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07.18.14

OpenSUSE ‘Community’ is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE’s Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

Posted in Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE at 2:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell

Last week we were asked about Attachmate, which we no longer keep track of because Novell is pretty much dead and SUSE is not doing well. They are going extinct. The Xandros Web site is no longer even accessible and when it comes to SUSE, the community in particular, it is going down the same route. Well, judging by the declining volume of activity in OpenSUSE News, Greg K-H’s move to the Linux Foundation, the fact that community manager left (he works for ownCloud now) and now the departure of the chairman of the OpenSUSE board (more on that here), we think it is safe to treat SUSE as irrelevant, or not relevant enough for us to track. Here is the latest:

The openSUSE Board announced this morning that Vincent Untz has stepped down as the openSUSE Board Chairman.

Several days ago I spent some time looking at years’ worth of Novell news, Attachmate news, and SUSE news (I am still subscribed to dozens of feeds related to all those). This was done after a discussion in IRC. I am reluctant to bother with any of them because 1) there is not much news at all and 2) the news hardly relates to FOSS. Novell will go down the same route as Corel and SUSE will end up like Xandros. As for Xamarin, which was created after Novell/Attachmate had abandoned Mono, it is mostly an extension of Microsoft now (a bit like SUSE, which shows up in Microsoft sites because their goal is to tax GNU/Linux servers).

SUSE and Novell pretty much became what we foresaw and feared. Novell’s patents are in Microsoft’s hands now, SUSE serves no purpose other than taxing GNU/Linux for Microsoft, and Novell was not allowed to truly complete with Microsoft. AttachMSFT ensures that much of Novell’s proprietary portfolio is a dying breed. Mono became more closely tied and entangled with Microsoft.

05.03.14

Novell Continues to Damage GNU/Linux

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 7:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gates on SUSE

Summary: The boycott of SUSE and Novell needs to go on because the huge damage caused by the Microsoft-Novell deal is not over

Novell is history, but its legacy continues to haunt GNU/Linux. Its orphaned project, Mono, is nowadays getting even closer to Microsoft through Xamarin (Mono is not completely dying just yet, as Microsoft-linked circles actively promote it), OOXML continues to cause migration woes (after Novell helped OOXML gain adoption), and Microsoft back doors in Linux, such as Hyper-V (the NSA can access virtual machines remotely), are foolishly promoted even by the Linux Foundation’s Web site right now (it links to this page from Microsoft and also to this other page from Microsoft, promoting Microsoft-taxed SUSE/Ballnux). 3 or so years after Novell virtually died we are still suffering from the decisions of Ron Hovsepian, Dragoon, and Jaffe, who is now putting DRM in the World World Web (as the W3C’s CEO).

04.29.14

Novell Receives One Last Punch From Microsoft After Microsoft Took Novell’s Patents

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 2:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Legacy of Novell’s worst CEO, Ron Hovsepian

Ron Hovsepian confused

Summary: The WordPerfect case gets trashed decades after Microsoft’s abuses and 8 years after Microsoft paid Novell to become its puppy

SEVERAL years ago we wrote a lot about CPTN. As we explained CPTN at the time, it was the passage of Novell patents to Microsoft after Microsoft had bribed Novell to stop competing against Microsoft and instead damage everything GNU/Linux by casting the shadow of Microsoft patents. There are many other things that Microsoft’s bribery had achieved, such as OOXML promotion, Silverlight promotion, .NET promotion, Hyper-V promotion, etc. Novell basically became an extension of Microsoft, whereupon we called for a boycott of Novell.

According to this new report, the corporations-leaning “U.S. Supreme Court ended a lawsuit that accused Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) of illegally protecting its Windows computer operating system from competition 20 years ago by undercutting a rival word-processing program.”

WordPerfect was acquired by Novell and this case does the software a great disservice and injustice. It shows, once again, that Microsoft is able to get away with crimes as long as it can drag its accusers through the mud, driving them to bankruptcy or simply bribing them (Microsoft bribed numerous companies in recent years to not challenge Microsoft’s criminal racketeering strategy).

There is a timely article in the open source column this week. It says that “Microsoft may still have an ability to slap its name on a box and sell things better than most, but to say ‘we are the only ones’ flies in the face of collaboration, more logical ways of working, and – without wishing to get too po-faced – the greater good.”

Let’s face it. Microsoft has not changed. It only changed its marketing a slight bit. Microsoft deserves to be eradicated from this world. The sooner, the better. Microsoft is a destructive force.

11.23.13

K. Y. Srinivasan: From Serving Microsoft’s Agenda Inside Novell to Helping Microsoft Infiltrate and Control Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell at 3:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

K. Y. Srinivasan

Summary: Why K. Y. Srinivasan has become somewhat of a Microsoft mole inside the Linux world

Microsoft loves to abduct companies, fire ‘disobedient’ staff, and bring in its own moles. VMware and Yahoo are good examples of this. The strategy is used a lot by Microsoft, quite consciously too.

“Microsoft never needs to be allowed to join, it just needs to abduct companies which are already in.”Right now we learn that a “Winamp Petition Emerges as Microsoft Considers Purchase”. Win is short for Windows, so it would not be too shocking if Microsoft took over to exploit (and ruin) the brand. But there are problems close to home, involving Linux in particular. There are more Elop-type threats — ones which turn Linux leaders (like Nokia) into Linux foes that go as far as patent litigation against Linux. Now that people from Microsoft are becoming managers in the Linux Foundation (and managers of distributions like Ubuntu) we must pay attention. Nokia is a Linux Foundation member too, so with its surrender to Microsoft (like Novell) there are more Trojan horses (steering power) for the monopolist inside the foundation. Microsoft never needs to be allowed to join, it just needs to abduct companies which are already in.

There is another longtime mole which deserves to be named now that there is this new puff piece and shameless PR for the company that attacks Linux. The puff piece comes from EFY Times and it’s basically a softball monologue for Microsoft, courtesy of K. Y. Srinivasan from Novell (his online profiles are still out of date). He now receives his salary directly from Microsoft and he is always whitewashing Microsoft and trying to match-make Linux with it (his focus is proprietary Hyper-V, which he and Novell helped Microsoft interject into Linux). Watch how Microsoft is grooming him in an attempt to make Microsoft seem Linux-friendly (article by Kerry Godes from Microsoft’s marketing team). To quote K. Y. Srinivasan: “It’s all part of our larger vision, which is to ensure that anything our customers want to run, they can run on Windows Server Hyper-V and in Windows Azure. This is what customers tell us they want.”

So in other words, it is about taxing and controlling (and spying on) GNU/Linux by making Microsoft its seller. It is also about running GNU/Linux merely as a guest on Windows hosts, using proprietary software of course. So much for friendship with Linux…

10.03.13

‘Microsoft Linux’ (aka SUSE) No Longer a Threat to Red Hat

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, Red Hat at 11:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability.”

Steve Ballmer

“That’s extortion and we should call it what it is. To say, as Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that’s just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game.”

Mark Shuttleworth

Summary: The threat of Novell/SUSE has been diminished somewhat based on Red Hat’s perspective

MICROSOFT subsidised Novell in an effort to tax GNU/Linux everywhere. Red Hat in particular was put under pressure and through despicable partners like Amazon Microsoft is now extorting RHEL users, passing a tax through Amazon hosting. For the most part, Microsoft now uses SUSE as its main attack vector on free GNU/Linux (Turbolinux, Linspire and Xandros are defunct). Microsoft is subsidising SUSE to do this.

According to [1], Red Hat no longer views SUSE as a threat. That’s a considerable change as several years ago Red Hat did express some concerns and Novell was a top-priority risk, more so than software patents.

Red Hat is now relying on some new programs [2,3] and old releases [4] for its momentum that is growing [5,6], perhaps ensuring that the biggest GNU/Linux backer remains strong enough to avoid surrendering to Microsoft the same way Novell did (and to a lesser degree Canonical).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Red Hat Doesn’t See SUSE Linux as a Major Competitive Threat

    Growth for Red Hat is coming at a time when the market remains competitive across multiple sectors. For enterprise workloads, Red Hat’s CEO sees it now as a battle between Linux and Microsoft Windows.

  2. Red Hat leads way to certify OpenStack pros

    Everyone needs cloud-savvy administrators, but there aren’t enough to go around. Worse still, if someone does come to you and they say they know OpenStack like the back of their hand, how do you know they do? Or, flipping it around, if you’re a smart system administrator who wants to pick up mad OpenStack cloud skills, how do you do that?

  3. Red Hat offers storage test drives for enterprise customers

    Don’t you want to test drive before you buy a service? Test drives always give customers better experience as they can see what they will get. Red Hat is offering free (as in beer) Storage Test Drives through Amazon Web Services (AWS) to give customers a hands-on experience.

  4. Red Hat releases upgrade to older Red Hat Enterprise Linux: RHEL 5.10

    The latest update to Red Hat Enterprise Linux, RHEL 5, 5.10, is now available to subscribers.

  5. The New #182 Most Shorted S&P 500 Component: Red Hat
  6. Buyers bet on momentum in Red Hat

    Red Hat has been breaking out this week, and traders are hoping the upward momentum will continue through next month.

09.26.13

Former Novell Staff Still Pushing the Linux Foundation Into Restricted Boot Territory, Ignoring the Real Threat (Back Doors)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Novell, Security at 3:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Greg Kroah-Hartman
Photo by Sebastian Oliva

Summary: Back doors in code, embedded in blobs, and even shoehorned into encryption is the overlooked security threat, which gets pushed aside in favour of phantom threats which Microsoft ‘sells’ through former Novell staff (i.e. funded by Microsoft)

A MONTH or two ago we mostly ignored exaggerated (sexed-up) reports about something called “Hand of Thief”. When there’s a Windows security threat the press does not call out Windows, but when it relates to GNU/Linux then tabloids like ZDNet scream from the rooftops. This thing called “Hand of Thief” is basically a malicious program which GNU/Linux users need to install themselves in order for it to do malicious things. It is not a virus, it does not spread, and it hardly even uses social engineering to get itself installed. We cited some reports which stress these facts and now comes a belated one too [1]. LynuxWorks is now offering some “Linux rootkit detector” [2] as if rootkits on GNU/Linux are a common issue. In a sense, since the Linux Foundation seems to insist on helping UEFI restricted boot, we are led to the belief that bootkits are a common threat to Linux. As the Linux Foundation’s site put it, as in the words of the employee it acquired from Novell:

Now that The Linux Foundation is a member of the UEFI.org group, I’ve been working on the procedures for how to boot a self-signed Linux kernel on a platform so that you do not have to rely on any external signing authority.

Greg K-H has been working on all sorts of other kernel-level projects that help Microsoft. He did this while being paid by Novell, which was in turn being given money by Microsoft. That’s the power of money. Other former Novell employees also helped promote UEFI restricted boot, as we showed before. Rogue influence by Novell in the Linux Foundation is a subject we have written about for half a decade, showing numerous examples.

The bigger security issue right now might be back doors, which might also exist in Linux, even in encryption form [3] (giving away passwords over the network for example), so hard-to-crack passwords [4] might not be enough. Microsoft’s and Sony’s network compromises sure reveal the massive financial effects of system intrusions, so this subject should not be taken lightly.

UEFI restricted boot is actually a security threat, not a security solution, especially when a signature is provided and managed by some rogue company in the United States — one which has been secretly in bed with the NSA. With UEFI restricted boot, hardware can be bricked remotely. In a way, UEFI restricted boot deserves the name “unsecure boot”. In some devices it can block the user from accessing his/her own computer. Nobody should promote such treacherous computing.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Hand of Thief, Not

    Linux’s biggest vulnerability is the software that users install with full “superuser” privileges. If you just install applications from your distro’s official repository, that’s not a problem. But if you download software from dubious web sites, or if you add a mysterious repository to your package manager, you’re opening yourself up for an infection. Always, always make sure you know what software you are installing, why you are installing it, and where it’s from.

  2. Linux rootkit detector adds hardware punch to security scanning

    LynuxWorks is stepping up the battle with the release of the first hardware-based rootkit detection system powered by the LynxSecure separation kernel. Called the RDS5201, it combats and detects stealthy advanced persistent threats. Built on the LynxSecure 5.2 separation kernel and hypervisor, this small form factor appliance has been designed to offer a unique detection capability that complements traditional security mechanisms as they try to protect against the growing number and complexity of cyber threats.

  3. RSA warns developers not to use RSA products

    In today’s news of the weird, RSA (a division of EMC) has recommended that developers desist from using the (allegedly) ‘backdoored’ Dual_EC_DRBG random number generator — which happens to be the default in RSA’s BSafe cryptographic toolkit. Youch.

  4. How-to make hard-to-crack passwords you can easily remember
  5. Australian who boasted of hacking to plead not guilty to charges stemming from raid

    Dylan Wheeler, who claimed in February to have breached Microsoft’s and Sony’s networks, has not been charged with hacking

09.23.13

SUSE Drops LibreOffice Backing

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Novell, Office Suites, OpenDocument at 4:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

But the motif stays green, for now…

LibreOffice

Summary: SUSE, formerly part of Novell, is no longer committed to LibreOffice

LibreOffice contributors try to put lipstick on a pig [1], but Louis Suárez-Potts (very prominent in this area) makes it clearer [2] that “SUSE has ceded development to others, if any, on LibreOffice.” There are already some distracting announcements [3,4] and on the face of it we’ll need to reconsider the role of IBM and Apache OpenOffice. Maybe they’ll be the only branch to survive one day, even if in Symphony form.

As a LATEX person, I hardly use office suites like LibreOffice, but a lot of people do [5] and this means that we may be left dependent on Apache OpenOffice, some free/libre alternatives like Calligra [6], or privacy-infringing (online) alternatives like Google Docs.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The Spin-Off

    Some readers might be surprised by the way I’m describing the announcement. It might be tempting to see these news as the sign of the upcoming demise of the LibreOffice project. This is very far from being the case and there are two good reasons for that.

    First, Suse is NOT dumping LibreOffice developers away. The same developers basically went in a new company and there working on LibreOffice development there. In American parlance, this is called a spin-off.

  2. SUSE Partners with Collabora to Deliver Commercial LibreOffice Support | SUSE

    Basically, SUSE has ceded development to others, if any, on LibreOffice. And also calling it a “community” effort–often, if not necessarily in this case–a code term for something thrown under the bus does not inspire confidence in LibreOffice.

  3. LibreOffice Conference Scheduled published!

    Today we are happy to announce that the final schedule of the LibreOffice Conference 2013!

  4. CloudOn joins TDF Advisory Board

    CloudOn, one of the leading mobile productivity platforms that allows users to create, edit and share documents in real time across devices, has joined the advisory board of The Document Foundation (TDF).

    TDF looks after the development of LibreOffice, the free and open source office suite that competes with Microsoft Office.

  5. Styling

    Consider the way that most people use a word processor like LibreOffice’s Writer. Whenever they want to change the default formatting, they select part of the document – for example, a paragraph or a page — and then apply the formatting using the toolbars or one of the menus.

  6. Calligra vs. LibreOffice: Which Is The More Productive Linux Office Suite?

    Is LibreOffice the only worthwhile office suite for Linux users? Possibly not, thanks to KDE’s Calligra.

08.26.13

Red Hat’s ‘Community’ Face Helps Disguise Corporate Nature

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, Red Hat at 4:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red Hat Headquarters

Summary: Disparity in pay (volunteer versus staff) and difference between perception and reality when it comes to GNU/Linux vendors, especially publicly-traded ones

Zonker was recently welcomed by Red Hat, which he used to compete against over at Novell. He was paid a salary by Novell to 'manage' a community (which is a bit of a contradiction) before he moved on to speaking for another community (which later crumbled somewhat). Canonical and Ubuntu make analogous stories of staff-run community (the company manages the community). At Canonical, the ‘community’ part has become a notable farce over the past couple of years.

Zonker came from a company that we criticised for having its community managed by staff. He is now acting was a bit of a spokesperson [1] as the company has been rather quiet, with only some chatter about Fedora names and Wall Street-driven discussions about the company’s monetary nature [2-4].

Red Hat actually has a decent community. Some of the writers at Red Hat’s OpenSource.com are not Red Hat employees and Fedora is open to many outside of Red Hat. Let’s not lose sight of the importance of community autonomy. Ubuntu (especially in the past 6 months or less) became an excellent example of how not to run a community.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Red Hat’s Bugzilla Passes 1,000,000 Milestone

    Bug 1,000,000 was filed today by Anton Arapov in Red Hat’s Bugzilla. The bug, an improvement request for the automatic bug detection and reporting tool (abrt), is a nice milestone just a few weeks ahead of the 15th anniversary of Bugzilla’s first release.

  2. Alliance Data Systems Moves Up In Market Cap Rank, Passing Red Hat

    Another reason market capitalization is important is where it places a company in terms of its size tier in relation to peers — much like the way a mid-size sedan is typically compared to other mid-size sedans (and not SUV’s). This can have a direct impact on which indices will include the stock, and which mutual funds and ETFs are willing to own the stock. For instance, a mutual fund that is focused solely on Large Cap stocks may for example only be interested in those companies sized $10 billion or larger. Another illustrative example is the S&P MidCap index which essentially takes the S&P 500 index and “tosses out” the biggest 100 companies so as to focus solely on the 400 smaller “up-and-comers” (which in the right environment can outperform their larger rivals). And ETFs that directly follow an index like the S&P 500 will only own the underlying component of that index, selling companies that lose their status as an S&P 500 company, and buying companies when they are added to the index. So a
    company’s market cap, especially in relation to other companies, carries great importance, and for this reason we at The Online Investor find value to putting together these looks at comparative market capitalization daily.

  3. First Week of October 19th Options Trading For Red Hat (RHT)

    Investors in Red Hat Inc (NYSE: RHT) saw new options become available this week, for the October 19th expiration. At Stock Options Channel, our YieldBoost formula has looked up and down the RHT options chain for the new October 19th contracts and identified one put and one call contract of particular interest.

  4. Red Hat And Other Software Stocks That May Beat Revenue Estimates (RHT)

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