Novell Retreats From New Policy as the Company Loses Sense of Faithfulness

Posted in Europe, Novell at 10:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Woman jogging

Summary: Novell backtracks on an outrageous little attempt to charge for patches; problems in the UK carry on

AS Novell's problems (especially in the UK) carry on with the introduction of nasty new fees (report from the UK press), executives are baiting and switching.

To use the words of this reporter from IDG, Novell “Announces subscription needed for patches — before backtracking on plan”

This is a routine that Novell tried before. To quote from this new article:

There was a time, perhaps a dozen years ago, when Novell owned the identity management market. Of course, it’s always been said of Novell that they have great technology, and abysmal marketing. They have managed to shoot themselves in the foot numerous times over the years — and now they’ve done it again.


Not even their most ardent foes have ever suggested that Microsoft deliberately ships buggy software. But now we must consider that Novell could be doing so.

Oh, Novell.

It all comes at a rather dysphoric time of distribution cutbacks and some major departures. ChannelWeb (UK) has this new report about the ETC-Novell relationship breaking down.

ETC has confirmed that it is one of the two distributors that has parted company with Novell in its latest distribution shuffle.

ChannelWeb also has this new report which indicates that Novell carries on losing top staff in the UK. Its channel chief moved to McAfee.

Former Novell channel boss Jill Henry, who has joined McAfee as UK and Ireland channel director, said she would build that team back up to eight and invest in more telephone and enablement support for partners.

We wrote about Henry's departure one month ago.

Links 30/09/2009: LinuxCon Roundtable Debate as Video; Several New Linux Gadgets

Posted in News Roundup at 9:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Ohio Linuxfest 2009 Review

    There was also opportunities to get some free training all day Friday as well as paid training. One of the classes ($250) walked you through building your own PC, installing Linux and then you got to keep the computer at the end of the session.

  • Dropbox hits two million Windows, Mac and Linux users

    Earlier this month cloud storage startup Dropbox celebrated its first anniversary, and has now hit another milestone with its two millionth user. Dropbox is a solid example of how the cloud can bring efficiencies in this modern ultra-connected world. It’s also a service that has genuinely changed my life for the better.

  • Why Software is not treated fairly

    Most people have become familiar with the computer world within this proprietary software industry so they never got to know what freedoms they are entitled to and so they never ask for them. This article is not about free software, although many ideas in this article are similar. This article is about the rights and respect that the computer user deserves, and have been taken away from him without even knowing it.

    You should always seek your freedom or it will be taken away and you will not even notice that it is missing.

  • 40 years of Unix

    Looking ahead, I see Unix continuing as far as I can see. We may not call it Unix; we may not think of it at Unix. But if our children ever fly real spacecraft across the solar system, I expect the computers that will make that happen will be running code that can be tracked back to Thompson and Ritchie’s game.

  • An interview with Patryk Rządziński, head of IT at OSTC Poland.

    Global Financial Derivative trading company, OSTC Poland, uses Gentoo Linux in significant sectors of its IT infrastructure. We spoke with long time Gentoo user and head of OSTC Poland’s IT department, Patryk Rządziński, to learn more about how and where Gentoo is used. We discovered, as you will read in the full interview, that Gentoo, and more generally open source software, serves well in the commercial world.

  • Roundtable – The Linux Kernel: Straight From the Source

    Linus Torvalds, Greg Kroah-Hartman, Chris Wright, Jonathan Corbet, J.E.J. Bottomley, Ted Ts’o

  • OSMO: Your friendly personal organizer

    Although integration has become widespread, there are instances when you might want a separate tool for organizing your life. Say, for instance, your company requires you use Zimbra, eGroupware, or Outlook for company calendaring and contacts. What if you want something on your machine to organize your life – that doesn’t require an online connection, is simple to use, and has a tiny footprint. If that’s you, OSMO is the tool you’ve been looking for.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • WebOS upgraded as Palm tips more carriers

        Palm announced WebOS 1.2 for the Palm Pre and Palm Pixi, featuring a new App Catalog, LinkedIn support, Amazon MP3 downloads, and numerous fixes and enhancements. Palm also announced that more carriers will offer the Pre smartphone late next year, according to an industry report.

      • Two Linux smartphones set for October release in U.S.

        AT&T announced it will offer the Garmin-Asus G60 Nuvifone in the U.S. next week. In other Linux smartphone news, T-Mobile announced pricing and availability for its Android-based Motorola Cliq, and Android developers are protesting Google’s shutdown of an open source version of Google Apps by well-known “modder” Cyanogen, says eWEEK.

      • Google Clarifies Open Aspects Of Android

        The search giant has halted distribution of the Cyanogen custom Android build with proprietary apps like Gmail and Google Maps.

    • Portables

      • Sharp NetWalker PC-Z1 mini-laptop unboxed

        What’s a bit astonishing is that this tiny laptop running Ubuntu Linux isn’t the smallest clamshell device out there. Jenn also takes the time to compare the NetWalker with the UMID mBook M1 which is even smaller and looks more like a smartphone with a larger-than-average keyboard tacked on. The NetWalker dwards the UMID, but it’s still miniscule compared with a typical netbook and my guess is that touch-typing is going to be out of the question.

      • Lighthouse SQ7: A Tablet that Shouts at Twitter

        The 7-inch (800×480) tablet runs Ubuntu and a browser based upon WebKit. The light footprint software allows its 667MHz ARM processor with 128MB of RAM (ick!), 1GB of RAM storage to browse the internet, Facebook and Twitter. (Given that we’re talking Ubuntu, there’s a world of other software you could run, too…if you can find the space))

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why Open Source is not Magic Pixie Dust, Part 284

    The move was widely reported, and led to the ideas behind free software being introduced to many people for the first time. But the initial hopes of that announcement were not realised. Turning Netscape’s Communicator program – the name used for the expanded version of Netscape Navigator, including extra functionality like email – into Mozilla, as the new code was baptised, proved much harder than expected.

  • Open Content


    • 25 years of GNU – support software freedom!

      Tomorrow we mark the end of our year-long celebration of the 25th anniversary of the GNU Project—a celebration that we kicked off in September 2008 with a wonderful video from author and comedian Stephen Fry.


  • Goldman Sachs In The News…On Video

    There is so much more in this interview like Goldman Sachs in 2008 paid a total of $14 million dollars in taxes. Taibbi says this amount is about one third of what CEO Blankstein made in compensation that year. The reason for this he says is that Goldman moved most all their revenues to foreign countries with lower taxes. All this while they were receiving billions of dollars of little people’s tax dollars, paid themselves handsomely with no care or consideration to the hardships those “working” people were enduring whose money they took.

  • AstroTurf

    • Sex, clean coal, and 16 tons of GE nuttiness

      Using a parade of hunky guys and sultry gals — all looking like they’re just one step away from throwing down their pickaxes and engaging in a mass orgy on the spot — to sell greenhouse gas “emissions reducing technology” is stupid and offensive but not, ultimately, too surprising. But to employ as a soundtrack for the minute-long ad the most famous song ever recorded about the miserable exploitation of coal miners — “Sixteen Tons” — is a descent into ironic nihilism so deep that one truly has to ask: Have you completely lost your mind, GE?

  • Rights

    • Restraining Orders

      Today, an important shift in the balance of power between the individual and the state will take place. More people should know about it.

      Section 12 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 comes into force. The section amends section 5 the Protection of Harassment Act 1997 – the section that provides for restraining orders.

    • Thanks for Keeping us in the Picture

      Although e-petitions don’t often accomplish much (the apology for Alan Turing being a notable exception), they do have the virtue of forcing the UK government to say something. In response to this:

      “We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to remove new restrictions on photography in public places.”

    • Gordon Brown’s back door to compulsory ID cards

      Something the PM forgot to mention: if you apply for a passport, or renew one, you will be registered on the national identity database

    • UK Government Admits Traffic Accident Figures Miscounted

      The report admits that traffic calming devices designed to force motorists to reduce their speed in some cases caused accidents. Speed bumps and chicanes killed six motorists and caused 176 accidents, according to DfT figures (page 44).

  • Net Neutrality

    • Mark Cuban on net neutrality: ‘Flat out wrong’

      He was talking about recent remarks from Mark Cuban who apparently believes the net will slow to a pinful crawl if net neutrality becomes the accepted norm.

    • Alcatel Boosts Fiber Speed to 100 Petabits in Lab

      Alcatel-Lucent today said that scientists at Bell Labs have set an optical transmission record that could deliver data about 10 times faster than current undersea cables, resulting in speeds of more than 100 Petabits per second.kilometer. A petawhat? This translates to the equivalent of about 100 million Gigabits per second.kilometer or sending about 400 DVDs per second over 7,000 kilometers, roughly the distance between Paris and Chicago.

    • Netflix Everywhere: Sorry Cable, You’re History

      Today, nearly 3 million users access Netflix’s instant streaming service, watching an estimated 5 million movies and TV shows every week on their PCs or living room sets.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Hadopi 2 – The Relapse

      But notwithstanding the continuing climate of unreason, history obstinately refuses to be repealed: users continue to share massive amounts of files and introduce new material into the networks.

      Joseph Steglitz put it well in an op-ed in Liberation on September 16th, questioning the logic behind reliance on intellectual property perspectives and remarked:

      “Those producers whose business consists in delivering music from artists to consumers have no reason to exist today. It’s like trying to save the coach and horse industry in the age of the automobile.” (3)

    • Pirate Party Books Moderate Success In German Elections

      The German Federal elections took place this Sunday and the Pirate Party, hoping to gain a seat or two, ramped up the pressure. Despite strong showings in the local council elections a week or two earlier, they failed to win a seat in the Parliament, getting only 2% of the vote, falling short of the required 5% minimum.

    • Spotify Connection Disqualifies Pirate Bay Appeal Judge

      The Pirate Bay appeal is coming up in November and just as with the initial trial there is a lot of controversy surrounding the background of the various judges. Today the Appeal Court has decided to disqualify one of its lay judges because of his involvement with the music industry.

    • BPI Decries ISP Inaction Against 100K Music Pirates

      A UK music industry group claims that it has given an ISP evidence that thousands of its customers are pirating music but it has done nothing to stop them. Since February the BPI has harvested the IP addresses of 100,000 BT Broadband customers but is now labeling the ISP’s lack of action against them as “shameful.”

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Internet Video Celebrity Caitlin Hill 03 (2007)

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

Jaspersoft CEO: US Law and Policies Reinforce Proprietary, “Closed Source” Rights and Policies

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Patents at 3:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Brian Gentile

Summary: Insights into intellectual monopolies, courtesy of smaller (but growing) players in the software landscape

Brian Gentile has just made this interesting statement about ways in which laws were made to discriminate against Free/Open Source software.

Take, for example, U.S. patent and copyright protection laws and policies. They reinforce proprietary, “closed source” rights and policies. As a result of this system, many substantial U.S. companies have formed around breakthrough ideas, but incentives are in place for those companies to guard and protect their intellectual property, even if others outside the company could extend or advance it more rapidly.

As we pointed out a few days ago, the European Commission congregated in order to learn how intellectual monopolies harm innovation, but Michael Masnick opines that they may fail to learn a sobering lesson.

Rob H alerts us to an article that starts out sounding reasonable… pointing out that politicians in the EU are meeting because they’re worried about intellectual property laws holding back innovation in Europe… but then it goes off the rails. You see, they’re not worried that the laws are holding back innovation because they’re too strict, but because they’re too weak. As you look, though, you realize that these politicians have basically been lobbied by businesses that want protectionist policies.

Watch the latest ‘innovation’ in action.

If you’re a long-time BlackBerry user or “CrackBerry addict,” you very likely remember a time just a few years ago when the continued existence of your precious handheld–and its addictive “push” e-mail technology–were in question due to a high-profile lawsuit between Research In Motion (RIM) and patent company NTP.

Similarly, witness what happened to Palm because of patents. It’s not innovation, it’s castration.

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

Freedom and the Fallacy of Market Share

Posted in Apple, DRM, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 2:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Headline on F/OSS

Summary: Discussion about a misunderstanding of the real goals, especially in light of the latest news

FREE SOFTWARE is a different game from most. Its purpose is to cater for those in need of a free (libre) operating system that they truly control, unlike Android for example. A victory is defined in those market-agnostic terms, not in terms of how many people use a variant that makes considerable concessions.

It is understandable that various people who work for commercial companies see the success of F/OSS as measured in terms like “money” or “market share”; there is a fundamental difference here due to indoctrinators of a “takers” mentality and the likes of them. Free software is about sharing (giving) and thus it may clash with profit through scarcity; Free software thrives in abundant, independent markets. That is how revenue gets generated and savings made through autonomy.

The biggest threat to Freedom (the “F” in F/OSS) is arguably not proprietary software but people who lose sight of what’s achievable. To make so many compromises is to end up with another Mac OS X, to kiss freedom goodbye, and to wonder what the heck F/OSS [sic] was trying to achieve in the first place.

Richard Stallman has just published a short new essay to remind people of the many problems with Mac OS X.

In 2005, Apple made users install version 4.7 of iTunes in order to continue using the iTunes music store. This “upgrade” was billed by Apple as fixing a “security hole.” What the update actually did was change the iTunes system of Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to make PyMusique stop working. PyMusique was free software that allowed GNU/Linux users to access the iTunes store. (See http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-03/22/content_2728356.htm and http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/03/22/apple_blocks_pymusique/.)

Apple similarly imposed other incompatible iTunes changes later in 2005, and in 2006: users could not play music purchased using newer versions of iTunes in older versions of iTunes. So users had to update iTunes on all of their computers that they wanted to play their own music on, not just on the computer that they used to actually purchase the DRM-afflicted music. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FairPlay.)

In 2008, Apple snuck a new DRM malfeature into Quicktime in an update advertised as adding a feature for renting movies. This malfeature stopped users from playing video files they themselves had made. (See http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/26/quicktime_drm_cripples_adobe_programs/.)

If Mac OS X does not have a backdoor to forcibly install changes, that does not make it ethical. It has other malicious features, such as Digital Restrictions Management (see http://defectivebydesign.org/apple).

Some reporters concentrate on a retraction from Stallman, but that is not the point of the essay/blog post, which was followed by an update to Stallman’s article on Microsoft [via Bruno Miguel]. From Heise:

He also criticises the proprietary nature of Mac OS X. Stallman refers to various updates of iTunes and QuickTime, where security updates were used to close holes that allowed the DRM system to be overridden or where a bug was introduced in the process of updating the software to support new DRM functions. He ends saying “I don’t withdraw my condemnation of Mac OS. But I do withdraw the claim it has a known backdoor”. Stallman does not say in his message what prompted this withdrawal.

Wired Magazine has this new article which continues to show Apple’s misuse of power and control of people’s expression:

Developer: Apple Denied Health Care App for Political Reasons

Apple rejected a free iPhone application that advocated a single-payer health system, calling the application “politically charged,” according to the app’s developer.

This application may indeed be “political”, but what’s wrong with that? Is technology now limiting people’s freedom of expression rather than facilitating it? Is technology truly respectful when it is hindering instead of advancing and empowering? As in tiered Web, DRM, and kill switches?

“This philosophy did not prevent GNU from attaining commercial acceptance.”Michael Gratton, for instance prefers to ignore more political issues, whereas others realise that ignoring these issues is not an option. Problems will not go away if they are ignored; au contraire — things would typically exacerbate lacking vigilance.

Is GNU politically charged? Well, it has always been the case. The GNU philosophy is intrinsically political in that sense that it is rather libertarian. This philosophy did not prevent GNU from attaining commercial acceptance. When it comes to market share, traditional analysts can often be ignored. The Gartner Group, for example, counts only preinstalls, knowing damn well that these figures will not be representative of the real share of GNU/Linux on a worldwide basis. The numbers are also based on a sample from just a few large vendors like HP and IBM. It is prone to considerable error in judgment, and possibly by design. That in its own right is a political and ethical issue that should not be ignored.

“Forty percent of servers run Windows, 60 percent run Linux…”

Steve Ballmer (September 2008)

Microsoft Might Support Intel’s Moblin to Make GNU/Linux More Microsoft Dependent

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 2:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Great slave lake

Summary: The prominent role of Silverlight in the Intel-Microsoft collaboration leads to a new set of questions

MOBLIN AND MONO are both projects which show signs of helping Microsoft in a way. Moblin — like Mono and Moonlight — promotes Silverlight [1, 2] and there are likely to be patent ‘tax’ issues [1, 2]. But on the other hand, there is also evidence suggesting a departure from SUSE at Intel, which would be important if Moblin ever comes to desktops and thus truly expands.

According to the Linux Foundation’s new Web site, Microsoft and Intel actually collaborate on GNU/Linux in the sense that they intend to achieve pseudo-cross-platform by subscribing to a proprietary Microsoft framework. Miguel de Icaza had similar plans when he argued: “We could refresh the look and feel of the entire desktop with Moonlight.” To quote Linux.com:

Also at the forum in September, Intel and Microsoft unveiled plans to team up on Silverlight technology for Moblin, opening up the door to new sorts of cross-platform applications which might–or might not–include office suites.

Why would Microsoft collaborate with Intel here if it were not beneficial to Microsoft? To quote Sam Dean at OStatic, which interprets another post as “Microsoft may be all for an Intel-backed, Linux-based OS”:

Moblin is an early stage OS, though, focused more on targeted mobile tasks than running a full spate of powerful applications, as Windows 7 can. This post argues that Microsoft may be all for an Intel-backed, Linux-based OS that is in fact stripped down and less functional than Windows 7:

“Microsoft can continue to sell more expensive versions of Windows on more expensive computers with a traditional desktop interface without fearing too much the competition from the cheap Moblin powered netbooks: These don’t look like Windows computers and are clearly for a different purpose.”

It is likely that Microsoft supports Intel for other reasons. Regardless of what Intel does, other companies can offer ‘thicker’ clients which do not comply with Microsoft’s wishes. What Intel does with Silverlight probably requires the most careful watch because it can give Microsoft greater control.

“Every line of code that is written to our standards is a small victory; every line of code that is written to any other standard, is a small defeat.”

James Plamondon, Microsoft Technical Evangelist. From Exhibit 3096; Comes v. Microsoft litigation [PDF]


Flaw and Exploit in Latest Windows and Windows Server? Check.

Posted in Microsoft, Protocol, Security, Servers, Vista, Windows at 7:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chess peon

Summary: A critical vulnerability lacking any real patch has now an attack code which puts in jeopardy Windows Vista Service Pack 1, Service Pack 2, even Windows 2008 Service Pack 1 (soon 2)

For context, see: Microsoft ‘Fixes’ Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 by Disabling Entire Features

Now comes this:

Exploit published for SMB2 vulnerability in Windows

A fully functional exploit for the security vulnerability in the SMB2 protocol implementation has been published. It can be used to discover and attack vulnerable Windows machines remotely. By integrating the exploit into the Metasploit exploit toolkit, attackers have access to a wide range of attack options, ranging from issuing a warning to setting up a convenient backdoor on a user’s system.

Hackers release new attack code for Windows

On 18 September Microsoft released a Fix-It tool that disables SMB 2, and the company said then that it was working on a fix for its software.

Pressure on Microsoft, as Windows Attack Now Public

Metasploit developer HD Moore said Monday that the exploit works on Windows Vista Service Pack 1 and 2 as well as Windows 2008 SP1 server. It should also work on Windows 2008 Service Pack 2, he added in a Twitter message.

Will Microsoft do better than with XP?

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: September 29th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.

Links 29/09/2009: Microsoft Researches Linux, Dell Puts Linux on Board

Posted in News Roundup at 6:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Barrelfish, My Thesis!

    Yesterday, I read about a new OS called Barrelfish in this article in OS news. It is a collaboration between researchers at ETH Zurich and Microsoft Research, an open source multikernel operating system. I liked the idea and decided to get it; I was pretty shocked when I was reading its README file and saw that the OS is created on Linux! As an OS related to Microsoft, I didn’t expect it! :P

    Anyway, it seems that this project is not much related to Microsoft itself, so being developed under Linux is not that shocking!

    Well, now I’m much more interested in the OS as I can investigate it in Linux :) .

  • Ubuntu – good enough for grannies and girlfriends

    My girlfriend, who is in no way interested in computers or open source, now complains about having to use Windows in university, because Ubuntu is so much easier and faster to use. I can imagine the same story is playing out all over the world. Hopefully at least :-)

  • Desktop

    • F/OSS Marketing: Attracting Users AND Contributors

      How do I convince my neighbor to switch?

      Within the F/OSS community we frequently want to tout the virus-free nature of Ubuntu and how it’s free. In some ways I believe we’ve already converted most of the adventurous folks we can convert by using these arguments and randomly giving out LiveCDs

    • Monday, 28 September, 2009

      When I got back from doing that, I got a phone call from one of my sisters. I had given her my mom’s old machine with Ubuntu Linux installed on it, and she had a bunch of questions. I was able to answer all but two of them. Those two I had no experience with. Her first question was how do you install a printer driver on Linux? I had her bring up the Printers support dialog and her printer was already there. She was amazed, considering her experience with Windows on that subject.

    • Dell releases ‘Latitude ON’ alternative Linux OS for laptops

      Tiny system-on-a-chip module combines fast-boot Linux OS and ARM processor to check email, browse the Web and run for days on a standard laptop battery.

  • Server

    • HP-UX gets biannual face-lift

      Update 5 for HP-UX also has also embedded the open source Bastille security lockdown tool inside the HP-UX operating system. Since 2002, HP has offered it as an add-on, using the Linux version and making tweaks to graft it onto HP-UX. The latest iterations of Bastille allow it to automatically harden an operating system, locking down ports and other kinds of unauthorized access.

  • Kernel Space

    • Plymouth Gets A DRM Renderer Plug-In

      There is a generic DRM renderer plug-in that was committed containing non-driver/hardware specific code and then following that was initial support for NVIDIA, Intel, and AMD hardware with this DRM plug-in.

  • Games

    • Quake Live

      Also, Quake Live is surprisingly 100% more fun than Farcry 2. Sad but true.

  • Desktop Environments

    • How Will Users React to GNOME 3.0?

      GNOME Shell’s ambiguous potential lies in the fact that it is an attempt to redraw the computer desktop. Since users neither seem greatly dis-satisfied with the current state of the desktop nor in any agreement about how it could improved, this departure is risky. Some users will undoubtedly reject it simply because it is different, no matter how innovative or useful it is, much as they did with KDE.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • HD-ready set-top player offers NAS functionality

      The NMP-1000 incorporates NAS technologies found in Qnap’s Linux-based Turbo NAS servers, such as the SS-439 Pro Turbo NAS.

    • Real-time JVM rev’d with BeagleBoard support

      PERC Ultra’s AWT/Swing implementation is supported on Linux/x86, Linux/ppc with hardware floating point, and Linux/arm-eabi with hardware floating point, says the company.

    • Phones

      • Irate Android devs aim to replace Google’s proprietary bits

        Google has angered the Android enthusiast community by sending a cease and desist notice to a third-party developer who is building a popular custom version of the open source platform. Google doesn’t want its proprietary bits included in cooked ROMs.

      • The Android-Cyanogen kerfluffle

        What began as a story of evil Google seeking a monopoly on Android apps has become a kerfluffle.

        The opening shot was a cease-and-desist letter issued by Google against Steve Kondik, aka Cyanogen, Kondik was producing a modified Android ROM that included proprietary Google applications.

      • The Android/Cyanogen Dispute Takes Android in New Directions

        Kondik has responded to Google’s cease-and-desist letter by agreeing to develop a workaround, through which he will release a version of his Android-based framework minus Google applications, but allow anyone who has Google applications on, say, a phone, to reinstall them on his own software framework. That’s a creative solution.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Acer Aspire One Linux Netbook

        Netbooks have very much become an integral part of our hyperconnected lifestyles. These smaller computers slot right in between the functionality of a proper smartphone and a larger laptop, making them an affordable way to gain access to the “real” Internet without lugging around a big notebook. While a lot of people prefer to take the route of Windows or even a Hackintosh’d Mac OS X-powered netbook, the cheapest and least resource-heavy route is that of Linux.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Forget Candy, Buy Open Source Software for Charity

    Cybersource has packaged a bundle of open source software on CD that includes popular applications like Audacity, Celestia, Blender 3D, and OpenOffice. It also includes fun apps like Tux Paint and Battle for Wesnoth. Cybersource provides a pamphlet [PDF] that explains the CD’s contents and the concept of open source to potential donors, along with artwork for the CD and jewel case.

  • Open Source vs. Proprietary – Free’s Not Free

    And just like PC vs. Mac, the open source vs. proprietary decision involves considerations that go beyond pure preference. Let’s discuss these considerations and look at how you can make a better decision for your company.

  • 7 Best Free and Open Source Vector Graphics Editors for Linux

    A software application that gives users the ability to compose and edit vector graphics images interactively on a computer is called a vector graphics editor. CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator are some of the most popular proprietary vector editors for Windows. But if you are looking for a capable free alternative that can also work on your Linux box, there are a lot to choose from.

  • What if microsoft were to go Open Source?

    The microsoft programs would be ported to run on more architectures and processors. There would be native versions of msoffice, visio, etc. running on Linux, BSD, Solaris and MacOS. I also think that microsofts programs would get a thorough going over with a fine toothed comb and become more efficient with many bugs and security problems being fixed. There would also be faster and more timely patches being released resulting in less zero day exploits.

  • Mozilla denies it will ‘ribbonize’ Firefox

    Mozilla today denied that it will “ribbonize” upcoming Windows versions of Firefox, saying that its plans to eliminate the traditional menu bar will result in something much less complicated than Microsoft’s often-derided user interface.

  • OpenOffice.org

    • Results of the Renaissance Prototype Survey

      66% responded that they agree or agree totally with this statement about the prototypes, whereas only 14% said they disagree or disagree totally. That means, that in these early stages of the project, conformity with user expectations is pretty good. From the comments (see Calc file), the live previews for formatting changes seem to have been especially well received.

    • Yet another city

      Lyngby-Taarbaek switches to OpenOffice: Will prevent illegal downloading

      All students and teachers in Lyngby-Taarbaek Municipality is now offered free office suite OpenOffice. It may be the same, and students are not tempted to illegal downloads of Microsoft Office, says the CIO.

  • Licensing

    • Linux and the Licensing Two-Step

      One way to meet the intent of the LGPL is to provide the object code for your application and a makefile that re-links your object files with any updated Linux libraries covered under the LGPL. A better way to satisfy the LGPL is to use dynamic linking, in which your application and the library are separate entities, even though your application calls functions in the library when it runs. With dynamic linking, users immediately get the benefit of any updates to the libraries without ever having to re-link the application.

  • Openness

    • Art Geeks and Tech Geeks Come Together at New Workspace

      Open Source is the name for what used to be called the Free Software Movement. Their motto was free as in “freedom”, not free as in “beer”. It was a revolution in grassroots collaboration, and together, as a global team, sharing what they knew and building upon the work of their fellows, they created a computer operating system called Linux. The idea of the GNU license is that you can have it for free, use it, build on it, and even sell it, but you can’t turn around and be all proprietary about it. You, in turn, have to allow your work to be freely built upon.


  • Bank of America Sued for 1,784 Sextillion Dollars

    Assuming that the second comma is a typo, and that Chiscolm actually demanded 1,784 billion trillion dollars, to my knowledge that is at least a new record for stupidly large lawsuit demands. In 2008, someone sued the federal government for more than three quadrillion dollars, but a quadrillion is only a thousand trillion. These days, maybe that just doesn’t seem like a lot of money to people.

  • IBM Supplies Cloud System for Chinese City

    The municipality of Dongying will deploy IBM’s new CloudBurst software and services package to run the region’s planned Yellow River Delta Cloud Computing Center.

  • IBM

    Clearly, IBM has been an important contributor to the GNU/Linux community and has played a major role in facilitating adoption of GNU/Linux in business.

  • AstroTurf

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Tor partially blocked in China

      On September 25, 2009, the Great Firewall of China blocked the public list of relays and directory authorities by simple IP address blocks. Currently, about 80% of the public relays are blocked by IP address and TCP port combination. Tor users are still connecting to the network through bridges. At the simplest level, bridges are non-public relays that don’t exit traffic, but instead send it on to the rest of the Tor network.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Internet Video Celebrity Caitlin Hill 02 (2007)

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

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