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04.28.10

Links 28/4/2010: HP Eats Palm

Posted in News Roundup at 7:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux.com T-shirt Design Contest Finalists Announced

      The 100+ designs we received proved that the best ideas come from the community. We also know that the community knows best, so we’re asking you to vote for the very best design. We have six finalists, not five as we originally said we would have. Like I said: it was hard to choose!

      The community favorite will win a trip to Boston to attend LinuxCon as well as the fame and fortune garnered by having their design displayed on Linux.com Store merchandise worn around the globe.

    • The case of the overly anonymous anon_vma

      During the stabilization phase of the kernel development cycle, the -rc releases typically happen about once every week. 2.6.34-rc4 is a clear exception to that rule, coming nearly two weeks after the preceding -rc3 release. The holdup in this case was a nasty regression which occupied a number of kernel developers nearly full time for days. The hunt for this bug is a classic story of what can happen when the code gets too complex.

    • Linux audio explained

      We dig into the centre of the Linux kernel to uncover why sound can be so… unsound

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Project Has Five New Summer Projects

        Back in March we talked about the possible X.Org projects this year during Google’s Summer of Code, for which X.Org is a veteran participant (in the past items like the ATI R300 Gallium3D driver and generic GPU video decoding have been tackled), but the list of accepted projects for this summer have now been announced. Gallium3D H.264 video decoding, an OpenGL 3.2 state tracker, and porting of the DRM code to GNU/Hurd were among the talked about possibilities, but none of those will be addressed as part of GSoC 2010.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Openbox Freedom Day

      South Africa celebrated Freedom Day, Tuesday 27th April– a national holiday to commemorate the first democratic election. So I spent the day attempting to squeeze freedom out of my aging 1.8ghz PC with 1Gb Ram.

      The solution to achieving the kind of brute-force computing and speed I need in order to have a faster Web experience was to use a different window manager. Creating an Openbox session which free’s up RAM allows my heaveyweight Firefox browser to access more computer resources and hence greater freedom. Less caching means the browser can live totally in RAM, which is what the programme was designed to do.

  • Distributions

    • MacPup Opera 2.0 Review

      Today I want to talk about a distro that is not among the most popular ones, but may be of interest for some with certain specific needs: MacPup Opera, which just released its 2.0 version.

      [...]

      If you have been using Linux for some time and have a clear understanding of how you will benefit from what MacPup Opera has to offer, then you will likely get a kick out of it. If you simply want to find out more about it or the Enlightenment window manager, by all means give it a go, you only have one CD-R to lose.

      I personally believe there are many areas in which MacPup Opera 2.0 can be an extremely handy distro, just understand this is probably not best suited for main desktop use.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Cloud Access makes RHEL contract transferable to EC2

        Red Hat is strengthening its position in the cloud computing market by augmenting its support for Amazon EC2 users. Red Hat Cloud Access will make it possible for the company’s customers to transfer their Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) subscriptions between their own self-hosted infrastructure and Amazon’s elastic cloud.

      • Red Hat Extends Linux Subscriptions to Cloud Computing

        Moving enterprise IT software to the cloud isn’t just a technology issue, it’s software support entitlement issue as well.

        Linux vendor Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) today is unveiling a new program dubbed Red Hat Cloud Access through which current Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscribers can leverage their existing support subscriptions for cloud deployments.

    • Debian Family

      • Bugs in Debian GNU/Linux
      • Ubuntu

        • Software makers fall in behind Lucid Lynx

          Thursday is D-Day – meaning Download Day – for the new Ubuntu 10.04 Long Term Support release from commercial Linux distributor Canonical. And this release is shaping up to be a watershed event for the upstart distro.

          That’s true not only on the desktop and on the server, but among the software development community that wants to code applications and make money.

        • A short cow dialog
        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS adds business and ease-of-use tools

          Canonical has high hopes for its latest release: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long Term Support). Also known as Lucid Lynx, this new version is the one that, from many indications, the company hopes will take Ubuntu from being a fan favorite to a commercial success. Based on my first look at the release candidate, Canonical’s hopes may be realized.

        • Shuttleworth Clears Ubuntu 10.04 for Liftoff

          It’s official: Ubuntu 10.04 Long Term Support arrives April 29, and this particular blogger was privy to the press conference about it. Canonical Chairman Mark Shuttleworth and CEO Jane Silber discussed the plans and progress of new operating system, and then fielded some Q and A. The key news: More than 80 ISVs are supporting Ubuntu. But here’s what it means for the desktop users and Canonical as a whole…

          Ubuntu 10.04 is now certified on over 50 servers and laptops, and OEM support is taking off worldwide. Dell has embraced Ubuntu Enterprise Clouds, and Lenovo has just launched Ubuntu machines into China.

        • Did Ubuntu 10.04 Achieve Its Ten Second Boot Goal?

          Canonical expressed their plans to achieve a ten-second boot time in June of last year for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, with their reference system being a Dell Mini 9 netbook. In February, we last checked on Ubuntu’s boot performance and found it close, but not quite there yet, but did they end up hitting this goal for the final release of the Lucid Lynx? Well, from our tests, not quite. We tested out a near-final version of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on three netbooks — including a Dell Mini 9 — and the boot speed is not quite in the single digits.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • HP buys Palm

        HP has just announced that it’s acquiring Palm to the tune of $1.2 billion, which works out to $5.70 per share of Palm common stock.

      • Nokia

        • My Top 5 N900 Applications

          #1 Firefox – Easily my favorite way to surf the web, on the N900 or otherwise. If you want more of my thoughts on this one check out my Firefox Mobile Review.

          #2 fMMS – This application steps up to fill one of the biggest mess-ups Nokia made when they released the N900: lack of MMS support. fMMS currently supports sending pictures and receiving all types of media messages. Since I discovered this wonderful application I no longer have to hear my friends say “your phone does all that, but can’t get a picture message?”

      • Android

        • Google: Numbers favor Android over iPhone

          And according to Google VP Andy Rubin, the more the search giant blankets the industry with competing Android-droid based mobile handsets, the more likely Google is to hit its expected value of market dominance over Apple’s iPhone.

          “It’s a numbers game,” Rubin said. And the numbers look increasingly rosy for Android.

    • Tablets

      • Seven-inch tablet runs Android

        Shenzhen-based Eken announced a seven-inch tablet computer that runs either Android or Windows CE 6.0. The M001 has a 600MHz ARM-based processor, 128MB of RAM and 2GB of flash storage, an SD slot, stereo speakers, and 802.11b/g wireless networking, the company says.

      • Linux tablet arrives in the UK

        TABLET UPSTART Fusion Garage has announced the availability of its Joojoo tablet in the UK, beating the cappuccino firm’s delayed Ipad launch outside the US.

        The firm claims that the 12.1-inch tablet is the world’s largest capacitive touchscreen device. Beneath the screen is an Intel 1.6GHz Atom processor and an Nvidia ION chipset, making the Joojoo fairly spritely. Like Apple’s Ipad, there is no keyboard and the battery is not removable, however the similarities end there.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Announcing the first free software Blu-ray encoder

    You may notice that the Blu-ray image is only just over 2GB. This is intentional; we have encoded all the content on the disk at appropriate bitrates to be playable from an ordinary 4.7GB DVD. This should make it far easier to burn a copy of the Blu-ray, since Blu-ray burners and writable media are still relatively rare. Most Blu-ray players will treat a DVD containing Blu-ray data as a normal Blu-ray disc. A few, such as the Playstation 3, will not, but you can still play it as a data disc.

  • Events

    • Counting down to Pengicon

      It’s only a few more days until Penguicon, North America’s finest science fiction and open source software convention. I’m not only psyched to be attending, but I’m flattered beyond words to be one of this year’s Guests of Honor. Penguicon runs from April 30 to May 2 at the Marriott in Troy, MI.

  • Mozilla

    • My ISP is by-passing Firefox’s Location bar search

      I just got back from 10 days abroad and noticed my Firefox at home was acting oddly. My preferred way to go to many websites is simply to type their name into the location bar, and then let Google’s “I’m feeling lucky” feature take me to the actual site. I realize this might not be the most conventional way to do it (sure, I could have bookmarks etc.), but it’s they way I like to do it.. I also use KDE’s Alt-F2 launcher to start programs.

    • Fennec on Android

      Over the last few months, we’ve made some great progress on bringing Firefox to Android. Michael Wu, Brad Lassey, Alex Pakhotin and I have been focusing on getting a build ready that’s usable by a broader set of people, and we’re now ready to get that build out there.

    • The Next Big Fight: Facebook vs. Firefox?

      Facebook wants to be the entry-point to the Web, but it’s important to remember that Facebook itself is on the Web, and accessed through a Web browser. This means that in some sense the browser exists at a lower level than Facebook, and therefore has the opportunity to pre-empt some of its functions – notably, in terms of handling the key issue of identity.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle Makes Lustre Users Buy Hardware for Support

      Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) will soon make it tougher to get paid support for its open source Lustre clustered file system.

      According to a recent presentation by Peter Bojanic, director of Oracle’s Lustre Group, Lustre 1.8 and 2.0, which was just released as a beta, will remain open source and licensed under GPL 2.0. But beginning with the full release of Lustre 2.0, paid support will be limited to those purchasing Lustre bundled with Oracle hardware, and the company won’t provide an upgrade path for 1.8 users who desire support. That means that Lustre 2.0 users who want paid support will need to replace their hardware.

  • Health

    • #drupalcon Florida Hospital Takes Charge of Their Destiny with Drupal

      In August 2007, Florida hospital hired a “rock star” physician. With this hire, a series of events was triggered that would end up with Drupal (news, site) hosting over 125 department and team intranet sites, over 40 externally-facing marketing sites and a growing number of other applications. Want to know more? Read on.

    • The Complexities to Creating Real Electronic Health Records

      Is any of this insurmountable? Certainly not, and there are a number of areas where the Open Source community can play a valuable roll. But on reviewing the challenges, I also see why there is not more involvement. Many of the issues require specialized knowledge of a number of aspects of what is today a black box to many. There are few defined requirements and even fewer good directions. But then, is that not what is the best about the Open Source community? We see a problem and try to solve it. Perhaps the right problem has not been presented. Or maybe it is such a niche that I have not seen the strides we have made. But as the big guns of the consulting world are looking at solving this, I hope they will leverage the Open Source model, as well as solutions used elsewhere. And perhaps, just perhaps, a year-five year-from now, we will be talking about Open Source eHealth software the same way we talk about network management software or VoIP software.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Vancouver City Hall’s Open Data Experiment

      When Arthur Dent, of The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, searched for the notice that his house was to be demolished to make way for a new bypass, he eventually found it on the bottom of a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying, ‘Beware of the Leopard.’

      Governments, large and small, generate vast amounts of information. Finding the relevant piece of information in a timely fashion is a challenge, and that’s assuming that the government has decided to share it with the public at all.

      Over the past year, Vancouver’s city government has launched a program to make large amounts of information to the public. These data sets, posted online at data.vancouver.ca, include garbage pickup schedules, drinking fountains and motorcycle parking, in a wide variety of formats

Leftovers

  • U.S. students suffering from Internet addiction: study

    American college students are hooked on cellphones, social media and the Internet and showing symptoms similar to drug and alcohol addictions, according to a new study.

    Researchers at the University of Maryland who asked 200 students to give up all media for one full day found that after 24 hours many showed signs of withdrawal, craving and anxiety along with an inability to function well without their media and social links.

  • Security/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Rent-A-Front: New Group Wages Stealth Battle Against Wall Street Reform

      In the last few weeks, a new player entered the financial reform fray with a $1.6 million ad buy, a respected economist on board, a blitz of opinion columns on left-leaning websites, and a message, cooked right into the group’s name — Stop Too Big To Fail — that liberals could love.

      But as TPMmuckraker has looked into the group, every indication is that Stop Too Big To Fail is an astroturf operation funded by corporate interests to give the appearance of grassroots opposition to reform.

    • Anti-Reform Front Group Wears a Populist Mask

      A corporate front group with the populist-sounding name “Stop Too Big To Fail” (STBTF) is running a $1.6 million TV advertising campaign designed to appeal to liberal/progressives and get them to advocate against financial reform legislation currently under consideration in Congress. The ads target Senate Democrats in three states and ask viewers to tell their senators to “vote against this ‘phony financial reform’ ” and “support real reform, stop ‘too big to fail.’ ” STBTF has also put out a blitz of opinion columns on left-leaning Web sites.

    • The Best Solution to Vampire Squid? Calamari

      The great test for the financial services reform bill, if and when it ever gets debated in the Senate, will be what it does to rein in Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street institution famously described by Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi as “a vampire squid jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”

    • Will the Fabulous Fab Push the Bank Reform Bill Over the Top?

      “More and more leverage in the system. The whole building is about to collapse anytime now! Only potential survivor, the fabulous Fab[rice Tourre] standing in the middle of all these complex, highly leveraged, exotic trades he created without necessarily understanding all of the implications of those monstrosities!!!”

      Tourre will be testifying with Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who recently shoved the Fab off a cliff by releasing embarrassing personal emails from his Goldman account. Let’s hope the Fab gets a chance to return the favor at tomorrow’s hearing.

    • Showtime for Bank Reform in the Senate
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Frontline Edits Out Single-Payer

      Silencing supporters of single-payer, or Medicare for All, is a media staple, but PBS’s Frontline found a new way to do that on the April 13 special Obama’s Deal–by selectively editing an interview with a single-payer advocate and footage of single-payer protesters to make them appear to be activists for a public option instead.

    • Assessing the Health Implications of the Supreme Court Decision on Corporate Campaign Contributions

      The Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission struck down laws that banned corporations from using their own money to support or oppose candidates for public office. In overturning previously established precedents, the Supreme Court’s decision means that the government may not ban political spending by corporations in candidate elections.

    • “Cloaked” Web Sites Disguise Hidden Propaganda

      Jessie Daniels, an Associate Professor in the Urban Public Health program at Hunter College, New York, has identified a phenomenon she calls “cloaked Web sites,” or sites published by individuals or groups who deliberately conceal their authorship to disguise a hidden political agenda.

    • Why Facts No Longer Matter

      A recent PRWatch blog discussed how corporations are increasingly turning to cause marketing to get around people’s ability to tune out their daily deluge of advertising. Cause marketing, or “affinity marketing,” is a sophisticated PR strategy in which a corporation allies itself with a cause that evokes strong emotions in targeted consumers, like curing cancer, alleviating poverty, feeding the hungry, helping the environment or saving helpless animals.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Protecting Internet freedom and privacy

      A: One of the biggest threats to online freedom is an overuse of surveillance, both by governments and businesses. Governments are using technology to monitor phone calls, e-mails, Internet activity, text messaging and other communications of their citizens. In the United States, the government has been doing a tremendous amount of this without following the basic safeguards designed to protect us that have been built into our laws, such as getting warrants. If the government skips that step – if there is no judicial oversight – then it is easy for the government to abuse its power.

    • Net neutrality numbers don’t add up

      A new study suggests regulating the Net will cost millions of jobs. A closer look reveals the study’s main ingredient is manure, Cringely concludes

    • Senators to Facebook: Quit sharing users’ info

      Three Democratic senators today asked the Federal Trade Commission to take a look at Facebook’s controversial new information sharing policies, arguing that the massively popular social network overstepped its bounds when it began sharing user data with other websites.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Music industry spokesman loves child porn

      A music-industry speaker at an American Chamber of Commerce event in Stockholm waxed enthusiastic about child porn, because it serves as the perfect excuse for network censorship, and once you’ve got a child-porn filter, you can censor anything:

      “Child pornography is great,” the speaker at the podium declared enthusiastically. “It is great because politicians understand child pornography. By playing that card, we can get them to act, and start blocking sites. And once they have done that, we can get them to start blocking file sharing sites”.

    • Parody and Satire Videos, Which Is Fair Use?
    • Dissent in the Council over ACTA transparency
    • Don’t secure your wifi!!!

      Firstly let me stress that there a lot of really good reasons to secure your network, not least of which are privacy of your machines and data, viruses spreading, and even costs (you may pay for usage of your internet!). If you have fire-walling facilities allowing you to run a DMZ (de-militarized zone) for public wifi that is safer.

      However, the Digital Economy Act has just turned things on their head slightly. It actually encourages you to run an open wifi.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – Shapes of Flight (1/11/1998)


IRC Proceedings: April 28th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

Chem4Word Should Support Free Software Platforms/Office Suites to Better Qualify as Free Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenOffice, Windows at 4:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OpenOffice.org app chooser
Who can port Chem4Word to OpenOffice.org?

Summary: Chem4Word is an example of Free software which is trapped deep inside Microsoft’s proprietary cage and needs rescuing

From an academic and scientific point of view, Chem4Word’s developer does the right thing by becoming a Free software proponent and choosing the Apache licence for the project (not GPL, which would have been better). The only problem is that Chem4Word helps sell Microsoft Office, which means that any user of Chem4Word (even as Free software) will be pressured to buy a standards-hostile and closed-source office suite. Those who are close to this project are aware of the issue.

A while ago, I asked whether we are seeing a trend to promote shallow layers of “open source” on top of a deep proprietary software stack. Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action. [PMR: This refers to Microsoft’s funding of the British Library and the City of Edmonton; the phrase (from Goldfinger) argues that there is a concerted campaign by Microsoft to use Open Source to create lockin to its products].

As a lapsed chemist, it saddens me to criticise a project with such a worthy goal. But this software spreads proprietary lock-in, not freedom. Those wishing to use it can only do so by first buying a stack of proprietary software. Those receiving documents created using it may well not be able to open them unless they have the same software and the same plug-in. Those who distribute the software, or documents created using it, are making science less free.

[...]

First, to answer the questions:

1. There is currently no Microsoft funding to our group to translate Chem4Word into OpenOffice, but I will transmit the request to them and probably suggest they reply directly (although I can carry the message). Whether we are the best group to do it will depend on the scale of the project and what elements of research there are in it.

2. I cannot answer this from my personal interactions with Microsoft (I deal primarily with MSResearch). Microsoft has only fairly recently become active in the Open Source world. It has now joined the Apache Foundation. That means the issues will be more public and will be debated more openly. I would expect that Apache would be very concerned if it were to be converted to supporting “embrace, extend, etc.”. I am an optimist and believe that the influence is just as likely to be in the opposite direction where OSS successes get fed back into the culture of Microsoft and change it.

We have already remarked on Microsoft’s relationship with Apache in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18]. This is yet another example where Microsoft is using (as in exploiting) Free software to sell its proprietary software.

Supporting Microsoft software is bad for a variety of reasons, not just because it’s proprietary and standards-hostile. Here for example is a new explanation from Omar, who exemplifies what Microsoft is doing to developing countries where cost matters a lot.

But then the grief doesn’t end here, because the problem will seem even worse if you ponder the fact that most people, around the world, who use computers can barely afford to pay their monthly bills, and that all these people are using pirated software because:

* A) That’s the only software they’ve ever known.

And:

* B) They cannot afford to pay for the annual licensing fee of a genuine copy.

These people have been mass-hypnotized, they’ve been indoctrinated into believing that whatever MS gives them is right, and that MS software is the only software on Earth that actually works. Now, take under consideration that MS is a for-profit organization after all (Actually, MS is a for-nothing-but-profit organization, but ya know), and that sooner or later, MS will start collecting money in all ways possible.

Let us hope that Chem4Word gets extended (or forked) to support Free software further down the stack. It can support all major platforms if it gets ported to office suites such as OpenOffice.org.

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

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

SCO May Be Trying to Resurrect Novell Case

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Novell, SCO, UNIX at 4:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scale of justice

Summary: SCO is trying to claim ownership of UNIX and it may also want a new trial

ACCORDING to this post from the afternoon, there is danger that with new funding from former SCO executives [1, 2], the SCO case will carry on until Novell is sold or whatever.

SCO has filed its “renewed” motion for judgment “as a matter of law”, with its supporting memorandum. They ask the judge to rule over the heads of the jury and decide that the jury “simply got it wrong” when it ruled that SCO didn’t get the copyrights in 1995 from Novell. In the alternative, they’d like a new trial.

This post is Groklaw’s followup to an attempt by SCO to get UNIX back (although it never owned it). From the Utah press:

The SCO Group is asking a federal judge to order Novell Inc. to turn copyrights to the Unix computer operating system over to SCO despite a jury verdict that said a 1995 sales agreement did not include those assets.

Lindon-based SCO told U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart that the jury did not address the issue that he is to decide when it reached its verdict March 30 in the long-running legal battle over the ownership of software that is used by many businesses.

Groklaw rebuts with many fine details:

I have been quietly working on a project that I now realize would be more fun and more effective if we do it together, annotating SCO’s proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law [PDF]. We were all stunned to read what they filed with the court, and I thought about historians someday reading this document and imagining it to be 100% accurate. I don’t think it is, and so I have begun linking to contradictory evidence from SCO itself and to other materials that can be helpful to anyone someday wishing to know what happened. Would you like to help me?

This is one area where Novell does something positive for GNU/Linux.

Apple’s Connection to Abuse of Gizmodo Employee Shown, EFF Fights Back

Posted in Apple, Bill Gates at 4:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Computer danger
Lock your doors and hide your children. The Apple Hype Police is coming.

