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01.18.11

Mageia Joins the Open Invention Network (OIN) as Linux Consortia Grow

Posted in GNU/Linux, Mandriva, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 2:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mageia
Original image source

Summary: A Mandriva derivative/fork joins the OIN while many more companies huddle around Linux organisations such as the Linux Foundation

THE GNU/LINUX system is growing very strong, very quickly. OIN too is growing strong with a new addition almost every week and a former Novell employee, Joe Brockmeier, has been trying to explain how OIN works, including its blind spots, e.g.:

OIN, in other words, isn’t a magic bullet for companies that are doing business on top of Linux.

Mageia joins OIN based on very few reports (Mageia is a new and thus obscure distribution).

As we explained before, the Linux Foundation and the OIN are closely related and the Linux Foundation too is growing at an incredible pace (we covered this in the daily links). The most jaw-dropping addition was Broadcom (just earlier this month) and IDG said that “IP management company Protecode and Timesys both joined this week, and Cybercom and GoAhead will join Broadcom in announcing their own membership next week.”

“Hopefully,” wrote Groklaw, “they are also going to join Open Invention Network.”

The addition of Protecode shows that the Linux Foundation is really not selective, however even if Microsoft joined the Linux Foundation or the OIN (it is said to have been invited), that would not jeopardise the GNU/Linux world; to the contrary — it would probably defang Microsoft to a high extent.

06.10.10

Tuxera and Ulteo Repeat Novell’s Mistake

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Google, Mandriva, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, Patents at 5:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Partners in Crime - US First Edition Jacket 1929

Summary: What becoming a “partner” of Microsoft actually means based on history and based on the present

WHEN someone becomes a partner of Microsoft, this often means that Microsoft will exploit the peer while pretending to be a friend. There are hardly any exceptions to this rule, as anyone who is a Microsoft watcher ought to know by now. To trust a predator is to simply ignore its inner instincts and that’s what Microsoft is — a predator.

As the SCO case comes to an end the WordPerfect case resumes. We last wrote about it in March-April [1, 2].

According to Groklaw, “Novell Appeals in Microsoft Antitrust Litigation on WordPerfect Claims”:

Novell has filed a Notice of Appeal in its antitrust litigation against Microsoft. That’s the case about its WordPerfect claims. Despite Microsoft prevailing on its motion to dismiss, for technical reasons I’ll explain a bit in a minute, I want you to read what the judge said Microsoft did to Novell:

Microsoft did not just withdraw a charitable helping hand; rather, Microsoft allegedly first cooperated in an effort to improve its own product, subsequently misled Novell into relying on information provided pursuant to that cooperation, and then withdrew its cooperation after Novell reasonably relied on Microsoft’s representations.

Ouch. Bad doggie. Microsoft didn’t prevail because it was clean as the driven snow, in other words. It prevailed on a theory of what the contract covered that is so convoluted, I can barely explain it to you, although I will try, and because as a result of that theory, the judge ruled it was too late to go to court over what happened. I wanted to remind you, in case some of you have forgotten, that it’s not historically unmitigated good news when Microsoft decides it wants to partner with you.

“Partner with you” usually means “exploit you”. Microsoft attracts users, but not computer users. It attracts employees who are users — people who use other people. I happen to have personal experience with such people (not involving myself directly, but I discussed this with a friend who is a victim today); Microsoft employment turns them into arrogant users who think that they can exploit other people and get away with it. Judges have said so too, having looked at extensive evidence.

It was rather bizarre when Tuxera publicly stated that Microsoft would be a great partner. While it would be wise to boycott exFAT and products that use it (and refuse such products from anyone who brings them over and thus pressures a peer to buy from Microsoft), it is sometimes impractical. This trap from Microsoft is a vicious one because it means that people who swap USB devices (even cameras) may rely on or require Microsoft exFAT patents. It’s the same with exchange of documents sometimes (so exFAT is just like OOXML in some ways, therefore both should be avoided at all costs). Malik’s network of sites advertises exFAT this week and so do other Microsoft-sympathetic sources. The latter notes:

Tuxera has licensed the appropriate technology from Microsoft so companies deploying exFAT are entitled to use the technology enabled by the filesystem. The company has not named any partners who have licensed the technology for Android, but it is likely we will see exFAT on Android devices down the road.

