To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.
To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.
This is extraordinary: it means that Windows 2000 becomes abandonware – no longer fully supported by its manufacturer, and left with a critical security flaw that makes it pretty much unusable in many circumstances.
Contrast this with open source. Even if a company providing support for GNU/Linux decided not to provide a patch for an old version, end-users always have the option of writing one themselves, or paying a third-party to do it.
It’s been just over a year since Google surprised the world with a release of their very own web browser, Google Chrome, now the basis for the company’s upcoming operating system.
It runs Windows XP, but the ViewSonic VNB101 also has a version of Linux installed that you can boot into quickly if you don’t need to use anything more than web-based applications.
I am proud to join my fellow large gents in announcing the power and the glory that is LugRadio Live 2009 in Wolverhampton on the 24th October 2009! Although LugRadio may be no more, LugRadio Live is alive and kicking and we are all tickled pink about the forthcoming fun-fest.
When the Blaster Worm hit everyone here in my home state, I was shocked and appalled at how many IT pros failed to patch their systems/networks ahead of time. Pure laziness as far as I am concerned, but it also opened my eyes to just how vulnerable our Windows PCs were. Despite the patch being released well ahead of time, many people ended up needing to use a removal tool to fix the problem. This troubled me greatly.
Roughly in the same time line, I had been using Knoppix Linux to help with rescuing data off client PCs. I was always amazed at how cool it was that I could run this operating system from a LiveCd without being forced to install over the existing data on the hard drive. Shortly after this, I found myself drawn to one of the most promising distros at that time, called Simply Mepis. Unlike Linspire during the same period, I found Mepis to be a bit more cutting edge, hence was drawn to it as something I wanted to run on my notebook while still keeping my feet in the Windows world on my desktop.
What neither Cray nor KMA discussed was how this future box would be configured. The XT5h super deploys the Cray X2 vector engines on blade servers and allows it to hook into the XT interconnect that was pioneered with the “Red Storm” Opteron-Linux super made for Sandia National Laboratory and commercialized as the XT3, XT4, and XT5 lines.
The new database will initially support Linux. Support for “all major Unix platforms” is coming later this year, with Windows to be added at an undisclosed future date, Townsend said.
For IBM, the mainframe has gone through a bit of a renaissance, as such systems have become more cost effective, required less management resource, have standardised at the hardware and software levels and have also opened up to be able to run Linux as well as IBM’s own z/OS (nee MVS). But the biggest change in mainframe direction has been the launch by IBM of “specialty engines” – separate processor units that allow specific workloads to be offloaded from the mainframe central processors, and run on lower-cost specialty processors run within the mainframe.
Virtualisation is a hot topic in the IT industry, to be found in every new processor, every datacentre and on every roadmap. But if the average person on the street has even heard of virtualisation, the idea probably left little impression beyond something to do with running corporate datacentres packed with computing hardware.
Personally I’d recommend taking an Asterisk Fast Start course to get you up and running, but if you fancy trying out Asterisk in the lab to see if it might be suitable for your organization here’s what you need to know to start.
In this article by Alex Robar, we will introduce some of the FreePBX features that allows us to personalize our PBX, which essentially means to make our PBX on our own. We will discuss how to configure FreePBX to check additional sources for caller ID information if none is provided, using the HTTP source type method or MySQL source type method. We will also learn how to configure PIN sets to password protect various FreePBX features.
VIA Technologies, maker of chip-sets, graphics chips and other components, has joined the Linux Foundation. Richard Brown, VP of marketing at VIA Technologies Inc, said in the announcement “VIA shares the Linux Foundation’s goal of fostering the growth of the Linux ecosystem”.
More performance: We add five file systems to our previous benchmark results to creating a “uber” article on metadata file system performance. We follow the “good” benchmarking guidelines presented in a previous article and examine the good, the bad and the interesting.
