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08.04.09

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: August 4th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

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

Does the Open Invention Network (OIN) Become a Patent Harvester?

Posted in GNU/Linux, OIN, Patents at 6:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Piggy bank OIN

Summary: OIN wants to fight patents with some more patents

BASED on the press release shown at the bottom, Heise has just written this short report about the patent pool known as OIN:

The Open Invention Network (OIN) today announced that it was starting a new programme to acquire patents from “entrepreneurial inventors”. The Distinguished Inventors Patent Acquisition programme offers cash for accepted patents while allowing the inventor to patent enhancements to the accepted patent. The OIN believe the programme will help independent inventors turn their patents into money, without them selling their patents to patent trolls, or companies seeking to “impede innovation”.

This is some bizarre logic, but given the corporate source of the OIN, this may not be too surprising. Richard Stallman correctly pointed out that “fighting patents one by one will never eliminate the danger of software patents, any more than swatting mosquitoes will eliminate malaria.” Well, likewise, trying to buy all patents that can potentially be acquired by patent trolls is like trying to put all mosquitoes inside a plastic tube in hope of eliminate malaria. The solution is to eliminate/illegalise patent trolls or eradicate this morbid system altogether.

Below is the full press release.


Open Invention Network Announces Launch of Distinguished Inventors Patent Acquisition Program With Purchase of V_Graph Patents

DURHAM, NC — 08/03/09 — Open Invention Network (OIN), a collaborative enterprise that enables innovation in open source and an increasingly vibrant ecosystem around Linux, today announced the launch of its Distinguished Inventors Patent Acquisition program. The program is focused on entrepreneurial inventors, typically unaffiliated with large corporate entities, who have authored key technology patents. The Distinguished Inventors Patent Acquisition program offers upfront cash consideration for accepted patents and support for further advances in the technology and onward patenting by the original inventor. The program will be an attractive alternative for independent inventors seeking to monetize their patents but not wishing to sell to patent trolls or “corporate trolls” who seek to use patents to impede innovation and competition.

“The program will be an attractive alternative for independent inventors seeking to monetize their patents but not wishing to sell to patent trolls or “corporate trolls” who seek to use patents to impede innovation and competition.”“OIN is pleased to be in a position to offer such a compelling solution to independent inventors,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of OIN. “Our organization acquires valuable technology patents and makes them available royalty-free to any organization that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System. Because of this, inventors can be confident that patents they sell to OIN will be available to support continued global innovation.”

The template for patent acquisitions for the Distinguished Inventors Patent Acquisition program involves patents 5,862,372 and 7,185,316, entitled “Visually Oriented Computer Implemented Application Development System Utilizing Standardized Objects and Multiple Views.” These patents were acquired by OIN from V_Graph earlier this year.

V_Graph is known for its contributions to object-oriented scripting, including the application development system called “O-Zone, the Object Zone,” which is used to build distributed internet-enabled programs. “We sold our patent portfolio to OIN because we are convinced that it is best for people to use our inventions constructively,” noted Robert Morris, V_Graph founder and inventor.

About V_Graph

V_Graph, founded in 1986 by Robert Morris and Leet Denton, is an entrepreneurial company specializing in innovative solutions which allow computers to do useful work. In the mid 1980s, V_Graph developed VirtualVideo, which the Smithsonian recognizes as one of the earliest known modern multimedia systems. For the last decade, V_Graph has been involved in computer language development activities through which it has made significant contributions to the computer and software industries. For more information, go to www.v-graph.com.

About Open Invention Network

Open Invention Network(SM) is a collaborative enterprise that enables innovation in open source and an increasingly vibrant ecosystem around Linux, by acquiring and licensing patents, influencing behaviors and policy and protecting the integrity of the ecosystem. It enables the growth and continuation of open source software by fostering a healthy Linux ecosystem of investors, vendors, developers and users.

Open Invention Network has considerable industry backing. It was launched in 2005, and has received investments from IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony. For more information, go to www.openinventionnetwork.com.

Open Invention Network, the Open Invention Network logo, Linux Defenders, Linux Defenders 911 and the Linux Defenders 911 logo are the property of Open Invention Network, LLC. All other names and brand marks are the property of their respective holders.

