Links 23/04/2009: Malaysian Government Moves to Free Software, Ubuntu 9.04 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Migrate to a virtual Linux environment with Clonezilla

    In this article, learn how to use the open source Clonezilla Live cloning software to convert your physical server to a virtual one. Specifically, see how to perform a physical-to-virtual system migration using an image-based method.

  • Mac Users Prefer Linux Over Windows

    Apple users are the most dedicated and fervent operating system fans with undying loyalty to their operating system, hardware and peripherals. And they’re just as loyal now to the new Unix-based OS X as they were to the old proprietary Mac OS. However, when given the option of a Linux-based computer or a Windows-based one, 100% say they would rather use Linux.

  • Microsoft still fails at advertising

    You simply can’t advertise in the computer market based on price alone. It just doesn’t make sense. By following Microsoft’s own logic, instead of purchasing a PC with a Microsoft Windows operating system that’ll cost you, at the very least, around a hundred bucks, you’d opt for a free operating system, like Ubuntu – a GNU/Linux distribution that some mainstream manufacturers offer as an alternative to Windows.

    Why stop there? Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for Microsoft Office, just give Open Office a download. It’s free of charge and most users would never be worried by the small differences. It even reads and creates Microsoft Office files.

  • How Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Gets Things Done

    I’m past the years of my life where I can really dig into something like running a Linux system. I’m very sympathetic to the whole idea; Linux people always think the way I want to think.

  • Linux Fund is Raising Money to Improve OpenStreetMap Support in Gnash Media Player

    Linux Fund has expanded its partnership with Sandro Santilli of the Gnash media player team to bring OpenStreetMap editing support to this open source Flash® player. This work will also improve YouTube compatibility and joins Linux Fund’s existing effort to bring the Real Time Messaging Protocol support to Gnash.

  • Six Levels Of Linux Customization

    By no means are these the only levels of customization available, but the main six levels are:

    1. Distro
    2. Desktop Environment
    3. Window Manager
    4. Theme
    5. Icons
    6. Applications

  • Your views: Time for Linux?

    The recession is apparently driving some firms to look at Linux as a cost-saving alternative to Microsoft – is it time for open source to take off?

  • News Sites

    • Review of Tuxmachines.org

      There would be around 100 users online whenever you land on the home page of this site. It is clear that the author gives a lot of traffic to the websites who write about open-source and linux by giving them a direct credit of the news or the article.

    • Linux Outlaws 88 – BeardSQL

      This week on Linux Outlaws: Oracle buys Sun, Pirate Bay admins go to jail, Germany censors the Internet and even more WTFs.

    • Linux Format wallpapers

      We’ve had a number of reader requests to make available some of the imagery we use on the covers of Linux Format magazine. Naturally we’re happy to share with you all, so we’ve put this page online where we’ll upload cover artwork as it’s requested

  • Kernel Space

    • LPC Looking for Interested Plumbers

      The Linux Plumbers Conference — so-called because it gathers top developers to work on the utilities and libraries that(the kernel, form the “plumbing” behind a Linux system — debuted to great success last year, even co-hosting the Linux Foundation’s Technical Advisory Board elections with the invitation-only Linux Kernel Summit last September. This year’s conference — running September 23 – 25 — will immediately follow the first-annual LinuxCon, the Linux Foundation’s new conference aimed at all Linux users, scheduled for September 21 – 23.

    • The First-Time Linux Event Welcomes Industry Experts to Share Latest Advancements and Opportunities for the Platform
    • Kernel Log: 3D support for the new Radeon driver; new Intel drivers

      Developers for AMD and Intel graphics chips have been extremely productive, having introduced a range of improvements, with others in the works. Late last week, AMD employee Alex Deucher released experimental drivers, DRM, and Mesa code that enables 3D acceleration in r6xx and r7xx graphics chips used in most of the Radeon graphics cards currently on the market. While the code is not fully mature, Glxgears should already work.

    • Linus on Linux: The Linus Torvalds Interview Part 1

      And by the way, I would like to point out that we do try to do better on “our side” of the equation too. The whole “stable” vs “development” kernels (2.4.x vs 2.5.x) was our fault, and I’ll happily admit that we really made it much harder than it should be for people who weren’t core kernel developers to get stuck on an irrelevant development branch.

    • TDI kernel web site

      There is an urgent need for identifying new targets for drug discovery. This urgency is even more relevant for infectious diseases affecting third-world countries, which have been historically neglected by the pharmaceutical industry. For example, only ~10% of the R&D resources have been spent on illnesses that represent the 90% of the total disease burden in the world (Munos 2006), which translates in that just ~1% of newly developed drugs are for tropical diseases (Maurer et al. 2004).

