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11.19.11

Links 19/11/2011: Linux Mint 12, ACTA Secrecy

Posted in News Roundup at 11:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Man Survives Steve Ballmer’s Flying Chair To Build ’21st Century Linux’

    Yes, the story is true. At least according to Lucovsky. Microsoft calls it a “gross exaggeration,” but Lucovsky says that when he walked into Ballmer’s office and told the Microsoft CEO he was leaving the company for Google, Ballmer picked up his chair and chucked it across the room. “Why does that surprise anyone?” Lucovsky tells Wired.com, seven years later. “If you play golf with Steve and he loses a five-cent bet, he’s pissy for the next week. Should it surprise you that when I tell Steve I’m quitting and going to work for Google, he would get animated?”

    The famous flying chair shows just how volatile Steve Ballmer can be, but it also underlines the talent Mark Lucovsky brings to the art of software engineering. Lucovsky joined Microsoft in 1988 as part of the team that designed and built the company’s Windows NT operating system — which still provides the core code for all Windows releases — and after joining Google, he was one of three engineers who created the search giant’s AJAX APIs, online programming tools that drew more traffic than almost any other service at Google. “[He's] probably in the top 99.9 percentile when it comes to engineers,” says Paul Maritz, the CEO of virtualization kingpin VMware, who worked with Lucovsky as a top exec at Microsoft.

  • Desktop

    • Chrome OS Linux 1.7.932 Has Google Music Manager

      The Chrome OS developers announced today, November 17th, the immediate availability for download of the Chrome OS 1.7.932 Live CD operating system, which brings the new Google Music Manager.

    • Life with a ChromeBook

      During May’s Google IO developer conference, the first netbooks using the Linux-based ChromeOS were announced from Acer and Samsung. This was a public follow up from the very public beta of ChromeOS netbooks kicked off in December. One of the morning keynotes was dedicated to describing the new netbooks and their features. In June, the ChromeBooks finally shipped and were available for purchase from Amazon and Best Buy. Amazon actually sold out of Samsung Chromebooks in the first week.

      ChromeOS was the cover topic 2 years ago on the July 20th (2009) issue of Information Week. In that article, the bottom line was “… Google has a shot at gaining respectable consumer market share if it produces a slick, fast, secure OS that delivers a great web experience. And if Google succeeds with consumers, it is logical to expect it to steer that momentum toward the enterprise.”

  • Kernel Space

    • New Kernel Patch Slashes Linux’s Power Appetite

      Linux users working on laptops and other portable devices may soon have cause to rejoice thanks to a new kernel patch that finally promises to fix power regression problems associated with recent versions of the software.

    • Linus Torvalds Takes Aim at Proprietary Tech, and Apple

      (Brazil has recently squared off with Apple over policies on iTunes.) Apple co-founder Steve Jobs delivered a defense of the company’s tendency to deliver proprietary tools in Walter Isaacson’s biography of him. He told Isaacson that “people are busy” and don’t want to be bothered with incompatible products and products that don’t just seamlessly work. “They’re busy doing whatever they do best,” Jobs said “and they want us to do what we do best. Their lives are crowded; they have other things to do than think about how to integrate their computers and devices.”

      It seems that that explanation is not good enough for Linus Torvalds.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Comparison of major Linux package management systems
    • New Releases

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 7 on Acer Aspire One D255

        The Acer Aspire one is a a 1Gb, Intel Atom Netbook PC, and while you may think the netbook is dead, having a low powered throw in the bag computer is never a bad thing. However even in these heady days when Microsoft are willing to convince you that Windows 7 will happily run on devices such as this, and then effectively killed the market a customers just couldn’t figure out why their £200 netbook ran like a dog there is still hope with the Gnome 3 based Distro..

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • Getting the Blooming Flavor of Fedora 16 KDE

          If you have read my review of Fedora 16 KDE Live, you should understand that I liked this Operating System. That’s why I decided to give it a chance to show all bloom in installed version of Fedora.
          In order to run installer, I booted my Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Pi 1505 laptop using same Live USB as before.
          Before running the installation, I activated WiFi connection.

        • Fedora 16: A GNOME lover’s paradise

          After several delays, Fedora 16 has been delivered. While hold-ups are a characteristic of the distro’s release cycle, these latest ditherings have put the latest version of Fedora a few weeks behind its main competitor, Ubuntu.

          Fortunately for Fedora fans this release is well worth the extended waiting time, offering an updated GNOME Shell, the Linux 3.0 kernel and plenty of the under-the-hood improvements that Fedora is known for.

    • Debian Family

      • I’m back home with Debian

        I have been struggling with my conscience recently over using Ubuntu as a server. From a technical perspective, it’s an excellent choice. It has regular releases, can be both stable and cutting edge, has thousands upon thousands of packages, supports a lot of hardware, has a very pragmatic approach to enterprise server requirements, and much, much more. With all these benefits Ubuntu has been a favorite of mine for a long time. But recently I have been thinking more philosophically.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • 3 Interesting Ubuntu Unity Mobile Mockups

            User created ideas and concepts have always been an hallmark of popular Linux based distors like Ubuntu. We have featured such awesome works by loyal users, ranging from awe inspiring Ubuntu Unity mockups to professional looking LibreOffice mockups. Shuttleworth, during the recently concluded Ubuntu Developer Summit(UDS), made it clear that they will be taking Ubuntu to smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. Inspired from that, some users have already created interesting mockups based on the idea of mobile Ubuntu Unity.

          • Ubuntu launches at retail in Portugal with ASUS

            As of this week, Ubuntu is now on sale in over 100 retail outlets in Portugal.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Kubuntu 11.10 review

              Kubuntu 11.10 is the latest stable release of the desktop Linux distribution sponsored by Canonical Ltd., a Linux software provider based in London, UK. It is based on Ubuntu, but uses KDE, the K Desktop Environment. According to the Release announcement, Kubuntu is a “perfect OS for casual users, social butterflies, Linux gamers, software developers, professionals, and anyone interested in a free, open platform that is both beautiful and useful.”

              That statement, by the way, applies to every (desktop) Linux distribution.

            • Lubuntu 11.10 review – Alternative to Unity?

              I just figured out I never did give the LXDE desktop paired with Ubuntu a proper review. We did have several stabs at Kubuntu, Ubuntu with Gnome classic and Unity, even the Xfce-flavored Xubuntu, but not this one. Now that it is officially endorsed by the company shipping the most popular Linux distro, it’s time to dig in and see whether Lubuntu can deliver the missing zen lost in the Gnome 2 and Unity guard change.

              Lubuntu is supposed to be a simple, lightweight alternative to heavier, more fully featured desktops, so it seems like a logical choice for older hardware. But then, all my past experience shows that these dietary environments are always lacking in something, never quite as good as the top two or perhaps top three desktops. And there’s the matter of spotlight and quality assurance. That said, maybe Lubuntu can deliver?

            • The most popular Linux is…

              Trying to figure out what the most popular Linux distribution is isn’t easy. We can safely say that Red Hat’s Rat Hat Enterprise Linux is almost certainly popular server Linux. You don’t close in on a billion in annual revenue without a lot of users. You could argue that it’s Android since there are over two hundred million Android smartphones out there, but I was thinking of PCs. So, which distribution do most individual people use on their computers?

              For years, Ubuntu has been the number one end-user Linux, but, somewhat to my surprise, it looks like Ubuntu has to face not just a challenger, but indeed it appears that Ubuntu has already been dethroned by Linux Mint, my own current favorite Linux desktop distribution.

            • Linux Mint 12

              Linux Mint was officially released on November 12, for almost a week now. Be sure to check it out if you haven’t had a chance to look at it yet. For those not familiar with the Mint distro, Linux Mint is based on the latest release of Ubuntu, but with a few wrinkles. For starters, it works out of the box with full multimedia support.

              So, no more hassles in trying to get your DVD movies and other multimedia formats to work, which is a common problem for people starting out with Ubuntu. You also get a Windows-like menu system. Hey, anything helps to smooth out the transition when switching from Windows to Linux.

            • How to make Linux Mint look like OS X

              You might be wondering why we’d spend time morphing elements of the Linux Mint desktop into the shape of OS X, but there are several great reasons.

              Firstly, while recent Linux desktops like Unity and Gnome Shell take many of their cues from OS X, they don’t give you the option of only changing what you want to. Our piecemeal modifications will let you add only the features you want, while getting some of that OS X eye candy and usability. This isn’t a betrayal – it’s an example of Linux’s adaptability.

            • Linux Mint 12
            • Review: Pinguy OS 11.10 Beta

              For those who don’t know, Pinguy OS is basically Ubuntu plus everything and the kitchen sink. Also, the interface is made to look much more like Apple’s Mac OS X, with a top panel featuring a global menu, along with docks and similar themes. However, there have been some changes out of necessity because as of version 11.10 “Oneiric Ocelot”, Ubuntu no longer officially supports GNOME 2, so Pinguy OS has also had to upgrade to GNOME 3. As a result, the whole “Apple Mac OS X” look has had to be adapted to the new interface and restrictions (and there are many such restrictions) of GNOME 3. I’d like to see if it still remains as usable and friendly as before.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Amazon will launch a Kindle phone next year

          ONLINE DEPARTMENT STORE Amazon already has its Kindle e-reader and its Kindle Fire tablet, and it could branch out into Kindle smartphones too.

          The device, so far dubbed the Kindle Phone for want of another name, will be launched around this time next year in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to All Things D. The information comes from Citigroup’s research department which bases its theory on intelligence gathered from supply chains.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Women in FOSS: men need to do more, says senior dev

    A long-time member of the FOSS community believes that men need to do much more about increasing the participation of women in the community and improving their experience of being part of the community.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Silent installation – following up

      In my earlier post about administrative installation of LibreOffice i described how its possible to use the program ORCA to manipulate the msi-file by creating a new mst-file.

      Unfortunately this subject is not very well documented from the developers. if you are a developer and find that I am giving wrong or inaccurate information then please notify me ASAP.

      Lately I have investigated some more details and possibilities in the installation process.

    • Now you can buy LibreOffice merchandise
    • Oracle v. Google – Oracle Names Final Three Deponents

      On Monday of this week Judge Alsup settled the issue of whether Oracle would be permitted to depose any or all of the technical witnesses on which Drs. Leonard and Cox relied in preparing their damages reports by granting Oracle the right to depose any three of seven such witnesses. (Copyright Fight Moves To Trial; Oracle Gains Some Depos) Oracle had already identified Tim Bray and John Rizzo as two of those deponents, and Google had agreed to produce them. So what the judge’s ruling really did was to limit Oracle to one additional deponent out of the remaining five witnesses. Oracle has decided that deponent will be Dan Bornstein, a witness Oracle has already deposed for two full days.

    • Oracle v. Google – Google Wins One and Has a Second Deferred

      Google won a victory on its motion to strike the “rebuttal” report of Dr. Serwin. In an order issued yesterday Judge Alsup sided with Google, granted the motion, struck Dr. Serwin’s report, and ordered that Dr. Serwin could not testify at trial. (622 [PDF; Text]) This means that Dr. Serwin’s survey is out the window, as well.

      Judge Alsup not only granted Google’s motion, he appeared to level a good bit of criticism at Oracle’s counsel, calling the attempt to introduce the Serwin report a “highly unusual maneuver.” Judge Alsup also said that “in twelve years of using this form of case management scheduling order, this is the first time anyone has suggested [that reply reports were not explicitly limited to the authors of the opening reports].” He went on to say: “Oracle’s argument that Google has not been prejudiced is meritless. As explained above, the practice urged by Oracle is inherently unfair and frustrates important case-management objectives.” Turn out the lights, the Serwin party is over.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • This holiday season donate support to free software!

      Are you dreading the end of this month and all it entails in terms of mall-parking expeditions and frenzied spending amidst crowds of other buyers? Are you looking for a break from the gimmes and some respite from advertisers’ leitmotif that “you have needs”? Break with the year end’s usual rampant consumerism and give your loved ones a gift that makes a social difference: give back to the community by giving a membership as a gift, and make a positive change for you and your gift recipient.

  • Project Releases

    • wdiff 1.1.0 released

      Translations can now make use of plural forms. While this means a drastic improvement for some languages, it may also mean that some languages for which no such plural forms are available yet might be lacking user visible message strings, not only error messages, but also for e.g. statistics. You might want to check the translation status if your users have problems with English.

    • gnutls 3.0.8
  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Access/Content

      • Mexico’s Largest University to Post Online Nearly All Publications and Course Materials

        The National Autonomous University of Mexico, better known as UNAM, has said it will make virtually all of its publications, databases, and course materials freely available on the Internet over the next few years—a move that some academics speculated could push other universities in the region to follow suit.

        Campus officials at UNAM, Mexico’s largest university, said the program, known as All of UNAM Online, could double or triple the institution’s 3.5 million publicly available Web pages, as the largest collection of its kind in Latin America.

  • Programming

    • [Bazaar developers' blog] What I did on my Rotation

      Bazaar is the version control system used by top open source project hosting site Launchpad so I was surprised to come across a bug which prevented bzr from talking to Launchpad properly on errors. “This is really important to fix. We need error reporting.” said Jonathan Lange over 2 years before. Pleasingly I could fix it, very satisfying. I had to learn about the hooks mechanism in bzr which shows up some of the downside of Python, you have to guess the arguments to send the hook. But who needs API documentation when you can just read the code? :)

Leftovers

  • What is Usenet and How Does it Work?

    Have you heard of Usenet? Maybe your father once mentioned something about his Usenet account in college. If you are unaware of what Usenet is, don’t worry. You are about to find out.

    Usenet was initially an idea hatched by 2 Duke University students in 1979. It was soon available on college campuses around the world. Access was eventually granted to early internet service providers who gave free access to their subscribers.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Digital divides: UBB as part of a much bigger broadband mess

      1) Leadership. The FCC has been making headway with a real broadband strategy over the last 18 months, along with a set of network neutrality rules, because the vision comes from the top – the White House. Harper and his cabinet have never cared about world-class retail broadband, because that would put them on the wrong side of the consumer vs business divide.

    • CRTC goes REM on UBB: everybody hurts, sometimes

      The CRTC’s usage-based billing decision is in and boy is it a lot to digest, which is perhaps why there were so many conflicting reports in the media as to who exactly the winners and losers are or will be. After reading and digesting the long document and speaking to a number of the small internet providers that will be affected by it at the ISP Summit dinner on Tuesday night, it’s hard to see how anybody really wins with this decision. Burdened with the impossible task of trying to make everybody happy, perhaps this was the CRTC’s desired outcome.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Universal Music Sues Insurer To Pay For Its Copyright Infringement

        Earlier this year, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association (now Music Canada) – Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada – settled the largest copyright class action lawsuit in Canadian history by agreeing to pay over $50 million to compensate for hundreds of thousands of infringing uses of sound recordings. While the record labels did not admit liability, the massive settlement spoke for itself.

      • Creative Commons at WIPO

        This week, Andres Guadamuz (CC Costa Rica) is representing Creative Commons at the 8th Session of the Committee on Development and Intellectual Property (CDIP) of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The agenda [PDF] promises review of several pending recommendations as well as a discussion of future work by the CDIP. Consistent with protocol, Creative Commons prepared a statement for the opening session, which you can read here, as well as find CC’s prior statements and presentations at the CDIP and other WIPO meetings and conferences.

      • File Sharing Lawsuits Progress in Canada as Dozens Face Payment Demands

        Earlier this fall, I wrote about the return of file sharing lawsuits to Canada as the copyright owners of the film the Hurt Locker obtained a court order requiring three major ISPs – Bell, Videotron, and Cogeco – to reveal the identities of dozens of subscribers alleged to have downloaded the movie. I noted that the targeted Canadians would likely face the prospect of demands to pay thousands of dollars in order to settle the case (or spend thousands in legal fees fighting the claims in court).

      • ACTA

More Novell Coverage Soon

Posted in Site News at 9:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Preparation for some more in-depth coverage of what’s left of Novell

COVERAGE and spin about the new version of OpenSUSE continues to circulate in a few blogs but not quite in news sites. There are screenshots out there, but not much more. Over the weekend we may catch up a bit with Novell, Attachmate, and SUSE. There is not much to see there.

Patent Trolls Thrive in the United States, Europe Can Keep Them Away

Posted in Patents at 9:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Salamanca

Summary: Patent trolls in the news and some quick remarks about them

THE patent realists, those who actually produce something other than lawsuits, carry on talking about the issues.

Pieter Hintjens, the former president of the FFII, says that “[f]f you naively define “innovation” as “making better products, cheaper”, you’ve not grasped the first thing about patents.” Patents are about preventing features from being included and raising costs, too. He adds that “[t]o understand how patents “help innovation” it helps to redefine “innovation” as “making money from patent claims”.” Later he quotes himself as saying that “[p]atents [are] a legislative parasite that consumes the industrial base, and replaces it with cartels and trolls.” [original]

According to this new article, the trolls epidemic is very real in Texas. To quote the opening paragraph of the story: “The small town of Marshall (population: less than 25,000) in the east Texas part of the Piney Woods forest – famous for wild hog hunting – is the self-proclaimed “Pottery Capital of the World”. More recently, however, it has become best known for lawsuits brought by “patent trolls” – companies that apply for or buy up catch-all patents (often from companies forced to liquidate their assets), hunt down other companies with patents that may have a degree of crossover with theirs – and then sue.

“There are office blocks with hundreds of these firms registered in Marshall, home of the US district court for the eastern district of Texas, which has a particularly favourable regime for patent trolls.

“Previously, many personal injury litigation cases were brought in east Texas but a reform of Texas tort law in 2003 put an end to that, leading to the boom in intellectual property (IP) litigation – and the slogan bandied about by lawyers: “From PI to IP”.”

This has largely been facilitated by a broken system that permits racketeering from the likes of supertroll Intellectual Ventures and Interval (both with strong Microsoft connections), whose claims are routinely analysed here and elsewhere. Here is the latest about Interval:

The reexaminations of the four Interval Licensing patents continue to move forward with the USPTO examiner issuing a second Action Closing Prosecution, this one on the ’682 patent. In this instance the examiner has now confirmed the sole remaining challenged independent claim (two were confirmed at the time the Non-Final Action was issued) and all of the original 13 dependent claims that were challenged. In addition, the examiner has accepted 20 of the 24 dependent claims added by the patent holder during this reexamination. In other words, this reexamination looks like it will result in the complete affirmation of this patent.

According to the FFII’s president, things are not getting any better as “Ericsson to turn into a patent troll” as well.

“Any company or manufacturer will need an agreement with Ericsson,” to quote this new report which also says:

Ericsson AB, the world’s largest maker of mobile-phone networks, aims to increase revenue from its more than 27,000 patents as devices from toys to energy meters get wireless access, its chief executive officer said.

“By 2015 two thirds of all consumer electronics devices will have some sort of connectivity,” Hans Vestberg said in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Stockholm. “Any company or manufacturer that wants to get in there will need an agreement with Ericsson.”

Ericsson, which helped develop the global system for mobile communications that enables handsets to latch onto networks from London to Jakarta, holds the industry’s largest portfolio of wireless communication patents. Generating more revenue from rights would help smooth out fluctuations in network orders.

Here is another bit of news about patent trolls going after Yelp and Groupon:

On November 7, a little known company called Mobile Commerce Framework (MCF) sued both Groupon and Yelp for patent infringement. Groupon, of recent IPO fame, sells coupons for use at local shops, restaurants, even doctors’ offices. Yelp has become something of a democratized Zagat guide, providing information and reviews of local establishments across the U.S. MCF, a vague enterprise based in California, appears to be a patent troll, or in politically correct terms, a patent-holding entity that does not produce any products. MCF alleges in its respective Groupon and Yelp complaints that both of the young, internet-based companies infringed upon Patent Number 7,693,752, owned by MCF. While patent wars among technology developers is nothing new, what is of particular interest in these cases is the breadth of the patent itself and the mobile device industry at large.

This is of course happening in the US, where patent trolls are very commonplace. The FFII’s president warns that the same might happen in Europe if the multinationals and/or patent lawyers get their way. To quote:

EU patent is an example where adoption where EU shows it will do everything possible to boost growth of trolls

There is a formal document linked there. They usually prefer to say “boost the economy” or something along those lines.

Big Figures for Big Impact: Academics Versus Lobbyists

Posted in Patents at 9:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Education

Patent lawyers’ propaganda does not stack up

Summary: New numbers from Bessen et al. and the latest propaganda from a UK-based front group for ‘IP’

FOLLOWING the newest study from Bessen and his co-workers, there is press coverage estimating the cost of patent trolls at about half a trillion dollars. The figure as it appears in headlines might not be accurate, but it does have an impact and it can help squash patent trolls. We are quite used to seeing the Business Software Alliance commissioning the likes of IDC (at the behest of Microsoft et al.) to put out there some bogus figures which have the very opposite effect, so maybe this is a case of using scholarly work to battle lobbying. “Federation Against Software Theft” is another new body we saw emerging in a press release a couple of days ago. It says: “The new small claims service being introduced at the Patents County Court (PCC) in 2012 will help small and medium sized software businesses protect their copyright, trademarks and designs, reports the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST).”

Sounds like lobbying for patents on someone else’s behalf. At the bottom it says that “The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) was formed in 1984. FAST is a not-for-profit organisation limited by guarantee and wholly owned by its members. It was the first organisation to protect software publishers’ rights and advances its mission through education, enforcement and policy initiatives, together with promoting standards and best practice in the professional management of software. FAST advocates IP for growth. www.fast.org.uk ”

IP growth, eh? It’s funny that they have a .org.uk domain while they probably just serve as a front group of multinationals like Warner or Microsoft. Historically, we are less used to seeing this body fronting for patents and more used to seeing it involved in copyrights maximalism.

In other news, there is this continued push to put patents on just about anything, which leads to a stunning debate that ought to have been trivial. Some companies wish to patent life itself. To quote: “Oral arguments begin today on two separate cases, which don’t involve biotech firms but will affect the industry.”

It also says: “Both Akamai and McKesson have found support from two biopharma groups and one company in amicus curiae filings. Myriad Genetics offered insight into industry thinking: Since the Human Genome Project, the company noted, companies cannot obtain patents for fundamental composition of matter, since almost all of the human genome, all its encoded proteins, and analyses of those molecular markers, are deemed prior art.”

They actually wanted a patent on life and the Genome Project famously stopped them (to a degree). How did things get so bad to begin with? Not every piece of knowledge should be treated as “property” that can be sold of leased. It’s an outrageous suggestion to do so. Here is some news about patents being sold. It says that “Cryptocard has acquired the patents and intellectual property of GrIDsure, a UK pattern-based authentication start-up that became insolvent earlier this month. Term of the deal, announced Friday, were undisclosed.”

So basically this company was just a bunch of patents and it failed. Who would have guessed? Based on this news, there are predators out there looking just for patent monopolies to pick from defunct (or up for sale) companies so that they can extract fees without really doing anything. And as noted before, Doom 3 too is now suffering from patents, so despite goodwill from Carmack, we have no source code yet. “Games programming icon John Carmack,” says one article, “has been advised to rewrite some of the Doom 3 code to pave the way for its open-source release.” There is more about it here. The patent system does not encourage innovation, it is just an expensive nuisance as it stands. Software developers do not want that.

Even Some Microsoft Apologists Appalled by Microsoft’s Patent Attack on Android/Linux

Posted in Site News at 9:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Positively evil.”

Prior art

Prior art for Microsoft’s shoddy patents is ancient

Summary: As moves are being made to invalidate Microsoft patents and to report Microsoft’s extortionate nature, even some of its supporters take a step back

MICROSOFT continues to threaten Linux/Android and Google increasingly provides assurance to partners (maybe even financial backing). B&N did the noble thing by refusing to pay “protection money”. Google is likely to become involved now. One of the latest examples says that “Schmidt, on his stopover in Taipei said, “We tell our partners, including the ones here in Taiwan, we will support them. For example we have been supporting HTC in its dispute with Apple because we think that the Apple thing is not correct,” reported Reuters.”

Slashdot has a discussion about prior art to eliminate Microsoft’s extortion of Android and over at IDG someone who is typically a Microsoft apologist (Shimel) writes:

Alan Shimel:

B&N claims that all of these are “trivial” and “insignificant” in terms of Android’s use. They claim Microsoft is using these patents for minor functionality to hold Android hostage. It is not just licensing fees either, though they claim is Microsoft is receiving anywhere from $5 dollars to $15 dollars or more per copy of Android sold (which is equal to or more than what they charge for Windows Mobile licenses). Barnes & Nobles claims that along with paying the blood money Microsoft demands, Microsoft also makes license holders sign an “oppressive” agreement which gives Microsoft say over future hardware and software configurations and innovations. This according to B&N is to ensure that they keep Android from advancing too far, too fast for Microsoft to keep up. That is in many ways worse than the licensing fees. Microsoft wants to control future Android development and innovation. Positively evil.

So even Microsoft apologists are not in favour of Microsoft on this one.

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