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05.03.14

Links 3/5/2014: Chromebook Announcement Imminent, ARM Deception

Posted in News Roundup, Site News at 11:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Google, Intel to make Chromebook announcement on May 6

      One theory is that a new Chromebook Pixel will be announced, as the current model utilizes a Intel Core i5, the most powerful of any Chromebook. The Pixel hasn’t been changed since its release last February, and it could be time for Google to refresh its crown jewel, high-end Chromebook. Another collaboration with Intel could bring more power to the Chromebook line and make Chromebooks more appealing for resource-hungry users.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • No, ARM Didn’t Open-Source Their Full Mali Linux Driver

      A few links have been sent in to our news tip box with this page, which reads, “Open Source Mali-200/300/400/450 GPU Kernel Device Drivers.” While the page mentions open-source drivers, it’s only about the kernel portion of the driver and it’s always been that way with ARM — and most other ARM-based graphics vendors. The kernel portion is open, the user-space components are closed. Without an open user-space, having an open kernel driver is only of limited use, and will not be accepted into the upstream Linux kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • AMD Has A New Radeon DRM Performance Patch

        AMD has a new Radeon DRM kernel driver patch pending that is able to offer Linux gaming performance improvements by improving the video memory bandwidth performance by the open-source graphics driver.

      • Wayland 1.5 RC Released with a Historic Low in Bugs

        Wayland, a protocol for a compositor to talk to its clients, as well as a C library implementation of that protocol, which can be used as a standalone display server running on Linux kernel modesetting and evdev input devices, has reached version 1.5 RC.

      • OpenGL 4.4 ARB_buffer_storage Added To Nouveau

        Support for the ARB_buffer_storage extension mandated by the OpenGL 4.4 specification is now supported by Nouveau, the open-source NVIDIA Linux driver.

        This GL 4.4 extension was added to the open-source Radeon drivers and then in March for supporting the Intel Mesa driver. Ilia Mirkin has now wired-up the ARB_buffer_storage support for the Nouveau Gallium3D drivers: NV30, NV50, and NVC0.

      • AMD Mullins Support Added To Radeon Gallium3D
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • New OpenMandriva, Updated KDE, and Ubuntu EOL

        Our top story tonight is the release of OpenMandriva Lx 2014 with new features and updates. KDE saw an update release this week as well and Ubuntu 12.10 approaches end-of-life. In other news “Firefox 29 sucks” says one, but another tests it against Konqueror and finds not so much. And Bryan Lunduke is back with more on why “Linux sucks!”

      • KDE PIM 2014 Spring Sprint

        We continue the tradition of having the PIM sprint in a place that starts with a “B”. The last 3 PIM sprints were in Berlin (twice) and Brno. The Spring edition of this year took place in Barcelona, continuing the tradition. Add to this the name of the company hosting us which conveniently starts with a “B” as well (BlueSystems).

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • NixOS 14.04 Is a Unique Operating System That Uses KDE 4.2

      NixOS is not your average cup of tea, as it employs a rather different approach to the building of an operating system. It uses its own package manager, called Nix, which ensures that users can make an upgrade to one package that cannot break others, that they can always roll back to previous version, and so on.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • OpenMandriva Lx 2014 Has Been Released

        OpenMandriva Lx 2014 has been officially released with many new features, improvements and major changes.

        This second release of the OpenMandriva operating system under the community of the OpenMandriva Association is a major update from the previous version of OpenMandriva Lx and it comes with a better desktop system performance and responsiveness due to the implementation of the 3.13.11 nrjQL stock kernel.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • DNF 0.5.1 Improves Its CLI Output

          DNF 0.5.1′s main feature is its less verbose with its text output during the dependency-resolving process. Up to this point it would spew dozens or even hundreds of lines of text about dependency processing. DNF 0.5.1 also now reports about bandwidth savings when using delta RPMs.

        • Temporary Problem with DevConf CZ Videos

          There’s a problem with Red Hat Czech’s YouTube channel, where the DevConf videos about Fedora.next are hosted. This should be fixed soon, at which point my series of articles about those videos will continue.

    • Debian Family

      • Tails v1.0: One Linux Distro Among Many for Secure Communications

        Tails, short for “The Amnesic Incognito Live System,” came to the world’s attention last month when the Freedom of the Press Foundation revealed that Edward Snowden used a beta version of the Linux distribution to securely communicate with reporters. Now, the same highly secure distro used by Snowden to leak NSA materials has been released as version 1.0 under an open GPLv3 license.

      • Unmasking the Tails Linux Distro

        Many different Linux distributions are freely available for users. For National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, the Linux distribution of choice is Tails, which hit its 1.0 release April 29. Tails stands for The Amnesic Incognito Live System, a reasonably accurate description of what the Tails Linux distribution is all about. As a Live Linux distribution, Tails can run from a USB stick and does not need to be directly installed onto a physical computer. The promise of Tails is that, as a Live Linux distribution, with a focus on privacy, when a user removes the Tails USB from the computer, there is no trace of it left in system memory. Tails goes much further than just leaving no trace in memory in its goal to be an incognito system. The Tor anonymous network routing technology is integrated into Tails to help hide a user’s actual location and IP address on the Internet. For secure email, Tails includes the Claws Mail email client with encryption support. Tails enables users to have secure instant messaging conversations with Pidgin, which is preconfigured with the Off The Record (OTR) plug-in. There is even an option in Tails to enable the desktop to look like a Windows XP desktop to help avoid suspicion from people who might be walking by a Tails user. In this slide show, eWEEK examines key features of the Tails 1.0 release.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • The Ubuntu Unity Launcher gets a facelift with Unity Drawers

            For the longest time, Ubuntu Unity users have wanted a bit more leverage from the Unity Launcher. As it stands, it’s a means to launch applications and get to the Unity Dash. But with the creation of a new tool, Drawers, you can easily organize related items (files, applications, websites, folders, etc.) using “mini dashes” and “quick lists” — similar to the Stacks feature in OS X. Drawers allows you to organize files together onto the Launcher and even create a Dash-like app menu for quick access to your applications.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Web Browsers

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • AMAKER says it’s first Dual ARM Open Source 3D Printer

        AMAKER is designed from scratch to include next generation controller boards. Just as humans have a left and right brain, we designed our controller to mirror two sides of the brain. The left side of the controller uses one ARM chip to control all motion calculations, thermal control and sensors. The right side uses another ARM chip to handle the user interface. This allows simultaneous processing of both motion control and the user interface during printing.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Chicken Nuggets, With a Side of Respiratory Distress

      Think you have it tough at work? Imagine taking a post at a factory-scale poultry slaughterhouse. Chicken carcasses whiz by at the rate of 140 per minute, requiring repetitive hand motions with sharp knives. Then there’s the caustic odor of chemical sprays and washes—practices the industry has resorted to in recent years as a way to control bacterial pathogens like salmonella.

  • Security

    • British National Party’s Twitter account hacked by ‘Anonymous’

      Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National Party and MEP, has had his Twitter account hacked by campaigners claiming to be part of the hacking group, Anonymous.

      Someone claiming to be affiliated with Anonymous hacked into the party’s official account late on Friday night.

      The hackers did not appear to be trying to send out a particular message and didn’t appear to know much about the far-right party, but were simply trying to cause trouble for the BNP.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Washington’s drive for regime change in Venezuela

      The statements by the US president and the two top State Department officials only go to confirm the warning made last month by Maduro that his government is confronting a “slow-motion” coup, in which US-backed violent demonstrators are “copying badly what happened in Kiev.”

    • John ‘Flashback’ McCain Wants Moar War But German Industry Stands in the Way
    • Obama’s New Ukraine
    • Military Buildup. NATO Now Considers Russia as “An Enemy”. Militarization of “Russia’s Neighbors

      The 61-year-old former United States ambassador to Russia reportedly told journalists this week that Moscow’s role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine has forced NATO to reconsider the alliance’s opinion on Russia, and that additional troops may soon be mobilized to the region as tensions worsen.

    • How to Win the Information War against Vladimir Putin
    • Odessa Massacre Pushes Ukraine to the Edge

      Western headlines have attempted to spin into ambiguity the death of over 30 anti-fascist Ukrainian protesters cornered and burned to death in the Trade Unions House in the southern port city of Odessa. The arson was carried out by Neo-Nazi mobs loyal to the unelected regime now occupying Kiev.

      Both the London Guardian and the BBC attempted in their coverage to make the perpetrators and circumstances as ambiguous as possible before revealing paragraphs down that pro-regime mobs had indeed torched the building. And even still, the Western press has attempted to omit the presence of Right Sector, the militant wing of the current regime charged with carrying out political intimidation and violence against Kiev’s opponents.

    • Yemen Qaeda warns of reprisal over drone war
    • Al Qaida threatens to hit back over Yemen drone strikes
    • Anti-drone events in Central New York

      In a determined protest against the U.S. use of drone warfare, 150 people marched to the gates of Hancock Air Base in Syracuse, N.Y., on April 27. The multinational march was part of a regional day of education and action linking poverty, racism and war.

      People in Afghanistan, for example, are targeted by Reaper drones piloted out of Hancock Air Base. Soldiers in the 174th Attack Wing, New York National Guard, fly the drones. The 174th previously flew F-16s; it is the first U.S. squadron to convert to all-unmanned combat planes.

    • UK telecoms infrastructure used to support controversial US drone operations

      The UK’s telecommunications infrastructure is being used as part of a global defence intelligence network that the US government uses for controversial drone operations and other military purposes.

      Human rights experts say the UK’s involvement is the digital equivalent of allowing secret US rendition flights to land at UK military sites, or permitting the US government to launch air strikes from its airforce bases in the UK – actions for which the UK has, in the past, been heavily criticised.

    • The Drone War’s Secrets and Lies

      …targeting U.S. citizens overseas for sudden, fiery death from the sky.

    • The burden of atrocity: How Vietnam was exposed as a “dirty war”

      A conservative estimate of civilian deaths arising from the war is two million in South Vietnam alone, from a population of nineteen million. An analogous civilian casualty rate in the United States today would be nearly thirty-three million — in fact, looking at the dead and wounded in Vietnam as ratios of the general population puts the conflict on par with the horrendous bloodshed of World War II. As Kill Anything That Moves relives in graphic detail, the Vietnam War was horrendously brutal in its plans, execution and outcomes.

    • CIA Whistleblower faces the ire of an angry Justice Department over Benghazi questions

      Longtime former CIA field operative turned whistleblower Robert “Tosh” Plumlee is currently in the crosshairs of a very angry Holder Justice Department for publicly posting 11 “questions” about Benghazi and the illegal weapons running operations being conducted by criminal elements within the U.S. government. Mr. Plumlee is no ordinary CIA whistleblower, however.

    • Please Don’t Read This Benghazi Article

      If you ignored the headline and are reading this anyway, you are part of the problem. Despite the fact that the last several resurgences have produced nothing that verifies the claims of the right wing, we’re once again forced to wade into the matter and endure at least the fifth round of grandstanding in a cycle that leads us no closer to actually solving the problems that Benghazi revealed.

      The latest return of the assault that killed four Americans in a diplomatic outpost in the eastern Libya city to the public consciousnesses comes from conservative group Judicial Watch obtaining on Tuesday a copy of White House emails from the days after the attack through a FOIA request to the State Deparment. Now Republicans and conservative media have narrowed in on one in particular from Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes as the latest in a string of smoking guns that proves malfeasance on the part of the administration. So now, after 11 open hearings in the House of Representatives alone, scores of witnesses called for testimony, millions of dollars spent, and thousands of documents from the administration, we’re at the point where the Republicans are generally scraping the bottom of the barrel in formulating their reasons to keep the investigation alive.

    • Former CIA spy Andre Le Gallo recounts his time in Iran in 1978-79

      During the Gulf War in the 1990′s he helped choose high value targets for Tomahawk cruise missile strikes in Iraq…

    • Lusitania divers warned of danger from war munitions in 1982, papers reveal

      Foreign Office officials also voiced serious concerns that a final British admission that there were high explosives on the Lusitania could still trigger serious political repercussions with America even though it was nearly 70 years after the event.

      The RMS Lusitania was sunk on 7 May 1915 by a torpedo fired without warning from a German submarine just off the Irish coast with the loss of 1,198 lives, including 128 American civilians. The liner went down in just 18 minutes and the loss of civilian life enraged US public opinion and hastened American’s entry into the first world war.

    • Afghan opium production explodes despite billions spent, says US report

      A report released Wednesday by Washington’s Afghanistan war watchdog has found that the billions spent by the State and Defense departments on counter-narcotics since 2002 has been for nought. Opium-poppy cultivation takes up 209,000 hectares (516,230 acres) of land in Afghanistan, a 36% increase since 2012.

    • Pacific Ocean Marshall Islands launch lawsuits against nations with nuclear arms over testing effects

      The small Oceanic Marshall Islands is to launch an unprecedented round of lawsuits against nine nations with nuclear arms, including the US, to demand that they meet their obligations to disarm.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Safety Failures Pervasive at Site of Mysterious Nuclear Leak

      U.S. government’s own report faults declining safety culture for release of radiation at troubled New Mexico dump

    • US corn yields are increasingly vulnerable to hot, dry weather, study shows

      The study, which appears in the journal Science, was led by Stanford’s David Lobell, associate professor of environmental Earth system science and associate director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment. “The Corn Belt is phenomenally productive,” Lobell said, referring to the region of Midwestern states where much of the country’s corn is grown. “But in the past two decades we saw very small yield gains in non-irrigated corn under the hottest conditions. This suggests farmers may be pushing the limits of what’s possible under these conditions.”

    • Beneath the Ukraine Crisis: Shale Gas

      The crisis gripping Ukraine has plunged transatlantic relations to their lowest point since the Cold War and threatens to send Ukraine into an armed conflict with potentially dire consequences for the country and the wider region.

    • If Scotland Secedes, Who Gets Its Oil?

      The U.K.’s debate over Scottish independence is an oddly blinkered affair. People are obsessing over things that don’t matter and ignoring things that do — such as who owns the U.K.’s North Sea oil.

    • Ex-CIA Analyst Ruth: China’s Growing Economy Sparks Green Fears

      If the Chinese economy really is growing as reported, China will find itself under a lot more pressure by the international community to comply with environmental regulations, says Lisa Ruth, former CIA analyst and Lignet analyst.

    • Japan begins northeastern whale hunts after ICJ ban

      If there’s a will, there’s a way. Taking advantage of the fact that the recent international court ruling only covers whale hunts in the Antarctic Ocean, a Japanese whaling fleet left last Saturday to begin it’s hunt in the northern Pacific.

    • Diesel engine pollution linked to early deaths and costs NHS billions

      Environmental experts warn high percentage of diesel engines in public transport may cause quarter of all air pollution deaths

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • BBC Propaganda Hits New All-Time Low

      Every half hour BBC News is running a three minute puff piece which is even more sinister for what it hides than for what it says – and By God! That is sinister enough.

      [...]

      Now pay close attention: Fiona Gilmore is chief executive of Acanchi a PR Consultany which specializes in “Country Branding”. Its clients include Israel, Dubai, Bahrain and “England”. Yes, it actually specifies “England” on the company website. Acanchi also works for DFID – in short, it gets UK taxpayers’ money, plus Israeli and Gulf Arab money. Are you familiar with the word fungibility?

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Sultan of Brunei unveils strict sharia penal code

      Fines and jail terms for offences such as indecency and failure to attend Friday prayers, with future penalties to include flogging and death by stoning

    • Botched executions show there’s no such thing as humane capital punishment

      Once again, a prisoner has died an unseemly death in the execution chambers of the United States of America. Facing a shortage of the drugs needed to carry out a lethal injection, the state of Oklahoma decided to experiment on a live human being – with disastrous results. After being subjected to treatment some described as torture, Clayton Lockett ultimately died of a heart attack.

    • Listen to a Secret Tape of FBI Agents Interviewing—and Threatening—a Potential Informant

      On Thursday, Mother Jones broke the story of Naji Mansour, an American living abroad who refused to become a government informant—and saw his life, and his family’s, turned upside-down. After he rebuffed the government’s advances, Mansour was banned from returning to his family’s home in Kenya, locked up for 37 days in a squalid prison in South Sudan, and eventually found himself living in Khartoum, where two FBI agents he had met before, Mike Jones and Peter Smith (pseudonyms we created at the FBI’s request), tried again to win his trust. Mansour recorded the conversation, which you can listen to above; a full transcript follows below.

    • Meet the American Citizens Who Allege the US Had Them Locked Up Abroad
    • From Dictatorship to Democracy: The Role Ex-Nazis Played in Early West Germany

      After World War II, West Germany rapidly made the transition from murderous dictatorship to model democracy. Or did it? New documents reveal just how many officials from the Nazi regime found new jobs in Bonn. A surprising number were chosen for senior government positions.

    • 1,000 native women murdered, missing in Canada over 30 years: RCMP

      The RCMP revealed Thursday a shocking number — nearly 1,200 aboriginal women have been murdered or gone missing in Canada in the past 30 years.

      RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said most of those women — about 1,000 — are murder victims.

      The rest, about 186, are disappearances, still logged in police files across the country, and in a majority of those — some 160 missing person cases — the RCMP says authorities “ought to” suspect foul play. The others have been determined to be disappearances for “reasons unknown.”

    • Feds didn’t act on polygraphs indicating child abuse

      The nation’s spy satellite agency failed to notify authorities when some employees and contractors confessed during lie detector tests to crimes such as child molestation, an intelligence inspector general has concluded.

      In other cases, the National Reconnaissance Office delayed reporting criminal admissions obtained during security clearance polygraphs, possibly jeopardizing evidence in investigations or even the safety of children, according to the inspector general report released Tuesday, almost two years after McClatchy’s reporting raised similar concerns.

      In one instance, one of the agency’s top lawyers told colleagues not to bother reporting confessions by a government contractor of child molestation, viewing child pornography and sexting with a minor, the inquiry by the inspector general for the intelligence community revealed.

    • How to Starve the For-Profit Prison Beast

      I know some private prison lobbyists who would love it if you were found with a cell phone. Assuming, of course, that you’re already locked in one of the prisons their clients operate in Oklahoma.

      Introducing a cell phone into a correctional facility used to be a misdemeanor in Oklahoma. Now, it’s a felony. This change did not happen for any reason other than a private prison lobbyist provided his client with a good way to make even more revenue off of people already imprisoned. Bumping this crime up from a misdemeanor to a felony means that when a person is caught with a cell phone in prison, he or she will end up staying in prison even longer; in most cases the new sentence will be added to the end of the existing one, instead of allowing people to serve time for both the crime that landed them behind bars and the cell phone infraction simultaneously. More prison time, more profits.

    • Where Was Anal Rape Approved in the OLC Memos?

      Sorry I’ve been AWOL for the last several days. I’ve been traveling and speaking and traveling. Thanks to Jim and bmaz for holding down the fort.

      While I’ve been gone, there has been fairly shocking testimony from Gitmo (thanks, as always, to Carol Rosenberg for her persistence in covering this thankless story). In Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri’s trial, a doctor called to testify to his untreated PTSD described the trauma evidence she found on him.

    • FBI may put alleged Anonymous member behind bars for 440 years
    • State Law Hides Investigations of Police Misconduct from Public Scrutiny

      Former State Senator Gloria Romero tried to change POBOR during her time in Sacramento, but said the police union opposition was too strong to overcome. “Most states in the nation allow for the knowledge of these misconduct reports,” said Gloria Romero. “That essentially translates to, we have a secret police force and I think that surprises people in a democracy such as California’s.” Partensky and Woosley, the two San Francisco residents who called 911 for some injured bicyclists, never did get the answers they were looking for. The SF Police Department told us that the two were detained for interfering with medical rescue crews. There was no internal police review and no police officers were disciplined.

    • Senate report set to reveal Djibouti as CIA ‘black site’

      The legal case of a former CIA detainee suing the government of Djibouti for hosting the facility where he says he was detained could be helped by the contents of a still-classified Senate report. Djibouti, a key U.S. ally, has denied for years that its territory has been used to keep suspected Al-Qaeda operatives in secret captivity. But the Senate investigation into the agency’s “detention and interrogation program” concluded that several people had been secretly detained in the tiny Horn of Africa state, two U.S. officials who read an early draft of the report told Al Jazeera.

    • Military judge orders CIA to list ‘black sites’
    • 30 Retired Generals Urge Obama To Declassify The CIA Torture Report

      Thirty retired generals are urging President Obama to declassify the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA torture, arguing that without accountability and transparency the practice could be resumed.

      “After taking office, you showed decisive leadership by issuing an executive order banning torture and other forms of abusive interrogation,” the retirees say in an open letter released Thursday.

    • Fine Print: U.S. can’t seem to shake the ‘water cure’ as a method of interrogation

      In a March 11 floor speech, the committee’s chairman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), said the panel is investigating “the horrible details of a CIA program that never, never, never should have existed.”

      But that quote was from testimony delivered in 1903 by U.S. Army Lt. Grover Flint before the Senate Philippines Committee. Chaired by Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge (R-Mass.), the committee was reviewing how U.S. Army units were dealing with Filipino fighters who opposed the United States taking over governing their country in the wake of the Spanish-American War.

    • Nat Hentoff: Lifting secrecy a matter of time
    • Comey: CIA-Senate probe hasn’t drawn in FBI

Microsoft’s Elop Confirmed as Trojan Horse Inside Nokia, Receives Another Massive Bonus From Microsoft While Microsoft (PRISM) Grabs EU Data

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 9:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Finland, not Ukraine: A coup strategy that even the CIA would be jealous of

Europe

Summary: The thuggish Microsoft has successfully destroyed Nokia, rendering its data ‘property’ of Microsoft (and hence the NSA) and its patents a weapon for proxies against Linux/Android

THE former Finnish giant Nokia shows that lessons have not been learned since Novell. Companies are still committing suicide because they don’t quite grasp the criminality of Microsoft, including the Satya-’led’ Microsoft (he is not really in charge and he continues the Ballmer/Gates patent racketeering policies). Having seen the mole move away (after handing control over to Microsoft), Nokia gets a new CEO. But Nokia doesn’t matter anymore; it’s effectively dead and this was the goal of Elop. The orphaned Nokia patents will continue to be funneled to patent trolls, with guidance from Microsoft, as before (e.g. MOSAID). It’s all about attacking Android and Linux.

According to Nokia expert Ahonen, “Nokia smartphone sales are down to 7.1 million units in Q1. That is down 13% from Q4 and Nokia’s prelimary market share is now 2.5%.”

“The orphaned Nokia patents will continue to be funneled to patent trolls, with guidance from Microsoft, as before (e.g. MOSAID).”Microsoft did not need to aspire for great success or high market share for Nokia. That would only have made Nokia more expensive to completely take over. By destroying Nokia Microsoft can ensure that the huge stockpile of patents gets passed to a lot of trolls, harming Android. This is how Microsoft works and that’s the type of thinking; it’s all about destruction, not creation.

A borderline troll, Andrew Orlowski, says that “there’s one thing worse than a Microsoft cloud accessed mostly by iOS and Android consumer devices, it’s a Microsoft cloud that consumers don’t want to use at all. Perhaps a viable Android is the best acquisition Microsoft could have made?”

Surveillance through a massively-sabotaged Android fork is what Microsoft sought to do with Nokia, as we argued months ago. It’s not at all positive for Android and Google should try to stop this.

It is already apparent that Stephen Elop was a Trojan horse, no matter how much he still tries to deny it. Money talks and “Stephen Elop lands at Microsoft with $33m golden parachute,” which says a lot really. As Ahonen put it the other day:

As everybody knows Windows Phone only has 3% market share in smartphones (with Google’s Android over 80% and Apple’s iOS at 15%). And Microsoft is no ‘newcomer’ to smartphones it has made software for smartphones far longer than Apple’s iPhone or Google’s Android have even existed. Yes, Microsoft has been in mobile for a dozen years already. At its peak Microsoft’s Windows commanded 12% market share as the clear number 2 in the industry (behind Nokia’s Symbian). From day 1, Microsoft had dreamed of having Nokia become a Windows partner, which Nokia resisted for essentially a decade until the ex-Microsoft exec Stephen Elop came to run Nokia as CEO.

That was a Trojan horse strategy. Microsoft should never have been allowed to infiltrate Nokia, but eventually the company’s plot was “successful”. It wasn’t about helping Nokia. Elop was supposed to destroy Nokia. His goal was to cheapen Nokia, not help the company, leaving Nokia’s treasure of patents to trolls whom Microsoft strategically chooses after it scooped up the company for a ridiculously low price, along with customer data (from the EU, hence joining it into NSA PRISM, just like Skype from Europe). It’s truly a shame that the European Union could not ban data retention of this kind and could not prevent passage of all this data (and active communications/interception tools) to the #1 PRISM facilitator; instead, the European Union pursues silly projects which do more harm than good.

What a disaster this is! Always remember who destroyed Nokia. Contrary to appalling revisionism (common in US corporate media), Nokia was not a victim of itself.

The European Union Legitimises Software Patents by Intervening in Android Patent Case

Posted in Apple, Google, Patents, RAND, Samsung at 8:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mistakes made in the EU as well

Made in EU

Summary: Software patents make an appearance in Europe again, this time in FRAND form

SOMETHING troubling has happened in the Apple vs. Samsung case, which is how Microsoft’s subversive club of Android foes (Nokia, Apple, and Microsoft plus smaller trolls for the most part) has been trying to make Android expensive, undermining its principal selling point, The patent-stacking battle, which Microsoft has been wittingly and visibly involved it (Microsoft supports Apple and Oracle of course), now reaches a phase of EU intervention:

EU moves to end smartphone patent wars in landmark ruling

The ruling will help to draw a line under long-running feuds between smartphone makers

Apple propaganda sites have been covering this case, saying that “jurors deciding the outcome of the second Apple vs Samsung trial haven’t yet returned a verdict, but their options are limited to a few possible outcomes, ranging from a fiery thermonuclear blast to a wintery new Dark Ages.”

Well, “thermonuclear” is a term borrowed from Steve Jobs himself. He strives for thermonuclear outcome. He is as apocalyptic as he is “visionary”.

Anyway, here is Richard Stallman’s response to the EU’s intervention:

The European Union is stopping Apple and Samsung from suing each other for patent infringement.

Unfortunately, its “solution” is a terrible mistake: imposing “reasonable and nondiscriminatory” terms. In practice, this means patent licenses that discriminate against free software by charging license fees per copy, which free software developers can’t possibly pay. There is nothing “reasonable” about that.

FRAND, as we have argued for years, is a Trojan horse for software patents in the EU and elsewhere. We need to reject this. Ideally, the EU should just send Apple and its “thermonuclear” ambitions somewhere far away — a place where the Sun won’t shine. Apple is the aggressor here and it is part of a broader plot to undermine Android and Linux rather than outwit or provide technical competition.

The Debate About Software Patents is Still Dead Because Large Corporations Killed It

Posted in IBM, Law, Patents, Red Hat at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pheasants

Summary: Corporate overloads have successfully shot down any chance of attaining freedom for software developers

HAVING spent about a decade of my life fighting against software patents, it is just too hard to let the cause go. I sometimes revisit relevant news sites and blogs, hoping to find some relevant coverage, parliamentary action, activism, etc. Over the past year or so this has been a depressing exercise because on people’s lips there’s no longer (or rarely) the goal of eliminating software patents. Companies like Google joined the ranks of IBM and are now hiring patent lawyers, acquiring software patents, and so on. I had warned managers at Google about it and their responses to me were largely defeatist. The SCOTUS, which historically is just a plutocrats’ tool for authorising the plutocrat’s will, continues to support the USPTO’s patent maximalism (the USPTO is headed by corporations such as IBM).

There is no substantial bill seeking to truly reform the patent system and those which exist, including corresponding press coverage, are focusing on trolls, costs, and other side issues. The EFF, which once upon a time promised to fight against software patents, recently hired some more lawyers whose articles on the matter tend to be a waste of time (and whose focus is truly bizarre, misguided at best). Here is one new example, the latest of many that we covered last year:

The Supreme Court heard oral argument today in another patent case, Limelight Networks, Inc. v. Akamai Technologies, Inc. In this case, the Court considers what to do when one party performs some steps of a patented method and another party performs the remaining steps. Specifically, Akamai wants to hold Limelight liable for patent infringement even though its customers perform one of the steps of the patent (i.e. four steps are performed by Limelight, one by the customers). The Federal Circuit had ruled for Akamai and effectively held Limelight responsible for the actions of its customers.

But that’s not the point. The point is, patents like these should be out of scope, it doesn’t matter who performs which action, who pays for litigation, who the plaintiff is, and so forth. Even Red Hat, which takes pride in “Open Source” (not so much in freedom) focuses on “trolls” in this latest post on the topic:

Patent trolling—the aggressive assertion of weak or meritless patent claims by non-practicing entities—is a frequent target of disdain from open source enthusiasts. Thus it may be of some comfort to readers that the highest court in the US has recently decided the issue is worth looking into. Three cases have already been heard, but decisions are, as usual, still a ways off.

When even entities like the EFF and Red Hat waste their efforts (if not hijack the voice of patents opposition) trying to tackle the wrong question it seems clear that activists against software patents (that’s software developers, both free/libre and proprietary) are pretty much alone. We oughtn’t expect corporations, corporate press or even politicians to help our cause. They don’t understand, they don’t care, and if they care, then it’s not because they want to see software patents abolished. IBM is probably one of the worst pretenders; unlike Microsoft, it also tries to convince us that it’s on our side and many people fall for it.

Novell Continues to Damage GNU/Linux

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 7:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gates on SUSE

Summary: The boycott of SUSE and Novell needs to go on because the huge damage caused by the Microsoft-Novell deal is not over

Novell is history, but its legacy continues to haunt GNU/Linux. Its orphaned project, Mono, is nowadays getting even closer to Microsoft through Xamarin (Mono is not completely dying just yet, as Microsoft-linked circles actively promote it), OOXML continues to cause migration woes (after Novell helped OOXML gain adoption), and Microsoft back doors in Linux, such as Hyper-V (the NSA can access virtual machines remotely), are foolishly promoted even by the Linux Foundation’s Web site right now (it links to this page from Microsoft and also to this other page from Microsoft, promoting Microsoft-taxed SUSE/Ballnux). 3 or so years after Novell virtually died we are still suffering from the decisions of Ron Hovsepian, Dragoon, and Jaffe, who is now putting DRM in the World World Web (as the W3C’s CEO).

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