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The Slime About ARM and Android

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 5:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Paint bucket

Summary: A compilation of new factors that stifle adoption of Linux on the low end

MICROSOFT is losing money because of sub-notebooks that run GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], so Microsoft trying to just eliminate them altogether. When it comes to sub-notebooks, Microsoft is hoping to embrace (through dumping and maybe kickbacks), extend, and extinguish them for good.

“When it comes to sub-notebooks, Microsoft is hoping to embrace (through dumping and maybe kickbacks), extend, and extinguish them for good.”This devious plan would not quite work because of ARM-based sub-notebooks, but Microsoft is working on attacking them too. Spin is a major component of this; some weeks ago they tried to spin the lack of Windows for ARM as a loss for ARM rather than a loss for Microsoft and Scientes now warns that “Slashdot spins ARM CEO’s Warren East statement.” What is going on?

According to Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is still trying to replace sub-notebooks with more expensive computers where Windows is no longer given away almost for free. This is not news because about a month ago Microsoft tried using terms like “Smartbooks” (as opposes to small notebooks) to pretend that naming alone would resolve pricing issues; it’s like trying to make “Windows” and “PC” synonymous.

Ballmer, unlike some Microsoft execs, wasn’t afraid to say the word “netbook.” In fact, he told FAM attendees that netbooks are synonymous with MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices).

Ballmer disputed the notion that netbooks are killing Microsoft’s Windows client revenue base. He showed a slide he admitted the rest of his team had warned him was overly complex (and I have to say I agree) to try to show why netbooks aren’t going to keep chipping away at Windows’ margins.

In this morning's news digest, we gave many new examples of Android wins. There are some funny things happening at Acer and suspicions arise with regard to cause and impact.

Android logoWe’ve reported about Android netbooks for a while, and made it clear we’re not sure if anyone really wants one. Acer first announced it would produce what would likely be the first Android netbook, then explained it really meant it would dual-boot with Windows.

It is abundantly clear that Microsoft is afraid of Android because it is superior to everything Microsoft has at the moment. Business Insider published the following yesterday:“Microsoft Admits Its Phones Are Crappy, Vows To Improve (MSFT)”

No more blind cheerleading from Redmond: Microsoft (MSFT) finally admitted that its mobile business needs some work.

At Microsoft’s analyst day in Seattle, Robbie Bach confessed in his finest business school jargon that the company hasn’t “done as good a job as I would like building relationships and getting the right integration with our hardware partners,” according to the WSJ, and vowed to improve: “You’re going to see dramatic improvement in integration.”

He added, “You’ll see our execution rhythm pick up and the quality of our execution improve.”

A new essay at GigaOm opines or at least puts forth the possibility that ” Google’s Android [is] Killing Windows Mobile”

I wonder if it will be too late for the company to make a comeback, similar to Zune struggling to playsanjay catch-up with the iPod. So while there is a lot of focus on Apple v Google, the real battle is actually between Microsoft Windows Mobile and Google Android. It looks like Google has drawn its first blood.

Android, Chrome OS, and other implementations of GNU/Linux for the low end are causing major headaches to Microsoft. Some other products like the BlackBerry and iPhone are proving to be a challenge too, so either way, it is worth keeping an eye on Microsoft’s response. In Russia, Microsoft and OEMs are already under investigation for anti-compeitive conduct (against GNU/Linux).

Related posts:

Why Microsoft Hates Java and How Novell’s Mono Helps Microsoft Fight It

Posted in GNU/Linux, Java, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 5:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell coffee

Summary: Java and GNU/Linux are named top IT skills; Microsoft hopes to change that

Earlier this week we showed that Novell carries on helping Microsoft with Mono/.NET. In general, Novell is harming Java in the process [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and this new survey shows why. Java is said to be the most desirable information technology skill, followed by GNU/Linux.

Market research firm Foote Partners has updated its survey of the most sought-after IT skills (non-certified) and ranked Linux experience and skills as the second most sought after by US and Canadian employers. The top position is held by Java Enterprise Edition, Standard Edition and Micro Edition.

Very much to Microsoft’s delight, Mono continues to be an area of focus at Novell, which harms both Java and GNU/Linux by doing what it does.

