EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.21.10

IRC Proceedings: May 21st, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

Links 21/5/2010: KDE at Ökumenischer Kirchentag, Arch Linux 2010.05

Posted in News Roundup at 5:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • How Linux Saved A Fast Food Giant.

    Our last choice was to re-image the POS system using our existing Ghostcast server infrastructure. While mostly automated, each one had to be kicked off manually in each restaurant and took nearly an hour. We wanted to avoid this at all costs just because of the huge amounts of hassle involved. So how does Linux get involved? My idea was to create a small, self-extracting, PXE-bootable Linux system, mount an existing shared folder on the server in the restaurant, mount the the workstation’s Windows partition with read/write access, delete the broken svchost.exe and the virus definition, copy over a working svchost.exe, and finally reboot the machine. Logically it could work and it meets all the criteria. Small, fast, and—most importantly—fully automated.

  • Desktop

    • The end of the (Linux) desktop as we know it ?

      More and more of the Linux ecosystem (PC hardware vendor, phone hardware vendor, search engine giant and more recently a well known Linux distro, Ubuntu) uses Linux as an embedded system for the desktop. Some examples to illustrate this trend :

      * Asus Express gate embed Linux in the motherboard. You can have, in a few seconds, a browser, skype, etc.
      * Google Chrome OS : not yet released but it is define as the Web OS with a minimalist/zen approach (like an OS based on Chrome, the browser)
      * Mobile platform : you’ll have plenty to choose. ARM based : Symbian, Meego, Android, etc.
      * Last but not least, Canonical announce “Unity”, a minimal/Zen OS that will be available to OEM but can be nonetheless deployed on Ubuntu Lucid and later.

    • 25 Fresh and Cool Linux Wallpapers
    • LinuxCertified Announces Ultra-Portable yet Powerful Linux Laptop with Intel ULV processor
  • Server

    • An HPC Field Trip

      I have attended most of the Wall Street shows and noticed that the financial sector seems to have bounced back from its recent hiccup. On this very nice April day, I enjoyed the sights and sounds on my walk from the bus terminal to the Roosevelt Hotel. Upon arrival, I grabbed my press badge and almost walked right into Matthijs van Leeuwen from Bright Computing. From what I had gathered, Bright Computing provides cluster management software. I was not sure what their “edge” was because there is certainly no shortage of cluster solutions out there.

  • Ballnux

    • Most 2010 HTC Android Phones to See Froyo Upgrade

      Wondering if your new HTC Desire will be getting Android 2.2? Yeah, so are we! Well, according to HTC if your Android handset was made in 2010, it has a very good chance of seeing the Froyo upgrade (yay!). The Desire, Droid Incredible, My Touch Slide, HTC Legend, as well as future models are a definite. When this happens is anyone’s guess, but expect it to occur in the second half of 2010 at the earliest. For those who don’t want to wait you can always root!

    • Samsung Galaxy S Video from Google I/O
  • Kernel Space

    • The Cost Of Running Compiz
    • Beware the benchmarks.

      Today phoronix published an article called “The Cost of Running Compiz“. While the content in the article is mostly true, and likely points out the obvious, I should probably clarify a few things before my inbox fills up with (n readers * ~ 8 ) mails telling me that compiz is slow and I need to fix it.

      The article basically tests the performance of applications while they are being run as redirected windows. What does that mean? Well, for the better part of the year, pretty much 95% of graphics hardware has some support for what we call “redirected direct rendering”, both through open source and proprietary drivers. NVIDIA was the first to get this feature, and then most of the other drivers picked it up last year.

    • Gallium3D

      • Gallium3D Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) Is Going In

        As implied by its name, the gallium-msaa branch introduces support for Multi-Sampling Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) for the Gallium3D driver architecture. Specifically this branch makes the structural changes needed to allow MSAA to work within Mesa on the Gallium3D architecture and a context function to set the sample mask for MSAA. However, the Gallium3D hardware drivers themselves haven’t yet been hooked-in to actually offer multi-sampling support. Hopefully this will come soon.

      • AROS (The Free AmigaOS) Gets With Gallium3D

        A $600 bounty came around a while back within the AROS (AROS Research Operating System) community to port Gallium3D and the Nouveau driver to this operating system that is a free software implementation of the AmigaOS 3.1 APIs.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE at Ökumenischer Kirchentag

      The booth was rarely empty: all kinds of people, from small children (fascinated by Big Buck Bunny looping in a window) to seasoned Linux users (at least one of whom we could help by showing her how to make KMail behave) came by and stayed for a while to watch and talk. The team explained how the free-as-in-freedom aspect could help build a more just and equal world and how the free-as-in-beer aspect was useful for a tight church budget. In fact, the monetary question often didn’t even come up as the social question was already reason enough for most people to be interested.

    • Revamped Sidebar Lands In Nautilus Elementary (2.30)

      A new, revamped sidebar has been added to the latest Nautilus Elementary 2.30 (only available for Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx).

