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04.29.10

Links 29/4/2010: Sony Sued for Removing GNU/Linux Support

Posted in News Roundup at 10:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • ‘Taashee Linux Academy’ Inaugurated in Hyderabad

    The well equipped training centre provides perfect environment to build new Linux systems and simulate troubleshooting.

    Hyderabad based, Taashee Linux Services, a 100% Linux and Open Source Software company, today announced the opening of its Red Hat Training facility in Adarsh Nagar, Hyderabad. Taashee will also begin its training for Red Hat’s, Red Hat Certified Engineer and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization programs in this facility.

  • Hacker says he’s got Linux on the PS3 again
  • How to build your own PVR for free

    Installing MythTV can be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it. You could install a plain vanilla Linux distro and then install and configure MythTV with a lot of nasty terminal and command-line work, but if you fancy going down the easy route, it’s simple to install a Linux distro with MythTV built in to the installer.

    Some of them will be based on distros we’re all familiar with (MythDora is based on Fedora/Red Hat, for example) and some will be a little more obscure. Ubuntu is one of the most widely used Linux distros, thanks in no small part to the user-friendly Windows/Mac feel of its front-end, and a Ubuntu installation with MythTV built-in is just too good an opportunity to pass up for this system.

  • LinuxFest fosters ingenuity, software, robotics

    It was during LinuxFest Northwest 2010, and it took place April 24 and 25.

    Bill Wright, director of LinuxFest Northwest, said this was the 11th festival. The Bellingham Linux Users Group started the festival after the dot-com crash of the ’90s, when the software community was disjointed.

    The goal was to create an event that would allow the Linux community to meet in person, he said.

    Another goal was to show people what Linux is, Wright said.

  • Sony

    • Sony sued for dropping Linux support on PlayStation 3

      A PlayStation owner has taken legal action against Sony following the company’s decision to drop the ‘Other OS’ option from the PlayStation 3, via a recent firmware update to the console.

      The ‘Other OS’ update was released earlier in April, causing one aggrieved California man to sue Sony for essentially dropping Linux support for PS3.

    • Sony Sued For Removal Of Linux Support From PS3

      A class action lawsuit has been filed against Sony Computer Entertainment America for the removal of the ‘Other OS’ feature from the PlayStation 3.

      In March, Sony released firmware v3.21 that disabled the feature, disallowing users from installing the Linux operating system. The update was not mandatory; however those who chose not to download it were cut off from a number of other features, one of which included signing in to PlayStation Network.

  • Desktop

    • How to Turn your Linux PC Into 2 For Free

      Ever wished you had two monitor setup for desktop so that you can improve your work efficiency.Or do you have a spare monitor at home which you are planning to sell? Wait, if you are running Linux and wish to have a multi-monitor setup(dual station) here is something interesting.Yes, i am talking about dual-station PC.

      The Free version of software called Userful Multiplier can easily transform your dual-monitor linux PC into a dual-station PC.Meaning , if you already have a dual-monitor setup, you can now transform it into two different working stations with Useful Multiplier.

      The software basically incorporates set of Linux software packages that can extend the X Window System to support upto 10 fully independent workstations using your single PC.

    • Linux Doesn’t Exist; Hacking Is Crime

      Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant of Sophos, has warned users that ‘hackers’ are exploiting a problem with McAfee’s anti-virus product that has caused hundreds of thousands of computers around the world to repeatedly reboot themselves.

      I use ‘computers’ and they are not at risk because of McAfee’s whatever mistake. The reason is simple. I use GnuLinux on my ‘computers’. It is surprising that an expert like Graham could make such a huge mistake and overgeneralization by calling Windows running computers as computers. What about those computers which run on Gnu/Linux, BSD, Solaris and other such operating systems? These computers are not affected by this attack.

      The second mistake is the usage of word hacker. Anyone who looks inside or makes changes to a systems is a hacker. If you tune the engine or your car, you are hacking your car. If you are tweaking the code of your computer to enhance performance you are a hacker. Calling all hackers criminals is, I think, shameful and outrageous.

  • Server

    • Platform kicks out HPC Enterprise Edition

      HPC Enterprise Edition is supported on x64-based clusters and currently supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, the CentOS clone of Red Hat, and another clone of Red Hat called Scientific Linux, which was created by CERN and FermiLab. No word on when Microsoft’s Windows 2008 HPC Server will be tossed into the mix.

    • IBM Power 560 Express

      As a consolidation server, the Power 560 Express provides the flexibility to use leading-edge AIX®, IBM i, Linux for Power and x86 Linux applications all on the same system. The Power 560 Express is designed with capabilities to deliver near-continuous application availability and allow more work to be processed with less operational disruption. PowerVM™ Editions offers comprehensive virtualization technologies designed to aggregate and manage resources while helping to simplify and optimize your IT infrastructure and reduce server sprawl.

  • Ballnux

    • Push Your System to the Limit with StressLinux 0.5.111

      StressLinux is a minimalistic Linux distribution aimed at stress-testing PCs under the best conditions. The latest release, StressLinux 0.5.111, has been launched bringing a number of improvements and updates over the previous versions. StressLinux is now based on openSUSE 11.2 and most core packages have been updated in 0.5.111.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • New Linux Mini Distribution for Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking Fits Onto a Mini CD

      Following the success of the Live Hacking CD a Linux distribution packed with tools for ethical hacking and penetration testing, Dr. Ali Jahangiri decided to turn his attention to a smaller, leaner variant which fits on a Mini CD. This new version of the Live Hacking CD, dubbed the Live Hacking Mini CD, is small, faster and yet packed full of important ethical hacking tools.

    • A Future Opening

      Arch’s uptake has been surprising. The first time I installed Arch, I was rather unimpressed. The installation procedure seemed like a somewhat menu driven LFS installation, though faster because it used binaries. Since that first use, the installation has become better. It’s now somewhat similar to a Slackware installation, though the system-after-install is much more similar to a Debian installation or Ubuntu Minimal installation.

    • Get Slack!

      The oldest Linux distribution in existence is Slackware. It’s about time that I actually posted something about my favorite Linux distribution on this blog.

      [...]

      I’m running Firefox in Slackware right now to write this article. I’ve been a Slacker for nearly four years now. I have other Linux distributions on my systems, but Slackware is my Linux now. Ubuntu was that cute girl at the bowling alley that I had the fling with way back when. Debian is an X who I keep in touch with. Arch is a sweetheart from the office. Sidux, CentOS, and those others are occasional flings, but Slackware is the girl I always come home to.

      Have FUN with it!

    • New Releases

      • Macpup Opera 2.0 Is Based on Puppy Linux 4.3.1

        Macpup Opera 2.0 has been released and is now available for download. The frugal Linux distribution is based on the latest version of the popular Puppy Linux 4.3.1. It features the Enlightenment e17 window manager and the Opera web browser. Macpup aims to take Puppy Linux’s best features while bringing the look and feel of a Mac on Linux.

      • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 94

        · Announced Distro: PCLinuxOS 2010
        · Announced Distro: Sabayon Linux CoreCD 5.2
        · Announced Distro: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 Beta
        · Announced Distro: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Release Candidate
        · Announced Distro: StressLinux 0.5.111
        · Announced Distro: Macpup Opera 2.0

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2010 Spring backgrounds contribution

        Mandriva will provide 10 more backgrounds to complete official design of your favorite distribution.

      • PCLinuxOS 2010

        I have loaded PCLinuxOS 2010 onto my laptop and am testing it out. I used to use PCLinuxOS 2007 and due to a moribund development cycle had tried Ubuntu and Linux Mint. I like both of those distributions, but when the new version of PCLinuxOS came out I decided to give it a go and am not disappointed.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • ThinkIO-Solo fanless embedded PC

        ThinkIO-Solo is a fanless embedded PC with an Intel Celeron M processor clocked at 1.06GHz, 1Gbyte RAM, up to 4Gbyte of soldered internal flash, and 512kbyte non-volatile memory. And the firm has released a companion Debian Linux desktop distribution.

        ThinkIO-Solo and ThinkIO-Duo include an aluminium housing, Compact Flash socket for adding mass storage, standard PC interfaces, and field bus options including industrial Ethernet and a modular I/O interface option.

      • Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Recover Files From a NAS

      Most NAS systems use Linux, and don’t use the Windows-friendly file systems FAT or NTFS. You stand a better chance of success attaching one to a Linux machine and running Linux file recovery software, but that may not work, either. Not all NAS systems use the standard Linux File System.

    • Primary Storage Data Reduction Heats Up

      Nexenta is sticking to software putting a BASH/Linux CLI and of course management GUI on OpenSolaris to create NexentaStor which they then sell direct to users that want to roll their own unified storage systems and to OEMs like OnStor and PogoLinux who’ll sell fully packaged NAS appliances.

    • Kakai to launch new E-Reader for Students

      Kakai is a unknown company myriad in secrecy in Silicon Valley. It has about 50 employees and a venture capital of roughly 10 million.

    • Mentor Graphics Selected as a Key Freescale Commercial Linux Strategic Partner for QorIQ and PowerQUICC Processors
    • Freescale and MIPS seek to oust processor incumbents

      Also at ESC, Freescale will announce partnerships with embedded software houses to give its customers an alternative to Wind River’s technology, which is now owned by Intel. Although Wind River’s real time OS and Linux software is still being offered to all its clients, its new embedded software packages, to debut at ESC, are targeted initially at x86. Freescale is broadening its own ecosystem by working with Enea Systems, Green Hills Software and Mentor Graphics. It says it has chosen to create a strong group of independent software houses rather than acquiring its own technology, as Intel has, as well as Cavium, which purchased embedded Linux firm MontaVista.

    • MontaVista Software Announces New Rapid Deployment Program for Android
    • Enea Forges Strategic Collaboration with NetLogic Microsystems

      Multicore Leaders Collaborate to Deliver Comprehensive RTOS and Linux Platforms Targeting Communications Equipment

    • MIPS Sees Once-In-A-Generation Opportunity

      “Stanford took the power of Linux and put it in a middleware OS and the biggest barrier to entry for MIPS has been removed”, said Vij.

      The three USPs for Android, said Vij, is that: “It harnesses the power of Linux; it is backed by Google, and it’s free.”

    • Synapse Wireless(R) Introduces SNAP-to-Internet Appliance

      The E10 uses a powerful 32-bit RISC processor running an open, embedded version of Linux. [...] Full Linux services are also available to administrators and natively hosted applications.

    • LynuxWorks Announces LynxSecure 4.0 — the Most Feature-Rich Secure Separation Kernel and Embedded Hypervisor
    • Canal Digital preparing to launch hybrid VOD

      Canal Digital is close to introducing a new Linux-based application that will bring in a new video-on-demand service for its satellite and cable customers. The initial plans were first revealed to Broadband TV News last November by Telenor Broadcast Holding CEO Christian Albech in an exclusive interview.

    • Phones

    • Palm

      • HP buys Palm
      • HP Buying Palm, Might Make a webOS Tablet

        HP is going to acquire smartphone maker Palm. In a conference call after the announcement, a high-level HP executive raised the possibility that his company might produce tablet computers running Palm’s webOS.

      • Does HP + Palm = Facepalm?

        Of course, the good news for open source is that it doesn’t really matter whether HP’s move proves deeply wise or totally witless. Both Android and webOS have Linux at their heart, and both use additional free software (that found in the latest webOS includes ALSA and webkit elements.) In that sense, the lifeline that HP has thrown to Palm and hence webOS is good news: more resources will be expended on making key parts of open source better.

      • A brief history of Palm

        The PalmPilot is credited with popularizing the personal digital assistant, or PDA. And it was the device that established the basic form factor that later smartphones would use. After earlier attempts by Apple and others, Palm proved there was a market for a third category of portable computing device, something more than a cell phone but less than a laptop.

    • Nokia

      • MeeGo: open development and upstream involvement

        Ari Jaaksi, Nokia’s VP for Maemo devices and MeeGo operations, spoke first, which he saw as an advantage because Intel’s Imad Sousou would be sure to correct anything he said “wrong”. The goal of the MeeGo project is to “provide industry with an open platform” for various kinds of devices. Both companies have been working on mobile distributions, which means that they “integrate the same components multiple times”, and that is “stupid”, Jaaksi said. That is one of the main ideas behind the merger.

    • Android

      • Two Dell’s Android-based Netbooks in Making

        Apart from Android, these netbooks may also come with Moblin (Mobile Linux) OS on them. Dell will also introduce Looking Glass and Looking Glass Pro tablets based on Android OS with Bender. All these Android based products are projected to be launched by the third quarter of fiscal year 2011.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Quad-Core ARM Aquila CPU Coming to Netbooks

        Now that Windows is no longer the only operating system featured in netbooks, with Android and Linux steadily gaining ground, the time may have finally come for the ARM architecture to seriously consider making a foray into this market segment. ARM has been meaning to do so for quite a while now, but there has been little word on what effort, if any, is being put into this endeavor. The time of silence may have finally come to a close, however, now that a certain roadmap document from Samsung has been exposed.

    • Tablets

      • Ipad antithesis spotted in the wild

        The system currently runs Debian Linux but the user claims that loading Ubuntu results in a slightly better battery life. Either way, the whole shebang with the extended battery, weighs around 800 grams. Unlike the Ipad, however, it has peripheral ports, including a working VGA output, which given the lack of screen is pretty important.

Free Software/Open Source

  • More open than thou: Blogger battle rages over new Facebook tools

    The word “open” — like “green” or “eco-conscious” — is one of the more amorphous concepts floating about the tech industry. Google touts openness while keeping its advertising and search algorithms secret. On the opposing side, Apple regularly faces heated criticism about the barriers it has erected to the app store.

  • Inside Contactless to make Open NFC source code and API available on Sourceforge.net

    Inside Contactless has taken a further step towards making its Open NFC technology available to all by making its source code and API documentation available to download from the Sourceforge.net open source website.

  • Open Source TioLive Innovates with Distributed Cloud Computing Model

    Jacques Honoré, TioLive Community Manager adds: “TioLive Grid is one more step towards Complete Freedom and Total Control by users over their private data. All customers’ data is kept on his own server. All server software is open source. There is no lock-in at all for TioLive users.”

  • Australian National Library uses open source for treasure Trove

    The National Library of Australia has opted for an open source platform to drive its newly unveiled search engine.

    Called, Trove, the search engine provides access to more than 90 million items about Australians and Australia, sourced from more than 1000 libraries and cultural institutions across the country.

  • Multiple entry points for open source

    He explained that the need for interoperability to support open source projects helped raise the demand for standard-based architectures and drive down cost.

    The recession also raised the profile of cloud computing, which in turn has had a positive spillover effect on open source, he said. With companies looking to offload services to the cloud, companies are now adopting standards to ensure smooth data traffic between clouds, he said.

    These developments have helped recast open source software as a means for enterprises to lower cost, he said.

  • Philippine open source developers thriving

    Growing acceptance of open source software (OSS) is ushering in new interest from small and large developers in the Philippines, according to industry voices.

    Although some early players have fallen by the wayside, there appears to be a steady upsurge of new companies capitalizing on the increasing OSS opportunity in the country and a boom in demand from foreign players.

  • Workers Lured By Open Source

    Patrick Chan, Chief Technology Advisor for IDC Asia-Pacific’s emerging technologies practice group, posted that a more dedicated effort needs to be introduced on the part of institutions in order to move universities in the same direction.

  • Growth Through Imitation

    We work in a very different environment now. Teams and networking are the heart of how we live. Sharing ideas and concepts which get developed through collaboration is a way of life. Open Source software is one of the most obvious examples; development through imitation and refinement for the good of all.

  • Challenging the Limits of Open Society

    In that essay, Eric S. Raymond, a software programmer, heralded the rise of the Linux operating system and the bottom-up, open-source, we-the-people world that it reflected. He wrote that old-style software was “built like cathedrals, carefully crafted by individual wizards or small bands of mages working in splendid isolation.” Open-source pointed to a new way: “a great babbling bazaar of differing agendas and approaches,” as he put it, “out of which a coherent and stable system could seemingly emerge only by a succession of miracles.”

    Mr. Raymond’s immediate subject was software, but his essay spoke for the age. It was a moment when democracy seemed on the march worldwide, when “the end of history” had been declared by Francis Fukuyama, when new tools called Web logs, or blogs, promised to empower the little guy. In that moment, as went the open-source technology, so went the world.

  • CIGNEX Announces an Alliance with Softway
  • Android

  • Events

    • On bootstrapping a community-run FOSS event

      On Saturday, April 10th, I was in Austin Texas for the inaugural Texas Linux Fest (TXLF), a community-run FLOSS conference. The idea to stage the show arose last August during OSCON, picked up steam in the fall, and in the end a little under 400 people turned out — including speakers and volunteers — which most considered a successful number for a first year event.

    • Open Source Search Developers and Industry Experts to gather in Prague for Inaugural Apache Lucene EMEA Conference

      Lucid Imagination, the commercial company for Apache Lucene and Solr open source search technologies, today announced details of the first conference in Europe dedicated to Lucene and Solr. The event will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, May 18th-21st.

    • LinuxFest 2010 Wrap Up From The Fedora Project Booth

      Over the two day event we handed out a little over 360 pieces of media, there was 700+ people on Saturday and 350+ on Sunday.

    • Bogota to host festival on open souce software

      Colombian capital Bogota on Saturday is hosting Latin America’s largest festival on freeware and open source software.

    • Cuba Will Host Latin American Free Software Installation Festival

      The national coordinator of the festival, Eduardo Estevez, told Prensa Latina news agency that all national communities of users of open source platforms will participate in the event.

      FLISOL is the largest advocacy event of free software in Latin America. It’s held since 2005 and since 2008 it adopted the fourth Saturday of April each year. Its main objective is to promote the use of free software, showing to the general public its philosophy, scope, progress and development.

  • Databases

    • Popular phpMyAdmin is on a roll

      If any open source application needs no introduction, it’s probably phpMyAdmin, the popular web interface to MySQL databases. MySQL is itself the most popular database system for web applications, and phpMyAdmin makes it easy to administer. phpMyAdmin lets database designers connect to MySQL servers, see all databases and tables they have permission to see, and perform actions on them, including creating and modifying table structure, inserting and updating data, import and export, and synchronizing data between servers.

  • Business

  • Open Access/Content

    • Judges rap Wiki-evidence in immigration cases

      Federal officials have quoted a questionable source in bids to kick foreigners out of Canada – Wikipedia. And judges are not amused.

      “Wikipedia is an internet Encyclopedia which anyone with Internet access can edit,” wrote one exasperated Federal Court judge, criticizing Ottawa’s filings in a case to remove a family of Turkish asylum seekers.

      “It is an open-source reference with no editorial control,” scoffed another judge, as he took federal agents to task for consulting Wikipedia before sending an immigrant back to Iran.

    • Open Source: Free the Data!

      O’Reilly’s goal now is to free the data. Something that will be easier said than done.

    • Opening up Ottawa

      The new open government is one which offers information in easy-to-organize formats. That is, making schedules or meeting minutes that used to be buried at the bottom of a .PDF into accessible, searchable data.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – WYGTYA – GPS (1/12/1998)


Microsoft is Contacting Publications, Asking Them to Add More Anti-Linux Slant

Posted in Apple, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 2:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Goodfellas

Summary: Microsoft is once again on a special tour wherein it pressures popular Web sites to include patent FUD against Android; Apple’s bullying of bloggers leads to dissent

YESTERDAY we wrote about HTC selling out to Microsoft. While there is not much to add (yet) to what we wrote, there are other opinions worth sharing here. Brian Proffitt writes about the impact of the Bilski case on Microsoft’s many software patents, arguing in part that:

I have often argued that the diversification of Linux has always been one of its big strengths: the richer the distribution ecosystem is, the richer the application set, and so forth.

Today we saw another example of why the decentralized nature of Linux is such a plus, when Microsoft revealed it believes Android infringes on its patents–a stick Microsoft was willing to use when it offered Taiwanese phone maker HTC the carrot of a yet another cross-licensing agreement.

[...]

I, for one, would be happy as a clam to see software patent portfolios get blown out of the water and let software companies compete in terms of the things that matter, rather than vague threats and insinuations.

As can be expected, there is a lot of coverage about the HTC deal in the mainstream press. Slashdot links to the press release from Microsoft and this report from IDG. People who bought Android phones from HTC are not happy, to say the least. One of our readers who bought such a phone earlier this year writes:

On a recommendation of a friend I tried Android, specifically with the HTC Hero. I was very impressed, not only at how much I could do, but how quickly I could do it.

So now we see a world where Microsoft does not need to deploy a phone or an OS. They can simply wait and then play a patent card in the hope they can cream royalties of the top of someone else’s success (and I think its agreed that HTC/Android combo is a great product)

Theres a great message to innovators out there: Dont create anything too popular or functional as you may find a hungry pair of Microsoft eyes watching you…..

Microsoft’s chief bully is still spreading FUD by contacting even more publications, not just his drones at CNET (Ina Fried). Here is an example from Engadget

Update: Microsoft deputy general counsel of intellectual property Horacio Gutierrez just sent us a statement saying that the company’s been “talking to several device manufacturers to address our concerns relative to the Android mobile platform.” We’re taking that to mean the same as above: Microsoft isn’t too interested in suing any of its Windows Mobile / Windows Phone partners, so it’s trying to work out patent license deals with those companies in advance of any nastiness. It’s an interesting strategy: patents forbid anyone from making, using, or selling your invention, so Redmond can protect its partners while still leaving open the possibility of a lawsuit with Google itself down the line. In fact, we’d almost say it seems like Microsoft’s agreement with HTC is as much of a threat to Google as Apple’s lawsuit — Redmond’s basically saying you can’t sell an Android device without paying a license fee, and we’d bet those fees are real close to the Windows Phone 7 license fee. Clever, clever — we’ll see how this one plays out. Here’s Horacio’s full statement:

Microsoft has a decades-long record of investment in software platforms. As a result, we have built a significant patent portfolio in this field, and we have a responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to ensure that competitors do not free ride on our innovations. We have also consistently taken a proactive approach to licensing to resolve IP infringement by other companies, and have been talking with several device manufacturers to address our concerns relative to the Android mobile platform.

Why would Microsoft take the initiative to ask publications to add more FUD like that? It’s very telling. They are trying to terrorise and thus to suppress adoption of Android by manufacturers. That’s a racket. We’ve seen Gutierrez doing this before.

“They are trying to terrorise and thus to suppress adoption of Android by manufacturers.”Let’s not forget that Apple is part of the attack on Android through HTC. Apple is quickly becoming more of a bully; we wrote about what it did to Gizmodo in posts such as:

There is a lot of media coverage about it [1, 2] and even a Dilbert cartoon. Pogson, who has been somewhat defensive of Apple so far, had his mind changed by this particular incident and he now considers Apple to be “evil”.

We should not ignore Apple any longer as the enemy of our enemy. Apple is not our friend. Three years ago, I enlightened my brother about the merits of GNU/Linux as compared to MacOS. For schools, there is not much comparison. Apple’s products cost much more than free software and hardware. They do not really work any better either. Schools do not need software whose supplier has made a deal with the devil to be allowed to run on Apple’s hardware.

Apple has just been sued by Elan Microelectronics (new article but possibly an older lawsuit [1, 2]).

The sale of Apple’s iPhone and iPad in the US is under threat after the US International Trade Commission initiated a formal investigation into the company for allegedly infringing a patent covering multi-touch technology.

The ITC, which has the power to ban the import and sale of products, said it was responding to a request from the Taiwanese touchscreen maker Elan Microelectronics, which has a patent for technology that detects the simultaneous presence of two or more fingers on a touchscreen or touchpad.

Apple violates many patents and so does Microsoft, which faces over 50 patent lawsuits (as of several months ago). Contrary to what they may say, Apple and Microsoft are not against patent trolls because they invest in the world's biggest patent troll.

Software Patents Imperialism

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 2:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“My message to the patent world is: Either get back to the doctrines of forces of nature or face the elimination of your system.” —Hartmut Pilch, Paraflows 06

Victoria

Summary: Further evidence that those supporting software patents are front groups of giant corporations (seeking to tighten a monopoly) and patent lawyers who treat software patents as additional income

FORTUNATELY for the world, software patents are illegal in the vast majority of places; there are ‘tricks’ for sneaking software patents in, but having them tested in court is another thing altogether.

Microsoft is all about software patents now that it sank into debt and it is trying to find a new business model (the old cash cows are dying along with the rest [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]). According to the NZ Herald, those who are lobbying for software patents in New Zealand are “multinationals” like Microsoft, which is connected to NZICT [1, 2, 3]. To quote from this new article:

Multinationals protest New Zealand’s removal of software patents

[...]

The New Zealand Information and Communications Technology Group (NZICT), whose members include Microsoft, IBM, Cisco and other multinationals as well as New Zealand software developers and exporters, says the committee got it wrong.

New Zealand should reject this type of imperialism with software patents. All these will do is stifle NZ developers and instead have them rely on binaries from abroad. Not only front groups of multinationals play this game though; as we pointed out several times before, patent lawyers too are thirsty for software patents because it’s just another type of patents that means more business to them (application, consultation, and litigation).

Here again is another new example of patent lawyers cheering software patents.

Meanwhile, software patents still appear to be going strong. Let’s take a look this month at a few software patents naming New England inventors.

They sure like saying “inventors”; they also say that software patents “protect” and promote “innovation” (although it is not clear how spending time filing and gardening paperwork contributes to innovation in software).

Here is another interesting post about ACTA and patents as well as a reminder that China has patent problems too.

Ms Lin writes: “The report in Shenzhen-based Jing Bao quoted Fang Zhen, marketing manager of Crastal Technology (Shenzhen) Company, saying that some of the company’s patented products were found to be copied overseas and then imported back to China.”

It is worth adding that this Chinese blog promotes patents, it doesn’t criticise them. Lawyers always bemoan a patent insufficiency.

Eye on Security: Microsoft Blamed for Windows Security Issues; GNU/Linux as Comparator

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 1:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Flotation level texture

Summary: Some links about security in Windows compared to GNU/Linux

Windows Security: is Microsoft innocent?

Until it can stand tall and proclaim it is doing just that, and perhaps more importantly the end user can believe as much, in the same way that they believe Apple and the various flavours of Linux, I am afraid that I cannot actually think of a single reason why I shouldn’t blame Microsoft until the cows come home.

‘Strong’ Passwords May Not Be All They’re Cracked Up to Be

Last year, Microsoft’s Hotmail service lost several thousand user passwords in just this way.

Compound Vulnerabilities

Between the patching, the re-re-reboots, the war against malware, and disasters like this one, wouldn’t the world be much further ahead to use GNU/Linux instead? If GNU/Linux lacks features that users of IT feel is important, they could spend their money on improving GNU/Linux instead of keeping that other OS alive, sometimes. All these billions could be put to better use.

Watch the author being trolled or possibly AstroTurfed by “amicus_curious”, who posts elsewhere under various names and acts as some sort of a PR/spin agent. Other new examples include the comments on this post (as well as many more).

For a long time M$ sold licences the same price everywhere but lately, in order to block un-licensed software and GNU/Linux, they have seriously cut prices in places like China. If SCOTUS decides that the first-sale rule applies to importations, M$ will face stiff competition by importations of its own products. M$ could respond by not selling in foreign markets, or cutting prices globally. Both would seriously impact the bottom line but would finally force the monopoly to compete on price everywhere and not just to stifle competition. It is silly to charge $100+ in the USA for stuff that sells for $3 in China. They could modify the EULA, perhaps (if this is not covered already), but on what basis would the BSA prosecute?

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