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“Mr Dee” on the Paul Allen-funded CNET, More on Microsoft-funded Comments

Posted in Google, Marketing, Microsoft at 8:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘The author of the email, posted on ZDNet in a Talkback forum on the Microsoft antitrust trial, claimed her name was Michelle Bradley and that she had “retired” from Microsoft last week.

‘”A verbal memo [no email allowed] was passed around the MS campus encouraging MS employee’s to post to ZDNet articles like this one,” the email said.

‘”The theme is ‘Microsoft is responsible for all good things in computerdom.’ The government has no right to prevent MS from doing anything. Period. The ‘memo’ suggests we use fictional names and state and to identify ourselves as students,” the author claimed.’

Wired Magazine

Summary: Another little roundup of Microsoft’s guerrilla marketing

IT IS NOT a secret that Microsoft pays people to promote Windows in social networks and various Web sites (including sites other than their own). A recent press release made it a truism, so it is not deniable. A lot more transparent is Microsoft's activity in Twitter and several months ago we showed that Microsoft had bribed Andre Da Costa with a laptop, probably in exchange for or expectation that he will carry on promoting Microsoft in a lot of blogs/sites. One of our readers, Goblin, shows evidence that led him to suspecting that Andre Da Costa might also be “Mr Dee”, a notorious Microsoft spinner who is heckling posts that are favourable to Free software.

Very short post here, Ill let others read for themselves.

Thanks to Will who directed me to CNET I think I have something of interest to anyone who wanted to seek further evidence in the allegation that Andre Da Costa posted as Mr Dee on CNET. BTW Screen dumps taken should the offending articles be removed!

This might not be true, but it ought to be an interesting possibility given that Microsoft is said to pay for comments in sites like Digg, Reddit, and Slashdot. The FTC, as toothless as it may seem, claims to be going after “payola bloggers”, but it must really go after those whose job is to systematically offer bribes (on behalf of customers like Microsoft), not those who are tempted by the bribes. The likes of Edelman and Waggener Edstrom should be hot targets for severe legal action [1, 2]. Here is the report from IDG, which still does not disclose financial relationships with Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Scanning Weblogs for product information and reviews has become a cornerstone in contemporary consumerism. Often, readers appreciate the opinion of someone who is not an expert to guide them to the right product. What some consumers may not know is that some of these writers are being paid for their smiles in the form of cash, free products and lavish trips.

A good new example is TechFlash, which we mentioned last week. Microsoft gave them a pile of money to promote Bing and that is precisely what they do. They fill the news wires with promotional coverage of Bing, proving that Microsoft’s investments pay off. It ought to be expected that TechFlash is just one among many and Vista 7 will receive similar treatment owing to similar bribes which are disguised as “sponsorships”. The pro-Microsoft Eric Savitz (at the ultra-pro-Microsoft Barron’s) appears to have taken a break from Microsoft promotion; well, to an extent anyway. He writes:

The graph above, from Google Trends, as relayed by Broadpoint.Amtech analyst Ben Schachter, suggests the buzz on Bing, at least, is fading

Are journalists not bribed sufficiently anymore?

The whole launch of Bing was over-hyped by paid-for news coverage. That’s just how it works. Yes, money certainly buys press coverage these days; not to acknowledge this is simply to play ignoramus. But the “Slog” [PDF] for Bing went a lot further than this, potentially breaking competition laws. One person calls Bing’s/Microsoft’s tactics “The Great Bing Scam.” He explains why:

I was almost ready to believe it myself, but one small thing caught my attention. I just started a new assignment, and at my new workplace Internet Explorer 6.0 is the only allowed browser. Of course, in the first several hours I mistyped some link in the browser address field, and, surprise, I see a Bing search page! I checked the browser search settings and Google was a default search engine. A little googling made things perfectly clear.

We wrote about this before in some of the many posts appended at the bottom.


Links 28/06/2009: LiMux Effect, Firefox 3.5 Days Away

Posted in News Roundup at 6:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Opinion: Death knell heard for Microsoft and really all proprietary efforts

    Linux has become mature, open-source has proven it can be a viable solution for businesses, and that the expenses involved in applying their own personal paid developer staff toward efforts which ultimately are given away for free, in the long haul are actually far more cost effective than paying continuously for proprietary access to systems, such as those provided for by Microsoft and Windows-based products.

    The future is most assuredly open-source, which means various forms of Linux for mobile devices, from handhelds to netbooks to notebooks, even on to desktops and servers. And prior to this recent announcement by Intel that they’ve signed up with Nokia to deliver Atom-based x86 CPUs for use in their mobile smartphones, I would’ve said that the future was entirely ARM-based.

    I still believe the future will be ARM-based ultimately, but I think Intel’s intrusion into those roadmaps may push it out a bit.

  • Libre

    • The ‘real’ freedom of ‘free’ software

      The ‘Free’ in FOSS not only provides the freedom discussed above, but also it provides individuals the freedom to learn and expand their experience, education and opportunity to help others to be successful using Free and Open Source Software.

    • GNU/Linux: What Does “Free” Mean?

      I have been pondering the meaning of “free” in association with Free Open Source Software (FOSS) in general and GNU/Linux in particular. If one asks a FOSS advocate what free means in regard to these one might hear the reply, “Free as in beer!” and/or “Free as in freedom!”. While that means something to the FOSS advocate it may not mean the same thing to whoever asks the question. Frankly, my beer has rarely been free and furthermore what is “freedom”? I think I have answers to the question in the title. Bear with me while I attempt to explain what free means in relation to FOSS and GNU/Linux.

  • Desktop

    • LiMux: Munich Linux (R)evolution has its Imitators

      Florian Schiessl, the acting head of the Munich LiMux project, says, “We’d do it again”. Pictures of Tux the penguin, the Linux mascot, adorn the walls of the Munich city council’s IT department. The target is to convert 80 per cent of the city council’s 14,000 computers to Linux by mid-2012 at the latest. Even earlier, by the end of this year in fact, all the town hall staff are to drop Word, Excel and Internet Explorer and use free OpenOffice software and Firefox, the open-source browser, instead.

