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07.20.14

Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

Posted in News Roundup at 4:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • EFF releases experimental open wireless router firmware

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has announced the release of the alpha version of an Open Wireless Router firmware. It was officially announced at the HOPE X (Hackers on Planet Earth) conference in New York City.

  • Standardized open source products are the key to unlocking the lock-in trap

    Mårten Mickos, CEO of Eucalyptus Systems, argues that when companies lock in to their own design and customizations, it’s as harmful as when they lock in to a vendor. Mickos explains why he thinks using standardized open source products is the best way to avoid both types of lock-in.

  • BSD

  • Public Services/Government

    • Geneva class-rooms switching to free software

      All primary and secondary public schools in the Swiss Canton of Geneva are switching to using Ubuntu GNU/Linux for the PCs used by teachers and students. The switch has been completed by all of the 170 primary public schools, and the migration of the canton’s 20 secondary schools is planned for the next school year. Ubuntu GNU/Linux offers powerful services to the teachers, is easier to maintain, faster, safer and more stable than the decade-old proprietary operating system it is replacing, the canton’s school IT department concludes, based on several four-year long pilots.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Hardware

      • Makeblock Starter Robot Kit Review

        The Makeblock kit is all about assembling building blocks in three major parts: putting together the Arduino caddy, constructing a chassis for it and finally programming it via Arduino IDE.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • FedEx Indicted For Failing To Look Into Its Packages To See If Any Online Pharmacies Were Sending Drugs

      Back in March of last year, we were somewhat disturbed by UPS agreeing to forfeit $40 million to the US government for shipping drugs from “illegal internet pharmacies.” Not that such drugs or pharmacies should be legal (that’s a whole different discussion), but it’s insane to pin the blame for the shipments on the shipping company, whose sole job is to get packages from point A to point B. In fact, we don’t want shipping companies to be liable for what’s in packages, because then they have not just the incentive, but the mandate to snoop through all our packages.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • ‘Mysterious’ Plane Crash – Who benefits?
    • Facts Needed on Malaysian Plane Shoot-Down

      It will likely take some time to determine who downed the Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 people onboard. Initial speculation is that someone with a missile battery mistook the plane as a military aircraft, but the precise motive may be even harder to discern.

    • Airline Horror Spurs New Rush to Judgment

      President Obama and the State Department’s “anti-diplomats” are fanning flames of anger against Russia after the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine. But some U.S. intelligence analysts doubt the popular “blame-the-Russians” scenario, reports Robert Parry.

    • Three Lessons We Need to Heed from the Soviet Downing of KAL 007
    • MH17 makes the situation in Ukraine an American crisis and an EU catastrophe
    • Rebels, extremists have easy access to advanced missiles
    • Russia: US implicating rebels

      On Saturday, Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said the US administration sought to pin the blame on separatists and Russia without waiting for the results of an investigation. “The statements of representatives of the US administration are evidence of a deep political aberration of Washington’s perception of what is going on in Ukraine,” he told Russian news agencies. “At least, that is how the relevant statements can be interpreted,” he said. “Despite an obvious and indisputable nature of the arguments provided by rebels and Moscow, the US administration is pushing its own agenda,” he said. Meanwhile, a rebel leader appealed to Russia for help with worsening conditions at the crash site of a Malaysian airliner, accusing the Ukrainian government of preventing experts from arriving and allowing bodies to rot.

    • MH17 joins long list of commercial planes shot down

      Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 that was blown out of the sky while flying across eastern Ukraine, was not a sole casualty of warfare.

    • Missiles are now so easy to get that it’s a miracle more planes haven’t been shot down

      Stinger man-portable missiles may also threaten the U.S. Army crews of Apache helicopter gunships recently dispatched to Baghdad to secure the airport and defend the U.S. embassy. Intelligence reports say that the Islamic State organization, also known as ISIS, has likely captured U.S.-made Stingers. In seizing major cities such as Mosul and Tikrit, and overrunning four Iraqi army divisions, Islamic State fighters have reportedly taken control of two major weapons depots, where Stingers were likely stored along with other sophisticated U.S.-manufactured armaments.

