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Links 10/5/2010: Loads of GNU/Linux Gaming News, Mandriva Rumours

Posted in News Roundup at 4:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Comparisons

    • Mac OS X 10.6.3 vs. Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 Benchmarks

      Last week we delivered the first of our Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 benchmarks to much anticipation, but now we have the results for Apple’s Mac OS X 10.6.3 operating system to tack in too. In the first part of that Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu Linux performance examination, we looked closely at the OpenGL gaming performance across six different systems and a whole slew of tests. More articles are on the way looking at the performance and later in the week we already delivered some initial disk benchmarks. However, now it is time to see how Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, and Apple Mac OS X 10.6.3 compete with one another.

    • Boot race video: Ubuntu 10.04 Vs Windows 7

      sentvid passed me a linkto his admittedly “not very Scientific but end user perspective” boot race video that sees him pit clean installs of Ubuntu 10.04 and Windows 7 against one another.

    • Wine 1.1.44 vs Vista Benchmarks
  • Sony

    • Two more lawsuits levelled at Sony over the PS3 Linux debacle

      Sony is starting to come under serious fire over its latest Playstation 3 update (3.21), which saw the removal of the ‘Install other OS’ feature, and the denial of access to the Playstation Network and all online gaming for those that chose not to update (as is per the majority of PS3 updates). First came the class action lawsuit from Anthony Ventura of California, and now two more lawsuits have been levelled at Sony over the same issue.

    • Sony is Now Facing a Total of 3 Lawsuits Over Other OS Removal

      You shouldn’t act surprised to find out that Sony is being sued yet again over its decision to remove Linux support from its PS3 game console. Attorney Rebecca Call was the first lawyer to smell blood and find a disgruntled PS3 owner who was willing to file suit and go along with a class action status.

  • Server

    • SGI releases next-gen Altix ICE scale-out supercomputer

      The supercomputer uses a blade design to scale to up to 65,536 compute nodes, the firm said, while its open x86 architecture makes it relatively easy to deploy commercial, open-source or custom applications on standard Novell SUSE or Red Hat Linux operating systems.

  • Audiocasts

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

    • Guest Blog: Rares Aioanai gives a Kernel Review (Week 18)
    • Kernel Log: New stable kernels and drivers

      While new stable kernel releases seem to have become somewhat less frequent, they now include more changes. Although the most recent version of AMD’s proprietary graphics drivers finally work with X Server 1.7, NVIDIA’s drivers already work with version 1.8. Videos of the Linux Audio Conference and the Collaboration Summit provide insights into audio and kernel topics.


      A version of the proprietary GeForce driver, functional with X Server 1.8 after setting a special Xorg.conf option, was already available when the new X Server was released. Version 195.36.24 (x86-32, x86-64), which was released at the end of April, no longer requires this trick and also supports the GeForce GTX 470 and 480 models introduced in March.

  • Applications

    • Manage Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid) and Study Linux with Ailurus

      Ailurus is an open-source software that makes Ubuntu easier to use.
      With ailurus,you can manage system settings include nautilus,desktop,windows effect,network,sound,etc;you can install/remove applications which do not provide Debian packages at all;you can check you hardware information include motherboard,CPU,BIOS,Total memory;you can check the system version,desktop environment,host name,kernel version and so on;you can select the fastest repository,clean up system cache,study Linux skills …

    • Indicator Applet: Why I like it

      I know I tend to moan about a lot of things in my blog, sometimes I celebrate good work, well executed. Rarely do I get the opportunity to agree with the Ayatana/DX Ubuntu design direction. I may not agree with the group’s past choice of language communicating things to the community, but this is something I think it’s got mostly right.

      OK so what don’t I like about the old notification area? Well it’s an arbitrary parent-widget, this means that it’s a container for other widgets which are not internally defined but are defined outside. This results is very inconsistent behaviour and a real problem when your trying to keep tabs on design as a distro.

    • Custom wallpaper placement with anyPaper

      Today we continue on with our Wallpaper theme! You’ve already seen how to Manage your wallpaper in GNOME as well as how to set up a changing rotation of wallpapers with Wallpaper Drapes (see “Desktop Drapes for GNOME“). Now it’s time for something a bit different. Most wallpaper applets pretty much do the same thing: They will either place a picture on your desktop or manage multiple pictures that will change at a set interval. For the most part there is little variation in these tools. But one such tool offers a single addition to the standard wallpaper manager that sets it apart. That tool is anyPaper. And that feature allows you to place your image anywhere on your desktop you like. For those that use icons on their desktop, this is actually a most welcome feature (you’ll understand in a bit). And, unlike most tools, AnyPaper actually offers you a preview of what your desktop will look like.

    • You secretly love the command line, don’t you?
    • 5 Things Easier To Do In The Command Line [Linux]

      There are a lot of things easier to do with a command line then with a graphical user interface. That’s not to say doing things with a command line is intuitive – no, you will need to learn how to use the tools – but it is easier – that is to say, quick and simple to remember. A powerful, easy-to-use command line is a huge part of what makes Linux so powerful.

    • systemd Now Has a Web Site
    • Proprietary

      • Hulu and Adobe Not Friendly to 64 Bit Linux?

        No biggie. I’ll just bop on over to Hulu™ and watch it there. BUZZZZZ! Wrong! It seems that Hulu™ is having an issue with 64 bit Linux and the Adobe Flash® plugin. Attempting to play the video gives me this warm and fuzzy notice:

        Were sorry we are unable to stream videos to your system. This may be due to an Adobe software limitation on 64bit Linux systems.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • 8 Best Massively Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games (MMORPG) for Linux

        MMORPGs are really popular nowadays that they are played all over the world, and revenues are said to be more than US$1 billion a year since 2006. World of Warcraft (WoW) is currently the world’s most-subscribed MMORPG but its client only runs on Windows and Mac OS X platforms. So if you are using Linux, you may have to rely on Wine to play the game (see 10 Best Windows Games That Can Be Played on Linux). However, if you want to play MMORPGs that are native on Linux, check out this list that I’ve compiled…

      • At This Rate, Don’t Be Surprised If You See Steam Soon

        Just a few hours ago we reported on the progress by those within the Phoronix community working to get the Steam client running as much as possible based upon Valve’s Steam Linux binaries that are inconspicuously housed on their servers. By making some modifications to the Steam client binary and libraries, as of this morning they are up to the point of displaying the main Steam UI window. Just hours after that, the Steam Friends’ UI is now being partially drawn along with other windows.

      • Those Digging Into Steam On Linux Make More Progress

        If you’re not already aware, Valve’s Steam client and Source Engine are coming to Linux. It’s something we have been talking about for weeks now along with those in the Phoronix community via our forums and IRC. If you’re not up-to-date on our coverage, read Investigating The Steam Linux Client Continues and Here’s The First Screenshot Of The Linux Steam Client. However, if you are up to speed, here is the newest screenshot exhibiting the latest progress to the Steam Linux client.

      • I Don’t Think Games Have To Be Open Source
      • The State Of Mac And GNU/Linux Gaming – By Wolfire Games

        The present is also much better then 5 years ago and we see constant improvement each year.
        I very much agree with David’s post, specially about the fact that most GNU/Linux ports came way after the original Windows release, which harms the sales and in many cases lowers the game “worth” (if the port is made several years after the Windows release for example, and yeah it did happen many times).

      • Formula Retro
      • Why there is a Market for Linux Games

        Judging by that pie chart Linux users appear to make up almost 25% of the donations and their average donation amount is almost double that of the average Windows user donation. This means that of the 571,048$ donated thus far 142,762$ is from Linux users. But remember Linux users are cheap and their is no money in Linux game market – right.

      • Linux users the most generous? – “liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish”

        The Humble Indi Bundle is a revolutionary way of selling software which Wolfire Games are running for a week. It allows you to download a collection of great games (World of Goo, Aquaria, Gish, LagaruHD, Penumbra-Overture) for a price that YOU decide. The games are available for Linux, Mac or Windows, contain no DRM and you can even choose how your donation is distributed.

      • LinuX Gamers Live – A Revolution in Linux Gaming

        One of the reasons why people don’t shift to Linux platform is Gaming. Being having a large user-base, game titles are primarily programmed for Windows. Linux versions are available but only for handful of titles. WINE project has made it possible to play windows games on Linux but not without some anomalies. Due to such scenario, gaming under Linux has been limited. The Linux community has been aware of these problems infesting Linux adoption & have been encouraging developers to develop games for Linux.


        The games bundled are a mix of 2D & 3D, some having simple gameplay while others more challenging. The game mix considered is almost perfect & showcases the best fro Open Source World in form of TORCS, Nexuiz etc. The distro is suited for varied age levels & hence will please everyone. The games should play fine on most of the machines having a decent graphic card. I had a great time playing on my 24 inch monitor at full HD settings cranking up all the details. Inspite of running off a live DVD the games didn’t lag or stutter even once. Sound was great but I could not test multi channel support as my speakers are not in a good shape but online testimonials of people suggest no problem in surround channel mode either. Once I got down to play, I was hooked. Small or big both types of games are extremely addictive & will come handy when you have loads or even a couple of free minutes at your disposal. Anybody who says Linux doesn’t offers good games should definitely try this distro. Offcourse it can’t be compared to biggies on Windows platform but all one expects from gaming is recreation & Linux Gamers Live offers just that. Happy Gaming!

      • Three nice opensource games for Linux

        My today selection for Linux gamers are three nice opensource games, the games are

        * Go Ollie! : At first sight Go Ollie! looks like a game for kids, but once you play it you realize it can be fun for anyone, no matter what age.
        * Bos Wars : A futuristic real time strategy game (RTS)
        * Scorched 3D : A simple turn-based artillery game and also a real-time strategy game in which players can counter each others’ weapons with other creative accessories, shields and tactics.

      • Saving a penny — pirating the Humble Indie Bundle

        How do people pirate the bundle? When I say this bundle is DRM-free — I really mean DRM-free. Not only do the games themselves have no copy protection (not even a simple serial number check), but the Humble Indie Bundle website has limited copy protection. That means there are no download limits, everything is reachable on the command-line with ‘wget’, you can resume downloads, and do anything else you would expect to be able to do with a personal download link.

  • GNOME Desktop

    • Sprucing up the Linux desktop

      Gnome 3.0 is coming to give the Linux desktop a boost

      Gnome, the desktop environment favoured by the likes of Ubuntu Linux, is getting an overhaul. For users this means a number of things, including a new way of interacting with files and a new way of launching and managing applications.

      The existing Gnome desktop, version 2.x, is now close on eight years old.


      Gnome 3.0 is expected to be released in September this year. It will most likely find its way into mainstream Linux releases from October onwards.

  • Distributions

    • Distro-hopping notes

      I had a lot of time available to myself over the past week, as you might have guessed by my relative proliferation of posts. Some of that time was spent distro-hopping, although I had plenty more things to write about than just the flavor of the day.


      # Last but definitely not least, Slackware. Ah, Slackware. Slackware is the distro I really want to like, but every time I use it I am frustrated and befuddled and left feeling like a newb again. My run-in with Slax the other day was both the cause and the effect of trying out Slackware 13: I started with the Slax ISO, decided I wanted to build it from scratch with Slackware, became frustrated and then went back to Slax again. I know I need to try harder on this one; I shall have to look for some sort of howto that illustrates how to start at the command line and build up to a graphical environment, because that’s what I ultimately would like to do with Slack.

    • First look at CDlinux 0.9.6

      CDlinux is a well-crafted mini-distro which manages to pack a lot of functionality into a small image. It has the ability to function as an on-the-road desktop for people who want to carry their operating system in their pocket and it also has tools, such as the partition imaging software, which make it a good rescue CD. It’s fairly light on resources, making CDlinux feel like a smaller version of KNOPPIX and additional functionality can be added to the distro using Slackware packages, making CDlinux suitable for a wider range of tasks. The only thing I felt missing was an option to install the distribution to the local hard disk. While this could be done manually, I’m looking forward to seeing it as a feature of the system’s graphical installer. I think CDlinux fits in nicely with the family of other small distributions, such as SliTaz GNU/Linux and Damn Small Linux in the mini-distro niche.

    • Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • My successful PCLinuxOS 2010 Remaster

        PCLInuxOS 2010 has been released and is once again shinning at its best. Mylivecd is the new customized format of previous mklivecd and I wanted to give it a spin to make a remaster of my installed system. Though many report failure with remastering I managed to do it on my second attempt.

      • Rumors abound: Mandriva to be Sold
      • DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 353, 10 May 2010

        Mandriva Linux, a distribution that was one of the first to understand the concept of user-friendliness on the desktop, is apparently for sale and in negotiations with two potential buyers. That’s according to some unconfirmed reports that appeared on the Internet over the weekend

    • Red Hat Family

      • Open source software exec Bearden named an Entrepreneur-in-Residence

        He then served as president and chief operating officer for JBoss, the world’s leading open source middleware company, where he also came in contact with Terry College’s Chris Hanks, a management faculty member and director of the college’s entrepreneurship program.

    • Debian Family

      • Ubuntu

        • There’s Something About Ubuntu

          In the meantime, however, “I benefit because Debian can use Ubuntu packages with no problem,” Mack added. “I only wish the other distros would dump RPM and switch to .deb — there would be fewer packaging headaches.”

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 192

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 192 for the week May 2nd – 8th, 2010. In this issue we cover: Maverick is open for development, Call for Ubuntu User Days Instructors, Window indicators, New Ubuntu Regional Membership Boards, Maverick UDS Translations Sessions, Patch Day Success, Ubuntu Open Week en Español closes on high note, Ubuntu Open Week – Lucid: Community, Canonical, Collaboration, Call For Nominations: Ubuntu Women Leader Leadership Committee, Ubuntu Server and Apache Tomcat – supporting MuleSoft, Full Circle Podcast #6: Mark’s Space Brain from the Future, and much, much more!

        • Ubuntu 10.04 marks 5 years of Ubuntu

          With the release of Ubuntu 10.04 I marked 5 years of Ubuntu usage and involvement.

          During these years there were UPs and DOWNs but in general I have to say, that I was right in 2005 to switch from Gentoo Linux to Ubuntu Linux.

          In 2005 Oliver Grawert gave me a Ubuntu 5.04 prerelease CD in my hand and told me I should try it, even when he knew that I was a Gentoo Linux addict. I tried it on my company laptop (HP NC6000) and it was working out of the box, without any glitches these days.

          And after this I started to work on Ubuntu and for Ubuntu. After my first “virtual” meeting with Mark I was convinced that Ubuntu has potential to overrule the big 2 distros (RH and SuSE). I dreamed about the possibility that we will have an enterprise ready Linux distribution for free.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) on My Optiplex GX260

          Once this is done, go ahead and enable desktop effects. If all went well, you should have all the compiz bells and whistles!

        • Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx Review

          Almost all types of hardware and configurations are compatible with Ubuntu, and Ubuntu includes a hardware checker to ensure that all your hardware is working as it should be. I would doubt this tool would be needed in most cases, as Ubuntu works out of the box most of the time, but it’s there should you need it.

          So there you have it, possibly the most consumer friendly version of Ubuntu yet. Yes, there’s a bit of a learning curve here and there (especially when installing programs, plug-ins) and you do start to miss the “wizard” to guide you through complex operations, but aside from that, Ubuntu makes a great Windows alternative for those of you who just want to get on with things.

        • Ubuntu 10.04: Ten Days In

          I’ve been quite happy with Lucid all in all. It’s a solid LTS release that incorporates a number of new features alongside impressive stability. If you haven’t upgraded yet, you’re missing out.

        • ‘We positioned Ubuntu as a version of Linux that was personal and non-technical’

          Mark Shuttleworth, Founder, Canonical and Ubuntu Linux shared his thoughts with Srikanth RP on the increasing significance of open source, the roadmap for the cloud and why he thinks Ubuntu will succeed on the desktop, where other equally famed competitors have failed.

        • UDS-M: Design, design, design!

          Ivanka Majic, the Canonical design team manager, held a design team plenary in the auditorium at the Ubuntu Developer Summit where she talked about the design team as a whole, what they do and how they do it. As this is the first UDS that has a dedicated design track, many people in the community haven’t had a lot to do with the design team and perhaps are unsure of their inner workings.

        • How Old Are Ubuntu Users?

          Notably, however, one of the data sets from the Ubuntu Forums implies that a not-insignificant portion of the community is older than 50. That conclusion is backed up by anecdotal evidence of the presence of seniors among a group where we might not expect to find many, given that they were contemplating retirement before Linux even hit the desktop.

          Different authors have written about why Linux can work for the elderly, and an “Ubuntu for Seniors” project has even been registered on Launchpad, although it appears dormant. Nonetheless, the retired crowd seems to be an important part of the Ubuntu demographic, even though it may often be overlooked.

        • Variants

          • Ubuntu with a K

            There are also parts of GNOME that I love, kubuntu

            Ubuntu still lacks a powerful desktop. KDE still lacks simple applications like the Ubuntu Software Center and commercial solutions like the Ubuntu One Music Store. Ubuntu could bring to KDE what it lacks, and vice-versa.

          • Linux-Based Peppermint OS One Ships

            The team behind the cloud-based Peppermint OS flavor of Linux announces the availability of Version 1.0 of the technology.

            The team behind the cloud-based Peppermint OS flavor of Linux has announced the availability of Version 1.0 of the technology.

            Indeed, in a news release and related material on the Peppermint OS Website, Shane Remington, a core member of the Peppermint development team as Web developer for the Peppermint OS, said Peppermint OS One will be available by noon on May 10. The OS had been in beta up to this point, but is now ready for prime time, he said.


            For his part, Remington said Peppermint OS One is the only operating system shipping with Seesmic Web by default.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-ready, open-platform ARM9/DSP SBC costs $89

      Four distributors have begun shipping the open platform, Linux-ready Hawkboard single board computer (SBC) for as low as $89. Based on the Texas Instruments OMAP-L138 system-on-chip (SoC), which combines an ARM9 core and a DSP, the community-driven Hawkboard project is structured on the TI-sponsored BeagleBoard project, and is similarly designed for hobbyists and general testing.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Frankenstein’s Netbook

        Unless you have a real reason to want XP (games… sigh), or OS X on non-Apple hardware (games… heh), you really are just setting yourself up for a headache down the road. Ubuntu installs fast, is very straightforward, small and netbook-friendly. Oh and there are even proprietary games for it these days too.

        I look forward to the day when $199 ARM-based netbooks with Ubuntu flood the market ;)

      • Hands-on with Ubuntu’s new Unity netbook shell

        During a keynote at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Belgium, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth unveiled a new lightweight user interface shell called Unity. The new shell is designed to use screen space more efficiently and consume fewer system resources than a conventional desktop environment. It will be a key component of the Ubuntu Netbook Edition and a new instant-on computing platform called Ubuntu Light.

      • Unity, and Ubuntu Light

        The fruit of that R&D is both a new desktop experience codebase, called Unity, and a range of Light versions of Ubuntu, both netbook and desktop, that are optimised for dual-boot scenarios.

      • Canonical Has An “Ubuntu Light” Spin For OEMs

Free Software/Open Source

  • Climate Lab Harnesses the Power of Open Source to Combat Climate Change

    Climate Lab, which has its roots in the problems the World Bank was having organizing the mounds of data it was collecting on climate change, is not only using open source tools to organize, collaborate and syndicate data, but the very data itself is open source.

  • iDes Leverages Open Source to Deliver Customizable solutions

    Open source software is the heart of many successful businesses, and like anything else has advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the client’s requirements and budget, iDES advises clients as to what technology to adopt.

  • Cooperation with OSBF & OSR Group: WeWebU Expands Open Source Network

    Furthermore, on its way to an Open Source vendor WeWebU works together with Prof. Dr. Dirk Riehle, leader of the OSR Group at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Thus, they quickly can integrate newest trends and research results into their development process. Prof. Dr. Riehle knows the advantages of an Open Source strategy: „We see that Open Source marketing and development models are ahead of traditional closed source approaches. Open Source allows software product companies to go to market faster with a better product and at lower costs.” With this method, WeWebU wants to be up-to-date and close to the users’ requirements as well.

  • BlendELF 0.9 Beta, Compact Open Source Game Engine

    BlendELF is a work in progress, compact open source 3d game engine aimed towards independent game developers for quick prototyping and game / virtual environment creation.

  • Sprint needs to learn a lesson from open source

    It’s very interesting that this is the case seeing as how the same phone has been rooted with 2.1. Or, even better, I read a post on another site of man who successfully ported Android 2.1 to an iPhone 2G. But what exactly does all of this have to do with open source? I knew you’d get to that question.

    If you swim with the open source fishes long enough you start seeing the patterns develop surrounding development – specifically bug fixes and update releases. Ubuntu is a perfect example. Every 6 months Canonical ships a new version of their distribution. Sometimes those releases are epic in scale (such as 9.10 to 10.04). Yet they still manage to get those releases out on time. And, as you continue to use that release, you find that updates come very shortly after a bug is discovered.

  • Smart Grid Trends Are All Up

    Industry-wise, this week has seen a major acquisition announcement – over $1 billion – ABB taking Ventyx, as well as Honeywell (News – Alert)acquiring Akuacom. The latter is particularly interesting for the Open Source angle. Wearing my telecom hat, Open Source has been a big deal in the voice space, and it’s starting to find new homes, including smart grid. Followers of our portal will know there have been interesting developments this week on other fronts, such as wireless networks, electric vehicles and renewable energy initiatives.

  • How to truly fuel the adoption of Open Source

    A guest post by Ms. Darlene Parker from Opentechexchange. Ms Parker is actively involved in the spread of Linux over here on the African continent. She is an expert in FOSS deployment.

  • Events

    • Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada wins with virtualization

      Mobility, social media, open source and virtualization are four keys to productivity and cost savings, especially for small and mid-sized firms.

      This was the consensus of panelists who spoke at a recent roundtable organized by the Direct Engagement Show.

    • Free beer ‘n brainstorming session returns

      Open source evangelist Obsidian Systems, in partnership with ITWeb, will host the next quarterly Free Beer Session, to explore the potential of open source solutions for organisations.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla releases Thunderbird 3.1 Beta 2

      The Mozilla developers have released the second beta for what will become version 3.1 of their popular open source Thunderbird email and news client, code named “Lanikai”. According to the developers, the development release is aimed at discovering “possible problems caused by the changes in the underlying platform”.

    • Mitchell Baker on handing control to Firefox users

      Mitchell Baker, the woman behind Firefox, told Click that customisation tools such as add-ons have helped it take on the competition.

  • SaaS

    • Why IBM’s New Cloud Lab Is A Good Idea

      While there isn’t going to be a specific focus on open source at the new lab, it won’t be a surprise to see open source cloud advancements come from it.

    • Servoy Simplifies SaaS with Open Source Servoy 5.2

      Servoy chose the AGPL as the license for this release because of its simplicity and openness. The AGPL license is approved by the Open Source Initiative, making it widely accepted with both corporations, governments and educational institutions.

  • Phipps

    • Software freedom matters, and I intend to prove it

      That’s all fine in theory, but does it actually work? I intend to find out. Starting this week, I’m joining ForgeRock as chief strategy officer. They are a company building an enterprise integration and identity platform using some superb code that has been set aside in the acquisition of Sun by Oracle. Customers worldwide rely on OpenSSO; ForgeRock will be offering them the option to stay with it (renamed OpenAM for trademark reasons) rather than needing to re-architect their systems to use a different product.

    • New Week, New Column, New Job
  • Oracle

    • Beware of Proprietary Drift

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced yesterday a campaign to collect a clear list of OpenOffice.Org extensions that are FaiF, to convince the OO.o Community Council to list only FaiF extensions, and to find those extensions that are proprietary software, so that OO.o extension developers can focus of their efforts on writing replacements under a software-freedom-respecting license.

    • FSF launches site for free OpenOffice extensions

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has announced that it will maintain a list of free software extensions for the OpenOffice.org open source office suite. Discussing the announcement, FSF executive director Peter Brown said, “OpenOffice.org is free software, and an important contribution to the free software community. However, the program offers the user a library of extensions, and some of them are proprietary. Distributing OpenOffice.org in the usual way has the effect of offering users the non-free extensions too.”


      The OpenOffice.org Community Council has since responded to the FSF, saying that they “believe passionately that FOSS delivers better software – including extensions, but that users must be free to make the comparison and reach their own conclusion,” adding that, the council “regrets that the FSF was unable to accept our compromise proposals for a more clearly signposted extensions repository.”

    • Much ado about nothing

      When I was freshly elected at the OpenOffice.org’s Community Council the Free Software Foundation approached us with a question related to our extensions web site. Basically they felt that we should not be hosting non Free Software extensions and requested we take those down otherwise they would open their own extensions site.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Koha community squares off against commercial fork

      Koha is the world’s first open source system for managing libraries (the books and periodical variety, that is), and one of the most successful. In the ten years since its first release, Koha has expanded from serving as the integrated library system (ILS) at a single public library in New Zealand to more than 1000 academic, public, and private libraries across the globe. But the past twelve months have been divisive for the Koha community, due to a familiar source of argument in open source: tensions between community developers, end users, and for-profit businesses seeking to monetize the code base. As usual, copyrights and trademarks are the legal sticks, but the real issue is sharing code contributions.

  • Government

  • Health

  • Licensing

    • Servoy’s Web platform goes open source

      Aleman said he chose the AGPL as the license for this release because of its simplicity and because of the hosted nature of many Servoy-based programs. The AGPL requires source code be made available for derivative works that are hosted as a network service. Thus, the AGPL encourages ISVs hoping to build software-as-a-service applications to engage with companies like Servoy for a commercial license.

  • Openness

    • The open source hardware culture

      Open source hardware, aka open hardware, is an extension of the open source culture. Hardware that is designed for free, in the same way as open source software, is known as open source hardware or open hardware. The research and development information, like schematics, bill of materials (BOM) and PCB layout of an open source hardware design is open to all.


  • Finance

    • AP IMPACT: Market gains set up CEO pay bonanza
    • Goldman Sachs Robbed the EU By Way of Greece

      Membership in the EU comes at a price. That price is a limit on deficits. This aspect of the EU treaty was meant to insure the solvency of its member nations and so support the Euro currency itself. No member can unilaterally revalue its currency as it is, by treaty, an abstraction of the net worth of the various member’s ability to back it. This severely limits the unilateral options for dealing with sovereign debt by member countries, which in turn opened up unusual opportunities for member countries to be exploited by international banking.

      While there are treaty limits on debt incurred by member countries, there are no constraints on banks lending to them. What evolved in the Greek sovereign debt crisis is a massive short opportunity on the Euro, had you known it was developing. And who would know outside of Greek government and the banking and finance community like Goldman Sachs or JP Morgan?

    • Stock Market Collapse: More Goldman Market Rigging?

      The shorts circled like sharks in the Greek bond market, following a highly suspicious downgrade of Greek debt by Moody’s on Monday. Ratings by private ratings agencies, long suspected of being in the pocket of Wall Street, often seem to be timed to cause stocks or bonds to jump or tumble, causing extreme reactions in the market. The Greek downgrade was unexpected because the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund had just pledged 120 billion Euros to avoid a debt default in Greece. Strategically-timed ratings downgrades of this sort are so suspicious that Indian market regulator SEBI recently created a stir by asking the rating agencies operating in India for periodic reporting concerning their fees and rating norms.

      Markets were roiled further on Thursday, when the U.S. stock market suddenly lost 999 points, and just as suddenly recovered two-thirds of that loss. It appeared to be such a clear case of tampering that Maria Bartiromo blurted out on CNBC, “That is ridiculous. This really sounds like market manipulation to me.”

    • Greek Debt Woes Ripple Outward, From Asia to U.S.

      The fear that began in Athens, raced through Europe and finally shook the stock market in the United States is now affecting the broader global economy, from the ability of Asian corporations to raise money to the outlook for money-market funds where American savers park their cash.

    • The Greek spirit of resistance turns its guns on the IMF

      Years of national denial about looming bankruptcy have turned to resentment as Greece is told how it must tackle its debt crisis

    • Germany’s Merkel acknowledges “bitter defeat”

      German Chancellor Angela Merkel abandoned hopes Monday of pushing through tax cuts for Europe’s biggest economy after what she called a “bitter defeat” in an election overshadowed by the Greek debt crisis. She said her government would now concentrate on keeping Germany’s debt down.

    • Disgruntled Germans go to polls with Merkel’s coalition under threat

      The UK has been so immersed in political fever that another highly significant election has gone almost unnoticed. When Germans go to the polls in state elections today, at stake will be not only the future of Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition in Berlin, but also the direction of Europe’s biggest economy.

    • EU to get tough with hedge funds and private equity

      The European parliament is expected to toughen regulations for hedge funds and private equity despite UK and US opposition

    • E.U. Details $957 Billion Rescue Package

      European leaders agreed on Monday to provide a huge rescue package of nearly $1 trillion in a sweeping effort to combat the debt crisis that has engulfed Europe and threatened markets around the world.

    • The Robert Bennett lesson: All incumbents beware
    • Fed taking steps to unload assets without triggering meltdown

      Having waged a battle against financial mayhem for the past two years, the Federal Reserve is tentatively declaring victory. As it guaranteed debt and swapped cash for all sorts of assets, the Fed’s balance sheet grew — from about $850 billion in assets before the crisis to about $2.3 trillion this spring. The binge included the purchase of $1.25 trillion of mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    • Fannie Mae seeks $8.4B in aid after 1Q loss

      Fannie Mae has again asked taxpayers for more money – this time $8.4 billion – after reporting another steep loss for the first quarter. The taxpayer bill for rescuing Fannie and its sibling Freddie Mac has grown to $145 billion – and the final tally could be much higher.

    • Reid seeks to fast-track financial overhaul bill

      But Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) remained on the deserted Senate floor last Tuesday evening, looking sullen. The Senate had just approved July 9, 2010, as “Collector Car Appreciation Day.” What it had not done for days was make headway on a 1,400-page bill to overhaul the nation’s financial regulations.

    • Payday lenders and check cashers fight financial reform legislation in Congress

      Payday lenders and check cashers blanketed Capitol Hill last week to challenge the scope of the financial reforms under debate in Congress and combat the industry’s reputation as the pariahs of the financial system.

      During the “Hill Blitz” organized by the Financial Service Centers of America, a trade group, about 40 industry executives pushed to exempt check cashing from the purview of a proposed bureau that would oversee consumer financial products. Meanwhile, Democrats launched a new effort to contain the industry by limiting the number of payday loans that consumers can take out.

    • Senate Votes For Wall Street; Megabanks To Remain Behemoths

      A move to break up major Wall Street banks failed Thursday night by a vote of 61 to 33.

      Three Republicans, Richard Shelby of Alabama, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and John Ensign of Nevada, voted with 30 Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, in support of the provision. The author of the pending overall financial reform bill in the Senate, Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, voted against it. (See the full roll call.)

    • Is Your Senator a Bankster?

      The one main benefit to the financial reform effort so far is that it helps further do away with the false paradigms of “left” or “right” and “Democrat” or “Republican” – fewer and fewer people are falling for those lies anymore. Try to get an ideological conservative to explain why Republicans love spending and so eagerly give welfare to banks. Try to get your local liberal to explain why it was a good idea to make backroom deals with abhorrent corporations and drill, baby, drill. Heck, even try to get a Tea Partier to explain choosing bailout-lover Sarah Palin to keynote their convention, especially when that movement once had at least some pre-astroturf roots in protesting government giveaways.

    • Balance in the Washington Post

      The essence of his piece was that Wall Street lobbyists had been banking on the Financial Regulatory Reform bill getting pared down behind closed doors as it got closer to a vote. Over the course of 900 words or so Dennis quoted one lobbyist after another talking about how politicians were getting too emotional about this whole ruined-economy thing, and were proceeding with “crazy” and “insanely unproductive” proposals.

    • A Rich New Poverty Measure

      Most of us dislike the official poverty lines used to determine who, exactly, qualifies as poor. Most of us can recite at least five reasons why these measures (based on a mid-1960s assessment of the costs of a minimal food budget) are narrow, out of date and downright misleading.

    • It’s Time for the Big Banks to Spin Off their Craps Tables

      To make mattes worse, all this gambling is currently supported by the Federal Reserve and backed by the taxpayer guarantee. If I lose my money when Angelina has her kid, I lose. When the big bank bids go awry, the taxpayer can be stuck with the bill in the form of big bank bailouts. As financial reform advances in the Senate, it’s clear that the top priority for legislator is to make banking boring again.

    • Computer Trades Are Focus in Wall Street Plunge

      Investigators seeking an explanation for the brief stock market panic last week said Sunday that they were focusing increasingly on how a controlled slowdown in trading on the New York Stock Exchange, meant to bring about stability, instead set off uncontrolled selling on electronic exchanges.

    • Federal Reserve opens credit line to Europe

      The Federal Reserve late Sunday opened a program to ship U.S. dollars to Europe in a move to head off a broader financial crisis on the continent.

    • Obama Small Business Lending Bill Headed To Congress

      The Obama administration has sent Congress a proposal to create a $30 billion support program to unfreeze credit for the nation’s small businesses.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – SF – Aviation Safety (1/9/2001)

Microsoft to Pay More for Mississippi Antitrust Case; Tennessee Becomes Latest American EDGI Victim

Posted in Africa, America, Antitrust, Courtroom, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 11:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Loose lips
World War 2 propaganda poster

Summary: The mainstream press refuses to state the obvious while Microsoft turns one state after another into a Microsoft Windows/Office indoctrination facility

UNITED STATES officials never learn, or maybe their predecessor never learn from history. The same company which abused the US market for many years (later to be found guilty) is now collecting fees and imprisoning the very same people whom it claims to have compensated.

We will start today’s post with the news that Mississippi lawyers will receive $10 million for fighting Microsoft and winning.

A Mississippi judge has upheld millions of dollars in attorneys’ fees for handling a state lawsuit against computer software manufacturer, Microsoft.

Hinds County Chancellor, Denise Owens, dismissed the challenge filed by state auditor, Stacy Pickering, over $10 million in attorneys’ fees.

We previously wrote about the Mississippi antitrust case in:

Common sense ought to indicate that Mississippi won’t do business with Microsoft again. If someone sells you a faulty car under false pretenses, would you return to the same person to buy your next car? It makes no sense. In this case, Microsoft did more than sell a faulty product; it also eliminated competition in the car industry by breaking the law and then overcharged for the car. A decade or more later we have better options in the market, including BSD and GNU/Linux distributions which are very mature, reliable, and affordable. States should start deploying these, but Microsoft stifles such initiatives by monopolistic dumping.

Watch the public-elected officials as they crawl back into Microsoft’s bed right after receiving compensation (having fought for years in court). Gov. Phil Bredesen sells out and sells his citizens to a convicted monopolist. He is the latest among more than a dozen governors, who one by one decided to participate in Microsoft’s ‘American EDGI’.

What is American EDGI?

That’s what we call the US equivalent (more or less) of EDGI, which Microsoft publicly calls “Unlimited Potential” (yes, it’s a euphemism). Here is the latest new example of “Unlimited Potential” in action.

The YWCA Cass Clay has received the third year of funding from the Unlimited Potential – Community Technology Skills grant program from Microsoft.

Watch the headline. It says “Microsoft donates $205,000 to Cass-Clay YWCA”. What an abuse of the word “donates”. Companies don’t donate, they only pretend to donate (they have shareholders after all) in order to accrue value later on. It’s mostly about blocking Free software in this case.

Now, watch Lance Whitney calling another element of EDGI (software dumping) “free” and playing along with the marketing sham. Only after seeing this article did we find out who Lance Whitney actually is. Based on a very recent article of his (see disclosure), “He’s a contributing editor for Microsoft TechNet Magazine and writes for other computer publications and Web sites.”

That ought to explain self-deception at the very least (like self-censorship).

Here is another EDGI-reminiscing deal which Microsoft has just struck in Texas:

Texas State’s College of Education announced a partnership last week with Microsoft to develop a pilot program for preparing public school teachers to use the 21st century classroom.

