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04.07.10

IBM Will Never be the Same After Taking Software Patents Out of Its Holster

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Red Hat, SLES/SLED, Ubuntu at 8:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Watch IBM Slink Away

Shy dog

Summary: IBM runs away from bad publicity after making a poor decision and sending a Free software-hostile nastygram

JUST as we predicted, IBM does the usual PR thing and backtracks when the public backlash becomes too great. It happens every time IBM obtains or applies for patents that are so trivial that they are insults to the patent system and to the intelligence of everyone around.

This post relates to a development that we covered in (chronologically sorted):

  1. Microsoft Proxy Attack on GNU/Linux Continues With TurboHercules
  2. Eye on Security: Windows Malware, Emergency Patches, and BeyondTrust’s CEO from Microsoft
  3. IBM Uses Software Patents Aggressively
  4. IBM’s Day of Shame

IBM has lost a lot of credibility, even if the provocation came from a proxy of Microsoft (several sources suspect so, based on information they cannot share).

IBM partners from Red Hat and Canonical are trying to defend IBM’s actions. Some are in denial, including Matt Asay from Canonical (not direct link because of the comments). IBM may have a promise for developers and not for companies. In any event, IBM shows its affair with software patents, which is not a good sign. The president of the FFII hypothetically quotes “Ubuntu’s Matt Asay” as saying: “TurboHercules is violating IBM’s patents, shame on it” (we ought to remind readers that Asay has been flirting a lot recently with Gartner‘s de facto software patents lobbyist [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]).

He also asks, “Ubuntu/Canonical is now pro swpat [software patents]?”

Pieter Hintjens, FFII’s former president, also replies to Matt Asay angrily by writing: “Matt, shame on you. Every single open source project, including all of mine, infringe on at least one IBM patent somewhere. IBM hold 50% of the world’s software patents. You know this. How can you defend IBM’s use of its patent portfolio (knowing as you should that IBM finagled software into patent law both in the USA and in Europe) against an open source project, indeed against any software project?

“Has Canonical’s position changed since Mark spoke at Eupaco-2 about the need for freedom for the new economy? Are you doing some deal with IBM that makes this particular monopoly of ideas OK?”
      –Pieter Hintjens
Software patents are evil, because they allow the powerful and rich to exert undue control over the small and the weak in the marketplace. Your company exists thanks to the small and the weak. IBM has never been a friend of open source, always just a “so far, so good”.

Has Canonical’s position changed since Mark spoke at Eupaco-2 about the need for freedom for the new economy? Are you doing some deal with IBM that makes this particular monopoly of ideas OK?

Shame on you, Matt, shame.”

The short answer is basically “yes”. Canonical and IBM collaborate on at least one project. As one person writes in response to Hintjens, “Are you inferring that Matt is using this Blog to help the company where he is the COO?”

Matt Aslett from the 451 Group writes: “The OIN promise actually covers open source software “Distributed with, or for use with, the Linux Kernel (or is the Linux Kernel)” and so is pretty broad. The full list, here http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/pat_linuxdefpop.html, includes MySQL and OpenOffice.org, for example (although no Hercules, so the wider point still stands).

That’s not of much use if IBM is attacking. OIN (Open Invention Network) is essentially IBM and some companies that huddle around it after they have wasted money filing for software patents and putting them in a pool (what a wasteful process!). Here is a new OIN joiner:

Open Invention Network (OIN), the company formed to enable and protect Linux, today extended the Linux ecosystem with the signing of Ooma as a licensee. By becoming a licensee, Ooma has joined the growing list of companies that recognize the importance of participating in a substantial community of Linux supporters and leveraging the Open Invention Network to further spur open source innovation.

OIN is in favour of what it calls “high-quality” software patents, based on its CEO. It’s a bit like Peer-to-Patent, which does not genuinely help the ending of software patents.

IBM obviously broke its promise and IBM is in denial.

The open-source software community is up in arms over claims that IBM has broken a promise by asserting its patents against an open-source project. IBM denies that it has done so.

This does not agree with reports [1, 2, 3] that the source of the backlash (Mueller) brags about with a summary of resultant posts and articles, such as:

Australia’s iTWire writes that IBM has broken its 2005 promise. In the discussion part below the article, a reader (Richard Chapman) gives a vivid description of the situation: “Having IBM at your side in the land of Open Source is sort of like having a large carnivore as a pet. They may play and cuddle with you but you never know if or when they will revert to their natural ways and have you for lunch.”

Here is the original. ECIS is tied to IBM, so it is making the following claims (an assertion that’s likely true, but does not excuse IBM):

Thomas Vinje, the founder of the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS), which ranks IBM among its members, said that “Microsoft lies behind the antitrust complaints against IBM.” Mueller can in turn be linked to Microsoft, he said, because he joined forces with Microsoft to oppose the Oracle-Sun deal, which was approved after an in-depth investigation by the Commission that ended in December. Vinje acted for Oracle in that case.

We have attempted to see what led IBM to the nasygram and the following excellent article from LWN answers many of the questions.

The problem is that systems like z/OS and z/VM are proprietary software, subject to the usual obnoxiousness. In particular, IBM’s licensing does not allow these systems to be run on anything but IBM’s hardware. So when TurboHercules tried to get IBM to license its operating system to run on Hercules-based boxes, IBM refused. TurboHercules responded by filing a complaint with the European Commission alleging antitrust violations. According to TurboHercules, IBM’s licensing restrictions amount to an illegal tying of products.

One need not agree with IBM’s position to understand it. IBM understands well the power of commoditizing its competitors’ proprietary technology – that’s what its support for Linux is all about, in the end. Emulated mainframes running on generic Linux or Windows boxes can only look like an attempt to commoditize one of IBM’s cash cows. The fact that this product requires running IBM’s proprietary software gives the company a lever with which to fight back. Whether one feels that refusing to license that software in this situation is a proper action or not, one should agree that it’s unsurprising that IBM exercised that option.

TurboHercules evidently sent IBM a letter questioning whether IBM actually owned any useful intellectual property in this area. IBM responded with a letter listing 175 patents owned or applied for, all of which are said to apply to IBM’s mainframe architectures. Two of these patents, it turns out, are on the list of patents which IBM explicitly pledged not to assert against the free software community.

This is the best explanation we’ve found so far. TurboHercules is probably being dishonest, so we have ignored their attempts to contact us (they send PR people). Even if IBM is being provoked and teased by a company that’s possibly linked to Microsoft (even before officially joining the Microsoft lobby), IBM’s response is not acceptable. It even gave Microsoft MVPs like Miguel de Icaza ammunition against IBM and Eruaran says that “Miguel De Icaza has got some nerve tweeting about IBM’s behaviour given his own activities.” Yes, he does a lot worse himself [1, 2], and knowingly so [1, 2, 3]. Check out the following new post that’s titled “Microsoft and Patents”:

Microsoft initially started this patent crusade about 3 years ago, and after the initial wave of accusations the Redmond giant seemed to slumber. All was well for a while. Sure, we all felt as though Novell, Xandros, and Linspire had sold their souls to Satan, but we didn’t really care. There were no real effects of the deals seen. Microsoft claimed that 235 patents had been violated, but to date they have yet to say who violated those patents and in what way. To me, this seems like a massive FUD campaign.

[...]

Rather recently in the Microsoft crusade against Linux, Microsoft approached Amazon. The Kindle’s embedded OS is Linux based, OH NOES! This leaves a striking pattern. As soon as you start making money with Linux software, and Microsoft doesn’t get your money they attack you in some way. Amazon also paid Microsoft some money during the patent exchange, which raises my suspicions… If this kind of treatment continues, I hope that someone will have the ire to stand against Microsoft at some point, and demand that the accusations and the specifics of the violations and violators be made public. How can anyone comply if the information isn’t made public?

Amazon is indeed paying Microsoft for GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4] and IBM cross-licenses with Microsoft. That’s why they can’t quite sue each other. As far as Novell is concerned, Microsoft has made it clear that those who are making money from OpenSUSE are at risk of being sued and Microsoft already ‘taxes’ SLED and SLED.

“As far as Novell is concerned, Microsoft has made it clear that those who are making money from OpenSUSE are at risk of being sued and Microsoft already ‘taxes’ SLED and SLED.”Responding to the post above, Penguiniator writes: “Microsoft is not looking for compliance. The Linux kernel developers have made it clear to Microsoft that they will remove any infringing code if it is pointed out to them. Microsoft cannot make money on code that does not infringe.”

Going years back, we have already pressured IBM (and sent mail to the relevant people) asking them to take advantage of In Re Bilski and put an end to software patents (the current head of the USPTO is from IBM, which wields a lot of power in the patent system). IBM bloggers deleted comments on the subject and never replied. It’s what Pieter Hintjens called the “conspiracy of silence”, topped with censorship too (deleted comments).

According to Professor Eben Moglen’s essay for a new Red Hat Web site, the Bilski case and the end of gene patents are a stepping stone towards ending software patents.

In reaching his legal conclusions, Judge Sweet relied significantly on the recent opinion of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has primary responsibility for interpreting the nation’s patent law, In re Bilski, 535 F.3d 943 (2008), now pending in the Supreme Court. Bilski, as readers here will know, raises issues concerning the patentability of business methods and computer software, on essentially the same basic ground: that, as the Supreme Court has said, “phenomena of nature, though just discovered, mental processes, and abstract intellectual concepts are not patentable, as they are the basic tools of scientific and technological work.” Gottschalk v. Benson, 409 U.S. 63, 67 (1972). Judge Sweet’s opinion may be said to raise the stakes on Bilski slightly, but the parts of the Federal Circuit opinion on which Judge Sweet relies are not about the “specialized machine or transformation of matter” test adopted by the Federal Circuit to distinguish patentable from unpatentable inventions involving computer software and methods of doing business. Judge Sweet followed the Federal Circuit closely in its expression of the settled law of patent scope, making it more unlikely that the Federal Circuit, which will hear the inevitable appeal from Judge Sweet’s judgment, will be inclined to disturb the conclusion.

The FFII sometimes accuses IBM of stopping short of elimination of software patents. IBM wants to remove business method patents but to keep software patents in tact. The FFII’s president also says that the “European Commission [is] trying to promote High Quality software patents with the PATQUAL study.” That’s what IBM has been trying to do with OIN. IBM is part of the problem because it not only encouraged patenting of software; here in Europe, IBM is said to be part of the movement that helps legalise software patents.

Even if IBM retracts the threat (as some sources already suggest), it cannot be trusted again. And until IBM makes it clear that it had no software patents in its agenda, IBM deserves to be seen as a fake friend of Free software. It was already called just that even months ago, primarily by other sites that seek to end software patents. Yes, to end them, not to blend with them.

“Software patents are a huge potential threat to the ability of people to work together on open source. Making it easier for companies and communities that have patents to make those patents available in a common pool for people to use is one way to try to help developers deal with the threat.”

Linus Torvalds

If Governments Require “Open Source”, Then Microsoft Will Pay/Bribe to Pretend to be “Open Source”

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard, Windows at 7:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Assimilation by acquisition

OOXML is fraud

Summary: The latest example of Microsoft applying OOXML-esque tactics to block national migrations to Open Source, just as it stifled a shift towards open standards

WHEN governments required open standards, Microsoft corrupted national bodies all around the world to help pretend that Microsoft Office was an “open standard”. Microsoft is now trying something similar with “open source”. We previously wrote about this in:

Here is a new article which shows that Microsoft’s dirty plot carries on:

DC Codeathon Event Gathers Developers of Open Source Projects for Government

[...]

Sponsored by Microsoft and the League of Technical Voters (LTV) — a nonprofit group that aims to motivate and assist technical experts to improve lawmaking and governmental processes — the event will display examples of improved citability on government Web sites.

Microsoft is to “open source” what fox is to the hen house. The latest storm over OOXML ought to serve as a reminder of that [1, 2, 3, 4]. The next version of Office won’t be OOXML-compliant either. Scott Mace says that “MS Office remains the fault line between open and closed” and Charles from OpenOffice.org says that “Perhaps someone’s monthly fee was not sent in time, go figure.” He probably refers to Alex Brown, who was a major part of (accomplice in) Microsoft’s OOXML fiasco [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21]. He is just trying to cleanse his image and appear balanced, some have argued. Microsoft’s booster Gavin Clarke lends his pen to it.

IRC Proceedings: April 7th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

Novell Dominates Almost a Third of GNOME Foundation Board, Including the Director

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, Java, Microsoft, Mono at 6:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Despite Microsoft’s frantic push for C# (through Novell staff), the language is stagnating, but Novell increases its influence in GNOME

WITH the addition of Cutler [1, 2, 3], it is now made official that Novell has 2 out of 7 seats, including that of the GNOME Foundation Director.

* Brian Cameron (Oracle)
* Jorge Castro (Canonical)
* Paul Cutler (Novell)
* Diego Escalante Urrelo (Igalia – Internship)
* Germán Póo-Caamaño (No affiliation)
* Srinivasa Ragavan (Intel)
* Vincent Untz (Novell)

Some of the above are proponents of Mono, which Microsoft guards like a hawk as C# fails to gain traction and Microsoft looks for Free software developers to change things in its favour.

According to TIOBE’s data, since August 2001 it took Microsoft 8 years to get their language to hit 6.258% usage (and it dropped significantly, they currently sit at 4.435%). Compare this with Java which has waned in popularity. Java is still at 18.051% usage and it’s highest was 26.492% usage on June 2001.

What does this tell you?

1) C is gaining popularity again despite lacking garbage collection and LINQ.
2) Java is still more popular than C#
3) At the rate Microsoft is going with C#, it should be at 12% in another 8 years (rough estimate).

That’s how bad C# is doing. Developers reject it, but Mono is trying to impose it upon more developers. Microsoft’s MVP Miguel de Icaza is even urging GNOME developers to build applications using Moonlight (mimicking another Microsoft lock-in that failed to gain ground).

As one of our readers pointed out, the Mono proponents are currently just resorting to harassment of critics. We gave some examples yesterday.

Regular readers to this blog will hopefully have noticed that whenever Mono is mentioned we often get an aggressive response. Now with normal topics a response is usually based on a obvious love/passion for the subject at hand, yet with Mono the response is often rude, sometimes vulgar but more often than not (in my experience) combative.

Some of the attacks from Mono proponents are too vulgar for this Web site to quote.

Apple Apologists

Posted in Apple, DRM, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google at 6:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Misconceptions in the press and blind faith in Hollywood-friendly DRM prisons from Apple

WE have already written many posts about the iPad [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], putting aside the fact that Apple is arrogantly suing Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

What we find rather curious is that Apple enthusiasts sometimes fail to understand what GNU/Linux is all about and what “open source” means (some think that Apple is “open source”).

Well, Gizmodo, which was possibly bribed by Microsoft for some rave reviews of Vista 7, is currently mocking Doctorow for his criticism of the iPad. Some writers at Gizmodo have zero understanding of GNU/Linux, as shown in the following part of the new rant that’s also cited elsewhere.

Who brought Linux to the mainstream? Google. Giant, corporate, rule-bending, corruptible Google.

Huh?

The funny thing is that Canonical’s new COO, Mac [sic] Asay, is also among the iPad apologists who antagonise Doctorow. He writes:

Cory Doctorow believes the iPad signals an end to innovation. It doesn’t. Apple’s iPad actually points to a beginning of innovation in personal computing.

Asay does not believe in ‘his’ own products and the associated philosophies, which also resonate with the clients. Why again does he work for Canonical? It becomes embarrassing when a self-proclaimed “open source” champion is salivating over proprietary software, just like Miguel de Icaza.

Here is another piece of utter nonsense from Apple apologists who speak about GNU/Linux:

Consider Linux, which still doesn’t have a user-friendly GUI.

Really?

While we’re at it showing or debunking FUD, here is another piece of inaccurate description from the press.

Nokia has finally ditched Symbian in favour of Maemo, which, like Android, also borrows its design heavily from Linux.

There are at least 3 mistakes in that very short sentence.

