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06.04.10

IRC Proceedings: June 4th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Red Hat’s CEO Dismisses Software Patents and Microsoft Uses Tuxera to Spread Them to Linux/Android

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 6:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tuxera

Summary: Red Hat’s fight against software patents is on; Microsoft tries introducing an era of ‘Linux tax’ and ‘Android tax’ through Tuxera

RED HAT’S attitude towards software patents is a subject that we covered some days ago. According to the article “Red Hat CEO Whitehurst Blasts Software Patents,” the company makes it abundantly clear that it wants software patents to go away. The vast majority of the world already rejects software patents.

Red Hat is the biggest open source software company, but it’s got a long way to go, says the company’s chief executive Jim Whitehurst.

On a visit to London he criticised software patents, spoke on the difficulty of changing public sector practices, and repeated a goal to make Red Hat a £1 billion company next year – after re-affirming the company’s strategy.

[...]

As is well known, Red Hat contributes to the fast-moving Linux development process, but ships releases which are “frozen” every three years and which are controlled and supported for ten years. “If you don’t control the code, how can you provide SLAs [service level agreements]?”

Red Hat spends millions of dollars per release, which allows it to make it solid enough for people to build trading applications on top of it. And of course, as he is fond of pointing out, “over half the world’s equity trades happen on top of Red Hat Enterprise Linux,” because it is – he believes – the world’s most secure and stable operating system.

“Bits are free and functionality is free,” he said. What the company sells is innovation and stability – and it’s never raised the price of the product.

As we have been showing over the years, Microsoft uses other companies to ‘inject’ its software patents and its ‘Linux tax’ into companies that reject it. Among the examples we gave there is Novell, Likewise as a Samba substitute, Amazon as a company that pays Microsoft for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and there is also Tuxera, which we mentioned twice in recent days [1, 2].

Tuxera spreads this notion of Microsoft ‘Linux tax’ (software patents) through Microsoft’s exFAT, which it is currently promoting for both Linux and Android. Tuxera also announced an “American expansion” [1, 2] and Julie from the Microsoft Subnet calls it “good news” (it’s certainly good news to Microsoft).

Good news for anyone that uses an Android (or Linux) cell phone, mobile device or PC. Tuxera has released its long-awaited specification that makes the new SDXC memory cards compatible with Android or other Linux flavors.

That’s terrible, it’s not good news. Microsoft uses them to impose a patent tax on gullible users or those who do not have a chance of avoiding it (e.g. if it’s pre-packaged). Companies which help Microsoft assign royalties to Linux deserve to be avoided, publicly shunned, and even boycotted. It’s the only way to prevent this.

Microsoft is Already Trying to Infiltrate Canadian Government Contracts by Pretending to be “Open”

Posted in America, Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 5:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Coat of arms of Vancouver

Summary: Canada — and Vancouver in particular — is being targeted by Microsoft’s impostors (the “we’re open” offensive)

EARLIER today we wrote about the good news from Quebec. One of our Canadian readers wrote about it to say: “Nobody ever got fired for buying Microsoft (just sued)”

That of course is a spin on the famous saying, “nobody gets fired for buying IBM (or Microsoft).” Some months ago we argued that nobody gets fired for avoiding Microsoft.

“After beating Microsoft in Quebec, software freedom supporters ought to be aware that Microsoft is faking in order to find its way into government contracts.”But anyway, one place in Canada which undergoes somewhat of a revolution is Vancouver, which puts emphasis on open data and Free/open source software. Bad news for Microsoft, right? Well, a few months back we showed that Microsoft began distorting words [1, 2] in order to enter Vancouver. It’s the same old routine where Microsoft just redefines terms like “standards” and “open source”

Microsoft Canada is currently pretending to be Open Source using a dishonest press release which was copied to other Web sites (but “Written by Microsoft Canada”).

After beating Microsoft in Quebec, software freedom supporters ought to be aware that Microsoft is faking in order to find its way into government contracts. It’s an old trick. If governments require document standards, for example, then Microsoft will corrupt ISO and turn its proprietary formats (with software patents) into something that it can call “open”, even if it’s just a tale of bribery and other forms of corruption.

Links 4/6/2010: QuokkaPad, Bria for Linux Softphone

Posted in News Roundup at 5:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Windows for Linux

    Two uncertain years have taken their toll on people’s and business’ willingness and ability to budget for new PCs or even upgrade existing Operating Systems. This is golden for Linux since it is free. Not so golden for Microsoft.

  • Glaxo’s ‘Linux Approach’ – PR Stunt or Candle in the Gloom?
  • Server

    • Linux Powers 91% Of The World’s Top 500 Fastest Supercomputers

      The Top 500 Project lists the 500 fastest supercomputers in the world biannually. They have released this year’s list and in terms of the operating system used it is Linux all the way with more than 90% of the supercomputers running on Linux.

    • Linux Adds to Super Computing Dominance: Good News for Linux Users

      So why do Linux users care? Because the work accomplished by the Super Computer manufacturers (IBM, HP, Fujitsu, Cray and so on) is poured back into the kernel and ends up helping all users. Just remember that today’s desktop PC was considered a super computer not that long ago. Advances in multi-core technology driven by super computing requirements of a few years ago are now used by financial services companies in trading applications to power their business.

    • Cartika Increases Density by 5X while Improving Uptime and Performance With CloudLinux

      Cloud Linux Inc., an innovative software company dedicated to serving the needs of hosting service providers, today announces that Cartika, an industry innovator in cloud hosting services has increased density on its shared hosting servers by 5X using CloudLinux.

  • Audiocasts

    • EU targets toxic chemicals in electronics

      A group of chip makers including IBM, Samsung Electronics and Texas Instruments have set up a new software-engineering foundation called Linaro. The foundation is dedicated to improving Linux distributions such as Android, MeeGo and Ubuntu used in consumer devices. There are around 20 engineers already working at Linaro, but the foundation will soon have over 100.

  • Google

    • Google to allow developers to use Chrome operating system for free

      Internet giant Google will launch its Chrome operating system in the Australian spring, with developers now eager to get their hands on the open-source software.

    • Chrome OS Strives to Replace Desktop Culture

      Google’s Chrome OS is coming to a netbook near you sometime later this year. The Web-centric, Linux-based, open source platform will offer a lightweight, cost-effective alternative operating system for portable computing. Eventually, Google plans to expand the scope of Chrome OS to take on Windows on the desktop as well–a goal that requires both a solid operating system and a significant culture shift.

  • Ballnux

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Pardus Linux 2009.2 Has KDE SC 4.4.4

      The Pardus development team released a few minutes ago the new Pardus 2009.2 Linux-based operating system. Powered by the Linux kernel 2.6.31.13 and built on top of the newly released KDE Software Compilation 4.4.4 environment, Pardus 2009.2 (codename Geronticus eremita) comes with an amazing installer and bleeding-edge applications such as the OpenOffice.org office suite 3.2.1.3, the Mozilla Firefox 3.6.3 web browser or The GIMP 2.6.8 image editor.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat foresees $1 billion in 2012

        Already one of the Triangle’s most successful technology companies, Red Hat soon could reach a big milestone. CEO Jim Whitehurst said during a meeting in London on Thursday that he expects $1 billion of revenue in 2012.

      • Bullish Average Crossover for Red Hat Inc. (RHT)

        The stock price of Red Hat Inc. crossed above the 50-day moving average on lighter than usual volume. The crossing of the stock price above the 50-day moving average may signal the beginning of a noteworthy bullish trend. Traders use moving averages to identify changes in trend, those who can make those trends work in their favor will increase the number of winning trades.

      • Red Hat to Webcast Results for First Quarter Fiscal Year 2011

        Red Hat Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, will discuss results of its first quarter fiscal 2011 on Tuesday, June 22, 2010, beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET.

      • Scholarships for open source contributors

        The Fedora Scholarship program, sponsored by Red Hat, recognizes one high school senior per year for contributions to the Fedora Project and free software/content in general. With a selection process that looks at the student’s contributions to Fedora and other free software projects and uses members of the Fedora community as references, it’s a little different from most scholarships you might be used to seeing. In addition to $2,000 USD for each of 4 years of an undergraduate education in any field of the recipient’s choice, the scholarship includes 4 years of annual all-expenses-paid trips to the nearest FUDCon, the Fedora community’s main gathering of contributors, which happens once per year in different parts of the world.

      • Fedora/Linpus

    • Canonical/Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 10.10 Alpha 1 Is Ready for Testing
      • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Alpha 1 Released
      • Canonical Delivers Ubuntu Advantage Service Offering for Linux Desktop and Server Users

        Canonical is preparing to introduce a new service option for Ubuntu Linux users, known as Ubuntu Advantage.

        Slated for official release on June 7, Ubuntu Advantage is a comprehensive service that combines systems management tools, technical support, access to online resources, training and legal assurance, Canonical officials said.

