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04.14.10

Patents Roundup: IBM, TurboHercules, Microsoft, New Zealand, Palm, and CompTIA

Posted in Free/Libre Software, IBM, Microsoft, OIN, Patents, Red Hat at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mono, ECMA, Microsoft

Summary: Microsoft continues to harass competition (notably GNU/Linux) through small companies and lobbyists in Europe; US patent law on shaky ground

TODAY’S post catches up with patents news from the past 3 days. We will start with the issues that affect Free software the most.

IBM, TurboHercules, and Microsoft

For background on the subject and perhaps a bit of context, here are previous posts on the matter.

  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
  5. IBM Will Never be the Same After Taking Software Patents Out of Its Holster
  6. Thumbs up to Ubuntu for Removing a Part of Microsoft; TurboHercules Likely a Psystar-Type Microsoft Shell
  7. Why IBM Does Deserve Scrutiny (Updated)
  8. Patents Roundup: Fordham Conference for Software Patents in Europe, NZOSS Responds to Pro-Software Patents Lobbyists, and TurboHercules’ Ties With Microsoft Explained
  9. Florian Müller Seemingly Connected to CCIA (Microsoft Proxy)
  10. Patents Roundup: New Conferences, Oink of the Patent Lawyers in New Zealand, and TurboHercules’ Secret Home in 701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 4200 Seattle, WA 98104

SJVN responds to Müller over at his blog in IDG. Müller keeps slamming IBM 24/7.

I just really can’t see why IBM should be singled out as patent public enemy number one for open source because of this one business dust-up. I also can’t help notice, as Pamela Jones of Groklaw recently pointed out, that there’s reason to believe that TurboHercules isn’t so much an open-source company as it is a proxy, along with OpenMainframe, in a battle between IBM and Microsoft over cloud-computing.

Again, I find myself asking, “Who’s really the open-source enemy here?” It’s not IBM.

At ITWire, IBM’s actions are defended by stating that IBM is a business, just like many others.

Both sides are wrong for one simple reason: the people who run companies like IBM or Microsoft or Novell or HP, do not have friends or enemies. What they have is strategic interests. That’s all.

Telic corrects the author in the comments, calling a part of the article “unprofessional misinformation.” To quote Telic:

The GPL triggers upon public distribution of licenced code: “if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must pass on to the recipients the same freedoms that you received. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights.”

Your “only money speaks” ditty is an anthem for outlaw corruption a la Microsoft.

Indeed. One ought to concentrate on the fact that Microsoft is still using “dummy” companies to sue competitors. Microsoft should be taken to court over this.

The patent armament of GNU/Linux grows a little bigger and stronger with many additions to the OIN and the Linux Foundation recently (they are both related to each other and to IBM). Ulteo becomes a member of OIN, based on this new press release (also in Market Wire).

Open Invention Network (OIN), the company formed to enable and protect Linux, today extended the Linux ecosystem with the signing of Ulteo as a licensee. By becoming a licensee, Ulteo 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.

Ulteo is a small company from the super-talented Gaël Duval, creator of Mandrake. He blogged about it too.

“The opinion pieces of IBM partners/apologists sometimes assume that IBM is untouchable when it comes to criticism from the Free software community.”The IBM-created/led OIN has actually been helpful in the past [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. It’s one of those cases where IBM’s involvement actually defends GNU/Linux from hostile patents (although a permanent solution would just eliminate software patents). The opinion pieces of IBM partners/apologists sometimes assume that IBM is untouchable when it comes to criticism from the Free software community. This oughtn't be the case.

Dana Blankenhorn says that “the IBM open source pledge [has been] amended.”

The real news is that Eric Raymond agrees with Mueller. The author of The Cathedral and the Bazaar, which did so much to define open source as distinct from Richard Stallman’s free software ideal, says IBM is digging itself into an ever-deeper rhetorical hole.

Blankenhorn also brings Jay Maynard into it. Groklaw accused Maynard of playing for Microsoft, but some of our readers deny this strongly.

Jones got into this with a long Groklaw post that has 11 updates (so far) acting as exhibits. It’s the fiercest debate there since the end of the Novell case, which is to say in about two weeks.

A summary is that TurboHercules started this mess, that IBM has not even filed a case, and that it looks like a shakedown by Hercules’ Roger Bowler and Jay Maynard. (Raymond credits Maynard with bringing him into the case.)

There are accumulations of opinions out there, including some thoughts from Brian Proffitt, who works/worked for the Linux Foundation (the IBM conflict of interests creeps in again).

The thing is, Mueller may have jumped the gun on his accusations that Big Blue was giving the finger to the open source community.

Müller is more or less a lobbyist now. He even issues a ‘press release’:

Florian Mueller, Open Source Patent Activist, just released the following information. He believes that patents already used by IBM against TurboHercules are also a threat to other major FOSS projects. He now calls on the community for action.

Calling him “Open Source Patent Activist” is rather odd given that he attempted to derail Munich’s migration to Open Source. Corpwatch.org calls Müller “Open-source Advocate” in this new article and someone from Red Hat says that Müller “plays a strange role. Comes out of the blue. I smell more.”

Steve Stites writes about abolishing software patents in response to an article about IBM and TurboHercules:

I think that the best way to defend open source against software patent attacks is to abolish software patents. The U.S. Supreme Court might abolish software patents this month in the U.S.A. New Zealand is close to passing a law abolishing software patents in New Zealand. We are making progress from the days when people considered abolishing software patents just a flaky idea.

This brings us to the next subject.

New Zealand

Thanks to software developers, New Zealand is rejecting software patents — a move which drives some lawyers mad [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Here is a new report on the same subject, along with legal analysis.

Commerce Minister Simon Power says the Government will back changes proposed by a select committee that will mean computer software can no longer be patented.

Parliament’s commerce select committee proposed amending the Patents Bill, which passed its first reading in May last year, after receiving many submissions on the controversial issue.

The recommendation has attracted considerable attention outside New Zealand, particularly from the open source software community, which claims large software makers have gamed the patent system and stifled innovation.

The local solicitors (“lawyers industry”) actively protest against this (no derivatives on software? Think about the children!). This whole situation is very revealing; lawyers consistently insist on more patents, whereas developers reject them. Who again is actually producing software? Should the insurance cartel also get to define policies on medication?

Europe

As proof that the European patent system (primarily the EPO, as opposed to the UK IPO) is still relatively sane, here is the news about Amazon’s mind-blowing one-click patent getting rejected on the grounds of obviousness.

From the IPKat’s friend Kristof Neefs (Altius) comes this link to Decision T 1616/08, in which the European Patent Office’s Technical Board of Appeal ruled that the subject matter of Amazon’s controversial One-click patent is obvious. In the decision of 11 November 2009, the application to patent a “Method and system for placing a purchase order via a communications network” was opposed by the Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V., Fleurop-Interflora European Business Company AG and the Förderverein für eine Freie Informationelle Infrastruktur e.V.(FFII e.V.).

This bring us to the European Interoperability Framework.

Microsoft and Front Groups

Microsoft’s pressure groups such as CompTIA are still lobbying for software patents inside European standards. Microsoft does not want to be seen doing this directly, so it has been using moles and lobbyists. Here is the latest warning bell:

Commenting on previous efforts to introduce a European Interoperability Framework (EIF), CompTIA, a global ICT industry group with member companies such as Microsoft among its members, said it was ”concerned about the proposal’s promotion of ICT standards and development models that reject valid intellectual property’.’

For more information about Microsoft’s lobbying against real standards in EIFv2, see:

  1. European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Corrupted by Microsoft et al, Its Lobbyists
  2. Orwellian EIF, Fake Open Source, and Security Implications
  3. No Sense of Shame Left at Microsoft
  4. Lobbying Leads to Protest — the FFII and the FSFE Rise in Opposition to Subverted EIF
  5. IBM and Open Forum Europe Address European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Fiasco
  6. EIF Scrutinised, ODF Evolves, and Microsoft’s OOXML “Lies” Lead to Backlash from Danish Standards Committee
  7. Complaints About Perverted EIF Continue to Pile Up
  8. More Complaints About EIFv2 Abuse and Free Software FUD from General Electric (GE)
  9. Patents Roundup: Copyrighted SQL Queries, Microsoft Alliance with Company That Attacks F/OSS with Software Patents, Peer-to-Patent in Australia
  10. Microsoft Under Fire: Open Source Software Thematic Group Complains About EIFv2 Subversion, NHS Software Supplier Under Criminal Investigation
  11. British MEP Responds to Microsoft Lobby Against EIFv2; Microsoft’s Visible Technologies Infiltrates/Derails Forums Too
  12. Patents Roundup: Escalations in Europe, SAP Pretense, CCIA Goes Wrong, and IETF Opens Up
  13. Patents Roundup: Several Defeats for Bad Types of Patents, Apple Risks Embargo, and Microsoft Lobbies Europe Intensely
  14. Europeans Asked to Stop Microsoft’s Subversion of EIFv2 (European Interoperability Framework Version 2)
  15. Former Member of European Parliament Describes Microsoft “Coup in Process” in the European Commission
  16. Microsoft’s Battle to Consume — Not Obliterate — Open Source

Palm

Palm is up for sale (pretty much like Novell) and after receiving patent threats from Apple, numerous reporters ponder the value of Palm’s patents [1, 2].

Indeed, Palm has a range of intellectual property assets, from hardware to software patents and its well-regarded webOS operating system.

We have already seen that Microsoft's patent troll is collecting patents on mobile devices.

United States

The brilliant Feld explains why patents are bad news for small companies:

I’m sure you can already see the problem. What software startup has $5 million to burn on defending a case with no value-add? Even $500k? I’d say it takes $1-2 million or thereabouts just to get through claim construction, which will give the parties a better sense of the overall merits of the case. One patent suit with a slightly determined plaintiff could very easily end a software startup just in legal fees, let alone the impact of the suit on gathering customers in the future.

So, software startups have to settle patent cases very early, and at high settlement amounts, because they have absolutely no leverage. Invalidity takes years to litigate, so you can’t threaten to invalidate the patent; same with inequitable conduct. Non-infringement arguments are great in theory, but the plaintiff won’t have a judgment day until the middle of the case at the earliest, after claim construction, when summary judgment motions are allowed (on most schedules), and that’s several years of litigation and several million dollars away. The defendant could file for a re-exam, but once it’s filed, the defendant has no control over it, and it takes a few years to get through the PTO.

In a new article from Forbes, Reihan Salam recalls the dawn of software patents in the United States:

In the 1981 Diamond decision, the majority effectively reversed 1978′s Parker v. Flook decision to disallow software patents. As Lee has persuasively argued, software patents have proven an overwhelmingly destructive force that inhibits economic growth by crippling small, innovative software developers. In both of these decisions Justice Stevens worked to limit the power of the government to reward entrenched interests. Yet this is a kind of jurisprudence that many, on the right and on the left, object to on grounds of judicial restraint.

GT Software has just issued this press release that repeatedly alludes to software patents as though they are something worth boasting and Against Monopoly carries on wondering what the retirement of Justice Stevens will mean to the Bilski case.

There are growing predictions from many authorities that Stevens might be the primary author of the Bilski patent case which has yet to be handed down.

The leeches of software patenting (an ill system) are happy about it. They have been wishing that Stevens would retire. Here is the opinion of Simon Phipps, who names “Seven Patent Reforms”.

The Source has an optimistic bit of foresight on what Google can do to the MPEG cartel.

There are patent concerns, but Google has a very good record on patents, so I am optimistic there.

Lastly, on another more positive note, the president of the FFII says that “Abolishing the U.S. Patent System Is Coming Soon”; he points to this:

Patent Resources Group (PRG), the nation’s leading patent educator, will be hosting a panel discussion on “The Future of U.S. Patent Law” on June 11, 2010 in Washington, DC. This in-depth, one-day event, offered in partnership with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC, will bring together some of the best minds in intellectual property to inform, discuss, and debate the future of U.S. patent law. The one-of-a-kind program will include brief lectures, lively panel discussions, and audience participation.

Major topics will include:

* U.S. patent reform
* Latest developments at, and tensions between, the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
* Approaches to improve pendency and efficiency at the USPTO

Meanwhile, looking at Obama’s office, their document on the subject [PDF] (which they wrote in Microsoft Word) states: “Protect intellectual property rights. Intellectual property is to the digital age what physical goods were to the industrial age. We must ensure that intellectual property is protected in foreign markets and promote greater cooperation on international standards that allow our technologies to compete everywhere. The Administration is committed to ensuring that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has the resources, authority, and flexibility to administer the patent system effectively and issue high-quality patents on innovative intellectual property, while rejecting claims that do not merit patent protection.

This love for patents does not surprise us given that Obama’s team is in the pockets of the intellectual monopolists.

India Chooses Life Over Patents; Microsoft Chooses Poorly-Paid Labour in India

Posted in Asia, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents at 3:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I have lost my sleep and peace of mind for last two months over these distasteful activities by Microsoft.”

Professor Deepak Phatak

Beautiful entrance

Summary: India is unloading the yoke of patents while Microsoft takes its business to India, where it is patenting software and paying people a pittance to develop software that is limiting the Indian population rather than enabling it

BIOLOGY THE “OPEN SOURCE” way is one area where we find the applicability of Free software to humanitarian efforts. We wrote about the subject before and offered many references in this old post. The gist of it is that more and more companies decide to share their findings in drug development in order to make drug discovery more rapid, less wasteful, and beneficial to the population. Exclusion and isolation can make one company very rich, but it’s neither good for the industry as a whole nor for the population which would suffer more deaths (slower response to pandemics and higher cost for essential remedies).

“The population understands the impact of being dependent on expensive drugs from abroad (or from multinationals).”Solidarity in India seems to be improved by the fact that the local population understands imperialism (some have experienced it “first hand”). The population understands the impact of being dependent on expensive drugs from abroad (or from multinationals). This probably contributes to the fact that, as an official record at least, there are no software patents in India (in reality, loopholes are being exploited to bypass the law).

“Open Source Drug Discovery” has just received a good shot in the arm with the news that Indian researchers won’t patent tuberculosis genome, unlike some of their peers in the West. The news is rather massive and it got covered in the following sources (mostly from India):

1. Indian scientists decode TB bacteria genome

Scientists said that though 1.7 million people die of TB every year globally, there has not been any new drug discovery for last the four to five decades.

“OSDD is a completely new formula across the world. Here we are making all our progress available to public. Anyone can take advantage and develop a drug based on our research. The aim here is not patents but drug discovery for a neglected disease,” said Rajesh Gokhle, a senior scientist associated with the project.

2. Indian Scientists Refuse To Patent Tuberculosis Genome, Encourage Anyone To Make The Drugs

So it’s nice to see that even now that India does allow patents on pharma (and, as we noted in the original story, Indian patent laws have been abused by foreign pharma firms in order to jack up prices on commonly used medicines), some Indian scientists have mapped out the tuberculosis genome, which should help creating new drugs that can help respond to that disease.

3. Sreelatha Menon: The gene of sharing

Here is the Tim Berner Lee of medicine. He is right here in India and is the latest hero of science students and drug researchers across the world. Samir Brahmachari, director-general of the Centre for Science and Industrial Research and founder and mentor of the Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) programme initiated by India, dreams about making drugs for poor man’s diseases. He also dreams of making these drugs available to the poor, just as Tim Berner Lee, with his larger-than-large heart, made world wide web freely available to the world at no cost.

4. Scientists map TB genome

The TB gene map, developed under the Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) initiative of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) will be available in the public domain for drug makers.

5. Findings of C2D project

At a conference on Sunday, the Government’s Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) initiative released the findings of its ‘Connect 2 Decode’ (C2D) project to re-annotate the biological and genetic data concerning the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) genome.

6. Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome mapping released

7. Mycobacterium tuberculosis genome mapping released

8. India decodes TB bacteria, paves way for new drug

9. Mapping of TB genome

10. India creates a new formula across the world

11. PU student researchers awarded for contribution to genome project

12. CSIR seeks corporate help for TB drugs

13. Can Open Source Defeat the Scourge of Tuberculosis?

14. Detailed map of TB genome to help treatment

15. India maps TB genome

16. CSIR seeks corporate help for TB drugs

This news from India demonstrates healthy doses of ethics, but there are still some multinationals in India and “local” companies which work on behalf of monopolists from the West. “Slavery” (unacceptable labour conditions) is an accusation commonly thrown at Infosys, which acts like an offshoot of Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16]. Infosys is also a patent nuisance in India, as we have shown before. Here is the latest patent shame of Infosys:

Infosys Seeks U.S. Patent On Offshoring U.S. Jobs

theodp writes “It’s interesting to see that famed offshoring firm Infosys is now seeking U.S. patent protection for its Framework for Supporting Transition of One or More Applications of an Organization, which Infosys explains ‘relates generally to the field of outsourcing or offshoring of one or more applications of an organization.’ Prior to this invention, Infosys says it was necessary for a vendor organization to incur hefty visa and travel costs to allow a ‘significant number’ of employees from its offshore location to ‘visit the client’s location to interact with the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)’ before returning ‘to the offshore location to transfer the knowledge to the offshore team.”

Guess whose workforce Infosys is offshoring? From the news in Australia we have:

Software giant Microsoft has outsourced the global management of its internal IT software infrastructure to Indian outsourcer Infosys for the next three years.

In a bizarre move for the Redmond-based software giant, Infosys has been contracted to help Microsoft manage a deployment of enterprise software coded by Microsoft in the first place.

As our reader Marti put it this morning, “Windows is so hard to manage, even Microsoft have to get outside help!” A lot of Windows is being developed in India since the days of Vista. We wrote about it before and cited the mainstream sources (including the press).

“When it comes to Free software, Indian developers are at least given independence as freelancers.”Here at Techrights we point out that technology companies have too many rights*, whereas technology users typically have none (we seek liberation for the users). The same goes for developers. The balance ought to be changed such that developers are paid better and their superiors feel afraid, rather than those poorly-paid developers always being afraid (of being sacked) while their superiors are paid obscene amounts of money and can get away with anything.

When it comes to Free software, Indian developers are at least given independence as freelancers. Here is a new report about Joomla development/setup in India.

TIS India has become a preferable choice all around the world for specialized Joomla Development outsourcing services at competitive pricing.

At least they distribute Free software which their clients are free to modify as they see fit. This is how development used to be some decades ago and this is how it ought to be.
___
* In this modern world of technology, companies are sometimes treated like organisms with feelings and thus with rights and securities.

Another Example of Microsoft’s Platform Xenophobia and Chronic Dumping

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenOffice, Oracle at 2:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Racist spices

Summary: Microsoft discriminates against platforms other than its own, but more interestingly it may be trying to suppress OpenOffice.org adoption (and thus development)

MICROSOFT is all about exclusion sometimes. To give just a bunch of recent examples:

The latest example of exclusion is the following:

“They [Microsoft] didn’t cite the Mac and Linux versions [as reasons for the refusal] but it’s quite clear that’s the reason.”

This relates to Xbox, which performs rather poorly. The short story is that Microsoft allegedly turned down a company because it was cross-platform-supportive, not Windows-exclusive. There were many other reports about that, including for example this more complete quote:

Amanita founder Jakub Dvorsky told Joystiq: “They told us, ‘It’s not Microsoft-exclusive, we don’t want it.’ They didn’t cite the Mac and Linux versions [as reasons for the refusal] but it’s quite clear that’s the reason. It means if we want to release the game on XBLA we must throw, probably, most of the profit out of the window — to the publisher. Just because we created Mac and Linux versions.”

As a secondary item worth paying attention to, Microsoft may attempt to discourage OpenOffice.org development at Oracle by playing the price game, whereby it tries to kill competitors, then elevate the prices.

Perhaps provoked by Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth’s pronouncement that “we want to put Ubuntu and free software on every single consumer PC that ships from a major manufacturer, the ultimate maverick move,” Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) saw fit to shed some new light on Office Starter 2010, Ina Fried, over at CNet, reports. This free edition of its Office software — which will not include PowerPoint but will have crippled versions of Excel and Word — will be given away with consumer machines in an effort to poison the well for competing open source productivity suites like OpenOffice (which includes a PowerPoint-compatible presentation application and full-featured spreadsheet and word processing programs.)

Microsoft appears to have woken up to the fact that free open-source Office clones like OpenOffice may prove to be the thin end of a very slippery wedge, and if users discover they can get by with it instead of paying for a full version of Microsoft’s Office, then the next step will be to switch to Ubuntu (or some other Linux) instead of paying for Windows. Far better to nip the whole thing in the bud by giving away Office — albeit a cut down version with cheesy ads that rotate every 45 seconds — for free, while dangling the chance to upgrade to a fuller featured version instantly (by purchasing an unlocking key) in front of frustrated users’ noses.

Is Microsoft just trying to starve the competition which is the biggest ODF bearer? In relation to Netscape, former Microsoft Vice President Paul Maritz once wrote: “We are going to cut off their air supply. Everything they’re selling, we’re going to give away for free.” This strategy ought to be familiar.

“They [Microsoft] have the deepest of pockets, unlimited ambition, and they are willing to lose money for years and years just to make sure that you don’t make any money, either. And they are mean, REALLY mean.”

Robert X. Cringely

Apple Treats Mono Like It Treats Flash; GNU/Linux Should Too

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 1:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Miguel de Icaza

Summary: Apple is not interested in ‘foreign’ APIs entering its environment, so why do GNOME-based distributions of GNU/Linux tolerate Mono, which squarely corresponds to Microsoft’s APIs and makes Microsoft stronger?

EARLIER this week we wrote about MonoTouch, namely about it being blocked by Apple [1, 2, 3]. MonoTouch brings Mono to Apple products and in turn it can also bring Moonlight, which would only contribute to proprietary software plug-ins like Silver Lie and Adobe Flash (which Apple also blocks). From Apple’s point of view, it is doing the right thing and we cannot complain. “Whining to Apple” is “an exercise in futility,” says this new article on the subject.

Apple has set the developer guidelines in a way that benefits them and doesn’t care whether Novell is worried about the standing of MonoTouch or not. You either believe, or even just agree to the terms of the Apple vision or you don’t Apple and Jobs couldn’t careless even if that means that like Adobe and possibly Novell your company has to take a big hit.

One of the Mono boosters [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] has just published an article where he quotes Novell’s product manager for MonoTouch. He says that “Novell is reaching out to Apple for clarification on its intentions, and it will advocate for the license agreement to be amended prior to the release of Apple’s iPhone 4.0 SDK this summer.” He also writes:

Third parties, including Adobe and Novell, have released tools that translate code for execution on the iPhone. Adobe produces the Flash-to-iPhone cross-compiler, and Novell develops MonoTouch, a tool that brings .NET development to the iPhone.

Microsoft boosters like Larry O’Brien are also quoted in this article (Microsoft boosters love Mono) and another longtime booster, Gavin Clarke, has published his rant too (characterising Apple’s actions as an attack on Free software). They basically use this as an opportunity to denounce Apple, which is a risk to their professional livelihood because they depend on Microsoft’s performance.

The coverage from IDG was reasonable and writing on behalf of Ars Technica — surprisingly enough — is Microsoft’s booster Peter Bright, who turns this against Apple (not surprisingly). He too characterises it as an attack on Free software, Android to be precise (Novell whines over Monotouch and Clarke talks about SugarCRM).

Things just got a whole lot more restrictive for iPhone developers. What this change means is that developers can no longer use software like Novell’s MonoTouch, Unity3D, or Ansca’s Corona to develop iPhone applications, and tools like Appcelerator’s Titanium and PhoneGap are looking questionable. MonoTouch, Unity3D, and Corona allow developers to use the C# language and Lua scripting, respectively, to write iPhone applications. Titanium and PhoneGap allow application development using JavaScript and HTML; because they use WebKit behind the scenes to run that JavaScript, they might be OK.

Over at BetaNews, a Windows guru spoke to Microsoft’s MVP who is the founder of the Mono project. Miguel de Icaza will go ahead regardless of Apple’s terms. [via]

A January 2009 Ars Technica article by Ryan Paul explains how Mono had been getting past Apple’s rules and regulations up to now: For iPhone, it uses a concept called ahead-of-time compilation, which involves pre-compiling the assemblies in such a way that the Mono platform can convert them into native code, before a JIT compiler would have done the equivalent.

Why is Novell so desperate to put .NET on Apple’s products? Is that part of Novell’s commitment to Microsoft? Maybe an implicit one (that it should spread Microsoft’s APIs and GPL-violating kernel patches for proprietary software [1, 2, 3])?

SJVN argues that Adobe might be preparing to sue Apple.

Adobe, the king of Internet video with 95% Web browser market penetration, is not one bit happy about being locked out of Apple’s lucrative mobile device market. Novell’s MonoTouch group is “reaching out to Apple for clarification on their intention, and believe there is plenty of room for course-correction prior to the final release of the 4.0 SDK.” Adobe, which doesn’t want to let go of its hold on Internet-based video, isn’t anything like as optimistic.

According to this article from CNET, to Novell it’s about “Microsoft’s C# programming language and associated .Net technology.”

But Gruber couldn’t figure a way out of it for Adobe and sees implications for a range of programming tools, many of them designed to let programmers target different devices with the same project. Another one is Novell’s MonoTouch, which lets programmer’s using Microsoft’s C# programming language and associated .Net technology write for the iPhone and iPad.

Would “associated .Net technology” include something like Silver Lie? Either way, Apple would be better off denying it all and blocking API intrusions. Given that some GNU/Linux sites already promote Mono-dependent software which is not safe for use by non-Novell customers, distribution makers should do the same as Apple by denying Mono like they already deny Flash (by default). Here we have another new example of Mono traps being promoted for Ubuntu, with similar Mono problems (developed by Canonical staff) being promoted for all GNU/Linux distributions. This ‘cross-pollination’ with Microsoft is a recipe for disaster and Canonical’s appreciation for Novell software gives us reasons for concern. A lot of Novell software is fee software, not Free software.

“‘Free software’ is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of ‘free’ as in ‘free speech,’ not as in ‘free beer’.”

Richard Stallman

Black Duck: Proprietary Software for Proprietary Software

Posted in Boycott Novell, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents at 12:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Flying code

Summary: Why Free software cannot be promoted using just zeros, ones, and software patents

THE reason we are skeptics/critics of Black Duck [1, 2, 3] is not the company’s Microsoft genesis but its insistence that its products should be proprietary, its acceptance of Microsoft as part of “Open Source”, and its use of fear (Free software scare) to market its products and services. We politely choose to reject those practices.

“Black Duck has done a lot to help Microsoft.”Based on a new press release from Black Duck Software [1, 2], Black Duck is not making just proprietary software; it also creates a plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio. Such plug-ins are helping Windows developers take advantage of Free/open source software, probably for proprietary software that only runs on Windows. By doing this, Black Duck also hypes up Visual Studio 2010. Given other proponents of this software which brings “developers developers developers developers” to Microsoft (e.g. the Microsoft booster Gavin Clarke), we continue to argue that those who promote Windows for “Open Source” put money before principles. Black Duck is bragging about business gains this week, but what about ethics? Black Duck has done a lot to help Microsoft. A reasonable suggestion would be that those who are not proponents of Free software (Black Duck raves about its software patents in another press release) should identify themselves (or at least their company) appropriately. There are many companies out there which are perceived as “Open Source” companies, but in reality they sometimes damage the users’ freedoms.

“Why did we file for the patent seven years ago? Black Duck Software recognized then as now that software patents are a reality, and that having patents of our own to protect against IP incursions is a necessity. Similar to Google, IBM, HP and Red Hat, we must use software patents to protect our intellectual property from such incursions. In our market segment, a Black Duck competitor was granted a software patent last year. As a consequence, if we didn’t protect our IP using the patent system and have a means to defend ourselves from IP incursions, we’d be irresponsible to our customers and our shareholders.”

Tim Yeaton, President and CEO of Black Duck

Links 14/4/2010: Fedora 13 Beta/Previews, RabbitMQ Bought

Posted in News Roundup at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Schooner adds DR to SQL and cache appliances

    This is the add-on to Linux that Schooner has created that mashes up the cores and threads in the Xeon processors and the main memory and flash drives and controls access to threads and memory and interleaves them in a more efficient manner than a typical Linux box can do. This SOE does not modify the Linux kernel itself, but creates very efficient and thread-aware userspaces for Schooner’s own blackbox, reverse-engineered, Memecached clone or Oracle’s MySQL Enterprise Edition database (which it licenses from Oracle) to run.

  • Choosing The Best Linux Filesystem For Your PC

    If you’re a Linux user, you’ve likely been asked at some point if you want Ext3, Ext4, XFS, ReiserFS, Btrfs, or one of many other filesystem acronyms. This choice confuses new and old users alike, and like all software, the options change as technology improves. Many people probably don’t care what filesystem they use as long as it’s stable and reasonably fast, but how do you know which one that is? This guide will attempt to cover the basic differences between the most common options, and provide the pros and cons of each choice.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Aaron Seigo on the Future of KDE

        Another example is the new direction for Krita, KOffice’s rasterized graphic program. For a long time, Seigo says, the sub-project wasn’t sure “If they were a drawing app, or maybe a photo retouching app, or what-the-hell were they?”

        At a recent developers’ sprint, Krita enlisted design expert Peter Sikking, who has also worked with the GIMP, to help the sub-project find direction.

      • The Future of KDE

        This is an example of where I would like to see more effort put into the PR end of KDE. Instead of defending 4.0, move on and break down and hype up some of these new features! They are worth talking about – and they are worth explaining to potential users.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • (Yet) Another redesign of Nautilus

        So Nautilus is long overdue for a redesign and many people like Izo and the elementary project have had a crack at what they think makes a good Nautilus and you will no doubt notice some similarities in design. I hear you scream “Well why are you jumping on the bandwagon and doing something others have already done?!” There are two reasons: firstly, I want to learn more about User Interface design and Human Computer Interaction – Nautilus is a fairly easy application to redesign. Secondly, this is going to be an example of why we need better user usage statistics, and how we can get them that I will be discussing at the next Ubuntu Developer Summit in Brussels next month.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Antix M8.5 for Lite Computers is Available

        9 months since the release of antiX-M8.2, the antiX-team announce that antiX MEPIS 8.5 ‘Marek Edelman’ – a fast, light, flexible and complete desktop and livecd based on SimplyMEPIS and Debian Testing – is now available in full and base versions (686 and 486 kernel). This release defaults to a fully customised icewm desktop (fluxbox, wmii and dwm are also installed) using a SimplyMEPIS 2.6.32-11 kernel, tweaked MEPIS Assistants for better compatibility in antiX and the usual range of applications for desktop use. Iceape for internet needs, Abiword and gnumeric for office use, xmms and goggles music manager for audio, gxine, mplayer and gnome-mplayer for video, wicd and ceni for network connection, pidgin for chat. Many cli apps are also included such as Alpine for email, moc for audio, links2 for browsing, abcde and ripit for cd ripping and much more. New features include live with persistence, ‘remaster on the fly’, new boot cheatcodes for setting dpi and desktop windows manager, antix2usb to easily install to usb stick. 12 languages are fully supported out of the box with the language chosen at live CD boot carrying over to install.

      • VortexBox 1.3 released

        VortexBox 1.3 released today. This release includes lots of new features and bug fixes. We have the latest version of SqueezeBox Server and all the latest versions of the 3rd party projects that make up VortexBox. We have also added Subsonic a new GUI that allows you to manage your music collection and stream it to iPods and Android players. New features include

      • Parted Magic 4.10

        Parted Magic 4.10 updates to grep-2.6.3, busybox-1.16.1, simpleburn-1.5.0, sshfs-fuse-2.2, linux-2.6.32.11. There are a few new programs as well. They are encfs_1.5.2, gencfs-1.0.0, gsshfs-1.0.0, rlog-1.4, unetbootin-429, and emelfm2-0.6.0. Parted was patched with updates from Ubuntu to reverse a decision to use a BLKRRPART instead of the BLKPG ioctls that worked. GPicView doesn’t segfault anymore. FAT32 file systems now mount as UTF8 by default. Many enhancements were made to the handing of SCSI device at boot. Creating bookmarks with Chromium no longer crashes the program.

      • MOPSLinux 7.0
      • Dragora GNU/Linux 2.0
      • PelicanHPC GNU Linux

        # 12 Apr. 2010. Version 2.1 is out

        * uses the simplified make_pelican
        * back to a Lenny base
        * Open MPI, Octave, openmpi_ext are latest versions, compiled from source
        * ganglia, slurm and ifenslave have been removed. The emphasis is back on simplicit

      • Xange (formerly Vixta) 2010.04
      • PLoP Linux 4.0.5 released

        update: kernel 2.6.33.2, cvs 1.12.13, fsarchiver 0.6.8, ntfs-3g 2010.3.6AR.4, partclone 0.2.8, parted 2.2, syslinux 3.86, lz utils 4.999.9, dhcp 4.1.1, bind 9.7.0-P1, samba 3.5.2, openssl 1.0.0, openssh 5.4p1, grub2 1.98, useavast script, usefprot script, usb zip file, splash screen

      • Distribution Release: GParted LiveCD 0.5.2-7
      • SystemRescueCd 1.5.2
      • [Freenas-announce] FreeNAS 0.7.1 (Shere) Available
    • Red Hat Family

      • Advantage: Red Hat

        Linux software company Red Hat is in the enviable position of benefitting from several near-term trends in the information technology industry, according to an analyst who recently initiated coverage of the Raleigh-based business.

        UBS analyst Brent Thill rates Red Hat shares a “buy” and has a 12-month price target of $35. Red Hat shares were trading at $30.94, up 13 cents, at mid-day today. The company’s shares were hovering around $17 last May.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13: Beta and graphics driver test week

          The Fedora project has released the beta of the Fedora 13 Linux distribution, named after rocket scientist Robert H. Goddard, and it is now available to download. Like the alpha version released five weeks ago, the first and only beta has been released a week later than originally planned. This has prompted the project administrators to postpone the final release date of Fedora 13 by a week and it is now rescheduled for the 18th of May.

        • Announcing the release of Fedora 13 Beta
        • Fedora tempts fate with Apollo 13 beta
        • Fedora 13 Beta Released
        • Fedora 13 beta released with many goodies for the enterprise

          The popular Linux distribution, Fedora 13, has been released to its final beta and is chock full of features for enterprise use. Code-named Goddard, the beta version was released on Tuesday with the final version slated for May 18.

        • The Joy of Betas: Fedora 13 Beta Released Today

          Fedora 13, also known as “Goddard,” comes packed with a bunch of new features that are going to benefit not only Fedora users, but most Linux users no matter what distribution they’re using. For example, F13 offers Zarafa — a groupware offering that’s meant to be a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Exchange. Testing in Fedora will help everybody using Zarafa, not just the Fedora community.

        • Fedora 13 Beta – First installation

          That was my first installation of Fedora 13 Beta. I also updated 136 programs. I will test Fedora 13 Beta more the next days and sum it up in another post. If you have any good tips or ideas about Fedora 13 Beta, please let me know.

        • Fedora 13 – Ubuntu’s smart but less attractive cousin

          Other features in Fedora 13 include automatic printer driver installation – which means if you plug-in a supported printer the driver is downloaded and installed automatically. It’s not the most exciting feature we’ve seen, but it does add another, “it-just-works” element to the already very user-friendly distro.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu: Up and Running

        This popular Linux-based operating system is perfect for people with little technical background. It’s simple to install, and easy to use — with a strong focus on security.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Will Palm Wave Goodbye?

        Comparison with the iPhone are inevitable but, unlike Apple, Palm offers:

        * a multi-tasking OS (that’s coming to the iPhone, but the Pre had it from day 1)
        * a Flash player (coming soon)
        * a pull-down qwerty keyboard as well as the touch-screen
        * a free SDK and virtual phone available to Windows, Mac and Linux developers
        * a less restricted App Catalog which permits emulators — such as one which allows users to run thousands of legacy Palm OS applications
        * a ‘homebrew’ application market without an approval process.

      • Nokia

        • MeeGo Linux coming to netbooks, smartbooks soon

          The folks behind the MeeGo Linux project launched the first public beta version of the operating system recently. But that’s just the first step. MeeGo is backed by Intel and Nokia, and they have big plans to get the paltform on all sorts of devices including netbooks and smartphones soon.

          The netbook version of MeeGo doesn’t look like anything all that new if you’ve been following Moblin Linux for a while. MeeGo was born out of the merger of the Moblin and Maemo projects. And it looks like the UI is mostly Moblin-based, with a heavy dose of home screen widgets for checking your email, seeing status updates from your contacts, and launching apps. There are tabs along the top of the user interface for launching different zones, including a people zone (for your contacts) or a media zone for playing music and movies.

      • Android

        • Speakers Corner: First on the Android bandwagon

          Google’s open source Android platform was an intriguing prospect for a manufacturer right from the beginning. The fact it is open source means it has huge potential. But, at the time of launch, it was totally unknown and totally unproven, even if it had the Google brand attached to it.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • OLPC’s Negroponte Honored by Lego Group

        Today the Denmark-based Lego Group, of plastic brick fame, announced that it has awarded its $100,000 Lego Prize to Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab and the One Laptop Per Child Foundation.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • No Permission Needed: Contribute Without Fear

    This came up in Randal Schwartz’s keynote and in Amber Graner’s talk about her work with Ubuntu, as well as some of the “hallway track” during the fest. Talk to any successful contributor, and you’ll find someone who has been motivated enough to jump in without waiting for an invite. Look at any successful and healthy open source project, and you’ll find that it’s a permissive culture that invites fearless contribution.

  • Seismic Tool-Kit Helps Scientists Research Earthquakes
  • BigBlueButton Brings Video Conferencing to Classrooms

    BigBlueButton is a free, open source, server-run project designed to run on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. It’s built on more than 14 open source components like Asterisk, MySQL, ActiveMQ, and more. BigBlueButton integrates with open source content management system Moodle and a handful of other popular open source projects.

  • Ball Aerospace Expands Opticks Open Source Software

    Ball Aerospace launched Opticks in 2007 as its first open source software project designed to enable detailed analysis of remote sensing data and complement strategy promoted by the Department of Defense’s Open Technology Development Roadmap. Opticks is used by scientists and analysts within the DoD community to analyze remote sensing data and produce actionable intelligence.

  • IBM proclaims middleware dominance

    If the technology achieves the same result and is cheaper, users will sooner or later catch on. This is the basic adoption model that we’ve seen for the last 10 years in the open-source world as OSS vendors focused on providing a “good enough” solution at a substantially lower cost.

  • Elance: Mobile development, open source, social media skills in high demand

    Elance also reported that open source technologies represent 20 percent of the IT Top 50 skills list. “Open source content management systems like WordPress, Joomla and Drupal are currently driving the movement with extremely high demand; while database, mobile, eCommerce, and web server technology platforms closely follow,” the company said.

    Read more: Elance: Mobile development, open source, social media skills in high demand – Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal:

  • Elance Report Reveals More Businesses Turning to Online Talent to Drive their Economic Recovery

    Open Source on the Rise – Businesses and entrepreneurs continue to adopt open source platforms for a variety of reasons, including complete customization and community development. Currently, open source technologies represent 20% of the IT Top 50 Skills list. Open source content management systems like WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal, are currently driving the movement with extremely high demand, while database, mobile, eCommerce, and web server technology platforms closely follow.

  • Free and Open: 18 No-Cost Solutions for Your Enterprise Network

    There are many ways to save money on the network. Small businesses can even get enterprise features without spending top dollar. In this piece, I’ll highlight many different operating systems, routers, services, applications and servers — all of which are free — most open source.

  • Communications for the rest: Rowe and the Mesh Potato

    He is also involved in a free telephony project using similar components, building a network in East Timor, and developing an open source low bitrate speech codec.

    [...]

    And again, his wry humour kicks in: “The idea of having a lot of money horrifies me. Too much responsibility.”

    Rowe has given presentations at the last three Australian national Linux conferences. “I still remember the thunderous applause from the first presentation on the Free telephony Project. Meant a lot. Just getting _into_ LCA means a lot – the standard is so high,” he says. “Not sure about the long term effect on my project, but mixing with geeks at LCA is a good thing. I think I am getting more out of LCA each year as I mature as an open source developer.”

  • Open innovation is coming of age

    The admirable wikihow.com, which uses crowdsourcing to generate “How to” videos that attract 25 million visitors a month, won the Co-creation award, while Open Office, the open source alternative to Microsoft’s Office, won the Open Source Software section in recognition of the progress that has been made over the years to make it more user-friendly.

    [...]

    The trouble is that this Kremlinesque approach has resulted in such beautiful game-changing products as the iPhone and iPad that are a delight to use as reported in the Observer. Contrast that with Google’s adoption of open source software for its Android phones. This is much better in theory as it allows developers to do their own thing but in practice, at least so far, this results in all sorts of different software versions that don’t always work too well on the varying sizes and hardware of different Android phones. As Steven Johnson has pointed out, Steve Jobs has turned a walled garden into a rainforest.

    There is no doubt that open source solutions are on a roll and there are lots of areas where they will sweep all before them. The problem yet to be solved is how to harness the freedom and creativity that open collaboration offers with the need to have consumer friendly products that non-geeks will want to buy with their own money.

  • SunGard Higher Education Launches Industry’s First ERP Community Source Initiative

    SunGard Higher Education and its customers have launched a Community Source Initiative — the first and only vendor-supported community source forum dedicated to higher education Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. The initiative is designed to bring together the insights and experience of SunGard Higher Education’s extensive user community for the benefit of all institutions; make functionality available faster; and help ensure product quality through functional and technical review.

  • India

    • Tech students out to give software firms run for money

      They are the new whiz kids on the block and offer a “better and more affordable” version of popular software. Meet the team of Open Source Software, a community initiative started by a group of engineering students who were in the city to promote their programme during a one-day camp held at Chitkara Business School today.

    • The Guard That Costs Nothing

      FOSS is not just about cost, it is also about freedom. Your freedom to modify the software to your needs. Most big businesses that I know of are deploying or have deployed open source software not only for security but for mission-critical applications as well. The mascot of the open source world–the Linux operating system, is relatively more secure from threats such as viruses and can be deployed for free. Linux distributions such as Fedora, Ubuntu, openSUSE, etc, cost nothing and provide greater security.

    • Crafting the right code

      The precise reason that Software craftsmanship lays its emphasis more on the individual coding abilities of the professional, devoid of financial concerns like direct remuneration, ability of the code to translate into financial gain – short term or otherwise – and the overall ‘health’ of a software code, has seen its popularity among Open Source enthusiasts.

  • Mozilla

    • Beyond the Browser: Messaging As A Future For Mozilla

      Mozilla has long been developing its free, open source Thunderbird e-mail platform, which is much improved in its latest version. It isn’t a revolutionary game-changer, though, and doesn’t have some of the plumbing needed to supplant Microsoft Exchange-centric e-mail deployments in enterprises.

  • Events

  • Business

    • VMware SpringSources for open source Rabbit

      Rabbit Technolgies CEO Alexis Richardson tells us that the company’s open source messaging system, dubbed RabbitMQ, is used by NASA’s Nebula project, a private infrastructure cloud that will apparently be used to power applications across the US federal government.

  • Releases

    • Xen.org updates open source Xen hypervisor

      Xen.org has released a new version of open source Xen hypervisor software, which leverages new network cards optimised for virtualisation and promises users performance and scalability gains for any level of enterprise or cloud application workload.

  • Government

  • Openness

    • Does the world need another chair?

      He then introduced the evening’s theme “Design x Sustainability x Open Source,” and explained how the four Japanese speakers are pioneers in adapting to the open source movement and implementing their creativity in actual projects.

      Collaboration and Open Source is the fundamental mindset behind Designers Accord. According to Yosh, when we talk about sustainability, the same mindset should be applied. We are entering an era of “unsustainability” and a point of no return, when sooner or later we would all have to think about how we are going to sustain our own lives and the planet we live in.

  • Programming

  • Google

Leftovers

  • Environment

    • 100+ Groups Join Scientists and Development Experts in Urging Senate to “Strip the GM Mandate” from the Global Food Security Act

      Experts, scientists and advocates from around the world petitioned the U.S. Senate today in a concerted attempt to strip what they term a “stealth corporate giveaway” embedded in a foreign aid bill which is expected to hit the Senate floor soon. The “Global Food Security Act” (S.384), sponsored by Senators Casey (D-PA) and Lugar (R-IN), is intended to reform aid programs to focus on longer-term agricultural development, and restructure aid agencies to better respond to crises. While lauding the bill’s intentions, the petitioners object to a clause earmarking one agricultural technology (genetically modified – GM crops) for potentially billions of dollars in federal funding. $7.7 billion in U.S. funds are associated with the bill and no other farming methods or technologies are mentioned.

Clip of the Day

SourceCode Season 2 – Episode 8: Justice for Whom? (2005)


Back to Normal Shortly

Posted in Boycott Novell, Novell, Site News at 6:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cloud

Summary: BoycottNovell has moved to another planet (domain) on the same ‘cloud’

WE have not published original posts for almost 2 days now*. This is because we migrated the site and also updated the Wiki. At the point of departure (yesterday), BoycottNovell.com was ranked 1888th for Web traffic, according to Netcraft which is biased in favour of system administrators. All the old links will continue to work (redirected), but we start afresh with a new domain name and BoycottNovell as just a subset of it. We don't expect Novell to survive 2010 without being acquired or sold in pieces, so it is wiser to move on and officially broaden the scope/focus.

Normal posting pace will probably resume tomorrow. Please report issues so that they can be fixed as soon as possible.
____
* Even though our most popular posts are daily links, which are thus treated as a higher priority.

“Instead of worrying about what somebody else is going to do, which is not under your control, the important thing is, what are you going to decide about what is under your control?”

Richard Stallman

Links 14/4/2010: Linux 2.6.34 Reviewed; OpenGL 4.0 Linux Driver; Lightworks Open Source

Posted in News Roundup at 4:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux system flaws can’t pass Buck Security
  • Bisigi Themes Remix Linux in Eye-Opening Ways

    Finding new, good-looking, and complete themes for Linux systems can be a serious scavenger hunt. The Bisigi Project provides 13 free, well-rounded themes you can install all at once, customized for your monitor size. Take a peek at five of them.

  • It’s the 21st Century. Do you know where your files are?

    This does not mean that you can easily find everything that you might consider a “file” or similar entity in Linux. There is a good chance that your email software uses some bizarro file that you can’t easily see inside of. (I use alpine which puts the emails inside a text file, but hardy anybody does that.) There are “hidden” files in Linux just like in Windows (in Linux, everything that starts with a “dot” (“.”) is automatically “hidden” …. meaning you can’t see it unless you “unhide” that which is hidden). There are other strangeosities as well.

  • New Site Launch: LinuxExchange.org

    I’m happy to announce that I just launched a new site: LinuxExchange

    LinuxExchange is “StackOverflow for Linux and Open Source” and is built on the StackExchange platform. That means it’s a collaboratively edited question and answer site about Linux and Open Source with a workflow somewhere between the forums of LinuxQuestions.org and the Mediawiki-based LQ Wiki.

  • rPath Enhances Intelligent Linux Patching Capabilities in Next-Generation System Automation Platform

    rPath, an innovator in automating system provisioning and maintenance, today announced enhancements to the intelligent patching capabilities of its next-generation system automation platform. Specifically, rPath now automates inventory discovery, allows users to “cherry pick” updates and errata for incremental updates, and simplifies the user experience for Linux patching and system administration. To encourage Red Hat Network (RHN) Satellite users to try the rPath platform, the company has launched its “Satellite Swap-Out” promotional offer. For existing RHN Satellite customers, rPath will match or beat their current subscription to RHN Satellite with a richer, more complete solution.

  • Desktop

    • Adobe, Choose Your Allies in the Apple War

      Two clear Allies for Adobe come to light immediately — desktop Linux, in the form of Canonical’s Ubuntu operating system, which has been making significant strides in usability of late, and of course Google’s Android smartphone OS.

    • Cool free stuff

      Going through the article brought me back to my Windows days, when I would scour download sites (CNET’s Download.com being a favorite) for free applications and utilities. Nowadays, since I only use Linux and Mac OS X, I’ve done a lot less of that. After all, there are boatloads of free programs for Linux, and I mostly use OpenOffice for work on my Macbook.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux: 2.6.34-rc4, “Hunting A Really Annoying VM Regression”

      “It’s been two weeks rather than the usual one, because we’ve been hunting a really annoying VM regression that not a lot of people seem to have seen, but I didn’t want to release an -rc4 with it,” began Linux creator Linus Torvalds, announcing the 2.6.34-rc4 Linux kernel. He explained, “we had the choice of either reverting all the anon-vma scalability improvements, or finding out exactly what caused the regression and fixing it. And we got pretty close to the point where I was going to just revert it all.”

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.34 (Part 1) – Network Support

      Expected for release in May, Linux kernel version 2.6.34 contains several new network drivers and various advancements designed to improve network performance or increase network configuration flexibility, which will particularly impact virtualisation.

    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Puts Out Its OpenGL 4.0 Linux Driver

        The OpenGL 4.0 specification was released towards the middle of March alongside an OpenGL 3.3 update, which NVIDIA was quick to capitalize upon the 3.x update just days later with new drivers for supported operating systems. NVIDIA wasn’t immediate in delivering OpenGL 4.0 support, since they didn’t have any hardware at the time capable of supporting this newest specification. Now that the GeForce GTX 470/480 GPUs are out there and other new DirectX 11.0 / OpenGL 4.0 capable hardware is on the way, NVIDIA has put out its OpenGL 4.0 driver update for Linux and Windows.

      • Reworking OpenGL ES In Mesa, Gallium3D

        In May of last year there were Gallium3D state trackers published for OpenGL ES 1.1 and OpenGL ES 2.0. These were among the first major working state trackers for this new graphics architecture, but in the months since they have continued to receive much affection from a few developers and continue to improve. The OpenGL ES 1.1/2.0 support though may now be reworked by Kristian Høgsberg.

  • Instructionals

  • Distributions

    • Fedora

      • Fedora presents…Graphics Test Week this week

        The Fedora project announces that this week is Graphics Test Week. This is the highlight of the Fedora 13 Test Day cycle, with Test Days for NVIDIA, ATI/AMD and Intel graphics all falling this week. Tuesday April 13th is NVIDIA Test Day, Wednesday April 14th is ATI/AMD Test Day, and Thursday April 15th is Intel graphics Test Day.

      • It’s Time To Test The Graphics In Fedora 13

        Fedora 13 will be officially released next month and while we have already used it in testing out the Nouveau Gallium3D drivers and trying out the new Intel graphics, this week Red Hat is hosting community test days for the graphics stack in Fedora 13.

      • Never a dull moment, no. 98.

        At 10:00 am US Eastern time (1400 UTC), Fedora 13 Beta is released. The Beta is our last milestone before the final release of Fedora 13. We’d like to have as many people test it as possible. It’s available in a “Live ISO” format you can write not only to CD DVD, but also to a USB key, and boot off the USB key. I really prefer the USB key, because you can update the key with fixes as you use it using the “persistence” feature. It also gives you nifty options we created along the way, like an encrypted user data area, very fast booting, and very fast installation to hard disk as well. Who loves ya, baby?

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu on a Dime
      • From Dapper To Lucid, Four Years Of Ubuntu Benchmarks

        Last week we shared that we were benchmarking Ubuntu’s current and past LTS releases and began by running graphics benchmarks looking at how the proprietary drivers from the past compare to open-source drivers from the present, but now we have our assortment of system benchmarks to publish from the Long-Term Support releases of Ubuntu 6.06.1, Ubuntu 8.04.4, and an Ubuntu 10.04 development snapshot. In this article, we are looking at how Ubuntu’s performance has evolved over the past four years.

      • An Empirical Investigation of Cloud Computing (C2) as an Option for Liberia

        I opted to use Ubuntu Linux 9.10 Server which includes the Enterprise Cloud Server powered by Eucalyptus as the operating platform.

      • Ubuntu’s New Web Office Integration

        Desktop Integration with the cloud is hot news. Ubuntu One is a great example of this. Currently Ubuntu One integrates file storage, contacts and notes sync, and now you can even buy music from the online store, delivered straight to the Rythmbox media player. But for some devices, integration with the cloud isn’t just a nice feature, it completely changes the user experience (UX). Take for instance a low powered, possibly mobile/embedded system with limited processing power and memory. A cloud based service for these devices could allow resource intensive tasks to be offloaded to an online server somewhere, greatly improving the UX. One set of tasks that are used often but can put a strain on resources are related to office document editing.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Why iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad Owners Should Use Linux

      And as for missing functionality, this is open source. Where there are itches they are going to be scratched. Now that this library has reached its 1.0.0 release, developers are more likely to start incorporating it into their applications. There are python libs for libimobiledevice and related infrastructure, which will enable rapid application development utilising the functionality of this library. I know that it’s already part of the install for Ubuntu Lucid. Furthermore, with the plans for the UbuntuOne service to incorporate a music store, the environment for the iPhone on linux is looking a whole lot healthier. So to butcher an overused film reference, “if you come, they will build it”.

    • Linux-ready trace port analyzer supports Intel CPUs

      Arium announced a new JTAG debugger In-Target Probe (ITP) trace port analyzer device for debugging Linux-based devices. The LX-1000 stores events in on-board high-speed RAM, and initially targets Intel processor platforms.

    • pocket hd multimedia dream device

      If you’re looking for a handheld hd multimedia device, your search ends here. This is such a cool device.
      The only downside is apparently the korean manufacturer can’t keep up with demand as it’s fully sold out at the moment of this writing.

    • Satellite STB streams HD video to smartphones

      Marusys is shipping a Linux-based, PVR-ready satellite set-top box (STB) with a DVB-S/S2 tuner and HDMI output. The initial MS630S and MS850S versions of the DVB-S/S2 HD PVR receiver design are equipped with a Magnum Semiconductor DX6225 transcoder chip, and offer HD recording, as well as WiFi streaming to the Apple iPhone.

    • Nokia

    • Android

      • Motorola Revises Android 2.1 Details for Handsets
      • HTC launches Desire – at last, an iPhone killer

        The company at the centre of the war between Google and Apple launches its latest handset in the UK this week – with experts saying that it is the equal of the iPhone.

        The HTC Desire is similar to Google’s Nexus One smartphone – indeed HTC is the company that manufactures the Nexus – but it has several extras that have reviewers salivating, and the handset is being touted as a real alternative to Apple’s all-conquering iPhone.

      • Intel Ports Android to Atom-Based Smart Phones

        After dominating the desktop market for years, Intel recognizes they have a long road ahead of them in terms of smart phones. Android, as a platform, was initially designed to run on handsets powered by processors made with Arm technology.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Lenovo’s Ideapad U1 Hybrid “coming soon”

        Lenovo’s much anticipated Ideapad U1 Hybrid device looks like it may be hitting retail shortly. The official Lenovo shop website is listing the U1 Hybrid as “coming soon” and is letting people register their interest. As a quick reminder, the U1 Hybrid is a mashup between 11.6-inch CULV notebook and Snapdragon tablet.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Republicans Turn to Open Source Asterisk

    Open source software is being used today by all types of companies and organizations—even the Republican Party is an adopter.

  • ZapThink Startup Clinic: How to Make Money By Giving your Product Away for Free

    ZapThink has spoken to hundreds of entrepreneurs at IT startups over the last decade, and occasionally executives tell us they are giving away their product or service for free, sometimes (but not always) as open source. Our response? We ask what their business model is. If their reply is that “free” is their business model, that clues us into what they’re really doing. ZapThink has a word that describes companies that confuse free with a business model. That word is hobby.

    A business model, after all, is nothing more than how a company plans to make money. The old dot.com era joke that we’ll give away our product but make it up on volume doesn’t wash in today’s more sober times. You have to make money somehow! However, giving away your product or service for free can be a successful strategy, as long as you truly have a rational business model to back it up.

  • Online Office In Ubuntu With Zoho Webservice

    Canonical developer Jamie Bennett presented a new project 2 days ago: Zoho Webservice, which is basically the online office suite Zoho (which comes with tools such as: Presentations, Spreadsheet and Word Processor), but with Ubuntu integration.

  • Twitter Open-sources the Home of Its Social Graph

    Twitter today open-sourced the code that it used to build its database of users and manage their relationships to one another, called FlockDB. The move comes shortly after Twitter released its Gizzard framework, which it uses to query the FlockDB distributed data store up to 10,000 times a second without creating a logjam.

  • Lightworks

  • Apache/Hadoop

  • SaaS

    • Eucalyptus, GroundWork As Allies: Cloud Stack Coming?

      An important alignment occurs April 7 that will probably win little fanfare. Eucalyptus Systems, the supplier of open source APIs that are Amazon EC2 compatible, has teamed up with GroundWork, a supplier of data center systems management. GroundWork wants to gaze into the private cloud, which in the future, may often be a Eucalyptus-based stack.

  • Databases

  • Business

  • Government

    • Space Available: NASA Embraces Open Government Initiative

      Whether using social networks to allow students to interact directly with astronauts, or creating a cloud computing platform to give unprecedented access to scientific data, NASA’s embrace of Open Government has made it a leader among federal agencies.

  • Licensing

  • Programming

    • Resetting PHP 6

      Rightly or wrongly, many in our community see Perl 6 as the definitive example of vaporware. But what about PHP 6? This release was first discussed by the PHP core developers back in 2005. There have been books on the shelves purporting to cover PHP 6 since at least 2008. But, in March 2010, the PHP 6 release is not out – in fact, it is not even close to out. Recent events suggest that PHP 6 will not be released before 2011 – if, indeed, it is released at all.

Leftovers

  • Google Unveils New Google Docs Platform, Ditches Gears
  • Mini-review of the iPad

    The gadget lover in me wants one, but the part of me that cares about open source and tinkering is stronger. I’m with Cory Doctorow on this one. The iPad is gorgeous, but it’s still not worth it for me.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Juxtaposition of the day award…

      …today comes from Liverpool, where the local council (who we have praised in the past for facing-down the surveillance state) have mooted the idea of banning the word ‘obesity’ from council literature.

