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IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: September 10th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


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Links 10/09/2009: RHEL 6 Videos, More Linux Phones

Posted in News Roundup at 8:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Nominations Open for 2009 Linux Medical News Freedom Award

    Nominations are officially open for the 9th annual Linux Medical News Freedom Award to be presented at the November 14th-18th AMIA Fall conference in San Francisco, CA. Deadline for entries is September 30th, 2009. This is NOT a officially sponsored award or event of AMIA. This award is co-sponsored by the IMIA Open Source Working Group.

  • NEC Electronics and Wind River Expand Collaboration on Linux Solutions for Portable Audio/Visual Devices Market

    NEC Electronics Corporation (TOKYO: 6723), the leading provider of semiconductor solutions, and Wind River, the global leader in Device Software Optimization (DSO), today announced an expanded collaboration to jointly develop Linux solutions for the market of portable devices, such as multimedia players and mobile televisions. As the first jointly developed solution, NEC Electronics today introduced a new software development kit (SDK) based on Wind River Linux technology for the company`s EMMA Mobile 1, an optimal system LSI chip for the market of portable devices to process audio and visual (A/V) data. Additional SDKs for EMMA series products based on Wind River Linux technology targeting digital multimedia consumer devices are expected to follow in late 2009 and in 2010.

  • No Linux on PS3 Revisited

    So will the Other OS will return? Maybe. Sony recently unveiled the Academic PS3 Dev Kit. Could this lead to the return of the Other OS on a one to one basis? It’s certainly possible that drivers could be written for the change in hardware and then submitted to Sony. If feedback is strong enough they could allow the needed change to the hypervisor code. Time will tell…

  • ubuntu and my friend
  • New At Linux
  • Weekly

    • Linux Outlaws 110 – The Chinless Hero

      This week on Linux Outlaws: Whiskey, Chrome, a Frankencamera, pros & cons of The Cloud, Windows release parties, Jolicloud, Super Outlaw Bros., a Weather Widget and much more…

    • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 61

      The following Linux distributions have been announced last week: Lubuntu 9.10 Beta 14, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4, Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 5, Tiny Core Linux 2.3, Zenwalk 6.2 and Frugalware 1.1. In other news: the KDE Community announced the first maintenance release of the KDE 4.3 desktop environment. An in-depth review of the Gnote 0.6.2 application is also present in this edition. The weekly ends with the video clip of the week, the latest Linux distributions released/updated last week and the development releases.

  • Desktop

    • How to set up Ubuntu Linux on a Mac — it’s easy and free

      Why would you want to run Linux on a Mac? There are probably a few good reasons — learning about a different OS, using software that’s not available on the Mac platform, or for a Linux class in school. While you can create a bootable partition on your Mac and boot Linux from it, I prefer to do things the lazy way. In this short how-to post, I’ll demonstrate how I installed Ubuntu Linux 9.04, also known as “Jaunty Jackalope.”

    • In Short

      All public Athena clusters except the one in 4-167 were updated to Debathena during the summer, according to Student Information Processing Board member Geoffrey G. Thomas ’10. Debathena allows Ubuntu users to install the same versions on software on their Athena accounts as on their personal computers, and will allow Athena software to stay up to date with their latest Ubuntu versions, said Thomas. Dorm clusters are in the process of being updated, he said.

  • Server

    • The house that twitters

      Around two dozen wireless sensors monitor temperature, electricity and water usage and transmit the information to a central Linux server. The server makes intelligent decisions based on this information to manage devices around the house.

    • Aussie financial firms dump Unix, Windows for Linux on the mainframe

      At the recent Red Hat Summit in Chicago, Red Hat Senior Solutions Architect Andrew Hardy trotted out three case studies, in which customers from the finance sector consolidated multiple Unix- and Windows-based systems onto Red Hat Enterprise Linux running on the IBM System Z mainframe.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.31

      Ok, there’s just a few final commits since -rc9 to fix a couple of last regressions and problems, and now the final 2.6.31 is out there. The small diffstat and shortlog is below, the full log and diff from 2.6.30 are being uploaded to kernel.org (and then mirrored out) as I write this.
      In general, the full set of 2.6.30->31 changes are too numerous to list, but as usual, you’ll find some high-level overviews on kernelnewbies.org.

    • Linux Kernel 2.6.31 released

      As announced on the LKML mailing list at just past 11pm yesterday, Linus Torvalds has released Linux 2.6.31.

    • New, Updated Drivers Coming To Linux 2.6.32

      Over three dozen Linux staging drivers are mentioned, but there’s a few interesting comments in particular. For instance, Google’s Android drivers may end up being dropped from the staging tree within the Linux 2.6.32 cycle. While Android uses Linux and Google is quite friendly with Linux and different open-source projects, the developers working on the upstream Android drivers aren’t caring whether or not this code enters the mainline kernel. Instead these developers are just concerning themselves with running the drivers on the Linux 2.6.29 kernel they currently are using. If this continues to occur, the Android drivers will disappear from the staging tree. In a similar situation, Microsoft’s Hyper-V drivers may end up getting dropped in the Linux 2.6.33 release.

    • The Next Round

      The latest version of Linux offers a whole host of new features – for example a USB 3.0 infrastructure, drivers for the Sound Blaster X-Fi, KMS support for Radeon chips and improved versions of Btrfs and Ext4. As is traditional with new Linux versions in the main development branch, however, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

    • Warm Up Your Voting Fingers and Choose Your Favorite FakeLinusTorvalds

      If you’ve been paying attention on Twitter and Identi.ca, lately then you’ve no doubt had a few laughs over the hilarious and sometimes slightly (okay, really) offbeat status updates from FakeLinusTorvalds. As Kristin wrote recently, four different people have gone incognito to impersonate the real Linus Torvalds — with his blessing, of course — to poke some good natured fun at one of the community’s most respected people.

    • Kudos To Peter Hutterer With X.Org 7.5

      X.Org 7.5 with X Server 1.7 will be arriving months late once it’s released after failing to meet the original April release schedule and then failed twice with two more proposed releases during the summer. However, the latest release schedule, which puts the final release in late September or so, might actually work out this time — in good part thanks to Peter Hutterer.

    • New Open-Source ATI Driver Bug-Fix Release

      The xf86-video-ati 6.12.3 driver release announcement can be read on the X.Org mailing list.

  • Applications

    • Google begins launch of Chrome Extensions

      A message on the Chromium Blog indicates that Google are beginning the process of rolling out extensions for Google Chrome. Although Chrome and Chromium are regarded as good browsers, critics have pointed to the lack of Firefox style Add-ons as a reason for it not being adopted more widely. Google have been working on implementing extensions and have now moved to turn on the extensions system in the Dev channel builds of Chrome and Chromium.

    • Four GNOME Blogging Clients Worth Noting

      As part of our continuing series this week on open source blogging tools, today we’re going to take a look at clients created specifically for the GNOME desktop. If you prefer KDE, then check out yesterday’s post in the series.

    • Building Linux Audio Applications 101: A User’s Guide, Part 2

      In this article I finish the process we started in the last episode. Read on for the thrilling denouement.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Summit – videos, presentations and outlook for RHEL6

        Videos, some keynote speeches and talks and PDFs of many of the presentations given at the Red Hat Summit 2009 and JBoss World Chicago 2009 conferences, held in parallel last week, are now available from the conference websites.

      • Red Hat releases Satellite 5.3 with Cobbler engine

        Red Hat open sourced the code for Satellite a year ago to broaden involvement and innovation, and this is the first version created from the ground up as a community-generated, open source product, said Michael deHaan, a Red Hat senior software engineer and leader of the Cobbler project.

      • Survey: VMware, Red Hat to claim more IT dollars

        With the recent acquisition of open-source vendor SpringSource, VMware can deliver on the powerful “Build-Deploy-Manage” mantra that SpringSource championed to its 2 million developers.

      • Red Hat Challenges Ubuntu With KVM Support

        The one certainty is that KVM, and by extension all Linux distributions that support it, will benefit from Red Hat’s integration, while the showdown between Ubuntu server edition and RHEL intensifies.

    • Debian Family

      • Ubuntu’s Koala food arrives on shelves

        Eucalyptus Systems – the fledgling open source outfit that mimics Amazon’s so-called compute cloud inside private data centers – has announced its first commercial product.

        Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition (EEE) is based on the open-source Eucalyptus “private cloud” platform originally developed by company co-founder and chief technology officer Rich Wolski and his fellow researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

      • Canonical’s Ubuntu Cloud Strategy

        With Ubuntu 9.04 Server Edition (April 2009), an enhanced version of Eucalyptus that uses the KVM hypervisor was integrated into the distribution. This allowed any user to deploy a cloud that matches the same API that AWS provides. This system is Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC).

      • Five Features We Want to See in Ubuntu

        One of Linux’s most touted advantages over Windows and Mac systems is that, on distributed systems like Ubuntu, you can install thousands of applications right from your system, without having to Google, download, double-click, and Next, Next, Next through installation screens. That advantage is lost if you put all your applications in a big pile of searchable stuff labeled “Graphics” or “Sound & Video”—or, even worse, ask users to copy-paste repository sources and installation commands into text files and terminals. Those are great backup and uber-geek solutions, but terribly off-putting to those just trying to get a system up and working.

      • Lubuntu: Floats Like a Butterfly, Stings Like a Bee

        Some complain that there is simply too much choice in the free software world and far too many Linux distributions. Well, now there’s another called Lubuntu. A derivative of Ubuntu with the LXDE desktop, it’s super light and very fast. Finally, there’s an Ubuntu perfectly suited to those older, low end machines!

