Groklaw: OpenSUSE Board is Run by Novell Appointment of the Chairperson

Posted in Novell, OpenSUSE, Servers, SLES/SLED at 5:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tienanmen Square with Novell

Summary: An OpenSUSE wakeup call is sounded again because the terms described by Novell shed light on real issues

Groklaw recently responded to the Novell-owned OpenSUSE site, which contains some more Weekly News and also a fairly new pages about the board election. Having looked at the details about a “chairperson” — the part where it says that to “provide continuity to the organization, the chairperson shall be appointed and replaced at Novell’s discretion” — Groklaw wrote: “Now we know. In short, the board is run by Novell appointment of the chairperson, and the community can’t do much about a chairperson it would like removed. Not a good sign.” Regarding removal of the chairperson, the page says: “The elected board members can appeal to Novell to have the chairperson replaced.”

Novell continues to exploit volunteers in order to improve the more proprietary-like SLE*, not just using technical means but also by marketing (adding the angle of “open” and “community”). Here is the new story of SUSE in Scyld ClusterWare where proprietary software is commonplace:

Scyld ClusterWare is a high performance computing cluster management suite featuring support for Suse Linux Enterprise Server from Novell.

There is also Novell’s hype about the Watson supercomputer [1, 2, 3], which is running proprietary software and has little to do with OpenSUSE. The same goes for Novell’s SUSE appliance, which it is marketing right now by piggybacking Dell rather than IBM [1, 2].

Novell does not care about the community; it cares about its bottom line, which is why it selfishly and foolishly gave its patents to Microsoft, having signed a terrible patent deal with the company over 4 years ago.

FOSDEM 2011: Infiltration by Microsoft Photographed

Posted in Microsoft, Novell at 4:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FOSDEM advertises Microsoft - flyer

Summary: Report from this weekend’s FOSDEM (in the form of a picture) and a word about a seemingly imaginary Novell BrainShare 2011

WE have already written about what Microsoft did to FOSDEM 2011, as well as the role/presence of Mono in there. The event has just ended and Ruben sent a photograph to us (click the above to zoom in). As we explained before, Microsoft was infiltrating FOSDEM 2011 like it had infiltrated LinuxTag and many other recent events [1, 2]. Richard Stallman explained what Microsoft is trying to achieve by doing this. To quote him again: “The price might be, let someone from Microsoft give a speech. “The price might be, don’t say that proprietary software is evil. The price might be, present Microsoft sponsorship in a way that inhibits you from denouncing Microsoft’s software as unethical.”

There is another interesting event item that we’ve just caught in the news. While Novell’s historical role in Utah got mentioned by the local press, “Novell BrainShare Expo 2011 in Salt Lake City” was oddly enough named here:

MessageSolution will be exhibiting its leading edge new product developments at IBM Lotusphere 2011 in Orlando Florida at booth #705 from January 30 – February 3, 2011, at Novell BrainShare Expo 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah, as well as at Microsoft TechEd Expo 2011 in Georgia, GA.

Novell BrainShare Expo 2011? Salt Lake City?!?! Even Novell does not mention such a thing. Could this be an error from MessageSolution?

Mass Exodus From Novell Products

Posted in Google, Mail, Microsoft, Novell at 4:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: As the company prepares for the official passage of assets to AttachMSFT [sic], its customers go elsewhere on the face of it

NOVELL is all about proprietary software, except for few areas like SUSE. So the demise of those non-free/libre products (proprietary software) is never bad news, no matter who gains at Novell’s expense. The company called GroupLink was recently mentioned in relation to GroupWise and some other new press releases/articles that mentioned GroupWise were appearing in places (e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]), still offering no signs at all that anybody new is embracing GroupWise. It makes no sense given Novell’s situation as a company. In fact, quite a few companies seem to be escaping GroupWise based on the news. Here is one new story about GroupWise being replaced by Microsoft:

Excel spreadsheets for customer relationship management were replaced by Salesforce.com Inc.’s hosted CRM product in less than a year. Novell Inc.’s GroupWise collaboration software was replaced by Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), which was integrated with SharePoint collaboration software within a year.

Lakewood City government is also pulling the plug on Novell:

For example, the city recently switched over from a Novell computer network server to a Microsoft one.

And another example from the news:

A t the retreat, board members were briefed on an anti-bullying program and plans to switch the division’s computers from a Novell operating system to one produced by Microsoft. The transition will be finished this summer and cost about $2 million, officials said.

Novell’s loss is not always Microsoft’s gain. Sometimes it is Google’s gain as this article from a few days ago helps show:

Novell will probably be shut off for a few days after the switch, and Bonvillain said students will not be able to send e-mails from the account after this point. It may show that an e-mail has been sent, but it will likely never be received.

Novell is being stripped off in all sorts of places. As for the NOVL stock, which has little lifetime left, it is staying stable based on the most recent financial news [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. The deterioration of Novell’s market may simply be in line with expectations, which are tellingly not high.

Novell Explains How it Creates Fake Hype and Buzz

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Novell at 3:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell’s Frank Days speaks about marketing strategies and we have examples from the news

Novell’s PR people are a circus whose whole purpose is to deceive people. Marketing in general has nearly zero value to society. It’s supposed to create urges that do not naturally exist (jealousy, deception, and affinity are among the methods that appeal to psyche) and it generally takes people off course, typically into consumerism, unnecessary wars, and love or admiration of very malicious (but affluent) people. This post is not about the public relations industry, which we wrote about before. It’s about this new article titled “How To Create The Most Popular Blog On The Internet”. Novell is mentioned in it:

I just came back from lunch with Frank Days from Novell (he’s an awesome marketer to follow @tangyslice) where we talked about this concept at length. He pointed out that in the 1990s, corporate Web sites allocated 80 percent of their content to company information and 20 percent to industry information. Today that has flipped. In fact, companies like Novell are curating content from other sources on their Web site to create a conversation around relevant topics for customers and prospects.

Here is a shameless new puff piece posted in a site like this one. It is considered “news” by Google News, but it reads more like a press release disguised as independently-published information. How does such fluff get in there? Perhaps, as Bruce Perens once explained it, Novell is just ‘planting’ some more junk in the Web. Perens wrote:

just about every PR firm offers to help “manage the perception of your company in online communities” these days. What do you think that means? Astroturfing Slashdot, Youtube, etc. In my various manangement positions it’s been offered to me. Indeed, some of the companies offer to create negative publicity for your competition that way – HP had a publicity firm for its Linux activities that told us it would do that when we wanted. I never asked them to do so and hope nobody else did either. This stuff is just standard these days. You’ve got to expect it.

Watch this new example of Novell’s Fog Computing hype (paid-for ‘studies’ and the likes of these) influencing new coverage:

A separate Novell research report published in October also found that organizations are looking at private clouds as the “next logical step” after implementing virtualization. Novell’s report said organizations generally were adopting cloud technologies much faster than expected.

Novell published this ‘research report’ just in order to sell some of its own proprietary software products, as we explained at the time. The bottom line is, be careful of what you read about Novell in corporate news sites. Not only are they corruptible and gullible but they also offer article placements for money. Weeks ago we gave an example even of blogs that Novell paid in order to ‘plant’ articles there. That’s how shameless Novell has become.

Another Critical Tuesday for Microsoft Customers

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 3:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Well, it’s that unnerving time again…

Watch the focus

Summary: Microsoft’s infamous patch Tuesday is coming, but the numbers given by the company are impossible to trust

We already know that Microsoft hides patches or flaws that are being addressed because it admitted this after we had shown more circumstantial evidence [1, 2]. It is clear that more journalists should call out Windows for its unique security problems (the Windows manager said that their “products just aren’t engineered for security”) and also approach Microsoft’s claims a lot more sceptically. We have gotten evidence to show that what Microsoft claims about security is not the truth, it’s just for PR reasons. This month Microsoft acknowledges at least several critical flaws (there may be plenty, but the code is kept secret, so nobody can really verify):

Microsoft plans to release a dozen bulletins on Tuesday – three of which address critical flaws.

What are the real numbers though? Microsoft was caught fooling its vulnerable clients before, so what might make this cycle different?

The UNIX Battle Moves to Former SCO Executives (Who Own unXis Domains)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, SCO, UNIX at 2:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hans Bayer
Screen snapshot originally taken for Groklaw

Summary: SCO gets more money for anti-Linux litigation, thanks to an alleged purchase from an entity tied to former SCO managers

The Wayne Gray UNIX case against Novell notwithstanding (there is more news coverage at Mondaq), the big news at the moment is about SCO.

Our reader Wayne has asked, “The SCO Group Sold?” Another reader, Patrick, links to Slashdot, which in turn links to news that we covered the other day in brief. It’s about UnXis and one must remember that SCO’s Hans Bayer is behind it (at least in part). As a quick refresher see the following older posts:

Here is part of Groklaw‘s latest analysis of this important development (Groklaw also saved the press release [PDF] locally):

Well, not yet. Eric Le Blan, now called Vice Chairman of UnXis, is quoted as speaking “outside the courtroom”, of all odd things to mention in a press release. Who is he supposed to be talking to for a press release? Is this more SCO street theater? Le Blan says UnXis will restore SCO to its “former glory”. And “UnXis will soon emerge as a major player in the information technology industry.”

Uh oh. There seems to be a disconnect with reality in this picture. UnXis has no history in software. What I keep remembering is that UnXis tried to buy SCO once before, and the court wouldn’t let it happen. Maybe the press release is to impress the judge. Who else would believe it at this point? Investors, maybe? You can’t find a dumber bunch, from all we’ve seen in the SCO saga.

I take this more as PR for the court and for the market, because while they talk like it’s a done deal, unless the fix is in, the Delaware court has to approve this proposed deal, and there could be objections filed still.

Bill Rochelle wrote the following for Bloomberg:

SCO Trustee Picks unXis as Buyer for Assets

The Chapter 11 trustee for software developer SCO Group Inc., after several delays, held an auction and selected unXis Inc. as having the best offer to buy the business of selling Unix system software products and services. The sale will be up for approval at a Feb. 16 hearing.

unXis is to pay $600,000 cash and give the trustee warrants for 3 percent of its stock. The warrants will be exercisable after unXis has raised $4 million in equity financings. The exercise price will be price for the stock paid by the investor in the last round of financing that brings the total to $4 million.

In August 2009 the bankruptcy judge called for a Chapter 11 trustee, approximately one month before the U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver ruled in the company’s favor after six years of litigation with Waltham, Massachusetts-based Novell Inc. The case went back to the district court where the judge and jury largely ruled against SCO with regard to rights in certain Unix software incorporated in network systems. The trustee sought permission to hold the auction after SCO’s interest in Unix was clarified.

After filing for bankruptcy protection in September 2007, SCO and an affiliate filed schedules listing combined assets of $14.2 million and debt totaling $5.2 million.

The case is In re SCO Group Inc., 07-11337, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

One must remember that unXis seems like a plot to refinance SCO and behind it there is some former SCO staff. Something smells funny here.

Report: Nokia’s New CEO From Microsoft About to Fire Existing Nokia Executives

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 2:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stephen Elop
Former Microsoft President Stephen
Elop (now Nokia CEO), photo by Luca Sartoni

Summary: Suspicions of entryism at Nokia are fuelled by reports that Microsoft and Nokia will announce a partnership within days and the company’s existing management (not the CEO from Microsoft) will get canned

OUR reader Wayne says that “Analysts Suggest Nokia Commit Corporate Suicide” (by liaising with Microsoft) and our reader Satipera says that “Elop makes his move” when he prepares to fire executives at Nokia (maybe to be replaced with more former Microsoft colleagues, just like in VMware and other such companies where new leadership from Microsoft meant trouble). This is not for certain yet, but Reuters is one of the agencies/publications most focused on Nokia (especially with breaking news about Linux at Nokia) and it cites another publication in German (a German tabloid once said that Microsoft would buy Nokia).

The world’s biggest cellphone maker Nokia is likely to sack several executive board members in a management shake-up, a German weekly reported.

As rival companies have been eating into Nokia’s market share, Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop, who took over last September, is due to unveil a revamp of the company’s strategy, which could include organizational changes, on February 11.

Citing company sources, German weekly Wirtschaftswoche reported on Saturday that Mary T. McDowell, the executive in charge of Nokia’s mobile phones unit, may have to leave the company along with Niklas Savander, the manager of the markets unit.

For background, also see:

  1. If You Can’t Beat Them, Hijack Them (Microsoft Joins Nokia and It Already Shows)
  2. Linux Battle in Mobile Phones Becomes Primarily Legal, Not Technical, Due to Software Patents
  3. Taking Over Linux, by Proxy
  4. Microsoft Passes More of Its Executives to the MSBBC. What About Nokia?
  5. Microsoft President Quits, But is Nokia the Next Victim?
  6. Microsoft Insiders Galore: BBC, Nokia, Others Already Damaged by Microsoft Hires
  7. Linspire/Ballnux in Tablets; HP Possibly Experiments With Vista 7 in Slate After Abandoning It, Then Hiring From Microsoft
  8. Entryism Watch: Yahoo! Keeps Being Abducted by Microsoft Executives, HP Cancels Android Projects After CEO Appointment From SAP
  9. As Expected, Nokia and HP Betray Linux Under Microsoft-sympathetic New Leadership
  10. Head of Microsoft Romania Quits, Entryism Revisited
  11. Microsoft’s Favourite ‘Reporters’ Are Attacking Nokia, Pushing it Into Microsoft’s Arms
  12. Will Elop Choose the Future (Linux) or His Past (Microsoft) for Nokia?
  13. Analyst Wants Microsoft’s Elop (Now Nokia CEO) to Shoot Down Linux Programmes

Nokia is about to announce a new deal with Microsoft, says Engadget (we’ll know if this is true in a matter of days) while Intel may be further distancing itself from Microsoft not just with MeeGo/Moblin (Microsoft-Nokia alliance can diffuse it) but also with other platform decisions. According to the Microsoft boosters, Intel is also pulling out of Seattle. “In the short term in Seattle, the surprise decision translates into a sudden spate of researchers looking for new work elsewhere at Intel or at other tech companies, such as Google and Microsoft,” say the boosters. Well, Microsoft doesn’t do much ‘research’ in the West anymore and all it can come up with are patent applications (for offensive actions) and Google ripoffs, which we’ll expand on in an imminent post. These companies are trying to save money — maybe offshoring at times — because the race to the bottom is on with China. Nokia too is no exception here as it famously shut down operations in Germany a few years ago. Research is becoming a luxury and I’m fortunate to still be part of this dying field of operation (focusing on development, not just patent monopolies and PR). It will be very sad if Intel and Nokia end up becoming clients of the monopolist, which obviously slows down technological progress.

Links 6/2/2011: Wine 1.3.13 Released, Camp KDE 2011 Announced, Debian 6.0 “Squeeze” Released

Posted in News Roundup at 1:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Operating systems that time forgot

    Today’s IT world is dominated by Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Android and a handful of other operating systems – but what about in years gone by? We look back at five operating systems that enjoyed their own (often brief) limelight before fading away.

  • Desktop

    • Don’t give Linux to your mother

      Therefore, do not give Linux to your mother or father. They might end up loving it, learning what they never could and, worst of all, putting an unsuspecting technician accustomed to Windows to shame.

  • Kernel Space

    • ALSA 1.0.24 Has Arrived, Bringing Better Linux Audio

      ALSA 1.0.23 was released in April 2010 as a major update to the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture, but it’s finally been outdone by ALSA 1.0.24. The ALSA 1.0.24 update is also very significant and delivers on quite a number of sound card / audio processor driver improvements.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Camp KDE 2011 Announced

        We are excited to announce Camp KDE 2011 which will be held April 4 and 5, 2011 in San Francisco, California at the Hotel Kabuki. Camp KDE is co-located this year with the Linux Foundation’s Collaboration Summit which takes place April 6 and 7.

        Held annually in the United States, Camp KDE provides a regional opportunity for KDE contributors and enthusiasts to gather and share their KDE experiences. Co-location with the Collaboration Summit will allow Camp KDE attendees a unique opportunity to learn from and share their experiences with members of many other successful open source software projects.

      • … if you thought 4.6.0 was good

        One thing we already know is that we feel we’re on the “right” track with activities now and will spend a significant investment of our resources in 4.7 to fleshing them out further.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • 64-bit really does matter

      I can’t say when commercial games will break 3 or 4 GB, but it’s coming.

    • New Releases

      • VENENUX 0.8.2
      • ArchBang 2011.02 is out in the wild!

        From now on, there will be no codename

      • SalixLive Fluxbox edition 13.1.2 has been released!

        SalixLive Fluxbox 13.1.2 is now ready and completes the collection of Salix Live CD 13.1.2 series.

        As in the Salix Fluxbox standard edition, the Live CD edition offers a functional, reliable and responsive desktop environment that is fully equipped with modern and powerful tools, while its minimalistic Window Manager is designed to stay completely out of the way.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Two days till Debian Squeeze goes Stable

        I’ve had this handy countdown graphic on Click for the past couple of weeks. Not that Debian is in the habit of setting release dates, but this particular image came about after the project itself announced that Feb. 5 or 6, 2011 would be the target date(s).

      • ReleasePartySqueeze
      • Debian 6.0 “Squeeze” released

        After 24 months of constant development, the Debian Project is proud to present its new stable version 6.0 (code name “Squeeze”). Debian 6.0 is a free operating system, coming for the first time in two flavours. Alongside Debian GNU/Linux, Debian GNU/kFreeBSD is introduced with this version as a “technology preview”.

      • Debian 6.0 “Squeeze” Released, Updated Website

        After two years of development, Debian 6.0 is released. It comes with your choice of KDE, GNOME, Xfce, LXDE, and lots of your favorite applications. Debian runs on all sorts of computers including 32-bit PCs, 64-bit PCs, PowerPC, SPARC, MIPS, Intel Itanium, and ARM processors. This release also includes two new Debian GNU/kFreDebian versions.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Canonical embraces LAMP stack of the heavens

          OpenStack – the open source “infrastructure cloud” project founded by Rackspace and NASA – has released a second version of its platform codenamed Bexar.

          Bexar includes updates to both halves of the project: OpenStack Compute, for serving up on-demand access to readily scalable processing power, and OpenStack Storage, a similarly scalable storage platform.

        • Multidimensional Ubuntu

          A good looking 3D interface is a primary focus of the new Ubuntu desktop (Natty Narwhal) but Canonical has assured that a 2D fall-back will be available

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Thin clients move to Ubuntu-based distro

      Computer Lab International (CLI) released a new Ubuntu-based Linux operating system for its MT2300 and ST6800 thin clients, which use Via Eden C7 processors clocked to 500MHz and 1.6GHz, respectively. The OS features Firefox, the CLI Device Manager, plus support for RDP, Citrix ICA 11, host terminal emulations, VNC client/server, and VMWare View4, the company says.

    • Linux-based home NAS devices use as little as seven Watts

      Qnap Systems announced additions to its Linux-based Turbo NAS family of network attached storage devices for the home/SOHO market. The TS-x12 lineup includes the four-drive (up to 8TB) TS-412, the two-bay TS-212, plus the single-drive TS-112, each providing a 1.2GHz Marvell 6281 processor, 256MB of DDR2 memory, plus gigabit Ethernet and USB connectivity.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Application Lifecycle Management

    Our customer was looking for centralized SCM, where all the revision control functions take place on a shared server, so we didn’t go through evaluations around which is the best approach (distributed or centralized).

    We easily jumped to the conclusion that Subversion could be a better option than CVS, given CVS status and known open issues, then we used SOS Open Source tools to look deeper into the Subversion project.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome 9 is released! Top 5 features in the new chrome browser

      Google finally released Google chrome 9 stable, 2 weeks later than it’s promised release-date. We have summarized top 5 must-try features in google-chrome-logothe new chrome!

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 9 goes stable with WebGL and Chrome Instant

        WebGL is a relatively new standard that emerged in 2009 with the support of the Khronos group. It provides a set of JavaScript APIs that wrap the functionality of OpenGL ES, allowing developers to render 3D graphics in the Canvas element. Mozilla and Apple have also adopted the standard and have their own increasingly mature implementations. Google officially supports WebGL with hardware-accelerated rendering in Chrome 9. To take the feature for a spin, you can try out some of the WebGL demos at the Chrome Experiments website.

    • Mozilla

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Think Microsoft Office Is Your Only Hosted Exchange Option?

      The LibreOffice 3.3 solution is available in more than 30 languages, and offers strong support for standards such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office Open XML, Open Document Format, and PDF. This open source software also enjoys the support of a large global community.

      The interface in the LibreOffice 3.3 is familiar to Microsoft Office, but is also easy to personalize according to tastes. It will work on the go, but does not offer as much as other platforms in terms of cloud, mobile and collaboration capabilities.

    • New Partnership with ForgeRock

      Yesterday was a great day in for us – our first new partner for 2011 was announced. Many people in the UK and in the international Open Source Community will be familiar with Simon Phipps , and his new work with new company ForgeRock.


    • New High Priority Project: PowerVR drivers

      We’ve added a new project to our High Priority Projects list: Writing free software drivers capable of 3D acceleration for the PowerVR engine.

    • GNU/Hurd in 2010

      A year of the Hurd: 2010.

      Originally published in GNU Status Reports: January 2011.

      From Olaf Buddenhagen, Arne Babenhauserheide, Thomas Schwinge: Yeah, that’s quite right: the GNU Hurd project is still alive!

  • Government

    • UK appoints Government-wide CIO

      The UK Cabinet Office has appointed a new government-wide CIO and is on the hunt for a an ICT director to drive open source and open standards within the public sector.

  • Licensing

    • New cloud applications drive popularity of the AGPL license

      Diaspora, the hottest new open source project, is licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License or AGPL. So are two other new, popular cloud applications, RapidFTR and ownCloud. Add to that popular forges Launchpad and Gitorious. According to Black Duck data, the number of AGPL projects grew 74% in 2010. The numbers and profiles of AGPL-licensed projects are becoming significant. So what is this AGPL thing and what does it mean to you?

  • Standards/Consortia

    • FERC Told There Is No ‘Sufficient Consensus’ on NIST Standards

      The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) identified an initial set of five standards that it sent for consideration by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Technical Conference (FERC) for adoption as part of its Smart Grid Interoperability Roadmap. However, panelists at the FERC Technical Conference held today reported unanimously that the standards are not ready for adoption by the Commission.


  • Court bans man with low IQ from having sex

    A man with a low IQ has been banned from having sex by a High Court judge who admitted the case raised questions about “civil liberties and personal autonomy”.

  • U.S. team to attempt land speed record for steam-powered vehicles

    Steam-engined vehicles are quaint, retro and obsolete … right? Well, maybe not. The current land speed record for a steam-powered vehicle currently sits at 148 mph (238 km/h), set by the British car Inspiration team in 2009. Now, Chuk Williams’ U.S. Land Steam Record (USLSR) Team is hoping to steal that title in its LSR Streamliner, powered by a heat-regenerative external combustion Cyclone engine – an engine that could someday find common use in production automobiles.

  • Autocompleting the Vendors
  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Afghan who collapsed in shower, died was to be held indefinitely

      The New York based Center for Constitutional Rights, which has represented detainess in lawsuits seeking their release, reacted angrily to the death, blaming President Barack Obama for a policy that allows their continued detention there without charges.

    • Bush’s Swiss visit off after complaints on torture

      Former U.S. President George W. Bush, under fire from human rights group over allegations of ordering torture, has canceled a visit to Switzerland where he was to address a Jewish charity gala.

      Bush was to be the keynote speaker at Keren Hayesod’s annual dinner on February 12 in Geneva. But pressure has been building on the Swiss government to arrest him and open a criminal investigation if he enters the Alpine country.

    • It Ain’t Just Mubarak — 7 of the Worst Dictators the U.S. Is Backing to the Hilt

      Embattled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, whose regime has received billions in U.S. aid, has been in the global media spotlight of late. He’s long been “our bastard,” but he’s not alone.

      Let’s take a look at the other dictators from around the planet who are fortunate enough to be on Uncle Sam’s good side.

    • Stillborn Revolution: A Cautionary Tale

      The events in Egypt cannot help but remind me of Portugal. Here, there, and everywhere, now and before, the United States of America, as always, is petrified of anything genuinely progressive or socialist, or even too democratic, for that carries the danger of allowing god-knows what kind of non-America-believer taking office. Honduras 2009, Haiti 2004, Venezuela 2002, Ecuador 2000, Bulgaria 1990, Nicaragua 1990 … dozens more … anything, anyone, if there’s a choice, even a dictator, a torturer, is better.

    • Hacktivists target Egypt and Yemen regimes

      Hacktivists from the online group Anonymous have turned their attention to Yemen as part of their battle for greater net freedoms.

      The website of President Ali Abdullah Saleh has become inaccessible as Yemenis stage anti-government protests.

    • Egypt 2011-2-4

      The plan seems to be to continue the protests until Mubarak departs.

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks cables: millions in overseas aid to Africa was embezzled

      The true scale of the theft of overseas aid money by corrupt foreign regimes is disclosed in leaked documents obtained by The Daily Telegraph. Tens of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money has been pocketed by their ministers and officials, much of it used to buy luxury goods.

    • WikiLeaks: Ron Paul Explains What Baghdad Embassy Cable Reveals

      One of the crown jewels of secret pre-Gulf War negotiations was unveiled tonight when the notorious Glaspie Memo, or as it is now known 90BAGHDAD4237, was released by WikiLeaks.

      The cable, whose official title was “Saddam’s Message of Friendship to President Bush” details the meeting between US Ambassador April Glaspie and Saddam Hussein on July 25, 1990, just a week before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

      The meeting has long been a matter of speculation, as it had long been speculated that comments by Glaspie had led Saddam to believe that the United States was giving them the green light to invade Kuwait if diplomacy failed.

      The memo reveals indeed Hussein expressing concern about the Bush Administration’s position on Iraq owing to its participation in military exercises with the United Arab Emirates and pledges to “defend its allies” in the region. He complained the US pledges were making Kuwait and the UAE refuse to negotiate with Iraq. He also expressed concern about negative media coverage in the US, which Ambassador Glaspie assured him did not reflect US policy and singled out a Diane Sawyer report on “nuclear bomb triggers” for condemnation.

      Rather Glaspie assured Saddam of Bush’s friendship and expressed support for the negotiations being set up by Hosni Mubarak for the weekend of July 28-30. She also explicitly said the United States took no position on the border dispute between Iraq and Kuwait, though the summary also mentions that she made clear the US wanted the move solved peacefully. Hussein assured that no action would be taken against Kuwait if the negotiations showed some progress, which seemed to suit the US at the time.

      But the talks didn’t accomplish anything and by August 2 Iraq was invading Kuwait. Within hours the mutual friendship was completely torn up and US officials were railing against Iraq. A few months later the US invaded for the first time, sparking invasions, decades of enmity, sanctions which killed massive numbers of Iraqi civilians and, eventually, a full US occupation which continues to this day.

    • Secret correspondence shows British helped Libya secure Megrahi release

      Secret documents show that British ministers arranged to meet their Libyan counterparts to give them advice on how Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi could be freed.

      The revelation appears to contradict the previous Labour government’s claims that it did not “interfere” in the proceedings, and that the decision to free the convicted terrorist was taken by the Scottish government alone.

  • Finance

    • Millionaire bankers’ message to Britain: We’re all right, Jack

      After umpteen calls for restraint by ministers, weighing the public relations impact, and consulting colleagues and advisers, Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has made his most difficult decision. The multi-millionaire is set to accept a £9m bonus, one of the largest in the world, and will be followed by the bosses of the other major banks. This shows that they are all in something together, even if it’s not what the rest of us are in.

      Mr Diamond canvassed close City friends before deciding to take the bumper bonus which he fears will reignite the row over bankers pay. Sources close to him said: “Bob’s been in a real dilemma as he can’t stand this country’s culture of banker-bashing and finds our attitude to bonuses extraordinary. But he is also aware of public opinion, so sounded out people about whether he should turn down his bonus again for the third year, take less or give some to charity.”

  • Civil Rights

    • Indian students in US radio-tagged; angry govt says remove it

      More than a dozen Indian students from among hundreds who have been scammed by a dodgy university in California have been radio-tagged with tracking devices in an action New Delhi described as “unwarranted,” and asked to be removed even as angry community activists said it is a violation of their rights and dignity.

      Authorities from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) who interrogated scores of Indian students who were evidently conned by the sham Tri-Valley University in Pleasanton, California, left radio-tracking devices on the ankles of several victims. The students said officials told them the devices, fitted with GPS technology, were meant to keep track of their movements while the administration examined their cases.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/UBB

    • NDP. Stop The Meter
    • If Anything Needs a Review, It Is The CRTC Itself

      After watching yesterdays sitting of the Industry Committee with the CRTC in the hot seat answering questions about the UBB debacle one can only conclude the the people charged with making these decisions about it are woefully inept at being able to do so.

      CRTC chairman Konrad von Finckenstein told the Industry Committee that they were delaying implementation of UBB for 60 days so that they can once again review the situation after a large public outcry and requests for delay from two of the initial applicants for UBB itself, one of which being Bell Canada.

    • Ottawa’s Globalive decision overturned by court
    • UBB? Oh, it stands for Unbelievable Business Baloney

      When the government surprisingly listened to a public outcry this week and ordered the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to review its recent decision on Internet-billing issue, a lot of people were left wondering what just happened.

      Perhaps the primary concern I’ve heard expressed – and the most understandable on a human level – is that if we’re not vigilant, “bandwidth hogs,” a group of monstrous e-gluttons, will waste all of our precious Internet with their ravenous downloading, surfing and streaming of what we should all assume to be content of questionable taste.

    • The CRTC and friends

      Just a couple of comments on the proposed CRTC cash-grab for Internet usage.

      First, I find it troubling that the media is constantly referring to this proposed metering of Internet usage as having “Internet users” up in arms. The use of the term Internet users like we are some kind of subset of society comparable to “smokers” is extremely deceiving. Everyone, today is an “Internet user.” From the telecommuter earning his or her living on the Internet, to the journalist confirming facts for a story, to the grandmother who uses Facebook to stay in touch. The Internet has become part of the fabric of all of our lives. Internet user is us.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Hulu chief attacks traditional TV businesses

        Jason Kilar, the chief executive of Hulu is heading for a showdown with News Corp, Walt Disney and NBC Universal, the media companies that own the online video site, after he criticised their traditional television business model.

      • Free Music Can Pay as Well as Paid Music, YouTube Says

        As record labels, digital music stores, and music subscription services continue their struggle to convince music fans to pay for music, Google’s YouTube — itself a major repository of recorded music — claims that giving away music for free generates as much money for copyright holders as charging for it, with profound implications for freemium digital music services such as Spotify and the much-rumored Google music service.

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WikiLeaks: Ron Paul Explains What Baghdad Embassy Cable Reveals

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