Richard Stallman Explains Why Not SUSE

Posted in FSF, Interview, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 3:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: In a new interview, Richard Stallman explains the problem with SUSE

From this new audio conversation we have extracted the following part.

Hess: “I believe some have switched to the SUSE distribution cause that was very popular. I think it started in Germany.”

Stallman: “Yes, it did. S.u.S.E. was a German company. The sad thing about that distribution is that it has a lot of non-Free things in it. S.u.S.E. was bought by Novell, and Novell is famous for having signed a pact with Microsoft and it does various things that serve the interests of Microsoft.”

Banks Laugh All the Way to the Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 3:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Windows Trojan still empties people’s bank accounts

NOW that Microsoft gets close to the banking sector (with very limited success), one ought to understand the effect of Windows on banks. From yesterday’s news:

A sophisticated Trojan horse program designed to empty bank accounts has a new trick up its sleeve: It lies to investigators about where the money is going.

First uncovered by Finjan Software last week, the URLzone Trojan is already known to be very advanced. It rewrites bank pages so that the victims don’t know that their accounts have been emptied, and it also has a sophisticated command-and-control interface that lets the bad guys pre-set what percentage of the account balance they want to clear out.

The article leaves out an important bit of information which ought to say that only Windows is affected.

Here is a timely satire from David Gerard.

Microsoft Windows has once again trounced all comers in security, with a recent survey showing 59% of all Windows machines on the Internet being infected with malware and under the control of botnets. Malware rose 15% just from August to September this year.

According to a study from last year, about 40% of all Windows machines are infected with malware, so the satire above is not far off.

FSFE Wants the European Commission to Stop Microsoft’s Racketeering

Posted in Antitrust, Courtroom, Europe, FUD, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 3:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ping pong

Summary: The FSFE advises the Commission to put an end to Microsoft FUD using unnamed software patents; Eolas sues massively

“Racketeering” is a strong word, but we have already defended its use [1, 2]. What Microsoft does to GNU/Linux vendors may as well be illegal and as was illustrated yesterday, laws are not being enforced unless there is tremendous public pressure.

But in any case, the European Commission is about to finalise a verdict, which the FSFE is worried about as it doesn't go far enough. In another new paper, the FSFE offers advice to the Commission, regarding Microsoft. It ends as follows:

For desktop applications, FSFE argues that the software monopolist must release interoperability information in such a way that it can be used in Free Software. The company must also make a binding commitment not to enforce its patents against Free Software. That would prevent Microsoft from using Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) to keep rivals from making use of the information.

As people recently discovered, Microsoft may be using other companies to attack GNU/Linux and create FUD [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. That too ought to be taken into consideration by the Commission.

The Microsoft site from Ziff Davis writes about Microsoft’s recent dodges from patent law [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. The Eolas case which we mentioned in [1, 2] is one that Microsoft did not manage to escape and Eolas has just proceeded to attacking more companies at the usual location.

The complaint, filed in the East Texas city of Tyler…

More information about the case can be found here.

Technology research company Eolas Technolgies, which won a US$520.6 million patent infringement case against Microsoft in 2003, has filed a new patent lawsuit against 22 companies including Adobe Systems, Google, Yahoo, Apple, eBay and Amazon.com.

Intel has meanwhile settled another high-profile case and Groklaw goes through the FSF’s amicus brief, which we mentioned a few days ago.

“Let me make my position on the patentability of software clear. I believe that software per se should not be allowed patent protection. […] We take this position because it is the best policy for maintaining a healthy software industry, where innovation can prosper.” —Douglas Brotz, Adobe Systems, Inc.

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