      • After +10 years of Windows, I say NO MORE!

        After more than 10 years of using Windows, from Windows 3.1, 95, 2000, ME, NT, Millennium, Server 2003, XP, and *finally* Vista, I herein declare that Windows is a thing of the past.

        I worked for +6 years as an on-site IT Support, and 100% of the troubled computers run Windows. Windows is a great operating system that gets the cycle of consumption going. A highly publicized, well-lubed bloated, conglomerate of absolute garbage. Spyware, malware, defragmentation, bloated registery, 1 missing DLL file brings down an entire Operating System, service calls, endless upgrades, more RAM, more powerful CPU’s, high-end builds *just* to run Windows “smoothly” and “efficiently.”

        I can’t recall the number of times of daunting, expensive upgrades to get Windows itching a bit faster, or teh occasional formats, unexplained Blue Screens of Death, unreliable Microsoft technical support, and the list goes on! You can have the latest, most expensive AntiVirus and Firewall to protect precious Windows that comes crashing under its own weight.

      • Test Drive of Spri Linux Beta

        The Spri Beta 2.11 version is based on Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) and comes in a 340MB ISO file, quite close in filesize to the Lubuntu beta that we wrote about last week. Nothing special kernel-wise, it’s the default 2.6.28-15 kernel that is in Ubuntu right now, and IceWM’s version is 1.2.37.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-ready computer lives on the edge

      Eurotech announced a Linux-compatible edge controller for aggregating and communicating data from edge devices, sensors, and monitors using its Everyware Software Framework (ESF) Java framework. The customizable Helios computer runs on an Intel Atom Z5xx processor, offers gigabit Ethernet and serial ports, and has five USB ports, says Eurotech.

    • Cortex-A8 dev system supports Linux

      Direct Insight announced a SODIMM-sized CPU module that runs Linux on an ARM Cortex-A8 processor. Available with a separate 90 x 90mm breakout board, the SwiftModule-OM includes up to 256MB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage, Ethernet, and optional WiFi, the company says.

    • Phones

      • Nokia World: sink or swim

        Among the announcements are plans to integrate products and services into new devices – such as the soon-to-be launched Linux-based N900 and its first laptop, the Booklet 3G – through partnerships.

      • Embedded software giant launches Android service

        Telecom software vendor Enea has launched an Enea Android Competence Center in Lund, Sweden to provide professional software development services for Android. Meanwhile, an eWEEK opinion piece argues that although Android is underestimated by many in the mobile industry, the open source mobile platform could emerge as the smartphone winner.

      • Motorola Unveils Details of its Android Platform Play, Shows Cliq Phone

        This morning at GigaOm’s Mobilize 09 event in San Francisco, Dr. Sanjay K. Jha, Co-CEO of Motorola and CEO of the company’s Mobile Devices division, unveiled Motorola’s Android platform play. Motorola is going to be placing large bets on the open source operating system over the coming years, but is coming out of the gate with just two Android phones.

      • Hacking the webOS

        In previous articles we have examined the market positioning of the Palm pre and the operating system it rode in on — the webOS. In this article I would like to dispense with the marketing speak and jump in a bit deeper. We are going to look at the webOS from the inside-out by actually modifying one of the built-in applications. Don’t worry, if all goes well, we won’t actually hurt anything. Or, if you prefer you can always deviate from the prescribed course and attempt to make permanent changes to your device. The choice is yours. I am going to be working via the development environment’s Emulator, but the changes we are making here may also be made to a rooted device. Let’s get started.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Kings of open source monitoring

    Built on open source, OpenNMS and Zenoss Enterprise take different paths to rich, scalable, and extensible network and systems monitoring

  • Software Freedom Day at Best Buy

    Hello and welcome. Microsoft has begun to train Best Buy associates on the virtues of Windows 7 over GNU/Linux for netbooks.

    Since Software Freedom Day is on September 19th, 2009(2 weeks away), Best Buy seems like a great place to hand out CDs and flyers encouraging people to try GNU/Linux on their laptops and desktops before they buy. In the coming days, we’ll be putting up resources to help you at your local Best Buy to make this project a huge success!

  • Software lands award

    The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and Boston-based IT consulting firm Optaros Inc. won an innovation award in a contest sponsored by Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the quasi-public authority announced in a press release today.

  • Credativ Offers Support for Virtually Any Open Source App or Platform

    You can find a list of projects that Credative supports here. It supports GnuCash (accounting), MySQL, PostgreSQL, GNOME, KDE, Moodle, OpenOffice, Asterisk (VoIP/PBX), almost all major Linux distros, Apache, Thunderbird (e-mail), and even many development languages, ranging from Bazaar to Git, among others. In fact, if the support is good for Credativ’s whole list, the combination of free, open source software and dependable support could be achievable for many businesses, small and large.

  • The HIMSS HIE Open Source Task Force is seeking volunteers!

    The purpose of the FY10 Open Source task force is to develop a white paper focused on open source deployments and opportunities of this technology solution within HIE.

  • Eucalyptus Supports VMware Hypervisor

    Eucalyptus Systems has announced it will support VMware’s ESX hypervisor and vSphere 4 virtual machine infrastructure as the foundation for a private cloud.

  • The Business of Voting Machines

    More fundamentally, Congress, the states and cities should look for ways to have governments own and manage their voting machines, as the reform group FairVote has advocated. It makes no sense to allow private companies to count votes using secret, proprietary software. The federal government and the states should also require that all electronic voting machines produce a paper record of every vote and mandate random hand counts to ensure the reliability of the results.

  • EFI-X Mac hack dongle accused of stealing GNU code

    The adapter promised to take a computer built from standard PC components and allow Mac OS X to be installed on it, without the usual patching and tweaking required for a regular “Hackint0sh”. However, as one EFI-X owner has discovered, it seems the company did little more than repackage Chameleon/Boot-132 bootloader code onto a DRM-encrypted USB stick.

  • US gov sites embrace GooHoo instant logins

    Hoping to make it easier for American citizens to log into and use federal web sites, the US government has embraced not one but two digital identity standards: OpenID and InfoCard.


  • Oracle to continue supporting SPARC/Solaris

    Appeared as a full page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal. You have to admit Larry Ellison that he has a sense of humor.

  • AstroTurf

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Oz government sites floored in firewall protests

      Hackers reportedly knocked over the website of Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd for a few minutes on Wednesday in an apparent protest against government plans for compulsory internet content filtering.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • P2P pushes IPv6 surge

      IPv6 traffic levels surged over the last 12 months, with the 15-fold increase down to just one application and one ISP, according to a study by Arbor Networks.

      Support for IPv6 in µTorrent version 1.8, a version of the world’s most popular BitTorrent client released in August 2008, had a huge effect.

    • Anti-Piracy Boss Confiscates Confiscated Hacker Laptop

      Tim Kuik, managing director of Dutch anti-piracy gang BREIN, has publicly admitted that he’s currently using a Sony VAIO laptop previously confiscated from a ‘hacker’. Although he doesn’t elaborate on how he obtained the machine, it is hard not to conclude that it has been misappropriated.

    • Bad Ideas: Trying To Make Content More Like Physical Property

      It shows an out-of-date understanding of economics. While it may mean that you can’t directly create a (paid) market in that private good, it opens up and enables many more markets. Going back to the food analogy: if you had many more people in the world who weren’t hungry, and didn’t have to spend all their money on food or food production, would that be good or bad for the economy? It seems rather obvious that it would be good, as money could be spent on higher level things that expand the economy.

    • Musicians hit out at piracy plans

      An alliance of music stars, songwriters and record producers has spoken out against UK government proposals to kick file-sharers off the internet.

Miguel de Icaza Joins Microsoft

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 12:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Miguel de Icaza
via Wikipedia

Summary: Novell’s Miguel de Icaza becomes board member in a new Microsoft group

MICROSOFT’S EMBRACE and extend of “Open Source” makes another step further now that another “interop” announcement is near. “Is it official,” asks one reader. “Has now Miguel fulfilled his lifelong dream of being an official Microsoft employee?” He links to this report which bears a deceiving headline. Here is the relevant part:

Other interim board members of the new foundation are primarily from Microsoft, at this point. They include Bill Staples, head of Microsoft’s Internet Information Services team; Stephanie Boesch, a Microsoft Program Manager for the .Net Framework; Miguel de Icaza, Vice President of Developer Platform at Novell; Britt Johnston, a Microsoft Product Unit Manager for Data and Modeling; and Shaun Walker, Co-founder and Chief Architect of DotNetNuke.

Meanwhile in his blog, de Icaza reports about progress on bringing FOSS developers to Windows [1, 2, 3] and advancing/eschewing .NET. Microsoft would surely be proud. As the Mono-Nono site puts it:

MonoDevelop is going to be the “Eclipse of the .NET community“, Mr. De Icaza tells us. Putting aside the obvious jokes, I think this is another good illustration of how the entire focus of Team Mono is – and must be – on conforming to .NET.

Here’s one of the highlights on the new MonoDevelop release: “MonoDevelop can be used to develop ASP.NET MVC applications on OSX and Linux and Silverlight applications on OSX and Linux.”

That’s just what I was saying Linux needed the other day: more Silverlight applications. In fact, I was discussing how promoting Silverlight development in no way whatsoever helps Microsoft lock-in, and quite the contrary actually encourages the spread of software freedom under every definition known to mankind. Because it is Microsoft that is internationally recognized for leverging its considerable power to promote user freedom and interoperability through its file formats and development technologies we absolutely need more of that being produced in the Linux world, which tends to use proprietary and obscured formats and languages

So MonoDevelop is a big win there. Congratulations.

Yes. Congratulations to Novell. It’s almost officially part of Microsoft.

“[The partnership with Microsoft is] going very well insofar as we originally agreed to co-operate on three distinct projects and now we’re working on nine projects and there’s a good list of 19 other projects that we plan to co-operate on.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

Red Hat: Microsoft Marketed Its Patents for Trolls to Attack Free Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 7:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Breaking in

Summary: Red Hat reveals details about Microsoft’s marketing of anti-FOSS patents; other patent news summarised

RED Hat has already asked Microsoft to stop the patent racketeering, but Microsoft carries on with the usual FUD-based aggression while smiling and sending out PR drones like Sam Ramji [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12] and Robert Duffner. “Smiling” as in, “We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger,” to quote Microsoft’s Platform Group Vice President, Jim Allchin.

“…Microsoft may be passing some patents for them to attack Linux without it appearing too suspicious and without Microsoft seeming like an involved party.”Microsoft has some big patent trolls at its disposal and as we argued yesterday, Microsoft may be passing some patents for them to attack Linux without it appearing too suspicious and without Microsoft seeming like an involved party. It was the same with SCO. Larry Goldfarb, a key investor in SCO, said that “Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.” He also said (under oath even) that Microsoft’s “Mr. Emerson and I discussed a variety of investment structures wherein Microsoft would ‘backstop,’ or guarantee in some way, BayStar’s investment…. Microsoft assured me that it would in some way guarantee BayStar’s investment in SCO.”

Red Hat has just published some interesting details that are packed together right here:

Red Hat accuses Microsoft of patent FUD


Red Hat blogged that the patents acquired by OIN were being marketed by Microsoft to patent trolls.

“It also used marketing materials that highlighted offensive uses of the patents against open source software, including a number of the most popular open source packages,” Red Hat blogged. “This looked to us like a classic FUD effort. To unleash FUD, you assemble a lot of patents of uncertain value, annotate them with a roadmap for the companies and products to be targeted with the patents, put the lot in the hands of trolls schooled in patent aggression, and then stand back and wait for the FUD to spread with its chilling effect.”

Darryl Taft, who is sometimes sympathetic towards Microsoft, wrote about OIN’s reaction. In general, there is so much interest in this from the Microsoft crowd. For example, here is Microsoft’s de facto PR person (Fried) trying to set the tone and Mary Jo Foley doing likewise. Her colleague, the pro-Microsoft Gavin Clarke, opens up with the deceiving line which says: “Microsoft has placed a clutch of Silicon Graphics patents in the hands of those trying to defend Linux and open-source against trolls.”

It sure makes it sound like Microsoft does something nice, doesn’t it?

In the mailing lists that oppose software patents (and support their abolition), one person opined that “it just means that the patents are not worth much more than this PR stunt is for OIN…”

As a reminder from the news:

The Open Invention Network includes IBM, Cisco and HP. The group’s web site states that its mission is to work for a “positive, fertile ecosystem for Linux, which in turn drives innovation and choice in the global marketplace”.

Another person, whom we shall quote anonymously, argues:

Companies like IBM, RedHat, Canonical, etc. are acquiring as many patents as they can, either directly or with initiatives like OIN. From e.g. Nokia we know that what is at the beginning a defensive strategy can become an aggressive one at any time.

Maybe sooner than later the OIN members start asking ‘politely’ to provide free software throw them, but not independently. That would be the beginning of the end of the free software movement, and maybe what MS is looking for.

What will be better against FLOSS than to convince to as many FLOSS-players as possible that software patents are very profitable?

Will governments use Debian instead of RedHat if software patents are an issue?

Here is the original report in full and some more coverage of interest:

Microsoft Corp ( MSFT – news – people ) 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.

More here:

# Pro-Linux group closes in on MSFT patents. The Open Invention Network, a group which supports open-source software and includes such giants as IBM (IBM) and Sony (SNE), is nearing an agreement to acquire 22 of Microsoft’s (MSFT) patents in an effort to avoid any legal threats that could discourage the adoption of Linux. Microsoft has suggested in the past that the Linux operating system may violate some of its patents. The patents are currently held by Allied Security Trust, which bought the patents from Microsoft earlier this year.

Other coverage did not add much to what was already known and the secrecy surrounding the OIN helps not at all.

Why did open source group buy Microsoft patents?


As well, since Microsoft licenses some of its patents to Novell (under their patent covenant agreement), those are the patents that I see as being key. It is unlikely that Microsoft has sold any of those core patents as it would invalidate the need for part of the Novell deal.

OIN, whose members include IBM, Red Hat and other key Linux vendors is all about making royalty-free patents available to open source developers.

Whenever the OIN decides to open up and actually be OPEN and talk to more media than just the WSJ, I’m sure the full story will come out (and I’ll update appropriately). Either way, this is a win for open source as it removes the risk from 22 patents to developers and users.

The risk will be properly removed (and perhaps permanently mitigated) when mathematics cannot be owned by people and companies. OIN is still legitimising software patents by taking this approach which it always takes. Maybe it’s better than nothing, but the companies behind OIN have sufficient influence to challenge the very legality of such patents; unlike the FFII, they typically choose not to do this.

The truth is that some of these companies exploit software patents and use them to their own advantage because they can afford it. As the i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] neatly shows, big companies like Microsoft can also ignore software patents whenever it suits them. They are in control of this self-serving system. Here is the latest from i4i: “Plaintiff in Word case says that Microsoft destroyed its business”

It adds later that i4i now operates “almost entirely in the specialized niche market of the pharmaceutical industry,” but notes that some of those companies have been unwilling to purchase its product because they can get the functionality within the Microsoft word-processing program.

Oracle’s CEO Larry Ellison has already said that Microsoft’s business strategy is to “copy the product that others innovate, put them into Windows so they can’t be unplugged, and then give it away for free.”

In other patent news, Glyn Moody emphasises that “intellectual monopolies [are] not [the] same as innovation,” linking to this article from EurActiv. At EurActiv, they often cite the wrong people when it comes to SMBs; for instance, Jonathan Zuck (Association for Competitive Technology) fakes being a speaker for their (SMBs’) interests; he is a Microsoft lobbyist.

Intel is another company that’s known for its aggression with patents, but even Intel’s Andy Grove can be seen once again criticising the patent system/practices. Mike Masnick points it out as follows:

Earlier this year, we wrote about a rather thoughtful analysis of the problems of the patent system by Intel founder and former CEO Andy Grove. His view was that patents separate the important part (the actual innovation) from the “asset” (the patent), and that allows for bad behavior. He compared it to mortgage-backed securities, where the underlying mortgages were completely separated from the “asset,” and bad behavior ensued.

Here is another story of a company that arguably revolves around a software patent.

Aviv Refuah, the young CEO of the public Israeli company Netex Corporation, has managed to score a US patent on an internet search option developed by the company he founded that could well force major Internet search players like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to cough up royalties for future use of the technology.

Refuah, who started the company 12 years ago when he was barely 17 years old, is careful not to overestimate the awarding of the patent and the possible outcome for now, but that didn’t stop the company’s stock from soaring yesterday.

Is licensing — as opposed to production and servicing — really valuable output? How about the novelty? What are the economic impacts and the effect on science and technology? These questions are rarely being asked.

Microsoft’s Anti-GNU/Linux Training Comes to Office Depot, Not Just Best Buy and Staples

Posted in Apple, FUD, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Security, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 5:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Anti-Linux shot

Summary: Anti-GNU/Linux indoctrination said to have reached many more stores and Macs ridiculed too

A REASONABLE QUESTION has begun to arise: “just how many large retailers have had their staff pushed/forced to dislike GNU/Linux?” Does this encompass only US-based retailers? We already know that Microsoft has done this in multiple large chains of stores [1, 2, 3] and OStatic covers this too. How about Wal-Mart [1, 2]? According to this report from The Register, Office Depot is also among those who train staff on behalf of Microsoft.

One booklet shared with our Office Depot salesman includes a page that looks like this…

Look carefully at those images. They paint Linux is red (as in fire, blood, red lights, a red card, and communism) and Vista 7 always appears surrounded by green background, which implies approval. It would have looked and be perceived differently had Linux been embedded within green-coloured backgrounds, but they are busy playing psychological marketing games. The arguments too are false. SJVN

Microsoft’s latest Linux lies


“If you can’t beat ‘em, cheat” has long been Microsoft’s philosophy, which has lead to the Department of Justice and the European Union swatting them with restrictions and hundreds of millions of dollars in fines over the years. But that hasn’t stopped them. In our latest example, an anonymous blogger who goes by GodofGrunts at OverClock.net, a site for people who want the fastest possible PCs, reports on his Microsoft ExpertZone training at Best Buy. What he ‘learned’ from Microsoft isn’t ‘exactly’ true.


Microsoft also claims you can’t use video chat on desktop Linux. Yet I use Ekiga and Skype for video chat on Linux all the time.

Then there are the “Get the FUD” — er, “Get the Facts Straight” slides, which serve as a reminder that Microsoft’s Get the Facts anti-Linux campaign (2004-2007) actually lives on.

More on factual mistakes:

It goes on to list tables with “Camera, iPod, and MP3 compatibility” and “Printers and scanners compatibility” being described as “many” for Windows and “few” for Linux. It also lists an ambiguous “Authorized Support” which it claims Linux is lacking, ignoring the fact that many Linux distributions do have support teams. It also mentions that Linux users can’t play games like “World of Warcraft”, which Windows users can. Ironically, Linux users can in fact use WoW within the free WINE.

It turns out that Microsoft not only targets GNU/Linux but Macs too. See for example:

  1. Microsoft bribes Best Buy staff to slam Mac and Linux
  2. Microsoft Targets Linux (and Macs) with Latest Chart-Based Propaganda

“What next,” asks Tony Manco, “FreeBSD or Amiga?”

Ars Technica first published the following: “Microsoft teaches Best Buy employees how to troll Linux users”

Microsoft training material for Best Buy employees—which not only makes Linux look bad, but is also full of inaccuracies—has leaked to the Web. Screenshots and commentary inside.

It was anti-Macs too, as Ars Technica added slightly later: “Microsoft helps Best Buy employees troll Mac users, too”

We’ve got our hands on Microsoft training material for Best Buy employees. It not only makes Macs look bad, but is also full of inaccuracies. Screenshots and commentary inside.

That immediately drew Mac proponents into this debate. Roughly Drafted Magazine wrote about this too and the Microsoft crowd at Neowin sees nothing wrong with Microsoft’s behaviour, unlike Dave Rosenberg for instance. He calls it mis-education.

Regarding security, Harish Pillay writes:

MSFT’s analysis of security


If we are to look at any software product’s development methodology (open source or closed source), every study (see David Wheeler’s page), shows that by being open, you are assured that if there are vulnerabilities and defects, IT WILL BE FOUND AND FIXED. Earlier last month, an eight-year-old vulnerability in the Linux kernel was discovered and fixed. Try that for ANY MSFT product. I am not begrudging their business model. What I am begrudging is the smooth “lies” that they constantly put out – including the cleverly crafted report referenced above.

Nevermind the past. Let’s move forward and look at what is looming on the horizon. Vista will be dead soon when MSFT releases their Windows 7 sometime this year. And how do they intend to bring it to the market? How about with blatant lies? I did pose the question earlier today and hoping that someone from MSFT will respond. It is HIGHLY unlikely anyone will (right @osrin and @tonynewling?). Now I read that the same lies are done with Mac as well.

Why can’t MSFT do an honest job in selling their product? Why do they have to resort to outright lies and misrepresentations? The whole MSFT business is an intellectual vacuum and morally corrupt.

Microsoft would say nothing in these reports about its "secret" patches. The reality behind one year of Vista reveals many "critical" flaws and accompanying lies. Now there is a serious flaw that permits remote BSoDs. It turns out to be an “ancient flaw” which Vista 7 is somehow susceptible to.

SOFTWARE ALCHEMIST Microsoft has admitted that its Vista operating systems is shipping with a bug that was first discovered in Windows machines in 1999.

More here regarding the severity:

A security researcher has said there is a zero-day vulnerability affecting Windows 7 and Vista.

And… there is another brand-new vulnerability:

Microsoft, Cisco issue patches for newfangled DoS exploit


On Tuesday, Microsoft responded with MS09-048, a security advisory that fixes a variety of networking vulnerabilities in Windows operating systems, including those discovered by Louis and Lee. The update implements a new feature called memory pressure protection, which automatically drops existing TCP connections and SYN requests when attacks are detected.

Remote BSoD flaws open a window of possibilities.

The BSoD at the Olympics is making a sort of a comeback this week: (see photo)

It’s not the first time this kind of embarrassing stuff has happened; Microsoft had another glitch at the Beijing Olympics last year. But hey, it could happen to anybody, right?

The Microsoft/Seattle blogs covered this as well. Who is Microsoft kidding?

More Anti-Red Hat Whitepapers from Novell, More Mono/.NET Convergence

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Red Hat, Servers at 4:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Solitary roll

Summary: More waste of paper from Novell (attempts to grab just existing GNU/Linux users) and increasing intersection with Microsoft in the form of Mono

FOR the past few months Novell has been publishing quite a lot of papers whose purpose is to help poach Red Hat customers. Novell really ought to focus more on poaching UNIX and Windows clientèle, but all of its latest whitepapers that appear in the news feeds mention Red Hat, Red Hat, Red Hat. It is typical and predictable given the nature of the Microsoft deal, which many perceive as an “anti-Red Hat deal.” Last week in Linux Planet an article was published that’s titled “Is Novell Selling FUD or Linux?”

Over at CNET, Matt Asay — being a former Novell employee — argues that Red Hat too used FUD against Novell. He writes:

But for me, it was Red Hat’s swipes at its competitors that are possibly more momentous. It’s not that Red Hat never criticizes competitors: in 2006, for example, Red Hat declared the imminent death (wrongly, as it turns out) of Novell.

Novell was apparently close to death indeed, but then it became somewhat of a Microsoft subsidiary, selling itself to someone else’s interests. In the ‘Microsoft press’ we found this just a couple of days ago:

Windows: Coming to a Mainframe Near You


Industry veteran Wayne Kernochan, a principal with consultancy Infostructure Associates, highlights Mono, an open source project first conceived by the former Ximian Inc., to create a version of Microsoft’s .NET framework capable of running atop Linux, several flavors of BSD, Mac OS and Windows itself. Six years ago, Novell acquired Ximian and became Mono’s steward; then, just months later, Novell acquired German Linux pioneer SuSE.

That chain of events paved the way for the Mono of today, which runs in z/Linux.

More precisely, Kernochan explained, Novell markets a Mono Extension for its SuSE Linux Enterprise Edition (SLES) 11, which runs on System z. This combination — namely, of SLES 11 and Novell’s Mono Extension — makes it possible for SuSE shops to run .NET applications on top of System z. And that, Kernochan maintains, makes for an intriguing proposition.

Novell helps Windows come to the mainframes, which is why things ought to change. As a quick reminder, Microsoft loves Mono. It is about making UNIX and Linux assimilated to Microsoft. Mary Jo Foley has just made this post, giving a lot of publicity to Microsoft’s ally Novell/de Icaza.

Novell’s Miguel de Icaza is at it again. His latest project is Mono Tools for Visual Studio, which is now in a closed Beta 1 release. “There are some common stumbling blocks that keep .NET applications from being able to run on Mono. These can be due to using parts of the .NET framework that Mono does not implement or implements differently, or reliance on native platform code like user32,” according to the new site for the tools. The tools allow developers to scan their apps for Mono compatibility, test them on Windows and Linux and package them up to run on Linux.

Here is the page in question. Novell is in some ways augmenting Microsoft’s Visual Studio. Novell truly helps Windows [1, 2, 3]. It even holds events together with Microsoft or Microsoft MVPs, hosting jointly .NET and Mono. Miguel has just advertised this in his blog and other Mono developers on Novell’s payroll do so too.

Embracing Novell is almost like embracing Microsoft.

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

Former/Existing Microsoft Front Group (CAGW) Still Paid by Companies to Derail Rivals

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft at 3:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Money under the mouse

Summary: CAGW (made infamous for Microsoft’s “letters from dead people” gig) still occupied with the same type of practices

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), which we wrote about [1, 2] while covering Microsoft front groups, is a highly unethical body masquerading as something beneficial to society. PR Watch has this headsup about an article covering the latest mischiefs of CAGW.

For America’s No. 1 taxpayer watchdog, as Citizens Against Government Waste calls itself, the jet engines seem easy prey.

The federal government is already spending billions for Pratt & Whitney to develop engines for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Why spend billions more for General Electric to do the same?

Learn to see who paid CAGW to do this. Previously, Microsoft paid CAGW to write fake letters (on behalf of dead souls) denouncing regulation.

Since Microsoft also loves paying think tanks, e.g. to attack Linux [1, 2], it is worth adding that PR Watch also links to this new report, which seemingly indicates erosion of trust in think tanks.

Progressive think tanks gained in media prominence over 2008, despite overall think tank citations declining for the fourth year in a row.

The 25 most-cited think tanks in major U.S. media received 13,149 citations in 2008, a 6 percent decline from 2007 levels. The decline primarily hit conservative or right-leaning think tanks, whose share of citations in corporate media fell from 36 percent to 31 percent in 2008 , while progressive or left-leaning think tanks–the only group to actually see an increase in their total citations–went from 17 percent to 21 percent. Centrist think tanks saw little change, still beating both ends of the spectrum with 48 percent of total citations, versus 47 percent in 2007.

Corruption that’s routinely identified in think tanks may have caused this decline in reputability. And that’s a step in the right direction.

Eye on Apple: Lack of GNU/Linux Support, Stagnation

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux at 3:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Some news picks regarding Apple

iTunes, iPods, And Linux

So far though, there are no hints that Apple intends to release iTunes for Linux. And my many emails to Steve Jobs (no I’m not kidding, I really have emailed him) have gone unanswered. Will tomorrow’s big Apple music event have any good news for Linux users? I sure hope so, but somehow I doubt it.

Is Snow Leopard Apple’s most underwhelming OS yet?

There’s just not much new and shiny to play with, but to Apple’s credit, they’ve not oversold their product.

Skype 1.2 for iPhone ‘unusable’ say bloggers

Skype’s version 1.2 for the iPhone, released Friday, has been deemed “no good” by a number of users, with reports online that it crashes immediately after dialing.

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