  • Distributions

    • Element- A linux OS for Home theater and Media center computers

      Element is a free operating system for Home Theater and Media Center Personal Computers, featuring an innovative across the room ‘ten-foot interface’ that is designed to be connected to your HDTV for a digital media and internet experience within the comforts of your own living room or lounge. Element comes stacked with the software needed to stream all kinds of web content and manage your own music, videos, and photos.

    • Arch

    • Fedora

      • Seven Reasons to Upgrade to Fedora 13

        Fedora 13 is right around the corner. Code-named “Goddard,” the Fedora 13 release sports tons of updates from Fedora 12 and some really exciting new features that will have Linux power users running for their CD burners. You’ll find everything from better printer support to experimental 3D support for Nvidia cards and filesystem rollback. Ready to roll up your sleeves? Let’s take a look at the best of Fedora 13.

      • It’s Fedora Election season!

        You’ve only got until May 26th to vote in the Fedora elections: elections are open now. This election we are voting on new members of the Fedora Project Board and the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee. Before you vote, you’ll want to read up a bit on the elections to make sure you’re making an informed choice. Here’s a cheatsheet for you.

    • Ubuntu

      • More Iron for your blood…

        The Beta I have been using these last few days, along with the fabulously new Linux Mint 9, is Iron’s 5.0.377 Beta for Linux.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • mobile hsdpa/wifi router powered by Linux

      If you need wireless internet access on your boat, car, helicopter or while hiking, this may be the solution you are looking for. A Linux powered device sharing mobile broadband EVDO/HSDPA on a wifi router. The hardware runs on 110/220 volt with a DC power supply but it’s very flexible allowing for 11-56 Volt DC input and even 5 volt trough an internal connector.

    • Linux development platform targets multi-core MIPS SoCs

      The Linux solution might more accurately be described as a Mentor-acquired Linux solution, as Embedded Alley had already released its first embedded Linux development platform before the company was acquired by Mentor Graphics last summer. The Embedded Alley Development System for Linux was released in December 2008.

    • Open source robot is all eyes

      A startup called TheCorpora is readying an open source Linux robot based on a Mini-ITX board with an Intel Atom and an Nvidia Ion GPU. The foot-and-a-half tall Qbo lacks arms or legs, but is mobile, can be controlled via WiFi, and offers stereoscopic face, object, and gesture recognition, plus speech synthesis and voice recognition.

    • Nokia/Wine

      • MeeGo and Btrf

        MeeGo is arguably the dark horse in the mobile platform race: it is new, unfinished, and unavailable on any currently-shipping product, but it is going after the same market as a number of more established platforms. MeeGo is interesting: it is a combined effort by two strong industry players which are trying, in the usual slow manner, to build a truly community-oriented development process. For the time being, though, important development decisions are still being made centrally. Recently, a significant decision has come to light: MeeGo will be based on the Btrfs file system by default.

      • Wine running on a Nokia N900

        ARM based superphone N900 running the x86 wine binary via a statically compiled arm qemu binary, within an x86 chroot.

      • Wine icon facelift on target for June
      • Bordeaux 2.0.4 on Mac Screenshot tour
    • Google/Android

      • Sony Shifts on Open Source

        The partnership between Sony Corp. and Google Inc. highlights the changes taking place in TV viewing habits, but it is also symbolic of another change: Sony’s stance on open-source technology.

      • Google TV to mix Android, Chrome, and Atom
      • Google Gears Up Chrome Web Store for App Fans

        Is Google looking to compete directly with iTunes? The company’s Chrome Web App store may have modest beginnings — especially considering that Chrome accounts for less than 7 percent of the global browser market — but Google is not the sort of company to think small. The company reportedly is in talks to get other browser vendors on board.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • OK Go Chats With Planet Money About The Music Business

    The important takeaway here is that the new models of success may yet be discovered. Innovation by savvy people is still paramount. So, to succeed, the music industry needs to cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit and get out of the way of artists, instead of acting as a restrictive gatekeeper.

  • Who woulda thunk it: Fact-checking is popular!

    Has anyone else noticed that the Associated Press has been doing some strong fact-checking work lately, aggressively debunking all kinds of nonsense, in an authoritative way, without any of the usual he-said-she-said crap that often mars political reporting?

    I asked AP Washington Bureau Chief Ron Fournier about this, and he told me something fascinating, if not all together unexpected: Their fact-checking efforts are almost uniformly the most clicked and most linked pieces they produce.

    Journalistic fact-checking with authority, it turns out, is popular. Who woulda thunk it?

  • ‘Virtual sit-in’ tests line between DDoS and free speech

    UC San Diego Professor Ricardo Dominguez spearheaded the March 4 digital protest by calling on demonstrators to visit a webpage that sent a new page request to the UC president’s website every one to six seconds. A separate function automatically sent 404 queries to the server. A “spawn” feature allowed participants to run additional pages in another window, multiplying the strain on the targeted website.

  • Privacy expert: It’s good PR to say no to the government

    A leading privacy researcher is urging companies to say no to government requests for data, arguing that it’s good for business.

    “Or rather, saying yes can be really bad for business,” said Chris Soghoian, an Indiana University PhD candidate and security and privacy researcher.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Cyberwar Cassandras Get $400 Million in Conflict Cash

      Coincidences sure are funny things. Booz Allen Hamilton — the defense contractor that’s become synonymous with the idea that the U.S. is getting its ass kicked in an ongoing cyberwar — has racked up more than $400 million worth of deals in the past six weeks to help the Defense Department fight that digital conflict. Strange how that worked out, huh?

    • Lieberman To Unveil Cybersecurity Bill

      Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., plans to unveil a bill soon that aims to beef up cybersecurity inside and outside government by using agencies’ mammoth collective purchasing power to demand safeguards in information technology products, a Senate Democratic aide said on Monday.

      The House and Senate are working on legislation that would update the 2002 Federal Information Security Information Management Act, a law widely criticized for requiring agencies to fill out reports showing they have complied with security policies rather than asking them to take specific actions to secure networks, Nextgov.com reported.

    • Pre-Crime Policing

      A SWAT team brings in a man and seizes his legally purchased guns—for a crime no one committed

    • The all-seeing eye of the London 2012 Olympics mascot

      The image you see on the right is ‘Wenlock’ – one of the two creepy cyclopean mascots chosen as the child-friendly ambassadors representing the London games.

    • Clegg’s speech may mean the state intrudes less – but we must not forget ongoing invasions of privacy by the private sector
    • Warning of rise in microchips in council bins

      Privacy campaigners claim increasing numbers of councils are gearing up for “pay as you throw” rubbish charges by installing microchips in wheelie bins.

    • Government to track your child’s BMI

      I thought this might be one of those bills where someone has misread the language and interpreted what the legislation is supposed to do incorrectly.

    • Symantec buys large share of SSL market

      Symantec has agreed to acquire VeriSign’s Identity and Authentication business for an aggregate purchase price of $1.28 billion. It had previously looked as though Symantec was setting itself up to become a direct competitor of VeriSign following its recent acquisition of PGP Corporation, which also has trusted root certificates in browsers through its own acquisition of TC TrustCenter.

  • Environment

    • How Bush’s DOJ Killed a Criminal Probe Into BP That Threatened to Net Top Officials

      Mention the name of the corporation BP to Scott West and two words immediately come to mind: Beyond Prosecution.

      West was the special agent-in-charge at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Criminal Investigation Division who had been probing alleged crimes committed by BP and the company’s senior officials in connection with a March 2006 pipeline rupture at the company’s Prudhoe Bay operations in Alaska’s North Slope that spilled 267,000 gallons of oil across two acres of frozen tundra – the second largest spill in Alaska’s history – which went undetected for nearly a week.

    • Boycott BP
    • Atlantic coast now under threat as current spreads Gulf oil slick

      There was mounting evidence last night that the scale of the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has grown beyond all the initial worst-case scenarios, as thousands of gallons of oil continued to gush from the sea floor.

      On the island of Key West, south of Florida, coastguard officials said about three tar balls an hour were washing up on the beaches of a state park. They said the globs of concentrated oil suggest leaking crude has now become caught up in the powerful loop current and could move from the gulf up to the Atlantic coast.

  • Finance

    • Bill Passed in Senate Broadly Expands Oversight of Wall St.

      The Senate on Thursday approved a far-reaching financial regulatory bill, putting Congress on the brink of approving a broad expansion of government oversight of the increasingly complex banking system and financial markets.

    • What’s Next For Bank Reform?
    • How the Finance Bill Affects Consumers

      One last-minute Senate addition would lower the fees that merchants pay to process many debit card transactions. If banks lose revenue as a result, they could make up for it by adding fees to checking accounts or cutting back on rewards programs. Retailers say that once card costs fall, they will hire more workers and hold the line on prices. There is a fair bit of disagreement about who has the better argument.

    • Thank You, Lloyd Blankfein

      FinReg: what do I think? I think Ed Andrews has it right: not all it should have been, but better than seemed likely not long ago, thanks to a changed climate. Wall Street in general, and Goldman in particular, provided scandals at just the right time. Thank you, Lloyd Blankfein.

    • The VC Tax Break
    • What the 111th Congress has done — and what it still has to do

      But I’m skeptical. The bill asks the very institutions that failed us last time — and that have failed again and again throughout history — to regulate banks that are even bigger now than they were before the crisis, and that are not confined by simple rules governing the amount of capital they have on hand or simple taxes that make risk and bigness undesirable. Take resolution authority. Before a risky firm can be brought down, the Treasury Department, the FDIC, the Federal Reserve and three bankruptcy judges have to all sign off. If anyone refuses to go along, resolution cannot be used. It is easy to imagine a bank effectively lobbying, say, a Treasury secretary for more time. It is hard, conversely, to imagine so many players agreeing on something as difficult as destroying a major financial firm before we’re officially in a market-recognized bank run.

    • Can States Fix Their Pension Problems?

