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05.25.10

Links 25/5/2010: KDE 3.5 Forked, Slackware 13.1 Released, Fedora 13

Posted in News Roundup at 4:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The World, Brought to You by Linux

    What do Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), the U.S. Navy submarine fleet, the French Parliament, Virgin America, the Internet Archive and the ASV Roboat all have in common?

    Ha! You guessed it! They all run our favorite operating system. Not only that, but they are all on the “50 Places Linux is Running That You Might Not Expect” list that was published recently by Focus.

  • Center opens for job seekers

    Volunteer Stephen Goss worked with the village to transform a section of the Windsor Community House into the job search center. Use of a free and Linux-based computer operating system called openSUSE enables the center to operate at a “minimal cost,” he said.

  • Going Linux – May 24: #103 – Computer America #26
  • Btrfs

    • BTRFS and Ubuntu

      I’ve seen a few comments that raise the concern that Ubuntu might do to btrfs what some feel they did to PulseAudio – undermine it by introducing it to the “mainstream” before it was ready. I know I personally have a poor opinion of PulseAudio based only on initial exposure through Ubuntu. I won’t claim that’s Ubuntu’s fault – but I have certainly heard that argument put forward.

    • Btrfs and the Ubuntu spin machine

      Alone among GNU/Linux distributions, Ubuntu has managed to project the impression that it is the best first choice for someone who wants to test the Linux waters. Put this down to slick media management.

  • Graphics Stack

  • Mail

    • Retro mail client Cone has some modern features

      Cone harks back to the era when users read e-mail in a non-graphical application, without using menus, mouse, or buttons. Longtime Pine users will feel right at home with Cone; many keyboard commands are the same. However, Cone is not a Pine clone; developer Sam Varshavchik combined the general look and feel of Pine with modern advanced features.

    • Wanted: Virtual Personal Email Servers
  • Instructionals

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Welcome to Pearson Computing’s fork of KDE3.5, codename Trinity!

        This project aims to keep the KDE3.5 computing style alive, as well as polish off any rough edges that were present as of KDE 3.5.10. Along the way, new useful features will be added to keep the environment up-to-date.

        Towards that end, significant new enhancements have already been made in areas such as display control, network connectivity, authentication, and much more!

      • Activities in 4.5

        huzzah! I made a screencast showing the activities stuff in 4.5 :)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Victory: A Tweakers dream GTK Theme

        NeWhoa’s Victory GTK+ theme offers users more than just a good looking desktop for it allows the ability to choose the sidepane and menubar colours separately – making Victory truly worthy of it’s name in the eyes of customization control-freaks everywhere!

      • LLVMpipe May Be A Bit Closer To Running GNOME Shell

        While LLVMpipe is able to run OpenGL games, we then tested to see if LLVMpipe could run the GNOME Shell or Compiz, which need OpenGL but are not nearly as taxing on the graphics as a normal game. If LLVMpipe could efficiently handle running GNOME Shell it would mean a lot for providing a better “out of the box” experience for systems where there is no open-source 3D driver available by default with the GNOME 3.0 desktop. However, Compiz nor the GNOME Shell had worked with LLVMpipe at that time.

      • Clutter Advances In-Step With GNOME 3.0

        With the GNOME 2.31.2 release (an early GNOME 3.0 development snapshot) due out soon and various GNOME packages being checked-in for this milestone, the Clutter developers have made available their first post-1.2 release. Clutter 1.3 is the development series that will lead up to the Clutter 1.4 release that’s expected to be released in tandem with GNOME 3.0. The just-released Clutter 1.3.2 release is this first step forwards.

  • Distributions

    • Top 5 Free Linux Distributions for Desktop Computing in 2010

      According to Nick Carr, marketing director of Red Hat, Linux desktop has developed very rapidly over the past few years. Even from the technology viewpoint the Linux desktop is well developed, feature rich and mature. What adds to the merit is the low cost, better security and manageability. It’s also well suited to a wide range of customer deployments. Well, coming to the Linux distributions for Desktop computing, Red Hat’s Fedora has created significant impact, but its not the only one in the market. Another remarkable Linux distribution for the desktop is on the rise, a completely free distro Ubuntu. It has been widely supported by online communities. While it would be great to include several distributions on this list, the reality is we had to filter out the best Linux distribution for desktop computing. A typical desktop Linux distribution comprises a Linux kernel, GNU tools and libraries, additional software, documentation, a window system and window manager. We delved into the Linux distributions for desktop computing and queued up a list of top 5 distros.

    • Slackware version 13.1
    • Port the new distro-neutral initrd framework, Dracut, to Gentoo

      Dracut is an initramfs infrastructure. Its aim is to be distribution-independent, although for now it’s supported only in RedHat, Fedora and Debian.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat exec: Oracle’s not an open source company

        It’s been said that Oracle is now the industry’s most powerful open source vendor, but don’t tell that to Red Hat executives, who say Oracle doesn’t even qualify as an open source company.

      • WSJ: Red Hat shifts hiring strategy as competition for talent intensifies

        The market for tech jobs appears to be tightening, creating increased competition for high-tech companies seeking new workers in the Triangle and other smaller metros.

        The Wall Street Journal makes that point in a story Monday that cites the example of companies such as Red Hat, which is adding 800 jobs to its 3,200-person staff and has to contend with resurgent hiring among Silicon Valley firms.

        To compete with better-known firms in tech hotspots such as California and Boston, Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) is retraining its recruiters to tell personal stories of opportunities and variety in tech projects to new hires. The company has retrained 50 of its 437 hiring managers, the story said.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 13 Is Set To Premiere Today

          Fedora 13 is shipping with X.Org Server 1.8, the Linux 2.6.33 kernel, GCC 4.4, KDE 4.4, and GNOME 2.30, among many other updated desktop and server packages.

    • Debian Family

      • Recent changes in dpkg

        The versions 1.15.6 and 1.15.7 of dpkg introduced several important changes.
        Let’s skim over them:

        * The dpkg-maintscript-helper tool has been introduced in dpkg 1.15.7.2 to help packagers deal with renaming conffiles and removing obsolete conffiles. Check its manual page dpkg-maintscript-helper(1) for more details on how to use it. This shell script might be extended over time to cover other common operations. Feel free to make suggestions while it’s not too late to make changes on this new interface.

