Links 12/07/2009: GNU/Linux Shames Vista 7 and XP in Benchmark

Posted in News Roundup at 7:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Microsoft’s monopoly crumbling

    Microsft’s monopoly is being threatened from all sides. This is a good thing for consumers. Microsoft will not be able to charge ridiculous amount of money for their software anymore. They will have to change and adopt if they would still like to be an important player in the future. The old ways of gauging customers for huge amounts of cash is over. Today there are plenty of alternatives and customers are switching to them. Microsoft is slowly crumbling and becoming less and less relevant. Now with Google Chrome OS taking its aim directly at Microsoft, it is inevitable for this large monopoly to finally fall apart.

  • New site for Linux users launches

    With the popularity of netbooks and the Android OS, Linux is becoming more mainstream than ever before. If you are dipping your toe into the Linux waters for the first time, or are an experienced developer on the platform, then the new Linux User & Developer website is for you.

  • Debunking Common Misconceptions Among Linux Newbies

    Linux is for gamers too. Too many people believe the popular myth that there are no or very few computer games available for Linux. Actually, there are many games available, in a large variety of genres and styles. There are First-Person-Shooters (FPS), Role-Playing Games (RPG), arcade games, puzzle games, strategy games, flight simulators, and other games. Just run online searches for a list of “top linux games”, or ask the nearest Linux fanatic what his favorites are.

    Often these Linux games do not always have quite as high a resolution or quite as many features as their proprietary, commercial counterparts, but any gamer can have a satisfying experience if he is willing to patiently experiment with the various Linux games that are available.

    Furthermore, due to special “emulator” technically written for Linux, it is sometimes possible to play Windows games on a Linux computer.

  • [Ubuntu Beats Windows 7 and Windows XP by a huge margin]

    Abundant performance delivered by today’s quad-core processors has shifted the performance bottleneck from the CPU and memory to the disk I/O subsystem in most of day-to-day usage scenarios. In order to optimize system’s responsiveness, performance-hungry computer enthusiasts carefully selecting top-notch, 10K RPM mechanical drives and stunningly fast SSD disks. But, what about the operating system – which one of modern operating systems is capable of utilizing fast hard drives and multi-core CPUs most effectively?

  • Events

    • Florida Linux Show 2009 Orlando Teams Up

      The Florida Linux Show and Florida Linux Alliance Group team up to present the the Florida Linux Show 2009 Orlando. The Florida Linux Alliance Group or FLAG is a new non-profit 501(c)3 corporation whose mission is to advocate Linux and Open Source Software and Linux education in the State of Florida.

    • Linux.conf.au Call for Papers and Miniconfs

      Although the next Linux.conf.au isn’t until January, 2010, it’s never too early to start planning. Conference organizers have put out a call for papers and miniconfs so if you’ve got an idea you want to share, now’s the time to put together your proposals.

  • Desktop

    • Seven complaints about Linux and why Windows users make them

      Microsoft has a long history of making contracts with hardware developers that say that they cannot write drivers for non-Windows operating systems or even disclose the methodologies of the hardware to non-Microsoft developers in exchange for promotion deals. This effectively prevents drivers for Linux from being made.

    • Are proprietary programs specifically reducing function for Linux?

      By cross platform programs I mean programs which are meant to be run on both windows and Linux operating systems. Programs like openoffice, firefox, thunderbird, java, flash, vmware, hardware drivers and many others. These programs are supposed to be able to run on more than one operating system and work in the same manner.

    • Click2try Adds Linux C/C++ Developer Workstation

      Click2try enables developers to test, evaluate and host existing and new Open Source software products on pre-configured virtual appliances. Apart from offering on-demand and virtualized developer tools, the website also allows developers to try applications for free and then use them continuously if required with subscriptions.

    • The fun of legacy hardware

      The source of the problem is an ITE IT8330G PCI-ISA bridge with IDE controller that is only supported by the ide-generic driver. This is rather obsolete and isn’t loaded in most kernel images including bootable CDs. The latest Ubuntu CD that would boot is the 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) alternate CD.

  • Server

    • Open Source and the Cloud: Where’s the LAMP?

      LAMP, with its flexibility, simplicity and perhaps most importantly – lack of upfront licensing costs – fueled an explosion in the hosting services market once upon a time. It’s entirely possible that a similarly open source cloud stack could do the same, particularly since far more software is delivered via the network than when the hosting industry first expanded.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log: progress with free graphics drivers, three new stable kernels

      A new version of the nv driver supports later NVIDIA GPUs. Drivers giving 3D support for later Radeon GPUs are making progress, and so is code for running the X server without root rights. The kernel developers have now issued new stable kernel versions and no longer support the 2.6.29 series.

      Not much has been heard in recent months about the open-source graphics driver for NVIDIA GPUs, properly known as “xf86-video-nv” but usually shortened to just “nv”. Recently, however, NVIDIA man Aaron Plattner released version 2.1.14. Although innovations are few, some of the changes mean that the driver now handles a great many later graphic chips that were previously only supported by the Nouveau driver or the proprietary NVIDIA driver. These include various GeForce 7950 cards, the GeForce models 285 and 295, and many other graphics cards in the 9000 series.

    • Linux 2.6.31-rc2

      It’s out there. Larger than I’d like, but the bulk of the changes are due to some late arch updates (MIPS, and powerpc documentation).

    • NVIDIA Issues An Open-Source Driver Update

      NVIDIA’s Aaron Plattner has just announced the release of the xf86-video-nv 2.1.14 driver, but does it have anything in store? Not really. The NVIDIA open-source X.Org driver update brings support for a couple of new ASICs, fixed mode-setting for some NVIDIA GPUs, and other fixes, but nothing too exciting… At least compared to the ATI X.Org module and other drivers that have picked up kernel mode-setting support and other exciting features.

  • Applications

    • Group test: screencasting apps

      Screencasts – digital movies with the desktop as a backdrop, the mouse as the protagonist and a voiceover – have become an integral part of electronic learning and form the basis of the computer-based training industry. As bandwidth becomes affordable and video-sharing websites start popping up, there’s a huge influx of free and open source tools.

    • 101 Open Source Apps for Enterprises

      Until recently, few enterprises were using open source software for back office applications, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). But last month, an IDC survey of Western European companies found that nearly ten percent were using open source enterprise software. That’s surprisingly high for a market where the industry leaders themselves have only a ten percent share. IDC also reported that the leading open source enterprise applications are growing – by 20 percent or more per year.

    • 9 of the Best Free Linux System Monitoring Tools
    • Review: Exaile in Ubuntu 9.04 – Complete Audio Player for GNOME

      Exaile is a powerful and complete audio player for the GNOME desktop environment, which can easily compete with more popular players like Banshee or Rhythmbox.

    • Organise your music with Picard

      Organising your digital music collection can be a Herculean effort. Yet when you have several gigabytes of tracks to sift through, your only chance of finding what you want to hear is if your music files are properly tagged.

      Don’t panic if your machine can’t tell Barry White apart from the White Stripes, though: the creators of Picard feel your pain. That’s why, by the time Picard is finished with your music collection, each file will know the album it belongs to, the artist who performed it, its track number within the album and a host of other details.

    • Fluendo Releases Its Own Linux DVD Player

      Sadly, there is no Blu-ray Player for Linux, yet. Last year CyberLink released its own DVD player for Linux.

  • Gaming

    • An Interview With A Linux Game Porter

      I’m hoping the story with Caster will help quite a bit, even if it’s only Indie studios I’m working with for a while yet. There IS a market there and it’s underserved. Each win like World of Goo and Caster helps sell the story to other studios and to the mainline publishers. And it’s a story that it doesn’t have to be the way you see it and there’s a seriously underserved market that’s more than willing to pay you money for your product. If they see there’s a market and it may well pay them the extra expenses, you’ll see more stuff happening.

    • Unigine Game Engine Continues To Advance

      As we have shared earlier, the company behind Unigine is working on a new game that will run on Linux, which is not too surprising when considering the fact that the company is very Linux friendly.

    • Wine 1.1.25 Released

      The Wine development release 1.1.25 is now available.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Maemo To Switch To Qt

      As some had already anticipated when Nokia acquired Trolltech, the next version of the Maemo platform will have its application framework based on Qt instead of Gtk+. This news was announced at the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit. While the switch to Qt may seem a major defeat for the GNOME community, this isn’t exactly true, as many of the underlying technologies will still be GNOME-centric.

    • The Open-PC Project Announced at GCDS 09

      During the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit Frank Karlitschek announced the open-pc initiative. The aim of this ambitious project is to cooperatively design a Free Software based computer by and for the community. Read on for more information about this initiative from the team.

      The project was initiated in response to the lack of quality in the Free Software-based hardware solutions currently on the market. As many reviewers and end-users have stated, the pre-installed software used by hardware vendors generated a bad image for Free Software with potentially interested end-users. Much of the software was buggy and not widely tested and device drivers were often unstable, non-free or not available at all.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Peek Presents Challenge: Linux on Peek

      In one of the blog responses, “Matt” writes, “The possibilities are indeed intriguing from a Linux point-of-view: This would be the cheapest Linux device I know about, and it has a screen, keyboard, and GSM.”

    • Phones

      • Is Dell Building an Android PDA?

        Dell is reportedly developing a pocket Internet device that runs on the Android operating system but has no phone capabilities. Such a device could score in cost and convenience categories, but questions remain about what kind of connectivity options it would provide. Is the PDA dead and gone, or will Dell and Android be able to breath new life into it?

      • Report: Open Source Smartphone Shipments to Double By 2014

        Despite the lagging economy, smartphones remain a hot market, and open source phones are in the spotlight. According to research from Juniper Research telecom consultants, the number of smartphones shipped with open source operating systems will increase from 106 million this year to 223 million by 2014. Juniper’s study found that open source operating systems and applications “are playing an increasingly important role in the differentiation of new smartphones and are a key factor in the choice of which handset to choose from by users.” Juniper’s findings are being echoed by other researchers.

      • T-Mobile myTouch 3G Coming to myBackyard on July 8

        The official T-Mobile myTouch 3G site offers a countdown clock for T-Mo customer pre-orders, which just happens to correspond with the day of the media event. Om received the handset earlier and says the phone is worth the wait. Luckily, you don’t have to wait much longer to see more of it, although even pre-orders won’t be arriving until August 3.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Microsoft hands the victory to Chrome OS

        Today marks the knee of the great curve of Microsoft’s decline, it is downhill fast from here. The inflection point went almost unnoticed in 2003, but this time it is obvious to even the most myopic observer. The garbage scow named SS MS was just holed, and it’s listing badly.

      • What? Can’t take a bit of competition?

        So now the IT media world just went wild over Google’s Chrome OS announcement. Comments are coming in from all over, some overly optimistic, some dismissive. All of these are speculative at best, and none of them carry a lot of weight as Google hasn’t even done a code drop yet, much less a release.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Vanilla Is a Tasty Discussion Forum CMS

    Licensed under the GPLv2, Vanilla works on all the major Web browsers and runs on virtually any Web server with more recent versions of PHP and MySQL.

  • Licensing 101 for Open Source Projects: Choosing an Open Source License

    The most important thing for your open source project’s success is obviously good and useful code. Licensing, however, can make or break your project as well.

  • SourceForge Gears Up For Community Choice Awards

    Categories run the gamut from technical (Best Tool or Utility for SysAdmins) and entertaining (Best Project for Gamers) to “life-changing” (Most Likely to Change the Way You Do Everything). Nominated projects are equally wide-ranging and while there are a number of familiar names like KeePass Password Safe and Audacity, quite a few lesser known projects are being given the opportunity to shine. Avogadro, a cross platform, 3-dimensional molecular editor, is up for Best Project for Academia and microblogging client Choqok has been nominated for Best New Project.


  • French Senate Adopts Revamped “3 Strikes” Anti-Piracy Bill

    France’s highest constitutional authority ruled in June that Internet access is a fundamental human right, killing the three-strikes provision in the so-called Hadopi anti-piracy legislation. Today the infamous anti-piracy bill is back and in its revamped form has just been adopted by the Senate. “3 Strikes” is back on the table. Again.

  • Internet radio sites, music industry reach agreement over royalties

    Reporting from Washington — The music won’t stop for Internet radio after a group of webcasters struck an agreement with SoundExchange, the organization that collects royalties for musicians and record companies, over payments for playing music online.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Alexandro Colorado, international open source evangelist 16 (2004)

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

Mono Roundup: Microsoft Following, Deception, and the Moonlight ‘Extend’ Phase

Posted in Debian, Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 1:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It gets dark under the Moonlight

Summary: A further look at Mono, those supporting it, and where it is all likely to be heading

TO those looking for our response to the Mono CP from Microsoft, here is the short explanation and a longer analysis. Some people still inquire about this in the IRC channel.

It is saddening — albeit hardly surprising — that Microsoft is among the big advocates of Mono right now. The pro-Microsoft spinners hold the very same position; Microsoft’s ally and Mary Jo Foley’s friend Gavin Clarke promotes Mono and the Microsoft blog at the Seattle P-I claims in light of this CP that:

The move was another indication that Microsoft increasingly is embracing open-source technology.

Saying you will not sue something based on some conditions that must be fulfilled is hardly en embrace, it is a patronising insult. As Rene Levesque-Caline puts it (in reference to Sam Ramji and other Microsoft decoys [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]):

Does Carmona not realize that tHese are recyclable guys that Redmond sends out to smile and take guff and make us believe that things have changed?
ANYTHING they say is for PR benefits but in no way woyld they have authority to do what you want.
They are low level managers with no power that are sent for PR (Carmona believes that they arent).
Their job is to distract your attention from what Ballmer, Hector Gutierrez and others with REAL power in Microsoft say about free software and Linux.
Have you EVER listened to some low level serf when you want to know which way the company is going or do you listen to Jobs?
Same goes for every big company I can think off.
But because these guys smile and act nice, were supposed to forget that Linux they claim stole from them over 200 times.”Yeah guys, I dont believe what my bald boss claims. Im one of you. Pinky swear.”
Were supposed to forget that Ballmer said that Red Hat users (U-S-E-R-S) owe them money (he also reminds us that VP de ICaza’s company, Novell, has paid the extortion fee and are the ‘legal’ Linux) because Linux stole from them.
Anything the Rajmi’s of this world say has absolutely no meaning because their boss says this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=CA&hl=en&v=5B0GTYf PoMo
I am a Red Hat user and Microsoft says that I owe them money because Linux stole their IP.
Has this changed?
Then Rajmi is meaningless as he ever was.
Comes vs Microsoft shows us well how Microsoft acts towards Linux and NOTHING weve heard from the heads of the company has shown this is to be different.
(I dare anyone to show me one quote from a MS head which says differently. I can wait…..)
Are there people in Microsoft who use/develop FLOSS on their own?
Sure, the odds are pretty good. But in a company of that size Im sure you can find also bedwetters, pedophile, addicts and insomniacs like in any large cross section of society. Heck, Im sure you’ll find a few Windows users working at Apple. This shouldnt be considered exceptional.
None of this matters because those ‘brave groups of Redmond FLOSS lovers’ arent the ones who run the company.
And if Rajmi does make a statement now, how much do you think that will mean when Ballmer comes out with his next statement on Linux?
You think you could win in court by claiming that some meaningless peon made certain claims while no one in charge at MS says a word?
I know that we have clients sometimes claim that such and such employee promised things that they had no power or authority doing which is why we always start every partnership by specifying which empployees here speak for the company. Anyone outside these select few does not represent or have the authority to make such claims.
A Rajmi promise would be equally meaningless except it could make for great PR for Microsoft.
At least his predecessor, Bill Hilf, had a little juice then and lots more now and the only thing I remember him during his lovefest was “”The Free Software movement is dead. Linux doesn’t exist in 2007. ”

Other people whom we consider to be Microsoft sympathisers hold a similar position to that of pro-Microsoft reporters, but they cannot ignore the caveats.

