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08.30.10

Gates Foundation and Microsoft Both Hate Sharing, Love Taking

Posted in Africa, Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Office Suites, Patents at 6:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Font sample - Liberation Sans

Summary: Microsoft is exploiting work on FreeType and Bill Gates exploits African people for their money/labour

A MONTH ago we wrote a long post about FreeType and Microsoft's barriers to it. Microsoft uses patent monopolies to achieve this.

Isn’t it nerve-wracking that Microsoft has the nerve to lift FreeType (which it threatens) and use it in Microsoft Office?

There’s more of this “open” Microsoft PR busting in Slashdot (with discussion). The summary says: “Now Microsoft must love free software. Indeed, Office 2011 for Mac (beta 5 at least) uses Freetype! Somehow they figured out the free software ‘clean room implementation’ of their own (patented) TrueType technology must better suit their needs.”

Red Hat’s Jan Wildeboer (Red Hat makes Libration Fonts available) writes: “ROTFL MSFT uses FreeType, seems to be best implementation of their truetype tech ;-) http://i35.tinypic.com/jazx2t.jpg

“People ought to remember that Microsoft was created by parasites who took other people’s “free labour” (hard work) and used that to create copies, often illegally.”So here we have another lesson in what “Open Source” means to Microsoft. It means “free labour” to harvest, to exploit, and to then use for PR purposes (as in “we love open source”). Microsoft has a long history like that, dating back even to early versions of Windows which took a BSD-licensed TCP/IP stack.

People ought to remember that Microsoft was created by parasites who took other people’s “free labour” (hard work) and used that to create copies, often illegally. Bill Gates famously said: “I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems.”

Bill Gates is still a parasite, but he has money to employ PR agents who spin it all as “charity”. Even while he makes money investing in Monsanto (which will earn money at the expense of impoverished African people) Gates pretends to help poor Africans. We are very pleased that Gates has received the blinding lights of truth shining into his eyes, revealing to the world his true agenda in Africa [1, 2] (along with Rockefeller). This PR disaster keeps spreading.

This is unfortunate. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has certainly been hard at work trying to improve healthcare around the world, but the latest news is that the Foundation has decided to invest in Monsanto, a company famous for widely abusing intellectual property laws to make people a lot less healthy, to increase the cost of some key foods important to feeding the hungry and to generally scare researchers from sharing important information with one another, for fear that it will be patented and locked up.

Glyn Moody’s response to this (“Gates Foundation Invests in Monsanto”) was: “intellectual monopolists made for each other”

It’s all about artificial scarcity (patents) and exploitation even when it’s called “philanthropy”. The latest Gates PR (Khan Academy) apparently comes from author of “The Silicon Boys”, a book that covers Bill Gates. Watch how the publicists try to spin Gates as a lover of sharing. Gates is just the queen of bees, laying all the eggs and enjoying the labour of “workers”.

Microsoft is Still Attacking “Open Source” and Standards, But Has No Other Choice

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Halloween related

Summary: Microsoft is being crushed by software freedom, so in order to survive it can only invent bogus standards and a bogus definition of the very same paradigm it’s competing against and trying to coopt

MICROSOFT is kind neither to “Open Source” nor to standards. The former subject was covered here a lot recently, after dishonest remarks from “OOXML Paoli” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and OOXML itself is proof that Microsoft does not care about standards, either. Rather than go along with everybody towards ODF it just created its own bogus proprietary format and tried to call that “a standard”. It even put its proprietary VML in it, thus harming SVG, the industry standard. This is still going on, even after Mirosoft pretended to have befriended SVG [1, 2]. Penguin Pete has this new cartoon called “The eternal curse” [of Microsoft's violation of Web standards] and it’s a good summary of Microsoft’s ill effects on the Internet. Internet Explorer still lacks SVG support, for example.

Brian Proffitt has an interesting and more creative interpretation of Microsoft’s latest spin on “Open Source”. He says Microsoft has no choice but to assimilate simply because “Open Source” is the winning team.

Why Microsoft is Being Nicer to Open Source

If there was any take-away I got from LinuxCon a couple of weeks ago, it was this: open source has finally become mainstream.

I mean, there was really little doubt. Companies and independent developers have been using open source for years now, with little regard to the old FUD that said “if you use this software, little Stallman-like demons will eat your soul!”

Or somesuch.

But the thing that really drove this home was when Evan Moglen, lawyer to the Free Software stars, described the subtle shift in how developers approach open source.

When open source first started, Moglen said, it was the developers and engineers who truly understood open source, and they were the personnel that would educate and teach others about the notions of free and open source software. This is certainly true, because it goes a long way to also explaining why this training and education took a while for business to understand, since business-types and engineering-types don’t often communicate to each other very well.

That post ought to say Eben, not Evan. Either way, isn’t it fascinating to see Moglen and Stallman mentioned in the context of business? Microsoft — with the help of minions such as Microsoft Florian — has been attempting to paint Stallman as a radical and Moglen as a communist, interchangeably (they try this even in this Web site). The reality is, there is nothing more communistic than a software monopoly where control and special privileges belong to just a few. “Open Source” is free market, it’s capitalism; proprietary monopoly on the other hand is tyranny, it’s more like communism. Any real proponent of capitalism and a truly democratic society should strive to advance software freedom, which much like today’s Western systems possibly embodies few elements of socialism.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols Says VMware Takeover Would Suit Novell (Although Not Sidestep Microsoft)

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Rumour, SLES/SLED, Virtualisation, VMware at 5:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steven J. Vaughan-NicholsSummary: SJVN adds his weight to speculators who reckon that Novell may negotiate a sale to VMware, which is run by Microsoft executives who left Microsoft

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (SJVN) believes that it’s reasonable for VMware to buy Novell right now, regardless of all the recent rumours that say so as well. Now that takeovers time is due for one Novell-sized company (HP buys 3PAR for Novell’s market value), he explains the logic as follows:

VMware and Novell have already partnered to bring SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) to VMware vSphere virtual machines. During Novell’s earnings call, Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian said that VMware sales staff has incentives to sell SUSE support and services to their customers. Hovsepian added that VMware and Novell would expand on what’s going on with their partnership at this coming week’s VMworld trade show.

Could the two companies announce a merger? There have been rumors for some time that VMware might buy Novell. I don’t know much about those rumors, but I do know that it’s a deal that makes a lot of sense for both companies.

The title of the above post is “VMware should buy Novell” and I asked the author: “should? You want lots of Microsoft execs to own Novell and UNIX??”

“…VMware has been no friend to MSFT, or vice-versa, for the last year or so.”
      –Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
He replies by saying “”Should” as in it makes biz sense. Also VMware has been no friend to MSFT, or vice-versa, for the last year or so. Check it out”

There has been some chatter in blogs recently about VMware as Novell’s escape route from Microsoft dependency, but it ought to be known that VMware is now run by former Microsoft executives, so the relationship with Microsoft would not evaporate completely.

Vaughan-Nichols also links to this post from a colleague of his, who helps promote SUSE Studio (SJVN does not oppose the Novell/Microsoft deal, he never did) and earlier today he promoted Novell for “peaceful co-existence” (which we don’t agree patent deals bring about):

Novell and Microsoft are more than happy to help you bridge the gap between Linux and Windows.

Once upon a time, bridging the gap between Windows and Linux in the server room or the office was… difficult. Today, while no one’s going to call it easy, Novell and Microsoft have worked hard on ensuring interoperability doesn’t require either a Linux wizard or a Windows expert.

The two technology giants have been at this since they formed their unlikely partnership in November, 2006. Almost five years later, besides the business benefits the two companies have found in working together, Novell and Microsoft have made considerable progress in getting Linux and Windows to get along both on the server and the desktop level.

It’s all just intended to sell more Windows and less GNU/Linux. We covered this before.

Mono Project Seems to be Dying (Development Virtually Halted) (Updated)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 4:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Update: As raised as a possible explanation by myself in the IRC channel (I was deceived by others), Mono just moved to Git. Nonetheless, news about Mono and Moonlight has been extremely scarce for months, so the project clearly lost a lot of momentum.

Monkey bones

Summary: Mono development is nearly non-existent over the past month or so

MONO AND MOONLIGHT begin to show early signs of death. Both Mono and Moonlight are hardly heard from anymore and lack of endorsement from the FSF (the FSF discourages use of C#) could not do much to help, could it? Based on SVN branches [1, 2], either the entire development team at Novell takes a massively long summer vacation or the project is radically de-emphasised. So the question is, what happens to those who depend on Mono in the long term? Novell is up for sale and Miguel de Icaza is busy cleaning their toilets instead of coding or even blogging. The Mono problem was discussed in IRC a short while ago (partial logs below).


Techrights logo

IRC: #techrights @ FreeNode: August 30th, 2010

Join us now at the IRC channel.

justin__ hey, looks like you guys might be right about mono project being dead Aug 30 20:34
justin__ http://anonsvn.mono-project.com/viewvc/trunk/ Aug 30 20:34
TechrightsBot-tr Title: [Mono] Index of /trunk .::. Size~: 54.05 KB Aug 30 20:34
justin__ notice the dates Aug 30 20:34
justin__ no activity on any module for weeks Aug 30 20:34
gnufreex I thought Mono uses Git? Aug 30 20:35
justin__ looks like svn to me Aug 30 20:35
justin__ http://www.mono-project.com/AnonSVN Aug 30 20:35
TechrightsBot-tr Title: AnonSVN – Mono .::. Size~: 10.11 KB Aug 30 20:36
gnufreex I see that there is no activity for years… maybe they switched to Git Aug 30 20:36
gnufreex Ah Aug 30 20:36
gnufreex Yes Aug 30 20:36
justin__ some are only a few weeks of inactivity Aug 30 20:36
gnufreex You are right Aug 30 20:36
gnufreex Let’s hope it is dead Aug 30 20:36
gnufreex Novell is firing people to stay profitable Aug 30 20:36
justin__ might explain why there is so little news Aug 30 20:36
justin__ about mono/moonlie Aug 30 20:36
justin__ yea Aug 30 20:37
justin__ they are going to be the next sco Aug 30 20:37
schestowitz Wait Aug 30 20:37
gnufreex Mono is just microsoft pet project, no outside contributors. Just Novell and Microsoft Aug 30 20:37
schestowitz I’m catching up here :-) Aug 30 20:37
schestowitz So was there an svn/git confusion? Aug 30 20:37
gnufreex And Microsoft is angry on Novell because VMware partnership Aug 30 20:37
schestowitz Or verified freeze? Aug 30 20:37
-TRT/#techrights-[schestowitz] Comment in the #neckbeard troll http://ur1.ca/1e5jb “It would be better if you would make the wallpaper if you don’t like the default.” Aug 30 20:37
TechrightsBot-tr Title: The joke that is Mavericks default wallpaper « all wrongs reserved .::. Size~: 22.64 KB Aug 30 20:37
justin__ verified Aug 30 20:37
schestowitz Maybe summer break? Aug 30 20:37
schestowitz Steadfast took some break iirc Aug 30 20:37
justin__ http://www.mono-project.com/AnonSVN Aug 30 20:37
TechrightsBot-tr Title: AnonSVN – Mono .::. Size~: 10.11 KB Aug 30 20:37
schestowitz and the Microsoft MVP is having a baby Aug 30 20:38
justin__ are they the only 2 guys working on mono? Aug 30 20:38
gnufreex De Icaza is one. Aug 30 20:38
schestowitz No-No Aug 30 20:38
schestowitz No Aug 30 20:38
schestowitz He’s working on other parts of it, I think Aug 30 20:38
gnufreex schestowitz: I was wrong, Mono uses SVN Aug 30 20:38
schestowitz Joseph Hill or something leads in a neww Aug 30 20:39
gnufreex no git Aug 30 20:39
schestowitz Then there are mono trolls Aug 30 20:39
schestowitz Like Joseph Shields and some anonymous trolls who bully opposition Aug 30 20:39
justin__ do they contribute tho? Aug 30 20:39
justin__ or just trolls? Aug 30 20:39
schestowitz gnufreex: so it’s dying? Aug 30 20:39
schestowitz I can recall something about git and mono Aug 30 20:40
gnufreex schestowitz: I hope Aug 30 20:40
justin__ seems so Aug 30 20:40
schestowitz See Microsoft’s blog (tirania) Aug 30 20:40
gnufreex schestowitz: Mono people wanted to put write Git addons in Mono Aug 30 20:40
gnufreex Git# Aug 30 20:40
-TRT/#techrights-[glynmoody] Diaspora Clarifies: Open Source On September 15, Consumer Alpha In October – http://tcrn.ch/baGXEu good news #diaspora #socialnws Aug 30 20:40
gnufreex But nobody liked that Aug 30 20:40
TechrightsBot-tr Title:   Diaspora Clarifies: Open Source On September 15, Consumer Alpha In October  .::. Size~: 40.36 KB Aug 30 20:40
gnufreex They didn’t really use Git, they wanted to kill it. Aug 30 20:40
MinceR well, we already have “git, only slower” Aug 30 20:41
justin__ like they try to kill everything else Aug 30 20:41
MinceR it’s called mercurial Aug 30 20:41
MinceR so there’s no demand for git# Aug 30 20:41
schestowitz justin__: did you check inside dirs to see they don’t code in another space? Aug 30 20:41
FurnaceBoy there’s that guy who wrote git plugins for visual studio Aug 30 20:41
justin__ schestowitz: yea Aug 30 20:41
schestowitz justin__: what URL to show it best? Aug 30 20:42
schestowitz http://anonsvn.mono-project.com/viewvc/trunk/ does not provide compelling proof Aug 30 20:42
TechrightsBot-tr Title: [Mono] Index of /trunk .::. Size~: 54.05 KB Aug 30 20:42
schestowitz I need a quick URL to validate with readers Aug 30 20:42
gnufreex http://anonsvn.mono-project.com/viewvc/ Aug 30 20:42
justin__ hmm Aug 30 20:42
TechrightsBot-tr Title: [Mono] Index of / .::. Size~: 4.58 KB Aug 30 20:42
schestowitz http://anonsvn.mono-project.com/viewvc/trunk/?sortby=date#dirlist Aug 30 20:42
TechrightsBot-tr Title: [Mono] Index of /trunk .::. Size~: 57.3 KB Aug 30 20:43
justin__ yea, the toplevel is probably good Aug 30 20:43
justin__ or could show http://anonsvn.mono-project.com/viewvc/trunk/mono/ Aug 30 20:43
TechrightsBot-tr Title: [Mono] Index of /trunk/mono .::. Size~: 22.24 KB Aug 30 20:43
gnufreex Microsofties probably don’t contribute anymore because Novell-VMware deal. Aug 30 20:43
gnufreex There goes 60% of work force Aug 30 20:44
justin__ there was a vmware deal? Aug 30 20:44
gnufreex VMware distirbutes SUSE with ESX now Aug 30 20:44
schestowitz Yes Aug 30 20:44
justin__ oh, I missed that Aug 30 20:44
gnufreex Microsoft is but hurted Aug 30 20:44
schestowitz Maybe vmware will buy novl Aug 30 20:44
justin__ maybe all the mono people got fired Aug 30 20:45
justin__ probably not de icaza tho Aug 30 20:45
schestowitz No Aug 30 20:45
gnufreex schestowitz: I hope not. Aug 30 20:45
schestowitz But de Icaza cleans bathrooms at Novell now Aug 30 20:45
gnufreex I would like Red Hat to buy them. And then Army Man to make De Icaza clean toilets. Aug 30 20:46
schestowitz http://abock.org/2010/08/06/real-american-heroes-toilet-trouble Aug 30 20:46
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Real American Heroes: Toilet Trouble « Aaron Bockover .::. Size~: 32.54 KB Aug 30 20:46
-TRT/#techrights-[slashdot] NIH Orders Halt To Embryonic Stem Cell Research http://bit.ly/a2JKE9 Aug 30 20:46
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Slashdot Science Story | NIH Orders Halt To Embryonic Stem Cell Research .::. Size~: 50.8 KB Aug 30 20:46
gnufreex Hehe. Aug 30 20:48
gnufreex What he does in toilet. It has noting to do with Microsoft… oh wait Aug 30 20:49
gnufreex I just now got why Bill Gates named compney MicroSoft Aug 30 20:49
gnufreex after his weenie Aug 30 20:49
justin__ lol, de icaza got demoted to toilet cleaner Aug 30 20:50
justin__ haha Aug 30 20:50
gnufreex He even look like Microsoftie now. Aug 30 20:52
gnufreex He looked less Micrsofotish before. Aug 30 20:52
-TRT/#techrights-[linuxtoday] How to make a Cosmic Wallpaper in GIMP: Scott Photographics: “This tutorial will hopefully help inspire you to cre… http://bit.ly/bKomuu Aug 30 20:52
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Linux Today – How to make a Cosmic Wallpaper in GIMP .::. Size~: 76.63 KB Aug 30 20:52
cubevector Microsoft Toilet Paper Aug 30 20:53
cubevector it could happen Aug 30 20:53
ThistleWeb I wouldnt be surprised if they had staff toilet rolls with logos of like google, or tux on it Aug 30 20:54
ThistleWeb on each sheet Aug 30 20:54
-TRT/#techrights-[glynmoody] In Defense of Links, Part One: Nick Carr, hypertext and delinkification – http://bit.ly/asKV1i debunking of Mr Carr’s crypto-transclusionism Aug 30 20:55
TechrightsBot-tr Title: In Defense of Links, Part One: Nick Carr, hypertext and delinkification — Scott Rosenberg’s Wordyard .::. Size~: 45.07 KB Aug 30 20:55
justin__ mono guys are such losers Aug 30 20:56
justin__ they should have given up long ago Aug 30 20:56
justin__ and not even bothered to try Aug 30 20:56
justin__ hopefully now canonical will give up on mono too Aug 30 20:57
gnufreex justin__: I had no problem with them writting Mono. I am pissed at Mono because MonoDudes don’t know their place. It is only so we can say every language can run on Linux. It is stupid to write software with it. It is stupid to try and make it default language for GNU / Linux Aug 30 20:59
gnufreex ANd they are trying just that. Aug 30 20:59
gnufreex They are doing Mono just despite FSF and to piss people they call “zealots” Aug 30 21:00
gnufreex And to advance Microsoft agenda, of course. Aug 30 21:00
gnufreex Place of Mono is same as place for Wine. Out of default install Aug 30 21:00
gnufreex And Wine is not used to write free software. Aug 30 21:01
justin__ yea, they totally didn’t know their place Aug 30 21:01
-TRT/#techrights-[ffii] Who would dare to speak of trolls? http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/paul-allen-is-no-patent-troll/2360 #swpat Aug 30 21:01
-TRT/#techrights-[techdirt] Hulu: We Know That Hulu Plus Sucks, But It’s Not Our Fault http://dlvr.it/4SkrX Aug 30 21:01
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Paul Allen is no patent troll | ZDNet  .::. Size~: 144.61 KB Aug 30 21:01
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Hulu: We Know That Hulu Plus Sucks, But It’s Not Our Fault | Techdirt .::. Size~: 21.26 KB Aug 30 21:01
justin__ gnufreex imo, monodudes were never very intelligent Aug 30 21:02
justin__ probably got rejected from every other project Aug 30 21:02
gnufreex Well, I think they are inteligent. But they use their brains to help Microsoft. They are not friends of FOSS. Aug 30 21:03
gnufreex They got rejected from other projects because they Microsfotish tendencies, They want to make GNU/Linux a cheap clone of Winodws. Aug 30 21:04
justin__ yea Aug 30 21:04
gnufreex I am not saying all Mono advocates are like that. Just the main ones. And they set other on wrong track. Aug 30 21:04
gnufreex *others Aug 30 21:04
MinceR de icaza wrote at least one good program Aug 30 21:05
MinceR but apparently he’s more interested in serving m$ Aug 30 21:05
justin__ mincer: what? Aug 30 21:05
MinceR gnumeric Aug 30 21:05
gnufreex He wrote Gnumeric? Aug 30 21:05
justin__ I get the feeling he didn’t really even write that Aug 30 21:05
MinceR he wrote the original version, apparently Aug 30 21:05
justin__ probably just took credit for it Aug 30 21:05
gnufreex I think Stallman started writing that. Aug 30 21:05
MinceR dunno Aug 30 21:05
MinceR wikipedia says he’s the original author Aug 30 21:06
gnufreex And then some of Emacs crew finished Aug 30 21:06
justin__ mono trolls are on wikipedia though Aug 30 21:06
justin__ so you can’t trust it Aug 30 21:06
MinceR ic Aug 30 21:06
MinceR old versions of the changelog are gone from gnumeric.org Aug 30 21:07
gnufreex De Icaza didn’t start GNOME either. He only set himself on right place to get credits. If FSF didn’t fund GNOME, it would be nothing. Aug 30 21:07
gnufreex Originaly, GNU project tried twice to write LISP GUI. And both times they were distracted by some fork. First XEmacs, then EGGC. Then GNOME was third attempt when non-free KDE took off. Aug 30 21:09
justin__ yep Aug 30 21:09
justin__ and miguel was just there to steal the credits Aug 30 21:09
gnufreex http://stallman.org/articles/xemacs.origin Aug 30 21:10
MinceR first commits show no trace of de icaza Aug 30 21:10
MinceR http://git.gnome.org/browse/gnumeric/log/?ofs=18150 Aug 30 21:10
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Not a web page! Aborting text/plain type .::. Size~: 0 KB Aug 30 21:10
TechrightsBot-tr Title: gnumeric – The Gnome Office Spreadsheet – Free, Fast, Accurate: Pick any 3! .::. Size~: 17.61 KB Aug 30 21:10
gnufreex Here is what Stallman said on XEmacs Aug 30 21:10
MinceR wait Aug 30 21:10
schestowitz [20:50] <justin__> lol, de icaza got demoted to toilet cleaner Aug 30 21:10
schestowitz Maybe Novell cut more staff Aug 30 21:10
MinceR oh, right Aug 30 21:10
schestowitz Including wardens and cleaners Aug 30 21:11
schestowitz So they assigned a contigent Aug 30 21:11
schestowitz “The guy who deals with all the ***t” Aug 30 21:11
gnufreex rofL Aug 30 21:11
justin__ lol Aug 30 21:11
MinceR like mono? :> Aug 30 21:12
justin__ mono is a 4 letter word Aug 30 21:13
justin__ is jono aka jono bacon? Aug 30 21:14
justin__ just noticed him in the user list Aug 30 21:15
justin__ well, guys it’s been fun but I need to get going Aug 30 21:16
justin__ keep on fighting the good fight getting rid of trolls like de icaza and his friends Aug 30 21:17
justin__ you guys make the world a better place Aug 30 21:17
-TRIdentica/#techrights-[diablod3/@diablod3] Christian Church lends building to Muslims while construction of Mosque continues; Jesus clearly approves of this http://u.nu/2h62f Aug 30 21:17
TechrightsBot-tr Title: Cordova Christians put out welcome mat for new mosque » The Commercial Appeal .::. Size~: 176.45 KB Aug 30 21:18
*justin__ has quit (Quit: Page closed) Aug 30 21:18

Demonstrating the Power of KDE: Dolphin Outpaces Konqueror Yet?

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, Videos at 4:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Nice demo of the many capabilities gained by Dolphin since its debut in KDE 4.0


Dolphin File Browser Feature – Kubuntu 9.10

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 30/8/2010: Militant Red Hat Board, Rails 3.0, OLPC Healing, OpenOffice.org Conference in Budapest

Posted in News Roundup at 3:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Bootability

    My advice? Don’t dual-boot. If you need to run that other OS, do so in a virtual machine so that it can clobber its virtual boot-loader and not yours. VirtualBox makes this very easy and you get the added benefit that you can run both OS simultaneously without having to re-re-reboot.

  • Are these actually PC problems?

    Those in the list are not PC-bound issues, but OS problems. The press should start reporting them as what they really are: the intrinsic flaws of Windows, not of PCs. My Mandriva desktop has none of those. Nor does my Mandriva netbook. As far as I have heard, the other members of the Linux family (Mepis , Pardus, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, Sabayon, Arch, and the rest) that run on PCs stand solid against viruses.

    However, before you migrate to Linux, you must know that, as in any change of OS, a successful migration depends on intelligent choices and understanding of the situation.

  • There IS a Linux for you.

    You can be assured that no matter how many people around you are using Linux, your computer is a reflection of yourself and not of some faceless marketing mogul. This is because Linux is open source and open source is all about freedom. Freedom is choice and anything which tries to limit our choice is trying to reduce our freedom.

  • Kernel Space

    • Benchmarks Of ZFS-FUSE On Linux Against EXT4, Btrfs

      For those not familiar with the GPL-licensed Linux FUSE module, it is a Linux kernel module that has been living within the mainline kernel since the Linux 2.6.14 release and it allows non-privileged users to create their own file-systems in user-space with the FUSE module then providing a bridge to interface with the Linux kernel. FUSE is also available for BSD, OpenSolaris, and Mac OS X operating systems too. With FUSE file-systems living in user-space, they do not need to comply with the GNU GPL since only the FUSE module is loaded against the Linux kernel, but there is an overhead associated with this approach. Besides ZFS-FUSE, there are dozens of other FUSE file-systems including ClamFS, httpFS, ChunkFS, vmware-mount, and GnomeVFS2 FUSE. The most recent release of ZFS-FUSE is version 0.6.9 and is based upon Zpool version 23 (much better than Zpool 18 being used by LLNL/KQ Infotech at this time, with post-18 revisions adding features like de-duplication support) and supports NFS sharing, PowerPC architecture, a multi-threaded ioctl handler, and other improvements. ZFS 0.7.0 is the release presently under development and is expected for release in early October. For our testing of ZFS-FUSE, we used both the latest stable 0.6.9 release and a 0.7.0 Git snapshot as of their latest official code in their Git repository as of 2010-08-28.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • I am part of the game!

        There are several ways of being part of the KDE game: you can develop, translate, be an artist, help users, take care of our infrastructure, organize developer sprints. A lot of ways right? But some people just lack the time to join the game in any of the areas that I just listed but still want to contribute in some way to the project.

        [...]

        And you? What are you waiting for? Help KDE and be part of it: Join the Game!

      • KDE and NVidia

        The above combination was never a painless experience, still at some point in past it seemed to be better to have a NVidia card on Linux then anything else, so I continued to buy them whenever my system was upgraded. Lately although it started to make me rather bad.

  • Distributions

    • Reviews

      • Under these rocks and stones

        Of the three distributions mentioned here, I don’t think any of them are likely to become mainstream in the Linux community. Puppy is well established in its niche and seems happy there. The Me-OS project, I feel, has some potential if the developer can keep up with the work which goes into maintaining a distro. Like Puppy, Me-OS is taking a slightly different path and it’ll be interesting to see where they end up. ImagineOS felt like the odd one out of these three. It doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, I didn’t find anything in its approach to be eye-catching. It sits on a strong Slackware base, but I think the project needs to add something if it wants to attract new members.

      • A bit about Parted Magic 5.3 and UnetBootin

        Today I want to talk about a specialist Linux distro which has saved me from pretty nasty situations more than once, Parted Magic 5.3. I believe that the best introduction to this fabulous distro is its feature list (extracted from the Parted Magic Official SITE).

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Making a Statement without Saying Anything

          Creating the default wall paper for Ubuntu is not an easy task. No matter the outcome there will be some who like it and others who won’t.

          So why does it matter? Throw something together and call it good.

          The answer is the default wall paper in many cases is the first expression of quality. To illustrate; if I am viewing a high quality automobile but hate the color or some other design detail what impression do I walk away with?

        • The joke that is Maverick’s default wallpaper

          As many of you know, I tend to be the first to criticize anything in this community of people who are often afraid to voice their opinion about something. This time, however, I’m not going to do the talking, I’m just going to share some comments.

        • [Full Circle Magazine] Issue 40

          This month we begin using the new Ubuntu font and a new FCM logo created by Thorsten Wilms!

          * Command and Conquer.
          * How-To : Program in Python – Part 14, Virtualize Part 3 – OpenSolaris, and ADSL Modem As A Switch.
          * Review – SOFA Statistics.
          * Top 5 – Favourite Apps.
          * plus: MOTU Interview, Ubuntu Games, My Opinion, My Story, and now with all new LoCo and Translation Team interviews!

        • Incredible Stories Of Free Software and Open Source

          A story I share at every Ubuntu Developer Summit is that when I started working as the Ubuntu Community Manager I got a lovely email from a kid in Africa who would walk two hours to his local town where he would spend his own money to buy Internet time in an Internet cafe to contribute to Ubuntu and then walk two hours back home. This story was powerful to me. It told me that my job is to help that guy get the most out of his hour, to justify his investment of energy and expense to just get involved in the first place. His story was inspiring, encouraging, and an impressive example of commitment. I always share this story at UDS as an inspiration for us to get the most out of each one-hour session.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Kindle hardware vs Kindle app: What’s the better reading experience?
    • Phones

      • Android

        • My Droid Incredible Video Review on Steroids

          Incredibly, I got the incredible** chance to review the Droid Incredible and see if it lives up to its reputation of incredibility of putting out incredible video, picture quality, sound and more. I was incredulous, so you will see how the Incredible fared by after my incredible amount of video scrutiny. Incredible!

    • Sub-notebooks

      • XO Laptop Helps Healing

        Haiti Partners participated in a pilot with Waveplace and OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) of 200 xo laptops in April and May of this year. Last week I (John Engle) visited with about 20 students from our various partner schools to see how they’re progressing. Respecting one of OLPC’s principles, all students in our partner schools keep the laptops so that they can continue learning.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Three Open Source Ticketing Systems

    If open source folks know anything, and they do, it’s how to build tools that enable collaborative development. Case in point: ticketing and issue tracking systems. If your shop needs a reliable, flexible, and scalable ticketing system take a look at Bugzilla, Request Tracker (RT), or Trac to find the best tool to keep your projects on track.

  • Michael Tiemann Opens Up

    Michael Tiemann is the brain behind Cygnus, the first company to offer support to Linux and other assorted Free Software programs. He is now involved in open source ‘affairs’ at the OSI. Swapnil Bhartiya discusses the past, present and the future with Tiemann in this exclusive interview.

  • Oracle OOo

    • ♥ Thinking of OOoCon

      My best wishes to all my friends attending the OpenOffice.org conference in Budapest this week.

    • OpenOffice saves a company budget

      The installation is painless…now the true test will be time. If the end-users can get used to a different office suite to handle their templates. But ultimately what this little experience taught me was that as much as people like to claim how cheap the TCO of MS products are to business, there is always a situation that begs to smack that assumption upside the face. This was one of those. Not many business have 10,000 dollars to drop on a software update – especially one that will only serve to solve a printing issue. Yes the printing was a critical aspect of the users’ jobs, but not enough to force the hand to upgrading to Office 2007 on terminal server.

  • CMS

    • Diaspora Clarifies: Open Source On September 15, Consumer Alpha In October

      A few days ago, we noted that Diaspora was three weeks away from unveiling their open-source Facebook alternative. But a small update today clarifies one important point. On September 15, Diaspora will release the open source code for the project. But it won’t be until October that the first consumer-facing alpha is available.

    • Drupal on the rise in government with ALRC website win

      The Drupal community has notched up another win with the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) joining the ranks of organisations implementing the open source content management system (CMS) for its web presence.

  • Project Releases

    • Rails 3.0: It’s ready!

      Rails 3.0 has been underway for a good two years, so it’s with immense pleasure that we can declare it’s finally here. We’ve brought the work of more than 1,600 contributors together to make everything better, faster, cleaner, and more beautiful.

    • [Durian] Nearly finished!
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Meet Apertus, The Open Source HD Cinema Camera

        A while back I listed 10 of the most promising real world Open Source projects on this blog, and today I want to add one more contender to that list: Apertus, an Open Source cinema camera project.

        Led by Oscar Spierenburg and a team of international developers, the project aims to produce “an affordable community driven free software and open hardware cinematic HD camera for a professional production environment”. Let’s take a quick tour of the hardware and software components that constitute Apertus, before moving on to address some concerns about the overall viability of the project.

  • Programming

    • Managing Developers 101

      Of course, as Luke Welling, Web Team Lead at Message Systems, a digital messaging management company and co-author of the “Bible” of commercial PHP/MySQL programming, PHP and MySQL Web Development, pointed out at an OSCON seminar in Portland, OR, that’s true of many corporate programming projects.

      So what can you, as IT management, do about this? Well, for starters, Welling suggested that managers fight the attitude that sloppy programming is acceptable because IT can always “throw more and faster processors” at any performance problem. Sometimes, you can’t fix performance problems with hardware. You need to convince developers and their team leaders that writing to the minimum hardware requirements, rather than the maximum, is the smart thing to do.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • On HTML5 killing Flash

      The other issue to keep in mind are the “Hollywood” interests. They saw what an open format like MP3 did to their music buddies and are not interested in that kind of disruption. People who own movies and TV are going to want as much DRM as possible, and new video formats that don’t satisfy those requirements are going to be tough to spread. Sure, there’s piracy, but once Hollywood gets it’s act together and figures out a Netflix/Hulu model, I think most people will pay. Most people already pay $80+ a month for cable which a bunch of crap no one wants to watch, so there’s a tolerance for a subscription budget, esp. if it’s for shows you actually want to watch.

    • Lightspark Flash Player Continues Marching Forward

      It was just earlier this month that we were talking about Lightspark now rendering faster and supporting H263/MP3 video when the first Lightspark 0.4.3 release candidate was made available. This open-source project that only reached beta in May aims to provide a completely free software implementation of Adobe’s Flash/SWF specification, continues to advance rapidly. Lightspark 0.4.3 was already released and this morning the 0.4.4 release has even made it out the door.

Leftovers

  • Weird Science votes all the useful people off the island

    You’ve been extremely helpful, so bugger off: What started out as a routine study of group behavior ended up turning a bit surreal. According to the authors of a new paper, they started out trying to find out how long a group would tolerate members that abused the common good. In the process, they found that members who put the most into the common good were quickly expelled from the group. Not entirely believing it, they replicated the findings—twice. Some of the hate comes from the overly officious group members, who viewed those who gave more than they needed to as breaking the rules. But some of it also comes from people who think that altruistic behavior like this simply raises expectations unnecessarily.

  • Paul Weiss and Lowenstein Ordered to Pay $1.96 Million for Filing Frivolous Suit Against Ron Perelman’s In-Laws

    Bergen County, N.J., Superior Court Judge Ellen Koblitz doesn’t seem too worried about sparing the reputations of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Lowenstein Sandler. In June, you’ll recall, she found that the two firms had filed a frivolous suit on behalf of billionaire Ronald Perelman in a family dispute over hundreds of millions of dollars. On Friday she issued a final opinion (pdf), rejecting the firms’ arguments for mercy and ordering them to pay $1.96 million in legal fees to the defendants, Perelman’s former father-in-law and brother-in-law.

  • Traditional Offshore Outsourcing on the Skids

    U.S. H-1B, L-1 visa reform under a new border security appropriations act also discriminates against offshore outsourcing providers, critics and advocates alike say, as it penalizes Indian IT service providers while ignoring US IT service providers who are also heavy users of H-1Bs like IBM, Accenture and UST Global.

  • Conrad Black Case Targets Net Defamation Jurisdiction Standard

    Conrad Black’s ongoing legal fight in the United States has attracted considerable attention in Canada, yet my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) there is a side courtroom battle at home over alleged defamatory content on the Internet that merits closer attention. The case, named Black v. Breeden, involves postings such as press releases and reports on the Hollinger International, Inc. website that Black claims were defamatory. Several Ontario media organizations published the allegations contained in those releases.

  • Gov’t loses case for citing Wikipedia

    For going to court with an argument referenced from Wikipedia, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) lost an appeal to reverse a decision nullifying a couple’s 19-year marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity.

    “The Republic, with all the resources and manpower at its disposal, has all the means with which to counter the expert testimony offered by [the ex-wife]. Most certainly, the Republic has access to government institutions, i.e., National Center for Mental Health, which has qualified psychiatric experts whose opinion it could have sought to evaluate [the woman] and her spouse,” the Court of Appeals special 15th division said in a 13-page decision.

  • Blockbuster Bankruptcy, Yet Again, Highlights How It’s Not Easy To Just Copy The Disruptive Innovation

    Late last week, there were a ton of press reports about how Blockbuster was preparing to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September. It’s not shutting down, but just trying to restructure its debt, get out from under a bunch of store leases and try, try again. That said, this is yet another example of the fallacy of the claim of many that if you have a good idea some big company will just come along, copy it, and be successful. It also demonstrates the huge difference between idea and execution.

  • Why Online Won’t Kill the Radio Star

    Vivian Schiller, president and chief executive of NPR, came to the public-radio organization in 2009 after 25 years in media, including stints at NYTimes.com and CNN. She talked with Kara Swisher about the rise of Internet radio, getting programs on Apple Inc.’s iPad and forming partnerships with other nonprofit news organizations. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation.

  • Will Cisco Swoop in to Buy Skype Pre-IPO?

    This wouldn’t be the first brush with big cap tech interest, as Skype had been operating under eBay’s (EBAY) ownership from 2005 to 2009. eBay bought Skype in 2005 for $2.6 billion and sold most of the company at an estimated valuation of $2.75 billion to a group of private equity investors in 2009. Ebay, to this date, maintains a 35% ownership interest.

  • How the Washington Shakespeare Company came to offer Shakespeare in Klingon

    Don’t you love that remarkable moment when roSenQatlh and ghIlDenSten exit the stage and Khamlet is left alone to deliver the immortal words: “baQa’, Qovpatlh, toy’wl”a’ qal je jIH”?

    No? Well, it always kills on Kronos. That’s the home planet of the Klingons, the hostile race that antagonizes the Federation heroes of “Star Trek.” We learned back in ’91 in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” that the Klingons love them some Shakespeare. Or as he’s known to his ridged-foreheaded devotees in the space-alien community: Wil’yam Shex’pir.

  • Science

    • Use of rare earth metals outstripping supply

      Those of you who have spent time staring at a periodic table are undoubtedly aware of the large insertions that are typically stuck below the chart, since they’d make the table unreasonably wide otherwise. The top of these two rows is typically called the Lanthanide series, and it contains the rare earth metals, like dysprosium, holmium, and praseodymium. Although these exotic-sounding metals find their way into displays and lasers, they’re primarily notable for their use in powerful magnets that appear in everything from electric motors to disk drives. And, according to a new Congressional analysis posted by the Federation of American Scientists’ Secrecy News blog, the world is using them up faster than it can produce them.

      The report itself doesn’t really have much information that couldn’t be obtained elsewhere, but it puts it all together in a very readable package. Right now, we’re using about 134,000 tons of rare earth metals a year, but mining only 124,000 tons; the difference is made up using ore stocks that have been mined but not yet processed.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • NIH Orders Immediate Shutdown of Intramural Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

      Responding to a court order issued a week ago, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) this morning ordered intramural researchers studying human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to shut down their experiments.

      NIH’s action—probably unprecedented in its history—is a response to a preliminary injunction on 23 August from U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth. The judge ruled that the Obama policy allowing NIH funding to be used to study hESC lines violates a law prohibiting the use of federal funds to destroy embryos.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Indian E-Voting Researcher Freed After Seven Days in Police Custody

      FLASH: 4:47 a.m. EDT August 28 — Indian e-voting researcher Hari Prasad was released on bail an hour ago, after seven days in police custody. Magistrate D. H. Sharma reportedly praised Hari and made strong comments against the police, saying Hari has done service to his country. Full post later today.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Coffee threatened by beetles in a warming world

      The highlands of southwestern Ethiopia should be ideal for growing coffee. After all, this is the region where coffee first originated hundreds of years ago. But although coffee remains Ethiopia’s number one export, the nation’s coffee farmers have been struggling.

  • Finance

    • KPMG Accounting Malpractice Verdict Affirmed but $38 Million Damage Award Vacated

      In a half-empty/half-full ruling for KPMG, a New Jersey appeals court on Thursday found sufficient evidence that the accounting giant was negligent in its audits of the books of a ceramic collectibles company but inadequate proof to support a $38 million damages award to another company that acquired it.

    • Bernanke Tries to Manage Expectations of Fed Role

      “Central bankers alone cannot solve the world’s economic problems,” Mr. Bernanke said in what became a theme of the annual Fed policy symposium here, organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

    • Bankers Told Recovery May Be Slow

      The gathering, at a historic lodge in Grand Teton National Park, brought together about 110 central bankers and economists, including most of the Federal Reserve’s top officials. In 2008, the symposium occurred weeks before the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy nearly shut down the financial markets. At the symposium last year, officials congratulated themselves on weathering the worst of the crisis.

    • It’s Not Over Until It’s in the Rules

      The question is this: Will regulators give Wall Street’s big dealers what they want in a second bite of the apple?

    • Policy Options Dwindle as Economic Fears Grow

      THE American economy is once again tilting toward danger. Despite an aggressive regimen of treatments from the conventional to the exotic — more than $800 billion in federal spending, and trillions of dollars worth of credit from the Federal Reserve — fears of a second recession are growing, along with worries that the country may face several more years of lean prospects.

    • Tax Reform, Yes! VAT, No!

      The federal budget is in worse shape than Roger Clemens’s reputation.

      It ran a deficit of $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2009 and is on track to nearly match this red ink in 2010. Going forward, there is no relief in sight.

    • Vacation Travel Recovers, but Frugality Is Focus

      With couples like the Kordasiewiczs taking advantage of incentives like free breakfast, restaurants and shopkeepers selling items like T-shirts, taffy and jewelry say travelers seem to be thinking twice before opening their wallets, if they do at all.

      “They are coming in the door more,” said Belinda Schmitt, the manager of Guertin Brothers Jewelers on Main Street in Hyannis on Cape Cod. “But I am finding that tourists are not interested in buying jewelry as much. We have started carrying jewelry that can maybe more meet the needs of people on a tighter budget.”

    • Beware That New Credit-Card Offer

      Amid all the junk mail pouring into your house in recent months, you might have noticed a solicitation or two for a “professional card,” otherwise known as a small-business or corporate credit card.

      If so, watch out. While Capital One Financial Corp.’s World MasterCard, Citigroup Inc.’s Citibank CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Mastercard and the others might look like typical plastic, they are anything but.

    • Wall Street’s Big Win

      Cue the credits: the era of financial thuggery is officially over. Three hellish years of panic, all done and gone – the mass bankruptcies, midnight bailouts, shotgun mergers of dying megabanks, high-stakes SEC investigations, all capped by a legislative orgy in which industry lobbyists hurled more than $600 million at Congress.

    • Obama’s Old Deal

      The president proudly called the new law “the toughest financial reform since the one we created in the aftermath of the Great Depression.” What Obama left unsaid was that his administration had argued against many of the toughest amendments in the bill. And Wall Street, in the end, didn’t complain about it all that much.

    • Ben Bernanke calls for help to revive the stuttering US economy

      What did the chairman of the Federal Reserve say in Jackson Hole? According to much of the reaction, Ben Bernanke said the “Fed stands by to boost US growth” (FT), or that the “Fed is ready to prop up economy” (NYT) or even that the “Fed stands ready to support recovery” (WSJ).

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Comcast Gets Static on Net TV

      The Justice Department is focusing in on how Comcast Corp.’s bid to purchase control of General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal television and movie unit could affect the emerging Internet video market, people familiar with the matter say.

    • Hulu Explains Why Hulu Plus Shows Ads, Has Limited Content

      If customers don’t find Hulu Plus is worthwhile at $10 a month, especially with Netflix offering considerably more streaming content at $9, maybe Hulu Plus needs more commercials to drive the price lower.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Yet Another Study Says Counterfeit Products Aren’t Really A Problem

      It looks like we’ve got yet another study highlighting exactly the same thing — and this one coming from a guy who is an advisor to the UK government. Gautam John points us to this new bit of research by Professor David Wall which was funded by the EU, which found that counterfeiting isn’t really that big of a problem. The findings were quite similar to the study we reported on last year. It says that there’s a consumer benefit to buying knockoff designer goods, and that the “losses” claimed by companies are way out of line with reality. Furthermore, perhaps most surprisingly, the report says that law enforcement should not waste their time trying to stop the bootleggers. The report also debunks the popular claim from the industry that counterfeit goods fund terrorism and organized crime.

    • In Defense of Links, Part One: Nick Carr, hypertext and delinkification

      There is, I think, nothing unusual about this today. So I was flummoxed earlier this year when Nicholas Carr started a campaign against the humble link, and found at least partial support from some other estimable writers (among them Laura Miller, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Jason Fry and Ryan Chittum). Carr’s “delinkification” critique is part of a larger argument contained in his book The Shallows. I read the book this summer and plan to write about it more. But for now let’s zero in on Carr’s case against links, on pages 126-129 of his book as well as in his “delinkification” post.

    • Copyrights

      • The Beautiful And Talented Janis Ian – The Internet Debacle:An Alternative View

        Janis had posted a long article on copyright titled ‘The Internet Debacle: An Alternative View‘. In this article, and it’s follow up, ‘Fallout: A Follow Up To The Internet Debacle‘, Janis covered many of the same arguments I and others had been making since the copyright debate in Canada started to heat up (note that I am not claiming to be the first to have made these arguments – in fact I came late to the game).

      • The Beautiful And Talented Janis Ian – Fallout: A Follow Up To The Internet Debacle
      • Corporate Copyright Scofflaws 0006 – The RIAA Member Companies

        The largest copyright pirates are the large corporations, particularly in the content distribution business. Yes, those companies who scream the loudest that their customers are ‘pirating’ movies, songs, books, etc. In this series, we are going to look at cases where these companies have engaged in large scale copyright infringement, or in other ways have been ripping off artists.

      • Supreme Court told P2P users can be “innocent infringers”

        wo prominent lawyers in the fight against RIAA P2P lawsuits have taken their battle to the Supreme Court. Today, Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson and “Recording Industry vs. the People” blogger/lawyer Ray Beckerman joined with a few other law professors to ask the Supreme Court not to gut copyright law’s “innocent infringer” defense.

      • Free That Tenor Sax

        The most significant issue for art like the jazz recordings is that they are considered “orphan works,” still under copyright but for which the artist can no longer be located. In 2008, the Senate passed a bill that would limit the copyrights on such orphaned material. Under the bill, if a good-faith but unsuccessful effort is made to locate the owner, someone else can publish the work. An artist who later steps forward is entitled to reasonable compensation but not the heavy damages now in the law.

      • Judge questions Righthaven over R-J copyright suit costs

        A federal judge on Thursday questioned Las Vegas copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC about the litigation costs it’s expecting defendants to pay.

        Righthaven since March has retroactively sued at least 103 website owners around North America after determining copyrights to Las Vegas Review-Journal stories were infringed on, and then obtaining the copyrights to those stories from the Review-Journal’s owner Stephens Media LLC.

      • Google Wins Dismissal of German Suit As YouTube Battles Over Music Videos

        A court declined to issue an emergency order forcing Google Inc. to block German access to some music videos on its YouTube website in a dispute over monitoring files on the Internet.

        Still, the Hamburg Regional Court said it might ultimately rule in favor of a group of music-collecting societies, including the German agency GEMA, if a new suit was filed under standard court procedures.

        The case is part of a dispute over who is responsible for detecting illegal files on YouTube. Google, the owner of the world’s most popular search engine, in June won dismissal of a $1 billion suit brought by Viacom Inc. in a U.S. court for unauthorized use of content from programs on YouTube.

      • Another ISP bucks ‘Hurt Locker’ subpoenas

        In federal court on Monday, Midcontinent Communications filed a motion to quash a subpoena received from Voltage Pictures, the film’s producers, who allege some of the ISP’s customers used peer-to-peer services to pilfer unauthorized copies of its movie. Voltage seeks to require Midcontinent to identify those customers as well as turn over their home addresses, phone numbers, and other data.

        Midcontinent’s lawyers told the court that the subpoena was improperly issued and doesn’t offer to compensate the ISP for gathering the information. In addition, Midcontinent, which has 250,000 customers in North and South Dakota and parts of Minnesota, is skeptical that a U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., where the subpoena was issued, has jurisdiction over it. Midcontinent told the court that its own policy prevents it from providing “customer information to third parties without a valid court order.”

      • Form letter from Heritage Minister James Moore.

        On August 5′th I received an email that was “From: min.moore@pch.gc.ca”. It had no content, but two file attachments – one HTML and one GIF. Thunderbird warned that it was most likely a scam, given this is a common technique used by spammers to avoid SPAM detection software.

        I extracted the file attachments, and I wasn’t all that surprised to learn that it was a form letter originating from the Heritage Minister’s office. This isn’t the most technologically literate Minister or department in Canada, and it was unlikely that ensuring emails wouldn’t be confused as SPAM or scams would be something they would know much about.

      • Mark Waid Defends Pirates, Gets It On With Sergio Aragonés – Oh And Harvey Awards Results Announced

        Mark Waid’s keynote speech at the Harvey Awards at Baltimore Comics Con last night started by pointing out that copyright was all about putting work into the public domain, rather than preserving it for company ownership, and the concept of public domain should be embraced again. That illegal downloading is inevitable leading to a new culture of sharing. Lines such as “culture is more important than copyright” and “there are more ideas in one week at your comic shop than three years in Hollywood.”

      • College Starts With a Fresh Textbook Torrent Site

        Nicely timed at the start of the new college year, a new BitTorrent site dedicated to sharing knowledge in the form of textbooks has surfaced. Torrent My Book – a project run by two college students – aims to become the world’s largest BitTorrent index of textbooks, following in the footsteps of the late TextBookTorrents.

Clip of the Day

YouTube SUCKS…again, and such


Paul Allen’s Patent Troll Obviously Did Not Sue Microsoft, But Why Did Amazon Get a Free Pass?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 10:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bezos gives lecture

Summary: An analysis of what makes Amazon unique in the eyes of Microsoft and its patent trolls; why the Interval Licensing case is unlikely to be settled, just like i4i’s

SOFTWARE patentor Amazon was not sued by Microsoft co-founder, who used his patent troll to sue just about every large Internet company [1, 2, 3]. How come? Well, Amazon and Microsoft are neighbours and Amazon has been getting occupied by former Microsoft employees at the highest levels (no wonder Amazon is now paying Microsoft for GNU/Linux, even for Red Hat servers). Writers are mystified by the fact that Interval did not take on Amazon. At Groklaw, for instance, Pamela Jones’ initial reaction was: “He isn’t suing Microsoft or Amazon. He is suing in addition Facebook, AOL, eBay, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo and YouTube. Because a billion or more is never enough.”

It is similar to what several other people have said, including this blogger:

Allen is one of the world’s richest people, with a fortune that Forbes magazine estimates as over $13 billion.

“This is yet another example of the cynical use of the American legal system to extort money out of successful companies — in the name of protecting innovation and innovators. Shame on Paul Allen for being part of it,” wrote a blogger at the Web site of Forbes Magazine about this almost classic act of patent trolling. It should not be surprising that Microsoft Florian decided to “redefine open standards, redefine troll, redefine democracy,” according to the FFII, which responds to Florian’s latest posts which defends the indefinsible. “Why Paul Allen doesn’t want to be a troll” is the title of that post.

David Kappos recently said that the patent office he runs actually creates jobs. Jones, a paralegal by trade, begged to differ at the time and now she says: “Don’t anyone ever again tell me that patents stimulate the economy and create jobs. They line the pockets of a few, while killing off creative endeavors by everyone else. What jobs are these patents creating? What jobs do any patent trolls’ patents create? Jobs for lawyers, but really, who else?”

Here is another article Jones found about Amazon being excluded from the massive lawsuit (it covers Facebook, which is partly owned by Microsoft):

Patent lawsuit du jour: Paul Allen versus the world (but not Microsoft or Amazon)

[...]

Fortunately, those companies also can afford the legal bills. That may not be the case for many smaller Web sites. So at what point will the chief executives of America take a break from complaining about the “uncertainty” of Washington economic policy to notice the massive uncertainty created by an out-of-control patent system?

A settlement is said not to be likely.

Final point: The vast majority of patent cases settle. Here, however, all of the parties have large amounts of cash-on-hand. In addition, some of the defendants are repeat patent infringement defendants. Those factors tend to make settlement less likely.

i4i is not willing to settle, either. Its people want to bar Microsoft. But Microsoft won’t leave them alone until they run out of money, apparently. Might it reach SCOTUS?

Microsoft has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a $290 million patent ruling in a long-running dispute with i4i Inc. of Toronto over the use of technology known as custom XML in Microsoft Word.

i4i is not a patent troll. Fortunately for us, despite its pro-software patents policy it is causing a lot of damage to Microsoft Office and to OOXML. Microsoft should be sued like this a lot more frequently; maybe then it will decide that software patents are no longer its friend.

Microsoft’s Boosters Continue to Attack Linux/Android and Say Microsoft Loves Open Source

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Kernel, Microsoft, Virtualisation, Windows at 9:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Civil war raid

Summary: The smears and the deception continue to focus on just one weak phone or flawed line of reasoning, all intended to just make Windows look like an ideal host to all software developers

WE CAN’T get a break from FUD, thanks in part to IDG, whose “open source” writers are sometimes people who are fighting against Open Source (as defined by the OSI). We gave a new example yesterday (Microsoft writing for IDG about “FOSS”) and last year we showed fake coverage of open source from an Apple and Microsoft shareholder, Bill Snyder. He is still there writing for IDG and his attacks on FOSS and on Linux carry on as usual. He is now finding a weak Android device (there are almost 100 types) and then extrapolating to the whole of Android (Linux) to say it has “flaws” (there is a more reasonable take for Aero critics). Gartenberg, a former Microsoft AstroTurfer (on the company’s payroll) who occasionally writes for IDG, associated Android with Nazism some weeks ago (he tried to find ‘dirty’ apps, which have nothing to do with Google). Microsoft’s booster Gavin Clarke associated Android with “porn and pirates” (in the headline even) just a few days ago (here is another new example of Clarke’s disdain for Microsoft’s rivals, saying in his headline that “OpenSolaris board commits ritual suicide”).

Stephen Withers, a longtime Microsoft booster at ITWire (Withers keeps posting advertisements like this one), gets around to promoting/advancing Microsoft’s “open source” spin, which is still circulating after it got seeded by Jon Brodkin at IDG (then spun further by IDG [1, 2] by Bort and Shimel). Withers plays along with similar lines to help an “embrace and extend” strategy which marginalises Freedom and GNU/Linux, making “open source” just another class of third-party applications for Windows. To quote part of his spin piece:

Microsoft has released more than 300 projects as open source. Its contribution to existing projects includes 20,000 lines of code submitted to the Linux kernel in the form of device drivers for use with hypervisors.

This was released due to Microsoft's GPL violation, it is just 14,100 lines of code, it is almost tossed out because they have poor stewardship, and it is only used to sell more of Windows and Hyper-V, which is proprietary software. It’s also used for Microsoft’s PR purposes. As for those “300 projects”, they are for Microsoft’s stack. The whole “Microsoft loves open source” nonsense is also ridiculed by Groklaw. Pamela Jones writes: “Oh. ‘Love’ as in marriage of convenience.”

She also links to the “Microsoft Open Source Strategy is Upside Down” article which we cited last week, remarking that “[t]his is the clearest explanation of Microsoft’s hateful Open Source position that I’ve read yet. And I have to inquire: Why is Apache helping them do this?”

Microsoft’s PR moves around ‘open’ take another step with a charm offensive in Slashdot (headlines say “Microsoft’s Security Development Lifecycle under Creative Commons License”). Harish Pillay says: “so what? Needs AgLight. FAIL!”

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