Video Demo of the New KDE 4.3

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, Videos at 6:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Embedded Ogg:

For download of the video (~70MB):

Ogg Theora

See KDE 4.3 schedule information for more details. It has just been officially released.

Microsoft Watch on Microsoft vs Google and Microsoft vs Sub-notebooks

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Hardware, Microsoft at 6:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Picturesque - sunset

Summary: Microsoft hates sub-notebooks but wants to control them; likewise for so-called ‘clouds’

Microsoft is against sub-notebooks and against affordable PCs, not just GNU/Linux. This is something that more and more people come to realise and I4U has just written this rant, specifically about the issues at hand.

The whole reason netbooks are attractive to customers is because they are low-cost, quick-booting, portable computers with good battery life. The ‘low-cost’ part is crucial, because it’s what has allowed so many people without the money for a new desktop or notebook to pick up netbooks. Unfortunately, that benefit of the platform may soon be fading away, leaving us with another example of why you should never trust Microsoft.

[...]

There’s still a hope for the netbook market, and its name is Google Chrome. It looks like manufacturers are backing away from Android as a netbook OS, and no Linux distro is ever going to be popular enough to draw a substantial amount of customers away from Win 7 products.

The post-Wilcox Microsoft Watch is almost always pro-Microsoft under the pen of Nicholas Kolakowski, but Goblin disagrees. Goblin says that Microsoft Watch is “returning to the good old days of Linux advocacy due to the majority of its readers being Linux users!” This doesn’t seem to agree with the evidence, such as this essay where Kolakowski quotes Microsoft booster Enderle [1, 2] on competitors of Microsoft as though he is an impartial observer.

“The public cloud is perfect for certain things but maybe not for business,” Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group, told me in an interview a few weeks ago. “It’s not something you should build your business on, particularly if your revenue is based on being able to stay in contact with people.”

Isn’t it funny that Microsoft accepts the whole ‘cloud’ hype and wants businesses to eventually go there (but only if their choice is Azure)? It’s just that Microsoft is so far behind that it still needs to simultaneously spread ‘cloud’ FUD, especially against Google which the article above is all about. Microsoft is scared enough of Google Apps that its former employees seemingly join the FUD party. Google appears to have just embarked on a big advertising campaign for Apps. From The Register:

Mountain View plans to slap Google Apps adverts on billboards in major US cities from today in its latest attempt to woo businesses away from Microsoft’s Office suite.

In another new essay, Kolakowski shows a little more balance. Watch this essay which says: “Microsoft’s solution to the netbook problem – which it keeps insisting is not a problem – seems to be to try to shift the entire PC industry in a slightly different direction. Setting the monster’s lair on fire could work – if customers are willing to spend on a bigger and sleeker system. The recovering economy, as with all such things these days, could be the ultimate arbiter.”

“Microsoft has to suspend the “free” market for their own self interest”
      –Fewa
“That’s called monopoly abuse,” claimed Fewa, who describes the above as “[a] huge ad campaign to make people think they need expensive, heavy, low-battery life systems.”

Another reader points out that the above is “repeating the Microsoft lies about market share in sub-notebooks.” It is a lie indeed.

“Microsoft has to suspend the “free” market for their own self interest,” concludes Fewa.

Microsoft .NET Tries to Piggyback OLPC, Novell Helps the Same Cause

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OLPC at 5:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates

OLPC in Cambodia

Summary: Microsoft drone Syncfusion uses ‘donation’ to spread .NET

SOME MONTHS ago we showed a Comes vs Microsoft exhibit where Microsoft's true feelings about OLPC are expressed. The company from Redmond only perceives it as an opportunity to profit some more. Moreover, if the project gets ‘infected’ by Microsoft (staffing and software), then it may turn off goodwill and GNU/Linux grassroots efforts. Surely a win-win for Microsoft, even if it abandons the project, just as it's abandoning sub-notebooks at the moment. Microsoft has a monopoly, so a techno-medieval status quo is wonderful to it. Microsoft is not interested in disruptive trends; it is interested in squashing/destroying them, sometimes by momentarily dumping to get into them and then decommissioning them from the inside. As Robert X. Cringely put it, “They [Microsoft] have the deepest of pockets, unlimited ambition, and they are willing to lose money for years and years just to make sure that you don’t make any money, either. And they are mean, REALLY mean.”

Now we find a company called Syncfusion. The company is about .NET, Silverlight and other Microsoft lock-in, based on its Web site. It has just issued this press release to show that it donates “addiction” (see Gates quote at the top), but it’s not even a donation per se. It’s just licences for binaries and the same illusion of “donation” Microsoft makes extensive use of when it puts a price on mere copies of binary files (or licences to run them rather).

ASP.NET MVC developers will be able to order the new Syncfusion Essential Studio ASP.NET MVC binary edition for only $5 and receive thirty days of subscription service. All proceeds from the one-day sale will be donated to the non-profit organization One Laptop per Child (OLPC). In addition, Syncfusion will match every dollar donated, up to $1,000.

OLPC should reject this ‘gift’. Other attempts were seemingly made against LiMo and Novell did this to Android. Based on internal Microsoft correspondence (antitrust exhibits) we already know why Microsoft wants to put .NET/Mono in devices.

“They are pretending to be a friend when in fact they were GPL violators who are suing Linux companies for using Linux.”Is it not funny how Microsoft — often through its partners — always invades FOSS mailing lists, habitually injects Microsoft content into FOSS conferences, and forcibly pushes its wares into university departments, etc.? Even our IRC channel gets populated by them; they pretend to be friends while trying to shoot down the true FOSS people or at least shoot down their goals [1, 2, 3, 4].

Right now, for instance, IDG is ‘marketing’ Microsoft as a friend of Open Source for resolving a GPL violation [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Yes, those 14,100 lines of Microsoft code are used by Microsoft for PR purposes. They are pretending to be a friend when in fact they were GPL violators who are suing Linux companies for using Linux.

And in other news about .NET, watch what Novell staff is working on at the moment. MonoDevelop helps windows, but that’s OK with Novell. Another Novell employee is using Mono to help iPhone.

We have reached feature completion status for our MonoTouch project and we are looking for some adventurous iPhone developers that might be interested in trying out Mono for the iPhone and the MonoTouch APIs (A C# API for building Cocoa applications).

Novell’s Mono Web site already raves about it and Heise gave it some coverage.

The Mono developers have announced a limited beta and September release of MonoTouch, an edition of Mono for the Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch devices. The open source .NET implementation has had some hurdles to overcome to be able to work within Apple’s technical and legal requirements.

For those who think that complaining about Mono is “unproductive”, read the following new post from Mono-Nono.com.

Anytime someone squeezes out a discredited pro-Mono argument, anyone who has bothered to read this blog knows that person is ignorant. Anytime someone tries to pretend that every single Mono critic is a frothing-at-mouth irrational zealot, anyone who has bothered to read this blog knows that person is ignorant. And so on. So I’m thinking that I’m meeting my goals and being productive just fine, thankyouverymuch.

It’s easy to make the other side look like a failure if you redefine thier goal, methods and motivations.

Opposition to Mono is a matter of advancing GNU/Linux. Mono is helping Windows, not GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3]. Mono is also helping Novell.

Microsoft Maintains Pace of 1 Dead Product Every 2 Weeks: Latest Casualty is Windows Live Events

Posted in Microsoft, Windows at 4:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ales stones

Summary: Windows Live Events has one last event: burial

OVER the past year we have seen Microsoft projects or divisions being shut down at the pace of two per month, on average. So, next up it was not too surprising to find Windows Live Events biting the dust.

Microsoft has decided to close down Windows Live Events and will be focusing its development efforts on building event planning and management tools for Windows Live Calendar instead. Beginning next month, users of Windows Live Events will be unable to create new events. And sometime next year, the site will simply redirect to Live Calendar instead.

Here is the only other source we could find, which links to the original from Microsoft.

As Microsoft gets smaller and weaker, GNU/Linux will need to cope with fewer rabid opponents.

