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IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: February 15th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


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Links 15/2/2010: Mobile World Congress

Posted in News Roundup at 6:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 5 Linux features I miss when on Windows.

    Always on top
    The ability to keep any window on top of all the others at any given time is a blessing Linux that I am yet to see on Windows. It comes in really handy when you need to have more than one window visible to get things done or when you want to be working but have VLC lurking on the lower part of the screen.


    Multiple desktops
    On a typical day, I have about 6 worksheets open, with Google Chrome, Firefox, Thunderbird, and some other folders open. On Linux, in order not to clutter my desktop, I just move some of he open windows to another desktop and all is well with the world. Windows? Well I do not know of any such function.

    Reboot, Reboot and reboot
    Again, lots of applications I install tell me to reboot before the installation will be complete. If I make an installation of 5 such programs, it means for 5 times I have to reboot my system. Linux? Sudo-apt get install XYZ and bam, its done.

  • Stuff That Works With Linux #5

    The HTC Hero has been around for a while now, so I’m not planning to write a detailed review of it here, except to say that I am absolutely delighted with it in every respect. And then things got even better.

  • Polaris Launches IStore Linux

    Polaris Software Lab said that its wholly-owned subsidiary Polaris Retail Infotech (PRIL) has launched a Linux-powered retail store management solution called ‘ iStore Linux.’

  • Barbie slides into the cubicle, becomes a computer software engineer

    It only took 126 career hops — the first one being a soulless teen model — for Barbie to land a job as a computer software engineer. All we know now is that she has a dual monitor setup and a picture of Ken at her cubicle. Oh, and she uses Linux on the world’s smallest netbook.

  • Computer Engineer Barbie: Dual Monitors, Linux

    Barbie and her dual monitor set-up with laptop (pink) running Linux, geeky binary t-shirt, smartphone, Bluetooth headset and of course, glasses, will hit the shelves Winter 2010. I’ve heard on the grapevine that you can pre-order so I’m currently trawling the Mattel store for the goods but I’m not having any luck so far.

  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 84
  • Server

    • IBM Unveils Clustered NAS Storage

      IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled its entry in the growing market for clustered network-attached storage (NAS) systems.

    • Virtual Appliances Offer Fast Sandboxes, Production Environments

      It did not take me too long to find the first offering that met my needs: TurnKey Linux has, among several other free virtual appliance offerings, a full Joomla! instance running on top of a LAMP stack. Everything is put together for you: the Joomla! configuration, the PHPMyAdmin front-end, Postfix MTA configuration, and Apache, PHP, and MySQL modules for Webmin.

    • SGI Cyclone Offers HPC in the Cloud

      SGI says Cyclone is backed by the industry’s fastest supercomputing hardware architectures, including SGI Altix scale-up, Altix ICE scale-out and Altix XE hybrid clusters, all based on Intel Xeon or Itanium processors. Customers can also choose between Novell SUSE or Red Hat Linux, with further performance offered by SGI ProPack. Altair PBS Professional and SGI ISLE Cluster Manager provide system scheduling and management.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Amarok 2.3 – First Look

      Amarok user and enthusiast Abhishek has made a great video, showing off some features of the upcoming Amarok 2.3.

    • Upgrading to KDE 4.3.5 (and should you?)

      The most exciting prospect of KDE 4.4 is the social desktop and the netbook Plasma. The social desktop will bring your social network to widgets on your Plasma desktop. And the netbook Plasma will offer a much more modern desktop to those adorable little mini-laptops.

    • KDE 4.3.5 is starting to seriously impress

      But with KDE 4 finally reaching a point where it is once again one of the most solid desktops available, the innovation it forces will make the Linux desktops a temptation many simply can not pass up.

    • The KDE 4.3 System Settings – Part 5 – System

      Welcome to part 5, the final article in our little series on the KDE 4.3 System Settings control panel. I first off want to thank the KDE devs for creating such a great desktop environment (DE) and for simplifying the control panel (now known as “System Settings”). The last time I had to do an article series like this, it took me 10 articles and nearly a month to pull it off.

    • Plasma Javascript Jam Session Contest

      We are pleased to announce the Plasma Javascript Jam Session. This friendly competition will reward creators of the most original, interesting and beautiful Plasma widgets (Plasmoids) written in Javascript with some great prizes and community recognition.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • NetBSD 5.0.2
      • One solution for the entire school [5.0.4 now out]

        Skolelinux / Debian Edu is a complete and free “out of the box” software solution for schools that reduces costs, prolongs the lifetime of hardware and covers almost every aspect of the schools’ IT needs.

      • paldo 1.21 released9 Feb 2010

        We are pleased to announce the release of paldo 1.21 with many bug fixes and updates.

        Enhancements to point out:

        * GNOME 2.28.2
        * Firefox 3.6
        * Linux
        * GCC 4.4 and glibc 2.11
        * X.org server 1.7.4

      • PC/OS VirtualServer 10 released

        We are proud to announce the release of PC/OS VirtualServer System 8.5. VirtualServer System 8.5 is a release of PC/OS OpenServer System 8.5 designed to be run on Sun Virtualbox. Its a virtual hard drive image with the Sun Virtualbox tools preinstalled. This takes out the necessary step of having to install the Virtualbox toolset.

      • 3.1.6 is here! – 08 Feb 2010

        3.1.6 is released! See the download page.

      • Privatix Live-System 10.02.07
    • Gentoo

    • Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva Linux 2010 and its KDE 4.4 Upgrade

        I’ve been happily using Mandriva 2010 as my desktop system since its release last November. The few issues I’ve had could be traced back to KDE 4.3.2. I had run the Update Manager a couple times at the beginning, but soon became lax and haven’t updated since. Honestly, I just didn’t want to risk an upgrade ruining what was essentially a completely enjoyable experience. But when Juan Luis Baptiste posted that KDE 4.4 packages were available for Mandriva 2010, it seemed worth risking a re-install.

      • Noteworthy Mandriva Cooker changes 1 February – 14 February 2010

        # KDE has been updated to final version 4.4.0. New features since KDE 4.3 include integrated desktop search in Dolphin, a new Plasma desktop interface optimized for netbooks, Palapelli (a jigsaw puzzle game), Cantor (a scientific maths application) and many others.

      • A Perfect Linux or BSD desktop distribution

        No distribution has all the features in this list. The only one that comes close is Mandriva Linux. The task for the next few weeks is to identify a list of desktop distributions that come close to being “perfect.” Will your distro make the list? Keep in mind that because of their philosophical stand on freedom in software, some distributions will never make the list.

      • Boot – PCLinuxOS 2010 Beta
    • Red Hat Family

    • Ubuntu

      • I’m not driven by Microsoft hatred: Shuttleworth

        The blog post had listed a number of reasons why the writer thought Ubuntu was allegedly becoming the new Microsoft: the inclusion of Mono as a default; the creation of Ubuntu One, a proprietary software repository; removing the GIMP and other applications from Ubuntu; changing the default search engine to Yahoo!; discussion about what proprietary applications should be included in the Ubuntu repositories; and the appointment of Matt Asay as chief operating officer.

      • Is There an Ubuntu 10.04 in Your Future?

        Ubuntu 10.04, aka Lucid Lynx, is an LTS (Long Term Support) release. This means that this version of Ubuntu will be supported for five years after its release. The last LTS was Ubuntu 8.04.

      • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 180

        Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #180 for the week February 7th – February 13th, 2010. In this issue we cover: Ubuntu Opportunistic Developer Week: Call For Participation, Interview With Jono by Joe Barker, Interview with Dustin Kirkland, Ubuntu Core Developer about encryption in Ubuntu, Upcoming Ubuntu Global Jam and your Loco Team, Ubuntu Honduras Loco Team at the T3 conference, Call for feedback on preferred desktop fonts, and much, much more!

      • Mint

        • Linux Mint 8 KDE Edition

          Linux Mint is one of the most popular Ubuntu based distro’s, possibly for the fact it brings something new to the table rather than just a different set of wallpapers. Its always been one of my favorite distros, and like the main Ubuntu project, it has more than one ‘flavour’. The main edition, which features the GNOME desktop has been out for a while, but the latest KDE release, was released about a week ago.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Hybrid terrestrial/satellite STB offers Linux dev platform

      French consumer electronics firm Sagemcom has joined with Belgian software company SoftAtHome to collaborate on an MPEG4-ready HD set-top box combining IPTV, satellite, and terrestrial delivery. The “Universal Set Top Box” offers DLNA-compliant content sharing, removable storage, and an open Linux SoftAtHome development environment.

    • The AirJaldi Mesh Router

      The router’s firmware (operating system) is a Dharamsala-brewed Linux clone, based on multiple open-source projects. Thanks to the amazing and promising development of the OpenWRT project, we now need very little additions of our own. The core of OpenWRT is based on UCLIBC and Busybox. With so many supporters and contributors, today one can find a very rich selection of pre-compiled packages and tools. This allows people on the ground to focus on local issues, while enjoying pre-tested and fully functional OS. Multiple Mesh routing protocols were tested and are supported optionally.

    • Chipset targets low-cost smartphones running Android or Linux

      ST-Ericsson announced an ARM9-based chipset designed for low-cost smartphones running Android or Linux.

    • Phones

      • Open Source: Fuel for the Smartphone Explosion
      • LiMo

        • Linux group LiMo growing, Adobe joins

          U.S. software firm Adobe and three other firms joined the wireless Linux group LiMo on Monday, underlying the growing role of the Linux computer operating system in cellphones.

        • SRS Labs, First Audio Company to Join LiMo Foundation

          SRS Labs (Nasdaq: SRSL), the industry leader in surround sound, audio, and voice technologies, announced today that it has joined the LiMo (Linux Mobile) Foundation™ to become the first sound technology company to join the ranks of the mobile industry’s global consortium.

        • Android first to host Adobe’s AIR for smartphones

          Adobe will also announce that it is joining the LiMo Foundation in order to support Flash on mobile Linux and name new partners for its Flash-based Open Screen Project including the Symbian Foundation, Freescale and Opera.

      • Android

        • Sony Ericsson preps compact Android pair

          Not content with releasing one Xperia X10 smartphone, Sony Ericsson is planning to offer two more.

          The two additions to the Android phone family are the X10 Mini and the X10 Mini Pro. Both were said by SE to be “smaller than a credit card” and to sport an “intuitive four-corner touchscreen user interface”.

        • MIPS aims for Android telephony market
        • Moto shows off eighth Android ‘andset

          Motorola today took the wraps of yet another Android smartphone, this one called Quench and based around a 3.1in touchscreen.

          If the Quench seems familiar, it’s because its already been annouced, kind of. Recently, Motorola unveiled the Cliq XT in the US, and the Quench is the same handset, tweaked for the European market just as it renamed the US-oriented Droid as the Milestone over here.

        • Oops! Motorola Jumps the Gun on Droid Upgrade Announcement

          Android 2.1 entered the world with the release of Google’s Nexus One last month. At the time of the launch, Motorola said the software update would be reaching the Droid and other Android phones at some point in the near future.

        • Android version of Nuvifone boasts multi-touch

          Garmin-Asus announced a multi-touch enabled Android version of its navigation-focused Nuvifone smartphones for the European market. The Nuvifone A50 appears to have similar specs to the earlier Linux-based Nuvifone G60, but adds a comprehensive suite of Google apps, as well as new styling and a touchpad.

        • MWC2010: CSR launches Android software platform

          CSR is supporting the Android open-source mobile operating system with its embedded wireless system software.

        • ST-Ericsson and ARM give Android a leg up

          ST-ERICSSON AND ARM have been telling the Mobile World Congress that their cunning plan to optimise Android to take advantage of Symmetric Multi Processing (SMP) on the ST-Ericsson U8500 platform is nearly ready.

        • The tale of an Android phone in the earthquake in Haiti

          We talked extensively about why Android is better than some other smartphone OSes, its openness, its multitasking characteristics, but have you ever thought that its customization features could actually save lives? Well read on.

      • Nokia

        • MWC 2010: Nokia and Intel announce MeeGo Linux-based device platform

          I am a big fan of the Maemo 5 platform as you can see in my Definitive Nokia N900 Guide so the news that Nokia and Intel are combining Moblin and Maemo to create the MeeGo Linux-based software platform for future mobile computers, notebooks, tablets, and more is quite exciting. MeeGo will also offer the Qt application development environment and allow developers to feature applications in the Ovi Store and Intel’s AppUpSM Center. Looking at the Nokia plot of their operating systems it looks like Maemo is out while MeeGo replaces it moving forward too.

        • MeeGo time!

          We’ve been busy with our friends @ Intel.

          We decided to expand the relationship we started already last spring. We merge Maemo and Moblin projects into one single project called MeeGo. MeeGo is an open software platform – an operating system – for a wide range of devices. It’ll run on X86 and on Arm based hardware. It will be developed as an open project hosted by the Linux Foundation.

        • Mobile World Congress: Network operators have big plans for platforms

          Third, Intel and Nokia announced they would merge their Moblin and Maemo software projects to create MeeGo, a unified Linux-based platform that will run on pocketable mobile computers, netbooks, tablets, media-rich smartphones, connected TVs and in-vehicle “infotainment” systems, ideally but not exclusively all based on Intel’s Atom microprocessor.

          This promises to be the West’s answer to LiMo, the Linux Mobile initiative that has drawn support from Asia-Pacific handset makers.

        • Nokia N900 works with PS3 controller

          It seems like not a week goes by without some clever hacker finding something unusual to do with their Nokia N900, and the device itself is proving more versatile than ever. The latest hack is the ability to hook up a Bluetooth PS3 controller, and play your Nokia N900 games with complete control. Read on after the break to find out more…

        • Nokia N900 review

          Besides the design and the speed, many of its functionalities strongly depend on the phone’s operating system. Nokia always uses Symbian OS for high-end mobile phones. Symbian enables installing applications, and also managing your agenda and email account is easy and straightforward. Besides Symbian, Nokia also uses a further developed Open Source operating system, the Linux-based Maemo.

        • JoikuSpot Goes Linux

          Joikusoft Ltd. today announces the next wave of mobile WiFi Tethering by extending JoikuSpot Mobile 3G HotSpotting to new Linux based Maemo devices from Nokia.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Five Best Netbook Operating Systems

        Jolicloud is the most distinctly netbook-oriented operating system in this Hive Five. It’s not just pretty good on a netbook—it was actually designed from the ground up to be a netbook operating system, so it’s a great fit. (For the curious, it’s a combination of Debian and Fedora Linux with WINE mixed in to support Windows-only apps.) Jolicloud has been tweaked and tuned to make it shine even on systems with low resources and small displays. The emphasis is not on a traditional computing experience but on harnessing web-based applications and storage services so that much of the heavy lifting and deep-storage of the netbook is transferred from the netbook to more powerful and larger servers. The application launcher—see in the screenshot here—makes it easy to organize and select your applications. The launcher emphasizes easy to read and identify text and logos, and all applications launch in full-screen mode by default. In addition to the default applications, you can browse the app directory to find new applications—the Jolicloud team curates the list to ensure compatibility.

      • HP jumps into smartbook market with announcement of AirLife

        Instead of Windows or Linux, the AirLife uses the same operating system and device drivers as many smartphones, Google Android. The AirLife’s screen will measure 10.1 inches, be touch-sensitive, and be able to display images at a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels. The keyboard will be 92 percent as large as a standard-size, and will include a touch pad.

    • Tablets

      • Linux’s Tablet Answer: Notion Ink ADAM

        The truly revolutionary component on this tablet is its screen, which incorporates Pixel Qi technology to give a similar experience as e-Ink when the backlight is off. This gives the tablet its godly battery life, and allows it to directly challenge the reading experience of eReaders. It is a powerful tablet, and the device’s multitasking with Flash support is undoubtedly a response to the iPad’s inability to do either.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source eCommerce: Quality is no longer enough

    I’m delighted to be writing about Open Source eCommerce (OSC) for Practical eCommerce! When I started in the Internet industry, the few eCommerce stores were custom-programmed, they cost millions of dollars and employed large teams of programmers. osCommerce changed all that at the turn of the century with the first free, open source eCommerce program.

  • TeleKast Is a Snazzy Open Source Teleprompter App

    Over at cool-stuff blog Cool Tools, former TV commercial director and producer Jeff Bragg gives TeleKast a runthrough in the video below:

    TeleKast if a free download for Windows and Linux only. It’s currently an alpha release, so you might expect a little bugginess—but it worked like a charm in my tests. If you’d prefer a little teleprompter action without installing an application, check out previously mentioned CuePrompter.

  • KnowledgeTree Spreads Its ECM Through Open Tech Channel

    KnowledgeTree (news, site) is joining Open Tech and taking their document management software to thousands of resellers worldwide.

  • hSenid launch new products, mChoice Soltura, community VAS platform, and mChoice Vishma, an open source application store

    hSenid Mobile Solutions, a leading mobile solution provider, will be launching their latest revolutionary products mChoice Soltura, community VAS platform, and mChoice Vishma, an open source application store at this years Mobile world congress held in Barcelona.

  • Twitter to use BitTorrent for upgrades

    The company is now planning to use the Open Source Bit Tornado torrent client to distribute updates from a seed server to a swarm of peer servers.

  • Open version of cloud management software takes on ECP

    Toronto-based Enomaly severed its links with open source software with the release of the latest version of its Elastic Computing Platform (ECP). Not only did the company remove all traces of the open source Community Edition from the product but it also moved ECP from the open source repository, SourceForge, moves which caused great disquiet among the company’s customer base.

  • CA Brings SOA Security to Open Source JBoss

    CA announced it has extended its world-class Web access security technology to include support for Web applications and Web services hosted on JBoss Enterprise Middleware.

  • The City of Houston Utilizes Zenoss Enterprise for Cisco Monitoring

    Zenoss, Inc., a leading commercial open source provider of Unlegacy enterprise IT management products, today announced that the City of Houston is using the company to manage the mission-critical network infrastructure at the Houston Airport System (HAS), the world’s sixth largest airport system. Using Zenoss Enterprise, The City of Houston has been able to reduce the total cost of operating its large and complex HAS network by over 500% while more efficiently meeting the demands of managing a network consisting of hundreds of Cisco routers, switches and firewalls spread across the city’s three airports.

  • Exclusive podcast: CEO of Actuate, the open source firm behind BIRT

    I had a good long chat with Pete Cittadini, CEO of open source business intelligence firm Actuate recently. The company is doing somewhere between $120m and $140m a year, having founded and still co-leading the Eclipse Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) open source project.

  • OpenOffice.org

    • Too fat to fly: Kevin Smith and OpenOffice

      Canonical has done a fine job of making the Linux user experience more coherent, and for the kind of dinky 3lb laptops that Apple doesn’t make, Ubuntu is preferable in many ways to Windows 7 or XP for reliability and ease of use. So there are high expectations for the official NetBook-specific distro, originally called NetBook Remix but now called NetBook Edition. It promises all the benefits of Google’s ChromeOS, but without the mandatory built-in Google creepware.

    • OpenOffice 3.2 now available

      OpenOffice.org, the open-source office software package, has released version 3.2 of its free Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access replacement tools. Simultaneously, the team also revealed that it’s hit 300 million downloads since the suite launched in 2002.

    • OpenOffice Reports 300 Million downloads

      The impressive open source office software suite Open Office a free alternative to Microsoft’s office desktop software has reported over 300 million people have downloaded the application since its debut in April 2002. Eat your heart out Microsoft.

    • Open Source OpenOffice Records 300 Million Downloads
    • 300,000,000 Downloads Later, OpenOffice Ships Version 3.2
    • Open source office software upgraded

      Microsoft-bating open source software maker OpenOffice.org has announced the latest release of its ‘anything you can do we can do cheaper’ suite of office productivity tools.

    • Free open-source word processing software gets speed and compatibility update

      More than 300 million downloads later, OpenOffice.org – the world’s leading free personal productivity software — is updating its office suite to make it faster and more compatible with other office software programs.

  • Mozilla

    • Firefox Turning Into A Multi-Browser

      In an upcoming version, Firefox will be a multiprocessing browser. The developers of Firefox at Mozilla are preparing for one of the most important changes in the history of this browser. It will not be the version of Firefox 3.5 which will make the Firefox browser a multithreaded one. But it is expected to be so in any of the following versions, such as version 3.6, which we have already spoken of. Or in version 4.0 Firefox can become a multi-browser. For those of you who do not know what a multithreaded browser means, you can keep an eye on the post explaining what a multi-browser is all about.

  • CMS

    • WordPress Mobile now available, free and open source, for BlackBerry, Android and iPhone; Nokia soon!

      WordPress, the gold standard in blogging platforms, has just announced that they now have WordPress applications for RIM’s BlackBerry (NSDQ: RIMM) platform, Google (NSDQ: GOOG)’s Android, and the iPhone. They’re all free, and they’re all open source, so the community can help make them better. They’ve also announced that in a few weeks they’ll be playing with Qt and releasing a beta for not only Nokia (NYSE: NOK)’s Symbian platform, but the Linux based Maemo too.

  • Intelligence

  • Business

    • Nuxeo releases DAM application with CMIS support

      Nuxeo, the open source enterprise content management vendor, released a new digital asset management system last week with support for the most current OASIS CMIS specification. This should make it easier for companies using the Nuxeo solution to share multimedia content across different repositories whether or not they are using Nuxeo tools.

    • The Momentum Builds for Open Source Telephony

      In fact, as the economy stabilizes, Digium firmly believes that the momentum the open source community has gained will continue. After all, though the recession helped boost the open source space to its current market position, the growth of the open source community and the stability of open source platforms (Asterisk is a decade old now) have helped create a new market dynamic that is driving interest in alternative vendors, including those in the open source community, as well as Skype,Microsoft ( News – Alert), and others.

    • Wireless Giant Launches Open Source Subsidiary

      Chandhok: Open source has become increasingly important to mobile, and QuIC was formed to bring increased focus to open source initiatives. Qualcomm is unique in its market reach, powering the vast majority of 3G handsets as a whole as well as smartphones that are commercially available today. This puts us into a very good position to drive innovation forward for the wireless industry.

    • Cynapse Partners with VNC for Exclusive Distribution of Cyn.in across EMEA to Drive Open Source Enterprise 2.0 initiatives

      Cynapse, provider of open source Enterprise 2.0 software for small, medium and large organizations, today announced a partnership with Virtual Network Consult GmbH (VNC), a Value Added Distributor for Commercial Open Source & Cloud Solutions, to deliver its product Cyn.in in the Europe, Middle East and Africa markets.

    • Equinox Expanding into Support for Koha Open Source ILS

      Yesterday, Equinox Software, which has built its name and business supporting the Evergreen open source integrated library system (ILS) its founders helped develop, announced plans to support Koha, the other major open source ILS.

  • Funding

    • XIPWIRE Donates Text Pledging Service to Open Source Community

      By facilitating text donations to several non-profit organizations, XIPWIRE would like to give back to the community, stated the company. Currently, donations can be directed to the Apache Software Foundation, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Free Software Foundation, GNOME Foundation, KDE e.V. and the Linux Foundation.

  • BSD

    • Opera Dragonfly open for business

      Since the inception of Opera Dragonfly, we planned for it to become an open source project. It has always been released under an open source BSD licence, but the source repositories were on Opera servers. Starting today, Opera Dragonfly is a fully open source project, hosted on BitBucket. Since the previous version of Opera Dragonfly, a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes replacing the existing architecture with a modern version of the Scope Protocol – STP-1. Opera Dragonfly has been rewritten to use this faster and more efficient version of Scope. Now that we believe that the underlying protocol is stable and performant, and a public desktop build has been released with this included, it is time to put Opera Dragonfly on a public Mercurial repository.

  • Releases

    • eXo Platform Releases Open Source CMIS Implementation

      eXo Platform today introduced xCMIS, an open source implementation of the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) specification. Fully compliant with the latest CMIS 1.0 – cd06 specification, xCMIS supports eXo’s standards-based Java content repository (JCR) and works with third-party CMIS clients as well as a new eXo CMIS client based on Google Web Toolkit (GWT).

    • Cubeia Unveils Open-Source Game Server

      Cubeia Ltd, a technology solutions provider for the online gambling and gaming industry, are pleased to announce the ground-breaking release of Firebase Community Edition – a scalable, enterprise server for multiplayer games. Firebase Community Edition is the first ever open-source game server in the online gambling industry.

    • Git 1.7 brings some compatibility changes

      Version 1.7 of the free Git distributed version control system (DVCS) is now available to download. The new release offers numerous changes that have been discussed for some time, changes that have made the new version incompatible with its predecessor, Git 1.6.6, but the repository format is unchanged. The changes appear to have been important enough for the developers to choose to introduce them rather than maintain the system’s backward compatibility with previous releases.

  • Government

    • Time to turn open-source words into action

      Since early 2004, it has been the government’s stated policy to use open-source software in the public sector wherever possible, as long as it offers the best value for money.

      To date, the policy has had little impact. So will the latest tweaks to its open-source action plan make a difference?

      Software is “open-source” when the source code is freely available to be viewed, shared or changed — things that you can’t do with conventional proprietary software. Crucially, open-source is also the cheaper option in many cases.

    • Letting the cat out of the bag

      When I blogged about the UK government’s open source initiative (or rather the lack of it) a couple of weeks ago. It was obvious to me – and to many of the people in the open source community that the government wasn’t exactly pulling out all the stops in its attempts to cut waste in the tendering process.


      So, the open source commentators who say that the government has not been enthusiastic about pursuing are completely missing the point. It’s not about inertia; it’s not about the influence of proprietary software companies; it’s not about the perceived lack of maturity of open source companies – it’s simply that those newer competitors aren’t expensive enough. Those pitches proving cost savings have been going down the wrong path – it’s as if they were setting off to play golf and keeping under par the whole way round, only to be told at the end of the game that the object was to take as many shots as possible.

    • Open Source Toryism

      Finally, Cameron had a populist swipe at lobbyists. Which is fine. No-one likes lobbyists. But Cameron’s attitude towards lobbying is instructive, for it demonstrates the extent to which, despite his rhetoric, he remains a centraliser. The problem with lobbying is a “lack of transparency” and so he’ll also slow down the revolving door, making it harder to ministers to move seamlessly into lobbying. Which is also fine but no more than tackling a symptom while ignoring the cause of the disease. Which is, silly, government.

    • Cameron pledges to publish contracts in full

      “No ICT project will be commissioned without first seeing if it can be done for free or at very low cost. We will set open standards to encourage interoperability between ICT systems and open up ICT procurement to more companies by creating a level playing field for open source software throughout government.”

    • Q&A: Red Hat’s Werner Knoblich on UK open source

      Vice president and general manager of Red Hat in EMEA Werner Knoblich talks about how open source is going down in the UK and what 2010 has in store.

    • ICT & Education: Eleven Countries to Watch — and Learn From

      With a population of over 31 million, the Indian state of Kerala — home to the IT@school initiative — has more people than all but two of the countries listed here. IT@school, which provides ICT-enabled education to 1.6 million students per year in the state, is considered by some to be the largest educational program of its kind utilizing primarily free and open source software.

  • Openness

    • Open government could lead to open-source textbooks

      Yes. Free open source textbooks are alive and well at both the college and k-12 level. Check out CK12.org. Initial free STEM textbooks are available now and more digital materials will be forthcoming as the company progresses and leverages more of an open source community for standards-aligned open digital materials.

    • Open-source Cyberinfrastructure to Aggregate Cancer Research Data

      The Cyberinfrastructure for Comparative Effectiveness Research (CYCORE) project for cancer research will be scalable, open-source and user-friendly. CYCORE will aggregate data from clinical trials, patient medical records, self-reported and objectively monitored social and behavioral data, data on cancer outcomes from regional cancer registries, and cost-benefit analyses.

    • Introducing TED Fellow: Cesar Harada

      Cesar Harada is the coordinator of Open_Sailing, the open-source group developing the International Ocean Station.

    • ‘Anarconomy’ and the News Industry

      In contrast, the Copenhagen “anarconomy” vision of anarchy is not particularly anarchistic. In fact, it is rather rule-based, albeit the collectivist social rules of open source copyleft communities. Jaron Lanier has called fundamentalist manifestations of this “Digital Maoism”, which is catchier than it is historically accurate, but you get the idea… Another variant is expressed in the sometimes fickle wrath of the tough love inflicted by open source gatekeepers when cool new ideas conflict somehow with “community standards.”

    • “Open-source science” project will seek to improve synthesis of schistosomiasis drug

      Matthew Todd, a chemist at the University of Sydney has obtained funding amounting to US$350,000 to support his project. He intends to go about the work using an approach known as “open-source science”.

    • 28 Days, 28 Ideas #14: Open Source Curriculum

      Process: While the curriculum will be “open source,” in that permission will be given to modify, add, etc. to the educational products in process, there will have to be a screening process for collaborators to avoid the wikipedia fallacy, otherwise known as the blind leading the blind. Those who collaborate will have to have been trained and perhaps credentialed in recognized ways so that there is a serious element of quality control.

  • Programming

    • PHP and Perl crashing the enterprise party

      While dynamic programming languages like PHP and Python dominate Web engineering, the signs that they are breaking Java and .Net’s hold on the enterprise are less clear. Forrester recently reported that PHP claims the highest instance of open source use within enterprises, at 57 percent penetration.

    • Learn Python with our free tutorials
    • Oracle Calls for JavaOne Papers

      Oracle has issued a call for papers for a rescheduled JavaOne conference, to be held this year alongside Oracle OpenWorld, Sept. 19-23, in San Francisco.

      Potential presenters have until March 14 to submit their proposals.


  • Security

    • Binyam Mohamed storm widens as Johnson defends MI5 over torture

      Home secretary blasts Lib Dems and media after Guardian revealed how government suppressed scathing court ruling

    • Bruce Anderson: We not only have a right to use torture. We have a duty

      Torture is revolting. A man can retain his human dignity in front of a firing squad or on the scaffold: not in a torture chamber. Torturers set out to break their victim: to take a human being and reduce him to a whimpering wreck. In so doing, they defile themselves and their society. In Britain, torture has been illegal for more than 300 years. Shortly after torture was abjured, we stopped executing witches: all part of a move away from medieval legal mores and their replacement with the modern rule of law. Until recently, at least in the UK, torture and witch-finding appeared to be safely immured in a museum of ancient atrocities.

      Yet men cannot live like angels. However repugnant we may find torture, there are worse horrors, such as the nuclear devastation of central London, killing hundreds of thousands of people and inflicting irreparable damage on mankind’s cultural heritage. We also face new and terrible dangers. In the past, the threat came from other states. If they struck at us, we knew where to strike back. Now, we can almost feel nostalgic for mutually assured destruction.

    • Iraq orders ex-Blackwater contractors out

      Iraq has ordered former employees of the private military contractor once known as Blackwater to leave the country, its interior minister announced Wednesday.

  • Environment

    • Shell hit by massive data breach

      Shell has been hit by a massive data breach – the contact database for 176,000 staff and contractors at the firm has been copied and forwarded to lobbyists and activists opposed to the company.

  • Finance

    • Wall St. Helped to Mask Debt Fueling Europe’s Crisis

      Wall Street tactics akin to the ones that fostered subprime mortgages in America have worsened the financial crisis shaking Greece and undermining the euro by enabling European governments to hide their mounting debts.

      As worries over Greece rattle world markets, records and interviews show that with Wall Street’s help, the nation engaged in a decade-long effort to skirt European debt limits. One deal created by Goldman Sachs helped obscure billions in debt from the budget overseers in Brussels.


      Wall Street did not create Europe’s debt problem. But bankers enabled Greece and others to borrow beyond their means, in deals that were perfectly legal. Few rules govern how nations can borrow the money they need for expenses like the military and health care. The market for sovereign debt — the Wall Street term for loans to governments — is as unfettered as it is vast.

    • Forgiveness for Haiti? We should be begging theirs

      If we are to believe the G7 finance ministers, Haiti is on its way to getting something it has deserved for a very long time: full “forgiveness” of its foreign debt. In Port-au-Prince, Haitian economist Camille Chalmers has been watching these developments with cautious optimism. Debt cancellation is a good start, he told al-Jazeera English, but: “It’s time to go much further. We have to talk about reparations and restitution for the devastating consequences of debt.” In this telling, the whole idea that Haiti is a debtor needs to be abandoned. Haiti, he argues, is a creditor – and it is we, in the west, who are deeply in arrears.


      A reckoning with the debts the world owes to Haiti would radically change this poisonous dynamic. This is where the road to repair begins – by recognising the right of Haitians to reparations.

    • Vancouver Olympics protest takes violent twist

      For all the power and spectacle of the Olympic Games, the down-sides may seem to some a necessary evil. But not to all.

      “The Olympics have a history of leaving host cities in debt, and relocating the poor and homeless away from the sanitized corridors of host cities,” The Christian Science Monitor noted on Friday. “Vancouver is no exception.”

    • India Says PayPal Not Authorized for Money Transfer

      PayPal does not have authorization in India to provide cross-border money transfers, a spokeswoman for the country’s central bank said on Thursday.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Cyber attacks against Australia ‘will continue’

      An activist group that temporarily blocked access to key Australian government websites plans to continue its cyber attacks, the BBC has learned.

    • Google has disabled the ability for Nawaat to upload new videos

      Today we got a message from Youtube informing us that the ability to post new videos on Youtube has been temporarily disabled for violating the YouTube Community Guidelines because of a video deemed “inappropriate.”


      And while we are not complaining about all the censorship and attacks targeting us, as we are totally aware that these are the consequences of the fight we are waging against the Tunisian regime to win back our freedom of expression, we really don’t want and don’t expect to see this battle front extended to Google services.

    • Computer savvy activists launch attacks to punch holes in online shields of authoritative regimes

      Jacob Appelbaum, a San Francisco programmer with the long-time open source Tor Project, a cloaking program used by corporations and free speech activists alike, said closed systems like Haystack concern him. He said it has no peer review the way the Tor Project does, which has been created and vetted by programmers around the world over many years.

    • Yahoo! Nectar deal to link online ads to offline buys

      Shoppers will have internet adverts displayed to them based on their offline shopping habits in a new scheme being developed by internet publisher Yahoo! and customer loyalty scheme Nectar.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Net neutrality: Are all bits created equal?

      The ability to visit big or small websites equally is coming under attack from critics of “net neutrality” in America.

      This principle means all web traffic is treated equally regardless of the type or origin.

    • Google Ultrafast Broadband May Shake Up Fiber Market

      But while Google may intend for its network to serve as a model for other carriers, there is no guarantee that it will lead the incumbent carriers to follow suit. After all, the success of the open source Android operating system hasn’t made proprietary operating systems such as the iPhone OS or BlackBerry any less popular or profitable. What remains to be seen, then, will be whether the Google network will lead to a revolution or will remain just a pretty model.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • DOJ Launches Intellectual-property-enforcement Task Force

      The task force will work closely with the recently established White House Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), which has the responsibility of drafting a strategic plan on IP for President Barack Obama’s administration. The task force will recommend ways to improve IP enforcement, the DOJ said.


      There are some indications that the DOJ may target peer-to-peer file sharers, however. The DOJ, under Obama, has hired five former lawyers for the Recording Industry Association of America, and the DOJ this year supported a US$675,000 file-sharing verdict in Massachusetts.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Christian Einfeldt’s DTP presentation in Berlin 2004 04 (2004)

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

Bill Gates Was Right About ‘Piracy’ Being a Microsoft Friend and GNU/Linux Foe

Posted in Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 9:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not.”

Bill Gates

Summary: News coverage with statements and observations that confirm simple truths (as opposed to spin from the “mainstream” media)

THIS ISSUE has already been covered in a previous post, but the following articles contain parts (the quoted snippets) which confirm what Bill Gates said a few years ago:

Your Windows 7 PC Will Call Home To Ensure It’s Piracy-Free

Of course, if you’re really unhappy about this, you don’t have to use Microsoft products. I would like to take this opportunity to remind people that for the most part, we have a free choice as to what software we run. Not happy with Windows? Run Linux.

Best Do Something About That RC Copy Of Windows 7 Soon

So best do something about it before the end of this month. And if you’d rather not fork out the cash for Windows 7, you could always try a version of Linux…

Windows update causes Windows XP to freak out”

So yeah, let’s all move to Linux. Someone tell Scott.

The Register calls this Vista 7 antifeature “nagware” and longtime Microsoft apologist Alex Zaharov-Reutt pokes fun with phrases like “Linux lovers a Windows-bashing field day” and “causing Mac and Linux fans to snigger…”

The Inquirer went along with the headline “You don’t own your computer, Microsoft does

Well, actually, with GNU/Linux you do own your computer.

It’s the same when it comes to last week’s BSoDs, which we wrote about in [1, 2]:

Windows XP patch fiasco gets even crazier, Microsoft now scrambling for solutions

If you ever needed a reason to go Linux, here you go. The noise surrounding this patently obscure Windows XP bug / patch fiasco has just reached a fever pitch, and now we’ve got engineers within Redmond scratching their heads, too.

More information can be found in ZDNet and The Register. Regarding Microsoft’s suggestion, Groklaw writes: “Microsoft says to boot up with the installation CD, but since when do they provide those any more? If you have a netbook without a CD drive, now what do you do?”

There are those who blame rootkits, but when 32% or more of the machines are being infected despite having anti-virus software installed, then how is that not Microsoft’s fault? Either way, Microsoft pulled the patches — an urgent move which only leaves Windows PCs more vulnerable (unpatched).

To summarise, Microsoft’s pressure on more users is only helping GNU/Linux, so the principal so-called ‘pirate’ here is Microsoft. It bullies innocent users and it still takes its code from other developers, illegally [1, 2, 3].

“Stolen’s a strong word. it’s copyrighted content that the owner wasn’t paid for.”

Bill Gates

“Hey, Steve, just because you broke into Xerox’s store before I did and took the TV doesn’t mean I can’t go in later and steal the stereo.”

Bill Gates

“In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems.”

Bill Gates


Has Microsoft Gently Bribed the British Press?

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Google, Kernel, Marketing, Microsoft at 9:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They can’t outright bribe them. That’s illegal and probably wouldn’t work anyway – people would feel insulted. So what they need to do is ensure that the “thought leader”‘s economic interest is aligned with their own.”

“How this kind of thing works – Soft Bribery”

Summary: Writers at The Register and The Guardian sing Microsoft’s tune and turn more hostile towards Google, on whom they rely for readers (site visitors)

LAST YEAR we showed that The Register was selling out to Microsoft and Novell. Several of our readers independently point out that something went rotten at The Register after it had signed some deals with Microsoft. It’s really hard to ignore the change because The Register used to be very critical of Microsoft before Microsoft money landed on its table. One reader in particular is repeatedly showing us that The Register has become a Google-hostile powerhouse (The Register was a search partner of Microsoft). We’ll come to this in a moment.

First of all, here is The Register writing about free travel/dinners from Microsoft — ones that the monopolist intends to give to an ID cards group (it gives Microsoft more control by proxy). Those who know something about ID cards will resist the very notion of them; they are mechanisms of control, whereby the public gets managed by a few self-appointed “adults”. If we have not learned anything about privacy, now is an important time to learn. For insight into the vested interests of Microsoft in ID cards, see what Microsoft is doing this year in India.

ID card campaign group No2ID has – with a little financial backing from Microsoft – won admission to the industry working group of Project STORK, the EU programme for devising interoperability standards for electronic ID systems across Europe.


The Microsoft backing will cover travel expenses, and comes from the company’s corporate social responsibility fund, bless.

Influence. See what we wrote about Microsoft money on Apache’s table [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18]. Because of the one-sidedness in The Register’s coverage, there are mostly apologists in the comments. And actually, the staff writing for The Register nowadays includes some persistent apologists/boosters of Microsoft, who according to some readers of ours, are attacking Google quite a lot and often defending Microsoft, whereas it used to be the other way around when other people ‘ran’ The Register.

“This impacts Ubuntu (GNU/Linux) 10.04, which still ‘sells’ to its users the illusion that Yahoo! is just Yahoo!”There are some exceptions, but taken on a statistical basis, the bias lends to the perception that The Register no longer stands out from the crowd like it used to. It would require a long time to accumulate and analyse headlines, but one could definitely do this, then show the difference. This type of analysis is often being conducted in order to judge the political spectrum of particular newspapers or channels (assessing balance and spotting omissions).

Here, for example, is a new free advertisements for Windows Mobile, courtesy of Gavin Clarke who is citing his colleague Mary Jo Foley. Clarke also covers the next step of Microsoft’s hijack of Yahoo!, which the EU Commission seems unable to stop. This impacts Ubuntu (GNU/Linux) 10.04, which still ‘sells’ to its users the illusion that Yahoo! is just Yahoo!

“But the legal battle wasn’t just about Microsoft. It was about two completely different ideas of what the Web should be”.

BBC, rewriting World Wide Web history in 2010

Another British publication which has served Microsoft’s interests for longer than The Register would be The Guardian (well, with the BBC it’s totally obvious and blatant [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]). We gave recent examples of The Guardian’s Microsoft disinformation in [1, 2, 3, 4] and the editor of The Guardian contacted us, obviously trying to stop this negative publicity that The Guardian receives for advancing a convicted monopolist and repeating its lies. “With Buzz, Google takes another giant step towards turning into Microsoft,” says this new headline from The Guardian.

The search engine’s answer to Facebook and Twitter is breathtakingly intrusive and takes astonishing liberties with your privacy

What The Guardian does here belittles Microsoft’s crimes. The long-standing talking point from Microsoft’s apologists is that other companies are “equally evil”, or something along those lines. “Guardian trashes Google, again,” wrote to us a reader who sent the above pointer.

Now, to be fair, Google is not perfect; far from it. But to compare Microsoft's serial abuse of the law to Google’s privacy stance? Come on!

Simon Phipps (from Oracle) had something interesting to say regarding Google’s secrecy. It is the opposite of what Google offers users of Buzz, namely there’s the lack/contempt of privacy. Android had Phipps write:

Serious break-down of trust here, as seemingly the fusion of pragmatism and secrecy at Google is leading them to treat their community responsibilities as a low priority. We’ll see much more of this from corporate FOSS users in the future, which is why I’m convinced we need to grade projects on more than just their license choice (or the warmness towards the FOSS communities of their out-of-band programmes).

Now that Simon Phipps works for Oracle rather than Sun, such statements might become harder to make (due to hypocrisy). Either way, Google’s obligations to the GPL or its balance between features and privacy are hardly comparable to Microsoft’s long series of serious offences.

The above was said in relation to an issue which was brought up here before:

What makes Android so special? Well, that depends on who you ask and since you are reading this, I would say Android is special because it is built on the Linux Kernel. The whosit-whatsit?

Without delving too deeply into computer science, let’s just say that the “kernel” is the central component of most operating systems. The kernel acts like a bridge between the applications and the actual data manipulation that occurs at the hardware and processor level. The Linux Kernel is considered to be Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), software that you, the user, are allowed to fiddle with to change, improve, or add functionality.

Here is Motorola being pressured to open up its Android implementation (which could be a GPL violation):

But what currently is deeply upsetting a lot of Milestone customers is that Motorola advertises the Milestone as an open device without limits and compromises. With openness being a major factor for a lot of customers for choosing the Milestone over other phones. Recognizing that they effectively ended up with a totally closed device currently is a very rude awakening for a lot Motorola Milestone customers.

What are Motorola responses?

Motorola seems to be utterly surprised from the uproar they have created and till now has only come up with very short and inconclusive answers.

* Motodev comments about kernel signatures
* Motodev comments about developer phones
* Motorola Europe Facebook comments about Custom ROMs

In summary, Motorola Europe tells customers that they either should get a developer phone from a competitor or join the Motorola developer program, and reasons that the boot loader lock up because people otherwise “may void the warranty on a consumer device or violate the copyright on the applications”.

In this case, it’s a Motorola issue, not a Google issue. Motorola has never been a Free software-friendly company, not even when it built Java+Linux phones. Hopefully that can change.

Patents Roundup: IBM Helps Software Patents Spread to India and Gets Sued for Patent Violations; ELSE Joins LiMo Patent Pool

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Kernel, Law, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents, SUN at 7:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IBM logo twist

Summary: A defender of (sometimes lobbyist for) software patents gets itself in trouble after Microsoft settles; company that sues Microsoft for software patent violations sidles with LiMo

GUESS WHICH company helps harm the software industry in India using software patents? It is the same company which is doing it in the United States and in Europe. “Indian Patent Office granted on “System for Creating an Application Program Package’” to IBM,” says the president of the FFII (in reference to patent number 176178). Here is the source of the claim, a post titled “Leveraging Through Software Patents” (an ignorant piece that wrongly attributes growth of patents to developments, without evidence).

India is emerging as a world leader in the field of software technology. The IT software and services industry in India grossed an annual revenue of Rs. 37,760 crore (US$ 8.26 billion) during 2000-01, according to the annual industry survey released by the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), the apex body of software, e-commerce and IT services industry in India.


Contrary to popularly held belief that software related patents are not permitted by Indian Patent Office; there are several instances where software related patents have been granted by the Indian Patent Office. One example is the Software related patent no 176178 granted to IBM, USA for “System for Creating an Application Program Package’” by the Indian Patent Office.

Well, thank you, IBM. Thanks for nothing. The system which IBM helped create and sustain is now accommodating patent trolls too. Their impact is definitely subversive:

“Patent trolling” has its rewards.

Tech-sector executives and lawyers say privately—and an informed review of court dockets confirms—that so-called trolls aren’t just surviving, they’re thriving. The essential NPE tactic—suing a broad swath of companies for patent infringement, then settling with each defendant for less than the cost of fighting such a suit—is now an established business model. It’s so solid, in fact, that patent-holders are starting to delve into previously untouched economic sectors, suing small retailers and even photographers.

Deservedly perhaps, IBM has just been hit by a lawsuit from the same company that Microsoft had paid to settle (shades of Eolas [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]). Oracle is sued too and it’s a software patent.

IBM Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Oracle Corp. are among a slew of major technology companies that have been hit with a patent infringement suit by encryption technology company TecSec Inc.

In a suit filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, TecSec claims that nearly a dozen companies have infringed 11 of its patents for technology used to encrypt commercial data, including credit card and health care information.


In April, TecSec filed suit against Microsoft Corp. in the Eastern District of Virginia, alleging that components of Windows Vista and other Microsoft products infringed five of the same patents. The suit was dismissed in July after Microsoft agreed to an undisclosed settlement.

In other news, the company which sued Microsoft and Apple for software patent infringement last week has just joined the LiMo Foundation. It is a patent pool amongst other things. Talk about timing.

ELSE – a design house for state-of-the-art mobile technologies and a member of the Emblaze Group – has joined the LiMo Foundation, a global consortium of mobile industry leaders.

Reuters has a series of articles about the mobile software market. One part speaks about LIMO:


Linux consortium LiMo hopes to benefit from its focus on giving greater say over software development to telecoms operators.

LiMo Foundation was set up in 2007 by Samsung, NTT DoCoMo (9437.T), France Telecom’s Orange (FTE.PA), and NEC Corp (6701.T), Panasonic Corp (6752.T), Vodafone (VOD.L).

These are some large companies and it’s a shame that they associate themselves with morally corrupt individuals who work for ACCESS, including pornographers. LiMo would be better off without them.

The Latest from Microsoft’s Ambassador to Linux (MVP Miguel de Icaza) and Other FSF-Hostile Folks

Posted in FSF, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 7:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Microsoft’s influence on GNU/Linux comes from the expected vectors and resistance to this is still being suppressed

THE Mono and Moonlight charade carries on. Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza wants people to spread more of Microsoft’s APIs inside GNU/Linux, making a special “Call to Action” on Valentine’s day. From his call to action:

And you have a choice, you can use Boo, IronRuby, IronPython, F# for building your app. VB.NET is also available if you want to teach your sysadmin a lesson in humility.

It’s okay, as long as it’s from Microsoft. Is he saying that we should also buy software patent licences from Microsoft and use Silverlight? Does that stop there? How far will it go? Miguel de Icaza once wrote: “At Microsoft I learned the truth about ActiveX and COM and I got very interested in it inmediately [sic].”

Should we add that to GNU/Linux too?

One of the most rabid/outspoken fans of Mono, Philip Van Hoof (senior GNOME developer), is shooting from the lip again (this was previously mentioned in this post). For those who do not know, he is exceptionally hostile towards GNU and Richard Stallman and a lot has already been written about the subject. As the following new comments show, he resorts to very rude language (but we leave the words in tact):

TOM, please don’t comment on my blog anymore. You aren’t welcome. And yes, because I own the infrastructure that hosts this blog system (I really do) is it my right to ban you and remove your messages (please do go stand on your head and hate me for it, I don’t give a shit). I’m prepared to go as far as to add a iptables filter on your entire internet provider, so just don’t. You’ll just be wasting your time.


I removed two comments from a complete idiot moron who went by the name “truth-teller” or something ridiculous like that.

To this “truth-teller” idiot: you are banned from my blog. Please don’t post any new comments to any of my blog articles of the past and future. You aren’t welcome. And yes, because I own the infrastructure that hosts this blog system (I really do) is it my right to ban you and remove your messages (please do go stand on your head and hate me for it, I don’t give a shit). I’m prepared to go as far as to add a iptables filter on your entire internet provider, so just don’t. You’ll just be wasting your time.

Dear religious extremists like “truth-teller”: stop wasting everybody’s time. You’re not welcome, no. You guys *have* already consumed your right to free speech on my blog: you don’t have it any longer. Complain to yourself. I despise your hatred and I want you to know that I do not tolerate it here (and I do own this place, you don’t). About me despising your hatred: I want you religious extremists to know that I don’t necessarily consider stupidity immoral. I do consider your hatred immoral and unacceptable at a most fundamental philosophy. I know you don’t, but I hope you do understand what that means: you’re not welcome, at all. Just fuck off.

Miguel de Icaza is censoring his blog comments too (deleting comments that do not agree with him), just like Microsoft and IBM employees do when people disagree with them. Then again, we have always known that Mono relied on a fair deal of censorship (gagging opposition and abusing dissenting voices to discourage them). This behaviour rarely characterises Free software projects; it’s more typical for a big company whose name starts with an “M”.

“This behaviour rarely characterises Free software projects; it’s more typical for a big company whose name starts with an “M”.”“They seem to be defending .NET (see .NET criticism),” says Cubezzz.

There is nothing magical about Microsoft software. As Groklaw pointed out a few days ago when sharing this article about Microsoft software, “It turns out if you have a file larger than 500 megabytes, you have to get into some command line fu. Or, you could decide not to use proprietary products that lock you in unless you have such fu, and establish what you can and can’t do according to what suits them. Seriously, read the article, and if you can follow his directions, you won’t have a bit of trouble using FOSS alternatives, like Plone or Alfresco.

On the bright side, based on this new post about Lenny, Debian GNU/Linux can be kept Microsoft free.

Debian Lenny – my main desktop for two months


There’s no Mono on this machine. Gthumb was the default, so there was no F-Spot, and I don’t think there was Tomboy notes.I didn’t install the C++ equivalent Gnote because I really don’t need a notes application. I just use regular text files.

Let us hope that Microsoft’s Linux entryism will fail miserably sooner rather than later.

“OMG OMG OMG OMG #silverligh4 has everything I wanted on it: full desktop apps with full system access”

Miguel de Icaza

Reader’s Article: Love the Criminals

Posted in Bill Gates, Boycott Novell, Deception, Microsoft, Patents at 6:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: The “mainstream” press glorifies the same people who are looting society at large

A FEW months ago we explained that those who speak out against crime are subjected to personal abuse. We live in a society that rewards bystanders. We have covered examples where Microsoft and Bill Gates were seen paying to buy the media and to do reputation laundering, even for crime/criminals. It’s not something that’s unique to Microsoft though. To borrow a recent example from entertainment, after Chris Brown had been beating up his famous girlfriend he hired a PR firm to spin the incident. That’s just how the rich people work; they hire large teams of people whose sole job is to manage the public image of their clients.

“Unethical,” you say?

Well, that’s just reality. The rich can afford to reshape public opinion, whereas the poor gets to be daemonised by the rich (who have means of power). We know for a fact that Microsoft is doing this with PR agencies since decades ago. This affects various Web sites and overall, this changes how people perceive the company and its co-founder.

“He [Bill Gates] acted like a spoiled kid, which is what he was.”

Ed Roberts, Gates’ employer at MITS in the 1970′s (Atlanta Journal-Costitution, 04-27-97)

That’s not the Bill Gates who the average person knows. This is the same guy who relies on vaccines propaganda from the likes of CNN, who are still treating the man like he is more quote-worthy than professors of economics and energy experts speaking about their own field that they master. This is not a coincidence and it is simple to explain if one looks at the flow of funds in the media. Rich people can acquire a “parent of the world” status, even if it gets assigned to one who committed crime to get where he got, since a very young age in fact. This is to do with concern about what happened to computing.

Anyway, today’s post was kindly contributed by a reader who explains how Microsoft's patent troll from Intellectual Ventures (which Bill Gates invested heavily in) is being glorified in the press. He asks: “Are Microsoft astroturfers invading BoingBoing and other popular sites? Why are they promoting Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates?”

Here is an exploration of these questions:

Microsoft Cranks Up the Astroturf?

Patent troll scores full media spectrum self promotion and ordinarily clueful sites take the bait.

Are Microsoft astroturfers invading BoingBoing and other popular tech sites with material that flies in the face of community belief and philosophy? I was disturbed to see the promotion of Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates at BoingBoing recently. Several sites that should know better have acted as part of a pro patent propaganda blitz.

Before the specifics, consider the “mind control” advice given by Microsoft’s training manual [2]

Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!

People writing stories about anything connected to Microsoft should ask themselves what Wired reporter Fred Vogelstein did, “should I be embarrassed at being co-opted by their spin machine?” With that, here’s the news.

Oh no, not that again and now it’s everywhere! Remember the working prototype of a not so great idea Dr. Lowell Wood and other Star Wars scientists had for zapping mosquitoes [2]? Well OK, it’s a common fantasy many people have had before. Now design of the invention is being credited to patent troll Nathan Myhrvold. The Dorvak article is one of a trio of glorifying reviews in places that are ordinarily more clueful. BoingBoing and Slashdot also took the bait. These follow the usual Microsoft full spectrum news coverage by the New York Times, CNet and other habitual shills. Boingboing has the special distinction of rejecting my comment linking to a google search of Boycott Novell for Intellectual Ventures.

The problem is not that the device is silly, or that so many reporters have been conned into reporting it, it’s that a company so detrimental to technology and rule of law is promoted as an innovator. Five minutes of thought is all it takes to dismiss this silly “invention.” No machine is smart enough to avoid blinding people by reflections and over the horizon misses. Nor is such an expensive and power hungry cover for a one or two hundred foot range practical mosquito control, especially for developing nations that need electricity for basic things like refrigeration, water purification and hospitals. Boycott Novell has covered Intellectual Ventures, so you would think other reporters could too. Current US patent law is detrimental to all technical endeavors, including medicine, but Intellectual Ventures and Microsoft profit from stagnation and are working to make laws worse around the world.

Incidental or not, the same reporter who fawned over IV at BoingBoing also fawns over Bill Gate’s new vacuous talk at TED. Last year Bill Gates, unleashed a jar of live mosquitoes on the audience at TED. He also has a jar this year but the talk was about nuclear power at a clueless 100,000 foot level. It is good that Mr. Gates is talking about the problem of global warming, even if it is in a foolish and self aggrandizing manner, but real scientists have warned about the problem much longer and have more appropriate solutions, like agricultural sequestering. [2]. Regardless of wealth and power, Mr Gates is a convicted felon, anti-trust, and should not be looked to for advice. Clue to reporter, you have been spun, see above for the damage.

Thoughts welcome.

Numbers That Microsoft Cannot Let You See

Posted in Finance, Microsoft, Search at 5:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MSFT chart

Summary: A sobering look at how Microsoft is declining in most areas

ONE READER has sent us a pointer to this chart which shows what a financial disaster the online business has been to Microsoft.

Have a look at it. No wonder Microsoft has lost over $5,000,000,000 in just a few years despite claiming “success”.

We wonder when Microsoft will finally decide to do what it should have done years ago: Save its money and flush its entire online division down the drain.

Might it actually happen? Microsoft has many other “money pits” and dead products/divisions. Another financial disaster is Windows Mobile. Even the Seattle press, which is deep in Microsoft’s pocket, has not anything positive to say about it. Microsoft tried to acquire someone else’s mobile business and failed badly:

Microsoft suffered another blow when users of the Sidekick, a T-Mobile USA device whose services are run by Microsoft subsidiary Danger, lost their contacts and other data for several weeks. They publicly ranted about it on Twitter and other social networks for just as long.

Microsoft is being sued by Sidekick users right now. We previously wrote about Sidekick in:

So there. Microsoft may wish for people to miss or forget the billions of dollars the company loses outside its core units; but the numbers speak for themselves and Microsoft’s financial decline carries on [1, 2, 3, 4]. We must not let Microsoft get away with controlling the press and telling lies about its own performance.

“They’re [Microsoft] hell-bent on dominating the entire information infrastructure of the world, and it scares the daylights out of me.”

Antitrust attorney Gary Reback

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