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03.24.12

Despite Moles, Patents, and Lawsuits, Linux-based Platforms Rule Mobility

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, KDE, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 7:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Android at Google

Original by Swampyank, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence.

Summary: News about the mobile market, and about Android

THE DAYS of Microsoft moles like Belluzo are long gone, but this doesn’t mean that new moles no longer emerge from the ground. One of several new examples is the current CEO of Nokia, whose job seems to be to jab. Microsoft’s machinations are not victimless because a lot of people lose their job and innovation is held back. One of our readers remarked on the effect on Qt, which is crucial for KDE:

One reason I had for awhile considered cmake so strongly in GNU Telephony is that I choose to experiment with using Qt to build applications, and at the time I thought it rather difficult to build QT applications under autconf/automake. A week ago I revisited this question on my own, and found I was actually wrong about this.

My interest in using Qt actually was from the period immediately prior to when Elop joined Nokia as CEO and then, much like Belluzo did to SGI, proceeded defraud the shareholders, employees, and customers of Nokia for the exclusive benefit of Microsoft and one presumes for his own personal gain. However, whatever his personal, and what I do happen to believe as being purely sociopathic, motives may be, it is very clear that Qt itself, with the help of the KDE foundation, and even MeeGO which I am less interested in, but even that, with the help of many others, would and do continue to survive and even thrive, and it matters not whether Nokia continues as part of that process or not in the future. This is just one real tangible benefit of freedom, that tools which you learn and use cannot be then taken away by either arbitrary or criminal actions. There are of course many other benefits to true software freedom as well.

There is actually quite a big debate right now about the future of KDE, in part due to Canonical’s decision to no longer pay some KDE developers like those who worked on Kubuntu (disclosure: my main workstations run Kubuntu, secondary run Debian). In Nokia’s case, similar question were raised with regards to Qt, which I worked with as a developer. Through Nokia, Microsoft not only gets a marketing/delivery arm; it also gets a patent troll-feeding operation (see MOSAID) and a vector through which to harm GNU/Linux, especially MeeGo and KDE.

As we showed some days ago, Nokia is descending into obscurity along with Microsoft. It didn’t have to go down this way; Nokia could choose another path, but its CEO is a mole. The decisions are ideaological, not technical. It’s a bit like Apple. It is worth mentioning that Apple annoys Motorola, Nokia, and RIM right now because it ignores standards again. This time it’s SIM:

Giesecke & Devrient’s nano-SIM design is fueling quite the standards battle over in Europe, with Apple sitting in one corner, and the troika of Motorola, Nokia and RIM looming in the other. That’s according to the Financial Times, which reports today that Cupertino is leading a charge to push its own nano-SIM proposal through Europe’s standards body, ETSI, much to the chagrin of its competitors. According to FT’s sources,

Apple is trying to distinguish itself because having copied ideas from many companies, all it has is an overpriced version of what’s already out there with Android. Apple counts on companies like Oracle making Android expensive, but it has not worked so far. Here is SJVN’s good breakdown of Oracle’s case (or lack thereof):

Instead of extracting billions from Google for violating its Java software patents in Android, Oracle will be lucky to get over a $100-million from its intellectual property (IP) lawsuit. That’s chump change by mega-company standards. Taking into consideration the legal costs, Oracle could have made more money if it had just offered Google an open-ended Java license in the first place. Larry Ellison, Oracle’s God-King and CEO, will have to wait another year before buying the sharks with lasers on their heads to guard his mega-yacht.

Remember that Steve Jobs was Ellison’s best friend. We said this right after the lawsuit was oddly enough announced, shocking a lot of people. Now we know that Jobs wanted a "thermonuclear" war on Android.

The embargoland of Apple is hoping that Android will just vanish, but it’s not going to happen. Apple finds that the law is not on its side after all:

In a ruling yesterday, US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner ordered that Apple should not be allowed to see the papers it had requested.

“The motion is vague and overbroad and Motorola’s objections are persuasive,” Bloomberg quoted Posner as stating. The mobile phone maker’s opposition to Apple’s March 16 demand was filed under seal.

As new polls show, half the people prefer an Android tablet, people who “buy everything Apple makes” are in the single-digit (percentage-wise) region, and many people choose to just joke about Apple. My father too is sick of Apple. He calls it a “new religion”.

In the device space, Linux is king. Nokia too is coming back to Linux, having realised that Microsoft is “death”:

A former Nokia executive is calling the Finnish cell phone maker’s Windows Phone strategy “a certain road to death,” according to his analysis of 18 months of UK market share data.

Tomi Ahonen, a very prominent voice in the mobile ecosystem, and former Segmentation Manager with Nokia, posted a scathing article decrying the Nokia and Microsoft partnership falling far short of expectations.

Eventually, open, Linux-based platforms are likely to command the lion’s share of this market.

Microsoft Proxies Controlling the Open Source Message

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Mono at 7:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ballmer with Ximian hat

Summary: A little roundup of news about OpenLogic, Black Duck, and Xamarin

ONE of the themes we routinely cover in this Web site would have to be companies that serve Microsoft-esque agenda.

OpenLogic, a proprietary software company run by a Microsoft guy, has new proprietary software that helps warn about Open Source software. This is the parasitic business of warning about Linux-esque code being used even in automobiles (PR here) and it comes also from the same firm that makes the GPL look bad — a firm created by another Microsoft guy (Black Duck), mostly to leave us with more software patents, more FUD, more proprietary software, and services that nobody asked for. We find it amusing that the so-called “future of Open Source” survey is organised by a proprietary software company with Microsoft roots. It’s the same company that runs the so-called "open source think tank". Who is speaking for Open Source these days? Maybe it’s time for the OSI to wake up and intervene, not only to protect its brand but also to control the message.

Meanwhile, Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza announces another bogus ‘open source’ product — one that promotes Microsoft’s C# and even makes a new compiler for it. If this is what’s happening to open source, there is a lot to worry about. The management at Xamarin, for example, has Microsoft past and present. It’s not even open source.

Microsoft Forbids Competition

Posted in Apple, Microsoft at 7:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Litigious instruments to ban the competition

Steve Ballmer FAT

Summary: Another fine example of Microsoft’s sociopathic approach to competition; employees are not allowed to buy non-Microsoft products

THE NEWS is abuzz with some non-organic puff pieces about Vista 8 (must hide the truth) and already, Microsoft makes it easier for itself to claim bogus numbers of ‘copies’/'sales’, based on this commentary.

Microsoft knows that almost nobody buys Windows. OEMs license it in bulk, but end users don’t buy Windows. Had people had the choice, they would have gone for something else. Even Microsoft employees (including heads of Windows) often choose non-Microsoft products, given the choice. According to this (linking here), Microsoft is now preventing not just the general public from getting computers with non-Microsoft software preinstalled. Microsoft staff too is swindled this way:

Microsoft barring certain staff from buying Macs, iPads?

[...]

Microsoft has yet to officially confirm the authenticity of the e-mail, however the company offered “no comment” rather than an outright denial.

Microsoft’s unofficial mouthpiece helps verify this:

Microsoft’s Sales, Marketing, Services, IT, & Operations Group (SMSG) may be putting in place a policy to prevent employees from using corporate funds to buy Macs and iPads.

Based on an alleged internal e-mail passed on to me by one of my contacts, this edict just came down last week. SMSG encompasses 46,000 Microsoft employees worldwide, according to a Microsoft Careers page about the group, and includes Microsoft’s front-line consumer and business sales, service and support people.

Here’s that supposed e-mail, from Alain Crozier, the chief financial officer of SMSG…

So there we have it.

Microsoft Bribes, Anti-competitive Tactics

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Microsoft at 6:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Flag of Europe

Summary: Abusive behaviour from Microsoft and what vigilant people are saying

THE editors at IDG finally grew a pair and decided to approve a headline which calls out Microsoft for “bribe” in Europe — a sophisticated form of bribe (like EDGI) which ensures Free software won’t enter the government:

Microsoft is offering home-use licenses for Microsoft Office, Project (project management software) and Visio (a diagramming tool) through the Parliament’s administration office. Such offers are not unusual in Microsoft’s contracts with large organizations, but, said FSFE’s Karsten Gerloff, “political institutions like the European Parliament are bound to higher standards.”

The offer is for Parliament staffers only and will probably not be extended to elected members. However, “staffers are the ones who make the wheels turn. They’re the ones who do all the legwork, and they control access to the MEPs,” pointed out Gerloff.

“Competition and procurement issues aside, it doesn’t seem proper that the people making the rules for the European market should accept gifts from the very companies they’re regulating,” he continued.

In March 2011, the European Commission was accused of favoritism as it decided to move internal IT systems in the European Institutions to Microsoft Windows 7 without holding a public tender. The move flies in the face of the Commission’s own advice to avoid public procurement lock-in. FSFE is now concerned that the offer by Microsoft constitutes a bribe to increase further lock-in.

In other news, Ryan from our IRC channels has some thoughts on what Microsoft hopes to achieve with restricted boot:

securely boot a PC, and that corporations are salivating at the prospect of using it to lock end users into their operating system software, to keep the user trapped with whatever their computer happened to come with. The headlines designed to smear Linux are just paid for by Microsoft. The “bootloader attacks” that Secure Boot is supposedly meant to deal with are mostly attacks on the Windows Activation system that rely on bootloader exploits to make Windows believe it is an OEM copy that came with the PC so that the user may use a copy of Windows without paying for it.

Microsoft isn’t interested in stopping the malware of the week from stealing your identity or subverting your system and using it to display (sometimes pornographic) advertisements, which are just two of the things that Windows is known well for. They are interested in stopping the user from being able to run their own software on their private property and from getting away with using a less crippled version of Windows than what came with their computer without forking over more money through the Anytime Upgrade scam.

Where are the antitrust regulators when one needs them? We wrote about this subject before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and in the next post we’ll show just how radical Microsoft really is about eliminating the competition’s right to exist.

Intel Assures Monopoly Through Patents

Posted in Hardware, Patents at 6:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Intel: criminal inside

Summary: Intel gets patents on threading

TECHRIGHTS has covered some of Intel’s criminal behaviour and also the lobbying for software patents.

Not so long ago Intel bought some more patents and this new article suggests that Intel is still very much into this mindset:

Intel has been awarded a patent that provides basic information about the company’s thread scheduling approach in multi-processor computers. Filed on March 26, 2007 the USPTO confirmed the rights to it earlier this week.

Where is the physical invention? This is abstract.

IRC Proceedings: March 23rd, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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IRC Proceedings: March 22nd, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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