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09.25.11

IRC Proceedings: September 25th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Windows Phone 7 Will Die With Silverlight

Posted in Microsoft, Vista, Windows at 11:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Danger sign for Microsoft

Summary: How Silverlight died and why it is highly probable that Microsoft will always fail in the mobile arena

OVER a year ago we explained the connection between Vista Phony 7 (WP7) and Silverlight. That was just before Silverlight died. What’s amazing is that a lot of people forget that the fall of Silverlight is a prelude to the fall of WP7. One loosely depends on the other.

Windows Mobile was a massive failure that cost Microsoft a lot of money before Sidekick and KIN injured Microsoft as well (Microsoft tried to hide those losses). Just like in search, Microsoft keeps swapping brands, always with the same outcome and the same amazing losses.

According to this, Microsoft may have started a disinformation campaign for WP7. To quote Christine: “I can’t swear this item is Microsoft FUD, but it sure smells that way. On Wednesday a writer on CNET’s Microsoft beat reported on a study released by NPD Group. Although the article is never quite clear on exactly what is being studied (unless I missed something – tell me), the point seems to be that lots of potential buyers just can’t wait to get their hands on Windows Phone 7. Again, I could be wrong, but this sounds like the beginning of some sort of Redmond financed campaign to me.”

Since it is based on XAML to an extent, its fate is closely related to that of Silverlight, whose own people say was “destined to fail”. Quoting the new blog post:

Why Silverlight was destined to fail and my time as one of its custodians.

[...]

Death of Silverlight is sad, but at the same time good. Yes I said it, as for years I’ve sat behind this product watching it grow in an amazing ways across the globe. It went from this science project existence that I remember saying it wouldn’t last through tot his highly competitive technology that had both Microsoft and Adobe at each other’s throats over.

The war between Adobe ended though and over time the technology become somewhat a questionable approach to solving a whole bunch of issues within the .NET community.

So how did we arrive at this point? Here’s my mini memoirs of my time at Microsoft and in the Silverlight Product Management / Evangelism space.

It’s a long read, but take some time to stick process it all. I’ve left out a whole heap of juicy crap, simply because it would turn into a novel!!! And you wouldn’t believe me if I wrote it anyway.

The failure of Silverlight will cascade down to other Microsoft products. Vista was supposed to make a lot out of XAML and it failed.

The Parallel Universe of Patent Lawyers

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 10:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Legal failure

O. J. Simpson

Summary: A look at several new items of interest and what they can teach us

TECHRIGHTS does not expect to be read by many patent lawyers. It would seem too insulting to them, not because of strong language but because patent lawyers have a different reality in their minds — one where they are necessary and even guardians of innovation.

We always see patent lawyers pretending to be part of the industry rather than parasites to those who drive the industry (the producing industry, not meta-industries). To monopolists, those patent lawyers do serve an important role. They are a guardian against competition. Their role is to narrow down the industry, removing choice, increasing fear, and contributing mostly to stress and waste of time. The assumption that if something is profitable then it must be good to society is very misguided. Almost equally misguided is the supposition that rich people always know better than the rest and that ruthlessness plays no part in one’s wealth (this aspect of the problem was explored in the previous post). In fact, the legal occupation is more about who argues better and has deeper pockets for better arguers/manipulators/dirt diggers; it’s not really about justice (case of point: O. J. Simpson). It’s biased towards money and in favour of one who already exploits others. So getting to the point though, the software industry does not need patent lawyers. Developers already have copyrights by default and disputes over copyrights are easier to resolve (even out of court) because the matter is not so blurry.

“The assumption that if something is profitable then it must be good to society is very misguided.”There is this one blog/magazine which is very shameless about its boosting of software patents. It’s called IAM and we pointed out its weaknesses in prior years. Here it is right now cheering the patent extortion business which works well for patent troll Acacia. And according to this patent maximalists’ blog, we should also belittle Bessen’s research [1, 2, 3] because, according to its stance, there are flaws. To quote: “On the Gametime IP blog Patrick Anderson takes Bessen, Ford and Meurer to task over their working paper, entitled The Private and Social Costs of Patent Trolls. Sadly, however, although Anderson does a very effective job, out there in the real world nobody is listening. Reports on the CNN Money, Washington Post, Business Insider and Ars Technica websites, among others, all report the findings uncritically. Now I think Anderson’s blog is among the best there is on patents, but how many people read it in comparison to those sites that I have mentioned? The fact is that, whether you like it or not, this paper is going to be very influential – just as Patent Failure, written by Bessen and Meurer in 2008 continues to be cited approvingly in countless reports and policy papers to this day; even though it too is deeply flawed.”

How are these “deeply flawed”? No details given, bot even a link/reference.

According to another patent lawyers’ blog, this one from Axel H. Horns, software patents are no longer up for debate in Europe. The German Pirate Party (sponsored in part by patents-loving company) is once again cited for support. Quoting the post:

After that the debate on software patents died down. A conference organised by the European Patent Office and held in Brussels on July 05, 2007, under the title “Computer-implemented inventions: where do we stand in the debate on ‘software patents’?” made perfectly clear that nowhere any intentions were living to re-start the legislative process to have a sectoral Directive on patentability of CIIs.

What the EPO has been doing in recent years is rather shameful. Its head left not too long ago, after she had opened a door to interpreting software patents as valid in Europe. Then again, the EPO is once of those establishments biased to serve patent supporters and be run by them, too.

Mike Masnick et al. are meanwhile “Petitioning The[ir] Government Against Software Patents,” according to this blog post which comes 2 weeks after the laughable ‘reform’:

Apparently I had missed that the White House set up a platform for people to petition it directly. A few folks have sent over a petition that was set up asking the administration to reject software patents, noting that they are hindering the software industry, one of the few “strong” industries in the US. The specific petition asks the government to stop issuing software patents… and to void all existing software patents.

Given the declining quality of patents, the USPTO should clearly address scope and not the nonsense about “first to file”. Getting rid of software patents would be a good start.

The Super-Rich Know Better

Posted in Bill Gates at 10:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Übermensch Incorporated

Superman

Summary: The Gates Foundation still wants to run the US schools system and decide which patents taxpayers should pay for

Over the past year we have mentioned TFA on numerous occasions because it is a front group to the Gates Foundation.

This group is said to have been nixed based on this teacher who writes: “Shortly after this approval by our school board, Bill Gates provided TFA, Inc. with $1M to open an office in the Puget Sound area.”

From the same blog we learn about a new front group though. According to this later blog post (titled “Stand for Children Stands for the Rich and the Powerful…”): “This video was taken at the Aspen Ideas Festival which is heavily funded by Bill Gates. Stand For Children’s Co-Founder Jonah Edelman explains how he, with the support of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Arne Duncan’s senior advisor Jo Anderson, out foxed the Chicago teachers’ union. [...] SFC received $4.5M last year from Bill Gates and $3M from wealthy donors for destroying the teachers’ union in Chicago. Substance News did an article in January about the wealthy who financed the big push to bust the unions in Chicago, see: Emanuel’s Billionaire donors also bankrolling Stand for Children, pushing union busting organizations in Illinois. Oregon, also, has been infected by the virus by way of Stand for Children as well as Texas.”

Not so long ago the New York Times tried to keep track of Bill Gates' AstroTurf in the education 'market'. It is troubling that a $500 billion per year market is becoming just a tool for super-rich people to indoctrinate (or “program”) many tens of millions of children at taxpayers’ own expense. They already control a lot of the corporate press, but in this case they make the programming obligatory (like the school system), so dodging that media won’t be enough. According to a Gates critic who is also an excellent journalist, “Media bashed at Pacific Health Summit; journalist told not to talk”. Here is the context:

So I stood up, jokingly introduced myself as “the media” and tried to ask the attendees to consider the possibility — based on a particular episode in India involving the HPV vaccine, Seattle-based PATH and the Gates Foundation, which I will write about later today — that maybe it isn’t just about educating or “guiding” journalists toward the light of truth.

Doesn’t anyone wonder why politicians, or celebrities for that matter, seldom rally much around the cause of vaccination? Why are vaccines a hard sell?

Why do we keep having these expert panel discussions with public health officials or medical researchers wringing their hands and complaining about being misunderstood? Is it really just because journalists are only interested in being sensational?

We are not at all with the anti-vaccination camp, but we are in the camp of those who allege that companies try to use their patent monopolies on particular vaccinations and then pressure the public — often using fear — to buy their merchandise in great and often excessive quantities. The benefits of many vaccinations are well understood, but what is wrong is a competition where so-called ‘charitable’ foundations that invest in particular companies (for profit) lobby politicians to buy the product of those very same companies. And guess who pays for these patents at the end? The public of course, via state tax or over the counter. Bill Gates usually just ‘seeds’ the ‘donations’ pot, which is basically not a monetary donation but just a licence to produce something which can be manufactured en masse anyway, very cheaply too. More people need to raise awareness about these issues.

Novell’s Mono is Not Dead Yet

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE at 10:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Banshee and Pinta rear their head again; no considerable changes in OpenSUSE

THE WORLD of Novell is a misty mixture of Microsoft and SUSE, .NET and Linux, even Microsoft tax on Free/libre software. The patent trap which is Banshee has a rather belated (and bloated) release (Banshee is a Novell project) and Pinta, a project conceived by a Novell developer, still helps spread Mono. After reports that it had died there was a call for volunteers to help save it and the program is said to have been resurrected. So there is still work to be done making Mono and Xamarin go away (back where they came from, Microsoft culture).

While things remain quiet in OpenSUSE (with few exceptions) and there are delays reported (as covered here twice before), it seems like the project opened up a bit to women:

At the openSUSE conference last week, Lydia Pintscher from the KDE Community Working Group led a BoF on “women in openSUSE”. This is what we (Stella, Bruno, Lydia, Pascal, Susanne, Greg) worked out…

This seems more like PR. OpenSUSE is most predominantly a male group and it is run almost exclusively by people who are employed by SUSE/Attachmate (formerly Novell) and partly funded by Microsoft. The community was not even part of the decision to bond with Microsoft.

Links 25/9/2011: Kernel.org Status, OpenShot 1.4

Posted in News Roundup at 5:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • No Brass Ring on HP’s CEO Carousel
  • Analysis: Whitman’s Tenure At HP Must Include Open-Source Investment

    Of all the priorities Meg Whitman now must face as Hewlett-Packard’s CEO — and HP has many priorities — deep and long commitment to open-source technology must be near the top of the list.

    HP’s software business is simply not a strength for the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company — whether it’s on the desktop, the server, the data center or in the cloud. Perhaps the best piece of software that comes from HP is its Universal Print Driver, which is actually a powerful piece of software but not exactly positioned in the IT industry’s growth areas.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Could Be Headed Toward First Loss Since Financial Crisis

      Growing concerns about the weakness of economic growth around the world are increasingly dimming prospects for American financial institutions, amplifying risks of spiraling troubles.

      Even Goldman Sachs, the well-known investment bank, now could be headed toward recording its second quarterly loss in a dozen years — its first quarterly loss since the financial crisis — according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. The bank’s lower earnings prospects have been taken by experts as a sign that Goldman is pulling back from taking risks. In the immediate term, a cutback in financial activity by Goldman and other banks is likely to drag on the struggling American economy, as more businesses and consumers find it harder to secure credit needed to make purchases.

    • The men who crashed the world

      Lack of government regulation; easy lending in the US housing market meant anyone could qualify for a home loan with no government regulations in place.

      Also, London was competing with New York as the banking capital of the world. Gordon Brown, the British finance minister at the time, introduced ‘light touch regulation’ – giving bankers a free hand in the marketplace.

    • The Social Contract

      Meanwhile, over the same period, the income of the very rich, the top 100th of 1 percent of the income distribution, rose by 480 percent. No, that isn’t a misprint. In 2005 dollars, the average annual income of that group rose from $4.2 million to $24.3 million.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

IRC Proceedings: September 24th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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