Latest Dead Products, Delays, and Descends at Microsoft

Posted in Identity Management, Microsoft, Search at 8:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Clashing fronts
Clouds over Microsoft

Summary: Musiwave terminated after Microsoft acquisition, security/identity integration delayed, search falls

A FEW days ago we showed that Microsoft eliminated two more products, followed by yet another. That’s a lot of dead products in less than one week and here is Microsoft merging another and eliminating an old service in the process.

To make matters worse, this report from IDG gives yet more examples of a bundle of existing delays.

Microsoft is on the verge of finally providing some pieces of software to back up its ambitious plan to integrate its security and identity technologies, but the company admits it is moving slower than it had anticipated.

Another undelivered promise is progress in search, the lack of which has had Microsoft lose billions of dollars.

The other day we wrote about figures from StatCounter. Although these cannot be verified, they do offer some relative insight into the continued failure of Microsoft in the search business. The report from IDG concentrates on US-only figures, as usual, as though this has more considerable impact then anything else which is measured.

The new numbers, compiled by online metrics firm StatCounter, show Bing dropping to 8.47 percent of the U.S. market in September. That’s a fall of 1.17 percent from its position in August.

From another source comes the estimate which shows Google exceeding 90% in global market share.

StatCounter also said global search share for Bing and Yahoo also declined. Bing slipped to 3.3 percent from 3.6 percent, while Yahoo dipped to 4.4 percent from 4.8 percent. Google’s global share remained at 90.5 percent.

That cannot make Microsoft particularly pleased.

“Every time you use Google, you’re using a machine running the Linux kernel.”

Chris DiBona, Google

“I’m going to f—ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I’m going to f—ing kill Google.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Microsoft Games — Not Just Consoles — Are Defective, Failing

Posted in Finance, Hardware, Microsoft at 8:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bye, Halo

Summary: Serious reliability issues affect not only the Xbox 360 but also its games

MICROSOFT’S XBOX is a financial mess. One of its developers was in our IRC channel the other day and he appears to be unaware of it; they are told different and inaccurate stories inside the company, especially regarding profitability.

When one in two consoles is failing (thus requiring a replacement), then it’s hardly surprising that Microsoft has lost well over $5 billion in the Xbox business and it still operates at a loss. This helps weaken the company which probably attacks GNU/Linux more than all other companies combined.

It is not just the consoles which are highly defective and error-prone though; scratched CDs are another known issue and amid problems with Bungie comes this report:

Multiple users are reporting having trouble playing Halo 3: ODST on their consoles, with the game either skipping or sometimes not reading at all. The Bungie forums are busy with these reports, but it looks like the majority of players are able to play the game. For some who have the space, installing the game to the hard drive seems to be a common problem-solver.

Microsoft, as usual, downplays the issue. It also turns out, based this new item, that Microsoft charges developers rather than pay them. Why don’t these developers turn to Free software instead then?

“Today many people are switching to free software for purely practical reasons. That is good, as far as it goes, but that isn’t all we need to do! Attracting users to free software is not the whole job, just the first step.”

Richard Stallman

Conficker Strikes Again

Posted in Security, Windows at 7:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A night at the bowling

Summary: Windows-powered computers continue to be hijacked in large numbers due to Conficker

According to this new report from The Register, “Conficker infected communal PCs used by students at Oxford Brookes University on Thursday, leaving sysadmins with a difficult clean-up job.”

This is small potatoes in comparison to a handful of British hospitals that got shut down by Conficker, with new examples appearing all the time. In Australia, Conficker is being called an “Internet meltdown threat,” so taking Windows zombies off the Internet is a likely option there.

In other news including statistics:

Blaming the Conficker worm on the majority of the assaults, Akamai discovered attacks on 4,100 unique ports, with 10 specific ports hit in about 90 percent of the cases. One specific port, 445, used for Microsoft Directory Services, has proven especially vulnerable and was compromised in 68 percent of the attacks, allowing hackers to invade computers with this port open, Akamai said.

The cost of Windows’ poor security is estimated at trillions of dollars.

“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”

Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive

Reader’s Contribution: The Register Sells Out to Microsoft and Novell

Posted in GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, Ron Hovsepian, Steve Ballmer, Videos, Virtualisation at 7:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ron Hovsepian and Steve Ballmer

Summary: The Register on “interoperability and mixed environments” (apparent commercial in disguise)

A REGULAR READER of ours has just watched a Webcast that we previously covered here and criticised. The Webcast goes under the title: “Making IT work in the real world”

Sounds promising and informative, right? The real deal.

This item from The Register on ‘mixed environments’ is what our reader calls “an advert masquerading as technical discussion.” We wrote about this type of practice in the previous post.

“Pay close attention to who the speakers work for,” the informant points out, then giving some examples as follows:

At 6:25 .. please buy our virtualized solution and not that open source Linux stuff ..

The only reason you need virtualization is to save on licenses. With Linux, you can deploy the image any number of times .. DOH !!

At 09:00 Linux training and shortage of skills FUD ?

At 12:43, please go to a mixed Windows/Linux solution. Notice how there is *NO* mention of any other platform.

Oh, wait 13:28 he goes waffling on about licenses.

“IT guys in particular want help in understanding whats the best license model to deploy”

This is classic FUD. Remember this video is aimed at the PHBs who don’t know anything about IT. So basically the talker is telling the CEO the IT staff are not to be trusted. A sad day for The Register.

At 17:40, Linux is relatively new and doesn’t have the decades of support in the real world.

Not as many Linux specialists as other platforms ..

At 19:37: a load of marketing waffle .. going forward bla bla bla …

At 20:12: The Novell/Microsoft alliance is mentioned

At 23:32: Novell is mentioned, it’s the only Linux company mentioned up to now ..

At 25:28: Jose Thomas is interviewed over the phone.

At 3:50: Frank Rego pops up over the phone. It just occurred to me to ask, why didn’t they use the Microsoft video-conferencing app. Oh, wait, that doesn’t actually work in the real world.

“For shame,” summarised the reader, “The Register reduced to spouting free adverts for Microsoft. I assume this is free, or just who ‘sponsored’ it. Notice it’s a video, where we can’t find the text in Google. As usual, aimed squarely at the non-techie CEO.”

To put this in perspective, adds the reader: “What Microsoft did with the MS/Novell deal was to buy some credibility. Street cred with the CEOs of the major companies. Look, see Microsoft has to teach ‘open source’ Novell how to work its own software [...] To have Ballmer on the same platform as Ron Hovsepian (you know those two on your front page).”

The Curse of ‘Sponsored Posts’

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, Marketing at 6:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: A company that publicly curses Free software literally buys its way into article vacancies

JUST OVER a week ago we showed that ZDNet had embedded a deceitful commercial plug as an "article". The lies were later shown and they came from an entity called Nominum, which now responds to the backlash using a sponsored post (“By Nominum (Sponsored Post),” it says at the top).

Was the ZDNet “article” also a “Sponsored Post”? Are publications putting placements up for sale? And if so, then it is worth identifying those. As we shall show in the next post, The Register may be doing exactly that, but The Register has also just responded to Nominum’s ‘damage control’.

Commercial DNS software firm Nominum has responded to the backlash against its criticism of open source alternatives.

In other words, it bought itself a spot (perhaps “yet another”) from which to recite marketing talking points.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: October 3rd, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

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

Government-Microsoft Scandal in Australia is Exposed; BECTA Pays Lip Service

Posted in Australia, Europe, Microsoft at 6:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Australia in tatters

Summary: The arrangement between the Australian Government and Microsoft is revealed and the already-exposed BECTA does ‘damage control’

A few days ago we wrote about the good work of OpenAustralia, which helped expose how the government had been working with Microsoft. Around the same time comes this report from an author who is consistently supportive of Free software.

Microsoft controlling Govt 2.0 funds

The Government 2.0 Taskforce yesterday released a draft contract for those receiving money from its Project Fund, which revealed that any funding contracts will be between successful bidders and Microsoft, not the Commonwealth.

The Project Fund was used by the Taskforce to fund initiatives that will provide input into its final report and building up government agency “web 2.0 capabilities”. The Taskforce has already asked for two rounds of project submissions.

Yet the government has only now revealed that the funding arrangements must be made via Microsoft. It needed to be so because the taskforce was not a legal entity and money was pulled from the Project Fund, according to the government — a partnership with Microsoft that used funds from a special Service Provision Fund.

This is a major scandal and hopefully it’s just the beginning of it. This shows how a foreign commercial entity essentially runs the government rather than the people who elect their officials controlling the government or at least being served by it. The remainder of this article is also eye opening.

Over in the UK, a similar scandal is happening with BECTA, which seems to have turned into some kind of a Microsoft front that helps train (indoctrinate) children for a career in Windows and Office [1, 2, 3]. The heat has apparently gone up so much that BECTA now throws a little token to “open source”.

Schools can now get help from a new community website to help them decide whether open source software might offer benefits for them.


The website is part of a project supported by Becta which aims to raise the awareness of open source software.

Too little, too late. They merely build a sandbox for people to play in, pretending that they paid more than just lip service to interests other than Microsoft’s. A proper action would actually bring Free software into classrooms, not create a goalless portal (crowdsourcing).

“Government attorneys accuse Microsoft of using its monopoly position to bully, bribe and attempt to collude with others in the industry, while illegally expanding and protecting its Windows franchise.”

The antitrust case: a timeline

Links 03/10/2009: KDE4 Developments, OLPC in Rwanda

Posted in News Roundup at 4:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Gazette: October 2009 (#167)

    The October issue of Linux Gazette is now online and ready to peruse. Highlights include:

    * QQ on Linux, by Silas Brown
    * Away Mission – SecureWorld Expos
    * Away Mission – Upcoming in October
    * A Quick-Fire chroot Environment
    * Two is better than one!

  • Linux Has No Marketing, But What if it Did?

    Many users of netbooks don’t need, say, Microsoft’s Office apps running. I use a netbook at home–and at events–for writing, web access, and e-mail. I can use Linux or Windows, so why not use the platform that is free of security problems? That would make for a good advertising campaign. Unfortunately, it’s only an imaginary campaign.

  • Desktop

    • Google SketchUp Delights the Mind

      Here is how I came to design that museum. At my public library job, I help youth and adults who use the 28 Linux stations we have available seven days a week. Into the computer center walks a community resident, Kwadjo Dixon, from Ghana. The town I work in, Takoma Park, has residents from 92 countries. That makes for an interesting workday for me.

    • Invisible Locked-Up Linux and Crippled Linux

      Locking up Linux inside black boxes goes against its reason for existing in the first place. I wonder if all those people who call Richard Stallman an outmoded relic and lunatic still think he’s wack for writing GPL3? This is why I keep talking about not leaving Linux and FOSS in the hands of big business, and bugging ordinary individual users to become contributors, and to keep the non-corporate Linux community thriving. We should have intersecting interests with our friends the big globalcorps– we want to buy cool devices to use, and they want to sell them to us. But somehow that simple equation has become terribly distorted and we no longer have intersecting interests, but have to watch our backs every minute because we can’t trust them to not pull some sneaky exploitive dodge.

    • The Twisting Path To Linux

      He called Microsoft.

      Go ahead…groan, it’s ok. I did too.

      Bill was summarily told to call Acer…it was their problem. Since there was nothing “wrong” with the operating system, the ball was in Acer’s court, not theirs. He called and searched until he found the right number for their support…the support that deals with new and warrantied computers.

      Guess what he was told…told a few times actually because the tech agent had an accent that Bill found hard to understand…?

      Take the computer to a local repair shop and let them deal with it.

      Pain threshold reached.


      SuperOS along with Linux Mint are the two standards for our HeliOS Solutions and HeliOS Project installs. No muss, no fuss…everything works out of the box…no futzing around with enabling Multiuniverse repositories…the average computer user wouldn’t know where to look.

      Hence, our choices of distros.

      Bill was at home with the Gnome Desktop within minutes. He didn’t care for the color theme so Dave showed him how to change it, modify it to his liking and get new themes to play with.

    • The Laptop Renovation Project

      At my office, we have a pair of old laptops purchased back in 2003 or 2004, which are terribly slow, woefully underpowered and horribly outdated, but which we still use periodically. In other words, they made a perfect target for an OS makeover.

      Anyone who has run Windows XP on a P4 with 256MB of RAM should be able to appreciate just how sluggish these machines are. So with my boss’s blessing, I gathered the two machines and tried to breathe some new life into them.


      Long story short, that didn’t work out so well. Did I mention these laptops were excruciatingly slow? Well, apparently YAST isn’t happy with less than 1 GB of RAM, so I went back to the drawing board. Trent had mentioned to me that he’d heard good things about Mint, so I pulled down Mint 7 and decided to give it a look.

  • Applications

    • Open source privacy enhancer BleachBit 0.6.5 released

      BleachBit frees disk space, removes hidden junk, and guards your privacy. Erase cache, delete cookies, clear Internet history, remove unused localizations, shred logs, and delete temporary files.

    • Five Really Fun Open Source Video Games

      Life can’t be all work, all the time. You need to make room for some fun and games. When you’re ready to kick back, kill some aliens, or riff on a guitar, here are some really fun open source video games to check out.

    • Teaching Kids Programming with Free Programming Languages

      Teaching young students or even your own kids to learn or be interested in programming can be really daunting. However, there are free programming languages that are designed to teach children the basic concepts and elements required in traditional programming that you can use to get the job done quite easily. Most of these languages are graphics-based that makes them fun and attractive for young ones or even for adults who are absolute beginner in programming. So enjoy and teach your kids programming with these free programming languages.

    • Mini-review: JayCut video editor for netbooks

      A couple of weeks ago, Swedish start-up JayCut began offering video editing software to netbook OS integrators using Moblin technology. Frankly, I found the thought of editing video on a netbook so improbable, I had to check it out myself.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Ten Of The Best GNOME Themes

      When I first began using Linux back in 2001, the themes I saw were beautiful but they don’t compare to some of the themes I’m seeing lately. I’d like to show you some themes which will, in my opinion, spark more interest in GNOME themes.

    • KDE

      • Akonadi, Nepomuk and Strigi explained

        Let me start with Soprano. Soprano is a Qt library for accessing semantic storage (RDF). In many ways, Soprano can be compared to the QtSql module, the key difference is that QtSql accesses relational data with SQL as the query language, whereas Soprano accesses semantic data with SPARQL as the query language.

      • KDE 4.4 Address Book to use Akonadi

        Akonadi is the magic word for data storage for the KDE 4 desktop. Unfortunately none of the KDE 4 apps really use it. The KDE address book, KAddressBook, should become the first to do so.

      • small steps every forward

        Today I managed to get rid of one in memory pixmap for every Plasma::Applet with a background and cut back on the use of the SVG cache at the same time; in doing so I found a couple of subtle bugs in the use of the SVG cache by Plasma::FrameSvg and fixed those as well. The end result is that Plasma now uses a bit less X11 pixmap memory (or whatever the equivalent of that is on the host system if it isn’t x.org based), backgrounds for Plasma::Applet objects are correctly cached and the blast of disk activity that was being triggered while resizing widgets is gone.

      • Amarok 2.2 Has a Completely New Look and Feel

        Lydia Pintscher announced yesterday the release of the much-anticipated Amarok 2.2 music player for the K Desktop Environment. Dubbed “Sunjammer,” this version has a completely cleaned-up user interface, Playlist manager enhancements and fixes, a better Context View layout, faster music folder scanning and improved import capabilities, and even Dynamic Playlists that can better predict the music that you would want to hear.

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon Linux x86/x86-64 5.o GNOME and KDE Released

        After a tremendous, though work, Sabayon5 is eventually here with a joint release between GNOME and KDE editions. Dedicated to those who like cutting edge stability, out of the box experience, outstanding Desktop performance, clean and beauty. Sabayon 5.o (five-point-ooh!) will catch you, anything that could have been compiled, has been compiled, anything cool that could have been implemented or updated, it’s there: you will find outstanding amount of new applications and features, like XBMC 9.04.1 (formerly known as Xbox Media Center), KDE 4.3.1, GNOME 2.26, E17, Linux kernel 2.6.31 and so forth.
        So, come on, go catch it, it’s half a DVD away from you!

      • Press Release: Sabayon Linux x86/x86-64 5.o GNOME and KDE
      • For me, Gentoo is about *convenient* choice

        Another part where choosing is made convenient in Gentoo are testing and unstable programs.

        I remember my pain with a Kubuntu, where I wanted to use the most recent version of Amarok. I either had to add a dedicated Amarok-only testing repository (which I’d need for every single testing program), or I had to switch my whole system into testing. I did the latter and my graphical package manager ceased to work. Just imagine how quickly I ran back to Gentoo.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • PlayOnLinux is in Ubuntu’s repositories

        It’s official now, PlayOnLinux will be available directly in the Ubuntu distribution soon! is what annouced Playonlinux team sometime ago, the confirmed that PlayOnLinux 3.5 will be available in Ubuntu’s “universe” repository for the next release, Karmic Koala, in October.

      • How to manage your updates in Ubuntu

        One of Ubuntu’s strengths is its package management system.

      • Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala” Beta Reviewed (Screenshots!)

        Yesterday I installed the Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala” Beta release by way of the desktop (Live-CD) based installer. The installation was very clean and polished. It has been a while since I’ve used a graphical installer and I am pleased with the improvements that I found. It definitely rivals any “professional” or “enterprise” install session that I’ve ever seen, and easily beats them in terms of speed and ease. I’d like to give a short review of the Beta release and encourage everyone to try it and finalize any remaining bugs.

      • First Look: Ubuntu 9.10 beta “Karmic Koala”

        Looking good so far … looking forward to the final release due October 29th.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Acer to shift focus to Android smartphones

        Acer, while still developing Windows Mobile-based smartphones, has shifted its development policy to focus more on the Android platform, with at least half of new models launched in 2010 to be Android-based, according to industry sources.

      • Acer is starting to ignore Windows Mobile

        WHILE IT IS STILL developing Windows Mobile-based smartphones, Acer has shifted its development policy to focus more on Google’s Android, reports Digitimes.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Maximum PC Primer: Lightweight Netbook Computing with Linux

        These days, netbooks have become a very popular alternative to conventional notebooks for mobile computing. Netbooks are lightweight, have great battery life, and are relatively inexpensive compared to full-sized notebooks. This makes them ideal for students or people on a budget. Of course, the lower cost and extended battery life does not come without a trade-off—many netbooks have lower system specs as well, which means that they are not designed for heavy-computing applications.

      • Charity laptop in Rwandan school

        Rory Cellan-Jones visits a school in Kigali where children are using computers supplied by the One Laptop Per Child project.

      • Laptops for all

        FOR the past year the pupils of Escuela 95, in a poor neighbourhood of Montevideo, have had a new learning tool. Each has been issued with a laptop computer. This has been of particular help to the 30 or so children with severe learning difficulties, says Elias Portugal, a special-needs teacher at the school. Before, he struggled to give them individual attention. Now, the laptops are helping them with basic language skills. “The machines capture the kids’ attention. They can type a word and the computer pronounces it,” he says.

      • The Innovator’s Opportunity with OLPC

        So where does that take us? Aha! It takes us to the XO-2 screens. According to the designers, that means multi-touch haptic screens usable as display or keyboard.

      • Video: XO-1.5 Laptop Dual Boot – Gnome and Sugar UI

        You’ve heard the talk about the XO-1.5 laptop having a dual boot of Gnome and Sugar user interfaces on the Fedora 11 core. You’ve been thinking how this dual boot system might work, and how easy it would be to jump back and forth between the two.

      • ZaReason’s New Terra A20 Ubuntu Netbook: Everything Works

        What follows is our hands-on review of the device and how it fairs for the mobile traveler.

      • Google’s Chrome OS might tip up soon

        CHINA’S SHANZAI IT news website has reported that Google’s Chrome OS might show up in inexpensive Chinese-made netbooks as early as mid-October.

      • First devices with Chrome OS this month?

        The first devices with the new Linux based Chrome OS from Google will probably hit the markets this month. This Operating System is mainly targeted at netbooks.

      • Test run: Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 Beta on my Dell Mini 10v

        Impressive for a beta release. Of course there are few glitches but overall it feels great: I’m writing this article from my Mini 10v running an Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 Beta live system.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-Xchange Adds Push E-mail for Mobile Phones

    Open-source collaboration software vendor Open-Xchange is launching OXtender for Business Mobility, which adds support for push e-mail to mobile phones that use Microsoft’s ActiveSync protocol, it said on Wednesday.

  • Cloudera hangs (more) elephants in sky

    Cloudera – the commercial Hadoop outfit – has launched beta programs for running its stuffed elephant distro on the sky-high compute services run by Rackspace and SoftLayer.

  • Web GUI hides number-crunching open source elephant

    Cloudera – the startup that commercialized the Google-like number crunching of the open source Hadoop project – has unveiled the first web-based GUI for running applications on the much-hyped distributed computing platform.

  • Five open source help desk apps to watch

    If your help desk software is giving you trouble, there are some open source options available to help ease your pain – without the high cost.

  • Report: More SMBs Are Adopting Open Source

    Of course, since the study was really intended to draw attention to MySQL, it does go on to show how a strong increase in the adoption of MySQL is expected. If this interests you, you might want to check out the actual survey here (free registration required).

  • ProDaMa: an open source Python library to generate protein structure datasets

    The huge difference between the number of known sequences and known tertiary structures has justified the use of automated methods for protein analysis. Although a general methodology to solve these problems has not been yet devised, researchers are engaged in developing more accurate techniques and algorithms whose training plays a relevant role in determining their performance.

  • Chinese IT shops love the free-ness of open source

    If everything is free in the Land with No IP – not TCP/IP, but rather intellectual property – then it stands to reason that IT managers and programmers in China would love open source software.

    And according to the fourth annual open source survey done by Actuate, a maker of open source business intelligence and reporting tools, Chinese programmers do indeed love open source.

  • Open Source Changing Face of Content Management Market, Says Report from Basex; Choosing the Right Platform is More Critical than Ever

    The report series is being published on a subscription basis and includes an in-depth industry survey, Content Management Systems: The New Math for Selecting Your Platform, and 16 Vendor Profiles of key content management providers and their offerings.

  • 3Di, Inc. Releases Open Source Virtual World Viewer for OpenSim: Offered Under Developer-Oriented BSD License and Aimed at Driving Industry Adoption of 3D Internet

    3Di, Inc., which develops and offers 3D Internet solutions (Head office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; CEO: Satoshi Koike; hereinafter referred to as 3Di) has today launched an open source project, named 3Di Viewer “Rei”, for viewing and interacting with OpenSim-based(*1) 3D virtual worlds in web browsers.

  • Seneca students’ 3D triumph — open source creation a bonanza for digital games, movie production

    The motion capture technology that is often used to create realistic-looking action sequences in movies and video games takes a lot of manual labour to correct flaws. But thanks to a Toronto college and a Montreal developer, one games studio is now spending less time reconnecting limbs to all the right places.

  • Open Source GIS with Advanced Printing Functionalities, Geomajas 1.4.1

    The team of expert GIS developers from Belgium that have developed the Open Source, web-based editable GIS software framework Geomajas have now released the new and improved stable version 1.4.1. (www.geomajas.org).

  • Open Source More Prevalent In Asian Organisations Says IDC

    Organisations across the Asia Pacific region are increasingly looking at open source software with an eye on reducing overall IT related costs according to a study conducted by research analyst firm IDC.

  • British Telecom picks Jaspersoft for analytics

    If you need further proof that open-source applications are ready for prime time, take today’s news from open-source business intelligence company Jaspersoft, which announced that British Telecom is using its business intelligence suite to support more than 8 million voice mail subscribers.

  • Case study: BT uses open source BI to support its voicemail system

    BT has deployed open source software to support its voicemail system, which currently serves around eight million UK customers.

    With the help of systems integrator Unisys, the telco deployed Jaspersoft ’s open source business intelligence (BI) software in its statistical data warehouse (SDW) around 18 months ago, following an initial six-month development project around the source code.

  • ALRC going for open source CMS website

    The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) is trekking down the open source path, putting out a tender for a content management system (CMS) to integrate with a planned new website.

  • Zmanda Does Cloud Storage for Less with Open Source

    Zmanda Cloud Backup is based on the open source Amanda backup software, which Kant said saves the company “the hardest part of development.” Kant said the service is easy to set up and use, requiring that users simply decide “what, where and when” to back up. Files are stored in a native format, so they can be accessed even without the service.

  • Mozilla


  • Openness

    • AMD Announces Open Physics Initiative

      A press release from AMD today announces the development of an Open Physics Initiative, together with Pixelux Entertainment. Pixelux is the developer of the Digital Molecular Matter (DMM) physics system used first in LucasArts’ Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.


      Note that this doesn’t mean that Pixelux’s software will be free or open-source as Bullet is, but that it will allow licenses to use a the free and open-source Bullet library for a base level of physics and then to license and layer Pixelux’s DMM engine on top of that – and all of it accelerated on any GPU with an OpenCL driver.

    • AMD touts Open Physics Initiative

      Under the agreement, Pixelux will integrate its Digital Molecular Matter technology with open source physics engine Bullet.

    • Open Source: Green Vehicle

      These days Open Source objects of art and operating systems are able to compete with mainstream commercial versions. But most Open Source projects are in the state of pure art, defying established notions of conducting business, developing technology and pushing boundaries of creative possibilities.

    • Google wriggles in open voice and browser debates

      This has given rise to a new group, the Open Android Alliance, which says its goal is to “replace all closed source, proprietary applications in the base Android install with open source applications that can be freely distributed. We don’t have anything against the existing closed applications. However, we believe in open platforms and want all users to be able to modify their systems as they see fit.”

    • Stanford open-source “Frankencamera” could revolutionize photography

      Stanford University (Stanford, CA) scientists say they are out to reinvent digital photography with the introduction of an open-source digital camera that will give programmers around the world the chance to create software that will teach cameras new tricks, meaning camera performance will no longer be limited by the software that comes pre-installed by the manufacturer.

  • Programming

    • Make a Python game in minutes with Gloss

      In this tutorial, I’m going to walk you through what it takes to make a simple game with Pygame + Gloss. All the code is already written (and I think you’ll find it very short!) so it’s just a matter of explaining to you what it does and why. We used Linux (naturally), but both Pygame and Gloss should work fine on Windows too – make sure you have Pygame, Python OpenGL and Gloss installed, and if you’re on Linux you’ll also need the Numpy Python module.


  • Oracle Fined by TPC Over Benchmarking Claims

    The Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC), of which Oracle is a member, said it had asked Oracle to pay a US$10,000 fine for the violation.

  • Amazon coughs $150k to student over lost notes

    A student who sued Amazon for deleting George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four from his Kindle ebook, rendering his notes useless, has won $150,000 along with protection for other Kindle users.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • A bright future for your Evening Standard

      From Monday 12 October your London Evening Standard will become the first quality newspaper in the world to go free.

    • BPI Unhappy With Techdirt, Seeks To Correct The Record… But Still Gets It Wrong

      So, we recently wrote about how Geoff Taylor, head of BPI (the UK’s equivalent of the RIAA) seemed to be going after British Telecom (BT) with a variety of highly questionable claims about how BT had some sort of obligation to stop file sharing on its network, and that BT was using unauthorized file sharing to prop up its own business model. Both claims are flat out ridiculous, but BPI apparently was quite upset with us pointing that out. Of course, rather than actually respond in the comments where we might have a conversation about it, they’ve been sending us a series of emails, taking issue with our statements and laying out their claims in more detail.

    • Entertainment Industry Propaganda Organization Kicks Off Hilarious Astroturf Letter Writing Campaign

      The “Copyright Alliance” is a propaganda organization put together by the entertainment industry, pretending to focus on “the rights of creators,” but which has always been focused on strengthening the monopolies of the middlemen (the same folks who quite frequently screw over the creators). Recently, the Copyright Alliance came out with its latest astroturfing attempt, with an automatic letter generator that will pop out cloned letters that the Copyright Alliance itself will send to President Obama and Vice President Biden.

    • We Are Copyright Alliance, Hear Us Roar

      It is very hard not to laugh in the face of such ugliness and to wonder where the reason is in such dysfunctional nonsense, but what came to my mind was Helen Reddy’s 1972 anthem, which began: “I am woman, hear me roar/In numbers too big to ignore.” The moral panic in the Alliance’s letter is that the very essence of what makes America America is threatened by evil forces that supposedly have launched an assault demanding that Helen Reddy and her 11 million colleagues give their works away for free, that the evil doers be permitted to have their way with the vestal virgins of America’s copyright sweethearts. This is of course complete baloney. Name one piece of pending legislation that would accomplish what the Alliance claims. Name one lawsuit currently pending that would accomplish what the Alliance claims. There are none.

    • Google strips Pirate Bay homepage from search results

      The Pirate Bay’s homepage and seven other pages relating to the BitTorrent tracker website have been removed from Google’s search engine, following a DMCA complaint.

    • Informed P2P User Act to clamp down on filesharing software

      Concerned that too many peer-to-peer software users don’t know what they’re installing and what they’re sharing, the House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday passed the “Informed P2P User Act” and sent it to the full House.

    • Court Once Again Confirms Right Of First Sale For Software: You Own It, Not License It

      Excellent news. In the ongoing case involving Autodesk and a guy, Timothy Vernor, who was trying to sell legally acquired used versions of AutoCAD on eBay, the district court judge has ruled that Autodesk has no right to restrict the sales of its used software. This wasn’t a huge surprise, as the court indicated as much last year, when it refused to grant Autodesk’s motion to dismiss the case. But this is an important ruling for a variety of reasons.

    • EA Asks Gov’t To Dump Ridiculous Langdell ‘Edge’ Trademarks

      Earlier this year, we wrote about Tim Langdell and his claim of owning a trademark on the word “edge” when used in any kind of video game. Of course, Langdell last came out with a game himself in 1994, which makes the whole trademark claim pretty iffy. You need to be using your mark in commerce for it to be valid. Instead, Langdell just seems to be trying to stop anyone else from using the word “edge.”

    • Electronic Arts Sues to Cancel Langdell’s Trademarks
    • Australian Pirate Party sets sail

      The launch of the Pirate Party in Australia adds yet another voice to the fast-growing global network of buccaneer politics: a pirate internationale appears to be taking shape.

    • Shameless Self-Promotion: Updating the Lanham Act for the Internet Age

      I have an article in the newest issue of World Trademark Review. Entitled “Updating the Lanham Act for the Internet Age,” the article looks at four areas for reform of the Lanham Act: fair use, use in commerce, adoption of statutory safe harbors, and the famous marks doctrine.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Internet Video Celebrity Caitlin Hill 06 (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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