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09.01.10

Software Patents and Microsoft Hurt Korea as Country Tries to Escape Microsoft Monopoly and Market Abuses

Posted in Asia, DRM, GNU/Linux, LG, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung, Windows at 2:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Taegukgi

Summary: Microsoft dependencies, Ballnux in Korea, and the ill effects of software patents there

Korea claims to be trying to get rid of Microsoft monopoly that’s reinforced by ActiveX in government and banking Web sites. This is an important issue, which the nation has complained about for years (and Microsoft was also found guilty by the courts there several times). Another problem Korea is having may have something to do with Samsung and LG, the Korean giants which not only pay Microsoft for Linux but also help spread Windows DRM. We believe that Samsung and LG pay Microsoft for Linux also because the law in Korea allows patenting of mathematics, which puts software companies at greater risk.

Yesterday we found the following news about Samsung and LG. It helps show how Ballnux — not Linux — spreads through Korea (allowing Microsoft to get rich at the expense of Linux/Android) and the last link shows that Samsung is still in Microsoft’s pocket.

  • Samsung Galaxy Tab, in the wild and teasing CDMA
  • Samsung Announces 1 Million Galaxy S Handset Sold in US
  • Samsung’s Android-Based Galaxy S Eclipses 1M Shipments

    Samsung Electronics this week confirmed that it has shipped more than 1 million of its Galaxy S smartphones since the line debuted in mid-July, an impressive debut that indicates Android-based devices pose a serious threat to both Apple and Research In Motion in the hotly contested and extremely profitable smartphone market.

  • KT released the first Korean Android Tablet. The Identity Pad.

    KT released the first Korean Android Tablet. The Identity Pad.

    The “Identity TAB” is ,according to KT, the Korean first real Android Tablet. Powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, the Identity TAB comes with a 7” Multitouch screen, 8GB only of internal memory, DMB TV Tuner, Gyro-Sensor, 3Mpix Camera Module, Wi-Fi, and SD Card reader.

  • LG Pulls Back Curtain on “Optimus Pad”
  • Exclusive: First Official Pictures T-Mobile G2

    We did it again, same as we were the first ones of obtaining the official pictures of the Samsung Vibrant, now we give you the first official pictures of the T-Mobile G2.

  • Samsung N150 Plus Netbook

    Fourth, What a LOAD OF RUBBISH is on this poor netbook! The first and most obvious thing was the Norton Internet Security, which wanted me to activate whatever “Free Trial Period” was available. Abort that, and then uninstall it. Unfortunately that doesn’t get rid of Norton Online Backup, so that has to be uninstalled separately. Then the Google Toolbar, and at least half a dozen Windows Live packages and “helpers”, and Skype, including the Skype Toolbar. Then came the biggest gripe of all…

    Fifth, there should be a special place in HELL reserved for whoever decided to put Phoenix FailSafe on this thing. It’s bad enough to put a ton of crap on it, most of which is “limited trial” versions (FailSafe is a 30-day trial), but in this case it appears to be impossible to uninstall it. I’ve looked in the Control Panel / Uninstall a Program, I’ve looked in the Start menu, I’ve even looked directly in the FailSafe folder under Program Files. No uninstall. I’ve searched the web, and found that the only way to remove it seems to be to go to the FailSafe web site and REGISTER, and then ask to download the uninstaller. REGISTER, just to be able to uninstall it? I hope you all burn in HELL…

    Last, but not least, it also came with Microsoft Office 2010 Starter preinstalled. Although this is also complete rubbish, I find it rather fitting that a brain-dead version of Windows 7 comes with a brain-dead version of Office. Nothing but Word and Excel, apparently limited in the amount of screen space it can use, and with adverts running on the screen all the time. The only good thing about it is that there is an uninstall program…

How much does Samsung want to betray Linux? A lot of people would point out that there is Linux in these devices (tablets and phones) but not that it’s Microsoft cashing in and setting bad precedence.

Correcting Common Case of Misreporting: Novell is Not an Open Source Company

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Novell, OpenSUSE at 1:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Woman in veil

Summary: Novell is a semi-shut (or “mixed source”) company, not “Open Source” as some Web sites falsely report

ONE reader brought to our attention late last night this post which names Novell as one of two “U.S.-based public companies focused primarily on open source software,” but Novell is not primarily focused on open source software. In fact, Novell increasingly goes down a proprietary route. Novell is not an “open source” company, even though sometimes it pretends to be just that. The article also says:

Novell fully admitted, for a long time, that it was heavily dependent on Linux-focused deals driven by Microsoft to drive its revenues and earnings. Now, the company is rumored to be the target of an acquisition by VMware, which has far-reaching partnerships with the company. Previously rumored suitor Oracle is almost entirely likely to have any interest in Novell. Meanwhile, a large hedge fund has an outstanding offer to buy the company, and is predicted by most observers to simply want to flip it for a higher price.

As pointed out in another new article:

Novell attributed the decline in part to the uncertainty surrounding its ownership position.

The one aspect of Novell which qualifies as “open source” is OpenSUSE, which has another release planned, despite Novell’s situation. Here is another new look at this distribution.

The openSUSE GNOME team has launched itself full throttle into preparations for openSUSE 11.4, which will be released with GNOME 2.32 as one of the desktops.

It is reasonable to describe SUSE as open source, but really, there is no reason to call Novell an “open source” company. Even Novell would hesitantly acknowledge that this is not the case.

Microsoft Florian Promotes MPEG-LA at the Expense of Free Software, Defends Intellectual Monopolies Too

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 1:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MPEG LA logo

Summary: A fine new example of people who promote Microsoft agenda while pretending to be “FOSS” people

Remember Microsoft Florian?

That’s the guy who pretends to oppose software patents.

Why do we care? For the same reason that many — including the FFII — care. By contacting journalists at retail quantities Microsoft Florian is ‘injecting’ false representation of “FOSS” interests, by implicitly claiming to represent FOSS but promoting policies that hurt FOSS. It’s a little bit like Microsoft’s ACT, which we last mentioned last week.

We wish to warn journalists Microsoft Florian preys on that he is not only a fake friend of “FOSS” but also a fake friend of ending software patents. How do we know? His words say so themselves and today we’ll show what he wrote yesterday. He reveals his true colours once more. He defends MPEG-LA, which is a patent troll-like software patents parasite. Watch the following exchange of words with Glyn Moody (times are in GMT):

[08:41] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [ fosspatents [Microsoft Florian] ] Commented on @webmink article http://bit.ly/9KfNW7 It’s wrong that MPEG LA makes patent problem worse. Its $$$ terms don’t impede adoption.

[08:42] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] The thing to consider about MPEG LA is that if we had that type of licensing option in every field of technology => no more lawsuits etc.

[Now he starts nagging Glyn Moody with spin and deception]

[08:46] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody You agree with @webmink on MPEG. Would you agree having Google in charge of it all is worse than dozens of patent contributors?

[Clever, polite response]

[08:50] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents really depends on the details – what “in charge” means, for example. If it means they pay for the coffee at meetings…

[FUD and red herring]

[08:53] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody In case of WebM it means that they’re going to run development in-house. Theoretically others could. Practically no one else will

[08:54] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody No swpat=>no MPEG, but a consortium of dozens of patent holders with diversity of interests is more reliable than single vendor.

[Straw man]

[08:59] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents I’m not supporting single vendor control (it should be under a foundation, say), but patent thickets aren’t the way either…

[Laugh on the floor at "risk reduction"]

[09:00] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody MPEG isn’t the root cause of the patent thicket in question. It’s a commercially very acceptable solution and risk reduction.

[09:02] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody By not the root cause I mean those contributors would have done their codec R&D with the inevitable patenting activity anyway.

[This is an issue in the United States and Japan]

[09:04] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents only because they’re allowed to patent maths…

[Seemingly defending software patents by sounding just like lobbyists from SAP or Microsoft]

[09:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody It’s *applied* mathematics. That makes it so difficult because that’s in countless other technologies, too. Where’s the line?

[Moody is not buying it]

[09:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents there is *no* line – we should abolish all intellectual monopolies immediately: economically inefficient, socially unjust

[A defeatist in action]

[09:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody Well total IP abolition goes beyond what even I would demand and it won’t happen in our lifetime. So we need solutions for today.

[09:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents dare to be ambitious: huge shifts can happen quickly in unstable times…

[Sheer persistence, does not leave him alone]

“Non-IPR can’t replace the largest part of all innovative industries.”
      –Microsoft Florian
[10:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody I don’t see any political instability whatsoever regarding IPRs. Industry is nearly 100% behind them worldwide: US EU China etc.

[10:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents I’m not talking about political instability regarding intellectual monopolies, I’m talking about *global* political instability

[10:42] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody I still don’t see how this would lead to IP abolition. Global political instability like new nuclear powers doesn’t change IPRs.

[10:45] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] Some zealots *still* don’t know that patents are related to a territorial target market, irrespective of company HQ location. #boycottboy

[10:48] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody I don’t deny serious problems of the current system but there’ll be only gradual change, not a shift to IPR anarchy or communism.

[10:53] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents I don’t think absence of intellectual monopolies is anarchy, just a removal of unwarranted constraints…

[10:57] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody I said *IPR* not general anarchy. IPRs = monopolies. Questions are where grant fosters creativity and what forms of use hurt most

[10:59] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody It’s obvious that IPRs are needed though there’s need for improvement. Just look at computer games: great stuff needs huge budget

[11:38] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents I don’t know of any research that shows they foster creativity…but the contrary

[11:39] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents there are lots of ways of recouping investment without needing intellectual monopolies

[Some 'studies' are funded by those who benefit from monopolies]

[11:57] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody No shortage of pro-IPR studies and above all there’s empirical evidence. Look at financials of pro-IP businesses vs. anti-IP.

[He clearly thinks differently, which is fair enough, but it puts Microsoft Florian on the wrong side wrt software freedom and even fair competition to an extent]

[11:58] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody There must be both models, IPR-centric and more free/open. Non-IPR can’t replace the largest part of all innovative industries.

[At this stage, even the mailing lists operated by the FFII pointed out that Microsoft Florian is on the wrong side of the fence, citing this conversation from Twitter]

[12:42] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents yes, look at the fact that total legal costs of litigating sw patents *outweighed* total sw patent licensing income…

[12:54] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody Even if true that swpat litigation cost outweighs licensing income, swpats still serve strat purpose. Prove: industry wants them.

[12:42] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents disagree

[13:06] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents they think they want them because everyone else has them: MAD….

[13:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody It’s a mistake to limit to licensing income and litigation cost. Overlooks that competitors don’t do certain things in 1st place.

[13:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody If it were just about MAD then they’d simply lobby against those patents and industry as a whole could abolish. It’s about more.

[To say "It's a mistake to limit to licensing income and litigation cost" is simply to promote friction, RAND, and under conditions which can't foster software freedom]

In summary, Microsoft Florian hardly even pretends to represent FOSS and the ending of software patents anymore. One just needs to pay attention to side conversations. As user of Vista 7, Office 2010, and a .NET developer (exclusively) he gives away his real identity and former collaborators of his now say that he crossed over to the “dark side”. When asked whether Microsoft pays him to do what he does he always refuses to respond (Microsoft Florian has a professional history as campaigner for hire).

There is nothing more damaging than false representation of one’s position in a dispute (like ACT pretending to represent small businesses); there is this old political trick which he been exploited by Microsoft for a while and sometimes to expel an opinion which is incompatible with a group is only a defence mechanism. Ignoring it would not be beneficial, not when journalists are being bombarded by snakes in the grass.

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