EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

10.06.12

Links 6/10/2012: Linux Increasingly Dominates in Tablet

Posted in News Roundup at 7:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Five Reasons to prove Linux is Secure than Windows
  • Desktop

    • The Chromebook 2012 Gallery
    • Will a Chromebook be your next PC?

      Sure, you could keep using Windows, although Windows 8 looks worse every time you look at it; or you could buy a Mac for big bucks; or you could buy a Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook starting at $449 and have a great Linux-based desktop that you already know how to use.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.6 Delivers Solid Progress

      Linux creator Linus Torvalds released the fifth new major Linux kernel release of 2012 late Sunday. The new kernel provides incremental improvements to multiple aspects of the open source operating system.

    • 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks: Ben Hutchings
    • Greg KH: 5 Open Source Projects That Need Developers
    • Attention CEO’s: You Are in the Software Business. Now What?

      Companies will spend $1.4 trillion this year on global R&D to design and build their core products. They don’t have the time or dollars to build the software from scratch that runs in those products. So, they’re turning to Linux and open development. Once upon a time just an operating system for servers, mobile devices and supercomputers, Linux is giving companies $10B in R&D that they can pull from and run with to build everything from cars to custom devices, and much more.

    • Top Five Tech Jobs Point to Opportunity for Linux Pro’s

      There is good news being reported today throughout online, print and broadcast newsrooms: The U.S. unemployment rate has dipped to a four-year low to 7.8 percent, and staffing and consulting firm Robert Half International released its 2013 Salary Guide showing technology jobs will see the highest salary increases of any sector in the year ahead.

    • Samsung Creates New File System F2FS For Linux, Good News For Android

      Greg KH, the lead Linux kernel developer applauded the file system on his Google+ page, “Sweet, a new Linux file system from Samsung that is faster than existing ones when running on flash storage devices, submitted in a clean, easy-to-apply manner. This will be great for Android-based systems.”

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • First Look: Elementary OS Window Manager Gala
    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Introducing Intelligent Search For Gnome Shell

        Gnome Shell, a desktop environment based on top of Gnome 3, will soon have some intelligent search features integrated with it. Current search function in Gnome shell allows one to search for apps and files, however, in future, it may do more. Like a single search can fetch things from your empathy chat log, photos, documents and more.

      • Cinnamon 1.6.1 Released

        The Linux Mint team has announced an updated version of the Cinnamon desktop. This is the first update in Cinnamon 1.6 series. Along with bug fixes, this release also includes some stability enhancements and extension updates. Detailed updates have been given below:

      • Taste Gnome 3.6 By Live Booting
      • 7 Things About Gnome 3.6 That You Will Love
      • A Preview Of Upcoming Gnome Calender

        Gnome developers are working to make a Calender app integrated with the Gnome desktop. Note, the Evolution software suite also features a Calender app, but this software will be separate. This app will also allow you to integrate online calenders like Google, Facebook etc in your desktop. Some screenshots:

      • Gnome Software – A Software Center For Gnome

        The Gnome foundation had earlier announced plans to develop a Software Center like app for the desktop that will allow easier installation and updates of apps. While the PackageKit is pushed to the back, here are some design ideas put forward in Gnome Live.

      • Search, Manage, And Install Apps From PPAs Using PPA Software Center
      • Gnome Web Browser Now Even Better

        While Linux has tons of web browsers to choose from, little is heard from Gnome’s own web browser – Web. While Gnome 3.6 is going to be released soon and developers pledging to make it the best release ever, its not surprising that this web browser has got tons of changes and more integration with the overall desktop environment.

  • Distributions

    • From Noobs to Experts: Is There an ABC for Linux Distros?

      Do Linux bloggers enjoy extolling the virtues of their favorite distros? Let’s just say there aren’t superlatives superlative enough for some.

    • Thinking Small With Tiny Core Linux

      I recently had the need to build a virtual appliance, a small Linux server that did one thing, and required no interaction. And by small, I mean really small, tiny. After considering the options and searching around a bit, I found the Tiny Core Linux, and when they say tiny, they mean it. The Tiny Core download is only 12MB.

    • This Week in Linux: Mageia, openSUSE, Dreamlinux
    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Crash course: Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud

            You may be weary of all the cloud computing hype, but behind the hype is considerable substance. Cloud technologies are complex, versatile, and revolutionizing the data center. Canonical’s Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) revolutionizes setting up your own cloud infrastructure, bundling everything you need in a sleek integrated package for free.

          • Ubuntu Server 12.10: What to Expect

            From standard feature upgrades to controversial integration with Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), we’ve already surveyed the highlights of the desktop version of the upcoming Ubuntu 12.10 release. But what do Ubuntu server users have to look forward to Oct. 18? Read on for a round up of the new bells and whistles set to make their debut in the backroom version of one of the world’s most popular open source operating systems.

          • [Video] Evolution Of Ubuntu From 4.10 To 12.10

            Here is an interesting video which shows the evolution of Ubuntu operating system from version 4.10 to 12.10.

          • Ubuntu Accomplishments Helps You To Learn Ubuntu And Engage With The Community

            Linux is about people and communities. Much of the development is done by the community itself and most of the support we get is from forums and social sites where people thrive. After a point of using Linux, most of the users like to give something back to the community, though this is not mandatory. Unfortunately, people don’t know where to start and what to do to make themselves a part of this revolution.

          • Ubuntu Accomplishments 0.3 Released!

            It has been a little while since I last talked about Ubuntu Accomplishments, but there has been ferocious work going on in the project. The new release includes a number of important features and refinements.

            The goal of the 0.3 has been to focus on quality. Our intention here was to raise the reliability and quality of the core system and provide another good solid iteration towards a 1.0 release. As such many of the features in this release are not particularly visible, but you can really feel the improvement in quality.

          • Ubuntu Gnome 12.10 Beta Released, Impressive Gnome Flavour

            Jeremy Bicha announced the second beta of Ubuntu Gnome Remix 12.10 yesterday. This release is another step towards bringing the pure Gnome experience to Ubuntu. This beta will definitely please the long time Gnome-Ubuntu users who felt left out when Ubuntu switched to Unity. Now Gnome users have more choices, they can use Ubuntu, openSUSE or Fedora for pure Gnome experience; those who want a tweaked version of Gnome Shell can always try Cinnamon on Linux Mint.

          • Be a Good Person. Give Me Money.

            The other day I announced our 24-hour horsemen marathon. In a nutshell, we in the Canonical Community Team are going to work for a continuous 24-hour session on Thursday next week. Each of us has picked a charity that we are going to support and I wanted to share some words on why I picked mine…Homeless International.

          • Online Dash Search Update
          • Ubuntu’s New DNS: Unknown Host

            If you’re the type of person who installs Ubuntu’s server edition, you’re also likely the sort of person who knows how to configure network settings. For most distributions, especially those based on Debian, the process is a bit strange, but familiar.

          • The Canonical Community Team and 13.04
          • How fuzzy matching is transforming interfaces

            It is the grooviest thing. For example, I simply type in “fuzzy m”, and magically the first search result is Fuzzy matching – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Likewise, with the Sublime Text editor, I type Shift + Cmd + P and up pops the Command Palette, with the next command only a keystroke or two away. And ditto Ubuntu’s Unity desktop, with the Intent Driven Interface aka Heads-Up Display — now with added advertising.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Micromax Launches Funbook Infinity P275 For Indian Market At INR 6,699

      Micromax has launched yet another tablet to there existing lineup of Funbook family Infinity P275. Priced at INR 6,699 Infinity P275 features 7-inch display. The tablet is running on top of Android 4.0.4, and is powered by 1.2GHz Cortex A8 processor. Infinity P275 comes with a back up of 6hrs which is backed by 4000 mAh battery.

    • Meet BrewPi: A Raspberry Pi-based Fermentation Controller

      Now here’s a sudsy open source idea. You’ve heard all about the Raspberry Pi–the diminutive Linux-based $25/$35 computer that is being welcomed by hackers everywhere. The tiny devices have already drawn interest from educational system and technology industry leaders. But now there is BrewPi, an open source fermentation controller that runs on Arduino open source hardware and a Raspberry Pi. This device joins the Lego-based Raspberry Pi supercomputer as one of the best Pi devices yet.

    • Phones

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Is $99 Nexus 7 Coming?

        The $199 Google Nexus 7 might already be the most affordable and probably the best Android tablet available in the market currently. However, Google might try to take things one step further with a cheaper $99 Nexus tablet. According to DigiTimes and its industry sources, Google may launch a $99 Nexus Tablet by the end of 2012 along with a new model of the existing Nexus 7 tablet.

        Both the new models of the Nexus tablet shall use Twisted Nematic (TN) display panel manufactured by HannStar Display of Taiwan, which is the same company that is in the Apple’s portfolio of vendors.

      • Barnes & Noble Hits Amazon With Ads Free Nook Tablets, Challenges iPad
      • Google to launch the next Nexus device in 30 days?
      • Samsung says Galaxy Note II sales could top 20 million, launch set for October

        Samsung’s (005930) Galaxy Note “phablet” was a huge success, with cumulative sales having recently topped 10 million units. Though T-Mobile USA just got around to launching the supersized smartphone last month, the sequel has already been unveiled and Samsung has high hopes for it. Speaking with reporters on Friday, Samsung mobile boss JK Shin said sales of the upcoming Galaxy Note II could top 20 million units. ”Sales may grow more than two-fold (compared with the previous model),” Shin said according to Yonhap News Agency. The Samsung executive also reportedly said that the Galaxy Note II will launch some time in October.

      • Five great Android tablets you can buy today instead of waiting for the iPad Mini

        I like iPads. I own one and often use it. That said, I never cared for its size; Apple’s locked-in, proprietary software ecosystem; and lately Apple’s iOS updates have been including a lot of sloppy mistakes. So it is that more often than not I’ve been using a variety of 7″ Android-powered tablets instead of my iPad. And, you know what? Just because it seems almost certain there will soon be an iPad Mini, I don’t see any reason to be rushing out to buy one.

      • US data show slump in Apple tablet share

        It’s no great surprise, perhaps, that Google’s Android is taking tablet share from Apple, but new figures suggest the rate of catch-up has accelerated this year.

      • Tablet Powered By Ice Cream Sandwich For Kids

        Keeping kids in mind, Oregon Scientific has launched MEEP tablet running on top of Android Ice Cream Sandwich. Tablet features a 7 inch screen. Meep is powered by 1GHZ cortex A8 processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, HDMI output, Wi-Fi, and a 0.3 MP front-facing camera.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Fear Mongering Is Ridiculous With The Advent Of Open APIs

    Open source fear mongering is still a reality. But in today’s world, it is nuanced with the belief that an open enterprise means open APIs.

    They are not the same and should not be confused.

    The issue surfaces more now that RESTful APIs have become the chosen way to exchange information through applications. They turn the enterprise metaphor on its head. It’s no longer a fortress surrounded by four walls. Instead, the enterprise walls are porous with data flowing in and out like never before.

  • Piwik, An Open Source Alternative To Google Analytics

    Piwik is a free and open source web analytics tool which is highly customizable. It is a great open source alternative to the widely used Google Analytics. Piwik provides users with full control of their data. Eliminating the risk of sharing unwanted information with advertising companies that is faced while using Google Analytics.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenWorld 2012: What’s in store

      With each year, Oracle becomes a bigger company and in turn, so does its annual OpenWorld conference, which kicks off Sunday in San Francisco.

      In fact, Oracle’s long run of acquisitions, spanning from applications to middleware to hardware, has resulted in so many partner and customer constituencies that it’s now co-locating a number of additional shows, including MySQL Connect and JavaOne, along with the main OpenWorld program.

    • Oracle Cloud Partner Program and PaaS: No MySQL Plans

      Even as Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) launches a MySQL 5.6 Release Candidate, there are no plans to offer MySQL as a PaaS platform within the new Oracle Cloud Partner Program. But Channel Chief Judson Althoff, speaking at Oracle OpenWorld 2012, described numerous other ways that Oracle is enhancing and promoting MySQL to partners and customers.

    • The Fox in the FOSS Henhouse

      Oracle’s proprietary posture may have soiled the welcome mat and vilified its good standing in the FOSS community as CEO Larry Ellison has pushed the balance point between servicing his customers and nickel-and-diming them to turn a higher profit. Clearly, since Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems — and with it OpenOffice and Java — the company has not acted very neighborly with open source developers.

    • LibreOffice Updated to 3.6.2

      The Document Foundation today announced the latest stable release of popular free office suite, LibreOffice 3.6.2. This release bring lots of bug and regression fixes. Yeah, the changelog is long and boring, but it adds up to improved stability for LibreOfffice users – which is always a good thing.

    • The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 3.6.2
  • CMS

    • Drupal Special Edition

      As Linux Journal’s resident Drupal nerd, I could not be more pleased to bring you this special Drupal issue. Drupal really is everywhere these days, and it’s available in more “flavors” than most people in the Open Source community are aware of. So in the interest of spreading awareness about my favorite and ever-growing open-source project, we hope you’ll find this special issue both informative and inspiring.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Grub Customizer 3.0.1 Released

      If you often need to customize GRUB entries, the usual way we do this is to edit the configuration files by hand. With GRUB 2.00 arriving, this has become more complicated as GRUB entries do not reside on a single file. However, GRUB Customizer is a nice app that allows you to view, edit and manage GRUB entries in a simpler way.

    • Hampshire College distributes free software bundle to all incoming students

      Hampshire student and FSF campaigns organizer Kira shares the success of their ambitious project to help fellow students get started with free software. The achievements of Kira’s organization, LibrePlanet/Students for Free Culture, is exciting and replicable outside of Hampshire. Kira provides suggestions to help other students realize the same changes at their schools.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Over two hundred Belgian political candidates support free software

      A grass roots campaign has managed to get 278 candidates for the upcoming Belgian communal and provincial elections to pledge their support for free and open source software. “And, so-far, three political parties, the Socialist Party, Ecolo and Mouvement Réformateur, have promised me their general support”, says Nicolas Pettiaux, one of two volunteers contacting politicians.

    • City of Arles pleased by savings open source enterprise software

      The French city of Arles is content with the savings that it made by switching to free and open source enterprise applications. The city’s 2006 migration plan, however, proved too optimistic: the switch took not three but six years, and it resulted in savings worth 450,000 euro, instead of the estimated 780,000.

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • A new Apple iOS Wi-Fi problem has popped up while others remain unfixed

    Some Apple iPhone and iPad users are facing a major new problem with Wi-Fi/cellular data use while others are still dealing with earlier, unresolved iOS 6 Wi-Fi problems.

    The latest annoyance is a real pain-in-the-rump. It turns out that while some of you have been watching videos, playing a game, whatever, on what you thought was a Wi-Fi network, you were actually running up your giant 3G data bill. Apple hasn’t commented on this, but on September 30th, Apple quietly released a bug fix for the problem for its Verizon customers.

  • Microsoft Surface midnight release – Seriously?

    My sceptical mind has me thinking that people turning up to this midnight launch of Microsoft’s, will certainly be more than just “average consumers” but for the camera, I’m sure they will be hyperactive, happy, Microsoft consumers. Lets hope if Microsoft is making a PR stunt of sorts out of this that they fair far better than when they tried it with the “iPhone funeral” stunt.

  • MEPs must be ready to reject an ACTA-like Canada/EU Trade Agreement

    Ahead of the next round of negotiations of CETA, the Canada/EU Trade Agreement1, La Quadrature du Net publishes its dedicated web-dossier. The citizen organization urges the Members of the European Parliament to demand full transparency and be ready to reject CETA as they did with ACTA, if any of the anti-Internet, anti-citizens’ freedoms provisions remain in the final agreement.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • Google Rejects White House Censorship Request, Blocks Innocence Of Muslims In India, Indonesia

      The US government recently asked Google to remove the controversial YouTube movie which triggered the anti-US protest in the Middle East.

      Google has however restricted access to the movie in sensational areas such as India and Indonesia to avoid any communal conflict. Google maintained that the restriction has been imposed to comply with the local laws and not due to some political pressure.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Digital Martial Law: 10 scary things about the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

      Cyberspace has become the platform of the best and worst things that people can come up with when they’re online. While it’s a hotbed of game-changing ideas and artistic expression, it has also turned into a breeding ground for trolls and cyberthugs. That being said, well-meaning Pinoy lawmakers thought it best to pass Republic Act No. 10175 or The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. But, wait! There’s a catch. This very same law that professes to protect us from those who would do us wrong via digital means also threatens to take away our freedom to say what we want.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • European Parliament Committee Calls For Creation Without Copyright To Become EU Policy

        The European Union’s governmental machine is a complicated beast, with its intertwining of supra-national, national and party-political levels (if you’re interested in understanding how it works, the digital rights organization EDRI has put together a useful introduction (pdf).) That makes it quite hard to tell what is going on behind the scenes with this new Opinion of the International Trade Committee on a Digital Freedom Strategy in EU Foreign Policy (pdf.)

      • Digital Economy Act: Costs Order debate pulled

        Open Rights Group has just learnt that the debate in the Lords scheduled for Monday, in the Moses Room, to discuss the DEA Costs Order has been pulled.

        We do not know the reasons why, but there are some very serious concerns with the order. The order had previously been withdrawn due to drafting errors.

        Firstly, Ofcom ran a consultation at the same time as DCMS laid the Order before Parliament. This seems pretty odd.

Scholars Michele Boldrin, Juan Correa Allamand, David K. Levine, and Carmine Ornaghi Suggest Abolishing All Patents

Posted in Patents at 3:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Trade constraints are being compared to patent monopolies, arguing that they impede productivity, creativity, and innovation

OVER at the FFII’s mailing lists, Geza found some new papers that summarise recent research work. He says “there’s a brief article in the Atlantic, highlighting a working paper by Michele Boldrin and David Levine (Washington University in St. Louis), making the case (based on economic arguments) that our societies and economies would fare best if the patent system would be abolished completely.”

The article is good because the key arguments are succinct, enumerated, and well argued. Some central quotes that Geza shares are as follows:

- “The case against patents can be summarized briefly: there is no empirical evidence that they serve to increase innovation and productivity, unless the latter is identified with the number of patents awarded — which, as evidence shows, has no correlation with measured productivity.” (p1)

- “A closer look at the historical and international evidence suggests that while weak patent systems may mildly increase innovation with limited side-effects, strong patent systems retard innovation with many negative side-effects. Both theoretically and empirically, the political economy of government operated patent systems indicates that weak legislation will generally evolve into a strong protection and that the political demand for stronger patent protection comes from old and stagnant industries and firms, not from new and innovative ones. Hence the best solution is to abolish patents entirely through strong constitutional measures and to find other legislative instruments, less open to lobbying and rent-seeking, to foster innovation whenever there is clear evidence that laissez-faire under-supplies it.” (p1)

- “In less than thirty years, the flow of patents roughly quadrupled. By contrast, neither innovation nor R&D expenditure have exhibited any particular upwards trend, not to speak of factor productivity.” (p6)

- “Abolishing patents may seem “pie-in-the-sky” and there are certainly many interim measures that can be taken to mitigate the damage: properly interpreting obviousness, requiring genuine disclosure of working methods and an independent invention defense against patent infringement are useful and – among economists – relatively uncontroversial measures. But why use a band-aid to staunch a major wound? Economists fought for decades – and ultimately with great success – to abolish trade restrictions. It will not escape the careful reader that patents are very much akin to trade restrictions as they prevent the free entry of competitors in national markets, thereby reducing the growth of productive capacity and slowing down economic growth. The same way that trade restrictions were progressively reduced until reaching (almost complete) abolition, a similar (albeit, hopefully less slow) approach should be adopted to “get rid” of patents.” (p21)

The FFII folks found an extended paper. It says:

Because policy proposals are better digested and metabolized when served in the form of small pills, here is our list of small reforms that could be easily implemented.

(1) Stop the rising tide that, since the early 1980s, is both extending the set of “things” that can be patented and shifting the legal and judicial balance more and more in favor of patent’s holders.

(2) Because competition fosters productivity growth, anti-trust and competition policies should be seen as a key tool to foster innovation. This is of particular relevance for high tech sectors, from software to bioengineering, to medical products and pharmaceuticals.

(3) Free trade is a key part of competition policies hence the role that WTO-WIPO-TRIPS play should be redefined to move away from the current neo-mercantilist approach toward free trade in goods and ideas. The aim here should be that of stopping the policy of exporting our intellectual policy laws towards other countries while adopting a policy of exporting free trade and competition in innovation. This seems an urgent goal because, within a couple of decades, the “balance of trade in ideas” between US+EU and Asia may easily reverse. At that point the temptation to engage in “mercantilism of ideas” may well affect the now developing Asian countries, leading to a general increase in IP protection worldwide.

(4) Cross industry variation in the importance of patents suggests we may want to start tailoring patent’s length and breadth to different sectorial needs. Substantial empirical work needs to be done to implement this properly, even if there already exists a vast legal literature pointing in this direction.

(5) Reversing the burden of proof: patents should be allowed only when monopoly power is justified by evidence about fixed costs and actual lack of appropriability. The operational model should be that of “regulated utilities”: patents to be awarded only when strictly needed on economic grounds. This requires reforming the USPO, which is urgently needed in any case.

(6) Prizes and competition. An interesting approach is that of operating to change the role that the NSF and the NIH play in fostering innovation. The basic goal, in this case, is that of reversing the principle according to which federally financed investigation can lead to private patents. As a first step we would advocating going back to the old rule according to which the results of federally subsidized research cannot lead to the creation of new private monopolies but should be available to all market participants. This reform would be particularly useful for the pharmaceutical industry.

(7) With regards to the latter, we advocate reforming pharmaceutical regulation to either treat stage II and III clinical trials as public goods (to be financed by NIH on a competitive basis) or by allowing the commercialization (at regulated prices equal to the economic costs) of drugs that satisfy the FDA requirements for safety even if they do not yet satisfy the current, over-demanding, requisites forproving efficacy. It is ensuring the efficacy—not the safety—of drugs that is most expensive, time consuming and difficult. All the usual mechanisms of ensuring the safety of drugs would remain firmly in place. While pharmaceutical companies would be requested to sell new drugs at “economic cost” until efficacy is proved, they could start selling at market prices after that. In this way, companies would face strong incentives to conduct or fund appropriate efficacy studies where they deem the potential market for such drugs to be large enough to bear the additional costs. At the same time this “progressive” approval system would give cures for rare diseases the fighting chance they currently do not have. This solution would substantially reduce the risks and cost of developing new drugs.

(8) If this progressive approval approach works for rare diseases, there is no reason is should not be adopted across the board. The current system favors a small number of blockbuster drugs that can be sold to millions of patients. The coming revolution in medicine will rely on carefully targeting hundreds or even thousands of drugs to the correct patients. But lawmakers must first usher in a new system that makes developing these precision treatments possible. The regulation reform we are suggesting would be a first important step to achieve such goal.

“Finally,” writes a reader, “software patents are a particularly egregious and bad form of intellectual property for a sector where we also have very detailed micro evidence about the role of patents in (not) promoting innovation (see, e.g., Bessen and Meurer 2008 and references therein). The same arguments are likely to apply tobio-engineering and genetic research at large. The goal of policy, in these cases, should be just that of slowly but surely decreasing the strength of intellectual property interventions.”

“I find the target of abolishing all patents very appealing,” writes Geza. “Let business methods, software, and genetic patents go first, but make sure that we get rid of the whole system in the end.

“I like their way of phrasing the case for abolishing patents as being in favor of “free trade in ideas” and “de-regulating creativity”: that’s a new angle in the debate that should make it possible to convince some free-trades and market-liberals that supporting the patent system is not consistent with their basic assumptions as it means supporting government interference…”

Finally, people should realise that not only the USPTO is a friend of monopolies and not of the common man, unless he (or she for a woman) is a patent lawyer. Universities help support this strong allegation that can empower society by moving it forward, well past patents.

Patents Can Drive Apple and Microsoft Away From Litigation Tactics

Posted in Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mono, Patents at 3:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple snipers

Summary: Backers of Android successfully fight back against the duopoly (Apple and Microsoft), which in turn uses FRAND smears to just act like a victim rather than an oppressor

THE Android defence in the face of Apple’s patent aggression has usually been based on the claim that Apple’s patents are not novel (prior art exists) or that Apple too violates patents — patents owned by the defender. Well, that is where counter-suing comes into play (deterrence).

A ban against the successful Android tablets has been lifted by the now-controversial Judge Koh [1, 2] and it is said that Apple may owe Samsung money, proving again that deterrence might be effective. Pamela Jones writes: “Judge Lucy Koh has dissolved the preliminary injunctions against Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 saying that the sole basis for it was the Court’s finding that Samsung likely infringed Apple’s D’889 patent, but the jury has found otherwise. ”

This did not come out of nowhere. It happened following a request that Jones has been tracking. Others weighed in as well.

Apple is clearly getting angry at Samsung, its own supplier. HTC seems to be following similar footsteps [1, 2] where patents are being used against Apple’s patents. HTC was Apple’s first victim and Eric Schmidt gets personally involved. As one news site put it last month, “Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt on Thursday criticised raging patent disputes in the global mobile industry, warning that they stifled innovation and reduced consumer choice.”

It is claimed that Google and Samsung are working on the patent issue together, with Schmidt getting personally involved.

Larry Page, the CEO of Google, is also participating in the battle against patent aggression and Pamela Jones looks at Google’s own case to defend from Microsoft extortion. She writes: “A lot of you have been asking questions about Friday’s decision [PDF] in Microsoft v. Motorola by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Motorola lost its appeal of the district court’s decision that it can’t enforce currently the German permanent injunction it won against Microsoft for infringing Motorola’s patents. Of course, after the trial in Washington State, it can appeal again then, ot it can ask for reconsideration and for en banc review, but for now, that door is closed by this decision.”

Motorola, as far as this division goes, is part of Google now. This makes it the common target of Microsoft FUDMeisters like Florian Müller and the judge who sought to address the FUD epidemic changes course: “So, after thinking about this all day, here’s what I think it means. I think it is significant that he mentions this in connection with Google’s request for a new trial or JMOL. That is the context of the judge’s request for a list of any paid bloggers or commenters on the trial. I infer therefore that somebody put an ugly bee in his bonnet, and now he has learned that it was false. And ugly. That’s the thing about smear campaigns. A lot of people will believe there must be something to them, even when there isn’t a wisp of truth to the smears. Google is the target of a smear campaign, without a doubt in my mind. And the funny part is the judge is saying that it didn’t influence him at all. That makes me smile. ”

“Apple has been on Microsoft’s side for years; they share an enemy called Android.”One common smear against Motorola is FRAND and Jones explains why it is nonsense: “There was a hearing in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on September 11th that centered on Microsoft and Motorola’s dispute over Motorola’s standards-essential patents that Microsoft uses but so far has refused to pay a penny for. And that gives us an opportunity to look a little more closely at what I have now decided to nickname the Microsoft Standards Patents Shell Game. Apple is holding hands with Microsoft and singing the same tune, as we noticed the other day.”

The latest news says that Motorola won against Microsoft in Germany, marginalising Microsoft’s attack over there.

Apple has been on Microsoft’s side for years; they share an enemy called Android.

It is worth adding that Xamarin, especially after getting money from sources close to Microsoft, pollutes Android with proprietary Mono software. The idea is to make new apps dependent on Microsoft patent trap. Their business model goes like this: “Customers with update subscriptions can download MonoTouch and Mono for Android via their Xamarin Store accounts. Trial versions are also available, but apps created using these versions are limited to only running in emulators, not on actual hardware.”

Android’s last adoption barrier is patents, especially the patent attacks from Apple and Microsoft.

US Congress Unhappy With Patent System, Australia Consults the Public

Posted in America, Patents at 2:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Reviewing the scope of patentability in some English-speaking nations

THE United States has been harbouring patent trolls under the low standards of that patent office which it facilitates. The US Congress, however, seems interested in moving away from the status quo. A study from a few weeks ago outlines options for tackling patent trolling. Here are some details: “The US Congressional Research Service has made a range of suggestions that aim to clarify the “fuzzy boundaries” of software patents and make it more difficult to abuse the patent system. The “notice function” of patents that usually demarcates a clearly defined field of intellectual property rights and provides clear information on these rights to competitors “has broken down in the IT sector”, the service said in a recently published 23-page overview of the current “patent trolls” debate. It is “economically infeasible or irrational” for defendants to search the entire field of existing patents to avoid infringement, explained the authors, adding that this puts trolls in a highly advantageous bargaining position when negotiating royalties.”

It is essential to dump software patents as their existence has been a major lifeline for patent trolls and they do not adhere to the boundaries of reasonable scope. In Australia it is under debate. The latest public consultation strives to determine what innovation patents are and Ben Sturmfels wants people to speak out against software patents, having done some campaigning in this area [1, 2]. Corporate FOSS backers have a say on this issue in the US. As Pamela Jones put it, “Patently O recently highlighted some activity in the software patent eligibility area in the case of CLS Bank v. Alice Corporation [PDF], where the Federal Circuit has once again utterly ignored the direction the US Supreme Court provided in In Re Bilski [PDF] and in Mayo v. Prometheus. Instead, it has come up with a new rule, one that throws open the doors to patentability that the higher court has been trying to narrow. CLS Bank has asked for a rehearing en banc [PDF] and Google has joined with Red Hat, HP, and Twitter to file an amicus brief [PDF] that I think you’ll find of interest, so I’ve done it as text for you.”

Twitter is no surprise in there. The USPTO is out of hand and attempts to fix it have so far been self-preserving for this rogue operation that only serves corporations, not people.

SCO Has Less Than $100,000 Left

Posted in SCO at 2:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SCO

Summary: Groklaw provides another timely glimpse at the state of SCO

TECHRIGHTS hardly touches Novell and SCO because both companies are dead or defunct. Litigation carries on as a spectator sport (Microsoft is involved in antitrust) and there are lesser known cases against Novell and SCO. As Groklaw put it: “Do you remember Wayne Gray, the guy in Florida who tried to to get the trademark INUX, was challenged by X/Open, the owner of the UNIX trademark, and then ended up suing Novell, X/Open and SCO, claiming a conspiracy and adding RICO claims? X/Open won on summary judgment a couple of years ago, he appealed, lost there too, and now the final chapter in this incredible saga is that Gray must pay X/Open’s attorneys’ fees in the amount of $404,820 plus interest of 6% from June 28, 2010 to September 30, 2011 and an interest rate of 4.75% from October 1, 2011 to the present, and $5,016.82 to cover their costs in dealing with him.”

According to another post about UNIX and SCO, SCO is bankrupt and “is now officially transferred from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Here’s the order [PDF]. The Chapter 11 trustee, Edward Cahn, was to turn over all the records and assets to the interim Chapter 7 trustee as soon as the US Trustee appoints him or her, and file with the court within 14 days a list of all unpaid debts incurred after the Chapter 11 bankruptcy began and within 30 days a final report. Of course, as he requested, he is now appointed [PDF] as the Chapter 7 interim trustee. He just changes hats.”

Here is the balance: “SCO lists $82,431 in cash on hand on the conversion date. That means some of you reading this now have more money than SCO.”

A lot has changed since this site was born. Many companies we opposed no longer exist or are no longer influential. This is indicative of success, but it also suggests that our goals should evolve. A large barrier now is an issue rather than several companies; it is software patents, which some of those companies use. The remainder of today’s posts will be about patents.

Minecraft’s Vista 8 Disdain Caught by the Media

Posted in Vista 8, Windows at 1:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The mainstream news sites finally pay attention to more complaints about the development of Windows

THE development team behind Minecraft is said to have complained about Vista 8, just like other game makers, but it wasn’t until recently that even mainstream media sources such as MSBBC paid attention to it and gave this coverage by saying that “Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson has become the latest developer to attack Microsoft’s Windows 8 games strategy.”

In a similar vein, it wasn’t until we covered it that Glyn Moody noticed the latest Microsoft FUD from Kenya and then rebutted it by saying that “it’s sad to see that Microsoft seems to have learned nothing from its earlier, unsuccessful attempts to spread FUD about open source, and seems intent on recapitulating that shabby and rather pathetic history in Africa too.”

Hopefully there is no longer fear of criticising Microsoft, a potential advertiser.

Patent Trolls and Parasites

Posted in Patents at 1:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz



Paul Allen, photo by msprague

Summary: GPL violators, Microsoft veterans, patent trolls and parasites sometimes have intersections and parallels

THE focus we have on the patent question makes a lot of sense given that Linux spreads quickly through Android and FOSS is embedded in almost everything. Hosting for FOSS, e.g. Github, is threatened by software patents and distribution of Android is banned or made expensive using patents as well. Some of the offending parties are patent trolls with Microsoft connections (see this update) and Twin Peaks seems to be a GPL violator, not just a patent aggressor.

“If software patents got annulled in the US, many patent trolls would be out of business.”Mark Webbink, formerly of Red Hat, writes about both. He writes about his former employer:”When we were little we were taught to always look both ways before crossing the street. The same lesson should be learned by companies that make software but choose to assert their patent(s) against others. Any time you make a claim of patent infringement and you are a producer you face the possibility of counterclaims unrelated to your patents, and those claims are not limited to patent infringement claims. This is a lesson now being learned by Twin Peaks Software in what may be the most important GPL enforcement action to date. Twin Peaks, having sued Red Hat and Red Hat subsidiary Gluster for patent infringement, now faces a counterclaim for copyright infringement for including critical GPL code in its products while failing to comply with the GPL. If Red Hat is successful on that claim and obtains a permanent injunction, which it is requesting, Twin Peaks could be out of business.”

If software patents got annulled in the US, many patent trolls would be out of business. Later today we’ll deal a little further with the patent conundrum.

Google Betrays Open Document Standard, Spreads Proprietary Format

Posted in Google, Open XML, OpenDocument at 1:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Protests in Norway (OOXML)

Summary: ODF gets the cold shoulder treatment from a prominent participant in the office suites market

THE editor of Muktware learns that Google has taken a step which legitimises and further spreads a Microsoft format that few applications support and none supports fully. According to this, “Google has announced that it is dropping support for older Microsoft Office formats. Google Docs will not export any files in older Microsoft Office formats namely .doc, .xls, .ppt. User will be able to export files in modern Microsoft Office formats such as .docx, .xlsx, and .pptx.”

The problem is, as I found out while I spent three days in Warwick this week, businesses that use Google Apps start spreading around a lot of OOXML. This is not just a technical problem.

“Spreading OOXML files is just about the worst thing Google could do.”Further down in the article it is correctly stated that “Microsoft OOXML was approved as an ISO standard after a lot of controversy and charges of bribing voters [read the full story here & here]. The ODF was already an ISO standard so there was no need for another standard, but Microsoft wanted it’s own format to become a standard so they got it though hook or crook.”

It was not just bribes. The level of corruption was systemic, too.

Given the fact that Microsoft was left without choice but to implement ODF import filters — however poorly — Google should have fallen back on or defaulted to ODF. Spreading OOXML files is just about the worst thing Google could do. So much for “do no evil” policies…

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts