TechBytes Episode 31: Nokiasoft and Computer Games

Posted in TechBytes at 6:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Direct download as Ogg (1:41:57, 31.0 MB) | Direct download as MP3 (46.7 MB)

Summary: Tim and Roy discuss the Nokia-Microsoft deal and then argue about the use of question marks in headlines; they end up talking about so-called ‘piracy’ and even nostalgic games

TONIGHT’S show deals with the deal that’s impossible to ignore and then turns to other topics, altogether departing from the focus of the show at times.

RSS 64x64The show ends with our default track. 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.

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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
Episode 28: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 28: The Weekend After Microsoft’s Results and LCA 30/1/2011
Episode 29: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 29: KDE, Other Desktop Environments, and Programming 31/1/2011

February 2011

Show overview Show title Date recorded
Episode 30: Tim, Gordon, and Roy TechBytes Episode 30: Microsoft at FOSDEM, Debian Release, and Anonymous 7/2/2011

Scaremongering Against Google — Not Technical Advantage — the Strategy of MPEG-LA and Microsoft

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Patents, Search at 6:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Google responds to MPEG-LA’s call for arms and Microsoft depends on Google which it daemonises in an attempt to distract from its own mischief

OVER the past year we wrote many posts about WebM and MPEG-LA, most recently in relation to Nokia's malicious past role, namely backing MPEG-LA, and this patent troll’s call for patents to extort/sue Google with. It is widely publicised by now [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Miguel de Icaza tells Microsoft Florian: “They made a “call for patents” because they have not found anything that WebM infringes.”

“Harassing Google (and Android/Linux) has grown to be a Microsoft habit or a hobby.”Stephen Shankland from CNET quotes Google’s official response: “MPEG LA has alluded to a VP8 pool since WebM launched–this is nothing new. The Web succeeds with open, community-developed innovation, and the WebM Project brings the same principles to Web video. The vast majority of the industry supports free and open development, and we’re in the process of forming a broad coalition of hardware and software companies who commit to not assert any IP claims against WebM. We are firmly committed to the project and establishing an open codec for HTML5 video.” The same statement can be found in other articles too.

One of MPEG-LA’s biggest backers is Microsoft of course. The embarrassing situation involving Microsoft’s B0ng as a spy and scraper [1, 2] of Google, which led to much bogus debate, definitely shows who’s fighting for progress in some areas and who is harming society. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has published the new essay “Lies, damned lies and search engines” where he addresses the issue:

Bad Microsoft! Bad! No biscuit for you!

If Microsoft were a dog, I’d be scolding it for its latest foolishness. It turns out that rather than searching the Internet on its own, it’s been riding the coattails of Google. This isn’t just a theory. Google set up a clever trap, and Microsoft’s search engineers fell right into it.

Harassing Google (and Android/Linux) has grown to be a Microsoft habit or a hobby. It’s rather striking however. Even Microsoft cannot help use Google and Linux internally, so Microsoft in some sense depends on their existence.

Maneuverers of Microsoft in an Age of Software Patents

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 5:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Setback for Microsoft’s patent troll with the massive yacht

Two ships

Summary: Linux-hostile patent moves from Microsoft and further debates about the patentability of software

WE HAVE heard rumours which say that the United States may be the new centre of Nokia, which is a Finnish company almost 150 years old. There is risk that Microsoft might 'pull a CPTN' on Nokia and then use Nokia’s patents against those whom Nokia once worked alongside (e.g. Linux). According to Novell’s SEC filings, Blackrock is a massive Novell shareholder and “Blackrock reportedly is also the largest Apple shareholder,” writes Groklaw,”at 5.5%. Apple is also one of the members of the Microsoft-organized consortium seeking to purchase Novell’s patents, CPTN. Blackrock owns shares in Microsoft as well, although it lowered its stake in November to just below 5%.” For a quick reminder about CPTN, see the following:

Oracle and Microsoft are both in CPTN and there is a new obstacle to their plot against Android, suggests this piece about the Uniloc case:

Under the entire market value rule, a patentee may seek damages based on the value of an entire apparatus when the patented invention is merely a single component if three conditions are met: (1) the infringing component must form the basis for customer demand for the entire machine, including the parts beyond the claimed invention; (2) the infringing and noninfringing components must be sold together as a functional unit or be parts of a complete machine; and (3) individual infringing and noninfringing components must be analogous to a single functioning unit.

“If I were Oracle,” writes Groklaw, “I’d be worried about this with respect to the litigation against Google. And if I were Paul Allen, I’d be even more worried.”

Traul Allen and other friends of Microsoft has been trying to extort Android users. Mr. Allen engages in self praise right now while he is in fact being malicious and greedy. Over at Groklaw, his case has been analysed since last summer and to quote some of Groklaw‘s latest arguments: “Techdirt submitted a very thoughtful couple of comments on patents and indeed software patents are the single biggest issue working against innovation in technology. But I worry very much too about the DMCA, because it makes it really dangerous to do security research. I would hope that at some point someone would notice that, preferably before it becomes a serious security problem for the US.”

“Here’s an idea,” writes Groklaw on another occasion: “You get rid of software patents, and your backlog problem is solved.”

The Churchill Club Great Debate will focus on the patentability of software this coming Wednesday (February 16, 2011). The FSF will be there and coverage is guaranteed to follow.

Jim Skippen to Make the Software Patents Mess Worse in Canada, Elsewhere

Posted in America, Patents at 5:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Totem poles

Summary: Patent troll Wi-LAN is expanding into “software and internet patent licensing”

THE patent bully/troll that sues and extorts companies like RIM and dozens of others proudly states that it will expand into Internet and software patent extortion (same old ideas applied digitally and/or over the Internet). From Reuters:

Canadian patent licensing company Wi-LAN Inc plans to venture into software and internet patent licensing, even as it focuses on its strong wireless portfolio, Chief Executive Jim Skippen told Reuters.

Companies like LG are getting aggressive too, but at least they produce some real products, even hardware. In a later post we’ll write about people who once produced something and are now just patent trolls (an example of this would be Traul Allen, Microsoft’s co-founder).

European Court of Justice Can Defend European Software Companies From Patents

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 2:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Italy - nice day

Summary: Opposition to the so-called ‘EU patent’ may come from the European Court of Justice and from Italy

EUROPE is not unique among continents that are besieged by corporate interests from overseas. Monopolists want to become multinationals whose monopoly is further protected by new laws which are being pushed into other countries (even when these laws are clearly harmful to these countries).

On the subject of software patents in Europe, there is still the real threat of the EU patent, which the European Court of Justice Advocates General says violates the principles of the EU's founding treaties. The FFII, April, and the FSFE have asked for reconsideration and delay (for further debate and clarifications), so IDG covered it too:

The European Parliament has been asked to wait for a landmark ruling from the European Court of Justice before voting on a single-patent system for Europe that organizations fear could hurt software companies.

The issue is on the Parliament’s agenda for next week, but a legal opinion from the court is not expected until later this month or even March.

Italy and to some extent Spain stand in the way of this potentially atrocious development. Those who try to pass it are rushing it through for obvious reasons.

Another Senior Vice President Quits Microsoft and Microsoft Sues Departing Executive

Posted in Microsoft at 2:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Another AZune executive calls it quits, but there may be more to the story as companies sue over departing employees or use them as weapons (moles) against competitors

APOCALYPSE at Microsoft resumes. Although we have missed some dead products from Microsoft (it is hard to keep track when there are no official announcements or confirmations sometimes), we have kept good track of the many high-level departures, going back to 2009. Just months after Ozzie left Microsoft (focus on AZune) and moved to GNU/Linux/Free software in his blog [1, 2, 3, 4], an old colleague, Amitabh Srivastava, is also leaving:

The company also announced the departure of Amitabh Srivastava, a senior vice president in the Server & Tools Business and one of the key figures behind the Windows Azure cloud computing platform.


Ballmer didn’t give a specific reason for Srivastava’s departure. The longtime Microsoft engineer had been mentioned as a possible candidate for the top Server & Tools job. He had started the Azure initiative in 2006 with Microsoft’s Dave Cutler under the name “Project Red Dog.”

Watch Ballmer’s response because the last time we heard Ballmer making a statement like the following, he ‘sent’ Elop to take over Nokia:

“Windows Azure is in a great place, and Amitabh is ready to move to a new phase in his career,” Ballmer wrote in his email. “He has done stellar work for the company and will work to ensure a smooth transition with the Windows Azure team. I wish him well in his new endeavors.”

There will hopefully be no story of Srivastava entryism because that’s how the Elop story started as well (similar words from Ballmer). It is now being said that Elopocalypse will have Elop sued (he is one of the biggest shareholders of Microsoft, with no shares in Nokia) and regarding another exit from Microsoft, Microsoft is suing him after he had left and this is still in the news (update on the case):

Microsoft is claiming a CRM executive who defected to Salesforce.com took hundreds sensitive documents to its cloudy competitor.

The company has filed legal documents saying former Dynamics CRM general manager Matt Miszewski left Microsoft with a “trove of materials” on his PC.

Former Microsoft bigwigs need to be tracked because they tend to take something with them. It’s just a fact of life. People cannot change overnight.

How Corporations Conduct Smear Campaigns

Posted in Site News at 1:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: New video titled “The [Character] Assassination of Julian Assange” and some words about the latest smear campaign’s fallout

THERE is a conversation going on about cablegate news we’ve been covering and will continue to cover later today (in daily links). It’s about coordinated attacks on people — attacks that are said to be funded and backed-by-proxy by companies that suffer from the actions of activists. Many of the links can be found in the comments thread and the following new video is appropriate for getting another point across.

Be sceptical of smear campaigns that target people who expose large and unethical companies. Be a lot less sceptical of people who expose large and unethical companies.

Miguel de Icaza Helps Show He is an Enemy of GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Mono at 1:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

With fiends like these, who needs enemies?

Windows Phone 7 at Nokia

Summary: Miguel de Icaza and other Microsoft boosters are taking the very opposite side (from that of the Linux Foundation and Linux advocates in general) regarding the Nokia-Microsoft deal

The fake ‘friends’ of GNU/Linux are often covered by Techrights, which strives to provide a lot of evidence to convince those who lack the time to find it that particular companies and people only ever pretend to serve software freedom. Some are “openwashing” (piggybacking the successful phenomenon), but some are maliciously abusing what they only claim or pretend to admire.

Take Microsoft Florian for example. He had journalists refer to him as an open source advocate*. That’s a lie, and it is a lie that served him well in his lobbying efforts. He has just told Miguel de Icaza: “Today Nokia announced it will do more patent monetization. If they have anything RHT needs, could be fun ;-)” (Miguel de Icaza is chatting with anti-Linux people who lobby for Microsoft interests and vice versa).

For those who missed Friday’s comments section in the post about Nokia-Microsoft, NetworkWorld (IDG) summarised de Icaza’s tweets (he doesn’t use Identi.ca) in which he voiced abundant support for the Nokia-Microsoft deal — yes, that which is a slap on Linux’ face (denounced by both Intel and the Linux Foundation). Funnily enough, the Microsoft booster from IDG called de Icaza an “Open source guru” (in the headline), which is also bordering being a lie; he is a Microsoft MVP, maybe a guru of Microsoft software. Suffice to say, the comments section rebuts the nonsense and there are a lot of responses to the outrageous statements from de Icaza (some cited Techrights and there’s plenty more of it in IRC and Identi.ca), which help show he that is against Free software goals. Some people are apparently starting to lean towards KDE or other non-GNOME environments because of this. To quote a new post:

Miguel de Icaza, one of the leading developers of GNOME, has said that he is “psyched” (apparently in a good way) by this. He has been taking a lot of flak from the open-source community for supporting the development of Mono, the open-source implementation of Microsoft’s C# programming language and toolkit; while I am wary of Microsoft’s moves with regard to Mono, I still do use GNOME-Do, which is Mono-based, and I’m OK with this because it is still open-source. However, de Icaza’s support of the Nokia-Microsoft partnership seems to be the last straw, even for me; as a developer of a core technology (GNOME) for Linux systems, how could he possibly support a company that has essentially issued death threats against Linux multiple times?

Yes, but Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza is either deaf/blind or ignorant; truthfully, he is neither, so it implies just malice. There is almost nobody else left — except C# and Microsoft fans perhaps — who believes this man is in favour of GNU/Linux (which he sometimes ridicules using Microsoft talking points, as we showed here before). By association, Miguel de Icaza’s current work not only harms GNOME but also OpenSUSE, which has another lump of news (not much going on there anymore).
* Even though he is just a proprietary .NET developer.

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