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Links – Microsoft Extortion of B&N Successful.

Posted in Site News at 10:56 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • How a Dream PetHouse turned into an expensive nightmare

    Scammers make “free” games for children that sucker them into spending parent’s real money. Children and adults alike should avoid non free software.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Fukushima: Probability theory is unsafe

      …it was not the “unexpectedly high” tsunami that caused the accident. Reactors No. 5 and No. 6 remained intact, even though they were damaged to the same extent as the other four reactors by the earthquakes and tsunami. The difference was that they had a source of electricity through the air-cooled emergency diesel engine that had been was installed ad hoc by the management because they wanted to save money when the government demanded increased back up from two to three emergency generator sets.

      This article, written by a MIT trained reactor engineer, also details the obvious lies told by the operator and government and explains why the portable generators did not work.

    • Former GM Executive Bob Lutz Slams The GOP’s ‘Pure Fiction, Knee-Jerk’ Hatred Of Electric Cars

      “The unfortunate thing is that because electric cars are very associated with the left-wing environmental green movement to combat global warming and reduce [carbon dioxide], the idea of vehicle electrification triggers this visceral reaction on the part of conservatives — which is, if it’s electric it must be a product of the left-wing, Democratic enviro-political machine, therefore we hate it.”

      US republicans are insane and increasingly dangerous. See also, plutocrat Donald Trump’s war against wind power.

    • ALEC Says It Plans To Craft Legislation To Take Down State Renewable Energy Targets
    • Let’s Talk About the Real Cost of Dirty Power: AEP and 3,200 Pollution Deaths

      The dangerous air pollution generated last year by the twenty-six coal-fired power plants owned wholly or in part by AEP contributed to as many as 3,200 deaths, over 20,000 asthma attacks and incidents, over 2,000 hospital and emergency room visits and over 1,000,000 lost work-days …

    • Former BP engineer charged with destroying evidence in Gulf oil spill

      An engineer deleted text messages from his cell phone that show that BP knew it was lying about oil flowrates and also knew that their silly “top kill” would fail. Top kill would fail at flow rates greater than the official BP lie rate of 5,000 barrels a day. The engineer knew the rate was over 15,000 barrels a day and everyone knew the actual rate was closer to 50,000 barrels a day. It will be interesting to learn if this employee even had control of his company cell phone.

  • Finance

  • Anti-Trust – Microsoft Defeats/Bribes B&N

    • Barnes & Noble Press Release

      Barnes & Noble and Microsoft have settled their patent litigation, and moving forward, Barnes & Noble and Newco will have a royalty-bearing license under Microsoft’s patents for its NOOK eReader and Tablet products. This paves the way for both companies to collaborate and reach a broader set of customers.

      It is outrageous that Microsoft was allowed to inflict such costs on B&N that they would agree to such a deal. Under those circumstances, it is not fair to call this a sell out, it’s extortion. The deal gives money to B&N but surrendering to patent royalties is an insult to the rest of the world and Microsoft will swiftly ruin the ebook business.

    • Microsoft teams up with Barnes and Noble on ebooks

      Neil McDonald of the consultancy Gartner said that the primary motivation for Microsoft was to get the Nook to use the Windows operating system.

    • Microsoft’s E-Book Deal With Barnes and Noble Has Familiar Plot

      Bing search engine and partner Yahoo Inc. (YHOO) have captured nearly one-third of the Internet search market, but Microsoft’s online services business still lost $479 million last quarter. Nokia, its premier partner for Windows Phone, sold more than 2 million Lumia smartphones, but last quarter it still reported a $1.2 billion net loss.

      Will someone please put a stop to this blatant use of monopoly rents to expand an abusive monopoly and deprive the world of both first rate software and electronic books? Barnes and Noble’s case indicates that the whole case was about crippling Android devices, by eliminating “computer like” features and loading all of them with an uncompetitive royalty.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Is ‘America Revealed’–or PBS?

      The four-part series America Revealed, airing on PBS stations this month, looks at big-picture economic issues, from agriculture to transportation to manufacturing. The series underwriter? The Dow Chemical Company, whose commercial interests closely track the subjects covered in the PBS series.

    • ALEC fights coal ash protections on polluters’ behalf

      Embroiled in controversy for its role in passing “Stand Your Ground” laws highlighted in the Trayvon Martin shooting, the American Legislative Exchange Council also worked to block federal regulation of toxic power plant waste that’s contaminating groundwater supplies across the country — and it turns out that the group has close ties to major coal ash polluters.

  • Privacy

    • Why I lapsed my FitBit subscription

      Here’s a funny story – friend of mine signed up for an account and started “friending” many of her RL friends on the site. Which exposed all of us to daily “sexual activity, moderate, 2h 11m” reports. Sure, she should have been more vigilant about her data, but alas, now she’s stuck with it being recorded and available. No way for her to remove those from the site.

    • Seniors get the TSA runaround, lose $300

      Can you imagine an 85-year-old lady and 95-year-old retired Air Force Major in wheelchairs being treated like terrorists? … they sure didn’t expect to be subjected to accusations, extreme pat-downs, and most importantly, to be missing $300 in cash.

      They did not think the money was more important than the humilliation but they were angry that the TSA’s cameras were too fuzzy to see who stole the money.

    • To Read All Of The Privacy Policies You Encounter, You’d Need To Take A Month Off From Work Each Year

      a new report notes that if you actually bothered to read all the privacy policies you encounter on a daily basis, it would take you 250 working hours per year — or about 30 workdays … Imagine if you read terms of service and end user license agreements too.

      So, by not regulating data sharing, society puts an impossible burden on everyone.

  • Civil Rights

  • Education Watch

    • Washington Post’s Kaplan and Other For-Profit Colleges Joined ALEC, Controversial Special Interest Lobby

      the Washington Post Company’s Kaplan for-profit college division, was, last year, a member of the controversial business advocacy group the American Legislative Exchange Council. Other major for-profit education companies also joined ALEC. Republic Report has obtained a July 2011 document showing Kaplan Higher Education and other for-profits as members of ALEC’s Education Task Force.

      I did not know that the Washington Post ran for profit universites, a surprising twist on the resignation of Melinda Gates last year over an private education scandal. The Washington Post should be considered controlled opposition in many areas as most mainstream press is.

    • School vouchers and the religious subversion of church-state separation

      You don’t have to be a constitutional scholar to get that using public money to fund religious schools violates the letter and spirit of the first amendment. Even the radical conservatives in today’s Federalist Society would agree that the US constitution would not allow the government to cut a check to, say, the local mosque in exchange for supplying education to local schoolchildren. That is why they invented “vouchers”: by pushing the “choice” to use government money to subsidize religion down to the parents, the government can fund religious schools while pretending that it is not.

      The largest religious school groupp to have taken advantage of state subsidized religious instruction in the US is actually Islamic.

    • Mass student strike in Quebec continues

      Quebec students who pay the lowest tuition fees across Canada are faced with a 75% tuition fee increase. Currently, the average annual cost to attend a Quebec university is $2,519. … student protesters are highlighting the fact that Finance Minister Raymond Bachand’s provincial budget of 2011-2012 will cut public and accessible healthcare, hydroelectricity and education. … The high point of the ‘Quebec Spring’ has been the 200 000-strong demonstration in Montreal on March 22. On the day, students successfully blocked the Port of Montreal for several hours, a tactic recently used at the Oakland General Strike in November.

      The merger of student and labor interests terrifies the 1% because it effectively breaks their power over the rest of us.

  • Copyrights


Links 29/4/2012: Linux Steam Client, CISPA Backlash

Posted in News Roundup at 8:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Insanity: CISPA Just Got Way Worse, And Then Passed On Rushed Vote

      The vote followed the debate on amendments, several of which were passed. Among them was an absolutely terrible change (pdf and embedded below—scroll to amendment #6) to the definition of what the government can do with shared information, put forth by Rep. Quayle. Astonishingly, it was described as limiting the government’s power, even though it in fact expands it by adding more items to the list of acceptable purposes for which shared information can be used. Even more astonishingly, it passed with a near-unanimous vote. The CISPA that was just approved by the House is much worse than the CISPA being discussed as recently as this morning.

    • How SOPA protests were used to push CISPA

      CISPA authors and supporters have tried everything they can to avoid another SOPA protest – except tell the truth about their bill.

IRC Proceedings: April 28th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

IRC Proceedings: April 27th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

IRC Proceedings: April 26th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

IRC Proceedings: April 25th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

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Enter the IRC channels now


The Decline of Apple and Microsoft in Phones

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 3:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Android continues to have real impact in the mobile market whereas Windows has none; The company could ‘pull an Elop’ again

THE RISE OF Linux is marked by the decline of some lucrative Apple-branded products — integrated products which face a really big challenge from Android. I was close to buying an Android tablet yesterday as the vast majority of tablets on the shelves run Android; none runs Windows. Microsoft and Apple can hardly do anything but sue at this stage; they just don’t know how else to win. Mr. Pogson shows that the manager of Microsoft’s phone effort left only to join another company and he adds: “Come on, Phoney “7″ shows at 0.08% of page views on Wikimedia, and 0.67% of the mobile page views.”

The report says it’ a marketing person:

The well-known provider of mobile Internet services confirmed Monday that it has hired Gavin Kim to the newly created position of Chief Product Officer.

According to details made available in an official press release, Gavin will lead NQ Mobile’s product, solutions and strategic partnerships.

Sound like another potential Elop. The thing about Elop is, not only did he help assassinate MeeGo; he also helped “weaponise” Nokia’s patents (see MOSAID for example). The Microsoft cult is not to be underestimated. It needs to be watched.

In Apple-Microsoft Attack on Android, Motorola Strikes Back and Wins

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 3:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

KnifeSummary: In the infamous case which shows how software patents harm Free software/Linux Motorola hits back against Microsoft and Apple. scoring a win against both

WE recently outlined how Motorola had hit back against Microsoft, using its own patent arsenal as tool of deterrence against Android-hostile aggression (invoked by Microsoft).

Motorola adds another victory by getting deterrence going against Apple. “It’s a busy week at the International Trade Commission, which today found that Apple has infringed on a 3G patent held by Motorola,” says The Register.

It continues: “Administrative Law Judge Thomas B. Pender today issued an initial determination that found Apple guilty of patent infringement by importing and selling the iPhone and 3G-enabled iPads in the U.S.”

“The amount of money remains unknown and some suspect that the main purpose it to seed FUD and deter those who choose Linux for tablets.”“Patent litigation has become little more than a tax on innovation that drives companies from the U.S. market and discourages investment in the next Facebook or tomorrow’s Twitter,” explains Julie Samuels in her latest column. To quote further, “more than all of that, the case serves as an important teaching moment, illustrating much of what doesn’t work in our patent system.”

“That system is of course enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the power to “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to … Inventors the exclusive Right to their … Discoveries.” But when we start talking about software patents, we really only see barriers to innovation, often in the form of expensive litigation and licensing fees. What gives?

“For starters, software often does not require the type of heavy investment that should result in a 20-year monopoly. Instead of expensive laboratories or years of testing for FDA approval, for example, you often just need a coder and a computer. Even complex programs don’t require 20 years of exclusivity to recoup their investment. Software patents are often not even necessary for successful businesses: Facebook and, yes, Google — never relied on software patents to grow their early businesses.”

Much to our regret, while I was down in London Microsoft found another extortion victim. This is the type of action which Techrights was conceived to counter. Microsoft had not signed any extortion for a while with FAT patents being on the rocks. To quote TechEye, “Taiwanese manufacturer Pegatron has agreed to pay Microsoft licensing fees for each Android or Chrome device it makes.

“Redmond told ZDnet that it is the latest in a long string of such agreements, and covers smartphones, e-readers and tablets. It has signed deals with Quanta, Wistron and Compal already.”

The amount of money remains unknown and some suspect that the main purpose it to seed FUD and deter those who choose Linux for tablets. Clearly this is not working. But it’s taxing customers, bringing no benefit whatsoever to anyone. The customers should rebel against the patent system and its misuse for protectionism, extortion, and intimidation.

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