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08.23.10

IRC Proceedings: August 23rd, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Links 23/8/2010: GNU/Linux in the Financial World, Linux 2.6.36 RC2, Gnash 0.8.8 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 6:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

  • I Lost the Discs (with the drivers)

    As she is 37 weeks pregnant and cannot move much, I found the box and checked it, but the camera driver was missing. For a split second, a flash of an ancient fear traveled through my body. My wife saw my face and calmly said to me: “Maybe I lost it…” I immediately understood my wife’s peace. SHE NEVER USES WINDOWS ANYWAY. If ALL the drivers are lost, what is the problem? No worry whatsoever. A Mandriva install gave her everything she needs to use her computer.

  • Open Source: Like A Damned Phoenix

    2007 was a different world. Linux was taking a harsh beating on all sides. While its smartphone OS market share was growing, that growth was far from rapid. Symbian held a commanding lead and, while iOS was still comparatively tiny, the astounding success of the first iPhone had everyone anticipating Apple dominance in the near future.

    In the realm of servers, a traditional Linux strongpoint, the open-source OS was starting to see a reversal of fortunes. Windows Server was ascendant, and over in the desktop market Linux barely even counted as a player. Open source failed in the world of big gray and black boxes, and for a time it seemed as if it might die out as a viable OS choice altogether. Articles fretting over the limited future of the open source movement feared that it was doomed to be marginalized at best.

    Then along came Android.

    Netbooks started to gain traction. Then they started to give way to something even more convenient (and sexy); the iPad.

    Now Linux is ascendent, while pundits fret over the death of the desktop. Consumers want to be mobile now. Apple addicted the whole damn world with that first hit of iPhone, and now we’re jonesin’ for any sexy, slim piece of tech with a touchscreen and decent wireless connectivity.

  • Desktop

    • More stuff you can, but shouldn’t, do

      Remember 3ddesktop? Before Compiz was adopted as the messiah of the Linux desktop experience, 3ddesktop was the way cool kids spun their work environments and dazzled their Windows-using friends.

      And it was pretty cool — it never was nearly the catalog of intricate bells and whistles that Compiz is, but it did a decent job in the eye candy department.

      Of course, it did require a little video muscle to use. But considering its last update was in 2005, you could — and still can — get away with running it on a single-core machine with a ground-level video card that has a little acceleration to it. Even something as underpowered as this should do it.

    • Is Linux Publicity Targeting the Right Market?

      As a matter of fact, what IS the right market for Linux?

      The mythical Average User? No way. The average user wants a computer that performs the tasks set for it. Those people are in the market for a computer, a real, physical machine, a tangible object with a keyboard (real or imaged), a mouse (or trackpad/trackball/touchscreen), and a display screen. The Average User scarcely notices, and certainly cares less, what sequence of binary commands course through the CPU to translate input into action.

    • A Glimpse of Ubuntu Desktops in the Financial World

      These guys easily have 35,000 square inches of LCD monitors running Ubuntu desktops, displaying in real time thousands of graphs, metrics, monitors, and statuses. Hundreds of multi-head desktops running 8.04 to 10.04, attached to 17″ to 42″ Samsung LCDs, Ubuntu logos everywhere I turned!

      There is no doubt that across both Server and Desktop, Ubuntu is proving itself in enterprise environments. Linux is here, there, everywhere, and Ubuntu is a very important player, helping make that happen. I take great pride in what we’re achieving together!

    • Dumping Windows, moving on with Linux, update

      I chose Fedora 13 and I am extremely happy that I did. Not only has it breathed new life into these PCs which were at crawling speeds with XP, but everything is working much cleaner and now I can rest assured that they will be virus and spyware free for quite some time. I’m not going to forget that Linux does have viruses and spyware, but it’s so uncommon that there’s no sense in worrying around the clock about it.

      In my cases, the various software that was required was already being used in Windows, with the exception of MS Office, which I have them using OpenOffice 3.2 as a replacement. There have been some minor formatting issues at first, with documents that were imported from MS Office. These will be corrected along the way as the documents are used. But other programs such as Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird, etc. are equivalent across multiple platforms, making the transition easier.

  • Server

    • IBM Cuts Power Systems Shops a Linux Price Break

      Big Blue has wanted you to run Linux and AIX on your OS/400 and i platforms for the better part of a decade now, and maybe you have and maybe you haven’t. Maybe Linux is now commercial enough that you feel like ditching Windows for certainly infrastructure and application serving jobs. If you do, and you have some latent capacity sitting around in your Power6, Power6+, and selected Power7 machines, then IBM has a deal for you.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.36-rc2

      Another week, another -rc. I didn’t really ever get around to announcing -rc1 when I released it, and we had enough niggling small problems (like a memory corruptor in the HID layer that ended up
      causing some random problems etc) there that I never got around to fixing that lack of announcement. And hopefully -rc2 is a good point to correct the lack of earlier commentary.

    • systemd Status Update

      It has been a while since my original announcement of systemd. Here’s a little status update, on what happened since then.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Make use of the KDE 4.5 Clipboard

        Klipper is the KDE 4.5 clipboard and it is not your average clipboard tool. Unlike most operating system clipboards, Klippy gives the user quick and easy access to not just the last object copied, but multiple objects copied. Klipper is so powerful a clipboard tool, you will wonder why other operating systems don’t mimic the features and functionality. Klipper is also so powerful that most users won’t take advantage of it’s full range of features.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • W7 Theme for Ubuntu Brings Windows 7′s Familiar GUI to Linux

        Linux: W7 Theme is a free script that skins your Linux desktop with a familiar Windows 7 look and feel.

      • Debian swirl in Gnome

        The Debian desktop is pretty much Gnome with some Debian wallpaper. The default Main Menu icon is the Gnome foot.
        To replace the Gnome foot with the Debian Swirl, replace the start-here.svg or start-here.png image with an appropriate Debian Swirl image.

  • Distributions

    • Which Linux is the most popular Linux?

      As everyone who ever tried it knows that trying to count how many people use a particular Linux distribution is almost impossible. Now, Rick Lehrbaum, founder of LinuxDevices and a friend and former editor of mine, has tried a new and interesting way to count Linux users on his new site, LinuxTrends: look at Google search results for the various Linux distributions.

      Some of the results aren’t surprising. Ubuntu has become far more popular than the other mainstream distributions of 2004/2005: SUSE Linux, Fedora, Debian and Mandrake/Mandriva.

    • Reviews

      • North Korea Linux (Red Star OS)

        Obviously, this is not a distro that most people should use. It’s a curiosity created by an oppressive government, and it’s a travesty that the open nature of Linux was used in this rather perverse manner. It’s a good example of how even the best things in life can be taken and distorted.

        I don’t recommend it to anyone, beyond simply being a curiosity. Distrohoppers might have a bit of fun installing it to play with, but it will also creep them out. It certainly creeped me out while writing this review. So perhaps it’s best if nobody else installs it.

        One thing puzzles me though; the North Koreans are usually heavy on the propaganda stuff (see the Vice Guide to North Korea videos at the beginning of the review). And yet, they appear to have blown a major propaganda opportunity. They could have released this distro around the world in different languages, with lots of propaganda built into it for each language. Instead, they released it only in Korean. Odd.

      • Lightweight Distro Roundup: Day 5 – Dreamlinux

        Day Five. If you are wondering, yes we have had other things going on this weekend. Among the things I did was try and get Dreamlinux 3.5 working for Elzje, and I spent my Friday evening with my friend Renier Meyer painting a wall in his new house and eating epic pizza.

      • Feature: Taking a Long Look at Salix OS 13.1.1

        The Salix OS developers do meet their stated goals: making a distribution for “lazy Slackers” rather than one that is generally easy to use for everyone. Some other Slackware derivatives, such as VectorLinux and Zenwalk, have done more to make their distributions friendly to Linux newcomers at the cost of straying further away from their Slackware roots. Salix OS developers made a conscious choice to go in a different direction. In some ways Salix OS reminds me of VectorLinux four or five years ago: it definitely takes me more time to install, configure and tweak it to suit my needs than a typical Linux distro does but, much like VectorLinux back then, the end results are definitely worth the effort. How much effort depends very much on the hardware used, as the very different results with my two systems illustrate.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo

        • Why this Linux Fan roots for MeeGo – not Android

          Some people will tell you fragmentation is one of the main things that is holding back Linux from desktop adoption. Not having a unified name, packaging system, or heck even desktop environment often confuses new users and puts them into overload – Too much choice can be a bad thing.

          Android is currently the only real player in the Linux mobile market. Now don’t get me wrong, I am glad Android jumped in record time to right near the top of the smart phone market. I’m also glad that through this success it has put the power of Linux into the hands of millions of people (many of whom are none the wiser about their penguin powered device).

      • Android

        • Pocketbook announces color touch screen Android powered e-reader and more

          Manufacturing upstart PocketBook is clearly still gung ho about e-readers, judging by the five new models it has announced will be released at IFA in September, which include a pair of entry-level ProBook 602 and 902 units, as well as the ProBook 603 and 903 premium units. The 60x designated models sport 6-inch screens, while the 90x models have a bigger 9.7-inch. All models will feature 2GB of internal storage, a Linux-based OS, and include WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Top Free Linux for Netbooks

        In one of my previous articles I talked about the use of Linux as a free alternative to Windows. Now most people choose to use Windows on computers mainly because of compliance, as some software/games run only on Windows. We wouldn’t even argue that some software are better functionally than their Linux-based alternative. No contests for guessing the superior office suite between Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.

        Since the last two years, the inception of Netbooks has brought in a new wave of affordable computers that can be easily carried around anywhere. Netbooks were not designed to replace laptops and are meant to be used for basic tasks. Tasks such as browsing the net, working with office productivity suites, watching a movie or playing a few songs etc. You really don’t want to try and run 3D MAX or encode HD videos on it.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Using Open Source to Bootstrap Your Data Service

    Last week SimpleGeo and their partner Stamen Design jointly released a project they have been working on together called Polymaps. It’s absolutely beautiful and a stunning example of what you can do with the SimpleGeo API. They’ve released the Polymaps source code on GitHub so any developer can quickly see how the API is used, play around with real production code, and modify the base examples for their own use.

  • Are open source defences crumbling?

    What do you think? Are proprietary companies taking over the open source world? Are they, bit by bit, applying the divide and conquer strategy with a future outcome that open source as yet cannot see? Are open source defences crumbling because they only think about the here and now while proprietary companies look far beyond the horizon? So many questions and I have no answers.

  • Matterhorn: Open source lecture recording tool

    After more than a year of research and development, the Opencast project under the patronage of the University of California Berkeley has presented the Matterhorn 1.0 lecture recording system. The German (virtUOS) Centre for Information Management and Virtual Teaching at the University of Osnabrück was a major contributor to this undertaking.

  • Events

    • Judges named for NZ Open Source awards

      Seven open source experts will form the judging panel of the 2010 Open Source Awards, due to be held in Wellington on November 9th.

      The panel includes two New Zealand Open Source Society (NZOSS) Presidents, current President Rachel Hamilton-Williams and past-President Don Christie; Foo Camp founder Nat Torkington; WebFund Chairman, Dave Moskovitz; Richard Wyles, Director of Flexible Learning Network/Mahara; and Telecom Mobile Engineer Amber Craig.

    • FOSDEM 2011 Is The 5th & 6th Of February

      The staff behind the Free Software Developers’ European Meeting (FOSDEM) have just announced that the 2011 conference will take place on the 5th and 6th of February. This is the first weekend of February, which is right around the time that the other FOSDEMs have taken place. Like always, this event will be taking place in Brussels, Belgium.

  • Oracle

    • OpenSolaris Governance Board resigns

      As it had previously threatened, the OpenSolaris Governance Board (OGB) has now resigned. The dissolution motion was proposed and passed unopposed in a fourteen minute long meeting of the OGB.

  • BSD

  • Gnash

    • Gnash 0.8.8 Released

      We just released an improved GNU Flash player, Gnash 0.8.8. Gnash plays SWF (Shockwave Flash) files compatible with the Adobe Flash player. Gnash is portable software released under the GNU GPLv3. It runs on GNU/Linux, embedded GNU + Linux systems, and BSD, including x86, ARM, MIPS, PowerPC, and 64-bit systems. It comes with a standalone player as well as a browser plugin compatible with Firefox, Chrome, Konqueror, and all Gecko-based browsers.

    • Gnash 0.8.8 Claims To Support All YouTube Videos, But Is It Good Enough?

      So is it worth using Gnash over the proprietary Adobe Flash Player? I would say: not yet, but Gnash is taking huge steps forward and soon we should have a viable open source Flash Player alternative that can do everything Adobe’s Flash does, and with some actual Linux support, specially now that Adobe discontinued its Flash Player 10.1 64bit for Linux.

    • Gnash 0.8.8 Released, claims 100% of all YouTube videos now work
  • Government

    • EU: Guide on procurement of open source revised

      The Guideline on public procurement of Open Source Software, was revised in June 2010. The latest version includes references to recent procurement policies developed by Spain and Malta and to this year’s approval by Italy’s constitutional court on the country’s Piedmont regional administration procurement law.

      Both Spain and Malta this year adopted policies that specify that when their public organisations distribute open source applications, they will by default use the European Union Public Licence (EUPL).

Leftovers

  • Got a blog that makes no money? The city wants $300, thank you very much.

    In May, the city sent Bess a letter demanding that she pay $300, the price of a business privilege license.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Police Arrest Researcher Who Showed E-Voting Machines Are Not Secure

      A few months back, a research report came out noting that e-voting machines in India were not secure. I had seen it at the time, but considering how many stories we’ve seen of e-voting machines with security problems, I let it pass and didn’t write it up. However, the story has just taken a distressing turn. One of the researchers, Hari Prasad, who had obtained the e-voting machine from an anonymous source in the first place, has been arrested and taken into custody because he will not reveal who gave him the machine…

    • US cops: armed and dangerous?

      If mine were truly a free country, US police wouldn’t wield such immense power or employ such aggressive tactics against their own citizenry – a militarisation of our police forces that started with the war on drugs and intensified after 9/11.

      Consider: can you invent a realistic scenario wherein you shoot a man dead; justify it with a story witnesses contradict; confiscate any surveillance video; claim a “glitch” makes it impossible to show the video to anyone else – all while enjoying the support of state legal apparatus?

      Police in Las Vegas did that last month, after they shot Erik Scott seven times as he exited a Costco. Cops say Scott pointed a gun at them; witnesses say Scott’s licensed weapon was in a concealed holster, and five of those seven shots hit him in the back. The confiscated surveillance video might settle the question; too bad about that glitch.

    • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in web furore over Swedish rape claim

      The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, was himself the subject of a rapidly spreading online story when news cascaded across the internet for several hours at the weekend mistakenly saying he was being sought in Sweden on rape charges.

      Before Stockholm’s chief prosecutor made clear on Saturday afternoon that Assange was in fact neither charged with rape nor due to be arrested, the story had spread, generating more than 1,200 articles, available through internet news search, that received more than 1m hits.

    • Daniel Rubin: An infuriating search at Philadelphia International Airport

      Thirty minutes after the police became involved, they decided to let her collect her belongings and board her plane.

      “I was shaking,” she says. “I was almost in tears.”

    • Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death by Jim Frederick

      This isn’t a book for armchair war junkies. It’s about what Wilfred Owen called “the pity of war”. The centre and the pity of Jim Frederick’s account is the murder of the Janabis, an Iraqi family, and the rape of their 14-year-old daughter by four US soldiers. The most chilling aspect of the crime was the casual manner in which it was carried out. It was almost a jape – something to break the boredom of endless hours at a checkpoint. The soldiers did it because they had the power to do it; they didn’t need a reason why – almost the invasion of Iraq in microcosm.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Peak oil alarm revealed by secret official talks

      Speculation that government ministers are far more concerned about a future supply crunch than they have admitted has been fuelled by the revelation that they are canvassing views from industry and the scientific community about “peak oil”.

      The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is also refusing to hand over policy documents about “peak oil” – the point at which oil production reaches its maximum and then declines – under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act, despite releasing others in which it admits “secrecy around the topic is probably not good”.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Horse-trading begins as Australia votes for a hung parliament

      Australia faces days of uncertainty and political horse-trading after prime minister Julia Gillard acknowledged that neither the ruling Labor party nor the opposition conservative coalition had won an outright majority in the weekend’s election.

    • Britain scraps annual assessment of human rights abuses across the world

      The coalition government is plunged into a major row today over its commitment to human rights amid claims that it will scrap the Foreign Office’s landmark annual assessment of abuses across the world.

    • Big Brother is searching you

      While everyone is concerned about privacy violations from Facebook Places, government agencies may be using powerful new technology to violate 4th-Ammendment protection against unreasonable searches.

      Here’s what the 4th Amendment says: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Copycats vs. Copyrights

        We’re used to the logic of copyright. Movies, music, and pharmaceuticals all use some form of patent or copyright protection. The idea is simple: if people can’t profit from innovation, they won’t innovate. So to encourage the development of stuff we want, we give the innovators something very valuable—exclusive access to the profit from their innovations. We’ve so bought into the logic that we allow companies to patent human genes.

        And companies love copyright. They love it so much they persuaded Congress to pass the Sonny Bono Act, which extended individual copyright protections to the life of the author, plus another 70 years; and corporate copyrights to 120 years from creation, or 95 years from publication, whichever is earlier. That’s an absurdly long time, and it belies the original point of patents: does anyone seriously believe that a 40-year-old with a money-making idea is going to hold back because someone can mimic it 20 years after he dies?

        At a certain point, copyrights stop protecting innovation and begin protecting profits. They scare off future inventors who want to take a 60-year-old idea and use it as the foundation to build something new and interesting. That’s the difficulty of copyrights, patents, and other forms of intellectual protection. Too little, and the first innovation won’t happen. Too much, and the second innovation—the one relying on the first—will be stanched.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

Sorting Algorithms


Groklaw Responds to FUD About OIN

Posted in GNU/Linux, OIN, Patents at 5:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mad musician

Summary: Response to the noise made by a “campaigner” for hire, who tries to characterise the pro-Linux OIN — not Microsoft/Apple/SCO — as an ‘evil empire’

TECHRIGHTS is an OIN sceptic, but the apparent Microsoft lobbyist mentioned in the previous post (Florian Müller) went too far by discounting OIN success stories [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and piggybacking ZDNet to label OIN “a scam”. Over at Groklaw, Pamela Jones responded to Müller’s FUD without naming him. She linked to this recent talk last week.

Recently significant capital has been invested in patent speculation and for the last eighteen months, Congress has been discussing patent reform. Hedge funds in need of generating quick returns in this challenging market are seeking investments in patent trolls. At the same time, corporate entities have built large patent portfolios. The resulting patent arms race is fueled by the existence of poor quality patents. This is partially due to the fact that insufficient prior art was identified to enable rejection of poor quality patents by the USPTO. Any changes made to the current laws are likely to be suboptimal without participation from the open source community in reforming the patent system. Keith Bergelt, CEO of OIN, will share his insights into the build-up and ramifications of the patent arms race for open source and discuss market-based patent reform solutions, to help ensure that we will keep open source open.

“Keith Bergelt of Open Invention Network also spoke at LinuxCon 2010,” wrote Jones. “His slides are downloadable as a PDF from the linked page. Notice slides 12-15, because it will show you what you can do to help, particularly with regard to codifying prior art and regarding defensive publication. As he points out, we have to deal with the past, regardless of the future of software patents, and of course the present. [...] If you have *any* doubts about why Open Invention Network matters, and the kinds of things the organization has done to protect Linux, I suggest you listen the introduction to his speech last year at LinuxCon, and then listen to his speech. The theme is the attempt that year by Microsoft to auction off patents it believed relate on Linux to patent trolls.”

Separately Jones advised: “don’t let anyone persuade you that there is no purpose to OIN. If you have any patentable ideas, and you wish to help build up OIN’s muscle, contact them.” In relation to another article about patents, Jones concluded: “This is the place Keith Bergelt of OIN referenced in his talk last year at LinuxCon, and this is where defensive publications can be collected. This isn’t a patent; it’s a way to ensure no one else can patent something you’ve written about, because it’s now prior art. This is one of the things that OIN will do with you, if you have a useful idea that could be patented but you hate patents and prefer not to do that.”

“…don’t let anyone persuade you that there is no purpose to OIN.”
      –Pamela Jones, Groklaw
To summarise Techrights’ position, we are adamant about ending software patents. OIN does not do this, but it provides a temporary fix, like some kind of plaster. Most of our posts about OIN are supportive of OIN, with some reservations. The same goes for Peer-to-Patent.

In the mean time, Red Hat’s Wildeboer identifies three more patents [1, 2, 3] which he claims to be a threat to the World Wide Web. It’s an important issue we mentioned some hours ago. “Is this a patent on cookies,” he asks. “If yes, it might become a royal PITA for the web [...] And in that same case we have very broad e-commerce patents” (Wildeboer speaks for himself here, not for Red Hat, which is an OIN member).

In conclusion, let’s not attack OIN. Scepticism is healthy, but what Müller has been doing is destructive. Even the FFII disagrees with him, both the decisions and the methods (after inheriting his campaign!). It’s not the same person from 2005. Something apparently changed.

Vista 7 Defeated by Disobedient ‘Consumers’, But Florian Müller Likes it and Makes Friends With Microsoft Apologists

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Vista 7 at 4:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Ballmer

Florian Müller

Summary: Vista 7 refunds become possible, Microsoft apologist Florian Müller makes friends in the Mono camp, and MSNBC writes about malware on the Spanair computer system, but somehow it doesn’t mention Windows

E

ARLIER TODAY we wrote about Tim's efforts to open the door for Vista 7 refunds in the UK. There’s good news because it’s succeeding. A few hours ago Tim wrote: “My quest for a Windows 7 refund has gone well. Apparently Acer will be refunding me. I’ll keep people posted!”

This is great news and it can help British people (even Europeans) demand a refund not just from Acer. It’s all about precedence and it needs to be publicised. Refunds are possible if one tries hard enough, knows which prior cases to cite, and knows the exact procedures to follow.

Let’s face it; Vista 7 is just lipstick on a pig (Vista) and security-wise it’s even worse than predecessors. The former managing editor of Linux Today has just had to use Vista 7 for a while and he says that “looks aren’t everything” (referring to deceiving appearances and labels). From his post:

This anecdote kept bopping around my head this week, when I’ve had the opportunity to work on Windows 7 more than I usually do.

[...]

It’s still Windows.

And that that means is that no matter how much anti-virus software I would put on this platform, and how many security precautions I take, whenever I start visiting the Internet, which is easily 50 percent of where I do my job, the risk factor for getting infected by malware is far more than using Linux.

The lesson here, as always, is that pretty looks aren’t everything. It’s easy to get distracted by the gadgets, gimmicks and all the shiny, especially as a geek. But is it worth your data? Because, to me, the ability to keep my work and personal data secure is way more important than transparent windows or

And, it’s not like Linux doesn’t have eye candy and shiny of its own, if that is indeed what floats your boat. GNOME, KDE, and even LXDE offer gorgeous, streamlined interfaces that are getting better with each release.

Want to know who happily uses Vista 7? Florian Müller, the guy who pretends to represent “FOSS” interests when it comes to patents (while defending RAND, which is incompatible with Free software). Well, Müller is a complicated story of what seems like a Microsoft lobbyist. Right now (all day today) he is busy talking with all the Mono boosters and those who only ever attack Techrights while defending Microsoft. It’s like he finally found his colleagues. It’s amusing really as it invalidates and voids any credibility he had left as a lobbyist for “FOSS”. It’s a fake friend.

A couple of days ago we showed how Müller blamed Trojans and malware on IBM (he wants people to believe that IBM — not Microsoft — is a threat to “FOSS”). Watch this coverage from MSNBC. Being Microsoft’s pseudo-press the imported article says and does nothing to call out Windows. MSNBC was previously caught censoring an existing article which named Windows as the cause of a problem. Here is a portion of this article: [via]

The malware on the Spanair computer has been identified as a type of Trojan horse. It could have entered the airline’s system in a number of ways, according to Jamz Yaneeza, head threat researcher at Trend Micro.

Some of the most likely ways are through third party devices such as USB sticks, Yaneeza said, which were responsible for the International Space Station virus infection in 2008, or through a remote VPN connection that may not have the same protection as a computer within the enterprise network. Opening just one malicious file on a single computer is all it takes to infect an entire system.

“Any computer that is connected to a network is vulnerable to a malware infection,” O. Sami Saydjari, president of Cyber Defense Agency, told TechNewsDaily. “Standards have not been set to protect critical infrastructure.”

Those who foolishly believe Müller might think that it’s a mainframe’s fault. He increasingly becomes a source of humour.

EU: Advocate General on Community Patent and Software Patents Still at Stake

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dark Euro

Summary: A response from high authority is discovered and discussed, raising suspicions that the United Patent Litigation System (UPLS) will be revised

THE SITUATION in Europe when it comes to software patents (aka “computer-implemented inventions”) is far from resolved. There is UPLS lurking and struggling for breathing space [1, 2]. Additionally, Microsoft and its buddies at Siemens have been pushing software patents into Europe via the German courts [1, 2]. Since when can the courtroom determine patentability of software? This whole situation is rather troubling.

Based on Bristows.com, the “Advocate General says ‘non’ to the Community Patent and a European Patents Court” and the FFII’s president opines that UPLS will therefore be rewritten.

Advocate General says “non” to the Community Patent and a European Patents Court

[...]

In short, the fate of the single Court and single patent remains in the balance, but the scales look to be tipping badly against them. We await the decision of the ECJ itself with great interest.

Horns has also responded to these remarks from the Court of Justice of the European Union. His words are interpreted as suggesting that “the Court would decide on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions”:

Only now I have stumbled upon Opinion 01/09 – Statement by the Advocates General of the Court of Justice of the European Union concerning the European Patent and the Community Patent Court as planned by the EU Council; see my earlier postings here, there and there. The date on that Document (Original in French only) is July 2, 2010; however, the Opinion was not published on the Official website of the Court of Justice of the European Union (formerly known as European Court of Justice, or ECJ for short). A link to the French version was posted on August 19, 2010, on EPLAW Patent Blog.

I won’t understand those childish games played by interested circles inside of and close to the EU Council in a futile attempt to withhold such important documents from the eyes of the general public.

[...]

Hence, the Document summarises that the creation of the PC as an international court does not conflict with the objections of principle drawn from the provisions of the treaties on the European Union judicial system. However, the decisions of the European Patent Office (EPO) on patents may form the subject of an effective judicial appeal before an independent court within whose scope a correct and uniform application of Union law will be assured.

Given that the EU court system has already been responsible for some software patents, this whole situation is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Just Days After Hurd’s Ousting, HP Backtracks and Puts Windows Before Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, HP, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 11:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: HP suggests that a tablet with Windows may come before a tablet with WebOS and Microsoft entryism is therefore revisited

IN A COUPLE OF prior posts we warned that Hurd's departure might be bad news to Linux at HP. A few days later HP spoke to the public (conference call) and revealed what we had feared all along. HP has already hired a Vice President from Microsoft to become software head (that was a few months ago) and the ‘Microsoft press’ keeps talking about possible Hurd (CEO) replacements from Microsoft:

Internal candidates to replace Hurd include Todd Bradley, who turned around the company’s once-struggling PC business. Ann Livermore, who runs HP’s huge services business is another oft-mentioned possibility. Outside candidates include two Softies: Microsoft COO Kevin Turner and Stephen Elop, president of the company’s Business Division.

Another Microsoft-boosting Web site has other Microsoft candidates in mind:

Handicapping HP’s CEO search

[...]

This is a reach, but one interesting possibility to think about is Robbie Bach, the outgoing Entertainment & Devices Division president at Microsoft. Bach has said he truly plans to retire, but given his history across business computing and mobile devices — and his impending availability — he would seem less of a long shot than the Microsoft execs floated by the Seattle Times last week: Kevin Turner, the company’s chief operating officer, and Bob Muglia, the Microsoft Server & Tools president.

Tim Bajarin, typically a stern Microsoft booster, says that “HP’s New CEO Must Embrace Palm,” but based on Murdoch’s rags/tabloids, “HP to Ship Microsoft Tablet This Year, webOS Tablet Next Year” (and notice the bits about Android):

Noticeably absent from Bradley’s list: that Android device that was supposed to arrive at market in the fourth quarter of 2010. As I reported in July that tablet has been tabled–at least for the time being.

“HP Officially Delays Tablet until 2011,” says this report, but at least it’s not cancelled [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Here is one take on it:

Hewlett-Packard confirmed its tablet plans in a conference call on Thursday.

From a product standpoint, company executives said that a “Microsoft product” would appear in the “near future,” with a “WebOS product in early 2011.” That appears to confirm both reports of HP’s Windows tablet as well as the company’s plans to feature WebOS after HP purchased Palm.

It still seems like a step back because HP dumped Vista 7, at least when it comes to Slate (a form of tablet).

Speaking of potential Microsoft entryism, watch what goes in at OpenAmplify:

OpenAmplify, the Semantic Web platform, today announced that Sanjay Parthasarathy has joined its executive board. Parthasarathy brings over two decades of experience to the OpenAmplify team, most recently serving as corporate vice president of the Developer and Platform Evangelism Group (D&PE) and also the Microsoft Startup Business Accelerator.

Also mind changes at DigitalTown:

Mark is Director of Strategic Relationships for Microsoft Corp. /quotes/comstock/15*!msft/quotes/nls/msft (MSFT 24.23, -0.21, -0.86%) Media & Entertainment Group and has more than 13 years’ experience in developing innovative business and technology solutions for global media companies. He is based in Los Angeles.

Wipro is growing closer to Microsoft, which makes it hard to trust and Microsoft liars find a new home at Liar Liar List LLC:

Liarliarlist.com (http://liarliarlist.com), a brand new website that publishes members reviews of people who lie on their online dating profiles, has just appointed Microsoft Corporation alumni Adesh Desai as Chief Technology Officer and Deepak Sodhi as Chief Operating Officer.

It is possible that Microsoft too will be getting a new CEO. There are rumours about Ballmer being pushed out and Microsoft proponents don’t want him either (only 9% say he is doing a great job based on a recent poll). “Half of Microsoft’s (Anonymous) Employees Don’t Approve of Steve Ballmer,” heralded the Seattle Weekly blogs a short while ago, so now we know how even employees feel, despite being indoctrinated.

Half of Microsoft’s (Anonymous) Employees Don’t Approve of Steve Ballmer

[...]

You’ve heard of this guy Mark Hurd, right? The Hewlett-Packard CEO forced to resign late last week because of a sexual harassment investigation? Lots of his employees apparently didn’t like him very much. At least according to his record-low approval rating of 34-percent on Glassdoor.com, a site that lets employees anonymously dish on their bosses.

It’s not impossible for Ballmer to replace Hurd, either. Earlier this year Ballmer was strutting HP’s gear (Slate) on stage. It did not really have a penguin on it; it had Vista 7.

HP Slate - Steve Balmer holds GNU/Linux

Original photo here, fair use for humour purposes

Mono in GNOME Zeitgeist

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 9:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hourglass

Summary: Seif Lotfy inquires about more Mono dependency which makes its way into GNOME’s core components

LAST year we thought that Zeitgeist had eventually given up on Mono, but Novell’s Banshee (outside Microsoft's MCP and thus a patent trap) and Tomboy push it back in. Seif Lotfy, who also puts Mono in Canonical’s repository, writes:

At Zeitgeist we are finishing up some nice Tomboy and Banshee Addins.

It is disheartening to see even Ubuntu folks helping Mono. Canonical's CTO distrusts Mono, but from people in IRC we are quickly learning that Mono boosters have infiltrated Ubuntu Forums (this includes self-acclaimed anti-Linux crowd and people who daemonise Techrights over there) where they constantly promote Mono. Watch out for entryism, Canonical. More on entryism in the next post.

The Microsoft Fox Watches the World Wide Hen

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft at 9:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fox walking

Summary: W3C entryism becomes more pronounced as Microsoft pretends to have aligned with Web standards; Microsoft also pretends to have sidled with science and MSNBC spreads new propaganda about it

SEVERAL MONTHS ago Microsoft pretended to have befriended SVG [1, 2] after attacking it for years by deliberately ignoring it under Internet Explorer (Microsoft promoted its proprietary VML instead). Well, earlier this months we showed that "VML is back" and despite Microsoft’s vicious history when it comes to the World Wide Web, someone was tactless enough to give Microsoft a chair in the W3C Web Performance Working Group:

Microsoft will co-chair the group with Google.

Why is Microsoft in there? The creator of the Web has already denounced Microsoft for snubbing SVG, for example. Why was Microsoft given a chair there? Because it illegally obtained a lot of market share? Microsoft PR agents are still trying to pretend that Microsoft employees are friends of the Web, at least to the cameras (PR gesture only). “I am worr[ied] about w3c now,” said one Indian blogger, “Microsoft to Co-Chair New W3C Web Performance Working Group

We too are worried about W3C entryism (not just Microsoft but other companies with software patents, which are antithetical to the W3C). Microsoft is far from a friend of the Web. Likewise, Microsoft is a foe of scientific progress, but its publicity stuntmen (or stuntwomen) try to paint themselves as friends of science, more recently with the whole space elevator/NASA gig. Watch MSNBC advertising this some more:

Artsutanov is among the optimists who have come to the Microsoft corporate campus in Redmond, Wash., for the 2010 Space Elevator Conference this weekend. (Microsoft and NBC Universal are partners in the msnbc.com joint venture.)

Just giving this disclosure doesn’t make it any less of a Microsoft advertisement. Shame on MSNBC for masquerading as a reliable news source. There is too much spin in the mainstream media, in this case appealing to psyche and attributing space exploration to Microsoft.

“Don’t encourage new, cross-platform Java classes, especially don’t help get great Win 32 implementations written/deployed. [...] Do encourage fragmentation of the Java classlib space.”

Ben Slivka, Microsoft

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