Neither parts of .NET not implemented in Mono, such as ADO.NET, ASP.NET and Windows.Forms, nor libraries developed by Mono specifically for GNU/Linux, have ever been affected by these or any other patents, according to Mono’s Licensing FAQ. However, the affected parts have been more than enough for sections of the free software community to reject Mono, or at least to treat it cautiously.

The same issue gets raised by longtime critics of Mono.

“In the next few months we will be working towards splitting the jumbo Mono source code that includes ECMA + A lot more into two separate source code distributions. One will be ECMA, the other will contain our implementation of ASP.NET, ADO.NET, Winforms and others.”

Watch this reaction from Novell’s PR team and pay attention to the fact that a Novell employee embarks on a joint .NET/Mono event (one among other such new events... like MonoSpace). Novell/Mono people are also in Gran Canaria and one reader at LinuxToday complained about “Mono Infiltration” (that’s the subject line of the message).

I run Kubuntu KDE 4.3 RC1 and I just wanted to install sysinfo to check my system specific hardware. When I tried installing it, I was surprised to see the Mono junk. I just couldn’t stand it and I immediately killed it.

Is it in Canonical’s KDE now?

Polls and reactions consistently suggest that the majority of GNU/Linux users doesn’t want Mono. People do not migrate to GNU/Linux (or escape Microsoft lock-in) just to find themselves immersed in a Microsoft movement that evolves and inflates itself from inside distributions like an illness inside GNU/Linux. And when Doctor Stallman warns about this illness [1, 2], then this doctor just gets vilified not for his expert opinion but for his personal life.

A prominent voice in Debian is meanwhile saying that Debian does not come with Mono because GNOME can be separated from Debian.

So, yes, I have overseen two issues when writing my previous blog. But I still think, that it’s wrong to say “Debian will install mono by default”. If you want to say anything at all, say “Debian might install mono with its GNOME install media, but that can still change”.

Some people are justifiably concerned:

Before You Congratulate Mono


My long held theory is that mono was never to be considered a legal threat, it is a tool to be used in a strategy of erosion … insert a compelling technology, then provide a migration path by adding on proprietary extensions. It erodes Linux and it erodes OSS… and advocacy for it, even in purely legal/ethical ways, using just the free bits, and so forth, help enhance that position and acceptability.

Dana Blankenhorn talks about the negative effect Mono has had on integrity of the Free software movement. According to Blankenhorn, Microsoft is imposing a sort of "mixed source" model on GNU/Linux. Novell, which describes itself as a “mixed source” company [1, 2, 3, 4], would probably like that. It holds the upper hand because it has special ‘protections’ from Microsoft. This includes Moonlight.

So is this just a PR stunt, or is it going to last? I suppose time will tell. If you’re looking for an answer to that question, the existing dependancy Banshee/F-Spot have on System.Data (which is not covered by the ECMA spec) is an interesting place to watch.

This debate is far from over and someone has just created a Web site called “Mono Nono”. But Moonlight is an even more complicated beast that Microsoft — through Novell — spreads in order for it to be slid into GNU/Linux distributions.

Further to this previous discussion about Mono/Moonlight in immutable systems, one person looking for an explanation for “the mischievous wording in their [Moonlight] license” learned that Debian replaces Microsoft codecs with ffmpeg. Further, it was added that:

1. Debian is not an immutable system (do they ship Moonlight on a LiveCD?)
2. Distributing ffmpeg is a patent risk (MP3 and others)

If we hypothetically assume, for one moment, that the core of Moonlight is not, itself, patent encumbered, but that reliance on these codecs pulls-in patent risks, then that would leave a choice of one of the following, equally unacceptable scenarios:

1. The vendor ships Moonlight prebuilt against ffmpeg, which is a patent risk, since ffmpeg has not licensed any of the patent encumbered codecs it uses (most notably MP3). End users won’t really care about this though … until the vendor goes to court. Fedora bans such software for this very reason: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/ForbiddenItems

2. The vendor ships Moonlight prebuilt against a sanitised version of ffmpeg (essentially nothing left except vorbis and theora), thus leaving the end users with software that, in practical terms, is nearly useless

3. The vendor complies with patent law (no ffmpeg), but can/will not distribute proprietary software (Microsoft codecs), and therefore chooses to ship Moonlight “naked”. End users must then either accept Microsoft’s proprietary and patent encumbered “codec pack” as a “pushed” download, or somehow figure out how to rebuild Moonlight against ffmpeg themselves, by downloading the source from patent safe-harbours (I tried and failed to rebuild Moonlight, as seen in the link I provided). Note that unlike modular media players, such as Xine, ffmpeg does not utilise loadable plugins, therefore users must either obtain binaries that already support the required codecs, or rebuild it themselves. Rebuilding ffmpeg is not particularly difficult (for someone like me), but rebuilding Moonlight has proved to be rather less easy. Most users (noobs in particular) will just give up at the first hurdle, and default to accepting Microsoft’s proprietary blobs

4. The vendor ships Moonlight with Microsoft’s codec pack under license (e.g. Novell), and thus both the vendor and users are protected by both copyright and patent law (explicit grant). However, the vendor is now distributing proprietary software, and so end users have lost their Freedom as a de facto condition. They also have the technical disadvantages of Microsoft’s blobs (bugs, privacy, security, etc.)

Now consider that Moonlight is in fact patent encumbered, and that Microsoft only provided indemnity for direct “downstream recipients” from Novell to use this software.

Conclusion: The only practical and legal way to obtain and use this software, is to be a Novell customer running SUSE, and use their distribution of Moonlight in conjunction with Microsoft’s proprietary codec pack.

This hurts GNU/Linux, Open Standards, Free Software, developers, and users, whilst greatly benefiting Microsoft’s agenda of software and standards dominance.

Can you see why this might be a problem?


The LGPLv2.1 does not prohibit distribution under immutable systems.

The license for Moonlight does prohibit LGPL distribution under immutable systems.

Therefore Moonlight is not licensed under LGPLv2.1.

At best, it could be described as “LGPLv2.1 with modifications”, but given that the LGPL explicitly prohibits “further restrictions”, and Moonlight’s license stipulates such a “further restriction” (the “immutable” clause), then I don’t really see how it can be truthfully described as LGPL software at all. Novell would be more honest if they described it as a “Microsoft EULA”, since that’s only one small step away from what it really is.

What role (if any) does Moonlight play in Microsoft’s infamous “extend” phase? Thoughts welcome.

Richard Stallman and the GPLv3

How Microsoft Gags Dissenters and Bribes or Rewards Supporters

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 9:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’ve been thinking long and hard about this, and the only conclusion I can come to is that this is ethically indistinguishable from bribery. Even if no quid-pro-quo is formally required, the gift creates a social obligation of reciprocity. This is best explained in Cialdini’s book Influence (a summary is here). The blogger will feel some obligation to return the favor to Microsoft.”

Former Microsoft manager

Summary: Another in-depth look at how Microsoft can guard the public image of Windows (or how to police the Web)

WE HAVE BEGUN assembling this experimental list about Vista 7 truths. We are not alone in suggesting that Vista 7 is a lot of marketing built on top of Windows Vista. Our reader Goblin has a batch of new posts on this subject, the first of which calls Vista 7 a “deja vu” because the hype surrounding it resembles the hype around Vista back in 2006.

The purpose of this article is to highlight a few points, firstly, the PR that Vista received pre-release from the MS faithful was, IMO very much the same as we see today for 7. Regardless of what people try to claim, I think its a given that Vista did not receive the reception that Microsoft would have liked.

In order to build up the hype, Microsoft’s leadership must punish Vista 7 dissenters [1, 2] (of which there are fewer before the official release, so they are relatively controllable) while rewarding or bribing influential voices whose opinions will ‘cascade’ onto readers/viewers and form a positive preconception/expectation until products are actually made available. At the same time, those who are used to attack dissenters can be awarded for it (or bribed, to put it more bluntly).

This is a very simple and common PR doctrine. It is sometimes called “perception management” [1, 2], which Microsoft cements with some legal terms and conditions. For example, at the beginning of this month we wrote about the London Stock Exchange (LSE) dumping its Windows platform and one person rightly argues (in the comments):

It’s quite likely that all of those related to the project who would actually know the exact nature of the failure. When posting via private e-mail, they can leak the information, but if they posted the information officially, their employers would be in violation of nodisclosures with LSE and LSE’s NDAs with Microsoft.

Funny how that works. The Consispiracy of Silence – all crafted by Microsoft’s lawyers.

Going back to Goblin, here is what he writes about Microsoft’s habit of bribing bloggers using Windows laptops.

Here, the concept of Microsoft giving away free laptops is covered: http://www.istartedsomething.com/20061227/microsoft-free-ferrari/ and the author comments:

“But if you write about Microsoft, they might even give you one for free. Is it ethical? Probably not. Is it worth something to hard-working sweat and tears bloggers? Hell yeah.”

Having said that, there are others who appear to have the same opinion as me, David Flynn said at the time:

“Any blogger with pretensions of being considered an independent voice and a ‘professional’ in their field or even their attitude, not to mention a sense of ethics, should be returning this ‘gift’ laptop to Microsoft.”

As he correctly points out, the FTC intends to combat this practice which Microsoft relies on. We wrote about this earlier [1, 2].

The FTC is allegedly planning to crackdown on bloggers/posters who recieve gifts/freebies for promoting products. Its a practice we have highlighted here before and one in my opinion that completely destroys the faith in “honest held belief” in the writings of many bloggers.

Ever read something praising a proprietary product where it has no resembelance to your experience? Its these type of posts which, because of the actions of certain proprietary firms means that when talking about proprietary software/products there is always a question of doubt in an honest held belief. (IMO)

The practice though is commonplace here (that being word of mouth marketing) one such company who can create a marketing buzz for you (as mentioned in the CNET article) http://izea.com/ and its worth keeping in mind when you see a person praising a product. What are their motives for doing so?

Will the FTC severely fine and shut down such companies whose only role is to deceive the public?

Gartner Group Pretends Only Microsoft Competes with VMware, Novell Helps Microsoft Too

Posted in FUD, Microsoft, Novell, Servers, Virtualisation, Windows, Xen at 8:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft dirty tactics

Summary: Novell sidles with Microsoft’s end of the spectrum and Gartner promotes Hyper-V by comparing VMware to Novell

MICROSOFT HAS ALREADY used up most of its ‘puppets’ in order to attack VMware and advance Hyper-V. It used the Burton Group, which needed to be asked for an apology in some other circumstances. It also used the Yankee Group, which was soon forced to pull what seemed like a result of the usual fraudulent study methodologies [1, 2]. Then there was IDC versus VMware. The only pro-Microsoft analyst which has been conspicuously absent from this slog was the Gartner Group [1, 2]… until now. It is now Gartner’s turn to take shots at VMware. Gartner’s David Cappuccio published this article in the Indian press and his own turf. Characteristically enough, he too is totally ignoring anyone but Microsoft, pretending it is just Microsoft’s game. It is a familiar pattern of promotion through deception.

Matt Asay falls into this trap and spreads the word further in a blog about “open source”.

Could VMware be the next Novell? That’s the question Gartner managing vice president and chief of research for Infrastructure David Cappuccio asks in a provocative post, one that bears further discussion. While VMware is at the top of its game, there are several historical analogs between VMware and Novell.

A Citrix veteran pushed out there not one but two articles that give magnitude to this Microsoft promotion from Gartner:

First: “Gartner Wonders; Will VMware become the next Novell?”

Back in the early 1990’s Novel owned the local area network market – they were as dominant as VMware is today with well over 90% of the market and had an incredibly loyal following (I can attest to this having attended multiple Brainshare events with 10,000+ attendees – and I have the t-shirts to prove it).

Second: “Is VMware More Like Novell or Oracle?”

Unlike Noorda’s Novell, VMware’s CEO, COO and Executive VP all come from high-level positions at Microsoft. They understand the Microsoft culture, strengths and threat. VMware is a company with a laser beam focus on virtualization that is undistracted by a personal vendetta.

They are giving Microsoft credit (only Microsoft), not to KVM, for example, despite the fact that it runs/will run on many Red Hat (and generally GNU/Linux) servers out there.

And then there is Citrix, which is all about Windows and Microsoft. Yes, it truly shows. From The Register:

It will launch a freebie version of its Citrix Essentials virtualisation tool set that works in conjunction with Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor for Windows Server 2008.

This whole article shows the bias at Citrix (just Hyper-V/Xen and Microsoft/Novell). Linux is hardly a consideration after Citrix hijacked Xen. The Linux Foundation appears to have noticed that too. In another article from the The Register, it is shown that Novell chooses to help Microsoft and its semi-subsidiary Citrix. Novell will not help KVM, which competes directly with Microsoft, the Microsoft-influenced Citrix, and the Microsoft-dominated VMware (after Tucci’s aggressive transitioning).

SUSE Linux 11 has a technology preview of Red Hat’s alternative KVM hypervisor, but Novell is still pretty cool to it, having made big investments in Xen. “We don’t see an ecosystem developing around KVM yet,” says Steinman dismissively. But when Red Hat gets its freestanding version of KVM, called Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, or RHEV for short, out of beta and into production later this year, Novell will have to make up its mind what to do. Red Hat already has, and Xen is not its future.

Novell finds itself stuck with Microsoft. It is obliged to keep Microsoft happy in order to receive those cash infusions, without which it probably could not survive.

IDG’s Microsoft Subnet Spreads Linux FUD, Cites Microsoft Pundits

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scary book

Summary: Rob Enderle’s lies echoed/propagated by IDG

MICROSOFT’S vandalism of Java is well documented and it continues to this date according to the following article, whose author was ‘kind’ enough to include Microsoft FUD from Rob Enderle [1, 2, 3].

With nearly no explanation, Microsoft sent out an alert notifying customers that it was removing download information for 10 security patches “because Microsoft Java Virtual Machine is no longer available for distribution from Microsoft.” The revised bulletins are rated as critical and affect patches from the years 1999 through 2003.

The affected patches are: MS03-011, MS02-069, MS02-052, MS02-013, MS00-081, MS00-075, MS00-059, MS00-011, MS99-045, MS99-031.


It is sheer speculation as to why, on July 1 2009, Microsoft has suddenly discovered, and removed, software that contained the MSJVM. Can this have anything to do with the pending sale of Sun to Oracle? In April, the latest scuffle between the proprietary and open source worlds was more remarks about the so-called ownership of Linux, made by none other than industry pundit Rob Enderle. He seemed to think that much of the code in Linux belongs to Sun, and therefore will soon be owned by Oracle, who will turn around and use its so-called power to control Linux.

Commenters quickly pounce at this unnecessary inclusion of FUD — a series which Groklaw debunked some months ago.

The comments on the article above add:

Enderle also believes that


Enderle also believes that the moon is made of green cheese, and that the SCO Group will be rolling in cash after they beat IBM in court.

Another one:

Enderle said SCO owned Linux back in 2003


Enderle was impressed with the code that SCO was showing to the select few who would sign an NDA. Enderle believed that SCO would own Linux. Enderle and Didio are two people who should not be paid for their ‘contributions’ to the IT world.

And yet another (among more):

Who is this “Microsoft Subnet” person? Are they really that desperate to churn page hits to link to a quack like Enderle? That guy fell off the wagon long ago and suffered a bit of brain damage in the process. It would not surprise me in the least if “Microsoft Subnet” turned out to be Enderle. Is that you Bobby? You put the “L” in lame.

A year ago, “Microsoft Subnet” called for Microsoft bloggers to unite and probably just praise the company in an outlet that makes the news feeds.

There are a lot of poison pens out there. As one reader points out by mail, “Microsoft [spreads] Open Source Licenses FUD.” Here is what Microsoft writes about Open Source licenses over at Microsoft.com [DOC]:

Contrary to popular belief, most open source software does not give users complete freedom to do with it as they please [...]

2. Viral open source licenses inhibit innovation.

3. Government-funded research should not be licensed using the GPL.

As the reader points out, “An endless river of piss flowing out of Redmond. Most probably room full of trained legal monkeys typing this drivel. Delivered fresh daily to the likes of Microsoft Jack.” The reader is referring to this chap [1, 2], a pundit who is hostile towards Microsoft’s competitors and writes favourably about everything Microsoft.

“Analysts sell out – that’s their business model.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Lenovo Wants GNU/Linux Users to Pay Microsoft for Imaginary Patents

Posted in GNU/Linux, Lenovo, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Servers at 7:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Lenovo still discriminates against market leader Red Hat and instead pushes the Microsoft-encumbered SUSE

NOT so long ago we remarked on Lenovo’s relationship with Microsoft. The companies appear in tandem more often than not and we have written about Microsoft staff who entered Lenovo’s top ranks, as well as Lenovo’s preference for SLE* (Microsoft-taxed) over Red Hat [1, 2, 3, 4].

Over at The Register, a new article expresses bafflement over Lenovo’s preferential treatment for the Microsoft-taxed GNU/Linux distribution.

All of the ThinkServers support Windows Server 2008 in the Standard, Enterprise, Small Business Server, and Essential Business Server flavors. Novell is the preferred Linux supplier at Lenovo, and customers can also get SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 on the new ThinkServers.

As for server virtualization hypervisors, VMware’s ESX Server 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 are certified on the machines, as is Hyper-V for Windows 2008 and the Xen hypervisors inside of SLES 10 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.

Given the proximity between Red Hat and Lenovo in North Carolina, you’d think they’d be best buddies. Anyway, if RHEL didn’t make the cut as a preferred Linux operating system, it is at least designated as a hypervisor. Yes, that is silly.

More here:

The servers are “virtualization ready,” meaning they are available with a choice of virtualization technology from Microsoft, Novell, VMWare or Red Hat pre-installed. With the expanded memory and storage capacity, the latest computers can be used to consolidate applications running on several legacy servers into one system.

At IDG, there is also this new reminder of what Novell did with Microsoft. The author later tries to defend it.

For me, this deal looks rather like the agreement between Microsoft and Novell back in 2006. While some open source advocates suggested Novel had sold its soul to the devil, the real story was Microsoft’s recognition that in future proprietary and open source software would exist side by side in most IT shops.

This is mostly the self-serving story told by Novell. To Microsoft, the Novell deal “clearly establishes that open source is not free,” to quote Steve Ballmer shortly after the deal had been signed.

Microsoft Executive Quits as Microsoft’s Startup Business Accelerator Shrinks

Posted in Microsoft at 7:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sunken small boat

Summary: Another notable departure follows large-scale cuts at Microsoft

A DAY AGO we wrote about some more shuffles inside Microsoft’s executive ranks, which quickly erode [1, 2, 3]. Here is the latest executive to leave Microsoft and some background information:

The Startup Business Accelerator, under chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie, was among the groups hit hard by the company’s latest round of cuts. The MSN Direct and .Net Micro Framework teams, other parts of the startup group, were also affected by those cuts.

GNU/Linux might not need to pull off anything exceptional; it need only wait patiently for Microsoft to take itself out of business. GNU/Linux is rapidly destroying Microsoft's margins.

“Microsoft can’t charge $80 or $100 when there’s Linux for free on netbooks,” Rosoff said. On regular PC sales, Microsoft’s profit margins are typically about 70 percent to 80 percent, he explained.”

Microsoft Press

Links 12/07/2009: Gran Canaria Coverage, Many New Distros

Posted in News Roundup at 6:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Microsoft offers Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade pre-order for $49.99

    Rick’s Opinion

    Still not worth it. Ubuntu is free and I own Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP Home, and Vista for all my Win32 needs. I can’t imagine a time in the future where I’ll need Windows 7 for any reason aside from a review.

  • “Windows 7 is the same as Ubuntu”

    I asked him last night about his initial impressions of Windows 7 and, in typical teenage fashion, as he was bouncing between Meebo windows and browser tabs, he said it was “nice.” I managed to extract from him that his favorite feature was that he was able to use his Zune with it, something that had never worked terribly well with Ubuntu. Otherwise, he said, “Windows 7 is the same as Ubuntu; there just really isn’t anything different about them.”

  • Three Books Every System Administrator Should Read
  • Desktop

    • Get started with Linux – part 1

      As the years go by, many computers start to slow down. One way to breathe new life into an old computer is to re-install Windows but, unless you have all the required discs, this can be tricky. One easier way to bring an old computer back up to speed is to install a copy of Linux.

    • Why I Use Linux: Lofton’s Story

      By using Open Source softwares and exemplifying them as intellectually honest ways to work and perform my duties I introduce and reinforce the idea that being intellectually honest is easy and can actually save time and money as well as giving the students a new understanding of what intellectual honesty really is.

    • Routing around the desktop

      The nature of the enterprise desktop is changing, and the emphasis now is on instant accessibility, mobility and flexibility – attributes which Linux, on the server, desktop, netbook or mobile device, is well placed to provide

    • Neowin Exclusive: Stallman on the current state of GNU/Linux

      I don’t know how many people have a specific intention to use future versions of Windows or MacOS. I also don’t know many people intend to buy a computer, and will find that it comes with Windows 7 whether they wanted that or not. But if the numbers are large, my feeling towards them will not be one of awe, because I don’t wish for the kind of success that consists of gaining power over lots of people. For the GNU system, the question is rather how many people we can liberate.

      My message for anyone that uses Windows or MacOS is to notice that using them means that Microsoft or Apple controls your computing. They decide what you can do, and what you can’t do. So escape! Join us in the Free World! We have worked 25 years to build it, for freedom’s sake. Now all you have to do is choose freedom.

    • 10 Things for Linux Desktop Evangelists to Ponder

      Continuing the theme from #6, be willing to pay for Linux. Be willing to discuss Linux as a product people buy. Be willing to say “not free” isn’t always a bad thing.

      I know Linux proscribes selling Linux, but there are many success stories where Linux is the cornerstone of a profitable product (think TiVo). A nicely constructed Linux Desktop is worth money, whether FOSS thinks so or not.

    • Linux, FOSS, and the Time-Honored Tradition of Charging More for Less

      There is something fundamentally defective with a business that feels it can’t survive by giving customers a fair deal. Stick with FOSS. What you see is what you get, warts, roses, everything, with no place to hide tricksy dealings or dishonesty.

  • Kernel Space

    • Interview with Ksplice Co-Founder

      Ksplice is an amazing new technology which allows patches to be applied directly into a running kernel, without needing a reboot. Linux Magazine talks with co-founder and Chief Operating Officer and discusses the origins of the project and what it has to offer.

    • Kernel Log – Coming in 2.6.31 – Part 1: New Wi-Fi drivers and other network-related changes

      Linux 2.6.31 will be IEEE 802.15.4 capable and will include a new Wi-Fi driver for Intel chips. Developers have also added support for recent Ralink Wi-Fi components and revamped the Rfkill framework. The Wi-fi stack and drivers are now better able to use newer power saving technologies.

    • A Root-less X Server Nears Reality

      One of the benefits of moving the different graphics hardware drivers over to using kernel mode-setting, an in-kernel GPU memory manager (whether it be GEM or TTM), and other newer X innovations is the possibility of now running the X Server without root privileges. By doing so, this of course improves the security since this very large chunk of code is no longer running with all of these high-privileged rights.

    • Keeping In Touch: A Guide To Linux Audio Comm Channels

      I hope you’ll check out some of the links and sites presented here. Much important activity goes on in the Linux audio world that is not covered by the high-profile journalists, but hopefully the sites mentioned in this article will help keep you up to date. I’ll be back with more Linux audio-related news in this column in about two weeks. Meanwhile you can surf the sites mentioned in this article and let me know what you think should be added to my lists. Above all, breathe, stay vertical, and keep yourself open to communication.

  • Applications

    • Lightweight But Powerful Image Editing Application: mtPaint [Windows & Linux]

      GIMP, despite it’s interface, is the best open-source image editor. But often all you want to do is simply resize a picture or a similar minor task and for that you could use an application such as mtPaint which has a lot of great features such as:

      * Quickly transform image gamma, brightness, contrast, saturation, hue, posterize from a single dialog, and preview the results in real time.

    • 5 Top of the Line Twitter Desktop Clients for Linux

      If you’ve been using Twitter through its website, I recommend that you use a desktop client instead to further enhance your tweeting experience. Since Twitter has become immensely popular, there are tons and tons of available desktop applications that support this great micro-blogging service. So I’m here to assist you on narrowing down the choices, and hope to somehow give you an idea on picking the one that suits you best.

    • Blog From Your Linux Desktop with Drivel

      Blogging has done nothing but gain steam over the last few years. Most bloggers are posting directly to sites like Facebook and MySpace. I consider that type of blogger to be amateur. The serious bloggers are using their own sites powered by outstanding open source solutions like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, or even home-grown solutions. But there are others who regularly blog to Blogger and Moveable Type. For those more serious bloggers the need for tools to make this job easier is at a prime. One such tool is that tool that allows the user to blog straight from the desktop, in both on and offline modes.

    • 6 of the Best Free Linux Documentation Generators
    • VLC 1.0 for Linux Released, Now with New HD Codecs

      Dubbed Goldeneye, VLC 1.0.0 brings some of the highly anticipated features, lots of bug fixes and many improvements. Among the new features we can notice support for some HD streams. Without further introduction, here are the highlights of VLC 1.0.0…

    • Code Project: Use weather for wallpapers

      Not all information on the web is static, connected in a meaningful way, or even as cool as it should be. Which is why one of the post-web 2.0 movements of note is the mashup – the repurposing of data from the web into new and exciting forms. Welcome to the world of data punk.

    • KOffice 2.0

      More than a year after KDE 4.0 unveiled a radically revised desktop, KOffice 2.0 is preparing to release an equally revised office suite, which should be released before this article is published (KOffice 2.0-RC-1 was released in April 2009).

  • Desktop Environments

    • Gran Canaria Desktop Summit: KDE and Gnome Formulate Common Goals

      On the first day of the joint developer conference on Grand Canary, representatives of the desktop projects Gnome and KDE formulated common goals for their future development.

    • Signals from the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit

      I think that nicely summarizes the atmosphere of the event. There certainly is some competition, but in the end it’s motivating and stimulating for both communities and leads to better solutions for all of us.

    • Available Now: GNOME 2.26.3

      The GNOME developers, through Lucas Rocha, have announced early this morning in a press release that the last maintenance release of the popular GNOME 2.26 desktop environment is now available for download. Just like the previous maintenance releases, GNOME 2.26.3 is here mainly to fix many of the remaining bugs, but to also introduce a few interesting features.

    • Gnome-Colors: Elegant, consistent and colourful GNOME desktop themes

      Gnome-Colors is looking like a very promising theme pack for GNOME and one of only a few that provide a PPA repository for regular updates. Whilst it may not be for everyone, I would certainly recommend that popular distributions such as Ubuntu and Fedora seriously consider including it as an option in their official releases as it really does enhance the Linux user experience and brings along a lot of eye candy to an operating system that has for quite some time fallen behind in the aesthetics department. I have to say a big thank you to the developers – and I look forward to seeing what else there is to come!

    • KDE

      • Canonical Party Welcomes Gran Canaria Desktop Summit
      • Day 2 at Gran Canaria Desktop Summit
      • Qt Labs America and Other Akademy Talks & Sessions
      • KDE e.V. Elects New Board of Directors

        KDE e.V.’s Annual General Meeting was held today during the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. The KDE e.V. is the association that provides representation, support and governance to the KDE community. After former board member Klaas Freitag and KDE e.V. president Aaron Seigo stepped down and vice president Adriaan de Groot’s term ended, three open positions had to be filled. Adriaan de Groot was re-elected as vice president of KDE e.V. and two new board members have been elected.

      • KDE 4.3.0 RC2 Codenamed “Canteras” Released

        The KDE Team has released another release candidate for KDE called “Canteras”. It contains only few changes compared to RC1 which suggests that the 4.3 is stabilizing and shaping up well for the 4.3.0 release on 28th of July. KDE 4.3.0 will be followed up by a series of monthly bugfix and translation updates. Testers are asked to report bugs in this release so 4.3.0 becomes a release as smooth as possible.

      • KDE 4.3 RC1 in Kubuntu 9.04 – Overview & Screenshots

        I took some time today to install and take for a spin the latest version of KDE4 today, release 4.3 RC1. I installed the packages from the Kubuntu backports repositories, as explained in this tutorial. All the screenshots were taken at 1280×1024 and desktop effects enabled.

      • Cooperation During the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit

        At the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit much cross-desktop work has been done. The days we have are being used for the Cross Desktop Tracks and during the talks there are KDE and Gnome developers mingling everywhere. Cross desktop sessions included bug triage, metadata sharing, instant messaging and sharing personal data cross-desktop with CouchDB. Read more about the results!

      • Akademy Awards 2009

        The Akademy Awards for 2009 have been announced, celebrating the best of KDE contributors. As always the winners are chosen by the winners from the previous year. Read on for the winners.

      • Gran Canaria Desktop Summit: KDE and Gnome Formulate Common Goals

        On the first day of the joint developer conference on Grand Canary, representatives of the desktop projects Gnome and KDE formulated common goals for their future development.

      • Gran Canaria Desktop Summit: Akonadi for the Integrated Desktop

        The Cross-Desktop Metadata track at this year’s Gran Canaria Summit highlighted developer activity targeting central storage of contact data, email and other personal information.

  • Distributions

    • Tiny Core Linux 2.1

      They say that good things come in small packages and so it is with Tiny Core Linux, a diminutive but powerful distribution. TCL weighs in at an incredibly petite 11MB when you download it. Yes, it really is that tiny. Tiny Core Linux is based on Busybox, the Linux 2.6 kernel, JWM, Fltk and Tiny X.

    • CDLinux 0.9.2 Community Edition Review

      Five weeks ago when I wrote an overview of Debris Linux I received a number of requests to review other mini distributions from DistroWatch Weekly readers. CDLinux is a minimalist distro from China which takes a different approach to small. Rather than cram as many application as possible onto a mini (3″/8cm) CD, the CDLinux Community Edition aims for excellent support of half a dozen languages (Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese and Russian), support for a wide variety of filesystems and excellent hardware support, including CUPS and XSane for printers and scanners, all of which are included in the 204MB iso. They also offer a “standard” edition, just 64MB in size, which includes a basic Xfce desktop and almost no applications at all. CDLinux “standard” does include popular rescue and admin tools, making it an excellent choice for a recovery CD. Finally, the 25MB “mini” edition is console only. I decided to take the most complete version, the Community Edition, and put it through its paces.

    • Live Linux Gaming 0.9.5 (live.linuX-gamers.net)

      Lately I’ve been looking at different distributions but there’s another angle of desktop Linux that bears looking at from time to time too: gaming. Yes, there actually are Linux gamers out there and, despite some shortcomings, it is quite possible to play some games on your Linux system. Usually people would do it by installing games and running them via their preferred desktop distribution. But there’s another way:


      “Games that are bold are only contained on the “big” release.

      * armagetronad
      * astromenace
      * blobby
      * chromium-bsu
      * extremetuxracer
      * foobillard


    • PCLinuxOS Minime 09.1 on my Thinkpad T61

      Now I have a beautiful, very fast, very mature and stable Linux installation to enjoy and do my work. The result is so nice that I am debating on whether I will want to install the KDE 4 packages that are supposed to be arriving to the repository soon. I will have to think about that. In the mean time, PCLinuxOS Minime is working great and looking very nice on my machine, and it most likely can do the same on yours. Why not give it a try?

    • Red Hat

      • Cisco, Red Hat in the Cloud: Friends or Enemies?

        What is the operating system of the cloud? Linux vendor Red Hat would like it to be Linux. But networking giant Cisco, despite working closely with Red Hat in a number of areas, may be going another direction entirely.

        Both Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) and Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) were busy last week with their own respective cloud-related initiatives. Red Hat launched a new cloud certification program while Cisco outlined its go-to-market cloud strategy. Is there an intersection between the two vendors and their cloud initiatives?

    • Ubuntu

      • Linux Mint 7 Gloria – Review

        I do agree in a controlled environment or for users who don’t need the “latest and greatest” Linux Mint is a great distribution, and I think it’s a step above Ubuntu (in both regular user, and enterprise user space).

      • Linux Mint 7 Is Glorious

        Linux Mint 7 “Gloria” was released a little while ago, so before it became too old of news, I thought I’d take a whack at experimenting with it for the sake of netbookers everywhere (and for myself, naturally). As I type this on gedit after about two weeks’ use, let’s just say that the system on my EeePC 1000 HE is, for the most part, rather glorious– pun intended. As a bonus, I also got Google’s Chromium browser to run on it, so keep on reading to find the section on that.

      • Top Cloud Computing Solutions People are Looking For in 2009

        6. Ubuntu Cloud Computing
        Ubuntu provides “Ubuntu Server Edition” for use on a public cloud and for building a own private cloud environment on servers, it offers “Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud”. Ubuntu help organizations to migrate to a cloud environment through Consultancy, Deployment services and Support

      • Koala will be ‘a definitive shift’ for Ubuntu Linux

        You may, by now, have heard of a little distribution called Ubuntu, unless you happen to have been in space for the past five years.

        For now all you need to know is that Ubuntu is a popular offshoot of Debian, and the man behind it, Mark Shuttleworth, is considered to be a veritable Linux titan.

      • Finally — a Wireless Keyboard You Can Love

        I’ve been using the WKB-4100UB with our latest home-built client (perhaps eventually to be a Windows 7 client, or maybe a Ubuntu server, or something else entirely), known as Bissell because it’s an Atom-based Intel D945GCLF2D mini-ITX motherboard built into (really) an old Bissell Carpet Machine Special carpet-cleaner. I mean, the thing would have wound up in a landfill, so why not? I’m pretty sure it won’t pass FCC, but it was a fun diversion to assemble, save for drilling holes to mount the motherboard, power supply, and especially cutting openings for the VGA and power connectors. The keyboard USB dongle is completely inside the case. Installing Ubuntu 9.04 start to finish took less than 30 minutes – I used the UNetbootin tool to copy the Ubuntu ISO image to a thumb drive, booted from that (and, by the way, this a now completely portable bootable Ubuntu environment; no installation necessary), then clicked “install” to write everything to another memory stick installed in the Bissell. I plugged in my Linksys WUSB600N USB .11n adapter, and voila, no kidding, it just worked. I was on the net less than 30 minutes from initial power-on.

      • Kubuntu 9.04

        No writer is completely without bias. I do the best I can to be even-handed and objective when reviewing a distribution. I have to admit though that I’ve been far too biased toward covering Gnome-based distributions and haven’t nearly covered as many KDE-based counterparts. I’ll be trying in the future to have a more balanced selection of reviews that cover both desktops plus some other environments.

      • Eyecandy Themes for Ubuntu – Download via Launchpad PPA Repo and be safe

        Eventhough there is a number of good quality themes available for Ubuntu through various sites like gnome-look or deviantart, it is still a difficult job to find full set themes which include gdm themes(login window theme), wallapaper, metacity themes, icon set etc. But there is an option to download it from PPA launchpad repo itself, which is always the safer bet. Special thanks to the Zgegblog guys for contributing these out of the world themes for Ubuntu users.

    • New Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Nokia turning to Android for new phone?

      Nokia is breaking from Symbian and about to use Android for one of its next smartphones, according to industry sources. A touchscreen, smartphone-class device is claimed by the Guardian to be later in development and likely to be unveiled at Nokia World in September. Its features are unknown beyond the use of the Google platform.

    • Sub-notebooks

Free Software/Open Source

  • Want to volunteer?

    This is the reason why I am creating this article is because they are users of FOSS (as well as being a good cause).

    One of the best things FOSS users have is IMO a sense of “community” , afterall we are alone in a world of proprietary software with massive advertising bugets yet still we are able to form communities and help each other. I am sending my list of skills to this charity as well as finding out their requirements for help for referall to others , I would urge you to do the same. What better way to do something you enjoy whilst helping a charity? – Its win, win.

  • Sun xVM VirtualBox 3.0: Virtual Developer’s Delight

    With little fanfare, Sun Microsystems released version 3.0 of xVM VirtualBox, the Open Source and multi-platform desktop virtualization tool for Unix, Linux, Windows and Mac. The new release represents a culmination of hundreds of bugfixes and significant performance enhancements, including the ability for the product to permit guest OSes to use up to 32 virtual CPUs each. Under previous versions of the product, only one CPU core per guest OS was permitted.

  • Brazilian President Lula da Silva brings attention to Free Software

    In a symbolic show of support for Free Open Source Software and the OpenDocument Format, Brazilian President Lula da Silva recently attended the Linux-related FISL 10 conference in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where he gave an address underscoring the importance of Free Open Source Software to Brazilian national interests. He appears here wearing a hat with the ODF logo (the OpenDocument Format is a legally unencumbered document format upon which any company or community project can easily build.)

  • bashreduce: A Bare-Bones MapReduce

    In late 2004, Google surprised the world of computing with the release of the paper MapReduce: Simplified Data Processing on Large Clusters. That paper ushered in a new model for data processing across clusters of machines that had the benefit of being simple to understand and incredibly flexible. Once you adopt a MapReduce way of thinking, dozens of previously difficult or long-running tasks suddenly start to seem approachable–if you have sufficient hardware.


    In fact, the MapReduce model has proven so useful that the Apache Hadoop project (an Open Source implementation of the infrastructure described in the Google paper) has become very popular in the last few years. Yahoo, which employs numerous Hadoop committers, recently hosted their annual Hadoop Summit which attracted over 500 users and developers.

  • Operating Systems

    • My First FreeBSD Fling

      I like FreeBSD now. I have fell in love with Ports. Compiling from source has its own advantages as you can specify several compile time options and the compiled program is better optimized for your particular system. And it feels so damn geeky! I love it.

    • First open source Symbian software released

      The Symbian Foundation has released its first open source software package, the first step in the organization’s plan to eventually open source the entire Symbian mobile operating system.

    • Off and Running: Symbian Security Package Becomes Open Source

      The Symbian Foundation, established under a Nokia initiative, has released the first part of its Symbian Platform Security package under the free Eclipse Public License (EPL).

  • Freedom

    • Freedom is Not Embarrassing

      This may seem like reading apocalyptic meaning into Free Software, and I think it does have nearly-apocalyptic importance. Openness, accountability, honesty, success based on merit, community—hey, call me a nasty red Commie, but that sure sounds like the fundamentals of democracy. Who in the proprietary world is looking out for us? If it weren’t for Free Software we’d be shorn skinless. Tor, OpenSSL, OpenSSH, PGP, open standards, formats, code, protocols, free intellectual inquiry and sharing, a culture of stubborn resistance– they’re more important than ever. Technology is part of the foundation of modern life, and it’s too important to let the greedy exploiters control it.

    • Freedom is not Free for Countries nor Computer Users

      Today is the day that the United States of America celebrates Independence Day. We declared ourselves free from England’s rule and started a Revolution to create a country based on truly revolutionary ideals. The ideal that all people are created equal in the sight of God and no one is above another in God’s eyes. The ideal that people have unalienable rights given to them from God, not from government. The ideal that people have the right to abolish an out of control, despotic government to replace it with one more amenable to the people. These unprecedented ideals had never been set forth in writing to form any other nation until the beginning of the United States of America. Yes, we did win our freedom but it was not freely given to us. Men pledged “… to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” and went to war to win this freedom.

    • As the TOYA Boy Turns…

      Linux (Gnu/Linux for my brethren who prefer) exists as much as a philosophy as it does a system.

      Microsoft Windows is a product. Redmond cannot even spell philosophy.

  • Business

    • How Open Source Can be SMB Friendlier

      What a typical open source vendor today will do, he said, is try to sell their product based on it being cheaper than a Microsoft Windows deployment, for example. But where that goes wrong is how it is viewed by the tech-wary SMB user who doesn’t have a big IT shop to do the work. “From their view, it would be more expensive because they would need training to do it” using open source, rather than sticking with Windows and what they already know and are familiar with, he said.


    • SFLC challenges Black Duck to open source code

      A recent report from Black Duck Software suggests there has been a five per cent decline in the use of GPL licences since 2008. The Software Freedom Law Center’s Aaron Williamson has called the figure “meaningless” pointing out that the methodology and mechanisms behind Black Duck’s statistics are not available for scrutiny.

  • Programming

    • GitX Clone Gitg Moves to 0.0.4

      The young Gitg project, which visualizes a graphical representation of git data for Mac OS X under Gtk+/GNOME, allows check-ins and merges in its newest release 0.0.4, among other things.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Why The New Webcasting Rates Are A Death Sentence For Webcasters

    Meanwhile, small webcasters don’t get much of a break either. Live365 is pointing out that these rates will basically kill off every webcaster it hosts by requiring a $25,000 fee. As the company notes, the guy running the Armenian folk music station for $10/month isn’t going to pay $25,000 and certainly isn’t going to make enough revenue to pay up.

  • Shepard Fairey Case Gets More Complex: Mannie Garcia Claims The Photo Is His, Not The AP’s

    The Shepard Fairey case continues to get more and more bizarre. You may recall that, back in January, someone figured out which photo Shepard Fairey had used as the basis of his iconic Barack Obama poster.

  • From Russia, With Stupidity: Band Must Pay Fines To Itself

    Reader Wesha sends in the news that the band Deep Purple has been fined for performing its own songs in Russia without first getting a license from the Russian Authors’ Society (NGO). And it wasn’t a small fine either, approximately $1,000 per song. Oh, but wait, it gets better. According to one news organization, the money will be passed along to the victim, a band called… Deep Purple. Yes, that’s right.

  • Swedish Copyright Group Wants $5,000 p/yr Permit for Workplace Music

    “Perhaps someone has the radio on or is listening to a CD and if so, you need to have a permit that allows for music to be played the workplace,” said Susanne Bodin, a STIM spokesperson, to the Sweden-based DN newspaper. “A workplace isn’t private and therefore you should have a licence for music to be played so that the copyright holders get paid.”

  • Warning to all copyright enforcers: Three strikes and you’re out

    I think we should permanently cut off the internet access of any company that sends out three erroneous copyright notices. Three strikes and you’re out, mate.

    Having been disconnected, your customers can only find out about your product offerings by ringing you up and asking, or by requesting a printed brochure. Perhaps you could give all your salespeople fax machines so they can fax urgent information up and down the supply chain. And there’s always the phone – just make sure you’ve got a bunch of phone books in the office, because you’ll never Google another phone number.

    Call it a modest proposal in the Swiftian sense if you must, but I’m deadly serious.

    You see, the big copyright companies – record labels, broadcasters, film studios, software companies – are lobbying in the halls of power around the world (including Westminster) for a three strikes rule for copyright infringers. They want to oblige internet service providers (ISPs) to sever the broadband links of any customer who has been thrice accused of downloading infringing material, and to oblige web-hosting companies to terminate the accounts of anyone accused of sticking infringing material on a web server three times.

  • ASCAP Makes Outlandish Copyright Claims on Cell Phone Ringtones

    New York – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged a federal court Wednesday to reject bogus copyright claims in a ringtone royalty battle that could raise costs for consumers, jeopardize consumer rights, and curtail new technological innovation.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Alexandro Colorado, international open source evangelist 15 (2004)

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