Links 29/10/2009: Ubuntu 9.10 Released, Android Momentum Noted, 100,000,000 Downloads of OpenOffice.org 3.0

Posted in News Roundup at 6:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • On Linux and random numbers

    Linux in a Nutshell, 6th Edition just been launched to a clamoring world by O’Reilly and at 917 pages including index it beats the heck out of resorting to the “man” command. My one complaint (you may well relate to this) is that my eyes aren’t what they used to be and the font size the book is set in is at my limit of resolution without glasses. As I can’t see well enough to find my glasses, this is a problem. All you whippersnappers will be fine. This book is a great resource. A 5 out of 5.

  • ROSE Blog Interviews: Juliet Kemp, author and admin extraordinaire

    A: I’m Juliet Kemp; I’m a sysadmin and freelance writer on Linux. I’ve been using FOSS for getting on for a decade now, and working as a sysadmin for nearly as long. I recently wrote a book of Linux systems administration tips – Linux System Administration Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach – and write regularly for http://serverwatch.com, http://www.linuxplanet.com, and Linux Format.

  • Linux Journal 2010 Wall Calendars Now Available

    For those of you who were with us back in 2002, you may remember a wall calendar we produced in celebration of issue 100 of Linux Journal. It was such a fun calendar that for years to come readers would ask me when we were going to print another. I always joked “ask me in another 100 issues”. When Executive Editor Jill Franklin reminded me that issue 200 was coming up in 2010, I realized I was going to have to hold true to my promise (and lots of other “ask me in 100 issues” promises).

  • Kernel Space

    • How To Install Kernel Updates Without Rebooting

      KSplice is an incredibly useful application that allows important updates to be installed (such as new kernels, etc) without requiring the need for a reboot.

    • X/GPU

      • X.Org Development Discussion Continues

        In late September there was a call by Peter Hutterer for a new X.Org release process that consisted of a six-month release cycle for the X Server, all development work to be done in feature branches and not Git master, and a three-stage development cycle. The agreed upon version was pretty much the same as Peter’s version, but it also called for the X.Org drivers to be pulled back into the X Server (around version 1.10).

      • X11R7.5 released – but what is it?

        Thanks to Alan Coopersmith’s efforts, X11R7.5 was released a few days ago. Except – what does that mean?

      • Debunking the ‘compiz is so bloated’ myth

        A recent trend I’ve noticed is this myth that compiz is bloated.

        My argument here is that compiz is not bloated but rather it is modular.


        Metacity with no compositing comes in at about 2.6 MB. It’s lightweight but it does not need to deal with having a plugin system loaded in. Stepping things up a bit, let’s turn on compositing.

  • Applications

    • PacketFence 1.8.5 Released

      The Inverse Team is pleased to announce the immediate availability of PacketFence 1.8.5. This is a maintenance release of PacketFence which focuses on stability and includes many bug fixes and several small enhancements.

    • Four Super Tools to Rock Your Clipboard

      Klipper – Similar to Glipper, this clipboard manager adds features to the native desktop app, but for the KDE environment. It’s part of the official KDE base module, but you can also grab it as a standalone tool. Klipper buffers your copy history so even though the last snippet you grab is the first one pasted, you can refer back to other snippets if you need to. Actions based on regular expressions can be set in the Preferences section, or you can customize existing shortcuts any way you want.

    • Nov. 5: EVO Open Source Game Console From Envizions Set To Officially Release With Feature And Performance Enhancements

      EVO, the first open source game console, is expected out of beta Nov. 5, 2009. EVO is the first fully supported open source game console designed for both mainstream and open source users. The company sold several beta units to resellers and customers with excellent feedback.

  • Games

    • Linux gaming: It’s not all bad

      The arrival of HoN and the announcement by id developer Timothee Besset that he will be overseeing a Linux build of the idTech 5 3D engine are both a huge boost for the Linux gaming community.

    • Machinarium – A Tasty Gaming Treat

      As the game opens you find yourself broken and discarded in the dump outside the city wall. Your first task is to reassemble yourself. Once that is accomplished, you can begin your quest to return to the city and your girlfriend. Your adventure unfolds as you solve puzzle-like problems in order to progress. For example, how do you trick the guard to lower the drawbridge? Or how might you enter a tunnel that remains sealed except for the few seconds when a train cart passes?

  • KDE

    • Post Amarok 2.2.1: Adding some color to your life!

      The upcoming Amarok 2.2.1 release is turning out to be quite an impressive one, especially considering how short of a release cycle we have put ourselves on. The changelog is full of good stuff already!

    • KOffice 2.1 Release Candidate 1 Released

      The application that has received the most bugfixes is once again Krita. Also KWord has seen numerous improvements in many places, and the Microsoft Word filter has once again been improved. The same goes for KPresenter and its Powerpoint import filter and KSpread.

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Optimizations Benchmarked

      Gentoo is a source based distribution which lets the user decide how to optimize their system in many ways. Linux Magazine benchmarks three of the most common GCC optimizations; -Os, -O2 and -O3, and throws in Ubuntu for good measure.

    • 5 Entertaining Chrome OS Fakes

      What’s interesting is that it actually came as a package for Ubuntu which could indicate that Chrome OS might be some variation of Ubuntu.

    • Building The Ultimate KDE Desktop With Arch Linux (Part 1)

      Welcome to the first part of my mini-guide for creating a killer KDE4 desktop with Arch Linux. In this multi-part article, I’ll first give you a general overview of installing this awesome distribution, and then in subsequent parts I’ll kick it up a notch and walk you through installing the best KDE features out there and even clone some features of other KDE distro’s while we’re at it.

    • PCLinuxOS 2009 Review

      PCLinuxOS also known as PCLinux Operating System or Pclos is a Free Linux distribution which is targeted at home users. This Linux distribution was founded in October 2003 by Texstar. Since its initial release, PCLinuxOS has come a long way. PCLinuxOS is distributed as a LiveCD and can also be installed to a local hard drive.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu’s Karmic Koala bares fangs at Windows 7

        Overall, then: Ubuntu 9.10 is a very stable and despite a few quirks – like needing to enable AppArmor settings by hand – a worthy successor to Ubuntu 9.04.

      • Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala” Officially Released

        If you don’t already know all of the details about Ubuntu 9.10, you aren’t reading Phoronix enough with our plethora of coverage. Though some of the highlights for Ubuntu 9.10 include new artwork, GNOME 2.28 integration, many updates to its graphics stack, the Ubuntu Software Center, GRUB2 integration, and much more.

      • And Today, We Party
      • OS war heats up as open source system released

        Open source system Ubuntu is primed for the release of its 9.10 system, Karmic Koala, just as Microsoft has released Windows 7.

        Ubuntu is made by Canonical, an offshoot of popular open source OS Linux.

      • Ubuntu Linux 9.10 ‘Karmic Koala’ Starts Its Climb

        In February, Ubuntu Linux founder Mark Shuttleworth announced that Ubuntu 9.10 would be codenamed the “Karmic Koala”. Today, after months of development and buzz, the Karmic Koala is being officially released into the wild.

        The open source OS’s developers are simultaneously releasing the server, desktop and netbook editions of Ubuntu 9.10 today, offering what Shuttleworth earlier this week referred to as a complete platform that he hopes will become the default alternative to Microsoft’s Windows operating systems.

      • Ubuntu 9.10: Linux for business

        When you think “Ubuntu”, you almost certainly think of it as a desktop distribution. Make no mistake, Ubuntu 9.10 is a great desktop distribution — but that’s not what Canonical, Ubuntu’s parent company, is focusing on with this release and the next, long-term support version, which will follow this one. No, Canonical has its eyes on the prize, and that’s the server market.

        The sad truth is that, except for Novell with SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop), the big-name Linux distributors tend to focus on servers. After all, as Red Hat has shown, that’s where the real money is.

      • 10 Useful Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

        You’ve installed Ubuntu 9.10, now what? Here are my top 10 tips for getting a fresh install feeling your own…

      • 6 Things to do after installing Ubuntu9.10 Karmic Koala
      • Service management in Ubuntu 9.10
      • Getting Ready For Karmic Koala – Clean Install or Upgrade From Jaunty?
      • Preparing for Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala)

        Last, if you are going to install Ubuntu on a netbook or some other system with a very small screen, when you boot the LiveCD choose the “try Ubuntu without changes” option, instead of going directly to the “Install Ubuntu” option. Once it is booted, set auto-hide on both the upper and lower panels, by right-clicking on each of them, choose Properties, and then click auto-hide and OK. Then start the installation from the desktop icon. You’ll be happy to have the little bit of extra screen space this gains you for the installation window.

      • Ubuntu Koalic Kinkajou 9.10 (semi)Review

        Since these are upgrades, there is very little to no change in appearance, with the exception of the login screen. Instead of the previous hideous brown, it’s now a hideous blue (and I like blue).

      • Before the cage is opened…
      • How To Upgrade To Ubuntu 9.10 “Karmic Koala”
      • Ubuntu 9.10 ‘Karmic Koala’ released, could decide your OS fate
      • Usability and the Ubuntu desktop

        Ubuntu is filled with tiny usability improvements such as this that help make it as intuitive and powerful as possible.

      • Ubuntu 9.10: A Worthy (though not perfect) Upgrade

        Ubuntu 9.10 is a worthwhile upgrade to everyone using this distribution.

      • Ubuntu Karmic Koala Preview — A Great Fusion with Gnome 2.28

        If you’ve been following the Ubuntu release cycle you know that the .10 release is forth coming. Slated to hit the World Wide Web on October 29th, 2009, 9.10 promises to have quite a number of new features that should please even the most discerning of Linux users.

      • Hands On with Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala)

        When I booted into my Ubuntu Linux 9.10 desktop, I heard the Ubuntu theme play. So sound worked fine right from the start. No need to fiddle with any settings to get it working. Ditto with networking.

