“Bill Gates cites copyright enforcement to justify Chinese censorship. Microsoft executives used to call us communists, but they are now clearly revealed as the ones who support communist-style dictatorship.”
“Bill Gates cites copyright enforcement to justify Chinese censorship. Microsoft executives used to call us communists, but they are now clearly revealed as the ones who support communist-style dictatorship.”
The government of Africa’s northernmost country is launching the LPI training and certification programme as part of a wider project aimed at skilling-up 20,000 graduates as IT professionals.
Imagine that in about a month, a third of the world’s PCs stop being updated for software…
Waves of malware rear their ugly heads and exploit zero-day flaws one after the other. PCs run slower and slower as they send out spam and spy on everyone. Finally work grinds to a halt.
Let’s see whether machines quitting will drive users to GNU/Linux and sane behaviour of PCs.
The EU Competition Commission ruling on M$ has some interesting facts on share.
On page 121 of 302 pages are these tidbits:
* 2000 units shipped with GNU/Linux 1.7%
* 2001 units shipped with GNU/Linux 2.3%
* 2002 units shipped with GNU/Linux 2.8%
Those numbers are from surveys done by IDC. They were the basis for IDC declaring GNU/Linux overtook MacOS by about 2003 and they are consistent with M$’s revelation of 7% share in 2009. They do not count installation by individuals and small businesses which could be large.
Google software engineer John Koleszar addressed the open source community regarding the VP8 codec and the steps needed to further optimize to codec within the WebM project.
Version 2.4.x of the Linux kernel allowed easy access to encrypted filesystems via the loopback device. While the 2.6 series provides improved facilities in the form of the device-mapper, they are more complicated to use and require superuser privileges. To get back to simplicity, English developer RW Penney created cryptmount, a utility that manages all the details so that a user can just type cryptmount my_filesystem or cryptmount -u my_filesystem to make their data available or hidden.
The very latest work going on within Mesa’s core, the DRI drivers, and the Gallium3D stack for the past several months are what will eventually form Mesa 7.9 once released in the coming months. However, for those living atop Mesa’s stable code-base and not this experimental code, the second point release of Mesa 7.8 has arrived.
Usenet is a worldwide distributed Internet discussion system. It was founded in 1980 to enable users to read and post public messages to various newsgroups. As such, it predates forums, blogs, instant messaging and P2P networks.
Squid-deb-proxy is a new package for Ubuntu 10.04, and it’s designed to make your life easier and allow faster updates if you manage more than one Ubuntu machine. Conceptually, squid-deb-proxy consists of two pieces, a client and a server. The server package is “squid-deb-proxy” and the client package is “squid-deb-proxy-client”. The “squid-deb-proxy” server package is basically a squid caching server, with an out-of-the box configuration that allows it to cache .deb packages and make them accessible to the local area network. The “squid-deb-proxy-client” package is basically an include file to your standard apt configuration that makes apt aware of the squid-deb-proxy.
The world’s largest Linux provider, Red Hat, did well in the downturn as companies took a second look at affordable open source solutions. CEO Jim Whitehurst, 41, who joined in 2008 after leading Delta Airlines out of bankruptcy, is aiming for Red Hat’s sales to hit $1 billion by 2012.
When Red Hat Summit starts June 22 in Boston, Red Hat will maintain a careful virtualization balancing act. During one session, Red Hat and Microsoft will discuss how they work together on virtualization. But during a separate session, Red Hat will describe how Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) offers cost advantages over both VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V. Here are the details.
To sum it up, I think Fedora 13 is much better than its predecessors, but still cannot compete with the likes of Mint, Ubuntu, Mandriva, and associated folks, which provide the common users with more tools and more intuitive tools to enjoy their desktop. Fedora makes sense for veterans, developers, tech junkies, and explorers, who want to dabble in what will and could become the mainstream in 3-4 years.
Ever since Canonical started with Ubuntu One (or “U1″), people have been crying and whining about it being a proprietary pile of goo. For someone who has been active in the free software world for a long time, and still has his brains about him, this makes no sense whatsoever.
Every six months Ubuntu releases a new version. October’s proposed release includes a few key changes
Ubuntu Lucid was released in April and the next release of the popular Linux operating system is now looming large. Planned for final release in October this year, Ubuntu 10.10, otherwise known as Maverick Meerkat, is already available as an alpha release.
This is according to results from recent usability testing by the Ubuntu design team.
After much planning and thought about implementing new categories on Buntfu.com it became apparent that the structure needed to be descriptive yet open enough to require little maintenance was more challenging than originally anticipated. Yet, the importance and significance of supporting more hardware and software that works with Free and Open Source systems was too great to ignore. Many categories were directly influenced by Ebay in an effort to produce a familiar environment.
Three new modules for the Beagle Board embedded Linux and Android OS platform from Liquidware can help assist rapid prototyping Open Source hardware gadgets.
If you are looking for a rugged Android phone this may exactly be what you are looking for.
This phone was originally build for windows mobile, but nowadays they also ship it with android.
And I have to say, it actually looks nice for a rugged phone.
Android on desktop video terminals, a great idea especially when they are extendable with apps and widgets. This looks like a very nice video terminal to have on your desktop. I can think of lots of possibilities, for instance installing the openremote home automation app.
Threading is no small topic in programming circles.
Some folks love them. Some hate them.
Whether they are good or evil is a debate for the pious among us — I use them when they fit and you might want to do the same.
In this article we’re going to have a look at a basic building block of Android applications — performing an operation in a secondary thread while keeping the primary GUI thread accessible and the user up to date at all times.
Free and open-source software (FOSS) is everywhere. Its offerings span far and wide in the technology industry. The networking space is an excellent example of FOSS, with feature-packed firewalls, routers, VPNs and even UTMs, for nearly every need. In this article I will introduce you to a few of the commercially-supported open-source network security options currently available in the marketplace today. With open-source networking you can enjoy the benefits of lower costs, greater security, flexibility, extensibility and full enterprise support. Here are three examples.
Like many of its larger rivals, Digium is launching specializations within the company’s global channel partner program. If the strategy works as advertised, Digium’s open source IP PBX partners will gain deeper expertise in unified communications and VoIP telephony solutions. Here’s a look at Digium’s strategy and the implications for VARs.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, in a cooperation with the Tor Project, has released a beta version of the “HTTPS Everywhere” Firefox extension.
At the time of writing the leaders, with more than 6,000 personas installed, is Brazil followed by Germany with almost 3,000. Third place is currently held by Argentina.
How many add-ons do you have in Firefox? How much time did you spend in Firefox last week?
If you have opted into the Mozilla Labs Test Pilot add-on survey system — now you know, and so does Mozilla.
As previously mentioned we have been working hard over the past few months on the driver for version 2 of our Linux hardware compression card. Since version 2 is a complete rewrite of our DVR software we naturally wanted to start with a clean driver, one that was written from scratch. So, we leveraged the Linux kernel’s API for Video (Video4Linux) and Audio (ALSA). This effectively puts Bluecherry as the first company to produce a multi-input MPEG-4 hardware compression GPL driver written around the Linux kernel’s API.
Open source telephony service for businesses allows drag-and-drop call routing, text-to-speech, voice transcription and voicemail forwarding.
The European Union’s Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR.eu) has so far published 72 case studies. It’s most recent one, on the OSOR itself, was published last week.
The case study, “OSOR: The more they know the more they share, Introducing Open Source Software communities to Europe’s public sector’, concludes the first phase of the project but the European Commission is about to organise OSOR’s continuation.
Some rumours have emerged that IBM is considering an OS/2 comeback and I’m filled with the same mixed feelings that always emerge whenever the subject is raised. Would I want OS/2 back on my desktop now? Not really. Have these rumours got me a bit excited? Absolutely. In fact, I’m willing to take a guess about what the new OS/2 might be.
Southern Ocean sperm whales offset their carbon footprint by defecating, scientists said on Wednesday, releasing tonnes of iron a year that stimulates the growth of phytoplankton which in turn absorb carbon dioxide.
The Pentagon revealed last week that Afghanistan has as much as $1 trillion in mineral wealth, a potential game changer in the ongoing conflict there. Many news outlets have picked up this story, with some simply repeating the official talking points, while others raise serious concerns. Is this ‘discovery’ just hype, or will this truly alter the landscape of the Afghan war? Perhaps more importantly, can this mineral wealth (whether real or illusory) pave the way to a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan, or is it more likely to drive geopolitical feedback loops that plunge the region further into turmoil? Below the fold is a quick look at the as-of-yet unasked questions about Afghanistan’s buried treasure.
Of course, you have to wonder if this kind of oil-eating bacteria wasn’t locked up to one provider for many years due to a patent, if much of that research on how to make it both safe and practical would have been done already. Probably could have helped a lot. Instead, we set things up so that living organisms can be patented, limiting the ability to do actual research on the impact of those patented organisms to just one party, greatly limiting our understanding of their practicality and safety. Progress?
ExxonMobil would have been as powerless as BP to stop the Gulf of Mexico gusher, the chief of the world’s biggest oil company told Congress today in a contentious hearing into the oil spill.
The admission undermined attempts by oil multinationals Exxon, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell to claim they operated to a higher safety standard than BP in testimony before the house energy and commerce committee.
A U.S. District Court has made British Petroleum remove language from a Master Charter Agreement that would limit boat captains’ legal rights before allowing them to help clean up the Deepwater Horizon oil gusher.
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana opened Sunday afternoon to receive the petition of commercial fisherman to nullify and strike the offensive language in the British Petroleum volunteer fisherman charter contract.
The essay argues that the fiscal strains are growing so large on some local governments that it is beginning to make sense politically and economically for them to default.
When you go into a convenience store, should you be able to get a discount for using a debit card instead of a credit card? Should a store owner be allowed to refuse credit cards on transactions under $10?
Federal regulators on Thursday put forward proposed new rules spelling out when and at what prices stock trades would be canceled, in a response to last month’s “flash crash” in the market.
Bankers would retain some say over the operations of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks but would lose their ability to vote for regional bank presidents under a House-Senate deal Thursday on a broad financial regulation bill.
At this critical moment, while the House and Senate are merging the final measure of the most significant changes to financial regulation since the Great Depression, Goldman Sachs is fighting tooth and nail to water down Congress’ Financial Regulatory Reform Bill before it comes to a vote in the next days. It is a moment for the ‘old boy’ network to go into high gear.
A US lawyer has been arrested on allegations of genocide denial, days after arriving in Rwanda, the nation’s police force has said.
Internet service providers will face legal action and have their licences withdrawn if they refuse to cooperate with the government to block websites deemed to be defamatory to the monarchy, the ICT minister warns.
The CRES website blockade has added more controversies to the already-problematic lese majeste and cyber laws and their application which has in the past few years curbed the people’s basic rights and has ushered the society into the climate of fear, according to a seminar on “Critiques on CRES Anti-Monarchy Accusation” held on Thursday.
This is a beautiful demonstration of a flaw at the heart of copyright: whenever an existing business model based around a monopoly starts to fail, the reflexive approach is to demand yet more monopolies in an attempt to shore it up. And the faster people point out why that won’t solve the problem, the faster the demands come for even more oppressive and unreasonable legislation to try to head off those issues.
And make no mistake: if Germany adopts this approach, there will be squeals from publishers around the world demanding “parity”, just as there have been with the term of copyright. And so the ratchet will be turned once more.
Writing Better Shell Scripts – Part 1
Summary: Latest news about intellectual monopolies that affect software for the most part; abuse facilitated by the patent system is shown too
As mentioned in earlier posts, Yours Truly presented at a conference in Rwanda a couple of weeks ago. The conference was attended by African IP office officials, and dealt mostly with software protection topics such as software patents, open source software and standards. However, I was surprised to find that one of the topics that interested the attendees the most was not software protection as such, but government software procurement guidelines.
This may seem like an incredibly dry subject (I can already hear mouse buttons busily changing page), but government software procurement has become the latest battlefront between proprietary and non-proprietary software. For example, some of you may remember the big keruffle when the International Intellectual Property Alliance submitted a paper to the U.S. Trade Representative accusing countries that favoured open source software in their legislation, and asking that they should be placed in Special 301 Watchlist, which is usually reserved to countries rife with piracy.
The new complaint, being looked at by the European Commission, comes from Icera, a UK rival, which claims that Qualcomm is using patent-related incentives to discourage customers from doing business with Icera.
Also covered in:
For years now, experts and observers have claimed the U.S. patent system is broken. They all have different ideas about why and how to fix it. Congress floats some kind of reform legislation every year, it seems, but nothing that requires significant change has made it all the way through the process. (Maybe this is the year?)
The same day, and yet another patent action, this time involving another clutch of IT companies being sued over software patents.
A case was launched in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division alleging that Xerox, Activision, Ademero, Cakewalk, Check Point Software, Coffeecup Software, Cvision, Document Imaging Solutions, Geo-Plus, Lenovo, Manedge Software, Motorola, Nvidia, Office Gemini, Polycom, Portable Tech Solutions, Silicon Graphics International, Synchronica and Treeno Software breached patents.
This time Apple, Activision, Adobe, Autodesk, Capcom, Citrix, Corel, Dassault, Delcam, Square Enix, Electronic Arts, Frontrange Solutions, IBM, Intuit, Konami, Digital Entertainment, Maximizer Software, Nuance, Parametric Technology, Sage Software, Sega, Skype, SPSS, Teradata, THQ and Legacy Interactive are the numbers that have come up on the patent roulette wheel.
Summary: Alan Bryden of ISO infamy may now be hurting Europe as well, essentially by using ‘standards’ to help bring software patents to the continent
IS Alan Bryden the new Van Der Beld [1, 2, 3]? Two years ago we showed how Bryden helped Microsoft deny its corruption (he was also mentioned in [1, 2]) when Microsoft resorted even to bribery in order to derail/exploit ISO.
Alan Bryden is coming to Brussels (see page 41 of this document [
Wednesday morning, 23 June 2010 Alan Bryden, the former ISO general secretary who let it happen and made European standard setting organisations a laughing stock of an US corporation, would speak about “European standardisation in a global environment” in the European Parliament “Internal Market and Consumer protection (IMCO) committee.
Bryden was also a member of the Commission’s EXPRESS “expert panel” group on the future of European Standardisation which report advises for strong IPR policies against open standardization. The IMCO meeting relates to the Parliament phase of the EXPRESS process and the Future of European Standardisation. Read what the winding lobby snakes write in their report to actually promote standards locked down by software patents
Let’s be frank: standards are pretty dull; but they are also important as technological gatekeepers. As the shameful OOXML saga showed, gaining the stamp of approval can be so important that some are prepared to adopt practically any means to achieve it; similarly, permitting the use of technologies that companies claim are patented in supposedly open standards can shut out open source implementations completely.
Against that background, the new EU report “Standardization for a competitive and innovative Europe: a vision for 2020” [.pdf] is a real disappointment. For something that purports to be looking forward a decade not even to mention “open source” (as far as I can tell) is an indication of just how old-fashioned and reactionary it is.
The president of the FFII says that the “EU [is] promoting the RAND term, aims to get rid of Free Software”; Separately today he wrote that the “EU [plans] to abandon its powers of harmonization of patent laws in favor of an autonomous international patent system
What is happening in Europe? Have enough lobbyists been gathered to impose software patents upon Europe through standards, which are almost the antithesis of monopoly, at least in principle? █
Summary: Nathan Myhrvold explains how he intends to make money from the nuclear energy patents which Gates urges the US government to put an additional $10,000,000,000 in
The Gates Foundation has its ringleader lobby for the taxpayers to pay his partner whom he invests in. That friend is Intellectual Ventures, the world’s largest patent troll. What does that have to do with software? Well, Bill Gates continues to threaten GNU/Linux too. We have given many examples where Bill Gates still derails large-scale migrations to GNU/Linux and his current career in the patents business is a fundamental threat to the freedom of software. A short while ago Jose wrote this long comment which he titled: “Watch Microsoft megatrolls monopolize Linux”
Oh, and getting right back to the patent question, Microsoft’s covenant doesn’t specify patents by number. They simply state that if they own and control a core dotnet patent, you get a pass. As just pointed out, this is a trap; however, note that you are still on the hook for these core patents, as Microsoft is free to sell these core mono patents to someone (eg, one of Bill Gates’ or Nathan Myhrvold’s patent troll companies), who could then turn around and sue the daylights out of potentially arbitrarily simple mono programs.
The comment above was posted in reference to Mono, which Jose believes to be a patent trap that Myhrvold|Gates may exploit some day in the future as MonoDevelop continues to be developed, touching unpermitted territories.
Speaking of the ultra-anti-competitive and arrogant Myhrvold (he bullies companies), one day he might make a more visible stance against GNU/Linux, just as he did on the Charlie Rose show a few years ago. To quote his stance on computer languages based on a famous book:
“The last thing this company needs is another fucking [computer] language.”
–Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft
GigaOM, which was previously paid by Microsoft to secretly ‘inject’ Microsoft advertising into posts, has apparently just decided to interview terrible people like Myhrvold without explaining what a fraud he really is and how he harms the industry with the massive patent troll he created along with Bill Gates. He is even worse than frauds like Peter Popoff because the damage he causes is vastly greater and Glyn Moody writes that GigaOM did a “weak piece failing to challenge super-troll IV.” For those who don’t know yet, Intellectual Ventures (IV) is a joint venture with large investments from Bill Gates, Microsoft, and even Apple. These companies essentially profit from the racketeering and the trolling Myhrvold does behind the scenes, using over 1,000 shell companies (‘satellites’).
As we mentioned the other day, Bill Gates is lobbying for his patents. To put it in the words of someone else, “Gates now runs an investment company in the guise of a charity.”
A bunch of charlatans are fooling most of the world, pretending to innovate or give away while only taking public money into their own pockets using patents. █
“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.”
Summary: Microsoft appears to have forgotten its status as a convicted monopoly abuser as it proceeds to accusing Google of returning search results; Apple too is starting to adopt monopolistic tactics
THE hypocrites from Microsoft accuse Google of monopoly. What makes it different from the usual accusations is that Microsoft is doing this directly, thus leaving itself exposed to accusations of hypocrisy. Typically, Microsoft is pushing for Google antitrust through other companies and sometimes lobbying against Google using AstroTurfers too (e.g. LawMedia Group and potentially “Consumer Watchdog” [1, 2, 3, 4] too).
Here is what The Hill says:
Microsoft may be the latest company to raise concerns about a search engine (read: Google) acting as an Internet gatekeeper, according to comments published last week on the Seattle website PubliCola.
As Mike Masnick puts it:
Microsoft should know better than to complain about Google’s actions and suggest they’re in some way anti-competitive. Remember that, even if the actual penalties (penalties? what penalties?) made the ruling meaningless, Microsoft was a convicted monopolist. Having big competitors point fingers at each other screaming about “anti-competitive” behavior is just silly.
Apple has also been embarrassed lately by accusations of worker exploitation after a spate of suicides at factories operated by Foxconn, its main Chinese manufacturer. Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs responded, characteristically, by claiming that his company is exceptionally rigorous when it comes to overseeing its suppliers. Yet worker activists say Apple bears some of the blame for Foxconn’s subsistence-pay wages and long work shifts because it persuaded Foxconn to build devices for such a low price.
Although federal antitrust officials are reportedly looking into Apple’s effort to bar rival advertising networks, it’s hard to see how the company’s tactics violate the law. Simply put, the iPhone doesn’t dominate the smartphone market. The more important question is how consumers will react to the emerging picture of Apple. They may shrug off all these developments because they don’t change how Apple’s products perform. Or they may decide that the company revered for thinking different has become just another corporate bully.
Apple’s broken-by-design products are clearly blocking competition. Since it is no violation of the law to sell proprietary software, one ought to look at how Apple exploits the secrecy of its code to abuse a monopoly. █
Summary: Fine new examples of the fragility of Microsoft lock-in systems
snydeq writes “Microsoft’s latest Black Tuesday SharePoint patch is causing Windows SharePoint Servers to lock up, according to a report from InfoWorld. There does not appear to be a single solution to the problem, which Microsoft has yet to officially acknowledge. Compounding the problem is a bug that prevents patch KB 983444 from being uninstalled. ‘Patching gurus recommend that anyone who’s encountered this problem call Microsoft support and file a problem report. Immediately. Until the level of clamor reaches a critical point, Microsoft may not have sufficient impetus to fix the patch.’”
From the original article:
Admins report that a new Microsoft patch is causing SharePoint servers to fall over — and getting them back up isn’t easy
As we argued this morning, support for Mono from companies like Infragistics seeks to guarantee that GNU/Linux inherits the flawed architecture of Microsoft software. There is nothing to be admired in it. █
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