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04.03.13

Links 3/4/2013: MATE 1.6, US Justice Department Versus Online News

Posted in News Roundup at 4:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Avetti.com Launches Enterprise Open Source E-Commerce Software

    Avetti’s enterprise e-commerce software used in many high volume online stores now has a Community Edition available under the OSL v3 Open Source License. A key feature is integration with the Open Ice Cat product database, which provides images, descriptions and specifications permitting merchants to create professional stores faster.

  • How Netcore Built Rs 50 Crore Biz With Open Source

    The Mumbai-based solutions provider, which focuses on email, messaging and e-marketing solutions, has saved $2 million on licensing costs with free and open source software (FOSS)

  • New marketplace connects open source contractors with clients

    In any field, a major challenge can be finding the right talent. For open source projects looking for contractors, it’s hard to organize possible candidates from all over the web. Flossmarket hopes to fill that void.

    A platform for connecting contractors and businesses/individuals, Flossmarket allows each party to search for and find like-minded partners faster for their projects. Contractors build a profile and are able to advertise their services on their page. And, anyone who needs contract open source work done can review candidates based on criteria they set in their search.

  • Crossing the Chasm

    Are you winning if you own ninety-nine percent of a moribund market ? I don’t think so. Linux and Open Source/Free Software has crossed the chasm now. It has become the mainstream. Every Android tablet or phone out there is a Linux and Open Source/Free Software platform, and in the next few years I fully expect this to become the most common form of computing for most people worldwide (disclaimer, I do work for Google so please take such predictions with the pinch of salt they deserve).

    For Free Software advocates like myself this is a tremendously positive change. The dirty secret of Samba, my own Free Software project, is that for a while the developers only ever run Windows ourselves in order to test Samba (which is an interoperability solution). Mostly everyone uses a different variety of Free Software desktops and servers (with the odd Mac or Solaris/Illumos user thrown into the mix). The default at least for us has become Free Software.

    So have we won ? Should we just pack up the advocacy tent and go home ? Unfortunately not. Most of the applications running on these devices are still proprietary. Most people using mobile devices, although they might be running a Free Software operating system underneath, still don’t realize why Free Software is important.

  • BBC sharing its TV application layer as open source

    Britain’s public service broadcasting corporation BBC is making available as open source the code for building HTML-based TV software solutions, called TAL. “Sharing the TV Application Layer should make building applications on TV easier for others, helping to drive the uptake of this nascent technology”, the organisation explains.

  • BBC Almost “Gets” FLOSS…

    Nothing in FLOSS restricts use of FLOSS in commercial products. You can charge money for services instead of charging for licences and GPL, for instance, permits charging per copy or whatever. Much FLOSS is commercial, like Linux, the kernel, worth $billions, FireFox, the web browser, worth $hundreds of millions and RedHat makes a $billion in revenue on FLOSS annually.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Celebrates 15 Years with Firefox 20

        Mozilla captured many a headline today as Mitchell Baker blogged about 15 years of “a better web.” Mozilla began life as Netscape’s Open Source branch of development in 1998 and has since changed the Web many times, if sometimes by accident. But as Mozilla celebrates this milestone, Firefox 20 is already making the rounds.

        Baker said, “Looking back, Mozilla’s plan was as radical as the Web itself: use open source and community to simultaneously create great software and build openness into the key technologies of the Internet itself. This was something commercial vendors weren’t doing and could not do. A non-profit, community-driven organization like Mozilla was needed to step up to the challenge.”

      • Firefox 20.0: Find out what is new

        Mozilla will upgrade the stable channel of its desktop browser to Firefox 20.0 today. The front page at the time of writing is still linking to a download of version 19.0.2, but you can use this link to download the new version of the browser right away. Make sure you change its url if you need a different localized version, this one downloads the US version of Firefox.

      • Celebrating 15 Years of a Better Web
      • Firefox 20 Drops In New Private, Download Features

        Mozilla has announced Firefox 20 with several prominent new features to the open-source web-browser.

        As shared on the Mozilla blog, prominent features of Firefox 20 include:

        - Support for starting private browsing in a new tab of an already existing web-browser session. Firefox for Android also now supports private browsing on a per-tab basis.

      • Mozilla and Samsung Collaborate on Next Generation Web Browser Engine
  • Education

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • On Data Science with Open Data

        In a previous blog post I offered up two interpretations of the term ‘data science’. These amounted to 1) ‘the science of data’ and 2) ‘doing science with data’. If you read the earlier post you’ll probably detect my mild irritation with the term when coupled with the second of these interpretations. Perhaps it’s the redundancy, or maybe the implication that plain ‘science’ is somehow devoid of data. It may be both.

    • Open Access/Content

Leftovers

  • The Meme Hustler

    Tim O’Reilly’s crazy talk

  • Science

  • Hardware

    • Pie-in-the-sky or Real Growth in PC Shipments?

      Wait a bit… New hardware is something that might drive unit shipments and M$’s cutting of licensing fees might help if people actually wanted to buy M$’s OS, but M$ is cutting the prices because people don’t want to buy M$’s OS, so this is wishful thinking. Manufacturers should be shipping GNU/Linux if they want sales to pop. People are desperate to escape the clutches of M$ and the consumers who are a big piece of the pie cannot unless they find GNU/Linux on retail shelves.

  • Security

    • Exclusive: Ongoing malware attack targeting Apache hijacks 20,000 sites
    • EU data-protection authorities launch joint action against Google

      Data-protection authorities of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the Netherlands have launched a joint action against the Google for violating the European Union privacy rules.

      The joint action is the first co-ordinated and formal procedure by EU member countries against a single company on privacy.

      Currently, the European authorities can impose only fines below €1m. However, the new EU privacy rules, expected to be approved by the end of 2013, could allow the authorities to inflict on companies penalties up to 2 per cent of their global annual turnover.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Greek Nazi link group ‘set up here’

      A Greek political party with links to neo-Nazis say they have established themselves in Melbourne, but have no interest in Australian politics.

      Golden Dawn, which was founded by a Holocaust denier and whose members have been linked to dozens of violent protests in Greece, claims to have set up a group in Melbourne filled with Greek-Australians who will ”fight and defend both of our countries with pride and honour”.

      The group sent an email to Fairfax Media criticising the ”lies” of reporters, politicians and Greek community leaders since controversial Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris announced plans for a Melbourne office and a visit from MPs on a Melbourne radio station in February.

    • German Pastor Faces Trial Over Anti-Nazi Protest

      A German pastor due to stand trial for allegedly inciting violence at an anti-Nazi demonstration said Tuesday that authorities risk deterring people from standing up to right-wing extremists if he is convicted.

    • Is The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas about to Launch a Neo-Nazi Counter-Revolution?
    • Capitol Hill hawks object stripping CIA of drones
    • Symbols of Bush-era Lawlessness Flourish Under Obama

      Guantanamo Bay prison plans expansion, while CIA official linked to torture cover-up gets promoted

    • ‘Americans’ taps creator’s work at CIA

      When he was training to be a case officer for the CIA in the early 1990s, Joseph Weisberg soon learned that deception was a crucial skill — one that involved lying to his family regularly.

    • The Shift in the Drone Debate

      When a forum as hawkish at The Washington Post‘s editorial page starts running pieces arguing the drone war is creating more enemies than it is eliminating, you know the dialogue is beginning to shift.

    • An Urgent Proposal to Protect People From Domestic Drones
    • Drones: Secrets in our skies

      Hundreds of unmanned aerial vehicles – known as drones – are aloft in our skies, many owned and built by recreational users. But safety and security issues alarm the CAA, which oversees our aviation system.

    • Officials want ‘drones’ buzzing over Utah
    • North Korea: Not Crazy but Very Misunderstoods

      It seems scary, even crazy: talk of a “sea of fire” and an “arc of destruction,” nuclear missiles slamming into distant shores. North Korea, an “isolated state,” as we’re constantly told by media reports, hurls invective at the world while its people, abused, hungry and cold, are led by an apparently well-fed young man, Kim Jong-un, who sits in front of shabby-looking computers running nuclear programs that are going, literally, ballistic.

      But is it all true?

      “Public discourse about the North in most of our enlightened world is crippled, condescending, irrelevant, and, like heartburn, episodic,” says James Church, the pseudonymous author of a series of novels about the country, in an article titled: “NK and Pluto.” He insists on anonymity because of the nature of his past intelligence work.

      As the rhetoric ratchets up again on the Korean peninsula with talk of mobilization, attack and counterattack, Mr. Church’s view is deeply counterintuitive and very valuable. His authorial name is a pseudonym for a former Western intelligence officer who has been in the country dozens of times and now, retired from government, writes about it through the eyes of a fictional North Korean policeman called Inspector O. (Full disclosure – I have met Mr. Church and he is definitely real.) In fact, the novels offer a superb demonstration of the idea that fiction tells the truth better than fact.

  • Cablegate

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • 350.org Calls for Public Comment on Keystone XL Pipeline

      After the recent tar sands pipeline spill in Arkansas, where thousands of gallons of toxic oil ran through the streets of a small community, the climate change organization 350.org is asking Americans to join in the public commenting process for the Keystone XL pipeline.

      The U.S. State Department is reviewing applications for permits needed for the international pipeline to advance. The State Department is soliciting public comment on the issue until April 22.

  • Finance

    • Taking back City College from the corporations – by any means necessary

      Like the Monsanto Protection Act, the support for all of this corporate destruction of our communities’ schools…

    • When America Came ‘This Close’ to Establishing a 30-Hour Workweek

      The April 15, 1933 issue of Newsweek, one of the first in the magazine’s history, contains a remarkable cover headline: Bill cutting work week to 30 hours startles the nation. Indeed only nine days earlier, on April 6th, the Black-Connery Bill had passed in the United States Senate by a wide margin. The bill fixed the official American work week at five days and 30 hours, with severe penalties for overtime work.

    • Pope to review Vatican bureaucracy, bank scandal

      …bank which has regularly damaged the Vatican’s image over three decades…

    • Food stamps and the database state…

      The latest proposal for ‘food stamps’ has aroused a good deal of anger. It’s a policy that is divisive, depressing and hideous in many ways – Suzanne Moore’s article in the Guardian is one of the many excellent pieces written about it. She hits at the heart of the problem: ‘Repeat after me: austerity removes autonomy’.

    • The Great British class calculator

      People in the UK now fit into seven social classes, a major survey conducted by the BBC suggests.

    • Bitcoin price goes on wild ride

      The price of the virtual currency bitcoin, already volatile in recent weeks, went through wild swings in overnight trading Tuesday and Wednesday.

      According to prices quoted on Mt.Gox, the main trading exchange for bitcoins, the value of one bitcoin ricocheted from $106 to as high as $147, then back down to $125, then to $141. They were trading around $139 per bitcoin in afternoon trading Wednesday.

    • Paulson Applies for Lawsuit Dismissal – Analyst Blog

      Paulson & Co applied for dismissal of a lawsuit made by ACA Financial Guaranty related to Abacus – a collateralized debt obligation (CDO). The plaintiffs accused the company of joining banking major The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. ( GS ) to obtain guaranteed payments from bond insurers on risky investments.

      In 2011, ACA Financial filed a $120 million lawsuit against Goldman and later in January, added Paulson & Co along with its hedge fund unit – Paulson Credit Opportunities Master II Ltd as the accused. The modified lawsuit claimed that Goldman and Paulson tricked ACA Financial into believing that Paulson was investing in the CDO. However, Paulson had taken a short position on it.

  • Privacy

    • NSA Chief Wants Companies to Share More Info With the Government

      Speaking at a conference at Georgia Tech, Director of the U.S. National Security Agency General Keith Alexander pressed Congress last week pass legislation creating a more effective information-sharing regime between government and businesses to help protect the nation’s security. Just as past legislative efforts such as the proposed Cyber Intelligence Protection Act (CISPA) have faced widespread backlash for imposing high regulatory costs on businesses while risking infringing basic rights, the fear remains that Alexander’s proposals simply suggest more of the same.

    • California Law Would Require Companies To Disclose All Consumer Data Collected
  • Civil Rights

  • DRM

    • Safe-harbor compliance for FOSS projects

      “DMCA” is a four-letter word among free and open source software developers, and for good reason: the 1998 act criminalized an entire category of programs and has been grossly misused in numerous cases. It’s in the news yet again this week, as activists are fighting to make it legal to carrier-unlock cellphones despite the Librarian of Congress’s decision not to exempt unlocking from the DMCA’s anti-circumvention rules.

      But the anti-circumvention rules are only one part of the DMCA—it also put in place the safe harbors that protect online services from liability for their users’ activity. These too have been the subject of some controversy, as large content owners have routinely abused the notice-and-takedown process to censor materials protected by fair use. But they’ve also done a lot of good. Before, it was difficult for service providers dealing with user-uploaded content to predict their potential liability for the infringing activity of their users. The safe harbors provide clear rules for avoiding secondary liability related to user content.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Opinion: Rethinking the Internet

        Sharing knowledge, growing inclusion, increasing participation. The other benefits, economic and social will flow from these principles. Now that sounds like a good place to start to me.

Not April 1st: Vista 9 Vapourware is Born

Posted in Antitrust, Deception, Dell, Microsoft, Vista 9, Windows at 3:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 8 is dead, long live vapourware!

Nine

Summary: As Microsoft realises that Vista 8 is worse than Vista and there is nothing to be done to change this, focus gets shifted to a yet-inexistent, mythical operating system

Amid OEM hatred of Windows Hate, or Windows 8 (developers hate it too, with Steam and Valve giving vapourware the finger and now releasing a GNU/Linux distro) Microsoft has been trying to take over the fragile Dell (perhaps with a proxy), but it is not finalised yet. According to reports such as this, Vista 8 is already killing Dell. The thing about Mr. Dell is, he also wishes to diverge away from desktops. He should know that Microsoft fails there. There is a lot of vapourvare for Vista 9 right now, as well as PR for Vista 8. Here is a Microsoft booster citing a Microsoft partner for figures that boost Internet Explorer and Vista 8. Even those biased numbers don’t look too good for Microsoft, which is why UEFI tricks get employed, tying hardware to Microsoft. Katherine Noyes wrote about it the other day:

Linux Girl was comfortably ensconced on her favorite barstool down at the blogosphere’s Broken Windows Lounge when the news broke on Tuesday.

Let’s just say there was no more peace to be had after that.

Linux bloggers fairly tripped over themselves with excitement on PCWorld, on Slashdot and beyond, generating a din that could be heard throughout the Linux blogosphere and its surrounding territories. Linux Girl jumped to attention and began taking down as much as she could.

“‘Secure boot’ does not prevent viruses from writing to the (pre)bootloader, it just notices if it has happened,” noted Slashdot blogger jhol13, for example. “Then the ‘notification’ or ‘failure mode’ is DoS, your computer won’t boot. I’d rather boot with a virus than not boot.

Microsoft Windows is struggling. Only months after Vista 8 was released Microsoft is already talking about future versions. And we’re talking about a 3-year (or thereabouts) release cycle for Windows. These dirty tricks which are intended to buy Microsoft some time without GNU/Linux gaining ground must be tackled as an antitrust issue. Microsoft moles in the press (former staff and the likes of them) are trying very hard right now to demonise the complainers and rescue Microsoft from antitrust scrutiny.

Ford Still an Open Source Frod

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 3:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The latest lies from Ford, which together with Microsoft has been trying to openwash its vehicles that have rubbish proprietary software

After years of silence following a Microsoft partnership that relies on lies we are seeing it back. Ford has been doing a lot of openwashing in the press as of late. It tries to label its cars ‘open source’ for marketing purposes. It’s all about APIs and therefore has nothing to do with open source (as dozens of reporters failed to notice unless they deliberately publish deceptive placements). There are so many examples of bad reporting about this (we’ll spare the links) and the software Ford uses is not just proprietary; it is bad, too. Consider this new post: “I rented a car last week-end that featured Microsoft’s Sync. Truly a horrible, horrible piece of software, even for Microsoft. The software crashed at least five times over four days, I don’t think it liked my Galaxy SIII. The software also had the audacity to play an audio file telling me that it could not play protected music on every boot. Besides that, the software’s interface was inferior to just about every music player I’ve ever used, electronic, or mechanical; I’m not even the kind of person who cares much about interfaces.”

Will Hill wrote about the above post: “Behind the Hype, here’s how Ford/Microsoft Sync really works” (or doesn’t work). Ford is giving “Open Source” a bad name.

Abolish Software Patents Like India Helps Abolish Drug Patents for Humane Reasons

Posted in America, Asia, Patents at 3:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

India

Summary: Small businesses too — not just middle- and large-sized corporations — increasingly targeted by patent trolls and software patents; opposition to patent maximalism on the rise

The USPTO has been taking a lot of beatings recently. Many people from all around the world are berating and condemning the USPTO as well as key utilisers like Monsanto. SAP has been hit too, despite being based in Europe. The patent trolls went after American customers. To quote the British press, “SAP has moved to defend the users of its Sybase database software by filing suit against Pi-Net International, a “patent troll” that has filed several patent infringement lawsuits against SAP customers in the US financial services sector over patents it claims SAP is infringing.

“Pi-Net claims that SAP’s Financial Fusion software, used for online banking, among other things, infringes three of its software patents. SAP acquired the Financial Fusion product as a result of its 2010 acquisition of Sybase.”

Masnick’s site says that small companies too begin to realise the threat of trolls. To quote:

Startups Realizing That Patent Trolls Are An Existential Threat

Most people used to think that patent trolls tended to focus on bigger companies — those with huge bank accounts who’d rather pay the troll off than deal with a lawsuit. But over the last few years, we’ve been hearing more and more stories about startups hit by patent trolls, who are taking advantage of the fact that a patent lawsuit — win or lose — would almost certainly kill the company. One common tactic? Wait until a startup announces a round of fundraising and then pounce — knowing that the company (a) has some money and (b) has little time to deal with a lawsuit. Finally, this issue is getting some attention. Crain’s recently had a piece on patent trolls going “downmarket” after startups, which has some quotes from startup execs (many who want to remain anonymous to avoid further attacks).

Wired continues to have a lawyers-only debate about software patents. The latest comes from someone who was previously at the University of Miami (law) and there is still no call to abolish software patents. Here is a baffling statement:

Infringement of software patents is usually a good thing because in most cases the alternative to infringing is to produce nothing new. So, what if we could fix the patent problem by rethinking the assumption that infringement should always be penalized?

Another lawyer gets platform at Wired to say: “It’s become clear that the patent system is impeding, rather than incentivizing, innovation. The laundry list of what’s gone wrong is long: a standard for patentable subject matter that makes no sense, notoriously vague and hard-to-understand claim language, the rise of the patent trolls … and all of these problems disproportionately impact software.”

Yes, so why not call for the end of them all? Where are the software developers in this series of articles from the popular magazine? Do the editors at Wired even approach developers, or even science professors as opposed to law professors? Nope, hardly.

Speaking of controversial patents, there is some good news this week:

  • India rejects Novartis drug patent

    In a case closely watched by global drugmakers, Switzerland’s Novartis AG has been fighting since 2006 to patent its leukemia-treating drug Glivec in India on the grounds that it is a newer version. India revised its patent protection law in 2005.

  • Human Rights Win as Big Pharma ‘Novartis’ Loses Patent Case

    India’s Supreme Court rejects plea from Swiss pharmaceutical giant, paving way for more affordable, generic medicines worldwide

  • Draft Australian Pharmaceutical Patents Review Includes Proposal to Reduce Patent Extensions and Fund R&D Directly

    The Australian government has released the draft report of its Pharmaceutical Patents Review, which had been tasked to “review the effectiveness of the Australian patent system in providing timely access to affordable pharmaceutical and medical treatments and supporting innovation.” The report considered domestic law on patents, data exclusivity, and pharmaceuticals, as well as Australia’s current trade obligations and its position in ongoing trade negotiations.

  • India rejects Novartis drug patent

    India’s Supreme Court on Monday rejected a Swiss pharmaceutical company’s effort to patent an updated version of its cancer drug, a decision aimed at boosting a domestic generic drug manufacturing industry that supplies cheap versions of lifesaving cancer and HIV medicines for much of the developing world.

We wrote about Novartis in [1, 2, 3, 4]. Through proxies specialising in PR, Bill Gates and his friend Nathan Myhrvold love to prop up international monopolies of such companies; they help disguise clinical trials (at the expense of fragile populations) as ‘charity’, never mind the truth of the matter. Slashdot has become a pathetic wuss for helping Myhrvold whitewash himself today. Who on Earth thought this would be a good idea? There are PR talking points all over the place, as we expected right from the start.

Patents that help cause death or limit access to cures based on one’s personal wealth are not ethical. They might even be more harmful than software patents and patents on seed DNA, which India will hopefully squash just like Novartis patents.

Having Been Attacked by Battery Life Patents in Europe, Google Pursues Battery Life Software Patents

Posted in Google, Patents at 2:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Man is starting a car

Summary: After a patent attack from the Microsoft-led Nokia, Google is getting awarded a software patent in a similar area; Spain sues to impede the unitary patent in Europe

Microsoft boosting sites continue to parade for Microsoft’s spinning of extortion as transparency — an issue we covered here days ago. Google continues to receive positive coverage after making this pledge, but in the mean time we learn about Google getting a patent on software, which even Android sites are baffled by. To quote Phandroid‘s post about software patents: “When a person uses Google Wallet to pay for purchases at a McDonald’s or a 7-Eleven, the tapping motion and the payment are not the most important aspects of the invention in the eyes of the law. It is what happens during the brief moment between those two actions, detailed within valuable documents. However, it is not simply just what happens when you tap to pay, but what happens when it does not work. Some examples to elaborate on this are: What if your account cannot be verified? What if your account balance is insufficient? What if in the process of paying, the power goes out – on your device, or in the store? What if your account balance is deducted, but the store’s system says you have not paid? What happens next? What is the process that takes place?”

“Google continues to receive positive coverage after making this pledge, but in the mean time we learn about Google getting a patent on software, which even Android sites are baffled by.”This is grounds for business methods and software patents. Very iffy indeed. We’ll cover that in the next post.

Here is another report about Google’s new software patent. It says that “Google has been granted a patent for reducing the quality of a mobile device’s display in order to preserve battery life as it dwindles, according to a report from DroidLife. The patent describes a system that disables animations or even reduces the resolution of the screen in service of reducing the display’s battery usage.”

This reminds a close observer like yours truly of the case against Android in Europe. Nokia, a European company, attacked Andorid (HTC) in Europe.

Speaking of Europe, The FFII’s president calls Uniloc “a Luxembourg-based patent troll,” citing the contact page. Uniloc is a patent troll with international ambitions (sometimes it calls itself Uniloc USA) and it contacted Techrights in an effort to whitewash its name. The software patents debate in Europe is still not a resolved one. Spain was being blackmailed to let the unitary patent go forward and Spain is now suing. As lawyers in London put it:

Spain takes Parliament and Council to Court over “Unitary Patent Package”

The battle between David and Goliath is entering the second round. Spain has brought two last minute actions before the Court of Justice (Cases C-146/13 and C-147/13) against Regulations 1257/2012 of 17 December 2012 implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection (OJ 2012, L 361/1) and 1260/2012 on the applicable translation arrangements (OJ 2012, L 361/89). There is no parallel action against the Regulations to be expected from Italy, which already signed the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court.

The pleas in law of the Spanish action are not yet accessible, but the chances of success do look promising. The mutation from an autonomous patent for the European market to the hitherto unknown schizophrenic creature of a “European patent with unitary effect” has left deep scars, and every one of them could be taken up before the Court.

“Thank you Spain,” the FFII’s president writes.”As a result, the CJEU is confronted with a patent which is in fact just an empty shell” (we sure hope so).

We’re at an important crossroad where software patents can either implode internationally or spread everywhere. Google’s actions are not helping.

Apple’s Case Against Android May Collapse as USPTO Reaffirms Incompetence

Posted in Apple, Patents, Samsung at 2:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple pushed over the cliff

Some cliff

Summary: Apple’s crucial ammunition against Linux/Android gets thrown by the USPTO right into the garbage can

The news from the second-largest patent case against Android gets covered by Pamela Jones, whose articles about Samsung and Apple include in-depth legal analysis. Companies like Microsoft, Oracle and Sony [1, 2] also sue Android, but none has earned a ruling as favbourable as Apple’s (just over a billion dollars in damages). The USPTO has been forced to acknowledge failure to examine patent applications. The USPTO reaffirms invalidation of Apple patent in Samsung suit, says CBS. Apple’s patent should not have been granted in the first place, so the USPTO should be held responsible for a lot of damage to the industry, again. Here is Jones’ coverage of the news and some more from CBS tabloid ZDNet.

“Apple deserves go go out of business for its shameless business strategy.”Mr. Pogson calls it a case of rotten Apple, noting: “So Apple’s case is shrinking like a rotten apple. There’s just nothing left, at least nothing Samsung has to apologize or pay for. In fact, I would not be surprised to find Apple had to pay some of Samsung’s costs for frivolous action.”

Apple deserves go go out of business for its shameless business strategy. We can help that happen by boycotting Apple and urging others to do the same. I have already convinced many friends and even some small companies to do this.

Speaking of Apple, watch this lousy propaganda piece from the New York Times, to which Mike Masnick responds as follows:

Author Claims That If Apple And Microsoft Started Today They’d Fail Without Stronger Patent Protection

[...]

First of all, the number of patents filed is meaningless. You can file a ton of patents and it means absolutely nothing concerning innovation. First off, applications are different from granted patents. Second, and more importantly, patents show no relation to innovation. Third, when it comes to Chinese patents, the Chinese realized long ago that patents are merely a tool for protectionist tariff-like policies that can be enacted with less scrutiny or trade war issues and have acted accordingly. Basically, nothing in the paragraph above actually supports Fingleton’s argument.

Apple is not an innovative company, it is a marketing company and it managed to market or brand itself as “innovative”; in practice, it’s just a ripoffs company. It hardly manufactures anything.

Red Hat Repeats Canonical’s Mistake by Hiring From Microsoft, Amazon Already Captive

Posted in Red Hat, Ubuntu at 1:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ice

Summary: Red Hat hires Microsoft veterans and Amazon continues to do so too; Ubuntu desktop driven by a Microsoft veteran

Some worrisome news came through this press release from Red Hat, which has been too soft on Microsoft in recent months/years. As one tabloid put it:

Radhesh Balakrishnan will oversee Red Hat’s OpenStack and enterprise virtualization technologies. He used to work on Microsoft’s Azure, private cloud and data center products.

Why are they hiring from Microsoft? Amazon made that mistake several times. “Whatever it is,” says one reader of ours, “it won’t be that good for Amazon” (it hired a Microsoft AstroTurfer just now).

As a recap, years ago Amazon hired many Microsoft managers. One of them became Kindle chief and soon thereafter Amazon started paying Microsoft for Kindle’s Linux and also for the servers, i.e. Red Hat for the most part. This latest hire is of an AstroTurfer, aka “evangelist”. To quote TechCrunch: “Former Windows Phone developer evangelist, Charlie Kindel, has joined Amazon to head up an undisclosed project. Kindel left Microsoft in mid 2011 to work on his own startups but, according to his LinkedIn profile, is “now at Amazon working on something wonderful”. The profile lists him as ‘Director, something secret’ at Amazon in Seattle. That something secret may be mobile-related, judging by another paragraph of description which reads: “I’m building a new team going after a totally new area for Amazon. I’m hiring cloud and mobile developers and testers, program managers, and product managers.””

Here is more for the curious. It makes no sense unless one understands that many in the company are already from Microsoft. It’s a friend-brings-a-friend phenomenon, just like in VMware, Yahoo, and Nokia (also Microsoft-occupied).

For those who wonder why Canonical and Red Hat helped UEFI, bear in mind that a Microsoft veteran got promoted to Ubuntu desktop manager. They don’t learn about moles, do they?

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