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IRC Proceedings: July 23rd, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

Quote of the Day: Peer To Patent is a “Colossal Waste of Time When [It] Examines Software Patents”

Posted in Patents, Quote, Red Hat, Samba at 3:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Carlo Piana

Summary: Carlo Piana is also among the critics of Peer To Patent

Earlier today we explained yet again why Peer To Patent is not the best solution to the problem Free software is having. Carlo Piana, the Samba lawyer who says that “the *only* solution is abolition NOW” has also just said: “#peerpatent, however deserving high praise, is a colossal waste of time when examines #swpats, which shouldn’t exist”

Even Florian Müller echoed his remarks. “Sadly,” I explained to the messenger, “what Peer To Patent seems to be doing is in some ways making software patents stronger.” OIN is not an optimal solution, either; far from it, but that debate is different. If companies like Oracle, IBM and Google could align with the pushers to end software patents, this goal would be achievable.

Links 23/7/2010: Bank Fraud in Retrospect, Wikileaks Hunt

Posted in News Roundup at 3:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


  • The background to the Gray and Hilton libel case

    At about 2pm this afternoon the High Court will rule on whether the libel claim against Labour bloggers John Gray and Alex Hilton can be struck out for abuse of process.

    My friend Robert Dougans, who of course acted for Simon Singh, is formally representing Alex Hilton, and I am in turn one of the lawyers helping Robert Dougans.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Can’t Say It Dodged This F-Bomb: Jonathan Weil

      While the Securities and Exchange Commission’s fraud lawsuit against Goldman Sachs may be over, the myths about what’s contained in the settlement agreement seem to have taken on a life of their own.

      There’s been so much misinformation floating around on this subject that it’s time to set the record straight. Contrary to many reports over the past week, the SEC didn’t back off any of its fraud allegations. Nor will Goldman be allowed to deny the SEC’s harshest accusations. Yet over and over, articles and analyst reports keep popping up asserting otherwise.

    • Did Goldman Sachs Get Off Easy? NYT Editorial

      Next is the more disturbing question: Did the S.E.C. let Goldman off too easy? As has been widely noted, the $550 million settlement, which has been approved by a federal judge, is chump change compared with Goldman’s bonus pool, and less even than Goldman’s depressed second-quarter profits.

    • Goldman to sell benchmark-size 5-year notes – IFR

      Benchmark offerings are typically at least $500 million in size. No timing was given for the deal.

    • Goldman Sachs reaches $60 million securities settlement with Missouri

      The investment firm of Goldman Sachs will repurchase up to $60 million in auction rate securities from Missouri investors who were caught up in the market meltdown in early 2008.

      The settlement was announced Wednesday by Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan. This marks the 15th auction rate settlement in Missouri leading to the reimbursement of more than $1.5 billion for investors.

    • Morgan Stanley’s Pay Set-Aside Climbs as Goldman Sachs’s Falls

      Morgan Stanley, buoyed by rising revenue, set aside 37 percent more money to pay employees in the first half of 2010 even as rivals Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s investment bank lowered their compensation expenses.

    • Pay Czar to Cite Goldman, JPMorgan, Citi: Report

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc are among those Obama administration pay czar Kenneth Feinberg will cite for having made “ill-advised” payments, the Wall Street Journal reported on its web site on Thursday.

    • Goldman Sachs Spends 40 Percent More On Lobbying In Second Quarter

      As Goldman Sachs faced arguably one of its most challenging quarter in decades — on several fronts, from SEC charges and lagging profits to financial regulatory reform and renewed scrutiny of all its activities — the firm increased its spending on lobbying by almost 40% in the second quarter of 2010 and has already spent almost as much in the first half of this year as it did in all of 2009.

      In its most recent lobbying report filed last night, Goldman spent $1.58 million to influence Congress and the White House on a host of issues including Wall Street reform — specifically derivatives regulation, bank tax and financial risk management — the much-debated unemployment benefits extension, municipal finance, small business funding, climate change legislation and transportation funding.