      • Ubuntu 9.10 is the Appetizer; Ubuntu 10.04 is the Meal

        There’s a lot to like about Ubuntu 9.10, and its emphasis on design and ease of use. Pundits say confidence is running high within Canonical. And Internetnews openly wonders if Ubuntu 9.10 can become the “default alternative to Windows.”

      • Post Your Artwork Submissions And Concepts For Ubuntu 10.04

        As with every release of Ubuntu (…, Hardy, Intrepid, Jaunty, Karmic), there’s a wiki page for incoming artwork submissions and concepts (themes, icons, etc.). On the wiki you can post your artwork submissions and concepts for the Ubuntu release planned for April, 2010, nicknamed Lucid Lynx. The first submission has already been made to the Lucid Lynx artwork wiki.

      • Making of a new Ubuntu Flavor

        I’m very pleased with the way that Ubuntu developers (many, but not all of which work for Canonical) have jumped in and helped out when we needed it.

      • Kubuntu 9.10 Review

        Great job KDE and Kubuntu Teams!

      • Visual Tour n’ Tweak Guide To Ubuntu Karmic Netbook Remix

        Although there’s not an awful lot unique to netbook remix to touch on, it’s a superior experience over all to the 9.04 version. It also easily beats the rest of the Ubuntu-based netbook “distros” such as EeePeasy & Jolicloud by being easier to install, easier to use and ships with just about everything one needs. (Perhaps it ships with too much, but that’s moot.)

      • Ubuntu Based Linux Distributions Worth Trying Out

        Ubuntu is no doubt the most popular Linux distribution out there. Although, sometimes you would like to go for something different from the mainstream, you are so much into Ubuntu and are so reluctant to try out another distro. In such a situation, you can try out some other Ubuntu based distributions. That way, you are in for some added support, some modified features and you are still using a lot of Ubuntu.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Motorola Dext Android smartphone

        Indeed, the Dext has a gorgeous touchscreen, a fine Qwerty keyboard, good browser plus a reasonable camera and media players. User friendly, it offers plenty of potential for personalisation, along with growing range of apps plus Motoblur’s ability to keep you up to the second with your social networks. After the last few years of underwhelming variations on a Razr theme, Motorola has made a serious attempt to knock back the doubters with the Dext and, in all honesty, we’re a little surprised that it has come up with such a strong offering.

      • Android Apps Amping Up

        The red-hot smartphone sector is posed to get even hotter as competition grows with two signature releases due out in coming days — Verizon’s Droid and BlackBerry Storm2 — along with new indications that Android is making huge gains on the mobile software front.

      • Google releases features and updates of its forthcoming Android 2.0 platform

        The open-source Google Android operating system, which was introduced by the Open Handset Alliance in November of 2007, will have its successor Android 2.0 appear for the first time on the Verizon’s Motorola Droid smartphone, reportedly to be released on November 6, 2009.

      • Android completes jump to 2.0

        It looks like Android 2.0 – also known as Eclair for some reason – will allow users to sync their devices to a number of different contact sources, as well as allowing something called ‘Quick Contact’ to be embedded within an application. The new Bluetooth API is expected to facilitate peer-to-peer activities like gaming.

      • Verizon Droid’s Secret Weapon: Android 2.0

        Actually, Verizon did sort of put that on the iDon’t list, just not in those words. The original iDon’t list includes both ‘iDon’t allow open development’ and ‘iDon’t customize’, both of which imply that the Droid does those things which means the Droid provides a customizable, open development platform that business customers can work with.

      • Is Google Faking the Open-Source Funk?

        Some folks are claiming that Google is faking the open-source funk by not being as open as it could be about Android.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 11 Most Popular Open Source Softwares Of All Time

    Today we are listing here 11 Most Popular Open Source Softwares Of All Time in which most of them are cross-platform. You might not be able to enjoy all the features as commercial software but it will really help you to perform your task in a better way when your pocket does not allow you to purchase paid software.

  • Hospitals need open source in IT: expert

    OPEN source software offers one cure for clinical system implementation woes, as authorities struggle to find solutions that meet all medical requirements, a leading health informatics researcher says.

    “Some of the greatest efficiency gains in the health sector will come from open source software, rather than packages supplied by large corporations,” said Professor Jon Patrick of the University of Sydney’s School of Information Technologies. “It’s not in industry’s long-term interests to come up with efficient and interoperable systems.

  • 50% Indosat IM2 Software Open-Source-Based

    PT Indosat Mega Media (IM2) has announced that they are supporting the open source technology. They claimed that 50 percent of the total number of the company’s servers has been installed with open-source-based applications and systems.

  • Salmon Protocol for Distributed, Real-Time Content Expands with Open-Source Project

    Right now, the project site contains the Python/Google AppEngine source code for the Salmon demo. Writes Panzer, “I also intend to host the actual spec text there for the moment, along with the reference implementation code, and develop both in parallel based on discussions on the mailing list.”

