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01.10.10

Links 10/1/2010: Wipro Embraces Mobile Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 9:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • CAOS Theory Podcast 2010.01.08

    Topics for this podcast:

    *Google and the meaning of open
    *Nexus One smartphone and impact
    *JetBrains sets mind, strategy on open source
    *Linux in 2010 and beyond

  • The Economic Case for Open Source Foundations

    Every soft­ware devel­op­ment firm today should ask which open source foun­da­tion to sup­port or, if nec­es­sary, to found. The ben­e­fits are clear: Done right, the firm can expect cost sav­ings, increased prof­its per sale, a higher num­ber of sales, and a larger addressable mar­ket. The ques­tion then becomes one of invest­ment: How much to invest and what return to expect. At present, we lack eco­nomic mod­els and deci­sion processes to answer these questions.

  • Mozilla

    • Jetpack and making the UI world adopt HTML5

      I have many things to say about Jetpack. I like its power, I dislike its syntax. I _really_ dislike its syntax. I think it totally misses its main goal, making extension authoring dead simple instead of recreating another programming elite. I also think the integration of XHTML elements inside a XUL-based UI raises strong UI homogeneity issues (because they don’t flex, align or pack like XUL elements) and could severely harm the UI coolness factor of the whole user interface.

    • Firefox shifting support from extensions to jetpacks

      Following a long discussion about Firefox Themes vs the new Persona technology, Mike Connor from the Firefox team explains on his blog why Firefox plans to migrate developers from the current theme and extension systems to personas and jetpacks. Since we are a Firefox extension, you might wonder How will this affect Firebug?

  • CMS

    • Acquia 2009 retrospective

      Yesterday I shared my 2009 retrospective on Drupal along with some predictions for 2010. Today, I want to reflect on Acquia’s 2009, as for obvious reasons, Acquia has been a big part of my life in 2009.

      [...]

      To deliver on the vision outlined in our roadmap, we had to raise more money — no small thing given the downturn in the economy. Instead of reserving cash, Tom and I went out and raised an additional $8 million dollars in Series B funding, bringing our total funding to date to $15 million USD.

  • Python

Leftovers

  • Notion Ink Adam stripped bare and our in-depth video hands-on

    You have to have a pretty special product to get two Engadget posts discussing your wares during the maelstrom of CES, but this Adam thing just won’t leave us alone with its Pixel Qi display, Tegra 2 innards and bona fide potential to blow the bloody doors off the homogeneous tablet market.

    [...]

    Speaking of the Qi, we consider it a glorious and definite step forward for displays. It looks gorgeous in both modes, and when the backlight is off you’re basically getting a monochromatic version of your normal display (check the gallery to see what we mean) which is both perfectly usable and the friendliest thing you can do to your battery. You can see the 1080p demo video below, with both modes showing you what you might expect from the screen while it was being washed by pretty strong Las Vegas sunlight. There’s also a patented 3 megapixel swivel camera (not pictured on this dev unit), which has other protected intellectual properties that we were not yet informed of, though augmented reality and educational uses were hinted at.

  • Cisco Acquired Most Start-Ups In Decade, But Oracle King In ‘09

    Cisco Systems Inc. is king of the “oughts,” at least when it comes to acquisitions of venture-backed companies.

  • Online Productivity Tools for the Small Business

    Small business owners may have more of a need than most to be able to access their chosen suite of productivity tools from more than one computer or platform. As a business or startup owner you may have occasion to bring your work home with you, or require frequent access to your to-do lists, notes and documents on the go.

  • Security

    • US authorites divert Air France flight carrying ‘no-fly’ journalist to Mexico

      Hernando Calvo Ospina, who works for Le Monde Diplomatique and has written on revolutionary movements in Cuba and Colombia , figured on the US authorities’ “no-fly list”.

      Air France said the April 18 flight was forced to divert to the French Caribbean island of Martinique before continuing its journey and that it might ask the US Transportation Security Administration for compensation.

    • Mother threatens suit after student is suspended over peppermint oil

      The mother of a 10-year-old girl suspended for bringing peppermint oil to her Commack, N.Y., school Monday says she is considering legal action if school officials don’t apologize and revoke her daughter’s suspension.

    • Former guards with US security firm charged in Afghanistan deaths

      Two former guards with the security company Blackwater have been charged in the US with the murder of Afghan civilians in a case likely to reinforce accusations that the firm ran a rogue militia that showed a reckless disregard for human life.

  • Environment

    • Plans for British ‘GM food revolution’ come under fire

      The vision of hi-tech British farming outlined this week by the UK government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir John Beddington, has been dismissed as unnecessary and potentially damaging by environmental groups and organic farmers.

    • Activists claim Japanese whalers rammed anti-whaling boat

      Anti-whaling activists today accused Japanese whalers of ramming and sinking one of their boats as international tension over Japan’s annual “scientific” culls in Antarctic waters grew.

      Japanese fisheries officials said the Ady Gil, a high-speed boat belonging to the Sea Shepherd conservation group, had been hit accidentally as it attempted to confront the Shonan Maru No 2, a whaling vessel.

  • Finance

    • Always the same face of the same coin

      I challenge anyone to change my mind and to make me believe that they earn this ROE because they are the brightest of the brightest… The brightest of the brightest have failed miserably through out history. Never in human kind bright minds managed to keep such an impressive track record and if they are so good, again I doubt it, maybe we should dismantle Goldman anyway because these brilliant minds could be doing much more productive activities for makind.

    • Bonus time as banks pay out £40bn

      The world’s biggest investment banks are expected to pay out more than $65bn (£40bn) in salaries and bonuses in the next two weeks, reinforcing the view that it is business as usual on Wall Street and in the City barely a year since the taxpayer bailout of the banking system.

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Google News Stops Hosting New AP Content

      In a sign that Google’s negotiations with the Associated Press over a new licensing contract may have reached a standstill, new AP articles are no longer being hosted in Google (NSDQ: GOOG) News; Search Engine Land‘s Danny Sullivan, who first reported the development, says that new AP articles haven’t been hosted on the site since Dec. 24. Google isn’t providing an explanation. The company’s full statement: “We have a licensing agreement with the Associated Press that permits us to host its content on Google properties such as Google News. Some of that content is still available today. At the moment we’re not adding new hosted content from the AP.”

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Dwayne Bailey, Founder and Managing Director of Translate.org.za 03 (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 10th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:56 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.

Estimation: 30% of IT Patent Lawsuits Come from Patent Trolls, Microsoft Continues to Evade Patent Law (i4i)

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 10:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Software patents have been nothing but trouble for innovation. We the software engineers know this, yet we actually have full-blown posters in our break-room showcasing the individual engineers who came up with something we were able to push through the USPTO. Individually, we pretty much all consider the software-patent showcase poster to be a colossal joke.” —Kelledin, PLI: State Street Overruled… PERIOD

Summary: Patent trolling and the scale of impact shown; Microsoft won’t let go in the i4i case; a call for Europeans to fight against software patents by signing a petition

“New online site has found that 30 percent of all IT suits are initiated by patent trolls,” says President of the FFII, who points to this article from David Worthington (the man who had met Microsoft before spinning for them [1, 2].

David Worthington over at Technologizer wrote today, he got a sneak peak at the new system, and the results are telling. In the post, Lemley tells Worthington that his research using the new online site has found that 30 percent of all IT suits are initiated by patent trolls.

We mentioned Technologizer after Microsoft had bribed its owner with an expensive Vista 7 laptop whose return Microsoft did not require (some recipients confirmed that they kept the laptops). Anyway, evidence from Technologizer suggests that patent trolls are a real burden to the system. It proves that innovation is being hindered by it rather than promoted.

i4i Versus Microsoft

i4i is not a patent troll and its case against Microsoft we wrote about in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. Microsoft very deliberately infringed i4i’s patents and due to the company’s vanity we find that patents do not apply to Microsoft

Reuters indicates that Microsoft just won’t let i4i win this case, much as Updegrove predicted.

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) on Friday asked for a full panel of judges to review an appeals court decision upholding a $290 million jury verdict against it for infringing a patent held by a small Canadian company.

The world’s largest software company wants all 11 judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which handles many patent and trademark cases, to review the long-running case against Toronto-based i4i Ltd, in the hope of overturning the original judgment.

This was covered by the Canadian press, CNN, and BusinessWeek. This was also mentioned by the Microsoft booster Gavin Clarke and IDG’s Microsoft “watchers”.

Europe at Stake

The threat of software patents in Europe is increasing. Glyn Moody has just explained why that is and he links to this petition to stop software patents in Europe — a petition which our European readers are encouraged to sign (it takes just one minute, literally).

Particularly valuable is the page with links to dozens of studies demonstrating just how deletorious software patents have been, are and would be.

Parenthetically, UK’s showing compared to other nations is rather dismal at the moment, so you might want to fly the flag by adding your name. It’s a painless process that will take about 30 seconds of your time – a small price to pay for preventing the introduction of the kind of software patent insanity that is observed in the US.

Many people are aware of Microsoft’s lobby for software patents in Europe as well as other continents (ourselves and others — like FFII — are working to expose this). The TomTom incident and the recent attempt of OIN to foil sales of Microsoft patents to patent trolls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] are just part of a broader picture and we are hoping that others become aware that to Microsoft, GNU/Linux is no “spectator sport”. Last week evidence surfaced which shows that EDGI still exists [1, 2]. EDGI was exposed by a chain of internal E-mails which show how Microsoft reacts very selectively to prevent migrations to GNU/Linux in a lot of nations (the EU Commission considered this to be anti-competitive but didn’t do much to prevent it). Other leaked E-mails show that Microsoft summoned a "taskforce" to take GNU/Linux PCs off the shelves of Wal-Mart in 2006. There are over 9,000 other Comes vs Microsoft exhibits that could be mentioned.

We are letting readers know this because we are sometimes seeing people dismissed as “paranoid” if they suggest that Microsoft has something to do with slow adoption of GNU/Linux on the desktop (it’s not as slow as Microsoft tells). Setting information free is important for the goal of spreading the software, at least through education of people, vendors, and other decision-makers.

Microsoft is not the only nuisance when it comes to software patents. IBM is another and Google, which does not protest against the ACTA as it should, continues amassing software patents. Here is the latest example:

theodp writes “CNET reports that Google is ‘musing’ about placing ads in Street View. The search giant reportedly floated the idea in a presentation to marketing and ad agency types in Europe a few months back. So will virtual billboards be popping up in Google Street View? A Google rep said the company had no current plans to put ads in Street View, but you might want to take that with a grain of salt. On Thursday, the USPTO revealed that Google is seeking patent protection for Claiming Real Estate in Panoramic or 3D Mapping Environments for Advertising. From the patent application: ‘The street view display server can locate an ad image within the image database and overlay the region of interest with the associated ad image.’ Connect the dots, and it sure sounds like a plan, doesn’t it? Selling the Brooklyn Bridge is a pretty good scam — selling a view of it is even better!”

Signing of petitions against software patents is a necessary action in order to end the issue at its core (policies), as opposed to just targeting companies which lobby for these policies.

Novell Restructure Could Facilitate Buyout of Novell Division

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, SUN at 9:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Potential reason or consequence of Novell’s management exodus and restructuring process

THE very recent departure of Nat Friedman has led Heise (or “The H”) to thinking about last month's Novell turmoil, which left Novell resliced. Friedman was Novell’s Chief Technology and Strategy Officer for Open Source and maybe he knows something secret about things to come (Levy and Jaffe are also leaving).

About 6 months ago, Novell pondered selling parts of the company, according to published reports. We mentioned these in:

Now that Novell gets restructured, it might as well be separated into parts that can be rationally sold without conflicts (like Sun and MySQL conflicting with Oracle’s database business). This is just a guess, but assuming that Novell has not changed its mind and is still looking at similar options, Novell might no longer stay in one piece this year. Microsoft needn’t buy all of Novell, for example.

CIO UK opined just earlier this month that Novell will be sold, with a prediction that this will happen in 6 months.

Locked Out of Mono Blogs, by Silverlight

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 9:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Mono blogs that require Mono (and Moonlight) for their content to be viewed – is this the future?

THE Mono club probably enjoys a share of privacy because the outside world is not a fan of Mono (neither users nor developers). Critics of Mono will probably be further obstructed by blog content not accessible for those without Silverlight (or Mono and Moonlight). Check this one out for example. A page on “open source” says the visitor should “Install Microsoft Silverlight”.

Can the Mono proponents not realise that they turn the World Wide Web into the Microsoft Web? Have they learned nothing from ActiveX or even DirectX?

“DirectX only exists in order to keep new games from reaching your platform and to move graphics off your platform,” told us a reader last night. “The only way you can fight back is to support applications that use OpenGL.”

“Continue using strong, reliable, open source languages like Java, Python, C++ and abandon these ‘experiments’ with Mono.”
      –Anonymous reader
He continues: “Hmm. Now that puts into a very new light the maneuvers by the Mono crowd to remove the essential graphics tool, GIMP, out of the base distro for Ubuntu 10.04, Lucid Lynx. You have a push to inject defective, Microsoft-owned softare into the distro, and a push to remove working graphics from the distro. What’ll happen next? A push to inject a MS Mono-based, DirectX-using flop like MS Paint.Net?

“Put Gimp back into the distro. Continue using the standard OpenGL instead of lower quality, proprietary DirectX. Continue using strong, reliable, open source languages like Java, Python, C++ and abandon these ‘experiments’ with Mono.

“Jono’s experiment to allow Microsofters into the Ubuntu project may have been big hearted, but it was also foolish and ruins the usefulness of the finished product Ubuntu.”

Meanwhile, we also find that Novell asks customers to get “ready for Windows 7″ (Vista 7) and licences are being changed. Marcel Hilzinger reports:

License Change at Novell Adds Confusion

The recent mail from Novell titled “Upcoming maintenance requirement to access patches and service packs for select Novell products” only adds confusion for Linux customers. As it turns out, nothing much has changed.

Novell is probably a lost company as managers are fleeing and losses exceed $200,000,000 for the past year alone. Other GNU/Linux vendors, such as Canonical, should not be led to repeating Novell's mistake.

Microsoft Implicitly Acknowledges Failure in Consoles, Search, and Mobile

Posted in Finance, Hardware, Microsoft, Search at 8:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Except a few core products, Microsoft loses a fortune in many fronts and chances of revival seem slim

Microsoft Jack (Jack Schofield [1, 2, 3, 4]) indicates that there may be no new Xbox after Microsoft lost many billions of dollars in this business. “No need for a new one if the old ones are stacked by the palette, unsold in the aisles of the stores suckered into ordering them,” said one of our readers in an E-mail correspondence. Microsoft loves quoting US-only Xbox figures in order to pretend that it has achieved something.

Another reader of ours contradicted the many surveys in which only one country’s search habits are probed (a country with less than 5% of the world’s population and one where Microsoft is based). US-only surveys arrive from Microsoft partners such as Nielsen and comScore, which we wrote about in:

According to yet another set of data — gathered not just in the United States — Microsoft’s Bong [sic] search has only about 3% of the market. Microsoft admitted or at least acknowledged this some days ago at CES.

Theres many more articles on the subject. When all this is looked at together it maybe explains why Bing is only on 3% of share, although if you consider the “extra hits” Bing would have received from the “unfortunate bug” and consider that people would probably have tried Bing out of curiosity, it makes the 3% figure it has now even more dire (IMO)

But wait, there’s more.

At CES, Microsoft also verbally acknowledged the failure of Windows Mobile. Here it comes again, from IDG News Service:

Microsoft Admits to Mobile Mistakes, Remains Upbeat

This article mostly quotes Robbie Bach, a Microsoft president who is busy mocking Linux-powered phones at CES rather than focusing on his own product/s. It ought to be mentioned that Windows revenue is down 40%, so core products too are under siege while Microsoft is borrowing money.

“Client software felt the slump in PC sales, and was further harmed by the shift to netbooks; many of these run Linux, which helps Microsoft not at all.”

Ars Technica

“Microsoft, like much of the IT industry, was caught off-guard by the rapid rise of the netbook category, but moved quickly to offer a netbook-specific version of XP Home to stem the tide of Linux on netbooks. When one considers that getting some revenue is better than getting none, that was a wise move.”

CRN

“Search engines be da**ed, it’s the OS that generates money – if the world switches to linux, it will switch to OpenOffice too.”

Motley Fool (heavily Microsoft influenced)

“Microsoft can’t charge $80 or $100 when there’s Linux for free on netbooks,” Rosoff said. On regular PC sales, Microsoft’s profit margins are typically about 70 percent to 80 percent, he explained.”

Microsoft Press

Ford and Microsoft Distort “Open Source”

Posted in Audio/Video, Deception, Free/Libre Software, Marketing, Microsoft at 8:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The product known as “SYNC” is fraudulently described as “open source” in some more gullible circles

THIS is an unimportant subject that was mentioned a couple of years ago. Basically, Ford and Microsoft have this project called “SYNC”, which they wrongly describe as “open source” or “open-source” even though it’s proprietary and it comes from companies with a vicious, predatory history. They are faking and thus cheapening the term “open source”, which harms Open Source as a whole (Novell is doing that too).

Let is be stated that “SYNC” — like Zune — is Microsoft project for DRM-laden PMPs. There is no reason, for example, why Dana Blankenhorn (last mentioned a couple of days ago) should write about it under the headline “Open source in your car or an open source car”

Is the following the sole characteristic of “open source”?

The folks at Ford, which alone among America’s automakers avoided the hand of government during the Great Recession, are out with a release describing what has happened since they began the process of opening the Application Program Interface (API) of their SYNC program to outside developers last year.

Back in 2008 we published the post titled: “Microsoft Tries Casting “Open Source” as “Open APIs”

We addressed this subject again 2 months ago, under: “O’Reilly Does Not Know What Open Means (Let Alone Free)

We realise that “SYNC” sponsors FLOSS Weekly at the moment* — it’s a product which the host promotes to keep the show going, always without saying the “M” word (Microsoft). To his credit, he never really describes the thing as “open source” (because it’s not).
___
* Yes, it’s rather ironic that a show on FLOSS accepts sponsorship from proprietary software vendors that vilify FLOSS and promotes those proprietary software products. But still, it’s a good show.

Gates Investments in Education Criticised; Monsanto (Gates-Backed) Corruption Revisited

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft, Patents at 7:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Monsanto

Summary: The destination of Bill Gates funds and the impact of these funds explained in a language everyone can understand

IN PREVIOUS posts about the Gates Foundation, which is Gates’ private investment vehicle, we have attempted to provide many references about his role as minister of education — a role that he acquires through investments that in turn help him indoctrinate children to accept his points of view (on software, agriculture, patents, et cetera). Posts of interest may include:

To be fair, Gates is not the only party that acquires a role in the education system through funding. We have mentioned others before. They basically buy influence, but they perpetually find excuses and euphemisms to dress it up with. As Bill Gates famously said: “If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”

DissidentVoice.org has just published this very long article which names Gates and a few others, blaming them for leveraging charter schools with their private funds.

Neo-liberalism: The Leveraging of Charter Schools with Public and Private Funds

[...]

Unquestionably, the huge increase in charters has included a massive growth in private and philanthropic start-up monies to support them, as well as the growth of a burgeoning educational industry to distribute the grants and sell ‘educational products and services’ while receiving tax dollars for their efforts. Yet for those wondering about ‘neo-liberalism’ and what it means in this context the answer is clear. None of this could have been done without the deregulation, favorable legal legislation and govern,ment intervention in the market. What we are seeing is the transfer of public funds into the private troughs of the handwringing elite who clothe their true agendas in the name of “children”. Unfortunately, this is true all over the nation now, and is being fueled by Arne Duncan and the billions of stimulus monies he uses to extort cities and states. All of this is now wrapped up in the noble lie and pious fraud of providing charter school innovation as competitive model that can raise the standards and levels of education. Is it true? Of course not, that is all sophistic rubbish and the alchemists that coin it know it, as do those of us who oppose it.

[...]

Charter benefactors have a vested economic and social interest in seeing the charter experiment work for it is profitable, and for this they will donate tremendous amounts of capital to help establish new charters in their attempt to dismantle traditional public schools. It is called priming the pump and with the government on its knees it is working. It’s a great business opportunity as well as acts as good public personae for the pirates of Wall Street. They understand that charters provide a unique business opportunity for many financial players in the educational entrepreneurial industry, their buddies and cronies, and they also know that left by itself the charter movement would not be able to come up with the seed money, the start-up costs needed due to the way public funding for schools is presently confabulated. Yet ironically, much of the ‘success’ of the charter movement is economic success and comes from both a toxic mixture of government as well as the private sector funds. For this is part and parcel of the new neo-liberal educational disorder that is now pillaging and prevailing over the wholesale dismantlement of public education in the United States. All in the name of the “kids”.

Another gigantic and very controversial investment from Gates would have to be Monsanto (see links at the bottom for background on the topic). As we showed before, Gates distorts their story and promotes them for his own wallet, just like the news networks fought the reporters who researched Monsanto. They tried to silence them with bribes and illegal firings. Here is a good video about it.

Considering the extortion and blackmail, some executives should probably be trialled and sentenced to prison. This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as Monsanto’s illegal activities are concerned, so why is it not surprising that Gates supports these people?

  1. With Microsoft Monopoly in Check, Bill Gates Proceeds to Creating More Monopolies
  2. Gates-Backed Company Accused of Monopoly Abuse and Investigated
  3. How the Gates Foundation Privatises Africa
  4. Reader’s Article: The Gates Foundation and Genetically-Modified Foods
  5. Monsanto: The Microsoft of Food
  6. Seeds of Doubt in Bill Gates Investments
  7. Gates Foundation Accused of Faking/Fabricating Data to Advance Political Goals
  8. More Dubious Practices from the Gates Foundation
  9. Video Transcript of Vandana Shiva on Insane Patents
  10. Explanation of What Bill Gates’ Patent Investments Do to Developing World
  11. Black Friday Film: What the Bill Gates-Backed Monsanto Does to Animals, Farmers, Food, and Patent Systems
  12. Gates Foundation Looking to Destroy Kenya with Intellectual Monopolies
  13. Young Napoleon Comes to Africa and Told Off
  14. Bill Gates Takes His GMO Patent Investments/Experiments to India
  15. Gates/Microsoft Tax Dodge and Agriculture Monopoly Revisited
  16. Beyond the ‘Public Relations’
  17. UK Intellectual Monopoly Office (UK-IPO) May be Breaking the Law
  18. “Boycott Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in China”
  19. The Gates Foundation Extends Control Over Communication with Oxfam Relationship

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