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10.03.10

Links 3/10/2010: Economist.com on Drupal, GIMP 2.6.11

Posted in News Roundup at 10:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Adoption of GNU/Linux on the Desktop

      One picture is worth a thousand words…

    • OS representations and the choice of migration

      For these beginner Linux users, Linux represents an all-mighty fortress that stands impenetrable. Consequently, they engage in all sorts of risky on line behavior. While it is a fact that Linux is more secure than Windows is, the hubris of these tragic heroes gradually leads them to their destruction…or to the bitter realization that a great many of the attacks a computer can suffer are fostered by a careless user.

      Fanboys always wage wars based on prejudice. Regardless of the OS you like, an open mind will help you fly over the clouds of ignorance and, eventually, you can make a conscious choice about whether or not your OS satisfies your needs or if a migration is the solution to your computer woes or the beginning of them.

    • 20 Really Awesome Linux Desktop Customization Screenshots

      Without further delay, here are some impressive Linux desktop customization screenshots…

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDEMU – Matt Rogers in the 25th Century

        This week, on KDE and the Masters of the Universe, Kopete ex-maintainer and all around Basket case, Matt Rogers.

      • Review: Sabayon 5.4 KDE

        I guess Sabayon 5.4 hasn’t really changed much from version 5.3, which had many of the same bugs that I experienced today. I simultaneously love it for its vast collection of applications included out-of-the-box and hate it for its stability issues, which still haven’t been resolved despite using the extremely stable KDE 4.5. I guess this is going to get a solid “meh” from me. (That said, don’t be surprised to see me testing the next version of Sabayon when it comes out.)

      • The role of KDE e.V.

        From time to time we hear the question, what actually is KDE e.V., what’s its role in the KDE community? Let me try to answer this question here.

        In short, KDE e.V. is the organization, which represents, supports, and provides governance to the KDE community. It gives the community a legal body so it can participate in activities which require a legal representation, somebody handling money, or a way to legitimize individuals to speak and act for the community.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Nautilus Elementary in Ubuntu Maverick, A Quick Review

        For some strange reasons, I am not able to enable clutterview in my Ubuntu Maverick. When I press F4, it just shows a black screen. Hence the ammonkey’s screenshot above. Another important feature worth mentioning is the integration for zeitgeist search engine. Take a look at the awesome video by ammonkey himself demonstrating zeitgeist search engine.

      • GTK+3 Completes Its Rendering Clean-Up

        Just days after the release of GNOME 2.32, focusing on GNOME 3.0 development for next March has now regained center stage. It was in August that GTK+ began using more of Cairo for its tool-kit drawing and then dropped DirectFB support, but with today’s release of GTK+ 2.91.0 (the latest GTK+ 3.0 snapshot) the rendering clean-up of GNOME’s tool-kit is complete.

  • Distributions

    • “BSD vs. Linux” or “what to do when your favourite Linux distro falls appart”

      And then of course there is Debian. I think about half the servers we have deployed are Debian based and indeed I like it very much. Desktop however is another story, many of our test runs have miserably failed due to unsupported graphic cards, malfunctioning wireless support and so on.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat near Resistance

        Shares of Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) are trading very close to calculated resistance at $41.75 with the current price action closing at just $41.00 placing the stock near levels that make it difficult to buy.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • A challenge for a Mandriva user: SimplyMepis!

        Megatotoro was kind enough to remove Gloria and install Mepis for me, after which, as in the Sioux hanblecchia, I was left alone on the hilltop…or, more accurately, inside the Mepis pyramids. This is the beginning of my challenge: For the next week, I will only use Mepis on my netbook to feel the differences. Remember, since I am not a computer guru, all I have is my limited empiric access to this fascinating world.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Ubuntu 10.10 ‘Maverick Meerkat’ Release Candidate is Available Now, Complete Review

          * Ubuntu One was greatly improved with lots of bug fixes with focus on stability and better nautilus integration. Users can now create account with out a need to visit a browser. The web interface was improved and feels more intuitive.
          * An Android application was released for Ubuntu One and a new feature introduced where Ubuntu One will stream music to phones.

        • Toshiba AC100 dumps Android for Ubuntu 10.10, gets useful

          Toshiba’s AC100 is certainly an interesting notebook on the face of it: Tegra 2 processor, full QWERTY and plenty of battery life, but the Android OS does mean it’s definitely a companion device and not your sole ultraportable. That could all change, however, now a hack for loading Ubuntu onto the AC100 has been developed; Carrypad pulled together the instructions and files from tosh-ac100.wetpaint.org, ac100.gudinna.com and the official Toshiba forums and managed to get his AC100 up and running with Ubuntu 10.10.

        • Thank you, Ubuntu

          Ubuntu 10.10, the Maverick Meerkat, will be released in just a couple of weeks. That got me reflecting on the fact that I have been a happy user of Ubuntu for what must be over 5 years now. That’s a long time!

          The GNU/Linux variants are the only OSes I’ve used where I really have the flexibility to define my own workflow (example). So they are a pleasure to use (ok, most of the time). I use a computer for many, many hours a day nearly every day. And the time spent customizing software and learning it is a drop in the bucket when it’s amortized over the months and years I’m going to spend using it. Sure, Windows and Mac OS are a bit more learnable and easier to get started with— but they are much less usable. And for me, and most other people who sit at a computer for a living, that is precisely the wrong optimization to make.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Review: wattOS R2

            The only review of a lightweight Ubuntu-based distribution I’ve done before this is of #! 9.04.01. I was looking around to see if there are any others, and I came across wattOS.
            wattOS R2 is based on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS “Lucid Lynx” and uses LXDE. From other reviews of this distribution that I have read, the thing that sets it apart is its comprehensive set of power management tools (hence the name).
            The other reason I wanted to test this is because I wanted to try to make a “light” version of my Fresh OS respin. Yeah, I know this is based on Ubuntu while the regular version is based on Debian, but I’ve heard murmurs in the wattOS forums of the next wattOS version being based on Debian anyway. Anyway, this means that I will also be testing the installation procedure as well as a few other things post-installation.

            [...]

            Overall, I think wattOS is a great distribution that is highly customizable and is a great way to revive an old computer with modern software. I do still feel slightly cheated by the absence of the power management tools. I highly recommend anyone to try it out. (See? I did include the download link this time!)

          • Leaving CrunchBang Linux for Lubuntu

            Overall it works great – just as well as Crunchbang, but with update to date software. The only thing I didn’t like was that there was no update gui – I needed to run apt-get to find out stuff is ready for update – this also annoyed me with CrunchBang. Come on guys, every major distro (including Ubuntu, upon which it’s based) has some way of letting the user know there are updates to be installed. The user shouldn’t have to go manually checking every few days.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Firefox 4 vs. Internet Explorer 9 – Head on!

      In a head-on comparison, Firefox 4 wins over its Microsoft arch-enemy. But that does not mean Internet Explorer 9 is bad. Far from it. Furthermore, the fact the browser scene has another new player, a good one with big teeth and a decent punch, should make you really excited. As the end user, you will benefit from even more attention and better and cheaper products. This is what fierce competition is all about. You.

      Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9 are going to be great browsers once released. If you’re a Firefox user, no need to abandon your favorite product. It’s still the good ole stuff that made the difference and broke the monopoly. If you’re an Internet Explorer user, now you truly have a good browser, which you can use and be proud of.

      And that would be all.

      I hope you enjoyed the article. If not, feel free to point out where I might be wrong.

    • Firefox, What I Would Like To See

      Firefox is my default web browser, which can be mainly attributed to its amazing add-on support and customizability. But other browsers have emerged (Chrome) or improved to a point, that Firefox feels old fashioned in certain categories. Especially speed and performance wise. If you ever experienced how fast Chrome or Opera are opening the most complex websites, and then compared that to Firefox, you know that something is amiss there.

  • CMS

    • The Economist.com data migration to Drupal

      The Economist is now using Drupal 6 to serve the vast majority of content pages to its flagship web site, economist.com. The homepage is Drupal powered, along with all articles, channels, comments, and more. The Economist evaluated several open source CMS and proprietary solutions aimed at media publishers. In the end, The Economist chose Drupal for its vibrant community, and the ecosystem of modules that it produces. The Economist will be adding lots of social tools to its site over time, and doing so on its existing platform was too slow/inefficient.

    • Movable Type
  • Business

    • Outgrowing QuickBooks? Maybe open source ERP can help

      Recent surveys have found that small and medium-size businesses are increasingly willing to consider open source tools. Not surprisingly, small businesses and large enterprises are predisposed to different categories of open source software. Survey data suggest that ERP is one category where small businesses are more likely to adopt open source than their large enterprise peers.

      Several open source ERP vendors are vying for a share of the action. Small-business owners and/or their IT department heads should consider whether an open source ERP package could meet their business needs as their companies grow.

  • Project Releases

  • Government

    • Open Government Licence enables re-use of information

      The National Archives is today launching a new Open Government Licence, which makes it faster and easier than ever before to re-use public sector information.

      The UK Open Government Licence is a key element of the Government’s commitment to greater transparency. It provides a single set of terms and conditions for anyone wishing to use or license government information and removes some of the existing barriers to re-use.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Dinner is Ready

        At the moment, due to limitations in the GCC compiler only 128k of flash are immediately useable but we’re very close to unlocking the whole memory space.

  • Programming

    • Modern Perl: The Book: The (draft) PDF

      I’ve finished writing and editing Modern Perl: The Book, and it’s gone into production, which means that Onyx Neon is preparing a print-ready PDF to give to the printers. The book should be available in print by the end of October, if not sooner.

Leftovers

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Investigating CC’s welfare impact, the first step

        To recap, what I am offering is to think of CC as an enterprise operating on three separate spheres, each with its distinct, although definitely not independent, value contribution. The first is the contribution to transactions between actors in the creative fields, the second is the institutional contribution and the third is the contribution in the normative field.

        The idea is that this can serve as the baseline for analysis, a fundamental categorization which lends itself to further sub-categorization, by field, by activity, by actor and by CC tool, but that doesn’t lose track of the way all of these tie into the one primary goal.

      • Quick review: Sintel

        Technically the video is impressive, it shows the software advancements and the grown experience of the team, it had good music and voices and it slightly longer. Still… I think it will be a smaller success compared with its predecessor, Big Buck Bunny.

Clip of the Day

Simon Josefsson – “Autobuild”


IRC Proceedings: October 3rd, 2010

Posted in Site News at 7:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

ACCESS (ALP) is Now Dead, Freedom Lives

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Patents at 6:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Gates may be gone, but the walls and bars of proprietary software he helped create remain, for now. Dismantling them is up to us.”

Richard Stallman

ACCESS loss

Summary: Good news to Free software proponents as a ‘proprietariser’ of Linux and defender of software patents finally exits the scene

A SOURCE of agitation against the Free Software Foundation (FSF), Techrights, and few other pro-software freedom groups is no more. The staff was laid off a short while ago and there is no loss to anything but a software patents pool and proprietary software; the winners are probably Android, MeeGo, and software freedom. Bruce Perens was right when he called ACCESS “a sinking ship.” All it did was divide GNOME, belittle Android, smear Richard Stallman, and led to the firing of at least one Free software supporter. That is a terrible legacy to be leaving.

Related posts:

Links 3/10/2010: Gimpbox Introduced, ACS:Law Boss Could Go Bankrupt

Posted in News Roundup at 5:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Max Out Your Video, Graphics, and Audio Arsenal

    If you think back to what you were doing digitally 10 years ago, and then think about what you’re doing today, odds are that you work with video, graphics and audio much more than you ever did before. Within the world of open source, there are not only outstanding free applications that can improve your experience in these areas, but there are many free guides and tutorials to get you going with them. In this post, you’ll find a huge number of resources for pumping up your multimedia muscles. Spend some time with these, and you’ll collect some rich dividends.

  • Why There Won’t Be a LAMP For Big Data

    It is possible that we’ll see standardization of componentry around specific projects like Hadoop – although even that seems unlikely with the rampant proliferation of query, import and other ecosystem projects – but I do not expect to see a standard stack of software used to tackle generic Big Data problems, because there really aren’t many generic Big Data problems. Inconvenient as that might be from a vocabulary perspective.

  • FLOSS on YouTube

    # Guadalinux on hundreds of thousands of computers in schools and offices in Andalusia, Spain. A million downloads so far.

  • Apache Shindig 2.0: OpenSocial implementation for Java and PHP

    Apache Shindig 2.0 is available to download and is licensed under the Apache 2.0 licence. An overview of the project explains Shindig’s history and how it implements the OpenSocial specification.

  • Events

    • Women Proved “Securest” in the Defcon Social Engineering Game

      In a recent post (Hackers Play “Social Engineering Capture The Flag” At Defcon), I pointed to a game in which contestants used the telephone to convince company employees to voluntarily cough up information they probably shouldn’t have.

      Of 135 “targets” of the social engineering “game,” 130 blurted out too much information. All five holdouts were women who gave up zero data to the social engineers.

  • Web Browsers

    • Google hands number 7 shirt to Chrome browser

      Mountain View updated Chrome to 7.0.517.24 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome Frame. But the latest release is light on new features, which has left some Chrome fans a bit nonplussed.

  • Databases

    • Five Enterprise Features in PostgreSQL 9

      The PostgreSQL Global Development Group recently released PostgreSQL 9.0, with major new features and more than 200 addons and improvements for the popular database.

      If you look at the release notes you’ll find a ton of new features and enhancements to existing features. For example, this release brings better error messages for unique constraints, improvements in PL languages for stored procedures, and a lot more. Wading through the PostgreSQL 9.0 release notes is a DBA’s delight, but what are the top features in this release? I pinged PostgreSQL core team member Josh Berkus and got some input on the most important features for PostgreSQL 9.

  • Oracle

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC 4.4.5 Brings Bug-Fixes

      While GCC 4.5 has been around since this past April, if you are still living with GCC 4.4 for whatever reason (like being hit with a massive performance regression), you may be pleased to know that on this Sunday afternoon there is the GCC 4.4.5 release that’s now available. GCC 4.4.5 was delayed a bit, but it’s here and offers up bug-fixes but no major new features.

  • Project Releases

    • ForgeRock announces OpenDJ LDAP directory service

      ForgeRock has announced OpenDJ, a Java based open source directory server as part of its I3 platform. OpenDJ, a standard compliant LDAP directory server built for scalability and stability, is a based on OpenDS, a project initially developed by Sun Microsystems, and ForgeRock has announced that a key OpenDS developer, Ludovic Poitou, has joined its ranks. ForgeRock CEO Lasse Andresen said “It’s a real delight to work with him again”. Enterprise subscriptions to OpenDJ are available now from ForgeRock.

  • Government

    • Topic Report No 16: INSPIREd by Openness: The case of the implementation of Directive 2007/2/EC in Greece as a general model for open data regulation within the context of Public Sector Information

      This state of play report on recent PSI initiatives in Greece discusses the national transposition of the INSPIRE Directive by the Greek Parliament: the National Infrastructure for Geospatial Information (3882/2010). This is a vitally important piece of legislation both in the context of open data and the regulation of Public Sector Information. It adopts a life cycle approach and increases the threshold of protection of the re-use of public sector information. This was the result of lengthy process and a concentrated effort to create a functional and sustainable system for the sharing of Geospatial Information in the context of the Greek legal system. The success of Law 3882/2010 is something yet to be tested in its implementation. However, the author concludes that it is significant as a model for increasing administrative capacity in dealing with open data. This report demonstrates the value of the EU focus on INSPIRE and PSI legislation.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • A little bit of federated Open Notebook Science

      Jean-Claude Bradley is the master when it comes to organising collaborations around diverse sets of online tools. The UsefulChem and Open Notebook Science Challenge projects both revolved around the use of wikis, blogs, GoogleDocs, video, ChemSpider and whatever tools are appropriate for the job at hand. This is something that has grown up over time but is at least partially formally organised. At some level the tools that get used are the ones Jean-Claude decides will be used and it is in part his uncompromising attitude to how the project works (if you want to be involved you interact on the project’s terms) that makes this work effectively.

    • Open Access/Content

      • The Great Disconnect: Scholars Without Libraries

        This naming of a threat seemed interesting when read in connection with Steven Bell’s recent ACRLog post, “Underground Resource Sharing,” in which he related the outrage over Netflixgate to a blog post by a scholar who was horrified to discover that once he finished his degree, the library cut him off from JSTOR. (Apparently he thought an alumni association deal would keep the connection open to everything; anyone who has had to negotiate a license agreement to spend over ten thousand dollars to share two seats across the total population of three institutions, each kicking in over 10K for the privilege is now rolling around on the floor laughing so hard it hurts. Or … well, it hurts, anyway.) How was he supposed to get any work done? He reported feeling a “fresh surge of hatred” for his alma mater. (Excuse me, but does this mean everything you publish in future will be open access? Whose fault is it that research findings have to be paid for and fenced off? You’ll find a hint if you look in the mirror.) Comments on his post pointed out that, duh, you just get a friend to send articles to you, or you join a Facebook or FriendFeed group dedicated to swapping articles or just get somebody’s login. Too bad we spent so much on EEBO – apparently everyone has a bootleg login.

Leftovers

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Europe should keep the internet open

      Who gets to decide what you do on the internet: you or your internet service provider? Until recently, the answer was simple: you decide which services and websites you want visit. This is changing rapidly, however. Most internet providers want to restrict your internet traffic. Unless the European Commission prohibits them from doing so. Bits of Freedom together with EDRi on 30 September 2010 urged the European Commission to prohibit this. If you have 5 minutes, you can do the same.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • P2P Backed Film Platform to Reward Influencers

        Supported by a conglomerate of file-sharing sites and applications, the VODO project offers a novel distribution platform for indie filmmakers. The model has already proven itself as all major releases have been downloaded by hundreds of thousands of users. However, to really tap into the core of peer-to-peer distribution, the focus will now shift to peer-to-peer promotion.

      • Top Legal Experts Explore Reforms to Copyright Law

        Berkeley, CA-September 28, 2010…A group of leading experts on copyright law and policy released a report today that explores ideas for meaningful reforms to the U.S. copyright system. Crafted over three years by a group of legal academics, private practitioners, and corporate attorneys, the report examines several ways to improve and update the law in an era of rapid technological change.

      • UK Law Firm Gallant Macmillan Taken Offline In Revenge Attacks

        Law firm Gallant & Macmillan, which was threatened with a DDos attack by 4chan yesterday, appears to have disappeared from the internet. It is unclear whether the host disconnected the domain in advance of the attack or whether Gallant & Macmillan is now the latest company to be forced offline through traffic overload.

        Anonymous group 4chan began waging war on copyright bodies and solicitors involved in accusing internet users of copyright infringement as part of what it described as a ‘operation payback’.

      • Gallant Macmillan – site is down but 4chan not to blame? Who’s next?

        It’s being reported by some tech writers that Gallant Macmillan might have been taken down with a new ddos by users from 4chan (It also suggests the possibility that the site was taken down intentionally by its owners.)

      • ACS:Law Boss: I Feel Defeated And Could Go Bankrupt

        After disgruntled letter recipients mailed off a barrage of complaints to the Solicitors Regulatory Authority against ACS:Law owner Andrew Crossley, he told his advisor that not only did he “feel defeated” but that in his long-term interests it might be better if he “shut up shop”. Doing so, he explained, would bankrupt him.

      • Third Blender film available to download

        In just under 15 minutes, the film narrates a traditional fantasy story with all the pathos expected from the genre – a young female warrior called Sintel finds an injured baby dragon and nurses it back to health. When the baby dragon, barely able to fly, is kidnapped by a powerful older dragon, Sintel takes up the pursuit.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

QuestionCopyright.org: Street Interviews About Copyright, Chicago, June 2006 (2006)


Credit: TinyOgg

SUSE is Getting More Restrictive and Virtualisation-centered Ahead of Expected Sale to VMB_ware

Posted in GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Patents, Red Hat, Servers, SLES/SLED, VMware at 11:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Uroplatus fimbriatus
The lizard is being locked inside a box

Summary: Novell’s focus is increasingly on proprietary software and as far as SUSE goes, Novell only adds to it more of a Fog Computing aspect

Eric Savitz, a longtime booster of Microsoft, seems to be urging Novell to give in to the Microsoft executives who run VMB_ware and just sell SUSE to them. A couple of days ago he published “Something’s Got To Give” where he says: “Since March, the company has been considering strategic alternatives; the Street expects a resolution of the situation soon. The Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago reported that the company was talking to VMware (VMW), among others, about buying the company’s SuSE Linux business; but Reuters subsequently reported that private equity buyers were balking over the price the company was asking for the rest of its assets.”

“The sad thing about Novell is that before signing the software patents deal with Microsoft there was a good deal of commitment to Free software, with nice innovative projects like Compiz.”Novell keeps losing value as more major contracts are being lost and the stock declined quite a bit in recent days (see financial news about Novell in [1, 2, 3, 4]).

The sad thing about Novell is that before signing the software patents deal with Microsoft there was a good deal of commitment to Free software, with nice innovative projects like Compiz. These days Novell seems to be focusing on virtualisation for Fog Computing, with examples in the press such as this new article about “Intelligent Workload Management” (proprietary).

This is a guest post by Mark Oldroyd, a senior technology identity and security specialist with Novell.

Here is another new press release which is about ZENworks and obviously just proprietary software:

GroupLink Corporation, makers of the first and only ZENWorks 10 integrated service desk, the everything HelpDesk (eHD), announces its commitment to further integration with ZENworks 11.

Novell is even turning its SUSE component into a Fog Computing thing, according to this new press release which generated coverage in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. In short, SUSE is being refocused by Novell so as to take further control away from users. How on Earth is that a step forward? Some of Novell’s pro-software freedom people have quit the company and it shows.

According to this guest commentary from The H, “Open Core is over” (‘open’ core is an “open source” marketing gown for proprietary software). Here is the part about Novell:

“Open core” always used to be the problem with SUSE (proprietary Yast) and, since the take-over by Novell, the company’s proprietary components have been called eDirectory or Groupwise. Red Hat with its “perceived” 99% of open source components has been considerably more successful. As correctly pointed out in the article, people quickly realise that “open core” doesn’t actually represent an advantage, and our company also encountered the described “dialectic problems” before we made the decision to release our software as 100% open source code.

The SUSE Studio blog writes about One-click WebYaST. Is that too being ‘foggified’?

Anyway, in other news there is this deceiving new headline from South Africa. What it says is not news at all as Novell announced this months ago. It’s an attempt to grab Solaris users and put them on Microsoft/Novell Ballnux instead (paying Microsoft and Novell for a patents-encumbered distribution). SAP too loves Ballnux and here is one more article about Novell’s renewed vows with SAP (a lot about it was published last week):

There was a little blurb on internet.com a couple of days ago mentioning that Novell would be optimizing the SUSE Linux OS for SAP applications.

[...]

This feels right considering that Elliott Associates, a Waltham, Mass-based Hedge Fund, made an offer to buy Novell back in March. The offer was rejected. An optimized Linux enterprise server for SAP applications will benefit the new SUSE Linux owner, whoever that may be. I will be sad to see an independent Novell go the way of so many other enterprise software vendors… how Darwinian eh?

The proprietary software giants just love Ballnux because it gives them that warm fuzzy feeling that even “open source” is living under the rules of proprietary software legacy, including software patent monopolies.

Novell’s “governance suite” (more proprietary software) is covered here in the South African press and Amazon — another proprietary software giant which pays Microsoft for GNU/Linux since many Microsoft executives were appointed to its management — finds a place for Ballnux at sight of the aforementioned announcement from Novell.

Watch the latest publicity stunt which Novell uses to promote Ballnux, in line with the announcement above:

Novell today announced the judging panel for the First Annual aEURoeDisteraEUR Awards, a SUSE Studio contest celebrating innovators and inventors of Linux-based software appliances. Industry luminaries from Computerworld, eWeek, the Linux Foundation, openSUSE and Novell, will select and award each winner in the categories of aEURoeCommunity UseaEUR and aEURoeCommercial UseaEUR a $10,000 grand prize. In addition, due to unprecedented interest in the competition, Novell has extended the submission deadline to Nov. 1, 2010.

This says that it’s about the “Annual aEURoeDisteraEUR Awards Celebrating Linux Innovators”, but only Ballnux is mentioned there, not GNU/Linux. Shameful marketing from Novell? Here is Novell’s head of marketing (John Dragoon) saying in the PR blog that “Silence is not Goal(den)”. Well, maybe it’s time for Novell not to keep silent about its shameless attempts to stomp on competing distributions that give Novell code (primarily Red Hat, which is still the only other option in many cases). Dragoon writes:

Keeping your goals to yourself can apparently help you train for marathons and shrink dress sizes. It will not help you achieve your goals as a department or a company.

Well, Novell will soon be sold to one company or another. Dragoon and Hovsepian are almost the only top chiefs that seem to have stuck with the company to this point. They don't know a darn thing about software freedom; they never knew nor cared, otherwise they would have written on the subject. So here we have Novell going back to its proprietary software days. SUSE too may soon be sold to a proprietary software powerhouse.

In Romania, “Marketing and GNU/Linux FUD is Everything for Microsoft”; Latest Propaganda Comes From Călin Tatomir

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 9:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Romanian flag

Summary: A quick roundup about the way Microsoft operates in Romania, where several EU-wide Microsoft scandals are taking place

“Microsoft Romania speaks again,” tells us Răzvan Sandu. He links to the latest propaganda piece which is translated automatically as “Microsoft Romania estimates that more than a year, Windows 7 could have half the market” (just more Vista 7-flavoured propaganda).

Răzvan says the following:

For the sake of curiosity, maybe you’ll want to watch more closely the moves that Microsoft Romania does. Please remember, this is a country that do not determine the technological trends and, despite a large number of good programmers, the IT culture of the general public is pretty low.

So, in such a country, marketing and GNU/Linux FUD is everything for Microsoft. Due to endemic, high-level corruption and lack of powerful NGOs, only isolate bloggers may voice a different opinion.

As seen in the 2007 OOXML “war”, Microsoft policies are very effective here. Unfortunately, Eastern Europe is a lucrative market for Microsoft.

These days, Mr. Călin Tatomir, the CEO of Microsoft Romania, speaks again:

http://is.gd/fI3Fu (automatic translation, please excuse)

Given Romania’s relative low importance on the technological “markets”, I was surprised to find out that a few visible GNU/Linux websites in Romania have their permanent anti-Linux trolls, that derail, turn into derision or give false answers to any newbie or “philosophical” question about Free Software.

Two examples of such sites are the public forums at http://forum.chip.ro/ and http://linuxsoft.ro. Pretty visible when googling, both of them…

Usually, trolls are not Microsoft employees, but programmers at local ISVs.

Microsoft Romania also has strong Twitter and FaceBook presence, via a number of “evangelists”:

http://www.facebook.com/MicrosoftRomania
http://twitter.com/#!/romicrosoft

[...]

Please see http://is.gd/fIuoM (automatic translation)

Original link, including a picture of Tatomir, is here:

http://www.dailybusiness.ro/stiri-it-c…

For more information about Microsoft’s behaviour in Romania, see the links below.

BBC Cannot Call out Windows

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 8:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Computer=Windows=computer

Bill's BC

Summary: The BBC still seems unable to call viruses what they really are — Windows deficiencies

THE MSBBC (now filled with many executives from Microsoft UK) generally does not call out Windows, meaning that unless some computer threat attacks a platform like Mac OS X, the MSBBC will describe the threat as a “computer” threat (so a computer rather than Windows gets the blame/liability). Yesterday we were shown yet another new example of this, where the MSBBC writes:

Hackers in Eastern Europe would use spam email to infect computers of small businesses and individuals in the US with a virus known as Zeus, the FBI said in a statement.

The virus known as Zeus, which we wrote about in [1, 2, 3, 4], is a Windows-only problem. Why can’t the MSBBC call out Windows and better inform the audience?

Vista Phone 7 is Dead on Arrival, So Microsoft Resorts to ‘Chill Attack’ on Linux/Android

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 8:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Panic

Summary: Microsoft is trying to make sellers of Android phones panic just shortly before its embarrassing competitor, Vista Phone 7 [sic], arrives at the market

IT IS no longer news that Microsoft is suing the last large seller of Android phones for not paying Microsoft for Linux. The FFII calls it:

New #Android stunt, start of #swpat wars or the last defense?

David Sugar from GNU Telephony alleges that Microsoft “can use the mere threat of patent lawsuits to effectively extort payments like a modern day Al Capone.” Here is his excellent (and widely-cited) post titled “Legal terrorism Microsoft style” (also published here):

Many people I think misunderstand Microsoft’s supreme court appeal of the i4i patent case. Some suggest that by focusing on limiting the ability to actually win patent cases that Microsoft is somehow limiting it’s own ability to use software patents against others. Nothing can be further from the truth, and indeed I think this case and their newly launched lawsuit against Motorola represents a milestone in their transformation from a proprietary software vendor into a litigation house.

What I think people fail to appreciate is that Microsoft does not seek the elimination of software patents but only to further limit the possibility of suffering spectacular losses at the end of such cases. This is because they understand well their most effective strategy is not in actually winning large judgments in patent cases against others, but rather simply in being able to financially exhaust others that they choose to sue. Hence, they wish to have an environment that is for them “safer to sue”.

Being a failed software company that can neither produce nor enter markets they are unable to illegally force people to buy their defective products, they clearly see future growth by taxing everyone else’s success. This is made possible by the threat of launching multi-year patent lawsuits that will cost millions of dollars to defend against even if they are entirely groundless, but for which they are far better positioned to financially sustain than their chosen target. They therefore can use the mere threat of patent lawsuits to effectively extort payments like a modern day Al Capone.

Microsoft is trying to deter companies from selling Android/Linux, using software patents. Sugar quotes Benjamin Franklin as saying: “That as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others…”

“To Microsoft, sharing work is a one-way affair (exploiting the work of others).”Microsoft does not understand sharing. To Microsoft, sharing work is a one-way affair (exploiting the work of others). By the way, Sugar’s use of the word “legal terrorism” may cheapen the term “terrorism”, but it is a proper term to use in this context. A few years ago, James Eagleton, the systems product manager for Sun Microsystems, said about Microsoft’s aggressive action: “What we’re seeing though now can be loosely described as patent terrorism, where people are using their patent horde as a threat [...] It’s almost like a cold war stand over tactic; where I have these patents and if you breach these patents, I’m going to come after you and sue you.”

Last night in IRC we showed that the MSBBC’s coverage of the lawsuit against Motorola seemed more like Microsoft propaganda and many other publications fell into the same trap; they describe Motorola like some kind of “thief” and Microsoft as a victim rather than explain to viewers/readers that Microsoft cannot compete, so it is just agitating everyone else around it.

A Microsoft booster from the The Seattle Times wrote a decent piece for a change. It’s titled “Microsoft using anti-Linux tactic against Google’s Android” and it starts as follows:

The lawsuit Microsoft filed against Motorola and its use of Google’s Android phone software is awfully familiar.

Microsoft used the same tactic against Linux when the open-source software reached critical mass in the data center and threatened to derail the growth of Microsoft’s server business seven years ago.

After name-calling failed to slow Linux, Microsoft started warning big companies that the free software wasn’t really free. It also said companies should take into account the potential cost of patent and licensing litigation around open-source products.

Uncertainty increased in 2003, when SCO, a Utah company, alleged that Linux was using some of its technologies. SCO licensed its technology to Microsoft and sought royalties from hundreds of companies using Linux.

That helped Microsoft persuade customers that free software isn’t really free. It even promised to indemnify customers that went with Microsoft products instead, offering a sort of insurance against patent issues.

Microsoft is the new SCO. “Beat The Bully” is the title Pogson chose for covering this development and he said:

The only thing good I see coming from this action is that the world will see M$ is a patent-troll and refuse to do business with them and the world will reject software-patents. They just make no sense. You don’t invent software. You figure it out step by step. You can obtain a patent on a particular type of door-latch but your patent cannot cover all door-latches and block out innovation by others. That’s what software-patents attempt to do. Given a particular goal a number of programmers can reach the same solution by any number of methods. M$ wants to define every possible goal of technology and block others from getting to it. That is wrong and this litigation must be fought tooth and nail or M$ will just become more dangerous. Technology in USA will become a backwater if they are allowed to stifle innovation this way.

The Microsoft boosters have little to offer in terms of coverage (they mostly refuse to denounce Microsoft) and OpenBytes twists a famous quote from “Field of Dreams” (the film) in order to describe what Microsoft is doing here:

“If you build it, they will sue”

Yes, Microsoft is at it again. Maybe worried by the lack of mainstream interest in their upcoming “creation” Windows Mobile 7? Its being reported that good old Redmond is now after Motorola (its already had a go at HTC and Samsung) and looking to suck a bit of revenue from the sale of Android, since in my view it seems doubtful they will get much from their own platform.

Very clever, Microsoft. The company’s failing mobile business leaves it with no choice but to merely become the class bully. According to this new report, the same companies which Microsoft has already got as paying sellouts (paying Microsoft for Linux) are willing to dabble in Vista Phone 7 [sic]. The title of the article is “5 Reasons the Windows Phone 7 Will Fail” (the are many new posts like that) and it says:

Samsung, HTC, and LG will manufacture the handsets, but so far there has only been speculation on what the phones will offer and look like. What we do know is that Microsoft has to make up a lot of ground if it expects to gain market share in an Apple, Android, and BlackBerry dominated world.

Prepare for the brainwash we have been warning about:

So far, we know that Microsoft is sinking $500 million into a marketing and advertising blitz and will be offering Windows Phone 7 first in Europe, three weeks before America.

Well, even Microsoft boosters are pessimistic about Vista Phone 7:

However, there’s at least one person who says this revolution ain’t gonna happen. Eric Bleeker, analyst over at The Motley Fool, reckons Windows Phone 7 might be humped before it even gets going. To quote the erstwhile Mr Bleeker, “I hate to sound dismissive of Windows Phone 7 before it even hits stores, but the deck is stacked against it. Regardless of Windows Phone 7’s features, it’s just too late in the game.”

According to this link we got last night, Vista Phone 7 is still primitive. To quote: “The parody says that Windows Phone 7 can?t copy and paste, can’t multitask, and can’t tether. All of these are true, but Microsoft said that these functionalities will become available soon after launch.”

“As annoying as the Motorola lawsuit may be, it is important to understand that it’s a sign of death for Microsoft in mobile.”It’s just about as bad with HP's Vista 7 tablet, which VentureBeat considers to be an embarrassment compared to Android tablets (they only name the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which Microsoft makes money from as well).

As annoying as the Motorola lawsuit may be, it is important to understand that it’s a sign of death for Microsoft in mobile. The company ran out of ideas. There has been a major executives exodus in this department (as well as others), so the main remaining risk is that of entryism. As the news put it some days ago:

Stephen Elop is said to have taken up as the CEO at Nokia Corp. Also Division President Robbie Bach is due to retire this year. Robbie Bach was handling included Microsoft’s mobile and games businesses, reportedly.

Don Reisinger, who only ever writes at CNET to provoke with bait, goes with the headline “Mobile woes slice Ballmer’s bonus in half” and CNET‘s partner site ZDNet helps Microsoft attack Android by giving Ed Bought a platform in which he stages a dumping of Android under “Why I dumped my Droid” (just to create some Microsoft hype in ZDNet ahead of the arrival of Vista Phone 7).

Lastly, remember this: Microsoft claims to be spending half a billion dollars just on marketing of Vista Phone 7. Lawsuits against Android distributors (and their timing) can be seen an just part of the publicity stunts.

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