Anyhow, work on Mesa 7.7 has already started. A number of commits have poured into Mesa’s Git “master” code-base. Among this work are commits affecting LLVMpipe, the Intel i915 Gallium3D driver, the Radeon Gallium3D driver, and the general Mesa stack. The Intel hardware driver and software rasterizer has picked up support for the GL_ARB_draw_elements_base_vertex, GL_ARB_depth_clamp, and GL_NV_depth_clamp. The two prior OpenGL extensions are part of the OpenGL 3 specification, which Mesa has slowly been adopting.
Kernel developer Ingo Molnar has done a benchmark test to compare his Completely Fair Scheduler (CFS) with the recently released BFS from Australian Con Kolivas.
Additionally, this code provides firmware loading support for the r128/mga/radeon + Radeon KMS drivers, the latest Intel drm-next code, Radeon R100/200 KMS command stream checking, Radeon KMS TV-Out support, merged FB handling for all KMS drivers, and DMT timings + better HDMI EDID decoding.
Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, Flickr — with new social services popping up almost every day, how do you make all your social activities easily accessible to your friends and followers?
* Putting the Network back into G(N)OME – An Interview with John Palmieri
* Writing Open Source Conference
* Behind the Scenes with Lucas Rocha
I am always on the lookout for a new way of doing things when it comes to personal computing, and one of the best ways to do so is to experiment with different window managers for Linux.
I started learning computers back when DOS was all that was available to me, so I was comfortable with the command line. When Windows 95 was released my command line usage dropped considerably because there simply wasn’t the “need” for it that there once was. I’ve gone from using the command line all the time to using it very seldom because GUI’s were getting better and becoming more wide spread.
Linux has come a long way and, if we are to see it take over the desktop, we need to avoid “pushing” the command line when a GUI will serve the same purpose. We also need to teach new users a method which works best for them instead of forcing a method which works best for us.
Since the Lin-X site is not available I could not find exact install requirements. But since it’s based on Ubuntu you should simply bear the Ubuntu install requirements in mind. I had a few problems with the install which I’ve detailed in the problems section. Suffice to say that once you actually get the install going it’s about the same as installing any other Ubuntu-based distribution which means that it’s not difficult.
Trusted Computer Solutions, Inc. (TCS), a leading developer of cross domain and cyber security solutions, today announced that Security Blanket, the company’s award-winning automated lock down solution, is now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 operating systems running on IBM System z hardware.
There are a number of Linux and Unix operating system platform choices available today for enterprise workloads, an advantage which gives IT executives flexibility and reduces vendor risk. However, this choice also requires carefulexamination to select the best option among the wide range of proprietary Unix and open source Linux offerings. One of the most contentious today is choosing between Linux and Sun Microsystems’ Solaris.
The Debian boot system maintainers have announced plans to switch to the newer Upstart boot system in the forthcoming version 6 (Squeeze).
Microsoft is doing its best to bury desktop Linux with lies — but at least one major vendor, Dell, isn’t just continuing to deliver laptops and netbooks with Ubuntu Linux; it’s actually upgrading the version of Ubuntu it’s shipping and, later this week, it will start selling Ubuntu 9.04-powered Inspiron 537s desktops.
A selection of 10 Karmic Koala “themed” wallpapers that are either are official submissions to be the default wallpaper or “koala” themed!
Together with Wind River’s World-Class Customer Support and Broad ISV Ecosystem, Eurotech Customers Can Focus on Differentiated Value
Cavium Networks announced a SoC family with single- and dual ARM11 cores and claimed power consumption of under a Watt. Aimed at home media gateways and network-attached storage devices, the Econa CNS3xxx offers 300MHz to 700MHz clock rates, over ten multimedia and networking acceleration engines, and a Linux SDK, Cavium says.
Rumours of a low-end alternative to the Pré were true, Palm has formally announced.
Palm announced the second phone to run its Linux-based WebOS, and cut the price of the Palm Pre by $50. Destined for a fourth-quarter release on Sprint, the Palm Pixi runs a new Qualcomm MSM7627 SoC, and offers a 2.8-inch, 320 x 400 touchscreen, an exposed QWERTY keyboard, and 3G support.
Immersion Corporation (NASDAQ: IMMR), the leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, today announced that it has joined the LiMo Foundation. Immersion’s TouchSense® haptics technology is now available to LiMo platform developers for designing innovative user experiences that engage the sense of touch.
Nokia Oyj plans to skip tailoring software of its upcoming top-of-the-range model N900 to different operators, raising the risk some carriers, who focus on integrating their own software, could refuse to offer the model.
Nokia’s plan for phones using its Linux Maemo operating system is the latest twist in a battle between handset vendors and operators for access to cell phone users.
HTC Corp. announced an Android phone aimed at “the masses” that offers the same Sense UI as its more robust HTC Hero smartphone cousin. The HTC Tattoo provides a 2.8-inch touchscreen, HSPA, WCDMA, and Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE network support, plus WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and a 3.2-megapixel camera, says HTC.
But just as Linux’s big moment on the server came with IBM’s $1 billion commitment to fund its development and marketing, so, too, will the mobile open-source market come into its own with Google Android.
Linux distributions designed specifically for use on netbooks is nothing new. Canonical produces the Ubuntu Netbook Remix version of Ubuntu for these small-sized devices, Intel has their Moblin distribution that is very fast and offers an attractive interface, gOS has their own netbook distribution…
Jolicloud’s 2.6.30 kernel is also built with GCC optimizations for the Intel Atom processor and has picked up several out-of-tree kernel modules to support different functionality like PCI overclocking and more WiFi drivers. Other core improvements include updating the Intel Linux graphics stack, striping out unused kernel modules, and making other performance refinements.
Intel’s Linux-based platform, Moblin, which is optimized for its Atom netbook processor, has gained new momentum in the mobile world since the chip giant teamed up on various joint developments with Nokia earlier this year. The software fruits of that collaboration will not be seen until next year, but Intel is already talking up Moblin enhancements, geared to smartbooks and smartphones.
For that pound-under-£200 tag, you get a netbook very much based on the Mini 10, but with a little 8GB solid-state drive in place of a hard disk, an older graphics chipset, and Ubuntu Linux 8.04 operating system. Bluetooth has been stripped out too, and the screen, while still all-too glossy and 10in in size, loses the edge-to-edge glass effect.
What’s interesting here is that Kroes is juxtaposing proprietary and open source. Now, for you and me, this is reflexive, but for the EU’s Competition Commissioner to be framing an extremely contentious intervention in these terms seems pretty stunning to me. It implies that the difference between those two worlds has been interiorised by at least some senior politicians to such an extent that they are using it as a central part of their analysis in major decisions, *without* feeling the need to justify that approach. Whatever your views on other aspects of the decision, I think Kroes deserves some credit for getting to that point.
More importantly, it basically means we’re winning, people.
Last week a new Open vSwitch project was launched with little fan fare and even less insight into who is behind the project. The project aims to create a multilayer virtual switch licensed under the open source Apache 2 license. At first glance the project looks very promising as the basis for creating distributed VLan and Virtual Private Clouds (VPC).
Ingres Corporation, the leading open source database management company and pioneer of the New Economics of IT, announced today that The Department of Education and Training in Western Australia (WA DET) is harnessing the power of Ingres Database to build a range of complex applications to manage administrative activities and programs delivered by 11 colleges and 8,000 staff
throughout the state. The systems also collectively manage in excess of 1 million student records, with 120,000 students processed through the state`s training systems annually.
A leading European vendor of deep packet inspection (DPI) has just open-sourced the detection engine that identifies protocols passing over the Internet—just don’t count on learning how it identifies even encrypted BitTorrent and Skype connections.
Zimbra, the open source email and collaboration software company owned by Yahoo, continues to make progress in the channel. The VAR Guy hears Zimbra now generates 60 percent of its revenue from partners, and hopes to push that figure closer to 70 percent by the end of this year. Here’s the scoop from The VAR Guy.
