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10.07.11

Links 7/10/2011: KDE SC 4.7.2, Thunderbird 8 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 5:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE SC 4.7.2 Is Available for Download

        The KDE team proudly announced last evening, October 5th, the second maintenance release for the KDE Software Compilation 4.7 environment.

        KDE Software Compilation 4.7.2 is a version that is focusing on fixing last-minute bugs and finishing the required documentation and translations.

  • Distributions

    • IPFire open source firewall gets ARM port

      The IPFire project development team has announced the first beta release of an ARM port of version 2.11 of its open source firewall. IPFire is a Linux server distribution that can be booted from a CD or USB drive, or installed to a computer’s internal drive.

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • FlashSoft Extends SSD Support To Linux
    • Qbo open-source robot gets Android control app

      What if you had a robot that could roll around the office, speak with your coworkers, and act as your eyes and ears when you’re 10,000 miles away? How about if that robot’s control system was simply an Android app you could download for free? We’ve been covering the open source Qbo robot project for quite some time now, and this is without a doubt probably the most awesome advancement the project has made in its relatively short history – if you ask your narrator, that is. You must simply download the app, identify yourself and connect, then control away!

    • Phones

      • Android

        • ACRyan Veolo Android Mediaplayer

          ACRyan known from its bestseller Linux based mediaplayer, the PlayonHD now introduces an Android based mediaplayer, the Veolo.

        • Sony Itches to Return to Mobile Arms Race

          In a sign of the central role smartphones will play in its future consumer-electronics strategy, Sony Corp. is nearing a deal to buy out Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson’s stake in their mobile-phone joint venture, people familiar with the matter said.

        • Ice Cream Sandwich to launch next week

          A placeholder video on the official Android developers channel.

          Google is expected to serve up Ice Cream Sandwich–the newest version of Android–on Tuesday at the Samsung Unpacked event in San Diego.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Eight-inch Android 2.3 tablet sells for $229

        Pandigital SuperNova announced an eight-inch Android 2.3 tablet that costs just $229 and offers one-stop access to Barnes & Noble’s eStore. The SuperNova offers a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, 4GB internal storage, a seven-inch, 800 x 600 screen, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity, says the company.

      • Lubuntu Gives You A Full-Fledged Desktop On Your Netbook

        I bought my netbook hoping it would be the perfect portable companion for those quick jobs when I’m out and about — like updating one of my posts, or touching base with my boss without using my phone. The problem is, those “quick” jobs seemed to take ages on the netbook. Starting up Firefox in Windows seemed to take forever, and forget about opening multiple tabs. Even on Ubuntu, everything moved a little more sluggish than I’d like. Sure, netbooks are always going to be a little bit slower, but when they move at the speed of molasses, it seems to defeat the entire purpose of having one.

      • HP Investigating Android TouchPad Shipments
      • HP Investigates Android TouchPads

        HP is investigating how several TouchPads reportedly shipped to end users running Android, instead of webOS.

        Shortly after HP announced it would stop selling TouchPads and began offering the remaining tablets for US$99, reports surfaced from a few users who say they received TouchPads that run Android instead of HP’s webOS software. At the same time, developers have been working on porting Android to the TouchPad, since it’s uncertain how much support and development HP will dedicate to webOS in the future.

      • HP Claims Someone Snuck Android Onto Its TouchPads, Opens Investigation

        With the TouchPad’s fire sale, which saw units selling for as little as $88 USD, the short-lived Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) webOS tablet is chic again. Given that webOS, appears on its last legs in terms of support from HP, developers are rushing to port Google, Inc.’s (GOOG) Android OS to the device to extend its lifetime.

      • India’s Small Cheap Tablet PC Arrives

        They are at 100K units per month and they need millions to reach 220million children.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why Do Volunteers Write Better Code?

    Volunteers write better code, and maintain it better. At least that’s what Michael Meeks, SUSE’s desktop architect and senior LibreOffice developer says.

  • Free and open-source text editors for devs
  • SOGo 2.0: open source groupware with Outlook connectivity

    The SOGo developers have released the first beta of version 2 of their open source groupware solution. The most significant new feature is native support for Microsoft Outlook: the developers say that Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010 can connect directly to SOGo as if it were an Exchange server, without the need for additional plug-ins; this is achieved through the use of the SOGo OpenChange middleware.

  • Does “open storage” put the hardware factor into open source?

    OpenStorage provider Nexenta Systems is aiming to use its forthcoming appearance at VMworld Europe later in October to showcase VMware’s so-called ‘Hands on Lab’ (HOL) demos. The company will be at pains to convince attendees that its open storage concepts can deliver “enterprise performance for a fraction of the cost of traditional, legacy storage solutions”, so is there substance behind these claims?

    Nexenta’s HOL, classified as a true public cloud, will aim to emulate what was achieved at VMworld US where the company ran four out of eight HOL vertical application areas for the duration of the show.

  • Opening the Door to Innovation

    The link between open innovation and open source has long been documented. That there is a significant correlation is obvious and not arguable, but to what extent is there causation? And in what direction?

    Open innovation describes a process, whereas open source — as well as its predecessor, free software — has traditionally described a product or end result. The ultimate determination of whether a software project qualifies as open source is the license under which it is released.

  • Events

    • Embedded Linux Conference Europe features Torvalds, free LinuxCon Europe pass

      The Linux Foundation and CE Linux Forum announced a schedule for the Embedded Linux Conference Europe (ELCE), set to take place Oct. 26-28 in Prague. Co-located with LinuxCon Europe, ELCE 2011 offers 50 presentations on Linux and Android — including projects such as Genivi, Yocto, Linaro, and possibly Tizen — plus speakers ranging from Linus Torvalds to Intel’s Dirk Hohndel.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla releases Thunderbird 8 Beta

        Mozilla has published the first beta of version 8.0 of the open source Thunderbird news and email client. Compared to previous Thunderbird version updates, the development release offers very few changes, some of which focus on add-ons. According to the Releases wiki, it will arrive in a stable production-ready form on 8 November.

  • SaaS

    • Who Wrote Hadoop? It’s the Community, Stupid

      One of the questions that comes up frequently in open source projects is “who’s contributing to this thing?” For single-company efforts like MySQL, it’s usually pretty obvious where the bulk of contribution is coming from. But for projects like the Linux kernel or Hadoop, a little digging is in order. The problem with measuring contributions to projects is it’s not trivial figuring out how to credit contributions from individuals as they move from one company to another. Consider, for instance, the question of who really wrote Hadoop. Hint: It’s not just Yahoo and Hortonworks, as some might have you believe.

    • OpenStack: We Are The Open Cloud Alternative

      OpenStack will be the open alternative to proprietary cloud players, the open-source cloud initiative’s driving forces said Thursday at the OpenStack Conference in Boston.

      And as the Rackspace-led OpenStack open-source cloud initiative moves headlong into its second year and experiences a groundswell of interest and participation within its community, 2012 is the time to “think bigger” and prove itself as the open alternative.

    • HP: ‘We’re Completely Committed To OpenStack’

      HP’s cloud strategy will rely heavily on its participation in OpenStack open source cloud community, the tech titan said Thursday at the OpenStack Conference in Boston.

      “We are completely committed and on-board with OpenStack,” said John Purrier, HP’s vice president of cloud infrastructure, at the event.

    • New Chef Cookbooks Developed With Dell and Rackspace

      Opscode Chef Cookbooks is a software tool designed to help deploy core components of the newly released version of the OpenStack open source cloud computing platform, codenamed “Diablo.” In collaboration with Dell and Rackspace, Opscode says it developed Chef Cookbooks to address automation and management of OpenStack.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Leading Open Source in the Community College

      But Belarmino, who retired Oct. 1, pointed to his institution’s commitment to open source as its single most significant move under his leadership. It was just seven years ago when he and his president at the time, Raul Rodriguez, decided that in order for the college to best leverage technology to support the institution’s mission, it should join with other leading institutions in the community source model.

  • Semi-Open Source

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Intellectual worlds collide at ‘indie spirit’ Open Source Project cafe

      It’s no wonder Open Source Project cafe attracts hipsters, jocks, DJs, graffiti artists, techies, chess savants and coffee connoisseurs. An eclectic clientele is to be expected when a Tempe singer and painter with a penchant for mosh-pit dancing, a former Scottsdale resident with a business degree, and a global-studies student earning a living as a coffee barista decide to go into business together.

      Open Source Project is the brainchild of Tempe native and musician/painter Ryan Gentry, 35, and Michael Witham, 26, an Arizona State University W.P. Carey School of Business graduate. After graduating last year, Witham decided to move to Tempe to open his dream business.

    • Open Access/Content

Leftovers

  • We Are All New Immigrants to the Hyperconnected World

    “We all have to bring something extra in this hyperconnected world,” were Tom’s parting words to the THINK Forum audience. In the end, the fundamental question we all need to wrestle with is whether the US is slowly but surely on the way down, or whether it can arrest its decline, recapture its immigrant heritage and bring whatever something extra is needed to lead in our emerging hyperconnected world.

  • Security

    • Stanford Hospital Data Breach Exposes 20,000 Patient Records

      A medical data breach exposed the 20,000 private medical records of emergency room patients at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. incorporating detailed information such as names, diagnosis code and discharge dates.

      Altogether the leaked information included patient names, diagnosis codes, account numbers, admission and discharge dates and billing information for patents at Stanford Hospital’s emergency room during a six-month period in 2009, according to The New York Times.

      The hospital confirmed the breach to CRN, but could not immediately provide details.

  • Finance

    • Too big to fail is too big
    • Obama Flip-Flops Off Trade Cliff

      Apparently, Obama has a plan for winning re-election that does not involve Ohio… oh, and he is tired of talking about job CREATION.

      Yesterday, after months of seeming ambiguity about whether to really take ownership of the three job-killing, Bush-signed, NAFTA-style Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, he sent them to Congress for approval. Keep in mind that even the official U.S. International Trade Commission studies show that the Korea deal, the most economically significant since NAFTA, will increase our trade deficit. It’s projected to cost 160,000 jobs — many in the jobs of the future categories like high-speed trains, solar, computers etc.

    • Senate vote on free-trade deals may happen next week, Reid says

      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday that he is hopeful the Senate will vote next week on proposed free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.

      “In spite of my not feeling so strong about these — I’m not a big fan of these matters — I’m doing my best to advance this so we can have a vote; hopefully as early as Wednesday of next week,” he said on the Senate floor.

    • United in Disdain for Dodd-Frank, Wall Street Is Split on the Details

      While the biggest rivals on Wall Street share a common disdain for new constraints on financial risk-taking, they’re fighting over exactly how to tame the sprawling regulatory overhaul.

    • Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan: ‘A right to make a profit’

      Under fire from President Barack Obama, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan defended his company’s new $5 monthly fee on debit cards, arguing that “we have a right to make a profit.”

      “I have an inherent duty as a CEO of a publicly owned company to get a return for my shareholders,” Moynihan said in an interview with CNBC’s Larry Kudlow at the Washington Ideas Forum.

    • The 4 Trillion Euro Fantasy

      Some officials and former officials are taking the view that a large fund of financial support for troubled eurozone nations could be decisive in stabilizing the situation. The headline numbers discussed are up to 2-4 trillion euros – a large amount of money, given that German GDP is only 2.5 trillion euros and the entire eurozone GDP is around 9 trillion euros.

    • Short list of articles on Occupying XX

      Mark Engler, Five Things That #OccupyWallStreet Has Done Right

      Micah Sifry, #OccupyWallStreet: There’s Something Happening Here, Mr. Jones.

      Mike Konczal, Understanding the Theory Behind Occupy Wall Street’s Approach

      Doug Henwood, The Occupy Wall Street non-agenda

      Glenn Greenwald, What’s behind the scorn for the Wall Street protests?

    • Obama to GOP: Act on jobs or get run out of town

      A combative President Barack Obama challenged a divided Congress on Thursday to unite behind his jobs bill or get ready to be run “out of town” by angry voters. Hoping to use public frustration and economic worry as leverage, he called his proposal an insurance plan against a painful return to recession.

      In a news conference long on restatements of his ideas, Obama laid bare the dynamic that now is Washington: The era of compromise is over.

    • Obama acknowledges Wall Street protests as a sign

      Concerns over Wall Street practices and economic inequality that have led to sit-ins and rallies in New York and elsewhere reverberated up to the White House on Thursday, with President Barack Obama saying the protesters are expressing the frustrations of the American public.

      Thousands of protesters, including many in union T-shirts, marched the day before in lower Manhattan, joined by labor leaders who say they will continue to support the protests with manpower and donations of goods and services.

    • Obama calls Wall Street protests an expression of the public’s frustration

      Concerns over Wall Street practices and economic inequality that have led to sit-ins and rallies in New York and elsewhere reverberated up to the White House on Thursday, with President Barack Obama saying the protesters are expressing the frustrations of the American public.

    • Michael Bloomberg tells Occupy Wall Street protesters to lay off banks

      New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg slammed the Occupy Wall Street protesters on Friday, saying their attacks on banks could harm one of the city’s major employers.

    • Obama: Wall Street rally reflects frustration

      US President Barack Obama has said that the “Occupy Wall Street” protests in New York and other US cities reflect “broad-based frustration” among Americans with how the US financial system works.

    • Labor Unions To Participate in Occupy Wall Street
    • Occupy Wall Street Has No ‘Message’, But It Has A Reason

      One of the most well-rehearsed axioms of the Occupy Wall Street event is that “the media does not know how to talk about it,” and, as a result, is talking about it to as minimal an extent as is possible. Fortunately for the occupation’s supporters, their presence is getting harder and harder to ignore. And so the media’s problem is slowly but steadily becoming the nation’s problem.

  • Copyrights

    • Copyright discourages innovation, the more the worse

      He writes in response to PETER DECHENEY’s piece which provides details on US trade agreements and legislation that extend copyright to foreign copyrighted works that had not previously been covered as they were in the public domain and the period of copyright by another 20 years link here. Yglesias point was a simple one: that so much of what is produced in the arts is derivative (i.e., it has a hard time being anything else), covering more and more works with copyright greatly complicates and raises the cost of producing new works you have to get “rights” or permission at cost in both time and money.

    • Chaos feared after Unix time-zone database is nuked

      The internet’s authoritative source for time-zone data has been shut down after the volunteer programmer who maintained it was sued for copyright infringement by a maker of astrology software.

      David Olson, custodian of the Time Zone and Daylight Saving Time Database, said on Thursday he was retiring the FTP server he’s long maintained. Also known as the Olson database, it’s the official reference Unix machines use to set clocks to local time and is used by countless websites and applications to reconcile time differences across the world.

    • ACTA

Steve’s Job

Posted in Apple at 1:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Jobs

Summary: The king of showmanship remembered, but with a factual look at his achievements, not hype

STEVE JOBS was a very successful capitalist. He helped create a company that made a lot money.

Sure, the iPhone 4S is a sign of stagnation and more of Apple’s usual delusion, deception, media hype, and reality distortion field, but Steve himself did a very good job after he had rejoined Apple. By the word “good” we mean effective, profitable. See my thoughts on Apple (video) and why the company was in fact unethical. Whether it was Jobs’ decision to make those final decisions is not an issue we ought to go into because there is too much uncertainty there. Only people deep inside the company can shed light on these issues. We have some wiki pages about Apple to provide some more background information on some of these issues.

Apple’s outrageous software patents have not gone away along with Mr. Jobs. A day after his death we read that “Steve Jobs Patents OS X Dock Day Before his Death”. To quote: “A search at the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) site reveals 312 issued Apple patents where Jobs was one of the listed inventors; 269 of these of these were design patents, which cover ornamental design aspects of some device. (A search leaving Apple out found 317 patents issues to Jobs, implying he also filed a few patent applications in the years he was not at Apple.) There appear to be dozens more pending patent applications filed in Jobs’ name, as well.”

Those were not innovations. Those were design monopolies. Many of those are not deserved due to prior art and generality. We saw these in the courtroom. Apple needed to doctor evidence (lie) to fool judges.

Richard Stallman’s comment on Steve Jobs’ death is polite and direct. He wrote in his political blog that “Steve Jobs, the pioneer of the computer as a jail made cool, designed to sever fools from their freedom, has died.

“As Chicago Mayor Harold Washington said of the corrupt former Mayor Daley, “I’m not glad he’s dead, but I’m glad he’s gone.” Nobody deserves to have to die – not Jobs, not Mr. Bill, not even people guilty of bigger evils than theirs. But we all deserve the end of Jobs’ malign influence on people’s computing.

“Unfortunately, that influence continues despite his absence. We can only hope his successors, as they attempt to carry on his legacy, will be less effective.” [source]

Stallman summed it up quite well. Steve Jobs’ legacy was also mentioned by Jamie Love, who noted that:

Jobs was willing to build his newer products on free open source software and then use proprietary extensions and standards and patent litigation to marginalize free software. He was quite good at turning the operating system and applications into a store to buy things from Apple.

Over at Slated.org we found much harsher words about Jobs, including the following observations:

But no, it wasn’t Gandhi, nor indeed anyone of even the slightest nobility. It was a patent extortionist with an apparent objection to altruism, called Steve Jobs. Even El Presidente fawned over this selfish racketeer, like he was the new messiah, or something…

[...]

According to the CIA World Factbook, 160,521 people die every day. Steve Jobs was just one of them.

I bet very few of the other 160,520 people who died that day ever made sinister threats to ‘go after’ an altruistic software project like Theora, or ran around suing everyone for making ‘rounded rectangles’ and ‘green phone icons’. I bet they also donated a helluva lot more to charity than Jobs too, given that he apparently had some kind of objection to it, which is sort of like having an objection to love and compassion. Or how about the time Jobs bribed the police to act like they were his private security agency, to kick down the front door to a journalist’s home, seize his property and interrogate him like a criminal, just because of some crap iGadget accidentally lost by an Apple employee, after that journalist had already voluntarily contacted Apple and returned it to them?

So given the sort of monster Steve Jobs was, witnessing the spectacle of everyone from Joe Blogs to El Presidente gushing over him, like a bunch of schoolgirls at a rock concert, is absolutely sickening.

[...]

As for being a ‘visionary’ … the only ‘vision’ Jobs ever had was the one he nicked from Xerox PARC. From that point forward he made a career out of shamelessly stealing others’ ideas, shoehorning them into shiny but otherwise dysfunctional and DRM-infested toys, then branding an Apple logo on them (ironically also nicked, from the Beatles). And then to add insult to plagiarism, Jobs fraudulently stamped his ‘IP’ seal on those ‘shamelessly stolen’ ideas, then embarked on a hypocritical and vicious rampage of litigation. How’s that for gratitude? Add that to the litany of virtues Jobs didn’t subscribe to.

Paula Rooney chose another approach by doing PR for Mr. Jobs, essentially openwashing him. Her colleague did something similar. In a more respectful post from SJVN and from Muktware we find an openwashed Jobs whose relationship with FOSS is at least being described as “complicated”. To quote:

For whatever reason, Apple holds its secrets in a death grip. When new products are rolled out, developers are threatened with being removed from the program if they leak any information. Obviously, this seems over the top when you’re used to open source development and the collaboration that comes along with it.

Mr. Jobs was using patent monopolies to manipulate this market, so here at Techrights we stopped being apathetic towards Apple some time last year (after Apple had filed a lawsuit against HTC). Here is what Mr. Pogson wrote about the disinformation we keep seeing in the media:

I am being inundated with wild claims of fans of Steve Jobs about how wonderful he was. The facts are a different patchwork:

* He invented the PC – Nope. Not even close. I still have a working PC from 1980. The Macintosh did not emerge until 1984.
* He invented the GUI – Nope. Not even close. He got the idea from Xerox who got it from … I was using crude GUIs in the 1970s and they were old then.
* He inspires inventors – Nope. Many inventive people don’t even bother because some bully like Apple will sue them for inventing something.

And about the attack on Android he wrote:

The issues of patents is a house of cards soon to fall under its own weight. Samsung and Apple are in a mutually assured destruction battle and the same will happen to all the players unless patents are kicked out of software.

We wrote about this case earlier and also mentioned the likely demise of iPhone with the 4S. Apple has just lost a symbolic figure, not just a number or a brand.

People die every day. Over a hundred thousand of them. Even a celebrity dies every day, but we are not seeing press releases from the White House issues for each one of them. What troubles us is that the death of a person not only became a media feeding frenzy (they are trying to monetise this death) but also an opportunity for revisionism because nobody is willing to say negative things about a person who has just died. Here at Techrights we care about what’s true, not just what’s PC (politically correct). Jobs and Apple — like Gates and Microsoft — were copiers of other people’s great ideas. They admitted this. So let’s not give more credit than deserved just because of a tragic and undeserved death.

Halliburton in a War With European Patent Law

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Halliburton

Summary: Notorious occupier and military contractor Halliburton helps legitimise USPTO-style software patents in Europe

IF patent monopolies granted by the USPTO have their enforcement expand to international scope, then a form of imperialistic growth (for multinationals) gets better reinforced and further facilitated. There is nothing to be gained from software patents (granted in the US) coming to other nations, unless one is a patent lawyer or major monopolist that hires patent lawyers. The public seems to have already grasped that, but those who lobby politicians are not representatives of the public. There is a parallel universe of special interests and parasitical operations that justify their own existence by ‘selling’ and ‘buying’ so-called ‘intellectual property’, as can be seen in some new press release. Intellectual monopolies do not exist to serve the public, just as the copyright debate is steered almost solely by corporations with copyrights (see this new video from Larry Lessig).

Yesterday we wrote about Halliburton doing its thing in the UK, adding to its notoriety also on a litigious dimension. According to this new article’s headline, “Halliburton wins appeal on software patentability issue” and to quote the opening paragraphs: “One of the world’s largest providers to the global oil and gas industry, Halliburton, has won an important appeal hearing in the UK overturning a previous decision on its simulation software.

“According to Withers & Rogers, the decision makes it possible for businesses to obtain patent protection in the UK for various computer implemented design and simulation tools, amongst other things, which may have previously been blocked by some specific UK exclusions.”

Absolutely outrageous.

“On a caselaw basis they arguably legitimise software patents in Europe.”Software patents in the EU have been a concern in recent years primarily due to a decision on Symbian in the UK and then some decisions in Germany (we covered all of these on numerous occasions). On a caselaw basis they arguably legitimise software patents in Europe.

It is being reported right now that following Apple’s appeal to a trolls-friendly court (based on Germany) that it should block imports of some Android devices, Samsung is in fact fighting back:

The latest iPhone is at the centre of controversy already – the day after it was unveiled.

Technology firm Samsung is planning legal action to stop Apple selling it in two European countries and it has received a lukewarm reception from experts.

The iPhone 4S looks identical to the previous iPhone 4 and shares its glass front and back and trademark stainless steel band, but has a new more powerful A5 chip inside and potentially revolutionary voice recognition software.

Apple fans will conveniently ‘forget’ who started this and perhaps even accuse Samsung (one of the top European patentors) of being “aggressive”. With or without lawsuits, iPhone 4S is too little, too late.

EU Patent Failing to Materialise, But EPO and Politicians Begin to Overstep Their Line of Authority to Intervene

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Belgium and flags

Summary: A couple of reports about the proposed system which threatens software developers and several observations about these

The attack from multinationals on Europe comes in many forms. But one of those forms that we herein concentrate on is the EU Patent, which is just a euphemistic way to imply expansion of corporate power over the people.

Axel H. Horns, a patent lawyer, has been inadvertently useful when it comes to antagonism against the EU Patent (which he actually seems to be advocating for, due to his profit motive). He now reports on lack of compatibility:

Hence, some work on the text of Brussels I appears to be necessary in order to properly implement the UPC.

Also with regard to the other parts of the acquis as examined, technical problems need to be resolved.

If all these issues are not sorted out properly right now, the real life practice of the UPC might later on become sort of a complex nightmare with numerous difficult legal problems waiting to be resolved by the Courts. The UPC is meant to provide more legal certainy; if the complex clockwork of Treaties, Regulations and Conventions isn’t adjusted properly, the EU Patent with unitary effect might fail in practice.

Excellent. That is what all European citizens should want. The more compartmentalised monopolies remain, the better. Ideally, those patent monopolies should mostly be dismantled as they impede progress , all for the enrichment of very few individuals.

“EPO continued to lobby the EU over the Unitary Patent, a non-EU international instrument,” writes/quotes Benjamin Henrion (FFII)
based on this new article from IPWatch that says:

The head of the European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services today renewed their commitment to introduce a unitary EU patent, which they say would significantly ease workloads and reduce costs for patent applicants.

The effort is considered a compromise after the Commission was unable to get a full EU-wide patent several years ago. The Commission issued a proposal for a unitary patent in April (IPW, European Policy, 13 April 2011). The governments of Spain and Italy filed their opposition to the idea this summer (IPW, IP Live, 7 July 2011).

The EPO press release follows:

The President of the European Patent Office (EPO), Benoît Battistelli, met with European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, Michel Barnier, at the EPO headquarters in Munich today to discuss the planned introduction of a unitary patent aimed at improving the European patent system to better serve the needs of European industry. They also discussed the progress of the automatic translation system for patents, which is currently being developed in the EPO.

The visit by the EU delegation also included two Members of the European Parliament, Eva Lichtenberger and Cecilia Wikström.

Bad Boy Barnier (whom we mentioned days ago and also here, here, here, here and here) is still doing his lobbying, proving yet again who he is serving. Spain and Italy should be commended for their firm stance on this issue. The most disturbing thing, based on the above text, is that people who oughtn’t intervene in such a process do intervene, often in some rather disturbing ways.

“The most disturbing thing, based on the above text, is that people who oughtn’t intervene in such a process do intervene, often in some rather disturbing ways.”Europe does not need software patents and it does not need a unified patent system that facilitates those. Those patents are, by their very nature, absurd and moreover, as we pointed out before, Oracle’s case is dissipating a bit, one patent (or several) at a time yielding just about nothing but a total waste of time and money. Not so bad for patents lawyers, eh? Their clock is ticking and the register is ka-chinging.

It ought to be added that a few hours ago one of our readers from Belgium wrote: “After my visit to the single market forum in Krakow my trust in (EU) politicians and there guests were even more squeezed.

“Member of the panel Dr. Katarzyna Lasota Heller freelance lawyer/lobbyist claimed to be IP specialist but refused to answer my questions about the benefits to small businesses. Her goal is clear since she answers that patents will be more easy to gain as she runs away agitated.

“Only Waldemar Pawlak, vice premier Poland managed to give a more stupid speech than Van Quickenborne (B) the well known puppy of De Gucht senior by giving a fired up speech on IP giving Wikipedia as example.”

Apologies for the strong language and relatively weak English. The comment was at least informative and important.

Microsoft Increases Linux Tax Using Its Own Mole, Likewise

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Samba at 12:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Likewise as Microsoft

Summary: More Linux patent tax, this time courtesy of a company closely tied to Microsoft (as part of the campaign to generate more FUD, in numeric form)

THE MONOPOLIST from Redmond is part of a chain of companies, some of which are some kind of spinoffs.

Former Microsoft employees tend to use the skills they acquired at Microsoft to further perpetuate the Microsoft mindset (which is why many in the Mono community have Microsoft connections or roots, but that’s a story for another day). Likewise, for example, is part of the Microsoft group. Its managers, the people who came from Microsoft, have been spreading Microsoft APIs for several years now, for a fee.

Likewise is not new to us and we already have a wiki page about it. It is trying to compete with projects like Samba, offering for a fee what people can get for free.

Likewise never hid its Microsoft ties, but the Microsoft boosters promote its latest kissing affair with Microsoft as “Linux patent deal”, which is shameful reporting that helps Microsoft spread FUD. See the following:

Likewise, a software platform provider for identity, security and storage, has signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft, adding Likewise to the list of companies on Microsoft’s Linux patent-protection list.

The licensing agreement with Microsoft will affect Linux and Unix-based Network Attached Storage devices and provide Microsoft Server Message Block protocol support for Windows Server 8.

This is more Microsoft PR and an attempt to scare companies that use Linux. The source of the article was previously funded by Microsoft and the deceiving case of ‘reporting’ this placement of “Linux tax” inside companies is another case of collaborating with market manipulation and extortion. We have seen more of that recently. Journalists like these should be smashed of themselves.

The reality of the matter is that the press should receive a lot of flak for playing along with extortionist companies, which essentially ‘normalises’ this behaviour and makes readers accustomed to it. To give another new example, it is ridiculous headlines like “How I’m protecting my software IP with a patent” that further do damage by calling code “technologies” (illusion of physical existence). It is a very weak piece that neglects to account for copyright as the reasonable option and it makes software patents seem essential for small businesses (this could not be further from the truth). Journalists who are doing this deserve to be criticised because they do a massive disservice to the public. Some of them justify this by painting the articles “interviews” or pointing to FUD-inspiring “press releases” to pass liability. We shall write more about patent lobbying and myths in the next couple of posts.

Weeks After Google Buys Part of Motorola Microsoft’s Patent Troll Sues Motorola

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 12:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold

Summary: The extortion racket run by Microsoft’s former CTO terrorises and then sues Motorola, which has given Microsoft reasons for concern recently

THE ISSUE which is Microsoft patent trolls has been covered here for years. It is a well established fact that Microsoft is using entities other than itself to raise the price of Linux (which is otherwise free). Microsoft got caught doing this before and with some of Microsoft’s own employees setting up operations like Intellectual Ventures, it is abundantly clear that we cannot confine ourselves to just Microsoft when looking at the actions of the Microsoft Movement. According to IDG’s Microsoft booster, Microsoft’s largest patent troll has been harassing Motorola using patents and is now suing:

Patent licensing company Intellectual Ventures has set its sights on Motorola with a new lawsuit charging the handset maker with infringing six patents.

The patents cover a wide range of technologies related to text messaging, docking stations and pushing software out to devices.

Intellectual Ventures, which owns 35,000 patents, said it approached Motorola in January about licensing patents, including several named in the case, according to the lawsuit. Motorola refused to license the patents, Intellectual Ventures said.

More trolling courtesy of sociopaths from Microsoft, who are attacking Microsoft rivals behind the scenes. Microsoft too sued Motorola. Such behaviour should be a matter of antitrust regulation and federal enforcers. They don’t seem to mind the RICO Act, but ideally, under a sane system, those people would potentially be in prison, not out there threatening people, which is a form of corporate terrorism. This gangster behaviour is thriving in the IT industry because the public does not demand change actively enough.

Here is a better article which is better worded as it was not composed by a Microsoft booster. The well known author misspells “patent-hoarding” though:

Patent-holding firm Intellectual Ventures has filed suit against the company in the US claiming Motorola handsets violate patents it holds related to both hardware and software components in smartphone handsets.

What we see here is not the first time that the world’s largest patent troll sues even directly. This is a tax on everything that people buy and nobody benefits from it except few ring leaders, who engage in racketeering. Why can’t the corporate press describe this properly? This further perpetuates the belief that these practices are acceptable and should not be criticised. It helps marginalise voices of proponents of restoration of justice, not just improved pace of innovation.

Did Microsoft Pay the Philippines to Drop GNU/Linux and Free Software?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OpenOffice at 12:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sinagoga

Summary: Dubious claims of OpenOffice.org and Linux being “33 percent more than the cost for Office 2010 with Windows 7.”

LAST MONTH we witnessed EDGI in the Philippines, which we also saw bullied around by the US government at the behest of Microsoft (see Cablegate) after it had decided to go with Free/open source software nationally. Truthfully, this goes a long way back. For a country to choose FOSS is quite brave because US multinationals treat it like those countries have just adopted communism and declared war on capitalism (or “IP”). Mr. Pogson looks at GNU/Linux in the Philippines and says:

HB1011, Free Open Source (FOSS) Act of 2010 is in committee stage. It’s stated purpose is that “The government shall apply only FOSS or Foss solutions in all ICT projects except under exceptional cirumstances”. There is strong opposition, for example, from the Minister of Education who claims FLOSS costs more… Of course using “7″ and databases costs less than using paper but they did not give GNU/Linux a fair shake in trials. M$ now uses the Minister of Education as a poster-child for non-free software: “We received feedback from the school IT administrators that the computers running OpenOffice.org had more technical issues, to the point that some computers were unusable….For us, the cost to deploy and support computers with OpenOffice.org and Linux is about 33 percent more than the cost for Office 2010 with Windows 7.” That sounds like EDGI got in there and paid people to use M$’s stuff. I don’t see any other way that FLOSS could be more expensive.

This is one that needs watching. Microsoft obviously plays dirty here, as usual, maybe via some front groups like the BSA (as it did years ago).

IRC Proceedings: October 6th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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