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08.10.09

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: August 10th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:18 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.

DDoS is a Virus!

Posted in Humour, Microsoft, Search, Security, Windows at 3:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Worry

Summary: DDoS is really just another virus, or is it?

AS WE pointed out before [1, 2, 3], Twitter issues were caused by Windows-based computers that got infected and became part of a botnet. But here is a nice new example of miscomprehension in the press.

As you might notice, the portuguese article is a copy from the guardian, which was imprecise and the local clueless reporter just turn it worse. Calling DDoS a virus, saying that the attack was for London and putting the information leak paragraph out of any context, it just reveals how bad are tech reporters here.

Truthfully, these DDoS attacks did cause some further issues of spam and scareware, and even developers were caught in the crossfire. But DDoS is not a virus; by definition, however, Windows is both spyware and malware (albeit a very expensive and complex piece of malware).

In other interesting news, the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has just been cracked. It is a cross-site scripting issue, but such issues can sometimes be assisted and exacerbated by a weak stack, as evidenced by ~500,000 massively-cracked IIS-powered Web sites, which became victims due to similar vulnerabilities. That was last year. Needless to say (because it’s the UK), the MoD is a Windows shop. Lessons learned, if any?

Links 10/08/2009: Linux Gains Tux3, KDE 4.3 and Pardus Get Great Reviews, Arch Linux 2009.02 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • What Asus wants in a Linux

    The question that must be asked, then, looking at reports from Germany’s Electronista that Asus will deliver a Moblin-based netbook this fall, is whether Intel is going to put serious dollars behind the effort, or just point to the Linux Foundation (the official sponsor of Moblin) when the going gets tough.

  • Pressure Mounts on Windows Tax?

    Please keep up the pressure dear readers. If you buy a computer where you do not “need” a Windows license, for whatever reason (see Simos’ suggestions for 4 of them above) then make sure you contact your supplier and request a refund. By all means use links and reports gathered around the ‘net to support your claim.

  • It’s official: I don’t do Windows

    For a while I still felt relatively comfortable answering questions about Windows machines, but no longer. I tell Windows users to ask Windows users how to solve problems. I really don’t think I can be of much help.

  • Microsoft CEO belittles Apple and Linux in one speech

    It is interesting to watch Ballmer as he tries to place labels on competitor’s business models while patting Microsoft’s back. I would have thought that Ballmer would be a little more humble when it comes to business model discussions, as Vista proved to be one of Microsoft’s biggest fiascos in recent memory.

  • Desktop

    • Using Gnome desktop shortcuts and tips

      Many aspects of a modern Linux desktop are just as easy as to get to grips with as Windows Vista or Mac OSX, with some things possibly a bit easier.

    • Buying or Selling a Linux PC?

      Turn your computer into a open source computer using Linux or BSD and sell it on Buntfu.com for FREE!

    • Why we like Linux desktops

      With the exception of computer games, is there an activity that can be done inside of Windows or OS X that cannot be done equally well on a Linux machine?

    • First Psystar, now Quo, but what about Linux? Enter Mond Computers.

      No, not Linux OS, not Ubuntu or Fedora or anything of the sort. The Mond OS. Remember, the brand and experience must be absolutely consistent. It doesn’t matter squat what this Mond OS is actually based on to the end user.

    • Ubuntu- Apple is a different ball game.

      Mac computers are hugely expensive and anybody that goes in to buy a Mac computer is not someone that considers cost in buying a computer. Most Mac users are people that have seen a certain perceived value in the extra cash they pay for a Mac computer as against what they would have paid for a Windows PC.

      [...]

      There is no doubt that Ubuntu is a powerful alternative to both Windows and Mac OS, a fact that most Windows users attest to after trying Ubuntu, but that message must be wrapped differently in order to deliver to Mac OS users. Canonical must not focus solely on the monetary cost of Ubuntu as a wedge to use in penetrating the Mac OS market. The theme of the strategy must rather focus on the core strengths of Ubuntu that will appeal to Mac users.

    • Linux Monday: Updating the Old Boxes

      The slowest machine I have up is a Celeron 700 that’s running Puppy Linux. It seems to be really sturdy, and it’s an old-style horizontal (as opposed to tower) case that physically fits into an odd nook. It went 57 days without a restart until I bumped the power cord. I originally had Damn Small Linux on this but Puppy was friendlier to my relative newbie skills.

  • Server

    • OpenSource World/NGDC/CloudWorld

      At this point in time, Linux has become part of the data center club. It can be found in organizations of all sizes, in all geographical areas and supporting nearly all workloads. This means that there is a broad understanding of the rudiments of its use, a community of experienced IT folks to operate these systems, and some level of application and development tools support for this platform.

    • Global Transportation Provider Migrates Its Mission-Critical Systems to Red Hat Enterprise Linux

      Previously, OL&T primarily ran its business technology platform on HP-UX and Windows systems and was looking at ways to enhance its infrastructure to support its growing business.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Multimedia

    • Widgets

      • Makagiga, the taskmanager with the funny name

        I found Makagiga. This program is Java based, so it will run on Linux, Windows, and Mac. It has a nice interface, that didn’t take me too long to figure out. It even has a small collection of plugins allowing you to expand its functionality.

      • Kustodian – a taskbar and quicklauncher combined

        I’d like to introduce a little pet project of mine: Kustodian, which some people would call a ripoff of the mac dock or windows 7 taskbar. But I maintain it’s a thing of it’s own, but it indeed has some similarities.

      • Fun with the new Conky 1.7.1.1

        This is my favourite bit, actually, as in addition to the ${image} function, I’ve also discovered the ${scroll} function, which keeps the artist & track names inside the speech bubble by scrolling them.

    • Editing

      • Viewnior: A simple and elegant image viewer

        Images are part of our every day Internet usage and a good image viewer is an integral part of a good operating system. Viewnior is one such application for Linux. Viewnioris an image viewer program. Created to be simple, fast and elegant. It’s minimalistic interface provides more screenspace for your images.

      • 5 Best Free/Open-Source Mind Mapping Software for Linux

        An outline used to illustrate words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around a central key word or idea is called a mind map. A mind map is utilized to manage ideas and arguments making it an effective utility in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing.

        Since mind mapping techniques have been proven to enhance learning more efficiently than the conventional note taking, several mind mapping software have been created. Here are some of the best Free and Open Source mind mapping applications that are available for Linux…

  • Games

    • Bringing Windows games to Linux

      LXF: After deciding to port a game to Linux, what’s the next step for you at LGP?

      MS: Once we’ve made the agreement, we get hold of the source code and then we just do whatever we need to do for the port. Usually, ports are fairly similar.

    • 42 Hot Free Linux Games (Part 1 of 3)

      I will never forget my computer science teacher’s belief that games are only an initial distraction to the world of computing for people interested in computers. He perceived that budding programmers could only be fixated on games for up to 6 months. After that, coders would start to use computers more productively, learning earnestly about the operating system and writing system and application software.

    • PainTown: Open-Source, 2D Fighting Game for Linux

      PainTown is a 2D fighting game somewhat similar with popular titles like Street Fighter (it even allows you to play with a character called Blanka), with versions available for Linux too, besides Windows and Mac. The nice thing about PainTown is that it runs natively on Linux and it’s a standalone game, so you won’t need any emulator like NeoGeo to play it.

    • Cube 2: Sauerbraten – Awesome First-Person Shooter for Linux

      As a game engine, Cube 2 surely is powerful enough to develop any kind of FPS game, and as a game, it definitely offers a great joy playing it. Except for the sounds which may become a little annoying after a few hours of playing, this game is excellent. The graphics are great and it performs pretty well on low-end PCs too, especially if settings are tweaked for optimum performance.

  • K Desktop Environment

    • KDE 4.3 on a MacBook Pro

      This is the first KDE4 version that I could really recommed for full time use. KDE 4.1 was ok, 4.2 was better but 4.3 is really good.

    • MediaCenter again!

      The Plasmediacenter Shell: this is a stand-alone application that can be freely used instead of putting the containment and the applets on your screen :) . The Plasmediacenter can be set fullscreen so that also the playback controls still remain over the mediaplayer applet.

    • Prototypical XSLT support for Konqueror
    • How are Open Source Software Projects Surviving the Recession?

      Though these projects are merely just a snapshot of all the thousands of open source projects out there, they are among the most popular and can arguably be viewed as barometers of the overall community.

      Aaron Seigo, a full-time KDE.org developer who is sponsored by Oslo, Norway-based Qt Software, said KDE.org isn’t seeing any big drops in its contributors, despite the economy.

      “We track these numbers pretty closely,” Seigo said. “The one effect we have seen is that people have had a harder time coming to our in-person conferences. Travel is more expensive lately and people tend not to travel so much when things are tighter.”

      Otherwise, the project isn’t seeing any dips in participation rates, he said. In July, KDE.org had more than 12,000 changes–called commits–contributed to the project code base by developers. That’s up from 10,800 commits in June. Over the past year, the commit rate has ranged from 8,000 to 11,000 per month, Seigo said.

    • Reviews of KDE 4.3

      Besides these reviews you can find buzz surrounding KDE all around the web. Even the more cynical begin to see and appreciate the vision behind the KDE 4 series. Our community, from developers to artists to those members helping out fellow users on IRC or forums, has reason to be proud on the accomplishment which is KDE 4.3. As SoftVision said, “To infinity, and beyond!”

  • Distributions

    • Is too much choice getting in the way of Linux’ acceptance?

      Think about it for a moment. Let the idea sink in. Now, would you be willing to give up your favorite distribution for this to happen? Or would you be willing to accept the idea that your favorite might have to become nothing more than a variant of the “official distribution”? Because we all know that even this wouldn’t stop the open source community from continuing to create the way they do. But even if forks of the “official distribution” were developed, there would still be “the one” that companies and new users could migrate to and know what they were getting, know that they could get world-wide, standardized support.

    • Arch

      • Arch Linux 2009.08 released

        Arch Linux 2009.08 features the 2.6.30.4 Linux kernel and version 3.3.0 of its Pacman package manager, similar to apt-get (Debian / Ubuntu) or Zypper (openSUSE).

      • 2009.02 ISO Release

        We proudly announce the release of the new Arch Linux installation images, version 2009.02. It took us quite a while, but we think the result is worth it: we added some cool new things and ironed out some long-lasting imperfections.

    • Mandriva Family

      • Noteworthy Mandriva Cooker changes (27 July – 9 August 2009)

        There were a lots of package updates in Mandriva Cooker during the last two weeks, amongst others because of rebuilds of all Perl packages.

      • Noteworthy PCLinuxOS updates (Aug 1st – Aug 8th 2009)

        There were a lot of updates to the PCLinuxOS repository last week. Here is a list of interesting updates and new packages.

      • First look at Pardus Linux 2009

        While I had heard and read good things about Pardus for a few years now, I had never tried the distro until the 2009 release. I haven’t been this enthusiastic about a new distro I’ve tried in quite some time. I didn’t find any serious bugs which prevented me from working or which really got in my way at all. The implementation of KDE 4 is probably the best I’ve seen and represents the first time I’ve truly been comfortable working with the latest incarnation of KDE as my desktop environment. The implementation of Xfce is also first rate. Pardus also offers an excellent variety of unique graphical system administration tools that are intuitive and work as expected. Anything available in the GUI also has a command-line equivalent. In the case of PiSi, the Pardus package manager, the CLI edition also offers additional functionality.

        Pardus is generally very user-friendly. There are a few convenience features found in the major distributions, such as automated upgrade notification and automatic network interface switching, that are still lacking in Pardus. These aren’t bugs but rather are missing niceties that I’ve gotten used to in other distros. The Pardus developers do encourage filing wish list items in their bug-tracking system and I may just have to add a few. Internationalization and localization is well done and is nearly, but not quite, complete for “unsupported” languages. It is very complete and functions flawlessly for officially supported languages. I found the forum, Wiki, and in general the English-language documentation for Pardus to be excellent. When I did post in the forum, I received a quick, friendly, and helpful response. That’s all anyone can ask of the community behind any distribution.

        Pardus has a lot to recommend it and definitely rates a try for anyone who wants an excellent KDE 4 implementation. Pardus isn’t perfect, but its flaws and shortcomings are relatively minor compared to many if not most other distributions I’ve tried, including recent releases of some of the big names in Linux. It’s easy enough to install and use that I would certainly consider it a good candidate distribution for a new Linux user, yet it doesn’t lack the features and, apart from the YALI installer, the flexibility an experienced user will desire. I am definitely impressed with Pardus 2009.

      • Review: Pardus 2009

        Overall though, I’m highly impressed with the new Pardus. It’s fast, sleek, stable, and just a good all around new user distro. It’s also a nice improvement on its predecessor. But even with all this greatness, there’s still a few flies in the ointment. Interestingly enough, none are the fault of Pardus, as the issues lie elsewhere in other applications.

        Do I recommend Pardus 2009 for new users? Yes, and completely yes. For power users? Not really. There are few distros that properly balance the needs of the new user with that of the power user, and Pardus chose not to try to be one of those, instead siding with new users. But that’s fine, because this is a good distribution for friends, family, and the occasional co-worker who wants to try out Linux, but needs something newbie friendly to cut their teeth on.

    • Debian Family

      • LiveCD with KDE 4.3.0

        David Palacio prepared a KDE 4.3.0 livecd with help of the pkg-kde and live-helper teams. You can download it via BitTorrent, fetch the Torrent file from here!.

      • Trisquel 2.2 Is Based on Ubuntu 8.04 LTS

        The Trisquel GNU/Linux team announced yesterday the release of Trisquel 2.2, codename “Robur.” This is the third and last maintenance update for the Trisquel 2.x LTS branch, tracking the releases of Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron, on which it is based. However, this Linux distribution doesn’t use Ubuntu’s package repositories; instead, it hosts its own, with all the non-free software removed.

      • Published Trisquel 2.2 Robur
      • Kubuntu

        I think that If you’re like me, and still think that KDE is sitting in the OpenSuSE 9/10 Era, Download a Kubuntu Live CD and have a play around!

      • An Early Look at Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala – Overview & Screenshots

        Ubuntu 9.10, codenamed Karmic Koala, is scheduled for release in late October, and it will be the 11th release of the most popular Linux distribution. Although it is scheduled to come with GNOME 2.28, it will be the first release to introduce the first changes that will be featured in GNOME 3.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 154

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #154 for the week August 2nd – August 8th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Karmic Alpha 4 freeze ahead, Landscape: Canonical Systems Management & Monitoring Tool, ubuntu-ph.org is back in business, First Launchpad community meet-up, Code Hosting quick-start guide, notify-osd 0.9.16 released, Migrating to an Encrypted Home Directory, Touchscreen = fail?, Ubuntu-UK Podcast: Day of Reckoning, Full Circle Magazine #27, and much, much more!

    • New Releases

      • paldo 1.19 released8 Aug 2009

        We are pleased to announce the release of paldo 1.19 with many bug fixes and updates.

        Enhancements to point out:

        * GNOME 2.26.3
        * OpenOffice.org 3.1.0
        * Firefox 3.5.2
        * Linux 2.6.30.4
        * X.org server 1.6.2

      • 5 August 2009 : GParted 0.4.6

        This release of GParted includes some bug fixes, and language translation updates.

        Key changes include:

        * Removed requirement for xxd for ntfs move or paste action
        * Enhanced for new linux-swap “filesystem” types from parted-1.9.0

      • Estrella Roja 2.5
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Kubuntu Netbook Release Coming

      So, off to the Kubuntu 9.10 Alpha 3 Technical Overview. Not a lot more information there; it just says that there is a netbook image, but all that has been done so far is some changes in desktop and font settings, but more will be coming soon.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Keep an eye on your own open source cloud environment

    Want to live in the cloud but don’t quite trust it? SourceForge’s open source project of the month for August may be for you! eyeos is a self-hosted cloud operating environment for business, schools and home built in PHP.

  • Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.6 Alpha, Codenamed ‘Namoroka’

    Currently few add-ons are available for this alpha, the other ones are compatible only with 3.5 and older releases (which is normal given that 3.6 is only in alpha and it won’t be available until late 2009). The popular extension Adblock Plus can be installed in 3.6 at the time of writing, however popular themes or add-ons like Greasemonkey or Noia 2.0 eXtreme are not available yet.

Leftovers

  • Medical Papers by Ghostwriters Pushed Therapy

    Newly unveiled court documents show that ghostwriters paid by a pharmaceutical company played a major role in producing 26 scientific papers backing the use of hormone replacement therapy in women, suggesting that the level of hidden industry influence on medical literature is broader than previously known.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Lib Dems demand curbs on ‘spying’

      The Lib Dems want tighter controls on surveillance powers for authorities including councils and the police.

      More than 500,000 requests to access phone and e-mail records were made in 2008, a report by the Interception of Communications Commissioner showed.

    • Malaysia denies Internet filter will curb dissent

      Malaysia denied on Friday that a proposed Internet filter would be used to police blogs and websites, saying it would be used only to block pornography.

      The denial comes after news that the Southeast Asian country was considering setting up an Internet filter similar to China’s “Green Dam” software, a move the opposition said was aimed at suppressing political dissent.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • What’s A Big City Without A Newspaper? Still A Big City Last I Checked

      A bunch of folks have been asking my opinion on this past weekend’s NY Times Magazine article by Michael Sokolove entitled What’s a Big City Without a Newspaper? To be honest, there’s not much to say about it. The article itself sort of meanders around, and doesn’t make much of a point. Sokolove is wistful for the “good old days” and hopes that there’s a future for newspapers. He dips his toes into some of the new experiments out there to cover the news, and spends a lot of time with the guy who is currently CEO of the bankrupt big Philly newspapers.

    • Court filings are protected by copyright, says lawyer

      A US lawyer has claimed that copyright is violated when courts pass legal submissions on to a commercial publisher. The lawyer claims that the US courts’ behaviour undermines the hundreds of hours of work put into submissions.

    • EMI Loses Its Other Silicon Valley Wiz

      And, of course, the fact that EMI become one of the most aggressive companies suing every potentially innovative startup out there didn’t engender much confidence that the company had figured out how to embrace the new online world.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Maria Winslow, open source biz guru 02 (2005)

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

Mozilla’s Chris Beard Versus Software Patents (Video)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Interview, Patents, Videos at 9:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ogg:

Flash:

Direct link

In the news: “Web citizens trying to kill Internet Explorer 6″ (CNN)

Some Web designers are staging an online revolt against an old version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, which they say is hampering the ability of the Web to move forward in a cool and interactive way.

The Golden Flying Chairlet Awards

Posted in Humour, Site News at 7:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Golden Flying Chairlet Award

Summary: Introducing prizes for contributors

THIS Web site is fed by a lot of input from readers and informants. Therefore, we wish to grant an e-prize to those who make a significant contribution, one of whom created the graphics above. Needless to say, it’s all humorous.

“One thing we could do is grant an award at the end of each month to a reader/member who helps the cause of advancing Free software and exposing its detractors.”“Yesterday when I was reading the IRC conversation, someone mentioned a “Chairlet” award,” writes wallclimber. “I’d have to go back and read it all to remember why it was suggested. But it struck me funny, so I made one. You can maybe award it at the end of the year to whoever does the best job of annoying Steve Ballmer, or does an exceptional job of exposing Microsoft’s bad behavior to the rest of the world.”

And that’s how the prize was conceived. One thing we could do is grant an award at the end of each month to a reader/member who helps the cause of advancing Free software and exposing its detractors. The first winner will be announced at the end of August. Should we ask Novell for sponsorship of real awards?

Microsoft’s CFO Sells MSFT

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 6:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wedding rings and money

Summary: Chris Liddell does not trust Microsoft’s value

A FEW weeks after Microsoft's disappointing results, the company’s own chief financial officer (CFO) seems to have decided that the stock is heading downwards. Like Bill Gates, he’s selling. It is actually a little bizarre that a CFO is permitted to trade his employer’s shares because no-one is closer to inside trading, never mind conflicts of interest. Just because “everyone is doing it” does not mean it ought to be okay. Inside trading from Microsoft’s Rob Bach still comes to mind [1, 2].

Rob Enderle, who is a close friend of Microsoft [1, 2] (masquerading as an “analyst”), had a confidential meeting with these folks at the Microsoft Financial Meeting. He is doing a whole series (about 3-4 posts) about those intimate encounters with Microsoft.

In this final section of my series from the Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting, I will give my impressions from the final two Industry Analyst-only meetings. The content was NDA, but I’ll share my impression of the people presenting and then provide a wrap-up of the event.

Why is Microsoft associating itself with people like Enderle, who everyone knows is in Microsoft’s pocket? From the firm that brought us loads of lobbyists, including Abramoff, comes this man too:

Pittsburgh Gunman Worked IT At Gates Firm

The gunman who killed three women and himself at a Pittsburgh-area fitness studio Tuesday was an IT systems analyst at a law firm that can trace its roots to the father of Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, according to the man’s profiles on social networking sites and other Internet records.

There’s is a lot more to be said about Bill Gates Senior, but we did this before [1, 2].

“There is such an overvaluation of technology stocks that it is absurd. I would include our stock in that category. It is bad for the long-term worth of the economy.”

Steve Ballmer

Microsoft Pays Fines in Vouchers — Not Money — to Wisconsin Schools, Takes Over More Nigerian Schools

Posted in Africa, America, Finance, Microsoft at 6:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin

Summary: New information about Microsoft abuse and schools

THE settlement with Wisconsin schools was mentioned here before, but based on this new report, these schools have not seen any money yet. In fact, they never will. In the United States, Microsoft has found comfort in so-called ‘punishments’ that sometimes only spread Microsoft software or renew equipment so that it runs newer Microsoft software. Particularly in education, this helps Microsoft lot. In this case, there is not even monetary compensation; it’s just “vouchers”.

Three local school districts will receive a combined $1 million starting this year as a result of a legal settlement, and educators plan to use that money to put more technology in the hands of students.

[...]

Wisconsin plaintiffs from a class-action lawsuit reached a settlement with Microsoft in 2006. The plaintiffs claimed that Microsoft violated state antitrust and unfair competition laws by overcharging customers for its products, according to a legal notice. The company denied the claims.

District officials have not finalized their plans for the money, but they are eager to give students the tools they need to remain competitive in the 21st century workforce.

[...]

Nine Wausau schools will receive a total of $715,156 in vouchers that can be redeemed for technology products and services. VerDuin said he could add wireless Internet access to some of the elementary schools or just add more desktop computers.

This compensation is at least not exclusive to software. Microsoft loves making up some arbitrarily large numbers which it ascribes to freely-duplicable products, even as in fines.

Some more posts about the Mississippi settlement keep popping up, with previous coverage that includes, e.g. [1, 2].

A $100 million settlement between the State of Mississippi and Microsoft was reached June 10, 2009, in order to settle anti-trust claims. The agreement called for Microsoft to pay the state $40 million within 40 days. Up to $60 million more will be provided to consumers, businesses, all county/local/municipal government entities, public schools and public school districts.

[...]

The Attorney General’s website will be updated as more information on the reimbursement becomes available.

This does not say whether vouchers or actual cash will be granted to victims of Microsoft’s abuse, which is not a US-only problem by the way

Microsoft’s bad behaviour in Nigeria is well documented and right now, based on this reports, Microsoft converts Nigerian schools into some kind of Microsoft training camps.

Microsoft Nigeria and its newest Certified Partner for Learning Solutions (CPLS), Karrox Nigeria , have certified six more secondary schools in Lagos as Microsoft IT Academies, bringing a total of in the country to 287. This is coming barely six months after the country produced its youngest ever Microsoft Certified Professionals.
With six new academies, Nigeria now has the most IT Academies within the Middle East and Africa region and is ranked amongst the top 10 countries in the world in adopting the Microsoft IT Academy Programme.

This is part of Microsoft's colonisation in Africa. It should not be permitted to pervade the educational system, which is run by the state.

“Education and training: Target both developer and knowledge worker environment; Money and resources for curriculum development; Money and resources for teacher training; Subsidized certification on MS products”

Confidential Microsoft document [PDF]

Intel-Microsoft Collusion in Sub-notebooks: A Smoking Gun

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Power button red

Summary: More compelling evidence for ongoing investigation into price-fixing

A FEW months ago, people alleged that Intel colluded with Microsoft and/or OEMs. Based on the latest finding (original source), it is more or less evident:

There is collaboration, and there is collusion. According to Digitimes, Microsoft and Intel have reached an agreement that the next generation of Netbooks will not have displays larger than 10.2 inches. Vendors that insist on making minilaptops with larger LCDs will not be eligible for the lower Windows 7 volume licensing rates for these machines.

And not a moment too soon, Dells puts the kibosh on its Mini 12. Coincidence?

As Will put it, “Now, for all I know, maybe the 12 inch ones aren’t the hot sellers. But that’s how the OEM’s will likely spin it regardless. Only they know for sure about that.

There is already an investigation going on, courtesy of the Russian Antimonopoly Service. For a little more background, also see:

Here is an overview and another report about this harm to the consumers (elimination of competition with kickbacks, followed by price-fixing).

In our Lenovo announces ION graphics-based IdeaPad S12 netbook article yesterday, readers debated whether or not the manufacturer’s latest foray into the mini PC world was truly a “mini” PC, what with its 12.1” screen.

As Microsoft had it, 12.1” was the maximum limit for a PC to be considered a netbook, meaning anything up to and including that size would receive the discount for a netbook version of a given Windows operating system.

Today we learn Intel and Microsoft have agreed upon a new standard — 10.2”, according to Taiwan-based ODM, who manufacture notebooks.

According to this new report, ARM is coming to the West very soon.

New rumors peg the long-awaited arrival of ARM-based netbooks, often called “smartbooks,” for the final quarter of this year. They probably won’t dethrone Atom, but they will give the platform a taste of what it did to the laptop.

On ARM chipsets, GNU/Linux will not need to compete against Windows. If new reports are correct, then the only competition GNU/Linux will have is a highly crippled hack of Windows, called “Windows Embedded”. It is hardly even compatible with any third-party software and moreover it’s antiquated.

The pint-sized ‘Windows Embedded’ OS is set to join its desktop and smartphone cousins in Microsoft’s war against ‘little Linux’ distros such as Android and Mobilin.

[...]

Many of these run on ARM and MIPS processors instead of Intel’s x86-based silicon, and all of them favour Linux as their OS of choice.

Microsoft has had no shame when it conspired not only against GNU/Linux but also against sub-notebooks in general, i.e. against the consumers. The chances of doing this on ARM are very slim.

“In our association we operate as a consortium, like the open source consortium. They want to promote open source and Linux. But if you begin from the PC you are afraid of Microsoft. They try to go to the smart phone or PDA to start again.”

Li Chang, vice president of the Taipei Computer Association

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