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05.09.11

Links 10/5/2011: Slackware 13.37 Raves, Mark Shuttleworth’s Endorsement for GPLv3

Posted in News Roundup at 8:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Raspberry Pi Foundation

    Our first product is about the size of a USB key, and is designed to plug into a TV or be combined with a touch screen for a low cost tablet. The expected price is $25 for a fully-configured system.

  • Server

    • Dell Hopes to Speed up Virtualization With Four-socket Blade

      The blade can include up to 512GB of RAM and 2TB of internal storage. OS options include Windows Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Novell Suse Linux Enterprise Server. The blade will be available worldwide at the end of May starting at US$3,500.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Kernel Space

    • SandForce 1222 SSD Testing, Part 3: Detailed Throughput Analysis
    • Graphics Stack

      • NVIDIA Optimus Unofficially Comes To Linux

        NVIDIA’s Optimus multi-GPU technology now works under Linux. Well, at least for some notebooks, it’s been hacked together by an open-source developer and in fact is working to use both Intel and NVIDIA graphics processors simultaneously with the respective drivers. This is the best Linux implementation we’ve seen yet with NVIDIA Corp still not announcing plans to officially support this technology under non-Microsoft operating systems.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Amarok 2.4.1 “Resolution” released

        The long winter is ending, and the spring flowers are blooming, so it must be time for an Amarok release. In this version 2.4.1, we fixed many bugs and corner-case crashes, so your Amarok will be more rock-steady than ever. Lyrics iPod handling both got some love, along with remote collections. Also, you can now better preview your changes in the Organize Collection feature. The changelog below gives a fairly complete overview of the changes since the last major release.

      • Plasma + KWin = beautiful !

        I had skipped Slackware 13.0, because it had still no support for virtual screens in X/xrandr, and the KDE 4.4 in Slackware 13.1 crashed a few times while playing around with it. So I stayed with 12.1. For building current KDE, it doesn’t matter what desktop you’re running, so that was fine for me.

      • Season of KDE: we need you, KDE contributor, to get involved

        KDE provides a great oportunity for students interested in computer science, designers, translators, etc., to improved their skills in a worldwide, structured and organized libre software community project. The result of their work could be used by millions of users.

        Season of KDE is the program our community has built to give new contrinutors the chance to get involved in KDE in a smooth way, supported by experienced contributors. Coordinated by Lydia Pintscher, we are being really successful in getting potential contributors to join the program. After all the effort done in the past, and the great opportunity we have in front of us to increase our community, it is KDE’s time to give all these young students the opportunity to become part of our journey.

        We need you to join the program by mentoring these new contributors.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GTK+ 3.2 Is Coming Along WIth New Features

        GNOME 3.0 / GTK+ 3.0 was released just over one month ago, but already work is well under-way into developing GNOME 3.2 and with that the GTK+ 3.2 update for release later on in the year. GTK+ 3.1.2 was released in mid-April, but GTK+ 3.1.4 was released yesterday as the second development snapshot. This tool-kit update does provide more features.

  • Distributions

    • What’s Next?

      Slackware 13.37 has been proven to be a stable and secure release. But that won’t stop Slackware development towards next release (even though we might not see the next release in short time). Slackware is evolving as the upstream goes since it tries to deliver a complete Linux distribution that is up to date without sacrificing it’s motto of keeping it simple, secure, and stable.
      I have no idea what will the next Slackware codename be. It could be 14.0 (back to the old Slackware naming style) or probably it will use the current SLACKWARE_VERSION.KERNEL_VERSION naming just what we have in Slackware 13.37. What i’m quite positive is that it will be a major upgrade, so it will have a Slackware version of 14.

    • KDE 4.6.3 for Slackware 13.37

      While Slackware-Current development has not publicly visible, Eric keeps maintaining KDE 4.6.x series in his KTown repository and now releasing KDE 4.6.3 series for Slackware 13.37 and -Current (basically they are still in the same level for now). It’s another monthly maintenance version of KDE, so it’s safe to upgrade since there are no new features on this update, only bug fixes and translations updates.

    • The drive-by review

      I’ve lately noticed an increase in what I call “Drive by reviews”.
      They say that “first impressions are lasting impressions” and I can understand that. Everyone wants to make a good first impression and it takes a lot to overcome a bad one. However, I’ve seen more folks of late instead taking a first impression of something as a only impression, or over-generalizing based on one first impression.

      [...]

      Which brings me to the Fedora/Linux tie in here. Every few months I see a sad tale of someone who tried the Fedora {mailing lists|forum|irc channel} and had a bad first impression, which leads to a “I am never going to use {Linux|Fedora} again!”. Please take a few moments to think logically and not judge an entire Linux distribution or Operating system based on one forum post, email or 5 minutes in an IRC channel. Do some research, work on explaining your problem better or in a different way, try a different support channel, or at the very least note that your impression is based on only one single drive by. It’s hard to overcome a bad first impression, but do consider giving more than a single chance.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat (RHT) Could Fall Through $44.66 Support Level

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that it has expanded its relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS). In addition to being able to bring their own licenses to AWS, customers can now quickly and easily purchase supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux via AWS’s on demand, pay as you go Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). This new offering will be available in the coming weeks, to customers worldwide in every AWS Region.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mark Shuttleworth Prefers GPL V3

            Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of the world’s most popular GNU/Linux based operating system Ubuntu has won accolades by showing what the technology leaders need to understand today. He said that he prefers GNU GPL v3 over V2, as it has ‘a calming effect on software patents’. He hopes soon more and more FOSS companies and communities will realize the dangers of software patents and choose GNU GPL v3 over other licenses.

          • Why I’m a bit disappointed with Canonical

            I mean, minimum wage for a community member to do superstar-level work for that month is going to be far less then the cost of a t-shirt, mug or other random bit of SWAG.

    • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • 4 Popular opensource Project Management applications

    Opensource Project Management Apps are the key to success in many an organization and in personal life for task management too. Open source provides the right platform for development of project management apps that are highly adaptable, flexible and ensure the project renders all deliverables. Introduced here are some of the popular open sources Apps for Project Management.

  • Events

    • Fosscomm 2011 – My review

      I just got back home from Fosscomm 2011 and I must admit it has been one of the best organized events of this kind I’ve seen in Greece ever. The single most important fact was that presentations and workshops were always _on time_. They started on time, they finished on time. The organizers had to face even a power cut by the national energy company but they still managed not to fall behind on schedule. My only remark would be about the selection of the presentations that took place in the big room (called BA). Most of them gathered far less people than other presentations which took place in smaller rooms (B3 for example) and those rooms got extremely crowded from time to time. Maybe the organizers thought that generic open source presentations would attract more people than the technical ones but, unfortunately for them, and fortunately for “the greater good”, they were very wrong. This doesn’t reduce their achievement though. Another thing I would like to see on the next Fosscomm is less material given out to participants and instead spend this money on paying for travel expenses of people coming to speak on Fosscomm from abroad. Giving one (or even more) of the phones that HTC kindly provided to the voted by the participants best talk/presentation/workshop would also be very nice. My sincere congratulations to the organizing committee.

    • A call for speakers

      The 9th annual Ohio Linux Fest is an open source conference held in Columbus Ohio. The conference this year will be September 9-11, 2011.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla building on Firefox’s dominant share in Indonesia

        Mozilla is building an army of volunteers in Indonesia to help customize Firefox and recommend add-ons, as the U.S.-based non-profit organization seeks to retain its massive share of the browser market in the country.

        Community groups in eight cities and drawing about 1,000 tech-savvy volunteers, with more expected, are meeting this month to brainstorm ways Firefox can be further localized, said Gen Kanai, Mozilla’s contributor engagement director for Asia.

      • Just Wait Until Microsoft Turns On Windows Update

        Then we shipped Firefox 4.

        Almost immediately after Firefox’s first 24 hours stomped the IE numbers into the dirt, Microsoft and their friends tried to change the subject with a lot talk about how it wasn’t the downloads but the usage that mattered. So I posted this chart showing that Firefox was not only crushing IE in download numbers but it was also off to a much stronger start on actual browser usage.

        Quickly the Microsoft reps and fans returned with “But we haven’t even begun to fight. Just wait until Windows Update starts pushing IE out to the full installed base.” I responded with this post and its accompanying chart showing that even well after Microsoft started pushing their browser through Windows Update, Firefox 4 was still lapping IE9 and I reminded people that Mozilla still had not flipped it’s big Firefox Update switch.

  • SaaS

    • Wringing More Value From Enterprise Cloud Computing With Open Source

      The world of open source software — with its flexibility, aggressive release cycles, and tendency to integrate with other software to perform complex tasks — is an ideal place to look for improvements in your enterprise IT infrastructure. So what kind of free and open source software is available for cloud computing? Compute stacks, distributed storage software and management tools, just to name a few.

Leftovers

  • Stevens Urges Congress to Crack Down on Prosecutorial Misconduct

    Retired Justice John Paul Stevens said Supreme Court decisions have given local prosecutors impunity for violating constitutional rights, and urged Congress to respond by authorizing victims of misconduct to sue.

    In a speech Monday night to the Equal Justice Initiative, which advocates for indigent defendants, Justice Stevens criticized the court’s March decision overturning a jury’s $14 million award to an innocent man who spent 14 years on death row after prosecutors concealed evidence that could have cleared him. (Click here to see the full text of Stevens’ speech.)

  • Security

  • Finance

    • The “Misleading” of Goldman Sachs

      Senator Levin candidly describes the banks as replete with conflicts of interest and greed. He is reluctant to used the words “lie” or “fraud” and is content to let the justice system decide whether those terms are applicable. However, he does use the word “mislead” which seems rather a tame term to use when you know what Goldman Sachs did to its clients and to the investors that trusted GS’s judgement when buying the securities they underwrote and sold to them.

    • An American Manifesto

      American democracy is withering on the vine. Not because of any basic flaw, but because democracy is incompatible with the malignant capitalism that that has come to shape our society and control our political system. As citizens, we have a choice: we can do nothing and watch our democratic traditions die out, or we can act together to regain control of our country. We have a long and honorable revolutionary tradition, so we do not have to be victims. This manifesto is a call to action from one ordinary American to all others who love liberty. It is a call to unite and determine our future by taking it out of the hands of those who value only money and power. It is a call to rescue our democracy.

      Today our country exhibits clear signs of a nation in peril, bogged down in needless, costly wars abroad and beset by economic stagnation at home. Terrorist attacks of 9/11 triggered an expanded military Empire and an intrusive national security state. Financial institutions driving a casino capitalism crashed and burned in 2008. The worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression followed. Collectively, these events have distorted our political economy and wounded our democracy. Voters are angry, confused and divided not only over policies but over the very role of government. An imperial presidency, a dysfunctional Congress and a corporate-oriented Supreme Court have aggravated existing problems and created a cynical and distrustful public.

      Plutocrats, taking advantage of a society in crisis, have tightened their hold on the economy and reshaped governance. The political economy, rooted in advanced capitalism, is now geared to serve the minority of Americans who control most of the wealth. Although our Republic retains the trappings of democracy, it has morphed into a Corporate State where ultimate authority is in the hands of a ruling class. Its operatives – in and out of government – determine domestic and foreign policy. They prop up an economic and military Empire that spans the globe, but is reeling from recession, debt and seemingly permanent military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    • You Call That Tough?

      It was Tuesday, and the U.S. attorney in Manhattan was proudly unveiling a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank that his office had filed that morning. As he took reporters through the legal complaint, Bharara spoke sternly about how the bank had defrauded the Federal Housing Administration, which had insured hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of bad loans that the bank then sold to investors, reaping handsome fees.

