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09.01.10

IRC Proceedings: September 1st, 2010

Posted in News Roundup at 11:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Links 1/9/2010: Linux in Ukraine, ‘Green Party’ of Belgium Moves to GNU/Linux Desktops

Posted in News Roundup at 3:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Aussie gamer loses Playstation court fight

    A gamer who sued Sony over an upgrade that removed functions from his Playstation 3 console has lost a court claim against the company.

    Adelaide man Michael Trebilcock wanted $800 in compensation, claiming the upgrade meant the console could no longer be used as a computer.

  • Ukraine to Create is Own GNU/Linux Distro

    I’ve been writing for a while about Russia’s on-off idea of creating its own GNU/Linux distro. It looks like Ukraine is following suit. Via Google Translate:

    its purpose is to optimize the expenditure of budgetary funds and the solution using unlicensed software in state bodies.

    According to estimates from officials, the savings of switching apparatus to free software can be 87%.

  • Desktop

    • An Application Dock for Linux

      I am a PC, Mac, and Linux user. At night I dual boot between Vista and Ubuntu and during the day I use a Mac almost exclusively. As a result, there are many things I like about using my Mac at work and would not mind seeing them on my home desktop. Since buying a Mac right now for personal use is out of the question I have to make do with what I already have. At any rate, one of the Mac features I actually like is the Dock. For those of you who are not Mac users, the Dock is basically a bar at the bottom of the desktop where application icons can be displayed that will launch the application once clicked on. It’s attractive and useful and I have wanted one on my non-Mac desktops for some time now.

    • My Linux Experience

      Long story short, I use Ubuntu because it was the first distro that actually worked without pulling teeth, and it still works fine for everything I do. I’ve had a few issues with it, I think they push some changes too soon without ironing bugs out – which incidentally is why I don’t use Fedora, I like my stuff to tend towards stability rather than cutting edge. I’ve tried Debian but it seems TOO slow moving. Ubuntu just works, it does everything I want it to, and I have never really been left wanting.

    • Is your company afraid of Linux? (3 of 3)

      Most Linux distributions are free to download and use, although, there are a few Linux enterprise shops that provide licensing and professional support for their product. SUSE (now a division of Novell) and RedHat are two of the most popular. SUSE’s enterprise server license ranges form $400 to $1500. RedHat is anywhere from $400 to $1,200. These license plans “include” professional support anywhere from email-only support to 24×7 phone support. Each license is renewable yearly because of the licenses focus around their professional support plans.

    • BE: Political party moving to a complete open source desktop

      Ecolo, a green political party in Belgium, is planning to complete its move to a complete open source desktop system by the end of 2011. On the 220 workstations in its main office, it will gradually replace the underlying operating system to Ubuntu Linux, says Sebastien Bollingh, the party’s ICT manager.

  • Google

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE SC 4.5 Falls Short

        It’s great that the new focus has been on solidifying the desktop, but with new regressions and no major must-have features to make this release worthwhile, I simply can’t recommend it in its current state. For now, I recommend sticking with KDE 4.4 for the time being and blocking this release if your distribution allows it. I’m confident though that future point releases will solidify KDE 4.5, and when that happens I may consider taking another look.

      • Reviewed: KDE 4.5

        Trepidation. That about sums up the feeling of upgrading to a new version of KDE. You want to like it, but are afraid that whatever has been fixed will be counterbalanced by something rather sucky. This version of KDE has seen 16,022 bugs fixed and 1,723 new feature requests added, so the balance is in favour of not-sucky. Or is it?

        For the most part, the improvements in this version of KDE aren’t the things that you see, but the things that you don’t see any longer. Chief among the long list of user grievances in 4.4 was the behaviour of system notifications – no longer. Now the notifications look better and don’t clog up the screen for 10 minutes every time you try to copy a file somewhere it can’t fit.

        [...]

        Our Verdict: Now with less suck, the 4.x series moves from being merely usable to almost desirable. 8/10

      • KDE and the Masters of the Universe – 2010-08-31

        This week on KDEMU, Paul sends a shout-out, Gamaral sends a shout-out and Jeff sends a shout-out right after sharing what Amarok, KDE Sysadmin and CampKDE are all about.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • A Good Reason to Use PCLinuxOS 2010

        CFS trades higher kernel overhead for maximizing interactive performance. On mobile devices, the higher overhead means running the processor at higher speeds, which builds more heat. Heat is the enemy of every mobile device.

        For a bit of background, Con Koliva developed the Rotating Staircase Deadline scheduler, which inspired Ingo Molnar to develop CFS. Seeing the problems with CFS, Con Koliva designed BFS (Brain Fucked Scheduler), an expression of how he felt about writing yet another scheduler. Con Koliva designed BFS for those devices with less than 16 cores, which, to the best of my knowledge, covers all mobile devices, and older non-mobile desktops.

        Although it first appeared in September of 2009, there was not an immediate rush to switch from CFS to BFS. Android has a development branch that includes BFS. It was not included in the Froyo (Android 2.2) release, as a customer survey did not show any differences. At this time, only Zenwalk 6.4 and PCLinuxOS 2010 use BFS as the default scheduler. As it matures, you may see BFS appear in other mobile projects, such as MeeGo.

      • PCLinuxOS
    • Gentoo Family

    • Red Hat Family

      • You can help the defenders.

        Here’s a brief snippet of what I wrote to the advisory-board list this morning:

        Red Hat Legal provides numerous services as counsel to the Fedora community, including defending Fedora trademarks against possible encroachment. Occasionally, people who have no connection to our community attempt to use the Fedora trademark to signify business efforts that have no connection to the Fedora Project, our distribution, or the Fedora community. Red Hat Legal is currently working on just such a defense. They’ve asked me to pass on a request for assistance in gathering physical evidence of our use of the Fedora logo worldwide prior to January 30, 2007.

      • Today: Open Your World webcast with Stefan Lindegaard on the Open Innovation Revolution
      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • A day of failure with Debian

        The Broadcom driver has been annoying me since I got the ProBook. The only distro on which I managed to manually install it is Fedora. On Ubuntu, I now connect to the Internet using my ZTE MF110 modem and use Hardware Drivers (jockey?) to automatically install it. On a side note, I couldn’t do that with Kubuntu, because KNetworkManager is too buggy to let me connect to networks that do not support 2G data (which Digi Mobil Romania is).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 208

          Hot on the heels of the announcement of the Natty Narwhal, I am tickled pink to announce the details of the next Ubuntu Developer Summit taking place in Orlando, USA from 25th – 29th October 2010. We also have a brand new Ubuntu Developer Summit website which provides all the details about how to get there and why UDS is interesting if you are in our community, if you are an upstream, and if you are a vendor.

        • Default Wallpaper for Ubuntu 10.10 – Looks Like the Inside of a Barf Bag

          I made no secret of my dislike for the “Aubergine” wallpaper in Ubuntu 10.04. If you had asked me when that was released if I thought Ubuntu/Canoncial could come up with something worse, I would have said no.

          Unfortunately, I would have been wrong. Ubuntu has revealed the default wallpaper for their 10.10 release. I swear to you, it looks like the inside of a barf bag. Every time I look at it, I get a very strong urge to contribute more to that bag… Take a look for yourself. Read the comments. Ugh. Bletch.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Reviewed: Linux Mint 9 KDE

            Despite this, Mint is up there with Kubuntu as a coherent KDE desktop. If you’ve used Gnome Mint, but fancy lots of apps with a capitalised K in the name, this is the logical choice.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Palm Reveals webOS 2.0 SDK Beta

        Palm released new information on webOS 2.0, the Linux-based mobile OS that powers the Palm Pre and Pixi.

        The announcement highlighted 7 core features new to webOS 2.0. It’s confirmed that webOS 2.0 will feature multi-tasking in the form of Stacks. Stacks groups related applications into fanned stacks similar to a deck of cards, reducing clutter. webOS 2.0 automatically groups similar applications together, but it’s possible to manually group applications as well.

      • WebOS 2.0 Pushed to Developers
    • Tablets

      • Hands-On With Stream TV’s Surprising, Open Source-Friendly Tablet

        If anyone unseats the iPad, the victor might be the one that doesn’t try to beat Apple at its own game. We checked out Stream TV’s eLocity Android tablet first-hand, and this plucky contender may put up a serious fight.

        To say that the eLocity A7 isn’t going directly head to head with the iPad isn’t to say that it’s not out to impress. The solidly built 7-inch tablet is powered by NVIDIA’s beefy, dual core Tegra 2 processor, will run Froyo out of the box and is capable of outputting a plethora of formats at 1080p via an included HDMI cable.

Free Software/Open Source

  • XBMC 10.0 Beta 1 features new Add-ons system

    XBMC 10.0 Beta 1 is available to download from one of the project’s mirrors. XBMC source code is hosted on SourceForge and is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The most recent stable release is version 9.11 from the end of December, 2009.

  • Time for IBM to become an open source hero

    I’m not asking IBM to do something against its interests here. Quite the contrary. It is very much in IBM’s own interest that it step up and lead the open source movement. That’s something IBM representatives have been telling their customers and business partners for some time, that you give in order to get.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox’s New “JaegerMonkey” JavaScript Engine is Revving Up, About 20% Faster Already

        Firefox 4.0 is probably going to be one among the most important release Mozilla team has ever made. Competition is breathing down its neck like never before. Even IE, in its latest avatar(read IE9) is fast becoming a better piece of software. Mozilla’s answer to all this lies in upcoming Firefox 4.0. Already a lot of improvements have been made. But the biggest change is going to be the the new JavaScript engine called “JaegerMonkey”.

  • Databases

    • Famous Online Game and Online Word Processor use CUBRID Database

      Today is a Big day at Naver.com, Korea’s No.1 Search Portal with 34 million subscribers and 17 million daily unique visotors. Today Naver launches its new Online Word Processor Service backed up by CUBRID Database Server in an Open Beta state. The Word Processor service runs on CUBRID 2008 R2.2 with High-Availability feature ON. There is an approximate estimate that CUBRID Database will be process several million batch requests every day.

    • EnterpriseDB: Open Source Database Attracts More Funding

      EnterpriseDB, which provides enterprise-level open source PostgreSQL database services, has announced its completed a round of funding, adding KT (formerly Korea Telecom) and TransLink Capital to its list of investors. Here’s the story.

      While the company didn’t disclose the financial terms of the investments, EnterpriseDB’s press release says that TransLink Capital co-founder Jay Eum has joined their Board of Directors. At TransLink, Eum is also responsible for managing investments in companies like Carbonite and XSigo, so he has experience in the IT space.

  • CMS

    • Drupal Releases New Code of Conduct

      Drupal released its new Code of Conduct on Monday with the intention of preserving the community and environment that has sprung around the open source content management system.

      “The new Drupal Code of Conduct states our shared ideals with respect to conduct. Think of this as coding standards for people,” Moshe Weitzman said in the announcement on Drupal’s website.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Interview with Bradley Kuhn of the GNOME Advisory Board

      At that time, Richard Stallman asked me to remain on the GNOME advisory board as a volunteer, primarily to provide ongoing continuity to FSF’s representation on the Advisory Board. From 2005-2010, that position was in fact the only official duty that I carried out for FSF. But, as a side point, non-profits are very different from for-profits in this regard; it’s quite common for important roles to be held by volunteers. Since non-profits operate in the public good, many experienced professionals are willing to give their time without compensation.

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Holy Smokes! At 5.2 GHz IBM Chip is Super Fast

    IBM today announced that it has developed a computer chip that has a record-breaking clock speed of 5.2 GHz. The chip — dubbed z196 processor — is going to be used in a new IBM mainframe system, the zEnterprise 196. IBM developed the chip for big honking computers whose primary job is to crunch copious amounts of data, especially for banks and retailers who are seeing a big shift in their business with the rise of mobile.

  • Science

    • Announcing PLoS Blogs

      Today we are pleased to announce the launch of PLoS Blogs a new network for discussing science in public; covering topics in research, culture, and publishing.

      PLoS Blogs is different from other blogging networks, because it includes an equal mix of science journalists and scientists. We’re excited to be welcoming our new bloggers, including Pulitzer Prize winner Deborah Blum to the network.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Will we ever recover from the financial crisis?

      Well, define recovery. If recovery is getting back to the low unemployment levels that preceded the crisis, then no, we might not ever recover. If recovery is just getting back to some more normal-looking growth and job numbers, it’s still going to take a very long time.

    • Obama says reviving economy the most urgent task

      President Barack Obama says his central responsibility as president is to restore the nation’s fragile economy and to help put the millions of people who lost jobs back to work.

    • 10 bailed-out banks spent $16.3M lobbying in 1H

      The 10 banks that received the most bailout aid during the financial crisis spent over $16 million on lobbying efforts in the first half of 2010, as the debate over financial regulatory reform reached its height.

    • Fed officials discussed further stimulus steps

      Federal Reserve officials signaled at their August meeting that they would consider going beyond a modest program to purchase government debt if necessary to boost the economy.

    • SEC says it lacked authority to charge Moody’s

      The Securities and Exchange Commission has declined to seek fraud charges against Moody’s Investors Services over its ratings of risky investments that led to the financial crisis.

      But the SEC said it decided against seeking civil charges only because it determined it lacked authority to charge a foreign affiliate of Moody’s.

    • Tradition ends: No Michigan state fair this year

      Rabbit breeder Rob Usakowski typically spends the week before Labor Day helping his daughters show their Jersey Woolies and Holland Lops at the Michigan State Fair.

      This year, he and his family are home after Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm canceled the fair, saying debt-ridden Michigan could no longer afford to subsidize it. Granholm’s decision makes Michigan the only Midwestern state and one of few nationwide without a state fair.

    • Hands off Social Security

      The White House deficit commission is reportedly considering deep benefit cuts for Social Security, including a steep rise in the retirement age. We cannot let that happen.

      The deficit and our $13 trillion national debt are serious problems that must be addressed. But we can — and must — address them without punishing America’s workers, senior citizens, the disabled, widows and orphans.

    • Source: JPMorgan Chase halting proprietary trading

      JPMorgan Chase & Co. is shutting down its proprietary trading desks and eliminating around 80 jobs to comply with new restrictions on investment banks, a source familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

      The source spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because JPMorgan Chase isn’t formally announcing the move.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Ecommerce directive: EU Commission sneaks out filtering review

      The review of the E-commerce Directive asks whether network filtering can be effective and whether there are liability issues for “web 2.0 and cloud computing”. Given that it is under the remit of the French Commissioner, Michel Barnier, how are we to read this strange approach to a consultation which specifically does NOT want to hear the citizen perspective?

      In the middle of the summer holidays, when few were around to notice it, the European Commision has sneaked out a highly controversial review of the Ecommerce directive. The review is consulting on the use of Internet filtering and monitoring and search engine linking. It appears to have been influenced by the pharmaceutical, luxury goods and copyright industries. And in a move that is sure to inflame the user community, the Commission has specifically ruled out responses from citizens’ groups and NGOs.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Does Steven Levitan Also Want A Cut Every Time You Buy A TV?

      We recently wrote about how TV producer Steven Levitan was publicly complaining that content creators deserve a cut of any IPO proceeds that Hulu gets, if it does go public. We pointed out what a ridiculous sense of entitlement was involved in such a sentiment, but rather than back down, Levitan is apparently only just beginning. The Hollywood Reporter interviewed him about his views on this, and he simply kept on repeating the same ridiculous concept that as a content producer he somehow deserves the money that Hulu makes. He also complains that TV companies should either keep shows offline under the false belief that TV shows are less likely to be pirated (no, stop laughing, he’s serious) and that if they must go online, they should include all of the commercials seen on TV. Because, apparently, recognizing that you’re dealing with people watching shows under very different circumstances and in very different ways apparently has not occurred to Levitan.

    • Copyrights

      • If Fashion Copyright Harms So Many, Why Is Congress Pushing For It?

        It’s even worse than that, actually. In many cases, there are plenty of us willing to speak up about the harm caused by greater protectionism, and the vast amounts of actual evidence and research showing how these policies are inherently going to do more harm than good — but very few people in Congress listen. Why? Because the industry has done a rather impressive targeted PR job of branding anyone who actually presents evidence and facts about the harm done by copyright law as simply supporting “piracy,” which then gets lumped in with all sorts of other awful things. It’s really a shame.

      • Introducing Copyright
      • Edwyn Collins stopped from sharing his music online

        he Scottish star’s manager has criticised MySpace and Warner Music for not allowing the singer to stream A Girl Like You, claiming he didn’t own the copyright

      • ACTA

        • It´s a bird, it´s a plane… no it’s “ACTA light”.

          Today in the European Parliament in Brussels Luc Devigne from DG Trade briefed the International Trade Commission in a closed door meeting on the latest round of the ACTA negotiations. He gave the impression that thanks to the EU many things were being “scaled back” to calm the worries of citizens and certain industries such as Internet Service providers or generic medicine producers.

          He insisted that lots of progress was made in DC on most topics and that now the text was “less complicated”. At the same time he stated that there was a still a “long way to go” to bridge the gap between the US and the EU on issues of scope of rights covered in border measures (EU broader, US narrower), geographical indications, industrial design and border measures concerning not only import but affecting goods being exported and in transit. The US only wants trademarks, and copyright in border measures that will be limited to imports (as established in TRIPS), while the EU wants this extended At the same time he repeated that all patents were out of border measures and criminal sanctions and that nothing in ACTA would affect “access to medicine.”

Clip of the Day

Object Oriented Programming


Credit: TinyOgg

Microsoft Boosters of Software Patents in Linux/UNIX Sued for Patent Violation

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, UNIX at 11:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Centrify

Summary: Centrify and Likewise get sued, having attempted to outdo Free software by faking it and adding software patents to it

TO FREE SOFTWARE, THE BIGGEST patent problem (as far as software companies are concerned) is Microsoft, not Apple or IBM (here is a new analysis about Oracle). Microsoft has already grown some patent tentacles, which include patent trolls like Paul Allen and several offshoots created by former Microsoft staff. Two such Microsoft-affiliated software patents proponents put patents in UNIX and Linux. They are called Centrify [1, 2, 3] and Likewise [1, 2, 3, 4], which are merely a nuisance to Samba. It’s probably obvious that Samba is strongly against software patents (it was an early adopted of GPLv3), unlike those Microsoft patents boosters who are only good at publicity and faking “open source” (Likewise falsely markets itself as “open source” when it's actually 'open' core, i.e. proprietary).

We are somewhat pleased to see Centrify and Likewise getting sued for patent violations as they very much deserve it for their stance on software patents (which hopefully they will rethink now). Quest Software has just sued them both.

Aliso Viejo-based Quest Software has sued competitors Centrify Corp. and Likewise Software, Inc., the firm said late Friday, claiming that the two firms infringe on one of its patents, U.S. Patent No. 7,617,501. According to Quest, the patent covers the extension of Windows Group Policy into Unix, Linux, Mac, and other non-Windows computer systems. Quest said it is seeking damages and injunctive relief from Centrify and Likewise.

Centrify, which accumulated patent monopolies, is using its software patents to sue back [1, 2, 3].

This is in response to a patent infringement lawsuit that was recently filed by Quest against Centrify and another software company.

Centrify alleges that Quest Authentication Services infringes its US Patent 7,591,005, a key technology of Centrify DirectControl that facilitates the capability for UNIX and Linux service accounts and root accounts to be authenticated within a centralised directory.

They are battling over Microsoft protocols. It’s another reason to avoid Mono and Moonlight, for example.

“Every line of code that is written to our standards is a small victory; every line of code that is written to any other standard, is a small defeat.”

James Plamondon, Microsoft Technical Evangelist. From Exhibit 3096; Comes v. Microsoft litigation [PDF]

Microsoft Lobbyists Continue to Push for Software Patents in Europe (Transforming Government) to Tax Linux

Posted in Deception, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, RAND at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jonathan Zuck finger in nose

Summary: Microsoft wants European GNU/Linux users to pay through the nose, but first it needs to use lobbyists like Zuck (above) to change the law in Europe, by pretending to speak for small businesses

TALKSTANDARDS.COM AND OTHER LOBBYISTS of Microsoft’s interests in Europe (including ACT and Microsoft Florian for example) lobby for RAND or defend the practice of RAND, knowing damn well that it is not compatible with Linux and therefore can justify ‘Linux tax’ over there (this issue was covered in the previous post). The RAND lobby from the usual suspects even spawns public events where the purpose is probably to sway politicians and change the law (ACT does this a lot, with Microsoft funding). There is nothing more abhorrent than lobbying to change laws by foreign companies such as Microsoft. As FFII has just put it, ‘Would you let this person “transform” your “government”?’

“It is wrong to corrupt foreign governments”
      –FFII
“Transformational government means hostile takeover,” says FFII at Twitter. “How dare you transform our government? Transform yourself!”

Citing unjust clauses in ACTA, the FFII says that “It is wrong to corrupt foreign governments” (that’s what Microsoft is doing in Europe right now).

Microsoft’s co-founder Paul Allen, who keeps pretending to do charity (another bogus publicity stunt), has just officially become a patent troll who uses software patents to harm large businesses. The ‘Microsoft press’ says in a blog’s headline that “Paul Allen Needs More Money” (Microsoft Florian seemingly defends this man and the Microsoft-funded pressure group ACT pretends that SMBs benefits from all that).

Katherine Noyes has just explained why “Software Patents Hurt Everyone, But Especially SMBs”:

Taken together, all this recent legal action provides a vivid illustration of many of the problems plaguing the U.S. patent system today. Software patents do far more harm than good to both the industry and consumers, and they put small and medium-sized businesses at a particular disadvantage.

Watch the lawyers fight back with their self-serving lies. It didn’t even take long.

Using the Paul Allen litigation as a hook, a piece entitled “Software patents hurt everyone, but especially SMBs”, written by PC World’s Katherine Noyes, rehashes a lot of the old arguments made against software patents. It’s a remarkably unsurprising piece that adds nothing to the debate.

Watch them just shoot the messenger claiming that a dosage of reality “adds nothing to the debate.” This site is run by patent lawyers, so nobody should be surprised by this reaction.

Should policy about software not be written for software developers with consultation from them? Why should foreign monopolies, their lobbyists, and their lawyers hijack the system?

Microsoft Uses Linux to ‘Succeed’

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung, Search at 11:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Meerkat

Summary: Microsoft uses Linux-powered phones not just to make income (patent tax) but also to spread Microsoft propaganda, which includes Linux insults

REDMOND-BASED PARASITE MICROSOFT is losing its ability to compete online and to compete in mobile, including tablets. What does it do? It extorts Linux, which increasingly leads the way in these two strategic areas. Here is another Samsung/Android phone for Microsoft to make money from owing to patent extortion (patents never named) and another HTC EVO 4G clone will receive similar treatment. It’s just a Verizon Android rumuor at this moment, just like the old rumour that Microsoft paid Verizon half a billion dollars to force all customers to use Bong [sic] ‘search’ [1, 2] — a ‘search’ which is prefiltered to yield Linux-hostile results. Microsoft loves to spit in the well. Oh, well…

Now that Microsoft is shoving Bong [sic] into Android phones, Tim from OpenBytes responds as follows:

It comes as no surprise to me when we learn that Bing now has an Android app. Microsoft really wants you using its search decision engine and if that means putting it on an massively popular Android platform (which they are starting to make money from via “deals” with HTC et al) then so be it.

The author acquired an HTC phone just days before Microsoft declared that it had successfully extorted HTC and will therefore be paid by HTC for Linux, per unit. To Microsoft it’s important to ‘tax’ mobile Linux because shipment volume there is far greater than on the desktop. The way it’s done is akin to racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

Let’s remember this next time Microsoft says it “love” Open Source. Who doesn’t “love” to extort and exploit things? Linux is working pretty well for Microsoft, as long as Microsoft uses invisible software patents to claim to be the owner of Linux.

Links 1/9/2010: Chakra 0.2.0, Ksplice Free for Fedora

Posted in News Roundup at 8:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Journal Insider – October 2010
  • Software and licensing requirements for vCloud Director

    I personally welcome the fact that vCloud Director is based on Linux.

  • So Apple’s live streaming to everyone tomorrow…except Windows and Linux users.
  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • ZFS as a Linux kernel module
    • Torvalds Causes Mob Scene at LinuxCon Brazil

      The Linux Foundation today kicked off its two-day debut of LinuxCon Brazil. Attendees got a rare opportunity to see both Linus Torvalds and Andrew Morton on stage, together, and in person. Based on this snapshot from Intel’s Dirk Hohndel, I think attendees were very excited about that opportunity.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.5: Your New Desktop Awaits

        Not only is KDE 4.5 a far superior desktop to its predecessor, I would go as far to say that it has finally surpassed 3.5 in both usability and performance. That’s a bold statement considering how the desktop has evolved.

        But what have the developers done to make 4.5 so much better than that all other iterations in the 4.x branch? What they did was work some serious developer Kung Fu. The difference between 4.4 and 4.5 is very noticable. Let’s take a look at some figures from the KDE bug statics:

        * 16022 bugs fixed
        * 1723 feature requests filled

  • Distributions

    • Will Google’s Chrome OS Be a Huge Hit?

      Back in April of 2008, I wrote about a small company working with Google and delivering a PC running a Googleized version of the Linux Operating System. Notably, that company is still around while similar attempts in the end-user Linux arena such as Jolicloud are getting much more press.

      Many, back then, mistakenly took the gOS name as the Google Operating System. It actually stood for Green Operating System (and apparently is now a Linux build called the Good Operating System).

      Google is expected to introduce the Chrome OS in the fourth quarter of this year and there have already been a variety of leaks pointing to hardware displaying the product. Google also owns Android which is already a rapidly growing hit in the mobile market. One Google employee commented recently that, at some point, the two projects by Google will likely converge.

    • Chakra

      • Chakra 0.2.0
      • Chakra GNU/Linux 0.2.0 Screenshots

        This recent release of Chakra GNU/ Linux, codenamed ‘Jaz’, provides users with many new features. Chakra 0.2.0 features the Linux kernel 2.6.33.7 with LZMA support, KDE SC 4.4.5, X.Org 1.7.7, access to 5670 software packages, a new cinstall multi-tool for creating and managing bundles and packages and many other enhancements. Read the official release announcement for details. I found several useful applications setup and ready to go including K3B burning, Bluedevil bluetooth management and Bangarang for connecting to media and TV.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Ganart Technologies Builds Financial Transaction Cloud on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

        Ganart endeavors to bring consumable banking to the masses by developing software and systems in a cloud that offers its customers consistency with their financial services from end to end. When it first began developing these systems, Ganart built a datacenter based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system.

      • Increased Clientele for Red Hat

        A leading provider of open source solutions, Red Hat Inc. (RHT – Snapshot Report) continues to support organizations with a varied business demand in the Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. IT based organizations are aggressively adopting Red Hat’s open solutions and Virtualization technology to grow their businesses.

      • Fedora

        • Ksplice Now Free for Fedora Users

          Ksplice, the technology that allows Linux kernel updates without a reboot, is now free for users of the Fedora distribution. Using Ksplice is like “replacing your car’s engine while speeding down the highway”, and it can potentially save your Linux systems from a lot of downtime. Since Fedora users often live on the bleeding edge of Linux development, Ksplice makes it even easier to do so, and without reboots!

        • A story about updates and people

          A bit of discussion about update policy in Fedora has been brewing lately and I’ve been reading and thinking (and stewing and moaning and wringing my hands) about the discussion a lot.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian developer Frans Pop passes away

        Early in 2006, he became the release manager for the Debian Installer project, taking over from veteran Joey Hess.

        According to the Debian project, Frans was a maintainer of several packages, a supporter of the S/390 port, and one of the most involved members of the Debian Installer team.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Get the Linux Mint GNOME Menu in Ubuntu

          Ubuntu is far and wide the most popular Linux distrobution, although Mint certainly has its advantages for beginners, such as the menu organization. Ubuntu Forums member KdotJ shows us how to add Mint’s GNOME menu to your Ubuntu desktop.

        • Ubuntu for Non-Geeks
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linksys WRT160NL

      Linux-based and with a decent set of features, this wireless router supports many new technologies, and can be quite exciting. It includes Wireless-N, detachable antennae, USB and third-party firmware support. The last bit here would arouse the enthusiast inside you, but can this make for the area where it comes up short?

    • Asus RT-N16

      Like motherboards, the hardware Asus is known for making, you can use many different third-party router operating systems (aka firmware) on the RT-N16. Equipped with an overclockable 480Mhz CPU and 128MB of RAM, the router performed great in our trials when it was running DD-WRT, one of the most well-known Linux-based open-source router firmware options.

    • Navigation display SoC gains Linux development support

      Lineo Solutions and Timesys have collaborated on a new LinuxLink subscription supporting the 500MHz Renesas SH7724 SoC (system on chip). The Timesys LinuxLink subscription supports Renesas’ SH7724-based MS774 development board and offers a Linux 2.7.33.6 kernel, drivers for touchscreens and other peripherals, plus the usual LinuxLink tools and services.

    • Phones

      • Ready or not: how mobiles became so much more than just phones

        Powerful operating systems such as Android have allowed developers to increase mobile phones’ potential to become all-round portable communication devices. Being lost is impossible with the latest mobiles and you can already get applications that use a mobile’s GPS receiver to find your nearest pubs, cash machines and hospitals. That information can then be routed through another application that will show you a map to get to your destination. All of that on top of the social networking, the newspapers you can download and the life organising you can do – all on the move.

      • Android

        • Android Fork Brings Froyo To 12 Smartphones

          The CyanogenMod team uses an instance of Google’s gerrit tool for code review and patch submission, helping make this former backport of Android 1.6 to T-Mobile’s G1 into thriving development for the G1/MyTouch/MyTouch 1.2, Droid, Nexus One, HTC Aria, HTC Desire, HTC Evo 4G (minus 4G and HDMI output), Droid Incredible, and MyTouch Slide. HTC Hero (including Droid Eris) are coming soon for 6.0, with Samsung Galaxy S devices expected to be supported in 6.1.

        • ViewSonic ViewPad 7 official: Android 2.2 and ‘full’ phone functionality

          We know you’re positively giddy with excitement to get at this OlivePad rebadge and ViewSonic is today fanning those flames of desire with a little bit of pre-IFA PR. Made official today, the 7-inch ViewPad 7 will try to lure in Android lovers with its tasty Froyo parfait, underpinned by hardware that includes front- and back-facing cameras, 3G for both phone and data transmissions, and a full-sized SIM slot.

        • Hands On With Stream TV’s Surprising, Open Source-Friendly Tablet

          To say that the eLocity A7 isn’t going directly head to head with the iPad isn’t to say that it’s not out to impress. The solidly-built 7″ tablet is powered by nVidia’s beefy, dual core Tegra 2 processor, will run Froyo out of the box, and is capable of outputting a plethora of formats at 1080p via an included HDMI cable. Eye catching stats. When the eLocity team stopped by our offices, they were sure to tout its media muscle, showing off some truly impressive HD content stored on the diminutive tab, through either 4 GB of internal storage or Micro SD.

        • Archos adding a slew of Android tablets including the 101

          With two Archos 5 tablets in my rearview mirror, I am definitely looking forward to the new 101. The nomenclature is shorthand for the 10.1″ screen with 1024×600 resolution.

        • Motorola Charm Rooted!
        • Motorola launches three new Android devices

          The MING devices from Motorola are touch smartphones, with a transparent flip-screen to protect its touch surface. The devices have run on a home brewed Linux based operating system up until now, but Motorola has just announced three new MING phones, all running on Android.

        • Apple’s App Store Vs Android App Store

          Apple’s app store is well equipped with 250,000 apps and 70% apps from them are supplied purely through payment. Whereas, Android’s apps 64 % of the 95,000 are supplied at free of cost from Google’s Android market.

          [...]

          vAndroid is at present not having any approval process and this creating a chance for the hobbyist apps to float on the Android. Also, Android encourages its developers to use open-source and Linux platform. This is another primary reason for the apps availability at free of cost in Google’s Android market.

        • Android Apps Mostly Free, iPhone Apps Mostly Paid
        • Apps: why free rules on Android, paid rules on iPhone

          [O]n Apple’s App Store, roughly 70 per cent of the apps are paid while on Android Market, it’s almost exactly the other way around, with 64 per cent free apps.

        • Indian eCommerce Leader Adopts Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

          Of course, the other major selling point for many buyers will be this phone’s OS. It runs on Google’s Android 1.6 system, which is user friendly and open-source. The fact that it’s open source opens up the playing field to developers who might not otherwise have the financial muscle to develop their apps from the ground up. That means more apps for the user. Android has been around since 2008 but it’s only in the past 12 months that growing support from developers and handset makers has prompted some commentators to claim it poses a serious threat to Apple’s iPhone iOS dynasty.

        • Red Hat Outlines Its Cloud Strategy

          Last week open source software vendor Red Hat (RHT) laid out its vision for a comprehensive Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution as a part of its Cloud Foundations.

    • Sub-notebooks

    • Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source tools at heart of DARPA’s virtual satellite network

    next stage of development for the military’s advanced virtual satellite system that promises to replace monolithic spacecraft with clusters of wirelessly-interconnected spacecraft modules.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Healthcare/Biology

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • FooPlug

      Set up your own plug computer to run GNU social — we built one, and called it the FooPlug.

  • Project Releases

    • CEDET 1.0 adds IDE features to Emacs

      Version 1.0 of CEDET – a “Collection of Emacs Development Environment Tools” – has been released and brings to the Emacs editor features typically found in Integrated Development Environments such as project management, smart code completion and help, symbol reference analysis, code generation, advanced code browsing and UML diagramming. The features are ones that “developers have come to expect from an editor” say CEDET’s developers and are focused on, but not restricted to, C and C++ development. For example, the completion engine is generic and can work with any language which has an appropriate parser; a per-language support matrix shows which features are supported with which languages.

    • Lightspark 0.4.4 open source Flash player released

      The Lightspark project has released version 0.4.4 of its free, open source Flash player. The latest version of the alternative Flash Player implementation includes a number of bug fixes and several new features.

    • Introducing fise, the Open Source RESTful Semantic Engine

      As a member of the IKS european project Nuxeo contributes to the development of an Open Source software project named fise whose goal is to help bring new and trendy semantic features to CMS by giving developers a stack of reusable HTTP semantic services to build upon.

    • Open Source Digital Voice Codec

      It is released under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL).

  • Government

    • The future of the government forges

      It sounds obvious, but the idea remains revolutionary. For the first time, there would be a single repository for source code that could be shared between the hundreds of agencies, commands, and programs in DOD. Developers would be able to share their work in a familiar, web-based environment. A previous version of forge.mil was pulled for unknown reasons, but the current iteration is based on the TeamForge product from CollabNet. If you’ve used SourceForge, you get the idea. The DOD is the largest consumer, and one of the largest developers of software in the world. Much of this software is redundant, locked up by vendors and integrators, can’t work with other software, and nobody remembers how to maintain it. There’s no doubt forge.mil was long overdue.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Four Freedoms of Free Culture

      This has led to a proliferation of harmful and incompatible CC-NC and CC-ND licensed works, mistakenly labeled “Free.” Mako Hill points out that while Creative Commons pursued its goal of “Balance, compromise, and moderation,” it failed to define or defend any core freedoms. Indeed, there seems to be no concern about what the “Free” in Free Culture means. To most it means, “slightly less restrictive than modern copyright.” Even so, most CC licenses are more restrictive than pre-1970′s copyright (because modern copyright’s extended terms and more draconian punishments for infringements still apply).

    • Open Source Education: Free Textbook Archive
    • Cassidy: Former Sun chief Scott McNealy’s better idea for school textbooks

      Curriki has a start and a long way to go. Jones says college professors, teachers and authors have uploaded 38,000 educational pieces to the site, www.curriki.org. It has about 135,000 registered users. No question the site needs to become easier to navigate, Jones and McNealy acknowledge. And despite the volume of contributions, there are considerable gaps for those looking for a complete K-12 experience.

    • CSR and Innovation Part III: Open Source

      More importantly open source proponents argue that opening the field up to the global population of software innovators allows for more brain power than keeping it ensconced in the limited framework of proprietary secrecy. This results in an overall better product as the aggregation of creative minds is more expansive. It also means speedier resolutions of software glitches. (Indeed, in one of the most secretive arenas of software development – quantitative trading – many have warned about the alarming number of simple coding errors such as the one responsible for the “flash crash” on May 6, 2010).

    • Interview With Jean-Claude Bradley – The Impact of Open Notebook Science

      And in the spirit of the open source software movement, he reached out to the wider scientific community in 2008, launching a crowd-sourcing project called the Open Notebook Science Challenge. “We have drawn up a list of different compounds and solvents that are priorities and students are asked to measure their solubility,” he says.

    • Open Hardware

      • Now, open source hardware

        The concept of open source is now generally well understood in relation to software, but can it be extended in a clear-cut manner to hardware too?

        Yes, say a group of open source hardware enthusiasts, who have been working on the draft version of a definition of open source hardware. They hope to finalise it at a summit, scheduled for September in New York.

        Open source in the context of software implies not only the free availability of source code, but also the freedom to modify and redistribute it. The concept has widened and is being applied in other domains too.

      • How My Dad Is Trying to Save the World With Open-Source Machinery

        But don’t take my word for it; go through the slideshow below, which was prepared for Maker Faire Africa and which describes four the four core interrelated machines, which can be used in everything from a village blacksmithy to a full-scale factory or trade school. The best part? Dad’s giving them away — this is an entirely open-source project. The problem? Getting people in the NGO/development community to even understand what a machine tool is and why one would be valuable. If you can help spread the word, please do! His contact info and links to more information are in the slideshow, so please check it out.

  • Programming

    • Rails 3: New release completes integratation of Merb

      The Rails inventor said that more than 1600 contributors submitting thousands of commits over about two years have jointly made Rails “better, faster, cleaner, and more beautiful”. New features include a router which allows declarations that are based on the REST (Representational State Transfer) architecture and an interface to simplify the addition and management of plug-ins. Overall, the new Rails is considerably more modular than previous versions and more dependency agnostic, allowing developers to easily use Test::Unit, Prototype or DataMapper and other libraries instead of Rails’ default libraries.

    • ★ On Copyright Aggregation

      Communities whose members are termed “contributors” rather than “members” or “participants” may well be unequal places where your interests are subsidiary to those of the copyright owner. They are often dominated by users and fans of the software rather than by co-developers, since the inequality makes it hard-to-impossible for a genuine co-developer to align any fragment of their interests on equal terms. Indeed, this inequality is seen by some dual-license proponents as one of the attractions of the model as they seek a community of enthusiasts and (hopefully) customers that they can exploit without competition.

    • R-evolutionizing Predictive Analytics – New Market Report Published

      The R open-source data mining language is quickly becoming the lingua franca of the budget-constrained data analyst who wants to harness the power of predictive analysis without a steep, complex, and expensive learning curve. Taking advantage of a gap in the market, Revolution Analytics was formed to commercialize R and raise its applicability in commercial settings.

    • August 30, 2010
      Open Source R Language Could Revolutionize Business Intelligence

      The R programming language could be coming to a workplace near you — if it hasn’t arrived already. The big deal about R is that it can analyze Big Data, those exploding data sets that have traditionally defied analysis.

      R is the brainchild of Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman (known as “R” and “R”), academics at the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Since Ihaka and Gentleman wrote the original R paper in 1993, R has become the lingua franca of analytic statistics among students, scientists, programmers and data managers.

Leftovers

  • Only Some Conspiracy Theories Welcome at Huffington Post

    Because today, the very same Huffington Post published this wonderful post from dangerous nutcase Jenny McCarthy about how autism is caused by vaccines and can be cured with experimental treatments that the established medical community doesn’t want you to know about. We can only assume that as soon as the editors discover this conspiratorial nonsense, they will promptly remove it.

  • “Glenn Beck sex tape” one of few things beneath HuffPo’s editorial standards

    Yesterday, former Air America editor in chief Beau Friedlander had a silly little blog at the Huffington Post in which he promised a $100,000 bounty for a Glenn Beck sex tape. The post was actually a barely coherent, largely inaccurate history of neoconservatism, plus complaining about Glenn Beck, that ended with a paragraph offering “a $100,000 payday to the person who will come forward with a sex tape or phone records or anything else that succeeds in removing Glenn Beck from the public eye forever.”

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • American Politics is Getting All Koch’ed Up

      The grassroots pressure group Americans for Prosperity (AFP), that actively fought health care reform, boasts “our citizen activists” are “the heart and soul” of the organization. So AFP wants the public and the media to believe. But an exhaustive report in the August 30, 2010 issue of The New Yorker magazine, shows that the heart and soul behind AFP are really the oil billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch of Koch Industries, whose privately-owned oil enterprise has made them among the richest men in America.

    • Tiki Barber Hires PR Agency In Attempt To Repair His Image

      The paper reports that Barber is working with 5WPR to help change the perception of his affair with Johnson.

    • Tiki Barber’s image upgrade

      Tiki Barber has hired a third p.r. agency to polish his image after splitting with his then-pregnant wife, Ginny.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Reading, Writing, and RFID Chips: A Scary Back-to-School Future in California

      According to a story from the Associated Press, the students will wear a jersey at school that has the RFID tag attached. The tag will track the children’s movements and collect other data, like if the child has eaten or not. According to a Contra Costa County official, this is a cost-savings move, as teachers used to have to manually keep track of a child’s attendance and meal schedule.

    • Judge Rejects Gov’t Request For Cell Tower Data, Noting Recent 4th Amendment Rulings

      We recently wrote about a somewhat surprising ruling by the appeals court in the DC circuit saying that long-term use of a GPS to track someone without a warrant violated the 4th Amendment. What was surprising about this is that, while state courts had ruled similarly, the federal courts had almost universally ruled that such tracking was legal.

    • Porn-browsing Oz minister quits

      The point of the Great Australian Firewall is revealed at last today – it’s to keep Aussie politicians in line.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Beach towel designer roundly defeated in court

      More than three decades after Clemens Franek moved to Los Angeles and teamed up with aspiring actor Woody Harrelson and aspiring screenwriter Bobby Farrelly to sell beach towels whose circular shape helped beachgoers tan evenly, a Chicago appeals court has said the invention can’t be trademarked.

    • Copyrights

      • Zaptunes: Unlimited MP3 Downloads For Just $25 A Month. To Good To Be True?

        San Francisco based Zaptunes has launched offering unlimited DRM free mp3 downloads for $25 per month. They say they’re adding songs constantly, but have started with 8 million tracks from all four major labels and many indies. To kick things off, the $25 is waived for the next 30 days.

      • US Commerce Secretary Sides With RIAA: Warns ISPs To Become Entertainment Industry Cops

        It’s no secret that US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is quite confused over intellectual property issues. There has yet to be a case where he’s actually questioned a highly biased or debunked industry study on the issue, and he seems to enjoy celebrating with the entertainment industry, even as the government has debunked the studies he relies on. But it’s really sad that he doesn’t even seem to consider the other side at all. His latest move is to side with the RIAA and effectively warn ISPs that they need to become copyright cops for the entertainment industry establishment.

      • Making the case for patents by making a case against them

        I’ve been hanging around the ‘Balanced Copyright For Canada‘ Facebook group recently. The name of the group is a misnomer. Balance has nothing to do with what the founders of the group intend. In fact the impression that I get is that they think that the ACTA treaty is too lenient.

Clip of the Day

A Preview of Alice 3.0, Introductory Programming in 3D


Credit: TinyOgg

Apple’s Co-founder Steve Wozniak a Patent Trolls’ Apologist, Apple is Patenting DRM Ideas

Posted in Apple, DRM, Microsoft, Patents at 3:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Monopolists championing proprietary software (proprietary giants) go hand in hand with patent monopolies and patent trolling

Steve Wozniak

Summary: Wozniak helps prove that also departing co-establishers of proprietary predators defend patent trolling

APPLE and Microsoft are both patent aggressors and both have sued Linux (vendors) using software patents. Paul Allen is the latest patent troll to join the club and as Microsoft’s co-founder he helps demonstrate Microsoft’s continued legacy as a agitator that fights against software development. It turns out that Apple’s co-founder too complements his Free software-hostile rhetoric and now defends patent trolling:

Say It Ain’t So, Woz: Steve Wozniak Says Patent Trolls Are Okay

Via Joe Mullin, we learn the rather unfortunate news that, when asked about Paul Allen’s decision to sue lots of big tech companies over questionable patents, Wozniak comes out in favor of “patent trolls” and patent holders suing companies who actually innovate. For someone so beloved by the tech community, these statements seem really unfortunate. He starts out by repeating the myth that patents somehow help out the small guy (ignoring that we’re talking about Paul Allen, one of the richest guys on the planet):

I think this lawsuit represents the idea that hey, patents, individual inventors, they don’t have the funds to go up against big companies. So he’s sorta representing some original investors. And I’m not at all against the idea of patent trolls.

The interviewer, from Bloomberg TV, pushes back pretty quickly, pointing out that Paul Allen is not the inventor and there’s no indication that the inventors on these patents would actually get any of the money should Allen succeed.

The FSF has just launched a campaign against “Apple’s latest DRM patent”. It’s doubly malicious because it combines an attack on the user with a patent monopoly. From the FSF’s page:

Apple has a long history of imposing innovative restrictions on its users. The Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) used in the iPhone to prevent users from installing what they want or tinkering with their devices are well-known examples.

Yet not so many people expected their latest move in that direction — Apple’s recent patent application on a new spying technology revealed their plan to dedicate users’ devices to their unlimited control.

They say that they want to protect the devices from “unauthorized usage” (i.e. theft). For that reason, your device will take a photo of the person who uses it and the surrounding place, it will record his or her voice and it will record his or her heartbeats. Once it suspects something, it will send the information to Apple which will talk to the “responsible party.”

Going back to Allen’s frivolous lawsuit, some label is “an enigma”.

Paul Allen: When a Patent Troll is an Enigma

[...]

But given the notoriety of the case and the scope of its claims (the Journal, or at least its headline writer, has declared an all-out “patent war”), it seems like a good opportunity to dispel some common myths about the patent system and its discontents.

And then I want to offer one completely unfounded theory about what is really going on that no one yet has suggested. Which is: Paul Allen is out to become the greatest champion that patent reform will ever know.

Brad Feld then asks: “Have We Reached The Software Patent Tipping Point?”

As I was reading through some of the Paul Allen commentary this morning, it occurred to me that this might finally be a tipping point. Last week, Microsoft asked the supreme court to hear their appeal of the I4i patent suit. I hope Google steps up and really takes a stand here given that they are on the receiving end of both the Oracle and Allen suits.

There is increased consensus in the technology press that software patents need to go away

Software patent wars are killing innovation

The software industry is rapidly tying itself up in red tape as claim meets counterclaim in patent suits blossoming all over the US.

The latest example is Microsoft’s co-founder, Paul Allen, who has launched into litigation against Apple, Google, eBay, Facebook, Yahoo, YouTube and five other companies. Apple has already had more than its fair share of court actions especially with Nokia and HTC. Oracle is gunning for Google. Every day brings some new accusation.

In almost every case, it is software nuances at the root of the problem. In some of the Apple cases, it seems that hand gestures are involved.

Oracle’s lawsuit is not forgotten either and Glyn Moody compares Ellison and Allen (yacht enthusiasts).

Amazon is actually the best counterexample to all of Interval’s claims. It was provably doing all the things that Interval claims it “invented”, and long before patents were even applied for. Against that background, suing Amazon would, of course, have been suicidal from a legal point of view.

But that still raises the larger question of why on earth Allen is doing this to anyone? As is well known, he is not short of a bob or two, so it can’t simply be for the money. Similarly, why did he wait for over a decade before blasting away at most of the top Internet players?

This is where I think the Ellison connection comes in. Allen’s action is part of the collective insanity which has gripped senior management at most computer companies. As more and more of these crazy software patent actions are announced and wind their way through the courts (or are quietly settled after much public tub-thumping), so the pressure on managers to join the feeding frenzy grows. It’s that old feeling that many of us get when some new fad takes off – that we might be missing out on something big, and that whether we think it’s really a good idea or not, we had better pile in now before it’s too late.

it’s considered “puzzling” too:

The 15-page document, filed Friday in United States District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle, lists the four patents and their titles, and accuses each of the 11 defendants of infringing on one or more of them. But it doesn’t point to specific programs, products, or websites that violate Interval’s intellectual property.

Groklaw has that whole thing as text and it adds that “Microsoft is asking the US Supreme Court to overturn the huge loss it sustained in i4i v. Microsoft. It’s the largest patent infringement verdict ever to be sustained on appeal.”

we wrote about this case earlier this week, noting that involvement from SCOTUS may give it another go at eliminating software patents. Here is some more coverage:

Can i4i contribute to backlash against sofwtare patents?

The courts are ignoring what everyone knows about software patents harming the Commons. Here is another new example of dangerous patents:

Thursday TWX, a member of our forums, brought to our attention a patent that was filed back on June 19th, 2008 and owned by XM Satellite Radio. According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the basis of this patent is as follows:

“The present invention relates to a system and method for providing a broadcast radio service listener with the ability to generate a personalized radio channel play-list on a radio receiver from broadcast content as it is received. More specifically, the present invention relates to a system and method for buffering content from a set of channels selected from among the broadcast channels of a source stream(s) as they are received, and for generating a playback stream using the buffered content that provides a multichannel listening experience to the user with preview, reverse, fast forward and other navigation functions for the buffered content.”

– United States Patent Application #20090320075

Here is some background information from a lawyers’ source. It helps show how software patents came about and how they relate to business methods.

Even ten years ago, software patents were highly controversial. They were hotly debated in such forums as the U.S. Patent Office’s software patent public hearings of 1994. A number of courts, including the United States Supreme Court, struggled with whether software innovations could be protected and whether the proper mechanism should be patent or copyright law. Ultimately, the courts defined enough guidelines to judge what types of software innovations could be the subject of a patent.

The jurisprudence that developed through the software patent controversy paved the way for the ultimate acceptance of patenting innovations in business methods. As a result of the software patent controversy, courts assessed whether an invention could be the subject of a patent in a more abstract and general way. With courts growing more comfortable with software patents and their inherently abstract nature, the stage was set to apply that higher level of thinking in the context of a business method patent.

Both business methods and software patents are a area of dispute.

Microsoft is Said to Have Had an Anti-OpenOffice.org Seminar on Monday (Updated)

Posted in Deception, FUD, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Oracle at 2:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hungarian parliament

Summary: The Microsoft camp is attacking Oracle’s OpenOffice.org (OOOo) while pretending that Oracle is an “evil empire” (whereas Microsoft “loves” open source)

THANKS to Comes vs Microsoft exhibits, last year we posted Microsoft's blatantly anti-GNU/Linux (and highly confidential) presentation. it also covered and encouraged bribery (against GNU/Linux).

At the end of last year we also showed that Microsoft had begun hiring people to fight against OpenOffice.org adoption [1, 2, 3]. That’s how a monopolist works, by targeting any sign of competition and then derailing it or bribing those involved (see the Munich story for example).

As many people may know, OpenOffice.org is having an event in Budapest this week, but Microsoft too is said to be in town (same tricks used to steal ODF’s thunder). One commenter (not verified) wrote the following comment about Microsoft some days ago:

Nicer? Not really!
Here is an excerpt from an invitation for a seminar by Microsoft in Budapest/Hungary on 8.30.2010.

“Program:
9:30 – 10:30 The art of selling against free, opensource Office competitors by Moritz Berger /
Enterprise Tech Strategist (in English)
10:30 – 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 – 12:00 Technical teardown of OpenOffice by Moritz Berger / Enterprise Tech Strategist”

Be aware that Microsoft proponents still use Oracle’s lawsuit and contrast that with some cocky remarks from Microsoft’s Paoli (the “love” nonsense [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]) to make Microsoft seem like a friend of “Open Source” while the steward of OpenOffice.org is the “new evil empire” (or something along those lines).

Update: Regarding the OpenOffice.org conference in the same city, Rob Weir told me that “Microsoft (@moritzbe) [Moritz Berger] has a presentation scheduled for tomorrow “Building Bridges”.

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