Summary: Apple’s Hype Police is shown to be connected to the raiding of a blogger who ‘dared’ to show the next hypePhone

APPLE has gotten itself into one heck of a PR disaster, which so far we’ve covered in:

According to this article sent to us by Brandon, Apple does have role in the task force investigating the iPhone case.

The idea was to bring a variety of business interests and police agencies together to help combat identity theft, computer fraud, and the like. The team’s website explains that “high tech companies … provide specialized training, liaison personnel and internal support for task force investigations.”

What’s curious is that one of those high-tech companies providing training, personnel, and support to the task force is Apple Inc., the alleged victim in the Gizmodo case. According to this May 2009 story from the San Jose Business Journal, Apple is one of the 25 companies that sit on REACT’s “steering committee.” Which raises the question as to whether Apple, which was outraged enough about Gizmodo’s $5,000 purchase of the lost iPhone for CEO Steve Jobs to reportedly call Gawker Media owner Nick Denton to demand its return, sicked its high-tech cops on Chen.

Even the EFF is stepping in now. It is “Dissecting the Gizmodo Warrant” thusly:

Federal and California law both protect reporters against police searches aimed at uncovering confidential sources or seizing other information developed during newsgathering activities. Yet on Friday, agents with the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) executed a search warrant at Gizmodo editor Jason Chen’s home, searching for evidence related to Gizmodo’s scoop on what appears to be a pre-release version of Apple’s next iPhone model. The warrant does not reveal whether Chen himself is considered a criminal suspect, or what alleged crime the police are investigating, but Chen was not arrested. All of his computers and hard drives (among other materials) were seized for further search and analysis.

There is some other negative PR for Apple this week, including for example:

i. Apple Bans Online Sales In Japan

The comments in the Japanese business newspapers suggest that Apple believes online shopping confers an aura of ‘cheapness’ on their products; but surely killing the Apple store’s competition must have entered into the calculation.

ii. Apple Just Says Yes to iPhone Game for Smokers

Blogs and message boards have been lighting up with the buzz about Apple’s family-friendly App Store policy, which bans soft porn and satire — but a game that glorifies smoking somehow got the green light.

So Apple protects its perceived value by banning low-cost Apple purchases while allowing glorification of tobacco (which in turn voids the guarantee/warranty of Apple’s computers). Apple says “no” to politics [1, 2] but “yes” to smoking. Bill Gates just says “yes” to both [1, 2] and it’s not a good thing.

Novell Keeps Losing Market Share, So Its Future Still Looks Grim

Posted in Google, Mail, Microsoft, NetWare, Novell at 3:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Storm in the sea

Summary: Google and Microsoft eat Novell’s lunch and nobody is offering to buy Novell despite its implicit invitation

HAVING taken a quick glimpse at this week’s news, there are many examples showing Novell’s demise, starting with this observation that Novell loses to Google, which is headed by Novell’s former CEO.

One compelling story is that of how the City of Los Angeles, is converting to Google Apps from its internally hosted Novell GroupWise platform.

There are also new examples of Novell being dumped for Microsoft, its so-called ‘partner’.

i. Fayetteville-Perry School District finalizes cuts

In other recent business, the board:

• approved conversion from Novell to Microsoft Network software to be completed during the summer at a cost of $7,045.78. Novell will no longer be supported and all other school districts have either switched over already, or are in the process of changing over. Of the total cost, $4,500 will be taken from the district Permanent Improvement Fund for a new file server to run the software. The remaining cost will be taken from the general fund.

ii. London borough builds IT around flexible working

Significant changes to existing software will see an operating system refresh from Windows XP to Vista, as well as a move away from Novell Network and GroupWise to Microsoft Outlook and Exchange.

A new article about ZTE uses Novell as a textbook example of losing an installed base very rapidly and without chance of reversal.

The fact that no hack even mentioned Symbian to ZTE was extremely telling. It is reminiscent of the days when Novell had a huge installed base of network servers while the developer community had quietly switched its allegiance to Microsoft.

[...]

At present, this seems a bridge that ZTE will cross later.But Nokia must act fast if it is to avoid becoming the Novell of the handset sector.

Most people who observe Novell expect no Renaissance. Novell is already up for sale and the first Novell takeover attempt is mentioned again here. Novell sponsors a CIO meeting in Sri Lanka, but it seems like a lost cause for both sides. As we showed in the previous post, Research and Markets says that “The future of Novell, and therefore of the SUSE Linux distribution, is uncertain.” Sadly for Novell, no company seems interested in buying it, just a hedge fund (vulture).

Related posts:

Novell Spins the Numbers Again

Posted in HP, IBM, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Red Hat, Servers, SLES/SLED, UNIX at 3:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Storage technology
Novell Spin® Deluxe™

Summary: In order to generate hype which is not justified, Novell comes up with familiar numbers that do not tell much and might not tell the truth, either

NOVELL is still pushing whitepapers into all sorts of Web sites, even IDG in this case (we no longer report all the examples because there are many and they are repetitive). Given those IDC ‘studies’ from Novell (e.g. [1, 2]), it is apparent that Novell operates similarly to Microsoft. It’s about funding so-called ‘studies’ where the results are predetermined and then throwing the produced propaganda all over the Internet in order to deceive.

“It’s about funding so-called ‘studies’ where the results are predetermined and then throwing the produced propaganda all over the Internet in order to deceive.”As we showed twice this morning [1, 2], Microsoft loves fake numbers. To Microsoft, truth does not matter as long as the lie does not violate the law. And similarly, Novell issues a new press release this week [1, 2], claiming that 5,000 applications are now certified for SLE*. Now, we haven’t verified these numbers yet, but we vividly recall how Novell lied about those numbers some years ago (about a year and half ago) and got challenged rather severely by several journalists. Here is a news article that repeats claims from the press release without any scrutiny:

ISVs, Novell claims, are contributing an average of 150 new applications each month.

[...]

Since the launch of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server platform, more than 250,000 appliances for physical, virtual or cloud environments have been built by ISVs using SUSE Studio.

Many of them are just single users toying with the tool (us included), sometimes constructing several appliances per user (as we did). Novell makes it sound like many unique appliances are created to be spread to a lot of people (for each appliance). This is not true. It’s spin with numbers; in a Brainshare 2010 interview, Novell’s CEO parroted exactly the same type of statistics because them — and only them — make it sound like a success.

This is not the first time that Novell fakes or dishonestly selects numbers, sometimes by push polling.

“The future of Novell, and therefore of the SUSE Linux distribution, is uncertain.”
      –Research and Markets
This week we also find these two new copies [1, 2] of the IBM-Novell press release (already covered in [1, 2, 3]). IBM is another company that will help Microsoft/Novell increase the number of so-called ‘appliances’ that rPath seems to have invented. Research and Markets has a new report bearing the headline “Novell and SUSE Linux: Not So Happily Ever After?” From the summary: “Developers, partners, and users of SUSE Linux as distributed by Novell have seen the company go through a stunning range of disruptive events within the past several weeks. The future of Novell, and therefore of the SUSE Linux distribution, is uncertain. This Strategic Perspective looks at the most recent events causing uncertainty for Novell, and the effects on Novells SUSE Linux distribution and markets.”

In short, home and business users ought to avoid SUSE as a GNU/Linux distribution, especially now that Novell is up for sale. The same uncertainty applies to Mono and Moonlight. Timothy Prickett Morgan writes about the death of Itanium, which probably relates to this uncertainty around Novell, SUSE, and other Novell products. Conversely to this trend, however, Timothy claims in The Register that SLES is the last GNU/Linux distribution which supports Itanium.

That leaves HP’s HP-UX, OpenVMS, and NonStop operating systems, Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, and a handful of proprietary OSes from Europe and Japan on Itanium chips.

Earlier this month, an Intel spokesman said that most Itanium users run HP-UX. So SUSE for Itanium too might soon fade away.

Docky is Mono

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 2:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Reminder for the unaware that Docky, which can easily be substituted with another dock, brings with it a whole stack of problems

Docky is a close relative of GNOME-Do (they are being decoupled), which is of course based on Mono. We thought it would be worthwhile pointing this out because a lot of people are unaware of the issue. To quote from a new thread in a Ubuntu site (GNOME-Do is developed by a Canonical employee by the way):

what is this “class=/usr/lib/docky/’Docky.exe’”? exe file in linux :-( why ?”

In reply:

“That is called Mono. Mono program also use .dll for their library files. Awful, isn’t it ?”

We strongly discourage the use of Mono and so does Apple on the face of it [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] (not to mention the FSF). This new article from the Guardian mentions Apple’s exclusion of MonoTouch.

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