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Links 10/11/2009: GNOME 3.0 Out in September 2010

Posted in News Roundup at 7:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • How to avoid getting inadvertedly sandwiched

      People do not necessarily behave honestly because they want to, but because their environment is keeping them honest. In order to keep the hardware vendors honest, it is necessary to implement anti-sandwich measures.

      Otherwise, the temptation will remain, to quickly boost quarterly revenues by triggering secret deals with the OS vendor which will paper-weight your investments.

      Murphy’s law is adamant in that respect: If the hardware vendor can sandwich you, he eventually will.

      For the purpose of keeping hardware vendors honest, it would be a good thing if the linux community maintained an anti-sandwich list of all hardware devices that are red-flagged as sandwiching tools, so that Windows users can protect themselves.

    • Are You Getting Sick Of Microsoft Windows? It’s Time To Give Ubuntu Linux A Whirl

      About 18 months ago, I had another disastrous crash on my PC that caused me to lose a host of photos, music and documents. Luckily I had a backup of most of my documents on an external disk. So I wasn’t too concerned by this. I had experienced many crashes on Windows before and usually I was able to recover most of my documents and restore the system back to normal without too much effort.

      This time was different however and to my horror, I discovered that Windows had somehow corrupted my external disk as well. I had lost everything and was pretty angry about it.

      I tried a number of data recovery programs but most of the files wore gone. Forever. What a disaster! At that point I decided that I would look for another alternative to windows and I thought I would give Linux another try.


      I was astounded!

      Within 10 minutes my computer was running Ubuntu Linux without even having to install it! This was a “Live-CD” and it can be used without installing to hard disk – it can be run from a cd without affecting your computer at all.

    • Good Karma

      Installing Ubuntu 9.10 from the CD took me about 40 minutes on a desktop PC. Unlike the previous release (Jaunty Jackalope), Karmic didn’t keep me waiting interminably for an online update. A “skip” button enables you to bypass some processes that access the Internet to speed up installation.

      Boot time was a slight improvement over my previous Jaunty setup, taking about 40 seconds to get to the log-on screen. On the initial boot, the audio volume was set all the way down to zero, making me think for a moment that I had lost sound. Pushing the volume slider up confirmed this was not so.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • ATI R300 Gallium3D DRI Support Is “Done”

      A month ago we shared that the Gallium3D driver for the ATI R300/400/500 graphics cards (up through the Radeon X1000 series) was mostly done. Now today, the key author of the R300 Gallium3D driver, Corbin Simpson, has updated the status wiki to reflect the latest changes. The key change? The DRI state tracker report is no longer “mostly” implemented, but now it’s “done” according to Corbin.

    • Reiser4 May Go For Mainline Inclusion In 2010

      It’s possible we could possibly see Reiser4 in the mainline Linux kernel in H2’2010. Assuming this all works out and Shishkin and the other developers go for inclusion shortly thereafter, it would put Reiser4 on the block around the Linux 2.6.36 time-frame.

  • Applications

    • Cedega vs Crossover Games A Hands on Review

      Most people who use Linux for desktop use are well aware of the one of the largest issues facing the platform: Lack of commercial software. Now in most cases this is not an issue, no MS Office – use OpenOffice, no Internet Explorer – use FireFox. However one thing which there is currently no replacement for is gaming. Try as they might there are just not enough Open-Source game developers (or even closed-sourced ones) that bring the level of gaming quality, as of yet, to Linux that Windows enjoys.

    • 5 More Free Linux Apps You Can’t Do Without

      More digital Swiss Army knife software, including Linux utilities and tools that are so useful you won’t know how you ever did without them

    • Best of Linux Docks

      Everybody loves docks!! Whether you’re a developer, an OS X person, a Windows person or a Linuxer ;), you are just bound to fall in love with them too. Not only do they look great, but also provide a fancy medium for quick and convenient access to favorites. I’ve been a great fan of docks and I’ve been following them for a long time! The following is what I’d call the Cream of the ‘dock’ crop! :)

    • 6 Reasons Why the Deskbar Applet Kicks Ass

      The Deskbar applet is a small search box that you can attach to your panel which allows you to perform different tasks all by using your keyboard.

    • Learning with Gcompris

      Gcompris’s Reading section isn’t nearly as large as the mathematics section is. Here we find a game where the computer says a letter and the child has to click on the spoken letter. We also find an activity where the child has to fill in the missing letter to spell a word that matches a picture. Finally, we have an activity where the child drags pictures onto the word that describes them.

  • Desktop Environments

    • September 2010 for GNOME 3.0, official
    • GNOME 3.0 in September 2010
    • It’s Official: GNOME 3.0 In September 2010

      The GNOME release team has decided (and then announced) that GNOME 3.0 will come in September. GNOME 2.30 will still happen in March and will feature the GNOME 3.0 packages that are ready in time, while September will be the first full-blown release of this overhauled desktop environment. GNOME 2.30 is still being considered a stable desktop release.

    • i3 – improved tiling wm [New Version Released]
    • KDE

      • Bangarang beta

        Bangarang, a KDE media player, is now in beta testing for the 1.0 – “The Basics” – release.

      • Using Kate As a Web Editor

        There are many applications out there that provide project-based web development tools and very feature-rich interfaces, but sometimes all you really need is a good text editor. For those times, there are few editors that can stand up to the KDE powerhouse called Kate.

      • And another KGet entry

        The last few weeks/months I kept polishing all the changes I did for KGet during GSOC and also introduced new stuff. It is fantastic to see how KGet improved the last few months with all the work we (the KGet team) put into it.

      • Testing the KDE4 waters

        So after some frustrations with GNOME and various applications flat out breaking, I decided I might as well give KDE4 another chance to redeem itself.

  • Distributions

    • DEFT Linux 5 Is Available for Download

      Announced yesterday (November 9th) by Stefano Fratepietro, DEFT Linux 5 is now based on the Linux kernel 2.6.31 of the Xubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) operating system, and DEFT Extra 2.0 (Computer Forensic GUI). Starting with this version, DEFT uses the LXDE desktop environment and therefore it should no longer be considered as a Xubuntu customization. DEFT Linux 5 has been also split in two releases, one for disk forensics activities (see the download link at the end of the article) and one for cell/network forensics tasks, which will be published next week.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora 13 Could Be Segovia Or Commodus

        The list of name suggestions for Fedora 13 is available on the Fedora Wiki. So far for Fedora 13 we know that it will likely carry X Server 1.8 support, NFSv4 support, greater DisplayPort monitor recognition with the open-source drivers, and other features.

      • Red Hat rolls out virtualization platform for mixed servers

        Open source solutions firm Red Hat, Inc. announced the general availability of the Red Hat enterprise virtualization for servers, designed to enable pervasive adoption of virtualization, with end-to-end solution combining a standalone hypervisor and virtualization management.

      • First Commercial Software-Only Memcached Distribution Now Available From Gear6

        “Much like the way Red Hat packaged the open source Linux OS for enterprise use, Gear6 has augmented Memcached with mission critical features and provides an advanced software distribution that works with the customer’s hardware to deliver a fast, highly available and more efficient Memcached,” said Joaquin Ruiz, Executive Vice President of Products for Gear6.

      • S&P Lifts Red Hat’s Rating To Just Under Investment Grade

        Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services lifted its credit ratings on Red Hat Inc. (RHT) to just one notch under investment grade, citing the open-software developer’s strong base of recurring revenue and consistent earnings growth.

      • Adobe upped, Red Hat cut by Goldman Sachs
    • Debian Family

      • Ubuntu 9.10 (karmic Koala) on Netbooks – Part 3 (Xubuntu Xfce)

        I think Xfce does a good job of giving you what you need, and staying out of your way so you can work. Although Xubuntu is not targeted specifically at netbooks, with a few simple changes it becomes a very good fit.