    • Who Really Won in Goldman Sachs’ Settlement With the SEC?
    • Daniel Dravot, Goldman Sachs, and the SEC

      Goldman is not a mere mortal king but has been viewed in some circles as a god on Wall Street. Unfortunately, when Goldman kissed Paulson, the latter bit and the former bled; and now Goldman is astride the rope bridge, bejeweled and crowned but imperiled as the SEC hacks away.

    • Goldman’s Go-Round

      When Goldman Sachs released its first-quarter results in April, its strong profits were overshadowed by news of a lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission accusing the firm of fraud in a sale of mortgage-related securities. When it released its second-quarter results on Tuesday, its plunging profits — down 82 percent from the same period a year earlier — overshadowed the $550 million it paid to settle the S.E.C. case last week.

    • Federal Report Faults Banks on Huge Bonuses

      With the financial system on the verge of collapse in late 2008, a group of troubled banks doled out more than $2 billion in bonuses and other payments to their highest earners. Now, the federal authority on banker pay says that nearly 80 percent of that sum was unmerited.

    • Goldman Sachs Said to Give AIG-Hedging List to Investigators

      The list was sought by panels reviewing the beneficiaries of New York-based AIG’s $182.3 billion government bailout, said the people, who declined to be identified because the information is private. Goldman Sachs, which received $12.9 billion after the 2008 rescue tied to contracts with the insurer, has said it didn’t need AIG to be rescued because it was hedged against the firm’s failure.

    • SEC Inspector General Expands Probe to Include Goldman Sachs Settlement

      The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s internal watchdog said he will expand his probe into whether politics drove an agency lawsuit against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to include the timing behind a $550 million settlement with the company.

    • Pimco Hires Goldman Sachs’s Gordon in Emerging Stocks

      Pacific Investment Management Co., the bond-fund firm that last year began a push into equities, hired Maria Gordon from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s asset- management unit to start an emerging-market stocks group.

      Gordon was head of the emerging-markets equity team at Goldman Sachs Asset Management in London, where she oversaw about $8 billion in assets, the Newport Beach, California-based firm said in a statement. Gordon, who plans to join in October, will eventually run a group of four to six people and will be based in London.

    • Fairfield, Madoff, Goldman, BP, UBS in Court News

      Fairfield Greenwich Group co-founder Walter Noel was sued by the trustee overseeing the liquidation of Bernard Madoff’s firm as part of an amended lawsuit that names 43 new defendants.

      Noel and the other defendants worked with Madoff and his firm “to commit, and exponentially expand, the single largest financial fraud in history,” trustee Irving Picard said in the complaint filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. “Every dollar the defendants purportedly ‘earned,’ and every dollar they kept to unjustly enrich themselves, was stolen money.”

    • Goldman Sachs Resort & Casino

      Goldman Sachs is proud to announce a consumer-enriching expansion from the hallowed halls of Wall Street to the glittering neon of Las Vegas. In addition to continuing our world-class wealth-friendly Private Wealth Management and Personal Banking services; our internationally-recognized client-focused Global Investment Research services; our award-winning, growth-facilitating Debt Financing teams, we are excited to unveil plans for the globally diversified, entertainment-enhanced, Goldman Sachs Lounge & Casino, perfect for both the high roller, and the high-net-worth individual, financial institution, corporation and/or government.

    • The Food Bubble: How Wall Street Starved Millions and Got Away With It

      While Goldman Sachs agreed to pay $550 million to resolve a civil fraud lawsuit filed by the SEC, Goldman has not been held accountable for many of its other questionable investment practices. A new article in Harper’s Magazine examines the role Goldman played in the food crisis of 2008 when the ranks of the world’s hungry increased by 250 million. We speak to Harper’s contributing editor Frederick Kaufman.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Assange No-Show at Hacker Conference

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was a no-show at the annual New York City hacker conference HOPE, after five Homeland Security agents turned up the day before he scheduled to speak.

      After an army intelligence analyst blew the whistle and leaked 150,000 State Department classified diplomatic cables and an aerial attack video to Wikileaks, conference organizers warned in June that Assange, a scheduled keynote speaker, might not turn up if hew wanted to avoid detention.

    • Top earning Tory: ban protests to save money

      In the past controversial plays have had to be shut down because the police did not want to bear the costs of policing the protests.

      With Boris increasingly displaying authoritarianism – banning Democracy village and threatening motorcycle protesters – it looks increasingly like the Tories aren’t as enthusiastic about civil liberties as they’ve claimed.

    • Comment: Labour must repent on civil liberties

      The term ‘progressive’ is a pernicious and treacherous thing. It is not a belief system. It doesn’t denote a series of beliefs or policies. It is a sentiment, a vague allusion. It translates as ‘leftish’. Its political usefulness lies in this absence of meaning, allowing right-wingers to attract moderates without actually committing to any specific proposals.

  • Net Neutrality

    • No need for net neutrality action, says UK regulator

      SNIPPET: While US telcos, politicians, user rights activists and big media companies have spent the past three years wrangling, tussling, lobbying and shouting about net neutrality, the issue has never caused much trouble elsewhere.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • P2PU Call for Courses

      The Peer 2 Peer University is gearing up to launch its third cycle of courses this coming September, and we’re looking for new faces to join the community. Do you have an idea for a six week course? Whether it’s Physics 101 or Poker and Strategic Thinking, all ideas are welcome. You can propose a course at http://wiki.p2pu.org/Create-a-Course (deadline is August 6, 2010).

    • Copyrights

      • Barry Sookman Works For The Canadian Recording Industry Association

        For the last six months I’ve been calling on Barry Sookman to disclose who he was working for. Barry claims that his blog is his personal thoughts. I claim that everyone is affected by their friends and relatives, their work, and other contacts, and that therefore his employer has an affect on his blog, and must be disclosed.

        Barry has avoided the issue. He knows that I know who he is working for. He knows that if I can get him to publicly state who he is working for, I can do damage to his cause, and therefore his best option was to say nothing (which is an oddity in it’s own right – Barry is ever more verbose than I am), while I continue to pretend that I don’t know who he’s working for, and that I can’t find out who he’s working for.

        But the cat is now out of the bag. A comment was made on the blog, and I decided to let it stand. Barry Sookman works for the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

Links: Free Software Grows in Europe

Posted in Free/Libre Software, News Roundup at 3:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

British passport

Summary: This week’s news about Free software

Free Software/Open Source

  • Silicos NV ports proprietary software into open source domain

    On June 22, 2010, the Belgium-based computational chemistry company Silicos NV has made a strategic decision to port the majority of its proprietary software into the open source arena. The decision has been made to port all of these tools and the corresponding C/C++ API’s into the Open Babel environment under a GNU GPL licensing scheme. This strategic decision will position Silicos NV as one of the leading computational chemistry services companies to support the open source business model. According to Hans De Winter, Silicos’ CSO, “the decision will allow Silicos to move forward rapidly on the expanding wave of open source software tools, and will significantly expand its possibilities of providing services to customers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry.”

  • TrueCrypt levels up: Hardware acceleration, convenience improvements

    There’s no killer feature update to TrueCrypt 7 as there was in version 6. Still, the latest revision to the popular open-source and free encryption program for Windows, Mac, and Linux debuts some new features and security enhancements that make it worth the upgrade.

  • Why Does FOSS Development Lag the Innovation Curve?

    Are open source developers on the ball about delivering alternatives to cutting-edge proprietary products and services, or do they lag the proprietary innovators? That topic came up at this week’s OSCON conference in Portland, and there is a case to be made for the idea that open source developers don’t deliver key products in key categories fast enough.

  • Libre Graphics Magazine #0 [PDF}
  • Events

    • O’Reilly Open Source Awards announced

      At the OSCON 2010 open source convention taking place in Portland, Oregon, O’Reilly Media’s Edd Dumbill has announced the winners of this years O’Reilly Open Source Awards. The awards have been presented each year since 2005 to individuals for their “dedication, innovation, leadership and outstanding contribution to open source”.

  • Oracle

    • Woah, It Looks Like Oracle Will Stand Behind OpenSolaris

      As the first email of its kind in months, Alan Coopersmith who is a known X.Org contributor and longtime Sun Microsystems employee now working for Oracle, has written a new email entitled “IPS distro-import changes needed for X packages for nv_145.” Alan immediately began this public email by saying, “Just when you thought you’d never see another one of these biweekly mails….”

      The rest of Alan’s email goes on to talk about the X.Org packages in Nevada build 145 that need to be updated. Beyond the technical details for the X IPS package changes needed, no details were given about when we may actually see an OpenSolaris Nevada Build 145 released publicly or the stable release of OpenSolaris 2010.XX. Unless Oracle is just misguiding their employees about the future of Sun’s OS or letting them waste more resources on the OS while knowing it will be killed off, it looks like we may see Oracle starting to get behind OpenSolaris.

      For now we can only hope Oracle issues an official statement shortly, which would ideally be backed by the long-awaited Oracle OpenSolaris 2010 release.

  • BSD


    • Who You Gonna Call? Q&A With Software Freedom Law Center’s Eben Moglen

      The Software Freedom Law Center provides free legal representation and other law-related services to open source software developers. The organization began in 2005 under the direction of Eben Moglen, a professor of law and legal history at Columbia University Law School.

      His law center represents many of the most important and well-established free software and open source projects. The SFLC’s goal is to help non-profit FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) projects succeed.


      LIN: How is your office organized?

      Moglen: We are an actual nonprofit entity with lawyers on staff. I have six lawyers working in New York City and two lawyers working in India. These people are salaried, working full time on behalf of our clients within the structure of the organization.

  • Project Releases

  • Europe

    • The increasing importance of open source for the EU

      An interesting video message from Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, was published last week. The message was recorded in support for GNOME and its events, such as the upcoming GNOME Users’ And Developers’ European Conference.


      Additionally, Kroes stresses the importance of strong communities and the role they play in shaping Europe’s digital future. And now the EU commission has the opportunity to put the money where their mouth is, as it recently announced to fund projects worth 1.2 billion Euros to be launched in 2011. This is a genuine opportunity to invest in open source software and in open source companies to make sure that the open source offering can compete better with companies that offer proprietary alternatives.

    • IT: Bolzano region begins discussion on open source strategy

      The administration of the Bolzano region in Italy will discuss its IT strategy with advocates of free and open source. The director of the IT department has accepted an invitation by the regional Linux user group (Lugbz) and the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).

    • Idea of her Majesty’s Treasury: Switch to Free Software

      What ideas does her Majesty’s Treasury follow in those days to reduce costs? First they asked 600000 people working for the government about that, got 60000 ideas out of it (that equals one idea per 10 people asked), processed them and put that into 31 proposals. Two of them deal with Free Sofware…

  • Openness/Sharing

    • An Uncommon Commons in Linz

      As its name suggests, a commons is an outgrowth of things held in common, like common land. This has been extended to the digital sphere with great success – notably in the world of free software. But here’s an interesting move that takes the commons back to its common-land roots: the Austrian city of Linz is creating an “open commons region”…

    • Move Commons: Moving Beyond Creative Commons

      Talking of commons, I was reading David Bollier’s Viral Spiral recently, probably the best book about the rise of the commons as a new force (and I want to emphasise that I am not at all bitter about the fact that he didn’t mention Rebel Code once in his description of the early days of free software – nope, not bitter in the slightest.)

      I bought a dead tree version, but it’s freely available online under a CC licence (sadly not an option when Rebel Code came out…for the simple reason Creative Commons was being formulated at the same time I was writing it.) That’s appropriate, since the book is largely about the evolution of the CC licences – and a fascinating tale it is, too.

  • Programming

    • Perl Creator Hints at Imminent Perl 6 Release

      In his annual “State of the Onion” speech at the O’Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON), Perl creator Larry Wall hinted that the long-awaited version 6 of the Perl programming language might finally be released soon. He also ruminated about the effect that Perl 6 would have, once it is released.

