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05.16.10

IRC Proceedings: May 16th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Microsoft’s Portfolio Still Shrinks

Posted in Boycott Novell, Microsoft at 7:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Response Point sinks along with the ship

USS Oriskany is sinking

Summary: Despite recovery in some areas of the industry, Microsoft continues to lose parts of itself, Response Point being the latest example

MICROSOFT’S increasingly-extensive line of dead products has just grown even more extensive. Microsoft is officially killing Response Point, as expected.

Microsoft this week revealed its intention to discontinue its Response Point, its small business VoIP system for companies with up to 50 employees.

While not unexpected, the move is significant because Response Point was once a promising product in which Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates took a particular interest.

The same author notes that “Microsoft Reverses Course On SBSC (Small Business Specialist Community) Program” as well. Nobody gets fired for avoiding Microsoft. It’s just too risky a choice.

Links 16/5/2010: More Linux Tablets; Ellison Talks About Sun

Posted in News Roundup at 2:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Why cult madness is driving me off Apple

    Do I go with a commodity notebook platform based on Ubuntu? Do I trash years of experience with Apple’s Mac as a platform? Steve Jobs has angered me in a personal way by behaving like the other boorish executives in the industry. I get FUD fed to me on a daily basis, and my FUD detector is strong. Like other consumers, I can be a strong ally. But I’m not a fanboi, not a lapdog sycophant, and am pro IT industry and not a stockholder.

    There’s an HP Pavillion with my name on it out there for $300. It’s a nice used machine. I’m wondering now what it will look like with Lucid Lynx on it. Maybe a VM with Windows 7.

  • Dell upgrades tough netbook

    In each version, the 10in, 1024 x 600 display – a touchscreen if you’re buying for a school – is driven by the CPU’s on-board GPU, the GMA 3150. 802.11n Wi-Fi is part of the package, but there’s a choice of OS: Linux, Windows XP, Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Starter.

  • Medical researchers adopt HPC system

    A team from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has called on an IBM-based HPC system to help with research on genetics.

  • Acer to Launch Chrome OS Devices at Last?

    Remember Chrome OS, Google’s stripped-to-the-browser operating system? It’s reportedly ready for prime time, with Chrome OS devices from Acer leading the way.

  • Ballnux

    • Samsung’s Bada gets a developer kit

      The Software Developer’s Kit version 1 is available from the Bada Developers’ portal, which promises that the Bada-based Wave phone (which should be shipping by the end of the month) will be followed by “successive promising handsets”, and that Bada phones will be available globally later this year.

    • Samsung releases Bada SDK

      Time will tell if Samsung can attract developers to its own smartphone operating system now that it has released the beta of its Bada software development kit.

    • HTC EVO 4G $200, on Sale June 4

      Sprint’s first 4G smartphone, the EVO 4G, will go on sale June 4 for $200 after a mail-in rebate. (The full price is $450, but if you grab one from Best Buy, you’ll get the discount applied when you buy.)

    • Android This Week: Sprint Unveils EVO 4G Pricing; Patent Infringement Accusations Fly

      Sprint this week officially launched the Android-based EVO 4G phone. The EVO will cost $199 with a two-year contract and require a $79.99 monthly plan that provides 450 anytime talk minutes along with unlimited data, texting and calling to other mobile phones. However, the pricing includes a $10 “premium data charge,” which already has prospective buyers complaining. They’re interpreting the fee as a 4G tax, yet customers in areas without 4G coverage will be subject to it along with those in areas that do have 4G. The EVO 4G will be available on June 4 from Sprint and various retailers.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Mozilla

  • Oracle

    • Ellison slams former Sun management

      In an interview with Reuters, Ellison said, “really great blogs do not take the place of great microprocessors”, in an apparent swipe at former Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz.

      Schwartz, as we are sure you know, had a bit of a habit of blogging, and signed off with a haiku. Nothing unusual about that, maybe, but Ellison said that a lot of this chat came at the expense of actually running a business well.

    • Special Report: Can That Guy in Ironman 2 Whip IBM in Real Life?

      Although his products are used by businesses only and not nearly as recognizable as Apple’s Macs or Google’s search engine, they’ve made Ellison the world’s sixth-richest man, worth an estimated $28 billion, according to Forbes. Oracle counts the bulk of the world’s major corporations as customers, and the company’s market value now tops that of Hewlett-Packard, the world’s top maker of personal computers.

Leftovers

  • Security/Aggression

    • Indo-Mancunian Windows support scammer phones Reg hack

      Yesterday I got a call from a chap claiming to be from Windows Support, letting me know that my computer was dangerously infected, and that only he could help.

      The scam isn’t new – we reported on it a year ago – but tough times are driving miscreants to expand operations to the point where even Reg staff are being targeted in the attempt to put the wind up unsuspecting computer users.

    • Gary McKinnon lawyers lobby new home secretary

      The new home secretary has been urged to overrule her predecessor’s decision to allow the extradition of UK computer hacker Gary McKinnon.

      Mr McKinnon’s lawyers have made “representations” to Conservative Theresa May as part of a long campaign to prevent a US trial for their client.

    • Guilty Plea After Botnet Tested With DDoS on ISP

      Edwards pleaded guilty to the charges before U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle on April 29. He is set to be sentenced August 19. Before he decided to plead guilty, Smith’s case had been set to go to trial next week.

    • Software Insecurity is Our Biggest Weakness

      In place of this current model, Ranumm suggested that it may be time for a centralized federal development organization that focuses on writing custom software.

      “Why don’t we have a government coding office? We have a government printing office,” he said. “Why don’t we have a strategic software reserve? Is this putting us at a greater or lesser risk? I’m not sure. But our own software is probably a greater threat to us than anything other people can do to us.”

    • Cryptographer Whit Diffie takes ICANN security job

      Six months after leaving his job at Sun Microsystems noted cryptographer Whitfield ‘Whit’ Diffie has landed a new gig, this time as a security adviser to the corporation that manages the Internet.

  • Environment

    • US Climate Bill: The Good, Bad and Boring Details

      A comprehensive energy and climate bill like this one is a game-changer. It marks a fundamental, and I think irrevocable shift, in our way of doing business. It puts a bounty on carbon, and it marks out a clear path to a world where carbon emissions are a curiosity.

    • The Latest in E-Waste Recycling: e-Steward Certification

      This new certification program is truly worldchanging: it responds to social inequities and environmental problems, and builds consumer demand for responsible business practices by restructuring e-waste recycling through transparency and accountability. According to a Pike Research survey, 76% of American consumers believe recycling is the answer to e-waste.

    • Climate Change and the Integrity of Science: 255 National Academy of Sciences Members Defend Climate Science Integrity

      It seems these scientists realize that what the journal Nature said is true: “Scientists must now emphasize the science, while acknowledging that they are in a street fight.”

      Now these same scientists need to start writing op-eds, doing ed-board meetings, giving talks, and the like (see “Publicize or Perish: The Scientific Community is Failing Miserably in Communicating the Potential Catastrophe of Climate Change“).

    • Greenpeace heads to Arctic to investigate urgent ocean threats

      We are returning to the Arctic Ocean with our ship the Esperanza this month to reinforce the urgent need to protect one of the most pristine and fragile environments on Earth.

    • Setting sail to shut down bluefin tuna fisheries

      The Rainbow Warrior is heading out to confront one of the most irresponsible and destructive fishing operations in the world. Mediterranean bluefin tuna have been exploited to the brink of extinction – making them the most visible and tragic example of oceans and fishery mismanagement.

    • Bad days for bluefin
    • Oil spill could go on for years, experts say

      The retired chairman of an energy investment banking firm told National Geographic in little-noticed comments Thursday that efforts to stop the oil leak under the Gulf of Mexico could prove fruitless and than oil could gush into the ocean for years.

    • Angry Obama denounces oil companies’ ‘ridiculous spectacle’

      “I will not tolerate more finger-pointing or irresponsibility. The people of the Gulf Coast need our help,” Obama said, as he also unveiled a review of the environmental safeguards to be put in place for oil and gas exploration.

      He slammed the three oil companies linked to the Deepwater Horizon rig for seeking to pass the blame, denouncing what he called a “ridiculous spectacle” by their top officials during congressional hearings.

    • BP must clarify intentions on clean up costs: US

      British Petroleum must clarify its “true intentions” on paying for costs associated with a massive US oil spill, the US homeland security and interior secretaries said in a letter released Saturday.

  • Finance

    • Exclusive: Waddell is mystery trader in market plunge

      A big mystery seller of futures contracts during the market meltdown last week was not a hedge fund or a high-frequency trader as many have suspected, but money manager Waddell & Reed Financial Inc, according to a document obtained by Reuters.

      Waddell on May 6 sold a large order of e-mini contracts during a 20-minute span in which U.S. equities markets plunged, briefly wiping out nearly $1 trillion in market capital, the internal document from Chicago Mercantile Exchange parent CME Group Inc said.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • China targets online commentator anonymity

      China is considering forcing its citizens to use their real names when they post comments on internet bulletin boards.

      The suggestion came from Wang Chen, head of the government’s information office, at a meeting of senior Chinese leaders.

    • Evony case against British blogger withdrawn

      The Chinese owners of the massive multiplayer online game, Evony, dropped a libel case against British blogger Bruce Everiss after two days of hearings, the Guardian reports.

    • Google Comes Clean About Wi-Fi Network Data Collection

      Google opened up in a blog post today confirming that they have been collecting data from Wi-Fi networks with their Google Maps Street View Cars as they have driven around. This is a subject that has been brought up, but in a recent blog post Google said that it had not been collecting “payload data”, but is now saying that it actually has been.

    • Google’s Wi-Fi Spying: What Were They Thinking?

      It was no secret that Google’s cars had already been collecting publicly broadcast SSID information (Wi-Fi network names) and MAC addresses (unique numbers for devices like Wi-Fi routers). But this techie data, which is used for location-based services such as Google Maps, didn’t include any “payload data,” or personal information sent over the network.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Obama to promote RIAA’s favourite lawyer

      The prosecutor who spanked the World’s Dumbest File Sharer, Jammie Thomas, is set to be the US’ next Solicitor General.

      The Solicitor General represents the US Government in Supreme Court cases, and there’s a vacancy after the current incumbent Elena Kagan became the latest Court appointment.

    • Pirate Bay ISP hit with German injunction

      The Hamburg district court has slapped an injunction on German ISP CB3ROB (Cyberbunker) and its operator, demanding that the outfit refrains from plugging The Pirate Bay into the internet.

    • Copyrights

      • Jane Siberry makes entire back-catalog into free downloads

        Clifton sez, “Canadian recording artist Jane Siberry has made all of her recordings (16 complete albums) available for free download, with the words: “DOWNLOAD ALL SIBERRY MUSIC HERE. IT IS FREE, A GIFT FROM JANE. TAKE GOOD CARE OF IT. AND ‘PAY IT FORWARD’ TO OTHERS.”

      • Strangling the Net: Stripping DMCA Protections from YouTube

        Greetings. An amicus curiae brief was filed a few days ago by the Washington Legal Foundation in the ongoing Viacom vs. YouTube/Google lawsuit.

        Even by the normal standards of our adversarial legal system, this brief is startling not only in the depth of its misleading and just plain inaccurate arguments, but also in the implications that its “logic” would have for the Internet at large.

        Despite Google’s implementation of a comprehensive “video fingerprinting” system to aid in the identification of copyrighted materials that rights holders wish to remove from the YouTube environment, the brief’s arguments that services such as YouTube are not deserving of DMCA protections are clearly disingenuous.

    • Digital Economy Bill

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – FOFE – Testing Aircraft (1/11/2001)


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