Hopefully not. Better yet, Google ought to work hard to abolish exFAT, which mustn’t be anywhere near an industry ‘standard’. It should be considered an antitrust offence.

Speaking of Microsoft partners, Ulteo had a little announcement to make and some readers were concerned because of the Gaël Duval link (Mandrake founder). But the thing is, Ulteo has always been Windows-oriented in its newer path (adjunct to Windows function after attempts to just be a GNU/Linux distribution). Ulteo will sooner or later find out that Microsoft “partnerships” are a one-way relationship. Many companies found that out the hard way. These are partnerships of desperation or gullibility, disguised as a marriage of convenience.

“An analogy [of Microsoft] would be the owner of a toll bridge, which is the only bridge across a river, paying the owner of land to deny access to a site where a competitive bridge is partly built.”

Judge Robert Bork, former US Supreme Court nominee

“Their documents display a clear intent to monopolize, to prevent any competition from springing up. And they have used a variety of restrictive practices to prevent that kind of competition.”

Judge Robert Bork, former US Supreme Court nominee

05.25.10

Mandriva Removes More of Mono

Posted in GNU/Linux, Mandriva, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Xandros at 2:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mandriva

Summary: Mandriva gets rid of Beagle in the 2010.1 (Spring) release

SOME moments ago, as the log at the bottom shows, we found out that Mandriva had removed Beagle from the latest version of its GNU/Linux distribution (one of my favourite distributions). This is encouraging news which comes right after Ubuntu's removal of F-Spot and Fedora’s removal of Mono as a whole. Two years ago we warned Mandriva that it had created an unnecessary Mono dependency in OpenOffice.org and Mandriva responded by fixing it.

“This is encouraging news which comes right after Ubuntu’s removal of F-Spot and Fedora’s removal of Mono as a whole.”Mono dependents are fine, but probably not in a default installation of a GNU/Linux distribution.

The good news is that, as time goes by, GNU/Linux is advancing in many areas and vendors that sold out to Microsoft (decided to pay Microsoft for Linux, unlike Mandriva) are going extinct. Novell will probably be sold shortly and Xandros (which includes Linspire) is hardly ever mentioned in the news anymore. Presto is mentioned here and Xandros is mentioned here, but it’s more of an historical mention.


Techrights logo

DaemonFC schestowitz: Mandriva is moving away from Mono a bit May 25 07:43
schestowitz How so? May 25 07:44
DaemonFC 2010.1 will replace Beagle with Tracker May 25 07:44
schestowitz Nice May 25 07:44
schestowitz Good proof? May 25 07:44
DaemonFC yes May 25 07:44
schestowitz Page/screenshot? May 25 07:44
schestowitz Just in case May 25 07:44
DaemonFC http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/2010.1_RC May 25 07:44
Techrights Title: 2010.1 RC – Mandriva Community Wiki .::. Size~: 61.51 KB May 25 07:44
schestowitz I want to verify to avoid mikstakes May 25 07:44
DaemonFC Tracker is now replacing Beagle as document search engine. May 25 07:44
schestowitz DaemonFC: thanks May 25 07:44
schestowitz what mono is left in it then? May 25 07:44
DaemonFC the runtime itself and F-Spot I believe May 25 07:45
schestowitz no tomboy/gnote? May 25 07:45
DaemonFC oh, forgot about that May 25 07:46
DaemonFC doesn’t say anything about getting rid of Tomboy, 2010 had it May 25 07:46
DaemonFC Beagle uses a hell of a lot of resources though May 25 07:46
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[nsisodiya] Now searching for a girl assistant for various task at my company. btw operation was successful and I am OK. May 25 07:47
DaemonFC it’s not uncommon for it to sit there and take 80 MB of RAM just for itself while indexing May 25 07:47
DaemonFC Tracker usually takes more like 30 May 25 07:47
DaemonFC those little mono applets here and there gang up on you, take up way more resources than they’re worth May 25 07:48
DaemonFC Tomboy takes about double the memory of Gnote May 25 07:48
schestowitz Recoll took gigabytes May 25 07:49
schestowitz The index May 25 07:49
schestowitz Not the program May 25 07:49
schestowitz For my home dir May 25 07:49
DaemonFC I have to wonder what the hell these distributions are thinking when they needlessly pile these things on May 25 07:49
DaemonFC makes it useless on older PCs with less than 1 GB of RAM May 25 07:49
DaemonFC and while there are equivalent programs that use half the memory all over the place May 25 07:50
DaemonFC Beagle is like WinFS for Linux May 25 07:53
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[zoobab] With multiple patents, stronger patent rights can have the perverse effect of stifling, not encouraging, innovation http://ur1.ca/038r1 May 25 07:55
Techrights Title: Fast forward >> – The H Open Source: News and Features .::. Size~: 37.78 KB May 25 07:55
DaemonFC hmmm, Indiana University isn’t mirroring the RC May 25 07:56
DaemonFC nor is Purdue May 25 07:56
DaemonFC those have always been the fastest mirrors for me :P May 25 07:57
*Diablo-D3 (~diablo@pool-64-222-232-11.port.east.myfairpoint.net) has joined #boycottnovell May 25 07:57
MinceR beagle isn’t like winfs for linux. beagle actually exists. May 25 07:57
DaemonFC MinceR: part of WinFS ended up in Windows 7 May 25 07:57
DaemonFC as “libraries” May 25 07:57
DaemonFC more irritating than helpful May 25 07:58
MinceR that describes m$ products in general May 25 07:58
DaemonFC “You can’t save here you idiot!” May 25 07:58
DaemonFC :D May 25 07:58
-BNtwitter/#boycottnovell-[zoobab] Absolute power has corrupted the MPEG-LA absolutely http://ur1.ca/031fu May 25 07:59
Techrights Title: Nero Files Antitrust Case Against MPEG-LA .::. Size~: 30.37 KB May 25 07:59
DaemonFC so they end up making you scroll through C:\Users\<user name>\My Music for example May 25 07:59
DaemonFC you can’t just click Music and Save May 25 07:59
DaemonFC so I redid it all so that the actual folders are in my favorites May 25 07:59
schestowitz Let me see, hold on…. May 25 08:00
DaemonFC and it ends up “My Documents” “My Music” My Pictures” etc. on top of “Music” “Documents” “Pictures” May 25 08:00
DaemonFC still aggravating and no way to turn it off May 25 08:00

05.21.10

Novell is Surrounded by Potential Buyers of the Company

Posted in Finance, Mandriva, Microsoft, Novell at 12:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell’s end as a publicly-traded company seems inevitable based on the plan to have an auction

VERY recently (earlier this week in fact) we wrote about a takeover of Novell.

Shareholders pay attention to the news and the stock is moving a lot [1, 2, 3]. This volatility is ending with Novell being down today (along with the rest of the market), having gained a little when takeover news come in and share price fluctuated.

The latest news about Novell is important enough an event to be ranked high inside the digests, especially at Reuters where the latest turn in this story seems to have begun.

As many as 20 bidders are interested in buying U.S. software company Novell Inc (NOVL.O), which has put itself up for sale and is this week accepting bids, the Wall Street Journal reported. [ID:nN19268405]

Here are a couple more digests [1, 2].

Up to 20 bidders interested in Novell
As many as 20 bidders are interested in buying software company Novell Inc, which has put itself up for sale and is this week accepting bids, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The original report is here and it says:

As many as 20 bidders are interested in buying software company Novell Inc (NOVL.O), which has put itself up for sale and is this week accepting bids, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Resultant coverage includes:

Calls Sold on Novell Inc.

Novell Accepting Acquisition Bids: Report

As many as 20 companies are interested in acquiring software vendor Novell, and this week marks the deadline for potential buyers to submit bids, according to a published report.

Novell seeks new suitors

Novell, which put itself on the block some months ago, has sought expressions of interest from suitors by the end of the week, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Report: Novell to accept bids this week for sale

Citing “people familiar with the matter,” the newspaper said a group of finalists probably will be picked from bidders whose proposals are due this week.

Novell to solicit buyout offers this week, report says

Novell Draws 20 Bidders

Novell Accepting Bids This Week: Report

Suitors Line Up For Novell

Twenty interested parties likely to bid for US software maker Novell

Novell Acquisition Bids Going Public

Up to 20 firms, mostly hedge funds, are considering trying to take over the software company.

Report: Novell accepting bids from up to 20 companies

Novell are expected to select a number of bidders as “finalists” and then hold an auction amongst that group. Novell declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal on the matter.

Based on that paragraph/sentence, it seems like a sale is inevitable.

An ex employee of Novell, Matt Asay, spins it a little with the headline “Novell: 20 chances to reinvent itself” (idioms side, hedge funds cannot invent much, except structure or liquidation).

Regardless, Novell needs to go private so that it can make the hard decisions it has been wanting to make since at least 2002, when I was there. Novell’s pressure to grow while under the fierce spotlight of Wall Street prompted its ill-fated engagement with Microsoft, which has delivered short-term revenue while destroying long-term value and goodwill within the open-source community.

The VAR Guy too defends Novell, which is expected given his relationship with the company.

Novell expects to evaluate initial takeover bids for the company this week, according to The Wall Street Journal. As many as 20 companies have expressed interest in Novell, the Journal said. Of course, The VAR guy has his own opinion of the situation. Here it is…

According to this article in French, Novell was seen as a candidate to buy Mandriva too. From the automated translation we have Novell’s CMO John Dragoon saying: “Some aspects of the company Mandriva are interesting, for sure. We have great respect for its technology, but this is not what might interest us.” The last thing Mandriva needs right now is Novell and its patent relationship with Microsoft.

05.13.10

Former OpenSUSE Community Manager (Novell Employee) Hopes Mandriva Doesn’t Find a Buyer

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Mandriva, OpenSUSE at 2:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier, photo by jimgris

Summary: Mandriva is up for sale; Brockmeier seemingly hopes that Mandriva won’t find a buyer

THE old S.u.S.E.-Mandriva rivalry in Europe might not be the cause for this bizarre piece from Novell’s former booster (he no longer works for Novell [1, 2], which is also up for sale), but either way, here he is commenting about Mandriva’s fate, not wishing them what they want.

Maybe it’s better if Mandriva doesn’t find a buyer

[...]

As a non-Mandriva user, I don’t really have a stake in whether the company succeeds or fails or whether something called Mandriva continues to exist in any form. As a Linux user, I love the variety that exists and having many choices of Linux distros — but I also see enormous wasted effort. Too much work, too few hands. And, especially and unfortunately, too many folks unwilling to compromise on any features or technical decisions when they can just fork or have their own playground — which ultimately results in tons of duplicate work and a fragmented environment.

There are other posts that are jokes about Mandriva, which is one of my favourite distributions of GNU/Linux.

Mandbuntu will initially ship with only one desktop environment/windows manager, the newly reconfigured (just for Mandbuntu) DuXfce. Rumor again informs us that a KDuxE version will be available soon. More rumors from lower level custodial crew claim that the French duck dish theme will continue. The next version will probably be Mandbuntu 12.0 – Peking Duck.

For those who believe that this is bad for Mandriva customers, well… in the worst case scenario it is easy to move from one distribution to another, which actually makes GNU/Linux a much safer choice for businesses. There are more contingencies and control of code, which proprietary operating systems cannot ever offer.

To give one example of a contingency, there is PCLinuxOS (rooted in Mandrake/riva), whose latest version Susan Linton has just reviewed, concluding:

Perhaps trumping all the technical aspects of this distro is a sense of ownership for its users. PCLinuxOS is one of the best examples of the “community distro.” The small band of developers take suggestions and cues from their users very much to heart and even solicit opinions, artwork, and software requests. This is perhaps the key to PCLOS’ success. It allows the community to feel not only involved, but important to development. They all can feel as though they contributed at least in some small way.

Our daily links contain many more reviews of PCLinuxOS 2010 and articles about Mandriva’s situation (it is not the focus of this Web site). I ran PCLinuxOS 2010 on my computer 2 weeks ago and it was splendid. Mandriva users have nothing to worry about, no matter what happens next.

04.30.10

Adobe Trash Player and Novell/Microsoft Mono

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

KDE 4.4 - small

Summary: Rant about Adobe Trash [sic] and what it teaches us about Mono/Moonlight

I have been upgrading to KDE 4.4.2 since last night (not decided on which distribution of GNU/Linux yet) and one thing that ought to be said is that I spent more time getting gnash/flash to function than I spent installing GNU/Linux (current desktop shown above). Gnash is not most trivial to install and some sites that I use strictly require Adobe Trash [sic] Player. Adobe’s installer did not work properly and needed a workaround (command line hack) that I came up with after struggling with it for 1.5 hours. Shame on Adobe.

This morning I also received the following mail from one of our readers, whose message could not come at a better time. Here it is:

What is true for Apple about Flash is true for GNU/Linux about Mono(=Microsoft .Net)

This is in regard with Steve Jobs post yesterday explaining Apple’s position respect Adobe’s Flash.

Notice that Apple took a more radical approach which is to apply a full ban on flash for their platform (except Mac).

In GNU/Linux there is no problem with the existence/availability of Mono:there is problem with those pushing it making it a dependency by default, yet the Mono apologists and Microsoft revisionists cry foul when someone objects that including Mono by default is a really dumb idea and a loosing strategy.

Imagine Apple making parts of its OS for smartphones dependent on Flash?

I think many of Steve’s motives for rejecting flash are very much valid for GNU/Linux and Free Software to reject dependency on Mono and technologies whose direction is not decided nor lead by the community (in fact it is lead by an entity that is set to disrupt and destroy the FOSS environment).

From Apple’s Web site:

“Sixth, the most important reason.[...]

We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.

This becomes even worse if the third party is supplying a cross platform development tool. The third party may not adopt enhancements from one platform unless they are available on all of their supported platforms. Hence developers only have access to the lowest common denominator set of features. Again, we cannot accept an outcome where developers are blocked from using our innovations and enhancements because they are not available on our competitor’s platforms.”

One more thing: It would also be good to substitute the notion of “Mono” by “Mono/Moonlight”: In fact, Silverlight is very much an “attack” from Microsoft to Macromedia/Adobe’s flash in order to try to reclaim their good ol’ Explorer 5/6 times chokehold on the web…

The moral of this matter is that Web standards and not proprietary ones ought to be promoted. We always try to spread Ogg in Techrights (where possible). As more services and even applications become Web based, the risk of a proprietary Web becomes greater; Mono and Moonlight also have Microsoft patent issues.

03.13.10

AstroTurfing for Vista 7 Still Alive

Posted in GNU/Linux, Mandriva, Mono, Novell, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 5:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kid with laptop

Summary: Andre Da Costa is still trolling the competition of Vista 7 while promoting this incarnation of Vista in exchange for gifts from Microsoft

OUR dear reader Goblin is the man who exposed a Microsoft AstroTurfer, Andre Da Costa, who also goes by the pseudonym “Mr Dee” in CNET. We have noticed that he is still trolling articles about GNU/Linux. “After he confessed to nymshifting one has to wonder,” wrote Goblin. “Maybe the Da Costa name has become too toxic to use? I see now he’s pimping Window 7 competitions,” he added [1, 2]. The reality behind Vista 7 is still being warped. Also from last night’s conversation:

_goblin Speaking with many non-tech folks who are using Windows 7….all is not well…. Mar 12 21:21
_goblin the general consensus is “Its just as bad as Vista” Mar 12 21:21
_goblin looks and works great the first couple of times…..connect to the net, install a few apps and it reveals its true form. Mar 12 21:22
Omar87 _goblin, let’s hope more sounds like these come to the surface. Mar 12 21:22
_goblin these comments are coming from “average users” who already had their fill of Vista. Mar 12 21:23

We are not at all surprised to hear this. On the contrary, many people are pleased with Mandriva, which is one of my favourites (others in the family use it). Another reader commenting on the same superb article from Richard Hillesley points out that:

Anyone else see the irony?

[...]

This paragraph brought a wry smile to my face:

“Miguel de Icaza, at that time a rising star of the free software movement and co-creator, with Federica Mena, of the rival GNOME project, expressed the mixed feelings of many users and developers. “KDE was an inspirational project,” he told Linux Journal, “but at the time, the Qt toolkit on which KDE was built was a proprietary toolkit.”

The fact that he’s working with Microsoft now in producing the wretchedly slow Mono to provide compatibility with .NET and potentially laying Linux open to all sorts of future problems is deliciously ironic.

In terms of Mandriva, hopefully they will survive and flourish again, it still hangs in there fairly high up in Distrowatch. They probably do KDE better than any other distro and have done a splendid job with the now excellent KDE4 desktop.

There is some new Mono software from Novell employees this week [1, 2]. It’s fine for Novell, but it’s a patent fine for the rest.

Mandriva is indeed an excellent distribution. It puts to shame other operating systems, but it just doesn’t advertise as much. Since it is still KDE-centric for the most part, it hasn’t much of a Mono problem, either.

03.08.10

What Would Happen to “Boycott Novell” If Novell Was Sold in Pieces

Posted in Boycott Novell, GNU/Linux, Linspire, Mandriva, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Site News, Turbolinux, Ubuntu, Xandros at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A little interlude about where the site is going and why it needs help from readers

There is some discussion in the IRC channel about what may happen to Novell next. We are still producing almost 1 megabyte of IRC discussion per day (usually about 600 kilobytes on average), which makes up about 95% of feedback from readers (Boycott Novell is approaching an audience of 10,000 unique visitors per day, but commenting requires an account).

We thought it would be reasonable to say something about the future now that Novell is at a mortal crossroad because of a vulture fund that had a coup planned for 3-4 months [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. We append some more references at the bottom.

“If Novell was bought and dismantled, this Web site’s name would remain for all all sorts of practical/technical reasons and considerations.”Four GNU/Linux vendors (as opposed to users of it, mostly those who embed it in hardware) signed a Linux patent deal with Microsoft in 2006-2007. The GPLv3 may have stopped this flood of feeble vendors which ended up joining the racket. Linspire got picked up by Xandros, which appears to have almost quit the GNU/Linux market, Turbolinux sort of collapsed onto another firm in Asia, and Novell is now the last one standing. This is major as it means that almost all the companies we boycotted are dying, as opposed to those who kept it ‘clean’ (notably Mandriva, Canonical, and Red Hat). This just comes to show what happens to those who foolishly take Microsoft’s side.

The main issues are still the digital hydras known as Apple and Microsoft, both of which are now legally attacking GNU/Linux with software patents (Apple versus HTC [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], Microsoft versus TomTom, SCO versus IBM, et cetera).

If Novell was bought and dismantled, this Web site’s name would remain for all all sorts of practical/technical reasons and considerations.

We will try to focus on delivering news summaries on a daily basis (these are the most popular items here) and also address threats to Free software. With a Ph.D. completed, I hope to write Boycott Novell full time (sacrificing an academic career to advance the freedom of software), but it would not be possible without help from readers. We estimate that there are many thousands of regular readers who have enjoyed this site for over 3 years (almost 10,000 blog posts were published here), so if each reader was willing to donate a few bucks/quid, that would enable us to carry on going. At the same time, we realise that such moves rarely work as they do not bring in funds, so we are left reluctant to ask for financial assistance (even though it’s needed). Any advice would be appreciated.
____
[1] How Much Will Novell Go For? [The 451 Group reckons Novell's sale is inevitable]

As bargains go, Novell’s (NOVL) valuation in the recently floated bid from a hedge fund is a bit like a ‘crazy Eddie’ discount. Earlier this week, Elliott Associates offered $5.75 for each of the roughly 350,000 shares for Novell. Altogether, the equity value totals about $2bn.

[2] Will Novell Finally Be Acquired? [from the 'Microsoft press']

[3] Novell Gets $2 Billion Takeover Offer From Elliott

Whether they’re interested in breaking Novell into pieces or simply after Novell’s patent portfolio or intellectual property remains to be seen at this point. Either way I don’t see the acquisition being good for Novell or Open Source though. Which brings the next question. Is another suitor likely to jump in at this point. the Var Guy lists IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and Computer Associates as potential options. I’d add Cisco as another potential Dark Horse candidate, but agree that IBM and HP are exceedingly unlikely. The realty is that Novell is going to be difficult to digest from a strategic standpoint. They have at least four divergent businesses and Linux only makes up about 20% of the company’s revenue. That means a private-equity firm taking the company private and restructuring may be the most viable option at this point.

[4] BBC America: Palast Hunts the Vultures [hedge funds are so unethical that some consider banning them]

Some vultures have feathers, but some have fancy offices and huge homes. Tonight, BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast follows the trail of one “vulture fund” chief, from a locked office door in New York to mud-brick houses in Africa.

How strange. When I arrive at the offices of Eric Hermann at hedge fund FH International, just outside New York City, the company’s corporate sign is unbolted from the wall and the suite number removed from the door.

But wait … I hear noises inside the office. Huh? I knock on the locked door and out steps the office building’s security manager.

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