      • Shuttleworth: Excited by Linux on ARM movement

        As well as making for a consistent platform for Linux across all major ARM devices, the other major advantage of the initiative, says Shuttleworth, is that it will speed up time to market for developers. “If you can develop your software for ‘linux on ARM’, rather than a specific CPU, you can choose the right hardware for your project later in the development cycle, and reduce the time required for enablement of that hardware.”

      • Variants

        • Vinux, Linux For Blind

          Vinux community has announced the 3rd release of Vinux – Linux for the Visually Impaired, based on Ubuntu 10.04 – Lucid Lynx.

        • Peppermint OS: Another member of “Team Linux”

          The first question that springs to mind when hearing of a new Linux distribution is not “what does it do?” but “why?” It would seem by now that virtually every possible angle has been covered, and that a Linux distribution must exist for almost any use case one could conceive of. Yet the recently-announced Peppermint Linux is slightly different in that it seeks to bridge the gap between standard desktop computing and “cloud” computing.

        • Lucid Puppy – Linux for Legacy Computers

          One of the original targets of Linux was the under-powered computer gathering dust in the closet destined for electronic disposal. While that sounds like a noble goal, it isn’t reality for the majority of today’s Linux distributions. Xubuntu says it’s for the limited resource computer, but even it has a minimum memory requirement of 256 MB. You probably won’t have a very pleasant experience running Firefox on a machine with less than 512 MB of memory.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Moore’s Second Law fuels open source chip group

      Even if your name is IBM. Or Texas Instruments. Since they don’t want to go home, they’re getting together with friends. Linux will benefit.

    • NETGEAR Announces Technology Collaboration With SamKnows for FCC’s National Broadband Speed Test

      WNR3500L Open Source Linux Router to be FCC’s ‘Test My ISP’ Speed Sensor for the voluntary consumer measurement plan announced today

    • Industry 1st Embedded Asterisk® Motherboard Released

      OpenVox Communication Co. Ltd, a global provider of open source asterisk® telephony hardware and software solutions, has announced today that the industry first design-for-asterisk industrial embedded motherboard-IPC100 is released to the Open Source community. The IPC100 series motherboards can work flawlessly with OpenVox Mini PCI cards-A400M/B100M/B200M/B400M as well as any combinations to build a complete embedded IPPBX.

    • QuokkaPad open-source ereader/tablet almost on sale

      Open-source ereaders aren’t exactly new – the txtr promises to give access to its underlying architecture, for instance – but the Australian QuokkaPad may have taken the longest to reach the market. The 8-inch LCD 800 x 600 touchscreen tablet is based on a 400MHz MIPS processor, and usually runs Linux 2.6.24.3 with the GPE Palmtop Environment UI on top; however, there’s also room for two other kernels, such as Android or Windows CE.

    • SAP invests $10M in DeviceVM’s browser-and-cloud OS

      Enterprise software supergiant SAP has poured ten million dollars of investment from its SAP Ventures arm into DeviceVM, whose Linux-based Splashtop quick-boot operating system is pre-installed on many of the top brands of notebook and netbook computers.

      [...]

      SAP’s goal for DeviceVM is to create an enterprise-IT grade version of the same type of software Google plans for its Chrome OS operating system: A quick-booting — three seconds on a Lenovo — rock-solid Linux boot with only a standards-compliant browser and a few other essential apps onboard. Such a lightweight configuration is easier to maintain and, at least in theory, less prone to bugs and security problems.

    • SAP Ventures Sinks Cash Into Instant-on Platform Vendor

      The Linux-based Splashtop runs separately from a device’s underlying OS and includes a number of applications, including a Firefox-based browser; music, photo and chat functionality; and Skype calling.

    • Finally, a Plug and Play Linux Computer For Small Business

      Midwest Server Repair LLC, a small home based computer business based 12 miles from the University of Notre Dame, has created a Linux PC, which, serves as an alternative to the modern Microsoft computer.

    • Phones

      • Industry throws weight behind mobile Linux

        Joint venture formed to further mobile operating systems based on Linux, as HP CEO confirms Palm buy was all about WebOS

      • CounterPath launches Linux softphone

        CounterPath Corporation (TSX-V: CCV; OTCBB: CPAH), an award-winning provider of desktop and mobile voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) software solutions, today announced Bria for Linux.

      • CounterPath unveils Bria for Linux softphone

        CounterPath, a provider of desktop and mobile voice over internet protocol (VoIP) software offerings, has unveiled a new retail version of Bria for Linux softphone client that features support for multiple VoIP accounts and Ubuntu 9.10 and 10.04.

      • Growth of Linux-Based Smartphone Shipments Will Outstrip Growth of the Entire Smartphone Market in 2010, Says ABI Research

        ABI Research anticipates that Linux-enabled smartphones, led by the success of Google’s Android, will comprise 33% of the worldwide smartphone market by 2015. With more than 60,000 smartphones shipping per day, Android has catapulted ahead of other Linux mobile platforms.

      • Google’s Android favored for phones, tablets

        Victoria Fodale, an analyst at ABI Research, said Tuesday in a research note that the Scottsdale, AZ-based marketing research firm anticipates that Linux-enabled smartphones, led by the success of Google’s Android, will comprise 33 percent of the worldwide smartphone market by 2015. “With more than 60,000 smartphones shipping per day, Android has catapulted ahead of other Linux mobile platforms,” according to the note.

      • Linux Proving Disruptive In Smartphone Market

        More than 60,000 smartphones ship per day and the Android has leaped ahead of other Linux mobile platforms, said Victoria Fodale, a senior analyst at the firm.

      • Indian IT supplier to white label Linux smartphones
      • Android set to dominate smartphone market

        According to research published by analyst firm ABI, Linux-enabled smartphones, led by the success of Google’s Android, will comprise 33% of the worldwide smartphone market by 2015. With more than 60,000 smartphones shipping each day, Android has catapulted ahead of other Linux mobile platforms.

      • Browse the Web with Opera on Acer LumiRead

        Opera Devices SDK 10.30 for Linux uses Opera Presto 2.5, the same core engine as Opera Desktop and Opera Mobile. It has a great support for web and industry standards. It also provides support for extended validation certificates and fraud protection, which ensure users can browse safely with the Acer LumiRead.

    • Nokia/MeeGo

    • Android

      • Dell Tweaks Android Mobile Software Strategy

        So far, Dell has kept much of its Android software work under wraps. When it exhibited its Aero phone at the CTIA trade show in March, it kept the handset powered off.

      • Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini Pro Coming to UK

        A remarkably small device given its functionality, the Pro weighs in at 118 grams and measures 9 x 5.2 x 1.7 cm. Inside this tiny shell, Sony Ericsson has managed to squeeze a 600 MHz processor, allowing the Mini Pro to run applications without a hitch. Running on version 1.6 of the open-source Android OS, the X10 Mini Pro has access to plenty of applications to use this processing power on. With over 38,000 applications on the Android Marketplace, and more being added every day, there is something for everybody. Open-source tools and support allow you to create and publish your own applications as well, should you be unable to find what you’re looking for.

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Bigger than English

    The reason his organisation usually focuses on open source software is because it is licensed in a way which allows for the language of its interface to be changed easily. The opposite of open source software is proprietary software, where the company that develops it forbids you to change it.

  • BBC Radio uses open source to push out live text service

    The BBC is using open source technology to provide visitors to its 10 national radio websites with a live text service.

    The live text tells users what’s on air now and what is coming up, whether it be the current number 1 on the Chris Moyles show, football match commentary on Radio 5 Live or the latest comedy on Radio 4.

  • Africa

    • Open source could be Africa’s technological solution

      That major computing companies are unlikely to want to invest heavily in Africa is not lost on the continent’s brain trust.

      Sure, there could be some investment in major cities, but for the most part, the continent’s on its own. The Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa is fine with that. OK, perhaps “fine” would be overstating it, but FOSSFA knows that’s the reality and so is bringing together the most skilled computing minds together to develop and distribute applications throughout Africa in local languages.

    • Tectonic relaunches

      Tectonic, one of the only websites in Africa specialising in open source news, has been relaunched.

      The site, which closed down in July last year, began publishing again on June 1.

      Tectonic editor and founder, Alastair Otter, closed the site last year saying that other projects and pressures had made it difficult to keep it running. “At the time I was involved in a number of other projects and the added pressure of maintaining the site, which wasn’t my primary job, became too much.”

  • Events

    • TransferSummit – The practical magic of open source

      The event, says Gardler, is a salute to “the spirit of traditional business-academia knowledge exchange” but he emphasised the practical nature of TransferSummit; “Unlike other events, our reach goes beyond the theoretical: we’re focussing on the strategic solutions that improve collaboration between commercial and academic concerns”. The aim is to allow participants to understand, share and discuss the strategic and tactical mechanisms, such as community outreach, academic / business partnerships, spin-outs, start-ups, applied research, intellectual property licensing and collaborative think tanks, so that they can grow their organisations effectively and in an open source way.

    • Presentations Now Available From Apache Lucene EuroCon Conference
    • Libre Graphics Meeting 2010

      The fifth annual Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM) took place May 27-30 in Brussels, Belgium, bringing together the developers of the open source creative application suite: GIMP, Krita, Inkscape, Scribus, Rawstudio, Blender, and a dozen other related projects, such as the Open Font Library and Open Clip Art Library. As is tradition, most of the projects gave update presentations, and both time and meeting space was set aside for teams to work and make plans.

    • Datacenter Barometer: The Next Generation of Open Source Development

      No, this isn’t egoism talking–it’s all about the 6th International Conference on Open Source Systems, hosted at the University of Notre Dame.

  • Databases

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice 3.2.1 fixes bugs, updates logo

      The OpenOffice.org development team have issued the first point update to the 3.2.x branch of their open source office suite for Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Solaris. The maintenance update addresses a number of bugs and security issues found in the previous 3.2 release, but adds no new features.

  • CMS

    • WordPress 3 RC shows open source polish

      WordPress is one of the great open source success stories with both its software and the WordPress.com site itself. Google ranks WordPress.com the 12th most visited site on Earth with 120 million unique visitors.

      WordPress version 3 is now in the final phases of development with a release candidate now out for early testers on self-hosted WordPress installations. Those that use WordPress.com however don’t have to wait. WordPress is leveraging it’s massive 120 million unique visitor base to actually help test the latest version of WordPress 3.

      [...]

      So what’s new in WordPress 3?

      Lots, but at the top level WordPress 3 gets a new custom menus system (that’s now deployed for WordPress.com users). That’s going to be a big deal for many users, as it will lead to a new generation of theme development.

  • Business

  • Project Releases

  • Government

  • Openness

    • GnuBio launches as open-source genome sequencing startup

      GnuBio is a new Harvard University spinout that is poised to become an “eBay of Biomarkers,” according to founder John Boyce. Boyce, who spent several years at Cambridge-based genome sequencer Helicos Biosciences Corp., has joined with Harvard professor of physics and engineering Dave Weitz and Jessica Tonani, former associate director of product marketing for Santa Clara, Calif.-based gene sequencing company Affymetrix Inc., to create a company that is part genome sequencing, part database management, part social network. It promises to join together millions of biologicial samples that are currently siloed at institutes around the world, and to do it using an open source platform.

    • On The Scene: On the map and in the future

      Open Source Bridge is a completely volunteer-run conference dedicated to the concept of “open source citizenship:” in which developers learn from one another and connect across projects.

  • Open Access/Content

    • Study: Wikipedia Accurate But Poorly Written

      Take that, Wikihaters. A new study says Wikipedia is as accurate a source for cancer information as a professionally reviewed resource — assuming you can wade through the lousy prose.

      Cancer researchers from Thomas Jefferson University compared the accuracy of oncology information on the popular open-source encyclopedia with that on the National Cancer Institute’s Physician Data Query (or PDQ), a professional database that is peer-reviewed and edited. Both were fact-checked against textbooks to see whether cancer patients can trust the information they’re getting online.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Smokescreen Project Promises ‘Flash Without the Plug-in’

      A new open source project converts Flash animations to JavaScript/HTML5 on the fly, allowing them to be viewed in any modern web browser without the use of a plug-in.

    • Smokescreen Does Flash Without Flash
    • Google adds VP8 / WebM support to Chrome Dev channel

      The Google Chrome developers have released the latest developer channel (a.k.a. the Dev channel) version of Chrome. Version 6.0.422.0 of its WebKit-based web browser features a number of bug fixes and adds support for the latest open WebM / VP8 video format introduced by Google as part of the WebM Project. Once Google considers the Dev builds to be stable enough, they are promoted to its Beta channel for future testing.

Leftovers

  • College Students Lack Empathy

    Playing videogames and constantly checking Facebook for status updates could be killing empathy among college students, according to a new study from the University of Michigan (UM).

  • Environment

Clip of the Day

NASA Connect – AO – Archeoastronomy (3/17/2005)


Novell is Knowingly Seeding GNU/Linux, MeeGo and Android With Microsoft Patents

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

More Interop

Summary: Another look at the negative effects of Novell not only on GNU/Linux desktops but also phones and tablets running Linux, the kernel

Whatever Novell is up to at the moment involves a good (or bad) deal of Mono. Pinta [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] is just one example of this trend as it continues to be developed while the SD Times, which promotes .NET and Mono quite regularly (even shamelessly) and gets named for it, is giving Mono the lip service Novell craves so much (rebuttal here). According to the comments in Linux Today, people do not welcome the Mono applications that Novell has been busy putting inside MeeGo [1, 2, 3]. SUSE MeeGo is expected within a year, but it is not clear what will happen to SUSE when Novell goes to auction. Perhaps it will be sold as a separate asset.

Novell have today announced their intention to release SUSE MeeGo as a fully supported netbook operating system. Novell expects their new OS, which is built on the codestream from the MeeGO Project established by a collaboration between Intel and Nokia, to be pre-installed on a wide variety of devices from OEMS in the next twelve months.

[...]

As you may be aware, SUSE MeeGo actually builds on an already longstanding relationship between Novell and Intel, which initially encouraged OEMs and ODMs to adopt Moblin. That initial effort was met with reasonable success with partners including Samsung and MSI having already shipped netbooks and other mobile devices with Moblin on board. Here’s hoping they can go even further with MeeGo, a project we at Linux User & Developer have high hopes for during the next round of technology and design refreshes.

Samsung is mentioned there too. More on SUSE MeeGo (somewhat negative):

Even so, a bum note sounds when you start to bolt onto that open source, free software model a commercially developed version of Linux for netbooks. The thought was prompted by the arrival of a press release this morning from Novell, announcing that:
“it will release SUSE(R) MeeGo as a fully supported operating system for netbooks.”

Novell carries on: “SUSE MeeGo is built on the codestream from the MeeGo Project, the new Linux-based operating system established by Intel and Nokia”.

As The Register points out, Novell was also working closely with Moblin.

Novell will put MeeGo on top of SUSE Linux, and push it out to notebook and netbook manufacturers as an alternative to desktop operating systems, just as it did with Moblin. So not a radical change, really.

More new coverage of SUSE MeeGo can be found in:

Here is an interview with Novell’s Markus Rex. He has just told the Asian press about Mono software in MeeGo (he calls that “.NET applications”):

Novell also has an initiative called Mono, which allows developers to run .NET applications on Linux and the iPhone. Mono is also included in MeeGo so developers can create .NET applications for MeeGo in a seamless fashion.

Isn’t that just wonderful? Now we can all use .NET even on GNU/Linux. And Microsoft wants to claim a share of the money earned (MeeGo includes Banshee, which falls outside the MCP).

Microsoft/Novell may be trying to get a grip on MeeGo. One can ignore or actually do something about it. Groklaw has raised this MeeGo issue, but it didn’t do enough to counter this. The last time it tried, Mono bullies attacked Groklaw [1, 2]. Shooting the messenger much?

A year ago we wrote about Novell moving some of is SUSE workforce to Taiwan and today we see this materialising [1, 2].

US-based Novell on June 1 announced it will offer Suse MeeGo specifically for use in netbooks and other types of mobile devices and will establish an OpenLabs in Taiwan to cooperate with local makers to promote MeeGo and provide related R&D support.

Taiwan offshoring. June 1st. Also in the news on almost the very same day:

Here is the press release and BusinessWeek coverage that mentions patents.

Microsoft, which has worked with Taiwanese companies for 20-years, will license patents from its technology portfolio and share its software expertise with companies, academia and research institutes in Taiwan to develop connected devices and cloud data centers, the company said in a statement.

Taiwan is the home of HTC, which Microsoft recently extorted with no disclosure of actual patents. BusinessWeek has another interesting new article:

Manufacturers whose phones are powered by Google’s (GOOG) Android software have been hit hard by patent battles. (Google itself has not been sued.) Android handsets accounted for 28 percent of U.S. smartphone sales in the first quarter, vs. Apple’s 21 percent, according to NPD Group. Apple has filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission, saying several HTC Android phones infringe on its patents. It is also suing HTC in federal court in Delaware. Both companies declined to comment.

Licensing fees now represent less than 10 percent of smartphones’ production costs. Yet one Android handset maker has already budgeted for its patent royalty payments to double next year, says an executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity. One beneficiary may be Microsoft, which has blanketed the industry with letters demanding royalties for technologies such as touchscreen menus.

This suggests that Microsoft used “touchscreen menus” as one of the patents. Does that apply to HTC?

Earlier on we also mentioned Tuxera, which currently helps Microsoft tax both Android and Linux, according to a new press release. There are mostly negative comments regarding this press release which we mentioned the other day.

What Novell is Down to This Week

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat at 10:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell below $6

Summary: Different bits of news about Novell, including what appears like an imminent sale of the company

WE are gradually accumulating more reports as evidence of Novell growing irrelevance (it’s up for sale). Here are some of the latest reports about Novell’s situation.