  • Open source gains more traction

    IT budget cuts, an improved ecosystem and more maturity have boosted the demand for open source applications in Indian enterprises, writes Brian Pereira.

    The economic downturn may be regarded as a blessing in disguise for the open source community and proponents of open source software. The skeptics (read commercial software vendors) have suddenly become silent and are in fact willing to support open source, ironically finding that this move somehow works to their advantage.

  • Zimbra gets Interactive Ideas

    Messaging software vendor Zimbra has signed up distributor Interactive Ideas to help build its UK channel and the two firms claim interest in open source technologies is on the up.

    Interactive Ideas will focus on the Zimbra Collaboration Suite (ZCS) which uses an AJAX web client. The product integrates email, contacts, shared calendar, messaging, tasks and online document sharing.

  • Why CIOs are saying yes to open source software

    Nicholas Bellenberg, IT director at Hachette Filipacchi, said all of the publishing house’s web development is based on open source technology: “I can’t imagine why anyone would use anything different! There’s no point in spending a fortune on proprietary systems or programming frameworks that don’t move with the times. And yes, you can scale it big – Facebook does.”

  • Open Source will be the next driving force in mobile segment

    According to the research firm, it is likely that number of Smartphone users will shoot up and it is expected to touch around 412 million Smartphone users globally by 2014. Around 250 million of them are surely expected to equip with accelerometers.

  • Un-Seasonably Out of Fashion: Proprietary vs. Open Source

    In other words–development costs for reusing the same old molds is a dead argument. It is about giving up control, lowering costs and recognizing that the danger signal has sounded with increasing adoption rates of open source solutions.

  • NREL Releases Open-Source Live Solar Mapping Project

    They are soliciting your input, if you have installed solar. It is a community driven project and only as accurate as the data entered in a collaborative effort between government, industry, and the public. As they point out, currently, it is only estimates.

  • King County Library System Awarded Prestigious National Leadership Grant From the Institute of Museu

    “Our project, Empowered by Open Source, will enable libraries to collaborate and more effectively influence the evolution of their information systems so that the systems can be molded to fit the services that libraries and patrons want, rather than services having to be designed to fit what the systems allow.”

  • Zenoss Announces Free Training for Open Source Network Monitoring Project

    Zenoss Inc., corporate sponsor of the award winning open source network monitoring project Zenoss Core, today announced it will host its third Zenoss Community Day on November 6. The daylong event is being held during the USENIX 23rd Large Installation Systems Administrator Conference (LISA), where Zenoss is a sponsor and premium exhibitor.

  • Government open source projects provide big opportunity for OpenLogic

    First, OpenLogic reported a 41 percent year-to-year increase in 3Q 09 revenue with a 100 percent renewal rate. These are strong results and the renewal rate suggests that clients value OpenLogic’s offerings.

  • Misys Open Source Solutions Releases Software to Prepare Companies for GHG Emissions Reduction and Compliance

    The first CPT offering is a stand-alone, ready-to-use application that can be downloaded from SourceForge under OpenCarbon.

  • F/OSS and the Public Sector

    So, increasingly I find myself, like many others, asking why it is that in general the public sector appears to be so far behind the curve when it comes to F/OSS adoption. We do hear that there is a faster uptake in places such as Brazil and where budgets are likely to be more limited than in, say, the UK or the USA. France’s national police force has reportedly saved 50 million euros since 2004 through adoption of F/OSS and migrating a portion of its workstations to Ubuntu. Back in February the UK Government issued a document titled Open Source, Open Standards and Re-Use: Government Action Plan, in which it was reported that over the previous five years “government departments have shown that Open Source can be best for the taxpayer”, and suggested that “we need to increase the pace”. However, the overall picture with regards public sector F/OSS adoption, both here in the UK and elsewhere, remains seriously disappointing. Furthermore, we are still hearing reports that some government agencies are violating their own procurement policies by mandating vendor-specific technologies in their invitations to tender. Where instead they ought to be simply defining requirements – not solutions – and thus creating a more fair, diverse and competitive market, and one that has the potential to lead to better value for the taxpayer coupled with increased innovation.

  • Because 20+ data warehousing vendors is never enough

    First came the formation of Dynamo Business Intelligence Corp, (aka Dynamo BI), a new commercially supported distribution, and sponsor, of LucidDB. Then came the launch of InfiniDB Community Edition, a new open source analytic database based on MySQL from Calpont.

    We actually included Calpont in our report but its product plans at that time looked precarious to say the least as the company found that its plans to launch a data warehousing platform based on MySQL were overshadowed by Oracle’s acquisition of Sun.

  • OpenOffice.org

    • Oracle clarifies plans for Java tools and OpenOffice

      OpenOffice’s future as open source appears to be assured; “After the transaction closes, Oracle plans to continue developing and supporting OpenOffice as open source”. Oracle plans to offer a commercial license for OpenOffice for larger customers who require support and enterprise tools.

    • New: OOo-DEV 3.x Developer Snapshot (build DEV300_m63) available

      When looking at the download counter more than 100.000.000 people downloaded OpenOffice.org since version 3.0 was released about a year ago. I think this is something we need to celebrate next week at the OpenOffice.org conference in Orvieto, Italy.

    • OpenOffice project celebrates 100 million downloads since version 3.0

      The developers are currently working on new features for version 3.2 of the office suite, which is currently in beta and expected to be available at the end of November. The latest stable release of OpenOffice is version 3.1.1. OpenOffice is released under version 3 of the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPLv3).

  • Government

    • DoD: open source as good as proprietary software

      The Department of Defense Tuesday clarified its stance on open source software saying it is equal to commercial software in almost all cases and by law should be considered by the agency when making technology purchase decisions.

    • Defense CIO Touts Benefits Of Open Source

      “The continuous and broad peer-review enabled by publicly available source code supports software reliability and security efforts through the identification and elimination of defects that might otherwise go unrecognized by a more limited core development team,” the attachment noted.

    • DOD open-sources more than 1M lines of code

      The U.S Department of Defense is not only encouraging use of open source applications, it recently open-sourced an enterprise human resources application that has over a million lines of code.

      This isn’t the first time the DOD has released code to the public. In June, a PC-based mapping application developed by the Georgia Tech Research Institute for the military, FalconView, was also made available as open source.

    • Should the White House Contribute to the Open Source Community?

      While this measure may not be an immediate cost-saver (5 different companies are involved in re-building and maintaining the White House web site), long-term costs should fall as government agencies are able to borrow from the greater Drupal community while incrementally improving on the websites code. But the question remains, will the Obama White House share some of the contributions it’s making to open source?

    • Whitehouse.gov could be a springboard for Open Source for America

      Like many of you, I awoke Monday to read that whitehouse.gov was now running on open source products, including Drupal, Red Hat Linux, Apache web server, MySQL, and Apache Solr.

    • White House web site goes open source
    • White House opens Web site programming to public

      White House officials described the change as similar to rebuilding the foundation of a building without changing the street-level appearance of the facade. It was expected to make the White House site more secure — and the same could be true for other administration sites in the future.

    • Uncle Sam’s open source fair shake makes it official
  • Openness

    • Open source, open heart

      In a way, Daedelus’s live performances could be considered “open source,” with the set list and performance adapting to his audience. “I really like the fact that on different nights, the show can go in a wildly different direction,” he explains. “I hope as an artist there’s a bit more of a mandate to be challenging. As much as I want people to have a good time, I also want them to be exposed to sounds that they would want to hear in a more open environment or constructive setting. I think they should both be happening, but my heart is really in melody.”

  • Programming

    • An Introduction to Python Objects

      In the world of computer languages, nothing speaks louder than who adopts its usage. The Python language hit a home run with Google adopting it for a high percentage of their internal and public (Google App Engine) projects. One of the things that makes the Python language appealing to so many is how it treats everything as an object. This makes the language inherently object-oriented but not so complex and wordy that it can’t be understood by beginning programmers.


  • Sony recalls 69,000 AC adaptors

    Sony has asked more than 69,000 owners of some of its all-in-one desktop Vaio PCs to return the machines’ AC adaptors in order to avoid the risk of electric shock.

  • Happy 40th birthday, the internet: 20 milestones in the net’s development
  • 40 years ago the Internet was born – now it devalues everything it touches

    But if you are in the music industry, movie industry, journalism, software services, cloud computing, if you are a software engineer, if you are a web designer, if you design logos, if you do any kind of digital work you are exposed to a huge amount of competition, you are exposed to the lowest cost provider in your sector — thanks to the Internet.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs: All Your Treasury Are Belong to Us
    • Goldman Sachs and Your $70 Billion

      Well, it seems it was you, taxpayer – it was your money being used to play the stock market, artificially inflate it, give favored banks some big (and entirely illusory) profits. Why? Because the big banks and the big government need you to feel that things are getting better – so that you’ll go out and spend, so that revenues to big corporations and big government will rise, thus allowing them to carry the toxic assets for one more year, or so. To call this smoke and mirrors is to be nice about it – outright fraud is a better description.

    • Shareowners Rush to Challenge Goldman Sachs on Huge Payouts of Bonuses

      Goldman Sachs, the investment bank that received a $10 billion bailout from taxpayers via the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), recently released its income statement for the third quarter of 2009, and at least on the face of it the firm’s recovery from a November 2008 loss in net income of over $2 billion seems a success.

    • Hank Paulson Held A Secret Meeting With Goldman Sachs In Moscow
    • The secret Paulson-Goldman meeting

      But it turns out that Paulson just happened to be in Moscow at the same time that Goldman’s board of directors was having dinner there with Mikhail Gorbachev. (You know, as one does.)


      This is sleazy in the extreme, and will only serve to heighten suspicions that Paulson’s Treasury was rigging the game in favor of Goldman all along. (It’s also a bit peculiar, to say the least, that the only two times Paulson met with private-sector boards he was out of the country, and arguably outside US jurisdiction.)

    • How Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan made their money
    • Benjamin Wachs: Behind the Goldman Sachs Recession

      Are we supposed to be impressed that Goldman Sachs is spending $200 million on a foundation to support “education”?

      Goldman Sachs certainly thinks so.

      That foundation has been much hyped recently, as America’s premier financial magnate has tried to offset the news that, shortly after being rescued by the taxpayers, it is expecting to dole out some $23 billion in bonuses this year.

      So, just to be clear: Goldman Sachs would like us to think of it as a good public citizen because over the last 10 years it has donated 0.08 percent of what it’s giving out in bonuses just this year to charity.

    • The Real Corruption Behind Wall Street Compensation

      Just a few days ago we learned Government Sa-er, I mean Goldman Sachs-announced it had set aside $16.7 billion for compensation and benefits in the first nine months of 2009, up 46 percent from the year before. That works out to more than $527,000 for each employee. Not bad for nine months of work.

    • Goldman Sachs Executive are Primed to Get Lucrative Bonuses

      While many ordinary Americans are still waiting for an economic recovery, Goldman and its employees are enjoying one of the richest periods in the bank’s 140-year history.

    • Ratigan on Goldman Sachs: “Legalized Theft”

      Here’s a video from Dylan Ratigan that speaks for itself. It’s about how Goldman Sachs has taken all of us to the cleaners.

    • Perhaps we need a new vocabulary

      Perhaps we need a new vocabulary, one that helps us describe a society that promotes the accumulation of vast riches, bails out the rich when they take too many chances, and avoids responsibility for the common good. Even Milton Friedman would have trouble calling that capitalism.
      How about the Billionaire Bailout Society?
      Here are its salient features:
      1. We promote accumulation of vast fortunes without limits.
      2. We shun progressive income taxes that could narrow the gap.
      3. We keep most of finance deregulated even after it has collapsed so spectacularly.

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • Domain Bullying

      A posting over on the Big Government blog details recent attempts by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to shut down the website at AFTExposed.com (which, as you might guess from the name, doesn’t have very nice things to say about the AFT). The AFT’s General Counsel has sent the operators of the offending website a cease-and-desist letter, demanding “immediate cessation of use of the domain AFTexposed.com or any other variant that includes the acronym AFT.” The asserted grounds: (a) trademark infringement (that use of the AFT acronym is “likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive”), and (b) violation of ICANN’s Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (on the grounds that the AFTexposed.com name is “confusingly similar” to AFT’s trademark and was “registered in bad faith.”).

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • New AC/DC Box Set Packs Rarities Into Functioning Guitar Amp

      AC/DC’s new $200 box set packs musical rarities and memorabilia inside a functional 1-watt guitar amplifier.

      The AC/DC Backtracks packaging, pictured, is unique and fully operational. And what’s inside is impressive as well: The limited-edition box set includes a stunning variety of media and collectibles.

    • GateHouse Media Strikes Again: Claims Headlines, Ledes Are Covered By Copyright, Threatens Forum

      Remember GateHouse Media? The regional news company sued the NY Times for linking to it, claiming it was copyright infringement to include the headline and a brief snippet along with the link (you know, like Google…). Amusingly, it turned out that GateHouse Media was doing the same thing. Eventually the two companies settled, and apparently that’s convinced GateHouse Media that complaining about such links is a good idea.

    • Rumblefish and the Public Domain

      The Public Domain is supposed to be a safe place for artists to get content without fear of copyright infringement.

      This permits Rumblefish advertising rights and control over public domain and the content of independent artists.
      (We are the only ones we know of – but we are sure that we are not the only ones)

      This is a violation of our rights as artists.

Commandline 101: Redirecting Output

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

Comes: Microsoft’s Push-Polling in Order to Exclude Rival Web Browsers from Windows

Posted in America, Antitrust, Bill Gates, Deception, Marketing, Microsoft at 8:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Pitting browser against browser is hard since Netscape has 80% marketshare and we have <20% … I am convinced we have to use Windows-this is the one thing they don’t have…”

Former Microsoft Vice President James Allchin in an internal memo

Summary: Comes vs Microsoft exhibit shows how Microsoft chiefs produce warped surveys on demand, in order to deliver an illusion of public sympathy

NOW THAT Microsoft is dodging the system of justice in Europe, wallclimber and myself thought it would be helpful to transcribe and present Comes vs Microsoft exhibits that were never shown in public before, not in an easily-accessible form anyway.

Today we have Exhibit plex0_2846 (1998) [PDF] to deal with, one among many Netscape exhibits. This exhibit involves Microsoft's patent troll Nathan Myhrvold and Bill Gates, who are speaking against a mention of “put[ting] the browser in the OS.” They refer to Internet Explorer of course. Microsoft was found guilty in this case. It broke the law, it committed a felony, technically speaking.

“Ideally we would have a survey like this done before I appear at the Senate on March 3rd.”
      –Bill Gates
The exhibit is sorted reverse-chronologically and therein lies a survey (appendage) which Microsoft is spreading through unspecified marketing people. The intent is made clear by Bill Gates’ statement: “It would HELP ME IMMENSELY to have a survey showing that 90% of developers believe that putting the browser into the OS makes sense [..] Ideally we would have a survey like this done before I appear at the Senate on March 3rd.

That’s how Microsoft conducts surveys: start with the outcome, then fix the questions such that responders answer in the required way. Ideally, a biased population of responders can be selected too, or maybe deceived in advance. We caught IDC doing this for Microsoft.

The last time we gave an example of such potential push-polling (Forrester) we noted that “Microsoft does this all the time, e.g. against Google and in favour of the patent deal with Novell. The Microsoft-corrupted ISO did the same thing after very sheer corruption had led to formal complaints from several national bodies.”

In today’s particular case, the survey begins with many “fluff” questions which Microsoft does not care much about. It probably hides the real motives. The ‘smoking gun’ is in the last two pages (there are 5 pages in total). Microsoft starts by telling the person who takes the survey what to think (several paragraphs on that) and then phrases the questions in a grossly biased way. People who respond to this probably do not even know the purpose of the survey, but they are being used by Microsoft to dodge the law and squeeze out the answers they want, even by means of deception.

Nathan Myhrvold agrees with Bill Gates’ request for this survey and then plans how to make it biased. He writes:

It is a GREAT idea to get as much quotable data as possible – both for Bills testimony and for other press work.


Bob Metcalfe, Stewart Alsop, Esther Dyson, Walt Mossberg and others have written in their vanous magazine columns that they agree the browser should be in the OS – we should look up the references and check them.

We have separate exhibits about the relationship between Walt Mossberg and Bill Gates. Then he says:

As an example, we could get a statement about the technical direction of integration, get some survey results, and then get a statement signed by 100 industry and computer science figures.

If we had that, then I think we should consider running it in full page ads in the WSJ, NYT, Washington Post timed to appear the day AFTER Bill does the testimony.

Nothing spontaneous. Here is an admission of push-polling:

That is about the method. As to the SUBSTANCE, I think that it is CRUCIAL to make the statement we ask people about in the survey, or the statement we ask them to sign etc. is worded properly.

Saying “put the browser in the OS” is already a statement that is prejudical to us. The name “Browser” suggests a separate thing. I would NOT phrase the survey, or other things only in terms of “put the browser in the OS”.

Yes, of course he would “NOT phrase the survey” that way. That would not be biased enough to serve Microsoft’s objectives. Likewise, according to Wired Magazine from around the same time:

The author of the email, posted on ZDNet in a Talkback forum on the Microsoft antitrust trial, claimed her name was Michelle Bradley and that she had “retired” from Microsoft last week.

“A verbal memo [no email allowed] was passed around the MS campus encouraging MS employee’s to post to ZDNet articles like this one,” the email said.

“The theme is ‘Microsoft is responsible for all good things in computerdom.’ The government has no right to prevent MS from doing anything. Period. The ‘memo’ suggests we use fictional names and state and to identify ourselves as students,” the author claimed.

How typical. Microsoft frequently buys the illusion that the public supports it and cheating is just part of this spiel. The full exhibit can be found below.

Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit plex0_2846, as text

Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft Tries to Use Eclipse for Microsoft Lock-in

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Open XML, Patents at 7:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Microsoft uses Free software to serve the very opposite goal, which is to block Free software users from accessing Web sites

OVER the past year or two we have shown how inter-personal relationships (including staff moves) have enabled Microsoft to gain more influence inside Eclipse — influence that they mostly used to spread Microsoft lock-in such as Silver Lie, excluding GNU/Linux users in the process. To name a few posts on the subject:

Microsoft’s latest Eclipse move is of course covered by Microsoft’s friends, such as Gavin. Heise makes it clear that Microsoft is using Eclipse to spread more of Silver Lie, which has nothing to do with Free software, except for the fact that it excludes and punishes Free software, along with Web standards. From the new article:

Soyatec, who have been working with with Microsoft to develop the Eclipse Tools for Silverlight, helped with implementing the support of Azure and Silverlight. This has lead to the Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse, an open source plug-in that enables PHP developers working with the Eclipse development environment to develop web applications for Azure.

In a timely fashion, someone mailed us yesterday to say: “I came across this blog post by Sam Ramji. It’s an OK blog I think, but the response he makes to a comment is surprising, he says, ‘We’ll have to wait and see what projects are offered to the CodePlex Foundation to determine what the primary focus will be. I hope to see support for Linux as well as Windows. In my experience, open source developers are committed to advancing their own projects as well as those projects that are closely related to them. Free software developers on the other hand are consistently committed to advancing the Linux platform.’”

“Microsoft is trying to hijack “open source” and paint “free software” as negative, as usual.”The question which was then asked is: “Do you think this difference between open source and free software is correct? Maybe this explains Microsoft thinking in starting to promote open source – that developers don’t care about Linux and will gladly help Microsoft maintain Windows.”

Well, Sam Ramji is being dishonest, but maybe not deliberately. Microsoft is trying to hijack “open source” and paint “free software” as negative, as usual. “Free software” and “open source” are inherently the same in many technical ways and another pattern of Microsoft FUD — the one Ramji disagrees with — is that Free software cannot be “commercial”. Bill Gates is among those who spread this lie, so the problem resides deep inside the company. It’s probably a good thing that Ramji quit Microsoft last month.

Microsoft is still an enemy of Free software by its very own choice. Recently enough Microsoft got caught planning a software patent coup [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], not to mention lawsuits by proxy such as T3.

It is actually amusing to find articles like this new one from Carmi Levy, who messes up completely and ignores the OOXML corruptions, for example. By means of whitewashing and selective eyesight he tries to portray Microsoft as an ethically-reformed company. Here is the part about Novell:

Networking. While Novell rightly gets credit for defining and popularizing the modern Local Area Network, Microsoft’s Windows NT Server assumed the mantle and drove the concept into the heart of corporate IT. It certainly wasn’t always pretty, especially if you were responsible for patching and securing it, but it was a good enough, familiar enough product family for most organizations.

From the comments: “I really though[t] that we would get a balanced view in this article when I saw the heading, but no…. just some more one sided drivel.”

Are Microsoft’s PR efforts paying off? Are people unable to see that Microsoft is still breaking the law whilst attacking its competitors? And if so, this may explain how Microsoft has managed to penetrate Eclipse and other such Free software projects which it exploits.

“There’s free software [gratis, dumpware] and then there’s open source… there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.”

Bill Gates, April 2008

OpenDocument Format (ODF) Now Officially a Malaysian Standard

Posted in Asia, Free/Libre Software, ISO, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard at 6:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Malaysian flag

Summary: A lot of ODF news and some leading developments from Malaysia

QUITE a few things have been happening in “ODF world” and this is just a concise summary.

Jomar Silva was one among many people who passed on the message that says: “ODF has been signed in as Malaysian Standard [MS] (announcement coming soon). PDF will be MS soon as well.” People are happy because they understand the importance of ODF.

Malaysia is no stranger to ODF and the government there uses OpenOffice.org in many places. We wrote about Malaysia and the international document standard (ODF) in:

In Holland too there is a push for ODF (in Dutch), which is a vital part of the country’s move to Free software in government.

Bart Hanssens is preparing a presentation on ODF signatures and helps in preparing the ODF Plugfest, not just ODF itself (see the OASIS Web site. Dennis Hamilton too is involved in the process).

Michael Brauer and Rob Weir are still at the forefront of ODF and this includes activities like presentations.

Bob Sutor writes about the OpenOffice.org 2009 Conference, which is coming soon (November third). There are other other noteworthy events that cover ODF, mostly those that involve Free software. Regarding the OpenOffice.org 2009 Conference, here is a new blog post:

The OpenOffice.org conference will start in a few days. It’s high time to prepare for the stay – e.g. by consuming Italian style food and delicious coffee specialties. Today, I’ve added the second entry in my little series of “OOo logo interpretations”: Two cappuccino and one espresso, per favore! :-)

Many new programs claim ODF support. Here for example is another Mac program that claims support of ODF. It’s called Nisus Writer Pro. We are finding ODF support also here in phpMyAdmin and in AbiWord, which has a brand new release that targets not only low-capacity PCs. At Linux Crunch there is this new preview of OpenOffice 3.2, which may be more suitable for computers with high specifications (thus the importance of choice and diversity unified by open standards).

Finally, the release date for OOo 3.2 is expected to be on 14 December 2009. You can download the Development version from here. Remember, it is not the final version, so it might have some bugs. Help developers to kill them by reporting about them in OpenOffice.org’s bugs system. Any comment is more than welcome.

Google Docs enables exporting documents and spreadsheets as ODF.

With no fanfare or as much as an official announcement, Google has taken an important step in making users’ Google Docs more open and portable.

It turns out that RedOffice now has a GNU/Linux port which is still experimental.

The application, or should I say a set of applications, I got so fascinated with, is in a nutshell an OpenOffice derivative, created by a Chinese company responsible for RedFlag Linux distro. The application suite is called: RedOffice and you can get an experimental Linux version here: !!!Beware!!! the application is a beta, and is not really free (though I can’t be too sure as I don’t read Chinese).

Bob Sutor and several others have begun drawing attention to Rob Weir's latest post, which Groklaw addressed in detail.

Rob Weir has an eye-opening report on how the Microsoft-stuffed committee implementing fixes to OOXML is extending the “standard”, which turns out to be not exactly standard, to better conform to Microsoft Office 2007, and without following usual procedures. That is utterly backwards. Normally, vendors work to make their products conform to the standard, and it’s very unusual for a “standard” to be made to conform to one vendor’s proprietary product. I want to reproduce the article here, because it is an object lesson, a timely one.

After corrupting ISO for OOXML, Mirosoft employees try to befriend pro-ODF people who still stand in Microsoft’s way, but it’s not working out. Microsoft should first support ODF, properly [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

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