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10.24.12

Links 24/10/2012: Fortress 2 Comes to GNU/Linux, Raspberry Pi Opens ARMs

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • More Linux Benchmarks Of The AMD FX Vishera

      To OpenBenchmarking.org today I uploaded more results beyond all of the data offered in the comparison of my AMD FX-8350 Linux CPU review.

      While in that review I compared the FX-8350 Eight-Core processor to several different Intel and AMD CPUs, these new results uploaded to OpenBenchmarking.org are just some standalone numbers. However, there’s more than 100 new Linux benchmark results from this Piledriver-based AMD processor.

    • Greg KH Updates USBView For GTK3, DebugFS

      Greg Kroah-Hartman has updated his USBView program, a user-space utility he started more than one decade ago for displaying USB device information under Linux.

      USBView is a small program for showing the device tree of the USB bus and then displaying information about connected devices on the bus.

    • Latest release of systemd includes time-based log rotation

      Lennart Poettering has announced the release of the latest version of the open source startup daemon systemd. With version 195, the tool, which is being used by Fedora, openSUSE and several other Linux distributions, has received what Poettering calls a “non-trivial amount of cool new features”.

    • EXT4 Data Corruption Bug Hits Stable Linux Kernels

      As a warning for those who are normally quick to upgrade to the latest stable vanilla kernel releases, a serious EXT4 data corruption bug worked its way into the stable Linux 3.4, 3.5, and 3.6 kernel series.

      Being discussed recently on the Linux kernel mailing list was an “apparent serious progressive ext4 data corruption bug in 3.6.3.” Theodore Ts’o was able to successfully bisect the kernel and found the serious bug, which first appeared within the Linux 3.6.2 kernel and was since back-ported to older stable kernels.

    • Stable Linux kernel hit by ext4 data corruption bug

      Linux kernel developer Theodore “Ted” Ts’o has released a series of patches for what he has called “a Lance Armstrong bug” in the kernel, meaning behaviour that does not trip up tests but also makes the kernel work differently than intended. A user had reported a problem that caused them to lose data; the kernel developers quickly narrowed this down to a fault in the ext4 implementation that was introduced with the release of Linux 3.6.2, just over a week ago. Apparently, the data corruption bug was hard to track down as it only manifests itself if a system is rebooted twice in a relatively short period of time.

    • Poettering: systemd for Administrators, Part XVIII (controllers)
    • FX-8350 Piledriver Tuning On AMD’s Open64 Compiler

      With this week’s unveiling of the FX-8350 eight-core processor being based on AMD’s new Piledriver architecture, in this article are benchmarks when testing out the Piledriver “bdver2″ optimizations within AMD’s own Open64 compiler.

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Manifesto

        Kevin Ottens recently blogged about the shiny new KDE Manifesto. He does a great job of explaining the motivations behind such a document. As he noted, I gave a keynote at Akademy six years ago on this very topic. Evidently it’s something that has been on my mind for a while, and the reason has to do with sustainability of the KDE community.

        By the time I wrote that keynote, KDE already had very clear social principles, agreements and mechanisms. They are reflected in the new Manifesto, so there is in one sense nothing really new there. What is new is that those principles are being stated openly and clearly. Not everyone felt they needed to be, and so I’d like to address the reasons why this is such an important step for KDE.

      • The Freedom to Innovate – Interaction Design for Plasma Active

        I first learned about Plasma Active on a KDE User Experience sprint in April 2011. Sebastian Kügler was talking about their new project called Plasma Active, which aimed to bring the KDE experience to devices other than desktops, laptops and netbooks. It would provide a framework for application creators to easily adapt their UIs to different from factors, pixel densities and input methods.

      • KDevelop 4.4 C++ IDE released
    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Puppy Linux 5.4 “Precise” based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

      Puppy Linux project founder and lead developer Barry Kauler has announced the first release of a new edition of his independent Linux distribution, code-named “Precise”. Based on binary packages from Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS “Precise Pangolin” and built using the Woof build tool, Precise Puppy represents the latest version of the Ubuntu-based flavour of Puppy Linux 5.4 and includes access to Ubuntu’s package repositories.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Nexus 7 demo
          • Ubuntu 12.10 release marks announcement of next upgrade

            Ubuntu 12.10 reviews are reeling in as the upgrade for server and desktop variants are now available for the users. Canonical Ltd., which provides access to the Ubuntu releases announced the Ubuntu 12.10 upgrade in April 2012. The recent update of the open source operating system, Linux 12.10 was named as Quantal Quetzal.

            Ubuntu 12.10 release marked the final update of the Linux software this year with the first installment coming in April 2012 which was named as Precise Pangolin. Ubuntu 12.10 server provides administrators with an enhanced platform for cloud deployment by integrating the Folsom feature with Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC).

          • Cairo-Dock 3.1 with improved Unity integration

            Cairo-Dock in action Zoom
            Source: Cairo-Dock The developers of Cairo-Dock, a feature-rich and extensively configurable Mac OS X-style dock for Linux desktops, have released version 3.1 of their open source application switcher. Cairo-Dock 3.1 features integration improvements for Ubuntu’s Unity desktop: for example, like the Unity launcher, icons in the dock can now display progress bars for actions that take time to complete. New indicators have been added, including for the Sync, Print and Messaging menus. The developers have also improved the configuration window and updated the Recent Event applets.

          • System76 debuts a sleek, all-in-one desktop PC featuring Ubuntu Linux
          • Puppy Linux 5.4 “Precise” based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

            Puppy Linux project founder and lead developer Barry Kauler has announced the first release of a new edition of his independent Linux distribution, code-named “Precise”. Based on binary packages from Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS “Precise Pangolin” and built using the Woof build tool, Precise Puppy represents the latest version of the Ubuntu-based flavour of Puppy Linux 5.4 and includes access to Ubuntu’s package repositories.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Wind River Launches Its Intelligent Network Platform

      on24Oct

      Wind River has launched its Intelligent Network Platform, a software platform for the development of sophisticated network equipment that can accelerate and secure the flood of traffic for current and future networks.

    • Raspberry Pi team announces open source ARM userland
    • Raspberry Pi opens its ARM graphics code
    • Raspberry Pi graphics code is now open source
    • All code on Raspberry Pi’s ARM chip now open source
    • Raspberry Pi Gets Open Sourced Down to the Hardware Core

      Without a doubt, the Raspberry Pi has grabbed the most headlines as a tiny, ultra-inexpensive, pocketable computer running an open source operating system, but it’s actually only one of many tiny LInux computers being heralded as part of a new “Linux punk ethic.” Several others, such as the Cotton Candy device, have warranted attention as well.

    • Raspberry Pi Open Sources Video Drivers

      The Raspberry Pi foundation has announced the open sourcing of its VideoCore driver code which runs on the ARM chips. The foundation has chose a more permissive 3-Clause BSD licence for the driver code. The source is available from the foundation’s new userland repository on GitHub.

    • Raspberry Pi Gets Fully Open-Source Graphics Stack

      The popular budget-friendly Raspberry Pi ARM development board now has a fully open-source graphics stack — the user-space graphics drivers for the Broadcom VideoCore included!

      Since July of this year I had been exclusively hinting that a major open-source announcement was coming… In that article for the clued Phoronix readers it was made sort of apparent it was about ARM graphics drivers and the Raspberry Pi. Well, today, the Raspberry Pi Foundation is finally able to announce they have a fully open-source graphics driver stack for their low-cost development board!

    • Raspberry Pi graphics gets open source drivers

      TINY COMPUTER MAKER the Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced that the system-on-chip (SoC) used in the credit card sized computer now has open source drivers.

      While the Raspberry Pi Foundation has promoted the Raspberry Pi computer as a device to teach programming, it has become a hit with hobbyists and developers due to its low cost and Linux support. Now the foundation has announced that all drivers for the Broadcom BCM2835 used in the device has been open sourced.

      The foundation’s announcement means that all the components of the BCM2835 SoC have open source drivers that are provided by Broadcom rather than reverse engineered like the open source Nouveau graphics driver that attempts to work around Nvidia’s decision not to disclose specifications for its chips. The Raspberry Pi Foundation said that all of the Videocore driver code has been released under a three clause BSD license and is available from its userland repository.

    • Phones

      • Sprint’s Adib talks about Softbank’s pending support, Tizen’s appeal and Sprint Zone’s success

        First, I’m going to correct you. We actually have stopped referring to our conference as a developers’ conference. We now call it the Open Solutions Conference, and the reason this matters is that we have seen over time that the nature of who attends our events has changed. It’s not just developers. It’s a conference where we tend to invite partners from our ecosystem. And by ecosystem, I mean everything from people that we buy services and products from like HTC or Samsung or Ericsson and Synniverse. They are part of our consortium, but we also have people like individual developers and entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley. And we also have opened up and welcomed people from different industries that are not necessarily part of the wireless industry, such as banking and advertising.

      • Android

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Does Pad Mini Fall Short In Comparison With Nexus 7?

        Apple unveiled the long rumored iPad Mini in San Fransisco this afternoon, and it turns out to be a 7.9 inch device with internal similar to iPad 2. Apple is very much aware of the tough competition that iPad Mini will face in this segment from the highly successful Google Nexus 7. At the launch event, Apple’s Phil Schiller tried his best to defame the Nexus 7 when comparing it to the iPad Mini and how was the new Apple’s new device superior to the Nexus 7.

      • iPad mini : copycat / end of innovation for Apple ?
      • Nice iPad Mini Apple, but I’m keeping my Nexus 7

        I have to say I was impressed. The new iPad with its extremely fast A6X chip looks great, pity it just instantly obsoleted every iPad 3 out there, but… oh wait. That”s the new iPad 4. That’s not what Apple is running up against the Nexus 7. Instead, they’re putting out the iPad Mini. Seriously? That’s just sad.

        True, Apple senior vice president for marketing Phil Schiller may say that the Nexus 7 is an example of how “Others have tried to make smaller tablets, but they’ve failed”, but that’s just showing that the Apple reality distortion field is still at work within Apple’s halls. The truth, as everyone knows who’ve used the Nexus 7, is that it’s a great tablet. Heck, without it and its relatives such as the Nook and Kindle, Apple never would have produced a 7″ tablet.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Get Well Plan: How to Integrate Legacy Systems with Open Source Software [FLIPBOOK]
  • State of Sexism in FOSS

    Yet somehow, against this hostile background, FOSS feminism has managed to survive and expand. Today we see many obvious signs of the growing influence of FOSS feminism: greater reporting of incidents of sexism, networking and teaching opportunities for women, the availability of related resources, women speakers at conferences and the adoption of anti-harassment policies or codes of conduct.

  • Open Source looking more attractive in Kenya – AITEC

    The AITEC East Africa ICT Summit, officially opened by Hon. Samuel Poghisio, Minister for Information and Communication, is drafting a first ever map of ways in which Open Source Software (OSS), which is frequently free, can be used to drive regional economic development.

  • What Open Source Software has Good Usability?

    Are you interested in software usability and open source? If so, my friend Jim would like your help. He is doing a study of usability in Open Source software. I’ll post his entire request below along with a link to his blog. Also, he’ll probably be doing some other interent based interolocution about this; I’ll pass on to you whatever he passes on to me.

  • Open Source Cost – The Google Trend That Has Not Wavered
  • Dell Inc. : Dell Extends ARM-based Server Ecosystem Enablement with Open Source Development for the Apache Community
  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • OpenOffice’s time to shine

      The promotion of Apache OpenOffice to top-level project status within the Apache Software Foundation is good news for the open source office suite project, but it also means that it’s time to put up or shut up for OpenOffice innovation.

      Much has been said about the “innovation gap” that exists between OpenOffice and the two-year old forked offshoot LibreOffice. To be honest, much of what’s said is coming out of the stewards of LibreOffice, The Document Foundation. And while they’re not wrong – to date, only one big release of OpenOffice, v 3.4, has come out since the code was donated to the ASF by Oracle – it’s not been entirely fair to the OpenOffice team to smack them around about it.

    • Feature Comparison: LibreOffice – Microsoft Office
  • Healthcare

    • VA lays roadmap to certify VistA for meaningful use

      The Veterans Affairs Department is preparing a roadmap toward meaningful use certification of its VistA electronic health record version that is being updated and improved in the OSEHRA open source community.

      The Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent (OSEHRA), a non-profit organization, manages a public/private community formed to modernize VistA for open source and to contribute to the VA-Defense Department’s integrated electronic health record (iEHR).

  • Business

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Fellowship Interview with Hugo Roy

      Since 2010 I’ve been representing FSFE in France. This involves getting involved in events and conferences, and occasionally acting as an interface between various organisations and FSFE — some very local, and some national. There is a very strong and organised Free Software community in France — for instance with the yearly conference RMLL (Rencontres Mondiales du Logiciel Libre) — so one of my ongoing jobs is to show a face for FSFE, make a personal connection and explain what we do and why we exist. Then on further levels, it sometimes gets into collaboration on campaigns or issues. For instance, one of my main area of activities in Free Software is legal and public affairs.
      At the moment I’m mainly working on setting up our Free Your Android campaign in France, with phone liberation workshops. I really believe in this project: I think mobile devices are becoming more and more important, and having control over them, and more importantly over the services that we run them with, is becoming more important too.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Open source GitHub clone GitLab reaches version 3.0

      The GitLab development team has released version 3.0 of its open source repository management software for the Git version control system. Used for self-hosted repositories, GitLab is based on Ruby on Rails and Gitolite, and is described as a “fast, secure and stable solution” by its developers. It includes the same features as those offered by the GitHub project hosting service, which also appears to be the inspiration for GitLab’s user interface.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • BP’s failed Deepwater containment dome is still down there, leaking away

      A couple of weeks ago, a bunch of oil appeared on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. BP was all, “Hm? What’s this about oil?” Then the government said, yeah, it’s from the Deepwater Horizon spill. And BP was all, “Hm? Oh, that? Yeah, I guess.” And the government suggested that maybe BP try and figure out what’s happening? Maybe make sure the broken well isn’t leaking again? And BP sighed heavily and whined about how none of its friends had to do chores and how it had all this homework and blah blah blah so the Coast Guard decided to just check for itself. BP, pleased, put its headphones back on and mumbled under its breath about what dicks these government dudes are.

    • Penn State Climate Scientist Sues National Review for Libel
  • Finance

    • Ryan’s Riots: Plan Will Starve One in Five Americans and Create Massive Social Unrest

      It’s Food Day, so let’s put Paul Ryan’s soup kitchen stunt aside for the moment and take a serious look at what a Romney/Ryan budget might mean for the future of eating. Today, the number of Americans receiving food stamps has reached nearly 15 percent of the population, and 17 million American households experience hunger. Despite such indications of growing domestic food insecurity, Paul Ryan has proposed a $133 billion cut to nutrition assistance, an evisceration that would add 10 million more Americans to the 50 million who already are missing meals.

    • Bain Capital and the Race to the Bottom in Manufacturing and Wages

      On the campaign trail, Mitt Romney wants to have his cake and eat it too. “Governments do not create jobs,” a stern Romney told CNN’s Candy Crowley twice during the second debate. Here in Wisconsin, however, he is running ads promising to “crack down on China” and create 12 million new jobs.

    • The Vampire Squid has feelings and Obama is no longer her BFF

      When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, no major U.S. corporation did more to finance his campaign than Goldman Sachs. This election, none has done more to help defeat him.

  • Censorship

    • Commission’s Plan for Online Gambling: Risk of Anti-Democratic Censorship, Again

      While the European Commission sets out an action plan for online gambling, La Quadrature du Net warns about the risk of Internet content censorship, and urges Member States’s governments to refuse the instrumentalisation of child protection for unacceptable measures.

    • Empirical Data Suggests That Website Blocking Is A Useless Weapon Against Infringement

      Calls for evidence-based policy-making in the copyright domain are increasing on both sides of the Atlantic. How do we best regulate the fair remuneration of artists? How do we enforce it? Evidence based on sound methodologies and research is slowly but surely appearing. Now the highly respected Institute for Information Law (IViR) of the University of Amsterdam joins the league of evidence-givers with a new report, Filesharing 2©12, Downloading in The Netherlands, about how blocking websites is not a worthwhile remedy (The report is in Dutch, but the executive summary is translated. It was an initiative by the IViR itself and was partly financed by the Ministry of Culture, Education and Research, some ISP’s, Dutch society for professionals in the book industry and done in collaboration with several other institutes. Small disclaimer: I did my masters at this institute).

  • Civil Rights

    • No Fly list strands passenger in Hawai’i

      .

      The episode left Hicks scrambling to figure out how he’d get home from Hawaii without being able to fly. Then he was abruptly removed from the list on Thursday with no explanation.

    • Law Enforcement Looking To Create A Searchable Database Of Everywhere Your Vehicle Has Been

      Back in August, Mike wrote about some questionable sharing of license plate information between the US Border Patrol and various insurance companies. While the stated aim of tracking stolen vehicles might seem to make this sharing justified, the fact that this is going on with no oversight or accountability is cause for alarm.

    • SCOTUS must be last bulwark against NSA snooping

      Later this month, the Supreme Court will hear a case that could define the government’s ability to monitor innocent Americans’ international communications without a warrant. The lawsuit, Amnesty International v. Clapper, argues that the Constitution bars the National Security Agency from listening to or reading Americans’ international conversations and emails without court oversight, even if Congress blesses the NSA’s actions.

      Unfortunately, the government has tried to block the courts from ever reaching that constitutional issue, arguing that unless the plaintiffs can prove they will be monitored (which is impossible, since the list of who is monitored is classified), they cannot sue. Now that threshold question has reached the Supreme Court. Based on our combined six-plus decades of experience working at the NSA, we are sure there is only one just outcome: The justices should let this case proceed, giving the courts the opportunity to determine whether the executive and legislative branches have gone too far.

      Part of the Defense Department, the NSA was created to listen to and analyze foreign communications to protect our nation from threats outside our borders. Today, it is bigger than the CIA and FBI combined. For decades, those of us inside the NSA prided ourselves on our respect for the Constitution. Our touchstone was the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures and its guarantee that warrants could be issued only with probable cause and against specific targets. Whenever we suspected that an American abroad or someone inside the United States might be involved in terrorism or espionage, we carefully gathered the evidence and presented it to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which meets in secret to protect classified information. Only if that court gave us permission would we monitor an American’s communications.

    • Indian Politician Plans To Install Surveillance Cameras In His Ministers’ Homes And Offices

      Recently, Tim noted that, for some strange reason, politicians don’t like having the same level of surveillance applied to them as they wish to inflict on the public. Here’s a nice case from the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India, found via Evgeny Morozov, where politicians aren’t being given any choice:

  • DRM

    • Turns Out When Random House Said Libraries ‘Own’ Their Ebooks, It Meant, ‘No, They Don’t Own Them’

      Earlier this week, we talked about how publishing giant Random House had very explicitly stated that when libraries buy their ebooks, the libraries “own” those ebooks, rather than license them. They left no doubt about it. Skip Dye, Random House’s VP of library & academic marketing and sales was explict: “when libraries buy their RH, Inc. ebooks from authorized library wholesalers, it is our position that they own them… this purchase constitutes ownership of the book by the library. It is not a license.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Costa Rica: Students Protest Veto of ‘Photocopying Law’

        Thousands of students participated in a march in San José on Tuesday, October 9, 2012, protesting for their right to photocopy textbooks for educational purposes. The unrest was caused by President Chinchilla vetoing Bill 17342 (known as the ‘Photocopying Law’) which seeks to amend Law No 8039 on Procedures for Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, on the grounds that it removes protection of the work and intellectual property in the artistic, literary and technological areas.

      • Universities Are Vast Copy Machines—and That’s a Good Thing

        Universities are and have always been vast copy machines. Evolved from medieval monasteries and their vast libraries and scriptoria, universities have always had as central functions of their mission the copying, transforming, and preserving works of art, thought, and science and making them available to their patrons.

      • ACTA, CETA, etc. Stop Denying Democracy!

        In 2011 and 2012, European citizens took to the streets to protest against secret negotiations of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) that threatened their fundamental freedoms. This led to a massive rejection of the agreement in the European Parliament in last July. The message was clear: no repressive measures without a democratic debate by our elected representatives.

        Nevertheless, the European Comission and the Member States are still trying to force the adoption of repressive measures that undermine fundamental freedoms, under the cover of trade agreements kept secret. The Canada-EU Trade Agreement (CETA), the India-EU, Thailand-EU, Moldavia-EU Free Trade Agreements, etc.: all these agreements might include dispositions harmful for Internet users’s rights, access to essential drugs or the use of free software.

      • Stupid Copyright Licensing Tricks Strike Again: NBC Can’t Show Viral SNL Pandora Intern Clip
      • Economist’s Defense Of Perpetual Copyright: It’s Best To Just Ignore The Economics

        We’re rapidly approaching the time in which perpetual copyright hits its existing statutory limits — so I’ve fully been expecting an increase in arguments for why copyright needs to be extended again. Of course, the actual economic evidence doesn’t support this at all. Instead, the evidence suggests there’s tremendous value in a broader public domain. So how will maximalists argue for copyright extension? If a recent paper from economist Stan Liebowitz is any indication, it will be through strawmen and the argument that we should ignore the economics. Seriously.

Facebook Has Deep Microsoft Ties, Zuckerberg Almost Worked at Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft at 8:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scoble and Zuckerberg
Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg
with former Microsoft evangelist (source: Robert Scoble)

Summary: Facebook’s founder (Zuckerberg) says he would have worked directly for Microsoft if he hadn’t created Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg caught the attention of the press by admitting that if he wasn’t the CEO of Facebook, he’d be at Microsoft. Facebook has been making many moves that make Microsoft stronger, e.g. Silverlight, Bing, and OOXML promotion. Joining Microsoft’s dead products we now have the Facebook app, but we must not overlook reports on Gates agenda advancement at Facebook.

My coverage of the Gates Foundation has mostly moved to identi.ca/Diaspora (quick links with explanations), but one thing that was hard to overlook or omit from full coverage is this Gates-Zuckerberg collaboration. It is worth noting that Zuckerberg too joins this club of fake “philanthropists” [1, 2, 3] and his relation to Gates extends what we knew about his proximity to Ozzie, who had replaced Gates at Microsoft before he — like Gates — left the company.

“There won’t be anything we won’t say to people to try and convince them that our way is the way to go.”

Bill Gates (Microsoft’s CEO at the time)

Business Press (Forbes) Questions Patents

Posted in America, Europe, Law, Patents at 8:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

USPTO building

Summary: Following the lead of the New York Times and some of the latest events, business press bloggers take aim at the US patent system; European politicians too take notes

THE business press, notably Forbes, hosts some blogs which openly oppose software patents. This does not mean that Forbes should be commended, as for the most part Forbes also does a lot of damage. Here is one blog which is on the fence:

The Big Fix #3: How To Untangle The Mess With Software Patents

The amount of energy that the big tech companies are expending to document and defend software patents makes no sense. A couple of weeks ago, The New York Times wrote that, “Last year, for the first time, spending by Apple and Google on patent lawsuits and unusually big-dollar patent purchases exceeded spending on research and development of new products, according to public filings.” Nonsense, right?

But is it the tech companies’ fault that they are at war? Is Apple a “bully” for suing Samsung? Did Google ”steal” from Apple? Whose to blame here? Perhaps history and the Supreme court.

Well, SCOTUS serves big companies [1, 2], i.e. American protectionism, just like the lawyers who monetise patents and thus, expectedly, drip bias. Another blogger from the same site also blames CAFC; as more bloggers from Forbes
see the impact on Facebook we sure see public backlash ensuing. As we said earlier this month, it is when people see their phones and Web page under attack that they shout out in protest:

Hardly a month goes by without Facebook finding itself named in a patent-infringement lawsuit, and October’s plaintiff is Bascom Research, which describes itself as a “software-development company focused on applying computational and data structures to complex data sets in the medical field.”

Bascom Research is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lexington Technology Group, which announced its merger with Document Security Systems, a provider of anti-counterfeit, authentication, and mass-serialization technologies, in the same press release that contained the details about the patent-infringement suit.

This is an LLC, which almost always means that it’s a troll, just like other new examples:

The complaint, which was filed on October 10th in the Eastern District of Texas, alleges that BSP Software’s Integrated Control Suite (ICS) and Integrated Version Control (IVC) products infringe upon one of several patents held by Motio for technology found in its MotioCI product.

Lawsuit such as this are said to harm everyone:

Patent Trolling Is Draining the Blood from the Idea Economy, and It’s Just Getting Worse

[...]

What does it mean that money is draining out of the innovation economy to entities that don’t do anything for that economy?

Let us hope that all this backlash will yield change. Here in Europe it serves as a cautionary tale and politicians start turning against the unitary patent (trans-Atlantic bridge for troll) like they turned against ACTA towards the end:

Just more than a year ago FFII.se replied to the Swedish justice department on a query about the proposal for a EU patent court (in Swedish), but we where quite lonely on the issue we had with that the court was not in the EU and beyond governing. Sure we had help from our network, but we where just the crowd fighting those self serving software patents against a collective of lawyers thinking of patents as their income. Now it seems we have company – and good company too!

Here is a nice round up by two high profile politicians of Europe

Awareness among the public informs politicians, who can in turn prevent bad policies from coming through. Europe does not welcome patent trolls.

Apple Attacks on Android (and Linux) Continue to Summon Patent Nemesis

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents at 7:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“FSF did some anti-Apple campaigns too. Personally I worry more about Apple because they have user loyalty; Microsoft doesn’t.”

Bradley M. Kuhn (SFLC)

Summary: Apple stories of shame and notable patent complaints relating to Apple litigation

THERE is improved realisation in the FOSS community that Apple is a threat and that software patents are Apple’s weapon of choice against FOSS. Torvalds, a proud user of Apple hardware, calls for the end of software patents again, perhaps not realising that he surrounds himself by some of the same companies that promote these most adamantly. To quote a subscribers-only new article:

Linux operating system pioneer Linus Torvalds has called for the US to abolish software patents…

This takes some guts. Why? Well, some backers of the Linux Foundation, such as IBM and Intel, promote software patents. We covered some examples as such before.

People who denounced me for what I wrote about Steve Jobs finally tell me I was right all along because it is him who made Apple an arrogant aggressor. He thought he had invented smartphones and managed to convince some people that he had. Only yesterday I heard this nonsense said by two friends in their fifties. Suffice to say, I rebutted.

“Well, some backers of the Linux Foundation, such as IBM and Intel, promote software patents.”Apple continues to collect software patents on obvious ideas that are merely old stuff “on a phone”. See this one new example: “Oh Sure, Now The Patent Office Realizes Apple’s ‘Rubberbanding’ Patent Is Both Obvious And Not New”

“We’ve expressed concerns in the past about the crappy job that the USPTO does in approving patents, when it’s clear that, the majority of times that the USPTO is asked to go back and double check its work, it is forced to admit it was wrong. This happens quite frequently in high profile patents used in lawsuits as well. And while some judges are willing to wait for the USPTO to admit its errors, too often the courts just rush through, assuming that the patent must be perfectly valid. Given all that, it’s worth noting that the USPTO has now issued a non-final rejection of all claims in Apple’s infamously ridiculous “rubberbanding” patent, over the ability for a page to “bounce back” if you scroll to the edge. The key claim in the patent was rejected for failing both standards for patentability. That is, the court found it to be both obvious and not new. Of course, if they had asked anyone who knew anything about programming, they could have told you that ages ago.”

Groklaw has covered this too. Apple’s bounce-back patent is also on its way out (caution: article quotes/cites paid spinner Microsoft Florian). But Apple continues to patent yet more nonsense (more quickly than old nonsense is nullified) and Samsung is moving forward with more features, which actually put Android ahead of anything Apple can offer:

Its accountants may be wringing their hands, but South Korean manufacturing giant Samsung is putting on a brave public face, despite being ordered to pay $1 billion in fines to Apple for copyright infringement. Samsung is forging ahead, with its new phones packed with innovative features continuing to gobble more of the domestic market share.

Although Samsung denies it, Apple is getting ditches by Samsung Display (maybe there is only some truth to it, e.g. prospectively) and Japanese courts throw out another case, just as they did Apple’s. Charles Arthur, here in the UK, provides an overview of key issues and Pamela Jones shows how evil Apple is being. To quote:

One of the exhibits Samsung has now made public tells an interesting tale. It’s the slide presentation [PDF] that Apple showed Samsung when it first tried (and failed) to get Samsung to license Apple’s patents prior to the start of litigation. While some of the numbers were earlier reported on when the exhibit was used at trial, the slides themselves provide more data — specifically on the difference between what Apple wanted Samsung to pay for Windows phones and for Android phones. The slides punch huge holes in Apple’s FRAND arguments. Apple and Microsoft complain to regulators about FRAND rates being excessive and oppressive at approximately $6 per unit, or 2.4%; but the Apple offer was not only at a much higher rate, it targeted Android in a way that seems deliberately designed to destroy its ability to compete in the marketplace.

Many sites including Groklaw took note of the new study on patents which impacts smartphones. Mike Masnick’s site says:

There Are 250,000 Active Patents That Impact Smartphones; Representing One In Six Active Patents Today

A few years back we created a graphic to highlight the ridiculous patent thicket around smartphones. It really just highlights some, though not all, of the litigation concerning patents related to smartphones.

Groklaw speaks of samsung legal strategy here:

Samsung Has Workarounds for All 3 “Infringed” Apple Patents; and Some Testimony on the ’381 Patent ~pj

Samsung has created workarounds for the three Apple patents that the jury ruled were infringed, the ’381, ’163 and ’915 patents. The ’381 patent is the one that the USPTO just tentatively rejected, due to prior art. But in any case, none of these patents are now being used by Samsung, according to a declaration [PDF] by Tim Rowden, VP of Product Management at Samsung, just filed with the court. It’s in support of Samsung’s opposition to Apple’s motion asking for a permanent injunction. Obviously, there is nothing to block if Samsung isn’t using any of the patents any more.

Amazon, one of the largest technology companies around, is among those who complain about the patent wars against Android:

It is starting to look like Amazon boss Jeff Bezos is right – patent wars are killing the tech industry.

Bezos, who famously encouraged his staff to file for controversial web patents on obvious ideas like “one click to buy”, appears to have had a change of heart and is turning into an advocate for patent reform.

Now new research, seen by InfoWorld and published as a consequence of the America Invents Act, supports Bezos’ worries.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has conducted a study on the effects of patent trolls on the economy by using figures squeezed from the Stanford IP Clearinghouse (now called Lex Machina).

Covering five-years from 2007 to 2011, the report identifies and classifies patent activities across all industries and uses a statistically significant sample to draw conclusions.

Let’s wait and see if anything gets done about it. Mike Masnick argues that ending software patents would be merely the start but not the solution because hardware patents may be next. As he puts it: “There’s been plenty of talk about software patents, and tons of discussions from people suggesting that perhaps the “solution” to problems with the patent system are to simply carve out software (and business method) patents, and make those unpatentable. There are plenty of reasonable arguments for why “software” should not be patentable (I tend to find the arguments that you can’t patent math, and that software is really math, the most compelling). However, I’d like to argue that while software patents are a large part of the problem, focusing solely on carving out software patents does not address the real problems of the patent system — and, in fact, could serve to paper over the real problem by solving for a “symptom” (i.e., an awful lot of “software” patent trolling cases).”

The debate about patents has shifted somewhat; some call for the end of all patents, not just software patents. Let’s keep involved in this debate. Difference is definitely being made, little by little.

IntraLinks Absorbs Novell Executives

Posted in Novell, Ron Hovsepian at 7:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hovsepian smiles

Summary: Novell’s Hovsepian and Semel go to the same company, other Novell executives settle elsewhere

Sometimes we see headlines like “Novell President Bob Flynn to Give Keynote Address at GWAVACon EMEA,” but Novell, the company, is no more. We stopped tracking it around the time Hovsepian found a new home. Afterwards, “Ronald W. Hovsepian [Was] Named to ANSYS Board of Directors” and more recently, “IntraLinks Holdings, Inc. : IntraLinks Appoints Ronald W. Hovsepian New CEO” (he joined along with Semel from Novell [1, 2]).

Others found networking-related homes, e.g.:

Cambridge software company Akamai Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: AKAM) has appointed former Novell exec Jim Ebzery to lead sales, services and marketing operations across the Americas.

Here is where spin chief Dragoon went:

Global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced the appointment of John K. Dragoon to Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. Dragoon is based in HMH’s corporate headquarters in Boston, reporting directly to Chief Executive Officer Linda K. Zecher.

ownCloud has managed to snatch yet another SUSE person:

ownCloud Inc. recently announced that former SUSE executive and ownCloud co-founder Holger Dyroff has joined the company as vice president, sales and marketing. ownCloud Inc. is responsible for the popular open source file sync and share project. Dyroff studied law and business administration at University Erlangen-Nuremberg.

SUSE sure suffered some brain drain. Not much is left of Novell. Moreover, its patents went to Microsoft and Apple.

This site is turning 6 years old in just over a couple of week. A lot of time was spent here covering Novell. We mostly ignore SUSE stories at this stage. It’s in a mortal state anyway and ending the Novell threat is a mission largely accomplished (Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Red Hat and others do not pay Microsoft patent tax).

Links 24/10/2012: First GNOME 3.6 Update

Posted in News Roundup at 1:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Big Oil and the US Chamber of Commerce Fight to Keep Foreign Bribery Flourishing

      In a new lawsuit against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), big energy extractors are pushing for carte blanche in their interactions with foreign governments, making it harder to track whether their deals are padding the coffers of dictators, warlords, or crony capitalists. The United States Chamber of Commerce, American Petroleum Institute, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, and the National Foreign Trade Council filed a lawsuit on October 10, 2012 against a new SEC rule, which requires U.S. oil, mining and gas companies to formally disclose payments made to foreign governments as part of their annual SEC reporting.

  • Finance

  • Censorship

    • ORG urges caution over web blocking orders

      In response to the BPI’s call to block three websites before Christmas, Jim Killock Executive Director of the Open Rights Group said:

      “Web blocking is an extreme response. The orders are often indefinite and open ended, and will be blocking legitimate uses. The BPI and the courts need to slow down and be very careful about this approach.

      “The BPI seem to be trying to speed things up and that is not good. It will lead to carelessness and unneeded harms.

      “As an approach, censorship is a bad idea. It leads to more censorship, and is unlikely to solve the problem it seeks to address.

    • How Would Twitter Handle A Crackdown On Free Speech In Saudi Arabia?

      Twitter has put itself out there as being a strong defender of free speech, arguing that it’s not just a principled stand, but one that provides the company with a competitive advantage. Standing up for free speech is good — not just for people, but for Twitter too.

    • Public shame should be punishment enough

      As another individual is sentenced to jail time for causing offense, it seems that at present a week doesn’t go by where outrage over a joke or insensitive comment isn’t splashed across the front pages.

      There have been two notable cases in October: Barry Thew, who wore a T-shirt bearing the message “One less pig; perfect justice” and “Killacopforfun.com haha”, was sentenced to jail for eight months under the Public Order Act and Matthew Woods was sentenced to 12 weeks in jail after posting “grossly offensive” jokes on his Facebook page about missing April Jones under the Malicious Communications Act 2003. It is worth noting on the same day and in the same court that Woods was sentenced, a man was fined £100 and ordered to pay £100 compensation for racially abusing a woman to her face.

    • DPP to issue guidelines on prosecutions over Facebook and Twitter abuse
  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • Rights? You have no right to your eBooks.

      News spread quickly on the web today of the predicament faced by a woman in Norway, Linn, who has lost all access to the eBooks she legitimately purchased from Amazon. The story first emerged on a friend’s blog, where a sequence of e-mails from Michael Murphy, a customer support representative at Amazon.co.uk were posted. These painted a picture some interpreted as Amazon remotely erasing a customer’s Kindle, but in conversation with Linn I discovered that was not what had happened – something just as bad did, though.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Tim Tebow Trademarking ‘Tebowing’ Tarnishes Trademark

        In case you missed the last two years on the internet and don’t know what ‘Tebowing’ is, it’s essentially genuflecting in prayer on one knee and bowing your head onto your clenched fist.

      • Tiananmen Square Activist Loses Trademark Bullying Case Against Critic, But Ruling Is Weak

        We’ve been covering the absolutely ridiculous lawsuit of educational software firm Jenzabar against documentary filmmakers Long Bow for a few years now. The short version is that Long Bow made a documentary about some of the activists from the Tiananmen Square uprising, that was somewhat critical of them — including a protest organizer named Ling Chai. Chai later moved to the US and founded an educational software company called Jenzabar. She has regularly played up her history as a Tiananmen Square organizer in getting PR for the company. The filmmakers called into question some of her actions back during the protests, and also set up a webpage, associated with the movie, critical of Chai. Chai sued for defamation — which was quickly thrown out. However, she also had Jenzabar sue for trademark infringement, because the page about her on Long Bow’s site mentioned Jenzabar in the title and in the meta tags.

    • Copyrights

      • Korean Music Industry Embraces The Future While US Counterparts Fight It

        The awesome folks over at Planet Money recently did a podcast about why Korean pop music (K-Pop) is taking over the world, using (obviously) Gangnam Style as exhibit number one. Of course, you could argue that one faddish song is not proof that they’re taking over the industry, so there’s a bit of journalistic hyperbole at work here — but the larger point comes clear in the podcast: the US’s music industry was built for the 20th century — a world of scarcity, limited distribution channels, hyperfocus on music and a strong reliance on copyright — but the Korean pop music landscape is focused on a much more 21st century strategy.

      • EFF Files Motion To Have Court Release Seizure Warrant In Megaupload Case
      • October 19 WIPO negotiations on copyright exceptions for disabilities

        After three days, the WIPO intersessional negotiations on copyright exceptions for persons with disabilities adjourned. On July 26, 2012, the SCCR negotiating text (SCCR 24/9) was 26 pages long, with 4051 words, and included 56 brackets, and 20 alternatives. The Final document on Friday (copy here) evening was 26 pages, with 47 brackets, and 22 alternatives.

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