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08.26.09

Eye on Apple: In Search of Answers, Still

Posted in Apple, Europe, Law at 8:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

iPod control

Summary: Apple perils in the news

Who rejected Google Voice on the iPhone? (also see: FCC Takes on Apple Just Weeks After Microsoft Executive Becomes Managing Director of the FCC)

Apple’s key argument is that a native Google Voice application would confuse users by replacing the default iPhone voice and text interfaces, and “the iPhone user’s entire Contacts database is transferred to Google’s servers, and we have yet to obtain any assurances from Google that this data will only be used in appropriate ways.” So the lads in Cupertino are just trying to protect the users, and keep their lives simple.

Exploding’ iPhones investigated (also see: Microsoft and Apple Gag Truth Tellers, Disregard Risk of Death)

French consumer groups are investigating reports of iPhones that explode or crack spontaneously.

“Windows 7 Sins” Campaign a Great Success So Far

Posted in FSF, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 8:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad Vista 7

Summary: Public is taught about Microsoft’s offenses while reactionary dissent comes only from the usual suspects and Microsoft remains speechless

THE Windows 7 Sins campaign was launched earlier today. As expected, the Microsoft crowd went on to bashing the FSF in retaliation. But it’s easy to ignore that because it’s predictable and fidelity based, as opposed to truly rational or ethical.

“As expected, the Microsoft crowd went on to bashing the FSF in retaliation.”The FSF’s key points about Vista 7 look very effective and successful so far. The points are being parroted in the press, which was exactly the goal of this awareness campaign. There is actually a lot to be criticised in Vista 7, but the FSF was broader and more general than that, escaping the confinement of this one product.

Here is some coverage we found to be informative:

i. Free Software Foundation trashes Windows 7

Matt Lee, manager of the new FSF campaign, hopes to make businesses and computer users more aware of what he perceives as the growing dangers of proprietary software from Microsoft and companies such as Apple and Adobe.

“With the release of Microsoft’s updated operating system, business leaders have the opportunity to escape to freedom and join a growing list of leaders who understand that sinking money and time into proprietary software is a dead-end inconsistent with their best interests,” he said.

ii. Free software group attacks Windows 7 ‘sins’

They include: Poisoning education, locking in users, abusing standards such as OpenDocument Format (ODF), leveraging monopolistic behavior, threatening user security, enforcing Digital Rights Management (DRM) at the request of entertainment companies concerned about movie and music piracy, and invading your privacy.

iii. Free Software Foundation launches campaign against Windows 7

The site lists seven sins, saying that Microsoft is “poisoning education” by investing money on lobbying educational departments, “invading privacy”, behaving as a monopoly, forcing updates on users to lock them in, abusing standards, enforcing Digital Rights Management (DRM, or as the FSF calls it Digital Restriction Management) and threatening user security by distributing vulnerable software.

That point about education is a very important one because of EDGI. Even at this moment in the news we have found Australian schools committing the offence of giving children to Adobe and Microsoft, which leas to very angry comments. We wrote about NSW’s fiasco in [1, 2] as schools are being used to train children to become customers of offending companies. Taxpayers are taking the bill. Later on, teachers are educated to treat Free software on a CD like it’s a crime.

The angle taken by SoftPedia makes use of the observation that Vista 7 is technically just Windows 6.1.

Despite Microsoft going for the Windows 7 moniker as the official brand for its latest Windows client release, the actual version of the operating system is 6.1, while Windows Vista, the previous version of the platform, was 6.0. The build string of Windows 7 RTM is in fact 6.1.7600.16385. But it is not only Microsoft that’s insisting on the intimate connection between Windows 7 and Vista. The Free Software Foundation is also introducing its latest anti-Windows push, dubbed Windows 7 Sins, nothing more than a Bad Vista version 6.1. It was the FSF that launched the Bad Vista website in 2006, efforts that have evolved into the Windows7Sins.org.

The Microsoft-sympathetic crowd did its usual thing criticising the FSF for ‘daring’ to criticise their beloved Microsoft, which is only breaking the law on a regular basis in attempt to put competitors out of business. Examples includes the CNET PR drone, TG Daily (which collaborates with Microsoft), SD Times (which Microsoft sponsors through many advertisements) and even Nick Farrell, who loves aggravating GNU/Linux and Mac users.

OPEN SOURCERERS at the Free Software Foundation are staging a demo in Boston in a bid to encourage businesses to throw away Microsoft Windows in favour of free alternatives.

Scott Fulton actually gave it some decent coverage, to his credit. He is not shy to condemn Microsoft where it's deserved.

In summary, this round of publicity seems to have been handled better than “Bad Vista”. Judging by market conditions and the state of the product, this is going to be another Vista. Don’t believe it? Just wait.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: August 26th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:10 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.

Links 26/08/2009: GNU/Linux Boots Faster Than Vista 7

Posted in News Roundup at 6:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Boot Time: Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 4 vs. Windows 7 RC

    I know, I know, there’s a miliard videos comparing boot time out there, and this one is no different. In the following video you can see two computers with the exact same specifications booting Windows 7 Release Candidate and Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Alpha 4.

  • Some Shine Brighter…

    When the absolutely tireless and selfless Lynn Bender (you will see that name here soon) single-handedly organized Linux Against Poverty, it became obvious we were going to need top-tier techs to pull it off. Hundreds of computers were going to be showing up. Computers that needed fixing, diagnosing or repairing of some sort…we had no idea of the condition of any of them that would be arriving. We needed top of the line guys. Guess who showed up and took on the leadership role to organize the whole thing.

    Andy Krell.

    And Andy didn’t just troop the line and bark orders…he unloaded trucks, he got his hands cut to ribbons on sharp edges and jutting screws, and he carried machines back and forth to their assigned places. His jouneyman skills were responsible for breathing life into dozens of machines I would have gutted for parts and through on the scrap heap.

    So Linux Luminary…Ya Think? I think so.

  • Free Powerful Web-based POS Software Imonggo Now Available for Linux Users

    Free POS software Imonggo is now fully available for the Linux operating system, as announced today by Imonggo Inc., the first software-as-a-service (SaaS) company to offer a hosted free web-based Point-Of-Sale solution for small retailers.

  • Server

    • Creating a Multi-Boot Mini-Server

      I started by researching multi-boot openSolaris/Linux systems. As I have mentioned previously, openSolaris uses a modified GRUB bootloader, and I’ve had trouble setting it up to multi-boot before. I found one good, simple piece of advice in the openSolaris documention – it is possible to boot a Linux partition from the openSolaris GRUB, but it is not possible to boot openSolaris from a standard Linux GRUB. Ok, that makes sense and corresponds with my experience, so I will have to make sure to set my system up to use the openSolaris GRUB, and add whatever Linux systems I install.

    • Windows drivers for KVM

      Red Hat has released paravirtualised network and storage drivers for running Windows guest systems under the KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machines) virtualisation solution for Linux.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kernel Log – Coming in 2.6.31 – Part 4: Tracing, architecture, virtualisation

      New performance counters allow developers to take a detailed look at the runtime behaviour of program code to target specific areas for optimisation. The recently introduced tracing infrastructure has been further modified and improved. Other changes affect the architecture, the memory subsystem, and various virtualisation solutions.

    • X Server 1.6 Lives On With Another Release

      X.Org 7.5 that will bear X Server 1.7 has already been delayed multiple times. The latest release schedule promised it a week ago, but there hasn’t even been a single pre-release or development snapshot to date. Originally X.Org 7.5 was supposed to be out in April, but it looks like we are still at least a few months from seeing this important update that introduces Multi-Pointer X and other new features and changes.

  • Applications

    • OpenShot – a new Linux Video Editor

      If you want to edit your own videos & you are running Linux on your desktop, you must have a look at OpenShot – a non-linear video editor. A Developer Preview is available now, version 0.9.22.

    • Lugaru Linux Update!

      Lugaru, the classic ninja rabbit fighting game known for its brutal melee combat, has just been updated by expert programmer Ryan Gordon, aka Icculus.

  • Distributions

    • My Imperfect Operating System

      What works for me may not work for you. That’s the great thing about Linux. We have choice. There are well over 300 distributions and many different possible desktops to multiply the choice several fold.

    • Red Hat’s organic growth opportunities

      Fortunately for Red Hat the two major acquisitions that it has made in recent years (JBoss and Qumranet) both provide the company with opportunities to drive organic growth.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Popcorn Hour C-200 Media Player Ready to Ship

      [L]ong-awaited Linux based media player device with Blu-ray support and much more

      The Popcorn Hour C-200, the latest ‘Networked Media Tank’ device from Syabas (the makers of the popular A-100 and A-110) is finally ready. Online orders directly from www.popcornhour.com can be placed starting from tomorrow (27th August 2009 12:00AM PST) and shipping is supposed to start on September 3rd.

    • Using open-source GNU, Eclipse & Linux to develop multicore Cell apps: Part 2
    • MontaVista Remains a Top Contributor to Linux Kernel

      MontaVista(R) Software, Inc., the leader in embedded Linux(R) commercialization, ranks in the top 15 contributors to the Linux kernel, alongside more than 5,000 other community supporters including Red Hat, IBM and Novell, as reported by the Linux Foundation in its recent report, Linux Kernel Development. The report indicates that MontaVista, the world’s largest independent commercial embedded Linux vendor, made more than 1,500 changes to the kernel. MontaVista, now in its tenth year, is the only commercial embedded Linux vendor to rank this high in the report.

    • All-ready ARM9 coming with the latest Linux kernel

      The all-ready BSPs give you a kick-start into the application software development, compared with a “start from scratch” approach, the Hiteg ready-to-go SBCs offer a far more speedy and cost effective solution.

    • Timesys Provides First Commercial Linux Solution for Atmel AT91SAM9G45 Processor

      Timesys(R) Corporation (http://www.timesys.com), provider of LinuxLink, the first commercial software development framework for building custom embedded Linux(R) based products, today announced LinuxLink availability for the new AT91SAM9G45 processor from Atmel(R).

    • Phones

      • Android comes to Motorola

        MOTOROLA HAS CONFIRMED that it will be flogging mobile phones running Google’s Android OS.

      • Nokia bets on Linux in iPhone battle: sources

        Nokia Oyj will try again to tackle Apple Inc’s iPhone in the top-end of the handset market with a bet on Linux software, several industry sources told Reuters.

        Top handset maker Nokia will show its first high-end phone running on Maemo, a version of Linux, next week at the annual Nokia World event in Stuttgart, Germany, the sources said.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Facebook hires an open source advocate

    The news started to emerge in various Twitter feeds and personal blog posts Monday: David Recordon, a Six Apart developer and prominent open standards advocate, has left the blog software company to take a job at Facebook.

  • David Recordon Leaves Six Apart To Join Facebook
  • VA scandal gives proprietary software a bad name

    Contracting, by its nature, offers many opportunities for corruption of all kinds. A do it yourself approach may be corruptible, but at the end of the day you own what you have made, and whatever you think of the software the development of the VA’s VistA software has not been a school for scandal.

    With the rise of open source this make-or-buy decision is faced by all levels of government. It’s separate from any questions regarding health reform. Should government agencies be building their own software platforms using open source tools or contracting that work out to proprietary vendors?

  • Simply the FAQS #2 What is Open Source?

    Here are just a few examples of well supported open source software packages:

    * Drupal (web site content management)
    * Open Office ( word processing, spreadsheets, database and presentation alternative to Microsoft Office and iWorks)
    * Fedora (operating system alternative to Windows and Macintosh)
    * SugarCRM (customer resource management software)

  • Photo finish: 5 free image editing tools

    GIMP (GNU image manipulation program) is a powerful and near-professional-level photo editing open-source program. Immensely popular and constantly updated for several years now, the application is very stable and function-rich. It can handle masks, layers, filters, effects, and much more. It has an impressive line-up of preference settings that you can tweak. Among other features, it boasts lighting effects, an extensive paintbrush tool set, pen tool path selection, as well as layer masks. The controls are very responsive even on underpowered machines. And because it is the preferred editor in the open-source space, GIMP has built a vast repository of plug-ins and optional extensions.

  • ‘Foreign Policy’ Should Stick to its Home Turf

    Sorry, old chap, but “open source” and “security” are orthogonal, independent axes.

  • Events

    • 2009 Phoenix Call for Presentations

      The Arizona Business and Liberty Experience Conference (ABLEconf) is soliciting presentations for its second annual conference. ABLEconf will take place on Saturday, October 24th, 2009 at the University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, Arizona.

    • OPEN WORLD FORUM UNVEILS START-UP COMPETITION

      Open World Forum, the leading global forum for free, libre and open source software (FLOSS) worldwide, announces a competition open to entrepreneurs looking for increased visibility in the investor community and the open source ecosystem.

    • Zabbix is going to Open Source Monitoring Conference 2009 (Germany)

      This year on October 28 and 29 an Open Source monitoring conference organized by the company NetWays takes place in Nürnberg, Germany. Rihards Olups, System analyst of Zabbix SIA, will deliver a speech about Zabbix Open Source Distributed Monitoring Solution titled “Introducing Zabbix”.

    • Libre Graphics Meeting 2010 in Brussels Announced

      I’ve been holding onto this announcement for too long. Its already out on some Linux-friendly calendars, but I want to make sure all the masses know about it! I’m super excited for Libre Graphics Meeting 2010 in Brussels for a renewed focus on content, content, content! This year, I plan to work more on the creative collaborative projects which will be a key part of the conference — think Blender Open Movie project, but between all the creative free and open source graphics application communities. While that surely won’t be executed on the scale of my Blender friends’ project, it will be a good start!

    • OPEN SOURCE INNOVATION SUMMIT AND AWARDS

      Are you a Free, Libre and Open Source entrepreneur? Present your projects during a series of 7-minute slots to Venture Capitalists and major systems integrators. Get a chance to be nominated and compete for the “Open Innovation Awards” that will be awarded by an international jury of experts to the most promising businesses innovating in the Open Source sector, and presented during the Open World Forum closing keynote address. Benefit from maximum visibility and media coverage.

    • United Kingdom

      • An introduction to the world of Linux and open source software

        On Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the Belfast Free Library, Andrew Watkins will offer an introductory presentation explaining the uses of Linux and Open Source computer operating systems. This program is free and open to all.

      • GLOW Bank Holiday Special – August 31st

        Meetup up at the Riverside Terrace Cafe at the South Bank Centre at 6pm where the evening commences with a bracing coffee whilst admiring the view and discussing where we relocate to after 7pm.

      • Come to OggCamp

        What: OggCamp
        When: Sunday 25th October 2009
        Where: Wolverhampton, UK

  • FSF/GNU

    • Stallman Takes His Free-Software Crusade to Argentina

      Mr. Stallman said he is generally a fan of the online, collaborative encyclopedia, but it is on the narrow grounds that befit a single-issue activist who has spent more than two decades preaching the cause that software wants to be free –- “free as in freedom, not free as in beer.” Translation: It’s not necessary that software be cheap, but once someone owns it, she should be free to do with it what she pleases.

      This principle is true for Wikipedia, in that anyone is free to reuse its contents in any way he likes, as long as he follows the same ethic with a new product and credits Wikipedia. That applies to a blogger as well as to companies that have created businesses around Wikipedia content, including one publishing house that has republished German Wikipedia content in book form while agreeing to those terms.

  • Government

    • Open.gov: The Meme Spreads

      It’s really striking how the idea of open government has gone from nowhere a few months ago to hot meme of the moment. Here’s the latest convert – Sweden…

  • Openness

    • Wikimedia receives $2 million grant from Omidyar Network

      The Wikimedia Foundation, the organisation responsible for the operation of the Wikipedia free online encyclopaedia, has received a $2 million grant from the Omidyar Network

    • Leading social media integrator Yovia and high-technology research and development firm SourceFuse combine forces

      Yovia and SourceFuse announce strategic merger to harness explosive growth of social media and open source markets

    • RIM acquires open-source browser developer Torch Mobile

      Looking to boost its users’ Web browsing experience, Research in Motion Tuesday officially acquired Torch Mobile, a company that develops applications using the WebKit open source browser engine.

    • Europeans collaborate on an open-source robot, the iCub

      The iCub may have been designed to look and act like a child, but that’s where the comparison to Vicki the Robot, from the ’80s television show “Small Wonder,” ends. It’s not a schoolgirl who sleeps in the bedroom cabinet. It’s the size of a 3-1/2-year-old, with the ability to crawl, sit up and play drums, thanks to dexterous hands. It has visual, vestibular, auditory and haptic sensory capabilities.

    • Carbon Project Releases Open Source Dashboard for Geodata.gov

      The Carbon Project announces the availability of an open source dashboard for Geodata.gov, the federal government’s information service for maps and data. The free application enables “at-a-glance” visualization of geospatial assets and monitoring of Geospatial One-Stop search functions from desktop PCs.

    • E-Biomed 2.0?

      Last week the Open Access publisher Public Library of Science (PLoS) launched a new initiative called PLoS Currents (Beta).

      [...]

      In response to the recent worldwide H1N1 influenza outbreak, Varmus added, the first PLoS Currents research theme is influenza. This will encompass all aspects of influenza, influenza virology, genetics, immunity, structural biology, genomics, epidemiology, modelling, evolution, policy and control.

    • Wikipedia to Limit Changes to Articles on People

      Wikipedia, one of the 10 most popular sites on the Web, was founded about eight years ago as a long-shot experiment to create a free encyclopedia from the contributions of volunteers, all with the power to edit, and presumably improve, the content.

Leftovers

  • SONY goes “Open Kimono” with sexy new e-Readers

    But unlike Apple, and unlike Amazon, SONY’s readers are both premium in build quality and embrace open standards. Rather than choosing to continue on with their own proprietary BBeB file format that they have used in the past with their PRS-505 and PRS-700BC, of which these new readers are the evolutionary successors and use nearly identical software to the previous generation, the company has decided to move its e-bookstore to the EPUB standard.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Taxi Owner Copies Innovative Business Model Of Free Shuttles He Just Forced To Shut Down

      But, now there’s a bit of a twist. A bunch of folks have sent in the news that one of the guys who pushed the city council the hardest has now suddenly set up his own free shuttle offering in place of the competition that was run out of town.

    • Gannett, AP Refuse to Sign New Sports Credential Policy

      NEW YORK Gannett has directed its daily newspapers that cover the Southeastern Conference not to sign on to a controversial new credential policy, while the Associated Press has also declared it will not agree to the new rules that have sparked opposition for limits on Web video and audio use, photo displays, and blogging.

    • Reminder From The Innovator’s Dilemma: Markets Change Whether You Like It Or Not

      They’re refusing to do anything because they think that the new market is too small — not realizing that the existing market is going to zero anyway. So even if you believe that the new market isn’t going to be as big (on which point you’re almost certainly wrong), you’re making a mistake in thinking you can just do nothing. What’s happening is you’re comparing the new market to the old market — which no longer exists.

    • Play time is over. P2P file sharing days are numbered.

      With its dissolve, the UK government has issued a timely proposal that if enforced, will see ISP’s be made responsible for monitoring their own customers internet usage, and cutting them off if they spot any suspicious activity.

    • Gov.uk: Fickle, Pig-headed, Suicidal? – You Choose

      News that the UK government was doing a U-turn over the use of a “three strikes and you’re out” approach has finally turned the growing tragedy of the Digital Britain process into a total farce.

    • 3 Strikes: Here We Go Again

      Then we get onto the question of measuring illicit filesharing and defining what is and isn’t acceptable. The original plan was for a detailed study of this, on the basis that policy should be based on evidence. Actually, I take my earlier words back – here there is a blatant handbrake turn.

      “Evidence – although we have no doubt Ofcom would have carried out their research under the original proposals in their usual thorough manner, measuring unlawful P2P activity across a range of networks and different content is extremely difficult.”

      This is what a former colleague of mine called ‘filing in the TOO DIFFICULT’ tray.’

Another Warning Sign for Mono Proponents: NTFS and FAT

Posted in Deals, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 1:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The strength of this platform [C#] and the innovation around it is the key element in preventing commodization by Linux, our installed base and Network Appliance vendors.”

Bill Gates, Microsoft

Summary: Another new lesson on the dangers of mimicking Windows functionality

EARLIER in the day we wrote about people who try to turn GNU/Linux into some kind of a clone of Windows. They do so despite lack of interest from both users and developers. To make matters worse, Microsoft’s “promise” for Moonlight and Mono was deemed insufficient. Lessons ought to have been learned from Microsoft's attack on free implementations of FAT and Microsoft is now doing the same thing to NTFS, which some hardware manufacturers tactlessly embed by default.

The significant news comes through this press release from Tuxera. For those who do not know, “Tuxera was the first to implement reliable NTFS read/write support on Linux, Mac OS X, and other systems.”

Oddly enough, Tuxera is not bashful about lending its voice to Microsoft’s patent attacks and the Microsoft crowd seems ecstatic.

On August 26, Tuxera Ltd anounced it has signed an intellectual-property (IP) licensing agreement with Microsoft; joined Microsoft’s exFAT driver-licensing program; and joined the Microsoft Interop Vendor Alliance. Tuxera, based in Helsinki, Finland, was founded by the NTFS-3G open-source project.

According to The H (Heise):

Tuxera has announced an “extensive co-operation” with Microsoft. Tuxera, the company formed by the NTFS-3G developers, has signed an Intellectual Property Agreement with Microsoft and joined its exFAT Programme.

[...]

Tuxera’s CTO, Szabolcs Szakacsits said he looked forward to working with OEM customers saying “Adding exFAT into our existing NTFS product portfolio is the logical next step”. The exFAT driver is aimed at OEM manufacturers and will be available for Linux first, but no details of any open source plans for exFAT were disclosed.

Tuxera seems to be a very small proprietary software company, based on its Web site. NTFS-3G was considered open source however and the agreement around it is secret.

Tuxera, the Finnish company behind open-source file system NTFS-3G, has announced a confidential intellectual-property deal with Microsoft, under which it will be permitted to carry on distributing its open-source NTFS product and to offer new exFAT drivers.

Tuxera is based in Finland, where software patents are invalid. What were they thinking?

Could Microsoft have rewarded Tuxera in some way in order to rattle the NTFS case? We shall soon find out, hopefully. The secrecy around this deal may be part of the FUD factor that’s desirable to Microsoft.

Bill Gates Called “LUNIX” a Threat Back in 1997

Posted in Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Java, Microsoft, UNIX at 12:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Eye

Summary: Where is Joachim Kempin today? And what did he talk about with Bill Gates? We have some answers.

Y

ESTERDAY we showed that Microsoft has all sorts of secret teams, in this case the "Delta Force". We sometimes wonder about Microsoft’s so-called “special projects”. Read the following about Kempin for example:

Like Microsoft’s other golden boys, Kempin is neither officially resigning nor being let go. Instead, he will be put out to pasture and oversee as-yet-undetermined “special projects” for CEO Steve Ballmer

Kempin has been a problem child for Microsoft for years. This is a guy who lost his hunting license earlier this year for allegedly using his SUV as a weapon (as in ramming antelopes with his car instead of shooting them).

Kempin once told me he had written into his contract a stipulation that he didn’t have to talk to the press. And no wonder: Kempin, more than just about anyone else at Microsoft, knew where the manufacturer bodies were buried.

But Kempin’s main claim to fame is that he did more than just about any Microsoft executive (with the possible exception of Bill Gates) to get Microsoft hauled into federal court on antitrust charges.

There is more background information here.

Indeed, little public information is available on the 55-year-old Kempin. According to testimony he gave to the Department of Justice lawyers in October, Kempin joined Microsoft in 1983, where he started out in Germany as country manager. Four years later he landed in the United States as vice president of Microsoft in charge of the then-fledgling company’s support organization and the U.S. OEM group.

[...]

Under Kempin’s tutelage, Microsoft launched the Market Development Agreement (MDA) licensing concept in 1994. The drill for hardware makers went something like this: If OEMs wanted to license Windows 95 but didn’t promote or sell it, they would pay a fairly hefty price per copy. If they agreed to co-promote the operating system in ads or issue a Microsoft-endorsed press release noting they had decided to offer their customers Windows 95 preloaded on new systems, they got a better price.

Kempin is not yet at the age of retirement, so where is he today? And what were those “special projects for CEO Steve Ballmer” — the ones that CNET talks about?

One might ask, why the interest in Joachim Kempin in the first place? Well, the man was unambiguously threatening OEMs which 'dared' to offer GNU/Linux, among other things. We mentioned him many times before, but a broader Google search reveals little of interest. There is nothing in Wikipedia, either, but there is a private profile in Facebook and evidence that he was giving money to US politicians, just like the Ballmers and Gateses paid Obama last year. At one stage (maybe not at present), Kempin also served in The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR).

Joachim Kempin joined NBR’s Board of Directors in 1999 and, because of his extraordinary service to the institution, was elected as the first Honorary Director in June 2002.

[...]

He began as General Manager of Microsoft’s German subsidiary and moved on to spearhead groups such as Product Support Services and International Products Localization. Subsequently, he managed all business operations for Microsoft’s intercontinental subsidiaries. Mr. Kempin played a long-term, key role in the OEM division.

“We need a much better strategy to undermine JAVA momentum than we have today.”
      –Bill Gates
Our fascination with Joachim Kempin has everything to do with his anti-Linux actions. And yes, he actually used the term “anti-Linux”. Member wallclimber and I decided to look for more evidence of Kempin’s so-called “anti-Linux” and we easily found some more, this time in the Web site of the US Department of Justice (before it got corrupted by Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]). Here is Exhibit 61 from the US DOJ [PDF] (see the exhibit in its original spot [PDF] if you prefer). Therein, Bill Gates writes to Joachim Kempin with copies sent to Steve Ballmer, Paul Maritz, Jim Allchin, and Nathan Myhrvold (all of whom were top seniors in 1997). Gates writes about threats from Novell, the Web, Java, and also addresses Kempin’s pricing methodologies for stifling these emerging trends.

How about this bit?

The biggest threat is absolutely the JAVA phenomena and the ISV excitement that has grown up around that. We have to come in every day knowing that we have NOT solved this problem and in many ways we get weaker every day [Joachim Kempin] If we show the world a pass to easier programming then Java- the cross system issue might go away. I thought we had a project going on this?

Gates then adds:

Another “threat” that combines somewhat with the JAVA threat is low cost UNIX systems LUNIX in particular.

He meant “GNU/Linux”, not “LUNIX”, but it was new at the scene. Even then, back when Linux was a 6-year-old kernel, Microsoft feared it enough to be listed as a top threat. A few years later (four to be precise), Gates wrote that their “most potent Operating System competitor is Linux.”


Appendix: USDOJ exhibit 61, as text


Read the rest of this entry »

Patent Offender Microsoft Wants Advertisements to be Enforced

Posted in Courtroom, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, Patents at 11:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Advertising is far from impotent or harmless; it is not a mere mirror image. Its power is real, and on the brink of a great increase. Not the power to brainwash overnight, but the power to create subtle and real change. The power to prevail.”

Eric Clark

Classifieds

Summary: After deliberate infringement of other people’s patents Microsoft strives to earn a monopoly on consumer-hostile (and very trivial) ideas

THE latest news from the i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] is that Microsoft won the right to appeal. It is likely that Microsoft will eventually settle through negotiations with i4i.

Microsoft is not opposed to software patents; Microsoft is one of the biggest proponents of these. Where Microsoft goes too far is consumer-hostile nonsense like this:

Microsoft: Prove you’re human by reading and regurgitating an ad

Looks like nothing is safe from becoming an advertisement these days. A newly surfaced Microsoft patent application proposes to create ads out of human interactive proofs, also known as CAPTCHAs, those lines of fuzzy or distorted text or images used by websites to confirm that submissions are coming from real human beings, not automated online bots.

Although it has just been published, it seems like old news. But it is worth bringing up again now that Microsoft is also attempting to hijack areas of biology. Here is Masnick’s take on it:

Microsoft The Latest To Try To Patent An Entire Bio Industry”

[...]

Now, some will point out that, in the software space at least, many feel the need to stockpile patents, just for the sake of having something to use to threaten those who threaten you with patent infringement (the nuclear stockpiling theory).

“Nuclear stockpiling” is an interesting analogy. The practice is by all means counter-productive; it is posing and bragging about one’s might. How about this new patent-imposed embargo-type strangulation from Sandisk?

But Sandisk is still gunning for the remaining makers of memory cards, USB drives and media players including Kingston and Dane-Elec. If Sandisk prevails, it could impose US import bans.

Now, that’s what innovation is all about, isn’t it — banning products. FFII’s president shares this “Presentation of Georg Jacob at Froscon about software patents: http://is.gd/2wnnz

Let’s keep this patent scam out of the realms of software, at least in Europe.

“[The EPO] can’t distinguish between hardware and software so the patents get issued anyway.”

Marshall Phelps, Microsoft

Both Developers and Users Are Not Interested in Mono

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 10:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Demand
“I hereby demand Microsoft in my Linux”

Summary: The Mono riddle begs for source of the claims of “demand”

ABOUT A week ago we showed that Mono was largely rejected by the Free software development community. There is another article on the subject right now. It says about C#:

Its use stands at – hold your breath – 1.24 percent, just one-hundredths of a percent more than assembly language.

Mono, for the uninitiated, is an attempt by Miguel de Icaza, the co-founder of the GNOME desktop project and currently vice-president of Novell, to replicate parts of Microsoft’s .NET development environment as an open source project.

Novell is the same company that signed a patent indemnification deal with Microsoft in November 2006, which gave the latter opportunities to spread FUD about Linux. The charges which were levelled have remained just that – unproven charges.

It is not only developers who neglect Mono and C#. Users too are seemingly fed up with it. Even before the FSF expressed its opposition, about three quarters of the readers of TuxMachines said "No" to Mono. Here is another sole voice responding to the issue:

GNOME in .NET? – Not on my desktop!

[...]

I believe the weapon of Mono is to “get Linux users hooked” to the .net environment, always offering the superior and more mature version on the Windows platform. Just like when you first tried alcohol you would probably start off on lighter products until you acquired a taste for it, progressing later in life to liking stronger spirits. With Windows having the “definitive version” and users hooked or caught in the .net, Microsoft could effectively remove or hold to ransom the addiction of using .net from non-Windows users. Just an idea, but from a PR standpoint IMO it would seem far more viable than MONO being used to trick people into installing Microsoft patent infested code.

Novell’s Visual Studio copycat proceeds to embracing other languages and as we explained here before, MonoDevelop helps Windows [1, 2].

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