    • PHP 5.3.3 and 5.2.14 Officially Released

      The PHP Development Team just announced today the availability of PHP 5.3.3 and PHP 5.2.14. The PHP 5.3.3 comes on improving the stability and security of the 5.3.x branch with more than 100 bug fixes, some of which are security related so all users are highly encouraged to upgrade to this release.

Links: GNU/Linux Breakthrough in India, Linux 2.6.35 News

Posted in News Roundup at 2:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Indian man

Summary: India’s next generation may commoditise computers with GNU/Linux (and other good news)


  • Why I Love Linux, by Kale Stedman

    From time to time, we like to give our sponsors the ability to talk about their products and share them with our readers. These posts are clearly labeled as “Sponsored Posts” as to not confuse them with our regular daily content. Our sponsors are offering products that are targeted to our reader demographics, so hopefully you’ll find something that is appealing as you read through these posts.

  • Three Tools I’d Love to See in Linux

    AIX has two tools that, as a Linux enthusiast, I’m envious of: makesysb, and cfgmgr. The first tool, makesysb, can clone a running system onto a bootable DVD. It’s very similar to other cloning tools like G4L and Clonezilla, but it’s built into the operating system, and doesn’t require a reboot. It’s great for system migration, and for keeping a backup around for disaster recovery. We try to keep makesysb images on DVD for all of our systems quarterly.

  • A response to OSGUI video 6 disadvantages of Linux

    I follow a number of technology websites, video and podcasts when I get the time. This video has hit me as a bit of a surprise as it’s from someone that is normally pro-linux. Here’s my response to the issues raised.

  • India

    • India unveils $35 computer for students

      The Linux-based computer is equipped with an Internet browser, a PDF reader and several other facilities, she said.

    • India Unveils $35 Laptop

      An inexpensive laptop is one of the most commonly-discussed “want” devices for any poor second or third world country. While the OLPC $100 laptop, with its Linux OS and hand-cranking charger has been a serious boon, it’s still fairly expensive to produce and sell to interested companies, so the Indian government has decided to fill its own need by producting a $35 laptop that features a touch screen, 2GB of storage, USB port, color display, and WiFi Internet capabilities.

    • India Reveals Linux-Based $35 Tablet, We Reveal Why It’s Likely Fake

      The happy man you see above is not the nine gazillionth owner of an iPad, but the Indian minister for HR Development, Kapil Sibal. What he’s holding in his hand is, he claims, a $35 tablet that will give the OLPC a run for its money. It is, he told the press, “our answer to MIT’s $100 computer.” Developed by students and professors at India’s tech universities–including the IITs of Madras and Bombay.

  • Audiocasts

  • IBM

    • IBM Launches ‘Smart Cloud’ To Optimize Dev-and-Test Lifecycle

      Inside IBM’s dev-and-test cloud environment, there is an ‘open’ foundation architecture which supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise, as well as Java. For extensibility, clients can work with their own images, as well as images from IBM Mashup Center,

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.35-rc5
    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.35 (Part 3) – Network support

      Several patches submitted by a Google developer will enable the kernel to push considerably more data through network cables on multi-core systems. Some of the LAN and Wi-Fi drivers also promise greater throughput, or to use less power, due to various driver enhancements.

    • Is Linux Too Much for One Mere Mortal to Handle?

      The “scalability of Linus,” in fact, was the subject of a post by Jonathan Corbet earlier this month on LWN, and it’s sparked quite a discussion.

      “The Linux kernel development process stands out in a number of ways; one of those is the fact that there is exactly one person who can commit code to the ‘official’ repository,” Corbet begins.

      A problem with that scenario, he notes, is the potential for repeats of what calls “the famous ‘Linus burnout’ episode of 1998.”