      Stories about $150,000-a-year pensions for retired officials are fueling anger and demands for action, but there seems to be little that officials can do about existing contracts, for legal and other reasons. The focus has turned to reforming the state systems, to make sure they are fiscally sustainable in the future. What states have led the way? And what political obstacles have arisen in other places?

    • Lower bailout estimate assumes higher stock prices

      The Treasury Department indicated Friday it expects taxpayers will lose billions less from the financial bailouts than earlier estimated. The problem is, its revised forecast assumes Treasury’s shares of bailed-out companies are gaining value despite this week’s plunge in stock prices.

    • Lincoln, Chief Architect of Massacre?
    • Defend Derivatives Reform
  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Perfume’s Un-Sexy Side

      The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics commissioned laboratory analyses (pdf) of 17 men’s and women’s name-brand perfumes to determine their chemical content, and found 38 secret chemicals present in all 17 products. The average product tested contained 14 chemicals not listed on the label, some of which are associated with hormone disruption and allergic reactions. Many of the secret chemicals have never been safety-tested for use in personal care products.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Pennsylvania AG Tom Corbett Can’t Take Anonymous Twitter Criticism; Issues Subpoenas For IDs

      What is it with various state Attorney Generals and their difficulty in understanding the law? And why is it that those same AGs always seem to be running for higher office when they do? We’ve already covered how Andrew Cuomo (who wants to be NY’s governor) appeared to ignore the law in bullying ISPs. And then there’s Richard Blumenthal (who wants to be one of the Senators from Connecticut) who continues to ignore Section 230 safe harbors for Craigslist in grandstanding against the company. Then there was South Carolina’s Harry McMaster (who tried to run for governor), who also ignored Section 230 in threatening to put Craigslist execs in jail.

    • UK’s secret surveillance regime ‘does not breach human rights’

      The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a claim that the UK’s Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) violates the human right to a private life. The UK’s rules and safeguards on covert surveillance are proportionate, said the court.

    • Appeals Court Halts ‘Hot News’ Publishing Order

      A federal appeals court on Thursday lifted a lower court’s order that a well-known financial news aggregator delay publication of prominent financial analysts’ buy and sell recommendations — stock picks that allowed the well-to-do the first crack at capitalizing on that trading research.

    • Hot News Decision from New York Is Stayed Pending Appeal
    • Ofcom leaves people in the dark on future of Open WiFi and evidence used for technical measures

      ORG together with Consumer Focus, Which? and the Communications Consumer Panel have drawn up a list of principles for the notification letter. We have attended a meeting at Ofcom this afternoon to discuss these principles.

    • Privacy is not just a technical problem – the NHS needs to change the way it thinks about our data

      When your medical record was held in a brown cardboard envelope you could be fairly certain that you were confiding in your doctor or nurse. And if you did discover that the details of your health problems were doing the rounds, you’d at least have a pretty good idea who to blame. When we decide to consult a doctor, we all carry out a pretty sophisticated mental calculus that balance our need for help with the pain of disclosing intensely private information. That’s why “Doctor-patient confidentiality” is a tenet of medical folklore as precious as “first do no harm.”

    • Wikimedia: ‘Fox News’s campaign against us is nonsense’

      Jimmy Wales’ Wikipedia empire is dealing with an almighty furore in the wake of a series of damaging and particularly zealous stories by Fox News concerning allegations that it is hosting images of child pornography.

    • Pakistan blocks Facebook in row over Muhammad drawings

      Pakistan today blocked Facebook indefinitely in response to public outrage over a competition on the social networking site that encourages people to post drawings of the prophet Muhammad.

    • Foreign reporters rap Kurdish authorities over press freedom

      Eighteen foreign correspondents who have long covered Iraqi Kurdistan sharply criticised the region’s government on Sunday over a deterioration in the work conditions of Kurdish reporters.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Court Refuses to Extend Trade-mark Protection to File Extensions

      In Autodesk, Inc. v. Dassault Systèmes Solidworks Corporation, the US District Court for the Northern District of California recently considered whether computer file extensions are entitled to trade-mark protection.

    • Who Owns You? – A Documentary – Trailer
    • Libraries innovate and foster innovation

      It seems to me that without saying so explicitly, the article constitutes a powerful argument for making information as freely and cheaply available as possible. It also provides examples of how this is already being done. Innovation is clearly taking place here, and IP law needs to get out of the way.

    • Copyrights

      • Superman attorney lawsuit: smear campaign or savvy strategy?

        The emails kept coming all day Friday: “What’s going on at Warner Bros?” asked a copyright lawyer. “Man, you think Warners hates Toberoff?” joked another. “So, you win a case against a studio these days and they’ll sue you personally?”

      • The Increasing Irrelevance Of The Major Record Labels

        Yesterday I attended the always worthwhile SF Music Tech Summit. This has to be the fourth or fifth time I’ve gone, and I always find that after it’s all over and I’ve had some time to think about it, I recognize one key theme that kept hitting me over and over again throughout the event. This time it was the increasing irrelevance of the major record labels. I’ve been to a lot of music industry events in the past few years, and there’s no doubt that the presence of the majors at various events continues to decline (though, they still seem to have no problem wasting ridiculous sums of money on lavish parties at some events). While the decreased presence at Music Tech might have been a result of the overlap with another industry event, NARM, which the labels almost certainly deem more important, what was more telling was the audience’s reaction to the major labels.

      • Axis of P2P Evil? Congress, RIAA call out six worst websites in the world

        This morning, the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus held a press conference along with RIAA CEO Mitch Bainwol to call out the six worst websites in the world. Think of them as an “Axis of P2P Evil.”

      • Instead Of Better Defining Fair Use… Should We Define Unfair Use?
      • Coffee shop stops live music after copyright licensing debate

        For Henderson business owner Mike Hopper, his coffee shop, Mocha Joe, was the perfect environment to let local artists showcase their original music. At least that was the plan until the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers said otherwise.

      • Gym muzak may replace more funky workout music

        MUZAK may replace the top 40 as the soundtrack to gym classes after the Copyright Tribunal ruled fitness centres have not been paying musicians enough.

      • Police Say Anti-Piracy Law Makes Catching Criminals Harder

        The head of Sweden’s National IT Crime Unit says that following the introduction of IPRED anti-piracy legislation it has become more difficult to track down serious criminals. This unfortunate eventuality is a side-effect of ISPs throwing away logging data to protect the privacy of their customers. While this protects casual file-sharers, it unfortunately protects serious criminals too.

      • Copyright Lawsuits Plummet in Aftermath of RIAA Campaign

        New federal copyright infringement lawsuits plummeted to a six-year low in 2009, the year after the Recording Industry Association of America abandoned its litigation campaign against file sharers, court records show.

      • The Pirate Bay returns to the internet

        Popular BitTorrent search engine The Pirate Bay has just come back online, around a day after it was apparently forced offline by a German court injunction filed a week ago.

    • Politics

      • Obama Reiterates Support For ACTA, As More People Point Out How Far ACTA Is From The Purpose Of Copyright

        A few months back, President Obama publicly stood behind ACTA despite tons of concerns about it from the public. It’s disappointing that as more and more concerns and problems with ACTA have been highlighted, Obama has not reconsidered. He still seems to be taking the position that “more copyright must be good, and ACTA therefore is good.” That’s a naive position. The group Open ACTA points us to a statement made by Obama in Mexico, concerning better trade relations with Mexico, where he again insists that ACTA is a key part of better trade relations…

      • Joint Statement from President Barack Obama and President Felipe Calderón
      • Newspaper Edits Politicians Out Of Bill Signing Photograph; Doesn’t Get Why People Think That’s Bad

        Romenesko points us to a story of a West Virginia newspaper that photoshopped three politicians out of a bill signing photo that ran with a story about the bill.

        [...]

        This is a newspaper that won’t run photos of candidates running for election? It makes you wonder how they report on those elections. With illustrations? And then to claim that it’s okay to edit a photograph by then calling it a “photo illustration” rather than a photo that’s been edited seems a bit questionable no matter where you stand on the question of journalistic ethics.

    • Digital Economy Bill

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – DITNS – Aurora Borealis (1/4/2003)


NetworkWorld’s (and IDG’s Other Sites) “Open Source” Blogs Are Not in Favour of Open Source

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 1:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Caution is needed when it comes to Microsoft-affiliated Web sites which present themselves as “Open Source”

AT IDG, something that’s labeled “Open Source” is not necessarily favouring Open Source (let alone software freedom). In fact, the authors rarely even use Open Source and it’s the same in ZDNet, as we pointed out very many times in the past. Let’s look at some recent examples rather than revisit old ones.

Black Duck’s Phil Odence [1, 2] is spreading some more fear of Free software licences so that he can sell proprietary software with his employer. This FUD has been spread to Slashdot by Julie188. Julie188 is Julie Bort from the Microsoft Subnet at NetworkWorld (she is originally from the Microsoft folks although the subnets expanded to other areas).

“Black Duck’s Phil Odence is spreading some more fear of Free software licences so that he can sell proprietary software with his employer.”Recently we found out that IDG also recruited Dustin Puryear as a blogger. He is not only a Novell apologist; Microsoft has groomed Mr. Puryear for years now as can be seen by his late defense of Novell and current recommendations of products like Exchange as something people need. His new blog is called “See Through the Windows” and he was invited by IDG to become a blogger. Here he is mentioning but not exactly marketing Peppermint OS by promoting Microsoft’s proprietary protocols/products.

“If I’m right about Peppermint,” said one person to us, “there will be a wave of hype for it like there was for Xandros, Suse and several other Microsoft doctored releases.

