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10.20.09

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: October 20th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

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Enter the IRC channel now

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

Alex Brown Extremely Busy with OOXML Today

Posted in Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Wikipedia at 1:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: OOXML BRM convenor getting down to business

Take a look

Alex Brown edits

And on it goes.

Links 20/10/2009: Nikto 2.1.0 Released, Parsix GNU/Linux 3.0 Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 1:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • What Hinders Popular Acceptance of the GNU/Linux Desktop

    My experience with forums when I switched to Ubuntu was generally positive. I asked questions, making it clear I was a newbie, and I don’t remember a single derisive comment. The only aggravation was that a couple of times I posted questions and was berated for either posting in the wrong place or for failing to look for the answer before asking. I hate being told to look harder, and I actually want to learn about technology. Imagine being an average user, just trying to take a screenshot or set up Empathy, and being told to “look before you ask.”

  • How to give Linux a try

    Have you ever been tempted by desktop Linux’s security and stability, but you didn’t want to go to all the trouble of installing two operating systems on one PC or the expense of buying a new PC? Then, you’re in luck, because there are many ways to give desktop Linux a try without changing anything permanently or using a spare desktop.

    It used to be that if you wanted to try desktop Linux, you had to be a confident power-user and make permanent changes to your PC or have another computer. Those days are long gone. Today, you have four different, easy ways to take Linux for a spin.

  • Audio

  • Applications

    • How to copy a live server to enable investigation of a security incident

      All you need to create this disk image and copy it over the network to another computer is a Windows version of the common GNU/Linux tools DD and netcat, which are both free and open source. DD creates the bit-image disk copy and netcat will send anything over the network. Of course, you’ll need the second computer on the network that will receive the image and has enough capacity for the image. You’ll want to put these two tools on safe media — preferably a CD. This way they are known to be “good” and won’t be compromised when used on a compromised system.

    • The Future Of Docky – Docky Creator Jason Smith Tells Us Why Docky Is Going To Get Even More Awesome

      Scrolling through the blueprints on the Docky launchpad page also gives up some insight in the sheer awesomeness that Docky will morph into now it’s pandering to it’s own destiny. I’ve summarised them below, but take a look at the official Docky blueprint page for information.

    • Linux-gamers -Play 33 world class games on Linux without installation

      One of the strong criticisms leveled against Linux is the lack of good quality games for the platform. A lot of strides have been made in getting games ported to the Linux platform. One of the attempts to make games playable on Linux caught my attention. It is the Live.Linux-gamers.net project.

  • KDE

    • Virtuoso, here I come!

      Nepomuk, which is KDE’s semantic desktop framework is a very interesting new technology, and has the potential to move many applications forward. Nepomuk needs an RDF store to save and retrieve semantic information, such as data from your filesystem indexer, tags, ratings, and other, much more complex bits. Up until now, there were performance problems. There were two possible ways to store your information: redland and sesame2. Redland is written in C++, but is very simple and by far not meeting the performance requirement we need for Nepomuk’s use-cases.

    • Who Needs Windows 7 When You’ve Got KDE?

      As a devoted free software user, I’m almost as likely to stick my hand down a running garbarator as buy a copy of Windows 7. In fact, so far, I haven’t tried Windows 7. But if its features list is any indication, I’m missing little that I don’t already have with the latest version of the KDE desktop.

      Of course, exactly what Windows 7′s new features are can be difficult to tell. The features list is as much a marketing document as a technical one. In places it’s more apt to give you an overdose of adjectives than any specifics. Nor is every feature available in every edition of Windows 7.

      Then, too, a few listed features, such as 64-bit support, are so far from new that I wonder why they are mentioned.

