Links 19/10/2008: New Linux Kernel, Migrations to GNU/Linux, PCLinuxOS 2009

Posted in News Roundup at 9:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

home audio video buff Marc Merlin 07 (2005)

Ogg Theora

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

MicroFOSS and Other Oxymorons: How Can Anyone Be So Gullible?

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Videos at 11:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer [...] I can’t imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business. I’m an American; I believe in the American way, I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don’t think we’ve done enough education of policymakers to understand the threat.”

Jim Allchin, President of Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft

Now that we understand how Microsoft may plan to embrace and extend (in hopes of extinguishing) Free software, it is pretty much established that ignorance about this issue must be addressed. It’s imperative to inform.

There are too many people and high-traffic Web sites [1, 2, 3, 4] that are willing to give Microsoft a second (or twentieth) chance, failing to recognise the serial offender-like behaviour of this company. They try to appease or discredit critics. They are passing these dangerous messages and carry the disinformation further, possibly in hope of lulling another generation of young developers.

Dana Blankenhorn, a Windows user, almost fails to see what is wrong with Microsoft luring in Free software developers. There are many comments on his blog post, which is arguably provocative (he admitted to getting more responses, for which he is paid, when he writes like this about Microsoft). Tim Patterson responds:

We have understood that Mono and moonlight and deals between Novell and MS as well as Xandros constitute a ‘Trojan horse’.

The ‘interoperability’ argument fails here. ‘open source’ is by definition accessible. MS can offer ‘interoperability’ at any time they so choose.

My computing environment is rich and very capable and includes NO Microsoft ‘technology’.

Matt Asay, who is equally deceived by Microsoft’s attempt to imprison Free software inside Windows, wrote some more Microsoft-sympathetic remarks in response to the news that Microsoft is threatening Red Hat again — something that even Groklaw has just alerted about. Here is what he wrote:

Coming from anyone other than Horacio, I might have second-guessed the intentions behind his comments. But Horacio is a straight-shooter and I think there’s a lot of truth to what he says. Microsoft is more active in open source. It’s by no means an open-source company, but it’s blurring the lines just as companies like Zimbra do. Ultimately, this is for the good of the industry.

Lots of other comments seem to have magically vanished from this post of a Microsoft mouthpiece [1, 2]. maybe it was posted in two places, but it’s still bizarre (update: yes, it was posted in two places separately, so critics were sort of ‘isolated’).

“Windows is an enemy to Free software because of its proprietor.”Anyway, why the sympathy? Who is behind the apathy at best and enthusiasm at worst? Do certain people fail to see that Microsoft is attempting to dissolve Free software in a tepid pool of lock-in, DRM, digital ‘manners’, predatory pricing, forced upgrades, data ransom, security menaces and other unwanted consequences?

If Free software developers want to maintain their freedom and have their projects survive (let alone flourish), they must not play with fire — a fire which comes from software patents preaching, remember?

Horacio Gutierrez in hell

Picture contributed by a reader

Windows is an enemy to Free software because of its proprietor. Developers would have no access to source code that they depend upon. Not only would they be subjected to risk from unnamed software patents Microsoft holds and might actually use shall a particular project become a threat to its crown jewels; But moreover, all developers would have is some belated and incomplete documentation which is vital.

“We will file the answer tomorrow. We feel very good and very confident on the completeness of the documentation.”

Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft Imaginary Property Officer

That would be a “patent pill” which the Gartner Group warned about, and that’s not all. Remember what Microsoft refers to as a “rat holes.” It is against providing developers with open interfaces. This enables Microsoft to compete better using secret APIs and optimisations only Microsoft can understand (it has access to internals deep inside the system’s source code).

Matt Asay, much like others who occasionally commend Microsoft’s open source faking, may be biased. We explained this before, one context and crux of the argument being OSBC (ironically, Microsoft is partly behind it [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]). This will be discussed further in future posts.

Since our previous videos of Eben Moglen were received positively, here is another one from OSBC 2007. Matt Asay gives the podium to Professor Moglen.

Ogg Theora

Some more key issues are explained in the speech above. Those who wholeheartedly trust Microsoft must no longer trust their memory. It might — just might — be deficient, or maybe just too selective.

Linspire: Deep in Lawsuits Despite (or Because of) Deal with Microsoft

Posted in Boycott Novell, Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Law, Linspire, Microsoft, Patents, Xandros at 9:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linspire Illusion of safety in peace deals involving software patents

IN OUR most recent post about the demise of Linspire [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] and death of the "Linspire" brand, we did bother to reiterate the argument that the deal with Microsoft had a lot to do with it. It made Linspire seem like a sore loser among the community which it had betrayed, so it no longer received recommendations from the people who have impact on key decisions. Linspire was, in essence, passed over.

Several lawsuits are now looming over for Linspire’s founder (Robertson) to deal with, the latest of which comes from Kevin Carmony and folks. SJVN, who has several friends at what was once known as Linspire (or Lindows), reports:

Now, on October 15th, Carmony continues his war against his Robertson. Carmony reports in his blog that “Robertson and [Larry] Kettler [Linspire's CEO before its sale to Xandros] finally responded to the suit, and I got a copy of their response. From what I could see, what they produced did not provide any meaningful data on the missing cash.” So it is that Carmony still wants to know “What happened with the millions of dollars in missing cash and other Linspire assets?”

While the lawsuit seems unlikely to dissolve the acquisition of Linspire by Xandros, the battle over exactly how and why Linspire disappeared and what happened to its assets seems destined to be settled in a California court-room.

EMI has been chasing Robertson as well and here is one of the latest reports about it.

EMI’s lawsuit against Robertson’s website, however, will proceed. Sideload.com, launched in early 2006, allows users to store MP3 files in applications that make them playable with PCs, consoles, DVRs, Internet radios, and cell phones.

“I look forward to explaining to the court how MP3tunes is making it possible for more than 150,000 people to listen to their music everywhere, including some EMI person nel who have personally complimented me on our system.…

Robertson’s MP3.com was sued in 2000 by record labels and music publishers, resulting in a settlement of over $100 million. His AnywhereCD venture was shut down after being sued by Warner Brothers, and Robertson was sued for trademark infringement by Microsoft for calling another venture Lindows. He was forced to rename it Linspire.

Some people applaud Robertson, but if he proudly disregards the intellectual monopolies system, why did Linspire sign a horrible software patent deal with Microsoft? Did it fear being sued? Well, it got sued anyway (from the inside).

“Even those who were born yesterday could see Microsoft’s latest attack on GNU/Linux.”This comes to show how foolish deals with Microsoft can be. Novell too was sued just over a year ago by a patent troll which accommodates (former) Microsoft managers [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]. Peace with Microsoft is short-lived, a farce, and therefore totally moot. Microsoft is constantly attacking GNU/Linux, so only those who were born yesterday can expect real peace. Even those who were born yesterday could see Microsoft’s latest attack on GNU/Linux.

By the way, Freespire, which is now under the ownership of Xandros, may look nice to some people (screenshot below), but it’s Poisonware and therefore it should not be touched. It’s just a Debian/Ubuntu ripoff (customised base distribution) anyway. Well, plus the unnecessary liabilities.


IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: October 18th, 2008

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Enter the IRC channel now

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Links 18-19/10/2008: Two-day Heap

Posted in News Roundup at 3:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Colin Angle, Co-founder and CEO, iRobot 03 (2005)

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