Texas State’s College of Education ought to offer education, not indoctrination. Later on we’ll show that Gates is doing something similar to schools these days. They capture the minds of the next generation this way.

Going back to Gov. Phil Bredesen, watch how Microsoft is exploiting the state of Tennessee for indoctrination, with the government’s consent even:

i. Elevate America a great place to begin

On Wednesday, Gov. Phil Bredesen signed a deal with Microsoft Corp. to offer Tennessee residents 25,875 vouchers for free online technology training. The long-term economic value of this public-private partnership should not be underestimated. Employers are demanding higher levels of computer skills. The Elevate America partnership with the Tennessee Department of Labor is a great opportunity for Tennessee residents to acquire these important job skills in a convenient, no-cost online venue.

ii. State, Microsoft Team For Free Tech Training

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gov. Phil Bredesen said that Tennessee is teaming up with Microsoft to provide free technology training to people across the state.

iii. State residents can pursue free Microsoft technology training

Gov. Phil Bredesen today announced that Tennessee will join forces with Microsoft in an innovative public-private partnership to provide free technology training to people across the state, a news release states.

iv. Bredesen Unveils Partnership With Microsoft To Offer Technology Training In Tennessee

Through Elevate America, Microsoft will work with the Tennessee Department of Labor to distribute 25,875 vouchers for free, online technology training and certification.

v. Career Center Offers Vouchers For Elevate America

Governor Bredesen announced that Microsoft will be bringing their innovative Elevate America program to Tennessee. Microsoft and the Tennessee Department of Labor will be distributing almost 26,000 free vouchers for online technology training and certification

What does that do to participants really? It only turns them into clients of Microsoft using ‘skills’ that even kids under 10 get qualified and certified for (true story and there is a new audiocast on the subject, titled “I earned my Microsoft Certification Badge when I was 11″).

Using a new press release, Microsoft is looking for other companies to help this American EDGI sham, exploiting a crisis for self enrichment and power over the most vulnerable people. The Seattle press plays along and so do some other publications which name Orange County as a victim of this sham:

Orange County’s unemployed workers snapped up most of the free online courses offered last month by Microsoft as part of its Elevate America program, reports the state Employment Development Department.

“Free online courses,” eh? So someone just pays for bandwidth which is used to make people dependent on Microsoft. Are these bandwidth costs being covered by the state so that Microsoft can sit back and just watch how the government becomes an extension of the abusive monopoly? More importantly, are all journalists naive enough to not see what is happening here?

“Once in a while there is a journalist who explores and uncovers the truth, but the resultant report gets washed aside by massive amounts of PR-esque fake ‘news’.”Well, a very recent study showed that the majority of news (especially local news) is written by PR people and ‘dressed up’ a little for publication. As we stressed many times before (along with examples and new proof), Microsoft's control of the national press is very great in the United States, which is how they get their way and overwhelm truth/logic with spin. Once in a while there is a journalist who explores and uncovers the truth, but the resultant report gets washed aside by massive amounts of PR-esque fake ‘news’.

According to TechFlash (also in Microsoft's pocket), Microsoft is outsourcing its viral video campaigns at the moment.

A couple months ago we told you about an unique promotion from the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce in which they asked small business owners to produce a short video touting how Microsoft’s Office 2010 boosts productivity at their companies

More fake ‘fan’ videos, eh?

According to this new blog post (blogs are sometimes more reliable than news sites these days), MSNBC (Microsoft-NBC) and Microsoft are now acquiring Today.com, which will possibly become another fake ‘news’ site.

According to the current Whois record for Today.com, it looks like Microsoft recently acquired the domain name Today.com, and it now forwards to MSNBC’s Today Show website. Prior to Microsoft’s ownership, it appeared to be registered by a company called Marksmen, Inc. which has been known to acquire domain names on behalf of large companies like Microsoft. Prior to that, it was privately registered, and just before that, Domain Capital was shown as the registrant.

“Fending Off Microsoft, Google Invests In TV Ad Startup,” says another article. Google’s role as a gateway to many news sites is also a serious issue which we’ll address at a later date. It’s a global problem.

Two weeks ago we wrote about Microsoft exploiting poor people in South Africa using an EDGI-like action and this currently gets published in the ‘news’ sites of South Africa (feeding on US ‘news’ sites for material), still full of spin and nonsense.

This was one of Microsoft’s biggest equity equivalent deals seen in South Africa to date and was part of its broad-based black economic empowerment (B- BBEE) programme.

How come nobody dares to explain Microsoft’s real motives? In this case, Microsoft is blocking use of Free/libre software. It also pretends that putting a retail price tag on some zeros and ones constitutes huge and generous donation and then makes a public relation scene out of the whole thing.

“It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not.”

Bill Gates

Symantec Lies About GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Security, Windows at 9:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kent Hovind mug shot
Symantec: the Kent Hovind of security?
(mug shot of Kent Hovind courtesy of Escambia
County Sheriff’s Office after his arrest)

Summary: In order to sell some products, Symantec spreads GNU/Linux fear based on misinformation

EVERY once in a while Symantec aims its FUD pistol at some innocent element of computing which Symantec claims has a problem (and Symantec of course offers a solution to this problem). We have already explained this business strategy (using examples that misuse Free software [1, 2]), which characterises many quacks and pseudo-science. That’s why we put Kent Hovind at the top, for those who still wonder.

An issue which we discussed earlier today in IRC is the latest stunt from Symantec, which is probably best deconstructed and explained by Slashdot user “superapecommando” who submits:

The latest MessageLabs Intelligence Report from Symantec Hosted Services is filled with interesting and useful information regarding the current state of malware and e-mail borne threats as well as the trends over time. Of particular interest to me is the assertion in the report that “any given Linux machine is five times more likely to be sending spam than any given Windows machine.”

A pretty clear case of sensationalist metrics from a company which wants to sell their hosted security solutions to Linux box admins. But one interesting thing that comes out of the story is that many of the security researchers believe that misconfigured POSTFIX and SENDMAIL installations are cloaking the actual amount of spam coming from infected Windows hosts.

Desktops that unleash vast amounts of SPAM actually run Windows and one in two Windows PCs is believed/estimated to be a zombie (either active or not). GNU/Linux drives many mail servers, so if it obeys a request from a Windows zombie, then it will deliver SPAM. Should GNU/Linux therefore be blamed? Of course not. It’s just very good at delivering mail.

“GNU/Linux drives many mail servers, so if it obeys a request from a Windows zombie, then it will deliver SPAM.”Quoting Symantec a little further from its ‘report’ (which assumes bogus numbers about the market share of GNU/Linux), “by calculating a ratio of spam from a given operating system compared to the market share, we can get a “spam index” which shows relative to its market share, the likelihood that a particular computer is sending spam, based on its operating system. In the current spam climate, this index shows that relative to its market share, any given Linux machine is five times more likely to be sending spam than any given Windows machine…”

Another translation was sent to us by a reader who says: “Despite a total lack of evidence and being unable to detect the source OS of spam, we conclude that Linux machines are sending more SPAM because there are less of them.”

As our IRC logs will show later today (fragment posted below), there are even better explanations for that.

Techrights logo

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: May 9th, 2010

Join us now at the IRC channel.

tessier__ http://www.v3.co.uk/v3/news/2262681/botnets-exploit-linux-owners May 10 09:29
tessier__ Someone is smoking crack. May 10 09:29
tessier__ crap May 10 09:31
schestowitz Windows is not used much for E-mail May 10 09:31
tessier__ There is something fishy about that website May 10 09:31
schestowitz Which one? May 10 09:31
schestowitz V3? May 10 09:31
tessier__ Not intentionally, no. But that’s what the botnets are doing with Windows: sending mail May 10 09:31
tessier__ Yeah May 10 09:31
schestowitz VNUNEt? May 10 09:31
tessier__ Have you heard of v3 before? May 10 09:31
tessier__ I never have. May 10 09:31
schestowitz Yes May 10 09:31
schestowitz Linux relays spam May 10 09:32
schestowitz It runs mail servers May 10 09:32
schestowitz It does what it’s supposed to do May 10 09:32
schestowitz Which is to relay requests May 10 09:32
tessier__ I cannot post a comment on that site. The captcha does not work. No matter what you put in there it does not accept it. May 10 09:32
tessier__ Linux by default is not an open relay. May 10 09:32
schestowitz I wonder what sends those requests though May 10 09:32
tessier__ No distro ships their mail servers that way. May 10 09:32
schestowitz It’s spammers May 10 09:32
tessier__ it will deliver the spam to you that someone injected via a Windows box though. May 10 09:33
schestowitz They use open relays May 10 09:33
schestowitz Running Linux because it’s better May 10 09:33
tessier__ Open relays are hard to find these days. May 10 09:33
schestowitz They get blacklisted May 10 09:33
tessier__ And spammers don’t run open relays either. They don’t want other spammers stealing their resources. May 10 09:33
schestowitz What was that list that gather IPs of spam relays? May 10 09:33
schestowitz many services used to look it up and in 2008 it had sustainability issues May 10 09:33
tessier__ Whenever I have investigated IP addresses that were sending me spam it was Windows boxes. May 10 09:33
tessier__ There are lots of DNSBLs May 10 09:34
tessier__ And they operate quite successfully May 10 09:34
tessier__ SORBS is one of the big ones these days May 10 09:34
schestowitz I can’t recall the one I think about. Articles about it were widespread 2 years ago. May 10 09:34
*schestowitz creates http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Facebook May 10 09:35
Techrights Title: Facebook – Techrights .::. Size~: 12.91 KB May 10 09:35
tessier__ There have been quite a few May 10 09:35
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[popey] Mark proposes that 10.10 is released on Sunday 10th October 2010. Where 101010 = 42 = Meaning of Life / Universe / Everything! May 10 09:37
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[nsisodiya] need a student volunteer for modifying C++ book #schoolos May 10 09:40
*benJIman has quit (Ping timeout: 252 seconds) May 10 09:42
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[popey] There will be no public ISO of #Ubuntu Light with Unity, but will be tailored specifically for OEMs. May 10 09:49
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[davidgerard] From @cracked – 5 Insane File Sharing Panics from Before the Internet – http://tinyurl.com/2ubthnw May 10 09:53
Techrights Title: 5 Insane File Sharing Panics from Before the Internet | Cracked.com .::. Size~: 81.74 KB May 10 09:53
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[satipera] Liberal Democrat negotiations with Labour look likely if Brown goes quickly. May 10 09:55
*narendra (~79f5e1b0@gateway/web/freenode/x-xaqdkqksysommyyc) has joined #boycottnovell May 10 10:08
narendra where I can upload secrect document anonymousy ? May 10 10:08
narendra wikileaks is not working i think !! May 10 10:08
tessier__ http://موقع.وزارة-الاتصالات.مصر/Default.aspx May 10 10:16
tessier__ Awesome. May 10 10:16
*benJIman (~benji@benjiweber.co.uk) has joined #boycottnovell May 10 10:17
MinceR i’m not so enthusiastic about it. May 10 10:17
*benJIman has quit (Client Quit) May 10 10:17
tessier__ Why not? May 10 10:17
*benJIman (~benji@benjiweber.co.uk) has joined #boycottnovell May 10 10:17
MinceR because it allows even more domains that are difficult to type, read and compare May 10 10:18
MinceR IDN already lets you create identical-looking but distinct domains that can confuse users trying to check whether a certificate really applies to a supposedly secure connection. May 10 10:18
MinceR domain names used to be easy to handle (as such names should be) May 10 10:19
MinceR 7bit US-ASCII should have been enough. May 10 10:19
tessier__ SSL CA was broken from the beginning anyway. This doesn’t make things any worse. May 10 10:21
tessier__ Everyone just clicks ok regardless. May 10 10:21
tessier__ Although I am curious to know how you would work that sort of thing into a bind zone file. May 10 10:21
MinceR no, not everyone. May 10 10:26

Why In Re Bilski Could Wipe Microsoft off the Map

Posted in America, Free/Libre Software, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 9:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

John Paul Stevens, SCOTUS photo - portrait
John Paul Stevens, SCOTUS

Summary: Without software patents, Microsoft would be left toothless and clawless, not just clueless

IT HAS been a while since we last saw an update regarding the Bilski case. Justice Stevens is not around anymore, which is not good news because he was hostile towards software patents in the US. The USPTO meanwhile brags about a rise in ‘business’ (number of patents), probably refusing to acknowledge that it’s not an indication of success, it’s not supposed to be a ‘meat market’ for monopolies. If a university, for example, was to hand out degrees to anyone who requests that, it would devalue those degrees in the same way that patents are no longer a sign of invention. Many patents overlap other patents and disregard prior art. It is a mess. Now, Microsoft may brag that it has over 10,000 patents, but 85% of its patent applications are software patents. Assuming the present is representative of past filings, Microsoft would be left with just ~1,500 (none involving software) if or when In Re Bilski puts software patents right where they belong — the wastebasket.

So, where is Bilski at right now? According to Legal Times, the sessions may resume next week.

The Supreme Court handed down two relatively low-profile decisions this morning, leaving to another day some of the most-awaited cases of the term like Bilski v. Kappos, the business-methods patent-eligibility case that was argued last Nov. 9. The Court won’t be in session again until May 17.

Pogson writes about “problems in Re Bilski for SCOTUS”:

The “amicus” briefs were piled high with supporters of software patents. They were all trying to dodge the issue one way or another. Even Bilski and the opposition both skirted the issue as best they could. The patent office does not want business methods patents but does want software patents (It has issued thousands.). One argument was that adding software to a computer made the computer a specific machine even if it did not transform anything more than bits of information. Has “abstract” lost its meaning with people? Information, itself, is an abstraction, the idea that we can have an idea about ideas…

Meanwhile we find Bob Warfield explaining “the problem with software patents” and concluding as follows:

When we give broad protection like patents to software (or potentially music and books), we wall off via monopoly very large amounts of IP territory. This includes territory that the innovator never needed or perhaps intended to protect. Territory that doesn’t matter in the least to extracting the value of the invention as it was originally conceived. Such accidental monopolies are not good for innovation and are just legal lottery tickets equivalent to ambulance chasing. This kind of protection should be eliminated as there is little evidence software patents are stimulating any kind of innovation whatsoever and lots of evidence it hinders innovation.

“[T]here is little evidence software patents are stimulating any kind of innovation whatsoever and lots of evidence it hinders innovation,” argues Warfield while the FFII points to Mark Webbink’s Web site (he has worked for Red Hat and others) which contains many references on the subject. Webbink explains:

For the first two decades that computers and software were being developed one could not obtain a patent on software. That began to change with a series of court cases in the 1980′s. Among others, I do not consider those court decisions to have helped the software industry. Rather they have only served to slow down innovation. On this page I provide some of the content that has brought me to the conclusion that software patents are problematic.

Is there any compelling argument for software patents? (other than giving lawyers/trolls more business)

“Software patents have been nothing but trouble for innovation. We the software engineers know this, yet we actually have full-blown posters in our break-room showcasing the individual engineers who came up with something we were able to push through the USPTO. Individually, we pretty much all consider the software-patent showcase poster to be a colossal joke.” —Kelledin, PLI: State Street Overruled… PERIOD

“Patent Law for Computer Scientists” Should be Named “Computer Science for Patent Lawyers”

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Law, Patents at 8:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Francis Gurry from WIPO
Photo by dkpto @ Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

Summary: A new book provides guidance on how to tax Europe’s software industry using patents; WIPO’s Director General (shown above) talks about patent harmonisation

A book called “Patent Law for Computer Scientists” has come out and lawyers from the UK reviewed this product. It gives tips on how to sneak software patents into the EPO:

Using the EPO-style interpretation of the word ‘for’, it seems to be also very suitable for European patent attorneys with an interest in the field of computer-implemented inventions, and particularly well suited for US attorneys who might like to think beyond the requirements of the US system when preparing their applications for being filed internationally.

More thoughts on the book:

It might well be that e.g. senior computer scientists who have prior experiences with the patent system due to their involvement in some earlier patent applications in which they were named as inventors will have a fair chance to gain additional insights from reading the book.

And, finally there might be another targeted group of potential readers: There are critics of the patent system in general and of the current EPO practice of granting patents on computer-implemented inventions out there who perhaps never have understood how exactly the practice of the EPO actually works in detail. Nobody expects them to be turned by 180 degrees after having read the book but their critics might get improved by being earthed in some deeper knowledge of the inner workings of the EPO.

The book’s title is “Patent Law for Computer Scientists,” but it seems more reasonable/suitable to call it “Computer Science for Patent Lawyers” because computer scientists generally dislike patent law; they already have copyrights, which don’t require patent lawyers (the “lawyer tax” or “patent tax”). Copyrights are very easy to decide on, whereas patents are too fuzzy to determine “infringement”, let alone to study (it’s easy to be sure you do not use someone else’s code but hard to know if someone out there applied for a patent on similar ideas, as opposed to implementation).

“I don’t think internationally yet because you can’t get it in Europe.”
      –Francis Gurry
Rui Seabra passes on the message that “Roughly a third of all applications and granted patents relate in one way or another to computers.” How much of a farce does this system want to be?

Software patents proponent, the Patent Watchtroll, has spoken to Francis Gurry, who is WIPO’s Director General (WIPO is based in Europe and it’s generally unfriendly to freedom). Patent Watchtroll is quoted by FFII’s president as saying that “software, IT area is where I personally do my work and with the length of time it takes to get a patent”; he also acknowledges: “Gurry also indulged me in a bit of speculation regarding software and the worldwide disagreement on whether software should be considered patentable subject matter.” Regarding the role of software patents in blocking the EU’s patent harmonisation (globally), Gurry is quoted as saying: “I don’t think internationally yet because you can’t get it in Europe.”

According to Wikipedia, Francis Gurry is a lawyer. No bias there? No conflict of interests?

Software Patents Rumble: Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, and GNU/Linux

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Ubuntu, Videos at 7:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent stooges

Summary: Why Apple, Microsoft, and Nokia are an active threat to GNU/Linux and to a software patents-free world where people can view films, for example, without paying some aggressive cartel

ONE of Microsoft’s very latest ‘export’ commodities is software patents, which account for about 85% of its applications. How about that for a company whose co-founder said just two decades ago: “If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.”

Based on Bill Gates, Microsoft’s current strategy puts “the industry” as we know it “at a complete standstill today.” It is true that a lot of features are being removed from software these days because of software patents. How is that beneficial? It’s not. Microsoft has for quite some time been a hindrance to progress. So let’s throw aside the “R&D” nonsense and view Microsoft for what it really does to research and development — it suppresses it.

“Microsoft has for quite some time been a hindrance to progress.”According to this new article, Microsoft gets a patent on cleaning up spam. In other words, Microsoft is getting a monopoly on a technique that helps reduce levels of the very same spam its botnets are creating. Dean Drako, Barracuda’s CEO, once said: “I would much rather spend my time and money and energy finding ways to make the Internet safer and better than bickering over patents.”

Next time spam fills one’s inbox, one needs to remember that Microsoft not only caused such spam but also suppressed spam prevention. How about that for a company whose co-founder said just 6 years ago: “Spam will be a thing of the past in two years’ time.”

So here we have a company that not only stifles progress but also stifles productivity. No wonder Microsoft is distrusted in the software industry; it’s not prejudice, it’s deserved dispositions.

“Microsoft gets Songsmith patent,” told us the Microsoft-sponsored TechFlash some days ago, so Microsoft is now stomping on music too. What would musicians and recreational music professionals say?

Apple is another patent aggressor that deserves no pardoning because it has been threatening Linux for a few years now (patent litigation threats) and finally sued Linux a couple of months ago. According to PatentlyApple.com (yes, Apple has fan sites even for its monopolies), “Apple Wins Strategic Multitouch & Music Tempo Workout Patents”:

Apple has been granted a patent for a multi-touch system that compares finger arrangements at the beginning of multi-touch gestures and discriminates between neutral and spread-hand performances. Gestures by the neutral and spread-hand versions of each chord are then mapped to separate, but intuitively related cursor functions or sets of commands. Less-frequently performed functions and commands are typically assigned to the spread-hand chord, since spreading the hand from neutral takes deliberate effort. With these neutral and spread distinctions, a two-handed gesture set can be packed into a one-handed touch surface, or for two-handed touch surfaces, twice as many intuitively customizable gesture command sets can be accommodated.

Over at Groklaw, Pamela Jones says about it: “Wait… you can patent language? Gestures? If I had invented sign language, for example, could I have patented it?”

A few days ago we wrote about Nokia suing Apple for patent violations again. Here are the reports from Reuters and IDG. There are many more.

This hardly makes Nokia the “good guy” and we have been criticising Nokia for its patent policy for quite a few years. In fact, Nokia should not be seen as an enemy of Apple and Microsoft. Just watch the company’s baffling relationship with Microsoft materialising again in the news this month:

Let this remind us that Nokia works for Nokia, not for Linux. Nokia’s moral compass is as useless as its shareholders’ (they lobby for software patents in Europe) and here is news coverage from the MSBBC:

The first product to result from an alliance between Finnish phone maker Nokia and software firm Microsoft has been launched.

They happen to be stepping on a product name from Netscape (Communicator).

Having covered Nokia’s relationship with Microsoft, let us look again at Apple’s baffling relationship with Microsoft. Both companies are attacking Android at the moment, which proves that Apple can be just as aggressive as Microsoft, if not more. CRN asks the question, “Will Consumers Still Love An Aggressive Apple?”

The notion of Apple as a ruthless competitor in the technology marketplace isn’t well established in the minds of consumers, but some industry watchers say that could change if the company’s recent behavior continues.

Apple is engaged in conflict on multiple fronts: Google, Adobe, HTC, Ellen Degeneres and the tech blog Gizmodo have all felt its wrath in recent weeks. U.S. regulators are reportedly considering launching a full blown antitrust investigation into Apple’s iPhone developer licensing tactics.

Apple was never gentle. It markets itself with arrogance and elitism as the value proposition (see the Mac ads), so its clientèle might not mind a bit of “tough love”. In fact, Apple’s many fan sites are spinning these recent events because they refuse to believe that their beloved Apple is anything less than perfect and protective of its vastly superior clientèle. Watch this one article spinning it as Apple being a “victim of success”. For shame.

Here in The Guardian is a new article about what Apple does to Chinese workers, just like Microsoft. [via Richard Stallman]

She is one of scores of young workers in the city of Suzhou who were poisoned by the chemical n-hexane, which they say was used to clean Apple components including iPhone touch screens.

Wu Mei – who, like the others, asked the Guardian to use her nickname – recalled her fear as her health suddenly deteriorated last spring.

Those shiny-shiny hypePhones and hypePads have a human toll that Western civilisation conveniently ignores. In defence of Free software, it encourages and facilitates reuse; its philosophy is one of ethics and peer production.

Let’s remember that companies like Apple and Microsoft originate from wealthy families/individuals who hardly ever knew a life of poverty or repression. One should not expect them to ever understand or care (unless it’s done for the cameras, so to speak).

Watch this new Pravda edition of Microsoft Russia in The Telegraph. “Microsoft was created in a garage,” says the president of Microsoft Russia, Nikolay Pryanishinikov.


Does The Telegraph even fact-check its articles before publishing? The origins of Microsoft include sabotage of computers and taking away other people's work. The company best known for its “garage” genesis is probably Google, whose co-founder Brin knew oppression from Russia and therefore put ethics before shareholders, unlike Microsoft [1, 2].

“Perhaps they [Defensive Patent License] would benefit from looking at the prior art, if I may so call it, that Open Invention Network has done.”
      –Pamela Jones, Groklaw
Anyway, going back to the subject of software patents, a couple of days ago we wrote about "The Defensive Patent License" after an article came from Julie Bort, the editor of Microsoft Subnet, which is IDG’s Microsoft boosting section. She claimed in the title that it “makes patents less evil for open source,” which is a lie or at least crafty deception (coming from Microsoft boosters, it’s pretty much expected). Microsoft wants to have patent games with “open source”, which prevents those patents from just being buried and puts “open source” at Microsoft’s (and Apple’s) mercy.

Groklaw’s Pamela Jones wrote about that same Bort article: “Perhaps they would benefit from looking at the prior art, if I may so call it, that Open Invention Network has done. Here’s their license agreement, for example. They might want to note particularly clause 5.4.” Glyn wrote about that same article: “nice try, but misguided”

Finally, this brings us to GNU/Linux and Ubuntu in particular because of Canonical’s software patents arrangement with MPEG-LA [1, 2]. The president of the FFII asked us to “point to the difference between Ubuntu OEM and the ISO you download from the net.”

In general, we encourage people not to get Ubuntu from OEMs. Instead, people should get a computer without an operating system and install GNU/Linux on it themselves (or find OEMs that don’t play this game with MPEG-LA). As one blogger put it:

Are Ubuntu users covered by H.264 license? It depends


So, the situation that those purchasing Ubuntu-based machines find themselves in is that unless the system comes shipped with H.264 support, then it’s unlikely that the system is licensed, which technically means that adding that support later would be unlicensed.

It’s unlikely that the MPEG LA would come kicking your door down as a home user, but as a business user this puts you in an awkward position.

Basically, the licensing is a mess.

We need to dump H.264 and strongly encourage the use of Ogg Theora. Microsoft and Apple are attacking Theora at the moment, which is a good sign meaning that Theora is hurting them. Apple, Microsoft, and Nokia are all against Theora and in favour of software patents, so all of them (three at the very least) are problematic. Microsoft and Apple both fight against open standards while redefining the word “open” (meaning “along with software patents”). See the recent post which is titled “Microsoft vs. Standards” and also some of our recent postings about Theora (listed below). Florian has also just mailed us some of his analysis on this topic, which we append at the bottom for increased exposure.

I have published an analysis of the current situation concerning HTML 5 video codecs (Theora vs. H.264 vs. potentially VP8) on my blog, in the format of a three-part sequence of blog posts. The key conclusions are in the third post.

Here’s a summary so you can quickly get the key messages from my blog without having to read the complete text of the three posts.

The key conclusion is this:
“It takes licenses to thousands of patents in order to build a GSM phone, and at some point it may be required to license large numbers of patents to build a fully functional HTML web browser.”

Having once founded the European NoSoftwarePatents campaign, I regret to say so but it seems to me that patent thickets are becoming such a big problem in connection with web technologies that the W3C [World Wide Web Consortium] will sooner or later have to turn HTML into a GSM-like standard. In order to build a GSM phone, vendors need licenses to thousands of different patents. So far, HTML is unencumbered by patent royalties but the W3C won’t be able to uphold that principle without impeding innovation.

- Plug-ins are here to stay (for some more time at least):

My three-part sequence of blog posts predicts in its first part that media player plug-ins will continue to be relevant because an industry-wide consensus on Theora, an open-source codec, looks like a very long shot. In fact, it appears more likely that the browser makers will split up into three camps if Google proposes VP8 (which it acquired as a key asset of On2 Technologies) than convergence on a single video standard acceptable to everyone.

- Free and Open Source Software advocates make various points that aren’t convincing:

The middle part of my sequence of blog posts looks at the points made by Free and Open Source Software developers and activists. While I’m very sympathetic to them, I can’t help but disagree on some of what they say. They overstate the risk of increasing H.264 license fees, they suggest antitrust problems for which there is simply no valid theory under the law, and they downplay or even dismiss the possibility of patent enforcement against Theora and other open-source codecs on a basis that I, with my knowledge of the problems that patents can create, don’t consider too convincing.

- Patent thickets:

In the third and final part of my blog post sequence, I describe the problem of patent thickets. Patent law doesn’t require a patent to relate to a complete product. Instead, there are more than 1,100 patents worldwide just on the H.264 codec. It’s not outside the realm of plausibility that some of those little steps, each of which constitutes a little monopoly, pose a problem to Theora and other current or future open-source codecs.

- Proponents of Theora have to perform at least some reasonable amount of patent clearance:

I believe the proponents of standardization on the basis of Theora would have to make at least some resonable effort to counter the claims made by Steve Jobs and others that there’s uncertainty concerning the potential infringement of patents by Theora. If major players such as Google, a commercial browser maker such as Opera and a well-funded non-profit such as the Mozilla Foundation want to convince the skeptics, I believe they have to make reasonable best efforts to demonstrate that their technology is safe from a patent point of view. At least they should look at the patents held by MPEG LA and perform a well-reasoned and well-documented patent clearance with respect to those.

- Canonical (Ubuntu) and OpenOffice.org believe in mixed free/proprietary approach:

That third and final part of the post sequence also points out that Ubuntu maker Canonical has already chosen to obtain a license to H.264 and that the OpenOffice.org team has rejected demands from the Free Software Foundation to limit its official repository of OpenOffice extensions to those that are considered to be “Free Software”: the OpenOffice.org team continues to welcome proprietary extensions (which could — as I point out — potentially also be patented). This seems to be the way things are heading under the software patent reality we face.

- MPEG LA statement:

In that third post I also quote an answer the MPEG LA patent pool firm gave me concerning H.264 and the ability for open-source projects (such as those led by the Mozilla Foundation) to license those standards. I conclude that the only way open-source projects can support H.264 is with proprietary plug-ins because otherwise the unlimited freedom to redistribute and incorporate program code into other projects would be incompatible with MPEG LA’s licensing rules.

- The W3C probably can’t uphold its royalty-free principle for too much longer:

The W3C’s patent-free-or-at-least-royalty-free approach to standards may be reaching its limits now. As the third part of my post sequence explains, that may very well have been an option for some time but by now there are large corporations as well as patent trolls taking out patents related to technologies that are key to future web innovation. For HTML 5 it looks like there will simply not be an agreement on a standard video codec, but over time the W3C may feel forced to recognize that for the sake of progress it will have to accept patented standards as well. The conclusion I reach is this (quote from the third part of the sequence of posts):

“As the web advances in technological terms, and given that software patents are extremely unlikely to be abolished in the largest markets anytime soon, the W3C may in a matter of only a few years feel forced to revisit its standards policy. It takes licenses to thousands of patents in order to build a GSM phone, and at some point it may be required to license large numbers of patents to build a fully functional HTML web browser. I’m afraid it’s only a question of when, not if it will happen.”

The alternative would be the abolition of software patents, but as I mention in that post, that isn’t realistically achievable for a lack of commitment by small and medium-sized companies.

Below please find a table of contents (links, headlines and subheads) of my three-part sequence of blog posts on this issue.


Part 1 — The HTML 5 dimension:

- W3C requirement for patent-free (or at least royalty-free) standards

- Browser makers divided into two (if not three) camps

- Living in a multi-codec world

- Absent an agreement on a standard HTML 5 video codec, plug-ins will continue to be relevant

Part 2 — Accusations flying in the aftermath of Steve Jobs’ email:

- Are those patents holders dogs that bark but don’t bite?

- Is there an antitrust problem?

- Is there a risk of H.264 becoming too expensive?

Part 3 — Food for thought:

- The patent thicket problem

- The question of relative safety in patent terms

- The need for consensus in the HTML 5 standard-setting discussion

- The burden of proof in the HTML 5 standard-setting discussion

- Is H.264 licensing a practical alternative for FOSS?

- Canonical (Ubuntu) and OpenOffice are comfortable with proprietary extensions to free software

- Will the W3C at some point have to depart from its royalty-free standards policy?

- HTML may become like GSM, at some point requiring licenses to large numbers of patents

Salesforce CEO Compares Microsoft at Present to IBM in the 80s and 90s

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers, Virtualisation, VMware, Windows at 6:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red Hat stock

Summary: Marc Benioff foresees a future without Microsoft (not as a relevant force anyway); his company joins VMware for a partnership

Salesforce is no fan of Microsoft and earlier this year its CEO said that Microsoft is “somewhat disgusting” (Salesforce uses a lot of GNU/Linux). We are somewhat disappointed to see Salesforce partnering with VMware, which is not only a proprietary software vendor but it’s also run by Paul Maritz from Microsoft.

Forbes is running a promotional piece about Maritz at the moment, conveniently forgetting his participation in illegal activities at Microsoft. Does the Chairman and CEO of Salesforce not realise who he’s doing business with? In a new Forbes interview, Marc Benioff says:

Recently I was with Craig Mundie, an executive at Microsoft, and I said: “Craig, how many servers and data centers do you think that our customers would need to set up if we didn’t exist as a company?” I was talking about doing just basic customer information or building complex apps. He said: “More than 100,000.”

This shows that Benioff does speak to Microsoft. He’s just not impressed by them or their products.

Separately, in a new Fortune/CNN article, Marc Benioff writes about “The end of Microsoft.” Sadly enough, he’s promoting Apple as a case study and we already know that Apple is not much better (replacing proprietary masters or substituting abusers is not the goal).

I have been waiting for something spectacular to happen any day. And it’s not the explosion of another volcano in Iceland, but it will be a global event with far reaching ramifications that will be as well known. Apple’s market capitalization is about to be worth more than Microsoft’s. That is quite a change from a decade ago.

In response to Benioff’s article, Matt Asay says that “Microsoft [is] down but by no means out” (this post is bearable, unlike other recent ones from Asay).

After all, this is the company that went from calling open-source software “un-American” to embracing it on a large scale. It’s also the company that killed Blackbird when it proved to be a dead-end and recently RIP’d its Courier tablet.

Microsoft is also the company that has dumped several iterations of its mobile Windows to experiment with two iterations of a new mobile strategy: Kin and Windows Phone 7. The two will likely converge over time, but Microsoft is placing multiple bets.

Pogson remarks on both of the above articles.

All the OEMs have a toe in the water of GNU/Linux. That is why M$ cannot raise its prices even though they have spent hundreds of millions promoting up-selling and killing the netbook. The netbook is poised to re-emerge with ARM and unencumbered by that other OS. Another reason why M$ cannot raise prices is because hundreds of millions of XP machines are still in use. Owners will undergo hundreds of dollars each to replace these machines. $150 or so for that other OS would be conspicuous compared to other options.

The monopoly is a house of cards about to crash down. It is crumbling slowly at the moment but any shift in its foundations will cause an avalanche. This is over and above the cloud-immobility issue. There is no monopoly in the cloud. People know what happened with M$ having a desktop monopoly. They will not be fooled again.

As a further sign that Microsoft is declining, there are some new Web browser statistics. Despite Microsoft’s cheating in the ballots [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], “users explore alternatives to Internet Explorer,” says The Irish Times and eWEEK gives “10 Reasons Why Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Dominance is Ending” (“Microsoft’s IE Suffers the Death of a Thousand Cuts,” says this headline from a pro-Microsoft Web site).

Indian ‘Trade’ Agreements Leaked

Posted in Asia, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 4:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“[Intellectual monopolies are] a neo-colonialist plot to ensure the continuing dominance of Western nations.”

Glyn Moody, author of Rebel Code

Summary: How India is getting further repressed by intellectual monopolies

INDIA is one of the West’s biggest victims and in order to ensure it stays behind, the West has devised measures which are called “IP” and include software patents or deprivation of vital drugs. Here at Techrights we are mostly focused on software patents in India because we see multinationals (not just Microsoft) imposing them upon the Indian population to restrict software development in India (unless it’s carried out by the multinationals or de facto subsidiaries like Infosys [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17]). The assumption here is that Indian people are less worthy of equality and access to knowledge (which can be infinitely distributed anyway).

“It is also worth exposing corporate and/or political entities who are involved in these secret negotiations.”Floating around the Web at the moment are two leaked documents called “IPR India-EU trade agreement” [PDF] and “IPR India-Japan economic agreement” [PDF]. In the latter document (to give just one example), read page 2 about “harmonisation”. We wrote about this euphemism in relation to Europe and here we are seeing it in relation to Japan and India. Is Japan trying to export software patent laws (see page 3 about patents and TRIPS [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]) into India in the same way that the US (ruled mostly by corporate power) tried to export these to Europe? Either way, it seems like Indian free software supporters should rise to the challenge and derail these so-called ‘economic agreements’, which are of no economic value to India. It is also worth exposing corporate and/or political entities who are involved in these secret negotiations. It’s very similar to the umbrella called “ACTA” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14], based on a cursory look at the texts.

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