    • 15,000 wrongly branded criminals

      The blunders by the Criminal Records Bureau, a Home Office agency, amount to around seven smears every day.

      The victims discovered they had been branded sex offenders, violent thugs or fraudsters when they had a CRB check before a new job. Many went through lengthy appeals to clear their names.

      Our Freedom Of Information probe found the CRB coughed up an incredible £290,000 last year alone in “apology payments” to the worst-affected victims.

    • Holidaymakers Back Use Of Full-Body Scanners

      The approval rate was far higher for the UK than many other countries, according to a poll by security group Unisys.

      Of the 10 other nations investigated, as many as one in three people in Germany and Belgium would object to the machines.

    • Endpoint Security: How to Protect Data on a Laptop
  • Environment

    • Ethanol industry rolls out national ad campaign

      Growth Energy, a producer group based in Washington D.C., unveiled six TV commercials at ten press conferences across the country, including an event at the Minnesota State Capitol in Saint Paul.

    • Corn Ethanol Industry Trying to Butter Up Congress, Public

      The ad campaign seeks to put a positive spin on ethanol, increase the market for ethanol, and counteract the idea that growing corn and other crops for fuel displaces food crops and causes higher food prices.

    • Dispatch: Environmental In-Fighting

      “I have to admit to some schadenfreude when the organic, ‘environmentalist’ crowd turns on itself,” says Stier. “Ms. Waters was a hero of the sustainable food movement, but now they are turning on her because of very low levels of heavy metals in this compost, less even than you’d get from a vitamin supplement. The irony, of course, is that using biosolids is a wonderfully environmentalist thing to do, since it safely recycles waste materials; the ‘environmentalists’ are on the wrong side of this environmental issue.”

    • ACSH Makes Alice Waters a Poster Child for Toxic Sludge

      Blogger Jill Richardson has also appealed to Waters, writing that ACSH still thinks “DDT should be legal. Don’t let them count you as being on their side” in the sewage sludge fight. Richardson notes that San Francisco’s own testing found nasty toxins including dioxins in its phony organic compost.

  • Finance

    • Banks Falter in Rules Fight

      Senate Democrats, resisting a last-ditch lobbying push from big Wall Street firms, are moving toward a sweeping revamp of financial regulation that would squeeze banks’ lucrative derivatives-trading business.

    • As losses slow, big banks eye big profits in Q1

      Banks have been taking advantage of low rates to borrow cheaply and plow the funds into higher-yielding bonds and other securities, a practice known as “playing the spread.” If rates rise this year or next as some analysts predict, that revenue source could be threatened, Ely said.

    • Pulitzer finalist: McClatchy probes of Goldman Sachs, Moody’s and SEC

      McClatchy Washington Bureau reporters Greg Gordon, Chris Adams and Kevin G. Hall were named finalists for the Pulitzer Prize in national reporting Monday for their stories examining Wall Street’s role in the nation’s financial collapse.

    • WaMu Chief Killinger Didn’t Trust Goldman Sachs, E-Mails Show

      Washington Mutual Inc.’s former Chief Executive Officer, Kerry Killinger, didn’t trust Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to give the bank advice in 2007 as it slid toward collapse, according to e-mail released by congressional investigators.

    • Goldman co-head of IB Asia ex-Japan to retire
    • Your Tax Dollars at War: More Than 53% of Your Tax Payment Goes to the Military

      If you’re like me, now that we’re in the week that federal income taxes are due, you are finally starting to collect your records and prepare for the ordeal. Either way, whether you are a procrastinator like me, or have already finished and know how much you have paid to the government, it is a good time to stop and consider how much of your money goes to pay for our bloated and largely useless and pointless military.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Tea Party and GOP Working Together in Wisconsin

      Even though most Tea Partiers insist they are independent from mainstream political parties, members of Wisconsin’s tea party are openly working hand in glove with Republican leaders.

    • Wisconsin Tea Party Members Work Closely With GOP

      Despite trumpeting their independence from the political mainstream, Wisconsin tea party members are taking a different tack than those in other states by working hand-in-glove with GOP leaders.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • The Real Problem With Internet Comments Isn’t Anonymity

      As we’ve noted before, Techdirt gets a lot of comments, including the occasional unfriendly one from a jerk. Sometimes this jerk is anonymous — but if they’re a jerk, it doesn’t much matter if they’re anonymous or using their real name. With that in mind, it’s nice to see that some of the sites in the NYT article above are actually looking at ways to tackle the real issue, and not just anonymity — though there are plenty that still seem to think everybody will be nice if they use their real name.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • RIAA Insists That Musicians Can’t Make Money Without The RIAA

      First of all, there aren’t that many folks who claim that touring alone is enough of a business model, and the rest of the post doesn’t focus on “touring alone,” but on a variety of alternative business models, which makes it a weird and entirely misleading title. In fact, a year ago, we explained why (just like the RIAA is pointing out) touring alone probably isn’t enough to replace the revenues of the recording industry — but that if you combined touring with other business models, it certainly could work quite well. But by using “touring” as the peg, the RIAA can debunk touring alone and pretend (falsely) that it’s debunked the entire space of alternative (smarter) business models.

    • Give It Away And Pray: Maybe Not A Business Model, But Still Important For Artists

      We never know what the world will bring us. Adhering to a business model may make us feel secure, but the most exciting possibilities and opportunities are in the space of not knowing. In Art, unlike Business, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re doing it right.

    • Feds raise questions about big media’s piracy claims

      Congress tasked the GAO in April 2009 with reviewing the efforts to quantify the size and scope of piracy, including the impacts of Web piracy to the film and music industries. In a 32-page report issued Monday, the GAO said most of the published information, anecdotal evidence, and records show that piracy is a drag on the U.S. economy, tax revenue, and in some cases potentially threatens national security and public health. But the problem is, according to the GAO, the data used to quantify piracy isn’t reliable.

    • Newspapers/Copyrights

      • Online newsroom earns Pulitzer, Post trumps Times

        ProPublica, an independent, non-profit online newsroom, became the first online organization to win a Pulitzer Prize.

      • Icon Hank Williams receives Pulitzer citation

        Hank Williams, the country pioneer who is among the most influential singer-songwriters in music, was given a special Pulitzer Prize citation.

        The Pulitzer board awarded the late singer for his lifetime achievement, based on a confidential survey of experts in popular music.

      • In Aggregation Case, Israeli Court Says Online Ads Aren’t Copyrightable (Guest Blog Post)

        Aggregation/index sites are popping up everywhere, trying to solve this problem while aggregating ads (and other materials) from various sites. Yet those aggregation sites encounter potential legal hurdles, such as trespass to chattels (as we saw in eBay Inc. v. Bidder’s Edge, Inc.) or copyright infringement.

      • The Bias of Veteran Journalists

        But within those caveats, I’ve always maintained that the majority of professional print journalists, anyway, try very, very hard to get the story right. But recently, I had an experience that gave me a new perspective on the issue.

      • How To Piss People Off: Publish A Book Using Their Tweets Without Asking Them First

        So, by not involving the Tweet authors in the publishing of Tweet Nothings, the publishers not only attracted the ire of the wronged authors, but also missed out on a huge opportunity for free, viral promotion. After the exchange with Barnes, the publisher, Peter Pauper Press, issued an official apology in which it said:

        We regret that we did not contact the people whose quotes we used in advance. We will be contacting each one with an apology. In the meantime, we are ceasing to sell the book in all venues and will not resume sales until everyone quoted in the book is satisfied with our response.

      • Australia anti-piracy group tries to threaten EarSucker, fails

        Reproduced in full is our communications between Music Industry Piracy Investigations Pty Limited (MIPI), the anti-piracy organization for the Australian music industry and our crack legal adviser (unaccredited) who watches a lot of Judge Judy and should be fired. Regardless of his shoddy credentials, he does a marvelous job of explaining why we’re not quaking in our boots from some hollow legal threat from Australia. Here’s the original post where someone leaked Lady Gaga’s Sydney, Australia itinerary that spawned such insane legal actions. As per our disclosure policy, we are reporting this legal exhange in full for the benefit of our readers.

      • What Is So Special About A Movie’s Theatrical Release?

        Given the example of how Paranormal Activity only screened in nationwide cities after fans demanded it, offering movies that people actually want to see in theaters may be a better way of filling seats. Or maybe there really is no reason to go to movie theaters anymore.

Clip of the Day

SourceCode Season 3 – Episode 10: Immigration Emergency? (2006)


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