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IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: October 19th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 10:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


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Links 19/10/2009: Uruguay’s GNU/Linux Deployment, Monty Wants Independent MySQL

Posted in News Roundup at 10:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux is just too open

    The Problem with Linux is that it is forthright, open and honest.

    Now I know how much the editors here hate when I anthropomorphize an operating system, but it is fundamentally true.

    Linux, in my view, remains almost too honest and too open.


    Thus, they return to their old love and never really find out why so many open networking connections occur mysteriously in the background, beneath attire that they will never probe. And thus they will routinely be exposed to vulnerabilities that they could have potentially avoided with Linux.

    Sadly, perhaps Linux is just for those who can appreciate what’s underneath.

  • A math teacher with his students bring Desktop4education to austrian schools

    This is an introduction to a case study that was published recently, this case study is a good example for everyone of us, if we need to extend the use of opensource and especially Linux we need to start from the basic, that are our children, and the best place where to start , are the schools .

  • Tom’s Definitive Linux Software Roundup: Communications Apps

    In this segment, we will be focusing on communications applications. While these apps still rely on Internet access to function, their focus is to allow the user to communicate with other individuals using the Internet simply as a transit medium. We will go over Personal Information Managers (PIM), email clients, Instant Messengers (IM), Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software, and Internet Relay Chat (IRC) clients. That means replacements for Outlook, Outlook Express, Trillian, and mIRC are to be found within. Many of these apps you may already be using in Windows. Mozilla Thunderbird, Skype, Pidgin IM, and others have native Linux installations available, too.

  • Everything Linux store set for opening on Friday

    Open Source and web development consultancy Babel Com Australia has announced plans to open online retailer Everything Linux Store (ELS) as a bricks and mortar shopfront in Crows Nest, Sydney on October 23.

  • Nanorobot Invention and Linux: The Open Technology Factor – An Open Letter to UNO General Secretary

    Abstract: This is an open letter, which discloses an outline on the current status of nanorobotic cutting edge technology trends in software development, bioinformatics, proteomics, nanotechnology, and manufacturing integration. It provides a layman’s description of a practical platform to effectively boost the development of nanobiotechnology, and to manufacture nanorobot hardware architecture for medical defense that will benefit humankind. The core description of the present initiative is based on Linux strategies. The basis and key advantages of such an approach are clearly described next. Nanotechnology should be used for peaceful purposes based on ethical practices to provide a human heritage. The nanorobot invention has an impact on current history and provides a legacy for coming generations.

  • Desktop

    • KELLNER: Ubuntu Linux powers up

      I haven’t played with 9.10 yet, but I have used the most recent “stable” release, Ubuntu 9.04. It’s a very nice operating system: graphical, easy to learn, and equipped, out of the gate, with a Web browser, e-mail client and productivity suite. It loaded on my system without crashing the main OS, and it ran well. I could connect to the Internet without hassle, and thus had a world of options open to me

    • Migration from Mac to Linux

      When in OS X (and in Windows) the default action is a very predictable beast. You want to make sure this is mimicked in Linux. In GNOME you can right click a file, select Open With, and then set that as the default application for that type of file. As much as this might seem second nature, for OS X users this is simply not an issue. Having everything so well integrated is not a feature on OS X, it’s a requirement. So make sure everything works exactly as expected BEFORE the OS X user touches their Linux box.

    • Two ways Linux can win market share from Windows

      Ways I believe Linux can become the dominant operating system on desktop computers:

      1. Kids need to get used to it in school. As long as teachers accept free software from Microsoft and shun Linux in school, there is NO way Linux will become mainstream.
      2. Games! There needs to be a range of good quality easy to install mainstream commercial games that can work on Linux. There are a few, but too few and far between.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux drivers for Visioneer & Xerox DocuMate Scanners

      JFL Peripheral Solutions has announced the availability of new Linux drivers, for Visioneer and Xerox DocuMate scanners.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.32 (Part 1) – Network subsystem and network drivers

      Between Thursday evening and Friday morning, Linus Torvalds released the fourth release candidate of Linux version 2.6.32, although, due to the typing error in the first release candidate (RC1 was mis-labeled RC2), it is called 2.6.32-rc5 instead of 2.6.32-rc4.

    • NVIDIA GeForce GT 220

      To Linux users these graphics cards are also interesting in that they fully support all of the current features of VDPAU for Linux video decoding, including MPEG-4 support. We picked up an XFX GT220XZNF2 GeForce GT 220 1GB graphics card for this round of benchmarking on Ubuntu Linux.

  • Applications

    • 10 of the Best Free Linux Relational Databases

      A relational database matches data using common characteristics found within the data set. The resulting groups of data are organized and are much easier for people to understand. In such a database the data and relations between them are organised in tables. A table is a collection of records and each record in a table contains the same fields. Certain fields may be designated as keys, which means that searches for specific values of that field will use indexing to speed them up.

    • Articles : Platinum Arts Sandbox Free 3D Game Maker 2.4 Release!

      The Platinum Arts Sandbox Free 3D Game Maker 2.4 Release has arrived! Platinum Arts Sandbox Free 3D Game Maker is an open source game design program for kids and adults featuring in game map/world creation! The focus is to make the process of creating games and worlds easy enough for kids but powerful enough to create full game projects. Supports Windows, Linux, Mac (we someone to compile the binary!).

    • Stumbling and Sniffing Wireless Networks in Linux, Part 1

      Do you need to stumble or sniff networks? Do you need to do a Wi-Fi site survey, troubleshoot network annoyances, or make sure your employees (or children) aren’t misusing the Internet? Sure you can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on commercial network analyzers–usually for Windows–but Linux and the open source community offer some great tools.

  • Distributions

    • Review of iMagic OS 2009.9

      In September, the iMagic team released iMagic OS 2009.9. The iMagic OS distribution has a lot of strong selling points. They offer a modern, easy-to-use desktop with all the common media codecs and plug-ins an end user would expect from a desktop OS. The iMagic distribution also claims the additional bonus of being able to run Microsoft Windows applications out of the box. The iMagic project leader, Carlos La Borde, was nice enough to provide a copy of the project’s latest release for me to test drive.

    • Is there a best distro?

      What is the best Linux distribution? Not what is the best distribution for a server or what is the best distribution for a netbook, but what is the best general distribution. This made me step back and think for a couple of seconds. All of the distributions start from the same point. The kernel is essentially the same in every distribution, so that is not a differentiator. All of the distributions contain a selection of rich applications, and many distribution contain the same selection of applications, so that is not a clear discriminator.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Hilal Computers to make GITEX debut

        Hilal Computers was appointed a Red Hat Advanced Business Partner (ABP) for IT infrastructure in August 2009. It is the only Red Hat-certified partner in Bahrain with the technical and business capabilities to deploy Red Hat open source solutions and support in locally.

      • Open source, free software and Linux – How does Red Hat make money?

        Red Hat is the leading software company using the open source model. We’re a member of the S&P 500 and one of the fastest growing, most profitable public software companies. We’re best known for the Linux operating system where we have 80+% share of paid Linux. But we also have a full suite of enterprise infrastructure software and basically open source software is a development model where source code is open and freely redistributable.

    • Debian Family

      • Review: Parsix GNU Linux 3.0 Kev!

        It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon here in BC Canada. What a better day to look at Parsix GNU/Linux 3.0 “Kev” for my first time. A little background about this distro from Parsix.Org.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 164

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #164 for the week October 11th – October 17th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Archive frozen for preparation of Ubuntu 9.10, Unseeded Universe/Multiverse Final Freeze Schedule, Ubuntu Open Week: November 2-6, 2009, LoCo News, New lpx project group for Launchpad extensions, Launchpad’s status page, Ubuntu Forums Tutorial of the Week, Stefan Lesicnik: Debian 2 Ubuntu – Security FTW, Ubuntu-UK Podcast: Beautiful Chaos, 0 A.D. Promises Real Gaming for Ubuntu, and much, much more!

      • Top 5 New Things in Ubuntu 9.10
  • Devices/Embedded

    • MontaVista rev’s carrier grade distro for 4G

      MontaVista Software announced a new release of its Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) 4.0 compliant Linux distribution for networking customers, adding support for 4G wireless networks including LTE and WiMAX. MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition (CGE) 5.1 also integrates OpenSAF High Availability (HA) capabilities and is the first to offer virtual routing and forwarding, says MontaVista.

    • Phones

      • Moto Android 2.0 smartphone revealed

        Motorola’s upcoming Android smartphone has finally been revealed in a set of front-and-back pictures published online.

      • Android based e-reader tips up

        SPRING DESIGN has taken the wraps off the Duet Navigator, a dual-screen e-book reader that runs the Android OS and offers both a text reader and a web browser.

