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Novell’s Mac-only Mono and Some Notes About Ubuntu

Posted in Apple, Audio/Video, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Red Hat, Servers, Ubuntu at 8:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Aluminum Macbook

Summary: Grouping of the latest news about Mono at Novell and developments at Canonical, some of which require more attention

NOVELL continues to pollute GNU/Linux. Sadly enough, it has managed to spread Mono and Moonlight further than it ought to have managed, despite the obvious problems and warning from the FSF. Novell’s interests are Novell’s own interests and the interests of partners like Microsoft. Novell views Red Hat — not Microsoft — as a top competitor. Novell has just bumped up or pushed again into a technology site its whitepapers against Red Hat [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and it is serving Microsoft with Moonlight at the Winter Olympics. Mono is not about GNU/Linux, it’s about .NET. Moonlight is not about GNU/Linux, it’s about Silverlight. Derived from these we have Mac-only software that uses Microsoft’s APIs (and software patents that Novell is happy to acknowledge). From a new interview with Ed Burnette:

Ed: So you still need a Mac to do iPhone development?

Joseph [product manager for Mono at Novell]: MonoTouch does require a Mac. Some of our users prefer to use Visual Studio for editing their code; however, the tools to build with MonoTouch only run on the Mac.

Yes, Novell is now excluding GNU/Linux, but that’s not exactly unusual. The Mono team serves as a complementary software division for Microsoft based on the latest developments that are disappointing. Novell is trying to add .NET support even to MeeGo. What would Nokia say? What would Google say about MonoDroid? Would Windows/Microsoft assimilation be beneficial?

Meanwhile we find that Zonker is still promoting Novell’s Banshee, just as he did last week. The developers from Novell try to get more coders involved in Banshee (developers from the outside). It’s typically just Novell employees (and former Microsoft employees) who seem interested in Mono.


Moving on to developments around Ubuntu, it is worth noting that Canonical hired from Microsoft and Novell. This has proven to be unhelpful so far and now that OpenOffice.org is put back into Ubuntu Netbook Edition (after backlash from users), Groklaw’s Pamela Jones says “Great. Now can you get rid of that mono stuff and put GIMP back in? Thanks.”

“Now can you get rid of that mono stuff and put GIMP back in? Thanks.”
      –Pamela Jones, Groklaw
As we pointed out a few weeks ago, Canonical is removing the GIMP despite the fact that most people who participate in polls are opposing this decision. It’s the same with Mono. In the case of OpenOffice.org, Ubuntu did actually listen to the community, which is an encouraging sign. Pamela Jones also writes: “I see Matt, newly hired by Canonical, is already pushing proprietary software for Linux. The mystery meat fusion at Ubuntu is clearly the direction. Note also the use of the description “savvy”, implying that those who don’t fuse FOSS and proprietary software are not savvy. We’ll see. And not to be unkindly logical, but if it were apples-to-apples equivalent already, why does he think Linux needs proprietary solutions? And speaking for myself, I don’t use Skype, and I never need to.”

The decision to adopt Yahoo! (Microsoft) for search involved no public consultation with the Ubuntu community [1, 2, 3] and now that it's irreversible, complaints do carry on. Here is a nice new way of putting it:

WTF : Ubuntu Linux to use Bing for Search


Yes, you read that right. Ubuntu selects Yahoo, Yahoo Selects Bing, Google Selects Ubuntu.

Go figure.

This is more confusing than driving in Boston.

Here is a portion from one of Asay’s latest posts, which he titled “Is Microsoft a four-letter word?”

Wall Street, for its part, doesn’t much care for Microsoft, either, judging by the cold shoulder it has given Microsoft’s stock over the past 10 years.

Perhaps getting the hint, a slew of Microsoft executives have jumped ship in the past few years.

Won’t someone give Microsoft a break?

Probably not, and, ironically, this industry indifference may be just what Microsoft needs, as it offers the company freedom to take bigger risks and shields nascent product efforts from criticism.

“Giv[ing] Microsoft a break” would be a very bad idea because Microsoft is constantly attacking GNU/Linux (as we show here every day) and that includes Ubuntu. There is another new request from the Ubuntu community and we would like to ask readers to take part in it. “As you may know,” told us one person, “Ubuntu is integrating the 7Digital Music service into Rhythmbox in their upcoming Lucid Lynx release. Currently, this music service offers some tracks in FLAC, all tracks in MP3, and none in OGG. I started a petition to make them possibly consider using OGG on all their tracks.” Give it a look and sign if you agree. The petition says:

To: 7Digital Inc.

