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Links 22/09/2009: LinuxCon Roundtable, Analysts Predict Red Hat Boost

Posted in News Roundup at 7:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 63

    The following Linux distributions were announced last week: SystemRescueCD 1.3.0, Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 6, Puppy Linux 4.3, Mandriva 2010.0 RC1 and Parted Magic 4.5. In other news: AMD releases ATI Catalyst 9.9 video driver suite for Linux systems and the KOffice theme made available for testing the second beta version of the upcoming KOffice 2.1 open source office suite. An in-depth review of the BleachBit 0.6.3 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.

  • Why Linux is so great?

    I’m using Linux since 2001 and it still amazes me day by day. After trying Red Hat, Mandrake, Debian, SuSE and many other flavors (yes, I do have a bag full of Linux distros CDs) I have chosen Gentoo as my main focus. It could be any other distribution, but that’s the advantage: you’re like in a clothing store and you can try anything that fits your size and preferences. And, after taking it for free, you can still modify the product to fit better.


    Also for reference, I work as a self-employed web developer, also performing computer maintenance and network configuration for clients. My first computer was a Sinclair clone (HC-91) bought in 1992.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Parallel Programming: I Told You So

      If GCC gets block support then libdispatch will probably be available to the Linux crowd as well.

    • Mad Dog 21/21: Big Blue’s Sun Strategy Gamble–IBM Without i

      So even as IBM boasts of its success in moving Sun customers with many servers to few large z platforms (and sometimes just one), the z systems IBM is talking about have Linux engines, not the general-purpose engines that are needed to run z/OS. IBM sells the Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) engines for a lot less than it gets for general purpose engines. Like the System z with z/OS, Power Systems with i is perceived as also carrying a premium price. IBM maintains that both its EBCDIC computing lines provide superior value, but, in the ‘nix world at least, IBM has a hard time getting traction with that story.

    • Manashosting offers Linux reseller package with many innovative features.

      ManasHosting, a Bangalore based web designing and web hosting company, is offering a Linux reseller package with unlimited domain hosting Linux platform. Clients can make the most of a cPanel Control Panel with unlimited sub-domain and php3 facility. This reseller package from ManasHosting comes with more than 100 very innovative features – which are not present in many of the competitive reseller packages available in the market.

  • Hardware

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Buffs Get Eyeful at LinuxCon Tech Showcase

      Attendees at the sold-out LinuxCon event in Portland got to take a close-up look at some of the latest Linux technologies touted by participating companies. Companies displaying their wares at the showcase included powerhouses like IBM, HP, Oracle and Novell, along with scrappier Linux players such as Wind River, Hooduku and PogoLinux.

    • LinuxCon Roundtable in Torvalds Quotes

      On motivation throughout his history with Linux:

      “It has changed a lot over the years. It started out being all about the technology, and all about just really twiddling with the hardware and just learning and just doing something cool and sitting in my basement. It wasn’t my basement at the time, it was my mother’s basement [everyone laughs]. But really being low level and doing the programming. That eventually faded and then it become somewhat about the community and the fame, hey that was great. But also new problems that I hadn’t had before. The SMP work, many years ago, that other people started and I kinda took over, continued to motivated me.”

    • Why Linux succeeds while other open source projects fail

      That’s where open source can also help for adoption. If a project, like Linux does become successful, it provides more incentive for users to use the application as a way of future proofing their technology investment.

      Hohndel noted that when IBM decided to discontinue its OS/2 operating system, there were many enterprises (including a German Bank that he was working for) that were left hanging.
      “Open source means that will never happen to you,” Hohndel said.

    • X Server 1.7 Release Candidate 2

      The change-log along with source download links for this X.Org 7.5 server can be found on the X.Org mailing list.

  • Applications

    • Games with native linux installers

      Many people don’t know it, but as well as all the open source games for Linux out there, there are MANY games available the will install and play on your Linux box, provided you have the right files. I now present a small selection of these games (there are more if you look hard enough), with links to the Linux installer files, for your continued Linux gaming experience! You still need to purchase the game disks for all these titles. Enjoy.

    • The Unix Ideal

      It’s much easier to read and much more useful. I can click on the links and Firefox starts up. This saves me from having to go to the podcast’s website to look at the show notes. Unfortunately, most podcasts I listen to are not featuring such great details, but the Linux and Technology ones are.

  • K Desktop Environment

    • Plasma 4.4: Update on where we are

      Back in July, I blogged about our plans for Plasma in 4.4. It’s now September and the obvious question is: where are we now?

      * Improve kiosk based lock down and deployment management: there is the new plasma-desktop scripting support, but action restrictions and more fine grained kiosk controls are not yet done. Let’s call this one 50% done.

    • Replacing KDE applications

      It feels like I just did this, even though I’ve been running Linux as my primary OS since around 2002. When I decided to stop using KDE recently, I was surprised to find how many KDE applications on which I had become dependent, and how little idea I had what to use as alternatives. Some of them are little and therefore easily replaced, but others that are more full-featured have been quite a challenge. Here’s a sampling of the ones I’ve been working on lately.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat remains red hot on the Street on eve of next earnings report

        And those fortunate souls who own Red Hat can also expect share values to increase if Wall Street analysts are correct. Red Hat, which closed at $25.72 on Monday and recently hit a 52-week high of $26.32, reports earnings after the markets close Wednesday. Analysts expect the Hatters to report a 15-cent per share profit on revenues of $179 million and an increase of 9 percent in sales over a year ago.

      • Leading Print Solutions Provider, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, Standardizes Operations on Red Hat’s Middleware Solutions

        Red Hat (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg), the world’s leading solution provider for the print media industry, built an interactive customer portal, www.MyHeidelberg.com, using JBoss Enterprise Portal Platform to create an interactive site to enhance its customer relationships and provide a unified global brand presence. With the successful portal project, Heidelberg has since migrated its proprietary application platform to JBoss Enterprise Application Platform, in order to reduce costs, and increase the performance of its web applications.

      • LSI displays single-root I/O virtualization solution at Intel Developer Forum

        LSI Corp., in collaboration with Intel Corp. and Red Hat Inc., announced Tuesday demonstration of its single-root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) capable storage controller. The controller, using Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (Intel VT-d) and PCI-SIG SR-IOV technology, enables virtual servers in direct-attached storage (DAS) environments to share a storage controller, delivering increased system performance, efficiency and scalability.

      • Fedora Mini: A New Netbook Competitor?

        For a long time, Ubuntu was the only big-name Linux distribution with a specially tailored netbook version. That changed recently with the announcement of Fedora Mini, which stands poised to compete with Ubuntu Netbook Remix on Linux-based netbooks and similar devices. Here are some thoughts on what this development means for Ubuntu and Canonical’s netbook strategy, and Linux netbooks in general.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical Offers Preview Of Ubuntu Karmic Koala

        Canonical has come up with the final alpha iteration of its signature Ubuntu Karmic Koala operating system, which is poised to be available to general users in the next month.

        The company has introduced a couple of handy changes in the last alpha of the OS, with the most notable being the exclusion of the erstwhile boot splash screen. Instead, the new version includes an X-based splash screen to offer enhanced booting speeds.

      • Ultimate Edition Gamers 2.3 Is Based on Ubuntu 9.04

        Announced by TheeMahn on September 21st, Ultimate Edition Gamers 2.3, a popular Linux distribution based on Ubuntu, brings to Linux users lots of pre-added games in a 3.8GB, downloadable DVD ISO image. Being built off Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackalope) by hand, Ultimate Edition Gamers 2.3 is definitely one of the most awaited and fun Linux operating systems. Without further ado, here is the complete list of games that are pre-installed in the new Ultimate Edition Gamers 2.3 operating system:

        · 3D chess;
        · Airstrike;
        · Aisleriot Solitaire;
        · Barrage;
        · Blackjack;
        · Boswars;


      • Alternative Netbook Operating Systems
      • What OS is on Your Netbook?

        Matthew Dillon has a nice summary of netbook operating system choices today at Gotta Be Mobile and after reading it, I got to wondering what you folks are running on your netbooks. Our polls don’t allow for multiple choices, so if you have a multi-boot system, choose the OS that you use the most. And if you have multiple netbooks, base your response on your primary netbook.

      • Ubuntu 10.04: A Closer Look

        Lucid Lynx’s release date is almost seven months in the future. Solid blueprints for its development have yet to materialize, as Canonical remains focused on delivering Karmic next month. But the goals expressed for the release by Shuttleworth appear well reasoned, neither too ambitious nor lackluster.

      • Linux Mint 7 XFCE: Screenshots

        While Ubuntu continues to be the focus of Linux hype and momentum, there is an increasing number of Ubuntu-based distributions appearing as well.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Linux Lands on Panasonic Toughbooks

        The VAR Guy certainly realizes rugged Linux is a niche opportunity. But resellers like EmperorLinux seem to be carving quite a niche for themselves.

      • ASUS Eee PC 1001HA offers Linux, odd texturing

        ASUS‘ second netbook from this weekend offers a blast from the past, in the shape of a Linux OS option. The ASUS Eee PC 1001HA is billed as an entry-level model, but will be available in three different versions: the 1001HA XP, with Windows XP, the 1001HA LX, with Linux, or a bare model that comes with no OS at all.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Happy One Web Day

    Backed by Mozilla, to whom we must credit the use of the word “awesomeness”, today apparently is a chance to make the world wide wibble better by tinkering with your social networking sites, printing off posters that say, “I love the web”, donating money, and quitting the use of IE 6. Not wholly altruistic then.

  • B-schools take digital route to cut costs

    Going one step ahead, IIM Bangalore said that it is now working to fulfil its ambitious project of becoming an online university, making every course available online by integrating proprietary software like that of SunGard and free and open source software (Foss) platforms, such as Linux and Moodle.

  • Veda Informatics Launches Open Source Developers Website

    Veda Informatics have launched open-source-developers.com, to offer website development services using open source technologies. It is to be focused on the needs of individuals and small businesses.

  • Cyberoam comes up with free to download Open Source logging and reporting solution

    Cyberoam has come with a new open source logging and reporting solution promising to offer a centralized identity-based logging and reporting of multiple devices across geographical locations.

  • Cyberoam Develops Open Source Logging and Reporting Solution

    As an open source solution, iView eliminates the need for large capital outlays while delivering security management, regulatory compliance and forensic analysis.

  • Open Source Groupware Partner Summit Approaching

    Open-Xchange, the leading provider of open source groupware, will be hosting its first Open-Xchange Partner Summit on October 8 at the RheinEnergie Stadion in Cologne, Germany, providing the partner community with a unique forum to learn how to advance their business with e-mail and collaboration services.

  • WidgetPad: Open-Source, Web-Based Environment for Mobile Developers

    Today, Nakajima is launching WidgetPad, a free, collaborative, web-based, open-source mobile development environment where developers can easily create smartphone applications using standard web technologies (such as HTML 5, CSS, and Javascript) and distribute them as stand-alone applications to app stores.

  • First free software festival in HCM City

    The Software Freedom Day took place in over 400 cities in over 100 countries in the world on the same day. In Vietnam, the event was held at the HCM City Teacher Training University in cooperation with the group of Linux users in HCM City (SaigonLUG).

  • Open Source can Help India Save 10,000 crore, says IIM-B Study

    Even as the current economic climate has compelled the Indian government to go on the austerity drive, by asking its ministers to air travel by economy class – a more compelling option may lie in looking at replacing proprietary software with open source. A recent report titled, ‘Economic Impact of Free and Open Source software – A Study in India’, by a team at IIM-Bangalore, highlights several interesting insights, that show how by replacing just 50 percent of proprietary software with open source in desktops and servers, India can save close to Rs 10,000 crore in 2010.

  • EDB invites wide-ranging collaboration on open source code for public sector archive solution

    EDB is the largest IT vendor for the Norwegian public sector, and currently provides IT services to several hundred public sector entities in both local government and the national public sector.

  • BonitaSoft Raises $3 Million in First Round of Funding

    The company is said to be the first provider of open source software for business process management, a market which currently represents $2.6 billion with an estimated growth of 30 percent per annum by 2012.

  • Staffordshire University Launches JISC Funded Initiative for Federating Open Courseware

    The UK’s Staffordshire University is taking part in a pilot study to explore the issues and benefits involved in making its ‘stock’ of learning content freely available.


  • Introducing Google Chrome Frame

    Today, we’re releasing an early version of Google Chrome Frame, an open source plug-in that brings HTML5 and other open web technologies to Internet Explorer.

    We’re building Google Chrome Frame to help web developers deliver faster, richer applications like Google Wave. Recent JavaScript performance improvements and the emergence of HTML5 have enabled web applications to do things that could previously only be done by desktop software. One challenge developers face in using these new technologies is that they are not yet supported by Internet Explorer. Developers can’t afford to ignore IE — most people use some version of IE — so they end up spending lots of time implementing work-arounds or limiting the functionality of their apps.

  • Googling Juror Prompts Court to Overturn Jury Verdict
  • Lily Allen, Don’t Apologize To Me, Apologize To Everyone Else

    If anyone deserves an apology, it’s all the people you’ve been blasting with this complaint that it’s “piracy” that’s somehow harming artists, when the actual evidence shows no such thing. Plenty of artists have learned to embrace file sharing and used it to their advantage, suggesting it’s not piracy that’s the problem — it’s artists unwillingness to adapt and put in place smarter business models.

A Profile on Linus Torvalds

Direct Link

Windows Compromises Bank Accounts While M-Com and Microsoft Launch Mobile Banking Service

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 9:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Bill Gates says banks are dinosaurs, well, some dinosaurs run real fast and bite the hell out of you.”


Summary: Just as Microsoft tries to enter the banking business, new reports suggest that Windows is a bank’s worst nightmare

THE BANKING industry is still closely tied to Microsoft, but at sight of new reports like this one, is it not time for them to require that customers access their bank accounts only from Live (Linux) CDs such as Knoppix?

Cyber criminals have created a highly sophisticated Trojan virus that steals online banking log-in details from infected computers.

The Clampi virus, which is spreading rapidly across hundreds of thousands of computers in Britain and the United States, infects computers when users visit websites that host a malicious code.


The trojan has a list of more than 4,500 finance-related websites that it monitors, including British high street banks. Security experts warned that it was one of the stealthiest and most pervasive threats to computers using the Microsoft Windows operating systems.

The article at least bothers to mention that it is a Windows problem, unlike other new threats which require a download, interception of traffic, or terrible human error (not even social engineering). These issues are not viral, so they are easier to keep under control.

The above report is timely because in other news from last week, Microsoft wishes to bring its highly insecure software to banking. Another new report suggests that Vista 7 will be more of the same regarding security. But we already knew that because there is overwhelming evidence [1, 2, 3, 4].


Microsoft Slashes Benefits to Its Covert Partners

Posted in Finance, Fraud, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Open hands

Summary: Microsoft to offer less ‘schwag’ and kickbacks to people who help it defend an empire

Microsoft has built itself an ecosystem which includes students whom it bribes with gifts to promote the company, professors whom it bribes to mention the company's products, vendors which it pays to pretend that they recommend Windows [1, 2], assemblers that it pressures to drop GNU/Linux offerings [1], shops that it pressures to drop GNU/Linux options [1], and hardware companies that it blackmails to drop support of Linux [1, 2, 3, 4]. There is concrete proof here for each and every claim, even in the form of antitrust exhibits. Microsoft is not shy to admit that bribery is seen as an acceptable strategy and those who stand in the way are being labeled "haters" and subsequently lose their job sometimes.

“Companies and individuals whom Microsoft works with usually get to share the loot with Microsoft as long as they suppress Microsoft’s opposition and serve the company’s agenda in all sort of ways.”Microsoft has summoned a mechanism whereby it can have impact on the industry that the company’s paid employees alone could not ever achieve. For example, Microsoft uses partner companies like Wipro, Infosys and TCS to control India by extension. Companies and individuals whom Microsoft works with usually get to share the loot with Microsoft as long as they suppress Microsoft’s opposition and serve the company’s agenda in all sort of ways. Vista 7 launch parties which Microsoft intends to fund with gifts (thus making these parties AstroTurf, not grassroots) are a newer example of these tactics. The OOXML scandals are an ocean of such examples.

As we pointed out a week ago, Microsoft's grip on the software industry is clearly slipping. Among those who feel the pinch are not just Microsoft employees but also their extended family which is MVPs. Mary Jo Foley points to this almost-forgotten report which indicates that MVPs will lose some of the benefits that Microsoft gave them.

From October 1, we will retire these benefits: Company Store (MVP Bucks), E-Academy, E-Reference Library, MS Press Book Reviews

What will this mean and what will be the impact on their faithfulness to Microsoft? Might they choose to walk away and instead serve the goals of shareable code and freedom? Free software cannot offer kickbacks like Microsoft does, but it sure offers a wonderful experience to people who love computing.

“Copying all or parts of a program is as natural to a programmer as breathing, and as productive. It ought to be as free.”

Richard Stallman

Patents Roundup: Intellectual Monopolies Under Attack, IBM and Patent Trolls Get Miserable

Posted in Deception, IBM, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 8:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Intellectual Monopoly lawyers feel threatened by awakening to the truth about patents; IBM and patent trolls go too far to defend their harmful practices

AS WE pointed out before, patent unrest is being noticed and online/paper publications of patent lawyers (like IAM) do react and they are concerned. Here is the latest post from IAM which echoes this concern:

In the next IAM, which goes to the printers this Wednesday, we are running a letter from Adam Liberman, the current president of LES International. He got in touch with us on the back of the Broken Brand story we ran in the last issue of the magazine, which dealt with the negatve perceptions that IP so often creates within the business world, the political class and among the general public. Liberman acknowledges that there is a serious problem and makes a few suggestions as to how the IP community can set things straight.


Regular readers of this blog will not be surprised to learn that I think Liberman is absolutely correct. I sense that a growing number of people within the big and diverse IP community are also coming to understand just how serious things have become. We already have the IP Brand Development Group, but this is only a start. The simple truth is that there is a great IP story out there just waiting to be told. What we need is a concerted campaign to make sure that this happens. If it doesn’t, the IP backlash is only going to get stronger.

Another Web site about patents and lawyers writes about patents that may really kill people [1, 2, 3]. This causes unrest and hostility towards intellectual monopolies — and rightly so. Here are the thoughts of Mike Masnick on this subject:

Appeals Court Says Patenting Basic Medical Diagnostic Process Is Just Fine


Doctors were pretty freaked out by this idea that you could patent a method that seemed like basic science. While a lower court agreed, the appeals court has gone the other way and said that the method is patentable. The patent holders insisted that this patent was necessary because if it didn’t get the patent it “would likely have a chilling effect on future medical discovery.” That, of course, is ridiculous.

One company that continues to promote intellectual monopolies — including monopolies on software algorithms — is IBM. Cringely has taken IBM to task by stating what IBM is doing to the public with its big bag of patents:

IBM’s greatest threat is its ability to stifle innovation. The way the company is off-shoring jobs and minimizing the value of its support workers demonstrates this. The threat will be when a group of smart folks in China or India realize how things could be done better, then starts taking work away from IBM. They will have access to an army of IBM foreign workers, too, who will bring customer contacts with them.

On the other hand, this application is also typical of an IBM patent. There are many aspects to implementing such a training process — data gathering, information management, software, hardware, etc. — and IBM has patented every part. So if anyone makes a something similar, IBM could sue. If you create gaming software to teach almost anything to almost anyone, this patent may trump you.

And that’s what patents are about — they are about stifling competition rather than just providing an incentive to make real progress (a euphemism to ‘sell’ patents to the public).

To make matters worse, those who pillage and plunder most effectively in this broken system are not scientists but mere lawyers — those who establish themselves a business as patent trolls. One person who spoke against them was dragged into the courtroom [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and he is now being defended by Masnick:

Patent Troll Tracker Trial: Defamation Or A Chance To Silence A Voice Some Patent Lawyers Didn’t Like


As you hopefully recall, back in late 2007, a wonderful, informative and useful blog suddenly popped up on the scene, highlighting some of the worst abuses of the patent system by shell corporations suing companies that were actually innovating.

The patent systems need more critics, less trolls, less applications, and a much narrower scope which takes ethics and economics into consideration.

“Small Software companies cannot afford to go to court or pay damages. Who is this software patent system for?” —Marco Schulze, Nightlabs Gmbh

If Vista 7 is as Good as Microsoft Says, Then Why is Microsoft Actively Attacking GNU/Linux?

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Interview, Marketing, Microsoft, OIN, Patents, Videos, Vista, Vista 7 at 7:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Anti-Linux shot

Summary: Microsoft’s sheer aggression against GNU/Linux as an indicator of Free software strength, not weakness

Yesterday was the last time we have shown that Microsoft was bribing and cheating to shape the image of Vista 7. It’s this time of the cycle again; Microsoft does this every time a new release of Windows is approached (and for quite some time afterwards).

Several items in the news this week serve as a reminder of the fact that Microsoft cannot promote Vista 7 while leaving competitors alone*. One scenario that we outlined before was Microsoft’s latest patent attack on Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. This subject was brought up again yesterday at LinuxCon:

Does the troll-blocking organization that recently secured a set of supposedly Linux-related patents from Microsoft need sizing for a penguin-shaped tinfoil hat? Or was the IP sale really Redmond’s secret scheme to “create fear, uncertainty, and doubt” in the open-source community?

On Monday, at LinuxCon in Portland, Oregon, Open Invention Network chief executive Keith Bergelt had more harsh words for Microsoft over Redmond’s allegedly sinister sale. Apparently, Microsoft shopped its patents to several firms, including some notorious patent trolls, and it didn’t offer them to OIN.

Brendan Scott, a lawyer, opines that Microsoft has inadvertently harmed its Linux patent racket by putting those patents up for sale… only to be swept up quite cunningly by the OIN. His explanation goes like this:

[W]hat is the impact of this sale on manufacturers of Linux based devices who are entering cross-licensing arrangements with Microsoft? What is the value of a cross licensing deal intended to protect against Linux related patents if the very patents you want to license are, will be, or have been, sold off to third parties?

Is Microsoft undermining its patent cross licensing push?

Another step Microsoft has taken against GNU/Linux adoption (specifically on the desktop) is the spreading of poisonous and deceitful material at Best Buy, Staples, and Office Depot [1, 2, 3, 4]. ITWire has some new coverage which explains how this relates to Vista 7.

Microsoft launches new pre-Windows 7 anti-Linux offensive

Microsoft has been making steps to educate U.S. retailers that Linux is a limited operating system that works with only few peripherals or online services, and that what most customers want is Windows.

Microsoft has confirmed it developed materials that portray Linux as unsuitable for consumer use, and distributed these to retail sales staff around the United States.

This sure smells like “perception management” which Microsoft takes so much pride in [1, 2]. Microsoft devised what it calls “constant indoctrination” and this is particularly important now that its future is hinged on the post-Vista operating system. Vapourware tactics have already been used to promise features that Vista 7 will never deliver. It’s just like Vista and WinFS all over again. Watch this video from 2007 (when Vista was released). Around the 5th minute Linus Torvalds speaks about how Windows Vista is mostly hype. He too appears to have figured out how Microsoft marketing works.

* The same can be said about Intel, which broke the law to suffocate AMD rather than just produce better products and win based on technical merit. Here is the latest development:

Intel used rebates to freeze out AMD, EC docs show


The European Competition Commission has released more of the evidence that lay behind its decision to fine Intel over a billion euros for abusing its market position and undermining competion in the chip market.

Alan Cox in 2002: “Microsoft Has Publicly Stated That it Has Patents on Critical Parts of .NET and Will Enforce Them”

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interview, Java, Kernel, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 6:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Alan Cox

Summary: Memorable and foresighted words from one of the top Linux developers

A FEW MONTHS ago Microsoft confirmed Alan's statements, which can be found in this interview with Slashdot that contains a lot more:

What are your feelings on Microsoft’s .NET and any initiatives to make the technology work on Linux?

Alan [Cox]: Microsoft has publically stated that it has patents on critical parts of .NET and will enforce them. If you think that .NET is a good idea, or cloning .NET is a good idea, remember you won’t have a US market unless they find you amusing enough to allow to live on. And if you think Microsoft can be trusted on this look at their recent activities against Samba.

The system itself is mildly interesting as a technology. Its yet another virtual machine, roughly equivalent to picojava in capabilities. It has an interesting way to self generate IDL, but one which their own papers say cannot represent all programming languages.

The more dangerous parts of all this are not so much .NET but chunks of the model that not only the .NET product and the Java standards rely on. Things like xmlrpc, soap and the stuff on top of them are designed to “interwork through firewalls”. A better phrase would be “go through the firewall like a knife through butter in a way that prevents the companies involved monitoring the activity”.

In summary, Microsoft’s .NET is a legal threat, it is just an imitation of Java, and it is a security issue.

Related posts that mention Alan Cox:

Links 22/09/2009: LinuxCon Coverage, Red Hat Share Price Almost Doubles

Posted in News Roundup at 6:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux, not the cloud, will save schools

    Free, Open Source Software (FOSS) offers schools colleges and the public sector in general enormous savings. These savings are wide ranging. They encompass software purchase and licencing costs, support overheads and energy consumption. If you want to cut spending then you need FOSS.

  • Desktop

    • IBM Linux chief: Chasing desktop Windows a ‘dead-end’

      Sutor drew up several possible futures for the Linux desktop in the years ahead, including Linux going away altogether, one distribution dominating Linux desktops, one distro dominating all desktops, Linux reaching parity with Microsoft and Apple, and desktop Linux disappearing altogether and making the whole issue moot.

    • The Possible Futures of the Linux Desktop

      “I think trying to make it a complete drop-in replacement is a dead-end strategy,” Sutor said. “They’ve got a little bit more money, and even more important than that is they’ve got the market share and the mind share.”

      Instead, Sutor said he sees Linux’s impact on the desktop being measured differently than its role in the cloud and in virtualization — where he sees Linux truly dominating.

    • My LinuxCon 2009 keynote

      My LinuxCon 2009 keynote is now available in PDF form as well as from SlideShare.

    • Possible futures for the Linux desktop – the full list from LinuxCon

      Of course I added a few spoken comments, but be certain of one thing: the Linux desktop is not to be discounted and, as I list as the fith possibility, it could end up with sizable marketshare:

      1. It goes away.
      2. We stop using desktops, so who cares?
      3. The Linux desktop becomes a tactic instead of a strategy.
      4. One Linux desktop distribution ends up with 90% marketshare among those using Linux desktops.
      5. One Linux desktop distribution ends up with 90% marketshare among all desktops.

    • Free Linux, Proprietary Linux

      There was a time when, if you wanted to be sure a Linux distribution to work on any PC, you almost had to include some proprietary firmware for graphic and Wi-Fi drivers. Those days are long gone. Hardware component manufacturers tend now to either include open Linux drivers or open up their specifications enough that Linux developers can created their own drivers.

    • 7 cool Linux projects

      As autumn begins, the nights start drawing in and you’re no doubt itching for new things to do with your Linux box. Well, we asked our projects expert to rustle up 7 great things you can do on your penguin-powered machine – host a photo album, make sweet music, create stop-frame animations and more. Read on to get cracking!

    • 4 sites all new Linux users must bookmark.

      More and more people are migrating to the world of Linux day by day. However, most of these new users are people who have absolutely no prior knowledge or experience with Linux and how it works. Thus, most of them end up getting frustrated at the kind of learning curve they encounter. It is in this regard that I have compiled this short list of sites that can be helpful to new users in scaling the sometimes steep learning curve they meet.

    • Desktop Takes Back Seat at Linux Conference

      Leaders in the Linux community seemed resigned to the fact that Linux still hasn’t made headway in the desktop market, but they made it clear on Monday that their success in other markets, such as mobile, is at least as important.

      At the Linuxcon event in Portland, Oregon, panelists on one session that included Linux’s founder, Linus Torvalds, seemed ambivalent when asked whether next year is finally the year for Linux on desktops.

  • Server

    • SGI births smaller baby super

      It is ironic, in that sad IT definition of irony, that SGI had the right ideas so long ago, ideas that Intel is only getting to market with the QuickPath Interconnect architecture of its Nehalem family of chips this year. The Octanes ran both Irix and Linux.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Run OS X Dashboard Widgets In Ubuntu

      I found some widgets running through kludgets are resource hogs – not so much that they slow the system down, but still more usage than probably needed for long periods.

      As such, i recommend opening Kludgets only when you want access to your screenlets.

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME and KDE: In Search of the Perfect Menu

      Since the 4.0 release, KDE has defaulted to the Kickoff menu. Inspired by the Windows Vista menu, Kickoff divides the menu into five separate views: Favorites; Applications; Computer, which includes system settings and common destinations in the directory structure; Recently Used, which includes both applications and documents, and Leave, which includes a number of options for what to do when you have finished your work.

      In each view, only one menu level is visible at the time, which means that you must use the arrows at each side to move through the menus. In addition, a search menu with tab completion helps you to find items quickly.

    • KDE

      • KDE 3.5.10 packages released on Slackware.com for Slackware 13

        Just as an update to my Upgrading KDE 4.2.4 to KDE 3.5.10 in Slackware 13 post, Patrick Volkerding has apparently released KDE 3.5.10 for Slackware 13.0 (link here).

        This is probably a better way to go than my procedure, which was more of a proof of concept than an actual workable solution, though I have received some comments that indicate that the KDE 3.5.10 packages from Slackware 12.2 were usable in Slackware 13.0.

      • 7 Things You Didn’t Know You can Do With KRunner

        KRunner is one of those KDE applications that people generally take for granted. Since it has the same shortcut key, Alt+F2, as Gnome’s Run Application terminal, those who have just started using KDE generally assume that it is just another version of Gnome’s Run Application terminal. However, it cannot be farther from the truth. In reality KRunner is one of KDE 4.3’s most useful application.

      • KDE’s Project Silk

        Yet, the web experience we deliver in KDE leaves many issues, or rather missed opportunities. We have built a wonderful desktop, window effects that support running many applications at the same time in a — for the user — manageable way. We have created a lot of new possibilities for an ergonomic and beautiful desktop, and strong applications on top of that. Many developers want to develop KDE applications for non-desktop machine, such as smaller, mobile devices and media centers.

  • Distributions

    • System Rescue – My Favorite LiveCD

      My favorite LiveCD is System Rescue CD. System Rescue is a Linux system rescue disk available as a bootable CD-ROM or USB stick for administrating or repairing your system and data after a crash. It aims to provide an easy way to carry out admin tasks on your computer, such as creating and editing the partitions of the hard disk. It comes with a lot of linux software such as system tools (parted, partimage, fstools, …) and basic tools (editors, midnight commander, network tools). It requires no installation since you just have to boot on the CD-ROM. It can be used to perform admin tasks on both linux servers, linux desktops or windows boxes. The kernel supports most of the important file systems (ext2/ext3/ext4, reiserfs, reiser4, btrfs, xfs, jfs, vfat, ntfs, iso9660), as well as network filesystems (samba and nfs).

    • Puppy Linux 4.3

      Price: Free
      Pros: Small, light-weight, fast distro. Comes with a great range of apps and only weighs in at about 100MB when you download it.
      Cons: Ugly, dated configuration screens.
      Suitable For: Anybody who needs a lightweight, portable version of Linux particularly for emergencies.
      Summary: Puppy Linux fits the bill nicely for those who need a portable Linux to tote around with them and who want a full range of bundled applications without the bloat of a full desktop distro.
      Rating: 3.5/5

    • Mandriva 2010 RC1 : Linux2u

      I think Mandriva is going to windows way by selling most of things whether it is codecs or its powerpack.Desktop experience is excellent. This edition comes with all latest Software and mind blowing KDE 4.3. So, Lets enjoy Mandriva.

    • Red Hat Family

      • A Red Flag on Red Hat

        To be sure, Red Hat’s stock has surged so far this year. Shares are up 95% year-to-date, and could go higher.

    • Debian Family

      • Ubuntu Server Edition 10.04 Lucid Lynx: Canonical’s ISV Priorities

        Since Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) is a Long Term Support (LTS) release, he expects the April 2010 offering to attract some new ISVs. Without making any firm promises or announcements, Pugh added that Canonical continues to work to bring ISVs like Oracle into the Ubuntu world. Pugh also cautioned readers not to focus on any one ISV, since Canonical is speaking with multiple potential partners.

      • The need to Ubuntize people!

        Anyway, my conclusion here is that people is starting to realize that there are other alternatives than just sticking with one operating system, and that the best thing of all is that they won’t have viruses. However, they are really not aware that Linux exists. This clearly shows that there’s a huge market were Linux, and specially Ubuntu, can kick in, because… they are paying companies for virus free solutions, such as Mac, while they are not aware that this is not their only solution.. From my point of view… most of these people only uses their computers to edit documents, listen to music, and browsing the Internet… and this is something that they could do with Ubuntu… without a problem! So, let’s start Ubuntizing people!!

      • Ubuntu OS can Save Energy

        The point I would like to drive home with this blog post is that E-waste is a HUGE problem in our society. And I would highly recommend anyone view a documentary called “Manufactured Landscape” to learn more about what I am talking about. We can all do simple things, but please remember that when you throw electronics away, that YOU are contributing to the decline of our environment. Their are recycling centers everywhere that will help recycle your old electronics and in some cases re-use them as well.

      • New Mint KDE logo
  • Devices/Embedded

    • MIPS-based development SoC adds Linux support

      K-micro (Kawasaki Microelectronics America) announced that MontaVista Linux has been ported to its “CatsEye” hardware/software development platform for complex ASIC designs such as system-on-chips (SoCs). The MontaVista version of CatsEye supports the dual MIPS24-based CatsEye SoC, a Xilinx Virtex-4 FPGA development board, and numerous Linux boot options for easier debugging, says K-micro.

    • Internet radio touts touchscreen interface

      The Sensia is the next-generation update to the Evoke Flow Internet radio (pictured at right), which was announced in August 2008. Like the Evoke Flow, which was limited to a small, non-touch OLED display, the Sensia runs on embedded Linux, is equipped with WiFi, and offers FM and DAB playback.

    • Phones

      • Open Source in Mobile – Part I

        I attended OSiM in Amsterdam for a day (had to be back to China the next day) and it was quite an interesting and diverse crowd attending and/or speaking – hard core open sourcers along with big fat OEMs trying to leverage open source to make the most of it. In the first Open Source in Mobile blog, I’ll make an overview of alternatives for building devices using open source software. Apart from Windows Mobile, all software stacks being used in Smartphones are now open sources.

      • Android Heading in More New Directions

        What will advanced Android-based smartphones look like a year from now, and what will be under the hood? Motorola would have you believe that they’ll place very heavy emphasis on unified social networking features. Archos has its eyes on tablets that double as smartphones, with advanced video capabilities. China Mobile and others believe that Android will work best in forked, unique versions.

      • Hands-on with Palm’s Pixi webOS smartphone [review]

        And you know what? It just might do it. The Pixi is lightweight, comes in colorful cases (as seen in the photos) and is devoid of anything that sniffs of business. In this situation, webOS serves as the ultimate contact integration engine, and gets the job done with color and flair.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • New Linux Moblin netbooks to be announced at IDF

        A new Linux netbook based on Moblin will be introduced this week, and it may represent a new way that the Linux community is approaching the mass market.

      • Laptop for rural children

        Last year, about 5,000 laptops were donated throughout the region to carry as a pilot project.

        More pacific islands countries will join some of the pilot nations this year.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenDisc: One-stop shop for Windows open source applications

    There was one thing, however, that did come out of this year’s celebration and that was OpenDisc. OpenDisc came into being when Open CD was on the outs. The Open CD project really never gained much traction, but OpenDisc could very well go places Open CD couldn’t. Why? OpenDisc is an outstanding project. But what is Open Disc?

    OpenDisc is a high quality collection of Open Source software for Windows put together with an easy-to-use front-end that makes installing and/or learning about these applications simple. Of course, OpenDisc has a secondary purpose – to educate users about the Linux operating system.

  • LinuxPR: Global Conference on Open Source (GCOS) will be held in Jakarta, on 26-27 October 2009

    Looking at the world wide growth of F/OSS (Free / Open Source Software), the Association of Open Source in Indonesia (AOSI), who’s members are observers, developers, trainers, users, as well as supporters of open source movement; and in cooperation with State Ministry of Research and Technology (Ristek), and the Department of Communication and Information (Depkominfo), will be hosting the “Global Conference on Open Source” at Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta, on 26-27 October 2009.

  • Yahoo Adds Zimbra to the Garage Sale as It Tries to Shed What Isn’t “You!”

    According to numerous sources, Yahoo has been shopping around Zimbra, the open-source email company it bought in late 2007 for $350 million.

  • Yahoo! to shed open source Exchange rival?

    According to All Things Digital, the web giant is looking to offload Zimbra, the open-source email and collaboration outfit it acquired just two years ago for $350m. Sources tell ATD that Comcast and Google are potential buyers.

  • GroundWork Monitor 6.0 Released with New Features and Streamlined Interface

    Based on the idea that the tree-style viewing options typically found in today’s montoriting software is longer the best choice for applications running in the cloud, GroundWork has developed what it’s calling a “Seurat View” to help users see at a glance where tiny pieces of data fit into the larger picture.

  • Mozilla picks up Firefox development pace with ‘sprint’ updates

    Mozilla has switched to a quick-paced “sprint” cycle for Firefox that it hopes will bring new features to users faster, the company’s browser architect said today.

  • About Contributing

    Due to the inherent complexity of OOo’s code base with several million lines of code it should be clear that contributing code to it sometimes isn’t easy and needs some process support. But there are always contributions that apparently are harder to get into the code base than expected. I think to a large extent this is caused by missing knowledge, missing communication, some unfortunate “ features” of our build environment and grief with our QA approval process for Child Workspaces.

  • Ph.D. Studies in Open Source at the University of Erlangen

    Just one year after the Department of Computer Science at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany hired its first professor of open source software, its Open Source Research Group is now seeking to fill several positions. According to the job posting, the University is currently looking for “recent graduates or experienced software developers to start doctoral studies” in open source.

  • Open source bolsters big brands big time

    So maybe all of you Big Mac and Coke fans out there can tell me how these other two are using Linux and open source software significantly. Regardless, I think it’s clear that open source software is helping the largest companies and brands in the world maintain their place atop the mind and market.

  • TriSano 2.0 Released

    TriSano 2.0™ (http://www.trisano.org) is available. TriSano™ is an open source, citizen-focused surveillance and outbreak management system for infectious disease, environmental hazards, and bioterrorism attacks.

  • Openness

    • What the MSM Gets Wrong About Wikipedia — and Why

      I believe that the underlying facts about the Wikipedia phenomenon — that the general public is actually intelligent, interested in sharing knowledge, interested in getting the facts straight — are so shocking to most old media people that it is literally impossible for them to report on Wikipedia without following a storyline that goes something like this: “Yeah, this was a crazy thing that worked for awhile, but eventually they will see the light and realize that top-down control is the only thing that works.”

      Will the new, more gentle tool, be more widely used than protection was? I certainly hope so. We are always looking for ways to help responsible people join the Wikipedia movement and contribute constructively, while gently asking those who want to cause trouble to please go somewhere else.

      Faced with the choice of preventing you from editing at all, versus allowing you to edit even though you might have bad intentions, we have erred consistently for the latter — openness. The new tool, by making it a lot easier to keep bad stuff from appearing to the general public, is going to allow for a much more responsible Wikipedia that is, at the same time, a much more open Wikipedia.

  • Programming

    • PHP enters top 3 of most popular programming languages

      The company TIOBE, founded in 2000, is involved heavily with Software Quality. They call themselves ‘the coding standards company’ and deliver tools to assess the quality of software by checking coding standards, among other things. Unfortunately, despite the fact that their website is written in PHP, they do not support PHP yet with their tools (at least as far as I can tell from their website), but they have one activity that is of interest to us in the PHP ecosystem: they collect statistics on the popularity of programming languages and have been doing this for a few years now.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenID implementation works on mobile platforms

      Using OpenID makes the log-in process much simpler, according to Stefan Hultberg, CEO at Accumulate. But since you are still authenticating using a user name and password it doesn’t make it that much more secure, as that information can be stolen by hackers, he said. He argued that Mobile OpenID eliminates that risk factor by moving the authentication process from the PC to the mobile phone.

  • Fog Computing

    • eyeOS: Your Own Private Linux Cloud that You Control (part 1)

      Cloud computing is a relativity new computing concept where resources are provided via the Internet instead of on the local computer or network. One of these resources can be an entire operating system (OS), or at least Web applications that try to mimic Windows and other OSs. This resource is commonly referred to as a Web OS.

      One of the points behind Web OSs is to relieve the local computer of the work; to put the computing power behind a central server. It’s virtualization over the Internet. The client or end user computers don’t have to be regularly maintained; they just need a Web browser. For example, applications can be globally installed or uninstalled from the Web OS server instead of on each PC.

    • The Cloud and Future Innovation: Nuclear Winter or New Opportunity?

      This is, for me, pretty standard stuff, and for these LUG members as well. We talked about the benefits of the cloud: for me, the former configuration manager, getting more apps from the cloud means less support and maintenance issues on the client machine; for one LUG member, the ease of seamless upgrades to reduce costs.

      Of course, there are cons to the cloud right now, things that will need to be worked out, the most basic need being maintaining availability. When Gmail went down last week, it caught many people (myself included) unprepared on what to do when we couldn’t access our messages or file attachments. But another con was raised that I had not considered before, and I think it deserves a little more examination.


  • Sony Corporation portrayed Nigeria as home of fraud – FG

    The Federal Government yesterday asked the Sony Corporation to withdraw with immediate effect and tender an unreserved apology for posting an advertisement on the internet portraying Nigeria as a home of fraud where its citizens hardly do genuine business.

  • Company hawking “free” credit scores goes after blogger who calls this a bait and switch

    Adaptive Marketing, which ran into controversy a few months ago for using former New York Times columnist Ben Stein in its TV ads for “free credit scores,” has brought a pre-litigation discovery proceeding against a blogger using the pseudonym “flaneur de fraude.” Flaneur’s crime? She agreed with a Reuters blogger who had the audacity to refer to its advertising as a “predatory bait and switch.”

  • AstroTurf

    • Report: ‘Death panels’ author worked with big tobacco to scuttle health reform

      In an article in the magazine’s October 1 issue, not yet available online, writer Tim Dickinson reveals that Phillip Morris “worked off-the-record with … writer Betsy McCaughey as part of the input to the three-part expose in The New Republic on what the Clinton plan means,” Rolling Stone reports.

      McCaughey, a conservative columnist and former deputy governor of New York, penned a 1994 article in The New Republic that was credited with helping to kill the Clinton-era health reforms. As RS noted, the magazine later retracted the story. And The Atlantic magazine ran a story in 1995, entitled “A Triumph of Misinformation,” debunking McCaughey’s arguments at TNR.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • FCC announces plan to protect access to an open Internet

      During a speech at the Brookings Institution this morning, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski outlined a proposal for explicit rules that would protect consumer access to an open Internet. The proposed rules would preserve “network neutrality,” preventing broadband-based Internet providers from discriminating against certain services, applications, or viewpoints on the Web, and requiring providers to be transparent about their network management practices.

    • Neutrality Begins at Home

      Comcast and Vonage have been pretending to be friends for a while now. It’s all part of the “We don’t really need that old Net Neutrality” song Comcast and the other big ISPs have been singing, including the verse that says Vonage is okay by them.

    • Cash4Gold Threatened Jail If Negative Comments Weren’t Removed

      Ex-Cash4Gold employee Vielka Nephew filed a motion to vacate the default in the company’s lawsuit against her this week, a lawsuit we’re a party to.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • SKorea prosecutors reject porn piracy charges

      South Korean prosecutors Friday rejected accusations by foreign pornographers that local Internet users have breached copyright by uploading their content onto websites.

    • Hands off our food: Malaysia stakes copyright claim to recipes for chili crabs, coconut rice

      Malaysia is starting a food fight with other countries to win bragging rights for producing some of Southeast Asia’s most beloved recipes, including chili crabs and coconut cream rice, a news report said Thursday.

    • Clothing Firm Pirated Itself… And It Worked Great

      As fashion designers in the US are, once again, pushing for a misguided new “fashion copyright,” it’s worth remembering that studies have repeatedly shown that knock off fashions are what help make the fashion industry so successful.

    • Lily Allen: Copying Isn’t Alright… Unless It’s Done By Lily Allen

      But what’s quite odd is that Ms. Allen, while complaining about such unfair copying, seemed to have absolutely no problem with copying my entire Techdirt post — without credit or a link.

    • Obama Open To Helping Newspapers, To Avoid Reporting Becoming ‘All Blogosphere’

      That seems like an odd way to characterize things. First, it seems odd to lump the medium in with a certain type of reporting. There are plenty of “real reporters” who do plenty of “serious fact-checking” within the blog world too. Blogs are just a publishing medium. Yes, because there’s a lower barrier to entry, you do end up with a much larger absolute number of bloggers, many of whom are just giving opinion.

    • Obama open to newspaper bailout bill

      The president said he is “happy to look at” bills before Congress that would give struggling news organizations tax breaks if they were to restructure as nonprofit businesses.

    • Bias spelled I F P I

      Today we just got some new information about the appeal case. It turns out that one of the jurors in the appeal will be a person employed by Spotify.

      Spotify, part-owned by the record companies that are the suing party, is a Swedish company that sells/streams music online.

    • Updated: Anti-Piracy Outfit and Lawyers May Operate Illegally

      Last month TorrentFreak reported on DigiProtect, the anti-piracy company with the tagline “Turn Piracy Into Profit”. A manager from DigiProtect revealed some of the inner workings on how the company operates but according to a lawyer who defends alleged file-sharers, he may have revealed just a little too much.

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