      • How to install software in Ubuntu

        So, you’ve heeded the security warnings, run Ubuntu’s update manager and you’re happy that your system is now bang up to date with the latest whizz-bang software. But is it?

      • Ubuntu Karmic Review

        This release for me is not an LTS and I wasn’t expecting massive stability. Plus I did something which I normally never do, I reinstalled the first week. Normally I wait a month before doing that and in the past waiting served me well. I think I might go back to doing that.

      • The Perfect Desktop – Ubuntu Studio 9.10

        This tutorial shows how you can set up an Ubuntu Studio 9.10 desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • VIDEO: Intel Reader for the visually impaired revealed

      Powered by the Intel Atom processor and boasting 2GB flash memory storage said to be good for 500,000 pages of text, it runs Linux and some third-party software. Battery life for reading aloud is said to be 4 hours.

    • Phones

      • HTC Tattoo cut-price Android smartphone

        Android smartphones are fast losing their novelty status as more manufacturers get to grips with Google’s open source operating system and go the widget way, often developing their own individual take of the basic style. Motorola and Samsung have been recent converts – with their Dext and Galaxy, respectively – but Taiwanese firm HTC was the first, and has been churning out variations on the theme with steady regularity.

      • Mesa Comes To Android-based x86 Netbooks

        If you pay attention to the Mesa3D development mailing list at all you will have noticed quite a number of messages lately from Chia-I Wu, who has been pushing a good number of patches lately. Largely his work has pertained to OpenGL ES support for mobile devices, but his intentions are now known. Chia-I Wu is bringing Mesa (Gallium3D inclusive) to Android. In particular, Chia-I is focusing on running Mesa under Android on Intel-powered netbooks.

      • Qualcomm’s Snapdragon for all Android Phones

        Qualcomm’s Snapdragon is really getting around these days. Not too long after Sony Ericsson confirmed that their XPERIA X10 will have an Android operating system running on the 1 GHz processor, we now find LG announcing its own Snapdragon Android mobile phone.

      • Android, Maemo, and Moblin

        Introduced to the consumer market just over a year ago, the Google Android platform has rapidly evolved since its commercial release. In that time, it has moved from a 1.0 to a 2.0 version and expanded its hardware and wireless vendor market from one to many with more coming into the fold every month. This aggressive release schedule coupled with frequent SDK iterations has generated considerable momentum and buzz for the platform. Additionally, Google’s relatively seamless integration of their core services into the device elevates its baseline functionality beyond ordinary smartphone status.

      • SKT Prefers Android Handsets Over iPhone as Flagship 3G Devices

        SK Telecom, South Korea’s biggest mobile telephony carrier, plans to release a “smart” phone powered by the Google-backed Android operating system next year.

      • Nokia CEO says starts deliveries of top-model N900

        Nokia has started deliveries of its new top-of-the-range model N900, a key product for the world’s top phone maker in its battle against rivals iPhone and Blackberry.

      • Nokia’s N900 Maemo device starts shipping

        Four years after it started work on its Linux strategy, Nokia has finally announced that its first Linux-based device has started shipping to markets globally.

      • HTC Tattoo Phone: Review and suggested price

        Spec wise the HTC Tattoo packs Android OS 1.6 Donut, but sadly not up to Android 2.0 but does feature HTC’s Sense user interface. There is also a 3.2 megapixel camera, which isn’t too stunning, and the Qualcomm 528MHz processor may be a touch lightweight leading to some screen lag. The HTC Tattoo is basically a good Android offering for the asking price of £280 SIM free.

      • Android Garmin Nuvifone in the works

        The revelation comes following the announcement of Google Maps Navigation and we can’t help thinking that jumping from Linux, to Symbian, to Android is a bit of a coincidence, particularly given the impressive demo we’ve seen so far.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OpenBSD 4.6: Photo gallery

    If you want security coupled with flexibility and some good old-fashioned command line action in your UNIX of choice, look no further than OpenBSD.

  • SourceForge Inc changes its name to Geeknet

    SourceForge Inc. has announced that it has officially changed its name to Geeknet. According to Scott L. Kauffman, President and CEO “Renaming the company Geeknet is the latest step in our rapid transformation.” The company believes that the new name will be a more accurate articulation of its business. Kauffman said “With Geeknet as our calling card on Madison Avenue, we are now able to clearly define the audience we serve and more effectively capture the business opportunity that we are addressing,”.

  • SourceForge, Inc. Changes its Name to Geeknet, Inc.
  • A response to “free software major league or minor?”: Unjustified dismissal?

    Thus FOSS is not static. It fills niches. It grows organically in amazing ways with untold creativity and diversity. It is a better way of meeting needs, and turns consumers into contributors. One scrap of free software functionality is therefore more valuable to the individual and the community of computer users at large, than a vast edifice of commercial software. One has the potential to grow, collaborate, give back, diversify, address needs in an honest and progressive way. The other does not.

  • The State of Open Source on Firefox’s Fifth Birthday

    A number of other important open source initiatives have also been around for a while. Apache’s Web server software was first released in 1995. Linux appeared even earlier, debuting in 1991, with roots going back to 1983. That operating system has yet to make any serious inroads onto the desktop.

    Compared to those two initiatives, Firefox has been a marked success, growing faster in a shorter period of time. Mozilla has found the mechanisms that work to bring products to market faster than before. Launched in 2003, WordPress also rose to prominence relatively quickly. There are other examples of speedy success in the open-source world.

    The most interesting example of a hurry-up offense in this space might well be the Android OS. Had it seen a more traditional launch, we could have expected five-plus years to see any traction for the mobile operating system. Handsets running the OS will be selling like gangbusters this time next year.

  • Open-source Hadoop powers Tennessee smart grid

    The Tennessee Valley Authority is the nation’s largest public power provider serving approximately 9 million consumers in seven southeastern states. The organization also happens to be a big supporter of open-source projects, including Hadoop, a tool designed for deep analysis and transformation of very large data sets.

  • Open Source Replication and Clustering Solution for MySQL And PostgreSQL
  • Basic postgresql server setup
  • Broadcom Offers Royalty-Free, Open Source BroadVoice(R) Wideband and Narrowband Voice Codecs to Enhance the Quality of Voice Transmissions

    As a direct response to customer demand for advanced, high-quality voice solutions and development tools, Broadcom is releasing its wideband and narrowband BroadVoice codecs in both floating-point and fixed-point C code as open source software under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL), version 2.1, as published by the Free Software Foundation.

  • Open source tries to save the world

    A new company, People Power, is launching into the crowded home energy monitoring business.

    Home energy monitoring is the tip of the spear in terms of cutting energy costs. Give people an idea of how much their appliances are costing, and when, then give them the power to adjust their energy use, and you not only save the planet, and save people real money, but create a nice business for yourself.

  • GENIVI Alliance Membership Ranks Expand With Leaders Across Industries

    GENIVI Alliance, the automotive industry’s only collaborative association dedicated to driving the development and broad adoption of an open source In-vehicle Infotainment (IVI) reference platform, today announced its continued strong growth with the addition of four prestigious companies from the consumer electronics and technology industries.

  • Why FOSS Matters to Me (But Maybe Not to You)

    The Free Software Foundation is having a video contest on the subject “Why is free software important to you?” It’s a timely topic, with Windows 7 just out and with the free software community’s bickering so bitter as of late that common goals sometimes seem in danger of being forgotten.

  • Diversion Media to Present at Producers Guild of America New Media Council East Panel on Open Source Software for Producers

    `Brave New (Open) World: A Producer`s Primer on the Latest Open Source Software` At The New School`s Lang Auditorium on Tuesd

  • Online Video World Disrupted by New Open Source Entrant

    Kaltura, Inc. (http://www.kaltura.com), developer of the first open source video platform, today announced that it has received wide industry recognition by three independent sources over the past two months.

  • CMS

  • Business

  • Programming

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Khronos Launches Mobile Windowing System API

      In the past year the Khronos Group unveiled the OpenCL 1.0 specification, the launch of OpenGL 3.1 / GLSL 1.40, OpenSL ES 1.0 as a new standardized audio API, and then most recently was the OpenGL 3.2 update. Today though the Khronos Group is pushing forward another standardized API that they hope to reach industry acceptance on and that is for windowing systems. OpenWF 1.0 was announced this morning and as it is described as “an operating system-independent and hardware-neutral foundation for building windowing systems and providing display control functionality in accelerated mobile and embedded devices.”


  • TSA doesn’t understand what “random” means

    Deirdre Walker, the 24-year police veteran and former Assistant Chief of the Montgomery County, Maryland, Department of Police who wrote up a sharp, professional critique of the TSA’s checkpoint procedures, has written a follow-up, showing a huge flaw in the “random” screening process used at the BWI airport:

    I asked, “How are people selected for secondary searches?. She replied “It’s random.”

    I asked “Is there a mark on my boarding pass?” She replied, “We used to do that, but we don’t do it anymore.” She did not know why that practice had been discontinued.

  • Finance

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

Interview with Chris Mason of Oracle

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

European Enlarged Board of Appeal Dismisses Claim that Pro-Software Patents Judges Are Biased

Posted in Database, Europe, Law, Oracle, Patents at 11:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Software patents protest against EPO

Summary: Enlarged Board of Appeal to make decision regarding software patentability in Europe, but some judges may have already made up their minds

THE FFII’s president has just pointed out that the “European Patent Office “independent” Enlarged Board of Appeal says its judges are “independent”.” We append its response in plain text. Of course they would just act in self defence here, justifying their own integrity rather than relying on independent, external judgment. To quote the crux of the matter:

In an amicus curiae brief addressed to the Enlarged Board on 26 April 2009 Mr M. Schulz contested the impartiality of the Board giving the following reasons:
1. A technically qualified person in charge and mandated by the Enlarged Board of Appeal had officially and publicly given his opinion on the decisions mentioned in the referral of the President and on the interpretation of the EPC with respect to the exclusion of computer programs from patentability, among others on the decision in the case T 1173/97.

We previously wrote about this referral to the Enlarged Board of Appeal in:

I have also submitted my own brief.

Separately, says FFII’s president, “Oracle [is] not mentioning patents” when claiming that “because MySQL is open source, it cannot be controlled by anyone.” Oracle wrote this in response to the European Commission, which blocks the Sun takeover.

We wrote about MySQL and patents back in 2008 [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].


Europäisches     European        Office européen
Patentamt        Patent Office   des brevets
Große            Enlarged        Grande
Beschwerdekammer Board of Appeal Chambre de recours

 Internal distribution code:
 (A)  [ ]  Publication in OJ
 (B)  [X]  To Chairmen and Members
 (C)  [ ]  To Chairmen
 (D)  [ ]  No distribution
                  Datasheet for the Interlocutory Decision
                              of 16 October 2009
 Case Number:                          G 0003/08
 Language of the proceedings:          EN
 Referral by the President of the EPO in relation to a point of
 law pursuant to Article 112(1)(b) EPC
 Relevant legal provisions:
 EPC Art. 24
 RPBA Art. 4
 Relevant legal provisions (EPC 1973):
 EPC Art. 24
 "Objection to a member of the EBA, suspicion of partiality"
 Decisions cited:
 G 0001/05, G 0002/08, T 0954/98, J 0015/04
 [2002] EWCA Civ 90, [2003] QB 528 - Taylor v. Lawrence; [2003]
 UKHL 35, [2003] ICR 856 - Lawal v. Northern Spirit Ltd.;
 Locabail (UK) Ltd. v. Bayfield Properties Ltd.
 EPA Form 3030 06.03


Europäisches        European        Office européen
Patentamt           Patent Office   des brevets
Große               Enlarged        Grande
Beschwerdekammer    Board of Appeal Chambre de recours

  Case Number: G 0003/08
                I n t e r l o c u t o r y        D e c i s i o n
                       of the Enlarged Board of Appeal
                              of 16 October 2009
  Composition of the Board:
  Chairman:      P. Messerli
  Members:       M. J. Vogel
                 P. Alting Van Geusau
                 M. Dorn
                 A. G. Klein
                 U. Scharen
                 J.-P. Seitz
                              - 1 -                    G 0003/08
Summary of Facts and Submissions
I.      In the present referral case under Article 112(1)b EPC
        concerning several questions raised by the President of
        the EPO on Computer Implemented Inventions ("CII") the
        Enlarged Board of Appeal invited the public to file
        opinions on the questions submitted by the President.
II.     In an amicus curiae brief addressed to the Enlarged
        Board on 26 April 2009 Mr M. Schulz contested the
        impartiality of the Board giving the following reasons:
        1. A technically qualified person in charge and
        mandated by the Enlarged Board of Appeal had officially
        and publicly given his opinion on the decisions
        mentioned in the referral of the President and on the
        interpretation of the EPC with respect to the exclusion
        of computer programs from patentability, among others
        on the decision in the case T 1173/97.
        2. In the documents of the Diplomatic Conference of
        2000, the decision in the case T 1173/97 was considered
        to justify the deletion of the EPC provision excluding
        computer programs as non patentable subject matter.
        This means that this decision was not taken on the
        basis of the law in force at that time.
        3. Furthermore, the person mentioned above, now a
        member of the Enlarged Board in the present case,
        supported the EU-proposal of a directive on CII as a
        lobbyist of the Commission. He declared publicly that
        the then-drafted version of the EU-directive would not
        initiate a reversal of the jurisdiction of the Boards
        of Appeal. This is further proof that the then-valid
                              - 2 -                    G 0003/08
        law, which excluded computer programs from legal
        protection, had been disregarded by the Boards.
        4. Finally, just before its publication, a member of
        the Boards of Appeal publicly took the position that
        the referral of the President was inadmissible. This
        was an undue attempt to put pressure on the President
        and the Members of the Enlarged Board.
        5. On the strength of past experience with the
        behaviour of Board members the question is not whether
        there are different decisions and even whether these
        decisions are in line with the Convention. These
        questions have already been answered by the Boards'
        decisions. The question is rather whether it is
        possible having regard to the foregoing facts to
        compose an Enlarged Board from members of the Boards of
        Appeal, who have already been subject to a reproach of
        6. Under these conditions there is a suspicion of
        partiality with the consequence that the present
        composition of the Enlarged Board has to be dissolved
        and the grounds of dissolution have to be published.
III.    After due deliberation of the Board, in the absence of
        the member concerned, the Chairman of the Enlarged
        Board of Appeal by order dated 28 September 2009
        appointed Mr Alting van Geusau as alternate to Mr Rees
        for the purpose of the proceedings under Article 4
        RPEBA and Article 24(4) EPC.
IV.     In his statement according to Article 4(2) RPEBA
        Mr Rees declared that, as a director in DG 2 between
                              - 3 -                    G 0003/08
        2000 and 2003, he was assigned the duty of explaining
        the examination policy of DGs 1 and 2 with respect to
        computer-implemented inventions (CII), which was based
        on the case law of the Boards of Appeal, to the public
        and external bodies like the European Parliament.
        Furthermore he did the same when he attended as an
        expert for the European Commission a number of meetings
        of the responsible committee of the Council of
        Ministers where the proposal of a EU-directive on CII
        was discussed.
Reasons for the Decision
1.1     As provided by Article 24(3) EPC, members of a Board of
        Appeal or of the Enlarged Board of Appeal may be
        objected to by any party for one of the reasons
        mentioned in Article 24(1) EPC, or if suspected of
        partiality. Whereas objections based on Article 24(1)
        EPC (iudex inhabilis) may be raised by anyone, whether
        he is a party or not, the right to object to a member
        of the Board because of alleged partiality (iudex
        suspectus) is reserved to parties in the proceedings
        (see interlocutory decision of 15 June 2009 in case
        G 2/08, point 1.4 of the Reasons). In referral cases
        under Article 112 EPC, however, members of the public
        who file amicus curiae briefs do not have the status of
        a party. They are not entitled to file requests but
        only to submit their personal view of the case or that
        of their organisations, in order to support the Board
        with arguments that should be considered in its
        findings. Since an amicus curiae is not a party to the
        referral proceedings his request for exclusion of a
                              - 4 -                    G 0003/08
        member of the Enlarged Board or of the Enlarged Board
        as a whole is inadmissible under Article 24(3) EPC.
1.2     However, pursuant to Rule 4(1) of the Rules of
        Procedure of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (RPEBA) in
        the version approved by the Administrative Council of
        the EPO on 7 December 2006 (OJ 2007, 304), the
        procedure of Article 24(4) EPC is also to be applied,
        if the Enlarged Board of Appeal has knowledge of a
        possible reason for exclusion or objection which does
        not originate from a member himself or from any party
        to the proceedings. Under this provision the
        submissions of a third party with respect to a member
        of the Enlarged Board to be objected to according to
        Article 24(1) EPC or suspected of partiality under
        Article 24(3) EPC are taken as information on the basis
        of which the Board can ex officio look at the alleged
        grounds of objection or suspicion of partiality.
2.1     In the amicus curiae brief under consideration it is
        not alleged that one of the members of the Enlarged
        Board should be excluded from the case for reasons of a
        personal interest in the case, or for having been
        involved previously as a representative of the party
        (Article 24(1) EPC). Rather, the submission is based on
        the ground that one member of the Enlarged Board of
        Appeal in this case as well as the Board as a whole is
        suspected of partiality.
2.2     The interlocutory decision in case G 2/08 mentioned
        under point 1.1 above states that it might appear
        appropriate not to proceed any further with a complaint
        or information received if the so-called "possible"
        reason for exclusion or objection which does not
                              - 5 -                    G 0003/08
        originate from a party to the proceedings or the
        Enlarged Board of Appeal itself, would amount to an
        abuse of procedure. The decision mentions as an example
        a complaint that is completely unsubstantiated or
        ignores established case law (point 2.3 of the Reasons).
2.3     Turning to the present case, the Enlarged Board notes
        that the submissions in the amicus curiae brief are
        vague and largely unsubstantiated. The brief does not
        say who made which concrete remarks in which function
        under which circumstances and in which connection with
        respect to the referred questions such as to justify
        his exclusion as a member of the Enlarged Board of
        Appeal for reasons of suspicion of partiality.
        Nevertheless the Enlarged Board is in the position to
        identify Mr D. Rees on the basis of these submissions
        as the member suspected in the amicus curiae brief and
        is also aware of his earlier duties as a director in
        DG 2 of the EPO between 2000 and 2003 and as an expert
        for the EU-Commission in the field of CII at that time.
        But these facts submitted to establish the suspicion of
        partiality are not suitable to do so. The mere general
        and unsubstantiated assertion that the member in
        question explained as an expert in earlier times, when
        he was still a director in DG 2, that the jurisprudence
        of the Boards of Appeal in the field of CII would not
        be against the EPC and the law of the member states of
        the EPO cannot support an argument that this member or
        even the whole Enlarged Board in this case (G 3/08)
        should be excluded from dealing with the referral. Nor
        can such a conclusion be supported by the – actually
        incorrect - submission that the members of the present
        Enlarged Board are all members of the Boards of Appeal.
                              - 6 -                    G 0003/08
        This is not an argument justifying the assumption that
        - deciding on the present referral - they are not
        solely bound by the provisions of the EPC.
2.4     According to established case law of the Boards of
        Appeal, of the Enlarged Board and also of national
        courts of member states, the mere fact that a board
        member has expressed a view on the legal issue to be
        decided on a previous occasion, be it in a prior
        decision or in literature, be it in a prior position in
        the EPO or as an expert for external political
        institutions, cannot lead to the conclusion of doubts
        as to impartiality. Nor does a purely subjective
        impression that the opinions of a board member might be
        disadvantageous to a particular interest justify an
        exclusion (see T 954/98, point 2.4 of the Reasons; see
        also J 15/04; see further Interlocutory decision of
        7 December 2006 in case G 1/05, point 20 of the Reasons;
        confirmed in G 2/08, supra, point 4.2 of the Reasons;
        [2002] EWCA Civ 90, [2003] QB 528 - Taylor v. Lawrence;
        [2003] UKHL 35, [2003] ICR 856 - Lawal v. Northern
        Spirit Ltd.; Locabail (UK) Ltd. v. Bayfield Properties
        Ltd.; Rappel de la portée des stipulations de
        l'article 6 de la Convention européenne des droits de
        l'homme et des libertés fondamentales, JurisClasseur
        Justice Administrative, Fasc 70-11; Baumbach/Lauterbach,
        Zivilprozessordnung, Vol. 1, 67th Edition, 2009, § 42
        Margin 44, 45, 57; Zöller, Zivilprozessordnung, 27th
        Edition, 2009 § 42 Margin 26, 33; Fasching, Lehrbuch
        des österreichischen Zivilprozessrechts, 2nd Edition,
        1990, Margin 154; Fasching, Kommentar zu den
        Zivilprozessgesetzen, Vol. 1, 2nd Edition, 2000, § 19
        Jurisdiktionsnorm Margin 10).
                              - 7 -                    G 0003/08
2.5     Once lawfully appointed, a judge is deemed to act in
        good faith and is therefore presumed impartial until
        proven otherwise (see interlocutory decision in G 2/08,
        point 3.2 with further remarks). Moreover the parties
        to judicial proceedings have a right to have their case
        considered and decided by lawfully appointed judges.
        Such judges not only have the right to be member of a
        Board but also have the duty to decide in the cases
        allocated to them. They can neither withdraw at will
        from the proceedings, nor be objected to, at will, by a
        party to the proceedings, or by any other person. On
        the other hand they have to withdraw from a case in
        which their impartiality could be reasonably doubted
        (see interlocutory decision in case G 2/08). E.g. there
        might indeed exist an issue of partiality if a judge
        let it be known that he would never change his mind on
        certain questions on which he has given his opinion
        before. However, in the present case there is no
        indication whatsoever that this might be so.
3.      Therefore, this Board sees no reason to exclude Mr Rees
        from its composition in case G 3/08 or to replace
        further members.
                              - 8 -                    G 0003/08
For these reasons it is decided that:
1.      The request of Mr Schultz is rejected as inadmissible.
2.      The composition of the Enlarged Board of Appeal in case
        G 3/08 remains unchanged.
The Registrar:                            The Chairman:
P. Martorana                              P. Messerli

“A stacked panel, on the other hand, is like a stacked deck: it is packed with people who, on the face of things, should be neutral, but who are in fact strong supporters of our technology. The key to stacking a panel is being able to choose the moderator. Most conference organizers allow the moderator to select die panel, so if you can pick the moderator, you win. Since you can’t expect representatives of our competitors to speak on your behalf, you have to get the moderator to agree to having only “independent ISVs” on the panel. No one from Microsoft or any other formal backer of the competing technologies would be allowed -just ISVs who have to use this stuff in the “real world.” Sounds marvellously independent doesn’t it? In feet, it allows us to stack the panel with ISVs that back our cause. Thus, the “independent” panel ends up telling the audience that our technology beats the others hands down. Get the press to cover this panel, and you’ve got a major win on your hands.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Novell and Microsoft Expand Relationship to Boost Windows, .NET, Visual Studio, Linux Patent Tax

Posted in GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE, Oracle, Patents, Servers, SLES/SLED at 10:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

Summary: Novell makes more evident what was obvious from the very start — that it puts Microsoft’s interests ahead of anything else

“FOR Windows users,” claims our reader, “Novell and Suse only serve as a last barbwire fence to keep their livestock (or maybe pawns was the right word) from roaming free.” He points to this article to serve as a reminder (“Microsoft exec called software developers ‘pawns’”; we have the full text of that talk).

