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11.03.11

Links 3/11/2011: Steam on PCLinuxOS, JavaFX

Posted in News Roundup at 7:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Yet Another Misinformed Swipe At Open Source and Linux

    Dominating the consumer desktop has not been a point of focus for the Linux community for years. Red Hat, a huge public company focused on Linux, doesn’t even make it a priority. At least Gualtieri concedes that over 60 percent of servers on the Internet run Linux, but he doesn’t even discuss embedded Linux, or technologies that have flourished as offshoots of Linux.

  • Server

    • Deutsche Borse implements 10GB Juniper switches on Linux trade platforms

      Deutsche Borse, the German stock exchange based in Frankfurt, has implemented 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches from supplier Juniper Networks on its Linux-based trading platforms.

      The stock exchange said the new switches will be resilient and will help slash trading round trip messaging latency and process market data for co-locating traders on its Eurex derivatives and Xetra cash markets.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Skeptic finds he now agrees global warming is real

      A prominent physicist and skeptic of global warming spent two years trying to find out if mainstream climate scientists were wrong. In the end, he determined they were right: Temperatures really are rising rapidly.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 3.5 fork Trinity updated

        One year since the last update, the Trinity Project has released version 3.5.13 of its desktop environment. Trinity is a fork of the last stable snapshot of the 3.5.x branch of the K Desktop Environment (KDE), KDE 3.5.10 from August 2008, that has been enhanced with additional features and is intended to be compatible with more recent hardware.

  • Distributions

    • Scientific Linux, openSUSE, Ubuntu Tests

      Up for viewing today are benchmarks of Scientific Linux 6.1, openSUSE 11.4, Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS, and Ubuntu 11.10. This is the latest in the series of Ubuntu 11.10 benchmarks after looking at the power consumption, boot speed, performance relative to Sabayon 7, and virtualization performance.

    • New Releases

      • IPFire 2.11
      • OLPC 11.3.0
      • Announcements concerning Scientific Linux

        Scientific Linux Live CD/DVD 5.7 can now be downloaded for 32 and 64 bit:

        ftp://ftp.scientificlinux.org/linux/scientific/livecd/57/i386
        ftp://ftp.scientificlinux.org/linux/scientific/livecd/57/x86_64

      • IPFire open source firewall improves OpenVPN support

        The IPFire project has released 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.

        According to Project Leader and developer Michael Tremer, IPFire 2.11 is a major update that includes a new option to create net-to-net virtual private networks (VPNs) using OpenVPN. Previously, it was only possible to create “roadwarrior networks” using OpenVPN. Recently updated documentation about OpenVPN on IPFire can be found on the project’s wiki.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Mark is right, and Mark is wrong

            The second was a comparison of Unity, and to an extent GNOME 3, to the Edsel; comparing those desktop environment releases to how Ford had built up an enormous curiosity around this new “E-car” in 1957 — a car of the future — they were developing amid a shroud of secrecy before revealing to the world, well, the Edsel — which nearly everyone hated once they saw what Ford’s idea for the “future” was.

            I wish I could remember the third one. It didn’t get far and it was just kind of ramblin’ — that’s R-A-M-B-L-I-N-apostrophe.

          • Ubuntu One cloud storage: Staying for the long haul?
          • Ubuntu Plans To Make It Easier To Hookup With Users

            While the latest bold attempt by Ubuntu is to put it on TVs and phones in the next two years, this new social effort isn’t to build a full-blown social network to compete with (or replace) the likes of Google+ and Facebook. What this new community/social effort is about is just making it easy to find Ubuntu users and Ubuntu events within your geographic area. The idea has been brewing for over one year, but due to devoting resources towards designing the Unity desktop, this idea was largely postponed until now.

          • Leadership Summit Part Two Today
          • Flavours and Variants

            • Sick of Unity in Ubuntu 11.10? Give Xubuntu a try

              A few weeks ago, we took a look at Ubuntu 11.10 and observed that its default desktop, Unity, was much improved in this popular Linux distribution.

              Regardless, it seems that some people still dislike the Unity. Well, dislike is a bit mild — some readers wrote in stating that absolutely hate it and that sentiment has gained some traction here and there on the Internet. It seems that Canonical — the organization responsible for Ubuntu Linux — aren’t ones to shy away from controversy.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Raspberry Pi close to shipping $25 schools computer

      The cheap Linux-based computer for schools, Raspberry Pi, looks to be getting closer to reality with the news that the foundation behind it has ordered sufficient parts to make the first 10,000 units.

      The Foundation reacted to premature reports that it had produced 10,000 completed Raspberry Pi computers by making clear that what had been ordered were “parts kits,” not complete devices.

    • ‘World’s smallest’ SDR radio runs Linux

      Epiq Solutions announced what it claims is the world’s smallest commercially available software defined radio (SDR). The 4.6 x 2.2 x 0.9-inch, four-ounce Matchstiq incorporates a broadband (28MHz) RF transceiver supporting 300MHz to 3.8GHz frequencies, an onboard GPS receiver, and an Iveia Atlas-I-LPe module integrating a Texas Instruments DM3730 processor and a Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • IT People should just say no to clueless reporters….

          I originally wrote this after Paul Thurrott wrote a ridiculous article (http://www.windowsitpro.com/content1?topic=android-140400&catpath=google1) about all that is wrong with Android. After writing it, I felt better but I realized he isn’t the only one with this messed up perception of corporate life. I have been consulting and supporting companies in the area of IT operations for my entire 16 year career. I have worked for a vary diverse set of companies from GE and Chrysler to an Internet Startup to Mom and Pop companies and everything in between. While they all have their own issues and odd behaviors, they always have a few things in common. IT is always a drain on resources that no one wants to fund. The IT staff always has to do more with less than they had last year. Finally, they are all expected to figure out how to do the next big thing.

          [...]

          So the next time Mr. Thurrott or anyone in the press wants to talk about life as an IT Professional he or she should try being one for a while. For now though, go back to doing what you do best. Be a great reviewer and tell me what great things I have too look forward to from all of my favorite vendors. Leave the heavy lifting and worrying about how to protect corporate assets to the people who do that for a living.

        • Android Navi-X media streaming app arrives

          All Media Online (Amo) has recently released the Android market’s first app exclusively devoted to streaming multimedia to Android smartphones and tablets via Navi-X, an extensive, open source, community supported, media indexing web-service.

        • Ice Cream Sandwich confirmed open-source coming in weeks
        • Google: Android 4.0 to be open sourced in “coming weeks”

          Google will make its Android 4.0 dubbed “Ice Cream Sandwich” available to the open source community in the coming weeks and is designed to fuel Google’s big push in both the smartphone and tablet war against Apple. Google’s planned purchase of Motorola’s Mobility unit — the most successful Android smartphone and tablet supplier — will also likely help if it ultimately musters government approval

        • What Would Concern Me About Android if I Worked for Google

          The growth of the Android platform undoubtedly masks some of its shortcomings. As Chris DiBona summarized, “the only thing that really matters is how many of these we ship…There is a linear relationship between the number of phones you ship and the number of developers.”

        • HTC does it again, record Q3 earnings thanks to Android

          HTC is one of the leading smartphone manufacturers in the world. HTC phones feature amazing build-quality along with top-notch software and hardware. We reported HTC’s Q1 earnings a long time ago where we were shocked by their amazing performance, recording an almost 200% growth in revenue (thanks to Android).

        • Android found all over PC World’s Top 100 Best Products of 2011
        • Microsoft updates Bing app for Android and iOS, not Windows Phone 7

          If I hadn’t read it on Microsoft’s own Bing blog, I wouldn’t have believed it. The Microsoft Bing team has just released the new Bing for Mobile app for iPhone and Android… but not for Windows Phone 7 devices.

          Wow. Just wow.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Kid-friendly Android tablet features drop-resistant cover

        Karuma announced a seven-inch Android 2.3 tablet designed for kids. The PlayBase is equipped with a 1.2GHz processor, 1GB of DDR3 RAM, 8GB of storage, and an 800 x 600-pixel capacitive screen protected by a shock-absorbent silicone cover that can be folded back to use as a stand, says the company.

      • It’s official: New Nook Color tablet launching Nov. 7

        As we reported last week, rumor had it Barnes & Noble would be launching its next-generation, Android-powered Nook Color tablet e-reader on November 7. Now it’s become official, with Barnes & Noble sending out invites to the media for an event that morning in New York.

      • Motorola Intros XOOM 2, XOOM 2 Media Edition for UK, Ireland
      • Motorola Xoom 2: Second time’s the charm?

        The smaller Xoom 2 Media Edition is geared more toward entertainment. The screen offers a 178-degree viewing angle to let more than one person watch movies or videos at the same time. Motorola claims a 20 percent improvement in graphics performance and has added virtual surround sound, turning the Media Edition into a gaming device. This model can also double as a remote control for TVs and other equipment courtesy of a pre-loaded remote-control app. Battery life is rated at only around six hours per charge.

      • Ubuntu on tablet PCs by 2014

        Canonical grande fromage Mark Shuttleworth has said that the Ubuntu open source operating system will be available on tablet PCs by 2014. At this time it is also thought that Ubuntu for smartphones and “smart” televisions will also be available.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source vs. proprietary software
  • Evercube: the beautiful 5TB open source home storage server

    Massive amounts of storage are becoming increasingly important to companies providing cloud-based services. For home users, networked attach storage (NAS) is available from a number of manufacturers, and gives you the option of storing all your digital content in one giant storage area accessible to all your devices over a network connection.

    Choosing which NAS to invest in can be tough, though. Some use their own software that is less than great, others have limited storage and/or upgrade potential. Most of them don’t look great either, being just a plastic box and flashing LEDs you’d rather not have on display in a room.

  • IBM Open Sources Messaging Client for Embedded Devices
  • Events

    • Guest Post: Apache in Space

      The ApacheCon NA 2011 conference is rapidly approaching. The event takes place November 7 to 11 at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver, Canada. Registration for the event is now open, with discounts available. In conjuction with ApacheCon NA 2011, OStatic is running a series of guest posts from movers and shakers in the Apache community. In this latest guest post, three officials from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL) introduce OODT (Object-Oriented Data Technology), an open source middleware suite for working with and managing data-intensive scientific applications. It’s used at JPL and overseen by the Apache Software Foundation.

  • SaaS

    • Hortonworks launches Apache Hadoop based platform
    • Hortonworks Introduces Open-Source Hortonworks Platform

      Hortonworks recently introduced the open-source Hortonworks Data platform to mark their entry into software space. Hortonworks is a company formed from Yahoo! this past June.

      Considered a minor business move by the company, as compared to Cloudera, the provider of Apache Hadoop and mega-vendors like Oracle, EMC and also IBM which have their own plans for Hadoop, Hortonworks will need to put forth more effort and not rely on only name recognition alone.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – How to Proceed on the Copyright Issue

      Monday’s filings were all about how to proceed on the copyright issue. That is, proposing what determinations the court needs to make with respect to copyright protection afforded Oracle before it can assess whether Google has infringed.

    • Office Suite Update

      Apple and Microsoft haven’t issued press releases about LibreOffice of course. Rumors on the street are that both companies are less than happy with the progress that The Document Foundation has made.

      While LibreOffice is not totally comparable to Microsoft Office, in that it doesn’t have matching applications for all functions, it does give a solid, inexpensive option. It works beautifully on Microsoft Windows, and is often used by offices which have large archives of documents saved in different versions of the Word file format, because it often is more compatible with Microsoft Office, than Microsoft Office.

    • Oracle formally proposes open source JavaFX

      At the recent JavaOne conference, Oracle had said that it intended to open source JavaFX. Now Oracle is formally proposing that the JavaFX user interface toolkit be open sourced under the OpenJDK project and is looking for it to be incorporated into Java 9. Oracle’s Richard Bair made the proposal on the OpenJDK mailing list, saying the company had talked about it for a long time, “but finally (finally!) we’re ready to act on it”. JavaFX was originally created by Sun as a standalone technology with its own scripting language, but since Sun’s acquisition by Oracle, it has been revamped and repositioned as a general Java user interface toolkit with a modern architecture, supporting features such as hardware acceleration and CSS styling.

    • Oracle reveals open source JavaFX plans
  • Project Releases

    • Logback reaches 1.0.0

      The Logback project has announced that its Java logging system that picks up where log4j left off has reached version 1.0.0. There are no big changes from previous releases of Logback, according to lead developer Ceki Gülcü.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Cabinet Office publishes open source procurement toolkit

      The Cabinet Office has published an open source procurement toolkit for the public sector on its website.

      It said the purpose is to ensure that there is a level playing field for open source and proprietary software and that some of the myths associated with open source are dispelled.

    • Cabinet Office publishes open source procurement toolkit

      It said the purpose is to ensure that there is a level playing field for open source and proprietary software and that some of the myths associated with open source are dispelled.

    • Open source buying toolkit published by UK Cabinet Office

      A fifth document, CESG guidance on Open Source, is only available to users with a gsi.gov.uk email address, but should address the issues which caused problems, now resolved, for Bristol City Council’s open source plans. The purpose of the toolkit it to help level the playing field for public sector open source acquisition. The procurement advice note points out that procurement rules need to compare total cost of ownership (TCO), but that where that cost is the same between open source and proprietary solutions, the open source solution should be preferred. This is because of open source’s inherent flexibility, an attribute that isn’t encapsulated by TCO calculations.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The power shift effect of open government

      The second CityCamp Colorado started off with Tom Downey and Stephanie O’Malley from the City of Denver setting the stage for the day’s theme: enhancing access to government. Held at the Jefferson County Administration and Courts Facility on October 28, 2011, more than 70 people gathered to participate, learn, and advance the open government movement.

      Tom Downey, Director of Excise and Licensing for the city and county of Denver, is excited about the spread of open government. He said the beauty of a movement like CityCamp is that the organization is flat, decisions are made democratically, and things can get done and move forward.

    • The power of open-source cancer research

      This is the question that cancer researcher, Jay Bradner and his colleagues have focused on in their research, and they think they may have found the answer: a molecule, which they call JQ1. But unlike the corporatocracy and its minions, which operate in secrecy, Dr Bradner and his colleagues chose to do something different. Engaging in an enlightened social experiment, they shared the news of this molecule by publishing their findings — and they mailed samples to 40 other labs to work with. In short, they open-sourced the information about this molecule and they crowd-sourced the testing and research.

    • Open Compute Project Gains Momentum

      From the racks to the roof, the Open Compute Project (OCP) is trying to break the mold to improve and redesign everything we take for granted as “industry standard” in the data center world. Its goal is to use open source community thinking to effect changes to the server hardware, design of the racks and even the building itself in much the same way the Linux community of developers changed the paradigm in the software realm. On Oct. 27th, the OCP held its second summit in New York City. In fact, Red Hat was there and formally announced it was joining and would be contributing to the OCP.

    • Open Access/Content

      • UNESCO recommends open educational resources

        The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and the Commonwealth educational organisation, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), have published guidelines on the use of open educational resources in higher education. The 20-page Guidelines for Open Educational Resources (OER) in Higher EducationPDF document argues that the number of students is set to rise from the current 165 million to around 260 million in 2025, but that this will not be matched by a corresponding rise in expenditure.

    • Open Hardware

      • Open Hardware Journal
      • BeagleBone: The $89 Open Source Hardware Platform From BeagleBoard

        The all new BeagleBone has been dished out by the BaegleBoard.org as an open source Hardware platform, announced the organisation.

        According to the developers, the new BeagleBone comes as a pretty low cost, hardware hacker oriented, and expandable variant of the original BeagleBoard. Fan boys can get their hands on the new device for $89 only.

  • Programming

Leftovers

Links 3/11/2011: Linus Torvalds Speaks Out, Trinity Desktop Debated

Posted in News Roundup at 6:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Ed Bott, Apologist for M$, Does it Again

      I paraphrase for the situation: Every PC that is shipped with our booting key is a small victory; every PC that is shipped without is a small defeat. Total victory is the universal adoption of our standards by OEMs, as this is an important step towards victory for M$ itself: “A computer on every desk and in every home running M$’s software.”

      Good try, Ed, but I’m not buying it. Building in anything specific to the OS of a monopolist is dangerous. M$ has shown for decades that it doesn’t do anything that doesn’t bolster the monopoly. You should know better.

      On the other hand, OEMs don’t really love M$ and I expect most of them will provide some kind of kill switch for the lock-in but it will be more work to migrate more PCs to the light.

  • Server

    • HP launches ARM-based blade servers with Linux support

      HP launched its Redstone server range using low-power processors from both Intel and ARM vendor Calxeda. HP claims Redstone servers are designed for testing and proof-of-concept, presumably the concept that it can produce ARM-based servers.

      The Calxeda Energycore processors in HP’s Redstone servers are 32-bit processors designed for massively parallel workloads with an 80Gbits/s crossbar between processors. Calxeda claims that when the chip is mated to 4GB of RAM the whole setup consumes just 5W under load and idles at 0.5W.

    • Need a Reliable Server?

      Netcraft’s latest report gives some clues. The world’s most demanding hosting companies run GNU/Linux. Of the top 42 most reliable hosting companies,

      * 2 run F5 Big IP,
      * 5 run FreeBSD,
      * 8 run that other OS, and
      * 15 run GNU/Linux.

    • October 2011 Web Server Survey

      Across the million busiest sites Apache and Microsoft each lose market share this month whilst nginx and Google see small increases.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

    • Two decades of productivity: Vim’s 20th anniversary

      The Vim text editor was first released to the public on November 2, 1991—exactly 20 years ago today. Although it was originally designed as a vi clone for the Amiga, it was soon ported to other platforms and eventually grew to become the most popular vi-compatible text editor. It is still actively developed and widely used across several operating systems.

      In this article, we will take a brief look back at the history of vi and its descendants, leading up to the creation of Vim. We will also explore some of the compelling technical features that continue to make Vim relevant today.

    • Cheese Goes Great With Webcam Hams
    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE’s November Updates Improve Nepomuk Stability

        November 2, 2011. Today KDE released updates for its Workspaces, Applications, and Development Platform. These updates are the third in a series of monthly stabilization updates to the 4.7 series. 4.7.3 updates bring many bugfixes and translation updates on top of the latest edition in the 4.7 series and are recommended updates for everyone running 4.7.0 or earlier versions. As the release only contains bugfixes and translation updates, it will be a safe and pleasant update for everyone. KDE’s software is already translated into more than 55 languages, with more to come. The October updates contain many performance improvements and bugfixes for applications using the Nepomuk semantic framework.

      • Trinity Does New Release To Let KDE 3.5 Live Om

        While KDE 4.0 has been around for nearly four years (and most complaints regarding the initial KDE4 fallout have been addressed) and the last KDE 3.5 stable snapshot (v3.5.10) came three years ago, the Trinity Desktop Environment has issued an official release today to keep the KDE 3.5 desktop living.

        The Trinity Desktop Environment is designed to pick up where KDE 3.5 left off in keeping up with the KDE 3.5 branch development. There’s been bug-fixes, new features, and other work to make KDE 3.5 more relevant in today’s world. The version released today is Trinity 3.5.13.

      • The Grass has Always been Greener on the other Side of the Fence

        Now to my actual blog post: I appreciate the idea of the Trinity developers to bring back the KDE 3.5 desktop experience to those users who really want it. This is a great offer. Personally I doubt that the Trinity project is doing the effort in the right approach. Instead of just porting Kicker and KDesktop to Qt4/KDE4 they forked everything and the kitchen sink. I rather doubt that a team which is smaller than the KWin team is able to maintain not only KWin but also every other part of KDE 3.5 and now also Qt 3.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Britain’s $25 computer is coming by Christmas

      Earlier this year British games pioneer David Braben surprised many people with the first appearance of the Raspberry Pi, a low-cost, open source computer aimed at children that he was helping to develop.

      Now, six months on from that initial blitz of publicity, he says that it’s almost ready to go on sale for the first time. A finished version is due by the end of 2011, he told GigaOM, specifically aimed at programmers.

    • Jungo Launches Automotive Connectivity Middleware for Linux-based Infotainment Systems
    • Phones

      • Android

        • Rear-seat touchscreen computer runs Android 2.3

          VizuaLogic announced a rear seat entertainment (RSE) touchscreen computer that runs Android 2.3. Integrated into a car’s front headrest, the “SmartLogic Android Rear Seat Entertainment Package” is equipped with a 1GHz processor, 512MB of RAM, a seven-inch capacitive touchscreen, plus Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, IR, USB, microSD, and HDMI connections.

Free Software/Open Source

  • An interview with Equalis, a Scilab based business

    Equalis supports all these needs by providing a complete Scilab support programs including: training, deployment, real-time support and consulting. Equalis also drives the Scilab product development roadmap to meet customer needs by accelerating bug fixes and including feedback on the strategic product roadmap. Additionally, Equalis also develops and supports exclusive premier software features and application modules to augment the baseline platform to meet its customers’ specialized needs.

  • SaaS

  • Semi-Open Source

    • Zarafa to unveil free web meeting plug-in

      Messaging and collaboration specialist Zarafa is set to unveil a new web meeting plug-in for its groupware product. According to the company, the free plug-in for the Zarafa Collaboration Platform (ZCP) currently supports up to three users, works regardless of each user’s email client or platform (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux), and does not require registration.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Programming

    • Eclipse is celebrating its 10th Birthday

      It is just a decade since IBM released the Eclipse project under an open source licence and the Eclipse Consortium, consisting of IBM, Borland,Rational, Suse, TogetherSoft, was announced.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Windows 7 finally beats XP, or does it?

    According to the StatCounter analysis Windows 7 overtook XP in the United States in April 2011 and in Europe in July. However, in Asia Windows XP still retains a clear lead at 55% in October compared to 36% for Windows 7.

    [...]

    StatCounter Global Stats are based on aggregate data collected on a sample of over 15 billion page views per month (4 billion in the US) from their network of more than three million websites. NetMarketShare data collection network has over 40,000 websites, and counts unique visitors once for visit for day. In summary, NetMarketShare’s data is compiled from approximately 160 million unique visits per month.

    What that means is that StatCounter counts all page views while NetMarketShare looks at single site visits. That in turn imples that very active users of a particular operating system would weigh more heavily on StatCounter’s numbers.

  • Finance

    • “OCCUPY WALL STREET” to Occupy WBAI

      A new show on WBAI starts this Wednesday: OCCUPY WALL STREET RADIO. From the streets to airwaves, the movement that began five weeks ago as a Day Of Rage takes to the airwaves on the only station that broadcasts the voice of the 99%. The initial Occupy Wall Street Radio airs Wednesday October 26th, from 6:30 to 8 PM. Going forward, the show can be heard Monday through Friday from 6:30 to 7 PM. The show will offer a regular check in for the latest breaking news from the streets. Hear the voices, the heart, the soul of this 99% growing and now global movement.

    • People’s Trial Of Goldman Sachs By Occupy Wall Street

      Taking their inspiration from the Bertrand Russell public trials of U.S. government officials held during the Vietnam War, the proceedings will include expert analysis by Cornell West and Chris Hedges, as well as testimony from individuals directly affected by Goldman Sachs’ policies.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • What CIOs Need to Know about Intellectual Property Law

      While nearly every CIO should worry about IP issues, there are exceptions. Andrew “Andy” Updegrove, a founding partner of top technology law firm Gesmer Updegrove, explains that if you’re CIO of, say, a government agency, there is “little, if anything” to get worked up over. Such a CIO likely never has to worry about her agency being sued by anyone, nor will she be selling products to others.

      That’s also the case for CIOs of most non-profits, or at least smaller ones. “Having some degree of oversight by a lawyer should cover just about everything they would need to know, because their exposure to the outside world might be limited to a Web site,” says Updegrove. “As long as they ensure that all proprietary software has been paid for and is not being used in violation of its terms, there should be little exposure and therefore no need for much knowledge.”

IRC Proceedings: November 2nd, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

IRC Proceedings: November 1st, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

President Obama Ignores the US Population’s Plea to Abolish Software Patents (Updated)

Posted in America, Patents at 3:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Parliament protects the “special interests”, ignores the 99%

Washington

Summary: Inaction in the face of popular demand to abolish software patents, but it’s not over yet

THE other month someone initiated a petition against software patents. We did not have high hopes, but whatever the outcome, we said it would probably help prove and validate a corrupt status quo.

President Obama, a lawyer, did what we expected all along. Stefane Fermigier writes:

Obama administration responds to our petition to reform software patents wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/re… Me = not impressed.

Nobody is impressed. Here is the response from the FFII’s president (who can be more honest than the US president):

Obama ignores the Petition against software patents, issues a pro patent answer, I was expecting such answer

Here is the link to the response. It ironic that in a Drupal/GNU/Linux-powered site they just let software patents be. Shows their hypocrisy really…

Here is the massive Slashdot discussion about it. Timothy B. Lee wrote an excellent article about it:

The Obama administration has started an official petition website called “We the People,” in which Americans can propose and vote on petitions for consideration by the White House. Petitions that cross a popularity threshold (originally 5,000 signatures within 30 days) get an official response from the White House.

This being the Internet, one of the first petitions focused on software patents, asking President Obama to “direct the patent office to cease issuing software patents and to void all previously issued software patents.”

Also see the comments. It seems widely accepted that software patents must go. Consider signing the new petition if you are a US resident. The success of Free software may very well depend on this issue.

“Today many people are switching to free software for purely practical reasons. That is good, as far as it goes, but that isn’t all we need to do! Attracting users to free software is not the whole job, just the first step.”

Richard Stallman

Update: Here is a direct link to the new petition, which has started quite slowly. Well, after they spit on the population they can just claim that this population has no respect for those petitions. The patent lawyers crowd watches from a distance and the FFII’s president writes:

White House answer to the software patent petition was so bad that a new one is created, 20K signs needed in 30 days

We still find it difficult to believe that an administration run by lawyers will make the necessary amendment. But it helps show just who is really being served.

Exposed Microsoft Lobbyists No Longer Pretend to be Objective on Patent Issues

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 3:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Helicopter man

Summary: How friends and external staff of Microsoft help the company’s extortion racket against Linux and Android

Microsoft’s booster Ed Hansberry promotes the company’s extortion of Linux (all the boosters do this, even if it’s borderline criminal, as we explained before). The following disgusting apologism portrays extortion as “deals”, just as Microsoft is trying to do (part of the PR campaign and embellishment of racketeering). Read this with a grain of salt:

I am assuming this is a scroll bar or some sort of percentage indicator that displays while a page is loading in the browser and then disappears once it is done. Now, I know Microsoft has a lot of patents that are truly worthy of defending, but this is a bit much. Is there a browser on any platform that doesn’t have this feature? For its part, B&N doesn’t appear ready to settle on this feature at all, instead preferring to hash it out before a judge.

I wouldn’t look for the suits to stop anytime soon. At least Microsoft is ready to make licensing deals–for a price of course. Apple’s Steve Jobs wanted no part of licensing, instead preferring to give Android a premature death. The biography “Steve Jobs” quotes Jobs as saying “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

For those who miss some context, Microsoft claims to ‘own’ something like a progress bar and then extorts Linux-selling companies with it. The burden of litigation costs (deterrence) is what lets Microsoft essentially extort competitors and Apple’s patents have been equally ludicrous. Apple is said to be targeting Linux tablet sellers directly now. Shame on Apple and shame on Jobs for being of a pivotal role in this strategy. Microsoft and Apple are very much together in this. And their expert liar/spinner/spammer Florian Müller keeps posting pro-software patents links and other links to Microsoft boosters who attack Android/Linux (like this one), using any piece of muck he can rake to attack Android/Linux. He is not even hiding his agenda anymore, having been essentially forced to disclosure that Microsoft was paying him (when we found out about it through private sources). His new buddy Enderle is also getting links. Why pretend when everyone already knows you are funded by Microsoft?

Linux-hostile Microsoft Lobbyists Lie and Deceive

This one Microsoft lobbyist promotes other Microsoft-funded lobbyists, calling them “Industry body” in his ridiculous blog. He was there was there in 2005 when the infamous directive was being pushed by Microsoft, so he is being deliberately disingenuous. As the FFII’s president puts it:

Florian Muller names ACT an “industry body”, while he knows perfectly this is a Microsoft front shop

He also quotes pile of nonsense from the lobbyist: “Non-ideological analysts all agree that open source is thriving under the current legal framework”

Nonsense.

There is a new Ubersoft cartoon on Microsoft’s patent extortion against Android/Linux. It says it all really. People are getting it, Microsoft lobbyists are spinning it. Truth does not matter to them and they pretend to be something they are not.

Linus Torvalds Thinks Microsoft Going To Court is a Sign That Its Business is Dying

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Patents at 3:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linus Torvalds

Summary: A new interview with the lead developer of Linux covers the issue of patents, bringing to the surface some important viewpoints

Linus Torvalds has always been quite outspoken in his stance against software patents. In a new interview he emphasises this view and explains his own patents, which he says are on hardware. To quote:

I have filed at least 3 patents during Transmeta times. They were about hardware so I am happy about them. It was an interesting experience. I am not saying they were wonderful patents–I am saying it was interesting to see the crazy patent language you have to have and that’s the reason you have to have a patent lawyer because the language makes no sense. In US it’s technically English but it’s not really English. It’s like using English words but there are different meanings to them. There is a whole different set of rules about what things mean when they do a patent application. As I said it was a very interesting experience and I am not unhappy about that. It’s not as horrible as many patents.

I think patents probably work better in certain areas than they do in ours. Software patents? No. Process patents? No. They just don’t make sense.

“Personally,” he added, “I am of the opinion that going to court is a sign of a business that is dying. I am not saying that Microsoft is dying, it’s a sign, not a complete indicator.”

Let’s remember that companies are able to have patents also without being racketeers. IBM, for example, does not tend to sue companies using patents. Now that it applies for a patent on GPU-accelerated databases (partly hardware) we are reminded that IBM cannot be ignored either. “IBM is a heavy supporter of software patents,” adds the FFII’s president, who links to this article which says:

IBM has an idea how database access and data processing can be accelerated. IBM wants to take advantage of graphics processors to launch and execute database queries. Instead of traditional disk-based queries and an approach that slows performance via memory latencies and processors waiting for data to be fetched from the memory, IBM envisions in-GPU-memory tables as technology that could, in addition to disk tables, significantly accelerate database processing. According to a patent filed by the company, “GPU enabled programs are well suited to problems that involve data-parallel computations where the same program is executed on different data with high arithmetic intensity.”

Our goal is to get rid of those patent monopolies altogether. One step at a time we might get there.

5 Years Since MIcrosoft’s Patent Extortion Began

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 3:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad Novell

Summary: The Microsoft-Novell deal turns 5

ALMOST EXACTLY 5 years ago (plus several hours) Microsoft bolstered its patent extortion racket by signing a landmark deal with Novell. We now see the consequences of this deal, with Microsoft claiming to be making almost billions of dollars from Linux-based platforms it never created, only insulted and attacked, sometimes by proxy (e.g. SCO). Techrights turns 5 in just over a week from now. We shall write about the anniversary properly at that stage.

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