In another short piece with an Enderle-like headline (“Microsoft, Apple, Google – The Battle for Domination”) the following statement is made:

Contrary to Apple’s iPhone, Google has been the pioneer for open source technology.

Here we go again. Google is not even an open source company (let alone “the pioneer for open source technology”).

Finally, Gizmag has this to say:

Although open source software is playing an increasingly important part in our digital lives, most of still use commercial applications where the code running them is locked down tight and rarely caters for too much uncontrolled tinkering.

They probably mean “proprietary”, not “commercial”. Microsoft deliberately fails to make a distinction between the two.

Links 7/4/2010: North Korea’s “RED Star”; Nokia Tablets to Come

Posted in News Roundup at 1:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux is not an operating system, or is it?

    If you are at all familiar with my brain sneezes (I could use another word here but this is a respectable blog :) then you know I am always rabbiting on about Linux. I am always Linux this and Linux that. This gets some people upset and they claim that it should be GNU/Linux or perhaps more accurately Linux/GNU. There is a word in the English language (which I hope I am using) called context. In other words, I use the word Linux in the context of a complete Linux based distribution and believe that my readers understand that context.

  • Egypt: Linux InstallFest a Success!

    The Egyptian Linux Users Group organizes an event every now and then in order to raise the awareness of the masses of Free Open Source Software (FOSS). They help distribute Linux CDs for free, help people in installing Linux on their machines, and give awareness sessions and brief introductions to FOSS-related software and technology.

  • UNISSA, BOSSC hold networking event today

    UNISSA (Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali) and the Brunei Open Source Software Community (BOSSC) will be holding a networking event today from 2pm to 4.30pm at the basement of the UNISSA library.

  • Popularity of Open Source Software rising

    THE Brunei Open Source Software Community (BOSSC) kicked off a successful networking event highlighting examples of Open Source Software (OSS) as a major tool in national development.

    At an event held at Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (Unissa) Library, the Brunei Open Source Software Community (BOSSC) held four presentations hosted by Unissa’s Centre for Promotion of Knowledge and Language Learning.

  • Acadiana Open Source software group now meeting at LITE

    Many computer users are not aware of the wealth of free software that is available to the public; one of the most prominent being browsers like Mozilla Firefox. “Raising awareness and evangelizing open source software and its benefits is part of the mission of our group,” adds Turland. “If someone is interested in using open source software and isn’t sure how to get started, we’re more than happy to help them out.”

  • SouthEast LinuxFest Announces Partial Speaker List
  • Red Star OS spotted in North Korea

    Today the BBC has reported about a study from South Korea’s Science and Technology Policy Institute, which warned that the Red Star software is designed to increase government control over its citizens and their access to technology and the Internet. What? In North Korea?

  • NK Goes for Linux-Based Operating System

    According to researchers at South Korea’s Science and Technology Policy Institute (STEPI), North Korea’s Linux-based “RED Star” software is mainly designed to monitor the Web behavior of its citizens and control information made available to them.

    However, the computer operating system does represent North Korean efforts to advance its computer technology, which lags as a result of the country’s isolation, relying on Linux and other open-source software, said Kim Jong-seon, a STEPI researcher.

  • PRESS DIGEST – South Korean newspapers – April 6

    North Korea is expanding the use of its Linux-based operating system “Red Star” developed in 2002, into diverse areas and it is currently using its software to monitor citizens’ Web behaviour, said a researcher for the South Korea’s Science and Technology Policy Institute.

  • North Korean operating system better than Windows
  • Windows, Linux Get Knocked-Off

    Of course the operating system wouldn’t be complete without numerous programs that allow North Korean authorities to watch what users are doing and of keep outsiders from getting in.

  • 10 Ways to Explore Linux

    1. Live CD – Live CDs are bootable CD images that you burn to a CD or DVD, place in your CD/DVD drive, reboot your computer and enjoy a full Linux-based system without installing, partitioning or altering your current system. Everything runs from CD. Some things don’t work well, or at all, but you’ll have a first-hand Linux encounter that’s easy to use, acceptably fast and fully loaded.

  • The oddest places to find Linux

    Open source isn’t just a license or a coding methodology, to many it’s a religion. And the central prayer of that religion is an ode to Linux. In the spirit of such love, Linux has begun to sprout up everywhere. Here’s a compilation of some of the more surprising places you’ll find this beloved operating system.

  • 9 Weird Places to Find Linux
  • Server

    • Most Reliable Hosting Company Sites in March 2010

      Rank Company site OS Outage
      hh:mm:ss Failed
      Req% DNS Connect First
      byte Total
      1 www.memset.com Linux 0:00:00 0.012 0.586 0.129 0.260 0.260
      2 DataPipe FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.016 0.065 0.027 0.056 0.083
      3 iWeb Technologies Linux 0:00:00 0.016 0.134 0.083 0.165 0.165
      4 ReliableServers.com FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.016 0.250 0.083 0.197 0.337
      5 INetU unknown 0:00:00 0.021 0.702 0.073 0.158 0.301
      6 Swishmail FreeBSD 0:00:00 0.021 0.159 0.086 0.173 0.438
      7 www.singlehop.com Linux 0:00:00 0.021 0.258 0.104 0.429 0.962
      8 Hosting 4 Less Linux 0:00:00 0.025 0.116 0.091 0.186 0.474
      9 Kattare Internet Services Linux 0:00:00 0.029 0.153 0.093 0.187 0.443
      10 www.dinahosting.com Linux 0:00:00 0.029 0.121 0.130 0.258 0.258

    • Mad Dog 21/21: When Price/Performance Outruns Elasticity

      IBM has announced a range of Power7 servers for the i and AIX user communities. (These machines support Linux, too, but that doesn’t define their markets.) Mainframes based on the z11 (which will share some components with the Power7 chips and which could end up with a different name) are expected to debut before long.

    • IBM Promotion Cuts PowerVM Hypervisor Upgrade Fees

      PowerVM runs on Power5, Power5+, Power6, Power6+, and Power7 systems, and can be used to provide logical partitioning for OS/400 V5R3, i5/OS V5R4, and i 6.1; AIX 5.2, 5.3, and 6.1; Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 and 5; and Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and 11. I went through the pricing for PowerVM when the new pricing was announced as part of the Power Systems convergence back in April 2008, and you can check that out here.

  • Kernel Space

    • CUBRID Joins Linux Foundation

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that CUBRID is its newest member.

      CUBRID provides an open source database system that is optimized for web services to support mission-critical Internet applications. The company is joining the Linux Foundation to gain access to exclusive networking opportunities and face-to-face collaboration with members of the Linux community.

    • Harping on Metadata Performance: New Benchmarks

      The test system used for these experiments was a stock CentOS 5.3 distribution but with a 2.6.30 kernel and e2fsprogs was upgraded to 1.41.9. The tests were run on the following system:

      * GigaByte MAA78GM-US2H motherboard
      * An AMD Phenom II X4 920 CPU
      * 8GB of memory
      * Linux 2.6.30 kernel
      * The OS and boot drive are on an IBM DTLA-307020 (20GB drive at Ulta ATA/100)
      * /home is on a Seagate ST1360827AS
      * There are two drives for testing. They are Seagate ST3500641AS-RK with 16 MB cache each. These are /dev/sdb and /dev/sdc.

    • The Linux Foundation Wants Your “We’re Linux” Contest Videos

      We’ve covered the Linux Foundation’s “We’re Linux” video contests before, and there’s another underway right now. This year’s prizes include a trip to LinuxCon in Boston later this year, a chance to win a fully-loaded Linux laptop, and bragging rights for submitting the best “We’re Linux” video from all the entries.

    • QA with Parallels CEO: Prioritizing Kernel-Level Contributions

      Beloussov: Since Parallels was founded in 2000, we have been a strong contributor and supporter of Linux – in fact we did not support any other platforms until 2005.

    • AMD announces OpenGL 4.0 and 3.3 support on Windows and Linux platforms
  • Applications

  • GNOME Desktop

    • Welcome Gnome 2.30

      When I was updating my system I realized there were a lot of gnome packages to be upgraded, my enthusiasm immediately rises, gnome 2.30 was out.

  • Distributions

    • Announcing the Gentoo Wiki Project
    • Getting the most out of Mandriva Linux
    • Red Hat Family

      • Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.5 Trails RHEL 5.5

        That’s pretty quick and in my view, one of the quickest turnarounds yet from Oracle with their version of RHEL. Oracle has been releasing its own version of Linux with OEL, based on RHEL since 2006 and they’ve been updating OEL as Red Hat updates RHEL.

      • Open cloud: Game changing technology for govts

        Red Hat urges governments to implement cloud computing founded on both open standards and open source as de facto. Open Source technology by its nature, provides a robust and interoperable foundation for many of today‘s cloud computing deployments. Moreover, it obviates the problem of vendor lock-in that has prevailed for decades.

        Red Hat has the enabling open source technology that governments can already leverage today to implement robust, high performance clouds that are reliable, available and scalable.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13 – See What’s New!

          All of these features are marked as 100 percent ready and approved by the Fedora technical steering committee for the Fedora 13 release.

          Anaconda StorageWorks Filtering – The last part of the Anaconda-publicized code of the storage configuration.

          Automatic Print Driver Installation – Necessary packages will be installed on hardware that requires these packages when found by the system.

    • Debian Family

      • Installing Debian Linux; experiences, thoughts and opinions…

        So, to sum up, Debian is one hell of a Linux distribution. Perhaps not as newbie-friendly as some others, but it’s still pretty easy to use. Whatever criticism I’ve heard so far is simply wrong, as I’ve met none of the problems described. I can see myself using Debian for the next few years to come, at least until I decide to fiddle with Gentoo…

      • The role of the Debian ftpmasters

        Linux distributions don’t simply appear on mirrors and BitTorrent networks fully formed. A great deal of work goes on behind the scenes before a release sees the light of day. Linux users who aren’t involved in the production of a Linux distribution may not fully appreciate all of that work. Take, for example, the work done by Debian’s ftpmasters team.

        [...]

        Debian is, as Jaspert alluded to, “not getting smaller” and managing the number of new packages is a “kind of Sisyphean task.” The Debian archive contains thousands of packages, and the NEW queue can have hundreds of packages awaiting approval. NEW packages are those entering Debian for the first time, which do not have source packages in the archive, or those adding new binary packages. New versions of existing packages are moved automatically into the pool.

      • Ubuntu

        • New Ubuntu look too destructive

          Take a good hard look at your screen and ask yourself if it is possible to accidentally close an application while reaching for the File menu. In most cases the answer is a clear no, but for users of Ubuntu, it has become a very real and dangerous use case.

          All the fuss began in March when the decision was taken to refresh Ubuntu’s look and branding, which included a set of new default themes that moved the trio of minimise, maximise and close buttons from the PC standard right-hand side to the left side of the title bar. Suffice to say that despite the positives of the updated Ubuntu look, users overwhelmingly detested the movement of the window buttons — as shown by the over 630 comments, the vast majority of which are intensely negative, on this bug report.

        • Lucid Lynx two weeks after

          While still in Beta, Lucid Lynx is humming along quite nicely two weeks after I installed it on my Acer laptop. Sure, there are the little annoyances linked to using a Beta product from Ubuntu, for instance, the large daily updates of software and the occasional application crash. For the most part, though, Lucid Lynx is quite usable and I’m growing to like it.

        • What To Do After Installing Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx? Run This Script!
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Photoshop VS. GIMP

    GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

    It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

  • OfficeSIP Communications Makes Its VoIP SIP Products Open Source

    OfficeSIP Communications makes its two enterprise VoIP SIP clients officially open-source. OfficeSIP Softphone and OfficeSIP Messenger are now publicly available, and their source code published under the GPL license. The two products complete with the source code are available for immediate download at the company’s Web site, officesip.org.

  • Open Source Firewalls – Untangle and pfSense comparison

    So this week I had the opportunity of setting up a little lab to test both of these firewalls. Before this week I had no idea these firewalls even existed, and the only open source routing/firewall software I even knew of at the time was Vyatta; which is really only for routing purposes.

  • Deploy Open Source CMS Solutions with BitNami Virtual Appliances

    Open Source solutions are becoming even more popular by the day. But that doesn’t mean they are any more easier to install and set up. BitNami offers a number of new virtual appliances though that should do the trick.

  • OSCON Makes It Happen: O’Reilly Open Source Convention Reveals Program and Opens Registration
  • Opinion: Open source support – as good as it should be?

    The result could be misleading, Christie suggests. “I think we may have asked the question the wrong way.” His company, Catalyst IT, was part of the survey; “and we provide those services”, he says. But someone in the company clearly did not think so.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla Wants Your Opinion on Open Web

      The open source community spends a lot of time kicking around the idea of an open Web and how best to develop open and non-proprietary specifications for Web technologies. Creating a plan is one thing, but communicating the importance of an open Web to non-technical computer users is another. Mozilla has taken the reins in an attempt to form an understandable explanation and wants your help.

  • SaaS

    • Open Source: SaaS Threatens the future of OS

      Dries Buytaert, founder of the popular Open Source CMS Drupal product, says that cloud computing has done an ‘end run’ around the Open Source community. His point is that while SaaS and Cloud computing is offering up a totally new delivery model, it is echoing the practices of traditional closed-source vendors.

    • GroundWork, Eucalyptus Team For Cloud Monitoring

      GroundWork Open Source and Eucalyptus Systems have paired up to offer integration between Eucalyptus’ open source private cloud offering and GroundWork’s monitoring software for cloud application management.

    • Eucalyptus, GroundWork As Allies: Cloud Stack Coming?

      Basically the two open source firms announced they have established a technical partnership. They are not producing products together, but they are ensuring their software will work together. Eucalyptus produces Eucalyptus 1.6.2, which provides the basics of establishing a self-provisioning cloud, one whose API functions, such as the directive, “run this workload,” are compatible with Amazon’s EC2.

  • CMS

    • Moving to an Open Source LMS: 3 Stories

      Part of the reason for Sakai’s success at the 2,200-student college–which self-supports Sakai internally, in contrast to many smaller schools–was approval of the move to open source, according to Instructional Technology Consultant Mary Glackin. She was a member of the original Sakai implementation team and is on the college’s current Sakai management team.

  • Business Intelligence

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC 4.5 Release Candidate Is Finally Here

      GCC 4.5 has been running a bit behind schedule due to outstanding regressions, but last week the last of their highest severity regressions were addressed, which paved the way for a release candidate. Today the release candidate for version 4.5 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) has arrived.

  • Releases

  • Government

    • Pushing for consistency in ICT across government

      “A coordinated approach to ICT web services seems to be missing in New Zealand” says event director, Tim Knapp. “Many of the government departments I’ve spoken to are in dire need of an organisation that can provide independent advice on open source web technologies, particularly as there’s so many to choose from. Australia are far ahead of us on this front, where they’ve setup the Open Source Business Cluster to fill this need”.

      Mr Knapp goes on to say “Plone is particularly suited to government as it is an enterprise-level content management system, exceeds the E-government standards for government websites, and therefore was officially sanctioned by the State Services Commission back in 2005″.

    • Medsphere Systems Markets Open Source Electronic Health Records System

      Experts agree that electronic medical records can lower costs and improve care. Yet just 10 percent of U.S. hospitals keep any computerized records, according to a survey in the New England Journal of Medicine last year. The biggest reason is cost: depending on the size of the hospital, the price of a digitized record system can run from $20 million to $100 million.

    • Qualitix Clinical Research Co., Ltd. Selects the OpenClinica Enterprise™ Electronic Data Capture (EDC) Solution for Multi-National Clinical Trials
  • Licensing

    • EPL/GPL Commentary

      A while ago, we received a request to take a look at an open letter on the compatibility of the Eclipse Public License (EPL) and the GNU General Public License (GPL). This led to a number of conversations with the Free Software Foundation (FSF) on the topic. What we have learned and the conclusions that we have drawn are outlined below. You can also find the FSF’s summary and conclusions on their blog.

  • Openness

    • OSHUG, new UK user group for open source hardware

      Osmosoft will be hosting the first meeting of OSHUG, the Open Source Hardware User Group on April 29th. OSHUG’s first meeting will include presentations by Professor David May and Alan Wood. May, currently CTO of XMOS Semicoductor, architect of the transputer and author of occam, the concurrent programming language, will be introducing the XCore XS1 microprocessor architecture. Wood will be discussing Amino, a “networked creator tool for hardware and software production” which his company, Folknology, are developing.

    • Is Sharing Contagious?

      Zuckerman story has been covered by various reporters. He relayed to me that the most common question he gets asked is, “Why would someone who is almost 40 do this without any compensation, what’s going on here?” His motivation, he admits, is multi-faceted. “It was driven by self-interest in the sense that I was bored and needed to be proud of something I created.” On the flipside, there is the “joy I get from helping people.” But the unexpected consequence of Zuckerman’s tool library is how his idea of sharing and kindness is spreading to affect the lives of dozens or maybe hundreds of other people he does not know or has never met.

    • MONDO 2000: An Open Source History

      At the end of the process, estimated to take approximately two years, a collaboratively-edited electronic document will be released on the web. A more closely-edited print book composed of selections from this process — edited by Ken Goffman aka R.U. Sirius (that’s me!) with Morgan Russell — will be published. Finally, the video footage might be rolled into a Mondo 2000 film documentary.

    • Mondo 2000: An Open Source History
  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Environment

    • How to connect mining disasters and climate change

      Environmentalists are often criticized by conservatives for embracing the science of climate change because it fits neatly with their ideological positions on conservation and sustainability. I think there is certainly some truth to that. But I’d argue that there is even more truth to the opposite position: Energy company executives and the politicians who carry their water reject science and oppose energy legislation because it conflicts with their ideological belief that anything that interferes with private profit-making is evil government intrustion.

  • Finance

    • CMD Releases New Wall Street Bailout Total, $4.6 Trillion in Federal Funds Disbursed

      Today, the Real Economy Project of the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) released an assessment of the total cost to taxpayers of the Wall Street bailout. CMD concludes that multiple federal agencies have disbursed $4.6 trillion dollars in supporting the financial sector since the meltdown in 2007-2008. Of that, $2 trillion is still outstanding.

      CMD’s assessment demonstrates that the Federal Reserve has provided by far the bulk of the funding for the bailout in the form of loans amounting to $3.8 trillion. Little information has been disclosed about what collateral taxpayers have received in return for these loans. CMD also concludes that the bailout is far from over as the government has active programs authorized to cost up to $2.9 trillion and still has $2 trillion in outstanding investments and loans.

    • Goldman Sachs’ Aganga Named Nigerian Finance Minister

      “While we continue to pray for the speedy recovery of the President, permit me to emphasize the policy continuum of governance and to insist on the imperative of this team to roll up its sleeves, and to redouble efforts so as to meet the expectations of our people who are yearning for good governance,” Jonathan said today.

    • Meg Whitman’s Shady Goldman Sachs Past — Is It California’s Future?

      Just when you thought you’d had enough of Goldman Sachs running things — and running them into the ground — along comes Meg Whitman. Most Californians know she’s using her fortune to run for governor. They probably don’t know that she was once on the board of Goldman Sachs, and most likely still would be if she hadn’t been cited for a practice one law firm describes as “essentially … an illegal bribe … to corporate leaders.” Then came the Congressional investigation, and the investor lawsuit, and … well, it was probably best to just leave the board.

    • Goldman Sachs’s ties to Meg Whitman questioned

      The Wall Street press can be pretty tough, but it’s nothing like the political press. Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, and now a candidate for governor of California, is finding that out now. Her opponents no doubt are only too happy to have her relationship with Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) aired in the media. The firm, by the way, has been embroiled in a controversy about whether it advised clients to short California muni bonds that it helped underwrite.

    • Poll: Goldman Sachs and other big banks have poor reputations

      As reported by Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs, with arguably the most vexing image issues, came in 56th out of 60. Citigroup (NYSE: C) came in 57th. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) came in 52nd and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) came in 53rd. American International Group (NYSE: AIG) came in at 59 and Fannie Mae at 58. Freddie Mac, now a ward of the government, came in dead last.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • MPs call for more support for local news media

      John Whittingdale, the committee’s chairman, said that local media was facing “unprecedented challenges” from the recession and the internet. “This has led to the closure of a large number of newspapers, many commercial radio stations becoming loss-making and the possible end of regional news on commercial television,” Mr Whittingdale said. “This has serious implications for local democracy.”

      The committee wants the Government to press ahead with changes to cross-media ownership recommended by Ofcom, the media regulator. These include relaxing the rule that no local newspaper publisher with more than 20 per cent of a market may also own a Channel 3 regional television licence.

    • Wikileaks and the dream of the open web

      In case you have not seen it yet, Wikileaks has released a video of an American helicopter crew opening fire on a group of men in Iraq, and later firing on a van that was trying to retrieve the wounded. I have been debating with myself whether to embed the video here. It is seriously disturbing, and I am concerned about potentially tasteless juxtaposition between the seriousness of the subject matter and the light-hearted nature of this blog, but I have decided that this is important enough that it requires all of the promotion it can get.

    • Mainstream media ignores Wikileaks video
    • Military can’t find its copy of Iraq killing video

      After being pressed to release its version of the WikiLeaks clip, U.S. CENTCOM says it can’t locate the footage

    • (en) Venezuela: all detainees released and charges dropped following union march in Maracay

      Having recovered from inhaling an amount of tear gas, I accompanied Robert González – the executive secretary of the Oil Workers’ Federation (Federación Petrolera) – as he was being interviewed by TVS Maracay (a regional TV channel). While he spoke to the journalist, a group of more than 30 police surrounded us. As soon as the TV cameras switched off, they pounced on us and, pushing against us, bundled us into the van. Amidst the tussle, they seized and broke my anarchist banner, which read, “FOR LIBERTARIAN AUTONOMY AND AGAINST THE REPRESSION OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS”. Twelve people in total were packed into the police van, including two members of the Workers’ League for Socialism (LTS). They didn’t tell us what our charges were, or where we were headed.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • An overview of what net neutrality means

      Net Neutrality is the principle of keeping web content equally accessible regardless of its provider, origin or destination. According to the Free Press Action Fund’s Savetheinernet.com campaign, net neutrality is threatened by the major conglomerates in the telecommunications industry who wish to provide themselves with an advantage by slowing down sites that aren’t associated with their companies and don’t pay a fee for the faster service.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Memo To News Sites: There Is No Future In ‘Digital Razzle Dazzle’

      So here’s my position: There is no future in a paywall. No salvation in digital razzle dazzle.

    • Final Version of “Copying Is Not Theft” Released!

      Question Copyright’s first Minute Meme is a response to messages that have tried to convince people that copying information is the same as stealing property, when it’s an entirely different (and generally positive) thing. Until the air is cleared on that point, it’s hard to have any kind of useful conversation about copying, sharing, copyright, or licensing.

    • How to Thrive Among Pirates

      1) Price your copies near the cost of pirated copies. Maybe 99 cents, like iTunes. Even decent pirated copies are not free; there is some cost to maintain integrity, authenticity, or accessibility to the work.

      2) Milk the uncopyable experience of a theater for all that it is worth, using the ubiquitous cheap copies as advertising. In the west, where air-conditioning is not enough to bring people to the theater, Hollywood will turn to convincing 3D projection, state-of-the-art sound, and other immersive sensations as the reward for paying. Theaters become hi-tech showcases always trying to stay one step ahead of ambitious homeowners in offering ultimate viewing experiences, and in turn manufacturing films to be primarily viewed this way.

      3) Films, even fine-art films, will migrate to channels were these films are viewed with advertisements and commercials. Like the infinite channels promised for cable TV, the internet is already delivering ad-supported free copies of films.

    • Nintendo Deletes Fan-Made Pokemon MMO

      Nintendo has issued a cease-and-desist notice to the creators of the open source Pokémon MMO Pokenet, requiring that they take down their website and surrender the pokedev.org domain name used for the game, claiming unauthorized use of Nintendo trademarks, according to Joystiq.com.

    • ACTA/Digital Economy Bill

      • ACTA treaty draws fire in NZ submissions

        InternetNZ and the New Zealand Open Source Society have released their submissions to the Ministry of Economic Development’s consultation on this month’s ACTA negotiations, with the two organisations taking different, but equally critical tacks on the issue.

      • ‘No evidence ACTA is needed’ – InternetNZ

        Internet New Zealand has strongly opposed the signing of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) by New Zealand in a submission to the Ministry of Economic Development.

      • Submission Criticises Lack Of Evidence For ACTA Approach – InternetNZ
      • InternetNZ slams ACTA digital enforcement discussions
      • Open Letter to the Negotiators of ACTA

        In the Internet Community, we do not believe that it is even theoretically possible, short of instituting an entirely undesirable Orwellian police state, to effectively prevent music and films from being shared over the internet in non-commercial ways. We expect that any efforts by governments are any other party to stop this will fail, although they will surely be harmful side-effects, like for example the notice-and-takedown provisions of the DMCA in the USA are already being abused by enemies of the freedom of speech. (By contrast, the appropriate handling of copyrighted digital assets in commercial contexts is a solvable problem, as the international standard ISO/IEC 19770-1 on Software Asset Management proves. In my opinion, enforcement efforts should focus on that area where it is actually possible to achieve progress.)

      • NZOSS Submission on ACTA

        The New Zealand Open Source Society has made a submission on ACTA to the Ministry of Economic Development. The submission explores the relationship between legislation of the United States passed in 1998 called the DMCA with provisions in the Copyright Amendment Act 2008 and the leaked provisions in ACTA. The NZOSS does not wish to see a regime where citizens will be disconnected from the Internet based only on notices from rights holders, but rather maintain a position where proper judicial oversight and process will be maintained. Video here.

      • The Digital Economy Bill: Thinking further about copyright

        Two photographs. Nearly a century apart. Of people watching a sports game without paying.

        The question is, were they stealing? Would you call it stealing? I wouldn’t. But I know some people who would.

Clip of the Day

More Background Manipulation with the GIMP


The World According to Gates: Constructing a System of Profitable Philanthropy

Posted in Africa, Bill Gates, Deception, Finance, Marketing, Microsoft, Patents at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Construction evolution

Summary: With the aid of US newspapers — including for example the Melinda Gates-influenced Washington Post — the Gates Foundation tells us how the world should be operated for the benefit of few mega-corporations with patents and heavy investments from Gates himself

Philanthro-capitalism as an investment

The Gates Foundation continues making money from illness. A lot of people do not know about the foundation’s investments, so they probably look at a simplified model, wherein there is simply a donation of cash. It is a lot more complicated than that. To reference a new article about wireless: [the highlight in red is ours]

Gates also states that he’s not looking for the fund to make money in the short term, but he wants to see this as an investment for the fund that will ultimately repay itself and feed into the fund for further roll-outs…

This is not unusual when it comes to philanthro-capitalism. It’s not a problem that’s exclusive to Gates, either. As Mark Shuttleworth said rather clearly, Ubuntu is not a charity. The idea is one of doing good but not without a reward. Selfishness typically plays a role and it comes at the expense of someone (finding the exact externalities might be the tricky part, but they always exist).

“Read my sources”

Bill Gates is currently recommending publications that he partly controls or speaks to. He spoke to Scientific American quite recently (to address an example that he gives) and made a visit to the New York Times. His wife has some control in the Washington Post and she uses this control to 'plant' stories that promote her financial agenda. A new article from Rick Cohen, titled “Quit Corporate Boards”, says:

Melinda Gates serves as a director of the Washington Post Company in addition to her work for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

There were other hard questions from the same source, addressing the Gates Foundation specifically.

“The Gates Notes on being poorly informed,” writes GatesKeeper:

Gates Keepers rarely read The Gates Notes as they are rather like many high school student blogs, but written by a celebrity.

This one is especially facile. Bill reads Slate which he owns and he reads the Washington Post where Melinda sits on the board and watches TED talks where he appears. That is a bad start for someone who hopes to think outside the box.

Nothing written outside the US, no foreign language publications, and no sources outside of print and video. It is no wonder he is poorly informed.

We won’t go through the complete list of publications, but we do see a pattern in them. it is a widely-known fact that Gates does not pay attention to his critics. We previously showed PR campaigns and policing of the messages (we gave many examples where Gates funds journalists or books that glorify his work).

Watch who else is coming out in defence of Gates:

“No pesky senators or members of Congress” or others accountable to their constituents show up when the Gates Foundation funds the entertainment industry to advance the Foundation’s point of view. Go Mariska!

A funder of the Kaiser Family Foundation, publisher of the second article, is … the Gates Foundation.

We’ll come back to the Kaisers later on. Here is the corresponding article from Melinda’s Washington Post:

The whole thing was weird and self-congratulatory, yet deeply shrewd. Baer, a Harvard-trained physician, brought the show’s star to brighten up a deadly earnest discussion. The TV watching was lent a certain gravitas by the presence of the University of Southern Cal’s Hollywood, Health and Society project (which gets funding from the NIH and CDC) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. And no pesky senators or members of Congress turned up to explain how many other worthy issues are competing for their funds and votes.

More celebrity treatment:

Hargitay and Baer were joined by Sally Canfield of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, according to an HH&S press release. HH&S Director Sandra de Castro Buffington moderated the discussion (3/24).

Education the Gates way

We have written quite extensively on how the Gates family takes greater control of the education system, especially in the United States. Posts on the subject include:

  1. Bill Gates Puts in a Million to Ratify His Role as Education Minister
  2. How the Gates Foundation is Used to Ensure Children Become Microsoft Clients
  3. More Dubious Practices from the Gates Foundation
  4. Microsoft Builds Coalitions of NGOs, Makes Political and Educational Changes
  5. Microsoft’s EDGI in India: Fighting GNU/Linux in Education
  6. Microsoft’s Gates Seeks More Monopolies
  7. Gates Foundation Funds Blogs to Promote Its Party Line
  8. Microsoft Bribes to Make Education Microsoft-based
  9. Lobbyists Dodge the Law; Bill Gates Lobbies the US Education System with Another $10 Million
  10. Gates Investments in Education Criticised; Monsanto (Gates-Backed) Corruption Revisited
  11. Latest Vista 7 Failures and Microsoft Dumping

Gates’ latest study for education agenda can be seen again right here.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation recently released a poll of teachers who unquestionably are underpaid for the work they do.

This is an example of private intervention in education, changing the system using one’s own ‘studies’. The Tallahassee Democrat says: “Working with a $100 million grant from the Gates Foundation, the district sat down with union representatives to design a program.” There is more coverage of that in [1, 2, 3, 4].

Only Hillsborough County gained a potential exemption, thanks to the $100 million teacher effectiveness grant it won from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Legislators said they want to let that seven-year reform effort run its course.

“Grant lost, Hillsborough seeks to boost Gates money,” says this new report (also here).

Hillsborough is concerned that Florida failed in this first round of stimulus grants, in part because it would have helped further reforms financed in part by the private Gates grant.

Florida education is at stake and another key point comes from Memphis:

The Gates Foundation funding is focused exclusively on reforms in teacher hiring, evaluation and retention.

This is “focused exclusively on reforms.” There are strings attached.

Since when is the Gates Foundation the nation’s policy maker? Also from Memphis:

In November, Memphis City Schools secured a $90 million, six-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of Seattle. The private money is for reform efforts in the evaluation, hiring and retention of teachers.

Later on we’ll show what the big problem is. The ‘studies’ that people are citing in these articles [1, 2, 3] are all paid for by the Gates Foundation for its own purposes. It’s never a good thing to rely on a single source.

More from the news:

The idea of a grade 10 diploma is the latest brainchild of the National Center on Education and the Economy, the originator of the unsuccessful school-to-work initiative in the 1990s. The project is funded by the Gates Foundation, which has abandoned its initiative to create small high schools as a way to get more low-achieving students through high school.

Here is Gates laying the foundations for his GMO business that he invests billions of dollars in.

A Search for Regulators and a Road Map to Deliver GM Crops to Third World Farmers

[...]

The school, called the African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE), has been set up by the African Union and is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

In many past writings we have explained Gates’ interest in colonising Africa through the seed supply and other means. One must not confuse criticism of GMO for health reasons and reasons which are tied to use of the patent system to monopolise seed supplies. We’ll come back to it towards the end.

One Microsoft Way Per Library

Looking at the United States again, the Gates Foundation ‘study’ on libraries [1, 2] (mentioned in recent weeks) is still being promoted by Gates’ new friends a the Huffington Post [1, 2, 3, 4] (background is very important here). They carry on spreading the deception without any scrutiny that’s deserved.

Did the Huffpo or Donna Blankinship do the math on the Gates Foundation funded library study?

It doesn’t take a Bill Gates to do the math on this library study. Someone is lying.

The report states on page 26 that “one out of three Americans 14 years or older (35 percent) visit once a week or more often”. So there are 85 million people in America who go to libraries at least once a week. And there are 16,000 library buildings in the country. An average library in an average week would receive five thousand regular visitors. (This does not include all the people who do not go to their library every single week.) If this average library is open seven days a week then it welcomes seven hundred regular visitors every single day it is open, and welcomes all the other people as well.

Over SEVEN HUNDRED visitors per average library per day? Someone is lying.

Using these pseudo-studies, some people already find excuses to advance their own agenda, sometimes just paying to put Windows computers in libraries:

A $23,400 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will pay for nine new computers for use by library users, as well as software and other accessories for the machines.

[...]

Money available from the Gates Foundation to buy computers represents only a fraction of the spending the library trustees hope to undertake over the next year.
A study undertaken last year concluded the library needs $400,000 to $600,000 in exterior renovations, including front steps repairs. Two ornate lamps stored in the library boiler room for years will be restored and installed on the stairs. Renovation plans also call for installing a ramp into the basement children’s library.

Because of security issues and cost, more and more libraries install/deploy GNU/Linux and have many people exposed to that platform (each machine has many users attached to it over time). The Gates Foundation can stifle this and its study is also cited here (where Gates gives money to change the library’s computing facilities) and near Red Hat’s headquarters there is something similar going on.

The economic development group’s board voted Thursday to award $136,000 for the State Library of N.C. federal grant proposal as matching funds. The Gates Foundation also provided matching funds.

Libraries have many different expenses, but money from Gates is allocated just for computers running Windows. If they can make libraries standardise on Windows (without exception), then the small ‘donations’ merely become investments or sponsorships.

There is a telling interest in Gates giving money to put his computers there but not assisting with other costs encumbering those libraries. Here is a Gates ‘study’ combined with other factors:

The computers, which were purchased during the past two years through a 50/50 matching grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, allow people to keep in touch with others and access information that helps them in many areas such as finding employment, Paul said.

Nobody questions the accuracy and motivation of the funding source [1, 2, 3, 4]. The Washington Post promotes this under the “Post Tech” section, alongside other new lobbying efforts from Microsoft.

And the policy implications of cloud computing was the subject of debate last night at a roundtable dinner discussion at the Aspen Institute, hosted by Microsoft.

It’s clearly aimed at policymakers, just like those Gates ‘studies’ which edweek.org says are “Aimed at Swaying Policymakers” (that’s the headline).

“Public Libraries Gain New Ammunition from Gates/IMLS Usage Study,” says the American Libraries Magazine. More here:

Librarians love the new library study even if it is not true. Jill Nishi of the Gates Foundation encourages them.

Separately, GatesKeeper also puts it like this: “Seattle is sometimes used as a euphemism for the Gates Foundation.”

More pseudo-studies on the way

Going back to schooling, Gates has more ‘studies’ lined up already. Education Week News says: “The Gates Foundation plans to conduct several follow-up studies homing in on areas of interest in its own survey…”

These surveys are taken without doubt:

Nearly half of students between the age of 22 and 30 say they felt like they were just another face in the crowd to their high school guidance counselors, according to a study conducted by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Also in the news:

In 2004 there was an idea of starting a new school, CamTech High School. This school was only an idea, or a possibility, maybe even a “what if”. The North Carolina New schools Project (NCNSP) partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to open several redesigned schools in North Carolina. Model schools from across America visited North Carolina; and administrators and teachers from Camden County decided to replicate a new school after the New Tech High School in Napa, California.

Service provision intervention

Last week we wrote about Melinda's tour in India (video here). No hard questions are being presented with regards to motive; instead, in the Indian press it reads like advertisements [1, 2] about “saving babies”. Behind all the PR there is usually a financial agenda that nobody is able or willing to explore.

Just like with Monsanto [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and some oil giants, Gates family members try to pass a similar agenda to India that they already have in Africa (and India is suing Monsanto, so this is a serious issue that’s already realised by some).

GatesKeeper has a “question about the Gates Foundation funded study in India”:

Melinda Gates was recently in the Indian press advocating for this Indian intervention to be implemented in Africa. She calls it an educational intervention. It is actually a service provision intervention with community motivators.

Why did neonatal mortality and perinatal mortality almost DOUBLE in the control group? To these Gates Keepers this the most interesting finding of the study.

This is why we do not trust so-called ‘studies’ from the Gates Foundation. With tens of billions of dollars invested in the very same companies that benefit from these studies, the conflicts of interest are just too vast and they were realised by professional journalists, such as those from the Los Angeles Times. This really deserves more attention, not just from the PR industry.

Patents-loving staff

PR Week says that “Citigroup taps NYC deputy mayor to lead comms” and watch the following part about the Gates Foundation:

Citigroup named Edward Skyler, deputy mayor of New York City, its EVP of global public affairs, effective May 3. He reports to CEO Vikram Pandit.

[...]

He replaces Kate James, who started as the chief communications officer for the Gates Foundation in January…

We could not repeat this often enough, but the Gates Foundation makes money with its investments in and promotion of the pharmaceutical cartel. No wonder Gates is advancing their agenda among politicians.

If the tests are successful, PrEP distribution programs could begin in developing countries in 2012, said Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp. and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, both of Seattle. He spoke to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee about global health priorities on March 10. The Gates Foundation is sponsoring three PrEP trials.

More on PrEP:

If the tests are successful, PrEP distribution programs could begin in developing countries in 2012, said Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation is sponsoring three PrEP trials.

PrEP is big money for corporations that Gates has money in, including some that are hugely corrupt. Just weeks ago we saw Pfizer found guilty of racketeering.

Pfizer Inc. has been socked with an eye-popping $141 million penalty for unlawfully promoting its epilepsy drug Neurontin for unapproved uses for which, the plaintiffs said, it didn’t even work.

A federal jury in Boston on Thursday concluded that the pharmaceutical giant had violated federal racketeering laws in promoting the drug for so-called off-label uses that were ineffective. The jury’s verdict was actually $47 million, but the penalty was automatically tripled under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

“Pfizer Pays Out Millions to Doctors,” says PR Watch:

Pfizer, the world’s biggest drug company, says it paid 4,500 doctors and other medical professionals about $20 million total in professional fees for services like consulting and speaking on behalf of the company, in just the last six months of 2009. During the same period, Pfizer also paid $15.3 million to 250 academic medical centers and other research groups for clinical trials. The payments to medical professionals were required by an agreement the company signed last August to settle a federal investigation into the illegal promotion of drugs for off-label use.

There is more information here and some ugly background here. A couple of weeks ago we showed that Pfizer is connected to Gates. It’s murder with patents sometimes. Now, to be fair, Gates is connected to many companies in the pharmaceutical cartel [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and this connection is further increased by the new appointment of a Merck executive who shall inherit the Gates Foundation’s CFO position:

A former Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) executive is to be the new chief financial officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations.

This is also covered in:

For those who do not know about Merck’s latest corruption, here is a place to start. Merck also has a relationship with Microsoft. The addition above shows the real agenda of the Gates Foundation, which already accommodates Monsanto employees and other questionable people, including one who faces criminal charges (Dr. Yamada who came to the Gates Foundation from GlaxoSmithKline). Some of the people in the Gates Foundation come from the very same companies that the Gates Foundation lobbies for and serves. Coincidence or opportunism? Correlation or causality?

Since we’ve mentioned Monsanto, it’s worth ending with the news about agricultural research that Gates funds with sights on Africa.

The Gates Foundation’s arrival on the CGIAR scene has provided a financial boost to the consultative group — an international network of governments and organisations that funds 15 renowned agricultural research centres, together credited with spearheading major improvements in crop productivity, such as those responsible for the Green Revolution of the 1960s and 70s.

Just to be clear here, “green” = “patented”. Gates tries to make Africa embrace the Monsanto model, wherein all seeds must be bought from a US corporation that claims to be owning the seeds, even if nature helps them be reproduced. Gates receives help from his friends at Kaiser (see above) and with contraception PR in the region [1, 2, 3, 4] there is also the opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to ‘donate’ patents at a “discount” (vaccines for example), having been paid by taxpayers to do so. The public usually pays for patents on medical remedies (huge margins for investors like Gates to pocket), but public relations strategies serve as deflectors.

To summarise this long rundown through the past week’s news, there are many issues worth exploring because some people make a lot of money while claiming to be serving poor people. Those who are served best are proprietary software vendors, owners of patents on seeds, and an industry that charges the public for patents on drugs which are given to other people under the guise of “goodwill”. The Gates Foundation employs a huge PR team (here is a new example of Gates Foundation PR in China), but those who are intimately familiar with the works of the Gates Foundation sometimes feel differently about its goals. Bill Gates made well beyond $10 billion over the past year.

“Gates has created a huge blood-buying operation that only cares about money, not about people.”

Chinese AIDS organisation manager, December 2009 (New York Times)

Aggressive Marketing for Vista 7

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 3:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dog eat dog

Summary: Microsoft is spinning security problems and uses the press to pressure people to buy a newer version of the same operating system while one Microsoft MVP still comments using a pseudonym (multiple accounts)

WINDOWS TRENDS are usually quite telling. In 9 days of news*, not a single headline was about Vista and there were under 20 clusters of headlines about “Windows 7″.

Microsoft’s Seinfeld ads are still being brought up by Microsoft-rewarded 'news' sites, leading to some complaints:

I’m not quite sure what this was important to someone, but Todd Bishop of TechFlash sat down with Microsoft to discuss those crazy Seinfeld ads from way back in ought-8. He essentially asked Microsoft “What were you thinking?” and got some interesting replies.

Seinfeld is said to have dumped Windows altogether [1, 2].

“It’s secure. Really! Our former employees say so.”

Last month we saw Vista 7 falling at Pwn2Own. Mozilla was the first to provide patches.

Mozilla beats Apple, Microsoft to Pwn2Own patch punch

Mozilla late yesterday patched a critical Firefox vulnerability used by a German researcher to win $10,000 for hacking the open-source browser at last week’s Pwn2Own contest.

In a repeat of 2009, Mozilla was the first browser maker to patch a bug exploited at Pwn2Own. In fact, the company improved on its performance by fixing the newest flaw only eight days after Nils, a researcher who works for U.K.-based MWR InfoSecurity, hacked Firefox. Last year, Mozilla took 10 days to come up with its Pwn2Own fix. Nils also successfully exploited Firefox at 2009′s contest.

On the other hand, Vista 7 remained vulnerable, but this would not be the first time. Consider for example:

Microsoft issued an emergency patch which came around the same time as “damage control” addressing Pwn2Own.

Just days after a pair of researchers outwitted major Windows 7 defenses to exploit Internet Explorer and Firefox, Microsoft said the measures aren’t meant to “prevent every attack forever.”

Yes, this is an excuse, but a lot of sites gave that coverage [1, 2, 3] and there were also many headlines about the security PR delivered by BeyondTrust, which is headed by a former Microsoft marketing person. It is almost as though Microsoft hijacked the news for PR purposes. Almost all the headlines about Vista 7 simply brag about it being secure, even though the real news is about the operating system’s defenses being breached. That’s real perception management at work. Over in Asia, Microsoft is said to be reviewing its PR business. As we have shown before, Microsoft typically employs AstroTurfers where laws are weaker and these practices can go on without punishment. Techrights was attacked by a paid Microsoft AstroTurfer from Singapore (he harasses other Web sites critical of his employer from Redmond) and Microsoft is very open about bribing hundreds of Korean bloggers to improve the image of Vista 7. In general, as we have shown before, Vista 7 coverage involved many small bribes. It also benefited from the many Microsoft boosters who present themselves as “journalists”.

“First one’s free!”

Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft Nick, and other Microsoft boosters like Paul Thurrott and Gavin Clarke are advertising an old marketing scheme where Microsoft gives time-limited copies of Vista 7 that ‘self-destruct’ and hold people’s data as hostage. Trial versions have no appeal to wise people, but some people are gullible enough to be persuaded by the proposition of something cheap in the short term. GNU/Linux is free to try and also to keep indefinitely, so why is Microsoft’s 90-day ‘free’ enterprise trial of any use? Microsoft might eventually be forced to give Windows away for free. This has already happened in sub-notebooks because of strong competition from GNU/Linux.

“Upgrade now!”

The aforementioned hostage situation is also being promoted by others [1, 2] who include Ina Fried acting as a Microsoft advertiser (talking to proper Microsoft advertisers) and hyping up an “upgrade deal”. This is also being hyped up by Microsoft Emil and a few others [1, 2] who sometimes provide evidence that Microsoft actively pressures Windows users to ‘upgrade’.

It’s impossible to know for sure, given Microsoft is continuing to decline to comment, but it’s looking like Windows Live Wave 4 — like Internet Explorer 9 — isn’t going to support Windows XP.

Another known Microsoft booster, Harry McCracken, is advertising for Microsoft ‘upgrades’ over at Fox ‘News’ and over at IDG he revisits the past. Ed Bott, who is another extension of Microsoft's staff, makes it seem like some kind of a new Microsoft campaign urging to leave XP and buy Vista 7. Those who participate in this shameless push are assisted by a new ‘study’ from Forrester, which Microsoft is routinely paying for studies (even to slam GNU/Linux [1, 2]).

Yesterday we wrote about the latest "piracy" propaganda from Microsoft (relying on more fake ‘studies’) and now we are seeing more coverage of that. [via]

Another survey gives the break-up of illegal software country-wise. These figures show that most of the software users are criminals or ‘Pirates,’ as Microsoft loves to call those who use their software illegally.

It’s funny that Microsoft also knows that it relies on those people, who it is trying to derive the choice of GNU/Linux.

“Me too!”

Watch this Windows promotion from Ina Fried, one of Microsoft’s most prominent (yet shameless) boosters. The post has just one comment, coming from Andre Da Costa [1, 2, 3, 4] (he is there in the comments, using a pseudonym, “Mr. Dee”). For those who do not know, Microsoft rewarded this guy with gifts and an MVP title. Under this one pseudonym alone he has already left 1774 comments in CNET. Under normal circumstances, that would be just plain Microsoft AstroTurfing, but this chap also trolls other writers in CNET, particularly those who cover Free software. In sites like CNET and ZDNet they create this kind of “theatre” of Microsoft-sympathetic people.

“The author of the email, posted on ZDNet in a Talkback forum on the Microsoft antitrust trial, claimed her name was Michelle Bradley and that she had “retired” from Microsoft last week.

“”A verbal memo [no email allowed] was passed around the MS campus encouraging MS employee’s to post to ZDNet articles like this one,” the email said.

“”The theme is ‘Microsoft is responsible for all good things in computerdom.’ The government has no right to prevent MS from doing anything. Period. The ‘memo’ suggests we use fictional names and state and to identify ourselves as students,” the author claimed.”

Wired Magazine

CNET keeps adding Microsoft people as writers, such as Microsoft analysts that we have shown before. And now there is also Lance Whitney, who says he’s “a contributing editor for Microsoft TechNet Magazine and writes for other computer publications and Web sites.” Over at NewsWeek it’s just as bad, with the likes of Daniel Lyons [1, 2] attacking Microsoft’s rivals and boosting Vista 7. These publications’ selection process is obviously flawed. Identity hijackers have no room in serious magazines and writers seem to be appointed based on advertisers.
____
* Google News search is being used as a reference.

Crybaby

“People everywhere love Windows.”

Bill Gates

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