“I suspect that part of Microsoft’s Linux strategy is changing favored distributions and encouraging non free fractionation in each. This forces people to have more than one distribution for each non free purpose and forces painful distro hopping between solutions that never do everything. The easy way around this, of course, is to stick with one free software distribution and avoid non free additions to it. Microsoft would like GNU/Linux distributions to make the proprietary Unix fragmentation mistake where none of them cooperated, competed to build their own value center. This force Unix distributions to rebuild a lot of common wheels and all suffered from it. Windows developers also wasted a lot of time and effort reinventing common wheels but they all did it under Microsoft’s umbrella, so Windows users felt like they had more choices.

“You should look into this Peppermint OS as the next Suse.”

This seems like a far-fetched assertion but only time will tell.

Novell is Surrounded by Potential Buyers of the Company

Posted in Finance, Mandriva, Microsoft, Novell at 12:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell’s end as a publicly-traded company seems inevitable based on the plan to have an auction

VERY recently (earlier this week in fact) we wrote about a takeover of Novell.

Shareholders pay attention to the news and the stock is moving a lot [1, 2, 3]. This volatility is ending with Novell being down today (along with the rest of the market), having gained a little when takeover news come in and share price fluctuated.

The latest news about Novell is important enough an event to be ranked high inside the digests, especially at Reuters where the latest turn in this story seems to have begun.

As many as 20 bidders are interested in buying U.S. software company Novell Inc (NOVL.O), which has put itself up for sale and is this week accepting bids, the Wall Street Journal reported. [ID:nN19268405]

Here are a couple more digests [1, 2].

Up to 20 bidders interested in Novell
As many as 20 bidders are interested in buying software company Novell Inc, which has put itself up for sale and is this week accepting bids, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The original report is here and it says:

As many as 20 bidders are interested in buying software company Novell Inc (NOVL.O), which has put itself up for sale and is this week accepting bids, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Resultant coverage includes:

Calls Sold on Novell Inc.

Novell Accepting Acquisition Bids: Report

As many as 20 companies are interested in acquiring software vendor Novell, and this week marks the deadline for potential buyers to submit bids, according to a published report.

Novell seeks new suitors

Novell, which put itself on the block some months ago, has sought expressions of interest from suitors by the end of the week, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Report: Novell to accept bids this week for sale

Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the newspaper said a group of finalists probably will be picked from bidders whose proposals are due this week.

Novell to solicit buyout offers this week, report says

Novell Draws 20 Bidders

Novell Accepting Bids This Week: Report

Suitors Line Up For Novell

Twenty interested parties likely to bid for US software maker Novell

Novell Acquisition Bids Going Public

Up to 20 firms, mostly hedge funds, are considering trying to take over the software company.

Report: Novell accepting bids from up to 20 companies

Novell are expected to select a number of bidders as “finalists” and then hold an auction amongst that group. Novell declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal on the matter.

Based on that paragraph/sentence, it seems like a sale is inevitable.

An ex employee of Novell, Matt Asay, spins it a little with the headline “Novell: 20 chances to reinvent itself” (idioms side, hedge funds cannot invent much, except structure or liquidation).

Regardless, Novell needs to go private so that it can make the hard decisions it has been wanting to make since at least 2002, when I was there. Novell’s pressure to grow while under the fierce spotlight of Wall Street prompted its ill-fated engagement with Microsoft, which has delivered short-term revenue while destroying long-term value and goodwill within the open-source community.

The VAR Guy too defends Novell, which is expected given his relationship with the company.

Novell expects to evaluate initial takeover bids for the company this week, according to The Wall Street Journal. As many as 20 companies have expressed interest in Novell, the Journal said. Of course, The VAR guy has his own opinion of the situation. Here it is…

According to this article in French, Novell was seen as a candidate to buy Mandriva too. From the automated translation we have Novell’s CMO John Dragoon saying: “Some aspects of the company Mandriva are interesting, for sure. We have great respect for its technology, but this is not what might interest us.” The last thing Mandriva needs right now is Novell and its patent relationship with Microsoft.

Microsoft Lied About Vista for Several Years and It is Now Lying About Vista 7

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 12:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Advertisers, advertisers, advertisers…”Steve Ballmer

Summary: Microsoft’s large circle of self-serving liars is shown for what it really has been and how history repeats itself

WINDOWS VISTA was a disaster. To say this used to be a taboo but now it’s the consensus. How come? Well, it’s called PR.

Microsoft knew that Vista was bad, but it whitewashed the media as long as it could afford it (bribed bloggers, denials, and so on). Based on unsealed internal E-mails, they knew Vista was a pile of garbage, but they had to carry on smiling and lying to the public about their product.

Now that Microsoft has a replacement for Vista out the door (it’s similar to Vista in many ways), Microsoft’s CEO says that Microsoft wasted time on Vista. But wait. Just over a year ago he said: “we’re not going to have products that are much more successful than Vista has been.” Is Ballmer schizophrenic or just an opportunistic liar?

In a chat with fellow CEOs at Microsoft’s 14th annual CEO Summit, Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer came close to admitting Vista was a dog.

Here is another report about it:

During the speech, Ballmer took an honest-yet-surprising turn and admitted that Microsoft fell short with Windows Vista. “We tried too big a task and in the process wound up losing thousands of man hours of innovation,” Ballmer said. He added that Microsoft spent too many years building the Windows Vista operating system, but then paused to question about the appropriate time frame for research and development.

Our reader Tim has said: “That’s not what your advocates said at the time….

“When’s the Windows 7 confession Ballmer? Or is it “different” this time? To me its always “different” until you want to flog something new.”

Tim later wrote this blog post on the subject. He covered key points about the AstroTurfing.

Remember the comments we highlighted here in regards to Vista from the Microsoft faithful at the time? Complete denial of any problems and in fact we highlighted many comments such as “Vista is loved” or it being a “gift to the world”…I ask any Windows user here to think back to that time (and Im emailed by Windows users so I know they read this) and say, if MS Faithful were praising the Vista product then and now Ballmer admits this, what worth can you put into the voice of any Microsoft Advocate? – I’ll let you decide and Microsoft’s catalogue is eaten away by the plethora of alternatives.

We too remember very well how Vista was praised in the press in its early days. Recently we showed more and more of the creases and wrinkles of Vista 7, including major security bugs in Aero. Yes, even Aero is a security issue now [via]. Vista 7 is a new brand for another piece of junk that only meets a market with better- or higher-specked PCs. These PCs in turn become more powerful zombies that make up destructive botnets which the FTC needs to decommission at taxpayers’ expense.

The Federal Trade Commission today got a judge to effectively kill off the Internet Service Provider 3FN who the agency said specialized in spam, porn, botnets, phishing and all manner of malicious Web content.

The ISP’s computer servers and other assets have been seized and will be sold by a court and the operation has been ordered to give back $1.08 million to the FTC.

For a reminder of Vista 7′s security problems, see the links below. We addressed the lies about Vista security over two years ago.

Steve Ballmer Tossed J Allard for Failing With Courier — Claim

Posted in Microsoft, Rumour, Steve Ballmer, Windows at 11:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft is said to have punished and sacked the man who created yet another failing project after stunning failures like the Zune

AS we noted earlier this month, Microsoft’s Courier joined the ranks [1, 2] of dead products from Microsoft. It got killed by competition from GNU/Linux and maybe hypePad too. The man who worked on several failed projects at Microsoft (losing a lot of money) may have just joined the list of major employees who fled Microsoft.

Sources close to Microsoft suggest that Allard’s story may be similar to Veghte's (who infiltrated HP).

Word inside was Allard was none too happy about the killing off of Courier and has finally made good on his (what sounds like they may have been regular) threats about leaving the company all together. (Another person with whom I communicated claimed CEO Steve Ballmer showed Allard the door because of disagreements regarding the Courier’s potential.)

If it turned out to be true that Allard left, that would be a major departure. At least no items of furniture are reported to have been thrown.

“We’re getting the gang back together.”

J Allard, high Microsoft senior (2007)


Direct link (note: this is a proof)

Siemens’ and Microsoft’s Actions in Germany May Harm KDE

Posted in Apple, Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 11:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

KDE 4.0

Summary: A quick analysis of the concerns expressed about KDE SC-associated projects and what should be done about it

Siemens and its partner Microsoft have created the unprecedented and troubling situation in Germany. “German Court Declares Software Patents Legal,” says this new headline from eWEEK Europe.

A German court has found in favour of Siemens, in a case that critics say will allow patentability of any kind of software in that country, contrary to the stated policy of the European Union.

The ruling allows Siemens a patent for a “client-server software for the automatic generation of structured documents (such as XML or HTML)” according to analysis by open source campaigner Florian Mueller on the FOSS Patents blog. The full court statement has been published by End Software Patent

This can have an effect on GNU/Linux [1, 2] because of codecs for example.

We happen to have mentioned Hugin yesterday, right after someone associated with KDE (and FSFE, both of which are primarily/mostly based in Germany) expressed concerns about software patents. What does the FSFE have to say about the ruling in Germany? There will hopefully be a formal statement soon. How about the FFII?

Someone has just written this post about (software) patents and Amarok, one of the better-known KDE SC applications. It has the codec issue (MP3 support for starters).

Ade makes some interesting points about the GPL, particularly the opportunity to exclude certain jurisdictions where the use of the software would infringe a patent. He also raises the question of whether distribution of source code – as opposed to binaries – can be counted as infringement and reflects on the trend to explicitly claim for a medium containing code that would cause the invention to be ‘realised’ on a computer.

As we noted a few years ago, Apple’s software patents are already harming KDE and KDE developers did complain about it (the Plasma team for example).

European patent lawyers are seemingly lusting for more business in the form of software patents. They keep raving about the USPTO, which makes it easier to obtain a patent on merely everything. From the London-based lawyers:

The USPTO offers an interesting deal to applicants with more than one application: give one application up in exchange for expedited examination of another application. This program has been available for a while, but the USPTO announced on 17 May that it will now be open to all applicants:

Under the expanded Project Exchange, which will take effect with the publication of the Federal Register notice in the coming weeks, any applicant with more than one application, filed prior to the inception of the program, currently pending at the USPTO can receive expedited review of one application in exchange for withdrawing an unexamined application. The expanded Project Exchange will give all applicants with multiple filings greater control over the priority in which their applications are examined and enable priority applications to be examined on an expedited basis. By providing incentives for applicants to withdraw unexamined applications that may no longer be important to them, Project Exchange is expected to appreciably reduce the backlog of unexamined patent applications pending before the USPTO.

The expanded Project Exchange will be limited to 15 applications per entity through December 31, 2010.

The goal is to filter applications, not approve them. They use the wrong yardstick to increase their own profit.

There are even some events on “Patents and Free and Open Source Software” [1, 2]. There is not much to discuss really. Free software is incompatible with patents and therefore software patents are a threat to people’s digital freedom. To legalise software patents is to enslave computer users. Now more than ever we need Free software and we need to abolish software patents.

“Dear [EU] Commissioner: Along with many other computer scientists, I would like to ask you to reconsider the current policy of giving patents for computational processes.

“There are far better ways to protect the intellectual property rights of software developers than to take away their right to use fundamental building blocks.

“I find a considerable anxiety throughout the community of practicing computer scientists that decisions by the patent courts and the Patent and Trademark Office are making life much more difficult for programmers. ”

Donald Knuth

Patent Troll Larry Horn and Steve Jobs Prepare to Attack Google’s VP8, According to FUD Sites

Posted in Apple, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Videos at 10:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MPEG LA logo

Summary: Less than a week after Google’s VP8 liberation announcement, foes of freedom use sites that are foes of freedom to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) about VP8

THE MPEG cartel is at it again, but this time it targets Google's free VP8.

It may seem reasonable to just ignore the threats and treat them as mere FUD (bark but no bite), but it seems hard to dismiss given that ZDNet‘s Christopher Dawson is one among several ZDNet bloggers who throw a lot of FUD at VP8 and Theora (that’s just typical ZDNet as by their own admission they get paid based on how many comments they provoke for and after Dawson’s hostile case of trolling against OpenOffice.org, namely a “death” prediction, he must have been paid well, as this very recent piece of FUD received hundreds of emotional comments).

But anyway, let’s ignore for a moment the noise from ZDNet and instead look at the noise from Rupert Murdock, whose blog says that patent troll Larry Horn is very, very angry and “Google’s “Royalty-Free” WebM Video May Not Be Royalty-Free For Long” (that’s their scary headline)

The announcement of Google’s new WebM video format and release of the VP8 video codec as an open standard have been hailed by some as the move that will free the Web from the proprietary H.264 codec widely used for online video today and favored by Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT).

[...]

Indeed, Larry Horn, CEO of MPEG LA, the consortium that controls the AVC/H.264 video standard, tells me that the group is already looking at creating a patent pool license for VP8. Here’s an excerpt from my email exchange with him:

JP: Let me ask you this: Are you creating a patent pool license for VP8 and WebM? Have you been approached about creating one?

Larry Horn: Yes, in view of the marketplace uncertainties regarding patent licensing needs for such technologies, there have been expressions of interest from the market urging us to facilitate formation of licenses that would address the market’s need for a convenient one-stop marketplace alternative to negotiating separate licenses with individual patent holders in accessing essential patent rights for VP8 as well as other codecs, and we are looking into the prospects of doing so.

Let’s assume that this is not just intimidation. Previously, Steve Jobs insinuated that they were planning the same thing against Theora. Based on Apple’s storm in a teacup we wrote:

Apple’s CEO is still at it. FUD or a real smear/threat with substance?

Steve Jobs email dismisses VP8 video codec

Apple boss Steve Jobs has dismissed Google’s much-trumpeted open source video codec by referring to a technical analysis written by a third-year college student.

According to Apple Insider, the Messaianic chief Macolyte was asked what he thought of the VP8 WebM video in an email, to which Steve simply replied with a link to a posting on Jason Garret-Glaser’s Diary Of An x264 Developer blog.

From what we can tell, what Jason (aka Dark Shikari) doesn’t know about video decoding probably isn’t worth knowing, and he pretty roundly castigates the VP8 code for being poorly doucumented, badly written, slow and buggy. He also questions whether the codec is really open source and suggests that the patent trolls are currently waiting to pounce as soon as the standard gets a foothold. “VP8 copies way too much from H.264 for anyone sane to be comfortable with it, no matter whose word is behind the claim of being patent-free,” said Glaser.

This candidate FUD originally comes from Apple Insider, which is more of an Apple worship site (Apple compensates such sites to keep them under its fold). What’s at stake here is not just Theora and VP8; it’s also about GNU/Linux, which the MPEG cartel is already taxing [1, 2]. Katherine Noyes has this new assortment of takes on the subject.

Codecs have been the topic of much heated conversation on the Linux blogs of late, thanks largely to all the recent controversy surrounding H.264.

Apple and the patent troll who is the CEO of MPEG LA are both enemies of software freedom and GNU/Linux. It’s not just Microsoft, which happens to be a much bigger threat.

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts