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06.22.09

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: June 22nd, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Links 22/06/2009: Mandriva Linux 2010 @ Alpha 1, Firefox 3.5 is Near

Posted in News Roundup at 7:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Evolution of a Linux Geek

    I’ve been using Linux for a long long time. Looking back now, I realize just how primitive it was. That’s ok – it has grown up a lot since then.

    Even The Economist (one of my favorite magazines) has declared Open Source the winner Every year some says – “This is the year of the Linux desktop.” I’m not even sure what that means any more. Or if it even matters. Looking around my house I see that it is a Linux world.

    My servers in the datacenter – Linux (one has sarge which I’m ashamed to admit – but I swear I’m moving off of it)
    Sure my file server runs Linux. That’s not weird.
    Mythbox – Linux
    Yes, my laptop too – Linux.
    Yes my desktop – Linux.
    My router – DD-WRT – that’s Linux.
    My iphone – jailbroken running GNU software in debs
    My kindle – Linux.
    My Roku – Linux
    My Popcorn Hour Linux
    My search engine – Linux

  • Linux as a Way to Make New Friends

    I’ve met (and still meet) people because of Linux and some of them are my good friends up to now. I learn technical stuff with them but I also joke with them and hang out with them just because and it’s really enjoyable. There’s nothing like friendship to help you enjoy your life. :)

  • KDE

    • MySQL Server Support — Promised and Delivered

      We told you it was coming. Sure, that was a while back, so you probably thought we forgot about it. Or maybe you thought we were simply playing politics, tossing empty promises to our users.

    • KDE desktop Blogging Client – KBlogger

      KBlogger is a simple to use blogging application for the K Destkop Environment. KBlogger integrates in KDE Kicker for easy and fast blogging or is available as a standalone application for KDE 4. The Interface is slick and tries to provide all features support on the server side for your convenience. Just configure your blog, load the editor and start writing.

  • Desktop

    • Does the Linux Desktop Innovate Too Much?

      For the last eighteen months, the GNU/Linux desktop has been in a period of radical innovation. KDE 4 introduced new features and workflows. Mark Shuttleworth launched Ubuntu on a unilateral redesign campaign, starting with notifications. GNOME announced a new desktop that, so far as anyone can tell, will profoundly change the user-experience.

      These innovations are likely to continue for at least another couple of release cycles, with upcoming versions of KDE scheduled to put social networking into applications and remote windows on to the desktops of passing computers.

    • Why I Use Linux: Arlie’s Story

      I’ve tried using Linux in the past without success, I just installed Ubuntu last week because I had an extra computer and Linux is free so I was going to setup a system just for the Internet. OMG (Oh My Google), I’ll say it again “OMG”, I’m in shock. After a short learning curve I’m impressed beyond my ability to express myself.

    • My Free Choice to Move to Linux

      Until about 5 weeks ago.

      I had suddenly felt the urge to drop Vista and stop using OS X. And I did. Here were my reasons why:

      1. Macs are more expensive in the long-run. Sticking with OS X means sticking with premium-priced Apple hardware. I know there are “hackintoshes” (e.g. ways to run OS X on non-Apple hardware), but I would not rely on those hackintoshes as my main machine. I also understand the argument that one “saves on time”. Conceptually, that makes sense.
      2. Vista is just slow. Resource-hog. Annoying pop-ups. I used Vista Business on my Lenovo Thinkpad X200 and while it was an decent experience, it was still too slow. Especially compared to XP. And that’s already using ReadyBoost.
      3. Linux was interesting to try. Free software. Community-driven and supported. Great performance (at least that’s what I had read). Stable software.

    • Is The U.S. Self Importance Clouding Our Judgement of Software?

      In a piece about the market share of Ubuntu outside the United States, Christopher Dawson writes about the innovation that is going on using Linux outside our borders. Since his pieces tend to highlight education, I sometimes discount what he says as being from a too narrow viewpoint, but after reflection, and some other digging, I see that it is perhaps the rest of us that are incorrect in our world vision.

  • Server

    • Web Host Verio Launches New Linux VPS Program Exclusively For Channel Partners

      Verio Inc., the leading provider in delivering online business solutions to SMBs worldwide, including web hosting, application hosting and Software as a Service (SaaS), has announced a new Linux Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting program designed exclusively for viaVerio channel partners. Developed to help partners grow their business and secure new customers, this program offers some of the most competitively priced VPS solutions on the market today.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux’s Hardware Support Better Than Windows?

      You know, the old thing about Linux was that it didn’t necessarily support your (new) hardware. Greg Kroah-Hartman has been trying to bust that myth with the Linux Driver Project for a while now. But recent events have proved beyond doubt that not only is he right, but installing and using new devices on Linux is now much easier than on Windows.

      [...]

      A pretty good record. I don’t know if it’s relevant that all the devices were USB. But what isn’t, these days?

    • Smooth sailing to GRUB 2

      When it finished, I rebooted, let it start up with the defaults (not touching any keys), and everything came up fine. To seal the deal, I followed the instructions given earlier and ran: sudo upgrade-from-grub-legacy to install GRUB 2 in the MBR, replacing GRUB 0.x and rebooted again to test that.

      Everything just worked.

  • Games

    • Linux Games: Torus Trooper

      I am a child of the 80s (born in 1967), so I remember well the likes of Tempest, Zaxon, Galaga, Zap, Centipede, and many more games that stole my quarters over the years. These games helped to define my generation as the first to stare, glassy-eyed at a screen in hopes of having their name on the high score display. I never did. It was one of the big disappointments of my youth.

    • 25 awesome Cross-platform games you can download for free

      I’d certainly never want that to happen to any of our DownloadSquad readers, so here’s a list of games that you can install on Windows, Mac, and Linux (and some even on BeOS and BSD). Enjoy!

    • Linux Gaming at Linuxtag 2009

      This year’s Linux Tag moves closer. As in the previous years Linux Tag takes place at Berlin fair. LinuX-gamers.Net presents novelties about gaming on Linux aswell as a new version of our live DVD. Together with Holarse and FlightGear we will be present in 7.2A #110B. Besides our presentation Linux Tag features a lot more exhibitors (open projects as well as companies) and a broad spectrum of talks workshops and events.

  • Distributions

    • 5 Ways to Decide on a Linux Distribution

      Prejudices and opinions aside, at some point in your career you’ll be asked to select a viable Linux distribution for your corporate network. How will you choose? Will you use the same distribution that you use at home or will you do some research and find something that’s corporate-ready? Are you up to the task? Do you know what to look for in a distribution to support a corporate environment?

    • The beginner’s guide to Slackware Linux

      With Pat’s central role in Slackware firmly established, we come on to patches. Most distros take the original, upstream source code of a program and weld on patches – one, two, 10, often more – to fit it in with the rest of the software and distro. That’s fine for many users, but if you want to be sure you’re getting what the developer originally intended, you’re better off with Slackware.

    • Interview with Robert Lange, co-founder and lead developer of VectorLinux

      VectorLinux is one of the most popular Linux distributions based on Slackware, the oldest surviving Linux distribution. VectorLinux is a desktop-oriented distribution designed for ease of use while retaining Slackware’s legendary stability and reliability. VectorLinux is also well known for optimized performance and for maintaining excellent support for legacy hardware with the Light edition. It has consistently been in the top 20 of the DistroWatch page hit rankings for a number of years.

      This week VectorLinux co-founder and lead developer Robert Lange was kind enough to answer some questions about VectorLinux, its origins, and its future direction.

    • Updated AntiX 8.2-pt1 is Available for Testing

      The antiX-team is proud to announce that an updated antiX MEPIS 8.2 Public Test 1 is available at MEPIS mirrors in the testing directory and the released/antix directory.

    • Macpup Opera: The Fastest Child Of Puppy Linux

      The latest release of Macpup Opera Linux distribution, a derivative of Puppy Linux with a graphical user interface similar with Mac OS X GUI, will change the way in which you think about using Linux. From my point of view, Macpup Opera is the fastest Linux distribution as compared with others based on Enlightenment 17 desktop manager. All windows, even the ones corresponding to resource intensive applications and with animation effects and transitions turned on, open before you blink, practically instantaneously.

    • Dreamlinux 3.5 Quick Review and Screenshots

      Dreamlinux is a good distro and looks great. Do they have the stamina for udpates and consistency of the larger distros? Maybe users with more experience on this distro can chime in here.

    • Gentoo

      • Gentoo at LinuxTag 2009 in Berlin

        LinuxTag 2009 runs from June 24th to June 27th in Berlin, Germany. With almost 12,000 visitors last year, it is one of the biggest Linux and open source events in Europe.

      • Podcast 57 Gentoo Developer Markos Chandras (hwoarang)

        In this episode I interview Markos Chandras (hwoarang) Gentoo Developer. Markos is a busy man, he helps out with Qt, kde, sunrise, sound, and the kernel. If you have any questions, you can reach me at david at linuxcrazy dot com, or on freenode irc, channel #linuxcrazy.

    • Mandriva

      • Mandriva Linux 2010 Alpha 1 and 2010 specifications
      • 2010.0 Development

        This page contains the development plans and release schedule for the next release of Mandriva Linux, Mandriva Linux 2010.

      • Mandriva 2010 Alpha Brings Plymouth, New Features

        The first alpha release of Mandriva Linux 2010 was released on Sunday. This development update brings a number of core improvements to Mandriva such as a faster boot time, Plymouth integration for enhancing the boot process, Tomoyo for providing the security framework, Moblin packaging, and various other improvements. In this article we are taking a brief look at Mandriva Linux 2010 Alpha 1.

      • Mandriva Linux 2010 Alpha 1 released

        The Mandriva Linux 2010 first alpha is based on the 2.6.30 Linux kernel and now uses Tomoyo, a Mandatory Access Control (MAC) implementation for Linux, as a security framework and GUI for common security setup. Major updates to the desktop components include X.org Server 1.6.1.901, KDE 4.3 Beta 2, GNOME 2.27.3 and Xfce 4.6.1.

      • Mandriva 2009.1 Spring n compaq presario 3225AU

        Sound is working fine, even the special key’s are working fine. DivX format worked fine, had to install xine, which is available on the DVD.

        Over all looks like a cool Distro.

      • Mandriva Review

        Stability: 5/5 – When a live cd performs like a hard drive install that’s ’nuff said.

        Simplicity: 4/5 – Centralized configuration simplifies things a lot. However, I had to shy away from a 5 because of all the options in the beginning

        Speed: 4/5 – Bootup time was a wee bit slow but nothing to sweat over.

      • Mandriva 2009 Spring: Quick review

        All in all, I consider Mandriva to be the best of the RPM based distributions at the moment. The only difficulty I had was installing the nVidia driver, and even that was easily fixed. It’s faster than openSuse, and it’s configuration center is better layed out than Yast. Fedora looks good, is fast, but suffers from an limited installer, and some weird dependency issues. If you want RPM, go Mandriva.

    • Red Hat

      • Fedora

        I noticed that most of the awesome X Devs like Peter Hutterer and Kristian Hoegsberg (and let’s not forget Linus Himself!) are using Fedora, and I’ve heard it’s geared towards developers (being bleeding edge and all) – and I guess I’m not ready to delve into the DIY distro territory of Gentoo and Arch.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 147

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 147 for the week June 15th – June 21st, 2009. In this issue we cover Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase competition, 3 New Members of the Americas Region Membership Board, Bootchart testing for UNR, Empathy to replace Pidgin in Karmic Koala, Ubuntu Global Jam 2nd – 4th October 2009, New freenode webchat (and why to use it), Ubuntu Stats, In the Press & Blogosphere, Upcoming Meetings & Events, Updates & Security, and much, much more!

      • Canonical’s Four Most Critical Ubuntu Partners

        2. Dell: Sure, niche PC suppliers like System76 and ZaReason deserve major applause for shipping quality Ubuntu systems. But Dell’s decision to offer Ubuntu on selected desktops and laptops in mid-2007 was a tipping point for Canonical’s move into mainstream computing.

        More recently, Dell has added Ubuntu Netbooks to its product mix.

        Is Dell a perfect Ubuntu partner? Certainly not. International readers often complain to The VAR Guy that Dell Ubuntu systems are not available in their countries.

      • I Love Ubuntu
      • The Rise of Ubuntu

        Give Ubuntu a go if you’re thinking of finally making a switch from Windows or just plan to save money on licenses you would have to buy for the new Windows operating systems.

      • Do You Ubuntu?

        Seriously. 30 minutes. No joke. And let me tell you, it’s slick. Even just looking at the difference in the size between the OS makes me wonder why I haven’t been honing my linux skills all along (to my credit, I used unix pretty exclusively for years when I was in college yet did not have a computer).

      • A Viable Alternative to Microsoft – Ubuntu Linux 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope)

        The change in interface is really no different than a Windows XP user switching to Vista, and just like switching from XP to Vista, it takes no more than a few weeks for most users to become familiar with the Linux way of doing things. You can always support your argument by calculating the total potential savings from switching to Open Source solutions. Switch a few users first then gradually make a complete transition will also ease this pain.

      • UbuntuOne – My Thoughts

        Having already used DropBox (a very similar service) i much appreciate Ubuntu’s tight integration. I also find that Ubuntu One sync’s much quicker than the same files in my dropbox folder – this might be dependent on server traffic for each serivce, however.

      • Linux Mint 7 (Gloria)

        So far everything has been running smoothly with the only minor issue I have is that sometimes, things seem to load slowly like Firefox for example. This could be attributed to some of the addons so I’m going to check those by eliminating them one by one to see if there’s a difference.

    • New Distributions

      • Parted Magic 4.2
      • Webconverger 4.9
      • ymera 20090618
      • Macpup Opera
      • GeeXboX 1.2.2: features enhancement release (06/19/2009)

        A few interesting patches recently having been commited to 2.0 development tree, people on forum asked for backport of these on stable 1.2 release. So did we, adding a new key feature, with multi-threaded video decoding support. Non IT people can see this as a way to finally make use of their brand new multi-core CPU systems providing parallelized treatment. And the results are pretty good, with a 1.8x video decoding speed boost on Core2Duo and 3.0x speedup with Core2Quad. It is now truely possible to actually decode 1080p HDTV streams on Linux.

      • Ultimate Edition 2.2

        I can not stress how important that it is to torrent this release with well over 1/2 a Terabyte of transfer seen locally yesterday. We do have mirrors in route to try and take the load off, please, please torrent after you get it.

      • Debris 1.8.2
      • Karoshi 6.0
  • Devices/Embedded

    • ARM to help make televisions smarter

      The souped-up televisions are also becoming a fertile breeding ground for Linux, according to Wallace. “The television operating systems have moved to Linux,” he said. “Samsung’s [net-connected] television has Linux today, and all the major set-top-box manufacturers are moving to Linux”.

