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07.25.12

Links 25/7/2012: Dell Has Red Hat Enterprise Linux Loaded

Posted in News Roundup at 7:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Seven Expectations of Linux Users

    Claiming that Linux users are different reminds me of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s comment that “the rich are different from you and I” and Ernest Hemingway’s alleged reply, “Yes, they have more money.”

    After all, computer users are computer users. A few geeks may argue over the differences in operating systems, but aren’t average users more interested in simply getting work done?

    Superficially, yes. But operating systems and applications are far from neutral. Behind the code and the interfaces are assumptions about how users should use an application and what they want and expect from an application – even about the relationship between users and an application and its builders.

    Use an operating system long enough, and the assumptions behind it start to shape your expectations — so much so that another operating system may seem hostile and bizarre.

    You can hear the differences any time Linux users mingle with Windows and Mac users. The three groups have very different ideas about their relationship to their software, and communication is regularly confounded by differences in expectations.

    So what do Linux users expect from their operating system of choice? I can think of at least seven replies:

  • Desktop

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Introducing Project Neon KVM

        Project Neon provides daily builds of KDE modules for Kubuntu. It is an easy way to get the latest code without having to build the entire KDE-SVN tree and maintain the checkout. Project Neon is unstable, but it installs alongside stable packages. It is suitable for contributors such as new developers, translators, usability designers, documenters, promoters, and bug triagers. With Project Neon, people can experiment freely without risk to a working KDE environment.

        Project Neon is especially useful for reporting bugs. With its daily builds, bugs can be reported in the most timely manner. The more time that elapses between when a bug is introduced and when it is reported, the more difficult it gets to find it and fix it. With Project Neon, a bug can be reported on the same day that it is introduced.

      • Searching for Search in KDE
    • GNOME Desktop

      • Reglue Finds Solus in Gnome3/Unity Wreckage

        The Reglue project was, as many were, caught off guard when both Gnome and Canonical simultaneously lost their minds. With their eyes solidly focused on the mobile market, each moved swiftly to develop an environment that would be both friendly and useful on tablets and phones.

      • Making GTK3 themes – Part 2: The gtk.css and gtk-widgets.css files

        This is the second post from the “Making GTK3 themes”series. The first post can be found here.

        We will name our theme as “Dream”. So create a directory named “Dream” under “~/.themes” and then create another directory named “gtk-3.0″ under “~/.themes/Dream/gtk-3.0″. All the files we create will be inside this directory.

  • Distributions

    • Arch Linux Install Media Updated For July 2012

      For those that haven’t heard yet, the Arch Linux 2012.07.15 install media is available as a major installer update for this popular rolling-release Linux distribution.

    • Peppermint Three Screenshots (07/24/2012)
    • Peppermint Three Released, Cloud Based Free Linux OS

      Peppermint is a distro based on Linux Mint and Lubuntu. But unlike other distros that use offline desktop apps, Peppermint focuses on cloud services for applications. Peppermint three is based on Lubuntu 12.04, an LTS release which will be supported with security updates for a period of five years.

    • New Releases

      • VortexBox 2.1 released today

        It’s been a while since we had a release. This release is a roll-up of a lot of features and fixes we have been working on since the last release. It’s been over 6 months since 2.0 was released so there are a lot of new features and fixes in this version. This release includes Logitech Media Server 7.7.2. Backups now support more than 2.2TB drives. This is great for 3TB+ VortexBoxes. We have the latest Fedora kernel with upgraded audio drives. The new ALSA drives now have better support for USB audio devices. We are now using ALBUMARTIST instead of BAND tag in the FLAC to mp3 mirroring.

      • Slackware 14.0 Beta Features Xfce 4.10

        After months of development, Slackware 14.0 reaches Beta status on July 22nd, as announced by its developer, Patrick Volkerding.

        Among lots of interesting features, the Slackware 14.0 Beta operating system comes with the ultimate Xfce 4.10 desktop environment.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Gooseberry – An alternative to Raspberry Pi

      Gooseberry is another alternative to Raspberry Pi, and according to the manufacturers it is three times faster than its rival. This new berry comes with a new ARM A10 processor running at 1GHz stock frequency, while there is enough headroom for overclocking up to 1.5 GHz. Also, it has twice the RAM of Raspberry Pi, meaning 512MB for this board. As for its power consumption, Gooseberry board consumes on average 4 watts of power when in use. When idle consumes 3.5 watts of power and when on standby consumes 2.3 watts of power.

    • Four Young Programmers Coded 48 Hours To Raise Donations For The Raspberry Pi Foundation

      Four young programmers, Ben, Luke, Ryan and Edward, aged between twelve and sixteen coded 48 hours in Python. The result was a game and more than 500 pounds raised for the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

    • Phones

      • Another one bites the dust, and goes open source

        According to an old saying, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. That, however, does not seem to apply in the proprietary software business, because as we have seen over the years, whenever a proprietary software vendor falls on tough financial times, it closes shop and releases its products under an open source license.

        HP did it with webOS, which is now called Open webOS. OpenOffice.org is not a very good example, but it went from one open source license to another after the sponsoring proprietary software vendor pissed off core developers. OpenOffice.org is now known as Apache OpenOffice. I am sure you know how that story unfolded. And, then, there is the most recent case of Mandriva SA

      • Android

        • Vizio Co-Star: Is Google TV finally going Prime-Time?

          I wanted to like Google TV. Who wouldn’t want to be able to watch Internet video, normal television, and use their HDTV as the world’s biggest Web browser. There was just one problem. The various Google TV implementations, such as the Logitech Revue, never worked well. It looks to me though like the soon to be released Vizio Co-Star may finally fulfill at least some of Google TV’s promise.

        • Motorola XT926 (DROID RAZR HD) Cruises Through FCC With Verizon Radios and NFC

          A Motorola device with model number XT926 attached to it, cruised through the FCC today. As we know thanks to a variety of Moto employees who posted both pictures and benchmarks from the device to public sites over the last few months, this should be the DROID RAZR HD. According to this FCC filing, it was tested for Verizon’s 3G (CDMA 800/1900) and LTE networks. It also packs GSM and WCDMA radios, so there is a good chance that this phone will end up with global roaming capabilities. As you can see from the picture above, an NFC chip is included as well.

        • Apple, Android Battle for Enterprise App Market Share

          Apple’s strength in the enterprise was attributed to several factors, including the success of the company’s best-selling iPad tablet.

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Linus Torvalds reviews, loves, the Google Nexus 7

        Linus Torvalds, Linux’s inventor, software developer extraordinary, and, now, tablet reviewer! On Google+, Torvalds reviewed his Nexus 7 tablet and like ZDNet reviewers such as James Kendrick, he loved it.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Refining Due Diligence for Enterprise Open Source

    There are differences in how you evaluate open source applications, and it behooves security organizations to think through those differences and plan accordingly. Why does it matter? Because those differences can sometimes gate or slow down the adoption of a perfectly serviceable tool — like if you have inflexible corporate software acquisition policies that mandate non-applicable steps.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Silent Updates Appear to Boost Firefox 14′s Uptake

        Many dedicated users of Mozilla’s Firefox browser have been wrestling with the new silent updates, which upgrade and modify the browser automatically, rather than at users’ discretion. The silent updates have been quite controversial. They are in place and going strong with Firefox 14, and there are signs that they are helping with adoption of that version of the browser. At the same time, some users find them very intrusive.

        For a long time, Firefox had no silent updates. The Mozilla team reported earlier this year that the browser would begin to have them, and it was clear that doing so was an effort to compete more closely with Google Chrome, which has offered silent updates for years.

      • Customize Firefox to Show Support for Your Country
  • SaaS

    • Citrix’s Hinkle Proposes Linux Model for an Open Source Cloud

      But the project has seen more community contributions in the last 90 days than it did in the last two years it’s been open source, he said. CloudStack has also seen a nice uptick in adoption from a wide range of companies that includes cloud hosting providers, social gaming companies and research labs, among others.

  • CMS

    • Blogging Software

      I have been using WordPress for years and it works but by now I would expect a mature product. Instead we still have “features” like displaying newest comments at the tops of pages unavailable. Really. I thought this was a bug because there is an option in the Dashboard/Settings/Discussion settings for newest first but it does not work. When I reported this to WordPress.com I was informed to get help from WordPress.org where I see this has been a problem for years and no solution exists except to install plugins that may or may not work depending on “theme” and editing PHP. Apparently, WP is not amenable to fixing. I tried two different plugins and could not get it straightened out. My son may look at the PHP to figure out what’s wrong. I even turned off caching to no avail.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Benchmarking GCC 4.2 Through GCC 4.8 On AMD & Intel Hardware

      Here are benchmarks of all major GNU Compiler Collection releases from GCC 4.2.4 through the latest GCC 4.8 development build. Benchmarking was of the seven GCC compiler releases from an Intel Core i7 “Clarksfield” system and an AMD Opteron “Shanghai” workstation.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Join the M revolution – M and R programming languages

      Developers who take a first peek at the M language may get a quick impression that it is strange and alien. Here is the good news: If you have used R, or have friends who know R, then you are in good company and can learn M in a much shorter time. Moreover, you can combine M with R to get a powerful with an excellent statistical package.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Former McDonald’s Honchos Take On Sustainable Cuisine

      I had come to the artisanally fed vale of Facebook and Tesla to sample the first fruits of Lyfe Kitchen, a soon-to-be-chain of restaurants that might just shift the calculus of American cuisine. At Lyfe Kitchen (the name is an acronym for Love Your Food Everyday), all the cookies shall be dairy-free, all the beef from grass-fed, humanely raised cows. At Lyfe Kitchen there shall be no butter, no cream, no white sugar, no white flour, no high-fructose corn syrup, no GMOs, no trans fats, no additives, and no need for alarm: There will still be plenty of burgers, not to mention manifold kegs of organic beer and carafes of biodynamic wine. None of this would seem surprising if we were talking about one or 10 or even 20 outposts nationwide. But Lyfe’s ambition is to open hundreds of restaurants around the country, in the span of just five years.

  • Finance

    • Titanic banks hit Libor ‘berg

      At one time, calling the large multinational banks a “cartel” branded you as a conspiracy theorist. Today the banking giants are being called that and worse, not just in the major media but in court documents intended to prove the allegations as facts.

      Charges include racketeering (organized crime under the US Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO), antitrust violations, wire fraud, bid-rigging, and price-fixing. Damning charges have already been proven, and major damages and penalties assessed. Conspiracy theory has become established fact.

  • Civil Rights

    • Tomgram: Noam Chomsky, The Great Charter, Its Fate, and Ours

      This week the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed suit against CIA Director David Petraeus, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and two top special operations forces commanders for “violating the Constitution and international law” in the drone assassination of three American citizens in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, Samir Khan, and al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son Abdulrahman (though no one claims he had anything whatsoever to do with terror campaigns). The suit is based on the Constitution’s promise of “due process” (“[N]or shall any person… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”), which to the untutored eye of this non-lawyer clearly seems to involve “law.” Attorney General Eric Holder evidently thinks otherwise and has explained his reasoning when it comes to the right of the Obama administration to order such deaths: “The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.” If you’re not inside the National Security Complex, it may be just a tad hard to grasp how “due process” could mean a secret process of review in the White House presided over by a president with a “kill list” (whose legal justification, laid out by the Justice Department, cannot be made public). And yet that is, as far as we can tell, indeed the claim.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Non-answer to BEREC’s Consultation: We need Net Neutrality Law!

      La Quadrature du Net publishes its non-answer to the EU body of telecoms regulators’ (BEREC) consultation on Net Neutrality. It is not time for yet-another consultation on the EU Commission’s failed “wait-and-see” policy aimed at letting telecom operators take control of the Internet by discriminating communications. The only way to protect a free Internet as well as freedoms and innovation online is to clearly enact and protect Net Neutrality in EU law.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Leaked Report Reveals Music Industry’s Global Anti-Piracy Strategy

        A confidential internal report of the music industry outfit IFPI has been inadvertently made available online by the group itself. Penned by their Head of Internet Anti-piracy Operations, the report details the global strategy for the major recording labels of IFPI. Issues covered include everything from torrent sites to cyberlockers, what behavior IFPI expects of Internet service providers, the effectiveness of site blocking, and how pirates are accessing unreleased music from industry sources.

Microsoft Dictatorship Divides and Conquers Linux With Novell, Red Hat, and Ubuntu

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Ubuntu at 1:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Road divided

Summary: How and why Microsoft has turned to increased disruption of the competition rather than any technical merit

MICROSOFT recently announced a loss [1, 2, 3], even though there was spin from Microsoft (trying to claim record profit while in fact reporting a loss). Katherine Noyes calls it “Microsoft’s bad quarter” as though it’s the exception; in reality, after pressure from the SEC [1, 2] Microsoft was probably just forced to tell the public some truth, not hiding the sources of losses. Noyes quotes a lawyer: ‘”A near monopoly is like a dictator,” said Roberto Lim, a lawyer and blogger on Mobile Raptor. “Even a benign dictator runs the risk of failing to respond to the needs of the people, and how many people would called Microsoft benign? “What Microsoft forgot is that sooner or later, the masses do rebel.”‘ Just like in most empires, Microsoft relies on occupied countries mobilising their own people for the benefit of the dictator (e.g. the Germans using the Poles for production, the British using India for spice, Rome using warriors/police abroad). Right now we see Microsoft doing this inside the Linux and FOSS world, fracturing it.

Microsoft recently resorted to anti-competitive methods (e.g. UEFI), motivating this reminder that merely because Canonical and Red Hat found some way to play with Microsoft (just as Novell had done in 2006) doesn’t mean we’re safe:

“First they came for Gentoo.

And I did not speak up because I don’t use Gentoo.

Then they came for Arch Linux

and I said nothing because I don’t use Arch Linux.

And on it goes. Divisive and exclusionary arrangements for UEFI are not solutions, they are impediments. The point is, Microsoft is trying a divide-and-conquer approach and we must resist it. Using the Novell tie Microsoft continues to pollute Linux, the kernel, with proprietary addons and obscenities [1, 2]. Microsoft is rightly shamed for it in news sites and IDG spins it as an apology:

We hate the term “brogrammer,” and so should you. However, a recent gaffe by some Microsoft coder somewhere gives a bit more evidence to the idea that a wee bit of immaturity might be lurking in the company’s coding rank and file.

According to a message posted by Paolo Bonzini to the (unofficial) Linux Kernel Mailing List, a small snippet of code found in Microsoft’s Hyper-V – a virtualization server – was used every time a user loaded Linux within the virtual environment.

The joke? The code itself, written in hexadecimal, was the string, “0xB16B00B5.” Get it? “Big Boobs.”

“At the most basic level it’s just straightforward childish humour, and the use of vaguely-English strings in magic hex constants is hardly uncommon. But it’s also specifically male childish humour. Puerile sniggering at breasts contributes to the continuing impression that software development is a boys club where girls aren’t welcome. It’s especially irritating in this case because Azure may depend on this constant, so changing it will break things,” wrote Linux developer and Red Hat employee Dr. Matthew Garrett in a blog post.

Microsoft was not even original, based on this writeup:

While the prank is certainly very funny, it is not original. 0xB16B00B5 is a common L337 expression, or ‘Hexpression’, in the technical community. It is also noted on Wikipedia‘s wiki entry as a “Notable Magic Number”, required of Linux guests running in Microsoft’s Hyper-V Hypervisor Virtualizer. That said, the discovery of these Big Boobs should not come as a surprise as it has been hiding in plain sight, awaiting public scrutiny since 2011.

For all we know, they did not sack the person who did this. At Microsoft, sexism is fine [1, 2, 3, 4], suggest past stories.

If it wasn’t for Novell, Microsoft would not have had access to Linux source code in the first place. Microsoft wants this whole affair to be marketed as “peace”; to those who are realists, “peace” with a sociopath is merely seen as a trap.

Microsoft ‘Community’ Takes Control of Mono, Passes Belated Bribes to Mono Developers

Posted in Microsoft, Mono at 1:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Monkey

Summary: Mono gets money from former Microsoft executives and the relationship with Microsoft tightens

SEVERAL years ago we gave some examples where Microsoft bribes people or pays them a reward for a service after the act, e.g. attacks on ODF [1, 2]. It is a special type of bribe, reminiscent of “revolving doors” to use a more familiar vocabulary.

Mono, a project led by former Microsoft staff (the CEO) and a Microsoft MVP (the CTO), is getting funding from former Microsoft executives at Ignition Partners [1, 2]. It’s like a bribe being passed by proxy, or a "man-in-the middle attack".

One reader of ours was quick to send an E-mail regarding this news from Xamarin. As Michael Larabel put it

Mono Working Close With Microsoft, Gets $12M USD

Xamarin, the company behind the controversial Mono software platform that was born by Miguel de Icaza and Nat Friedman when the Mono developers got let go from Novell, has announced a series-A financing round worth twelve million USD. They’re also continuing to work closely with Microsoft.

Xamarin announced its first round of funding today, which amounts to $12MM USD from Charles River Ventures, Ignition Partners, and Floodgate. There’s a Xamarin blog post about this series-A round.

It is necessary to know the people behind those shells. Many are former Microsoft staff. Moreover, we must commend Phoronix for describing Mono as “controversial”; this is progress.

Microsoft Imitates Android, LibreOffice Imitates Microsoft

Posted in Formats, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenOffice, Vista 8, Windows at 12:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Aping game

Monkeys

Summary: Microsoft is the one struggling to catch up in an age of Linux expansion, but LibreOffice continues to chase Microsoft’s proprietary formats

ONE of our readers, Marti, alleges that Microsoft is copying Android. As he puts it, “[o]n Android ICS they are simply widgets, which show the latest updates of your email and social media, or whatever widget you place on one of the preferred multiple “virtual desktops”. You simply have the ability to “browse” trough the history, by tipping the widgets and scrolling down (like in a web-browser).

“Marti provides some more examples where Microsoft is copying Android, just like it copies KDE.”“Windows® 8 Live Tiles® on the other had are showing a “history” of the most recent updates in a “interactive” manner. Meaning text is scrolled continually on multiple Tiles®. At first this seems quite funny and sexy, but trust me, it gets on your nerves within 15 minutes.”

Marti provides some more examples where Microsoft is copying Android, just like it copies KDE. A Gartner analyst’s negative remarks on this copycat act of Microsoft are spreading further to say that Vista 8 is not suitable for enterprises, just as OOXML causes nothing but headaches in businesses. On the face of it, attempts are being made to bridge some gaps:

If in past, you had trouble importing Microsoft Publisher documents in LibreOffice, you may get relief soon. Bernnan Vincent, a GSoC student, has created libmspub library capable of reading Microsoft Publisher files and converting it to SVG and open document format.

OOXML support in LibreOffice is a case of following Microsoft rather than leading with ODF. In a future episode of TechBytes we will talk to someone from the LibreOffice team (Charles-H. Schulz and explore the rationale of the strategy, e.g. whether SUSE's relationship with Microsoft played a role in this. Before we get to that we are going to release an episode where Stallman tells me about phone surveillance. With Skype, Microsoft is now tracking people’s phonecalls too. See our Skype wiki page for more information and some background. As one new report puts it: “The question was: “Is Skype snooping on your conversations?” The answer is yes.

“According to a Microsoft Skype spokesperson, “As was true before the Microsoft acquisition, Skype co-operates with law enforcement agencies as is legally required and technically feasible.” So what the heck does that mean?” It probably just means that Microsoft continues to be an enemy of the population, and furthermore toppling Microsoft is a good thing.

Patent Trolls Use the ‘Microsoft Defence’

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 11:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Troll

Summary: Trolls that got money from Microsoft are attacking the Web, indie game makers, etc.

THE ambitions and arrogance of the duopoly [1, 2, 3, 4] (Apple and Microsoft) sure made it some enemies and as software patents make more and more enemies around the world, Microsoft’s and Apple’s strategy of litigation could not get any more controversial. Even some Apple fans are disgusted by it. Here is a new example of software patents that seem like parody (but are not):

Another day another absurdly broad software patent in the mobile phone industry as we learn about Apple’s patent for displaying electronic lists on a mobile device. I note that a lot of my items on this subject come from Apple not because Apple is a uniquely abusive patenter, but because their iOS devices were so genuinely innovative. Having solved the really difficult engineering problem of creating an affordable attractive looking multi-touch pocket-sized telephone with a highly responsive user interface first, Apple also got to be the first to tackle all the totally obvious issues and then start furiously filing for patents. But the policy problem is much larger than any one company or even than merely the mobile devices space.

Some very generic ideas like this have already put the Web at risk, as we showed the other day in a post about Eolas. As some have said, Microsoft paid Eolas, which in turn sued many Microsoft rivals, The jury is killing this patent and Eolas then uses Microsoft to defend the patent, as noted here:

Eolas tried to convince the judge to grant them an appeal on the three different grounds. These were the rather lame excise that the jury verdict was unreasonable because they’d reached their decision on not enough evidence. In a related argument, Eolas claimed that the jury had made its decision on the basis of “passion and prejudice.” The judge ruled that, thank you very much, the jury had a reasonable decision based on the facts and the lawyers’ arguments.

Eolas also tried the excuse that the Microsoft jury had ruled in their favor.

Microsoft gave Eolas both ammunition and funds in some sense.

In other news about patent trolls, the small team behind Minecraft is being attacked:

Famous patent troll Uniloc is suing the creators of popular indie title Minecraft (PDF), which it claims infringes a patent it holds on copy protection software.

But it might need to improve its own game, as the filing misspells its target as “Mindcraft”, and developer Markus “Notch” Persson has already vowed not to give in.

“Step 1: Wake up. Step 2: Check email. Step 3: See we’re being sued for patent infringement. Step 4: Smile,” Notch wrote at Twitter. “Unfortunately for them, they’re suing us over a software patent. If needed, I will throw piles of money at making sure they don’t get a cent.”

Based on another report:

Copy protection company Uniloc has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Mojang, the development company behind popular block game Minecraft. Uniloc claims that the Android version of Minecraft infringes patent number 6,857,067 describing a “system and method for preventing unauthorized access to electronic data.”

Uniloc too was paid by Microsoft.

FUD Busting is Back at Groklaw

Posted in FUD, Google, Oracle, Patents at 11:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

PJ takes the burden of FUD

Miner

Summary: Critical assessment and in-depth research is seen with the return of PJ

THE WordPerfect case is being further analysed by Pamela Jones (PJ) over at Groklaw. Mark Webbink has not written quite so much recently, so it seems like Jones is back in charge as the dominant writer and FUD buster (which professor Webbink is reluctant to be). We draw inspiration from PJ and from Groklaw, so it is delightful to see her back. She says that the WordPerfect case carries on, as she noted the other day (the corporate press did not make it apparent). To quote the opening parts:

When Judge J. Frederick Motz ruled for Microsoft on its motion for judgment as a matter of law the other day, tossing out Novell’s antitrust case against Microsoft, he explained his reasons at length. One of them was that there was, he asserted, no evidence of any realistic middleware threat.

However, here at Groklaw, we’re continuing our project of trying to provide text versions of all the PDF exhibits from the Comes v. Microsoft antitrust litigation, and a volunteer posted an exhibit [PDF] he’d just transcribed, and as I was reading it to edit any mistakes, I started to say to myself, Hey, this contradicts the judge. My next thought was that maybe Novell never saw this exhibit. After all, one of the things that happened in this case was that neither party was able to easily find what the exhibits all were. There are thousands of them, and they were identifiable only by numbers, and numbers from other litigations. That’s why we started on the project, to make them more easily searchable.

But then I started to dig a little, and it turns out that Novell did offer the court this very exhibit. It’s Exhibit PX 44 in this PDF collection of exhibits, attached as an exhibit to Novell’s opposition to Microsoft’s motion for judgment as a matter of law.

The Comes exhibits sure prove handy, even years after they were released (owing in part to Grouch). In other news from Jones, Microsoft Florian, who is now paid by Oracle for FUD, keeps deceiving. To quote Jones:

The point isn’t the amount, $2 billion or $6 billion. It’s the emphasis over and over, as I’ll show you, that it could be *any* kind of billions. In the end, after the trial, Google didn’t have to pay so much as a penny.

Did you notice how he claims that what he wrote has been repeated in the media and read maybe billions of times? If all he did was factual reporting, that wouldn’t be such a problem, although I’ll have more to say about that at the end. But is it the case that his reporting was purely factual? Let’s see.

What Does the Record Show?

I wrote earlier today that I thought Oracle should have to pay at least some of Google’s costs from the trial, if only because I didn’t think Oracle should be allowed to cause so much unmerited damage and then just walk away. Let me show you what I mean by unmerited damage that shouldn’t be ignored by reviewing some of what FOSSPatents wrote about the case.

By my reading, FOSSPatents at least implied repeatedly that Google was a willful infringer, going so far as to assert that the judge held that suspicion himself, along with presenting multiple gloomy analyses of what the bad outcome for Google as a result could be.

Since he is paid by foes of FOSS, journalists should just stop paying attention to him. There are many blogs out there that are not influenced by money. At Techrights, ideology might have some influence but not money. The same goes for Groklaw.

Here is Jones’ analysis of the balance game: “Oracle has filed its expected Objections [PDF] to Google’s $4+ million Bill of Costs. I have it as text for you. “Denial of costs is proper,” Oracle argues, “where (1) the issues were especially close and difficult, (2) the case presented a landmark issue of national importance, (3) the judgment was mixed, or (4) the losing party litigated in good faith.””

Notice that no “billions” are mentioned; Google wants its legal fees (“millions”) back; retracting all the FUD or getting compensated for it will never happen.

Oracle is also being criticised for its exploitative new trick against Linux contributors:

Oracle has made an interesting offer to companies using a free version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux: Switch to our free Oracle Linux instead.

Oracle hardly develops Linux. Now it has Solaris, too. Its best known Linux developer left and the open-source HPC language that Oracle inherited from Sun is being neglected. For Larry Ellison, it does not make sense if it does not make a lot of money.

The backlash against oracle [1, 2] for its attack on CentOS gets noticed and one quoted response goes like this:

CentOS penguins maul Oracle’s Linux migration pitch

[...]

Forum member Spearchucker fires back:

That ‘support’ word, right there, is the thing that makes me stay as far from Oracle as I can. It’s like “Dude, here’s the software. Have it, it’s cheap/free.” When things go wrong you get stung for exorbitant support/consulting fees, because, hey, you’re tied in. With nowhere to go.

The fact it’s Oracle behind Oracle Linux is the biggest sticking point. The CentOS penguins either don’t trust Oracle or hate it for throwing its weight around in the open source community, hurting their friends and other projects, and trying to control open source – the Hudson and OpenSolaris projects.

Oracle is not a friend of Linux and FOSS. It’s an exploiter of those, and that is different from being a “friend”. We sometimes get chastised for criticising Oracle, but many in the FOSS community will agree that Oracle has done more damage than good for FOSS.

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