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01.10.12

Links 10/1/2012: Linux at the Consumer Electronics Show, Asus Reveals Tablet, Tizen Source Code Release

Posted in News Roundup at 6:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Training for Your New Year’s Resolutions

    Immediately on the horizon is our LF331 Developing Linux Device Drivers class on January 16-20, 2012. LF331 introduces programmers to the Linux kernel and the different device drivers used in the Linux kernel space, while hands-on exercises and demos provide the necessary tools to learn how to develop device drivers for Linux. Register by 5pm PT on January 11th and get an early start on the New Year!

  • Linux News From The Consumer Electronics Show 2012

    It’s now CES (Consumer Electronics Show) week in Las Vegas… Phoronix will have you covered on important Linux hardware news.

    The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show doesn’t officially begin until tomorrow, but there’s already some media events, parties, and other meetings taking place.

  • Desktop

    • Happy New Year & Browser and OS stats for 2011

      Operating Systems
      Windows 52.68%
      Linux 38.55%
      Macintosh 6.99%

    • A snapshot of Linux on the desktop

      The Linux desktop landscape is a diverse place. As an open-source operating system, anyone can take the code, make whatever changes they want, and release it as their own custom distribution. A land of diversity, however, also has its pitfalls. Mandriva Linux seems like the most recent candidate to fall, with the company purportedly going under on January 16th if it doesn’t receive an infusion of funds. The funds are being blocked by a shareholder dispute, and it will be a sad story for the once-popular Linux distribution. How many Linux distributions have gone quietly into memory, and which have stayed? What makes Ubuntu so popular? Let’s take a quick look into the the history of Linux on the desktop.

  • Server

    • Server wars: Open-source Java vs Weblogic and WebSphere

      Open source is winning the Java application-server war in the age of the cloud, according to a new survey.

    • AT&T joins ‘Linux for cloud’, boosts HTML5 apps

      Free whitepaper – Unlocking the Enterprise Cloud: How the OpenStack project eliminates Cloud lock-in

      AT&T – one of America’s largest internet, phone and TV service providers – is throwing up an open-source cloud running OpenStack to court application developers.

      The giant has announced AT&T Cloud Architect, a planned service of elastic public, private and bare metal servers wrapped with different storage, network and monitoring options. AT&T Cloud Architect is a developer-centric service due in the “coming weeks”.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Relearning KDE

        KDE SC is great in many, many ways, but I have found that some of those ways are anything but obvious. Nothing specific to KDE, though, as it happens with all kinds of software and devices nowadays. Users want the quick route to do their thing, which most often results in them using a tiny portion of the application or device functionality… After all, who reads a darn manual, right?

  • Distributions

    • Freezy Linux – A Retro Distro

      Some people don’t like the way Ubuntu’s user interface has changed in recent versions, and a person from Rome, known as lucazade in the Ubuntu Forums, has done something about it. The Italian has produced a distro called FreezyLinux. It’s based on Ubuntu 11.10 and Gnome 3.2.

    • KahelOS 111111 review

      KahelOS is a desktop Linux distribution derived from Arch Linux. Unlike Chakra, another Arch Linux-based desktop distribution, which uses the K Desktop Environment, KahelOS uses the GNOME 3 desktop environment. It employs a rolling-release development model, and comes to use by way of the Republic of the Philippines.

    • New Releases

      • ExTiX 9 x64 LiveDVD :: The Ultimate Linux System

        ExTiX 9 x64 is a remaster of Ubuntu 11.10 released on 13 October 2011. The original system includes the Desktop Environment Unity with Gnome 3.2. After removing Unity I have installed Gnome Shell and Razor-qt so that everyone on the spot (during live operation) can compare the different Desktop Environments. I have also replaced the original kernel 3.0.0-14-generic with “my” kernel 3.1.6-extix. Kernel 3.1.6 is the latest available stable kernel, which can be downloaded from kernel.org. The system language is English.

    • Red Hat Family

      • CentOS upgrade from 6.0 to 6.1
      • Hats Off To Red Hat

        Red Hat delivered solid third-quarter revenue, which was up by 23% to $290 million due to robust license renewals. The company also benefited a lot on the operational front, as it saw operating margin expand further to 18.5% for the quarter. The company’s earnings also rose at a better-than-anticipated rate of 47% to $38.2 million as its margins continued to improve.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical outs Ubuntu TV: Brave or stupid?

            Last week we covered the news that Canonical would announce a new Ubuntu concept device at CES. At the time we believed it would be a smartphone or tablet, possibly made by LG. Everyone in the ET bunker was buzzing with the possibilities of such a device, especially when paired with — perhaps — an Ubuntu-based ultrabook. The smiles that had been pasted on our faces quickly melted away this morning, however, when it emerged that this “top secret” project is actually an Ubuntu TV — an ill-fated attempt to launch Canonical into the realm of commercial consumer electronics, and seemingly the product of delusions of grandeur.

          • Canonical Showcases Ubuntu TV and IVI at CES, Exclusive Images
          • Download the Official Ubuntu TV Wallpaper

            Despite all today’s news about Ubuntu’s latest extension into our lives (Ubuntu TV if you haven’t been paying attention) part of me is still left… wanting more.

          • [Video and Tech Specifications] Ubuntu TV Revealed at CES 2012
          • Linux Kernel 3.2 Officially Lands in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
          • Canonical’s Ubuntu TV Surfaces at CES 2012
          • Interactive TV News Round-Up (III): Ubuntu TV, ConnecTV, Civolution, Dijit
          • Ubuntu to move to rapid release Firefox for 10.04 and 10.10

            Ubuntu icon The Ubuntu developers have now decided to switch older versions of Ubuntu, specifically the 10.04 LTS and 10.10 releases, to current releases of Firefox. The new policy will come into place on 17 January when users of those two editions will see their Firefox updated to the current version. Canonical’s Micah Gersten, in announcing the change, points out that 10.04 LTS and 10.10 users have been receiving 3.6 point updates but not “benefiting from new features, support for new web technologies, security enhancements, and performance improvements.” Gersten says that they need to move users to the rapid release model “so that they will continue to receive security updates in a timely fashion.”

          • Flavours and Variants

            • DebEX-Mint 12 Special with KDE 4.7.4 and kernel 3.1.6

              DebEX-Mint 12 Special Live DVD is a remaster of Linux Mint 12 – codenamed “Lisa” released on 26 November 2011. The original system includes the Desktop Environments Gnome 3.2, Gnome Classic (Gnome 2.32) and Mate (a fork of the venerable GNOME 2 Desktop Environment). In DebEX-Mint 12 Special Edition, I have installed KDE 4.7.4 (latest stable version), as an alternative, so that everyone on the spot (during live operation) can compare the different Desktop Environments. I have replaced the original kernel 3.0.0-14-generic (the same kernel as in Ubuntu 11.10) with “my” kernel 3.1.6-debex. The system language is English.

            • Revamp Linux 12 Review

              There is a new light on the Ubuntu horizon, Revamp is a newly released distribution that aims to offer extremely rich graphical effects, and everything you would expect from a full featured desktop environment. Though this version of Revamp is still in the experimental stages I was very impressed by the stability, and the effects are mind-blowing. Revamp 12 is based on Ubuntu 11.10 and uses the full power of Compiz along with many plugins to add effects for even the smallest of desktop actions. Revamp is also running on Deuce-Visage or Two Face, which means that you can login to the Revamp-Compiz desktop, or Gnome Shell.

            • Where Will You Hide the Bodhi?

              I had a brief flirtation with Bodhi Linux this past week. I nuked my CrunchBang Linux install to give it a go. It seemed pretty solid, but after spending some quality time with the distro, I found the version of Network Manager loved to randomly disconnect me from wireless networks…as in, right in the middle of me transferring files, streaming music, and doing tha IRC thing. Very irritating.

              I did a full update to the most recent released version (released in the past few weeks) and found e17 randomly crashing which wasn’t the best addition to a randomly disconnecting wireless connection…and I know that crashes aren’t a problem in e17 since the handler can just restart all the modules and BOOM you’re back. Regardless, the Network Manager disconnection problem eventually irritated me enough to jump ship. I attempted connman, exalt, and wicd but I found myself lost. Since I haven’t used those tools before and the docs very scarce for uprooting Network Manager from Bodhi, it was a stopping point. No worries, it’s still a great distribution and e17 is VERY fast and looks very good on this 7 year old laptop. However, CrunchBang called me back.

            • Ubuntu variants to get 12.04 LTS releases

              The Ubuntu Technical Board has approved three separate proposals which will see Long Term Support (LTS) editions of the KDE-based Kubuntu, Xfce-based Xubuntu and education-oriented Edubuntu appear alongside Ubuntu 12.04 LTS when it is released in April.

            • Xubuntu, Kubuntu, and Edubuntu LTS

              I was delighted to read this morning that the Ubuntu Technical Board has approved Xubuntu and Kubuntu to be LTS versions, as well as Edubuntu based on some further discussion. You can read the meeting log here.

            • Linux Mint Touches All Time High On DistroWatch, Will Ubuntu Recover?

              There was some nasty mud-slinging when Linux Mint topped the DistroWatch ratings, beating Ubuntu. Those who understand how DistroWatch ratings work knew that higher rating did not mean more users. Ubuntu by far has much more users than Linux Mint. But the way Ubuntu fans attacked DistroWatch for being ‘useless’ and some Ubuntu developers coming out with suggestions to game DistroWatch and bring some unknown distro on top to show it is flawed was disgusting. If they believed in gaming the system so much, why they did not game the system and bring Ubuntu on top again?

            • Linux Mint Came To Ubuntu’s Rescue With Cinnamon

              Ubuntu was heavily criticized for Unity which took away a lot of functionality. Then came Linux Mint with the much needed customization. The rise of Linux Mint on DistroWatch is an evidence that Unity has become the reason users are looking at the alternatives of the much loved Ubuntu. Yes, one can say those figures doesn’t matter but that would be an ostrich approach where you put your head in the sand and say everything is fine.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Boxee Box screenshot tour

      This Boxee Box Screenshot Tour was created to accompany our detailed review of the D-Link Boxee Box equipped with updated firmware version 1.5. The tour below includes about 180 screenshots showcasing the Boxee Box’s menu system, extensive suite of multimedia apps, movies and shows selection process, Watch Later feature, and more.

    • An updated Boxee Box review

      Powered by Boxee’s popular media streaming software platform, D-Link’s Boxee Box delivers movies, show episodes, and other A/V content in numerous formats from Internet sites, LAN shares, and attached media to TVs and audio systems.

    • Altair unveils Embedded Linux SDK for LTE chipsets
    • Phones

      • Samsung: ‘We’ll nick Nokia’s global mobe crown this year’

        Samsung is feeling confident that it can ship more handsets than Nokia this year, making it pretty much the top mobile phone company in the world.

        The South Korean firm has already surpassed Apple as the world’s biggest smartphone maker, so if it can overtake Nokia in all handsets, it will take the lead in the competitive field.

      • Tizen’s Source Code Released

        The Linux Foundation hosted, Intel and Samsung backed Tizen project has released the source code of first alpha. Tizen was created when Nokia joined hands with Microsoft and started to kill its own open source initiatives, namely MeeGo. Tizen was created to replace MeeGo.

      • Tizen first release goes live

        The first release of the new Tizen device software has been launched by the Tizen Association. First announced in September 2011, the industry group was created by the LiMo Foundation and Linux Foundation. The Tizen Association started operations on 01 January and will work on industry engagement and in-market support for the Tizen software platform.

      • SDK offers early look at Meego successor Tizen

        The Tizen project, which was launched in September by the Linux Foundation, Intel and Samsung, has now announced the opening of source code repositories and the release of an SDK for the Tizen mobile operating system. Both are described as “very early previews” and are aimed at giving developers the opportunity to take a look at and give feedback on the heir to MeeGo and Limo.

      • Android

        • ATandT, Verizon, Sprint unleash 4G LTE Android phones, tablets

          AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint announced a bevy of Android smartphones — and a few tablets — on the first day of this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Highlights include the Sony Xperia Ion phone at AT&T, the Motorola Droid 4 and Razr Maxx on Verizon, and Sprint’s first LTE phones: the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and LG Viper.

        • Lenovo Unwraps Android 4.0 ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’ Smart TV

          Lenovo is bringing Ice Cream Sandwich to the big screen with a new take on home entertainment. The company is “allowing consumers to customize their TV experience both with the blending of the Web — but also by heightening that experience with Android applications,” said tech analyst Charles King. “It’s also talking about creating a highly integrated home. … You might call it the home cloud.”

        • Nyxio Smart TV featuring Android at CES2012

          A smart tv is good, but a smart tv with Android could be great. Nyxio Technologies is formally announcing the debut of their latest edition to the 2012 product line, The Nyxio Smart TV with Android OS. Ranging in sizes from 21″ to 65″, the whole line will come with HD/LED technology along with touchscreen capability. Nyxio believes this to be a one-of-a-kind Android product and with full access to the Android Market it sounds very interesting!

        • New Slacker app for Android Tablets comes complete with great new features

          Slacker, one of our favorite Android radio apps, is getting an overhaul today at CES. The new update has been optimized for tablets and features superior graphics and album art that’s been made for a 4G LTE network.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

Free Software/Open Source

  • Winners and Losers in Business Open-Source Software

    We all know that Linux, Apache and Samba are vital for business data center servers, Web servers and file and print servers respectively in businesses both large and small. What you may not know though what’s trending below the top-tier of open-source software. That’s where OpenLogic, an enterprise open-source software provider and consultants comes in. In their recent study 2011 Open Source Adoption Trending Report, OpenLogic looks at the winners and losers in open-source software adoption.

  • Open Source: Not Just for Tech Anymore

    Politics is experiencing a growing presence and impact from open source software and ideas. Many of the central tenets of the Occupy movement parallel open source software, including transparency, openness and collaboration. “Occupy” has been described as a type of “open source brand.”

  • The UK Telegraph Diagnoses America’s Problem

    I’ll keep saying it and saying it… How can we effectively advocate Free and Open Source Software, open technology, and Internet freedom when we’re still dealing with people who think computers are magic, not science? And how can we teach computer science to a population that rejects science… period?

  • Nagios Wins Linux Journal Reader’s Choice Award For Best Monitoring Solution
  • How “Throwing One Away” Makes Open Source Better

    There’s a wonderful line in Fred Brooks’ book “The Mythical Man-Month”, where he says that when writing a program, plan to throw one way – you will anyway. But that’s a bit of a problem for conventional software development, because it’s not clear when the best time is to throw that one away.

    Doing it during development means delaying the public release, and that will cost you market share and possibly the entire market. First-mover advantage means that the really important thing is to get out there with something – however ropey – and hope to patch it up as you go along (think repairing aeroplanes as they fly….)

  • Events

    • Coming to FOSDEM?

      One of the most important events of the year for Europe’s open source software developers is the Free and Open Source Developers’ European Meeting – FOSDEM. It’s held annually at the start of February in Brussels, and this year’s instance is coming soon, on the first weekend in February.

  • W
    eb Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 9 Officially Lands in Ubuntu 11.10

        A few days ago, Canonical uploaded the final bits of the Mozilla Firefox 9.0 web browser on the official software repositories for the Ubuntu 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot) operating system.

  • SaaS

  • Databases

    • Hadoop vs. an RDBMS: How much (less) would you pay?

      Many people associate open source data framework Hadoop with managing truly massive amounts of data. And with good reason: Hadoop storage is used by Facebook and Yahoo, which many people (rightly) associate with massive data. As you learned in Part 1 of this series, Yahoo, an early adopter and contributor to Hadoop, has implemented a 50,000-node Hadoop network; Facebook has a Hadoop system with more than 10,000 nodes in place.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle’s latest Java moves frustrate users and vendors

      Oracle, which officially took on the big job of shepherding Java two years ago this month, is traveling bumpy roads lately, with its modularization and licensing plans for Java raising eyebrows and security concerns coming to the fore as well.

    • Oracle mounts Cloudera’s elephant for big data ride

      When Oracle co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison clambered onto his own Big Data elephant back in October as his company announced the Big Data Appliance, Oracle gave the impression that it would be rolling up its own implementation of the open-source Apache Hadoop data muncher. This turns out to be not true.

  • Business

    • FuseSource Emerges as a Leader in Professional Open Source in its First Year
    • Semi-Open Source

      • Spring Integration 2.1 now available

        Following more than a year of development, SpringSource, the open source Java division of VMWare, has announced the “general availability” of version 2.1.0 of Spring Integration. According to project lead Mark Fisher, the new release includes a number of new features and resolves “hundreds of issues” found in the previous version. Spring Integration is an extension of the Spring framework for building asynchronous, event-driven applications and supporting Enterprise Integration Patterns such as Channels, Adapters, Filters and Translators.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

  • Programming

    • Open Source Development Focuses on Quality PHP Game Development Solutions

      With online gaming development solutions comes many custom game solutions perfect for you, at PHP game development Company game programmer possess the skill-set to meet the game development requirements (in developing basic word or arcade games to any other complicated games) on time without any compromise with quality.

    • A Little Bit is A Lot Better

      Buddy Burden explanation of taking over maintenance of CPAN distributions is important. It’s empowering. If you’ve ever thought “I should contribute something to Perl”, start there.

      You can do it.

      Sure, it’s easy for me to say that. I’ve written a few things about Perl a few people have read. I have a few patches in a few projects and a couple of modules on the CPAN myself. (You’re reading this, aren’t you? So I have at least one reader. Thank you for your time!)

    • Good and quick kernel configuration creation

      Using the make target “localmodconfig” saves time and effort when creating a configuration for a custom Linux kernel.

    • Singleton in a header only library
    • Standard JSON API for Java to be developed

      A new Java interface for processing data submitted in JSON format has been approved by the Java Community Process (JCP) as a Java Specification Request (JSR). With 10 yes votes and 6 abstentions, the Executive Committee voted in favour of JSR 353, which is primarily intended as a basis for the standardised development of further JSON APIs and will allow applications to be smaller and more portable by not having to bundle existing JSON libraries.

    • Code for America opens 2013 application period

      Does your city need to solve a big civic problem? Cities across the United States can now submit their Code for America applications for 2013. Boston, Philadelphia, and Seattle have just wrapped up their 2011 projects. We’re eager to see what happens in Austin, Detroit, Chicago, Honolulu, Macon, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Santa Cruz in 2012. The application process opened on January 9, and applicants have until the end of March to complete their submissions.

Leftovers

  • Margin

    On the other hand, Wintel is trying to sell “ultra”books at close to $1000 and OEMs are thinking they will sell a bunch at a few percent margin with Wintel raking in huge profits. What’s the consumer going to choose, something that can give the whole family and the in-laws a decent computing experience for a similar price or something that works for only one person and sits idling most of the time? Oh yes. There is a market for these low-end gadgets everywhere on the planet. They are not that “low” and end when it comes to performance. They definitely provide acceptable performance for many purposes with all the advantages of portability.

  • Dell Denies Data

    Michael Dell ignores reality when he claims PCs are selling better than tablets all the while tablets are seeing double-digit growth and shipments of Wintel PCs are down or flat depending on where you look. Of course, Dell makes a lot more money selling desktop/notebook PCs than tablets but Dell has missed a lot of revenue as others did better than Dell selling tablets. The key to selling tablets is of course to sell good performance at lower price than the competition. Others are doing that and growing at huge rates.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • The Public’s Last Chance to Comment on Fracking in New York

      The public has until Wednesday to comment on a plan to open up 85 percent of the state of New York to the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” In 2010, a moratorium on this form of “natural” gas and oil extraction in the state was put in place, but a plan to lift it, advanced by Governor Andrew Cuomo, could change this.

    • For A Million BTU

      The price differential for a million btu is blowing out once again, between Global oil and North American natural gas. The extraordinary discount has persisted for some years. But today, with West Texas Intermediate (WTIC) oil above $100 and Brent oil above $110, the spread has reached new highs. The energy content of natural gas is trading at an 83% discount to WTIC Oil, and at an 85% discount to Brent oil. An economist might be persuaded to say: “That is a gap that must eventually close. Or, at the very least, which gives North American energy markets a huge, competitive advantage to source cheap, domestic btu compared to the rest of the world.” I would not disagree. However, the infrastructure problems associated with energy transition do not make such switching from expensive oil to cheap natural gas an easy, or rapid, endeavor. I address these issues continually, but a post of mine from last year, Vexed By Natural Gas, might be worth a read for those who want to ponder the situation further.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Lobby firm tries to get ‘wife beater’ nickname for Stella wiped off Wikipedia entry for beer

      For years it used the slogan ‘reassuringly expensive’, a tag-line which reflected its big-budget marketing campaigns.

      But while it aims to entice the upmarket drinker, Stella Artois is still known to the world as ‘wife beater’ because of its high alcohol content and perceived popularity with football hooligans.

    • The Alcohol Industry’s Stealth “Joe Camel” Strategy

      A new study published in the January 2012 issue of the American Journal of Public Health examines the sophisticated PR and marketing strategies that alcoholic beverage companies have used to re-make the image of distilled spirits to appeal to underage drinkers. The article, Joe Camel in a Bottle: Diageo, the Smirnoff Brand, and the Transformation of the Youth Alcohol Market, by James Mosher, utilizes a case study of Diageo’s Smirnoff brand to illustrate the tactics.

  • Copyrights

Updates on Microsoft/Nokia and Apple Patent Wars on Linux

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 11:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent stooges

Summary: A roundup of news relating to Android/Linux and patent wars against Android backers

THE WAR on Android (and to some extent Linux) is partly hinged on the case from B&N [1, 2, 3], which challenged the Nokia/Microsoft patent game:

In recent legal actions, Barnes and Noble is requesting access to the contracts/principals of the Nokia-M$ relationship through the ITC. Nokia has protested vigorously indicating they really want to keep matters hidden. Apparently Barnes and Noble feel M$ and Nokia are abusing their patents to stifle competiton…

Here is the main report about this, courtesy of Groklaw:

Nokia is throwing quite a fit about the ITC approving Barnes & Noble’s request that the ITC send a Letter of Request to Finland to ask the country to aid Barnes & Noble to depose five Nokia executives, including CEO Stephen Elop, and provide Barnes & Noble its list of requested Nokia documents.

Barnes & Noble, you may recall, is asserting that Microsoft, partnering with Nokia and MOSAID, is plotting “to use patents to drive open source software out of the market,” saying it is threatening companies using Android with an anticompetitive choice: pay Microsoft exorbitant rates for patents — trivial, invalid, or not infringed, according to Nokia — or spend a fortune on litigation. It wants discovery to try to prove its claims.

Here’s how Nokia took the news. In its Motion to Quash [PDF], Nokia tells the ITC that it immediately contacted Finland and filed objections, and it also contacted the Office of Unfair Import Investigations at the ITC to try to block. And now it asks the ITC to quash the Letter, or in the alternative wait to see what Finland does.

And in a second development, the ITC has denied Microsoft’s November motion to force Google to hand over business information about Android, which Google opposed, the Commission saying the requests were unreasonable and not relevant. There was also a second Microsoft motion to depose Google, and the same order grants that motion, which Google had agreed to anyhow. All this means the schedule of discovery in the case has changed, but so far, the hearing is scheduled to be in February. Considering the way Nokia is fighting to quash discovery, threatening an interlocutory appeal if necessary, I’m guessing that date is not going to be the actual date.

Plucky Barnes & Noble is fighting for itself, but this ITC case has the potential to effect the entire Android ecosystem. Barnes & Noble is shining a light on what it views as an anticompetitive plot, with patents just the latest Microsoft weapons of war, probably hoping that if the light is shining right on them, the plotters will be unable to fulfill their unholy scheme. Don’t forget that Barnes & Noble has also filed a complaint with the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, so it isn’t just us chickens who are now watching this play out. That may explain Nokia’s determination to avoid discovery. I mean, if there’s no such plot, why fight this hard to avoid handing over the contracts?

Nokia has been hijacked. In many ways, Microsoft has already bought it and one new report notes: “After all, some analysts are pushing Microsoft to buy Nokia on the basis that, in the open source-led mobile world, OS licensing fees alone are no longer a viable model without accompanying hardware. Even Google, which achieves huge service revenues via control of Android, is tempted by the hardware/software model with its Motorola buy and Nexus launches. Becoming a software/IP firm may prove to be RIM’s only option in future, but it will be a strategy of last resort, and gaining critical mass for a new platform which has suffered from teething troubles even before its launch will be tough, and not a battle on which Samsung is likely to expend much energy.”

“According to a senior person at Nokia, the Microsoft-Nokia deal was a takeover, but just like in Novell’s case, Microsoft prefers to use the hijacked company as a proxy; it helps keep the regulators away.”According to a senior person at Nokia, the Microsoft-Nokia deal was a takeover, but just like in Novell’s case, Microsoft prefers to use the hijacked company as a proxy; it helps keep the regulators away. Romours that Microsoft will buy Nokia’s smartphone division are being disputed and the matter was mentioned in the latest episode of TechBytes, albeit very briefly.

Microsoft is using patents anti-competitively and it very recently settled a case. For background: “Datel originally took Microsoft to court in November 2009 after claiming a 360 dashboard update blocked its accessories from working. Among the things that were blocked was Datel’s Max Memory cards.

“Datel claimed that Vole was playing monopoly and using its powers to cut out competition.”

As always.

Microsoft keeps collecting patents [1, 2] and goodwill-washing some patent monopolies too. Bloomberg plays along with this patents frenzy and a lawyers’ site glorifies “IP” litigation as though lawsuits should be commended:

McKool Smith namepartner Mike McKool had just scored a $290 million jury verdict in a patent case his firm had taken on contingency. But because the losing party was Microsoft Corporation, McKool wasn’t celebrating just yet. The software giant is known for getting substantial damage awards in patent disputes slashed on appeal. Which is why, in May 2009, McKool urged his client in the case, Canadian software developer Infrastructures for Information, Inc. (i4i), to bring in the man McKool calls “the best”: Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner name partner Donald Dunner.

We covered this case here many times before.

Moving on to Apple, the company is said to have little incentive to drop its lawsuits against Android backers:

Ever wonder why Apple doesn’t seem keen on settling the Android patent lawsuits it’s involved in? It’s because there’s more money in winning.

On Monday, Deutsche Bank’s Chris Whitmore sent a note out to clients outlining the four possible outcomes for Apple in its various battles with Android device makers worldwide.

IBM seems to be helping Google defend Android and John Dvorak alleges that there might be legal action coming:

quick look at the description of the patents tells me that these are not just a bunch of defensive plays, but a few offensive ones that might allow Google to begin to sue Apple and Microsoft, since that seems to be the game everyone is playing.

We are aware of a brewing patent battle from Android backers against Microsoft and Apple. The madness of the patent system is further illustrated by a story in Murdoch’s paper while new patents on software [1, 2] are boasted about in press releases as though these are products.

Our focus in this cause will be to stop Apple’s, Microsoft’s, and their proxies’ patent lawsuits against Android. One shortcut route is to strike the problem at the root — the USPTO. In the coming week we’ll concentrate some more on patents.

Microsoft Mindset Speaks for Free/Open Source Software (FOSS)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GPL, Microsoft at 11:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pretending to be the bazaar, too

Old and new

Summary: The alter-ego of Microsoft Corporation as seen in the news and in new “official” reports

THERE is a set of companies we sort of specialise in here at Techrights because they have a commonality. While pretending to serve FOSS they usually do the opposite.

Black Duck, a firm with Microsoft roots, gradually becomes the ‘expert’ in GPL (telling us it is declining) while joined by OpenLogic, a company with management from Microsoft, which reinforces the same message. If they control information, they will control minds. In this case, they can capture and control perception that FOSS developers have. GPL FUD is just on example and OpenLogic, the firm that reinforces the same message as Black Duck, now seeks to become the authority in what FOSS to use and what not to. As one article puts it:

The report ranks hot open-source projects in three key categories: Web and application servers; application frameworks; and databases and big data.

Too bad the source of the report is a company founded and control by a former Microsoft guy, eh? They always neglect to say this. Ohloh is another one (now owned by Black Duck).

Speaking of Microsoft talking heads/points, Ed Bott is at it again with his PR lies. Pogson responds by writings:

Ed knows better. He wrote, “Windows 7 has shipped a half-billion copies” since October 2009, 9 quarters, 55 million a quarter. IDC reports 80-90 million PCs per quarter produced. M$ is no longer getting a free ride, Ed. Get used to it. There are businesses that do give M$ a free ride but there are many governments, organizations and businesses that have seen the light and choose to avoid monopoly. Shopping around is the right way to do IT.

This lie goes back to Microsoft’s PR people and is echoed by their shills/MVPs. We need to be careful in the face of Microsoft’s Big Lies that it spreads via its allies. They are all just a matter of “perception management” as Microsoft calls it. We tackled those lies before.

“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

After Microsoft OOXML Corruption, Microsoft Corrupts UK Government Through Front Groups and Lobbyists

Posted in Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 11:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Westminster Parlament

Summary: Leaked documents from the UK reveal the role Microsoft played in derailing standards in the United Kingdom

THE thugs from Microsoft are waging imperialist wars again. They do this via mercenaries of sorts — front groups that pretend to be “local”.

“So MS got the UK Cabinet office to use a broken definition of Open Standard,” says iophk. “Strange that the office was so malleable.”

Herein we see standards getting replaced by Microsoft “interop” nonsense, just like Novell-type deals with their new propaganda. The sheer abuses (including bribery) Microsoft used for OOXML were covered here closely. Rather than recall them now we’ll just say with conviction that Microsoft is a criminal company, as evidenced around 2007 and 2008 when Microsoft attacked international standards bodies, many professionals (those whom Microsoft did not manage to bribe), etc.

“MS has been pushing RAND for more than a few years now,” iophk explains. As we showed in prior years, Microsoft is using the BSA and other front groups to achieve this.

Here too we have a new report which shows what Microsoft has just done (based on a leak):

The British government withdrew its open standards policy after lobbying from Microsoft, it has been revealed in a Cabinet Office brief leaked to Computer Weekly.

The Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) also formerly opposed the policy before Cabinet Office withdrew it. BIS supported Microsoft’s position against open standards, the backbone of the government’s ICT policy. The Business Software Alliance, infamous for its lobbying against open standards policy in Brussels, also lobbied against the government policy.

Microsoft took up direct opposition to the ICT Strategy’s pledge to give preference to technologies that supported open standards of interoperability between government computer systems, said the briefing paper.

The software supplier was concerned this would prevent companies from claiming royalties on the point of exchange between those systems.

It complained specifically about the wording of UK procurement policy, which in January 2011 established a definition to explain its edict that open standards should be used in government computing wherever possible. UK policy specified that “[open standards] must have intellectual property made irrevocably available on a royalty free basis”.

Microsoft said it supported the aims of UK open standards policy – specifically that government systems should be interoperable, that it should be possible for government to re-use purchased software components, and that government should not be “locked-in” to using particular technologies.

[...]

Microsoft refused to talk to Computer Weekly about its consultation with the Cabinet Office.

It said in a written statement: “Microsoft fully supports the Government’s ICT strategy and its goals of reducing cost and complexity, and increasing information sharing, interoperability, openness and re-use.”

The BSA said in a written statement it also supported government’s policy aims.

“However,” it said, “reducing public procurement expenses in the UK does not require the adoption of a policy which undermines the value of Intellectual Property and Innovation.”

Cabinet Office said in a written statement: “No lobbying has taken place that has affected our approach in creating an Open Standards definition that works for government.”

BIS also refused to discuss its differences with Cabinet Office. It said in a written statement: “Discussions are still ongoing between the departments with many options being considered.”

Glyn Moody was filled with fury over this. He wrote:

Although I am not surprised by this revelation, I remain incredibly angry about it – and I think everyone who cares about computing in this country should be too. It confirms that the UK government’s fine words about supporting open source and open standard are truly the typical and cynical political sweet-talking before you are stabbed in the back at the behest of lobbyists that wield so much power. No one should take anything the UK government says in this context seriously again.

What’s truly shocking about this episode is not that Microsoft has once again interfered with a sovereign nation’s decision to create a level playing-field – that’s just par for the course for the convicted monopolist. What’s really disgusting is that UK government has let them. This is a total scandal: anyone involved with this pathetic kowtowing to US business interests with any sense of decency would resign immediately. And those that don’t should be fired.

Free Software Magazine wrote, “look who’s behind it?”

It is at times like this I recall the Free Software Foundation’s opposition to the use of the term Open Source. Just as with “Open Standard” it is way to open to interpretation.

So once again the UK Government falls behind the pack in terms of freedom, transparency and accessibility for its citizens. This is not a party-political thing by the way – it’s a politician thing. In the UK there has been a backlash lately over the influence that the media (in particular the print media “barons”) has over government policy. Isn’t it about time the same spotlight was cast upon the influence that big business (many of them not British) have over government policy as well?

I find it saddening, disheartening and somewhat ironic that the one part of the software industry that is continuing to provide real innovation and progress is being locked out of Whitehall because of lobbying by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills!

Microsoft’s role in these situation is easy to see, even when Microsoft hides behind front groups. Over in a smaller country we find news about another FOSS-hostile government position:

A state which has been popular for using FOSS has now entered in a conditional pact where they ‘willingly’ chose to spend money on proprietary software despite the availability of free and open source alternatives.

Bribes come from proprietary software and overpriced goods. It should not be surprising that politicians turn their back on Free/Open Source software.

Openwashing Linux Tax: OpenSUSE and Tuxera

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Kernel at 11:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Peaceful place

Summary: Tuxera makes the news again, even in light of potential GPL violations, not just taxing Linux and Android on behalf of Microsoft (like SUSE does)

THE OpenSUSE project is relatively quiet these days, but some people are still on vacation. We’ll touch on that separately quite soon.

In order to keep abreast of things, Phoronix notes some Plymouth developments:

While Plymouth is now quite mature and didn’t see too much new activity in 2011, it may be finding its way into another Linux distribution. The openSUSE developers are debating to use Plymouth as a replacement to bootsplash.

OpenSUSE is behind some of the competition here. There’s no good reason to choose OpenSUSE these days. Phoronix proceeds from the little OpenSUSE news that exists [1, 2] and criticises Microsoft’s exFAT, which other than SUSE is one of Microsoft’s main patent extortion cash cows (another is Android “licensing”). Michael writes:

Microsoft’s exFAT Is Still Crap On Linux

[...]

For those very serious about exFAT on Linux, Tuxera — the same company that claims NTFS is the fastest Linux file-system — does have exFAT Embedded (product page). This is a legal implementation of exFAT on Linux with Tuxera having gone through the proper licensing channels to receive the file-system documentation and construct this Linux kernel module. Tuxera also offers exFAT for Android devices.

The debate resulting from this article is quite large and Tuxera is at the centre of it all. Ryan spoke quite a lot about it in IRC (even last night). And recently he also approached some developers. Among the things he wrote (see recent IRC logs, especially from yesterday and the day before that): “I also believe the Microsoft Gold Partner Tuxera is a GPL violator that has stolen GPL licensed source code for XFS for Linux and made it into a proprietary IFS for Windows (both violate the GPL. I doubt they used the FreeBSD implementation since it is not only crap, it is read only. The only version of XFS with any maturity and completeness that has any source code available is under the GPL, and Tuxera won’t answer my email when I ask them where they got “Tuxera XFS” from. I have notified several of the copyright holders on XFS of Tuxera’s activity. They can pursue legal remedies if it does turn out to be the case that Tuxera XFS violates the GPL, which is more likely than not.

“Microsoft sits back and lets Tuxera violate the GPL on their behalf”
      –Ryan
“Alex Elder has told me that he is suspicious that they have stolen GPL licensed XFS code from SGI’s git repository, due to the reason I brought up about the GPL version being the only usable and full featured public implementation with any maturity… he said that he is unaware of SGI licensing XFS to them, and if they did, it would not cover anything that has been added to XFS for Linux, which has spanned the last 12 years, for which SGI doesn’t require copyright assignment, so if SGI were to license the code, it would be the code from IRIX, not the considerably more advanced version from Linux [...] the version from IRIX hasn’t seen any major development since around 2000. IRIX itself has been in End Of Life extended support since 2006, which is due to end within the next couple of years [...] an IFS for Windows implementing XFS out of GPL licensed source code would be a GPL violation on two fronts: 1. Since it is under a proprietary license from Tuxera, which is not allowed under the GPL. 2. When added as an IFS, it runs inside the Windows kernel, which violates the linking requirements of the GPL, unless Microsoft was to relicense Windows under the GPL [...] Microsoft sits back and lets Tuxera violate the GPL on their behalf [...]that way they can claim compatibility with Linux file systems without being sued for it [...] if it blows up on anyone, it will be Tuxera.”

iophk responds with: “That’s usual. They mostly work through proxies”

This gives them GPL FUD to be used later, too. They get device makers stuck with Microsoft tax and also GPL violations, assuming the above conviction is true.

“[T]he only Ext2 IFS for Windows which is proprietary freeware and doesn’t violate the GPL,” writes Ryan, “is a from scratch implementation that used no GPL source codewhich was written by a college student as part of a thesis.”

The discussion was very long and on it goes in IRC. This is still work in progress for us. We may write about it again when conclusions are reached.

Apple’s Backdoorgate and New Antitrust Class Action

Posted in Apple, Courtroom at 11:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gate

Summary: Apple gets unwanted attention for putting back doors in its software in order for authorities to intrude; more antitrust lawsuits (class action) brought against Apple

APPLE received a lot of flack (hot fire even) in recent day after it turned out that it had set up a backdoor for governments, validating many suspicions that we wrote about before. To quote Slashdot:

“In a tweet early this morning, cybersecurity researcher Christopher Soghoian pointed to an internal memo of India’s Military Intelligence that has been liberated by hackers and posted on the Net. The memo suggests that, “in exchange for the Indian market presence” mobile device manufacturers, including RIM, Nokia, and Apple (collectively defined in the document as “RINOA”) have agreed to provide backdoor access on their devices. The Indian government then “utilized backdoors provided by RINOA” to intercept internal emails of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a U.S. government body with a mandate to monitor, investigate and report to Congress on ‘the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship’ between the U.S. and China. Manan Kakkar, an Indian blogger for ZDNet, has also picked up the story and writes that it may be the fruits of an earlier hack of Symantec. If Apple is providing governments with a backdoor to iOS, can we assume that they have also done so with Mac OS X?”

This is an important development because with documents in our hands it will no longer be possible for Apple to duck serious allegations. Apple has more bad publicity coming as another antitrust class action is brought against it:

Four American iPhone users have launched a class action suit against Apple over its exclusive deals with carriers in the country and the way it runs the App Store.

Apple partnered with US carrier AT&T when it first brought the Jesus-mobe to stores in 2007, in a five-year exclusivity agreement that tied users to an AT&T SIM card with no option to use another network.

AT&T conspired with the government to spy, oppress and censor too. We wrote about this in previous years [1, 2, 3]. So AT&T and Apple have more in common than the common man (or woman) may realise.

Links 10/1/2012: Linux 3.3 Plans, More Desktops With GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Prof: Schools moving to OpenSim should pay for hosting
  • Google’s Open Source Video Player

    Perhaps Google isn’t all bad these days! A new open source HTML5 video player is yours for the download. As well as being a good showcase app it is also practically useful. It is the architectural core of the new 60 Minutes and RedBull.tv apps available in the Chrome Web Store.

  • Google open sources new HTML5 video tool

    Google chose the PR graveyard shift slot of 4:30 USA Pacific time on Friday afternoon last week to put out its latest communiqué to us, the consuming masses.

    The ‘search giant’ has pushed its latest HTML5 video tool to open source.

    The new Video Player Sample is built with open web technology and is designed to allow developers (and other users) to wrap video up in the required code to be able to release it as a web store application.

  • Rackspace open-sources Dreadnot for failure-free software deployment with Node.js
  • IBM Delivers Open Source Version of EGL Tools
  • Consolidation enables open source software strategy
  • AT&T Signs On With OpenStack Open-Source Cloud

    AT&T on Monday officially signed on with the OpenStack cloud, the Rackspace- and NASA-created open-source cloud computing project.

  • An Interactive eGuide: Open Source
  • ChannelEyes Social Media Cloud Built On Open Source
  • OSQA, the open source Q&A system

    OSQA is the free, open source Q&A system you’ve been waiting for. Your OSQA site is more than just an FAQ page, it is a full-featured Q&A community. Users earn points and badges for useful participation, and everyone in the community wins.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • The new MPL

        Last week the Mozilla Foundation released version 2.0 of the Mozilla Public License. Immediately recognized as a free software license by the Free Software Foundation and approved as an Open Source license by the Open Source Initiative, MPL 2.0 is a well-crafted modern license that ought to be considered by any open source project desiring a weak copyleft licensing policy.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Unused LibreOffice Code Expunged

      The more code an application accumulates, the heavier it gets and the slower it performs usually. It’s just basic physics of programming. Since years of neglect left lots of unused code in LibreOffice, contributors have been busy cleaning it up. The latest scan by Michael Meeks shows the efforts are really paying off.

  • Project Releases

    • LSU Releases First Open Source ParalleX Runtime Software System

      Louisiana State University’s Center for Computation & Technology (CCT) has delivered the first freely available open-source runtime system implementation of the ParalleX execution model. The HPX, or High Performance Parallex, runtime software package is a modular, feature-complete, and performance oriented representation of the ParalleX execution model targeted at conventional parallel computing architectures such as SMP nodes and commodity clusters.

  • Public Services/Government

    • NASA: Prize money a bargain for better software

      In October 2010, NASA and the Harvard Business School launched the NASA Tournament Lab, an online platform for contests between independent programmers who compete to create software and algorithms and solve computational problems.

  • Licensing

    • Mozilla Releases OSI-Approved MPLv2

      Last week saw a quiet landmark in the history of the open source movement with the formal release of version two of the Mozilla Public License (MPLv2) and its approval as an official open source license. While to many it may look like just another legal detail, it is significant both for the way it was conducted and for the intent with which it has been created. This is a license aimed at unity.

    • 2011: Top Ten FOSS Legal Developments

      This year, 2011, was one of the most active years in legal developments in FOSS. This activity reflects the increase in FOSS use: Laura Wurster of Gartner, noted in the Harvard Business Review blog that open source has hit a “strategic tipping point” this year with companies increasingly focused on using “open source” software for competitive rather than cost reasons http://lawandlifesiliconvalley.com/blog/?p=619.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Zend Updates PHP Server Stack for IBM i

      Zend Technologies has launched a major update to Zend Server for IBM i, its PHP server stack for the IBM i platform. Version 5.6 marks the general availability of the new XML Toolkit, which provides a new way for integrating RPG logic into PHP apps, and a new application deployment mechanism. DBi, the drop-in replacement for MySQL on the platform that was slated for release about this time, is not yet ready.

Leftovers

  • Finance

    • REO To Rental Fed Plan Would Do Little For Housing, Says Goldman Sachs

      The Federal Reserve’s foreclosure rental program would do little to lift the ailing housing market, Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a research paper released on Friday morning.

      The analysis, written in response to a Federal Reserve paper released earlier this week, calculates the nationwide effects of renting foreclosed properties as “positive but modest,” possibly fostering a 0.5 percent increase in home prices in the first year of program implementation, and a 1 percent increase in the second year. But those are Goldman’s maximum increases, and the researchers are quick to add that the “actual effect would likely be less.”

    • Goldman’s Infamous ‘Sh*tty Deal’ Turns Out Not To Have Been As Sh*tty As Others

      The infamous Abacus transaction that cost Goldman Sachs $550 million might have been designed to fail, but it turns out that it actually performed better than its peers, according to a new study co-authored by BlackRock and Columbia Business School.

      The Abacus CDOs’ performance, “while undoubtedly bad, was actually better than average among all bonds that had been similarly packaged.”

  • Copyrights

    • Copying the copyrighted is okay if it transforms: What’s that?

      Writing in the New York Times, Randy Kennedy reports on a court decision that would make it illegal to use most work of others still under copyright as the basis for new works which “transform” the original link here.

      “The decision, by Judge Deborah A. Batts, set off alarm bells throughout Chelsea and in museums across America that show contemporary art. At the heart of the case, which Mr. Prince is now appealing, is the principle called fair use, a kind of door in the bulwark of copyright protections. It gives artists (or anyone for that matter) the ability to use someone else’s material for certain purposes, especially if the result transforms the thing used or as Judge Pierre N. Leval described it in an influential 1990 law review article, if the new thing “adds value to the original” so that society as a whole is culturally enriched by it. In the most famous test of the principle, the Supreme Court in 1994 found a possibility of fair use by the group 2 Live Crew in its sampling of parts of Roy Orbison’s “Oh Pretty Woman” for the sake of one form of added value, parody.”

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