“The patent danger to Mono comes from patents we know Microsoft has, on libraries which are outside the C# spec and thus not covered by any promise not to sue. In effect, Microsoft has designed in boobytraps for us.

“Indeed, every large program implements lots of ideas that are patented. Indeed, there’s no way to avoid this danger. But that’s no reason to put our head inside Microsoft’s jaws.”

Richard Stallman

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: July 30th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

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

Links 31/07/2009: GNU/Linux in Venezuela, Bundling Revisited

Posted in News Roundup at 3:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Venezuela to Provide Children with 50,000 Mini Laptops

    The computers will run on the open source operating system Linux, while the Education Ministry together with the National Centre for Information Technology are working together on designing education programs for the computers. The computers are made for children, both in size and durability, and come with wireless internet access and flash memory instead of a hard drive.

  • Amazon’s Windows Refund Helps the Earth

    I thought it would be good to show you where the Microsoft Tax has gone:

    Dear Melissa,

    Thank you.

    Your support will help the Sierra Club continue its efforts to protect wild places and endangered species, confront global environmental challenges, and keep the pressure on politicians and corporations.

    By supporting the Sierra Club online, you also become a member of the Club’s Online Community — helping to save paper and postage and enabling you to get the latest environmental news and information quickly. As a member of our Online Community you can help protect the environment by visiting the Sierra Club Action Center and sending personalized emails to key decision makers on important conservation issues. And, at our Online Member Center, you can subscribe to one of the Club’s email newsletters and electronic publications.

    The Sierra Club has been devoted to protecting our natural heritage for over 100 years. And thanks to your support, we can continue to fight and protect our natural resources.

    Thanks again.


    Carl Pope
    Executive Director
    Sierra Club

    Please print or save this message for your personal records.

    Name: Melissa Cameron
    Amount: $67.58
    Designation: Donation to the Sierra Club

  • Taxing Times for Free Choice

    Anyway, it boils down to this:
    Forcing people to buy something else with what they really want to buy is called bundling. It is now prohibited in France, and it is probably so in the UK too.

    Perhaps these vendors need to read about the Sale of Goods Act again.

  • CHROME OS – First look?

    I wonder if Google will disguise their OS, put it on specs of their choosing and “test” members of the public? I wouldn’t have thought so, Google has a “clean slate” when it comes to OS’s.

    This could be the making of Google as an OS developer, but whatever it turns out to be, its another choice for users and that can only be a good thing.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Ubuntu

      • Canonical to offer Ubuntu desktop support

        Canonical will be announcing these new support services for the Ubuntu desktop for individuals and small businesses tomorrow, July 31st, in London. These services are particularly designed for small business owners who are looking for cost effective alternatives to Windows and Apple Mac.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • CompactPCI board supports new PlusIO standard

      MEN Micro announced a Linux-compatible CompactPCI SBC that it says is the first to follow the forthcoming PICMG 2.30 PlusIO standard. The F19P uses an Intel Core 2 Duo SP9300 processor, offers up to 8GB of DDR2 RAM, features multiple PCI Express links, and has five SATA ports with RAID support, the company says.

    • Security concerns drive Carrier Grade Linux

      Network equipment, whether for a phone system, digital broadcast or wide area or enterprise network, must have high reliability and high availability. Traditionally, network equipment companies have provided this through proprietary architectures, but they have been moving to Linux and open source solutions over the past few years.

    • Timesys Announces LinuxLink Availability for OMAP-L137 Processor

      LinuxLink, the first commercial software development framework for building custom embedded Linux products will be available for the new Texas Instruments’ OMAP-L137 Processor.

    • Embedded Linux suppliers ranked: Wind River and MontaVista top list

      Wind River Systems, a real time software provider in Alameda, Calif., has become the leading commercial supplier of solutions for embedded Linux applications, ranked as a percentage of total market revenue, according to analysts at market researcher VDC Research in Natick, Mass.

    • Android

      • Mentor unveils Android, Linux strategy at DAC

        Mentor Graphics announced its acquisition of Embedded Alley Solutions as a key component of its Android and embedded Linux strategy Wednesday afternoon at the Design Automation Conference. Mentor also announced the integration of its Nucleus Graphical User Interface tool with the ARM Mali graphics processing unit; it announced the availability of a Linux and Nucleus operating-system combination for the Marvell Sheeva MV78200 dual-core embedded processor; and it said that it is extending Embedded Alley’s Android mobile-applications platform to support Freescale Semiconductor’s QorIQ and PowerQUICC III processors.

      • ZiiLabs Announces EGG StemCell Computer.

        Another Android-capable device comes down the line, but this one is different from anything currently out on the market. ZiiLabs created the StemCell computer to be an open standards development platform, capable of running a Linux distro or Android with equal ease. This ZiiLabs EGG is not a phone, but it can be upgraded with the proper chipset to become one.

      • Motorola Pledges Cheaper Android Phones

        Android smart phones. Cheap Android phones. Android phones on the Nextel/Boost iDen network. Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha said many of next year’s Motorola phones will run the Google Android OS in a call with analysts today, continuing a big bet on the Linux-based system.

      • Acquisition of Linux/Android specialists to bring Android to PowerPC

        Mentor Graphics announced it has acquired Linux development firm Embedded Alley, plans to port Android to PowerPC, and will work with ARM, Freescale, Marvell, MIPS, RMI, and TI on Linux and/or Android projects. One plan calls for combining Linux with Mentor’s “Nucleus” RTOS on Marvell’s dual-core Sheeva MV78200 processors, added Mentor.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Funambol Brings Open Source Mobile Cloud Sync to mVoIP

    When I heard that Funambol was rolling out an open source mobile cloud sync service for mobile VoIP users, I’ll be honest — I wasn’t thinking about the open code, or about how much easier it would make contacting people worldwide over a diverse array of devices. I immediately thought of my dad.

  • Open Source Monitoring: 4 Key Questions You Need to Ask

    Ultimately, MSPs need to look at their DNA. Are they a product development organization or a service organization? I’d argue it’s very hard to be both. Can the MSP afford the cost and distraction of developing, maintaining, and supporting an open source monitoring product internally?

    In addition, MSPs need to look at the DNA of the open source products available. Do they have the makeup to be an enterprise-grade solution that enables, rather than hinders, an MSP’s growth objectives? Is it in their DNA to move elegantly beyond being a tactical, low-cost point solution to one that yields real business advantage in a competitive MSP market?

  • Programming

    • The “R” Statistical Environment, and REvolution Computing, Spread Out

      REvolution Computing offers REvolution R, an enhanced distribution of R, as a free download. It also offers REvolution R Enterprise, a subscription-based version of R aimed at large companies that work with large data sets, and ParallelR (included in the Enterprise edition), which can take advantage of multi-processor systems and clusters for large data crunching tasks. R itself, and REvolution’s versions, are being embraced in a number of fields, with a number of innovative new applications arriving.

    • Why Code For Free? Yet More Linux/FOSS Devs Speak! (part 3)

      My usual experience is: for the vast majority of people, do it by finding the right company to work for. A lot of companies, from giant to tiny, use and work with free software.

      They are often happy for you to continue to work with the upstream community as part of your job, which can mean anything from “submit the occasional patch” through to “run the entire OSS project, on their infrastructure.”

      As an example, my present employer uses Perl, and other OSS, heavily, and we regularly work back. Several of our staff are committers on the OSS projects we base our work on, and address bugs on the companies time (and dime).

    • GNU Emacs 23.1 Provides Anti-Aliasing

      Emacs, the extensible editor of the GNU project, is available in version 23.1. The release adds countless modernizations to the traditional program, such as font anti-alising and support for D-Bus and zeroconf.

      Up to now the programmable editor, which could read mail and news and provide a development environment for many computer languages, didn’t recognize smoothed fonts. Many users integrated snapshots of the newly released version alone for that reason. The newest release provides new ways to adopt anti-aliasing font rasterization.

    • Emacs capable of handling Unicode

      After years of work, the Emacs developers have released Emacs 23.1, the first version of the free editor that internally uses the UTF-8 Unicode format. The editor manages and displays fonts using Fontconfig and Xft, allowing users to apply anti-aliasing to their fonts.


  • B&N Wraps Public Domain Books In DRM To Protect Authors’ Copyrights. What?

    The ebook “war” is a race to the bottom, apparently, with Barnes & Noble trying to out-do Amazon on DRM stupidity. A reader emailed B&N customer service to point out that their “free books” offer consists of 5 public domain titles that are no longer protected under copyright, yet are still locked down with digital rights management (DRM). Their response? “For copyright protection purposes, these files are encrypted and cannot be converted or printed.”

  • Once Again, Congress Wants To Blame Limewire For Stupid Staffers, As Arts+Labs Propaganda Campaign Works

    This started a few years ago, when suddenly grandstanding Congress-folk started blaming Limewire for “leaking” a confidential terrorist threat assessment. Of course, that was misguided. The problem wasn’t Limewire (or any file sharing software), but idiotic gov’t employees who (a) put file sharing software on gov’t computers (b) didn’t properly wall off the software and (c) put confidential info where it could be shared. Earlier this year, suddenly, the issue came up again (again targeting Limewire). It was instigated by some aggressive entertainment industry lobbyists, who have concocted this huge story about how Limewire is to blame. And politicians always seem willing to buy it.

  • Big Content: ludicrous to expect DRMed music to work forever

    Rightsholders can’t understand why people who bought DRMed music only to have the authentication servers go dark might demand the right to crack the DRM. Big Content believes the idea that rightsholders “are required to provide consumers with perpetual access to copyrighted works” is laughable. Ha ha.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Luis Casas Luengo, Director of Extremadura’s Fundecyt foundation 10 (2004)

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


Masters of FUD: Apple, IBM, and Microsoft

Posted in Apple, FUD, IBM, Microsoft at 5:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘We recommend that we *informally* plant the bug of FUD in their ears. “Have you heard about problems with DR DOS?”‘

Microsoft (internal correspondence)

Apple music

Is Apple Suggesting That The DMCA Prevents Terrorism? [Note: jailbroken iPhones might also molest the children, so new legislation and enforcement are needed immediately]

However, Apple’s response to the Library of Congress, suggesting that open or jailbroken iPhones could be used by terrorists to bring down cell towers is both preposterous and totally unrelated to the issue at hand. First it’s preposterous, as there are plenty of “open” devices out there already, and there has yet to be a single report of anyone taking down a cell tower with their mobile phone.

IBM flings FUD at Neon zPrimers [Note: IBM is the originator of "FUD" as we know it today and it still uses software patents FUD to advance itself in the GNU/Linux market at the expense of others]

£50 cash back & £50 off selected Toshiba laptops

As El Reg anticipated when the zPrime mainframe acceleration software tool was announced by Neon Enterprise Software, the tool has not only gotten the attention of IBM, but has compelled Big Blue to warn its customers about using it.

Struggling With the Vistaster Disaster [Note: this is not an example of FUD as much as it is another case of forced Windows purchases where myths about "ease of use" in Windows are debunked]

Since ASUS refused to refund the cost of Windows on the N10J that I recently purchased (not surprising), I figured that I am stuck with it, I might as well at least see how both Vistaster and XP Professional work on it. I’m now into my second day of fighting with this monstrosity, and I still don’t understand anything about it. Seriously.

Before I go on, let me say that this is UNIQUELY a Windows disaster. I can install any one of a variety of Linux distributions on the N10J at any time that I want, and be done in well under an hour. I’ve probably spent in excess of 12 hours over the last two days trying to get EITHER Vistaster OR XP Professional to reinstall, with extremely limited success.

More New Evidence of the Incestuous Relationship Between the BBC and Microsoft

Posted in Deception, DRM, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 5:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The BBC and Microsoft share common interests (not just staff) and it shows

A couple of weeks ago we showed that the BBC misrepresented Europe (as in the European Commission). It was wrong about Microsoft antitrust, and not so surprisingly because the BBC too came under European Commission pressure after it had colluded with Microsoft. The BBC continues to turn a blind eye to the inherent insecurity of Windows while illegally hijacking the platform en masse and then ‘forgetting’ to mention that it is a Windows problem.

“Contrary to common belief, the BBC is run as a business, but it is unique in the sense that it is also a national service.”We could go on forever listing the many posts here about the BBC. Contrary to common belief, the BBC is run as a business, but it is unique in the sense that it is also a national service. It does great disservice at times by misinforming the public and even former employees of the BBC complained about it, including one prominent one whose name was Eric Blair (better known as George Orwell).

Yesterday we wrote about the atrocious Yahoo-Microsoft deal, which sank Yahoo’s stock like it was a rock. Needless to say, the BBC portrays this as a good thing, whereas others are calling for regulators to intercept the deal because it is very damaging to competition and to end users. Now catch this stunning coverage of the deal. Look who the BBC is quoting (with an entire video):

Microsoft’s Ashley Highfield: “It brings scale and innovation to the search market”

Yes, that’s right. The BBC approaches Ashley Highfield, the the man who used the BBC to exclude Microsoft’s rivals. The BBC, where he worked and caused trouble for a long time, is now quoting him on behalf of Microsoft. This is insanely creepy.

This morning we also found this report from The Register.

Microsoft to launch UK ad-funded online video player


The software giant’s ad-funded MSN Video Player will be made available to Blighty broadband customers and will feature TV programmes from BBC Worldwide and All3Media.


Ex-BBC technology chief Ashley Highfield, who quit Project Kangaroo for Microsoft taking on the role of MD and veep of consumer and online in November 2008, told the Guardian that MS had a “fair crack of the whip” with attracting viewers to the service.

Yes, that’s Highfield again. How predictable. It is the man who said (wearing a BBC hat): “We have 17.1 million users of bbc.co.uk in the UK and, as far as our server logs can make out, 5 per cent of those [use Macs] and around 400 to 600 are Linux users.”

“The BBC hardly ever covers GNU/Linux; when it does, it is very derogatory.”That was a lie.

But wait, that’s not all.

On the BBC, Peter Day’s new Red Hat interview was very hostile. He gave away his hatred of collaboration, Free software, Wikipedia, people who develop code, and the young(er) generation. It is almost as though the purpose of the interview was to grill, to daemonise, and to be rude. Listen to it for a more personal judgment. It gets crass towards the end. This was debated some more in the IRC channel (later in the day) and more historical context in needed for newcomers to understand the convictions of the BBC, which got filled with former Microsoft staff recently. The BBC hardly ever covers GNU/Linux; when it does, it is very derogatory.

The BBC is usually glorifying Microsoft (even Windows Vista, which is undeniably a failure) and glamourising intellectual monopolies while consistently calling dissenters “pirates”. Here is a new BBC article about patents, which totally lacks proper criticism.

The voicemail-to-text service Spinvox has applied for two patents which describe the service as being operated by humans, the BBC has learned.

Spinvox has previously claimed that state-of-the-art speech recognition technology is the basis of its service.

However, its patent applications claim the approach is accurate precisely because it employs human operators.

The BBC needs to advance onto the new age; as it stands, the BBC remains a promoter of DRM, monopolies on knowledge, Windows Vista, Microsoft, the MPAA, and the RIAA. Being a defender of status quo where elite interests are always further advanced is nothing to take pride in. Maybe Auntie Beeb should make a bid for Bill O’Reilly sooner rather than later.

Orwell at the BBC
Eric Blair’s memo of resignation from the BBC

Links 30/07/2009: FAA Uses GNU/Linux, Free Software Grows in East Asia

Posted in News Roundup at 4:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Howto migrate to Linux

    Advantages of Linux

    * The company will spend less money in IT resources. Less license fees (free in most cases) and less hardware is needed to run the same services in Linux.
    * Technical Department will spend less time fixing problems and they will have more time to improve the company’s IT services. Due to the open-source nature of Linux, the IT department will have unlimited control on the software it uses.
    * The employees of the company will have faster computers with less problems, so they will work more efficiently.

  • 10 Cool Unix/Linux Personalized License Plates

    Some people have taken their love for Unix and Linux on the streets literally by displaying their Unix/Linux-related personalized license plates. Though I haven’t actually seen one in real life yet, I have collected several photos that will show some of these cool custom license plates in action, which I’m going to share with all of you.

  • Will I Go Back?

    I’m using the Linux distribution Ubuntu for over a year now – I hopped on the train with version 8.04 LTS. Although I still ‘need’ Windows for a number of things, like vector editing for example, – no vector drawing software in Linux satisfies my needs – I am more than pleased with this operating system.

  • Ubuntu Experiment – Part 1
  • On The FAA’s Slow And Steady SWIM To Open Source

    “Before we awarded the contract to Progress last year, there were other FAA programs like TFM [Traffic Flow Management], our weather-monitoring programs, and a new terminal program, TDDS [Terminal Data Distribution System]. Those program are and have been using Linux. We had a total of five such programs in SWIM Segment 1, and now that we have FUSE in place, that’s a total of seven.”

  • Run your LiveCD on Windows with one click

    MobaLiveCD also lets you add a menu entry to the right-click menu of ISO images so that you can directly run the ISO image from the right-click menu. To set up the menu entry, click on the Right-click menu button in MobaLiveCD:

    Now when you right-click on an ISO image, you see the entry Test this with MobaLiveCD in the right-click menu. Select this if you want to start the ISO image in MobaLiveCD…

  • Desktop

    • Dell: New Ubuntu Desktop PC Launching Soon

      In recent weeks, Dell.com’s U.S. website has not offered Ubuntu Linux desktop PCs. But that situation could change the week of August 2. Here’s the scoop from The VAR Guy.

      Our resident blogger stirred up some market confusion on July 22, when he noticed Dell’s Ubuntu site (www.dell.com/ubuntu) only offered laptops and netbooks with Ubuntu installed. Alas, Dell apparently wasn’t offering Ubuntu on desktop PCs anymore.

    • Dell: New Ubuntu Desktop PC Within Days
  • Kernel Space

    • Nearly Two Dozen X.Org Drivers Get Updated

      In time for the X.Org 7.5 release (whenever that may come), David Airlie has put out new driver releases for nineteen of the X.Org video drivers. These aren’t updates to the mainline ATI/AMD, Intel, or even NVIDIA drivers, but some of the drivers for less common graphics hardware.

    • Please Linus Torvalds. Don’t go microsoft on us.

      If Linux starts going down that backwards compatibility path then I think it will be on a slippery slope down to bug kingdom and security black holes. Alan Cox quite clearly stated his reasons in terms of security for his patch. For Linus to dismiss that reasoning with such an arbitrary and thoughtless manner seems to me that his mind is less on the kernel and more on other matters.

      In the past when this sort of user land breakage happened, the user land programs were quickly fixed and life went on as before. It was no big deal and an expected part and parcel of dealing with rapidly changing open source software. It was what made Linux and open source great. To lock down the kernel in such a manner means that it will not advance and that means stagnation.

    • Dispute between Linux gurus Alan Cox and Linus Torvalds
  • Applications

    • Virt-manager 0.8.0 Released

      Virt-manager 0.8.0 release was officially annouced late last night. This latest release includes bug fixes and a couple of new features, my personal favourite being the Clone VM wizard that I briefly mentioned in here. The official announcement lists the following new features…

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME 2.27.5 released!

      Wow, it’s quite hot here. Sure, the temperature outside is high, but I guess it’s also because of this computer who worked hard to understand some lines of code and to translate them into something that it can then use to make me happy. Yes. Because running GNOME makes me happy! And the 2.27.5 release is no exception there: it has this magic power on me. It’s a good release to get a first feeling of what will be in GNOME 2.28, with the new modules now being integrated and new features popping here and there, in many differents modules. Ah, if only it could do something for the temperature ;-)

  • Distributions

    • Arch Linux 2009.02

      Arch Linux is a distro developed without assitance from any of the major distributions, and is targeted at experienced users of Linux. It is unique in the Linux world that it uses a ‘rc.conf’ file which is executed everytime upon start up, an idea borrowed from the BSD style systems.

      While this review is technically one of the 2009.02 release, Arch Linux uses a ‘rolling-release’ system, in which the actual system is constantly updated and then ’snapshots’ of the current packages are made into an ISO file and released every 6 months.

    • Omega: Fedora For The Rest of Us

      The Fedora Project is one of the most popular Linux distributions and has been ever since Red Hat announced its creation in 2003. It is a free and open source operating system which came about as a merger between some of their commercial products. It was to be a community driven project, built entirely on free software and would be a test bed for Red Hat Enterprise Linux offerings. Even though it remains a community distribution, numerous Red Hat employees are involved and help set the direction of the project.

    • Free Books For Approved LoCo Teams

      Prentice Hall are happy to send each and every approved LoCo team one free copy of The Official Ubuntu Book and one free copy of The Official Ubuntu Server book. To be entirely clear: this is one copy of each book per team. This will be a great addition to each team’s library of Ubuntu books!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Waddling Past The Windows

      One of the great sources of frustration — and more than a few jokes — for geeks is the legendary instability of the Windows operating system. If you’ve ever had to rescue a box that’s crashing more often than a demolition derby car, the latest offering out of Active Media Products may help you keep your cool.

      We all know that like a faithful Labrador, Linux is a geek’s best friend. When it comes to recovering data from a crashed system, it’s particularly friendly, providing the option to boot from a Live CD or other media and recover files. The good geeks at Active Media Products, however, have taken that one step further with the release of their new BLU — Bootable Linux USB.

    • Review of the System76 Starling Netbook

      I wanted a netbook for traveling. I plan to use it primarily for checking e-mail, browsing the Internet, writing documents, listening to music and watching movies. I may also at some point use it as an e-book reader and podcast player.

      I’m a moderately competent user of computers. I have a little — but not much — experience with Linux.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source adoption ‘anomaly’ in Philippines

    Like several economies in the region, open source adoption in the Philippines is gradually expanding as organizations to seek alternatives to expensive proprietary software. But, unlike some markets, early adopters in the country come from the private sector.


    Miguel Paraz, an active advocate of OSS who now works for a local IT firm, noted that public consciousness of open source is only at “a superficial level”, with the occasional mention of Linux in the mainstream business news.

  • How SpringSource is taking on Java Goliaths

    Some argue that open-source software can’t innovate. In fact, one of the industry’s former executives, Peter Yared, recently argued that “the only successful open-source companies sell commodities.”

    Yared clearly hasn’t heard of SpringSource, an open-source application platform provider that is redefining the J2EE application server and, quite possibly, the future of open source.

  • Success with FOSS

    Sometimes people open-source code because they want other people to help with the coding. For them, absolutely, they need a community that gets involved. But others just write the code for their own pleasure, because it scratches an itch, or because they want something that does exactly what they want and there’s no such thing already. For them, a community is an irrelevance. It might even be a nuisance. They write the code for themselves, and they’re nice enough to share it. FOSS is different things to different people, you can’t apply one single standard to define what makes a project a success.

  • Mozilla starts preparing developers for Firefox 3.6

    Brace yourself for the vanishing menu bar because Mozilla has published an official feature list for Firefox 3.6 in the form of a guide for programmers who need to know about the changes.

  • MySQL startup targets SSDs

    Start-up Hexagram 49 has unveiled an engine dubbed RethinkDB. The company says it’s optimized for SSDs, claiming it can deliver performance ten times faster than existing databases.

  • The not-so-intuitive Intuition of Intuit

    Glyn Moody says is an attempt to plug into the power of openness without really engaging with it, Matt Asay explains how openness will help the company to enrich its partner experience. Savio Rodrigues also thinks that is a win-win, adding that the goal could have been achieved even by releasing the code under a closed source license. Last but not least he argues that the EPL would have been a better choice, now that the OSI has moved the CPL to inactive (for the records, Intuit is hearing hints and reacting).

  • Open-source Project Aims to Makes Secure DNS Easier

    The software, called OpenDNSSEC, automates many tasks associated with implementing DNSSEC (Domain Name System Security Extensions), which is a set a set of protocols that allows DNS (Domain Name System) records to carry a digital signature, said John A. Dickinson, a DNS consultant working on the project.

  • Internet Systems Consortium using Drupal

    Internet Systems Consortium, also known as ISC, is using Drupal on their website at http://isc.org. ISC was founded by three internet pioneers Rick Adams, Carl Malamud and Paul Vixie to support BIND and other software that helps power the internet.

  • Business

    • Open Source Pricing Incentives and Business Strategies: the GroundWork case

      I asked David Dennis, senior director of product marketing at Groundwork, to keep me updated about the initiative, below some answers on the topic of GroundWork Monitor Starter Edition.

    • Post-OSCON roundup

      A lot’s happened in the few days since my keynote at OSCON and I think it’s time I did a round-up of women-in-open-source-related stuff from the conference itself and the not-quite-a-week since.

      Some wins for the conference:

      * Gina Blaber from O’Reilly tells me that female attendance is up, and it looked that way to me. I’d guess around 5%, which of course is still kind of appalling, but I think a bit higher than last year.
      * Proportion of female speakers is up to 8.9% (from 8.36% last year). That’s just based on actual numbers of people, not the talks they gave; it might be a smidge higher based on number of talks. A small improvement, but any improvement is good at this point.

  • Openness

    • Communal Webcasting platform to beef up campus’s popular educational content

      As a growing number of worldwide learners log on, free of charge, to video and podcast lectures and events at the University of California, Berkeley, the campus is leading an international effort to build a communal Webcasting platform to more easily record and distribute its popular educational content.

    • AP Launches Open Source Ascribenation Project

      Meanwhile, a small suggestion to the AP: Get your legal department’s footprints off your home page (where the top item is “Protecting AP’s Intellectual Property”). In fact, push them to the nether regions of the website. It’s not friendly stuff.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Luis Casas Luengo, Director of Extremadura’s Fundecyt foundation 09 (2004)

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

More RAND and Hostility Towards Standards, Courtesy of Microsoft

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Novell, RAND at 9:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Don't look at me

Summary: Another look at how Microsoft and its affiliates suppress Free software (a potpourri of new examples)

OVER the past week we exposed the interests of Nasscom [1, 2], based on dozens of references which we have accumulated for years. It it truly sad that a supposedly “national” body is at times just a vassal for multinationals. The conflict of interests is not only a perceived one; in fact, ZDNet has just published a long article about it.

Proponents of the open source and proprietary software sectors have clashed over a proposal to support multiple standards for the country’s e-government projects.

Last year, the Indian Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MCIT) released a draft policy, mandating the adoption of freely available standards in the deployment of the country’s e-government projects–estimated to be valued at over US$4 billion.


The trade body supports the inclusion of standards under Reasonable and Non Discriminatory (RAND) terms, and also the usage of multiple standards in the same domain.

That mention of RAND is one that we are seeing in Europe as well. Microsoft loves using RAND as a weapon against Free software and contrary to spin, Microsoft is still not playing fair. In fact, the spin machine carries on.

Microsoft has promised the European Commission a “significant change” in attitude and publishes its proposal for the marketing of Internet Explorer in Windows 7. Additionally there’s news regarding the GPL publishings.

Microsoft’s “GPL publishings” are nothing significant (neither for Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] nor for Moodle) and here comes another article about Microsoft’s GPL violations.

MICROSOFT DID VIOLATE the GNU General Public License (GPLv2) through the way it distributed its Hyper-V device drivers for Linux, the Software Freedom Law Center has claimed.


Stephen Hemminger, a lead engineer for the networking software maker Vyatta and a Linux kernel contributor, apparently discovered Microsoft’s licencing violation.

We wrote some more about it several days ago because the spin machine never rests. In fact, the Register’s Microsoft-oriented guy, Gavin Clarke, has just shown that Zend gives Microsoft and its ally Novell a preferential treatment.

Zend Technologies has announced the latest version of its open-source framework for PHP, offering improved support for Microsoft and Novell environments.

Why Novell? This has more to do with Novell’s proprietary side.

Returning to those claims from Microsoft that it was playing fair with rival Web browsers, this is totally missing the point that Microsoft deviates from Web standards, using Silverlight. In fact, now that Yahoo! is Microsoft's zombie, Glyn Moody expects more Silverlight poison around the Web.

I would also expect to see more Microsoft technologies rolled out across Yahoo sites – in particular, Silverlight. That’s definitely bad news for open source, since it is patent-encumbered and very closely tied to Microsoft’s other products.

I warned about this back in February 2008 when Microsoft made the bid for Yahoo! SIlverlight is proprietary, so what’s the point asking for a patent waiver or documentation?

“I have no idea what you’re talking about when you say ‘ask.’”

Bill Gates, in his deposition for the Microsoft antitrust trial

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