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11.07.09

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: November 7th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Microsoft Found to be a GPL Violator, Again?

Posted in GPL, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 4:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Source code

Summary: GPLv2-licensed code finds its way into Vista 7, based on one source

JUST months after Microsoft’s last GPL violation (namely Hyper-V [1, 2, 3]) it allegedly gets caught lifting GPL-licensed source code from its anti-GPL site and onto Vista 7, assuming the allegations out there are true.

While poking through the UDF-related internals of the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool, I had a weird feeling there was just wayyyyyyyyy too much code in there for such a simple tool. A simple search of some method names and properties, gleaned from Reflector’s output, revealed the source code was obviously lifted from the CodePlex-hosted (yikes) GPLv2-licensed ImageMaster project. (The author of the code was not contacted by Microsoft.)

Microsoft will probably attempt to save face very shortly.

Xandros to Visit Microsoft Show, Samsung’s Ballnux Phones Fail

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung, Scalix, Xandros at 4:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Xandros logo

Summary: Two companies that pay Microsoft for Linux remain close to Microsoft and fail to attract positive attention

EARLIER this week we wrote about Xandros and Samsung growing even closer to Microsoft. We now find that Xandros will attend Microsoft’s TechEd Show, as further explained here:

BridgeWays, a division of Xandros, today announced a major expansion of its line of cross-platform System Center monitoring to Apache Tomcat, Oracle Enterprise, IBM DB2 and BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The new management packs come in response to customer demands to extend the BridgeWays single-console monitoring for the Microsoft System Center Operations Manager to these popular enterprise applications on Windows, Linux, and Unix. These new BridgeWays arrivals join previously released management packs for Oracle Database, MySQL Database, Apache HTTP Server, JBoss Application Server, and VMware ESX/ESXi. The new BridgeWays management packs will be on display at the Microsoft TechEd show, Berlin, November 9-13.

Scalix (Xandros) markets itself as a GNU/Linux-based substitute for Exchange, but it says almost nothing about being a cash cow to Microsoft, via the signing of software patent deals. BridgeWays is an even more serious case of serving Microsoft.

We previously wrote about what Samsung’s patent deal with Microsoft may mean to Android [1, 2]. This might not be much of an issue given that Samsung’s phone appears like a failure, at least based on The Register which shows that it’s a problem with Samsung’s phone, not Android itself. From a new review of the Samsung Galaxy i7500:

Samsung’s first Android phone is something of a disappointment. It’s not outrageously bad, but there just seem to be too many missed opportunities and decision fumbles for it to really win us over. While other manufacturers are using Android’s flexibility to give their devices a unique stamp, Samsung appears to have simply rushed out a me-too handset without taking the time to put much effort into it.

We’ll be interested to see the next Android device that comes off the Samsung production line, but this one doesn’t really deliver the goods just yet.

This is good news. Android in its own right is good, but it will not sell well when implemented by Samsung, which pays Microsoft for the use of Linux anyway.

Mono and GNOME 3.0

Posted in Apple, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 3:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mono GNOME

Summary: Interesting new posts about C# projects, GNONE, Novell’s Banshee, and Novell’s de Icaza’s work promoting C# and iPhones

Stephane Delcroix appears to have just been added to Planet SUSE, so the following post from October 31st shows up with the title “Mono-ifying Gnome3, one dependency at a time”

Looking back a little, there is also this post from him “Announcing Gio# and Gtk#Beans”

For a handful of good reasons (see Mike’s mail), gtk-sharp, the gtk bindings for Mono and .NET, lately chose not to follow the hectic 6 months release plan of both gtk and glib teams but leverage on the almost perfect 2.12.x releases we have now (binding gtk 2.12 and glib 2.16) for a few extra months.

Jo Shields writes (in the comments): “So, Stephane, sweetie… Any chance you can split out Atk# while you’re at it? Banshee’s new a11y stuff needs it”

Banshee

A lot about F-Spot, which is a Mono application, can also be found in posts like this one. It is not very reassuring to be honest. Miguel de Icaza too is terribly busy with Mono this week. Everything he works on these days is related to Mono and Moonlight. He is not even using Mono to promote greater use of GNU/Linux at the moment. It’s about Apple’s iPhone, specifically about putting .NET in it, using MonoTouch which we wrote about in:

Promoting Mono is not about promoting Free software. It’s about substituting the likes of the FSF with CodePlex and Microsoft.

“I’d like to see Gnome applications written in .NET in version 4.0 – no, version 3.0. But Gnome 4.0 should be based on .NET.”

“Gnome to be based on .NET – de Icaza”

More on Novell and Microsoft Layoffs; Software Patent Drones

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 3:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Two fish

Summary: Additional information about potential causes of layoffs and an example of how Novell employees become drones for a paycheck, accepting nonsensical policies in the process

SEVERAL days ago we wrote about Novell's latest layoffs, which the following new article connects to the deal with Microsoft although it is not the sole cause.

Mixed-source technology company Novell has sacked between three and four percent of its staff in layoffs that could well be linked to another bad quarter.

[...]

Three years ago, to the day, Novell signed a patent indemnification deal with Microsoft which was widely viewed as a sellout by the free and open source software community.

Though Novell has reported some better quarters for its GNU/Linux business since then – mainly because of the sale of SUSE Linux coupons through Microsoft – it has not been able to put together a coherent strategy to compete with market-leading GNU/Linux company, Red Hat.

An article that we mentioned some moments ago offers a bunch of statistics which show that GNU/Linux is more desirable a skill than Windows. It also shows that Red Hat skills significantly outpace Novell SUSE skills. By the numbers:

Specific listings for Red Hat Inc., meanwhile, increased nearly 4% from last January, but postings for Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise skills dropped 14% during the same period.

Demand for Windows and Linux platforms, however, was down significantly from a year ago on the cusp of the recession: Windows dropped 43% from last October’s total of 15,566 and Linux declined 35% from 9,451 a year ago. Red Hat and SUSE also declined sharply from the previous October, Red Hat by 34% and SUSE by 57%.

What does that say about SUSE? If Novell and Microsoft were right, then SUSE skills would be up, not down.

A few days ago we wrote about Microsoft’s latest round of layoffs [1, 2] and it turns out that they decided to sack Don Dodge.

Microsoft sacks Don Dodge, Bing has no idea

[...]

While not necessarily directly involved, the deals with Novell to free Suse Linux from any patent lawsuits and also to sell Suse to any intractable customers who refuse Microsoft’s server products clearly demonstrate his influence within the company. He wrote about the deal three years ago, where you will read language entirely unexpected from a Microsoft employee.

One day before he was formally laid off he wrote this post which promotes the Novell-Microsoft deal; we have always expected Microsoft employees to rave about it.

Meanwhile we find that Novell’s Joe Brockmeier may have something against software patents, despite the fact that Novell carries on chasing software patents. Brockmeier writes about the SFLC’s brief, which we wrote about here while noting Novell’s absence.

The U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing opening arguments on Bilski vs. Kappos on Monday, November 9th. Not surprisingly, many open source advocates are on the edge of their seats because it’s an opportunity for the Supreme Court to decide that software is not patentable.

Why wasn’t Novell among those “open source advocates”? And why does Brockmeier say nothing about his employer's use of software patents as a competitive tool? That is a missed opportunity, even cowardice. Nobody must carry on pretending; Brockmeier too should not leave his brain at the door when deciding to work for Novell and inherit views he does not agree with. Blind obedience to power is the root of many evils. Need it be added that Novell is now bragging about the same bogus prizes that Gartner got sued over [1, 2]?

Lastly, as this new story illustrates [via], software patents are of no use to anyone but monopolies, patent trolls and lawyers, some of whom belong to two categories.

This week: DeepNines collected $25 million when it won an infringement suit against anti-virus software giant McAfee Inc. in the Eastern District of Texas two years ago. But after paying off its Fish & Richardson lawyers and outside investors at Altitude Capital Partners, the small network-security company wound up with less than $800,000. And now DeepNines is being sued by Altitude, which wants millions more than it’s already gotten. A revealing look at how a leading player in the lawsuit-investment trade does business.

Smell the innovation.

Man of the Day: Matthias Ettrich

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, KDE at 2:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Matthias Ettrich at LinuxTag 2005

Summary: KDE founder Matthias Ettrich receives high honour for his work

According to The Dot:

Today at 4pm CET at the Center for Economics, Technology and Women’s Issues at the Berlin Senate, KDE founder Matthias Ettrich was decorated with the German Federal Cross of Merit for his contributions to Free Software. Matthias was awarded the medal in recognition of his work spurring innovation and spreading knowledge for the common good. The award was presented by state secretary Almuth Nehring-Venus. She mentioned that not only is Matthias among the younger recipients of the award but also that this is the first award ceremony where young children of the family were present. Also attending was Eberhard Gienger, member of the Bundestag for the county Matthias grew up in.

There is also an audio segment about it (as below).

Novell News Summary – Part III: Pulse, SCO, Los Angeles and More

Posted in Google, Mail, NetWare, Novell, SCO, Security, Servers at 2:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Zion landscape

Summary: Plenty of news dominated by Novell’s announcement of Pulse

THERE are many items today, but the only one of real significance is Pulse, so we shall begin with that.

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Novell News Summary – Part II: SUSE and SUSE Studio

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, SLES/SLED at 12:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hippozard

Summary: News about SLES, SLED, and SUSE Studio, including some statistics

Read the rest of this entry »

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