    • ‘Cause it’s gonna be the future soon

      Plasma-netbook will make a big splash, and contribute to KDE’s rising visibility.. Many distros will still ignore it, but one will switch its focus to kde, and then another… other areas of KDE will mature, and the benefits of our Pillars of KDE will shine through… In two years we’ll be the default on most distros. Gnome won’t know what hit them ;)

  • Distributions

    • 2009′s Top 10 Reader’s Choice Linux Distributions

      Since I’m not familiar with some of the distributions on this list, most of the information is taken directly from the distribution’s own website.

      1. Arch Linux – Billed as a lightweight and flexible Linux distribution that tries to Keep It Simple. Arch Linux is an independently developed, i686/x86-64 general purpose GNU/Linux distribution versatile enough to suit any role.

    • Parsix Linux 3.0

      Parsix Linux is definitely worth taking a look at if you’re an intermediate or advanced Linux user.

      Beginners are certainly welcome to check out the Live CD but the partitioning required to install Parsix Linux might be a bit much depending on the person’s experience with such things.

    • Thoughts from 6-month-old Gentoo user

      I am a six-month-old Gentoo user now! Six month ago, I posted about being a newbie of Gentoo. Now I could say I am happy with my decision of switching from Fedora. Please note that Fedora is a great distribution, I personally think Fedora is better than most of distributions—Ubuntu included.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat passes Microsoft’s stock price, now what?

        Not since the heady days of the dotcom boom has the share market for an open source company’s stock been brighter.

        As of the last Nasdaq trade on October 19, 2009, Red Hat’s share price stood at $28.46 with the mighty Microsoft in its shadow at $26.36.

        With so much noise made about IT company share prices over the years — Michael Dell said he would shut down Apple if he was in charge, but then in 2006 Apple surpassed Dell’s market capitalization — why did such a momentous occasion go unnoticed?

    • Debian Family

      • Preview of Kubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

        The release of the newest version of Ubuntu is only 10 days away. Many sites, including MakeTechEasier have covered its pending arrival and given you a glimpse of the Beta version. Today we are going to take a look at Kubuntu, the KDE-based version of Ubuntu.

      • Ubuntu And The Opportunistic Programmer

        Not only does the up-coming Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, released on Thu 29th October 2009 bring this rich platform, as well as Quickly, but it also bring the new Ubuntu Software Center which provides a refreshed means of browsing and installing applications. My hope is that we will continue to leverage this rock-solid platform and be able to have opportunistic programmers everywhere be able to get their apps in front of Ubuntu users, in much the same way the iPhone and Android Market Place does so.

      • NetworkManager Gets Facelift for Karmic Koala Ubuntu 9.10

        Along with other updates to Ubuntu’s look in Karmic, the changes to NetworkManager reflect a solid and successful effort to meet and surpass the interface enhancements of proprietary operating systems, demonstrating that software can be Free and good-looking at the same time.

      • REvolution R coming to Ubuntu

        REvolution Computing’s enhanced distribution of R, REvolution R, has been available for free download from our website for Windows and MacOS for over a year now, and has been used by thousands of R users for high-performance statistical data analysis. Soon, we’ll be expanding our free distributions to Ubuntu Linux, with the release of REvolution R 3.0.

      • Meet the Platform Team Managers: Robbie Williamson

        In the first of a seven-part series on Where Karmic’s Karma Comes From, I’d like to introduce you to the managers of the Canonical Platform Team. The Platform Team is made up of the following teams: Foundations, Kernel, Desktop, QA, Mobile, Community, and Server. In this first interview, Robbie Williamson, the Ubuntu’s Foundations Team Manager, discusses what’s coming out in Karmic Koala and what we can expect in the Lucid Lynx release.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Review: Linksys WRT160NL Linux Powered Wireless-N Router

      Overall I would recommend this router. The storage and media server features are great, especially at the price. The throughput is a little lower than I expected, but more than acceptable for most uses. This combined with the Linksys interface, options, and support make it a great choice for someone looking for a reasonably priced draft Wireless-N router. If Linksys can produce a firmware update that will improve the throughput inconsistency, we’ll have a real winner on our hands. The Linux firmware? Well that’s just the icing on the cake.

    • Phones

      • Android opens doors for Google’s next-gen search, ads and tools

        There’s no question that there’s been some pretty astounding growth around Android, Google’s open-source mobile phone operating system. A year ago, there was only one Android device out there – the T-Mobile G-1. Today, Android is powering 12 devices in 26 countries with 32 carriers – and there’s more on the way.

      • Toward a freer Android

        Linux-based mobile phone platforms are really just specialized distributions. Like other distributions, phone platforms will live or die based on how well they meet the needs of their users. The Android platform has a high profile at the moment as the result of the entry of more handsets into the market, but also as a result of Google’s actions toward derived distributions. Android is clearly not meeting the needs of all its users currently, but changes are afoot which may improve the situation.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Kolodner move boosts open source health IT

    It’s also a big deal for open source health IT generally. It comes just as the Veterans Administration is becoming a big booster of its own VistA software, seeking industry help in making it a standard electronic health record (EHR).

  • Jitterbit Expands Data Integration Tools

    More management features have been added to Version 3.0 Enterprise MX, Jitterbit’s open source data integration system.

  • Remarkable Wit is Building Nashville’s Open Source Future One Developer—and One Student — At a Time

    “Some computer science students in Tennessee will graduate without having taken a single class about the open source technologies poised to become mainsteam choices for enterprise deployment,” explains Marcus Whitney, CEO of Nashville-based thought leadership and tech evangelist firm Remarkable Wit, LLC, the host of an educational Big LAMP Camp for developers and the Enterprise LAMP Summit, an IT thought leadership event for IT decisionmakers.

  • ING Life India adopts open source to expand business

    In the insurance business, everyone’s headed into the hinterland. But the cost of every new branch can bite deeply. Here’s how going Open Source helped ING Life save US$1.7 million and funded its expansion plans.

  • UK trailing USA in adoption of open source defence technology

    What this type of technology should open our eyes to is, broadly, the fact that the US is doing this and the UK isn’t. Alfresco chief executive and founder John Powell is refreshingly vocal on this subject and is (I would like to suggest) unselfishly highlighting his company’s success in the US to show us what we are not doing in the UK.

    Perhaps the increasing adoption of open source in the commercial enterprise space will cause the government to wake up and see the benefits of these technology streams. Or maybe it won’t.

  • Study shows open-source code quality steadily improving

    The overall number of defects in open-source software projects is dropping, according to a new study by San Francisco-based vendor Coverity Inc.

    Coverity, a maker of tools for analyzing programming code, received a contract in 2006 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help boost the quality of open-source software, which is increasingly being used by government agencies for critical applications.

  • IBM to offer open source VoIP for small business

    Small businesses can buy open source IP PBX Asterisk software as an addon to IBM’s Smart Cube office in a box package.

  • Statistics: Web Grows, Apache Profits

    Microsoft’s webserver lost a fraction of share (-0.37%) in October. However, apart from Apache, Nginx grew a fraction (+0.39%), translating into a gain for the server developed by Russian Igor Sysoev by 1.1 million websites in October to a total of 13.8 million.

  • Open source vendors should focus on value and price

    To reach CIOs hearts and wallets, open source vendors should rethink their messaging to move beyond just cost to talk about the “more” that they are providing for “less.” Note that “more” can actually be less, as in less complex. For instance, MySQL clearly provides a “lower cost for higher value,” in terms of less complex and fewer administrators required than Oracle DB for certain use cases. This is why Oracle continues to value MySQL as part of the pending Sun acquisition.

  • Next from open source: warehousing apps

    As the open source movement sweeps through the world of software development, business applications based on open code are popping up all over. So it comes as no surprise that open source versions of specialized apps like warehouse management software (WMS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are starting to show up.

