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06.30.09

Microsoft’s Dublin DC Could be Indicative of the Notorious Tax Evasion Conspiracy

Posted in Deception, Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Search at 4:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Saint Patrick

Summary: Ireland receives another favour for offering a tax haven to Microsoft?

LAST WEEK we wrote about how Microsoft rewards its tax haven, which is Ireland. This tax evasion in Ireland is a subject that we covered a long time ago and Microsoft’s special relationship with Ireland is only to be expected. Microsoft uses Irish commissioners to push for software patents into Europe, for example [1, 2, 3, 4]. Additionally, Microsoft hires more people in Ireland despite the fact that the company's global workforce shrinks rapidly. Now it is building a whole datacentre in Dublin.

Microsoft’s Dublin facility on the 19-acre site in Grange Castle Business Park currently has about 303,000 square feet of data center floor, with 5.4 MW of power supplied to it. Its power supply will be expandable up to 22.2 MW, as the facility scales up.

Microsoft is said to have pulled similar tricks in Norway, namely rewarding Norway with a datacentre after the country had made a mockery of the OOXML vote.

Protests in Norway (OOXML)

Microsoft’s Latest Benchmark Fraud

Posted in Database, Deception, Fraud, FUD, GNU/Linux, IBM, Marketing, Microsoft, Oracle, SUN, UNIX at 3:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lie: MS SQL Oracle fake compare

Summary: Microsoft’s advertising is still a scam and should be dealt with appropriately

EARLIER THIS MONTH we wrote about Microsoft coming under threat of lawsuits due to these very same practices. The victim of benchmark fraud was IBM at the time and this time it is Oracle.

One of our readers got us a scan of the advert (see above). “It’s kinda small,” he says, “but you might find it interesting.” Here is the benchmark the advert is mentioning. To quote: “New results from SAP show that on similarly configured systems, SQL Server 2000 running on Windows Server 2003 outperformed Oracle 9i running on HP-UX. The highest Fully Processed Line Items Per hour, 178,000, has SAP certification number 2005017, and the highest 4-way Oracle result in this benchmark is 88,670, with SAP certification number 2004030.

“Such benchmark fraud should be reported to the ASA for deceptive marketing.”They neglect to say that MSSQL server is 8 cores, whereas the Oracle server is 4 cores. Oiaohm adds that “HP-UX has the lowest benchmarks with Oracle. Solaris and Linux outscore it. Basically, Microsoft cheats on benchmarks at every chance. [...] Also thinking Oracle also runs on Windows. Benchmark was very incomplete. [...] Also lower clock speed processors.”

“It’s a really stacked config,” adds the person who sent us this information. “Even with it not being HPUX, you are looking at 4 dual-core Opterons versus 4 single-core Itanium2 processors. Quite a big speed difference too.”

To conclude, he adds: “The point was to show MSSQL was faster than Oracle. They want you to buy their database, not just the OS. It’s just one more effort on Microsoft’s part to spin bad data into a convincing glossy blurb to appeal to the C-levels I don’t mind if they do a fair comparison and win, but this kind of stuff just hurts their credibility.”

Such benchmark fraud should be reported to the ASA for deceptive marketing. This has happened before and the same should be done about “<vendor> recommends Vista” [1, 2] and other marketing schemes, maybe even “it’s better with Windows” [1, 2].

Microsoft keeps wondering why it is not liked in IT circles. It is not because “it’s a big company.”

“Microsoft did sponsor the benchmark testing and the NT server was better tuned than the Linux one. Having said that, I must say that I still trust the Windows NT server would have outperformed the Linux one.”

Windows platform manager, Microsoft South Africa
Reference: Outrage at Microsoft’s independent, yet sponsored NT 4.0/Linux research

Microsoft to Cut Another 2,000+ Jobs

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 2:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sunken ship

Summary: Microsoft carries on shrinking while it’s borrowing money

When it comes to Razorfish, Microsoft has already been laying off employees. Rumours about sale of the whole unit have circulated for a while, with evidence that Razorfish was quietly using GNU/Linux. It is now more or less confirmed that Microsoft is to shed off another 2,000+ employees, according to reports.

Microsoft has hired Morgan Stanley to find a potential buyer for its Internet ad agency Razorfish, according to the Financial Times. The report indicates that Publicis Groupe, a French marketing company, as well as other agency groups, such as Omnicom and WPP, could be potential buyers for the company valued somewhere between $600 million and $700 million.

