03.24.10

Guest Post: Google.cn Pulls Out of Communist China

Posted in Asia, Google, Microsoft at 9:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: An anonymous Boycott Novell reader from China shares his views about Google’s situation in China

Maybe we should use this cartoon, regarding how Google stands against tyranny, while Microsoft supports obeying the Communist regime?

China's regime

Is China a county without morality or is that just the Communist Party?

Xinjiang

Google is standing up against tyranny, by not supporting an oppressive regime that denies it’s own citizens the truth, equality, equal access to information and their rights to be informed about the issues effecting them with immoral laws that are unjustified against the people’s need to know what is going on!

Let’s be honest, how many Chinese would demand laws to deny them their own rights to access information?

Does God only love the wealthy (immoral) leaders who forbid their own people equality and equal rights?

Now in China, the media propaganda is attacking and blaming Google as like an enemy of the State!

Totally Wrong to Stop Censoring! (written by the Communist Regime in China!)

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english2010

Question: Why is it totally right to “censor” the Chinese people wanting to be informed about the issues effecting them? Why should a people be forbidden from knowing, to be made ignorant?

China flag

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2010-03/22/content_9620293.htm

It’s the Communist regime that is denying its own people the free service provided by Google!

“Google’s decision is a symbol of a worsening business climate in China for foreign corporations. A growing number of U.S. companies feel unwelcome in China. Since Google cannot exist in China, it clearly indicates that China’s path as a rising power is going in a direction different from what the world expected and what many Chinese were hoping for. The Internet was suppose to be a catalyst for China becoming more integrated into the world.”

Titles at China

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2010-03/19/cont…

Google did obey the regime’s immoral laws for four years, which was repaid back with Chinese (PLA military) hackers from two universities in China: Shanghai Jiao Tong University and the Lanxiang Vocational School stealing some of the company’s source code and hacking into the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights advocates.

Why shouldn’t Google have grown frustrated with complying with the Communist regime rules/laws by obeying them, when treated like this?

Should Google become the arms of the Communist regime, to do it’s bidding, working against humanity and human rights?

Just because in some countries it’s legal to sell children into sexual slavery, does that mean American businesses need to follow those laws, when it’s immoral and against our own laws and values? What do Americans stand for and what are the values of the Communist regime?

Software Patents Complication Shows Why Linux Needs the FSF

Posted in Apple, Bill Gates, FSF, GNU/Linux, Google, Kernel, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 5:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNU and Linux

Summary: Contrary to common misconceptions, the FSF’s philosophy and work actually defend Linux from the patent attacks it currently faces from Apple, Microsoft, and possibly their henchmen at Intellectual Ventures

SEVERAL days ago, TuxRadar (a Linux Format magazine Web site) decided to run a strange poll with a strange introduction that can be seen as bait (the question seems like push polling [1, 2, 3]), or maybe an attempt to make the FSF look bad. That’s fair enough as they can express an opinion or seek opinions, but as Jason from The Source put it:

This reminds me of a GNOME Foundation poll.

Jason refers to this incident [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], which ended up with tears.

“The FSF is actually fighting against the problems and the associated corruption of the patent system, for example.”Anyway, that poll about the FSF was seemingly alienating GNU/FSF and it led to this troll headline from ECT, which says “Would Linux Be Better Off Without the FSF?”

This is ludicrous. The FSF is actually fighting against the problems and the associated corruption of the patent system, for example. On the contrary, Linux is backed by some of the very same companies that are part of the problem. They have many software patents that they are not prepared to give up or give away (bar OIN).

Ciaran from the FSF has produced a full transcript of Andrew Tridgell’s recent talk (video here) and The Source remarked on it as follows:

Well worth reading, especially in light of increasing patent-based FUD attacks against Linux from Microsoft and the doom-and-gloom appeasement arguments and anti-community actions from Microsoft lackeys.

In the comments, Jose_X points at this old article from Richard Stallman. It’s about patents. The FSF should be commended for its work on the issue of software patents, not denounced or ostracised by people who choose to ignore reality. The reality is not as simple as “Linux is cool”; there are many legal attacks or even corruption (white-collar crime) involved in marginalising Linux and those who are blind to it are not helping the cause of GNU/Linux promotion. Moreover, those who stomp on the FSF are doing more damage than they realise.

Glyn Moody has published this follow-on post after a previous post where he wrote about Intellectual Ventures.

Free Software’s Secret Patent Weapon

Yesterday I was warning about the threat that the super-troll Intellectual Ventures represents. To provide some balance, here’s a surprisingly upbeat piece from Samba creator Andrew Tridgell on how to read software patents. It’s incredibly well done, and I recommend it to everyone.

Tridgell’s warnings were first mentioned by us in a post about "Apple's Patent Threat to Linux". We more or less foresaw what shortly afterwards became a reality because Apple sued Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and received Microsoft’s support [1, 2, 3]. It smacks of racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. HTC and Google will fight back and as Lora Bentley put it, the circumstances make it apparent that Linux indeed is the target (Android).

The fact that Google issued a statement in support of HTC before HTC even commented on the lawsuit also lends credence to the idea that Apple is actually gunning for Google here.

Google is also harassed (sued for patent violation) by a company called Red Bend. It does not appear to have a software product (maybe just licensing). The company’s Web site is vague about it and all the company talks about are some big numbers (new press release) and FOTA [PDF].

“People are gradually beginning to ask questions about the role of Intellectual Ventures and their immense holding of software patents.”
      –Simon Phipps
It is worth noting that Red Bend chooses Windows for its Web site and its latest blog post is about Microsoft.

Going back to Intellectual Ventures, which was funded by Apple, Microsoft, and Bill Gates, this patent troll has over 1,000 ‘satellite’ firms that it is said to be using to sabotage the business of companies which refuse to pay “protection money” (secretly, under NDAs). Simon Phipps has this to say about Kodak's latest revelations about Intellectual Ventures: “People are gradually beginning to ask questions about the role of Intellectual Ventures and their immense holding of software patents. Kodak is not a company I like (they trolled Sun for a fortune) but this accusation is very serious. Getting to the bottom of it would take some serious and well-funded investigation. Or, plan B, we can ask our legislators to remove the mechanisms used for trolling…

Stephen O’Grady explains why he is against software patents and uses Intellectual Ventures to make his case:

Still others expect me to argue that the greater good – a dangerous phrase if ever there was one – demands that software be unpatentable. That Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures is the epitome of evil in the world, with a revenue model based strictly on extracting value from an antiquated patent system that has been mistakenly applied to an industry that requires no such protections. But while I personally believe that Myhrvold’s company is based entirely on extracting profit from a broken system rather stimulating invention as he claims – that Intellectual Ventures is just a version of those infomercials seeking ignorant “inventors” to exploit writ large – this isn’t why I’m against software patents.

TechDirt also has this new example of why software patents have gone extremely silly.

Why Real Programmers Don’t Take The USPTO Seriously: Doubly-Linked List Patented

[...]

It’s pretty difficult to find software engineers who take the patent system seriously. There are a few, but it’s still pretty difficult. For the most part, they recognize that code is just a tool: you can make it do all sorts of things, given enough time and resources, but that doesn’t mean that doing any particular thing in code is an “invention” that no one else should be able to do. And then, sometimes, they discover that something pretty basic and old has suddenly been given a patent. Brad Feld discusses his discovery that doubly linked lists were apparently patented in 2006 (patent number 7,028,023)…

In the news this week we have: “Cognex and Fuji Resolve Vision Software Patent Dispute”

As we continue to emphasise, a lot of the bullying with software patents comes from Apple and Microsoft (among the large companies, IBM and Google do not do this, even though they have software patents). But there is more to Microsoft than just Microsoft itself; for instance, look at former Microsoft employees who created companies such as LikeWise [1, 2]. They are playing with software patents and with Microsoft. They bring that over to UNIX, Linux, and even VMware, which is also run by former Microsoft employees and it shows. Microsoft is trying to feed Linux with software patents by shoving them down its throat. What is Linus going to do about it [1, 2]? If it weren’t for the FSF and FFII, for example, where would we be?

Canonical Learned Nothing from Novell

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Search, Ubuntu at 4:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.” –Jim Allchin, Microsoft

Black board

Summary: Microsoft hugs “open source” in order to change what it actually is and Matt Asay, a former Noveller who came to Canonical, denounces Microsoft critics and defends engagement with Microsoft

YESTERDAY we mentioned de Icaza’s latest boosting of Microsoft. He helps Microsoft promote OData. Here is what The Source has to say.

Mr. de Icaza continues to fawn over / promote Microsoft technologies. I find it amusing and revealing at the same time that his infatuation isn’t simply with COM or C# or .NET or Silverlight, but has over time come to be more and more fanboy-like.

I don’t recall any big blogs or tweets from Mr. de Icaza about gData – but I’m sure I just missed them. But when it comes to Microsoft’s .NET-based knock-off, well then boy howdy that’s an exciting topic for Team Mono!

This “Team Mono” admires everything from Microsoft, which is why it spends its time mimicking Microsoft with Mono and Moonlight. It’s about money and about the people whom Novell hired in recent years. Novell pays their wage (and Microsoft pays Novell), so their admiration of Microsoft doesn’t come cheap. Novell continues to spread the illusion that there is something “open” about .NET and Silver Lie.

“Canonical hires people from Microsoft and Novell, thus making the most fundamental human resource mistake and not surprisingly the company is suddenly willing to put Microsoft behind its back.”Pointing to this ACT/Microsoft lobbying event (see the original page at EuropeanVoice.com), one reader tells us that Microsoft is faking "open source" again, even when it comes to Silver Lie. “Open Source on top of Silverlight and other MS technologies” is what our reader calls it. He also shows that Microsoft promotes these lies, whereby bogus claims of “open source” neglect to mention prerequisites. See the Twitter page where Microsoft lists some familiar crooks from the OOXML fiasco in the side picture.

We are genuinely concerned about what Microsoft is doing to “open source” because it’s no accident that Microsoft causes harm to it. First of all, Microsoft is controlling the debate with former Microsoft employees like Mr. Walli, who still try to tell open source people how to do business.

Then, there’s more nonsense from former pseudo-journalists who spin Microsoft’s work as “communicators” on the company’s payroll [1, 2]. They won’t admit that it’s about harming Free software (GPL) and GNU/Linux, undermining the foundations that “Open Source” initially relied upon. It’s as though Microsoft wants to change its opposition party from the inside, essentially taking control of it or changing its nature so as to weaken and assimilate it.

Watch another former Microsoft employee (who occasionally promotes Mono) pushing into Linux news sites his story which is titled “Should Ubuntu Have Been Created?”

Microsoft knows damn well that you need to get behind someone… before you stab that someone in the back. Canonical hires people from Microsoft and Novell, thus making the most fundamental human resource mistake and not surprisingly the company is suddenly willing to put Microsoft behind its back.

What will Canonical’s COO Matt Asay say about those remarks from former Microsoft employees? Well, based on this new post, he is willing to reconcile with Microsoft, maybe conditionally (well, if only Microsoft stopped attacking with software patents, lawsuits by proxy, smears, et cetera). The sad thing is that Asay daemonises Microsoft skeptics who merely interpret the company’s present actions, not just its history of endless abuse. The Source responds to this post from Asay by saying:

People that do want want Microsoft baked into every level of their Linux experience are not “spewing invectives”: Perhaps they see no need to rely on a court-convicted abusive monopolist. Perhaps, having finally broke free of Microsoft lock-in, they hesitate to expose themselves again. Perhaps they see how far Linux has come despite Microsoft’s best efforts, and see no margin in changing.

People that have moral, ethical and philosophical objections to the restriction of user freedoms are not “spewing invectives” – they are simply attempting to live a life in harmony with their beliefs.

Stop trying to paint all criticism as “invectives” or “zealotry” or whatever derogatory and dismissive label you would rather apply than actually deal with the substance of the criticism.

[...]

I do agree with Mr. Asay that “it gets old”. Which is why I honestly don’t understand those who intentionally fire things up by promoting Microsoft technology. You know it will be controversial. You know it will cause problems. That is obvious, inarguable and proven time and time again.

So, why do it? And, then having done this thing you knew would be divisive, pretend to be suprised and against divisiveness?

That’s what gets old to me.

This is why we still generally distrust Asay. Microsoft has been trying to suck up to him for several years in order to soften Alfresco (Microsoft had meals with him) and now to weaken Ubuntu, which already uses Mono and Microsoft for search (via Yahoo!) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Let’s not forget what Microsoft did to Yahoo! It ought to give Asay a clue. Yahoo! is a wreck after Microsoft crashed the company and Yahoo’s chief technologist is the latest person to quit. Given Canonical’s flirts with Microsoft, it treads on some very shaky ground and simply refuses to see this because, as Allchin once put it when he spoke about Novell:

“We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.”

Jim Allchin, Microsoft’s Platform Group Vice President

Asay should really get his eyes open. Canonical is listed as a risk factor in Microsoft’s filings for investors. Microsoft wants Canonical destroyed or deformed such that it serves Microsoft like Novell does.

When Only Half of Europe Browses the Web With Microsoft

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Free/Libre Software at 3:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Melon

Summary: Now that customers who were forced to get Windows with a new PC choose an additional Web browser, the declines in Microsoft’s share are seen

AS we noted last week, given real choice on Windows (there is still no operating system choice and it ought to be rectified), customers choose to avoid Internet Explorer and according to some statistics (which we take with a barrel of salt for obvious reasons), Microsoft loses market share in Europe.

According to Statcounter, IE use in France has dropped 2.5 percent since last month’s implementation of the ballot, 1.3 percent in Italy, and 1 percent in Britain. It’s still early days, and it’ll take more than this to chip away from IE’s 62 percent lead in the browser war, but it’s certainly not a good trend for Microsoft. With that in mind, we’re going to have to ask you to place your bets now.

Lora Bentley adds some necessary background about the problems with this ballot [1, 2, 3, 4].

That ballot debuted at the beginning of this month, and immediately, IBM’s Rob Weir had a problem with it. According to Computerworld, Weir said Microsoft failed to use a random shuffle algorithm. He said: “This was a rookie mistake. [It] is more in the nature of a ‘naive algorithm,’ like the bubble sort, that inexperienced programmers inevitably will fall upon when solving a given problem. I bet if we gave this same problem to 100 freshmen computer science majors, at least one of them would make the same mistake.”

More than anything else, it ought to say something about Microsoft’s poor programming skills and as we pointed out last week, it seems like Microsoft just copied someone else’s code. It would not be the first time and Microsoft does this illegally sometimes [1, 2, 3, 4].

Novell Still Avoids Talking With Public About Being Bought

Posted in Novell, Ron Hovsepian at 3:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Peek a boo

Summary: Novell BrainShare has the company’s CEO, Ron Hovsepian, avoiding the subject of Elliott Associates, which still wants Novell acquired

IN the news we keep hearing about Novell spurning a buyout offer but not ruling out an acquisition in general [1, 2, 3, 4]. In fact, based on the reaction of the vulture fund, there is expectation that another buyout offer is on its way. “Novell Says ‘No’ but Elliot Hears ‘Maybe’,” says ECT.

An offer of $2 billion just wasn’t enough for Novell’s board of directors, which rebuffed a purchase offer from Elliot Associates. The board says it’s considering other options, but Elliot says it will keep in pursuit. Novell has hinted that it would consider selling for the right price, either to Elliot or another suitor. If that comes to pass, what happens to Suse Linux?

Groklaw, which wants the SCO trial to carry on and be concluded, chooses to believe that it’s over, despite the more complex reality. The VAR Guy has this short report from BrainShare:

After rejecting an unsolicited takeover bid on March 20, Novell had to communicate some quantifiable business progress during the Novell BrainShare conference this week in Salt Lake City, Utah. With that reality in mind, CEO Ron Hovsepian (pictured) and Chief Marketing Officer/Channel Chief John Dragoon offered The VAR Guy a financial and channel partner progress report on March 22. Here’s a recap.

Alas, this is longer than a simple recap.

[...]

During our discussion, CEO Hovsepian was careful not to say too much about the recent Elliott Associates bid for Novell. His standard statement: Novell will continue to fulfill its fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders.

If the negotiations with Elliott Associates were history, why would he avoid talking about them? Novell’s CEO only made one carefully-crafted statement over the weekend. It’s likely to suggest that he is keeping the door open; he does not want to speak badly about the vulture fund, maybe because he reckons that another bid will come with a different price, as expected right from the start (see the posts below).

Background

Kyocera and Sanyo (Not Just Samsung and LG) Help Microsoft ‘Tax’ Android

Posted in Kernel, Kyocera Mita, LG, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung at 3:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kyocera headquarters

Summary: Kyocera introduces phones with Android, yet a lot of people do not remember the company’s deal with Microsoft and its effects

ONE of Microsoft’s lesser-known Linux deals (a patent racket) is with Kyocera [1, 2, 3] (category page here). This deal involves Kyocera paying Microsoft for Linux, which it uses in few of its products. According to this short new report, the racket will extend to Android phones (and be related to Sanyo too, being the exFAT collaborator and Kyocera adjunct).

Following the saying “The more the merrier,” I am pleased to announce that Kyocera revealed the launch of a new Kyocera (and Sanyo) branded Android device at CTIA 2010 today. The Kyocera Zio M6000 will be released in Q2.

So here we have a phone that will also have Sanyo involved in Microsoft’s racket. It’s all rather similar with Samsung, which has this new Android phone. It’s bad for Android [1, 2] because Microsoft is taxing Android here, behind Google’s back (it turns Android to Ballnux). Similarly, Samsung’s competitor in Korea, LG, makes new Android phones. These too will be taxed by Microsoft as LG will pass money to Microsoft for each one sold, based on the nature of the patent deals that are racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Considering Apple’s Android lawsuit [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] which is supported by Microsoft [1, 2, 3], this is just part of the problem. Microsoft and Apple would love to treat Linux as though it is theirs.

“Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering.”

Mark Shuttleworth

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