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10.27.09

Call for Federal Action Against Microsoft (and Gates) Tax Dodge

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft at 8:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“My background is finance and accounting. As a socially conscious venture capitalist and philanthropist, I have a very good understanding of wealth management and philanthropy. I started my career in 1967 with the IRS as a specialist in taxation covering many areas of the tax law including the so-called legal loopholes to charitable giving. […] However, the Gates Buffet foundation grant is nothing more than a shell game in which control of assets for both Gates and Buffet remain the same. […] The only difference is that the accumulation of wealth by these two will be much more massive because they will no longer have to pay any taxes.”

The Gates and Buffet Foundation Shell Game

Summary: The financial affairs of Microsoft and its former chairman raise serious questions which the public demands addressal of

WHETHER one calls it a “tax dodge” or “tax evasion” (Microsoft was found guilty in India, for example), it is clear that poor Microsoft (and poor Bill) would rather let all those rich taxpayers take the bills. Yes, the same goes for the Gates Foundation, which is profiteering through investments while not paying tax (it is registered as a charitable establishment). We wrote quite extensively about Microsoft and income tax in, e.g.:

There is a new call for citizens of the United States to contact their representatives and complain about Microsoft’s tax dodge, which has cost the mostly-impoverished population billions of dollars all around the world (it is them who paid from their own pockets for what Microsoft ought to have paid). From a concerned and informed citizen:

When you buy Microsoft software in a box for personal use, you pay sales tax at the point of delivery. But, when large corporations purchase Microsoft software, they are actually buying an electronic download with the right to install that software on a pre-determined number of computers. The same goes for PC manufacturers such as Dell that preinstall Microsoft Windows 7 on its computers.

[...]

Aren’t there laws against this?

According to the Department of Revenue, to avoid this tax, a company, like Microsoft, would need to “effectively transfer the property to a related company (e.g., parent and subsidiary corporations) located outside Washington” and recognize income from the value of the transfer on its Washington taxes. It’s not clear that Microsoft has done this – and there are legal doctrines to charge a corporation if it illegally evades its taxes:

1) The doctrine of Nexus represents ties or links that a corporation has with a state. Microsoft clearly has nexus in Washington given its 40,224 employees, 9.8 million square feet and 79 physical sites. Its software also has nexus here as most is built, tested, marketed, sold and distributed from these facilities. Microsoft’s historical use of the laws of Washington to govern its licensing contracts, its Washington-based lawyers and its use of Washington’s courts to defend it also contribute to the nexus of its licensing business.

2) The Step Doctrine focuses on whether steps of a transaction may stand alone or, rather, whether the transaction should be treated as a whole. It can be applied when a corporation creates additional artificial steps to appear as if it is not liable to pay tax.

[...]

Do Microsoft’s Practices Constitute Illegal Tax Evasion?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been asking Washington’s Department of Revenue to publish a finding on the legality of this kind of tax practice. The department is required to protect the privacy of taxpayers and therefore cannot answer specific questions about Microsoft only questions about specific practices in the abstract.

From Slashdot’s summary of the above:

For tax purposes, Microsoft reports that it’s earned its estimated $143 billion in software licensing revenue in Nevada, where there is no licensing tax, as we discussed a few weeks ago. However, for legal purposes, Microsoft relies on Washington law and its underfunded courts to defend its contracts as it did in Microsoft Licensing GP vs. TSR Silicon. Application of common legal doctrines such as nexus, the step doctrine, and alter ego theory may lead to findings that Microsoft owes the state more than $1 billion in taxes, interest, and penalties.

Not enough attention is being paid to Bill Gates’ stash of questionable investment funds that he shelters inside a supposedly-philanthropist body, just like other people with his type of wealth. They have found a loophole, so even if laws are ever passed to effectively tax the upper class, most of their money will be kept away from applicability of such laws.

People must begin asking themselves these important questions and learn about the subject using the means and time available. The mainstream press is the friend of those who are buying/funding it, so rarely does it have the courage to expose those who fund it; doing so would essentially drive them out of business because money comes from business (advertisers), not readers and viewers. To press/broadcast, readers and viewers are the products that they sell to advertisers, i.e. businesses that are the real clients. To whit:

“Truthfulness with me is hardly a virtue. I cannot discriminate between truths that and those that don’t need to be told.”

Margot Asquith

In response to our last post on the subject, namely the one about the Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, one person replied with the following:

Just look at who all the food-related groups which the Rockefeller Foundation funds:

CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) – the “food police” who back in March 1988 said that trans fats were “relatively harmless”

* Consumer Federation of America (CFA) – used to be headed by Monsanto shill Carol Tucker ForemanMonsanto

PETA – animal “rights” group which kills most of the pets they “rescue” (actually funded by the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors)

* Nutrition Action newsletter, March 1988, “The Truth About Trans – Hydrogenated Oils Aren’t Guilty As Charged”

There is also this new gem about the Gates Foundation:

The Financial Times last week ran a story titled “Bill Gates shifts focus to hunger”, covering a major speech by Gates detailing a new emphasis by his foundation on food security and agricultural output in developing countries.

[...]

Second, will the Foundation invest in the type of engagement and advocacy on trade policy issues (exhibit A: subsidies to developed world agricultural industry) that deeply influence food security, especially in sub-Saharan Africa? While the development of new technologies and tools is critical and has often been the Gates Foundation’s sweet-spot, major progress will be held back without a serious shift in the global economic system around agriculture and food.

Here is more information about what the Gates Foundation is doing in Africa [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

The Real (and Negative) Reviews of Vista 7 Start Coming

Posted in GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 7:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7 starts now

Summary: Real customers get their hands on Vista 7 and not all are pleased; some ponder moving to GNU/Linux, which is perceived as better

RIGHT from the start we have warned that the reality behind Vista 7 was very different from what the mainstream press was perpetuating. This post accumulates new evidence of an important realisation.

Back to Earth

Here is a new post that quotes Reuters, hitting the nail on the head.

Reuters reminds us that, “Like Windows 7, Vista got good reviews too: As Microsoft Corp’s Windows 7 release approaches, early reviews are generally positive. But so were reviews for Windows Vista just before its launch…. Vista got high marks before its release as well, with writers back then praising a new visual design — and glossing over quirks that later became common gripes.

This included fake reviews and reviews written by the Microsoft ecosystem, i.e. those to whom the success of Windows is vital to income.

When it comes to Vista 7, people who fancy Windows have reviewed it a lot (ahead of release) but not passive consumers who don’t know much about setting up their computers — people who are poor at adapting to change because they only use their computers minutes per day and never set anything up themselves.

“Is Windows 7 the Greatest OS Ever?”

That’s the question addressed by IDG. The answer is that nobody knows and it remains to be seen. People used to say the same things about Vista. The article ends as follows:

Given that Windows XP users outnumber Windows Vista users almost 4 to 1, and that three out of four users still use the older version of Windows, the reigning champ in this area has to be Windows XP.

The bottom line though is that only you can determine what is the best operating system for you. Determining the ‘best’ operating system is, in fact, a matter of subjective opinion. Surveys and statistics may be useful, but what matters is how it works for you to do what you want a computer operating system to do.

It is too early to measure Windows 7 against most of the factors I listed, but I do think given time it could emerge as the best version of Windows and maybe even the best operating system.

As pointed out here, Vista 7 might not even be an “upgrade” for Windows users, especially those who use Windows XP and can thus run the most applications and games (leaving alone the other advantages they may have).

Thing is, upgrades don’t actually exist in the Windows world. They don’t. This is not an opinion. This is not up for an argument. Windows Upgrades do not exist.

It is, however, possible to crossgrade across different versions of Windows. What you can do is trade the problems of one Windows system for the problems of another Windows system. In Windows 95 you traded the small size of the Operating System for increased bulk. I don’t mean just amount of space taken up on the hard-drive, I mean the performance of the OS as well. Windows 98 didn’t have high system requirements… but it couldn’t run on some really low end computers that Win95 could.

Technical Problems

Early buyers of Vista 7 are starting to discover what Microsoft would love to hide. Yesterday we wrote about some serious technical issues and yesterday we also found several more of them. From The Register:

Microsoft has been flooded with complaints from hundreds of disgruntled university bods who have struggled to download or successfully install Windows 7 files supplied by Digital River.

Also from The Register: “Windows 7 – The Reg reader review redux”

A 6 weeks down the line, it’s a dog. I need to make clear, this test machine only has Corel X3, Inkscape, and Filezilla installed. 7 has been slowing down terribly though. I’ve been through the Start up settings, and there is nothing starting up in the back ground. Yesterday I got to the log-in screen in 30 seconds, and then after putting in my password, it took 20 minutes to give me a desktop. I actually waited (well, went out for a fag and a tea), and kept an eye on it.

Programs are loading slower and slower, the response from mouse clicks is taking longer and longer.

I’ve been all over the machine with Viri scanners, I’ve checked the boot sequence, I’ve done everything in my knowledge, and I see no obvious reason for the slow-down. It just strikes me that 7 is the same as ever with the Windows Cruft Effect.

I’m going to wait before applying it across proper ‘production’ machines. As usual for at least Service Pack 1, but I’m now watching carefully. I think in a few weeks, we’ll see a lot of stories about 7 starting to grind to a halt. Many will be attributable to 3rd party software, but I know in my case there is sweet FA on this machine, and it’s still grinding to a halt.

Interesting times ahead. How long will the honeymoon last I wonder….

BusinessWeek emerges with the headline “Windows 7: The First Blue Screen”

My main Windows 7 system, which has been rock solid since I installed the shipping version of the operating system in early August, presented me with my first Blue Screen of Death this morning. The system had been acting a bit cranky for an hour or so when it suddenly crashed.

IDG has another batch of common issues that are being raised: “Windows 7 Upgrade Woes Mount: Endless Reboots and Product Key Problems”

Endless Reboots

Users began to complain about endless reboots on Friday, posting messages to the Microsoft suwindows 7pport forums stating that the Windows 7 upgrade would hang two-thirds of the way through the upgrade. Microsoft says it is investigating user problems regarding “endless reboots,” but downplayed them as “isolated issues,” according to reports.

Here is a sample complaint from the forums:

“On the last step of the upgrade (transferring files/programs/etc.), my laptop rebooted and came to a screen telling me the upgrade was unsuccessful and my previous [Vista] OS files would now be restored. My laptop is now in what seems to be a loop of restarting and trying to restore the files,” wrote one user, JSchneider21.

[...]

Product Key Problems

Other angry users are saying that Windows won’t accept product keys supplied with Windows 7 upgrade disks. “The product key is not valid. Please retype the product key,” Windows 7 tells them.

More complains: “Beware the 20 hour Windows 7 upgrade”

This machine was no slouch, being an ASUS Lamborghini with beefy specifications. The laptop was set up how I liked, loaded with applications and data running on top of Windows Vista.

This time I chose to perform an upgrade to Windows 7, believing the end result would be a seamless migration to Microsoft’s new operating system, but with my programs and settings as they were.

In contrast to the previous Windows 7 installations this upgrade took a surprisingly long time. It literally ran all night. Nothing in the Windows 7 installation process indicated that hours and hours would be required.

When I booted sure enough my settings and documents were preserved but the system performed worse than ever.

As I was to find out, this was not unexpected by Microsoft.

My grunty laptop had become sluggish to boot and Windows itself ran like everything was covered in molasses. It was an embarrassment to show people when they enquired about “this new Windows 7 thing” they’d heard about.

The Aero theme continually locked up forcing a reboot. Switching to a basic display theme got me further but still reported kernel mode faults and blanked the screen on a regular basis.

The experience I had with an upgraded Windows 7 installation was horrendous.

GNU/Linux in Comparison

In Linux Today, readers who tried Vista 7 are not impressed. For instance:

If this is the best that Microsoft can do, and don’t forget that the Vista launch had all the same “reworked from the ground up” marketing spew, then the only thing required for Linux to triumph is to be there as MS comes crashing down.

In response to the above:

But the biggest blow came when I played a while with the OS. After a while I realised I was just sitting in front of the screen with a blank stare. There was nothing exiting about it! No “WOW” feeling at all. When I first tried XP I felt interested. And now I have a feeling saying “well – it runs… so what?”. Maybe I am spoiled with things like Mandriva 2009.1 and KDE4, but I did not feel the smallest bit of enthusiasm or excitement when I got Windows 7 running.

An advocate of GNU/Linux, Jack Wallen, is still unable to find compelling new features in Vista 7.

What I do dislike is the marketing coming out of Redmond. Why?

Once again Microsoft is claiming creation of features that have been in other operating systems for a while now. This happens nearly every time Microsoft releases a new operating system. And in this week’s open source blog, I thought I would illustrate that point with regards to Windows 7. It is not my intention to do a feature-for-feature comparison, but point out the features Microsoft are claiming to be “new” that have actually been in Linux for a while.

I want to make a point, though, of saying this is not an article cutting down one operating system while supporting another. I am just pointing out the errors of the PR machine at Microsoft. With that said, here we go.

Aero: We all know this isn’t new. And we all know that Linux has had every feature displayed in Aero for some time now. This is one area that really burns my cheeks. Microsoft claims to have redesigned the desktop experience, when in fact they just took ideas from Compiz and OS X and claimed it as theirs.

The lack of new features in Vista 7 leads Notebooks.com to wondering about GNU/Linux as a viable option.

The only appealing thing, for me, about Windows 7 is that reports have indicated that it is generally faster than Vista. But why not go with a free alternative like Linux? I could easily download and install a Linux distribution today, for free, and it would probably run just as fast, if not faster than Windows 7. So what am I really paying for with a Windows 7 upgrade? Speed over Microsoft’s previous OS? Why not just go back to XP, which I already own, and is just as fast for the most part?

Fake, paid-for hype (as we last showed yesterday) is not getting promoters of GNU/Linux demoralised.

Honestly, I am suspicious. Then again, if you’re one who’d be likely to think that it’s better to risk the ire of a seemingly small group of users of Linux than to risk your business then it’s your decision. But please back it up with better reasoning than “Windows® helps you quickly and easily get online and connect to your devices and services – without dealing with an unfamiliar environment or major compatibility issues.” If you’ve got someone who was using Windows XP switching over to Vista or Windows 7, things will be different. It looks somewhat familiar but not quite. Not everything’s the same as before.

So yeah, with the advent of Windows 7 I am expecting more FUD against Linux and free and open source software in general. But I know that the community is improving on the kernel as well as the distros and the other applications that come with it.

In many ways, GNU/Linux is ahead of the latest Windows. For example:

This is most discussed issue between the two operating systems. No doubt Windows 7 boots faster than Vista, but Ubuntu 9.10 has a breezy boot up.

“Microsoft plays another round of blame the user,” tells us a regular reader, pointing to the following interesting observation.

‘The Windows 7 Was My Idea’ Campaign

[...]

…the very next barrage from Microsoft revolves around the sale of the idea that all of what appears in Windows 7 was the idea of the public.

No doubt we shall be seeing many more push-backs from early adopters of Vista 7, which was more of a marketing phenomenon. Desktop GNU/Linux is still in a great position with KDE 4.4 and GNOME 3.0 around the corner.

“Acer and Intel, for example, are already complaining that Windows 7 Starter Edition simply won’t sell.”

Source

Links 27/10/2009: Video Playback Hackfest, Mandriva Linux 2010 Comes Soon

Posted in News Roundup at 6:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Incorporated

    I’ve known for ages that Linux had migrated from enthusiasts to big business. It wasn’t until this weekend’s Florida Linux Show, where I spoke on desktop Linux, that I realized how fully Linux has become part of the IT mainstream.

    The first thing that brought this home to me was a session on “Using Red Hat ClusterSuite and GFS (Global File System) to Provide Highly Available Virtual Machines.” I hadn’t expected a big turnout for this session. It’s a highly technical subject that only matters to big businesses with sophisticated IT departments. Besides, it was Saturday morning in Orlando, Florida! I was wrong.

  • I Can Haz Virus

    A virus run in Wine is akin to taking a ferocious tiger out of the jungle, paralyzing it, then hooking up all of its nerve endings to virtual jungle simulator. It’s not a perfect simulation, though, so the jungle maybe doesn’t look right, and plus there’s an omnipotent power that can change anything that goes on in the simulation, or even destroy it and the tiger’s consciousness with a few twitches of his fingers. Now that’s power.

  • MythTV: Turning Linux Into a Digital Video Recorder: The Server

    Digital video capture cards and USB dongles can be had for less than $50 a piece. With such cheap hardware, turning a Linux server into a personal Digital Video Recorder (DVR) becomes very tempting. Of course, you don’t just want to watch live TV but also pause it, setup automatic captures of those science programs that air at 3 am, or record the live network coverage of events you are planning to attend in person, so you can watch them at a more agreeable hour.

  • KELLNER: Linux hits user nerve

    We may well be at the start of a sea change in computing: If your OS costs more than, say, 10 percent to 15 percent of your hardware’s cost, it might be viewed as costing too much.

  • One more word about Linux and Windows ‘emulatiion’

    In Monday’s “On Computers” column, I make reference to WINE, which, technically is not a Windows “emulator.” I did so using the word “Emulatiion” up front. Here’s why: “Emulation” was the easiest word I could find to explain to fellow non-geeks what WINE actually does. No, it isn’t, strictly speaking, an “emulator.” WINE advocates say it’s much more than that, and I’m willing to believe them.

  • Crafting a custom Metallica pinball table with Linux, love

    What does it take to create a pinball machine for the biggest metal band in the world? Custom art, Linux programming, and a whole lot of love. Here is the Metallica pinball machine.

  • Zoom 1.6 Makes Linux Performance Tuning Easier Than Ever

    Zoom is an essential performance analysis tool for all Linux developers and users. Version 1.5 features several enhancements to help increase programmer productivity and optimize Linux application performance. This reduces costs by making software faster and more energy efficient. Zoom is available for $199 (USD) and offers a free 30-day evaluation period.

  • Desktop

    • Chrome OS: A World Without Installs

      In talking at the Web 2.0 Summit, Sundar Pichai, VP of product management at Google, mentioned how apps that work on the web will work in Chrome OS, adding, “As a user, you don’t install software, you don’t maintain software.”

    • Google gives hints about Chrome OS

      The vice president of product management at Google has said in an interview at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco that the Chrome OS will be designed in light of the best features of the Chrome browser.

      “Chrome has been doing very well for us,” Sundar Pichai said, adding the browser has about 30 million users worldwide a year after a release.

    • Why I Use Linux

      So, once again, I make no apology for waving the flag for Linux. Indeed, I’d actively encourage users to give it a try. Yes, it is different from Windows, but certainly rewarding. Most distributions come as a LiveCD so you can run it without installing on your PC. As it is open source, you have nothing to lose other than a bit of your time.

    • Consider New Windows, Mac and Linux Releases an Early Gift

      For me, the end of October marks the release of Ubuntu 9.10, which calls itself “Linux for human beings.” I’ve been running the free Ubuntu Linux operating system on my main laptop since May, and I’m pretty happy with it.

    • Ubuntu Linux is Prime Time for your Business Desktop and Notebook Computing Environment

      So with the purchase of an IBM T40 (a tough notebook), increasing system administration time was not an option. This alone forced an serious consideration of Linux as an alternative operating environment. That was five years ago. Now an established Linux user, I can clearly profess the capabilities and benefits of Linux for small and large businesses, especially, when it comes to notebook deployment.

    • Why desktop market share shouldn’t be Linux’s priority

      After all, possibly the most important philosophy behind Linux today, is freedom.

  • Kernel Space

    • A Hackfest To Improve Linux Video Playback

      When it comes to video playback on Linux, the premiere choice for video acceleration is currently using VDPAU with its CPU-efficient, GPU-accelerated capabilities that even has no problems playing 1080p video files with extremely low-end hardware. However, VDPAU is not yet widespread in all Linux video drivers, and other free software developers have been working on improving other areas of the Linux video stack too. One of these developers is GNOME’s Benjamin Otte who has been working on using Cairo/Pixman for raw video in GStreamer. Additionally, he has organized a Linux video “hackfest” that will take place next month in Barcelona, Spain to further this Linux video playback work.

    • What’s missing in Btrfs

      So, after being completely betrayed[1] by Ext4 not once, but twice, I decided to evaluate my FS options for /home .

      * FAT* are not an option, neither is NTFS.
      * Ext2 is primitive and HFS/HFS+ is just not Linux.
      * JFS is nice, but (atleast parted) doesn’t support grow/shrink.
      * I’ve used XFS before, and found it to be more reliable than Ext4. However, deleting dirs with thousands of small files is too slow (a common operation when compiling)
      * ZFS would’ve been an option if my earlier experiences with ZFS-FUSE weren’t so horrid.
      * Did not even consider NILFS. It’s too new, and I don’t know much about it.

  • Applications

  • KDE

    • KDE at Ontario Linux Fest

      Yet another solution would be to always make sure there are representatives of at least one major KDE centric distro attending the same conference, and refer people to them. This one is the easiest solution, but it isn’t much in terms of solving an actual problem.

    • Good karma

      So in a slightly reckless move I decided to update the machine to the next Kubuntu: karmic koala. This meant going to KDE 4.3. To my relief the install went very well. All important settings for digikam and kmail were migrated automatically. Dolphin is really nice and more intuitive for non-professional users. The kwin effects add a nice touch of class (translucent wobbly windows). Plasmoids on the desktop (photo frames and weather forcast) were very well received.

      In short: good karma! Thank you very much, Kubuntu team.

    • NetworkManager
    • Hidden Linux : Learning to love KDE 4 (part III)

      Linux has had multiple desktops since Adam was a cowboy but under KDE 4 you can have multiple-multiple desktops. Confused? Bear with me …

    • Just another way of browsing your files

      The code that actually does something is minimal: a bit of UDS entry creation for dates and a simple SPARQL query to forward to the nepomuksearch KIO slave. Yes, it is as easy as that since we can simply set the UDS_URL property of an item to a nepomuksearch URL and KIO will take care of the rest. Smooth. Thanks a lot David Faure. Once again you paved the way.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews: GNOME SlackBuild 2.26.3 for Slackware 13.0

      GSB provides an integrated, easy-to-install, and rather complete GNOME desktop environment. In keeping with Slackware philosophy it installs just a minimal set of GNOME packages and then allows the user to add the applications he or she may need. GSB also includes packages which add improved package management and simplified localization to Slackware as well as offering some popular applications not included in the official Slackware repositories.

    • Chakra Alpha 3 – Review!

      Ive always prefered the minimalist DE. XFCE was always a favorite of mine and whilst my hardware is more than modern enough to run the latest DE, Ive always been of the opinion that no matter what your specs, you shouldn’t needlessly throw CPU cycles away on “bling features” that apart from being visually appealing serve little purpose. Having said that I cannot live in the past forever so “onwards and upwards” with KDE 4.3.1!

      [...]

      It would not be fair to be critical of Chakra on the basis of it being incomplete in terms of default packages, if this is an example of later versions I can see Chakra being VERY popular. Its fast, functional & compatible. In regards to KDE I found it smooth, fast and puts Windows 7 to shame since I was running a very GFX appealing distro on only 512mb of ram and an old rig.

    • Gentoo 10.1 LiveDVD Brings Fixes & Enhancements

      In celebration of Gentoo’s 10th birthday, the Gentoo engineering team banded together and created the Gentoo 10 LiveDVD of the latest packages for this rolling Linux distribution. Less than a month after releasing Gentoo 10.0, the Gentoo Ten team has released Gentoo 10.1.

    • Review: PC-BSD 7.1.1

      PC-BSD is a good distribution for the adventurous newbie up to the intermediate user who isn’t afraid to tinker or afraid of a little command line work to make things 100% the way they want. It’s still got some issues to iron out, but I figure that in time it’ll be one of the top desktops out there for people to use. But in the meantime I can’t really see it as a good daily driver.

    • Mandriva

      • Mandriva announces the upcoming launch of Mandriva Linux 2010

        Mandriva announces the upcoming launch of Mandriva Linux 2010, the latest version of its innovative operating system. Mandriva Linux 2010 will be available from Tuesday, 3rd November.

      • 20 Features in Mandriva 2010

        Mandriva 2010 will include OpenOffice.org 3.1 (based on the Go-OO branch) and that means more features like SVG support, 3D transitions ,VBA support, KDE 4 integration and Includes useful Extensions.

    • New Releases

      • Linux release flood

        Mandriva Linux 2010

        Mandriva is another much-anticipated Linux release and Mandriva Linux 2010 is expected to be released on November 3. One of the major features implemented in Mandriva Linux 2010 is the use of the Moblin platform for mobile devices. Built around the Atom processor used in most netbooks.
        Moblin is optimised for quick startup, shutdown and taking advantage of the smaller size of netbooks.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Open-Source ATI R600/700 3D Support In Fedora 12

        Fedora 12 provides “out of the box” support for kernel mode-setting with ATI R600/700 series graphics hardware, but it does not provide 3D acceleration by default. However, Red Hat’s X developers have made it very easy to enable this 3D support for the ATI Radeon HD 2000, 3000, and 4000 series hardware by just installing a special Mesa package from yum. In this article we are taking a quick look at where the R600/700 3D support is at in Fedora 12.

      • 9 awesome features to look out for in Fedora 12

        Fedora 12 which is scheduled to debut this November has some of the best features ever. Like all it’s previous releases, Fedora has always included cutting edge technologies. In this article we will have a look at 9 awesome features that Fedora 12 has.

      • CentOS rev’s to version 5.4, tries on KVM

        CentOS 5.4 is based on RHEL 5.4, which was released in August. The key enhancement to RHEL 5.4 was the addition of full support for the KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) hypervisor, which has been implemented in preview form in CentOS 5.4. Other RHEL 5.4 enhancements include cluster improvements, new graphics drivers, laptop docking support, ALSA audio infrastructure, improved Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) enablement, security and tools enhancements, and a host of general Linux kernel improvements.

    • Debian Family

      • Eeebuntu eeevolves with Debian Linux

        The team behind Eeebuntu, an ASUS Eee netbook-optimised version of Ubuntu Linux, has announced that compatibility issues with Ubuntu 9.10 – Karmic Koala – has led them to abandon Ubuntu and build their work upon Debian Linux from now on.

      • What can we expect from 10.04 – Lucid Lynx?

        Boot speed has been a hot topic for a long time now and Ubuntu has come a long way in the last few releases. For Ubuntu 10.04 the target boot speed is 10 seconds! The reference platform for this target is a Dell Mini 9 netbook with a slow CPU and fast SSD that makes it an excellent “middle of the road” machine. Some people’s machines will be slower, some will be faster.

        There’s also a plan to improve the speed on the installation process. Currently when installing packages in Ubuntu the download is a separate step from the unpack/configure. Ubuntu will be able to install package faster by doing downloads and installs in parallel. While downloading the cpu and disk are mostly idle. While installing the network is idle. Doing them in parallel is a good way to utilize both systems.

      • [UPDATED] Initial thoughts on Ubuntu 9.10 beta

        One the whole there are some nice benefits to the upgrade, as long as you don’t depend on the features I mentioned above. As I finally finish this post we have a mere four days before Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala” is released, now may be a great time to snag the ISO for the Release Candidate and try it out on your own system.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 165

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #165 for the week October 18th – October 24th, 2009. In this issue we cover: Release Candidate for Ubuntu 9.10 now available, October 21st America’s Membership Board Meeting, Ubuntu IRC Council Elections, Keeping Ubuntu CD’s Available, LoCo News, Launchpad: The next six months, Meet Matthew Revell, Launchpad offline 4:00UTC – 4:30UTC October 26th, The Planet, TurnKey: 40 Ubuntu-based virtual appliances released into the cloud, and much, much more!

      • Counting the Days

        Yesterday the Ubuntu devs released Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala” Beta was Thursday, and after a quick check of the new LiveCD I must say the update looks pretty nice. Just booting in with the LiveCD brought a very nice new feature that I have to write about in the coming days. I saw a message that one of my partitions has a number of errors, something I suspected but hadn’t confirmed yet. You should definitely grab the ISO file and burn the disc yourself to see some of the great improvements coming down the pipeline for us.

      • Canonical limits free Ubuntu CDs

        The ShipIt scheme allows people to order a copy of Ubuntu on a CD for free through the mail. However, with Ubuntu growing in popularity Canonical has decided to make a few changes to the way the programme works.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • NAS device offers 14TB storage, Core 2 Duo

      Thecus Technology announced a Linux-based, seven-bay networked-attached storage (NAS) appliance. The N7700Pro runs on an Intel Core 2 Duo with up to 4GB of DDR2 800 memory, has dual gigabit Ethernet adapters plus a PCI Express x8 slot, and supports 14TB of storage, says the company.

    • Tilera pushes to 100 cores with mesh processor

      Upstart massively multicore chip designer Tilera has divulged the details on its upcoming third generation of Tile processors, which will sport from 16 to 100 cores on a single die.

      [...]

      There are a lot of differences between the Tile family of chips and these graphics processors, but the key one is that the Tile multicore processors run Linux directly (albeit a homegrown one) and are being designed not just for digital signal and networking processing, but to run that standard LAMP stack – Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.

    • Phones

      • Nokia N900 hype refuses to die down despite global launch delay

        The hype surrounding the anticipated launch of Nokia’s flagship N900 smartphone is refusing to die down despite the Finnish mobile phone maker saying shipping of the smartphone has been delayed till November.

      • Linux in your hand; from geeks only to consumer friendly mass market

        Linux is not new to the mobile phone world, but in the past the majority of Linux-based phones were sold in China or were feature phones with “hidden” Linux builds, such as the Motorola RAZR2 V8, MotoZine ZN5, and Motorola ROKRs. Companies have taken the power of Linux and are bringing that to the mass market with these latest smartphones. These Linux-based operating systems are attractive to device makers because of the free or relatively inexpensive licensing agreements. We also see some of these high end Linux-based operating systems being quite open, primarily when looking at Google Android and Nokia Maemo 5 and 6. Palm’s WebOS is primarily a closed system at this time.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Monty, Stallman, MySQL, Oracle, and Sun: Open Letter Wars

    The moment the MySQL founders, who have been handsomely rewarded, took VC money they turned MySQL from being a hobby project/company, and into a major technology company and an asset. The change happened years ago, it’s just that they’re only starting to wise up now.

  • Everything you always wanted to know about MySQL but were afraid to ask

    In order to try and bring some order to the conversation, we have brought together some of the most referenced blog posts and news stories in chronological order. We will continue to update this post until either the acquisition or the EC’s investigation closes.

  • 49 Hot New Open Source Applications

    Third, multimedia continues to be a hot topic. Songbird, cPlay, Kaltura, Elltube, and others aim to help users do more with their audio and video files.

  • Open Source Meets the Cloud

    Apart from the custom Line-of-Business (LOB) applications on LAMP, there are some really powerful frameworks built on OSS. A significant part of the web today runs on Open Source Content Management System (CMS) frameworks like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla.

  • Symbian kernel Open Source release and Tanenbaum

    As most people have noticed by now, The Symbian Foundation has released the source code of their microcernel under an open source license. While any open source release of formerly proprietary software is something I warmly welcome, I doubt that it will take of as an actual open source project.

    There’s a difference between releasing software under a FOSS license and running a successful FOSS project. The latter involves a sufficiently large community of developers, ways how they can contribute [...]

  • Exciting Open Source developments in Thailand

    The Blender Foundation just posted news of two e-books issued by the government of Thailand, one covering the 3d content creation suite Blender and one covering the GNU Image Manipulation Program, aka GIMP. I have a special affection for both of these programs, for several reasons.

    [...]

    GIMP proved that open source is not limited to uber-geeks and embedded systems. But the skeptics continued, revising their theory to say that “well, GIMP is just 2D, and that’s really not very hard. You’ll never see a complete open source 3D suite offering fully professional capabilities.”

  • FSF/GNU

    • GRUB 1.97 released

      GRUB, also known as the GRand Unified Bootloader, is a modular, portable bootloader that supports a number of platforms, including standard BIOS-based PCs, IEEE-1275 platforms (such as the OLPC and some PowerPC/Sparc64 hardware) and coreboot, the free (as in freedom) pre-boot initialization framework.

    • Brian Aker debates with Richard Stallman

      At foss.my 2009, Brian Aker asked Richard Stallman at his keynote, about the Oracle/Sun acquisition (with a focus on MySQL), with regards to the parallel licensing approach used by MySQL.

    • Keynote speech of Richard Stallman in FOSS.my about free software movement

      Today is the 2nd day of FOSS.my 2009, a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) conference organized and suported by grassroot communities in Malaysia, and the high tide being Richard Stallman’s keynote speech about free software movement of more than 2 hours, right before the delayed lunch.

  • Government

    • White House website goes open source

      Although the website looks the same, apparently the back-end is totally different and the existence of a large open source software community developing and supporting the code makes it more secure.

    • Thoughts on the Whitehouse.gov switch to Drupal

      Yesterday, the new media team at the White House announced via the Associated Press that whitehouse.gov is now running on Drupal, the open source content management system. That Drupal implementation is in turn running on a Red Hat Linux system with Apache, MySQL and the rest of the LAMP stack. Apache Solr is the new White House search engine.

    • Nation’s First Open Source Election Software Released

      A group working to produce an open and transparent voting system to replace current proprietary systems has published its first batches of code for public review.

  • Programming

    • LLVM 2.6 Released, Clang Is Now Production Ready

      Version 2.6 of LLVM, the Low-Level Virtual Machine, has been released. This modular compiler infrastructure, which can replace many parts of the GNU Compiler Collection and go far beyond the conventional roles as a code compiler such as being used within Apple’s Mac OS X OpenGL implementation for providing optimizations and is similarly going to be used within Gallium3D, has taken a major leap forward with the 2.6 release.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Peering Disputes Migrate to IPv6

      IPv6 is the next generation of the Internet Protocol, and will dramatically expand the number of addresses available for web sites, as well as millions of mobile devices with Internet access. Although the transition will address some of the network’s challenges, others will clearly persist. That includes disputes over peering, which have quickly made the jump from IPv4 to IPv6.

Leftovers

  • Lawsuit: Best Buy lies

    A class action lawsuit was filed yesterday against Best Buy alleging that its “Price Match Guarantee” is a fraud.

  • AstroTurf

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • EFF: Chamber of Commerce Takes Aim at Yes Men

      Attorneys for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have issued a takedown notice in an attempt to silence a parody website that was posted in support of the Yes Men’s embarrassing prank poking fun at the Chamber’s stance on climate change legislation.

      In a letter sent to the Chamber’s attorneys today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) demands that the baseless claims be withdrawn immediately.

    • Xeni on Rachel Maddow Show: John McCain vs. the Internet

      Eternally excellent Rachel Maddow allowed me to join her tonight (pretty much the only reason I own a TV now is to watch her show) for a discussion about John McCain’s “Internet Freedom Act,” also known as “The Great Telecom Reacharound of 2009.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • On The Media Takes On The Music Industry

      He is, of course, defending Billboard’s obsolete “charts” which are still based mostly on CD sales and radio play, but just comes across as someone who doesn’t even realize what he’s measuring (at 43:15 on the podcast):

      “Right, okay, the one thing that does skew our ratings is that older people buy more music. They steal less music…. So like, you know, a Bruce Springsteen or a Madonna might overperform on the album sales chart relative to some more subjective measure of their popularity. But as far as like who’s stealing what… I mean, what use is that?”

      And that, right there, is why Billboard has become so obsolete. It’s lead by people who think that file sharing is “stealing” and that it’s meaningless in figuring out where the money is in music.

LPC 2009: The Battle for 2D Acceleration


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