It is not yet known who will become a buyer.

Now, the software giant is formally moving ahead with the plan, hiring Morgan Stanley to help find a buyer.

More coverage can be found in:

Microsoft could really use some extra cash now that it's borrowing money. The bottom line is that Microsoft carries on shrinking.

06.29.09

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: June 29th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

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

New Examples of Questionable Press Coverage

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 7:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Smoking gun

Summary: Assorted brow-raising items in the news

There has been something fishy about LinuxInsider ever since ECT took over (mentioned here). This is actually pointed out by other independent observers as well because the whole news network gives the impression that GNU/Linux is problematic, either because it serves the advertisers better or because the editor was not even a GNU/Linux user until some time ago (true story). Last week it was claimed that an article sought to give the impression that Mono opposition is irrational and hateful and this week we find an article starts with phrases like “Conspiracy Theories” in the headline (we wrote about this dismissive term before).

It basically seeks to dismiss Groklaw's fundamental claims that Microsoft worked behind the scenes to derail GNU/Linux. Groklaw may have not offered the piles of evidence that we have, but it does put forth a claim which is obvious to those who have been following the saga closely enough.

Groklaw’s reaction: “Mystery solved. Totally blatant… next time you hear Microsoft bragging that people *prefer* their software to Linux on netbooks, you’ll know better. If they really believed that, they’d let the market speak, on a level playing field.”

To discredit Groklaw, the author uses comments from people with names like “hairyfeet” and “drinkypoo”. And since Microsoft has PR folks patrolling Slashdot, to just pick arbitrary quotes like this would be as careless as discrediting valid convictions based on gut feeling or guesswork. To support this whole storyline, the author is again quoting “M$” from the other side, thus discrediting this whole side of the debate. Maybe it is not intentional, but either way, the outcome seems biased.

Elsewhere on the Web, in a news site that we mentioned earlier for its propagation of Microsoft studies, routine guest posts from the Microsoft-funded Rob Enderle (LinuxInsider/ECT allows him to publish too), and other patterns of obvious bias suddenly comes this Google-hostile article, which gently tries to put the “evil” label on Google. Watch who is cited:

Consumer Watchdog managed to get hold of the slides that Google is touting around earlier this month, and it’s clear that Google wants us all to think that it’s just a minnow compared to giants like Microsoft and IBM. Interestingly, it doesn’t include Intel in the figures – Paul Otellini, Intel’s CEO is on Google’s board.

We wrote about Consumer Watchdog last month [1, 2]. It hardly gets more suspicious than this and the Microsoft advertisements do not contribute to confidence in the publication’s motives, either.

Yesterday we wrote about ACT’s report, which was the latest Microsoft-commissioned attack on Free software. IDG gave this some obedient coverage, but Glyn Moody at the UK section of IDG tried adding balance by reminding people what ACT really is.

There you have it: that well-known friend of teensy-weensy companies everywhere, Microsoft, is a “sponsor” of ACT. That would probably explain the fact that ACT’s position, notably in Europe, has been resolutely pro-Microsoft, and anti everything that is anti-Microsoft.

ACT was created to serve as a Microsoft front amid antitrust trouble, just after ATL had been exposed for participating in “letter from dead people” and engaging in corrupt tactics. Jonathan Zuck was behind both fronts. More information about ACT we have already accumulated in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], so it would be wasteful to repeat it.

Last but not least, watch how one Microsoft-funded site (TechFlash) promotes another (MSNBC).

Zumobi, a Microsoft spin out, has been on a roll lately with a number of high-profile apps for media brands and retailers. It also recently unveiled the iPhone app for the Today show, also a property of NBC.

It all stays in the family.

Mono Proponents Do Not Address the Real Questions

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 6:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scarecrows
Defence by beating up straw men

Summary: Supporters of Mono answer questions that are not even asked — a pattern which requires simple clarification

ACCORDING to a recent poll, 73% of GNU/Linux users at Tux Machines say “No” to Mono; the number may be greater after Stallman’s statement on this sensitive subject. But from those who defend Mono (a minority that includes the Microsoft and Novell crowd) we keep receiving the same misguided rebuttals that escape the real issues and typically divert the debate to straw men or false premises.

There are two key issues to discuss when it comes to Mono:

  1. Intimidation and software patents, which are related to one another because the latter enables the former and offers leverage
  2. Control of APIs, which again is a matter of leverage

It is not about performance, level of use, or even portability, which Java and C++, for example, already cater for. These are hardly the aspects being criticised.

“Our hostile critics wrongly insinuate that Mono skeptics want it abolished, but it could not be further from the truth.”Mono sympathisers are frequently Mono developers* and some suggest a compromise: “My personal final verdict? Mono should be treated by distribution makers as something that is “legally sticky” and should be included much in the sense that audio and video codecs, or flash are “included” in the distribution. For example, the mp3 codec is not distributed in large by most distributions, because its a legally sticky inclusion.

Our hostile critics wrongly insinuate that Mono skeptics want it abolished, but it could not be further from the truth. It is not an elimination of choice or freedom, thus no intolerance should be implied; it’s about prudence. The crux of the matter is inclusion by default, not inclusion in the repositories. The downside, however, is that the API issue remains. This was never solely a question of software patents. As this one person puts it, “Linux is being tamed.”

Assuming Mono gets shoved into Linux and gains acceptance, then Linux is “tamed.” Even without the patent threat, even if C# is some sort of “standard,” Microsoft still defines .NET and everything about it. From past behavior it’s quite evident that they know how to walk the fine line of bending “standards” to their will and marketplace benefit. Mono gives Microsoft power over a major Linux Desktop API, and the ability to make sure it’s always the “second platform”, always a day late and a dollar short.

The other interesting thing about Mono is that nobody is asking for it.

In a similar vein, Microsoft used Novell to push OOXML into OpenOffice.org. Mistakes need not be repeated. On the legal side, there is more of Stallman.

Stallman says “Don’t depend on Mono”

[...]

The debate over Mono has simmered ever since the Mono C# implementation was announced. The suspicion has been that Microsoft have patents that are relevant to C# and are just waiting for Linux developers to become comfortable with Mono so they can pull the rug out from under Linux. Mono’s defenders point out that Mono itself is an implementation of the ECMA standard for C# and that the patents that are usually referred to belong to the higher .Net layers which run on C# based systems, but aren’t implemented as a core part of Mono. Microsoft made a statement in 2003 saying the patents which are relevant to the ECMA/ISO standard are “royalty-free and otherwise RAND”; a somewhat confusing statement without saying which technology falls under the royalty free and which is under RAND terms (Reasonable And Non Discriminatory).

In some ways though, the worries about Mono are of the Mono project’s own making. By having the project implement both the ECMA/ISO covered elements and the more obviously patented ASP.NET, ADO.NET and Windows.Forms components, the lines have been blurred for many as to what is or is not patent safe. Stallman’s statement says that all C# implementations are potentially unsafe from a patent attack from Microsoft.

We wrote some more about this in:

This debate is not an easy one, but the sooner it is resolved, the better.
______
* This post is from David Siegel, now a Canonical employee who made GNOME-Do. In his rebuttal he is escaping all the real issues and pretending it’s a matter of supply and demand. To trivialise the issue like this is simply to deceive.

Microsoft’s ODF Lunch Paid Off

Posted in Deception, FUD, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, OpenDocument at 5:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Military police jeep

Summary: ODF news which is more or less organised and some other picks from the news

A COUPLE of days ago we wrote about lunch that Microsoft was having with at least one journalist, to whom Microsoft lied. It is hardly surprising that this journalist has just published an article commending Microsoft and reciting the same deception he was spoon-fed. It is a familiar sight.

Interestingly enough, the reporter also ended up talking to Laura DiDio, whom we last wrote about right here. For years she has been slamming Microsoft’s competitors and parroting Microsoft/SCO. She was paid by Microsoft to do this inside the Yankee Group [1, 2], part of that Microsoft mill.

Anyway, the reporter, whose article might be verbally ghostwritten by Microsoft, is also using Novell to embellish Microsoft’s image. Here is just a portion from it:

Paoli also highlighted Microsoft’s work with Novell, including Microsoft Operations Manger 2007 Cross Platform Extensions for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server; sponsoring an open-source Eclipse plug-in for Silverlight development; and nurturing the Mono Silverlight plug-in for Linux.

Microsoft’s motivation for working on these projects is twofold: It wants to be more customer friendly, and it needs to compete in new markets, said Laura DiDio, founder of Information Technology Intelligence Corp., a Boston-based consultancy and research firm.

