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01.29.12

Software Still Being Patented

Posted in Patents at 11:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Miscellaneous news picks about soft patents

THE patent culture is growing unpopular among the public, but those who make money from this wasteful culture continue to promote it.

According to this new bit, algorithms that can reduce energy usage get patented now:

Its patent-pending modlet® (for “modern outlet”) features intelligent engineering and algorithms to provide a simple, low-cost and easy-to-use solution for saving money and energy on electronic appliances.

Here is another patent on software that we found in a press release:

TRA Inc., a leading media marketing and analytics software company and Experian Automotive, a leader in providing information services and market intelligence to the automotive industry, today announced the launch of TRA’s “Media TRAnalytics(R) TV Auto Ratings”, a patented software solution enabling advertisers to accurately target the networks and programs that best reach desired consumers by automatically matching automotive registration data with television tuning data at the household level.

Why should such abstract ideas be granted a monopoly on them? Over in the Thai press, patents on business methods are now being discussed:

Patents: With recent developments in the US and the UK on business method patents, protection could possibly be extended to a range of financial services in many jurisdictions such as the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, Australia and China, to name a few. These include hardware, software, data manipulation and output processes for credit risk and credit management, fraud prevention, identity and personal data security technologies, and of course mobile and online banking. Financial transactions are increasingly electronic and global in nature, so industry players are looking to those jurisdictions where patents might be available in order to exploit their inventions in those countries _ or to avoid countries where they might infringe or be subject to an injunction order.

For business methods, the argument against patentability is that the method itself does not produce any protectable product nor any process that results in such. It is therefore little more than a theory or an abstract idea, neither of which is actually patentable. Computer programs are also protectable under copyright law, and so if the program is nothing more than a source code, there is an argument against patentability. A recent US judgement popularly referred to as the Bilski case states that, while it is not the only test, to be patentable business methods should transform an article to a different state or thing and have a useful, tangible and concrete result.

The Bilski case did not help revolutionise (e.g. eliminate) the process of evaluating software patents although it aided the destruction of a few.

Links – Please sign the Avaaz petition against ACTA.

Posted in Site News at 12:48 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • Iron Sky on Tour in Berlin 11.02.2012 18:00

    After six years of hard work Iron Sky will premiere at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. We couldn’t be happier!

  • Ubuntu’s HUD: Why It’s A Great Idea
  • Hardware

    • Smartphones Cutting Into Laptops Internet Market Share

      Google’s study which focused on smartphone and feature phone ownership took a sample set from the United States, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. The study found that 78 percent of internet users in the U.S. accessed the internet via their phone. 68% of of internet users say they used a desktop or laptop …

    • N9 outsells Lumina despite big, expensive push.

      The Lumia handsets, which went on sale in Europe in November, probably sold 1.3 million units globally to operators and retailers by the end of last year, according to the average estimate of 22 analysts compiled by Bloomberg … Nokia’s fourth-quarter results will also include the N9, a Lumia 800 lookalike running Nokia smartphone software called MeeGo, which began shipping in September at prices from 480 euros. The N9 may have sold 1.4 million units last quarter, Pareto Oehman analyst Helena Nordman-Knutson said.

      It is probably worse than Bloomberg’s Microsoft friendly estimate and sales to retailers are not sales to people.

    • $265 Spark tablet runs Plasma Active Linux software – Liliputing
    • How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work

      The NYT repeats a lot of excuses but the bottom line is that Apple is free to treat foreigners like animals in factories where conditions are terrible. Their slavery degrades us all.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • With Prevalence of Nanomaterials Rising, Panel Urges Review of Risks

      It is a shame that companies were not required to prove their materials safe before they were allowed to sell them. See prior demands by reputable scientists

    • Mothers, grandmothers speak out about children’s health problems after BP disaster (video)

      They got sick and are still sick.

    • Dumping dioxin on Dixie

      The South bears a disproportionate burden of dioxin pollution, with 25 of the 30 worst dioxin polluters located in Southern states. There are six major dioxin-emitting facilities in Alabama, five in Louisiana, four in Texas and three in North Carolina.

    • EPA faces lawsuit over coal-ash rule delay

      More than three years after a disaster at a Tennessee power plant, the Obama administration still has not issued promised protections from coal ash hazards. Environmental groups plan to sue to spur action.

    • Old News, Libby, Montana: New Danger Found In Asbestos-Plagued Town

      the federal government has known for at least three years that the wood piles were contaminated with an unknown level of asbestos, even as Libby residents hauled truckload after truckload of the material away from the site and placed it in yards, in city parks, outside schools and at the local cemetery. The Environmental Protection Agency did not stop the removal of the material until the AP began investigating in early March. … The sprawling piles came from a now-defunct timber mill that took thousands of trees from a forest tainted with asbestos from a nearby mine. … the forests around Libby are tainted with asbestos at least eight miles from the mine. The barbed asbestos fibers lodge themselves in cracks and crevices in the bark until they are released when disturbed or burned. … The EPA has spent more than $370 million over the past 11 years cleaning up Libby. Contractors in moon suits carting off tainted materials have become a constant reminder of the severity of the contamination.

      Libby was the site of a now infamous W.R. Grace mine that lied to employees about what they were mining. The company kept up operations until 1990 and largely avoided responsiblity for their actions, including criminal charges [2]. The company made a few out of court settlements and lost several civil suits but most of the cost was passed onto the public. Clean up started in 2000, and another emergency was declared in 2009.

  • Anti-Trust

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship – ACTA

    • Europeans, please sign this petition against ACTA

      To all Members of the EU Parliament: As concerned global citizens, we call on you to stand for a free and open Internet and reject the ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which would destroy it. The Internet is a crucial tool for people around the world to exchange ideas and promote democracy. We urge you to show true global leadership and protect our rights.

    • How the Polish government ignored overwhelming opposition to signing ACTA.

      They told Anonymous that blackmail would not work but had ignored NGOs for three years, then ignored people protesting in the streets. NGOs recommend signing the Avaaz petition above.

    • ACTA – the latest threat to internet freedom, just signed by the EU

      The extremist position of ACTA will make the Internet fraught with danger for ordinary users. For example, if a blogger innocently links to another website, and that website, without their knowledge, infringes copyright in some way, they may well face criminal charges and prison time for “aiding and abetting” copyright infringement. … The provisions on Digital Rights Management (“DRM”) are so extreme as to be laughable. ACTA continues to demand that attempts to circumvent DRM be criminal offences, meaning that blind people could face jail time for attempting to read e-books using text-to-speech … merely renaming a file could become illegal.

      Here’s another brief list of what’s wrong with ACTA

    • Poles Protest ACTA Online and on the Streets

      Hundreds of people waged a street protest in Warsaw on Tuesday to protest the government’s plan to sign an international copyright treaty, while several popular websites also shut down for an hour over the issue. … Prime Minister Donald Tusk insisted Tuesday that his government will not give in to the protesters.

    • What Is ACTA And Why Is It A Problem?

      the anti-SOPA/PIPA crowd seemed to have just discovered ACTA … to be in compliance with this agreement, the US needs to retain certain parts of copyright law that many reformers believe should be changed. At the very least, it ties Congress’ hands, if we want to be in compliance with our “international obligations.” … there are a few parts of ACTA that are so vague that you can definitely see how they could be interpreted to require changes to US law.

      Most of the arguments against ACTA were about how it was made by publishers in secret because no one could say anything useful about it while it was a secret and there was little time to do anything between publication and signature. It’s still so vague that people can’t say anything useful about it other than it has a lot of harmful requirements and this so called “executive agreement” is an anti-democratic and unconstitutional sham the US should never have signed and only signed by claiming that it was not binding. The EU can still and should not sign because they know that the US considers it non binding.

    • ACTA signed by EU Commission, EU ACTA Chief Resigns in Disgust

      “I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament’s demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly. … a rushed calendar before public opinion could be alerted, thus depriving the Parliament of its right to expression and of the tools at its disposal to convey citizens’ legitimate demands.” …The legally binding action happens in votes in parliaments; the national parliaments across Europe, and notably the European Parliament. … If parliament says no, any parliament, then no it is.

    • UK signs ACTA as activists urge resistance

      the signatures of the EU member states and the EU itself will count for nothing unless the European Parliament gives its approval to ACTA in June, and digital activists have urged citizens to lobby their MEPs against voting yes.

    • Poland signs copyright treaty that drew protests

      Another government shows it’s contempt for it’s people.

    • Sean Sherlock an Irish TD [Congressman essentially] has decided that now is the time to sign an anti-piracy law; the Irish SOPA

      There will be no consultation with the public, and he even wants to pass this without presenting it to the Dail [House of Representatives] Sean Sherlock is attempting to pass this law which will give the keys of regulation over to private industries and lobbying groups. These groups will then be able to pressure ISP’s into shutting down any website they want.

      Here’s another description which claims the legislation is not subject to debate and will be passed by the end of the month. Context from Stop Sopa.

    • Hollywood’s twisted opinion of SOPA defeat

      This was a fight on a platform we’re not at this point comfortable with, and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform.

      Translation: they don’t have enough cenosrship power over the internet and will have to redouble their astroturf efforts.

    • Doll ‘protesters’ present small problem for Russian police

      Activists set up the display after authorities repeatedly rejected their request to hold a sanctioned demonstration of the kind held in Moscow to protest disputed parliamentary elections results and Vladimir Putin’s expected return to the presidency in a March vote. … Police have tried to pressure them into shutting down the doll protests, organisers said. “They tried to tell us our event was illegal – they even said that to put toys in the snow, we had to rent it from the city authorities,” Alexandrova said.

  • Privacy

    • Hawaii may keep track of all Web sites visited

      The measure, H.B. 2288, says “Internet destination history information” and “subscriber’s information” such as name and address must be saved for two years. … In Washington, D.C., the fight over data retention requirements has been simmering since the Justice Department pushed the topic in 2005, a development that was first reported by CNET. Proposals publicly surfaced in the U.S. Congress the following year, and President Bush’s attorney general, Alberto Gonzales said it’s an issue that “must be addressed.” So, eventually, did FBI director Robert Mueller.

      These people hate your freedom.

    • DARPA project creates tiny spy computer

      Every non free computer your house with a microphone and network card can be used in the same way.

  • Copyrights

    • Researchers, please sign The Cost of Knowledge and tell Elsevier you will no longer cooperate with bad publishing policies.

      For many years, academics have protested against the business practices of Elsevier. If you would like to declare publicly that you will not support any Elsevier journal unless they radically change how they operate, then you can do so by filling in your details in the box below.

      The list now has 312 people who have refused various cooperation such as publishing, refereeing and editorial work.

    • In UK: Similar, but not copied, image found to breach copyright

      This story has more details but you only have to see the two pictures to know the ruling is insane.

01.28.12

IRC Proceedings: January 27th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 10:55 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 28/1/2012: Acting on ACTA, PacApt

Posted in News Roundup at 10:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Top five open source social networking platforms available in the market

    In this era of technology and internet, social networking sites are getting more and more popularity. People are spending hours in front of them. For creating a social media website a platform is necessary, to make this easy came the social networking platforms. In the case of social media software, market the competition is very high. If you are looking to start a social media website then it is difficult to choose the platform. Before choosing social media software just get all available information about it and conclude weather, it will benefit you or not. Let us now take a look of the five most popular open source-networking platforms available in the market

  • Open source: The Best Choice For Big Data

    Just 12 months ago, even the largest organisations lacked the infrastructure, tools and skills to turn large datasets into business insight. Today, though, the world has changed. A combination of low-cost, commodity hardware and great open-source software are lowering the Big Data bar for organisations of all types and sizes. Put simply, open-source solutions are allowing organisations to spin up hundreds of servers to support Big Data services in seconds, and pay only for the resources they use.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome and Chromium: small golden rules to get the perfect browser !

        I bet that when you turn on your PC, one of the first programs that you start is your Browser .
        Indeed, many say that the browser that we have installed in our computer show a part of us! There is, therefore, who prefer Opera: a browser elegant and very
        particular, for those who prefer the aesthetics at the practicality, there are those who, following the mass chose the Firefox browser, which has won a great battle against IE in a recent past.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Web video framework company publishes State of HTML5 Video document

      As Flash’s ubiquity begins to erode, standards-based Web technologies are going to become the path forward for developers who want to offer a user experience that works across all screens. The HTML5 video element is already widely supported in modern Web browsers, but the capabilities and codecs that are available differ between implementations.

Leftovers

  • Security

    • Security Theater… Or Why I Had To Go Dumpster Diving At The US Capitol Last Week

      However, at security to get into the Capitol, I was told I could not bring the canteen in, even though it was empty. I asked if there was any reason for this. I was told I just couldn’t bring it in. I asked if there was any place I could “leave” it, and I was told to go outside and there were dumpsters to the right. I even asked if someone could hold it for me, since it would just be an hour or so. No luck. Dumpsters, outside to the right. The canteen isn’t anything special, but I do like it. According to the price tag still on the bottom, it cost $11 when my wife bought it for me. I can buy another canteen, but really, there’s a bit of a principle thing to all of this. If the canteen itself is dangerous, then, putting it in a dumpster outside isn’t going to change that.

  • Civil Rights

    • Hawaii may keep track of all Web sites visited

      Hawaii’s legislature is weighing an unprecedented proposal to curb the privacy of Aloha State residents: requiring Internet providers to keep track of every Web site their customers visit.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

01.27.12

Links 27/1/2012: GlusterFS Becomes Truly Open Source, Tablets Become Linuxed

Posted in News Roundup at 8:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • ZaReason Alto 3880 Review: Fastest $1000 14″ Laptop

      At first glance, the Alto 3880 will not strike envy into the hearts of any. Like any standard PC laptop, it’s dressed in glossy, molded plastic pieces. The design decisions here are almost certainly OEM driven as the laptop takes a 3-tone neutral color scheme that presents itself in a bit of an awkward way. The lid emulates a brushed metal look with an attractive ZaReason screen-print right in the center. This is the first of a couple nice touches on ZaReason’s behalf. If this unit is closed on your coffee table, your guests will probably ask you, “What’s a ZaReason?”. In this respect, I think it’s quite effective. The brushed metal look for laptop lids is a little dated now, so this will not trend well in the vanity department.

  • Kernel Space

    • The quiet colossus

      A day in the life of the Linux kernel starts just a few microseconds after midnight. The kernel, a thin layer of software that provides a consistent interface between the hardware of a computer and the systems library, is hard at work at stock exchanges in the US, where it has almost completely supplanted other alternatives. Because the kernel’s licence encourages copying and modifying, the financial industry has done just that, tweaking it to perform at the utmost speed without breaking. Linux handles billions of transactions every second, passing information between processes, and managing multitasking environments for the world’s financial markets. Linux is the most portable piece of software in the world. Despite being over six million lines of code, it has been ported to more hardware platforms than anything else. Its size belies its organisation, though. The functions that any kernel must provide – switching between processes, memory management, access to hardware resources and networking – are clearly separated out, with only the really low-level hardware-dependent functions differing by platform.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Unity Desktop, Nux Get Upstream OpenGL ES 2.0

        The OpenGL ES 2.0 work is part of this Launchpad Blueprint. For a while now the Linaro and Ubuntu developers have been after upstream OpenGL ES 2.0 support for their Unity (non-2D) desktop, and it looks like the goal will be realized in time for the Ubuntu 12.04 “Precise Pangolin” LTS release in April and the Linaro releases shortly thereafter.

      • Announcing The Lima Open-Source GPU Driver

        There’s still one week until the work will be officially announced, but the open-source “Lima” open-source graphics driver project has surfaced.

        The Lima driver? This is going to be the open-source driver built for ARM’s Mali graphics processors. Lima is what the project’s being called for the story Phoronix exclusively broke last week, An Open-Source, Reverse-Engineered Mali GPU Driver.

      • Interlaced Support For Intel’s Linux Graphics Driver
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • The Best Linux Distributions For Every User

      On this page, we feature 20 of the best Linux distributions, with a short but extremely detailed description, a link (so you know where to download it from) and our review of the distribution. The distributions are categorised according to their purpose. We hope that our Best Linux Distributions will help you decide which flavour of Linux you’d like to run on your computer.

    • Red Hat Family

      • GlusterFS advisory board established

        A few months after its acquisition of Gluster, Red Hat has established the GlusterFS Advisory Board to oversee and promote the technical development of GlusterFS, the filesystem that is the basis of Red Hat’s Storage Software Appliance. The board includes Anand Babu, a co-founder of GlusterFS, and open source experts from Red Hat, Facebook, Citrix and Eucalyptus. The nine board members do not represent their employers, instead serving on the board as individuals.

      • Red Hat RHEVS Virtualization
      • Red Hat Taking Gluster from Open Core to Open Source

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) wants to return the Gluster filesystem to its open source roots. Red Hat acquired Gluster for $136 million in October 2011 and is now moving to help further accelerate its innovation.

      • Fedora

        • The Grand /usr-fication of Linux

          The Fedora Project is currently mounting a concerted effort to merge Linux filesystem directories into a more organized structure, an effort known as /usr merge.

        • Fedora 17 Moves Forward With Unified File-System

          Fedora 17 is moving forward with plans whereby the entire base operating system will live within /usr by condensing several common directories that have been long-standing to Linux distributions.

          Directories such as /bin, /sbin, /lib, and /lib64 are now being moved to their respective locations within the /usr directory as trying to unify the Fedora file-system. However, as to not break compatibility, symlinks will be in place for redirecting from the old locations. Solaris was actually the first operating system to begin migrating everything into /usr, with the transition having been completed last year with the release of Solaris 11.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu’s HUD: Why It’s A Great Idea
          • Ubuntu 12.04 to replace traditional menus with new HUD
          • HUD = How Ubuntu Disappoints?
          • A first look at Ubuntu Linux’s Head-Up Display (Gallery)
          • Ubuntu Unleashed 2012 Edition
          • Canonical previews voice driven Heads-Up Display for Ubuntu
          • How Ubuntu 12.04 Is Trying To Drop Power Usage

            After illustrating Linux power regressions and other problems for months, with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS developers at Canonical are finally taking a serious look at Linux power management and how it can be bettered.

            Going back to the last Ubuntu Developer Summit they began working out ways to improve the energy efficiency of Ubuntu Linux. They’re work isn’t really about contributing upstream improvements and optimizations to better the Linux power management situation, but determining what options can be safely enabled or better tuned to drop the Ubuntu power usage for primarily mobile systems. (Separately, they’re finally getting back to looking at the regressing boot performance state.)

          • 10 of the Best Unity Lenses & Scopes for Ubuntu

            It’s somewhat apt that Ubuntu’s ‘Lenses’ feature has brought Unity into clearer focus for many of its initial critics.

            The search-orientated display windows – called ‘Lenses’ – make finding specific files, apps or information easy to do thanks to their tuned ‘search backends’ – called Scopes’.

          • Yup, Ubuntu again. Number 11.10.

            Notice how the eleven comes before the ten. This does signify that eleven is, indeed, louder than ten. Everyone loves hating Unity. It’s new. It’s different. It’s pretty. It’s everything that Linux typically isn’t. People also love hating Ubuntu in general. While people struggle to make their Linux desktops look and feel more like OSX every day and there are over 9000 different OSX-like docks out there, people apparently really hate having something that looks and acts like an OSX desktop. It’s very odd.

            I decided to try Ubuntu 11.10 and make my own judgement. I have to admit that I was loathe to do so, but felt it only fair. So, I downloaded Ubuntu 11.10 Desktop 64. I burned it to a disc. I put in my DVD drive. I rebooted, hit f8, chose the DVD drive, and off I went. Soon, I was at a menu telling me to choose “Try” or “Install”. I was feeling risky so I chose to install.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Video Review: Xubuntu 11.10 – Elegant, Simple XFCE

              Short video on Ubuntu‘s little brother/sister Xubuntu 11.10 with it’s XFCE Desktop Manager. Fast and Simple is what I feel Xubuntu 11.10 is. Fast to load and simple to use. Runs well on a VM if thats all you have. Enjoy and download it free today!

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source: the default choice

    When it comes to open source software, the question that needs to be asked today is not which businesses are using open source – but rather which businesses are not.

    So says Obsidian Systems‘ Muggie van Staden, a 17-year veteran of the open source world, who says that for many businesses today, open source software is the default choice for backend systems.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 12 will feature long-awaited New Tab Page and Home Tab

        After a long gestation period, it now appears that Firefox 12 — which moves to the Aurora channel at the end of the month — will feature the long-awaited New Tab Page and Home Tab. The new tab page is very like Chrome’s feature of the same name. The home tab builds off the new tab page popularized by Chrome and Opera, but then throws in ton of Firefox-unique functionality.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Merged executive committee proposed for the JCP

      The Java Community Process (JCP) standardisation body is taking the next step in its reorganisation. The recently proposed JSR 355 (JCP Executive Committee Merge) would combine the currently separate executive committees for Java SE/Java EE (Java Standard Edition/Java Enterprise Edition) and Java ME (Java Micro Edition) development. The reasoning behind this is that “Since Java is One Platform, it ought to be overseen by a single Executive Committee”.

    • Oracle proposal would create single committee to oversee Java specs
  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

  • Finance

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Ryan Heath twitter propaganda or counter-noise

          I guess this is how Parliament would like it to be but they know it’s not. The European Commission is no Government, they are not elected but appointed, and speak with a single voice. Article 17 EU Treaty explains it all.

          I think it is a real pity that the Concours was abolished and replaced by logic riddle testing from the United States. You would expect a person working for the Commission to be better informed about the institutions he speaks for.

Microsoft Looks for New Ways to Tax All GNU/Linux Servers, Red Hat Included

Posted in Dell, Mail, Microsoft, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 12:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft on track to global Linux tax?

Track

Summary: Microsoft’s Linux internment and Microsoft Linux (SUSE) in the news; a little bit about GroupWise too

MICROSOFT has been creating its own internment pen for GNU/Linux users and it is looking to hire a mole to handle operations and lure some innocent sheep in.

As Microsoft boosters put it, Microsoft has Red Hat customers in sight. Microsoft already taxes Red Hat Linux (servers) at Amazon and now on its own turf it is trying to take this extortion further. Aiding Microsoft’s efforts we have had SUSE for a while, but fortunately Dell is moving away from that (although not to the right system, feeding Oracle instead). From a new page:

How Dell Migrated from SUSE Linux to Oracle Linux

Switching the underlying operating system on a single server is not trivial. Neither is dealing with the related conversion and compatibility issues. Imagine what’s involved in switching the operating system on thousands of servers spread globally across an enterprise, like Dell just did.

The good news here is that Dell itself won’t pay Microsoft tax (for its own systems), but at the same time Dell is actively promoting Microsoft-taxed Linux for OEMs solution, which troubles us a bit. It’s a signed deal which has the VAR Guy arguing about SUSE Studio:

Dell Servers Embrace SUSE Linux, But SUSE Studio Is Real Story

[...]

No doubt, Dell has relationships with multiple Linux distributions — including SUSE, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Canonical Ubuntu. But SUSE apparently is the “first Linux vendor” in the Dell OEM Technology Partner program.

Sort of makes you wonder: Is something deeper brewing between Dell and SUSE? Hmmm…

This is just another reason to actually avoid Dell, but Joe Brockmeier, the former Novell employee, is promoting this. VAR Guy, who has also been close to Novell over the years, goes ahead and promotes GroupWise, which sane Web sites say nobody cares about anymore (and they are right). To quote:

No One Cares That Novell Has A New Version of GroupWise

Today Novell released its 2012 version of its email software GroupWise, and the announcement was greeted by most with a big yawn. GroupWise? Seems so last century. (Actually, the last updates to the software were for version 8 back in 2008-2010.) According to one analyst, “GroupWise has 10,000 customers and is used by 47 of the 50 US state governments.” It has been a distant third to Exchange and Lotus Notes for a while, and many GroupWise customers have switched over to Google Apps in the past several years.

GroupWise is proprietary and it distracts from Free/Open Source options that work equally well or better. GroupWise — like SUSE — is a solution in search of a problem, much like OpenSUSE when it looks for other people’s work again (trying to ape Linux Mint in this case). SUSE over the past 5+ years has been just a product for Microsoft to tax GNU/Linux through. It lacks technical merit/advantage and the latest release of OpenSUSE — as put in this new review — “was released too early. Period.” Boycott Novell and boycott SUSE.

Intel, a Promoter of Software Patents, Buys Software Patents

Posted in Hardware, Patents at 12:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Another drop in the bucket for patents hoarder Intel

Water drop

Summary: Intel, which has been promoting software patents, buys some from RealNetworks

CHIPMAKING monopolist Intel, a corrupt company that lobbies for software patents [1, 2], is reportedly buying some software patents [1, 2] from a familiar company. The general observation is that Intel is unlikely to use those patents against Linux or Free software in general, so it’s better off in Intel’s hands than in the hands of some patent trolls or Linux foes like Apple and Microsoft.

Android Gains Upper Hand in Battle to Defend Android, Microsoft Lobbyists Still Spin the Subject

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 11:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The plot to kill Android

Lawyers

Summary: Android-hostile patent wars are fought well by Google and its partners, which have Microsoft-funded lobbyists try to portray them as aggressors (for reactive moves)

Google’s fight to keep Android free faces barriers from CPTN members (Novell’s patents) and their proxy trolls, amongst others. According to this latest update from Groklaw‘s Professor Webbink, Google is getting its way against Oracle:

The court has sided with Google on two of the three remaining claims construction issues. In an order (704 [PDF; Text]) issued yesterday the court interpreted two terms to have the meaning ascribed by Google and overruled the definition advanced by Oracle. The court has elected to leave the third term for consideration at trial, if necessary.

With respect to the ’476 patent, the court found the term “computer-readable medium” to include transmission media as suggested by Google. Oracle had wanted to limit the definition to storage media. By seeking a broadened definition one presumes that Google is aiming to increase the likelihood that the claims will be found invalid. In finding in favor of Google the court pointed to the explicit definition of the term “computer-readable medium” as set forth in the patent’s specification, a definition Oracle wanted to ignore.

Oracle is said to be retreating from the patent angle because it is failing. It had been baffling that Oracle chose to sue Android/Google until we saw in a credible source what Larry Ellison's best friend planned to do. Steve Jobs vowed to even spend tens of billions of dollars just suing Android (if necessary) and so far Apple is said to have spent $0.1 billion or more:

The never-ending war on Android has cost Apple more than $100 million, according to latest estimates. While a huge chunk of that money was spent (read wasted) in claims against HTC.

Motorola, which Apple attacked, is fighting back against Apple (probably as means of deterrence) and Charles Arthur is still flirting with a Microsoft lobbyist over at Tweeter and beyond. The lobbyist (Microsoft-funded lobbyist Florian Müller) is using him to incite against Google and Android. No disclosures in those posts about Florian’s paymasters. The Guardian, now funded by Bill Gates, helps the lobbying efforts of Microsoft. How sad. Here is one better report on the subject:

Motorola Mobility, which is seeking regulatory approval to be bought by Google Inc, has filed a new lawsuit against Apple Inc accusing the iPhone maker of infringing its technology patents.

While Bloomberg keeps the usual corporate bias (still promoting intellectual monopolies in new ways) there are more reasonable sites like a Red Hat site, OpenSource.com, which has just published this new article about patent trolls. To quote part of the article:

When well-known, richly compensated patent lawyers switch from representing world-class tech companies to servicing “non-practicing entities,” something’s up. Could the sordidness of a business based on bringing patent lawsuits be outweighed by large amounts of cash? At least for some, apparently yes.

This week Ashby Jones wrote for the Wall Street Journal about two specific patent lawyers, John Desmarais and Matt Powers, as representative of a larger shift in the practice. Each of them was once an attorney for large companies, protecting those companies’ patent interests in court. Desmarais’ software-related clients included IBM and Verizon; Powers has represented Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft, and Apple. But today they have joined the ranks of “patent trolls,” the colloquial term for “non-practicing entities” (NPE), which exist only to pursue the monetary benefits of aggressive patent-infringement lawsuits.

Ideally, patents protect and motivate innovation as well as benefit future innovators. They can be an important business justification in fields where R&D is expensive, like pharmaceuticals. They put the details of an innovation into public view, inspiring improvements and making a record of its existence, both for historic record and the benefit of future inventors. Thus, companies once used patents to protect what they had put significant resources into creating. Likewise, patent lawyers would work for those companies to defend their patents. Now there are those who are interested only in the financial gain and not in protecting innovation–like Desmarais and Powers.

But this approach is contrary to the intent of the patent system. Worse is when, as the WSJ highlights, some companies sell their patents to an NPE to prevent them from being in the awkward position of suing customers or partners. This practice puts the patent’s advantages in the hands of a non-creator, who almost certainly does not hope to inspire, much less be responsible for, future innovation. Instead of benefiting innovators and the public, going on the patent offense benefits only the bank accounts of the trolls.

Recently, Red Hat was attacked by a patent troll that was passed 2,000 or so patents with help from Microsoft. Here at Techrights we’ll keep a close eye on that. We have also queried Red Hat’s legal team and expect a response soon.

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