      • Quick guide to webOS

        webOS itself is a Linux-based operating system but with Palm designed components on top of it. It gives it a rather curious mix of open source foundations and very effective proprietary guts at the same time, and the result is an agnostic way of integrating your social networks and other forms of communication. It’s the default and entirely locked-in operating system for the Pre and will also be at the heart of the Palm Pixi which we’ll probably see before the end of the year.

      • Carrier goes negative on iPhone in Droid ads

        Verizon Wireless has tipped details about an upcoming Android phone in TV ads that hype a “Droid” phone while bashing Apple’s iPhone, says eWEEK. Meanwhile, the Boy Genius Report has published a first-look preview of the Motorola Droid (previously called the “Sholes”) and calls it “the Android device to beat.”

      • Droid TV ad pulls no punches in attacking the iPhone

        The Motorola Droid smartphone that will ship in November from Verizon Wireless could well be the game-changer supporting analyst forecasts that the Android operating system will dominate those from the iPhone and the BlackBerry by 2012.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Opening my Eyes to Another Advantage of Openness

    It was chaired by Michal Tsur from Kaltura. It was a company I’d already come across, but it was a good opportunity to learn a little more:

    Kaltura’s platform includes an easily customizable set of widgets that seamlessly integrate into video applications on web platforms of any kind. Publishers can deploy existing widgets and apps or take advantage of Kaltura’s open architecture in order to develop new ones.

    Whether you need a basic online video platform or one with a robust set of advanced features – Kaltura has a solution for you. Our open framework provides everything you need to design, develop, and deploy rapid and cost-effective video applications on any site.

    Interestingly, Kaltura does not employ the currently-fashionable “open core” approach of providing some of its code under a free software licence, and add-ons under proprietary ones.

    Instead, it’s a pure dual-licensing set-up: the same code is available under free (GNU Affero GPL) and non-free licences, for all the usual reasons.

  • OpenBSD 4.6 release ships new services, eases installation

    The OpenBSD project has announced the availability of release 4.6, which debuts a new mail server and an easier installation among many other feature enhancements and bug fixes for the open source operating system.

    OpenBSD founder and release manager Theo de Raadt announced the installer has “almost been rewritten, primarily with a focus on simplifying the installation process”.

  • On Mobile Phones, Firefox’s Big Bet Is Nokia & Android

    With little or no chance of ever being able to make it through the draconian approval process of Apple’s iTunes App Store, Mozilla, the not-for-profit organization behind the Firefox browser, is betting on two major, if emerging, mobile operating platforms: Maemo, Nokia’s new Linux-based operating system, and Google’s Android OS. But don’t count on Mozilla supporting RIM’s BlackBerry OS anytime soon.

  • Sun

    • MySQL cofounder says Oracle should sell database

      Oracle should resolve antitrust concerns over its acquisition of Sun Microsystems by selling open-source database MySQL to a suitable third party, its cofounder and creator Michael “Monty” Widenius said in a blog post on Monday.

    • NoSQL: Distributed and Scalable Non-Relational Database Systems

      Non-SQL oriented distributed databases are all the rage in some circles. They’re designed to scale from day 1 and offer reliability in the face of failures.

    • Sun tunes its VirtualBox

      The most popular virtualization tool distributed by Sun Microsystems – and one whose future as an Oracle product is in question – is VirtualBox, and the software was just updated with a new 3.0.8 release.


    • An Interview With Mako

      My name is Benjamin Mako Hill. I am 28 years old, male, and I live in Somerville, Massachusetts just outside Boston. My day job is doing research at MIT. I am a fellow at the MIT Center for Future Civic Media and am currently doing work on a PhD somewhere between the Sloan School of Management and the MIT Media Lab.

  • Licensing

    • GPLv2 clause 6

      This week I was in Grenoble for the Embedded Linux Conference Europe. On the seond day of the conference — Friday — I was one of the few people wandering around in a suit. Even the guys who normally wear suits had dressed down to deal with the nitty-gritty of kernel threads, time sources, and boot time optimization.


      PS. Thanks to Saul Goode for some very careful and relevant comments to my previous writing on the GPL version 2; in particular pointing to the US Copyright Code and how it doesn’t restrict running the program at all — as indeed the GPLv2 itself writes “The act of running the program is now trestricted.”


  • Silvio Berlusconi’s TV company filmed bribery case judge

    Italian magistrates and the opposition have complained after a TV channel owned by Silvio Berlusconi secretly filmed a judge who ruled against him in a bribery case.

  • Details On the Raj Rajaratnam SEC Insider-Trading Case

    Today, billionaire hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam was arrested on insider-trading charges. The SEC filed a formal complaint in court alleging that Rajaratnam tapped into his network of friends and close business associates to obtain insider tips.

  • How Wall Street is making its billions

    Wall Street banks have had profitable quarters. JPMorgan Chase reported $3.6 billion in profit (more than $1 billion per month). Goldman Sachs was only slightly behind, at $3.2 billion. These profits supposedly came from “trading.” I asked a friend who has worked in the money business how this was possible. “For someone to make money trading, there has to be someone on the other side of every trade who is losing money. Where does each bank find someone who can lose $1 billion every month?”

  • Former Goldman Sachs Exec Named SEC Enforcement Division COO

    Robert Khuzami and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division have a new chief operating officer, according to Bloomberg News. Adam Storch, a 29-year-old former Goldman Sachs manager, joined the SEC staff Tuesday, and the agency announced his new post in a statement Friday. His primary task will be to make the division more efficient.

  • VisiCalc turns 30 and SocialCalc turns 1.0

    According to my notebook from 1979, 30 years ago today Dan Fylstra, head of Personal Software, our Bay Area publisher, told me that he had the first production VisiCalc packages in hand. I received mine the next day (Saturday delivery). So today, for argument’s sake, is the 30th anniversary of the shipment of VisiCalc 1.0. (Well, actually, we called it version 1.37, but it was the first packaged version produced and sold in volume.)

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Internet Video Celebrity Caitlin Hill 24 (2007)

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

The Microsoft ‘Mouthpiece Theatre’ Starts the Vista 7 Marketing Blitz

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 1:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Meh starts now

Summary: Microsoft marketing goes totally shameless and the press utterly promiscuous a week before the extravagant release

THIS post looks at the latest examples of Microsoft’s marketing for Vista 7 and the reality behind it.

As most people are probably aware, since Microsoft has ensured this did not escape the attention of a single publication, Vista 7 officially comes out at the end of the week in order to divert attention away from Microsoft's poor results. ThisIsLondon says that “Microsoft stakes all on new Windows.”

Microsoft is releasing a new version of its Windows software that experts say could be make or break for the computer giant.

Jacqueline Emigh from IDG/BetaNews/Linux.com speaks about “the proverbial hype machine”:

With the countdown now on for the official shipment of Windows 7 next Thursday, Microsoft and friends have been cranking up the proverbial hype machine, but not without a few clinks and clanks along the way.

The hype machine actually kicked into gear quite a while ago. See for example:

In the past week’s news (we use Google News for this), we have found 6 strings of headlines about “Vista”, most of which (4 out of 6) are just implicit adverts for Vista 7, namely articles that say everything will change when Vista 7 is released to replace Vista. These same talking points are easy to spot in the mainstream (and printed) press. Here are just two new examples and another which contains lots of quotes from Steve Ballmer and from Microsoft analysts.

“With Vista it was almost like they had a justifiable reason not to upgrade,” says Michael Cherry, an analyst at independent research firm Directions on Microsoft.

An “independent research firm” called “Directions on Microsoft” is unlikely to be very independent when asked about Microsoft. It gets worse though. The same talking points are coming from AFP and the familiar Microsoft hires, such as President, Founder, Head, and “Principal analyst” (or whatever he chooses to call himself today) of the Enderle ‘Group’ (a one-man operation). We have done a lot to show just how closely connected to Microsoft Mr. "amazing numbers" really is. AFP ignores all this and lets him almost ghostwrite the article. Here are some portions:

“It’s a big deal for Microsoft,” analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group in Silicon Valley said of the Windows 7 launch. “Windows Vista was a train wreck.”


“Microsoft is still a packaged software company,” Enderle said. “If people don’t buy their updated packages, they feel it.”


“The fact that Microsoft is trying new things is actually pretty unique,” Enderle said. “They are going to try to show that Microsoft and innovative marketing is not an oxymoron.”

Is this coverage of Vista 7 all about Enderle? Not really. They also talk to Parri Munsell, director of consumer product management for the Windows client group. They also speak to Matt Rosoff of Directions On Microsoft, “a private firm focused on tracking the software firm.” It’s the same as above (Michael Cherry). What did they expect? That a consultancy/analysts group so focused on Microsoft will say something negative about the company on which it depends? This is not journalism, it’s marketing. The reporter is to blame for approaching people from just one side of the story.

Here is another mixed review of Vista 7.

Bottom line: Windows 7 is mostly a cosmetic upgrade for Vista, but sometimes a hefty dose of Botox, a face-lift and a tummy tuck are just what the doctor ordered.

AP’s review advises against an ‘upgrade’ to Vista 7.

Review: Windows 7 strong, but don’t pay to upgrade


In weeks of testing the final version of Windows 7 on five computers, I encountered only one serious glitch. The backup function simply didn’t work on one computer. The error message was obscure as always, and troubleshooting on Microsoft’s Web site provided no solution. I ended up using third-party backup software. Given that regular backups are essential for a home computer, one can only hope that this will be an unusual problem that gets fixed promptly.

Another disappointment is that Windows 7 doesn’t seem to improve boot-up times. In my tests, it took slightly longer to get going on Windows 7 than with XP or Vista on the same computer. I don’t think this should be a major issue, though — instead of shutting your computer down, use “sleep mode” instead. This function has improved a lot since XP, and most computers take about 10 seconds to wake up.

The article above shows that the same issues from Vista persist in many areas. At Fortune (CNN), an attractive headline is used to gain attention, only to shower readers with lots of Microsoft praises for Vista 7. This a known technique of creating drama to get a message across.

Looking at Reuters, we find that Microsoft has financial events coming quite a long while after Vista 7′s release. How come? As we stated at the start — and it’s really down to common sense — bad results are to be concealed by the marketing blitz of Vista 7′s launch. It’s not an accident, it’s deliberate. Even months ago Ballmer was using Vista 7 as a distraction for his company's poor performance (see video).

According to the Wall Street Journal, Ballmer still refuses to talk about positive results. More here:

“I am optimistic, but not as optimistic as the stock market,” Ballmer, 53, said Friday at the Chief Executives’ Club of Boston. Businesses will be slow to hire and invest, he said. “We are not through all the issues yet.”

Well, Google has just posted positive results and its CEO was exceedingly happy, unlike Ballmer. Microsoft already knows that it will need to use “the economy” as an excuse for another terrible quarter. Without the “too big to fail” defense, Microsoft will lose business even faster.

“Without the “too big to fail” defense, Microsoft will lose business even faster.”Onwards goes Microsoft with heavy marketing and image control [1, 2], now employing another television phenomenon to market Windows. It previously tried this with Jackass, NASCAR, Bollywood stars, and Seinfled, who were not successful at making Vista a seller. “TV Extravaganza,” as one site puts it, is what Microsoft looks to achieve when paying ‘Family Guy’ to sell out, just as it did with Seinfeld and others (even viral marketing in television shows that displayed Vista simply did not help). “‘Family Guy’ creator and Microsoft team up for Win 7 promotion,” says another article and CRN’s headline claims that “Microsoft Weaves Windows 7 Into ‘Family Guy’,” blurring the gap between advertisements (content from the broadcaster’s point of view) and fill (the stuff that keeps people watching the ads every once in a while). They try to capture the trust of audience of the show and TechCrunch is outraged.

On November 8th at 8:30pm, viewers of Fox in the US will watch in horror as the network gives over thirty whole minutes of airtime to a Windows 7-sponsored episode of Family Guy.

Just take a moment to let the horror of that fact settle in your brain. Multi-millionaire Seth MacFarlane – who, by the way, uses a Mac – has decided to sell the soul of his flagship show to Redmond. For money.

According to the post above, Microsoft is corrupting television just as it corrupted bloggers and commenters in social networks by bribing them. Ironically, TechCrunch was among those blogs that Microsoft bribed. The Microsoft/Redmond press actually criticises Microsoft for the move, but not necessarily because of the negative impact on television. To some people, it’s just a matter of how money gets spent.

That’s why we were so disappointed this week to read that Microsoft has bought a whole 30-minute episode of the show — not commercials during the episode, but the episode itself — to promote Windows 7.

Rather than denouncing Microsoft for destroying this show (it was one of my personal favourites), people other than Lee Pender talk about the whole thing almost from a financial point of view (there are examples of that too).

Within the last year, Microsoft(MSFT Quote) has been Jerry Seinfeld’s pal, a PC, a party planner and a 4-year-old girl. It has been a costly identity crisis.

At another Microsoft corner of the Web, Microsoft Nick parrots Gartner about Vista 7. We wrote about this some days ago, showing that Gartner said the same things about Windows Vista. Why do journalists still pay attention to Gartner?

Further, in the news from Ars Technica we discover that Microsoft gives away more copies of Vista 7 (our reader Oiaohm keeps stressing that never before did Microsoft hand out so many free gifts to create hype). But there is a condition:

Microsoft is giving away 777 copies of Windows 7 Ultimate to residents living in Zevenhuizen, the Netherlands. The catch is pretty straightforward: you can’t be using Mac OS or Linux as your primary operating system.


In fact, one of the requirements is that you must be in possession of a PC with Windows as the primary OS; those using mainly Mac OS or Linux can’t participate. Another requirement is that the PC gets a green light from the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor.

How xenophobic, eh?

From Ars Technica we also learn that Microsoft extends its operations in Twitter.

Adding to the hundreds of Twitter accounts it already has, Microsoft has launched one just for Windows 7 information and support: @MicrosoftHelps.

We have been writing about what Microsoft does in Twitter under:

  1. More Microsoft AstroTurfing (aka ‘Technical Evangelism’) in Twitter
  2. User “Microsoft Incentives” Wants to be Your Friend, Too
  3. Microsoft’s Twitter AstroTurf Continues
  4. Who is Pumping MSFT and Pimping Microsoft in Twitter?
  5. Microsoft Hires Federated Media for Twitter AstroTurfing
  6. Does Microsoft Still Create Twitter Accounts for Guerilla Marketing?
  7. Microsoft’s AstroTurfing, Twitter, Waggener Edstrom, and Jonathan Zuck
  8. Microsoft Twitter Bots, FTC Blowback, and Paid-for Vista 7 Glorification

Based on this new survey, Microsoft is among the top exploiters of social media sites. It’s AstroTurf. It’s nothing to be proud of. Companies like Microsoft are pretending to be social beings, just as they demand human rights like freedom of speech. Intellectuals frequently denounce the moronic treatment of tyrannical (in structure) entities being treated like massive organisms with feelings. There is no reason for a company like Microsoft to run bot accounts in Twitter. It ruins the site for actual people.

Looking further at the news, Vista 7 has already ‘leaked’ into the black market in China, not so surprisingly.

At shops in Shanghai’s bustling Xinyang market, fake Apple iPhones and Bose speakers sit neatly alongside bootleg copies of Microsoft’s new Windows 7 operating system, a week before its official launch.

As we explained before, Microsoft won’t mind counterfeiting as long as they don’t sell XP or GNU/Linux. Microsoft capitalises on this for the ‘network effect’ to be sped up.

“…Microsoft won’t mind counterfeiting as long as they don’t sell XP or GNU/Linux.”An anti-GNU/Linux shop called Best Buy [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] provides Vista 7 boosting material for CNET, Microsoft’s special Vista partner back in the days. CNET gives more Microsoft-oriented people some personal blogs there, just like in ZDNet. Their more official Microsoft blog is now doing damage control in response to the auctioning of Vista 7 party packs (showing that people with those packs are interested neither in Vista 7 nor in partying over it).

Microsoft employees indoctrinate the public in the middle east ahead of the release of Vista 7 while others are reciting the conventions Microsoft has ‘injected’ into the media with bribes, PR agencies, and partners.

Here is one last item from the Wall Street Journal.

Recently a Microsoft (MSFT) spokesman declined a journalist’s request for comment, but sent along two links to employee blog posts. Professional sports teams have also been among the early adopters in leaning more heavily on player and employee blogs as a source of access for both the media and the public.

It does not say that Microsoft also uses those employee blogs to inject poison into Wikipedia, e.g. the article about ODF.

“I am currently testing the Beta of Win7 in a closed VM environment. I am considering deleting it. It’s actually worse than Vista. Multiple program crashes, refusal to install any software, naff looks and many other complaints.”


Google Continues Eating Microsoft’s Lunch

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Search, Servers at 11:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: A glimpse at how the ‘Web wars’ are going along now that Microsoft loses customers to Google and the Yahoo! deal is blocked

GOOGLE IS not just a search engine anymore. In fact, for Google on the server and in mobile devices, GNU/Linux is the only platform.

Microsoft’s financial results come on Thursday (Microsoft will try to bury these under the rug using the simultaneous launch of Vista 7) and it will suffer greatly from lost business such as this from the news:

Google lands a new blow on Microsoft with Rentokil Initial email agreement

GOOGLE yesterday announced its biggest ever email deal with support services firm Rentokil Initial, estimated by analysts to be worth up to $3.5m (£2.2m).

The internet giant will replace rival Microsoft, after it secured the contract to provide email to 35,000 of the rat catcher’s employees using its Google Apps product – which includes a calendar, integrated chat, email translation and video communications.

This is just one among many such deals. These are not a triumph to Free software because Google’s software is mostly proprietary. “Microsoft and Google battle with cloud computing,” states the following new article.

In the world of computer software, becoming dormant or, God forbid, complacent, is a death sentence.

Microsoft is all too aware of this as they struggle to keep people interested in their operating systems.

Google, a company that seems to never stop to catch its breath technologically, is a rather surprising threat to Microsoft — the undisputed chief among the current thick-client software companies.

A Slate publication (formerly of Microsoft) writes the following:

According to the New York Times, the forecast for Microsoft (MSFT) is “partly cloudy.” While the company is planning a high-profile software release later on this week, doubts remain whether Microsoft can build as much buzz as its rivals. Its chief software architect says the company is reinventing itself or at least trying to.

Google may seem unstoppable given its strong results, as covered in Bloomberg and in BusinessWeek:

Earnings preview: High hopes riding on Google’s 3Q


Microsoft renamed its search engine Bing in June as part of an upgrade that has been heavily promoted in a $100 million marketing campaign. So far though, Google remains way out in front with a nearly two-thirds share of the U.S. search market compared with about 10 percent for Microsoft.

The article correctly states that Microsoft just renamed its search and threw a lot of money at brainwash (including paid/compensated bloggers). We’re seeing more of the same in China these days, but it seems like a dead end for Microsoft. Even the Yahoo! deal becomes less relevant as Yahoo! continues to decline and antitrust stands in the way [1, 2, 3, 4]. Here is an update on the situation in Europe:

Ballmer: Europe jurisdiction on Yahoo deal unclear


“Europe’s a little confusing because the Europeans have to decide which jurisdiction, whether it’s the European Commission or some of the national competition authorities,” will have final say over the deal, Ballmer added.

In an analysis which misses the point, no attention is given to the fact that the DOJ, unlike Europe, is likely to approve the deal because of Microsoft influence [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. Earlier today we posted a video of Lessig where he talks about the subject. Had there been real justice, the DOJ should (and would) impose sanctions on Microsoft for bullying Yahoo! and selfishly destroying the company for its own benefit. See for example:

In this week’s news we only find that Yahoo! carries on falling (financially), Google is gaining market share in the US while Yahoo! declines, and Microsoft shields its new brand.

FSFE Adds Weight to Call for Mono Resistance

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Oracle, Patents, Red Hat, Samba, Servers at 10:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: The FSFE’s president writes about Mono and Novell’s former employee writes about Novell versus gratis

THE FSF has already expressed its opinion about Mono and Samba’s Jeremy Allison did so too [1, 2, 3]. He wrote about the subject several days ago (he also put it in ZDNet, as usual, under the headline “Mono-mania: It’s risky business”).

With apparent endorsement from the founder of the FSFE (in Identi.ca), the president of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) brought attention to Allison’s analysis.

The core problem is that Mono implements technology that is very likely patented by Microsoft. Microsoft, in its turn, has now started to aggressively enforce its software patents, as shown by its lawsuit against TomTom earlier this year.

Former Novell employee Matt Asay is the third person to compare Novell to Avis [1, 2], so if “try harder” refers to trying to get GNU/Linux vendors sued or bullied by Microsoft, then sure, Novell tries harder.

Novell has been positioning itself as the Avis of Linux, a distant but gaining Red Hat competitor that “tries harder.” Like Oracle, Novell argues that it can give customers Red Hat value at a lower price.

There’s just one problem with this marketing spin: the “low-cost alternative” to Red Hat isn’t Novell. It’s CentOS. And CentOS is free as in $0.00.

Boycott Novell runs on a CentOS server whose cost (the software) is $0.00. Microsoft and Novell would like to change that by adding software patent tax. Some people still wonder how Novell harms GNU/Linux.

Has SCO Just Kicked Darl McBride or Did He Quit?

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, SCO, UNIX at 10:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Darl McBride

Summary: SCO says goodbye to Darl McBride

A major milestone is approached (and even reached) in the SCO saga now that the monster behind the lawsuits against Linux is leaving. It’s not entirely clear if the Trustee has something to do with it or maybe it's the fraud allegations. From SCO’s filing (earlier today):

On October 14, 2009, The SCO Group, Inc., (“SCO”, “us”, “we”or the “Company”) announced that the Company has eliminated the Chief Executive Officer and President positions and consequently terminated Darl McBride. The current management team comprised of Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Hunsaker, Chief Financial Officer, Ken Nielsen and General Counsel, Ryan Tibbitts, along with the rest of the management team will continue to work closely with the Chapter 11 Trustee and his advisors.

Press coverage has yet to come.

“On the same day that CA blasted SCO, Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond revealed a leaked email from SCO’s strategic consultant Mike Anderer to their management. The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.”

Bruce Perens

Call to Abolish BECTA, Which Appoints Microsoft Children’s Parent

Posted in Apple, Europe, Microsoft at 9:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: British school education comes under increased pressure to open up to choices other than Microsoft

IN OUR many writings about British schools, we have shown that not everything was well at BECTA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. That’s an understatement really. It is reassuring to see this new push to abolish BECTA and open up British education to software other than Microsoft’s.

And the future for BECTA? Here is what the report’s authors conclude:

“Abolish the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA). BECTA oversees IT procurement and technology strategy for schools in England and Wales. This has had negative consequences for many schools, precluding them from organising IT facilities and programmes as they see necessary. It hinders an open and competitive market, and if schools were to be allocated money directly, the sensible option would be to let them purchase the equipment that they required according to their needs. Abolishing BECTA would realise a saving of £11 million.”

It would be a controversial move, but I suspect not one regretted by the vast majority of teachers.

Another plus would be that the gaping hole BECTA’s demise would create in the centre of the main hall at the BETT Show could be used to actually showcase real students (rather than bureaucrats) using technology as part of their leaning.

If BECTA cares about education, then it will teach methods, as opposed to selling products to young people who are paying for these without any choice given. BECTA is notorious for its relationship with Microsoft, which is actually getting worse as an expansionist consumerist. Based on this week’s news, Microsoft shops are coming to create not just Microsoft software but a “Microsoft PC” too. This ought to eliminate some OEM partnerships that Microsoft has enjoyed, but at the same time it threatens to further reduce choice.

Microsoft’s retail and hardware partnerships may hinder its expansion into the retail space, as it seeks to compete with Apple’s brick-and-mortar locations.

Neither Apple nor Microsoft should be acceptable for education. Apple would actually be much worse for education because of the overpriced hardware monopoly. Education wants to be free, as in freedom.

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.”

Albert Einstein

Microsoft Executives on the Move

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 9:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Train in Chicago

Summary: Flight Simulator development/developers possibly reborn; aQuantive executive joins AdReady while Razorfish is sold; Microsoft-loaded Juniper serves Windows

OTHER than major departures, we do strive to keep track of Microsoft influence on the move. A few weeks ago we wrote about FASA and Bungie, reminding ourselves of what Microsoft did to Ensemble Studios and Flight Simulator. It turns out that developers of Flight Simulator start their own company.

Microsoft has the ability to drive CEOs of companies that it acquires out of the business. Tellme is one example because Tellme's founder quit Microsoft a few months ago and aQuantive would be another example of an "exodus".

Microsoft Nick writes about the finalisation of Microsoft’s goodbye to 2,000+ of its employees that came from aQuantive. It is part of the ongoing layoffs that are greater in size than what Microsoft publicly reports.

One of the fugitives of aQuantive is now becoming the President and COO of AdReady.

He was previously President of Atlas, an online advertising technology provider and operating unit of aQuantive, Inc. (acquired by Microsoft). In this role, Siebrecht helped build Atlas from the ground floor into a leading advertising technology provider, serving many of the largest and most sophisticated advertisers, agencies, and publishers globally across the online advertising industry.

He wasn’t at Microsoft long enough to become too involved, so there is probably not much risk that AdReady will prioritise Microsoft. In fact, Microsoft has just recruited a vice president from Motorola, which is actually in the process of dumping Windows Mobile and focusing mostly on Linux/Android.

Then there’s Juniper, which recently added Microsoft executives to its leadership (including CEO position) [1, 2, 3]. Here is Juniper’s new press release about defending Windows.

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