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06.15.10

Links 15/6/2010: Chrome OS Partners, Red Hat Fastest Growing OS

Posted in News Roundup at 3:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Column: Linux Is Winning

    Linux doesn’t have a CEO. Consequently, there’s no annual keynote hosted by a charismatic alpha male. But if it did, and if there were a conference covering the first half of this year, the first speech would start with three words: ‘Linux is winning’.

  • The Linux Desktop isn’t Dead, it’s Pining

    I know it sounds crazy but the Linux Desktop isn’t dead, it’s just pining. It’s pining for the correct platform–a tablet computer. And, I’m not referring to some cheap imitation tablet that will merely satisfy a few observers and nerdlets who use Linux. I’m thinking of a tablet computer for hardcore Linux moguls. You know, the kind of Linux person who is so into Linux that he tries to carry an egg on his feet through the winter. The kind of Linux fan who carries a wallet-sized photo of Linus Torvalds in her wallet. Linux pines for a true tablet platform that will do Linux justice and vice versa. Does one exist? Not yet.

  • 10 People Who Should Use Linux

    I’ve been thinking lately that there are actually certain types of people out there that should be using Linux instead of Windows.
    Types of people who should be using Linux

    Geeks and people who enjoy tinkering with computers

    If you enjoy psychically building computers, chances are you’ll like tinkering with the operating system once your machine is running. There is no better operating system to tinker with than Linux.

    People who want easy security

    [...]

  • Who uses Linux?

    Finally, I realized that many mobile devices (cellphones, MP4s, etc.) and gaming consoles ALSO run Linux.

  • How Can Linux Out-’Fabulous’ Apple?

    As a result, “Linux needs to more effectively compete with Steve Jobs and the magic of Apple,” Zemlin added. “It’s important that open-source products add more value for users than simply being free. Open-source software also needs to be fabulous.”

    Funny that Mark Shuttleworth was making similar comments about the desktop back in 2008!

  • Desktop

    • ZaReason Verix Notebook
    • Raydesk 3.0: Revolution in Virtual Desktops

      Stickfish, a leading specialist in VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) technologies, introduces a new version of the multiplatform virtual desktop environment, Raydesk. It brings improvements in system functionality and a significantly better user experience. One of the new functions is, for example, the Menu Driven Desktop which enables users to drag & drop menu items to the desktop or to a designated area on the panel.

    • Linux Against Poverty 2010 – Making a Difference

      This year, Lynn Bender; the organizer of Linux Against Poverty has arranged for some pretty cool prizes to be raffled off to equipment donors. First prize is a pass to next year’s SXSW Interactive event. Make sure you or your company registers for the drawing….

  • Server

    • TurnKey Linux Make Launching Open Source Appliances in the Cloud Easy

      The open source project TurnKey Linux has launched a private beta of the TurnKey Hub, a service that makes it easy to launch and manage the project’s Ubuntu-based virtual appliances in the Amazon EC2 cloud.

      There are currently about 40 software bundles in Turkey Linux’s virtual library, including Joomla, WordPress, and Moodle. According to TurnKey Linux, these virtual appliances are optimized for easy deployment and maintenance. And as the name implies, launching an instance with one of the virtual appliances is very simple. Custom passwords and authentication, as well as automatic setup for EBS devices and Elastic IPs, are part of the setup process.

  • Audiocasts

    • Hacking with Open Source

      In this podcast Mitchell Ashley and Alan Shimel are joined by Mike Murray and Aaron Cohen, of The Hacker Academy. The Hacker Academy is a continuing information security training and education program fostering a community of security professionals interested in keeping their skill sets up to date.

  • Google

    • Are Dell, Acer, And HP The First Chrome OS Partners?

      Acer has long been wrapped up in rumor surrounding the forthcoming wave of Chrome OS tablets that are to be released this year. Recently implicated Dell and HP might just round off the first hardware partners that Google is planning to work with.

      On the Chromium OS website, files were found that pointed to those three companies already having specific configurations for the operating system in place to allow for coding to meet those specifications. It could be nothing more than corporations covering their bases to allow for possible future work, but at the same time, this is just too much together to write it off as complete happenstance.

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat claims fastest growing OS

        Red Hat General Manager Max McLaren has told IT Brief that the company has the fastest growing operating system in the world.

        “We are the fastest growing operating system in the world today,” he said during a recent company update.

      • The open-source entrepreneur

        Bob Young is a self-confessed contrarian with a strong desire to change the world by allowing people to share and collaborate. The approach has served him well and has helped turn the Canadian into a multi-millionaire.

        From the outset, his software company Red Hat bucked the trend set by the big players like Microsoft which stubbornly guarded every line of code and charged whopping fees to maintain it.

      • There may never be another Red Hat but that is OK

        When you put it that way Red Hat’s success becomes even more remarkable. No one has to pay an open source software company for its code. If a pure open source company is only one that depends on voluntary code payments for its bread, then getting $800 million of such payments a year is pretty amazing.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian Project News – June 14th, 2010

        Welcome to this year’s fifth issue of DPN, the newsletter for the Debian community. Topics covered in this issue include:

        * Debian Community Poll
        * Automatic installation of hardware-specific packages
        * Desktop artwork and themes for Debian “Squeeze”
        * Debian Installer string freeze coming up
        * Provisional list of talks for DebConf10
        * License usage in Debian

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • New priorities for Ubuntu?

          It’s not just UbuntuOne, it’s the new SocialMe desktop, the switching window buttons, the ever-changing selection of default applications. Each new release of Ubuntu brings with it new tools, new ways of doing things and new challenges.

          Change is necessary and one of the things I most value about Ubuntu is the ever-present push to innovate. UbuntuOne, SocialMe and others are great examples of how Ubuntu is innovating.

          The thing is that as Ubuntu grows it begins to attract new users, and the quickest way to alienate new users is to make it hard for them to do what they want to do. Or worse, promise something but not do it. Users are more likely to stick with something that works well than something that mostly works but has lots of potential.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wireless router tech support – Linksys vs. D-Link
    • Linux PC Robot < 500$ DIY Linux robot

      Looking for a cheap DIY Linux robot? This is the Linux PC robot project.
      The objective of LinuxPCRobot is to build a fully functional robotic development platform for $500 or less using linux, commonly available components, a little skill, and some good old fashioned scrounging.

    • Android

      • Nintendo DS or the First NEC Android Tablet?

        The answer is the first NEC Android tablet, despite it’s incredible similarity to the Nintendo DS. Pictured to the left is the NEC LifeTouch, and Android 2.1 based tablet with a 7 inch touch screen that will respond to both finger and stylus input.

      • A Week With Google Android 2.2: Froyo

        Google’s new Android treat has been named “Froyo” after frozen yogurt, and it’s nearly every bit as sweet as it sounds. I’ve been running a leaked Android 2.2 ROM on my Droid for a week now. Here’s a few impressions and what VARs, SMBs and anyone in general using Android phones has to look forward to with the upcoming update…

        [...]

        Even though I’m running a leaked ROM, it’s very stable. I can only see this getting better. Whispers around the ‘net are that Google is going to slow down their releases of Android updates, and focus on some solid polish before unleashing 2.3 (Gingerbread) to the world. But coming from a Droid which once ran Android 2.0, with no multi-touch and an unresponsive home screen? Android 2.2 is a breath a fresh air, especially for those with iOS 4 envy.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Sugar Learning Platform and GNOME Desktop Now Available on One Laptop per Child XO-1.5

        One Laptop Per Child announced an update to the XO-1.5 which enables both Sugar Labs’ Sugar Learning Platform and the GNOME free desktop. The Sugar Learning Platform has been featured on OLPC laptops since the original XO-1. The recent update introduces a more sophisticated interface for older students. Toggling between the two environments can be done with a single-click.

      • Chrome OS: Why so much confusion?

        What Chrome OS is not:

        * It was never intended to be a replacement for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, or any of the Linux/UNIX -based distributions.
        * It is not going to cater to everybody’s style in computing.
        * It will not necessarily bring everything that you are looking for in an OS (see previous statement).

    • Tablets

      • 5 reasons why open source will click in 2010

        In my last article on open source, I put together the reasons why shanzhai manufacturers favor open source platforms, and how they can enable them to initiate more legitimate business. The current technology trend of tablets makes me feel that 2010, the year of tablets is as much the year of open source, and the two combined may provide a breakthrough for shanzhai manufacturers.

        [...]

        4. Legitimate business: Google Android is shaping up to be the first widely accepted open source operating system that doesn’t have a fringe element tag associated with it. It’s a legitimate business option. Whilst in the past the motivation of a shanzhai manufacturer in offering a Linux option was more about offering an option that didn’t include a pirated Microsoft product, now their choice of an open source OS is totally mainstream and acceptable … legitimate.

        [...]

        In view of the fact that most computing services are shifting towards the cloud and with web-oriented handheld devices playing more of a role, light and resource efficient operating systems seem to be the future of the next generation of computing. Open source operating systems (especially Android) are becoming the prime choice of the shanzhai and I believe we’ll continue to see more in the future.

      • Q7 Linux MID nice but missing most important feature

        This is the Q7, a very nice mobile Internet device available running ubuntu or android. It has 1080p HD video playback and that could make it a top gadget. Sadly it’s missing one important feature I really think is a no-go for a device like this.

Free Software/Open Source

  • How to find a community’s cheeseheads when they aren’t wearing foam hats

    1) Find the people who bring ideas more often than opinions.

    Whether on a mailing list, a conference call, or at a meeting or event, it is pretty easy to tell who is active in a community.

    But activity is a red herring.

    Simply because someone is an active participant does not mean they are a key influencer in the community. I tend to look not for the people who are talking or emailing the most, but for the people who are generating ideas.

    In healthy communities, lots of folks are generating ideas. In unhealthy communities, a few people are generating ideas, and others are shooting them down.

    In my favorite communities, those run the open source way, there is a meritocracy of ideas where the best ideas always have a chance to win. My good friend and business partner David Burney taught me that the best way to generate the best idea is to generate a lot of ideas.

  • Twilio Releases OpenVBX, An Open Source Google Voice For Businesses

    Ever since it launched in late 2008, Twilio has a knack for making cool products. Its core service is a telephony API offering a set of commands that make it easy for developers to integrate phone and SMS services into their web-enabled applications. And today they’re releasing an open source platform based on that technology that has the potential to disrupt business-oriented call routing services in a big way — Twilio is describing it as a sort of Google Voice for businesses, with more flexibility. It’s called OpenVBX.

  • Movements

    • Free software in Africa: Striding ahead

      FOSSFA’s advocacy programme has seen unprecedented success in the past year. The FOSSWAY project (FOSS Advocacy in West Africa and Beyond) saw enormous buy-in. It has launched open source clubs, a regional FOSS study, four university roadshows, its own publications, hands-on trainings for at least 1 000 people in the use and deployment of FOSS.

    • A pony for every child – the politics of open source software

      To wrap up, we have Dana’s Tea Party Manifesto, Simon’s OSI reform campaign platform, and Neelie’s opening statement in the great EC Digital Agenda debate. Looks like a really interesting time in open source politics with many opportunities to get involved and a lot of horse-trading possibilities.

    • Phipps leads change at Open Source Initiative
  • Events

    • An Open Source Weekend

      This past weekend I didn’t watch baseball, World Cup soccer, or basketball; instead I sponsored a hallway table in a Marriott hotel in Spartanburg, SC to meet, discuss, and argue over all things open source at the SouthEast LinuxFest.

    • Ubuntu Developer Summit: Maverick Meerkat Highlights

      As each new developmental cycle commences, there is an Ubuntu Developers Summit (UDS) – it’s a biannual event where many of the developers meet to plan, and create, the goals for the next release of Ubuntu. The attendees are a mixture of Canonical employees, community members (many sponsored by Canonical) and external project representatives.

      The summit is always held in a different location, and usually switched between Europe and the USA each time. The latest one was held in La Hulpe (near Brussels), Belgium, to plan the next Ubuntu release Maverick Meerkat.

  • Databases

    • CUBRID Has Started the Clustering Project

      CUBRID plans to add the clustering support to its open source database by the end of this year, which will allow it to distribute the database across multiple servers and boost its reliability and availability.

  • CMS

    • Manatee County, Fla., Preps New Internet Portal Built on Open Source

      Manatee County, Fla.’s IT team didn’t want to spend another year battling the arbitrary limits on the back end of the county’s website.

      For five years, a patchwork mix of legacy systems turned simple Web IT tasks into time-consuming chores. With only 10 IT staff members working on the project, the county’s IT team had to create content and upload files to the content management system (CMS). But there were file size limitations so they had to hold files on a separate server. They couldn’t see front-end changes without publishing them, and sometimes edits just disappeared completely.

  • Business

    • Old-fashioned money

      Google can afford to give away Android and a huge (and growing) array of open-source software, without having to gate access to it through a compiler or contract, because Google doesn’t monetize open-source software directly. This, to me, is a far superior model, and one much more likely to lead to good community dynamics. Google is never in competition with its community, but rather can afford to be a full partner.

      Make no mistake: Red Hat is an impressive company, run by people of quality, intelligence, and integrity. Just listening to how Red Hat uses Salesforce to optimize the sales process is impressive.

      But Red Hat is the beginning, not the end, of the story on how to make $1 billion in open-source sales. Google offers far better clues as to where open-source entrepreneurs should look for inspiration, because Google reflects the reality of what “services” means in the Internet age. “Services,” in Google’s world, are far more scalable and potent than in Red Hat’s.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Python 2 series reaches last update

      Python 2.7, the last in the legacy Python 2.x dynamic language line, moved closer to general availability earlier this month when developers of the language put out a release candidate. The finished version of Python 2.7 is scheduled to be available July 3, after a second release candidate is offered on July 19, said Steve Holden, chairman of the Python Software Foundation.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • OpenCL 1.1 Fully Backwards Compatible

      The Khronos Group today announced OpenCL 1.1, a backwards compatible update that boosts performance in the parallel programming standard. OpenCL 1.1 efficiently shares images and buffers by linking event objects and fence sync objects, features memory object destructor callbacks and now allows for OpenCL commands to be enqueued from additional hosts.

Leftovers

  • The 20 Worst Charities in America

    The non-profit Charity Navigator Web site tracks such expenses via charities’ disclosure statements to the IRS to provide donors with an assessment of how well charities run themselves. Looking only at the supply side for the more than 5,500 charities that it tracks, the organization does not evaluate the impact on the recipients of funds, since that impact is often a subjective appraisal of “effectiveness.”

  • Security/Aggression

    • Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason

      A strapping Idahoan, Brandon (who doesn’t want his full name used) enlisted as a teenager when he got his girlfriend pregnant and needed a stable job, stat. (She lost the baby and they split, but he’s still glad he signed up.) Unlike his friend, he doesn’t think the United Nations must be dismantled, although he does agree that it represents the New World Order, and he suspects that concentration camps are being readied in the off-limits section of Fort Drum. He sends 500 rounds of ammunition home to Idaho each month.

  • Environment

    • Democratizing the takedown of BP

      The BP oil spill is the first major national event where the bad guy in question is subject to lampooning not just from a satirical elite but by anyone with the material and the gumption to set up a Twitter account, or hell, create a funny hashtag. Democratizing the news was a step forward. Democratizing our skepticism towards all form of power is an even greater step.

    • Climate panel chief welcomes climate debate

      The head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, says he welcomes “the development of a vigorous debate” on climate science.

      In an article for the BBC’s Green Room series, he says those on the side of “consensus” must remember that debate drives the evolution of knowledge.

      The panel and its chairman have been much criticised in recent months over errors in its landmark 2007 report.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • China’s Internet White Paper: networked authoritarianism in action

      The release of the Chinese government’s first-ever White Paper on the Internet in China provoked some head-scratching here in the Western world. Part Three of the six-part document is titled “Guaranteeing Citizens’ Freedom of Speech on the Internet.” I’ve heard from several journalists and policy analysts (not people based in China, for whom such cognitive dissonance is normal) who at first glance thought they were reading The Onion or some kind of parody site. How, people asked me, can a government that so blatantly censors the Internet claim with a straight face to be protecting and upholding freedom of speech on the Internet? The answer of course is that China’s netizens are free to do everything… except for the things they’re not free to do.

    • Smile29

      Written declaration 2010/29 is a Written Declaration according to Rule 123 of the Rules of Procedure of the EU parliament, the stated aim an ‘early warning system’ for child sexual abuse. However, a thorough reading shows that it also includes a clause about extending the Data Retention Directive to cover search engines. This is not mentioned in any of the material given to MEPs, or even in the declaration itself. Instead, the DRD is only mentioned using its referral code of 2006/24/EC. This may very well be a sneaky way of getting the Parliament to take a strong stance on Data Retention where no such stance actually exists among the MEPs.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • IEEE working group considers kinder, gentler DRM

      People don’t like DRM in large part because it removes much of their control over things like e-books, music, and movies. Want to loan a DRMed song to a friend? You probably can’t, even though sharing a physical item like a CD remains trivial.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • La guerra de los Jarritos

      “They were suing us for more than $50,000 if we didn’t change our name,” she says. “We are a small business, and we don’t have a lot of money, so I didn’t think there was a good reason to fight them.” Edith, whose mother had brought hundreds of jarritos when she moved from El Salvador, still decorates her taqueria with the jars- but the sign over the door now read El Jarro Azul. “We thought if they’re located in Texas, they should let people have their own name. But I guess not,” she gives a rueful laugh. “They’re thinking we’re going to steal their name and start making sodas or something like that.”

    • Copyrights

      • A Failure to Communicate

        For those unfamiliar with the practice, e-reserves takes its name from the traditional library “reserve” model, where a professor makes a limited number of physical copies of articles or a book chapter available for students. Those copies were generally subject to permission, and proper reproduction fees were paid to the publishers.

        In the digital world, that’s all changed. Rather than make multiple physical copies, faculty now scan or download chapters or articles, create a single copy, and place that copy on a server where students can access it (and in some cases print, download, or share). Since the practice relies on fair use (creating a single digital copy, usually from a resource already paid for, for educational purposes), permission generally isn’t sought, and thus permission fees aren’t paid, making the price right for students strapped by the high cost of tuition and textbooks, as well as for libraries with budgets stretched thinner every year.

        Not surprisingly, e-reserves are widely used and are immensely popular. Students and instructors love the convenience, ease of use, and accessibility. They are efficient and fit with the way teachers teach and students learn in the digital age. In addition, e-reserves facilitate innovations, like distance learning and collaboration.

      • ISP Attempt To Block File-Sharing Ends in Epic Failure

        In response to the country’s “3 strikes” Hadopi legislation, last week a French ISP began offering a service to block file-sharing on customer connections for ‘just’ 2 euros per month. It didn’t take long for awful vulnerabilities in the system to be found which breached not only the privacy of subscribers, but exposed them to new security threats.

      • Limewire, ISOHunt, PirateBay and the future of P2P

        It is perhaps an indication of how times have changed that the content industries have won some decisive legal battles in court against Limewire, isoHunt and the PirateBay, yet these have not prompted the same level of scrutiny that previous cases have.

        The reason for this is quite simple. Whoever thinks that the legal victories against these services will dent P2P usage is seriously deluded. Limewire for example belongs to an era long gone in file-sharing terms, it was the client-based model of P2P which provided a centralised home for infringement, and therefore it was an easy target for litigation. isoHunt and the Pirate Bay are where the file-sharing action is, but these services are not at all similar to clients such as Limewire.

      • CEO Of UK Collection Society: We Don’t Want Gov’t Handouts, But The Gov’t Must Give Us Everything We Ask For!

        Well, this is nice. Fran Nevrkla, the CEO of PPL, the collection society for performance rights in the UK, recently gave a talk that shows the ridiculous extremes with which some folks in this industry view the very consumers they’re failing to serve. Last we checked in on PPL, it was trying to shake down charities for more money and had lost a massive ruling that said it had greatly overcharged multiple venues and owed them refunds. Towards the end of the talk, Nevrkla claims that he’s disappointed that capital punishment for file sharing isn’t available.

    • ACTA

      • WD12 on ACTA: 150 signatures to go, time to call!

        Only two weeks of plenary in Strasbourg are left for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to have a chance to sign Written Declaration 12 (WD12) on ACTA. 150 signatures are still missing, mostly from Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, and Poland. Every EU citizen is encouraged to call Strasbourg offices of non-signatories MEPs until thursday, 12:00, to urge them to sign WD12.

      • FFII backs Parliament Written Declaration 12-2010 on ACTA

        The European Parliament Written Declaration 12/2010 led by MEPs Françoise Castex, Zuzana Roithová, Alexander Alvaro, Stavros Lambrinidis receives backing from the Foundation of a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), a European group for public education and consumer protection in the digital environment.

        The FFII analysed the current Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) draft and found many unintended consequences. For instance, sanctions against unauthorized “file sharing” in the digital environment would also stifle common electronic software distribution methods of operating systems and essential security updates. So far the Commission has not delivered an ‘impact assessment’ for these potential regulatory side effects.

Clip of the Day

Damian Brasher: Linux training and how to prepare (2006)


Apple Redefines Freedom, Lies About Its Products, Blocks Competitors, and Helps Microsoft

Posted in Antitrust, Apple, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 6:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Apple’s misbehaviour not only attracts an antitrust probe but it also shows whose interests Apple is serving (other than its own)

Steve Jobs is against freedom. He just is. He redefines freedom by calling the banning of everything he does not endorse the “freedom” from this thing (be it competition, GPL-licensed software, or pornography). Skip to around 22 minutes from the start of this new video from Professor Larry Lessig. Lessig is a longtime Mac user, but he really gives it to Jobs in that talk. He also recognises that GNU/Linux (yes, he calls it “GNU Linux”) is the better way to go.

Here is the latest example of controversial censorship by Apple. [via]

Not since Amazon removed digital copies of “1984″ from people’s Kindles while they slept has there been such a hilarious episode in the ongoing slapstick farce “Let’s See What Happens When Corporations Become Publishers.”

Apple has censored a “Ulysses” comic book app — just in time for “Bloomsday” — because of a picture of Buck Mulligan’s stately, plump cartoon penis.

There are many examples just like that. Apple is still controlling people’s phones, as a gatekeeper at least.

According to this article, Apple may be faking its sales figures (statistics being gamed).

During his WWDC 2010 keynote address, Apple CEO Steve Jobs boasted that the iPhone was currently number two behind RIM in smartphone sales. He quoted a Nielsen survey but there was a noticeable absentee in Apple’s stats – Symbian. So what’s the truth?

Apple’s fake or artificial hype is a subject that we covered here many times before. “Lies, damned lies, and technology hype” is the headline of this new article about Apple’s numbers.

Now we come to Apple’s latest anti-competitive practices. “Apple Wants to Kill Its Mobile Advertising Competitors,” says this article:

Apple (AAPL) seemed to relent on letting other advertising networks have access to iPhones and iPads. But that’s an illusion. The company’s actions, in context, show that Steve Jobs wants to completely lock down advertising and control all forms of revenue when it comes to iOS. The result is now an escalating level of federal scrutiny that should make any CEO nervous.

More coverage in:

Google has already responded:

TechCrunch has published “The Conundrum Of Being An Independent Mobile Ad Network Under Apple’s Rules” and Tobin drew our attention to the lack of control over corporate power. Will the government step in to counter Apple? Well, before Apple’s hypeAd service is even launched, an antitrust concern [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] goes through and the “FTC Will Investigate Apple,” says AndroidGuys (biased source, but there are others like Wired).

“Apple not only dishonours freedom but it also supports other companies that dishonour freedom.”Given that Google’s CEO used to serve in Apple, one would think that Apple should support Google but it is helping Microsoft in new ways [1, 2, 3] although only to an extent. According to more boosting from Todd Bishop, it’s not just Safari but hypePhone too where Apple links to Microsoft. This is not the first time that Apple helps Microsoft. They have a lot in common.

In conclusion, Apple cannot be trusted by Free software proponents. Apple not only dishonours freedom but it also supports other companies that dishonour freedom. Why pretend that this is not the case?

Google’s Linux Takes Microsoft’s Lunch and AstroTurfing Front ‘Consumer Watchdog’ Calls Google ‘Criminals’

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 6:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The anti-Google AstroTurfers are at it again, helping Microsoft to daemonise Google which promotes Linux at Microsoft’s expense

LAST MONTH we wrote about Google and GM putting Linux in cars to counter Ford's relationship with Microsoft. How depressing for Microsoft it must be that Ford puts Google in its cars right now, probably at Microsoft’s expense. Nothing works well for Microsoft these days, especially in devices but also on the desktop (Microsoft’s crown jewel).

In the previous post we showed that Microsoft FUD was targeting both Google and Linux (at the same time). Another new pattern of FUD has something to do with background images in Web pages. To clarify, search engine pages have had background pictures well before Microsoft. There is nothing new here, but Microsoft boosters are distorting it by claiming that Google ‘copied’ Bong [sic] by adding experimental background images one year after Microsoft. It ought to be obvious that images in the background are not “innovation”, so why spread FUD pieces like this one? There are rebuttals of sorts, but Tim of OpenBytes says that “Microsoft rejoices”:

Its been widely reported Google’s experiment of having a background picture for the front page of its search engine. I think its safe to say that the experiment was not well received and for most users I have spoken with it failed on two fronts, firstly because the simplistic “actually do the job” front page is exactly what users want and secondly because some people were reminded of Bing when opening their search engine of choice, Google. After lasting only 14 hours of the planned 24 period and It being reported that “Remove google background” was the 5th biggest trending topic for that period on Google

There is nothing to see here really. Microsoft did not ‘innovate’ rich background in a Web page, either. In SERPs it’s just too distracting, so there is little value in it at all (search bars and toolbars replace or complement the search query homepage).

“The media needs to ignore “Consumer Watchdog”, knowing based on evidence that it’s clearly an AstroTurfer pretending to be a consumer group.”Google’s own problems right not are nothing to do with wallpapers though. We wrote about this two weeks ago when Google received bad publicity and increasing levels of scrutiny from many directions (more and more countries and groups align against Google [1, 2]).

One particularly aggressive group is not really a group that’s a watchdog or even a consumer group. It’s just more provocation from the AstroTurfer called “Consumer Watchdog” [1, 2, 3]. It’s the same group that wants Google split and now it wants to portray Google as another Microsoft (or worse, despite lack of compelling evidence). Why is it quoted by The Hill? The media needs to ignore “Consumer Watchdog”, knowing based on evidence that it’s clearly an AstroTurfer pretending to be a consumer group. “Google is a bunch of criminals” is the type of headlines this AstroTurfer helps generate.

Another group, Privacy International (PI), has been accused by Google of being a front group for Microsoft and here it shows up again:

Google is “almost certain” to face prosecution for collecting data from unsecured wi-fi networks, according to Privacy International (PI).

Here is more coverage [1, 2] (the latter article says “Google Wi-Fi Data Capture Unethical, But Not Illegal”) and Google’s response. “Consumer Watchdog” is definitely an AstroTurfer (we gave proof), but we cannot show if/how Microsoft is funding it. These AstroTurfers are structured in complicated hierarchical ways that hide the flow of money. As for Privacy International, the group denied being an AstroTurfer and also accused Google of using smear campaigns after Google had alleged that Privacy International works for Microsoft.

The bottom line is that there is more to the Google backlash than meets the eye. To Microsoft, it isn’t just about search.

“Every time you use Google, you’re using a machine running the Linux kernel.”

Chris DiBona, Google

Fragmentation: The FUD That Never Dies

Posted in Apple, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Windows at 5:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft FUD

Summary: Why the “fragmentation” slur against Free software no longer applies without the messenger being extremely hypocritical

APPLE’S platform is fragmented. Microsoft’s platform is fragmented. It all depends on the definition of “fragmentation” and this word has been abused by Microsoft for years in order to spread FUD against GNU/Linux. Currently it is used by Microsoft as FUD against Android (Microsoft apparently uses former employees and bloggers whom it bribes to spread such talking points). As this latest example ought to show, the “fragmentation” curse is still being spread by the Microsoft camp (even after Google refuted it). This time it’s done by Microsoft's buddy Harry McCracken.

“Fragmentation good for the user, says Nokia” is the headline of this fairly recent article. Linux is hardly fragmented at all. There is only one Linux (kernel.org). As for graphical user interface systems, most use X and the level where there is a lot of diversity is probably working environments (there are 2 dominant ones for the desktop, namely GNOME and KDE).

“iPhone Now as Fragmented as Android” is the title of this new blog post. Take that, Apple.

At Transpond, when we were building apps on the iPhone and Android platforms last year, all of our engineers were enamored with the iPhone and annoyed with the pesky Android devices.

The iPhone environment was remarkably consistent. There was a single 480×320 screen resolution and API consistency across iPhone, iPhone 3G, and iPhone 3GS. Even though the original iPhone doesn’t have GPS, it provided an approximation based on cell towers, and our customers like CBS and NBC are more interested in syndicating video and engaging users, so we did not need the 3D graphics of the newer generation iPhones. All in all, the iPhone platform presented a clean, wonderful experience for our engineers where they could write one piece of code and it would run beautifully on all of the iPhone and iPod Touch devices.

[...]

This all changed in the first half of 2010. The engineers at Google, with backgrounds in Java and UNIX, recognized this problem and came up with a solution: the Nexus One. A lot of people thought that the Nexus One was Google’s entry into the handset market. This was actually far from the truth. The Nexus One is the equivalent of the Java Reference Implementation or UNIX POSIX and X/Open: a baseline of what handset manufacturers would have to support in order to create a real Android handset. If a developer wrote an app that ran well on the Nexus One, but it did not run well on a Motorola Droid or HTC EVO, the problem was clearly with Motorola or HTC, not with Android. In addition, Google obsoleted the 1.5/1.6 generation of handsets. So a developer could now target the Nexus One, adjust for various screen resolutions, test for hardware features such as a camera, and feel confident that their app would run on Android 2.0/2.1/2.2 devices. If a problem arose, it was a problem for Motorola or HTC to fix in their next patch, not for the developer or Android.

As we will show later on, Microsoft’s own mobile business is also heavily fragmented and confusing, especially following the failure of Windows Mobile. One thing that Microsoft and Apple phones have in common is lack of freedom. There is a lot of censorship and anti-competitive abuse by both Apple and Microsoft.

“Microsoft says no to mobile porn,” states the headline of this new article. We’ll get back to it later today.

“Wandering eyes: Windows Mobile users show lack of commitment,” say the Microsoft boosters (pessimism from Microsoft proponents too).

A Nielsen Co. study about mobile phone usage got lots of attention over the weekend for its insights into the battle between Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android. But the report also includes some interesting data about the rest of the smartphone market. And once again, the news isn’t good for Microsoft’s mobile business.

Nielsen is actually close to Microsoft, so the excuse of “bias” would not work in this case. Here are more survey details. Windows Mobile faces a tough reality no matter what Microsoft renames it to. As shown in this new post, Microsoft’s mobile business is messy and fragmented. There are too many different products which try to achieve the same thing; it’s amusing because Microsoft apparently uses the separation between Chrome OS and Android as FUD against Google. Microsoft itself has at least 3 different operating systems for mobile phones (SideKick included). “Pressure is on for Microsoft and Windows Phone 7″ states the headline of this article from CNET as Microsoft is trying to push it into businesses. Linux is the key contender here and it’s down for Apple to determine if it can gain back its advantage. The best-selling mobile platform in the United States appears to be the Linux-based Android. Microsoft is just grasping at straws and uses MSNBC to promote its mobile products this month (at least it says in the article that “MSNBC is a Microsoft – NBC joint venture.”). This article can also be found in Wired Magazine and its original publication source.

Based on early numbers, Microsoft’s product is failing to sell and its managers are leaving. As phonesreview.co.uk put it: “Microsoft KIN Phones Prices Slash Coming Due to Poor Sales?”

“As for Apple’s hypePhone, it’s not even doing the basics like multitasking.”This is also covered in Electronista, which writes: “Price drops on hot-selling smartphones like the Motorola Droid have exacerbated problems by leaving no true up-front price advantage.” As we pointed out last week, these Microsoft discounts are a sign of early defeat. “KIN” is doing pretty badly [1, 2, 3, 4] and all that Microsoft can do now is spread FUD against its competition. As for Apple’s hypePhone, it’s not even doing the basics like multitasking. Apple is very worried about Google (Linux phones and tablets with Android in particular), as we’ll show later today. eWEEK gives “10 Reasons Why Android Is Making Google the Next Apple” and other news sites offer the illusion of just 3 players, with Google playing for “Open” or “Linux” (Android/Chrome OS).

Debate Rages on Regarding the Open Invention Network (OIN)

Posted in Europe, IBM, OIN, Patents, Standard at 3:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ford and Carter

Summary: Groklaw defends IBM and OIN very stubbornly (as well other initiatives that help legitimise software patents rather than immediately eradicate them), but Florian Müller from Germany disagrees with this approach

A COUPLE of days ago, Pamela Jones (PJ), the editor of Groklaw, started what we consider to be an unfair attack. PJ shoots the messenger (Florian Müller) once again in order to defend IBM/OIN (Groklaw always defends IBM, which is a software patents proponent and a monopolist for several decades). To quote the criticism:

Mueller calls OIN a scam
02:42AM June 06/13/10, 2010
Florian “Floyd” Mueller of Fosspatents has found a new windmill to tilt at — the Open Invention Network.

“There’s absolutely no evidence it has ever helped any FOSS company” he charges at his blog.

[PJ: As usual, Mueller is totally wrong. Blankenhorn says Mueller's nickname is "Floyd". It should be Florian "FUD" Mueller. OIN has helped every FOSS company by intercepting and buying up the patents Microsoft tried to shop around so that third parties could sue Linux. Where was he when that happened? Microsoft tried to auction off some patents that they claimed relate to Linux. Patent trolls could have bought them. Instead Open Invention Network (OIN) got them. And OIN also helped TomTom, who instead of paying Microsoft to use FAT, instead removed it. Here's one bit of what Jim Zemlin of the Linux Foundation said at the time about the case, and notice the credit given to OIN: "There is another silver lining here. We read the outcome of this case as a testament to the power of a concerted and well-coordinated effort by the Linux industry and organizations such as the Open Invention Network, the SFLC and the Linux Foundation. This was not merely a typical David vs. Goliath story. This time David aligned itself with the multiple slingshots of the Linux community. Microsoft relented as soon as TomTom showed they were aligned with that community and ready to fight. The system is working." So if Blankenhorn is thinking that Mueller is a FOSS person, he's mistaken. He's not even an Open Source person, I'd opine. If he were one, he's very much out of the loop, judging from his ignorance of the role OIN is playing. As for Blankenhorn's suggestion that Mueller should carry Richard Stallman's torch, that is laughable as well as creepy.] – Dana Blankenhorn

Dana Blankenhorn wrote about this little Groklaw controversy in a new ZDnet blog post yesterday. “He’s a character with his special sense of humor,” told us Müller, “and I try not to take things personal the way he writes them.”

Blankenhorn is not a proponent of Free software and neither is Groklaw (which spends a lot of time defending Apple, posting links about its products, and even Fog Computing sometimes). Blankenhorn ought to actually start using GNU/Linux in order to understand it. As mentioned in the comments and in here or here, “does the guy even know what he’s writing about? FreeBSD among “Linux outfits”? jeez.”

“IBM has an immense library of software patents, which give it a place at the table of every open source debate.”
      –Dana Blankenhorn
Blankenhorn responds to Groklaw’s outburst and he correctly states: “When idealists are attacked from inside their party, it’s useful to note where the criticism is coming from, and why. Groklaw, for instance, has to my knowledge never set itself in opposition to IBM in any great open source debate. They are a player in all debates, but their word is never definitive.

“IBM has an immense library of software patents, which give it a place at the table of every open source debate. Through the Open Invention Network, it has created a commons with other open source players. But it is, as Mueller notes, a closed system, a poker table where your ante is your patent portfolio.”

We asked Müller to respond for quoting. Regarding the allegations posted in Groklaw, Müller sent us the following statement which he considers fine for quoting verbatim:

My nickname is neither “Floyd” (Dana confuses me intentionally with another person: http://floydmueller.com) nor “FUD”. Of course there are issues, including in the OIN context, where I personally have fears, uncertainty and doubts, and there are reasons for it. That does not make “FUD” my agenda. Instead, my agenda with the FOSS Patents blog is to provide information that (i) helps FOSS developers, distributors and users identify, avoid and deal with patent-related problems and (ii) puts a spotlight on ulterior motives
and hypocrisy on the part of false friends of Free and Open Source Software. A long time ago I thought Groklaw shared the first goal. But by writing that IBM is free to sue the pants off TurboHercules, PJ has unfortunately shown that her agenda is different.

Throughout all those years PJ has never criticized IBM for anything other than disagreeing with that company on software patents. By contrast, on my blog and in my speeches, including recently such as at LinuxTag, I have meanwhile criticized something about every major player in the industry who has something to do with FOSS and patents. Not sparing any company is also the TechRights approach as far as I can see. But it’s not the way Groklaw operates.

I don’t claim to be a community leader. It’s Dana Blankenhorn’s journalistic freedom to portray me as a future community leader but after the article came out I told him in an email that I’m focused on patent issues and not at all aspiring to be what he thinks.

The only source PJ has for her theory of OIN having helped TomTom (although TomTom only became a non-paying licensee like dozens of others) is the Linux Foundation. Jim Zemlin is His Master’s Voice when IBM, the Linux Foundation’s largest sponsor, is involved, and IBM is a driving force behind the OIN as well.

If the OIN could solve the problem,
- why did TomTom have to agree to rewrite its software over the next two years to work around Microsoft’s patents?
- why did TomTom have to agree to pay royalties to Microsoft?
- why is Apple suing HTC?
- why is HTC paying patent royalties to Microsoft?
- why can’t the OIN use its patents to obtain legally binding statements of
non-assertion from key MPEG LA members (especially given that MPEG LA recently announced the possible creation of a WebM-related patent pool and considering that Google is an OIN licensee just like TomTom)? And one could find countless other examples that indicate that the OIN isn’t the answer.

Also, PJ asked where I was when the OIN bought up patents that Microsoft auctioned off. Under the subhead “So what is the OIN good for”, I clearly mention OIN’s patent-buying activity and provide my view on it. I’ve copied
the passage here:

The OIN continues to buy patents at auctions that might otherwise be acquired by regular trolls. At first sight, that may sound good. But given the intransparent and arbitrary structure of the OIN, it’s not clear whether that’s actually the lesser or the greater evil than a conventional troll. In the end, the OIN is under the control of those six companies who could decide to use some of those patents against competitors, including FOSS competitors. By controlling the definition of what the OIN calls the “Linux System”, they can always ensure that their competitors don’t benefit from it, even if they were or became OIN licensees.

I didn’t say the trolls should have those patents. Not at all. But on my harmfulness ranking of ways to use software patents, trolls only rank second and malicious strategic holders rank first.

I wonder why PJ thinks it’s a good idea that the OIN has completely arbitrary definition of the “Linux System” (meaning the software that is protected) in place, without any objective criteria such as “software shipped with major GNU/Linux distributions”…

Finally, I would like to stress that I have a lot of hope for the Defensive Patent License (DPL), which has not yet been published but on which several media (though not Groklaw) have reported. When the DPL is finally available, and provided that it is as good as I hope it will be, it will be interesting to see how the OIN’s backers respond to it.

Hope this helps — please let me know if there’s any aspect that’s important to you but has not yet been addressed by me.

Müller then proceeded to claiming that ECIS is hypocritical and that “there are three companies who are members of both organizations [OFE and ECIS]: IBM, Oracle, Red Hat.” In another post he noted: “On Thursday and Friday of last week, I saw hypocrisy of the worst kind: two IBM vice presidents preaching open standards values to EU decision-makers and FOSS community members instead of practicing them at their own company, which would really need that kind of lecturing.”

“On Thursday and Friday of last week, I saw hypocrisy of the worst kind: two IBM vice presidents preaching open standards values to EU decision-makers and FOSS community members instead of practicing them at their own company, which would really need that kind of lecturing.”
      –Florian Müller
Our criticism of IBM’s approach toward software patents goes about a year back (the attitude changed after FFII had helped show that IBM was lobbying for software patents). There are certain questions IBM ought to answer, but IBM is very discreet and it rarely speaks to the public about this taboo subject. It mostly speaks using press releases. Müller’s new posts also contain a word about Google’s “promise” not sue (not against Free/open source projects anyway). It’s similar to IBM’s strategy and we have criticised Google for it [1, 2]. We oppose certain behaviours, not certain brands.

Groklaw does not always stand up for software freedom. Florian Müller does not stand up for software freedom either, as his actions in Munich show quite clearly, but he did work hard to keep software patents out of Europe and for that he deserves credit. We ought to look at IBM sceptically as well as at others. We should view groups of people (companies) not just based on brands, but based on policy/behaviour. We should utilise a judgment/meter which is based on a moral compass, not a brand compass.

There might be a difference in perspective because here in Europe we generally don’t have software patents (that are formally legitimate). In the US they need to resort to civil disobedience and challenge existing laws which are lobbied for by companies like IBM which built vast portfolios of software patents with parasites like Marshall Phelps, who later did the same for Microsoft.

I personally view OIN as a temporary fix. It can be very effective sometimes [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], but it’s not a permanent solution. I know other people who have been feeling the same way for several years. The real solution is abolition of software patents. OIN is M.A.D., abolition is disarmament.

Florian Müller comes from Europe (where we don’t have software patents), so the difference in perspectives wrt Groklaw ought to make sense. Maybe it’s the geographical divide and diversity of opinions is always a good thing. Without it, no better solutions can ever be found. It’s like evolution. Techrights sidles with neither side in this argument and this post hopefully presented both sides fairly, leaving readers to draw their own conclusions.

“Tens of Thousands of [Microsoft IIS] Sites” Are Being Compromised

Posted in Database, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 2:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Weird poem

Summary: Another live example of Microsoft ‘security’ at work; debunking the latest Linux lies from Ed Bott

“SECURITY through obscurity” sounds like a good idea in theory. As we recently found out (and had confirmed by Microsoft), part of this obscurity is lack of disclosure. Microsoft is silently patching flaws that it never discloses, which is dishonest if not fraudulent when Microsoft issues security reports based on such oversight.

According to this new article, “tens of thousands of sites” running Microsoft’s software are paying the price for having ‘secret’ vulnerabilities:

There’s a large-scale attack underway that is targeting Web servers running Microsoft’s IIS software, injecting the sites with a specific malicious script. The attack has compromised tens of thousands of sites already, experts say, and there’s no clear indication of who’s behind the campaign right now.

The attack, which researchers first noticed earlier this week, already has affected a few high-profile sites, including those belonging to The Wall Street Journal and The Jerusalem Post. Some analyses of the IIS attack suggest that it is directed at a third-party ad management script found on these sites.

This must be the latest example of why nobody gets fired for avoiding Microsoft.

Speaking of Windows security, “Juniper Networks Protects Customers From New Microsoft Vulnerabilities” after Juniper became filled with Microsoft managers [1, 2, 3]. It’s just something to bear in mind.

There is some bad FUD about Linux security at the moment (coming primarily from Ed Bott). SJVN has already responded to this FUD:

Here’s what really happened. UnrealIRCd, a rather obscure open-source IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server, wasn’t so much hacked as the program it was letting people download has been replaced by one with a built-in security hole. Or, as they explained on their site,

Microsoft boosters like Bott have been desperate to show that GNU/Linux is not more secure than Windows. As companies like Google dump Windows for security reasons, Microsoft will carry on with this FUD campaign but rely on peripherals/extensions (like Bott) to do the attacks]. That’s just how Microsoft operates when it needs FUD. See the “smoking gun” below.

“As discussed in our PR meeting this morning. David & I have spoken with Maureen O’Gara (based on go ahead from BrianV) and planted the story. She has agreed to not attribute the story to us….

“[...] Inform Maureen O’ Gara (Senior Editor Client Server News/LinuxGram) or John Markoff (NYT) of announcement on Aug 28, 2000. Owner dougmil (Approval received from BrianV to proceed)

“Contact Eric Raymond, Tim O’Reilly or Bruce Perrins to solicit support for this going against the objectives of the Open Source movement. Owner: dougmil [Doug Miller]. Note that I will not be doing this. Maureen O’Gara said she was going to call them so it looks better coming from her.”

Microsoft uses reporters as attackers

Almost Every Installation of GNU/Linux is a Download of OpenOffice.org

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OpenOffice, Oracle at 2:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

CD-DVD

Summary: A quick analysis of office suites market share, a word about Microsoft’s semi-exclusion of GNU/Linux from Office, and a criticism/assessment of lack of value in the next release

PEOPLE love to claim that a lot of OpenOffice.org downloads are actually downloads for Windows, but how easy it must be to forget that GNU/Linux users in general rarely download as much software as Windows users. Distributions that are widely used come with vast amounts of software (typically over a thousand packages) and additional software gets installed through repositories, some of which are mirrored/cached locally, which makes it harder to count downloads just as it is hard to count downloads/installations of a GNU/Linux distribution. Beth Lynn Eicher continues to remind us that Fedora claims over 23 million users, which also means many OpenOffice.org users on GNU/Linux.

One download was done by someone with the Fedora project which packaged the OpenOffice.Org for 23 million users.

One reader of ours, Oiaohm, found it worthwhile to discuss the next version of Microsoft Office. The Washington Post calls Office Web Apps “free but inadequate, limited”; from the opening paragraph:

Back when cellphones flipped open, the impending arrival of a new version of Microsoft Office would be stop-the-presses material. Now, even the debut of a free version of Microsoft’s flagship productivity suite can seem less exciting than temporary tweaks to Google’s home page.

It is worth reminding ourselves that Microsoft’s next Office (at least the Web-based version or Office Web Apps) is not for GNU/Linux users without a Microsoft Office licence. It’s ridiculous. They don’t understand the Web and they create artificial scarcities that ‘punish’ GNU/Linux users. “In the past it was an extra feature [if] OEM had to push products, i.e putting trial versions on,” remarked Oiaohm.

“Now it’s looking like it will become open to everyone. Next thing is fully operational trials makes pirating simpler… And safer for pirates. Basically I see it as desperate actions.” Office figures were down in Microsoft’s last financial report [1, 2, 3, 4].

Patents Roundup: No Bilski Yet, Gene Patents Revisited, Microsoft Partners With Patent Aggressor (Against Free Software) NetApp, Microsoft at LinuxTag 2010

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Patents, Standard, SUN at 1:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Software patents protest against EPO

Summary: The big decision that may impact software patents is imminent but not there yet; the ugly business of gene patenting is revealed; Microsoft becomes partner of a company that sued Free software; Microsoft’s booth is shown in a Linux conference in Europe, where Microsoft lobbied Neelie Kroes into accepting software patents inside standards

ANOTHER Monday comes to an end and still no decision regarding the Bilski case (for reasons we explained recently [1, 2, 3]). Red Hat’s Richard Fontana writes: “SCOTUS issues opinions in 4 argued cases but no Bilski!”

He also writes: “SCOTUS announces that they will issue more opinions on Thursday – next possibility for Bilski”

In Re Bilski is about business method patents, but there are other types of patents that ought to be excluded already, notably software patents and patents on genes. The latter are a subject that we write a lot about; it’s where patents harm life and delegitimise the patent system as a whole. The now-infamous cancer gene monopoly receives hard treatment but the problem is broader than that:

United States: Ground-breaking Federal District Court Ruling on Gene Patents

[...]

Editor: Do you see any of your larger clients selling off some of their patent portfolios?

Camacho: I see very few of my clients selling off patent assets except in connection with the sale of a portion of the business, which will typically include the portion of the patent portfolio to which it pertained. More often, my clients are finding strategic partnerships in which they can monetize their patent portfolio by licensing the technology in markets that are ancillary or orthogonal to the client’s primary market – i.e., they don’t want to license the technology to a competitor. However, when a client has a large number of overlapping patents on a particular product and the value of pushing through incremental advances on that particular product is marginal at best, I do see clients choosing to spend less of their IP budget on getting additional patent coverage.

Here is an update on the Rambus case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. Rambus trapped its competitors using patents inside industry standards. It’s a lesson for GNU/Linux users to learn because Microsoft’s strategy is like Rambus’ in some ways.

Court Reschedules Rambus Patent Hearing

Rambus on Wednesday said that a U.S. federal appeals court has rescheduled a hearing in the company’s patent infringement cases with rivals Hynix Semiconductor and Micron Technology.

One interesting item of news that we found is about NetApp partnering with Microsoft a few years after their lawsuit against Free/open source software from Sun (not to suggest a direct causal relationship/correlation). Here are some articles about those two love birds:

Here is the press release. NetApp is somewhat of a patent parasite and according to another new press release, it’s not the only storage-oriented company to sign up with Microsoft this month.

Here is FFII taking a photograph at Microsoft´s LinuxTag booth. Microsoft attended the event for malicious reasons [1, 2]. Here is the FFII’s new page about its LinuxTag 2010 workshop:

We did an informal workshop, where interested people discussed current matters on software patents, open standards and other FFII topics.

The president of the FFII links to this new statement from Neelie Kroes, who he claims to be “not against software patents in standards” (based on her speech).

“[T]his means she’s [Kroes] in favour of software patents”
      –Rui Seabra
Microsoft was lobbying to change her views [1, 2, 3] and Rui Seabra responds to the above by saying that “this means she’s in favour of software patents” (this is not news to us).

As BoingBoing reminds us, prior art is everywhere (sometimes not implemented in software form), so this whole idea of owning abstract ideas ought to be suppressed.

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