Microsoft has been “steadily trying to learn from its mistakes” and is trying to “turn the lemons into lemonade” with better licensing, security and interoperability, she said. The company is also entering into new markets that have higher profit margins to spur its growth—beyond its operating system and Office businesses, she added.

So, after lunch with Microsoft (and lies from Microsoft employees) he promotes the Microsoft party line. Why is nobody surprised? And yes, that’s DiDio right there who offers ‘independent’ perspective. Classic!

“[T]hat’s DiDio right there who offers ‘independent’ perspective.”One person in Twitter adds that “Microsofties should really stop trying to slant #Wikipedia articles to smear #ODF. It’s not like we can’t see the page history.”

hAl has been very busy at Wikipedia today, adding anti-ODF contents (about 12 more edits) to Wikipedia’s article on ODF. Here are just two examples among many others. Of course he is also linking to the blogs of Microsoft employees, keeping it where it’s warm and showing how much Microsoft really hates ODF, whose interoperability it knowingly subverts [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. One of our readers writes to say: “I am reminded in this piece by the efforts that Microsoft has gone to in preventing interoperability even with interoperability specifications like ODBC.”

The person in Twitter writes: “If everyone and their dog can properly support #ODF except #Microsoft, then that’s likely either incompetence or malice on their part.”

Microsoft is of course not interested in interoperability. It never was. It is not good (for shareholders) to allow people to choose office suites based on technical merits, as opposed to pure lock-in and preconceptions. That’s where Microsoft’s FUD and perception management [1, 2] helps, as whisper campaigns surely illustrate. Microsoft Office remains one of the few Microsoft products that are really profitable and that too is at great risk as the following new article suggests:

For now, according to the BW article, Microsoft will continue to deliver its core Office package as server-based package while offering a free neutered online version. Some may embrace the free one because they are dealing with a known commodity, but many have likely switched already to another vendor and won’t give it a look. Microsoft could go all the way here and offer a tiered online pricing model and compete directly with Google at something it does well, but it’s afraid of costs spiraling out of control and killing their cash cow.

Moving again to more positive news, Rob Weir concludes the ODF Plugfest.

We had an ODF Plugfest last week in the Hague. Although we’ve had interoperability workshops and camps before that attracted a handful of vendors, this was the first one that had nearly universal participation from ODF vendors. I’m not going to recap the details of the plugfest. Others have done that already. But I will share with you some of my conclusions, based on long discussions with other participants, from whose insights I have greatly benefited.

In the KDE camp, another important milestone for KOffice 2 is being reached and marked.

Today, exactly one month since the release of KOffice 2.0.0, the KOffice team releases the first bugfix release in the 2.0 series. This release contains no new features but lots of bugfixes for almost all of the components in KOffice 2.0. We are planning at least two more bugfix releases of 2.0 before starting the 2.1 series in October this year.

The OpenOffice.org project has this important post about federating its community.

Nevertheless, one still needs the political infrastructure in order to constitute a Foss community that has any chance of sustaining itself. Mere spirit won’t do it in the long run. This means that there must be in place the mechanisms by which any member of the project can communicate to another and freely discuss project matters with the expectation that discussions have effect and are not just politely ignored. As well, it is generally important, though I no longer think it requisite, that members have a sense of “ownership” in the community or at least in what they are doing. It’s a feature more important in some areas than others, and as Foss continues to move away from its origins in the West and find welcome homes in Asia and Africa and India, that model becomes less essential.
All the same, this is just another way of saying that what global participatory communities need is a structure of governance that can accommodate difference within the community itself. Governance means here the guidelines by which authority is coordinated. Given the global nature of, especially, large Foss projects, or even smaller ones (the Internet knows now boundaries), flexibility is crucial―but so are guidelines that ensure impartiality and nullify arbitrariness.

Lastly, having covered Free software that is honestly compatible with ODF, here is another piece of software called Oxygen XML Editor. It has a new release which the ODF aggregator seems to endorse.

Links 29/06/2009: Core Linux 2.1 Released; FreeDOS is Now 15

Posted in News Roundup at 3:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The pros and “conns” of Intel’s ConnMan for Linux

    Intel has created a new network management and configuration system for Linux called ConnMan—but not everyone is pleased to see it challenge NetworkManager. Ars looks at the pros and “conns” of the decision to create the new software.

  • Options abound for transferring film to DVD

    Q: The Windows XP system on my notebook computer is near collapse. I was about to scrub the memory clean and reinstall Windows, when someone suggested that now might be the time to switch to Linux. I use a lot of Windows programs including Photoshop. Am I setting myself up for a world of frustration by trying to break the ties to Windows?

    A: Perhaps. I’m a big Linux fan. It’s faster than Windows, and free distributions of it such as Ubuntu (ubuntu.com) and Fedora (fedoraproject.org) boast Windows-like interfaces that make them a breeze to use.

    Unfortunately, a lot of mainstream Windows programs, including Photoshop and Microsoft Office, are not available for Linux. Fortunately, there are decent substitutes, including Gimp (photo-editing software from gimp.org) and OpenOffice (an office application suite from openoffice.org). Both are free.

  • A decade on and tech company is still growing strong

    The company works mostly with open-source technology. Open-source software is much like other software but its source code – the actual programming – is accessible to anybody and can be customized on the fly. Many of the basic programs are available free online. Online communities have emerged to build on, improve and debug more popular open-source programs such as the Internet browser Firefox, the OpenOffice suite of productivity software and the operating system Linux.

  • Microsoft reminds us that Windows is f*cking expensive

    Here in Europe a full version of Windows home premium would cost €199 (about $280). You can actually purchase a cheap Linux netbook for the same price! Yes, a boxed Edition of Windows can actually cost as much as a full netbook, that’s how expensive it is. If you live in the US you will get some relief though, as your license will only cost $199.

  • Newsletters

    • The H Week

      Partly due to the activity at LinuxTag there were two issues of the Kernel Log this week. The Tuesday issue covered the end of further IDE development and included coverage of some of the activities at LinuxTag, while the Thursday issue documented the end of the main development phase of version 2.6.31 of the kernel.

    • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 51

      Summary:
      Editorial: Jolicloud, the new operating system for netbooks!
      First Look: Ultimate Edition 2.2
      Distributions announced last week:
      · Available Now: g:Mini 3.0
      · R.I.P. Linux 9.2 Has Linux Kernel 2.6.29.5
      · Elive 1.9.31 Offers Support for Acer Aspire One

  • Server

    • Why Oracle will continue to win

      Oracle’s acquisition streak has given the company an enormous breadth of offerings (say what you will about quality of the software) and the attempt at offering it’s own Linux variant gives it an OS that’s passable if not meaningful. But, I don’t know that owning the operating system is important to the growth of sales in applications or databases.

  • Kernel Space

    • Is There a Perfect Linux Filesystem?

      Most often, when someone talks about a filesystem or file system, they’re referring to disk filesystems such as NTFS, FAT, ext2, ext3, ext4, ISO 9660 and many others but can also refer to network file systems such as CIFS (Common Internet File System aka Samba) and NFS. A filesystem is a specially-designed database of files, their disk location, definition and attributes. Everything on a Unix or Linux filesystem is a file: Directories, processes, links, programs, and device references. All files.

    • EXT4, Btrfs, NILFS2 Performance Benchmarks

      The past few Linux kernel releases have brought a number of new file-systems to the Linux world, such as with EXT4 having been stabilized in the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, Btrfs being merged into Linux 2.6.29, and most recently the NILFS2 file-system premiering with the Linux 2.6.30 kernel. Other file-systems have been introduced too during the past few Linux kernel release cycles, but these three have been the most talked about and are often looked at as being the next-generation Linux file-systems. Being the benchmarking junkies that we are, we have set out to compare the file-system performance of EXT4, Btrfs, and NILFS2 under Ubuntu using the Linux 2.6.30 kernel. We also looked at how these file-systems compared to EXT3 and XFS.

  • Applications

    • WINE 1.1.24 – Lastest build tested.

      The Wine project has been going for a long time. Users who want to upgrade their OS to Windows 7 and like the idea of XP mode, should note that firstly XP mode is available only in the more expensive versions (apparently) and it allegedly does not offer DirectX support. Wine on the other hand has great support for software (check the home page for your favorite title) it won’t cost you anything, and its worth considering to try if as an unhappy Vista customer you are looking for an upgrade to your OS.

    • Boxee vs. Zinc vs. Hulu

      As far as the BoxeeBox is concerned, I can’t wait to revert to being back using a Linux platform for all my media streaming-media needs.

    • KDE’s Kontact vs. GNOME’s Evolution: Best Personal Info Manager?

      Personal information managers (PIM) are the major influence on most people’s opinion of a desktop. When you launch an application, the desktop is simply something to move past as quickly as possibly.

      Similarly, a desktop’s system administration tools are used only occasionally — and many of us still prefer to use the command line. By contrast, a desktop’s PIM tools are used daily, and switching to new tools can be disconcerting.

      This basic fact was rammed home for me when I recently switched from GNOME to KDE on my main computer. I had little trouble learning my way around KDE, and I continued to use many of the same programs, such as Firefox and OpenOffice.org.

  • Distributions

    • Mandriva Linux 2010 Alpha 1

      Mandriva Linux, one of the most known distributions, it’s preparing the new version and already has an alpha (previous stage for a beta): Mandriva Linux 2010 Alpha 1.

    • Tiny Core Linux 2.1 Is Out

      Robert Shingledecker, founder of the Tiny Core Linux project, announced yesterday, June 28th, the release of Tiny Core Linux 2.1, a very small Linux distribution that is only 11 MB in size. This version comes with many updates as well as important features: the new modutils will further improve space efficiency and two added modules, hwmon and rfkill, bring better support for laptops.

    • Red Hat revenue surges 11%

      Software company Red Hat continued its recession-defying performance by posting an 11 percent increase in quarterly revenue that outpaced analysts’ expectations.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MosChip and IdealBT Partnership to Offer Complete Network Attached Storage (NAS) Network Appliance Processor and System Software Solution

      MosChip Semiconductor Technology Ltd., a leading provider of high performance connectivity solutions for consumer, industrial and computing applications, today announced it has entered into a technology partnership with IdealBT Technology Corporation to bring to market a complete system solution for network attached storage (NAS) applications. MosChip’s System-on-a-Chip (SoC) devices cover a myriad of NAS design requirements while IdealBT’s embedded Linux-based software has been designed into numerous functional, versatile, high-performance, and reliable NAS solutions.

    • Google move paves way for Firefox on Android

      Google’s move to let software run natively on Android devices opens the door for a version of Firefox that can run on the operating system.

      At present, Android applications are written in Java and run on Google’s Dalvik Java virtual machine. Last week, though, Google announced the Android Native Development Kit version 1.0 that lets software run natively on the Linux layer below, though the company sees it as a way not to run full-fledged applications as much as to run components of ordinary Android applications.

      “Android applications run in the Dalvik virtual machine. The NDK allows developers to implement parts of these applications using native-code languages such as C and C++,” said Google’s David Turner in a Native Developer Kit blog post.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Netbook For Developing Countries

        Varadarajan Narayanan has a vision, a x86-based SoC netbook that is affortable, efficient and easy to repair. This innovative netbook is aimed for the develping countries. Though it is still in a very early phase of development it already shows much promise.

      • Impacts of the New Nokia-Intel Partnership Could Be Significant

        Under the new agreement, Nokia and Intel will coordinate open source efforts by aligning some of the underlying APIs across these platforms. They will also continue to work on several smaller projects such as oFono, ConnMan, Mozilla, X.Org, BlueZ, D-BUS, Tracker, GStreamer, and PulseAudio to provide more commonly-used open source standards across these platforms.

      • Sugar on a stick – Linux that kids can taste

        Linux distros that run on pen-drives are nothing new but this one’s specially designed for the little ones.

        Sugar Labs has now released version 1 of Sugar on a Stick, a bootable Fedora 11-based OS plus a set of applications that are stored on a USB memory stick. Although pen-drive distros of Linux are not new, this one is targeted for kids, with hundreds of fun-filled activities that can be downloaded form the SugarLabs Activity webpage.

Free Software/Open Source

  • FreeDOS turns 15

    The project has been running ever since Microsoft said it would abandon the operating system when it moved to Windows 95. That was the Vole’s claim at the time, anyway. However, it didn’t really abandon DOS in Windows 95, but just hid it under the covers.

  • If Only Oprah Had a CMS Club

    Recently, open source CMS solutions have gained traction with publishers and have taken market share from the enterprise players. In fact, this post on The Huffington Post points to Drupal, an open source CMS, as “the platform for building scalable, community-driven Web sites.” It even recommends another open source tool, WordPress, for blogging applications.

  • Open Source ESB Webcast

    Topics to be covered include installing the binaries or building the source code, introduction to the FUSE shell, setting up the development environment, working with Eclipse and Maven. Cranton and Britton will also explore how you can write and deploy your own OSGi bundles for FUSE Mediation Router routes (based on Apache Camel), and FUSE Services Framework services (based on Apache CXF).

