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Microsoft Corporate Culture: “Bing up Your Ass, You’re Fired!”

Posted in Microsoft, Search, Videos at 9:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: “Ex-Microsoft employee remembers the last sound he heard at Microsoft: Bing!”

THIS one surfaced a couple of days ago.

Direct link

At least he didn’t get the chair.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: December 18th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

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

Links 18/12/2009: $99 GNU/Linux PC Fits Keyboard, JooJoo Tells Own Side of Story

Posted in News Roundup at 7:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • InternetNZ highlights Linux Conference

    Hundreds of open source software aficionados will congregate in Wellington this January for the Linux.conf.au conference (LCA2010).

  • Linux conference open source eye opener

    Hundreds of open source software aficionados will congregate in Wellington this January for the Linux.conf.au conference (LCA2010).

    The conference brings together Australasian and international open source practitioners who contribute to the Linux operating system and other open source projects.

  • Drive a Car Over the Internet

    Joker Racer lets you remote-control model cars via your browser window, from anywhere in the world and in real-time. The Linux-powered and Wi-Fi-enabled model cars are equipped with GPS, a mini Linux server and a web cam mounted on top of them. It will even be possible to control the cars with the iPhone. So you can remote drive their wifi controlled cars from your Internet browser! All you will need to do is use your cursor (arrow) keys to control real model cars real-time on your browser. Their real time chat feature will also help visitors to communicate each other during the race.

  • How Fanboys See Operating Systems
  • Cavium Networks Completes Acquisition of MontaVista Software

    Cavium Networks (NASDAQ: CAVM), a leading provider of highly integrated semiconductor products that enable intelligent processing for networking, wireless, storage and video applications, today announced that they have completed their acquisition of MontaVista Software, Inc., finalizing an agreement that was announced on November 10, 2009.

  • IBM developerWorks looks back on 10 years of Linux

    On the occasion of its tenth anniversary, IBM’s developerWorks site for software developers and IT professionals has compiled a list of the top ten developments in the Linux world. The list leaves out several things that Linux enthusiasts might be inclined to include: no Debian, no KDE or GNOME, no Android, Moblin or other embedded system, no exciting advancements in the Linux kernel – IBM’s perspective on Linux is a little different.

  • Windows’ decline could drag others down too

    This is why Linux is important in ways that are not just about opposing Microsoft and its products. Linux is a rival not just because it is second option but because its whole model and rasion d’etre is distinct. Linux and the software of the commons doesn’t necessarily lead to innovation per se, but it does help move the cost of it to the parts of the system that people actually use and care about.

  • Africa

    • ICT: Tunisia to develop cooperation with Linux Institute

      For his part, Mr. Lacey expressed LPI’s interest in strengthening partnership as well as his commitment to make better known the investment opportunities offered by Tunisia.

      It is worth noting that Linux Professional Institute (LPI) is specialized in free software and computer solutions and has subsidiaries in 20 industrialized countries.

    • Linux Fund to support Africa Open Source initiatives

      “On the back-end, open source has succeeded. Most ISPs in Africa depend on open-source server software and management tools. At the desktop level, it has failed because the Linux desktop is still not quite as plug-and-play as it needs to be to facilitate uptake,” said Steve Song, telecommunications fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation.

  • Desktop

    • What exactly does your netbook warranty cover?

      Ultimately, it looks like this problem may have been confined to a single store, because a call to Best Buy’s customer support elicited a guarantee that another store would allow him to return the computer, and he got a $25 gift card to boot. But that hardly covers the frustration.

    • Varlink gets to the point with Fujitsu

      The deal covers Fujitsu’s entire range, from the entry-level TP-X terminal to the TP-2K series. All terminals are able to run on both Windows and Linux operating systems.

    • Why I don’t (usually) use Windows

      Next week … I’m going to make a bootable external hard drive with a restorable image of Windows 7. Then I’m going to try and squeeze Ubuntu into the Vista restore partition and get the GMA500 drivers working. Spraying Ubuntu over an existing partition should only take an hour or so (call it an hour for the install, then two hours to slurp up the updates over my ADSL line), but it’s anybody’s guess how long the other job will take. At least I won’t be bored …

      If Ubuntu and the GMA500 prove to be fatally allergic to one another, there’s always Mandriva (who claim to include a GMA500 driver in the proprietary stuff that comes with their for-money batteries-included version).

      Microsoft: providing pointless hamster-wheel exercises for gearheads since 1976.

  • Instant-On

    • Dell offers cheaper quick-boot system based on flash memory

      Dell announced Thursday that it’s offering a memory module called Latitude On Flash that can boot up a computer in seconds as an option for some laptops. The module is available alongside the option of an existing quick-boot system that uses an Arm processor.

      Dell’s Latitude On Flash module snaps into an internal mini-card slot and allows computers to boot in a few seconds, using the laptop’s main x86 processor instead of a separate Arm chip.

    • Go faster with Mandriva InstantOn

      Mandriva is proud to announce it’s brand new environment for mobile devices: Mandriva InstantOn. Mandriva InstantOn comes from OEM team specific developments and is available now from our online store, from only 9,90€ (14,90$)!.

  • Server

    • ParaScale Announces Predictions for Cloud Storage in 2010

      Commodity hardware displaces proprietary storage. In 2010, the theme of “intelligence migrating into software” continues with more hardware commoditization. Just as Linux displaced expensive server gear with its attractive commodity footprint, Linux-based cloud storage will displace legacy expensive storage for the same reason: it gives the user choice and it’s inexpensive, highly scalable and easy to manage.

    • Too many servers in your data centre?

      Too many servers in your data centre? IBM is pitching its new Enterprise Linux Server as the ideal solution to server sprawl. It consists of a stand-alone System z mainframe that is dedicated to running Linux and so can consolidate hundreds of virtual Linux machines onto a single platform. Thanks to a new ”save as you grow” pricing model, IBM claims the system offers potential cost savings of up to 80 percent.

    • OpenBlock S600, a powerful server in the palm of your hand

      The OpenBlockS600 is an amazing little server, well built, solid and reliable. Our compact White box is a dream come true for many professionals or simple Geeks. Personally I would love to own an OpenBlockS600 to get better performance than my actual Linux Router/Server/Torrent/Nas solution at home, but sold at a 599 USD suggested price, this solution makes it a bit difficult to suggest to any Geek for Home usage, nope, the OpenBlockS600 is a real professional tool and not a Toy, capable of working for years in extreme situations, exactly what many IT departments may need for their IT solution.

  • Google

    • Download Google Chrome Beta

      Last week, the Mountain View-based search giant upgraded the Google Chrome Beta channel to version, introducing extensions for both the Windows and Linux flavors of the browser.

    • Google Chrome OS Initial Review

      In terms of aesthetics, the OS keeps very much out of the way. With all of the use being upon the web, you have no need for taskbars or anything of the sort, meaning all of your screen space is yours, unlike on windows where you have taskbars or OS X where you have docks and such things. However, for the little that it does offer, it is not bad, to tell the truth. Overall a fairly good looking environment to work in.

  • Kernel Space

    • Inside the Linux 2.6 Completely Fair Scheduler

      The task scheduler is a key part of any operating system, and Linux® continues to evolve and innovate in this area. In kernel 2.6.23, the Completely Fair Scheduler (CFS) was introduced. This scheduler, instead of relying on run queues, uses a red-black tree implementation for task management. Explore the ideas behind CFS, its implementation, and advantages over the prior O(1) scheduler.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Ten KDE 4 Tricks Worth Knowing About

      3D Alt-Tab “Cover Switch”

      This is one of the more advanced tricks on my list, because it requires you have desktop effects built into your KDE installation (you probably do), and also proper 3D acceleration (if you can run 3D games or applications, you should be fine).

  • Distributions

    • Fedora 12 Constantine – Mixed feelings
    • Debian Family

      • Where does Ubuntu go from here?

        So much for the business side, but what about Shuttleworth as head cheerleader and leader of Ubuntu? You don’t need to worry about that. As he said with a laugh yesterday in a press conference, he’s still the “self-appointed benevolent dictator for life” of Ubuntu. “It’s a life sentence and I remain undaunted and that remains unchanged.”

      • First Look at Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 1

        During the development of Ubuntu 9.10 I got used to running the development version on my netbook. I like installing updates every few days to see new improvements be added (and don’t depend on my netbook to get work done), so I installed Ubuntu 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” Alpha 1.

        My netbook is an Eee PC 901. Everything works out of the box with the latest versions of Ubuntu. I use the Ubuntu Netbook Remix, but there doesn’t seem to be an alpha release of it available yet so I installed the normal Ubuntu desktop. I downloaded Lucid Lynx Alpha 1 and created a live-USB system using USB Startup Disk Creator.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Diamond launches Linux software development kits

      Diamond Systems has launched a series of Linux software development kits (SDKs).

      Each SDK includes a tiny solid-state IDE ‘flash-disk’ module – preloaded with a Linux OS – that plugs directly into one of Diamond’s SBC or ERS products, ready to boot and run immediately.

      With all required drivers preconfigured and ready to use, these Linux-bootable flash disks complement Diamond’s processor modules to create solid-state Linux-based embedded computers.

    • JooJoo : Linux based Tablet PC

      The JooJoo tablet PC is 12.1 inch widescreen , multi-touch tablet with a 1Ghz Atom processor and 1 GB RAM. It runs a custom Linux OS targeted towards Internet browsing and has Wifi 802.11b/g capability as well as an in-built accelerometer for all the iPhone-like cool features. Other standard tablet PC features include Bluetooth, USB ports, Speakers and a micro-phone. It has a 4GB SSD as opposed to Flash RAM present in most mobile devices.

    • Fusion Garage Slams TechCrunch’s JooJoo Lawsuit

      Fusion Garage, the maker of the upcoming JooJoo tablet, said in a Thursday statement that TechCrunch’s lawsuit against the company is “without merit” and pledged to “vigorously defend” itself.

      TechCrunch filed suit against Fusion Garage on Dec. 11 for false advertising, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of business deals, fraud and deceit, and unlawful business practices. Editor Michael Arrington said that TechCrunch and Fusion Garage were working jointly on the JooJoo, formerly known as the CrunchPad, but that Fusion Garage pulled out of the deal at the last minute and proceeded on its own.

    • Will the litl make it big?

      What it is: With recent news about the Internet-connected CrunchPad (now called JooJoo), I thought it was interesting that the litl has already been shipping. Basically the same concept (except this is a notebook rather than a tablet with a touchscreen), the litl is meant to be an Internet computer (or “Webbook”), accessing its applications across the Internet. There’s no hard drive for installing applications (there is some small memory for content caching), no optical drive and it runs on a Linux operating system instead of Windows or Macintosh. The UI is a bunch of “note cards” that let users access

    • NorhTec Gecko Surfboard: $99 Linux PC in a keyboard

      The oft-delayed ASUS Eee Keyboard is a great concept – squeezing everything from a nettop into a QWERTY form-factor – but what if your computing ambitions are even more moderate? NorhTec reckon they have the product for you in the shape of the Gecko Surfboard, outwardly a regular QWERTY keyboard but actually packed with a 1GHz x86 system-on-chip (SoC), VGA and composite video outputs, 10/100 ethernet and optional WiFi b/g or even 3G.

    • Norhtec Gecko Surfboard Keyboard PC

      The Norhtec Gecko Surfboard Keyboard PC comes with a choice of either Linux or Windows XP as the operating system, prices star at just $99 for the Linux version and about $149 for the Windows XP version.

    • NorhTec Geko Surfboard Will Be At CES 2010
    • PC fits into keyboard, uses only five Watts

      Thailand-based NorhTec announced a device touted as “the world’s most energy-efficient desktop computer,” offered for only $99 with the Linux version. Built into a standard-sized keyboard, the “Gecko Surfboard” runs on a 1GHz x86 SoC (system on chip), operates fanlessly, and uses just five Watts, the company says.

    • Phones

      • Master Google Android: 40 Tips and Tricks

        Android, as recent Verizon commercials remind us, is the antithesis of Apple’s celebrated handset: It’s open source, fully customizable, and free from unexplained app rejections. If the iPhone is Apple’s inalterable masterpiece, the Android platform is Google’s open canvas. The palette is in your hands; it’s up to you to add color.

        We’ve assembled 40 tips and tricks to help you make the most of your Android phone. Some are specific to Android 2.0 or later, but most apply to any Android-based device. And not one of these tricks requires you to jailbreak anything.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Google Is Going to Release Its Own Chrome-based Netbook

        In addition to introducing its own smartphone, Google is reportedly going to release a netbook under its own brand name. Naturally, this is going to run the upcoming Chrome OS, which is being developed for this class of low-cost laptops.

      • Too early to declare victory in the netbook war

        But can he really expect to challenge Android, Symbian and Ubuntu on ARM computers? Can he even expect to match Apple, in that market? I really doubt it, and I suspect there are going to be some panicky slanging matches over the next 24 months, as Intel and Microsoft start blaming each other for taking their eyes off the ball.

      • Olevia move from TVs to Netbooks PCs

        Olevia are based in Shenzhen, China and have been around for a while, cultivating a relatively positive name for themselves producing mainstream consumer electronic products that include decent looking HDTVs and DVD and Blu-ray players among other things. This is their first foray into the highly competitive netbook market however, and they’ve sought out some substantial backing by working with Great Wall, a major Chinese OEM that is part of the very substantial Great Wall Group.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Amberdms gives open source accounting green light

    New Zealand software company Amberdms has released a Web-based open source accounting and billing application aimed at simplifying business and customer management.

    The Amberdms Billing System (ABS) is developed in PHP and provides a set of business management applications including accounting, customer management, time tracking, project management and service billing. ABS runs on the popular “LAMP” stack.

  • The Next Decade Brings Growing Pains of Teen Years

    For those steeped in traditional physical server computing, open-source software presents exceptional possibilities — often at no charge. Several Linux distributions, office suites, server software, client software and desktop applications made available to you with full source code in tow have distinct advantages over their costly proprietary competition.

    First, you’ll have a competitive edge if you aren’t blowing a stack of greenbacks on licensing fees. Second, open-source software promotes innovation by providing access to the underlying program’s source code. You’re free to examine, modify and distribute the software, including source code, in any way you wish. Third, you have the freedom to innovate with open source products. Not only can you change the source code, but you can also create a new product from that code and sell your product.

  • New version of open source CMS webEdition arrives

    A new version of open source content management system (CMS) webEdition containing a number of bug fixes and enhancements has been released. Highlights in webEdition version include extensions and enhancements in the DB/object, shop and workflow modules, such as the addition of countrycode and languagecode attributes to the Paypal tag, allowing shop users to preset the language used on the Paypal site.

  • MuleSoft Updates Tcat Tomcat Java Server

    For some enterprise Java users, Java EE is not the right solution for their middleware server — Apache Tomcat is.

    Tomcat is a widely deployed open source Java JSP (define) and servlet container that has recently gained commercial support by way of several vendors.

    One of the commercial implementations of Tomcat comes from software vendor MuleSoft with its Tcat Server, which this week it updated to version R2 this week.

    The MuleSoft Tcat server adds management features on top of the open source Apache Tomcat to make the server easier to manage and deploy.

  • Mozilla

  • Databases

    • SELinux and PostgreSQL: a worthwhile union?

      When your editor was in Tokyo recently, he had the privilege to talk with KaiGai Kohei at some length about the SE-PgSQL patch set. This work, developed by KaiGai for the last two years or so, integrates SELinux with the PostgreSQL database manager, enabling fine-grained control over access to data stored within a database. The SE-PgSQL patch has struggled to get into the PostgreSQL mainline; it is now preparing for what may well be its last push to be merged. Whether it’s successful may, in the end, depend on whether it receives support from potential users.

    • Ingres goes after disgruntled MySQL customers, partners

      Open source database maker Ingres is hoping to benefit from concerns about the future of MySQL, by luring customers over to its VectorWise product.

    • Continuent Improves Open Source Replication For MySQL And PostgreSQL

      Continuent, Inc., a leading provider of solutions for continuous data availability, advanced database replication, backup and database performance scalability, today announced availability of Continuent Tungsten 1.2.1 for MySQL® and PostgreSQL. Continuent Tungsten offers an easy to manage, dynamic database replication solution with automatic failover, cluster management, high availability and scalability.

  • Sun

    • Oracle lays out its vision for Sun: Will it work?

      Sun won’t play for market share. Ellison was pretty blunt about Sun’s prospects as a massive server player. Sun doesn’t have the scale and frankly getting it isn’t worth the effort. Ellison said:

      One thing we recognized that Sun just really does not now and is never likely to have the volume to compete in the high volume, low margin business of just selling an Intel server with Windows on it or Linux on it one at a time. We think that high volume, low margin business is a good business as long as you have high volumes. That is something that Dell and HP are very good at and we are going to avoid that business.

    • Pearson and Sun Microsystems, Inc. Offer College Students Technology Training, Gateway to Professional Certification

      It has a presence in a wide range of devices, computers and networks. Open Solaris is an open source project created by Sun in 2005 to build a developer community around the Solaris Operating System (OS).

  • CMS

  • Releases

    • PCI Geomatics to Release Open Source PCIDSK Library

      The library will offer full support for raster data within the PCIDSK file, including the reading, writing and creation of raster image data, in all storage types (BIP, BIL, BSQ and tiled images) as well as overviews, metadata and projections. The library also includes access to vector data within the PCIDSK file and is available for both Windows and LINUX operating systems.

    • Blogtronix Launches Sharetronix: The First Enterprise Level Open Source Micro-Blogging Platform

      Blogtronix announces the official launch of its new, enterprise level, open source micro-blogging platform called Sharetronix. Sharetronix already powers over 1,500 communities, in 74 countries and in 12 languages. The open source product’s release is the first step in Blogtronix’s plan to become a major player in the micro-blogging space, which will also see the release of premium products designed to drive adoption through lower prices.

    • WSO2 launches new Business Activity monitoring

      Open source SOA firm WSO2 has launched Business Activity Monitor (WSO2 BAM) that provides real-time visibility into service-oriented architecture (SOA) processes, transactions and workflows.

    • Terminology Tools Open Sourced

      The source code for the IHTSDO Workbench now is available for free under an Apache 2.0 open source license from the Apache Software Foundation, Forest Hill, Md. Apache 2.0 is a backbone and licensing vehicle to distribute the source code. The foundation provides support to open source software projects. IHTSDO also will make a number of seats on a collaborative, Web-based environment used to host the Workbench available free of charge to open source developers.

    • EtherPad goes open source

      As promised earlier this month, the EtherPad developers have released all of the source code to their web-based realtime collaborative word processor service. According to a post on the EtherPad Blog, the “goal with this release is to let the world run their own EtherPad servers so that the functionality can live on even after we shut down etherpad.com”. The EtherPad site will eventually shut down, following Google’s acquisition of AppJet, because the developers are moving to the Google Wave development team.


  • Netflix Spilled Your Brokeback Mountain Secret, Lawsuit Claims

    An in-the-closet lesbian mother is suing Netflix for privacy invasion, alleging the movie rental company made it possible for her to be outed when it disclosed insufficiently anonymous information about nearly half-a-million customers as part of its $1 million contest to improve its recommendation system.

  • Fine for Google over French books

    A Paris court has found Google guilty of copyright infringement in a ruling which could have ramifications for its plans to digitise the world’s books.

  • ‘Iranian cyber army’ hits Twitter

    Twitter has been hit by an embarrassing security breach.

    A group claiming to be the Iranian Cyber Army managed to redirect Twitter users to its own site displaying a political message.

    Twitter said the attack had been carried out by getting at the servers that tell web browsers where to find particular sites.

  • Environment

    • 450 Parts Per Million of Greenwash

      Whatever the outcome of the final hours of wrangling at the COP15 conference in Copenhagen, the odds are that the leaders of some of the world’s richest countries will earnestly declare that they are working hard to stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations at 450 parts per million (ppm) and ensure that global average temperatures don’t exceed 2 degrees centigrade. Barring spectacular last-minute breakthroughs, such claims would be outlandish greenwash.

  • AstroTurf

  • Internet/Censorship/Web Abuse/Rights

    • DRM Fiasco Ruins James Cameron’s Avatar 3D Preview

      Avatar, the long-awaited science fiction epic from James Cameron will launch this week, but already some lucky individuals have seen the movie. The same cannot be said of attendees at a 3D preview showing in Germany yesterday though. The movie’s DRM ‘protection’ system failed and the video could not be decoded.