The latest news is that “Novell plugs Linux developers into Visual Studio,” to quote the headline from IDG. What a way to pour cold water on OpenSUSE just days before its latest release. This is actually the fault of Novell’s team at Boston, which is headed by CodePlex board member Miguel de Icaza. Here is the opening of the article:

With a product introduction on Tuesday, Novell will enable developers to use Microsoft’s Visual Studio software development platform to both build and debug .Net-based applications for deployment on Linux and other non-Windows platforms.

Novell’s Mono Tools for Visual Studio, available now, lets .Net developers utilize Visual Studio to build cross-platform applications. Also usable for putting .Net applications on Unix and Mac OS, the product serves as an add-in module for Visual Studio and leverages the separately available Novell Mono runtime for running .Net applications on non-Microsoft platforms. Mono Tools for Visual Studio had been offered in a preview release to a limited number of developers earlier this year.

This has got to be a joke, but it’s not. It is actually quite predictable and we wrote about this months ago [1, 2]. The details surfaced in some employee blogs.

“For FOSS users,” argues one of our readers, “Novell and Suse only serve as a gateway to channel users into Microsoft lock-in. Instead of improving already good tools like Eclipse, Netbeans or Kdevelop, they shovel th[e above].”

The Mono-Nono Web site has already responded to this latest news in its post “Mono for Microsoft”.

What we have here is a MonoTouch application for the iPhone covering a Microsoft conference and advertising Team Mono’s booth at the same conference for those that “don’t have a Mac”.

Why exactly is this garbage on Planet GNOME and Planet SUSE? (I can understand Planet GNOME, since GNOME seems to have largely adopted the Venerable Ostrich Position on Mono) Do people not get tired of the pro-Mono / pro-Microsoft messaging that has nothing to do with Linux?

At least Team Mono used to pretend there was some benefit for Linux from Mono, lately much/most of the messaging has absolutely nothing to do with Linux.


Of course, Microsoft rewards its collaborators when it suits them, so Peter Galli has written “Microsoft and Novell: Three Years and Going Strong” where he gives the lapdog a small treat, and doesn’t miss a chance to talk up intellectual “peace of mind” . This is a disgustingly popular code phrase for “Use Microsoft-approved software or we just might sue you”. Microsoft and Novell love to brandish a bit of IP FUD about, especially if they can wield it against Red Hat.

I like to point out another way of looking at “Three Years and Going Strong”: the Novell-Microsoft deal is just as offensive and anti-community today as it was the day it was signed. The reasons for opposing the deal are just as valid today as they were three years ago. The people that walked away from Novell three years ago were right to do so, and anyone that chooses to do so today is equally justified.

At least it is made clear which side Peter Galli is on. He used to masquerade as a "journalist" when consistently serving Microsoft’s agenda elsewhere. As for MonoTouch, we wrote about it a few days ago, reminding people that it’s not about GNU/Linux at all. In fact, look at de Icaza’s latest blog post, aptly titled “MonoTouch application for [Microsoft's] PDC”. At the bottom it says:

Update: If you do not have a Mac, come to our booth at the Microsoft PDC, and we will ad-hoc deploy the app for you.

Separately, Miguel de Icaza actually ridicules GNU/Linux by reciting Microsoft's lies about market share. And evidently, these days he is busy enriching the iPhone experience. We wrote about MonoTouch in:

Another Mono project that Novell has been sponsoring is called Banshee and it’s not coming along so well, for technical reasons, not just legal reasons (only Novell customers can "legally" use Banshee because of Microsoft patents in the United States).

Sadly for me Banshee insisted on crashing whenever i tried to watch a film so i can’t demonstrate it as it should be, but i did manage to stream a (randomly clicked) video as flash.

Meanwhile, Novell is trying to shake it all off and pretend that there is no problem with its patent deal. In fact, a Microsoft-sponsored blog exclaims: “Microsoft patent controversy? Not much anymore, Novell says”

Nice propaganda you got there. Emphasis in red is ours:

She [Novell vice president] continued, “Over the last three years, the IP peace of mind has been an element of the partnership that has been well-received by customers, and has not been controversial in the last couple years at all. It’s really just become accepted as part of the program. Will it be part of our part of our partnership (in the future)? I think the core elements that have made us successful, we should look to those to stay part of the partnership going forward. What that looks like in the end, we’ll have to see based on the discussions we’re having, but I would expect that both of us would want to keep the pieces that have been really successful.”

The companies are now entering the fourth year of the original five-year agreement. Asked if they’re already working to extend the deal beyond the initial term, Microsoft general manager Ted MacLean didn’t provide any specifics but said the companies in general are “constantly exploring how to continue working together.”

Yes, they are trying to impose Microsoft patent payments on more and more companies. Based on a separate new report from IDG:

To further broaden its base, Novell is considering adding support for Oracle Unbreakable Linux, Heystee said. “We’re looking at it, since we’ve gotten quite a few requests from people having support issues” with Oracle, she said. “You do see a trend there, of customers wanting to work with the manufacturer of the Linux distro itself.”

We also find this new press release which is not significant, and it is probably timed so as to intersect with coverage of the deal’s anniversary (that’s just a guess though).

Novell and Microsoft are working together to ensure all companies pay Microsoft for their deployment/s of GNU/Linux.

Novell cloud

Since When is Bill Gates an Indian Official?

Posted in Asia, Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Standard at 9:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bill Gates and Nasscom
From NASSCOM, add the caption

Summary: Sachin Pilot (centre) answers questions about the government’s policies on Free software and open standards; Gates’ lobbying revisited

LAST NIGHT we wrote about NASSCOM, which has a track record of fawning over Microsoft lobbyist Bill Gates and his interests [1, 2].

In one of our previous posts we showed how NASSCOM had sold out to Gates and bragged about it in its Web site (that’s where the photo above comes from).

A reader of ours who recognised the guy in the middle, Sachin Pilot (Union Minister of State for Communications and Technology), has also found some revealing text, which he describes as “questions and lame answers from Indian parliament on Free software and open standards adoption in the Government of India.”

Therein, OpenOffice.org is described as “public domain”, which shows serious misunderstanding of what Free software is about and how it works. Anyway, here is the text in full:

Question : P Rajeev ( CPI-M MP )

(a) whether Government has issued any order for using public domain software such as open office in Government offices instead of proprietary software;

(b) if so, number of departments/offices that have complied with the order; and

(c) if not, would the Government consider ensuring the use of public domain software that are conforming to open standards as it provides advantages of user freedom, lower cost, vendor independence, and as such beneficial to the users?


(a): No, Sir.

(b): Does not arise.

(c): Government has set up a National Resource Centre for Free/Open Source Software to carry out Research and Development, Human Resource Development, resource centres creation in specific areas and their deployment with the primary objective of building awareness and culture of Free and Open Source Software uses, thereby helping users to take informed decision.





Will the Minister of INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY be pleased to state:-

(a) whether there is any Government order issued to use open standard formats for official communication and web interfaces;

(b) if so, the departments that has implemented it; and

(c) if not, Government’s stand on using open standard formats in Government offices and institutions?


(a): No, Sir.

(b): Does not arise.

(c): Open Standards help building e-Governance solutions that are interoperable. However, it is a very contentious matter and requires wider consultations with Industry, academia and other stakeholders.

Translation: open standards are not something we have looked at.

Vista 7 Giveaways Are Not Windows Sales

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Red Hat, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 9:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Learning English

Summary: How is Vista 7 doing against one billion licences of Fedora?

THE REALITY behind Vista 7 suggests that its sales are even worse than Vista’s [1, 2]. Acer says that computer sales are hardly affected by the availability of Vista 7.

Several sources suggest that Microsoft uses discounts to miscount the number of Vista 7 “sales” (some are theoretical and are not even installations, just cheap/gratis allocations). Oiaohm, for instance, told us about Microsoft’s tricks with numbers based on his own experience and now we find another person who tells a similar story:

Windows 7 itself even strengthens my opinion. Sure, it retails for up to $320, but Microsoft is actually giving a ridiculous number of copies away for no charge at all. During Microsoft’s “New Efficiency” campaign, they toured several states all over the USA giving away copies of Windows 7 Ultimate to all attendees. I can only imagine how many copies they’ve given away during the entire thing so far. Sure, this is not the first time Microsoft has given away Windows, but it’s certainly way more than normal.

Actual sales of Vista 7 are rather poor, but Microsoft insists on using words like “copies” or “licences”, which get around the reality of the matter. Microsoft did exactly the same thing with Vista. Since Fedora is “licensed” for everyone to use, Red Hat could claim that it is “selling” a billion licences. Technically, that would be correct.

“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”

Bill Gates, Microsoft

Microsoft Lies About Security

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 8:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Guerra al capitol

Summary: Security propaganda from Microsoft tackled yet again in light of this week’s security FUD against Free software

AS WE showed two years ago, Microsoft knowingly hides security problems in its software and sometimes fixes these problems without reporting it to the public. It can be very frequent a routine. This way, when outsiders compare the number of security problems across different products/vendors, they merely compare apples and oranges (Red Hat and Firefox are popular victims of such disinformation). Microsoft is cheating.

Earlier this week Slashdot revealed that Microsoft’s attitude when it comes to security of its on-line services is more or less the same. To make matters worse, Microsoft is trying to gag those who know the truth. From Slashdot’s summary:

Microsoft Tries To Censor Bing Vulnerability

Microsoft’s bing search engine has a vulnerability with its cash-back promotion, which impacts both merchants and customers. In traditional Microsoft fashion, the company has responded to the author of the breaking bing cashback expoit with a cease & desist letter, rather than by fixing the underlying security problem.

Here is the original post.

The purpose of my post was to show an implementation problem, not to encourage defrauding Microsoft. I am surprised they would go through this much trouble to make me take down information that is obvious to anyone reading their documentation. I don’t like dealing with lawyers, so I’ve decided to comply with their request. The post is gone. I will still write a “non-technical” post on all the problems I see with Bing Cashback in the next few days.

The reason why hundreds of millions of Windows PCs are zombies is not just because of negligent users; it’s also because of a company that puts its image and its profits before the safety of computer users. It would shamelessly lie to the public as long as its shareholders’ interests are obeyed. Suffice to say, Free software does not have the same inherent deficiency which is a conflict of interests (honesty versus selfishness). Apache is a good example of this.

According to The Register, botmasters have found new ways of sending instructions to Windows zombies. It’s not the fault of Google, which merely stores arbitrary strings of texts like many other services.

Cyber criminals’ love affair with cloud computing just got steamier with the discovery that Google’s AppEngine was tapped to act as the master control channel that feeds commands to large networks of infected computers.

Sadly enough, we are all left at a dangerous state where cyberwar is said to be imminent, with hordes of Windows zombies recruited to such a task.

CBS News reports that cyber war is a reality that, according to cyber experts, the US will have to be prepared for – and soon.

It is worth adding that the US presidency now has the legal power to shut off the Internet and physical bombing of botmasters is one of the proposed strategies shall disaster strike.

“Security — including national security — must never be put in proprietary hands.”What does Microsoft do about this? It serves the interests of shareholders, which means pretending that Windows (and other Microsoft products) is secure, even by fabrication and outright lies. Security — including national security — must never be put in proprietary hands. It is a recipe for disaster.

One of our readers, pointing to this old gem about password encryption, remarks: “It’s pathetic to see how much Gates has been able to hold back computing. His current antics are not new. However, now his antics involve much more outsourced marketing and tremendous investment in lobbying firms.

Related posts:

Links 10/11/2009: Mandriva Tops Distrowatch, Oracle/Sun Blocked

Posted in News Roundup at 7:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Event

    • The SCALE 8X Call For Papers

      The Linux Exposition of Southern California is proud to announce the 8th Annual Southern California Linux Expo scheduled for February 19-21, 2010 at the Westin Hotel near Los Angeles International Airport.

    • SCALE 8X Announces Call for Papers

      To ensure presentations appeal to the widest possible audience, SCALE organizers are looking for content in several areas, including:

      * Kernel Internals and Enhancements
      * Unix variants: Tools and Appliances
      * Operating Systems for Embedded Platforms
      * Virtualization


  • Desktop

    • The Linux-OEM complaint- Learn from Ubuntu.

      Using Ubuntu as the case study, we now have big shot OEMs like Dell and IBM beginning to ship units with Ubuntu Linux preinstalled. What is very clear from this development is that they are not shipping Ubuntu boxes because they believe in the Ubuntu philosophies or that because they think it is cool. They are shipping Ubuntu because there is now a nascent market for Ubuntu and hence some profit to be made.

    • Linux Helps Me Live a Stress-Free Life

      Thankfully there is an operating system that gives me the security and ease-of-use that I need. My laptop currently runs Ubuntu 9.10, a wildly popular Linux distribution. I’ve been using Linux (Red Hat, Mandriva, OpenSuse, PCLinuxOS and other distros) since 2004 and I can say that this free operating system helps me enjoy a stress-free life. And it’s because:

      1. Linux makes me forget about viruses.
      2. Linux allows me to update my system and all my applications with a single click.
      3. Linux allows me to give copies of the OS for free


  • Server

    • Linux Powers Giant Database: 400TB of Climate Data and Counting

      Underlying the WDCC’s data archive is the CERA-2 (Climate and Environmental Retrieving and Archiving) database system, one of the world’s largest databases. As of late 2008, it has around 400 TB of data, and nearly a thousand named users. Running on NEC and Solaris machines, it’s a federated ORACLE database connected to a set of StorageTek tape libraries hosted at DKRZ (the tape libraries themselves have a 60 PB capacity, but they store data other than that belonging to the WDCC). The database itself is a distributed system across multiple NEC machines running Linux.

  • Applications

    • 6 of the Best Free Linux Collection Managers

      For many individuals collection managers are an important type of software. It is human nature to collect objects, in part because people derive pleasure from the simple ownership of objects. The things that we collect change over time, partly as a result of technological improvements, and partly because our wants and desires do not remain static.

    • tnote: Simple is good

      For a console note-taker, tnote is extremely simple. It weighs all of about 19Kb when packed, untars into a space smaller than your fingernail, and when installed runs no slower than your machine can spit things out on to the screen.

    • Free online multimedia conversion tools

      Online conversions tools are quite handy. They save the user a hassle of downloading programs and trying them and mastering the use thereof, once they are found adequate for the task. Without wasting time on testing software endlessly and cramming the hard disk with useless bits, online services offer a quick, simple solution to most common needs.

      For the young generations, the e-generation if you will, for people almost constantly online, working with music and video, hanging around media-rich social networks and media portals, the online conversions tools are a blessing. You have the Youtube videos and music streams ready, at the tip of your fingers.

      What more, people who frequently travel or have weak computers will also like the notion of being able to work with multimedia files anywhere, on the go, without stressing their computers. The flexibility and the simplicity of this concept are simply great.

  • Desktop Environments

    • digiKam 1.0.0-beta6 released…

      6th beta release of digiKam 1.0.0 is out… With this release, 89 files have been closed to Bugzilla since 1.0.0-beta5.

    • Color Management in digiKam

      In most cases, you don’t have to worry about color management (see Ken Rockwell’s explanation why color management is a non-issue for most photographers). But if you do need to take control of colors, digiKam’s got you covered.

