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04.03.10

Links 3/4/2010: Wine 1.1.42, SimplyMepis 8.5 Reviewed

Posted in News Roundup at 9:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • What will come after Linux?

    I do think that the time of proprietary operating systems are coming to a close. There are too many free and open source solutions available and the most important part of any computing system, the data, can be easily transferred between them. So while windows keeps trying to entice the public with eye candy, MacOS keeps its hardware to itself and AmigaOS keeps with the unfortunate business decisions, the average Joe Blo and SOHOs will look around for alternatives. Enterprise businesses are like large religions. Stubborn and take several thousand years to make a minor change.

    So the day comes and Linux has toppled windows off of its pedestal. Linus Torvalds is as revered as Bill Gates was and Richard Stallman is throwing chairs when he hears about the new, up and coming operating system. Linux is pre-installed on just about every single computer sold and the whole computing industry is geared around providing service and support for Linux. I just wonder if we, as Linux supporters, will be treating the advocates of the new prodigy operating system the same way windows supporters treat us today.

  • Audiocasts

  • Desktop

  • Kernel Space

    • A stable kernel release storm

      Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of four separate stable kernels: 2.6.27.46, 2.6.31.13, 2.6.32.11, and 2.6.33.2.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Arch on the Meso

      So last night I figured it was time to give Arch a spin on the Meso. Next to Slackware I have a real soft spot for Arch. It’s a great distrobution with fantastic documentation and a wonderful community.

    • Mandriva 2010.1 Beta1
    • Red Hat Family

      • A Red Hat Day as Traders Go Bullish on Tech

        Options traders demonstrated confidence in Qualcomm Inc., Micron Technology Inc. and Red Hat Inc., selling “put” options in all three technology companies in hopes the stocks stay strong in coming weeks.

    • Debian Family

      • SimplyMepis 8.5 Review

        Today marks the release of version 8.5 of SimplyMepis, the popular Debian based distribution that focuses on the K desktop environment. We decided to take it for a run and see if there have been any significant changes since the previous release.

        [...]

        Overall Impressions:

        Pro’s:

        * Based on Debian which means the package selection is quite good.
        * Plenty of configuration utilities for those uncomfortable with the console.
        * System feels stable.
        * Pre-installed browser plugins for Firefox save users some time tracking them all down.

        Con’s:

        * Visually unappealing.
        * Welcome screen doesn’t start at first bootup which negates any value it might add.

      • Ubuntu

        • There is More to Linux Than Ubuntu

          Kubuntu was my favorite distribution for a time, back during the KDE 3.5 series. I was a KDE user all the way back to 2.0. Before Kubuntu I used mainly Debian unstable on the desktop, and Debian stable on servers. Way before that, Red Hat and Slackware. Red Hat 5 was my first Linux, on actual 3.5″ diskettes. Somewheres in there I used Libranet, which was a super-nice Debian derivative, but sadly it died with the passing of its founder.

        • Quick Look at Lucid

          Ubuntu just released the beta 1 version of their new LTS (Long Term Support) Distribution, Lucid 10.04. The theme is based on “light” and it looks great. Here’s what to expect and what not to expect when you first install this new flavor of Ubuntu:

          The first thing you notice when you launch the live CD is Ubuntu’s new logo. Don’t worry, they still have the basic logo but they added some new typography and use the logo like a registration mark. They went with the black desktop theme for their default which is fine, but they moved something around. The window manager buttons went from the right side to the left, which is difficult at first if you are not used to it.

        • Maverick Meerkat A Perfect 10?

          Ubuntu’s Lucid Lynx (10.04) isn’t out yet but Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical, and his team look toward the October 2010 (10.10) release they’re calling Maverick Meerkat. On his personal blog this morning, Mark wrote, “It’s time to put our heads together to envision ‘the perfect 10′.” Mark, himself, has a new vision for the upcoming release already knowing that 10.04 is almost “in the can.” His new vision is one of lightness-lightness in footprint, in deployment and in support requirements. A grand vision but can he do it?