      At the beginning of the 90s, an initial Linux kernel conceived and created by Linus Torvalds paved the way for a wealth of open and free software programs and operating systems. Here we introduce what we believe can be regarded as an initial kernel for drug discovery with the hope that it will sparkle new ways for developing drugs against organisms that cause tropical diseases. The TDI kernel (v1.0) includes 297 potential drug targets against the 10 selected genomes and is freely and publicly accessible in a World Wide Web server, which was developed with Web2.0 tools for easy dissemination of the deposited data.

    • Xorg 1.5 – a step in the right direction

      Interestingly enough, I recently upgraded to xorg-server 1.5 from 1.3. I removed my xorg file, and it works passably. It’s choice of graphics drivers is a little annoying – I’ve been using radeonhd and getting 3-5000 frames in glxgears. Now I’m getting about 1000, and it pegs my cpu.

  • Applications

    • Music Notation Software for Linux: a Progress Report, Part 2

      The programs reviewed in this article are growing into wonderful applications, and I advise interested readers to try them all. If you’re a power user of any of them, be sure to let the developers know what you’d like to see in their software.

    • Savage 2 v2.0.0

      Thanks to Nemoder for letting us know that S2 Games has released v2.0.0 of their RTS/FPS hybrid Savage 2: A Tortured Soul.

    • 5 Free Backup Tools for Linux

      Featuring some of the free and useful Linux tools you can use to make backup on your machine. Some of these are server based while others can be installed on your PC. In either case you can easily make complete backup on a daily or scheduled basis.

    • Back In Time – a simple backup system for Linux
  • Desktop Environments

    • EDE 2.0 alpha released

      EDE (Equinox Desktop Environment) is small and very portable desktop environment designed to be very lightweight in memory and resource usage.

    • KDE 4 Cube without compiz (Eye Candy)

      I have installed KDE 4 on Arch Linux, it is the version 4.2, and I have installed it from the official repositories.

    • Taking LXDE For a Test Drive

      I found LXDE to a pretty nice desktop environment. It’s certainly fast, comes with a reasonable amount of good quality tools, and a nice appearance. There’s room for improvement, however, particularly when it comes to configuration. I would count it as a good option for recent Windows converts, particularly those with older hardware that might have trouble running a beefier desktop such as Gnome or KDE. Has it pulled me away from my beloved Window Maker? I don’t think so, but it’s progressing nicely and I’d love to see what the developers come up with down the road.

    • 15 Beautiful Ubuntu GDM Themes

      GDM or GNOME Display Manager will easily allow users to fully customize the login screen theme without having to use the command line.

      There are tons of ready-made, user-submitted GDM themes available that we can just download and effortlessly install. In celebration of Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope’s release, I’ve collected some of the most beautiful GDM themes for Ubuntu enthusiasts to appreciate…

  • Distributions

    • Ulteo expands open source virtual desktop

      Ulteo is out with a new release of its open virtual desktop (OVD) today that now enables Windows as well as Linux applications.

    • My Days at MEPIS

      Anyway, I won’t bore you with the details, but after getting it up on her system, I like it so well that I think I will install it on my laptop.

    • Red Hat

      • Handelsbanken taps IBM and Red Hat for virtualisation

        Sweden’s Handelsbanken has deployed virtualisation technology using Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM’s System z servers and operating system

      • Just how strong is Red Hat’s open-source business?

        One of Red Hat’s big initiatives for FY 2010 is to increase the rate of adoption of its for-fee products from prospects still using for-free versions of its software (Fedora, CentOS, etc.), a process it only started in late 2008. As Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst notes in the earnings call, enterprises often find it “very expensive” to support themselves. As the data above suggests, Red Hat is getting better at convincing them to move to Red Hat’s subscription offerings.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Released!
      • Ubuntu 9.04: Nothing Short of Amazing

        Such a wonderful release couldn’t have come at a better time.

      • 9 Things You Need To Do/Install After Installing Ubuntu 9.04

        Getting Ubuntu onto your hard disk is only the first step. It is still in the raw and unpolished state. To get the best out of it, you really need to configure and customize it to suit your needs. In part 3 of the series, I am going to go through the important things that you need to do after you have got Jaunty up and running.

      • 10 Things To Do Immediately After Installing Jaunty
      • Ayatana
      • Ubuntu 9.04 + branding “regression”

        Ubuntu 9.04 is a rocking release. In particular, it’s fantastic to see Netbook Remix and the Dust theme shipping for real, and the integrated Dovecot/Postfix mail server meta-package… Vorsprung durch Einfachheit. :-)

        Congratulations again, Ubuntu and Canonical folks!

      • Ubuntu 9.04 released – best reviews and screenshots

        Yes, maybe I am writing to fast, but only a few hours left, and Ubuntu 9.04 will be realeased, there are already a lot of posts about it in the blogosphere.

      • Ubuntu 9.04, the Jaunty Jackalope, Sports Modest Software Improvements But Big Plans

        REVIEW: Ubuntu 9.04, also known as the Jaunty Jackalope, delivers the latest in open-source software and will serve well in both desktop and server roles. Ubuntu 9.04 also comes with a preview version of Eucalyptus, which allows organizations to build their own Amazon EC2-style compute clouds, as well as a remix version for running Jaunty Jackalope on netbooks.

      • The road to Jaunty: a look back at Ubuntu’s history

        Well, to celebrate the release of Ubuntu 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” we’re going to kick off a three-part celebration of this tenth release of the world’s most popular distro with a quick look back at the highs and lows over the years, complete with lots of PDFs from Linux Format magazine from our archives. We’ve also gone back and installed all ten Ubuntu releases to discover just how much performance has changed over the years.

      • Shuttleworth on Jaunty, netbooks and more

        MS: Well, they’re very different. To me building Ubuntu for Linux enthusiasts remains a really important job and I don’t want to take anybody off that. But if I think, of the team that we started Ubuntu with, that team continues really to focus and work to that mission – make it great, free software power user’s desktop, every six months that’s stable and maintained. So we continue to do that, and I think that will continue to be important, if only to keep Andrew Tridgell productive, so Samba gets better.

      • First Look at Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

        Worth mentioning, however, is the fact that the Kubuntu 9.04 release updates to the all-new 4.2 version. This offers significant improvements over earlier Kubuntu releases based on KDE4, and is shaping up very nicely. Indeed, I can envision a day in a few years’ time when the Kubuntu release may well have more user share than Ubuntu itself, especially considering the 9.10 release in October will be based on the even more promising KDE 4.3.

      • Slick New Ubuntu ‘Jaunty Jackalope’ Springs Onto Netbooks

        Thanks to the new Linux kernel (version 2.6.28) Ubuntu now offers support for the Ext4 filesystem and includes a new wireless package that should help those using newer wi-fi cards.

      • My First Boot of Ubuntu 9.04
      • Download Ubuntu Installation Guide and Cheatsheet Now
  • Devices/Embedded

    • WiFi sharing service gains new Linux routers

      Fon, which claims to offer the world’s largest WiFi sharing community, has updated its Linux-based Fonera WiFi router with updated firmware and a new USB port. Like the earlier Fonera routers, the Fonera 2.0 offers both private and shareable WiFi signals, says the company.

    • Android to go beyond phones to a range of personal devices

      Android, the Linux-based operating system used in the G1 smartphone and others to come, is destined to be part of many other devices, including personal multimedia devices, mobile Internet devices, medical monitoring tools and home-entertainment controllers.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Netbook 2009: The four big changes

        3) Linux will be able to run on these systems as well of course. But many Linux vendors are exploring another option: offering desktop Linux on ARM CPU-based netbooks that will be even cheaper than Atom-based netbooks.

        Linux has been running on ARM processors for years. What’s changed is that both ARM and Linux desktop distributors like Xandros and Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, are working on releasing full Linux desktops for ARM-powered MID (Mobile Internet devices) and netbooks.

        The upshot of these efforts is that by the same time Windows 7 Home Premium will be available on $400 Intel Atom-based netbooks, Ubuntu 9.04 and Xandros Linux desktops will be shipping on sub $200 ARM-based netbooks.

        Can you say price-war? I can.

        4) Last, but never least, there’s Google. The first Google Android netbooks have been spotted. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, people who would never consider moving from Windows to Linux might be willing to give a Google Linux-powered netbook a try. With Google behind it, the Linux desktop will finally break into the mainstream.

      • Opinion: Microsoft still harming netbook markets

        I can’t stress strongly enough how much this business practice bothers me. I have been pushing Ubuntu Linux for nearly two years now because of these kinds of business practices. It is graphical in appearance, and out-of-the-box operates like Windows with graphics, a mouse, clicks, right-clicks, etc. It runs OpenOffice, Java, Firefox, comes with a built-in email client, and has a wide hardware support base which will allow most every feature of desktop PCs, notebooks and netbooks to be utilized.

        I don’t want to turn this article into a sales pitch for Ubuntu, but I do want people to realize that Microsoft’s practices are not doing consumers any good. And we, the consumer base, have the power to send them a message. We can stop buying their products until they relax such restrictions. After all, it is we that have the power. We can vote a company into the number one slot, or out of business, with our dollars and our purchases.

        I advise everyone to consider the harm Microsoft is causing the world with their OS business practices. Consider trying Ubuntu also. It has the ability to boot directly from the CD (without installation) so you can take it for a test drive (get it here). The new Ubuntu

      • Report: Acer, Asus, MSI Missing Netbook Sales Targets
      • Inside the Aspire One

        A few months ago, Linux Format printed a pocket-sized mini-book called “Inside the Aspire One” that aimed to introduce Linux to first-time users through Acer’s popular netbook.

      • MSI Wind vs ASUS Eee PC vs MacBook Air vs Acer Aspire 4710

        The MSI Wind offers great portability, has a usable keyboard, enough ports for connecting to other devices and can have multiple operating systems installed, including Ubuntu Linux, making it the best option for the Fonera 2.0 bundle.

      • OCZ Neutrino “DIY” Netbook Reviewed

        The Neutrino might not be a hands-on DIY kit, but after the dust settles how is it as an actual netbook? How about cost? Do you save money by selecting a Neutrino and a few components over purchasing a fully assembled netbook?

      • Easy Peasy V1.1 A Quick First Look

        While this wasn’t a complete review of Easy Peasy, and despite its silly name, I’m enjoying exploring this netbook distro.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OSI signs an MOU with the Korea Software Copyright Committee

    I think the conference was a great success. The talks were of high value and we got good questions. The audience was quite mixed, ranging from managers to developers. Even though they had simultaneous translation of the talks, the majority of the people listened in English… this gives me hope that some of these folks will end up becoming involved in the international open source community.

  • Open source challenges students to think

    The “open” characteristic of open source tools helps enhance, rather than complicate, the teaching process, say its exponents.

    Roman Tuma, software practice director at Sun Microsystems, Asia South, said the open source model offers an entirely new way for developers and “increasingly knowledgeable”, interactive users to collaborate and build upon the shared work done in the development of OSS.

  • Open source at work

    Migrating from a proprietary licensed mindset into open source can be perceived as a pretty challenging task. It is incredibly common for me to see that branding power often blinds people in a way that the functionalities of a software are disregarded in favor of the comforting sound of a brand name.

  • Firefox

    • about:mozilla – Meetups, demos, Fennec, JavaScript 3.1, Bespin, accessibility, BrowserCouch, Thunderbird, and more…

      In this issue…

      * This Wednesday: QA Meetup
      * Cool new Firefox 3.5 demos
      * Firefox 3.5 beta 4: 70 localizations
      * Automating tests for Fennec
      * JavaScript 3.1: Brendan Eich interviewed
      * Bespin community update
      * Proposed Mozilla accessibility strategy
      * Friday April 24: Test day for Firefox 3.5 beta 4

    • Mozilla: Firefox 3.5 Beta 4 will Ship on Time This Week

      The Mozilla Foundation says it is still on track to release Firefox 3.5 Beta 4 sometime later this week despite the lack of a firm release date. Beta 4 will likely be the last test version before Mozilla moves on to the release candidate of Firefox 3.5. However, Mozilla has not made good on many of Firefox 3.5′s deadlines: earlier this year, Mozilla delayed the release of Beta 3 — twice — before moving on to Beta 4, as well as dumping the name Firefox 3.1 for the snappier Firefox 3.5 to reflect the significant differences between versions 3.0 and 3.5.

    • Coolest Firefox About:Config Tricks

      You may have installed countless add-on in Firefox to enhance your using experience, but if you want to get the most out of Firefox, you really have to hack your way into the about:config.

  • Releases

  • Databases

    • Sun Announces New MySQL, Michael Widenius Forks
    • MySQL founder and ex-CEO react to Oracle/Sun

      Both Monty Widenius, founder of MySQL, and Marten Mickos, former CEO of MySQL and until recently, VP of the Sun database group, have both commented on Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems and MySQL. Observers had noted that Oracle may not be interested in pursuing development of MySQL, despite Oracle’s announcement saying MySQL would join the ranks of its other database products.

    • MySQL: Alive and Kicking

      Despite some of the concerns floating around the MySQL Conference this week, there’s some good news coming out of the event. The MySQL developers are returned to a “release early, release often” schedule and the pending 5.4 release has a number of features worth keeping an eye on.

    • Who Owns Commercial Open Source – and Can Forks Work?

      It will be interesting to see whether Widenius is able to pull this off, and whether Oracle, or whoever ends up owning MySQL, decides to help or hinder the attempt. There’s always been a tacit assumption that it’s not really viable to take this route, because the open source company simply has too much of an advantage through its ownership of the copyright, and the fact that it can always incorporate any code produced by a fork into the commercial variants. If this attempt to create a self-standing but quite separate version of MySQL succeeds, it could have major ramifications for all open source companies that think they own the project simply because they own the copyright of the code.

    • IBM puts Oracle to the sword with EnterpriseDB

      The bigger news, however, may be IBM’s partnership with EnterpriseDB, the commercial backer of the open-source PostgreSQL database, to embed EnterpriseDB’s Postgres Plus Advanced Server technology into IBM’s DB2 9.7 database product. EnterpriseDB’s technology basically allows applications written for the Oracle database to run on EnterpriseDB’s PostgreSQL…and now IBM’s DB2.

  • Business

  • Government

  • Open (But No Source Code)

    • Google’s O3D Joins Mozilla’s Effort to Bring Rich 3D Environments to Browsers

      We covered a 3D graphics initiative from Mozilla and Khronos here, and we’ve written widely about how open source, 3D worlds, and 3D gaming are converging, including here, and here. Mozilla and Khronos have their eyes on browser-based 3D graphics tools that can lead to gaming applications within browsers, and 3D environments all around the web, including on social sites such as Facebook and MySpace. The Canvas 3D graphics Firefox extension is found and discussed here.

    • Illuminato: Open Source Hardware Arduino Upgrade

      Are the Arduino boards not quite up to your latest project? Maybe you should take a look at the Illuminato, a 100% Free Hardware / Open Hardware Arduino clone.

    • Open Source Automation

      SERCOS International (SI) has announced it will provide an open source software driver library for the SERCOS lll real-time Ethernet communication system master implementation. SERCOS III thus will be the first high performance real-time protocol which makes driver software available as source code, without any license fees and without any usage limitations.


      OSADL eG is an international cooperative that promotes and coordinates the usage of open-source software in the context of machine and plant control systems. OSADL represents the interests of machine builders, manufacturers of automation hardware and software, and open-source service providers. Any company can become a member of the cooperative.


  • Intel Said to Face Fine, Rebate Ban in EU Decision (Update2)

    Intel Corp., the world’s biggest computer-chip maker, faces a European Union fine and a ban on rebates on sales to computer makers, according to two people who have seen a draft decision in an eight-year-old antitrust case.

    The 500-page draft was circulated to 27 national competition authorities over the past few weeks in preparation for a ruling in the case, two people with direct knowledge of the document said. The people asked for anonymity because the document isn’t public.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Lobbyists Get Congress To Investigate P2P Software… Rather Than Bad Security And Employee Carelessness

      Just a couple weeks ago, I received a ridiculous PR pitch from the entertainment industry lobbying group Arts+Labs, suggesting that a story that “hasn’t really gotten the attention it deserves” is the “threat” from P2P software being used to “expose private documents to the world.” The PR guy offered to help walk me through the process of downloading Limewire and finding such “exposed documents.”

    • Battle for the Soul of the European Internet

      Even though the internet is 40 years old, and the Web 20, it’s only in the last couple of years that European politicians have started to take a deep interest in its workings – and implications for society. However, the flurry of activity we have seen in recent months more than makes up for that long neglect.

      What’s truly remarkable, though, is how unpredictable all this stuff is proving. For example, the fight over the “three strikes and you’re out” approach, see-saws dramatically between the two sides – those in favour, and those against – as the so-called Telecoms Package wends it way through the system.

    • Bickering over three-strikes rule stalls EU telecom reform

      Over the past 24 hours, the European Parliament and its member states have moved further apart on the key stumbling block that’s holding up passage of a massive telecom reform package: the proposed three strikes rule that would see repeat copyright infringers have their ‘Net connections cut.

    • Big boost for Aussie firewall

      The controversial Great Aussie Firewall got a big boost yesterday when Australia’s second largest ISP Optus agreed to join the pilot.

      The testing of filtering technology has suffered credibility problems since the refusal of iiNet to take part, after it was unable to reconcile the trial with its opposition to censorship. iiNet said the proposed blacklist of unwanted material was much wider than just child sex abuse images.

  • Copyrights

    • Paul McCartney’s Confused About The Pirate Bay

      He says that as if there is anyone out there who claims that artists shouldn’t get “rewarded” for doing something great. The problem is no one is saying that. We’re just debating how they will (not should) get rewarded. And, of course, plenty of artists who embrace things like The Pirate Bay are getting rewarded for doing so. Claiming that they’re not is simply false and suggests ignorance of the subject.

    • Pirate Bay Judge Accused of Bias, Calls for a Retrial

      One of the biggest cases in file-sharing history ended last week with The Pirate Bay Four sentenced to huge fines and jail time. Today it is revealed that far from being impartial, the judge in the case is a member of pro-copyright groups – along with Henrik Pontén, Monique Wadsted and Peter Danowsky. There are loud calls for a retrial.

    • Bittorrent’s Bram Cohen on the music biz

      We’re working with some device manufacturers. We’re primarily focussed on client development and improving it and serving our users.

    • Ancient Books Go Online

      The BBC is reporting that the United Nations’ World Digital Library has gone online with an initial offering of 1,200 ancient manuscripts, parchments and documents. To no great surprise, Europe comes in first with 380 items. South America comes in second with 320, with a very distant third place being given to the Middle East at a paltry 157 texts. This is only the initial round, so the leader board can be expected to change. There are, for example, a lot of Sumerian and Babylonian tablets, many of which are already online elsewhere. Astonishingly, the collection is covered by numerous copyright laws, according to the legal page. Use of material from a given country is subject to whatever restrictions that country places, in addition to any local and international copyright laws. With some of the contributions being over 8,000 years old, this has to be the longest copyright extension ever offered. There is nothing on whether the original artists get royalties, however.

    • Will Copyright Law prevent a digital library from becoming reality?

      Copyright, licensing, and digital rights management are some of the more complex issues any future all-digital research library must face. Others have tackled this issue in treatises and textbooks. What follows is an over-simplified discussion of copyright and licensing and how it relates to the feasibility of an all-digital library.

    • EU votes for longer music copyright

      The European Parliament has voted 377 to 178 in favour of extended the copyright term for new sound recordings from 50 to 70 years. It’s only a first reading, but it’s a strong indication of approval for the bill, introduced by Irish MEP Brian Cowley.

    • Comux 010001

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Natasha Humphries on globalization and job security with Free Open Source Software 07 (2004)

Ogg Theora

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

Microsoft’s Earnings Collapse (Down 32%), GNU/Linux a Major Cause

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Serious disaster unleashed in Redmond today as net earnings drop by a third

AS ALWAYS, Microsoft is using its people in the press to hide the severity of this, but bloggers are not as stupid and obedient as Microsoft needs them to be. GNU/Linux has cracked Microsoft's margins and it shows. In the first quarter, Ars Technica wrote: “Client software felt the slump in PC sales, and was further harmed by the shift to netbooks; many of these run Linux, which helps Microsoft not at all.” CRN wrote: “Microsoft, like much of the IT industry, was caught off-guard by the rapid rise of the netbook category, but moved quickly to offer a netbook-specific version of XP Home to stem the tide of Linux on netbooks.”

“With such a sharp dive in profit, Microsoft may find it hard to justify keeping the current size of its workforce.”From the Microsoft-sympathetic press arrives mostly spin that excuses revenue drops.

GNU logoWith such a sharp dive in profit, Microsoft may find it hard to justify keeping the current size of its workforce. Rumours of further layoffs [1, 2] which Microsoft did not deny make more sense now, but the market closed shortly after these results were published, so it may take a day (or a few) to find out what Microsoft will do next.

Adobe Offers Proprietary Drugs to Students, Then Cracks Down on Schools

Posted in Formats at 2:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Real crackdown

Dutch weed
Adobe gets the kids high in higher education

Summary: “Poor Adobe threatens with legal action and audit against educational institutions,” says an informant

ADOBE is notorious for its attempt to get young people ‘addicted’ to its software. The company hopes that grown-up men and women will be so locked in that they will be forced to pay dearly for habits, data, and skills that they acquired in their younger days.

The Inquirer once wrote about Adobe’s abuse of academic institutions where it added a little humour to the mix

Adobe targets school kids to get them hooked on software


Adobe is where the ‘apps’ are manufactured. These apps that have the power to make images appear before our children’s eyes. “There were all these, like, stars, and they were rotating. It really captured my attention,” said Nigel, 14, hardly more than a child, but with the vacant expression of a man who has spent hours looking at a screen. Nigel has now discovered he needs glasses.

Now it also turns out that not even academic institutions (which get children addicted to Adobe’s software) are off the hook. Check out the following leaked E-mail. What a nice company:

Adobe proposes to conduct an audit to assess the exact usage of Adobe software in the colleges. At this juncture, we will be very pleased if you could kindly verify the usage of Adobe software at your college and refrain from using unlicensed versions of the Adobe software at any of your labs. Adobe is very committed to support academia and has a very attractive licensing programme for colleges.

The full message is appended for completeness.

Appendix: Adobe comes knocking

Read the rest of this entry »

Vista 7 Security “Cannot be Fixed. It’s a Design Problem.”

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Vista 7, Windows at 12:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7 starts now

Summary: Yet another vector of compromise found in Vista 7; new damage control and PR dissected

MICROSOFT MAY already know that Vista 7 will disappoint enterprise users and there are bad signs ahead of a distant release date. But one particular issue that we’ve been keeping track of is the serious security holes which may suggest that Vista 7 would be less secure than the already-insecure Windows Vista.

Vista 7 does not exist as a product yet, but it has already been breached entirely (or shown to be hijack-able) on several occasions since its test builds were first made public. To give just 3 examples from totally separate times (there are more such examples):

Well, here is a brand-new one for April:

Researchers show how to take control of Windows 7


“There’s no fix for this. It cannot be fixed. It’s a design problem,” Vipin Kumar said, explaining the software exploits the Windows 7 assumption that the boot process is safe from attack.

Vista 7′s problems are not just to do with security however. One of our readers, DaemonFC, has already explained why Vista 7 will fail [1, 2] and another reader has just sent us this pointer to interpretation of Microsoft’s latest publicity stunt.

When things are really screwed up in public or corporate affairs, when your products cause the death of little cute babies you make a harmless girl your corporate spokesperson on an issue who makes a pretty face.

This Larson-Smith campaign is like Swanlake in Russian television.

I work in that PR business and I know the rules of the game, so I must admit that her selection makes me feel really scared and the way she is set in scene shows that Julie Larson-Green is just a marketing communicator, an image campaign. Honestly, I thought Win7 would just be a fixed Vista with some “visible changes”. I didn’t know things went that wrong:

I didn’t knew that Windows 7 was expected to become a real mess. “Rumour has it Larson-Green is already working on Windows 8, but she’s obviously also still tweaking the user experience in Windows 7″. You see what I mean?

Why do you write it so diplomatic?

“So, when details of Office 2007 made their way onto the net, with information about the new interface, I immediately wanted to know who on earth was the person who had the determination and skills to put the … gears … in motion. As it turns out, it was a somewhat shy former waitress and customer service person… ”

Larson-Green is the Sarah Palin of Microsoft. McCain learned his lesson, sorry, this is not 1997. Microsoft marketing people became all PC but “We are the Internet”, and we are not your fools.

Adapt or die. I don’t care.

The last time we saw a company doing this routine with a gentle female representative it was Foxconn, just after it had shafted Linux. Foxconn sacked 100,000 employees a few months ago. If the rumours are true, Microsoft may sack some more tonight, but not as many as 50,000 as Cringely has advised.

“Microsoft is unique among proprietary software companies: they are the only ones who have actively tried to kill Open Source and Free Software. It’s not often someone wants to be your friend after trying to kill you for ten years, but such change is cause for suspicion.”

Bradley M. Kuhn (SFLC)

IBM Does Not Support OOXML

Posted in Deception, FUD, IBM, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 12:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Response to new disinformation from the Microsoft camp

Microsoft cheerleaders like Alex Brown and Jesper Lund Stocholm are quite deliberately misinterpreting or mis-presenting a vote related to OOXML by claiming that IBM “supports” OOXML.

What is it that vendors/companies voted on? Groklaw explains:

Details: Subject: Approval to Adopt the International Standards listed below as American National Standards:…Question: Do you approve the Adoption of:

ISO/IEC 29500-1:2008
ISO/IEC 29500-2:2008
ISO/IEC 29500-3:2008
ISO/IEC 29500-4:2008

as American National Standards?…

Voluntary Standards are developed with the intention and expectation that the standards will be suitable for wide application. As their use is likewise voluntary, an affirmative vote does not commit an organization or group represented on the committee to the use of the voluntary standard under consideration. If you find that you cannot vote YES and wish to vote NO or ABSTAIN, please state this and explain the reasons for your position in the places provided.

Here is another explanation of what goes on here:

IBM votes for OOXML at the ANSI (the U.S. standards body) and the Microsoft-sponsored mob rejoices. The problem? Despite what it seems, the rules of the particular TC at the ANSI did not allow members to go against a previous ISO vote on the standard. In short, Jesper & Co are dancing over the body of a dead horse, or rather, continue to behave like some analysts who claim that Bernie Madoff’s business has a great future. Is OOXML a standardisation ponzi scheme? I think it is.

In the same vein, an important question to ask would be, “Is Microsoft a Ponzi scheme?” One Microsoft shareholder thinks it is and says so publicly. Other Microsoft investors might sue and there is unpleasant news coming tonight.

Novell’s Business Strategy Called “Murky, Messy”

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, SUN at 11:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tractor tyre trail

Summary: Comparison between Sun’s vocation and Novell’s

WHEN Novell had approached Microsoft (not the other way around), it soon invented software patents as a business model for offering added value to open source software. Sam Dean, inspired by Matt Asay, compares the strategy of Sun to that of Novell and he has hardly any good things to say:

Give people useful software for free, charge reasonable prices for the support they’ll need, and grow the business. Novell and Sun, by contrast, have both engaged in many murky, messy business strategies that have nowhere near the simple elegance of Red Hat’s model.

From Asay:

Red Hat is an open-source company, while Novell is not, as Novell’s CEO and CFO both emphasized in Novell’s most recent earnings call. Sun, for its part, was desperately trying to reinvent itself as an open-source company, but struggled to do so given the weight of its declining hardware businesses.


Indeed. The problem for Novell is that this strategy, which started back when i was still with the company in 2003, has never really worked. While I agree that some mixture of “proprietary” value-add and open source is critical to ensuring community and corporate success, I believe Novell has approached open source in the wrong way, though its strategy is understandable given the legacy it continues to have to service

Novell — more than Sun, according to a survey — was not expected to survive this year. But who might be a suitable suitor for Novell given that it’s so heavily tilted towards Microsoft? Could IBM use the money it saved (prospective Sun acquisition) and scoop up Novell for a much lower value instead? That would guard it from UNIX lawsuits like SCO’s. On the other hand, it’s so satirical and it would hardly make business sense.

Who might be an acquirer of Novell then? Who would benefit from its software patents portfolio, its aging software, and the semi-functional imitations (me-too-ware) of Microsoft software?

“[The partnership with Microsoft is] going very well insofar as we originally agreed to co-operate on three distinct projects and now we’re working on nine projects and there’s a good list of 19 other projects that we plan to co-operate on.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

Announcement: Mono-Free Tomboy Replacement (Gnote) Releases Version 0.2.0

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, GPL, Mono at 11:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jumping man
Gnote puts the GNU (or Freedom) back in GNOME

Summary: The new release of Gnote and its significance

A former Novell engineer has just released a new version of Gnote, whose great value we explained in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. The project is growing quickly because it’s mostly a constructive port to Microsoft-independent grounds.

This a recommended upgrade for existing Tomboy users although it may not be complete just yet. There will hopefully be a Ubuntu derivative out there which contains no Mono and instead contains packages like Gnote and Mononono (installed by default). Here are some programs such a derivative ought to avoid.

“[...] we know that Microsoft is getting patents on some features of C#. So I think it’s dangerous to use C#, and it may be dangerous to use Mono.”

Richard Stallman

Microsoft Has Already Decided: Google is Dirty, Microsoft is Clean

Posted in Antitrust, Deception, Google, Microsoft at 10:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Baby crying
[sarcasm] Google will eat your baby, according to Microsoft [/sarcasm]

Summary: Microsoft blocks Google for offering search (and for competing against Microsoft), but it does not block its own search site/s

FURTHER TO A story that we covered last week, there is important information worth adding. We asked whether all search engines are being blocked by Microsoft’s filters, including its own. We’ve finally found the answer to that question which is so crucial:

Install Microsoft’s Family Safety Filter (FSF) – and protect your family from vile and extreme websites such as, er, Google.


However, “with the filter on, Microsoft’s own search engine, live.com comes up.”

Here is the original (source). Microsoft is safe for search but Google is not, according to Microsoft.

Google should really carry this up to antitrust authorities, but given their previous experiences with USDOJ cronies like Barnett [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], this may be a waste of time.

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