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12.06.14

Links 7/12/2014: Typhoon Hagupit, AURORAGOLD

Posted in News Roundup at 7:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Separating The Opportunities From The Obstacles In Open-Source Networking

    Open standards have driven the networking market since the earliest days of the Internet. While the use of open source for networking is a more recent phenomenon, it is no less important. A major industry transition to open source for software-defined networking (SDN) is under way, and users and vendors stand to benefit. Some expectations, however, may need to change.

    While the original idea behind SDN — separating the control from the data plane in network switches — has turned out to be just one of many architectural approaches that have emerged, it did catalyze massive interest in software and open source within the networking world. Things like APIs and DevOps tools became relevant to network engineers, and open source movements emerged to fulfill the need for increased automation and flexibility as organizations moved deeper into the cloud.

  • Google’s New Open Source Project Lets You Add Live Streaming to Your App

    The numbers all point to the same conclusion: When it comes to modern communication mediums, videoconferencing is becoming increasingly popular.

  • 11 open source tools to make the most of machine learning

    These 11 machine learning tools provide functionality for individual apps or whole frameworks, such as Hadoop. Some are more polyglot than others: Scikit, for instance, is exclusively for Python, while Shogun sports interfaces to many languages, from general-purpose to domain-specific.

  • Samsung’s strategic commitment to upstream open source development

    The Linux Foundation’s Linux.com website reports that Samsung’s open source group is now “hiring aggressively” and plans to double the size of the group in the coming years.

  • The 10 Coolest Open Source Apps of 2014
  • Open-source tools will benefit military and Wisconsin vehicle makers

    All of the software Negrut’s team develops will eventually be made publicly available through a website. “We believe making it all open source is the best way to ensure this transfer of technology from us to industry, where people can take advantage of the techniques and the software that we develop as part of this project, so as to foster innovation here or elsewhere in industry,” Negrut says.

  • Intel announces new Stephen Hawking speech system will be open source
  • Hawking’s speech software goes open source for disabled

    The system that helps Stephen Hawking communicate with the outside world will be made available online from January in a move that could help millions of motor neurone disease sufferers, scientists said Tuesday.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • HP Steps Up Big Data Game with Cloud-Based Helion Offering

      Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) made another significant move within the Big Data market this week with the announcement of Haven OnDemand, which brings the data analytics and app development features of the company’s Vertica and IDOL platforms to the cloud.

      The tools, which are hosted on the Helion cloud, provide access to Vertica’s data analytics functionality, as well as the capabilities of IDOL, which is designed to assist developers in building apps that leverage big data.

    • Mirantis Targets Developers with Hosted OpenStack Solution

      Mirantis is betting that ease of use and simple documentation will speed OpenStack adoption. That’s the goal behind the new “Developer Edition” of Mirantis OpenStack Express, which the company calls “the fastest and easiest way to get an OpenStack cloud.”

  • Databases

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Reclaiming the PDF from Adobe Reader

      In October, it was discovered that Adobe had removed the link to download Adobe Reader, its proprietary PDF file viewer, for use with a GNU/Linux operating system.

      While it is still possible to install Adobe Reader on GNU/Linux, Adobe’s attempts to hide access to the product for certain users is only one example of its systematic neglect of its GNU/Linux user base, and falls in line with many others as a demonstration of the importance of free software–software that no company or developer can neglect or hide. As the Windows and OSX versions of the software were developed through version 11, the GNU/Linux version was long stuck at version nine. For several years the software has lacked important features, security improvements, and support against malware attacks and other intrusions. Yet, by “locking in” Adobe Reader users and making it difficult for them to migrate to a free software PDF viewer, Adobe has, in effect, degraded the power of the PDF as a free document format, a standard the purpose of which is to be implemented by any potential piece of software and to be compatible with all. The company has abandoned the principle of program-agnostic documents, bringing about a lose-lose situation for all.

      By being led to rely on the proprietary software for tasks like sharing documents and filling out forms without the option to use a free software reader in its place, entreprises, the public sector, and institutions of higher learning have also fallen victim to this neglect, all as Adobe insidiously seeks to maintain a hold on its market share. Within institutions such as government–institutions that ought not to rely on any proprietary software, to begin with–it is concerning that Adobe Reader has often been taken to be the only option for interacting with PDF files and for communicating with the electorate.

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Valve and Steam broadcasting, Dolphin emulator, and more

      Hello, open gaming fans! In this week’s edition, we take a look at Steam Broadcasting beta, the open source Dolphin emulator, QEMU’s advent calendar, and game releases for Linux.

    • An open source future for synthetic biology

      If the controversy over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) tells us something indisputable, it is this: GMO food products from corporations like Monsanto are suspected to endanger health. On the other hand, an individual’s right to genetically modify and even synthesize entire organisms as part of his dietary or medical regimen could someday be a human right.

    • Open-source gadget lets you invent your own Internet of Things

      This is why Ville Ylläsjärvi thinks Thingsee One, the open source, Internet of Things gadget his company is Kickstarting, will have staying power. Thingsee One isn’t just a sensor-stuffed piece of hardware, it’s a developer kit for other hardware makers. “We’re solving the hardware equation for them,” he says. “Startups can develop their solution using Thingsee One, get on with tests and pilots on the field using Thingsee One, and in many cases get their first customers using Thingsee One.”

