To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.
To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.
Virtualization software maker Parallels has unveiled a desktop hypervisor for Windows and Linux machines.
Centrify Corporation, the leading provider of Microsoft Active Directory-based, identity and access management and auditing solutions for non-Microsoft platforms, today announced the availability of support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux in Centrify Suite 2008 for Linux on IBM System z. With Centrify Suite, enterprises can leverage their existing Active Directory infrastructure and user accounts to easily secure the hundreds to thousands of Linux servers that a single mainframe can host.
The Deutsche Borse Group manages the International Securities Exchange, an equity options exchange in New York, as well as the Eurex and Deutsche Borse’s own Xetra cash exchange. The Xetra stock exchange platform is also used by the Irish Stock Exchange, the European Energy Exchange, and the Shanghai Stock Exchange among others. It has long used Linux as the basis of these high-speed stock exchanges. Later this year, it is launching a next generation. The new trading infrastructure will use IBM WebSphere MQ Low Latency Messaging and Linux to make it the fastest stock exchange software on the planet.
Intel’s Ian Romanick has announced on the Mesa3D development list that he has made available an arb_sync branch of Mesa. As implied by its name, this branch implements support for the GL_ARB_sync extension, which just officially debuted with OpenGL 3.2.
Today Opera released the final version of Opera 10, the long-awaited new entry in the company’s browser family. It’s free and comes in 43 languages.
Opera 10 has arrived and finds itself needing to stand out in an increasingly crowded browser market. Ars goes hands on with the new release to see if Opera 10 has what it takes.
Lest I be accused of anglocentrism, here’s a shout-out to Gcompris, a suite of educational games that ships with Edubuntu. For those of you who don’t speak French, the pun is pretty straight-forward: Gcompris sounds like the expression ‘J’ai compris’, which translates to ‘I’ve understood’. Bonus points for a name starting with the letter ‘g’, paying homage to the GNU project and open-source philosophy.
KDE 4.3.1 Provides a Wave of Improvements
KDE Community Ships Fourth Translation and Service Release of the 4.3 Free Desktop, Containing Numerous Bugfixes, Performance Improvements and Translation Updates
The Fedora Linux project has integrated Moblin technology for netbooks and nettops. The project is seeking alpha testers to help “make [Moblin] great” for its debut in Fedora 12, which ships this fall.
Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that it has gifted a grant to Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science (SCS) to create a state-of-the-art, open source computer laboratory. The laboratory, which will be officially dedicated later this year, will be available to all students, faculty and staff to promote the development and use of free and open source software.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux the leading platform for open source computing. At Innovativ Consulting Partners, their commitment to open source is furthered by this partnership, extending options for providing a variety of high-value, low-cost alternatives to meet client business needs.
JBCAA (JBoss Certified Application Administrator) is the latest certification offering from Red Hat, joining the RHCA (Red Hat Certified Engineer), RHCT (Red Hat Certified Technician) and the other certification programmes that the Linux and middleware company offers. The new certification is the first created specifically for Red Hat’s JBoss middleware products.
This latest move is incredibly short sighted. By providing this “Install Other OS” option Sony not only gained a huge amount of goodwill from an influential community, but it also allowed it to learn about the open source community – something that is vital for its long-term survival. By cutting off that dialogue, Sony has effectively cut itself off from the future. It’s certainly removed itself from my list of companies with even the slightest relevance to free software.
Timesys Corporation (http://www.timesys.com), provider of LinuxLink, the first commercial software development framework for building custom embedded Linux based products, today announced it has been selected by Embedded Planet to provide a comprehensive Linux solution for their EP8572A dual-core PowerPC Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC).
Sangoma announced Linux versions of its OEM-targeted VoIP media gateway cards, previously available only for Windows. The SIP-compliant “NetBorder Express Gateway” cards offer G.168 telco-grade echo cancellation and support PBX and conferencing servers, says the company.
Sangoma(R) Technologies Corporation (TSX VENTURE:STC), a leading supplier of hardware and software enabling server-based voice and data communication applications, today announced at the Internet Telephony Conference & Expo West 2009 event the general availability under the Linux operating system of its award-winning NetBorder Express Gateway product line. The product was previously only available under the Windows operating system.