One of the main concerns of the inclusion of the 7Digital music store into Canonical Ltd’s offerings is the fact that it offers only two formats: MP3 and FLAC. FLAC is an incredibly large format and is not heavily supported across music players. Ogg, conversely, is supported on numerous mobile media players and devices and is comparable in size to MP3′s. The Undersigned request that 7Digital offer their entire music collection in a second Free Software format, the abovementioned Ogg Vorbis. Is has no patents attached to it, and requires no proprietary codecs for playback. This would help spread acceptance of the Ogg Vorbis format, and would be heavily beneficial to Ubuntu users.

In short, we the Undersigned request that 7Digial Inc include all of their music in the Ogg Vorbis format alongside the other two formats.

Go sign it please.


Ford and Microsoft Distort “Open Source”

Posted in Audio/Video, Deception, Free/Libre Software, Marketing, Microsoft at 8:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The product known as “SYNC” is fraudulently described as “open source” in some more gullible circles

THIS is an unimportant subject that was mentioned a couple of years ago. Basically, Ford and Microsoft have this project called “SYNC”, which they wrongly describe as “open source” or “open-source” even though it’s proprietary and it comes from companies with a vicious, predatory history. They are faking and thus cheapening the term “open source”, which harms Open Source as a whole (Novell is doing that too).

Let is be stated that “SYNC” — like Zune — is Microsoft project for DRM-laden PMPs. There is no reason, for example, why Dana Blankenhorn (last mentioned a couple of days ago) should write about it under the headline “Open source in your car or an open source car”

Is the following the sole characteristic of “open source”?

The folks at Ford, which alone among America’s automakers avoided the hand of government during the Great Recession, are out with a release describing what has happened since they began the process of opening the Application Program Interface (API) of their SYNC program to outside developers last year.

Back in 2008 we published the post titled: “Microsoft Tries Casting “Open Source” as “Open APIs”

We addressed this subject again 2 months ago, under: “O’Reilly Does Not Know What Open Means (Let Alone Free)

We realise that “SYNC” sponsors FLOSS Weekly at the moment* — it’s a product which the host promotes to keep the show going, always without saying the “M” word (Microsoft). To his credit, he never really describes the thing as “open source” (because it’s not).
* Yes, it’s rather ironic that a show on FLOSS accepts sponsorship from proprietary software vendors that vilify FLOSS and promotes those proprietary software products. But still, it’s a good show.


Nice New Feature in Google’s Linux Phone (VIdeo)

Posted in Audio/Video, GNU/Linux, Google, Kernel, Videos at 10:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A look at voice recognition in Google’s new Android (Linux) phone

Direct link


Novell Ignored Staff’s Own Advice Before Selling Out to Microsoft

Posted in Audio/Video, Deals, GNU/Linux, Interview, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 8:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jeremy Allison

Summary: An excellent new audiocast covers lesser known facts about Novell’s deal with Microsoft

JEREMY Allison, whom we interviewed shortly after he had left Novell in protest, has just done a session with the SFLC where he talks about events predating the Microsoft deal. According to the audio (playable below), Allison was sent an early copy of Novell’s deal with Microsoft, which he said was like passing a crayon over section 7 of the GPL (v2). Allison resisted it, but the lawyers ignored his feedback anyway and requested deletion of the trail.

Here is the original page, which includes in its index:

* Jeremy discussed that he resigned from Novell in protest over the Microsoft/Novell deal. (19:33)

The main new item there is Novell’s treatment of antagonism. The legal team patronised an expert advice, so what was it sharing a draft for? A pursuit for endorsement and “yes men”? Based on the bogus survey, that is a possibility.


Microsoft’s Slog Becomes a Song

Posted in Audio/Video, Microsoft at 5:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft dirty tactics

Summary: Microsoft’s illegal strategy now in audio

A Boycott Novell regular, Marti van Lin, has created the following track whose lyrics are Microsoft evangelism documents, as he describes in his blog. The track is playable below (requires browser support for the <audio> element).


IDG OpenMic Should be Renamed OpenMicrosoft

Posted in Audio/Video, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 4:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Open Microsoft with Zonker

Summary: A show called “OpenMic” has literally nothing but Novell employees in it, even members of the board of Microsoft CodePlex (Novell’s de Icaza)

TO Novell, Zonker was a wage well invested. As we pointed out before, he uses IDG to boost SUSE. He exclusively invites Novell employees (i.e. colleagues) to be guests there, essentially talking to one another under the “Open” banner. We showed this in two prior posts, namely:

  1. IDG Gives Novell a Podium, Zonker Denouncements Come
  2. Novell Uses IDG to Promote Mono

Here is the latest example* where Zonker describes his guest as “openSUSE booster and GNOME board member” but not as a Novell employee. According to this, he joined Novell last year.

Still, I’m excited because a whole new era opens for me. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be working at Novell with some heroes like Federico, Rodrigo or JP. The reason I’m excited is that this job is about GNOME (upstream and in openSUSE) and this will allow me to stay involved in the project instead of disappearing in some black hole. Pretty good stuff, if you ask me. And it will be quite a big change from the academic life I had before!

This is yet another great example of Novell boosters in the press, including GNU/Linux news sites. Zonker serves his role as a PR rep, pushing Novell and SUSE into publications and giving them visibility. He does not even make it hard to see. That’s his job. Here is a guest post by Novell’s Zonker (Joe Brockmeier) from just a few days ago; it’s all about boosting in social media. In the case above, Novell employees are treated as representatives of Free/open source software, which they are not.

Speaking of misrepresentations, Our reader Goblin says that he is “[f]ed up with sites claiming one person represents the views of everyone. Check out my reply to this article that suggests I speak for the open source community in respect of Codeplex.”

Just like you to make a correct to this article of yours.

I do not represent the FOSS community, I represent my own views/opinions.

Please do not also suggest that just because its Microsoft, the open source community will be against it. (although who can blame people for being dubious when Ballmer makes comments about cancer in respect of it)

I am not critical of Apple or Google and they are both large firms (since its also suggested FOSS supporters hate large business) The reason why Im critical of Microsoft products is because I was burned by them AND FOR ME they are not fit for purpose. I cannot say the same about Apple or Google.

Just like I wouldn’t say this site represents those who support proprietary “expeditions” into the world of FOSS, please do not seek to generalize me or anyone else merely because our choices in software differ from yours.

NOTE: Incase you decide not to print this a screengrab has been taken.


Is it not funny that IDG lets Novell become a spokesman for the “open source” community and also allows the host to bring only people from Novell (conflict of interests), including Mono boosters?
* Third time in a row that he brings over Novell employees, three out of three overall.


Boycott Novell on TWiT TV (as Ogg)

Posted in Audio/Video, Boycott Novell, Videos at 4:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: That’s me interrogated by Jono Bacon

Direct link (MP4) (or MP3)

For perspective, also see this feedback. I was very uncomfortable on this show, and it probably shows. I knew it would be rather hostile.


Microsoft Unable to Spread Through Gadgets

Posted in Audio/Video, Microsoft, Windows at 6:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Zune and Windows Mobile are both still failing, as indicated by reports

THE CNN carries this report in its wires, under the headline “Microsoft’s Zune HD Could Be Too Little, Too Late”

As we pointed out before, the Zune may not survive.

The company will be hoping to jump-start lackluster entertainment sales through Zune HD, among other things. Revenue from the company’s entertainment and devices unit, which makes Zune and Xbox, fell by 25% in the company’s fiscal fourth quarter, ending June 30.

Roughly Drafted offers this explanation of the tough situation Zune is in because it is so closed and scarce.

The bottom line: Microsoft knows there’s no real money in Zune software and doesn’t want to invest its resources (the company has plenty of cash) in developing low value software. The problem: mobile developers have no incentive to leave the iPhone App Store in order to support the Zune HD, and consumers have little reason to buy the Zune HD without any software.

According to some new numbers — even from a source favourable to Microsoft — Microsoft carries on falling in mobile phones too.

Onwards and upwards for smartphones and their apps


As for the latter, Gartner notes that Microsoft’s share continued to drop year-on-year to account for 9 percent of the market.

Microsoft is now leaning on Nokia/Symbian (a market leader) for some morsels of impact in this highly strategic area.

Microsoft And Nokia Need Deal To Remain Relevant To Mobile Business Market


Microsoft, whose Windows Mobile is currently in third or fourth place and slipping in the mobile market, knows it needs to expand that share in order to increase the revenue of its Office and Exchange products. And that can only be done by offering complete functionality of its applications on multiple platforms to remain relevant in the mobile world in the face of the popularity of BlackBerry devices, Gold wrote.

Linux was built to fit computers large and small alike (granularity indifference), so its future in this area looks very promising. Windows, on the other hand, was branched or even forked to facilitate mobile devices. Lack of modularity doomed Microsoft and not even familiarity with the Windows metaphors enabled the monopolist to gain significant share. Microsoft is now relying on other parts of the ‘stack’ such as Office.

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