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IRC Proceedings: February 29th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 29/2/2012: Fedora 17 Alpha, MINIX 3.2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 7:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source teaches people how to fish

    One of the things I love most about the open source communities I’m a part of is that when I ask a question, I just don’t get the answer, I get taught how to find the answer.

  • It’s scary to join an open source project
  • HP culls nearly half remaining webOS team
  • Web Browsers

  • Education

    • Musings of a dark overlord: Leveraging 21st-century education with open source

      When I first went to the dark side, I lamented that I was trading my noble teaching role for that of a dark overlord administrator. Much of the time, this characterization remains true. But as I mature as an educational leader, I find that I am in a more complicated teaching role–not only retaining my former group of students, but also expanding my responsibilities to include teaching teachers.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • LocalWiki project spawns open source communities

      Who says open source is all about code and hackathons have to stick to computer hacking? Code Across America is a different kind of open source community, and it came together on February 25, 2012. This effort was part of civic innovation week (February 24-March 4), where over a dozen cities in the United States have citizens organizing to improve their cities and communities. Simultaneous events included hackathons, unconferences, meet-ups, and Code for America ’brigades’ deploying existing open source applications. This is a story about building community knowledge the open source way, using the open source platform LocalWiki.

    • Foundation Formed to Marry Open Principles with Job Search Tools

      With economic problems lingering, many people remain in need of employment and that’s true across the technology sector. Now, a group called DirectEmployers Association has announced a new foundation–DirectEmployers Foundation–that will purportedly leverage open source principles and technology to deliver improved job search and career marketing tools. In addition to standalone tools, the foundation will also focus on APIs and components that can be shared, delivering job search tools and listing to many online sites.

    • Open Hardware

      • Facebook plans open-source storage hardware

        The designs should become available in May via Facebook-spinoff the Open Compute Project, the company confirmed to ZDNet UK on Friday. The move will come a year after it started publishing the design specifications of its own ultra-efficient servers.

  • Programming


  • Genode OS Framework 12.02 Released

    At the beginning of the year I wrote about how Genode OS had an ambitious road-map for this year after coming up with plans for their own general purpose operating system. Today marks the first release since that point with the release of Genode OS Framework 12.02.

    One of the fundamental shifts in Genode’s development that happened this cycle is moving to an open development cycle rather than within the confines of Genode Labs. Genode is now being developed in the open on GitHub.

  • Security

    • Your Exim is Vulnerable, No its Not, Well We Say it is!
    • A New Dawn of Energy Security for the West? A Non-OPEC Update

      OPEC currently supplies the world with 32% of its oil. The rest is supplied by Non-OPEC producers. One of the most important distinctions between the two is that OPEC oil largely comes from state-run oil companies. Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia, PDVSA in Venezuela, and the National Oil Company of Iran, for example. Meanwhile, in Non-OPEC, production flows from countries mostly through private enterprise: United States, Canada, UK, for example. What has surprised the global oil market over the past 7 years is that this majority segment of world oil production has also remained trapped below a ceiling, despite the price revolution which took oil from under $40 to above $100 a barrel. Free markets are supposed to create more supply, when price rises. New supply has indeed come online in Non-OPEC over the past decade. However, geology has trumped investment. It is geology that determines flow rates.

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs Workers Unionize In Japan: Report

      Wall Street workers and union hands may seem like total opposites, but employees at an iconic investment bank are countering those preconceived notions.

      That’s right, some Goldman Sachs workers in Japan are unionizing, according to the Japan Times (h/t Dealbook). The workers made the decision after the bank allegedly attempted to convince certain employees to voluntarily resign in order to get around Japanese labor laws that make laying off workers difficult.

  • Privacy

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Public Knowledge

      John Bennett draws our attention to Public Knowledge (.org). They “preserve… the openness of the Internet and the public’s access to knowledge; promote… creativity through balanced copyright; and uphold.. and protect… the rights of consumers to use innovative technology lawfully”. In the wake of SOPA/PIPA they have started the internet blueprint an effort to crowdsource legislative proposals to protect internet freedoms.

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • A Vibrant Political Debate on ACTA Sparks at the EU Parliament

          The European Parliament may be adopting a strong political line on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), despite the EU Commission’s attempt to buy time and defuse the debate. Due to the referral of ACTA to the EU Court of Justice, the final vote paving the way for its ratification will be delayed. This will give the EU Parliament time to build up a clear stance on the issues raised by this dangerous trade agreement, do in-depth research and impact assessments, and hopefully define guidelines for a better and fair copyright regime. Citizens must remain mobilized, as they will have many opportunities to weigh in this open process.

        • ICC BASCAP on ACTA

          A lobby group pushing for ACTA is ICC BASCAP. I remember Cecile Arns(?) as a representative at the first stakeholder meeting, in particular because of her arguing style. That’s my point of interest here. They are kind of hammering these short emotive phrases, you always find a little lighthouse in a sentence. Very professional from a midterm lobbying perspective.

        • EU Trade Negotiators trash Europarl role at WTO

          He previously mentioned Pedro Velasco-Martins was leading the WTO TRIPS Council delegation. He is the current Mr. ACTA at the Commission. Arrogance is part of their administrative culture at DG Trade.

          At the European Parliament STOA meeting for instance he spoke of China as a “very old, traditional country” while MEP Ruebig was spreading stupid nonsense. They are professional trade negotiators. Skilled persons which get screwed and screw other nations up. You cannot expect them to respond to “suggestions” from Parliament as it would be usual. More than 50 written questions from Parliament to the Commission. Any other Commission initiative would be dead and gone by then.

SUSE (Microsoft Linux) is Ancient

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, SLES/SLED at 4:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Ballmer rides SUSE
Daddy loves you, SUEsie

Summary: Response to articles that name Linux 3.0 as though it’s very new because of SUSE

IT HAS BEEN A long time since a major release of SLE*, which pays Microsoft a portion of the revenue. If CentOS is a “poor man’s RHEL”, then SUSE is a “dumb man’s RHEL” — one dumb enough to pay Microsoft for patents when there is clearly no need.

One might expect Attachmate to have released SLE* 12 by now, but the distribution sometimes look like it’s neglected. A lot of key developers and managers have left as well. Based on the press release and some news articles like this one, a service pack is all that Attachmate has to show. As one former Novell employee (Joe Brockmeier) put it, “[t]he move to the 3.0 kernel probably sounds more drastic than it is.”

No, and Linux 3.0 is actually not so new either. As another journalist put it (extending the original message):

SUSE today announced the general availability of SUSE® Linux Enterprise 11 Service Pack 2 (SP2). This latest update to the industry’s most interoperable platform for mission-critical computing offers improved performance, reliability and efficiency, while maintaining enterprise quality and application compatibility. Customers can use SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 SP2 to deliver their mission-critical IT services faster, more reliably, and more cost effectively, today and tomorrow.

The whole media spin — the spin about it having Linux 3.0 — is actually unhelpfully deceiving. Had SUSE been up to date, it would have a newer kernel. For those who want something up to date, there are newer distributions which are not taxed by Microsoft.

Windows Phones Become Extinct

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Windows at 4:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Windows franchise is waning

Summary: While Linux grows massive in phones Microsoft simply vanishes little by little

IT IS NO secret that Linux has proven its viability in the mobile market. The leader in this market is the Android operating system.

It is not unusual to see even pro-Microsoft sites giving up. Here is one which discusses abandonment of Windows and another about Microsoft’s platform being “dead”. Quoting the article in question:

Microsoft and Nokia mobile platforms are ‘dead’

RESEARCH PREDICTS that “Android will beat the Iphone ecosystem” this year, while other players including Research in Motion (RIM), Nokia and Microsoft are dead in the water.

According to an analysis of vacancies posed on outsourcing marketplace Freelancer.co.uk, mobile phone jobs were the fastest growing online job category with a 216 per cent increase to 12,262 jobs in 2011. Android jobs ended 2011 by growing 163 per cent to 7,431 jobs, double the Iphone’s 81 per cent growth rate to 12,527 jobs.

Meanwhile, reveals this article from the MSBBC, a new “41-megapixel Nokia smartphone was among the new technology on show during the opening day of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona [...] use its own operating system, Symbian, on the device.”

So, apparently even Nokia, which is run by a Microsoft mole, no longer counts on Windows.

Your Government is Offline

Posted in Microsoft at 4:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

World in hand

Summary: The latest example of Fog Computing failure involves Microsoft

SOMETIMES THEY blame “Anonymous”; this time they should blame Microsoft. Over the years we have warned about governments depending on Microsoft or even depending on Fog Computing. Here we have a fine example of both exploding at once.

Government needs Free software, not foreign software or proprietary software (or both). Microsoft boosters are unable to cover it up. Many thanks to the two readers who gave us the links and pointers.

Poisoned Apple

Posted in Apple, Asia, Deception, Marketing at 4:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Truth (or poison) leaks out amid PR campaigns from Apple and its allies

THE APPLE whitewash that we wrote about some days ago did not succeed entirely. This new report speaks of a lesser known problem: “Do you know what it is like to suffer neurological damage from toxins? I do not. I am grateful I don’t suffer from such toxicological poisoning. The Chinese workers employed at an Apple supplier factory did not expect to be poisoned. They did not expect to be suffering neurological damage when they signed on for long hours. They only wanted to improve their lives. The opposite happened and now, for some, it appears too late to reverse the damage.”

In recent days I had chats with someone who worked in such conditions. The grievances of such people are rarely heard. It’s implicitly assumed that their lives are of lower value. Apple is not the sole culprit, but Apple blatantly refused to look into the complaints, so it’s being singled out.

Shades of SCO in New Litigation and Microsoft Aggression

Posted in Microsoft, Patents, SCO at 4:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Modern architecture

Summary: Patent news of interest, collected over the course of recent days

TAXER of Linux file systems, Tuxera, is boasting new vectors of Microsoft tax and two Microsoft allies, Yahoo and Facebook, argue over software patents: [via]

“After years of positive relations, friendly blog posts, and referral traffic, Yahoo may have just been biding its time waiting to declare war on Facebook,” says one blogger.

Groklaw writes an article about the EveryMD case against Facebook. Watch the angle which mentioned Mono:

You know how those pushing the alleged “safety” of Mono back in the day, despite it being patent-encumbered, used to try to minimize the danger by arguing that Microsoft would never sue end users over patent infringement, because there’d be no meaningful financial return? The argument went that Mono was safe, because no rational actor would sue individuals, only deep pockets.

Guess what? Someone has just sued some end users over alleged patent infringement.

Courthouse News had the news first that EveryMD has filed a lawsuit [PDF] alleging patent infringement against Facebook end users, specifically Facebook users who have business accounts, naming Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich as defendants, after Facebook refused to pay a royalty for EveryMD’s patents. The complaint also names as defendants “Does 1-1000″, which it defines as “each a presently unidentified one of an estimated 4,000,000 additional Facebook business account holders that are subject to the jurisdiction of this court.”

Shades of SCO Group, who sued business end users of Linux, like DaimlerChrysler and AutoZone, for alleged copyright infringement after IBM refused to pay them off. They were asking $699 for anyone using a server in the enterprise that ran Linux. EveryMD is asking business accounts on Facebook to pay $500, their “reduced” price. If the group is large enough, $500 each comes to the same as one lump sum from a deep pockets company, I guess is the rationale.

Let’s not forget that Microsoft contributed funds to SCO when it was fighting against Linux. Microsoft is a troll by proxy, always using other companies to do its battles. And right now, as TechDirt puts it, “Patent Aggressor Microsoft Files EU Complaint Against Google/Motorola For Charging Too Much To License Patents”. To quote:

It’s difficult not to look cynically at Microsoft’s latest move to file an antitrust complaint in the EU over Motorola’s patent royalty rates, and think about just how obnoxiously hypocritical Microsoft is being as a company on this particular issue. First off, Microsoft has become a pretty significant patent aggressor over the past few years, filing lawsuits and pressuring companies to pay up. It’s also been a huge fan of patent FUD — especially against open source competitors. Most people assume that Microsoft was the main player behind SCO’s quixotic (but costly and distracting) legal battle against Linux. Then, of course, every so often Microsoft officials insist that Linux infringes on a bunch of its patents, but it never wants to make clear which ones. More recently, of course, Microsoft has been demanding license fees for its patents from a variety of companies making use of Android — to the point that some have argued Microsoft makes more off each Android installation than each Microsoft Phone installation.

Microsoft pretends to be a victim, as we noted the other day. TechDirt adds: “Of course, Microsoft’s almost gleeful blog post about its complaint ignores all of this reality and history, and tries to position it as if Motorola and Google are trying to “kill” web and mobile video by charging too high a royalty rate. Frankly, for anyone who knows anything about Microsoft’s patent practices over the past few years, they’ll see through this and recognize how laughable Microsoft’s claims are.” Microsoft is said to have filed other complaints against Google, but it denies it. Microsoft usually hires proxies to file complaints against Google. In some cases, the agencies are exactly the same, as we witnessed before.

Groklaw has meanwhile provided updates on the Oracle vs. Google case [1, 2]. We believe this case to be a favour from Larry Ellison to his best friend, Steve Jobs. We have already explained and have shown shy.

Links – Education Watch, Oil Speculation, MRSA in Europe, Censorship

Posted in Site News at 4:34 am by Guest Editorial Team

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