MontaVista Software announced the availability of MontaVista Linux 6 (MVL6), as well as five processor-specific Market Specific Distributions (MSDs) for its commercial embedded Linux development platform. The MSDs, which will soon be joined by dozens more, support ARM1176 and ARM926, Freescale MPC8xxx (PowerPC), Intel x86 (Pentium/Xeon), MIPS32, and Xilinx Virtex 5, says the company.
MontaVista Software, Inc., the leader in embedded Linux commercialization, today announced the general availability of new Market Specific Distributions (MSDs) of MontaVista Linux 6. By working closely with its semiconductor partners to deliver the right combination of features and functionality for each platform, MontaVista remains committed to providing the broadest hardware support in the embedded Linux market, and aligning the embedded Linux supply chain.
This weekend, I installed Jolicloud on Leslee’s netbook. Jolicloud is currently in private alpha. I put in for a key quite a long time ago. A few months ago, I finally got accepted. But….I’ve been really busy with the wedding and honeymoon, so it just sat there. Now I regret it. Wow, Jolicloud is phenominal.
It is shipped with a stripped-down version of the Fedora GNU/Linux operating system and a GUI and set of applications called Sugar, that is intended to help young children collaborate.
Like the Zaurus, the NetWalker runs the Linux operating system. Unlike the Zaurus, the NetWalker is toting the bang up to date Ubuntu Linux, which is a properly usable desktop OS you will find on many ‘full size’ netbooks
If your laptop is running Linux you might not be happy with the battery life you are getting. There are numerous reasons for the possible extra drain on your battery. Some of the biggest issues are: Hard drive spin-downs, interrupts, and power management. Figuring out how to make these adjustments to your kernel (or subsystems) to gain a bit of extra battery life would take more time googling than you would probably prefer. Fortunately there is a single application available to take care of this for you. Powertop is one of those tools every user of Linux on a laptop should have installed – especially if your laptop depends primarily on its battery for life.
There are many great, easy to use, very popular Open Source projects out there. I am going to go over my top 5 in this article and give a brief description on what they are used for.
InfoWorld has awarded the 2009 Bossies (Best of Open Source Software Awards). The award is presented to the forty best free business applications. In addition, the US news site also lists the thirty-six best open source applications of all time in its Open Source Hall of Fame.
As we all know, OSCON provides a multitude of opportunities for those in the Open Source world to learn not just the ins and outs of what’s new, but how to improve their projects on fronts ranging from code to documentation to community members. One such opportunity at this year’s convention came in the form of a panel presentation on press relations, a subject that can be both touchy and treacherous where PR pros are scarce. As that’s the business we’re in, and our readership includes many in target audience, we thought it would be beneficial to pass on.
OSSCube – a Global Open Source Enterprise for Open Source Solutions is sponsoring OSSCamp during 5th &6th September at NSIT, Delhi. OSSCamp is a series of community-driven unconferences targeted specifically at promoting FOSS implementation and development in India by creating a platform for technologists and enthusiasts to share best practices, experiences, and knowledge.
A new open source project dubbed StarCluster has been released aiming to simplify the management of virtual clusters hosted on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service.
Ingres Corporation, the leading open source database management company and pioneer of the New Economics of IT, announced today that MphasiS, a leading applications services, remote infrastructure services, and business processing outsourcing (BPO) services provider, has partnered with Ingres to offer combined Open Source Solutions. Together, Ingres and MphasiS, an EDS company, will offer an end-to-end open source support model to foster flexibility, cost savings, and assist joint customers to move existing applications to open source solutions.
However, Sony has now given Google’s Chrome browser something that Mozilla has struggled to obtain: a preinstall deal. As CNET reports, Google Chrome is being installed on Windows PCs alongside IE, with other distribution deals likely.
Finally, a clear choice for consumers.
A leading bank in India saved Rs 100 crore by moving from MS Office to Open Office. It is simple mathematics—if MS Office costs Rs 11,000 per user, and the organization has 1,00,000 desktops, the company would save a cool Rs 110 crore on licensing costs if it moved to Open Office. Even if we budget Rs 10 crore for training and support costs, the company would end up saving Rs 100 crore.
I have, however, been told that Drupal is a great open source software for building an ecommerce or even your own community-based portal. Sites like www.Wefew.net and www.asmp.org uses Drupal.
But what’s so great about Drupal is that it also has a localization feature that allows the developer to contribute to the translation server and let others utilize the translated languages for their site.
Armed with a new CEO and a pocket full of funding from venture capital partners, MuleSource is aimed at growing its open source enterprise service bus platform. The economy has led many businesses to look to open source for more software needs, but MuleSource must still focus on controlling code bloat and debunking myths about open source software.
A tool used to measure the traffic risks of ships at sea in the Mediterranean is about be released as open source software and could have far-reaching implications for vessels across the globe. The Safemed Project, funded by the European Union, provides raw data on the movement of ships — oil tankers in particular — that are sailing around the Mediterranean Sea in an effort to track and prevent water pollution.
There’s just that matter of metrics — will the push yield good results? Engine Yard, a Ruby on Rails hosting and services provider, found it’s well worth the effort.
Apache 2.2 has been out for a while, and just recently, 2.2.13 was released, featuring the usual slate of enhancements and bug fixes. Happily, the migration to 2.2 seems to be proceeding apace faster than the migration from 1.3 to 2.0, and most people, finally, seem to have jettisoned Apache 1.3.
Medsphere, the open source implementation of the VA’s VistA software, has gotten a $12 million venture capital infusion to pursue the opportunity. (That’s Medsphere CEO Michael Doyle, shown before he saw the money.)
The European Commission will conduct a consultation on how best to operate a digital library of Europe’s scanned-in books. Unlike Google’s controversial digitisation programme, the EU’s existing digital library does not scan in copyrighted works.
Within a few months, Pure Digital could barely keep up with orders. Customers found that the Flip was the perfect way to get homebrew videos onto the suddenly flourishing YouTube, and the camera became a megahit, selling more than 1 million units in its first year. Today—just two years later—the Flip Ultra and its subsequent revisions are the best-selling video cameras in the US, commanding 17 percent of the camcorder market. Sony and Canon are now scrambling to catch up.
Instead, as Eric Goldman alerts us, the jury has sided with Louis Vuitton and awarded the company $32.4 million in damages from the web hosts.
VARIOUS pieces of legislation now making their way through Congress would require private pools of investment capital to be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The goal is to curtail abuses and protect the public from questionable practices. The proposed laws would cover the range of funds that deal in derivatives, auction-rate and mortgage-backed securities, highly leveraged transactions and a slew of other instruments so complicated as to defy description.
I’m ashamed that I let myself get caught up in deceitful and dishonest PR campaigns that worked so well, hundreds of thousands of our citizens have died, and millions of others have lost their homes and been forced into bankruptcy, so that a very few corporate executives and their Wall Street masters could become obscenely rich.
The 50 pence-a-month levy to pay for better broadband in the countryside, as recommended in Lord Carter’s Digital Britain report, isn’t going to happen. Punters won’t pay it, and the government isn’t going to impose it directly before a general election. Meanwhile, the EU requires Britain to permit the use of 3G at 900MHz, which can’t be done until the ownership of the spectrum is sorted out.
Jammie Thomas-Rasset, who was hit with a $1.92 million damage award earlier this year for sharing songs through peer-to-peer networks, has again asked the judge in the case to reduce the damage amount on the grounds that it is simply plucked from the air. What kind of “due process” did she receive during her two trials when the first jury fined her nearly $10,000 per song and the second jury chose $80,000 per song?
Artists and creators need to be able to experiment with new business models, but the copyright crutch gets in the way. They turn to levies and licensing because they can’t imagine how else to make money, but successes have been outside of the copyright system. Canada needs innovative companies to help artists and creators find digital business models, not to chase fictive legislative solutions. If the Canadian record industry isn’t willing to help creators with what’s next, they need to clear out of the way.
I’ve said for a while now that I have problems with the Pirate Party’s choice of names. While it does get attention, and perhaps helped jumpstart membership interest in what the party had to say, it still feels like a gimmick. Not only that, but a gimmick that limits the party’s overall effectiveness in the longterm. It’s been easy for politicians to simply brush the concerns of the party aside as being laughable from the start, just based on the name. And yet… the movement keeps moving forward.
Herbert Rusche, the co-founder of the German Green Party and former member of the German Parliament, has joined the Pirate Party. Rusche praises the party for its open structure and its efforts to protect people’s privacy and fundamental rights. Those issues, he says, are the ones established parties fail to address.
William Li Wan, Manager of Sun Microsystems Sun China Engineering Institute 01 (2004)
Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.
Summary: ‘Ribbons’ in Vista 7 and in an increasingly large number of other Microsoft applications already lead to backlash
Everyone wants to take their shot at what’s wrong with Microsoft these days so here’s mine. Ribbon menus. I’ve long detested Microsoft’s ribbon menu user interface. The biggest issue is what you once knew how to do, you now have to find again (and again). The net gain being a big net loss in productivity. How many of us have spent 2, 3, 5 or even more minutes trying to find some menu item that seems hidden on one of the ribbon tabs. I’m not trying to be a stick in the mud about it, I generally like trying new ideas but ribbon menus and me just don’t seem to get along. To add insult to injury, enter Outlook 2010 and Windows 7 Paint.
This is important for the simple reason that Vista 7 will contain more such ‘Ribbons’. Those who find the UI in Office 2007 obnoxious will no doubt face the same challenges when Vista 7 makes its way to a more mainstream crowd (it’s currently in the hands of Windows enthusiasts for the most part).
Vista SP2 Fails to Install on Intel x64 Multiple CPUs/Multi-Core CPUs
Microsoft is letting users fend for themselves when Windows Vista Service Pack 2 fails to install on computers running multiple 64-bit Intel processors or a 64-bit Intel multi-core processor, at least for the time being. The Redmond company informed that attempting to deploy the second service pack for Vista or for Windows Server 2008 on top of computers featuring Intel x64 multiple CPUs or multi-Core CPUs results in the following stop error: Stop 0x0000003E. An update was available, designed to resolve the problem, but it was pulled down, because it too caused Vista SP2 to crash with a stop error. Microsoft failed to offer any details on the Intel processors affected.
Helios has chosen to call Windows users “The Charlie Browns of Computing” when promoting GNU/Linux — a powerful platform which does not conform to the majority.
Every one of those computers have one thing in common…they don’t run Microsoft Windows.
They run Linux.
An operating system born from the free spirit of tens of thousands of programmers and contributors all around the globe. Global Enterprises such as RedHat, Suse and Canonical also pay their developers to give us free software. Linux is created by the will of a global community. Many of them are unpaid, doing this work so you CAN have choice in how you operate your computer.
But it’s not just John and Jane Computer User that can benefit from Linux.
As we have been stressing right from the start, Vista 7 will not live up to the hype/expectations which Microsoft has been acquiring using money. This will be another huge catalyst for GNU/Linux growth, the previous one being growth in sub-notebooks after Vista had been released. Vista was not suitable for such devices and Vista 7 still is not tolerant of the form factor. █
We apologise for the long downtime earlier today. Server issues.
You can see many pretty Linux desktops every where on the internet.
but having a really cool desktop like shown in screenshot is not possible for everybody. Most of the time customizing the look and feel ends with a bulky desktop that you never thought of!
Here I’m sharing some cool and beautiful, high quality, Linux wallpapers, that I have collected from the internet. So without any delay lets check them out.
You hear it all the time: Xen is not ready to take market share from VMware because it is not as mature a product. Many disagree, because all the core functionality exists in Xen, but it isn’t configurable via a unified GUI. In this article, we explain what maturity means and how you can decide which aspects are really important to your IT organization.
However, while Robin thinks that storage was a major letdown in Snow Leopard, I think where Apple really blew it was in Virtualization, particularly with not shipping OS X Server or Desktop with a free hypervisor or making one available for download.
The QT programmed tool was created by the Italian Flavio Tordini. A binary for Linux, Mac OSX and as source code under the GPLv3 is available for download. A free BSD port also. QT in version 4.5 at least, is required. Playback on the KDE multimedia framework will call for the installation of the relative packages.
VideoLAN (VLC), a player started as a student project and turned into one of the best, most popular media players worldwide, has recently had a birthday – turned 1.0. I thought this was an excellent opportunity to write about it and just show you how great it is.
The last major version in the Pidgin line-up, namely 2.6, adds a whole new dimension to the instant messaging experience: voice and video support, albeit for a limited number of protocols and platforms at the moment, but that is bound to change with future development. Since most IM protocols have evolved to support multimedia communication, this feature was long overdue.
Some time back we covered customizing gedit. Although it’s a very good editor, it requires a bit of customizing. However, if you are a developer you might be found wanting looking for a good programming editor. Let’s see one of the basic yet powerful editor called as Geany. With almost no dependencies, it’s an editor that has some good features.
Thou shall fear me, I am fanatic (in a silly way) about my desktop systems. But now I share my notes about LXDE.
The new version jumps on the 64-bit bandwagon with native support for the 64-bit x86_64 architecture. It also adopts the 220.127.116.11 kernel, bringing journaling filesystems, SCSI and ATA RAID volume support, SATA support, Software RAID, LVM (Logical Volume Manager), GRUB, Ext4, and encrypted filesystems support to the distro. The new kernel also supports X DRI (Direct Rendering Interface) for hardware-based 3D graphics acceleration, says the Slackware project.
So what’s my conclusion? It’s good. Supreme Super Gamer does a bangup job of providing a good quality gaming experience on Linux, and is definitely worth checking out. On a slight side note, SSG is one of two releases from the Super Gamer crew of late.
Ubuntu Linux may get most of the attention but Mandriva and Fedora Linux are pushing the Linux desktop forward more than most
Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux has a huge following among open source fans and it benefits from significant hype because of it. But Mandriva and Fedora Linux are quietly delivering the new features that Linux users are looking for.
Zenwalk 6 is the latest release of Zenwalk Linux. The changes are major enough that most people will find it worth making the upgrade (note Xfce 4.6). Zenwalk has come a long way with Zenwalk 6, from its beginnings with creator Jean-Philippe Guillemin, also known as Hyperion.
Product: Vine Linux 5.0
Web Site: Vine Linux (Via Google Translator)
Pros: Let you choose from a range of install options and lets you customize your software choices.
Cons: Default language is Japanese so the initial install screen might throw people. Doesn’t come with any office suites or significant office apps available during the install. You’ll need to download them via Synaptic after you install Vine Linux.
Suitable For: Particularly great if you need a Japanese Linux environment. Can also be used by pretty much any other group of Linux users. Just be mindful that you’ll need to change the default language to English during the install.
Summary: Vine Linux provides Japanese (and English) users with a good desktop Linux experience. Installation is easy and can be customized. Vine Linux also provides a good range of Linux apps (with the exception of office apps).
Coming soon, a bunch of interviews from contributers and employees who work together on your favorite distribution. Stay tuned!
While writing my column I was testing SAM Linux to feature as one of the Linux distributions released last month. And in playing around with it, I realized what an untapped treasure it is. Light apps, tasteful eyecandy, handy tools, multimedia and hardware support add up to make this one of the best out-of-the-box desktops available.
In fact, here are five key Red Hat trends our resident blogger expects to cover at Red Hat Summit and JBoss World.
Layer 7 Technologies, the leader in SOA security and governance, today announced that it has certified its solution portfolio against Red Hat’s JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform and is now part of the JBoss Certified ISV Program. Layer 7 is the first XML gateway to be added to JBoss’ partner ecosystem and will help customers enhance mission-critical security and operation aspects of the JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform.
You may be one of those users who complains that support for paid Linux only covers kernel issues that cause system failure. If you find that non-kernel issues are not covered by your paid Linux support and you are doing support yourself, you should consider switching to a non-paid Linux such as CentOS for some of your workloads.
I am now running the latest version of Simply Mepis 8, one of many offshoots of Debian Linux and therefore a cousin of the venerable Ubuntu. I am taken back a couple of years to the simpler days of the KDE 3.5 interface. KDE 4, the current darling, is a work of art by the guys at TrollTech, borrowing elements from Apple’s Aqua interface, but this old tech favors reliability over flash, and as a law student I have little time to expore the wonders of KDE 4. Simply Mepis with KDE 3.5 is, in a word, familiar.
Since my switch from Windows to Linux I have settled on 1 distribution, OpenGEU 8.10. I’m not much of a distro hopper even though I do have Ubuntu Studio 9.04 installed on a different partition, it doesn’t get much play. It’s there because recently I wanted to see if I was missing out on anything. And so far I don’t feel like I am.
All that said, OpenGEU 8.10 is not only fast and beautiful, but despite the use of E17 is very stable as well. My goal was to be as detailed as possible in reviewing it as to expose as many hidden surprises as possible as there often is when using code still in development. All in an effort to facilitate those that have been putting off trying E17 again due to growing pains early on, make the decision weather or not is worth trying again.
If you’re not impressed with the Ubuntu Software Store, I don’t blame you. It’s really not much more than a new interface that does the same thing Add/Remove does. The exciting parts of the Software Store don’t really come until Ubuntu 9.10, when it will replace Add/Remove, Synaptic, Software Sources, and, possibly, Update Manager. Later you will be able to buy commercial applications in addition to the free ones already available. Over the next several releases, the Ubuntu Software Store could provide one of the first realistic ways for shareware developers to sell software for Linux and, at the same time, make it much easier for new users to understand the software installation process. For now, though, we’ll just have to wait and see.
In a recent interview, Anshul Jain of Tejas Networks discusses the capabilities of Linux-based test systems for manufacturing.
French networking middleware firm 6Wind has ported its Linux-based networking stack to RMI’s MIPS64-based XLR and XLS multi-core, multi-threaded processors. Optimized for multi-core, 6WindGate offers “ready-to-use layer 2-4″ routing, QoS, IPv4-6, and XML-based UTM security management middleware, says the company.
Acrosser has introduced a pair of console servers that run Linux and offer eight serial ports.
Iomega has announced a four-drive, 2-8TB StorCenter ix4-200d network-attached storage (NAS) device that runs Linux, according to eWEEK. Meanwhile, NetGear announced that its ReadyNAS storage appliances now support the Remote Agent for Linux and UNIX Servers (RALUS) for Symantec Backup Exec, enabling faster backups.
Mini-laptops based on Arm chips are set to make their way to users, which could heat up the battle in a space dominated by netbooks with Intel’s Atom chips.
Smartbooks are designed to have similar characteristics to netbooks, including compact keyboards and screens. The devices are designed as alternatives to netbooks, most of which are based on Intel’s Atom chips and come with Microsoft’s Windows OS. The first smartbooks will come with Linux, as Arm-based chips do not support Windows XP.
According to a new report, the market for netbook computers grew 40 percent from the first to the second quarter of 2009, almost twice the rate of standard notebooks. Netbook shipments actually outstripped notebooks in Latin America and Greater China.
Apache Wink is a new framework for developing “RESTful web services”. The project currently resides in the Apache Incubator, where newly introduced projects within the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) are matured and evaluated for promotion to full Apache projects, having entered the incubator in May. The code base for Wink was contributed by HP and IBM, who also intend to oversee the project in the future.
invited keynote speakers including Brazil President Lula da Silva, Nicholas Negroponte, and Linus Torvalds.
Mozilla recently updated its product roadmap through 2010. According to the first draft, the current browser will see a minor update in Q4 2009 as well as Q2 2010. Version 4.0 is headed for an October or November 2010 release and will bring a new user interface and browser sync integration.
The tiny operating system I’m talking about is called Kolibri. It’s a fork of the MenuetOS project and is currently licensed under the GNU GPL.
In conclusion, I am blown away by how much functionality is packed into such a tiny package. The Kolibri ISO is less than 5MB and it has, for the size, a huge collection of software. While much of the operating system feels like a demo of what it can (or could) do, Kolibri shows an immense amount of potential.
The new license was rolled out today, to accompany the handy new function to export all blog content for use with (for example) WordPress. From now on, every Sun blogger has (if they choose to accept the new license) a clear, documented set of rights to their blogging content. Huge thanks to the team of people that made it happen, especially my favourite lawyer, Tiki Dare, who completely “gets” this stuff and without whose quiet and largely unsung help the open source community would be much the poorer.
Google has signed a deal with Sony to incorporate its Chrome internet browser into the Japanese technology giant’s personal computers.
Skype is expected to be sold to a group of private investors, including Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen and private equity firms.
You do realize that a UK-based music organization (PRS) recently released a report noting that the music industry in the UK is actually growing? Right? These are the sort of facts the Secretary of Business knows, right? And if the industry is growing, despite complaining about file sharing, isn’t it possible that the real issue is just focusing on business model improvement, rather than the hand of gov’t stepping in and slapping people around?
More troubling, however, is that when questioned about the new statement by Ars Technica, the BSA said it was necessary because “last year our industry lost over $50 billion (USD) worldwide.” Hmm. It’s really quite troubling that the BSA still stands by these numbers when they’ve been debunked so thoroughly over and over again. They count the “retail value” of every piece of software as being “lost,” which is clearly a lie. Five years ago, the research company that runs these studies for the BSA, IDG, flat out said that the BSA was wrong in claiming that “the retail value” of the software is the same as “losses.” So why does the BSA continue to get away with claiming it?
Summary: Addressing the common misconception that Microsoft is somehow treated differently and targeted for identity rather than deeds
THERE is a lot of a vanity/pride fight between Vista 7 and Snort Leopard at the moment (this is a satire by the way). People debate the merits of two proprietary (i.e. non-Free) operating systems, whereas the FSF explains to the public the drawbacks of these two operating systems [1, 2, 3, 4]. The “7 Sins” campaign was not just about operating systems as behaviour took a central role and Apple, for example, was targeted too (see this video from the event).
It was actually interesting to see Dana Blankenhorn giving Apple the free pass, despite the company's increasing attacks on Linux. But Blankenhorn justifies his position by reminding readers of the unique things Microsoft has done to deserve distrust:
Microsoft did not really change its tune after the court case wound down.
* Microsoft subsidizes the channel so every PC in the store runs Windows, even netbooks where that’s more trouble than it’s worth.
* Sharepoint is designed specifically to extend its monopoly.
* Remember the OOXML standards battle, where Microsoft corrupted the standards process itself to maintain control of the applications market?
* The Novell deal, in which Linux vendors admit that 2+2=5 so Microsoft won’t assert non-existent patent claims against them, still gets me mad every time I think about it.
Blankenhorn is correct here without a doubt, but just because Microsoft’s sins are greater than Apple’s does not mean that Apple should be let off the hook. Other than Apple’s hostility towards GNU/Linux (Apple is afraid that people may realise they do not need to pay premium for a similar or better O/S without the antifeatures), Apple continues to show apathy towards safety of its clients. The Inquirer, as usual, sensationalises it a little by stating that “Apple blames users for exploding devices.”
Apple said it has “seen no evidence” that overheating batteries had caused screens on some of its Iphones to explode. Of course you can’t see much if you have your eyes wide shut in religious faith that your product is perfect.
Apple blamed the sudden rash of exploding gear on an “external force”.
There is actually more from Apple. The following may be acceptable given the browser discriminated against, but nonetheless, watch what else Apple is doing:
Unless the problem has anything to do with Mobileme that is. You see, Mobileme works with all standards compliant browsers, Firefox, Chrome and even Safari… but not Internet Exploder. Despite Microsoft’s public shouting, IE has never been close to standards compliant and likely never will be. Basically, if you want to use your Mobileme account with IE, “You can use Internet Explorer 7, but you will not have access to all MobileMe features and will experience slower performance.” You have to use a real browser to be able to access Mobileme properly.
“Freedom advocate” is not analogous to “Microsoft hater”. It just happens to be the case that Microsoft attacks freedom by far the most. “Environment activist” does not equate “Exxon hater” and the feminist movement is not “anti-men”. █
“FSF did some anti-Apple campaigns too. Personally I worry more about Apple because they have user loyalty; Microsoft doesn’t.”
–Bradley M. Kuhn (SFLC)
Summary: Security-related items from the news (highlights in red are ours)
The infamous Conficker worm first spread its malicious infection across the Internet more than eight years ago and just last month it shot back into prominence, infecting 43 percent of machines in use worldwide in the space of four weeks and, for good measure, it now installs rogue security software on compromised machines.
“What this threat is doing is actually grabbing the sound coming from the audio devices plugged into the computer,” Selvaraj wrote. “It does this by hooking various Windows API calls that are used in audio input and output.”
Symantec claims to have found the public release of source code for a Trojan that targets Skype users..
Security giant Symantec claims to have found the public release of source code for a Trojan that targets Skype users.
Remote exploitation of a type confusion vulnerability in Microsoft Corp.’s ATL/MFC ActiveX code as included in various vendors’ ActiveX controls, could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code within Internet Explorer (IE). Microsoft’s Component Object Model (COM) was designed to allow interoperability between disjointed software components. It is a standardized interface solution to the programming dilemmas involved in object oriented programming, distributed transactions, and inter-language communications. Microsoft’s Active Template Library (ATL) is a set of C++ templates that simplify developing COM objects.
Summary: Microsoft classifies journalists by their level of affinity for Microsoft, then seeds the press using more “loyal” people
What is it all about?
Well, Microsoft does approach journalists in order for them to disseminate new information. For instance, if Microsoft has layoffs to announce, it would rather have a friendly journalist break the news. If a new product is being announced, Microsoft needs to create excitement by preparing selected journalists and using an embargo/NDA to storm the press simultaneously and thus crash/overwhelm/silence opposition. There are even examples where Microsoft hand-picked journalists based on their profiles (it kicked out the ‘wrong’ people) and then gave them laptops with Vista 7 before anyone else was even able to have an experience with the operating system (pre-beta). This way, Microsoft created the early consensus that Vista 7 was good. It conveniently neglected to reveal the fact that only friendly folks (to Microsoft) were able to write anything based on a hands-on experience. The same happens at present because mostly MSDN subscribers and Windows enthusiasts ever write anything about the product which they impatiently wait (it has not been released yet). It was almost exactly the same with Vista in 2006.
“This way, Microsoft created the early consensus that Vista 7 was good.”Another opportunity for Microsoft to approach journalists whom it likes is when Microsoft’s competition has an important announcement to make — an announcement that Microsoft wants to derail publicly without it ever appearing like Microsoft is responsible for it. Think of it as “party pooper by proxy”. Such was the case when Microsoft used Maureen O’Gara to issue anti-OSDL (its close equivalent is now known as “Linux Foundation”) material [1, 2]. O’Gara writes for Sys-Con, which has a serious spam and defamation problem [1, 2]. After all that abuse came a Google ban, but there is seemingly a new domain replacing the former (or maybe a separate domain altogether). Anyway, lack of integrity in this ‘news’ site is what needs to be remembered.
The O’Gara+Microsoft+Waggener Edstrom versus OSDL/Linux incident has already been covered in Groklaw, but Groklaw misses/leaves out much of the document, which Pamela Jones does not present in plain text form. She does, however, end with:
Here’s the complete exhibit as text, with the exception of the list of press and analyst contacts at the very end, which you can read from the PDF. It’s certainly worth doing. It’s a long list of press/analyst contacts, many with notations as to whether they were perceived to be “balanced” or “negative”, such as Stephen Shankland and Paula Rooney in the “negative” category and Rob Enderle and Barbara Darrow in the “balanced” group. And some have no category, like Dan Lyons. I don’t know if that means that category was unknown or already sewn up or what. I’ll let you be the judge.
Since some people have been accusing us of keeping track of fake/bias/corruptible ‘reporters’ (complainer are typically those whose agenda or bias get exposed there), we shall show that Microsoft does exactly this. Thanks to 3 volunteers, we finally have this full list of journalists, which was worth having in textual form (but whose text was extremely hard to decipher). By Microsoft’s terminology (Waggener Edstrom is Microsoft's PR department), “Balanced” means “with us” and “Negative” means “against us”. Might they have similar lists for politicians?
“By Microsoft’s terminology (Waggener Edstrom is Microsoft’s PR department), “Balanced” means “with us” and “Negative” means “against us”.”Here is the full exhibit, Exhibit PX04081 (2000)
[PDF] and also the text version, which we append at the bottom (there is repetition in the text, which is sensibly omitted).
Notice how John Markoff is also mentioned as an option for Microsoft to ‘plant’ stories (they use the word “planted”). Carla from Linux Today has repeatedly accused him of not letting it be known that issues like Conficker only affect Windows, until recently. Such is the case with The New York Times in general because of the business relationship with Microsoft [1, 2]. █
Summary: Comcast seemingly uses the services of AstroTurfing agency Radian6 to police and discourage people who complain about its services
Comcast’s relationship with Microsoft is something which we remarked on before and the company’s flagrant disregard for law — likewise [1, 2]. Comcast is an inherently bad company. How does Comcast address this issue? By improving its behaviour? No. By spying on critics and trying to bury their complaints.
For those who do not know what Radian6 is all about, see our posts about Visible Technologies [1, 2] which does pretty much the same thing and also learn about other Microsoft PR agencies which would even bribe bloggers for positive publicity that helps their clients. The Radian6 homepage itself says:
By enhancing the richness of social media metrics atop web analytics data, brands can see the impact of social media content on their own website traffic, conversions, and sales.
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