Links 04/08/2009: OpenGL 3.2 and KDE 4.4 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 3:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Open source “touch book” shipping worldwide

    A new open source netbook has separate tablet and keyboard sections and is shipping for $US399 globally.

    If you are the type who shuns Windows and wants only alternative OS’ on your netbook like Linux or Android, but you don’t want to wait until the Acer dual-boot netbook hits, a company called Always Innovating has a new open source netbook for you. The machine is called the Touch Book and international orders are being accepted.

  • Pulling Some Pranks
  • Desktop

    • Google Chrome OS Could Be Pivotal in the Cloud Revolution

      Google Chrome OS is arriving just in time to take advantage of the perfect storm of cloud services, cheap hardware, and a new generation of platform-agnostic users. Unlike other Linux-based OSs, Chrome has brand recognition that even the biggest neophyte could get comfortable with.

    • Tutorial: Set up Ubuntu Linux on a Windows PC

      With the average netbook struggling to run Vista, we reckon Ubuntu Linux is a more suitable operating system. Here, we explain how to install it on your Windows machine.

      Netbooks have soared in popularity over the past year, offering consumers portable PCs for word-processing and web browsing at rock-bottom prices. Such mini laptops use inexpensive processors that consume a minimal amount of power and thus offer a far longer battery life than most portables.

      But there’s one problem: Windows Vista is a resource-hungry operating system (OS), and it will run painfully slow unless your system has plenty of memory and processing power. Installing Windows on a netbook also adds a significant amount to the machine’s overall cost.

    • AA-S Best Bet – Linux Against Poverty:

      The HeliOS Project is one of those Austin organizations that puts a lump in my throat every time I write about it. Ken Starks and his volunteers take computers that would otherwise go into landfills or get donated to Goodwill. They get the machines operational and donate them to kids, families and nonprofits that are happy to have functioning desktop and laptop computers.

    • What was your first experience with Linux like?

      Overall, even though I didn’t use that computer after that, that initial experience increased my confidence overall with computers, and piqued my curiosity into using Linux. I’ve also been impressed as to how slick and polished the installation process is now in most Linux distro’s…

  • USB

    • Active Media intros Penguin Bootable Linux USB Drive

      The Bootable Linux USB comes preloaded with the full installation of Ubuntu Linux 9.0.4. It’s an exceptional disaster recovery solution in the case of problems occurring with the operating system on the primary hard drive. Since important data files on the hard drive can be backed up onto the BLU drive or another USB storage device.

    • 60-second review | Back in a Flash

      This device goes beyond your average backup since you can boot an entire Linux operating system.

      [...]

      Bottom line: This is a new product from a South Florida company. Visually it’s not very sleek. But it goes beyond your average backup since you can boot an entire Linux operating system off this baby — and that’ll come in handy if Windows goes completely down while you’re working on a project in the middle of the night. The company provides detailed instructions on how to do this and use Linux, since it’s not something most of us do every day.

  • Server

    • Apple Shake’s demise confirmed

      “Modern VFX houses run a largely Linux-based infrastructure, so Nuke makes sense for them, competing products such as Fusion run a Windows code base — which us emulated on Linux — or have developed too slowly (Autodesk Toxik) to be taken seriously”, he adds.

  • Kernel Space

    • Five Best Linux HTPC Motherboards

      Our selection criteria were the following:

      * micro-ATX or mini-ITX form factor
      Size usually matters with a HTPC, few people would want a big tower case in their living room, not to mention the WAF (wife acceptance factor). Also most HTPC specific cases are designed for these form factors.

      * Nvidia GeForce 8200/8300 or 9300/9400 series on-board GPU
      Nvidia’s closed-source Linux drivers are currently the best choice for video play-back in the Linux world, as they support hardware assisted video play-back, which is at it’s best with the 8x (for AMD) or 9x (for Intel) series cards, using the VDPAU API.

      * an on-board HDMI and/or DVI video out port
      The best choice for connecting to your HD-TV, projector or AV receiver.

      [...]

    • ReiserFS Without Big Kernel Lock

      Even though reiserfs belongs to the veterans of journaling filesystems and established ext3 and ext4 as standard Linux filesystems, a new patch serves to markedly improve it.

    • Phoronix Test Suite 2.0, PTS Desktop Live 2009.3 Released

      Phoronix Media has released version 2.0 (codenamed “Sandtorg”) of the Phoronix Test Suite, which encompasses hundreds of updates to its flagship testing and performance profiling software. Phoronix Media has also released PTS Desktop Live 2009.3 (codenamed “Gernlinden”), which is the first Linux-based desktop operating system designed exclusively for carrying out automated tests using the Phoronix Test Suite from a live environment. Phoromatic, a web-based remote test management system, has also entered closed beta testing.

    • How To Survive LinuxCon

      I’ve frequently been accused of packing too much into our Linux Foundation events, making it nearly impossible to choose one session without missing other “must attend” ones. At this accusation, I proudly raise my hand and say, “Guilty as charged.” But by admitting guilt, I am not admitting repentance. While Angela and Craig have ensured enough lunch, break and networking time, LinuxCon is a testament to the same Linux Foundation strategy of packing every session with great speaking talent and interesting Linux and open source topics. One look at the LinuxCon schedule and you will see we really haven’t changed at all.

    • VME bus support for Linux

      Today another nice thing for the Linux kernel happened, we got working VME bus drivers and infrastructure submitted to the kernel tree. Now, I don’t expect it to generate as much press as the Microsoft kernel driver thing did, but it should, as I feel it’s more important in a way.

  • Applications

    • FSlint – Clean and organize your Linux

      By the time now, we all know that all applications installed on our PC are slowly filling our system with files, then comes a time when controlling everything in our computer becomes virtually impossible. If you want your computer to be running like the first day you had it. Put FSlint the task of cleaning and organizing your Linux very easy.

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE Community Delivers Incremental Innovations With New KDE 4.3 Release

      The KDE Community today announces the immediate availability of “Caizen”, (a.k.a KDE 4.3), bringing many improvements to the user experience and development platform. KDE 4.3 continues to refine the unique features brought in previous releases while bringing new innovations. With the 4.2 release aimed at the majority of end users, KDE 4.3 offers a more stable and complete product for the home and small office.

    • Ongoing Oxygen Icons Usability Survey: KDevelop

      Every few weeks Nuno Pinheiro and the KDE Oxygen Icons team are publishing a new usability survey online to get feedback from users on the look and feel of icons. In particular, the Oxygen team is looking for feedback from individuals that have had no exposure to KDE, so if you are at home or at work, poke your friends and family and have them complete the survey, or simply take the survey yourself.

    • Inventing a New Paradigm: SugarLabs and the Sugar UI

      To say that the technology industry moves quickly would be understated. Firms must innovate, adapt and grow, or fail. Two years ago when One Laptop per Child began shipping their XO-1 laptop, they defined an industry. People were excited not for OLPC’s mission, which always seemed to be a footnote, but for a diminutive inexpensive laptop. Often, the laptop was stated to include a custom distribution of Linux called Sugar that was built to help kids learn. But Sugar is more than just a Linux distro.

    • GNOME Integration with Online Services

      While deciding about libgdata inclusion in GNOME 2.28, we (Release Team) somehow considered it didn’t make much sense to have libgdata in the desktop suite. So, one thing that came to my mind was that we need some space to aggregate development efforts aiming to integrate online social services in GNOME. Also, it seems that we need to highlight those modules in a more clear way as it seems that just a few people are aware of those GNOME-based technologies.

  • Distributions

    • Good Things on the Horizon – But Use Caution!

      We’re getting far enough along in the development cycles of several of the major Linux distributions that you can just about see the releases coming over the horizon. I’ve been trying out several of them, and they look very good already. But, first and foremost, remember that these are test releases, and are likely to still have significant bugs, omissions and various quirks in them. They are not intended for use on production systems!

    • Mandriva Linux 2010.0 Alpha 2 Has KDE 4.3 RC3 and GNOME 2.27.5

      The second alpha of Mandriva Linux 2010.0 was launched last night, on July 31st, by the Mandriva team. The development cycle of Mandriva Linux 2010.0 will continue with a beta release at the end of August, two release candidates scheduled for September and October, and the official public release expected around November, 2009.

    • Mandriva Linux 2010 Alpha 2 released
    • Ubuntu

      • Filling up your new Linux machine (Final in a series of 3)

        Heres a couple of great points… First, most Linux OS distributions come with more than the basic needs. They will install a browser, email and chat clients, news readers and more. Ubuntu for instance comes with Open Office, as well as what is listed above. There are thousands of other packates you can install as well. You may not need to though, as Linux will have pre-installed the “make your life easier” software for you right out of the gate.

      • Ubuntu gets desktop support for small businesses
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Choose your netbook Linux variant carefully

      The experts instead suggest that buyers look at the line of Linux distributions specially tailored for the requirements of the small laptops. They work more effectively with the little displays, for example. Among the Linux packages best suited for netbooks are Ubuntu Netbook Remix, Easy Peasy, and Linpus Linux Lite.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Participate in the open source community through blogging

    Although this isn’t unique to open source software, in open source that blog post is an important community contribution—no different than a source-patch submission, entering wiki documentation or communicating in a mailing list.

  • On the Bright Side: Software conference to attract many to SUNY Delhi

    Computer experts from as far away as Turkey are gathering at the State University College of Technology at Delhi Thursday and Friday to explore the wonders of open-source software.

    Open source is a development method for software that allows users to contribute and adapt the programs, presenters said, and the potential of open source is better quality, higher reliability and lower cost.

    The conference will bring together higher-education technology leaders in a discussion about open-source tools, how these tools fulfill the needs of a campus and how these applications are supported internally.

  • Depth of support is key when choosing software

    Certainly open-source software has grown more popular, and as such, supportability has increased proportionately. We expect this trend to continue. In fact, many open-source platforms are supportable nowadays, including the “LAMP stack,” which includes the Linux operating system, Apache Web server, MySQL database and PHP programming language. Some might say that the P stands for the Perl or Python programming languages, but PHP is by far the most popular and, not coincidentally, the most supportable of the three.

  • Why Open Source Is Worth Your Time

    Why use open source software?

    The most obvious reason is that you can save a whole lot of money. Another great reason is that for almost anything you want to do on your computer, there is a great application out there. This can be as simple as Synergy, the mouse and keyboard sharing software I mentioned yesterday, to entire operating systems that can replace Windows altogether. Open source software also tends to be more flexible in what it will allow you to do.

  • Making The Case For Free Software

    Jon “Maddog” Hall, president of Linux International, a worldwide nonprofit that encourages the use of free, open source software, spent 16 years working at Maynard-based Digital Equipment Corp., which after becoming a technology pioneer, was eventually acquired by Compaq in 1998.

    It was his experience at DEC that put Hall squarely on the side of open source advocates like those who fought for SiCortex’s source code.

    “A huge amount of the intellectual property developed over the years (at DEC) never saw the light of day,” Hall said. “If they had been open source projects, then that work and intellectual property would not have disappeared and could have been used in different things.”

    Making software source code available without charge to anyone who wants it may seem to be counterintuitive in a capitalistic economy, but open source enthusiasts say that a lot of great programming code evaporates if a company goes out of business or chooses not to move ahead with a product.

  • Mozilla

    • Life After the Launch of Firefox 3.5

      It has now been a full month since the launch of Firefox 3.5 – what impact has the new browser had?

    • Tab previews in Firefox 3.6. Third time the charm?

      Originally planned for Firefox 3.0 and 3.5 but finally backed out in both development cycles, tab preview is available again in Firefox 3.6 alpha 1 nightlies to provide visual tab switching: you press Ctrl + Tab to get previews of the current along with the five most recently used tabs, plus an option to show all tabs’ thumbnails.

    • Is Security The Secret Of Firefox’s Success?

      It’s Firefox’s reputation for superior security, rapid patching of security holes and its multitude of browser extentions that has allowed it to win converts among corporate and personal Web users

      [...]