    • LiMux: Where the Munich Linux (R)evolution is today
    • Do the Linux Jig!

      And I’m just damn tired of Windows already.

      Doesn’t that ever happen to you? Not particularly with your operating system because you know, that’s geeky as all Hell. But say you always bought from the same brand of shoes. They were great, and did everything you asked them to do for you. But after so many years, damn! Don’t you wanna try something new? See what’s out there?

      I’ve been fighting with the want to use Ubuntu for like three years now. Not just use Ubuntu, but make it my primary OS of choice. For the last few years I’ve fiddled with it, put it on a separate partition, or a virtual machine.

    • Should You Switch to Linux in Your Law Firm?

      These are just a few of the reasons why your law firm may want to make the switch to Linux. There are wide variety of distributions to choose from, and best of all, they’re FREE! If you don’t feel like diving right in without any prior experience, Ubuntu can be downloaded and installed through WUBI. The Windows-based Ubuntu Installer (Wubi) allows you to install and uninstall Ubuntu from within Microsoft Windows. It lets a Microsoft Windows user try Ubuntu without risking any data loss due to disk formatting or partitioning.

    • The Desktop Is Dead. So Is The Server!

      When anyone mentions blade servers and Big Blue in the same paragraph, it’s fair to assume that only big enterprises need to pay attention. Dell, however, hopes its new “SMB-in-a-box” lineup, which bundles hardware with pre-configured open-source software packages, will prove an attractive proposition for smaller firms concerned about keeping IT costs to a minimum.

  • Applications

    • Package Converter: A Graphical Front-End for Alien

      Alien, the Linux application that converts between Red Hat rpm, Debian deb, Stampede slp, Slackware tgz, and Solaris pkg file formats now has a front-end GUI to simplify the already simple process of converting packages from one format to the other with Alien.

    • 10 Great Apps to Convert Audio & Video Files in Linux

      With the different audio and video formats available, there is often the need to inter convert amongst them – sometimes for quality and sometimes for compatibility. Here are some of the better software, that you can use to achieve the inter conversions on your Linux box.

    • Emailing on Linux: sticking to one

      Overall, Thunderbird is easy to get into. I feel the learning curve isn’t steep at all and it will meet all the major needs of regular users.

    • How Metalink gives you faster downloads

      Want to make your downloads easier and faster? Then it’s time for a quick lesson in Metalink…

      You’re wrong I tell you! BitTorrent is the One True Way of downloading files, and I won’t hear any different!

      I see. In that case, why not check out TechRadar’s article on speeding up BitTorrent downloads. But if you’d like to hear why Metalink is designed to sit alongside BitTorrent rather than replace it, hang around and I’ll tell you.

  • Web Browsers

    • 5 Free and Open Source Web Browsers That You May Have Never Heard Of

      For web browsing, most of us would prefer Firefox or Opera because of their speed, security, stability, and overall features. While a handful of people may like surfing the web with some of those terminal-based browsers.

    • Opera Kicks It Up A Notch With Unite

      A few weeks ago I took Opera 10 beta for a test drive to see if the Opera folks had a shot at claiming serious share on the desktop. While Opera 10 is the best Opera release yet, it didn’t seem to have any killer features that would drive adoption. Last week, Opera pulled the other one and released Opera Unite: the killer feature that might put Opera over the top.

    • Firefox

      • Firefox 3.5 gears up for a possible Tuesday public release

        Unless someone out there in the community can locate another big bug, Mozilla may finally be ready to lift the curtain on its biggest Web browser release to date.

      • Musing about Firefox and the death of IE

        The only question next is, what’ll happen after IE is defeated? (*laugh*) Who cares? Firefox isn’t competing against anyone, except maybe itself. So the death of a major competitor really means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

      • Why Firefox Doesn’t Take Google Chrome Features

        The new release will include a number of new features, but don’t expect to see many features that were inspired by the new arrival of Google on the Web browser scene with its Chrome browser.

      • Updated Firefox 3.5 release candidate available for download

        Please note: the Firefox 3.5 Release Candidate is a public preview release intended for developer testing and community feedback. It includes many new features as well as improvements to performance, web compatibility, and speed. We recommend that you read the release notes and known issues before installing this release candidate.

      • Life With A Bleeding-Edge Browser

        Firefox 3.5 went to public release-candidate status earlier this week. But while the whole 3.5 branch was still under wraps, I was sticking my neck out and running the bleeding-edge nightly builds of the browser — and was surprised at how un-beta it was.

      • 9 Amazing New Features of Firefox 3.5!

        Even cooler is how Firefox lets you interact with videos built around the open standards. Dubbed Dynamic Content Injection, other images and videos can be inserted into specific points of a video in a sort of augmented reality fashion. Technically, the same types of tricks can be done in Flash, but it’s a lot more complex and typically requires the entire page be coded in Flash.

      • 10 Firefox extensions you can’t live without

        Whether you want to speed access to the Web sites you regularly visit, keep better tabs on your tabs, or protect your system from potentially dangerous active content, there’s a Firefox extension ready to help you out. Jack Wallen shares his list of favorite time-saving, browser-enhancing add-ons.

    • Chrome

  • KDE

    • Reviewed: KOffice 2.0

      We grabbed the Kubuntu version of the software from official sources and installed it on a fairly standard Dell laptop. We experienced quite a few problems trying to run it under Gnome, but switching to KDE (as you’d expect) made things a lot more stable. KOffice’s launch speed is comparable with that of OpenOffice.org 3.1, and its rendering is beautifully smooth, even when shifting around large blended objects.

    • KDE Forums – Something big is about to happen

      Now you might wonder, what has bubbles to do with the forum? Unfortunately I can’t give you an answer, but it seems to be related to this picture that has been floating around…

    • A brand new look for KDE Community forums
    • KDE 4 – Third Time’s the Charm?

      Having recently upgraded to Jaunty, I thought it might be time to give KDE another try. I have been a little tough on KDE in the past, but I have always maintained it has potential. Time to see if 4.2 can finally deliver!

    • GNOME makes Linux look bad?

      So where am I going with this? Basically because GNOME is chosen as the primary Desktop Environment, Linux in general looks bad, and this is because GNOME in general looks bad. So how does one fix this? Well I personally think that KDE4 is soon ready to replace GNOME, it attracts a lot more positive attention and is (almost) completely stable. Otherwise the standard will stick with GNOME and there will be constant negative attention due to its poor UI. If GNOME wants to keep Linux in the game they NEED to work on their UI for their upcoming release of 3.0 and it needs to be comparable to KDE4.


    • Notes from a GNOME 3 Mockup

      Accuse me of blogspam and whatnot, but I saw this, it was really cool and I thought I just /had/ to share it with you.

  • Distributions

    • Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 updated

      The Debian project is pleased to announce the second update of its stable distribution Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (codename “lenny”). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustment to serious problems.

    • Contributing upstream, it will make or break Linux

      The Sabayon team always desired to be working closer to upstream with the belief that together we are stronger, and that by having a more desktop and user focused Gentoo it would improve the Gentoo experience for a lot of users, and I think that extends to all of open source in general, if we all worked together in a harmonious way we could do anything, but its open source, so it will never happen, the status quo of its greatest strength and greatest weakness.

    • My Run In with CentOS at LinuxTag

      For HAR, we’re planning on starting an Event Box for EMEA and debuting it there. Hopefully if we get our hands on a projector and screen, we can do a combination of a Fedora/CentOS/FreeJ barcamp as well as VJing and running demos at night. If you want to participate in the process of putting together the Event Box, we’ll be having a session at FUDCon on Saturday or Sunday to coordinate planning and hammer out a few details.

    • Popular Linux Distros That’ll Get You A Job

      On the right, an average job demand was looked up for 2008 & 2009 for each of the distribution analyzed. More than 80% of the demand is for RedHat, BSD and Suse. (Aside point: The name Mandriva, what was originally Mandrake has not caught on. There was not a single position that used the new term. Mandrake however was still used and had an average demand of about 10 jobs a month). RedHat at 3000, is more than double that of BSD (800), and Suse (550). centOs(200), Debian(300), Fedora(225), and Ubunt(175) were the center of the pack. Gentoo (60) finished last.

    • PCLinuxOS! Everything Works!

      So play DVD movies, listen to MP3s, online audio streams, and other entertainment with no hiccups or glitches. PCLinuxOS handles ‘em all! It’s so easy, you’ll think you’re running an Apple Mac (but with out the hefty price tag) or a Windows system ( but without the viruses and pop-ups!)

    • PCinuxOS Rolling Along!

      The app that helps monitor this is “Update Notifier.” The screen shot above shows it in action. You launch it once and it sits in your system tray. Update Notifier periodically checks to see what new software updates are available. It flags you and allows you to make those updates with a couple of clicks of the mouse.

    • Five Reasons I Prefer Slackware Over Ubuntu

      Really, when I thought about doing this I wondered if I could come up with five reasons but now I’m sure I could go on much longer. Slackware is the oldest existing Linux distribution and it didn’t get to being around this long by being sub par. There’s a general consensus that the post install configuration of Slackware may be a bit too challenging for beginners, but I think anyone who can read a copy of the Slackbook and use a Slackware forum if need be would be able to do it. Believe me, it’s worth the initial effort and like Trent of the Linux Critic says-once you go slack, you never go back.

    • Fedora

      • Fedora 12 release name

        The Fedora 12 release name is:


        The full GPG-signed message from our election coordinator, Nigel Jones, is attached. Thank you to the community for their suggestions, Josh Boyer and the Board for their work on additional diligence searches, and Nigel Jones for setting up the voting.

      • A quick look at Fedora 11
      • How Manipal got its first Linux (fedora) server

        It all started with a failing Student’s Teacher Feedback System, designed by few fourth year students of my college, in oct-nov 2008 the system was not able to scale and everything was reverted back to paper, it was then when i was contacted by a teacher from my Department ( Information and Communication Technology ), regarding if i can improve it.

      • Fedora 12 to be named Constantine
      • LinuxTag and FUDCon 2009, part 1.

        Wednesday was the beginning of LinuxTag and as always the efficiency of our Ambassador contingent was plain to see. The booth was in fantastic shape, with plenty of “Four Foundations” decorations and also a projector to show off slides that offered excellent Fedora messages and data about the upcoming FUDCon event. There were also new, free-standing, vertical banners using the “Four Foundations” logos that look simply superb.

      • FUDCon Day 1.

        Lots of great conversations went on for Day 1, as others have written. Security team collaborating with release engineering, wireless hackers collaborating with each other, and lots of new people finding their way around to meet with other contributors as well. The hackfest started a little timidly, which surprised me seeing how many great engineering minds were here from various locations. But ultimately everything came together very well, culminating in an awesome BarCamp/unconference scramble at the end of the day.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ksplice Offers Rebootless Updates For Ubuntu Systems

        Ksplice has started offering Ksplice Uptrack for Ubuntu Jaunty, a free service that delivers rebootless versions of all the latest Ubuntu kernel security updates. It’s currently available for both the 32 and 64-bit generic kernel, and they plan to add support for the virtual and server kernels by the end of the month, according to their FAQ. This makes Ubuntu the first OS that doesn’t need to be rebooted for security updates. (We covered Ksplice’s underlying technology when it was first announced a year ago.)

      • Ubuntu Wiki – not shareable?

        I may be missing something here (be great if I am), but it seems to me that the content of the Ubuntu Wiki – which contains some great stuff – is not licensed under one of the common ’shareable’ licenses, like CC, GFDL or OPL

      • Proposed Backgrounds for Ubuntu Karmic Koala

        Earlier I wrote about Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala planning to offer a greater and more diverse set of wallpapers. Now that a little more time has passed, here are some of the most promising wallpapers for Ubuntu 9.10…

      • Will Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Stand Up Against Windows 7

        On paper Ubuntu Karmic koala 9.10 is the more efficient than Windows 7, but most will tend to use Windows 7 due to its glam quotient and marketing strategy.

      • Ubuntu Boot Performance coordination with Debian
      • Tracking Ubuntu Community Issues

        Blog entries are single shot capsules of feedback, wisdom and opinion ejected onto the Internet and often aggregated in places such as Planet Ubuntu. They are typically highly personalized, lurking in personally-driven locations (such as a homepage or personal blog), have no facilities for applying status, assignment, milestones or priority, provide little or no means to subscribe to specific problems, and lack facilities for communicating when a problem has been solved: if the issue is resolved the blog is sometimes updated and sometimes not.

      • [Full Circle Magazine] Issue 26

        This month:

        * Command and Conquer – MOC & IRSSI
        * How To: Ubuntu As A Guest, Apt-Cacher, and Inkscape – Part 3.
        * My Story – Why I Converted To Linux.
        * Review – WebHTTrack
        * MOTU Interview – Stefan Ebner.
        * Top 5 – Linux-powered Devices.

      • Ubuntu Karmic – 9.10 to drop the ‘i386-server’ Kernel.

        As I have been very interested in the newly released 2.6.30 Linux Kernel, I was browsing around the ubuntu kernel wiki and I’ve found and interesting tidbit…

      • Kubuntu

        • Kubuntu 9.04 on Dell Studio 1555

          So overall, it’s really good to have *buntu working on a Dell :)

        • Kick Start Your Asus Notebook: 64-bit Kubuntu

          After about a week of evaluation, I’d say that if you need a new laptop, you can’t go wrong by teaming up the latest version of Kubuntu and the Asus X83-VM. The fit and finish is great. It’s light and has a bright 14-inch screen. Kubuntu has done a great job with the desktop applications and hardware recognition.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Google Android Gets Help In Fight Against Apple iPhone (GOOG, AAPL)

      Taiwanese cellphone maker HTC, which has spent the last year or so making Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Mobile less ugly, is now doing the same for Google’s (GOOG) Android. It’s the first look at how gadget manufacturers and carriers will try to differentiate their phones based on Android.

    • The XO Laptop Two Years Later: Part 1 – The Vision

      The XO laptop made a considerable splash when it was announced to the world by Nicholas Negroponte’s One Laptop per Child (OLPC) non-profit organization. Tech enthusiasts were anxious to get their hands on the fabled $100 laptop. Reviews at the time were very enthusiastic and focused mostly on the hardware, ruggedness, battery life, innovative display technology and mesh wireless access. The software however was a custom linux distribution with an entirely new user interface and an entirely new way of doing things. Some tried to compare it to Windows or linux running on similarly inexpensive Netbooks, and those reviews were unfavorable.

    • Netbook Linux Screencaster Smackdown

      If you’re using Linux you may have already read TuxArena’s excellent rundown of three highly regarded screencasting apps.

    • Sugar on a Stick brings sweet taste of Linux to classrooms

      Sugar Labs has announced the first official release of Sugar on a Stick, a Linux-based learning environment that can boot from a USB memory stick. The Sugar platform, which originally emerged from the One Laptop Per Child project, could soon arrive in classrooms.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Do You Do the Drupal?

    The Drupal content management system is one of the most popular engines for dynamic websites — indeed, it powers the site you’re visiting right now. All this powering doesn’t happen by itself, though, and the developer community that does the dirty work behind the scenes is in need of a bit of Linux labor.

  • Miro Internet TV 2.5 Preview

    Internet TV is one of the most developing field in the tech market.
    The origin of this field can was with the introduction of streaming video. The quality of the video depended on your connection speed. With the advancement of broadband Internet, the quality of the video and ability to access it online increased. The next revolution in this field was YouTube, which gave the idea of social interaction with video. But the problem with YouTube was that movies can only be viewed in a little pop-up windows. After this the idea of high definition video which utilizes fast broadband speeds for streaming the content over the Internet emerged.

  • Platforms

    • OpenSolaris: No Standing Still On A Moving Train

      Sun doesn’t have a full-blown methodology for this yet, but they are starting to offer a way towards it: use OpenSolaris to get people’s hands dirty with the new features, and even let them run it in a production environment. (Little-known fact: people with Solaris support contracts can substitute OpenSolaris for the regular version and still get Sun support.) Then let them move to the next real version of Solaris, which maintains binary compatibility with previous editions — something Sun sweated blood to make sure of — and continue where you left off.

    • FLOSS Weekly 75: OpenSolaris

      Glynn Foster for OpenSolaris OpenSolaris the free and open source operating system from Sun Microsystems.

    • Rock your box with Rockbox

      Seeing as how I haven’t switched OSes or gone on a customization frenzy this week, I’ll talk about a little something I found a few months ago. Rockbox is its name. MP3 players are its business. Awesomeness is its nature.

  • Government

    • Open Government and Open Source at the Department of Defense – Part 1

      Open source can be defined as a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process, and the promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in (from The Open Source Initiative). The US Government, including DoD, is taking a new look at open source as a way to achieve cost savings, and improvement in quality. Scott McNealy, in a BBC interview in January of this year, said that he had been asked, by the new administration, to write a paper on open source. OSI President, Micheal Tiemann, also claimed that the US government could save around $400bn dollars through use of open source.

    • Is the world now an open source society?

      The same is true for politics. The Obama campaign, in computing terms, was a much more top-down affair than the Dean campaign which preceded it. The Obama people bypassed the blogs just as they did media gatekeepers. The online environment they built, in the end, was proprietary.

      It’s the ability to harness trends which leads to success, not the trends themselves. This harnessing would seem to contradict the open source ideal. But does it?

      Again, I would argue that it does not. Open source is an accelerant of change. The Internet is the rocket fuel of change. Harnessing that power, directing that rocket, these remain tasks for leadership.


  • Universities Cope with New Anti-Piracy Requirement

    Reis’ headaches began at the end of last summer, just after President Bush signed into law the Higher Education Opportunity Act, the first reauthorization of the Higher Education Act since 1998. The act included several new provisions, but the one that has Reis and others on college campuses concerned is a new requirement that schools ensure they are doing all they can to combat illegal file sharing among students.


    Reis estimates he will spend approximately $100,000 implementing new hardware and software in order to be in compliance with the regulation. But figuring out exactly what is needed is not easy. The HEOA is still in the negotiated rulemaking process, so the exact language and interpretation from the Department of Education is still forthcoming.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Alexandro Colorado, international open source evangelist 09 (2004)

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

Responses to Richard Stallman’s Verdict on Mono

Posted in FSF, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 5:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Richard Stallman and the GPLv3

Summary: Mono developments to be aware of

Richard Stallman’s advice against Mono (by default) has made the front page of Slashdot where it received over 700 comments, which is exceptional even for Slashdot. The updated summary also links to an overview of Gnote, which concludes with:

To me, this is a huge victory for Anti-Mono supporters. Users get just as much functionality out of their old apps, and are rewarded a freedom from code patents at the very same time! It’s a win-win situation!

One of our readers, Toros, writes:

“!fsf !gnu @rms – http://fsf.org/: Why free software shouldn’t depend on #Mono or C# – http://ur1.ca/6d0x”

Brad Kunn from the SFLC passed on this message:

“c.f. Tomboy C++ rewrite effort as well ♻ @toros: !fsf !gnu @rms: Why free software shouldnt depend on #Mono or C# – http://ur1.ca/6d0x”

John Sullivan (FSF) adds:

“!fsf rms warning about !debian and others depending on Mono: http://www.fsf.org/news/dont-depend-on-mono”

Other core people in Identica remark as follows:


“@gnufs He’s talking talking about the risks faced by including mono by default. He never says not to use it. Just don’t depend on it. !fsf”


“We know #Microsoft plans to attack free software with patents because they’ve said so. Implementing MS tech carries special risks. !fsf”


“Should the !GNU system support #NTFS? Yes. Should the GNU system _depend_ on NTFS? No. Same with #Mono or any other #Microsoft tech. !fsf”


“It’s not a matter of “here @rms supports inclusion of patented software, and here he doesn’t”. !fsf”

Over at LinuxToday, Rainer Weikusat correctly points out that the pro-Microsoft/pro-Mono crowd goes to great lengths to characterise Mono opposition as “crackpots”. We wrote about this before. The only thing worse than this is personal abuse from Novell employees.

As an added bonus, it doesn’t even work: Helping
‘dubious comrades’, like LinuxInsider, with
painting all people who are critical of Mono
as crackpots by virtue of drowning any attempt
at a serious discussion of the associated issues,
eg Microsoft-controlled APIs, especially,
bad Microsoft-controlled APIs in, in “Patents!
Patents! Patents!”-shrieks is likely to rather
help than hinder the proliferation of C#/.NET.
But this is certainly entirely coincidental …

It has become abundantly clear that Mono advances Windows [1, 2, 3]. We published something about this yesterday and this new post may serve as further evidence.

How to build MonoDevelop with Visual Studio in five easy steps…

The above post is not so innocent. The author says he works as a developer for Novell as part of the Mono team where he leads the MonoDevelop project. They sure spend a lot of time improving the Mono experience for Windows and integrating it with Microsoft’s .NET, which won’t be available for GNU/Linux.

“The patent danger to Mono comes from patents we know Microsoft has, on libraries which are outside the C# spec and thus not covered by any promise not to sue. In effect, Microsoft has designed in boobytraps for us.

“Indeed, every large program implements lots of ideas that are patented. Indeed, there’s no way to avoid this danger. But that’s no reason to put our head inside Microsoft’s jaws.”

Richard Stallman, 2007

Bing Executive Quits Microsoft, But Microsoft Colony is Built at eBay

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Search at 4:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Hugh Williams leaves Microsoft, but the impact on eBay can be negative

SOME DAYS ago, amid Microsoft departures, we noted that Juniper was being occupied by Microsoft people, just like VMware. Back in January we showed that eBay too swallowed the Microsoft pill and while the following news is indicative of Bing’s demise (despite about $100,000,000 in marketing), it does raise some important questions. The news can be found in:

Look what position he gains at eBay

Hugh Williams, the Microsoft Bing product development manager, quit two weeks ago to take a job at eBay as vice president of development for search.

That’s the second eBay Vice President who comes from Microsoft this year. Will this result in more deals like this one or even this more recent one? Mind this report from TechFlash:

Just as Microsoft is becoming a popular destination for former Yahoo search engineers and executives, eBay appears to becoming one for ex-Microsofties.

BizJournal paraphrases (and cites) TechFlash:

Just as Microsoft Corp. is becoming a popular destination for former Yahoo search engineers and executives, eBay appears to be popular for ex-Microsofties.

TechnFlash is paid for by Bing/Microsoft, so no wonder about 50% of yesterday’s posts there were about “Bing”, striving to improve brand recognition in exchange for those payments/funding. This is not press; this is the pimping or advertising for the sponsor, disguised as ‘news reports’.

Regardless of all the above, Google looks down on Bing, but the real danger may be damage to eBay, from the inside.

Google mocks Bing and the stuff behind it


“If we make a minor change to, say, disk storage to get a three per cent gain and we roll that our to the GFS library, suddenly the entire base of applications stored on GFS sees that gain.”

Bing is no risk to Google. To name some previous posts about Microsoft’s search ambitions:

As Microsoft continues to shrink it will be worthwhile seeing what damage its anti-competitive staff can inflict upon other companies. To replace one thug with another is no victory; it is a problem relocated, sometimes expanding the circle of malign influence.

Microsoft Publishes Anti-Free/Open Source Software Paper via Lobbyists

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft at 4:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ACT label

Summary: Microsoft front attacks FOSS in a new paper which IDG gives visibility to

IT IS NOT UNUSUAL for Microsoft to reach out to the likes of Alexis de Tocqueville Institution for attacks on Free software. It is just so much better than appearing like an aggressor. These attacks are safer when they seem to come from ‘independent’ (Microsoft-funded) lobby groups.

It is well established that Jonathan Zuck’s Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] is a Microsoft lobby group which was created specifically to defend Microsoft in Washington (and later on in Brussels). Grant Gross from IDG seems to not be aware of it because he gives attention to ACT’s latest attack on Free/open source software.

The report’s goal is to help “avoid creating any kind of expectations that there is such a thing as a free lunch in IT,” said Braden Cox, a co-author of the report and research and policy counsel at ACT.

Let is be emphasised that Microsoft, the company behind many such smears against FOSS, is the funding source of the above FUD, yet it is invited to speak at OSCON 2009, also in exchange for payments. This brutally corrupt culture of attacks on competitors via lobbies absolutely must end. For IDG to not mention what is happening here is truly a shame, but then again, IDG too is financially tied to Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] (although nowhere to the same extent). This is part of a pattern where IDG gives ACT exposure.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: June 27th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.

Links 28/06/2009: Red Hat’s KVM, Jolicloud Preview

Posted in News Roundup at 3:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Benchmark for Linux desktops

    Almost two years after its initial announcement, the Linux Solution Group (LiSoG) has now presented specifications for its OSDtBench (Open Source based Desktop Benchmark) desktop benchmark suite and demonstrated a prototype at LinuxTag 2009 in Berlin.

  • LinuxTag 2009

    • LinuxTag 2009: GUIs of the Future with QML

      In his keynote at the LinuxTag 2009 in Berlin, KDE founder Matthias Ettrich spoke about the future of user interfaces on mobile devices. In the process he presented QML, the newest development from his employer Qt Software.

    • LinuxTag 2009: Resource Management with OpenVZ

      The facts are clear, Koyshkin said at the outset: every computer has but finite resources such as CPU time, memory, hard disk size and I/O, and network I/O. Administrators are interested in protecting these resources from DoS attacks so that they can continue providing QoS or simple processing.

  • FUD

    • What I Need to Help Sell Linux

      So, there you have it, these are some of the things that would help a guy like me to put new Linux machines side by side with the Windows ones.

    • Should Desktop Linux go LUK

      Earlier on this month a project came to the fore the Linux Unified Kernel or LUK for short. This is a Chinese based project (although I sincerely hope that it expands to become a global effort) at putting Wine code into the Linux kernel. The reaction to this has been mostly mixed with horror by many, stating things like “We should be making vendors support Linux natively” and “oh no, the security issues!” to other things such as the legal issues.

  • Desktop

    • The Best Docks on the Linux Coast

      AWN (Avant-Window-Navigator). This is the first dock I tried a couple years back. It looks good, is easily configurable, and has a lot of great plugins (stacks, menu’s, weather etc…). It can pretty much replace the entire gnome-panel in features. However, I only ended up sticking with AWN for a couple months because the auto-hide feature was (and still is) buggy and would crash the dock during normal operation. This should be fixed for the upcoming 0.4 release; so, I might have to give it another try at that time. The original developer works with Canonical on the Ubuntu Netbook Remix (which I love) and is definitely capable of great things.

  • Server

  • Applications

    • linuX-gamers 0.9.5 Brings Lots of Games to Linux Users

      The development team behind the linuX-gamers project proudly announced earlier today that version 0.9.5 of their Linux-based Live DVD was now available for download. Being packed with a lot of games of various types, such as RPG, FPS, RTS, TBS, arcade or puzzle, linuX-gamers 0.9.5 is a ‘boot-and-play’ Linux distribution. This means the linuX-gamers allows users to play the titles directly from the Live DVD without having to install anything at all on their computers!

    • Kaspersky launches Linux antivirus

      Kaspersky has released a beta version of its antivirus software for Linux file systems.

      Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Linux File Server 6.0 is designed to address security issues passing through Linux file servers before infiltrating other systems, such as Windows workstations.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • LinuxLink from Timesys Simplifies Development of Linux Products Using Xilinx Virtex-4 and Virtex-5 FPGAs

      Timesys Corporation (http://www.timesys.com), provider of LinuxLink, the first commercial software development framework for building custom embedded Linux based products, today announced LinuxLink 3.0 support for Xilinx Virtex-4 and Virtex-5 FPGAs.

    • IGEL’s new Linux Universal Desktop firmware helps customers save time, money and energy

      IGEL Technology today launched its new Linux Universal Desktop firmware adding important new power management, multimedia and virtualization functionality to its Linux-based thin client range.

    • Debugging of embedded Linux applications on ARM9/ARM11 processors

      Embedded Linux as an operating system for modern ARM processors? Maybe not such a bad idea? Linux is a multitasking operating system and therefore, each process must be assigned its own process address space. However, this partitioning greatly complicates the debugging of processors and inter-process functionality. So what can be done to tackle this? The following article illustrates some possibilities how you can successfully achieve your goal.

    • Phones

      • Google Android code goes native

        The Android 1.5 NDK, which was announced Thursday on the Android developers blog, doesn’t actually allow developers to run completely native code on devices. Instead, it supports adding native code into apps written to run in Dalvik virtual machine (DVM) instances.

      • Adobe’s Flash to ship on new Android phone

        Marking a departure from the world of iPhone, HTC’s new Android-based Hero phone will also come with the ability to handle Flash elements that adorn many Web sites and power YouTube video.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • What does the Intel Nokia mobile Internet deal mean for open source?

        Details of how Intel and Nokia will actually work together to create their brand-new category of not-a-smartphone, not-a-netbook mobile devices remain sketchy, but the first results will be open source software rather than any hardware platform.

      • Intel and Nokia announce ‘long-term relationship’

        Under the arrangement, the companies said they will work together on chip design and open-source software. Intel recently has entered that field with its Linux-based operating system called Moblin, designed to function on portable devices, and Nokia has a Linux-based operating system, dubbed Maemo. In addition, Intel will license some modem technology from Nokia.

      • Nokia Increasing Platform Proliferation

        LinuxDevices is pro-Linux, anti-Symbian, and now assumes Linux will displace Symbian:

        The partnership news further suggests that the rumors that Nokia is moving forward with Linux — and not, it seems, Symbian — devices that combine MID and smartphone characteristics, are true. It also appears that Nokia will likely focus on Linux for its future high-end smartphones, while leaving a soon to be open-sourced Symbian to handle less powerful smartphones and feature phones.

      • OLPCsb: Deploying XO Laptops in USA Classrooms (Pt 3)

        This “reading buddy” activity is being further developed conceptually as our members from Computer Science and Engineering departments commence work on the programming aspect of the work, and it is our hope that this can be done in a variety of languages in the future.

      • First Look at Jolicloud

        Of course, it’s too early to draw any conclusions, but the current alpha version of Jolicloud does make a good first impression. The fact that Jolicloud is based on Ubuntu means that you can run it on pretty much any netbook and tweak the system to your liking. Jolicloud’s slick graphical interface makes it easy to install desktop and Web-based applications as well as keep your system up-to-date, which can prove to be popular with average users.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Revenge of the Nerds

    Robert Young’s message is about how Red Hat competed with Microsoft by offering something Microsoft was not prepared to offer – free software. Red Hat changed the rules of the game and generates over $600 million a year in revenue.

    With the rise of open source in the embedded software industry and the ease that individuals can collaborate using social networking tools, we are standing at a unique point in time. A time where Wind River has lost its ability to control access to software, and where collaborating with a developer in China is as easy as popping your head over the cubicle partition. A time where we can eliminate the pay cheque for middle men like Ken Klein. A time where our future security will depend on ourselves, and the value that we create along with our peers. A time where we can change the rules of the game to favor our strengths, and compete with Wind River, even when it is backed by the resources, the distribution channels, and the R&D resources of Intel.

  • Hotel Concepts’ iTesso Goes Beyond Open Source Software

    Hotel Concepts-Brilliant, a leading global provider of technology and software solutions for the hospitality industry, today announced a groundbreaking approach to its software technology development with a new and converged platform called iTesso.

  • Huntingburg (Ind.) Public Library Becomes 28th Evergreen Indiana Library

    Huntingburg Public Library has gone live with Evergreen, the consortial-quality open-source library automation software. 28 libraries are now live on Evergreen Indiana, a shared-catalog project of the Indiana State Library. Equinox Software, Inc., the support and development company established by the original Evergreen developers, provided bumper-to-bumper support for the migrations and is now providing round-the-clock ongoing technical support. Alpha-G Consulting also provided support for the migration

  • Bluenog Contributes Back, Makes Open Source Easy

    Though it was only yesterday that Bluenog (news, site) announced the newest iteration of their integrated collaborative environment, better known as Bluenog ICE, the company is already back with more exciting news. Good Samaritans that they are, Bluenog plans to contribute back the enhancements it made to various open source projects during the development phase of Bluenog ICE 4.5.

  • Could RIM Benefit From Open Source BlackBerry?

    Research In Motion often fields the question of whether it might follow Symbian’s lead by making the BlackBerry OS open source. While there’s nothing to suggest such a move is in the cards, RIM executives have acknowledged that this could make sense in certain types of scenarios, and BlackBerry developers are intrigued by the options this would afford them.

  • Web

    • Open Source Is Not the Same As An Open Service

      Companies need the freedom to get at their data, to choose hosted or in-house options and more. All this can be found amongst open source solutions – but choose carefully, says Jason Brooks

    • Click2try Adds MoinMoin to its List of Virtualized Open Source Applications

      Click2try, a community site which enables the easy opening and trying of open source software announced the addition of MoinMoin to its online catalog of virtualized open source applications.

    • Mullenweg: Open Source Trumps The Cloud

      Using cloud storage from Amazon has helped Automattic scale its fast-growing WordPress.com blog hosting service. But WordPress founding developer Matt Mullenweg said he’d much prefer to run an optimized open source solution on leased servers. While cloud computing is the hot buzzword, Mullenweg said open source is the key to competing in the new digital economy.

    • Melody Debuts as Movable Type Forks

      Movable Type has been forked — at least the open source GPL version — into a new project called Melody.

    • ObjectsOnClouds Open-Source Initiative Launches

      ObjectsOnClouds.org Announces the Launch of the ObjectsOnClouds Open Source Project Initiative. Developer membership is free and is open to anyone worldwide.

  • Business

    • Cantwell: Open source software saves costs

      Many businesses are seeking ways to reduce cost and improve operational effectiveness to weather the current economic climate. The use of open source software offers the ability to do both while improving the quality of the systems used to operate the businesses.

    • Advantages of open source software for business

      “The facts, however, prove the opposite. The very openness of the source code actually increases its security. This helps to explain why Windows sites are defaced disproportionately more often than can be attributed to its larger market share and why 80% of all spam is sent by infected Windows PCs.

    • TelcoBridges Partners with Leading European Reseller Halo Kwadrat to Deliver High-Capacity Open Source Applications in Central Europe and Russia

      TelcoBridges™, the preferred hardware and software supplier for telecom system integrators, solution developers and service providers, today announced its partnership with Halo Kwadrat, a leading European reseller specializing in open source telephony solutions. Halo is adding TelcoBridges’ high-capacity platform to its portfolio, to deliver turnkey, carrier-grade solutions to local service providers throughout Central Europe, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Russia.

    • Podcast: Open Source Networking

      Vyatta positions itself as the open source networking alternative to Cisco Systems. But what exactly does that mean? And how is Vyatta working with Citrix Systems, which recently invested in Vyatta? To find the answers, I spoke with Kelly Herrell (pictured), CEO of Vyatta.

  • ERP

    • Open source webERP takes on the big guns

      …released under the GPL and now averages more than 100 downloads per day from and has totalled some 250,000 from SourceForge alone.

    • Open Source ERP Yet To Take Off In India

      Experts had declared 2009 as the year of open source ERP. The maturing product lines, rising consumer awareness and the economic slowdown pain were expected to give a boost to open source ERP deployments.

  • PBX

  • Ingres

  • CRM

  • Releases

  • Asia

    • Indonesia’s Industry Ministry, Sun Microsystem sign MoU on open source technology use

      The two parties also inaugurated a technology center called the Center for Open Source Technology Awakening (COSTA) in an effort to push empowerment and development of Regional Information Technology Center (RICE) and Incubator Business Center (IBC).

    • Asian Open Source Software Center formed by 10 countries

      Ten Open Source Software Centers and related promotion organizations in Asian countries and regions announce the formation of Asian Open Source Software Center (AOSSC) alliance/network to further promote the adoption, and development of open source software (OSS) technology among Asian countries. The participating countries and regions include China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

  • Licensing

  • Openness

    • Open Source Society

      In case you missed it, history was made last week. The street uprisings in Iran, and the role that technology has been playing in that grass-roots democratic movement, has signaled a very important shift in the socioeconomic and geopolitical landscape of the planet. What is this technology I’m referring to? Actually, I’m referring to two: the open source paradigm and the web-portal, Twitter.

  • Programming

    • PHP 5.3 coming June 30th

      PHP 5.3 could be out as soon as Tuesday June 30th. The new open source language release is a big deal for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that by my count this is the first major update to PHP since 2006 and the PHP 5.2 release.

    • Engineers Are The Best Deal – So Stock Up On Them

      Software engineers today are about 200-400% more productive than software engineers were 10 years ago because of open source software, better programming tools, common libraries, easier access to information, better education, and other factors. This means that one engineer today can do what 3-5 people did in 1999!

      The advent of open source software makes engineers particularly efficient. One VP Engineering that I talked to gave me an anecdote about one module where they used open source files with about 500,000 lines of code and then wrote 7,000 lines of code to stitch it all together. Open source software is also free. In the company I was running in 1999, ?software? was a huge budget line item ? we had to buy databases, testing suites, libraries, and more. Today all that stuff is free ? a start-up might spend more money on sodas for the office than it does on software.

    • A Beginner’s Guide to Free Software Programming Languages

      Curious about programming, but having trouble getting started because you’re confused about all those languages? This article will give you an overview of the most common desktop languages you’ll see in free software today.

  • Applications

    • Firefox 3.5 final prepped to ship early next week

      The Mozilla team made available another release candidate of Firefox 3.5 last night.

    • The World Wins South Korea for Firefox

      And if you’re wondering why it matters anyway that the South Koreans should be able to use Firefox and other “non-standard” browsers – don’t you just love that description? – it’s because the country’s users have some of the fastest broadband connections in the world; that means that new applications based on such connectivity may well emerge there first, so it’s important that open source be available and viable for all kinds of uses.

    • Nagios Enterprises Announces the Availability of Support Contracts for Nagios; Discounts Through June 30th

      Nagios Enterprises, LLC announces the launch of official support contracts for Nagios – the industry standard in Open Source IT infrastructure monitoring. Support plans are competitively priced for budget-conscious organizations and start at just $2,495 per year. Discounts are offered for customers who purchase support plans through June 30, 2009.

    • Find, Share and Install Ubuntu Apps on Facebook

      Recently, I wanted to learn how to make Facebook applications using Ruby on Rails. For my first project, I decided to build a small application to let people find, share, install and promote Ubuntu software right from within Facebook.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Free Multimedia is Coming and the FUDing has Begun…

      FUD, for those who are unaware, is an acronym for “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.” Instilling FUD in people has often been a tactic of proprietary vendors, seeking to scare their customer-base away from other vendors or freer, non-proprietary alternatives. It has often been used to describe Microsoft’s tactics of denigrating free and open source solutions, for example. Essentially it is a scare-tactic which operates on people’s fear and ignorance.

      Ogg Theora and Ogg Vorbis are emerging technologies used for compressing video and audio, respectively. The Ogg formats are free and open formats that do not belong to any particular corporation, nor do they require any royalties to use.


  • Unlike The AP, It Looks Like Reuters Recognizes The Future

    While it hasn’t gone that far, a talk given by Reuters’ Editor in Chief, David Schlesinger, to the International Olympics Committee Press Commission on rethinking journalism suggests Reuters recognizes the future a lot more clearly than the AP, and is looking to embrace it fully, rather than block it, like the AP.

  • ‘Free’ plagiarism charge frames Internet content debate

    The debate over Wikipedia offers a fascinating window onto the various ways the Internet is changing how we compile and access information. This is the larger issue at the heart of Anderson’s writing: “The Long Tail” was an exploration of niche culture, the Internet’s tendency to encourage a glorious cacophony of fragmentation, while “Free” looks at what Anderson calls “freeconomics,” an open-source model in which data is the common currency.

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