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11.29.11

Software Patents Are Missing the Point, Serving Multinationals

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 3:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Snowflakes

Summary: An interlude about what software patents are doing and why they need to be abolished or at least not spread any further

PATENT systems were created to encourage publication, but given that source code can be published or withheld for good, what is the point of software patents when it comes to publication? One site specifically explains how to get them in the US. “I promise myself not to use any Oracle Database, their patent aggression against Dalvik is insane and should be punished,” writes the FFII’s president, who helps find much of the news about patents, especially in Europe. There is always an attempt to extend US patent law to Europe, which would be good for US multinationals and atrocious for European businesses. We shall write about that separably. The Bilski case helped show that the system in the US is quite incapable of ridding itself from software patents and this analysis from a fortnight ago says that:

Internet and entertainment companies should rejoice. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit fit a square patent peg into a round cyberspace hole. In Ultramercial v. Hulu, the Federal Circuit reversed a decision of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and held that a process for monetizing the transmission of data over the web using advertisements does not qualify for the abstract idea exception to patentability. Many legal scholars were concerned that the Supreme Court’s decision in Bilski v. Kappos – upholding the rejection of a business method patent to hedge energy markets because hedging was an abstract idea – would eviscerate business method patents and potentially leave services in cyberspace without patent protections. However, the Federal Circuit’s decision fits service innovations in cyberspace within the business method patent category.

The goal to strive for is elimination of software patents in the United States. Failing that, we must ensure that software patents do not spread to other continents and nations.

IEEE Celebrates Patent Monopolies (Including Software Patents) While Patent Trolls Carry on

Posted in America, Patents at 2:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: IEEE fuels some more Microsoft propaganda about patents as the patent system continues to disappoint the majority

AS patent systems become more litigious, the patent trolls find themselves able to sue more and more companies as a matter of routine. Here is one from this past week’s news:

An intellectual property licensing company hit software maker Citrix Systems Inc. with a patent infringement suit in Florida on Monday, claiming the company’s popular GoToMeeting remote meeting software violates several patents for video conferencing technology.

This helps show how software patents get extensively exploited by patent trolls. Statistically, a correlation was also demonstrated. the American IEEE lobbies for software patents [1, 2] and once again helps Microsoft in its usual fashion, this time providing Microsoft with something to brag about. Microsoft writes: “The IEEE #patent scorecards recognize innovation via IP and MSFT continues to hold the #1 position for software bit.ly/uB1EN4″

Software patents and Microsoft are closely related issues. This whole ideas of treating patents like trophies is merely helping monopolies, not innovation. To quote:

Though Digimarc obtained just 66 U.S. patents in 2010 — No. 1 Microsoft had 3,117 — IEEE, a technology trade group, said the volume of patents isn’t as important as their impact, such as how frequently they were cited.

Cited as prior art? This merely shows how silly software patents really are. They are the bringing together of prior ideas and applications of these ideas. Does that merit a monopoly? Going back to the drawing board is essential because the system lost sight of its goals; it is a hen house run by the fox (patent lawyers and their biggest clients).

When Orwellian behaviour analysis becomes a Microsoft patent, then the benefit of patents to society are only further doubted. Apple gets its own Orwellian patent on tracking people, so it is not much better.

Puppet Attracts Millions in Investment

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software at 8:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Puppet Labs

Summary: A short Puppet interview delivered upon the news about a multi-million-dollar investment

Puppet is a Free/open source software tool which is used by many companies. I rely on it heavily at work. As we recently covered the release of a Puppet book we decided to also celebrate the news about Puppet Labs getting more funding. We spoke to Luke about the news and here are his answers.

1. Congratulations on the news, Luke. How long was this under negotiation and who was the initiator?

Luke: The investment was negotiated quite quickly. We had multiple outside investors who were interested in initiating a round, but our existing investors were excited enough about Puppet Labs that they proposed a deal we were happy with before we had talked to more than a couple outside investors.

2. At what capacity does Google use Puppet in-house to the best of your knowledge?

Luke: Google has published that they use Puppet on thousands of hosts in their corporate IT, but they don’t publish specific numbers. Their installation is rare in that it primarily uses Puppet to manage workstations and laptops, as opposed to servers.

3. What will the news mean to existing users of Puppet?

Luke: It means we’ve got the resources to continue focusing on improving our product while we grow our sales and marketing teams, to enable us to bring Puppet to a wider group of users.

“Cisco has not yet gone public as a user of Puppet,” explained to us the PR agent of Puppet Labs, “so we cannot explicitly state that Cisco uses Puppet, but I can give you a bit of background on Puppet and Cisco: Cisco is a great fit for Puppet because the demographic is a nearly-perfect overlap consisting of network admins and sysadmins, and Cisco has a lot of management issues that Puppet can help solve. Cisco is moving into virtualization and knows the Puppet infrastructure very well.”

Here is the press release (November 29th, 2011).


Puppet Labs Raises $8.5M in Series C Funding

Cisco, Google Ventures, and VMware Join Kleiner Perkins, True Ventures, and Radar Partners To Build On Market Success and Accelerate Growth

PORTLAND, OR – NOVEMBER 29, 2011 – Puppet Labs, the leading provider of IT automation software for system administrators, today announced the closing of $8.5 million in Series C financing to further accelerate the company’s already strong growth and customer success. New investors Cisco, Google Ventures and VMware join existing investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, True Ventures, and Radar Partners. With the $8.5 million investment, Puppet Labs has now raised a total of $15.75 million.

The funding caps off a pivotal year for the company, which now boasts more than 250 customers including Zynga, Twitter, NYSE, Disney, Citrix, Oracle/Sun, Constant Contact, Match.com, Shopzilla, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Stanford University. In January, Puppet Labs expanded beyond its open source roots and announced Puppet Enterprise, the first commercial version of Puppet™, the powerful yet easy-to-use IT automation solution for system administrators. In March, the company was chosen by AlwaysOn as one of the “OnDemand Top 100” winners.

In September, Puppet Labs announced Puppet Enterprise 2.0 at its annual user conference, PuppetConf. Puppet Enterprise 2.0, the primary driver of business growth, has opened new markets for Puppet Labs in making the provisioning, configuring, and managing of virtualized and cloud infrastructure dramatically easier for system administrators.

In October, The Wall Street Journal noted that the demand for IT professionals with “Puppet skills” had tripled over the previous 12 months. This year has also seen Puppet Labs’ community grow beyond North America and Europe, with user groups and meet-ups sprouting worldwide, including in China, India, and Japan. Puppet Labs has also continued to grow its partner ecosystem such that it now offers integrations with VMware, Amazon Web Services, Cisco, OpenStack, Eucalyptus, RightScale, Zenoss, to name a few.

“The participation of these new investors in this latest round reinforces our lead in providing powerful IT automation tools for system administrators, whether deploying applications on-premise or in the cloud,” said Luke Kanies, CEO of Puppet Labs. “Together, we are well-positioned to enable IT organizations to fully capitalize on the tectonic shifts of virtualization and cloud computing in their delivery of business results.”

About Puppet Labs

Puppet Labs, Inc. was founded in 2005 and shipped the first release of the open source Puppet Project later the same year. The popularity of Puppet Labs’ IT automation solution has since grown to where it is now responsible for managing millions of nodes across thousands of organizations, both on-premise and in the cloud, including Zynga, Citrix, Shopzilla, Match.com, Oracle/Sun, to name a few. Now numbering sixty employees and based in Portland, Oregon, Puppet Labs is backed by Cisco, Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Radar Partners, True Ventures, and VMware.

IRC Proceedings: November 28th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:40 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

Links 29/11/2011: Droid 4, Thunderbird 8.0 in Ubuntu 11.10

Posted in News Roundup at 8:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Aus’s Rusty Wrench award returns

    After an absence of four years, Linux Australia’s award for outstanding service to the FOSS community is back.

  • Presenters to get first warning: Linux Aus

    The process to introduce an official code of conduct for Linux Australia events is continuing, with the Linux Australia council today issuing a re-drafted code for the consideration of members, including a proposed new warning system for inappropriate speakers.

  • Linux Gratitude

    Is Linux so inconceivable that it is hard for users to say thank you? In her podcast Why don’t more people say thank you?, Cathy Malmrose does a great job telling her own story as an analogy for trying to understand the Linux user community. Cathy is the CEO of Zareaon right here in Berkeley and a supporter of BerkeleyLUG. Please let her know your thoughts and/or comment here.

  • TLWIR 26: DiBona, LibreOffice Templates, iPad 2 and Linux Mint
  • Kernel Space

    • The Lustre Distributed Filesystem

      There comes a time in a network or storage administrator’s career when a large collection of storage volumes needs to be pooled together and distributed within a clustered or multiple client network, while maintaining high performance with little to no bottlenecks when accessing the same files. That is where Lustre comes into the picture. The Lustre filesystem is a high-performance distributed filesystem intended for larger network and high-availability environments.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

    • GNOME Desktop

      • What People Are Saying About GNOME [Part 4]
      • Faience Gnome Shell Theme And Faience Icons

        Faience Gnome Shell theme is fully compatible with Gnome 3.2 and older older version of Gnome 3.0 as well. Faience Gnome shell and icons theme designed by Matthieu James “tiheum” deviantart user.

        Faience icons theme based on Faenza icons. The latest update of Faience icons includes many new applications such as “Blender, Compiz Config Settings Manager, Desura, File-roller, Gajim, Gmail, Google Music Frame, Mail notification, System monitor”. Also missing links fixes, new mime types, and new icon sizes.

  • Distributions

    • Parted Magic – The Ultimate Linux Tool
    • Linux from Scratch: I’ve had it up to here!

      As you may be able to tell from my recent, snooze-worthy technical posts about compilers and makefiles and other assorted garbage, my experience with Linux from Scratch has been equally educational and enraging. Like Dave, I’ve had the pleasure of trying to compile various desktop environments and software packages from scratch, into some god-awful contraption that will let me check my damn email and look at the Twitters.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • How Mandriva was built

        The distro now known as Mandriva has been making headlines since its inception – unfortunately not all of the press has been flattering. It’s the distro the community first loved, and now just loves to hate.

        Way before Ubuntu and the current slew of desktop-friendly distros – when running Linux on your desktop was a measure of your geek cred – the technologically challenged turned to Mandriva.

    • Red Hat Family

      • HP Project Odyssey’s Biggest Server Winner: Red Hat Linux

        Hewlett-Packard is facing a difficult time in the server market. Indeed, IBM is gaining momentum amid HP’s missteps with Itanium, the latest Gartner research suggests. Now, HP is trying to save face with a server initiative code-named Odyssey. But here’s the big twist: Odyssey’s biggest potential winner is Red Hat.

      • Red Hat sales exec is moving on

        Linux software company Red Hat is seeking a new top sales executive to replace Alex Pinchev, who is departing in January.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Why You Should Not Ditch Ubuntu

            Ubuntu has been facing some backlash ever since they introduced Unity. I don’t know how many users actually migrated to other distros, but some long time Ubuntu users did switch to Linux Mint from my Google+ circle. I don’t think that’s a good sign for the distribution and the company behind it, Canonical.

            I also don’t think there is anything wrong with Canonical of Ubuntu, it’s change that was inevitable. Ubuntu uses Gnome as its desktop environment and the Gnome project was moving forward with the long-awaited version 3. Gnome 3 brings some radical changes to the UI, which was extremely important to keep it ready for the new breed of devices which as ‘touch-enabled’. Gnome 3 meant change; change in the way a user interacts with his PC, change in functionality, usability and features. There were some conflict of ideas which lead Ubuntu team to create their own shell instead of using Gnome 3 shell, it was called Unity. It was not a new concept, Ubuntu already had that interface for netbooks.

          • Asus and Ubuntu in Portugal
          • List Of Unity Keyboard Shortcuts
          • ‘Foss Yeaaaah!’ – A Song About Unity, GNOME and Ubuntu
          • A few useful tweaks for Ubuntu
          • Dare To Be Different: Ubuntu’s Popularity Is Not Declining

            Like a domino effect of mis-information, this week has been chock full of reports by tech news sites that Ubuntu’s market share is declining, being surpassed by the Ubuntu spin-off and close cousin Linux Mint.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • 12 Reasons to Try Linux Mint 12

              For any new release of a popular Linux distribution, there are typically numerous fans eagerly awaiting the software’s final debut. For Linux Mint 12, however, that anticipation may well have broken all previous records, so anxious have Linux fans been to see the new release’s answer to the controversial desktop environments increasingly appearing in other operating systems.

            • Ubuntu shows DistroWatch decline as Mint soars

              Linux Mint appears to be soaring in popularity at the expense of high-profile distros such as Ubuntu, figures from DistroWatch have suggested.

              The site’s latest page hit numbers show a sharp decline in the last month for Ubuntu, which having occupied second spot throughout year has now dropped to fourth place, behind even Fedora, openSUSE and top performer, Mint.
              The figures are perhaps more surprising given that Canonical released the latest version of Ubuntu, 11.10, on 13 October, within the period covered by the measurements, which look at the average number of hits per day from unique IP addresses.
              Assuming the numbers are a meaningful reflection of actual download interest (and it should be pointed out that the site itself does not make any definitive claims), why Ubuntu might be on a downward slope is an open question. The temptation will be for commentators to blame the arrival of the contentious Unity interface, which replaced Gnome/KDE, from 11.04 (Nutty Narwhal) onwards.

            • Linux Mint 12 ships as distro’s popularity soars

              The final version of Linux Mint 12 (“Lisa”) was released, with “MGSE” extensions to GNOME 3.2 that let users create a more GNOME 2.3x-like environment. Based on Ubuntu 11.10 and Linux 3.0, Linux Mint 12 features upgrades to Firefox 7.0, LibreOffice 3.4.3 and Thunderbird 7.0.1, and introduces a new DuckDuckGo default search engine.

            • Not moving just yet

              Vaughan-Nichols cites the Page Hit Ranking on DistroWatch, a Web site that tracks Linux distributions, as the authority for this claim. Now if you look at the Page Hit Ranking, sure enough, Linux Mint has beaten Ubuntu consistently, whether it is in the last month or the last 12 months. But what do these average hits per day really mean?

              Here is what DistroWatch has to say (emphasis mine): “The DistroWatch Page Hit Ranking statistics are a light-hearted way of measuring the popularity of Linux distributions and other free operating systems among the visitors of this website. They correlate neither to usage nor to quality and should not be used to measure the market share of distributions. They simply show the number of times a distribution page on DistroWatch.com was accessed each day, nothing more.”

              In other words, the Page Hit Ranking merely reflects the number of times DistroWatch visitors call up the information page about a particular Linux distribution. It does not reflect the number of visitors that each distribution gets on its Web site, much less the number of times a distribution is downloaded and installed.

              DistroWatch is pretty clear about this, so it is surprising how pundits such as Vaughan-Nichols can pass this lightweight ranking as the basis for declaring that Linux Mint is now the most popular distribution.

            • What’s that sound?

              Over the weekend, Philip made available some updated CrunchBang Statler images. The changes were somewhat profound and, as Philip points out in his blog, “the new images are not really about additional features, but more about what has been removed and/or cleaned up (although there are a few new features to look forward to).”

              CrunchBang is going the window manager route with Openbox, so that means Xfce version of CrunchBang is retired. the main thing to have been removed/retired is the Xfce version. “Besides,” Philip writes, “there are plenty of brilliant Xfce based distributions available, and if you know what you are doing, installing Xfce under Debian is really not too difficult.”

            • Updated CrunchBang Statler images

              Yesterday, I made available some updated CrunchBang Statler images. I have made a good number of changes to Statler, probably more than I should have, but the changes were considered and needed to be made in order to progress.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • ARM releases free Android development toolkit

      ARM announced a free edition of its Eclipse-based development toolkit that’s aimed at Android developers. ARM Development Studio 5 (DS-5) Community Edition (CE) helps create performance- and power-optimized native software by integrating a graphical debugger for code generated for the Android Native Development Kit (NDK) and a version of the ARM Streamline Performance Analyzer, the company says.

    • Raspberry Pi deserves Slackware

      Some time ago I ran into this website promoting a very cheap computer the size of a credit card. The Raspberry Pi is being created by a charitable foundation. It is designed to “plug into a TV or be combined with a touch screen for a low cost tablet“. Typically its target is “teaching computer programming to children“, but such a cheap computing device will certainly have “many other applications both in the developed and the developing world“.

      You have to see the device to believe it, I guess. The videos and photos look very promising. It’s not in production yet but according to the developer team’s schedule first shipments should commence before the end of the year.

    • Phones

      • Cricket ZTE Chorus brings entry-level Muve Music for $39.99, but it’s not a smartphone

        Be careful though, because you’re apparently also giving up Android for a generic “Linux OS” when you go that route — the Muve Music plan for Android phones is $65 per month and not available on the Chorus.

      • Android

        • Nexus S PowerSkin Review

          Smartphones have become many a persons entire world in the palm of their hand (if you’re reading this then you’re likely one of those people, just like me). But having this wealth of information at your fingertips comes at a price, mainly your phones insatiable hunger for power. So when I got an opportunity to test out a PowerSkin case for my Nexus S I jumped at the chance.

        • Droid 4 details surface days ahead of expected launch

          Verizon and Motorola have had a very busy fourth quarter together, having collaborated on no less than three top-tier Android-powered smartphones. First we had the Droid Bionic arriving months later than initially expected and only weeks after the Droid 3. Jump forward another few weeks and then we have the Droid RAZR slashing its way into the lineup and contending for best of year honors. What’s next? How about a Droid 4 less than one month after that?

Free Software/Open Source

  • You Won’t Get Fired for Using Apache

    In March of 2010, I sat on a panel with Justin Erenkrantz (Apache), Mårten Mickos (Eucalyptus), and Jason van Zyl (Maven/Sonatype) at the Eclipse Conference debating the future of open source [coverage]. The audience asked questions on licensing, development models and the direction of open source generally. One of the questions concerned the role of foundations like Eclipse, and whether they represented the future or if that would be written instead by commercial producers of open source.

  • Apache Server Hit by Reverse Proxy
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird 8.0 Officially Lands in Ubuntu 11.10

        After Firefox 8 officially landed in Ubuntu 11.10 last week, earlier today (November 28th) Canonical announced that the Mozilla Thunderbird 8.0 email client is now available on the official software repositories of the Oneiric Ocelot operating system.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle v. Google – Why Jury Instructions Make A Difference – Updated: A Comparative Chart

      Back on October 15 the parties, Oracle and Google, filed their joint proposed jury instructions (539 [PDF]. Because of the length of this document we didn’t review it at that time or provide an html version, but we don’t want to ignore it either.

      Jury instructions, as we will see, can be critical in “guiding” the jury toward an approach to a verdict favoring one party or the other. That is why, although the filing is denominated a joint filing on jury instructions, it is really a filing that evidences all of the disagreements the parties have with the approach suggested by the other.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • Open source: The government’s commitment so far

      The promotion of open source and open standards is a key tenet of the government’s ICT strategy, but did the publication of the Open Source Procurement Toolkit earlier this month and recent government initiatives provide the boost needed to increase understanding and procurement of open source within the public sector?

  • Programming

    • The Top Myths About Sourceforge

      Since starting at Sourceforge about a month ago, I’ve been paying close attention to media and Twitter mentions of Sourceforge. I’ve been astonished at the sheer volume of misinformation that’s just accepted as fact. I suppose when things are said often enough, you just can’t help believing them. Here’s some of the most common ones.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Best Health Care System? Not in the USA, Despite Constant Spin to Make Us Believe It

      A little more than a year ago, on the day after the GOP regained control of the House of Representatives, Speaker-to-be John Boehner said one of the first orders of business after he took charge would be the repeal of health care reform.

      “I believe that the health care bill that was enacted by the current Congress will kill jobs in America, ruin the best health care system in the world, and bankrupt our country,” Boehner said at a press
      conference. “That means we have to do everything we can to try to repeal this bill and replace it with common sense reforms to bring down the cost of health care.”

  • Finance

    • ‘60 Minutes’ shines spotlight on homeless Fla. teens (Video)

      A powerful piece on “60 Minutes” on Sunday night shone a light into life as a homeless teenager in Florida. Though the show gave faces and stories to the impact the recession has had on South Florida, the Internet lit up with concern for two teens in particular, brother and sister Arielle and Austin Metzger. The siblings live in a van with their father, an unemployed carpenter.

11.28.11

Links 28/11/2011: Linux 3.2 RC3, VectorLinux 7.0

Posted in News Roundup at 4:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • A Visit to Brazil

    I was checking out DuckDuckGo search engine and used its setting to prefer .br and found VivaOLinux. It is a GNU/Linux-friendly site and I did not find any trolls in my brief visit. How refreshing. It’s in the top 10K sites in Netcraft stats. Compare that with DesktopLinux.com in USA which just scrapes by to get in the top million sites.

  • Desktop

  • Server

    • Review: Thumbs-Up On Oracle Database Appliance

      If you thought the past 10 years had brought forth an explosion of data — particularly when it comes to SMBs — just wait for the next 10. With mobile devices becoming incredibly powerful data collection devices, and with social media, new use patterns and more powerful processing, database technologies would appear to face a ton of challenges.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Top 5 Linux Distributions

      As a Linux user, I am sure, you will be interested to know which is the most popular Linux distribution. Till recently, if you go by Distrowatch stats, Ubuntu ruled the roost as the most popular Linux distribution. However, after Ubuntu team made a switch to the Unity interface, its popularity has declined considerably.

    • Linux, Open Source & Ubuntu: 10 Custom Linux Distros That Ease IT Administrators` Workload
    • New Releases

      • Download CRUX 2.7.1 With Linux Kernel 2.6.39.4
      • Parted Magic update brings fixes for multi-boot CD issues

        A new version of Parted Magic, simply labelled “2011_11_24″, has been released. According to the release announcement post on the project’s News page, the update to the open source, multi-platform partitioning tool includes the 3.1.2 Linux kernel and brings “some major changes that might cause some issues with the Multi-Boot-CD crowd”.

      • VectorLinux 7.0 Standard Gold

        The final release of VectorLinux 7.0 (code name ‘GG’) is now available. This release is the result of nearly two years of blood sweet and tears since the very successful release of VectorLinux 6.0. With the enthusiasm of a small group of packagers, our repository now hosts over a thousand up to date packages. VectorLinux is the fastest Linux desktop in it’s class bar none. We have exceeded our original goals of VectorLinux 7 and produced a beautiful, full featured stable desktop that is fun, fast and efficient.

      • VectorLinux 7.0 goes gold after two years

        The developers of the compact VectorLinux distribution have announced that, nearly two years after the release of version 6.0, they have released version 7.0 of their operating system. Described as “the fastest Linux desktop in its class bar none” by its developers, VectorLinux 7.0, code-named “GG”, sports a desktop based on Xfce-4.8, with an option to use FluxBox as an alternative desktop.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 2 Alpha 1 released for testing

        The Mageia project has announced the release of a first alpha of version 2.0 of its Mandriva Linux community fork. According to the Development Planning schedule, the first milestone will be followed by two more alpha releases, two betas and a release candidate; the final version is expected to arrive on 3 May 2012.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • fslinux_build: Debian Custom Build Script
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu penguins build Linux TV challenge

            Open-sourcers are taking Ubuntu Linux in the direction of Google TV and Microsoft’s Xbox 360.

            A list of priorities for something called Ubuntu TV have been thrashed out by Ubuntu developers with the blessing of Mark Shuttleworth. The Ubuntu daddy has corralled the points here.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint 12 screenshot preview
            • The Perfect Desktop – Linux Mint 12 (Lisa)
            • DistroWatch: Ubuntu Drops, Linux Mint Still On Top
            • CrunchBang Linux 10 R20111125 Available for Download
            • CrunchBang 10 update goes exclusively OpenBox

              Developer Philip Newborough has announced the release of an updated image of CrunchBang 10 “Statler” R20101205, a Linux distribution based on Debian Squeeze; CrunchBang 10 was originally released in March 2011.

              This release has some new additions but mainly focuses on the removal and cleaning up of the distribution. Previously, “Statler” was available with either the lightweight Openbox window manager or XFCE. But Newborough says that he wants to concentrate on giving “the best out-of-the-box Openbox experience possible” and, to that end, has retired the Xfce version as “there are plenty of brilliant Xfce based distributions available”.

            • Linux Mint 12: A Great desktop Linux stays Great

              Installing Mint is a snap. All you need do is download the ISO, burn it to a CD, DVD, or USB stick and then re-boot your computer with it and follow the instructions. On my PCs, the entire process took about half-an-hour. One nice thing about Mint, and other Linux distros, is that they’ll work well on old PCs with as little as 512MBs of RAM. For most people though I’d recommend running Mint on a system with at least 1GB of memory.

              You cannot though do an in-place update of Mint 11. That’s by design. Mint’s developers feel that if you just upgrade an already existing Linux, you’re likely to carry forward potential problems or out of date software. So, you’ll need to back up and restore your home directories and files. I did this by backing them up to an attached USB drive. It’s a trifle annoying, but it’s not really a big deal.

            • Linux Mint 12 Review: The Best Gnome 3 Shell Implementation

              LinuxMint team has dropped the bomb with the release of version 12, which offers a unique Gnome experience. Linux Mint is also enjoying its new limelight with esteemed #1 spot on Distrowatch. However, the journey was not that smooth for the team.

              Earlier this year when Ubuntu switched to Gnome 3 and came with Unity as the default shell, Clement Lefebvre told me that they won’t switch to Gnome 3 or Unity. The statement was applauded by the LinuxMint users. However, we did understand that it was a huge technological challenge for the LinuxMint to not adopt Gnome 3.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • New ARM Dev Toolkit for Android Addresses Platform ‘Hodgepodge’

      This morning, ARM is taking a significant step toward ironing out Android’s multiple versioning issues that Linus Torvalds himself called a “hodgepodge” earlier this year. It’s releasing suites of developers’ tools, including a free community edition, of its ARM Developers Studio (DS-5), this time including a graphical debugger that it says will eliminate the need for devs to use a clunky, command-line debugger for tuning native code.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet review [Video]

        If you’re looking for a low-priced tablet this year, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet is one you’ll want to consider.

        At $249, the Nook Tablet is a bit more expensive than the Amazon Kindle Fire, the Nook Color and the Kobo Vox, each of which are selling at about $200. But, the Nook Tablet is a better piece of hardware than its $200 rivals and the extra dough wouldn’t be spent in vain.

      • Get an Acer Iconia 10-inch tablet for $229.99

        And come on: $229.99?! That’s only $30 more than you’d pay for a 7-inch Kindle Fire. And it’s $20 less than the Nook Tablet. If you’re in the market for a 10-inch slate, this is without question the deal to beat.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Devs tempted to hit the source at appMobi’s free bar

    Mobile developers with an AJAX leaning can now get free access to the source for appMobi’s development toolkit, allowing them to incorporate bits of appMobi tech into their own apps.

  • Science prize goes to an open source project

    The monthly Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) from Science magazine has this month been awarded to an open source project. The winner, Open Source Physics, is a web site that provides tools and resources for interactive computer-based modelling; it is intended to help teach students at all levels the principles of computational physics.

  • Crashing Google Wave Finds New Life in Open Source

    Google recently announced it will shut down Google Wave, the company’s web app for real-time collaboration, in April 2012.

    Google had previously all but abandoned Wave, ceasing new development over a year ago, but soon all traces of Wave will be removed from the web. Wave will become read-only in January 2012, meaning users will no longer be able to create new waves. After that Google Wave users have until April 30 to export their content before the service shuts down completely.

  • Why free software is not a job killer

    At first, this seems a little bit odd. As much as I love and enjoy using FLOSS and value it for its steadiness and security, I also understand that I must also devote some time to maintaining it, just like any proprietary system. What’s funny about my particular situation is that because I don’t use Windows that often, I actually spend more time maintaining security updates on my Linux machines than I do my Windows client. But when you only use a PC an hour a week or so, versus near-24/7 uptime, you get that. If I were using my Windows computer more often, I know the maintenance time would be much higher.

    And that’s just the client machines I have. I’ve done enough systems administration to know that there are almost as many tasks in administering FLOSS software as proprietary. Sure, there’s a lot less time spent looking for viruses on a Linux machine, but I still have to manage user accounts, provision machines, etc.

  • Events

    • CeBIT 2012: Call for projects

      Open source projects can now apply for free booth space at next year’s CeBIT trade show, which will take place from 6 to 10 March 2012 on the world’s largest fairground in Hannover, Germany. For the fourth year in a row, open source will have a presence at the event, with various organisations and projects from around the world represented in Hall 2.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Time up for Oracle’s HTML5 killer?

      Sun Microsystems in 2007 announced a re-imagining of GUI platform Swing with JavaFX. Swing, Sun said, had reached an architectural dead-end and need a reboot to compete on modern, Rich Internet Application (RIA) platforms.

  • CMS

    • The Big 3 continue to dominate the Open Source CMS race

      “WordPress turned in another strong year, clearly outpacing both Joomla! and Drupal,” notes lead analyst Ric Shreves. “Looking beyond the Big 3 we find a considerable amount of movement in the market, with several smaller systems turning in solid performances this year. Concrete5, in particular, had a very strong year.”

  • Healthcare

    • Summa Health System Launches New Site with Jahia

      Jahia, provider of Java-based open source CMS solutions, announced today that Summa Health System (summahealth.org) has re-launched its website using Jahia, chosen based on its interoperability with a wide range of content repositories, making Jahia the de facto “online digital hub” for Summa Health’s content.

  • Business/Other

  • Project Releases

    • Node.js 0.6.3 integrates NPM

      The Node.js developers have announced the release of version 0.6.3 of the JavaScript-based, event-driven, application framework. A new feature in the release is the addition of NPM, Node Package Manager, to the Node.js distribution. NPM was independently developed to offer Node users a simple way of packaging and distributing libraries of code and has become the de facto standard for Node.js packaging.

    • Version 1.0 of YaCy distributed search engine released

      After more than 5 years of development, the YaCy developers have released version 1.0 of their open source, decentralised search engine. The GPL-licensed YaCy peer-to-peer search engine is designed as an alternative to search services, such as those provided Google, that are centrally managed by one company.

      Like file sharing peers, all search engine peers will contribute search results and use the results contributed by others. An important advantage, say the developers, is that YaCy content cannot be censored. Karsten Gerloff, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe described the project as a “vital building block” for the “future world of distributed, peer-to-peer systems”.

  • Public Services/Government

    • UkGovcamp: walk a mile in our sandals and realise some serious savings
    • Open source: Is the government doing enough?

      Open source is currently in use across several government departments, with Drupal powering the Cabinet Office website and some DirectGov services, Transport for London’s Oystercard using an open source infrastructure, and the Department of Health using open source to work with EU partners.

      In addition, some departments are creating their own open source technologies, such as the Department for the Climate Change, which has created FoxOpen. However, most of the technology used by government remains proprietary, with the Department for Work and Pensions, for example, still using comprehensive proprietary products from single vendors such as IBM.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Will HTML5 kill mobile apps?

      By forcing Web developers, and ultimately Adobe, out of the Flash business, Apple made HTML5 apps better. That’s good for Safari users, but it’s also good for users on other Web platforms, like Android. If there’s a truly good universal platform for online apps, it stands to reason that the smart developer will build apps for it, since this way the app will be available to the largest number of users. Right?

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • Secret Fed Loans Undisclosed to Congress Gave Banks $13 Billion in Income

      $7.77 Trillion

      The amount of money the central bank parceled out was surprising even to Gary H. Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis from 1985 to 2009, who says he “wasn’t aware of the magnitude.” It dwarfed the Treasury Department’s better-known $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Add up guarantees and lending limits, and the Fed had committed $7.77 trillion as of March 2009 to rescuing the financial system, more than half the value of everything produced in the U.S. that year.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Will Paradis Fail To Can Canadian Spam?

      Last year, a Quebec court upheld the largest spam damage award in the world, ordering Adam Guerbuez, a Montreal-based email marketer, to pay Facebook $873 million dollars for sending millions of spam messages to users of the popular social network. Two months later, the Conservative government passed long overdue anti-spam legislation that finally established strict rules for electronic marketing and safeguards against the installation of unwanted software programs on personal computers, all backed by tough multi-million dollar penalties.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Koha trademark: top lawyer says Trust has stronger case

        A leading ICT lawyer in New Zealand says the Horowhenua Library Trust, which is getting ready to lodge an objection to the registration of the Koha trademark for software by an American defence contractor, has a stronger case than its opponent.

        Rick Shera, a partner at Lowndes Jordan Barristers and Solicitors in Auckland, and the first lawyer to have qualified as a New Zealand Computer Society Information Technology Certified Professional, was commenting on the case of the Koha project, an integrated library system.

    • Copyrights

      • Copyright coming to the Supreme Court of Canada

        The copyright bar and the Supreme Court are gearing up for two big days of copyright appeals. The five appeals are being heard back to back on December 6 and 7, 2011.

        Earlier today the Court circulated the draft schedule for the arguments. It lists all the parties, the interveners, the lawyers involved, and the order in which the cases are going to be heard. It is going to be a very interesting two days for copyright in Canada.

Attachmate Does Not Promote Novell Products

Posted in Novell at 9:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Attachment

Summary: Following layoffs and a quiet period of transition there are no signs of Attachmate doing something substantial with Novell’s products

Attachmate was seen mentioning some products recently. This is rare. It also spoke about jobs in Australia [1, 2, 3], but there is no indication that this has anything to do with Novell products. Attachmate laid off almost 1,000 Novell employees.

In general, Attachmate only seems to speak about releases of its own products, e.g.:

Attachmate Corporation offers the second release of its next-generation product for the X Server market. Attachmate Reflection Suite for X 2011 R2 lets Windows users securely access text- and graphics-based applications on Unix and Linux systems, as well as applications on IBM System z and System i. The software’s inclusion of the latest X Server technologies, next-generation terminal emulation software, and a secure file transfer client in a single deployment package lets enterprises seamlessly meet their host access needs during a Windows 7 migration.

Windows, that’s right. There is more about this sort of stuff here. What about Novell’s products? As this new article explains: “Questions remain what Attachmate will do with the IDM products it acquired through Novell. That leaves IBM, Hitachi and CA as the major IDM players. Additionally, CA is now an authentication player in another sparsely populated segment. Since Symantec bought VeriSigns’ certificates business, the market has coalesced around RSA, Symantec and CA.”

The words from Attachmate regarding Novell are hardly reassuring. To quote:

By returning its umbrella companies to their roots, the Attachmate Group hopes to reinvigorate its business strengths, according to the keynote addresses at the organisation’s Powerful Connection event in Sydney.

Very vague and no commitment expressed for Novell as a whole. There are some other talks from the company, but they hardly mention anything about Novell (the “N” word) [1, 2, 3]. To quote one article:

Speaking at Attachmate’s A Powerful Connection conference in Sydney, Gallo said more than 70 per cent of company fraud in Australia is committed by staff members.

When all the stuff from Attachmate is about its old staff and products (e.g. this announcement), then Novell is clearly doomed with the products it created. We provided more examples of this before. Not much has changed except some lip service at Brainshare.

More Novell Staff is Leaving as Novell Products Get Ditched by Customers

Posted in Novell at 9:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell logo bitten

Summary: A news roundup of the Novell that crumbles rapidly, with evidence backing the claim

FROM the ashes of Novell came some talented people who are not obligated to serve Microsoft’s vassal anymore.

One former Novell employee made the news for the following story that says:

Nufer, a laid-off employee at Novell, decided to add a competitive element to the puzzle with a game called Tangram Fury. Using two large triangles, one medium right triangle, two small right triangles, a square and a parallelogram, players race to recreate images from a deck of cards.

Twitter is now expanding in Europe and a first employee in Dublin has Novell background. To quote: “Twitter, which is locating its international operations in Dublin, has appointed Laurence O’Brien as financial controller for its EMEA operations, Siliconrepublic.com has learned. O’Brien previously worked for enterprise software player Novell and Dublin tech start-up Prime Carrier.”

This was also covered here and here. The latter says:

Twitter, which is locating its international operations in Dublin, has appointed Laurence O’Brien as financial controller for its EMEA operations, Siliconrepublic.com has learned. O’Brien previously worked for enterprise software player Novell and Dublin tech start-up Prime Carrier.

Former executives from Novell also find themselves moving. One new example involves Michelle Duffy:

Ms Duffy has been successful in building strategic relationships with various channel partners prior to joining Acronis, working for companies such as Dimension Data, Citrix (through itX Group), M86 Security and Novell.

Another source says that “Disaster recovery and data protection provider Acronis has appointed experienced partner manager Michelle Duffy to the role of ANZ channels business development manager.”

Another man who worked for Novell goes Savi (not savvy). “Before joining Novell, Juliano held senior executive positions with Symbol Technologies, IBM, and several global advertising agencies, including Ogilvy & Mather.”

And the last one says about Nussbickel that: “He brings more than 10 years of finance leadership and C-level experience with him, having worked as (regional) CFO with various high-tech and software multinational enterprises, among them Oracle and SuSE Linux AG (today part of Novell).”

Novell is no more though. It is a historical entity. And finally: “Avaya’s big bet on Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) technology will define its future, said Avaya President and CEO Kevin Kennedy, who on Tuesday argued that customer embrace of SIP in this decade is a story playing out much like how the growth of TCP/IP boxed out proprietary networking protocols like AppleTalk and Novell IPX in the 1990s. ”

That is all the remains of Novell’s glory.

Moving on to another example of moves away from Novell:

Bradford also has been senior vice president and general counsel of Novell Inc.

The general trend seems clear. Novell’s executives were made redundant and even lower-level staff found other occupations. Novell’s old products are generally being dropped in favour of products from Google, IBM, and Microsoft in the case of mail. Amid migrations we see this news about “Google is paying for the LAPD to keep using Novell Groupwise.”

That won’t last for long. Here is an example of more defections away from Groupwise or rejections of it. In the article “Students frustrated with new email” it says that “The committee entertained options from Gmail, Novell Canada, Lotus, and Landisk, but eventually decided to switch to Microsoft.”

Novell is mentioned in Campus Technology in the following context:

The organization also added Novell’s Compliance Management Platform, which includes a number of security products, including Novell Sentinel for security and event monitoring; and Identity Manager for user provisioning, password management, and access control. In April 2011 Novell was acquired by NetIQ, which now owns and operates the Compliance Management Platform as well as the Sentinel and Identity Manager product lines.

In another new article Novell gets mentioned for the following:

The first step was to replace its existing outdated e-mail system, Novell GroupWise, with Gmail. Handling the GroupWise licenses was a huge challenge; throughout much of the year, TIFF operates with a staff of about 250, but leading up to the festival it ramps up to 600 or 700 people. Also, many employees are mobile, so they required VPN access to check their e-mail.

It seems like proprietary lock-in keeps Groupwise alive for a while longer in some places. But how long will it last now that even this products leadership is in a shaky state?

The same goes for Novell’s old network framework, which is being shaken much to Microsoft’s delight:

8. Active Directory will continue to dominate, and the IAM framework market will see modest growth. Active Directory is the identity management platform of choice for enterprises, and Quest Software expects this dominance to increase slightly as some of the remaining users of Novell eDirectory shift to Active Directory. Given Active Directory’s market acceptance, Microsoft’s aggressive Enterprise Agreement sales and the TEC for Directory & Identity focus, it is not surprising that usage of Microsoft’s Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) easily exceeds the usage of competing IAM frameworks such as IBM Tivoli Identity Manager, Oracle Identity Manager, CA Identity Manager and Novell Identity Manager. Quest Software expects modest growth in both Microsoft and non-Microsoft framework categories over the next year.

Passiveness from Attachmate serves Microsoft well here and businesses develop around the urge to quit Novell (this one if a new press release). Here is the only exception that we found. It basically says that a Novell product gets increased support from a third party, but such news is rare. Many would be wise to assume that Novell is dead man walking.

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