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10.04.09

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: October 4th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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

Links 04/10/2009: New X Server, Nexuiz, Arora, OpenSSH, Perl

Posted in News Roundup at 5:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux on everything!

    My current work is mostly related to embedded devices with comms, and as such, I read quite a bit about linux on embedded systems on a daily basis. Mobile phone manufacturers are rushing to linux (android), and recently I became proud owner of one such thing. Many gadgets, like gps devices, pda, mobile phones, netbooks, etc. also run on linux these days.

  • AUDA calls for new .au domain names

    Linux Australia has been the only organisation to use the conf.au domain for its annual Linux Conference — linux.conf.au. Both conf.au and info.au pre-date the AUDA’s existence, but interest in their use is low.

  • Linux Journal Contents #187, November 2009

    It doesn’t matter how big your infrastructure is, even if it’s planetary sized, Linux can handle it. Got massive amounts of data to analyze? Check out our article on IBM’s InfoSphere Streams. Need a SAN on a budget, use Linux to provide it. Messaging problems, try AMQP (Advanced Message Queuing Protocol). In addition to our feature articles, don’t miss our articles on RSpec, DEFCON, Ext3 vs XFS, Virtualization, HIPL, Pokerth, X-Moto and more.

  • Ryan Peters: Intel’s universal R and D shift

    The best way to accomplish this is using none other than Linux’s open source platform. Intel’s version is called Moblin, aka Intel’s Linux Development Community.

    Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, reaffirmed the industry’s direction toward open source development last month at Intel’s Annual Developer Forum in San Francisco, Calif.

  • Computer Hackers Steal Thousands From Steuben ARC

    Authorities say the crooks were from Eastern Europe and used that information to steal the money. Since then, the Steuben ARC has limited their employee’s internet access. They’ve also switched from a Microsoft operating system to Linux, which is said to be tougher to hack.

  • Desktop

    • Computers make big difference for families in need

      The donated computers were equipped with Linux operating systems and free educational software. Charter Communications donated $100 worth of free Internet to each family.

    • Linux is for doing, not socializing

      Linux does fine as it is. With Linux, I have been able to get a lot of work done. In schools, in businesses and at home. Things are getting done. Tasks accomplished.

      They are getting done at a lower cost, they are getting done With less oversight required. They are getting done without any idiot who took a programming class nailing it with a virus or other malware.

      Linux doesn’t need a community. It doesn’t need Facebook or other social site pages or channels.

      Linux doesn’t even need blogs like this.

      What Linux needs is people who are serious about getting things done. Not just java sipping cronies bragging about how little they spend or en vogue what they are using is something not everyone else is using.

      Linux needs tasks to accomplish and people who want to accomplish them.

  • Server

    • LSE eyes Turquoise to boost independence in Europe

      The LSE was expected to replace its Microsoft .Net-based TradElect platform with a Linux-based system from Millennium IT, but that may change if the Turquoise deal goes ahead.

    • How to turn a spare Linux machine into a media server

      Mobile phones, games consoles and even televisions are rapidly developing the ability to read, display and play files held on a media centre PC, and Linux is the perfect free software solution. All you need is a relatively low-powered PC, a decent amount of storage and somewhere safe to hide it.

    • Update: Gentoo in commercial environments

      Hey, I’m the CTO of a small company in Sweden, and this is our short ‘success story’ :-)

      blogg.se is a Swedish blogging platform which generate 130 000 new entries, 150 000 comments and 2 500 new accounts on a daily basis. We currently (September 25th, 2009) have a reach of 2,2M unique visitors per week.

  • Kernel Space

  • R700, KMS, 3D, SSD, and other hardware

    Gosh, just look at all the buzzwords in the title!

    As you may have guessed, I’ll be talking a bit about the recent developments on the FOSS drivers for RadeonHD cards, specifically for R700 cards. And some other hardware stuff.

    Radeon

    Yesterday, October 3, I made some big ol’ changes to my workstation.

  • Applications

    • Nexuiz 2.5.2 Released

      After quite a long beta period we can finally release the long awaited new version of Nexuiz – 2.5.2!

    • Mixero v. 0.51.3 review

      Besides Windows PCs and Macs, Mixero also works with Linux-based computers, and according to the Web site, an iPhone version is in the works.

    • Lightweight Arora web browser turns 0.10.0

      Arora 0.10.0 features the addition of AdBlock to block unwanted online ads and now includes the ability to save passwords so that users don’t have to re-type their information each time they log into a website. The directory listing feature included in the previous release now has the ability to hide and show hidden files when viewing a directory and several keyboard short cuts have also been added.

