EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


IRC Proceedings: September 14th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Open Tech Exchange Explains How Microsoft Derailed GNU/Linux in Governments, Using “Corruption”

Posted in Africa, America, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu, Windows at 8:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Under NO circumstances lose against Linux before ensuring we have used this program [EDGI] actively and in a smart way.”

Orlando Ayala, Microsoft

Summary: Some very revealing details from people who are close to bad Microsoft affairs and speak about it in audio rather than dare publish it in writing (in blunt form)

Last week we learned that “Open source adoption lags” in South Africa. To quote the report:

Although SA is still lagging behind when it comes to embracing open source software, the increase in adoption has been growing at a steady pace.

This is according to Linux Warehouse, a distributor of enterprise open source software for Southern Africa

However, SA has seen an increase because companies have been facing financial pressures, says general manager of Linux Warehouse Shannon Moodley. “The open source market is quite mature; most of the large banks and telcos use open source in some way or form and many do so in mission critical environments.”

In line with this, ITWeb and The Linux Warehouse have collaborated to carry out an Open Source Software Survey to ascertain the level of use of open source and vendor-supported software, as well as identifying potential areas where marketing and education could add value back into the market on the solutions available.

As a little recap on what Microsoft was doing to free/open source software in South Africa around 2008 (loads of examples were given at the time):

There is this good show called “Open Tech Exchange” (an audiocast) from South Africa (and occasionally elsewhere) in which Microsoft's assault on Free software in South Africa was described earlier this year. A newer episode of the show helps shed light on the dirty Microsoft tactics which Microsoft used not only in South Africa but also in other countries. The episode’s summary does not mention this part, but our loyal contributor gnufreex transcribed it for future use because it’s rather revealing and another reader politely asked us for it.

In this episode Darlene and I chat about Crisis Commons, the dangers of cloud computing and the behaviour of corporates.

The part that’s relevant to us starts around 14 minutes from the start. The two hosts (a man and a woman called Mark and Darlene, whose voice/gender makes it simplest to distinguish, hence the omission of name from here onwards) first talk about South Africa moving to Free software and putting all the policies in place to develop many things locally.

The lady says that she came across an interesting Microsoft document about their plan not to let GNU/Linux win, no matter the cost. “For example,” she says “we’ve talked about Brazil several times… and how the government is committed… [but] Microsoft… went into provinces… and used provinces… where the leaders [aligned with the opposition]… signed deals… they are going province by province…

“How do you win against those tactics,” she asked. “Even in South Africa… they [Microsoft] announce they are going to build a laboratory…” (for an accurate transcription see below; the text here is messy because we try to succinctly encompass key points)

The South African guy in this show says (not accurate wording) that they “lost their moral dimensions to everything… it’s basically breaking the rules… it’s not really philanthropic or humanitarian… if you have people… sociopaths… they get put in institutions… I don’t know, especially in countries that aren’t in North America.. these things sound.. unethical… [people call it corruption... not euphemism, they] call it what it us… call it bribery rather than euphemistic names and stuff like that… the way they have been brought up… you play by the rules and that’s OK”

The lady says “they’ll take any of the royalties… they’ll take them and [send] them back to incentives funds”

Looking at the documents, she explains: “how do we change the tide?” She mentions the Gates Foundation and she is very cynical about it, philanthropy being part of it while there isn’t any of it (see transcript or listen to the show).

Some of the later parts are also interesting. There is an explanation of how Canonical managed to approach parts of Spain.

Later on they start talking about patents more generally. The lady says that “there is a company out there called Monsanto… this is just a small example [of patents]… so, [in] this company they have genetically-engineered their seeds… they made it into this terminator gene so that it cannot reproduce… here in Canada this corporation affected us… [tells a local story] went all the way to the Supreme Court…” (the Gates-Monsanto links are not mentioned here unfortunately).

She talks about farmers in India committing suicide over Monsanto-imposed debt. Then she explains how in Germany they patent the breeding of pigs (for pork) and mentions transplants for humans from pigs.

As this discussion about patents carries on the guy says that “Microsoft [is] becoming [like] more of a patent troll… making money from Linux”

He explains that “SCO [...] when the revenue stream dries up [...] then they’ll start to thrashing around… to continue to make a profit…”

He gives HTC as an example, explaining that Apple just wants HTC to stop making Android phones and won’t accept money, so HTC counter-sues. Microsoft goes to them not asking them to pay, or just tells them to say that “you are paying us a lot” in order to create a fake case against Linux and the perception that Linux owes Microsoft.

It’s “the same thing as having a nuclear weapons,” he argues, when you actually have no nuclear weapons at all. They won’t go to Google asking for a patent deal as “they only go to companies they know they can negotiate a deal with”

Then they both mention Microsoft pressure over Dell’s 10 seasons to go with GNU/Linux. The man calls it “strong-arming” and we covered this in [1, 2, 3].

The guy explains that Microsoft need only pretend to be doing “open source” in order to block genuine Free software from being adopted in the short term. It’s a long-term investment for Microsoft which substituted what we once knew as Free software, instead promoting Microsoft stack-only ‘open source’ (marketed by Microsoft boosters like Marius Oiaga in this case).

This helps justify our attempt to dissociate Microsoft’s embrace-and-extend moves from real Free software which annuls monopolies and lock-in, instead promoting standards, as well as a truly free/libre stack.

We found it rather amazing that Matt Asay, who almost took a job at Microsoft some years ago, defends Windows monopoly and other monopolies by just assuming they are a natural phenomenon. He did not accept the point that “monopoly for an open standard is a great thing, monopoly for a product is not.”

Apology for Microsoft’s bad behaviour is part of the problem and Asay has a history in that regard (inviting Microsoft to “Open Source” events, to OSI, and more). Yes, he almost went working for Microsoft and unlike the good guy from South Africa he doesn’t call corruption “corruption”; rather, he almost defends it because it’s more convenient for someone in his position who is business oriented and perhaps less ethics oriented. His role in Canonical is still worrisome given the opinions he expressed and continues to express.

Transcribed text of audiocast “Open Tech Exchange” – Episode 22


“And you know… Microsoft against open source, their plan is not to let Linux win at any cost, at any cost.”[Darlene:] I came across interesting documents… it was result of a court case, so this documents become public. And you know… Microsoft against open source, their plan is not to let Linux win at any cost, at any cost. So the projects I have been involved at large scale… and so for example I was talking about Brazil several times on our discussions on the show, and how government is committed to open source solutions for education. But now Microsoft is… they go in, and what they’ve done you see… we saw them in South Africa, but in a way… so but they go into provinces that aren’t governor, or sets are not held by governing party, so the opposition party is in control of those provinces, and they go in those provinces and approached them and got them to sign deals with Microsoft and kinda undermine what the ruling party is doing… and the rest of the country. So they go province by province and manipulating the system… man… how one wins against those tactics? How do you win against those tactics? It is discouraging sometimes. Even is South Africa when there was a commitment, and we thought we might see a change here in 2010… but Microsoft just comes in and announces they are going to build huge lab. There is benefit to it, in the end. The development lab, the training lab, they promised billion rands… what are thoughts Mark?


“At least… in South Africa there is corruption but people still know it is corruption and call it corruption [...] While [in the west] they try to call it something, give it euphemistic name, like lobbying… they don’t call it what it is.”[Mark:] I think part of the problem we have with they way companies run today… is generally why we end where we are. It is all about profits. And what is bizarre, lost all moral dimension of everything. Everything is okay as long it’s within rules you’re not technically breaking the rules. But they set aside all moral aspect of what you are doing. So with the [case of Microsoft] “we are giving people free software [as in piracy] just they can make sure we don’t lose market-share so we can sell more software later”. There are no any philanthropic, humanitarian principle. So the whole humanism side of things is gone. That is problem with corporate this days, they are simply legal entities. If you have person without any social conscience, no empathy and no sympathy, act purely in self interest… we have word for that kind of people, they are called sociopaths. And they get put away in institutions. And yet companies can behave like sociopaths, it seen as good thing and encouraged. Legally they have better odds than a person: If something goes wrong, they just close company and start new one. Whereas if you commit a crime you got to jail, you don’t get to start a new life. Especially for people that aren’t in North America and developed world, those things just sound so bizarre and underhanded and unethical. I don’t know how people get away with it. But it seems to be normal part of life [in developed world]. At least… in South Africa there is corruption but people still know it is corruption and call it corruption. We try and fight it, if you talk with average person on the street they will be against corruption. While [in the west] they try to call it something, give it euphemistic name, like lobbying… they don’t call it what it is. People might say: in Africa corruption is endemic and it is hard to function without having to bribe somebody. That’s true, but at least people know it is bribery and call it what it is, instead of making euphemistic names and stuff like that.


“That’s true, but at least people know it is bribery and call it what it is, instead of making euphemistic names and stuff like that.”Darlene: So Microsoft does things like: They won’t take any of royalties from their sales as long it doesn’t affect OEMs, like the cost OEMs have to pay to put license on a machines. But then they take all of the royalties and revert them in incentive funds for all those countries. I guess after reading those document I thought “How do we change the tide”. But we are doing good. I think about my friend in Montreal, who recently left from canonical. How he worked the deal in Spain to get those large deployments of Ubuntu out there.


[Mark:] Microsoft is more and more becoming basically a patent troll. […]

HTC Desire, every time when you buy android phone, money goes to Microsoft. […]

“Talk for Cloudconf Got Refused Because Microsoft Gets to Approve Every Speaker”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Mail, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 7:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”

Microsoft's chief evangelist

Summary: Yet another revelation that Microsoft uses pressure and blackmail to throw competitors out of conferences that it does not run; more evidence surfaces which shows that WPF and Silverlight are dying

Microsoft not only crashes or attempts to “kill” the events of rivals (most recently OpenOffice.org but also LinuxTag 2010 [1, 2, 3]); sometimes it invades other companies’ event or a companies-neutral events and then ejects rivals from it. Not so long ago we learned that “Microsoft refused to sponsor the conference unless the conference organizers denied Zimbra the opportunity to take a big, prominent booth at the event.”

Now we have another example like that. Jaleman wrote earlier today: “My talk for cloudconf got refused because Microsoft gets to approve every speaker and they don’t like us.”

It is worth documenting this type of stuff; otherwise, those who claims that Microsoft would withdraw funding based on the agenda (a form of blackmail) can be called “paranoid”.

“Former Microsoft managers confirm what I predicted 2 years ago WPF and Silverlight are dead.”
Jaleman had another interesting tweet earlier today, one where he said that “Former Microsoft managers confirm what I predicted 2 years ago WPF and Silverlight are dead. http://www.riagenic.com/archives/363

This is a subject which we covered before [1, 2, 3]. Maybe that’s why we no longer hear about Moonlight, either. Just to think that Microsoft MVP de Icaza urged GNU/Linux developers to embrace WPF, another dead horse. What kind of clown does he look like now? Marketing dunce for Microsoft pretending to still be a “FOSS guy”? Or that Microsoft is a friend? Delusion is the worst form of reassurance, ignorance is another.

Microsoft Still Profits From Its Software Being Broken

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Office Suites at 6:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Zahara de la Sierra, Spain

Summary: Child rape case cannot have a verdict served because of Microsoft Word problems, which “Microsoft specialists” are called to help with

FOR SOMEONE to profit from one’s own shoddy creation is rather unjust, but that’s just what Microsoft attained and accomplished by making money from problems it created/enabled, such as Conficker. Vista 7 is currently being discussed in the context of insecurity… in fact, because of a worm called seven.exe:

Last week, as usual, my USB drive got infected from a public computer. What is interesting here is that this was a Windows 7 system. Coincidentally, the malware that jumped to my USB drive was called seven.exe so I checked online to see what it does, partly in jealousy because Megatotoro reported that he got his first beacon.

It turns out that seven.exe is a worm that has been around since 2007 (hence the name) and, consequently, predates Windows 7, which was released in 2009.

In Windows, USB drives usually self-execute files. What a terrible design decision from Microsoft. No wonder if makes so much money selling services and “security” addons; its operating system is built almost to just require that. It is too tolerant to malware.

According to this summary/translation from Slashdot, a high-profile case is hindered by Microsoft incompetence and Microsoft “specialists” are then being invoked to make some money:

The disclosure of the full verdict has been postponed from September 8 to a yet-to-be-announced date, allegedly because the full document was written in several MS Word files which, when merged together, retained ‘computer related annotations which should not be present in any legal document.’ (Google translated article.) Microsoft specialists were called in to help the judges sort out the ‘text formatting glitch,’ while the defendants and their lawyers eagerly wait to access the full text of the verdict.

The two issues are, first of all, the mistake of using Office in such an important scenario; the second is the hiring of Microsoft folks to resolve the problems which Microsoft is probably responsible for (it created files that hide personal data and disrespect the user and that’s a subject for another day).

“Obama Administration Funds the Tobacco Patent Lobby” and Goetz’s Pro-Software Patents Piece Vanishes, Reappears, Debunked

Posted in America, Law, Patents at 6:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Martin Goetz

Summary: Drivers of the counter-productive patent law in the United States are named; why the patent system in the US is also a curse to hardware/software companies in other countries

IT IS no secret that Biden in particular (more so than Obama) turned the US government into a servant of its friends over at Hollywood. To a lesser degree, more or less the same can be said about Microsoft, at least as far as software policy is concerned.

Jamie Love has only just revealed “Obama administration funding of pro-right holder NGO work on IPR protection”:

USPTO’s $4 million of Congressionally Mandated Spending on intellectual property initiatives, for fy 2009

This is the USPTO list of grants for fy 2009. The $4 million in grants were used to influence global norms on IPR policy.

A new round of grants will go out soon for fy 2010, involving another $4 million of Congressionally Mandated Spending on Intellectual Property Initiatives (IPI).

Michael Geist of ACTA fame says:

This is really shocking. Obama administration funding of pro-right holder NGO work on IPR. http://bit.ly/bHjU4H

The FFII says:

Shocking! Obama administration funds the tobacco patent lobby http://www.keionline.org/node/941

The word “tobacco” refers to the familiar methods being used to deny the undeniable and protect harmful businesses/business models that destroy society. One example of insane laws that make no economic sense and do more harm than good would be software patents.

American policy regarding software patents was recently defended by Martin Goetz, allegedly the holder of the first software patent. We do not understand whether the publisher or Goetz himself had second thoughts about it as they deleted the post, but Wayne has a copy and a very long rebuttal to Goetz. It ends as follows:

What he’s saying is, See? I’m a nice guy. I oppose the Amazon one-click patent. Yeah, right.

Like most Americans, Martin is rather uneducated. Seriously. Americans really don’t know the history of their country. Oh, they can often rattle off the names and dates of battles, but they miss more important things.

Why did the Thirteen Colonies rebel against the British Empire? Most people will say that freedom is involved, but when you push, you quickly find out that they don’t know how.

The Thirteen Colonies rebelled against the English for economic reasons. The Empire was set up as a supplier of raw materials for English factories. Raw materials were shipped to England, and manufactured goods were shipped back. To keep this profitable setup in operation, it was necessary to pass legislation limiting the ability of the colonies to set up their own manufacturing plants.

A group of rich inhabitants of part of North America, including the very wealthy George Washington, didn’t like this. They wanted to set up their own factories in North America, so they could grab a slice of the huge market themselves. Factories in North America would have dramatically lower shipping costs than factories in England, which would be a huge advantage. The English merchants of course were opposed to this, as it would cost them money.

It ended up costing them money anyway, when the Colonies actually managed a successful rebellion against the Crown. Did you ever notice how many of the Founding Fathers were be-wigged aristocrats? Now you know why. The Founding Fathers were in it for the money, honey.

Interestingly enough, Goetz’s piece has just been reposted (after it was taken down). The date on it is the 14th right now (it was found just minutes before posting this). As Jay Shaw very recently explained, the United States shoots its own foot by permitting software to be patented (more of the same here):

“We still believe the case had no merit and that had we fought it we’d have had a very good chance of winning, but it was made very clear to us that the software patent system in the U.S. can drag on for years in the courts and when you add in lots of fees for lawyers and other legal expenses we thought the sensible thing to do was settle,” Chief Executive Jay Shaw said.

Google’s Android (Linux) has just been hit by another patent lawsuit, this time over location-based services. The short blog post from Forbes mentions other actions and names software patents:

The other reason for Google’s silence may be that the company is regularly presented with patent claims related to Android. Many of the claimants, such as the Illinois man who said he had trademarked the term Android back in 2002, appear to be angling for a quick payout. Others, such as Apple, which alleges that several Android phones made by Taiwan’s HTC step on its hardware and software patents, and Oracle, which says Android infringes on patents related to its Java technology, are more daunting challengers–and may be monopolizing the time of Google’s lawyers.

HTC is not based in the US, so once again it helps show that US law matters to other countries too. This is why all nations, not just the United States, mind the indefensible opinions of people like Goetz and outrageous funding from the Obama administration (i.e. taxpayers), which goes towards empowering software patents, i.e. hurt those very same taxpayers. Awareness is not sufficient among the general public (still a niche debate), so these crooked acts may carry on for a while.

Links 14/9/2010: Kubuntu 10.10 [P]Reviewed, Transcript of Zuckerberg Cursing His Clients

Posted in News Roundup at 5:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • TurnKey Linux Create a Smart Backup and Migration Tool

    As someone without a technical background, I’m often skeptical of promises like “one-button setup” and “installs in 2 minutes.” Just because it’s easy or obvious for the developer, doesn’t mean it’s easy for the end-user. “Turnkey” isn’t always “turnkey.”

  • Old School Monday: Linux Manifesto

    He’s been listed as one of The 100 Most Influential Inventors of All Time, and was a 2008 inductee to the Computer History Museum.

    In 2004, he was called one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine. In 2000, he ranked #17 in Time’s Person of the Century Poll.

    That same year he was awarded an honorary dotor status at the University of Helsinki, a Lovelace Medal and an Award for Industry Achievement by Infoworld.

    But back in 1998, Linus Torvalds was a man with a manifesto and he sat down with boot to discuss the future of open source software and Linux.

  • Does the Linux desktop matter?

    When it all boils down, does Linux on the desktop really matter? Last week, I touched on the problems counting the number of Linux desktops, but the real question is does it really matter?

    Over the weekend I made my annual pilgrimage to Columbus, Ohio for the Ohio LinuxFest (OLF). While I’m skeptical that the Linux desktop has more than 5% of the market (all desktops in use) in the general population, the Linux desktop had about 95% of the OLF-attending population. Yet at least two of the talks, including Stormy Peters’ keynote, asked the question “does the Linux desktop even matter?”

  • Server

    • Do the Webminimum

      Learning to administer a new operating system is intimidating. We are expected to combine home experimentation, job experience and vendor certifications to get any real understanding of how operating systems, applications and devices work. With a few exceptions, education programs provide little more than a cursory overview of operating system admin. Major strains of Linux place files in different locations, use different configurations for fundamental tools and are based on different package managers. Many of the skills learned in one major strain will port to another; but coming to grips with the differences is not easy.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Security update for Samba 3.5

      The Samba developers have released version 3.5.5 of Samba, a security update that addresses a buffer overrun vulnerability in their open source file and print server software. According to the developers, the vulnerability affects the sid_parse() function and the related dom_sid_parse() function which do not correctly check their input lengths when reading binary versions of a Windows Security ID (SID); a file share connection – authenticated or unauthenticated – is needed to exploit the issue.

    • Audio Player Review: Qmmp

      Final conclusion: if you like XMMS and use KDE, then Qmmp can be a perfect choice. On the other hand, for those used with collection-oriented players like Amarok will probably not like this player.

