EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.28.09

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: December 28th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 9:39 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.

Cringely: Microsoft Deserves to Lose the i4i Case

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Microsoft, Open XML, Patents at 9:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

LOL Cat on docs

Summary: Microsoft has lied about OOXML patents and willfully infringed patents with it, only to be denounced years down the line

NOW that Microsoft has lost the i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], OOXML should be removed from ISO [1, 2]. Moreover, as Cringely puts it:

The whole point of docx didn’t seem to be to help users, but rather to make life difficult for both Microsoft competitors and for users who decided not to upgrade from the previous Word versions that used only the .doc format.

Microsoft deserves to lose this one.

Many people have warned about OOXML patents since 2007 (if not earlier). To give a sample of posts:

For those who loathe patents in general, here is a new essay which Glyn Moody describes as a “fascinating post that suggests the tide may be turning on intellectual monopolies”:

So it is no surprise that Objectivists would be distressed by this phenomenon. Not only are they among the most ardent modern advocates of intellectual property (in addition to Andrew J. Galambos [see Against Intellectual Property], and perhaps J. Neil Schulman), but Rand in a sense built her entire philosophical edifice on IP: to-wit, Rand incredibly said that “patents are the heart and core of property rights” and Objectivist law professor Adam Mossoff explicitly claims that “All Property is Intellectual Property” (see Objectivists: “All Property is Intellectual Property”). And so, realizing Rand’s arguments for IP are deeply flawed, and that fewer and fewer people are buying it, they are starting to fight back.

It is a rather insane battle of linguistics. The term “Intellectual Property” is actually centuries old and its purpose is worth studying because it deliberately misleads.

New Moonlight Covenant Claimed Worse Than the Old One, More Holes Found

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Kernel, Law, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 8:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Further analysis of Microsoft’s new Moonlight covenant reveals more items that divide and dilute the Free software community

Miguel de Icaza and his friends at Microsoft did a lot of PR to distract journalists from the truth about Moonlight. They strive to make XAML more widespread, primarily at the expense of web standards.

More than 10 holes in the latest Moonlight covenant have already been identified [1, 2] and The Source has just found several more. Its maintainer, Jason, has this to say:

I have to admit I am surprised that the new covenant is so bad. I expected a new covenant – even Miguel de Icaza hinted that the old one was less-than-ideal (scathing criticism from him as far as Microsoft is concerned) – but what I was expecting was basically the old covenant with a restriction or two removed!

Instead what we have is something that tries to look more “Open”, but is filled with Novell-Only anti-community language stronger than the previous version!

That’s right. Microsoft is trying to divide people, understanding rather well the impact this would have. Richard Stallman has always warned about a state where users are left “helpless and divided”.

Microsoft’s “open source” is still fake, but more gullible journalists [1, 2] are buying Microsoft’s story. To give a new example:

2009 was a momentous and turbulent year in Microsoft’s history. It made its entrance into cloud computing, and broke convention by donating source code to Linux.

Well, actually, Microsoft violated the GPL, so this move was an accident and a required one [1, 2, 3]. It’s hardly a “donation”, it’s just compliance. As for Moonlight, it’s more of a trap — one that Novell is required to deliver for its paymasters from Redmond.

Novell Moonlight

Defaming Boycott Novell Using Lies, Forgeries

Posted in Boycott Novell, Microsoft, Novell at 8:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell on floor

Summary: Foes of Boycott Novell go down low and make up dirt in order to paint the Web site in a negative light

ONE of our readers claims to have just identified and exposed a Microsoft “evangelism” agent who is extremely rude in the sense that he attacks people with vulgarities and threats. While we investigate this to verify with plausible proof, it is also worth mentioning that several hours ago we found the eavesdropping/AstroTurfing operations of Radian6 going through this Web site’s server (Visible Technologies is the analogous service that Microsoft supports and uses [1, 2]). To give an example, we have:

[28/Dec/2009:07:22:56 -0800] "GET /robots.txt HTTP/1.1" 200 50 "-" "R6_CommentReader(www.radian6.com/crawler)"

We have had availability issues throughout the day due to excessive server load, apparently caused by bots (mostly Yahoo! and MSN).

“People are leaving fake comments under my own name, usually attacking Free software people or attacking GNU/Linux itself, trying to create resentment that never existed.”That, however, is not the main subject that we aim to address here. For quite some time now (years in fact) we have noticed that people are trying to associate us with the FSF, which are not connected to in any way. At the same time, people post fake comments 'on behalf' of yours truly (in other Web sites) and this afternoon we found another example. I did not write this, it’s a fake, but it’s posted under my name. People are leaving fake comments under my own name, usually attacking Free software people or attacking GNU/Linux itself, trying to create resentment that never existed. This is not the same thing as Novell's (and OpenSUSE's) smearing of Boycott Novell, which they do from their own headquarters using comments in Boycott Novell and in other Web sites (whose Webmasters confirm are coming from Novell IP addresses only to daemonise us). They often try to divide members of Boycott Novell by distorting messages and trying to turn one person against another in this way. It’s an old strategy of divide-and-conquer using disinformation.

About a month ago we showed that opponents of this Web site are now distorting its message, then attacking it for things that are totally imaginary, fictitious even. To make matters worse, some people pretend to speak for this Web site and say the darnest things. That too creates resentment against the Web site and thus distracts from its message.

This is becoming a real problem and it would only be reasonable to make the issue public. Over at USENET, I have responded to constant attempts to defame myself and a few others. It has become an almost daily recurrence over there. The message can be seen below. It ended up as a bit of a rant, but not an impulsive one.


Subject: WinTrolls Distort What Linux Advocates Say, Then Attack Straw Men to Daemonise Them
From: Roy Schestowitz
Date: Tuesday 29 Dec 2009 00:18:06
Groups: comp.os.linux.advocacy

Suffice to say, the WinTrolls lie systematically, taking something I say completely out of context or deliberately misrepresenting what I say (sometimes making stuff up). And if people check the original things _in context_, then it’s all factual, with references even. The WinTrolls know this, but they rely on sloppiness from people who won’t verify.

Basically, it’s clear that the trolls struggle to counter the facts, so instead they have a plan to delegitimise the messengers, by falsely claiming that they are X, Y, and Z, that they said A, B, C, and they I work for someone (oooh! Conspiracy!). At best, some people will believe their lies; otherwise, they might as well have advocates spend time countering their lies, which usually they don’t. It’s all part of the plan WinTrolls have to disrupt this newsgroup and smear people who commit the ‘sin’ of advocating Linux and criticising outlaw companies that — like them — are attacking Linux and Linux advocates.

Ask Peter Quinn what happens when you stand in the way of a corporate gang masquerading as a software company.

Microsoft is a de facto cult. It really shows.

Links 28/12/2009: Gaming Recommendations, Emacs Embracing Bazaar

Posted in News Roundup at 4:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Auld Lang Syne on the Linux Blogs

    “My New Year’s resolution is to retire gracefully, but I keep getting job offers,” blogger Robert Pogson told LinuxInsider. “Perhaps I will find some career change with which an old man can live.

    “Perhaps I will do part-time work or write full-time instead of teaching,” he added.

  • Brian Caulfield On Start-ups

    First there was the cheap revolution. That was all about using commodity parts, such as Intel’s ( INTC – news – people ) processors, to knock down the price of computing power. Then came the free revolution. That was all about free software, such as Linux. Now there’s “less than free.”
    Article Controls

    The best example: Google’s ( GOOG – news – people ) strategy of sharing ad revenues with hardware partners that are building devices around the Internet giant’s Android smart phone operating system. That’s helped Google grab a respectable chunk of the smart phone software market in a hurry. Now Google could do the same with its Chrome OS software for netbooks, making already-cheap devices cheaper.

  • Desktop

    • Psystar halts sales of Mac cloning tool, will peddle Linux PCs

      Mac clone maker Psystar last week indefinitely suspended sales of its only product, a $50 utility that lets customers install Apple’s Snow Leopard operating system on generic Intel-based computers.

      The company also said it would resume selling systems “in the coming days.” Those machines will run Linux rather than Mac OS X.

    • Chinese pirates clone XP

      We suspect that Redmond is having a few words with Chinese authorities about the cloning.

      We feel sorry for all the Ubuntu developers out there who must be looking at their Open Source child twisted and corrupted until it looks so much like the proprietary enemy.

  • Server

    • The Evolution of Collaborative Innovation

      In those pre-Web 2.0 days, the community concept behind Linux and open source in general was mystifying to many. They were surprised that IBM had so strongly embraced Linux and were wondering what its relevance would be to the world of business. We spent a lot of time explaining that we were supporting Linux because it was an excellent operating system that ran on every single hardware platforms regardless of vendor or architecture, and would thus facilitate the integration of systems, applications and information over the Internet.

      A number of companies were also concerned about using software developed by an open, distributed community, as opposed to a single vendor, as was typically the case. So, we further explained that the open community developing Linux included some of the top programmers and computer scientists around the world. A number of IBM employees were already involved with this community, and several more would now be joining it as part of our new IBM Linux Technology Center. In any event, IBM and its partners would provide support for the Linux-based offerings we sold regardless of how they were developed.

  • Kernel Space

    • Happy Birthday, Linus

      Today is the birthday of Linus. Although that’s essentially a private event for him, there’s an interesting historical link to the creation of the Linux kernel, too.

    • Graphics Stack

      • ATI Linux 2009 Year In Review

        Compared to past years when recapping the AMD/ATI Linux advancements over the past calendar year, 2009 was not quite as exciting, which can be viewed as both good and bad for their Catalyst Linux driver. There were many advancements this year on AMD’s open-source side, but in 2009 there wasn’t as many milestones for their Catalyst driver like in the past with the introduction of CrossFire, OverDrive, same-day Linux support, the AMD Catalyst Control Center, and other new features. Here is our 2009 year in review look at AMD’s advancements to their proprietary Catalyst Linux driver along with our annual benchmarks.

  • Applications

    • No, terminal apps are not dying

      But I do know, and believe in, this: Open source software has many beautiful and amazing advantages over the closed-source model. And only one of those benefits is the idea — no, the proven principle that, 10 or 20 or even 50 years down the road, someone might pick up some crusty old tarball off a backup server somewhere in a forgotten university somewhere on the planet, take a look at the source code and add a new spark of life to an otherwise lusterless, forgotten application.

      Old programs don’t die, they just patiently await reincarnation. ;)

    • An analog clock for the console
    • 6 Really Cool Linux Stocking Stuffers

      Being from the United Kingdom, the week between Christmas and the New Year is usually a work-free zone for me. So here’s a few Linux command-line Easter Christmas Eggs for you to while away a little time if you are unfortunate enough to be back at your desk already.

    • Themes

      • 2 Gorgeous New Docky Skins

        Amongst them are the utterly gorgeous looking ‘Plastic Glass’ theme designed for use in Docky’s 3D mode and an “inlaid” theme that perfectly suits Docky’s Panel Mode. The themes also come with replacement tooltips – a great addition that really makes these themes complete.

        DeviantArt-ist kshegzyaj has created some stunning new themes for use with premier Dock application Docky.

      • 12 Awesome KDM Themes For Your Linux

        KDM (KDE Display Manager) is the K Desktop Environment replacement for XDM, the X Display Manager. KDM allows users to pick their session type on a per-login basis using different themes and user photos.

      • How to customize your KDE desktop with KDE-Look.org

        KDE-Look.org is part of a family of desktop websites, all under the umbrella of OpenDesktop.org. With each release, KDE is moving closer to complete integration with OpenDesktop.org, where the installation of new themes and visual improvements are seamless.

        There are already several visual components of the K desktop environment that are already integrated. Among them are: desktop wallpaper, Plasma themes, KDM themes, KSplash, color schemes, icon themes, emoticons, and widgets (plasmoid scripts). What this means is that a user can open the dialog to change one of these elements, download new themes, and apply them without ever having to leave the window.

      • digiKam 1.1 Splash-screens: call to photographers !

        Just in time for Christmas 2009, digiKam 1.0 have been released. But the future is already there. Next digiKam 1.1 is planed for end of January 2010, as a bugfixes release, to consolidate code with users feedback after production using…

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • Syntensity

        When first looking at Syntensity, one might infer that it is an FPS game. Nothing could be further than the truth. Syntensity’s main achievement is the Intensity Engine, which is a significantly modified version of the Sauerbraten/Cube2 Engine with a focus on online content. One could even draw parallels to proprietary gaming and say that this might be a FOSS answer to Valve’s Steam service and their Source engine.

      • AssaultCube – An awesome FPS game for Linux.

        AssaultCube retains a movement bug from the original Cube engine that allows players to utilize straferunning to move at a faster speed. This was left intentionally unfixed by the developers because it was considered an enjoyable feature of Cube, similar to bunny hopping in Quake.

      • 3 Wonderful Open-Source Games to Install After Installing Ubuntu

        When it comes to Linux shooter games, there isn’t only one choice. Games like Nexuiz, OpenArena or Sauerbraten were a good fit here too, but I decided upon World of Padman.

        Based on the Quake 3 engine, World of Padman is a fun, cartoon-style first-person shooter with maps, weapons and characters inspired from the Padman series. It features nice, colourful graphics, popular modes like FFA, TDM or CTF, and weapons which will definitely make you laugh the first time you’ll see them.

      • Running World of Warcraft in Ubuntu Linux
      • Gifts for Gamers: Some End-of-Year Recommendations, Part 1

        Christmas is a time for rest and contemplation. To intersperse the period with some distraction on long winter evenings, a number of Linux games can prove some diversion, as this article will show.

        The sports event of the weekend will be going into winter break, and to while away the time, we assembled a short list of interesting but little known games that have been brought to our attention over the last few months. The recommendations cover lots of different game genres, so there should be something for everyone.

  • Distributions

    • Linux Wizard – The point on some Mandriva community projects

      There are many communities based Mandriva derivatives, but few of them are known. So here is a ( not comprehensive ) list of some Mandriva based derivatives or projects :

      * One 64 community : 64bits edition of the Mandriva One LiveCD. A KDE edition and GNOME one are available for download.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Savvytek lands the first Red-Hat Linux virtualization implementation project at MEPS

        In partnership with Red Hat and Oracle; and in their endeavor to lead the market towards a more proficient, secure and better performing infrastructure solutions; Savvytek was chosen by Middle East Payment Services (MEPS) to implement their new core application, RS2, based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Oracle technologies

      • Linux software is rebounding: CEO

        Red Hat Inc., the Linux software maker whose sales and profit in the latest quarter exceeded analysts’ estimates, said demand for its products is reviving, especially in North America.

      • 3 Stocks That Blew the Market Away

        We can start with Red Hat (NYSE: RHT). The Linux-based provider of enterprise solutions delivered a profit of $0.17 a share, ahead of the $0.16 a share that Mr. Market was banking on.

        Red Hat’s success was the result of a 21% surge in its bread-and-butter subscription revenue.

      • Red Hat promotes virtualisation adoption in Middle East through partnership with WorldNet

        Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that WorldNet has become the first Red Hat Virtualisation Specialist Partner in the Middle East.

        [...]

        “Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation aims to enable our customers to easily move applications and hardware platforms to virtualised computing and cloud computing. We believe that Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, especially the management components, will allow customers to use virtualisation pervasively. We hope that our Virtualisation Specialist partnership with WorldNet will be the first of many in the region,” said Anuj Kumar, General Manager, Middle East and North Africa at Red Hat.

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical shines its Ubuntu light on consumers

        No one cares that their TiVo devices runs Linux. It just does. No one cares that the Kindle runs Linux, either. They care about the functionality these devices deliver. That’s the way it should be.

        Canonical’s opportunity is to make Linux so easy that it becomes completely invisible to the end user. And Canonical may well be the best positioned to do this, among its open-source peers.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Kindle/Swindle

    • Nokia

      • Nokia N900 Already Available at Carphone Warehouse

        Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia launched during the ongoing year its first handset running under the Maemo 5 operating system, the Nokia N900, a phone that is expected to arrive on the UK market as soon as January 14 is here. However, enthusiasts in the UK won’t have to wait until then to grab one of these beauties, as the handset has been already put on sale via Carphone Warehouse, though a contract agreement with Vodafone is still required.

      • Snowtter – Snowflakes + Twitter on Nokia N900

        Got a Nokia N900 Maemo device ? You can watch the updates in your Twitter timeline drop onto your screen as snow flakes.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Technology changes ‘outstrip’ netbooks

        Battery life on Linux is in excess of 10 hours, for Windows rarely more than three.

        Machines sporting Arm chips are also likely to be thinner as they will not need the heat sinks demanded by processors used in desktops.

      • So far the netbook as been a resounding success.

        No Windows!

        There was just no way I was going to get my step daughter a Windows netbook for Christmas. No way, no how. I couldn’t find a good way to articulate why, and so for a couple weeks I was just responding, “No Windows!” to my wife’s questions. I hadn’t expected it to be controversial but I did eventually have to explain myself.

        [...]

        So far the netbook as been a resounding success.

      • Can Jolicloud Win In A Chrome OS Netbook World?

        Jolicloud soldiered on, raising a high profile $4.2 million venture round and finally, earlier this month, releasing a public beta of the product at Le Web in Paris.

      • Google Chrome netbook specs leaked?

        There’s a rumor going around that Google isn’t just developing an operating system for netbooks (which we already know is true), but that company is also in the process of developing an actual netbook. While Google isn’t exactly known as a hardware maker, this rumor falls into the plausible category, since Google is also widely reported to be developing a cellphone running Android OS. And as Apple has demonstrated time and again, if you want your operating system to run smoothly on hardware, your best option is to design the hardware.

Free Software/Open Source

  • VideoLAN Movie Creator

    I’m excited about the upcoming VideoLAN Movie Creator! I’m also excited about making bulleted lists lately!

    1. Pedigree

    The related-project VLC Media Player is a well-known cross-platform project that inspires confidence in the VLMC. I’m not sure exactly how to quantify “name-brand” power as a factor of success (or even if such a thing can be quantified), but this is a good thing.

  • Making Money by Giving Stuff Away

    First, free software appeared among the hacker community, where price was irrelevant, since the culture was largely one of sharing. From there, it seeped into companies, usually unbeknownst to management, which only found out about the fact later. By that time, the open source applications – notably GNU/Linux, Samba and Apache – had not only proved their technical quality, they had shown that something that cost nothing could, indeed, be worth much more than its nominal price tag.

  • A little know but very powerful tool for homeschooling: Free Software

    Stop: How did you discover Free Software?

    Dean: I stumbled across Free Software programs for typing, geography, hangman (spelling) and crossword and soon realized that I could actually make educating my son fun using Free Software that was primarily Linux driven.

    Stop:Did you have to learn programming to use this software?

    Dean: No, I am not a software developer. I am a “post-frustrated Microsoft user” that did the math and figured the amount of time I spent trying to fix things that could not be fixed in Windows would have been spent wiser learning a better operating system (Linux Ubuntu in my case, but there is also a version, Edubuntu,, already preconfigured for school usage). I am happy enough that I want to try to convince other homeschoolers in my area to follow my path.

  • Google

    • 35 Google open-source projects that you probably don’t know

      Google is one of the biggest companies supporting OpenSource movement, they released more than 500 open source projects(most of them are samples showing how to use their API). In this article I will try to write about most interesting and free releases from Google, some of them might be abandoned.

    • Open source rocked 09, thanks to Google

      Bangalore: Since almost 10 years, companies have known the benefits of adopting open source for business. Few have followed but the rest have stayed away from it. With the global economic slowdown forcing companies to rethink strategies, there has been one thing which has motivated companies the most, that is, Google extensively using open source.

  • CMS

    • Drupal thrives in Taiwan

      After a while I discovered that there was even a Drupal Taiwan website. So I got in touch with the site admin and head organizer, Charles Chuang, and he let me know there would be a meetup in late December. The gathering would be at a local cafe in central Taipei and the topic would be new features, discuss strategy, and socialize to make new friends with like-minded souls.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU

    • GNU Emacs is on Bazaar now.

      In case you missed it: GNU Emacs is on Bazaar now. Please see http://www.emacswiki.org/emacs/BzrForEmacsDevs for how to (re)obtain your development sources from Bazaar.

  • Government

    • Everything in health care depends on execution

      These administrative shifts, from proprietary to open source systems, toward routine transfers of medical data, could have happened anyway. They have accelerated thanks to Administration statements endorsing open source systems like VistA. The environment has shifted.

Leftovers

  • Democracy

    • Government Report Absolves ACORN of Voter Fraud

      A newly-issued Congressional Research Service (CRS) study (pdf) on the activities of the community group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) found no evidence the group has engaged in fraudulent voting or violations of federal financing rules over the last five years. Two members of the U.S.

    • 20,000 State Snoopers Who Can Walk Into Your Homes

      LABOUR has allowed the creation of a massive army of state snoopers who can enter anyone’s home at a moment’s notice, it was revealed yesterday.

  • Environment

    • 125 whales dead in New Zealand strandings

      More than 125 whales have died in two separate strandings in New Zealand, conservation officials said Monday.

    • Open Energy Info

      Open Energy Info is a platform to connect the world’s energy data. It is a linked open data platform bringing together energy information to provide improved analyses, unique visualizations, and real-time access to data.

    • Titnore Woods Need You

      With the threat of development on Titnore Woods fast approaching now is the time to rise up and resist the destruction of our natural environment by corporate greed.

    • VerdantMountains Cannot Stop Water Flowing; Eastward the River Keeps on Going

      In his important speech at the high-level segment of the conference, Premier Wen reiterated the consistent position of the Chinese government. He called on all sides to build consensus and strengthen cooperation to advance the historical process of combating climate change. Confronted by the complicated situation in and outside the Bella Center, Premier Wen was undeterred. With the strongest political will and patience, he shuttled between participating leaders and engaged them in dialogue and consultations. At the critical moment when the negotiations faced the risk of a breakdown, he personally talked to various parties and helped the conference reach the final accord with his painstaking and thoughtful efforts.

      History will remember the important contribution of the Chinese government to the success of the Copenhagen conference.

  • Finance

    • Wall Street: provably culpable or just untrustworthy?

      GRETCHEN MORGENSON and LOUISE STORY add more detail to the story of the collapse of our financial system and how it was brought down by the gang of financial innovators at such respectable financiers at Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley, as well as smaller firms like Tricadia Inc. link here

      The article strongly suggests that the bankers knew what they were doing. They created bundles of mortgages and sold them off to credulous investors. Then they cranked up mortgage creators to market still more toxic mortgages on which to sell more credit default swaps (CDSs).

      When that didn’t satisfy the demand from investors, they came up with synthetic swaps. They knew the many of the mortgages were toxic and after selling them, bought swaps against their failing. When the demand for these grew too large, they created synthetic collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and bet against them as well.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • uTorrent Users Double to 52 Million in a Year

      uTorrent – the preferred Bittorrent client for many BitTorrent users – has been doing really well in 2009. Contrary to reports claiming that BitTorrent and P2P usage has been declining, in the last year uTorrent nearly doubled its userbase to 52 million unique users a month.

    • UK Lawyers Drop “Non-Viable” File-Sharing Cases

      Lawyers who told thousands of individuals that they held proof of their illicit file-sharing, have made a surprise announcement. ACS:Law, who help companies generate revenue from porn movie copyrights, say they are dropping many cases because litigation is neither viable nor beneficial to their clients.

    • Broadband consumers to foot £500m bill to tackle online piracy

      Proposals to suspend the internet connections of those who repeatedly share music and films online will leave consumers with a bill for £500 million, ministers have admitted.

    • Pirate Party: one to watch in 2010

      Threatening to cut off people’s net access is therefore seen as a vastly disproportionate punishment, almost akin to cutting someone’s tongue off. While young female voters also tend to vote Pirate Party, compared to older voters, they do so less than male voters. The Pirate movement’s task, therefore is twofold: to get women to vote for us in the same numbers that men do (which should be doable, since women use the internet as much as men), and to make sure that each years’ intake of new 18 year old voters supports us, while existing supporters continue to support us. If we do that across Europe, we’ll win.

    • My artist’s manifesto

      This is the reason why I don’t create single copies of my photographs or limited editions. I want people to enjoy my photography not because it’s scarce, but because they like it. I do sell signed and numbered copies (limitless editions only), but only for the people who voluntarily want to financially support my art. Don’t buy it as an investment – buy it because you enjoy it and want to see more of it! Everyone else is welcome to just download and use (non-commercially) my photographs any way they like it – on your computer desktop, on your blog, by printing and hanging it on your walls!

    • ACTA as the (Fool’s) “Gold Standard”

      I’ve noted before that at the heart of the ACTA negotiations there is a con-trick being played upon the world: insofar as the mighty ones deign to pass down any crumbs of information to us little people, it is framed in terms of the dangers of counterfeit medicines and the like, and how we are being “protected”. But, then, strangely, those counterfeit medicines morph into digital copies of songs – where there is obviously no danger whatsoever – but the same extreme measures are called for.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Joerg Heilig, Sun Microsystems Senior Engineering Director talks about OpenOffice.org 13 (2004)


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

Demo of KDE4: Multitouch and Marble

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, Vista at 9:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Nice new video that demonstrates the power Free software and free data (OpenStreetMap); this would work with GNU/Linux too


Direct link

Apple Helps Microsoft Attack Google’s Linux While Google Spreads GNU/Linux, ODF

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenDocument at 6:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ballmer money

Summary: Mishmash of news; Apple’s helping hand to Microsoft is reappearing now that GNU/Linux and ODF gain traction, partly thanks to Google

IT WAS only yesterday that we wrote about Bill Gates' gradual monopolisation of the schooling system. This is not news [1, 2, 3, 4] but it continues to appear as though schools become the ownership of companies that use the curriculum to train and recruit young people. From the New York Times:

Professional organizations and major technology companies, including Google, Microsoft and Intel support the broad agenda, though companies are not getting into curriculum details.

What’s even more disconcerting is that companies like Google and Microsoft are almost trying to monopolise healthcare too, essentially by capitalising on inevitable digitisation of data. Using an atrocious new press release, Microsoft is trying to lure in more hospitals for them to hand over their patients’ data. They keep pretending that giving a convicted monopolist control of people’s intimate information and also allowing lock-in is actually “put[ting] Patients in Charge”. This is an amazing, total reversal of the truth, or “newspeak” as our reader Fewa labeled it last night. Google pulls similar tricks to get access to/possession of medical information, but that's another story. Neither schools nor hospitals should permit this privatisation by self-serving companies that perceive children and patients (respectively) as mere clients.

Also in this week’s news we have found this report that suggests Apple is liaising with Microsoft against mobile Linux. It is no secret that Apple and Microsoft are still "buddies" who think alike and help each other out.

We have found more reports about it, e.g.:

i. Apple and Microsoft vs. Google for Smartphone Dominance?

Apple and Google were once seen as best friends in their fight against mutual enemy Microsoft, but as Google has ventured into Apple’s turf with the Chrome OS and Android smartphone OS, their BFF status has been in jeopardy. Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple’s board of directors, citing a conflict of interest, and Google Latitude and Google Maps Navigation have been released for Android but not iPhone. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Bing search engine is now available for iPhone.

ii. Will Apple and Microsoft Join Forces To Fight Google?

Apple and Google have historically been very friendly. But in recent months, the tenor of that relationship has changed. Apple rejected Google Voice for the iPhone. And now it appears that the relationship may get a bit cooler with all the talk of a Google phone.

Microsoft is now adding Messenger for Mac 8 and it sure seems like they have found new common enemies. The proprietary giants must hate the idea of Free-as-in-almost-freedom platforms like Android (Linux based) gaining so much traction quite so quickly.

“The proprietary giants must hate the idea of Free-as-in-almost-freedom platforms like Android (Linux based) gaining so much traction quite so quickly.”Apple and Microsoft are also opponents of ODF. Apple has helped Microsoft with OOXML for several years now. Google, on the other hand, vocally protested against OOXML and its online software suite — even though it is proprietary — actually supports ODF.

For what it’s worth, Bart Hanssens has just augmented his list of ODF-supportive software to include OfficeReader, ezComponents, and a Drupal module. We wrote about this a few days ago.

Open source viewer for Symbian phones, supporting ODF text (.odt), spreadsheets (.ods) and presentations (.odp)

The project is sponsored by the NLNet Foundation and Odendahl-SEPT.

 

This Drupal module allows one to import ODF files into the popular WebCMS. Currently only the content of ODF text documents (.odt) is imported, future releases will support other ODF types as well as importing styles.

Google is expanding its assault on Microsoft’s #1 cash cow, Microsoft Office, using this new acquisition:

i. Google to buy DocVerse, introduce Microsoft Office doc collaboration

Google has been positioning Google Apps as an Office killer and encouraging companies to adopt it. Meanwhile, Microsoft countered with a web-based component to Office 2010. The latest move comes from Google, though, with the acquisition of DocVerse.

ii. Google acquisitions may signal big push against Microsoft Office

I use Google Docs for almost all of my writing, and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s pretty bare-bones compared to Microsoft Office. But that may change next year.

[...]

By the way, Google declined to comment on the DocVerse acquisition rumor (as it always does), and the startup didn’t even bother to answer my email. DocVerse raised $1.3 million from Baseline Ventures and assorted angel investors.

iii. Google Targets Microsoft Office with DocVerse Deal

No company is attacking Google as much as Microsoft (see the Murdoch incident for a recent display or power [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]), so it’s understandable that Google should aim for Microsoft’s jugular and try to render its cash cow obsolete. Microsoft does exactly the same thing against Google’s bread and butter (again,the Murdoch incident shows precisely that). Except the fact that Microsoft is a criminal company, a fundamental difference between those two is that Microsoft attacks GNU/Linux, whereas Google embraces it.

Clint Boulton from eWEEK’s Google Watch has a couple of new articles about this commercial rivalry:

i. Debate Rages On in Microsoft Vs. Google Web War

ii. This Is Why Microsoft Is So Far Behind Google on the Web

Microsoft has billions of dollars to spend, and more market clout than any software company in the world, thanks to its Windows and Office hegemonies.

Isn’t it stunning that the company is far behind Google and even Yahoo in the online space? Why is that? It’s not for lack of resources and talent.

With more and more deals, Google’s reputation grows stronger and Microsoft resorts to some kind of bribery, as usual.

Talks between Microsoft and News Corp. show the software company is willing to trade revenue for market share to put pressure on Google

Rupert Murdoch is one example of this tactic, but another recent example is Verizon. Pogue from the New York Times has just written about it:

It’s Microsoft Bing or nothing. (The BlackBerry used to offer Google, Wikipedia and others.)
Why? Because Microsoft paid Verizon $500 million, according to The Register.

I don’t know. Maybe Verizon heard that there were six people left on Earth who didn’t have a reason to dislike it.

In a similar fashion, Microsoft has used kickbacks to block GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Intel is being punished for it [1, 2]. It is illegal, it’s a violation of the law, and thus it’s a crime.

Steve Ballmer Should Not be Fired, He Should be Arrested

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer at 5:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Al Capone mugshot and Steve Ballmer

Summary: In relation to the lawsuits by proxy that we wrote about some moments ago, an obligatory discussion arises which revolves around accountability

NewsWeek has kick-started quite a big discussion when it predicted that Steve Ballmer would be out in less than a year, being one of the worst-performing CEOs in his field. There were also many articles calling for the firing of Ballmer around March of 2008. But Ballmer does not deserve such gentle treatment after all the things that happened under his watch. NewsWeek misses the point:

NewsWeek writes, “Microsoft stock has dropped by nearly 50 per cent on his watch, lagging not just other tech companies but even the Dow Jones industrial average. Distracted by the Windows Vista fiasco, Ballmer has missed every big new tech market of the past decade.”

There is also this, still pretending that Microsoft is only “competing”.

According to insiders, Steve Ballmer has not been able to come up with any revolutionary ideas. Even within Microsoft, such feeling is palpable. If Microsoft wants to counter Apple and Google, it needs to go for a complete overhaul.

Yesterday alone we showed that Microsoft is frivolously suing Linux, its #1 competitor, by acting as a financier for lawsuits and paying for slanderous studies. They even attack charities. Some of it is akin to mafia tactics [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], whereby Microsoft hires some dirty no-name men to do the “dirty job” and attack Linux. In all seriousness, white-collar crime is the most expensive type of crime and a criminal investigation is long overdue; the RICO Act applies, but sadly, rich people are rarely brought to justice in this system. Tax dodging is another good example of what these people can get away with, not to mention bribery as a business model (apparently too low in the list of an average policeman, who is more concerned about hungry shoplifters).

“In all seriousness, white-collar crime is the most expensive type of crime and a criminal investigation is long overdue…”In a just system, justice would be applied to the “Big Criminals”, not shoplifters. It is just sad to see that wealth and corruption are permitted to crush the lower class using the legal system which they pretty much control. It is there to facilitates their unaccountable business and the richer they are, the more powerful they become and the less likely they are to end up in jail. It makes them conceited and reckless.

The likelihood that Ballmer will ever be held accountable for his actions seems slim. Perhaps the only justice will be the self destruction of this business. Microsoft’s former shill-for-hire, Don Dodge [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] is now admitting that Microsoft is in deep trouble [1, 2]. Those who defend the abusive monopolist may wish to deny this, but as Joe McKendrick puts it, it is still just catching up with companies like Google where Dodge works now.

It’s been well reported that Microsoft is prepping for the upteenth fight-to-the-finish of its career, this time for dominance of the cloud frontier against arch-rival Google.

One of our readers, Yuhong Bao, has pointed out that someone in Slashdot had just labeled Google an “abusive monopoly” even though evidence is insufficient. But Microsoft’s crimes (which Ballmer should be liable for) go far beyond monopoly abuse and we have covered many examples over the past 3 years. This post is not a detailed indictment of what he did.

Steam Ballmer

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts