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02.03.10

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: February 3rd, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 9:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Links 3/2/2010: Linux Tablet from Google Coming

Posted in News Roundup at 9:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

  • There’s nothing wrong with being thankful (or why I say GNU/Linux)

    For example, simplicity for newcomers: What about when you have a distro that doesn’t have Linux inside of it? Say, Debian’s hurd or kFreeBSD or NetBSD ports? Those are distros, but Linux is not to be found inside cause it (the kernel) has been replaced for another kernel. What are we gonna call them? Debian Non-Linux? Go figure how you will explain that to newcomers (“sure… it’s Debian Linux… but it has no linux… yet it is linux”. Priceless).

    Some people have said that it’s out of Stallman’s big ego that he wants everybody to call it GNU. Well, I think Stallman hits the nail (at least on the funny part) when he says that “sure… and that’s why I ask people to call it Stallmanix”. So I think it’s not out of ego… but maybe if he had named the OS Stallmanix in the first place, we wouldn’t be having this argument as it (too) is more catchy than GNU. :-)

  • LinuxCon 2010 Call for Papers

    The Linux Foundation has announced that the Call for Papers deadline for LinuxCon 2010 will be the 31st of March. Registration for the non-profit organisation’s second annual conference, which will take place from the 10th to the 12th of August, 2010 in Boston Massachusetts, is now open. Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation said that, “LinuxCon has quickly become the destination for collaborating in person on all matters Linux”.

  • Open source blog reloaded!

    So yes, I believe China is serious about Linux and open source (who is not nowadays?) and like everywhere else, closed-source companies are fighting as hard as they can to keep their current business model alive, even if that means allowing piracy in order not to lose against Linux.

  • Desktop

    • Windows 7 gives untrustworthy battery stats

      He said the machine came with Linux and he spotted to Windows 7. “Big Mistake,” he said. “I am not pleased.”

    • Sony Vaio E series: PC with a panic button Sony Vaio E series: PC with a panic button

      Shut the Vaio E down, and the Web button fires up a browser without booting into Windows proper. Sony says this minimalist browser, which runs on top of Linux, won’t let you save data, but will eke out the Vaio E series’ battery up to three times longer than using Windows to hop online.

    • Free Software Migration: Lucidity, not Finished Recipes

      94% of the over 1,200 users works with Linux.

      [...]

      For some years now, Cuba has had an Executive Group for Software Migration. It’s made up by the Legal Group, in charge of establishing the regulations supporting the process; the Training Group, to train people for the change; and the Technical Group, which has prepared a migration guide book, a reference to arrange the process and identify the applications that will replace those in proprietary code.

    • Linux Adaptation – The Backdoor Method

      “Him and that tall guy are brothers and they work in Asset Development here. We had a meeting Monday and I noticed that both of them were using Linux on their laptops. He was showing me how easy it was.”

      I just smiled to myself and told him he needed to bring more of the female staff on the next boys night out. He said he would.

      Sometimes the direct sell method isn’t the best way to close the deal.

      How do you think the whole “play hard to get” thing got traction throughout the years?

      That method is successful in any number of applications.

    • Copenhagen Climate Council Promotes GNU/Linux on Thin Clients

      If that is not a promotion of GNU/Linux on thin clients, I do not know what would be more clear. Energy produced by fossil fuels runs many PCs. If we replace the PCs with terminal servers and thin clients we can save a lot of power consumption:

      * typical thick client consumes about 100 watts apart from the monitor, keyboard and mouse
      * typical thin client can be 20 watts or less
      * the difference is about 80 watts saved per conversion to thin client, perhaps 75 watts because we need a terminal server which runs a bunch of thin clients
      * 75 watts saved times 1000 million PCs is 75 gigawatts

    • Linux made me feel dumb.

      It’s true. Linux made me feel dumb. It is not a nice feeling to feel dumb yet I did. Me, the great Locutus who prides himself on his technical wizardry and knowledge of all things involving electrons, had to resort to calling a help desk to solve a problem. The solution of which produced a Homer Simpson style DOH! and the aforementioned dumb feeling.

      It happened like this. Recently our online banking authentication procedures changed. For the better I might add. While these security measures are far more secure they also prevented me from accessing our joint bank account whenever I wished. The end result was that I didn’t check the account status often enough and an automatic payment didn’t go through. Enough was enough I shouted out the window at two o’clock in the morning. After dodging a few smelly shoes and empty beer bottles I decided to set up my wifes phone to enable it to use the new security measures.

      [...]

      Thank you Linux for making me feel dumb. Thank you Linux for making me forget about that rebooting thing. Thank you Linux for being such a wonderful operating system even though you have your quirks and foibles. Next time I will try and remember to reboot after making configuration changes on anything that does not run Linux.

  • Server

    • China’s Next Supercomputer is using Linux

      China is on its way to make a new indigenous supercomputer build with custom microprocessors developed at the Institute Of Computing Technology. This supercomputer, the petascale Dawning 6000 is a successor of the current fastest supercomputer China has, the Dawning 5000a. The Dawning 5000a has been running on AMD powered microprocessors and Windows HPC Server as it’s OS. The Dawning 5000a ranks 11th in the world. Apart from that, China also holds the #5 supercomputer in the top 500 list.

    • Kew Gardens adopts Oracle for multi-million pound IT upgrade

      Work on the first stage of the contract, improving RBG Kew’s website and web content managemnt system using Oracle Universal Content Management (UCM), began last May. Running on Linux, the new website went live in October 2009.

    • London Stock Exchange’s new bond market will be on Linux – in a year

      The London Stock Exchange has launched a new electronic order book for retail bonds, temporarily basing it on its outgoing Microsoft .Net-based TradElect platform.

      The new bond market will stay on TradElect until at least the end of the year, when the LSE’s Linux-based platform, called MillenniumIT, goes live.

    • CloudLinux wants to conquer data centres

      At the Parallels Summit in Miami, CloudLinux has presented a beta version of its Linux distribution specifically aimed at web hosting services and data centres.

  • Kernel Space

    • Google/Android

      • Android and the Linux kernel community

        As the Android kernel code is now gone from the Linux kernel, as of the 2.6.33 kernel release, I’m starting to get a lot of questions about what happened, and what to do next with regards to Android. So here’s my opinion on the whole matter…

      • Android code removed from Linux kernel

        “Now branches in the Linux kernel source tree are fine” says Kroah-Hartman, “but this is much worse” noting that companies who create drivers and platform code for Android devices are “locked out from ever contributing it back to the kernel community”. These companies are now stuck, as Android-specific code cannot be contributed upstream which will give the companies a “much larger maintenance and development cycle”.

      • Is Google forking the Linux kernel?

        LWN tells us what is happening with the android kernel patches in upstream.

        The short version: They are gone

        As Greg Kroah-Hartman explains:

        So, what happened with the Android kernel code that caused it to be deleted? In short, no one cared about the code, so it was removed.

        This is a normal process, Microsoft was there before.

        So far nothing special. However, as Greg correctly points out:

        The Android kernel code is more than just the few weird drivers that were in the drivers/staging/android subdirectory in the kernel. In order to get a working Android system, you need the new lock type they have created, as well as hooks in the core system for their security model.

    • Graphics Stack

      • VMware’s Embedded Plans For Gallium3D?

        This separation of Gallium3D then makes it possible for one to just create a “mean and lean” implementation as José describes it in the mailing list announcement, an implementation with Gallium3D interfaces and auxiliary modules but no OS abstractions (for embedded platforms), and then the “everything” mix that is effectively Gallium3D now with all code enabled and is what’s used on Linux and Windows.

      • AMD Toying With XvMC In Gallium3D R300 Driver

        XvMC support came to Gallium3D through a Google Summer of Code project for 2008 that involved getting X-Video Motion Compensation running atop the Nouveau driver with NVIDIA hardware.

      • A Nouveau 3D Driver That Works For Old NVIDIA Hardware

        This afternoon, however, a new Mesa DRI driver has emerged for Nouveau that provides *working* 3D support for older NVIDIA hardware.

      • Ubuntu Has Another Special ATI Catalyst Driver?

        The past three releases of Ubuntu Linux have included unreleased ATI Catalyst drivers. It started with Ubuntu 8.10, which got an early-access driver as the official Catalyst Linux driver that was available to the public at the time had not supported X Server 1.5. With Ubuntu 9.04, AMD was running behind at supporting X Server 1.6 as found in the Jaunty Jackalope, so it too received an early ATI driver.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Porting to Qt4 and its model view concept – testers needed

        During the last two months Marcel and I ported all tree views in digiKam from Qt3 to Qt4 and its model view concept. These changes are now included in the svn trunk. The new code still needs some serious testing and we would appreciate your help on this.

      • KDE at FOSDEM this Weekend

        KDE will be at FOSDEM this weekend, the largest gathering of free software contributors there is. We will have a KDE devroom on the Saturday with a packed programme of talks covering KDevelop, PIM, Designer and more.

      • Akademy Call for Papers Opens

        The KDE Project is accepting papers for the Akademy conference, held this year in Tampere, Finland. Primary topics for this year’s gathering are centered around making it possible for users to connect with their data and other users in new ways. The event is being organized by COSS, the Finnish Center for Open Source Solutions, and KDE e.V..

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME.Asia Summit News

        The GNOME.Asia Summit 2009 was held at Quang Trung Software City in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam this past November. The event attracted more than 1,000 participants from 14 countries including Cambodia, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States. 79 speakers — 34 from outside of Vietnam — held 109 talks, presentations and panels, and the slides are available for download. The event was supported by 138 volunteers, nearly 100 of whom were women. The combined number of all participants was 1465, with 60% women attendees. The organizing committee is very proud that our conference was such a welcoming event for women in the Open Source community.

  • Distributions

    • Fedora vs. Ubuntu: Is Either Better?

      The truth is, given the mature state of the free desktop and each distro’s undoubted wish to match the features of rivals, it is becoming increasingly harder to find features that make one stand out from the other. There are still significant differences in desktops. But when distributions use the same desktop, the way that Fedora and Ubuntu do, then the differences are likely to be unnoticeable to three out of four users. These days, you are even unlikely to find any differences in speed or stability unless you have some unusual hardware configuration.

      That may be an unsatisfying answer to those who like to pick a side and defend it. But look at it this way: the lack of a clear victor shows the general sophistication of free software today. Now, in most cases, you don’t have to choose between major distributions — no matter what your choice, it is likely to be a reasonable.

    • New Releases

      • Elive 2.0 Gets Closer Every Day

        The developers behind the Elive project cooked yet another unstable release of their Elive Live CD Linux distribution, now at version 1.9.60. Being powered by Debian, the Enlightenment E17 desktop environment and Linux kernel 2.6.30, the newly released Elive 1.9.60 offers a new driver for CD-ROMs, the ability to configure your touchpad and some other goodies. With this version, Elive gets closer and closer to a final and stable release: “We are very close to the next stable version of Elive 2.0! These are the last development versions coming so you are more than welcome to report bugs NOW! If you are an Elive-translator this is the moment to finish all the remaining Messages to be translated. Thank you!” – was stated in the official release announcement.

      • Linux, Windows or both? Doesn’t matter to virtual desktop vendor Ulteo

        Ulteo is poised to offer commercial support for its free virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) software, which the open-source start-up says will cost companies a fraction of established offerings from Citrix Systems Inc., Microsoft Corp. and VMware Inc., while offering, in some cases, more choice in platforms.

    • Red Hat Family

      • atsec Achieves Common Criteria Certification for Red Hat Enterprise Linux Version 5.3 at EAL 4

        atsec information security is pleased to announce the successful Common Criteria Certification of Red Hat Enterprise Linux Version 5.3 at EAL 4 (augmented for flaw remediation) with the Controlled Access Protection Profile (CAPP). Under Common Criteria, products are evaluated against strict standards for various features, including security functionality, development environment, security vulnerability handling, documentation of security-related topics, and product testing.

      • Now showing: opensource.com

        Hi. We’re back. Well, not back exactly. We’d just like to take a minute to introduce you to somebody. Somebody that’s important to us.

        opensource.com

      • RedHat Debuts Opensource Web-based Community

        Opensorce.com consists of several ‘Channels’ or avenues of discussions on topics like Business, Education, Government, Law and Life etc. The site already features articles that cover topics ranging from GlaxoSmithKline’s Malaria Plan to Black Holes.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Media server device holds business promise

      This small, but very pink Linux-based device publishes multimedia data both inside and outside the premises, routing via an external server for Internet access so as to avoid creating more security holes that could result were you to allow home users to configure things.

    • Home electronics: AVerMedia A815 AVerTV Volar EX DVB-T USB Stick (61A815DV00AK) new to CCL

      The product functions on both 32 and 64-bit systems, as well as those running Linux operating systems, and boasts HD video quality of up to 720p.

    • Phones

      • If you want something done right…

        The argument that pitches open source competition against a closed dictatorship will probably never be satisfactorily answered. But given that Google’s play with Android is all about driving more people to Google’s ever-expanding suite of internet based services and applications, it is perhaps not surprising that the firm should look to exert a little more control than it was able to muster by simply lobbing a new OS into the development arena.

      • Nokia

        • Mobile computing redefined – Flirting with the Nokia N900

          For text input, it has a full slide-out QWERTY keypad as well as a virtual keypad and hidden stylus, if needed. The N900 runs on Nokia’s latest Maemo5 OS, which is a Linux-based platform with 80 per cent open-source software, which means the N900 was built with software developers in mind.

        • Maemo is like a PC in your pocket, but it cries out for a mouse

          Maemo runs a variant of Debian Linux, but not in the way that Android is Linux. If we equate Linux to a person, then Debian (and Ubuntu) desktop Linux and Maemo are more like cousins, like different races sharing the same DNA structure. Debian and Android, however, are more like the 99.5 percent similarity between man and chimpanzee. Which one has the extra 0.05 percent of DNA is up to debate. To complete the analogy, iPhone and Windows Mobile would be aliens who have the same general bipedal build but are not related to us at all.

      • Android

        • Taiwan market: Android accounts for 10% of smartphone segment

          The Android platform accounted for 10% of all smartphones sold in the Taiwan market in December 2009, higher than the global average of 4-5% in the same period, according to a survey of retail channels in Taiwan.

        • HTC releases Droid Eris source code

          HTC’s been pretty good about celebrating the open-source spirit of Android. Whenever they release a new Android device, the source code for whatever goods they added on top of the stock firmware comes pouring in before too long.

        • WordPress Blogging from Android Devices

          WordPress has announced the launch of WordPress for Android (1.0). It is currently available in the Android Market. A lot of what we do on the web is now done from mobile devices, so it only makes sense that this would include blog management.

        • MSI ready to launch iPad alternative

          The iPad runs iPhone OS while the MSI runs Android.

        • AT&T Next Up for Google’s Nexus One

          FCC documents show that a new Nexus One is in the works and will support a GSM network. That fits one major U.S. provider.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Chrome OS Concept Tablet Breaks Cover With Demo

        With all of this iPad buzz stirring up the tech world over the past couple of weeks, Chrome OS has almost been forgotten. That may have something to do with the fact that Google has yet to officially release the netbook-centric operating system to the public, but still, you’d expect a company like Google to keep the details flowing about a forthcoming operating system. Today it seems we’re getting exactly what you’d expect, in response to all the recent tablet fanfare.

      • Google’s Chrome OS Will Be for Tablets, Too

        When Google announced its Chrome OS last year, it intended this operating system to be for netbooks. Last week’s unveiling of the Apple iPad has made tablet computers hot, though, and Google is making sure its upcoming OS will have this class of devices covered, too.

      • Google’s tablet offerings will be very different from the iPad, expert says

        While Apple’s iPad attempts to fill the gap between laptops and cell phones with the perfect hardware, Google will rely instead on a creative framework with its Chrome OS, according to CNET’s Stephen Shankland.

      • Google Chrome OS tablet concept revealed
      • Google shows off Chrome OS tablet ideas
      • Google Pad: Search Giant Dreams of Chrome OS-based Tablets
      • Ubuntu 9.10 brings polish but may demand tinkering

        A few months ago, a widely used operating system received a major upgrade — and Microsoft and Apple had nothing to do with it. This upgrade came from the developers responsible for one of the most popular versions of the open-source Linux operating system Ubuntu.

        Like earlier editions, Ubuntu 9.10 is free for anybody to use, should run on even old and slow Windows-compatible desktops and laptops and is immune to Windows viruses and malware. But 9.10 (the numbers refer to the year and month of its release, though you’ll also see it referred to by its cutesy development nickname of “Karmic Koala”) also sometimes requires a little more fiddling with the controls than you might expect or understand.

      • Netbook Distro Leeenux Linux 2.0 with lots of Applications

        Leeenux Linux is a netbook distribution for the EeePC 701G, and is now available as version 2.0, complete with many new applications.

      • Asus 9 inch Netbook

        A few weeks ago I was chatting with one of our Clients, he owns a company that does hooks up for prospective Employers with prospective Employees in the Fitness Industry, and in the process makes a few bob. He was complaining about his Asus netbook, which had Windows XP loaded on it, and how it has been getting progressively slower over time and knowing I use Linux, in fact I had recommended last year that he get someone, or do it himself and install Ubuntu UNR. He asked if I would install Linux on his machine.

      • ARM: our netbooks will fly with or without Windows

        ARM chief executive Warren East has claimed that netbooks could swallow 90% of the PC market, in an exclusive interview with PC Pro.

        The British chip design firm, which is the biggest rival to Intel’s dominant Atom processors in the netbook space, claims the low-budget laptops could transform the PC market. And East says the chip firm will succeed “with our without” Windows support for its processors.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Amateur Radio Articles and Newsletter

    This is a great opportunity to share the wealth and promote the hobby and what we are doing with Open Source. So speak up, send me your ideas and let’s see if we can make this the best darned source of information for both the communities! So tell your friends! Tell your clubs! And I will see what I can do about getting the first issue into your hands soonest!

  • Library Explores Ways to Release Open Source Software

    In the spirit of transparency and community, the Library of Congress has established an internal process to create open source software. This will make it easier for software developers and sponsors within the Library to produce software that can be freely redistributed to users worldwide.

    “The overall effect will be to clarify and streamline the process for releasing software as open source,” said Michelle Springer, a digital initiatives project manager at the Library, “allowing the Library and its partners to more fully participate in the open source development community.”

  • Connecting guarantors to small entrepreneurs

    We have also used the latest open source technology such as Ruby on Rails and MySQL. These technologies are free and enable rapid software development. We have used IT extensively throughout our operations and done it a manner such that they are easy to use, highly automated and low on cost.

  • RP tech advocates gain ground in fight to free the Internet

    The country’s economy is recovering faster than expected from a global downturn and advocates of a “free the Internet” campaign hope to take some credit for that.

    Both business and government have started using free software programs, saving as much as 80 percent in their operations, officials of the International Open Source Network (IOSN) said during a recent conference here.

  • People, Personalities, and Planners: Who’s behind your FOSS events?

    One way of getting involved in the Ubuntu Community is by attending events. Most of the events throughout 2010 will have some element of the Ubuntu Community involved in them. There will be Ubuntu Community members speaking at main events or specialty events such as Women in Open Source, and/or Ubucon’s, some will be planners, others will be staffing an Ubuntu LoCo Booth, and others will be lending their support by attending these events. Let’s face it, without people attending there would really be no need for the the event now would there? Attending an event is contributing as well – don’t forget that! I can’t help but think of people who say, “If I had never gone to <insert Open Source Event> I would not be doing what I am doing today!” It’s an important step and one never knows where those steps will lead to.

  • Five Big iPad Flaws – And Why They Won’t Matter

    But if this was really important to the market, Linux PCs would be much more popular. Besides, Apple has already proven that if people like your product, a closed system won’t keep them away–the iPod has about a 70 percent market share.

  • 10 best IT jobs right now

    “We are seeing a ton of demand for skills around open source technologies and frameworks. Demand for Python, Ruby on Rails and PHP development skills far exceeds the number of people available with skills,” said Michael Kirven, co-founder and principal of IT resource firm Bluewolf, in a Network World interview.

  • COBOL-IT chooses COBOL-WORKS GmbH as distributor for the German market

    COBOL has always been a language for mission-critical business applications. That has been true since the early days of computing and it is still a valid statement. But nowadays there are new environments that can host the applications, and with the use of COBOL-IT, mission-critical business applications can be brought into the world of Open Source.

  • Open Source Mainstream Begins to Flow Through IBM i Land

    So when does open source software become mainstream in IBM Power Systems i environments? It’s fair to say that mainstream is not even close to an accurate description today. But don’t think it’s disappearing from the radar screen. More people are discovering open source software, and you should expect this frontier to be well traveled sooner rather than later. Larry Augustin, chief executive officer at SugarCRM and open source frontiersman, uses the term “safe bet” to describe enterprise open source software at the dawn of 2010.

  • Texas Memory delivers PCIe flash for open source community

    Open source drivers are a by-product of the design philosophy behind the RamSan PCIe SSD family. The core functionality of the RamSan PCIe card is in the hardware itself versus other PCIe designs where the driver does most of the work. This thin driver offers a simple control paradigm and is easy to port and manipulate as open source. It offers little burden to the host system and creates a nice division of labor between the host and the device allowing the host system to operate to its maximum potential.

  • 3D TV, Android, In-flight internet, Tablet PCs. The future is not so far away anymore

    Most of these new offerings have one common element, Open Source software. This has enabled such rapid speed to market.

    The vast majority of the solutions at CES have embedded Open Source software. Three Open Source Software features drive this trend:
    • Cost; if you can lower the cost of manufacture, you have a more competitive offering.
    • The simplicity of Open Source software legal contracts and terms of use. Most organisations now fully understand how to properly integrate Open Source software into their offerings and can bypass long and tortuous negotiations with proprietary software vendors.
    • Finally the sheer scale and pace of innovative contribution that is harnessed through the Open Source community.

    Remember, it was only a few years ago that consumer technology vendors were terrified of using Open Source in their offerings. Today, if you don’t, you lose.

  • Free session sources ideas

    Noting that the industry has been lacking an event dedicated to open source development, Obsidian MD Muggie van Staden, says: “Linux user groups have been around for ages and the Linux Professional Associated died down years ago. We needed something more fun that combined technical and business discussion.

  • Safari Books Online Adding 350 Packt Titles in 2010

    Packt specializes in Open Source topics for developers and IT professionals, most notably jQuery, WordPress, Drupal and Joomla! All new Packt Open Source publications will be available in an online subscription library exclusively through Safari Books Online.

  • Events

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox Mobile Is Out But Only For Maemo

      Developing a browser for mobile devices is no easy task, just ask the good people at Mozilla. Late last week, Mozilla released Firefox Mobile 1.0, but don’t run to your Apple, Android or Blackberry AppStore just yet it is only available for the Nokia N900 and its Linux-based Maemo platform.

    • Firefox for Mobile Has Been Officially Released

      The mobile version of Firefox web browser has been finally released. But don’t get too excited because as of the moment, it is only available for Nokia’s Maemo5 platform. This means that the owners of Nokia N900 smartphone are the lucky few who can download, install, and experience Firefox for Mobile in action.

    • Hands-on: Mozilla’s pocket-sized Firefox mobile for Maemo

      Mozilla announced last week the availability of Firefox for Maemo 1.0, the first official release of Firefox Mobile for Nokia’s Linux-based smartphone operating system. It offers adequate browsing performance, support for add-ons, and a finger-friendly user interface that includes popular Firefox features like the AwesomeBar.

    • Firefox 3.6 for Developers

      Typically when a new browser release comes out, the end-user features get a big press lovefest and the developer goodies are generally glazed over. While the obvious bits are good to know about, the developer story is every bit as important.

      A lot of the goodies in Firefox 3.6 aren’t for users at all. Well, they are but they’re things that users will see or interact with directly, or notice. Of course, when I say “users,” I mean “users who aren’t Web developers.” Web developers have quite a few things to like in Firefox 3.6. Let’s take a look at some of the under-the-hood improvements in 3.6

    • Could Apple’s iPad be the New Firefox?

      Some see this criticism as an elitist way of looking at things – born of the hacker world’s resentment at the loss of power the democratising iPad implies. As Fraser Speirs puts it:

      The Visigoths are at the gate of the city. They’re demanding access to software. they’re demanding to be in control of their own experience of information. They may not like our high art and culture, they may be really into OpenGL boob-jiggling apps and they may not always share our sense of aesthetics, but they are the people we have claimed to serve for 30 years whilst screwing them over in innumerable ways. There are also many, many more of them than us.

    • PC Security Tips for Corporate Executives

      In place of Internet Explorer, I suggest Firefox; no news here. But, it does need some work out of the box.

    • Mozilla launches Firefox for Mobile – and it’s not bad

      Mozilla – makers of the popular open-source browser Firefox – has announced the launch of the mobile version of its browser – codenamed Fennec (a big-eared fox) – initially on Nokia’s Linux-based platform for high-end mobile phones: Maemo.

  • Databases

    • MySQL

    • PostgreSQL

      • LCA: How to destroy your community

        Josh Berkus is well known as a PostgreSQL hacker, but, as it happens, he also picked up some valuable experience during his stint at “The Laboratory for the Destruction of Communities,” otherwise known as Sun Microsystems. That experience has been distilled into a “patented ten-step method” on how to free a project of unwelcome community involvement. Josh’s energetic linux.conf.au presentation on this topic was the first talk in the “business of open source” miniconf; it was well received by an enthusiastic crowd.

      • Database Thought Leaders Divided on Oracle MySQL

        How will this affect EnterpriseDB in particular?

        “Oracle’s official ownership of MySQL simply further supports the fact that PostgreSQL is the only real choice for organizations looking to deploy an open-source database that is backed by a truly independent community,” Alston said.

  • CMS

    • Drupal Opens the Garden to Boost CMS

      Open source effort offers users a preview of version 7 with its new Drupal Gardens effort, aimed to simplify implementation of the popular CMS offering.

    • Joomla! Catches the Irish software fancy

      Joomla describes itself as an open source content management System (CMS) which has gained such popularity since it appeared in September 2005 that web designers and entrepreneurs increasingly regard sites built around it as standard issue.

      The great advantage for any business updating or redeveloping a web site using a CMS is that once the site has been built, updates can be done in-house by staff with little or no technical knowledge. This means that companies which update content on their web sites regularly can save a great deal of money by using a CMS such as Joomla!

  • Business

    • Nuxeo adds configuration, customisation environment for open source ECM

      Web-based administrative tool for Nuxeo Enterprise Platform and Nuxeo Document Management

    • Quick Comparison of eCommerce Platforms

      We’ve been working on an integration of the Magento e-commerce platform for opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM, and some of our long-time users have also talked about integrating opentaps with Spree. I took a quick look at both and make some notes about them. Since we’re not developers of or service providers for either one, and we plan to support integration with both in opentaps, I hope you’ll consider this an unbiased if somewhat “bird’s eye” comparison of Spree vs. Magento.

    • Funambol Readies v8.5; Demos “Build Once, Deploy Everywhere” Framework

      February is a great time to visit Barcelona — the sights, the culture, the history, and of course, the Mobile World Congress. As an astute mobile enthusiast, you’ve probably noticed that open source platforms, applications and services are cropping up all over the mobile industry. It’s no secret that a few of us here are fond of Funambol, thanks to its cross-platform functionality and community involvement.

    • Informatica, Talend Offer Different Paths To Master Data Management

      Last week Informatica, a leading supplier of data integration and ETL (extract, transform and load) technology, said it acquired MDM developer Siperian for $130 million. Earlier in the week Talend debuted its own open-source MDM software to complement its open-source data integration and data quality management software.

  • Tech Data

  • Funding

    • Startup, Know Thyself: Q&A With Sierra Ventures Managing Director Tim Guleri

      ECT: If I were an open source vendor, would I have a leg up in getting considered for a VC money award?

      Guleri You would have a major step up over others if you were an open source company. Open source used to be a bit of a misunderstood business model. Now it is something that has picked up good momentum and is something that VCs love to see.

      ECT: Are you seeing more requests from open source startups, or is that still a sparse field?

      Guleri: It’s still a sparse field, and that’s a good thing because every discipline, be it software or hardware or data center, has an open source project that knocks them to death. So consequently, what happens is that the customers are not getting a value from a closed source like a McAfee or Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT). They would rather look for an open source company. And when that open source company gets to scale, then that open source company will come looking for money. So that field hasn’t become over-crowded. There are only a handful of companies that have reached commercial status following open source

    • How open source tears down proprietary advantage

      Slowly.

      Open source doesn’t overwhelm a proprietary system. It whittles away at its lead, slowly and sometimes unsteadily. It’s the old Aesop story of the tortoise and the hare, and open source is the tortoise.

    • We need a new kind of economy

      For example, no traditional economist or policymaker could have predicted or planned for the open source revolution. “Ordinary people” make these things happen and they must be encouraged to do so in ever greater numbers and ways.

    • Why open source is health reform

      That’s why open source is health reform. Unlock a high enough flood of data and mere arguments will be blown away. Show people their own data, explain what it means, and people will demand the services needed in order to live and not just get well.

  • Releases

  • Government

    • Disappointed (so far) by Italian Open Legislation experiment

      If you know software programming well enough to write a new word processor with a secret file format, do it now, put it on sale and price it one million Euro per seat. Should that law be approved as it was presented in late January 2010, you’ll just have to send Christmas greetings to all Italian Public Administrations to force them to buy your software, since they will be required by law to “accept and process” the files they receive, in whatever format. With any luck, you won’t make as much money as Bill Gates: you’ll make enough to directly buy him.

    • DISA’s cloud helps DOD embrace open-source software

      ProjectForge is a pay-on-demand software service that allows software developers to manage software iterations, track issues and requirements, and collaborate with other developers. It is an offshoot of a similar service named SoftwareForge. While SoftwareForge is designed to work with open-source software, ProjectForge is for applications where proprietary products are involved or greater access controls are necessary.

    • Nigerian Ushahidi for 2011

      Ushahidi is an open source project, which allows users to send information about crisis via sms, e-mail or the web.

      [...]

      Ushahidi was originally developed in Kenya when electoral violence erupted following the presidential elections between Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga.

  • Licensing

    • LCA: Cooperative management of package copyright and licensing data

      Kate Stewart is the manager of the PowerPC team at Freescale. As such, she has a basic customer service problem to solve: people who buy a board from Freescale would like to have some sort of operating system to run on it. That system, of course, will be Linux; satisfying this requirement means that Freescale must operate as a sort of Linux distributor. At her linux.conf.au talk, Kate talked about a new initiative aimed at helping distributors to ensure that they are compliant with the licenses of the software they are shipping.

  • Openness

    • [Open] Science Sunday – 31.1.10

      January has indeed been a month full of events. After attending Science Online 2010 and Linux.conf.au 2010, I am finally back onto my almost normal routine.

  • Programming

    • Facebook rewrites PHP runtime

      A week ago, I let ya’ll know that the core PHP team had been brought to Facebook’s main campus. That team were forced to sign NDA’s, and taken to a very quiet, secluded meeting room where some cool new Facebook-backed open source project was described.

    • HipHop for PHP: Move Fast

      HipHop for PHP isn’t technically a compiler itself. Rather it is a source code transformer. HipHop programmatically transforms your PHP source code into highly optimized C++ and then uses g++ to compile it. HipHop executes the source code in a semantically equivalent manner and sacrifices some rarely used features – such as eval() – in exchange for improved performance. HipHop includes a code transformer, a reimplementation of PHP’s runtime system, and a rewrite of many common PHP Extensions to take advantage of these performance optimizations.

    • New Terms for Advertising Providers on Facebook Platform

      Our intention is to facilitate an ecosystem that upholds the user experience and continues to set the foundation for a platform that delivers substantial long-term opportunities for building or expanding a business.

  • Web

    • The best way for Adobe to save Flash is by killing it

      Having done several years of Flash development and having worked with many Flash developers, the recent controversy between Apple and Adobe over Flash on the iPad is very amusing to me. First, there are a few arguments that I want to address directly:
      But Flash is the only way to deploy a consistent cross platform solution!

    • Apple’s iPad marketing sparks complaint

      A consumer said he told the agency Apple is falsely advertising that the device supports Flash

    • The death of Flash has been greatly exaggerated

      Following the news that the iPad would not support the Flash plugin, some people have been clamoring for the death of Flash. Not so fast cowboy, that horse ain’t dead yet!. Although it is true that Flash is far from perfect it is currently a necessary evil because so many web games and web application are written in Flash.

    • HTML5 Editors Draft Hits W3C, Flash Doesn’t Break a Sweat (yet)

      The HTML5 specification came another step closer to becoming a Web standard today, as the first editors draft of the technology was released to the World Wide Web Consortium. HTML5 is the technology that makes up a significant portion of webOS, the new and improved Google Voice mobile web portal, YouTube and a few other notable Web services. This is great news for the Web as a whole and for the webOS platform in particular, but what are the implications for Adobe’s Flash technology?

    • Momentum of HTML5 the Emerging Web Standard

      Mozilla has already said that Firefox will not support H.264. Google’s Chrome browser does support H.264, but the company also recently moved to acquire On2, makers of another, competing video codec which means, if nothing else, Google isn’t completely satisfied with H.264 either.

Leftovers

  • Google wants to see client addresses in DNS queries

    Late Wednesday evening, Google employees posted an “Internet-Draft” outlining proposed changes to the DNS protocol that allow authoritative DNS servers to see the addresses of clients. This way, geographically distributed content delivery networks can tailor their answers to a specific client’s network location. So a client from California would talk to a server in California, while a client in the Netherlands would talk to a server in the Netherlands.

  • Solid State Drives in Enterprise Applications

    Flashed-based solid-state drives (SSDs) are becoming a big issue for enterprise storage users; a number of customers I work with are planning for this new “tier 0″ data storage for a number of reasons. It could be as simple as IOPS per watt, IOPS per dollar, or for some applications, bandwidth per GB/sec of storage.

  • Intel, Micron Produce Smallest Flash Chips Yet

    In the continuing race to design the smallest silicon chips, Intel and Micron Technology have struck again. The duo, partners in flash development, were the first to reach 34-nanometer-process designs for NAND flash memory and have now reached the 25-nanometer barrier.

  • Science

  • Security

    • Court Tosses NSA Spy Suits, Sides with White House Over Illegal Surveillance

      In late January, the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General released a report that provided startling new details on illegal operations by the FBI’s Communications Analysis Unit (CAU) and America’s grifting telecoms.

      For years, AT&T, Verizon, MCI and others fed the Bureau phone records of journalists and citizens under the guise of America’s endless, and highly profitable, “War on Terror.”

    • Tories accused of fiddling violent crime statistics

      The Conservatives were accused of fiddling statistics today after they claimed that violent crime had soared in the last decade under Labour.

      Gordon Brown, Alan Johnson and Jacqui Smith, the current and former Home Secretaries, went on the attack after a BBC investigation showed that both David Cameron and Chris Grayling were not comparing like with like.

      Mr Grayling, the Shadow Home Secretary, has sent out press releases to every Tory constituency purporting to show how “violent attacks” have jumped in their area in the last decade.

    • Righteous, responsible but no regrets: Tony Blair’s day in the dock

      The former prime minister blamed “the very near failure of the Iraqi occupation” on Iranian interference, misplaced assumptions and a lack of US troops.

    • Man arrested 74 times in 2 years

      That happened Monday, resulting in a maximum 90-day jail sentence on charges of solicitation and possession of illegal drugs. But when one of the agency people called the jail to make sure Robinson was held, he found that Robinson was already free — released due to overcrowding, much like the other times he was arrested.

  • Environment

  • Finance

    • The west owes Haiti a bailout. And it would be a hand-back, not a handout

      Last week started with a conference in Montreal, called by a group of governments and international agencies calling themselves Friends of Haiti, to discuss the long and short term needs of the recently devastated Caribbean nation. Even as corpses remained under the earthquake’s rubble and the government operated out of a police station, the assembled “friends” would not commit to cancelling Haiti’s $1bn debt. Instead they agreed to a 10-year plan with no details, and a commitment to meet again – when the bodies have been buried along with coverage of the country – sometime in the future.

      A few days later in Washington, Timothy Geithner, the US treasury secretary, came before the house oversight committee to explain why he paid top dollar for $85bn worth of toxic assets when he bailed out the insurance company AIG. Geithner said he was faced with a “tragic choice”. “The moral, fair and just choice is to protect the innocent,” he said.

    • Goldman Sachs partners get more stock

      Paying bonuses to executives all in stock is one thing. One could argue that the top dogs can afford to be paid in paper. As you move lower down the food chain, though, it becomes a harder sell. Cash is king for most.

    • Hank Paulson: Wall Street Pay Is ‘Out Of Whack’ (VIDEO)

      Former Treasury Secretary and Goldman Sachs chief Henry Paulson is the latest critic of Wall Street pay packages, which he now says are “out of whack.”

    • Treasury Department Is Already Saying Volcker Rule Won’t Change Goldman Sachs

      Tim Geithner is back on top in the Obama administration, and his deputies are making it clear that the “Volcker Rule” won’t seriously overturn the way business is done on Wall Street.

    • ‘Terrorists Out of Manhattan’

      It was reported today that Goldman Sachs’s C.E.O., Lloyd Blankfein, is getting a $100 million bonus. Goldman Sachs denied it, saying, “Well, no figure has been decided on yet.” You know what that means? He’s getting more. Exactly.

    • Ryan Grim: Goldman Sachs’ Bonus To CEO Is ‘A Slap In The Face’ To Obama

      Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankenfein will reportedly get a $100 million bonus just one year after his company received billions in taxpayer money to survive a financial crisis.

    • An Ex–Goldman Partner Lets Loose on Wall Street

      Roy Smith, a finance professor at New York University and a former Goldman Sachs partner, argues in Paper Fortunes, his new history of Wall Street, that decades of financial innovation that seemed like positive evolutions at the time have turned our markets into scary places. In part, Smith says Wall Street is fixing its problems by reining in pay and lowering leverage ratios. But he believes Washington and regulators still need to intervene to make financial markets safer.

    • Goldman Sachs as a private partnership?

      But the idea has fascinated Wall Street. One investment pro told Reuters: “Goldman is already in the process of figuring out how to go private. Goldman did not need–or want the TARP money to start with–and there is no reason for them to keep their bank charter and remain a public company.” Hedge fund manager Doug Kass, of Seabreeze Partners, told the news services he has made Goldman going private one of his “20 Surprises for 2010.” This may be a bit over the top. But it points to the public fascination with the idea.

  • PR/AstroTurf

    • Supreme Court Ruling Spurs Corporation Run for Congress – First Test of “Corporate Personhood” In Politics

      Following the recent Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to allow unlimited corporate funding of federal campaigns, Murray Hill Inc. today announced it was filing to run for U.S. Congress and released its first campaign video on www.youtube.com/user/murrayhillcongress

      “Until now,” Murray Hill Inc. said in a statement, “corporate interests had to rely on campaign contributions and influence peddling to achieve their goals in Washington. But thanks to an enlightened Supreme Court, now we can eliminate the middle-man and run for office ourselves.”

  • Censorship/Civil Rights

    • Net firms quizzed on China plans

      A top US Senator has asked 30 leading internet firms to provide details of their operations in China.

    • Opinion: There’s no such thing as anonymity on the internet

      This information can be used as an electronic fingerprint to uniquely identify my browser and, theoretically, track my online behaviour. In practice, although my system configuration is diverse enough to be unique, it lacks stability. If I install a new font or yet another browser plugin, my browser’s electronic fingerprint will change.

    • NZ FOSS folk say net flter a bad idea

      Senior free and open source software figures in New Zealand have expressed reservations about the government’s plan to impose a centralised internet filter that it claims will block access to child pornography.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Vladimir Glazounov, Sun Microsystems developer (2004)


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

Zune is Down 54% This Quarter

Posted in Finance, Microsoft, Rumour, Vista 7 at 11:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Zune Mayday

Via OpenBytes

Summary: Microsoft’s attempt to enter the market of consumer electronics is rapidly approaching “memorabilia” status

MICROSOFT’S bad results from last week [1, 2, 3]* had Microsoft attempt to divert all attention to a new product, Vista 7, whose sales it stockpiled for almost 2 quarters in order to create an illusion of success (Windows was down 40% in the previous quarter).

One product that received almost no attention last week was the financial disaster known as “Zune”. Here are the numbers:

Microsoft’s Zune is going from bad to worse in terms of sales and many now wonder if this wasn’t a good time to axe the project altogether.

According to Microsoft’s latest 10-Q filing, the revenue for te Zune platform saw a 54% decrease ($100 million) during the winter quarter, also known as the holidays shopping season.

“Too bad Microsoft abandoned their customers purchasing MP3′s from their site several years ago with non-Zune “generic” MP3 players, which also worked fine in Linux,” said the person who brought attention to it. “After, there was a big push for “Plays for Sure”, then nothing when Zune came along.  My daughter shortly after bought an iPod.”

There are some boring old rumours about something called “Zune Phone”, but “Who Cares?” was the opinion expressed in IDG.

Despite murmurs that Windows Mobile 7 isn’t nearly ready, the rumor mill suggests that Microsoft will launch a Zune Phone as early as next month. But it’s been so long since the Zune Phone myth originated, it’s no longer a big deal.

Zune may soon join the growing list of dead Microsoft products/divisions.
____
* Almost everything declined year to year, despite the Wall Street crash of one year beforehand.

Manchester Police and the CIA Under Windows Attack

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 11:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Picture sent by a reader

Summary: Conficker hits Manchester’s law enforcement and paralyses it for days; Microsoft’s shoddy programming also leads to attacks on the CIA and PayPal, via the Pushdo botnet

“THE Windows worm Conficker keeps going,” alerted us a reader. “The assistant police chief might as well investigate how Windows got onto his network. This is a lot of taxpayer money getting wasted cleaning up after Bill.”

The latest major incident took place right here in Manchester and we mentioned it earlier. This is now spreading to the other UK news sites [1, 2], but the problem is not unique to the UK. With all those zombie PCs that are created so rapidly, crackers are able to carry out attacks.

It was reported in many Web sites last night that the CIA and PayPal had been hit by a Windows botnet. Coverage includes:

1. CIA, PayPal under bizarre SSL assault

The “massive” flood of requests is made over the websites’ SSL, or secure-sockets layer, port, causing them to consume more resources than normal connections, according to researchers at Shadowserver Foundation, a volunteer security collective. The torrent started about a week ago and appears to be caused by recent changes made to a botnet known as Pushdo.

2. Botnet sends fake SSL pings to CIA, PayPal, others

Pushdo downloads different Trojans onto infected machines and has been used to send spam as part of the Cutwail spambot, according to Stewart. It is comprised of about 300,000 infected PCs and the operators, believed to be located in Eastern Europe, are leasing out its usage to criminals, he said.

3. Botnet Targets Major Web Sites With Junk SSL Connection

Manchester is working to remove Conficker, but maybe it should just remove Windows. It’s causing trouble to a lot of companies and agencies, even outside the infected area.

Vista 7: The Battery Guzzler

Posted in Finance, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 10:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Vista 7 repels more and more users as its deficiencies and drawbacks become more apparent

“IS Win 7 a battery guzzler,” was the question asked a couple of weeks ago. The reality behind Vista 7 — just like the reality behind Vista — is only getting exposed for a period of one year or more after the release and the artificial hype, which Microsoft most recently created by cheating the press with bad results [1, 2, 3] (revenue-shifting gave an illusion). The simple truth is that Vista 7 sales disappointed in the business sector, which refused to adopt this new version of Windows (there is no compelling reason to embrace it).

According to new figures, the amount of money spent on a new PC dropped by a staggering 20% or so over the past year. Chips B. Malroy quotes: “In the fourth quarter of 2009, consumers bought 90 million PCs, up 22 percent from the same quarter in 2008, a clear sign that buyers were ready for something new. Prices plummeted in 2009, with the price of the average laptop falling to $581, down a whopping 23 percent from 2008.” We discussed this in the IRC channel last night and the same point is being raised in the following new blog post:

5 factors that are set to challenge the dominance of Windows in the future.

[...]

Falling hardware prices

The more the prices of hardware falls, the lower is MS able to charge the OEMs a per unit installation license for Windows. Given the fact that hardware prices have fallen drastically in recent years and are set to do so in the foreseeable future, Ballmer may not be sleeping well at all.

Desktop Linux

No I’m not going to say the year of Linux is here and now. But whatever the case, the relatively increasing popularity of Linux among the general masses-spearheaded by Ubuntu-is set to cause some discomfiture to MS execs.

On the smartphone platform, Android is set to make life very difficult given the fact that the almighty Google itself is now directly competing with its own hardware branded phone. Tough luck MS.

Change of landscape

[...]

Microsoft is trying to maintain its high margins as applied to software on commodity hardware, but it is struggling. This also puts great pressure on OEMs

“Really MS Holding profits up is good for Linux,” said Oiaohm. “It puts more pressure on OEM’s to look for other solutions.”

“Microsoft is trying to maintain its high margins as applied to software on commodity hardware, but it is struggling.”Going back to Vista 7, here is the latest problem, which was brought up by The Register and commented on by Richard Rasker last week. A reader wrote to tell us: “Here’s a note showing that the “new” problems with Vista7′s battery management might not be so new after all.

“Sort of like the security problem recently glossed over which had been around since Sept. 2009 (you have the link there somewhere, but while trying to find it, I found one of the hundreds/thousands of similar cases).” The Internet Explorer catastrophes were caused by flaws which Microsoft knew about and has ignored for almost half a year [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]. This is normal routine for Microsoft.

Finally, here is a report from Microsoft Emil, who discusses Microsoft’s response to the “battery life failures” in Vista 7. It is nice that they too acknowledge that there is a problem and this is exactly the type of unwanted behaviour which keeps businesses off Vista 7. It’s too risky and experimental.

Microsoft says it is investigating reports of notebooks with poor battery life with Windows 7, as first reported by users on Microsoft TechNet. These users claim their batteries were working just fine under Windows XP and/or Windows Vista, and others are saying it occurs on their new Windows 7 PCs. Under Microsoft’s latest operating system though, certain machines aren’t doing so well, as Windows 7 spits out the following warning message: “Consider replacing your battery. There is a problem with your battery, so your computer might shut down suddenly.” The warning is normally issued after using the computer’s basic input output system (BIOS) to determine whether a battery needs replacement, but in this case it appears the operating system and not the battery is the problem. These customers say their PC’s battery life is noticeably lower, with some going as far as saying that it has become completely unusable after a few weeks of use. To make matters worse, others are reporting that downgrading back to an earlier version of Windows won’t fix the problem.

Microsoft cannot handle ACPI properly, despite hijacking it [1, 2].

It is worth adding that Microsoft is now using those Microsoft-sponsored people at Net Applications to sell an illusion (Vista 7 gaining decent market share). Net Applications is bunk and biased, no matter how much the Wintel press cites it.

Relationships Map

Posted in Novell at 9:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A mindmap connecting entities that we regularly cover here and how they are connected

THIS diagram is work in progress and it may somehow resemble this one from 2007. It is coarse and simple, even ugly. It is intended to be used, not to impress in any way and it was requested/suggested by a reader who wrote: “Why shouldn’t the individuals who give the orders be seen? Expose them! Start with Steve Ballmer and Steve Jobs! If the public sees them for who they really are about, this would reform these emperors! Public image is so important to insure their followers, right?”

The lines in this diagram are implicit and can each be explained, but that would lead to more clutter. In case the arrows obscure some text, most of the blocks are listed at the bottom as text and the list is obviously partial, so as to focus on issues that Boycott Novell actually covers or covered.


Click image for full-sized version (~260KB)

Among the text (not complete):

  • IBM
  • Ron Hovsepian
  • Novell
  • Citrix/Xen
  • Apple
  • Steve Jobs
  • RIAA/MPAA
  • Disney/Hollywood
  • Nokia
  • Xandros
  • Samsung
  • LG
  • Korea
  • US DOJ
  • Govt of UK
  • Govt of India
  • Govt of Ireland
  • Govt of Canada
  • Justin Steinman
  • Oil giants (industry)
  • Monsanto
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Nathan Myhrvold (IV)
  • Acacia
  • European Commission
  • Neelie Kroes
  • Siim Kallas
  • Bill Gates
  • BSA
  • Gates Senior
  • Gates Foundation
  • ACT
  • CompTIA
  • ISO
  • OSI
  • Apache
  • Gartner
  • Burton
  • IDG/IDC
  • Forrester
  • Red Hat
  • OLPC
  • Google
  • Canonical/Ubuntu
  • Debian
  • Obama administration
  • US banking
  • Microsoft
  • SCO
  • Lenovo
  • EMC
  • VMware
  • HP
  • Dell
  • Corel
  • ECMA/OOXML
  • Adobe
  • BECTA
  • NHS
  • Accenture
  • Infosys
  • NASSCOM
  • NBC
  • GE
  • Comcast
  • Sun
  • Wikipedia
  • Oracle
  • Java
  • Yahoo
  • BSD
  • FSF
  • FSFE
  • KDE
  • GNOME
  • Mandriva
  • Miguel de Icaza
  • SUSE
  • Linux Foundation
  • Linus Torvalds/Linux
  • EPO
  • USPTO
  • FDA
  • TiVo
  • TomTom
  • Amazon
  • Edelman/W-E
  • Steve Ballmer

Microsoft’s Lawsuit Against Google and What It Teaches Us About Mono

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Ubuntu at 8:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Google Books settlement and how it relates to Microsoft, its dirty tricks, and the gradual pollution of GNU/Linux code pool by Novell and others

CONVICTED MONOPOLIST Microsoft has tried almost everything against Google, without any success (Microsoft’s share in search is said to be further declining globally). Recently we’ve found reports about a lawsuit against Google’s book-scanning endeavours [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], which are exactly what Microsoft was doing until it lost the race and gave up scanning. Microsoft fuels this lawsuit, which shows its sheer hypocrisy. Microsoft even directly sued Google, but not for doing what Microsoft itself used to do, although it’s related.

Here is the FSF jumping to defend Google’s book-scanning (liberating information):

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) filed another objection in court to the proposed amended Google Book Search settlement (The Authors Guild, Inc., et al. v. Google Inc.). The objection notes that proposed amendments which discuss works under free licenses unfairly burden their authors with ensuring license compliance, and urges the court to reject the proposed settlement unless it incorporates terms that better address the needs of authors using free licenses like the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL).

Groklaw agrees with the FSF and it brings together Comes vs Microsoft exhibits to show how it also relates to Novell’s Mono. It is a long analysis, so here are some portions:

That’s the dream of more than book publishers. Here’s an exhibit from the Comes v. Microsoft antitrust case of a few years back, Exhibit 3590 [PDF]. It’s a discussion in 1994 with Bill Gates and his executives about the Internet, and it includes an email from Nathan Myhrvold on how Microsoft could in time take over control of the Internet.

[...]

Old-fashioned copyright owners want the Internet to cut it out and be about them feeding us content and we sit back and just consume what they send us. After we pay. And agree to DRM.

Of course, it’s funny, what Myhrvold wrote, in that they totally missed the boat about the Internet, and about Linux, but that’s a good thing. They probably could have killed Linux early on, had they tried. Their arrogance has cost them. It’s too late now, hopefully, to just crush it, not that they haven’t been trying. They’ll have to buy community members to sell out and write their software to run on Windows instead of Linux now one by one, if they can find enough greedy types, and that takes longer even in Microsoft’s best case scenario.

[...]

I hope the EU Commission is reading Groklaw at moments like this. The email is from 1995, but didn’t they do what he suggested? I’m remembering the Microsoft extensions to HTML. I’m also thinking about OOXML. There’s lots more in the exhibit about their browser plans, but are you thinking Silverlight? I am. Here’s a snip from one last exhibit, Exhibit 3589 [PDF], an email thread with a memo shared with the top brass at Microsoft on how to get the Internet away from open standards bit by bit:

I recommend a recipe not unlike the one we’ve used with our TCP/IP efforts: embrace, extend, then innovate.

Phase I (Embrace): all participants need to establish a solid understanding of the infostructure and the community – determine the needs and the trends of the user base. Only then can we effectively enable Microsoft system products to be great Internet systems.

Phase II (Extend): establish relationships with the appropriate organizations and corporations with goals similar to ours. Offer well-integrated tools and services compatible with established and popular standards that have been developed in the Internet community.

Phase 3 (Innovate): move into a leadership role with new Internet standards as appropriate, enable standard off-the-shelf titles with Internet awareness. Change the rules: Windows becomes the next-generation Internet tool of the future.

Are you reading this Apache guys? Ubuntu Mono freaks? In the “Potential Risks” section on page 15:

Microsoft/Internet Culture Clash. – One of the biggest challenges facing Microsoft’s success in the Internet community is acceptance and respect. Although we have an incredible amount of respect in the commercial software business, the Internet has been founded on public domain protocols and products which generally included source availability at no charge. It has been only recently that vendors have suggested profiting from the Internet by selling the browsing tools and technologies, and offering commercial services on the Internet itself. The information and software has been free for 15 years, we need to be careful to embrace the current technologies and community before we attempt to reshape it.

Put ‘Open Source’ everywhere in that snip where it says ‘Internet’ and you have the picture. They pretend to be with you, sharing goals, and then they win. If you are stupid enough to fall for the “let’s be friends” part of their scheme.

Their concept of the Internet is that it’s a strip mall. They want it to be *their* strip mall.

“Ubuntu Mono freaks” is what Pamela Jones calls those who divert Ubuntu users to Microsoft [1, 2]. Yes, it’s no secret that Groklaw too has realised that Mono is a trap (even before the FSF made official statements about it).

Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza has this new interview where he speaks about Microsoft software like Mono and Moonlight. GNU/Linux users reject these, so Windows and Mac OS X are increasingly targeted by Miguel and fellow Microsoft boosters. From the interview:

A couple of recent major milestones are:
• Mono for the iPhone: the MonoTouch products, a major effort to simplify iPhone development and bring garbage collection, type safety and all of the features from .NET to iPhone developers.

• We have also just released a plug-in to Visual Studio that allows developers to move their applications from Windows to Linux, create RPM packages from Visual Studio and even use our SUSEStudio.com website to create full appliances from their software projects.

Linux Today has some more comments about it.

A couple of months ago there was a big “copyright assignment” debate promoted by Novell’s Meeks and The Source explains how it may also relate to Mono:

Copyright Assignment is a tricky topic in the FLOSS world.

[...]

The first time copyright assignment drew my attention was in how Novell’s go-oo hypocritically uses it as FUD against Open Office, and – of course – how ignorant and/or malicious mono apologists used it as a talking point.

We wrote about Go-oo in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Oracle will hopefully keep Novell from ruining OpenOffice.org. Sun was certainly angry with Novell at times.

Calculating the Microsoft Patent Tax at Novell

Posted in Finance, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’ve heard from Novell sales representatives that Microsoft sales executives have started calling the Suse Linux Enterprise Server coupons “royalty payments”…”

Matt Asay, April 21st, 2008

Summary: Brian Proffitt, former Managing Editor of LinuxToday, looks at the amounts of money Novell extracts from SUSE users for Microsoft and Novell to share

YESTERDAY we commented on a report suggesting that the ridiculous SUSE coupons run out about 2 years before the Microsoft/Novell patent deal actually expires. Over at IDG, some of the numbers are put together but nothing is said about the fact that these are akin to extortion money — funds that Microsoft is taking from GNU/Linux users for software patents it claims they infringe without giving any details and without obeying the law, which explicitly forbids software patents in the large majority of the world.

And what an investment it has been: an initial payment of US$348 million to Novell… with US$240 million tagged specifically for those infamous subscription certificates for SUSE Enterprise Linux to hand out or resell to interested customers. Indeed, this was the thrust of the SD Times article: that Microsoft is almost through passing these coupons out.

The thought that was actually provoked came from this sentence in the article: “A total of 475 customers have used an unspecified number of coupons, according to Microsoft.”

This struck me as a very interesting figure, because after firing up XCalc, I figured out that if indeed just 475 customers have received these coupons, then Microsoft has essentially subsidized SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) deployments an average tune of US$505,263.16 per customer.

Keep in mind that while we have no idea of how many actual single- or multi-year subscriptions were actually used with these disbursements, we can get a very rough idea based on Novell’s current pricing structure of how many boxes this may represent.

This means money to Microsoft, not just Novell. So how much in royalties does Novell make from each sale of Windows? None? And if so, then what kind of a relationship is this?

“Now [Novell is] little better than a branch of Microsoft”

LinuxToday Managing Editor

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