Summary: Advice to those wishing to free Linux and remove all Microsoft tax from it (hint: avoid vendors that pay Microsoft for Linux)
THE PROGRAMS known as Mono and Moonlight are malicious in the sense that they enable Microsoft to control Linux, partly with the help of software patents. A few days ago we also warned about SparkleShare, which is Mono based (and proud of it) but nonetheless receives some coverage. Juliet Kemp is promoting Gnome-don’t right now; it is also Mono based.
3 years ago we hypothesised that Mono was the reason Samsung paid Microsoft for Linux (Samsung put Mono on phones at the time, but it no longer does). Here is another Samsung smartphone to avoid because it’s a Microsoft cash cow:
The Samsung i9000 Galaxy S was just crowned as the fastest smartphone by GLBenchmark, with a performance of 1834 frames, ahead of the iPhone 3GS with 1077 frames and the iPhone 4 with 1039 frames.
Well, too bad it’s being taxed by Microsoft, right? Anyway, this whole plot with Mono should be familiar because SCO tried to do with UNIX what Novell is now doing with .NET. As Groklaw explains this week, the SCO-Novell trial carries on, forever keeping that uncertainty about the freedom of Linux (although everyone knows that SCO has no case).
Novell has responded to SCO’s Objections to Novell’s Bill of Costs for the two trials. Novell did not fail to notice and point out to the court SCO’s cheeky move, asking that the court deny the entire bill, when some of it was costs from the first Utah trial that had already been authorized by the court…
As always, we advise people to simply steer away from Samsung and Novell, just as many technology-savvy individuals avoided anything from SCO. OpenSUSE, despite looking nice and all, is also helping Novell (OpenSUSE is 100% property of Novell), so it too should be avoided. There are many GNU/Linux-based alternatives out there. █
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Summary: More new televisions run Linux, but not the type which is free because Microsoft unjustifiably gets paid
THE KOREAN televisions industry is still at it. Both LG and Samsung pay Microsoft for Linux, also in their televisions. LG claims to be running “open source” right now (“Open source Plex media center to run on LG TVs”) and Samsung uses Android in HDTVs, based on this news article which says nothing about the Microsoft tax.
HDTVs are the next consumer electronic battlefield and Samsung is apparently testing out Android on its sets in order to step up their offering in response to the latest from Sony, Apple and others. Currently, Samsung is the world’s leader in HDTVs sold but there’s a shake-up looming and Samsung no doubt wants to retain its title. Android may or may not be the answer.
Many television sets of Sony runs Linux, but these do not pay Microsoft for ‘permission’ to do so. Samsung is only starting to learn about complying with Free software licences (new code release [1, 2, 3]), but it never learned about Free software being incompatible with patents, simply based on practices. Pressuring Samsung regarding GPL violations proved fruitful (they formally published code because a Techrights member pressed them), so Samsung ought to be pressured to also stop paying Microsoft for Linux (Microsoft presented no evidence to justify it). This cause and this goal can be achieved, but customers need to pressure them. █
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With patents like these, who needs disease?
Summary: Another quick overview of patent news most of which affecting Linux and Android
IN RECENT days we wrote several posts about something which had been dubbed “death patents” [1, 2, 3]. These are patents that act a barrier between as a person and his/her life. IP Watch has some repetition of the good news about challenge to patents on HIV/AIDS treatment. [via]
Eight patents on HIV/AIDS medicines are being challenged by the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), a US-based nonprofit legal service group working to “protect the public from the harms caused by errors within the patent system, particularly the harms caused by undeserved patents and unsound patent policy,” the group has announced.
We need similar such challenges to software patents.
MPEG-LA’s latest trick [1, 2, 3] is now named by the news in the South African press, noting quite rightly that Apple and Microsoft (and Microsoft Florian) are proponents of this plot:
The H.264 video format is a heavily patented technology and the MPEG-LA group’s membership includes the likes of Apple and Microsoft, both of which are including support for the format in their respective Safari and Internet Explorer browsers.
Apple’s co-founder recently defended [1, 2] patent trolling from Microsoft’s co-founder. What a pair of like-minded groups. They also agree on MPEG-LA, which is headed by a patent troll. Some argued that the Jobs-Ellison relationship contributed to the lawsuit against Android as well [1, 2, 3]. Here is another new article about it:
Much like Ellison’s friend Steve Jobs at Apple, a longtime Microsoft foe who has now turned against Google, Oracle’s latest salvo shows it’s all right to root against both of them.
For those who think that the trolling from Interval/Paul Allen is a one-time hit, well… not everyone believes that’s the case.
Allen is suing on just four of the 300-plus patents at Interval’s disposal. Other patents, as Techflash suggests, put a target on the backs of Twitter and Foursquare.
Legal experts argue that Allen’s 10-year wait to file may make his patents unenforceable. It should.
How about Microsoft’s “new” patent on operating system shutdown (covered in [1, 2])? Should that be enforceable? “A good trivia question” offers this one blogger who asks: “What technology has Microsoft been the first to market?”
The blogger says:
So I ask the reader: What technology has Microsoft invented to be the first to market?
“Ridiculous Findings” is another new blog post which says:
More than ever, the world needs Linux. More than ever, the world needs open source. We are at a critical time for IT. There have been tons of innovations recently. New processing technologies, new software technologies, new fabrication techniques, new communications protocols and even new ways of thinking about communications, and heck memristors are really friggin’ exciting. Do we really want all of that controlled by companies like Apple and Microsoft? Apple and Microsoft are showing their propensities for a complete lack of care for their customer base. They are also showing their true colors. There are companies that genuinely care about their products, customers, and environments. SEGA, Mazda, HP, AMD, VIA, and a few others come to mind when I think of such companies. Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, Intel, and the like are not companies of such ilk. It’s time for open collaboration to trump top down empiricism.
These companies do not offer much innovation, either. A compelling example of stagnation would be the x86 and Windows monopoly. For companies that claim to be championing patents they don’t produce much innovation, do they? They only stampede competition out of the market.
To all those who are jiggy about Galaxy Tab (which runs Linux) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], do not rush to buy one. Galaxy Tab is taxed by Microsoft. Samsung pays Microsoft for Linux, for supposed patent violations that they never bothered to show. It’s a form of collusion.
For GNU/Linux to succeed software patents must vanish. Companies that meanwhile endorse Microsoft’s claims against Linux deserve a polite boycott. █
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Summary: Microsoft uses Linux-powered phones not just to make income (patent tax) but also to spread Microsoft propaganda, which includes Linux insults
REDMOND-BASED PARASITE MICROSOFT is losing its ability to compete online and to compete in mobile, including tablets. What does it do? It extorts Linux, which increasingly leads the way in these two strategic areas. Here is another Samsung/Android phone for Microsoft to make money from owing to patent extortion (patents never named) and another HTC EVO 4G clone will receive similar treatment. It’s just a Verizon Android rumuor at this moment, just like the old rumour that Microsoft paid Verizon half a billion dollars to force all customers to use Bong [sic] ‘search’ [1, 2] — a ‘search’ which is prefiltered to yield Linux-hostile results. Microsoft loves to spit in the well. Oh, well…
Now that Microsoft is shoving Bong [sic] into Android phones, Tim from OpenBytes responds as follows:
It comes as no surprise to me when we learn that Bing now has an Android app. Microsoft really wants you using its search decision engine and if that means putting it on an massively popular Android platform (which they are starting to make money from via “deals” with HTC et al) then so be it.
The author acquired an HTC phone just days before Microsoft declared that it had successfully extorted HTC and will therefore be paid by HTC for Linux, per unit. To Microsoft it’s important to ‘tax’ mobile Linux because shipment volume there is far greater than on the desktop. The way it’s done is akin to racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].
Let’s remember this next time Microsoft says it “love” Open Source. Who doesn’t “love” to extort and exploit things? Linux is working pretty well for Microsoft, as long as Microsoft uses invisible software patents to claim to be the owner of Linux. █
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Summary: Microsoft dependencies, Ballnux in Korea, and the ill effects of software patents there
Korea claims to be trying to get rid of Microsoft monopoly that’s reinforced by ActiveX in government and banking Web sites. This is an important issue, which the nation has complained about for years (and Microsoft was also found guilty by the courts there several times). Another problem Korea is having may have something to do with Samsung and LG, the Korean giants which not only pay Microsoft for Linux but also help spread Windows DRM. We believe that Samsung and LG pay Microsoft for Linux also because the law in Korea allows patenting of mathematics, which puts software companies at greater risk.
Yesterday we found the following news about Samsung and LG. It helps show how Ballnux — not Linux — spreads through Korea (allowing Microsoft to get rich at the expense of Linux/Android) and the last link shows that Samsung is still in Microsoft’s pocket.
Samsung Electronics this week confirmed that it has shipped more than 1 million of its Galaxy S smartphones since the line debuted in mid-July, an impressive debut that indicates Android-based devices pose a serious threat to both Apple and Research In Motion in the hotly contested and extremely profitable smartphone market.
KT released the first Korean Android Tablet. The Identity Pad.
The “Identity TAB” is ,according to KT, the Korean first real Android Tablet. Powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, the Identity TAB comes with a 7” Multitouch screen, 8GB only of internal memory, DMB TV Tuner, Gyro-Sensor, 3Mpix Camera Module, Wi-Fi, and SD Card reader.
We did it again, same as we were the first ones of obtaining the official pictures of the Samsung Vibrant, now we give you the first official pictures of the T-Mobile G2.
Fourth, What a LOAD OF RUBBISH is on this poor netbook! The first and most obvious thing was the Norton Internet Security, which wanted me to activate whatever “Free Trial Period” was available. Abort that, and then uninstall it. Unfortunately that doesn’t get rid of Norton Online Backup, so that has to be uninstalled separately. Then the Google Toolbar, and at least half a dozen Windows Live packages and “helpers”, and Skype, including the Skype Toolbar. Then came the biggest gripe of all…
Fifth, there should be a special place in HELL reserved for whoever decided to put Phoenix FailSafe on this thing. It’s bad enough to put a ton of crap on it, most of which is “limited trial” versions (FailSafe is a 30-day trial), but in this case it appears to be impossible to uninstall it. I’ve looked in the Control Panel / Uninstall a Program, I’ve looked in the Start menu, I’ve even looked directly in the FailSafe folder under Program Files. No uninstall. I’ve searched the web, and found that the only way to remove it seems to be to go to the FailSafe web site and REGISTER, and then ask to download the uninstaller. REGISTER, just to be able to uninstall it? I hope you all burn in HELL…
Last, but not least, it also came with Microsoft Office 2010 Starter preinstalled. Although this is also complete rubbish, I find it rather fitting that a brain-dead version of Windows 7 comes with a brain-dead version of Office. Nothing but Word and Excel, apparently limited in the amount of screen space it can use, and with adverts running on the screen all the time. The only good thing about it is that there is an uninstall program…
How much does Samsung want to betray Linux? A lot of people would point out that there is Linux in these devices (tablets and phones) but not that it’s Microsoft cashing in and setting bad precedence. █
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Will you trust this man?
Summary: Microsoft and de Icaza are still trying to make Android rely on .NET and it’s not surprising given that Microsoft is unable to produce decent phones (or phone platform) of its own
WE HAVE posted literally dozens of times about Microsoft imposing a patent tax on phones running Linux. This only applies to phones from Samsung, LG, HTC, and Kyocera Mita (Asian companies where software patents have some legitimacy).
To Microsoft, getting paid for most Android phones that are shipped is not enough. Microsoft also wishes to control the software which runs on these Linux-powered phones and MonoDroid is one option for achieving this [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16].
“Microsoft also wishes to control the software which runs on these Linux-powered phones and MonoDroid is one option for achieving this.”According to news which reached Slashdot some hours ago, Microsoft is now promoting this route, offering even more endorsement to Mono. “Miguel de Icaza is not concerned about legal challenges by Microsoft over .Net implementations, and even recommends that Google switch from using Java,” says the summary from Slashdot. Earlier this month we showed that Microsoft MVP de Icaza was twisting and lying about the Java lawsuit [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], as we last noted two days ago.
So, why is Microsoft so desperate to make Android Microsoft dependent? Well, it’s because their own phones are failing and market share is falling. Microsoft’s mobile reality is gloomy. Vista Phone 7 [sic] won’t change much, definitely not with its reliance on Silverlight. OpenBytes expects Microsoft to throw yet another $400 million (or more) down the drain:
Cast your mind back to some of the Microsoft adverts of the past. Lets reminisce with a wry smile at the shoe commercials that were supposed to be funny. Let’s remember the Windows 7 party adverts that were so wooden, that they made an episode of Home & Away look like a cinematic masterpiece. Then we had the “Kin” the f’Kin (sic) phone that must have hurt Microsoft badly when not only did the advertising fail to impress, but the phone itself was dumped shortly after (allegedly after pushing only a few more than 500 units).
It appears Microsoft just can’t relate to people with many products or its advertising in my view. For example, it’s very easy to tout success with Windows 7, when as my recent article touched on, you get no choice over what comes pre-loaded on your machine when you enter a store. I could tout millions of deployments of my operating system if I was able to preload it on all the machines at a retailer.
That aside though, its been reported that Microsoft is to stuff 400 million dollars in the war chest to pimp their next experiment (Windows Mobile 7) and it will be investors (I would assume) who are thinking that with this figure, plus the giveaway of phones to Microsoft employee’s should prove very costly if Win Mob goes the way of the Kin. After all, Windows 7 Mobile is said by some to be its “next of Kin”
Microsoft will no longer mention the “K” word (“KIN”). It’s just too embarrassing and synonymous with “epic fail” or with underage sex. █
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Summary: Mono boosting comes from OMG!Ubuntu! (as usual), but the original source of Mono development is drying up
The OMG!Ubuntu! Web site recently got a sibling called OMG!SUSE! and both appear to be regular Mono pushers. The latest example from OMG!Ubuntu! is promotion and glorification of the very thing we warned about some days ago:
The video below sees Seif Lotfy (of Zeitgeist, Sezen, OMG! fame) show off a Zeitgeist-powered Tomboy plug-in he’s been working on .What does it do? Simply put it shows you everything you were doing whilst writing a note – from what you were listening to what you were looking at.
Mono is another sure route to domination by Microsoft, not just patent threats. Consider the fact that Microsoft will be paid for each such device that Kyocera ships and the same goes for Linux-based tablets from Samsung. Because of the wording of the patent deal with Samsung, we immediately suspected at the time (2007) that Mono had at least something to do with it.
The rumors are now reality: Samsung on Tuesday showed the world its first glimpse of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, the company’s new 7-inch tablet.
Can one have this tablet without Android and then install Android (or Cyanogen) oneself in order to sidestep the ‘Microsoft tax’ on Linux from Samsung? If not, then it’s better to avoid all of these products from Samsung and instead reward companies that sell Android on similar devices without paying Microsoft for the ‘privilege’ of selling Linux.
With the exception of some posts [1, 2, 3] that lack substance, OpenBallnux is a ghost town and Ballux is mentioned in conjunction with IBM at Novell’s PR blog. That’s some extremely scarce coverage. It’s probably a good thing because Ballnux is where Mono typically spreads from. If Novell goes bellyup, so will Mono. Too few people except Novell employees are interested in this Microsoft-serving project. As for Microsoft boosters, they already stick with .NET, not its Novell-flavoured little cousin. █
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Summary: Microsoft ‘Linux tax’, SCO ‘Linux tax’, Oracle ‘Java tax’, and Novell/Samsung’s role in legitimising such unjust extortion
EARLIER in the week there was a discussion about Oracle in the SCO case, but it was all lost in the storm about the legal battle versus Google [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14]. From Groklaw:
Oracle and Novell File Reservations of Rights RE SCO’s Bankruptcy Sale Plan
Oracle, as well as Novell, have both filed a Reservation of Rights objecting to SCO’s Motion in bankruptcy court to sell off all the assets, all but the litigation and whatever is on the list of excluded assets. If you recall, Oracle made an appearance in connection with an earlier SCO sales scheme, and now it says SCO needs to tell it more detailed information about the new plan and amend it, if any Oracle contracts are involved. “At this time, Oracle does not consent to any proposed assignment or transfer of use via the Sale Motion or otherwise, as proposed transfers must be in compliance with the license terms,” Oracle tells the court. It has copyrights and patents on this software, it points out. Not that it needs to mention that this week. We are aware.
Isn’t it ironic that Oracle is now ‘pulling a SCO’? Just over 3 years ago Microsoft did this thanks to its deal with Novell. Here is another update about SCO:
They maybe should have listened to Eben Moglen’s words in that same article:
“I feel like a broken record – from first to last, I’ve never had to change,” Moglen said. “SCO’s bluffing, whistling up the wind. They ruined a company that had a business and customers that cared. It was a vulgar and selfish thing that has no basis in law and no basis in fact. It’s clear to everyone that the whole thing’s a sham and a failure.”
Well, not exactly *everyone*, because five years later, the dance continues. Why?
I wonder if Mr. Cahn ever sees articles like this one from 2005. If he had been there five years ago, who would he have believed? Boies Schiller and Darl or Eben Moglen? I think we know the answer to that. But would he have been wise? Ah, that is the question.
The difference between Microsoft and SCO is, Microsoft has already managed to tax Linux without ever showing evidence to support entitlement. Samsung, for example, pays Microsoft for Linux-based products that it ships, including those many Android phones which receive positive reviews. There is this new Android tablet, but LinuxForDevices obscures the news with a discussion about Samsung’s own Android tablet, which will also be taxed by Microsoft.
A startup called Stream TV Networks is readying a seven-inch Android tablet called the eLocity A7, with preorders starting Aug. 24. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablet will be unveiled in two weeks at the IFA 2010 show in Berlin, and will run Android 2.2, reports say.
4 years or so after the Microsoft/Novell deal it seems like to a certain extent Microsoft managed to complete a task it first assigned to SCO (or supported SCO in establishing). The only effective solution is to continue to avoid products from companies that pay Microsoft for Linux. This includes Novell, which continues to promote Pulse [1, 2, 3] in products like GroupWise (proprietary) while also promoting other proprietary software, occasionally wrapping things in an “open source” blanket. One example of this is “OpenSUSE” which, although a technically fine distribution (see this new video, “Perfect Server” guide, and review from Jim Lynch), is still Novell’s property. It’s a way for Novell to advance Ballnux (SLE*), which some call “Microsoft Linux”. █
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