    • Russia’s Missiles Stung the World Long Before MH17

      On May 1, 1960, a U-2 spy plane operated by the CIA took off from an airbase in Peshawar, Pakistan. The existence of the U-2 was a secret. It had an unusual appearance created by its long, slender wings. These wings gave it the ability to fly at heights beyond 70,000 feet to the edge of the stratosphere, way above any other airplanes.

    • All hands stained with blood

      Ricardo and Lugo flew back to Trinidad and checked in at the then Holiday Inn in Port of Spain. There, that said evening, that local police under Randolph Burroughs arrested them and found incriminating evidence that linked them to anti-Castro CIA operative Luis Carriles.

      It turned out that the CIA, and possibly higher officials in Washington, were aware of the plot to blow up the Cubana plane. Even worse, Washington helped Carriles escape and evade prosecution in Venezuela and/or Cuba (Ricardo and Lugo were jailed in Caracas).

    • Ex-Shin Bet Chief: Israeli Illusions Fueled Blowup

      Yuval Diskin, who served as director of Israel’s Shin Bet security service from 2005 to 2011, posted some rather blunt observations on his Facebook page this morning regarding the tit-for-tat murders of teenagers, the Palestinian rioting in East Jerusalem and the Triangle (the Arab population center south of Haifa) and what he fears is coming down the pike.

      It strikes me that he’s probably saying a lot of what IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz was thinking at this week’s security cabinet meeting, when Gantz’s far more restrained comments led to a tongue-lashing from Naftali Bennett. In other words, this is how the current meltdown looks to much of the top Israeli military and intelligence brass. It’s what they’ve been saying privately while in uniform and publicly after retiring (and occasionally even while still in uniform). I’ve taken the liberty of translating Diskin’s Hebrew into English.

    • Hacker Group Anonymous launches #OpSaveGaza, an intensive online offensive against Israel

      In an online offensive against Israel, the global hacker group took down hundreds of Israeli websites including that of Tel Aviv Police Department, which is still not available, at the time of writing this report

    • Israel Vows to Escalate Gaza Offensive: 341 Killed
    • Israel using flechette shells in Gaza

      The munitions are not prohibited under international humanitarian law, but according to B’Tselem, “other rules of humanitarian law render their use in the Gaza Strip illegal. One of the most fundamental principles is the obligation to distinguish between those who are involved and those who are not involved in the fighting, and to avoid to the extent possible injury to those who are not involved. Deriving from this principle is the prohibition of the use of an imprecise weapon which is likely to result in civilian injuries.”

    • Israeli envoy to US lands in hot water

      Dubai- Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer landed himself in hot water Thursday when Palestine activists posted a barrage of sarcastic questions to his Twitter Q&A #AskDermer thread. The Q&A was held amid escalating violence between Israel and Hamas forces in Gaza. The hashtag, which was used more than 20,000 times, included questions that were harshly critical of Israel’s strategy in Gaza. Many tweets by activists were snarky, and others were angry. Eli Clifton wrote: IDF says houses, hospitals, schools and mosques are weapons depots. What were the “human shields” shielding on the beach? #AskDermer US Dept of Drone War wrote: A Palestinian walks into a bar. Do you A) Blow up the bar, B) Blow up the person’s home, or C) Kill 4 random kids on a beach? #AskDermer

    • Israel-Gaza conflict: Baby killed by tank as IDF begins ground offensive
    • Hamas raid kills two Israeli soldiers

      In their most audacious attack Saturday, Hamas fighters dressed in Israeli army uniforms slipped from central Gaza into Israel through a tunnel and attacked an Israeli army patrol, killing two soldiers and injuring two others. The army returned fire, killing one militant and forcing the rest back through the tunnel into the Palestinian territory.

    • Despite Israeli Push in Gaza, Hamas Fighters Slip Through Tunnels

      Eight Palestinian militants emerged from a tunnel some 300 yards inside Israel on Saturday morning, armed with automatic weapons and wearing Israeli military uniforms, the Israeli military said. The gunmen fired a rocket-propelled grenade at two Israeli military jeeps on patrol, starting a battle that killed two Israeli officers and one of the militants, according to the military. The rest then retreated underground, back to Gaza.

    • Hamas Fighters Infiltrate Israel Through Tunnel and Kill Two Soldiers

      As Israel continued its deadly assault on the Gaza Strip, Hamas militants sneaked into the country on Saturday and killed two soldiers, delivering the worst blow to the Israeli military on its side of the Gaza border in years.

    • Pakistan condemns US drone strike in NWA
    • US drone stike on Pakistan compound kills 11

      Pakistan has condemned the US drone strike in North Waziristan in which 15 suspected militants were reportedly killed early Saturday, saying these strikes would have a negative impact on its efforts to bring peace and stability in the country and the region.

    • Death toll rises to 11 in U.S. drone strike in NW Pakistan
    • New York officer in fatal arrest placed on desk duty
    • Complaints About Chokeholds Are Focus of Study
    • Outrage Mounts Over Death of Staten Island Man Placed in NYPD Chokehold [Updated]

      When LIRR workers and the MTA reached an agreement to avoid the strike that would have begun on Sunday, it seemed that Mayor de Blasio and his family would be able to leave for their ten-day Italian vacation on Friday, as scheduled. But on Friday evening, De Blasio’s office announced that the mayor would remain in New York until Saturday “to attend to City business.” According to the New York Times, the mayor wanted to “spend more time making calls to elected officials, community leaders and members of the clergy, and talking to the police” about Eric Garner, the 43-year-old Staten Island man who went into cardiac arrest and died after NYPD officers put him in a chokehold on Thursday. Anyone who has seen the cell phone video of five cops piling onto an unarmed Garner can probably understand why De Blasio felt the need to at least briefly postpone his trip.

    • Israel begins heaviest bombardment yet in Gaza, sending residents fleeing
    • Opinion: Self-righteousness is the siren song of war

      Even the educated are not immune to these feelings. Consider, for instance, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, a well-paid speaker and author, respected by many as an expert in international affairs. Yet, in an interview with Charlie Rose on May 29, 2003, Friedman justified his support of the U.S. invasion of Iraq on the grounds that if we killed enough Iraqis, Arab terrorists would give up believing they can attack us without repercussions. He concluded by saying that “they” needed to see “American boys and girls going from house to house from Basra to Baghdad” and telling people to “suck on this!”

    • Of Planes and Proxies

      In the nineteen-eighties, the C.I.A. handed out Stinger surface-to-air missiles to the mujahideen

    • Clinton papers on Iraq, Haiti released

      President Bill Clinton’s advisers carefully considered how to explain the president’s military action against Iraq in 1998 as the House was debating his impeachment, according to records from the Clinton White House that were released Friday. The documents also touched upon al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, consideration of military action in Haiti in 1994 and preparations for Supreme Court nomination hearings.

    • Top 6 takeaways from the Clinton document dump
    • Clinton had asked for Bin Laden info in 1988 Clinton had asked for Bin Laden info in 1998

      The latest batch shows Mr Clinton asked his national security aides whether the CIA overstated bin Laden’s role in the August 1998 bombing of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

    • Markus R. case highlights spy game between Washington, Moscow and Berlin
    • Can the US accept allies as equals?

      By expelling the CIA station chief in Berlin recently, Germany hoped to jolt the United States into paying attention. Germans are outraged by reports that American spies may have been working inside their security services. Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that hostile operations like this “contradict everything that I understand to be a trusting cooperation between friendly partners.”

    • Loss of trust

      A specialist on German foreign policy at the European Council on Foreign Relations has described the US as a “weak superpower” whose spying methods and surveillance on other countries is solely driven by a feeling of insecurity.

  • Finance

    • US states with higher minimum wages gain more jobs

      The 13 U.S. states that raised their minimum wages at the beginning of this year are adding jobs at a faster pace than those that did not, providing some counter-intuitive fuel to the debate over what impact a higher minimum has on hiring trends.

    • Income Inequality Is Not Rising Globally. It’s Falling.

      The finding comes from a recent investigation by Christoph Lakner, a consultant at the World Bank, and Branko Milanovic, senior scholar at the Luxembourg Income Study Center. And while such a framing may sound startling at first, it should be intuitive upon reflection. The economic surges of China, India and some other nations have been among the most egalitarian developments in history.

    • When the Boss Says, ‘Don’t Tell Your Coworkers How Much You Get Paid’

      Whether I was working as a barista or a paralegal, the story was the same: My employers wanted me to keep my mouth shut about money.

    • What Happens When Detroit Shuts Off the Water of 100,000 People

      When the water trucks arrived near Arlyssa Heard’s home on the west side of Detroit at the end of June, the 42-year-old single mother of two said it felt like the entire neighborhood was being taken over. “There were water trucks literally circling up and down blocks. I’d never seen so many in my life,” she says. “It’s like they were the police hunting down a criminal.”

  • Censorship

    • ‘Friendly Wi-Fi’ Aims To Stop Porn Access In Public Hotspots

      The UK government has launched the ‘Friendly Wi-Fi’ licensing scheme – an effort to make harmful and pornographic content inaccessible through public Wi-Fi networks.

    • ‘Pirate’ Site ISP Blockades Reversed By Court

      As Spain struggles with its continuing online piracy problems, a local court has issued an order for several file-sharing sites to be unblocked by ISPs. The decision overturns a ruling in May which required the service providers to censor torrent and download sites on copyright infringement grounds.

    • Dotcom’s MEGA Blocked in Italy Over Piracy Concerns

      The Court of Rome has issued a nation-wide block of two dozen sites that facilitated the distribution of pirated movies. Among the blocked domains is Kim Dotcom’s cloud hosting service Mega, Firedrive (formerly known as Putlocker), and even Russia’s largest email provider Mail.ru.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • That Comcast Customer Service Rep Wasn’t Going Rogue

      During her time at Comcast, Bruce attended an all-day training session, on a Sunday, four times a year. At the training session, 40 people would be lectured by a trainer who would give “pep talks” about the importance of retaining customers and making sales. In addition to managing calls, Bruce also worked at the counter, where she was instructed to try to convince customers to keep their service, even as they were returning cable gear following a processed cancellation.

    • Verizon made an enemy tonight

      This Netflix video streams at 375 kbps (or 0.375 mbps – 0.5% of the speed I pay for) at the fastest. I was shocked. Then I decided to try connecting to a VPN service to compare.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • RIAA Now Bullying Fully Licensed, Zero Revenue Music Site

        Earlier this week it was reported how the RIAA had decided to turn the licensing thumbscrews on a site offering decades-old radio archives for download. Now another archival site, one that pays thousands of dollars in license fees to BMI, ASCAP and SoundExchange yet makes not a cent, is now in the RIAA spotlight.

      • [Old] Dotcom’s Mega Plans $179m Public Listing Via Reverse Takeover

        Mega.co.nz, the cloud storage company founded by Kim Dotcom, has announced its intention to go public with a backdoor listing on the New Zealand stock exchange. The deal, worth a cool NZ$210m ($179m), will be actioned via a reverse takeover of a local investment shell company.

      • Chrome Blocks uTorrent as Malicious and Harmful Software

        Google’s Chrome browser has started to block downloads of the popular BitTorrent client uTorrent. Those who attempt to download the software are told that it’s malicious and harmful, hinting that the website might have been hacked.

Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

Posted in Mono at 5:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jo Shields

Summary: Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin

The most notoriously foul-mouthed Mono booster is joining Xamarin, which is funded by Microsoft-linked sources and enjoying an alliance with Microsoft, trying to spread Microsoft to everything.

As put by Mr. Shields himself, he got “a job offer 3 months ago from my long-time friend in Open Source, Miguel de Icaza. Monday morning, I fly out to Xamarin’s main office in Boston, for just over a week of induction and face time with my new co workers, as I take on the title of Release Engineer.”

Enjoy a job funded by Microsoft veterans, to promote Microsoft software, and be managed by Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza. Now it’s “pay day” for your years of harassing Mono sceptics.

Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 4:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red Bend Software

Summary: The Linux Foundation’s AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software

THE improperly-named AllSeen Alliance recently let Microsoft in, immediately discrediting itself. But it’s not just FOSS foes, proprietary software giants, patent trolls and software patent lobbyists that are among the AllSeen Alliance’s members. It’s even a company that sued Chrome using software patents. It seems like growth for the sake of quantity — not quality — is what the AllSeen Alliance is after. Since the AllSeen Alliance is tied to the Linux Foundation, this bodes poorly for Linux as a whole. Here is the AllSeen Alliance’s latest mistake: “Red Bend Software is a community member of the AllSeen Alliance and a leader in mobile software management. More than 2 billion Red Bend-enabled devices use the company’s software and services for firmware over-the-air (FOTA) updating, application management, device management, device analytics and mobile virtualization. Customers include more than 100 leading manufacturers, mobile operators, semiconductor vendors and automotive companies worldwide.”

Did the AllSeen Alliance bother to check Red Bend’s history? Maybe, but probably not. Having said that, since the AllSeen Alliance even opened the door to Microsoft, it does not seem to bother at all with quality control. Its name seems to insinuate in-house (universal) surveillance and judging by its members, that is the route it is quite likely to take.

Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

Posted in Site News at 4:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Matt Levy works for CCIA (occasionally a Microsoft proxy) now

Matthew Levy

Summary: Matthew (‘Matt’) Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)

WE ARE excited to see that after the USPTO had begun rejecting software patents and CAFC had ruled against 'abstract' software patents (owing to SCOTUS) there was impact by extrapolation. As TechDirt puts it, “Latest CAFC Ruling Suggests A Whole Lot Of Software Patents Are Likely Invalid”. Another patents expert (especially expert in patent trolls) puts it like this: “The most litigious “patent troll” in the US has lost a major case after the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found its patent was too abstract.”

We continue to be disappointed by the site Patent Progress (notice which controversial entities its writers are affiliated with). The name is misleading and it’s a dot-org too, despite corporate connections. We wrote about this in the past, before we knew that Matt Levy, its main writer, “joined the CCIA in 2013″ (see our Wiki page about CCIA).

Levy continues to favour the IBM-style OIN-esque aggregation of patents. From his latest post: “A coalition of tech companies (Google, Canon, SAP, Newegg, Dropbox and Asana) recently announced a new private initiative to disarm patent trolls: the License on Transfer Network (LOT). This is essentially an extension of Google’s Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge (OPN) that I wrote about in my very first Patent Progress post last year.”

We recently saw several links (e.g. in Twitter) pointing at our older (and sceptical) analysis of Patent Progress. It seems that not only us have noticed the change of agenda, or lack of coherent agenda. Not a word has been said in Patent Progress about the above news, which is massive! Is Patent Progress becoming as credible as ‘Consumer’ Watchdog’? To ‘Consumer’ Watchdog’, only Google is a problem (it seems like an extension of Microsoft’s “Scroogled” PR) and to Patent Progress, the only problem is patent trolls, not patent scope.

Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Security at 4:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dan Goodin

Summary: The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples

SEVERAL days ago several people told us about this article from Matt Asay. Ignoring the issues with proprietary software (EULAs, back doors, etc.) the article makes the bizarre claim that “we’re living in a post-open source world”, as if Free/libre software does not matter anymore. One reader told us that Asay had been “trolling for Black Duck“. Well, looking at the licensing strategy of Asay’s current employer, this position is easy to explain.

Unfortunately, however, the problem is this case is what Red Hat staff called “Asayroll” (troll) and we often call Mac Asay (he does not use FOSS himself). He used to be a fan of the GPL but then turned against it. Black Duck is just one among several data points he uses to bash the GPL now. Other data points (at least two) were partly Microsoft-funded as well; they’re good at hiding it. It’s information war, striving to change perception and kill the GPL with words.

It is not a surprise that Asay attacks the GPL and this is actually IDG’s second article in just about a week which attacks the GPL, citing Microsoft-connected entities. They must be terribly afraid of copyleft, or maybe their clients (like Microsoft) are doing lip service.

In other FUD, Dan Goodin with his provocative images continues to attack FOSS security, focusing all his attention on bugs in FOSS rather than back doors in proprietary software. “Researcher uncovers “catastrophic failure” in random number generation,” he says. Well, actually, in LibreSSL there is much better randomness than in Intel’s hardware-’accelerated’ RNGs (which are likely facilitating back doors by keeping entropy low) and proprietary software, which uses weak (by design) encryption. “Dan is the Security Editor at Ars Technica,” says the site, which really says a lot about where Condé Nasty (owner of Ars Technica) stands on security. It only trash-talks FOSS and GNU/Linux. This is systematic bias, usually by omission.

In more relevant news, watch the article “Embedded Windows XP systems targeted by new Chinese malware”. It says:

“It is exceedingly hard to protect against malware when it ships pre-installed from the factory. The average business, even a large enterprise, simply isn’t set up to perform this kind of due diligence on incoming hardware with embedded systems, whether it’s Windows, Linux or another platform. If an organisation wants to ensure privacy for itself and its customers, it must bear the cost of security somewhere in the supply chain, whether that’s in increased cost of a higher assurance supplier, or in post-purchase testing,” he explained.

Why is Linux dismissed as an option? Windows has back doors, so it can never be suited/deemed suitable for financial transactions. Why insinuate that this kind of issue is inherent (to the task)?

They should call out Windows and Microsoft’s connections with the NSA. which in is in turn connected to US banks. No country other than the US can ever trust Windows for use in ATMs. That’s a fact.

We are disappointed to see incomplete, biased, vengeful ‘reporting’ with agenda tied to companies/friends/employers of the writers/publishers. This is not journalism. It’s trash talk disguised as “news”.

07.19.14

Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

Posted in News Roundup at 4:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Google Released LiquidFun 1.1, Open-source 2D Physics Engine

    Google announced 1.1 release of LiquidFun, an open-source 2D physics engine including fluid simulation. The engine opens new possibilities to both game developers and UI designers, says Google. LiquidFun now officially supports iOS in addition to Android, Linux, and OS X.

  • Open Source Vs. Open Enough

    So what does this mean for the networking world? Open Daylight (run by the Linux Foundation) enables organizations to download an “open source networking platform” to run their networks. This is the Hydrogen release, which comes in basic, virtualization, and service provider editions. I’m sure there have been a lot of downloads to test the software and to play with it in an IT sandbox, but I have not heard of anyone using it in production (but would be happy to talk to anyone who is).

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • As the Web Grows, Do Browser Makers Wield Too Much Power?

      Do you ever take a step back and look at how central the web is to your life? For some people, it’s an always connected, ever present adjunct to their actual consciousness. Futurists like Ray Kurzweil even predict that we will eventually effectively merge with the web and other technology tools, giving us almost superhuman abilities to instantly access information.

    • Chrome

      • Chromecast Now Lets Users Move Android Content to Their TVs

        Android smartphones and tablets are great devices for many tasks, but sometimes you just wish you had a bigger screen to see the videos and other content that you are viewing. Now you can do just that, using Google’s $35 Chromecast dongle, which has just been upgraded to push Android content from your small devices to your television screen.

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Reveals Far Reaching Global Push for Firefox OS

        Firefox OS has “unlocked the mobile ecosystem” and is quickly expanding across a broad range of devices and product categories in Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific, according to a new post from Mozilla. There are those who have questioned whether Firefox OS is finding an enthusiastic audience, but many people questioned Android when it first arrived, too.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Musing: Microsoft to offer its software on Linux – A theoretical consideration.

      BREAKING NEWS: MICROSOFT RELEASES ITS OFFICE SUITE FOR LINUX

      Take a few seconds to consider how you would feel, then maybe be kind enough to hear my view.

      So it’s great? Microsoft’s flagship product now available to those who in the past had only LO, Abiword etc to chose from. Now you can run natively on your Linux box that which Windows users have been for years.

      Bad idea? Yes completely, here’s why. Let me just add before someone mentions it, yes I know Microsoft produces code for the Kernel. Have I an issue? No, because in that respect it is as part of a team of developers who all have various quality checks and testing – kernel devs don’t mindlessly accept all code and say “cheers mate” as they paste it in with a text editor. The process I’d suggest is more complex and even if Microsoft wanted to (which I’m sure it wouldn’t) there’s little chance of anything “naughty” going on there. So for me, Microsoft contributions are welcomed, if with a little surprise at myself saying that.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • coreutils-8.23 released [stable]
    • GCC Code Gets Updated For Go 1.3 Language

      Released the middle of last month was Google’s Go 1.3 programming language. Updated Go 1.3 code is now landing within the GNU Compiler Collection.

      Go 1.3 offers many changes and improvements throughout, Godoc static analysis support, GC supports Native Client execution sandbox on 32-bit/64-bit x86 architectures, and experimental support for new operating systems. Those unfamiliar with last month’s release of Go 1.3 can read more via the release notes. There’s also other commentary about the Go 1.3 language update via the Go Blog.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Kerala Legislature moves to open source software; LibreOffice

      The Kerala Legislative Assembly (Niyamsabha) has shifted to free and open software, following the expiry of support period to Windows XP.

      It has also started producing all its documentation, both digital and printed materials, using the free and open source office suite LibreOffice from yesterday (July 17, 2014).

  • Licensing

    • FOSS & the IRS: Now We’re Talking

      We’ve been watching with great interest this week as the travails of FOSS organizations with the US Internal Revenue Service have become a hot topic. When our client, Jim Nelson of Yorba, discussed blogging about the IRS rejection of Yorba’s application for 501c3 status with us, we hoped but did not expect that the situation, to which we had discreetly called community and company attention for years, would finally receive some. We’re very glad that’s now happening. Unfortunately, it’s really too late. Because of the long delays in determination imposed by the IRS in its increasingly anti-FOSS positioning, neither the full consequences of the IRS’s present position nor the state of our legal technology in response can be seen from the materials currently under discussion.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • WFMU Building Open Source “Audience Engine” Web CMS For Radio Stations

      New Jersey’s WFMU.FM is a legendary freeform non-commercial radio station that embodies community from its supportive listeners to its wide-ranging programming. WFMU recently embarked on a new community adventure with their decision to develop an open source version of their currently proprietary CMS (content management system). The new CMS is called Audience Engine and its designed not only to manage content and build community, but to support fundraising.

    • Open Data

  • Standards/Consortia

Leftovers

07.18.14

Microsoft’s Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia’s Android Phones Axed by Microsoft’s Elop

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 3:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s layoffs are not about Nokia but about Microsoft

Nokia's phone

Summary: Microsoft’s rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia’s last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)

NOKIA is dead because Microsoft killed it under the guise of “acquisition” (after a so-called “partnership”). Nokia committed the ‘sin’ of exploring about 4 Linux-based platforms over the years. This could not be tolerated by Microsoft, especially considering Nokia’s size (Nokia’s had the lion’s share of the mobile market). Microsoft had to put a stop to it. When Microsoft took over Nokia (with a mole and a bribe) Nokia had just become one of the top contributors to Linux (the kernel) and was actively developing one of the most promising platforms for mobile devices. It is still being adopted by Jolla (former Nokia staff) as Sailfish OS and to a lesser degree explored by Samsung (Tizen). Let this remind us how anticompetitive Microsoft remains. It’s a force of destruction, not creation. Microsoft has done this for decades.

Some days ago we wrote about news that Microsoft would announce massive layoffs. This turns out to have been true, but the earliest coverage was Microsoft ‘damage control’ (or PR). A longtime critic of Microsoft (after the company stabbed him in the back), a man widely known as Jean-Louis Gassée, says that “Satya Nadella’s latest message to the troops – and to the world – is disquieting. It lacks focus, specifics, and, if not soon sharpened, his words will worry employees, developers, customers, and even shareholders.”

The company is in bad shape because the cash cows are in rapid decline and money is derived from aggressively milking those who are still locked in (we covered this before). The company also uses crimes like bribery in an attempt to keep people locked in. Microsoft is not a real company but more of a corrupt political movement, so if you work for a criminal, by choice, then expect to be treated like one. Here is the Microsoft mouthpiece covering (up?) the layoffs and anonymous staff saying: “that concerns me because now you have a level of stress and anxiety at Microsoft. First, the selfish stress about whether my job is affected. Then personal circle stress. Then partner collaboration stress. Then way out there general concerns about the company. And guess what: when folks are stressed and gossiping, they are not effectively – er, excuse me, productively (?) – implementing the latest strategy. Physiologically, they have increased cortisol and this time will turn into a fog.”

Only about 6% of those laid off are based in Finland. Don’t let Microsoft pretend that it is all about Nokia.

One headline says the layoffs will be complete next year and Microsoft has meanwhile axed the Android phones from Nokia. This expected decision seems to have Elop the mole at the centre of it (he works for Microsoft again, not just as a mole). In Microsoft-tied networks we again witness Sam Dean playing soft. “You have to hand it to incoming Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’” he said. “He is not afraid to stir the pot, and seems well aware that it needs stirring. In a company-wide email, Nadella announced that it will cut its employee base by up to 18,000 jobs, or 14 percent in the next year, and one of the big reasons is to accommodate the acquisition of Nokia.”

No, it is not about Nokia, that is part of the coverup. Dean is still sucking up to Nadella and helping Microsoft’s PR campaign. Here is a better article about how Microsoft killed everything in Nokia which deals with Linux, but there is a lot more to it. “Only 1100 culled from Finland,” tells me a reader, so the lie that Microsoft merely cuts down Nokia is just diversion and deception. About 17,000 are fired outside of Finland and claims that Microsoft goes back to Windows wrongly assume that Windows (mobile) has something going for it. It has been a massive failure. Perhaps it is all about pulling the plug on people who have no blind faith in the Windows ‘religion’:

MICROSOFT HAS ANNOUNCED that Nokia’s Android-powered X handset lineup is no more, with the firm instead planning to deliver the devices with its own Windows Phone mobile operating system.

The layoffs are not effective immediately, so any staff that challenges the status quo should beware.

A reader wrote to us: “What to you want to bet that the severance packages contain non-disparagement/non-compete clauses of some kind? They will spread like a cloud of toxins to new employers. And how many temps/permatemps are going, too?”

The reader showed us this new article which he labeled “voice of a ‘softer” (Microsoft staff). The headline is “Sipilä: Government should hire ex-Microsoft staff to build IT systems” and it suggests that the Finnish government should put an army of Microsoft moles in charge of government IT. What a horrible idea.

These layoffs are not what the early puff pieces claimed them to be. These puff pieces came also from CNET, which has helped openwash Microsoft (the chief editor systematically does this) and is now deleting articles that Microsoft does not like. Yes, CNET has removed (censored we assume) a classic article about a company that ditched Microsoft. Follow the links here (last year) or here. “CNET has taken down the article,” our reader told us, “Link was active in 2013 as it was used then by Pogson” as he indeed demonstrated.

Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on ‘Abstract’ Patents

Posted in Law, Patents at 3:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There are software patents even on progress bars

Saving

Summary: The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just “invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract,” says a patents expert

Some days ago we noted that the USPTO had begun rejecting software patents owing to a SCOTUS decision. Thankfully, the subject of software patents is back in the headlines (not “trolls”), with articles like “Kickstarting an Old Patent System for the New Software Era”. More fantastic news from the US (regarding software patents) seemed to suggest that the tide is changing, as CAFC — not just the USPTO — destroys software patents (both CAFC and USPTO the are software patents maximalists). Here is some new coverage of it:

On Friday we got our first taste of the practical consequences of last month’s landmark decision from the Supreme Court restricting patents on software. The Federal Circuit Appeals Court, which hears appeals in all patent cases, invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract. And the reasoning of the decision could lead to a lot of other software patents going down in flames, too.

This is exciting news. Some of the most pro-software patents entities are now forced to obey the guidance from SCOTUS. This is a real change and one that the corporate media has not been covering. After the Bilski ruling we saw something similar.

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