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Links 7/1/2010: GNU/Linux All Over CES

Posted in News Roundup at 9:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Audio

  • Desktop

    • Why HP Doesn’t Need The Microsoft Tablet

      It is surprising that HP is keeping itself away from GNU Linux. Considering the amount of R&D, expertise, and talent that HP has, it makes more sense for HP to create their own customized version of GNU Linux.

      Debian based Ubuntu would be a good start. Software is not a big issue any more. Most of the Free and Open Source software is more popular that ‘bounded’ or ‘locked’ software. Look at Firefox, Thunderbird, Chrome, OpenOffice, GIMP, VLC and many more.

    • How (and Why) to Partition Your Hard Drive

      Finally, partitioning lets you try out other operating systems–like Linux, for example. Generally, two operating systems can’t coexist on the same volume without stepping on one another’s toes, so you won’t be able to dual-boot Linux or ease into Windows 7 if you’re on a single-volume system.

    • The next generation of Linux notebooks arrives at CES

      That’s the big news so far from CES on pre-installed desktop Linux. I’m sure there’s more news coming though. Tune in tomorrow to see what else develops.

    • Site statistics through December 31, 2009

      Operating System
      Windows 74.57% 61.83% 61.82% ↓ 64.68%
      Linux 10.81% 21.17% 21.95% ↑ 17.59%

    • DeviceVM Releases SplashTop 2.0

      DeviceVM has unveiled SplashTop 2.0. SplashTop 2.0 introduces a completely redesigned application dock, the ability to customize the desktop (e.g. different wallpapers), instant search, and visual navigation of favorite sites and history. SplashTop 2.0 will initially appear on a new Lenovo netbook, but it will make its way to other vendors as well, including ASUS.

    • HP Mini 5102 netbook lands

      As well as the touchscreen capability, the 5102 will also have facial recognition software, Linux based QuickWeb which allows near instant access to Internet and files and will house Intel’s new Atom processor – the Pineview.

  • Server

    • The Small Business Server Replacement is Clear(OS)

      When it comes to the Internet, Linux is a big win.

      Mail and web servers, databases, computational clusters and supercomputers all belong to the domain of free software. When it comes to embedded devices, Linux is also king of the roost.


      Now, meet ClearOS, a free and open source Linux distribution which does just that. ClearFoundation released the stable version of ClearOS 5.1 just before Christmas and it is available for download.

      It might sound like a new kid on the block, but actually ClearOS has a long history going back to the turn of the century. It was previously known as ClarkConnect, a very popular distribution for setting up a Linux server quickly and conveniently. ClearOS is now built on CentOS, which is in turn built from the source code of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. As such, ClearOS has a solid and reliable foundation.

    • January 2010 Web Server Survey

      Apache gained approximately 3M hostnames compared to the December 2009 survey, bringing their total to 111.3M.

  • Graphics Stack

    • ATI X.Org Driver Gains Embedded DisplayPort

      AMD’s Alex Deucher has just committed initial support for Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) connectors/monitors to the xf86-video-ati DDX display driver. Traditional DisplayPort monitors are already supported by this open-source ATI driver, but now Embedded DisplayPort connectors should begin to work as well. Here is the Git commit that provides the initial support.

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • KDE SC 4.4 branched, trunk reopens

      So tonight, release-team-hero Dirk has branched off KDE SC 4.4 from trunk. Let quickly explain what this means. Trunk/ is a directory in KDE’s SVN repository, the central place holding where all the code from different contributors spread across our planet comes together. In a big team like KDE, we need some coordination to be actually able to release our software packages once in a while. Since the release of KDE 4.0.0, a typical KDE release cycle takes 6 months. Roughly 4 months of development, followed by about 2 months of stabilization and testing towards a release. In the stabilization period, which starts with the feature and string freeze, only bugfixes and code improvements are allowed. This is also the period where we release regular test releases, in our case a beta1, right after the feature freeze, and a second beta (happened shortly before christmas). The next test release is coming soon, which is -rc1.

    • Making Firefox 3.x Look at Home in KDE4 (Part II)

      Back a few mere months ago, we wrote about how to make Firefox 3.x look at home in KDE Software Compilation 4.X. To date, this has been the most-viewed article on The Blue Mint. The reason is clear: People like Firefox. Be it the extensions, familiarity, general responsiveness (that gets better with each release), or the cross-platform compatibility, Firefox is here to stay. And it remains the flagship web browser of choice within the GNU/Linux playing field.


      To install, simply download the theme, open Dolphin (or Konqueror) and drag the downloaded file into the Firefox Add-ons window. Take a look at the screen shots to see what you think.

    • On KDE 4.3.3

      All kinds of apps that I have some idea about, but only from “the other side of the fence,” things I’ve only read about in the gtk+ world. On the other hand . . . as long as my existing gtk+ apps are integrated visually into KDE (thanks to QtCurve) and “just work,” maybe I don’t need to duplicate my entire Xfce environment?

  • Distributions

    • Cooking with SliTaz – An Innovative (and TINY!) Linux OS

      With the fact that everything run in RAM and the low number of packages in the online wok, I doubt you’d want to install SliTaz as your main desktop OS, but I don’t think that’s what it’s for. I’ve used distros similar in design philosophy (such as Damn Small Linux) to do things like system recovery, partitioning and virus scanning, and that’s just the place SliTaz would shine as well. Grabbing some additional packages and rolling a new USB flavor could easily add some power to any tech toolkit.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO On Recession, Virtualization, Ballmer

        Whitehurst sees more and more open source firms being acquired by major companies because of the quality of the code produced in open source projects. But he thinks it is better for both the project’s developers and the community if an open source company remains independent. Red Hat is such a company, he said, and issued a departing jab at Oracle. “I like the strategic clarity of being pure open source. I do worry about the mindset you have to have as part of a large company,” he said.

      • As Sun sets, HP goes after its customers – with Red Hat’s help

        As European regulators drag their feet in deciding whether to approve the merger of Oracle and Sun, rivals – including Red Hat – are continuing to feast on the remains of Sun’s business.

      • [Fedora project leader:] A spoonful of sugar.

        All of us who help support people of any kind, regardless of experience level, should have a somewhat regular checkpoint of introspection, where we honestly think about our own effectiveness at listening and empathy. Then we can adjust our dealings with those we support to maximize the constructiveness of our interactions, and thereby have a direct, positive effect on the culture of free software.

    • Debian Family

      • Slashdot In Ubuntu Membership Shocker!

        For those of you who have read the recent Slashdot article announcing Ubuntu’s new membership programme, this is clearly a mistake.

        Ubuntu has had the concept of membership for many years, helping us to identify those who have made a significant and sustained contribution. This is nothing new and nothing is changing.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • AR.Drone: Sky-high future for augmented-reality gaming

      It’s certainly a clever beast. The four-bladed “quadricopter” uses an onboard Linux-based computer to process information from its cameras, accelerometers and gyroscope to ensure level flight, while direction and speed are controlled by tilting an iPhone, iPod Touch or any other device with a camera, screen and wi-fi connectivity.

    • Cambridge embedded systems event offers embedded Linux workshop

      Embedded Linux TrainingFor the third year running, the UK Embedded Masterclass will be running a half-day workshop that offers an “Introduction to Embedded Linux”.

    • Intel Updates Wind River VxWorks OS

      “VxWorks and Wind River Linux are complementary offers, allowing Wind River to serve customers who need Linux or VxWorks,” Brown said. “These can be used separately, and there certainly are vertical sub-markets better suited by one or the other. In addition, we can offer them together as a single solution.”

    • Marvell’s Linux Computer in a Wall Wart Seeks Killer Apps

      This blog post starts with a strange question: What would you have if you stuffed a wall wart with a 32-bit Linux computer complete with wired and wireless Ethernet, Bluetooth, one USB port, and an optional hard drive? The simple answer is you’d have a “Plug Computer.”

    • Iomega iConnect Wireless Data Station turns USB drives into remote NAS

      In addition to remote access, it’s also possible to duplicate the contents of one drive to another (complete with a one-touch QuikTransfer button on the front panel) and share up to two printers. It also offers UPnP DLNA media streaming, simple photo slideshows and Iomega throw in some backup apps too.

    • TomTom Ease GPS Goes Back to Basics

      With the Ease, TomTom has trimmed the fat from its more elaborate GPS devices to offer a small and simple navigator. Its 3.5-inch LCD touch screen presents users with two oversized buttons: “Plan route,” and “Browse Map.” Enough said.

    • Tablets and EReaders Steal Thunder at CES 2010

      But Google, who announced their Nexus One iPhone killer yesterday, is sitting pretty as its Android version of Linux appeared on numerous products. Oddly, they don’t make much money on Android, but what they do get is a developer network that has an increasing number of platforms to purvey their products on.

    • Phones

      • Hands on: Lenovo Lephone review

        Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing introduced the handset by saying he believed the “Lephone is the best device in this category.” The handset is a looker, with an 800×400 pixel screen and a proprietary Linux-based OS.

      • Dell Rings The Smartphone Bell

        Dell’s smartphone further strengthens Linux’s position in the smartphone segment. Dell already has deals with major mobile operators around the globe including the world’s largest, China Mobile. Dell has similar deals with Claro in Brazil.

      • WebOS Phones Coming to AT&T

        AT&T followed up the announcement that it will soon offer five Android-based smartphones with another piece of news: the carrier will offer two Palm webOS phones “soon.”

      • Android

        • AT&T Joins the Android Party

          At long last, AT&T customers can experience some of the Android madness. At the AT&T Developer Summit at CES in Las Vegas, the carrier announced that five Android-based smartphones are debuting on the network in the first half of 2010.

        • AT&T Hedges Bets, Adds Android and WebOS

          AT&T is embracing the Google Android and Palm WebOS operating systems–adding a total of seven new handsets in 2010 built on the new mobile operating systems. With speculation that its iPhone exclusivity will soon end, AT&T is expanding its portfolio, but AT&T is at a disadvantage and it may be too late to start hedging bets.

        • Nexus One teardown: ‘nicely put together’

          The gadget teardown experts at iFixit have forked out $530 for a Google Nexus One smartphone, taken it to bits and posted their thoughts online.

        • Android devices sweep CES 2010

          Google wasn’t the only company announcing new Android-based devices this week. At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, several handset and mobile device manufacturers also announced new models and partnerships with mobile carriers for their Android devices, ranging from various mobile phones and tablets, to eBook readers.

        • Why Nexus One is bad for Linux

          Certainly Google is a good open source citizen and they contribute back to Linux and the broader open source community (so I’m not knocking them on that front, cause they’re awesome there). But nexus one grows the Google Android community first and foremost and Linux only by association. It’s not the bold vision of the Linux phone world that existed a few years ago, it’s a Google vision.

        • Is Nexus One “bad” for Linux?

          Yesterday, Google accomplished something I’ve wanted to see for a very, very long time: A Linux-based personal computing device getting enormous mainstream coverage. Granted, you weren’t hearing the word “Linux,” much in the coverage, but it’s still a good thing in my book.

        • Android Madness at CES: Fad or Future?

          The wave of announcements appears to validate earlier predictions that the open-source Linux-based Android would become a major player in the mobile market, although market acceptance of the Google-backed OS may have taken longer than first expected.

        • First Look: Motorola Backflip With Motoblur

          The phone runs on Android 1.5 with Motorola’s cloud-based Motoblur user interface.

        • HP Experiments With Android

          This machine’s presence at the show isn’t nearly the big deal it might be, for one simple reason: HP says it’s just experimenting with Android. This is a concept PC, and there’s no news about its chances of turning into a shipping product you can buy. Still, you gotta figure that if HP has gone through the bother of building this prototype, there’s a real chance it’ll commercialize it in 2010.

        • Turn Your Android Phone Into A Real Star Trek Tricorder

          This review is of the Star Trek Tricorder open source Android project by Moonblink. I’ve used the popular Tricorder theme with my previous phone, a Windows Mobile device, but I never imagined that a day would come when I would be able to use an actual Tricorder application which could actually sense environmental factors like magnetic flux, acceleration, sound waves and even solar activity. Ladies and gentlemen and starship cadets, I would like to present to you an application that does just that, not only for the Droid, but for any Android mobile device with at least most of the appropriate sensors.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • HP’s netbook triplets step up to Atom N450

        HP announced three netbooks using Intel’s N450 “Pineview” processor that support SUSE Linux: the Mini 210, Mini 2102, both with 10.1-inch screens, and the Mini 5102, which offers 10-hour claimed battery life. Meanwhile, at CES the company unveiled a prototype Qualcomm Snapdragon-based Android “smartbook,” says Engadget.

      • Marvell launches quad-core ARM CPU

        CHIP MAKER Marvell has launched a quad-core ARM processor at CES 2010 in Las Vegas.

        The chip is based on the same CPU architecture as Marvell’s Armada 500 and 600 processor series and uses the ARMv7 architecture.

      • Hands on with Lenovo’s Skylight smartbook

        It uses a Lenovo build of Linux which includes simple application switching and an application dock similar to the one in Mac OS X.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Jaspersoft CEO: Targeting 50% Growth in 2010

    Jaspersoft CEO Brian Gentile (pictured), like many of his open source peers, has some lofty goals for 2010. With the help of SaaS and on-premise channel partners, Gentile says Jaspersoft — which specializes in business intelligence software — can grow 50 percent and generate positive cash flow in 2010. Here’s the scoop, including a FastChat video with Gentile.

  • The thinking behind JetBrains’ open source strategy

    Development tools vendor JetBrains caused something of a stir in October last year with the news that it was releasing an open source Community Edition of its popular IntelliJ Idea Java IDE using the Apache License.

  • Programming

    • Teach yourself how to program by making computer games!

      “Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python” is a free e-Book that teaches you how to program in the Python programming language. Each chapter gives you the complete source code for a new game, and then teaches the programming concepts from the example.

    • OLPC Should Look Past Hardware to LISP and FPGA

      The Python programming language community figured out how to put up-to-date Python programs and Python interpreters on old (like first generation) iPods. This has the same advantage as the LISP on your junk-yard Atari. It is taking stuff that the rich people think is trash and using it in new and productive ways. The under developed nations get old computers anyway, but they are putting them in toxic waste dumps. Most western teens do not want an iPod from 2001, and this Python interpreter allows them to be reused in a productive way.

    • Third Ruby-on-Rails beta nears launch

      A beta for the third iteration of the wildly popular Ruby on Rails is due later this month or in early February.


  • FTC reminds us that storing data in the cloud has drawbacks

    The Federal Trade Commission worries that consumers don’t really understand the privacy implications to storing some of their most crucial data in the cloud, and it wants the FCC to think about such issues when finalizing its national broadband plan.

  • 2010 bug hits millions of Germans

    A 2010 software bug has left millions of German debit and credit card holders unable to withdraw money or make payments in shops, and thousands stranded on holiday with no access to cash.

    About 30m chip and pin cards – a quarter of those in circulation in Germany – are thought to have been affected by the programming failure, which meant that microchips in cards could not recognise the year change to 2010.

  • London unveils digital datastore

    More than 200 data sets detailing life in London are to be put online by the capital’s governing body.

  • Security

    • Hacker pierces hardware firewalls with web page

      On Tuesday, hacker Samy Kamkar demonstrated a way to identify a browser’s geographical location by exploiting weaknesses in many WiFi routers. Now, he’s back with a simple method to penetrate hardware firewalls using little more than some javascript embedded in a webpage.

    • The Naked Truth About Airport Scanners

      To judge from the news accounts, Umar Abdulmutallab did everything to get himself caught except wear an Osama bin Laden T-shirt onto that Northwest Airlines flight Christmas Day. Yet the danger didn’t dawn on anyone until he allegedly set himself on fire while trying to detonate the explosives hidden in his underwear.

    • Ormskirk binman says he was taken off his usual round for taking side waste

      A binman from Ormskirk says he has been taken off his round of 34 years as ‘punishment’ for taking waste left at the side of wheelie bins. Albert Stewart, 60, of Scarisbrick Street, works as a refuse collector for West Lancashire Borough Council.

      He told the Advertiser: “I have done the same round in Aughton for over 30 years, and just because I took some side waste, I’m being punished – they’ve taken me off my round.

      “They weren’t just people I took rubbish from – they were my friends too.”

    • Police officers ordered by Home Office: ‘Don’t talk about crime – it upsets people’

      Police officers have been told to avoid talking about crime to members of the public – after Home Office chiefs found it ‘upsets them’, it can be revealed today.

      The report, called Improving Public Confidence in the Police Service, states that when officers highlight crime and anti-social behaviour problems at community meetings it can lead to ‘feelings of fear’ among the public.

      One officer from Thames Valley Police, who did not want to be named, said the report sounded like a ‘bad joke’. ‘What the hell do they expect us to talk about at a public meeting? The price of tea in China or how much a pint of milk costs?’ he said.

    • Post-Underwear-Bomber Airport Security

      The problem with all these measures is that they’re only effective if we guess the plot correctly. Defending against a particular tactic or target makes sense if tactics and targets are few. But there are hundreds of tactics and millions of targets, so all these measures will do is force the terrorists to make a minor modification to their plot.

    • The Skies Are as Friendly as Ever: 9/11, Al Qaeda Obscure Statistics on Airline Safety

      Last week, I wrote an article that detailed just how exceedingly rare terrorist incidents aboard commercial airlines are. What I didn’t do is to compare the current situation to that of previous eras. Fortunately, there is quite a lot of data on this subject, particularly from the matter-of-factly named website PlaneCrashInfo.com. From their database, I compiled the number of passenger fatalities resulting in each decade from three types of incidents: sabotage (i.e. bombings), hijackings, and pilot shootings (which are much rarer than the other two types; just three in the database). Collectively, I term these Violent Passenger Incidents or VPIs; they are the things we might hope to prevent via tighter airport security.

      In the 2000s, a total of 469 passengers (including crew and terrorists) were killed worldwide as the result of Violent Passenger Incidents, 265 of which were on 9/11 itself. No fatal incidents have occurred since nearly simultaneous bombings of two Russian aircraft on 8/24/2004; this makes for the longest streak without a fatal incident since World War II. The overall death toll during the 2000s is about the same as it was during the 1960s, and substantially less than in the 1970s and 1980s, when violent incidents peaked. The worst individual years were 1985, 1988 and 1989, in that order; 2001 ranks fourth.

    • Fix Airport Security

      Can you spot a terrorist?

      You’ve probably already tried it.

    • Sarko gets crypto mobe after BlackBerry ban

      Nicolas Sarkozy and 20,000 of his French government lieutenants will be equipped with specially-commissioned encrypted smartphones, following fears over the security of BlackBerries.

  • Finance

    • The Problem with the Revolving Door – It Brought Us Too-Big-To-Fail

      Bailouts and political connections go hand in hand according to a just released academic study. The study, which was conducted by the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan researchers, shows concretely that lobbying, campaign contributions, and the finance/federal government revolving door has helped the most damaging banks despite the dangers they pose to our economy.

    • Bernanke: Wrong Speech, Wrong Nominee

      Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, gave a speech this week that made headlines and raised eyebrows: “Lax Oversight Caused the Crisis, Bernanke Says.” Finally, many thought, the Fed Chairman would fess up to his role in the crisis! Alas, 98 percent of the speech is dedicated to justifying what the Fed did right over the last decade, and the “lax oversight” apparently had more to do with other agencies charged with regulating mortgages and underwriting practices, not his own.

  • PR/AstroTurf

    • “The President Won’t Say the Word ‘Terrorist,’” and Other Right-Wing Spin

      What is Cheney saying about this whole myth that President Obama won’t say the word “terrorism” Well, his speech writers helped kick off this little myth with a speech more cleverly worded than his minions can mimic on the talk shows, but the gist is the same. But-for the purpose of proving my point on the origin of the echo chamber, I would not quote this criminal at all; his line was that the president “seems to think if he gets rid of the words, ‘war on terror,’ we won’t be at war.”

    • Olbermann taunts GOP by using the word ‘terror’ 27 times

      A GOP lawmaker suggested that President Barack Obama could improve his response to security threats by using the word terrorism more often. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann took the congressman’s suggestion Wednesday and used the word terror 27 times in a single paragraph to show how Republicans exploiting it as a “brand name” are “doing the terror work of terrorists.”

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • It’s official: Blogging is a dangerous business

      On the journalistic front, the raw figures speak for themselves: in 2009, 76 were killed (vs. 60 in 2008), 33 were kidnapped, 573 were arrested and 1456 physically assaulted. The most dangerous places to be a journalist were war zones and disputed elections.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Nirvana’s Bassist: I Don’t Understand Having ISPs Regulate Copyright Files, But I Support Bono’s Position Anyway

      It’s one thing to speak from a position of ignorance, but admitting it and still then taking a strong position? That’s something special. U2′s Bono kicked off quite a firestorm by insisting that having ISPs monitor everything was a good way to deal with unauthorized file sharing online, citing China’s success with internet censorship (failing to realized that it hasn’t been that successful in reality). This resulted in widespread criticism of Bono and it appears that Nirvana’s bass player, Krist Novoselic, has stepped up to defend Bono (found via Karl Bode).

    • French Government Urged to Tax Online Ad Revenue

      A report commissioned by the French Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand urges the introduction of a tax on online advertising such as that carried by Google, which would be used to pay the creators of artistic and other works who lose out to online piracy.

    • France floats Google music-and-movie tax

      A new proposal to tax internet advertising revenue was among the recommendations offered by the government-appointed panel. Money raised would finance the availability of cultural material online and fund the protection of artists losing out to piracy.


      Zelnick’s recommendations follow the French government’s efforts to pass its controversial “three strikes” law that would disconnect internet users repeatedly accused of illegal downloading. His reports also taps into fears of the growing influence of major internet companies.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Margaret Aranyosi, Executive Director of KITE, Inc. 003 (2004)

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

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: January 7th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

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

Microsoft Denounced Again by Former Employee for Not Paying Washington Tax; Bill Gates Increases Washington (DC) Influence

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Fraud, Microsoft at 12:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft and Bill Gates are still avoiding the payment of tax which everyone else in Washington is paying; new insights into Microsoft’s partial control of national policies

MR. Reifman, a former Microsoft employee who has been pointing out Microsoft’s massive tax dodge [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], argues that Microsoft owes Washington over a billion dollars in tax money*. Bill Gates too has managed to dodge Washington taxes by putting his money inside a tax-exempt investment shell.

These people are screwing the taxpayers of the United States and Reifman is not shy to once again denounce his old bosses and call for federal action against them.

In other words, while Washington cities and state agencies think they are buying local, they’re actually purchasing software through a scheme designed to provide cover for Microsoft to evade the state’s B & O Royalty Tax.

Over the past twelve years, Microsoft has avoided paying an estimated $1.24 billion in taxes, interest and penalties on its software licensing revenue. Washington State’s current projected budget deficit is $2.6 billion.

Sadly, Microsoft has so much political power that it is likely to keep the law “fixed” such that it can carry on paying next to 0% in tax.

Using Gates’ investments vehicle, the influence in the United States government is increasing further. We have mentioned Rajiv Shah in the following recent posts. He is also gaining influence in the government now.

Shah has this new profile of him at the National Journal. It shows his very strong ties to the interests of Microsoft’s Gates.

David Lane, who now leads the anti-poverty campaign ONE, was opening the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Washington office in 2001 when he discovered Shah. Shah had an M.D. and master’s degree in economics and had put in stints as a health care policy adviser to Al Gore’s presidential campaign and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D). But he had almost no connections to development.

Lane hired the 28-year-old, despite the puzzlement of some executives back in Seattle, because he was a “smart guy who understood economics.” It didn’t take long for the foundation to realize Shah’s potential and spirit him away to the West Coast. “It went from, ‘Who’s this Raj Shah?’ to ‘Get me that Raj Shah,’” Lane said.

Not only Microsoft has enormous influence over/inside the government. Last week we gave the Copyright Cartel as an example.

It is encouraging to see that some people — including Microsoft veterans — are beginning to speak up about such issues. Some of this is unprecedented although one former manager from Microsoft also helped expose financial fraud inside the company [1, 2, 3].
* Microsoft has similar schemes going on outside the United States. In Europe, for instance, the tax haven is located in Ireland [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

“On the SVG List, a Couple of People [Are] Leery of Microsoft.”

Posted in Fraud, Microsoft, Patents, Standard at 11:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The Internet? We are not interested in it.”

Bill Gates, 1993

Summary: Microsoft’s entrance into a panel that it has battled against for about a decade leads to great skepticism and worry among those who paid attention to Microsoft’s behaviour

MICROSOFT boosters and several others [1, 2, 3, 4] seem to have taken notice of the news about SVG, but not much is being said about Microsoft’s long- and short-term history of corrupting standards bodies such as ISO almost as a matter of strategy/policy. Microsoft managers have expressed their reluctance to help form standards and The Source writes about this very important fact:

The primary point of interest to me in this is the idea of Microsoft joining a Working Group for a technology that it has been pointedly ignoring for 11 years, and for which Microsoft can boast an industry leading 0.00% support for in its latest and greatest browser.

What exactly is Microsoft going to contribute here? What deep pool of SVG experience and credibility gets Microsoft a seat at the table?


In any case, now the W3C will probably be burning calories proving Microsoft hasn’t corrupted the W3C ISO-OOXML style.

”On the SVG list,” told us a reader who follows it, “a couple of people [are] leery [sic] of MS.“ The creator of the World Wide Web, who is an opponent of software patents by the way, slammed Microsoft for its attitude towards SVG. That was about a year ago.

Tim Berners-Lee

Image from Wikimedia

Microsoft’s Kevin Turner Apparently Still in Charge of Anti-GNU/Linux Strategies

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Kevin Turner seems to be closely involved in Microsoft’s attempt to derail migrations to GNU/Linux (using outright lies and subversive tactics that break competition rules)

MICROSOFT’S attempt to bribe users away from GNU/Linux were mentioned here very recently due to a new Microsoft job ad [1, 2]. It looks like EDGI and even the Microsoft boosters talked about it (but only after it had been exposed, possibly as means of “damage control”/spin).

The job ad says: “If you’re looking for a new role where you’ll focus on one of the biggest issues that is top of mind for KT and Steve B…”

“Turner lied about GNU/Linux market share (for a verifiable fact) and other figures of market share (he was personally blasted by IBM for it).”Those “biggest issues” are GNU/Linux and Free software, not Apple of course (the hype company). Microsoft has made that clear many times over the years. “Steve B” is obviously Steve Ballmer, but “Who is ‘KT’” was the question someone has just asked me. That would probably be Kevin Turner. We have good record of his anti-GNU/Linux activities.

Here is our more comprehensive post about Kevin Turner's acts against GNU/Linux and Free software, not just the fact that he's getting rid of Microsoft shares.

Turner lied about GNU/Linux market share (for a verifiable fact) as well as other figures of market share (he was personally blasted by IBM for it*). He is being quoted rather blindly by the Microsoft crowd, which constantly belittles the market share of GNU/Linux on the desktop.

Change is brewing in Italy right now, as we pointed out yesterday. The original (seminal) report is probably this one from Reuters, but for future record, here is a more complete list of news articles on the subject:

Those who buy a computer in most countries with Windows and do not accept the terms of licensing have to pay for the unused license(s). The procedure is complicated and inconsistent. In Italy, a group forming a collective complaint seeks to bring order to this chaos.

Microsoft is still a vehemently anti-GNU/Linux company. Those who deny it are simply not paying attention (or pay too much of their attention to Microsoft PR).
* In IBM’s complaints too, Ballmer is listed alongside Turner as a perpetrator, which is why legal action ought to be taken.

Links 7/1/2010: GNU/Linux Gains Among Key OEMs

Posted in News Roundup at 8:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Something Seriously Missing In Avatar Movie Reviews

    Where are the accolades for Linux?

    A review of the company that made the Linux computer graphics happen, known as WETA Digital (Wellington, New Zealand, a Peter Jackson spin off company), is notoriously absent from the articles.

    The underlying operating system, Linux RHEL (hundreds of HP blade servers running as Linux cluster) is also utterly absent from even the more technical news sources.

  • Podcast Season 1 Episode 25

    In this episode: Google releases the Nexus One and Mark Shuttleworth has announced he’s going to relinquish control of Canonical. Freescale unveils a Linux touch tablet and we ask whether 2010 could really, honestly, be the year of Linux on the desktop.

  • Monet

    This is the Monet Frame-puter booting Ubuntu 9.10

  • Desktop

    • 2010: Deluge of ARMed PCs

      If you can do all you want and be all you can be and have the battery last all day using ARM and GNU/Linux, is there really any need to prop up the monopoly any longer? This could be an excellent year, again.

      I have to wonder at the price of this particular gadget, though. How can Lenovo justify a premium price for the world’s least expensive processor and OS??? It could be the first-to-market price bulge. That could make sense, but why did they miss the Christmas season? Was the product just not ready on time or the deals not made? Perhaps folks who value mobile phones will pay a price for this. I know some people pay many hundreds of dollars for phones that are not this smart. I expect later devices will share the upswell of ARM and eventually compete by lowering prices. It’s all good.

    • Netbook Speculation: Lenovo, Dell, HP and Linux

      The Lenovo Skylight is looking to do two things: Be your constant companion and be always on. Lenovo has put their own custom version of Linux on it, along with their own custom GUI. The experience is built to provide seamless shuffling between videos, web pages, multimedia, and work space. No one has gotten their hands on it yet, but after CES 2010, I’m sure there will be a considerable buzz whether this new gadget is worthy. It’s an interesting offering from Lenovo, who’s been trying to differentiate themselves from the rest of the computer manufacturing masses. If successful, it could mean big things for their custom OS and their new product. Will it be a Lenovo-only distro, or will they unleash it on the masses? More on this latter…

      Dell is still shipping their Mini 10V’s with Ubuntu Linux, and that’s good news for the Linux world. Since netbook hardware can be hit-or-miss with big name Linux distros, it’s nice to see Dell officially supporting the product. Although the reception to the Ubuntu Netbook Remix has so-so, it’s still a move in Linux direction.

      The new HP Mini 210 is working on the Windows platform still, and aims to provide an easy to use experience. But for some reason HP has abandoned the Linux model. Once upon a time, they had a fancy GUI for their Linux distro, but it never went anywhere. So now HP is sticking with what they know. Will the success of Windows 7 differentiate themselves?

    • Dell Has Everything To Beat Apple

      There are two possibilities, either you create a door for yourself, or if you see a door, then just open it and walk in. We will talk about the door thing later, first tell me: what do you use for your computing? Did I hear Microsoft Windows? GNU/Linux? Some might be using Apple Mac as well.

      Windows is passe nobody seems to be talking about it any more. Except for Microsoft, and even they may shy away if you say something that sounds similar to ‘Vista’. Now, the rage is Mac and GNU/Linux.

      Apple Mac has increased its share in the market post Vista release. The market was there and Vista disappointed people. Windows 7 is nothing, but Microsoft’s re-polished Vista promises. GNU/Linux is fighting but, it has more yards to cover.

    • Freescale’s Linux smartbook aims to take bite out of Apple

      Apple’s long-trailed tablet computer had better be good. Semiconductor maker Freescale will this week announce the outline of a cheap rival device it hopes will be adopted by computer makers to boost its in-house chip technology.

      The concept is not something people will be able to buy immediately, but will be shown in the form of a reference design, a sort of blueprint for other companies to adopt as they see fit. But it appears to have been thought through and there is plenty in it to worry Apple as it ponders marketing for its own tablet system, rumoured to cost as much as $1,000 a pop.

    • I Just Want Something to Happen When I Click

      While I enjoy mocking Microsoft’s Jabba-ware, Linux is an offender as well. Too many Linux devs are all jazzed about GUIs and flashy junk, and ignoring or even trying to do away with the CLI. Dear ones, when your GUIs are as fast and efficient as the CLI, then I will quit crabbing at you. Where ever did you get the idea that I want to waste my life wading through poorly-organized menus, and waiting for lardy slow-ware to actually do something when I click, when I can accomplish the same task in one second on the command line?

      So there is my computing wish for the new decade: I want something to happen when I click.

    • Mandriva 2010.0 on HP mini 110

      No problem to install Mandriva 2010.0 on this new (for me !) HP mini 110. However, at reboot time, blocked on udev.

      I found a similar bug report for another system that gave me the hint: Add ssb.blacklist=1 at boot prompt. And indeed it did the trick ;-)

    • Resetting Priorities

      Microsoft continues to sell consumers an operating system that needs anti-virus protection.

      It’s not like they keep it a secret: if you install Windows 7, there’s three things splashed up on the screen for users towards the end of the process: configure the OS, activate the OS, and get anti-virus software.

      To me, there’s something fundamentally wrong with knowingly send out a piece of software that’s vulnerable–so vulnerable that you have to tell users your product is unsafe until they get third-party protection.


      With the wave of new Linux-based smartbooks, netbooks, and phones hitting the market, there are still critics who complain about an alleged lack of features in Linux. Even if this notion were accurate, and I am very sure it’s not, let me put the question to them: why would you rather have the latest gadget installed on your system as opposed to personal data security?

      As a group, computer and electronics users need to reset their priorities. It’s not about the nifty toys and Easter eggs you can find in Windows. It’s about what personal information malicious users can find in your Windows.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • KDM and Plasma: A future.

        I’d like to talk about KDM and Plasma combining forces. Well, since I always need to be coding something, regardless of whether or not I have any free-time, I have (begun to plan out and create(began today), a Plasma frontend for our login manager, kdm. Before anyone begins shaking their fists in the air and such, I must stress this…The Plasma frontend will be *optional*. So if you dislike Plasma *that* much for some reason or are close-minded (perhaps mutually inclusive?): the regular, currently used frontend can be used.

      • Linux on Netbooks at the Netbook World Summit in Paris

        Industry Linux overview by Linux experts Aaron J. Seigo, Community leader at the KDE Foundation and Arnaud Laprévote, CTO Chief Technology Officer at Mandriva Linux. They analyse the influence of Linux on the Laptop industry with the advent of the Netbooks.

      • Embed the Konsole (Terminal) to the Desktop in KDE 4.3

        - Alt+F3 will bring up the menu for right clicking on the title bar of the Konsole’s window.

        - Right clicking on the Desktop area where the Konsole lies will not present the Desktop menu but the menu for right clicking in the terminal.

        - An option to hide the Konsole Window when hitting Alt+Tab doesn’t seem to exist. If you have a workaround on this do tell.

      • Mix it up

        Hot on the heels of my Phonon PulseAudio integration, here is another set of patches for kdemultimedia that adds PulseAudio support to KMix \o/

      • Qt Graphics and Performance – OpenGL

        Here’s the next instalment of the graphics performance blog series. We’ll begin by looking at some background about how OpenGL and QPainter work. We’ll then dive into how the two are married together in OpenGL 2 Paint Engine and finish off with some advice about how to get the best out of the engine. Enjoy!

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME got an Amazing Christmas Present!

        Just in time for the holidays, GNOME received an awesome surprise!

        While many people probably listed computers in their letter to Santa, I bet not many of them got one like this.

      • GNOME and FSF highlight women in free software

        GNOME’s Summer outreach program and FSF’s LibrePlanet conference highlight women’s participation in free software

        Today, the FSF announced the dates for the 2010 LibrePlanet event, a conference for the free software community that expresses a vision for solidarity amongst developers, activists and users who are working towards the shared goal of a fully free software world–a world without reliance on proprietary software.

      • InformationWeek on RMS

        Compare this gentleman’s reflection and consideration of RMS’ points with the enthusiastic ignorance we saw earlier on the very same point.

        Examples like this are exactly why I have come to the conclusion that the noisy people that disagree with RMS (and, by extension, the “Free Software” concept) fall into one of two camps: ignorant or malicious.

      • 5 Fresh Gnome GTK Themes To Start 2010 With A New Look
  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Why is IBM Promoting Ubuntu at the Young Scientist Exhibition

        A few people have been asking why IBM is promoting Ubuntu at the Young Scientist Exhibition when it is not an IBM product. In fact there are a number of good reasons:

        1. IBM supports the concept of freedom and we would hate to think that students (or anyone) would feel locked in to using a particular brand of proprietary software just because it came with the PC when they bought it. Click here to view Bob Stutor explain in detail why IBM cares about software freedom.

        2. Ubuntu provides an excellent quality stable desktop operating system for free, so we don’t want to see people wasting valuable money on purchasing licenses for software when they don’t have to

        3. We think that Ubuntu is cool and we think that the students attending the exhibition will agree when they see for themselves.

        4. IBM employees use Ubuntu internally for their work and IBM also partners with a Canonical and Verde to provide the Ubuntu based IBM Client for Smart Work.

      • Simplified Main Inclusion Request process

        after some discussion in the MIR team and on ubuntu-devel@ [1], we simplified the Main Inclusion Request process to require much less bureaucracy.

        What we really want is reporters to go through the checklist and discuss the violations of the MIR requirement standards in the bug report with the MIR team, not write lengthy wiki pages with boilerplate text (especially not for trivial packages like perl bindings).

      • Linux Mint 8 review

        One of the nicest features of Pardus is the Kaptan application. What Kaptan is is a first-time, welcome application that gives a user the opportunity to customize a fresh installation of the distro. It can also be called up at any time after installation. mintWelcome, Linux Mint’s welcome application, is an attempt at that, but it does not offer the same features that you’ll find on Kaptan. In addition to the list of items on mintWelcome, here are three that I’ll love to see added:

        * Customize your desktop
        * Enable Network Time Protocol
        * Enable Gufw, the graphical firewall manager

  • Devices/Embedded

    • PND-on-a-chip gets Android support

      Broadcom announced that it has ported Android and Windows CE to a ARM-based CPU described as “a PND [personal navigation device] on a chip.” The BCM4760 includes a GPS receiver and baseband, an ARM11 processor, a touchscreen controller, and an OpenGL ES 1.1/OpenVG 2.0-compliant graphics processor, the company says.

    • HD media hub design runs Android, Linux

      ZiiLabs announced an HD-ready media hub reference design incorporating its 1GHZ, ARM Cortex-A8-based ZMS-08 system-on-chip (SoC). The Zii SiVo Digital Home Platform provides 1080p Blu-ray quality HDTV and 3D graphics UI for low-power connected home devices, and offers a development kit for Android or ZiiLabs’ Plaszma Linux stack.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Systems administration inexperience a reality at Open Source Lab

    The Oregon State University Open Source Lab’s data center hosts some of the Linux community’s heaviest hitting projects including the Linux Master Kernel and the Linux Foundation. It is also the primary location for the Apache Software Foundation and Drupal, open source content management software. The lab, aka OSUOSL, also hosted the core infrastructure for Mozilla’s Firefox project, and currently host’s six of Google’s servers.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox 3.6 finally hits the release candidate phase

      It’s been a long time coming but Mozilla has finally released Firefox 3.6 RC1. The first build is now ready to download from Mozilla’s FTP servers and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

    • Flock 2.5.6 addresses security issues

      The Flock developers have released version 2.5.6 of their social web browser based on Firefox 3, addressing several security issues. Flock is a popular cross-platform browser that automatically manages updates and media from several popular social services, including MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Digg, YouTube and Twitter.

  • Databases

    • Why I will not sign the MySQL petition

      If you sell something, you don’t own it any longer. MySQL is now SUNs business. And if SUN decides to sell themselves to Oracle – it is their business. If the MySQL founders and fanboys don’t like this, they simply shouldn’t have sold MySQL to SUN in the first instance.

    • Monty Widenius wants another billion dollars, should we help him?

      What does “Help MySQL” advocate, in a nutshell? It claims that if Oracle were to merge with Sun, MySQL customers would be trapped in a market that would be pretty much controlled and captured by Oracle, both through its existing propietary databases offerings and the acquisition of MySQL. Another issue explained on the web site is that the inherent free and open source nature of MySQL will not be enough to grant effective freedoms to the market since Oracle would be the sole copyright owner of the code and trademarks.

    • MySQL: decision time is nigh

      Is Oracle keen on MySQL because of the market control? Or is it because Oracle sees MySQL as a means to possibly defeat Microsoft’s ambitions in the database market, where its SQL Server product is used for similar purposes as MySQL?

      The only person I’ve noticed who mentioned this is Eben Moglen , a well-known legal figure in free software circles.

      But anyone who knows anything about the history of the computer industry is aware of the intense animosity between Oracle supremo Larry Ellison and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

      At the level at which these men operate, money isn’t a consideration. Power is, rubbing one’s competitor’s face in the mud is, especially when there is past animosity. Here is just one example of how much Ellison dislikes Microsoft.


  • And the Sign of the Beast is 6 (Gbps that is)

    The two primary interface standards for storage devices are SATA (Serial Advanced Technology Attachment) and SAS (Serial Attached SCSI). Both have been around for a number of years, SATA first appearing in 2003 and SAS appearing in 2004. Also, both of them have similar throughput performance currently at 3 Gbps (SATA started at 1.5 Gbps while SAS started at 3.0 Gbps). However, lately both protocols had been showing their age, particularly with the advent of SSD (Solid State Drives). However, the committees that oversee the protocols have not been idle and have created the next generation for each protocol – 6 Gbps.

  • Security

    • Foreign footballers to carry ID cards

      Foreign footballers face having to carry an identity card to prove who they are, it was announced today.

      Professionals from outside the EU playing in the UK will have to apply for a card when they renew their visas, the Home Office said.

  • Finance

    • Your request is being processed…

      According to The New York Times, Goldman Sachs has set aside at least $16.7 billion for employee compensation in 2009, or an average of about $700,000. Goldman’s bonuses are on track to break the record they set in 2007. The firm has decided their top 30 executives will receive bonuses in long-term stock, rather than cash.

      In addition to the $10 billion that Goldman received in Treasury-issued TARP funds, the firm got $13 billion from the government’s bailout of AIG and $22 billion worth of government guarantees on its debt.

  • PR/AstroTurf

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Copyright – Why it is Important to Me

      Because of all of the above, I have an enormously strong interest in copyright. I’ve been reading everything I could get my hands on, and based on what I’ve seen, the WIPO Internet Treaties, which are supposedly about artists rights, are instead one of the worst attacks on artists ever written.

      Ratification of these treaties, will damage Canadian artists, will damage Canadian culture, and will destroy the very things that the treaties purport to support.

      The recent Canadian legislation which ‘died on the order paper’ was a disaster. It too, in it’s attempts to enact the flawed WIPO Internet treaties, would have damaged artists badly.

    • Is Inline Linking To An Image Copyright Infringement?

      I thought the post might be one of those blog posts that reminds us how frequently everyone “technically” infringes on copyright incidentally and how this demonstrates how screwed up copyright law is. But, no, instead, this appears to be a serious “warning” claiming that most bloggers are risking the potential of $150,000 fines by using images they find online.

    • Game Marketer Insists That Every Downloaded Copy Of Modern Warfare 2 Is Stolen By Immoral Thieves

      Everiss simply hated the fact that Evony — the company trying to sue him — came up with a business model that involves exactly the sort of thing we like: giving stuff away for free, and coming up with more advanced reasons to buy. That still doesn’t excuse the libel claim, but Everiss does seem to have a bit of trouble understanding basic economics of digital goods. A whole bunch of you have sent in his recent rant about how many people “stole” Modern Warfare 2. It’s the sort of thing we had thought went out of style years ago, when people realized that every download wasn’t a lost sale, and there were lots of reasons that people might download other than a lack of “moral fiber.”

    • UFC Set To Beat Up Internet Pirates, RIAA-Style

      In December 2009, Ultimate Fighting Championship CEO Lorenzo Fertitta testified at a hearing of the US House Judiciary Committee, claiming that the UFC is losing millions to online piracy. Now, in an RIAA-style escalation, the company says it will not only start suing sites, but also individual downloaders.

    • A Case That Has It All: Kim Kardashian, Twitter, Libel, Cookie Diets… And The New FTC Sponsorship Rules

      Oh boy. Here’s a fun one. You had to expect that there would be more defamation lawsuits about Twitter following the first one involving Courtney Love, but this one is quite impressive, considering of all the twists and turns that must be followed. It involves some company promoting something called “The Cookie Diet” (which appears to be exactly what you would think) suing Kim Kardashian for libel. If you don’t keep up with pop culture, Kim Kardashian is one of those people famous for being famous. The details of the lawsuit, though, are somewhat complex, and it’s difficult to figure out who to side with in this trainwreck in progress (and, yes, it seems pretty likely that the whole thing is a publicity stunt for all involved, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth covering).

    • Billboard Model Angelyne Sues “Notorious” Filmmakers For Copyright Infringement

      Angelyne claims that the biopic, about the life of the late hip-hop star Notorious B.I.G., featured a 12-second shot of one of Angelyne’s billboards without her prior consent or authorization.

    • Setback For ‘Net Lyric Site

      The National Music Publishers’ Association said Tuesday that it has won its latest copyright infringement battle against the operator of an illegal free-lyric Web site.

    • I wasn’t supposed to take this picture

      Here’s the backdrop: Last week I was in Toronto for the holidays, visiting family and friends, and I decided to take my four-year-old son Gabriel and two-year-old son Zev to the Art Gallery of Ontario to see works by the Group of Seven. Zev was pretty entranced by the Lawren Harris paintings — that’s him above, checking out one of Harris’ works. (I didn’t note the name of that painting; does anyone know?)


      Ah well. My line of logic here is, I admit, rather loose and rambling. Jamie’s video-game paintings do not actually impinge on any copyright from earlier paintings; they’re using the style of a former generation of artists, not their specific content. Still, the whole thing made me think a lot about the way art builds on art — and how copyright law can actually get in the way of art appreciation.

    • ACTA vs WIPO

      The strange aspect of ACTA is that we don’t have public access to the shared documents. But is access to the drafts really necessary?

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Margaret Aranyosi, Executive Director of KITE, Inc. 002 (2004)

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

Novell is Still Fishing for Software Patents, Microsoft and Apple Do Patent Evils

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, OpenOffice, SUN at 5:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The proprietary bunch is still pursuing software patents, even some of those types which are considered highly controversial

IT IS NOT exactly news that Novell fancies software patents. It keeps applying for more of them and here is the latest addition based on the news:

System and method for determining a nearest-network resource using GPS coordinates , patent No. 7,643,835, invented by Kurt Nosack of Payson, Christopher Jean Seiler of Provo, and Ty Ellis of Elk Ridge, assigned to Novell, Inc. of Provo.

A long time ago we showed that Novell’s Meeks even obtains software patents from the UK, probably covering an area of OpenOffice.org and giving Novell a monopoly on it. This may be relevant now that several people — including Dana Blankenhorn — speak about Meeks’ assertions regarding copyright.

Yesterday’s piece on open source buy-outs drew many strong reactions, but the best may have been a link to a piece Michael Meeks has posted to GNOME on copyright assignment.


If you are writing as an employee of a corporate sponsor, whether that’s Novell or ZDNet, this assignment is not an issue. The rights to your work will follow the Golden Rule — he who has the gold makes the rules.

Doesn’t Meeks get paid by Novell for it? Should Sun allow Microsoft’s partner own part of its code that competes against Microsoft’s #1 cash cow? Here is Microsoft patenting yet another antifeature. From The Register we learn:

Microsoft has applied for a US patent that the company hopes will close a loophole when it comes to licensing software to third parties.

Redmond put forward its request to patent what it has dubbed the “extensible agent-based license structure” on 25 June 2008. The USPTO published the firm’s application, which is credited to inventors Sanjay Garg, Scott Kurtzeborn, Qi Zhong and Gordon Hardy – working on behalf of MS – on 31 December 2009.

The software giant noted in its application that its current licensing systems, including the controversial product activation technology it uses, come with a restrictive set of licensing schemes when the firm’s software is released.

Watch what Apple is doing:

Apple Blocks Google App From iPhone While Trying To Patent The Same Invention?


What makes this story more interesting is the fact that Apple barred Google Lattitude from the iPhone app store. Of course, Apple has a history of barring competitive apps, but that’s also brought about regulatory scrutiny from the federal government over whether or not Apple is abusing its market position.

Regarding intellectual monopolies in general, here is what Against Monopoly had to say yesterday:

Granting property rights in scarce resources, but not in ideas, is precisely what is needed to permit successful action as well as societal progress and prosperity.

Especially when it comes to patents, the limitations are made significant enough to interfere with free thinking. How can anyone defend software patents unless it’s done to preserve a monopoly or exploit a wasteful system (applicable to patent lawyers/trolls in particular)? Who is this system actually for?

“Small enterprises generally adopt a rather negative position towards the current increasing granting of patents for software and algorithms because they fear that these will hamper or eventually even impede their work (more than 85%).” —German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Study of the Innovation Performance of German Software Companies, 2006, p. 86 [PDF]

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