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07.11.09

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: July 11th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

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Enter the IRC channel now

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

Novell News Summary – Part III: Mostly Videos, Kablink 2.0 Release, and Utah Event

Posted in Mail, Marketing, NetWare, Novell, Videos at 5:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bryce Canyon

Summary: The rest of Novell’s news (from two weeks)

THE past week has been slow and the company’s staff has been mostly dormant, so let us start with a couple of new videos. Novell carries on posting instructional videos — a practice it has been following for several months now. This first one is about ZENworks:

Read the rest of this entry »

Novell News Summary – Part II: SLE* News (with Many Videos) and Portions of Xandros/Scalix

Posted in Novell, Red Hat, Scalix, Servers, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 4:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Brown Anole

Summary: SUSE news and videos from the past two weeks

IT HAS BEEN a quiet fortnight from a business perspective. It’s a universal thing. Going back to Computex 2009, here is a new video of Novell’s Guy Lunardi.

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Novell News Summary – Part I: OpenFate, Build Service, and Many Events

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE at 3:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lizard on the road

Summary: OpenSUSE brings OpenFate, Hack Week is coming, and many new events take place

WE DELIVERED NO weekly news last week (summer break), so this week’s aggregation will be larger than usual.

OpenFate

OpenSUSE introduces OpenFate, about which there is more information right here:

It was just announced that openFATE, openSUSE’s feature tracking system, will now be open to non openSUSE members.

Coding Rallies

Google’s Summer of Code still supports OpenSUSE and here is just one report on the subject. Novell’s next Hack Week (the fourth one) is coming pretty soon as well.

Novell is once again sponsoring a Hack Week, from July 20 through July 24th. This is an opportunity for Novell’s Open Platform Solutions developers to use their Innovation Time Off and hunker down and work on the projects that catch their fancy.

Zonker wrote about Hack Week very recently:

Novell is once again sponsoring a Hack Week, from July 20 through July 24th. This is an opportunity for Novell’s Open Platform Solutions developers to use their Innovation Time Off and hunker down and work on the projects that catch their fancy.

Hack Week projects can be new features, new applications, or improvements to existing services and applications. Previous Hack Weeks have generated projects like Tasque, Giver, Debian package support in the openSUSE Build Service, and many others. Hack Week is also a chance for Novell employees to work with the openSUSE Community contributors if they wish on projects that help improve openSUSE.

You don’t have to be a Novell employee to participate! If you’d like to hack on something cool and useful, you’re welcome to join in!

We’ll be collecting ideas in openFATE for Hack Week, so if you’d like to contribute an idea, just go to openFATE[1] and log in with your openSUSE account. Then select “Create” and add your feature, as well as any test or use cases.

If you’d like to help implement one of the ideas, check out the features that are already in openFATE for Hack Week IV. Go to “Browse” and select Hack Week IV as the Product, and you’ll see all of the proposed features for Hack Week.

Have questions about Hack Week? Email Olaf Kirch[2] or ask in #opensuse-project on Freenode.

[1]: http://features.opensuse.org/

[2]: mailto:okir@suse.de

There are surely some interesting projects in store (hopefully not Mono related). Here for example is a welcomed improvement.

Installation: Resizing Windows before proposing Linux partitions

While “selling” openSUSE to a friend of mine, I tried to explain him all the steps of the installation and all the configuration options which I had changed. He was not any geek and it was his first time seeing Linux.

[...]

You can see it with 11.2 Milestone 2, where it is not enabled by default; to enable it, boot with start_shell=1 on kernel command line and uncomment the

OpenSUSE Factory

OpenSUSE Factory is said to be opening… opening up in the sense that other folks are invited to participate.

openSUSE Factory is open! That means that people outside Novell will have a chance to real participate on the openSUSE distribution. That is GREAT news!

The Build Service is being used to bring the latest KDE and LXDE is coming too.

What else is being built? Well, among the things that are announced more openly, there is work on Firefox 3.5 which is built for older versions of OpenSUSE as well. See this post about Mozilla news in OpenSUSE and the writings about another browser, Chrome, being built and tested on OpenSUSE. MySQL 5.4 is coming too and LenZ Grimmer writes about FlightGear 1.9.1. Novell’s own iFolder was brought in very recently.

Good news, everybody! iFolder client packages are now available for openSUSE 11.1 from the openSUSE update repositories. This means you can install iFolder client on openSUSE 11.1 using YaST or zypper, without any modifications to your installed system.

Needless to say, many packages are added to OBS without special announcements or any fuss.

OpenSUSE Central

Brian Proffitt has just interviewed Zonker, with whom he did not work directly as a media person.

Linux.com: How are openSUSE, and Novell, approaching the big IT challenges in the current economic climate?

Zonker: Those are two very different questions, really. Novell is approaching the “big IT challenges” in the same way as many companies: Hunkering down and concentrating on the best way to meet customer needs and make sales in a very challenging environment.

The openSUSE Project doesn’t really have the same pressures. We have no quarterly revenue targets and the downturn hasn’t been a negative for use of FOSS. In fact, we may be seeing more interest by individuals and companies as a result of the downturn. It’s hard to say.

OpenSUSE Forums claims 30,000 users now, despite growing pains.

Short but sweet post here: Getting a few numbers on community growth for the openSUSE Day introduction at LinuxTag, I noticed that the openSUSE Forums have now passed 30,000 users!

Events

There are many events this summer. There are heaps of photos from LinuxTag 2009, which took place in Berlin [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

Federico Mena-Quintero, who recently left the OpenSUSE Board shares some GNOME Hispano photos and Jack Wallen writes about another event that Novell attended.

I have a licence plate hanging in my office that I received from one of the last major Linux conventions I attended. The convention was in New York at the Jacob Javitz centre. It was huge. The convention was filled to rim with big business. IBM, Oracle, Compaq, Novell — many of the big guns were in attendance.

Looking at South America, many photos from Brazil’s Free software conference can be found here.

Well.. I have some photos from International Free Software Conference in Brazil.

We have an openSUSE Users Group booth, with DVDs, T-Shirts and a lot of curious people about openSUSE.

Gabriel Stein from OpenSUSE took many more photos in later days and put a large number of them in Google’s Picasa.

Chile too celebrated an OpenSUSE Day.

And the day came. After a six hours trip on bus, and a few minutes of sleep I got to Santiago de Chile. Francisco Toha picked me up so we headed to Universidad Andres Bello for the openSUSE Day. Huge building and plenty of room for everyone. The event started almost on time. I followed the first talk, a bit hoping to have a decent internet connection so I could show a live SUSE Studio test drive. OK, that didn’t happen. The internet traffic ratio was too slow like waiting 59 minutes to build an JeOS appliance was nuts so that was definitely the low aspect of the talk.

Releases

OpenSUSE 11.2 is now at milestone 3 and people take note. Stein posts a little reminder and the official announcement is here.

The openSUSE Project is pleased to announce the release of openSUSE 11.2 Milestone 3. Images are ready for download and testing. This release includes the 2.6.30 Linux kernel, KDE 4.3 beta 2, GNOME 2.27.2, OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 Alpha, and more!

Is SELinux going to be part of it?

Groklaw Unearths Another SCO Scandal; SCO Heads Sued for Theft, Computer Fraud and Abuse

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Novell, SCO, UNIX at 10:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“On the same day that CA blasted SCO, Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond revealed a leaked email from SCO’s strategic consultant Mike Anderer to their management. The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.”

Bruce Perens

Summary: SCO and unXis may be the same/overlapping entity; Darl McBride, Stephen Norris and Bryan Cave are all sued

THERE IS SOMETHING truly fascinating about SCO. Is it a technology company or is it a tool for legal abuse? Nobody knows for sure anymore, but Groklaw carries on digging deeper. What does it find? An abundance of monkey business. First of all, as many people know by now, SCO is to sell its assets to a supposedly “independent” entity — a buyer substantiating a company to be known as unXis. We’ll spare the explanation about Microsoft’s connection to SCO’s latest cash injection [1, 2, 3] because more hilarious is the following finding:

Guess who owns the domain unXis.de? If you check betterwhois, you find that Eric le Blan owns the domain unXis.com, but if you go to Germany’s equivalent, denic.de, a familiar SCO name appears.

Hans Bayer, the former CEO for The SCO Group GmbH.

Is SCO selling assets to itself? is this the buyer Berger Singerman was showing? Are they bamboozling the judge and the world by faking a sale, which in turn enables them to raise funds to litigate against Linux and harass competitors?

This comes just shortly after IBM’s subpoena of unXis

IBM may have run out of patience with all the mystery about SCO’s proposed sale of assets to unXis. . So it has subpoenaed unXis…

If that seems as bad as it gets, then how about this? (accessible only to Groklaw members)

Well, my dreams are coming true. This is better than eagles. A new lawsuit with Darl McBride, Stephen Norris and Bryan Cave all named as defendants by Pelican Equity. The accusation? Theft of trade secrets.

No. Wait. Wait. Wait. It gets better. They are also accused of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. There is a God! [passes out from joy]

What a bundle of joy. So SCO is again in the midst of criminal investigations. Groklaw rests its case.

Groklaw also has the SCO-unXis exhibits as plain text. It seems like another beginning of the end. More text from the March bankruptcy hearing is now available.

There is a monster SCO filing in the bankruptcy, 531 pages, I’m told, a Notice of Cure Amounts in Connection with the Assumption and Assignment of Unexpired Leases and Executory Contracts [PDF] and then a 7-part exhibit. SCO proposes to transfer everything on this list to unXis “free and clear of all liens, claims, encumbrances and interests upon satisfaction of the cure amounts… except for Assumed Liabilities and Permitted Encumbrances”.

More here:

More bills to go over with a fine-toothed comb, and SCO has filed an third amended Schedule F for SCO Operations. That’s the list of unsecured creditors. Here’s the previous version, if you’d like to compare, and I hope you do, and the original [PDF].

Here are the other two bills. Follow the money. Always follow the money, even in Novell’s case.

“Microsoft hardly needs an SCO source license. Its license payment to SCO is simply a good-looking way to pass along a bribe…”

Bruce Perens

Microsoft Shill Warning: Eric Savitz/Barron’s

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Videos at 10:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft: Next Stop, $40?”

Eric Savitz in Barrons.com, 2007

Summary: Belated flagging of a known Microsoft pseudo-journal/journalist

FOR THOSE who think that this assessment is based on one single article, it’s not. In fact, for several years I have been pointing out in several separate places that the Microsoft bias at Barron’s and Motley Fool should be taken for granted already and the publications treated accordingly. It is hardly even concealed that Barron’s and Eric Savitz in particular are known for their pro-Microsoft bias, which some other publications even complained about openly (e.g. The Street).

See for example:

i. Stop the Barron’s Microsoft Series

That particular story about how Microsoft was still a growth stock was dated July 26, 2004. Between then and now, it bears mentioning, Microsoft’s stock  price has been stuck in the mud, barely budging in a market that has flown to the heavens.  

But a horrid call, even made twice, is forgivable. What got me was that somewhere else in my steel trap of a mind was the memory of yet a third big bullish profile in Barron’s by Savitz about how Microsoft was, uh — hey, you’re really catching on here — still a growth stock! That was titled “Pointing Up,” from a bit over a year ago, April 3, 2006.    

The Business Press Maven has a couple of concerns here. These articles appear written from the same template, without enough new information to merit such repetition, especially this latest one.  

Stop the presses! A company stated publicly that it was still relevant! It is overkill, boosterism. Microsoft has a public relations department that takes care of that; it does not need outside help.  

ii. Barron’s Battle Goes Another Round

The contretemps between The Business Press Maven and Barron’s turned a bit ugly in recent days, even degenerating into a Barron’s reporter putting a hex on Alex Rodriguez as I headed toward what I hoped to be his 500th home run. The hex, I’m sorry to report, worked.  

For those who may insist that we randomly pick on Eric Savitz, we recommend reading the following posts where we specifically mentioned Eric Savitz [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] (and Barron’s too). We did not mention most of his writings, which are quite consistently pro-Microsoft, but we just never tackled this issue separately until he decided to attack GNU/Linux using spin and lies.

Two readers have just independently written to us to warn that Eric Savitz is at it again. Calling it “yet more Google FUD,” one reader writes: “you should collect these into an article for BN.” Only 25 minutes apart, another reader contacts us to say “I wonder how much Microsoft paid this guy,” who concludes with a folksy statement: “The boys in Redmond are holding the better hand.”

“Two readers have just independently written to us to warn that Eric Savitz is at it again.”“Among his more outrageous claims,” claims the latter reader: “Windows 7 is well-reviewed. Ha! Virtually everything else he says shows massive bias. Barron’s could do better.”

Beneath the PR it is clearly visible that Vista 7 is the real Mojave. It is a marketing bubble boosted by bribed bloggers and Windows enthusiasts who can’t help waiting for Vista 7 to reach store shelves. Critics of Vista 7 come under attacks. As for Microsoft’s simultaneous attacks on Google and GNU/Linux, we anticipated and wrote about this just a few hours ago. We gave more examples yesterday.

When Microsoft constantly attacks something using its pseudo-journalists/analysts, then we know that Google is on the right track. Fear rationalises aggression.

“Every time you use Google, you’re using a machine running the Linux kernel.”

Chris DiBona, Google

PS – It seems like a good opportunity to make an Ogg out of the following video, which we mentioned here after Moody’s had given Microsoft (MSFT) debt a high rating. Welcome to FraudStreet.

It’s Official: Patents Stifle Innovation

Posted in Deception, Patents at 9:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“IP is often compared to physical property rights but knowledge is fundamentally different.”

Professor Joseph Stiglitz

Summary: Scientific study supports what everyone already knows — that intellectual monopolies reduce pace of progress

From Glyn Moody comes the following valuable pointer:

i. Patents Don’t Promote Innovation: Study

It’s extraordinary how the myth that patents somehow promote innovation is still propagated and widely accepted; and yet there is practically *no* empirical evidence that it’s true. All the studies that have looked at this area rigorously come to quite a different conclusion.

Moody adds the following:

ii. G8 on Intellectual Monopolies: Not so Great

Alongside the main show of the G8 circus, there are a number of supporting acts that run in parallel with it. One of these is the “G8 Intellectual Property Experts Group” (IPEG).

[...]

As you might expect, IPEG gets terribly excited by the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), but there’s something else it is also in favour of, that is new to me…

[...]

This kind of confusion is typical of a document that has a distinct air of desperation about it. It suggests that the fans of intellectual monopolies are beginning to flail around for a handhold – any handhold – in an attempt to defy the pull of history, and to lock down knowledge through the use of overlong copyright and overbroad patents while they can. It is a further sign of increasing irrelevance of the G8 meeting as power begins to shift to the developing world, which has quite different ideas and priorities when it comes to enforcing Western monopolies on their internal markets.

And in other news, Mike Masnick uses the following story to show how patents can damage the environment by impeding competition.

iii. Toyota Builds Thicket of Patents Around Hybrid To Block Competitors

The Japanese company is betting the rules will give an advantage to its expanding lineup of hybrid vehicles, and it also aims to boost revenue by licensing to other car makers the patents that protect its fuel-saving technologies.

This all sounds wonderful for Toyota, but what about society as a whole? There have been other notable examples recently of patents that harm global climate and then there’s Bill Gates’ latest anti-philanthropy and promotion of US drug patents. How are hostage situations beneficial?

“The current “patent thicket,” in which anyone who writes a successful software programme is sued for alleged patent infringement, highlights the current IP system’s failure to encourage innovation” —Pr Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Laureate in Economics), IP-Watch

Why the United Patent Litigation System Could Bring Software Patents to Europe

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 8:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Golf hole and flag pole

Summary: Criticism of the United Patent Litigation System is published to serve as a cautionary note

FROM the activists at SSP we’ve just learned that pro-intellectual monopolies journals are interested in their views on the subject. So there is now a comprehensive explanation of this situation.

A journalist of WorldIPReview recently asked FFII what were its views of the proposed United Patent Litigation System (UPLS), which is now being questioned by the Council in a submission to the ECJ. FFII had already published a press release mentioning the new push for software patents in Europe via a centralised and trusted court.

“EPO judges belong to the system,” we have learned. It truly shows. These people rejected an amicus brief from the former president and the FFII, which also has these slides to show. The original article by Uwe Scharen (in German) is here [PDF].

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