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04.07.11

Links 7/4/2011: Firefox 7 and GIMP 2.8 to Come This Year

Posted in News Roundup at 6:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Dual boot adventures
  • Yahoo: The Linux Company

    While Yahoo isn’t as big as it used to be, it still, according to Dummer, has 100,000s of servers, 640-million users, and over a 1 billion visits a months. According to Netcraft’s list of the most popular Web sites in the world, that’s still good enough to put Yahoo in as the 13th most popular Web site on the globe, or the fourth if you count all the international Google sites as one. In other words, Yahoo is still a player.

  • The GNU/Linux-Adoption Algorithm!

    Just for fun, I isolated the GNU/Linux-adoption algorithm

  • Windows/Linux driver support comparison

    Recently however I came across a bad situation with Windows 7 64-bit and the Intel 82567/82568 network card, which is present in a lot of desktops and laptops. The issue? Well, there are a few issues actually, but the main problems are the NIC dropping its connection at random and also not linking to some switches right away which causes the Windows 7 logon process to lag.

  • Server

    • 10,000-core Linux supercomputer built in Amazon cloud

      The customer that opted for the 10,000-core cloud cluster was biotech company Genentech in San Francisco, where scientist Jacob Corn needed computing power to examine how proteins bind to each other, in research that might eventually lead to medical treatments. Compared to the 10,000-core cluster, “we’re a tenth the size internally,” Corn says.

  • Google

    • Larry Page Starts as Google CEO

      The first day at a new job is an exciting and stressful time. Thankfully, Google’s new CEO already has a pretty firm grasp of the company’s workings, having co-founded the company 13 years ago with Sergey Brin. Larry Page and Brin served as co-presidents for the search company until 2001, when they recruited former Novell CEO, Eric Schmidt.

  • IBM

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation Takes Aim At Embedded Devices

      According to Jim Zemlin, the Executive Director of the Linux Foundation, Linux is now moving beyond just being a server operating system.In Zemlin’s view, Linux has become the fabric of modern computing.

      In an effort to help nurture the continued growth of Linux, the Linux Foundation today announced the formation of a High Availability Linux working group, as well as the release of the Yocto 1.0 embedded Linux project.

    • Where Will Linux Be in 20 Years?

      It was 20 years ago this summer that Linux was born. Over that time Linux has transformed both itself and the IT industry.

      According to Jim Zemlin, the Executive Director of the Linux Foundation, the same core fundamentals that have helped Linux to reach its current stature will help to propel it forward for the next 20 years.

      “Linux itself really has no roadmap or grand plan persay, it sort of has a direction in which it is blowing,” Zemlin told InternetNews.com. “What makes Linux so great is that there are so many self-forming communities around Linux that use a single kernel to address so many different market segments.”

    • Celebrating 20 Years of Linux [INFOGRAPHIC]

      The Linux Foundation is celebrating 20 years of the famous FOSS operating system, Linux — or GNU-slash-Linux, depending on how hard-line a fossie you’re talking to — with a slew of special events, both online and IRL. Linux enthusiasts can check out the official anniversary site for details.

    • Linux 2.6.39-rc2 Is Uncommonly Calm
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Wishlist for gnome (and shell) 3.2
      • GNOME 3.0′s RAM usage

        …is surprisingly low. Unlike what some people would make you believe, GNOME Shell & friends don’t eat 883 MB of RAM. As you can see below, baseline memory usage is under 120 MB… And you know what? That’s less than the amount of memory that GNOME 2.30 uses on startup on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (127 MB+ even if you cut down on some useless services).

      • GNOME Shell Extensions: Additional Functionality For GNOME Shell (Dock Task-Switcher, Windows Navigator, User Theme, Etc.)
      • GNOME 3 First Impressions
      • GNOME3 Live image 1.0.0 released – It is about time
      • Gnome 3.0 first impressions, or “Is this thing on?”
      • GNOME 3 and the focus on usability

        GNOME 3 is out and of course I was very curious to give it a spin. As the GNOME developers claim they care a lot about usability and have given the new desktop design a lot of thought, I was pretty excited, since I care about these things as well. Haiku still has a lot of usability issues that we need to sort out. Maybe we can learn a few things. So what are my impressions? To be honest, I have pretty mixed feelings.