Networking software maker Novell Inc. said Thursday its fiscal second-quarter profit climbed, helped by lower operating costs even as revenue declined.

For the three months ended April 30, the company earned $19.9 million, or 6 cents per share, up 28 percent from $15.6 million, or 5 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

The headline from the Toronto Star says that “Novell’s Status Remains Uncertain” and news about Novell’s stock is not especially positive [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30]. Here we have a former Novell employee in a court case and a new press release reveals Novell influence in the Utah Technology Council:

Dave Cutler (photo), VP global technical support of Novell. He has made improvements to all aspects of technical support & built new centers in India & Prague. Under Cutler, Novell Support Centers became SCP certified in 2005 and won the 2007 HDI “Team Excellence” award.

[...]

Chris Stone (photo), managing director of Epic Ventures. CEO & founder of several companies, he was a key part of Novell’s resurgence. With more than 29 years of public and private technology company operational and entrepreneurial experience from engineering to executive management, he has been named a top 10 entrepreneur by Red Herring and one of The Top 50 People in High Tech by Ziff Davis.

Justin Puryear, a Microsoft apologist, is promoting Novell as a GNU/Linux distributor, but he faces opposition to the idea. To give one example from the comments: “Is this really a smart article to publish with the unsolicited offers to purchase Novell? How much longer will they be around?”

The Register also jumps to hasty conclusions, extrapolating some remarks from Red Hat as if to mean that Red Hat considers buying Novell.

Red Hat’s CEO Jim Whitehurst declined to dismiss the possibility of buying out his company’s Linux rival Novell in a meeting with reporters in London today.

Here are some new examples where both Novell’s SUSE or Red Hat are supported:

i. SGI ships out first complete Altix UV 1000 Systems

Built on open standard technologies from Intel Xeon series 7500 processors to Linux, Altix UV system’s x86 architecture supports out of the box Novell SUSE or Red Hat Linux operating systems.

ii. Smaller and faster data center gear in Hamburg

The x86 system is based on Intel Xeon series 7500 processors and supports Novell, SUSE or Red Hat Linux operating systems.

According to some pundits, IBM wants to keep competition going in the RPM-based GNU/Linux servers market in order to keep the operating system’s price down. The thing about Novell is, only a small portion of its business has anything to do with SUSE. Here is another item from the news:

Dimdim recently announced that it is working with Novell (News – Alert) to power a new Novell Conferencing solution.

Here is Novell being replaced by Microsoft (Novell is used to this type of treatment, but it collaborates with Microsoft anyway):

Over 400 computers had been replaced, servers had been changed from Novell to Windows systems, laptop labs had been introduced in the high school, and major repairs were now being carried out in house by department staff, rather than contracted out, in a move that had saved the district money.

Last week we wrote about Novell’s IWM, which is mentioned this week in:

This news happens to have been mentioned along with Novell's helping hand to Microsoft in HPC. More new coverage about this includes:

Novell is too Microsoft dependent and it shows. Any buyer of Novell would need to be Microsoft friendly or least Microsoft tolerant.

Patent Promiscuity is Failure, Patent Selectively is Success

Posted in America, Asia, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 10:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mazes

Summary: For the patent office, “less” should be “more” (“less is more” is a phrase from the 1855 poem “Andrea del Sarto”) as the broadening scope makes the patent maze far more confusing and intimidating to scientists, comprising life in the process

MICROSOFT relies heavily on a patent system that allows software patents. We explained this point and supported this claim with the example of the USPTO versus EPO. In order to promote its cause, the USPTO has begun a self-serving propaganda rally about the number of monopolies it authorises. It’s bad news for science and good news for those who work in litigation (also known as “law”). Here is one new example:

“I can say with some confidence that the bulk of the increase in the number of patents being issued is associated with technology- and software-related patents rather than patents associated with biochemistry or pharmaceuticals,” Crouch said in an interview with TMCnet today.

This is not an indication of success. Science is an attempt to remove barriers and to explain the unknown. What the USPTO is doing here can be described as creation of many new barriers. How would that help? By “help” we mean help science, not help the bottom line of large companies and their shareholders/lawyers.

Anyway, here is the latest barrage of USPTO propaganda (found and collected this morning):

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Thursday unveiled a new initiative aimed at giving patent applicants more control over how quickly their applications will be processed.

The USPO could address the backlog issue by simply readjusting the scope of patentability. But of course it would not do that. The USPTO is in the business of manufacturing more monopolies (patents). The more, the merrier (more income). In its own special way, Google is supporting the USPTO rather than challenging it. One key problem is that this culture of software patents sometimes spreads overseas. In Europe, for example, there are loopholes that allow some companies to gather software patents and the following new lawyer’s tip shows that the same type of loopholes are being used in Thailand:

Fabrice Mattei and Prasit Siricheepchaiyan of Rouse review trends in drafting, filing and prosecuting patents in Thailand

[...]

One way of getting around the medical method claims issue is to rewrite them as Swiss claims such as “use of substance X in the manufacture of a medicament for the treatment of condition Y”. It is permissible under the current Thai patent practice so long as the method of treatment is not a pure treatment method, for instance the method of using a scalpel during surgery.

* iii) Computer software. While it is not possible to obtain a patent on software per se, patents may be granted for inventions requiring the use of software to achieve their purpose. This, however, is conditional on the software having a technical effect when the programme is run. Such effect may, for example, be found in the control of an industrial process or in the internal functioning of the computer itself.
* iv) The Thai Patent Act does not explicitly exclude business methods from patentability and it is debatable whether business methods are patentable under the Thai Patent Act. Arguably, Thai patents for pure business methods would not be granted because they cannot satisfy the meaning of invention under the Patent Act. According to Section 3 of the Patent Act, invention means any innovation or invention, which creates a new product or process, or any improvement of a known product or process. Furthermore, the Patent Act defines process as “any method, art or process of producing, maintaining or improving the quality of a product, including the application of such process”. A pure business method is neither a product nor a process of producing, maintaining, or improving the quality of a product under the meaning of Section 3.

Glyn Moody names the story of Nortel as a cautionary tale about the harms of patents (Novell is mentioned too).

These cases show yet again why patents just don’t do what they are supposed to – encourage innovation – but act as very serious threats to other companies that *are* innovating. As more and more of these software stars die, so the number of patent black holes will increase, and with them the unworkability of the patent system. Time to reboot that particular universe…

How about those patents which prevent doctors from saving lives? Are these really necessary? Here is an explanation of why these patents are not necessary, either (despite lobbying for them from the Gates Foundation).

Publicly-funded science, on the other hand, devoid of the conflict of interest generated by the corporate need for profits, works. The work on the breast cancer vaccine is showing just how. I could find no patent, either, registered for the work on the vaccine. Perhaps, like Jonas Salk, Dr. Vincent Tuohy would view such a patent as the equivalent of patenting the sun. Let’s hope. Meanwhile, this story illustrates how science can work, and why the arguments regarding the necessity of patents to fuel medical breakthroughs is bunk.

Those who refuse to publicly fund such research will eventually pay the high price anyway, due to overpriced drugs which were developed in inefficient, exclusionary ways. Here is another new example of patents going wrong:

Ablaise Ltd. can no longer demand that Dow Jones & Co. pay for its patented technology for personalizing content on websites, the 9th Circuit ruled.

How can that be patented? There are equally ridiculous patents (and worse) in the USPTO database.

Microsoft Surrenders in Another Patent Case and Proves Yet Again That Its Patents Are Worthless

Posted in Courtroom, IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 9:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cat claw closeup

Summary: Microsoft is a toothless and clawless cat when it comes to patents, suggests more new evidence

ACCORDING to the press release and press coverage [1, 2, 3, 4], Microsoft has just settled with BackWeb [1, 2], weeks after settling with Acacia. We have also just learned that “Microsoft Patents ‘Fonts With Feelings’,” assuming that the interpretation in Slashdot is correct.

“Seems like those old IBM flaming logo commercials (video) should count as prior art, but the USPTO granted Microsoft a patent Tuesday for inventing Fonts With Feelings. Giving font characters sound, motion, and altered appearance, Microsoft asserts, gives a user ‘the impression the fonts have personalities,’ thereby enhancing the user’s understanding and/or fluency of words. From the patent: ‘As a few non-limiting examples, the word ‘giant’ can get very large; the word ‘lion’ can morph into a line drawing of a lion; the word ‘toss’ can morph into a hand that animates a ball toss; the word ‘bees’ could show bees flying around with or without a ‘buzz’ sound effect’. If you’re curious, Microsoft Research offers some explanations and examples of ‘fontlings’ in action — don’t miss ‘f’ kicks ‘a’!”

If this is true, it’s another good example of bad Microsoft patents which are worthless and can be trashed within minutes of exploration. Is this representative of Microsoft’s patent portfolio that mostly comprises maths and can thus be thrown aside after the Bilski decision (assuming it stands)?

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