IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: October 8th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


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Microsoft CEO Admits Vista 7 Won’t Sell PCs

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Interview, Marketing, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 4:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Show us your “Meh”

Summary: Steve Ballmer repeats insinuations that Vista 7 will not meet the expectation set by artificial hype


T happens again. Microsoft itself is contradicting its very own marketing firms, which spread a distortion of reality.

In an interview covered by Reuters, Microsoft’s CEO admits that Vista 7 may not succeed.

Steve Ballmer’s been giving out mixed messages on the likely impact of Windows 7 on Microsoft and PC sales.

Not even prior to the release of Windows Vista did Microsoft send such messages out.

Due to GNU/Linux, Microsoft makes no profit out of Windows in certain areas. Additionally, it’s not just Windows where Microsoft is forced to give products away free of charge (and sometimes pay customers to use them). Ballmer prefers to deny all this. From the news, TechDirt extracts:

Steve Ballmer Declares ‘Free Is Not A Business Model’ — Apparently Unfamiliar With Microsoft’s Free Products

Josh W points us to an article about Microsoft new mobile phone software that contains an odd quote from Steve Ballmer, responding to a question concerning Microsoft’s plans to compete with Google’s free Android mobile operating system:

“Free is not a business model,” he said. “We are a commercial company, we will look to gain revenue and profit from our activities. You’ll have to ask our competitors if they’ll make money on free things.”

Internet explorer. Bing. Microsoft’s new security software. All free. All offered by Microsoft. Is Steve Ballmer admitting that he doesn’t know about any of these things… or is he just expecting that the reporter and the readers of the article are flat-out stupid?

According to Steve Ballmer’s words from 2 months ago, Microsoft's poor financial state would be mended owing to the release of Vista 7, but he already contradicts himself. And who can blame him? What has Microsoft really got to offer? The company’s marketing angle suffers from a deficiency in features set. It is describing pseudo-backward-compatibility as a feature (only for those willing to pay for more expensive versions of the O/S) rather than an inherent characteristic which is assured by access to source code. It is eerily similar to the practice of selling "security" separately, as though it is a feature that cannot be included by default.

Sebastian Rupley remarks on the impact of GNU/Linux in the low end. He speaks of the latest big win but does not mention instant-on Linux on Dell motherboards.

Meanwhile, Dell is shipping the very first netbook, a $299 Mini 10v, with version 2.1 of the Intel-backed Moblin Linux-based operating system. Other netbooks running Moblin will soon hit the market, and Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation, was quoted at the recent LinuxCon conference as saying that they will arrive at very low price points. Only Apple, it seems, is able to maintain a healthy business selling portable computers at premium prices. And Apple won’t even play in the netbook market.

There is also this nice new satire about Vista 7 for those in the mood for humour.

The official release of Windows 7 is only a few weeks away, and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably asking yourself what effect this will have on your lives.

The release of Vista 7 is just weeks away, but given the facts as we know them, no matter the amount of hype, this product will fail to generate decent revenue for Microsoft. The latest financial results will be released almost at the very same time as Vista 7′s expensive launch ceremonies; this is intentional, as it is intended to bury the news about yet another very disappointing quarter for Microsoft.

The Meh starts now

Microsoft Cheats at Vista 7 ‘Speed’, Uses New Vapourware

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Vista 8, Windows at 3:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7

Summary: More false promises from Microsoft regarding an existing product (not released yet) and an imaginary one

TONY Manco has drawn our attention to this top finding which confirms what we already knew and showed. Vista 7 does not boot quickly.

Although Windows 7 has been praised for loading and shutting down faster than prior versions of Windows, one software company says that, in many cases, the new operating system can take longer to get started than Windows Vista.


The results are also fairly similar to what CNET found in its testing of the operating system. A Microsoft representative was not immediately able to comment on Iolo’s findings.

The above also agrees with some previous benchmarks that we saw and mentioned, but Microsoft created so much marketing noise (sometimes using gentle bribes) that illusions linger on.

Another new illusion is one of products that do not exist. Such is the case with Vista 8; yes, Microsoft is moving on to more vapourware and Ars Technica helps Microsoft market this vapourware (even Vista 9).

Microsoft is working on 128-bit architecture compatibility with the Windows 8 and Windows 9 kernels. Consequently, the company is also forming relationships with major partners, including Intel, AMD, HP, and IBM.

“You kinda have to be insane to want a x86 instruction set doing that,” remarks Oiaohm. “Who can print vaporware like that,” asks Fewa, “it doesn’t have a shred of credibility (at least to me). 64-bit solves all the problems, no need to increase the pipe. 16–>32 and 32–>64 were both due to memory addressing constraints.”

MinceR writes: “I think that Microsoft thinking they’ll survive to see 128bit CPUs is wishful thinking.”

Oiaohm continues by arguing that “64-bit processors already have 128 bit processing sections. With NUMA we really don’t need more than 64 bit for a long time to come.”

“Basically, Windows 7 would be barely starting deployment and they are talking about releasing another one.”
“I thought there was >64bit floating-point already,” responds MinceR and Fewa argues that “since 264 is a pretty big number there is really no need for a 128-bit addressing processor.”

This discussion went on for a while longer and Fewa labeled this “pure vaporware”.

He added: “now Windows is only fooling the sheep and idiots and those people are not very productive. [...] at least someone gets it, but there are alot of sheep in there.”

Oiaohm concludes as follows: “Did you notice the windows 8 release dates? 2011 and 2012. Basically, Windows 7 would be barely starting deployment and they are talking about releasing another one.”

Yes, that is what Microsoft’s manuals say about situations where it’s pressured and nervous.

“In the face of strong competition, Evangelism’s focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

FSF Mails NGOs Regarding Microsoft Traps While Microsoft Continues Abuse of Power in Kenya

Posted in Africa, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 3:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kenyan child

Summary: The “Windows 7 Sins” campaign reaches charities and NGOs across the world

MICROSOFT’S RECENT history when it comes to NGOs may be bordering the criminal. The FSF must understand that Microsoft is an amoral (if not immoral) entity, so to expect anything different from Microsoft would almost be unreasonable.

The FSF’s “Windows 7 Sins” campaign is one that we covered in:

The FSF has taken the next step and now it is addressing NGOs rather than top companies. The Inquirer reports:

THE FREE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION (FSF) is to write to the leaders of 500 of the most influential non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide to urge them to refuse Windows 7.

The letters will outline the seven areas where the FSF says Microsoft and the commercial software market is damaging: invading privacy, poisoning education, locking users in, abusing standards, leveraging monopolistic behaviour, enforcing Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), and threatening user security.

At the same time we relearn from IDG that Microsoft is among those exploiting their influence in Kenya. It advances its agenda at the expense of Free(dom) software.

Kenyan Linux advocates face well-funded U.S. companies


Microsoft has received most of the criticism because of its market position. It has several projects with the government.

We wrote about this region before, shortly after Microsoft had allegedly blackmailed the country using withdrawal of incentives. Microsoft actively fights GNU/Linux adoption in Kenya while Bill Gates creates agricultural monopolies over there. This hopefully puts in context the pleas from the FSF and shows why they make perfect sense.

This is about autonomy; Kenya has been exploited by foreigners for far too long. Several days ago we showed a similar situation in Nigeria. Microsoft does over there similar things to what the oil industry does [Flash - video] (also with Bill Gates' investments)

“All that poverty alleviation means is an increase in exploitation of the resources, and it provides short-term and relatively superficial gains for people in Africa”

Athan Manuel

Links 08/10/2009: Freedomware Introduced, Firefox 3.6 Soon in Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 2:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • USB stick converts PC to thin client

    Available immediately, the Universal Desktop Converter is simply a USB stick that carries a version of Igel’s Linux-based firmware from its own thin client systems, plus one or more licences.

  • Software conference aims to be open to the public

    Savage, a systems administrator at backcountry.com in West Valley City, said groups will gather mostly on Friday to discuss programming with software such as Linux or Java.

  • This Linux thing is getting out of hand.

    People are actually realising that it is a great alternative to Windows and Mac OS. They are installing Linux and sticking with it. The future for Linux looks very bright and promising.

  • Audio/Video

  • Desktop

    • Open source identity: PulseAudio creator Lennart Poettering

      Thanks to PulseAudio, the Linux audio experience will become more context-aware. For example, if a video is running in one application the system should automatically reduce the volume of everything else and increase it when the video is finished.

    • Intel: Moblin opens the way for Atom

      I also want to say that Linux is absolutely mainstream across many devices. Set-top boxes, TiVo, all these electronics are loaded with embedded Linux. So it’s just not visible. It’s not merchandized or marketed. But Linux is extremely mainstream across many, many devices today.

    • Dell: Ubuntu Desktop PC Is Back

      Dell’s U.S. website has finally made good on a promise to re-introduce an Ubuntu desktop PC. The move should silence critics who were worried that Dell wasn’t committed to the growing Ubuntu desktop and mobile markets. Here are the details.

    • Desktop Linux doing fine

      Even if we look only at the traditional desktop and notebook PC market, I was given renewed optimism for ‘desktop Linux’ last week when Dell rolled out its latest Latitude notebook computers. Sure, the laptops ship with Windows as the primary OS, but they also feature an instant-on Linux option, based on SUSE Linux and Firefox browser software, that is booted and run off a separate system-on-chip with ARM processor.


      When users must have Windows for special applications, devices or media that are not supported on Linux, they will only be reminded of the wait, hassle and frustration that a few more seconds can bring. In the meantime, Linux application and driver support continues to broaden out to cover most common tasks and activities.

      In short, the quick-boot auxiliary Linux is among the free operating system’s fastest and most direct routes to desktop respectability and market share.

    • A Linux In Winter

      It was about six weeks ago that, frustrated by the reams of viruses that my kids unwittingly downloaded onto my home computer, I finally downloaded and installed Ubuntu Linux, after years (literally a decade) of thinking about it.

    • New Linux User

      If you are also wondering about installing Ubuntu, I would advise you to go ahead and give it a try. I am trying to convince P that he should replace Vista on his 1GB laptop with Ubuntu but, while he is interested, he is still a little hestitant to take the plunge. Maybe one day!

    • What’s the deal with Ubuntu? Why bother?

      You should really check it out some time. Really, you should. Plus you can even keep the OS you have installed now. It’s called dual booting, now get out there and try something new today.

  • Supercomputers (HPC)

    • ClusterVision Spins Off Cluster Management Software Company

      ClusterVision is a Linux cluster integrator that builds commodity HPC systems for the European market (more broadly, the entire EMEA region). The company uses hardware from a variety of manufacturers — white-box manufacturers, but also IBM and Dell — and packages the clusters with its home-grown Linux-based ClusterVisionOS and software stack. As of this week, though, ClusterVisionOS is replaced by Bright Cluster Manager, which makes ClusterVision just another reseller of the software.

    • Supercomputers love Linux

      Everybody knows Linux as an open-source operating system – available today for many different hardware architectures – which has become the de facto alternative to the Redmond’s product, especially in the servers segment. Linux versus Windows, Windows versus Linux: this diatribe on which of the two is the best solution has been literally filling most of the computer forums and computer magazines. We are not going to add some fire on that already “hot” discussion, but rather analyze some real facts and take the appropriate conclusions.


      The operating system family share rank is as follows:
      Operating system Family Count Share %
      Linux 443 88.60 %
      Windows 5 1.00 %
      Unix 22 4.40 %
      BSD based 1 0.20 %
      Mixed 29 5.80 %
      Totals 500 100.00 %

  • Server

    • Cloud computing with Linux and Apache Hadoop

      This article briefly introduces cloud computing platforms like Amazon EC2, on which you can rent virtual Linux® servers, and then introduces an open source MapReduce framework named Apache Hadoop, which will be built onto the virtual Linux servers to establish the cloud computing framework. However, Hadoop is not restricted to be deployed on VMs hosted by any vendor; you can also deploy it on normal Linux OS on physical machines.

    • The Open Source Infrastructure for Cloud Computing

      The goal of Eucalyptus is to allow sites with existing clusters and server infrastructure to host an elastic computing service that is interface-compatible with Amazon’s AWS, but can also support multiple interfaces such as Google’s AppEngine and the Sun Cloud open API. Rich Wolski, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of Eucalyptus Systems, will discuss this and more in a breakout session to be given at SYS-CON’s 1st Annual Government IT Conference & Expo (GovITExpo).

  • Kernel Space

    • 10 Reasons You Need to Look at ZFS

      Sun’s open-source ZFS file system has some amazing features. It was originally designed for Solaris and unveiled in 2005, but you’ll also find it in OpenSolaris and related distributions. In the future it may well become a popular file system to run with Linux and BSD as well.

  • Applications

    • New Themes for Chromium(Google Chrome) in Linux – A Screenshot Tour

      I have been using Chromium in Ubuntu for the past two months or so and i am already loving it! Chromuim web browser, which even have flash support enabled, has changed by a huge margin, and definitely deserves your default browser status. New updates are coming almost everyday and we have already seen how to install Chromium in Ubuntu the right way. Now it is time to theme your Chromium in Ubuntu.

    • Best 5 PDF Readers for Linux
    • Download Lots of Files with Multiget

      Avid downloader? You’re probably scouring the entire internet for the things you need. Whether it’s images, text files or music or something else, you could use MultiGet to manage your downloads. There’s a graphical user interface for you unlike wget which is something you run on the command line.

    • Beautify the Terminal
    • Linux users: frag your online enemies without installing an application!

      This afternoon after I got home from work, I fragged my online enemies! What makes this remarkable is that I use Ubuntu Linux, and as everyone know gaming doesn’t work on Linux (tongue-in-cheek comment there). What is even more amazing is that I didn’t install an application to do this.

  • Desktop Environments

    • New Preview Releases Of Mutter, GNOME Shell

      While carrying the “2.28″ tag, these releases of Mutter and GNOME Shell are only to serve as previews with their code still undergoing very active development. The stable releases will not come until GNOME 3.0, which will come next March.

    • KDE

      • KOffice 2.1 Beta 3 Released
      • KGet gets some love :)

        You will hardly remember of me, since I’ve not being so active recently (my job takes me lots of time resources). Anyway, stay calm.. It’s been proved that knowing who I am will not make you feel any better Smiling That said it’s not about me that I want to talk but about a great coding team doing a great job with a very promising application. That application is.. imagine.. you already know since it was in the title.. It’s KGet.

      • K3b 2.0 Alpha 2: Review and Screenshots

        Ubuntu/Kubuntu Linux: K3b, the popular open source full-featured CD, DVD, Blu-Ray burning and ripping application gathers momentum and heads towards version 2.0 after a year or so of no-growth. The last stable release, version 1.05 was out in late May 27, 2008. The good news is K3b 2.0 has been ported KDE 4 thanks to two developers from the Mandriva project.

      • Bangarang – A KDE Media Player

        This is my first post intended for the planet so I should introduce myself. My name is Andrew Lake (or Jamboarder if you prefer). I grew up in Jamaica and currently live in Seattle. I’ve been a linux user since around the turn of the century but only started dabbling in KDE code about a couple years ago. Much of my limited contribution has been to the plasma project. As I learned more about the other Pillars of KDE I became more interested in doing up an app of my own. I’m especially excited about the possibilities provided by Nepomuk.

  • Distributions

    • Gentoo Family

      • Gentoo: Ten Years Emerge

        Gentoo, the most popular source based distribution, has turned ten years old. What benefits does a such a system provide over its binary distros? As Linux becomes more and more popular, is there still a place for source based distros?

      • More explanations: why nano is Gentoo’s “default editor”

        Newbie problem: finally, there is another note: both Emacs and VI (and respective clones) aren’t exactly the most user-friendly editors. A newbie user who has no clue how to work in Gentoo is unlikely to guess at first sight how to use either of them, while nano is pretty much the easiest thing you might find around. You can fight as much as you want about powerfulness (Emacs and VI are obviously much more powerful than nano) and you can fight about relative easiness of use (:w versus C-x C-w) but nano is going to win over both of them in that regard.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Microsoft and Red Hat consummate virtualization vows

        The interoperability pact was inked in February of this year, leading the companies to “synchronize testing” in counterpart validation programs over the months. Starting today, businesses can mix and mingle Windows Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux on visualized environments with joint support from Microsoft and Red Hat.

      • Red Hat and Microsoft Expand Virtualization Interoperability Options

        In response to customer demand for interoperability in their IT environments, Red Hat and Microsoft have completed testing and validation for mutual customers using server virtualization. Joint support from Red Hat and Microsoft for these configurations is available today.

      • Microsoft, Red Hat seal the deal on interoperability
      • Red Hat hosts ‘Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization: Make Virtualization a Breeze’ briefing sessions across Australia

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, will host a series of briefing sessions across Australia based on ‘Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization: Make Virtualization a Breeze’.

      • Open source virtualisation briefings come to NZ

        Hosted by Red Hat, two briefing sessions will be held in New Zealand regarding the use of open source in enterprise virtualisation.

      • Red Hat: An analyst day in improving times

        For the quarter ending August 31, its profit jumped 37 percent relative to the year-ago quarter, besting analyst estimates.

      • Three Things I Heard from Red Hat Yesterday

        As my analyst colleague Gordon Haff covers, the vendor has finally left the management software sidelines, and appears committed to those capabilities via the RHEV-M component. Meaning that Red Hat offers just about every piece of infrastructure software an enterprise could need…except a database. Pressed on a similar question during the day, Whitehurst assured the audience that Red Hat “was not looking to move into new markets,” with a database the given example.

      • Red Hat boot camp for FOSS teachers

        The world’s biggest free and open source software company will hold a boot camp in Singapore next month for those who teach courses in open source software at institutes of higher learning.

      • FOSSCOMM Meeting this Sunday (11th October, 2009)

        FOSSCOMM (FOSS Community of India) will hold its third meeting in Mumbai at the Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education, Mankhurd (Near BARC/Anushakti Nagar).

      • Sun adds Oracle Linux to ops tools

        Sun Microsystems’ xVM server virtualization hypervisor has not yet seen the light of day as a commercial product, but the company is continuing to enhance the management tool. Now, the latest version of Ops Center has arrived featuring enhancements for running Solaris-based virtualization.

    • Debian Family

      • Where In the World Are the Most Debian Developers?

        Christian Perrier (Bubulle) issued statistics in his blog that show which countries of the world have the largest per capita Debian developers. First place goes to Finland.

      • Reinstalling Debian on the Self-Reliant Thin Client (updated)

        However, after a morning and afternoon screwing around with this in between doing my regular work, I’m ready to seal up the box and let Debian Lenny ride.

      • Ubuntu Got it Right with Sudo

        I’ve been using some version of Red Hat Linux since about 1996, but decided to give the Ubuntu distribution a try on my Laptop. The compelling thing to me about Ubuntu was that I kept seeing information on the web about how to do various things in Ubuntu. Ubuntu seems to make it easier for others to contribute and thus has surpassed Red Hat in terms of number of packages and available information. One company can never keep up with thousand of individuals that are all eager to contribute.

      • Ubuntu Cola vs. Windows Cola

        I just found out that there’s a brand of soft drink with the same name as the popular Linux distribution. For those of you who don’t know this yet, let me introduce you to Ubuntu Cola. Also named after the African philosophy, it is made in the United Kingdom and with a key ingredient that is Fair Trade Certified.

        Ubuntu Cola’s sugar came from Fairtrade worker cooperatives in Kasinthula, Malawi and Kaleya, Zambia. Farmers who are members of the Fairtrade cooperative at Kasinthula receive an income of $4 a day, which is really good considering that it is six times bigger than the national average income.

      • Sex, Live, and Virtualization

        Exhibit: Linux Mint. This is Ubuntu (and Kubuntu) done right. Mint is based on Ubuntu 9.04, the old Jaunty Jackalope. It uses the Ubuntu repositories so in essence, it is Ubuntu, with a little extra (contained in Mint’s own repos). The reason Mint is so cool is that includes all those pesky codecs and plugins right out of the box, er, uhm, live DVD. No need to download and install a Java plugin. It’s there. Flash? It’s there too. That video? It works.

      • Ubuntu 9.10 Preview: New Theme, Icons

        A total overhaul of the Ubuntu look will have to wait for future releases. But for the time being, the touch-ups to Karmic should help placate users who worry that Ubuntu’s default look is ugly and outdated.

      • Karmic GDM Gets New Glowy Icons

        Karmic’s GDM received some small updates today that brought with them a new HumanLoginIcon set full of beautiful glowing icons – much more akin to the mock-up than the previous humanity icons used in it’s place.

      • Karmic Koala beta ships, praised for fast boots

        The Ubuntu project has released the first beta of Ubuntu Linux 9.10 (Karmic Koala), which has already been favorably previewed, especially for its fast boot time. Based on Linux 2.6.31, Karmic Koala offers GNOME 2.28 and Ext4 as defaults, and adds “cloud” features and improved installation.

      • Significant improvements in Ubuntu 9.10

        I recently installed the beta version of the upcoming version of Ubuntu codenamed Karmic Kuala. The changes since 9.04 are somewhat subtle yet significant. Already in the beta you can feel the polish that went into it. Below, in no particular order, I shall rant about a few improvements that puts a smile on my face.

      • A closer look at Kubuntu Karmic Koala and KDE 4.3.1

        Ubuntu Karmic Koala is still in Beta status, but looks very promising. To some extend it beats the Release Candidate of Microsoft Windows 7, especially in Wireless networking support.

        The big win of Karmic Koala are its even further improved speed, less resources hungriness and improved hardware support.

        I tested Microsoft Windows 7 RC1 (build 7100), Kubuntu GNU/Linux Karmic Koala Alpha 5 and Ubuntu GNU/Linux Karmic Koala Beta 1 last week and I’m afraid Windows 7 will (b)eat the dust.

      • Personalities behind the Fest – Jono Bacon

        AG: What goals did you have for this event? Did CLS meet, exceed or fall short of those goals?

        JB: The goal was simple: bring those passionate about community together in an environment that is vendor neutral. I wanted to attract community managers, leaders and enthusiasts from all walks of life, inside and outside of technology. We really seemed to get this and there was an incredible diversity of attendance, and a lot of people: around 250. The entire event far exceeded my expectations.

      • Staying With Ubuntu

        The point is that Ubuntu works and there is little motivation to change to something else. Some will say that this makes me a “fanboy”. Not really. I have simply not found anything that justifies a change. If something better comes along, I’ll change in a heartbeat. Meanwhile, I’m staying with Ubuntu.

      • Ubuntu Netbook Remix – Short review

        If you have a netbook and do not care for a sub-optimal Windows installation and do not wish to wait for Moblin to come out of Beta, Ubuntu Netbook Remix seems like a good idea. I believe you will like the result. The combination of free price, lots of good programs, stability, usability, and decent looks are really hard to beat.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Embedded development kits link up to Amazon cloud

      SSV has launched two x86-compatible, Debian Linux-based embedded development kits equipped with access to Amazon’s S3 cloud services. The first two SSV/ECC (SSV Embedded Cloud Computing) Starter Kits are the DNP/SK29-ECC, based on SSV’s DIL/NetPC DNP/2486 module, and the eSOM/EK1-ECC, which incorporates SSV’s eSOM/EK1-ECC module.

    • Dev kit includes MIPS processor, choice of touchscreens

      IC Nexus announced a Linux-compatible development kit that includes a RISC processor and a choice of touchscreen displays. The “NXC2620 DVK” version 4.0 comes with a SODIMM-sized CPU module, a compact baseboard, and a free BSP (board support package), the company says.

    • Phones

      • Hands On Nokia N900 smartphone demo

        We managed to get a little quality time with the Nokia N900 smartphone running Maemo and Linux. This smartphone, sporting killer specs and 3G HSDPA for T-Mobile US and Europe should begin shipping in the next few weeks. Notice how quick the device is when switching between desktop screens and applications– the multitasking is very impressive thanks to 256 megs of RAM and virtual memory that brings it up to 1 gig of application RAM.