  • TelcoBridges and Halo Kwadrat Join Hands for Open Source Applications in Central Europe and Russia

    TelcoBridges recently announced its decision to pool resources and join hands with Halo Kwadrat to tap into the high-capacity open source applications, specifically in central Europe and Russia. TelcoBridges is renowned globally as a hardware and software vendor for telecom system integrators, application developers, and service providers. Halo Kwadrat is a prominent European dealer focused in providing open source telephony products.

  • ERP Should Pay for Itself in a Year: Q&A With xTuple CEO Ned Lilly

    When can a company that’s still “close to being a startup” compete on a level playing field against the giants in its field? During a recession, that’s when, says Ned Lilly, CEO of open source ERP provider xTuple. Cash-strapped companies that once were drawn to SAP and Oracle are now giving xTuple second looks, he told CRM Buyer.

  • Ingres benefits from Oracle ‘arrogance’

    Instead, Save Mart went with the open-source Ingres database, which competes with the likes of EnterpriseDB and Sun’s MySQL.

  • Government

    • Open Government and Open Source at the Department of Defense – Part 2

      Web 2.0 is about mass collaboration and open source is about collaboration also. There absolutely are some synergies there in both directions. The collaborative techniques of web 2.0 and mass collaboration are the same things that have driven open source to be successful. The most successful open source projects are the ones that provide value to people which then encourages those people to become developers, and then they add enhancements and so that same virtual cycle that powers things like wikipedia also powering open source software.

    • Open Source Software, Cloud Computing Can Save Government Money

      When it comes to IT, there is a multitude of low-cost, creative ways to make resources available. Which ones are worth considering? Is there a more efficient development approach? How can you effectively combine resources with other government districts? The clear need is to evaluate low-cost resources that save money in the short term and provide proven solutions that are advanced and secure enough to avoid long-term pain. This article delves into practical examples you can start using today to save money, speed development and deliver higher-quality solutions.

  • Openness

    • Texas Encourages Electronic Textbooks0

      Geoffrey H. Fletcher at T.H.E. Journal is reporting on recent legislation in Texas encouraging school districts to move to electronic textbooks.

    • Open Source inspires Open Music

      Yesterday I had a chance to meet the lead singer of O Teatro Magico and then see their show. It was amazing! This creative group of musicians were about to “live the dream” by signing with a record company a number of years ago, but after they recorded the songs for their first album, the recording company said “sorry, but you need to change everything so that it sounds more like pop.”

    • The TLA nobody likes : DRM

      The creation of licenses for information on the web has been hugely simplified by the great people at Creative Commons, who have developed their CC licenses which are simple and offer the type of control over how information is used that meets most peoples needs online.

  • IDE

    • NetBeans IDE enhanced for teams, scripting

      [N]etBeans, the open source IDE championed by Sun Microsystems, is being fitted with additional capabilities this week for development teams and scripting languages.

    • KDevelop 4 Beta 4 Released

      On behalf of the KDevelop team I am happy to announce the Beta 4 release of KDevelop 4. This release includes some major new features, such as working sets (only available when building with KDE 4.3), integration of the quickopen functionality into the toolbar and a new perspective switcher (see the upper right corner of the mainwindow). We have of course also fixed again a lot of bugs, for example non-text files such as images will not crash KDevelop anymore when closing them, Valgrind execution is working again, the debugger’s variable view has been fixed and a lot of crash fixes related to parsing and code-completion popups. Altogether we have managed to fix 30 bugs in just 30 days.

    • 9 of the Best Free Linux Debuggers

      Debugging is the process of finding and reducing the number of bugs in computer software and electronic hardware. When a program crashes, the debugger shows the position in the original code. A good debugger plays an essential role in software development.

      Debugging can be more difficult when various subsystems are tightly coupled, as changes in one may cause bugs to appear in another.

Leftovers

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Cogeco Metered Billing Goes Live, Confuses Customers

      Back in April, Canadian cable operator Cogeco hoisted metered billing on the back of their customers, applying caps as low as 10GB per month and overages as high as $2.50 a month on top of existing tiers. When customers complained, Cogeco insulted customer intelligence by insisting the move wasn’t about making money. Cogeco then decided to raise monthly rates as well, just for good measure.

    • Rogers Again Injects Web Pages With Its Own Content

      Canadian Internet watchers may recall a controversy in late 2007 when Rogers began experimenting with adding its own content to webpages that its subscribers visit. The company used the technology to alert customers about their data usage. Google was one of the targets of the experiments and the company reacted angrily…

    • Internet scareware scammers settle with FTC for $100,000

      Two defendants in a scareware scam case have settled with the FTC after showing that they had no means to pay the organization’s previous $1.9 million order. The scammers now only have to fork over their illegally obtained earnings—unless they somehow manage to find that extra money later, that is.

  • Copyrights

    • Copyfraud [2006]

      Copyfraud is everywhere. False copyright notices appear on modern reprints of Shakespeare’s plays, Beethoven’s piano scores, greeting card versions of Monet’s Water Lilies, and even the U.S. Constitution. Archives claim blanket copyright in everything in their collections. Vendors of microfilmed versions of historical newspapers assert copyright ownership. These false copyright claims, which are often accompanied by threatened litigation for reproducing a work without the owner’s permission, result in users seeking licenses and paying fees to reproduce works that are free for everyone to use.

    • Pirate Bay’s YouTube Competitor is “Coming Soon”

      The Pirate Bay team has continued developing its video streaming site – which will open up to the public within 5 years. On The Video Bay users can share video clips without having to worry about getting them taken offline due to copyright violations, true Pirate Bay-style.

    • Brazilian President Shows Warmth To Pirate Bay Spokesman

      Since 2005, a Brazilian senator has been championing new cybercrime legislation which would include tough measures against file-sharing. Yesterday, at the International Free Software Forum, the Brazilian President openly criticized the bill, and then posed for pictures with The Pirate Bay’s Peter Sunde.

    • Lula vai a fórum de software livre
    • Unravelling the Canadian Copyright Policy Laundering Strategy

      The Conference Board of Canada plagiarism and undue influence story – which with the Board’s report and overdue apology to Curtis Cook will now go on hiatus until new reports are issued in the fall – has obviously attracted considerable interest. Looking back, while plagiarism is rare, it is the public airing of the copyright lobby policy laundering effort that is the far more important development.

    • British music boss: we should have embraced Napster

      The head of UK music trade group BPI says that the major labels made a mistake by not doing a deal with Napster a decade ago. Such a deal was never going to happen, but what kind of world might we be living in now if it had?

    • Play it again: Tenenbaum team tries to toss MediaSentry evidence

      The year’s second major P2P trial kicks off in one month, and Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson wants to mount some of the same attacks that failed in the first case. Nesson argues that all of the RIAA’s MediaSentry investigative evidence must be banned from trial, as the company violated wiretap law and private detective licensing law.

    • Sirius XM must raise prices to pay music royalties

      Sirius and XM promised the Federal Communications Commission they would not raise rates as a condition of the companies’ merger, but the FCC did allow them to issue rate hikes to account for any increase in royalty costs.

    • Ramblings from the Marginalized

      The small Connecticut town of New Milford has gotten the attention of ASCAP. They are being told to pay for a license but the town says no…

      Several months ago, the town of New Milford decided not to sign a licensing agreement with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

    • MPAA says Real’s patent attempt saps RealDVD argument

      The MPAA has taken Real to court to try to stop the company from selling RealDVD, a software that enables users to copy DVDs to a hard drive, as well as Facet, a DVD player that can also create digital copies of DVDs and store them as well. U.S. District Judge Marilyn Patel is due soon to decide whether to continue banning sales of RealDVD until a full trial decides whether the technology violates copyright law.

    • Meet the former Time Warner exec the US govt has put in charge of writing a secret, restrictive copyright treaty
    • Meet the chief US ACTA negotiator: Kira Alvarez, the Deputy Assistant USTR for IP Enforcement

      Kira Alvarez is the Deputy Assistant USTR for Intellectual Property Enforcement, and the chief US negotiator for ACTA. According to her Linkedin bio, as late as October 2008, right before the election, she was the Time Warner Vice President for Global Public Policy, and before that, she was a lobbyist for Ely Lilly, the pharmaceutical company. Alvarez also worked for both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, before her stints for Lilly and Time Warner. Note that she took her current job in December 2008, after the election but before the inauguration. Now she is the lead Obama representative for ACTA, reporting to Stan McCoy and Ambassador Kirk at USTR.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Alexandro Colorado, international open source evangelist 10 (2004)

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

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