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IRC Proceedings: July 5th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

Linux is Winning the Smartphones Competition

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google at 5:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Apple continues to fall behind the Linux-based Android, based on some of these latest news items

Google: Apple Is Making Our Job Easy

Probably most notable of his quotes was the following:

“We don’t have a plan to beat Apple, that’s not how we operate. We’re trying to do something different than Apple and the good news is that Apple is making that very easy.”

The statement, made in reference to the 2.2 version of Android being rolled out shortly after the launch of iPhone 4, opens quite a few doors about the inner workings of Google. For one, as Schmidt is quick to point out, the business models are drastically different between the two companies.

Apple’s app store, filled with “App farms” being used to steal. [Examples]

As the story of of iTunes accounts being hacked continues to develop, we’ve come across a number of what we would call “App Farms” in iTunes being used to scam users out of their money.

Links 05/7/2010: Compiz 0.9.0, Akademy 2010

Posted in News Roundup at 4:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Lin-dependence day!

    On Friday I was honored to sit in front of a group from the Techrepublic community and talk open source. The driving force of the debate was open source vs. proprietary software. The ever-present subtext of that debate is Linux vs. Windows. The audience was pleasantly surprised when the debate never turned sour. Why is that? So many asked. The answer, although one-sided, is simple.

  • The Advantages of Using Linux

    Every now and then, I receive emails from people who are asking me to explain the benefits or advantages of using Linux. I just answered them with a link or two to articles that could give a good explanation regarding the subject matter. But since I realized that it would be better if my response were based on my own experience, I finally decided to write a simple list that I could use to answer those who want to know the benefits of using Linux.

  • 10 Misconceptions about Linux

    Linux is not an OS, it is actually a kernel which is the middleware between your Apps and Hardware! The Better the Kernel, the better the system responds! and better error handling!

  • The Real reason Why Ubuntu Linux Doesn’t Have Malware – Part 1

    I created this video to give a few extra reasons why Linux doesn’t have viruses besides the common ones that get thrown around, like “linux is not popular enough” or “linux distributions each use a different kernel that is recompiled with every release”.

  • Five tips for a more efficient Linux desktop

    For me, the Linux desktop is all about being efficient. Yes, I do enjoy the eye candy as well. But having an incredibly efficient desktop just makes for much faster, more reliable work. And much to the surprise of most users, Linux should be hailed as the king of desktop efficiency. There are many ways to have an efficient desktop in Linux, but I have narrowed the list down to these five tips. Even if you employ only a couple of these techniques, your desktop experience will become far more efficient.

  • My experience with GNU/Linux professionally and personally

    I am writing this out of my close association with GNU/Linux for quite sometime.I have had been using it everywhere to do my day to day work.

    First I have started or introduced to the UNIX system way back in 1996 during my Diploma classes.One day I was sitting in front of a blank and black terminal in the classroom ;so my instructor came to me and said ” why are you sitting idle”…I replied back with a pretty confusing face that ” I am not able to understand what to do with this(the black and blank terminal)..with small cursor blinking on it”. My teacher/instructor smile at me(rightfully) and said ” Bhaskar it is challenging you to play with it and waiting for your intervention”..that spark me!! From that day onward I fall in love with that fellow called “UNIX”.Yes,it was SCO UNIX ..those days it was used in almost all the academia.Oh yes before that incident happen I was given a book or two about UNIX operating system and I went through them ..but little infer.


    Basically corporate houses buy or run something which is quite stable and proven track record and should have paid support.The reason behind this is that business data are absolutely crucial to the business and which will fetch revenue with that.

    I had have the exposure of handling production box running RHEL(Enterprise version of REDHAT), SLES(SUSE Enterprise version),CentOS(derived from RHEL source) and to my surprise! Gentoo for one of my job assignment.And in the very same place Debian for hosting server.

  • Desktop

    • 3G woes: maybe NetworkManager isn’t that bad?

      I won’t talk here about the awful user interfaces (supplied by the carriers and you must use them) which make your eyes hurt, brain explode and usability die (compared with them NetworkManager is a breeze). My problem here is with making them both work together on the same computer, which on Linux is natural: you add the connections in NM (with a wizard) and just select whatever you want from a menu.

  • Ballnux

    • LG to Launch Android-Powered Tablet

      Yet another electronics manufacturer has announced plans to launch a tablet computer powered by Google’s Android operating system: LG. According to The Wall Street Journal, the device will launch in the fourth quarter of this year, though no other details were immediately available.

  • Applications

    • [compiz] Compiz 0.9.0 is Released!

      This is the first unstable release of the Compiz 0.9 series. This release represents a complete rewrite of the 0.8 series from C to C++, brings a whole new developer API, splits rendering into plugins, switches the buildsystem from automake to cmake and brings minor functionality improvements. This release represents the first developer and tester preview of what will eventually make the 0.10.x stable series. Please note that as such, it is not yet ready for general use as there are a number of known issues, regressions and incomplete functionality.

    • Compiz in your browser – unlock Firefox 3.6 hidden features

      If you’re running lucid, you should have the latest version 3.6 of Firefox from Mozilla.

      Here are some hidden features disabled by default, similar to Compiz expo and shift-switcher.

    • Ailurus – A Useful Ubuntu Tweak Alternative For Beginners

      Ailurus is cross-Linux-distribution GPL software, which aims at making Linux easier to use for beginners. Rather than a Ubuntu Tweak alternative, Ailurus is the kind of app you can use along Ubuntu Tweak. Ailurus is available for Ubuntu, Fedora and Mint while Ubuntu Tweak is a dedicated Ubuntu only application.

    • Wuala – Linux friendly secure DropBox alternative

      Linux users are already spoilt for choice when it comes to free online cloud storage. UbuntuOne and Dropbox both offer 2GB for nothing whilst newly announced project SparkleShare aims to better both of these.

    • Control Applications With Simon Speech Recognitions

      Awesome way to control applications, installed operating system, sound recognition text typing without using mouse or keyboard. working on multi platforms, user interface KDE, Qt.

      Also including Simon add ons download center support many applications Media centers, Web browser, text editor, Multimedia applications, and utilities application such as Gnome Screenshot tool.

    • Terminator 0.94 released!
    • Lightspark Flash Player Continues To Advance

      Back in May we reported on the Lightspark Flash Player that was developed by a free software developer using Adobe’s released SWF/Flash documentation and has hit a point where its ActionScript 3.0 support is nearly complete, has a JIT engine that leverages LLVM, supports OpenGL rendering, and boasts various other features as an open-source Flash Player alternative to Adobe’s binary plug-in. Today a new release candidate of Lightspark 0.4.2 is available.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • LettersFall 2.0

        A new game has been brought to our attention called LettersFall which is a cross between between Scabble(R) and Tetris(R). This game offers the following items to the Linux community.

      • MegaGlest 3.3.5 Pre-release special!

        A new version of MegaGlest will be released sometime today! Once it is head over here to download it! A short changelog can be found here.

        MegaGlest is a relatively recent fork of the quite well known FOSS Game Glest, which ceased development some time back. Now that Megaglest has taken up the development, things have advanced quite quickly (in contrast to the other promising Glest fork GAE) and Glest now finally has the long deserved cross platform multiplayer and a proper master-server with a games lobby! Furthermore Megaglest includes all the factions known from the Megapack before, bumping the total number up to 5.

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

      • Impression of First Day at Akademy 2010

        After many years of successful meetings in great locations, Tampere has a lot to live up to as this year’s Akademy host city. On the basis of the first day at least, it has not disappointed. After the opening keynote by Valtteri Halla a series of other talks followed and we have had plenty of discussions in the open spaces between the conference rooms. Read on for an impression of the first day of the biggest and coolest Akademy ever!

      • start your Akademy engines!
      • Akademy Ready for Take-off!

        In Tampere, Finland, the pre-Akademy party kicked off the conference last night. Hundreds of KDE contributors were there, meeting old and new friends and enjoying the party. Rowdy Brazilians and Dutch cheered on their teams as their countries battled each other in the World Cup on the big screen. Others spent time reliving their childhood on the classic arcade machine.

      • akademy videos

        Not only does he help Akademy organizing teams year after year on the march towards success (and this year’s Akademy has been a roaring success this far!), but he’s worked to get videos up for the keynote presentations in a timely fashion. His poor little netbook churned all night long to encode four videos: the opening, the first keynote, my keynote and the Telepathy presentation. More videos are coming as they get encoded and you can find them on the conference program page, starting right now with the four aforementioned videos.

      • My secret about the KDE multimedia meeting 2010

        As 6 people are female who completed the questionnaire there must be 18 male people who completed it as well (one was missing ;-). Of the 25 people 11 were already in Switzerland and for 14 it was the first time. The average age was 29 years. The group distribution shows 8 people from amarok, 10 from the kdeedu team, 1 from the games team and the remaining 5 ticked off “multimedia general (other)”. Now to the rating questions where I always indicate the average rating (scale: 0 = not good, 1= could be better, 2 = good and 3 = very good).

        1. Accommodation: Bedrooms: 2.32
        2. Accommodation: Group and meeting rooms: 2.417
        3. Location (house) in general: 2.6
        4. Location (area, geographically): 2.8
        5. Food (Breakfast, lunch & dinner): 2.917
        6. Transport/travelling to the meeting: 2.375
        7. Infrastructure: Power: 2.28
        8. Infrastructure: Network (cable): 2.318
        9. Infrastructure: Network (wireless): 1.76
        10. Information about the meeting beforehand: 2.36
        11. Organization staff friendliness: 2.96
        12. Organization staff competence: 3

      • Akademy 2010 Slides on the Plasma Netbook project [PDF]
    • GNOME Desktop

      • Support GNOME by shopping at Amazon

        The GNOME foundation provide Amazon referral links for your browser. That is, every time you search for a product using the referral link and end up buying something GNOME get a paid a referral fee based on the amount you spend. The best bit is that it costs you absolutely nothing extra but helps keep GNOME in servers, ballpoint pens and developers.

  • Distributions

    • 100 % free Linux distributions

      On this, July 4, 2010, the day the United States celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence, I thought I would take a moment to celebrate that same day with a toast to those Linux distributions that shirk all non-free software. This means EVERYTHING on these distributions is protected under, at least, the GPL.

      There aren’t tons of these distributions and some of them are threatened, daily, to disappear from lack of support. So it is my honor to hopefully introduce the Ghacks audience to these distributions.

    • Liquorix Squeezes the Most Out of Your Linux Desktop

      Switching to Linux has many reasons – Security, Stability, Performance, and of course, Cost. Be whatever the reasons, performance becomes the eventual priority for desktop as the viruses, malwares and breakdowns don’t come in the linux-users way.

      How to get the most out of a Linux desktop? Well, there are so many tricks, tweaks and hacks such as using a just right, well customized kernel, removing unnecessary services, apps, packages, paralleling boot process, using a lightweight window manager and desktop environment….and a dozen others. A long time user often dabbles to do these things of which the first, and perhaps the most important is hacking the kernel fitting impeccably to his/her hardware and working requirements.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS Magazine July 2010: Issue 42

        All Magazine Issues

        * Welcome From The Chief Editor

        1. KDE 4: The KDE Netbook Interface
        2. World Population Day: July 11, 2010
        3. Reclaim Your Background: The Widget Dashboard
        4. Xfce 4.6.2: Xfce Settings Manager, Part 2
        5. Screenshot Showcase
        6. Double Take
        7. Mark’s Gimp Tip
        8. ms_meme’s Nook: Deep In The Heart Of Linux
        9. OpenOffice: Writer
        10. Xfce 4.6.2: Customize Your Xfce Panels
        11. How Teenagers View PCLinuxOS
        12. Xfce 4.6.2: Panel Plug-ins
        13. Alternate OS: Haiku, Part 1
        14. Game Zone: Osmos
        15. Create A Basic RPM Package For PCLinuxOS
        16. Create A PCLinuxOS Packaging Environment In Phoenix
        17. ms_meme’s Nook: That Ol’ Linux Call
        18. Forum Foibles: ByteS From The Bunkhouse
        19. Command Line Interface Intro: Part 10
        20. Getting Started With folding@home
        21. Computer Languages A to Z: Netlogo
        22. Configuring and Using Epson Stylus NX415
        23. KarlM: The Loss Of A Friend, Supporter

      • Debranding Firefox in PCLinuxOS

        I’m not a huge fan of third-party branding. One of my (minor, when put into perspective) gripes about PCLinuxOS is that they sorta go nuts with it. One of the apps that’s the target of their branding is Firefox. If you are equally bugged by this, debranding the default profile used as the template for new profiles isn’t that hard.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Jim Whitehurst is CEO and Chief Plumber at Red Hat

        That’s certainly borne out by the recent top500 supercomputer listings, where 91 per cent of the world’s fastest supercomputers run some form of GNU/Linux (Windows runs on 1%), the fact that the open source Apache Web server well over half of the Web – as it has for the last 10 years – and the near-parity in Europe of Firefox’s market share with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora Board Meeting, 2 Jul 2010

          Our new Fedora Project Leader has been named: Jared Smith. The announcement stated that he is gone but not when he’d return: Right now, Jared has limited email access until next week. He’ll be around next week and a lot more when he returns from his LATAM travels (more on them below).

          Jared will be making a blog post when he returns and it will be listed on Fedora Planet. He will be traveling together with Paul Frields to the Red Hat Raleigh, NC office for orientation, and they will be meeting up with Max Spevack while there. Jared will also be introduced to various folks around the Red Hat Raleigh office.

        • Announcing a new Fedora for the XO-1 release

          This build brings us more inline with the work being done for the XO-1.5, as well it includes several changes incorporated from the Paraguay builds.

    • Debian Family

      • Lenny-)Squeeze upgrades, apt vs aptitude with the Gnome desktop

        Here is a short update on my my Debian Lenny-)Squeeze upgrade testing. Here is a summary of the difference for Gnome when it is upgraded by apt-get and aptitude. I’m not reporting the status for KDE, because the upgrade crashes when aptitude try because of missing conflicts (#584861 and #585716).

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Five of 2010’s Linux-Powered e-Book Readers

      Spring Design Alex

      Although powered by Google’s Android OS, I’m still including this dual-screen e-book reader in this list. After all, the original Android was based on Linux. So what do I mean by “dual-screen”? Well, some e-book reader manufacturers like Spring Design have recognized the advantages of a brightly-colored touch screen and the superior reading qualities of a gray-scale e-ink screen.

      Hence, Spring Design decided to put together these two screens into one device. The 3.5-inch touchscreen LCD screen is for browsing, while the 6-inch e-ink display is for reading.

    • Android

      • Everything You Need To Know About The Fragmented Mobile Developer Ecosystem

        - Android stands out as the platform most popular among mobile developers. Survey results suggest nearly 60 percent of all mobile developers recently developed on Android, assuming an equal number of respondents with experience across each of eight major platforms. Second in terms of developer mindshare is iOS (iPhone), outranking Symbian and Java ME, which were in pole position in 2008.

      • HTC Finally Releases Kernel Source for the EVO 4G

        Just before a small community of distraught developers gear up to sue HTC in an effort to get that kernel source they’re required to release for the HTC EVO 4G, they’ve done it. It’s been a month since the device has launched, and – compared to how long it took HTC to offer up the goods for the HTC Hero – I’d say that EVO owners and developers are lucky to be getting the source so soon.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Ben Franklin Day at The Saratogian: A ‘Declaration of Independence’ from newsroom software (with video)

    Most of the news and photographs on the pages, and the layout of those pages themselves, were prepared for publication without using the usual newsroom software for writing, editing, toning, cropping and paginating.

    Instead, all this work was done using free software available to anyone on the Internet. And yes, it was hard work. The proprietary software is designed to be efficient, reliable and relative fast for the task of producing a daily newspaper. The free substitutes, not so much.


    But between us, producing today’s paper wasn’t easy for the newsroom. News Editor Paul Tackett has been working days and nights, on top of his usual job, to set up most of the day’s pages in a layout program called Scribus.

  • Newspaper tries free software for a day

    The Saratogian tried an experiment for Independence Day – run free software for a day, to produce the July 4 2010 issue of their (web and print) newspaper. They called it the Ben Franklin Edition *. The free software experiment is part of the Ben Franklin Project of the Journal Register Company, which owns The Saratogian.

  • The Charge for Freedom

    In the open source republic, the hacker is your representative. He codes on your behalf, and should his idea find favor, the project leader approves the idea, and the idea becomes part of the code base. Should your ideas and the hacker’s ideas differ, you are free to contact someone else on the dev team. If nothing is done to your liking, your are free to secede from the union and fork the code. In the real world, information is free for the taking, and where law forbids the exchange of ideas we see rather inventive means of circumvention come to fruition. In most free nations around the world, people were supposed to be at the forefront of government. In the USA, politicians were once called public servants. The open source community is much the same. While many do make money off of open source software, the motivation to create open source software and to open source already existing projects was initially the want to help others, make a better product, and lower development costs by allowing anyone to contribute. Only one of those three motivations has anything to do with monetary cost.

  • Open source developer sees 100 percent growth

    Open source software developer Exist Global foresees a 100 percent revenue growth this year to $4 million on back of a vibrant US market and local companies’ willingness to pay for high-valued software.

    The company believes this year is the start of sustained profitable operations from a slowdown in the US market after it was adversely affected by the global financial crisis.

    “As far as Exist is concerned, I think the worst is behind us. We’re receiving a lot of requests, indicating that the second half is going to be healthy. We’re beginning to focus on hiring again,” said Winston Damarillo, Exist Global founder, in an interview at a company celebration for its first half performance.

  • Meet the staff: Community editor Lee Schlesinger

    Today’s a legal holiday in the US, but we like to post an entry in the blog every weekday to keep you from getting bored. I can’t promise to relieve the boredom today, because today’s entry is about me.

  • Events

    • Linux.conf.au requests 2012 bid proposals

      The organisation behind Australia’s flagship annual Linux conference has requested formal proposals from parties interested in hosting the event in their city in 2012.

  • Mozilla

    • Field Guide to Firefox 1.1 for Maemo

      Over the last several weeks of the beta, members of the mobile team have written blog posts about most of the new features and improvements you’ll find in the browser. Here, with quick summaries, are links to all of them – enjoy!

    • Firefox Mobile – The fox in your pocket! – Windows Mobile shunned?

      With the popularity of Android phones, it seems strange that it was not released there first. There is a massive Android user base already, who are apparently hungry for a well known browser that is familiar to the one they use on the desktop. This is shown in the success Opera Mobile has enjoyed and one look at the comments in the marketplace suggest that it is widely favored over the default browser that is packaged with the users phone. Speaking as an HTC Desire user, I certainly prefer Opera to the native browser and even though I cannot set it as default, I would much rather use that than the default offering.

  • Oracle

    • OpenOffice.org to use GStreamer for Multimedia

      GSteamer and its libraries are installed by default on many distributions, like Ubuntu and its derivatives, and is contained in the repository of many others. It has become very stable in recent versions and supports most multimedia codecs. If already installed, users need not take any further action to enjoy the benefits of GStreamer in OpenOffice.org, one of which is much better performance. Distribution developers can disable this support by choice if desired and cause OpenOffice.org to revert to using Java.

  • Education

    • ICT to face crisis in UK Schools

      We are going to have to face a very uncomfortable fact in the coming weeks and months. This new Coalition Government is out of love with ICT in schools.

      I am certainly not the only pundit who has noticed the resounding silence surrounding matters ICT amongst the noisy plethora of other announcements concerning educational reform.

      All we know so far is that virtually the very first act of this government was to abolish Becta, an act they had uniquely signalled months in advance of coming to power and carried out with a ferocity resembling a pogrom.

      Something about it, taken in combination with stories from ex-Becta employees who (subsequently) complained about apparatchik style cronyism within the organisation makes me think that ICT has been linked deeply with the previous administration..and not in a good way.

  • Business

    • Open Core and OSI

      Is Mark suggesting that OSI intended to facilitate less freedom for the code and end users than the GPL offers, that this was an OSI goal, that “software freedom for the software user” isn’t and never was an OSI goal? Does freedom mean only the right to fork the code? If so, I’d like OSI to say so clearly and on the record. If so, it might provide insight into why OSI is struggling and provide indisputable proof that they were foundationally wrong. I hope they’ll weigh in on this debate and plant their flag, because if that is what OSI stands for, maybe it’s time to let them float out into outer space without the community, thus making it clear there really is no connection between the real FOSS community and OSI any more.

      If that is not what OSI stands for, I’d like to hear them say so. I hope it isn’t. But the community wants to know where they stand, and for what.

      For myself, I believe that OSI, in order to be relevant, needs to reinvent itself and restructure to represent the entire community with its license list and its definition. Enough with the old divisions and the debates. The community needs to face the world more unitedly now, as a broad spectrum, including those who had the foresight to realize that VC guys and proprietary types would be coming along someday and would try to close down the freedom of the code and the freedoms of those using it just to make a buck.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Welcome to Open Source Law

      Since, as Larry Lessig famously pointed out, “code is law” (and vice versa), it’s natural to try to apply open source methodologies in the legal world. Indeed, a site called Openlaw existed ten years ago:

      Openlaw is an experiment in crafting legal argument in an open forum. With your assistance, we will develop arguments, draft pleadings, and edit briefs in public, online. Non-lawyers and lawyers alike are invited to join the process by adding thoughts to the “brainstorm” outlines, drafting and commenting on drafts in progress, and suggesting reference sources.

      Building on the model of open source software, we are working from the hypothesis that an open development process best harnesses the distributed resources of the Internet community. By using the Internet, we hope to enable the public interest to speak as loudly as the interests of corporations. Openlaw is therefore a large project built through the coordinated effort of many small (and not so small) contributions.

      Despite this long pedigree, open source law never really took off – until now.

  • Open Access/Content

    • WWW: World Wide Wikipedia

      The good news is that she is starting from a solid base: Wikipedia runs on GNU/Linux, Apache, Squid and MySQL. The bad news is that – unbelievably – Wikipedia is essentially run out of Florida (plus that troublesome caching site in Amsterdam). For such a globalised project – just think of all the languages supported – to be running like this is, frankly, bonkers – and makes outages like today’s almost inevitable.


  • Science

    • ‘Never-before-seen material’ can store vast amounts of energy

      Using super-high pressures similar to those found deep in the Earth or on a giant planet, researchers from Washington State University (WSU) have created a compact, never-before-seen material capable of storing vast amounts of energy. Described by one of the researchers as “the most condensed form of energy storage outside of nuclear energy,” the material holds potential for creating a new class of energetic materials or fuels, an energy storage device, super-oxidizing materials for destroying chemical and biological agents, and high temperature superconductors.

    • Planck telescope reveals ancient cosmic light

      The picture is the first full-sky image from Europe’s Planck telescope which was sent into space last year to survey the “oldest light” in the cosmos.

    • Perennial grains could be biggest agricultural innovation in eons

      The paper, “Increased Food and Ecosystem Security via Perennial Grains,” points out that perennials have longer growing seasons and longer, denser roots than annuals. Those longer roots, which can reach down 10 to 12 feet, allow the crops to reach and hold more water and nutrients, reduce erosion, and condition the soil. Because the plants grow for a greater length of time, they also sequester more carbon from the atmosphere.

    • ‘Digital Embryo’ Gains Wings: Now Possible to Film Development of Fruit Fly and of Zebrafish’s Eyes and Brain

      In a study published in Nature Methods, they describe how they were able to capture fruit fly development on film, and were the first to clearly record how a zebrafish’s eyes and midbrain are formed. The improved technique will also help to shed light on processes and organisms, which have so far been under-studied because they could not be followed under a microscope.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Hidden cameras in parts of Birmingham ‘will be removed’

      Hidden cameras in areas of Birmingham with large Muslim populations will be removed and any counter terrorism involvement stopped, police say.

    • New ID badge is really personal CCTV camera

      A SCOTTISH company has created a new personal CCTV system which could offer safety protection for frontline public service workers.

    • In the UK, Big Brother is listening

      The USSR, as Russia once was, used to epitomise the police state.

      After the G20 civil rights violations, Canada could almost make the claim.

      But in fact Britain is the country which has undeniably become the poster child for Big Brother among allegedly democratic countries.

    • Cyberwar

      The cyber-attacks on Estonia in 2007 and on Georgia in 2008 (the latter strangely happened to coincide with the advance of Russian troops across the Caucasus) are widely assumed to have been directed by the Kremlin, but they could be traced only to Russian cyber-criminals. Many of the computers used in the attack belonged to innocent Americans whose PCs had been hijacked. Companies suspect China of organising mini-raids to ransack Western know-how: but it could just have easily been Western criminals, computer-hackers showing off or disillusioned former employees. One reason why Western governments have until recently been reticent about cyber-espionage is surely because they are dab hands at it, too.

    • We were permanently banned from the Miami-Dade Metrorail for taking photos

      The truth is, we could have left whenever we wanted but the goal was to make some sense of the contradictory policies in place regarding photography at the Metrorail stations.

      But instead of getting answers, we were told we would never be allowed on the train again. For the rest of our lives. We were told we would be arrested for trespassing If we dared set foot on any Metrorail property for as long as we live.

  • Environment

    • Study: Oil Means More Arsenic In Seawater

      Besides the oil already spilling into the Gulf of Mexico at the rate of up to 60,000 barrels daily, a group of British scientists says one can expect to see elevated levels of arsenic as well.

      The research, published in the journal Water Research, showed that oil prevents naturally-occurring arsenic from being filtered out of the water by the sediment on the ocean floor. Oil coats the individual sediment particles and blocks the arsenic making contact with the minerals that would ordinarily bind to it.

  • Copyrights

    • RIAA Warns 1 Million Copyright Infringers a Year

      In less than two years the RIAA has sent copyright infringement notices to 1.8 million Internet subscribers and 269,609 to colleges and universities. Despite this staggering average of more than a million infringement notices every year from the recording industry alone, the effect on file-sharing levels seems unnoticeable.

    • The Pirate Ship Sets Sail

      Today the Pirate Party can announce the launch of our new community blog, PirateShip.org.uk.

      The Pirate Ship is what is known as a “blog aggregator”, which takes posts from the blogs of party members and presents them all together in one website, allowing you to keep up to date on the latest political issues and debates without ever having to leave the page.

    • New copyright lawsuit involves Creative Commons

      GateHouse sued a company that sells reprints of articles — including articles from the Register Star — on fancy plaques to the people who are featured in those articles. Since GateHouse has its own reprint business, it views the defendant’s work as a competitive threat.

    • File-Sharing Sites Unfazed By Takedowns, Bounce Right Back

      During the last few weeks many file-sharing sites have been taken down by threats, legal action and police raids. From the mighty Pirate Bay to lesser known torrent sites across Europe and streaming giants around the world, the theme isn’t capitulation after a setback, but getting back online as quickly as possible.

    • The Public Domain and the WIPO Development Agenda

      The following guest post is from Séverine Dusollier, who is a Professor in Law at the University of Namur and a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on the Public Domain. She recently completed a Scoping Study on Copyright and Related Rights and the Public Domain commissioned as part of the WIPO Development Agenda (particularly its recommendations 16 and 20). We asked her to write about her findings…

    • An (Analogue) Artist’s Reply to Just Criticism

      There’s a new meme in town these days: “rights of the artists”. The copyright industries have worked out that cries for more copyright and more money don’t go down too well when they come from fat-cat monopolists sitting in their plush offices, and so have now redefined their fight in terms of struggling artists (who rarely get to see much benefit from constantly extended copyright).

      Here’s a nice example courtesy of the Copyright Alliance – an organisation that very much pushes that line:

      Songwriter, Jason Robert Brown, recently posted on his blog a story about his experience dealing with copyright infringement. Knowing for a long time that many websites exist for the sole purpose of “trading” sheet music, Jason decided to log on himself and politely ask many of the users to stop “trading” his work. While many quickly wrote back apologizing and then removing his work, one girl in particular gave Jason a hard time.

    • ACTA

      • ACTA Consensus on Transparency Breaks Down

        The 9th round of ACTA talks concluded last week in Lucerne, Switzerland. I briefly noted the official statement last week, but a subsequent news report makes it clear that the most important development to come out of the meeting is the breakdown of a consensus on transparency. Following the New Zealand meeting in April, there was consensus achieved on the need to release a draft version of the text. It is now clear that the overwhelming majority of countries favoured continuing this approach by releasing updated versions at the conclusion of subsequent meetings. That did not happen after the Lucerne meeting, however, with both the Swiss and European Commission delegations indicating that they favoured releasing the text but that one delegation did not. It is a safe bet that the U.S. is once again the key holdout on the transparency issue.

      • INTA, ICC Oppose De Minimis Provision in ACTA

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 12 August 2008 – The Process Model of the Transputer (2008)

Microsoft Has an Internet Problem, Relies on Lies

Posted in Deception, Google, Microsoft, Search at 2:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Screenshot of search

Summary: Despite wasteful marketing, Microsoft is unable to expand on the Internet (unless one relies on Microsoft-sponsored sources like comScore)

MICROSOFT has been losing over $10 billion on the Web, according to some conservatives estimates. Microsoft can only tolerate these losses because of cash cows, but they too are suffering and Microsoft has growing debt. According to one report, Microsoft’s co-called Web portal/community is just a load of spam.

SOFTWARE FLOGGER Microsoft has admitted that its Spaces service was too full of spam to be considered in its review of Windows Live.

Spokesman Tony East said that the Vole did not make many noticeable changes to the service during the revamp and this was because Spaces has a spam problem.

Microsoft has been experimenting with ways of purging spam from Spaces and Hotmail, he said.

What a bunch of hypocrites. As we explained before (and as comScore finally admitted last month), Microsoft is spamming sites with fake search engine queries that make it seem like people are using Bong [sic], the world’s first ‘search’ engine that has brainwash requirements as part of the algorithm.

“Another ‘analyst’/metering firm which is paid by Microsoft is Net Applications.”For those who don’t know, comScore is paid by Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] and it usually shows the opposite of what everyone else is showing, especially companies that are not paid by Microsoft. Another ‘analyst’/metering firm which is paid by Microsoft is Net Applications. We’ll come to it in a moment.

First, let’s consider this new timeline that sheds light on Microsoft’s enablement of tyranny [1, 2] using its so-called ‘search’ engine.

14 June 2005: Microsoft agrees to censor its blog writing tool, called Spaces, on MSN China.


15 February 2006: Yahoo, Microsoft, Cisco and Google are criticised in a US congressional hearing for giving in to pressure from China to censor their web.

And it was only months ago that Microsoft was accused in the US Senate of “enabling tyranny”. It happened when Google left China and Microsoft continued to support oppressors. Microsoft gets no respect on the Web and one shouldn’t be shocked by it. People generally distrust Microsoft. Who would turn to Microsoft the monopoly abuser searching for answers? Not many people as it turns out, despite marketing. Microsoft is spamming Web sites to give the illusion that people use Microsoft for search, but not even the Microsoft-sponsored Net Applications can report growth:

June was not a big month for Bing, and according to the latest figures from Web analytics firm Net Applications, it’s barely any further ahead than when Microsoft rolled out.

It’s the same Microsoft-sponsored firm which many sites treat as an authority in the area of operating systems market share. They don’t question the source, not even when it comes to browser market share:

They don’t really gain Web browser market share. A firm that Microsoft sponsored claims it, but it’s contradicted by other firms that Microsoft does not pay. Nonetheless, these claims which offer no access to the raw data or even the methods got some of Microsoft’s boosters excited. Microsoft booster Marius Oiaga shows that Microsoft is still spreading gifts to promote Bong [sic], having recently called off the notorious bribes programme.

According to the news, Microsoft’s hijack of Yahoo! got it an alliance that extents to ads.

Microsoft has posted some FAQ’s and their respective answers in an update on its Search Alliance with Yahoo.

The Yahoo! management “is nuts,” according to BNET:

Yahoo (YHOO) plans to spend $3 billion on a three-year stock buy-back. I have one question: Is the management team nuts, or are they and major investors just so greedy that a short-term uptick in share price is worth undermining the company’s operations and strategy?

Here is the press release and some resultant news coverage:

Watch what Yahoo! does to the Linux-based Android:

Yahoo! wants to compete against Google on phones that run Android. It may seem like a sign of autonomy, but actually it’s a route to Microsoft datacentres (there is a search button in the picture of that third article). This whole addon is too close to Microsoft, so it’s better off avoided. It’s really a shame that Google monogamy is what one is left to promote, but as soon as Microsoft took control of Yahoo! it was obvious that a third option was doomed. The “not Microsoft” option here is Google (or Wolfram|Alpha) and there is no Free software option available for search. Not quite yet anyway.

Mobile phone searching

Cash Cows Watch: Windows and Office Are Suffering

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenOffice, Security, Vista, Vista 7, Vista 8, Windows at 1:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: A roundup of one week’s news about Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office

THE reality behind Vista 7 continues to expose itself and Windows in general has grown somewhat weak, unless one judges it based on mockups. “Vista” was mentioned in last week’s news (headlines) only once, in relation to security issues. Insecurity and Windows are almost synonymous in the context of computing. New from IDG: “Death of Windows XP SP2 Support a Security Risk, Says Report”

There was not so much in the news headlines about “Windows 7″ either. Instead, Microsoft boosters started touting something which does not even exist — something which may actually harm adoption of Vista 7, according to IDG:

The Web is abuzz following the leak of an alleged Windows 8 presentation outlining Microsoft’s vision for the next iteration of the flagship desktop operating system. As media pundits speculate on the potential features and capabilities of Windows 8, the news also has the potential to make some IT administrators and business customers currently considering a migration to Windows 7 to hold off.

The Microsoft boosters from IDG were actually critical of it:

Also from IDG:

‘Don’t Get Excited’ About Windows 8, Says Analyst


Leaked Windows 8 slides, which may not be genuine, include a development timeline without dates. (Credit: Windows Kitchen)

We are citing and comparing IDG articles only for the sake of reference. We hardly recommend IDG as a news source.

The thing is, IDG also had its share of good words about something that does not quite exist (without verifiable evidence at least):

Let’s get back to the malarkey about “Windows 8″. Some say it’s accidental [1, 2], but it probably is not. Microsoft has already been caught faking “leaks” (pushing it voluntarily and pretending it was in error), just like Apple. It’s a marketing strategy.

Getting back to reality, Microsoft boosters are still floating articles about Vista 7 SP1. It will potentially be more disruptive than constructive:

Windows 7 SP1 Beta and Microsoft Security Essentials Can Fail to Play Nice Together

Major upgrades to Windows client and server platforms introduce extensive changes both on the surface and under-the-hood, down to the very core of the operating systems. It’s no wonder then, that the installation of new service packs can be prevented by programs designed with the specific purpose of safeguarding the platforms’ integrity. Early adopters deploying the Beta of the first Service Pack for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 can experience installation problems if they are running security software on their computers. According to Microsoft, the issues can affect Service Pack 1 (SP1) Beta when testers attempt to have it integrated on top of Windows 7 RTM and Windows Server 2008 R2 RTM on computers where Microsoft Security Essentials or Microsoft Forefront Client Security are already installed.

No matter one’s personal opinion on Vista 7, it is being dumped by HP, at least for tablets/Slate. Now it’s more official:

Hewlett-Packard completed its acquisition of Palm this week and gave a hint that it could be ditching Microsoft’s Windows 7 Home Premium operating system for Palm’s webOS platform in the upcoming HP Slate tablet PC.

“HP Reveals Plans for WebOS Tablet,” says IDG:

HP has officially completed the acquisition of Palm, making it the proud owner of Palm’s coveted intellectual property including WebOS. It is hardly a surprise that before the ink was even dry on finalizing the purchase, HP announced its intent to build an array of mobile devices around the WebOS platform–including the predicted WebOS tablet.

Microsoft Nick confirms this too. HP dumps Vista 7 and moves to Linux (for this form factor at least).

Dealing separately with security problems in Windows, most Windows users are susceptible to 0-day attacks at the moment:

The number of malicious attacks exploiting an unpatched vulnerability in older versions of Windows has mushroomed over the past week, prompting Microsoft to warn customers to deploy countermeasures until an update is released.

This is also covered in:

This workaround is not a solution and amateur users will not be able to apply the changes. “Trojan Writers Target UK Banks With Botnets,” says this new IDG report (they say “PCs” instead of “Windows PCs”)

The company identifies two pieces of malware — the previously undetected Silon.var2 and the longer-established Agent.DBJP – as the two bank Trojans being distributed by Zeus-based botnets using UK-infected PCs.

Silon.var2 now affects 1 in every 500 UK-based PCs connected to the Trusteer Flashlight system, 40 times the detection level for the US, with Agent.DBJP affecting 1 in every 5,000 UK-based PCs, again far higher than for the US.

Windows does not offer applications much protection as an underlying platform:

Applications in Windows have many privileges that enable them to mess up the entire system rather than a confined sandbox. It’s an architectural issue. Even the newly-released Office 2010 (c/f [1, 2, 3] for perspective) has security problems already (will Microsoft blame Microsoft for not bothering with “Windows defences”?)

Researchers at Vupen Security say they have uncovered a security vulnerability in Microsoft Office 2010. However, their discovery has been met with criticism from Microsoft, which complains that it has not received technical details of the bug.

As IBM acquires BigFix [1, 2] it also turns out that Microsoft Office could use some of that. According to this news, it’s buggy. Here are the details:

You’ve seen it before: That strange, cutesy “J” that occasionally appears in email and seems contextually like it’s meant to be a smiling emoticon. You may even be sending these little “J”s without even knowing it. Tech blogger Chris Pirillo explains:

[F]or some inexplicable reason [In Microsoft Office applications], some brilliant engineer thought it wise to correct “:)” as a smiley rendered in a specific font face when composing rich text documents (and/or HTML email). This is why people think you’re crazy for inserting random “J” characters in your emails — they don’t have the same fonts installed on their machine!

Wonderful. And this is what people pay a fortune for? For those who pay Microsoft for ActiveSync patents to merely use its protocols there is also trouble in store. Here is another new problem which hypePhone 4 suffers from:

Bug in iOS4 Exchange ActiveSync hammers servers


Bugs in the Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) implementation in iOS4 were resulting in significant artificial loads on Exchange servers that they are connected to for push email. As outlined by the Microsoft Exchange Team blog, another symptom of the problem involves email, calendar or contact entries not synching properly.

Got to love proprietary software. Apple is just trying to step in line with Exchange/Office, which really ought to be replaced.

There are missing bits in Office 2010, Mary Jo Foley alleges (based on readers’ feedback), which maybe explains the poor reviews of Office 2010 (2/5 in Amazon). It’s just another Office 2007 with a Web extension. It’s still a resource hog that does not comply with international standards [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

Microsoft is still pretending that Free software does not exist (while quietly recruiting and advertising jobs that attack OpenOffice.org [1, 2, 3]). Here is a pathetic new attempt to fight competition from OpenOffice.org/Google and another similar attempt to fight competition from Apache. There is also an element of FUD there, sometimes promoted by Microsoft boosters like Lance Whitney and others:

Microsoft is misdirecting the perception of competition, sometimes with former employees. Microsoft Nick says that “Google Docs Has Microsoft a Bit Worried,” but what about Free software such as OpenOffice.org? Google Docs is proprietary.

Patent Aggression Against Linux: Microsoft, Apple, and Nobody Else

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Patents, Protocol, Samba, Servers at 12:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Team of two

Summary: A look at some of the latest patent news and an explanation of why Microsoft and Apple (and Microsoft’s patent trolls) are by far the biggest problem

Well, we don’t write so much about the Bilski case anymore. It’s because we have done enough of that and the analyses are quite repetitive in the sense that few raise new points. To give just a small number of noteworthy posts that we missed, Brian Proffitt writes about the impact on software patentability in the US, Brad Feld is upset after spending time and money to abolish software patents in the US, IDG claims that SCOTUS leaves software patentability intact in the US, Datamation has a new cartoon about it, and Mike Masnick says that the IEEE misleads with its damned press release in the US. The headline from The Register reads: “Yes, software can be patented, US Supremes say” (false).

But they didn’t say that. They merely avoided addressing the subject.

A few days ago we wrote about the impact of biotech patents and the impact of SCOTUS on them. They are said to have received a “boost”. [via Slashdot]

Myriad Genetics Inc., Genomic Health Inc. and the rest of the burgeoning industry for personalized medicine stand to gain from yesterday’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision on patenting business methods.


The decision from the Supreme Court is unlikely to end the debate over diagnostic patents.

A couple of days ago Slashdot showed that Microsoft had patented things that should not be patented.

theodp writes “This week’s USPTO patent application disclosures included a trifecta of scary health-related ‘inventions’ from Microsoft. For starters, Microsoft envisions seeing Kids’ Personal Health Records Fed Into Video Games, where they can be used to ‘regulate and/or prescribe an individual’s behavior while playing electronic games.’ Next up is Centralized Healthcare Data Management, which describes how employees’ health habits can be ‘monitored, tracked or otherwise discovered’ so employers can ‘incentivize a user for an act or penalize for an omission to act.’ Finally, there’s Wearing Health on Your Sleeve, which describes a sort of high-tech Scarlet Letter designed to tip off ‘doctors, potential dates, etc.’ about your unhealthy behavior by converting information — ‘number of visits to the gym, workout activities, frequency of workouts, heart rate readings, blood pressure statistics, food consumption, vitamin intake, etc.’ — into a visual form so that others can see the data ‘on mechanisms such as a mood ring, watch, badge, on a website etc.’”

A few days ago we explained why Likewise is a form of patent taxman for Microsoft. Their new release got some more coverage and a Linux proponent pointed out: “This reminds me of all the alternatives to Exchange currently available on Linux, buy any of those for 10-50 users and you’ll discover quickly that buying the MS’ original is cheaper.”

Basically, clones of Microsoft protocols-reliant products that are sold by former Microsoft employees (e.g. Likewise [1, 2, 3, 4], Centrify [1, 2, 3]) are better off avoided and replaced by protocols that Microsoft does not control or by Samba, which the European Commission gave a special status after antitrust violations by Microsoft. The following new article states:

The Likewise Open core is licensed under Gnu Public License (GPL) version 2 and Lesser GPL version 2.

It’s “open core”, which is proprietary+marketing spin. It’s not GPLv3 and one should not be misled because they mix that with Microsoft’s software patents. One should just go with Samba.

When it comes to patents and GNU/Linux, Microsoft is still by far the worst aggressor. Microsoft boosters seem to be taking pride in these patents which Microsoft is stockpiling and using to attack Linux, sometimes via patent trolls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Latest raves from Microsoft bloggers:

Here is some more coverage (not from Microsoft boosters):

This patent won’t expire for quite some time.

Microsoft received the patent this week and TechFlash reports that this kind of patent is good for 14 years, so Microsoft has until 2024 to do something with this design.

Some dual-display tablets run Android or GNU/Linux.

Given that .NET is allegedly a patent violation, Microsoft would not be smart to go around suing people/companies, but that’s just what is does, most recently against Salesforce. Here again is the mentioning of .NET patent violation:

The world’s biggest maker of Web-based software, Salesforce.com, has not specified what damages it is seeking, but claims that Microsoft is infringing five Salesforce patents in programs, including in the Windows Server operating system and the widely used .Net platform.

Based on other reports as well as previous posts of ours [1, 2], Salesforce is equipped with David Boies, the “Microsoft Nemesis”.

Is Microsoft playing with fire? It sure alienates many people, except Monty and Müller on the face of it. The former is paid by Microsoft and the latter is just keeping his head deep in the sand (insisting that IBM is the bigger threat). Earlier today he also mentioned Apple, which is a patent violator (risking bans) that had the nerve to sue Android (including Linux). Here is a new summary of this case:

In this great hullabaloo of rivals accusing each other of infringement of patents, one is only left confused seeing the who’s who in the arena of smartphones making a claim of the same victimization. A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by the government to the inventor in exchange for a public disclosure of the invention. The big question is, will this war really see the light of a consensus and settlement?

Earlier this year in March, Apple filed a lawsuit against HTC for infringing 20 of its patents related to the iPhone’s user interface, underlying architecture and hardware. The lawsuit was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission(ITC) and concurrently in the US District Court in Delaware. Very truly it’s said that “competition is healthy, but the rivals should try and yearn to develop their own technology and not steal the existing”. This lawsuit; it’s said, is the next high profile litigation in the mobile phone business after Nokia and Apple attacking each other in past few months.

Apple’s hypePhone is having some trouble right now. Apple cannot quite compete without suing competitors, apparently. As one new essay puts it:

Ideas Are a Commodity, It’s Execution Intelligence That Matters

First of all, ideas are commodities. Look at any industry, any product or service offering, and what you really see is improvement on the existing standard versus uniqueness in the offering. These improvements can be continuous or disruptive, but in either category, to the customer they are nothing more than incremental improvement around the financial return, usability, quality, or experience of your competitor. This explains why management teams are so important; if new offerings are commodities it’s execution by the management team – what I like to call execution intelligence – that makes the difference in the market.

Apple also contributes towards MPEG-LA’s war on free/libre video. For background, see:

Here is a new article on the subject:

Video Prison: Why Patents Might Threaten Free Online Video


On June 20, 2009, nearly 150,000 people witnessed the death of 26-year-old Neda Agha-Soltan, but unlike the Iranians who passed her by in the street, they weren’t bystanders to the post-election turmoil in Tehran that claimed her life. They were merely the first of over 600,000 who have since viewed a now-symbolic YouTube video that helped propel the opposition political movement forward in the following days of protest. The democratizing power of the Web lies in video like this one–not just because of its content, but because anyone with an Internet connection can contribute to a global dialogue.

But imagine if the person who shot this video had been unable to post it anonymously or if YouTube viewers had to pay to watch it. If online videos were subject to patent licensing fees, users could be charged per-view to capture those fees. Beyond the ethical dilemma profiteering from a tragic death, video licensing could reduce the democratic nature of free and open Internet content to monetizable media. The funny cat videos would be gone forever (perhaps not the greatest loss), but so too would the movement-inspiring Nedas of the future remain unknown.

TechDirt says that Britannica has also gone sour:

It Appears That The Encyclopaedia Britannica Entry On Shaking Down GPS Providers With A Bogus Patent Needs Updating

The Encyclopaedia Britannica has not exactly been having a good decade. In the minds of much of the public (though, certainly not all), the usefulness of Britannica has long been surpassed by Wikipedia. A couple years ago, we gave Britannica’s president a chance to explain his views on where Britannica is going, but it still seems like an uphill battle. Among the more ridiculous things that Britannica has tried to do is to also turn itself into a bit of a patent troll. Back in 2007, it sued a bunch of GPS companies for patent infringement. Scratching your head over why Britannica holds patents on GPS technology? The answer is even more convoluted than you can imagine.

Here is another potential aggressor to watch out for. “Patent Calls Inc. buys Dallas competitor for $16M,” says this report. There is still a difference between a patent holder and a patent aggressor. Microsoft and Apple are both and they are specifically targeting Linux with their lawsuits. Not many companies do that. In fact, no real companies do that, except Microsoft and Apple (patent trolls like Acacia aside, although Acacia too has Microsoft connections).

With New Patent Policy, European Commission Harms European Software Industry

Posted in Europe, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: The European Commission helps rather than hinders software patenting loopholes which would please foreign companies, not European companies

Europe’s autonomy is under attack by patent maximalists and proponents of software patents. This has gone on for a while and it was done under several different names.

Here is another go at the European patent:

Innovative companies could see a dramatic reduction in the cost of patenting new inventions, if a controversial European Commission plan is adopted by EU governments. The new rules could pave the way for a single European patent to be issued in one of just three languages – English, French or German.

More here:

Speaking last week to the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, Sebastiano Toffaletti, secretary-general of the European Association of ICT Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, or PIN-SME, said there was an ongoing debate about standards and how they should be used in the standardization of the European ICT sector.


Toffaletti also highlighted intellectual property rights and the internal debate between software patents and non-software patents.

“This is a very controversial topic, but we think that software should not be patentable even if we agree that there should be better control of intellectual property rights,” Toffaletti said. “Patents just are not the right solution to protect inventions in this sector, as they will just make life too difficult for software developers and the market overall.”

Here is an incorrect/deceiving headline from The Inquirer. It says that “EU patents will be pulled in line with the US,” but actually, UPLS is collapsing [1, 2]:

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC) has issued a single patent proposal to keep the EU competitive and in line with the US.

The EC said that current patent legislation is ten times more expensive in the EU than the US. EU members have to validate patents at a national level first, which creates yards of red tape to process. The EC said this stifles research, development and competition for EU members, drastically increasing costs and time.

As we noted some months ago, the European Commission has had Microsoft sympathisers pushed into it. There ought to be more exposure of those inside the Commission who promote interests of multinationals from overseas.

Wipro — Promoter of Microsoft Policies and Arranger of Offshoring of Legal Team — Becomes Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Awardee for India

Posted in Asia, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 9:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wipro logo

Summary: The company behind the Indian lobby for OOXML and other such pro-Microsoft policies (e.g. software patents) helps Microsoft replace Western workforce and receives incentives for it

THE LATEST DEPARTURES from Microsoft are signs of trouble, which as we’ll show in this post, leads to both legal aggression (secondary business model) and offshoring of workers (cost savings).

A lawsuit which was mentioned in a previous post has its defendant explain why Microsoft’s legal action is unjust and the resorting to a lot of litigation in general (especially patent related) is probably not worth is. But Microsoft is practically promoting those who perform acts of extortion (Horacio moved up the ranks) and based on the following news, Microsoft adds a new man to become a litigation head:

From another news article:

David Howard, the cochair of the white-collar and securities litigation group at Dechert, is leaving the firm to become corporate vice president and deputy general counsel in charge of litigation at Microsoft, according to sibling publication The Legal Intelligencer.

From Law.com

At Microsoft, Howard will report to the company’s general counsel and senior vice president of legal and corporate affairs, Brad Smith.

Recently, Microsoft relocated part of its legal team to India and an employee spilled the beans by saying that Microsoft “routinely produces and/or condones deficient investigations, covers up alleged misconduct, mischaracterizes evidence, refuses to preserve or provide pertinent facts and data, protects the perpetrators and retaliates against victims.”

A few weeks ago we found out that Wipro is the company which manages this outsourcing for Microsoft and we warned about Wipro also because of OpenOffice.org incursions. According to the India Times, Microsoft has just given Wipro a partner award for India.

IT major, Wipro, today said that it has bagged the 2010 Microsoft Country Partner of the Year Award for India.

More here:

Wipro has won the 2010 Microsoft country partner of the year award for delivering market-leading customer solutions built on Microsoft technology, the IT bellwether said in Bangalore on Monday.

So anyone who doubts the strength and intensity of this relationship ought to pay attention [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Microsoft was throwing many partner-related awards at companies last week, buying loyalty (e.g. Synergy) of companies that will potentially lobby their government for corrupt processes such as the OOXML process. “Top 500 Nationally Ranked VAR NewMarket Technology, Inc. Joins Microsoft World Partner Conference in Washington, D.C. July 11-15,” says this new press release. Microsoft is building coalitions.

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