Summary: ITNews has just published an interview where Richard Stallman speaks about software patents
YESTERDAY night we showed that ITNews unfairly accused Dr. Stallman of “crashing” an event (as in “Stallman crashes European Patent session”). Liz Tay has just posted a more polite article/headline which contains evidence of what the so-called ‘crashing’ was (in video form) and also the following interview with Stallman.
Thanks to ITNews for making the effort producing an Ogg version. Here is the remainder of their videos.
Techrights attempts to make everything available as Ogg and often it’s a compromise in the sense that there are interesting videos that cannot be shared. █
Summary: Memories of the Connie Chung interview return to haunt as Bill Gates faces tough questions
BILL GATES does not like to be asked hard questions. At least once he abandoned an interview in the middle because he was asked a hard question (he probably bailed out of others before they could take place because his PR agents, e.g. Waggener Edstrom from Microsoft and the Gates Foundation, is known to be compiling dossiers on reporters to determine if communication with them is ‘safe’).
Essentially, Gates is using PR people to ensure in advance it’s just a few softball questions he will get, trying to control what the interviews (public appearances) ever cover. To quote from “Barbarians Led by Bill Gates”, a book composed by Pam Edstrom’s (of Waggener Edstrom) daughter:
By May of 1994, Gates’s patience was growing so thin that not even a public relations pro like Pam Edstrom could muzzle him.
On May 19, one of Edstrom’s biggest nightmares unfolded on national television. Gates had agreed to be interviewed by CBS’s Eye to Eye host Connie Chung. Chung said she wouldn’t ask Gates sensitive questions, particularly ones regarding the current Justice Department investigation. With that, “Gates’s keeper” swung open
Gates was patient and accommodating during the interview, even when Chung asked him to jump over a chair from a standing position, a skill he demonstrated at various times, including once during COMDEX at the Shark’s Club in Las Vegas in front of a packed crowd of admirers and computer junkies. So, once again, Gates complied, successfully jumping over a chair for the camera crew and their network TV audience.
But by then Connie and company had outstayed their welcome. Gates turned to Edstrom.
“Is this five minutes up? Pam, I mean, do you know five minutes?” he drilled.
Edstrom replied with a simple yes, but Chung continued with her questioning, drifting further and further off limits. She asked about his wife, Melinda. Then she brought up the STAC lawsuit.
In early 1993, STAC Electronics, which made data compression software, had sued Microsoft for patent violation, claiming Microsoft had used these patents in DOS 6.0. STAC said Microsoft had been in negotiations to license “Stacker,” but talks disintegrated when Microsoft refused to pay the royalties STAC wanted. It was one of the only lawsuits Microsoft ever lost for patent infringement.
In preparation for her interview, Chung had talked to the CEO of STAC, Gary Clow, as well as other Gates rivals. She quoted a Clow comment to Gates on the air.
“A lot of people make that analogy that competing with Bill Gates is like playing hardball,” she had Clow saying. “I’d say it’s more like a knife fight.”
“I’ve never heard any of these things,” Gates said. “You know, you’re saying like a knife fight. That’s silliness. It’s—childish. I mean, why be a mouthpiece for that kind of—of silliness? Why doesn’t he just—just say them—anyway, it—because it has nothing to do with the patent lawsuit. It has to do with just, you know, creating a—you know, sort of a David versus Goliath thing out of it. Well, I’m done.”
And with that, Gates walked off the set.
“Can I just ask you one more question, Bill?” Chung said. His voice trailed off into the distance, “No, I don’t think so.” It wasn’t much later that Chung left CBS, and many people wondered if Gates had had something to do with it.
He chickened out. Now, watch the following new video, which somebody titled “Bill Gates Wants Death Panels: Dying People VS Teachers”
There are many comments here, such as the insinuation that Gates said: “SAVE A LIFE, FIRE A TEACHER”
Summary: Novell’s proprietary business assets and what they have been up to in the past week
NOVELL news coverage has recently been overwhelmed by the big bid [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Novell’s PR team has been very active despite all of this and it hardly even mentioned the bid, instead choosing to focus on fluff like SaaS and a survey that Novell was conducting itself in order to support its position, apparently.
Summary: News touching on Novell’s non-Free/libre component of the business
THIS is the third part which covers Novell news from the first two weeks of February. This part covers Novell’s proprietary side, of which there is a lot (Novell is predominantly a closed-source company). What we happen to have found along the way this week is that Novell is not just a company that makes jewelry; there is yet another company called Novell Pharmaceutical Laboratories. Here is what we gather from the press release:
I‘m Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Movement. I campaign for computer users’ freedom — for instance, your freedom to control the software you use, to redistribute the software to others. Software that respects the user’s freedom is what we call free software.
In 1983 I announced the plan to develop a complete free operating system called GNU. The system that millions of people use, and often refer to as “Linux”, is a variant of the GNU system.
What hardware are you using?
I am using a Lemote Yeelong, a netbook with a Loongson chip and a 9-inch display. This is my only computer, and I use it all the time. I chose it because I can run it with 100% free software even at the BIOS level.
I spend most of my time using Emacs. I run it on a text console, so that I don’t have to worry about accidentally touching the mouse-pad and moving the pointer, which would be a nuisance. I read and send mail with Emacs (mail is what I do most of the time).
I switch to the X console when I need to do something graphical, such as look at an image or a PDF file.
Most of the time I do not have an Internet connection. Once or twice or maybe three times a day I connect and transfer mail in and out. Before sending mail, I always review and revise the outgoing messages. That gives me a chance to catch mistakes and faux pas.
What would be your dream setup?
I would ideally like to have a machine with the speed and memory of a laptop, and the display size of a laptop too, combined with the same freedom that I have now on the Yeelong.
Until I can have them both, freedom is my priority. I’ve campaigned for freedom since 1983, and I am not going to surrender that freedom for the sake of a more convenient computer.
I do hope to switch soon to a newer model of Yeelong with a 10-inch display. █
How does the interoperability agreement with Microsoft relate to the IWM launches? [The Microsoft/Novell Partnership announced in 2006 gives interoperability and virtualisation solutions for firms using both Windows and Linux]
The agreement means that Microsoft can run their virtualised applications on our environment and we can run ours on theirs.
I think it works really well. Our core assumption is that customers are Microsoft customers and have multiple Java technology stacks. So in a virtualized environment, this relationship allows us to support and optimise those workloads.
This puts us in a stronger position than competitors such as Red Hat for example.
So our strategy is built on that assumption of heterogeneity. Where firms have multiple technology stacks, we can optimise and build security and governance into them.
Microsoft could do that too. A couple of years ago it was argued that Microsoft could buy the WordPerfect lawsuit along with Novell. █
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.
* 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. █