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11.16.09

Microsoft Colludes Against Google

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Search at 10:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Doll's head

Summary: Microsoft goes for a sort of mutually-assured destruction as a weapon against Google — a tactic which by no means helps anyone but itself (surfers, Google, and authors to suffer from Microsoft bribes for publishers)

MICROSOFT has tried pulling many rabbits out of many hats, including many dirty tricks taken from the gruesome books. Earlier today we wrote about a new proposition for Microsoft to bribe publications so that they block/demote Google, having previously plotted to "screw" Google and run whisper campaigns against the search giant.

It seems to be confirmed now that Microsoft is conspiring with publishers to exclude Google.

As Microsoft shed its beta tag for the launch of the UK version of Bing today, TechCrunch Europe has learnt that it held a secret meeting with a group of big European publishers, mainly newspapers.

The meeting came literally days after Rupoert Murdoch said he was considering withdrawing his vast newspaper empire from Google’s index, despite the possibility of losing a lot of traffic.

What was discussed provides a glimpse of what newspaper publishers may do next, and how Bing will collude in this new war on Google.

A few years ago Microsoft urged publishers to sue Google and this line of attacks carries on. Microsoft sends out the message that if Google ‘dares’ to compete, then Microsoft will send out some hounds to attack it.

Microsoft Exposes .NET Patent Trap to More Potential Copyright Issues

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 9:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nomo

Summary: .NET leaves Mono vulnerable to more allegations of plagiarism and the patent issues stay standing

WHEN Microsoft first announced a “shared source” move in relation to .NET, SJVN argued that it was a trap for Mono that’s akin to the SCO case. By showing its cards, Microsoft opens the door to accusations of copyright violation and for PR purposes it is said to be “opening up” another part of .NET, leaving its terrible "Community Promise" in tact.

Tux Radar explains this incorrectly because only some parts of ECMA are covered by the Community Promise, not the whole of .NET. In fact, OpenSUSE 11.2 breaks the Community Promise.

Back in July, Microsoft announced it was making .NET available under its Community Promise, which in theory allowed free software developers to use the technology without fear of patent lawsuits.

This is not correct. There are serious omissions here.

In eWeek Europe, Novell’s latest promotion of Microsoft Visual Studio [1, 2, 3, 4] receives a mention alongside the following part:

The announcement came right after Microsoft and Novell celebrated the third anniversary of their partnership, designed to push the integration of SuSE Linux and Windows Server in the data centre, along with more controversial protection against patents which Microsoft claims Linux infringes.

Yes, Novell not only substantiates Microsoft’s empty allegations; by grooming and putting Mono inside GNU/Linux distributions Novell makes Microsoft’s allegations self fulfilling.

Eben Moglen (SFLC) Explains Genesis of Intellectual Monopoly

Posted in Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents, Videos at 9:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Eben Moglen gives a talk titled “Patents at a Crossroads: Bilski and Beyond”

THIS is a new talk from earlier this month.

Direct link | Ogg

More information here

The Internet Society – New York Chapter (ISOC-NY) was happy and interested to co-sponsor, with the Intellectual Property Law Society, a lunchtime lecture at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law on Monday Nov 2 2009. Eben Moglen, Chairman of the Software Freedom Law Center, spoke on the topic – “Patent Law at a Crossroads: Bilski and Beyond“.

As Ogg below (for <audio>-enabled Web browsers).

IP Watch also has this good new article about a fearsome consolidation — a sort of maximalist globalisation like ACTA [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14].

Trilateral Patent Offices To Launch New Work Sharing Projects

The Patent Prosecution Highway, an information sharing network between certain patent offices, has recently had its potential expanded thanks to a new agreement between two of the “trilateral” IP offices, according to the group’s site [pdf]. In addition to the EPO, the trilateral group includes the Japan Patent Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Separately, the FFII’s president claims based on this other IP Watch report that the “Lisbon Treaty should have no direct impact on the European Patent Office (EPO).”

We wrote about the Lisbon Treaty in [1, 2, 3].

Apple is Too Hot, Microsoft Can Leave the Internet Flat

Posted in Apple, Hardware, Microsoft, Security at 8:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A reminder of the marvels of shiny proprietary software and hardware

HERE it goes again.

iPhone user seeks answers for ‘explosion’

A French businessman who claims the screen of his iPhone shattered spontaneously has asked a court to appoint an independent expert to investigate the device’s safety, his lawyer said on Friday.

[...]

Several French iPhone users have claimed in recent months that touchscreens have exploded, including one who claimed to have been hurt by flying glass, but the manufacturer insists there is no evidence of a design flaw.

Name servers are DDOS targets

THE NUMBER OF external name servers that allow open access to recursion has rocketed over the last few years, increasing the risk of distributed denial of service attacks, according to network management firm Infoblox.

Thank goodness for hundreds of millions of Microsoft Windows zombie PCs.

Related posts:


Direct link

What Microsoft Does to GNU/Linux in Russian Schools

Posted in Asia, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 8:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red Square, Moscow

Summary: As Russia prepares to move to GNU/Linux Microsoft is sitting on its veins

A few months ago we revealed what Microsoft was doing in Russia in order to suppress or altogether prevent a nationwide migration to GNU/Linux. Now we have some more information that agrees with what we heard from eyewitnesses near the scene.

Meanwhile Microsoft has been lobbying hard by offering cut-price versions of its software. One school was offered $30 per machine.

Systems integrator ‘Compulink’ supplied 60,000 Russian schools with a package that includes as an operating system Windows XP, plus Microsoft Office, the dictionary Abbyy Lingvo 12, anti-virus software Kaspersky Work Space Security, Adobe Photoshop CS3 and more.

There is also an article in Russian, which Glyn Moody dissects in his blog.

[The contract for the supply of licensed software in schools during 2007-2009 was the system integrator "Compulink". Competition Rosobrazovanie numbered NP-17 meant the supply of 60 thousand Russian schools (650-700 thousand computers) license software package in 2007-2009. The package includes: operating system Windows XP, Microsoft Office, dictionary Abbyy Lingvo 12, anti-virus software Kaspersky Work Space Security, Adobe Photoshop CS3 and more. A source at the Federal Agency of Education knows that Microsoft has agreed to license the Windows on all PCs for about $ 20 million (about $ 30 per computer).]

Some people would blame “lack of funds”, but what prevents funds from being channeled into GNU/Linux in the first place? It’s all politics. There are other dirty tricks and FUD that we learned about, e.g. in Ukraine.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: November 16th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

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

Power of GNU/Linux in One’s Hand (Video)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Videos at 5:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

An accelerometer-based remote controller for mplayer on GNU/Linux machines.

Note: PyAcceleREMOTER has been released under the GPLv3 and free of charge and you can find out more about it at: http://serk01.wordpress.com/software/pyacceleremoter/


Direct link

Links 16/11/2009: New HPC Figures, ZevenOS 2.0 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Linux: Making Your Desktop Calm

      Have you ever noticed that the more you tweak your desktop theme, the more it drives you crazy? Maybe it’s just me–I’m pretty compulsive obsessive. For most of my career, I’ve tried to create an interesting, exciting, cool-looking desktop. I know that a lot of you are probably saying, “Duh!” right about now, but I figured out I was actually more productive when I made my desktop more boring.

      I’ve heard people say that if you paint a child’s room bright yellow, it makes them more hyperactive. I’ve also heard people say that if you paint a prisoner’s cell soft pink, he’ll be more sedated. I’m not sure if those things are true, but they seem reasonable.

  • Server

    • ParaScale Introduces Open Private Cloud Storage Platform

      ParaScale’s open solution leverages any commodity hardware running Red Hat Enterprise Linux OS or CentOS, and can integrate applications directly onto storage nodes. PCS R2.0 also provides integration capabilities into virtualized environments and web services.

    • IBM Unfurls Cognos BI Application Service

      Leveraging its acquisition of Cognos, the IBM Smart Analytics Cloud allows customers to roll out an implementation of Cognos 8 running on top of virtual machine software running on top of a Linux operating system hosted on an IBM mainframe. The entire backend system is managed by IBM, but customers can customize their instance of Cognos 8 because each implementation runs as virtual instance on the mainframe.

    • HPC

      • Top 500 supers – rise of the Linux quad-cores

        Looking at the semi-annual Top 500 list of supercomputers, you would never know the world was battling recession. Supercomputer centers keep chucking out old tech and rolling in new tech at the same feverish pace.

        The fall edition of the list was announced this morning at the SC09 supercomputing trade show in Portland, Oregon. The single biggest transition in the list is the move to quad-core – and in some notable cases, six-core – processors inside supercomputing systems. And most of the machines on the list now run Linux with x64 processors.

      • Australia’s new supercomputer

        Named Vayu (from the Hindi word for ‘air’), the new computer boasts 11,936 processing cores, 36 terabytes of RAM and around 600 terabytes of disk space and will achieve around 140teraflops.

        It all fits into 25 racks, each weighing around a tonne.

      • AMD is a big winner in the supercomputer race

        AMD is opening the champers after its six-core AMD Opteron processor based system was named as the world’s most powerful supercomputer.

  • Kernel Space

    • Emerging enterprise tech: The also-rans

      Rebootless Linux. A little company called Ksplice has delivered on a fantastic idea: Keep Linux updated without downtime or rebooting. When a new Linux security patch comes out, or even a major kernel upgrade, Ksplice packages it as a “rebootless update” that can be downloaded and installed without bringing down the system and, because it works at the object code layer, without programmer involvement. Now that’s uptime.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • GoblinX Newsletter, Issue 226 (11/15/2009)

      Even though I do not adopt a roadmap I must say the next release will be tested only after KDE 4.4 is released and I finished the move to another project. In fact even the beta releases will have to wait this massive upgraded of the system. I also intend to wait until a new Linux Live is released in order to also upgrade the kernel. For now I invite you to test GoblinX or buy one of our cdroms and/or pendrives at On-disk.com.

    • NetworkManager in Mandriva

      If you are having problems with the Mandriva network configuration tools, you are welcome to try out NetworkManager and let me know your experience. However, keep in mind that this is totally unsupported in Mandriva and do not expect us to fix bugs you may encounter. It seems useful for me and so it may be for others, but your mileage may vary. But if you do not have any problem with the standard Mandriva configuration tools, do not bother to try this. Especially on desktop systems which are never moved, there does not seem to be any advantage in trying out NetworkManager.

    • New Releases

      • PelicanHPC GNU Linux

        13 Nov 2009. version 1.9.3 is available here (thanks LinuxTracker). This fixes a security vulnerability, for more information, see http://wiki.debian.org/mmap_min_addr. Also has some new examples. Probably has a major showstopper bug, this is Friday the 13th, afterall.

      • Vyatta Releases Vyatta Core 6 Alpha

        Preview of Next Vyatta Version Adds Support for 802.11 Wireless and Netflow

      • ZevenOS 2.0 is ready

        We are proud to announce the release of ZevenOS 2.0
        ZevenOS 2.0 is based upon Ubuntu karmic koala (9.10). It brings big changes like a completely new audio subsystem (pulseaudio) and the switch from HAL to Device-Kit, Magi-Kit a standard application management layer, Remaster-Kit for easy iso remastering, Encode & SUPER Encode an all in all multimedia converting app, MAGI 2 an application launcher/installer and configuration center. The typical BeOS like look has been improved with changes to the Deskbar , Icon Theme and GTK-Theme. Disk-Manager now supports auto-detection of BFS(BeOS) partitions and allows to mount them. People the contact manager got an improved VCard filter. ZevenOS 2.0 has lots of other improvements and still is the best linux distribution with Beos touch.

      • Vector 6.0 (KDE-Classic)
      • Ultimate Edition 2.4 has been been released
    • Debian Family

      • Installing Software on Ubuntu: AllMyApps.com, Appnr.com, Ubuntu Software Center

        Software installation on Ubuntu and really all major Linux distributions contrary to some people’s uneducated rants on the subject can actually be much easier than anything Windows has to offer. You just have to be accustomed to it and accepting of the software found in your desired distributions repositories. In Ubuntu’s instance there are nearly 2500 GUI-centered applications and close to twenty-five thousand other packages which include drivers, modules, and numerous command-line utilities. In that mix of GUI apps you will likely find a suitable, equal, and often times superior replacement for whatever Windows or proprietary software you may have been accustomed to prior to your switch to open source computing. Its often as simple as search, check, and install.

      • Use NameBar And DockBarX To Optimize Your Screen Real Estate [Ubuntu]

        About a week ago, we wrote about gaining some space on your Linux Desktop (but the tutorial was focused on Ubuntu) by removing the titlebar of maximized applications – which can be achieved either with Maximus or Compiz. But at the time, we only provided some keyboard shortcuts to handle these windows. Read on to find out another way to do this and also how to use DockBarX for some even more optimization.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 168

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #168 for the week November 8th – November 14th, 2009. In this issue we cover: UDS: How to participate even if you aren’t attending, Lucid translation imports are now active, New Ubuntu Developers, New York State Release Celebration, The Planet: Dustin Kirkland, Shane Fagan, Arkeia Releases Free Network Backup Software for Ubuntu, Canonical and Creative Commons Meet Donations Target, and much, much more!

    • Red Hat Family

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Free software in real business

    There are many “theoretical” talks about how free software can be used commercially, that it can greatly stimulate business activity and so on. There are very few real life examples of that. And most of them, as I can see, firstly had just common classical proprietary model of software development and only later some of them either freed their products or at least opened. As I can understand, only after fear of competition had gone they tried to made timid steps to open-source (as nearly none of them really understand difference between open-source and free software (as most of users too)) just to seem good and king in society’s eyes.

    Now I want to tell you some kind of so-called success story of one company (where I work nowadays): company that chose freedom path as a base for software development. Actually it does not specialize itself on software, but on high-performance server solutions and storage systems manufacturing.

  • Survey to answer free software service concern

    The New Zealand Open Source Society has teamed up with Victoria University’s School of Information Management to poll ICT vendors on their ability to support free software.

    The vendor capability survey is part of the Public Sector Remix project, which involves a number of central, regional and local government agencies trialing free software for desktop tasks such as document management, mail, calendar and browser-based information services.

  • Nordic Free Software Award 2009

    Receiving a price like this is a great motivator and I feel humbled when thinking about the many excellent hackers that were attending the FSCONS that cheered me on. Thank you everyone.

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

    Since the European Commission announced it was opening an in-depth investigation into the proposed takeover of Sun Microsystems by Oracle with a focus on MySQL there has been no shortage of opinion written about Oracle’s impending ownership of MySQL and its impact on MySQL users and commercial partners, as well as MySQL’s business model, dual licensing and the GPL.

  • A Software Freedom Scorecard

    I spoke this morning at the South Tyrol Free Software Conference in Bolzano, Italy. My subject was the idea of a “software freedom scorecard”, a list of indicators for the strength of software freedom in an open source project or product, about which I wrote recently. The slides are available for download.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Second ODF Plugfest: Notes from the First Day

      The second ODF Interoperability Workshop held in Orvieto gathered together more than 30 ODF experts, developers and stakeholders from public administrations to improve ODF interoperability. People from all over the world for two days collaborated to ensure not “merely” standards’ compliance but true interoperability, below an essay of facts and figures of the event.

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • Jamie Dimon: There’s no Such Thing as TBTF as Long as There is Failure

      The worst derivatives offenders list looks familiar, now doesn’t it? (ahem, can be found on page 23 of the OCC report)

      1 JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. $81,108,352,000,000
      2 BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION $77,874,726,000,000
      3 GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP, INC. $47,749,124,000,000
      4 MORGAN STANLEY $39,125,255,000,000
      5 CITIGROUP INC. $31,715,734,000,000

    • Let us apologize for Goldman Sachs

      Under the 2005 deal with New York, Goldman is entitled to get $321 million back at the end of the year because many of the World Trade Center deadline promises will be missed. In a recent interview with the Daily News, Mayor Bloomberg said he thought the bad public relations of collecting the money will prevent the firm from exercising its rights. We hope so, but we know a few kittens who are not so sure about the firm’s P.R. savvy.

  • AstroTurf

    • Berman’s Serious Secrecy

      The Employment Policies Institute (EPI), a front group created by veteran lobbyist Richard Berman, is planning an advertising blitz claiming that healthcare reform is too costly.

    • K Street Files: Tea for $280K

      A grass-roots “tea party” group has spent more than $280,000 on an advertising campaign this year bashing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and other Democrats, according to campaign finance records. The group’s disclosure forms offer a glimpse into the political future of the upstart populist conservative movement. Through its political action committee, Tea Party Express raised more than $550,000 in 2009 and may soon begin donating to campaigns.

    • Insurer enlists employees to fight health reform

      UnitedHealth Group, which is based in Minnesota, e-mailed its 75,000 employees Tuesday, asking them to write their senators and local newspapers in opposition to a public insurance option, alleging that “government-run health care” will force “millions of Americans” to drop their current coverage.

    • A None Too Happy Mermaid

      Groups short-listed include the U.S. coal industry front group, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity; the International Air Transport Association, which has lobbied against climate legislation binding airlines to reduce emissions; Shell, which is investing in developing highly polluting tar sands; and the South African company, Sasol, which is promoting Carbon Capture and Storage as a “clean solution to the dirty business of producing liquid fuels from coal and gas.”

    • Genentech’s Ghostwriting Animates Congressional Speeches on Health Reform

      Genentech is a biotechnology firm in the U.S. that is owned by the Swiss company, Roche, a global corporation that is a major part of the world pharmaceutical industry. According to the New York Times, “Genentech’s political action committee and lobbyists for Roche and Genentech have made campaign contributions to many House members, including some who filed statements in the Congressional Record. And company employees have been among the hosts at fund-raisers for some of those lawmakers.”

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • UN slated for stifling net debate

      The UN has been criticised for stifling debate about net censorship after it disrupted a meeting of free-speech advocates in Egypt.

    • Egypt launches Arabic web domain

      Egypt will open the world’s first Arabic language internet domain, its communications minister has said.

    • IGF censors for China

      The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has made a right mess of the opening day of its meeting in Egypt.

      Already under fire for holding the forum in Egypt, which banged up a blogger for four years, the group also made a truly ham-fisted attempt to censor debate at the meeting.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Inconvenient Truth

      Do music artists fare better in a world with illegal file-sharing?

      Answer: Yes. So why do the labels want to kill it off? Because they don’t. Translation: All this toxic law to cut people off the internet is all about protecting big businesses with tired business models and not about protecting music artists, art or culture. Shame on you, Lord Mandelson.

Interview with Frank Eigler of Red Hat


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

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