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

06.25.10

New JavaZone Trailer (as Ogg)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Humour, Java, Microsoft, Mono, Videos, Windows at 8:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Today’s new video about Java


Direct link

Hat tip: SubSonica

Microsoft Sued for Patent Violations and Monday Seems Likely to End Stupid Patents

Posted in Courtroom, Law, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 8:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

John Paul Stevens, SCOTUS photo - portrait
John Paul Stevens, SCOTUS

Summary: Salesforce sues Microsoft in exchange for Microsoft’s frivolous lawsuit; The Patently-O crowd says that Justice John Paul Stevens, whose track record is hostile towards software patents, is the one writing the Bilski decision for SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States)

Microsoft, which struggles online where it loses almost $3 billion per year, sues those who succeed online. Microsoft decided to attack Salesforce using software patents [1, 2, 3, 4], only to be sued in return.

Salesforce.com Inc. filed a patent- infringement lawsuit today against Microsoft Corp., escalating a fight between the two companies over the growing market for cloud-computing software.

Salesforce enlists David Boies (from the famous Microsoft antitrust case) to show that racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] won’t work. This was promptly covered in:

“Software patent wars are crazy,” remarked one of our readers about it, “but only the lawyers like them. Well maybe Judges as well, as Judges were lawyers first before becoming Judges.”

Speaking of judges, Justice John Paul Stevens is believed to be writing the SCOTUS Bilski decision just before his retirement [1, 2, 3].

“Widespread agreement that Justice Stevens is writing the Court’s opinion in Bilski,” writes the president of the FFII regarding this new post from Patently-O:

It remains a puzzle why the petitioners in this case are persisting in an appeal that seems not only doomed but also capable of establishing new and unpredictable restrictions to the scope of patentable subject matter. I had previously thought that “irrational exuberance” provided the best answer—that the Bilski petitioners were likely to remain unrealistically optimistic about their chances for success right up to the end. But the presence of a multibillion-dollar corporation controlling the litigation decreases the chances that the strategy is due to simple inventor over-optimism. Perhaps the entity controlling the petitioners’ side of the case is really quite wily, for there would be no cause to “fold ’em,” if the petitioners’ side would view thorough defeat as victory. That would explain much.

“Patently-O afraid of Justice Stevens,” says Florian Müller, who tells us that the above is “the best and most encouraging article on Bilski I’ve seen to date.” Robert Pogson writes about the subject as well:

One of the side-effects of waiting breathlessly for Bilski at SCOTUS is seeing other things that the supremes decide.

A recent opinion slaps down rulings made by lower courts over decades that US securities fraud laws applied globally. There is so much assumption in the culture of the USA that the world should do things the way they do them: film, politics, copyright, software patents…

Müller’s take on the OIN withstanding [1, 2, 3], if software patent are annulled in the United States and later throughout the rest of the world (it’s possible, as traditional slavery too has become extinct), then the OIN becomes utterly redundant and can then be dismantled. For now, however, it continues to grow under the assumption that software patents hold water in the United States.

Our prediction is that the Bilski decision will stand after the assessment by SCOTUS; then, lawyers will try to interpret it as though it makes little difference, even when it successfully kills a few software patents. Monday may be a legal turning point for GNU/Linux and software freedom (whether one cares about the field of law or not). We will try to make an HTML version of the ruling as soon as it comes out (as we did the last time).

Reuters: ‘Dell [...] Estimated the Percentage of Commercial PC Users Who Have Updated to Microsoft’s Windows 7 as Still Being in “Single Digits.”’

Posted in Deception, Dell, Marketing, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 7:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Windows 7 BSoD

Summary: The lack of impact of Vista 7 on businesses, as told by one of the world’s largest OEMs

THE reality behind Vista 7 is not what Microsoft’s marketing department keeps talking about (for the press to echo). On many occasions in the past we’ve explained why Microsoft claims of ‘sales’ of Vista 7 are lies. We won’t repeat the arguments today but instead refer to this article and the following commentary:

“Dell estimated the percentage of commercial PC users who have updated to Microsoft’s Windows 7 as still in single digits.”

That says it all. The most successful version of that other OS ever, is not being adopted by business who have no need of feature bloat and eye-candy that consumers lap up having few choices in retail.

So much for unprecedented success, eh? The marketing people always find ways to ‘massage’ the numbers, even if Windows profit declines.

“Windows 98 should have been released for free on Jan. 1, 1996 and titled Windows 95.1. If this were Hollywood, then Windows 98 would be the equivalent of ‘Heaven’s Gate’, ‘Waterworld’ and ‘Godzilla’ rolled into one. A huge, overhyped, bloated, embarrassment.”

Jesse Berst, ZDNet editor & columnist IEzilla

Microsoft Xbox 360: New Casing, Same Faulty Design Underneath

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft at 7:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”

Bill Gates, Microsoft

Summary: LEDless RRoDs are hitting Microsoft’s ‘new’ version of the Xbox 360, proving that it’s just lipstick on a pig

A ‘NEW’ model of Xbox 360 was announced earlier this month and journalists were bribed to say good things about it [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. As we pointed out on a couple of occasions, LEDs disappeared, which made it impossible for RRoDs to become visible. But the same old problems were still there. Well, now it’s confirmed.

“The Red Brick Of Death (New Xbox 360 Already ‘RROD’),” says this headline which led to the allegation that “Images have been discovered on a Forum showing an Xbox 360 Slim with what is believed to be the “Red Dot of Death”. The Forum, NeoGaf has not confirmed whether or not the images are 100% real, but the images posted show one of the Xbox 360 Slim with the RDOD”; Microsoft’s statement is called “a very generic response, and no denial I can see,” says a reader of ours who adds this reference:

Xbox 360 Slim Overheating Issues Already Discovered?

The Xbox 360 Slim which was announced and released during this year’s E3 might already be having problems.

Images have been discovered on a Forum showing an Xbox 360 Slim with what is believed to be the “Red Dot of Death”. The Forum, NeoGaf has not confirmed whether or not the images are 100% real, but the images posted show one of the Xbox 360 Slim with the RDOD, and another image showing the error message on the Dashboard.

Our reader Ryan, who has had about half a dozen Xbox 360s before dropping it for good (endless RRoD loops), says that “Microsoft has lied to cover up the last mass defect until it became so widespread and they had been sued so many times, they couldn’t deny it. There was another issue with launch consoles that never got much attention. The PSU itself could overheat. There was a forum I was reading back in 2005 where people were opening the window in December to hang the PSU outside, so they could play their Xbox 360 until Microsoft sent the coffin out”

This debate went on and on for a long time last night. What will Microsoft do next? Key parts of the Xbox 360 management left the company after years of losses [1, 2, 3, 4]. Can Xbox survive these hard time?

Laffey wasp

IRC Proceedings: June 25th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

Former Microsoft Executive: Microsoft Should Lay Off 30%-40% of Its Workforce

Posted in Boycott Novell, Microsoft at 6:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SS Margareta

Summary: With just a few cash cows remaining, Microsoft is advised to cut back radically and give up on wasteful diversity

MICROSOFT IS having a hard time for reasons that SJVN put very succinctly in his latest post about Ballmer and Gates. This post has made some waves but not as many waves as the claim that an ex-exec of Microsoft says Microsoft should cut 30,000-40,000 employees (mini-Microsoft suggested just about the same). That’s a lot less than the 50,000 who Cringely suggested laying off last year (it is rumoured that Microsoft is still laying off quietly these days, not just moving existing jobs to Asia).

As for the headcount issue, our source says there’s probably 30,000 to 40,000 more employees than needed at Microsoft. There’s a lot of overlapping roles, and employees at the company are focused on solving internal issues, rather than fighting external competitors.

Here is the article from Electronista:

Ex-exec says Microsoft should cut up to 40,000 jobs

A former Microsoft executive today argued that Microsoft could easily cut 30,000 to 40,000 employees. The unnamed worker claimed that CEO Steve Ballmer organizes every division identically. While it keeps the company simple, it also creates unnecessary overhead and isn’t as effective as it could be, the executive told SAI.

Chips B. Malroy adds: “I think those cuts will sadly be forecoming at MS if this trend of non-performance continues.”

Given some recent failures that are major, larger-scale layoffs are likely to be considered at Microsoft. Microsoft’s demise does not imply victory for software freedom though, as there are other companies that increasingly behave in a similar fashion.

Links 25/6/2010: Raves About X-Plane, MeeGo Milestone Next Week

Posted in News Roundup at 5:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • The Bizarre Cathedral – 74
  • Desktop

    • GNU/Linux is More Than Good Enough in Education

      My high school just did reports using word-processing documents file-shared and write-locked. I don’t think we had a single collision amongs four teachers and all their students’ reports. Some teachers used GNU/Linux and some used that other OS. It all worked. Indeed the simpler interface of FLOSS apps tends to be easier for students to learn which lowers the overhead of introducing them to particular apps.

  • Applications

  • Games

    • X-Plane Follow-up

      During the past few weeks I’ve continued to work on getting X-Plane to function well on my Core i7 Ubuntu 10.04 box . It has been a long journey, and I’ve learned many things. As of now, I have my joystick hat button working with Jhat, and I have frame rates that vary from 30 to 60 fps while I’m flying.

    • X-Plane as a RC Flight Simulator

      I’ve recently switched entirely to Ubuntu Linux as my primary operating system. Phoenix Flight Simulator has been my primary sim for the last few years, and it only runs under Windows. This got me searching for a solution to a very big problem. In the meantime, I’d been looking for a replacement to Flight Sim-X for Linux, and that is when I found X-Plane.

      As far as flight simulators go, X-plane is pretty far advanced. However, for an RC fligh simulator it still lacks a few things. I tried a trainer, and a 3d
      airplane,

  • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

    • Details that sometimes do matter

      Seeing that 4.4′s KDM had no support for differently sized wallpapers, I was about to submit a copy of Plasma’s code there when I noticed that trunk has some code for it. Of course, different from the rest again. Also, the login sequence is basically just lucky to be so smooth. The splashscreen is supposed to stay visible until Plasma is ready with its wallpapers and panel layout. And there is code in KSMServer to ensure this. And Plasma uses it. Yet it’s apparently not used properly – during the first login, when there is more setup to be done during login, it’s perfectly possible to see how the panels are set up.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat CEO Predicts VMware Will Suffer Sun’s Fate

        As Red Hat launches a cloud strategy and inks a deeper virtualization partnership with Cisco Systems, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has a cautionary message for VMware partners. Indeed, Whitehurst claims VMware over the next few years will suffer the same fate as Sun Microsystems. Admittedly, he didn’t use those “exact” words — but draw your own conclusions based on this report…

    • Ubuntu Variants

      • Jolicloud 1.0 netbook OS to include touchscreen support

        The Jolicloud developers have confirmed that the upcoming major 1.0 release of their operating system will include support for some touchscreen displays out of the box. The developers say that Jolicloud 1.0 will also include a new HTML5 interface and launcher.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Chumby, the Next Generation

      If you’re unfamiliar with the Chumby, you might want to go back to the May 2008 issue of Linux Journal. Daniel Bartholomew showed us all about the cuddly little gadget and explained why we might want one of our very own. The folks over at www.chumby.com still sell the original Chumby device, but they’ve come out with a new model, the Chumby One. I’m rather fond of the numbering scheme they chose, because that would mean the original Chumby is number zero. If the next model is the Chumby 10, they will get extra geek points!

      How does the new revision stack up? Quite frankly, it’s great. Although it may have lost the rounded edges and squishy case, the Chumby One adds some welcome features:

      * A dedicated volume knob, for quick-and-simple volume control.
      * Rechargeable battery for Chumby uninterrupted mobility (battery not included).
      * FM radio.
      * Beefed-up CPU (454MHz).

    • MontaVista spins Linux development platform for Cortex-A9

      MontaVista Software, LLC, announced the availability of what’s claimed to be the first commercial Linux distribution and toolchain optimized for ARM Cortex-A9 processors. Offered as a market specific distribution (MSD) package for MontaVista Linux 6 (MVL6), the software includes a toolchain optimized for the multicore-enabled Cortex-A9 architecture, says the Cavium subsidiary.

    • Phones

      • Palm still designing new phones, despite HP’s doubts,

        HP wants the operating system, but is mainly focused on emerging device formats such as web-enabled printers and tablets, is the message from within the larger firm. But until the deal is finalized, expected in late July, Palm insiders say the company is not giving up on its key market and is developing new devices as well as an OS upgrade.

      • Nokia/MeeGo

Free Software/Open Source

  • Rockbox 3.6 and beyond

    Rockbox has been chugging along for years offering an open source firmware replacement for MP3 players. But how relevant is a firmware replacement for a type of device that’s slowly going extinct? With the release of Rockbox 3.6 on June 3, now is a good time to check in on the state of Rockbox and the future of the project.

  • Events

    • Mark Shuttleworth at LinuxTag

      Mark described his (and Ubuntu’s) job as taking the great work done by the development community and getting it out there where people can use it. There has been a lot of progress on the development front, resulting in a great deal of top-quality software. But that’s not where the job stops; getting that software to users, Mark says, is “a whole new level of awesome.” Achieving this new level is his objective.

    • SCALE moves to larger venue starting in 2011

      In order to accommodate its steady growth over the past few years, the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE) will move to its new home, the Hilton Los Angeles Airport, starting with SCALE 9X in 2011

    • Save the Date: MeeGo Conference 2010 in November

      It’s time to block your calendar and request approval to travel – the MeeGo Conference has been scheduled for November 15 – 17, 2010 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland. This is the annual conference for MeeGo developers, OSVs, OEMs, other integrators, and MeeGo project contributors.

  • SaaS

  • Openness

    • JCDL 2010 Keynote
    • Government Transparency

      • Gov 2.0 Down Under: Australia and open government
      • Development of the UK Government Licensing Framework

        The UK Government is developing the next generation of its licensing framework for public sector information. Building on the approach tested for data.gov.uk, part of the new framework is a machine-readable licence suitable for making central government Crown copyright as well as information and data from local government and the wider public sector available for re-use more easily. The key features are that the new licence will be: non-transactional, in that re-users do not need to obtain individual permission for re-use; free, in that there is no charge for the licence; and it will promote innovation and openness by allowing the re-use and re-purposing of a broad range of public sector information. In assembling this solution, the Government looked at the Creative Commons and Open Data Commons models, and anticipates a high degree of interoperability between these licences.

      • Open Economics: Inspiring confidence through transparency

Leftovers

  • Google seeks interwebs speed boost with TCP tweak

    Google vice president of engineering Urs Hölzle has warned that unless we update the internet’s underlying protocols, any improvements to network bandwidth will be wasted.

  • Science

    • ‘Biggest thing in farming for 10,000 years on horizon’

      Agro-boffins in America say that mankind could be on the verge of the “biggest agricultural breakthrough in 10,000 years”, as researchers close in on “perennial grains”.

      At the moment, most grain grown around the world has to be replanted after every crop. Farming so-called “annual” grain of this sort consumes a lot of resources and is hard on the land, which is especially worrying as half the world’s population lives off farmland which could easily be rendered unproductive by intensive annual grain harvests.

    • FDA Nixes Coffee as an Aphrodisiac

      The FDA warned consumers that Magic Power Coffee marketed as an aphrodisiac could have dangerous side effects.

  • Security/Aggression

    • FBI says new phone scam targets your bank account

      The FBI is warning consumers to be on the alert for scammers who tie up their phone lines while emptying their bank accounts.

      These “telephone denial-of-service” attacks are similar to ones that have been used by hackers for years to crash websites by flooding them with Internet traffic. But high-tech criminals are now using automated dialing programs and multiple accounts to overwhelm the phone lines of unsuspecting consumers and small- and medium-sized businesses.

    • G20 Summit cops get police-state powers

      Fortress city Toronto is under even fiercer police lockdown pending the arrival of guests to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper’s billion-dollar G20 party.

      Security forces already have potentially lethal weapons such as the ARWEN anti-riot rifle with which to protect the likes of US president Barack Obama.

    • Protecting cyberspace comes at a cost

      A bill before the U.S. Senate would give the president power to declare a “national cyber emergency.” Apparently, such an emergency would require that the “owner or operator of covered critical infrastructure…immediately comply with any emergency measure or action.”

  • Environment

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • EU Panel Rejects Opt-Out For Online Behavioral Advertising

      The European Union’s data protection authorities released an opinion Thursday declaring that online advertisers who seek to target ads at consumers by tracking their surfing habits must obtain consumer consent before engaging in such practices.

    • Original ‘Echelon’ secret UK-US spookery treaty published

      Old news in the world of surveillance and spookery today, as the original 1946 secret treaty between the UK and US which set up the famous “Echelon” listening system is finally published.

    • The whistleblower

      THIS month, at least, Daniel Ellsberg’s tale doesn’t seem so extraordinary. Private (formerly specialist) Bradley Manning, a 22-year-old US Army intelligence analyst, is under arrest for leaking confidential video of a 2007 US helicopter strike in Iraq that killed insurgents, civilians and two Reuters journalists, and of the 2009 Granai airstrike that killed up to 140 civilians. Julian Assange, Australian-born founder of the video’s broadcaster, WikiLeaks, is in hiding and believed to be being hunted by the US government.

    • Foreign Correspondent on Wikileaks June 22. 2010 3 of 3
  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Say “No” to Net Neutrality Nuttiness

      I’ll admit it: watching the debates about net neutrality in the US, I’ve always felt rather smug. Not for us sensible UK chappies, I thought, the destruction of what is one of the key properties of the Internet.

      [...]

      I urge you to read the Ofcom discussion paper, and then to make your views known – the consultation closes 9 September, so you have plenty of time (light summer reading?). You can either use the online form, or, for longer responses, send it to traffic.management@ofcom.org.uk. I aim to do the latter: when I’ve written my thoughts on the issues raised by Oftel, I’ll post them here.

  • Copyrights

    • Facebook Uses BitTorrent, and They Love It

      BitTorrent is the ideal way to transfer large files to thousands of locations in a short period of time. This doesn’t only apply to movies and music that are downloaded by the average BitTorrent user, companies can benefit from it as well. With help from BitTorrent, Facebook can now push hundreds of megabytes of new code to all servers worldwide in just a minute.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 24 June 2008 – A review of working with technology in Central and Western Africa (2008)


Eye on Security: Latest Windows Malware, Viruses

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 4:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mobile phone tower

Summary: Children targeted by sexual predators using Windows crackers; Central Ambulance Service downed by Windows viruses

Sexual assault by Internet

Now, this is different. A computer cracker, Luis Mijangos of Santa Ana, CA has been arrested by the FBI for taking over more than 100 Windows PCs and using what he found on them to extort sexually explicit videos from women and teenage girls by threatening to release their personal data.

Save the Women and Children From That Other OS

A predator distributed malware to PCs through digital music files. He used the malware to gather information and control PCs which escalated to demanding explicit images and video from the ladies.

Malicious code on Lenovo driver download page – Update

The driver download portal of hardware manufacturer Lenovo temporarily deployed malicious code. Various virus scanners issued alerts about a Java-based Trojan downloader or dropper. The iframe injected by attackers points to the volgo-marun.cn server and can still be found on several pages of the download.lenovo.com server.

Anti-Virus Elite 2010 Looking for a Way to Hijack your PC

Be sure not to trust this soft! Remove it as soon as you notice it on your PC! These are just several warnings flying around the web these days.

Cyber criminals have created a new rogueware, named Anti-Virus Elite 2010. Usually installed from malicious websites, or during the process of downloading video codecs or updates for your computer, the fake application starts its activities as soon as it gets to your PC.

BIS helped uncover computer attack on G20 meeting

The Czech counter-intelligence service (BIS), along with other secret services, last year participated in the investigation into the attack on the information systems of the delegates to the G20 summit in Seoul, BIS says in its report for 2009, released on its website.

Last June, the BIS as an intelligence service of the EU presiding country uncovered a “sophisticated attempt at cybernetic espionage.”

According to the BIS annual report, the contact persons at the finance ministries of the participating countries received forged electronic post in the form of an attachment to an e-mail with a special pdf file containing “a harmful code.”

OU Reports Virus, Security Breach

The University of Oklahoma is warning students about a security breach that may put their personal information at risk.

The university said its Information Technology department noticed unusual Internet activity on a laptop computer associated with its network. It said it determined the computer belonged to an employee and was infected with a virus known as Zeus or Z-Bod.

South Central Ambulance Service hit by computer virus

A virus has hit parts of the computer system used by South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS).

The problem first occurred on Tuesday but has not affected the parts used to deal with 999 calls, the trust said.

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

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

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

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

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

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts