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08.24.11

Backlash Against the US Patent System Grows Amid Google’s Defensive Moves

Posted in Google, Patents at 4:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Time is running out for the USPTO

Clock

Summary: More mainstream coverage of the problem with the patent system and another report suggesting that Microsoft’s mole, Elop, might be going after patents that Google is after

In light of some of the recent developments (e.g. the success of Linux being hinged on the failure of patents), it is clear that patent wars are a present reality. “A rational observer would now predict that a further outbreak of patent wars, and portfolio-bolstering acquisitions, now are likely,” says one report. “Some observers also are starting to say that the software patent process is broken, costing jobs and threatening innovation as well, and there also is some growing talk that reforms are necessary. Patent system is broken, read the book and complaints that the patent system is broken,while criticism is growing.” These are the words of one of the latest articles on the subject.

Another new article makes a similar point. The author writes about the possibility that many more software patents will become toothless soon. “Court rules ‘do it with a computer’ doesn’t make an idea patentable” says the headline, highlighting last week’s milestone that we covered several times. The article adds: “This week seems to be bigger than most for software patent news. Earlier in the week we had Google’s announcement they are buying Motorola Mobility to acquire defensive patents. Now we have what could be a landmark ruling against the validity of a software patent on the basis that it describes a mental process. ”

Some of the subscribers-only sites which target patent lawyers typically have an opposite interpretation, where basically nothing can stop software patents and those patents are just so wonderful. Watch this claim that software patents are “under attack”. Poor them…

In other relevant news, Google is still trying to get more patents on the face of it. It is claimed that InterDigital’s patents heap is up for sale and Microsoft’s mole that we suspect will use patents against Android is among those bidding for the heap. This further shows that the USPTO is a nightmare which promotes nothing that it promises. As this one site puts it this week:

The Economist blog ‘Democracy in America’ covers the lamentable state of IP. The problem is particularly bad with software patents because they are both so unnecessary to encourage innovation and also because there are potentially so many software patents – software is such an easy medium in which to embody productive ideas. The recent purchase of Motorola Mobile by Google apparently to get itself a stash of patents is truly alarming, because, having spent $12 odd billion on getting the patents and with only a few parties able to marshall sufficient defensive patents to protect themselves against Dark Lord’s like Nathan Myhrvold, Google is then obliged to its shareholders to maximise the value of those patents and to maximise its profit from any mobile phones it makes. And, because of the IP nightmare only a handful of firms will be able to make such products – though only by warding off marauders with threats of counter claims for breaching their own patents.

Here is the update about Google seeking to have patents that are being used offensively reexamined:

Since our last update on the reexaminations of the Oracle (Sun) patents being asserted against Google, two additional first actions on the merits have issued, one [PDF] on patent 6,125,447 and one [PDF] on patent 6,910,205. In each case the examiner has rejected all of the claims for which Google has requested reexamination.

With respect to the ’447 patent, the examiner cites to two principal items of prior art as each anticipating all of the claims of the ’447 patent. In other words, the examiner has found two separate patents that establish that none of the claims of the ’447 patent were novel.

With respect to the ’205 patent the examiner found a single item of non-patent literature that anticipates all of the challenged claims of the patent. That is, the non-patent literature establishes that none of those five challenged claims were novel.

Here is an update on Apple’s failed attack on Android:

Apple Loses Court Battle In Europe, Samsung Free To Sell Galaxy Tabs

Justice will prevail. The European Courts have once again reinstated the faith in justice. Apple today lost its monopolistic battle against Samsung and Android.

Jan Wilderboer, a FOSS evangelist, writes on his blog, “Apple has LOST all claims wrt the European patent 2098948. The court thinks that the European patent 1964022 is worthless and will be thrown out in reexamination anyway. The only thing that remains is the european patent 2059868. And the claims of that patent can be circumvented in trivial ways.”

The Guardian still offers some coverage on this subject this week, mostly critical of software patents (for a change). One Twitter user, Kevin B Unhammer, writes/quotes: “there is one resource patent trolls need: lawyers» (Never do business with firms working for patent trolls)”

Katherine Noyes, writing for PCWorld (IDG) continues her criticism of software patents and so does TechDirt, which writes about something we saw last week:

We recently wrote about a surprising Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruling that might open the door to invalidating a lot of software patents. We received an an interesting comment on the post a few days later from John Pettitt:

So I was thinking – great they invalidated software patents, lets see what crappy patent written by an idiot they picked to do it – then I realized the idiot in question was me :-)

Not sure how I feel about this.

John – inventor of the patent in question.

Pettitt is now running an interesting operation called Free Range Content, which helps companies syndicate content easily. However, a while back, he was the named inventor on patent 6,029,154, describing a “Method and system for detecting fraud in a credit card transaction over the internet.” We reached out to Pettitt to ask him a few questions about his views on the patent system and he kindly agreed.

Priceless.

What’s notable in all those reports is that there is strong consensus on the need to abolish software patents. If anything, Google validated his inclination after it had complained about anti-competitive aspects of patents, especially ones pertaining to software (although not explicitly so).

BBC’s Reversal of Android Stories Makes Them ‘Publishable’

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 3:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft BBC

Summary: The BBC continues to deceive the public with Android-hostile stories that are actually a reversal of the important truth

EARLIER this year we demonstrated and stated that the BBC only ever covers Android when there is bad news. Even then, the BBC prefers to distort the truth, for example by characterising malware (that the user has to actually install and cannot spread) as a “virus”. BBC reports do a disservice to the public not just in the UK as the site is accessible to all countries. They are being paid by the public to do the job of accurate reporting; instead they pay wages to former Microsoft managers and take additional money from BIll Gates to do PR for him, disguised as 'news'. They only ever mention Android when there is something venomous to push under the "BBC" brand name. For shame really.

Here is the latest example of the BBC’s distortion of the truth. Who benefits from this? As Muktware puts it:

Wrong. The court has given Samsung seven weeks time to fix the issues related to one of the patents. The court has rejected all other patents. The patent in question is related to the way photos are shown on these phones. Additionally, the patent is related only to Android 2.3 and doesn’t affect Android 3.0. The issues is minor and can be easily circumvented. Seven weeks time is more than enough for Samsung to fix the software related issue.

‘NOTE: Samsung is *allowed* to sell the phones. The ban will be imposed *only* after seven weeks that too if Samsung fails to circumvent the minor patent.

What BBC did not highlight was that the court has rejected all of Apple’s claims related to the iPad. BBC also did not highlight that Samsung is free to sell its Galaxy Tab in Europe.

Meanwhile, over at another anti-FUD Web site, advice about patent defence is being given. “This likely won’t be everyone’s cup of tea,” states Professor Webbink, “but there is an interesting academic paper by Professor Colleen Chien of Santa Clara University School of Law entitled “Predicting Patent Litigation.” You can download a free copy of the paper here [PDF] on the Social Science Research Network.

“The paper is interesting because Prof. Chien identifies a number of objective markers that identify a patent as being more likely of being asserted in litigation than the general population of patents. The really useful aspect of her analysis is that many of these markers can be discerned prior to the patent actually being asserted.”

It is nice to see academia getting involved in such research because academics — unlike patent lawyers — do not speak for their patents-dependent wallet. They just work with the data they have and almost every time they just find that software patents are bad for the economy, competition, etc. There is a recent study on this.

The BBC was supposed to be different. Since it is funded by the public, it is supposed to be agenda-agnostic, but it is not. If it hires senior staff from Microsoft UK, it is only a matter of time before it become some anti-Linux propaganda machine at worst and one that totally ignores GNU/Linux at best (in reality it’s a mixture of both).

Shunning SUSE in FOSS and Linux Events

Posted in Microsoft, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 2:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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

Summary: The problem with SUSE promotion which transcends its own turf and how it might be worth dealing with this

According to some new posts, the Microsoft-sponsored SUSE is not just making events of its own but also has its representatives visit others. Basically, the SUSE bias is dangerous because its end goal is to promote SLE* (whether intentional or not), which is taxed by Microsoft and promotes the use of proprietary software from Microsoft, as we last showed this afternoon. Over the years (since 2006) we have covered many examples where SUSE took actions which directly harmed GNU/Linux but promoted SUSE, often at the expense of other distributions and not UNIX, Windows, or Mac OS. Who does that really help? And who is actually making money from SUSE? That would be Microsoft. The only suggestible thing that can counter this trend is the discouragement of SUSE promotion in any of the FOSS and Linux events. SUSE promotion is partly funded by Microsoft (there was recently another cash infusion). It is Microsoft that gains from all that. Avoid SUSE sponsorships (Microsoft money) and do not give it much room or positive exposure. That is all we can advise one does when setting up a conference.

Links 24/8/2011: Fedora 16 Alpha, South Korean Government Wants Own Free/Libre OS

Posted in News Roundup at 10:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • DELL D620 power usage (Win 7 vs Mint 11)

    I recently bought a JOEL Wattforbrugsmåler.

    My laptop, a Dell D620, has both Windows and Linux (Dualboot).
    I was curious to see whether there was any difference in power consumption during idle, so I decided to put my new device to use!

    I removed the battery from the laptop and plugged the charger into my power measuring device before I made sure Windows 7 was running up-to-date drivers, while Linux ran the default drivers.
    I then disabled all non-default services and removed any third-party programs from the startup. I booted into each os, let it run for some time (to make sure it was indeed idle) before turning on the clock.

  • Why have you switched to GNU/Linux?

    A long time ago when I was using Windows I realized that many applications were trying to constrain me from doing certain tasks. I was unable to play a certain format or had to install applications that I did not want on my system. I started to think critically as to why I am using Windows and if there is some kind of alternative that I could use instead. Prior to this, I used Mac OS but I knew that both operating systems are proprietary and want to limit the end user. I got tired of being manipulated to use a particular application and having bloatware already pre-installed on my computer. After searching the Internet for alternatives to Mac OS and Windows I found this really cool operating system that is called GNU/Linux.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • What GNOME Can Learn from KDE’s Recovery

      When users complain about GNOME 3, inevitably they compare its release to KDE 4.0′s. One KDE developer has told me that he dislikes the comparison, but, in the absence of other parallels, it continues to be made.

      However, one part of the analogy that hasn’t been explored is KDE’s recovery from its user revolt, and whether GNOME is in any position to emulate that as well.

      KDE’s recovery has not received much notice. It hasn’t been covered by the free software media. Often, too, it is overshadowed by those still loyal to the KDE 3 series, who continue to express their dissatisfaction at every opportunity.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Say No to Big Oil

        A 1,700-mile pipeline called the Keystone XL would carry crude oil from Canada’s Alberta tar sands to the Texas Gulf Coast. Calling it “a bad deal for America,” Sen. Bernie Sanders urged the Obama administration to reject the proposal. “Why in the world would we ever consider approving a new Big Oil pipeline to carry dirty fuel and keep America addicted to oil, when we could save money, create jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil by moving to stronger fuel economy standards?” Sanders asked. He made the case against the pipeline in a video for Tar Sands Action, an organization headed by Vermont environmentalist Bill McKibben. “The State Department will decide whether to approve or reject the pipeline by the end of the year,” The New York Times said in an editorial published on Monday. “It should acknowledge the environmental risk of the pipeline and the larger damage caused by tar sands production and block the Keystone XL.”

  • Distributions

    • First Look at Poseidon Linux, the Linux For Scientists

      Poseidon Linux is designed for the international scientific community, bundling a big batch of science-oriented software into a single live DVD, plus a batch of desktop productivity and multimedia applications. Poseidon 4.0 was just released with significant changes, so let’s take it for a test drive.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat considering NoSQL/Hadoop acquisition

        The article adds that Whitehurst would not specifically state whether Red Hat will or will not actually acquire anyone, as is to be expected, but the comments are the clearest indication yet that Red Hat sees value in a potential NoSQL acquisition.

        This is something that we have seen for some time, pointing out in May 2010 that “We have consistently noted that the database remains a missing layer in Red Hat’s software stack… and would see advantages in adding an open source NoSQL database to its portfolio to target MySQL users.”

      • Is Red Hat Interested in the Database Market?

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) is perhaps best known as the leading enterprise Linux vendor. While Linux is the core of Red Hat’s business, their JBoss middleware business is also a critical component of Red Hat’s overall platform play. As Red Hat gears up for its next era of growth, the most often asked question is: Where does Red Hat needs to go next? One potential area of expansion for Red Hat could be the database market.

        “If you think about what makes up a platform, what you’re seeing is that more and more components of functionality are getting sucked in,” Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst told InternetNews.com. “We basically have our data services layer. which tries to do some degree of data federation. Will there be more stuff around that? Certainly there will be.”

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 11 LXDE review

              Linux Mint is a desktop-centric distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop, and Linux Mint LXDE is the edition that uses the Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment (LXDE). The latest release, Linux Mint 11 LXDE, was released August 16, 2011. This article presents a review, the first for an LXDE-based Linux Mint edition on this website.

            • Zorin OS 3.1, the First Update for the LTS Distro, Is Here
  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Top Business-Minded Tablet? The Toshiba Thrive or the Apple iPad 2?

        However, the recently released Toshiba Thrive Tablet PC line is slowly beginning to make inroads into the business tablet application niche. With a “strictly business” approach to most of its features, and a huge focus on business apps, more businesses are turning to the Thrive as opposed to the iPad 2 or any other tablet for their business plans. The Thrive offers five separate home screens, one of which is loaded with Google contacts, LogMeIn remote access, the Google calendar, QuickOffice for business file access and Toshiba’s PrinterShare and FileManager apps. This is a perfect business suite of apps all in one place.

        The native file management Toshiba provides in the Toshiba Thrive tablet is also another business advantage. And though Toshiba’s App Place (apps store) does provide entertainment and gaming apps, it is definitely heavily slanted towards business-oriented apps and software, from enterprise-oriented apps developers such as Central Desktop.

      • Why The iPad 3 Is Irrelevant

        Apple’s success with the iPad 1 and 2 doesn’t guarantee success for the third. But this shouldn’t deter long term investors. Apple’s greatest capability is its unstoppable innovation force – the release of new product lines that overshadow the previous.

      • The Asus Transformer Is Now Available For $349 At Walmart

        Remember when the Asus Eee Pad Transformer was the hottest thing since Laserdisc? Remember when it was hailed as an iPad killer with its fancy IPS screen, low price and sweet name. Autobots, unite! Well, Walmart is currently selling it for $350, which puts it at the low-end of the Honeycomb tab price scale. Jokes aside, it’s actually a great deal for an Android tablet.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Lenovo Reinforces Strong Market Growth in Light of HP Woes

    Lenovo isn’t kicking HP while it’s down, but the company is taking this opportunity to let everyone know it’s doing just awesome, thanks very much. Lenovo released a statement regarding its status amid the uncertainty in the PC and tablet world. Here’s a brief highlight on the PC manufacturer’s status …

  • Cablegate

    • Audio: rare interview with Wikileaks’ Julian Assange

      In the interview, he spoke at length about information’s role in democracy, and how government censorship is sometimes an opportunity. “Censorship is a signal that an organization or a government is fearful about reform effects of information release,” he said.

Indian Voices Against Bill Gates’ Colonisation of the Country With Patents, Monopolies

Posted in Asia, Bill Gates, Patents at 8:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

India photo

Summary: India is ahead of Bill Gates’ game as his plot to profit by seeding the patents market through Africa and India (poor continent and nation) gets criticised even in the Economic Times

THE Gates Foundation — just like software patents — has become somewhat of a naked emperor. Despite spending a million dollars (or more) per day on mere PR which includes paying journalists, the more enlightened people manage to get their voices heard and occasionally those voices also enter the corporate/mainstream press, which must really piss off Bill Gates. The last thing he needs is for people to understand what he is really up to. It is hard to silence and suppress millions of blogs, although it is easy to bribe selected publications in the areas where he invests his money (we gave examples of those). Those who contradict such bribed sources can then be labelled out of line. It’s the manufacturing of fake consensus.

The Economic Times (India) has published the article “Dark side of giving: The rise of philanthro-capitalism”. It states the following facts:

For instance, the Gates Foundation’s sheer clout is taking it, intentionally or unintentionally, to places where policy, business and philanthropy intersect. There are its business and investment links with large companies that are driven by the profit motive. There is its growing stranglehold in the policy-making space across emerging markets, especially in education, healthcare and agriculture.

The $23.1-million investment by the Gates Foundation in Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of GM seeds, is a small example of a trend.

Civil society organisations see it as vindication of what they had always suspected: the unstated agenda of pushing GM crops into Africa. In recent times, though, following strident protests, Bill Gates appears to have tempered his views on agriculture; he talks about picking the best from organics and tech-driven agriculture.

The Gates Foundation’s insistence that its investments and grants ought to be seen separately has also attracted considerable flak. The question is asked: how can it be a ‘passive investor’ in companies such as Monsanto when its avowed goal is doing good with philanthropic monies? “Doubts about his (Bill Gates) larger motives, despite some good outcomes of his charity, are beginning to cloud my thinking,” concedes Mira Shiva, a public health activist. Two emails sent by ET to the Gates Foundation, on December 29 and March 22, went unanswered.

In his blog postings and writings, Eric Holt-Gimenez, director of the US-based Food First: Institute for Food and Development Policy, labels it ‘Monsanto in Gates’ clothing’.

For more about Gates’ relationship with Monsanto, just search this site for “Monsanto”. We have dozens of posts on this topic.

Dissident Voice too is raising concerns about that. From around the same time (as the article above):

Monsanto and other biotech corporations have been pushing to find new market footholds in collaboration with USAID, the US State Department and the Gates Foundation Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). According to Netline: “The collusion of the Gates Foundation with Monsanto Corporation is no accident, as high level officials leading AGRA are former Monsanto executives. The recent purchase by AGRA of $500,000 worth in Monsanto stocks was vivid proof of that close relationship. Despite many words by Gates officials since the inception of the AGRA agenda denying that GMO seeds would be used as part of AGRA, their close relationship with Monsanto has now been revealed to be a key element in their agronomic ‘new green revolution’ strategy.”

[...]

On 7 January 2007 Los Angeles Times published an investigation report on the activities of Gates Foundation in Niger Delta in Africa. Its staff Charles Piller, Edmund Sanders and Robyn Dixon wrote: “The Gates Foundation has poured $218 million into polio and measles immunization and research worldwide, including in the Niger Delta. At the same time that it is paying for inoculations to protect health, it has invested $423 million in Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total France—the companies responsible for most of the flares blanketing the delta with pollution, beyond anything permitted in the United States or Europe. A sampling of the Gates Foundation’s largest investments between $100 million and $1 billion: Abbott Laboratories, Archer Daniels Midland, British Petroleum, Canadian national Railway, Exxon Mobil, Freddie Mac, French Government, Japanese Government, Merck, Schering Plough, Tyco International, Waste Management… Indeed, local leaders blame oil developments for fostering some of the very afflictions that the foundation combats.”

The report in the LA Times points out, “Oil bore holes fill with stagnant water, which is ideal for mosquitoes that spread malaria, one of the diseases the foundation is fighting. Investigators for Dr. Nonyenim Solomon Enyidah, heath commissioner for Rivers State… cite an oil spill clogging rivers as a cause of cholera, another scourge the foundation is battling. The bright, sooty gas flares—which contain toxic byproducts such as benzene, mercury and chromium—lower immunity, Enyidah said, and make children more susceptible to polio and measles—the diseases that the Gates Foundation has helped to inoculate against.”

The Gates Foundation endowment had major holdings in:

* Companies ranked among the worst US and Canadian polluters, including ConocoPhilips, Dow Chemicals Co., and Tyco International;
* Many of the other major polluters, including companies that own oil refinery that cause sickness in children while the foundation tries to save their parents from AIDS;
* Pharmaceutical companies that price drugs beyond the reach of AIDS patients the foundation is trying to treat;
* This is “the dirty secret” of many large philanthropists, said Paul Hawken, an expert on socially beneficial investing who directs the Natural Capital Institute, an investment research group. “Foundations donate to groups trying to heal the future,” Hawken said in an interview, “but with their investments, they steal from the future.”

This report on Gates Foundation reminds me of Janus, a two-face Roman god. Janus was characterised by the blending of maleficent and beneficent. His one face represents war and the other peace.

Around the same time a blogger from India ranted:

THE BILL and Melinda Gates Foundation, a major donor in the health sector in India, has links with food and drug corporations including Coca- Cola, McDonald’s, Merck and Monsanto. These links constitute a conflict of interest to the foundation’s philanthropic work, reveals a new study published on Wednesday.

Several large grants that the foundation makes in developing countries, including India, are linked to companies in which the foundation has invested.

Its grants in the health sector may benefit leading pharmaceutical companies such as Merck and GlaxoSmithKline through partnerships to test or promote their drugs, points out the study by Sanjay Basu of the University of California and others in the journal PLoS Medicine . On his recent visit to India, Gates lobbied with the health ministry for the introduction of Merck’s rotavirus vaccine. The foundation is already funding acceptance studies related to another Merck product in India – the HPV vaccine. Tribal girls in Andhra Pradesh have died in the controversial trials.

[...]

The bias in the foundation’s investment in junk food companies is reflected in its grant pattern in the health sector.

It has given just three percent of its grants for noncommunicable diseases which experts feel are being fuelled by the consumption of junk food, among other factors, coming from Coca Cola and McDonald’s.

In fact, the foundation has given direct grants to Coca Cola subsidiaries that “ encourage communities in developing countries to become business affiliates of Coca- Cola”.

SELECTIVE PHILANTHROPY?

On his India visit, Gates lobbied for the introduction of Merck’s rotavirus vaccine.

Tribal girls in Andhra Pradesh have died in trials of Merck’s HPV vaccine, funded by his foundation

It has given just 3% grants for non- communicable diseases fuelled by consumption of junk food, including Coca Cola and McDonald’s ( left).

Only days ago we wrote about the special role of GlaxoSmithKline in the foundation, having had its head come from GlaxoSmithKline.

The bottom line is, more and more people are starting to get it. It’s like disdain for Novell and for software patents, which was well overdue. The illusions won’t last for long. People are not dumb enough.

Gates Monitor: April 2011 Press Distortion

Posted in Bill Gates at 8:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reality with a malicious twist

Red twist

Summary: Complaints and warnings about manipulation of stories about the Gates Foundation, courtesy of the Gates Foundation

THE PR/investment operation known as “Gates Foundation” has been up to no good, or almost no good.

As we noted some days ago, the New York Times had been accused even by its own people of asking Gates what to write. Now, watch another fluff/puff piece from the New York Times and another from the Huff & Puff, which features Gates himself. Huffington/AOL gives him a platform for self-promotion, as usual [1, 2, 3]. “This is hilarious,” remarks a moderate critic, “Bill Gates says he is going to research an issue and write a report. Is he an economist? Does he have expertise in development economics? When did Bill Gates last write a report?

“Bill Gates reads reports. He doesn’t write them. Who is really going to write it?”

As we have shown here before, Bill and his wife do not write their own material; they have speech writers who get no credit (the same speech writers who worked for politicians like the Clintons). The same critic reveals that Gates is funding the Kaiser site, which in turn showers the Gates Foundation with kisses. It’s all quite cyclic, is it not? It’s like a rich people’s party where they grant each other medals. Anyway, this whole reputation laundering gig is being disrupted by one who used to be exploited by the Gates Foundation, probably for PR purposes alone. In his more or less independent blog he reveals that Bill’s main reputation laundering person is now working for Madonna and he notes:

Actually, Neilson really got his start in philanthropy messaging working as the first media relations guy for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Before that, he handled media issues for the Seattle School District.

He left Seattle to go try his hand promoting a number of blue-ribbon philanthropy endeavors but ended up creating this new business Global Philanthropy Group, which appears to be largely focused on helping celebrities do philanthropy.

Like Bono's scam? Read the article closely to understand what Madonna is trying to do. It’s not charity, it’s agenda-pushing and she is spreading a bizarre religion under the veil of “charity” of course. There are several more stories like that, including celebrities who promote Scientology under the guise of “philanthropy”, sometimes exploiting disasters like an earthquake in Haiti as a convenient pretext.

In the next post we’ll be covering some of Gates’ own agenda, which is profit. His critic has some new self-hosted papers (PDF format), including this “peer-reviewed journal article about conflicts of interest and the Gates Foundation” and another which s/he explains as follows:

John Donelly funded by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Gates Foundation writing on “some independent journalism on global health” is like the blind leading the partially sighted.

The report asks a few good questions. Manufacturing consent is how the new news system works.

The critic likes to emphasise and show that those who criticise Gates get personally attacked (retribution), which is why s/he does not reveal his/her identity. I was recently defended by him/her because I too am regularly being defamed for merely pointing out the reality behind the Gates Foundation.

Potentially Illegal Exclusion of Free Software in European Governments

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software at 7:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

House of Lords

Summary: News from the UK and from Romania seems to suggest that there is unfair marginalisation of software the public can access and in Romania this may also be illegal

A few days ago in The Register, a criticism of the British government for ignoring Free/libre software was published. We included that in the daily links. But much better coverage comes from Mark Ballard, who alleges that the “Cabinet Office builds open source strategy on proprietary software”. Quoting his interpretation of the situation: “The Cabinet Office has chosen a proprietary software system to implement the keystone of its policy to create a level playing field for open source.

“They discovered the same problems that inspired Cabinet Office open source policy hindered their bidding for its own work.”
      –Mark Ballard
“Under pressure to fulfil the government’s election promise to eradicate systemic bias against open source software, the Cabinet Office rushed through a procurement for an asset register last month. But it raised hackles among open source suppliers it invited to bid. They discovered the same problems that inspired Cabinet Office open source policy hindered their bidding for its own work.”

When it comes to the public sector, we recently compared to the situation in the UK to that of Romania. A European Union-funded research site, OSOR, has caught up with the absurdities in Romania which seem like they may be illegally anti-competitive. To quote:

Experts on procurement involving open source software doubt the validity of a tender published by the Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) in July, in which it bans solutions based on open source licences. The ministry’s justification of the ban “seems to be odd and not convincing and that makes me wonder if it would stand in court”, comments for instance Mathieu Paapst, an open source and software procurement specialist at the Dutch university of Groningen.

“The ministry’s ban may reflect a lack of understanding of open source”, tentatively supposes Patrice-Emmanual Schmitz, a Brussel-based specialist on the European Union’s open source licence, the EUPL, working at IT firm Unisys (and one of the consultants involved in the OSOR). “It is a very surprising prohibition.”

This is probably not the end of it. Techrights got the attention (links) of many Romanians after it had posted a couple of articles about this issue. These issues must be pointed out in order for change to happen.

HP Falls Like a Rock and Microsoft Rejoices Amid Decline of HP’s Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, HP, Microsoft at 7:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nosediving after the software chief from Microsoft lets Linux die

Stairs

Summary: Not so long after Microsoft had called HP a competitive threat (in its SEC filings) for exploring Linux on the desktop, Hurd mysteriously got fired and his purchase of WebOS thrown down the ashtray, sending HP’s stock into a downward spiral

SEVERAL months ago we continued to comment about the departure of Hurd from HP. It happened under mysterious circumstances [1, 2, 3, 4]. A former Microsoft ally took his place after HP’s new software chief had been appointed from Microsoft.

There is something iffy about HP giving up on its Linux-based operating system which Hurd spent billions on. This was not taken too lightly by prominent bloggers, who wrote:

  1. Leo Apotheker’s HP never wanted webOS to succeed

    I liked webOS, HP’s Linux-based take on a tablet operating system. I thought it had a shot to be a tablet player. But, then, Leo Apotheker, HP’s new CEO, along with spinning off HP’s PC business, killed webOS. Was it because, as Apotheker said, the tablet effect is real and sales of the TouchPad are not meeting our expectations,” and that the TouchPad was quickly becoming a money pit? No, no it wasn’t.

    Yes, webOS and the TouchPad were doing badly on the market. But, so what? A company the size of HP doesn’t get out of the consumer PC market and new tablets and spin around on a dime because it can’t be as “as cool as Apple.” No, it does so because Apotheker and his cronies had planned for months to try to transform HP into their old company, SAP, and go head to head not so much with IBM, but his old sparring partner, Oracle.

  2. HP Can’t Afford to Abandon Mobile Now

    In the same year that Microsoft added cut and paste to its mobile feature set, HP added cut and run, announcing last week that it would no longer produce webOS hardware, then dumping its failed HP TouchPad tablet in a $99 fire sale. At the same time, the number-one PC maker signaled its intent to spin off, sell, and otherwise dump its Personal Systems Group—the division that makes all of its computers for business and consumer markets—within 12 to 18 months. Unless a buyer like Samsung is waiting in the wings already, that’s a long time to go without a mobile strategy.

Well, investors agree. They “flee HP” (see the chart):

Hewlett-Packard shares have slumped as investors respond to last week’s announcement of a radical shift in strategy.

From a high of US$32.59 on Thursday, shares fell to US$22.89 on Friday before closing at US$23.60.

Wow. And this made sense why exactly? Microsoft is already trying to sort of bribe WebOS developers away from Linux. The remaining units of TouchPad are getting a new life because the hardware is great and the price is very low. Both Ubuntu [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and TouchDroid [1, 2] are being made available for these devices that HP bought just to kill (after Hurd had been fired and Microsoft-friendly people put in charge). Guess who is happy about this whole deal? Microsoft booster Ed Bott is now comparing TouchPad to KIN, which is said to have sold only 503 units. Just before Hurd got canned Microsoft listed HP as a competitive threat on the desktop because HP was exploring GNU/Linux, even its own distributions of it.

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