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Microsoft Hijacks Maharashtra’s Education, to Teach Many Children How to Smoke Windows

Posted in Asia, Deals, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:02 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

Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj

Summary: Digital colonialism to be pervasive in some more Indian schools

EVERY ONCE in a while, especially when GNU/Linux gains traction in India, Bill Gates makes a special visit and Microsoft resorts to EDGI. Up to 72,000 schools are targeted by this brutal programme which subjugates not just adults but also children all across the world. EDGI enables more and more educational programmes to turn into training and schools to recruitment camps. To use an analogy, it’s the equivalent of taking over an engineering school and then teaching students there how to push buttons at a factory. It may be good for factory owners, but it prohibits or at least inhibits the creation of new factories. It’s deprivation, it’s abominable.

Bill Gates visited India about a month ago and the latest victim of Microsoft’s merciless tactics is Maharashtra, India. According to The Times of India:

The government of Maharashtra has signed an MoU with Microsoft India, which will provide training in information technology to school teachers. Microsoft will also help build “employability-readiness skills” in junior college students.

We have internal documents from Microsoft to show what MoUs are all about. The move is also reminiscent of DreamSpark, which we wrote about earlier this year (many links to previous commentary). The MoU seems like a case of renewal, but it seems to affect the children more negatively than ever before, under the guise of “employability”. Teachers are also victims and for those who cannot get their heads around the size of the population, here are some sobering numbers:

Microsoft India has graph out three state-of-the-art IT academies in different places starting from Pune, Nagpur and then to Aurangabad and would trained about 92,000 teachers.

The number of teachers affected is roughly equal to the number of people employed by Microsoft. These teachers shall become a sort of ‘extended family’ to Microsoft, but Microsoft will not need to pay them a penny; who will? The government, i.e. the taxpayers. It’s the same old scam. The person from India who alerted us about it could not link to one specific article because there are so many. It’s big news in India, but very sad news to the population, which will probably be misled by the positive spin the in the mainstream press.

Look at this. They will receive a Microsoft certificate in their state schools. This is not a joke! You can’t make this stuff up.

Under the agreement, Microsoft will help deploy the Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum (DLC), a self learning multimedia based module which introduces the fundamentals of computing to a first-time user. The students will be assessed once the modules are completed, and awarded a Microsoft certificate, if successful.

Another big scam which is known as Live@Edu will be part of this atrocious agreement.

Rajan Anandan, managing director, Microsoft India Pvt Ltd, said that the MoU includes expanding capacity of educators at school cluster level, training of 6,000 educators who would train others in their respective cluster, building and connecting communities through Live@Edu initiative and building IT readiness among the youth.

How much worse could it get?

“To them, it’s just a negligible market in which to make a buck but also a market to suppress and punish if it happens to elevate Microsoft’s competition.”This headline says it all: “Students to be trained by Microsoft.” Yes, because the young generation needs to be educated by a company that was found guilty of crimes in several continents — a company whose felonies continue to this date. What sort of message will that get across to the children? They are trained rather than educated by a company that proudly shows that — as the old saying goes — “crime pays”. Under this programme, they will be exploited (from Microsoft’s selfish point of view) and also be treated like slaves even before they get a chance to gain independence and become innovators for their own neighbours in India.

The following set of E-mails comes from Comes vs Microsoft. It is an essential reading for those who do not understand how managers at Microsoft view the developing world. To them, it’s just a negligible market in which to make a buck but also a market to suppress and punish if it happens to elevate Microsoft’s competition. Sadly enough, Nick Negroponte has known Bill Gates for many years and he too seems to have become an assistant in such an agenda. DRM-laden textbooks are not a distant vision, especially in any school where Microsoft software spreads and prevails.

“To illustrate how someone could react to this mudslinging by Microsoft, I have written a hypothetical complaint titled ‘Microsoft is looting the nation in alliance with Indian IT giants’. While constructing this hypothetical complaint, I have used what I call the ‘Microsoft patented mud-slinging algorithm’. I have included it as a stand alone appendix (Annexure A) to this letter. The purpose is to demonstrate that such complaints and counter complaints would lead all of us to disaster. This hypothetical counter complaint shows Microsoft as working at national and International forums to maintain and enhance its monopoly in global markets, and as attempting to ensure its monopoly strangle-hold on Indian desktop Market. It also paints INFOSYS, TCS, WIPRO and NASSCOM as willfully helping Microsoft in this evil design, and thus acting grossly against Indian National interests.”

Professor Deepak Phatak

Microsoft Still Sabotages Linux MBRs in Vista 7

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 6:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“This is WAR, and in that regard, I believe we should design Janus such that if this multiboot partition (has a unique partition number (11)) is found, we should warn the user a foreign OS has been detected, give them a chance to exit and read the docs and possibly make a backup, and then repartition the disk, removing the multiboot partition. This way, we disable OS/2 2.0 in *all* cases.”

Microsoft internal mail

Summary: Vista 7 disables GNU/Linux by rewriting the MBR

SEVERAL MONTHS ago we wrote about Microsoft's long history of sabotaging bootloaders/MBRs. In short, Microsoft had resorted to nothing short of technical sabotage (bar the usual excuses) to make it painful if not impossible to run operating systems alongside Windows. Moreover, Windows has a built-in tendency to wipe out competing operating systems and the evidence speaks for itself.

We now have it confirmed that Microsoft has not corrected this bad behaviour in Vista 7. It’s not as though Microsoft did not have enough time or programmers. A blogger has just published “a word of warning for Linux users planning on installing Windows 7.”

Anytime you reinstall Windows, Windows replaces your MBR (grub stage 1), meaning you can no longer boot into Linux.

This may seem particularly timely now that Microsoft claims — falsely in fact — that it helps Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. Watch this deceiving new article which Microsoft virtually planted out there to seed falsehoods. This article is filled with statements from Microsoft and the article does not permit comments. In Linux Today, however, there was this one corrective comment which said: “Wasn’t it revealed that Microsoft only released this code because it was potentially infringing the GPL of some of its components??” Indeed, as Sun’s Chief Open Source Officer reminded us just weeks ago.

Microsoft continues to play dirty against Linux. There is no clear sign of anything changing, not even in Vista 7. It disregards GNU/Linux even if it resides on a separate partition and then rewrites its MBR. Is this what Microsoft calls “interoperability”?

Hands talking

Eye on Microsoft: Some Security Headlines

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 5:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Delphi archaeological site, Greece
Delphi archaeological site, Greece

Summary: Potpourri of news on security

Old-school virus threatens Delphi files

Delphi is used to quickly develop Windows applications. Some of the infected files are banking Trojans written in Delphi – so some hackers are among those hit by the virus.

Georgian cyber attacks launched by Russian crime gangs

Last year’s cyber attacks that brought internet traffic to a standstill in Georgia were carried out by civilians and Russian crime gangs, in some cases with the unwitting help of websites and software companies located in the US, according to researchers.

How Safe is your Credit/Debit Card?

More recent press reports point to additional conspirators who Gonzalez’s attorney contends were there real masterminds. Top honors aside, government prosecutors contend that the team are responsible for all of the most high profile data breaches publicized to date: Heartland, Hannaford, TJX, and more – gaining access to information relating to an astonishing 130 million credit and debit cards or more.


The following is taken from the introduction to that interview, and will give you an overview of what PCI SSC is all about.

Indictment scuttled alleged credit-card hacker’s plea

Microsoft Repeatedly Receives Good News from comScore after Signing Deal with comScore

Posted in America, Deception, Google, Microsoft, Search at 5:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pie chart

Summary: With money on the table and locality at play, Microsoft is managing to pull some PR for a failed product

Microsoft and comScore got together a few weeks ago and comScore then began marketing Microsoft’s poor search [1, 2]. There is nothing surprising here. That’s just how many such firms, including IDC for example, simply operate. Mary Jo Foley puts forth this promotional message right now:

In June — the month during which Microsoft launched its revamped Bing search engine — Microsoft’s share of the U.S. search query arena rose to 8.4 percent. (It was 8 percent in May, according to comScore.) In July, Bing’s share rose again modestly, to 8.9 percent share, comScore said.

They are not sampling it globally (same deception pattern as Net Applications and NPD). It is probably no coincidence and it is deceiving as well. There is no telling how they measure these things. They can trivially change the definition of what they measure and ensure that it is favourable to paying customers/partners like Microsoft. There are no laws against it and that’s how such business is sometimes conducted.

“According to one source, Microsoft’s market share in search (on a global scale) is about 3%, which is meager.”“Microsoft is having difficulty getting traction with Bing for the same reason that it is sometimes hard for anything other than XP to get traction,” argues Will. “People are used to Google. It’s been around for years. It’s part of the vocabulary. Even if it wasn’t Microsoft and even if the product was clearly superior, Google’s got strong inertia there.”

Despite spending about $100 million on Bong [sic] marketing, Microsoft has gained nothing of substance outside the US. According to one source, Microsoft’s market share in search (on a global scale) is about 3%, which is meager. Nonetheless, companies that have liaised with Microsoft (i.e. money on the table) will carry on playing the black art of selective statistics, so it’s important to remain skeptical about the English-speaking mainstream press, especially where it cites bad sources uncritically.

“Lies, damned lies, and statistics”

Benjamin Disraeli

Links 20/08/2009: GNU/Linux Beats Vista 7, Shadowgrounds Survivor is Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 4:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux vs Windows 7

    And this is where Linux can make a big difference. There’s nothing in Windows 7 that Linux can’t do, and in most cases, do it better. Our machines are quicker and more efficient. Our desktops are more innovative and less static. Our apps are more powerful, cheaper and less partisan, and Linux security has never been better. But best of all, we have complete control over the future of Linux, and it’s success or failure at the hands of Windows 7 is in our hands.

  • PS3 Slim – No more Linux? Ahh, but for how long…

    I’m saying it early – I foresee that the PS3 Slim will having Linux running on it within a few weeks of the launch.

  • Games

    • 42 Hot Free Linux Games (Part 2 of 3)

      To be eligible for inclusion in the list below, games again needed to satisfy the following requirements:

      Free to play (no download charge, no monthly charge)

      Does not require Wine to run. Wine is a compatibility layer for running Windows software.

      Not in the early stages of development

    • Shadowgrounds Survivor from Igios is now GOLD !

      LGP Announced that Shadowgrounds Survivor from Igios is now GOLD. It has gone to replication and will be available in around 2-3 weeks. Survivor will be available both as a boxed product everywhere, and as a downloadable and rentable game from our download partners.

    • Quake Live at 1Ghz, 256Mb

      That’s Crux, by the way. I expected laggy performance and skipping graphics. But framerates are exceptionally good, although I didn’t find a way to show a number on screen. I’m not a huge first-person shooter fan, but it’s fun to try out.

  • K Desktop Environment

    • kmymoney 1.0, positioning

      Once again: cheers to the KMyMoney devs and I hope you all managed a small celebration to commemorate your milestone and the great gift you have delivered to the world! :)

    • on feature requests

      The source of the material was a thread on the kde-devel mailing list where feature additions for KDE 4 was brought up, and in particular features that were in KDE 3 that are not in KDE 4.


      I want to see the good ideas float to the top and get the attention they deserve (e.g. implementations) and the good ideas that need to be prioritized for later still get the attention they deserve so nobody feels neglected.

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS 2009.1 Minime Review

      What I liked most in this distribution:

      1. Inclusion of Update Notifier and Copy2Ram option.
      2. Availability of OpenOffice 3.1, Firefox 3.5.2, Artha and many other useful packages in the repo.
      3. Bloat-free attitude of Minime like its predecessors.
      4. Adherence to KDE 3.5.10 + 2.6.26 kernel.
      5. Stunning default wallpaper, bootsplash + ksplash.

    • UserOS Extreme 9.04 – coming to October 2009 PC User

      In less than two weeks, you’ll be able to give our latest operating system a go – UserOS Extreme 9.04. Based on the recent Ubuntu 9.04 release, we’ve built the new operating system from the ground up. You’ll be able to read in the October 2009 issue exactly what we did but we took a new approach to the operating system. It’s not based on an existing distro.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • 5 Reasons to Get Excited about Linux on the Netbook

      All that being said, you don’t have to buy a netbook with Linux pre-installed to enjoy what this “alternative” OS has to offer. There are several versions out there which you can try today, no purchase required. And there are even more soon-to-launch distros which really get us excited.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Three Free Issues of BSD Magazine in .pdf Format

    Karolina at BSD Magazine wanted me to let you know that she has posted three free .pdf issues online. The three cover FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD. Apparently BSD Magazine has survived a publishing scare and will continue for the foreseeable future. I may also have an article for FreeBSD out soon.

  • Quick and Dirty MySQL Performance Troubleshooting

    What are the first things you should look at after learning of a sudden change in MySQL server performance?

  • Community work in the framework project – Part 1

    Today I want to start a little overview about the current work of the framework project community members. Fortunately we have some volunteers from RedFlag 2000 who work on several projects

  • Durian is Coming: Blender’s Third Open Movie Project

    Blender third open movie project, code-named “Durian” is ramping up to production, and time is running out for the pre-sale campaign if you want to get your spot in the credits. This time the project is focusing on an adolescent audience with an epic-fantasy setting and a female protagonist (my son aptly dubbed this the “Chicks in Chainmail” genre). The only art yet available from Durian itself is the series of banner ads (by concept artist, David Revoy), but an impressive creative team has already been announced.


  • MSI ditches Intel for AMD

    Russian tech site 3DNews review has reviewed the x610 X-Slim series laptop even before it’s been officially announced by MSI. The reviewers discovered that the CPU change has put a big dent in performance and driven down battery life to two hours for the sake of a small cost saving.

  • Internet slowly wakes up to PayPal’s quiet fee hike

    PayPal made some policy changes in June, but it’s likely that you haven’t heard much about them until very recently. That’s because the company quietly slid in extra fees that will affect nearly all users but failed to be transparent about the changes. Now, the Internet is slowly discovering what happened, and no one is happy about it.

  • Town Hall Protests: Astroturf 2.0?

    Some Democrats have blamed the chaos on astroturf operations: fake grassroots groups funded by special interests. But are the forces whipping up the anti-health care frenzy really astroturf—or a new form of corporate-funded campaigning?

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Censorship or Copyright Infringement? Flickr Takes Down “Obama as Joker” Photo

      Los Angeles residents recently began seeing a new sort of Obama poster plastered across their city. Instead of promoting “hope,” these posters feature U.S. President Barack Obama wearing the Joker’s clown makeup from the Batman movie “The Dark Knight.” Even those outside of L.A. have likely seen this image somewhere as it soon took on a viral nature, appearing both online and in other cities across the country.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • BSA Softens Anti-Piracy Message

      The alliance, consisting of about 80 companies — including Apple, Microsoft and Adobe — is the counterpart to the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America.

    • Striking a balance with copyright

      The various monopoly privileges misnamed ‘intellectual property’ (copyright and patent) are relatively recent creations, historically. Both of them derive form something called the ‘Statute of Anne‘. More directly, the copyright and patent laws in the United States derive from a clause in the Constitution which explicitly stipulates that they should only last for a ‘limited time’, and are explicitly required to promote “science and the useful arts”. (Article 1, Section 8.)

    • On Plagiarism, Scholarship, and Community Knowledge

      “During the course of this long volume I have undoubtedly plagiarized from many sources–to use the ugly term that did not bother Shakespeare’s age. I doubt whether any criticism or cultural history has ever been written without such plagiary, which inevitably results from assimilating the contributions of your countless fellow-workers, past and present. The true function of scholarship as a society is not to stake out claims on which others must not trespass, but to provide a community of knowledge in which others may share.” -F. O. Matthiessen, American Renaissance 1941.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Jin Sato, father of humanoid robots 01 (2005)

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

Links 20/08/2009: KMyMoney 1.0 is Out, New i3 Window Manager

Posted in News Roundup at 8:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Newbie, You Have Options.

    Don’t be turned off by the fanboys, fanatics and others who want to sway your mind into their respective camps–just ignore them, laugh at them and enjoy your awesome new computer.
    As you learn more about Linux, you might find that Ubuntu doesn’t work for you as well as another distribution–so be it. Choose another. Change monthly if you want.

  • Why Are Computer Hardware Vendors Such Snoopy Control-Freak Weirdos?

    It’s reminiscent of Microsoft CEO Ballmer’s Australia tantrum over mod chips for the Xbox:

    “”If there are aspects that are not allowed, it would encourage us to require a change in the legal framework. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make economic sense.”

    Translation: Make everything that threatens our business model illegal, or we’re outa here. No, we cannot possibly try to make attractive, fairly-priced products that people want to buy because we never knew how and aren’t going to learn now.

  • Paw Prints: Writings of the maddog

    Secondly, have posted two videos of wild Brazilians saying “Linus we love you, Linus we need you”. The first video is also part of the closing of FISL10, where I declared that FISL10 was the best conference that I have ever attended. The cooperation of the volunteers that put it on, the sponsors, the government, the attendance of President Lula, and the low cost to attend, the value of the conference and the enthusiasm of the (approximately 6000) attendees made it spectacular.

    And of course we chanted “Linus we love you, Linus we need you” in an attempt to attract the architect of the Linux kernel to the next FISL conference.

  • Mission Accomplished

    Most of you know what this is all about…some won’t. Brian Henry, Tech Guru at Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg Indiana contacted me a while back and said that he wanted to support The HeliOS Project. He stated that the various computer labs were being refreshed and that he wanted to donate the decommissioned computers to us. He explained that about half the machines were Pentium 4′s and the other half was comprised of Xeon Desktop units. He wanted to know if we would be interested in these machines. And by the way…there were about 30 LCD flat screen monitors included.

  • Preview: Ubuntu Experts At Atlanta Linux Fest

    Back in 2007, Canonical launched Ubuntu Live — a one-time conference hosted in Portland, Ore. Since that time I’ve been looking for another Ubuntu-centric conference where I can meet key sources from across the Ubuntu ecosystem. Fast forward to September 2009, and I think there might finally be a conference that fulfills my Ubuntu educational needs.

  • XO laptops to aid learning in schools

    According to Mr Jeffrey Xing, One Laptop per Child volunteer, when children have access to this type of tool they get engaged in their own education. They learn, share, create, and collaborate. They become connected to each other, to the world and to a brighter future. “By giving children their very own connected XO laptop, we are giving them a window to the outside world, access to vast amounts of information, a way to connect with each other, and a springboard into their future,” Mr Xing said.

  • Kernel Space

    • New Linux.com Features Encourage Contribution

      When Linux.com first launched, we knew that as feature-packed as the site was, there were some additional features we wanted to add to the site when the time came to make Linux.com even better.

      That time has come.

  • Applications

    • 10 Awesome Google Chrome JavaScript Experiments

      Several months ago, Google launched Chrome Experiments to feature some of the most innovative uses of JavaScript. Designers and programmers from all over the world are encouraged to submit their own experiments using the latest open standards that include HTML5, Canvas, SVG, and more. At the moment, more than fifty impressive JavaScript experiments have been submitted. The apps are apparently intended to highlight the speed and power of Chrome since they run faster with it than with any other browsers.

    • New KMyMoney Frees Your Wallet

      The KMyMoney development team is pleased to announce a major step forward for what has been described as “the BEST personal finance manager for FREE users”. KMyMoney 1.0 has been released. With over 3 years of development, this new stable release has many new features and a refreshed user interface.

    • What’s really the safest Web Browser?

      It’s hard to believe that people will actually believe the new NSS Labs report that claims Internet Explorer is safer than other Web browsers at blocking “Socially Engineered Malware” (PDF Link), but I have to remind myself of two things. One, not everyone reads the fine print, which reveals that Microsoft paid for this report. And, two, not everyone is an IT professional who follows this stuff for a living.


      I see it as a toss-up. If you like a lot of add-ons and extras for your Web-browsing, you want Firefox. If you just want the basics and speed and more speed, Chrome is the browser for you. In either case, you’ll be a lot safer than with any of the current competition.

  • Audio

    • Podcast Season 1 Episode 15

      In this episode: There was a hole in the kernel for eight years. Dell announces that its Linux netbook returns are a non-issue and we look at Ubuntu One. We report on our two weeks with the KDE desktop and our open ballot asks whether open source licences should be viral.

    • Linux Outlaws 107 – I Find Your Lack of Beard Disturbing

      On this week’s show: The big Microsoft XML/Word lawsuit, the Ubuntu multisearch kerfuffle, Kernel bug undiscovered for 8 years, Foresight moving to Fedora?, Civilization 4 in Wine and a kinda big announcement.

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Gordux GNU/Linux is distributed under GNU GPL license. You can find a license copy in GNU home page.

      Gordux’s first version (0.2) was based on MandrivaLinux distribution, current version (1.0) is LFS .Gordux contains a Linux Kernel (this low level software provides control on the hardware) and a great diversity of GNU tools (These tools do that GNU/Linux is an extremely robust development platform).

    • Boot splash evolution in Mandriva Linux

      For some time, I’ve been working on adding Plymouth support for our next Mandriva Linux 2010 release, as graphical boot splash and I thought it could be interested to do a recap of the various solutions we used in our distribution over the years.

    • Canabix Linux distro starting up, checking it out

      I recently found out about a new Linux distro that has not yet been released: Canabix. Like UNIX, this name seems to be a play on words, like “What have you been smoking”?


    • Debian Family

      • 5 easy steps to become an Ubuntu power user for newbies.

        Step 4- Experiment with your system.
        The only sure fire way to be a Linux geek is to practice, and what better practice is there than to experiment with your own system. Always have a backup of your system and experiment with other ways of using Ubuntu. Do not just settle for the default setup of your installation. Apply the skills and tips you learn in the above books as much as you can, read about other methods of getting things done and apply them. Read wide and apply more. Be sure to always backup your system though. Try using other utilities like Compiz and a host of others. Experiment with how to make your system unique and you will be surprised at how much you get to learn by doing.

      • Canonical Landscape May Target Ubuntu Linux VARs

        Canonical also continues to build its channel partner network — formulating close relationships with training centers that specialize in Ubuntu Server Edition and Desktop Edition.

        Meanwhile, Linux rivals aren’t resting on their laurels. Red Hat this week announced channel partner specializations focused on infrastructure (Linux), middleware (JBoss) and virtualization. And Novell is enhancing its ISV (independent software vendor) relations with new SUSE Linux appliances.

    • Red Hat Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Of Penguins, P55, and Patriot…

      Actually, it was not a live emperor penguin, but a scaled down replica that doubles as a Bootable Linux USB (BLU) thumb drive. Linux, Penguins, USB drives, it’s all good as far as we are concerned. I made a promise to myself to refrain from using words like adorable or cute when describing this product. However, the female visitors in the lab used both words around 27 times when playing with, err, using the drive today. If that was not bad enough, the fact that 5% of the retail purchase price of the Penguin Drive is donated to the World Wildlife Fund means that I foresee more of these drives ending up in my home.

    • Maemo 5 OS screenshots up online at last

      The eagerly anticipated and awaited Maemo 5 OS has been laid down in a screen capture thanks to Eldar of Nokia’s new Linux beauty. As we know the Maemo is destined for a lot more than just Internet Tablets, a whole range of next generation handsets are waiting in the pipeline, and expected in due course to be fuelled by the Maemo 5.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Nine Things To Do With Your Linux eeePC

        I’m sure there are lots of other more unusual uses for a Netbook running some version of Linux. The machines keep getting better as does the software. And, many of the available applications under Linux give the user capabilities that other operating systems simply can’t match, at any price. I can hardly wait to see what the next year brings with new technology.

Free Software/Open Source

  • All the fun of the technology faire

    A presentation from the Afrobotics team was to inspire more African students to pursue studies in engineering, science and technology, and African computer programmers working with the open-source Mozilla Foundation — creators of Firefox and open-source email client Thunderbird — came to promote their projects (http.

    The faire was timed to coincide with the International Development Design Summit.

  • VMware target Springs to open-source cloud management

    Cloud Foundry expands SpringSource’s product line to building, deploying and managing applications based on Java, Spring, and Grails on a cloud environment. Clearly VMware had an idea of service when it announced the intention to purchase SpringSource for $362m to get its vSphere hypervisor cooperating with cloud applications.

  • Ehcache caching solution goes to Terracotta

    Greg Luck, founder of distributed Java caching technology Ehcache, is to join US start-up Terracotta. Ehcache will now find itself under the umbrella of Java specialist Terracotta, whose eponymous Java clustering application is available both as an open source edition and as a commercial edition with maintenance and support.

  • How software companies could screw up Obama’s health care reform.

    The system that Midland adopted is based on software originally written by doctors for doctors at the Veterans Health Administration, and it is what’s called “open source,” meaning the code can be read and modified by anyone and is freely available in the public domain rather than copyrighted by a corporation. For nearly thirty years, the VA software’s code has been continuously improved by a large and ever-growing community of collaborating, computer-minded health care professionals, at first within the VA and later at medical institutions around the world. Because the program is open source, many minds over the years have had the chance to spot bugs and make improvements. By the time Midland installed it, the core software had been road-tested at hundred of different hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes by hundreds of thousands of health care professionals.

  • RiverGlass Introduces Web and File System Scanner to Open Source Community

    RiverGlass now offers RiverGlass® EssentialScanner, an Open Source web and file systems scanner, to the Lucene developer community under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

  • Innovation with Open Source

    Other industries with high open-source adoption and needs for modern technology included financial services and business services.

  • Open-source software can close functional gaps
  • Achieving Public Policy Goals Through Open Source

    With information technology at the heart of all businesses and government agencies delivering efficiency, productivity and competitiveness, decision makers would do well to pay attention to changes in the IT landscape.

  • Leading Open Source BPM and Workflow Solution ProcessMaker Now Available in Nine Languages

    ProcessMaker was recently selected as a Finalist for two SourceForge Community Choice Awards and has experienced increasing downloads globally and strong international presence, supported by a network of 16 partners in 13 countries.

  • BBC wants your help in making open source documentary

    So far they’ve already signed some big names, including the daddy of the internet: Tim Berners-Lee.

  • Education

  • Pseudo Open Source

    • Open Source Is Not Just a Marketing Term

      Really, there’s room for as many different business models around open source as people can manage. Some companies that clumsily move into the open source arena genuinely mean well but don’t entirely understand the options. Or they want to move toward open source but are too afraid of their ability to make ends meet that they don’t want to stray too far from what they know.

    • Eric Barroca addresses commercial open source

      There are companies that use open source components, but sell a commercial product based on those open source components. So where’s the line and is there an official definition?

  • Events

    • Open Source Entrepreneurs, Get Noticed!

      On October 2nd, during the Open World Forum in Paris, twenty open source hopefuls will each have an opportunity to take the stage and promote their company and projects to venture capitalists and major systems integrators. Participants will also compete for the “Open Innovation Awards” which will be awarded by an international jury of experts to the most promising businesses, and presented during the closing keynote address.

    • Impressions from OpenSourceWorld 2009

      No open source conference is complete without the healthy participation of dot org projects. But here at OSW they were invisible! Well almost. After asking around at the FreeBSD booth which was surprisingly located on the main show floor, I found the projects tucked away in a separate room at the back of the showcase hall. This (mis)placement was unfortunate and doesn’t represent the open source world which thrives on technology from all sectors, commercial and non-commercial alike. Hopefully, IDG will consider having all exhibitors in the same area next year.

  • Government

    • Nectec sponsors open-source software creation

      National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) is pouring Bt180 million to promote the production of open-source software, as part of the “Strong Thailand” programme.

    • Senator Talha for govt to focus on IT sector

      However, he added, the apathy of the government is ironic, which is keeping us far behind than the other nations of the region in this important arena. He expressed these views while speaking at the closing ceremony of three day extensive training of Open Source Operating Systems (OS O/S), which was held here by the Pakistan Computer Association (PCA) in collaboration with Pakistan Software Export Board.

    • DISA releases open-source administration app
  • Hardware

    • Take advantage of open-source hardware

      Open-source hardware is about sharing work with others for everyone’s benefit. It is acceptable if you never meant for the product to be open. You need not make your changes available to the community. In the spirit of open-source hardware, however, it’s beneficial for all parties to provide upgrades and additions to the community whenever possible so that the next user can add other enhancements. When you add a function to hardware, it affects the software, which adds a reason to enhance and improve the overall performance of the software to take advantage of the new feature. As developers design products based on this design, another community member has perhaps added the function with the already-completed software work to help make it a better product.

      In the future, more companies will offer varying levels of open-source hardware to their customers and the community at large, creating an environment in which developers spend most of their efforts on improving rather than re-creating the design. The community can benefit from this common goal, so keep your eyes open for the next entrant in the world of open-source hardware.

    • Hardware Hackers Create a Modular Motherboard

      Huynh and his team are no strangers to experimenting with new ideas. Earlier this year, Huynh and his partner Matt Stack created the Open Source Hardware Bank, a peer-to-peer borrowing and lending club that funds open source hardware projects. Stack first started working on the X Machina idea about 10 months ago.

  • Programming

    • Code Project: create a media player

      Amarok is a great music player for KDE when judged by both its capabilities and it’s size. But it’s hardly a quick point and click music player – it takes several clicks and some careful GUI navigation to listen to your music collection and that takes a toll on both your CPU and your head. We’re going to offer an alternative by building the most simple and straightforward music player we could think of.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Working with Ogg Theora and the video tag

      The Free Software Foundation’s Holmes Wilson is just back from Berlin, where he participated in the Ogg Theora book sprint put on by FLOSS Manuals. Here is a broad look at Ogg Theora and how it fits into the push for free formats: where we’re winning, what works, and what could be improved.


  • Google bruises Gallic pride as national library does deal with search giant

    A four-year fight to keep the contents of the country’s national library in French hands ended in defeat yesterday as it was announced that Google would take control of the archive.

    The Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF) was reported to be on the verge of a deal with the Californian giant under which Google’s digital library would get even larger. “Google has won,” said the front-page headline in La Tribune.

  • Merck Funds Friends, Gets Benefits

    After receiving six-figure grants from the pharmaceutical company Merck, three medical associations promoted the company’s Gardasil vaccine, “using virtually the same strategy that Merck employed in its marketing campaign.” That’s according to an analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which warned that Gardasil’s marketing campaign presents “important challenges to physician practice and medical professionalism.”

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • RECAP Used To Show Vacated Rulings That A Judge Wanted Gone

      Last week, we wrote about the launch of RECAP, a neat little tool for making sure that more public domain court rulings are actually accessible to the public (what a concept). Apparently, the tool is already useful. Thomas O’Toole points us to the news of someone who used RECAP to point to rulings that were vacated and then (oddly) ordered to be removed from various databases.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Dreaming of a peer to peer world

      From my very first encounter with the Internet, ie collective mailing lists combining experts from around the world, I knew this was a technology that would change the very fabric of our world. Never before had there been such real-time possibilities for human cooperation and collective intelligence on a global scale. From now on, the privileged communication infrastructures that were only in the hands of multinationals and the State, would be distributed and democratised, a shift at least as important as the effect of the printing press.

      At the same time, I became increasingly dissatisfied with the corporate world, seeing how the neoliberal system not only created increased social inequality, exacted a terrible psychic cost from even its privileged managerial layers, while also creating havoc in our natural world. I started seeing the system as a giant Ponzi scheme (a scheme in which the profit of those who invest earlier comes from those who invest later), so what surprised me was not the meltdown of 2008, but why it took so long to actually manifest itself!

    • Copy rights and wrongs

      Can either of you name a single legislative or regulatory instance (in any country) when the concept of copyright has been challenged successfully — or the scope of its restrictions (in time or any other dimension) has ever been reduced? I can’t, but I’m not a lawyer.

    • Superman and a Super Copyright Battle

      In 1976, Congress made substantial changes to the Copyright Act, and these changes would have a great and profound affect on Siegel and Shuster and their grant of rights to Detective Comics. The 1976 Act expanded the duration of the renewal term for works like Volume One of Action Comics that were already in their renewal term at the time of the Act’s passage. Additionally, the Act gave artists and their heirs the ability to terminate any prior grant of rights to their creation where the grants were executed before January 1, 1978.

    • Jay-Z’s Favorite New Rapper: Free Music Is The Future

      But, Olubowale Victor Folarin, who goes by the name Wale (pronounced wah-lay) understands the importance of “free” within a business model. After all… it’s how he got discovered:

      Initially, he gained attention by making mix tapes available for free on the internet. Immediately they caught the eye and ear of musical magpie and producer Mark Ronson.

      But, wait… wasn’t the RIAA telling us that mixtape makers were criminals who needed to be thrown in jail while having their homes raided by SWAT teams? Looks like Wale understands the lessons of free music:

      “Free music is the way for the future. To get your music off the ground you’ve got to give it away for free at first.”

    • The Sincerest Form of Lawsuit Bait

      But Mr. Colting’s book has nevertheless become a literary cause célèbre, with a number of legal experts, including one from The New York Times, seeking to overturn the judge’s decision. The argument is that the Colting text is “transformative”: that instead of being a mere rip-off, it adds something original and substantive to Mr. Salinger’s version.

    • Copyright’s absolute liability?

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman_009 (2004)

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

WIPO: By the Elites, for the Elites

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, Patents at 3:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Pharmaceutical companies are enjoying unprecedented profits and access with this Administration. Yet the Republicans’ prescription drug plan for seniors has been a colossal failure, and over 43 million Americans wake up every morning without health insurance.“

Jim Clyburn

Summary: WIPO does not give a voice to the people and life is meanwhile being patented, too

NOT SO long ago, we wrote about the potential purposes of intellectual monopolies such as patents. Glyn Moody wished to call them “a neo-colonialist plot to ensure the continuing dominance of Western nations.”

“The WTO is similar in quite a few ways as it is using economic sanctions and strangulation to pressure nations to accept servitude, not to gain leadership.”It is true that bodies like WIPO are hostile towards Free software and independence; WIPO was never really created to defend human rights [1, 2, 3, 4] as its implicit goal is human subjugation which affects the developing world very negatively. WIPO is a case of industry for industry (or rich people for other rich people, including themselves). The WTO is similar in quite a few ways as it is using economic sanctions and strangulation to pressure nations to accept servitude, not to gain leadership. These bodies offer plenty of warmth to those backing them (financially) but also a lot of tough “acceptance” to those who must accept their existence. Richard Stallman took it further when he said: “The European Patent Office is a corrupt, malicious organisation. It should not exist [...] If they [the EPO] stand in your way, get rid of it too. [...] Every government institution only deserves as much respect as it earned. [...] The idea of the European Union was a beautiful idea, the practical implementation tries to impose a new constitution by pretending it’s not a constitution.“

A person from The Free Software Foundation Europe has just written about bitter experiences with WIPO — bitter in the sense that WIPO is overloaded by influence and agenda of those whom it serves. WIPO does not properly represent the population, no more than the MPAA and RIAA represent singers and fans as opposed to labels, lawyers, and moguls.

Fresh air at WIPO, but old habits die hard


The result of all this was that despite excellent high-level speakers from international organisations, the conference ended up mainly representing the positions of those who have long been in control at WIPO: Governments of the US, the EU and Japan, along with large industrial rightsholders. There were hardly any industry stakeholders from developing countries, and no public interest NGOs represented among the speakers.

By not including the broader picture, WIPO has missed out on the best opportunity in years to demonstrate that it wants to play a productive role in helping humanity to manage its knowledge wisely. There clearly are good intentions in the organisation. Now WIPO only needs to act on them.

The above criticism is gentle and constructive. It is becoming a matter of some urgency, however, now that even human life is being patented. There is new conversation in Australia about ending this shameless practice of gene patenting. [via Glyn Moody, also covered here]

A BID to halt the controversial patenting of human genes will be launched before a Senate committee next week, when experts will argue that the practice is akin to patenting the moon and is strangling vital research.

