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07.21.10

Microsoft Booster Thinks Vista Phone 7 is Dead on Arrival

Posted in Apple, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 6:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Another Microsoft proponent (the current Microsoft-Watch editor) joins the band which predicts doom for Microsoft’s next attempt at phones, which are not even out yet

“Even Microsoft-watch.com doesn’t seem excited by Windows Mobile 7,” says Tim, the editor of OpenBytes who links to this post from Microsoft Nick, a big booster of the company. He reckons that Vista Phone 7 is “D.O.A.” (dead on arrival).

Microsoft didn’t bother to send me one of the Windows Phone 7 prototypes they’ve been circulating to media over the past week–which is okay, because I had my hands full reviewing the Samsung Galaxy S–but I’m hoping they’ll see the light over the next couple of days, if only so I can jump into the review fray.

A lot of those reviews seem very polite. There’s some praise for the Windows Phone 7 operating system, which attempts to aggregate Web content and applications into subject-specific Hubs, as opposed to arranging individual Apps on a grid-like home screen. And then there’s Galen Gruman, who basically went nuclear.

We wrote about Gruman's review a day ago. OpenBytes calls it “The fall of the Redmond Empire” and makes the following observation:

There is plenty more material showing what I think is the gradual loosing of control of “territories”, one only has to look at any tech forum or blog post where people post about alternatives. Even two years ago, the site Microsoft-watch was renowned as a meeting place for Linux users (in fact I met many online friends there who I am still in contact with.)

It seems like many Linux users are now buyers of Android phones. Google activates over a million such phones per week. As for Apple, it is still fighting against its own customers, but they sometimes find their way around artificial limitations:

How a 15-yo Kid Tricked Apple With a Disguised iPhone Tethering App

[...]

Inside, the app contained hidden code that made it a full tethering application—a program that allows you to use your iPhone as a 3G modem. Using this ability you can surf the web from your computer, using the iPhone as a bridge to the internet. You can do this using your iPhone’s preferences too, but that way you will have to pay the additional $20 per month that AT&T wants you to pay for this kind of service. That is $20 extra on top of whatever you are paying for your iPhone data plan. With Handy Light, the tethering service was completely free.

That’s one of the things which are totally wrong with Apple; they deliberately limit the capabilities of their products and block customers. What kind of customer would tolerate this kind of treatment? Apple is having a ‘Novell moment’.

IRC Proceedings: July 21st, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

Links 21/7/2010: Environment, Copyrights, and ACTA Backlash

Posted in News Roundup at 6:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Leftovers

  • Ready or Not: Your Network is Moving to IPv6
  • The Web Means the End of Forgetting

    Four years ago, Stacy Snyder, then a 25-year-old teacher in training at Conestoga Valley High School in Lancaster, Pa., posted a photo on her MySpace page that showed her at a party wearing a pirate hat and drinking from a plastic cup, with the caption “Drunken Pirate.” After discovering the page, her supervisor at the high school told her the photo was “unprofessional,” and the dean of Millersville University School of Education, where Snyder was enrolled, said she was promoting drinking in virtual view of her under-age students. As a result, days before Snyder’s scheduled graduation, the university denied her a teaching degree.

  • An Open Source 8-Bit Computer to Save the World

    At a recent local LUG I regularly attend, Braddock Gaskill gave a wonderful presentation on an open source 8-bit computer he had created. This was his first public debut of the device and every person in attendance was enthralled. Later, we met over coffee since I wanted to let him know (and ask if it was ok) that I thought his device would make for a great piece for Linux Journal. Braddock agreed and we started to chat about both the Humane Reader & Humane PC.

  • Environment

    • China’s search for greener values

      JW: Looking for a solution to the predicament we are in, of living unsustainably, the importance of values comes up again and again. The focus in China is mainly on science and technology, on hardware – on things that if you drop them will hurt your toe. The importance of values hasn’t really kicked in, but it’s absolutely essential. Where do you get these values? Clearly western values haven’t stopped the west from screwing up the environment. So, it’s worth looking to China’s philosophical and cultural roots.

  • Copyrights

    • Prof. Bently et al Concluding the History of Copyright

      If you need some good reading whilst lazing on the veranda of your summer villa, look no further than Privilege and Property – Essays on the History of Copyright

      Edited by Ronan Deazley, Martin Kretschmer and Lionel Bently, it’s bound (or not) to be a stimulating intellectual work.

      [...]

      It’s time someone noticed the nails keeping copyright upright upon its perch.

      Copyright is history. Lawyers can read it and weep.

    • People Aren’t Buying Blank CDs Any More, So Collection Agency Demands Media Levy Expanded To Mobile Phones

      And what makes you think you should automatically get free money from people using these technologies when the content creators you represent fail to adjust or adapt at all? But rather than adapt, Copyswede is just taking the position that more technologies should be taxed and the market should be distorted further. The plan is to tax mobile phones 100 kronor (about $14), because having the government step in and force people to give you money is, you know, a lot easier than actually having to work for a living.

  • ACTA

    • Netherlands requires renewed openness ACTA (automatic translation)

      The Ministers of Economic Affairs and Justice argue for renewed openness about ACTA trade agreement.

      Resigning ministers Maria van der Hoeven of Economic Affairs (EZ) and Justice Ernst Hirsch Ballin are disappointed that the negotiations on trade treaty ACTA remain behind closed doors.

Clip of the Day

CLUG Talk – 27 Nov 2007 – AGM: Compiz-Fusion-Beryl-BURN! (2007)


Links: Apache Software Foundation Board Members, Mozilla Bug Bounty, Governments Approach Free Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, News Roundup at 6:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apache lands

Summary: Gathering of some Free software and Open Source news

Free Software/Open Source

  • Top 10 open source alternatives

    We run down the 10 best open source alternatives to the business software we use every day.

    Running a business can be costly at the best of times, so we’ve delved into the open source world and plucked out some great alternatives to those heavyweight proprietary applications that we all know and need.

    These applications could prove viable solutions to real business needs and could save you and your organisation money in the process. What’s more, if you’re just starting out these pieces of software could have your business up and running (and earning) a site quicker, not to mention keeping you in the black for longer, which is no mean feat in 2010.

  • New Zealand Open Source Awards 2010 now open for nominations

    The 2010 New Zealand Open Source Awards are now open for nominations at http://www.nzosa.org.nz/.

    This year’s Awards will focus particularly on achievements from over the past two years.

    “There were so many strong nominations for the 2008 event,” said panel chair Don Christie, “that we are keen to hear back from projects that have moved forward in the last years, as well as new initiatives using free and open source solutions.”

  • 25 Awesome Free Vector Clip Arts Made Using Inkscape

    In the field of graphic arts, vector clip art is associated with pre-made images used to represent whatever medium. It is comprised completely of illustrations made using computer software, and it does not contain stock photography.

  • The Apache Software Foundation Announces New Board Members

    The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is pleased to announce that Shane Curcuru, Doug Cutting, Bertrand Delacretaz, Roy T. Fielding, Jim Jagielski, Sam Ruby, Noirin Shirley, Greg Stein, and Henri Yandell have been elected to serve on the ASF Board of Directors.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla raises its bug bounty

      OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE HOUSE Mozilla has upped the bounty it offers to anyone that discovers a bug in its software.

      In a blog post Mozilla said that the evolving threat landscape had lead it to raise its reward to $3,000 in order to “better support constructive security research”.

  • Education

    • How To Get Started with Open Source in K-12

      For K-12 IT directors, the major appeal of open source software (OSS) generally focuses on savings in licensing fees and access to software that would not otherwise be affordable. Many also are finding that OSS simply is the best solution for their school districts–even compared to commercial versions.

      IT directors with OSS experience largely have been opportunistic about how they got started. In a series of interviews conducted for THE Journal, three IT directors shared their experiences–the hows and the whys–launching OSS in their districts.

      They have very different stories, but have all learned that the transition to an open source “shop” takes time.

  • BSD

  • Government

    • Open source should target government desktops as Microsoft shunned

      The government’s decision not to renew an agreement with Microsoft for up to 800,000 NHS desktops could be an opportunity for open source suppliers to prove their worth.

      According to an article on IT channel website Microscope.co.uk, the government did not feel the deal, known as an enterprise agreement, which aims to give lower prices in return for group buying was not value for money. It prefers individual NHS Trusts to buy what they want, rather than being forced to be part of an enterprise wide deal.

    • EU: 3.3 million to continue projects on open source and reusable dat

      The European Commission is planning to spend 3.344 million Euro until 2016 to continue the services provided by its projects – such as OSOR.eu and SEMIC.eu – on open source and on electronic data exchange.

      The EC published the budget details last week Thursday for its e-Government project. Apart from the 3.344 million Euro planned for the new platform to provide collaborative services for current Semic.eu and OSOR.eu users, another 8.8 million Euro are foreseen to provide support for existing and future communities around eGovernment in general, including the growing Open Source community on OSOR.eu and the community around interoperablity assets on Semic.eu.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Expanding the Circle?

      Why should the free and open source software community regard their work as a commons? For people focused on building a specific piece of software, the need to label it a “commons” may seem gratuitous. What’s the value? But there are some good reasons for understanding free/open source software as a commons, as I explain in a recent essay published by the FLOSS Roadmap project.

    • Open Source hardware advocates want a hard-core license

      It’s hard to predict how an open source hardware revolution could change consumer electronics. There are very few ideas that stem from complete air — nearly every great new thing has come from modifying something that came before.

  • Programming

    • Adobe Moves All of Its Open Source Projects to Sourceforge

      Adobe has announced that its partnering with Sourceforge to expand its open-source offerings and have more flexibility with the related programs. Basically, all of Adobe’s open-source and standards efforts will be hosted and managed on Sourceforge through the site’s new developer platform. Adobe is actually the first customer of the newly launched platform.

    • Software competition to encourage East African developers

      The US State Department has thrown its weight behind an initiative to promote software development for the good of East African residents.

      The Apps 4 Africa contest was launched earlier this month and aims to encourage developers to produce software that will improve the quality of life for residents of this region.

Links: MeeGo Harmed by Junk Intel/x86 Drivers, OLPC Makes Another Step (Despite Intel Fighting It), Android Grows in Tablets

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Hardware, News Roundup at 5:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tablets

Summary: Nokia should have stuck with ARM; OLPC with Fedora gets another 75,000-unit order; Tablets prove good for Linux

Devices/Embedded

  • Production Model Boxee Box Finally Shown Off [Boxee Box Open Source Set-Top Box Shows Its Face For The Video Camera]

    If you’ll remember, Google TV has received a considerable amount of attention first when the platform was announced and then again when Logitech showed off the Revue with Google TV set top box. This platform and set-top box will bring with it the ability to search for content wherever you want (Internet, cable, satellite, etc) along with being able to stream content from a networked computer – two things that traditional service provider issued set-top boxes usually do not allow.

  • Nokia/MeeGo

    • Intel Can’t Ship Their Own Driver With Their MeeGo OS

      With the introduction of Intel’s Poulsbo (GMA 500) chipset it marked a point at which Intel’s Linux graphics support was no longer stellar, but as they had outsourced the graphics IP from Imagination Technologies, they could not provide an open-source driver stack like they do with their in-house IGPs. Not only was this Intel Poulsbo Linux driver closed-source, but the level of support was appalling and it was a bloody mess of a situation. The overall situation since has only become worse and even MeeGo (their own Linux OS) will be shipping without Intel’s EMGD driver.

  • Sub-notebooks

    • Govt to procure 75,000 laptops under OLPC scheme

      Authority of the state government has ordered 75,000 laptops under the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) scheme for wide coverage of schools by the mission aims at creating educational opportunities for the world’s poorest children by providing each child with a rugged, low-cost, low-power, connected laptop with content and software designed for collaborative, joyful, self-empowered learning.

  • Tablets

Links: KDE SC News (Including Akademy), Distribution Reviews, and Upside for Red Hat

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, News Roundup at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Caution

Summary: News about KDE, new releases, and Red Hat’s healthy state

K Desktop Environment (KDE SC)

  • Using KDE4 – Day 1

    It is a bit later than I envisioned, but here it is. Day one of using KDE4 of a seven day series on the Desktop Environment.

    If you are new to my Seven Day Challenges, you can also read through my Gnome Shell or Windows 7 Seven Day series.

  • today’s 30 minute hacks

    I ended up taking two “breaks” during the day today to do “30 minute hacks”. This is where I do something in the codebase that may or may not end up being useful but which I find interesting to try out, keeping the exercise to a length of 30 minutes or less.

  • Dirk Hohndel at Akademy

    At Akademy in Tampere we interviewed Dirk Hohndel, Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist (we would call him ‘dude’) at Intel. He was present representing Intel and checking out what the KDE community is up to. As he sacrificed spending the 4th of July with his family for this, we were anxious to talk to him. Sunday, after the Elegant keynote by Aaron Seigo, we managed to catch him for a chat and first asked him what he thought about the keynote.

Distributions

  • Five distros for “fast” machines

    Not content to just sit back and learn tmux alongside cone, I also spent a little time over the past few days messing with a few other distros, both on this machine and a much faster one.

  • Reviews

    • POLL RESULTS: Best 2010 Linux Distro Release

      Distro Release Votes (%)
      PCLinuxOS 2010.1 137 (31%)
      Linux Mint 9 78 (18%)
      Ubuntu 10.04 (and brethren) 63 (14%)
      OpenSUSE 11.3 47 (10%)
      Fedora 13 20 (4%)
      Arch Linux 2010.05 19 (4%)
      Pardus 2009.2 18 (4%)
      Other 16 (3%)
      Mandriva 2010.1 13 (3%)
      Slackware 13.1 13 (3%)
      Sabayon 5.3 4 (0%)
      CentOS 5.5 2 (0%)

    • Damn Vulnerable Linux – The most vulnerable and exploitable operating system ever!

      Usually, when installing a new operating system the hope is that it’s as up-to-date as possible. After installation there’s bound to be a few updates required, but no more than a few megabytes. Damn Vulnerable Linux is different, it’s shipped in as vulnerable a state as possible.

      The idea behind DVL is to offer an operating system for learning and research for security students. As the DVL website explains:

      Damn Vulnerable Linux (DVL) is everything a good Linux distribution isn’t. Its developers have spent hours stuffing it with broken, ill-configured, outdated, and exploitable software that makes it vulnerable to attacks. DVL isn’t built to run on your desktop – it’s a learning tool for security students.

      [...]

      For general operating system distribution there is an obsession with always shipping the most up-to-date version. It’s a good obsession to have, as for the most part we all want the most current and secure software running on our machines.

    • A week or two with Kongoni GNU/Linux

      Kongoni is billed as a Slackware-based, desktop-oriented GNU/Linux distribution and live CD, with a BSD-style ports tree and a graphical management system. Given that Slackware is the most BSD-like Linux this seems to make sense.

      Having heard good things about FreeBSD, Arch, and Gentoo which come to mind, this sounded intriguing and I decided to give this young project a spin. Kongoni has only had one release out so far, version 1.12.2 released 12/07/2009, a year old by the time you read this. This release was still based on Slackware 12 according to the developer, but has moved up since then via the repository. At the moment it is in sync with Slackware current, I suppose until the new release is out which, going by the kernel 2.6.34 and application versions will be based on Slackware 13.1.

      [...]

      Kongoni definitely has character and I hope it will be able to build a community to sustain it, rather than just the passing curious distro-hopper. Kongoni offers with their base install yet another way of doing things and in particular another way of using Slackware. It also is, not to forget, a Live CD by default, which should strike a chord with people looking for a Slackware based Live CD, particularly as we haven’t heard anything from the Bluewhite64 or the Slax projects in this respect for a while. (The Slax community has been providing unofficial remixes now for a while, but they’re not touching the base.)

    • Mandriva Linux 2010 spring “Farman” Review

      Overall, I’d have to give Mandriva’s “Farman” release a solid eight and a half out of ten. I’ve always been a Mandriva fan since the first time I’ve used it, and it remains to this very day one of the best distros I’ve used. RPM based or not, if you’re starting out with Linux and would like a gentle introduction to how Linux can work smoothly, without using Mint or Ubuntu, Mandriva’s certainly my choice for you. And if you’re more experienced with Linux, Mandriva still has a lot to offer you in terms of customization, stability, and the lightness that comes with their experience in the Linux market. Well done, Mandriva, well done. Once again, you prove that Red Hat can be amazing: it just depends on how you use it.

  • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

  • Red Hat Family

    • Piper Jaffray Reiterates Overweight Rating on Red Hat (RHT)

      Piper Jaffray is out with a research note this morning, where it reiterates its Overweight rating on Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT); it also has a $37.00 price target on the stock.

      The Piper Jaffray analysts said, “We recently interviewed 45 Red Hat partners to assess opinions of RHEV and found that 80% believe RHEV already delivers a TCO that is superior to, or equal with, VMware (NYSE: VMW). Customers appear ready for an open, viable alternative to VMware, as contacts indicate several large VMware customers are taking a very close look at RHEV. Our prior work showed that RHEV can drive 10% of RHT’s bookings in the next 12-24 months, and the current results provide reason for incremental optimism.”

    • More Upside for Red Hat ?

      Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) booked a new 52 week high today by trading above $32.52, traders are definitely monitoring Red Hat’s price action to see if this move attracts further buying into the stock.

      Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) develops and provides open source software and services, including the Red Hat Linux operating system.

    • RedHat Enterprise Linux 6 Beta – I can’t wait

      RHEL 6 is an excellent product. It works great. You have everything. Well, almost everything. Except NTFS support, everything works superbly, without any hitches. RHEL 6 combines modern technology with stability and quality to create a perfect formula. Whether you want this to become your server or your desktop, you have the right tools for the right job. Memory footprint is low, suspend & hibernate works, Wireless works, the choice of programs is well balanced, what could you ask more? And remember, this is only a beta release!

    • Fedora

      • Fedora Board Meeting, 16 July 2010

        Dennis asked, “What do you see as the biggest challenge in your starting weeks/months?”

        Jared replied, “We need to continue to push Fedora development, and to make the Fedora community more inclusive. I’m reminded this week at FUDCon at the barriers to entry that are there, not because we’re trying to be exclusive, but because of language and cultural differences for example… My biggest challenge in the beginning is to find ways to get buy-in from all the parties involved so that we can push with a concerted effort. I’d rather make it a collaborative effort.”

      • Autoten – Install utilities & proprietary codecs under Fedora Linux

        The author of autoten has done a superb job in keeping the application fuss-free & that should be appreciated as nobody wants to wander through menus to get simple things installed. Considering this application will be used by amateurs, there is no way they will get lost or feel intimidated by the huge(complex but informative) homescreen. Autoten gets a highly recommend tag from our side.

  • Canonical/Ubuntu

Links: GNU/Linux Advocacy, Kernel Space News

Posted in GNU/Linux, News Roundup at 5:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Roy Schestowitz at a bridge

Summary: Another large lump of GNU/Linux news items (almost caught up fully by now, still unloading some photos from the trip)

GNU/Linux

  • What Good is it if They Don’t Know it’s Linux?

    Just like Marcel Gagne said, stop apologizing for Linux! He wasn’t talking about “invisible Linux”, but that’s another branch on the same tree. All these businesses who are profiting from Linux and Free/Open Source software are real big on branding and name recognition—until it comes to giving credit to Linux and FOSS. Linux/FOSS are the beneficiaries of considerable corporate support, both in code and money. So why the big hangup over the saying the L-word? Is it shameful? Will the other suits snigger? It doesn’t help when we go all apologetic over things like Flash is a piece of junk, or forget that 64-bit Linux appeared months before 64-bit Windows, which to this day is plagued with problems and compatibility issues, while 64-bit Linux is plagued only by proprietary crapware like Flash, and performs beautifully on everyday systems and doesn’t need elite gurus to install and maintain.

  • How to Make Windows Faster than Linux

    1. Defrag Windows disk drive 3X a day
    Ask any PC expert and they will always tell you that to speed up Windows you have to defrag your hard disk as often as possible. So in order to make Windows really fast (faster than Linux), why not defrag your hard disk three times a day.

    2. Remove anti-virus software
    I know this will make Windows vulnerable to security threats such as viruses, spyware, trojans, fungus (sic), and worms. But since this is all about making Windows faster, we recommend that you remove your anti-virus software because it’s a resource hog and it is one of the key reasons why your desktop is running slow.

    3. Disable Automatic Updates
    This is another bad idea in terms of security, but disabling automatic updates can help Windows gain some speed. Running automatic updates slows down your system as it uses computer resources to constantly check for updates like security patches. The system also regularly (more regular than normal) checks and hunts down those who are using pirated copies of Windows.

  • Open source software. The gateway drug to Linux.

    Some of the best open source software (OSS) around is multiple platform. You can run the exact same software with the same look and feel (I can understand the look part but how do you feel a program? Do a Vulcan mind meld with it?) no matter what operating system you use. Originally, many of these programs were Linux only and were ported to other operating systems due to demand.

    [...]

    Darth is ecstatic. His computer runs much faster, he has the exact same programs as before and he has no virus problems. Luke is also much happier, he now has far less support problems than before and the Deathstar is a much more peaceful place.

    There you have it. A true story on how open source software was a gateway to a new Linux user. Do you have any stories like this? Either leave them in the comments or message me with them and I can put them in special Tales from the Borg ship articles.

  • But we tested it on Linux…

    My how things have changed. When I first became aware of the advantages Linux and more importantly Open Source Software, people would look at me like I had three heads when I mentioned Linux. That was five or six years ago. However, last Tuesday, I had a first. I was at a CLE that involved a web based bill entry system for the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts. My Ubuntu based laptop kept hitting an error screen. I went to the techiest of the techy facilitators and said “I think I know what the problem is.” She said, “What?”. I said, “Well, I’m running Linux.” Without missing a beat, she said, “But we tested it on Linux.”

  • What does it all mean?

    Dell certainly knows about the security facts described above, as does any Linux user. However, the ambivalent policy that Dell keeps undermines its Linux partner, Canonical. I mean, Dell did advertise that Ubuntu was SAFER than Windows but, maybe because of hidden pressure from Redmond, the statement on the Dell site was modified to read “UBUNTU IS SAFE” (read about it here).

    This is interesting because Dell mostly sells computers running Windows. They were saying “Ubuntu is safer than Windows…don’t you want to buy a Windows computer from us? No? Well, there’s always Ubuntu.” Very motivating…

    Dell’s INVISIBLE LINUX discourse is not helping anyone. I thought they had figured it out by now.

    Who are they trying to please…Canonical, Microsoft, or costumers?

  • Down on the farm(ers market) with Linux

    Colonel Panik, my good friend and constant commenter to this blog, asked me to give you all some insights about what we’re finding at the Felton Farmers Market every Tuesday.

    [...]

    There are other things that amaze me: The Google engineer who stopped by the table — “Oh, I’d better know what Linux is.” — and others who work “over the hill,” as we call the Silicon Valley, who would stop with strawberries in hand to take a look at what we had, and take a disk or two to try out. Also, what amazes me is that a lot of youngsters — teens, of course — who have used FOSS and don’t mind spending their time at the table talking about things like “Will GIMP ever have only one window?”

  • Audiocasts/Radio

  • Kernel Space

    • Source diving for sysadmins

      As a system administrator, I work with dozens of large systems every day–Apache, MySQL, Postfix, Dovecot, and the list goes on from there. While I have a good idea of how to configure all of these pieces of software, I’m not intimately familiar with all of their code bases. And every so often, I’ll run into a problem which I can’t configure around.

      When I’m lucky, I can reproduce the bug in a testing environment. I can then drop in arbitrary print statements, recompile with debugging flags, or otherwise modify my application to give me useful data. But all too often, I find that either the bug vanishes when it’s not in my production environment, or it would simply take too much time or resources to even set up a testing deployment. When this happens, I find myself left with no alternative but to sift through the source code of the failing system, hoping to find clues as to the cause of the bug of the day. Doing so is never painless, but over time I’ve developed a set of techniques to make the source diving experience as focused and productive and possible.

    • Keeping things simple: the Linux kernel

      All of the extra kernel modules needed are included on the hard disk as part of the Linux installation (with most of the mainline distributions like Fedora, Ubuntu, SuSE, etc.). This says a lot considering the small footprint needed by Linux compared to more bloated operating systems like Windows, when you consider this is 99% of the needed drivers, whereas Windows only includes the base set of drivers and uses about 2x to 4x the space.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The 3dfx Linux Driver Has Hope & It’s Getting TTM

        Yesterday we reported on the emergence of the 3Dfx Linux DRM/KMS driver that introduces Linux kernel mode-setting support for the decade-old Banshee and Voodoo graphics cards. This work was done by a lone developer, but at this time it doesn’t play well with the 3dfx X.Org DDX driver, which diminished hopes of it entering the mainline kernel. However, it appears there is interest in this driver and that the developer is now working on adding TTM memory management support for these 3dfx PCI/AGP graphics cards.

      • NVIDIA Updates Two Of Their Old Legacy Drivers

        NVIDIA has finally got around to issuing an update to two of their legacy drivers that allows those with old GeForce hardware to run it with newer Linux distributions using X.Org Server 1.8. Beyond the new X Server compatibility, the NVIDIA 173.14.75 pre-release driver update also fixes two bugs. The NVIDIA 96.43.18 legacy update doesn’t bring X.Org Server 1.8 support, but it carries two bug-fixes.

  • Applications

Fraunhofer FOKUS and the Software Patents Lobby in Germany

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Patents, Protocol, Red Hat, SLES/SLED, Standard at 2:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fraunhofer ISE
Photo by Joachim S. Müller

Summary: Fraunhofer continues to do a disservice to software freedom and instead does a service to Microsoft (which is among Fraunhofer’s sources of income)

Yesterday we wrote about Knut Blind from Fraunhofer FOKUS. Jan Wildeboer from Red Hat wrote his name as “Kurt Blind” and quoted him as saying that a software patent “reduces transaction costs”. This was not at all shocking to us given the similarities, intersections, and payments that go between Fraunhofer, Microsoft, and even the Gates Foundation — a subject we previously covered in:

Professor Blind (yes, that’s not a pun) has initiated this survey which led Carlo Piana to writing: “Answer en masse to the questionnaire… or it’ll be slanted twrds royalty-bearing FRAND standard policy.” Blind’s background is in finance, not software development. He is influencing the EU’s legislators, so this is important.

“Answer en masse to the questionnaire… or it’ll be slanted twrds royalty-bearing FRAND standard policy.”
      –Carlo Piana
Florian Müller is meanwhile attacking all of Microsoft’s big competitors (yes, again). He labels them a threat to software because of software patents while so conveniently leaving companies like Siemens (see previous post as well as older ones [1, 2, 3]) and of course Microsoft out. That’s just why we urge people not to trust Müller and we’ll carry on showing his bias.

Unlike Fraunhofer, S.u.S.E. was a big pusher for the end of software patents, but when Novell bought the Germany-based S.u.S.E. (with IBM’s help) it turned SUSE into Ballnux, which is all about paying Microsoft for “IP peace of mind”, meaning software patents in Linux. OpenSUSE 11.3 is here, but does anyone care? There are not even many reviews of this release (here is one). Money from companies like Novell and IBM has shattered SUSE’s views on software patents and Microsoft’s payments to Fraunhofer (Bill Gates pays Fraunhofer too) can’t help Europe, can they?

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