

        Contents

        1. Foreword
        2. Announcements
        1. New CentOS-Mirror-Announce mailing list
        2. CentOS 5.3 LiveCD released
        3. CentOS Directory Server (CDS)
        4. CentOS-2 goes EOL
        3. Featured Articles
        1. CentOS Promo SIG
        4. Community Threads
        1. Wiki translations to Chinese (zh)
        2. CentOS presence at HAR2009
        3. CentOS on the Dell XPS M1530 and Compaq CQ60
        4. Missing updates danger to CentOS
        5. CentOS and the Amazon EC2 cloud
        6. The yum-clean-all mantra
        5. CentOS Errata
        1. CentOS-3
        2. CentOS-4
        3. CentOS-5
        6. CentOS in the Spotlight
        7. Upcoming Events

      • Where does Red Hat grow from here?

        If this is the future of Red Hat – duking it out with small (but growing – SpringSource grew subscription revenue by over 300 percent in 2008) open-source competitors? I think Red Hat is well-positioned to win this battle, but at what cost?

    • Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Open source automotive group gains members

      The Genivi Alliance of car manufacturers and suppliers, which is aiming to establish open source standards on In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) systems, has added three new members with close ties to embedded Linux. The new members are MontaVista Software, Texas Instruments, and Freescale Semiconductor, says Genivi.

    • Phones

      • Linux mobile spec revised

        The LiMo Foundation announced the completion of its second-generation R2 specification for its LiMo (Linux Mobile) Platform. The spec offers new location-based services (LBS), multimedia, personal information management (PIM), and security features for LiMo smartphones, plus support for OMTP’s BONDI web-app interoperability spec, says LiMo.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Microsoft won’t offer Windows for smartbooks

        The OS maker doesn’t plan to offer Windows versions for the machines leaving the market to Linux and Android

      • Linux vendors line up behind Moblin

        At Computex, both Novell and Xandros have announced plans to base future operating systems for netbooks on Moblin 2, the Intel developed Linux for Atom processors, recently moved under the aegis of the Linux Foundation. There are also reports that Canonical will announce a Moblin 2 based Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Moblin 2, which was recently released as a “user experience” beta, has won praise for its user interface, based on work by Opened Hand (an Intel 2008 acquisition) and for its rapid boot times.

      • Moblin: A Netbook OS to Watch

        Intel’s Linux-based netbook operating system gives Windows a run for its money.

      • First Glance at KDE 4 in Netbook Context

        Patience is called for those who expect completed software. The Plasma interface optimized for netbooks is first planned for KDE 4.4 that might come out in December 2009. There is, however, a current requirements and roadmap for the project, along with some first screenshots of what it could look like.

      • Moblin, Ubuntu Netbook Remix, Android and Linux Netbook Prospects

        As we reported yesterday, ASUS has been demonstrating an Android-based netbook powered by a 1-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. If you check out the video demonstration, it looks very snappy. Dell also has video online of Android running on netbooks, and Dell’s newest netbooks are available with Ubuntu pre-loaded.

        Meanwhile, Embedded Alley, a leading provider of embedded Linux solutions, has delivered a new development system for Android-based devices, including netbooks. “The Development System enables development of Android-based intelligent devices built on MIPS Technologies’ processors, targeting applications in domains beyond mobile handsets,” the announcement says.

      • Embedded Alley Delivers Development System for Android-based Devices – Takes Android Beyond Mobile

        Embedded Alley, a leading provider of embedded Linux® solutions, today announced shipment of the Embedded Alley Development System for Android-based Devices. The Development System enables development of Android-based intelligent devices built on MIPS Technologies’ processors, targeting applications in domains beyond mobile handsets. Delivery of the Embedded Alley Development System enables both systems and applications developers to extend the reach of Android to encompass multimedia, Mobile Internet Devices, digital video and home entertainment, automotive, medical, networking, instrumentation and industrial control.

      • Android port to MIPS completed

        Embedded Alley (EA) announced it is has completed its port of the Linux/Java-based Android platform to the MIPS architecture. The Embedded Alley Development System for Android-based Devices initially targets devices ranging from set-top boxes (STBs) to industrial equipment running the MIPS-based RMI Au1250 processor.

      • Invasion of the Android Snatchers

        On the subject of Linux-based netbooks (and at least in passing, Intel), Canonical — the corporate side of Ubuntu — announced today, at Computex of course, that it has contracted with Intel to provide a modified version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix for Intel’s Classmate PC. The Classmate, intended for educational use, offers a number of features not found in the ‘normal’ netbook: both standard and tablet modes, with automatic adjustment between portrait and landscape, a touch screen which allows the user to rest their hand on it without affecting its use, a larger SSD/HDD along with additional memory, an of course, the current trend towards larger screens. Though, as Linux users can attest, the operating system is often derided as having poor hardware support, the version of Ubuntu Netbook Remix used on the Classmate will support all of its unique features. Jon Melamut, Canonical OEM Services General Manager: “Our goal has always been to take the best technology and make it available to everyone. Coupling our software with a fantastic, affordable education device like this is a concrete realisation of that ambition.”

      • Moblin 2.0 Beta Impressions

        The Linux Foundation intends for this to be a base for other distributions and the Linpus team has already announced that they plan to base a new version of Linpus Linux Lite on it. This is definitely a promising start and something that has the potential to bring an influx of new Linux users via netbooks.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Extending the free software paradigm to DIY Biology

    Hierarchical, big, controlled and funded by taxpayers, venture capital or shareholders. The time of the amateur dilletante scientist seems to be over. It takes the huge, collective organisation of private individuals to challenge this monopoly. GNU/Linux has managed to make a significant challenge but what of open science, not just the actual use of free software as practised by CERN but utilizing the whole philosophy of organizing scientific endeavour on the principles of open source? Some amateur biohackers think they have the answer.

  • The State of MySQL

    Robust development from outside the Sun/MySQL sphere, new storage engines and the return of Monty are just some of the signs that MySQL is healthy, despite may reports to the contrary.

  • Jumping Bean releases updated version of OpenBill

    OpenBill 1.2, a Java-based invoicing and contract management application, has been released by South African developer Jumping Bean. The new release includes both a number of bugfixes as well as a few key feature additions.

  • Mozilla

  • Java

    • Sun Execs Debut Java App Store

      Today at Sun Microsystems’ JavaOne conference, CEO Jonathan Schwartz and Vice President and Sun Fellow James Gosling unveiled the beta version of Sun’s new Java App Store, which you can visit here. As we’ve reported, Sun foresees it reaching many millions of users of Java applications, and the company hopes developers will fill it with useful Java applications. Although, applications at the store will be free in the beta trial, Sun’s goal is also to get significant revenues from the store. Here’s more on what Schwartz and Gosling said and showed on stage.

    • Oracle will invest heavily in Java

      ORACLE CEO Larry Ellison has said that the “new Oracle” will continue to invest in Java and will consider building Java-powered netbooks and phones.

  • People

    • The Human Factor in Open Source, Cat Allman

      Google uses, creates and supports open source software (OSS) both as the raw material of code, and as a development model. My work in the Open Source Programs Office (OSPO) at Google as one member of a three person Outreach team is almost entirely about the mechanics of building good relations between the F/LOSS community at large and Google. This article describes our day-to-day tasks which are variously focused on student programs, external communications, event management, and financial administration.

    • Are You A Contributor?: Women’s Contributions to Linux & Open Source Span Technology and Business, Amanda McPherson

      While there are over 60 names on the list of women in open source on the Geek Feminism wiki, there are far more than 60 women making their mark in open source. I work with talented people every day in my role as Vice President of Marketing and Developer Programs at the Linux Foundation, and see first-hand the contributions women make at the technology and business levels.

    • Offline: Where Tech Communities Succeed With Women, Selena Deckelmann

      Conferences are one way that women can be drawn into the free/libre and open source software (F/LOSS) ecosystem. Many different approaches are needed to increase women’s participation in F/LOSS, but face-to-face interaction has proven to be a critical part of the way the technology community in Portland, Oregon has thrived. This article describes the successes of this community, and suggests how other communities could benefit from Portland’s experience.

  • Business

    • Why Open Source isn’t Tiddly for BT

      But I still look forward to the day when BT’s appreciation of the virtues of sharing extend to public declarations that attempts to enclose the intellectual commons through intellectual monopolies are a waste of time, and that patents – at least for software – are a n obstacle to innovation that should be abolished definitively.

  • Funding

    • Recession and FOSS

      The key to promote Linux effectively not only lies with Linux enthusiasts but also with Open Source vendors who are yet to find out a way in which it can be monetized efficiently to expand recognition amongst its probable user base.

      [...]

      An Open Source product or service will be able to get buyers who are bereft of major cash inflows and the business operations shall hence continue successfully. The best thing that could happen to Linux is its emergence as the top alternative to Microsoft. Open Source tools such as PostgreSQL, Ruby, Perl, Python, and Ubuntu etc. can be used as a substitute to do most work that Microsoft does, of course with a difference in terms of use, installation, features and support. This will probably be of tremendous help to FOSS in retaining its “free aspect” USP.

  • Government

    • Pursuing Government RFPs: A How-To Guide for Open Source

      As they make software and hardware purchases, governments are creatures of habit.

      They form long relationships with IT vendors and stick with them so they can keep their IT systems running with minimal interruptions.

      And while new technologies might be intriguing, governments often shy away from major IT changes because they have little willingness to take even the slightest risks of introducing a glitch into their infrastructures. So they stay with the companies and technologies they know as they undergo their traditional Request for Proposal (RFP) contract bidding and acquisition procedures.

    • US Open Government Dialogue

      One suggestion that I find particularly appealing is “Mandate open formats in all government formats.” This topic will be well understood ground for those who have supported ODF over the last few years. I urge you to contribute constructively to the discussion.

Leftovers

  • Downloading 3322 Copyrighted Movies is Okay in Spain

    In Spain, a judge has dismissed a case against a man who downloaded and shared 3322 copyrighted movies on the Internet. Despite efforts from local anti-piracy outfits, the legal system in Spain continues to stand firmly behind those who share music and movies without financial gain.

  • YouTube’s Big Traffic Stick Forces PRS To Slash UK Streaming Royalty Rate

    As Mike pointed out at the time, “Google is making the point to PRS: you need us much more than we need you.” It looks like that point’s been made, as the PRS last week cut its streaming royalty rates by more than half, and is now basically begging YouTube to remove the block, since the site was at one point responsible for 40 percent of PRS’ online plays. It looks like maybe the PRS is beginning to understand that without useful distribution (like that provided by YouTube), its members’ content loses a lot of value, and that in turn, moves it makes to hamper distribution (like high royalty rates) actually serve to destroy value, not deliver it.

  • Napster: Ex RIAA boss rues lost opportunity

    Instead, the RIAA’s litigation helped drive P2P underground – where it became entrenched, and harder to monetise.

    Rosen also criticised a lack of action and “too much attention on security and not enough on interoperability”.

The Many Faces of Novell and Trademark Litigation?

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, Novell, Rumour at 4:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Brands flood

Summary: More than one company — not to mention people — is called Novell, so can Novell claim ownership of the name?

WE wrote about Novell trademarks back in 2007 and half a year ago we found out that collisions in names may prove troublesome. When it comes to Novell, its names is pretty common. It is a surname and also a variety of other things. This new press release, for example, suggests that an entity called “Novell Pharmaceutical Laboratories” does exist and another new article speaks about “Novell Awning Company.”

Judy’s complaint alerted us to a larger problem. Right after Thursday’s story, in which we confronted Richard Reynolds, owner of Novell Awning Company.

There are other such Novells, including that which manufactures/sells jewelery and a variety of other things (especially small businesses like repair services). So it was interesting to find this new article which tells an old story about Novell playing hardball over domain names with its name in them.

There have been instances where people have had to pay hefty fines for cybersquatting. It was rumored that someone registered names connected to Novell, a Provo, Utah company, and then tried to sell the domains to Novell. That person paid large fines for trademark infringement.

This is said to be a rumour, so it would be useful to confirm or invalidate it.

Ubuntu Users Plead to Keep Novell’s Banshee Out (and Other Miscellaneous Mono News)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Red Hat, Ubuntu at 4:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pleading hands

Summary: Progress on the argument for GNU/Linux without Mono as a dependency

IT IS no secret that Mono boosters are trying to put Novell's Banshee deep inside the most used GNU/Linux distribution. Putting aside vocal people like Jo Shields (“directhex“), who is currently busy attacking messengers that oppose Mono, there are actual users of Ubuntu out there and they do not want the bloat of Mono. To quote a small portion from an ongoing discussion:

Banshee replacing Rhytmbox on the other hand, not so much.

However, it does seem to use 3-10x more memory than RB which is very troubling (60-300MB compared to RBs fairly consistent 25MB),

Please, Please think of those of us who only have 512 Mb of ram in a laptop, or even those with less.

Red Hat is already removing its dependency on Mono. Here is Rahul commenting on the inclusion of Gnote:

A while back when I saw Hub announcing Gnote on April first, it just seemed like one of those jokes but with a predictable weekly release schedule, this application has now improved in leaps and bounds. One of the great things of being involved in Fedora is that you can watch applications and technologies grow from a nascent immature but promising state to something that everybody is in awe about.

Hubert points out, “we are no longer on a weekly release schedule. I’m trying to work on other stuff too :-) but it is steadily going forward.”

This is good news for Gnote, which is stealing capturing Tomboy’s thunder and delivering it without Mono, which also means a lot less bloat.

The Tomboy team is worried about Gnote and its key developer, Sandy Armstrong (he too works for Novell), takes the fight to social networks along with colleagues. According to this new article from Ars Techica, a key plug-in for Tomboy was being developed as part of Novell’s Hack Week.

l developer Brad Taylor created Snowy in his free time as an experiment. It matured recently when Tomboy developer Sandy Armstrong teamed up with Taylor during one of Novell’s Hack Weeks in an effort to accelerate progress on the project.

Doesn’t Novell want to accelerate the project called Gnote? And if not, why? Does everything have to use Mono, whose copyrights are Novell’s and other rights (not just leadership in direction) are Microsoft's?

NHS Never Learns: Windows Viruses Leave British Patients to Die, Again

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 3:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Surgery

Summary: Operations at a British hospital suspended yet again due to windows viruses; similar story at insurance giant

What is it about UK-based hospitals that have them make so many headlines about becoming botnets?

For a sample of some prior incidents, here are three points from which to start [1, 2, 3]. The Register alone must have reported almost half a dozen such incidents in the past 6 months. The NHS, like other national services in the UK, is far too close to Microsoft.

The latest victim of Windows (and Windows viruses) is Cambridge hospital.

An unnamed computer virus infection forced a UK hospital to temporarily shut down part of its network earlier this week.

An unspecified number of computers at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge were hit by the malware. A spokesman explained that the hospital continued to operate normally while IT staff grappled with the infection. He stressed that patients were not affected by the incident, which was resolved in a matter of hours.

In other concurrent news, an insurance giant too has just been hit by Windows malware.

The US arm of insurance giant Aviva has blamed a computer virus infection for the potential disclosure of sensitive personal information.

Aviva (Norwich Union, before a recent rebranding) admitted the breach in a letter to the Attorney General of New Hampshire, one of several states that maintain strict information security breach disclosure laws.

Data potentially leaked included names, addresses and social security numbers. Approximately 550 records were involved.

Will they ever learn? Either the NHS or Microsoft? The National Technology Officer of Microsoft UK has just jumped ship. Next time you visit the hospital, bring along a Live CD.

Microsoft UK National Technology Officer Quits the Company

Posted in Europe, Microsoft at 2:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Boat in a tunnel

Summary: Jerry Fishenden from Microsoft calls it quits

THIS morning we wrote about Microsoft shrinking and taking loans. Many times in the past* we also showed that the company’s chiefs were leaving this monopolist rather rapidly. Not much can be said about this latest departure other than the fact that it is another blow to the company and it reflects poorly on its future. From the British press:

i. Microsoft UK’s national technology officer moves on

Jerry Fishenden, Microsoft UK’s national technology officer, is stepping down after five years in the role and nearly 12 years with Microsoft.

ii. Microsoft UK NTO leaves to spend more time with IT policy

Is it something in the air? Microsoft UK national technology officer Jerry Fishenden is jumping ship to spend more time with his family, his doctoral research and UK technology policy.

What did Jerry see (from the inside) that persuaded him to cut his career short?
____
* Last year for example and last week's departure of the head of Microsoft Philippines.

GNOME Zeitgeist Decides Not to Go with Mono

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, Mono, Red Hat at 11:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gnomes swinging

Summary: Another new case of rejecting Mono follows several others

RED HAT wanted to remove Mono from Fedora and it finally went ahead and did it. The Microsoft vs. TomTom case raised awareness and led to greater opposition to Mono, but there are other factors at play (some of which not related to patents, either). Only such rational opposition to Mono prevents GNOME Zeitgeist from stepping on a trap. To quote from a new blog post:

Before UDS, GNOME Zeitgeist was getting some good attention, but sadly we never got directions from anybody concerning the engine. All of the Developers are actually students so our time and resources are limited. This however all changed during UDS. Thanks to David Barth and Emmet Hikory who took the time to sit down with us to understand Zeitgeist, thus setting new directions for the Zeitgeist “Service” as well as a strategy to avoid any political problems (sorry guys I am a Mono fan boy, but sadly the 2 other maintainers in the Team aren’t, so no worries the only language the engine would be ported to would be C). And for the first time we have a semi roadmap, thanks to the UNR team Milo, which we never got to set up since we were busy developing and going with the flow.

The concern about Mono in Zeitgeist is one that we wrote about before [1, 2].

Yesterday we wrote about Easy-LTSP dumping Mono and there is a more extensive article about it right now.

Even OpenSUSE recognises drawbacks of Mono

Mention Mono in a story and you are certain to draw two kinds of readers – the followers, those who have drunk the kool-aid ladled out by Novell vice-president Miguel de Icaza, and the detractors, who realise that it could cause them patent headaches a few years hence.

[...]

Easy-LTSP was originally written in C# but, according to the OpenSUSE project “Easy-LTSP was designed to work on any distribution, but unfortunately it is not integrated anywhere other than openSUSE, discussing with the upstream LTSP developers suggested the slight reservation could be due to it being written in C#.”

Easy-LTSP is being rewritten to include new features and OpenSUSE has now decided to use Python instead, “which would be easier to attract more contributors and increase possibility that users of all distributions running LTSP server can benefit from it inclusion in their preferred distro.”

Might this be the beginning of a trend?

Fraunhofer Again Lobbies for Microsoft Lock-in

Posted in Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard, Wikipedia at 11:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fraunhofer

“The negative impact of standards for competition are mostly caused by a biased endowment with resources available for the standardization process itself. Therefore. even when the consensus rule is applied, dominant large companies are able to manipulate the outcome of the process, the specification of a standard, into a direction which leads to skewed distribution of benefits or costs in favor of their own interests.” –Prof. Dr. Knut Blind, Fraunhofer

SOME months ago we wrote about the incestuous relationship between Fraunhofer Fokus-DIN-Microsoft. This passionate love affair bears fruit.

Together with Fraunhofer FOKUS, Microsoft is working to streamline the process of exchanging data among organizations leveraging disparate systems. This is why technology industry experts participating in the Document Interoperability Initiative (DII) forum have stressed the need for independent resources set up to offer both testing and validation of files based on IS29500 and ECMA-376 standards implementations. The new tools and website produced by Fraunhofer FOKUS will come to fill this need.

Fraunhofer has made it clear (repeatedly in fact) where it puts its chips. Earlier in the week (and last week) we also showed examples where Microsoft rewrites the history of ODF in order to injure the standard. See for example:

Albert Zonneveld (“hAl”) keeps censoring Wikipedia for Microsoft today. How kind.

Troll Warning: Bill Snyder, IDG, Microsoft Investor

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft at 10:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Viking

Summary: Another writer in IDG writes a lot about his pocket’s opposition, and negatively of course

Bill Snyder writes for IDG, which is in Microsoft’s pocket [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. But Bill too is in Microsoft’s pocket, almost literally. You see, Bill writes a great deal about Microsoft and open source, but secretly he is also an Apple and Microsoft shareholder. He admitted this once. It’s the same situation with Net Applications, which IDG loves citing for a distorted world view. See the details in:

That’s just a fact of life. Publications have their heart where the paychecks come from. To totally ignore this would just be rather foolish.

Just look at the most recent articles from Bill Snyder. Let’s look only at the open source articles. We have:

Why Moblin won’t save the netbook from Microsoft

Does a court ruling raise the risks of open source?

Enterprise IT: Open source deadbeats

And on it goes. That last article in this list bears exactly the same messages as his latest where he calls open source users “leeches”. IBM’s Vice President of open source had already responded angrily to this FUD from Bill Snyder and so did Brian from the Linux Foundation. They wrote blog posts exclusively for the purpose. If provocation is Bill’s intent, then he sure gets a lot of attention (good for his job security). He also scoops up selective supportive evidence from months ago, which shows a certain lack of convenience in writing — a desperation and great craving for something that agrees.

This is not the first time Bill Snyder puts such bait in IDG. We developed a habit of just ignoring him because we’ve been watching him for years and it’s part of a pattern. Now was a suitable time to point this out in a blog warning, as we only occasionally do (e.g. IDG's Shane O'Neill) for particular ‘repeat offenders’. Preston Gralla is another IDG writer who publicly attacks GNU/Linux for personal gain, even if his understanding of this platform is zero.

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