According to developer Justin Riley, StarCluster minimises the administrative overhead associated with obtaining, configuring, and managing a traditional computing cluster used in research labs or for general distributed computing applications.
With the help of Cognisync, Sun Microsystems converted Java.net, the website of the Java community, to Drupal. The previous version of java.net, was custom built by O’Reilly Media. Interesting choice for a site devoted to Java, but needless to say, a great testimonial to Drupal.
In this issue…
* “Firefox Goes Mobile” design challenge
* Extend Firefox contest ends soon!
* Mozilla Service Week challenge
* OneWebDay: Sep 22
Like most browsers, Firefox keeps a history of your browsing activity so you can find sites you visited previously.
Think desktop email is dead? Not so says the latest entrant to this field, San Francisco-based startup Postbox, who is today revealing the final release of their desktop email application based on Mozilla technology. Originally launched into beta a year ago, Postbox has a heavy focus on search and organization with a primary goal of addressing email users’ information overload issues. Like Mozilla’s own Thunderbird email application, Postbox exists only as downloadable software. However, unlike other desktop programs, Postbox natively integrates web services into its interface, including Facebook, Twitter, and FriendFeed.
RiverMuse – a company established in 2008 by the original founders of Micromuse and RiverSoft – at the end of July announced the availability of RiverMuse Open Source Fault Management, a fault management platform designed to be extensible via pluggable modules.
Openbravo claims the new solution requires 40 to 80 hours of fixed-price installation and customization services — down from about 400 hours for a typical ERP project, asserts Josep Mitja, chief operating officer at Openbravo.
Below, you’ll find the live report of FRhack international conference in Besançon, for the first day. But here is a snall overview of the contents of this conference (in french, sorry !), ripped from the local news…
Until society can resolve what I will call for the first time the “Stallman Paradox”, where learning and access enabling technologies, such as for example digital books, conversely disables the freedom to read and hence more than negates the actual benefits of said access, the rush to embrace all digital libraries and textbooks is a rush to a new dark ages.
The logical solution is one where the right to read and think, and to share knowledge, is not made into a good that only few will be able to experience. In the European dark age, education was an exclusive privilege enabled only for a very few. While most societies today now recognize that universal education is both a right and a need, the use of mandated digitally restricted e-book solutions for education could well return societies to a new dark age.
In addition, large software corporations often inhibit sharing of ideas by not allowing the user to share the software with other people. Software patents exist in order to prevent individuals from outdoing the large organizations who wish to retain that “competitive edge.” Having the source code was out of the question, and woe be unto those who shared copies with other people, despite the fact that the software in question was vastly overpriced. This is why organizations such as the Free Software Foundation and the Open Source Initiative exists.
“There is a new relationship developing between the state and its citizens. Free software is rejuvenating these social relations this century”, said the president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in his opening speech of the second edition of the International Free Software and Electronic Government (Consegi) in the capital, Brasília on 26 August.
The contract has been awarded to Pierre Audoin Consultants, with subcontractors IDATE, Fraunhofer ISI, and London Economics. The contract started on 1 April 2009 and will end on 30 June 2010.
Hello, and thanks for dropping by at the Open Dinosaur Project. This blog is part of a wider project, in which we hope — with your help — to make some science. We want to put together a paper on the multiple independent transitions from bipedality to quadrupedality in ornithischians, and we want to involve everyone who’s interested in helping out. We’ll get to the details later, but the basic idea is to amass a huge database of measurements of the limb bones of ornithischian dinosaurs, to which we can apply various statistical techniques. Hopefully we’ll figure out how these transitions happened — for example, whether ceratopsians, thyreophorans and ornithopods all made it in the same way or differently.
Who are “we”, I hear you ask. The core ODP team is Andy Farke (curator at the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, Claremont, California), Matt Wedel (Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, California) and Mike Taylor (University College London). We’re all researching and publishing scientists, specialising in dinosaurs — although up until now Matt and Mike have concentrated on sauropods.
As for who you are: if you care about dinosaurs, and want to make some science, then you can be involved. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a seasoned professional palaeontologist, a high-school kid or a retired used-car salesman: so long as you can conduct yourself like a professional, you’re welcome here.
The event is another in the growing body of FLOSS Manuals Book Sprints, kicked off by our first meeting to write a manual for Inkscape. The aim of these sprints is to write a book in 5 days. Actually, we have done it it in shorter time – in February of this year we wrote a 260 page manual introducing newbies to the Command Line in 2 days. Though created quickly, these books are extremely well written texts: comprehensive, readable, and complete.
TomTom of the Netherlands has proposed a new open standard that would allow currently incompatible, localised data, to be more widely used. Called OpenLR, it covers “procedures and formats for the encoding, transmission, and decoding of local data irrespective of the map”.
Companies continue to store and sometimes release vast databases of “anonymized” information about users. But, as Netflix, AOL, and the State of Massachusetts have learned, “anonymized” data can often be cracked in surprising ways, revealing the hidden secrets each of us are assembling in online “databases of ruin.”
Any time a person crosses the US border, the Department of Homeland Security assigns travelers with a “risk assessment” score to divine their likelihood of any involvement with a terrorist cell or criminal activity.
When Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley staged a $1,000-per-person fundraiser at a Capitol Hill restaurant in June, insurance company Aflac helped to host.
Later that week, lobbyists for physicians’ groups attended a fundraiser for Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.
Tom Oosterhoudt, publisher of the weekly “Conch Color,” acknowledged his policy, which alarmed journalism experts at an internationally renowned institute and troubled two national civic elections and election reform groups.
“As far as candidate forums and debates, we’ll cover those when we can, but if candidates want their campaign covered, they have to pay to play,” Oosterhoudt told The Citizen Thursday. “I gotta pay the bills.”
In a ruling last week, a judge has noted that ratings agencies’ ratings are not protected free speech if they’re only disseminated to a small group of people, rather than the wider public. While the ruling cites a few earlier cases, I have to admit that I have trouble understanding this reasoning. I don’t recall anything in the First Amendment that says the government can restrict freedom of expression if it’s to a small group of people, but not if it’s to a large group of people.
For the most part, the US has recognized that the right to be anonymous is a form of protected free speech — and yet, anonymity is constantly under attack. Of course, the right to be anonymous is not absolute, but there is value in allowing anonymous speech to occur. With the right to anonymity under attack in the US, it’s even worse in other countries, where such rights aren’t even seen as vital as it is in the US. China, for example, is now requiring news websites to force all commenters to reveal their real identity.
A little local controversy involving the Church of Scientology and its critics could lead to curbs on the right to anonymity of anyone using the web.
But it appears that just selling the tools isn’t enough for some companies.
And, you thought Big Brother was just a character in George Orwell’s 1984. Welcome to 2009, when, according to an AP news report by Deborah Yow. “Software sold under the Sentry and FamilySafe brands can read private chats conducted through Yahoo, MSN, AOL and other services, and send back data on what kids are saying about such things as movies, music or video games. The information is then offered to businesses seeking ways to tailor their marketing messages to kids.”
Yesterday, however, Amazon quietly made amends. According to a report published in the Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog, Amazon is giving Kindle owners the option of having the books restored free of charge, getting a $30 gift certificate, or receiving a check for $30. (Kind of along the lines of what I suggested they do — do you think they read Cringe, too?)
First reaction: Great news. This is exactly what Amazon should have done in the first place.
By quoting that number, they are effectively saying a vast swathe of the UK population is engaged in that activity. And as history teaches us, when such a vast proportion of a nation is doing something that is technically breaking the law, this shows not that these people are bad, but that such a law is self-evidently unjust to that nation.
Since 2007, the UK has seen thousands of postal threats to take alleged file-sharers to court. But aside from getting default judgments against a handful easy targets who didn’t try to defend themselves, the majority of threats have come to nothing. Lawyers ACS:Law are now promising to step up to the mark and bring their first court cases in Britain.
Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation was originally formulated in the context of technology-based businesses (e.g., computer companies), and thus our basic strategy is to equate the world of art with the world of business at a fairly deep level. (If this offends you please stop reading now.)
We start with vendors selling products to customers; a set of similar vendors providing similar products to a set of similar customers constitutes a particular market. In the simplest model applied to music we can identify composers with vendors, compositions with products, and listeners with customers. The price paid to composers for their products may be in the form of patronage (direct or indirect) or simply in the form of sustained attention to and engagement with their works.
But that’s the whole point about digital content: you *can* leave it out in front of your virtual house, and allow people to take it, because you *still* have a copy. It’s non-rivalrous – that’s it’s amazing, wonderful, nature. Trying to make it rivalrous is like putting a mad with a red flag in front of a motor car because it goes too fast: it’s *meant* to go fast.
The Japanese government and music companies have set their sights on a “pioneering system” designed to stop the unauthorized copying of music on mobile phones. Persistent offenders could have their phone’s music capabilities disabled.
A Sony Music office in Mexico has been raided after the label refused to hand over the recordings of one of Latin America’s biggest artists, Alejandro Fernández. Police took over 6,000 CDs that Sony refused to return, even though Fernández’ contract with the label had ended.
Summary: A moment from history serves as a reminder and warning
Windows Interface Source Environment (or WISE) was a licensing program from Microsoft which allowed developers to recompile and run Windows-based applications on UNIX and Macintosh platforms.
The WISE program, which was discontinued shortly after its inception, was seen by some as a Trojan horse designed by Microsoft to penetrate the Unix market.
Summary: How Microsoft and Adobe change the agenda at public events and competitors
LAST WEEK’S story from Argentina is claimed to have been exaggerated, but the role of Microsoft's infiltration into universities is still being blamed for the cancellation of Richard Stallman’s talk. From the automated translation of an open letter:
I just learned that the UTN canceled a talk by Mr Richard Matthew Stallman to run in his University. Such talk, the source said, was canceled by the NTU has contracts with Microsoft that prevent them from making criticisms about this company.
Microsoft has also derailed Free software at Yahoo! by gradually infiltrating the company [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and the company’s ‘puppet CEO’, who used to work with Microsoft as Autodesk’s all-proprietary CEO, does not seem to even care about Yahoo!
From the latest news:
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz Sells $2 Million YHOO Shares
Investors unhappy as Yahoo boss Bartz earns $2m from share sales from the Guardian reports that Yahoo’s CEO sold $2 million worth of shares since March of this year. Clearly, Yahoo investors are not happy that the CEO would make such a significant sale when the company continues to struggle to find its place.
So, here we have two situations where Microsoft was able to influence universities and also companies that were direct competitors, even close to a deal with Google [1, 2] (Microsoft derailed that too).
It’s not just about Microsoft by the way. Adobe’s own efforts to get students addicted to non-Free software are being reported in India:
First of all, I would like to thanks the whole community for a successful osscamp.
*3. Freeware :* This was the most shameless activity done by abode persons in the camp. Their talk were mostly concentrated on the *promotion of Adobe product* , The person (I think Romil Mittal) came from adobe system for introducing Flex was trying to misguide the public. He has *DISTRIBUTED*some Abode product to student which is a “Frerware” — student licence…
“Yes,” says Arun, “They don’t know the diff b/w “freeware” and “Free software”.” Adobe takes advantage of this confusion and enters public events where it hardly belongs. █
Summary: The crusade against everything Free(dom) is still being waged by the Gartner Group
THE Gartner Group attacks migrations to Free software in Europe (much to Microsoft’s delight) and then also ignores successful migrations to GNU/Linux (lying by omission). Perhaps that’s because Free software is not a client of Gartner, unlike Microsoft [1, 2, 3].
There is more of the same right now and it’s coming from one of their employees (also fueled by a Microsoft MVP). The supposition is posed as a question, being a sign of trolling/provocation. They find some isolated cases to establish a generalisation. IDG did this recently in order to mock the GPL.
The company took advice from analyst firm Gartner on the feasibility of using MySQL and chose open source companies that offer professional services to support their products.
More on the Gartner Group:
“David Smith commented that Gartner will not bash MS if MS chooses to slip Vista.”
Summary: Vista 7 continues to show its lack of value just weeks before the (paid-for) launch parties
VISTA 7 is regularly found to be vulnerable due to "critical" security flaws, the last of which we wrote about yesterday. This month is no exception:
Patch Tuesday: Five Critical
Four of the bulletins affect all supported versions of Windows, while one bulletin may not involved Vista or Server 2008. Expect a lot of system reboots, as all may require a system restart.
The above refers to “all supported versions of Windows,” but whatever affects Vista is also likely to affect Vista 7, which is simply not released yet.
As one blogger/analyst reminds us, Vista 7 has nothing at all to be excited about.
Windows 7 has no killer features
Windows 7 has no killer features that is so radically different from Vista or even XP. Yes it is very eye candy and supports touch tech, but I don’t think that’s what gets the work done for you. You should not pay for an OS just to get some nice looking icons or a nice looking desktop.
The main ‘feature’ of Vista 7 seems to be that “it doesn’t suck as much as Vista” (like that’s a yardstick to go by) and it can run Windows XP. What a terrible value proposition. No wonder Microsoft has resorted to anti-GNU/Linux. █
“Acer and Intel, for example, are already complaining that Windows 7 Starter Edition simply won’t sell.”
“Do you feel like you’re screwing a porcupine and you’re one prick against thousands?” the OSCON audience member asked Ramji. Ramji politely replied: “It takes time to change and I knew that I’d be unpopular when I took this job…”
Summary: Microsoft’s attempts to demonstrate fair play are ruined by Microsoft’s utter contempt and lies
MICROSOFT’S BEST BUY FOLLY has already reached Staples employees too. Microsoft is utterly desperate and to make matters worse, Microsoft’s attempt to indoctrinate people against GNU/Linux turns out to have just indoctrinated people against Microsoft. People are not all stupid and now that Microsoft’s tactics are leaked and exposed for the whole world to see, distrust of Microsoft will be growing. Here is how Helios put it:
It is a desperate move…
This one that Microsoft is making…
But should we expect anything else?
Probably not. Audacity is their calling card.
See Microsoft has no problem lying. They don’t “misspeak”. they don’t “mis-represent the facts”.
They lie through their gold-capped teeth.
If the above linked post is verified as true, and I have just fairly well verified on my own that it is; then the evidence is irrefutable….
They are liars….at the very best, they are withholding truths.
All is fair in love and marketing…right?
What will people think of the “new Microsoft”? A gentler, kinder Microsoft? Surely that’s a joke.
Here is how Linux Pro Magazine puts it, despite being cavalier for the most part:
New Anti-Linux Propaganda from Microsoft
Screenshots obviously conditioning PC sales personnel to lie about Linux have been discovered in a US forum hosting Windows 7 training modules.
With the impending release of Windows 7, that in contrast to Vista supposedly runs at an acceptable speed on netbooks, Microsoft’s marketing machine, faced with the enormous popularity of Linux in the netbook segment, has changed up a gear in its anti-Linux propaganda. What is commonly referred to as FUD in Internet jargon (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt), is being implemented in the form of a list of dubious facts used in Microsoft’s sales training modules to drive customers back to Windows– a well known tactic that Microsoft has used against Linux in the past.(see Halloween documents).
No. But Microsoft is not afraid of GNU/Linux. Not at all.
“On the same day that CA blasted SCO, Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond revealed a leaked email from SCO’s strategic consultant Mike Anderer to their management. The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.”
Summary: OIN scoops up Microsoft patents that were put up for grabs (potentially by patent trolls); similarity to Intellectual Ventures seen
An interesting and highly-cited report from the Wall Street Journal shows that OIN has just acquired ‘anti-Linux’ patents that Microsoft put up for sale. To give some background:
Microsoft Corp. has suggested in recent years that companies using the Linux computer-operating system might be violating Microsoft patents. Now, in an effort to avert any legal threat that might discourage the adoption of Linux, a group of Microsoft rivals is about to acquire a set of patents formerly owned by the software giant.
This article lacks sufficient interpretation of what might be happening here. To quote The Inquirer:
Their plan is to avert legal threats that might discourage the adoption of Linux by buying up a set of 22 patents formerly owned by Microsoft.
But that’s not the whole story. As Groklaw puts it:
Microsoft tried to auction off some patents that they claim relate to Linux. Patent trolls could have bought them. Instead Open Invention Network (OIN) got them. Why would Microsoft wish to get rid of 22 patents that it presumably could sue Linux over? Let’s try to imagine what might have happened.
Let’s pretend you are Microsoft, and you want to be evil. Of course, Microsoft never would be. They are internationally known for fair dealing with all their competition, particularly Linux. But let’s pretend.
OK. So you are Evil Microsoft and you decide it’s too difficult and dangerous to sue Linux yourself. Antitrust annoyances, counterclaims, and PR and all that. What to do with that patent portfolio to really cause trouble for Linux, without having your fingerprints all over it?
Eureka! You could sell the patents to patent trolls, and let *them* be the bad guys. Is that not perfect if you are evil? Not that Microsoft would ever be evil. We all know there is a New Microsoft in the land.
If true it won’t be the first time the OIN has acquired patents in the name of protecting Linux: it was formed for that purpose and it previously did so in 2006, and also last month launched its Distinguished Inventors Patent Acquisition program to acquire patents from individual inventors.
The fact that these patents were previously owned by Microsoft adds a twist to the tale, however. The WSJ cites Dave Kaefer, general manager for intellectual-property licensing at Microsoft, as saying that the patents were acquired from Silicon Graphics and were sold because they weren’t strategic to the company.
Those newly-acquired patents may not do much to ‘protect’ as there are many software patents out there. Had IBM not lobbied for software patents [1, 2] (there is now some coverage of this in TechDirt), it would have been possible to eliminate this problem altogether, at its root. IBM has a lot of influence in this area and it is misusing that position of power.
Meanwhile, to quote David Gerard’s summary, Microsoft has Intellectual Ventures run a “Patent Protection Racket.” Yes, he calls it “protection racket”, just as Mike Masnick called it a “pyramid scheme” and his colleague Tim Lee explains how it all works.
Until recently, one of the few points Myhrvold could make in his own favor is that he hadn’t started suing firms that declined to license his patent portfolio. I say “until recently” because we’re now learning that the lawsuits have started. IV has begun selling off chunks of its patent portfolio to people like Raymond Niro with well-deserved reputations for being “patent trolls.” Threatening to sell patents to a third party who will sue you is more subtle than threatening to sue you directly, but the threat is just as potent. Myhrvold’s “sales pitch” to prospective licensees just got a lot more convincing.
The fundamental question we should be asking about this business strategy is how it benefits anyone other than Myhrvold and the patent bar. Remember that the standard policy argument for patents is that they incentivize beneficial research and development. Yet IV’s business model is based on the opposite premise: produce no innovative products, spend minimal amounts on research and development, and make a profit by compelling firms that are producing products and investing in R&D to pay up. Not only does this enrich Myhrvold at everyone else’s expense, but it also reduces the incentive to innovate, because anyone who produces an innovative product is forced to share his profits with Intellectual Ventures. Patents are supposed to make innovation more profitable. Myhrvold is using the patent system in a way that does just the opposite. In thinking about how to reform the patent system, a good yardstick would be to look for policy changes that would tend to put Myhrvold and his firm out of business.
Nathan Myhrvold and Bill Gates actually did innovate; they invented large-scale patent racketeering. As we’ve shown at the start, Microsoft too is seemingly using the same methods as Nathan Myhrvold/Intellectual Ventures, in order to extort Linux. █
“Intellectual property is the next software.”
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