07.16.14

Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

Posted in News Roundup at 7:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Can the FOSS community save 197 endangered languages?

    In India, the situation is not different. I searched the Language Atlas of UNESCO and found out that 197 Indian languages are endangered. One of these endangered languages is from the region from where I originally belong: Bihar, a state of India. I work in the free and open source software (FOSS) field, focused on localization. The language I do my work in is Hindi. I’ve also worked in Maithili, an Indian language, mentoring the community and help develop several applications in it, including Fedora, GNOME, KDE , and Firefox.

  • Adobe Partners With Google To Release Open-Source Font For Chinese, Japanese And Korean Languages
  • Portland company unveils new tool as open source community converges on Rose City

    Local startup GraphAlchemist is hoping to tap into some of that excitement. The data visualization company has tools for corporate customers to visualize data sets and map connections, and now it is releasing a version called Alchemy.js that will allow people to get a taste of the product.

  • How open source can solve Silicon Valley’s engineering crisis

    Silicon Valley may think itself the center of the universe, but when it comes to open source, it can only muster a third-place finish. According to an analysis of top GitHub contributors, both Europe and the rest of the United States develop more open-source software than Silicon Valley. While this may not be surprising given Europe’s long-standing affection for open source, it is a reminder that much of the best development talent doesn’t live along Highway 101 and probably never will.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • CMS

    • Cloud, open source power TransLink’s Web presence

      It was an aging bespoke application that drove TransLink to seek a new content management system, but it was the strength of the community surrounding the open source project that helped the Queensland public transport agency choose Drupal.

      Prior to the switch to Drupal, which began last year, the former TransLink site was partly based on static files and partly on a “home-grown CMS that managed a lot of our custom content such as service disruption and events, so that we could do a little bit of distributed authoring within the organisation,” said Natalie Gorring, manager, online products and services, at TransLink.

  • Business

  • Funding

    • Crowdfunding for open source software

      Nowadays when people say “crowdfunding,” most people know exactly it is, but just a few short years ago, the term was not commonly used. Bountysource is easy to explain now: it is a crowdfunding site aimed at open source software developers, but a decade ago, people just were not sure what it was or how it worked. Even the founders said the project died quickly because people were unsure of its intentions.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 9.3-RELEASE Announcement

      The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team is pleased to announce the availability of FreeBSD 9.3-RELEASE. This is the fourth release of the stable/9 branch, which improves on the stability of FreeBSD 9.2-RELEASE and introduces some new features.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GCC 4.9.1 Released

      GCC 4.9.1 release supports OpenMP 4.0 also in Fortran, rather than just in C and C++.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open-Source Will Make Real-Time Measurements Affordable

      From my earliest days in measurement, the term “real-time” has been special. Its meaning has evolved over these years as a figure of merit without any actual figures being presented. But the use has continually increased as a way of denoting the presence of data as it occurs.

    • Open source biology

      At O’Reilly, we’ve long been supporters of the open source movement — perhaps not with the religious fervor of some, but with a deep appreciation for how open source has transformed the computing industry over the last three decades.

    • Open Hardware

      • Apeiros Arduino Based Open Source Robot (video)

        Students, makers and developers that are in the market for an open source robot might be interested in a new Arduino-based robot called Apeiros.

      • Social Circle: Improving social interaction at social events

        The prototype we created of the designed solution, is composed of an Arduino controlling six player boards with voting buttons and LEDs which it reads. The Arduino is connected to a virtual interface showed on a 19″ screen in the middle of the table. Players receive harmless question such as “Which player would be the best superhero?” and everyone then place a vote on each other using the player boards. Votes are then revealed and points are given to the agreeing majority. If players votes indicate disagreement, a discussion round is started where players have to persuade each other to vote differently.

Leftovers

Microsoft’s Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

Posted in Microsoft at 11:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft boosters are preparing ‘damage control’ pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft

Murdoch’s press took note of Microsoft’s shrinkage amid death of products. There are more layoffs coming which mostly affect Nokia staff. CNET/CBS, which has been openwashing Microsoft (at the very highest level), spreads misinformation about it. As a reads of ours explained: “It was not $7.2 billion USD as mentioned in this article. That sum is misleading as it includes patent licensing and not just the sale.”

Here is the misinformation which says:

Microsoft is planning its largest round of layoffs in five years as the software giant looks to integrate Nokia Oyj’s handset unit, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing people with knowledge of the company’s plans.

The job cuts, expected to be announced as soon as this week, will likely affect positions in the Nokia unit that serve the same function in other parts of Microsoft, as well as in marketing and engineering, Bloomberg reported. Microsoft added roughly 25,000 employees when it completed its $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services division in April.

Sources told the news agency that the round of job cuts could be the largest in Microsoft’s history, exceeding the 5,800 positions it eliminated in 2009.

The original was a puff piece from Bloomberg, written by Microsoft's friend Dina Bass to cushion the blow ahead the announcement. She is Nadella-washing the company (the ‘new’ Microsoft) and trying to make it sound like everything is just fine. It is PR and damage control, as one can see here. To quote:

The reductions — which may be unveiled as soon as this week — will probably be in areas such as Nokia and divisions of Microsoft that overlap with that business, as well as marketing and engineering, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. The restructuring may end up being the biggest in Microsoft history, topping the 5,800 jobs cut in 2009, two of the people said. Some details are still being worked out, two of the people said.

[...]

The company had 127,104 employees as of June 5, after adding about 30,000 in its acquisition of Nokia’s handset unit.

Nothing is said about Microsoft’s thuggish entyryism and Elop the mole, as well as prior layoffs at Nokia (by now, one oughtn’t expect yet more layoffs, alas Microsoft totally destroyed the company). There is an attempt to shift blame here.

The bottom line is, Microsoft continues to fail very badly in mobile and not even subversive tactics are helping. Microsoft destroyed Nokia, passed its patents to patent trolls, and took its extensive user data trove to the US, where this data can be more easily mined by the Five Eyes.

Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

Posted in Europe, Microsoft at 11:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Keys

Summary: Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests

Several nations have already moved away from Microsoft or expressed intent to do so within months if not years. It is not just China anymore but also Russia and amid a spying scandal in Germany it makes sense for Germany to do the same along with much of Europe, for reasons we explained some days ago. Nobody can trust a backstabbing ‘ally’ and companies which facilitate surveillance at its behalf (Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Oracle and so on).

Vista 8 is a banned by the Chinese government and this new article reminds us that “The German government has always been militant in matters of data protection. In 2013, it warned consumers against using Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system due to perceived security risks, suggesting that it provided a back door for the US National Security Agency (NSA).”

Microsoft’s very special relationship with the NSA has cost a lot and layoff are coming to Microsoft (more on that in our next post). Now that the British government tries to get away from Microsoft there is lobbying going on and the government tries to hide it. “in March,” wrote Glyn Moody, “I asked about industry lobbying against ODF in UK. I’ve heard nothing, now asked for formal review FOI”.

Moody’s request to Cabinet Office was covered here before (Moody must have learned from experience) and the latest can be found here:

Dear Cabinet Office,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of
Information reviews.

I am writing to request formally an internal review of Cabinet
Office’s handling of my FOI request ‘Open document formats’.

The response to my request is long overdue; by law, under all
circumstances, the authority should have responded by now. No
official explanation has been offered for this delay.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is
available on the Internet at this address:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/o…

Thank you for your help.

Yours faithfully,

Glyn Moody

Why do UK authorities cover up Microsoft lobbying against standards? I warned their staff about such lobbying months ago.

As Moody later pointed out, “my FOI request is nearly 4 months old now…”

How obscene is that? He even wrote a whole new article about it, stating:

So GCHQ is able to to search through the UK’s entire Internet stream to find all the vaguely bad things there, but the Cabinet Office is unable to locate a few specific emails on its own servers.

Moody also says “they send PDFs that are *scans* of documents – I had to re-type the excerpts in my post…”

The CIA famously uses this tactic to discourage publication and other forms of dissemination. They’re embarrassed, they have something to hide.

Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 11:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Small change

A restrooom

Summary: Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers’ words

There is a curious new piece from zealous patent lawyers who promote software patents and equate sales with need for patents, adding foolish statements like the conclusion below (from WatchTroll’s co-writer): “The Alice decision will no doubt take some time to shake out in the lower courts and perhaps some certainty (i.e., one or more tests for each step in the Mayo framework) will develop. In the meantime, I note that according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, the U.S. software and IT services industry had revenue totaling US$606B in 2011, with overall research and development spending of US$126.3B, and a U.S. workforce of nearly two million people. Further, a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report pegs the cumulative value of technology-related M&A activity for 2013 at US$99.8B, with software representing 25% of this total value and 35% of the total deal volume. This is a substantial amount of U.S. commerce that deserves stable and predictable patent law protection! Until then, code (and patent) on!”

This is a completely bogus argument, whose premise can be used to say the very opposite about software patents. Just because he ends with an exclamation point doesn’t mean he is right. Quite the contrary. These patent lawyers only care about themselves. The status quo of software patents is mostly beneficial to patent trolls, as pointed out by this new article that says: “Surveys dating back to 1996 and statements by leading visionaries in the area of software programming such as Richard Stallman show that most people in the industry are not in support of software patents. These show that reform is required in this area and most are of the belief that software development is impeded by the fact there may be patents and/or copyrights. These patents and/or copyrights may prevent them from releasing their product on to the market and may also cause monetary damage to them in terms of legal fees and lost sales arising out of potential litigation.”

Meanwhile, looking at the latest from Microsoft’s propaganda and FOSS mole blog, the company makes money out of taxing GNU/Linux, due to SUSE’s appalling complicity. This is what patents on software lead to.

While SUSE does continue to exist (although with diminished presence) people around the world should just boycott it. Microsoft wants software patents not to encourage innovation but to assure extortion; likewise, patent lawyers fight hard to re-frame the SCOTUS ruling because it limits their parasitic overreach which taxes software everywhere.

Going back to the previous article, let us remember who else benefits from software patents. This is a correlation that we noted numerous times before, especially when arguing that patent scope — not trolls — is the core issue and the way to tackle this issue. To quote just the conclusion: “The fourth chart depicts that unto 93% of patent litigations in the software area are being initiated by NPEs (Non-practicing entities) aka patent trolls; whereas for other technology areas, the percentage of patent litigations being initiated by NPEs are in a minority. The fifth chart depicts the percentage of patents with at least one invalid claim (as decided by the courts during the course of litigation), wherein the invalidity may be based on novelty and/or non-obviousness. 38% and 53% of the patents in the software and business method area respectively have at least one invalid claim; whereas only 27% of patents in the other technological areas have at least one invalid claim. Further, this chart also shows that 59% of patents assigned to trolls have at least one invalid claim. The sixth chart depicts the rising number of patent litigations in the courts, with chart #7 depicting that the ratio of litigations related to patents from the software/business method have been rising at an average of 2000 per annum. The ninth chart depicts the costs of patent litigation and the ever increasing trend of the costs.”

Gene Quinn, the WatchTroll himself, is a patent lawyer who is actively lobbying for software patents. Based on this important article from him (important for what he reports, not his commetary), things rapidly improve in the US as software becomes hard too patent and hence also hard to enforce through the courts. To quote the software patents booster himself: “A friend who handles large numbers of software patent applications for some of the most elite technology companies sent me an e-mail late last week about what he has already started seeing coming from patent examiners. He says he has seen the below form paragraph twice within a week. Most alarming, in one case the form paragraph came in the form of a supplemental office action, but the outstanding original office action didn’t have any patent eligibility rejections under 35 U.S.C. 101.”

Well, he is very much upset by this. He accuses the messenger. He says: “The claims are abstract because the claims do not recite limitations significantly more than an abstract idea. Truthfully, this rather ridiculous logical construct can’t be blamed on patent examiners when the Supreme Court refuses to provide a definition for what is an abstract idea.”

All software patents are abstract (not code), so they should all be seen as invalid. We explained this several times in the past month. This is something that lawyers struggle to grasp, either because they don’t want to grasp it (cognitive dissonance) or because they cannot.

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts