Novell’s Legal Cases in Attachmate’s Hands

Posted in Antitrust, Law, Microsoft, Novell, SCO at 7:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Will AttachMSFT decide to go against Microsoft or just bury the case instead? What about the SCO case? We survey some of the latest developments inside the company

NOVELL has the opportunity to sue Microsoft and win. Well, actually, it is AttachMSFT that has this opportunity, but what will be the fate of this long-standing case? Microsoft loves to appeal endlessly until the other side gives up and/or goes bust. It is an inherent flaw in the legal system.

In the latest round of antitrust lawsuit we have Novell winning an appeal, as we noted earlier this month. Here are the legal papers and here is some assorted coverage [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]. There is also a lot of coverage from Microsoft spinners [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], who would love to pretend that the age of the case somehow makes Microsoft “innocent”. Longtime Microsoft booster Todd Bishop says that Attachmate is the “Proud owner of a 20-year-old Microsoft antitrust dispute” and other reports that mostly reuse text say:

In ruling on Tuesday May 3rd, the appeals court dismissed that judgment made in a lower court, saying that the previous agreement with Caldera covered a different set of products. Hence, Novell can proceed with the long-running antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, reports Reuters (News – Alert), an International multimedia news agency.

In this case — just like in the SCO case — it is difficult to just speculate whether or not there will be persistence after large-scale layoffs. We sincerely hope that both cases will still be pursued. There are other legal cases and what probably matters most to AttachMSFT is whether these are worth money, not reputation.

In other news, Novell no longer appears in financial news, for obvious reaxons. It is not really a publicly-traded company when the acquisition is over (finalised sale now), which leaves a lot of the internal activities undisclosed. We expect to have very little to say about Novell in the future. Novell was taken off the S&P (which is a fact still to be mentioned in Murdoch’s paper, even a week late).

Novell’s insecure software will most likely survive, even old products like eDirectory, which was mentioned here very recently regarding malfunctions and errors. There are Novell placements in ZDNet, but these too advertise proprietary software.

Here is some news about Paul Singer the very unethical, reckless man who essentially put Novell on sale against the company’s will:

One song Elliott Management’s Paul Singer still isn’t singing is the praises of the Dodd-Frank bill, especially its attempts to identify which institutions could pose systemic risk to the financial markets.

“I think it’s entirely nutty, and I’m using that term in the most technical sense,” the hedge fund manager said Friday during a panel discussion on the “too big to fail” legislation at the American Bankruptcy Institute’s annual New York conference in Midtown Manhattan.

That made people laugh, but Singer, whose $17 billion firm is one of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s largest creditors, said seriously that big banks still have trillions of dollars in derivatives on their books that still require only modest disclosure.

This vulture fund of his is no better. That is a subject we explored before (see links below). Novell is not his last victim and based on his past deeds he is better off arrested like Madoff.

  1. Novell May be Going Private, Hedge Fund Has Cash
  2. Analyst Expects Microsoft Bid to Buy Novell
  3. Ron Hovsepian Receives Another Large Lump of Cash as Novell Sale Looms
  4. GNU/Linux-Savvy Writers View Elliot Associates as Bad Neighbourhood
  5. Firm Behind Novell Bid Has Shady Past, Could be Tied to Microsoft (Paul E. Singer’s ‘Vulture Fund’)
  6. Simon Phipps: “Seems Even With Microsoft’s Support Novell Couldn’t Cut It”
  7. Vulture Fund Still the Only Bidder for Novell

Daemonisation of Google in the Press Orchestrated by Microsoft Lobbyists (Burson-Marsteller and John Mercurio Exposed)

Posted in Deception, FUD, Google, Microsoft at 7:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.”

Jim Allchin, Microsoft’s Platform Group Vice President

Summary: Anti-Google/Android/Linux activists like Microsoft Florian sometimes do reveal themselves as “sock puppets” of Microsoft

EARLIER today we wrote about the smears against Google and Android, not to mention the lawsuits from some of Microsoft’s sock puppets, e.g. patent trolls. Everyone must remember Microsoft’s history as a company too focused on destroying competitors, not on creating its own competitive products. That’s just in Microsoft’s DNA. Well, a few years back Burson-Marsteller was outed as Microsoft’s sock puppet, which is interesting because of the company’s current attack on Google. This is not just Burson-Marsteller though. It comes from different areas and many are funded by Microsoft or tainted by Microsoft staff/money/interests. Microsoft Florian, who lobbies on behalf of his secret clients, appears to be on some sort of anti-Google campaign (he amplifies anti-Google news and spreads lies) and so are Edelman‘s AstroTurfers who are designated to engage in Google attacks. It is all rather shallow. Well, a reader sent us this link earlier today. It reminded us of what Microsoft calls "attack groups". The reader said that ‘John Mercurio is the the Director of the Media practice in Burson-Marsteller and more interestingly, “a leading political expert on national politics, campaigns and Capitol Hill”,’ based on this page which says: “Adding to its formidable bench of Washington insiders, Burson-Marsteller, a leading global public relations and communications firm, has appointed John Mercurio as a Director in its Media Practice. Mercurio is known as a leading political expert on national politics, campaigns and Capitol Hill and brings nearly twenty years of experience to his new position. Mercurio will be based in Washington, DC and will report to Burson-Marsteller Executive Vice President Worldwide Josh Gottheimer. Gottheimer also chairs the firm’s US Media Practice.”

And to quote the previous link:

The Wall Street Journal and the U.K.’s Observer both outed Burson-Marsteller today as the “sock puppet” of Microsoft’s effort to create an Internet industry group to oppose Google’s planned acquisition of DoubleClick.

Now, wanna see what Burson-Marsteller has just done? Read Mercurio’s Email from last week (shown below).

from Mercurio, John <John.Mercurio@bm.com>
to [...]
date Tue, May 3, 2011 at 10:38 AM
subject RE: Op-Ed Opportunity: Google Quietly Launches Sweeping Violation of User Privacy
mailed-by bm.com

Thanks for the prompt reply. I’m afraid I can’t disclose my client yet. But all the information included in this email is publicly available. Any interest in pursuing this?

From: [...]
Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2011 10:11 AM
To: Mercurio, John
Subject: Re: Op-Ed Opportunity: Google Quietly Launches Sweeping Violation of User Privacy
- Hide quoted text -

Who is paying for this? (not paying me, but paying you)

On Tue, May 3, 2011 at 10:08 AM, Mercurio, John <John.Mercurio@bm.com> wrote:


I wanted to gauge your interest in authoring an op-ed this week for a top-tier media outlet on an important issue that I know you’re following closely.

The topic: Google’s sweeping violations of user privacy. Google, as you know, has a well-known history of infringing on the privacy rights of America’s Internet users. Not a year has gone by since the founding of the company where it has not been the focus of front-page news detailing its zealous approach to gathering information – in many cases private and identifiable information – about online users.

Despite an unprecedented rebuke from the Federal Trade Commission last month forcing Google into a government mandated two-decade privacy review program, Google is at it again – and this time they are not only violating the personal privacy rights of millions of Americans, they are also infringing on the privacy rules and rights of hundreds of companies ranging from Yelp to Facebook and Twitter to LinkedIn in what appears to be a first in web history: Google is collecting, storing and mining millions of people’s personal information from a number of different online services and sharing it without the knowledge, consent or control of the people involved.

The Federal Trade Commission made it clear last month that Google had agreed to change its ways, and in so doing, the United States government gave Google an imprimatur of credibility and trust amongst the American people. As FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz stated not four weeks ago: “When companies make privacy pledges, they need to honor them…This is a tough settlement that ensures that Google will honor its commitments to consumers and build strong privacy protections into all of its operations.”

Unfortunately the ink was barely dry on the settlement before Google rolled out its latest tool designed to scrape private data and build deeply personal dossiers on millions of users – in a direct and flagrant violation of its agreement with the FTC.

In light of the recent agreement between the government and Google, Congress and the FTC must immediately investigate this latest violation of online privacy. The American people must be made aware of the now immediate intrusions into their deeply personal lives Google is cataloging and broadcasting every minute of every day– without their permission.

I’m happy to help place the op-ed and assist in the drafting, if needed. For media targets, I was thinking about the Washington Post, Politico, The Hill, Roll Call or the Huffington Post.

Please let me know your thoughts. Also, I’m available to discuss this by phone, if you’re available.

Many thanks,



About Google Social Circles

Recently, Google quietly introduced its latest attempt to enter the social space with a new feature called Google Social Circles. The idea behind the feature is to scrape and mine social sites from around the web to make connections between people that wouldn’t otherwise exists and share that information with people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to it. All of this happens without the knowledge, consent or control of the people whose information is being shared. Here is how Google Social Circles works:

1) Google’s robots scour the web for people’s social connections on different websites. These connections are then stored in a collection people’s connections on different websites. This collection is then mined, creating connections between people on different websites, that those people never intended and can’t control.

2) This information is then shared with anyone who has a Google account, whether it is Gmail, Chat or another Google service that includes a personal profile — more than 146 million people have Gmail accounts alone, and some estimates say as many as 400 million people have at least one Google account.

3) Google Social Circles automatically enables people to trace their contacts’ connections and profile information by crawling and scraping the sites you and your contacts use, like Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo and many others, likely in direct violation of the Terms of Service for those sites, unless those sites have partnered with Google on this “service,” something else users ought to be aware of.

4) Even if you are not a Google account holder, your information is still mined, stored and shared as long as you have some connection on any site Google scrapes to someone who has a Google account. You don’t even have to have a direct connection to the person with a Google account. If someone you are connected to is connected with someone with a Google account, your information will be shared.

5) To find out if your own Social Circles direct and secondary connections that Google has indexed to your account, visit: http://www.google.com/s2/u/0/search/social#socialcircle, and https://profiles.google.com/u/0/connectedaccounts

Privacy Violations

The ability to abuse this information and violate the privacy rights of millions of Americans is clear:

No notice: Google does not notify people that their information is being used in a way that the person would not expect—to connect different groups of people within an Internet-wide database Google created.

No consent: Google Social Circles does not ask “permission” from individuals who will have their profiles, connections and other personal data shared in the new network. Google will simply “scrape” their information from dozens of sources and compile the data into one massive dossier aligned directly with user’s personally identifiable information.

No control: On all of the sites Google scrapes, you can change your mind. You can delete your account. You can make or break connections to other people. How do you remove this information from the database that Google is sharing with hundreds of millions of people? You can’t.

Serious real world risks: Google is taking different parts of people’s lives—parts they deliberately separated onto different sites—and presenting the collage Google created to other people. Reminiscent of Google Buzz, Google’s latest plan totally disregards the intimate and potentially damaging details that could be revealed, including sexual orientation, political affiliation, personal connections, etc…

Steals from other sites: Dozens of private companies will have their own privacy rules and regulations violated by the Google information fishing intrusion.

Disregards FTC agreement: Despite the clear direction from the FTC to the contrary, Google has again created a program without a clear path for users to “opt out”.


· FTC Statement on Google Settlement


· Google Shows Off How Well It Knows Your Social Circle

Switched.com (HuffingtonPost Tech)


· “Do you feel like big brother is watching you now?”



· Google’s Social Circle & Social Search May Not Violate Any Privacy Laws But It Gives Me The Creeps




The information, and any attachments contained in this email may contain confidential and/or privileged information and is intended solely for the use of the intended named recipient(s). Any disclosure or dissemination in whatever form, by another other than the intended recipient is strictly prohibited. If you have received this transmission in error, please contact the sender and destroy this message and any attachments. Thank you.


Steve Ballmer as King of Novell

Posted in Novell, Steve Ballmer, Videos at 7:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Blast from the past as Microsoft’s CEO is a speaker at Novell’s event (about 20 years ago)

BROUGHT back from the dead some days ago in YouTube was this three-part video of Steve Ballmer speaking at BrainShare [1, 2, 3]. Here is part one.

Eventually, in part thanks to Ron Hovsepian, Ballmer turned Novell into some kind of Microsoft subsidiary.

Debt-saddled Microsoft Wastes Money on Skype While the Staff is Leaving

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 7:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Another high-level man and marketing head leave Microsoft, which seems to have forgotten what business it was originally in

SKYPE is as dead as Hotmail now that Microsoft put its hands on it. If Microsoft is driven by Google envy and Googlephobia (Google enters the voice communications market), then it will end up no better than against GMail. See what Microsoft did to Hotmail after it had bought its way into the market.

By looking elsewhere and wasting money that hardly exist Microsoft is losing sight of problem inside the helm and yet another bigwig is leaving, joining many others like himself.

Kim Cameron, a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer and Chief Architect of Identity, left Microsoft as of May 4, according to my contacts.

“Chaos in Microsoft” calls it our reader who also sent this link:

But when Microsoft yanked the Bing and Office accounts from JWT barely three weeks into new Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela’s tenure — and while longtime CMO Mich Mathews is transitioning her way out — the speed of the shift prompted questions about what was behind the move, coming at critical time for the tech giant’s consumer-marketing initiatives.

That’s not the end of that. Microsoft’s cash cows are dying and the company seeks replacements quite desperately. Even Microsoft employees rebel.

Links 10/5/2011: More on SimplyMEPIS 11, Ubuntu Hype

Posted in News Roundup at 6:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Return of the Linux Quiz
  • We want our freedom!

    We’re celebrating the impending release of issue 100 this week. Kicking off the celebration is previous Linux User editor, Simon Brew who says we shouldn’t be afraid of opening our wallet for open source, but we should fight hammer and tongs to ensure freedom is kept at its core…

  • Kernel Space

    • Ixonos Joins Linux Foundation

      Ixonos creates solutions for mobile devices and services for wireless technology suppliers and telecommunications companies, as well as mobile device and consumer electronics manufacturers. It has been actively involved in mobile Linux development efforts since 2006 and joins The Linux Foundation today to maximize its investment in the operating system. The company will collaborate with other leading vendors, users and developers to help advance Linux-based mobile platforms, including Android and MeeGo.

    • Linux Kernel Benchmarks Of 2.6.24 Through 2.6.39

      With the recent look at the major Linux power regressions taking place within the Linux kernel, some initially wondered if the increase in power consumption was correlated to an increase in system performance. Unfortunately, it is clear now that is not the case. With that said though, here’s some performance benchmarks of all major kernel releases going back to Linux 2.6.24 and ending with the Linux 2.6.39 kernel.

    • Linux
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Thoughts about Qt 5

        Qt 4.0 was released in June 2005, almost six years ago. A lot has changed in the software industry over these years. While application development back then happened mostly on desktop systems, mobile devices connected to the web have become increasingly popular. User interface technology has moved from static widgets to a fluid touch based experience. Since Qt 4.0 we have released seven minor versions of Qt to stay ahead of development needs, for example by releasing Qt Quick. Within the growing Qt user base, we have had a strong up-take and new needs from embedded and mobile app and UI developers.

      • Kdenlive 0.8 Released

        April saw the release of Kdenlive 0.8. I’ll take you through some of the new features, along with some notes on how I built it for Debian Sid.

        Kdenlive 0.8 is a release that fixes bugs and adds new features rather than being a complete departure from the previous version, probably welcome news to the regular users. New features aside, my hope for this revision is that it can overcome the main shortcoming of Linux video editing programs: poor stability. It didn’t crash while I was testing it, but user feedback in the long term will be the real indicator of improvements that have been made in this area.

      • Blessed by Trinity…

        I am long established fan of KDE3 (Trinity). There might be 2 reasons:
        1) My first ever Linux was SLAX which is based on KDE3.
        2) I prefer old-school menu style with one column in main part with branches for each of them. When I see several columns in main menu I quickly get lost in navigation. It’s like Win95 style compared to Win7 style. Or KDE3 compared to Mint Menu or KDE4 in some Linuxes.
        That’s why every Tux which is blessed by Trinity is interesting for me. That’s why I am very thankful to Sirius Lee who gave me some more ideas in the comments to Pardus review.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • GNOME3 versus GNOME2 debates

        In the past couple of months, I like many others have been caught up in the GNOME3/Unity changes and the various debates of “are they good, are they evil.” I have continually had this case of deja-vu as if the words being said were ones I had heard before but maybe slightly different. While having deja-vu a couple of times is normal, having it constantly means I am probably “Forgetting History” and “Doomed to Relive It” (or some variant of the quote.)

  • Distributions

    • What next?

      Yeah, continuing from where i left it off, the Linux journey got more interesting this year. 1st because i wanted a little more adventure and installed Arch. Later on, my motherboard requested for retirement by breaking down, and hence had to either resurrect or renovate it. I chose the latter.

      Installing Arch, was intimidating when i did it on my old box. Venturing into a mouse-less world was a new thing and till i was at the end of the official Arch installation guide, i was skeptical about the whole idea. Once up and running with proper interface and stuff, the experience was better than that of Ubuntu, partly because I know what was, is and will be present in my system, and also coz my veteran system was able to satisfy my demands for a crisp freeze-less response.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Meet Mandriva at the Solutions Linux 2011 exhibition

        Beside the products and partnerships presentations, Mandriva will outline its new strategy and market positionning. The research activities of the company will also be described, showing how Mandriva is preparing the future by innovating in the key areas of Cloud Computing, formal methods applied to the enhancement of the Linux kernel, Enterprise 2.0, smart devices and Green IT.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Poster “Gentoo Abducted”

        Back in 2004 Matteo “Peach” Pescarin did a poster edit of his “Gentoo Abducted” wallpaper. The poster is portrait format and shows a city in background, instead of countryside, if you look close. He has now re-released its SVG sources.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat gives Windows the boot with RHEV 3.0

        RHEV-M manages Red Hat’s version of the open source Kernel-based Virtual Machine hypervisor (KVM) and is based on Microsoft .NET. The software will be ported to a Java code base in the next version, which will be out in beta later this year, according to previews at this year’s Red Hat Summit. The Microsoft SQL database on RHEV-M’s back end will be replaced by PostgreSQL.

        Users at the recent Red Hat Summit conference said that this change can’t come soon enough. Travis Tiedemann, systems engineer at Union Pacific Railroad, said he’s sticking to Xen virtualization until RHEV runs on Linux. “We’re waiting to bring in the RHEV product,” he said. “When it’s fully Linux, we’ll start looking at KVM.”

      • Red Hat, Eucalyptus, Rackspace leading open source IaaS charge

        The emergence of several open source Infrastructure-As-A-Service platforms must have VMware and Microsoft on edge.

        Linux leader Red Hat joined the fray last week with the public debut of CloudForms, its cross platform multifaceted IaaS platform for building private and hybrid clouds. It is based on Red Hat’s DeltaCloud APIs.

        There are several others, namely Eucalyptus, Cloud.com and Rackspace.

      • Red Hat Elected to DMTF Board of Directors

        The Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF), the organization bringing the IT industry together to collaborate on systems management standards development, validation, promotion and adoption, today announced that open source solutions provider Red Hat has joined the DMTF Board of Directors. The addition of the industry-leading company adds to DMTF’s expanding presence in the IT industry. Red Hat joins AMD, Broadcom, CA Technologies, Cisco, Citrix Systems Inc., EMC, Fujitsu, HP, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle and VMware to continue DMTF’s mission to enable interoperable IT management solutions.

    • Debian Family

      • Debian wheezy: Perl 5.12, X Server 1.10, Nvidia 270.41.06, Java 6.25, Glibc 2.13

        This past week has been quite turbulent for Debian wheezy. Mostly because of the great Perl upgrade from 5.10 to 5.12. This included rebuilding of hundreds of Perl modules to play well with new version of Perl. Most of the time I had all this stuff put on hold, and only yesterday have I found guts to digest all 300 of new packages. For one day I was without trusty pidgin, but today even that popular messenger has been recompiled to work with Perl 5.12. There’s still a small number of perl modules (like libembperl-perl, libgimp-perl, libgstreamer-perl, libjifty-perl, etc…) not yet adapted, but I’m sure we won’t wait long until each and every perl module has been upgraded to fit Perl 5.12.

      • Derivatives

        • SimplyMEPIS 11 adds LibreOffice and a faster Firefox 4

          The MEPIS project announced the release of the Debian Linux based SimplyMEPIS distribution. SimplyMEPIS 11 moves up to Linux kernel and the KDE 4.51 desktop, switches from OpenOffice.org to LibreOffice 3.3.2, and provides FireFox 4.0, which was recently recompiled to run much faster on Linux.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Reviews: A look at Ubuntu 11.04

            In conclusion, I’d have to sum up my experiences with Ubuntu 11.04 as being generally good, but largely inconsistent. As an example, all my hardware was detected and worked properly, but when the OS couldn’t find a suitable graphics card on my desktop machine, it crashed. Attempting to work from the live CD on my laptop caused the machine to hang until I forced the installer window to close. The classic GNOME interface is well put together, but scrollbars now vary in form and accessibility from app to app. The Software Centre is probably the best it’s been, intuitive and helpful, but it seemed to request my password almost randomly. Usually I’d be asked for my account password with every new package installation, but sometimes the prompt would be skipped and I never did find a conclusive pattern.

            The update notification didn’t work on either of my test machines. Unity is, for smaller devices, probably a good UI, but I really feel it needs to be more flexible if it’s going to catch on with full-sized notebook and desktop users. The default applications which come with 11.04 are well thought out and, of course, Ubuntu offers over 33,000 packages in the repositories, making it easy to find what we need. I’m of the opinion there are good features in this release, but 11.04 definitely suffered from being rushed out the door while it was still beta quality. Ubuntu aims to be novice-friendly, but this release is buggy and I think they missed the mark this time around. I’m limiting my recommendation of 11.04 to people who want to play with an early release of Unity.

          • Natty to-do list

            Do you move to the newest release, or stick with what you know already works? Often, applications or devices that work on your current system will no longer do so once you’ve installed a new OS. There is also a period of adjustment when you try to figure out how tasks you have grown so accustomed to doing are done under the new system. Certainly, it seems prudent to wait at least until all the kinks have been smoothed out before jumping into a new operating system.

            For people who write about technology, however, there is really very little choice. So when Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) was released, the question for me wasn’t if I would move to it from Ubuntu 10.10 (Maverick Meerkat), but how I would do it.

          • Promoting Computer Literacy in Indonesia With Help From Ubuntu

            Despite the fact that Indonesia is a country with high use of social media and technology, there are still some regions in the country that lack computer literacy. To remedy this, a social program called Computers For Indonesia (or simply called Comp4id) are giving away old computers for schools in small towns. On Saturday May 7th the “1st Impact Day” event was held, and ten used computer units were donated to SMK PGRI Jatinangor (a vocational high school) in Bandung, Indonesia.

          • UbuntuStudio 11.04 Natty Screenshots tour

            Ubuntu Studio is a multimedia creation flavor of Ubuntu. Ubuntu Studio is aimed at the GNU/Linux audio, video and graphic enthusiast as well as professional.

          • Canonical and Lenovo Collaboration

            Canonical are pleased to announce more great collaboration with Lenovo, the world’s fourth largest PC manufacturer.

            There are now over 30 Lenovo ThinkPads certified with Ubuntu, with many of these being completed in the first half of 2011. The great work with Lenovo continues.

          • Canonical Will Collaborate With Lenovo

            Canonical, through John Bernard, has just announced a couple of minutes ago that they will start a collaboration with the popular Lenovo company, the world’s 4th largest PC manufacturer.

            It is now official that Canonical will work closely with Lenovo to certify the Ubuntu operating system on various Lenovo laptops, workstations and servers.

            At the moment there are more than thirty (30) Lenovo ThinkPads that are certified with Ubuntu, and many more will come by the end of this year. To check all the existing Ubuntu-certified Lenovo machines, please click here.

          • Top 10 Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Themed Wallpapers

            Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal is here and has already been thoroughly reviewed. And for me, the latest Ubuntu 11.04 is one the favorite Ubuntu ever. Now, here is a really good collection of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal themed wallpapers from around the web.

          • Mark Shuttleworth delivers UDS keynote; sets goal for 200 million Ubuntu users in 4 years
          • What To Expect Of Unity 2D In Ubuntu 11.10

            This morning at the Ubuntu Developer Summit there was a discussion about Unity 2D, the lightweight 2D version of Canonical’s Unity desktop that isn’t dependent upon 3D (OpenGL) acceleration. Work on Unity 2D based on Qt began during the Ubuntu 11.04 cycle, but with Ubuntu 11.10 it should be more polished and comparable to the full-blown Unity desktop experience.

          • Why Does Ubuntu 11.04 Disappoint?

            The 11. 04 preinstalled user interface is called Unity and it is very weak. Video acceleration is very slow, it lets the impression that it does not even exist. Other than that, things are identical to Gnome 3. Gnome 3 is a better option, it has a much better video acceleration, it navigates much faster through the menu and it has some extra apps compared to Unity.

          • My Experience of Moving Ubuntu 11.04 from One Notebook to Another

            Have you ever attempted to move an OS install from one PC to another? I am sure many of you have, and for those who are all too familiar with the process, you’re likely aware of the headaches that can ensue. Different PCs means different hardware, and where any OS is concerned, the chance of a non-bootable OS is sometimes an all-too-real caveat.

            It’s been a while since I’ve had to do something like this, but over the weekend, due to what seems like my netbook giving up the ghost, I moved my Ubuntu 11.04 install over to a different notebook that I managed to get working after it being “dead” for well over a year. Yes, my two notebooks apparently switched positions.

          • Adventures with Unity and Gnome-Shell

            Hooray! Gnome3 is in the standard Arch repositories! Hooray! I install it! Boo! It says my grahpics card is not capable of runnin Gnome-Shell so it drops into fallback mode. What the heck?

          • The size of the Ubuntu 11.10 CD gets debated
          • Ubuntu Aims for 200 Million Users by 2015, Will Need a Miracle

            At the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest, Hungary, Mark Shuttleworth — Ubuntu’s founder — just delivered a killer keynote that outlined Canonical’s outrageous goal of reaching 200 million users in the next four years.

            To put that figure into perspective, Ubuntu had 8 million users in 2008, and around 12 million users in April 2010 — and those are combined totals, factoring in both desktop and server installations of Ubuntu. Canonical has not released updated figures since then, but estimates put the total number of Ubuntu installations between 15 and 18 million. Those numbers, incidentally, are derived from unique IP addresses that “ping” the Ubuntu update servers; they don’t take into account any offline installs of Ubuntu.

          • How Ubuntu’s Unity Can Be Improved

            Since its debut, I’ve had plenty of time to work with the latest Ubuntu release known as version 11.04. And even considering some of my earlier harsh criticism, I’ve indeed found some nuggets of goodness within the 11.04 release.

            This got me thinking. It appears the only gripe I have left is addressing Unity itself in some way. As I stated before, I have no problem with Unity being among the available desktop options. But defaulting people automatically to it is just plain foolish. There should be a cleaner indicator for folks that GNOME’s classic experience is still available.

          • Distro Hoppin`: Ubuntu 11.04

            Yes, it is here! Probably the most controversial Ubuntu release since EVER hit the servers, as planned, on the 28th of April. Canonical is, if nothing else, to be admired for the courage of sticking to their original plan and pushing their ideas forward, despite all the unrest they caused. On the other hand, this courage is a bit diluted by the fact that the GNOME project has also undergone a major makeover so users are now pretty much stuck between these two. A much riskier move would’ve been for Canonical to release the Unity-powered desktop well before the GNOME 3 release. On the other other hand, the community has every right to be pissed at the company for ignoring their gripes.

          • Ubuntu Aims for 200 Million Users In 4 Years

            Mark Shuttleworth, father of the Ubuntu operating system, announced yesterday, May 9th, at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Budapest that Canonical’s goal is to have 200 million Ubuntu users by 2015.

            Ubuntu Developer Summit for Oneiric Ocelot, the upcoming version of the popular Ubuntu operating system is taking place these days in Budapest, Hungary. Mark Shuttleworth delivered yesterday morning his usual keynote where he set the goal for 200 million Ubuntu users in 4 years.

          • Ubuntu Linux Satanic Edition (666.9) review

            Getting ready to review a Linux distribution is usually pretty straightforward. After some background research into the distribution’s history, you download the latest ISO and beseech the head of IT to lend you a netbook or scrounge up some moth-infested, aging desktop PC.

            In the case of Ubuntu Linux Satanic Edition (“Linux for the Damned”), however, I had wondered whether I would require some kind of spiritual preparation: Perhaps a confession of my sins to the nearest religious authority. Deadline pressure meant that there was no time for me to unburden myself of my frequent and extensive contraventions of the moral codes of many major religions (and quite a few minor ones). My atheist soul would have to face the distribution unshriven.

          • Will Linux Mint outdo the popularity of Ubuntu?

            It is raining new releases this month as a result of the domino effect caused by the release of Ubuntu 11.04. The latest in line is Linux Mint. Team Mint has always managed to come up with a distro that improved the strengths of Ubuntu many fold while remaining true to the original one. However this time the scene is completely different. The team had recently announced the release of Linux Mint 11, codenamed Katya. Although, its usual to give a feminine name to each Mint release, this one seems to have a meaning. Katya which means “pure” In Russian seems to hint subtly that the Mint team is upto something.

          • Natty Narwhal Offers Unity but No Clarity

            The Unity desktop that comes rolled into Ubuntu’s latest version, Natty Narwhal, could prove very divisive. A change this big will be met by users with a love-it-or-hate-it reaction. Personally, you can put me in the latter category. I did not like Unity in its earlier iterations, especially on the Netbook Remix version. And I like most of its features — or lack of features — a lot less now after seeing them in Natty Narwhal.

          • Ubuntu Linux Satanic Edition (666.9) review

            The second point is that distributions like Ubuntu Linux Satanic Edition serve to highlight the “free as in freedom” aspect of open source software. Yes, there is no doubt that this distro is a little tongue in cheek and a jab at the Christian Edition of Ubuntu Linux. But, along with the Christian Edition distro, this is an example of taking the powerful open source tools collaboratively developed over the decades and tailoring them to suit a niche market. Why not have a Satanic Edition of Linux? Or a cat fanciers’ edition, for that matter? The freedoms to innovate, customise and build upon are an essential part of the open source experience, delivered to users by the GPL and other free software licences.

            All up, if you prefer your walls black, your music loud and your hair long (and don’t care about Narwhal), then Ubuntu Linux Satanic Edition may be right up your alley. It is, as you would expect, a modern, easy to use operating system that is probably more profound than its creators realise.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 11 RC Based on Ubuntu 11.04, No Unity, No GNOME 3

              Clement Lefebvre, father of the Linux Mint project, proudly announced last evening, May 9th, the immediate availablity for download and testing of the Release Candidate version of the upcoming Linux Mint 11 operating system.

              Dubbed Katya and based on the newly released Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) operating system, Linux Mint 11 will feature Linux kernel 2.6.38, GNOME 2.32.1 and X.Org 7.6. Unity will NOT be included in Linux Mint 11.

            • Another Executive Departure at Canonical

              Canonical has been much in the headlines with its 11.04 version of Ubuntu, featuring Unity, but the shakeup at the top of Canonical has been much less in the news. The latest executive to announce that he is leaving his post at the company is Matt Zimmerman, who has spent seven years as CTO of Ubuntu. Zimmerman announced his decision in a blog post, and while it’s clear that he will remain an active participant in the Ubuntu community, his departure immediately follows the exit of noted open source executive and blogger Matt Asay, who had been Canonical’s COO. Is Canonical suffering from a leadership problem?

            • Mark Shuttleworth: Our Goal Is 200 Million Ubuntu Users In 4 Years
            • Newly re-Minted

              Last week I installed XFCE on my laptop, to experiment. The machine was running Zorin OS with Gnome, and I just did sudo apt-get install xfce4 to add the new environment as an option. I played with it a while, and I wound up with a desktop I really liked – Compiz, Docky, pretty much everything I’m used to. So one day if Gnome-based distros abandon the traditional desktop paradigm completely – as it looks like will happen – I can switch to XFCE and get a pretty good approximation of what I’m accustomed to.


    • Devices/Embedded

      • New quad-core, 1.5GHz SoC appears in UTM networking appliance

        Freescale Semiconductor announced a faster, 1.5GHz version of its quad-core QorIQ P2040 processor called the QorIQ P2041, claimed to deliver up to 10Gbps performance and ship with a Linux BSP. The P2041 system-on-chip (SoC) is available in a newly announced, 1U MR-630 networking appliance from Lanner called the MR-630, equipped with 12 or 16 gigabit Ethernet ports and aimed at the unified threat management (UTM) market.

      • New quad-core, 1.5GHz SoC appears in UTM networking appliance

        Freescale Semiconductor announced a faster, 1.5GHz version of its quad-core QorIQ P2040 processor called the QorIQ P2041, claimed to deliver up to 10Gbps performance and ship with a Linux BSP. The P2041 system-on-chip (SoC) is available in a newly announced, 1U MR-630 networking appliance from Lanner called the MR-630, equipped with 12 or 16 gigabit Ethernet ports and aimed at the unified threat management (UTM) market.

      • Wind River taps OpenSAFfire HA middleware for Linux customers

        Wind River announced a partnership with GoAhead Software whereby the two companies will become “preferred integration partners,” selling GoAhead’s OpenSAFfire middleware to embedded Linux customers. The company also announced a “Wind River OpenSAF Quickstart” professional services and technical support package for its OpenSAF customers.

      • Tilera unveils MIPS processor family with up to 100 cores

        Tilera unveiled a roadmap for its Linux-ready Tile-Gx multicore system on chips (SoCs): 16, 36, 64, and 100-core versions of a networking-focused Tile-Gx 8000 series; an upcoming, multimedia-focused Tile-Gx 5000 series; and a Tile-Gx 3000 series aimed at cloud server applications. Tilera also announced Wind River Linux support for its MIPS64-based TilePro and Tile-Gx SoCs.

      • Phones

        • Android

          • Google announces music streaming in beta, movie rentals for Android

            Music and movie rental services are coming to Android devices straight from Google’s labs, the company announced at its I/O conference today. Customers will be able to stream movies from the Android Market and stream their own uploaded music from a service Google is calling “Music Beta.” Users can also “pin” both types of media to their devices for offline consumption.

            Music Beta, which is currently available by invitation only for Android devices with at least version 2.2, allows users to upload up to 20,000 songs to music.google.com. Customers can then stream the music to any Android device, or “pin” it to the device for local storage. Devices will also be able to automatically cache recently played audio content for offline use. The music service will be free “at least while it’s in beta,” so here’s hoping for a Gmail-style development trajectory.

          • Google adds note-taking to Android image recognition app

            Google has added features to its Google Goggles visual recognition software for Android intended to make it more user friendly. Google Goggles 1.4 for Android adds note-taking capabilities, offers improved search history, and has better business card recognition, the company says.

      • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

        • Google Chrome OS: Reviving Netbooks Or Invading Notebooks?

          The VAR Guy is watching and listening closely for potential Google Chrome OS launch news. Chrome OS, a lightweight Web operating system for netbooks and notebooks, may grab the spotlight at this week’s Google I/O 2011 conference in San Francisco. There’s speculation Samsung may unveil a Chrome OS netbook at the conference. But here’s the big question: Can Chrome OS revive the struggling netbook market or will Google simply evangelize Chrome OS for notebooks? Either way, there could be hardware as a service (HaaS) opportunities for VARs and MSPs. Here’s why.

        • More colorful HP netbook gets hi-res option and larger drives, too

          HP announced a revamped version of its Mini 210 netbook that includes upgraded audio plus color that’s skin-deep. Still with a choice of Intel Atom processors and Windows 7 operating systems, the device now includes a social-media-centric upgrade to the available, Linux-based QuickWeb operating system, according to the company.

    Free Software/Open Source

    • EMC Opens by Going Open Source

      EMC World opened today in Las Vegas with a morning full of major announcements from EMC-acquired companies Greenplum and Isilon. This included the world’s largest file system at 15.5 PB, and a full-blown EMC adoption of the open source model for its Greenplum division at the very least.

      The announcements all tied in to the conference theme of Big Data Meets the Cloud.

    • If You Haven’t Seen It, Look Into Google’s Open Source YouTube Channel: OSPO

      As the Google I/O conference kicks off this week in San Francisco, many developers and others are tuning in remotely to streaming events. If you’re an open source developer or user, though, one of the existing ways to get at a treasure trove of archived video-based material from Google is the company’s relatively new open source channel on YouTube, found here. Dubbed Google OSPO and launched late last year, it is chock full of good content and you can set alerts for new content that arrives there that relates to your interests. Here is more on how to get the most out of this tool.

    • May 2011 Project of the Month: OpenPetra

      Non-profits and other charity organizations need all the help they can get, administratively speaking. That’s why it’s great to see something like what the folks at OpenPetra have put together. Flexible and customizable, it helps volunteers and non-profit agencies get the management tasks out of the way and focus on what’s really important: the cause at hand.

    • Open source attacks data stack

      A loose affiliation of open source organisations is forming, which hopes to provide a more serious challenge to monolithic data management and business intelligence systems sold by companies such as IBM, Oracle and SAS Institute.

    • Ubuntu project to transition Ubuntu Cloud to OpenStack

      The Ubuntu project announces today that future versions of Ubuntu Cloud will use OpenStack as a foundation technology. The Ubuntu project is gathered in Budapest, Hungary to discuss future development plans that will culminate in the October release of Ubuntu 11.10. This announcement will move OpenStack to being a core part of the Ubuntu Cloud product, which enables users to build an open source cloud.

    • Events

      • #fosscomm 2011

        A great fosscomm (the annual greek foss community conference) took place the weekend at Patra. The organizing committee did a fantastic job, but besides that it seems that the Greek FOSS community has raised the bar of quality holding some very interesting technical presentations.

    • Mozilla

      • WebGL in Chrome and Firefox is a serious security risk

        A WEB STANDARD enabled by default in the Firefox 4 and Google Chrome web browsers has serious security issues, according to an independent security consultancy.

        WebGL, which stands for web-based graphics library, is a software technology that allows you to bring hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to a web browser without the need for additional software. Enabled in the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox, it can also be switched on in Safari and Opera.

      • It’s Easy to Forget What a Global Phenomenon Firefox Is

        Here on OStatic, and elsewhere, the new version 4 of Firefox has been widely discussed, with some OStatic readers ditching the new version of previous versions due to reported performance problems. Still, it’s easy to forget the global power that Firefox commands, especially in certain targeted areas of the world. In a highly interesting new Computerworld report, for example, Gen Kanai, Mozilla’s contributor engagement director for Asia, discusses the browser’s growing prominence in Indonesia and parts of Asia. In Indonesia, in particular, Firefox is far and away the browser of choice, with neither Internet Explorer or Google Chrome anywhere near its market share level.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice is the future of Free Software Office suites

      This is of course my view, and I hope yours, but naturally it is worth presenting at least some rational and working for this conclusion. Unfortunately, there are so many reasons why TDF and LibreOffice are done right, that I can’t list them all in linear time. However, I’ll try to address some of the major ones recently raised by congenital worriers.

    • Novell will continue to support LibreOffice

      While Attachmate has talked a lot about its plans for Novell after it bought Novell, no one saw Attachmate closing down Novell’s Mono programming effort. Indeed, other than cutting Novell’s work-force by 25%, Attachmate has said little concrete about the company’s open-source plans. I have learned from sources though that LibreOffice, the open-source office suite, will continue to receive Novell’s support.

      Novell developers were leaders in founding the LibreOffice’s parent organization, The Document Foundation and splitting LibreOffice away from the Oracle sponsored OpenOffice project. Their feeling was that Oracle, as Sun had before it, had been neglecting OpenOffice and letting bugs go unfixed and new features go un-added for far too long.

    • Oracle is not Happy; Asks Judge to Reconsider Order Reducing Claims

      The parties have each responded to the judge’s order reducing the number of Oracle’s claims in Oracle v. Google from 132 to 3. And each has provided requested input to the judge on his tentative order on claim construction. If you recall, the judge asked for their input.

    • Oracle’s Subpoena to Apache, Claim Construction Order, and an Annoyed Judge

      I thought you’d like to see the Apache subpoena [PDF] that Oracle just sent them. Specifically, it’s a Boies Schiller production, as you can see at the bottom of page one.

  • Business

    • The business case for OpenSim

      A reader asked me today about the OpenSim business case — are there enough users on any of the grids to make it worthwhile for a business to set up a presence there instead of in Second Life?

      The short answer is: no.

      Second Life’s average concurrency is around 50,000. If you log into Second Life, depending on time of day, you are likely to find anywhere between 35,000 and 65,000 other people logged on. (See Tateru Nino’s great statistics page for more details.)


    • Important notice for free software supporters using Gmail

      Are you using Gmail? Nearly 50% of the FSF’s 40,000 strong supporter mailing list has an @gmail.com email address.

      JavaScript, once lauded for adding simple visual effects to web pages, is now used by web sites like Gmail to run powerful programs on your computer. These programs, like any other program running on your computer, should be free software. But right now, the vast majority of JavaScript programs do not respect your essential freedoms to run, study, modify and share them. They take control of your computer away from you; the same control we have been working for over 25 years to protect.

  • Licensing

    • Apple delays release of LPGL WebKit code

      Sometime after I posted this entry, Apple went ahead and posted the source code for JavaScriptCore-721.26 and WebCore-955.66.1, the code mentioned in this entry. No explanation on the delay was given, just the code. The immediate issue has passed, which is nice. My closing point about better communication, however, still stands.

  • Programming

    • 2018 is the Year of Perl 5.10

      The Perl 5 porters officially ended support for Perl 5.8 on November 5, 2008. Fortunately, Enterprise Support exists to help your legacy Perl 5 installations cope. Distributions such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and its offshoot CentOS will continue supporting old versions of Perl 5 for up to ten years since their release (the release of the distribution, not the release of the version of Perl 5 they distribute).

      For example, the most recent CentOS release, CentOS 5.6, includes Perl 5.8.8. (CentOS 5.6 came out just over a month ago. Perl 5.8.8 is seven stable releases out of date.)

    • Google I/O Kicks Off, Focused On Developers

      Throughout its existence, Google has been very dedicated to enlisting developers all around the world to embrace its projects and help with the creative process, and one of its hugest annual events that focuses on this is the Google I/O conference. This week, in San Francisco, Google I/O is in full swing, and there are announcements arriving, and many sessions related to Google App Engine, Android, Chrome, Chrome OS and many other projects. Even if you can’t get to the conference, there are still ways to participate in sessions remotely, and Google will post archived versions of sessions after the event.

    • Baby Steps with Our Text Editor
    • Liveblog: Google I/O Day 1
    • Google announces Android Ice Cream Sandwich will merge phone and tablet OSes

      The next version of Google’s Android operating system, codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, will converge the formerly disparate phone and tablet versions of the OS, Google announced at its I/O keynote today. Ice Cream Sandwich will maintain a single UI across all form factors and will allow developers to create applications for both kinds of devices in one motion. It will follow the rollout of Android 3.1 to the Motorola Xoom tablet and Google TV.

      Google says the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android will “all be open source,” including APIs for face-tracking and other new features. Developers will be able to account for all form factors within this same version of the OS, and Google will be adding a lot of UIs to accommodate Android devices of all shapes and sizes.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Australia shops for search service

      Requirements for the service including conforming to the OpenSearch protocol and support for compressed and uncompressed versions of non-HTML documents like PDF, RTF, CSV, Microsoft Office formats and Open Document formats.


  • Time for Apple to Finally Close Cloud-Mobile Loop
  • Our Old Stuff is Junk

    In a way, M$ is its worst enemy. As it has convinced people that they must buy a new PC to get anything new in IT, they have also convinced people that a new anything is good: tablet, notebook, smart thingie… and many of these do not come with that other OS. Expect further poor quarters for that cash-cow.

    see TheRegister – Microsoft resuscitates ‘I’m a PC’ ads to fight Apple
    Alert Print Post comment Retweet Facebook
    PCs have come a long way since the PC

    How many cycles of the Wintel treadmill does it take to convince the subject that the next revolution is actually the same as the last one? The problem for M$ is that people are not gerbils and can solve the problem of spending years getting nowhere.

  • The Tech Press: We’re not all Arrington Scum

    Michael Arrington continues to try to con everyone, including possibly himself, into thinking he does technology journalism. Normally, I ignore the scum of the technology press. Life is too short. Every field has its fakes, its liars and its prostitutes, but every now and again someone, such as Arrington, falls to the bottom and makes such a splash along the way, that I can’t ignore him.

    Arrington, for those of who don’t know him, is the founder and co-editor of TechCrunch, a tech “news” site now owned by AOL. TechCrunch and Arrington are famous gossip-mongers—the National Enquirer if you would—of technology journalism. That’s fine by me. I’m not interested in covering MySpace co-founder and CEO Chris DeWolfe supposed romance with Paris Hilton. More power to you if that’s what floats your boat. After all, there are more readers for that than the kind of things, such as Linux and networking, that I cover.

  • Where Are They Now? Products Announced During Past Google I/O Keynotes

    The keynotes at Google I/O — Google’s developer conference — are always filled with such promise. Google TV, Google Wave, music in the cloud! But the products themselves haven’t always gone on to meet expectations. With Google I/O 2011 beginning on Tuesday, here’s a look back at what’s happened with past keynote product graduates.

  • The next Microsoft in the cloud computing era is …

    Cloud computing lacks both cross-compatibility and standards. Added to vendor lock-in is the possibility of outages, breaches of security or privacy, providers suspending your account, losing data or even going out of business altogether.

    A variety of vendor strategies are in play. Apple and Oracle exemplify the proprietary lock-in model, while Google champions open source without truly being open. VMware combines its high-margin virtualisation business with acquired software companies to create a hybrid model that is both proprietary and somewhat open all at once.

  • Security

    • Facebook caught exposing millions of user credentials

      Facebook has leaked access to millions of users’ photographs, profiles and other personal information because of a years-old bug that overrides individual privacy settings, researchers from Symantec said.

      The flaw, which the researchers estimate has affected hundreds of thousands of applications, exposed user access tokens to advertisers and others. The tokens serve as a spare set of keys that Facebook apps use to perform certain actions on behalf of the user, such as posting messages to a Facebook wall or sending RSVP replies to invitations. For years, many apps that rely on an older form of user authentication turned over these keys to third parties, giving them the ability to access information users specifically designated as off limits.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • Controversial set of CCTV cameras to be removed from Birmingham districts

      After a long-running campaign, a controversial set of CCTV cameras are finally being removed from Sparkbrook and Washwood Heath in Birmingham. The regions are predominantly Muslim, and local residents had been fiercely opposed to the system. Many wondered why two medium-sized districts in Birmingham required 218 cameras, including 169 advanced Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras which monitor the movement of vehicles.

    • Davis alleges criminal misuse of CCTV cameras by government and police

      David Davis has alleged that the Home Office and Metropolitan Police may have broken the law while using security camera images. The claim was made during Home Office questions in the House of Commons.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Sued By Citizens
    • Goldman’s Blankfein Faces Investors Amid ‘Lingering Problems’

      Lloyd C. Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), has sought to quell shareholder concerns about its bonuses and business practices at the past two annual meetings. Today, he will try again.

      As the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets hosts investors for the first time at its building in Jersey City, New Jersey, shareholders are still questioning Goldman Sachs’s actions during the financial crisis, executive pay and business model.

    • Goldman Sachs ‘Totally Freaked Out’ About Volcker Rule, Lobbying Congress Without Remorse For Past Deeds

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc has just a few more months to put its stamp on the Volcker rule, and it is not wasting any time.

      The rule, designed to limit banks from speculating with their own money, will cost Goldman at least $3.7 billion in annual revenue, by one estimate. And billions more could be at stake if regulations now being drawn up are extra-tough.

    • Tallying the Votes at Goldman

      Goldman Sachs shareholders voted on 10 proposals this year, covering everything from climate change to executive pay. Goldman’s general counsel, Gregory Palm, announced the preliminary results at the end of the investment bank’s annual shareholder meeting, which was held on Friday in Jersey City.

    • Goldman Pay Plan Supported by Fewer Shareholders as Blankfein Pay Doubles

      Shareholder approval for Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS)’s 2010 compensation plan, which doubled pay for Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein, tumbled to 73 percent from 96 percent a year ago.

      General Counsel Gregory K. Palm announced the vote tally at the end of today’s annual meeting, held for the first time at Goldman Sachs’s building in Jersey City, New Jersey.

    • Goldman Sachs (GS) Lobbying Hard to Weaken Volcker Rule

      With Paul Volcker having given up and riding off into the sunset, GoldmanSachs (GS) and its army of lobbyists is busy doing “God’s work” in weakening any impact he might have, according to this Reuters report. Again, in America the BEST return on investment for large corporations is lobbying – it makes the ROI on their actual businesses look like peanuts. For a relatively few millions, oodles of tax breaks, protections, or new contracts can be secured. For an investment bank the sums to buy up politicians direct policy is relatively tiny – effectively for the salary of a handful of vice presidents per quarter, the world is their oyster. $5M annually for Goldman is not even a rounding error. I am pleased to report the more things change, the more they remain the same.

    • Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is cordial but sniffly

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein was in good spirits on Friday at his firm’s annual meeting, despite battling some testy shareholders and what seemed to be a cold.

      The Wall Street chieftain sipped water and blew his nose through the two-hour proceedings, and declined to shake one investor’s hand after the meeting for fear of spreading germs.

    • Goldman Sachs Faces Off With Shareholders

      Goldman Sachs had its annual shareholders meeting in New Jersey on Friday. So Lloyd Blankfein had the chance to sit in front of a room full of investors and explain why he got a $5.4 million bonus last year even though stocks were down 38 percent. Seriously, this guy must have cajones as big as his bald head. At this point, there are no plans for the CEO to step down.

      Somehow, shareholder compensation proposals that would restrict pay didn’t pass and the directors got re-elected. A Catholic nun, Sister Nora Nash who is part of one of the religious orders that was in attendance, told Fox Business prior to the meeting that the pay “is totally outlandish because of the fact that we live a world where millions are going to bed hungry, they don’t know where their next meal will come from, especially in our inner cities and in the third world.”

      “Never in the history of capitalism has anybody convinced people that a cabal, if you will, of bankers earning obscene amounts of money is good for everybody,” Dezenhall Resources’ Eric Dezenhall told WNYC.

    • Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is cordial but sniffly

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein was in good spirits on Friday at his firm’s annual meeting, despite battling some testy shareholders and what seemed to be a cold.

      The Wall Street chieftain sipped water and blew his nose through the two-hour proceedings, and declined to shake one investor’s hand after the meeting for fear of spreading germs.

      But while Blankfein might have preferred chicken soup over the continental breakfast on display, his demeanor remained strong and, some might say, resilient.

    • Goldman Sachs Sued By Citizens
    • Vitro, Madoff, Timothy Blixseth, Asbestos Case: Bankruptcy

      (This report contains items about companies both in bankruptcy and not in bankruptcy. Adds Statistics section, Madoff in Updates and DS Waters in Downgrade.)

      May 6 (Bloomberg) — Vitro SAB, Mexico’s largest glassmaker, argued in a court filing on May 4 that its Chapter 15 case should remain in New York because the bankruptcy judge in Fort Worth, Texas, is ill.

      Separately, Vitro’s official creditors’ committee is asking for a delay in the hearing scheduled to begin today in Texas on a motion to approve sale procedures for the four U.S. Vitro subsidiaries that put themselves into Chapter 11 in the face of involuntary petitions filed in November.

    • U.S. Probes Goldman Sachs Findings After Senate Referral

      May 4 (Bloomberg) — U.S. senators formally referred to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission an investigative report that found Goldman Sachs Group Inc. misled clients about mortgage-linked securities. Bloomberg’s

    • Goldman Sachs May Make ‘Near-Term’ Management Changes, UBS Says – Bloomberg
    • Bloomberg: Goldman Sachs Referred to S.E.C. and D.O.J. (video)
    • Berkshire Will Record $1.25 Billion Gain on Goldman Redemption

      Berkshire was paid $5.5 billion for the securities on April 18, the Omaha, Nebraska-based company said late on May 6 in its first-quarter earnings report. The payment by Goldman Sachs includes the $5 billion Berkshire invested in 2008 and a 10 percent premium.

    • SEC chief keeps options open on private securities

      The top U.S. securities regulator pledged a rigorous review of potentially outdated private securities trading rules, but stopped short of endorsing changes being advocated by Republican lawmakers.

      At a congressional hearing on Tuesday, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro was pressed to make regulatory changes to help small and medium-sized companies more easily raise capital without going public.

  • Privacy

    • Still no timetable for deletion of DNA records

      The planned deletion of the DNA profiles of millions of innocent people still lacks a definitive timetable, it was revealed today. Conservative MP Philip Davies asked the government how much time would be required once the legislation has been passed to remove the DNA of people who have been found innocent but whose records remain on the database. Home Office minister James Brokenshire said:

  • DRM

    • Brick Nintendo before they brick you

      Send Reggie Fils-Aime, President and COO of Nintendo of America a strong message that the Nintendo 3DS Terms of Service are unacceptable and that DRM must be dropped. Brick Nintendo before they brick you!

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Biggest BitTorrent Downloading Case in U.S. History Targets 23,000 Defendants

        At least 23,000 file sharers soon will likely get notified they are being sued for downloading the Expendables in what has become the single largest illegal-BitTorrent-downloading case in U.S. history.

        A federal judge in the case has agreed to allow the U.S. Copyright Group to subpoena internet service providers to find out the identity of everybody who had illegally downloaded (.pdf) the 2010 Sylvester Stallone flick — meaning the number of defendants is likely to dramatically increase as new purloiners are discovered. Once an ISP gets the subpoena, it usually notifies the account holder that his or her subscriber information is being turned over to the Copyright Group, which last year pioneered the practice of suing BitTorrent downloaders in the United States.

      • Is Portugal about to make Creative Commons illegal?

        ETA 3. Very interesting details in the comments section. It seems like this already exists in similar fashion in Spain and in Chile (I still think that declaring economic rights inalienable is a horrible idea, it barely works with moral rights). I’d like to see if this has ever been applied in those countries, and if so, if it covers licensing. Probably it does not, as in licensing one is not giving the work away, one is simply granting rights to third parties.

      • Pirate Bay prepares for the battle of the internet

        COPYRIGHT CARTELS inspired legislation has forced The Pirate Bay to announce that it is preparing for lobbying and legal battles.

        The Pirate Bay, which might feel somewhat overshadowed by Anonymous, has posted a rallying call to arms on its blog and, channelling the voice of Britain’s wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill, announced that its “finest hour” is upon it.

      • ACTA

        • ACTA copyright agreement may breach EU law, claim academics

          A controversial anti-counterfeiting agreement between the European Union, the US and other countries has come in for fresh criticism after the European Commission failed to address concerns about the treaty’s legality.

          The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was reached last year despite concerns that it would protect ‘big business’ at the expence of the consumer.


          ACTA also includes other forms of trademark infringements based on similarity of signs, risk of confusion and the protection for well known trademarks against dilution. This, said FFII’s Wessels, is a clear extension of the EU acquis, which does not cover the criminal measures called for by ACTA.

Clip of the Day

Raspberry Pi – the £15 computer

Credit: TinyOgg

Huffington Post Helps Belittle Android Using Falsehoods

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Red Hat at 12:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s previously hired attorney, Edward J. Naughton, finds a new platform by which to paint Android as disrespectful of copyrights while Microsoft keeps suing Android over patents and ‘Patent Hawk’ loses one

A Groklaw and Techrights regular, Wayne Borean. recently became a regular contributor at Semi Accurate, which is an excellent Web site. He is still addressing the “Patent Wars” as he calls them against Google. The writers at Semi Accurate tend to favour GNU/Linux, which the Establishment — iincluding Huff & Puff [1, 2, 3] — tends to look at with suspicion and distrust. The American tabloid Huff & Puff (aka Huffington Post, now owned by America Online) keeps showing that accuracy does not matter there. It’s like Fox for liberals, all about the ratings. As Groklaw put it the other day, “Huffington Post Republishes Debunked Claims About Android”. To quote the complaint in full:

Well, this is embarrassing for Huffington Post. They have republished an article by Microsoft-linked attorney Edward J. Naughton from March, which presented claims that Google had violated the GPL with Android. This was thoroughly debunked by Brian Proffitt here. Brian asked Linus about the matter, and Linus said this:

“It seems totally bogus. We’ve always made it very clear that the kernel system call interfaces do not in any way result in a derived work as per the GPL, and the kernel details are exported through the kernel headers to all the normal glibc interfaces too….

“Of course, we do have our own ‘internal’ headers too, and we have stuff that is meant to be relevant only for the kernel. But there would be no point for Google to even use those, since they are useless outside of the kernel, so I don’t see what the whole brouhaha would be all about. Except if it’s somebody politically motivated (or motivated by some need of attention),” he continued.”

Others, including me, pointed out that Naughton seemed to be trying to hide his association with Microsoft. All in all, I’d say Huffington Post should probably hire more editors.

Google has come under many legal attacks recently — attacks that seek to portray Android as “illegal” or at least “naughty”. Google is trying to buy patents or maybe even build a pool to counter that. “BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) could enter the bidding for Nortel’s remaining wireless patents,” says The Canadian Press, “either by itself or as part of a consortium that would try to snatch the prize from Google, a patent expert said Monday.”

Here is Bloomberg‘s new portrayal of Linux companies (which it rarely covers) in an article with the charged/loaded term “Intellectual Property”. They have many articles like this which contain the term Intellectual Property in the headline. “Red Hat, Google, Adidas, PepsiCo: Intellectual Property,” it says in the headline and the relevant part says:

Red Hat Chief Says Company Sometimes Pays Instead of Fighting

Red Hat Inc. (RHT)’s Chief Executive Officer James M. Whitehurst told Network World that his Raleigh, North Carolina-based company sometimes settles with patent trolls because it’s not worth the expense to fight what may be invalid patent claims.

Whitehurst said some software patent cases brought in the Eastern District of Texas come before juries that are “not technically savvy” and are so complicated that even he, with a degree in computer science, finds them far over his head, according to Network world.

Whitehurst, an opponent of software patents, told Network World such patents prevent companies from moving into some areas of technology because they’re fearful of litigation and licensing fees.

Some patent claims the company has faced are “ridiculous,” merely covering something that shows up on common websites, Network World reported Whitehurst saying.

Whitehurst was complaining also about trolls who had connections with/to Microsoft.

‘Patent Hawk’/Odom, who used to work for Microsoft, has just had a patent of his invalidated.

Gary Odom runs his own patent search firm as well as his own patent law blog – the Patent Prospector – where he provides piquant comments on patent law and practice. Odom is also a patent holder. His Patent No. 7,363,592 is directed toward a modification of the “toolbar” and “tool groups” that are familiar aspects of most computer software displays.

Patents are a real problem for GNU and Linux and we must strive to end software patents. They should all be invalidated and put in the wastebasket.

Waste paper container

SUSE’s Markus Rex Leaves Novell

Posted in OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 3:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Markus Rex of Novell
Collaboration Summit/ELC Joint Reception. Markus Rex is on the right.

Summary: One of the key people of SUSE (and maybe #1 in the chain of command) is leaving

AS testament to the problem SUSE may be in, consider the quiet departure of Markus Rex, who said that buyout of SUSE was “the big elephant in the room.” Some suspect that SUSE is about to be bought and guess when Mr. Rex is leaving? It’s the timing that matter.

Indeed, Markus has been ‘overseeing’ the SuSE engineering effort in one way or another since 1999 or so.

He has stayed through fun times and thin times, and while I was not around to watch his actions, I can only assume that he was an important player in that endeavor.

He probably isn’t leaving because of technical issues. Maybe he knows something that others do not.

Novell Was Not Paying Federal Tax

Posted in Finance, Microsoft, Novell at 3:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

American flag

Summary: $0 tax bill for Novell, thanks to an insane status quo

OVER the years Techrights has covered Novell fraud and Microsoft fraud, noting that there are a lot of factoids these companies want everyone to forget. Microsoft, for example, is borrowing money (looking to borrow even more when buying companies if not hijacking them) and it is not paying tax. The local press (near Novell) says that Novell dodges federal tax as well:

They are high-tech companies, financial players, and manufacturers. What they all have in common: They paid no federal income taxes last year, despite making millions of dollars in profits.

Software company Novell Inc. and cellphone tower giant American Tower Corp. are just two of 30 public companies in Massachusetts that owed no federal income tax in 2010, generally because they lost money in prior years and were able to carry forward those losses to offset tax liabilities. In some cases, companies received refunds worth millions of dollars.


While the US corporate tax rate is 35 percent, that’s hardly the typical rate companies pay. For example, Novell last year had an effective tax rate of less than zero, according to its annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The result: the Waltham company made a $378 million profit for the year and received a $9.1 million federal income tax refund, mainly thanks to tax losses carried forward on companies it had acquired.

Those who believe that corporations by their very existence are beneficial to the economy ought to rethink. As we are going to show later, Novell’s lost staff is likely to be absorbed elsewhere, maybe even in a place that pays tax.

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