  • Distributions

    • Huge anticipation for Google’s Chrome OS

      A not inconsiderable 22 per cent of people suggested that they would download Chrome OS the moment they possibly could, so that they could try out Google’s attempt at an operating system that fits in with cloud computing.

    • Mythbuntu 9.10 (MythTV 0.22) installation

      On both my main box (Nvidia 8600GT) and my Zotac Ion (Nvidia 9400M) the ‘Bob 2X’ de-interlacer delivered the goods. Playback was ultra smooth on any format (mpeg2, h264) and resolution (480, 720, 1080) I threw at it! No stutters, hiccups or audio sync issues whatsoever.

    • Mandriva Family

      • Linux Wizard – First on Distrowatch for the last 7 days

        So congratulation to all the Mandriva team and community for this Mandriva 2010 release.

      • First look at Mandriva Linux 2010

        The Mandriva company has done a fine job in offering a diverse set of products that should appeal to free (libre) software advocates, as well as people more concerned with having things work out of the box than with software freedoms. The distribution is a careful mix of professional commercial product and open source community project. If you’re looking for a distro that you can suggest to your non-Linux friends and family, a distro that will work smoothly, offer lots of options, sane defaults and not require any command-line interaction, this is it. Mandriva is setting the bar higher and I strongly recommend giving it a try.

      • PCLinuxOS 2009.2 Installation Review

        In the days when Ubuntu 9.10, Mandriva 2010 and openSUSE 11.2 are having their releases, installing PCLinuxOS 2009.2 seems like taking a step backwards. But how could I refuse to try what I had considered to be my favourite Linux distro? In fact, the only reason why I hadn’t tried PCLinuxOS for so long was because I just didn’t have the time.

      • November 2009 Issue of The PCLinuxOS Mag Released

        The *NEW PCLinuxOS Magazine* staff is pleased to announce the release of the November 2009 issue of the PCLinuxOS Magazine.

    • Red Hat Family

      • From Fedora 11 to Ubuntu 9.10

        Bottom line: I don’t think Ubuntu is really any better than Fedora. Setting up ANY Linux distro to navigate codecs and video/audio formats is a pain. But for both key distros (Ubuntu and Fedora), it’s the sort of thing you mostly just do once. Call it a couple of hours — but less than five minutes of typing. I kind of like the idea of the new Ubuntu One program — free online storage that promises to sync across systems.

    • Debian Family

      • Announcing Project Timelord

        Through intense self-reflection, it has come to the attention of several Kubuntu developers that Kubuntu is not currently reaching its full potential. Whether due to major architectural changes in the software stack, the usage of certain Ubuntu technologies or limited developer time, we have realized that deep changes must occur. In order to fix this situation will do all in our power to make sure Kubuntu stands the test of time.

      • Canonical and Creative Commons Meet Donations Target

        Melissa from the Creative Commons pointed me to the rather good news that Canonical’s offer to match Creative Commons donations up to $3000 has already been matched…

      • Ubuntu Server Edition 9.10: No hardware required

        In the 9.10 release of Ubuntu Server Edition, we introduced something new for people who are exploring cloud computing using Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

      • Dell Recovery Tool Enhancements

        Today I’d like to announce some new features that have been introduced to the dell-recovery tool that we are shipping with Ubuntu machines. As you might have been aware, the dell-recovery tool takes the content of a Linux Dell recovery partition and builds it into a bootable ISO image that can be burned using usb-creator or CD image burning software. When booted up, this image emulates a run through the open source portions of the Dell factory process.


        Of course due to the nature of the tool and Ubuntu variants being so similar, you can even generate media for other remixes or derivatives of Ubuntu such as Kubuntu with a few small modifications.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Debian NAS project turns to SheevaPlug

      Martin Michlmayr has published several guides about running Debian on the Linksys NSLU2 (“Slug”) router/NAS device, including one on migrating a Debian NSLU2 installation to Marvell’s SheevaPlug NAS design. With the latest guides on troubleshooting, booting, modifying, and cloning Debian on the NSLU2, the documentation is essentially complete, says Michlmayr.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Over 1.1 Million Sugar Activities in the Wild!

        In the New York Times article Nonprofit Laptops: A Dream Not Yet Over, we are teased with the suggestion that next month we’ll have the OLPC 1.5 in production, with double the speed and four times more memory than the XO-1.

      • Nepal sets example with school laptops

        KATHMANDU, Nov 9: Nearly 2,000 children in 26 schools across six districts are currently using computers with internet access as part of non-governmental organization Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Nepal´s collaborative initiative with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to transform education through technology.

      • Where is the Linux desktop going?

        While I like the Linux desktop a lot, I don’t pretend that it’s that popular. That’s why I found it fascinating that, despite everything Microsoft has been able to throw at it, desktop Linux still managed to claim 32% of the netbook market.

        And Microsoft has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at desktop Linux. For example, the Redmond giant has strong-armed vendors into not selling Linux-powered netbooks; lied about Linux sales; and all but gave XP Home away to keep vendors from including Linux instea. Despite all that, it seems, according to ABI Research, that desktop Linux has actually grown in the last year.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Back from Orvieto

    Some words regarding the QA Camp last Thursday at the OpenOffice.org Conference in Orvieto, Italy…


    All in all I think it was a very informative meeting and every attendee was able to take home new ideas and some information he/she was not aware of. The QA Camp was planned as an open house event but to my surprise most of the attendees stayed the whole three hours (!) and discussed and discussed…. :-)

  • Open Source CMS market share report 2009

    The 2009 Open Source CMS market share report was released a couple of weeks ago. The report concludes that WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal maintain a large lead on the rest of the pack, and that they are the dominant players in the market.

  • Five essential addons for new Firefox users (Happy fifth birthday, Firefox!)

    If Firefox users were a country, they’d be the third most populous in the world – behind only China and India – at 330 million people! 2009 has certainly been a big year for the Fox.

  • How Day Software stumbled upon an open source business strategy

    I’ve written a few times recently about the fact that I think the open source engagement model practiced by companies such as Day Software will become more popular as we see an increasing number of proprietary companies engaging with open source and the pendulum appears to have swung back in favour of community-developed open source software.

  • Why I hate proprietary software

    Unfortunately, the bad news will surprise you (you don’t want to hear them, or you are eager to hear, of course it depends on which side you are on). The news is that you will get a text file instead of the driver telling you that your devices are not supported anymore. So, you are shocked and frustrated!!

    This story is real and shows us how bad are the proprietary software, at least from my side!!

  • Sun

    • Statement of Oracle Corporation

      Oracle’s acquisition of Sun is essential for competition in the high end server market, for revitalizing Sparc and Solaris and for strengthening the Java development platform. The transaction does not threaten to reduce competition in the slightest, including in the database market. The Commission’s Statement of Objections reveals a profound misunderstanding of both database competition and open source dynamics. It is well understood by those knowledgeable about open source software that because MySQL is open source, it cannot be controlled by anyone. That is the whole point of open source.

    • Update: EU issues objections to Oracle’s Sun acquisition

      Oracle responded that it would “vigorously oppose” the Commission, saying its position reflects “a profound misunderstanding of both database competition and open source dynamics.” The U.S. Department of Justice, which has already approved the deal, also weighed in, saying it studied the deal carefully and concluded that it is “unlikely to be anticompetitive.”

  • Licensing

    • SFLC tech director finds one new GPL violator every day

      Bradley Kuhn, the technical director of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), has published a helpful set of guidelines about the most productive way to respond to a suspected violation of GNU’s General Public License (GPL). The guidelines caution against jumping to conclusions and encourages free software enthusiasts to give violators the benefit of the doubt. GPL violations are extremely common, he says, but most of them are accidental.

    • Riddle me this license, riddle me that.

      The biggest difference between open source software and proprietary software, apart from being able to see the code, are the licenses governing their usage. Proprietary software licenses are pretty much standard. They all say basically the same thing. Which is that the software is ours, it is only on loan to you and if you try anything else we will own your soul.

  • Openness

    • Open Source Startup Developing Device to Link Home Appliances Over LAN

      People Power, a new open source-based green tech startup launches today with the goal of helping people reduce their carbon footprint and control energy consumption in their homes. More than just a cost-analysis Web site that lets you compare and contrast the cost of using various appliances, People Power is also developing devices that communicate wirelessly to connect a home’s appliances with a specially designed local network, so users can track energy use in real-time.

    • People Power Revs Up Wireless Energy Management With Open Source

      Wang said the startup’s open-source platform will be more reliable and compatible with other systems and devices, and it will be cheaper for third-party vendors to build applications than the communications platforms based on open standards currently being used by other players in the home energy management space. Those standards, such as wireless ZigBee, were designed for shorter ranges of 30-40 feet while OSHAN was designed for longer distances typical in a home, such as between the electric meter and the back of a house, Wang said.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • DE: German government wants open standards and open source

      The newly elected German government plans to support open standards and open source software. In its four-year coalition contract, the government led by chancellor Angela Merkel, writes it wants to orient its IT systems on open standards and include open source solutions.

      Together with its sister party CSU and her liberal coalition partner (FDP), the government parties have constructed a 133 page coalition contract, which, in the chapter “Information and Media Society” declares intentions to expand e-Government by increasing electronic communication options for both citizens and enterprises.

    • ODF Plugfest: Open Standards and Interoperability

      European Public Administrations urge to join Standards Settings Organizations, in order to avoid poor interoperability and also to influence standards definition, if needed (signature enabled version of ODF, just to name one of them).

      Open Standards are first and foremost about participation, implementers’ good-will is a good thing, but maybe not (always) enough. Until now standards compliance in this field is only a self-certification process, maybe Europe should start think ing about a more formal approach.

    • IBM’s ‘enterprise Facebook’ is a hit

      Symphony works with OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Office. This is a “tremendous advantage” for IT managers, Lobo said, “because they have the ability to service those users, but not have to spend the money on the office suite — but the users are not inconvenienced or in any way limited because they can’t read a format.”


  • TSG complaints: suffused by lack of will

    But recorded complaints are the tip of the iceberg. According to the most recent statistics from the British Crime Survey, only 10% of people who are “really annoyed” with the police go on to record a formal complaint. If the Met were genuinely concerned with ensuring the accountability of its officers, it would treat each complaint with great respect in appreciation of the fact that most incidents will not be brought to its attention. But as these figures demonstrate, complainants are treated contemptuously by a system that affords them no real prospect of achieving the vindication they seek.

  • Finance

    • POLL: Is Goldman Sachs “doing God’s work”? Its CEO thinks so

      Goldman Sachs looks set to pay about $20 billion in bonuses for its top traders this year, at a time when the fallout from last year’s financial crisis is still being felt and the United States unemployment rate has hit 10.2 percent, a 26-1/2-year high.

    • Goldman Sachs boss says banks do “God’s work”

      The dominant Wall Street bank posted third-quarter earnings of $3 billion and plans to hand out more than $20 billion in year-end bonuses.

    • Goldman Sachs boss: ‘bankers do God’s work’

      Mr Blankfein, the son of a Brooklyn postal worker, believes that banks serve a “social purpose” and argues that the return of big profits and bonuses should be welcomed as proof the economy is recovering.

    • Blog: Microsoft is perfect example why executive pay is broken

      It’s easy to point at Wall Street, AIG and the banking sector and call foul when execs lavish themselves with big bonuses after receiving billions in taxpayer money to keep them afloat. But the same issues are present in the board rooms of our corporations. How can executives at corporations lavish themselves with huge payoffs when thousands of their employees are losing their jobs and stockholders are still smarting from record losses. Clearly our board of directors system in business is broken too, perpetuating the “executive club” mentality that their executives are too valuable to lose.

    • Goldman Sachs: We’re doing God’s work

      Earlier this week, Goldman declared they were doing the work of Jesus. I know that piece put off some folk–Did the people at the cult of Goldman really believe that?

    • Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein: “I’m Doing God’s Work.”

      Goldman’s reputation is suddenly as toxic as the credit default swaps and other inexplicably exotic financial instruments it used to buy with glee. That’s bad for the one thing it values more than anything else: business. Being the prime target for popular and political outrage could put Goldman first in line for draconian new regulation.

    • Goldman Sachs: To Serve Man

      Others disagree. Rolling Stone magazine ran a story that described Goldman as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”. In his latest documentary, Capitalism: A Love Story, Michael Moore drives up to 85 Broad Street in an armoured Brinks money van, leaps out carrying a sack with a giant dollar sign on it, looks up at the building and yells: “We’re here to get the money back for the American people!”

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • Spying on us doesn’t protect democracy. It undermines it

      There’s nothing new about British governments spying on their own citizens. From the time of Elizabeth I’s spy chief Francis Walsingham to the legendary agent provocateurs of the years after Waterloo to the bugging and blacklisting of the postwar decades, espionage against domestic dissenters has long been a staple of British statecraft. For most of the last century, the secret state targeted the left, trade unionists and peace campaigners, along with Irish republicans and anyone else regarded as a “subversive” threat.

    • Foreign Policy: Iran’s Terrifying Facebook Police
  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • IFPI: If Lawsuits Aren’t Working In Denmark, We’ll Seize Computers To Get Evidence

      The IFPI insists that the lawsuits won’t stop, but just that the anti-piracy organization was realizing it needed more detailed evidence — and this means that it will now start seizing computers to get evidence.

    • Let’s Act on ACTA Before it’s Too Late

      That is, the US isn’t even sharing with its ACTA partners the “basically finalised” draft of the Internet chapter. Why? Because of “internal consultations” with “a number of private stakeholders”, who are essentially calling the shots – or at least, some of them: the scare quotes around the word “freedom” makes plain the attitude of the ACTA crowd to people who dare to stand up for Internet end users’ rights in opposition to the commercial interests of the copyright crowd. The only ones that really count are representatives from the media industries, who are among the very few being granted access to ACTA documents, and being allowed to influence their drafting.

      The real reason these discussions are being held in secret is not “security” but because the outcry over them would be much greater were the proposals out in the open. It’s a blatant attempt to slip hugely-damaging clauses into the treaty without the little people like you and me noticing until it’s too late.

Interview with Kristen Accardi of Intel

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

Boycott Novell Readers Speak About Windows

Posted in GNU/Linux, Security, Ubuntu, Windows at 4:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell bumper sticker

Summary: Some arbitrary observations and news to start the day with

YESTERDAY we showed that, according to some people, even Windows Vista is better than Vista 7. If true, this is yet another failure, a catastrophe maybe. Our reader Marti is testing Vista 7 these days and yesterday he wrote: “Windows 7 even suck more than Vista. It can’t connect to Windows shares in your LAN for crying out loud. Ubuntu 9.10 has no problems with Windows shares.

At ZDNet UK, another story is now being told about Windows pains.

So after another 6 hours of update/reboot/download drivers/update/reboot/whatever, it was working again.

We keep hearing about the long time that’s required to install Windows (compared to GNU/Linux).

Another one of our reader — going by the name “Goblin” — has written about COFEE leaks and there is a valuable old quote in there at the end.

It seems strange to me that Microsoft is so keen to help fight crime when in Bill Gates own words (as partly quoted earlier on):

As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours.

Speaking of Windows and crime, it turns out that just using Windows puts one at risk of being labeled a “criminal”.

Innocent people have been branded as child abusers after malware infected their PCs, an AP investigation has discovered.

This is harming the innocent and making it more difficult to correctly identify offenders. As our reader David Gerard puts it, “If you run Windows you might be branded a PAEDO.” There is famous precedence.

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