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08.25.09

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: August 25th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:45 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.

VMware Turns Sour After Microsoft Intervention

Posted in Deals, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Virtualisation, VMware, Windows, Xen at 8:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

E-love

Summary: VMware shows signs of Linux neglect, just like Xen after receiving funding, staff and acquisition from Microsoft-tied entities

VMware is run by Microsoft veterans after aggressive intervention and this causes real trouble. Joining the Linux Foundation was a cheap (as in relatively inexpensive) public relations move for VMware; judging by its actions, it’s not serious about the platform anymore. From the news:

VMware drags its feet on Linux-based vCenter appliance, annoys Linux users

The vCenter virtual appliance server 2.5 has been available as a free technology preview since late February. The cross-platform client interface is still in development but some components have been available in technology preview since May, with no word on how long users will have to wait for a full production release of either product. All of that doesn’t sit well with some people.

Eric Siebert, a TechTarget blogger and IT veteran, said he thinks VMware may have been dragging its feet a bit on this project because its customer base is predominately Windows. But VMware needs to step up its Linux efforts if it wants to compete with Xen and Hyper-V for Linux users, he said.

Why is this happening? Is Microsoft using Maritz and his other Microsoft colleagues as what it calls “insider friend, ‘the Fox’” or is this neglect simply part of the company’s overall weakness?

VMware — being part of EMC — is Microsoft Partner of the Year 2008 and so is Citrix/Xen, whose role has become Microsoft centered.

Another one of Microsoft’s suspicious ‘puppets’ is Yahoo!

It truly shows now that Yahoo! joins Microsoft's action against Google in books and now that Yahoo acquires Maktoob. Guess who it may be piggybacking?

Yahoo Acquires Arab Portal, Bing Gets Backdoor Into Deal

[...]

This morning Yahoo announced that it was acquiring Maktoob.com, “the leading online community in the Arab world.” According to Yahoo the site has an audience of 16.5 million people. The purchase price has been estimated at between $75 and $100 million and was apparently in the works before the search deal with Microsoft was announced last month. Yahoo said the acquisition is part of a larger strategy to grow its audience in emerging markets and become the “destination of choice” in those locations.

It is reasonable to treat Yahoo! almost like a subsidiary of Microsoft in particular areas. As we have seen before, Microsoft may also use its partners to acquire other companies for competitive reasons. This is sad.

Microsoft Wants Only White People in Poland

Posted in Microsoft at 7:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office Polish version

[via]

Eye on Microsoft: Windows Security News

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 6:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Data security

Summary: Another day, another expected problem

Why Windows security is awful

A friend of mine suggested that I should include as boilerplate in my security stories, a line like: “Of course, if you were running desktop Linux or using a Mac, you wouldn’t have this problem.” She’s got a point. Windows is now, always has been, and always will be insecure. Here’s why.

First, desktop Windows stands firmly on a foundation as a stand-alone PC operating system. It was never, ever meant to work in a networked world. So, security holes that existed back in the day of Windows for Workgroups, 1991, are still with us today in 2009 and Windows 7.

[...]

It also doesn’t help any that Microsoft’s data formats can be used to hold active programming code. Microsoft Office formats are commonly used to transmit malware. Microsoft’s latest Office 2010 tries to deal with this by blocking all but read access to documents or ‘sandboxing’ them.. Since you can’t edit a sandboxed document, I’m sure that’s going to go over really well. Of course, what will actually happen is that users won’t use the sandbox utility, and they’ll just spread malware instead.

55,000 Web sites hacked to serve up malware cocktail

Security researchers are raising an alarm for a potent malware cocktail — backdoor Trojans and password stealers — being pushed to Windows users from about 55,000 hacked Web sites.

Vista 7 Campaign Starts Tomorrow

Posted in Apple, FSF, Videos, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 6:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7 starts now

Summary: Awareness campaign about the sins of Vista 7 is about to launch

WE AT Boycott Novell have spent the past year exposing the reality behind Vista 7. Knowing how similar it is to the process which preceded the release of Windows Vista, it seemed important to inform people before — not after — Vista 7 fails to gain traction in the market.

Adding to the list of failures, here is another item from the news. It reminds us yet again why Vista 7 is not suitable for sub-notebooks.

Windows 7 cuts almost a third off the battery life of some netbooks shipping today with Windows XP, several recent reviews and user reports say.

Laptop magazine reported in its blog on Monday that during a recent test, a Toshiba netbook lost 2.5 hours of battery life when running Windows 7 instead of XP, or about 30% (6:53 for Windows 7, versus 9:24 for XP).

Compare that to ARM-based sub-notebooks which can run GNU/Linux for an entire day. Windows does not even support ARM.

Come tomorrow, the FSF will unveil the Vista 7 “Sins” campaign. There is a spoiler out there already.

From the info-member list:

This Wednesday, August 26 at 11am, the Free Software Foundation will be launching its Windows7sins.org public awareness campaign, drawing attention to the threats posed by the adoption of Microsoft’s proprietary operating system. We have a launch event here in Boston on the Boston Commons from noon until 3pm, and we need everyone in the area to come along and help out and join in the ceremony as we conduct a ceremonial trashing of proprietary software.

**We’ll be launching our Windows 7 campaign with pomp and fanfare, with a giant 12 foot trashcan being filled with boxes of proprietary software.**

The event promises to be lots of fun, and with thousands of people passing through the Boston Commons every day we hope you will help us connect with the public by handing out information and explaining the benefits of free software. There will be camera crews and photographers capturing the event and we will be getting these images up online as soon as possible on the day.

Let us know you’re coming and bring along your friends and work colleagues – mail campaigns@fsf.org if you have time to help us set up, or just turn up at the Boston Commons near the entrance to the Public Gardens from noon.

If you’re not in the Boston area, there will be plenty for you to do to help us launch the campaign and get the message out. Stay tuned for upcoming instructions…

No doubt the Microsoft-sympathetic Web sites will use this as an opportunity to mock the FSF. They did the same thing when the FSF launched the “Bad Vista” campaign — a campaign which by all means was a great success.

Here is an E-mail which the FSF will distribute (a draft from last week):

RE: Important notice regarding impending lack of privacy, freedom and security from Microsoft Corporation.

As a decision maker within your organization, you undoubtedly strive to make choices that seek to improve the working lives of your employees, enhance the relationship you have with your customers and potential customers and secure the independence and freedom for your organization to operate.

For many years, companies like yours have relied on Microsoft and the Windows operating system. With the release of Windows 7 in October, Microsoft is selling the new version on a combination of fear and threats. They threaten to stop supporting older versions of Windows in the long-term, and because their system is proprietary, you are dependent on them to provide regular security updates and fixes. With the threat to withdraw their support, they try to strong-arm you into adopting new versions of their software even when you don’t need them and may have a negative consequence to your ability to operate, once again abusing its monopoly position, explicitly inducing vendor lock-in.

Like its plans to include DRM restrictions with Windows Vista, Microsoft’s continued attacks against the security, privacy and freedom of your organization, are no mistake. Microsoft has manipulated computer manufacturers to pre-install its products onto the computers you purchase. With its most recent actions, it further threatens computing standards by polluting and perverting the OpenDocument standard with its own XML-based file format. Today, many decision makers in America are now wholly dependent on Microsoft operating systems, such as Windows 7 for their business computing.

*The root cause of this dependency is proprietary software and with the release of Windows7, you have an opportunity to break your organizations dependency on it*

Free software, such as the GNU/Linux operating system and the office productivity tools set OpenOffice, provide all of the freedoms Microsoft tries to deny, and is therefore better in all areas: security, accountability and monetary cost. Microsoft agrees, and has recently reported as much in their corporate filings:

“The OpenOffice.org project provides a freely downloadable cross-platform application that also has been adapted by various commercial software vendors to sell under their brands, including IBM, Novell, Red Hat, and Sun Microsystems.”

“[Free software] vendors are devoting considerable efforts to developing software that mimics the features and functionality of our products, in some cases on the basis of technical specifications for Microsoft technologies that we make available at little or no cost.”

Free software is more secure because you and the wider community are independently able to read the source code of and customize any program you use in your infrastructure. It saves you from relying on a secretive third party, and the public availability of free software code means that many qualified eyeballs, the security experts and researchers around the world, are continually studying and reporting on its integrity. Replacing all your desktop systems with GNU/Linux will give you independence, access to thousands of free software applications and help break the social ill of proprietary software. Thousands of organizations have already moved to free software. What’s your organizational plan?

*Investing in Microsoft’s Windows 7 will only get you more stuck and more dependent on them.*

Take the next step — evaluate your organizations opportunity to use free software — and sign-up for regular announcements on making the move away from Windows and to receive information about the work of the Free Software Foundation.

[omitted]

A message from the Free Software Foundation, Boston, Mass.

The above is just a draft.

For those who characterise the FSF as “anti-Microsoft”, it is important to remember that the FSF offers no-one special treatment. Apple too is harshly criticised by the FSF (especially over DRM). Earlier today, Popey (Ubuntu enthusiast from the UK) wrote: “Apple blocking anything but quicktime from viewing trailers?

It seems like a pattern of bad behaviour from Apple.

Following that iPod explosion in the UK, the UK-based Register shares the following new video. [via]

No product is perfect and neither are Apple’s. Yet it is better to criticise Apple for trying to gag those who experienced/witnessed burning Apple products because Apple essentially puts the lives of more people at risk, purely for financial reasons.

Links 25/08/2009: CentOS 4.8, UK Concedes to MAFIAA

Posted in News Roundup at 6:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Using open-source GNU, Eclipse & Linux to develop multicore Cell apps: Part 1

    In August, 2006 I attended the Girvan Workshop for the Cell Broadband Engine and it’s an experience I’ll never forget. For two solid days, IBM engineers explained the processor’s architecture, tools and the many software libraries available for building Cell applications.

  • Tighter Security Urged for Businesses Banking Online

    Even smarter would be a Mac, or some flavor of Linux, or even a Live CD distribution of Linux (after shutdown, all changes are erased).

  • Desktop

    • Time to Face Some Facts

      Being there means being there.

      *No child-related misconduct convictions. We must check to protect ourselves.

      *Absolute knowledge of Linux Distributions and networking procedures.

      *Installers are never alone in the home or the room without one of their parents or guardians present.

      Those are not tough things…I spent 6 hours in a large installfest with 50 local folks who easily matched them.

      I don’t mean to come off as authoritarian or being a jerk…these are just the things that have to be in order to keep what we do alive.

  • Server

    • Platform buys HP’s message passing interface

      Platform Cluster Manager – formerly known as the Open Cluster Stack and in its fifth release – includes an open source implementation of the LSF job-scheduling tool called Lava and developed under a project called Kusu. OCS also includes Nagios for system monitoring, Cacti for node and cluster monitoring, Ganglia for workload monitoring, and other software that’s needed to run an x64-based supercomputer cluster based on Linux.

      HP started reselling its own bundle of the Platform cluster tools, called Platform HPC for Insight Control Environment for Linux, in March. This followed Red Hat’s own Red Hat HPC Solution, which debuted in October 2008, and Dell’s own twist on the Platform stack, called OCS Del Edition, which came out two weeks later. Companies can also download the Cluster Manager tools from Platform directly and pay for support contracts if they want to build their own HPC setups.

    • The Linode Virtual Hosting Solution

      Nearly all of these solutions are based on Linux due to the licensing costs associated with other operating system platforms.

  • Kernel Space

    • Aug. 25, 1991: Kid From Helsinki Foments Linux Revolution

      1991: Linus Torvalds, a 21-year-old university student from Finland, writes a post to a user group asking for feedback on a little project he’s working on. He’s built a simple kernel for a Unix-like operating system that runs on an Intel 386 processor, and he wants to develop it further. The kernel eventually becomes Linux, which is released in 1994 and distributed over the internet for free.

      [...]

      To that end, Richard Stallman, a programmer at MIT, founded the GNU Project in 1984. Stallman and his collaborators began assembling the various pieces of a free operating system that would be compatible with Unix, strictly adhering to the idea that software should be not only be freely available, but also give its users the ability to freely experiment with its inner workings.

    • What We Use

      So why is all of this? Freedom. Linus Torvalds had no idea what his OS project would look like 18 years after announcing it, but I am willing to bet that he is proud. His kernel is now the most mature kernel on Earth. It has more hardware support than any other, and it is more widely used than all but the NT kernel. Anyone is free to modify it. Anyone is free to fork it. Anyone is free to redistribute it. And boy, do we. Most distributions use a different kernel configuration, and many have their own patch sets and hacks that they use to optimize the Linux kernel in some way. These changes can be trivial (as in GoboHide), or complex changes that allow one to use radically different driver models, processors, or initialization systems. Yet, all of the ways we use it, it’s still Linux.

    • Xi2, Multi-Pointer X Support For FreeGLUT

      Support for X Input 2.0 with Multi-Pointer X capabilities can currently be found in the latest Git master code for the X Server and related libraries, while it will appearing in desktop Linux distributions once there is the X.Org 7.5 release.

  • Applications

    • Opera Unite – Unite Unite the World

      Alongside Firefox, Chrome and possibly Safari, Opera is one of the leading non-IE browsers you can choose to run on your operating system. What makes Opera attractive is that it has quite a few features built in without a need for external modding, like mail, RSS reader and BitTorrent client, it is fast, it is secure, and it can even be run as a portable application.

    • 15 Ubuntu Text Editors – Grab Your Favorite

      The choice of a good text editor is very important because one needs to write, edit, compose/save notes almost on daily basis while working on office projects, class assignments, etc. Like all other operating systems, Ubuntu supports a large numbers of text editors. Below we have compiled 15 useful text editors and their installation details for your productivity.

    • GoogleDocs integration with Nautilus

      During his 12 weeks at Google’s Summer of Code this developer managed to integrate Google Doc’s cloud with Nautilus, so all your docs can be browsed and edited on Linux just like normal documents.

    • Music Player Review: Heavyweights

      The heavyweight champion of the music player review is….. well…
      Amarok if you use Kubuntu (KDE)
      Exaile if you use Ubuntu or Xubuntu (XFCE)

    • Reviewed: Scribus 1.3.5

      We’ve reviewed Scribus a number of times in the past and even included a feature made using the tool in one of the back issues of Linux Format magazine. However, each revisit tends to throw up the same old problems: Scribus’s lack of reliability and poor interface. Thankfully, after two years of solid development, these woes have been banished. Well, mostly – read on to find out what’s changed…

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments

    • Take off and land safely with KDE

      Right now it has only been tested with Dell hardware. I know for a fact it will not work with the Asus eeePC due to their silly wireless drivers. Because of that, I will probably end up either borrowing code from eee-controls or eee-applet or just using those and porting them for use in this applet.

  • Distributions

    • Mandriva 2010 beta: Screenshots

      In the past few days French-based Linux company Mandriva has released a beta version of its upcoming Mandriva 2010 Linux distribution. We took it for a spin in a virtualised VMware environment.

    • Noteworthy PCLinuxOS updates (Aug 16th – Aug 22nd 2009)

      Another exciting week has past already! Can you believe it? Well here’s the latest updates to the PCLinuxOS repository over the past week.

    • 2009,08,24 Vine Linux 5 を公開
    • SimplyMEPIS Linux 8.0

      Certain distributions tend to get more press than others. SimplyMEPIS isn’t one of the ones that gets drooled over by the media the way that Linux Mint, Ubuntu and others do. I include myself in this as a journalist since this blog has been up and running since early July and I’m just now getting to a review of SimplyMEPIS. It’s a shame though as SimpyMEPIS has quite a bit to offer the desktop Linux user as you’ll find out in this review.

      [...]

      Product: SimplyMEPIS 8.0 Linux
      Web Site: https://www.mepis.org/
      Price: Free
      Pros: Easy install, good selection of apps and excellent online manual.
      Cons: Still uses KDE 3.5 instead of KDE 4.
      Suitable For: Beginning, intermediate or advanced Linux users.
      Summary: SimplyMEPIS is looking just a tad bit dated at this point but it’s still an excellent choice for desktop Linux users.
      Rating: 3.5/5

    • Red Hat Family

      • Rawhide: daily live spins are now available!

        There’s been an exciting development recently in Fedora QA land: thanks to the superhero Kevin Fenzi and friends, we’re now doing an automated Rawhide build of each official live Fedora spin every night, and publishing them here.

      • Announcing Fedora 12 Alpha

        PackageKit improvements – PackageKit now has plugins to install applications from a web browser, and from the command line if a user tries a command from a package not yet installed.

      • Pentaho Announces that Specsavers is Deploying BI to its International Hubs

        Pentaho, the commercial open source alternative for business intelligence, recently announced that Specsavers, the UK’s most trusted optical retailer, is deploying business intelligence (BI) to its international hubs, based on a platform using Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform and Pentaho BI Suite Enterprise Edition. The deployment allows Specsavers to standardize information delivery and metrics at a regional level to help drive continued growth and to maximize corporate agility.

      • Levementum Announces Partnership Agreement with Pentaho

        Levementum, the industry leading open source system integrator, announced today an alliance with Pentaho, the commercial open source alternative for business intelligence (BI).

      • Secure Virtualization Using SELinux (sVirt)

        Next week I will be at the Red Hat Summit talking about SELinux, specifically sVirt, Secure Virtualization.

      • CentOS 4.8 released

        The CentOS development team have announced the release of CentOS 4.8, a free Linux distribution based on the source of version 4.8 of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The CentOS 4.8 legacy branch release is the eighth update to the CentOS 4 series and features several big fixes, updates and new functionality.

    • Debian Family

      • Review: Ubuntu 9.04

        First impressions were extremely favourable. The default desktop manager is Gnome (2.26) which is very Windows-like with enhanced multi-monitor support in this release. The usual tools to customise desktop colours, wallpaper and screensaver are all there plus support for additional 3D graphical effects, courtesy of Compiz Fusion, should you want them. A separate KDE implementation (Kubuntu) is yet another option plus it features extensive multi-language support.

      • Ubuntu User Issue 2 is out

        Issue 2 of Ubuntu User is now out. Featuring an interview with Mark (SABDFL) Shuttleworth, my second Q&A column (Answerbuntu), plus tons more Ubuntu goodness.

      • Feature Freeze this Thursday

        This means that all of your Karmic-targeted specs should be either at Beta Available or Postponed by the end of day on Wednesday. Please make sure to update the status of your specs. You should check that packages you care about are at a version suitable for release.

        Requests for freeze exceptions for main should be filed as bugs in Launchpad against the relevant package (or just “Ubuntu” if the package is not available yet). Once the bug is filed and the necessary information is available, please subscribe the ubuntu-release team.

      • Feature Freeze this Thursday
      • The Ubuntu Server: Slowly Gaining Acceptance

        A recent Ubuntu global survey showed that only 28% of respondents were from the US, and the majority of these were using the OS only for basic functions such as Web, database and backup servers while only a small minority used it for advanced work such as cluster computing or virtualization. On the other hand, most respondents said they are assigning mission critical tasks to the OS and are planning to add more Ubuntu OS servers in the future.

      • Book Excerpt: Troubleshooting Ubuntu Server

        The Official Ubuntu Server Book will help you identify and resolve the open source server’s network and hardware issues, including an unresponsive Linux host, memory issues, and network card errors.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Nokia smartphone-cum-web tablet re-emerges

      Old rumours that Nokia is looking to replace Symbian with the Linux-derived Maemo OS on it smartphones have been re-stoked following publication of what’s thought to be the phone firm’s latest smartphone-cum-internet tablet.

    • My Android Impression

      First, I love Android due to its open source nature and its Linux underpinning as well as its Java development environment. This is actually perfect for a FOSS advocate and a Java Champion like me. I have tried a mobile phone that runs on Java as well as a mobile device that runs on Linux and I can honestly say that the Android blows them out of the water. Google has done a tremendous job marrying these technology into a single (and still open source) platform.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source software assessment methodologies

    In addition to the coverage, we also looked at the assessment methodologies themselves. The popularity and conditions placed on the utilisation of these assessment methodologies also can have an impact on what is the most appropriate for your organisation. For example, going with a community run assessment methodology better ensures that the model is peer reviewed and verified.

  • Open Source You Can Use, August 2009

    Last but not least, the open source desktop publishing application Scribus is now in its 1.3.5.1 revision. I was using the older 1.3.3.12 build for my own publishing projects and was impressed with the results I could achieve with it, but this version brings the program to an even greater level of polish and professionalism. Best feature: direct export to PDF, with pro-level pre-flight checking options.

  • Exploring Betavine, Vodafone’s Open Mobile Application Community

    Betavine has been getting kudos from the open source community for launching Linux drivers for mobile broadband dongles for a number of Netbook computers. In addition, support for open standards such as W3C is engrained in Betavine’s DNA.

  • Pimp your GIMP!!

    -What?? It says “Quality brushes for Photoshop”!

    That is not an issue as GIMP can use Photoshop bruses. Simply download any brush you like, uncompress it and copy it to /home/username/.gimp-2.6 (this will vary according to username and version). Next time you launch GIMP, you can select your new brushes and make great designs.

  • Open source and cloud computing – when Worlds collide

    *Cloud computing, similar to Linux and other open source software, is also clearly emerging as a major opportunity for hosters and service providers, as well as vendors that cater to them.

  • Healthcare

    • Open source, not $19 billion, may be best health care stimulus

      The federal economic stimulus package provides $19 billion to upgrade the U.S. health care system to digital records. It’s a nice gesture, but the U.S. federal government has already developed a robust medical ERP system that could significantly improve U.S. health care. It’s called VistA. It’s open source.

    • EHRs have open-source software alternatives

      “There’s great hope for open-source,” said Don Thomas, president of Austin, Texas-based SoftLight Development, a technology consultancy and software developer. “I think a lot of doctors love the idea of being able to get out there and get what they want. But it’s one of those things where they hear all the negatives or all the positives, so I encourage all physicians to get out there and do their homework.”

    • Open source can save your life

      In a field as complex and fast-changing as health care a proprietary system would be hard-pressed to keep up with the needs of thousands of hospitals. Open source won’t be perfect either, but putting the resources close to the people using them just makes more sense.

  • Openness

    • Build Your Own Open Source Digital Clock

      The clock kit ships with a power supply, backup battery, a clear acrylic enclosure, and all the parts you need to get the clock ticking in no time. Although everything you need to know about building the timepiece is available online, you may need some soldering skills to put the entire contraption

  • Programming

    • On the PySide – interview

      Recently the dot carried an article about the first public release of PySide, LGPL python bindings to Qt. We conducted a short interview with one of the people behind PySide, Nokia employee Matti Airas

    • New LGPL Python bindings for Qt slither into the light

      A new set of LGPL-licensed Python bindings for Qt has been announced. The project, which is backed by Nokia, will make it easier for commercial software developers to adopt Python and Qt for rapid application development.

Leftovers

  • Federal Courts Sound The Alarm Against RECAP; Worried About PACER Profits

    We’ve been excited to see what would happen with the RECAP Firefox extension, which is being used to help free up public domain court documents that have been locked up behind the PACER paywall. However, there were also questions about how the folks who run and/or benefit from PACER would react.

  • Federal court using scare tactics to block sharing of public records

    It appears that the US Courts, concerned about competition from software that offers the possibility of widespread free access to documents filed on federal judicial dockets, for which the public would otherwise have to pay the courts at the rate of 8 cents a page, are ready to resort to scare tactics to discourage lawyers from using that software.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • UK file-sharers to be ‘cut off’

      ISPs have repeatedly argued that it is not their job to police the web.

      The Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) said it was “disappointed by the proposal to force ISPs to suspend users’ accounts.

    • UK.gov revives net cut-off threat for illegal downloaders

      Today, however, Mandelson’s Department for Business said responses to the consultation had persuaded it to reconsider introducing the threat of disconnection from the internet.

    • ISP Friendly BitTorrent Tracker Doubles Download Speeds

      A new Open Source BitTorrent tracker set to be released in September promises to boost download speeds by up to 150% and decrease the load BitTorrent users put on ISP networks by 20 to 50 percent. Based on the widely used OpenTracker software, the new BitTorrent tracker aims to overcome many of BitTorrent’s current limitations.

    • The Pirate Bay Taken Offline By Swedish Authorities (Updated)

      Following the earlier court defeat for Fredrik, Gottfrid and Peter and the pending civil action taken by several Hollywood studios, the Swedish authorities have now ordered The Pirate Bay to be disconnected from the Internet. The site’s bandwidth suppliers have been threatened with a large fine. The site is completely offline.

    • Pirate Bay site down as anchor set adrift

      The Pirate Bay is out of action again 24 hours after Swedish authorities blocked the infamous BitTorrent tracker site.

    • Fine, Let Newspapers Collude

      It’s difficult to think of anything to say to people who think these ways, other than “good luck.” The real world doesn’t believe in such limitations. If the newspapers collude and come up with a pricing scheme where the lowest option starts at $10 per month — fine. Just go do it, and then let’s see what happens. Because talking about it is getting pretty silly.

    • Music Publishers Sue Websites Over Lyrics

      The NMPA says it has sent cease and desist notices to hundreds of illegal sites over the past three years.

    • Forbes.com CEO Thinks Publishers are Killing Web Ad Potential

      Spanfeller’s piece should prove to be an interesting one to publishers and advertisers alike, but some think it is just simply too late for the industry to adopt a different model. Publishers that try to go a different way face the very real possibility that their advertisers won’t follow them, when they can simply get lower rates elsewhere.

What If Novell Does Not Own UNIX? Nothing.

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, SCO, UNIX at 12:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Amiga UNIX

Summary: Decision regarding UNIX copyrights is overturned

UNIX has just turned 40. It is a lot older than SCO/Caldera, whose actions against Linux have numerous connections to Microsoft. SCO claims to have just released a product, but the word on everyone’s lips is to do with a court decision reversal. It comes two years after an important ruling.

A federal appeals court Monday overturned a 2007 decision that Novell owns the Unix code, and the ruling now clears the way for SCO to pursue a $1 billion copyright infringement case against IBM.

In a 54-page decision, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals said it was reversing the 2007 summary judgment decision by Judge Dale Kimball of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, which found that Novell was the owner of Unix and UnixWare copyrights.

This is a blow to Novell (needless to say), but it can also refuel some old FUD about Linux. SJVN is not particularly concerned. As he rightly explains, SCO has no case anyway. SCO did not win a case against Linux; in fact, UNIX ownership is unrelated to Linux and only a peripheral case. Will Microsoft contribute some more funds as it did before?

There’s a fool born every minute, but a fool who wants to invest still more money in legal fees in this money pit? I doubt it. I don’t think even Microsoft, which has bankrolled SCO’s anti-Linux lawsuits, has the stomach for it.

The SCO zombie’s victory is meaningless legal trivia. The company, and its anti-Linux claims, is still dead. The now brainless corpse is just twitching a little still.

According to Tom Harvey’s report, SCO has plans to litigate, but where will the money come from?

The ruling may mean The SCO Group will renew its effort to collect licensing fees from thousands of companies that run the Linux system, said McBride. He also said the ruling again calls into question IBM’s ability to continue marketing its Aix server program, which is derived from Unix.

According to one report, Norris may step in, but will SCO’s new trustee permit this? Slashdot has many comments on the subject and all the documents are here in Groklaw. Wired Magazine puts up an ugly picture of Darl McBride, whereas the AP article quotes him. As The Register puts it:

Novell could not immediately be reached for comment at time of writing.

Novell’s PR Director later posted a statement in the company’s blog.

Precisely what will happen next in the lawsuit remains to be seen, especially in light of the pending SCO bankruptcy and the recent court decision to appoint a Chapter 11 Trustee to take over the business affairs of the company.

SCO still owes money to Novell. If an investor — if any exists at all — shows up to shore up SCO’s lawsuits, Novell might have to be compensated using the allotted funds. Masnick writes:

A judge has overturned part of the lower court’s original ruling on who owns the copyrights to Unix, and ordered a full jury trial take place to determine who actually owns the copyright. Oddly, the court did not overturn the part where SCO has to pay Novell $2.5 million — which could push the company over the final edge. If, however, SCO can stay alive, and it does go to trial, the company could (and likely will) still lose that trial (and, we’re still twiddling our thumbs and waiting for any evidence from SCO that IBM actually infringed on the UNIX copyrights… but that’s another story and another lawsuit).

Likewise, we’re still twiddling our thumbs and waiting for any evidence from Microsoft that Linux actually infringed on Microsoft patents. As Heise once put it, “Pamela Jones [...] has told Infoworld that Microsoft will be the next SCO Group.” Microsoft buddies like Andrew Thomas are already on the scene, seemingly trying to fuel SCO’s cause.

“…Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”

Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO

Comes: Microsoft’s Anti-GNU/Linux Presentation and Explanation of Bribery

Posted in Antitrust, Courtroom, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 6:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A Team Logo

Summary: Microsoft’s “Delta Force” presents an attack plan on GNU/Linux adoption

IT IS not so often that we find so many ‘smoking guns’ in one single Comes vs Microsoft exhibit. We shall tackle this one in several parts, starting with the more obvious bits.

This exhibit is 83 slides long (plus notes) from someone who works for Microsoft. It’s actually called “Delta Force” — the force which fights against GNU/Linux adoption, apparently. The presentation is marked “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL” and it is easy to see why. The presenter, Steve Winfield, even mentioned the SCO lawsuit against IBM. “Another deluded fool that sold his integrity to Billistopheles and for what,” remarks one of our readers. Regarding the name “Delta Force”, suggests this reader, “insert a picture from the A Team with Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer face imposed.” Another reader sent in such a picture, but it’s not suitable for publication.

According to Winfield, customers choose GNU/Linux because “Apps are easier to pirate.”

Here is the full presentation (Exhibit PX09346) [PDF], which is available as text at the bottom. Let’s address some interesting portions of it.

Who is responsible?

Steve Winfield
National Technology Strategist
Partner Technology Team (a.k.a. Delta Force)
US Partner Group, Microsoft

This presentation is dated 2005 at the top, or maybe 2003 for the content itself. Either way, it is fairly recent by Comes standards.

The presentation is filled with the TCO lies, which Microsoft paid Gartner [1, 2, 3] and IDC [1, 2] to generate. We have other Comes exhibits that show this very clearly. These were funded by Microsoft and Microsoft even intervened to affect the outcome.

In future posts we shall address other classic FUD like security figures that combine numbers from systems that are not comparable. Microsoft hides many of its security patches, but that is another long story.

Today we would like to focus on Microsoft’s unethical behaviour, which this presentation reflects on.

Some weeks ago we presented testimonies from academic departments that got hijacked by what some call “Microsoft minions”.

For Microsoft, based on the presentation, this is a well-understood strategy. See the part where it says:

Ask the partner to give you heads up on customer situations – bribe them!

Does Microsoft admit bribing as a strategy? That would be a felony, a crime.

Around page/slide 62, the presenter talks about how they are fighting GNU/Linux at CIO level. Slide 53 says “Escalate to CompHot”. Remember CompHot [1, 2, 3, 4]? That’s the anti-GNU/Linux programme/fund.

“Contact CompHot,” it says. Further down this slide says:

Find and Lean on your insider friend, ‘the fox’. Having a trusted MSfriend in the account is critical. Some people (unix Bigots) can think of lots of reasons to not have a MS solution. MS folks may not be the strongest voice but they are true believers (Protect them, make them look good).

“Find and Lean on your insider friend,” eh?

Sounds like this ‘myth’ of “Microsoft minions” is not so far fetched after all. Paranoia it ain’t when they’re really out to get you.

Moreover, as Jason put it: “Again, it is Microsoft that applies the religious analogies to tar the FLOSS community with the “cult”/”zealot”/”fundamentalist” brush.”

Separately, he wrote: “This is a good presentation to read — even though most of it is structured as “Am not! Are too!”– because a lot of these slides show up in other internal MS presentations. There also a few good references about the “backchannel” competition Microsoft like so much: bribe someone, lean on an insider.

“And, finally, it’s topped off with the “bigots” / “true believers” mentality. Another example of Microsoft being the one to view things in religious terms (but it is the vocal members of the FLOSS community that are painted with the “zealotry” brush.”

“Sounds like this ‘myth’ of “Microsoft minions” is not so far fetched after all.”Microsoft’s staff loves accusing its competition of being “a cult” when it is them — Microsoft and its ecosystem — who act like a cult against anything that is not Microsoft. Hypocrisy to the extreme.

Further on it says: “Leverage existing MS technology clout”. Think of Exchange/SharePoint for example. Microsoft uses these as ‘Trojan horses’ to work its way up the stack and establish total lock-in. Now we have this on paper to be shown as evidence that it is no side-effect but a deliberate strategic act.

Throughout this exhibit, Microsoft also refers to an internal network, “http://linux“, as already seen before. It contains “TCO studies and tools” for Microsoft employees to fight against what it calls "Linux infestation". It’s related to CompHot.

Similarly, based on this presentation, Microsoft has an “Office compete team”, which is accessible internally through “http://officemarketing/staroffice“.

Page 57 contains a style that’s similar to Microsoft TE training material (“Evangelism is War”). It is important to understand how Microsoft views itself.

Regarding EDGI, which is not referred to by name in this presentation, Jason wrote: “This is how the EDGI program plays out in actual practice. Under honest and fair evaluation, an organization decides to go with Linux, and Microsoft comes in the the funds to distort the market, because they know they will make it up in the long run.”

Without further ado, here is the full presentation, which we intend to revisit, but then taking another angle.


Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit PX09346, as text


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