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12.30.12

Vista 8 Fails This Xmas, UEFI Blocks GNU and Linux While Microsoft Tries Collecting in China, Stopping Sales of Open PCs

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 8, Windows at 8:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Very dirty tactics from Microsoft draw complaints from the FSF and other Free software advocates, including Techrights

THE “checkmate” against Microsoft, known to many as Vista 8, gets its users angry and censorship seems to ensue. Microsoft cannot handle criticism.

Vista 8 demand is very weak and OEMs are openly complaining:

As Microsoft (MSFT) does its best to paint a positive picture of its Windows 8 launch, the company’s PC vendor partners continue to report weak end-user demand for computers running the new platform. The latest in a long line of such reports comes from Fujitsu (FJTSY) president Masami Yamamoto, who told reporters in Tokyo on Friday that initial demand for Windows 8 is “weak.”

Even the NYT (New York Times) acknowledged the problem, despite being close to Microsoft.

The monopolist can hope to stifle Linux growth using UEFI dirty tricks. Garrett shows how little support there is for it among about a thousand distros. It is a ‘divide and conquer’ approach. GNU/Linux advocates noticed this problem. Microsoft has already decided that it’s naughty-naughty to install GNU/Linux on hardware which it labelled as its own, thereby slowing down Linux growth that GNU and Linux deserve:

Many Linux users who tracked each step in the endless saga surrounding the Windows 8 UEFI Secure Boot scheme were highly disappointed a few weeks ago to hear that a promised workaround from The Linux Foundation is delayed. Last year, in the post “Will Windows 8 Lock Linux Out of PCs?,” I discussed a Microsoft methodology for ultra-fast booting of Windows 8 PC through a specification called Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI). Linux users cried foul over it, because UEFI makes it technically possible for a hardware manufacturer to deliver a Windows 8 machine that won’t boot an alternative operating system.

Now that it’s the holiday season and Microsoft is heavily pushing Windows 8 toward consumers, there may be a lot of folks who are wondering how to get Linux to run on a Windows 8 machine. The good news is that there is a solution out in the wild, but it is aimed primarily at developers of Linux distros, and isn’t widely implemented yet.

Installing Linux on most Windows 8 computers is still no easy task. On some Windows 8 machines, you can get as far as having a Linux distro installed, only to find that the UEFI Secure Boot scheme keeps the BIOS from allowing Linux to start.

The FSF is openly protesting against UEFI, as do we. Here is some discussion about this new report:

The Free Software Foundation is on an offensive against restricted boot systems and is busy appealing for donations and pledge in the form of signatures in a bid to stop systems such as the UEFI SecureBoot from being adopted on a large-scale basis and becoming a norm in the future.
The FSF, through an appeal on its website, is requesting users to sign a pledge titled “Stand up for your freedom to install free software” that they won’t be purchasing or recommending for purchase any such system that is SecureBoot enabled or some other form of restricted boot techniques. The FSF has managed to receive, as of this writing, over 41,000 signatures. Organizations like the Debian, Edoceo, Zando, Wreathe and many others have also showed their support for the campaign.

Phoronix wrote:

The Free Software Foundation is now soliciting donations and signatures for a pledge in hopes that it can stop UEFI SecureBoot and other “restricted boot” systems from becoming too common.

Techrights was told by Richard Stallman about coreboot as a possible workaround or solution/path to advocate (for OEMs). Here is a new suggestion going along those lines:

Is it possible that the recent attempts to push secure boot onto computer users was a response to the growing hardware vendor support for coreboot back in 2011? This is only speculation on my part, but I suspect that this might be the case. Coreboot is a badly needed solution that can restore freedom to PC users while updating the outdated PC BIOS technology.

Microsoft is clearly ruining hardware by artificial limitation and lack of versatility. Meanwhile, lacking sales, Microsoft is squeezing China using the old lie of “for security” — a lie that IDG, frequently a BSA partner, propagates:

Microsoft has launched a new anti-piracy campaign in China, which intends to highlight the security risks of buying counterfeit software.

In a recent investigation, Microsoft purchased 169 PCs from shops in China and found that all were installed with pirated versions of Windows, with 91 percent of them containing malware or deliberate security vulnerabilities.

This is nonsense that we wrote about before. Microsoft is fighting like a dog and in the process it lies. It tries to suppress OS-free hardware distribution, or machines that come with Free software. Protest against UEFI and associated anti-choice tactics. It’s clearly a problem and Microsoft should be penalised or boycotted for this.

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates about China

Links 30/12/2012: PulseAudio 3.0, GNOME Adds Privacy

Posted in News Roundup at 9:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Limerick migrates to Zentyal’s open source email solution
  • Integreen Brings Open Source Traffic Monitoring To Italy

    The best way to fight an enemy is to start by learning everything you can about it, which is exactly what the team at Integreen are looking to do in the Italian city of Bolzano. By using the latest technology and banking on open source software, Integreen hopes to provide the city management with enough traffic and environmental data to help them more effectively implement environmentally conscience programs such as mass transit.

  • OpenGamma updates its open source financial analytics platform
  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome to End Silent Extension Updates

        When it comes to their Internet browsers, users can get quite picky about how much automatic updating they want to take place. For example, in an OStatic post at the end of last year on how the Mozilla Firefox browser would begin silently updating itself (in keeping with Google Chrome) our readers disagreed widely on whether they wanted Firefox to do so.

  • SaaS

    • HPCC: An Open Source Big Data Competitor to Hadoop

      We’ve written before many times about Hadoop, an open source software framework for highly scalable queries and data-intensive distributed applications. The ecosystem of companies and organizations using Hadoop has grown dramatically in recent years, and as the Big Data trend grows, Hadoop training and support solutions are proliferating.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • VirtualBox 4.2.6 leads Oracle virtualisation update

      The developers of Oracle’s VirtualBox have announced a maintenance update to the lead version of their virtualisation platform. Version 4.2.6 is released along with maintenance releases of older branches of the software: 3.2.16., 4.0.18 and 4.1.24. The changes in 4.2.6 are focused on stability and on correcting a number of regressions – there are no new features. Fixes include ensuring that stale virtual machine events are not sent to resetting VMs, fixing the appearance of text in the GUI, corrections to the 3D support, fixing hangs with some storage and adding network rate and disk usage to the metrics.

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Zurmo sets out to enchant the open source CRM space

        Being “fed up with the existing open source CRM applications”, the team at Zurmo have released their own open source customer relationship management (CRM) software – Zurmo 1.0. The CRM software, which has been in development for two years, includes deal tracking features, contact and activity management, and has scores and badges that can be managed through a built-in gamification system.

        Zurmo 1.0 has been translated into ten languages and features a RESTful API to further integration with other applications. Location data is provided by Google Maps and Geocode. The application’s permission system supports roles for individual users and groups, and allows administrators to create ad-hoc teams. The application is designed to be modern and easy to use and integrates social-network-like functionality at its centre, which functions to distribute tasks, solicit advice, and publish accomplishments.

  • Funding

    • Crowdfunding Piwik 2.0

      Piwik is a Free Software Web analytics application. If you run a website, it is what you use when you do not want to use Google Analytics or any other third party solution.

  • BSD

  • Project Releases

    • LLVM 3.2 released
    • LLVM 3.2 now available

      A few days after the intended release date, the LLVM developers have announced the availability of version 3.2 of the LLVM compiler infrastructure. The LLVM project encompasses a set of compiler tools such as the C/C++/Objective C compiler Clang, the runtime compiler library compiler-rt, the low-level debugger LLDB, a C++ standard library libc++ and the VMKit JVM which uses LLVM for static and JIT compilation.

    • MediaGoblin 0.3.2 “Goblinverse” Released

      After initial stages of fundraising campaign, the developers have published a new release of MediaGoblin, the only full “free as in freedom” media sharing software. This software is a part of the GNU project and aims to give users full freedom to share, upload and use all kind of media on their servers without using some expensive services out there or losing their privacy, freedom or control over their data.

    • TomEE 1.5.1 more than just a maintenance update

      In the latest update to the Java servlet container Tomcat, the TomEE development team has done a lot more than just fix a few bugs. TomEE 1.5.1 includes an option to improve classloader customisation and the ability to inject remote initial context into TomEE clients.

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

IRC Proceedings: December 23rd-December 29th, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC Proceedings: December 23rd, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 24th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 25th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 26th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 27th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 28th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 29th, 2012

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Enter the IRC channels now

IRC Proceedings: December 16th-December 22nd, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IRC Proceedings: December 16th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 17th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 18th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 19th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 20th, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 21st, 2012

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IRC Proceedings: December 22nd, 2012

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Enter the IRC channels now

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