      But one of the most prominent reasons for outbreaks occurs through ActiveX running on Internet Explorer. Malicious hackers use ActiveX as an opportunity to exploit users. Realizing that, in 2006, Microsoft started providing more safeguards in Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 7 does do a better job of protecting users against ActiveX outbreaks. But according to a security report from research firm Secunia, there were more ActiveX outbreaks (366 total vulnerabilities) in 2008 than those that broke out in 2007. It was a black eye for Microsoft.

  • Business

    • EnterpriseDB offers ‘way out’ from Oracle price hikes

      EnterpriseDB has announced a migration assessment program for database customers who want a “way out” from Oracle price hikes.

      The program features what the open-source database company called a “detailed benefit analysis” and a methodology for migrating to its Postgres Advanced Server.

  • Openness

    • Open Source, Open Research

      Colleges and universities are as much about research as they are about the classroom experience, and just as open source software can provide cost savings, independence, and flexibility to educational institutions through courseware and recordkeeping, it can assist in the research process. Open source and open data standards play a role in collaboration, laboratory and literary scholarly research, publishing, and managing the overall research programs at institutions of higher learning.

    • Educators climb open source Operation Matterhorn

      The University of California is using $500,000 in grants to build an open webcasting platform dubbed Operation Matterhorn, designed to automate the production and distribution of courseware.

    • Wikimedia: Conference seeks open cultural content

      In a world-first conference, the Wikimedia Australia community will this week sit down with more than 170 senior executives from the nation’s largest cultural institutions – from the National Gallery to the Parliamentary Library – to devise strategies to better share Australia’s cultural heritage.

      Called ‘GLAM-WIKI: Finding Common Ground,’ the event at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on August 6-7 brings together Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums (GLAM) with Wikimedia Australia, the all-volunteer force that brings Australian content to the Wikipedia site.

    • Open data

      We’re always looking for new ways of making it as easy as possible for developers and website owners to access data held by Lichfield District Council in ways that they want – allowing you to remix, mashup and share data easily. Here’s a list of what we provide so far, this list is not exhaustive, and we’ll be adding more and more datasets as time progresses…

  • B2B

  • Programming

    • Coding and the Meaning of Life

      FOSS coders are a strange breed. Many devote years of their lives and unquantifiable amounts of their passion to a job that may return nothing in the way of concrete rewards. It can, in fact, be thankless — FOSS coders may get ridicule and criticism instead of riches. Why do they do it? “[Humans] need a purpose in life,” says blogger Robert Pogson, “and for some, that purpose includes coding.”

      [...]

      FLOSS projects “will always have collisions of egos/goals/viewpoints, and we should expect people who are motivated to disagree,” Pogson added. “This does not break FLOSS or hold it back. It is a meritocracy, with survival of the fittest ideas and idealists.”

    • Sony open sources digital effects software

      The new effort includes a Web site aimed at keeping open source developers up to date on the projects. All five of the tools are licensed under the new BSD license, and are hosted on Google Code.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenGL 3.2 specification released

      The Khronos Group has announced the release of the specifications for version 3.2 of the OpenGL 2D and 3D graphics platform. The release is the third major update to the specification within a year and adds several new features, including enhanced performance, improved visual quality and accelerated geometry processing. The 3.2 update also makes it easier to port Direct3D applications and includes version 1.5 of the OpenGL Shading Language (GLSL).

Leftovers

  • SIN BINS FOR WORST FAMILIES

    THOUSANDS of the worst families in England are to be put in “sin bins” in a bid to change their bad behaviour, Ed Balls announced yesterday.

    The Children’s Secretary set out £400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes.

  • Google Apps Campaign: How Not to Influence IT Experts

    Google already claims to serve more than 1.75 million companies and judging by the flashy campaign, it hopes to increase that number in the near future.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Cal State Student Arrested for Playing with Video Games

      Crippen, 27, of Anaheim, was taken into custody Monday morning by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. The arrest follows his indictment by a federal grand jury on two counts of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

    • Don Bartlett Explains How Joe Pug Gave Away Free CDs To Connect With Fans

      There is a great deal of discussion these days about the “new model,” but really it is only new to the music industry. Develop a truly great product that people are legitimately excited about. Invest the time, effort and money to market that product efficiently, and leverage small successes into larger ones. Eventually, the successes become large enough that everyone who gambled on the product gets their share of the profits. This is hardly MBA-level material.

    • Dear old ‘Hahvahd’ is much more than a name

      It’s one of many trademarks Harvard zealously protects

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Luis Casas Luengo, Director of Extremadura’s Fundecyt foundation 16 (2004)

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Microsoft Only Gave 14,010 Lines of Code

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, GPL, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, SCO, Servers, UNIX, Virtualisation, Windows at 5:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Source code

Summary: 14,010 lines of actual Linux code, not 20,000 as Microsoft claimed

Microsoft has claimed that its self-serving loadable module for Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], which only advances Microsoft’s interests by polluting the kernel with Microsoft APIs, comprises 20,000 lines of code. Not quite the case, alleges Slated, who has taken a look at the code. Last night he wrote about this patch (managed by a Novell employee by the way):

For those who might want to keep an eye on what the Vole is injecting into the software we use:

http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/gregkh/gregkh..

The consolidated patch is here:

http://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/gregkh…

This is essentially what it adds:

. Microsoft Hyper-V client drivers
. Microsoft Hyper-V virtual storage driver
. Microsoft Hyper-V virtual block driver
. Microsoft Hyper-V virtual network driver

The kernel config options are listed as:

. CONFIG_HYPERV
. CONFIG_HYPERV_STORAGE
. CONFIG_HYPERV_BLOCK
. CONFIG_HYPERV_NET

Here’s the license:

Copyright (c) 2009, Microsoft Corporation.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms and conditions of the GNU General Public License, version 2, as published by the Free Software Foundation.

This program is distributed in the hope it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place – Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA.

Authors:
Hank Janssen <hjanssen[at]microsoft.com>
######

Oh and BTW, after removing all the non-Microsoft copyrighted code from the above consolidated patch, all the diff declaration headers, and all the empty lines, the number of lines remaining (i.e. the actual code Microsoft generously “contributed”) is 14,010, which is a good six thousand lines short of Microsoft’s claim.

That’s OK though … it’s six thousand fewer lines for me to remove.

Microsoft contributes nothing to Linux, except lawsuits for the most part. Microsoft funded SCO’s lawsuit against Linux (more than once) and right now Microsoft is suing companies for using Linux (also more than once). People who do not yet know all of this ought to wake up and get the facts. Microsoft is always attacking Linux and the code mentioned above is no contribution. If Oracle writes a new file system for Linux (btrfs as the example in mind), then that file system is valuable also to IBM, to H-P and even to us home users. It really enriches Linux. Microsoft’s patch, on the other hand, is helping nothing but Windows, turning GNU/Linux servers into just a virtual appliance running under Windows.

“Microsoft funded SCO’s lawsuit against Linux (more than once) and right now Microsoft is suing companies for using Linux (also more than once).”Whenever Microsoft claims that it “contributes” to Linux, remember that its long-standing CEO, Steve Ballmer, said: “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”

Ballmer never retracted that statement and under his leadership Microsoft has also paid SCO, as confirmed in the courtroom under oath. For background about the past month’s SCO developments (a little from June too), see:

More bizarre twists in the SCO case have only led to the point where, according to Pamela Jones, SCO is nearly finished for good.

So those are the various possibilities I see. Do you see any good ones, if you are SCO management? I don’t see even one. If we are marking on a curve, SCO’s suggestion in its letter is the least toxic, but none of the possibilities now are really ideal from SCO’s point of view, and how realistic do you think it is as a suggestion at this late date, considering all that came out in discovery and at the hearing?

I think this may be the very first time in the entire SCO saga where SCO seems to have no really good options on the table that I can see.

And that’s probably why after the hearing on the 27th, I was overwhelmed by the incandescent realization that we had just turned a real corner, one that changes everything, and that we’re in end-game territory, at last.

Microsoft may have moved on from SCO. Now it has Novell at its disposal — the company which is the real owner of UNIX. SCO — like Microsoft and Novell — also used to contribute to Linux before chaos began.

“Pamela Jones [...] has told Infoworld that Microsoft will be the next SCO Group”

Heise

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