    • GStreamer “Safety First” Gets Released
  • Graphics Stack

    • [ANNOUNCE] xorg-server
    • The ATI Radeon R600/700 Gallium3D Driver

      We have talked about the ATI R300g driver a lot lately since it’s working quite well with the R500 hardware and many times is faster than the classic Mesa driver while it also provides OpenGL 2.1 support (compared to OpenGL 1.5 with the classic stack) and works with more games and applications. The R300g driver, which started out as a Google Summer of Code project by Corbin Simpson, soon enough may end up replacing the classic Mesa R300 driver as the default open-source driver. Unfortunately, the R600g driver hasn’t been moving along quite as fast.

    • ATI Gallium3D + Wine Is Bettered A Bit

      If the impressive rate of Gallium3D improvements was not enough, there’s more good news for those of you running ATI Radeon R300-R500 graphics cards (up through the Radeon X1000 series) with the open-source Gallium3D driver: the Wine graphics support just got a tiny bit better. Committed to the Mesa repository this afternoon is support for the GL_ARB_depth_clamp OpenGL extension within the Mesa state tracker and as of right now it’s hooked-up for use by the R300g driver.

  • Applications

    • The All in One Deskbar Applet

      A few words of warning before you start adding Deskbar-applet to the panel. It might take some time to start, took around 10+ seconds on my system. So, be patient. Once done, you know where to find it. Now, click on the icon and you will see a search bar.

    • Ear Candy Automatically Fades And Raises Volume Levels In Linux

      Linux only: Free utility Ear Candy makes your sound system smarter. If you’re listening to music and a Skype call comes in, or you load a YouTube video, Ear Candy gently lowers your music volume to let the other sounds through.

    • Proprietary

      • Is this the end of the road for VMware Server?

        There has been quite a bit of interesting chatter and a whole lot of speculation within the VMware community lately about the future and viability of its free VMware Server product. VMware does seem focused on the vSphere product and how it ultimately relates to cloud computing, but have they turned a blind eye to VMware Server?

    • Instructionals

    • Games

      • 0 A.D. Reaches Third Pre-Alpha Release

        0 A.D., the open-source RTS game that could radically alter the gaming scene on Ubuntu when it’s completed, recently reached another milestone with its third pre-alpha release. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it’s playable yet in any meaningful sense. But it has come a long way since we last checked in with the project in March 2010, so here are some updates.

      • Babylon 5: I’ve Found Her

        Thanks to humberto for letting us know Space Dream Factory have released their first beta of the game Babylon 5: I’ve Found Her for Linux.

    • Desktop Environments

    • Distributions

      • One floppy, dozens of tools

        It may have been a tiny bit misleading the other day, to drop a hint at a floppy-based OS that superseded anything I was discussing at the time. It’s true that I do have something very useful and very flexible to mention — mostly as a note to myself, of course — but it wasn’t 100 percent accurate to allude to it in the context of floppy OSes.

      • Reviews

        • Ubuntu 9.10 Netbook Edition On My Dell Mini 10 v

          So how does the netbook edition look on my dell mini ? amazing ! the icons/interface look better and the interface setup is perfect for the small screen estate of the netbook. the old 8.04 ubuntu version was boring , and this version is alive and makes me want to use the netbook even more. the 8.04 version doesn’t have an update OS feature compared to the later releases so it’s best to upgrade to a later version or 9.10. I can see why a lot of netbook ubuntu users are upgrading to the netbook version , it simply rocks !

        • Salix OS 13.1 LXDE Screenshots
      • Mandrake

        • Mandriva Spring 2010

          If you have some spare time, you can give Mandriva Spring 2010 a try. I’m interested in two other products by Mandriva, the InstantOn and Flash. InstantOn boots in less than 10 seconds while Flash is a mobile desktop in a USB key. Unfortunately, they are not free.

        • 10 years, time to change

          Now is a good time to change, so I’m leaving Mandriva at the end of this month (I’m already off, so don’t search me on irc / mail ).

      • Debian Family

        • Debian Linux Benchmarked Against Debian GNU/kFreeBSD & FreeBSD

          Back in January, we published the first benchmarks of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD: the spin of Debian that replaces the Linux kernel with the FreeBSD kernel while retaining most of the same GNU user-land and it uses the GNU C library. With those original tests comparing Debian GNU/Linux to Debian GNU/kFreeBSD, the Linux version ended up winning in 18 of the 27 tests. However, over the past six months, the Debian GNU/kFreeBSD port has matured and it’s also moved to using the FreeBSD 7.3 kernel by default (compared to 7.2 back in January) and the FreeBSD 8.0 kernel is also emerging as a viable option that can be obtained using Debian’s package management system. Today we have updated test numbers looking at the performance of Debian with the FreeBSD kernel using two different notebooks where we ran the latest Debian GNU/kFreeBSD packages with both the FreeBSD 7.3 and 8.0 kernels, Debian GNU/Linux with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, and then finally we tested the pure FreeBSD 7.3 and FreeBSD 8.0 operating systems.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The best advert for Ubuntu you probably never saw

            OMG! reader Sebastian stopped by the OMG! Mailbox to drop off a link to this immensely impressive Dell/Ubuntu promotional video that, curiously, I – nor anyone I showed this to prior to posting – had ever come across previously.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 9 LXDE: A Quick Glance

              Breaking with past tradition, the Linux Mint folks have done away with “Community Editions”, instead bringing the non-Gnome flavors of Mint fully under the Mint umbrella. Linux Mint 9 LXDE is now in general release. Here are my thoughts.

            • Linux Mint 9 (KDE Edition): The Kubuntu Killer

              As time goes on, I am becoming more and more fond of Linux Mint. The latest version of Mint (Isadora) was released back in May, and when I reviewed it I fell in love with it. However, I’m primarily a KDE user so I’ve been anxiously awaiting the KDE edition, which is about to be released. Will it be worth the wait? Absolutely.

            • Ubuntu Muslim Edition 10.04 (Sabily)

              Summary: Sabily 10.04 is a fine update for anyone looking for a Muslim version of Ubuntu. It takes all of Ubuntu 10.04’s new features and gives them an Islamic flavor.

              Rating: 4/5

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Phones

        • Can WebOS Rise in the Enterprise?

          HP and Palm officials are now largely silent on plans for WebOS as they figure out the details of what to do with it. There’s been some talk about using WebOS in HP printers (perhaps so they can directly run some applications around photo editing and document management) and porting WebOS to work on tablets, not just smartphones — both are obvious directions for WebOS.

        • GENIVI goes with MeeGo

          Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced the GENIVI Alliance has chosen MeeGo as the basis of their next reference release for In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI).

Microsoft Windows BSOD Caused Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Posted in Microsoft, Windows at 1:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Summary: Blue Screen of Death caused a crucial computer system not to prevent the biggest disaster of the 21st century

Who ever said that use of Microsoft products does not cause death? We last heard it hours ago in response to our latest post about Russia. According to this new report from the New York Times:

The emergency alarm on the Deepwater Horizon was not fully activated on the day the oil rig caught fire and exploded, triggering the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a rig worker on Friday told a government panel investigating the accident.


Problems existed from the beginning of drilling the well, Mr. Williams said. For months, the computer system had been locking up, producing what the crew deemed the “blue screen of death.”

“For those not familiar with the term, BSOD stands for the Blue Screen of Death, made famous by Bill Gates,” wrote our reader. Bill Gates is also a BP investor [1, 2, 3].

Sarcastically our reader adds: “I wonder will a future inquiry find UNIX was at fault.”

Why SCO is Like a Patent Troll

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Novell, Patents, SCO, UNIX at 11:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Railroad crossing sign

Summary: SCO’s strategy — like that of patent trolls — is to charge a toll on each transaction from companies that actually succeed

Inspired by this new article, Glyn Moody said “welcome to the Troll Economy” and used SCO for an analogy:

It began, perhaps, with SCO’s insane attempt to obtain money from IBM and others for alleged infringements of its code. It proceeded with the music recording industry’s increasingly vicious but fruitless threats to ordinary users, expanding more recently into the film business. Now, the Troll Economy has now come to the world of words:

Borrowing a page from patent trolls, the CEO of fledgling Las Vegas-based Righthaven has begun buying out the copyrights to newspaper content for the sole purpose of suing blogs and websites that re-post those articles without permission.