  • Openness

  • Programming

    • Moving to an IDE for programming (Eclipse with PyDev)

      In the past, I’ve always shied away from integrated development environments (IDEs), but I recently had a strong enough motivation to finally learn how to use Eclipse — one of the most widely-used free software IDEs available today. Eclipse is known mainly as a Java IDE and it does require Java itself, but it is also a powerful and flexible multi-purpose platform, and adaptations exist for programming in many languages, including Java, C/C++, Lisp, and Python. Python support is available with an Eclipse package called “PyDev”, and I have found it to be a big step up.

    • Happenings: Qt Developer Days 2009

      After an eventful if not turbulent last twelve months in the history of the Qt cross platform C++ GUI tool kit, the technology now resides within the corporate acquisition underbelly of Nokia’s many-chambered stomach. Within this same time frame, Nokia’s corporate manoeuvring has also seen Qt pushed to an LGPL distribution. Where the balance now sits in terms of proprietary technology self-interest versus open source altruism may be open to question for those new to the company.

    • Nikto 2.1.0 has been Released

      Nikto is an Open Source GPL web server scanner which performs comprehensive tests against web servers for multiple items, including over 3500 potentially dangerous files CGIs, versions on over 900 servers, and version specific problems on over 250 servers.

Leftovers

  • Citibank, Your Security Breach Is Not A Credit Reporting Sales Opportunity

    Joy. Citibank closed my credit card today, not because of anything I did but because of some unknown merchant problem. Aside from being an inconvenience to me, Citibank also apparently thought it was a good time to pitch me on credit monitoring. Bad idea.

  • Business Models That Require Restrictive Consumer Contracts for Success

    Just as in the MediaFire/SkipScreen dispute, Virgin Mobile seems to have created a business that requires coercing consumers into doing something they really don’t want to do; namely, sticking with Virgin Mobile when there are less expensive network alternatives and the technological means to do something about it. Even if MediaFire and Virgin Mobile are entirely correct in their legal positions (and they may very well be), they are nevertheless swimming against the current of consumer expectations and desires. That seems like a very difficult business to sustain over the long term.

  • Monster Energy vs. BevReview.com

    First of all, to the folks at Hansen and Monster Energy… what the heck? Ever hear of “fair use”. I fail to see anything in my reviews that could be considered us having “advertised and/or sold products bearing one or more of the Hansen marks, or confusingly similar derivations thereof.”

  • Will cloud computing obsolete SaaS?

    Augustin is an angel investor and advisor to early stage technology companies, he currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Fonality, Hyperic, Medsphere, OSDL, Pentaho, SugarCRM, VA Software (NASDAQ: LNUX), and XenSource. Worth Magazine named him to their list of the Top 50 CEOs in 2000.

    I asked Larry a few questions:

    YB: Is there a future for corporate data center-centric applications? Or is the writing really on the wall?

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • Parliamentary Comms Group Says ‘No’ to UK 3-Strikes

      An increasing death-knell is sounding for Lord Mandelson’s proposals for 3-strikes Internet disconnections. The latest blow comes from the All Party Parliamentary Communications Group. After a consultation earlier this year, they have now published their response, and it’s not one favorable to ‘Darth Mandy’ and his plans.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • The Copyright Lobby’s Secret Pressure On the Anti-Spam Bill

      As I posted earlier today, the Electronic Commerce Protection Act comes to a conclusion in committee on Monday as MPs conduct their “clause by clause” review. While I have previously written about the lobbying pressure to water down the legislation (aided and abetted by the Liberal and Bloc MPs on the committee) and the CMA’s recent effort to create a huge loophole, I have not focused on a key source of the pressure. Incredibly, it has been the copyright lobby – particularly the software and music industries – that has been engaged in a full court press to make significant changes to the bill.

    • Hey, showbiz folks: Check your contract before your next tweet

      There’s a growing number of studio deals with new language aimed specifically at curbing usage of social-media outlets by actors, execs and other creatives. The goal: plugging leaks of disparaging or confidential information about productions via the likes of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

    • Copy shop liable for direct infringement from student on-premises copying of course packets

      The Eastern District of Michigan issued a decision on Wednesday that is sure to be controversial. A group of publishers brought suit alleging that a copy shop had infringed thirty-three of their works. The copy shop had accepted course packets from professors; ensured that the course packets were in proper form to be copied; given the packets to students upon request; and provided copy machines for the students to copy the packets.

    • First Read: Follow the Breadcrumbs

      New clues to the content and sustainability of journalism are all around us. They are melding good reporting, a sense of place, a passion for community, and information that adds value. To really reconstruct journalism, we need to follow these breadcrumbs, make sense of the patterns and re-imagine what news and information needs to be for the future—not just how we pay for it.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Internet Video Celebrity Caitlin Hill 25 (2007)


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

Patents Roundup: Microsoft Patent Tax, FireStar-Red Hat Revisited, US Patent Crisis

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Hardware, IBM, Microsoft, Patents, Protocol, Red Hat at 6:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft uses ActiveSync to tax competitors; interesting details surface about FireStar’s case against Red Hat; the USPTO is challenged for its poor performance

BITS and pieces that appear in the news play a role in the adoption of Free software, even though they are legal issues rather than technical. This post takes an overview.

Microsoft

Microsoft has just found another ActiveSync victim from which to extract patent tax. With new licensing deals, Microsoft hopes to extract revenue out of patents and other imaginary products. We gave some more ActiveSync examples in [1, 2]. Microsoft basically charges for the use of protocols and even Android (Linux) is harmed by it:

DATAVIZ has made available a version of its Roadsync client for Microsoft ActiveSync via Android Market, allowing users of Android phones to link with Exchange email servers.

The Wall Street Journal has this new article about the patent bill. From the opening:

Twelve Republican U.S. senators on Thursday sent a letter to Senate leaders criticizing pending patent legislation, saying the bill “threatens to diminish the value and enforceability of U.S. patent rights.”

The Oct. 15 letter backs criticism against the legislation being levied by independent inventors and academics who argue the bills favor major technology companies. If approved the legislation would be the most sweeping rewrite of federal patent law in 50 years.

Critics say two similar bills now in Congress would broadly make it harder for individuals, universities and start-ups to defend their inventions against companies with deeper pockets.

Microsoft too is mentioned in the full article, which states that “Microsoft and IBM are two of the most active companies involved in filing patents.” IBM makes about a billion dollars per year from taxation of competitors and IBM is what the FFII calls a “fake” supporter when it comes to patents. IBM’s actions speak for themselves.

Law.com has this article about the Eastern District of Texas, which is known as patent trollville. Microsoft is mentioned also:

The story, of course, is also bigger than Powers and Davis. There’s the fact that Microsoft is signing off on both the trial strategy and the briefs being filed. That suggests that the big old software company is taking a more aggressive tack in the Eastern District these days, not just backing up its lawyer. After losing a couple of big cases there, it seems like the company is eager to show up a judge who it believes did it wrong. Sort of like in baseball when there’s a questionable call and the manager runs out on the field to jaw with the umpire: The purpose is not only to get the call reversed, but to make him think twice the next time.

Red Hat

The FireStar case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] may be old, but the Prior Art Blog has some interesting new details about those who were involved:

* In October 2006, in the lawsuit’s early stages, FireStar told Red Hat it wanted $100 million to settle its patent claims—and Red Hat said “there was nothing left to discuss.”

[...]

After the case was underway, FireStar apparently tired of the patent litigation game. The company was reluctant to make engineers available for deposition because, Foley’s brief states, they “were focused on product development rather than the Red Hat case and as a result were not sufficiently responsive.” By December 2007, the bankers at Amphion had agreed to take the suit off FireStar’s hands by creating DataTern, a shell company solely focused on patent enforcement that acquired the patent in early 2008. (Amphion also agreed to compensate FireStar for employee time spent on the litigation.) At about the same time, DataTern stopped paying Foley’s bills, and turned to IP Nav and its lawyers to press the suit.

Those lawyers—Texas solo Dan Perez and Michigan-based Patrick Anderson, both of whom frequently work for Spangenberg and his patent companies—quickly hammered out the $4.2 million settlement. The figure, Foley notes, was lower the total litigation budget it had agreed to with FireStar. If the plaintiffs were willing to settle for so little, Foley lawyers Michael Lockerby and Greg Neppl write, a deal could have been struck “without the expenditure of much in the way of legal fees.”

Patent Crisis

The following stories ought to speak for themselves:

EFF Challenges VOIP Systems Patent

As part of its Patent Busting Project, the Electronic Frontier Foundation claims it has discovered a prior patent and published reference material that should invalidate a patent granted to Acceris for implementing VOIP using analog telephones as endpoints.

USPTO Removes Rule Changes

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) published a final rule in the Federal Register in August of 2007 to revise the rules of practice for patent cases pertaining to continuing applications and requests for continued examination practices, and for the examination of claims in patent applications (Claims and Continuations Final Rule). The Office is revising the rules of practice in this final rule to remove the changes in the Claims and Continuations Final Rule from the Code of Federal Regulations.

Bits and Bytes

* I am teaching obviousness this week in my introductory patent law course here at the University of Missouri School of Law. The Justice Douglas concurrence in the 1950 A&P case always gives me pause:
o “The Constitution never sanctioned the patenting of gadgets. Patents serve a higher end–the advancement of science.”

Are Technology Patents Lost on Jurors?

Attorney Tucker Griffith brainstormed for months about how to best illustrate the inner-workings of his client’s patented technology.

[...]

“I’ve seen judges ask questions that show they’re confused,” said Menard, who works in areas of electromechanical technology such as hydraulics and pneumatics. “You have 48 minutes of hearings and the judge asks a question that shows they have no clue. Then the lawyers just look at each other and say, ‘That was a waste of time.’”

Change is still needed urgently. Can Kappos deliver?

David Kappos

Microsoft Recovers Sidekick Data? Not So Fast!

Posted in BSD, Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security at 6:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Danger sign for Microsoft

Summary: Sidekick data cannot be recovered (not yet) and familiar Microsoft shill Andrew Thomas wrongly blames Linux for this disaster

THE Sidekick fiasco is one that we covered in:

In order to dodge the lawsuits, Microsoft would have people convinced that data was rescued, but as The Register points out, such promises turn into a “farce”.

Microsoft played spot the difference over the weekend with statements on Saturday and Sunday that hinted at “steady progress” for the recovery of data its Danger subsidiary lost for many Sidekick customers.

[...]

The fallout was huge and Microsoft scurried to paint a more optimistic picture for Danger’s unhappy customers, at the same time some punters threatened legal action against Redmond and T-Mobile.

According to the above, promises are everything that Microsoft has at this stage and people are meanwhile locked out of their mail, photos, and contacts. Kelly Fiveash writes that “the software vendor hasn’t actually delivered the goods yet. Instead it seems to be pinning its hopes on that old adage that if you say the same thing for long enough, it might eventually ring true.

Known Microsoft shill Andrew Thomas is meanwhile attacking GNU/Linux and blaming it for this Microsoft failure. He uses TG Daily for his preposterous attack (he also attacks the FSF and Firefox from there). In response to the article of this shill, Groklaw points to this page and adds: “Since folks have been putting out the idea that it was actually Linux’s fault, heh heh, I thought you’d like to know the truth. Danger wrote its own operating system. Proprietary.” It is sad that The Register took the bait from Thomas yesterday.

Another British publication, the BBC, writes about scareware, but ‘forgets’ that it’s a Windows problem.

Online criminals are making millions of pounds by convincing computer users to download fake anti-virus software, internet security experts claim.

At the BBC, it is being assumed that Windows problems are just "computer problems". It’s not so hard to see why.

Mono, Open Core, and Other Bizarre Forms of Open Source

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Patents, SUN at 5:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple core
Free software is not the same as open core

Summary: Why Mono fits the description of Open Core, which may make it “the New Shareware”

A LOT has been said since Samba’s Jeremy Allison published his opinion about Mono [1, 2, 3, 4]. Jason from the Mono-Nono Web site got around to commenting about it and worth mentioning are the following bits:

In any case, I first started noticing Mr. Allison’s responses directly addressing the fallacy of comparing Mono and Samba in the comments to an error-filled attack rant against RMS by Jason Perlow for ZD Net. Although it is certainly “pearls before swine” to attempt to correct Mr. Perlow, Mr. Allison does make his point:

Comparing Mono to Samba is incorrect. Samba has the PFIF agreements, see here for details:

http://www.samba.org/samba/PFIF/PFIF_agreement.html

To my knowledge Mono has nothing like this.

[...]

Mr. Allison has now taken the time to address Mono in more detail with a blog entry “Monomania“. I encourage you to read it.

I also encourage you to consider all the hoops that Team Mono insists critics people must jump through to criticize Mono, and how Mr. Allison surely meets or exceeds all that I have seen. Yet, I do not see Team Mono accepting his criticism, nor do I see my mailbox filling with acknowledgement that it’s not just crazy zealots that have a problem with Mono.

Why am I not seeing these things? Because Mono apologists are not honest in their arguments. They like Mono, and will make any argument they think supports it, and ignore or attack anything that they think weakens it.

It’s a song I’ve sung many times, and this latest wrinkle on Mono == Samba is just one more example of the sloppy reasoning and poor logic behind Team Mono’s defenses.

What’s interesting about Mono is that, as the FSF warned, it is divided into “legal” parts (core) and “illegal” parts (those that require Microsoft software patents, such that only Novell customers are covered). It makes Mono very much akin to “open core” rather than “open source”. For those who have not followed the heated debate about “open core”, Bradley Kuhn from the SFLC calls it “the New Shareware” and Simon Phipps from Sun Microsystems commented about it as follows:

Bradley Kuhn’s analysis reflects the same conclusions I’ve reached myself about corporate-aggregated copyright. That’s not to say it automatically disqualifies a project as non-Free, but it’s the reason I included “diverse copyright ownership” as a criterion on the proposed open source scorecard. As a side-note, Given Bradley’s critique of the GPL as “just a tool”, surely it’s time to see that open source is not the enemy of software freedom and to finally cut the antagonistic rhetoric.

Is it time to say that Mono uses the “open core” model, where only “core” packages are to be seen as legal or gratis? Banshee, for example, is a Novell project that uses some Mono parts that require patents.

“The patent danger to Mono comes from patents we know Microsoft has, on libraries which are outside the C# spec and thus not covered by any promise not to sue. In effect, Microsoft has designed in boobytraps for us.

“Indeed, every large program implements lots of ideas that are patented. Indeed, there’s no way to avoid this danger. But that’s no reason to put our head inside Microsoft’s jaws.”

Richard Stallman, 2007

Monsanto: The Microsoft of Food

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft at 5:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The antitrust litigation currently in the federal courts in the U.S. against Monsanto will be the test case in the life sciences, just as the Microsoft case was the test case in the information sciences.”

Jeremy Rifkin

Monsanto

Summary: Monsanto’s relationship with (and similarity to) Microsoft

Monsanto is a notorious company which is funded and promoted by the Gates Foundation. We wrote about it in:

A fairly recent investigative report looks at what Monsanto is doing and it looks eerily familiar: [via Glyn Moody]

Monsanto already dominates America’s food chain with its genetically modified seeds. Now it has targeted milk production. Just as frightening as the corporation’s tactics–ruthless legal battles against small farmers–is its decades-long history of toxic contamination.

Glyn Moody describes this as “worrying”, citing claims that “not content with trying to own all plant seed, Monsanto is now going after milk…”

Think along the lines of, “not content with trying to own all computers, Microsoft is now going after banking, media players, phones, and Internet services.”

“The 10 largest antitrust law firms in the United States have gone into the federal courts charging Monsanto with creating a global conspiracy in violation of the antitrust laws, to control the global market in seeds.
Jeremy Rifkin”

Jeremy Rifkin

“The insurance companies aren’t covering that. Should Monsanto be liable for these losses? Should the state government? Who’s going to cover the losses? The fact is, here’s an industry with no long-term liability in place.”

Jeremy Rifkin

Dvorak Slams Vista 7, New Benchmark Shows It’s a Hog, Kotaku Says It’s Bad for Gaming

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 4:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

John C Dvorak

Summary: A lot of bad publicity for Vista 7 arrives from many different directions just days before its release

YESTERDAY we wrote about the Vista 7 marketing blitz, which intends to sell another new version Vista. John Dvorak, who moved to Ubuntu GNU/Linux on at least one of his computers, is far from dazzled by Microsoft’s PR campaigns. The opening of his latest column states: “Microsoft’s PR and marketing follies are symptomatic of a company-wide laziness.”

Further he writes:

Having followed Microsoft’s exploits since its inception, I can safely say the best anyone can hope for with Windows 7 is moderate success. For all of the fanfare surrounding the new OS, Win 7 is really just a Vista martini. The operating system may have two olives instead of one this time out, but it’s still made with the same cheap Microsoft vodka.

This is an issue than runs deeper than mere OS programming. The cocktail analogy extends to other aspects of the company, including PR and marketing. You see, all Microsoft requires is some manner of moderate success that will help deflect Vista-like criticism and grief for the next four years. This, ultimately, won’t have anything to do with what is in the actual OS. Rather it will be a reflection of the way the OS is perceived. Such perception is a function of Microsoft’s marketing machine and PR, both of which are either AWOL or non-existent, seeming to have gone into a slumber the day Bill Gates left the company.

[...]

In the end, Windows 7 is a big deal—but it should be an even bigger deal. It will get a lot of attention for the next week, but the buzz will wane rapidly as people realize that there is no new paradigm here, just more cheap vodka that will inevitably be followed by the same old Microsoft hangover.

In other Vista 7 news, Apple squashes Microsoft’s hype by showing that Mac OS X is faster than Vista 7. Actually, those tests were done independently.

Test Shows Snow Leopard is Faster Than Win 7

[...]

CNet’s Dong Ngo took a late-2008 model 15-inch MacBook Pro and used it to compare Snow Leopard 10.6.1 and Windows 7 64-bit RTM (with native drivers from Boot Camp 3.0). The machine was equipped with a 2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB of RAM, and a 512MB Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT video card – things that you could also find in a PC notebook.

Ngo found that Snow Leopard outperformed Windows 7 in nearly all areas except for graphics (likely due to better drivers from Nvidia).

As the above mentions graphics, worth mentioning is this new article from Kotaku, which shows that Vista 7 is bad for gamers, just like Vista.

The problem I have with Windows 7, though, isn’t its failure to vastly improve the gaming experience, it’s Microsoft’s failure to take advantage of the attention brought by the launch of a new operating system to once more thrust PC gaming into the spotlight.

[...]

If Microsoft want its PC gaming platform to thrive they will need to do more than offer lip service in the future. But with the lasting success of the gaming console and PC gamers’ ability to seemingly put up with anything, why should they?

Microsoft declined to comment for this article.

In order for people not to pay attention to Microsoft’s bad financial results, the release of Vista 7 shall come on the same day. If rumours are true, Google will also attempt to steal Microsoft’s thunder.

Google is doing its utmost to piss on Microsoft’s chips ahead of the official 22 October launch of Windows 7, by expanding its “Going Google” campaign to lure customers away from the software giant.

Thus far, the hype around Vista 7 does not match the hype that preceded Windows Vista back in 2007. If that’s not telling, what is?

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