    • 7 cool VLC features worth knowing

      7. Download YouTube and other online videos: First grab the URL of the YouTube video page.

    • Manage Collections with Tellico

      And you could even have different reports that summarize the information about your collection. You could group the entries according to the filters you want. It’s really nifty. : ) You could even save those reports in HTML so you could upload them on your website, if you want to share such information with friends, family and fellow hobbyists.

  • Desktop Environments

    • Collection of themes for Gnome and Ubuntu- Octobre I-

      Here is a nice collection of themes for Gnome and ubuntu, some themes were updated and somes you will see them for the first time

    • KDE

      • Trying the netbook project made easy

        So new features for 4.4 are that:

        1: plasma style selection is moved from behind right click on desktop, to system settings where are icons, themes and colors?

        2: The independent dashboard option is moved from plasma settings what is shown when user zooms out activies, to “Desktop” place on system settings?

      • So you want to know how important KDE 4 is?

        I’ve followed and written about the development of the KDE 4.0 project on the old version of this blog. Until now however, I’ve never addressed the criticism that some sections of the Linux community have heaped on it. So I’ll just start with this post in the blogosphere that caught my eye.

      • How Important is KDE 4?

        So, how important is KDE 4? To the KDE project, it is absolutely crucial. I hate to say it, but it looks as if KDE 4 has become KDE’s “Vista.” The KDE reputation has been tainted with a divided community, mediocre products, and a seeming lack of solid direction. I can only hope KDE becomes stable at some point in the near future, perhaps by choosing to make their “4.5″ release their stable release fit for refinement and development, much like with KDE 3.5. Perhaps creating that stable environment for people to improve upon could lead to the creation of a new, thriving community, one just as influential as the one when KDE 3.5 was around. Otherwise, they may lose the market they have fought so hard to gain.

  • Distributions

    • Tiny Core Linux 2.3 : Linux 2u

      Tiny Core Linux is a very small (10 MB) minimal Linux GUI Desktop. It is based on Linux 2.6 kernel, Busybox, Tiny X, and Fltk. The core runs entirely in ram and boots very quickly. Also offered is Micro Core a 6 MB image that is the console based engine of Tiny Core. CLI versions of Tiny Core’s program allows the same functionality of Tiny Core’s extensions only starting with a console based system.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Is Hadoop Champion Cloudera the Next Red Hat?

        Cloudera, a startup based in Burlingame, Calif., today announced the release of its first commercial product, Cloudera Desktop. It’s a graphical interface for managing Hadoop, the open-source framework that is catalyzing the data mining renaissance. Cloudera’s Hadoop now works on almost all major cloud platforms: Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and soon, VMware’s vCloud.

    • Debian Family

      • Hymera Open review

        Hymera is a Debian-based, GNU/Linux operating system. It is a relatively brand new distribution developed and maintained by Hymera Engineering S.r.l., an Information Technology outfit based in Milan, Italy. Hymera Engineering publishes four versions of their Linux distribution – Hymera Open, Hymera Desktop, Hymera Evolution, and Hymera Server. This review is of Hymera Open, the free, desktop-oriented version.

      • Ubuntu 9.10 Beta Karmic Koala

        The new Ubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 release is an evolutionary improvement over previous releases in terms of basic functionality but it has significant performance enhancements which include vastly reduced boot up time.

      • Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala Beta: First Looks

        In general, Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) doesn’t introduce a wide array of new features, however it does include small updates to many different smaller areas. As always, it includes updated versions of the pre-installed software. A full new feature list can be found here.

      • Upgrade from Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope to Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

        If the upgrade process is successful and everything is working well, congratulations and have fun with Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala.

      • Trying out Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala beta: dual boot Thinkpad T400

        * It worked extremely well. I now have a machine with Ubuntus 9.04 and 9.10 beta running side by side.

      • Changes to releases.ubuntu.com rsync/FTP access

        Our sysadmins have asked me to advise people about some upcoming changes to rsync and FTP access to releases.ubuntu.com. In order to distribute CD images more effectively, releases.ubuntu.com will shortly be reorganised such that it can only support access over HTTP.

      • Launch Application Menu In Ubuntu With Windows Key

        If you have migrated from Windows to Ubuntu then you might be missing the Windows key. In Windows OS if you hit the Windows Key, the Start Menu shows up instantly but this is not the case in Ubuntu. Ubuntu keeps the launcher shortcuts for applications in the Application menu which is located in the left side of the Panel. Let me share an easy way to configure the Windows Key to launch the Application Menu.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Plug computer design used for storage docking station

      Seagate announced a hard disk drive (HDD) network adapter and docking station called the FreeAgent DockStar, based on Marvell’s Linux-based SheevaPlug Plug Computer reference design. Meanwhile, Real Time Logic’s Linux-compatible application web server software has been released in a SheevaPlug-compatible version.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Anjal – Slick Evolution Interface For Netbooks

        Using WebKit for its mail rendering and composing makes Anjal look very slick.

      • When a laptop’s too much, try a netbook

        Windows XP and Linux are both faster and better choices than the more robust Vista.

      • Google Chrome OS on Chinese netbook next month?

        But a Chinese manufacturer might be about to get a head-start next month by releasing a locally-manufactered netbook that comes with a pre-release version of Google Chrome OS installed, according to reports on a Chinese website that closely monitors the production lines of China’s hundreds of tiny electrical firms.

        [...]

        (Note: the current Yeelong 8089 with Linux retails at 2899 RMB (that’s US$425 or €290) in China, but sells in Europe for €335 at the moment. Not sure if any Chrome version would have the same price).

      • Hi-tech teacher at their little fingertips

        Known as the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Project, to be launched this month, all children from Grades 1 to 5 in nine remote schools, one each from a province, are to be provided laptops by the ministry, the Sunday Times understands. Three private institutions, Chart Foundation, Hatton National Bank and Tigo, have also joined in to provide laptops to four more schools.

      • One laptop per child pilot project

        Bhutan’s aspiration for an information technology (IT) and a knowledge-based society could receive a major boost if the “one laptop per child (OLPC) pilot project” succeeds.

        The One Laptop Per Child association, a US non-profit organisation, and the international telecommunication union (ITU) recently donated 220 XO laptop computers, previously known as the $100 laptop, to Bhutan.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Schools start to move to OpenOffice

    The city of Münster has started a pilot using OpenOffice in schools. The city’s IT department, Citeq, will also switch all of the 150 servers used in its primary and secondary schools over to GNU/Linux. Half of these have already been migrated to open source.
    The changes in the school’s IT systems are part of the overall IT strategy of the city’s IT department.

    At two schools teachers are trying out OpenOffice at the moment. The suite will be made available to all schools in November. “We plan to make OpenOffice the default office application for schools”, says Citeq’s spokesperson Stefan Schoenfelder.

    The city earlier this month reported that 140 of its 360 servers are now running GNU/Linux. In a press statement published last week Wednesday, Citeq states that using open source is making it easier for the departments to share information.

    The administration is also saving considerable costs, writes Citeq. “Open source tools such as Linux are mature, so we consider their use is very economical.”

    Münster is using a mix of Suse and Debian Gnu/Linux for its servers. These are used for instance as files servers, or for running the Typo3 open source content management system. They also use it for the proprietary Oracle database management system and the proprietary ERP system SAP, Schoenfelder says.

  • Strength of support models and symbiosis for free and open source software

    Next, I wanted to address the free software and freedom versus open source and business debate. While this is, similar to open source versus proprietary, also viewed often as a ‘war’ that must have a winner and loser, it is my fundamental belief what without freedom, the ideology of free software and organizations such as the Free Software Foundation, commercial open source would be nothing more than some big vendor’s or big consortium’s latest buzzword, campaign, strategy, etc. Conversely, without the billions and billions of dollars that vendors, channel players and others are making and the costs that customers and users are saving thanks to open source software, the ideology would most likely be relegated to academia and philosophy books. Thus, the two — that is free software and the ideology and open source software and the commercial use of it — are symbiotic.

  • Graphics

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • The Economy: “Systemic Failure Approaches”

    Banks are not prepared, having inadequate Loan Loss Reserves, guarding their profits, denying their reserves, managing their stock prices. They deceive their share holders on continued portfolio risk. They try to shove all their garbage assets on the USFed and to Fannie Mae under the USGovt roof, amidst the shrill cries of ‘Too Big To Fail’ nonsense.

  • Goldman Sachs Should Have More Sensitivity About Bonus Impact, Warner Says

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. must be cautious about handing out record bonuses while the banking industry is still under distress or risk spurring an outcry from Congress, U.S. Senator Mark Warner said.

  • Could Goldman Sachs Share GM’s Bankruptcy Fate?

    The comparison isn’t a stretch. In fact, it wasn’t just a ticker-symbol letter – “G” – that the two companies shared: GS for Goldman Sachs, and GM when General Motors was still a public company. It turns out that their underlying business models also shared similar strategic flaws. And those flaws put the two on a similar path to ruin at the hands of forces that grew out of the crises in their particular industries – crises that they each helped create.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Internet Video Celebrity Caitlin Hill 07 (2007)


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

Patents Roundup: Uniloc Appeals Microsoft’s Dodge, OpenGL 3 Patent Issues Rear Ugly Head, Apple Innovates Crippleware

Posted in Apple, Google, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 10:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: As the title suggests, this is a mishmash of software patent news

THIS is just a quick overview of patent news we haven’t sufficient time to cover thoroughly.

Uniloc-Microsoft

The Uniloc case was previously mentioned here in [1, 2, 3, 4]. The press marks the overturn of a ruling against Microsoft like it did with Alcatel-Lucent about a fortnight ago, but although Uniloc suffers this setback [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], the situation may be temporary because an appeal from the plaintiff is coming. The story is not over yet and it helps in exposing Microsoft's hypocrisy on the patent issue. To quote this finding from Groklaw:

“A simple comparison of MD5 as a whole to the algorithm Uniloc’s patent discloses clearly reveals non-equivalence,” Judge Smith ruled. “While the existence of additional components or different steps does not per se preclude a structure from being considered substantially the same as another structure, the various non-additive mathematical operations in MD5 demonstrate significant (and undisputed) differences between MD5 and the summation algorithm in the ’216 patent [for Uniloc], which cannot be overstated. For example, the compressive, circular shifting and mixing functions fundamentally create a more secure result compared to an algorithm based in summation as the specification discloses. Indeed, the unchallenged evidence was that MD5′s hallmark is the variety of its logical and mathematical steps to obtain a more secure result. This complexity highlights the advantage of an irreversible one-way function with a fixed output, instead of an algorithm that uses a single type of reversible operation (with no fixed output), such as that disclosed in the patent.”

Will we see software patents as a whole invalidated any time soon? All eyes on In Re Bilski.

OpenGL 3

The FSF has warned about it for quite some time. As Heise and Phoronix put it, the patent issues in OpenGL 3 already affect Mesa.

While work on OpenGL 3.x support in Mesa has been very slow, many have been looking forward to the day when Gallium3D hardware drivers provide fast acceleration and a OpenGL 3 state tracker to provide this support to all Gallium3D users. Intel though has also been wanting to bring some OpenGL 3 support to the classic Mesa stack. However, at XDC2009, Intel’s Ian Romanick has expressed some issues with patents that could inhibit the support.

Not to worry though. A solution is currently being worked out in the mailing lists.

[I]t looks like the Linux Foundation could get involved along with the Open Invention Network (OIN) to hopefully reach a proper agreement with the patent/IP holders. Greg Kroah-Hartman brought this 3D patent issue up with the Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board to see what can be done. At this time they are still setting up a meeting.

Misc.

In other patent news, Apple gets caught patenting yet another customer-hostile idea. Microsoft does this too.

Evil is in the eye of the beholder, but there’s certainly not much to like in the newly-disclosed Apple patent applications for Systems and Methods for Provisioning Computing Devices. Provisioning, says Apple, allows carriers to ‘specify access limitations to certain device resources which may otherwise be available to users of the device.’ So what problem are we trying to solve here? ‘Mobile devices often have capabilities that the carriers do not want utilized on their networks,’ explains Apple. ‘Various applications on these devices may also need to be restricted.’

Here is another new example of a customer-hostile patent.

That Whole Watch An Ad To Get Content Thing? Patented… And The Patent Holder Has Been Suing

[...]

So we were just talking about some new company called Free All Music, which has a plan to let people download free mp3s if they agree to watch a video ad first. I have my doubts about how well it would work… but apparently the company may also need to watch out for another issue: a bogus patent.

Speaking of bogus patents, Patently-O has this post about use of patent reexaminations to remove barriers.

Most patents currently being reexamined at the PTO are also being litigated in parallel proceedings in district court. This rise in importance of parallel reexaminations leads directly to both Constitutional controversies and practical problems. Although the Federal Circuit has nimbly attempted to avoid the problem, the truth is that both the PTO (an Article II executive agency) and the Article III Courts focus on the same question of validity of patent claims. These races to conclusion raise questions of both separation of powers and res judicata.

Google and Adobe get sued by a company called Textscape. It’s a software patent, but not a patent troll.

It looks like at least a few of Google’s lawyers who specialize in patent law are about to get some work to do. Google – along with Adobe – has been sued by a company named Textscape because the search giant allegedly violated a patent Textscape was granted in 1998.

Will this lawsuit be beneficial to anyone other than patent lawyers? Probably not. In its latest essay on the subject, TechDirt insists that patents only ever harm innovation.

There are plenty of reasons why people might believe patents increase innovation — but they’re the same theories of the mercantilists in the 18th century, who believed that monopolies on other products spurred more development in those businesses. That theory was debunked and is considered laughable by pretty much any economist today. And yet, when it comes to patents, why do people automatically reject what economists realized two hundred years ago? Monopolies may temporarily benefit the monopolist, but at the expense of society as a whole.

Also see:

Patents do harm innovation if respectable economists and engineers are asked about it; lawyers and monopolies, on the other hand, are self serving, so the more intellectual monopolies, the more business the former receives and the more protection the latter receives.

“IP is often compared to physical property rights but knowledge is fundamentally different.”

IP Watch on Professor Joseph Stiglitz

Microsoft Spreads Intellectual Monopoly Law in Europe and Arab States; EFF Takes on Acacia

Posted in Asia, Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 8:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Community patent keeps marching, Jean-Philippe Courtois lobbies for the Lisbon Treaty, and Microsoft brings intellectual monopolies to The League of Arab States

THE FFII has been warning for well over a year now that unification was means for legalising software patents in Europe. Fingers were pointing at Commissioner McCreevy, who constantly brings up the Community patent [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Axel H. Horns has this update about the Community patent, which remains a big threat to Free software in this continent.

It should not be overlooked that the entire project of an enhanced patent system in Europe is currently set on hold because of the pending referral for the Unified Patent Litigation System to the ECJ.

One of the pivotal figures in Microsoft's lobbying for software patents in Europe is Jean-Philippe Courtois, who also personally participated in blocking migrations to GNU/Linux by dumping [1, 2, 3, 4]. “Linux is obviously a key competitor,” Courtois once wrote to his colleagues. Watch him now as he lobbies for the terrible Lisbon Treaty, which is about “innovation and competitiveness” (being code names for patents).

BUSINESS GROUPS: THE MICROSOFT executive who runs the software company’s business outside of the US and Canada is the latest high-profile business leader to come out in favour of passing the Lisbon Treaty.

Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International, said it was “very important” not just for Ireland but for Europe as a whole that the treaty is ratified.

“We have a shift of power between China, Brazil, the Indias of the world and the US,” said Mr Courtois. “Europe needs to step up both economically speaking and politically speaking. That treaty has to be clearly embodied and move on with all the citizens in Europe.”

The above article from the Irish Times ought to show why Microsoft is the problem. It wasn’t long ago that we wrote about what Microsoft does in Ireland [1, 2], including the creation of "Microsoft IP Ventures" over there (not to be confused with Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures [1, 2]). Microsoft is now doing to The League of Arab States something quite similar:

The League of Arab States, Microsoft Corp. and Khasawneh & Associates (a member of KSLG) today announced the launch of the Arab Intellectual Property Centre, an online portal which will provide a central hub for best practice sharing and legal resources on intellectual property in the Arab region.

Shortly after Microsoft got caught marketing anti-GNU/Linux patents to patent trolls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] we find that the EFF gets its way against Acacia.

Ten claims from the Acacia Research Streaming Media Patent have been invalidated by the U.S.District Court for the Northern District of California. The Court invalidated the remaining claims that had been asserted in the litigation, after several others had been dropped from the suit by Acacia. EFF was not involved in the case, which was brought by Acacia against leading satellite and cable companies, Echostar, DirectTV, Time Warner Cable and CSC Holdings, Inc. Similar claims in related patents will also be invalid under the Court’s analysis.

As a reminder, Acacia is patent troll that sued GNU/Linux vendors shortly after adding Microsoft seniors to its staff. That’s why we follow people’s actions and professional history so closely.

Acacia logo

Microsoft Interjects Itself into Free Software Using Novell

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Samsung at 7:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Got Microsoft

Summary: A roundup of new cases where Microsoft imposes its presence and dependency using its people at Novell

AS mentioned in the previous post, Jason from the Mono-Nono Web site was unimpressed by this latest Mono promotion from Novell. Along the lines of the epic “Got Milk?” slogan, Novell’s marketing team publishes “Got Mono?”

Also discussed was the upcoming Monospace Conference on October 27 – 30 in Austin, Texas. The conference teaches .NET software developers and organizations how to use the Mono framework and Microsoft .NET to leverage existing investments in skills and applications on a broader array of platforms for a broader array of opportunities.

Here is another new post from Miguel de Icaza, who currently endorses a site that attacks Boycott Novell (Miguel also says that Richard Stallman is “misinformed since he refuses to use the web”).

As usual, I will be talking about Mono. But since Mono is an giant universe, I would like to know what the audience would like to hear about.

He carries on ignoring the technical/legal problems and as the Mono-Nono Web site correctly points out, there is no real comment on the betrayal of Novell and Moonlight (due to Moblin [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]).

I’m just wondering when Team Mono is going to comment on Microsoft bringing Silverlight to Moblin?

Moblin’s likelihood of software patents is a real issue and Silver Lie’s inclusion is not good news to GNU/Linux. As Groklaw put it, “may I ask why *you* would want a proprietary, binary-only app on your Linux?”

The Novell employee who created and maintains Tomboy has announced version 1.0 of this principal Mono injection vector and Novell exploits SUSE’s mainframe domination to spread Mono into more servers along with Microsoft software.

It seems simple: The recently released Mono Extension of Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 allows Microsoft Visual Studio users to generate SUSE Linux versions of their Windows applications that run on ASP.NET.

Not just mainframe servers are being infiltrated by Microsoft. Web servers too (Apache to be precise [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17]) have Microsoft push its proprietary software into them. This new post from a Microsoft employee shows how Microsoft pushes its own stuff into Apache, just as observers warned from the very start.

What we’ve done is a Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) Channel for AMQP. Our goal is to provide a first class AMQP experience for the .NET developer. And, since this is an Apache project we’re talking about, all our code is obviously open source.

DotNetNuke, a Microsoft-esque ‘ripoff’ of PHP-Nuke, is another case of countering LAMP servers. Like Novell, DotNetNuke received a special place at Microsoft’s table (the CodePlex Foundation [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]). Amid some changes at the top come the following comments from Groklaw, regarding this article which is titled “Microsoft’s CodePlex Foundation leader soaks in stinging critique.”

“Behind the scenes (private correspondence) we already see how Groklaw is being smeared for its criticism of Miguel and Mono.”Pamela Jones writes: “Let me guess. After that, we will be favored with Gartner reports on how the GPL is no longer the most popular license; rather Microsoft’s “OSI approved” licenses are now the most popular. And so Microsoft takes one more step toward its announced goal, that FOSS applications run on Windows instead of the Linux kernel. Miguel is serving on the board of this foundation. Get the message?”

There is also Black Duck Software, which is derived from Microsoft to privately track software licences and funnel in everything from CodePlex as it already does. This trajectory was long coming [1, 2]. Regarding another article about the CodePlex Foundation, Jones writes: “Let me speculate: the business challenge of how to pretend to be open source without actually playing by the rules? Remember the old joke? How many Microsoft employees does it take to screw in a lightbulb? None. Microsoft redefines Darkness (TM) to be the new industry standard..”

Behind the scenes (private correspondence) we already see how Groklaw is being smeared for its criticism of Miguel and Mono. Some of the smears are more public and Miguel’s friend Jeff Waugh calls me a “motherfucker” in support of an attack site which “faux” 'open source' people have created against Boycott Novell. Their attempt at a shotgun wedding with Microsoft/proprietary software is not working out.

Going back to the issue at hand, there is also the LiMo/Samsung phone which needs to be avoided because it's part of a software patents racket. Fortunately, as the following new article implies, LiMo gets its behind kicked by Android, so this Microsoft-taxed phone from Samsung is unlikely to gain much traction.

The idea of an open source software platform for mobile devices hasn’t made much commercial headway yet – as sales for Google’s Android system attest – but Samsung Electronics is about to give it a try.

Samsung’s deal with Microsoft is similar to Novell’s, so Samsung’s failure would be wonderful news for GNU/Linux and a disaster to Microsoft’s plan against it.

Amicus Avalanche Opposing Software Patents in the United States (Novell Still Missing)

Posted in Courtroom, FSF, IBM, Law, Novell, Patents, Red Hat at 6:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Avalanche at love land

Summary: Red Hat, the FSF, and the SFLC submit amicus briefs for the Bilski case

NOW there is a real chance of ending software patents. Here is a summary of older Bilski briefs and here is a newer list which can also be found at the ABA Web site.

Bilski v. Kappos, Under Sec’y of Commerce for Intellectual Prop. and Dir., Patent and Trademark Office, Docket No. 08-964

So who are the latest filers to oppose software patents? Not Novell of course; Novell is busy applying for more software patents [1, 2]. Red Hat, on the other hand, wants to put an end to this practice, so let’s start with the amicus brief from them.

Red Hat

The most major submission in terms of impact was the one from Red Hat. The company advanced it with a press release, which was followed by coverage from Brian Proffitt (Linux Foundation) and a variety of other Web sites.

David Neal writes in The Inquirer:

Red Hat argues that “patent trolls” have exploited the current legal system, and are developing lawsuits that make the most of the confusion surrounding the hundreds of thousands of patents that “cover abstract technology in vague and difficult-to-interpret terms”.

Here is the perspective of Red Hat’s CEO:

What if you could develop software without risking a patent infringement lawsuit?

What if open source innovation was unencumbered by lurking patent trolls?

What if there were no software patents?

The United States Supreme Court will be reviewing the Bilski case in the coming weeks. The Court’s decision in this case could help move some of these “what ifs” closer to reality.

IDG writes:

Red Hat is adding its say to the Bilski patent case, filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court emphasizing practical problems with software patents.

Red Hat argues that the patent system is supposed to foster innovation, but in software it does the opposite, slowing and discouraging innovation. Software products may involve thousands of patentable components, leaving developers to risk defending costly patent infringement claims.

Groklaw has the brief as plain text.

They stand alone alone so far among vendors, willing to stand up and express what the FOSS community would really say if it could speak with one voice to the Supreme Court. This is certainly what *I* would say if I had that chance. And so I am satisfied. I was going down the depressing list of briefs filed for Petitioner on the ABA’s list of filed amicus briefs, and it was so frustrating to see no one saying anything like what I believe to be technically true about software patents or addressing the specific needs of Free and Open Source software. At last someone has told them what we wanted to say. I just hope the Supreme Court has some techies in the clerk pool!

SJVN is very supportive of Red Hat’s action.

What do Microsoft, Red Hat, and Canonical all have in common? They all dislike software patents. Don’t get me wrong. Many companies that are anti-patent also hold and use patents against their enemies. Microsoft is one of those. But, if you get an in-house corporate IP (intellectual property) lawyer from any company in a bar, he or she will tell you that software patents are awful. So, I’m pleased to report that Red Hat, has filed an amicus curiae brief with SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) asking the Court to adopt the Bilski case ruling and explictly extend it so that software can’t be patented.

Jason from the Mono-Nono Web site brings attention to the following:

Oh and one section in all caps “AN ABSTRACT IDEA DOES NOT BECOME PATENTABLE MERELY BY IMPLEMENTING IT IN COMPUTER SOFTWARE”.

A further note of interest is the references Red Hat draws upon, including thinkers such as Donald Knuth and Richard M. Stallman.

For a laugh, one might like to contrast the vital effort Red Hat is making here attempting to correct what is almost universally recognized as a broken patent system hindering software innovation and personal freedom with Novell’s press release today, “Got Mono?” where Novell takes another opportunity to hawk Mono and .NET.

The next post will deal with this latest Mono promotion from Novell.

FSF

The Free Software Foundation filed a brief, which is available as text too.

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today submitted an amicus curiae brief calling on the Supreme Court to affirm that software ideas are not patentable. After outlining the positive impact that the free software movement and the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) have had on computer use, the brief explains how software patents are an obstacle and a danger to software developers.

SFLC

Even the Software Freedom Law Center submitted a brief, which is further analysed and discussed at Groklaw.

The Software Freedom Law Center has now filed its brief in Bilski. You can read it online here, as well as download it as a PDF or as Postscript. It raises three major points: 1) software is just algorithms for computers in human readable terms, and algorithms are not patentable; 2) excluding software from patentable subject matter encourages innovation in software; and 3) the First Amendment prohibits permitting the patenting of abstract ideas. I think you’ll find that last point the most interesting.

It is worth remembering that IBM is not on the good side.

Nigeria Outsources Its Education to Microsoft

Posted in Africa, America, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Windows at 5:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nigeria Windows logo

Summary: 10,000 secondary schools in Nigeria to receive ICT indoctrination from Microsoft

WE HAVE SEEN many recent reports coming from Nigeria where Microsoft turns students into “Windows people” early in their lives [1, 2]. It does not even take Microsoft bribery in Nigeria in order to achieve; it’s part of the same old digital colonisation of Africa (Asia and South America also).

Here is the latest example where Microsoft takes over Nigerian education.

GOVERNOR Peter Obi of Anambra State has signed an agreement with Microsoft and New Horizons to train over 10, 000 secondary school students on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the state.

From previous reports we’ve learned that Microsoft teaches Nigerian people to recycle old computers using Windows, not GNU/Linux. This is usually marketed as “goodwill” rather than a case of Microsoft protecting its revenue streams and suppressing Free(dom) software. To be fair, not only Microsoft pulls this class of tricks and Bill Gates' investment in Nigerian oil, for example, actually kills many innocent children.

Nigeria should know better. Letting Microsoft people have a say on policy leads to irrational migrations without permission. Meanwhile we find that Google is employing people with a background in/at Microsoft.

Google isn’t opposed to hiring a Microsoft Most Valued Professional. But that doesn’t mean he can keep his Redmond-happy title.

Google should be careful not to employ people whose agenda is with the company that wants to “kill” Google. This is an HR mistake which ultimately leads Google to spreading ActiveX and DirectX, for instance.

Boycott Novell newspaper

The Continued Effect of Microsoft Antitrust Violations

Posted in America, Antitrust, Asia, Finance, Fraud at 4:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mississippi old building

Summary: Citizens are urged to claim compensation from Microsoft; federal Web sites still reject non-Microsoft Web browsers

MICROSOFT’S settlement in Mississippi is a subject that we wrote about in [1, 2]. There’s more news on the subject as a deadline approaches and we know from experience that Microsoft relies on people being too apathetic (or insufficiently informed) to make appropriate claims. This way, Microsoft keeps the ‘crime money’ in the bank.

Mississippi residents have until Oct. 16 to submit claims under the state’s settlement of a lawsuit with Microsoft.

The state received $40 million from the settlement, and another $60 million was set aside for people, schools and businesses to make claims.

[...]

To receive vouchers, people must have purchased certain licensed Microsoft software, or a personal computer with certain Microsoft software installed on it, for use in Mississippi between January 1, 1996 and June 11, 2009. Hood says many schools and small businesses may also be eligible.

Claim forms are available at http://www.agjimhood.com.

The site uses PDF as its preferred format and Pamela Jones at Groklaw complains that a government Web site is still “Asking for IE or *Netscape*.” Several days ago she wrote: “I was looking for information on the H1N1 flu vaccination, to try to decide whether or not to get the shot or take my chances. There is some unknowable, so far, risk of adverse responses, as usual, and so the CDC and FDA have set up a site where you can report any such reactions, so they can track it. It’s called VAERS, or the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. You can fill in the form online. But believe it or not, they suggest Internet Explorer or Netscape. If you recall, the exact same problem came up when we were invited to a conference on technology. Folks, please, seriously, update that page that so that Firefox is included, at least, so people using operating systems other than Microsoft Windows can easily access and report. Who uses Netscape? This is important. We’re talking about people’s lives. Thank you.

This is what one gets when Microsoft commits crime to drive browser competition out of business. One of the people who were on this case at the time is now being interviewed by Mercury News and a similar issue crops up in India:

US Visa application not possible if you use free software!

I wanted to go to the international conference on semantic web to be held in October 2009 near Washington. So I try to apply for US visa. There seems to be no way for a person to apply for US visa without using MS Internet Explorer. Firefox/Mozilla based browsers don’t work. In protest to this unfair practice, I have written the following open letter to the Ambassador of United States in India.

It’s amazing, isn’t it? Are we back in the 1990s?

It is worth remembering that US visas are Microsoft's turf, which is only typical in a system of big egos and hot air.

Global CIO: Ballmer Blasts IBM For All The Wrong Reasons

If Steve Ballmer really believes his comments that IBM has short-changed its shareholders by selling off low-margin hardware businesses, and that IBM’s product line is more “narrow” now than ever before, then Ballmer’s strategy as laid out in his “New Efficiency” letter this morning makes absolutely no sense.

As a side note, Microsoft issued this unusual press release maybe in order to defend and promote its increasing proximity to the banking sector (the Citibank relationship gets tighter). It earns some free publicity for Microsoft which actually paid for it, passing it as “public service” and meanwhile at the SEC Microsoft is mentioned in a fraud case.

U.S. securities regulators charged virtual reality company 3001 AD on Tuesday with bilking $20 million from investors by fabricating plans for an initial public offering and falsely claiming support from tech giants Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Apple Inc (AAPL.O).

Microsoft had its own share of fraud investigations with the SEC [1, 2].

Misconduct

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