      • GNOME 3 and Its Fallback Desktop

        I like the GNOME 3 fallback desktop better than GNOME 3 itself.

        Amid all the attention given to the new GNOME 3 with its overview page, you don’t hear much about the fallback. Nor are you likely to stumble across it on your own, since it’s buried in Applications -> System Settings -> System Info -> Graphics -> Forced Fallback -> On, a location that’s both obscure and deep.

        However, you might want to search out the setting if your computer lacks the hardware acceleration needed to run GNOME 3. Set it to On, and the next time you log in, you’ll be using the fallback.

      • The inevitable is here : Ubuntu gnome remix

        It was predicted since canonical announced unity…
        It was anticipated since people tried and disappointed on unity…
        It was desired since people saw, tried and experienced gnome 3.0 and its new shell…
        It was inevitable since shuttleworth commmented that no classic desktop for ubuntu 11.10…

      • GNOME Developer Center now online

        In conjunction with the release of GNOME 3, the GNOME Project has opened the GNOME Developer Center to help new developers find their way around the desktop environment’s technologies. The centre includes instructions on how to install tools for GNOME development, along with “ten minute tutorials” for C, C++, JavaScript, Python and Vala, covering the creation of, as examples, a guitar tuner, image viewer, WebKit-based Message board and a Clutter-based Image viewer.

  • Distributions

    • Testing stable; stable testing
    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2010 E17 Review

        After spending a week using PCLinuxOS I can say that this is definitely a distributions to rival all others. PCLinuxOS is maintained by the staff and volunteers of the PCLinuxOS Magazine. When you grab yourself a copy of this nearly flawless operating system be sure to stick around their website and freely read through the PCLinuxOS magazine archives to learn Linux while your at it. The endless variety of options when using PCLinuxOS seems to be an important focus of the project. This distribution comes in many desktop versions including Gnome, Gnome Zen Mini, XFCE, LXDE. KDE, and OpenBox. Thats not all, PCLinuxOS is available in 85 languages using the Addlocale tool, and has over 12000 packages available from the repositories. The sleek and minimalistic interface definitely improves workspace efficiency. PCLinuxOS 2010 Enlightenment 17 would be a great choice for Linux newcomers.

    • Debian Family

      • Backing up your data in Debian/Ubuntu derived distros

        Today I want to discuss backing up your computer in case of major problems or when your hard drive conks out. Because ALL hard drives will eventually fail, often without much warning. Backing up your computer data (photos, music files, documents), system settings and software preferences is something we should all do on a regular basis so your information and precious memories aren’t lost. And if you like to install different operating systems from time to time like I do, or just to do a clean install of a newer version of your operating system, having a recent back-up is indispensable.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • GNOME 3 is out: will Ubuntu reconsider?

          GNOME 3 introduces “GNOME Shell”, a new window display and activities management interface that uses the Mutter compositing window manager.

        • Gnome 3 Fallback mode – Get your productivity back

          One thing is certain though, the Fallback Mode is more productive and useful than the standard, default Gnome 3 session. You don’t get the full repertoire you may expect, but there’s progress, good, healthy progress. In one fell stroke, you gain some 50-60% of your expected desktop functionality, which restores a bit of sanity and hope. Theoretically, you could get your old desktop back with some careful work on extra features, backward compatibility and a dab of visual polish. Experienced Linux distribution developers could pull this off easily, rebranding the skeleton looks with their own unique touch. Once again, we go back to Linux Mint, which has shown the art of subtle visual transformation many times over in the past.

        • 10 Things I Love About GNOME 3

          Fortunately for GNOME, their latest version of their popular desktop environment manages to break very few eggs, if any, and still magically makes omelets regardless of that. GNOME 3 designers and developers have had a lot of time to think and plan about the design of the latest desktop and it shows very clearly in several areas. Some refinement and improvement could come in future releases (and that is actually being worked on right now), but for now I am loving the GNOME 3 desktop as it stands today just fine. Why? I’ll give you 10 reasons:

        • Drag Me to Shell, p1.

          This is part one of what will be a multipart blog series: how tremendously exciting, eh?! In all seriousness, with GNOME 3 imminent, I thought rather than do a review of the desktop it would be much more interesting to talk about it from the perspective of a relatively hardened Linux enthusiast actually using it within a business environment.

        • First look: GNOME 3.0

          After a lot of preparatory work, the GNOME project has released the first version of the third generation of GNOME. With its modern design approach, subtle graphics effects and fresh UI concept, the new version presents itself much more modern and sleek than its predecessor – but it also needs to be handled differently.The GNOME Shell showed no sign of stability problems during our tests. Our primary test systems were a desktop computer with Radeon HD 4350 and a notebook with Intel’s G965 chip-set; both systems were running preview versions of Fedora 15.

        • Mac in Black: A disconcerting look at GNOME 3
        • Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Beta Review

          Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Beta 1 is released and it brings in some much needed UI(User Interface) improvements. I was impressed by the changes so much that I decided to install this beta release as my new default operating system instead of Ubuntu 10.10.

        • Where are Ubuntu servers being used?

          Earlier today, Ivanka Majic tweeted a link to the map of where Ubuntu Servers are being used around the world and I thought that was pretty cool so I wanted to find out a little more about how this information was gathered.

          According to the website, the application shows Ubuntu logo over each city where Ubuntu Server is used and the data is collected through volunteers who visit the application and agree to add their city to the map. Also stated on the site is the fact that personally identifying information is stored in the application database. Those who visit the application website can choose to add their information using their IP address or just see where Ubuntu Server is already being used.

        • Canonical Commits to Netbooks Over Tablets for Ubuntu

          Canonical has not yet built an Ubuntu Linux distribution for tablets and will continue development of the OS for PCs and netbooks, company executives said.

        • First Look At Ubuntu Linux 11.04 ‘Natty Narwhal’ Beta

          So that’s Ubuntu 11.04, and its somewhat bold step forward, and somewhat away from other distributions. What do you think of it, in looks alone or after using the beta a bit? Give us your take in the comments.

        • Ubuntu 11.04: is this the end of the road?

          If this amount of change had been incorporated into a release some years ago, when Ubuntu was two or three years old, it is unlikely that people would have noticed and commented as much as they have. Change takes place in the early stages of development of just about anything.

          When change of this magnitude comes after six years and a half – more than four lifetimes in the tech industry – then people start to ask why.

          Is this the end of the road as far as radical design changes for Ubuntu go? Or is there more hidden up the sleeve of the Canonical founder, changes that will make it look more and more like a Dinky Toy than a serious operating system?

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Elementary OS review – ‘Jupiter’ is massive, but it’s largely hot air…

            What, another Ubuntu-based Linux distro? Yes, but Elementary OS is meant to be something more than just an Ubuntu spin with a different wallpaper. We take a brief look at the new distro to see whether it lives up to its original promise…

            [...]

            Elementary OS won’t replace Ubuntu on our machines just yet, but we will definitely keep a close eye on the project.

          • Spotlight On Linux: wattOS

            So many computers head for landfill when they are still able to carry out useful work. However, some organizations and individuals do what they can to put these machines into the hands of people who can use them. Naturally, this is an ideal application for Linux, and having had a quick look at it, I suspect that wattOS would make a good choice for refurbishing older computers.

            wattOS is derived from the current version of Ubuntu, giving it an advantage when it comes to hardware support. Another good thing about being tied to one of the big distributions is that there’s less of a chance of being stuck for a application that you need.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Nokia/MeeGo/Maemo

        • Nokia admits ‘open’ Symbian is not open

          Nokia has admitted that its “open and direct” Symbian source code is not open, proving – once again – that the word has been stripped of all discernible meaning.

          Late last week, a little over three months after the Symbian Foundation shut down its web servers, Nokia returned the Symbian source code to the web. It announced the move with a blog post entitled “We are open!”, and the post was penned by Petra Söderling, the “Head of Open Source” for Symbian smartphones.

        • Nokia confirms Symbian no longer open source
        • Plans for the First Qt Contributors’ Summit Continue

          The first Qt Contributors’ Summit is scheduled to be held at the ParkInn Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany on June 16-18, 2011.

      • Android

        • Android and the Great Openness Debate

          Google’s motivations in protecting its Honeycomb source code are understandable to Slashdot blogger and consultant Gerhard Mack, who notes, “they are worried their code won’t be stable on other devices. Unfortunately, they are underestimating what the community could do for them if they opened up the code. There are plenty of hobbyist programmers who absolutely love to mess with phones and would check in fixes as needed.”

        • Penguin chief: Linux patent and copyright FUD ‘not relevant’

          Fear ye not, Linux faithful. Thy software is no more susceptible to patent or copyright attack than any other piece of closed source software.

          That’s according to Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin, who told penguins gathered as his group’s annual Collaboration Summit on Wednesday not to believe the FUD – fear, uncertainty, and doubt – claiming that violations are unique to their beloved Linux or open source in general.

          [...]

          But the challenges to Linux and open source aren’t just coming from the likes of Microsoft. They’re coming from inside the Linux camp too. Foundation member Oracle, the world’s biggest database maker, is taking fellow Foundation member Google, the web’s number-one search company, to court, saying that Google’s smartphone operating system violates its Java patents. It’s a claim Google has denied and is contesting.

        • Google’s Andy Rubin Says Android Remains An Open Source Project

          Writing in a blog, he said : “As I write this the Android team is still hard at work to bring all the new Honeycomb features to phones.

          “As soon as this work is completed, we’ll publish the code.

          “This temporary delay does not represent a change in strategy” .

          While admitting that Google was placing limitations on those seeking to ship devices with Google apps as well as tighter restrictions on entry into the Android Market, Rubin said these were always in place from the inception.

        • Google: we’ll open source Android 3.0 when it’s ready
    • Sub-notebooks

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

Clip of the Day

Richard Stallman – What can individuals do?


Credit: TinyOgg

.NET and More Microsoft APIs Pushed Into GNU/Linux by Microsoft MVPs and FUD Spreaders (Against Linux)

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 9:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Roundup of news about Novell’s strategic and practical focus, as well as the beneficiaries

ANY pattern, especially with persistent repetition, can be easy to pinpoint. Most Mono and Moonlight promoters do not like GNU/Linux. Instead, they appreciate or even obsess about Microsoft software. Mono projects provide these boosters with the perfect opportunity to infect other, unwitting platforms with their obsession. For the past three years we have shown that it is Microsoft journalists who care the most about Mono and Moonlight releases and not Linux-focused reporters. It speaks volumes about the PR that has been invested to keep this patent-trap alive. It seems to be effective, because Mono has now spread to Android, as Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza gleefully announces in Twitter and in his blog:

Today we released Mono for Android 1.0 http://bit.ly/mono-android-1 and MonoTouch 4.0 http://bit.ly/monotouch-4 Enjoy!

The push for Mono on Android goes years into the past [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15], but Novell keeps manufacturing press coverage about it. To quote Dr. Dobbs:

Novell has renewed its efforts in the mobile arena by today announcing the availability of Mono for Android, a set of tools for developing .NET applications for the Android platform using Microsoft Visual Studio. Following the Mono Project’s core tenet of making Microsoft .NET applications capable of running cross-platform, Novell says that it is now enabling Visual Studio, .NET, and C# developers to utilize a common code base to create applications for the industry’s most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based phones and tablets, Apple iPad, Apple iPod Touch, and Apple iPhone.

Guess who was pushing it onto the Slashdot crowd as though this community has interest in Microsoft development? Yes, this was submitted to Slashdot by an anti-Linux source of FUD which pretends to be pro-Linux so as to be quoted as criticising GNU/Linux. He goes by the name “hairyfeet” and some may be already familiar with it. That’s just the thing about Mono fans; they can pretend to have a following, but the followers are Microsoft enthusiasts, not GNU/Linux or Free software enthusiasts.

As this new article helps show, Microsoft is exploiting Novell to stay relevant in an age of migrations to GNU/Linux. Novell advertises Microsoft trademarks and proprietary software in its press release regarding the above. It’s an endorsement for Visual Studio and .NET. This gets reposted unchanged with all the marketing deception by some sites to get this sort of coverage from other sites [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. This helps Novell and Microsoft, but not GNU/Linux or even Android (which favours Java/Dalvik). It’s Microsoft news, not Android news, so no wonder Mary Jo Foley covers it, not to mention Ryan Paul, as usual (he gets flak for it from some readers).

It really seems to be the case that more and more people learn about the problems with Mono. For example take Novell’s Banshee, a patent trap with unique problems. Longtime promoters of Mono such as OMG! Ubuntu promote it, preceding or encouraging innocent users to do so too (users such as new Ubuntu entrants). Well, so does Jack Germain, who probably innocently gives a boost to this Trojan horse. Who does that benefit? It’s only good for .NET and for Microsoft, that’s who. As the one commenter (James E LaBarre) put it in relation to the new release announcement:

Is it still a Mono app? Then I’m not interested, regardless of how new or clever it may be.

“You can’t fight corruption with con tricks, they use the law to commit crimes…”
“Gangsters”, The Specials

As noted before (by de Icaza the other day), the obsession with .NET leads to other sorts of addiction and Microsoft toys (e.g. legacy Silver Lie), which even in an age when Microsoft nearly abandons the endeavour others carry on (carrying water for Microsoft). Quoting The Inquirer: “SOFTWARE SPINNER Microsoft has put out a statement that tried to justify the existence of Silverlight, but ended up saying that HTML5 is better.”

Novell was still promoting Silver Lie APIs (even with press releases) back in February [1, 2]. It is very clear whose interests Novell is serving these days and more people ought to see that.

Having Killed Novell’s Credibility, Microsoft is Taking Novell’s Customers

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Novell at 6:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What’s Microsoft’s is Microsoft’s and what’s Novell’s is also Microsoft’s

Mug in microwave

Summary: Spirit is low at Novell as companies which are boasting a market cap 100 times higher than NOVL take the customers away

IN a conversation with a friend the other day, it came up that Novell used to be a respected company back in the days. These days it’s a laughing stock and people whose living is made by administrating Solaris servers do not seem to even know that Novell has a GNU/Linux distribution (Ballnux), at least the one I spoke to. Microsoft has had Novell characterised as some Windows/Microsoft company, not a “Linux company” and Microsoft is taking Novell’s customers now that Novell is at the edge of a cliff. See this for example. Then, see this from the Microsoft boosters:

The service will replace Novell GroupWise software, which the school district is now running on its own servers. Live@edu will provide e-mail for 8,500 faculty and staff and high school students in the fall, Microsoft said today. The service and e-mails are stored in Microsoft’s data centers and accessed by students and faculty via the Internet.

Microsoft is slaughtering Novell (ignore the PR which neglects to mention business decline), but then again, so does Google. Both companies are competing to take personal data at taxpayers’ expense (Fog Computing enables this). Microsoft is very excited about this and we previously explained this excitement (Microsoft is fanatic about lock-in). Not only has the deal with Novell enabled it to turn Novell into a vassal; it also enabled Microsoft to grab Novell customers more easily (“interoperability” as they call it makes the transition easier) and grab Novell’s patents, which are handy for a fight against UNIX/Linux due to the nature of the patents.

Learn why deals with Microsoft are suicide. Just watch Novell.

In the News, Novell is Already Dead

Posted in Novell at 6:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Skull

Summary: Interpretation of Novell’s situation based on the volume and the nature of news about it

THE “boycott Novell” push has been keeping an eye on “Novell” news since 2006. That’s about 5 years ago. Earlier this year “Novell” news got so scarce that there was hardly any point to keeping track of it. Apart from self-congratulating announcements [1, 2] (a form of PR) and the occasional mention of a few former Novell executives (PlateSpin too) moving to other companies, there is almost nothing to be found. When there is, it’s about proprietary software from Novell (and proprietary flaws [1, 2), not to mention fluff that’s hardly even products. What is it that Novell employees even do these days? Mysterious. Some of Novell’s staff is just throwing videos into YouTube (e.g. IDM videos [1, 2, 3] and this amateurish promotion which can be seen below).

Novell ceased to matter as a company quite a while back and when Elliot stepped up it was the death knell. The question is, what will happen with Novell’s market and Novell’s patents now? It’s a question we continue to investigate here.

Why OpenSUSE 11.5 Might Never Come

Posted in Novell, OpenSUSE at 5:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Danger sign

Summary: As Novell implodes and people leave the OpenSUSE community in droves, there is little or no sign of future releases

NOVELL may be just days away from obsolescence and all it gets excited about these days are Microsoft projects like Mono and Moonlight (more on that later). When it comes to SUSE, Novell uses it almost exclusively to market its proprietary software such as Operations Center (see the SAP news, which says for example that “Novell has released new software designed to allow SAP users to integrate around its SUSE Linux open source operating system”) and the company relies on shallow coverage that gets used to promote Intelligent Workload Management and other such fluff, e.g. this marketing in the form of articles, because today's news is largely PR, even YouTube content. Watch this blatant PR piece about SUSE and the way Novell’s PR staff exploits it (it’s staged): “This month, the influential industry publication PRWeek recognized the program and wrote a case study about why it was so successful. We’re proud of the recognition and thank the thousands of Linux developers who participated (and if you missed it this year don’t worry – we’re planning a second competition in 2011).”

PR, PR, PR…

That’s Novell for you.

Realising that there is a PR issue, OpenSUSE rethinks version schemes:

Andreas Jaeger, openSUSE Program Manager at Novell, has announced the results of the future versioning polls. As reported earlier a discussion concerning the versioning of openSUSE releases emerged with several interesting options. A polling structure was devised and today the decision is made.

Some of the ideas were to go to a Fedora-style whole number release version such as Fedora 14 or Fedora 15. Another was Ubuntu-style in which the version number reflected the release date such as Ubuntu 11.04 to mean the Ubuntu released in April 2011. Mandriva-style was also considered that uses the year with the minor number indicating the number of release for that year such as Mandriva 2010.2 (the second release in 2010). The most interesting was dubbed “octal” which means the next release would be “o 12″ or 012.

This was mentioned before. Basically, the OpenSUSE community has a crisis as it gets abandoned and OpenSUSE Weekly News is almost the only type of content being added to the site these days (the planet component aside, even a profile here and there). OpenSUSE is a dying distribution and Jack Wallen’s review of the release was titled “Will new openSUSE with KDE 4.6 bring distro back from obscurity?” Since our post which accumulated OpenSUSE reviews we have only found this one review, so it doesn’t seems to have resonated as a distribution worth reviewing. HOWTOs about OpenSUSE are few but they exist (for GNOME at least, and Novell has a lot of influence inside GNOME). We have researched further for a while, hoping to find evidence of a future release because there is no talk about the next release yet. Little (if any) was written about it in the news. The term “OpenSUSE 11.5″ appears not in blogs, just in unofficial or less official sources./placeholder pages, e.g. [1, 2, 3]. Some of these pages are almost blank.

Given that AttachMSFT expressed no commitment to OpenSUSE (just to SUSE), will there be a future for it? We doubt that. Even if they develop it, a high-profile release might never come. A fork is somewhat possible.

Securities and Exchange Commission Gives SCO the Boot, Novell Likely to be Next

Posted in Finance, Microsoft, Novell, SCO at 4:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sea sole

Summary: SCO and son of SCO (Novell) are struggling to stay relevant to the public, help Microsoft agenda in the mean time, in exchange for Microsoft incentives

As mentioned in Groklaw the other day, SCO is getting the boot. The British technology press concurs [1, 2] and adds that “The US Securities and Exchange Commission has temporarily halted trading in SCO shares.” For a bit of background: “The software company, which filed for bankruptcy in September 2007, has been hampered by legal costs and falling sales, after a US judge ruled that Novell, not SCO, was the owner of the Unix and UnixWare copyrights.”

“AttachMSFT had been in touch with Elliott even before Elliott started hounding Novell, so it seems like this was coordinated.”Novell will be sold soon (probably with federal approval in 5 days, unless regulators can stop this because shareholders sure let it slide [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]) and Microsoft must be licking its lips with anticipation and expectation of receiving Novell patents. As a bit of recap from the news: “Hedge fund Elliott Associates was successful last year in pushing Novell to sell itself for $2.2 billion to Attachmate Corp, a data center software maker owned by an investment group led by Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Bravo.”

AttachMSFT had been in touch with Elliott even before Elliott started hounding Novell, so it seems like this was coordinated. It’s smacks of corruption. In any case, Novell as a company is pretty much dead (almost no news about it anymore) and due to the imminent sale its report got delayed and when it was finally released it was rubbish. Novell reported very bad results which show just how much deals with Microsoft pay off and the explanations for the losses are more like excuses; it’s not just due to the vulture fund (Elliott) and it’s not just due to tax, either. These numbers help show that Novell’s future may be more like SCO’s (whose copyrights were used to harass Linux, just as Novell patents are now being passed to Microsoft, which sues Linux with patents). Shame on Novell and good riddance.

Novell expects to have BrainShare 2011 in October, but there won’t be a Novell by then, unless a miracle happens. How long can Novell stay a publicly-traded company? Their employees spread libel us in the mean time. They also spread Microsoft APIs.

Novell Turns Free/Libre Google Software Into Proprietary Software Products

Posted in Google, Novell at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell is a leech

Organisms of shape

Summary: How Novell uses other people’s work that they produce for free in order to sell proprietary software from Novell

IN OUR more recent posts about Vibe (e.g. [1, 2, 3]) we explained its relation to Google Wave and also to parts of Novell’s proprietary portfolio (e.g. Groupwise). It’s rather striking that no journalist dares to criticise Novell for the nature of what it’s doing, which is in some sense more cheeky than what SAP is doing to deliver something similar.

In its latest announcement Novell says just about nothing about who did a lot of the heavy lifting and instead there is marketing lingo which sells proprietary software. To quote one article: “Novell Vibe Cloud is an enterprise social media product that combines activity streams and ad hoc collaboration with file sharing and group editing capabilities. While the beta test is over, a Basic Edition product will remain available for free and essentially provides all the same collaborative capabilities on a single-user model, with a 250 megabyte limit on file storage. Upgrading to the Enterprise Edition ($84 per user per year) buys an organization more administrative control, integration with enterprise directory services, and unlimited collaboration groups.”

Other coverage is pretty much the same [1, 2, 3, 4]. It does not say where Novell received a lot of the code (and it contributes nothing back). As we are going to show later, Novell exploits Linux in more or less the same way. Novell uses SUSE to sell proprietary software which is made at Novell. It’s the same with Mono. Novell is like Apple in this regard.

Technology Giants Make the World a Worse Place for Developers, Using Patents

Posted in Apple, Google, Patents at 4:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Giant (2009 film)

Summary: Monopolies and titans spread their monopolies and perpetuate the patent problems rather than strive to resolve them for about 99% of the businesses out there (those without a massive scale and monopoly)

A WHILE back we hoped that Apple would rethink its patent lust given the $625 million verdict against it, but this case is being overturned now:

A federal judge in Texas threw out an earlier verdict against Apple in a patent-infringement case with Mirror Worlds, overturning one of the largest settlements ever awarded in a patent case and fueling debate on software copyright in general.

How is Apple going to learn a lesson about software patents’ harm if not by cases like this one? Apple is currently suing the Linux-powered Android, which leads Google, for example, to resorting to patents too (much to the regret of the FFII). A longtime critic of the patent system calls it the “Nuclear Option” and says that “the exploding IP litigation in mobile will only get larger as Google angles to buy the mobile-patent equivalent of a thermonuclear device.” To quote the opening part:

In a blog post today, Google (GOOG) general counsel Kent Walker announced that the company had bid for Nortel’s patent portfolio. The $900 million offer makes Google the so-called stalking horse bidder: one that sets a high enough bottom line to keep others from low-balling the auction.

This is a major change for Google and an overt declaration that it will use its cash to obtain patents that could make life unpleasant for litigious competitors. Expect that the exploding IP litigation in mobile will only get larger as Google angles to buy the mobile-patent equivalent of a thermonuclear device.

Google would be wiser to give a billion dollars to the FFII and other groups which seek to abolish software patents. That would also help Google justify its “do no evil” motto.

What we are seeing these days is not just consolidation where few companies amass enormous power (e.g. Oracle buying Sun) but also a distortion of law that benefits the rich (e.g. tax exceptions for the super-rich, tax havens for large corporations only). Unless the people stand up behind groups like the FFII, FSF, EFF, etc. nothing is going to improve; it’s only going to get a lot worse. Patents are a symptom and a characteristic of this general trend. They solidify the power of the already-powerful over everyone else, essentially making “illegal” the act of competing. As we last showed yesterday, there is nothing ethical about patents; it’s protectionism, it’s selfishness.

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