Association for Computing Machinery Helps Smear Open Source

Posted in BSD, RAND, UNIX at 12:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ACM logo

Summary: BSD developers called “zealots” in a magazine from the Association for Computing Machinery

THIS bizarrely-titled item from a respectable source got the attention of some BSD developers.

“I was just reading the April’s issue of the Communications of the ACM (the flagship magazine of the Association for Computing Machinery), and noticed that OpenBSD and its developers were mentioned in one article, in a rather negative way,” writes one person in the OpenBSD lists.

“Some FRAND-pushing lobbyists are using the CACM to criticize proponents of open standards,” wrote to us an informant, who noticed this redundant attack on developers who merely did the right thing.


Thank You, Dennis Ritchie

Posted in UNIX at 4:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dennis remembered

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie (username: dmr, September 8, 1941 — October 8/9, 2011) was an American computer scientist notable for developing C and for having influence on other programming languages, as well as operating systems such as Multics and Unix. He received the Turing Award in 1983 and the National Medal of Technology 1998 on April 21, 1999. Ritchie was the head of Lucent Technologies System Software Research Department when he retired in 2007. [Read on]


Cablegate: CERGE-EI “American-style” Education With UNIX Labs

Posted in Cablegate, Europe, UNIX at 3:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: UNIX in the Czech Republic amid Westernisation

According to the following Cablegate cable, “The CERGE-EI library [...] has been a depository library of the World Bank. Computer facilities include a UNIX lab with high-capacity works stations and several PC labs. The ratio of computers to students is among the highest in Europe.”

It is all in ¶10 of the following cable.

E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON [Economic Conditions], EZ [Czech Republic] 
REF: STATE 159943 
¶1.  SUMMARY:  Post strongly supports ASHA financial 
assistance for CERGE-EI, the leading economics doctoral 
program in the region, fully-accredited in both the Czech 
Republic and the United States.  CERGE-EI has the best 
economics library in the country, containing a wealth of 
American texts and journals that teach and promote 
market-based economics.  END SUMMARY. 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
Demonstration Center for American Ideas and Practices in 
--------------------------------------------- ----------- 
¶2.  CERGE-EI was founded in 1991 "to meet the post-communist 
countries' critical need for economists, to educate a new 
economic leadership for the region in the region."  CERGE-EI 
provides an "american-style" education and is accredited by 
the New York State Board of Regents.  Its four-year doctoral 
program consists of two-years of course work followed by 
two-years of supervised dissertation research.  The working 
language of the institution is English, and CERGE-EI 
encourages its students to conduct part of their dissertation 
research at partner institutions in Western Europe and North 
¶3.  CERGE-EI's English Department is unique among major 
doctoral programs in economics, and provides students with 
the skills necessary to successfully participate in economic 
research and publication at the highest levels.  As 
increasing percentage of students in doctoral programs in the 
U.S. come from non-English speaking backgrounds, visitors to 
CERGE-EI frequently observe that the innovative program at 
CERGE-EI and the integral role English instruction plays in 
its doctoral program provide a model that should be adopted 
at their own institutions. 
¶4. The Executive and Supervisory Committee of CERGE-EI draw 
distinguished economists from top U.S. universities:  Joseph 
Stiglitz from Columbia University; Philippe Aghio of Harvard 
University; Orley Ashenfelter, Richard Quandt and Henry 
Farber of Princeton University; Jan Svenar and Jan Kemtna of 
the University of Michigan;  Gerard Roland, Michelle White 
and Roger Gordon from the University of California system. 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
Importance and Quality of CERGE-EI in the Field of Education 
--------------------------------------------- ----- 
¶5.  One of CERGE-EI's primary goals is to educate future 
economic leaders of countries in transition throughout the 
world.  The student profile is as follows:  60 percent men; 
40 percent women; 25 percent from Russia, Ukraine and 
Belarus; 24 percent from the Czech Republic, 20 percent from 
the Balkans; 18 percent from Poland, Hungary and Slovakia; 11 
percent other former Soviet states; 2 percent from the rest 
of the world.  80 percent of CERGE-EI graduates are employed 
in the region.  The average grade point average of entering 
students is above 3.6 (out of 4.0). 
¶6.  A glance at CERGE-EI alumni profile speaks to the 
importance and quality of its program; 38 percent of CERGE-EI 
graduates find employment in the public sector (ministries, 
central banks and international organizations), 25 percent in 
university teaching, and 37 percent in the private sector. 
Graduates include economists at International Financial 
Institutions (IFIs) such as the International Monetary Fund, 
the World Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and 
Development.  Czech National Bank Governor Zdenek Tuma is a 
former CERGE-EI faculty member.  Graduates in the private 
sector are employed by private banks Citibank Komercni Banka) 
and consulting firms (e.g. McKinsey & Company, the Boston 
Consulting Group).  Graduates teach in Universities in the 
region, in Western Europe and in the U.S. (e.g., Tilburg 
University in the Netherlands, University of Iowa).  When the 
World Bank commissioned a major study calling form reform of 
Czech capital markets, CERGE-EI professors joined the study 
team to provide local expertise and CERGE-EI students were 
employed to conduct data analysis. 
¶7.  Recognizing the critical impact of economic training on 
the success of reform, CERGE-EI offered to provide doctoral 
study in Prague for two Iraqi students.  As such, CERGE-EI 
has been at the crux of transition countries' struggle to 
from a totalitarian, centrally-planned economies to market 
democracies.  In the words of CERGE-EI, "experience in the 
post-communist world has demonstrated that early intervention 
to establish an effective higher education system is a 
critical component of supporting the enormous political and 
social changes necessary to build democracy and prosperity." 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
Competence in Professional Skills, Sound Management and 
Financial Practices 
--------------------------------------------- ---------- 
¶8.  CERGE-EI is a tax exempt (IRS 501C3 status) institution 
subject to U.S. audits.  Its 2003 budget was USD 3.0 million, 
excluding grant-finance expenditures on research and other 
programmatic activities.  2003 income sources break down as 
26.7 percent Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic; 
22.1 percent affiliate Charles University; 
13.5 percent Corporate Donations; 
14.4 percent International Organizations; 
8 percent Earned Income including Grant Overheads; 
7.7 percent Individual Donations; 
6.7 percent Interest & Endowment Income; 
0.9 percent Foundation & Government grants. 
2003 expenses breakdown as follows: 
26.4 percent Permanent Faculty; 
18.4 percent Student Stipends & Mobility; 
12.7 percent Physical plant & Building renovation. 
10 percent library; 
8.6 percent support staff 
7.1 percent materials & supplies; 
6.4 percent Development & Public Relations; 
4.4 percent Senior Part-time faculty; 
4.3 percent Computer Department; 
1.7 percent seminar & research support 
The Library 
¶9.  Established in 1992, it is simply the best economics 
library in the Czech Republic, and one of the best in Central 
and Eastern Europe.  Econoffs toured the library and were 
impressed by the number of recognizable U.S. economic texts 
(used for introductory and intermediate micro- and 
macro-economic courses) and U.S. economic journals.  The 
estimated number of registered users of the library is 
currently about 2000.  The library contains 25,000 books and 
270 periodicals, including journals published by:  American 
Economic Association, American Statistical Association, 
Brookings Institutions, University of Chicago Press, 
University of Wisconsin Press, MIT Press, Cornell University. 
Over 600 full-text on-line journals are available in the 
electronic library.. 
¶10.  The CERGE-EI library contains THE most extensive and 
up-to-date economics collection in Central and Eastern 
Europe, with over 80,000 printed items and subscribe to over 
250 periodicals and electronic databases.  One of the first 
open-stack facilities in the region, the CERGE-EI library is 
widely used by the general public as well as by students from 
other institutions.  Since December 1994, it has been a 
depository library of the World Bank.  Computer facilities 
include a UNIX lab with high-capacity works stations and 
several PC labs.  The ratio of computers to students is among 
the highest in Europe. 
Local & Embassy Comments 
¶11. Econoffs conducted interviews with four local contacts 
from government and business sectors, as well as with 
locally-hired staff at the Embassy who interact with 
CERGE-EI.  CERGE-EI is a highly regarded institution, 
particularly known for its independent, intellectual and 
theoretical academic content, and with the best library in 
the country.   Any criticism of CERGE-EI tends to be its 
"over" emphasis on theory versus applied economics.  In June 
2005, the Ambassador commended CERGE-EI for its continued 
leadership in higher education and success in building 
partnerships with American and other international university 
and training programs.  In the Embassy's efforts to support 
Czech-American cultural and educational exchanges, we are 
continuing our partnership with CERGE-EI through the 
Embassy's Office of Public Affairs.CABANISS

UNIX in general is hardly mentioned in Cablegate (only 3 occurrences in a quarter of a million cables).


As Attachmate Distances Itself From SUSE, Commitment to UNIX Copyrights Doubted

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Patents, SCO, UNIX at 10:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell suicide

Summary: Bad signs appear as Attachmate puts SUSE aside but continues to ‘hoard’ UNIX rights, dissociating one’s importance to the other

ATTACHMATE has been ensuring that it can maintain its status as a proprietary software company. Executives who were committed to a different agenda were mostly removed, expelled, or simply left. Mono developers were fired without exception and SUSE was relocated and relegated to Germany, where developers are now dependent on funding from Microsoft. What is actually left in Attachmate which is “open source”? Even Vibe was axed as we had predicted all along; it was in part based on Free software from Google (Wave).

Attachmate, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, is putting new people in charge and the Deccan Herald (insisting on just Internet Explorer or Netscape even in 2011) speaks about the spinoff called SUSE, which is basically partly funded by Microsoft now (to help put Microsoft tax on GNU/Linux servers). Attachmate is also the ‘owner’ of early UNIX copyrights, according to this latest report which adds:

“Novell’s board of directors adopted a resolution approving the sale, which specifically mentioned the copyrights were to be retained by Novell,” the judges said in the opinion.

This was the second time the appeals court ruled on this case. In the first appeal it reversed a lower-court ruling in Novell’s favor and sent the case back. After a two-week trial, the jury ruled Novell owned the copyrights. SCO appealed.

A spokeswoman for Linden, Utah-based SCO, Chantell Ferrin, didn’t immediately reply to messages seeking comment.

There is also a derailed analysis behind an apparent paywall at Lexology. We are still not sure what Attachmate will do with these copyrights. It is not as though the company has any commitment to Free software or to UNIX. Given the amount of time and money Novell has invested in this case, it is rather unlikely that UNIX will just be left there to rot and bring no revenue to Attachmate, even if through a sale. Unlike Novell, Attachmate has no need to keep up appearance and keep UNIX away from enemies of Linux. Will these be sold to IBM maybe? Or perhaps to some foe of Red Hat? This is a question that has generally bothered us since 2007 and we wrote about it many times before. We must pay attention to Attachmate’s actions and statements.


GNU/Linux is Secure From Copyright Slander, But Not From Patent Extortion

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, SCO, SLES/SLED, UNIX at 10:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Novell (Attachmate) owns UNIX copyrights, but it is also the source of Microsoft’s “Linux tax” (through SUSE) — a tax which it markets as patent assurance

THERE IS news this week about SCO’s defeat which Sean Michael Kerner, Pamela Jones and others who are familiar with the case have covered. Well, as noted in Slashdot, Attachmate has reaffirmed its grip over UNIX, which basically means that nothing has changed and the virtual assets remain where they are arguably safer. The coverage from Utah’s press (sometimes pro-SCO) says that SCO lost the copyright case in this age where emphasis is being put on patents in the fight against GNU/Linux and Android.

A federal appeals court has upheld a jury verdict and a lower court ruling in a trial that found Novell Inc. — not The SCO Group — owned the copyrights to the Unix computer software operating system before 1995.

The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the jury’s verdict from last year in a lawsuit filed by SCO in 2004 as part of its broader efforts to sue IBM over alleged use of Unix code as a model for parts of the rival Linux operating system.

The court upheld the verdict against SCO, saying “ample evidence in the record supported the jury’s verdict and Novell’s position.” It also upheld rulings in Novell’s favor by U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart, who presided over the trial.

This is all very nice. However, to lose sight of the fact that Novell is now being used by Attachmate (via SUSE) to pay Microsoft for GNU/Linux regardless of copyrights would not be wise. The main problem has shifted along with Microsoft’s strategy.

The Register joined YouTube on the 9th of May (2011) and it reminds of us those ads disguised as “content” which it did back in the days for Novell and Microsoft A day or so ago it uploaded this video which characteristically spins a patent deal as collaboration. Viewer should beware and see if they can spot the spin. Novell is not the “good guy”. Like in many wars, both sides can be “bad guys”, ass Zinn (a former bombardier) once explained.


SUSE’s Future Explained: Less Mono, Hopefully More Rebuttals to SCO (Whose Employees End up in Microsoft)

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, SCO, UNIX at 8:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: SUSE is no longer investing in Mono, AttachMSFT might invest in the SCO trial, and SCO’s Sandy Gupta works for Microsoft, harming Red Hat and selling Microsoft’s proprietary software/malware for Linux

ATTACHMSFT has not been saying much about its plans. It drops some clues every now and then, but none of this amounts to contractual commitment. SUSE’s managers mentioned they would support Mono, but the following article contradicts it somewhat. “New Suse director swears off Mono,” is how our reader describes it, quoting:

Brauckmann confirms that SUSE is no longer investing in the project, but quickly added that SUSE would be supporting any commercial customers using Mono that have support contracts. “The rest of the SUSE roadmap stays intact,” Brauckmann says. “No other products will be changed.”

Groklaw is more active than ever, especially in the News Picks section where Pamela Jones is very omnipresent (and who can blame her? It is hard to let SCO and Microsoft just carry on their attacks without immediate rebuttals). She quotes from this article, concluding: “This is the first positive sign I’ve seen, in that Ralf Flaxa provided a declaration in support of IBM against SCO back in 2006.”

She seems to believe that the SCO case will carry on and quoting this Desert News article, she notes that “David Bradford, if you recall, testified for Novell against SCO at the most recent jury trial.” To quote:

Still, he said he has “high hopes” for the future of Novell in the wake of its acquisition by The Attachmate Group.

Techrights begs to differ. SUSE under AttachMSFT is basically in bad hands and users are sensing it:

The dust is settling in Attachmate’s purchase of Novell, with Attachmate officially announcing the leadership and organization of its new SUSE business unit on May 18. But despite management assurances, SUSE users remain concerned about the future care and feeding of their Linux distribution of choice.

Nils Brauckmann, the unit’s new president and general manager, pledged “to build a dedicated and focused SUSE business unit, strengthen the SUSE brand with the SUSE logo and get the SUSE message to customers, alliances and the media, and align resources.”

Novell’s account uploads in YouTube are still for proprietary software [1, 2, 3], so this is probably where AttachMSFT is heading. SCO was the same after the Caldera days.

Speaking of the SCO case, Groklaw says that bankruptcy hearings are still being delayed, which probably serves SCO pretty well because Novell is in a state of turmoil/disarray at the moment , just like SCO. Is somebody buying time?

The bankruptcy court has cancelled the hearing scheduled for next Monday, May 23rd, and rescheduled any open matters from that hearing for June 17 at 2:30 p.m. The bankruptcy court has also issued a new Omnibus Hearing Order setting the dates for future hearings. In addition to the June 17th session, hearings are now scheduled for July 18, 2011 at 2:30 p.m., August 15, 2011 at 11:00 a.m., and September 12, 2011 at 10:30 a.m.

SCO and Microsoft would love to tax such things. They also try to tax CentOS using proprietary software addons, as we explained earlier in the week. The other day we showed a post from Microsoft about the subject, but what we did not notice was its author (link rel=”nofollow”ed). “Sandy Gupta of SCO infamy, who tried to persuade the court that ELF is copyrighted by SCO and no one can use it without infringing SCO’s rights, now invites people to run CentOS under Microsoft HypeV control. What a bad idea,” put it our reader, who basically paraphrased Groklaw. The original wording from Jones: “OMG. Look who posted this. It’s Sandy Gupta of SCO fame or infamy, depending on your point of view. Remember his code collage trying to persuade the court that ELF is copyrighted by SCO and no one can use it without infringing SCO’s rights, and how Dr. Brian Kernighan called Gupta’s copyright analysis “indefensible”? When he first went to Microsoft, Gupta was Director, Technical Competitive Strategy of the Server & Tools Division. Gupta’s now General Manager of Marketing, Open Solutions Group, Microsoft. Frankly, that makes me start wondering if anything will ever really come of this CentOS announcement, or whether it’s so much marketing.” Gupta now received big paychecks from Microsoft ('pulling an O'Kelly', the usual way).

“[Microsoft's] Mr. Emerson and I discussed a variety of investment structures wherein Microsoft would ‘backstop,’ or guarantee in some way, BayStar’s investment…. Microsoft assured me that it would in some way guarantee BayStar’s investment in SCO.”

Larry Goldfarb, BayStar, key investor in SCO


Lies About SCO

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, SCO, UNIX at 2:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Guess who’s still rubbing SCO’s back…

Monkey massage

Summary: How SCO’s lies about Unix ownership are being propagated by the corporate press

THE SCO club keeps deceiving. Here is the erroneous claim that SCO owns Unix even though it’s not. See the headline [1, 2] “Las Vegas-based UnXis buys Unix operating system, service contracts from bankrupt SCO Group”, which pretends they bought Unix (sounds like the trademark is at stake, as the press release contained a lie [1, 2]). And also, the same deception can be found here. Are these articles being researched for?

SCO insider Maureen O’Gara repeats the false claims from SCO: “SCO, which retains the litigation, could still present a problem if the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver gives it leave to continue prosecuting its suit against IBM for fleshing out Linux with Unix code SCO thought it bought from Novell.” IBM was not “fleshing out Linux with Unix code”. Just repeating the allegation won’t make it any more true.

The SCO boosters, including those who visit the company and spread its lies, are still at it. To be fair, these people are also those who promote Microsoft’s agenda, so there is clearly an overlap. SCO boosters, including Rob Enderle, are currently attacking Google, attacking Linux, and attacking just about every threat that exists to Microsoft’s monopoly, as usual.

SJVN says that “SCO is dead, SCO Unix lives on”:

SCO, the anti-Linux lawsuit monster is dead. There are still twitches left in the corpse in the bankruptcy court morgue, but when even Groklaw retires from the field, you know SCO’s as dead as a doornail. But, SCO’s Unix operating systems, OpenServer and UnixWare, will live on under the aegis of a new company, UnXis.

This has some people, including Pamela Jones, editor and founder of Groklaw worried that UnXis might follow in SCO’s lawsuit crazy tracks. “Targeting end users? Uh oh. That has a creepy sound, considering the heritage of SCO, if you know what I mean.”

Interestingly enough, looking at SJVN’s ZDNet blog, it is all that’s left there which covers “Open Source”, with only a handful of posts in about 10 days. ZDNet almost stopped covering FOSS after firing Dana Blankenhorn, who had parroted Microsoft Florian anyway. We are currently investigating ZDNet’s ties with Microsoft as we found something of great significance during our research. We contacted ZDNet to give it an opportunity to defend itself before it’s published.


UnXis Does Not Have Unix (and Why We Still Need Groklaw)

Posted in Microsoft, SCO, UNIX at 7:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: SCO sort of nym-shifts and already tells lies to the public, regarding Unix ownership

AS GROKLAW declares victory and ceases new activity (starting middle of May), SCO’s new lies will be harder to find and respond to. According to this new press release, UnXis [1, 2, 3, 4] is already lying, so it is not a great time for Groklaw to exit; it already disputes the following part, which is a lie: “UnXis is committed to investing $25 million over the next 18 months into product and technology developments, as well as building upon its world-class management, sales and customer support team. UnXis has retained all customer contracts, the UNIX and UNIXWARE trademarks and an installed base of 32,000 customer contracts maintained in 82 countries, including McDonald’s, Siemens, Sperbank, China Post, Thomson Reuters and the US Department of Defense.”

Actually, Novell owns Unix (likely to be passed to AttachMSFT soon).

Who would be left to rebut and counter disinformation from SCO^H^HUnXis? Speaking of disinformation, when Microsoft Florian is not busy making legal threats against those who expose him (we are still not not sure if Dana Blankenhorn got fired from ZDNet because of a post arising from Florian), he is lobbying hard and bragging. Such mobbyists only write about one strand of issues this week (except correspondence with Microsoft MVPs and boosters) and it’s Groklaw or Techrights; it’s his familiar intimidation and defamation tactics. Watch this Slashdot thread:

o on over to LWN and look at Florian’s continued meltdown about how PJ isn’t relevant and he is.

http://lwn.net/Articles/437650/ [lwn.net]

There’s a lot said there that exposes Florian’s true colors.

He heaps praise on the people who spread the most FUD about Linux. Robert Enderle, MOG, Dan “Lyin’” Lyons, and Ed Bott led the charge in the media against Linux. The only person he left out to praise was Rudy De Haas (“Paul Murphy” pseudonym). I’m sorry, but the list of above people have nothing worth listening to and his defense of them shows what side of the fence he’s on.

See other comments. Exposed pretty badly, eh? But looking ahead, the mobbyists will have more time to defame and distort the reality about Groklaw (revisionism), while Groklaw is no longer there to defend itself. We fear that Pamela Jones’ departure is a massive loss to everyone except SCO and Microsoft.

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