EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

07.10.09

Microsoft Lobbying in Europe Goes Up a Notch

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Vista 7 at 5:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO backlash

Summary: Microsoft’s latest steps in Europe are dissected despite great secrecy

A WHILE ago we showed that one familiar Microsoft lobbying arm had just published an anti-Free software paper.

Well, that little story is not exactly over. As the FSFE’s departing top gun (Greve) puts it, “Microsoft sockpuppets [are] accusing [the] European Commission [of] hav[ing] “Free Software bias” [URL] Could I get a spending comparison, please?” Greve draws attention to this new IDG article.

According to the Association for Competitive Technology (ACT), the emphasis on open standards in the Commission’s white paper amounts to a bias in favour of open-source software.

Paul Meller helps ACT hide its identity as a Microsoft mouthpiece. Meller is known in the relevant circles for his pro-Microsoft bias and he is one of the most prominent examples of those who are refusing to see/acknowledge EU lobbying in general or Microsoft lobbying in particular (see this recent example from ACT).

Having previously "schmoozed" Neelie Kroes to escape most severe punishments, Microsoft seems to be trying something similar right now. Microsoft reportedly tries to end those antitrust cases which it perceives as a nuisance.

Microsoft Corp., which has been fined 1.68 billion euros ($2.34 billion) in European Union antitrust cases, is in preliminary talks to settle two additional probes before EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes leaves office, four people familiar with the negotiations said.

Any agreement would have to resolve a case over Microsoft’s Internet browser as well as a separate investigation into word processing and spreadsheet software, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are confidential.

Watch this recent video.

The optimists almost ignore a clear opposition to Microsoft’s self-elected ‘punishment’ (opposition from the Commission, Opera, and Mozilla at the very least) and bend over to characterise the omission of a Web browser from Vista 7 as a fair thing:

When Windows 7 ships without IE8 will it be good news for free software browsers?

There is but only if we stop looking at OEM PC shipments as a mark of success. One of the main supporters of the EU anti-trust case was — unsurprisingly — Opera. However, they feel this unbundling move isn’t enough. To paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies: well they wouldn’t would they? Opera would prefer consumers are given a choice of browser to install when they first boot their PC. This is — quite frankly — unworkable as the list of browsers would become unwieldy and confusing and at that stage all the user will want to do is turn on their shiny new kit and start playing with it.

But giving some choice could be a nice side-effect of all this. OEMs could offer alternative browsers and they would likely include Firefox. If that proved a success then we could see other software alternatives being offered. Eventually we could end up with the scenario I describe above: consumers specifying not only the hardware but the software that comes with their OEM PC.

Lastly, just minutes ago I received a letter from the European Ombudsman. They have assigned people to handle the complaint about Microsoft and ACT, so thanks to everyone who helped.

Revisionism with Stereotypes

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No anonymous users

Summary: Burying the facts by discrediting their bearers, collectively

AS Microsoft turns to more aggressive tactics, independent Web sites like Groklaw provide succinct evidence of anti-competitive behaviour, especially in the realms of sub-notebooks [1, 2].

The post from one hour ago shamed the Guardian for pushing Microsoft talking points. This is expected when the likes of Microsoft Jack are put in charge of the paper’s technology section [1, 2].

So despite clear evidence of Microsoft misbehaviour in sub-notebooks, the Guardian now lays issues where Microsoft wants them to be. They are trying to blame GNU/Linux, not kickbacks, intimidation, availability games and collusion with hardware companies that simply dread low-end equipment (and thus low cost). How much more transparent need it become?

Here is a complaint someone recommended to us regarding what ASUS did to GNU/Linux.

Having been on vacation for 5 weeks — with my Eee PC —, I only just became aware of your new site It’s Better With Windows *), and the fact that you no longer sell netbooks with Linux. Unfortunately, you have not provided a way for your customers and potential customers to comment on this site, so I’m left with less-efficient means to publicly let you know what I’m thinking about this move. In short: You’re making a big mistake!

Very recently we showed that LinuxInsider (now owned by ECT) was gently vilifying GNU/Linux, which is normal for this particular publication. We wrote about this when the same author who daemonised Mono opposition also wrote about the ASUS scandal and tried to dispel its existence using foul-mouthed people. Might it be the case that LinuxInsider is again attacking the character of GNU/Linux by putting forth stereotypes with the headline “How to Advocate for Linux (Without Coming Across as a Lunatic)“?

These headlines matter a lot and the latest example is suggestive — insinuating that advocacy of GNU/Linux is lunacy. Remember how Microsoft evangelism formally works:

“Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry. We want to place selection pressure on those companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for competitors’ technologies, to make the industry increasingly resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

As such, those who advocate GNU/Linux will see themselves coming under attempts to associate character with mental (or sometimes physical) deficiency. There are many real-world examples of this strategy.

“In layman’s terms, it’s a cheap shot and it is unprofessional because it only gives an illusion of balanced reporting.”On a separate note, people who want to bury our message/voice try to associate — even falsely — this Web site with someone who goes by the name "Mark Fink". He annoyed us too, as IRC logs have shown from the very beginning (few people bothered to fact-check beyond the cherry-picking and selective quoting from Mono proponents). “Mark Fink” is a zealous reader who makes us look bad. There are several others and it’s hard to tell them off. They misrepresent and misinterpret, but they think they help. They only get quoted to discredit the Web site by association, capitalising on total lack of censorship.

So, it is not surprising that our critics who include Bruce Byfield (for the uninitiated) only bother quoting “Fink” as though it is a messenger but never quote reasonable arguments from the Web site they actually refer to. What we don’t like is when defenders of Mono quote the likes of Pat Robertson (and “M$”-speak types, or hard-liners) to make Mono opposition look boorish, irrational, and aggressive. The same tactics are used in more political arenas. It makes for very weak argumentation. In layman’s terms, it’s a cheap shot and it is unprofessional because it only gives an illusion of balanced reporting. It symbolises weak journalism or punditry (see comments here).

Another Microsoft Product Officially Dies: Response Point

Posted in GNU/Linux, Mail, Microsoft, Servers at 3:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rusty ships

Summary: Microsoft Response Point reaches the end of the line

THE LAST death of a Microsoft product that we mentioned (just one among many) was here, but this continues at the usual pace of about one dead product every 1.5 weeks. Latest casualty:

After weeks of speculation, Microsoft has essentially killed Response Point — the company’s former VoIP system for small businesses. According to a Microsoft Town Hall meeting today with VARs, the product is in maintenance mode with no future releases planned. Sorry for the following comparison, but Response Point has become Microsoft’s modern day OS/2. Here’s why.

Alas, Response Point is a product with an eager, niche following that didn’t officially die. Instead, Response Point will fade away (quickly, The VAR Guy predicts) through maintenance mode support. IBM used the same strategy to walk away from OS/2 a decade ago.

Now that Microsoft puts VoIP on the back burners, Cisco enters more such areas with GNU/Linux, and Microsoft’s Communication Server partner Nortel goes out of business, what might happen to Exchange (Microsoft’s ripoff of others) in the long run? GNU/Linux is competing well against Exchange and here is a good new comic on the subject.

Related posts:

What is Microsoft Doing Inside the ‘Press’?

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Security at 2:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft dirty tactics

Summary: Microsoft folks (disguised as journalists and/or analysts) pass on the company’s message against competitors

Microsoft’s control of the press — and to be fair, Apple too has increasing influence over it — is a subject that is not foreign to us. The simple rule is that those with money to spare can control the trade press. It is sad, but it has always been true. Who would ever admit this? The press??? Examples are abundant and we bring some up on a regular basis.

“The simple rule is that those with money to spare can control the trade press.”When it comes to Chrome OS, there is a lot of press control, probably with several sides involved. As ThistleWeb puts it, “I noticed the BBC take on it had quotes from Rob Enderle and Gartner.”

What more need be said? Rob Enderle is all about Microsoft and in this article from the BBC, at the side bar they even link to the (essentially) Microsoft-sponsored Enderle Group. Those in the BBC who admittedly have lunch with Microsoft love quoting him (sometimes with full video) and Microsoft is also a BBC partner, so it is more or less expected.

But to address that latter bit about Gartner, doesn’t everyone know what they are to Microsoft? And specifically Michael Silver for example? Watch this new article where he defends Windows XP, which is an antique of an operating system. That’s like Microsoft talking.

Analysts like Gartner’s Michael Silver say the fact that the Vole allows downgrades for those who buy Vista means that we can’t really be sure how much hardware still depends on XP.

Michael Gartenberg — like Michael Silver — is a rather notorious Microsoft promoter because their extensive track records on the subject speak for themselves. So why on Earth is Gartenberg approached for his opinion on Chrome OS (a Microsoft competitor) as though he is an independent analyst? He is a former Microsoft “evangelist” (as in "TE"). Attila responds as follows:

Google Chrome: Naughty, naughty Guardian

Today’s online Guardian has this article:
“Google’s new platform Chrome aims to show Microsoft’s Windows the door”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2009/ju…
In the article Michael Gartenberg is mentioned as follows:
Not everyone is convinced Google will succeed, however. Michael Gartenberg, a consumer devices analyst at Interpret, based in Los Angeles, was unimpressed. ‘Folks who have never seen it, used it or spent five minutes with it are claiming it’s huge threat to Windows.(If that’s the case, wouldn’t it also be a threat to Apple and Mac OS, an argument I’ve not seen this morning?)’ He added that history doesn’t run in favour of Chrome OS’s principles: ‘Consumers have overwhelmingly rejected Linux-flavoured netbooks for Windows-capable machines that they could actually accomplish things on, such as run PC applications.’”

The bit about “…could actually accomplish things on…” sounded familiar from my readings in COLA and so I did a wee check on Mr Gartenbert on this “consumer devices analyst at Interpret” and found to my shock/horror this:
“Microsoft Hires Michael Gartenberg as New Evangelist”
http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/02/15/microsoft…
Hmmm, not exactly a neutral observer, eh? Yet no mention of this detail in the Guardian article.
Naughty, naughty, Guardian.

More examples ensue in the thread:

several Chrome OS stories.

Here’s one from Computerworld from yesterday.
http://tinyurl.com/nfw7os

“Nonsense, countered Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with Interpret. ‘This will have no impact on Apple whatsoever,’ said Gartenberg, who pointed out that users have already rejected Linux on the desktop as well as Linux on netbooks.”

And another — an opinion piece on SlashGear posted yesterday…
http://tinyurl.com/n3pthw

“With much sound and fury, the blogosphere and Twitter all respond to Google’s “bombshell” announcement that they’re launching Chrome OS sometime in the 2nd half of 2010. (which I might add is a long time from now).”

Here he is again, in an article in Sci-Tech from yesterday…
http://tinyurl.com/kkprkh

“A Threat to Microsoft?

“This is Google’s attempt to poke Microsoft once again with a sharp stick and see what they can do to weaken Microsoft’s position,” said Michael Gartenberg, a vice president at Interpret. “Google has done this in the past by giving away semi-free versions of software like Google Docs, but that hasn’t put Microsoft’s Office business in any trouble yet.”

As Gartenberg sees it, the notion of creating a free OS for netbooks doesn’t make much business sense. The netbook market, he said, is beginning to disappear as these miniature machines become more like full-function PCs with new every new iteration.”

Here he is quoted on Reuter’s MediaFile (today) being “unimpressed” with Android:
http://tinyurl.com/nz29nm

“Another analyst Michael Gartenberg of market research firm Interpret was less than impressed by myTouch. ”It’s very evolutionary. In an era of new devices offering new functionality and new features this doesn’t feel particularly exciting,” he said.”

On July 6th he wrote the following in CIO Today in an article about the Linux based CrunchPad…
http://tinyurl.com/m5wltk

“The key question is whether consumers want a Net-only tablet computer. Michael Gartenberg, a vice president at Interpret, called such a device “a solution in search of a problem.”

In the past, he said, consumers “have rejected these kinds of ‘tweener’ devices,” adding that he expects the CrunchPad to become “a niche product at best.”

Busy, isn’t he? Wonder how much Microsoft is paying him to be an “independent analyst?”

Gartenberg is still an evangelist for Microsoft, not an “independent analyst”. Whether he is technically still on the payroll matters a lot less based on simple observations, even from recent months [1, 2].

“Watch out for Microsoft people wandering among us and pretending either to be “independent” or to be “FOSS people”.”Microsoft typically mocks GNU/Linux using other people because it looks more credible and exposes Microsoft to less backlash.

Watch out for Microsoft people wandering among us and pretending either to be “independent” or to be “FOSS people”. Just the other day we wrote about and warned about Black Duck, which has roots in Microsoft, is purely proprietary, and uses secret/imbalanced data (improperly sampled and never subjected to outside inspection or scrutiny) just like Net Applications does (Net Applications is also connected to Microsoft). Here is the compelling essay from the SFLC again.

Black Duck Report is Meaningless Without Source Code

Black Duck Software recently published some summary statistics about free and open source software license adoption, based on data it collected by crawling the web.

Some months and even weeks ago we warned about growing Microsoft influence inside Juniper. One of our readers makes the following suggestion in light of this news (more citations in Bruce Schneier’s Web site).

I presume this is a Windows ATM problem and that now that Juniper managment is crawling with MS fifth columnists there will be no questioning his Billness’ Holy Jihad.

For those who do not know, Gates uses the term “Jihad” to describe his competition against other companies [1, 2] and by doing so he justifies what would otherwise seem like far-fetched suspicions.

We wrote about Windows ATMs twice before [1, 2], so another discussion on the subject would be superfluous.

The Windows Security Theatre

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 1:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Airport

Summary: Many security reports from The Register and little more of the rest

McAfee is far from a friend of Free software [1, 2] and its remedies for Windows may sometimes cause more harm than good. Here is a fresh new example of why this paradigm of sold-separately bolted-on security software simply does not work. To quote, “IT admins across the globe are letting out a collective groan after servers and PCs running McAfee VirusScan were brought down when the anti-virus program attacked their core system files. In some cases, this caused the machines to display the dreaded blue screen of death.”

One of our readers says that “admins use Knoppix to fix borked McAfee antivirus” and he points to this new example where someone suggests: “For servers with BSOD we have used knoppix live cd to move files from quarantine to original place…”

In other news, Microsoft is preparing patches for flaws that enable hijacking of Windows, probably remotely. These flaws are very serious. Some of them are already being actively exploited (without a solution available).

Microsoft on Tuesday plans to release updates patching three critical Windows security vulnerabilities, two of which are already under attack.

Attacks must always precede reaction in Microsoft's case.

Why might this happen? Well, maybe because, according to some more news, Microsoft has knowingly ignored a serious flaw for a year. It is so typical.

Microsoft knew of nasty IE bug a year before attacks

The disclosure comes as attacks targeting the MSVidCtl ActiveX control vulnerability have increased exponentially. On Monday, online ads distributed by through the Giant Realm network on popular gaming websites began including code that exploits the bug, according to security firm ScanSafe. The ads mean that anyone using IE to browse sites such as diii.net and incgamers.com are risk if they run the XP or 2003 versions of Windows and have not yet installed a quick fix.

We have already shown that Microsoft deliberately hides its flaws. Victims of this careless, selfish behaviour are all of us who receive spam from hundreds of millions of Windows zombies. To rephrase the news (The Register again), spam levels have returned to normal.

Victims may include more hospitals too, according to this last bit of news from The Register.

The leader of a malicious hacker collective who used his job as a security guard to breach sensitive Texas hospital computers has been arrested just days before his group planned a “massive DDoS” attack for the July 4 Independence Day holiday.

Hospitals are hit by Windows viruses on a very regular basis this year [1, 2, 3, 4] and according to this article from Sam Varghese Microsoft is profiteering from it.

How Microsoft benefits from Conficker

Microsoft experts were among consultants called in by the council – and they took home some of the £1.2 million which the body paid out to get the problem resolved. Exactly how much was paid to the different consultants was not divulged.

In reference to some of these shocking figures, one of our readers asks, “What can be bought?” He uses Manchester as an example:

There was a recent article about the UK city of Manchester which just paid nearly $2.5 million in clean up for the Windows worm Conficker. That’s one worm in one city.

If we take some numbers for the sake of argument and play with them, what could we buy with $2.5 million.

Say for the sake of argument that top developers (in several fields of computing) and UI designers cost $100,000 apiece including insurance, pensions, equipment and work space rental. That would provide for a team of 10 for 25 years, or a team of 25 for 10 years, etc.

So for a decade, for the same price, Manchester could work out a re-packaging of Fedora and some needed applications:

5 development engineers
5 deployement engineers
5 HCI specialists
10 half-time support
3 full-time support
2 managers / marketeers

The magnitude of the money lost pursuing the Windows ideology is mind-boggling.

Contrary to common belief (mind the interesting comments), Microsoft could really use some money which is made through its own incompetence. The reality of the matter is that Microsoft has faltered for years (even financially) and it now amasses some debt.

But going back to this subject of security, Heise reports show that Apple is no role model either, not with its proprietary, DRM-locked phones.

iPhone 3GS cracked

[...]

The Dev Team are well known for their free iPhone jailbreaking and unlocking tools (QuickPwn, PwnageTool, Yellowsn0W, etc.), however, they have yet to release a tool that’s compatible with the 3GS and version 3.0 of the iPhone software.

Symbian faces challenges too. Symbian is still proprietary (in phases of transition).

Security on Symbian mobiles: Early signs of crumbling

[...]

At the recent Pwn2Own 2009 security contest, none of the competitors succeeded in hacking a Symbian mobile.

Free Software Magazine has a good new comic on that subject of security.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: July 9th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 12:27 am 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.

Links 10/07/2009: Mostly Chrome, Ubuntu, and More

Posted in News Roundup at 12:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Google

    • The Google Chrome Key

      Back in 1995 something very odd happened. Microsoft released a new version of their operating system, jumping from version 3.x to version 95 which, as well as being a pretty innovative bit of version numbering, brought in a few other new things including the start menu. Now to get the start menu to work they pulled off an astonishing move and added a new key to computer keyboards, not just keyboards made by Microsoft (I am not even sure they did make them at the time) but keyboards made by all manufacturers. This key had a little windows advert on it and was called the Windows key. Quite how the competition regulators let this pass at the time and ever since is a mystery to me, but to this day if you go and buy a Logitech keyboard for your Ubuntu Linux desktop you will have a windows logo staring at you as you type like the eye of Sauron.

    • Google Oompa-Loompas dream of virus-free OS

      The search giant said Google Chrome OS, due to debut in the second half of next year and initially targeted at netbooks, will be based on open source code and offer unprecedented security.

    • Google’s Chrome OS and the Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop

      Thus Google’s operating system represents a further stage in the commoditisation of software, something that the appearance of GNU/Linux began all those years ago. Now, the operating system is simply there to support the browser, which becomes the main arena for interacting with applications.

    • 11 Undocumented Features Of Google Chrome OS
  • Desktop

    • Changing the World, One Penguin at a Time

      Ken Starks is a testament to the power of single individual, and to the power of the distributed, community Free/Open Source model. He shows that the most effective advocacy is one-on-one, up close and personal. And that one person can multiply himself by inspiring many others. Does the idea of “advocacy” make you nervous? It does sound a bit scary, doesn’t it, like those annoying door-to-door religious people. But it’s not that way. If you’re interested in helping people learn to speak Linux, here are a few easy, non-scary tips.

  • Server

    • Canonical, Eucalyptus Offer Private Cloud Consulting

      Canonical, supplier of the popular Ubuntu distribution of Linux, is partnering with Eucalyptus Systems to offer “private” cloud consulting services. The alliance is the first commercial technical support for implementing open source-based clouds inside the enterprise. Most external clouds, including Amazon’s EC2, rely heavily on open source code to hold down costs, provide reliable service, and scale without worrying about a rapid build-up in software licensing fees.

    • Canonical Delves Deeper into the Cloud – Launches Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud Services

      Canonical, the founder of the Ubuntu project, today launched new professional services to help and support users building ‘private clouds’, cloud infrastructures behind a corporate firewall.

      The move follows the technical preview in April of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC), an open-source system that enables organisations to build their own clouds that match the interface of Amazon EC2. UEC is now available as part of the Ubuntu Server Edition technology stack.

  • LinuxCon

    • Interview with Amanda McPherson of LinuxCon in Portland

      OK, the fun part: was there a moment when you honestly wondered if you’d be able to pull the conference off?

      My mind goes back to the genesis of Linuxcon. The Linux Plumbers Conference community team approached us about starting a bigger and more broad Linux conference, and I thought it was a great idea. There is a need for something technical, fun and community-based (not run by a for profit who is most interested in money). The only time I wondered if we would pull it off was during the presentation on Linuxcon I gave to the board of directors of the Linux Foundation. I did my spiel and then held my breath during a short pause before they responded. Soon enough they all just started asking question and agreed that it was a great idea. Ever since then it’s been smooth sailing.

    • LinuxCon Program and Event Details Take Shape

      If you haven’t registered to attend LinuxCon this year, you should – and make sure to do so before August 15th when the registration fee goes up. It is only US$399 until then, and you can get an even larger discount if you are: a Linux Foundation Individual Member (30% off), a company sending three or more people (15% off) or attending Linux Plumbers Conference (also 30% off).

    • Regional Show Highlights Community Strength

      As we prepare for the big LinuxCon event in Portland, OR this September 21-23, other notable shows and events are popping up on the radar for the Linux community to attend. One show that gets a big mention for me is the seventh annual Ohio LinuxFest.

  • Distributions

    • Ubuntu 9.04 review

      Why wait for Windows 7? Ubuntu is ready to take over the world right now

    • Why Ubuntu has become the flag bearer for Linux

      It’s easy to argue that Ubuntu’s success is because there’s an unlimited supply of investment from its super-rich parent company, Canonical. But Linux isn’t like any ordinary software stack.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Netbooks Are Little Notebooks, and Linux on Netbooks Rocks

      This newfangled netbook phenomenon has brought with it a bit of confusion, which is understandable since it is so new. The EeePC 701 launched the modern netbook craze, a tiny little low-powered thing with a 7″ screen, 512MB RAM, WiFi, and 4BG of storage. It ran a stripped-down Linux, and at two pounds and $399, it quickly won many hearts.

Free Software/Open Source

  • New Enterprise Edition of Bacula backup software released

    Bacula supports various types of media, such as tape drives and hard drives, and its source code is released under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2).

  • Mozilla Labs issues ‘major’ Ubiquity upgrade

    Mozilla Labs released an update to Ubiquity – its in-browser command line utility – yesterday.

  • Open source alternative to browser-based shooter Quake Live

    The developers behind open source shooter Open Arena have released an initial test version of the browser-based version, Arena Live. Arena Live aims to emulate Quake Live, a free to use, professionally produced version of Quake 3 Arena from id Software that’s financed by advertising. While Quake Live currently only runs on Windows-based systems (with Mac OS X and Linux support reportedly coming soon), Arena Live runs in Mozilla’s Firefox web browser on Linux platforms and will probably be ported to other operating systems in the future.

  • PostgreSQL 8.4 now available

    The PostgreSQL developers have released version 8.4 of the open source database saying it is “Now easier to use than ever”. The release, which comes after sixteen months of development by the PostgeSQL Global Development Group, adds a number of new features such as per-column permissions which gives more control over which users can see which columns in a database.

  • I Met Richard Stallman

    My brother explained the concept of Free Software to a bunch of his Mac-fanatic friends. My mom explained it to one of her friends as well. Overall, the speech had a very positive impact on my family. I am sure each person that listened to the speech walked out with a different attitude on software. Anyone from Chile, Paraguay, or Uruguay should make sure to attend Stallman’s upcoming speeches there. For everyone else, watch/listen to a recorded speech of his, or watch Stephen Fry’s “Happy Birthday to GNU” video.

    It’s a GNU day. What will you do to spread the word?

  • Interview with Daniel Chalef of KnowledgeTree

    I realise that the community tends not to compete… but I still have to ask: what if it does? How would you react if somebody starts providing the features you charge for, and releases them under the GPL?

    We would be inclined to further differentiate the commercial product by adding features and/or support options. We might learn from how the community implements the functionality (which might take a different approach to the original) and customers and community get a better product.

  • Openness

    • The future is free

      Digital Planet has spoken to Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired magazine, about the release of his new book, Free: The Future of Radical Price.

      He told the World Service about the concept of ‘freeconomics’, the business model behind web companies like Google, YouTube and Yahoo, where giving away things for free is making them money.

  • Brazil

    • President Lula’s Speech at FISL 10 (English Translation)

      This law that is presented (repeats) doesn´t intend to correct abuses of Internet. To tell you the truth, this law achieves to censure. What we may need, fellow Tarso Genro, is to change the Civil Code, we may need to change something there. What we need to do is to charge the people who work with the digital issues, with the Internet. We need to charge, not prohibit or condemn. (incomprehensible) It is a police-like interest to make a law that lets people enter the house of others to know what they are doing, maybe kidnapping their computers. To act this way is not possible; it is not possible.

    • Open source’s double standard on government bias

      For example, Open Source Initiative President Michael Tiemann rightly decries an alleged tie between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s charitable donations and Microsoft’s “cabinet-level access to inform policy.”

    • Open Source Incentives

      On the alarm front, I heard specific confirmation of a storyline I’ve been following, which is that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is basically telling governments: if you want contributions/investments from us, then you’ll give Microsoft cabinet-level access to inform policy, and you’ll use Microsoft products. For example, donations to educational initiatives require installing and teaching Microsoft products. It is similar to another story line reported by Roy Shestowitz. My informant told me that she was fortunately able to point out to the President that this was against Brazil’s sovereignty and interest, and is one of the reasons that President Lula came to FISL, to show is support for the freedoms that “software livre” (aka free software, aka open source) mean to Brazil.

    • Lula’s Free Java Ring

      The Brazilian economy is powered by the Java platform – even their new Free digital TV standard uses it. They took the decision to use Java for so much in part when we (Bruno, myself and a number of others) assured them, a number of years ago, that there would be Free implementations. The story ever since has been snowballing investment in Java skills and an economy capable not only of supporting its own needs but also of exporting skills – they’ve been making Java a priority for years.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • No mandatory audio and video codecs in HTML 5

      Ian Hickson, a Google employee involved in Google’s work with the W3C and responsible for editing the forthcoming HTML 5 specification, has made a clean break with years of discussion regarding mandatory audio/video codecs in HTML 5. In a post on the WHATWG mailing list he says that, following endless public and private discussions, he has come to the conclusion that no codecs are likely to attract a consensus among the members of the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) for integration into their browsers.

    • Norway mandates PDF and ODF as exchange-formats

      Norway has mandated use of PDF and/or ODF as document exchange formats. The baseline reference list of approved standards and formats has been released in a “version 2.0″-edition where, amongst other things, ODF has been approved in edition 1.1

    • XHTML 2 to be discontinued

      It was supposed to be the biggest reform project in the history of the W3C. Yesterday, however, the web standardisation committee pulled the plug on XHTML 2, a project that had been on the road to disaster for years. According to the development schedule, the XHTML2 Working Group charter expires at the end of the year and will not be extended.

Leftovers

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Phorm shares fall as BT opts out

      Shares in the online ad firm Phorm have fallen by more than 40% after BT said it had no immediate plans to use the service that tracks online behaviour.

  • Copyrights

    • RIAA triumphs in Usenet copyright case

      The Recording Industry Association of America has prevailed in its copyright fight against Usenet.com, according to court documents.

      In a decision that hands the RIAA an overwhelming victory, U.S. District Judge Harold Baer of the Southern District of New York ruled in favor of the music industry on all its main theories: that Usenet.com is guilty of direct, contributory, and vicarious infringement. In addition, and perhaps most important for future cases, Baer said that Usenet.com can’t claim protection under the Sony Betamax decision. That ruling says companies can’t be held liable for contributory infringement if the device they create is “capable of significant non-infringing uses.”

    • Innocents accused of net piracy

      Some 20 net users have come forward claiming they have been wrongly accused of illegally sharing video games.

    • Google introduces license-filtering image search

      One of the most complicated and convoluted issues plaguing the Internet these days are copyright concerns. From music and videos to books, pictures and more, all content is likely to have some artist behind it who may or may not be willing to share. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to determine if something is legal to use on your own. Google understands this, and as of today has launched a new feature aimed at making finding completely free content a bit easier.

    • Google Finally Adds Creative Commons To Image Search

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Alexandro Colorado, international open source evangelist 13 (2004)

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

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts