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05.29.12

Vatican to Rely on Microsoft Software That Even Microsoft Does Not Trust

Posted in Microsoft at 1:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vatican

Summary: Indoctrination of the young to be delivered by Microsoft, which will also indoctrinate youngsters to use Microsoft software which is exceptionally unreliable

THE sham which is Office 360 has been somewhat of an embarrassment for those who rely on it, but Microsoft found a religion willing enough to experiment with the young while the convicted monopolist smiles with great glee:

The Vatican has blessed Microsoft’s cloud apps strategy in the shape of deal that could see Office 365 being rolled out to 43 million Catholic students worldwide.

The secretive and highly conservative organisation, condemned by some as the Anti-Christ, will initially provide the software suite to 4.5 million students via the Catholic International Education Office (OIEC) under the three-year agreement.

With regular downtime and serious defects in the software (as covered here before), let us pray that they’ll change their mind about Microsoft. In order to prevent lawsuits over downtime and other such problems (including leakage of sensitive information) Microsoft continues to modify its licensing:

According to Microsoft, it is going forth with this change in light of the ruling that was given in AT&T Mobility vs Concepcion case in the Supreme Court. In the case, it was ruled that a company can prevent a plaintiff from filing a class-action lawsuit, though leaving the plaintiff options of either settling the complaint privately or through a small claims court.

This amendment will effectively shield Microsoft from any major claims from users in the coming days. According to the company, it has already updated its Xbox Live service with the new user agreement and will soon be applying the same changes to its other products and services.

This means that Microsoft lacks confidence in its products.

Time to Refocus on Microsoft’s Attacks — Including by Proxy — on Free Android

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 12:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Aubergines

Summary: Why software patents and the freedom of Android are becoming most relevant to this Web site

THE coverage of the Oracle vs. Google case is still out there, but it’s becoming old news and more of a subject of debate. Here in this site we’ve focused on Novell’s seminal taxation of GNU/Linux, then moved on to more on OOXML (patent trap and lock-in), had a deep look at Comes vs. Microsoft, and then broadened our scope of coverage regarding patents. Microsoft is still a very major factor. We try not to cover the same type of stories for too long as it becomes repetitive, so in recent years we looked more and more at Android. It’s probably one of the fastest-growing OSes ever, if not the fastest-growing indeed. It spreads Linux like fire.

The Motorola case is a reactionary case to defend against Microsoft Aggression (Microsoft essentially bribed B&N to stop fighting). The case is very important right now and one reporter correctly says:

With Microsoft there is no such justice or fairness.

Microsoft has solicited every major Android vendor and claimed that there is alleged patent infringement in Android that violates Microsoft IP. Microsoft has never brought its claims to trial, there has never been a fair fight. Microsoft’s route is far more insidious, taking money from Android without ever actually proving a claim.

Now that Oracle has been defeated once, Microsoft should be plenty worried. Then again, Microsoft doesn’t settle in courtrooms.

Still, wouldn’t it be great if Google could get Microsoft into a court of law to force them to prove their allegations? That would serve the Android (and open source) ecosystem well as the FUD that Microsoft continues to allege could finally be put to rest.

The inventor of Java is unhappy with the outcome of the Java trial and as noted by Wired the other day, Microsoft and Apple already prepare more patent attacks on Android, via proxies. As TechDirt puts it:

You may recall last summer that Apple, Microsoft, EMC, RIM, Ericsson and Sony all teamed up to buy Nortel’s patents for $4.5 billion. They beat out a team of Google and Intel who bid a bit less. While there was some antitrust scrutiny over the deal, it was dropped and the purchase went through. Apparently, the new owners picked off a bunch of patents to transfer to themselves… and then all (minus EMC, who, one hopes, was horrified by the plans) decided to support a massive new patent troll armed with the remaining 4,000 patents. The company is called Rockstar Consortium, and it’s run by the folks who used to run Nortel’s patent licensing program anyway — but now employs people whose job it is to just find other companies to threaten…

A new article by a TechDirt contributor, Glyn Moody, says that this monopoly madness is good for nobody. To quote:

Monopolies, whether created by the state or created by the market, can be problematic for open source, and as technology moves forward, new spaces to monopolise are always appearing.

Moody then adds this link to those observe the situation of software patents in the EU:

The next Competitiveness Council will be held on May 30th and 31st 2012. François Hollande’s government will be attending it for the first time1. April calls upon the French president to take this opportunity to act against software patents and to bring up the flaws and the issues of the current unitary patent project.

There is opposition in the Danish parliament to EU unitary patent and ‪software patents, so there is hope that people — not corporations — will vote on the subject. For the time being:

The government does not have the necessary 5/6 majority for the single EU patent court.

As long as Microsoft’s patent assaults lack legitimacy in the majority of the Western world, Android may have an easier way out of this extortion. We are going to spend more and more time looking at the Motorola (Google) case because it may as well end the threat to the cost (patent penalty) and freedom of Android. Google is not going to settle; it has to much to lose.

Old Novell: Fighting Microsoft; New Novell: Advancing Microsoft

Posted in Antitrust, Microsoft, Novell at 12:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Spiral

.
Summary: An update on the antitrust case against Microsoft and a glimpse at where Mono has spread

THE CASE against Dalvik is over (at least for now). so Groklaw proceeds to covering something else.

Pamela Jones looks at Novell vv. Microsoft antitrust, which is an old case. She writes:

I have a treat for you, or part one of a treat. I have the first 32 transcripts from the Novell v. Microsoft antitrust trial over WordPerfect.

As you know, the judge has before him a renewed motion by Microsoft asking him to rule on Microsoft’s behalf as a matter of law, so as to bypass a second trial. Of course, Novell opposes, with multiple exhibits, and here’s Microsoft’s reply to Novell’s filing. There will be a hearing on this motion on June 22nd in US District Court in Baltimore, MD. I know.

Novell used to advance competition to Microsoft, but nowadays it helps Microsoft develop products. In fact, its Mono project continues to spread C# into UNIX/Linux. To quote:

The Wine development team announced a few days ago, May 25th, that a new development version of the famous framework used to run Windows applications on Linux, has been announced by Alexandre Julliard, the leader of the Wine project.

This one has support for Mono, but what for? Mono is about developing new applications the Microsoft way, whereas Wine is about running applications that were already developed for a Microsoft platform under UNIX/Linux. Java (or Dalvik) on Android does exceptionally well, so why help .NET? In fact, how is developing new applications for a Microsoft framework in any way advancing FOSS and GNU/Linux?

“Now [Novell is] little better than a branch of Microsoft”

LinuxToday Managing Editor

Links 29/5/2012: Fedora 17 is Coming, Linux Mint 13 Reviews

Posted in News Roundup at 6:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Want Freedom from Vendor Lock-in? Survey Says: Choose Open Source

    It’s no secret that open source software is playing an increasingly prominent role in businesses around the globe, but a recent survey has uncovered a few surprising findings about adopters’ motivations for choosing it.

  • Freedom from vendor lock-in drives adoption of open source

    According to a report by the 451 Group, many companies are now identifying freedom from vendor lock-in as an important reason for switching to open source software. In a recent survey by the group, 60% of respondents said that the top factor that made open source software “attractive” was the absence of the dependency on one particular vendor. The second most quoted factor was lower acquisition and maintenance costs (51%) followed by better code quality (43%) and the ability to look at the source code (42%).

  • Apache Wookie Delivers Open Source Widgets

    As all geeks know, today is the 35th anniversary of the release of Star Wars (and it’s also Towel Day too). What you may not have known is that today also marks the release of Apache Wookie 0.10.0.

  • Interview with the Sage Mathematics Software Project
  • Living With Open Source
  • Open source and the National Security Agency, together again

    The Open Source Software Institute, a non-profit group that supports open-source adoption and the National Security Agency (NSA), the organization in charge of all out of country eavesdropping, will co-host an Open Source Software Industry Day on Wednesday, May 30, 2012. The unclassified, one-day event will be held at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s Kossiakoff Conference Center near Fort Meade, MD, which is where the NSA is based. Alas, pre-registration is already over.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Crazy Geckos: Nitot on Mozilla’s post-Firefox mobile crusade

        First came the BlackBerry, bringing the smartphones for suits perfected by RIM to consumers. Next came the iPhone, which quickly hoovered up 23 per cent of the market. But the iPhone came at a price: the freedom of users and coders. It is tightly controlled by Apple, as Adobe quickly found to its cost with Flash.

        Next up was Android. In just four years, Android exploited consumers’ desire to poke and stroke their phones to become the world’s most popular smartphone OS – burying the iPhone – with 59 per cent of the market.

        Android had a plus: freedom of choice for both coder and consumer thanks to an open-source code base.

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open access and open source in the context of scholarly publishing

      Scholarly publishing in the English-speaking world has been in turmoil since the reduction in higher education funding in the 1970s affected university presses and libraries. Scholarly publishing is not about money, at least not directly, but about personal reputation, research dissemination, impact and the advancement of knowledge. Open publishing accounts for a relatively small proportion of scholarly publishing, though its impact is growing and affecting the commercial publishing models. Agata Mrva-Montoya

Leftovers

  • Skip Internet Explorer for Web Dev. Save $100,000

    Even better is the fact that the company got few complaints — meaning that IE support isn’t a big deal anymore.

    This is fantastic news for Linux users (who can’t run IE) and good news overall that the hegemony of IE is now a thing of the past. Reality of course is that today, desktop users run multiple browsers and developers go mobile first (WebKit/iOS/Android) first in many instances.

    It’s also interesting to see how much more it costs to build an IE website. It’s shocking that it could cost $100,000 more isn’t it?

  • Security

  • Copyrights

    • Microsoft take-down requests – needs its own house in order first?

      Some Microsoft Advocates often refer to Linux/FOSS users with the derogatory term “freetard” and even if we look past at the apparent double standards Bing employs in comparison with requests made of Google and we ignore the millions of Windows users using the uTorrent client and downloading copyrighted material, we need only look to Microsoft themselves and a very interesting article by torrent freak, who, after researching a few Microsoft IP addresses, find that records show, their machines have been very busy downloading copyrighted material for free too. Hypocricy? Would we expect anything less from a company that employs a man someone like Steve Ballmer?

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