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09.27.13

Aren’t There Too Many Car Types and Brands? The Type of Question Apple/Microsoft Boosters Ask About GNU/Linux…

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 8:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Citroen factory

Summary: A wide range of GNU/Linux distributions as a strength and the problem Microsoft is having with Windows XP

The “Too Many Linux Distros” debate is apparently not dead yet [1]. This piece of FUD almost vanished some years ago, but some people still try to characterise diversity as “fragmentation”. This FUD pattern was popular among Android bashers/haters some years ago. Linux Format is currently entertaining the counter-argument [2,3] and new releases for old PCs [4,5] help remind us that the wide range of distributions suits the diversity of needs. Just as we have trucks, vans, sedans, motorcycles etc. and they come in many colours, designs and so forth with free market competition, in the GNU/Linux world there is modularity which enables creating many systems, either by oneself or by a distributor who targets those in need. Some distributions, like the new Untangle [6], are very task-oriented and some new distributions even merge Chrome OS and Linux Mint [7], combining the best of two popular operating systems.

A world where there is only one GNU/Linux distribution would be a sad world. It would be like Microsoft or Apple. They advocate no choice and no diversity simply because they cannot scale to accommodate and maintain many releases (Microsoft can barely even maintain XP anymore, despite it having a large userbase [8]). They lie about it all simply because it’s simpler than admitting their weaknesses. They want a Boeing-Airbus kind of world, even where cars roam (huge diversity there).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Are There Too Many Linux Distros?

    Since I’ve been following Linux and FOSS (thirteen years or so by my estimation), questions regarding choice, or too much of it, have been bandied about in Linux circles. Some penguinistas point proudly to the long list of GNU/Linux distros, proclaiming choice to be wonderful and a positive aspect of life in the land of Linux. Others bemoan the sheer number of distros, saying having so many of them has made Linux confusing for newcomers and is otherwise inefficient.

  2. Linux Format 176 On Sale Today – Build your own distro
  3. Open Ballot: Beginner’s Distro

    We often introduce new people to Linux, and there’s always that niggling question, what distro to start someone on. Not so long ago, the answer seemed obvious: Ubuntu. However that’s falling from grace at the moment (Ben says: I actually like Unity. Efy, Graham and Andrew disagree).

  4. Tiny Core 5.0 Distribution Is Very Tiny and Powerful

    Robert Shingledecker has announced the immediate availability for download and testing of the Tiny Core 5.0 Linux operating system.

  5. Tiny Core 5.0
  6. Know More About Your Network Traffic than the NSA with Untangle 10

    Untangle Gateway Platform 10, a Linux-based network gateway with pluggable modules for network applications like spam blocking, web filtering, anti-virus, anti-spyware, intrusion prevention, VPN, SSL VPN, and firewall, is now available for download.

  7. When Chrome OS & Linux Mint Collide: The Basics of Cr OS

    Linux has seen a number of interesting, unique and plain off-the-wall distributions in the past, including Tinfoil Hat Linux, CSI Linux and Tiny Core Linux. Linux also continues to rise in popularity, experiencing 5 percent of the OS market share in August 2013, according to W3Schools. One particularly noteworthy distribution combines Google’s Chrome OS with the popular Linux Mint, called Cr OS. The developers call it a chrome-plated OS and are making it as stable and secure as possible.

  8. Few enterprises have completed Windows XP migration: study

    Enterprise businesses are not ready for continual software migrations – including the looming Windows XP retirement – and this is placing firms at risk, according to new research.

Stephen Elop Outright Lied When He Said He Was Not a Trojan Horse, Reveal New Documents

Posted in Microsoft at 7:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: In the post-mortem of the fatally-ill Nokia it is revealed that Elop was inside Nokia in order to hand it over to Microsoft on a plate, but he already uses distraction tactics (family tales and irrelevant stories)

Elop and Hilf are both enormously hated individuals, with plenty of evidence to show it (Hilf apparently did a lot of work trying to whitewash his image in recent times by exploiting poor people for publicity). Both are moles. Elop is a mole inside Nokia and Hilf was a mole inside the Free/Open Source community (stabbing it behind its back). When Elop said he was not a Trojan horse he simply lied like Nixon did when he said he wasn’t a crook. Elop is the classic per-definition or personification of a mole [1]. These two individuals are inherently insidious. If they weren’t, they would not be in the position of they’re in.

“Elop’s present noise,” explains a reader from Finland, “reminds me a little of the distraction that Nixon did with his “Checkers speech”. He turned accusations into a discussion of how much kids like dogs. Elop, and the board of Nokia, were working for Microsoft and it looks like the contract and the coverup of its contents may prove that. Nokia is dead and it is time to move on. Any investors that lost money need to move on, too. It is time to look to Jolla. However, that is no reason to let Elop, the Nokia board, and Microsoft off the hook, even if it won’t bring Nokia back. Here’s the speech itself.”

Carlo Piana writes this:

A modest proposal: nationalise #Nokia back.

It would not achieve much. For the Finnish government to be joined by the hip to Microsoft would mean yet more Microsoft corruption in Finland. The solution right now is to put an end to the pathological entity known as Microsoft and the people who run it for industrial destruction and personal gain.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Now We Know Why – Nokia’s Elop had a $25M personal bonus clause from the Nokia Board if he was able to sell the handset unit to Microsoft

    Ok, the truth is seeping out, and this is smelly shit. I apologize for the language. We have news about Elop and his incentives. Yes, Elop had a contract that would pay him 25 million dollars if he managed to sell Nokia’s handset unit to Microsoft. This is a blatant conflict of interest, and one that incentivizes Elop for destructive behavior against Nokia. I had been trying to think of a good analogy, I finally thought of one. Its like a town hires a new police chief. The new police chief is paid a salary to reduce crime. But he is then promised a bonus if he can stop the people complaining about crime. The new police chief starts systematically to kill all residents who complain about crime – including complaining about him, the police chief killing citizens. Soon the complaints end and the police chief earns his bonus. This is so silly, its like from a Monty Python sketch, except its true. Elop, just like the imaginary police chief, is now being paid a massive 25 million dollar bonus for
    destroying Nokia’s profit engine and very healthy handset business unit. So lets dig in. What on earth has been happening? Lets start, as we usually do, with the facts:

Microsoft’s Patent Mafia Called the Proof That Patent Trolls Must be Eradicated or Patent Law Changed

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 7:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bill and Nathan

Summary: The patent bullies of Bill Gates are receiving more and more media attention, and even his lobbyists are seen publicly again

Microsoft is attacking Android/Linux using patents. It does this not just directly but also indirectly. It does this not just through practising companies but also patent trolls.

Microsoft Florian, a Microsoft lobbyist, has a new post about Microsoft’s biggest patent ally — a company called Apple, which is enormously incompetent [1]. Slashdot has this summary (probably Florian himself submitted it as it’s how he operates) and it basically says that a video of Steve Jobs helped kill a software patent in Germany — a patent which was used against Android/Linux. Both Apple and Microsoft are good at copying things, even the bad things [2]. “Somehow they all miss the obvious that software patents are invalid in Europe,” iophk pointed out. But remember that this German lobbyist, Florian Müller, is not against software patents. He defected when Microsoft and other companies started paying him.

Another Microsoft vector of attack on Android/Linux is Intellectual Ventures, which is like Microsoft's patent-trolling offshoot. As publicknowledge.org put it the other day, or in the words of Against Monopoly, “Patent Troll ‘Intellectual Ventures’ Proves Need for Patent Reform”. Here are some fragments of interest:

He sums it up, “Intellectual Ventures is giving you the good side of the story. They say that they are champions of invention and they’re quick to point out their health and medical research. Everyone else in the battle for patent reform sees the other side. The side that preys on businesses without penalty, that buys up patents to sue innovators building companies, and that ultimately keeps innovation at a standstill while raking in massive profits. Later, he writes, “Because when a company like Intellectual Ventures sits on technologies and patents, waiting for someone to independently make a product to become unintentional fodder for a lawsuit trap, there is no benefit to knowledge, consumers, or to society.” Worth a read and thought about the purpose of patents and current experience and whether we wouldn’t be better off without them.

“Intellectual Ventures” is a deceiving name. It implies that it takes intellect to engage in extortion. Red Hat’s Web site OpenSource.com currently gives the platform to a lawyer who floats contemptible notions like “the ownership of intellectual property.” Or to quote directly in context:

I cover a very niche area of law, the ownership of intellectual property.

The words “ownership”, “intellectual” and “property” are all loaded. They are designed to imply that a monopoly on an idea is somehow “intellectual” and that ideas can be owned or made the property of a person. Red Hat can do better than this. It probably ought to.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Apple Maps flaw results in drivers crossing airport runway

    An Alaskan airport has closed an aircraft access route because of a flaw with Apple’s Maps app.

    Fairbanks International Airport told a local newspaper that in the past three weeks two motorists had driven along the taxiway and across one of its runways.

  2. Finally: Bill Gates admits Control-Alt-Delete was a mistake

    One of those was the idea of using “Control-Alt-Delete” — initially designed to efficiently reboot a computer — as a way to log into Windows.

    During a fantastic talk last week at a Harvard fundraising campaign, Gates admitted that it was a mistake to force users to use hold down “Ctrl+Alt+Del” to log into their computers.

Mir Adoption is Inevitable

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 7:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mir Space Station

Summary: Analysis of the state of development of Mir and why it’s likely to go mainstream

Canonical has not much of a strong commitment to packages it does not use by default [1]. Ubuntu is moving to Mir, which still upsets a lot of developers outside the Ubuntu community (I am impartial and apathetic myself), and it is still somewhat buggy [2]. Canonical shows some degree of arrogance when it merely assumes that everyone will adapt to Ubuntu [3]. Mir is reluctantly mentioned by some developers [4]. If they don’t embrace it by writing code for it, then Canonical will [5]. In a way, given these recent developments, it seems likely that Mir is here to stay, with or without popular support. Since Mir is not proprietary, it’s a waste of efforts bashing it; it’s probably a case of barking up the wrong tree. Mono was a different thing because it posed patent and API domination (by Microsoft) threats.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Ubuntu Developers Discuss Dropping ReiserFS

    Ubuntu developers are presently deciding what to do with support for the ReiserFS file-system, up to and including dropping kernel support for the aging but stable file-system.

  2. A Buggy Mir Shown Running Unity 8 On Ubuntu Touch
  3. Canonical Fairly Certain About Quickly Securing Nvidia and AMD Support for Mir

    Canonical has confirmed that proprietary driver support will be required when the X fallback will be removed.

    It’s been rather unclear what will happen after Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is released, especially because Canonical said that it would remove the X fallback support by that time.

  4. Mir Was Briefly Talked About This Week At XDC2013

    Canonical’s Chris Halse James Rogers who has traditionally been part of their X.Org maintenance team and recently been involved with their Mir Display Server is in the Portland (Oregon) area and was thus at this week’s XDC2013. Chris had a brief topic covering Mir but more specifically their nested X Servers and if there’s anything they can share with others — i.e. Wayland.

  5. Linux News: Canonical Has A Backup Plan For Intel’s Refusal To Support Mir

    Many graphics card developers consider Mir immature and refused to bring Mir support for their hardware. For example, Intel has dropped the Mir support in order to invest in Wayland, the default system compositor for Tizen, Lubuntu and many others.

    Canonical does not worry about Intel decision to drop the support for their compositor, since they are open source, the Ubuntu developers themselves can optimize Mir for the Intel hardware.

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