About 20 per cent of human genes are already patented in the US. The issue sparked alarm in Australia last year when a Melbourne-based company that owned rights to a gene mutation that causes breast cancer ordered all other laboratories to stop performing the $2100 test.

This has got to stop. Even people’s biology is now becoming the ownership of corporations who can demand a form of ransom. Where is President Obama in all this? Well, apparently staving off DDoS attacks incurred by the output of Microsoft Windows zombies (SPAM).

Obama site smackdown spam only offers malware


Spam messages offering links to a tool designed to knock out the website of President Obama lead only to dodgy software.

The need for reform is evident. Why are no steps being taken to stop harmful patents, for starters? And why is the Harmful Patents Web site down/unavailable at the moment?

Girl and board

Did Microsoft Pay Fraunhofer for Report on OOXML?

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, FUD, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument at 3:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Developments and news on document formats and a ban on Microsoft Word

EARLIER in the year we showed that Fraunhofer was close to Microsoft and this was last mentioned yesterday because of a new report. The following portion suggests that this report on document formats gave acknowledgments to Microsoft. Linux Magazine believes that it may also imply funding:

The 90-page whitepaper is available as PDF after a short registration. The Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) in Berlin is the author and publisher, with some acknowledgements to (and possible financial help from) Microsoft.

As Professor Knut Blind from Fraunhofer once put it, “The negative impact of standards for competition are mostly caused by a biased endowment with resources available for the standardization process itself. Therefore. even when the consensus rule is applied, dominant large companies are able to manipulate the outcome of the process, the specification of a standard, into a direction which leads to skewed distribution of benefits or costs in favor of their own interests.”

Martin Bryan, the former convenor of OOXML, felt similarly. He also wrote: “The disparity of rules for PAS, Fast-Track and ISO committee generated standards is fast making ISO a laughing stock in IT circles.”

Microsoft essentially bought itself a rubber stamp from ISO and now it is using partners in industry to praise OOXML and market it.

Another important development revolves around the i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. As Omar put it, “you will find an evidence on how Microsoft was truly intending to bury i4i and their products through stealing.” Based on an E-mail message from one Microsoft developer, it is unambiguous. He wrote: “we saw [i4i’s products] some time ago and met its creators. Word 11 will make it obsolete.”

“[Y]ou will find an evidence on how Microsoft was truly intending to bury i4i and their products through stealing.”
“What kind of competition is this,” rhetorically asks Omar.

Microsoft is trying to prevent Word from being banned. Marti quotes the following: “according to Microsoft lawyers. Dell, HP, and lots of other ‘partners’ would feel this in their wallets. Not to mention the consumer (who now can go and discover other means of writing a letter).

“This is the responds to the court ruling that Microsoft offended a XML patent. The ruling states that Microsoft can’t sell MS-Word in its current form, so that means MS Office without its flagship Word.”

“There you have it,” says Marti, “the end of times, the Apocalypse and Armageddon, if the Vole looses one of its cash cows!”

For Microsoft, none of this was accidental. The whole thing was malicious from the start. Here are some more details:

Microsoft has attempted to block the court-ordered end to sales of Microsoft Word over a patent dispute. But court papers show that company officers were aware of the patent when they took the infringing action.

Groklaw has the following new posts:

i. Microsoft files notice of appeal against i4i ruling; stipulates waiver of bond, begs for stay

Microsoft has filed its notice of appeal in i4i v. Microsoft. And it and i4i have agreed on some terms. We find out from a Declaration of Albert Damon, attached to the stipulation, that Microsoft says it “has the financial wherewithal to satisfy the Judgment” and it will pay it within fifteen days “of all appeal and remand proceedings (including any proceedings before the Supreme Court of the United States), or within 15 (fifteen) days of the expiration of the times fr initiating such proceedings”.

ii. Microsoft’s Emergency Motion for a Stay Repeats Arguments Already Rejected by District Court

In Microsoft’s Emergency Motion for a Stay of Injunction [PDF], it argues that it would be irreparably harmed without a stay, that it’s in the public interest to avoid disruption to its business and its partners’ businesses, and that while they expect to win on appeal, they’d then be out all the expense of implementing the injunction. However, they already asked the judge in the District Court for a stay on those exact grounds and were denied.

i4i will surely be able to tell others what an unethical company Microsoft really is. Microsoft has just been sued twice more for patent infringement.

EMG Technology has charged Microsoft with violating Patent 7020845, “Navigating internet content on a television using a simplified interface and a remote control,” and Patent 7441196, “Apparatus and method of manipulating a region on a wireless device screen for viewing, zooming and scrolling internet content.” Both patents have been infringed upon by Microsoft Windows CE, PocketPC and Windows Mobile, the suit charges.

Yesterday we wrote about how Microsoft polices discussion on the Web and ThistleWeb warned us that familiar AstroTurfers were on Slashdot “trying to blame East Texas for having a patent troll-friendly place [...] as the reason why Microsoft were the victims [...] no mention of Microsoft’s bad patents or their patent racketeering [...] trying to claim that there’s widespread hatred towards i4i over this, but the only hatred I see is coming from Microsoft’s astroturfing army.”

i4i is not a patent troll, though. The story is a lot more complicated than people are led to believe. Another type of spin that we covered before was the attempt to use i4i as FUD against ODF.

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