    • Remixed Danish tourist poster reflects the brutal new Copenhagen police-state

      Carsten sez, “My friend, artist Camilla Brodersen created a wonderful, freely-redistributable rehash of an old Danish tourist poster, highlighting the new situation after the new police powers, as demonstrated in the heavy-handed clampdown on protesters at the recent climate change summit in Copenhagen. My friend Amila juxtaposed the mashup with the original poster on her English-language blog, creating a chilling and all too realistic contrast.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Talking about Internet ‘piracy’

      WITH LORD PETER MANDELSON stepping off of his media mogul friend’s yacht recently and announcing his newly found dislike for the peer-to-peer file sharer, Internet “piracy” has once again become a hot topic. Admittedly fanning the flames a little, the Inquirer sat down with a few key players involved in the current state of online file sharing to discuss the industry’s future developments and, perhaps more importantly, its legal status.

      The first big shot we got hold of was Gary Fung, the owner, creator and admin of isohunt.com, one of the world’s largest torrent search engines. In case you have been living under a rock for the past half-decade, torrent files link multiple users to “trackers” that allow them to connect to one another in order to download legal or illegal content. We began our discussion by asking him to lay out his and his site’s background. Initially isohunt.com began as a programming experiment way back in 2002, but with the growth of torrent usage in 2003, “it just exploded”, rapidly expanding into the industry heavyweight it is today.

    • Unknown filmmaker gets $30m for robot movie

      An unknown filmmaker from Uruguay has been given $30m by Hollywood studio bosses – to turn his $500 YouTube video of a giant robot invasion into a movie

      Would-be director Federico Alvarez, who runs a post-production visual effects house in Uruguay, filmed ‘Panic Attack’ with a budget of just $500 in his free time.

    • Beyond ACTA: Proposed EU – Canada Trade Agreement Intellectual Property Chapter Leaks

      Canada’s participation in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement negotiations has understandably generated enormous public concern as leaked documents indicate that ACTA would have a dramatic impact on Canadian copyright law. The U.S. has proposed provisions that would mandate a DMCA-style implementation for the WIPO Internet treaties and encourage the adoption of a three-strikes and you’re out system to cut off access where there are repeated allegations of infringement.

      Yet it would appear that ACTA is actually only part of the story. Canada is also currently negotiating a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union. The negotiations have been largely off the radar screen (and similarly secretive) with the first round of talks concluding in October in Ottawa. Intellectual property figures prominently in the agreement. In fact, the EU proposal for the IP chapter has just leaked online and the document is incredibly troubling. When combined with ACTA, the two agreements would render Canadian copyright law virtually unrecognizable as Canada would be required to undertake a significant rewrite of its law. The notion of a “made-in-Canada” approach – already under threat from ACTA – would be lost entirely, replaced by a made-in-Washington-and-Brussels law.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Joerg Heilig, Sun Microsystems Senior Engineering Director talks about OpenOffice.org 03 (2004)

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

“GPL is Scary!! Please Buy Our Products”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GPL at 2:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Geritol tonic

Summary: OpenLogic attempts to monetise the recent lawsuits over GPL violation, increasing the perceived “threat” in the process

EARLIER today I received an E-mail from my Floridan uncle, who reminded me of the business model of snake oil. It is closely related to the practice of selling of products that merely address perceived issues that are created (or exaggerated) by the very same salesmen who offer them.

My uncle wrote:

Are you familiar with the product, GERITOL?

It’s a cure all for all that ails you, it makes you feel full of vim and vigor and makes one feel like he has drunk the waters from the Fountain of Youth.

Naturally, it’s a fake and “drunk” is the key word because it contains 12% alcohol.

It was immensely popular many years ago, and I believe it is still being sold today.

In a brand new blog post where OpenLogic spreads fear by linking to Perlow’s blow to the FSF (SFLC smearing through distortion), it is also trying to sell products using this fear. The subheadings in this post start with: “Assume that you may be using GPL code.”

The second one is: “Scan all of your code — including code from outsourcers”

It is sad to see OpenLogic increasing fear of the GPL in order to make sales. We warned about it earlier this month [1, 2]. Does OpenLogic ‘pull a GERITOL’? Black Duck already does that for sure.

Microsoft-Funded Press Belittles Microsoft Crimes

Posted in Deception, Fraud, GPL, Marketing, Microsoft at 1:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Wedding bouquet

Summary: Irresponsible and biased reporting (spinning) from people whom Microsoft pays, who also have no problem with just an apology as penalty for crime

YESTERDAY we wrote about the reaction of Microsoft's pseudo-journalists to its crimes against Plurk, noting in part that one of them expects and almost hopes that Microsoft is “to pay through the nose for this one.”

A Bing-sponsored Microsoft-oriented Web site (TechFlash) takes a rather unusual stance, which is very disappointing

Microsoft has knowingly infringed on other companies’ (and individuals’) identities when it chose the name “Bing” (a failed experiment of rebranding as it turns out) and it receives sympathy now that it’s sued over the name “Bing” (well, covered by a Bing-sponsored “news” site):

The St. Louis Business Journal has details of the suit, filed this week in St. Louis Circuit Court. The suit (PDF, 9 pages) notes that Bing! Information Design has used the “Bing” name since 2000, and it has an application pending to register the mark.

Why did Microsoft choose a name that it knew very well was already taken? Microsoft also willfully infringed on i4i patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] and almost bragged about, as internal E-mails reveal. This is the same company to which software patents do not apply, as we noted back in September. It’s a repeat offender, but this behaviour still assists the agenda against Free software (Microsoft wants a lot of patents out there).

Moving on a little, on the same day TechFlash also suggests that Microsoft should get away with crime and receive no punishment for what it did to Plurk. No kidding!

Over the years, I’ve covered countless Microsoft lawsuits, many of them involving some very legitimate and serious claims against the Redmond company. In some situations, the little guy emerges victorious. In other situations, Microsoft comes out on top. But in general, these cases are a relatively minor annoyance for Microsoft, and a huge undertaking for the smaller players taking the company on.

That was in the back of my mind this morning as I read that Plurk is “thinking of pursuing the full extent of our legal options available” after Microsoft admitted that one of its vendors basically copied Plurk’s site.

Clearly, Plurk was wronged, and Microsoft (through its vendor) acted improperly. But here’s my question: What damages would Plurk claim in a lawsuit against Microsoft?

Microsoft has apologized and taken down the site.

If Microsoft wanted “quick code”, then it could pay for it, so there are clearly damages in the form of lost/potential business. The above seems like classic Microsoft spin, which requires blind obedience to actually subscribe to.

Apology after a crime does not undo the crime. What kind of lesson is Microsoft hoping to teach here? That crime pays off until/unless you get caught? That it’s okay to commit crimes as long as you apologise at the end? As the OOXML blunders showed, Microsoft may as well send out the message to today’s kids that committing crime (especially white-collar crime) is perfectly acceptable as long as you make a lot of money and wear a suit. The ‘Microsoft press’ did cover up the OOXML crimes by comparing it to just a baseball game. “Oops! So we cheated, so what?”

“As the OOXML blunders showed, Microsoft may as well send out the message to today’s kids that committing crime (especially white-collar crime) is perfectly acceptable as long as you make a lot of money and wear a suit.”Microsoft takes someone’s code and now its apologists spin it as Microsoft doing the victim a favour. Ab-so-lutely amazing! Microsoft has already attempted to blame someone else after taking the proprietary code from this very small and poor company. The attitude from Microsoft and from TechFlash is very telling indeed! And using the ‘Microsoft press’ Microsoft is still trying to blame someone else and now saying (probably for PR purposes) that it reconsiders the ‘proxification’ of jobs. Wonderful.

It is worth remembering that Microsoft was never punished for its GPL infringements, either. Here is another new take on the issue:

Lots of people got a good ironic laugh from the news that Microsoft, which has repeatedly complained about “piracy” in China, got caught blatantly copying code from a small startup named Plurk.

We wrote about these lies from Microsoft twice this month [1, 2]. Marcel Hilzinger (Linux Magazine) summarises the latest incident with the following headline: “Microsoft China Rips Off Competitor’s Code”

Steve Ballmer should be having trouble sleeping at night: the countless companies who work under contract from Redmond Software can hardly resist the temptation to take a little code from an outside project.

What keeps Steve Ballmer awake at night is GNU/Linux (and Free software). Peer-reviewed and peer-produced software products are technically better, not just more affordable.

“[If I ask you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be?] Open…Linux. I don’t want to say open source. Linux, certainly have to go with that.”

Steve Ballmer, February 28th, 2008

European Commission Plans to Allow Patent Imperialism, Authorises Microsoft’s Attack on Free Software

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, Patents at 12:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Michel Barnier
The man whose job is to pass
anti-Free(dom) software laws

Summary: The EU Commission wants Michel Barnier to make the Community patent a reality (“community” being a euphemism that would fascinate even Orwell)

André Rebentisch points out that in these documents from the EU Commission exists evidence that it actually strives — not just considers — to create a back door for software patents to enter the continent. Here is the man to watch out for:


Commissioner designate
− We should work to make real progress on free movement of services, beginning with a full implementation of the Services Directive. A review of the professional qualifications legislation will also be needed.
− As to public procurement and intellectual property rights, you will take the lead on our efforts to secure the adoption of a Community patent, and developing effective policy for the enforcement of intellectual property rights.
− Integrated, efficient and safe financial markets are needed more than ever to help the EU economy grow again. However, the EU’s regulatory framework and the supervisory structures must be strengthened, and you will have a key role to ensure this happens.
To help you fulfil your responsibilities, DG MARKT will be under your authority as well as the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM).

Rebentisch has also taken a look at the Commission’s latest deal with Microsoft (we covered it in [1, 2, 3]) and found evidence that OOXML is indeed the scam people have been warning about. From the summary:

Microsoft will document “additional information” to ECMA 376 and will comply with ECMA 376 1st January and shields the freedom to create software as a work of art pour l’art.

The next section says: “Now the patent pledge for open source… developers!”

It is worth seeing all the nasty verbiage that Microsoft has bundled so as to exclude Free software. It is truly appalling, so the FSFE, Groklaw, Glyn Moody and other parties that are familiar with these matters have publicly complained. Matt Asay, on the other hand, seems to have fallen victim to the PR. He is belittling Microsoft’s crimes, which are very unique, leading to some negative comments. “Matt seems to pity the tiger,” argues Neko Nata and Steve Stites wrote a long response which includes the following reference to Novell, Asay’s former employer.

The Novell contract was an agreement meant to bring Open Source under Microsoft’s control. Steve Ballmer was surprised when the Open Source movement defeated the contract by simply boycotting Novell.

Recently we’ve been finding claims that Microsoft deliberately settles with some patent trolls so that they proceed to terrifying the entire industry. Bill Gates and Microsoft happen to fund the world's biggest patent troll. Watch this latest consequence, which we mentioned just the other day.

Secretive Patent Holder Sues Lots Of Companies For Remote Activation Software


Obviously, none of those companies could have come up with ways to remotely activate software without this patent (yes, that’s sarcasm). As the Register notes in the link above, even some of the software products listed as violating this patent don’t seem to involve activation at all, raising serious questions about how they could possibly violate this patent. This sounds like yet another case of someone having read the book Rembrandt’s in the Attic and deciding to go trolling for companies to sue with a meaningless patent.

This system of high risk is problematic for Free software and Microsoft knows it (both lawsuits and perceived risk are harmful). That’s why Microsoft fuels it.

“Small Software companies cannot afford to go to court or pay damages. Who is this software patent system for?” —Marco Schulze, Nightlabs Gmbh

Links 18/12/2009: More GNU/Linux Migrations, GNOME 3.0 Preparations

Posted in News Roundup at 9:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • MOTSU awards deal for Linux migration

    Tideworks Technology has been selected to provide the U.S. Defense Department’s Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point with a terminal upgrade.

    U.S. company Tideworks was awarded a contract from North Carolina-based Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point, or MOTSU. The award follows a successful 2006 contract for a customized information technology solution.

  • Linux penetrates high schools, healthcare

    UK government policy on open standards software is being to pay off.

    According to Angela Smith, minister of state in the UK cabinet office, the Open Standards and Re-Use action plan was published in February 2009 as government policy to ensure value for money for taxpayers.

    And the Office of Government Commerce (OCG) is developing guidance for the procurement of open source software, working with departments and local authorities that have already implemented open source apps to share methods, including procurement.

  • License Management of Windows vs. Linux

    Most of us already know that Microsoft is in the game to make money. Part of this process involves tracking and making users pay for its product. This is where software licensing comes into play.


    Linux: Land of NO Licenses

    Even with Microsoft customers constantly complaining about the complexity of its licensing programs, Microsoft (so far) shows no signs of changing anything. In fact, it makes one wonder if Microsoft doesn’t intentionally leave the licensing programs confusing. If a company were to choose the licensing program that best fits its practice, chances are it would end up saving money and ultimately pay LESS in license fees. Being in a confused state, a company is probably overpaying, which Microsoft sits back and innocently grins about, I’m sure.


    Simply the burden of license management should make company executives start to think about migrating to open source, or even Linux. It’s a huge cost, both with actual initial costs of the licenses themselves, but also with the costs of paying staff to maintain the entire licensing program. The benefits of Linux in this regard is huge both now and in the future.

  • [Going Linux] Dec 17: #087 – Computer America #21

    Topic for the month: “Linux and Open Source for the Holidays” On a budget? Got a geek on the gift list? Give the gift of Linux and Linux-compatible products for the holidays!

  • Desktop

    • Top Ten Things I Miss in Windows

      10.) Klipper/Copy & Paste Manager – I use this one alot when I am either coding or writing a research paper for school. More often than not I find I have copied something new only to discover I need to paste a link or block of code again from two copies back. Having a tray icon where I can recall the last ten copies or so is mighty useful.

      9.) Desktop Notifications – This is something that was first largely introduced in Ubuntu 9.04 and something I quickly grew accustomed to having. Basically it is a small message (notification) the pops up in the upper right hand corner of your screen for a few moments when something happens in one of your programs (a torrent finishes, you get a new instant message, ect.) or you adjust the volume/brightness settings on your system.

    • ASUS Selects Paragon Software for End-to-End Linux-Based Solutions to Access Windows Formatted Hard Drives

      Paragon Software Group (PSG), the technology leader in innovative data security and data management solutions, has been selected by ASUS® to develop an end-to-end solution that will provide home and business networks with full high-performance access to Windows® NTFS formatted storage from ASUS Linux-based hardware.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.33-rc1

      So the merge window is closed, and -rc1 is out there now.

      Talking about the merge window: there were a _lot_ of trees that left their pull requests pretty dang late. Not everything I merged yesterday and today were late pull requests, but a lot of it was. I’m used to have a fairly busy last day of the merge window, but it was a busy last two days this time – definitely worse than usual.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The xorg.conf.d Patches Emerge

        One of the features being worked on for X Server 1.8 is the removal of HAL support. The FreeDesktop.org Hardware Abstraction Layer project is nice in that is multi-platform, but the HAL project has largely been abandoned and is being replaced by UDisks and similar projects.

      • AMD Catalyst 9.12 For Linux Released

        AMD has today delivered their last proprietary Linux driver update for the year, Catalyst 9.12. However, if you were hoping Catalyst 9.12 would deliver on some of your holiday wishes, guess again. There still is no pure, usable XvBA support besides using the VA-API to XvBA wrapper and the Catalyst 9.12 driver just doesn’t bring much. There is though one small addition and that is a few options have been added to the AMD Catalyst Control Center Linux Edition.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME

      • Nautilus Begins To Change For GNOME 3.0

        While GNOME 3.0 will not be released until September 2010, many of the GNOME packages are beginning to change in preparation for this major overhaul of the GNOME desktop even though the GNOME 2.30 release is still ahead of us. While Zeitgeist, G-Streamer, Clutter/Mutter, and GNOME Shell grab most of the attention, the mature Nautilus file-browser is receiving some improvements too.

    • KDE

      • the pulse

        One of the other hot topics for the 4.4 release of the KDE Workspaces has been the use of JavaScript. With 4.4, you can define the defaults for a Plasma Desktop layout using JavaScript as well as change the layout of a Plasma Desktop session at runtime either interactively or via scripts that get run at startup. (There is documentation here, but we really should have an article based on that in the Techbase Sys Admin section; anyone up for writing that?)

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Major gains for Red Hat demands increased commitment from partners

        In an effort to keep up with the demand for Red Hat software and services, Red Hat’s Advanced Partner, LinuxIT, in the UK has more than tripled its Red Hat Certifications in 2009.

        In line with Red Hat’s 25% revenue growth this year, LinuxIT Europe has seen a massive increase in demand for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In a difficult economy there has been a surge in spending on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and associated professional services; and there is no sign of it abating.

    • Debian Family

      • Ubuntu 9.10 is great

        In all I find ubuntu 9.10 to be pleasant and in particular I am very happy with 3 things:
        # pulseaudio is much better integrated with the sound controls.
        # mythtv 0.22 rocks. The clutter interface is much better.
        # flash works much better using a lot less resources. Now I can actually watch ABC ivew on my netbook.

      • WillWillIbex – One of The Best Forgotten Themes For Ubuntu?

        WillWillIbex was a proposed “design” for Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex made by a one Will Williams back in 2008.

        At the time it was nothing more than a mock-up made in Photoshop but the design so resonated with people that it was soon etched into the wiles of reality and made available to download.

      • Setting up Ubuntu 9.10

        Today I finally installed Ubuntu 9.10. I’ve only been on the upgraded system for a few hours, but everything seems to be working smoothly.

      • Improvements Coming To The Desktop Notification Area

        The DesktopExperienceTeam propose to migrate the different applets to using simple menus. This change should provide a more consistent interface and be an important step to improve the user experience with the right hand side of the panel.

      • community.linuxmint.com (alpha)

        We’re currently developing a website for the Linux Mint community where you’ll be able to do the following:

        * Have ideas to improve Linux Mint, comment and rate other people’s ideas (similar to a light version of “Brainstorm”)
        * Register your hardware devices, find people with the same hardware as you and if it doesn’t work for you and it worked for them, see how they got their hardware to work with Linux Mint.
        * Browse, rate and install software (what’s currently called “Software Portal”)
        * Suggest new software


  • Devices/Embedded

    • Google ‘in talks’ over Googlenetbook

      Citing multiple unnamed sources, TechCrunch says that the Mountain View Chocolate Factory has sent an RFP, or “request for proposal,” to the mystery manufacturer and that the two have actually discussed building a Google-branded Chrome OS device.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Is an Open Source Online Video Platform Right for You?

    Can Kaltura’s open-source OVP really do everything that a closed-source provider can do? Unfortunately that’s not in my realm of knowledge to answer. Can it do some things better than a closed-source can? You’ll likely get differing opinions from developers on that one. Does it really have an “easy” solution that makes it accessible to a larger audience of video publishers? Yes, but I would say it appears to be heavily towards one type of audience – those with IT resources available. It would be interesting to find out if anybody without programming experience could actually build an successful video experience using just limited version of the Kaltura video program… and say it was “easy.”

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox 3.6 Beta (revision 5) now available for download

      This morning the Mozilla community released Firefox 3.6 Beta 5, making it available for free download and issuing an automatic update to all Firefox 3.6 beta users. This update contains over 100 fixes from the last Firefox 3.6 beta, containing many improvements for web developers, Add-on developers, and users. Over 70% of the thousands of Firefox Add-ons have now been upgraded by their authors to be compatible with Firefox 3.6 Beta. If your favorite Add-on isn’t yet compatible, you can also download and install the Add-on Compatibility Reporter – your favorite Add-on author will appreciate it!

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • Monty Python using Drupal

      Time to bring up your favorite Monty Python quotes, because Monty Python is using Drupal! Check it out at http://pythonline.com. Good example of a community website built with Drupal.

  • Licensing

    • Understanding licenses, bit by bit (2)

      Thanks to all those who commented on my recent proposal to “iconify” licenses. That is, representing the essential terms of various Free Software licenses as icons so you can quickly get a feel for their meaning. This is, in the current state of software licensing, no replacement for actually reading and understanding the licenses, but as a mechanism for quick (as opposed to deep) understanding it seems to work well enough.

  • Openness

    • Wikipedia Shatters Fundraising Record for Single Day

      Within just 24 hours, Jimmy’s appeal generated over $430,000 from about 13,000 individual contributors. “This is the most money ever raised by Wikimedia in a single day and almost twice as many unique contributors in a single day, as well,” the representative says.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Better Coding Standards in JavaScript 5

      In general, these changes are for the greater good in terms of code compliance as well as cross-browser compatibility (my only bane is that most browsers are not strictly compliant in terms of W3C standards, but this might be resolved within the next 2000 years.)

      At the end of the day stricter standards imply better coding and in turn powerful code that does not break. The additions of a standard JSON parsing mechanism and strict mode will be of great benefit to developers, with the potential to translate into smaller libraries for Prototype and other extension libraries required. On the whole, JavaScript 5 seems to be moving forward where JavaScript 4 failed to even get moving, let alone take off. Let’s hope that in the future these things become an ally to developers rather than yet another setback in the struggle for ultimate browser compatibility and perfect coding technique.


  • Google Apps Wins Over Another Corporation

    Whether or not you’ve heard of a corporation called MWV, you’re probably familiar with its products – MWV puts out everything from Coca-Cola packaging to Mead notebooks to asphalt for roads. And now, this giant has entrusted some of the technical aspects of its operation to Google Apps.

  • Finance

    • JP Morgan paying $700 million to settle SEC charges

      The settlement arose out of charges by federal regulators that the Wall Street bank made unlawful payments to friends of public officials to win municipal bond business in Jefferson County. As all Alabamians are painfully aware, the scandal over the county’s $3.9 billion debt has pushed our largest county to the brink of filing what would be the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.

    • J.P. Morgan moving to taxpayer-subsidized Sprint campus

      J.P. Morgan is taking 800 employees from Kansas City and plopping them down in the taxpayer-subsidized Sprint campus in Overland Park.

    • Evening Wrap: Wamu Demands JP Morgan Documents; XTO Execs Waive Some Payout; Wells Offering Oversubscribed

      Wamu filed suit against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in March asking for $13 billion in damages. A Reuters piece tonight says Wamu has a JPM email from the week before the sale to JP Morgan showing the FDIC talking with the bank about whether it might be interested in Wamu.

    • JP Morgan accused of driving down Washington Mutual’s share price

      In fresh filings in US bankruptcy court, WaMu’s receivers allege that JP Morgan disclosed confidential information “to government regulators, ratings agencies, media and investors in an effort to harm WaMu by driving down WaMu’s credit rating and share price.”

    • JP Morgan involved in Stealing Millions of Bankruptcy Assets – Rubber-Stamped by Judge Beatty..and Between Alan Nisselson and Marc Goldberg

      On Thursday, the Court having never required an accounting of his collections and distributions in the case, the Trustee finally disclosed that he had taken in over $41 Million Dollars, still leaving the mystery of where the money went, although most of it found its way into the coffers of JP Morgan.

      Prior to the Bankruptcy, the Bank chased after Donna’s brothers to lend them Millions for a hostile takeover of The Cooper Companies, Inc. and, due to its theft of assets, JP Morgan is now one of Cooper’s largest shareholders.

    • Let’s All Sue Goldman Sachs!

      On Monday, the Security Police and Fire Professionals of America Retirement Fund, a public pension fund, sued Goldman for paying its employees too much money. No joke. According to the pension fund’s attorney, “The plaintiffs accuse Goldman’s board of directors of breaching their fiduciary duties by failing to administer the company’s compensation plans in the best interests of the company and its shareholders.”

    • Merry Christmas from Goldman Sachs
    • We Don’t Want to Control the Government. That Was So Boring!
    • Hoffa Says Goldman Sachs Driving YRC Into Bankruptcy

      International Brotherhood of Teamsters President James Hoffa said Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is creating derivatives trades that would profit from the bankruptcy of YRC Worldwide Inc., the trucking company trying to avert failure with a debt exchange.

    • Teamsters Say Goldman Sachs Trades on YRC Bankruptcy

      Hoffa’s complaint to Goldman Sachs underscores the Teamsters’ stake in the company’s survival. YRC Worldwide is the largest Teamster employer in the less-than-truckload segment of the trucking industry, with about 35,000 union employees.

    • Demonstrators Demand Compensation in Front of Goldman Sachs Building

      Wednesday, protesters demonstrated in front of a Goldman Sachs building in Lower Manhattan, demanding that Wall Street financial institutions donate the $150 billion in bonuses they have received to help Americans.

      The demonstration in New York is one of 24 protests in cities this week around the country, according to a press statement from Public Citizen. Public Citizen is a nonprofit advocacy group “to represent consumer interests in Congress,” according to a statement on their Web site.

    • Lessons from Goldman Sachs

      Those that became short-term greedy are now faced with the consummate challenge of rebuilding their business model at the same time they need to re-educate their partners and their associates and re-invigorate a lost culture of client service first. All while the “Great Reset” threatens to derail the entire train.

      But if the design of your compensation system, evidently like that of Goldman’s, encouraged short-term-itis, do not blame your partners. Blame yourself.

  • Internet//Web Abuse/Rights

    • Sony Ebook Boss: DRM Needs To Stay And Ebooks Should Cost More Than $10

      PaidContent has the details on an interview with Steve Haber, the boss of Sony’s ebook reader business, where he trashed the $10 ebook and praised DRM. And now you all know why no one buys Sony ebook readers. Basically, the product’s boss has decided to take an anti-consumer stance. Why would anyone want to shell out hundreds of dollars on a product when you know the company that makes it wants to screw you over?

    • Censorship

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Amateur Artist Wants To Ban All Sales Of Old Baltimore Ravens Game Films Over Logo Copyright

      While Bouchat “won,” he wasn’t given any money, because he had failed to register his design before it was put into use. But he’s since sued various other companies, and this latest lawsuit is an attempt to say that no one can show those old films because they use “his” logo, despite the lack of evidence of actual copying (which, if copyright were actually about copyright would be necessary).

    • IMPORTANT: So … here’s the situation

      The NCAA contacted us, trying to bully us into simply handing all of our domains over to them. Why? Because they have “ncaa” in them. In my best Lee Corso …. not so fast my friend.

      We intend to fight the NCAA on this. We believe we are unquestionably in the legal right to retain these domains under fair use and the first amendment. Even some of the case law the NCAA stated itself in its complaint included domains containing the word “NCAA” where the owner won against the NCAA. We have rounded up the NCAAbbs Legal Dream Team of a half dozen or so board members. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has also expressed initial interest in this, and passed the information along to their attorneys. We’ll also be seeking the ACLU’s support in this.

    • F1 Racing Looks To Embrace The Internet, Rather Than Fight It

      We’ve noticed plenty of sports leagues really fighting against the internet, and assuming it’s a “problem” or a “challenge” that needs to be stopped, rather than a great tool that needs to be embraced.

    • Songwriters Guild: Network Neutrality Means More Piracy

      There has been an effort made by some to try to connect the totally unrelated issues of network neutrality and unauthorized file sharing together. There is no connection between the two, but that won’t stop busy lobbyists from doing their best to drum up such a connection. Copycense points us to the news that Grover Nordquit’s group has decided to push this line of nonsense by parroting claims by the Songwriter’s Guild of America (SGA) that accepting net neutrality is akin to encouraging piracy. How? That’s not clear, because there’s really no connection at all. The best they can say is that net neutrality would prevent efforts to crack down on file sharing (except, every plan for net neutrality has explicitly had exceptions for such things). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am not in favor of laws mandating neutrality, but the arguments made by those against it are so over-the-top ridiculous that it’s actually making me wonder why. There are reasonable arguments against mandating neutrality, but these groups don’t make them.

    • How the record labels spurned the YouTube opportunity

      Free video hosting, distribution and promotion would be a boon to most industries but not the record industry.


      Meanwhile, those artists who remained on YouTube quickly realized that there was a tremendous advantage to having videos there, even if Google wasn’t paying them directly. Blues singer Joe Bonamassa said that the fact that his music was available for free on YouTube increased attendance at his shows by a factor of ten. People in the cities and towns where he was playing would share his videos, and that made them much more interested in attending his shows. It had a direct and clear impact on his own income.

    • Public Enemy Lacks SellaBand Believer$

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Joerg Heilig, Sun Microsystems Senior Engineering Director talks about OpenOffice.org 02 (2004)

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

Microsoft Gave Moonlight “Blessings” in 2007

Posted in FSF, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 6:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Every line of code that is written to our standards is a small victory; every line of code that is written to any other standard, is a small defeat.”

James Plamondon, Microsoft Technical Evangelist. From Exhibit 3096; Comes v. Microsoft litigation [PDF]

Summary: Analysis and deconstruction of the latest Moonlight PR; more about Mono and the GNU/GNOME kerkuffle

SOME people have begun responding to news regarding Moonlight. The following article uses an amusing headline which says that “Moonlight 2.0 Gets Microsoft’s Blessing”

Considering the fact that it’s a Microsoft project as much as it is a Novell project (the Novell/Microsoft Web site calls it "Microsoft Moonlight"), why would it need any additional “blessings”? Microsoft has blessed the project since its inception.

In 2006, Novell and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) entered into a joint patent and interoperability agreement, giving Novell users the OK to use open source technologies on which the software giant has said it may have intellectual property claims.

As a result of today’s expansion of that deal, Moonlight users will enjoy protection under the patent covenant regardless of whether they’re using Novell’s (NASDAQ: NOVL) Linux distro or another distributor’s.

Here is how Miguel de Icaza put it:

Culturally, we started on two opposite ends of the software licensing spectrum. The covenant not to sue that was issued for Moonlight 1 and 2 covered every user that used Moonlight, but only as long as the user obtained Moonlight from Novell. This is a model similar to how Flash is distributed: there is a well-known location where you get your plugin.

The open source world does not work that way though. In the open source world, the idea is to release source code and have distributions play the role of editors and curators and distribute their own versions of the software.

Microsoft’s intention was to expand the reach of Silverlight, but the original covenant was not a good cultural fit. We worked with the team at Microsoft (Brian Goldfarb and Bob Muglia’s teams) to make sure that the covenant would cover the other Linux distributions.

Microsoft’s intention is still “to expand the reach of Silverlight,” which it totally controls, unlike HTML for example. The biggest issue — as we have argued for years — is one of control. Patents are another issue, but not the main one. Moonlight (like Mono) gives Microsoft the sceptre and crown with which to rule and watch over FOSS developers. If they use Microsoft as their reference, then it not only helps Microsoft’s fight against Web standards but also against LAMP and Java, among a lot of other software. It’s mono-culture.

The Source (same author as Mono-Nono) has responded to the above announcement and made some predictions.

Here are my predictions, based on the last similar situation when Mono fell under the “promise” from Microsoft:

1. The new covenant will not be as comprehensive as Mr. de Icaza states. I do think he isn’t overselling this one near as much as the last one, which I think points to a lesson learned.
2. Team Mono will rail on and on about how this is a win for them and should “silence the critics”, never noting the incovenient fact that they promoted Moonlight just as hard without the “proper” coverage, and there are still remaining issues.
3. There will still be at least 3 obvious problems with the “Covenant” and a half-dozen subtle and complicated problems.

Our reader Oiaohm says that “the Moonlight agreement still sucks. It expires September 1, 2011.”

In other news, one reader told us that Storm OS is adding Mono software that falls outside the Microsoft Community Promise and thus makes it sensitive to Microsoft’s threats and lawsuits (both deterrents).

Here is something I’ve been working on for a little while, getting Mono to work properly. Properly = with dbus so you actually runs some apps with it. Banshee, F-Spot, Gnome-do and Monodevelop appear to be working with very few changes

According to Microsoft’s own words (no speculation), this is trouble. Longtime proponents of Mono (like Ryan Paul and others who still give it coverage) should pay more attention to the issues and bring light to them. The latest episode from Linux Outlaws (recommended show) is titled “Reverse Mono Trojan Horse”

Another proponent of Mono, Thom Holwerda (mentioned a few days ago in the same context), writes a little more about GNOME and GNU [1, 2, 3]. So does Bruce Byfield (whose words we unfortunately misinterpreted the other day, so we sincerely apologise to him). The latest from Byfield is a good writeup which concludes with:

Staying within the GNU Project may have very little practical effect on GNOME. However, making any formal decision under these circumstances might. At the very least, any vote might be delayed six months so that people have a chance to consider the idea on its merits and not on the emotions stored up over the last six months.

Genuine critics of GNU do exist (Lasse Havelund for example), but some of the more proactive and vocal critics appear to be doing this for other reasons. Someone quoting Upton Sinclair says that “It’s hard get a man to understand something, when he’s being paid not to understand it.”

“It’s probably better to keep funding and decision-making separate. Decide who gets to make decisions based on merit, not money.”
He adds: “perfectly nails all these corporate swine trying to defame RMS and ruin Free Software.”

Our reader Brandon says: “some idiot keeps going around saying FSF accepts corporate funding as well, however GNOME is set up in a way where if you fund them via businesses, you get onto the “advisory board” which makes suggestions to the executives. this is exactly like the congress – lobbying connection – whereas, in other projects such as Apache, they will take your funding but won’t let you dictate [anything]. Apache has funding from MSFT, but they’ve publicly said that doesn’t mean crap because they still make all the decisions. GNOME on the other hand, with the advisory board at least has to listen to these suggestions. They don’t have to act upon them, but they gotta listen still.”

“It’s probably better to keep funding and decision-making separate. Decide who gets to make decisions based on merit, not money,” says MinceR in response.

Brandon adds: “I can’t find an equivalent in FSF for a corporately paid subsection which gets to tell board members suggestions based on them paying tens of thousands of dollars. I don’t mind if an organization takes funding, but funding/decisions should be separate. The “advisory board” is just a euphemism for “lobbying board”, I can’t see how its different. They pay tens of thousands of dollars, and get to make suggestions. Lobbyists pay congresspeople tens of thousands of dollars, and get to make suggestions.”

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