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Summary: A lot of Novell news, mostly minor
THERE is a large number of items to go through today, but none is particularly important. We start with the Novell-SCO case.
Summary: OpenSUSE and SUSE news from the past week, ranging from events to technical observations
SLE* was virtually out of sight this week, but OpenSUSE had some stories to tell. We shall go through them very quickly.
This is it folks! We’re almost there for openSUSE 11.2. Time to grab the final 11.2 release candidate and shake out any remaining bugs to get the lizard ready for release. This release includes an updated kernel, Samba, Firefox, and more.
Yesterday i noticed that openal-soft on 11.2 is broken, it just locks up with current pulseaudio.
Apart from some local events, there are the escapades of Joe Brockmeier, who represented OpenSUSE at the Ontario Linux Fest. Pascal from the OpenSUSE Board organises (or helps in organising) FOSDEM 2010, as usual. This time it’s a “Miniconf” he’ll be involved in. The OpenSUSE Board is also looking for new people and Rupert Horstkötter is among the early applicants.
Stephen Shaw (decriptor) and Bryen Yunashko (suseROCKS) have completed their tenure on the Board, and their seats are up for election. There is also a new seat available to be occupied by a non-Novell member.
The KDE 4 experience in openSUSE has been enhanced daily, and while the desktop environment itself has matured significantly since the last release, there has been a constant focus to provide an outstanding delivery of it in openSUSE 11.2.
The highlights include: the openSUSE DVD preselected to KDE 4.3; new Firefox KDE integration; OpenOffice.org KDE 4 integration; consistent KDE artwork; all other standard applications fully ported to KDE 4, including KNetworkManager, Amarok, DigiKam, K3b, Konversation and more.
One blogger calls OpenSUSE 11.2 “the Perfect KDE Distribution.”
OpenSUSE 11.2 comes with a lot of programs that support social networks (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, …etc). Firefox is the king in the area. But if you do not like the default webbased interfaces, you can use other applications like:
* Choqok: New KDE twitter and identi.ca client.
* Kopete: The KDE client now has additional support for Facebook IM protocol.
* Social plasmoids: KDE 4.3 comes with plasmoids for Twitter/identi.ca and openDesktop.
Many major releases of GNU/Linux are coming shortly and this new roundup includes OpenSUSE.
openSUSE was not having rpms for this package. So I went ahead and created a build-service project for this. Go GRAB The RPM (1-click install)
Katarina Machalkova finds OpenSUSE very easy.
OpenSUSE Weekly News may contain a lot more information and there is now an accompanying audio. Sascha Manns is trying to grow the team and he also needs help with other projects, such as OpenSUSE-Medical. It seems somewhat new and rather similar to/reminiscent of the Linux for Education project, whose site says:
Welcome to the GNU/Linux Educational Server. Here you will find collections of useful courses to help you better use the applications found on the Linux distributions. There are also forums, chatrooms, courses, and help materials at your disposal.
At the front page it states: “This site is generously sponsored by openSUSE-Education project.”
That’s actually a positive contribution from Novell.
Here is a somewhat scripted and cocky new video from Ron Hovsepian, Novell’s CEO. We’ve seen more of this type of videos recently — ones where Novell seniors publicly suck up to Intel.
The use of the Teradata software on EC2 is free and good for working with up to one terabyte of data. Teradata runs under Novell Suse Linux Enterprise Server 10.
There is also some chatter about SP3 of SLE*, despite being old news by now.
Samsung, which signed a Microsoft patent deal similar to Novell’s, is still receiving some press for its Microsoft-taxed Linux phones. Some reporters love comparing everything to Apple, which is the wrong thing to do because the target markets are very different.
The 360 service replaces the current Vodafone Live! service and also allows users to back up the entire contents of their phone online, configure the phone’s home screen and manage contacts – in a similar way to Windows Phone’s My Phone service or MobileMe on the iPhone. It will be available across the Vodafone range, and to users on other networks too. Vodafone also confirmed that an iPhone app is in the pipeline.
Apple/iPhone is currently being sued by a company that makes Linux-powered smartphones. █
Summary: Microsoft’s 10-Q reveals some ugly legal secrets and hundreds of millions of dollars in pending liabilities
EARLIER this month we showed that Microsoft had fired many lawyers and cut the legal budget by 15%. Microsoft even demoted its darling, K&L Gates, and regarding the following news, our reader Oiaohm writes: “more MS money bleeding into useless departments.“
Oiaohm points to this new post from Mary Jo Foley, who shows that “Microsoft had accrued aggregate [legal] liabilities of $700 million and $400 million in other long-term liabilities,” based on Microsoft’s 10-Q. Novell is mentioned as follows:
But there’s been relatively little coverage as of late about what’s going on with the Novell antitrust suit filed in 2004 against Microsoft over WordPefect. In June 2005, the trial court granted Microsoft’s motion to dismiss four of six claims of the complaint. Both parties appealed, and in October 2007, the court of appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court, and remanded the case to that court for further proceedings. Fact discovery has closed and summary judgment motions were filed in October 2009
The latest is that a hearing has been set for January 22, 2010, before Judge Motz in the Federal District Court in Baltimore, to present oral arguments on Microsoft’s motion for summary judgment, a Microsoft spokesperson told me late last week.
