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Vista 7 Price Drops Show Its Sales Are Poor

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 9:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Vast majority of Vista 7 “sales” are licence write-offs and Microsoft tries to convince people to shop for Vista 7, not be forced to get it with a new PC

THE reality behind Vista 7 was never pretty. In many ways it mirrored Windows Vista, which actually seems to have brought more money in its time. Based on news headlines which were published in two weeks (filtered based on occurrences in the headlines), articles about “Vista” were pretty much none. There was this one article about 64-bit Windows (Vista and Vista 7 included) being targeted by a new rootkit. We mentioned it in the previous post and it’s not really about Vista 7. When it comes to Vista 7 headlines, all we found was hype about discounts. These were not “discounts” per se but some words about implicit discounts (“Family Pack”), which help show that adoption has been poor and Microsoft tries to change this (it’s just bundling that worked, i.e. forced sales). When supply and demand rules are taken into account, this is the only sane conclusion to reach. Except for Family Pack there was this puff piece about Service Pack, courtesy of Mary Jo Microsoft (she increasingly writes for Microsoft publications, always saying just positive things).

A couple of headlines we found standing out of the crowd are Vista 7 problems, highlighted by the Washington Post. They are:

i. Fix a Windows 7 System That Randomly Freezes

Of all the hassles that can plague a PC user (and, trust me, there are many), few are as infuriating as random lockups.

There you are, typing along, when suddenly everything just freezes. No error message, no bluescreen, just a locked-up, unresponsive system. I’ve been there. I feel your pain.

ii. Help File: Laptop batteries going unused, upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7

Q. I have Windows XP on my computer and want to install Windows 7, but I’ve heard that can be difficult. I also have a copy of Vista — should I upgrade to that and then 7?

Yes. Going straight from XP to 7 will wipe out your existing applications, while a two-step upgrade will take more time but preserves those details.

This is pathetic. Why not rely on the smoother (and more affordable) upgrade experience of GNU/Linux distributions?

U.S. Military Hit by Windows, Learns Nothing From Microsoft Negligence

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 8:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Flag and tank

Summary: Failures to name the culprit after a serious military intrusion; new examples where Microsoft knowingly ignores and leaves open holes inside Windows

“LOOKS Like Microsoft is Doing Damage Control on Virus Attacks” was the title of this post from last week. There has been a hot debate about it recently, but owing to Slashdot spin not much was done to call out Windows. The DOD/Pentagon ought to say more about the role of Microsoft software, but even the original article from Wired only speaks about “worm” and “USB”/”flash drive”, neglecting to say that only Windows can be affected. Here’s the opening:

In the fall of 2008, a variant of a three year-old, relatively-benign worm began winding its way through the U.S. military’s networks, spread by troops using thumb drives and other removable storage media. Now, the Pentagon says the infiltration — first reported by Danger Room — was a deliberate attack, launched by foreign spies. It’s a claim that some of the troops who worked to contain the worm are finding hard to back up.

In the upcoming issue of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn writes that the worm entered the military’s classified systems “when an infected flash drive was inserted into a U.S. military laptop at a base in the Middle East. The flash drive’s malicious computer code, placed there by a foreign intelligence agency, uploaded itself onto a network run by the U.S. Central Command.”

Why could Slashdot not state that this is a Windows issue? Should one just assume (magically, by default) that when no operating system is mentioned it must be Microsoft Windows? They do name and shame the operating system when it’s not Windows.

Slashdot should know better because only yesterday it wrote about a data-stealing bug which is specific to Internet Explorer 8 (Windows only): [via]

There’s an unpatched vulnerability in Internet Explorer 8 that enables simple data-stealing attacks by Web-based attackers and could lead to an attacker hijacking a user’s authenticated session on a third-party site. The flaw, which a researcher said may have been known since 2008, lies in the way that IE 8 handles CSS style sheets.

We have written a great deal this year about Microsoft negligence [1, 2, 3] that led to security disasters, e.g. after Microsoft had ignored known Internet Explorer flaws for 6 months [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12] (Microsoft is the worst in the regard, so Google banned Windows earlier this year).

“Researcher told Microsoft of Windows apps zero-day bugs 6 months ago,” says this new headline from Gregg Keizer [1, 2], who adds yet another example of Microsoft ignoring problems for half a year (not even automatic patchers/trackers would help in such cases). Some things just never change.

Microsoft has said this year that for improved security users should consider moving to 64-bit Windows, but “Rootkit with Blue Screen history now targets 64-bit Windows,” says this news headline.

A new version of the malware that crippled Windows PCs last February sidesteps safeguards designed to block rootkits from hijacking machines running 64-bit editions of Windows, researchers said Thursday.

Proprietary software for Windows is another problem (Adobe and Apple being prime examples), but Free software too, e.g. Mozilla Firefox, may sometimes suffer only from flaws that are inherited from Windows, not Linux/UNIX. Microsoft in the stack is a real troublemaker and Apple is not helping:

A security researcher has uncovered a new vulnerability in Apple QuickTime that can be used to bypass some security protections in Microsoft Windows.

Code needs to be openly audited/auditable to be trustworthy. Why did the U.S. military make the mistake of relying on Windows?

“Thanks to Mr. Gates, we now know that an open Internet with protocols anyone can implement is communism; it was set up by that famous communist agent, the US Department of Defense.”

Richard Stallman

Let Them Eat Mice

Posted in Asia, Microsoft at 7:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft jobs

Summary: Where almost every Microsoft-branded computer mouse is made there is little action to ensure humane treatment of employees

Microsoft’s sweatshops in China and in other countries have caused a huge deal of media controversy, which left Microsoft in a position where it had to say that it would do something. Based on friends of Microsoft, not much was ever done except the promises (as everyone expected). From the latest summary of Microsoft Nick:

Microsoft claims it investigated allegations of massive labor violations at a Chinese factory building its products, and took steps to fix conditions there. But the director of the National Labor Committee, the non-governmental organization that originally highlighted those factory conditions, says Microsoft’s statements about the matter are too vague.

On April 13, the National Labor Committee issued a report accusing the KYE Systems factory in Dongguan City of several labor violations. “Over the past three years, unprecedented photographs of exhausted teenage workers, toiling and slumping asleep on their assembly line during break time, have been smuggled [out of the factory],” the report said. “Workers are paid 65 cents an hour, which falls to a take-home wage of 52 cents after deductions for factory food.”


According to the National Labor Committee report, Microsoft representatives visiting the factory were “always … accompanied by mid- and high-level managers. On these walk-throughs, U.S. company representatives hardly ever speak to the workers.” KYE factory management purportedly removed underage workers from the facility ahead of government and corporate audits.


In response to four eWEEK requests through May and June, however, Microsoft spokespeople said the company had nothing formal to report. Microsoft also declined to address why the company’s previous audits had failed to reveal any workplace violations.

So there’s your “people-ready” company. Just don’t expect Microsoft employees to be treated like humans, unless they are the spoiled, conceited brats who live in the West and call the shots. Here is a new report of interest:

Ex-Microsoft employee suing American Airlines for bad landing

A former Microsoft employee is suing American Airlines for a harrowing landing that she says has caused permanent damage.

One day in KYE ought to serve as a lesson here; there’s worse than rough landings. These poor little rich people are the Madame Antoinettes of the 21st century. The disparity is striking, so beware the “job creation” meme; the phrase “giving jobs” sometimes means “giving wave slavery”.

IRC Proceedings: September 5th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Microsoft Almost Downgraded Again (This Time by Credit Suisse), Value Falls Sharply

Posted in Apple, Finance, Microsoft at 7:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Credit SuisseSummary: Microsoft’s value falls well below Apple’s and Credit Suisse gives Microsoft another small blow

THE MONOPOLIST from Redmond was downgraded last month (by Standard & Poor’s analyst Jim Yin) and the stock has been rather depressed since. Credit Suisse is now lowering its earnings estimates:

Credit Suisse lowered its earnings estimates of software giant Microsoft Corp. following Intel’s third quarter negative preannouncement.

The Financial Post has the article “Microsoft’s flat stock needs a fat dividend to grow again, says activist shareholder” (also here) and another financial site bears the headline “Microsoft’s Depressed Stock Price Attracts Flock of Value Investors” (it remains to be seen though, Microsoft’s 52-week low is $22.73 which is not terribly impressive).

Microsoft wishes to meet investors and the word “community’ is used to refer to them, which is common. “[M]aybe it’s an ‘ecosystem’ too,” FurnaceBoy remarks comically (“ecosystem” is a word to avoid, according to GNU’s philosophy).

For the sake of comparison, Apple’s market cap at the moment is $236 billion. As for Microsoft’s:

Microsoft Corp. has a market cap of $212.35 billion

Microsoft is part of the past, but the sociopaths who created it are up to new dangerous adventures including patent-trolling.

Increasingly it seems like the future is the Internet and Free software which gets shared over the Internet. In the past two week’s news we found nothing about “Azure” (Google News search on headlines yields zero results for a week or so ago, even as far as two). Microsoft is still stuck in an age of pseudo-multi-user operating systems, no advanced networking/modularity, and not even high bandwidth and collaboration a la YouTube or Wikipedia, respectively. Microsoft is a CD-ROM in an age of gigabit/second Ethernet and it shows. From the news:

Printed encyclopedias are pretty much dead, and so even are DVD-based encyclopedias such as Microsoft’s Encarta.

There are many other Microsoft projects/products that died recently. Is anyone surprised that Microsoft’s value is eroding and analysts lose faith in it?

Microsoft’s Veteran Suzan DelBene ‘Part of the Problem’ in D.C.

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 6:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Name tag

Summary: How former Microsoft employees who become politicians facilitate the company’s corruption of the government

A NEW post titled “DelBene: Reichert ‘part of the problem’ in D.C.” has just been published in the Microsoft-boosting Seattle P-I, which is defunct as a news site (for about 2 years now). But who is DelBene? Here’s who it is:

On the surface, Suzan DelBene’s challenge of Rep. Dave Reichert has a familiar look. In 2006 and 2008 Reichert beat Darcy Burner, a Democrat who worked at Microsoft who had no prior elected experience. DelBene is a Democrat who was an executive at Microsoft and other tech companies who also has never held office.

Microsoft has littered the political system with former employees who are now doing favours to Microsoft*. A few months ago we showed Microsoft crawling into bed with Washington in this particular way while the Seattle Times conveniently ignored it. Microsoft’s former manager, Mr. Hunter, used his political position to facilitate Microsoft’s tax evasion, essentially legalising it. Nothing was ever done to resolve it and a former Microsoft employee who protested about it has not been active for months. Maybe he gave up trying. The Gates family is meanwhile working to ensure that its own bank account remains resistant to taxation. Later in the week we will show that Bill Gates’ father is still working on it right now.

How sad it must be when a company as abusive as Microsoft gets into a position where it controls the government. It’s quite a blazing saddle to sit on. Later in the week we will show new evidence demonstrating the relationship between the banking industry and Microsoft (the banking industry too is notoriously close to the government). Citi is one Microsoft friend which now appears to also be a partner in a finance site (good for verification):

Bundle, whose other backers include Microsoft Corp and Morningstar Inc, currently allows consumers to compare their spending habits with those of other users, based on data from government sources and Citigroup’s credit card unit.

We covered this before. Another thing we illustrated numerous times in the past is that Tim O’Reilly and his ilk play along with Microsoft and in this new case even assist the company’s lobbying of government. Typical O’Reilly. Just mention money and/or influence.

As a capacity crowd at the Microsoft New England Research & Development Center in Cambridge’s Kendall Square settled into their seats one evening in August, Laurel Ruma stood to the side of the podium, previewing her five-minute presentation.


At the Microsoft event, a gathering of people involved in mapping and location technologies, Ben Berkowitz, talked about co founding an online service called SeeClickFix to allow citizens to report problems such as potholes and graffiti to city governments. (The service is available on Boston.com.)


There was also some Gov 2.0 skepticism at last month’s event at Microsoft center in Cambridge.

It’s easy to find a lot of Microsoft at O’Reilly events. Why? Because it funds them [1, 2, 3].
* Sometimes they are hired by Microsoft. In general, Microsoft also loves hiring journalists and this brand new example is no exception:

The former journalist became the chief executive of a Minneapolis firm with 3M, Microsoft among its clients.

Microsoft IDC Managing Director is Leaving on September 24th, Another Vice President Quits

Posted in America, Asia, Microsoft at 6:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft IDC Managing Director is Leaving on September 24, Another Vice President Quits

Summary: Srini Koppolu (MSIDC) and Bill Mitchell say goodbye to Microsoft, leaving the company deeper in a gutter

They just carry on moving on, do they not? India’s MD (at Microsoft) was quitting not so long ago (mentioned in 2008) and now it’s Srini Koppolu who says goodbye to Microsoft India, one of the few growth areas of Microsoft (geographically speaking).

Here is some coverage from The Financial Express:

His last day at Microsoft is September 24. Chatterjee has been with the company for the past 22 years and will now expand his responsibilities to lead MSIDC.

Additional coverage can be found in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], but it does not offer any fascinating information.

Over at Bangalore it seems like nobody cares so much about Microsoft, unlike their government.

India’s premier science city failed to live up to its reputation as it gave a tepid response to a Microsoft-sponsored workshop here on the concept of the “virtual telescope”.

Though the city is host to about 70 scientific and research institutions, including the renowned Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), there were only a few takers to peep into the universe or scan the outer space through the computer-programmed telescope.

Looking north at the United States, Microsoft’s PR puppet admits that Microsoft lost Bill Mitchell.

Bill Mitchell, a corporate vice president who led some of Microsoft’s early forays into tablet computing, has left the company in recent months, CNET has learned.

This helps show that Microsoft’s efforts in tablet computing are a mess. We will write about this later in the week.

Links 5/9/2010: KDE SC 4.5 Coverage, Systemd in Fedora 14, Debian 7.0 Named

Posted in News Roundup at 5:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • GNU/Linux powers state-of-the-art hearing aid research

    The next generation of digital hearing aids is being developed and tested on real-time GNU/Linux systems from 64 Studio Ltd, using dedicated multi-channel audio interfaces and standard Lenovo notebooks.

  • Desktop

    • Web Stats from Wikipedia

      rom billions of hits, 1.88% are from GNU/Linux. I think this lays to rest any idea that GNU/Linux on desktops is less than 1% share of OS. Further, Wikipedia is mostly in English so this sample represents mostly the English-speaking world, UK, Australia, Canada, USA, and segments of other countries where English is a language of tech/science/business.

  • Server

    • Maturing as a Linux Systems Administrator

      Finally, one of the greatest signs of a mature systems administrator, no matter what platform he specializes in, is patience. Admittedly, this is an area I’m still working on, and probably will be for the rest of my life. It takes patience to write good documentation, it takes patience to throughly test a system before it’s put into production, it takes patience to ensure systems are patched on time, and that the patches are tested before they are put into production. It takes patience to know that the cool new thing might not be whats best for your environment. It takes patience to recognize that voice in the back of your head that says something that you are looking at is not quite right. And, it takes patience to smile and nod to vendors who speak condescendingly about your profession.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Open-Source GPU Drivers Causing Headaches In KDE 4.5

        Martin Gräßlin, the KDE developer known for working on KWin and working on advanced features like OpenGL 3.x compositing in KDE 4.7, has written a new blog post in which he details some of the driver issues currently being experienced by some users of the recently released KDE 4.5 desktop.

        With the KWin desktop effects in KDE SC 4.5 they are beginning to use the GL Shading Language. Initially this GLSL usage is limited to KWin’s blur effect and lanczos filter, but stressing the GLSL code paths is exposing some Linux graphics card driver bugs, primarily with the open-source hardware drivers.

      • KDE SC 4.5 – Desktop Activities Exposed

        Whilst I now understand how these features work and might be used, I still don’t understand how this might improve my workflow. It may be that because I’ve never been a big fan of desktop widgets – despite the fact that I developed one of the most popular superkaramba themes ever – liquidweather ;-) I understand that, in addition to being able to put different wallpapers and plasmoids on different activities, you can specify the activity on which each application opens. This could be a useful way to organise yourself, but it has always been possible to specify which virtual desktop a particular application opens on. Activities to me seem to be simply an extension of the virtual desktop metaphor.

      • Driver dilemma in KDE workspaces 4.5

        KDE is currently blamed for errors in external components: the graphic drivers. I am lately reading quite some crap (e.g. on it news today) that we KWin devs knew about problems in the drivers and shipped 4.5 nevertheless with changes enabled which trigger the driver bugs. That is of course not true.

    • GTK/GNOME Desktop

      • GTK Impression – Scrollbars

        The Impression themes sought the middle ground by creating a stepper “prelight” event. As demonstrated in the two screen shots above, the steppers are hidden unless the mouse hovers above the area before or after the trough. A very muted stepper is shown when the bar has landed at the beginning or end of the trough to provide visual feed back to this event.

  • Distributions

    • Are You Intimidated By Breakfast Cereal?

      An article by Graham Morrison for Tech Radar UK this past week struck a bit of a raw nerve for me. It was one of a type we see periodically in the tech press and the title pretty much tells the story: 
      The trouble with Linux: there’s too much choice. To Mr. Morrison and all the others who have written articles like this one I say: Hogwash!

      I pose the following questions to Mr. Morrison and to all the others who share his views. Are you intimidated by the breakfast cereal isle in his supermarket? After all, there are so many choices. Isn’t it confusing? Should we all just eat corn flakes? Would you like to go back to the days when Henry Ford famously said, “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black”? After all, wouldn’t buying a car be easier if there were fewer makes, models and colors available? How about clothing? Wouldn’t life be simpler if we all had to wear the same uniform?

    • WTF is Unity Linux? A self faq-interview thing

      So it occurs to me that I’ve never really sat down and talked about Unity Linux. I’ve engaged in bunches of discussions and have even popped in on some early forum posts when Unity Linux was just conceived, so that I could correct things. But I haven’t really participated in any of that (even before my recent break).

      Part of the reasoning was that I was expecting a manifesto or at least a good official description to be crafted which goes over anything I would want to say. The rest of the reasoning was that I figured the magazine would sprout up and I’d be able to do interviews or articles within it which would clarify anything not covered by the official stuff.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • September 2010 Issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine

        In the September 2010 issue:

        LXDE: An Overview
        LXDE: The Control Center
        LXDE: Autostart Apps With .desktop Files
        Installing PCLinuxOS-LXDE On An IBM Thinkpad 600e
        Does Linux Market Share Matter? What Matters?
        OpenOffice 3.2, Part 4: Impress
        Command Line Interface Intro: Part 12
        Ms_Meme’s Nook: Download The Distro
        Forum Foibles: User Names
        Computer Languages A to Z: Octave
        Alternate OS: Syllable, Part 1
        Ladies Of PCLinuxOS: Meemaw
        Educational Linux!
        Game Zone: Battle For Wesnoth
        Repo Spotlight: Repository Speed Test
        and much, much more!

      • I’ve Moved On …

        Mandriva is by no means the best distro out there, but to me, it meets my needs, at least for now

    • Red Hat Family

      • Piper Jaffray: More Clients Using Red Hat Than Microsoft’s Windows

        Shares of Red Hat gained $1.10, good for a gain of 3.18%, to close at $35.65.

      • Red Hat Sets Its Cloud Strategy, Eyes Microsoft Azure Alternative
      • Fedora

        • Systemd and Fedora 14

          Systemd, an alternative to Upstart or System V init, has made big strides since it was announced at the end of April. It has been packaged for Fedora and openSUSE, and for users of Fedora Rawhide, it gets installed as the default. There are still bugs to be shaken out, of course, and that work is proceeding, especially in the context of Rawhide. The big question is whether Fedora makes the leap to use systemd as the init system for Fedora 14.

          When last we looked in on systemd, Lennart Poettering intended to have a package ready for Fedora 14, which has happened, but it was unclear what, exactly, openSUSE’s plans were. Since then, Kay Sievers, who worked with Poettering on developing systemd, has created an openSUSE Factory—essentially the equivalent of Fedora’s Rawhide—package along with web page of instructions for interested users. But most of the action seems to be going on in Fedora-land.

    • Debian Family

      • Some notes on Flash in Debian and Debian Edu
      • Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 updated

        The Debian project is pleased to announce the sixth update of its stable distribution Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 (codename “lenny”). This update mainly adds corrections for security problems to the stable release, along with a few adjustment to serious problems.

      • Debian 7.0 named

        As the Debian developers work on completing development of the free software Debian GNU/Linux 6.0, known as “Squeeze”, they have also been selecting the name for the next version, 7.0. In a recent release update posting, it was announced that Debian GNU/Linux 7.0 will be named “Wheezy”.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.10 beta arrives with new netbook UI

          Canonical has announced the availability of the Ubuntu 10.10 beta release. The new version of the popular Linux distribution, codenamed Maverick Meerkat, is scheduled for final release in October. It brings some noteworthy user interface improvements and updated software.

          The beta ships with GNOME 2.31, which introduces support for the new dconf configuration storage system. Ubuntu’s standard F-Spot photo tool has been replaced by Shotwell, a relatively new application that is developed by nonprofit software group Yorba. Although it’s not as feature-complete as F-Spot, it’s progressing quickly and has a lot to offer.

          Canonical has continued its work on panel indicators, especially the audio indicator which now has playback controls in addition to a volume management slider. This will eliminate the need for individual audio applications to have their own notification area icons.

        • Install Nautilus Elementary In Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat
        • Ubunchu Episode 7: “The Ultimate Installfest” is out September 5, 2010
        • Kazam Screencasting tool 0.1 released – the bar just got raised
        • Full Circle Side-Pod #3: Where’s the Neurotic Numbat?
        • Preview: Ubuntu 10.10 Beta

          Just like Ubuntu 10.04 threw me off (too many changes rushed into a release that felt unfinished and unstable, which was specially concerning given its LTS nature), Ubuntu 10.10 got me excited and hungry for more. I think most of the changes that were introduced for Lucid Lynx are now mature and make more sense, even things like the window button position shift (alright, maybe not this one) or the “Social Desktop”.

          There are still some rough edges in terms of Look&Feel (default icon theme, GDM theme), but the improvement is obvious. The application catalog is still not my favorite, but customizing it to one’s liking should take less than an hour total. The installation wizard enhancements are excellent and I believe will set the standard other Linux distros will look up to. Last but not least, the Software Center is finally coming to life and it excels, right up there with Linux Mint’s (which Canonical got so much from).

          All in all, Ubuntu 10.10 raised the bar again. I personally believe that it’s biggest accomplishment is that it makes the “Ubuntu: Linux for human beings” motto full justice.

          I did skip Ubuntu 10.04, but they can already sign me in for a heavy dose of Maverick Meerkat!

        • Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat) Beta Screenshots Gallery
        • Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat” Wallpapers

          Here are all the new wallpapers that are included in Ubuntu 10.10 “Maverick Meerkat”

        • Ubuntu 10.10 sneak peak

          Of course I am leaving out a lot of minor bits and pieces. Nearly every (if not all) applications have been updated and run better and faster. But what you have seen above are the MAJOR changes to the Ubuntu LTS release. This October is going to be an exciting period, once again, for Ubuntu fans. My biggest hope is that third-party vendors will have applications already listed in the Ubuntu Software Center prior to the official release. That would go a long way to validate Linux on the desktop.

        • Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat Beta Has Been Released! Screenshots And Videos Inside (Both Ubuntu Desktop And Ubuntu Netbook Edition)
        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • USB-Based PSFreedom PS3 Exploit Now Adapted To Palm Pre

        Huzzah! Now the Palm Pre can be used to hack the PS3, too. Developer blake_zero over at PSX-Scene has released an adaptation of KaKaRoTo’s USB hub-emulating PSFreedom exploit, which takes advantage of the same heap overflow vulnerability in PSGroove, the initial open-source implementation of PS Jailbreak’s jigkick wonder. Currently, only source code is available.

      • Android

        • Top 5 best puzzle games on Android

          Everyone likes puzzle games. They might not be your favourite type of game, but I guarantee we’ve all played and enjoyed one at some point in our lives.

          Which probably explains why it continues to be one of the most, if not the most popular games genre around.

        • Challenging Apple’s ambitions

          Samsung and Toshiba are among a crowd of companies unveiling tablet computers at IFA, many of them running on Android. They are almost all going to be cheaper than the iPad and do much the same. Only the sheer power of the Apple brand, along with the integration with its App Store, could keep the iPad ahead of its new rivals.


          The Toshiba Folio 100 is bigger, a bit like a more widescreen iPad. Again, it does most of the things that an iPad does, but although, like the Tab, it runs on Android, it has a slightly clunky interface. And because the Google OS isn’t yet built to work with screens this big you have to rely on Toshiba’s own apps rather than the Android Market.

        • XDA Discovers Updated ROM for Nexus One

          Score another one for the open source Android developer community over at XDA. Some of the users over there have discovered another update to the Froyo ROM for the Nexus One, with build number FRG33. It has been found that the ROM has some minor bugfixes and a newer version of the installed radio than in the latest official released build.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

    • New features in Google Chrome 6

      Google Chrome made its debut in September 2008 and just two years later, it is the third most widely used browser with around 7.5% of the market. Only Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox remain ahead of it and these two have been around for considerably longer. However, with Google Chrome’s current momentum, the situation may not remain so for very long.

    • Mozilla

      • No 64-bit version of Firefox 4.0?

        Seriously? Do they have any idea how many Mac users are out there running 10.4 or older? OS 10.5 came out in October of 2007. Windows 2000 came out ten years ago.

        Linux “minimum version” is listed as “to be determined”. I’m guessing that based on the complete disregard for anyone in the Mac world running a legacy OS, Linux’s minimum version will be 2.6.30?

        I know, all vitriol and sarcasm aside, I understand that there’s a lot going into the Firefox 4.0 release. And I suppose if I was feeling particularly masochistic, I could grab the source code of the latest build of the final release and just compile my own 64-bit binary.

  • Oracle

    • Oracle offers student coders free access to JavaOne

      The announcement comes a day after Google technologist Tim Bray wrote a blog post that suggested Oracle doesn’t place great importance on developing “mindshare” among software developers.

    • Could Oracle fracture open source community?

      An Oracle was a person or agency considered to be a source of wise counsel or prophetic opinion. How can that particular definition be applied to Oracle the company? It can’t. In fact I would claim that Oracle, the company, is quite the opposite of “wise” or “prophetic”.

  • BSD


    • Free Software Needs Free Tools

      The GNU GPL license and source code mean little to a user attempting to modify a program without free access to the software required to make that modification. Is is not only developers’ freedom at stake but, eventually, their users and all future “downstream” developers as well. Those choosing to use nonfree tools put everyone at the whim of the groups and individuals who produce the tools they depend on.

      While proprietary development tools may help free software developers create more free software in the short term, it is at an unacceptable cost. In the controversial area of private software and network services, free software developers should err on the side of “too much” freedom. To compromise our principles in attempts to achieve more freedom is self-defeating, unstable, and ultimately unfair, to our users and to the larger free software development community.

      Just as the early GNU maintainers first focused on creating free tools for creating free software, we should ensure that we can produce software freely and using unambiguously free tools. Our failure to do so will result in software that is, indirectly, less free. We should resist using tools that do not allow us the freedoms we are trying to provide our users in the development of their software and we should apply pressure on the producers of our development tools. Free software has not achieved success by compromising our principles. We will not be well served, technically, pragmatically, or ethically, by compromising on freedom of the tools we use to build a free world.

    • Free Software Needs Free Tools

      The article was published in the Spring 2010 FSF Bulletin which was mailed to all FSF associate members. I’ve also posted the article on my website and in PDF form as well.

    • Revolution OS is Open Source: The Movie

      As the viewer would hope, this piece features interviews from most of the biggest names that have helped shape the open source landscape over the last decade including Richard Stallman, Michael Tiemann, Linus Torvalds, Larry Augustin, Eric S. Raymond, Bruce Perens, Frank Hecker and Brian Behlendorf.


      Linus Torvalds is then interviewed on his development of the Linux kernel as well as on the GNU/Linux naming controversy and Linux’s further evolution, including its commercialisation.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Hardware Summit Comes to Queens

        The Open Hardware Movement is dedicated to producing a real and enforceable license for open source hardware. This license would be similar to a Creative Commons License for artistic Creations and the Gnu Public License for software.


  • Texas opens inquiry into Google search rankings

    Google Inc.’s methods for recommending websites are being reviewed by Texas’ attorney general in an investigation spurred by complaints that the company has abused its power as the Internet’s dominant search engine.

  • Author Simon Singh Puts Up a Fight in the War on Science

    For a while there, things didn’t look too good for British writer Simon Singh. The best-selling author of the science histories Big Bang and Fermat’s Enigma knew he was heading into controversial territory when he switched tracks to cowrite a book investigating alternative medicine, Trick or Treatment? What Singh didn’t count on, however, was that writing a seemingly innocuous article for London’s The Guardian newspaper about especially outrageous chiropractic claims—one of the subjects he researched for the book—would end up threatening his career. The British Chiropractic Association sued Singh, hoping to use Britain’s draconian libel laws to force him to withdraw his statements and issue an apology.

  • Going back to the past to survive
  • Science

  • Security/Aggression

    • Cars: The next hacking frontier?

      Of course, your car is probably not a high-priority target for most malicious hackers. But security experts tell CNET that car hacking is starting to move from the realm of the theoretical to reality, thanks to new wireless technologies and evermore dependence on computers to make cars safer, more energy efficient, and modern.

    • Police sergeant suspended after assault on woman

      Dramatic video footage has emerged of a police sergeant dragging a women to a cell and hurling her inside, an incident which has led to his suspension.

    • More War Lies
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Greenpeace activists arrested after abandoning occupation of Arctic oil rig

      Four Greenpeace activists who halted drilling by a British-owned oil exploration rig off Greenland have been arrested after they abandoned their occupation because of severe weather.

      Greenlandic police arrested the four after high winds buffeted the Stena Don drilling rig overnight, forcing them to abandon mountaineering-style platforms they had suspended by ropes underneath the platform less than 48 hours earlier.

    • Paris Over Amherst: Food, Energy, and Credit

      As readers understand, fossil fuels have played an enormous role in the long-cycle upgrading of agricultural yields. And while energy-dense fossils fuels are indeed a miracle, now that oil production globally is no longer increasing (with a new price regime reflecting that change) the cost inputs to food production are rising.

    • Mexico’s foreign minister dampens hopes of Cancun climate deal

      Mexico’s foreign minister today dampened hopes of a breakthrough deal at the Cancun climate change talks in November, saying negotiators are focusing on making progress on smaller issues before perhaps seeking a comprehensive agreement in 2011 or later.

    • If Rajendra Pachauri goes, who on Earth would want to be IPCC chair?

      When it first emerged in India that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had made a major blunder about the date the Himalayan glaciers were predicted to melt, the sceptics predictably called for the head of Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC’s chair. There followed a series of malicious falsehoods and disinformation from journalists and bloggers about his business interests.

      Without waiting for retractions or the evidence of any inquiries or investigations, leading western environmentalists and other commentators shamefully rushed in to say he should resign. And now, following the InterAcademy Council (IAC) report into the IPCC’s processes earlier this week (which also found Pachauri not guilty of any misconduct), commentators and editorials in the Times, Financial Times, Time, New Scientist and Telegraph have called for his resignation. The BBC’s Roger Harrabin has also suggested that Pachauri’s “time appears to be running out”. The reason most given? That by staying, Pachauri would give the sceptics more ammunition.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Said to Shut Principal Strategies Unit

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is disbanding its principal-strategies business, one of the groups that makes bets with the firm’s own money, to comply with new U.S. rules aimed at curbing risk, two people with knowledge of the decision said.

    • AIG Derivative Suit Against Greenberg Settles for $90 Million

      American International Group has finally closed the book on the turbulent Maurice “Hank” Greenberg era. On Thursday the embattled former chief executive officer and other defendants agreed to settle a derivative suit alleging that they fraudulently used various accounting tricks to mask problems at the company. Under the deal, which must be approved by Vice Chancellor Leo Strine Jr. of Delaware Chancery Court, AIG will receive $90 million. At the same time, Greenberg and former AIG Chief Financial Officer Howard Smith will be reimbursed $60 million for their legal fees. Both sums will be paid by AIG’s insurance carriers.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Censored! Craigslist Adult Services Blocked in U.S.

      The “adult services” listing on Craiglist was removed late Friday from its U.S.-based sites and replaced with the word “censored.”

      Craigslist did not announce the move and its blog was not updated as of Saturday morning. Craigslist did not immediately respond to e-mail and voice mail messages seeking comment. Adult services listings continue to be available outside the United States.

    • Craigslist removes its controversial adult section
    • School Must Pay Lawyer in Webcam Case

      Federal prosecutors said they will not charge a suburban school district officials with spying on students and families through school-issued laptop computers with remotely activated webcams, but Lower Merion School District still faces litigation from parents and a student. On Monday, a federal judge ordered the district to pay the family’s attorney $260,000 for his work on the case.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Sharron Angle hit with R-J copyright infringement lawsuit

        The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s copyright infringement lawsuit partner on Friday sued U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle over R-J material posted on her website, allegedly without authorization.

        The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas by Righthaven LLC, seeks damages of $150,000 against Angle personally and forfeiture of her website domain name sharronangle.com.

      • Do you download copyrighted porn? Lawsuits seek to reveal names

        The lawsuits yesterday were filed in Illinois District Court by a single lawyer, John L. Steele of the Media Copyright Group based in Chicago. Steele has set up a website advertising a “cost-effective solution for reducing P2P-based content piracy.”


        The plaintiffs in these cases surely see this as a potentially effective tool against the piracy problem. Adult entertainment companies, in particular, likely see the benefit of potentially exposing people who download, say, transgender porn.

      • Secretary Locke Meets with Music Industry Representatives in Nashville to Discuss Piracy and Global Intellectual Property Protection

        “This administration is committed to tackling the challenges facing the music industry, because it is a fundamental issue of economic security and jobs,” Locke said. “We are continually looking for new ways to protect the creativity that is the lifeblood of Nashville and America’s economy.”

      • James Gannon Lies By Omission Yet Again – Star Article Doesn’t Disclose His CRIA Connections

        Curiously Barry Sookman’s blog is just like James Gannon’s blog. Nothing but articles that appear to be work related. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, if they admit the connection. But they won’t. I directly asked Barry Sookman if he had any connections with the industry, and he refused to answer. His only problem is that he’s listed as a lobbyist for the CRIA by the Canadian Government. I already knew this of course – but I was curious. Would he admit something that was publicly available? No, he wouldn’t. He won’t even post the connection on his website, which claims:

      • Anti-Piracy Outfit Threatens To DoS Uncooperative Torrent Sites

        In recent years, technical anti-piracy enforcement has taken a less aggressive approach to that previously demonstrated by the infamous MediaDefender. But now, according to a company being hired to protect Bollywood blockbusters, if BitTorrent sites don’t cooperate by taking down torrents when asked, they will have denial of service attacks launched against them and material taken down by force.

      • Radiohead lend their music to fan-made live DVD

        Radiohead have thrown their support behind a fan-made live DVD, providing the hi-fi soundtrack to Czech film-makers’ amateur shots. The British band provided audio masters to the makers of Prague DVD, a DIY concert film shot on 23 August 2009.

        While the project website has been overwhelmed by traffic, samples of the Prague film have been uploaded to YouTube. It’s a strangely communal document, collecting the viewpoints of more than 50 camera-people – each with a cheap handheld Flip camera. “A group of Radiohead fans descended on the Výstaviště Holešovice exhibition hall in Prague to capture the band perform, using as many different angles as possible,” explain the film-makers. Recalling the Beastie Boys’ groundbreaking Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!, the footage is scattered, inconsistent and frequently electrifying.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA will have deeper impact on Europe than on United States

          In the United States, the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement ACTA will be adopted as an “executive agreement”, without involvement of Congress. This would imply that ACTA can not change U.S. law. In the EU, ACTA needs consent of the Parliament. After that, the EU will have to fully implement ACTA, and possibly change its internal EU law. To prevent surprises, the Commission, Parliament, Council and or Member States of the EU should ask the Court of Justice of the European Union to examine whether ACTA is compatible with EU law

        • Welcome to Faces against acta

Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman – Negative Consequences

Credit: TinyOgg

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