Links 15/07/2009: GNU/Linux Servers Top Survey, Linux Boots in 1 Second

Posted in News Roundup at 8:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Asus Eee PC T91

    Besides running Windows, there’s also the Asus ExpressGate, which is a Linux OS on a chip. This is bootable within seconds from powering on into a fully working platform, with nearly everything one might need, from a web browser through email and skype to even viewing images.

  • CTEK Announces Axis Server Replacement – First in a Line Of High Performance Linux Based Networking Devices

    Ctek, a leading manufacturer and distributor of specialized communications solutions for industrial and commercial applications, announces the G6200 Device Server, the first in a series of Linux based networking products. As a distributor for the discontinued Axis server line Ctek recognized the need for an up-to-date follow on product. Accordingly the G6200 is designed to be a direct replacement for the popular Axis 83+ and 89 servers including a no cost development environment complete with software tools that minimize the application migration effort.

  • claromentis releases linux information management portal for the franchise sector

    Claromentis is pleased to announce that it has released an information management solution dedicated to the Franchise sector fully available on Linux. London, UK, July 12th 2009

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 53

    The following Linux distributions have been announced last week: Sabayon Linux 4.2 KDE Edition, CrunchBang Linux 9.04.01, Parted Magic 4.3 and SystemRescueCd 1.2.2. In other news: VLC reaches version 1.0.0 after eight years of activity;

  • The Rise and Fall of Empires

    Naturally, I believe Linux will be one of the big players that can step into a power vacuum left behind by a Microsoft retreat. It’s own modularized structure makes it well-suited to fill in where Windows and other tools once tread. The continued corporate interest in Linux-based tools seems to bear this theory out.

  • Server

    • 5 key questions about cloud storage

      “I look at cloud adoption a little like I look at Linux adoption 10 years ago,” says John Engates, chief technology officer at San Antonio-based Rackspace Hosting Inc. “Adoption didn’t happen overnight. It came in the back door. The system administrator or developer who did work on the weekend brought in the Linux application he built and showed it around on Monday like a science project. It took a while for people to realize it’s a viable way to do things.”

    • Microsoft admits: it costs less to run Linux

      Buried in today’s news of Microsoft’s pricing scheme for their cloud service, aka Azures, is some amazing insight into their own IT infrastructure costs.

      Before we continue, I suggest you go here and become vaguely familiar with Azure’s pricing structure.

    • IBM Power servers most reliable in new survey

      IBM’s Power servers topped a list of most reliable x86 and Unix machines in a new survey, clocking in at only 15 minutes of unplanned downtime per year.

      Linux distributions running on x86 servers also performed well, as did Sun’s Sparc machines and HP’s Unix boxes. Windows Server machines performed worse than most competitors, with two to three hours of downtime per year, but have still improved dramatically over previous surveys.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux is not an Operating System

      Last week Google announced their intention to release an operating system based on Linux. The reaction of some people on reddit was: “No, another neutered, watered-down, crapitized “linux”. Linux will once again be viewed as a sub par, ‘specialized’ OS.” Well, this is not possible because Linux is not really an operating system, it is a kernel. And it is actually very successful as a specialized operating system’s kernel. Let me explain.


      ChromeOS will use Linux for what it is the best: be the kernel of an operating system customized and optimized to a specific function. For ChromeOS it means being the best possible Netbook operating system.

  • Applications

    • Play Enigma: A Puzzle Game Unlike Any Other

      Enigma works fine under Windows, but it’s a multi-platform game designed by Linux programmers, and the interface is very non-Windows. There’s no menu bar and once you’re in the game window, your mouse cannot leave it until you hit “Esc” to get back to the game menu. You can set the window size (it cannot be resized in play) under Options, or play in full-screen mode, and adjust the sound and music volume as well.

    • Symark Launches New Automation Product

      Symark’s PowerBroker software is used for managing user accounts and access control on Unix and Linux servers.

  • KDE

    • Vibrant Community Propels KDE Forward at Akademy 2009

      Akademy 2009 was held as part of the Gran Canaria Desktop Summit in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria last week. During the week the KDE community attended conference presentations and was engaged in meetings, informal discussions and of course a great deal of coding. This article provides an overview of what’s happening in the KDE universe and what can be expected for the future.

    • Growth Metrics for KDE Contributors

      In 1996 when KDE was first announced, it had only a handful of developers and the project could manage the source code without using a revision control system. More and more developers have begun to contribute to KDE over the years, and while there has been some attrition, the total number of active developers working on KDE has been steadily growing.

  • Distributions

    • Slackware Linux going 64 bit

      This might be old news to some of you but for the longest time Slackware Linux was x86 only with really no indication that the distro author, Patrick Volkerding, would create a port.

    • Deuxième version du liveCD MLO 2009.1
    • Distributions: From Ubuntu to openSUSE and Pardus

      Recent early development releases of the popular distributions provide a preview of what’s to come, while some lesser known distributions reach new milestones. A new version of the KDE desktop is due by the end of the month.

    • Evolving Partner Programs: Microsoft vs. Red Hat

      Microsoft and Red Hat have launched hosting and cloud partner programs within weeks of one another. But the partner programs are as different as closed source and open source. Here’s the scoop, plus a key ingredient that could Microsoft’s hosting strategy a leg up with channel partners.

    • Ubuntu-based distro touted for power management

      A group called PlanetWatt has released a Beta 3 version of a new lightweight, power-sipping distro based on Ubuntu. The low-power WattOS is built from scratch using the Ubuntu MinimalCD and Ubuntu 9.04, and uses the lightweight LXDE environment and OpenBox, says the group.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • GPS and GPRS with Embedded Linux

      Aldacom presents the AldaLogic C10/3, a breadboard which contains a complete embedded Linux PC on a surface of just 104mm x 63mm. A Quad-band GPRS module and SiRF3 GPS module are also on board, as well as interfaces for USB, RS232 and Ethernet components. An SD-card reader enables the trouble-free expansion of the 4 Mb of flash memory which comes as standard.

    • Embedded Linux Founder MontaVista Celebrates Its 10-Year Anniversary

      MontaVista® Software, Inc., the leader in embedded Linux® commercialization, announced its 10-year anniversary celebration today. Founded in 1999 with a focus on delivering Linux for the embedded market, MontaVista has remained committed to furthering the development and innovation of commercialized embedded Linux through enabling a broad range of architectures, delivering commercial quality, and expanding the tools available for embedded developers. As a result of this focus and commitment, there are over 60 million devices in the market powered by MontaVista Linux today.

    • MontaVista boasts 1-second Linux boot

      It’s getting to where a fellow can’t enjoy a nice relaxing boot time these days. The latest perpetrator of the conspiracy: Linux application tool vendor MontaVista, which said today that it is demonstrating an embedded Linux system that boots in just one second.

      MontaVista’s Linux demo goes from a cold boot into a sample, “fully operational” vehicle dashboard application in a single second, the company said. It will be showing off the speedy boot performance at the Virtual Freescale Technology Forum this week.

    • Unlike Android, the iPhone can’t scale, says Google

      All the talk this week has been about Google’s forthcoming Chrome PC operating system, but that doesn’t mean its other operating system, Android, is going away, according to its chief engineer.

      Andy Rubin, Google’s vice president of mobile engineering, said today that Android, aimed at smartphones and netbooks, was even likely to outstrip the success of Apple’s mobile operating system, which is now in more than 40m iPhone and iPod touch devices.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Atrium: Intranet in a Box

    Just under 15 years ago, I received a review copy of the Internet in a Box:

    Internet In A Box is the first shrink-wrapped package to provide a total solution for PC users to get on the Internet.


    The company behind Open Atrium, Development Seed, have an interesting history in free software:

    Development Seed’s origins are a bit different than those of most communications shops. We got our start in the mountains of Peru deploying communications portals on open source software for international development organizations working on the ground. The first websites we built were for small grassroots organizations working to improve the economic infrastructure in the region and provide basic human services like healthcare. While the reach of our clients and the complexity of our projects has changed over the years, the underlying mission of Development Seed has not: to provide technological solutions to world-changing organizations.

  • Will Chrome OS Burnish the Open Source Jobs Market?

    Admittedly, this is a recruitment agency saying this, so Mandy Rice-Davies applies. Nonetheless, it seems likely that Google supporting not one but two Linux-based open source operating systems will do nothing but good for the jobs market.

  • live-android
  • Why the public sector is opening the doors to open source technology

    With the public sector spending plans of all political parties coming under close scrutiny, IT is being labelled in equal measure as the cause and saviour of the current spending crunch that the public sector is facing.

  • Mutuality 2.0: open sourcing the financial crisis

    If open source can create complex software products, what would be needed for the same techniques to apply to financial products? In software development, it has become clear that “many eyeballs really do make all bugs shallow”. Could the same logic apply to risk-assessment in financial products? As the financial world becomes divided between “safe and dull banking as a utility” versus “the caveat emptor casino”, open source finance could be a delivery mechanism for the first.

  • Open Data is coming

    We (mainly Cameron Neylon and me) ran a session this morning on Open Data. These are un-sessions which need preparation but not a strict agenda. Certainly not a lecture. So we kicked off very briefly with the scene and moved to the Panton Principles on what scientists want to do in publishing data for the benefit of the community.


  • Murdoch papers paid £1m to gag phone-hacking victims

    Rupert Murdoch’s News Group News­papers has paid out more than £1m to settle legal cases that threatened to reveal evidence of his journalists’ repeated involvement in the use of criminal methods to get stories.

  • Call for limits on web snooping

    Governments and companies should limit the snooping they do on web users.

    So said Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, who said that growing oversight of browsing could have a pernicious effect.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The Psychology Of Externalities: Only I Can Benefit

      Of course, this is not just limited to the AP. It’s a common psychological problem when it comes to externalities. Look at almost any dispute that’s being caused by the modern internet and you can find someone who’s upset about some externality not being “fair.” We see it with the blame being put by the entertainment industry on “piracy.”

    • GNR Uploader Gets Two Months House Arrest, Plus Will Produce Propaganda For RIAA

      It still doesn’t make much sense that the FBI got involved in trying to track down and arrest a guy who uploaded a pre-release version of Guns ‘N Roses’ long awaited new album before it was released. If anything, it should have been a civil matter — and, honestly, there’s little indication that the upload caused any harm whatsoever.

    • Modified 3 Strikes Back on Agenda For New Zealand Pirates

      After the previous Labour government failed in its attempts to set up an ISP code of practice to deal with copyright infringements via section 92a of the Copyright Act, today sees new proposals revealed. ISPs won’t be expected to police their networks, but instead decisions – including 3 strikes – will be made by the Copyright Tribunal.

    • Copyright Tribunal gets ‘net cop’ power under new proposal

      The Copyright Tribunal would be given the power to punish internet users who repeatedly breach copyright under proposals put forward today.

      A discussion document from the Economic Development Ministry and interested parties has recommended a three-phase process to allow copyright holders to pursue those who breach their rights.

    • Sarkozy brings back crazy three-strikes Internet law

      The French “Three Strikes” law is back on — a law that can punish you for being accused of copyright infringement by cutting off your internet connection, fining you, and putting you in prison. It also criminalizes offering free internet access because pirates might use it.

    • Brussels claims failed business model is causing online piracy

      The EU’s telecommunications chief, Viviane Reding, blamed the current internet business model for the rise in online piracy on Thursday (9 July), during a speech in which she outlined a new medium-term strategy for a ‘digital Europe.’

      Ms Reding said the European Commission intends to open up a broad consultation period on the ‘digital Europe’ strategy next month, but already she has indicated that a central part of the plan for the next five years will be to provide greater access to good quality online content.

    • GOOD IDEA: Beck Re-Records Classic Albums For Free Series

      Beck has started something he’s called the Record Club for which he and friends like Devendra Banhart, MGMT, Jamie Lidell, and producer Nigel Godrich get together and re-record someone else’s classic album in its entirety with little or no rehearsal.

    • Not That It Matters… But Appeals Court Rejects Webcasters’ Challenge Over Copyright Royalties

      If the current negotiated rates threaten to put a lot of webcasters out of business, and the CRB’s original rates were even higher, doesn’t that suggest a pretty serious problem both with the CRB and with the appeals process? Separately, it looks like the court had no problem at all ignoring the constitutional questions about the Copyright Royalty Board for a second time. It’s as if no one wants to actually follow what the Constitution says…

    • ASCAP’s Latest Claim: Embedding YouTube Videos Requires Public Performance License

      A few years back, we idly wondered if it could possibly be copyright infringement to embed a YouTube video on your own site. It would be a very difficult argument, since an embed code is really no different than a link. The content itself is hosted by YouTube and was uploaded by some other party. Yet, we figured eventually someone would make a claim along those lines… and wouldn’t you know it would be ASCAP?

    • LGJ: If 24 songs = $1.9 million, then 1 game = ?

      For example, a leak of a game that proves to be lower quality than anticipated may cause losses of an untold number of sales. A fan sequel that’s of poor quality may drive people away from the original work, or a machinima that is highly offensive may cause the offended parties to not buy the game the machinima is based on. As you might imagine though, these numbers are nearly impossible to figure out.

    • Radio-Canada Issues YouTube Takedown Over Harper Communion Video

      Many Canadians will know that there has been a controversy this week over whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper pocketed a communion wafer during Romeo Leblanc’s state funeral. The issue has been fueled by a video posted on YouTube of the incident.

    • Rosetta Stone Sues Google for Trademark Violation

      Rosetta Stone Inc, a provider of language-learning software, said it filed a lawsuit against Google Inc in a U.S. federal court, alleging trademark infringement.

    • Ninth Lawsuit Against Google Over AdWords–Rosetta Stone v. Google
    • But Who Will Cover City Council Meetings?

      As Jay Rosen notes, it appears that when concerned citizens are interested in what’s happening in their local governments, they appear to do an amazingly thorough job covering city council meetings — perhaps much more thoroughly than the bored reporter using the gig as a stepping stone to a more exciting beat.

    • Hamburg Declaration = Humbug Declaration

      What a load of codswallop. What makes them think they are the sole guardians of that “free, diverse and independent press”? In case they hadn’t noticed, the Internet is rather full of “quality and varied information, education and entertainment on the many platforms”, most of it quite independent of anything so dull as a newspaper. As many others have pointed out, quality journalism is quite separate from old-style press empires, even if the latter have managed to produce the former from time to time.

    • National Portrait Gallery: Nuts

      So you should be *encouraging* people to upload your pix to places like Wikipedia; you should be thanking them. The fact that you are threatening them with legal action shows that you don’t have even an inkling of what you are employed to do.

    • National Portrait Gallery Threatens Wikimedia Developer For Downloading Public Domain Images

      Derrick Coetzee, a software developer and an administrator of Wikimedia Commons, the media repository for Wikipedia is being threatened by the National Portrait Gallery in London. Coetzee admits that he downloaded about 3,000 high-resolution images from the site, but notes that they are all of paintings that are in the public domain (nearly all are over 100 years old). Coetzee is in the US, where he notes Bridgeman v. Corel suggests that photographs of public domain paintings do not carry any copyright, since the photograph does not add any new expression. However, such issues are not settled in the UK, and the National Portrait Gallery is insisting that the photos are covered by copyright.

    • MPAA Will Hunt Down isoHunt Founder for Life

      After a win against TorrentSpy the MPAA is determined to silence isoHunt and bankrupt its founder Gary Fung. MAFIAA lawyer Steven Fabrizio guarantees that if they win the case, the movie industry will relentlessly hunt down any damages owed to them for the rest of Fung’s life.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Alexandro Colorado, international open source evangelist 19 (2004)

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

Boycott Novell Has New Subscriber

Posted in Boycott Novell, Marketing, Microsoft, Site News at 1:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft TE Jonathan Wong keeps an eye on Boycott Novell

THE following has just shown up as a trackback.


It’s our ‘special friend’, a professional Microsoft AstroTurfer. Got to keep that “perception management” going [1, 2].

Leaked Microsoft Slides (2003): How to Win Against GNU/Linux

Posted in Antitrust, Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 11:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s recognition of the GNU/Linux threat as shown in its internal, confidential presentations

WE have mountains of antitrust exhibits to show — material that never reached any public attention because Microsoft settles quickly and buries evidence as part of the settlements. Today we deal with Comes vs. Microsoft Exhibit px07378 (2003) [PDF], from which wallclimber has managed to extract and reconstruct the main slides (high-resolution PNGs below). She could not salvage the entire text, but it was more than workable.

Internal documentation (intelligence) such as this proves truly valuable because it shows just how afraid Microsoft is of GNU/Linux, which Bill Gates calls the most potent competitor in operating systems. Apple is still a niche which targets mostly rich people, so surveys in developed countries alone do not tell the truth. In fact, in a recent presentation Steve Ballmer showed that globally, on the desktop, GNU/Linux market share is said to have exceeded Apple’s.

There are many interesting portions to show in this latest exhibit, but here is some good material on GNU/Linux. From 2003 “IMPERATIVES” for example (highlight in red is ours):


* Drive Revenue & XP Excitement
- Promote XP Software, Establish Products, Push to Professional+, Win Emerging
* Turn the corner on Longhorn
- Builds, alignment, execution
* Earn the Trust of Our Customers, Partners, & Government
- Community, closing the loop, compliance with SRPFJ
* Win against Linux
- Government, education, emerging
* Invest in the Ecosystem
- Metrics, roadmap, leadership
* Develop People & Organization
- Hires, communication, cross group, manager span, training

Challenges & Discussion
* Winning Against Linux: government, education, enterprise, embedded
* SRPFJ: OEMs hiding our innovations; Work to deliver, & comply
* Dry spell coming in FY04 – revenue, annuity, competition
* Emerging markets plan – Linux, other OSs, and piracy: ideas welcome
* Improving sick ecosystem – quality, innovation, profit
* Product segmentation – how many “premiums”?
* Finding the right balance on legacy support
* Making customer trust/connection a part of the culture
* Piracy: How to make progress (and yet balance with Linux)

In the part about “COMPETITION”, GNU/Linux comes before Apple and they use the TCO lie to fight against GNU/Linux.

Linux: Win in edu/gov’t/emerging, prove lower TCO
Apple: Partner w/ISVs/IHVs on scenarios, win digital media reviews/leadership
Real: Maintain lead, broader/profitable ecosystem

A lot about media, DRM and also Palladium (Trusted Platform Module) is included in the full exhibit, which can be read as PDF or plain text below. A few slides were not reconstructed due to reading difficulties (the text is sometimes illegible due to scale, so reference to the original is better than a deficient translation).

Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit px07378, as text

Read the rest of this entry »

So Many Trolls, So Little GNU/Linux Users…

Posted in Apple, Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Site News, Windows at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Carole Bartz: puppet

Summary: Sock-puppetry and trolling match the stereotype

THINGS are starting to heat up, which means we must have hit some sensitive spot/s. Is it the list of Microsoft AstroTurfers? Or is it Microsoft Moonlight?

It doesn’t matter.

Anyway, for those who may be wondering, the Internet trolls are mostly Windows users (HTTP headers say so), so unless they just fake being “Windows” users, a lot of this trolling can be nicely categorised. Some Windows users even go under names like “Sabayon User” or “Gentoo User” because it makes them seem more credible. But they are Windows users, not GNU/Linux users. David “Lefty” Schlesinger, for example, is a Mac user.

Those very same people are systematically gaming the comment ratings and then make statement about those ratings. It is similar to Microsoft ploys where they got caught rigging polls against Java and against GNU/Linux. We have access to the logs, so we know exactly what’s going on.

List of Microsoft “Technical Evangelists” (Lead AstroTurfers)

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”

Microsoft's chief evangelist

Summary: The beginning of a list which maps those in Microsoft who are TEs

THE following is a list of Microsoft Technical Evangelists, whose role is described in presentations such as this one. Here is an example profile of a Technical Evangelist (TE) and an example of activities, which we hope to assign to different people that are listed below in order to more effectively track their behaviour on the Web. The behaviour is usually unethical and potentially illegal, so vigilance may hopefully help improve this. We also maintain a large list of Gates- and Microsoft-hired lobbyists in the United States.

Microsoft’s TEs include:

Anand Iyer, Developer Evangelist, Northern California

Brian Hitney, Developer Evangelist, North Carolina, South Carolina

Chris Bowen, Developer Evangelist, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont

Bob Familiar, Architect Evangelist, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont

Peter Laudati, Developer Evangelist, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Bill Zack, Architect Evangelist, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut

Chris Koenig, Developer Evangelist, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas

Asli Bilgin, Developer Evangelist, New York

Allan da Costa Pinto, Developer Evangelist, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont

Curt Devlin, Architect Evangelist, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont

Danilo (Dani) Diaz, Developer Evangelist, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey

G. Andrew Duthie, Developer Evangelist, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia

Lindsay Rutter, Developer Evangelist, Pennsylvania, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia

Zhiming Xue, Architect Evangelist, District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania

Dave Bost, Developer Evangelist, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin

Dave Isbitski, Developer Evangelist, Pennsylvania, New Jersey

David Solivan, Architect Evangelist, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey

Doug Turnure, Developer Evangelist, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi

Glen Gordon, Developer Evangelist, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina

Russ Fustino, Developer Evangelist, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi

Chad Brooks, Architect Evangelist, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina

Joe Healy, Developer Evangelist, Florida

Joe Rubino, Architect Evangelist, New Jersey, New York

Jeff Brand, Developer Evangelist, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota

Michael Benkovich, Developer Evangelist, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota

Jeff Barnes, Architect Evangelist, Florida

Ken Jones, Architect Evangelist, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina

Rob Bagby, Developer Evangelist, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico

Woody Pewitt, Developer Evangelist, Southern California, Hawaii

Lynn Langit, Developer Evangelist, Southern California, Hawaii

David Chou, Architect Evangelist, Southern California, Hawaii

Hong Choing, Architect Evangelist, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware

Joe Cleaver, Platform Strategy Advisor, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware

John McClelland, Partner Evangelist, Alabama, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Sean Seibel, User Experience Evangelist, New York

Kevin Boyle, Platform Strategy Advisor, Southern California, Hawaii

Jason Mauer, Developer Evangelist, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Northern California

Mithun Dhar, Developer Evangelist, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho

Sam Chenaur, Architect Evangelist, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho

Joe Shirey, Architect Evangelist, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico

Dan Willis, Platform Strategy Advisor, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico

John Stame, Platform Strategy Advisor, Northern California

Scott Kerfoot, Director of Strategy – West Region, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Northern California, Southern California, Hawaii, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico

Bruno Terkaly, California

Will Tschumy, User Experience Evangelist, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Northern California, Southern California, Hawaii, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico

Clint Edmonson, Architect Evangelist, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota

Jeff Blankenburg, Developer Evangelist, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan

Jennifer Marsman, Developer Evangelist, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan

Bill Steele, Developer Evangelist, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana

Ron Cundiff, Developer Evangelist, Wisconsin, Illinois, Tennessee

Josh Holmes, RIA Architect Evangelist, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota

Larry Clarkin, Architect Evangelist, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana

J Sawyer, Developer Evangelist, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas

Zain Naboulsi, Developer Evangelist, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas

Phil Wheat, Architect Evangelist, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas

Denny Boynton, Architect Evangelist, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota

Jon Box, Architect Evangelist, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio

Chris Bernard, User Experience Evangelist, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota

Brian Gorbett, Developer Evangelist, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois

Brian H. Prince, Architect Evangelist, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee

Charles Sterling, Community Lead, Washington

Brian Johnson, Developer Evangelist, Florida

Joel Reyes, Developer Evangelist, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Northern California, Southern California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Marc Schweigert, Developer Evangelist, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Northern California, Southern California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Robert Shelton, Jr., Developer Evangelist, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Northern California, Southern California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

“It could be argued that Microsoft’s unethical Technology Evangelism (TE) practices are “old news”—i.e., that Microsoft stopped using these questionable TE practices long ago. This is very unlikely to be the case, for at least three reasons.”

James Plamondon, former Microsoft shill (aka ‘Technology Evangelist’)

Eye on Microsoft: Attacks on Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer

Posted in Microsoft, OpenOffice, Security, Windows at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Internet icons

Summary: A self-explanatory set of news articles

Microsoft delivers 9 patches, but leaves one hole open (so typical)

The patches fix two bugs presently being used by hackers, but a third bug remains unaddressed

Microsoft Office users attacked by cybercriminals

Microsoft Corp warned that cybercriminals have attacked users of its Office software for Windows PCs, exploiting a programing flaw that the software giant has yet to repair.

The world’s largest software maker issued the warning on Tuesday as it released patches to address nine other security holes in its software.

Second unpatched ActiveX bug hits IE

Scallywags are using an unpatched vulnerability in an ActiveX component to distribute malware, Microsoft warned on Monday. The development adds to already pressing unresolved Internet Explorer security bug woes.

No patch is available for the Office Web Components ActiveX security hole, although there are workarounds which can be automated for enterprise rollouts. The flawed component is used by IE to display Excel spreadsheets, greatly increasing the scope for mischief. Win XP and Win 2003 systems are particularly at risk, while the additional security controls in Vista cover Microsoft’s modesty.

Microsoft Keeps Beating a Dead Browser

The question is why? If the destination is what matters, why does Microsoft care so deeply what browser people use to get there? Maybe this: Unless Bing is the browser’s default search engine, no one will go there after the novelty wears off. That’s probably enough to make anyone at Microsoft lose their lunch.

US State Dept. workers beg Clinton for Firefox

US State Department workers have begged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to let them use Firefox.

“Can you please let the staff use an alternative web browser called Firefox?” worker bee Jim Finkle asked Clinton during Friday’s State Department town hall meeting.

“I just moved to the State Department from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and was surprised that State doesn’t use this browser. It was approved for the entire intelligence community, so I don’t understand why State can’t use it. It’s a much safer program.”

Presumably, the State Department is using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. And we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s still mired in the eight-year-old IE6 [...]

ASUS — Like Microsoft — Uses ‘Contests’ to Conceal AstroTurfing (Blog Posts in Exchange for Incentives)

Posted in Deception, Finance, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft at 5:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cash rules everything around me

Summary: ASUS uses prizes to generate buzz for its products all across the blogosphere

AS we showed before — using hard evidence — Microsoft had mastered the art of generating a lot of positive coverage using the excuse that it's a "competition". Carphone Warehouse takes the illegal route probably because it does not understand those loopholes Microsoft is exploiting (Microsoft is to a great degree a marketing company that polices perception). The PR plot is simple: bring together a bunch of contestants, urge them to promote you or your products on the Web, and the one who sucks up the most will receive an award. The raw outcome is attractive: for the mere cost of an award (usually monetary prize) the Web will get filled with favourable posts from a large bunch of people who are jumping for dollars. Most wannabe winners will not even be compensated for their “side-effect AstroTurfing”.

As we showed a few months ago, Microsoft is still using this method not only to poison the blogosphere but also to poison social networks, including sites like Slashdot and Digg. We have just found out that ASUS is doing the same thing after selling out to Microsoft and then assisting a Slog against GNU/Linux [1, 2].

A while back, Asus decided it would save itself ooodles of cash on marketing and advertising by picking six people from the ranks of the unwashed masses and asking them to ‘blog’ about certain products they’d been given for review. Readers, said Asus, would be able to vote for their favorite blogger and the winner of the popular vote would be able to keep their Asus review kit. But alas, it wasn’t to be.

Readers, in their naive ignorance, voted for a particularly honest – read, not entirely Asus kissing – blogger by the name of Gavyn Britton, a choice Asus wasn’t so keen on. So the Taiwanese computer maker decided to change the rules of the competition.


With ASUS in the “dark side”, GNU/Linux remains a strong player and contender in sub-notebooks, especially thanks to ARM. To say a word about Microsoft’s attempt to rewrite sub-notebooks history and issue slurs against Chrome OS, it is worth adding that Steve Ballmer could not help adding a slur of his own. He publicly mocked Chrome OS yesterday (or the day before that).

“Microsoft only ever responds to competing products that it is really worried about because it gives those products visibility.”This is a positive sign. Microsoft only ever responds to competing products that it is really worried about because it gives those products visibility. Only if there is no other choice will Microsoft mention them.

We now know almost for a fact that not only the Enderle, Yankee, and Gartner Groups have thrown FUD on behalf of Microsoft; it escalated to the CEO of Microsoft, so Chrome OS must be pretty serious. Ballmer publicly mocked Android last year and right now Android is stealing market share from Windows Mobile, whose presence out there is seemingly diminishing and market potential eroding. Microsoft pondered buying RIM and it also bought Danger, which was odd because Danger leads to duplication and it uses BSD. It is all indicative of an internal crisis and lack of direction in Microsoft’s Mobile Unit, whose leader quit.

“In the Mopping Up phase, Evangelism’s goal is to put the final nail into the competing technology’s coffin, and bury it in the burning depths of the earth.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Mono Applications Get Integrated with Microsoft Moonlight

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 4:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’d like to see Gnome applications written in .NET in version 4.0 – no, version 3.0. But Gnome 4.0 should be based on .NET.”

“Gnome to be based on .NET – de Icaza”

Don’t let Mono and Moonlight tarnish GNOME

Summary: Novell-sponsored Mono software gets extended so as to make it interconnected with Microsoft Moonlight, a “forbidden” component by Red Hat’s assessment

Novell’s Mono projects are starting to take problematic shape. As Jason puts it after some research, Banshee begins to overlap Microsoft Moonlight, which is Mono-dependent. And as we already know, the Novell-sponsored Banshee uses parts of .NET which are not covered by Microsoft’s “community promise”. The word “Trojan” comes to mind and Red Hat should pay careful attention again.

Yes. That’s right. According to the GCDS 2009 presentation notes on the Banshee site, we learn lots of nice stuff about Banshee:

“It’s not just an app, it’s a platform”.

* Long term goal is to write the UI in Moonlight
o Declarative UI, canvas, scene graph, and toolkit
o Moonlight is an Open Source implementation of Microsoft’s Silverlight technology … and it is awesome

“Banshee is going to do photos”

“We are re-basing the F-Spot core on top of Banshee”

And it ends with GNOME, Mono and Banshee logos.

Moonlight is of course, absolutely toxic unless you get it directly from Novell, as the so-called “covenant” specifically prohibits non-Novell distributions from distributing Moonlight

We have had a long-standing suspicion that Banshee will be used for video and maybe even Windows DRM. According to sources, Novell already takes the lead in building GNOME 3.0, which Miguel de Icaza wanted to make Mono oriented. Tony Manco argues that “they should really start a desktop environment based on mono. I suggest MonoDrop [...] to stop the gnome poisoning [...] and future kde too.” Forenza calls it “very scary”. Here is another new analysis of ongoing attempts to put Banshee inside Ubuntu despite the patent issues, Novell’s control of it, and extreme bloat.

It seems we are settling on the “best-of-breed” as the ultimate justification. This is a good stop if you are on Team Mono, because you can call any application the “best-of-breed” so long as you are the one that gets to decide what factors make it the “best-of-breed”.

I always chuckle around #4; Team Mono is forever chanting “pragmatism” and how “the user doesn’t care about freedom or principles”. Yet it’s quite clear that the overwhelming majority of users do not want Banshee. So, do the users matter or not? It seems to me that how much they matter is in direct proportion to how much they support you on any specific issue.

Mono Dangers Revisited

This month’s posts about Mono (e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]) hopefully showed that Microsoft’s “community promise” is worthless because it changes nothing of substance. Sam Varghese goes further and suggests that it may do more harm than good because it’s intended to fragment the Free software community.

When Britain was the superpower of the world, there was one tactic which its officials used, with great success, to manage its colonies – divide and rule.

As Jason puts it, the differences between Google’s and Microsoft’s promises to Free software developers are truly telling. The SFLC has just used its excellent audiocast to address the subject too [via]. It still insists that depending on Mono is a bad idea.

Bradley and Karen discuss the community debate regarding C# and Mono, and its inclusion in GNU/Linux distributions.

The verdict remains negative. Richard Stallman too, on behalf of the FSF, says that Microsoft’s “community promise” is inadequate, only to find himself smeared as a result of such statements.

Alan Lord wrote on this matter as well.

How on earth could a 19th century detective know about the long running saga of a rather large and bloated software stack designed, it seems, simply to drive a wedge into the FOSS community and act as a trojan horse for our most [ahem] loved convicted monopolist?


A new version of Gnote has just been released.

I just released gnote 0.5.3. It is a bug fix release.

The lead developer of Gnote responds to Mono’s meme (banners with “I am not afraid”) by saying: “I write code”

I don’t know what the meme is about but:


The update pace of Gnote seems quite rapid. Releases are frequent. It is ironic that Gnote’s developer originally came from Novell because Novell promotes Mono inside GNOME and Tomboy has served Novell well (it even employs Tomboy’s developer).

In a comment on another post, Chris Halse Rogers raised an interesting and challenging question: “What evidence is there that Novell, the company, is promoting adoption of Mono into GNOME?”

Here’s where I attempt to answer that question!
The easy part

It’s always more effective to knock out the easy stuff first. So let’s establish that the premise is at least reasonable. Here are some facts. Facts are a nice way to start:

1. Mono is a Novell project.
2. Novell is on the GNOME Foundation’s Advisory Board.
3. Mono is lead at Novell by the founder of GNOME, Miguel de Icaza.
4. Mr. de Icaza has said in the past, “Gnome 4.0 should be based on .NET“
5. Mr. de Icaza claims to be “in charge of Novell’s Linux Desktop Strategy” along with Nat Friedman.


It can be added that Nat Friedman came from Microsoft. Many people do not know this.

‘We had some painful experiences with C and C++, and when Microsoft came out with .NET, we said, “Yes! That is what we want.”‘

Miguel de Icaza

Orangutans at the zoo

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