09.18.09

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: September 18th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Links 18/09/2009: Sugar Labs Joins Forces with FSF

Posted in News Roundup at 7:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Enterprise LAMP Summit Asks Global Open Source Leaders “Can LAMP Deliver?”

    No chief technologist wants to deploy unproven open source software, risking the operational integrity, revenues and reputation of his or her enterprise. Yet just as certainly, no CTO wants to be left behind as technologies such as the open source LAMP software stack ripen, leaving the field open to its innovative use by nimbler competitors. To help technology decisionmakers assess the tipping point, Nashville-based Remarkable Wit, LLC has invited global leaders in open source development to an Enterprise LAMP Summit to make their case that LAMP-Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, Python and Perl-has proven its ability to provide performance that CTOs at the world`s largest enterprises can rely on for global deployment.

  • Desktop

    • Bishop Fox’s Community School

      Two network rooms are based on the tiny but powerful Acer Revos which run KDE 4.3.

    • Microsoft Wants 5% Cut of Each New Windows PC

      Clearly, taking a $50 cut from a $300 netbook is something that most OEMs would probably find to be disadvantageous, which would make one think that alternative operating systems such as Ubuntu would have the upper hand. But Microsoft seems to think that it would be happy if it could score five percent from every new PC sale, particularly with the increased range of PC prices with the advent of netbooks and $300 laptops at Wal-Mart.

  • Server

    • Xen vs. KVM: Verdict still out on dueling hypervisors

      Although Red Hat promised its customers to retain Xen in the OS through at least the end of RHEL 5 and to provide support for several years thereafter, Red Hat said its future development would focus on KVM. Today, KVM is included as a hypervisor along with Xen in the latest RHEL 5.4 release. Customers are free to choose one or the other as part of the installation process and, essentially, encouraged to experiment.

    • Head to the Cloud for Storage with Linux and DRDB

      While some say the cloud doesn’t perform well enough and isn’t stable enough, others say it is perfect for their usage model. Why not take advantage of such a scalable architecture? It can make a great place to “stuff” data, such as backups.

  • Kernel Space

    • Traveling in real time

      The Linux Plumbers Conference is happening for the second time. The first was a great success – by most accounts, one of the very best technical events of the year. Quite a bit of serious work got done there, with effects being felt throughout the development community. This year – which has just sold out – looks to be just as good.

  • Applications

    • Credit Cards and Money Manager Ex

      In an earlier article I demonstrated how to get started with Money Manager Ex, a versatile budgeting and checkbook managing software from Codelathe. I showed how to handle transactions involving “cash back”, that are a little less than obvious. This article will demonstrate a similar technique for handling credit card transactions. While I am using MMEX as an example, any good accounting software should adapt to the technique. An actual event will be used for the tutorial.

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME

      • Happy Birthday GNOME Journal!

        After taking 2008 off, I’m happy to say that 2009 is turning into a banner year for GNOME Journal, and 2009 has seen more issues published than any year other 2005, and we’re on pace to break 2005’s record of five issues.

      • Some pics from the new GNOME Activity Journal

        Here are some new pictures of the current in devlopment GNOME Activity Journal (GNOME Zeitgeist)

    • KDE

      • News from the Holy Kate Land

        Since we now all know that Kate is holy (thanks to rms. By accident, he obviously confused Kate with emacs, though) let’s have a look at what’s going on. In the last months Kate development is quite active, so here is a quick update:

        * new: on-the-fly spell checking thanks to Michel Ludwig. Highlights include e.g. spell checking in comments of source code or latex parts. Also, constructs like sch\”on work in latex.
        * extended scripting support in the command line, more on that later

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux distro boasts CGL 4.0 compliance for MIPS

      Wind River announced that Wind River Linux 3.0 for MIPS now complies with the Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) 4.0 networking equipment specification maintained by the Linux Foundation (LF). The CGL 4.0 support extends to MIPS64-based multi-core processors from Cavium Networks and RMI Corp., says the Intel-owned company.