      Listening to Bharara, one could easily think that prosecutors were finally — finally! — getting tough on the bad behavior that helped bring about the financial crisis. Alas, it was mainly an illusion.

      Upon closer inspection, it turns out that the main target of Bharara’s wrath was MortgageIT, a smallish division that Deutsche Bank bought in 2007 — eight years into an alleged fraud that ended in 2009. In the complaint itself, not one MortgageIT executive was singled out as a wrongdoer; it was as if this faceless corporation had somehow defrauded the government without human help.

    • Paper vs Real: Exit From Normal, Ecological Economics, and Probabilistic Regimes in One Chart

      A 20 year chart of the US 30 Year Treasury Bond vs. a broad commodity index is the occassion to make several macroeconomic observations. The comparison reveals how the purchasing power of the long-dated US Treasury Bond has fared against a basket of commodities over the period. Tracking the ability of the US Treasury bond, denominated in US Dollars, to maintain its viability as a capital storage unit is not arcane. Rather, it is central. All institutions and individuals eventually use financial assets to purchase energy, natural resources, and labor. | see: 30 Year Treasury Bond by Price vs. The Reuters CRB Index–CCI Continuous.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Public Knowledge Urges FCC to Investigate AT&T Caps

      Public Knowledge and the New America Foundation say they’ve sent the FCC a letter urging them to investigate AT&T’s new usage caps. AT&T this week imposed a new 150 GB cap on DSL users and a 250 GB cap on U-Verse users, with those exceeding those caps paying AT&T $10 per every 50 GB thereafter. While many companies now impose caps to help differentiate residential and business class services, AT&T is the first major U.S. ISP to begin charging users per byte overages — a practice that is very common in Canada, but extremely unpopular among consumers across North America.

      “While broadband caps are not inherently problematic, they carry the omnipresent temptation to act in anticompetitive and monopolistic ways,” notes the letter. “Unlike competitors whose caps appear to be at least nominally linked to congestions during peak-use periods, AT&T seeks to convert caps into a profit center by charging additional fees to customers who exceed the cap,” the groups insist. “In addition to concerns raised by broadband caps generally, such a practice produces a perverse incentive for AT&T to avoid raising its cap even as its own capacity expands.”

  • DRM

    • Dreaming of Doomsday for DRM

      Then, of course, there was Star Wars Day — which, as it turned out, coincided with the Free Software Foundation’s Day Against DRM. Even more than weak Jedi allusions, in fact, Digital Rights Management — or should we say Digital Restrictions Management? — has been a popular focus of conversation over the past few days as a result.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Avatars of Vishnu

        Back in January I was asked by the Brooklyn Museum to create a set of 11 iconic Vishnu avatars for an exhibit they’re planning in June. They didn’t offer a whole lot of money – an “honorarium,” they called it – but said the images could be under a Free license (they said CC-BY-SA was fine). I chose to do it because it was a cool gig, right up my alley; and I love the Brooklyn Museum and was excited to have my art be part of one of their exhibits. It turned out to be more work than I expected, but I was very pleased with the results.

      • Radical copyright law reform to boost Ireland’s digital economy?

Clip of the Day

Ubuntu 11.04 Nvidia & Xorg Bug


Credit: TinyOgg

IBM and Google Still Not Committed to Crushing Software Patents

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, IBM, OIN, Patents at 10:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Benjamin Henrion and Andre of FFII

Summary: IBM and Google are still missing a wonderful opportunity to make the platform a commodity and defending this commodity by putting an end to software patents

SOFTWARE patents are the greatest-bar-none threat to software freedom and companies which defend their existence are definitely part of the problem. They usually work against the interests of those whose plan is to eliminate software patents altogether (FFII being an exception).

Last month we criticised Google for its bid to take Nortel's patents. If Google fights patents with yet more patents, then it merely legitimises the existence of thickets, patent lawyers, and government-protected monopolies. We have been critical of Google's stance for quite some time.

Google’s latest patent pool for WebM is different however. Like the OIN’s pool, it comes with certain commitments. From the official site: “CCL members are joining this effort because they realize that the entire web ecosystem — users, developers, publishers, and device makers — benefit from a high-quality, community developed, open-source media format. We look forward to working with CCL members and the web standards community to advance WebM’s role in HTML5 video.”

“IBM does not like to talk about its pro-patents policy and when I asked Dr. Sutor about it he refused to answer.”It is a tricky one to defend, but since the alternative is hostile towards free software and proprietary software, WebM is by far the better choice. The same argument goes for the patent strategy of IBM, which is not against software patents (the same goes to some degree for Oracle and Red Hat). The spinners, such as Microsoft Florian, try very hard to distort the facts. They want people to believe that the hypocrisy extends to the whole Free software world. In fact, IBM and its cross-licensing with Microsoft does not quite make it part of the cartel because there is also OIN, which was created by a man from IBM. The OIN does commendable work. That’s why the OIN is loathed by Microsoft boosters.

Another touch-worthy point about Google and IBM has a lot to do with their open source efforts that are not entirely open, let alone free. The Microsoft spinners try to generate ‘dirt’ based on that, mostly for smears against those top competitors. IBM prefers something like the Eclipse licence and not the Apache licence like Google apparently favours. This is perfectly acceptable although the patent issue remains uncovered. We discussed this in IRC last night. IBM does not like to talk about its pro-patents policy and when I asked Dr. Sutor about it he refused to answer. He was not comfortable with the question. It’s not as though he was ignoring, as we had had a mostly amicable relation for years. Based on his CV, IBM changed the title from of his job (VP) from “Open Source and Standards” to “Open Source and Linux” and then to “Open Systems and Linux” (2010 to present). From standards to Linux and from Open Source to Open Systems, eh? Different explanations could be given for that.

IBM is a friend of Open Source, but its patent policy has room for improvement because now that the #1 person at the USPTO is from IBM, it is made abundantly clear that the company has no interest in ending software patents for good. While that is the case, Free and proprietary software developers alike (small players) will continue to suffer. Here is a company announcing that it is going to own another “over the Internet” patent:

DoctorsXL said May 3 that its web-based software MobileXL 3.0 is now patent pending.

We need more large companies that speak out against software patents. But patents are beneficial to cartels with many employees, so it is unlikely that mega-corporations will lift a finger for real reforms.

IBM and Google are not menacing to Free/open source software, but in conclusion, they deserve a lot more pressure. They should join the fight against software patents rather than act like FOSS defenders (with patents) and its babysitters.

Apple Makes Free/Open Source Software Look Bad, Illegal

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software at 9:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Apple’s mistreatment of software is it exploiting continues to increase resentment against the company

Apple’s apathy towards Open Source software is not total apathy when Apple can exploit it and turn it into proprietary software. Apple wishes not to be obliged to share its changes to software it got for free and even when third-party developers are involved, Apple wishes to restrict their own freedom and their own choice. We saw that in the VLC saga [1, 2, 3] and we may be seeing it again based on this short new report which says Apple violates WebKit’s Open Source licence. So much for taking KHTML forward, eh? To quote:

Apple has a process in place to do exactly this, which is appreciable. However, this negligence from Apple can cause immense agitation in the Open Source community. If Apple gets away with doing this (which they will not), it will send out a dangerous signal resulting in massive theft, violation and misuse of Open Source codes and principles.

In other news about Apple, it has managed to turn BSD into something vulnerable and there are those who exploit it:

The open source Metasploit vulnerability testing framework got a major overhaul this week with the release of Metasploit 3.7.

The Metasploit 3.7 release provides an enhanced session tracking backend that is intended to improve performance. Metasploit 3.7 also provides over 35 new exploit modules for security researchers to test, including new ones designed to test Apple’s iOS mobile operating system security.

The Apple iOS Backup File Extraction module however is not an attack vector for directly exploiting iOS. Rather it is what is known as a post-exploitation module.

As usual, Apple gives a bad name to Open Source and also turns it into proprietary, only to put users at risk in the process. Since Apple is part of the same cartel which harms Open Source (e.g. with patent lawsuits), those who care about Open Source oughtn’t care for Apple. Apple only cares about Apple.

Apple headquarters

Season of Renames

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE, SCO, SLES/SLED at 9:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

"Cyclists dismount" sign

Summary: SCO and Novell are both being renamed and rebranded due to structural changes and issues pertaining to corporate identity

LAST year we wrote about SCO getting a helping hand from Yarro, a loaner who had worked for the company and then turned to more shady activities. They try to keep the SCO case alive and Groklaw has an update on that. Groklaw has just few days left and we desperately need its analysis. The latest says:

A subset of the group that lent $2 Million to SCO in 2010, including Ralph Yarro, has retained a lawyer who has sent a letter [PDF] to the SCO Group’s Chapter 11 Trustee, Edward Cahn, claiming to be putting him on notice that he is in breach of the Secured Super-Priority Credit Agreement of March 5, 2010 and they want him to either cure by paying them their half of the UnXis sale proceeds or they demand the collateral. He has five days to fix the breach. Collateral would be mainly the right to any litigation proceeds, if any ever were to materialize, in that pretty much everything else was sold to UnXis. Here’s the document [PDF] that listed the collateral the lenders were to get on a default.

It remains to be seen if the SCO vs Novell case will carry on. Now that Novell is collapsing (we will have a separate post about the subject) and there are deep cuts, we are not entirely sure what it means to the company’s lawyers and legal budget. Novell will become just part of another company (by the way, this site Boycott Novell was never renamed, it just similarly fell under the wing of a larger site). From the article that quoted yours truly on the subject we have:

Novell has partnered with Microsoft since 2006, describing the partnership on its website as “collaborative,” where the “customers win.” But as a result of Novell’s layoffs, some are doubting the partnership’s reciprocity.

Twitter user Roy Schestowitz said in a tweet, “Novell taught us that no matter the circumstances, Microsoft partners always end down below. Microsoft must be laughing loudly.”

Smith said the relationship between Microsoft and Novell is still competitive.

We are going to prepare a more comprehensive summary of this type of news. It is not yet known what exactly will survive at Novell and what will be abandoned. It was not so properly announced, not with a detailed breakdown anyway. We are trying to find out just what will be shut down and what will stay. By looking at the latest OpenSUSE news and other development news we get no clues about it. We are generally not sure if OpenSUSE — unlike SLE* — will survive. Novell is uploading more of its ‘ads’ to YouTube these days [1, 2] and it’s not about SUSE, it is about proprietary software like GroupWise and other stuff. Some is borderline SUSE, but it is mostly proprietary [1, 2, 3], which leaves us suspecting that “Novell” under AttachMSFT will be just a narrow range of products, SLE* will become part of a separate company to be sold from Germany, and much of the rest — including Mono — will die. Novell is going through the same thing SCO had to go through. The change of names (e.g. TSG and UnXis) will help blur the history books.

The Threat of Mono on Android and on Ubuntu is Not Totally Gone Yet

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Ubuntu at 9:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fun barcode

Summary: Some of the most ubiquitous Linux distributions are still being pursued by the Mono lobby, whose aim is to increase/promote the use of C# and Microsoft APIs in GNU/Linux and everywhere else

The Mono maniacs and bullies are still scraping the bottom of the barrel in an attempt to daemonise us and incite against us. They are using gossip to distract from the real issues (now they mention “rape”).

We are not going to go there or even acknowledge the bullies by naming them or linking to their disgusting daily smears (a distraction not worth addressing). Instead, we will assume that we are on the right subject, which is what makes them nervous and at times aggressive. “More micromoles in trying to get into Ubuntu,” alerts us one of the site’s readers this afternoon, linking to this request from a familiar person [1, 2] whose work we mentioned here before. Ubuntu is quickly becoming more of a target for Mono infestation or manifestation (even Microsoft is pushing for Canonical to adopt Mono developers). MinceR writes in #boycottnovell-social: “as for micromoles trying to get into ubuntu, that’s a bit like Microsoft employees trying to get into a Microsoft office building”

“What’s worse is he apparently signed the Ubuntu code of conduct prior to the membership application,” wrote another site participant. “That in principle should preclude any work on Mono or mono-derived works.” It is not just a problem for Ubuntu, which is a victim of entryism in a sense.

Google should reject Mono on Android (which already has Dalvik) for its own safety amid Microsoft patent attacks and now more than ever this rejection makes sense. The news about Mono ending (as a sponsored project) was uplifting. It is not about the layoffs, but about Microsoft/Novell no longer pumping money into the project. Maybe Google Summer of Code won’t bother, either. Mono development is unlikely to survive for much longer. More recently we saw the Mono team targeting Android with a Novell-funded/sponsored announcement and it is premature to state that it’s all over now. The Mono boosters will do whatever they can to find fostering companies and it now turns out that on Launchpad there is this project which strives to put Tomboy on Android. Valorie Zimmerman wrote about it some days ago (it’s not about MonoDroid [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15]), noting:

I really hated to download all that gnome/ubuntu/mono stuff to support it…

It remains to be seen if Ubuntu can remove the dependency on Mono. The project is a dead end.

IRC Proceedings: May 8th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Proprietary Software Against Civil Rights

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 4:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Co-authored with G. Forbes

Welding

Summary: How Windows is used to suppress activists

We at Techrights have long recommended against Windows use for activists and progressive organisations like Greenpeace. While ideally Windows should be frowned upon by all, it is especially dangerous for this purpose where the activist and/or organisation may be a potential target by political/corporate interference. The NSA wants you to drop Windows XP. “Did NSA Put a Secret Backdoor in New Encryption Standard” (maybe just partly true)? “Microsoft Denies Windows 7 Has NSA Backdoor” said one article after a recent storm all over the Web, alleging that the evidence had been manufactured and is therefore false. But we have evidence which is suggesting otherwise. The NSA does not want people to use systems where the code can be audited. Apparently it makes it too secure, even for secret agencies to set up back doors without getting caught

In the latest round of speculative concerns turning into reality, a British company, Gamma, is seen breaking the law just like the BBC. When the BBC accumulated PCs that are part of a botnet and even used taxpayers’ money to pay a gangs of cyber-criminals, it showed that it too was immune from the law, for mysterious reasons [1, 2, 3].

There’s unrest in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain and elsewhere in the Arab world.

Two days ago, protesters in Nasr, Egypt took over the Headquarters of the Egyptian State Security.

Inside the HQ, the protesters gained access to loads of confidential state documents.

Now, consider this article titled “British firm offered spying software to Egyptian regime – documents”

A British company offered to sell a program to the Egyptian security services that experts say could infect computers, hack into web-based email and communications tools such as Skype and even take control of other groups’ systems remotely, according to documents seen by the Guardian.

Two Egyptian human rights activists found the documents amid hundreds of batons and torture equipment when they broke into the headquarters of the regime’s State Security Investigations service (SSI) last month.

Just like the BBC, it seems to be breaking the law and getting away with it:

This is a direct C&P from my post on the Egypt thread, I’m hoping some of the legal types who frequent Urban may be able to give some insight/advice:

The lastest can of worms to be unearthed from State Security is an apparent purchase of a malware/trojan/spyware suite from a British subsidiary of a German company.

This is a Windows problem.

As one security blog put it, “Documents spilled into public by the political unrest in Egypt in recent months has shone a spotlight on the shadowy world of for-profit, custom malware creation for governments around the world.

“The anti malware firm F-Secure first called attention to documents uncovered by protesting Egyptians back in March. They included a proposal to sell a product dubbed “Finfisher” to the Mubarak regime.”

Not so long ago Russian activists got arrested, with Windows licensing as an excuse [1, 2]. When will people lean that activism and Windows are incompatible?

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