Links 01/05/2008: Another Large Migration to Debian GNU/Linux; Ubuntu Upgrade Successes

Posted in News Roundup at 12:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Adobe Flash: Now a Little Less Evil (We’ll Stick to Ogg, Thank You)

Posted in Formats, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, OSDL, Videos at 10:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME FlashThe announcement from Adobe may be slightly overplayed by the press, but the gist of the story is that Flash technologies get a little gentler and a little more transparent. This is good news by all means and it will assist projects like gnash tremendously. However, this does not resolve the deformation of the Web, whose control used to be more decentralised.

It is worth remembering that Adobe is now a member of the Linux Foundation. Despite this, Adobe is being betrayed by Novell in favour of Microsoft. Nonetheless, Novell built parts of its Web site using Adobe Flash. Makeover to come?

Reports from the press include (thanks to several readers who brought this to our attention):

1. Adobe moves to broaden Flash reach

Open Screen is being spearheaded by Adobe. But the company is working with Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Qualcomm, Chunghwa Telecom, Samsung, Motorola, NTT Docomo, Toshiba, Verizon Wireless, ARM, Intel, Marvell, NBC, MTV, and the BBC. It’s “a who’s who in the industry,” said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president of the Platform Business Unit at Adobe.

2. Adobe Drops Licensing Fees, Gives Away Flash For Devices

Software maker Adobe announced Thursday that it would drop many of the licensing requirements attached to its Flash technology, which is used to display video and audio content on the web.

We will stick to Ogg Theora though, whenever this is possible. Thanks to akf for the invaluable suggestions, which made transcoding a lot easier. In order for Adobe to become a darling, the whole stack that it uses ought to embrace a licence like the GPLv3 (this includes codecs).

Another reader wrote to bring up this article, adding: “It’s about what Silverlight need to do to become successful.” It can hopefully be eliminated, but not using Flash. We need some real alternatives like Ogg, rather than fight fire with fire. We shall do our best to promote Ogg and make it more widespread. Presence typically ushers adoption.

Ogg Theora

A Former Ximian Employee Finds Greener Pastures (Red Hat)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Red Hat at 10:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


There he goes. From the home of Mono, having jumped through some hoops, he lands right inside Red Hat.

Matt Asay posted about upcoming CEO changes to be announced in a few weeks time. Well, it’s been a few weeks time, and although not a new CEO, Red Hat has landed a seasoned open source executive – Charlie Martin.

Let us hope the heritage stays away. Fedora already has some encounters with Novell’s (and Microsoft’s intellectual monopoly) Mono [1, 2].

Just say no to Mono

Fear and Loathing at INTEROP, Anti-Linux FUD Peaking

Posted in Boycott Novell at 10:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wow! Just wow. Watch this breaking news story.

Interop : Open Source Panel Heckled and Walked Out On


About 15 minutes into the session an attendee shouted out,

“When are you going to talk about risk instead of just going back and forth talking about risks and benefits of open source?” the attendee shouted. “We’re not here for the benefits, I don’t want to insult you but that’s not why I’m in here and if you’re not going to take my question I’m going to walk out.”


I’ve personally never seen anything like this. To be fair though the panel did seem to be all ‘open source is great’ but they did (Doug Levin in particular) talk about the risks that may exist.

Also to be fair though, all the panelists were in the open source business. That’s how the program was listed in the program guide. If Interop really wanted a more robust/competitive session they could/should have added Microsoft to the panel.

Need anything more be said? More and more people have become fed up with the art of selling fear.

“More and more people have become fed up with the art of selling fear.”Fear mongering, such as yesterday’s write-up from Paul at Disinformation Week (no direct link, as intended), is also far too shallow. We could go further by highlighting some of the iffy business that we bring up every now and then. No need for names to be called because we then get E-mails from unhappy companies that perceive it as bad publicity… well, talk about hypocrisy.

Anyway, in addition to this, as already mentioned earlier today, the level of AstroTurfing seems to have increased significantly in the past month. Remember our dear old ‘friend’ Jeff Gould? He is back for another cheap & quick stab at GNU/Linux (no direct link to the article in question).

Speaking about it to a familiar friend, we hear: “That is an example of the increase of astroturfing I’m seeing. Several (all?) forums are getting hit hard and often. I guess the upside is that the Microsoft movement is on the ropes and if everyone presses on, business can be rid of the Microsoft menace.

There are two spots or auditors that systematically pick up Gould’s FUD pieces: Slashdot editors (whom we don't trust so much anymore) and LinuxToday. I pointed this out to the managing editor of the latter before, but the response was mixed.

With regards to the former, namely Slashdot, an anonymous reader says in private: “At least metamoderate so as to mitigate the damage. It takes 5 minutes twice a day.”

For some more information about Gould’s piece you can see this rebuttal. The opening says it all.

I don’t want to say that Jeff Gould is an idiot, but I may be forced to. By his idiocy. Before posting this or commenting on it, I thought I’d better find out who he is.

There is some other cheeky stuff in the ‘press’ at the moment. This includes some fluff from Erwin and Inquirer.net, which we complained about in the past. A commenter had it sort of confirmed that they probably just serve corporate agenda and in this case deliver lies from Oracle and Microsoft (promotion of their posturing, for benefits of non-standards). Consider this just a headsup and a warning. Very inaccurate articles appear in the press and they seem more like advertisements than informative pieces.

“Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy’s, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. “Independent” analyst’s report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). “Independent” consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). “Independent” academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). “Independent” courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

INTEROP: “A Steaming Pile of Bandages, Duct tape, Glue, and Well… Poo”

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Interoperability, Microsoft, Windows at 9:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not our own words, but there you go…

In our previous posts about Interop [1, 2, 3], which "is Effectively a Noop", we presented the views of Matt Asay and Joe Wilcox, among others. Not many people are buying this sham and here is some further evidence and interpretations. This new analogy you are probably going to fancy.

After thinking for a bit, I then realize this is the exact same corporate strategy Microsoft has pursued with Active Directory. Release a trojan horse into a corporation by making an inferior, arguably broken, operating system, Windows, that won’t work with anything else, or follow the same standards, and then release a steaming pile of bandages, duck tape, glue, and well…poo, and make everyone authenticate against it while charging an expensive licensing fee.

We have active bot nets that rivel NASA in pure computing power due to boneheaded Operating System design…

How about NAC? We wrote about this before when we mentioned the insightful renarks from Charles Cooper (of CNET). Cisco and Microsoft chose what they call interoperability [sic] (should say “intraoperability”) over what Charles referred to as “openness” (standards, not exclusive bridges). Here comes an update on the sad NAC situation.

The Interop Labs test of NAC interoperability showed little participation by vendors that support checking endpoints running Linux and Mac OS X.

This is hardly a surprise given the source of initiation for NAC. How about this little update from Matt Asay?

Microsoft, openness, and oxymorons


Let’s compare this openness pledge to Microsoft’s reality with Sharepoint, as but one example. If you want to use Microsoft’s Sharepoint, you must use Microsoft’s SQL Server, Windows, Office, IIS, Active Directory, etc. It also works much better with Internet Explorer, and is crippled in Firefox, Safari, etc.

Are we to assume that Microsoft has seen the light and is now embracing openness as its salvation? Not likely.

He finally appears to be hitting the right drum. Microsoft is just trying to ensure that “open source” is tied to its cash cows so that even a simple Apache deployment need be accompanied by the purchase of a proprietary Microsoft stack, potentially costing around $1000 over time. To Microsoft, open source is just an ISV and it won’t let its bread and butter (cash cows) simply go any time soon, unless harsh reality intrudes. It will just carry on pretending to have OSS affinity because it needs to lure in (read: exploit) innocent developers.

OOXML-ODF Roundup: Chronic Deniers versus Developers and Consumers

Posted in ECMA, Europe, Fraud, GNU/Linux, ISO, Java, Microsoft, Mono, Open XML, OpenDocument, Patents, Standard at 9:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“37 letters with exactly the same words. Some of the senders didn’t even care to remove the ‘Type company name here’ text.

Simular letters has been circulating in Denmark as an e-mail from the Danish MD Jørgen Bardenfleth to customers and business partners.

I call it fraud, cheating and disgusting. If I wasn’t anti-Microsoft before, I am now. Disgusting !”

Leif Lodahl


To so many experts who have watched Microsoft lying to the press (as well as to everybody else in the OOXML process) about the level of corruption well… this has been rather tough. The truth is known and well documented though; its availability and reach remains a barrier. When Microsoft controls the press, it can, to a greater or lesser extent, control the minds too.

The following short new post explains just why we are merely witnessing a repeating pattern.

We watched MS kill off great software. We watched them promise new features to keep people from moving to other software, then never delivering those features. We watched them lie in the press and on the stand. Many of the “haters” on the internet were developers for companies that MS knifed, often using unethical means.

Remember "The Slog"? Whining about Microsoft would be pointless if only the abuse actually stopped. However, as things stand, the company appears more brutal than ever before, probably because it has difficulties and fears in mind (long-term in particular).

Glancing very quickly at the positives reported yesterday, here we have a post about ODF development using real programming languages.

In case you’re a developer and are looking for libraries simplifying ODF development with technologies like Perl, Python, Java, PHP, Ruby, etc., you should check out this summary of ODF tools and libraries.

Also encouraging is the following expected next step. Java is coming to ‘boxed’ GNU/Linux distributions.

Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAVA), Canonical Ltd. and Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), today announced the inclusion of OpenJDK-based (http://openjdk.java.net) implementations in Fedora 9 and Ubuntu 8.04 Long Term Support (LTS) Server and Desktop editions, furthering the promise of Sun’s open source Java technology initiative.

Will Java still be demoted, dismissed and suppressed by those who believe that an ECMA standard (with RAND) means that developers are secured from Microsoft’s wrath and that development with .NET lets Free software have control on the Web?

Links 01/05/2008: Report Makes Praises for Embedded Linux, Nortel Does Linux Too

Posted in News Roundup at 2:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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