      • Report: Dell to Offer Smartphone Through AT&T

        The smartphone will run the Android flavor of Linux, and include a touchscreen and a camera, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed people familiar with Dell plans.

      • Motorola describes close relationship with Google

        On the day that Microsoft Corp. is launching phones that will run on its latest version of Windows Mobile, Motorola Inc. is singing the praises of open-source software, specifically Google Inc.’s Android.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Jolicloud to usher return of thin client

        The availability of netbooks that ride on the maturity of cloud infrastructure is heralding the return of the thin client, says Jolicloud founder and CEO, Tariq Krim.

Free Software/Open Source

  • An inteview with Brian Kernighan, co-developer of AWK and AMPL

    Computerworld is undertaking a series of investigations into interesting programming languages. In the past we have spoken to Larry Wall, creator of the Perl programming language, Don Syme, senior researcher at Microsoft Research Cambridge, who developed F#, Simon Peyton-Jones on the development of Haskell, Alfred v. Aho of AWK fame, S. Tucker Taft on the Ada 1995 and 2005 revisions, Microsoft about its server-side script engine ASP, Chet Ramey about his experiences maintaining Bash, Bjarne Stroustrup of C++ fame and Charles H. Moore about the design and development of Forth.

  • Introduction to Freedomware
  • Happenings: Open World Forum 2009

    There were numerous core tracks within the conference schedule; eGov, Start-up and Investors, Open CIO Summit, FLOSS (Free, Libre, Open Source Software) Communities Summit and FLOSS Competence Centres Summit, along with ancillary events.

  • Scan This List of Open Source Barcode Software

    In honor of today’s Google Doodle celebrating the 57th anniversary of the first barcode patent, I’ve decided to take a look at barcode software.

  • Get Wise About Math Concepts With Sage

    With costs for academic mathematics software approaching $1,000 for a single license, it doesn’t take a numbers whiz to realize that a free, open source option is probably a better alternative. Sage is an entire mathematics system licensed under the GPL and available as a free download for Windows (running VMWare), Mac OS X, and Linux.

  • James Hall on Free and Open Source Software

    Free software is a matter of of the users’ freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change, improve the software. Like open source software, a free software license requires that the source code be made available – otherwise the user would not be able to study, change, improve the program. In this usage, the term “free” refers to freedom, not price. This is also the origin of the meme “Free as in speech, not as in beer.”

  • Firefox 3.6 public beta slated for 10/14, promises faster startups, loads

    Mozilla’s stated goal for its next version of Firefox, first and foremost, is a perceivable improvement in the time it takes to do things, not just render pages. We saw a big performance jump in JavaScript execution and page rendering in Firefox 3.5; but for 3.6, the developers want to apply the same level of improvement to responsiveness and process activation.

  • Objectivity, Inc. Offers Free, Open Source Applications for the First Time

    Objectivity, Inc. announced today the launch of the Objectivity Developer Network (ODN), a comprehensive website that includes free open source applications, code snippets, tutorials, and a community forum designed to accelerate the application development cycle for Objectivity/DB users.

  • Open source based in co-dependence

    Karen Copenhaver, a partner at Choate Hall & Stewart LLP, and one of Mass High Tech’s 2008 All-Stars, is an expert on technology licensing, particularly in software licensing and open source. Recently she spoke with Rodney Brown about open source as a business model, where it came from and where it is headed.

  • OpenERP: an introduction to Open Source ERP

    This article is about OpenERP – a fully featured, free and open source ERP software suite. But before describing the features of OpenERP there are some background points to make about the use of ERPs by enteprises and the scope of the post needs to be clarified.

  • Open Source UTMs

    Open Source and free UTM solutions have most features which commercial UTM appliance have and at the same time are also far cheaper. Not only that, as these Open Source UTMs are installed on commodity machines we have the luxury to upgrade and scale the hardware whenever required. We selected three free and Open Source UTMs: Endian, Cobian, and Untangle.

  • Ingres Database 9.3 Takes Aim at Competitors with Easy Migration Path

    Ingres Corporation, the leading open source database management company and pioneer of the New Economics of IT, announced today the availability of Ingres Database 9.3, the latest version of the company’s flagship open source database product.

  • Medsphere Guarantees Meaningful Use for Hospitals That Implement OpenVista Electronic Health Record in 2009
  • RIM needs more open source

    I’ve blogged about building native mobile device applications using a Web technology-based framework such as PhoneGap from Nitobi in the past. When I first wrote about the open source PhoneGap project in March 2009, I concluded: “If I worked at RIM, I’d take a trip out to Vancouver to talk to the Nitobi dudes. This framework is exactly what RIM needs to counter the trend of developers targeting the iPhone/iPod as the premier environment for mobile device applications.”

  • The New York Times’s Open Source Project

    Newspapers are either a dying breed or a changing breed, depending on who you talk to. The New York Times wants to adapt, not go extinct, and one of the little ways they’re adapting involves a software tool they’re releasing as an open-source application for their fellow news organizations — or anyone else, really.


    That’s all going to depend entirely on what kind of licensing the Times uses to release this thing. If they use a license model which allows people to keep changes to themselves (e.g., GPLv2), then guess what — people aren’t going to hesitate to do so, and they’re going to have no one to blame but themselves.

  • BonitaSoft Reaffirms its Commitment to the Open Source Community and Joins the OW2 Consortium

    BonitaSoft, first provider of open source BPM solutions, and OW2, the international consortium which promotes best technologies for open source middleware, announced today that BonitaSoft has joined the OW2 Consortium.

  • Terracotta Adds Ehcache Cache Management

    Terracotta has acquired the assets of the open source project, Ehcache, and has merged its code into the Terracotta caching system for clustered Java applications. No amount was disclosed in the deal, which occurred two months ago.

  • New Features for Asterisk in Focus at AstriCon 2009

    Another aspect of Asterisk that helps IT departments is the fact that it runs on Linux. IT administrators who are already familiar with scripting, network administration, and the architecture of Linux systems, will find using Asterisk to be a lot easier than having to learn a brand new interface that a proprietary PBX might use.

  • Funambol Introduces First Open Source 4G Mobile Cloud Platform for Device Management and Synchronization

    The platform enables management of mobile devices, and synchronization of diverse mobile media, over WiMax and LTE with social networks, email systems and PCs. The company’s software leverages the prevailing Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) standards for device management (DM) and data synchronization (DS). Funambol is working with some of the largest companies in the industry to deploy innovative 4G mobile cloud sync services over the coming months.

  • Misys Open Source Solutions Unveils Carbon Trading Solution for UK Organisations

    Misys Open Source Solutions, a division of Misys plc (FTSE:MSY.L), today announced a new carbon management trading solution, the Misys Environmental Trading Platform (METP), to help organisations prepare for the UK’s Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme – a mandatory emissions reduction scheme expected to affect about 5,000 non-energy intensive private and public organisations that account for ten percent of the country’s carbon emissions.

  • The mod squad

    I use Torque3D. Indie rather than Hobbyist price, but there are lots of cheap or Open Source engines.

  • GNU Debugger learns to walk backwards

    One of the innovations in the free GNU Debugger, GDB 7, is “Reverse Debugging”. On platforms that support this function, the debugger can also look through the code in reverse from its current position – even incrementally. At present, this only works on platforms such as i386-linux and amd64-linux.

  • Government

    • German City Münster Launches Pilot Project For its Schools To Adopt Open Source Software

      At the moment, teachers are trying out OpenOffice in two schools. The suite will be made available to all schools in November 2009. “We plan to make OpenOffice the default office application for schools”, said Citeq’s spokesperson Stefan Schoenfelder.

      During September 2009, the city reported that 140 of its 360 servers are running GNU/Linux. In a press statement published on 23 September 2009, Citeq stated that using open source is making it easier for the departments to share information.

    • Shapps touts ‘open-source’ planning

      Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps has laid out his vision for local authority plan-making in a speech at the Conservative party conference.

    • Tory reforms to let communities shape planning

      The shadow housing minister has unveiled a scheme to give local people more influence over planning.

    • Shapps moots ‘open source’ planning vision

      Shadow housing minister Grant Shapps has unveiled proposals for a more interactive ‘open source’ planning system.

    • UK: Head of IT development Camden: ‘Cooperate with open source communities’

      Government procuring open source IT should consider how to benefit from collaborating with open source communities, says Alasdair Mangham, head of Information Systems and Development of the London Borough of Camden in the UK. “We need to learn how to become experts at being members of communities rather than experts at governing them.”

    • 96% of French Public Sector Using Open Source Says New Service

      According to a French market survey, almost the entire public sector (96 %) is using open source. The most used applications are database management systems and content management systems.

      The research firm who carried out the survey presented a summary of its report on the use of open source in France on 17 September in Paris. The report is based on an online survey conducted during the summer of 2009 and followed up by interviews with 160 IT project directors, heads of procurement and other IT decision makers, half of which are employed in the private sector and the other half representing the public sector. Another fifty interviews were held with IT vendors.

    • Pelosi Adds Voice to Open Source Voting Systems Momentum

      “Everywhere I go, no matter what else people have to say, they ultimately ask one question: ‘Why should we work our hearts out if the fix is already in?’” Pelosi said during a keynote speech at a fundraiser last week held to benefit Open Voting Consortium (OVC). “When we look at the elections and look at how close everything is, you know that there’s something happening in that machine that we need to know about.”

  • Openness

    • Will open source biology get anywhere?

      The big news is that this may be broadening. Sage is now trumpeting a “major donation” (amount unspecified) from Quintiles, a contract researcher with 21,000 employees. Friend is now going around the world in search of more.

    • Sage Bionetworks, Biology’s Open Source Spark, Snags “Major” Donation from Quintiles

      Sage didn’t disclose how much the donation is worth in its statement announcing the news. But Friend, the founder of Rosetta Inpharmatics and former senior vice president of cancer research at Merck, said he had received $5 million of commitments from anonymous donors when he first publicly unveiled the Sage effort back in March.

    • What might help open source biology most?

      A recession.

      The open source movement was launched in 1998, and the Free Open Source Software (FOSS) movement came much earlier, but it was the millennial recession I call the “dot-bomb” that put it into overdrive.

    • Pachube is Just One Way That Open Source and Sensing Are Converging

      In addition to software focused on sensing technology, such as Pachube, the open source community is also involved with the many social, privacy and government issues surrounding it.

  • Standards/Consortia


  • AstroTurf

    • “Death Panels” and Big Cig

      This week’s issue of Rolling Stone has an illuminating article, “The Lie Machine,” by Tim Dickinson on anti-heath reform spin. Dickinson’s article quotes internal corporate memos showing how Big Tobacco spun media stories about health care reform in 1994 and how its progeny are striking again.

    • When Big Insurance Rejoices, Something’s Wrong

      As a CNN investigation revealed, the senators who voted against the public option have received millions of more dollars in campaign contributions from the health care industry than those who voted for it. If the Senate Finance Bill reaches the president’s desk, it might as well be called the Health Insurance (and Underwriters and Brokers and Agents) Profit Protection and Enhancement Act of 2009.

    • Why Did Goldman Get A $3 Million Gov’t Gift For “National Security” (GS)

      WIth all the company’s riches, why is a Goldman Sachs (GS) subsidiary getting a $3 million earmark from Washington?

      Politico: A mining company owned by Goldman Sachs and two private equity funds is in line to get a $3 million earmark for work at a rare earth elements mine in Mountain Pass, Calif. — raising questions as to why Congress would take on some of the risk for a bailed-out investment giant that’s already making a profit.

      As the article notes, Molycorp’s mine is a rich source of elements used to produce powerful magnets for precision-guided weapons, hand-held communication devices, wind turbines and hybrid cars.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • It’s My Browser, and I’ll Auto-Click if I Want To

      Free file hosting provider MediaFire seems to think that, when you follow a link to download a file from its service, it has the right to control your browser. This is yet another example of a web site owner forgetting that it’s your computer, and it’s none of their business how you choose to experience their web pages.

    • Ralph Lauren And Its Lawyers Discover The Streisand Effect On Bogus DMCA Takedown

      Boing Boing put up a post about it, along with the tag line “Dude, her head’s bigger than her pelvis.” While some have questioned whether the ad is even real, one thing is clear: Ralph Lauren was not pleased. The company’s lawyers at Greenberg Traurig sent DMCA takedown notices concerning both posts. Despite Blogger’s new DMCA policy, Google still quickly took down the post at Photoshop Disasters, causing the site to ask whether or not Ralph Lauren or its lawyers have ever heard of the Streisand Effect (yay). BoingBoing’s host, however, doesn’t automatically take content down and passed along the info to BoingBoing, who quickly pointed out that this was clearly fair use (commentary, criticism, etc.) and the DMCA takedown wasn’t being used to stop infringing content, but to stifle speech.

    • Fantastic Student Music Video to I Gotta Feeling! Gotta Be Banned?

      This is a classic case of the problems with copyright laws, especially as it pertains to music. Below is a completely entertaining student film feature over 100 performers doing a one-take lip-dub to the Black-Eyed Peas’ song “I Gotta Feeling.”

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • What To Do When Artists Who Otherwise ‘Get It’ Freak Out Over ‘Piracy’

      A few weeks ago, reader cofiem sent over a blog post from musician Darren Hayes complaining about recording studios shutting down and blaming “piracy” for it. This morning, our submissions engine is getting overwhelmed with submissions about Wil Wheaton’s rant against someone who posted a copy of Wheaton’s audiobook, saying the guy is “stealing” from him.

    • Dutch Collection Society Looks To Charge Bloggers For Embedding YouTube Videos

      Over the past year, we’ve noticed an explosion in ridiculous attempts by music collection societies (often totally clueless about technology) to extend their ability to collect for positively ridiculous things (while also looking to significantly increase their collection rates). The latest, sent in by Dennis Laumen, is that the Dutch collection society, Buma/Stemra, is claiming that it’s going to start charging bloggers 130 euros for every 6 videos they embed. This is, of course, technologically clueless. The embedding of a video doesn’t change the fact that it’s actually playing from and hosted at the original site (such as YouTube). All embedding does is allow the video to appear via the other page, even though, technically, it’s all still happening at its original location. Claiming that this is somehow a “new” publication of the content is technologically incorrect.

  • Dying Newspapers

    • Economist introduces pay-wall for archive articles

      The Times and Sunday Times yesterday revealed plans for a readers’ club with a £50 membership fee to non-subscribers, another example of newspapers attempting to develop new revenue streams from loyal readers rather than following a high-volume strategy.

    • Monetizing Speed: AP May Charge for 30 Min Lead

      After a summer of establishing blogger guidelines and fair use, the Associated Press is considering charging online customers for a 20-30 minute head start on breaking news stories. According to a report by the AP’s Jeremiah Marquez, the AP’s chief executive Tom Curley made the announcement at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club. Curley suggested that because the AP licenses stories to major hubs like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft’s MSN, these outlets would be willing to pay for scoops.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Internet Video Celebrity Caitlin Hill 13 (2007)

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

The FFII and Red Hat’s CEO Express Dissatisfaction with United States Patent System

Posted in America, Europe, Law, Patents, Red Hat at 3:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

My ex hat

Summary: More new calls for the elimination of software patents in the USPTO

A lot of opposition to software patents made its way into the desks of USPTO clerks last week. Heise has some new coverage of this.

Harsh words came from Eben Moglen of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC): “Software patenting has been a scourge in the global technology industries,” writes the lawyer. In his brief, Moglen argues that software is nothing more than an array of computer instructions. In the lawyer’s opinion, computer programs should be as ineligible for patent protection as mathematical equations or precise descriptions of physical laws. Ciaran O’Riordan of the End Software Patents campaign, which is supported by the Free Software Foundation (FSF), also calls software patents an “economic failure and a hindrance to the progress of the useful arts.” Allowing software patents has “resulted in perverse economic effects,” as litigation is increasingly targeting not only developers, but also users in the general economy, said O’Riordan.

The President of the FFII points to this new interview which he described as: “RedHat CEO about software patents, nobody can write software without risking a lawsuit”

Here is the official video description:

Open software developer Red Hat is mounting a Supreme Court battle in the nation’s highest court, with Jim Whitehurst, Red Hat CEO and president and CNBC’s Bob Pisani.

The FFII has also just officially announced its amicus curiae brief.

The Foundation for a Free Informational Infrastructure (FFII) and IP Justice filed an Amicus Curiae Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case Bilski v. Kappos is expected to become a landmark ruling on the future of the U.S. patent system. The joint Brief explains the interlink of software and business methods, and points out alternatives to the so called Machine-or-Transformation test used for categorizing patents.

The Against Monopoly Web site has this new post which gives examples of outrageous patents. Not too surprisingly, mostly software patents are given as examples.

Examples of (at least apparently) ridiculous patents and patent applications abound (more at PatentLawPractice):

* Amazon’s “one-click” patent, asserted against rival Barnes & Noble
* Cendant’s assertion that Amazon violated Cendant’s patent monopoly on recommending books to customers (since settled)
* The attempt of Dustin Stamper, Bush’s Top Economist, to secure a patent regarding an application for a System And Method For Multi-State Tax Analysis, which claims “a method, comprising: creating one or more alternate entity structures based on a base entity structure, the base entity structure comprising one or more entities; determining a tax liability for each alternate entity structure and the base entity structure; and generating a result based on comparing each of the determined tax liabilities”

Even in the United States, pressure to abolish software patents is increasing. The nation’s dependence on Free software may make such abolishment inevitable, but IBM, whose officer now controls the USPTO [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], is still standing in the way.

“Technology products typically consist of hundreds or thousands of patented components. It therefore is impossible for technology companies to investigate all of the patents, and pending patent applications that may be relevant to a new invention (product), notwithstanding their best efforts to do so.” —Business Software Alliance, Amicus Brief to the Supreme Court in eBay Vs MercExchange

Microsoft Wins Free Software-Hostile Deal in Europe, Its Front Group ACT Pleased

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Interoperability, Microsoft, Patents at 3:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EU and Polish flag

Summary: By pushing law-enforcing action to the end of term, Microsoft has successfully bamboozled the Commission

IT IS no secret that Microsoft has undergone scrutiny in Europe for only few of its many offenses. The BBC reported yesterday:

The European Union has begun an investigation to determine whether Microsoft is upholding pledges to curb anti-competitive practices.


The company was also told to give rivals more information about how Windows works, so they could make their own software integrate better with the operating system.

Microsoft appealed against the decision but lost its case in 2007.

The latest development was covered most closely by The Register, which wrote about a looming deal that the FSFE and a Samba lawyer warned about because they knew it would be bad. Here is Heise covering the opposition:

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) has published an open letter addressed to European Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes. The letter arises out of the foundation’s concern that settling the two Directorate General for Competition cases against Microsoft too hastily could have long-term detrimental effects on the competitiveness of desktop systems. The European Commission is presently investigating the bundling of Internet Explorer (IE) with the Microsoft operating system. Furthermore, the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) has complained of Microsoft’s reluctance to release important information needed to ensure the compatibility of open source software with Microsoft products.

FSFE warned about this in advance. And they were right.

Microsoft is a step nearer to settling a large part of its ongoing disagreements with the European Commission – the regulators have agreed to market-test Microsoft’s suggested solution to browser bundling.

The software giant offered to include a ballot screen which would show users a choice of possible browsers when a machine is first booted up.

It does not go far enough. And check out the following report:

The company promises to support public, open industry standards and document that support.

Access to interoperability information will be “subject to no more than a nominal upfront fee” – this issue particularly irking the open source community.

When it comes to Web browsers, 'Microsoft Meller' quotes Neelie Kroes as saying that she knew what she was getting.

Kroes said she is sure some of Microsoft’s rivals will not be satisfied by the new offer. “A number of people are never 100 percent satisfied,” she said.

So why make the deal in a hurry? There was a similar mistake being made in 2007 — a bad deal which was signed about 2 years ago. After a meal with Steve Ballmer, Neelie Kroes agreed to a deal which was hostile towards Free software, Microsoft’s #1 competitor. She is doing it again and Groklaw explains some of the obvious issues.

Here’s Microsoft’s statement, glowing with happiness that their two proposals, with some changes suggested in the last month or so by the EU Commission, have basically been adopted, if the test works out.


Privately enforced? Informal? Meaning we get to pay to sue Microsoft? The EU Commission washes its hands regarding enforcement? I’m afraid that doesn’t sound promising.


Famous last words. A trustful deal with Microsoft. Lordy. The problem isn’t that they don’t understand. Call me cynical, but I also don’t believe she suddenly trusts Microsoft. On what basis? Microsoft’s behavior for the last ten years in its dealing with the EU Commission? Puh lease.

Ms. Kroes’ five-year term ends in a month, unless it is renewed or extended.


We’ve already learned that it is not royalty-free. And I have a question. If you can’t patent software as such in Europe, how come the EU Commission allows patent licenses for a fee in Europe?

Microsoft’s front group ACT quickly appears on the scene to promote and praise the deal.

“We are glad that Microsoft and the EC have reached a compromise in which developers are not adversely affected by the removal of code from Windows,” said Jonathan Zuck, president of the Association for Competitive Technology.

CNET’s Microsoft PR person plays a role that’s similar to the lobbyist above by parroting Microsoft.

This whole episode comes to show that nothing has changed. Microsoft is passing some new self-serving laws, gently bribing/influencing the right people, and continuing to abuse the market as though it has a God-given right to do so. In this case, by procrastinating forever, Microsoft managed to push legal action to the end of the term, which then led to a rushed and foolish decision. As always, Microsoft relies heavily not just on lobbyists but also on endurance in court — that is, testing the regulators’ (law enforcers or competitors) patience and depth of pockets.

“Microsoft and its employees now think it is indeed the Master of the Universe.”

Stewart Alsop, Fortune

Microsoft Still Creates Barriers to ODF

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard, Wikipedia at 2:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Road to the green

Summary: OpenDocument Format (ODF) suffers more interferences and interruptions from Microsoft and its followers

A FEW days ago, Novell's and Microsoft's role in harming Web standards was mentioned, but Adobe has a similar agenda and Jan Wildeboer from Red Hat warns that “Adobe plans to redefine the Internet with their proprietary stuff.”

Adobe also has PDF for documents, which is not particularly good, but it is far less malicious than Microsoft’s attempt to control documents. As one person has put it, “rtf is as bad as .doc, ideally I’d say use ODF, but MS users will gripe it’s not supported”

“Microsoft insists on making ODF look as though it is proprietary and its lobbyists do the same type of thing in panels they invade.”Microsoft is a company far less ethical than Adobe, simply based on its actions. For instance, Microsoft subverts Wikipedia's entry on ODF such that it advances OOXML. Jomar Silva has just told Tim Bray that “the ODF entry is a mess, and don’t try to fix it, because a jerk named hAl is keeping the mess there !”

That would hardly be news, but hAl is just one among a group that carries on making the article on ODF worse and worse. John Drinkwater has undone yet another hostile and unnecessary change (“Undid revision 317727032 by Cybercobra not a useful change, standard is built upon XML”). This was done in response to a couple of edits from Cybercobra.

Here is Cybercobra removing mentions of “free” and “open” as though they are dirty words. We have seen this before. Microsoft insists on making ODF look as though it is proprietary and its lobbyists do the same type of thing in panels they invade.

ODF has sincere following (not Microsoft partners) and the ODF Toolkit continues to be mentioned a lot, as well as the next Plugfest — an event we previously mentioned in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 9 10, 11]. Microsoft attended the last Plugfest where it promoted its agenda along with its partners and MVPs.

A pro-Microsoft saboteur wants more access to ODF, probably hoping that people do not remember what he did. Bart Hanssens meanwhile prepares a working draft of an ODF interoperability profile and publishes the following about Xapian.

Xapian is an open source search engine library written in C++ with bindings for C#, Java, PHP and Ruby. It supports the most commonly used document formats, including of course ODF.

What’s the deal with OLE objects, which are Microsoft's way of blocking standard adoption?

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