The 10-Q also mentions “over 50 other patent infringement cases pending against Microsoft, 10 of which are set for trial in fiscal year 2010,” Among those on the list…
“Over 50 other patent infringement cases pending against Microsoft,” eh? Which ones would these be? Microsoft usually tries to prevent these cases from reaching the press. A good example would be i4i [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10], which gives reason to invalidate OOXML. Microsoft kept it secret, which was another corrupt move among many others in the OOXML saga. Microsoft still believes that software patents do not apply to it, only to its competitors.
theodp writes “To exist or not to exist: that is the query. That’s what the famous Hamlet soliloquy might look like if subjected to Amazon’s newly-patented System and Method for Marking Content, which calls for ‘programmatically substituting synonyms into distributed text content,’ including ‘books, short stories, product reviews, book or movie reviews, news articles, editorial articles, technical papers, scholastic papers, and so on’ in an effort to uniquely identify customers who redistribute material. In its description of the ‘invention,’ Amazon also touts the use of ‘alternative misspellings for selected words’ as a way to provide ‘evidence of copyright infringement in a legal action.’ After all, anti-piracy measures should trump kids’ ability to spell correctly, shouldn’t they?”
Novell too is still filing applications for more software patents. Here is the latest:
System and method for detecting and preventing attacks to a target computer system , patent No. 7,610,624, invented by Jason Whitman Keith Brothers of Spanish Fork and Peter Dennis Bartok of Orem, assigned to Novell Inc. of Provo.
Where was Novell when Free software vendors/entities opposed software patents (at the beginning of this month)? Well, Novell’s deeds speak for themselves. █
Summary: The Guardian shames itself by telling obvious lies in a show about Windows
THE GUARDIAN is generally a decent publication, but on several occasions we have shown that The Guardian spreads anti-GNU/Linux venom. It very typically comes from Microsoft Jack. See for example [1, 2, 3]. Just days ago we found anti-GNU/Linux rhetoric in The Guardian, twice even; it’s courtesy of Microsoft Jack again.
Two British readers of ours have independently complained about even worse content in The Guardian, namely a new podcast. ThistleWeb writes: “on the tech podcast from the Guardian, Windows special….Windows rep claiming “we introduced people to the GUI” ROFL”
“It’s a “history of Windows” special,” emphasises ThistleWeb. He adds another mind-blowing quote from the podcast: “One of the principles behind the design of Windows 7 was to make you feel like you were in control…”
“…..without actually giving you control,” sarcastically remarks ThistleWeb.
“Windows rep claiming “we introduced people to the GUI”…”
–ThistleWeb“In fairness it is a Windows special,” he adds, “interviewing MS employees speaking as MS employees….but they do say a number of wrong or misleading things.”
ThistleWeb points out some slip-ups, such as, from the podcast: “the initial impression is how much it looks like Vista, which is the thing I’m not supposed to say.”
Another reader of ours, whose identity shall remain anonymous, writes:
Guardian reinventing history, listen to the audio, MS introduced the GUI to the world.
“We introduced this amazing concept to the world it was called the GUI, the graphical user interface,” –Nick McGrath
Introducing a thing called DDE… overlapping screens or Windows…
Introduced a SDK, a single development kit.. the entire independent software community grow up around Windows…
Introduced file and print management…
Solitaire designed to teach people how to use the mouse? (this it total revisionist bullsh*t)…
Reason why we built NT, no mention of OS/2 or IBM (must be erased from history)…
“You gotta do a transcript,” said this reader, “I notice a lot of this kind of stuff recently. Putting it out on audio/video so as Google can’t pick it up.”
“How much would it cost a business to buy an advert of this size in the Guardian,” asks our reader.
“Listen to the end,” he summarises rather than concludes, “someone calls them on it. Why is it that in interviewing tech CEOs they give them a blank cheque to say what they like without calling them on it?” ThistleWeb wrote a few minutes ago: “I never noticed just how much of a MS shill Jack Schofield is until I listen[ed] to this sh*t.”
Recently we wrote about The Register's adverts that are published as 'articles' or 'whitepapers'. It is all rather sad. The Register also hosts Microsoft podcasts from Gavin Clarke and Mary Jo Foley, who are both Microsoft boosters.
What is happening to the British press? The Telegraph, for example, is now checking GNU/Linux usage in English-speaking countries where Mac figures are very high and GNU/Linux very low; this is not representative of the global sample set at all. There is so much hostility towards Free software in the English-speaking countries, whereas in countries like Italy, France or Germany, for example, the story is vastly different. How about Brazil? █
Summary: A quick note on the effect of page caching in Boycott Novell
SOME readers may wonder why parts of pages do not get updated instantly. For instance, ratings of posts and comments may be hours out of date and we have no choice but to do this (due to the effect of caching). Site readership continues to rise and pageloads can become extremely slow unless more content is served statically, i.e. from cache, and intervals increase. █
Summary: Follow-up to yesterday’s post about the (il)legality of Mono and some new cautionary tales
IN YESTERDAY’S post, titled "Mono and Fraud", one reader attempted to explain why Novell and Microsoft were potentially doing something illegal. Earlier today, the same reader added: “doing that for 5 years establishes to the courts a long term agreement in that regard. Under that agreement, the users of Mono and other Microsoft crap have agreed to pay Microsoft for Linux. Right now it is at the low, introductory price of 0 EUR for the end user and 135 million EUR ($200 million USD) for Novell. At the end of five years, that is in 2011, there can be no question that following the chain of supply from Microsoft to the end user that those end users owe Microsoft. The only question will be how much is paid and by whom.“
In addition, other problems appear in the world of Mono. F-Spot gets slammed for ignoring critical feedback and one blog concludes with: “for the production server for the game, we aren’t convinced yet if we should continue using mono or not. Maybe we’ll release another server using Windows and then we’ll have a good performance comparison showcase.”
“I saw that internally inside Microsoft many times when I was told to stay away from supporting Mono in public. They reserve the right to sue”
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