    • Phones

      • Dark Days for Windows Mobile, But Not For Open Source Platforms

        Things are looking increasingly bad for Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating system, and they may be looking bad for Palm, too. As GigaOm notes: “Like a desperate gambler down to his last few chips, Palm is ditching Windows Mobile and going all in with its own webOS.” That will leave the Pre as Palm’s big bet in the smartphone arena, and the company has said that the Pre now accounts for the vast majority of the smartphones that it sells (823,000 units in the most recent quarter, in line with analyst’s expectations).

      • Android vs Maemo

        Technically, both Maemo and Android run on Linux kernels. However, Maemo is a full Linux distro, based on Debian, while Android is a sole kernel with a few programs on top of it (namely, Dalvik virtual machine and Sqlite database). On Adnroid all applications run within Dalvik virtual machine, which is heavily optimized and modified version of Java virtual machine (JVM). I tried to analyze the benefits of each platform from the perspective of a software developer, as well as platforms’ current “strategic position”. If you are too busy to read all the details, there is a short summary paragraph at the end of each chapter.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • ARM Targets Intel’s Linux Zone

        ARM has set the stage for 2GHz processors aimed for devices like set-top boxes and netbook computers. In netbooks, Intel’s Atom leads, and since ARM’s design does work well with Windows, Intel’s Windows netbook market shouldn’t be threatened by this. However, ARM’s chips do mix with Linux.

      • ARM Flexes Its Muscles, Sizes Up Intel

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Role of Free Software in Education, by Walter Bender

    On 19 September, we celebrate Software Freedom Day. At tomorrow’s Boston gathering, I will have an opportunity to thank the Free Software Foundation on behalf of Sugar Labs for their support. I will also have a chance to tell the story of Sugar, our efforts to help children learn to learn and learn to love and exercise their freedom. I will also solicit your help.

  • Sugar Labs and Free Software Foundation Celebrate Software Freedom Day, Announce Joint Efforts to Promote the Sugar Learning Platform for Children Worldwide

    Sugar Labs (R), nonprofit provider of the Sugar Learning Platform for children, and the Free Software Foundation (FSF), which promotes computer users’ right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs, have announced joint efforts to collaborate and promote Sugar on the occasion of Software Freedom Day, September 19th.

  • Software Freedom Day 19th September

    It is upon us! Horay! After much planning we have managed to secure a great spot to park ourselves, beg, borrow and get sponsorship to pull this off.

    Hundreds of people all over New Zealand, and in fact the world have been doing this. Why? Because we are sick of paying out massive amounts of cash to companies for stuff we can get for free that’s just as good!

  • Does Oracle matter to open source

    Maybe they should. Once it acquires Sun, Oracle will be the largest sponsor of open source projects people use every day. We’re talking Java, we’re talking mySQL, we’re talking OpenOffice.org.

  • The Pyramids and the Bazaar

    Eric Raymond’s software bazaar is a fantasy.

    What really goes on in open source projects has nothing to do with his “great babbling bazaar of differing agendas and approaches”.

    In his classic “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”, Eric calls us “happy networked hordes of programmer/anarchists”. We are hordes alright, but are we anarchists? Workers building pyramids is what we are.

  • The 20 Open Source Innovative Startups Nominated for the Open Innovation Awards

    The Open Innovation Awards’ Jury today announced the list of the top 20 open source innovative startups that will be invited to present at the Open Innovation Summit on the 2nd of October.

  • Facebook Open Sources Core FriendFeed Technology

    In his first Facebook blog post today, David Recordon has announced the open sourcing of Tornado, FriendFeed’s real-time web services technology. As described by Recordon, Tornado is a “non-blocking Web server framework written in Python”. In addition to open sourcing many of their other technologies, Facebook is continuing to support the open source movement by providing more libraries for developers.

  • Health and safety agency: ‘Open source relevant for all public administrations’

    The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) says its use of open source software is a logical consequence of being a publicly funded organisation. “Open source should be relevant for all public administrations.”

  • Terracotta for Hibernate Drives Dramatic Improvements in Application Performance While Reducing Database Costs
  • ECM Provider KnowledgeTree® Partners with Zend to Enhance Its Enterprise Grade PHP Application

    KnowledgeTree®, an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) provider focusing on affordable document management software that is easily installed and used by business professionals, today announced a partnership with Zend Technologies, Inc., the leading provider of products and services for developing, deploying, and managing business-critical PHP applications.

  • What’s the New York Times doing with Hadoop?

    Open Sources: What got you interested in Hadoop initially and how long have you been using Hadoop?

    Gottfrid: I’ve been working with Hadoop for the last three years. Back in 2007, the New York Times decided to make all the public domain articles from 1851-1922 available free of charge in the form of images scanned from the original paper. That’s 11 million articles available as images in PDF format. The code to generate the PDFs was fairly straightforward, but to get it to run in parallel across multiple machines was an issue. As I wrote about in detail back then, I came across the MapReduce paper from Google. That, coupled with what I had learned about Hadoop, got me started on the road to tackle this huge data challenge.

  • Twitter Email Notifier TwitApps Heading To Deadpool. Code To Live On In Open-Source

    As the current hot platform of choice for a lot of developers, we’re not seeing too many Twitter apps just yet in the Deadpool. But one, TwitApps, will hit it tomorrow, the developer is notifying users.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox Mongolian Direct Outreach

      Over the past couple Firefox releases, the Mozilla community has proudly shipped a Mongolian localization of Firefox. And, based on the blocklist pings that Firefox makes everyday, we can estimtate that we have between 10,000 and 20,000 active daily users in that locale. That’s a nice accomplishment by the Mongolian community!

    • Thunderbird Ups the Email Ante

      After far too long in development, Thunderbird 3.0 seems to be nearing the home stretch. We take a look at the latest test builds for Thunderbird 3.0 beta 4. Is it worth the wait? Despite the sluggish development cycle, signs point to yes. Read on for how Thunderbird can help you manage your inbox.

    • Love the web? Poster. Picture. Pass it on.

      OneWebDay exists to celebrate the awesomeness of the internet. It’s also an chance to remind people that the web is a precious public resources. Your poster and photograph are a part of this. When you poster, you’re helping to keep the web open and free.

  • Funding

  • FSF/GNU

    • Sugar Labs and FSF announce joint efforts to promote learning platform for children

      Sugar Labs, nonprofit provider of the Sugar Learning Platform for children, and the Free Software Foundation (FSF), which promotes computer users’ right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs, have announced joint efforts to collaborate and promote Sugar on the occasion of Software Freedom Day, September 19th. The FSF will host an event in Boston featuring Sugar Labs Executive Director Walter Bender, FSF president Richard Stallman, and other speakers. Peter Brown, FSF’s executive director, said, “The Sugar Learning Platform is fast becoming an essential route to computer user freedom for children around the world. The international free software movement is getting behind Sugar, and we want to use Software Freedom Day as an opportunity to help draw community attention, developer resources, and external funders to the important work going on at Sugar Labs.”

    • The FOSS image is important.

      While Linus is responsible for the development of the Linux kernel, Richard is responsible for almost all of the most important foundation on which Linux distributions are based on. I would say that seventy to eighty percent of any Linux distribution can be attributed to Richard Stallman and his efforts.

  • Releases

  • Government

    • Open Letter to the Irish Government on Open Source Driven Innovation

      “Recent years show that openness and collaboration is essential to the generation of innovation in the software sector. Technology increasingly means software. In Ireland, we can see that the production of hardware technology in many, but not all, cases is providing ever diminishing returns. Here we outline some key policy recommendations that are crucial to the fulfilling the vision of making the Irish Smart Economy a reality for the software industry through the adoption and encouragement of Open Source technologies.”

      The above extract is from a paper we have produced for the Innovation Taskforce is requesting submissions by the Department of Taoiseach.

    • DK: Competition authority wants EC’s take on office market competition

      The Danish Competition Authority wants to discuss with the European Commission how to enhance competition in the market for office software. It thinks the Danish public sector is too small to do this by itself.

      An appointment with the Commission has not yet been made. “We have awaited the translation of the report”, says Michael Fibiger, chief special advisor to the Danish Competition Authority.

  • Programming

    • Google’s open source Noop language takes off

      Why noop in particular makes sense to me is that even though the noop language might be different than Java, the final product is complied to run on JVM’s. Which means that even though no one is really actually developing application with noop (yet) when they do, they’ll be able to run where ever there is a JVM (which is nearly ever OS, server and desktop in use today).

      Considering the success that Google has had to date with GWT, I think developers have a lot to look forward to in noop.

Leftovers

  • State’s top court OK’s use of secret GPS tracking devices

    For the first time, the state’s highest court ruled today that the state Declaration of Rights allows police to break into a suspect’s car to secretly install GPS tracking devices, provided they have a warrant before they act.

  • JUSTICE Act: a bill to restore the Bill of Rights to America

    The JUSTICE Act would renew two of the three expiring PATRIOT provisions, PATRIOT sections 206 (John Doe roving wiretaps) and 215 (FISA orders for any tangible thing), but would also add strong new checks and balances to those provisions and to the PATRIOT Act in general, especially those provisions dealing with the government’s authority to issue National Security Letters. If passed, the bill would also establish critically important protections for Americans against surveillance authorized under the FAA.

  • Skype, Child Safety & the Worse Case Scenario Mentality

    It’s really quite sad when you think about what kids are missing because of this “worst case scenario” mentality. In this particular case, these kids missed out on the opportunity to potentially hear from an innovative author of popular kids’ puzzle books (Eric Berlin, author of The Puzzling World of Winston Breen.) That’s troubling enough. But just think what other interesting people or topics these and other kids may never get to experience because of this mentality.

  • Serves her right

    Baroness Patricia Scotland broke the law when she employed a woman who, it turns out, was not legally entitled to work in Britain. A law she should know about: not just because she was one of the youngest ever QCs, nor because now, as Attorney General, she is the government’s own in-house lawyer, but because she was a minister in the Home Office when the law was passed.

  • Google/Fog Computing

    • Governing from the cloud

      It could also create major market opportunities for companies focused on the technology like Google Inc. and Salesforce.com, but raises some troubling questions about privacy and security, observers say.

    • Google brand value ‘on the rise’

      In these uncertain economic times, people want answers – one reason perhaps why Google’s brand value is soaring and bank brands are plunging.

    • Analogue or Digital? – Both, Please

      This is a huge breakthrough. At the moment, you have to choose between the pleasure of reading an analogue artefact, and the convenience of its digital equivalent. With this new scheme, Google will let you find a particular phrase – or even word – in the book you have in your hands, because the latter is a physical embodiment of the one you use on the screen to search through its text.

      The trouble is, of course, that this amazing facility is only available for those books out of copyright that Google has scanned. Which gives us yet another reason for repealing the extraordinarily stupid copyright laws that stop this kind of powerful service being offered for *all* text.

  • AstroTurf

    • Please don’t hesitate to contact me – a rant about Powwow Water

      So, long story short, it’s a tale of sad customer service which reached depths of incompetence I have never before seen. No company has ever been this bad at keeping promises and meeting expectations. We’d cancel the contract, but no one comes out to collect the damn thing and we keep getting billed.
      But then, light! Yesterday an engineer appeared at 9am without any due warning and replaced it. 24 hours in, it’s still working. But then today I get the final straw – in the form of a mass marketing letter from Powwow.
      “Powwow is pleased to announce the launch of the most exciting website the bottled water market in the UK has ever seen”.
      I sh*t you not. The most EXCITING WEBSITE EVER (for bottled water). They follow this up with more great stuff.
      “This is a huge step forward in our company history… join us in supplying any good news you think would be of benefit to Powwow”

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Ofcom Fails to Get the Message [Updated]

      Two days ago I wrote a rather rushed appeal for people to write to Ofcom about a BBC enquiry concerning the addition of DRM to its HD service.

      [...]

      Cynics might even think that Ofcom didn’t really want comments, but was just going through the motions of carrying out a consultation – and a brief one at that – because that’s what the rules say it has to do.

      Although this is the first time I’ve come across Ofcom – or anyone else – trying to staunch the flow of comments it had solicited, I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last time.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Pirate Bay buyer faces setbacks

      The sale of file-sharing site The Pirate Bay has been hit by a further setback after its potential buyer was served with a bankruptcy petition.

    • Donate to Stop Mandelson’s Disconnection Plans

      Despite strong opposition from ORG, ISPs and parts of the music industry, Peter Mandelson is still hellbent on enacting laws that would bring internet disconnection without trial to the UK.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Jim Hogg teaches GNU Linux to high school kids 09 (2008)


Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

Software Freedom Day 2009 Starts Now in Asia

Posted in Asia, Free/Libre Software, FSF, Videos at 2:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Software Freedom Day teaser from Japan


Direct link

Links 18/09/2009: Palm Dumps Windows Mobile for Linux, Moblin 2 is Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 9:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Cool things with SELinux… Introducing sandbox -X

    One of the downsides of working in security is that we seldom get to do cool things. The desktop engineers, VM engineers, even kernel engineers get to show off cool stuff. But security guys usually only ever get to show how we broke something, if that. Sometimes all we can do is say “trust us, it’s working.” But I think I have something cool to show off which I’m calling sandbox -X.

  • Hewlett Packard’s Linux Systems

    On one of their web pages they did something that will disturb many of the Microsoft Sheep out there, they referred to the Linux system they are offering as being user friendly

  • Mainframe shops gush over big iron

    What can be said is that by corralling some mainframe engines, slashing their prices, and letting them run Linux instances or speed up Java or DB2 workloads, IBM has been able to keep the installed base of mainframe processing power, as measured in MIPS, growing – even as it has its ups and downs each quarter. And the downs have been especially sharp since the economic meltdown kicked in a year ago.

  • My preference for cross-platform applications leads me to Scribus for desktop publishing

    So the bottom line is that I hope Scribus does as well as some are claiming, because having a free, open-source application for creating high-quality printed documents, and having that application run on just about every computer out there is just what I’m looking for.

  • KDE

    • Indicators, notifications and co

      What is the difference between the “Indicator Display” plasmoid and the “Incoming Message” plasmoid from kdeplasma-addons?
      Both plasmoids have the same goal, but the “Incoming Message” plasmoid tries to implement this goal with application-specific code: it has specific code for Evolution, KMail, Pidgin, Kopete and XChat.

    • Amarok 2.2 Beta 2 “Red Dawn” released

      The Amarok team is pleased to release the second beta version of Amarok 2.2. For a list of the most important changes and fixes see the changelog below.

      As always please help us by testing, reporting bugs, sending patches and most importantly by enjoying discovering music. Thanks to everyone who already helped us this way. We are especially looking for help with podcasting support.

  • Distributions

    • GENTOO MAINTENANCE

      This tutorial is going to focus on two main aspects of working with a system…

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala” Alpha 6 Released

        If the traditional Ubuntu with GNOME on the desktop is not your thing, 9.10 Alpha 6 spins are already available for Kubuntu, Ubuntu Server EC2/UEC, Ubuntu ARM, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, Mythbuntu, and Edubuntu. More information on this release is available from its Ubuntu Testing Page.

      • Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 6 Has Ubuntu Software Store

        A few minutes ago, the Ubuntu development team unleashed the sixth and last alpha version of the upcoming Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) operating system, due for release in late October this year.
        As usual, we’ve downloaded a copy of it in order to keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in the Ubuntu 9.10 development.

      • Ubuntu releases last 9.10 Alpha
      • My thoughts on Ubuntu

        Ubuntu will be staying here, on my laptop, for the foreseeable future. I like Ubuntu, as I’ve discovered. And, since I’ve started recommending it to others, people for whom I provide ongoing computer support, I now need Ubuntu as well.

      • …and now using Ubuntu! :P

        So well, I’ve decided to stick to Ubuntu, Synaptic, and to my very own surprise, even GNOME. I am liking it thus far. Synaptic “just works”, and GNOME gives timely responses to my keyboard commands and mouse gestures.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • PowerPC SoC family gains multi-core members

      Freescale Semiconductor has announced a quad-core “P4040″ version of its eight-core QorIQ P4080 system-on-chip (SoC), aimed at networking, military, and industrial applications. The company also announced a new power-efficient dual-core “P1022″ member of its Linux-ready, PowerPC-based QorIQ family.

    • Rugged CompactPCI SBC runs Linux

      Aitech Defense Systems has released a rugged 3U single-slot CompactPCI single-board computer (SBC). Targeting embedded and harsh environment applications, the Linux-compatible C800 SBC offers an Intel Core 2 Duo clocked at up to 2.2GHz, 8GB of SATA flash, plus dual gigabit Ethernet and serial ports, says the company.

    • Pico-ITX board boasts 1080p video
    • Phones

      • Palm Pre beats expectations, drops WiMo to focus on WebOS

        Part of that strategy involves dumping any distractions, including both the company’s original Palm OS and the Windows Mobile partnership that Palm forged with Microsoft in 2006, a year before Rubinstein arrived. Palm’s support for Windows Mobile helped nearly double Microsoft’s market share at the time.

      • Palm dumps Windows Mobile

        PALM HAS SAID that it will be dropping the Windows Mobile operating system in favour of its own webOS platform.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • First Moblin v2 netbook launches

        The first netbook preinstalled with Moblin v2 for Netbooks will likely launch next week, possibly at Intel’s Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco. Following that, the Moblin Project will release the first milestone release of the Moblin v2 Linux distribution, which began beta testing in May.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Version 4.2 of OSGi Java component technology available

    Popular open source implementations of the specification are Apache Felix and Eclipse Equinox; almost all enterprise application vendors use OSGi to provide modularised Java software.

  • Q&A: Visa dips a toe into the Hadoop pool

    Hadoop effectively gives enterprises the power of Google or Yahoo Web indexing for free, or for the cost of a CloudEra subscription if you want to involve Hadoop’s core developers in your rollout. Credit card giant Visa is an early corporate adopter of Hadoop, and points to a bright future for the open-source project.

  • DragonFly BSD 2.4 released

    Developer Matthew Dillon has announced the release of version 2.4 of DragonFly BSD, originally created as a fork from FreeBSD 4.x. The major release includes several bug fixes, performance improvements and a new 64-bit port.

Leftovers

  • The 10 biggest moments in IT history

    It’s unlikely that everyone will ever agree on the most important dates in the history of IT. I know my IT timeline has a personal and professional bias. But I’ve tried to be objective in examining the events that have served to shape the current landscape of the modern computing industry.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Ex-BT tech chief quits Phorm

      Stratis Scleparis, the former BT Retail chief technology officer who joined Phorm after overseeing secret trials of its web monitoring and profiling system, has quit the firm.

    • Cable: Let us lock down your TV (we’ll offer movies sooner)

      Top reps from Time Warner Cable and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association have met with the FCC to back the MPAA’s bid for selectable output control. It’s a sure sign that Big Content is still big on this proposal, despite tons of opposition from device makers and public interest groups.

    • FCC To Further Investigate Janet Jackson Super Bowl Reveal

      The FCC has reasserted its power to regulate fleeting nudity and says it wants to further investigate “whether CBS’ indecency violation [in the Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake Super Bowl reveal] was willful.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Back to school with RIAA-funded copyright curriculum

      School kids in American could certainly stand to learn about copyright in the classroom—it’s a fascinating topic that increasingly impacts the life of every “digital native” and intersects with law, history, art, and technology. But should they be exposed to industry-funded materials meant to teach kids:

      That taking music without paying for it (“songlifting”) is illegal and unfair to others (RIAA)
      Why illegally downloading music hurts more people than they think (ASCAP)
      How the DVD-sniffing dogs, Lucky and Flo, help uncover film piracy (MPAA)
      To use problem-solving approaches to investigate and understand film piracy (The Film Foundation)
      The importance of using legal software as well as the meaning of copyright laws and why it’s essential to protect copyrighted works such as software (Business Software Alliance)

    • Michael Robertson Wants To Crowdsource Proof Of EMI’s Lies: You Lie EMI Bookmarklet Available

      EMI has been involved in a lawsuit with MP3Tunes for a while now. The whole lawsuit seems weird, since MP3Tunes is about creating a storage locker for the songs you already have. But one of the points that MP3Tunes made in response to EMI’s claims is that EMI was lying in saying that it has never authorized MP3s to be available online.

    • Smashing Pumpkins Like Free Online Music Concept

      Billy Corgan Plans on Making Money From Real Fans

      Offering your album online for free seems to becoming quite a trend these days. The concept was pioneered by acts like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails, and the latest group to jump on the bandwagon is Smashing Pumpkins.

    • Smashing Pumpkins Latest To Embrace Free Music… With A Reason To Buy
    • New Smashing Pumpkins album
    • UK Music Pretends That Musicians Aren’t Against Kicking People Off The Internet

      There were rumors that following this little dustup, that the UK music industry would drop its support for three strikes. Instead, Feargal Sharkey, the head of the UK Music lobbying group, has come out with a totally meaningless statement that basically says that the industry supports the government’s plan and there’s nothing to see here in terms of a rift in the views of the UK music industry.

      That’s not very believable. More and more musicians have realized that a proposal to kick people off the internet does nothing to promote better business models and does a lot to create significantly more ill will with fans.

    • ASCAP, BMI Demanding Payment For 30 Second Previews At Web Stores

      It’s been really stunning to see just how little dignity groups like ASCAP and BMI have in trying to suck every last penny out of any kind of musical usage, without ever once considering the damage they’re actually doing to songwriters. It’s as if the folks who run these groups have no concept of the actual impact of their crazy demands.

    • I’m Sorry, But It Was Never Just About The Music

      Frank Sinatra made movies to reach a bigger fan base. Elvis’s hips and haircut were as much a part of his success as his recordings were. David Bowie learned that image and imagery could propel him to greater heights. After Saturday Night Fever, dance steps helped propel many live shows and for a time MTV made being visual an important component of success.

    • Britain’s postal-code database online at Wikileaks: produced at public expense, not owned by the public

      Wikileaks is hosting a copy of the “1,841,177 post codes together with precise geographic coordinates and other information” for the UK.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Jim Hogg teaches GNU Linux to high school kids 08 (2008)


Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

Patents Under Fire While Microsoft Escapes Patent Law (Again)

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 4:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Broken truck

Summary: Microsoft keeps dodging laws that are very controversial to begin with; Broadcom still on patent warpath

A writer for the Huffington Post has just called for the abolishment of patents [via Mike Masnick’s take]. It comes a day before the President of the FFII wrote: “Give me your ideas on what to do next Thursday for the World Day Against Software Patents, my idea is to make a fire with some EPO patents.”

[P]erhaps, without all those extra monopoly profits we wouldn’t have such great new products? The fact is there aren’t so many great new products – a well known fact among health economists is that while big pharma’s spending has soared the last decade, as patent control has tightened, drug discovery has plummeted. Pharmaceutical innovation is not lower in Europe, despite of big pharma’s lower monopoly profits. While the market for pharmaceuticals is now largely a global one, so local rules may not be so important, this was less true in the past. Historically, before pharmaceutical patents were introduced in Italy in 1978, that country accounted for about 8% of new pharmaceutical discoveries worldwide. After the industry was strangled by patents, that percentage dropped to practically zero. Switzerland, a powerhouse in the world drug industry, introduced pharmaceutical patents at about the same time. While Switzerland’s fall has not been as dramatic as Italy’s, it too is much less of a powerhouse today than it was before 1977.

Patents do not seem to lead to the innovation their proponents claim. The list of examples goes on and on: the discovery of the one-dose HIV cocktail that replaced the complicated multi-pill regime? That took place in India a country that at that time did not allow pharmaceutical patents. Of the fifteen great medical milestones recently identified by the British Medical Journal – only two were patented or could be attributed to the “incentive” that patents supposedly provide. Numerous technical studies by economists of the effect of stronger patents on innovation have failed to find any consistent increase. Put it plainly: while the social gains from abolishing patents on drugs are obvious and computable, the losses are dubious and, on the basis of empirical evidence, probably nil.

Pharmaceutical patents and the resulting monopolies have many other corrosive effects, over and above raising the prices of prescription drugs. Pharmaceutical companies spend far more money promoting their products than on R&D. Some of the giants spend as much as four times on marketing as they do on research and development. How do these companies market their products? Most of the money goes to “scientifically convincing” the medical profession to prescribe patented products. How? Well, for example, by inviting doctors and their families to week-long conferences in exclusive resorts, where two hours are for a marketing presentation (the “medical symposium”) and the rest for (all-included) leisure. A spectacular – but hardly unique – example of the level of corruption is the conviction of Pfizer for encouraging doctors to bill the government for drugs they were provided for free. These practices not only raise the cost of drugs, but corrode trust in the medical profession.

The pharmaceutical cartel, which Microsoft happens to have great stakes in, actually wants something even stronger than patents.

The other day we wrote about the Alcatel-Lucent vs Microsoft decision being overturned, which once again proves that Microsoft is above patent law. This is the second time in one month that Microsoft escapes prosecution for patent violations. As always, Masnick’s take on this is insightful.

There is a mythology in the US about the value and importance of patents — and because of that, it’s not surprising that patent trials involving juries quite often end with the patent holder being declared victor, and a huge amount being awarded by the jury. Microsoft and Alcatel-Lucent have been involved in a whole series of patent battles recently.

Another high-profile case involves Broadcom and Emulex at the moment.

Broadcom says Emulex is using its patented technology unlawfully and is off to court to stop Emulex using unlicensed technology and to get cash damages.

Here is Masnick’s take:

Can’t Buy ‘Em? Sue ‘Em For Patent Infringement!

JohnForDummies alerts us to Broadcom’s latest patent infringement suit, this time against Emulex. Broadcom is quite aggressive on the patent front, so at first this didn’t seem like a big deal.

Broadcom is not just “aggressive on the patent front”; it has fraud going on, which seems typical for patent aggressors [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], Microsoft included.

“The current “patent thicket,” in which anyone who writes a successful software programme is sued for alleged patent infringement, highlights the current IP system’s failure to encourage innovation” —Pr Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Laureate in Economics), IP-Watch

Fox ‘News’ Brings Microsoft to “Open Source”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GPL, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Windows at 4:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Bill O'Reilly on Microsoft

Summary: The connotations of “Open Source” carry on changing as Microsoft would like

THIS post needn’t delve into Fox News’ failure at reporting events; this is more to do with MySpace FoxForge, which is Windows-only, .NET, and yet it gets disguised under “GPLv3″. To quote from Heise:

In a posting on the MySpace blog MySpace’s Mike Jones says that “Quizmt is unique because it was developed using C#.NET specifically for Windows platforms”.

What Fox is doing here may only increase confusion, just as Miguel de Icaza and Novell do (see the comments here, including this one from GreyGeek).

For Microsoft, causing all this confusion is part of the plan. And “plan” they sure do.

Microsoft Frees CodePlex: Now What? The Q&A

[...]

A: Yes. Microsoft is a RedMonk customer, and I was prebriefed on this news.

So Microsoft clearly wanted to control what people said about the CodePlex Foundation. Novell does the same thing. How typical. They pre-orchestrate press overage of their announcements and some people still wonder why even journalists are cynical about how the press really operates.

Related posts:

7,500 Posts

Posted in Boycott Novell, Site News at 3:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell bumper sticker

This is post #7500. As the site carries on growing, we have enabled a lot of caching last week (page and database caching), so content will not be updated in real time (cached posts and queries). Any suggestions would be welcome.

Microsoft Openly Admits Vista is Not Good; Vista 7 Likely the Same

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interview, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 3:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Windows Vista is called by Microsoft a “less good product” and its latest modification (Vista 7) has too little in value proposition

CONTRADICTING Steve Ballmer’s statement from last year (as well as many other occasions), Microsoft finally admits out in public that its existing version of Windows — and the only one it really sells at the moment — is a “less good product” (than GNU/Linux? Than XP? Than the Windows operating system that is not out yet?).

In a remarkable and some might say all-too-fleeting display of honesty, a senior Microsoft executive has branded Vista a “less good product”.

Microsoft would love people to believe the artificial hype behind Vista 7, realising perhaps that, as Channel Insider put it a day or so ago, Vista 7 might “flop”.

What if Windows 7 is released and no one bites? What if Windows 7 performs no better than previous iterations? What if businesses and users decide to sit on the sidelines and wait for cloud-based alternatives? What if they decide that rather than refresh with a Windows machine that they go with a Mac or a Linux machine (at least they would be buying)? What if businesses decide to migrate more to thin clients and cloud-based applications that don’t require a full-featured operating system like Windows 7?

We already have evidence to show that businesses reject Vista 7 because it offers no real benefits. At ComputerWorld (IDG) it is now being argued that adoption of Vista 7 is likely to require a brand new computer, which is a big no-no to many in this tough economy. GNU/Linux comes in many flavours such that it can run on virtually any computer.

Trash PC
The garbage disposal starts now

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