      • Ubuntu

        • My thoughts on Ubuntu 10.04

          So, why did I go back to Ubuntu? Why did I not stay on PCLinuxOS? Well, because KDE and GTK apps fought over control of Audio, and it forced me to use mostly GTK apps in a KDE environment. So, I wanted to go back to a GNOME distribution that offered great PulseAudio support, and something I haven’t tried yet. So, although I’ve used previous versions of Ubuntu, I have had yet to give 10.04 a try. Not to mention Ubuntu 10.04 is normally my fall-back distribution where I normally expect everything to work.

          So anyway, to start off with, I kind of avoided using Ubuntu 10.04 for the first few weeks after release. Not because it was a new release or anything, but I wanted to give other distributions a try, and I wasn’t really agreeing with some of the things Canonical was doing, and the attitude they had towards their users when the users were showing their discontent on the changes that Ubuntu had made to the titlebar, or the fact Ubuntu was trying to look and act like Mac OS X. Also, I tried the Beta out and I wasn’t too big of a fan of it, even though I tried it in a VM. With the factors of the last time I tried 10.04 that it was in beta and that I tried it in a VM, and that I was getting a bit ticked off at PCLinuxOS KDE not wanting to properly install PulseAudio, I felt “Why not give Ubuntu 10.04 a try.”

          [...]

          So overall Ubuntu 10.04 is a very nice distribution. I did have a few issues with it here and there, but nothing too much. Some of the issues I did have with it before even using the final version were more to do with Canonical’s decisions, and the attitude towards the users that were showing their discontent towards the changes they made. Overall, I would definitely recommend it to somebody who is looking to start out with Linux – that, along with Mint, PCLinuxOS, or Mandriva. I would definitely say give this a try and tell me your thoughts on it in the comments! Thanks for reading, and if you want to, subscribe clicking on the link at the top right of my blog!

        • Variants

          • Ubuntu Linux Netbook Edition 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

            I’ve been reviewing various Ubuntu derivatives and this week I thought it would be fun to take a look at the netbook version of Ubuntu.

            Ubuntu Netbook Edition used to be called Ubuntu Netbook Remix, but Canonical changed the name once this distro became an official edition of Ubuntu.

            [...]

            Summary: Ubuntu Netbook Edition takes most of what’s great about the desktop version and wraps it up in a colorful, attractive netbook interface.
            Rating: 4/5

          • Puppy Linux turns to Ubuntu for version 5.0

            Puppy variants include a Quirky 1.0 release intended as an experimental sandbox for new Puppy ideas.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Build a Linux-Powered Sprinkler System for your Garden

      Once all the electronics are in place, grab your favorite Linux flavor and install it followed by a tiny app called parcon to turn the parallel port’s data lines on and off. Follow the post’s directions for using crontab to schedule watering, and you’re good to go.

    • Android

      • Pandigital’s Novel eReader: The Little Android Tablet That Could?

        Pandigital has unveiled an e-book reader that appears to have many of the features the iPad sports. Although its screen size is smaller and its battery life is less, its price tag is could make up for those deficiencies: It will sell for a mere $199. Also, it runs on Android, which is drawing increasing interest as a developer platform.

      • Android 2.2: A Developer’s Perspective

        So, on the surface, it appears that Android 2.2 is goodness with few downsides. Of course, with the SDK only being available for ~36 hours, we may yet run into major regressions or other calamities. But Froyo went how I would expect Gingerbread and future releases to go — the core remains largely unchanged, new APIs are added you can optionally leverage, and lots of stuff gets added around and outside of app development.

      • T-Mobile Garminfone looks confirmed for June 2 release

        It seems that your wait for Garmin’s first T-Mobile-bound phone — the aptly-named Garminfone — might be a short one. We’d already known it was coming in June for $200, but this shot here makes it sounds like June 2 is the date you should start lining up in front of the store at four in the morning (we kid, we kid) for your shot at arguably the best turn-by-turn experience available on an Android phone today. You can get over the lack of Froyo and a 3.5mm headphone jack, right?

      • Google open sources My Tracks GPS app for Android

        Google has announced that it has released the source code for its My Tracks GPS application for Android powered devices. The My Tracks app allows users to record GPS coordinates and visualise the routes they take when, for example, hiking, running or biking. The app also features several live statistics, such as time, speed, distance and elevation, and data can be exported to other Google services like Google Spreadsheets or Google Maps. The company says that it hopes that open sourcing My Tracks will help to improve the app and attract enthusiasts, developers and third-parties.

    • Tablets

      • Computex will bring Android + ARM tablets, but are they ready?

        Computex Taipei is coming up next week, and tech watchers should brace for the impending wave of “iPad-killer” stories. Most of the upcoming tablet offerings out of Asia will run Google’s Android operating system—not because it’s a great tablet OS, but because it’s free, available, and has a growing roster of apps.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Don’t Talk The Talk, Without Walking The Walk, Otherwise You Are Just Throwing Gasoline On Fire

    All of this because Neil said some companies like Microsoft have us believe there is no innovation with open source. But there is no proof of that, so this whole discussion goes off without a foundation. Microsoft gets a probably uncalled for black eye, the people reading this are given a false impression and worse of all, the many good deeds and good will that Microsoft has earned from the open source community recently is wasted by misunderstanding.

  • Five questions about authenticity and the open source way with Jim Gilmore

    My friend Robert Stephens, founder of the Geek Squad, is fond of saying, “Advertising is the tax you pay for being unremarkable.” I feel that way about most marketing. I’d like to see creative talent diverted from making messages about goods and services and used instead to help create truly remarkable experiences, ones so compelling that they command a fee as product.

  • FLOSS for Medium Businesses : challenges and opportunities

    My answer was that Open Source is essentially a buyer market, not a vendor market. If you want to select an open source software, you can certainly find between 10 and more than 1000 open source product depending on what you are looking for (ex: a Web Server, a CMS, etc.). As a consequence, you have to define your need carefully, select one or several open source solution and then evaluate the maturity of the solution.

  • Events

  • Mozilla

    • Go personas happy with Personas Rotator

      Ready for some randomness in your browsing? Personas Rotator is a simple Firefox extension that changes the active persona as frequently as you want, picking one from the category you selected. If you are logged on to getpersonas.com you can pick from your saved favorite personas.

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice.org Extensions: Are Two Repositories Better than One?

      The Free Software Foundation announced an alternative OpenOffice.org extensions repository, which will list only extensions released under free software licenses.

    • Can OpenOffice.org regain momentum?

      The latest evidence, from my friend Roberto Galoppini in Rome, is word that the Free Software Foundation has felt moved to create its own list of OpenOffice.org extensions, on its LibrePlanet wiki.

      The release from Peter Brown is polite. “The FSF asked the OpenOffice.org Community Council to list only free software extensions, or to provide a second independent listing which only included free extensions, but they declined to change their policy.”

  • BSD

    • Clang Gets Boosted By The Boost Libraries

      Clang, the C/Objective-C/C++ compiler front-end for the Low-Level Virtual Machine, and LLVM itself have a lot to be proud of lately. LLVM 2.7 was recently released with many new features, LLVM now has its own libstdc++ replacement, and LLVM is finding itself used in many places from a JIT engine in a Flash player to providing software acceleration in Gallium3D. The latest accomplishment for Clang is that the C++ library can now build the Boost libraries.

  • Government

    • Texas moves emphasize need to open source education

      Texas has created an enormous opportunity for states, for communities, for publishers, and for authors to use open source and mass customization to transform education, just as those savings are most needed.

  • Open Data

    • Spreading the Word about Open Government Data

      One of the most amazing – and heartening – developments in the world of openness recently has been the emergence of the open government movement. Although still in its early stages, this will potentially have important ramifications for business, since one of the ideas at its heart is the opening up of government datasets for anyone to use and build on – including for commercial purposes (depending on the particular licences). The UK and US are leading the way in this sphere, and an important question is to what extent the experiences of these two countries can be generalised.

Leftovers

  • BDFL considered (potentially) harmful

    Your code may be open-source, but what about your project?

    Is your software project’s Benevolent Dictator For Life really benevolent?

    “Yes” is a fine answer.

  • Security/Aggression

    • TJX Hacker Gets 20 Years in Prison

      Convicted TJX hacker Albert Gonzalez was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Thursday for leading a gang of cyberthieves who stole more than 90 million credit and debit card numbers from TJX and other retailers.

    • Typhoid adware hijacks LAN, inserts ads into uninfected computers’ browsers

      Security researchers at the University of Calgary have identified a new malware they call “Typhoid.” Typhoid impersonates the wireless router on your local network, effecting a man-in-the-middle attack that allows it to insert ads into the browsing sessions of all the other, uninfected users on the LAN.

    • Typhoid Adware Could Spell Trouble at Internet Cafes

      Researchers from the University of Calgary, in Alberta, Canada, have developed proof-of-concept implementations of a scheme that exploits unencrypted wireless connections to blast PCs with ads.

    • Surveillance Suspected as Spacecraft’s Main Role

      A team of amateur sky watchers has pierced the veil of secrecy surrounding the debut flight of the nation’s first robotic spaceplane, finding clues that suggest the military craft is engaged in the development of spy satellites rather than space weapons, which some experts have suspected but the Pentagon strongly denies.

    • School Spy Program Used on Students Contains Hacker-Friendly Security Hole

      A controversial remote administration program that a Pennsylvania school district installed on student-issued laptops contains a security hole that put the students at risk of being spied on by people outside the school, according to a security firm that examined the software.

    • School violated student’s privacy in ‘sexting’ case, lawsuit says

      A 19-year-old Pennsylvania woman sued her former high school Thursday, claiming school officials invaded her privacy and violated her free-speech rights when they confiscated her cell phone, found semi-nude photos stored inside and turned the phone over to authorities.

    • NHS uses babies’ blood for secret database

      HOSPITALS have quietly created banks of DNA from blood taken from millions of newborn babies without the proper consent of their parents, emails show.

      Freedom of information (FOI) requests to hospitals around Britain have established that the blood samples, taken in heel-prick tests to screen for serious conditions, have been privately stored by parts of the NHS since 1984.

  • Environment

    • Oil tax increase would help pay to clean up spills

      Responding to the massive BP oil spill, Congress is getting ready to quadruple—to 32 cents a barrel—a tax on oil used to help finance cleanups. The increase would raise nearly $11 billion over the next decade.

      [...]

      President Barack Obama and congressional leaders have said they expect BP to foot the bill for the cleanup.

      “Taxpayers will not pick up the tab,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday.

    • What Are The Fiduciary Duties Of Heritage Minister James Moore?

      At this point I’d like to segue to the Gulf of Mexico – should BP be allowed to cause damage to it’s neighbors? Think about it. The fisherman in Louisiana may loose their livelihoods because of the oil spill. Does BP have a responsibility to repair the damage caused by the oil spill? Because it is the same issue. Andrei also made a claim that

      That’s what the monstrosity about social justice is all about. It requires that in order to give the unearned to the undeserving, the government use force to extort value from people of achievement.

      You could read Andrei’s statement as saying that the money that the people of Louisiana could earn from having a sound ecosystem is unearned, and that they are undeserving of government protection. Or legal protection if you wish. Executive. Legislature. Judiciary. These are the three legs of government. The courts, or judiciary, are the third leg of the government stool. All three parts of the government have a fiduciary duty to the citizenry. When part of the government fails to act on a situation for which it is responsible, the damage can be profound.

  • Finance

    • Insider Trading Is Perfectly Legal – But Only For Members Of The U.S. Congress

      Did you know that insider trading is perfectly legal in the United States? Well, not for 99.9% of the population. It is actually only a very small percentage of the population that can legally indulge in insider trading – the members of the United States Congress. In fact, a law that would ban insider trading by members of Congress has been stalled for years on Capitol Hill. So why wouldn’t lawmakers in Washington D.C. want to apply the same rules to themselves that apply to the rest of us? After all, how are we supposed to respect the integrity of those “serving” in Congress when they are playing by an entirely different set of rules? The American people aren’t stupid. They can see what is going on. The truth is that there is a reason why approval ratings for Congress are at an all-time low.

    • Senate: Exclude car dealers from consumer rules

      With House-Senate negotiations on the bill expected to conclude next month, the talks provide an opening for a last lobbying thrust before the legislation reaches the president for his signature.

    • To Prepay for a Crisis, or Not

      That assessment of the Senate’s recently approved financial legislation came from Harvey R. Miller, the éminence grise of the bankruptcy bar and a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

    • Regulation vs. Structural Change

      I would add that Obama is also a political pragmatist with a strong belief that getting something done is better than nothing. I think that on health care he and the administration probably did the best they could. Remember, they barely got a majority in the House, then barely got sixty votes in the Senate, then barely got a majority in the House again (to pass the revised bill), and public opinion was very divided.

