Links 09/08/2008: T-Mobile Harnesses Linux, Lindependence 2008 Videos Available

Posted in News Roundup at 5:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish


  • Updated: T-Mobile USA Will Ditch The Traditional Deck To Mirror Apple’s App Store
  • My Bootchart Record: 12 Seconds to Boot, 7 Seconds to X

    I may have to write how I did this at some point. I use Archlinux x86_64, with a custom kernel from Zen. It’s got most of the stuff I need built in, and all other crap is thrown out.

  • 3 Linux Apps That Make Me Hate Windows

    Finally, there’s Amarok, which easily gets my vote as best music player. Not only does Amarok sport a boatload of excellent features, it also has an incredibly intuitive and easy-to-use interface. The main player’s interface tabs provide a ton of information about your current artist and song including lyrics, related artists, suggested songs, Wikipedia’s artist info, and the band’s other albums. For those that prefer DIY management of your library, the tree-style collection view is a welcome addition, and provides an extremely easy way.

  • Amarok 2: a first look

    With all the hoopla that has been surrounding KDE 4, I’d almost forget there’s another major piece of software working on a milestone release. Okay, maybe not as major as KDE, but Amarok is arguably the best and most popular media player on the linux desktop.

  • Ubuntu Hardy on the Vye S41 (Kohjinsha SR8…Ithink)
  • Kernel Log: Btrfs 0.16 released, new stable kernels released, Wifi drivers for 2.6.27 merged
  • Linux games – First Person Shooters

    The truth is, there are quite a few games for Linux, but the problem is – not that many people are aware of them or willing to take the plunge. This is becoming less and less of any issue every day, as the games are moving from console nightmares and WINE hacks toward stable packages, some already being shipped via repositories of the larger distros.

  • You’ve CUPSed a long way, baby.

    He went on his way and I plugged in the usb cable. Getting ready to go into the menu to configure the thing a notification thinger pops up and told me the printer was ready. It didn’t even ask me a question. NOT A THING.

  • Lawyer’s Funny AntiLinux FUD Turns Out to be Not So Funny

    I put this article from Law.com’s Legal Technology page, “Commentary: The Penguin Doesn’t Fly, Avoid Linux” in News Picks because I found it hilarious, in the Rob Enderle kind of way. But then I thought I’d look up the author on Google, and lo and behold, I find he said something that appears to be not exactly true. I’m not talking about the FUD stuff.


  • Drizzle makes MySQL lean, mean again
  • 12 Great Quotes from “The Cathedral and the Bazaar”

    1. “I then make a sustained argument from the Linux experience for the proposition that “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.”

    2. “Good programmers know what to write. Great ones know what to rewrite (and reuse).”

  • Dave Harding on Software Freedom Origins

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Those are the words Mahatma Gandi used to describe the states of resistance to non-violent movements for change. {00:47}

    This afternoon, I’d like to introduce you to one of those movements: the free software movement. The free in free software stands for freedom; it’s the same free as in the terms free speech or free market. {01:00}

    I’m pleased to tell you that the enemies of free software are very clearly fighting us, placing us only one step away from victory according to Gandi. But the enemies of free software have also ignored us and they’ve laughed us, and I want to start my speech by telling you about how we overcame those challenges. {01:20}

  • Open source technology is hungry for new college grads
  • Interview With The SourceForge Community Manager

    SourceForge is one of the most important entities in the Open Source movement. They manage the geek mecca of slashdot, sell geek paraphernalia that makes all our dreams come true at thinkgeek, manage Freshmeat the mega app hub, and administer over 170,000 Open Source projects at SourceForge.

  • Coders’ Rights Project



Digital Tipping Point: Clips of the Day

13 year-old Eric Rufle talks about installing GNU-Linux 01 (2008)

Ogg Theora

Activist Larry Cafiero drums up support for LIndependence 2008 at a farmers market in Felton, California 05 (2008)

Ogg Theora

b-roll footage of a drive through Felton, California 01 (2008)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part IV: Minor OpenSUSE News

Posted in GNU/Linux, KDE, OpenSUSE at 1:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

More tutorials such as this one came from susegeek, AKA suseuser. They increase the presence of SUSE in some GNU/Linux sites, giving it more visibility. To many people, the “big match” is one that involves #1 and #2 ibased on Distrowatch. That would be Ubuntu and OpenSUSE.

OpenSUSE is a Novell based, Linux distrobution that focuses on user-interface, package-management, and user-friendliness. It gives you a decision between Gnome and KDE or you can download the dvd containing both.

Ubuntu is a linux distrobution based on Debian. It uses Gnome as its primary desktop enviroment and it has over 25,000 packages in its apt-get repository.

Another story about the muchly-hyped Ubuntu ends up with a victorious OpenSUSE.

Read the rest of this entry »

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part III: SUSE, SCO and Xandros

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, HP, Novell, SCO, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 1:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Here is anther quick batch of reports about the commercial version of Novell’s SUSE. The main announcement last week was about SLERT receiving IBM’s blessing. From the press release:

Novell delivers reliability and high performance for mission critical applications running on IBM infrastructure…

Here is another cheapo’ pseudo-article, which is just a gentle rewrite of the press release. TMCNet does this on a very regular basis.

Offering reliability and high performance for mission critical applications running on IBM infrastructure…

Tectonic has a more proper article about this:

Read the rest of this entry »

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: Virtualisation, Security and Legacy

Posted in HP, Identity Management, Interoperability, Mail, Novell, Ron Hovsepian, Security at 12:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Novell’s CEO will be a speaker fairly soon. His presentation will take place in New York.

Other keynoters include Marie Hattar, VP of network systems and security solutions at Cisco; and Ronald W. Hovsepian, president and chief executive of Novell. Hattar is expected to discuss trends in data centers and videoconferencing, and Hovsepian is expected to address the latest in virtualization.


Not much has happened with Novell in the past week, despite the LinuxWorld expo. There was this press release, however, which reveals another loose connection to Novell.

Read the rest of this entry »

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: Novell People Come and Go

Posted in Novell at 12:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Being summer, now is a convenient time for people to move between jobs. Here are some former Novell employees who are playing musical chairs.

This new appointment sees a former Noveller becoming a CEO of SiCortex.

Previously Stone served as president and CEO of StreamServe Inc., a Burlington-based software company. Stone also worked at Novell Inc. in a number of executive positions. In 1999, he founded the software company, Tilion Inc.

Another former senior from Novell joins the board of Iovation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Links 09/08/2008: GNU/Linux Makes Way Into More Devices, Microsoft Savings Keep Dropping

Posted in News Roundup at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish








GNU and Linux

  • Btrfs 0.16, Improved Scalability And Performance
  • You keep using that phrase “operating system”…

    From the article: Linus Torvalds needs no introduction in operating systems or open-source circles. He’s the creator, muse and chief developer of the Linux operating system. Torvalds started Linux while he was in college in 1991.

    Linus seems to be saying some pretty reasonable things lately, but the people who interview him keep crediting him with creating an “operating system” called “Linux”.

  • Richard Stallman in Auckland: On copyright in a networked world

    I just came back from Richard Stallman’s lecture at the University of Auckland. I was surprised by the amazing interest in his talk, the lecture hall being entirely jam-packed full, people standing along the back and all the way out into the hallway. I was lucky to be there early enough to get one of the last few chairs.

Free Software


  • Reader Report from OSCON: The Tenth Annual Open Source Conference

    Benjamin Mako Hill from the MIT Center for Future Civic Media presented on the ways that errors in everyday technology can present opportunities for encouraging the right kind of thinking. He used ATM crashes as an example of how typically invisible thinking becomes visible to users, stimulating immediate public discussion. Open Source Software can be used to further decentralize control over the technology that has such a powerful role in our lives.


  • DRM down under

    The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is Australia’s Federal Government-funded public broadcaster, and has responsibilities under the ABC Act 1983 to provide services to the Australian people.

    The new ABC Shop has recently launched, with downloads of TV programs made available — but only to Windows users willing to install Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) software on their computers. Like the BBC iPlayer, and Channel Four’s “4OD”, ABC is using the Kontiki platform — Kontiki uses peer-to-peer technology to deliver the show to other people, so as well as locking you into its restrictions, ABC is using your computer, and your internet connection, to distribute programs.

  • Air Force cracks software, carpet bombs DMCA

    It appears that Congress took a “do as we say, not as we need to do” approach to strengthening digital copyrights.

  • Controlling copies isn’t necessarily part of an artist’s livelihood, but getting them accurately attributed is

    I’m reminded of the fact that the original Creative Commons license allowed creators to choose whether they wanted their works attributed to them or not, but after a year or two, it was discovered that nearly every CC user turned the attribution switch on while generating the license — everyone wanted correct attribution, even when they were giving away free copies. Copyright, Fraud and Window Taxes (No, not that Windows)


  • Some advice for Microsoft: Dump Windows

    In light of the new Windows flaws announced yesterday, I think it’s time to reiterate a point I made a long time ago:

    It’s time for Microsoft to dump Windows.

  • 1&1 botches Microsoft Exchange update

    Budget hosting provider 1&1 Internet has hit problems while updating its Microsoft email platform. Customers have been unable to access web mailboxes for more than 24 hours.

  • Chart: Apple cash balance rivals Microsoft

    Here’s an interesting trend to watch: As Microsoft has been reducing its cash balance through stock buybacks, dividends and acquisitions in recent years, Apple has been amassing its own pile.


Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Larry Augustin, GNU Linux business visionary 11 (2005)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

Dangerous by Association

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Windows at 6:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad company leads to conflicts of interests and liability. This is why Novell, for instance, cannot be trusted anymore. It lives in an untrusted neighbourhood with foreign goals. People’s innate tendency is to be forgiving and let time heal the wounds, yet the business objectives of a company do not necessarily have this notion of mercy and apologism.

Some recent posts [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] have demonstrated why Microsoft must not be dealt with as though it has changed its way. The same goes for Novell. It is rather unfortunate that only a week ago, Microsoft needed to tell its investors how it really feels about Free software.Thist was revealing. It’s funny that companies like IBM and SAP do not share that sentiment. They can live alongside GNU/Linux (they even use it extensively) and it does not usually harm their cash cows.

For Microsoft to state that open source is a risk to their business is perfectly valid. Heck, as an investor, I’d be weary if Microsoft’s MD&A section didn’t say anything about open source as a risk. It’s perfectly valid for Michael to suggest that Microsoft should include a discussion on how they intend to leverage open source.

“Leverage” is the right word.

Free Software Magazine has just concurred with previous analyses of the Apache/Microsoft situation. Unlike the press, which is sometimes just a corporate tool, the writer addresses the real issues at hand.

That recognition perhaps brings us to the kernel (no pun intended) of Microsoft’s motives. It has a vested interest in improving interoperability between PHP and Windows as this would help it reduce the drift of PHP to GNU/Linux platforms. Coughing up $100,000 would be a minuscule price to pay for stopping that drift but it is also an admission than Apache has beaten Microsoft’s IIS (Internet Information Services). Or perhaps it will only be a Pyrrhic victory of sorts. Microsoft are now free to take Apache source code and proceed to amend, tweak or customise it to the point of what Bruce Perens has called “engineered incompatibility” At that point Microsoft could repeat the successful disaster of bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, only this time it would be Apache and with all the attendant broken web standards that tormented web developers—but this time on the server instead of the desktop.

Regarding this article, which opines that Microsoft may be “trying to kill Apache,” Pamela Jones wrote: “In my view, they are trying to kill Linux, so that everything runs on Windows instead, and some who are not Linux will help them.” This is true. It’s not FOSS projects that Microsoft tries to eliminate. It’s that thing at the bottom of the stack, which is incompatible — (by Microsoft’s own design and choice — with Microsoft’s crown jewels at its middle and top layers.

“Microsoft will try to use Apache to its own advantage.”The monopoly worries a lot more about feeding its cash cows by ensuring that FOSS is tightly dependent on pricey proprietary software. As the patent deal with Novell demonstrates, it has a dual effect: It makes FOSS more expensive and scale of deployment dependent on payments to Microsoft (where would Google be without GNU?). This means that proprietary counterparts then seem more affordable and can compete more easily against FOSS, which also becomes a Microsoft revenue stream.

In the case above, it’s only natural to think about Zend. Microsoft will try to use Apache to its own advantage. It wants something in return for the financial help and that something is not just positive publicity, as in a stunt. Speaking of publicity stunts , this post about CompTIA has developed into quite a long conversations. It was mentioned here yesterday and I’ve since then posted some references to back my arguments. The blog’s moderator is not showing them yet. Is he blocking them because they disagree with his assessment? It’s definitely worth seeing the comments.

Another source of influence that boggles the mind may have some effect on GMOME. There are some valid reasons for concern or at least prudence when it comes to OpenLogic (in addition to H-P/Microsoft links) and its place in GNOME [1, 2]. Carla Schroder has just shared another cause for a brow to be raised.

The Pitfalls of Open Source Litigation ran a couple of days ago. It painted a picture of Open Source software as being a minefield of grumpy litigious geeks who want to cash in with fat lawsuits, and no clear guidance for how to stay out of trouble. Oddly, this all seemed to come from a most unlikely source, the director of the Gnome Foundation, Stormy Peters. Even unlikelier, it was from her talk at LinuxWorld, which hardly seems a good venue for spreading misinformation of any kind, let alone old moldy misinformation.

Peters comes from H-P, which believes in the sound bite which is “intellectual property” (as opposed to trademarks, copyrights and patents separately). She also sells services around these things. It would be a shame if GNOME’s leadership carried such messages. It’s almost as though it’s being taken over by its detractors. It’s an issue that we covered it before and last covered yesterday. Now comes this article about Microsoft employees occupying positions at Google.

Microsoft and Google battled over a noncompete clause in 2005, when Google hired Kai-Fu Lee, an expert in speech recognition technology, even though he had signed a noncompete agreement at Microsoft. Google unsuccessfully worked to move the case from Washington to California, in hopes that the noncompete clause would be ruled invalid. The case was eventually settled outside of court.

The California law has been in existence since 1872, forbidding “noncompete clauses” that restrict management employees’ options in their next job or business

There are quite a few people out there whose membership is dangerous by association, due to affiliation. We shalll continue keeping an eye on them in order to better comprehend ‘underground activity’. it’s typically more complex than it seems in the surface.

Expire, Linspire

Posted in GNU/Linux, Linspire, Microsoft, Xandros at 5:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

One Ballnux less to worry about

A trademark which Xandros bought appears to have just been thrown away. Tina has the details.

Linspire, the distribution originally launched as Lindows, is no more, says Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos.

This was actually insinuated a few days ago when SJVN had this to say:

Typaldos did not mention what these changes would mean for the future version of Linspire, the commercial version of Freespire. Sources close to the company indicated though that the Linspire distribution and brand will be replaced by the Xandros.

It seems likely, therefore, that the name “Linspire” won’t be kicked around for much longer. The code and the artwork live on, so it’s not a total loss. The covenant with Microsoft, on the brighter side, may be irrelevant now (IANAL).

The news may seem sad, but it’s no reason to worry. Existing Linspire users will most likely move to GNU/Linux distributions that are not being ‘taxed’ by Microsoft.

We have been writing a lot about Linspire ever since it was acquired by Xandros [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]. The ‘community’ version, which is not Free software, will stick around for a while, but it will be Debian based rather than Ubuntu based (Xandros cuts the ‘middleman’).

Xandros has announced a new version of Freespire, to be based on Debian’s forthcoming Lenny release, expected this fall. Xandros says it plans to “consolidate” its various offerings on Debian, following its acquisition of Linspire.

Xandros acquired Linspire last month. Freespire is a free version of Linspire, and was previously based on Ubuntu.

Here is the press release.

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