    • Open Data

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Fox’s John Stossel Thinks Secondhand Smoke Isn’t Deadly

      Fox’s John Stossel claimed that “there is no good data showing secondhand smoke kills people,” ignoring years of studies and a 2014 Surgeon General report that determined millions of Americans have died as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.

    • Monsanto Seeks to Bring GM Corn to the Ukraine

      Monsanto has been making headway toward bringing GMOs (genetically modified organisms) into Ukraine. Former Ukraine President, Viktor Yanukovych, rejected a proposed $17 billion loan to Ukraine from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in late 2013, because the loan required the introduction of GMO seeds and Ukrainian law bars farmers from growing GM crops. Long considered “the bread basket of Europe,” Ukraine’s rich black soil is ideal for growing grains, and in 2012 Ukrainian farmers harvested more than 20 million tons of corn.

  • Security

    • Report: 31 percent of detected threats in 2014 attributed to Conficker

      Six years after first being spotted in the wild, Conficker is still making its rounds online, and new research suggests that 31 percent of this year’s top threats involved the worm.

      Conficker capitalizes on unpatched machines that are still running Windows XP, as well as systems operating pirated versions of Windows, according to F-Secure’s Threat Report H1 2014, which identifies the top 10 threats of the first half of 2014. The countries most at risk for the worm are Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Malaysia and France.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • “U.S. Drones Kill 28 ‘Unknowns’ for Every Intended Target”
    • U.S. drones kill 28 innocents for every ‘bad guy’
    • November Drone Report: Strikes Spike in Yemen, Children Reportedly Killed in Pakistan
    • Arithmetic of Precision Drone Strikes: Kill 28 to Eliminate 1 Target
    • The Drone War: Mitigating Collateral Damage
    • A “Precise” U.S. Drone War? Report Says 28 Unidentified Victims Killed for Every 1 Target

      A new report finds U.S. drone strikes kill 28 unidentified people for every intended target. While the Obama administration has claimed its drone strikes are precise, the group Reprieve found that strikes targeting 41 people in Yemen and Pakistan have killed more than 1,000 other, unnamed people. In its attempts to kill al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri alone, the CIA killed 76 children and 29 adults; al-Zawahiri remains alive. We are joined by Jennifer Gibson, staff attorney at Reprieve and author of the new report, “You Never Die Twice: Multiple Kills in the U.S. Drone Program.”

    • Obama’s Drone Campaign: Portrait of a Failed War on Terror

      Murderous US Foreign Policy Only Recruits More Terrorists

    • Shaky drones

      The US has always dodged questions about the legality of its drone strikes by arguing on grounds of efficiency.

    • The dirty consequences of our clean wars

      The fact that only 25% of airstrikes in Iraq and 5% of airstrikes in Syria are pre-planned, with the vast majority being undertaken by aircraft and drones ‘on the fly’ (i.e. when a ‘target of opportunity’ is spotted) will no doubt impact on the number of civilian casualties killed in this air war.

    • In Yemen, al Qaeda’s Greatest Enemy Is Not America’s Friend

      Locals describe Manasa as a village, but it’s little more than a complex of houses loosely clustered around an earthen courtyard at the end of a bumpy dirt track five hours from Yemen’s capital of Sanaa.

    • Former PM slams US Vice President for comments on M’sian judiciary

      Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pix) slammed US Vice President Joe Biden for his comment on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial in which he said that the appeal against the conviction was a chance for Malaysia to “promote confidence” in its judiciary.

      “The Vice President needs to look at his own country first. In America, citizens are given life sentences and they do not even know about it, the government sentences them and uses drones to kill them.

      “This is the country that is advising us about the sanctity of law? It seems that they have an ulterior motive for Anwar to become the Prime Minister,” said Mahathir.

      Biden was unusually direct about his remarks on Twitter recently saying that the Malaysian government’s use of legal system & Sedition Act to stifle the opposition raises rule of law concerns.

    • From Ferguson to Yemen: What If We Aren’t So Different After All?

      While saddened by the news out of Ferguson, Missouri this past week, I am not surprised. Once again an unarmed black teen was shot dead by an “other than” black man, and the legal industry was used to exonerate the killer. I say legal industry, because it is no longer a system of due process and equal protection, and no longer seeking justice. It is merely an industry which allows experts and insiders to use the law to further their own agenda.

    • Drone strikes kill nine in Yemen

      A suspected US drone strike in Yemen killed nine alleged al-Qaida militants early on Saturday, a security official said, as authorities continue their search for an American photojournalist held by the extremists.

    • War by media and the triumph of propaganda

      Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda? Why are censorship and distortion standard practice? Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power? Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers?

      Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas and to challenge the high claims and low purpose of fake objectivity? And why are they not taught that the essence of so much of what’s called the mainstream media is not information, but power?

      These are urgent questions. The world is facing the prospect of major war, perhaps nuclear war – with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia and eventually China. This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists, including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003.

      The times we live in are so dangerous and so distorted in public perception that propaganda is no longer, as Edward Bernays called it, an “invisible government”. It is the government. It rules directly without fear of contradiction and its principal aim is the conquest of us: our sense of the world, our ability to separate truth from lies.

    • Navy Seeks to Practice Using Electromagnetic Radiation Weapons Over U.S. Soil

      It is estimated that enough electromagnetic radiation will be emitted to melt human eye tissue and cause breast cancer, not to mention the damage to the environment and wildlife on lands ostensibly under federal protection. The Growler planes employ electronic technology to jam enemy radar. Navy officials aim to fly training programs over U.S. lands some 260 days a year. As Jamail writes, “What is at stake is not just whether the military is allowed to use protected public lands in the Pacific Northwest for its war games, but a precedent being set for them to do so across the entire country.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • The Vatican has found hundreds of millions of euro “tucked away”

      THE VATICAN’S ACCOUNTS czar said last night that he had stumbled across hundred of millions of euros “tucked away” in various accounts, describing the windfall as a relic of the papacy’s medieval but soon-to-be reformed financial set-up.

      “We have discovered that the (Vatican’s financial) situation is much healthier than it seemed,” the Australian cardinal Pell told Britain’s Catholic Herald.

  • Censorship

    • Russia Threatens To Ban BuzzFeed

      Russia has warned BuzzFeed that it will ban access to the entire site over a post published on Wednesday about a deadly gunfight in the capital of Chechnya.

      BuzzFeed received an email on Friday from Roskomnadzor, Russia’s federal communications agency, saying that the post “contains appeals to mass riots, extremist activities or participation in mass (public) actions held with infringement of the established order.” It cited statutes laid out by the prosecutor general’s office and said access to the site “is restricted by communications service providers in the territory of the Russian Federation.” It has given BuzzFeed 24 hours to remove the post or face a total ban.

    • Chaos Computer Club on the blocking of our website in UK

      A significant portion of British citizens are currently blocked from accessing the Chaos Computer Club’s (CCC) website. On top of that, Vodafone customers are blocked from accessing the ticket sale to this year’s Chaos Communication Congress (31C3). [1]

      Since July 2013, a government-backed so-called opt out list censors the open internet. These internet filters, authorized by Prime Minister David Cameron, are implemented by UK’s major internet service providers (ISPs). Dubbed as the “Great Firewall of Britain”, the lists block adult content as well as material related to alcohol, drugs, smoking, and even opinions deemed “extremist”.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Green activists from Ecuador harassed by police on way to climate summit

      Activists say their presence at the meeting in Peru would be embarrassing to President Rafael Correa, who wants to drill for oil in the Amazon

    • If Eric Garner’s killer can’t be indicted, what cop possibly could? It’s time to fix grand juries

      Grand juries were designed to be a check on prosecutors and law enforcement. Instead, they’ve become a corrupt shield to protect those with power and another sword to strike down those without. And it’s now all too obviously past time the system was overhauled to fix that.

    • British military base in Bahrain is a ‘reward’ for UK’s silence on human rights, say campaigners

      The Royal Navy will set up a permanent base in Bahrain, to the dismay of human rights campaigners who say the base is a “reward” for the British’s government silence over torture, attacks on peaceful protesters and arbitrary detention in the tiny kingdom.

    • Rookie NYPD officer who shot Akai Gurley in Brooklyn stairwell was texting union rep as victim lay dying

      In the six and a half minutes after Peter Liang discharged a single bullet that struck Gurley, 28, he and his partner couldn’t be reached, sources told the Daily News. And instead of calling for help for the dying man, Liang was texting his union representative. What’s more, the sources said, the pair of officers weren’t supposed to be patrolling the stairways of the Pink Houses that night.

    • SAFE hosts de-hired professor from University of Illinois

      Salaita, who was set to begin a tenured position at Illinois this fall, had his job offer retracted after a number of donors, students and faculty at the school contended that he was anti-Semitic.

    • The Police in America Are Becoming Illegitimate

      Nobody’s willing to say it yet. But after Ferguson, and especially after the Eric Garner case that exploded in New York yesterday after yet another non-indictment following a minority death-in-custody, the police suddenly have a legitimacy problem in this country.

    • Man who filmed Eric Garner in chokehold says grand jury was rigged

      Ramsey Orta — who recorded the July 17 incident in which Officer Daniel Pantaleo put Eric Garner in a chokehold shortly before he died on his cellphone — told the Daily News the grand jury ‘wasn’t fair from the start,’ and claims his testimony only lasted 10 minutes. ‘I think they already had their minds made up,’ he said.

    • Sunday Explainer: The unprecedented immigration powers awarded to Scott Morrison

      In the words of Motoring Enthusiast Party Senator Ricky Muir, the upper house was faced with a choice between a “bad decision or a worse decision”. He opted for what he decided was the former, and gave the government the final vote it needed for the controversial Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment bill to pass the Senate, 34 votes to 32. The amended legislation was then rushed through the House of Representatives, which was due to have its final sitting day of the year on Thursday, but returned on Friday to pass it into law in just 12 minutes.

    • Stephen Colbert Slams Fox News’ Willful Ignorance On Race Relations

      Colbert: Non-Indictments For Police Shootings Could Be Seen “As Part Of A Larger Troubling Trend. Or, You Could Be Fox News.”

    • Violence erupts in Greece

      A march through central Athens to mark the sixth anniversary of the fatal police shooting of an unarmed teenager quickly turned violent Saturday, as marchers damaged store fronts and bus stations, and set fire to clothes looted from a shop.

      Clashes also broke out between police and demonstrators marching through the northern city of Thessaloniki. At night, police fired tear gas and stun grenades after a crowd of marchers beat up two plainclothes policemen there.

    • As protests mount, Athens braces for the worst

      For more than 20 days now, 21-year-old anarchist Nikos Romanos has been on hunger strike, demanding prison leave to attend lectures after he passed university entrance exams.

    • Theresa May’s child sexual abuse inquiry faces new storm

      Two members of Theresa May’s panel inquiring into child sex abuse are facing calls to resign after being accused of sending threatening or insulting emails to victims who had criticised the inquiry.

      Lawyers for one abuse survivor have written to the home secretary to complain of a string ofunsolicited communications, including an allegedly threatening email sent two days before an official meeting that both panellists and an abuse survivor were due to attend.

    • Body Cameras Worn by Police Officers Are No ‘Safeguard of Truth,’ Experts Say

      Michael Brown’s family, on the night of the Ferguson grand jury decision, called for all police in the United States to wear body cameras.

      Mayor Bill de Blasio, in announcing that some of New York’s police officers would begin wearing them, said “body cameras are one of the ways to create a real sense of transparency and accountability.”

      And on Monday, President Obama said he would request $75 million in federal funds to distribute 50,000 body cameras to police departments nationwide, saying they would improve police relations with the public.

    • Kerry Puts Brakes on CIA Torture Report

      Secretary of State John Kerry personally phoned Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Friday morning to ask her to delay the imminent release of her committee’s report on CIA torture and rendition during the George W. Bush administration, according to administration and Congressional officials.

      [...]

      But those concerns are not new, and Kerry’s 11th-hour effort to secure a delay in the report’s release places Feinstein in a difficult position: She must decide whether to set aside the administration’s concerns and accept the risk, or scuttle the roll-out of the investigation she fought for years to preserve.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

EPO Imploding: Battistelli Throws a Fit at EPO’s Investigation Unit

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Patent institution of Europe is showing signs of tear as protests intensify and suppression of these protests — as well as suppression of investigation — intensifies as well

THE corrupt EPO is facing backlash and there are several internal protests these days (we will cover these in another post). More insiders are coming to us with evidence, showing quite clearly that even those within the institution recognise the severe problems. Nothing demonstrates this better than Battistelli’s actions as covered the other day by IPKat. Battistelli, who already destroyed some regulatory/oversight structures, has just ousted part of the Investigation Unit. To quote IPKat: “In recent posts here and here Merpel has been spreading the word concerning the increasing disquiet and anxiety felt by her and many others regarding the running of the European Patent Office, its staff relations, finances and other issues. These posts, as well as those that preceded them, have generated a considerable amount of interest among readers, and a large email postbag from users of the Office from across the globe — though to her sadness neither she nor the IPKat have yet received so much as a peep from any of the members of the European Patent Organisation’s Administrative Council [even though she knows that quite a number of them are subscribers to this weblog].

“Merpel’s disquiet is moving up a gear now, since she has since learned that a Board of Appeal member has just been suspended from office and escorted from the building. Apparently the ground of suspension is alleged misconduct and the EPO’s Investigation Unit has been instructed to examine the matter. Merpel’s intelligence reveals that the suspension (technically a “house ban”, she believes, but with the same functionality as a suspension) was ordered by none other than President Battistelli himself. Now there is a structure for dealing with alleged misconduct on the part of Board of Appeal members — but there are also checks and balances in place. One such check is that the power to suspend Board of Appeal members lies in the hands of the Administrative Council and not the President: if this were not the case, we would have the executive branch of the EPO having effective control of the judiciary — a dangerous and undesirable situation.”

Battistelli is trying to scare his staff, but it won’t be long before they topple him. We welcome EPO staff to safely disclose information to us. We have never let a source down or failed to protect a source’s identity.

The Threat is Not Over: Microsoft Bribes Against Linux Adoption and in Favour of Extortion Against Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A reminder of the fact that Microsoft actively and even illegally challenges the adoption of GNU/Linux

TECHRIGHTS agrees with Christine Hall (FOSS Force) nearly all the time, except when it comes to DRM and this new piece which downplays Microsoft’s threat to FOSS. A lot of people foolishly choose to believe that Microsoft has changed, but all that has changed is Microsoft’s public face. The lawsuits, the abuses, the sabotage etc. continue to this day and so do the AstroTurfing tactics. We cover a lot of examples and we occasionally show that Microsoft is worse and more abusive than before. It just hides it better from many more people. It’s about visibility.

A lot of people seem to have forgotten (or are not taking for granted) that Microsoft extorts GNU/Linux. It’s not just about Android but also SUSE, which is busy bribing its critics to create positive coverage for itself (we don’t know if Bryan Lunduke too was bribed, but we know about several others). Microsoft is still a powerhouse of media manipulation, owing to PR agencies that it has harassing journalists. Let’s look at a timely example. If you criticise the CBS-owned ZDNet (technology propaganda site) in any of its sites over its propaganda pact with Microsoft, then they will censor (delete) your comments. It’s about visibility; even its pact with Microsoft is hard to come by. As we have shown before, there is a rogue relationship there, with staff that works for ZDNet and Microsoft simultaneously, commenters who anonymously post from Microsoft, commenters whom Microsoft is paying, etc. ZDNet is so utterly determined to spew out Microsoft propaganda that it hires Microsoft staff, publishes ads as “articles”, and even resorts to bullying innocent people (women too) who write negative reviews about Microsoft-branded products (yes, Ed Bott has just done that too). Microsoft Jack is now fudging numbers to make the utterly terrible Vista 8 (worst ever Windows) look like a “success”. Well, that’s ZDNet: Veiled advertising/agenda disguised as “news” from Microsoft boosters like Ed Bott et al. as well as past and present Microsoft staff. But it’s not just ZDNet though. Look who advertises Microsoft in AOL articles. Yes, it’s still Sarah Perez, who does not disclose her past salaries from Microsoft. This is just one aspect among many which remind us of Microsoft’s exceptional evil, witch-hunting critics of its products, firing (or causing the firing) of critics, and injecting propaganda into the media. There has been a big dispute over at Twitter about this. ZDNet is finally receiving some heat.

“This is just one aspect among many which remind us of Microsoft’s exceptional evil, witch-hunting critics of its products, firing (or causing the firing) of critics, and injecting propaganda into the media.”Over at Condé Nast, Microsoft Peter is now covering the Microsoft-Barnes & Noble ‘deal’, which was essentially a bribe against Linux. As Jim Lynch correctly pointed out: “Suspicious minds might think that Microsoft cut the deal just to shut Barnes and Noble up about the patent issues involved. After all, it would have been very tough for a company like Barnes and Noble to say no to $300 million dollars from Microsoft. Who cares about patents when you get handed that kind of cash?”

Yes, it was a bribe. We said it all along. They just don’t call it “bribe”, they rename it. As for Microsoft’s rival to Android, it is pretty much dead. As IDG put it the other day: “The first three Windows Phone versions were pathetically backward compared to iOS and Android, but Windows Phone 8.1 — whose release began this summer in a series of fits and starts based on carriers’ and device makers’ whims — started to make Windows Phone a credible platform. However, buyers don’t seem impressed. Maybe they’ve given up on Windows Phone after four years of ineptitude; maybe they’re waiting for next year’s Windows 10, which Microsoft says this time — we promise! — will be really good (as it always does).

“Whatever the reason — and despite Microsoft making the Windows Phone OS free for smartphone makers last winter, to boost adoption — Windows Phone’s market share is shrinking.

“But Windows Phone’s issues aren’t merely the state of the mobile OS. Jan Dawson, principal analyst at Jackdaw Research, has analyzed Windows Phone and in a report released today has concluded that the platform is unlikely to rebound. Dawson is not a partisan of any platform, so his conclusions carry serious weight.

“Windows Phone is in a downward spiral — without a strong underlying operating system, developers can’t create compelling apps. Without a reasonable market share, developers won’t create reasonable apps, even if the OS supports them. Without a compelling device, OS, and app combination, users won’t buy Windows Phone in any significant quantities, so developers have no incentive.”

The amazing thing is that Microsoft managed to impose this garbage on mobile giant Nokia, this time too using a bribe (to Nokia and to Elop), derailing the company’s huge Linux push. Elop, according to this new analysis from Ahonen, was the worst Nokia CEO of all time and this was part of the plan because “Elop had a personal bonus clause that rewarded him for destroying the Nokia handset business.” Here is an expanded quote from Ahonen:

Elop wiped that all out with a rampage of destroying Nokia. Three years after the new Windows Phone based Lumia smartphones were released, Nokia’s smartphone market share was down to 3%. Yes Elop had managed to wipe out nine out of ten customers for the most loyal dumbphone customer base on the planet and the second highest loyalty smartphone brand (behind only iPhone). It was kterally a world record in market leader destruction. No industry has ever seen this rapid collapse of its market leader, not even under catastrophic conditions like Toyota’s brakes failures in cars, or from sheer management stupdity before like Coca Cola’s launch of New Coke. Never has any company collapsed its global leadership position as fast as Elop demolished Nokia. And note, when Toyota hit its brakes or Coca Cola decided to go New, they were not twice as big as their nearest rival. Nokia’s smartphone unit was more than twice as big as Apple in smartphones, and the unit was four times as big as Samsung’s smartphone business. (PS we found out after he was ousted from Nokia’s CEO job as the shortest-duration biggest failure Nokia CEO of all time, that Elop had a personal bonus clause that rewarded him for destroying the Nokia handset business… yeah, irony of ironies. The Financial Times calculated that Elop was rewarded an extra 1.5 million dollars for every biillion dollars he wiped out of Nokia shareholder value. The FT compared Elop’s heist with the worst of Wall Street criminals like Bernie Madoff)

If you thought the Windows Phone strategy was right but Nokia was just inept at implementing it, nobody should be able to do it better than Microsoft. So now we have six months of Microsoft ownership of Nokia’s handset business. How is the smartphone business? The Lumia business market share under full Microsoft control now is… 3%. And mind you, in four years since Elop announced his Windows strategy the Nokia smartphone business has not managed one quarter of a profit. Yes now its been 18 quarters straight, launching Lumia, launching Windows Phone 8, and switching ownership from Nokia to Microsoft and nothing helped. Not one quarter of profit. The Microsoft handset business dream is utterly dead.

[...]

But what Microsoft did not want, when it spent 7 billion dollars to buy Nokia’s handset business, is to see Nokia compete against it. The exclusive licence to the Nokia brand was a long term thing for dumbphones but only a short-term thing for smartphones (and apparently, tablets). Nokia already pulled a dirty trck on Microsoft when it launched the short-lived X series that ran on Android. Microsoft killed off that project soon after they took over the handset business this year. But that was further confusion to the minds of consumers on what is the ‘Nokia’ (brand) intending to do. Is that Windows Phone -thingy, the whats-it-called-operation-system is it viable or not. If Nokia already launches on Android. So yeah, Microsoft had to kill it.

Now Microsoft has stopped using the Nokia branding on its newest smartphones. They are just branded Microsoft Lumia. And just months later, appears a brand new Nokia branded gadget, a tablet. This.. running Android. Even before we hear any rumors of a Nokia branded smartphone again from Finland, this is bad news for Microsoft’s tablet strategy.

Will the N1 Tablet sell in enough numbers to show any relevance to Nokia’s business? No, of course not. It will be the squeak of a mouse in the noise of a thunderstorm, but it is Nokia’s first salvo. It does signal first of all, that Nokia wants to return. Secondly, it signals the total break from Windows. If any device by Finland’s ‘real’ Nokia made sense to do on Windows, more than a smartphone, that would be a tablet. That Nokia now clearly spits in the eye of its ‘partner’ Microsoft, and does the tablet on Android is clear signal, Nokia is finished with Windows. For good. Forever.

To all those who so hastily claim that Microsoft is no longer against GNU/Linux (and by extension FOSS) or is no longer criminal, well… check the facts more carefully. The worst thing is becoming unable to recognise that who is attacking you in various ways, usually by proxy.

Steve Jobs is Back With Vengeance Into the Courtroom

Posted in Apple, Courtroom, DRM at 5:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple headquarters

Summary: Steve Jobs recalled for his reasonably hostile track record of megalomaniac tendencies

ONE of our readers sent us some interesting reports about Steve Jobs’ rudeness [1], determination to attack Android/Linux with patents [2], and a lawsuit [3] over DRM [4] where Steve Jobs’ ghost is back to haunt digital freedom.

“He also started a wave of patent abuses, ranging from threats (like those veiled threats against Palm) to lawsuits that would last several years and drain budgets, remove features, etc.”Over the years we have criticised Steve Jobs (before and after his death) because his contribution to DRM — contrary to what Apple fans care to admit — has been great. He also started a wave of patent abuses, ranging from threats (like those veiled threats against Palm) to lawsuits that would last several years and drain budgets, remove features, etc. So much for innovation, eh?

We continue to reject the notion that just because someone is dead it should be impossible to criticise him or her, especially if that person is a public figure (like a politician). Sadly, however, some people disagree and want to treat any criticism of Jobs like blasphemy or “speaking ill of the dead” (inducing censorship). As the reports below serve to show, Jobs does not deserve to be treated as though he was a hero, except perhaps by those who cherish corporate control over people, using digital means (that’s why the corporate press loves to idolise Jobs so much).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. 10 best Steve Jobs emails

    Emails sent by Jobs have surfaced once again in a class action lawsuit brought against Apple (AAPL, Tech30) for making iTunes the exclusive store for iPod music. Jobs’ emails are characteristically frank, which could hurt Apple.

    Jobs’ famous candor wasn’t limited to face-to-face encounters. His brusque manner translated to email as well. That’s unusual for modern CEOs, who are trained to exercise restraint in emails. Those words can easily be entered as evidence in a trial.

    Either Jobs didn’t get that message — or he didn’t care. These 10 emails from Apple’s co-founder reveal the stern, outspoken and often witty personality that made him one of the most charismatic CEOs of his era.

  2. Why Steve Jobs Went ‘Thermonuclear’ Over Android

    Anyone who follows the smartphone and tablet market knows that Android has become the No. 1 mobile operating system in the world. They also know that, prior to his death in 2011, Steve Jobs was not very happy about Google’s mobile operating system. In fact, he made a rather bold threat when he talked about his dislike of this competing mobile OS.

    “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this,” the late CEO famously said.

  3. Star Witness in Apple Lawsuit Is Still Steve Jobs
  4. Was Apple’s iPod DRM illegal? Starting today, a jury decides

    This morning, Apple will begin a duel over claims that it used copy-protection schemes known as “digital rights management,” or DRM, to illegally manipulate the market for iPods. The lawsuit, filed nearly 10 years ago, puts some legal firepower behind activists’ claims that the copy-protection DRM is “defective by design.”

Links 6/12/2014: BioShock Comes to GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 3:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Marines dump Microsoft for Linux OS on Northrop Grumman radar

    Just weeks after Northrop Grumman got approval to begin building a new breed of mobile radar systems for the Marine Corps, the Corps has asked the defense contractor in Linthicum to change the operating system.

    The Department of Defense announced a $10.2 million contract modification Wednesday to change the operator command and control software on its G/ATOR radar system Microsoft Windows XP to a Defense Information Systems Agency compliant Linux OS.

    Ingrid Vaughan, director of the program, said the change would mean greater compatability for laptop computers used to control the system in the future.

    In a statement released Friday, she said Microsoft Windows XP is no longer supported by the software developer and the shift to a DOD approved Linux operating system will reduce both the complexity of the operating system and need for future updates.

  • Server

    • IBM Partners With Docker, Launches Containers Service

      IBM partners with Docker, launches the IBM Containers Service and becomes the first company to sell integrated solutions with Docker Hub Enterprise.

    • Docker Has a New Orchestration Platform but APIs Can’t Come Soon Enough

      The launch also included the first of a set of accompanying open APIs aimed at helping ecosystem partners create products and services that align and integrate with the new Docker orchestration offerings. In high demand from developers, the timeline for future APIs is not for several months, which may disappoint some ecosystem partners who have already been waiting for some time for the “plugin APIs” that will enable them to integrate their ecosystem products with the Docker Engine.

    • Where to Find a SysAdmin Job

      The role of system administrator means candidates “need to operate at a somewhat higher level of abstraction,” as Heikki Topi, a professor of computer information systems at Bentley University and a member of the education board at the Association for Computing Machinery, has put it.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation Expands Management Team to Respond to Growth
    • Linux Foundation names Portland’s Steve Westmoreland as CIO

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit that oversees the Linux open source computer operating system, added to its Oregon staff this week by hiring Portland’s Steve Westmoreland as chief information officer.

    • Open Source: Linux Operating System Introduced in 1991

      In the beginning, software was free, something you needed to make the hardware run. Then Microsoft (MSFT) and others demonstrated that people would pay for proprietary code, and for a long while software wasn’t free. But proprietary code was often clunky, and what worked on one kind of computer had to be re-created on others. Soon people realized there was a better way, and software became free again, sort of. Open-source software is essentially software that’s open to the public for tinkering, and over time that tinkering makes the code stronger. Linux, the classic example, is an operating system that’s been so extensively customized and built upon, versions of it now run everything from data centers, PCs, TVs, and cars to your Android smartphone. Companies still charge for apps and services, but much of the technology we use today is based on building blocks that are free and open to the imagination.

    • Linux Foundation Adds New Leaders, New Events for 2015

      Over the past couple of years, The Linux Foundation has emerged as a very influential organization overseeing not only directly Linux-related initiatives, but important technology efforts including building out “The Internet of Everything.” This week, the foundation made a series of announcements, including the news that it is expanding its leadership team, and news about events that the foundation will sponsor in 2015. Here is more.

    • Graphics Stack

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux Benchmarks Of Intel’s Edison Module

        Intel’s Edison Module is a development platform for prototyping wearable computing devices and IoT devices. Here’s some Linux benchmarks with the Intel Edison running on Debian.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

  • Distributions

    • Zorin: That is Flexibility!

      About 2 years ago I tried Zorin 6.0 and have used it and upgraded it on one of my computers since. I especially like the Zorin OS desktop experience because I can change it to look like Windows 7 or like Mac. That is flexibility! I also enjoy the Ubuntu type repository system!

    • Puzzle GNU/Linux: Integrated Pieces Create an Intriguing OS

      Puzzle GNU/Linux is a strange OS distribution that shows the value of open source ingenuity. This Linux distro is built around a hybrid desktop that is highly customizable.

    • Reviews

      • Makulu Linux 6.0 KDE: Guaranteed to make you smile

        Another Makulu Linux distribution was released today, and that’s always good news! This time it is the KDE desktop for the Makulu 6.x series. The Xfce version of this was just released a couple of weeks ago, so I don’t expect for there to be any major surprises: I hope that means this will not be a very lengthy post.

      • Linux Lite 2.2 Review – Consumes Low Memory, But Failed to Wake My PC from Sleep

        ‘Linux Lite’ is a GNU/Linux distribution based on the Ubuntu’s Long Term Support releases. It includes the lightweight & fully functional XFCE desktop environment, comes with full support for proprietor multimedia playback & a few applications of its own (software updater, additional app installer, a ‘cleaner’…) that should assist a novice user for easily managing the installed operating system.

    • New Releases

      • Q4OS 0.5.22 version released

        The new version improve font appearance for GTK2 applications and brings more accurate GTK2 styles in both classical and modern Q4OS themes. Lookswitcher, the tool to switch between Q4OS desktop themes, now works flawlessly, it has been fixed to prevent styles mixing on some rare switch attempts. Shortcuts in non-default Kickoff menu have been updated. More internal improvements has been made and several minor bugs has been closed.

    • Ballnux/SUSE

      • CentOS Rolls Along as openSUSE 12.3 Nears EOL

        Karanbir Singh today announced the inaugural release of CentOS rolling builds. CentOS will be releasing monthly respins of CentOS to include “all security, bugfix, enhancement and general updates.” In other news, openSUSE 12.3 nears the end of its support and hit game BioShock Infinite looks to be heading to a Linux machine near you.

      • Tumbleweed is rolling along

        It has been more than a month since the new structure of opensuse Tumbleweed was announced (see my earlier post), and we have seen it in practice for a month.

      • Opensuse linux for education 13.2 — a review

        Overall, this is a nice package. It might be a good place to start for someone wanting to try out opensuse for the first time.

      • openSUSE 12.3 Is Approaching End of Life Fast

        openSUSE 12.3 is now very close to reach End of Life and the support cycle will be terminated in a few weeks time, meaning no more updates will be provided for the aging operating system.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Release for CentOS Linux Rolling media
      • ALERT: A Software Security Transparency Breach Warning

        The example of how the NSA intentionally inserted weakened string constants into Elliptic Curve Cryptography lay hidden for several years, in fact, and was only exposed by a languishing open Red Hat trouble ticket. What was odd was how given the potential seriousness of the incident, no action was being taken to look at the source code and change it. As more comments appended to the ticket, the level of suspicion grew to the point of where NIST was forced to open up an investigation.

      • Red Hat, Huawei Partner on OpenStack for NFV

        The two tech vendors see the OpenStack solution as an ideal platform for telecommunications vendors that want to bring NFV to their networks.

      • Building an analytics cloud on OpenShift

        Communication and collaboration between development and operations can be difficult to achieve in many organizations, especially in larger environments. These two areas have traditionally operated within ‘silos’ separate from each other – something that can lead to delays and miscommunication.

      • Red Hat and Partners Aim to Infuse Open NFV Tools in Telco Data Centers

        As 2014 draws to a close, we’re seeing a lot of action from telecom players and the open source community surrounding Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) technology. Telecom companies have traditionally had a lot of proprietary tools in the middle and at the basis of their technology stacks. NFV is an effort to combat that, and to help the parallel trends of virtualization and cloud computing stay as open as possible.

      • Fedora

    • Debian Family

      • Release Critical Bug report for Week 49
      • Slackware, Crux, Pisi, Manjaro, Devuan… Freedom-Fighters Or Luddites?

        Debian is going astray. Unless they wake up, many loyal devotees of Debian will move to other distros that do IT the right way. I’m a little old to be distro-hopping but even I can see the necessity of escaping the entanglement, the single point of failure, and the loss of control that systemd represents.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Meizu MX4 Running Ubuntu Touch Surfaces

            Meizu is really under the spotlight lately. The company has launched their latest handset just recently, Meizu is doing great as far as sales go and everything seems to be in place. This Chinese OEM has big plans, no doubt about that. They have signed an agreement with Alibaba a while back in order to use parts of Alibaba’s YunOS in their own Flyme OS and basically created a partnership between two companies. That’s not the only agreement Meizu signed in the last couple of month, just last month this company has agreed partnership with Canonical, a UK-based company which is known as the creator and developer of Ubuntu operating system some of us are very familiar with. Ubuntu OS has been available for PCs for a long time now, but this company created a mobile version of this OS (Ubuntu Touch) as well and we’ve seen it in action when Canonical showcased it on one of the Nexus handset a while back, I really don’t recall which one was it. Ubuntu was also shown off on Meizu MX3 a while back and it will be arriving on Meizu handsets officially in Q1 2015 according to the agreement which Canonical and Meizu signed.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • KitKat BSPs support TI Sitara and BeagleBone Black

      Adeneo announced Android 4.4.4 (KitKat) BSPs for the TI Sitara AM335x and Sitara AM437x development platforms and the AM335x-based BeagleBone Black SBC.

      Adeneo Embedded is a Platinum Member of the TI Design Network, and has previously released a number of Linux and Android BSPs (board support packages) for Texas Instruments processors and development boards. In Feb. 2013, for example, Adeneo announced an Android BSP for the TI OMAP 5 family of system-on-chips.

    • £50 MIPS is a micro-computer running Android and Linux

      Rapberri Pis are all the rage these days, but now there’s a new kid on the micro-computing block. Unveiled by British chip design company Imagination Technologies, the MIPS Creator CI20 is being dubbed as a rival mini-comp to the venerable Pi.

    • Creator CI20 is an Android or Linux-powered Raspberry Pi competitor
    • Phones

      • Android

        • A video history of Android

          Today, Android is the world’s most pervasive mobile operating system on the planet, powering millions of smartphones, tablets, wearables, and more. But that wasn’t always the case, and Android’s public life started from humble beginnings just about six years ago.

        • Android motorcycle helmet open for pre-order

          Skully announced a limited public pre-order round for its Android-based head-up display motorcycle helmet, available for $1,499 through Jan. 8.

          The “world’s first augmented reality motorcycle helmet,” was a record-breaking $2.8 million Indiegogo success this summer, says Skully. (The frozen Indiegogo page shows a total of $2.44 million, but hey, it’s still a lot of money.) The helmets are now shipping, and beginning Monday, anyone can order the smart helmet, as long as you have $1,499 left in your holiday gift fund.

        • ​Lollipop 5.01 review: The Android release we’ve been waiting for

          Is it finally safe to upgrade to Android 5 after the recent release of Android 5.01? Based on my experiences with my pair of 2013 Nexus 7 tablets, the answer is an unqualified yes.

        • 10 of the best Android apps from November 2014

          November sure was a busy month for new apps and notable updates; from photo recognition, to launchers, to Biz Stone’s new app for sharing random thoughts.

        • Top 10 Android Apps For November 2014

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • You Couldn’t Make It Up

      Tony Blair names Henry Kissinger as his role model.

    • Tony Blair’s wealth estimated at £10m

      Tony Blair has insisted that his much-criticised business dealings with dubious governments round the world have not been as lucrative as people think – as one of his staff suggested his wealth amounted to about £10m.

  • Finance

    • Billionaires Featured Four Times As Often As the Poor on TV News

      In June 2014, Frederick Reese’s Mint Press report highlighted the fact that the advocacy group Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) conducted a study showing that the three major broadcast newscasts – ABC World News, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News – featured billionaires almost four times as often as individuals affected by poverty. Poverty is an issue that affects 50 million Americans, a significantly larger number of individuals than the 482 billionaires that these newscasts covered.

    • It’s official: America is now No. 2

      Hang on to your hats, America.

      And throw away that big, fat styrofoam finger while you’re about it.

      There’s no easy way to say this, so I’ll just say it: We’re no longer No. 1. Today, we’re No. 2. Yes, it’s official. The Chinese economy just overtook the United States economy to become the largest in the world. For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, America is not the leading economic power on the planet.

      It just happened — and almost nobody noticed.

      The International Monetary Fund recently released the latest numbers for the world economy. And when you measure national economic output in “real” terms of goods and services, China will this year produce $17.6 trillion — compared with $17.4 trillion for the U.S.A.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ALEC Fumes: Transparency Threatens Corporate Free Speech!

      After spending hundreds of millions of undisclosed funds on state and federal elections, the corporate members of the American Legislative Exchange Council are demanding that state legislators preserve their “right” to anonymously spend money on politics and curry favor with elected officials, and to thwart shareholder efforts to hold the corporations they own accountable.

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

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