Andy Updegrove on Post-Attachmate OpenSUSE

Posted in OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 2:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Staple with paper

Summary: The expected effect of AttachMSFT [sic] on the OpenSUSE product is explained by a familiar lawyer

OpenSUSE is a Novell product disguised as a community project. Novell owns many things including the exclusive rights to the name. Andrew Updegrove from the Standards Blog has been writing quite extensively about Novell’s sale (we covered what he said about OpenSUSE in [1, 2, 3]) and his latest post is titled “Attachmate and the SUSE Linux Project: What’s Next?” To quote:

Shouldn’t that be a good thing? In principle, yes, but the true intentions of Attachmate, which is a private company, are largely unknown. If the result is a truly independent foundation, then the spinout would be a welcome and long overdue development. But if the foundation is set up in such a way as to allow Attachmate to control everything that goes on, then the transition will be more illusory than real.

On this score, as I’ve written in the past, the primary factor to watch for will be how the Board of Directors of the new foundation will be constituted and elected. That will become clear when a draft of the bylaws for the new organization becomes available. Another key term to watch will be whether Novell allows the new foundation to take the SUSE trademark with it (or be granted equivalent license rights to use the trademark), or whether Attachmate will require Novell to keep that asset for Attachmate’s exclusive use. If the latter is the case, then SUSE developers, like OpenOffice developers, may find that while they can fork the code if things don’t work out with Attachmate, they would need to leave behind a significant amount of the “goodwill” generated by all of their hard work in the past.

As of this writing, both of those questions remain open (at least to my knowledge), although this needn’t be the case, since Attachmate could make a detailed public announcement of its intentions at any time, if it so desired.

“Even if the trademark goes to the foundation,” writes Groklaw, “which I believe is the intention, what ownership rights do the programmers have in that mark they helped to build?”

SUSE development is a Novell venture that Novell is trying to make money from. It has to, it has got investors. One strategy Novell has is the “Make Your Own Linux Distro” plan (see Part 1 and Part 2 of this recently-uploaded video), but it never took off and the man behind it left the company. We also see some companies which make their SUSE-based appliances and Opsview, which we mentioned recently, issues press releases about SUSE, just as the next release of OpenSUSE is approaching (still announced by Novell staff while longtime community members are pushed out).

For more Novell news see this accumulation or the coverage from Phoronix, which speaks of OpenSUSE 11.4 and WebYaST:

The openSUSE community is celebrating the end of January by releasing openSUSE 11.4 Milestone 6. This new development snapshot brings several prominent changes, including the final removal of HAL (the Hardware Abstraction Layer), the migration to systemd from SysVInit has been pushed back to the next openSUSE release, and it now incorporates support for Novell’s WebYaST.

OpenSUSE is in a vulnerable position and it’s not just because of openjdk. As stressed by some pundits, AttachMSFT talks about OpenSUSE and SUSE as though they are one thing, which leads to the belief that AttachMSFT might do to OpenSUSE what Oracle did to OpenSolaris.

Novell’s Last Month

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Videos at 1:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: February 2011 will be the last full month of normal operations at Novell

ASSUMING that Novell’s acquisition will go though, tomorrow begins Novell’s last month. The assets of the company face uncertainty. Novell has uploaded this video (2 months ago) to its YouTube channel, perhaps celebrating a last hurrah:

What will happen to all of this once owned by some tiny company from Seattle? Novell’s sale was mentioned on “Dr. Bill – The Computer Curmudgeon” (who worked for Novell). He does not have anything nice to say about Novell. In fact, he believes that Novell’s sale to some scarcely-known company says a lot about how bad Novell is doing. The sale of Novell was also mentioned in video by LAS and “Linux / OpenSource Geek News” (parts I and II). “Novell sells out/Microsft get patents” says the summary and earlier this month the Seattle press said that “Seattle-based Attachmate bought Novell for $2.2 billion in November.” Owned by Microsoft’s state, eh? And Novell’s patents go quite directly to Microsoft. There are so many CPTN complaint articles (we covered those before, but there is much more). There are articles that are worth keeping track of among the ones that we missed, e.g. eWEEK’s piece with a heading that says “CPTN Holdings: Syndicate Or Cartel?”

Novell does not have much time left to be traded publicly, but news about NOVL appeared in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25].

The countdown to the irreversible end of Novell has just over a month left.

Possible Connections Between Departure of Eric Schmidt (Former CEO of Novell) from Apple and Google to Complaints

Posted in Apple, Google, Novell at 1:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cool wallpaper

Summary: AstroTurfing group “Consumer Watchdog” is at it again and Schmidt’s departures are recalled

Edelman-hosted AstroTurfer, which seems to be bankrolled by Google rivals (Microsoft maybe), has been constantly attacking Google and complainingabout the company to federal personas. Now they are getting politicians to daemonise and give trouble to Google and even Richard Stallman fell for it. This is concerning because the AstroTurfer stooped as low as comparing Eric Schmidt from Google to a paedophile. Schmidt stepped down recently (only from CEO position), but let us not forget the role sometimes played by complaints. For example, Ellison’s friendship with Steve Jobs [1, 2, 3] may be similar to that Steve Jobs has with Schmidt. Yes, Schmidt is also a friend of Steve Jobs. They were famously photographed in a coffee shop and Schmidt was inside Apple at one point, then complaints were raised about it.

Just as a very quick reminder from the news, “[b]efore Google, he [Schmidt] was CEO of Novell and, prior to that, chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems Inc.” For further background consider the following new article:

Schmidt, once brought in as the “adult supervision” in the company, was a veteran of Sun (now owned by Oracle) and Novell, and helped keep the company focused on staying a step ahead of Microsoft. He was also a friend of Steve Jobs and a member of Apple’s board, until Google’s efforts in the Android operating system created conflict with Apple’s iPhone.

His past role at Novell was also mentioned this month in articles including [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]. Novell’s relationship with Google still exists (despite GroupWise defections) and here is a news article covering Google Wave and Novell’s Vibe. It says: “Launching sometime mid-2010, the Novell Pulse is owed as a ‘real-time communication platform for the enterprise’. So with this new product sharing of information, documents, and conversations can be a lot easier along with an increase in productivity and innovation.

“Its integration with Google Wave is for sure one thing which will fetch it most attention. Novell Pulse will perhaps be the first product ever to make use of Google Wave federation. Hence it’s code and features would be hosted by Novell and not on Google’s servers.”

Vibe (formerly Pulse) is one of those hyped-up ‘cloud’ ideas, which are begging for security problems — a subject which Novell folks got contacted for comments on. If Novell is trying to outgoogle Google using some Fog Computing ideas (that even Google gave up on), then it says a lot about its future, or lack thereof.

IRC Proceedings: January 30th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 1:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




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TechBytes Episode 28: The Weekend After Microsoft’s Results and LCA

Posted in TechBytes at 12:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Direct download as Ogg (1:37:31 29.8 MB) | Direct download as MP3 (44.6 MB)

Summary: Tim, Gordon, and Roy talk about Microsoft’s results, LCA, ACS:Law, Google’s ‘censorship’, and more

LAST NIGHT’S show covered the above topics and so much more. Corresponding articles will be linked very shortly in OpenBytes‘ show notes. (Update: show notes are up)

RSS 64x64The show ends with “Chur” from Countdown, which is a track Tim selected. We hope you will join us for future shows and consider subscribing to the show via the RSS feed. You can also visit our archives for past shows. If you have an Identi.ca account, consider subscribing to TechBytes in order to keep up to date.

As embedded (HTML5):


Ogg Theora
(There is also an MP3 version)

Our past shows:

November 2010

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 1: Brandon from Fedora TechBytes Episode 1: Apple, Microsoft, Bundling, and Fedora 14 (With Special Guest Brandon Lozza) 1/11/2010
Episode 2: No guests TechBytes Episode 2: Ubuntu’s One Way, Silverlight Goes Dark, and GNU Octave Discovered 7/11/2010
Episode 3: No guests TechBytes Episode 3: Games, Wayland, Xfce, Restrictive Application Stores, and Office Suites 8/11/2010
Episode 4: No guests TechBytes Episode 4: Fedora 14 Impressions, MPAA et al. Payday, and Emma Lee’s Magic 9/11/2010
Episode 5: No guests TechBytes Episode 5: Windows Loses to Linux in Phones, GNU/Linux Desktop Market Share Estimations, and Much More 12/11/2010
Episode 6: No guests TechBytes Episode 6: KINect a Cheapo Gadget, Sharing Perceptually Criminalised, Fedora and Fusion 14 in Review 13/11/2010
Episode 7: No guests TechBytes Episode 7: FUD From The Economist, New Releases, and Linux Eureka Moment at Netflix 14/11/2010
Episode 8: Gordon Sinclair on Linux Mint TechBytes Episode 8: Linux Mint Special With Gordon Sinclair (ThistleWeb) 15/11/2010
Episode 9: Gordon Sinclair returns TechBytes Episode 9: The Potentially Permanent Return of ThistleWeb 17/11/2010
Episode 10: Special show format TechBytes Episode 10: Microsoft FUD and Dirty Tactics Against GNU/Linux 19/11/2010
Episode 11: Part 2 of special show TechBytes Episode 11: Microsoft FUD and Dirty Tactics Against GNU/Linux – Part II 21/11/2010
Episode 12: Novell special TechBytes Episode 12: Novell Sold for Microsoft Gains 23/11/2010
Episode 13: No guests TechBytes Episode 13: Copyfight, Wikileaks, and Other Chat 28/11/2010
Episode 14: Patents special TechBytes Episode 14: Software Patents in Phones, Android, and in General 29/11/2010
Episode 15: No guests TechBytes Episode 15: Google Chrome OS, Windows Refund, and Side Topics Like Wikileaks 30/11/2010

December 2010

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 16: No guests TechBytes Episode 16: Bribes for Reviews, GNU/Linux News, and Wikileaks Opinions 3/12/2010
Episode 17: No guests TechBytes Episode 17: Chrome OS Imminent, Wikileaks Spreads to Mirrors, ‘Open’ Microsoft 5/12/2010
Episode 18: No guests TechBytes Episode 18: Chrome OS, Sharing, Freedom, and Wikileaks 11/12/2010
Episode 19: No guests TechBytes Episode 19: GNU/Linux Market Share on Desktop at 4%, Microsoft Declining, and ChromeOS is Coming 16/12/2010
Episode 20: No guests TechBytes Episode 20: GNU/Linux Gamers Pay More for Games, Other Discussions 18/12/2010
Episode 21: No guests TechBytes Episode 21: Copyright Abuses, Agitators and Trolls, Starting a New Site 20/12/2010
Episode 22: No special guests TechBytes Episode 22: Freedom Debate and Picks of the Year 27/12/2010

January 2011

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 23: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 23: Failuresfest and 2011 Predictions 2/1/2011
Episode 24: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 24: Android, Microsoft’s President Departure, and Privacy 10/1/2011
Episode 25: Tim and Roy TechBytes Episode 25: Mono, Ubuntu, Android, and More 14/1/2011
Episode 26: Tim and Roy TechBytes Episode 26: £98 GNU/Linux Computer, Stuxnet’s Government Roots, and More 18/1/2011
Episode 27: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 27: Linux Phones, Pardus, Trusting One’s Government-funded Distribution, and Much More 22/1/2011


ES: Abril y el Final de las Patentes de Software/FFII Piden al Parlamento Europeo Aplazar la Cooperación Reforzada en Materia de Patentes Unitaria Después de Opinión de la CJEU

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: Declaración publicado en Abril Final de las Patentes de software/FFII (lanzado hace unos momentos)

Estimados Miembros del Parlamento Europeo,

Nosotros, como organizaciones sin fines de lucro que actúan en el ámbito de la política de patentes, estámos preocupados por la vía rápida de la propuesta para mejorar la cooperación sobre la patente única (NLE/2010/0384), que fue votado en la JURI comisión el 27 de enero. Teniendo en cuenta que el Tribunal de Justicia (TJUE) publicará en breve su dictamen sobre la legalidad de una jurisdicción propuesta para la solución de los litigios relacionados con la patente única y teniendo en cuenta que esta propuesta implica la transferencia de poder legislativo del Parlamento Europeo a la Oficina Europea de Patentes (OEP ) [1], creemos que sería prudente esperar a que la opinión del TJUE, de manera que pueda haber un debate informado, antes de decidir esta importante cuestión.

La propuesta actual de una patente unitaria [2], exige una jurisdicción unificada con una corte central. Según la Comisión, la propuesta actual es similar a la europea y la propuesta de la Unión Europea Tribunal de Patentes (TPEUE). El TJUE está revisando la propuesta TPEUE pero no ha emitido aún su dictamen sobre el cumplimiento de los Tratados de la UE. Esta opinión está lejos de ser una formalidad: los Defensores Generales del TJUE fueron muy críticos con el proyecto y considera que es incompatible con los Tratados de la UE [3], debido a los nuevos fallos del tribunal de patentes tendría un impacto directo en la legislación de la UE sin ningún control de instituciones de la UE.

Además, la propuesta actual consiste en delegar todo el procedimiento pre-concesión de la patente unitaria a la Oficina Europea de Patentes OEP, cuyos excesos de concesión de patentes han sido denunciados en varias ocasiones. Existiendo fuera de la UE, la OEP ya tiene muy poca supervisión. El principal de control democrático que existe es que el Parlamento Europeo todavía tiene la competencia para legislar. La propia junta de la OEP, su Cámara de Recursos reconoció la necesidad de un verdadero cuerpo legislativo en el sistema de patentes en un dictamen publicado en mayo de 2010, sobre el tema de las patentes de software, diciendo que “Cuando el desarrollo jurídico judicial impulsada encuentra sus límites, es el momento para que los legisladores se hagan cargo de “[4]. Cuando la opinión del TJUE se publica, puede contener sugerencias útiles sobre cómo añadir la supervisión necesaria para tal sistema.

Solicitamos respetuosamente que el Parlamento Europeo de aplazar la votación sobre la cooperación reforzada hasta la publicación del dictamen del la CJEU.


Morlier Tanguí, abril (Presidente)
+33 1 78 76 92 82, prez@april.org
Ciaran O’Riordan, Patentes final del software (Director Ejecutivo)
32 487 64 17 54, ciaran@member.fsf.org
Benjamin Henrion, FFII (Presidente)
32 484 56 61 09 president@ffii.org

[1] Véase, por ejemplo, la carta abierta a los diputados enviados por el Sindicato del Personal de la Oficina Europea de Patentes sobre


[2] Esta cooperación se llevará a cabo por un reglamento sobre la patente única, que cubrirá todos los Estados miembros participantes, asopposed a la patente europea actual, que se rige por la Oficina Europea de Patentes (OEP), que es en realidad un montón de diferentes nacionales designadas patentes.

la información [3] Se puede encontrar más de


[4] Esta decisión se puede encontrar en
http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponet.nsf/0/DC6171F182D8B65AC125772100426656/ $ File/G3_08_en.pdf.

Acerca de Abril

Fundada en 1996, Abril es la principal asociación de defensa francesa dedicada a la promoción y protección de Software Libre. Con sus 5.476 miembros (5.004 personas, 472 empresas, asociaciones y organizaciones), abril es uno de los pioneros del Software Libre en Francia. Desde 1996, es un jugador importante en la democratización y la difusión del software libre y estándares abiertos para el público en general, profesionales e instituciones en el mundo de habla francesa. También actúa como guardián de las libertades digitales, advirtiendo al público sobre los peligros de los intereses privados de mantenimiento de un dominio exclusivo de la información y el conocimiento.
Abril es un representante de interés social (ID: 30399252478-91) en la UE.


Acerca de el Fin de las Patentes de Software

Desde 2008, End Software Patents (ESP) trabaja para eliminar las patentes que impiden el desarrollo o la distribución de software. ESP participa en las consultas gubernamentales y casos judiciales, y proporciona recursos de información para que los ciudadanos locales para participar efectivamente en estos procesos. Para obtener más información sobre cómo participar en el proyecto, o para acceder a su base de conocimientos, por favor visite su
sitio web:


Acerca de la Fundación para una Infraestructura de Información Libre FFII

La FFII es una asociación sin fines de lucro registrada en veinte países de Europa, dedicada al desarrollo de productos de información para el beneficio público, basado en los derechos de autor, la libre competencia, los estándares abiertos. Más de 1.000 miembros, 3.500 empresas y 100.000 han confiado en la FFII para que actúe como su voz en cuestiones de política pública en materia de derechos de exclusión en el procesamiento de datos.

Many thanks to Eduardo Landaveri of the Spanish portal of Techrights.

IRC Proceedings: January 29th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 12:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




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LibreOffice Clarifies OOXML Situation and Role of Novell’s Influence

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice at 11:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The ‘umbrella’ of LibreOffice, The Document Foundation, explains that Novell’s deal with Microsoft does not apply to it

THIS Web site, Techrights, was one of the sites which broke the news about LibreOffice (to ensure no misunderstandings we were contacted weeks in advance). There has been criticism of this project, however, notably because of OOXML exporting [1, 2]. In order to clarify this situation, The Document Foundation has just released a LibreOffice FAQ relating only to OOXML doubts. Among the parts:

Ah! So Novell is bringing in odd software bits from Microsoft to betray Free Software!

That’s not really a question, but there are some things that are quite clear to the Document Foundation:

* Novell and the Document Foundation are not the same entities, nor does Novell own the Document Foundation. Novell is one contributor, among several others, to the Document Foundation.
* The patches related to the Microsoft Office formats support coming from Novell are the indirect result of the a specific agreement between Novell and Microsoft. We use the word “indirect” here, as the agreement covers the software known as “OpenOffice Novell Edition”, and that’s not the same as LibreOffice.
* To the best of the knowledge of the Document Foundation, there is no specific agreement between Novell and Microsoft about LibreOffice. (But then again, we are not Novell nor do we represent the company in any way).

“Excuse me,” wrote Groklaw in response to this, “but this is a little too smooth, because if LibreOffice includes those OpenOffice patches, and apparently it does, what in the world would require a specific contract regarding LibreOffice? If the patches are patent-encumbered, for example, would LibreOffice get a pass from the courts because the patch was designed for OpenOffice? Obviously not. If there is any chance of that, then why not make the patches optional by default, and the wiki says you can ship LibreOffice without those patches? That way those of us in countries with wacky patent laws can avoid difficulties.”

Techrights has covered this subject since 2007 and Groklaw woke up to it only a few weeks ago. Separately, Groklaw wrote: “If you do technical work for Microsoft to help it be more interoperable, then, are you helping or hurting FOSS in this context? Something to think about.”

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