02.26.14

Elop Confirms That He Was Working for Microsoft All Along (Mole Inside Nokia)

Posted in Microsoft at 9:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘Microsoft Android’ is like ‘Microsoft SUSE’

Rick Bellouszo

Summary: Microsoft’s mole inside Nokia is said to be officially rejoining Microsoft, receiving yet another financial award for the successful entryism, arming of patent trolls (that attack Google/Android), and shockingly cheap sale to Microsoft

Baffled pundits have been trying to make sense of Microsoft Nokia‘s Android phones, with all sorts of speculations about the future (or lack thereof) of Windows Phone, Elop’s role, the Microsoft acquisition, the patents agenda, forking of AOSP and so forth. One sure thing is, there’s a lot of confusion, perhaps even inside Nokia. People might be arguing fiercely inside the company. Whatever the motivation, Nokia’s newly-released so-called 'Android' phones are surveillance devices on steroids and they serve Microsoft's interests. SJVN calls it Microsoft Android in his new article “Hello, MS-Android. Good-bye, Windows Phone” and one pundit asks: “Are Nokia’s Android Phones Going to Get Axed By Microsoft?” Why would Microsoft axe them? These phones harm Android and they help an agenda of suing peers (using patents) that use Android. It’s basically 'pulling a Sony'.

“With the Mobile World Congress show underway in Barcelona,” says the pundit, “people are still talking about the significant news from the event on the open source phone front. As predicted here recently, Nokia announced the Nokia X and X+, which are smartphones running Android. The Nokia X will start selling for €89 next week.”

That’s very expensive for an enhanced surveillance device. Nokia and Microsoft should really subsidise these devices, paying people just to take them.

“What makes these phones news,” continues the pundit, “is that Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia is looming, so some are predicting that the phones will put Microsoft in the Android business, but others are predicting that Microsoft might simply do away with these phones after the acquisition.”

Yes, because Microsoft exploits these to disrupt Android, just as it used SUSE to disrupt GNU/Linux. It’s malicious intrusion and interference from the inside. It’s part of the strategy. As a Nokia expert put it today: “Elop didn’t want N9 or MeeGo to succeed because Elop had his mission to turn Nokia’s handsets into Microsoft’s division – an explicit achievement which he had negotiated to be in his CEO contract, and which ended up paying him a bonus of 25 million dollars in 2013. So Elop took every step he could as CEO to torpedo and undermine any chances for MeeGo…”

Well, he never left Microsoft and he never even left Seattle. Based on this news Elop is getting yet more money for this entryism. To quote: “News spreading online from a leaked memo point former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to become the new lead at Microsoft’s Devices and Studios division. This appointment puts Elop in charge of all games and hardware for the Xbox platform, Microsoft Surface and all the game developments by Microsoft owned studios. This comes on the back of Satya Nadella being named as the post-Ballmer Microsoft CEO, for which Elop was quoted as being in the running.

“Elop replaces Julie Larson-Green who is taking on a new role as Chief Experience Officer for the Applications and Services group, which includes user experiences on Office, Skype and Bing.”

Don’t believe for one single second that Nokia’s ‘Android’ phones are good for Linux or even for Android. Suggesting that it’s good is like saying that the Microsoft/Novell deal was a “victory” for GNU/Linux, as Novell always wanted us to believe.

New GNU/Linux Screenshot Galleries

Posted in GNU/Linux at 5:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: AV Linux, Parsix, Network Security Toolkit, and SystemRescueCd have new releases demonstrated visually

Kernel News: 3.14 Release Candidate 4, Systemd 209, AMD Free Software, More Benchmarks

Posted in News Roundup at 3:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Roundup of Linux (kernel) news from the past few days, including some rather exciting announcements

Graphics Stack

  • AMD Press Talks Up Major Open-Source Linux Driver Features

    Good news: AMD’s press / global communications team is finally talking up their open-source Linux graphics driver features. Bad news: they appear to still need lots of training over their own Linux graphics drivers. Or is there some Linux driver shake-up happening? Here’s some of what they are promoting right now with the AMD Linux graphics driver.

  • The NVIDIA GTX 750 Ti Maxwell Continues Running Great On Linux

    Back on Tuesday I delivered a launch-day review of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti on Linux. This first graphics card built on NVIDIA’s new Maxwell architecture has been running fantastic under Linux for being a mid-range graphics card. The GM107 GPU core found on the GTX 750 Ti is incredibly power efficient, as was shown in numerous articles on launch-day. For those curious more about the GeForce GTX 750 Ti Linux performance, here are some more OpenCL and OpenGL performance results.

  • Wayland’s Weston Adds Support For The Minimize Button

    Wayland clients running on the Weston compositor now have support for the minimize button.

    Clients using an XDG shell surface now support the state of being minimized with this Git commit on Tuesday.

  • Wayland multi-touch gets touchpad support
  • Broadwell Now Officially Enabled With Intel Mesa

    Broadwell support has been a work-in-progress on Linux for many months and most of the hardware enablement is complete. The Mesa driver has had mainline support for Intel Broadwell graphics for some time now, but only today is it being enabled by default and not hidden behind the Intel preliminary hardware support flag. The latest Broadwell work was with this commit and other changes.

Benchmarks

  • Linux 3.14 File-System HDD Benchmarks

    Early Linux 3.14 kernel benchmarks indicated there might be some slowdowns in disk/file-system performance for this next major kernel release. That early testing was done from an Intel ultrabook with solid-state drive while we’re now in the process of carrying out more focused testing of Linux 3.14 on both HDDs and SSDs. In this article are our first hard drive benchmarks from the Linux 3.14 Git kernel compared to the stable 3.12 and 3.13 kernels.

  • It Should Now Be Easier To Benchmark Steam Linux Games
  • PC-BSD 10.0 vs. PC-BSD 9.2 vs. Ubuntu 13.10 Benchmarks

    After running through some challenges in setting up PC-BSD/FreeBSD 10.0 and its many changes, here are benchmarks of the feature-rich operating system update. Benchmarks were done on the same laptop of PC-BSD 10.0, the former PC-BSD 9.2 release, and Ubuntu 13.10.

  • Ars walkthrough: Using the ZFS next-gen filesystem on Linux

    In my last article on next-gen filesystems, we did something in between a generic high altitude overview of next-gen filesystems and a walkthrough of some of btrfs’ features and usage. This time, we’re going to specifically look at what ZFS brings to the table, walking through getting it installed and using it on one of the more popular Linux distributions: Precise Pangolin. That’s the most current Long Term Service (LTS) Ubuntu release.

02.25.14

Abuses of Rights: News About Surveillance, Torture, and Assassination

Posted in News Roundup at 3:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: This week’s news about absence of legal adherence and other moral issues

Brazil and EU/Germany

  • NSA-dodging undersea cable to connect Brazil and EU

    The European Union and Brazil have agreed to lay a fibre-optic undersea communications cable across the Atlantic, between Lisbon and Fortaleza. The cable — which will cost $185 million (£110 million) — is designed to “guarantee the neutrality” of the internet and “enhance the protection of communications”.

  • Brazil plans undersea cable to Europe to avoid NSA spying in US
  • EU & Brazil to build undersea cable to thwart NSA snoopers
  • Why NSA Spying On The German Chancellor’s Aides Matters

    There was something of an international uproar last year when it was revealed that the NSA, in addition to snooping on its own citizens, had bugged the personal cell phone of Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany. The prospect of the U.S. spying on the head of state of a country it supposedly considers an ally infuriated many, especially Merkel, and President Obama quickly promised to stop. That promise was quickly walked back by administration officials, and on Sunday, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported that the NSA is still tapping the phones of Merkel’s closest aides, including Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.

Snowden and Judgment

  • Letter: Between Snowden and NSA, who’s the real criminal?

    Edward Snowden, who exposed these illegal activities — much like Daniel Ellsberg, who exposed the “Pentagon Papers” in the early 1970s — due probably to his conscience, is now a hunted man hiding in Russia. He is reviled by President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker John Boehner, former Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John McCain, to name a few.

    On Dec. 18, 2013, a panel gave the president 46 recommendations, all of which meant shut down the spying on American citizens.

    That same month, a federal judge ruled the NSA spying was unconstitutional.

  • New Snowden Doc Reveals How GCHQ/NSA Use The Internet To ‘Manipulate, Deceive And Destroy Reputations’

    A few weeks ago, Glenn Greenwald, while working with NBC News, revealed some details of a GCHQ presentation concerning how the surveillance organization had a “dirty tricks” group known as JTRIG — the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group. Now, over at The Intercept, he’s revealed the entire presentation and highlighted more details about how JTRIG would seek to infiltrate different groups online and destroy people’s reputations — going way, way, way beyond just targeting terrorist groups and threats to national security.

  • Government infiltrating websites to ‘deny, disrupt, degrade, deceive’

    Another slide lists ways to “discredit a target”: “Set up a honey-trap,” “Change their photos on social networking sites,” “Write a blog purporting to be one of their victims,” “Email/text their colleagues, neighbours, friends, etc.”

    There’s also a slide on how to discredit a business: “Leak confidential information to companies/the press via blogs etc,” “Post negative information on appropriate forums,” “Stop deals/ruin business relationships.”

Blackphone

Zuckerberg ‘Anger’

Google, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft

  • Google Joins Forces With NSA And DARPA As Military Contractor
  • Activists Challenge Amazon-CIA Relationship

    After Amazon signed a lucrative, long-term cloud computing contract with the CIA, concerns surfaced that the Internet giant might divulge customer information to the agency. So far, a petition for Amazon’s owner to address these concerns has gathered over 29,000 signatures.

  • IBM gobbles CIA-backed NoSQL database upstart Cloudant

    IBM is creeping towards the cloud, picking up startups on the way, including a NoSQL database company to fill in some of the perceived shortcomings of DB2.

    The acquisition of Cloudant was announced on Monday and will give IBM control of a NoSQL “database-as-a-service” (DBaaS) [As a service? What the hell was a database beforehand? A pleasure cruise? – Ed]. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

  • Microsoft Lync lets employers spy on employees NSA-style

    Microsoft’s Lync communications platform collects a surprising amount of sensitive, analyzable data about its users, making employers who use Lync privy to some very personal information about their employees.

    Software developer Event Zero told Microsoft’s Lync 2014 conference that by using call data collected by the platform, companies could analyze information to the point of discovering intimate personal details about employees’ lives, like which are dating one another, or who in the company may be looking for another job.

  • Prez Obama cyber-guru: Think your data is safe in an EU cloud? The NSA will raid your servers

    A former White House security advisor has suggested that you, dear reader, are naive if you think hosting data outside of the US will protect a business from the NSA.

    “NSA and any other world-class intelligence agency can hack into databases even if they not in the US,” said former White House security advisor Richard Clarke in a speech at the Cloud Security Alliance summit in San Francisco on Monday. “Non-US companies are using NSA revelations as a marketing tool.”

Security

Local Law

Torture

Air Strikes

  1. CIA chief made clandestine visit to Pakistan
  2. CIA chief made secret trip to Pakistan

    A senior security official confirmed to The Express Tribune that CIA Director John Brennan traveled to Islamabad last Friday and held meetings with Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and his Pakistani counterpart Lt General Zaheerul Islam.

    However, the official, who requested anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to the media, insisted that he only ‘paid a courtesy call’ on the Army Chief. “It was a routine visit,” the official added.

  3. Hagel’s Pentagon budget plans for new ‘realities’ and fewer ground wars
  4. Proposed Pentagon budget cuts would shrink Army, retire aircraft

    The Obama administration’s proposals, some of which are likely to face resistance in Congress, reflect changing fortunes for once-sacrosanct defense spending.

Drones

  • Is the CIA Better Than the Military at Drone Killings?

    It’s been more than a year since incoming CIA Director John Brennan signaled his intention to shift drone warfare to the Pentagon as soon as possible. Brennan, a career spook, was said to be determined to restore the agency to its roots as an espionage factory, not a paramilitary organization. And President Obama endorsed his plan to hand drone warfare over to the military, according to administration officials.

    But a funny thing happened on the way back to cloak-and-dagger. According to intelligence experts and some powerful friends of the CIA on Capitol Hill, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the agency may simply be much better than the military at killing people in a targeted, precise way—and, above all, at ensuring that the bad guys they’re getting are really bad guys. And that distinction has become more important than ever at a time when Obama is intent on moving away from a “permanent war footing” and on restricting targeted killings exclusively to a handful of Qaida-linked senior terrorists.

  • Panel Explores US Drone Program

    The U.S. government’s drone use as a means to combat global terrorism was one of the main topics at an event hosted by the Amnesty International Chapters of Georgetown University and Georgetown Law Center on Sunday night in the Intercultural Center Auditorium.

Foreign Policy

  • U.S., Russia at Odds over Legitimacy in Ukraine

    Ukraine is delaying the formation of a new government until Thursday following the ouster of democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych after months of protests that killed dozens of people. The Obama administration has indicated it no longer recognizes Yanukovych as Ukraine’s leader and has pledged financial support to Ukraine. President Yanukovych had come under fire for strengthening ties with Russia instead of Europe. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has rejected the interim government.

Police

Response to ODF as Government Standard Proposal

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 10:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A call for people to leave a comment/digital letter to British officials who elected ODF as the only document standard for communication with the public

TOMORROW is the last chance to leave feedback on this British consultation (must be registered to leave one’s comment) which we covered in some recent days. Today, in the latest of three previous posts, we covered the disgusting flame and biased coverage from Microsoft apologists who try to incite. They try to make ODF proponent look like a bunch of radicals.

Here is my feedback:

The only opposition to ODF comes from one single entity: Microsoft. It’s not a British company and it is not an ethical company, to say the very least.

Microsoft would like us to believe that “Open” XML (an Orwellian name) is a “standard” without telling how it became a “standard”, starting with ECMA, where key officials publicly gloated about the corruptible process, and the ISO, from which key/top members resigned following what Microsoft had done (while specifically citing what Microsoft had done).

Systematic corruption cannot be ignored and the debate cannot be framed as one where we look at stamps of approval alone.

As a researcher, a former journalist, and a webmaster of sites which receive hundreds of millions of hits annually, I already wrote almost 1,000 articles on the topic of OOXML, sacrificing a lot of my time because this classic case of corruption was too serious to be ignored. The European Commission said it would investigate this, but the huge extent of Microsoft’s abuses are, according to the Commission itself, why it no longer pursued this, even after it said it would (too many resources would be required because of the international scale).

Bribed officials are just the tip of the iceberg. Spamming officials with letters (not just through partners but also lobbyists, “sockpuppets” who are operated by peripheral staff etc.) is just one of many tactics as well. Microsoft went as far as pushing senior people out of their jobs if they dared to oppose OOXML. There are documented examples as such.

This is not atypical for Microsoft; Microsoft had done similar things (and got caught) a decade earlier when it faced antitrust charges. Ballot stuffing, insiders in committees, bribes etc. are Microsoft’s way of doing business and here too we should expect to see it.

I wrote extensively about technical issues in OOXML, as well as legal issues such as patents. Some of the letters to you may have already covered at least a small subset of those. There were protests in numerous places including Poland and Norway, where members of the standardisation process marched the streets in protest. That’s how bad it was.

There was a BRM in Switzerland — a jaw-dropping case of corrupt process. This was part of how Microsoft got its “standard”, ignoring thousands of listed and properly enumerated issues. It would be impossible to list these exhaustively in a letter because there were literally thousands of pages detailing technical issues. These were discarded, ignored, and the attendees appalled by what they clearly considered to be a deeply rigged process.

Microsoft was flying journalists to Seattle (at Microsoft’s expense) in order to manufacture favourable articles. It seems to be doing something similar in the British press right now. Microsoft offered delivered presentations and studies from so-called ‘independent’ experts who would soon thereafter be hired to work full time at Microsoft. There were attempts to equate ODF with one single company (notably IBM) and attempts to equate ODF with a particular piece of software when ODF was in fact backed by hundreds of entities, both from the private and public sector. Many programs support ODF, and they support is very well. OOXML is just a rebranding of closed Microsoft formats (legacy), propped up by companies which Microsoft paid specifically for the purpose of backing OOXML (there are publicly accessible documents that clearly support these allegations). OOXML is about protecting the common carrier, Windows, creating lock-in for a cash cow. British taxpayers cannot bear these costs anymore.

I would like to quote a leaked Microsoft document which was presented in a case against Microsoft in the United States. The internal document stated: “A stacked panel, on the other hand, is like a stacked deck: it is packed with people who, on the face of things, should be neutral, but who are in fact strong supporters of our technology. The key to stacking a panel is being able to choose the moderator. Most conference organizers allow the moderator to select die panel, so if you can pick the moderator, you win. Since you can’t expect representatives of our competitors to speak on your behalf, you have to get the moderator to agree to having only “independent ISVs” on the panel. No one from Microsoft or any other formal backer of the competing technologies would be allowed -just ISVs who have to use this stuff in the “real world.” Sounds marvellously independent doesn’t it? In feet, it allows us to stack the panel with ISVs that back our cause. Thus, the “independent” panel ends up telling the audience that our technology beats the others hands down. Get the press to cover this panel, and you’ve got a major win on your hands.”

This basically sums up what Microsoft is trying to do in order to derail British standard policies at this moment. This was done before in many places and at different times. As one who works for British government clients I am very familiar with some of the ways in which Microsoft tries to interfere with standards and with competition, claiming to pursue “choice” when what it actually means is proprietary software, privacy infringement, lock-in etc. disguised as “choice”. Do not be misled by claims of victimhood and appeals to fairness which are actually just self interest, designed to increase licensing costs and dependence of software from the United States.

Microsoft’s OOXML is so “open” that when I leaked it on my Web site (should be fine for “open” document) I received legal threats. The purpose of the leak was to highlight many technical flaws which Microsoft hid using restrictive access and prohibitive costs, leaving information to only a few insiders in the know, much like TPP and other secret “free trade” negotiations.

Be strong in the face of bullying and pressure. Microsoft would not permit open standards to be accepted. That would give people a choice of platform, a choice of an office suite, and the choice of long-term preservation of their data.

Remember that the deadline is tomorrow (Wednesday), so now is a good time to leave a comment.

Being Against Crime is Not Being Zealous

Posted in Deception, Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 10:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Insults and lies continue to dominate Microsoft’s arguments against OpenDocument Format (ODF)

ODF format

Summary: Some more disgusting flame and generally poor coverage from Microsoft apologists who hit the British press

THERE is a war of words between the Microsoft camp and the rest of the world or at least Britain, as we covered here before. The Register, which accepts payments from Microsoft, continues its provocative and very offensive coverage, summarised with: “Even if Microsoft bosses collectively whistled Always Look on the Bright Side of Life they’d still struggle to drown out people backing Cabinet Office proposals to adopt the Open Document Format as the official standard for UK.gov missives.”

That’s because everyone but Microsoft (and its partners) does not want or need OOXML, which is all about crime. Can’t The Register get that?

“In the war of words,” says the author, “it is 1-0 to the open source zealots.”

This is journalism?! It’s more like Microsoft lobbying and propaganda disguised as “reporting”.

The whole article is full of insults. The author is “conflating program with format… dismissing the case for open standards as zealotry,” writes iophk. “The Reg has been crap for years no end in sight” (there were Microsoft payments, whereupon the sceptical eye which The Register once laid on Microsoft pretty much went away).

“Zealous about the right thing,” said the headline of one comment response. “Not “open source zealots”, but “open data zealots”,” stresses the commenter. Notice that ODF is not about FOSS; proprietary software can benefit from it also.

“Fred Flintstone” (pseudonym) wrote: “I rather object to the repeated use of the word “zealots” in the article, which seems to suggest the author has a bias.

“IMHO, choosing proper open formats has got ZERO to do with religion or beliefs, but everything with realistic value assessment.”

There are much better comments in this consultation (British readers, please log in and leave feedback). Microsoft’s attack on ODF in this case is paradoxical for the reasons put in this statement: “This isn’t about switching to open source software, but to a format widely and well-supported by open source office formats [...] The government could continue to run Microsoft Office, but the preferred data format would be ODF. This makes Microsoft’s argument seem to be rather shrill. Why on earth would changing the default format of released documents be a big deal?”

Red Hat’s FOSS site covered this subject, but at the same time it gave this proxy of Microsoft a platform in which to equate FOSS usage with “consuming” (similar to the idea of exploitation and so-called “freeloaders”, which is how Microsoft’s Outercurve staff refers to FOSS users in Red Hat’s very own OpenSource.com).

Microsoft is rallying its British partners, urging them to bamboozle and pressure the British government to drop ODF as a requirement. Don’t let Microsoft monopolise the voice of Brits. Don’t let the company that committed crime pretend that we, the victims, as the bad people (just because we are rightly upset).

After Nokia, the Rise of MeeGo Seen in Tizen and Sailfish (But Don’t Use Tizen)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Samsung at 9:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: How Samsung/Tizen and Jolla/Sailfish continue a tradition started with LiPS, LiMo, Moblin, Maemo, etc.

NOKIA is dying in Microsoft's hands and is now turning to Android for intrusion. It turned out that the “burning platform” which Elop had famously spoken about was actually Microsoft’s platform, not MeeGo or some of Nokia’s other Linux-based OS attempts (in addition to Symbian). Linux always gets its way, especially when the code is free and cannot be buried.

Sadly enough it is actually a company that pays Microsoft for Linux (Samsung, not Amazon, an Android ‘forker’ which does this too [1]) taking over much of MeeGo with the project now called Tizen. Jolla is a small company; it can’t match the size of Samsung. While this company develops some cutting-edge hardware [2,3] it turns out that it increasingly standardises on Tizen for gadgets [4,5].

Whatever small operating system emerges these days (COS, Ubuntu Touch, WebOS, Firefox OS, Sailfish OS and more), it is always Linux-based. What makes Tizen unique, however, is that it’s controlled by a company that is in bed with Microsoft when it comes to patents. So, for alternatives to Nokia look at Jolla, not Samsung. Let Samsung fail. It does not honour people's freedom.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Amazon’s Android set-top box reportedly set for March release

    It didn’t make its intended launch window of the 2013 holiday shopping season, but Amazon’s web TV set-top box is apparently still very much on the roadmap. Recode reports word from multiple sources today that Amazon is aiming for a March rollout of its Apple TV and Roku competitor. Having invested in developing a rich and varied Prime Instant Video library, Amazon has done a good job of distributing that content across platforms, but there are obvious benefits to the web company controlling and selling its own hardware.

  2. Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner ‘confirmed’
  3. First Public Evidence Of Samsung’s 64-bit SoC Surfaces But It’s Light On Details
  4. Samsung’s Tizen on Gear plan makes sense

    Samsung will reportedly use its Gear smartwatch as a trial balloon for its Tizen operating system. The move makes a lot of sense to see if Tizen can really hold its own relative to Android.

  5. Samsung drops Android for Tizen in new Gear 2 smartwatches

    A mere six months after the introduction of the Galaxy Gear, Samsung is returning to the smartwatch market with two new models: the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo. Announced at Mobile World Congress today, the new watches remain faithful to the original’s look, but make a number of substantial alterations as well. The disappearance of the Galaxy branding is indicative of the biggest change: Android has been replaced by Tizen as the operating system on Samsung’s smartwatches.

Android/Linux is Smashing Wintel/Atom to Pieces

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft at 8:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: How Android and energy-efficient hardware have taken the inertia away from Windows and Intel (Wintel)

Intel, which just like Microsoft is in bed with the NSA and the whole intelligence apparatus (see this recent response from Intel's chief and what Microsoft does with Lync, essentially spying on businesses), simply deserves no business. Intel not only helped Microsoft’s abusive monopoly but also engaged in a lot of expensive crime (expensive to the public). Karma is well overdue. Vista 8 has not been a hot seller of Intel/x86 hardware; quite the opposite. In fact, Intel recently laid off many employees.

Mr. Pogson has a decent take on it and he argues: ‘I don’t know whether or not it’s wishful thinking but rumours have it that ‘Microsoft plans to further decrease Windows 8.1 licensing rates for entry-level PCs priced below US$250 and tablets, from nearly US$50 currently to about US$15, according to Taiwan-based PC supply chain makers.’ (source)

We covered the lowering of prices yesterday. It shows that Microsoft has almost given up, especially in low-end devices. This is where Android reigns.

Android has been a boon for Linux. The NSA-proof Blackphone is said to be running Android [1], some new rugged devices run Android [2], and the world’s biggest phones (big screens) run Android [3]. Chrome OS and Android now threaten Windows on the desktop as well [4,5]. It’s not just Taiwanese phone makers [6] that follow this trend; Taiwanese PC makers have been doing the same thing as of late.

Android is of course based on Linux [7] — a fact that Linux bashers miserably like to deny. As the release of version 4.4 is approaching [8] Intel tries hard to interject itself into it [9], but it’s not going to work because Intel hardware is not just designed for energy efficiency. Leading devices, such as the Android 4.5-based Nexus device that’s expected to come out in the summer [10], do not use x86. Intel is a misfit in the mobile world. It’s a niche!

Intel missed the boat when it comes to Android. It knows it. Innovation is now centered around Android (new example in [11-13]) and some of the best applications target Linux [14-17], showing that the only rival Google has now is its own ego [18]. Microsoft and Apple cannot catch up. With large backers like Visa, MasterCard, and Sony [19,20] (howevr unethical they can be) it is clear that there are big powers driving Linux inertia, stealing the thunder away from the middle ages of clumpsy “PCs”.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. $629 Blackphone aims to hide you from the NSA

    Like the idea of using a pocket-sized computer to make calls, send messages, surf the web, and smash birds into pigs… but don’t like the idea of government agencies snooping on your communications?

  2. Rugged Android tablet offers IP65 ingress protection

    Aaeon announced a rugged, 10.1-inch tablet running Android 4.0 on a Tegra 2 SoC, and featuring IP65 ingress protection and industrial temperature operation.

  3. Are Android phones too big?

    You don’t have to look too hard at the slate of new smartphones to see Android’s “bigger is better” ethos. While iPhones have remained resolutely conservatively sized, Android manufacturers continue to push the limits with phones like the 5.5-inch LG Optimus G Pro or the 6.3-inch Samsung Galaxy Mega.

  4. Will Chrome OS and Android dominate the 2014 Linux desktop?

    Android phone and tablet users have now become accustomed to the immense functionalities and level of comfort that the platform offers

  5. Chrome OS and Android may be top desktop Linux distros in 2014

    How ironic that Android Desktop and Chrome OS are two of the first slides in the article. Did anybody ever really think that Google would be the one that might introduce Linux to the broader desktop market? And yet it seems to be happening as Android moves to the desktop and Chromebooks explode in popularity.

    The Windows 8 fiasco has opened the door to Linux in a way that hasn’t happened before. Many Windows users took one look at Windows 8 and immediately cast about for alternatives for their computers that didn’t lead them to Apple. So the time is ripe for Chromebooks and Android Desktop.

  6. Acer teases next Liquid smartphone ahead of MWC

    Featuring Android 4.2.2 operating system, it is said to shoot detailed 4K video–the next generation of ultra-high-definition video.

  7. The Linux Kernel: Android?

    Now that we have studied the Linux kernel very well and learned how to make our own, we will move on to a slightly different direction in this series. Many of you may be unaware of this, but Android is Linux. True, they are not quite the same, but Android is Linux. For example, Ubuntu is “GNU/Linux” while Android is “Dalvik/Linux”. If an operating system uses the Linux kernel, then it is a Linux system. The userland (GNU and Dalvik) does not determine whether an OS is Linux or not. Android uses a modified Linux kernel. As we know, Android runs on phones. As you may remember from configuring the kernel, there were no drivers for phone devices (like small keypads, 3G/4G cards, SIM cards, etc.). The Linux kernel used in Android lacks drivers that would not be in phones and instead has drivers for phone devices. In other words, no Android system uses a Vanilla Kernel.

  8. Android-x86 4.4 RC1
  9. Intel aims 2.3GHz quad-core 64-bit SoC at Android 4.4

    Intel launched a 64-bit dual-core Atom Z34xx mobile processor and announced an upcoming quad-core “Moorefield” version, promising Android 4.4.2 support.

  10. Android 4.5 to arrive on Nexus 8 in July

    Google surprised everyone at last year’s I/O when it didn’t announce any new devices or updates for Android. This year too, Google I/O conference scheduled for June 25-26 is expected to focus on new services. Taking this to be true, Android Geeks reports that Nexus 8 will be launched in July running Android 4.5.

  11. Google’s Project Tango Struts Into the Spotlight

    The prototype device has a 5-inch display, runs Android, and uses the Unity Game Engine. It is loaded with developer tools, including application programming interfaces, or APIs, that offer depth, orientation and position data to standard Android applications that are written in Java or C/C++ programming languages.

  12. Project Tango: Google’s all-ringing, all-dancing 3D-sensing smartphone

    Google hasn’t just kept Motorola’s patents in its deal with Lenovo, it’s also keeping the mobile manufacturer’s skunkworkish Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group.

  13. Project Tango 3D-sensing Android phone demoed

    Project Tango was announced yesterday by Google and Motorola’s Advanced Research and Projects” (ATAP) group, which Google will retain when it sells Motorola Mobility to Lenovo. The 5-inch Project Tango smartphone prototype augments a basic Android phone with a pair of Myriad 1 vision co-processors from Movidius. It also integrates a variety of sensors, including a compass, gyros, and Kinect-like 3D visual sensors for integrated depth sensing and motion tracking.

  14. Best Android Apps For Finding and Sharing New Recipes

    Love cooking? Then you know how hard it is to find new recipes. Furthermore, it’s even harder to share those recipes with your friends or family, especially when you are on the move. If you are into cooking, let go of all your worries about finding new recipes as we have curated some of the best recipe apps that you can download on your Android smartphone or tablet. These applications will not only help you find new recipes but also share them with the people that matter.

  15. Review of Clumsy Bird: A Flappy bird clone with Angry Bird flavor
  16. BitTorrent’s revamped Android apps let you download just the files you want
  17. Android App Development for Beginners: Navigation Tabs
  18. Google’s Tim Bray steps down in the name of working remotely

    Web guru and Android enthusiast Tim Bray has announced he’s leaving Google. Why? Because he wants to work from home.

    “It’s an amicable separation in the face of irreconcilable differences: I wouldn’t move to California and Google wouldn’t open a Vancouver office,” Bray wrote in a blog post. “Both before and after being hired, I had been asked to consider moving south. I didn’t want to and politely declined. Eventually, the group I’m in politely informed me that staying remote wasn’t an option.”

  19. Visa, MasterCard start using Android for mobile payments

    MasterCard and Visa want to make it easier for you to pay for goods at retail stores with a tap of a smartphone. The US credit card groups on Wednesday separately announced two Internet-based technologies providing merchants and banks with more options to make mobile payments happen in a big way.

  20. Sony Xperia Z2 tablet specs leaked

    Tipped to measure 6.4mm thick in a waterproof body, the tablet will feature Android 4.4 Kitkat OS (it’s is expected to be skinned with Sony’s custom user interface). It will also pack a 3GB of RAM, a 6,000mAh battery, an 8MP rear-facing camera, a 2MP front-facing camera, and 16GB of onboard storage expandable via microSD card.

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