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Maemo Shown Running on an HTC HD2: Fake?

        Windows Mobile devices are very versatile. They can (sort of) run Android, Ubuntu, plus other flavors of Linux. In this video, it appears that someone has figured out how to run Maemo on an HTC HD2, or it’s very possible that they are simply using a VNC client to access an Nokia N900 (which is a Maemo device) through the HD2. What do you think?

      • One Android To Rule Them All?

        Android is looking good, no doubt about it. What has started as a Linux-based OS for handsets (i.e., mobile phones) has now rapidly spread to different devices. There are small tablet computers like Archos’ Internet tablets and Enso’s zenPad, e-book readers like Barnes & Noble’s nook and Spring Designs Alex, and even a netbook – Acer’s Aspire One D250 (actually dual boots with Windows 7).

    • Sub-notebooks

    • Tablets

      • JooJoo: The “other” tablet arrives

        The arrival of JooJoo seemed kind of fishy because 1) it was April Fool’s Day, 2) there was so much buzz on the blogosphere about this weekend’s release of the iPad that it just had to be a joke and 3) Engadget said it was so overwhelmed with iPad coverage that it wouldn’t have its own review out until next week – and readers should not expect a side-by-side comparison to the iPad right away.

      • The iPad’s Linux competition

        Linux developers should be able to build applications for this platform without too much trouble, since the OpenTablet’s “Flash applications may invoke class modules that are written in C/C++” and its “application hosting framework controls the loading/unloading of applications.” I can also see the OpenTablet doing well in businesses since “The system is fully managed with a device management system client that allows the server to monitor the device, provision the device, and send notifications (e.g., firmware updates or domain-specific messages such as peak pricing notifications for energy).” That means that, unlike the iPad, it should be easy to manage OpenTablet in a corporate network.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Unleash your inner Old Master with MyPaint (Open Source)

    MyPaint is a lightweight, easy-to-use open source painting application that you might not have heard of before. Unlike some of the more mature open source raster-graphics applications (such as Krita or Gimp), MyPaint doesn’t try to do everything: it’s not a photo editor, it doesn’t bother with paths, geometric shapes, text manipulation, or fancy masking options. Instead, it focuses on one and only one use: painting.

    MyPaint is built around use with pressure-sensitive graphics tablets, and puts natural-media-simulation first. There is only one “tool” per se, the paintbrush with which you draw directly onto the image. However, you can choose from dozens of different profiles with which to use that brush, simulating everything from charcoal to pencil, to ink to watercolor. Each has a different behavior, including the way it responds to pressure, speed, changes in direction, and interacting with pixels already on the canvas.

  • 1,500 Teachers Will Learn to Create Educational Software

    The Romanian Ministry of Education and Research has launched the “The Teacher – Educational Software Developer” strategic project that is to be implemented between September 2009 – September 2011 (24 months). The target of the project is three million pupils around the country.

    In the project, eighty experts will train 1,500 pre-university teachers from all over the country to develop the competences that they need in order to create their own educational software applications and to improve their ability to use teaching-learning interactive methods.

  • Mozilla

  • Business

    • Community Open Source as the Raw Material of Computing Utility Providers

      It’s April 2nd, so the Apache Software Foundation’s 2010 April Fools’ joke is over. Here is why I liked it a lot. It represents a hypothetical: What if the ASF and its projects could be bought? Or, if not bought, then put under control or strong influence of corporate interests like in traditional open source consortia? It would put the very software infrastructure we take for granted under partisan control and there is no guarantee that those partisan or corporate interests would be in the interest of the public good.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU

    • Free Software: Phase Two

      The SFLC’s founding director, Eben Moglen, said in his talk that the movement has reached “a point of inflection.” The challenge it will face in “Free Software: Phase Two” is to explain the relationship between privacy, the integrity of human personality, and free software. The movement will have to figure out how to convince people they need a solution to a problem they don’t know exists, he said. “It’s not about we’re done. The war is over. It’s about, what’s next.”

  • Licensing

    • Enforcement of the GNU GPL in Germany and Europe, by Till Jaeger

      GPL enforcement is successful in Europe. In several court decisions and out of court settlements the license conditions of the GPL have been successfully enforced. In particular, embedded systems are the main focus of such compliance activities. The article describes the practice of enforcement activities and the legal prerequisites under the application of German law.

  • Programming

    • Ruby Summer of Code raises $100,000

      Ruby Summer of Code has announced it raised $100,000 in three days, allowing it to sponsor up to twenty interns. The Ruby Summer of Code is modelled on Google’s Summer of Code, but focusses on the Ruby community.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Feds found Pfizer too big to nail

    Prosecutors said that excluding Pfizer would most likely lead to Pfizer’s collapse, with collateral consequences: disrupting the flow of Pfizer products to Medicare and Medicaid recipients, causing the loss of jobs including those of Pfizer employees who were not involved in the fraud, and causing significant losses for Pfizer shareholders.

    “We have to ask whether by excluding the company [from Medicare and Medicaid], are we harming our patients,” said Lewis Morris of the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Australian gamers unable to play Settlers 7 due to DRM woes

    Our review of The Settlers 7 concluded that fans of city building, micromanagement RTS games could do worse than check it out, with particular reference to the robust community features of online multiplayer.

    Sounds great! I’m sure we’re all going to love it! There’s just one problem – most of us can’t, thanks to ongoing issues with Ubisoft’s controversial new “always online” DRM.

Clip of the Day

SourceCode Season 2 – Episode 4: Greed/Water (2005)


IRC Proceedings: April 3rd, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

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

Novell News Summary – Part III: Pulse, ZENworks, NetWare, and idOnDemand

Posted in Boycott Novell, Finance, Mail, Marketing, NetWare, Novell, Ron Hovsepian, Security, Servers, Virtualisation, Windows at 5:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Capitol reef

Summary: Novell’s proprietary software under the magnifying glass

Pulse

Novell’s Pulse has received a lot of attention upon its debut as a beta [1, 2, 3]. Pulse seems to be proprietary (there is no official word that we can find) and apart from some older coverage that we missed [1, 2], there is this introduction to new users.

Read the rest of this entry »

Novell News Summary – Part II: SUSE and IBM Cuddle, Android’s Patent Problem in Asia

Posted in Asia, GNU/Linux, Google, IBM, Kernel, Kyocera Mita, LG, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Samsung, SLES/SLED, UNIX at 4:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Blue lizard

Summary: Distributors of GNU/Linux that are hostages of Microsoft or part of its patent racket are looked upon and analysed based on the past week’s news

SUSE (SLES/SLED)

SOME self-appointed experts are saying that IBM might buy Novell* (which is for sale). The news suggests that this is possible, starting with this item from The VAR Guy:

When it comes to hardware and software, IBM and Novell have a longstanding SUSE Linux business relationship. So where are the two companies heading next together? Novell and IBM provided some clues during last week’s Novell BrainShare conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Here are the details.

It is worth pointing out that Novell uses The VAR Guy to market itself. Novell and its allies also pay Gillen (IDC) to promote themselves (so does Microsoft). The following BrainShare videos [1, 2, 3, 4] were uploaded by Novell a few days ago and there is nothing particularly odd in any of them. The VAR Guy manages the panel fairly well, but it just looks like an echo chamber of Novell partners and guests. It looks almost like it’s scripted (to a degree).

Going back to IBM, Bob Sutor, the VP of standards, open source, and “Linux” (or whatever falls into this basket these days) is playing around with Geeko and adds a picture of a lizard (SUSE’s mascot, the chameleon) to his daily links. This may spur speculations that IBM wants Novell (at least for its UNIX, which needs guarding because of SCO). It is important to remember that IBM helped Novell acquire S.u.S.E.

Anyway, the panel discussion and the Geeko builder both relate to SUSE Studio, which is being promoted by IDG (also here and here).

Today, Novell’s SUSE Studio is a Web-based virtual appliance/ISO image creator using SUSE Linux. It has no parallels that we can find for building operating systems instances.

It is crucial to remember that Microsoft is taxing SUSE using some imaginary software patents Microsoft refuses to show, let alone name.

More IBM and Novell (also here):

IBM is also partnering with Amazon Web Services and Novell, allowing participants to use the DB2 Express-C database and WebSphere sMash application-development toolset on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud, but in this case they will be responsible for Amazon usage fees.

It should be pointed out that Amazon pays Microsoft for its Red Hat servers as though these were SLES servers. Amazon is no friend of GNU/Linux anymore [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. At Amazon, Linux is Ballnux. It’s taxed by Microsoft, probably because many executives from Microsoft took seats at Amazon. We had warned about this all along. IBM was never against such a tax by the way (it even approved the Microsoft/Novell deal just as it quietly approves software patents). Both Jaffe and Hovsepian, who engineered the Microsoft deal shortly after earning positions of power, came to Novell from IBM.

Here is a new video of SLES as a platform.

There is also this second part.

A Service Pack for SLES 11 is coming soon.

Novell has formally scheduled the upcoming Service Pack 1 for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for the end of the second quarter of the year. The service pack is currently available as a release candidate for partners and ISVs to test. No new features are being added at this time, but bugs and integration problems are being fixed.

More SLES 11 in the news:

SGI peddles cut-down Altix UV supers

[...]

The entry box already supports Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 and the just-announced Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5, which has all the kernel tweaks to allow it to support the Nehalem-EX processors.

Samsung

Much to our regret, Samsung continues to make Ballnux phones that contaminate Android as a free platform [1, 2] (some are just rebranded Samsung phones, at least in the UK [1, 2]). What does not add to Samsung’s credibility is that following fraud [1, 2, 3] the company takes the fraudster back (as its top man even).

SOUTH KOREAN BILLIONAIRE Lee Kun-hee, who was found guilty of tax evasion in 2008, has returned to head Samsung.

LG

Samsung’s neighbours at LG are also paying Microsoft for Linux while producing products that typically use Linux [1, 2, 3]. Android too is affected here.

As companies like HTC and Samsung continue to push Android forward with high-end device like the EVO 4G and Samsung Galaxy S, other handset makers are reacting with their own super phones.

Kyocera

Kyocera is another company that must be paying Microsoft for Android (Linux). Here is what The Inquirer has to say:

ELECTRONICS MANUFACTURER Kyocera unveiled a Sanyo-branded Zio M6000 Android smartphone at the CTIA Wireless 2010 show today.

From CBR:

Kyocera Communications, a provider of Kyocera- and Sanyo-branded wireless devices, has introduced Kyocera Zio M6000 Android smartphone, which it claims to blend a new elegant design with an ultra-intuitive user interface to unlock an array of content and applications in Android Market.

It’s stories like this and some older patent deals like those with Google which lead us to suspecting that Android is subjected to Microsoft patent deals already. It’s manufacturers like HTC that are targeted, not Google.
___
* Another named candidate is SAP, which has just certified SLES 11, with further SLES support coming from Microsoft (also a candidate for Novell takeover).

Novell News Summary – Part I: Matt Berringer at UKUUG, OpenSUSE Beego, and FAIL Page

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE at 3:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Baby alligator

Summary: OpenSUSE news from the past week, as summarised above

Events

No major event has occurred, but looking at some SUSE blogs we find that Roger saw Novell presenting at UKUUG.

Read the rest of this entry »

Has Novell Exceeded Lobbying Power in GNOME?

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, Mail, Mono, Novell at 2:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Just a swinging

Summary: Analysis of the great influence Novell has gained inside the GNOME Foundation

Evolution 2.30 has just been released and there is accompanying software, some of it not GPL-licensed (a trend at Novell). Evolution is a Novell/Ximian product and It is probably no coincidence that GNOME has just been released under the same version number. The release was announced by a Novell employee (Vincent Untz, GNOME Foundation Director) and attribution was somewhere given to Paul Culter, who has just joined Novell, so they probably exceed the allowed influence in GNOME. His arrival is just 3 days old. According to someone called “Bertrand”, “The Paul Culter who was appointed to the GNOME foundation board is not working for Novell [he is now], and never did [he does now]. As per the foundation charter, the board cannot have more than 2 people with the same affiliation, and there are already 2 members of the board affiliated with Novell.” Is Novell in compliance with the GNOME Foundation’s charter after Culter’s arrival? The Mono Cult already has a lot of power in GNOME (including influence from Microsoft MVP de Icaza, who also works at Novell).

Microsoft Hijacks “Open Source” From GNU/Linux Just Like It Hijacked “Standards”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument at 1:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The only thing necessary for the triumph [of bad] is for good men to do nothing.”

Edmund Burke

Summary: Using examples from the past week alone, we show and we explain in simple terms how Microsoft is taking over “Open Source” using former employees, existing partners, Novell staff, and naïve/careless people who allow this to happen

IN VERY RECENT days we wrote about an admission from Alex Brown that his beloved Microsoft was not serious about OOXML [1, 2]. Comments on this shocka’ range from borderline spin from former Microsoft employees to criticism from the <No>OOXML Web site, Slashdot, and Glyn Moody, who writes:

This is truly staggering – not so much that Microsoft should so publicly thumb its nose at the ISO and the entire standards-making community, but that in doing so, it confirms all the worst predictions that many made at the time. It suggests a level of arrogance that is breathtaking – that having obtained the coveted and presumably irrevocable ISO approval, having won its little game, it just doesn’t care what anyone thinks.

[...]

There’s little we can do about the fact that the ISO standard has been granted, but we can make sure that people fully understand what has happened here. In that sense, Microsoft’s actions are truly a gift to all those promoting truly open standards.

The Source claims to have struggled to find a proper headline which describes a case where one of the main people behind the OOXML fiasco turns out to be a skeptic if not a basher. Why did it take him several years?

Team Apologista is very big on “context”, so allow me to accommodate:

Dr. Alex Brown was the convenor of the OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting back in Feb of 2008. Dr. Brown constantly poo-pooed concerns about Microsoft’s manipulation of the standardization process, often defending Microsoft directly and attacking ODF specifically along the way.

I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that without his efforts, OOXML would not have passed the standardization process.

So, when Dr. Brown says “Microsoft Fails the Standards Test“, and then goes on in detail to explain how Microsoft has either broken or failed to follow up on promises made – promises crucial at the time to getting OOXML through the standardization procees – it is truly a giant shock! No one could have seen this coming!

As The Source correctly points out, Microsoft tries the same with “Open Source”. A corresponding headline would be “Microsoft Fails the Open Source Test“. We’ll explain just why in a few moments, using new evidence.

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

As neophiles may be aware, Vancouver produced many headlines when it made it a policy to move to Free software (it used the term “Open Source”, which is broader and more blurred). Well, guess what? Vancouver is moving to “Open Source”, so Microsoft masquerades as “Open Source” and changes what it means to Vancouver, just like it changed what “open standards” mean to governments, in order block migrations to ODF/Free software

Microsoft Corp. courts open-source community with Vancouver project

Microsoft Corp.’s Richmond development centre is helping mend fences between the international software giant and the open-source software (OSS) development community.

[...]

Within Microsoft’s new “open-source strategy” is work that the company’s Richmond development centre has done using City of Vancouver data to expand the catalogue of OSS applications.

That’s not Open Source. This whole “open-source strategy” thing is a crock and with headlines like “Microsoft Corp. courts open-source community” it is implied that Microsoft almost owns these developers.

More of the same from Microsoft Canada was seen last month. Microsoft sent unsolicited mail to arbitrary Free software developers whom it asked to to create/increase the Canadian government’s Windows lock-in. Just shameful. In addition, we previously covered what Microsoft was doing in Indiana [1, 2, 3, 4], including Indiana University. Under a deceiving disguise of “academic” press, the Microsoft-affiliated/motivated media company is now cheapening “Open Source”, along with other publications.

Indiana U and U Hawaii Pursue Open Source Help Desk System

Indiana University and the University of Hawaii are wooing partners to help build an open source IT support solution specifically for higher education.

This has nothing to do with “Open Source”. Neither is this new promotion from Mary Jo Foley:

Microsoft is continuing its efforts to attract more open-source developers to make their wares available on Windows. The latest component of that strategy is CoApp, a new open-source package-management platform that one of the company’s developers is starting to assemble.

CoApp is about co-opting developers and it’s not about “open-source” (notice the dash or the minus that is used there). It’s all about pretending that Windows is friendly to “Open Source”. If the definition of the term continues to be bent, then it would mean just about anything.

As we saw some months ago, Microsoft and its lobbyists change what “Open Source” or “standards” actually mean in Europe so as to inject software patents and proprietary software into the continent while complying with once-strict policies. See the following posts about EIF:

  1. Former Member of European Parliament Describes Microsoft “Coup in Process” in the European Commission
  2. Europeans Asked to Stop Microsoft’s Subversion of EIFv2 (European Interoperability Framework Version 2)
  3. Patents Roundup: Microsoft Patents “Guardian Angel”, Subverts EIF; 20 Years Wasted on One Patent
  4. European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Corrupted by Microsoft et al, Its Lobbyists
  5. Orwellian EIF, Fake Open Source, and Security Implications
  6. No Sense of Shame Left at Microsoft
  7. Lobbying Leads to Protest — the FFII and the FSFE Rise in Opposition to Subverted EIF
  8. IBM and Open Forum Europe Address European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Fiasco
  9. EIF Scrutinised, ODF Evolves, and Microsoft’s OOXML “Lies” Lead to Backlash from Danish Standards Committee
  10. Complaints About Perverted EIF Continue to Pile Up
  11. More Complaints About EIFv2 Abuse and Free Software FUD from General Electric (GE)
  12. Patents Roundup: Copyrighted SQL Queries, Microsoft Alliance with Company That Attacks F/OSS with Software Patents, Peer-to-Patent in Australia
  13. Microsoft Under Fire: Open Source Software Thematic Group Complains About EIFv2 Subversion, NHS Software Supplier Under Criminal Investigation
  14. British MEP Responds to Microsoft Lobby Against EIFv2; Microsoft’s Visible Technologies Infiltrates/Derails Forums Too
  15. Patents Roundup: Escalations in Europe, SAP Pretense, CCIA Goes Wrong, and IETF Opens Up

BoingBoing has published an appeal to readers which it titled: “Microsoft trying to gut EU IT policy, replacing open standards with proprietary junk – your letters needed!”

Microsoft’s booster Gavin Clarke takes advantage of a special day and spins for Microsoft as though it’s a friend of “Open Source”. Microsoft uses its own licences and one proprietary platform to embrace and extend the Ruby community for example.

IronRuby offers options for .NET developers, brings open source to Microsoft

[...]

“It’s a big step for Microsoft’s participation in the open source community.”

See what we wrote about IronRuby in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12].

Last week we wrote about a misleading PR campaign from Microsoft about “Open Source”. It comes from the press, courtesy of Microsoft partners like Ziff Davis [1, 2, 3] and IDG [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], whose new “Open Source” team is not one that we can trust. For writers, the editors are choosing people who do not actually do “Open Source”, just people who exploit it or want to write about it.

Network World [part of IDG] has launched a new Subnet community, the Open Source Subnet. Open Source Subnet will showcase news and blogger opinions for enterprise users of open source software. As you may have noticed, with this addition, we have added three great new bloggers to the roster: Phil Odence, from Black Duck Software, a company that helps enterprises manage and secure their open source tools, is writing the Look to the Source blog. Alan Shimel, a serial entrepreneur who has founded several security software companies (such as StillSecure), is writing the Open Source Fact and Fiction blog, and Amy Vernon, a journalist and social media personality, is writing the Pragmatic Open Source blog.

Let’s remember that Black Duck, for example, was started by a Microsoft employee and it produces only proprietary software [1, 2, 3, 4] and software patents, using these to monetise other people’s Free software (which it labels “Open Source”). Here is IDG promoting the Novell/Microsoft relationship, as seen in this new video. They even speak about Mono and Moonlight, which are only helping Microsoft. But to quote from ComputerWorld UK (IDG, only days ago):

MS Office started it all, Open Office has followed suit but really a Word Processor, a Spreadsheet and a Presentation package have little in common. Supposedly they are an ‘integrated’ suite but what sense of this word impacts on real life…a live spreadsheet in a word processing document?

Bundle-itis really got going with .NET which provides a glue-like layer to stitch together programs with disparate code heritages. In the Open Source world MONO seeks to extend the idea.

Yes, “MONO seeks to extend the idea” not just of bundling software within a platform but also enveloping GNU/Linux and Free software inside Windows, using hypervisors and .NET integration. Who is still promoting this type of vision? Novell employees of course, those who are paid to make the media player in GNU/Linux tied to Mono and to Moonlight (and dependent on parts of Mono which Microsoft explicitly excludes from the Community Promise). They can brag about committers as much as they want, but all those who help a project like Novell’s Banshee are helping Microsoft hijack GNU/Linux. And that’s just sad. Truth hurts sometimes. Anyway, enjoy Easter.

Bunny for Techrights

Apple Now in ‘Embargo Mode’ Against Android (Linux)

Posted in Apple, Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 9:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Apple started claiming to have invented the personal computer and it pissed me off!”

Ed Roberts

Summary: Apple’s use of the USITC loophole leads to embargo-based pressure against a distributor of phones with Linux in them

With Microsoft’s endorsement [1, 2], Apple is suing Android via HTC [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. This is having a negative effect although HTC denies it when speaking to official sources.

Taiwan’s HTC Corp (2498.TW), the world’s No.5 smartphone maker, said on Friday a lawsuit against it by Apple Computer (AAPL.O) was not affecting operations.

Apple just can't compete with its artificially-limited products that rely on fake hype. Buying Apple is about “anything but Microsoft”, whereas buying GNU/Linux usually means “anything but proprietary software”. The former is a war between brands, whereas the latter addresses behaviour (access to program code, sharing without the restriction of software patents, DRM, et cetera).

According to many reports [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], this aggression from Apple has escalated to an embargo routine, currently involving this investigation. It’s supposed to have a chilling effect and intimidate HTC, pressuring the company to pay Apple or remove the “offending” feature/s (product castration).

Today the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) said that it will investigate Apple’s complaint that HTC infringed on its patents.

Embargo is the goal, or at least taxation. If this is what patents are about, they are an enemy of the customer, foe of the developer, worst nightmare of any start-up, and impediment to science as a whole. To make matters worse, based on this report, patents continue to have human casualties.

A federal judge in Newark, N.J., on Thursday dismissed a class action claiming that Schering-Plough Corp. violated antitrust law by paying generic drug makers to delay introduction of knockoffs of its potassium-deficiency drug K-Dur.

There is less restrained interpretation at TechDirt:

So, basically, the only reason this wasn’t anticompetitive was because it all happened under a government-granted monopoly. Talk about ironic, right? Because there’s a monopoly, the company doesn’t get labeled a monopolist. Isn’t the patent system great?

This ruling is unfortunate for a variety of reasons. You can see why generic drug makers agree to these deals: it’s either go through an expensive fight to put a drug on the market, or get out of the lawsuit and get paid a ton of money for nothing. Not hard to make that decision. But the end result is anti-competitive, in that it allows big pharma firms to keep the prices jacked up very high on their drugs, much to the detriment of everyone else.

In many old posts we have explained why pharmaceutical patents too are ruthless and unnecessary. Bill Gates is a major investor in such patents. It can make him a lot of money, but at whose expense? Legions of PR people can change perception, but they can never change the facts.

“You’ll read that Bill Gates envisioned it all, which is a crock. He didn’t envision any of it. Nobody did.”

Ed Roberts

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