Here are some fun new facts about the SCO trial. Everyone seems to know Linux:

Judge Stewart asked this question of the assembled candidates:“Ladies and gentlemen, do any of you know what Linux is, L-i-n-u-x? If so, would you please stand”

Here is the raw data coming from that question and my analysis. On previous pages of the transcript, you can find more information about particular candidates identified by number.

The Darl McBride-led SCO picked Linux as its target and the litigious McBride family (Kevin too) decided to become a leech. All it needed was a target with a lot of money, such as IBM. The discussion in LWN continues to show that Kevin is talking nonsense and Groklaw too rebuts with IBM’s defence [1, 2] when SCO vs. Novell transcripts don’t take up the time. According to this new post, Yarro's loan now seems like money down the toilet, but for a troll that acts as an agitator, this is money well spent (prolonging uncertainty).

SCO filed its monthly operating reports for May. They had the Yarro loan, so these were still relatively flush days.

SCO is actually an example of why the economy fails to reward the trolls, however this troll caused huge damage to the real economy over the past 7 years. This troll was funded by Microsoft.

“On the same day that CA blasted SCO, Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond revealed a leaked email from SCO’s strategic consultant Mike Anderer to their management. The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.”

Bruce Perens

Mainstream Press Misreports Microsoft Revenue, Misses Accounting Tricks

Posted in Finance, Fraud, Microsoft, Vista 7 at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“One strategy that Microsoft has employed in the past is paying for the silence of people and companies. Charles Pancerzewski, formerly Microsoft’s chief auditor, became aware of Microsoft’s practice of carrying earnings from one accounting period into another, known as “managing earnings”. This practice smoothes reported revenue streams, increases share value, and misleads employees and shareholders. In addition to being unethical, it’s also illegal under U.S. Securities Law and violates Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (Fink).

2002 story about Charles Pancerzewski, Microsoft

Summary: Microsoft carries on with its deferral tactics and it also takes more debt, which embellishes its financial position amid very difficult times

MICROSOFT has a criminal baggage, as everyone ought to know by now. There have been funny things around the accountancy inside this company (which has a history of financial fraud). Due to lack of time, we are not going to repeat what we already covered along with supportive evidence. Currently, Microsoft finds itself reluctantly announcing further layoffs whose purpose is to cut expenses [1, 2]. Microsoft has had too many flukes recently. It has also taken more debt, as we noted repeatedly this year and last year.

On the face of it, what Microsoft does at the moment is it sells a bunch of block-future-licenses to the OEMs, does not yet get the money, and puts that on the plus side of the balance sheet. Apple, by contrast, doesn’t have OEMs, so it needn’t play that particular accountants’ shuffle.

“That means revenue isn’t really $16bn but $10bn and combined with fake OEM-futures isn’t an accurate picture.”
      –Anonymous source
Some Web sites blindly repeat Microsoft’s press release/report. It’s so much easier (and faster) to not ever investigate or be sceptical. It’s also a lot safer, as standing out from the crowd is clearly riskier to a journalist. One site, however, previously pointed out (2 months ago) that “The company’s $2.25 billion in short-term debt and $3.75 billion in long-term debt, combined, is less than its $8 billion cash hoard.”

As one reader of ours put it, “That means revenue isn’t really $16bn but $10bn and combined with fake OEM-futures isn’t an accurate picture.” Vista 7 is not selling well and as we wrote 3 months ago, Microsoft used the deferral trick to elevate Office revenue since the previous quarter (same accounting trick it used for Vista 7 two quarters ago).

We will share more detailed explanations later (there is a lot of catching up to do with Microsoft news, at least 3 weeks’ worth due to that vacation in London, which I now have photos from).

This post is just a placeholder that hopefully addresses questions we heard from people who believe press releases (and those who merely parrot them). A more detailed analysis will come soon.

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