Despite Failure (Rejection by Users and Developers), Novell Carries on Spreading Mono and Moonlight

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Windows at 8:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mono the Trojan
Source: “Mono, the Trojan” (reused with permission)

Summary: The latest updates about Novell’s work that appeases its funding source from Redmond: Moonlight, MonoDevelop, Banshee, etc.

VISUAL ILLUSTRATIONS are fun. Check out the image at the top. It nicely captures the situation with respect to Mono and Moonlight, which are Novell’s main ‘gifts’ to GNU/Linux. Fortunately, neither developers nor users are interested in Mono.

Let’s remind ourselves what Novell is doing to Free software. Starting with Moonlight, here is a new article:

The difficulty of watching the Olympics online reveals the dangers of a more restricted Internet.


NBC asked me to download Microsoft Starlight. I hit the download page. Uh-oh—I use Linux. Microsoft was not impressed, and sent me chasing the related Novell product, which I installed.

Back to NBC. NBC asked me to download Starlight again. No other link was live. Suffice it so say this loop of joy apparently goes on forever.

So it doesn’t even work, which is probably why Moblin has rejected Moonlight [1, 2, 3]. Moblin and Maemo are now being merged to make MeeGo, which Novell is already trying to infect with Mono. Here is more coverage of this. Novell’s Ian Bruce mentions it as well (he is Novell’s PR Director).

Based on the following new post, Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza has urged the MonoDevelop team to enable opening of .exe and .dll files, adding even further to the .NET bias of the software (which incorporates an advantage to Windows [1, 2]).

Miguel recently blogged about a trick for loading an executable assembly as a project inside MonoDevelop. I have now added native support for this feature, which means that it is now possible to directly open a .exe or .dll as a project, or add it to an existing solution.

Meanwhile, Novell releases a new version of a Mono application called Banshee, which only Novell customers can use safely (for the next two years). Banshee strives to replace perfectly acceptable applications that do not use Microsoft’s APIs and also make use of the GPL (unlike Banshee). Then there is Tomboy, which has attached itself to GNOME, though luckily we have Gnote now [1, 2, 3, 4] (Tony Manco shows us that another new project is called GNote).

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: February 27th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.

The ‘New Microsoft’

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 7:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New Coke bottle

Summary: A gentler, kinder Microsoft? Not so fast, reveal news items

Legal Trouble For Google In Europe: Courtesy Microsoft (see previous coverage of this)

It is interesting to see Microsoft is now fighting for the same reasons it has supposedly dominated the tech segment. The company which once called Linux a cancer; which killed Netscape and many such competitors; forcefully brought OOXML format; and has been ignoring all CSS standards is now looking for healthy competition.

Microsoft says Google acts raise antitrust issues

Microsoft Corp made its most vehement and public attack on Google Inc on Friday, calling its internet rival’s actions potentially anti-competitive, and urging victims to file complaints to regulators.

The broadside comes days after a Microsoft-owned business, along with two other small online companies, complained to European Union regulators about Google’s operations there. Microsoft is also fighting a plan by Google to digitize millions of books, currently under scrutiny by the Department of Justice.

Does Microsoft want a Linux trial?

Has Microsoft Redefined The Meaning of Cross-Licensing Agreements? (more on the Amazon patent deal in [1, 2, 3])

According to an article by Rick Aristotle Munarriz, published on The Motley Fool, the recent cross-licensing patent agreement between Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) provides each tech giant access to the patent portfolio of the other company. While some people figured that the deal does not involve the leading online retailer trampling over the intellectual property of the world’s largest software company, MSFT’s press release suggests otherwise. The press release indicates that MSFT is receiving payments from AMZN.

FOSS equals piracy. Or so they say (see previous coverage of this)

An American lobby group [tied to BSA and Microsoft] has asked the US trade representative to put countries like India, Brazil and Indonesia on a special watchlist simply because these three countries encourage the use of open source software.


Citing this survey, another poster to the same mailing list, Erik Christiansen, noted that in 2007, Israel and Norway had effected the induction of some free software while Malaysia and Japan had encouraged switching. Singapore had offered tax breaks for switching to GNU/Linux.

A race for smarties (warning about history being rewritten)

Sure, it’s had challengers. Anyone remember DR-DOS, once owned by Novell? It got some traction, but never enough to pose a serious threat to Microsoft.

MSBBC Finally Discovers That “Botnets Are Usually Armies of Hijacked Windows PCs That Send Spam or Malware.”

Posted in Deception, DRM, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 7:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft BBC

Summary: BBC under pressure from critics of its reporters and taxpayers who fund it only to be blocked access to content that they paid for

A YEAR ago we wrote a post/rant that had the title “Maggie Shills [sic] Does Not Know That Zombies Are a Windows Problem”. This was due to repeated behaviour and typical deception from the BBC. It did not report the facts.

Yesterday we complained that the BBC carried yet more Microsoft propaganda, but Maggie Shiels surprised with today’s followup article, which says:

Botnets are usually armies of hijacked Windows PCs that send spam or malware.

Right. Or as Pamela Jones put it over at Groklaw: “Are there any computers in these botnets that are not Windows computers? If not, then is it a cyberspace problem or a Windows problem? I wish them well, but let’s be clear. There is another solution. Clean out your Windows problem by installing GNU/Linux or Mac OSX.”

So the BBC previously parroted Microsoft’s publicity stunts over something that will make no practical difference given its relative scale (Microsoft versus just one Windows botnet). Moreover, it’s something that was Microsoft’s fault to begin with.

Dana Blankenhorn has also just published the following criticism of the BBC (see older posts about this fiasco [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]).

The response was to try and tie the BBC’s existing strengths in broadcasting tightly to its Web site. Politically the idea was to make them one and the same. The BBC needed a friend here, and it found one in Microsoft.

Microsoft was willing to do whatever the BBC wanted, support whatever draconian DRM regime was called for, in exchange for proprietary advantage. Its iPlayer gave the agency control over who could see what, reducing the inherent subsidy in Americans visiting the BBC News Web site.

One result is that the BBC is now locking out open source, verifying “rights” to view content by verifying the player. They have gone so far down the proprietary road that the interests of specific American companies — Microsoft and Adobe — are now the interests of the BBC.

It’s crazy if you think about it. Tieing British citizens to American technology companies, when there is solid British-based competition from Matt and his bosses, right there in London.

But open source could not have enforced rules on users as the proprietary companies could. Open source could not have the politicians’ backs as Microsoft might.

Well, that’s why the BBC shoots its own foot [1, 2]. It cannot expect to be seen as deserving respect or trust.

Head of Global Health for the Gates Foundation Has Criminal Baggage in the Pharmaceutical Cartel

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft, Patents at 6:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GlaxoSmithKline logo

Summary: Federal investigation against the bully who was appointed to run the vaccine patent projects for the Gates Foundation

Bill Gates helps create monopolies in food and drugs. With Monsanto executives joining the Gates Foundation, it is clearly a complex situation. It’s no better than when Monsanto executives enter the government and the FDA (see diagram) in order to assist Monsanto from deeper inside the system.

But anyway, it might not be just Monsanto that’s using the Gates Foundation to support their former employer; it’s important to remember that Gates also has billions of dollars invested in — not donated to — the Pharmaceutical Cartel [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It’s about patents that grant them a monopoly on life-saving drugs.

According to this new report from Philanthropy.com, a “Gates Official Comes Under Investigation by Senate Committee”:

The head of global health for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is under scrutiny by members of Congress for his previous job at one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

The Senate Finance Committee is investigating whether the drug company GlaxoSmithKline knew of possible health risks associated with the diabetes medicine Avandia. The committee’s senior members, Max Baucus, a Democrat from Montana, and Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, released a report over the weekend that says that the company intimidated outside researchers from studying the drug.


Only a small portion of the 334-page report focuses on Dr. Yamada. But it says he made phone calls to officials at the University of North Carolina and the University of Pennsylvania to shut down studies of possible negative side effects of Avandia.

At the University of Pennsylvania, two researchers said that phone calls by Dr. Yamada and other drug company executives “were highly unprofessional and had a chilling effect on their professional activities.”

We have seen other such threats in recent months, specifically those which are intended to silence witnesses. Groklaw covered this at the time. And let’s not forget how the healthcare reform got derailed by a huge number of lobbyists (thousands of them) corrupting the government. This post and this site are not about the Pharmaceutical Cartel, but the relevance to Gates’ greedy operations need not be overlooked. According to watchers of Gates, “The Gates Foundation contracts with India’s most corrupt state”:

It will be interesting to see how the Gates Foundation deals with the corruption endemic to Bihar. And what will they do for security? Form their own private army?

Here is the article from India:

A memorandum of understanding will soon be signed between the Bihar government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for executing a slew of health projects in selected districts of the state.

Memorandum of understanding. Isn’t that wonderful? There are other new criticisms less worthy of a mention, but the take-home message is that Gates hires offensive executives from the same abusive companies that he invests in. The way it’s presented in the media typically echoes the spin which comes from Gates’ marketing team, but not everyone is buying it; not those who are close to the scene anyway.

“Gates has created a huge blood-buying operation that only cares about money, not about people.”

AIDS organisation manager, December 2009 (New York Times)

Facebook and Intellectual Ventures Revisited

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft, Patents at 6:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Facebook is becoming a software patents nuisance and its potential ties with Microsoft’s massive patent troll are worth elucidating

AS WE NOTED last year, Facebook’s Zuckerberg was personally meeting Microsoft's patent troll who runs a patent racketeering operation [1, 2] not far from Facebook. This is becoming interesting because increasingly we find that Facebook pursues software patents that it neither deserves nor needs.

News feeds have just been patented by Facebook [1, 2, 3]:

Facebook has been awarded a patent on displaying news feeds of users’ activities — creating an interwebs stir that basic social network functionality could soon fall prey to Facebook IP rights.

The US patent – awarded February 23 – pertains to “dynamically providing a news feed about a user of a social network.” For example: “Susie has added a photo to her gallery,” or “Johnny joined the Dolphin Sea Mammal Lovers Anonymous Group.”

News feeds go way back, as far as days before Facebook even existed. Making simple extensions to something does not make it patentable (and hardly even merits attribution), the debate about patentability of software aside.

IDG asks: “Does Facebook’s Newsfeed Patent Threaten Social Media?”

Venture capitalist and blogger Fred Wilson decried the patent by arguing that the U.S. Patent and Trade Office should stop awarding software rights altogether. “Software patents make no sense. Like music, art, and other creative pursuits, software is almost always derivative work. There is not a chance in hell that Facebook invented this idea,” Wilson wrote.

As we mentioned at the beginning, the relationship between Facebook and Microsoft’s Myhrvold is one that worries us. As we showed earlier this month, Facebook is also close to Microsoft at a personal level (Ozzie). The Atlantic has just posted this critique of Intellectual Ventures.

Setting aside Myhrvold’s colorful pedigree, his company’s approach has long drawn fire, with critics dubbing it “Intellectual Vultures.”

Amar Bhidé, author of The Venturesome Economy, is a high profile critic of Myhrvold’s vision. Invention, to him, is akin to writing a book: what if authors had to buy licensing rights for every idea they cited, instead of simply giving credit in the footnotes? Many of the best new products, he argues, are combinations of countless ideas, some patentable, some not.

A patent attorney writing under the pseudonym “Sawyer” laments:

“Mr. Myhrvold wants to create an entire economic category based on payments to entities that don’t build, produce, sell, etc, any products, or create anything of value (i.e., that don’t innovate, at least in any useful way that advances human progress), in exchange for not being sued on exclusionary patent rights.”


Myhrvold assures us the exact opposite will occur: that his system will create a vigorous market in IP rights and solve an epidemic of under-invention. Myhrvold confidently predicts that competition between investment funds to buy intellectual property from inventors, bundle it, and sell it to buyers who know how to exploit it will support increased output from innovators. But in his effort to encourage invention, he might be single-handedly facilitating the unholy genesis of a huge new class of parasitic middlemen.

That last sentence is excellent. With backing from Microsoft, Bill Gates, and Apple, Myhrvold is “single-handedly facilitating the unholy genesis of a huge new class of parasitic middlemen.”

“The genesis of this idea was when I was at Microsoft. We had a problem with patent liability. All these people were coming to sue us or demand payment. And Bill (Gates) asked me to think about if there was a solution.” —Nathan Myhrvold, WSJ: Transcript: Myhrvold of Intellectual Ventures

“Intellectual property is the next software.”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft's patent troll

Nathan Myhrvold

Links 27/2/2010: Kolivas’ New Patches, Predictions for Sub-notebooks with ARM

Posted in News Roundup at 11:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Mosaic Completes Nation-Wide Linux Migration Successfully with NoMachine NX

    Mosaic, a non-profit charity organization serving more than 3,500 adults and children with intellectual disabilities, has completed a four year project of converting their Windows network to a fully supported Linux environment with the deployment of NoMachine’s NX technology, the world-renowned hosted desktop and application delivery software. NX is a critical part of this project and provides Mosaic employees across the country access to Linux server farms at Mosaic’s headquarters.

  • Linux users talk GlustersFS, Drupal

    Linux users of Victoria will hosts its monthly meeting on 2 March, featuring presentations on file system, GlustersFS, and the use of open source software in humanities.

    The meeting is one of several among Linux user groups around the country. IT consultant and developer, Dave Hall, will discuss his experience testing GlustersFS, a distributed file system for storage, as an alternative to network file system (NFS) for replicating files across multiple web servers.

  • Sandy Bridge GPU Linux support commences

    While Clarkdale and Arrandale CPUs with on-die integrated graphics apparently work just fine under Linux, give or take a bug here and there, it’s now Sandy Bridge time.

  • Say, this is almost as easy as Linux!

    This pilot fish works as a Linux sysadmin at a small software-as-a-service company. “I come in early in the mornings, while the tech that does most of our Windows and desktop work comes in later and stays later,” fish says.

    “One night, she does a scheduled migration of one of our accounting personnel to a new desktop and sends the user an e-mail that the switch was complete and everything looks good.”

  • Linux users, the coolest cats in town
  • Column: The Linux Desktop Expansion

    What we really want is a significant upgrade, something you’d normally pay for. Perhaps we should focus on value. Recent analysis of the kernel by Jon Corbet showed that 75 per cent of the 2.8 million lines of code in recent contributions were written by paid-for developers. That puts Linux freedom in context.

  • Cassidy: Geek girls make a point at Linux Expo

    Mirano Cafiero and Saskia and Malakai Wade really do believe that in the future women will play a more prominent role in the world of high tech and computing.

    No, the record to date hasn’t been good. But you can afford to be optimistic when you’re 8, as Saskia is, or 12, as Mirano and Malakai are. Still, the girls aren’t leaving anything to chance.

    Which is how they found themselves last week standing before a crowd of people giving a presentation during the Women in Open Source segment at the Southern California Linux Expo, one of the biggest open-source software conventions on the West Coast. They were there to be seen and heard, never mind the old admonition concerning children.

  • Canadian tax software and Linux

    Well, it’s tax time again!

    This used to be the part of the year I would dread. Not because I feared how much income tax I would need to pay, but because I knew I would have to get Windows running in a VM or on a spare computer in order to use tax preparation software.

    I would get heartburn from wondering if the new flavour-of-the-day copy-protection mechanism the software used would actually work in a VM, and if it would let me open up my files again after reinstalling it if something went wrong. Top that off with the fact that trusting your important data to Windows is like locking your safe with duct tape, and I’d be popping Rolaids like candy.

  • Server

    • Cray inks $45m super pact with DoD

      This Army lab also has a bunch of different Linux Networx clusters with several thousands cores across all of the machines (SGI ate the carcass of Linux Networx in February 2008). The ARL also has two Cray XT5 machines, one for production called MRAP, with 10,400 cores rated at 95.7 teraflops) and a baby machine for development. (MRAP is short for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected, and refers to Humvee and other vehicles used by the Army).

    • Proxmox VE 1.5: combining KVM and OpenVZ

      Users can launch two sorts of virtual machines. First, one can use KVM for full virtualization. This allows the user to run a lot of operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, the BSDs, etc., because the operating system in the virtual machine runs on virtualized hardware that looks like real hardware. Proxmox VE also supports KVM with paravirtualization for device drivers to improve I/O performance, e.g. with paravirtualized network drivers for Windows guests.

    • PIKA Technologies Makes First Appearance at CeBIT – Introduces Telephony Boards and Linux Appliances
    • TeraMedica Launches Evercore® – Clinical Enterprise Suite 5.0 Now on Linux

      TeraMedica Healthcare Technology, a leading medical informatics company, has launched a new enterprise platform for its revolutionary Evercore® – Enterprise Clinical Suite software system, now available on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 systems.

  • Kernel Space

    • Kolivas Pushes New Kernel Responsiveness Patches

      Con Kolivas had stopped working on the Linux kernel for two years after he became fed up with the kernel development community, but last year he made a return by introducing the BFS scheduler. The BFS scheduler for the Linux kernel is quite simple in design compared to other schedulers, but it performed fairly well on desktop systems. Due to Con’s past frustrations, he has no intentions of mainlining the Brain Fuck Scheduler, but he has now offered up another batch of patches.

  • Applications

    • Free Trial Download: Build Professional Linux Installers with InstallAnywhere

      Linux® developers, are you tired of building RPM and DEB packages that don’t install properly? Try InstallAnywhere®, the Linux and multiplatform installer solution trusted by the world’s top software companies.

    • Review: Linux Browsers, Part 1

      I’ve been a giant fan of Firefox since it emerged on the browser scene and I was able to kiss Internet Explorer 6 goodbye. Recently, though, I’ve started to notice some cracks appear in the FF facade. For the first time, I had a valuable add-on (Ghostery) systematically misbehave and prevent the program from closing smoothly. And I noticed that I was having severe slowdowns in Javascript on some websites, including one that I use regularly. Doing even routine tasks was bringing FF to a crawl and making using it unbelievably painful. At the same time, I started seeing more mention of emerging browsers, as well as competitors who had been around – sometimes for years – but who for whatever reason had never seemed to get much traction. Combined with my FF problems, I got the itch to start trying out alternatives.

    • Review: Linux Browsers, Part 2

      HV3 started up in about 8 seconds. YouTube displayed but noted that Javascript was off or the browser was using an old version of Flash. Similarly, the base elements of the Pandora homepage rendered, but not the login dialog. CNN rendered fine, although multimedia elements were rough. The browser includes a neat debugging tool “Polipo” that provided a log of errors.

    • Two Open Source Tools for Photographers

      digiKam is a truly versatile and powerful application for managing and tweaking photos, but it’s not the only photographic tool around. In fact, there are a few other nifty open source utilities that can make great additions to your photographic toolbox. Here are a couple of such tools worth considering.


      Tonido is not a dedicated photographic tool per se, but this server solution includes the nifty Photos application which lets you share your photos with other users easily and securely. You might wonder why you’d want to use Tonido to share photos when there are dozens of Web-based photo sharing services out there. For starters, you can use Tonido to share photos without uploading them to a third-party service. This means that you remain in complete control of your images. More importantly, Tonido lets you share your photos securely and only with people you explicitly give access to your photo collection.

    • Miro – Slick open source video player for Linux, Mac and Windows

      What makes Miro so nice is the look and feel of it. The guys did go out of their way to make it easy to use and visually appealing as well.

    • Instructionals

    • Games

  • GNOME Desktop

    • Early peak into Gnome 3’s potential

      The Gnome 2010 UX Hackfest has been such fun! Today is the last day, reckon we’ll be riotous. It was a wonderful, familiar memory. I know not everyone reciprocates (hi hatemail, bye hatemail), but I missed you Gnome.

    • “Task Pooper” could revolutionize GNOME desktop

      The GNOME community’s design and usability experts gathered for a week-long hackfest hosted by Canonical in the UK to shape the next major iteration of the GNOME desktop environment. GNOME 3, which is tentatively scheduled for release in September, will introduce new user interface paradigms and include an upgraded desktop shell environment.

      The participants at the hackfest are aiming to improve the usability of existing applications, enhance the look and feel of the desktop with new theming concepts, and brainstorm ideas for extending the functionality of the new shell. They are actively publishing mockups, design documentation, usability notes, and other materials that provide insight into their vision for the future of GNOME. By reading all of this material, I was able to get an understanding of their goals and plans.

  • Distributions

    • FOSDEM’10: distributions and downstream-upstream collaboration

      For the first time in its ten-year history, FOSDEM didn’t organize individual developer rooms per distribution, but it opted for a joint ‘mini-conference’ in two distribution developer rooms, with talks that specifically target interoperability between distributions, governance, common issues that distributions are facing, and working with upstream projects. A couple of them piqued your author’s interest.

    • PTS Desktop Live 2010.1: Phoronix Test Suite 2.4.1 in a Live CD

      PTS Desktop Live 2010.1, codenamed “Anzhofen,” a live DVD distribution designed solely to run the Phoronix Testing Suite, has now been released, bringing the comprehensive benchmarking and testing software suite to those that want the most accurate results. Like previous releases, it’s based on the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution and PTS Desktop Live 2010.1 comes with the latest Phoronix Test Suite 2.4.1. The idea is to give users a standard software stack to run the testing suite ensuring that the underlying operating system doesn’t interfere with the validity of the results.

    • In Defense of Distro-hopping

      It’s doubly important for contributors who participate in FLOSS projects, especially distro development, to have a good hop now and again. Cross-pollination is one of the things that make open source great. Without frequent and repeated exposure to other distros and software, it’s too easy to get locked into the idea that there’s One True Way.

    • [Mandriva:] We will be present at the Solutions Linux 2010 exhibition

      We will participate to the Linux 2010 Solutions Exhibition, which will take place from the 16th March to the 18th March at Paris – Porte de Versailles in Hall 1.

    • [testing] ArchBang 2.00-RC1

      Care to test the latest and the finest and the smoothest release yet? ;-)

      ArchBang now has an installer! That’s right! Besides copy2ram, we are introducing an installer with which you can install it on your hard disks! Did we n00bify it? Are we trying to re-invent the wheel? Are we making Arch “easier for the masses” like most graphical distributions? Heck no! We are keeping Arch as it is! K.I.S.S all the way! That old and familiar ncurses based installer,we can’t live without it!

    • Sabayon 5.2? Pulseaudio %$#* Flash amd64?
    • Debian Family

      • Why GNU/Linux for academics and why Debian in particular?

        While this is not exhaustive these are some of the reasons why I choose GNU/Linux and Debian. So why not Ubuntu you ask? Well in my opinion, it’s buggier, because they release too often and I don’t really trust Canonical and Mark Shuttleworth. I see Mark as a little bit of a leech on Debian and while I think Ubuntu has contributed to Debian and upstream projects, it still seems meager compared to how much they’ve benefited. Debian’s slow release cycle also means you don’t have to update as often and you get a release that is more stable. All Ubuntu does is add some frosting on the cake and that frosting looks more and more like Mac OS X.

      • Ubuntu

        • Product Spotlight: Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud

          If you are not sure about deploying a cloud, and want to give it a try without breaking your IT budget, Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud is the way to go. Although the installation of both controller and nodes can be quite a challenge, the reward is that you will not have spent a single penny on software in the process of discovery. And once you have your UEC up and running, you will find it performs as well as the competition.

        • Ubuntu to report archive status via Twitter and identi.ca
        • Ubuntu Software Centre updates for 10.04

          In Ubuntu 10.04 LTS – Lucid Lynx – due for release in April 2010, the Ubuntu Software Centre moves to version 1.1 and gains at least two new choices – Featured and System Packages. Ubuntu introduced the Software Centre (currently at version 1.0.3) with Ubuntu 9.10 ‘Karmic Koala’, released in October 2009, to provide a simple method for managing applications and utilities on the desktop.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 3 Brings Nouveau and Thunderbird 3

          A few minutes ago, the Ubuntu development team unleashed the third and last alpha version of the upcoming Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) operating system, due for release in late April this year. As usual, we’ve downloaded a copy of it in order to keep you up-to-date with the latest changes in the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS development.

        • Analysis: Ubuntu 10.04 Keeping Pace, Or More, With Windows 7

          The Ubuntu community released Alpha 3 of the next-generation Lucid Lynx version of its desktop OS, and it’s becoming increasingly clear thatMicrosoft (NSDQ: MSFT) will have difficulty putting any daylight between Windows 7 and the free operating system.

        • Beautify your Ubuntu desktop using the software center

          There is nothing wrong with wanting to spruce up your computing environment. Sure there are those who live and breathe more than comfortably in a console environment but if you function in a GUI then appearances can matter and if it does there are more than enough options for you to do so in Ubuntu. In fact any Linux desktop can be beautified in this or a similar fashion. I have found two important programs for you to install from the Ubuntu Software Center that will allow you to drastically change the appearance of your Ubuntu desktop and app windows.

        • Ubuntu One Music Store FAQ
        • 20 Breathtaking Ubuntu Studio Wallpaper Collection

          For starters, Ubuntu Studio is a multimedia enhanced version of your favorite linux distribution, Ubuntu. And I must say, the basic artwork in Ubuntu Studio that include themes, wallpapers and iconsets, are way better than that in the original Ubuntu itself. Here is a nice collection of 20 Ubuntu Studio Wallpapers you might want to check out.

        • Ubuntu 10.04 to Include Chromium Web Browser

          While Firefox will remain Ubuntu’s default web browser, the Ubuntu community has added the Chromium browser to Lucid Lynx’s repositories. Chromium is the open source version of Google’s Chrome web browser. In Lucid Lynx Alpha 3, the Chromium browser is super easy to install right form the Ubuntu Software Center. The current version of Chromium is from the 5.0 branch and seems to be very stable. Hopefully, this package will be kept up-to-date as Google seems to be upgrading Chrome at an amazing pace.

        • Variants

          • Mint Enlightenment

            More importantly, it was fast. It wasn’t up to Fluxbox’s level of performance, but it was enough to make me seriously rethink whether I wanted to stick with LXDE. I’m not going to go into a full-bore review of MoonOS here. Suffice to say, that little foray gave me some incentive to revisit my window management strategy. I broke out one of the old laptops and proceeded to install Linux Mint Fluxbox Community Edition. With that as my starting point, it was time to install Enlightenment.

          • Lubuntu (w/ LXDE) 10.04 Lucid Lynx Alpha 3 Released With 4 New Default Apps And New Artwork (Screenshots)

            The most important changes in Lubuntu Alpha 3 are 4 new default applications: Chromium for the browser, gnome-mplayer as the default media player, Wicd has been replaced with the Network Manager and Pcmanfm2 as the default file manager but we’ve already told you about that about a week ago.

          • Lubuntu looks familiar! – Hint: Xandros

            Folks at Ubuntu have rolled-out Alpha 3 of Lubuntu. To us, the most exiting feature this version brings with it is the Lubuntu Netbook session which has a striking resemblance to the Xandros interface that was made popular by the first gen-Eee PCs by Asus.

          • Kubuntu is awesome!

            Why do many people use Gnome as their window manager for Linux? It seems Ubuntu.com markets the distribution which contains Gnome pre-installed. For example, the live CD contains Gnome and for this reason many new users seem to think this is their limitation as far desktop interface goes.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Cortus – Is this the smallest ever CPU core running Linux?

      Availability of uCLinux for the APS3 family of processors has been announced by Cortus. This version of Linux is ideally suited to low-power, high-performance, embedded systems. The APS3 family of processors comprises modern, powerful processors, specifically designed for embedded systems, featuring a tiny silicon footprint, says the company.

    • Phones

      • Nokia

        • Ubuntu Mobile 9.04 Installed on Nokia N900
        • Nokia N900: First looks

          Nokia is taking bold strides in revamping their phone line-up with the latest N900 smartphone and In.Tech got a sneak peek at the upcoming Maemo-powered device last week at the Nokia Malaysia office.

          First off, some background information on the N900 — it is Nokia’s game-changing phone that it hopes will reshape the way its smartphones work. The N900 sets itself apart from Nokia’s past efforts by running on a brand new Linux operating system called Maemo 5.

      • Android

        • Google and Apple: Giants of the Mobile Industry

          The Google Android on the other hand, is a mobile platform made by Google based on the concept of open source technology established by Linux. There are many apps and features in the Android that are not possible in the iPhone (until recently) that makes use of a majority of major device functions. Last January, Google launched a self branded smart phone named the Nexus One. While the device itself was not a commercial success, it galvanized Google’s place as a major player in the mobile phone industry

    • Sub-notebooks

      • ABI: 163 million Smartbook shipments in 2015

        Qualcomm, Freescale, NVIDIA, Texas Instruments, and other chip-makers are pushing the smartbook concept pretty heavily. Lenovo and HP are expected to launch some of the first smartbooks in the US in the next few months. And if you don’t get hung up on the “book” side of things, I suppose you could make the case that iPad is a smartbook without a keyboard.

      • Canonical Taps Enlightenment for Ubuntu ARM Devices

        The UI won’t look a great deal different to end users familiar with the Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Bennett says that it’s a “direct clone of the UI found in the 9.10 Karmic release on i386.” Users testing Ubuntu 10.4 alphas can test the launcher now by installing the netbook-launcher-efl package. The most recent Ubuntu 10.4 alpha release came out on Thursday, February 24.

      • A Prism for Jolicloud: Web-Centric Desktop Apps

        I recently bought a netbook and installed Jolicloud, a Linux/Ubuntu distro designed as a replacement for, or companion to, Windows. Jolicloud was a revelation, something fresh and new in the seemingly snail-paced world of desktop computing. The bold idea of Jolicloud is that the browser is the operating system. It’s all you need and you don’t need to even think about it. The browser is a core service that supports all applications but it can recede into the background and let applications take the foreground.

    • Tablets

      • How Dual-OS Open Source Tablets Could Slay Apple’s iPad

        If Android has been such a success competing with the iPhone OS on smartphone handsets, why can’t it compete with the same OS on tablets? For that matter, why can’t it ship on tablets that have more than one free, open source operating system for users to choose from? This proposition gets even more interesting when you throw into the mix the fact that an abundance of applications usually ensures the success of a hardware platform. Could a tablet that, say, runs a version of Ubuntu as well as Android give me a pallette of applications that would make my iPad’s applications look puny in comparison? Why not?

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open-source software can have a catch

    Benjamin says open-source software is more a project than a product. “Everyone with an interest works together to protect, preserve and improve the eco-system that produces it,” she says.

    “Let’s look at Linux [a free operating system]. Linux is one of the most successful open-source projects in existence. Some of the world’s top vendors are working together by employing developers to work on the Linux kernel [the software that runs the operating system]. IBM, HP, Novell, Red Hat, Canonical, Oracle and now even Microsoft make contributions to the Linux kernel that supports their own products.”

    The research and development also takes place in community organised events, Benjamin says. “They’re like the secret R&D lab brought out into the open marketplace. Developers mingle and socialise, all the while sharing their experiences, explaining their challenges and working together to find solutions to common problems.

    “This is where the seeds are sown for new features, where problems are solved and the technology is improved. It’s the technologists that drive these events, not the marketing department. There is no marketing department.”

  • Guest Post: Si Chen on Cloud Computing and Open Source

    Open Source and the Cloud Together

    Ultimately, open source and the cloud are not mutually exclusive; they can work together.

    I started my blog at opensourcestrategies.blogspot.com five years ago, but then moved it to WordPress last year. So here’s a case where I’ve moved off the cloud and back to open source. But I also use Google’s Feedburner to syndicate my blog, and I’m thinking about adding Facebook wigdets, MicroPoll, and Disqus as well.

  • FLOSS Weekly 110: Webmin

    Webmin, the web based administration tool to keep your system simple.

    Jamie Camron for Webmin.

  • Fog Computing

    • hSenid Mobile Unveils revolutionary Open Source App Store and Community VAS platform

      The open source Telco apps store mChoiceTM Vishma, provides the necessary platform to build an application eco system in which application developers can publish and market their various applications. The users can perform reviews, ratings, trials and visualizations of available content. mChoiceTM Vishma provides a seamless integration to mChoiceTM Soltura helping users to create an application using mChoice Soltura, and directly publishing it on mChoice Vishma. Moreover, since mChoice Vishma is an open source apps store, it can be customized and integrated to the Service Delivery Platforms provided by any vendor.

    • The Open Source Innovation Backbone is SaaSy

      Facebook and Twitter both represent good examples of this. They are busy these days trying to show their open source bonafides. They are sharing code and encouraging contributions to make their services better, hoping to ride the wave of open source innovation.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla begins browser education campaign

      There’s a box to put in your email address, and when the ballot screen is rolled out you’ll get a note in your inbox explaining the strengths of different browsers. To some of you, that’ll seem a little ridiculous – surely no-one’s still using Internet Explorer 6 out of ignorance, right? Well, there’s still plenty of people out there who think Yahoo is a browser…

  • CMS

  • Business

    • Vyatta: Open Source Networking Meets MSPs

      Vyatta, which positions itself as an open source alternative to Cisco Systems, has launched a service provider partner licensing (VSPL) program. The subscription-based model targets ISPs, MSPs, hosting businesses and cloud providers. The big question: Will MSPs trust their infrastructure to open source routing and firewall services? For at least one MSP, the answer is a resounding yes. Here are the details.

    • Open source helps Facebook achieve massive app scalability

      People all over the world spend a total of eight billion minutes a day on Facebook. Some 400 billion Web pages are viewed every month, 3.5 billion pieces of content are shared every week and the site logs a staggering 25TB of data every day. David Recordon, senior open programs manager at Facebook, talks about how the social networking giant uses open source tools to achieve its massive app scalablilty.

    • CollabNet Acquiring ScrumWorks Maker Danube

      CollabNet, supplier of the Subversion open source change management system, has acquired Danube Technologies, a supplier of a key management piece of software for Agile development, ScrumWorks.

    • Jaspersoft’s open source BI gains traction

      The open-core business intelligence vendor has amassed more than 10 million downloads, raising questions about potential acquisitions

  • Richard Stallman

    • ‘Free software’ proponent to speak at UB

      Well-known computer programmer Richard Stallman will visit the University at Buffalo Monday evening to discuss copyright laws in the age of the Internet.

    • Richard Stallman, President of Free Software Foundation Presents: Copyright vs. Community in the Age of Computer Networks

      Who: Richard Stallman launched the development of the GNU operating systems in 1984. GNU is free software where everyone has the freedom to copy it and redistribute it, as well as to make changes either large or small. The GNU/Linux system is used on tens of millions of computers today.

    • The downside of hiking out-of-state tuition

      Richard Stallman must have a crystal ball underneath his bed. When it comes to the world of computing, he’s seen the future so many times that one of his ideas would be enough on which to base a career.

      Way back in the Texas Instruments’ “Hunt the Wumpus” days of computers (the early 1980s for those of you too young or too old to remember the early computer game), Stallman envisioned the GNU operating system.

      A variant, the GNU/Linux operating system, is now used in hundreds of millions of computers worldwide. His announcement of that system in 1983 sparked the free software movement.

      Now you’ll have two opportunities to hear him talk about “Copyright vs. Community in the Age of Computer Networks.” Stallman will speak at 4 p.m. today at Union College’s Olin Auditorium. He’s at the University at Albany at 4 p.m. Friday in the Recital Hall of the Performing Arts Center on the uptown campus.

    • Free software, free society

      Richard Stallman spoke to an eager crowd of UB students Monday night, bringing to them his message about free software and explaining what he feels are the evils of copyright law.

      Stallman is well known for his position as the founder of the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation. He is a long-term activist for free software and advocates against corporations who, he believes, stretch the copyright laws and software patents. He presented in Norton Hall on Monday about his first passion – free software.

    • Stallman and Free Software Foundation launch Day Against DRM

      DRM is a technology used with digital files that are copyrighted to ensure than can not be copied to other devices.

      Richard Stallman said the day was designed to “raise public awareness to the danger of technology that restricts users’ access to movies, music, literature and software; indeed, all forms of digital data”.

  • Releases

  • Government

  • Open Data/Access

  • Programming

    • Qt + Box2D is easy!

      Integrating Box2D into your Qt application is quite easy, and this blog shows you how to get started. First of all:

      * Step 1: Download Box2D from Google Code: http://code.google.com/p/box2d/
      * Step 2: Build it (I had to insert a few #include <cstring> to get it to build)
      * Step 3: Build and try the test bed application: Box2D/Examples/TestBed/
      * Step 4: Read the manual: http://www.box2d.org/manual.html
      * Step 5: Continue reading this blog to hook up the two frameworks…

  • Standards/Consortia

    • How Sir Tim Berners-Lee cut the Gordian Knot of HTML5

      Simon St Laurent wrote, over at O’Reilly, about “the widening HTML5 chasm”. (He’s a former worker on the World Wide Web Consortium (aka W3C), where Berners-Lee has of course toiled for longer than one would have thought humanly possible.) He reckoned that discordant interests would leave HTML5 damaged and its credibility weakened.

      And then the Free Software Foundation urged Google to kill Flash by open-sourcing its video codecs and pushing them out to YouTube users – meaning “The world would have a new free format unencumbered by software patents.”


  • What Google Really Wants From On2 Deal

    Internet apps are delivering a new class of functionality to HDTVs, and there’s a lucrative new market for that functionality. Google might score some points with Web browser fans by giving away VP8, but giving it to the Web would mean giving it away everywhere — and that’s something that looks less and less likely.

  • Science

    • Scientist eyes 39-day voyage to Mars

      A journey from Earth to Mars could soon take just 39 days — cutting current travel time nearly six times — according to a rocket scientist who has the ear of the US space agency.

      Franklin Chang-Diaz, a former astronaut and a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), says reaching the Red Planet could be dramatically quicker using his high-tech VASIMR rocket, now on track for lift-off after decades of development.

  • Security

  • Environment

    • Must-see site: Global Warming Art

      In the spirit of free content, this site strives to incorporate and develop materials that may be widely reused by the public at large. All text is licensed under the GNU Free Document License and most images are released under some similar form of generous use license, though individual terms vary. Also in the spirit of free content, this site will seek to build upon free resources from NASA, NOAA, Wikipedia and others. In particular, many terms and important concepts will be green-linked back to Wikipedia in order to provide the reader with more detailed information than is available here. Despite this close integration, Global Warming Art is not part of the Wikimedia family of sites.

    • Academic attempts to take the hot air out of climate science debate

      I, too, think it would be a grave mistake not to make better use of the obvious open-source and crowd-source advantages enabled by blogs such as Climate Audit. Just as the SETI@Home project has made use of thousands of otherwise idle computers to scan radio telescope data for signs of extraterrestrial life, if people are willing and able to interrogate climate datasets in their spare time it would be strange in my view not to try and make use of this collective resource.

    • Giant iceberg breaks off from Antarctic glacier

      An iceberg the size of Luxembourg has broken off from a glacier in Antarctica after being rammed by another giant iceberg, scientists said on Friday, in an event that could affect ocean circulation patterns.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Epic Fail in Congress: USA PATRIOT Act Renewed Without Any New Civil Liberties Protections

      Yesterday evening, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to renew three expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act, after the Senate abandoned the PATRIOT reform effort and approved the extension by a voice vote on Wednesday night.

    • Chinese factory worker jailed for joining political party

      A 20-year-old factory worker who joined a banned political party because he was unhappy with one-party rule in China was sentenced to jail for 18 months yesterday, his mother said.

      A court in southern China’s boomtown city of Shenzhen found Xue Mingkai guilty of subversion of state power because he joined the US-based China Democracy party last April, Xue’s mother Wang Shuqing said.

  • Intellectual Monopolies/Copyrights

    • Rare Ruling on Damages for Sending Bogus Copyright Takedown Notice–Lenz v. Universal

      In the lawsuit over the allegedly bogus takedown of a YouTube video of a baby dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” (previous blog coverage), Judge Fogel has defined some standards for computing damages in a 17 USC 512(f) case, which creates a cause of action for sending certain types of bogus copyright takedown notices. I can’t recall another case discussing the damages requirements of a 512(f) claim–the only other definitive 512(f) plaintiff’s win was Online Policy Group v. Diebold (also before Judge Fogel), which settled for $125k before Judge Fogel reached damages. As a result, I believe this is a novel ruling which could have significant implications for future 512(f) cases.

      512(f) says that the sender of an impermissible takedown notice “shall be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees, incurred [by the 512(f) plaintiff] as the result of the service provider relying upon such misrepresentation…” Judge Fogel interprets the language to mean that “a §512(f) plaintiff’s damages must be proximately caused by the misrepresentation to the service provider and the service provider’s reliance on the misrepresentation.” Accordingly, 512(f) does not require plaintiffs to show that they suffered economic losses.

    • US government rescinds ‘leave internet alone’ policy

      Instead, an “Internet Policy 3.0” approach will see policy discussions between government agencies, foreign governments, and key Internet constituencies, according to Assistant Secretary Larry Strickling, with those discussions covering issues such as privacy, child protection, cybersecurity, copyright protection, and Internet governance.

Novell News Summary – Part III: Pulse, Brainshare 2010, Proprietary Products, SCO, Virtualisation, and Security

Posted in Corel, Courtroom, Mail, NetWare, Novell, SCO, Security, Virtualisation, VMware, Xen at 8:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ruby mountains

Summary: As indicated in the title, this is a collection of many news items spanning many subjects

NOVELL’S biggest news this time around is its financial report, but we will cover that separately. Here are some news clippings about Novell’s proprietary (or otherwise non-SUSE) side of business.

Read the rest of this entry »

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