    • Panel PC uses “two Watt” x86 SoC

      Icop announced a panel PC that runs Linux on the company’s own 32-bit, x86-compatible SoC (system on chip). The PDX-089T has a 8.9-inch touchscreen display, 256MB of RAM, CompactFlash Type I/II and microSD storage, plus a Mini PCI slot, the company says.

    • Network security appliances use Atom N270

      AR Infotek didn’t specify which Linux distros the Teak 3030, 3031, and 3035L are designed to run. However, the company says the devices come with Linux drivers that support their system status LEDs, watchdog timers, LAN bypass, and push-button shutdown functionality.

    • Phones

      • Palm Pre faces off against the Iphone

        YOU JUST KNOW what’s coming, don’tcha? Anand spends a little quality time with the Palm Pre. He thinks it’s the first device that comes close to the Iphone. Well, it should, it *is* based on the same SoC as the 3G S, after all.

      • The Palm Pre Review

        The Pre also doesn’t seem like it would take a fall too well. Granted I’ve seen cracked iPhone screens, but the construction of the Pre doesn’t feel all that sturdy. A tough Blackberry, the Pre is not. For Palm, this is most likely a learning experience as well as a cost balancing act. Palm will get better at making these things, but the cost side is difficult to deal with.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • OLPCsb: Deploying XO Laptops in USA Classrooms (Pt 2)

        We have been taking everything very slowly to ensure no slip ups, and so far this strategy has proved very useful. For this reason, we have not yet pursued any other schools or classrooms, although we have perked interest. We want to continue working with this specific classroom and this specific teacher for the next year, to develop a solid and functional pilot program that we can then use as a comprehensive model for future expansions.

      • Netbooks and Nettops: Open-Source Plausible?

        The netbook and nettop are inherently perfect platforms for Linux-based OSs. Linux navigates with ease through everyday computing tasks on today’s most minimal hardware configurations and is as free from viruses as Apple’s OSX. However, while the industry has learned consumers want full functionality from their netbooks which Microsoft’s Windows 7 Starter may not provide, it is still unclear how to leverage a new OS. Yet, if Android or other open-source OSs are key to energizing consumers about netbook and nettop platforms, efforts to minimize the challenges of introducing a new OS are needed.

Free Software/Open Source

  • ES: Cenatic wants open source study to increase uptake

    Spain’s national resource centre on open source, Cenatic, is to analyse the worldwide use and policy development of this type of software. The organisation hopes the inventory will increase international cooperation.

    Other aims of the report are to find new opportunities for the Spanish ICT sector, public administration and Spain’s universities and to increase Spanish participation in international research and development on open source.

  • Open-Source Routers Are Becoming an IT Option

    Many large IT operations are extensively using open-source technology — in operating systems, applications, development tools and databases. So why not in routers, too?

    It’s a question Sam Noble, senior network system administrator for the New Mexico Supreme Court’s Judicial Information Division, pondered while looking for a way to link the state’s courthouses to a new centralized case management system.

  • Advocates say open-source software is better

    Advocates for open-source software are urging governments to embrace the concept, which they argue will save money, offer more flexibility and create better computer programs by encouraging collaboration.

    Open-source programs – which allow anyone to change or modify them – have been gaining popularity in recent years, from free consumer software such as the Firefox web browser to Internet servers and other complex applications.

  • Open Source Bridge is a Huge Success

    When the open source convention OSCON decided to move from Portland, Oregon to San Jose last year, the open source citizens of Portland set about developing their very own “conference for developers working with open source technologies and for people interested in learning the open source way”. And since Portland is a hub of the open source community, an army of volunteers and organizers were able to put together a three day conference called Open Source Bridge. With its focus on open source citizenship, its innovative track structure for sessions, an all-night hacker lounge and peer-produced conference software, Open Source Bridge was not only a success, but plans are already underway for next year’s conference.

  • FLOSS Weekly 74: Jeff Sheltren of the OSU Open Source Lab

    Guest: Jeff Sheltren, operations manager of the Oregon State University Open Source Lab.

  • Firefox

    • Honesty and openness ‘will keep Firefox popular’

      Firefox 3.5 will continue to take market share from Internet Explorer, according to Mozilla’s Vice President of Engineering Mike Shaver – with honesty and user focus still the main aim in an increasingly competitive environment.

    • FlashGot: Yet Another Extension for Downloading Media Files in Firefox

      It’s been a while since my last post. This article is about FlashGot, another Firefox extension which is similar to DownloadHelper, and allows to download all the links, video and audio files from a web page.

    • Taking Microsoft to Task Over IE8 ‘Myths’

      More troubling are the claims that IE8 is on par with Firefox and Chrome when it comes to support for web standards and performance.

    • First look to Firefox 3.5 RC2

      Firefox 3.5 final is expected by the end of June. The Firefox team is now focused on the next major update, tentatively named 3.6, but more safely called by its code name: Namoroka.

    • Top 10 Firefox 3.5 Features

      Firefox 3.5 is a pretty substantial update to the popular open-source browser, and it’s just around the corner. See what features, fixes, and clever new tools are worth getting excited about in the next big release.

    • Chrome and Firefox 3.5 Memory Usage

      Here we note the browser that has the best results in the experiment at every level. Firefox 3.5 used the smallest amount of memory during its peak, it used the smallest amount of memory when all points were averaged, and it used the smallest amount of memory at the end of the experiment after all tabs were closed. Firefox 3.5 continues Firefox 3.0′s legacy of being the most memory efficient browser in this style of experiment.

    • Things You’ll Love About Firefox 3.5

      Undo Closed Window – We’ve all done it before. Now you can undo a closed window just like a closed tab.

      Drag Tab To New Window – Previously you could drag/drop to reorder tabs. Now you can drag a tab off the tab bar to move it into it’s own window. This may sound trivial but it actually makes organizing tabs much easier.

  • Business

    • Using Free Applications To Power Your Business

      Graphic Application: Started in 1995, GNU Image Manipulation Program, or GIMP, is one of the oldest image manipulation programs for the Open Source community. However, the interface can be challenging for Photoshop users. If this is the case, you can also try GIMPshop, a modification of GIMP intended to replicate the feel of Adobe Photoshop.

      Server Operating System: Several alternatives to Windows Small Business Server 2008 exist; the two most popular are Debian GNU Linux 5.0 and Ubuntu Server 9.04. By default, Ubuntu Server has a command-line interface (CLI), but you can download a graphical interface, if you need it. In addition, a server operating system needs other applications like a Web server, proxy server and firewall. Below are the various Windows server alternatives in Linux:

  • Sun

    • Sun’s Schwartz sees open sauce with everything

      He said that adoption of open source technologies was accelerating rapidly thanks to economic pressures.

    • ‘Open source is more stable and better supported’

      It’s accelerating rapidly. And with economic pressures mounting, free enterprise software is looking more and more compelling. Open office, our free office productivity suite, is now downloaded 1,00,000 times a day. A year ago, it was half that. Downloads of Glassfish, our open source application server, has also doubled in the last one year, and that of MySQL, the open source database, has increased 30 per cent. This is partly because of our awareness campaigns, but more because of the IT budget cuts, which push you to look for the best free software available to run your business systems.

  • Funding

    • No license payments lure, as open source on the rise!

      The absence of upfront license payments is the main driver in open source adoption, along with the lower costs of total ownership, for companies in the European market despite lingering market concerns about the level of software support and the quality of open source software.

  • FSF/GNU

    • No, Amazon did not release all of the Swindle’s source code

      It was unfortunately reported yesterday by a number of sources (including one pointed to by the New York Times) that Amazon had released the source code for the software running on the Kindle DX.

    • Introducing RDF for GNU Licenses

      For the past few months, the Compliance Lab has been working with Creative Commons on a new project, and it’s just been released. I’m happy to announce that Resource Description Framework (RDF) metadata now accompanies all of the GNU licenses.

  • Licensing

  • Open Access

    • British Library still doesn’t get it

      The BBC has a belated but fawning story today, Just click for a century of news:

      The British Library has put two million digitised pages from 19th century newspapers online, taking research out of its dusty reading rooms into people’s homes.

      The pay-as-you-go service brings a century of history alive from Jack the Ripper to WC Grace. (etc)

      Ah. So, “just click”, eh? What use is this to most of us? Access for the privileged only, it seems. Can you imagine any of us paying for this?

      But there is more, and worse, at the British Library site, where the new government “Digital Britain” report is discussed.

    • Don’t Hide your: Research, Share it!

      Technology is slowly allowing scientists to take information distribution back into their own hands as demonstrated by OpenWetWare.org. Not only does it allow researchers to publish bits of information that do not fit in with the conventional channels of journals but it also serves as a platform to interact with other researchers in an environment that is not owned by a profit-seeking company.

    • Student Statement on The Right to Research

      Scholarly knowledge is part of the common wealth of humanity.

      Unfortunately, not everyone has access to the scholarly literature, despite advances in communications technology. The high cost of academic journals restricts access to knowledge; in some fields, prices can reach $20,000 for a single journal subscription1 or $30 for an individual article.2 Despite these high prices, authors of scholarly articles are not paid for their work. The profits from these publications go solely to the publishers of the journals. A vast amount of research is funded from public sources – yet taxpayers are locked out by the cost of access.

    • The Master List of Free Language Learning Resources
    • OPSI’s new licensing model – taking the licensing of government content to the next level

      The Government’s response to the Power of Information Taskforce’s recommendation 8 stated that OPSI was developing a new licence model, building on the success of the Click-Use Licence. We thought it would be good to post our initial thoughts about what the new licence terms could look like here on our blog for your comments.

    • Reclaim The Commons: A Manifesto

      As long-suffering readers of this blog will have noticed, I rather like the concept of the commons. As well as being good in itself, it also provides a way of linking many disparate fields – software, content, data, knowledge, fisheries, forests, oceans, the atmosphere. That’s not really surprising, since the thing these all have in, er, common is that we share them, and the commons offers a model for sharing without destroying.

    • Using Wikisource as an Alternative Open Access Repository for Legal Scholarship

      There are plenty of sites in the world that aim to serve as repositories for legal scholarship. Some of them are run by particular law schools and serve to advertise scholarship produced by that institution’s faculty. Others, like SSRN, aggregate scholarship from a variety of sources. Wikisource differs from all of them in that its mission is broader: Wikisource doesn’t want to be a scholarly archive, it wants to be a library. The very breadth and generality of that objective, however, gives Wikisource some advantages as an open-access repository that I don’t think have been adequately explored elsewhere.

    • OA journal ranks #1 in its field for impact

      The OA impact advantage helps journals, not just authors. TA journals may have their reasons not to convert to OA, but they can’t pretend that there’s nothing in the other pan of the scale.

    • Proposed Rules On Public Research In South Africa Stir Debate

      But the negative impact of the regulations far outweigh any benefits, the project argued. The draft rules focus on the use of patenting and other forms of IP protection to commercialise research in the interests of innovation, it said, adding that they are “hostile to, or at the very least suspicious of, open source and open processes.”

  • Defense

    • Open Source Goes To War

      The Open Source concept has proved to be enormously useful. The vast majority of software professionals poking around in software are just trying to get these programs to work reliably, efficiently, and a little better. When they find a flaw, they report it. And with a lot of bug reports coming in, the software publisher will fix the damn thing quickly.

    • MI5 Operations Center North street address, 18 Jun 2009

      This document has evidence that the new secret MI5 “North” operations centre is located at Park 66, Pilsworth Road, Bury, Lancashire.

    • Open Source Journalism at the Guardian

      Because for the Guardian model to work, they had to strike an agreement (a bargain – as Clay Shirky calls it) with their community. I don’t think anyone would have been satisfied to do this work and then simply hand it back to the Guardian without the right to access their work, or the work of other micro-journalists. Indeed, following the open source model, the guardian has posted the results for every document read and analyzed. This means that the “raw data” and analysis is available to anyone. Anyone of these micro-journalists can now, in turn, read the assemblage of document reviews and write their own story about the MPs expenses. Indeed, I’m willing to wager the some of the most interesting stories about these 700,000 pages will not be written by staff of The Guardian but by other parties assessing the raw data.

  • Programming

  • Applications

    • Using Zotero

      Zotero is a free open source manager of citations to all sorts of documents. I’m using the beta version 2.0b5, which works well in Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux. There are several steps to get the most out of Zotero.

    • Track Your Carbon Footprint With Ecobot

      ECOBOT is a free, open source Adobe AIR application that watches your fuel, paper, and power consumption to help you determine where you’re having the most negative impact on the environment and what you’re doing right.

    • Over 40 Free, Must-Have Open Source Resources
    • Will Google Wave reshape enterprise IT?

      Most of the world’s software is not written by open-source software developers, nor is it written by Microsoft or other traditional software vendors. It’s written by enterprises for internal use. As such, if Google Wave has the potential to facilitate software development by facilitating real-time collaboration on code–and it does–then why not unleash its potential within enterprise application development?

  • Ogg

    • Wikipedia Gets Ready for a Video Upgrade

      Key to Wikipedia’s video effort–funded partly by the Mozilla Foundation, makers of the open-source Firefox browser–is Wikipedia’s insistence that any video passing into its pages be based on open-source formats. In the future, the offerings behind the “Add Media” button will include a search function for scouring the Web for video content.

    • The Saga of Ogg the Great

      Despite the modest name, this is important stuff. As I wrote elsewhere recently, I believe that the arrival of Firefox 3.5, with it support for Ogg’s formats, will mark a turning point in open video and audio. It’s good to have background information on how it all started.

    • HTML 5, Codecs and the Video Tag

      The main focus of the Royalty Free Codecs session seemed to be around Ogg Theora. Also present though were Sun, speaking about their new Open Media Stack, and David Schleef to represent his work on the Schroedinger Dirac library. I would have loved to hear more about what was happening with Dirac, but the crowd wanted Theora news.

Leftovers

  • EC calls for one world internet governance

    The European Commission is once again calling for the United States to let go of ICANN and place it under international supervision.

    Echoing an earlier appeal from EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, Viviane Reding, the Commission said in a statement today that future internet governance “should reflect the key role that global network has come to play for all countries.”

  • EU admits ICANN setup has worked well, wants change anyway

    The European Commission has issued a document in which it called for greater international oversight of ICANN, the organization that assigns domain names.

  • Web Abuse

    • Council pitches to limit Telecoms Package Third Reading

      A UK Parliamentary statement confirms that the Council will send the Telecoms Package to a Third Reading, but it will put pressure on the European Parliament to narrowly limit the discussions. It claims Amendment 138 ‘interferes with national competencies’ and ‘will constrain future UK policy.’ To put this in context, the UK wants to use protocol blocking and technical measures against file-sharers. The rules of Third Reading will permit a wider discussion of users rights.

    • The right to be free

      Everybody knows, that DRM is bad. Also everybody knows, that Open Source is just a compromise and a stage in transition to a close-to-ideal system, which Free Software is. The free culture advocates have written dozens of books, heaps of articles and hundreds and thousands of blog entries showing the sense of standing against the law, organizations and corporations who bound (or try to put boundaries) on our freedom. Also stacks and heaps of text has been produced showing why should we boycott “bad” products designed by the aforementioned villains, the products being designed to achieve one obvious goal : to maximize profit, regardless of the consumer’s good.

  • Copyrights

    • Adam Curry wins again!

      This post is written and translated by Paul Keller of CC Netherlands, first posted in Dutch on the CC Netherlands blog earlier today. Regarding one of the quotes below, to be clear, note CC licenses do not override fair use.

    • German MP jumps ship for Pirate Party

      A German MP has quit the Social Democrats in protest at the country’s approval of controversial laws to crack down on child porn, and pledged his support for the Pirate Party.

      Joerg Tauss’s defection from one of Germany’s ruling coalition partners means the Pirate Party – whose key policy demand is the right for computer users to swap content untrammeled by copyright laws – has two elected representatives. A Swede under the Pirate Party banner took a seat in the European parliament elections earlier this month.*

    • German Elected Official Switches Parties To The Pirate Party
    • Harvard Study Finds Weaker Copyright Protection Has Benefited Society

      Economists Felix Oberholzer-Gee and Koleman Strumpf have just released a new Harvard Business School working paper called File Sharing and Copyright that raises some important points about file sharing, copyright, and the net benefits to society.

    • US Copyright Law, King Lear, and Jammie Thomas-Rasset

      If the current US Copyright Law had been in effect over Shakespeare, I think he could have been sued by many authors for copyright infringement for writing that masterpiece.

    • RIAA: Be Careful What You Wish For

      Various tweets from Minnesota confirm that a federal jury as just returned an astonishing verdict of $1,920,000 against Jammie Thomas for downloading 24 songs. That’s $80,000 per song.

    • Damages of $1.9 million could backfire on music industry

      While the recording industry claims strong support in Congress, with powerful champions including House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., and his Senate counterpart Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the Minneapolis verdict could well lead to a legislative move to reduce the damages awards available against individual infringers like Thomas-Rasset.

    • Moby Says ‘Disband The RIAA’ For Winning $1.92 Million From Jammie Thomas

      This isn’t new territory for Moby. Way back in 2003, he got angry after finding out that some of his songs were being used by the RIAA to sue people, and stated: “I’m tempted to go onto Kazaa and download some of my own music, just to see if the RIAA would sue me for having mp3′s of my own songs on my hard-drive.”

    • Moby: The RIAA Needs to be Disbanded

      The two million dollar fine handed out to Jammie Thomas by a Minnesota jury this week hasn’t done the music industry’s image much good. While lawyers and high level managers at the major labels cracked open the Champagne, artists such as Moby and Radiohead shook their heads in shame at what the music world has become.

    • So Why Can’t Major Record Labels Provide Accurate Accounting To Bands?

      Over the years, that’s resulted in many, many accusations from artists that the labels are flat out lying about how much an artist actually earns. That’s why you hear stories of artists selling millions of albums and never seeing a dime in royalties or of artists suing record labels because of sneaky accounting tricks to hide how much an album has earned.

    • And Of Course: RIAA Mouthpieces Defend $1.92 Million Judgment

      Tom Sydnor, from the Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF), a loud and proud supporter of stronger copyright at every turn (and who is well funded by the RIAA labels), apparently missed the memo on playing down the number.

    • ASCAP Now Claiming That Your Mobile Phone Ringing Is A Public Performance

      On top of this, even if, in some bizarre, twisted interpretation of the law, a ringtone playing on a phone was a public performance, how would it be the mobile operators’ liability to pay? That would be like saying that Apple should pay ASCAP royalties because songs it sells on iTunes could potentially be played through speakers publicly somewhere. Perhaps I shouldn’t be giving ASCAP ideas…

    • ASCAP Wants To Be Paid When Your Phone Rings

      ASCAP (the same folks who went after Girl Scouts for singing around a campfire) appears to believe that every time your musical ringtone rings in public, you’re violating copyright law by “publicly performing” it without a license. At least that’s the import of a brief [2.5mb PDF] it filed in ASCAP’s court battle with mobile phone giant AT&T.

    • No mistakes? NH P2P case highlights MediaSentry’s issues

      With the help of a local law clinic, a middle-age New Hampshire woman who was accused of downloading songs like “Jigga My Nigga” has just settled with the recording industry without paying a cent. Recording industry investigator MediaSentry says it doesn’t make mistakes, but a Dartmouth professor brought in to examine the evidence concluded that it had plenty of issues.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Alexandro Colorado, international open source evangelist 04 (2004)

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

Reader’s Article: Mono and (Anti)Trust

Posted in Antitrust, ECMA, Finance, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, TomTom at 8:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Evil monkeys

Summary: Mono suffers from an issue of trust — one must trust Microsoft just like TomTom trusted them

NOVELL, like Mono, is impossible to trust. Would anyone trust a company whose CEO rakes in millions in bonuses despite abysmal performance? Yes, Novell fires GNU/Linux developers (supposedly its business focus) while giving Ron Hovsepian a $6 million bonus. Novell fails to beat its own goals and it had been taking loans while its CEO was essentially robbing the company for personal benefit. Why do so many good reporters fail to see this?

“Whose agenda is actually served by Mono? Microsoft’s of course.”As the treasonous deal with Microsoft demonstrated, Novell is a morally deprived company, with the possibility of imminent financial bankruptcy too, or at least the splitting for sake of survival. Whose agenda is actually served by Mono? Microsoft’s of course. And the more times goes on, the more obvious it becomes. In fact, Novell has begun development which puts Windows in a position of advantage even for Mono [1, 2, 3]. What more compelling proof do proponents of Mono require before the Eureka moment? Some of those Mono proponents are former Microsoft employees and at least one person from the Mono team is working for Microsoft at present.

And with this blunt introduction off my chest, I hand it over to Slated, who equally bluntly wrote the following about what makes Mono so dangerous:


This single, vague yet far reaching example, is as much as I personally have been able to discover.

The ECMA declaration is indeed just a statement of intent.

However, the substantive point is that .NET is Microsoft technology, and as such you can be sure they have it patented up to the hilt, and one way or another Microsoft will use those patents as a weapon against its enemies. It would be extremely naive (in fact dangerous) to assume otherwise, because Microsoft have a violent history of aggression in their crusade to protect their racketeering operation.

“The best case scenario might be that Mono developers find themselves having to abandon whole projects, or at least significant parts of them, in order to “work around” the problem.”The problem is that, outside of Redmond HQ (and presumably UPSTO), nobody has the faintest clue as to what these patents might be, if any, and of course Microsoft have so far remained silent on the issue (much like the infamous “Linux violates 235 Microsoft patents” scandal, except this time the intent is initially somewhat more subtle and subversive, rather than being a more obvious and aggressive FUD attack). This also begs the question of how de Icaza and friends intend to “work around” non-ECMA covered patents, if he doesn’t have the first clue as to what
exactly is, or is not, patented, and by the time he eventually finds out, it may be too late (assuming he isn’t already privy to Microsoft’s darkest secrets).

The best case scenario might be that Mono developers find themselves having to abandon whole projects, or at least significant parts of them, in order to “work around” the problem. The worst case scenario is that Microsoft begins an all-out frontal attack (just like they did with TomTom).

Naturally Microsoft finds this situation very useful, since it enables them to poison Free Software in a subversive fashion, and with little resistance, especially as they have pacified certain key developers with “RAND” assurances. The problem is that the ECMA RAND only pertains to certain parts of the .NET framework, and moreover the “RAND” itself only refers to price (i.e. a fair and reasonable price). This doesn’t actually prevent Microsoft from suing those who implement that technology without a license, and the private (i.e. unofficial) assurances they’ve given regarding “royalty free” are, at this stage, nothing more than hot air (i.e. dependent on implicit trust, rather than being legally binding). To be legally binding, every GNU/Linux distro would require an explicit patent grant from Microsoft, which is not what either the ECMA RAND nor the so-called “covenant” are. Novell presumably has such a grant, as part of their agreement, others don’t. Exactly what sinister implications entering into such an agreement entails, is anyone’s guess, since they are (like everything else Microsoft does) yet another dark secret (Memorandum of Understanding), but you can be sure it isn’t good, or at least it is very good for Microsoft, which means it will inevitably be very bad for everyone else.

IOW it’s all a big mystery, and deliberately so (patent pending).

Then again, maybe not.

After all, this is Microsoft we’re talking about, and there’s very little mystery about their motives, is there? So do we actually even need to know the details? We should all know more than enough about the history of these gangsters, to steer well clear of anything tainted by them.

Here’s a shortlist of things we can safely assume Microsoft considers to be their “enemy”:

. Competing operating systems
. Interoperability (i.e. anything which enables operation on the above)
. Open Standards (ditto)
. Free Software (ditto)
. Any company which distributes or primarily utilises any of the above

And here’s a few key facts about Microsoft:

. They have a global software monopoly
. They abuse that monopoly to suppress competition
. They use highly unethical, and often illegal, tactics in the above
. They are only motivated by power and greed, to attain domination
. They essentially operate like gangsters

Now study those two lists, then give me one good reason why anyone should implicitly trust Microsoft to:

a) Do anything that helps GNU/Linux
b) Keep their legally non-binding “royalty free” promise
c) Keep their “covenant to not sue” promise (hint: TomTom)
d) Not launch a submarine patent attack against Mono projects
e) Not abuse the confusion over Mono as leverage for cross-licensing “deals”, to pervert the GNU/Linux distro landscape into an extension of Microsoft’s portfolio of rotting carcasses

Seems pretty simple to me, but then I am allegedly rather “monochromatic”.

Ultimately, one only needs to ask oneself this single question, to determine whether or not they should have anything to do with Mono, either as users or developers:

Do you trust, and therefore wish to help, the self-declared enemy of Free Software, Microsoft, a company which inhibits all competition using immoral and criminal methods, similar to gangsters running a racketeering operation?

My answer: No.

I really don’t need to know any more.

Case closed.

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

“[The partnership with Microsoft is] going very well insofar as we originally agreed to co-operate on three distinct projects and now we’re working on nine projects and there’s a good list of 19 other projects that we plan to co-operate on.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

Microsoft Gets Even Closer to the American Press, Promotes Vapourware

Posted in Deception, Dell, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 7:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“In the face of strong competition, Evangelism’s focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Summary: Microsoft recaptures more influence in General Electric’s agenda-setting media outlet whilst Vista 7 gets promoted senselessly

LAST NIGHT we offered an exclusive glimpse at Microsoft's definition of vapourware. It is about announcing products ahead of their existence and hyping them up by making promises that won’t be fulfilled. In order to make vapourware effective, Microsoft must also control the press. To quote more from Microsoft’s internal documents [PDF], “Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever.” Microsoft understands that control of the press is crucial, which is why Microsoft is literally buying some of it.

Here is the latest deal:

GE to use Microsoft technology for ad sales: WSJ

[...]

General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal will announce Thursday that it will use technology from Microsoft Corp.

We have already warned that NBC and the likes of it will mostly deliver Microsoft's corporate propaganda and last week we offered an example where MSNBC removed parts of articles that were damaging to Microsoft.

“Later on they also lobby together for software patents in Europe.”A lot of people still fail to realise that NBC is very much a General Electric drone, so its information on energy matters will be affected accordingly. This is a recipe for disaster. Here is more coverage from MarketWatch and from Rupert Murdoch’s press. Microsoft getting closer to NBC Universal is the equivalent of Microsoft getting closer to General Electric, which recently they did directly when they announced a deal. Later on they also lobby together for software patents in Europe.

All of this domination of the press leads Microsoft to controlling the agenda-setting media. Microsoft gets to tell editors what the consensus on its products should be, so it is hardly surprising that news headlines matching “Vista” in the past week are only 3 compared to those matching “Windows 7″, of which there are 17. It’s called vapourware when the promoted product does not even exist. Fantasies supersede reality.

We could carry on talking about Dell becoming a slave of Microsoft again, but this is a topic for another day. There is money changing hands and that alone tends to define what companies — including media companies — will publicly promote [1, 2, 3].

General Electric

Disclosure: My sister works for General Electric, so I am not biased against them.

Zune and Xbox Still Circling Down the Drain After Long Downtime

Posted in Google, Hardware, Microsoft at 6:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

American toilet

Summary: Microsoft’s latest case study in technological incompetence

IF a Google service goes down for a few hours, then the pro-Microsoft press makes a lot of noise about it. When Microsoft’s Azure goes down for 22 hours, hardly anyone cares. Frankly, whereas Google gets slammed harshly if GMail is unavailable (as a Web interface) for a short period of time, the press seems surprisingly apathetic or even apologetic when Microsoft suffers worse issues. The definition of a “hypocrite” (by some sources) is one who applies to others the standards he or she won’t apply to him/herself. This makes Microsoft a true hypocrite.

“The Xbox exodus is a real ongoing problem and the same goes for Zune as well.”Anyway, on with the new story. The Xbox exodus is a real ongoing problem and the same goes for Zune as well. Both suffered from the departure of those who ran these abysmal projects. To make matters worse, several days ago Microsoft took down XBox and Zune services for a whole day. When the services came back they did not even work properly. It bodes poorly for Microsoft’s already-poor reputation when it comes to reliability and uptime. Here are some reports on the subject:

i. Xbox Live Marketplace in Coma, Needs Wake-Up Call

Yesterday, we reported on the maintenance of Xbox Live, which brought down the service for a full 24 hours. Xbox Live came back online just a few moments before midnight PST. Playing online is functioning just fine, as are most of the features of the service. The marketplace, however, is in rough shape.

ii. Typical: Xbox Live downtime leads to Xbox Live problems

After spending all of Tuesday offline, Xbox Live is back with a bang … or is that a whimper? Reports are coming in from all over the Internet of Live Marketplace not working properly and games disappearing off the face of the Earth. Oh Microsoft, will you ever win?

iii. Xbox Live returns after being off all day yesterday, but now some things are broken

After Microsoft shut down Xbox Live for over twenty-four hours yesterday, their online gaming service for the Xbox 360 is back online, but it’s not working correctly for many users.

iv. Xbox Live having issues after maintenance

After yesterday’s 24 hour maintenance session for Xbox Live, the service is operational again but appears to have some problems. Certain games from the marketplace have a purchase option, but not an option to download

v. Xbox Live still a little funky after those there updates

Hey there, amigo. Have you logged onto Xbox Live today? Don’t! Well, not unless you’re looking forward to dealing with a few post-maintenance glitches.

vi. Xbox Live’s Return Brings Xbox Live Issues

At least we know they are aware of the problem. I’m just hoping they fix things soon, as I am starting to feel the shakes of pre-emptive Magic withdrawal.

vii. Xbox Live Still Down- Microsoft May Have Surprises

Some issues are pending and needs to be wind up before they close the scheduled maintenance so you are asked to hold on to the panicking mails which are being send across.

And yes, it’s also a Zune issue:

viii. Xbox Live STILL Down On June 16th: Microsoft Says It Could Take 24 Hours

According to Yahoo News, “there will not be Zune Social, Zune Marketplace or Zune.net forums in that time either…”

This will serve as another important lesson in Microsoft’s failures with technology.

Microsoft Brings ‘American EDGI’ to Illinois, Virginia, and Indiana

Posted in America, Asia, Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 5:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad cigarettes

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

Bill Gates

Summary: Microsoft is dumping software in American states in order to avert Free software competition

“Elevate America” strikes again. This is the American equivalent of EDGI and we mentioned it a few times earlier this year [1, 2]. Microsoft and its collaborators are dumping proprietary software on young people in states that don’t obey the Microsoft route. For background on EDGI, which bears similarities to “Elevate America”, see:

Microsoft brings more or less the same tactics to Illinois. The governor got bamboozled, probably without even realising it.

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–June 18, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today joined Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the Chicagoland Chamber’s Annual Meeting to announce a major public-private partnership between Microsoft and the State of Illinois to provide free technology training for up to 51,000 Illinoisans, starting July 31.

[...]

The Microsoft Elevate America initiative will provide up to 1 million vouchers nationwide for Microsoft e-Learning courses and select certification exams. The program is part of Microsoft’s overall efforts to provide technology training for at least 2 million people during the next three years.

More information can be found in the local press.

The program is called the Microsoft Elevate America. Here’s how it works: You get a voucher from the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The vouchers are good for free online training in Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007. Advanced-level training is available for technical professionals.

“Elevate America” is a textbook example of Orwellian language in action. If digital slavery is elating, then fine, it has an element of truth to it.

Illinois is not the only new victim though. Microsoft seems to have embarked on some kind of American tour, so the next victims are students in Virginia.

Working with the Virginia Community College system, Microsoft’s “Elevate America” program will provide 5,000 vouchers for online training, 5,000 vouchers for online testing and 1,250 vouchers for advanced training in one of the programs in the Microsoft Office Suite.

More information about it can be found here.

Next target?

Well, the next one is particularly disturbing because a lot of recent news talked about Free software adoption in Indiana University [2,4,5] and Indiana in general [1,3,6] (references are at the bottom). Microsoft wants to put an end to all that, so watch what it’s doing:

IU, Microsoft expand partnership

Indiana University’s new enterprise license agreement with Microsoft Corp. will expand the path-breaking 1998 strategy to provide popular Microsoft products to all students, faculty and staff on IU campuses by including unlimited licenses and software maintenance to IU departments for server software such as SQL Server, Windows Server, SharePoint Server, and Configuration Manager Server.

[...]

Since 1998, IU’s agreements with Microsoft have provided exceptional value to the institution with nearly $200M in software use by the IU community.

This is also done in other countries [1, 2] and the new example is Pakistan, which Microsoft may have exploited for OOXML a year ago.

Microsoft and the Aga Khan Foundation in Pakistan inked an agreement to establish the country’s first pilot Community Technology Learning Centres in the remote northern areas of Gilgit and Hunza.

Watch out and pay attention to what Microsoft is doing in Russia as well. From Reuters:

Microsoft plans to double Russian sales in 3 yrs

[...]

To help achieve the target, Microsoft plans to promote its software among telecom operators’ subscribers — the company said it had appointed Sergei Korovin as director of telecom sector relations.

The U.S. company is the subject of a probe by the Russian anti-trust regulator over whether it broke competition law by holding back supplies of its Windows XP operating system to the Russian market.

This is a subject that we covered very recently in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. When will they learn?
______
[1] Indiana District Funds Classroom Makeovers with Open Source Savings

Indiana’s Michigan City Area Schools is in the midst of renovating hundreds of classrooms at fourteen school sites. Through a new technology initiative, called HiTEC (“High Technology Educational Classroom”), the district is outfitting its classrooms with a wide range of interactive A/V technologies and control systems and funding the whole thing through savings realized through an open source initiative.

[2] IU hailed as IT pioneer in CIO 100 Awards

“In 2003, IU set a strategy to begin building some of its essential systems by pooling resources with other institutions,” said Wheeler. “We saw that the Internet could reduce coordination costs of working together. The sharing of open source application software could deliver essential features while reducing year-to-year costs, and avoid the future risks of large licensing fees and escalating maintenance costs.”

[3] University of Georgia Announces uPortal-Based MyUGA Student Portal

According to Rehan Khan, associate CIO, University of Georgia, the uPortal open source solution provided the University with a secure and scalable enterprise platform with the capability to evolve and expand online services in the future.

[4] Open Source Digital Music Library SW from IU

Indiana University has released open source software, called Variations, that allows you to create a digital music library system. College and university libraries may digitize audio and musical scores to provide to their users in an interactive, online environment, including streaming audio and scanned score images.

[5] Indiana U offers open source digital music library software

Indiana University today announces the release of open source software to create a digital music library system. The software, called Variations, provides online access to streaming audio and scanned score images in support of teaching, learning, and research.

[6] Linux Makes the Grade

Today, more than 100,000 Indiana school kids (in all, 300,000 high schoolers are slated to receive one) have their own $298 computer and monitor with numerous free software applications, and, in turn, schools across the state have secure, reliable, sophisticated server systems thanks to Linux-based open source technology.    

[7] New Chicago-Indiana Computer Network Plugs Into Open Science Grid

The Grid uses Scientific Linux CERN 3 (SLC3) for most of its operations which is a derivative of ScientificLinux. ScientificLinux is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Reader’s Article: The Gates Foundation and Genetically-Modified Foods

Posted in Bill Gates, Marketing, Microsoft at 4:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Crops

Summary: The role of the Gates Foundation in GMO, or multinationals’ crops

SUFFICE to say, especially for those who have already been reading on this subject [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], the Gates Foundation is similar to what Rockefeller achieved with the Rockefeller Foundation. It is a self-serving establishment which to the public seems like it’s all about goodwill.

“It is just too convenient to dismiss critical views of Gates Foundation as “jealousy”.”Microsoft deserves credit for mastering PR — that is, being very able to perpetually deceive the public, especially the more mentally-feeble or those who have neither time nor desire to research for themselves. Here is a new case of sentimental blackmail in a Microsoft press release and here is another new example from the PR machine (this latter one comes from Children International). To an outsider it would seem innocent and characteristic of this big company’s self-acclaimed innocence.

There is a lot more to the Gates Foundation than the mainstream press permits people to know (to a high degrees it is a matter of press ownership), but professors have become more outspoken in their criticism of the Gates Foundation in recent years. This only gets scarce coverage, if any at all. It is just too convenient to dismiss critical views of Gates Foundation as “jealousy”. One of our readers did some studying on a particularly important subject, so we present it as follows for readers to take further interest in and maybe contribute more information. The narrative below is the contributing reader’s, not mine.


I’ve been looking today into food and GMO and found something that BN can perhaps use. First, let me quote this article. It is well written and contains cites to a couple of academic articles under the heading “The Genetic Engineering of Food and the Failure of Science”. The two articles are:

1. The Development of a Flawed Enterprise [PDF]

2. Academic Capitalism and the Loss of Scientific Integrity [PDF]

I haven’t fully read these yet, but what struck me is that multinational corporations are promoting GMO as a way to solve world hunger even though it is still unproven science. Also, the biogenetics field is largely corporate funded and speaking against it entails a risk for those in that field. The author of the above two peer-reviewed articles, Don Lotter, has decided to take the risk even though he isn’t on a tenor track and it may damage his career prospects. It also struck me that, while some multinationals are campaigning for us to stake the food chains of the future on their unproven science, other multinationals are pointing to the “unproven science” of climatologists to paint them as “untrustworthy politicians” and to promote skepticism of global warning.

Going back to the Huffington Post article, I noticed something very similar to what I’ve seen frequently on Boycott Novell. That is, someone posts an article critical of multinational corporations and ad hominem or FUD attacks on the articles quickly arrive in the comments. It’s worth reading Don Lotter’s response to this.

Finally, there is a link between Monsanto, GMOs and the Gates Foundation. I found the following article from 2008 cited in the Huffington Post article:

From the article:

The Gates Foundation made its first foray into agriculture in 2006 with a $100 million grant to create an initiative with the Rockefeller Foundation called the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

Based in Nairobi, AGRA took as its model the original Green Revolution, which helped relieve widespread famine in the 1940s through the 1960s by boosting production of maize, wheat and rice in Latin America and Asia.
Part of the controversy lies in the Gates Foundation’s choosing that approach.

Using strains of crops that required fertilizer, pesticides and irrigation, the Green Revolution methods increased yields. But they also damaged the environment, favored wealthier farmers and left some poorer ones deeper in debt.

Also:

The situation was further complicated when former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, now chairman of AGRA’s board, made a statement that African journalists interpreted as rejecting the use of genetically modified seeds.

The Gates Foundation later said Annan was misquoted.

And:

The Gates Foundation, whose science-and-technology efforts are led by a former Monsanto researcher, is helping African governments develop biosafety standards and regulations and training local researchers in the latest plant breeding.

While the article says that “it will be a decision for African governments and farmers” whether to use GMOs, I won’t be surprised to see the Gates Foundation promoting their use. I have started to read the first Lotter paper and already I have found a juicy quote on page 5:

Illustrative is the Monsanto Corporation’s global marketing vision from a 2005 company document: “full adoption of GM crops globally would result in income gains of US$210 billion per year within the next decade, with the largest potential gains occurring in developing countries at a rate of 2.1 percent gross national product per year” (Lopez Villar et al., 2007).

Much of this push is being done with the help of US foreign aid agencies such as the US Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as well-endowed nGos such as the Rockefeller and Gates Foundations (African Centre for Biosafety, 2007; Ho, 2007; Lopez Villar et al., 2007). USAID is mandated to partner with US biotechnology corporations to promote the companies’ crops in developing countries (Brenner, 2004).

I think that’s more evidence for my speculation that the Gates Foundation is helping to spread GMO foods to developing countries. What they do now seems very consistent to me: I know that they like to “donate” Microsoft software to libraries and schools, they like to donate pharmaceuticals to developing countries and now I find that they like to spread GMO foods there as well. Whatever they do seems to have the side-effect of encouraging or spreading dependencies on multi-national corporations.

Microsoft Pays More People to Attack Google as Microsoft’s Search Queries Fall Another 14 Percent in May

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Search at 4:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Taking a buck (bribe)

Summary: Microsoft’s anti-Google lobby exposed yet again in another place

TAST WEEK we wrote about the anti-Google "whisper campaign", which is just the latest among a relentless wave of attacks that consistently come from Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. Microsoft harasses Google by paying or strongly encouraging (through incitement) others to do so. Well, Microsoft keeps getting caught. The latest:

Google Critic Paid By Microsoft

[...]

While Cleland asserts that his testimony reflects his personal views and not the views of his clients, Google sympathizers wonder if his new affiliation with Microsoft might further fuel what they believe is an already staunchly anti-Google agenda. Last December, Precursor issued a report alleging that Google “is by far the largest user of Internet bandwidth,” the company’s share of bandwidth usage is rising rapidly, and it’s bandwidth use “is orders of magnitude greater than its payment for its cost.” Google’s telecom counsel Richard Whitt responded to the attack, calling the report “payola punditry.” Google Associate General Counsel Nicole Wong will testify Thursday, presumably in defense of her firm’s practices.

PR Watch called this stunt “Another Kind of Payola Pundit,” to which it added mostly fragments from the report above.

“Telecommunications analyst Scott Cleland, whose work is bankrolled by companies like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, also signed on as a hired gun for Microsoft earlier this year,” reports National Journal. Cleland is “a frequent critic of Google” who “runs Precursor, an industry research and consulting firm, and chairs NetCompetition.org, which he describes as ‘a pro-competition e-forum funded by broadband companies.’”

This is important to us because Microsoft also pays a lot of money for companies to attack GNU/Linux. SCO is a good example, but there are more.

What will the government do about these vicious attacks from a monopoly abuser? Obviously nothing because it’s in Microsoft’s pocket [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Fred Williams remarks: “The DOJ is owned by Microsoft. They will do nothing! It would take an act of God to get them to pry their lips of Microsoft’s butt. Is it OK to say butt?” GreyGeek then replies:

It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Microsoft OWNS Obama and most of both major political parties, thanks to their “campaign contributions” and the LACK of ethics by all parties concerned. Hardly 6 months in office and Obama has backpeddled on so many of his oft-repeated campaign promises those who voted for him are beginning to feel used, and those who campaigned for him feel more like they’ve become members of the first profession.

If the TRIPS FOR JUDGES website is any indication, judges are treated to luxury “seminars” hosted by PR firms financed by Microsoft and other monopoly interest where the judges are taught HOW to circumvent the anti-trust laws in their rulings.

The one under antitrust scrutiny is now Google, not Microsoft. This is what happens when the watcher becomes dominated by that whom it is supposed to watch [1, 2].

Microsoft has many reasons to fear Google. Microsoft is now relying on Google to advertise a Google rival and Google — unlike Microsoftdoes not suffer much from the bad economy. In fact, ComScore shows that Google keeps climbing in the latest survey.

Google actually saw a 0.8 percent increase in its May over April numbers, taking 65 percent of the searches conducted. Yahoo came in at 20.1 percent, Microsoft sites 8 percent, Ask Network 3.9 percent and AOL captured 3.1 percent. Bing’s share of U.S. use rose 0.8 percent.

Nielsen’s numbers look even more impressive as they show Microsoft losing 14% in the latest report.

Microsoft’s search engine suffered a steep usage drop in May, right before the company launched Bing, a new version of its search engine, according to the latest market share figures from Nielsen Online.

As the links at the bottom ought to show, no matter how much PR and disinformation Microsoft spreads ($100,000,000 gets spent on advertising, which is essentially deception and imposed ignorance), Bing already suffers from growing pains. In addition, regulators ought to look at how Microsoft deliberately deceives people by messing about with search results. As one reader told us yesterday, “searching for ‘knoppix’ on Bing ~1 mil results, searching for ‘ubuntu’ ~100k results. They are totally censoring their results.”

It was the same with MSN/Live, which uses the same underlying engine. It is broken and biased by design, so no wonder Microsoft would even pay people to use it [1, 2]. It’s advertising/propaganda, not a gateway to information. They need only tweak results about software. There is little or no need to hand-tweak the rest (e.g. food, hardware, celebrities) because that has no substantial effect on Microsoft business, not directly anyway. It’s like packet throttling for competitive reasons, only worse.

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