      But on financial reform I think they could have gotten more done. First of all, public opinion wanted more; and second, the administration lobbied against some of the most far-reaching changes, such as Kaufman-Brown and Blanche Lincoln’s derivatives spinout provision, and Merkley-Levin never got a vote. The whole theater of the administration trying to put the bill into stone before it got much stronger should have been embarrassing to them, but they decided they could take the hit.

    • House, Senate battle over extending fiduciary duty

      House and Senate lawmakers overhauling Wall Street are clashing over whether brokers and insurance agents should have a fiduciary duty to their clients.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Leave Them Tubes Alone

      Others have not backed off, though. The Federal Communications Commission has been working diligently to find a way to act on the same control impulses that Sunstein had in mind, with something called “net neutrality.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • China Blasts Bogus US Report On China’s IP Policies… As US & China Seek New IP Agreement

      It seems the left hand doesn’t always know what the right hand is doing on the diplomatic front, apparently. Late last week, the US and Chinese patent offices signed an agreement promising cooperation, including sharing information and best practices between the two. At the same time, however, it appears the Chinese government is pretty steamed about being included in the USTR’s silly special 301 report (which is basically mocked by everyone outside of the the USTR and the entertainment or pharma industries).

      [...]

      While it’s difficult to take the word of Chinese officials on this matter seriously, we again have to wonder if US politicians (and industry reps) have any idea what they’re setting themselves up for. As we noted recently, under pressure from US companies and politicians, China has begun cracking down on infringement, but has done so almost exclusively against foreign companies. Ticking off China even more on this issue doesn’t seem like a particularly wise strategy.

    • Supreme Court: NFL Not Immune From Anti-Trust Lawsuits

      Justice Stevens proves to be the go-to Justice once again when it comes to IP issues on the Supreme Court.

      It just released a unanimous decision that he authored, holding that the NFL can be sued for anti-trust violations for trying to give exclusive manufacturing licenses for producing trademarked clothing with NFL logos on them.

    • Justices rule against NFL over apparel licensing

      The Supreme Court unanimously ruled against the National Football League over its exclusive contract with an apparel maker in one of the most important sports law cases in decades.

    • The Social Efficiency of Fairness

      Property rights provide incentives to create information but they also provide incentives to hoard it prior to the award of protection. All-or-nothing rights, in particular, limit prior sharing. An unintended consequence is to slow, not hasten, forward progress when innovation hinges on combining disparately owned private ideas. In response, we propose a solution, based on a reward defnition of “fairness,” that unblocks innovation by increasing willingness to share private knowledge.

      We present four arguments. First, we show that fairness can increase the rate of innovation. Welfare can improve both in the absolute sense of enabling new projects and in the relative sense of reordering the social sort order of which projects individuals prefer to undertake. Second, in contrast to models of “other regarding” preferences, we show how self-interest alone is suffcient to justify fairness in a one-time encounter. Third, we show how this problem is more acute for information than for tangible goods. Fourth, we argue that liability rather than property rules can be more conducive to innovation based on information reuse and recombination.

    • Copyrights

      • Hollywood Lands Triple Strike On Pirate Bay, OpenBitTorrent

        With the assistance of the Svea Court of Appeals, the main Hollywood movie studios have landed a triple blow on OpenBitTorrent, The Pirate Bay and site founders Gottfrid Svartholm and Fredrik Neij. The Court handed out three injunctions yesterday, one of which took the OpenBitTorrent tracker offline.

      • RapidShare Also Scores Trail-blazing Victory in US

        Yet another company has failed in its attempt to discredit and have the business model of the leading global one-click-filehost, RapidShare AG, declared illegal.

      • 1 down, 5 to go? isoHunt neutered by US judge

        An American judge, concerned about the “staggering volume of infringement” taking place at BitTorrent search site isoHunt, has issued a permanent injunction against the site and its owner, Canadian Gary Fung.

      • 5 Insane File Sharing Panics from Before the Internet

        1. VCR’s Will Kill Television!
        2. Phonographs and Player Pianos Will Kill Music!
        3. Pirated BASIC Will Kill Software Development!
        4. The Cassette Will Kill Music! Again!
        5. The Printing Press Will Kill Literature!

      • James Murdoch Lectures On Copyright, But Still Seems Confused

        I love the wording here: “assert a fair value.” As if implying that everyone else in the business is not asserting a fair value. But, again, we can see what the market thinks of his notion of “fair value,” but I warn him that the market tends to price things not on “fair value” (a made up concept) but on supply and demand. I’d like to see how his notion of “fair value” stands up to the notion of “widespread free competition.”

      • ISP Takes BitTorrent Admin Privacy Case To The Supreme Court

        Earlier this week a Swedish appeals court upheld the ruling of a district court and ordered an ISP to hand over the details of a torrent site operator. Faced with a potential $96,500 fine for non-compliance, TeliaSonera has announced it will take an appeal to the Supreme Court in an attempt to balance pre-existing privacy obligations with those under IPRED.

      • When Anti-Pirates Sue Each Other Over Pirating Each Other’s Technology…

        Well, this is fun. A tech company in Germany is claiming that movie studio Warner Bros. has “pirated” its “anti-piracy” technology.

      • National Post Reports “Heavy Handed” Copyright Law Coming Next Week

        While that is not how I would describe the outcome of the consultation – fair copyright is not the same as “go-easy” – Martin’s report is wholly consistent with my earlier reporting that the PMO has sided with the out-of-touch Moore, who has emerged as a staunch advocate for a Canadian DMCA. While the bill will undoubtedly include some elements designed to garner support from consumer and education groups, the U.S.-style approach to digital locks will effectively undermine the current fair dealing provision and any additional user-oriented reforms that find their way into the bill.

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – Festival of Flight (1/5/2003)


Microsoft Attacks Linux Competition Using Lawsuits and Threats (With Software Patents), Pays Acacia/IP Innovation After Anti-Linux Lawsuit

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents, SCO at 7:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft retaliated against industry participants that supported DR-DOS. For example, when Z-Nix Inc. bundled DR-DOS 6.0 and Microsoft Windows 3.1, proclaiming no incompatibilities, Microsoft’s Brad Silverberg wrote: “look what znix is doing! cut those fuckers off.” Within three weeks, Microsoft demanded an audit of Z-Nix’s entire business and then commenced a copyright and trademark infringement action. Z-Nix was forced to file for bankruptcy in or around 1995″

Comes Petition [PDF]

Summary: “Microsoft is back to its old tactics,” claims Forbes Magazine as Microsoft not only sues Linux-using companies but also pays other companies that do so

MICROSOFT NEVER REALLY changed. Since its early days it has been threatening rivals and attacking them with lawsuits if they didn’t behave as Microsoft pleased. It still goes on today because Microsoft is in a litigious mood. Gone are the days of pretense.

Redefining “Open Source”

Microsoft says that it has embraced “Open Source”, but as the OSI put it this week, “To Microsoft, Open Source means ‘Windows Encumbered’”

One of the most interesting things to happen in the past couple of years, is Microsoft’s embrace of Open Source. This means different things to various people I’ve spoken with at Microsoft. Some seem genuinely sincere. Some seem less so. What hasn’t changed is Microsoft’s behavior to the Open Source community at large.

* They have not retracted their patent FUD against Linux.
* They (a founding member of the BSA) did not speak out against the BSA/IIPA’s attempt to have the US government equate Open Source with piracy and as anti-capitalist.
* They continue to attack, with legal action or threats, any open source that competes with any of their core products.
* They continue to hijack standards boards with “standards” that are encumbered by patent or platform constraints.

Microsoft’s version of Open Source Software (MSOSS) means software licensed under an Open Source License which is encumbered with a dependency on SharePoint, Microsoft Office, Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft Windows (Azure or classic). This underscores something critical that we have all learned over the past few years while on our journey towards freer technology. That is that Open Source licenses are NOT enough to ensure (corporate or consumer) end-user empowerment. We also need Open Standards and Open Data.

Last week we wrote about Europe’s Digital Agenda, which got subverted by Microsoft lobbyists so as to accommodate software patents [1, 2].

Microsoft has been using R&D Magazine to push its agenda and it is doing it again, as it has been been doing for a long time now. Here is Microsoft expressing its acceptance of the Digital Agenda, which it shaped using lobbyists who pretend to represent other interests. That’s just appalling.

Microsoft welcomes the “Digital Agenda for Europe,” announced earlier this week by European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes, as a bold roadmap for action. We share the Commission’s view that technology is an enabler for economic growth, job creation, sustainability and social inclusion. As a company, we are fully committed to working with the European Commission and governments to realize the potential of Europe’s digital future.

As we pointed out before, the Digital Agenda had been broken and it still needs to be fixed. It’s not too late.

Microsoft equates software patents with “openness”. How convenient.

Legal Attacks

Last month we showed how Microsoft was attacking the Linux-based Android (HTC being the latest example to have surrendered) and here we see yet again how Microsoft is distorting terms, mixing legal intimidation with “openness”. It’s like claiming to do someone a favour by shooting him/her. “We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger,” Microsoft’s Vice President Jim Allchin famously said.

(Update, 2:25 p.m. A Microsoft publicist provided a link to a March blog post by company vice president and deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez that essentially says that Apple’s suit is for everybody’s own good: “The smartphone market is still in a nascent state; much innovation still lies ahead in this field. In all nascent technology markets, there is a period early where IP rights will be sorted out.” Later on in the post, Gutierrez opines that “Open innovation is only possible through the licensing of third party IP rights,” which makes me wonder what he thinks of the open, innovative and patent-free World Wide Web.)

“Microsoft Deal With HTC Could Slow Android’s Adoption,” says this article. That’s just what Microsoft wanted because Linux/Android is technically superior and sells better.

Here is Steve Ballmer quoted as saying that “there’s nothing free about Android”:

When asked about Android giving away Android for free versus Microsoft, which charges smart phone carriers, Ballmer took issue with that assessment, stating, “And there’s nothing free about Android. I mean at the end of the day as we certainly have asserted in a number of cases you know there’s an intellectual property royalty due on that. Whether they happen to charge for their software or not is their business decision.”

One reader of ours says that Microsoft is trying to sell two messages here: 1) Android is fragmenting; 2) Android is violating our patents.

The former message is being pushed by Microsoft evangelist Michael Gartenberg [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], who keeps saying he is no longer an employee of Microsoft, which makes it easier for him to trash Microsoft’s competitors with little suspicion being raised (no disclosure, ever).

“First,” said our reader about Microsoft’s FUD, “it’s nobody is using it, then when the market base increases, it’s fragmenting.”

Here is Pogson responding to Gartenberg’s former boss, Steve Ballmer.

Android Is Free, Steve

In an interview with Fortune Magazine, Steve Ballmer stated “There’s nothing free about Android.” Wrong, Steve. Android is Free:

* anyone can run the software,
* anyone can examine the source code,
* anyone can modify the source code, and
* anyone can distribute the code unmodified or modified under the same licence that comes with the code.

It is probably safe to say that Microsoft is grasping at straws, but its litigation tactics might as well land some of its executives in jail (SCO comes to mind). Is Microsoft really a friend of “Open Source”? Who are they kidding? It’s all PR.

Then there is the Salesforce lawsuit [1, 2]. Microsoft claims that its software patents are “crown jewel[s]” — whatever that actually means when it comes to monopolies, but even pro-Microsoft sites are disappointed by Microsoft’s behaviour.

A few months back, my Foolish colleague Rick Munarriz regaled you with the tale of how Microsoft bullied Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) into a cross-licensing agreement, presumably because the e-tailer trampled upon its IP rights in the course of using Linux to service its Kindle. Mr. Softie has made similar accusations, to good effect, against everyone from Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) to Apple to Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL), receiving similar deals in each case.

Forbes Magazine summarised it as follows:

With its new patent lawsuit against Salesforce.com, Microsoft is back to its old tactics.

Another take says:

Instead of suing, why not just build better products? When customers use CRM they are looking to build an edge on their competition by improving relations. Microsoft should improve relations with all the time and money they spend suing their partners.

Microsoft also failed in advertising over the Web. No wonder it’s so fearful and jealous of companies like Google and Salesforce.

Three years after Microsoft agreed to buy Seattle-based digital advertising company aQuantive, the Redmond company’s ad revenues have barely budged, its online losses have soared, many of aQuantive’s top executives have left, and one of aQuantive’s biggest units has been sold.

It’s not the outcome once envisioned from the $6 billion acquisition, which remains the largest in Microsoft’s history.

We wrote about this last week as well.

History Rewritten by Recipient of Vista 7 Laptop

Here is Microsoft's friend Harry McCracken rewriting the past by saying “That history has surprisingly few examples of sustained competition between two giants, in part because one of the giants was so often Microsoft, who — back in the day — played hardball more ruthlessly than anyone, and usually against companies who made some truly boneheaded strategic missteps.”

“Boneheaded strategic missteps,” eh?

Why talk about Microsoft’s crimes that it was found guilty for? It’s so much easier to just blame others and pretend Microsoft was an innocent bystander. Comes vs Microsoft exhibits leave not a shadow of a doubt. McCracken also pretends it’s just part of the past and conveniently ignores Microsoft’s racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

But on goes the PR campaign…

Microsoft also uses the “Open API” deception which their partner O’Reilly helps perpetuate.

Other Legal Cases

The firm called McKool Smith causes Microsoft quite a bit of agony. It’s one of those leeches in a system so flooded with patent litigation. Here it is bragging about its actions against Microsoft.

In naming McKool Smith as the top patent litigation firm in the southern U.S., the editors of MIP said the firm had “distinguished itself litigating patent infringement cases for companies like i4i and VirnetX Holdings. It has scored a number of wins against Microsoft, totaling nearly $400 million.”

Here is the latest article we found about the i4i case.

Microsoft is fighting a hard battle, but it is clear the courts and USPTO agree i4i’s patent for the XML feature is valid and Microsoft willingly infringed the patent. Microsoft apparently sees value in the XML feature and therefore should do one of three things:

1. create a work around and not use the XML feature

2. buy i4i outright

3. develop a partnership with i4i and pay them licensing fees for the technology.

There is also this update about the Microsoft vs. Alcatel-Lucent situation [1, 2, 3]:

Title: Microsoft v. Lucent Technologies
Docket: 09-1006
Issues: (1) Whether a jury verdict of patent infringement can stand when it is supported only by speculative evidence and lawyer argument, or whether the standards for entry of judgment as a matter of law that apply in all other federal cases should apply equally in patent cases; and (2) whether a new trial is required in a patent infringement case, as in all other cases, when the verdict is found to be contrary to the weight of the evidence.

* Opinion below (Federal Circuit)
* Petition for certiorari
* Brief in opposition
* Petitioner’s reply

Here is the latest from Acacia, which we all along suspected to have been paid by Microsoft:

Acacia Subsidiary Enters into License Agreement with Microsoft Corporation

Acacia Research Corporation announced today that its subsidiary, IP Innovation, LLC, has entered into a license agreement with Microsoft Corporation covering patents that apply to technology for enhancing image resolution. The agreement resolves a lawsuit that was pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

This also appeared here. Essentially, Microsoft is paying Acacia some money and Groklaw has an opinion on it, namely: “IP Innovation is the same entity that just lost when it sued Red Hat and Novell over alleged patent infringement. Coincidence, I’m sure, that without even having to actually go through any litigation to the end, they get a Microsoft payoff. Maybe Microsoft realized they were guilty of patent infringement. Who knows? But it does smell just a little funny to me. I mean, not saying this is what happened, but what if? Let’s just imagine for a moment. Let’s say you wanted to sue Linux over and over and just run a Linux company into the ground, as Michael Anderer said Microsoft wanted to have happen. If you recall, Microsoft announced in 2003 that Linux would face years of litigation. But then BayStar and Anderer let it slip that Microsoft folks had inspired investors to help SCO in its battle against Linux. So imagine you are Microsoft. How do you funnel money to the folks who are to sue Linux next after that, especially now that SCO has lost ignominiously and is bankrupt?

“Let’s say you wanted to sue Linux over and over and just run a Linux company into the ground, as Michael Anderer said Microsoft wanted to have happen.”
      –Groklaw
“Here’s how my imagination works, when I put my evil-think hat on: why couldn’t you have an entity like IP Innovation sue Linux vendors *and* Microsoft, and if they win, they get money from the Linux vendor, and if they lose, Microsoft agrees to settle? Would that not be slick? Again, I’m not applying this imaginary strategy to anything in real life, but if I were a defense lawyer dealing with a patent infringement case brought by anyone against Linux, I’d surely look for that in discovery. Just saying. — Update: I can’t find any litigation against Microsoft by IP Innovation on PACER or on Google. I see others by other subsidiaries of Acacia, but none listed or even announced by IP Innovation. Perhaps someone else can find it.”

“On the same day that CA blasted SCO, Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond revealed a leaked email from SCO’s strategic consultant Mike Anderer to their management. The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.”

Bruce Perens

Microsoft is Suing Everything

Posted in Courtroom, Fraud, Microsoft at 6:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

John Rambo

Summary: Legal battleground around Microsoft, this time people who click stuff

DOES MICROSOFT need any more lawsuits? Yes,it does.

To recap: Microsoft filed two lawsuits against suspected fraudsters connected with two established websites, but the company had been secretive about the cases until a media event Wednesday at its Online Services offices in Bellevue. Microsoft alleges the defendants – in one case, science-news site RedOrbit, its founder and some “John Does”; and in the other case a bunch of John Does apparently connected to HelloMetro – used fraudulent methods to artificially inflate the number of times that ads on their websites were clicked.

Also see:

Legal Briefing: Microsoft Steps Up Fight Against Click Fraud

Should Search Engines Do More to Tackle Click Fraud?

Microsoft Takes ‘Click Launderers’ to Court

Microsoft says RedOrbit site used its software to defraud advertisers

Microsoft declares war on ‘sophisticated’ click-fraud scheme

Microsoft’s Alleged ‘click Launderers’ Maintain Innocence

Microsoft accuses Tyler-based RedOrbit of ‘click laundering’

Microsoft Sues Over Ad ‘Click Laundering’

Microsoft Files ‘Click Laundering’ Suits

Microsoft sues over ‘click laundering’ fraud

Microsoft to online advertisers: No fake clicks, if we can help it

Microsoft Files Lawsuits Over Click Laundering

Microsoft Chases ‘click Laundering’

Microsoft sues unnamed parties for clicks on HelloMetro ads

Microsoft files suit for faking clicks on Web advertising

Microsoft targeting click fraud scammers

That’s the type of lawsuits that are at least defensible. In the next post we will show Microsoft ‘going legal Rambo’ against competitors just because they compete. Microsoft is a very litigious company.

Microsoft Has Already Lost to Google’s Linux and Google’s Gmail

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Mail, Microsoft, Servers at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Game over

Summary: A look at Microsoft’s hopeless attempts to catch up with the Linux-based Android and the E-mail service from Google, which is based on GNU/Linux

AS ARGUED in the previous post, Windows hardly makes any news anymore. Zune is entirely gone from the news (nothing about Zune anymore, at least based on headlines) and the Zune’s successor replaces what we once knew as “Windows Mobile”. It’s just a rebranding strategy with flushing of existing applications. The people behind these colossal mistakes have abandoned Microsoft by now, leaving the once-fearsome monopolist in a very vulnerable position in mobile.

Microsoft is jumping the shark with ugly designs like those of “KIN” phones, which won’t have much to offer compared to Linux phones. Ed Hansberry, mostly a Microsoft booster, admits that it’s a problem and Skype explains its apathy:

After making headlines last week by saying that it would not be creating a VoIP app for the upcoming Windows Phone 7 platform, Skype has commented further on the matter but confirmed little in detail.

As we pointed out some days ago, Gartner would love to pretend that Android is not at all Linux and the press cites that FUD [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] without ever mentioning “Linux” in the headlines.

“It’s not too shocking that firms which are paid by Microsoft also embellish Microsoft’s position in the mobile market or artificially demote its competition.”Mac sites slam Microsoft partners like NPD and comScore [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] because they make Apple look bad. It’s not too shocking that firms which are paid by Microsoft also embellish Microsoft’s position in the mobile market or artificially demote its competition.

On the face of it, Microsoft is giving some journalists phones to review, only to receive poor scores like 68.5 (out of 100), which are still higher than the rest

Reviews of “KIN” phones are mostly negative [1, 2, 3, 4]. There is Wolverton’s review (also here) which left him underwhelmed, so Microsoft is trying PR instead, aiming for children, as usual. Microsoft is trying a niche-targeted PR campaign [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], but it’s hardly going to work. They are also trying to seed reviews on the face of it. Watch the one comment in there:

Hi Abbey,

Thanks for the great review! I just wanted to stop by and let you and your readers know that you can go to KIN.com to learn more about the KIN and follow along with ‘The Journey’ on our Facebook page to see the KIN in action.

Thanks,

Todd

Kin Outreach Team
Todd_KinOutreach@hotmail.com

http://www.facebook.com/KIN

http://twitter.com/KIN

How pathetic. It smells like another one of those marketing/AstroTurfing campaigns Microsoft is known for. They are using the same response in several reviews, so it’s like a Microsoft suck-up bot. Here at GigaOM/BusinessWeek one can see the writer being pushed for an update by Microsoft. Microsoft agents are trying to track and affect the public image of projects/products, sometimes even taking down other people's negative reviews.

That new example of Microsoft modifying articles about its products actually covered Hotmail, which Microsoft’s PR agencies tried pushing into the headlines because Microsoft made some minor changes to this service which spies on users. Google did not sit idly.

“Google Steals Microsoft’s Hotmail Thunder With Gmail Contextual Gadgets,” says one headline among others of its kind.

Call it perfect timing. The same day Microsoft unveils a sweeping refresh to its Hotmail email offering, Google Apps hits the market with new gadgets to tweak and customize Gmail.

Hotmail is still not working properly with non-Microsoft computers and Google claims that Microsoft is too late to reach Fog Computing. Servers (in the Web services sense) and devices are Microsoft’s Nemesis. Microsoft is losing billions of dollars there.

Windows News: Vista is Bad, Vista 7 is Not Secure, Vista 8 MIA

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Steve Ballmer, Vista, Vista 8, Windows at 4:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cemetery in snow

Summary: A look at the past week’s Windows news shows nothing but bad news

WOW. Windows news had run dry because last week all that we found about Windows was quite negative. Vista was mentioned only in reference to Steve Ballmer admitting that it was bad and Vista 7 was mostly mentioned in reference to the Aero-imposed flaw (mentioned already in last week's post):

Microsoft Warns of Windows 7 Security Vulnerbility

Microsoft warns of serious, unpatched Windows 7 flaw

Microsoft Issues Advisory For “Unlikely” Windows Compromise

Microsoft warns of bug in 64-bit Windows 7

Microsoft Warns of Win 7 Graphics Security Hole

Microsoft Warns of Hole in 64-bit Windows

Microsoft warns of unpatched Windows driver flaw

Microsoft warns graphics driver flaw could affect system security

Microsoft working to fix hole in a 64-bit Windows 7 graphics display component

Microsoft Warns of Vulnerability to Hijack in Windows 7

Microsoft warns of 64-bit Windows 7 hole

Microsoft warns 64-bit Windows 7 users to disable Aero

It has been months since Microsoft last mentioned Vista 8 (it was first mentioned over 2 years ago). We have also just learned that HP dumped Vista 7 in favour of Linux. The future looks bright.

“I’d put the Linux phenomenon really as threat No. 1.”

Steve Ballmer, 2001

Microsoft Office Incompatible With Microsoft Office

Posted in Formats, Google, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenOffice at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rubbish dump - OOXML

Summary: Office Web Apps and different versions of Office are failing to work together

WE PREVIOUSLY showed that a corresponding version of Microsoft Office for Mac is not compatible with Microsoft Office for Windows [1, 2] and different versions are also mutually incompatible. Microsoft never implemented OOXML, either. In short, it is a mess and Microsoft wants everyone to buy the latest version of Office all the time, merely to be able to communicate with other people and exchange information. The following new article from the ‘Microsoft press’ says: ‘McLeish noted that the free consumer version of Office Web Apps will have some limitations. “You can’t create a table of contents, use mail merge, and many other advanced features,” she wrote. “And there would still be compatibility issues of using Office 2003 in conjunction with a newer version, such as the loss of Smart Art or other newer features only available in Office 2007 or Office 2010.”‘

“So Microsoft software isn’t compatible with itself.”
      –Pamela Jones, Groklaw
Groklaw remarks on it by saying: “So Microsoft software isn’t compatible with itself. It’s been bragging that Google Docs isn’t seamlessly compatible. But neither is its own Office 2003, I gather.”

For what it’s worth, Google wants to sell its own proprietary software [1, 2] at the expense of Microsoft Office (Google no longer provides funding to OpenOffice.org, only to its fork, Go-OO).

In response to the problems Office is having, Microsoft has resorted to more viral marketing and aggressive tactics. The Washington Post writes about the Office EULA, reminding readers of the unnecessary pains imposed by proprietary software.

Reader Jean has a problem: she installed Office 2003 on her brand new Windows 7 system, and every single time she runs it, a pop-up forces her to accept Microsoft’s End User License Agreement (EULA).

Dang it, Microsoft, she accepts already! She accepts!

This EULA may no longer hold water in the UK, not as far as liability is concerned [1, 2, 3]. So anyway, why would people actually choose Office? Because “everyone else is using it”?

“In one piece of mail people were suggesting that Office had to work equally well with all browsers and that we shouldn’t force Office users to use our browser. This Is wrong and I wanted to correct this.”

Bill Gates [PDF]

Microsoft is Paying to Exclude Rivals

Posted in Microsoft at 3:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Xbox lock-in

Locked

Summary: Microsoft is excluding rivals by paying companies (common practice that Microsoft brought to PCs too)

Microsoft Will Have To “Pay More” To Keep Gears Of War Exclusive Says Pachter

Grand Theft Auto 5′ Predicted For E3 By Analyst

“Microsoft paid a lot of money for exclusivity on the downloadable content for GTA IV, which unfortunately did little to move consoles for Microsoft. Back in 2004, the Grand Theft Auto was a huge brand, but only relative to the other brands that existed at the time,” Divinch said. “While the GTA brand is certainly bigger now than it was five years ago, others have emerged to reach similar levels of success, such as Call of Duty or Guitar Hero. In other words, if Sony gets an exclusive deal on ‘GTA5,’ it would do little to disrupt Microsoft’s ability to move hardware, and vice versa.”

E3 2010: Grand Theft Auto V, No Exclusive DLC?

“Microsoft paid a lot of money for exclusivity on the downloadable content for GTA IV, which unfortunately did little to move consoles for Microsoft,” he said. And, “if Sony gets an exclusive deal on GTA V, it would do little to disrupt Microsoft’s ability to move hardware.”

“Having all the government resources against a company like this is mindblowing.”

Bill Gates

GNU/Linux Versus Microsoft Entryism Challenges

Posted in GNU/Linux, HP, Microsoft at 3:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Slate

Summary: Slate is dumping Vista 7 for Linux (now confirmed), but Microsoft’s entry into HP raises some questions and brings back memories of Yahoo!

TIMES are good for Linux and for GNU. On devices and servers in particular Free software gains rapidly and all that Microsoft can do is sue or threaten to sue (to suppress adoption). But another thing Microsoft can do is influence companies that use GNU/Linux, sometimes by having Microsoft executives put in them (migration without permission). We saw that before.

Linux (a great kernel) is very popular in mobile devices and Sony is said to be preparing a tablet — possibly one that runs Linux.

Other mainstay computer manufacturers also preparing to unleash tablet devices upon the masses include the likes of Acer, ASUS, MSI and Dell.

Just about any tablet these days is running Linux/Android (many OEMs choose Android, some use GNU/Linux), with the exception of the hypePad which does less for more. HP was going to be somewhat of an exception, but as we shall see later, HP too has changed its mind.

Last week we wrote about Microsoft's Allard allegedly leaving Microsoft after making hardware projects that always fail (technically and also as a business). We now have many more reports on the subject, in some sense confirming that Microsoft is losing its way on devices (not that it was even successful there):

Courier is definitely dead (Microsoft confirmed it [1, 2]), but regarding the Slate we only had rumours until now [1, 2]. Well, it is now confirmed [1, 2] that HP is going with Linux. They dumped Vista 7.

HP will take Linux even further than Slate:

HP, whose $1.2 billion purchase of Palm will be completed on 31 July, has indicated it could use the WebOS software to power its internet-connected printers and slate computers, leading to speculation that the rumours of a ‘Hurricane’ tablet PC are true.

Also in the news:

Here is the rumour before it was confirmed:

What’s still unclear is whether HP is still planning a Slate with Windows 7. HP has declined to comment Friday on the current status of the product. HP introduced the Windows 7 Slate on stage during Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s keynote at CES in January, but since the news of the Palm acquisition hit the company has been mum on its future. HP also declined to comment on a recent report quoting unnamed sources that the company was killing the Windows 7 Slate.

Last week we expressed concerns about Microsoft's Veghte entering HP as Vice President. Would he attempt to retract HP’s smart judgment? Veghte’s past is not an ethical one. According to HP’s current plans, pico projectors are coming soon and they too will possibly run Linux like many of their kind. Might Veghte try to reverse this? He only started working for HP a week ago, based on the following report (also in Rupert Murdoch’s site):

Days after reports surfaced last month that Hewlett-Packard Co. was reconsidering the use of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 7 software in a forthcoming tablet device, H-P made a curiously timed hiring announcement.

[...]

H-P declined to make Veghte available to comment for this story. He won’t officially begin work at the company until May 17.

Microsoft spokesman Bill Cox declined to comment on the company’s relations with H-P and other computer makers.

It is possible that HP is already paying Microsoft for Linux, based on some old deal that they signed. But we don’t know for sure. Previously, after Microsoft executives had entered Amazon, the company decided to pay Microsoft for GNU/Linux (in Kindle and Red Hat servers). Experience alone suggests that ‘former’ Microsoft executives are trouble because they remain loyal to Microsoft.

“Experience alone suggests that ‘former’ Microsoft executives are trouble because they remain loyal to Microsoft.”Here is the Washington Post writing a little late about Microsoft's Gounares becoming a chief in AOL and some new articles where Microsoft’s Kevin Johnson is quoted as CEO of Juniper [1, 2].

If we have learned something from Microsoft’s hijack of Yahoo!, it is that employing people from Microsoft is an HR mistake. Yahoo! is now buying some more bloggers and insisting that becoming a second fiddle to Microsoft won’t be too disruptive. It sure will disrupt the career of many BSD/PHP experts. It already has.

Yahoo! says that even after Microsoft assumes control of its search engine listings, it will retain many of its most talented search engineers.

In July of last year, after an epic gestation period, Carol Bartz and company signed a ten-year search pact with Steve Ballmer and Microsoft that will see Bing serve up search listings to Yahoo! users. And though the deal specifies that 400 engineers will eventually move from Yahoo! to Microsoft, Yahoo! chief architect Raymie Stata tells The Reg that he expects a good number of the company’s top search brains to stay with the company and put their expertise to work on other services.

Icahn’s proxy war is done [1, 2, 3] as this vulture continues to fly away into the horizon, looking for his next victim.

He cut his holding in Internet company Yahoo (YHOO.O) to 4 million shares from 12 million. He had urged the company to consider a deal with Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O).

Another risk to watch out for would be former Microsoft employees creating companies which often become supplemental to Microsoft.

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