    • Instructionals/Technical

  • Distributions

    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • Red Hat Family

      • Piper Jaffray Downgrades Red Hat (RHT) to Neutral; Sector Call & Current Valuation

        Piper analyst says, ” Shares have appreciated 394% in the past 22 months, versus 49% for the S&P 500, and we believe they are now fairly valued…We remain optimistic on near-term trends and believe the company is well-positioned for continued growth…However, our sector-wide analysis indicates growth rates for the current cycle are peaking in 2H:10, and as such, deceleration is likely to develop in the subsequent 3 to 6 months.”

      • Mid-Day US Stocks Alert! (Hologic, Inc., Red Hat, Inc., NWL, CDII)
      • Fedora

        • Re: Broadcom wifi drivers in F-14?

          That’s still true of the b43 firmware for older (pre-802.11n) devices, but the firmware to go with their new driver is now in linux-firmware.git.

          Their *original* offering of that new firmware had a stupid licence — you could only distribute it if you promised to indemnify and defend Broadcom from all related third-party lawsuits. They fixed that though, and I merged it.

    • Debian Family

      • Resolution: welcome non-packaging contributors as Debian project members

        Of all those topics, one topic *might* have consensus already: accepting as DDs contributors which have contributed a lot to Debian doing non-packaging work, which intend to continue doing so, and which are ready to uphold our Foundation Documents. My feeling of consensus on that builds upon: in person feedback, private mails, and a growing number of requests on that direction hitting Front Desk (which FD has kindly shared with me). I do have an impression of consensus, but I don’t have any “quantitative” evidence.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Getting physical

          During a small exploration we did internally few months ago, we thought about how Ubuntu could behave if it was more aware of its physical context. Not only detecting the tilt of the device (like iPhone apps) but also analysing the user’s presence.
          This wasn’t really a new concept for me, in 2006 I experimented with a user proximity sensitive billboard idea. I reckon there is a value on adapting the content of the screen based on the distance with who is watching it.

        • Looking back over the past few months…

          I’m pretty new as a Canonical employee overall, only having been with the company for about 7 months, but I must say I’m really thrilled to be part of a large gang of people so involved in making Ubuntu great; with so much pride in all the work accomplished. If there’s one thing that has been constantly motivating me, it has to be the prospect of working every day with the community and with other Canonical employees on making Ubuntu better.

        • The new Ubuntu 10.10 default wallpaper

          After the rather luke-warm reception that greeted the first ‘default wallpaper’ for Ubuntu 10.10 (through no fault of the Design team, more on that here) the latest iteration – and a much more pleasing one at that – has been revealed.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 210

          In This Issue

          * How Ubuntu is Made
          * Daily Dose of Scribus Trunk
          * Edubuntu Gets a New Installer
          * Magic Trackpad Drivers Land in Ubuntu Maverick and Upstream!
          * Making Usability Part of the Development Process
          * Ubuntu Stats
          * Free Banner for Approved LoCo Teams
          * OLF Day 1: Ubucon
          * Recent posts from Planet Launchpad
          * Measuring the Value of Canonical’s Launchpad
          * Cleansweep Updates
          * GTK Impression – Nautilus Breadcrumbs
          * New in Quickly for Maverick
          * Ohio Linuxfest 2010
          * Ruby packaging in Debian and Ubuntu: Mythbusting and FAQ
          * Running Ubuntu on an Amazon “micro” Instance
          * Some progress on Daily Builds
          * This week in design – 10 September 2010
          * In The Press
          * In The Blogosphere
          * Canonical’s Attention to Detail Starting To Show Up Big Time
          * Fluendo DVD Player For Sale in Ubuntu 10.10
          * Linaro Beta Released !
          * OMG! Ubuntu! interviews GNOME co-founder, Frederico Mena
          * TurnKey unveils a new kind of smart backup/restore system, powered by Amazon S3
          * Weekly Ubuntu Development Team Meetings
          * Upcoming Meetings and Events
          * Updates and Security
          * Sneak Peek
          * And Much Much More

        • Apple Magic Trackpad drivers land in Ubuntu 10.10 – even supports 10 finger touch!
        • Flavours and Variants

          • A Quick Look at Kubuntu 10.10

            While Kubuntu received some polish this time, the latest version of KDE that powers it (version 4.5.1) might actually work against it. During my testing of KDE 4.5, I found it to have severe graphics problems with certain video cards (this laptop’s Intel card being one of them). The problems I had with KDE 4.5 include window thumbnails being so bright they cannot even be read, slow repainting of the panel (over ten seconds), distortion within transparent objects, and a complete plasma lock up when changing some settings under System Settings. Unfortunately, Kubuntu inherited all of those problems by adopting KDE 4.5, though thankfully the Kubuntu developers somehow fixed the thumbnail issue. I’m hoping that Kubuntu includes the upcoming KDE 4.5.2 release (which might fix these issues) but considering the timeframe for release, I doubt it will. Another downside is that the Plymouth splash screen (which is showed during boot) still doesn’t show anything other than a blinking cursor for me. I hope this gets fixed before release.

            Although Kubuntu 10.10 isn’t out until next month, it’s already a very stable release from what I’ve seen so far. The only problems that Kubuntu has are those caused by using KDE 4.5, and as a result you may experience glitches in graphics, unless KDE 4.5.2 is included or the developers include some of their own tweaks. Other than that, it appears that Kubuntu may finally be on the right track! I’m excited to see how this release turns out come October 10th.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Competition nears for upcoming Apple TV from Google, Roku, Boxee

      Apple’s drastically updated Apple TV won’t ship until late this month. But home viewers looking for simple ways to enjoy Internet video and audio on their HDTVs will get a few other new options soon afterward — or in one case, maybe before Apple TV’s retail rebirth.

Free Software/Open Source

  • “Free” as in Free Software

    I’m constantly amused (and always slightly disappointed) when an Open Source proponent is dismissive of Free Software, or even worse, hostile towards Free Software. Team Apologista may harbor and encourage the worst of the group, but they are not the only ones.

    Just a methodology

    Consider this: if you think Open Source is “just a development methodology” and Free Software is “too idealistic”, it seems quite absurd to get all excited and promotional about Open Source.

    I mean I know some bass players that get a bit preachy about how playing with a pick (instead of fingers) is a terrible affront, but:

    1. No one is really that serious about it
    2. Who cares what bass players think anyway?

    If something is just a methodology or technique — even a far superior one — what is there to get so all fired-up about?

  • Open Source Groupware Comes To Japan

    Open-Xchange, provider of business-class open source collaboration software, announced today an exclusive distribution agreement with Next IT for hosted and on-premises Open-Xchange products in Japan.

    Next IT will expand its portfolio with Open-Xchange by offering customers either: Open-Xchange Hosting Edition to web-hosting companies, ISPs, telecommunication companies and IT service companies; or an on-premises version to be installed and run on the enterprises’, educational institutions’ and government authorities’ own computers.

  • A Call For Open Source

    Bloglines includes an API that could be extended to provide these services. Even if the main interface, the thick reader part of Bloglines was not used, the API could be installed anywhere, on any server, like WordPress. That is, of course, assuming that Bloglines was written with open source tools, as most modern web services are. Ask.com has made a big decision to shut down Bloglines after all these years, but with that decision comes an opportunity to ensure that the code they worked so hard on remains relevant, useful, and popular. Ask.com should release the code to Bloglines as open source.

  • 8 Stunning Blender Made Short Films And Animations

    Blender is a free open source 3D modelling and graphics software widely used for making animated movies. Here is a nice collection of 8 short films and animations made using Blender which I think will give you an idea on Blender’s capabilities. Enjoy the ride.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla renames Firefox 4 Beta 6 to Beta 7

        Firefox 4 Beta 6 will reportedly address a number of issues found in previous development releases, including a critical stability issue on Windows systems. Beltzner notes that a problem related to plugins on Mac OS X that caused rendering and keyboard/mouse focus issues, that left key presses ignored or overlaid grey panels that obscured web pages, has been corrected. Beta 7 will be considered to be the “feature freeze milestone” and is tentatively planned for the “2nd half of September”.

      • Firefox 4 may not get silent updates after all

        Firefox will still download updates automatically as it does now, and offer to install them prior to launching the browser. A silent method would have been nice, since it remove the possibility of a user simply clicking cancel or deny and running an out-of-date version. That system has certainly worked well for Chrome, though Chrome does have one advantage over Firefox when it comes to being “silent.”

  • Databases

  • Government

    • NPfIT – business as usual?

      With only hours notice the Department of Health called a press conference at its HQ in Whitehall. It said there was to be “an announcement on the future of the National Programme for IT”.

      At about the same time a ministerial statement was laid in Parliament; and by lunchtime the media was reporting the death of the NPfIT. The Department’s press release said a review of the National Programme for IT had “concluded that a centralised national approach was no longer required”.

  • Openness/Sharing


  • Twitter kills the password anti-pattern, but at what cost?

    I’ve also long embraced the principle that motivates OAuth. You should never have to give your name/password credentials to a third-party application or service so that it can impersonate you. This so-called password anti-pattern is profoundly wrong. When legitimate applications and services ask for permission to impersonate us, we learn that it’s OK to do things that way. It isn’t. Malicious actors can and do exploit our willingness to give up our credentials.

  • Violent Video Games Are Good for You After All

    A new British study of lads (and lasses?) who play shooting video games suggests that all that virtual spatial-navigation improves ability in driving, multitasking, and “reading the small print.” Sure you’re a dehumanized, sociopathic monster, but you drive so well!

  • Award-Winning Haystack Security System Could Risk Iranian Lives

    The naive enthusiasm of an American marketing graduate, hyped by the world media, may have risked the lives of Iranian activists through over-reaching claims for an inadequately understood software system

  • EFF Says ‘Stop Using Haystack’
  • Don’t Let The Facts Get In The Way Of A Good Story

    Humanizing the need generated roughly twice the amount of money as the case made with statistics (which I suppose explains those Sally Struthers commercials on late night cable TV).

    But the study didn’t stop there.

    It created a hybrid pitch that centered on Rokia but also included facts and figures.

    Now, what do you suppose happened to the donations?

    As you can see in the chart below. combining factual information with the child’s story actually lowered the donations compared to the money that came in from pure storytelling.

  • Damning Zuckerberg IMs confirmed
  • Steve Jobs Stopped at Japan Airport Over Ninja Stars, SPA! Magazine Says

    Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs said he’ll never return to Japan after officials at an airport barred him from taking Ninja throwing stars aboard his private plane, SPA! magazine reported in its latest issue.

    A security scan at Kansai International Airport, near Osaka, detected the weapons inside the executive’s carry-on luggage in July as he was returning home to the U.S. from a family vacation in Kyoto, the Japanese magazine reported, citing unidentified officials at the airport and the transportation ministry.

  • Civil society: only the clampdown is transparent

    World leaders will be meeting at the UN in New York later this month to review progress towards the UN millennium development goals (MDGs) and to chart a course for accelerated action between now and 2015. Today, with just five years to go, there are fears that the goals may not be achieved, due to a lack of will by governments to acknowledge the role of other stakeholders and to work in partnership with them.

  • Science

    • Digital Agenda: EU grid project unlocks processing power of 200,000 desktop computers for European researchers

      EU researchers will have sustainable and continuous access to the combined processing power of over 200,000 desktop computers in more than 30 European countries thanks to the European Commission funded European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) project launched today. The Commission is contributing €25 million over four years to the EGI-InSPIRE project to link the processing capacity of desktop computers when they would otherwise be idle and so give researchers the processing power needed to tackle complex problems in environment, energy or health. The EGI, the largest collaborative production grid infrastructure for e-Science ever created, will enable teams of researchers in different geographical locations to work on a problem as if they were in the same laboratory

    • Quantum Catfight

      Newton sought a deeper understanding of gravity in the concept of an Aetherial Medium with faster than light waves as illustrated in the quote from Opticks above. So too, the explanation for quantum mechanics may lie in some sort of faster than light waves that transmit signals between entangled particles. Another possibility is a “hyperspace” that connects all points in space-time together, bypassing normal space-time. Even more exotic possibilities may exist. Mathematically speaking, one is looking for a deeper, more fundamental equation or equations from which Schrödinger’s Equation can be derived.

    • How galaxies are born inside computers

      The next time you feel like your computer is struggling to keep up with your workload, spare a thought for the physicists at the Institute for Computational Cosmology (ICC).

      The researchers at the institute, based at Durham University, are tasking their machines with nothing less than recreating how galaxies are born and evolve over the course of billions of years.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The “Indian superbug”: Worse than we knew

      Just about a month ago, the disease-geek world was riveted by news of the “Indian superbug“: common bacteria carrying a newly recognized gene that confers profound multi-drug resistance, and that was linked to travel between Europe and South Asia, especially for medical tourism.

      The gene, which directs production of an enzyme called NDM-1 for short, was briefly Bug of the Week, the spur for alarmist headlines in every Internet echo chamber and the target of denunciations by Indian politicians, who vilified the discovery as a Western “pharma conspiracy” spurred by envy of lucrative medical tourism.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Florida woman jailed, strip-searched after being mistaken for thief who stole her identity

      This is an amazing and scary story: Kimberly Shields, a 23-year-old-manicurist, was mistaken for the woman who stole her identity, locked up in jail, strip-searched, and deloused before the bureaucratic mixup was resolved and she was set free.

    • White House Talk on Mexican Gun Violence Is Cheap

      It’s good to see the White House begin to acknowledge the seriousness of the drug gang violence in Mexico — especially in the cities and towns that border the United States — and which some observers consider a national security threat. But as long as our government officials fail to adopt, strengthen, and enforce laws that could help protect brave men like Edelmiro Cavasos, along with countless everyday Americans, the risks increase for all of us.

    • Another Paris-Mexico flight barred from US airspace

      Despite being a party to international aviation and human rights treaties guaranteeing free passage through international airspace, the US government claims the right to require prior government permission (granted or withheld in secret, without due process, judicial review, or publicly disclosed standards) not just for travel to or from the USA but for transit through US airspace — even on nonstop flights that aren’t scheduled to land in US territory.

      Most such overflights of the US between other countries are to and from Canada, where US control and surveillance of overflights have provoked continuing controversy and opposition.

    • British servicemen suspected of murdering Iraqi civilians
    • US courts must lift lid on torture

      In his decision, Judge Raymond Fisher described the case as “a painful conflict between human rights and national security”. In the UK, we have seen some politicians conflate “national security” with “national embarrassment” – seeking to keep information secret not because its disclosure would create a risk to the nation, but rather because states do not want the details of their illegal activities revealed. Thankfully, British courts have proved relatively effective at policing this.

    • 9/11 anniversary: New York Muslims insist that they are American too

      New York City woke up yesterday to a 9/11 anniversary like no other. Blue skies hummed with the buzz of helicopters as police conducted a major operation to patrol two rival midday protests about Park51, the planned Islamic centre close to Ground Zero. The noise of the aircraft mingled with the sound of church bells ringing across Manhattan, marking the exact time that the first plane struck the World Trade Centre.

    • Robert Fisk: Nine years, two wars, hundreds of thousands dead – and nothing learnt

      Indeed, on this grim ninth anniversary – and heaven spare us next year from the 10th – 9/11 appears to have produced not peace or justice or democracy or human rights, but monsters. They have prowled Iraq – both the Western and the local variety – and slaughtered 100,000 souls, or 500,000, or a million; and who cares? They have killed tens of thousands in Afghanistan; and who cares? And as the sickness has spread across the Middle East and then the globe, they – the air force pilots and the insurgents, the Marines and the suicide bombers, the al-Qa’idas of the Maghreb and of the Khalij and of the Caliphate of Iraq and the special forces and the close air support boys and the throat-cutters – have torn the heads off women and children and the old and the sick and the young and healthy, from the Indus to the Mediterranean, from Bali to the London Tube; quite a memorial to the 2,966 innocents who were killed nine years ago. All in their name, it seems, has been our holocaust of fire and blood, enshrined now in the crazed pastor of Gainesville.

    • Barack Obama to authorise record $60bn Saudi arms sale

      Barack Obama is to go ahead with plans to sell Saudi Arabia advanced aircraft and other weapons worth up to $60bn (£39bn), the biggest arms deal in US history, in a strategy of shoring up Gulf Arab allies to face any military threat from Iran.

      According to the Wall Street Journal, the administration is also in talks with the Saudis about possible naval and missile-defence upgrades that could be worth tens of billions of dollars more over five to 10 years.

    • MoD silence raises fears of custody deaths in Afghanistan
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • GOP fills candidate slate with climate zombies who deny science

      A comprehensive Wonk Room survey of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate finds that nearly all dispute the scientific consensus that the United States must act to fight global warming pollution. In May, 2010, the National Academies of Science reported to Congress that “the U.S. should act now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change” because global warming is “caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for — and in many cases is already affecting — a broad range of human and natural systems.”

    • Your role in wildlife crime

      WHEN 23 people drowned picking cockles on Morecambe bay, UK, in February 2004, it gave us a grim insight into the murky and frightening world of people trafficking.

      The cockle pickers had been smuggled into the UK from the Fujian province in China by transnational criminal networks and used as cheap labour to extract lucrative shellfish from the sands. They were working at night in dangerous conditions, paid just £5 per sack of cockles while their gangmaster Lin Liang Ren received three times as much from the seafood companies at the shoreline. The people who died had hoped that two or three years working in the UK would provide a better life for their families back home. How wrong they were. The case shocked the world.

      As well as highlighting the practice of people trafficking, the tragedy also revealed some stark realities about the international wildlife trade – how it is driven by wealth not poverty, and how it is inextricably linked with organised crime.

    • Green groups press Barack Obama for 60MPG fuel efficiency standard

      Environmental campaigners focus on more modest goals as hopes of US climate legislation dwindle ahead of expected Republican gains

    • Fireball tragedy in California suburb brings gas industry under scrutiny

      The natural gas industry is coming under intense scrutiny today, after a massive fireball ripped through a ruptured pipeline in a suburban town near San Francisco, killing at least four people, injuring dozens more, and burning more than 50 homes to the ground.

    • Scientists investigate massive walrus haul-out in Alaska

      Researchers from the US Geological Survey (USGS), who have been tracking walrus movements using satellite radio tags, say 10,000 to 20,000 of the animals, mainly mothers and calves, are now congregating in tightly packed herds on the Alaskan side of the Chukchi Sea, in the first such exodus of its kind.

  • Finance

    • The Mysteries of the Goldman Sachs Partnering Process, Revealed

      Like an emotionally distant lover, the less Goldman Sachs gives us, the more we want. In today’s New York Times, a Goldman spokesman declined to comment on the process by which the firm annually selects its partners, leading the Times to describe the process as “secretive” and driving us wild with curiosity. What kinds of sick things do they make potential partners do, for the firm to decline to speak about it entirely? What secrets lurk in the hearts of the hordes streaming in and out of the building on West Street? We asked a former Goldman Sachs partner to describe how this mysterious ritual works.

    • Misreporting Venezuela’s economy

      The bulk of the media often gets pulled along for the ride when the United States government has a serious political and public relations campaign around foreign policy. But almost nowhere is it so monolithic as with Venezuela. Even in the runup to the Iraq war, there were a significant number of reporters and editorial writers who didn’t buy the official story. But on Venezuel, the media is more like a jury that has 12 people but only one brain.

    • IMF warns of the ‘human cost’ of public spending cuts

      The International Monetary Fund undermined the main thrust of the UK coalition’s economic strategy today after it warned western governments that they risked holding back the recovery and creating a massive pool of disaffected labour if they pursued draconian cuts in spending.

      IMF director general, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, told a conference in Oslo that governments needed to identify ways to generate employment to prevent a generation of workers losing their skills and joining the long-term unemployed. He said cuts in public spending had a “human cost” and could result in “tragedy” for millions of young people.

    • The bankers’ victory dance

      This week it is two years since the US bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, setting off a wave of panic that almost brought down the entire financial sector. It is a truism that the two most important forces in the world of money are greed and fear. For years, during the boom, greed had dominated; now, in the aftermath of the Lehman implosion, fear kicked in, and the world’s banks stopped lending to each other, and to us. The result was the banking crisis, which in turn triggered the recession, which in turn triggered the collapse in the public finances that is going to be the dominant issue in this country for years.

      Given what a big deal the collapse of Lehman turned out to be, you would think that it makes sense for there to be a whole fat book of legislation on the statue books designed to prevent a repetition of the crisis by making banks smaller and safer and more focused on their wider public function. Well, you might have thought that; but if you had, you would have been wrong, because there have been exactly no new laws targeting the causes of the crash. The systemic risks are the same as they were two years ago.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • For sale – one set of Accounts Software: One careful owner, FSH, MOT

      Reading a physical book, giving it to a friend or selling it to a secondhand bookseller doesn’t involve any copyright-restricted acts, so the copyright owner has no control over those acts. An eBook is entirely different: even reading it involves copying, and copying (generally) requires authorisation under the Copyright Act, (like all legal points, it’s not quite as simple as this, as there are some exceptions in the copyright legislation, but their scope is still open to argument) so the copyright owner has a lot more opportunity to intervene and control usage.

    • The HDCP master key: game over, HDMI digital restrictions management

      Why? Simple: using this key — the secret piece of the puzzle — people can now build hardware and free software compatible with HDMI, that can decrypt the encrypted video traversing between HDMI-compliant equipment, without having to obey the restrictions imposed by the HDMI oligopoly. Game over — pirates 1, digital restrictions management AACSholes 0. One more note: using this key might be illegal in some parts of the world — but whoever cares about what’s right can’t afford to care about what’s legal.

    • Claimed HDCP master key leak could be fatal to DRM scheme
    • HDCP ‘Master Key’ Found? Another Form Of DRM Drops Dead
    • Why Broadband Prices Haven’t Decreased

      After a new technology is introduced to the market, there is usually a predictable decrease in price as it becomes more common. Laptops experienced precipitous price drops during the past decade. Digital cameras, personal computers, and computer chips all followed similar steep declines in price. Has the price of broadband Internet followed the same model? Shane Greenstein decided to look into it.

      Since there are no public data on what has happened to broadband prices over the last decade, Shane Greenstein, a professor of management and strategy at the Kellogg School of Management, and his co-author Ryan McDevitt, a graduate student at Northwestern University, analyzed the contracts of 1,500 DSL and cable service providers from 2004 to 2009. They found evidence of only a very small price drop, between 3 and 10 percent, nothing like the rates of price decrease that characterize the rest of the electronic world.

    • HDCP Compromised, Time To End DRM?
  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Why It’s Important Not To Call Copyright Infringement Theft

      This is important. If you are seeking to understand what is happening and how to respond to it, calling it “theft” immediately shuts the door on a variety of important points. It closes off a path to understanding both what’s happening and how one might best deal with it. I find that incredibly dangerous from the perspective of a content creator. Calling infringement theft or not isn’t just a semantic argument from people who like to argue. It’s about actually understanding what’s going on, and that’s simply not possible when you put up a wall to understanding.

    • Seeing Like a Movie Mogul

      Because libertarians reflexively (and correctly) favor strong enforcement of property rights, we need to be careful about too credulously accepting the “property rights” frame for proposals to create or expand legal privileges. Such arguments can be found in a wide variety of fields, including gene patents, the recording industry, and spectrum policy. Clear and predictable property rules are a tremendous engine of economic growth and individual liberty. But Seeing Like a State reminds us that the creation of new property rights can sometimes be a process of expropriation, with the state inventing new rights to transfer wealth to parties with political power.

      Reasonable people can disagree about whether the new property rights whose creation Scott describes in Seeing Like a State had positive consequences in the long run, but it’s hard to deny that some of the short-run consequences were deeply illiberal, transferring wealth from ordinary peasants to those who had the closest ties to the state. When large firms deploy the rhetoric of property rights in defense of creating new legal privileges for themselves, libertarians especially need to employ an appropriate degree of skepticism.

    • Copyrights

      • Artists Make More Money in File-Sharing Age Than Before It

        An extensive study into the effect of digitalization on the music industry in Norway has shed an interesting light on the position of artists today, compared to 1999. While the music industry often talks about artists being on the brink of bankruptcy due to illicit file-sharing, the study found that the number of artists as well as their average income has seen a major increase in the last decade.

      • Gandi.net supports CC

        Some time ago, prompted by truly horrifying customer service and useless web interfaces of certain domain registrars, I decided to move all of CC’s domains to Gandi.net. I had had my personal domains with Gandi for quite some time, and had been very happy with the customer service and web management interface. Also, other people on the tech team at CC commented on the good experiences they had always had with Gandi.

      • How IP Enforcement Can Be Used To Suppress Dissent

        The NY Times ran a bombshell article over the weekend in which it reported that Russia has been using the pre-text of intellectual property enforcement to seize computers from NGO groups involved in advocacy and dissent. The article notes that the authorities have been receiving active assistance from Microsoft, which had been delivering statements describing the company as a victim and asking for criminal charges against the NGO groups. While human rights groups had been pressing Microsoft to address the issue for months, it only responded yesterday after the article’s publication. The company now says it will offer free blanket licences for its products to NGOs to prevent actions under the guise of IP enforcement. It will also establish a new legal assistance program to assist NGOs who need to respond to enforcement actions.

      • GooGoo Dolls Frontman Admits To Using Limewire; Says He Likes Fan-Made Video More Than His Official Video

        Stories like this always amuse me, because, of course, it wasn’t that long ago that all we heard was how evil such “infringers” were, in creating their own videos “using music that doesn’t belong to them.” It’s always nice to see musicians realize that fans making videos are fans making videos, rather than threatening them with infringement claims.

      • Everything is a Remix, Part 1
      • Digital Economy (UK)

        • Coalition pledges free appeals for filesharers

          People accused of unlawful filesharing by the music and film industries will have access to a free appeals system, the coalition government said today.

          Tory broadband minister Ed Vaizey said there will be no cost for the public to appeal against Digital Economy Act (DEA) copyright infringement notices, at least initially.

          However, the Department for Business will closely monitor the free appeals system, and reserve the right to introduce “small fees” later, because it “risks the possibility of large numbers of unnecessary appeals”. Appeals will be heard by a new tribunal.

Clip of the Day

Michael Moore: ‘We Should Always Stand Up Against the Angry Mob’

Credit: TinyOgg

Microsoft Turns From Assisting Political Suppression to Suppressing GNU/Linux Adoption in Russia

Posted in Asia, Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 1:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red star with hammer and sickle

Summary: Microsoft has begun dumping against GNU/Linux in Russian non-profits after getting exposed for its role attacking those very same non-profits

Russian schools are under attack by Microsoft and IDG and all Russian citizens are under attack by Microsoft and corrupt officials. There are many follow-up articles about the subject and also this report from Dallas News:

Russian officials raid opposition groups under pretext of searching for pirated Microsoft software


As the ploy grows common, the authorities are receiving pivotal assistance from an unexpected partner: Microsoft itself. In numerous politically tinged inquiries across Russia, Microsoft lawyers have staunchly backed the police.

Interviews and a review of law-enforcement documents show that in recent cases, Microsoft lawyers made statements describing the company as a victim and arguing that criminal charges should be pursued. The lawyers rebuffed pleas by accused journalists and advocacy groups to refrain from working with the authorities.

Baikal Wave, in fact, said it had purchased and installed legal Microsoft software specifically to deny the authorities an excuse to raid them. The group later asked Microsoft for help in fending off the police.

“Microsoft did not want to help us, which would have been the right thing to do,” said Marina Rikhvanova, a Baikal Wave co-chairwoman and one of Russia’s best-known environmentalists. “They said these issues had to be handled by the security services.”

The Moscow Helsinki Group sent a letter to Microsoft saying that the company was complicit in “the persecution of civil society activists.”

It seems like Microsoft PR agents have begun working overtime because of this. We had some readers report to us mass-hypnosis in social networking platforms like Reddit, where Microsoft and its apologists are trying to spin it to their advantage and thus look good. “Microsoft will create a new unilateral software license for NGOs: free, legal copies,” says one source. This is utterly shameful damage control from PR puppet Ina Fried and the PR/official blog where Brad Smith spins this embarrassment and dumps more proprietary software (lock-in). Rui Seabra ponders, “proof of feeling pressure from GNU/Linux adoption by NGOs, which could trigger network effects against them. Illegal dumping?”

Harish Pillay says: “use FOSS please!”

Microsoft basically ran with its tail between its legs and its apologists were spinning the original stories by claiming that the dissidents were the ‘bad guy’ and Microsoft’s framing of them was therefore justified and even commendable. Amazing spin!

Now they crave credit for dumping (reversing the situation), which resembles what Microsoft seemingly did with NGOs from India. Here’s more about that reversal [1, 2, 3]: [via]

Microsoft announced sweeping changes on Monday to ensure that the authorities in Russia and elsewhere do not use crackdowns on software piracy as an excuse to suppress advocacy or opposition groups, effectively prohibiting its lawyers from taking part in such cases.

Had they not been caught and shamed, nothing would be done. The so-called ‘donation’ is serving Microsoft, it’s by no means charitable at all. The dependency is an asset to Microsoft, even if only a long-term asset.

Microsoft Insiders Galore: BBC, Nokia, Others Already Damaged by Microsoft Hires

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 12:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fredrik Idestam
Not what Nokia’s founder had in mind

Summary: As Microsoft replaces Nokia’s CEO, Anssi Vanjoki already jumps ship and the BBC is excluding Free software users after hiring many managers from Microsoft UK

EARLIER on in the week we wrote about Nokia’s CEO coming from Microsoft and we mentioned what Microsoft was doing inside the BBC in one of these two posts, which debated entryism [1, 2]. Well, guess what? The crisis at Nokia already deepens. Just days after the Microsoft appointment at Nokia, Anssi Vanjoki is leaving, maybe to protest (can he now be replaced by another person from Microsoft?). As TechCrunch put it for those who don’t know Vanjoki:

Imagine if Jonathan Ive, the designer of the Mac and the iPhone, walked out of Apple one day before its world developer’s conference? Well that’s the kind of impact of the resignation today of Anssi Vanjoki, who has announced his departure one day before Nokia World, the company’s major annual event. Vanjoki was widely seen as being the potential ‘Steve Jobs” of Nokia – a product obsessive who could get things done.

In a separate new post there is reassurance that MeeGo goes ahead as planned but so does Symbian:

Just after the keynote, I spent 15 minutes with Vanjoki and pressed him more about MeeGo. “The platform,” he told me, “is the next part of our strategy, following Symbian in the smartphone market.” According to Vanjoki, a reworked Symbian has “caught up” to other platforms, and MeeGo is the product platform that will catch competitors flat-footed. With bluster and confidence, Vanjoki described the next generation of portable computers powered by MeeGo, pointing out that I’ll want to carry a MeeGo device instead of the MacBook I lugged to Nokia World. If that isn’t some attitude, I don’t know what is.

In our most recent post about the BBC (and Nokia) we showed that even more Microsoft managers are entering and influencing strategic areas (strategic to Microsoft). In response to what Microsoft staff does inside the BBC, the Open Source Consortium has just published its formal Ofcom complaint:

The BBC led consortium developing Project Canvas are looking to develop yet another walled garden. As such, the OSC believes this will have adverse consequences for the device and software sector, diminishing consumer choice and causing inevitable consumer harm.

We have asked Ofcom, the industry regulator, to look at the wider effects on the device and software market.

These wider effects will be the result of the BBC and its joint venture partners limiting technology choice, setting arbitrary access conditions and enforcing mandated branding decisions

Later on, the brilliant Mark Ballard covered this too:

Open source Brits charge BBC with foul play

The UK’s Open Source Consortium has filed an official complaint against the BBC and its partners in Project Canvas, the joint venture designing a proprietary standard for Internet media players.

The Canvas confederacy, which includes the most prominent of the UK’s terrestrial television broadcasters – the BBC, Channel 4 , Channel 5 and ITV – has already attracted complaints from rival broadcasters Sky and Virgin Media.

Now they’ve been joined by the OSC, which lodged a complaint this weekend to UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom, on behalf of the computer industry.

The OSC told Ofcom that Project Canvas would drive an anti-competitive wedge into the market for computer operating systems and media software.

It’s not BBC staff that’s doing this. It’s former Microsoft staff which entered the BBC, probably having been invited by other former Softies (Microsoft UK) who had entered beforehand. This type of thing happened in other companies and we gave examples the other day. At taxpayers’ expense they carry on excluding users of free/libre operating systems. How convenient.

Microsoft Nick’s headline asks: “Is Microsoft the puppetmaster?”

Nick refers to Microsoft’s rather apparent role in attacking Google by proxy right now [1, 2, 3, 4], not just GNU/Linux users.

Microsoft denied to comment specifically on the Texas investigation, though a source said the company has not received any formal requests for information from the attorney general’s office. (No formal request is needed — investigators can call up companies for information without sending official requests.)

“OOXML Paoli”, whom we recently found spinning a great deal for Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], is now bringing to Microsoft yet another ‘Open Source’ insider, Gianugo Rabellino. That’s what Microsoft is good at doing. It’s good at intruding things like the most recent OpenOffice.org event. It’s mastery of entryism. How long can some people pretend that Microsoft is not a huge problem and its employees are corporate poison?

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts