Vista 7 Unacceptable for Large Businesses and Windows XP Still Not Secure

Posted in Security, Vista 7, Windows at 7:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sink or leak

Information crisis

Summary: Intel migrates only about 3% of its workforce to Vista 7; many of the rest use an operation system with a “built-in” vulnerability that compromises designs/trade secrets

TRUTH be told, neither Vista 7 nor Windows XP proved to be secure (references gathered at the bottom). Here is where Windows users are at, based on the latest news:

Intel: Just 3,000 employees run Windows 7 (Intel’s problems with Vista 7 were covered here earlier this month)

Despite the firm’s rapid turnaround of PCs and its very public partnership with Microsoft, Bryant said that so far it had shifted just 3,000 of its 80,000 plus employees onto Windows 7.

Windows XP’s built-in Wi-Fi Security Hole

I noticed that I kept seeing “Free Public Wifi” APs (access points) showing up. I assumed it was someone trolling for innocents wanting to be infected with malware. I was wrong. It’s actually a much more interesting Windows XP security flaw.

Botnet takedowns ‘don’t hurt crooks enough’

The takedowns of the Mariposa and Waladec botnets last week were victories for the good guys, but security experts warn that although cybercrooks suffered a bloody nose they collectively retain the upper hand in their ongoing conflict with law enforcement and its security industry allies.

The author completes this article without mentioning Windows! Time for an awareness campaign? We’re working on it.

Related posts:

  1. Cybercrime Rises and Vista 7 is Already Open to Hijackers
  2. Vista 7: Broken Apart Before Arrival
  3. Department of Homeland Security ‘Poisoned’ by Microsoft; Vista 7 is Open to Hijackers Again
  4. Vista 7 Security “Cannot be Fixed. It’s a Design Problem.”
  5. Why Vista 7 Could be the Least Secure Operating System Ever
  6. Journalists Suggest Banning Windows, Maybe Suing Microsoft Over DDoS Attacks
  7. Vista 7 Vulnerable to Latest “Critical” Flaws
  8. Vista 7 Seemingly Affected by Several More “Critical” Flaws This Month
  9. Reason #1 to Avoid Vista 7: Insecurity
  10. Vista 7 Left Hijackable Again (Almost a Monthly Recurrence)
  11. Trend Micro: Vista 7 Less Secure Than Vista
  12. Vista 7 Less Secure Than Predecessors? Remote BSoD Now Possible!

Links 11/3/2010: Fedora 13 Frenzy, Free Software in City of Athens

Posted in News Roundup at 4:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • All Hail Our Benevolent Corporate Overlords

    After reading Electronics Manufacturers Use US Legal System to Thwart Hardware ‘Hacks’ I was all set to type a fiery response, but Linux Today readers beat me to it. In a nutshell, the tech industry is accelerating its attacks on our rights to do what we want with our own property.

    The article is full of revealing quotes from industry apologists, who all display an astonishing un-awareness of how asinine they sound. It was hard picking a winner, but I give the prize to Leander Kahney, author and editor, who says this is why Apple is so bent on micromanaging what its customers do with their own property:

    “Apple is selling directly to consumers, who aren’t the best guardians of their own self-interest. The open PC model works for knowledgeable users who know what they are doing and how to protect themselves, but not so for 15-year-old fashionistas and techno-phobic geriatrics,” Kahney said. “A measure of lockdown is exactly why Apple is successful – it hides complexity while ensuring a certain level of reliability and stability. The vast majority of Apple’s customers are utterly unconcerned – they could give two hoots that they can’t hack their devices.”

    Isn’t that special. The nice people at Apple are making sure that dumb kids and senile old people, and all the rest of us don’t hurt ourselves, because we’re too stupid to make our own decisions. Last time I was in Home Depot I saw high-powered welding machines, bandsaws, nailguns, great big heavy pieces of lumber, bottles of sulfuric acid and muriatic acid, pesticides, and many other scary dangerous products that anyone could buy.

  • Why You Don’t Need Anti-Virus Software For Linux

    You don’t need anti-virus for Linux. Others in here will do a better job at explaining why this is, but in short, the OS has a big advantage here due to it being open source. The operating system is a product of crowd-sourcing, much in the same way as Wikipedia has been since it first showed up several years ago. And much like the highly-moderated articles of Wikipedia that require membership and has an approval process for changes made to locked articles, so to is a strict moderation that goes on with the source code for Linux before it’s allowed to become part of the official distribution. Everybody is out to identify possible flaws or weaknesses or bugs in the source code and it’s much easier for any single person to make a contribution because the OS and much of the software that runs on it is open-source.

  • Texas Linux Fest announces 2010 program

    Texas Linux Fest has announced the initial list of speakers and presentations for its inaugural event. Keynote speakers include Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier and Randal L. Schwartz, with additional presentations by Linux, free software, and open source experts such as Jon “maddog” Hall, Amber Graner, Bradley Kuhn, and Max Spevack.

  • And thank you for the penguins

    Of the many thousands of things we have Linus Torvalds to thank for, one of them is the venerable penguin, symbol of all things Linux. But what if Linus had chosen to instead use the Gnu (I know, that one was already taken, but humor me here), or a beaver, or a bear, or maybe a demon like Freebsd uses? (already, it’s technical a “daemon”, but let’s ignore the technicalities for the sake of this argument.)

  • Desktop

    • Asus Eee Box EB202 with Linux selling for $190 at Newegg

      Asus has pretty much stopped offering its netbooks and nettops with Linux preloaded. Instead, most of the company’s products come with Windows XP or Windows 7. But retailer Newegg is selling a first generation Asus Eee Box EB2020 nettop with Red Flag Linux, a Chinese Linux distribution that’s designed to look an awful lot like Windows XP.

    • Dell launches Vostro 3000 series laptops for entrepreneurs

      All the devices feature HD wide LED anti-glare display and an option for Windows [...] Linux Ubuntu operating system.

    • System 76 Lemur Review

      In conclusion, I think the Lemur is a beautiful machine, and combined with what I consider a beautiful Operating System, particularly with the new fit and finish of Lucid. When running the Lemur it really feels like great design in hardware and software meeting well. I would happily recommend this machine to others. :-)

  • Server

    • Selecting an Open Source Operating System

      Sample server FOSS operating systems include:

      * CentOS
      * FreeBSD
      * Red Hat

      Special Purpose Operating Systems

      There are a number of special purpose FOSS operating systems that offer bundles of pre-configured applications with graphical installer and management tools. Some of the most common special purpose operating systems are for file serving, firewalls, and rescue CDs. They’re usually based on an existing general purpose desktop or server operating system, but with the installation modified in such a way that a certain set of software is installed. Management in special purpose operating systems is usually very specific and tends to emphasize the system’s particular function. Many areas of management are not readily accessible through the default management interface. On the bright side, special purpose FOSS operating systems may provide a quick and easy way to fulfill a specific need – if you can find one that accomplishes what you require.

      Sample special purpose FOSS operating systems include:

      * Knoppix Rescue CD
      * FreeNas Free NAS file server
      * Smoothwall Firewall

    • Best Linux Distro for Web Server

      Best Linux Distro for Web Server: If you are planning to build a web hosting company or simply host your own website at home, then it is best to use Linux as your operating system. Linux servers have been known to be extremely reliable and rarely crashes so there’s less downtime. Linus Torvalds has once been quoted as saying “How do you power off this machine?” when upgrading the site “linux.cs.helsinki.fi”, and after using the machine for several months.

    • Unified network administration using eBox

      Linux is an excellent choice for a server operating system, no matter what the size of business. However, it is still not very easy to administrate. Recently many distributions have launched their own interface to configure these server components (like Apache and Samba), but really failed at delivering an easy-to-use interface to configure it. That alone turns off many SMB (small and medium business) folks. eBox is trying to fix this particular issue. eBox (or eBox Platform, to give it its full name) can play multiple roles. It can act as a network gateway, an infrastructure manager, a unified threat manager, an office server, a unified communication server or a combination of any of these. eBox is delivering these functions using already popular open source software with a solid administration interface.

    • IT World Canada Video Library:Linux is the cloud’s future: IBM Canada
    • SCALE 8x: Ten million and one penguins

      At SCALE 8x, Ronald Minnich gave a presentation about the difficulties in trying to run millions of Linux kernels for simulating botnets. The idea is to be able to run a botnet “at scale” to try to determine how it behaves. But, even with all of the compute power available to researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories—where Minnich works—there are still various stumbling blocks to be overcome.

    • Yellow Dog Enterprise Linux for GPU computing

      CUDA, an acronym for Compute Unified Device Architecture, is a parallel computing architecture developed by NVIDIA that uses GPUs to improve the performance of some types of applications. According to Fixstars, the Yellow Dog distribution, based on the free CentOS Red Hat clone, includes “multiple versions of CUDA and can easily switch between them via a setting in a configuration file or an environment variable”. Additionally, it features Fixstars’ own Eclipse-based graphical IDE for CUDA.

    • Yellow Dog Linux licks CUDA
  • Kernel Space

    • 4K-sector drives and Linux

      Almost exactly one year ago, LWN examined the problem of 4K-sector drives and the reasons for their existence. In short, going to 4KB physical sectors allows drive manufacturers to increase storage density, always welcome in that competitive market. Recently, there have been a number of reports that Linux is not ready to work with these drives; kernel developer Tejun Heo even posted an extensive, worth-reading summary stating that “4 KiB logical sector support is broken in both the kernel and partitioners.” As the subsequent discussion revealed, though, the truth of the matter is that we’re not quite that badly prepared.

    • HDD Makers Adopt Improved Storage Format, Windows XP Users Beware

      And that brings about a thorny and underpublicized problem. Windows Vista, Windows 7, along with OS X Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard and versions of the Linux kernel all support hard drives with a 4KB sectors. Windows XP does not.

    • Kernel Log: Linux 2.6.34 goes into testing

      Linus Torvalds has released the first RC of Linux 2.6.34 and completed the integration of the next version of the kernel’s most important changes. Improvements include graphics drivers for recent Radeon GPUs and for the graphics cores of some Intel processors that are only expected to be released early next year. Another new addition is the LogFS solid-state storage file system.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Window Maker Desktop: Lightweight Linux Minimalism

      Window Maker is a fast, lightweight window manager based as closely as possible on the look and feel of the NeXTStep interface. (You may be familiar with NeXTStep an ancestor of Mac OSX, although the look and feel has changed a fair bit between the two.)

    • On benchmarks

      So take this from somebody who has already done a lot of performance work: Benchmarks, on their own, mean almost nothing if you don’t understand them. Especially if they are seriously flawed (I mean, testing filesystem performance by doing CPU-intensive tasks? Hallo? Probably even FAT16 could provide the same results in those tests on an SSD.), but even if the results are useful numbers, it is still necessary to understand what the numbers actually say. I think I wouldn’t even have a big problem forging a “benchmark” where KDE would get better (and correct) numbers than LXDE by finding a scenario that’d be twisted enough.

    • GNOME Developer Kit Slimmed Down

      The GNOME Developer Kit is a Linux distro based on Foresight Linux. Its new release shows a somewhat reduced collection of software for GNOME developers.

      The size of the GNOME Developer Kit system image was reduced from 1.4 GBytes to under 700 MBytes. To this end, Firefox was replaced by Epiphany and multimedia codecs were excluded. The distro for developers and translators now fits on a single CD.

  • Distributions

    • Peering at Paldo 1.21

      One of the things I love about software, particularly open source software, is innovation can come from anywhere. Sometimes it appears out of large tech companies such as Red Hat, IBM or Sun and other times it can come from one person writing code on a second hand computer in their college dorm. Software is really the expression of ideas and concepts, which can come from anyone. So I really enjoy seeing small open source projects try new things. Some will succeed and be adopted and some will fade away, but the amazing thing is to see people put their idea out there and present it to the world. Which is why I was thrilled when a few people directed me to Paldo and suggested it was worth a look.

    • Mandriva displays its products at the 2010 Solutions Linux exhibition

      Paris, March 10th, 2010 – Mandriva, Europe’s leading Linux solutions publisher, will display its latest products at the 2010 Solutions Linux exhibition, from March 16 to 18 at the porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre – Hall 1 – Stand E 29.

    • Frugalware 1.2 Comes with KDE 4

      The Frugalware development team has announced the release of Frugalware 1.2, the 12th stable release of the Linux distribution. Frugalware 1.2 comes with only a number of bug fixes from the second release candidate, but there are some pretty big changes from the previous stable release, Frugalware 1.1. The biggest update is the move to KDE 4 code based on the aging KDE 3.5 one, as the software pack was deemed mature enough to make it to the stable release. There are also plenty of package updates.

    • PCLinuxOS 2010 mini review

      If you are looking for a Linux distro specialized for the common everyday desktop computer then PCLOS is the number one choice. Like the much advertised MacOSX, PCLOS is ready to do every fun stuff, like watch online videos, download files using torrents, do some photo editing make DVD slideshows etc., right after install. PCLOS 2010 is the first release featuring KDE 4 as default desktop. Despite using KDE 4, the PCLOS architects have managed to maintain the original and unique style of this great distro. Though KDE4 series is radically different from KDE 3, an average Joe user who installs PCLOS 2010 wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. I think this would greatly help in KDE 4 adoption among more and more people. I am looking forward for the final release to install on my ASUS Nova lite mini desktop at home which is currently running PCLOS 2009.

    • PCLinuxOS 2010 Beta 1

      I have been looking at PCLinuxOS 2010 Beta 1 because I like the rolling release concept and PCLinuxOS does keep things rolling. I have the beta installed on a system with an NVidea GeForce 220 GT and an HP HDMI 25″ wide screen flat panel display, this combination is very problematic for most distribution but has no issues of any kind in the beta. Plymouth is installed by default, it does not currently work from the Live CD but works fine in the installed system. Plymouth will work on the Live CD for the final release and this was presented as a known issue. The Plymouth issue is minor and it gave me the opportunity to see that there were no errors at start up.

    • New Releases

    • Red Hat Family

      • Swedish Internet Leader to Standardize on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

        Red Hat, Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!rht/quotes/nls/rht (RHT 30.36, +0.15, +0.50%) , the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Swedish Internet company Voddler has standardized its movie service on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. Voddler has also selected Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat Network Satellite as the basis for its new infrastructure, providing the company with a centralized and scalable server platform.

      • Red Hat’s Next Move: Keep An Eye on Two Investments

        Red Hat already focuses on Linux, JBoss middleware and virtualization. But there are multiple signs the open source company will make a business intelligence move soon. And Red Hat’s move could involve either Jaspersoft or EnterpriseDB — or both. Here’s some analysis, some speculation and some potential implications for Red Hat’s channel partners.

      • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) EVP, CFO Charles E Jr Peters sells 51,600 Shares

        EVP, CFO of Red Hat Inc. (RHT) Charles E Jr Peters sells 51,600 shares of RHT on 03/09/2010 at an average price of $30.45 a share.

      • Fedora 13

        • First Fedora 13 Linux Alpha Shows Promise

          For Enterprise users, the new Dogtag Certificate System is something that could represent an innovative approach to handling security credentials. According to Fedora’s project description, Dogtag is an enterprise-class open source Certificate Authority (CA) supporting all aspects of certificate lifecycle management including key archival, OCSP and smartcard management.

          The other item I find interesting in the Fedora 13 release cycle is the new boot.fedoraproject.org. (BFO) effort. Think of it as pxeboot on steroids for network installs.

        • The Direction Of Intel Graphics With Fedora 13 Alpha

          Fedora 13 Alpha was released yesterday with a plethora of new features and updated packages for this Red Hat Linux distribution. Aside from the features like Btrfs system rollback support and PolicyKit One support for Qt/KDE applications to excite end-users, each Fedora release always pulls in the very latest Linux graphics code. Fedora was the first distribution shipping with the Nouveau driver, then its KMS driver, and now with Fedora 13 it’s the first OS deploying Nouveau’s Gallium3D driver (there’s benchmarks behind that link). Fedora 13 is also carrying the latest packages for the unreleased X Server 1.8, DisplayPort monitor support for more graphics cards, the latest ATI driver code from the xf86-video-ati DDX to the in-development DRM, and then there is the very latest Intel work too. To get an idea for the direction that the Intel 3D support is heading in this release, we have carried out a few quick OpenGL benchmarks.

        • Some cool features in Fedora 13, Goddard

          System Rollback feature with Btrfs

          Btrfs lets you take light weight snapshots of the filesystem which can be mounted or booted into selectively. This means, before doing something crazy with your system, you can easily take a snapshot of the partition and in case something bad happens, just boot into the older snapshot.

          In Fedora 13, codenamed Goddard, if you have selected one or more partitions as btrfs, then it will automatically create new snapshots with every yum operation. You will also be allowed to select which snapshot to boot into. This is indeed an amazing addition.

        • Fedora 13’s Artwork – Need Your Help for F13 Beta!

          So now that Fedora 13 Alpha is out…. have you given it a try? What do you think about the wallpaper? We want to hear your feedback, because there isn’t actually that much time to update the wallpaper for beta, I think a little over a week. We haven’t gotten much feedback about it yet, so we need to hear from you now!

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Road Test

        So long story short, halfway through the test, Linux excels in consistency and performance, not showing any signs of slowing down. OpenOffice, Firefox, Songbird… you name it, they all behave as usual, sometimes a bit quicker than I am used to!

      • Saving Money with Ubuntu

        Note to readers from the Ubuntu Planet – this is written for people whom don’t have a clue what Ubuntu is. Hence why I describe it.

        With the global economy in a depression, most people cannot currently afford to buy a new computer. But, you don’t have to.


        Ubuntu takes a minimal amount of technological knowledge and time to install, and you will be up and running in a few minutes.

      • Why (I think) Ubuntu is Better Than Windows

        So those are 10 things I do with Ubuntu that I’d have a hard time doing on Windows. It’s arguable whether you’d need to be able to do some of this stuff, and that I accept.

        I realise that there are Windows-based tools that can replicate/emulate some of these tasks, or maybe Windows Vista or 7 can do some of the above tasks. I kinda stopped bothering with Windows after XP, so my knowledge may be lacking. Feel free to correct me in the comments, or suggest what you can’t live without.

      • 16 things that could be improved in Ubuntu 10.04

        In this post I’m going to list 16 things that I think could be improved in Lucid. I’m going to try my best to address the issues in detail and offer solutions. Of course, all of this is also a matter of opinion too. The object of this post is to make you think about ways we could improve each one. I’ll try to link to bugs where there are bugs, but a lot of these are quite new design decisions only present in 10.04 and hence don’t have bugs filed.

      • Lubuntu 10.04 Alpha 3 Screenshots
      • Ubuntu 10.04 To Hang Onto Old Intel Driver

        With Ubuntu 10.04 being a Long-Term Support (LTS) release, Canonical is just going to stick with Lucid Lynx being the last release where Intel user-space mode-setting is supported, albeit for most Intel users you will still be greeted by a KMS experience, just with an older driver and many back-ported patches. This decision was shared on the ubuntu-x mailing list.

      • Ubuntu 10.04 Gets New Logout Dialogues

        Did you ever get annoyed by the restart/logout/shutdown countdown timers that presented themselves in previous Ubuntu releases?


        All three main ‘session’ dialogues have been reworded thus allowing the user to make an informed choice as to whether the action selected it the one they want.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tilera wins VC from Broadcom, Quanta, NTT

      The chips support Linux at the 2.6.26 kernel level and an open source stack that includes Apache, PHP and MySQL, as well as the GNU GCC compilers and the C/C++ compilers that Tilera has licensed from Silicon Graphics. (This is what leads everyone to believe that the Tilera chips are variants of the MIPS architecture once controlled by SGI.)

    • LinuxCertified Announces its next Linux Device Driver Development Course

      LinuxCertified Inc, a leading provider of Linux training and services, today announced its next Linux Device Driver Development Course class to be held in South Bay, CA from March 15th – 17th, 2010.

    • Amazon Looks for Developers For Kindle Browser

      Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or a related field, three or more years experience in Java, familiarity in Web standards, experience working with browser engines and experience working with embedded devices on Linux.

    • Linux-ready plug-in enables IPv6 traffic over IPv4 nets

      Access subsidiary IP Infusion announced a new Linux-ready “stateless tunneling” product that enables the coexistence of IPv4 and IPv6 networks. Based on the IETF’s “6rd” (IPv6 rapid deployment) specifications, ZebOS Rapid Deployment forwards IPv6 traffic though existing IPv4 networks, enabling carriers to more easily transition to IPv6, says IP Infusion.

    • Wind River (Intel)

      • Wind River Extends Reliable Carrier-Grade Linux to Growing Telecom Server Segment

        Wind River today announced it has integrated support for HP BladeSystem carrier-grade and enterprise server blades into its industry-leading Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) operating system, tools and build system. Wind River Linux is the first registered CGL 4.0 solution supported on HP ProLiant server blades for HP BladeSystem, allowing customers to standardize on one common carrier-grade operating system platform to build highly reliable network elements across different hardware platforms.

      • Wind River extends Carrier-Grade Linux to telecom server segment

        Wind River said that it has integrated support for HP BladeSystem carrier-grade and enterprise server blades into its Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) operating system, tools and build system.

    • Phones

      • Nokia

        • Hands on with Nokia’s N900: When is a phone not a phone?

          Nokia might dominate the global phone market but its clunky old S60 operating system just doesn’t cut it anymore, taking the shine off impressive new devices such as the N97 mini. Facing serious competition on all sides, the Finnish mobile behemoth has unveiled the N900 – its first Linux-powered smartphone running the Maemo 5 mobile operating system

        • VoX Communications Launches Its $69.95 Unlimited Voice and Data Plan on Nokia’s N900 Maemo Smart Phone

          Pervasip’s Chief Information Officer Mark Richards noted, “We are very excited to be a voice and data service provider for this mobile computer. The N900 uses the Linux derivative Maemo operating system, an open-source platform that enables the Maemo community to freely modify and continually develop software as part of the shared goal of bringing added value to Maemo. VoX is a Linux shop and we employ several Linux experts. We congratulate Nokia for developing such a sensational introductory Linux phone. In our opinion, there has never been a more responsive and intuitive device.”

        • My 2010 Nokia QWERTY smackdown.

          I put the N900 around the middle of the pack. Despite the keys being crammed up against each other they’ve a slight contour to them, so you’ll have little trouble finding the one you want. Pressing a key yields a satisfying click, but compared to my #2 keypad they’re maybe just a bit stiff.

        • Tinymail 1.0 Released

          At the core of the Nokia 900′s Modest email client is Tinymail, a library for developing mobile apps with email features. Three years in the making, Tinymail 1.0 has made it out the door. In addition to making it past the 1.0 barrier, this release brings a bunch of improvements and new features for the project.

      • Palm

        • Palm’s webOS PDK beta adds Pixi native development, PDK’d apps will hit the Catalog mid year

          On a more technical front, we’re told the PDK supports the Linux standard SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer) to ease in porting and development (Unreal for Linux runs using SDL, for instance), and that developers could even build apps like an audio processor that rely on PDK components but don’t show up in the UI at all, or OpenGL-empowered things that aren’t necessarily games or in 3D. Also, existing developers have only been able to do “full screen” games that rely on PDK components alone, but the PDK beta lets you mix and match webOS UI with PDK elements. Currently there aren’t many PDK games that use the extra Palm hardware like the QWERTY keyboard and the gesture area, but we’re told that’s all exposed to the developer, along with any other element of webOS that Mojo SDK users have access to. One notable plugin hangup is the fact that Flash only works in the browser, and can’t be embedded into a regular webOS app, PDK or no — though we have to assume this is something that’s in the works.

        • Palm pops out plug-in dev kit

          Palm has released its Plug-in Development Kit, enabling native development for those who find AJAX just can’t cut it.

        • Palm Confirms Further PDK Details At GDC

          Currently available PDK developed games do not utilize additional Palm hardware elements such as the QWERTY keyboard and the gesture area, but they are available to developers to integrate along with any other element of webOS that the Mojo SDK supports.

      • Android

        • Android NDK comes out

          SMARTPHONE OS DEVELOPER Google has released its third version of the Android Native Development Kit (NDK).

        • Android native code kit apes iPhone game 3D

          Google has opened the door to iPhone-like 3D games on certain Android handsets, offering support for the OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics standard with its latest Android Native Development Kit (NDK).

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Device Wars, Pt. 3: Netbooks, Tablets Fight For Space

        The second smartbook to be announced was the HP AirLife, which weighs in at 2.2 pounds and is based on the Linux operating system. The first generation of this product is planned for Europe only, but it should make its way into the United States at some point.

        Like the netbooks for solid-state memory, smartbooks are more dependent on a broadband connection and cloud-based applications and data services. The present generation of smartbooks does not appear to be corporate-ready, but this too will change with time.

        When To Choose A Netbook
        Since both the solid-state memory netbooks and solid-state memory smartbooks are mostly Linux-based systems, at least initially, they cannot be easily blended into a corporate environment based on the Microsoft OS and applications.

      • Bigger is not always better, especially when running a notebook

        So, no surprises, but for a product that I might be able to use on my Netbook, not very likely. The problem is a lack of modularity and this is missing from many products today. As people start spreading out over the computer power spectrum, it would be nice to have a small VS core to which could be added libraries and functionality that could conceivable run on a Netbook.

        Linux is an example of this approach, a main core that is controlled by a small groups and a plethora of bits and pieces that can be added on as desired. Since the core is small, it can run anywhere. With products like our example VS, you will need a fairly powerful minimum spec to run it properly and this is typically about double what MS puts done as their minimum requirements especially in the memory areas.

      • ARM sees over 50 new iPad-like devices out this year

        The launch of Apple’s iPad will pave the way for a slew of rival products this year, an ARM executive said Wednesday, predicting over 50 tablet PC devices will be launched globally.

      • ARM: Over 50 tablets will launch in 2010

        If predictions from Roy Chen, processor-maker ARM’s worldwide mobile computing ODM manager, come true then we’re going to see a whole lot of tablet computers in 2010. The exec said that he reckons there’ll be more than 50 launched globally this year.

    • Tablets

      • Android – the winning formula for tablets and netbooks?

        What might the iPad have been? Apple announced it as a Magical and Revolutionary Device, defining “an entirely new category”. But it actually only addresses a small part of the yawning gap between mobile handsets and notebook computers, where there’s still a lot of defining to be done. There’s space there for dramatically different reimaginations of the iPhone, for counter-attacks from handset companies, and for diverse devices based on Google’s Android.

      • $200 Freescale Tablet Runs Android, Chromium OS or Linux

        Remember the Freescale Smart Tablet from CES earlier this year? Well its returned with a range of compatible operating systems which now includes Android, Chromium OS or Linux.

      • Prototype $200 Tablet Runs Android, Chromium OS, Linux

        It can’t touch the form factor of the iPad or some other tablet devices, but a $200 device that runs the open source Linux, Android or Chrome operating systems might just find a place in the already-crowded tablet world.

Free Software/Open Source

  • SpringSource adds springiness to Tomcat server

    Open-source Java framework specialist SpringSource has unveiled a new incarnation of its Apache Tomcat-based tc Server, offering application developers and operators additional tools for building, deploying, and monitoring their software on the lightweight runtime platform.

  • The 10 Most Downloaded Open Source Apps Of All Time!

    So, I used metrics gathered from SourceForge.net to compile this list. I think the results show some interesting things about computer users the world over. Here they are along with the total number of downloads for each one. NOTE: this list does not include open source projects outside of SourceForge. Enjoy.

    1. eMule – 520,970,337 downloads: The most popular open source download of all time is a peer-to-peer file sharing client. What does this tell you?

  • Canonical speaks to the ‘commercial’ debate

    Other accusations in the same vein come from more mature people. But the line of thought is still the same: free is good, commercial is bad. Such individuals are clearly unaware of the fact that free software, as defined by the Free Software Foundation, can be sold for monetary gain.

    But then this is the Linux community. One has to be ready for poorly educated, illogical assertions aplenty. The problem is that such uneducated, shrill voices are often taken as the majority – in the same way that a mob follows the voice of him/her who shouts loudest – and does a lot of damage to a company which is trying to provide things free and also keep the red ink out of its books.

  • Google and open source want to make us OCD on energy

    The low-hanging fruit in the renewable energy business still lies with efficiency. Cutting your energy use without crimping your lifestyle gives you a faster payback than turning into Ed Begley Jr.

    It’s still good to be a little Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) on energy use, even if your politics are to the right of Rush Limbaugh, because there’s money in saving, money you can spend on cigars or vacations. Or food.

  • IMDbPY projects IMDb.com data onto your screen

    If you want to develop an application that incorporates information about movies, do we have a tool for you. IMDbPY is a Python package that can retrieve and manage the huge amount of data available from IMDb.com, the Internet Movie Database. IMDb data is free for personal and non-commercial use; IMDbPY is free software. The tool is widely used by video collection managers, multimedia players, and media centers, says its creator, Italian developer Davide Alberani.

  • 5 Open Source Resources For Boosting Your Productivity

    No matter how smart a worker you are, there are plenty of open source tools that can make you more productive. They range from hugely useful Firefox extensions such as iMacros (which lets you record repetitive, multi-step tasks and then execute them with one click) to collaboration applications for efficient co-working. Here, you’ll find five of our best posts and collections on productivity enhancement tools. Everything found here is free.

  • Evan Prodromou Speaks on the Future of StatusNet

    There’s no moss growing on StatusNet these days. The company has been busy announcing cloud service plans, an enterprise network service, and the 0.9 release of the open source StatusNet microblogging platform.

    To get a sense where all this is going, I took the chance to ask a few questions of StatusNet’s CEO, Evan Prodromou. He gives the scoop on the new stuff coming to StatusNet and provides a few thoughtful answers on where he thinks social media is heading.

  • Happenings: FOSS at CeBIT 2010

    The H attended this year’s CeBIT trade show on the world’s largest fairground in Hannover, Germany and had the chance to meet up with a wide variety of people from the open source community, including free and open source software (FOSS) developers, project members and commercial open source companies.

  • Mozilla

    • Mozilla Jetpack flies out of laboratory into loving arms of Firefox

      Mozilla has promoted its web extensions prototype package – Jetpack – by pushing it upstairs and readying it for production with its Firefox browser.

    • Updating the Mozilla Public License

      Twelve years ago I spent the month of March frantically drafting version 1.0 of the Mozilla Public License. That was a public process, a part of the launch of the Mozilla project. Approximately a year later we created the 1.1 version.

    • Mozilla refreshes its open-source backbone

      Ten years on, Mozilla has concluded that its open-source underpinnings are due for a refresh.

      The Firefox browser and Thunderbird email software are governed by the Mozilla Public License, which determines what rights and restrictions apply to programmers who want to use the software in their own projects, extend it in various ways, or just peek at the programming instructions that underlie the software.

  • Databases

    • A Bright Future for Drizzle

      It seems like there’s been little but bad news and resignations coming from Oracle since it finally managed to close the deal on Sun. Finally, there’s good news in that Drizzle seems to have a bright future ahead. It just isn’t with Oracle.

  • CMS

    • City of Athens using Drupal

      Athens is a large city (3.5 million residents and 6 million tourists each year), with a large tourism base due in part to its role in the 2004 Olympic Games. To support the city’s needs, the site includes a large calendar of city events, a comprehensive map-based index of city services and interactive tools that allow citizens to access city resources. The site builds on Drupal’s multilingual capabilities to provide information in both Greek and English.

    • Towards a Beautiful WordPress Future: Automattic Hires Theme Wizard Ian Stewart

      Stewart is known for his ThemeShaper blog and Thematic WordPress theme framework. The WordPress community has produced thousands of free (and paid) themes, but most are intended to be deployed as-is on other blogs. The Thematic theme is a framework that’s designed to be customized and extended, and supported a number of child themes based on the main Thematic framework.

  • Business

    • Three Areas of Open Source Economics

      These days, I get involved in a lot of discussions about open source economics. Usually, they lead to an invitation to present our research and clarify “how open source works” to the audience. I’ve found it helpful to distinguish these three rather different areas of open source economics: (1) direct profits, (2) public welfare, (3) labor market.

    • The Open Source Renaissance

      Take, for example, U.S. patent and copyright protection laws and policies. They reinforce proprietary, “closed source” rights and policies. As a result of this system, many substantial U.S. companies have formed around breakthrough ideas, but incentives are in place for those companies to guard and protect their intellectual property, even if others outside the company could extend or advance it more rapidly.

  • BSD

    • OpenSSH 5.4 released

      OpenSSH 5.4 has just been released. It will be available from the mirrors listed at http://www.openssh.com/ shortly.

      OpenSSH is a 100% complete SSH protocol version 1.3, 1.5 and 2.0 implementation and includes sftp client and server support.

  • Licensing

    • Liferay Adopting the LGPL License

      I would like to announce that starting with version 6, Liferay Portal will be made available under the Lesser GNU Public License (LGPL) v2.1.


  • Cryptome: PayPal a ‘liar, cheat and a thug’

    With reasoning worthy of a Kafka plot, PayPal told Cryptome it couldn’t provide a reason for shutting down the account. “In accordance with our Privacy Policy, we cannot share any specific information regarding this Account with you,” Young was told.

  • NewEgg Confirms Fake Core i7s, Apologizes

    Online retailer NewEgg said late Monday that it has confirmed that a shipment of Core i7s were indeed fake, and that it had broken off its supply relationship with IPEX, the supplier. NewEgg also apologized.

    The fake Core i7s surfaced this weekend, and Intel confirmed them on Monday morning. At the time, reports had indicated that the fake processors were in fact so-called “demo units”.

  • Government spends £11k on ID card ‘branding’

    The government still seems to be shying away from spending too much money advertising its ID card and National ID Register schemes.

    In a commons answer yesterday ID minister Meg Hillier said that the Identity and Passport Service had spent £1.3m so far buying “buying advertising space to communicate to the business community nationally and to consumers in Greater Manchester, north west England and London” about the ID card and National ID Register schemes.

  • ACTA

    • Parliament threatens court action on anti-piracy treaty

      The European Parliament defied the EU executive today (10 March), casting a vote against an agreement between the EU, the US and other major powers on combating online piracy and threatening to take legal action at the European Court of Justice.

      A strong majority of MEPs (663 against and 13 in favour) today voted against the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), arguing that it flouts agreed EU laws on counterfeiting and piracy online.

    • Negotiations on ACTA agreement lack transparency

      Members of the European Parliament have raised concerns today with the European Commission on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a broad-scope agreement on counterfeiting goods, generic medicines and piracy over the internet, that raises questions of transparency and citizens’ rights since the negotiations are conducted in total secrecy. The ALDE group is asking for the Parliament to be provided with immediate and full information about the negotiations in accordance with Art. 218 TFEU before the next round of negotiations begin in New Zealand in April.

    • ACTA: EU Parliament demands transparency on Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement

      With wide cross-party support, the European Parliament today adopted a resolution demanding transparency on the negotiations regarding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a plurilateral and far-reaching deal (including internet issues) that is being negotiated by the Commission on behalf of the EU. The Commission is yet to provide negotiation documents to the European Parliament, a violation of the Lisbon Treaty. (1)

    • Epic win for transparency on ACTA

      The European Parliament today voted on a resolution that demands transparency in the ACTA negotiations, and that the Commission puts all papers on the table.

Microsoft and Toyota

Posted in Microsoft, Security, UNIX at 4:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Toyota toy

Summary: Where Toyota’s problems intersect with Microsoft’s

FOR those who know nothing about the incident that affects Toyota, here is a new article of interest:

Toyoda said that when his company gets a complaint about a mechanical problem, engineers set to work trying to duplicate the problem in their labs to find out what went wrong.

Norton said: “Your answer — we’ll wait to see if this is duplicated — is very troublesome.” Norton asked Toyoda why his company waited until a problem recurred to try to diagnose it, which is exactly what he was not saying.

Members of Congress are generally lawyers and politicians, not engineers. But they are launching investigations and creating policies that have a direct impact on the designers and builders of incredibly complex vehicles — there are 20,000 parts in a modern car — so there are some basics they should understand. Chief among them: The only way to credibly figure out why something fails is to attempt to duplicate the failure under observable conditions. This is the engineering method.

Greenfield from ZDNet has published what he calls “Microsoft’s Toyota Letter” and a reader sent us some information about the Toyota fiasco.

Is Toyota’s software problem a Microsoft problem? I’m finding their fingerprints on a lot of this. A partner of theirs did a lot of software for them and Microsoft invaded the ITRON world of Japan in 2001 and 2003. Microsoft’s invasion of automotive control systems created similar problems for BMW in the late 90′s.

In 2001 Toyota used Keane to develop software for their cars.

They are a Microsoft Gold Partner.

Just look at their home page:


Am I on to something here? Was Toyota dumb enough to make Prius and other vehicles dependent on .NET and C#? I’d look into this some more, but it’s time for me to sleep. I’ll bet more digging will find a stinking Microsoft center to Toyota’s recent problems.

This forum discussion points to something called itron a sort of non free unix.

They link to the Free software-hostile Linux Insider:

Which has this gem. Microsoft sought to corrupt ITRON

In late September, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) surprised the industry by joining the T-Engine Forum. Microsoft intends to work with the Forum to establish specifications for an environment in which the T-Kernel and Windows CE can coexist on the T-Engine hardware reference platform.Microsoft will continue to develop its own OS, but the company hopes T-Engine developers will be attracted to Windows CE’s user interfaces. The company will demonstrate prototypes derived from the joint effort at December’s Tokyo TronShow. Microsoft’s decision to join the T-Engine Forum is not without irony. The company was the main beneficiary of U.S. government actions against the TRON project in 1989.

A Microsoft damaged ITRON malfunction would be about as damaging to Microsoft as a Windows malfunction because it shows that non free software from Microsoft does the same sorts of things regardless of OS. Junk is junk no matter what you run it on and GNU/Linux infused with Microsoft will be not do well.

Given these hints of Microsoft involvement in the cock up, it’s funny to see Microsoft pretending to come to the rescue.

Inside the car QNX from Lucent Actel provides wide area networking and other services


The vehicle uses Bluetooth to suck information from cell phones, so that the car’s built in phone is synced with the one in your pocket. This was the center of some Windows-centric security hype and it may have been a vector for Microsoft corruption but nothing seems to have come of that.

The car is also supposed to be able to talk to iPhone.

Well, iPhones are becoming widespread. And now that Apple’s market valuation soars, former Microsoft employee John Carroll blasts Apple in his ZDNet blog. He also smeared OLPC while hiding his Microsoft roots.

“Microsoft promises to be more like Apple,” says Fudzilla.

The New York Times, which is one of Apple’s favourite newspapers, has been seen giving Microsoft a bit of a hit with a rubber hose. Microsoft is quoted as saying that it has learnt a lot from the way Apple has gone into the mobile market and it will be learning from what it did.

So Microsoft admits copying Apple, just as Steve Jobs admits "stealing" from other companies.

Microsoft Tries to Destroy Online Competitors Rather Than Improve Its Own Products

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Google, Microsoft, Office Suites, Search at 3:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nice toy rat

Summary: A look at what Microsoft is doing to Google and what it has done to Yahoo!

IT IS no longer a secret that Microsoft is behind investigations of Google in Europe. Microsoft admits this after being pressured. There are still some articles about it [1, 2] and the ZDNet theatre discussed this last month before it was confirmed, at which point it was mentioned as well [1, 2]. Here are some articles that stood out:

John Dvorak wrote an article titled “Is Microsoft Behind Google’s Italy Woes?”

Microsoft is up to its old tricks again. Google is under all sorts of attacks right now—all somehow related to Microsoft. There are a slew of stories about how Microsoft managed to get Google into anti-trust trouble with the EU. This proxy fight may also have had something to do with the situation in Italy, in which Google executives were indicted for allowing some dopey video to be uploaded in that country.

There’s also:

EU Regulators and the Microsoft Antitrust Issue

No sooner did Microsoft settle its antitrust woes with the European union, than it turned around and allegedly threw Google under the very same bus.

Yahoo CEO Doesn’t Favor Google Antitrust Investigations

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has taken the high road as more and more antitrust regulators start to display an interest in Google’s practices. Rather than cheer on the investigations – or instigate new ones – Bartz has stayed mostly neutral on the matter, perhaps even supporting her biggest rival a little.

Yahoo’s position is interesting given what Microsoft did to it and news like this. Following some interview/s, there was the following additional coverage:

Why We Have A Hard Time Thinking Of Yahoo As A News Company

Yahoo Could Take Years to Recover, Says CEO Bartz

Yahoo Is Marching Forward, We’ll Prove It: CEO Bartz

How Yahoo has evolved over 15 years

Yahoo Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary: Now, Is It Finally Time to Buy AOL as a Gift to Itself?

Microsoft Nick published an article that says: “If Bartz were Yahoo CEO then, would she have accepted Microsoft buyout? ‘Sure’”

Microsoft is still trying to defend its abuse of Yahoo!, pretending that it was a saviour rather than a bully. It is crucial to remember Bartz’s past ties with Microsoft and how she came to power (proxy battle).

BNET writes: “It’s Official: Yahoo Is Available for Purchase. But Who Wants It?”

Yahoo (YHOO) CEO Carol Bartz put in an appearance on CNBC yesterday during her company’s 15th anniversary. There was the bravado you could expect from any CEO of a publicly-traded company trying to convince listeners why the company is doing better than many may think. However, one interesting tidbit that came out was that any company could buy Yahoo for the “right price”. The question is, of the potential suitors, who would bother with an acquisition?

Microsoft is getting Yahoo! users (including Ubuntu users [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]), so it doesn’t need to buy Yahoo! anymore. Microsoft got what it wanted from Yahoo! very cheaply.

So anyway, Microsoft has not only abused Google but it was abusing Yahoo! too. Microsoft is trying to hurt its competition rather than improve its own product. Microsoft’s entire history is like that.

A world where Microsoft is relevant in search is a rather scary one because Microsoft — being the control freak that it is — changes the search results to suit its own agenda. Here is a new look at what Microsoft does in the Arab world: [via]

Sex, Social Mores, and Keyword Filtering: Microsoft Bing in the ‘Arabian Countries’


It is unclear, however, whether Bing’s keyword filtering in the Arab countries is an initiative from Microsoft, or whether any or all of the Arab states have asked Microsoft to comply with local censorship practices or laws.


Microsoft’s declared aim from this type of censorship is to filter out “results that might return adult content.” However, filtering at the keyword level results in overblocking, as banning the use of certain keywords to search for Web sites, not just images, prevents users from accessing—based on Microsoft’s definition of objectionable content—legitimate content such as sex education and encyclopedic information about homosexuality.

In our past writings about Bing we mentioned the calls for a Bing boycott in China (where Microsoft censors heavily). Homophobia at Microsoft is not news, either. But anyway, in China Microsoft still censors “sex”, according to this new article from Forbes:

Where Microsoft Censors Bing For ‘Sex’


Microsoft, unlike Google, never said that it wouldn’t be evil. So when it comes to censorship of its search engine Bing, it should come as no surprise that the company is much more willing than Google to block content rather than risk upsetting censorious governments around the world.

That doesn’t just apply to China, where Google says it plans to stop filtering search results.

Google is changing its position in China, with an announcement to come shortly (according to Google’s CEO). Microsoft Nick has meanwhile assured that it’s business as usual for Microsoft in China where it will maintain operations. Microsoft is generally close to the Chinese government, for diplomatic reasons that we covered here before.

Microsoft’s fear of Google does make sense. Google is no longer a search company (maybe the googol refers to money); it threatens Microsoft’s fattest cash cow and this new acquisition (announced here) is doing more to undo Microsoft lock-in in office suites:

Stepping up its fight against Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. acquired DocVerse, a technology startup that allows people to edit Microsoft Office files online.

This is also covered in:

Google Buys DocVerse For Reported $25 Million

Google Takes Another Shot at Microsoft Office

Google DocVerse Buy Builds Bridge For Google Apps, Microsoft Office

Google to plug self into Microsoft Office

Google fends off Microsoft Office with DocVerse acquisition

Google takes aim at Microsoft with acquisition

Google To Steal Office Web Apps’ Thunder?

Google to steal Office Web Apps’ thunder?

Google has stepped up its assault on Microsoft’s productivity software with the acquisition of a start-up company that allows Office users to edit and share their documents on the web.

People ought to avoid both Microsoft and Google when it comes to mail and office suites. both are proprietary.

Here is another proprietary software firm that’s after Microsoft’s customers.

NetSuite woos Microsoft resellers with commissions

NetSuite Inc (N.N), which makes Web-based business accounting programs, is offering software resellers commissions to promote its products over those of bigger rival Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O).

Microsoft is feeling the heat on the Web, where it is losing over $2 billion per year.

Patents Roundup: Microsoft, Apple, Nokia, Monsanto, Pfizer, and ACTA

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 2:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: This is a list of news items of interest to Free software supporters

Ex-Sun Chief Dishes Dirt On Gates, Jobs (covered yesterday)

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs wanted to sue Sun

Ex-Sun boss punts Apple-Microsoft-world ‘tried to sue me’ missive

Judge puts Apple-Nokia case on hold (this case was covered in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9])

A JUDGE has put the Apple and Nokia legal battle on hold.

The move is to give the feds a chance to investigate the matter, which involves patent infringement claims from both Nokia and Apple.

US judge Puts Apple-Nokia Legal Battle on Hold

A US federal judge has put the Apple-Nokia legal battle on hold, until the feds get their chance to investigate into the whole matter that seems to have tangled itself to no end. The federal agency will scrutinize the details of the case, which involves patent infringement claims.

Nokia files a mobile device power patent (hardware patent, but Nokia favours software patents too)

Microsoft battles an alleged patent troll (more on VirnetX in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6])

SOFTWARE BULLY Microsoft threw its toys out of the pram in court yesterday at the beginning of the jury trial against Virnetx.

According to the Seatle PI, the Vole said that Virnetx only existed to sue it and would collapse if the court case failed.

In his opening statement, Virnetx attorney Douglas Cawley told the jury that the inventors of an automatic vitual private network (VPN) technology for the CIA, SAIC employees Edmund “Gif” Munger and Bob Short, obtained patents and shopped around, trying to get companies to purchase their technology.

Blu-ray licensing cartel starts operation

AFTER HAVING LAUNCHED exclusively by a few companies, Blu-ray is about to be licensed to the world plus dog but don’t expect prices to drop.


Interested parties are also free to negotiate separate license agreements, rather than taking a single portfolio license, with each of the four companies, which have committed to provide such licenses for their respective essential patents under fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms and conditions., the outfit said.

‘Soy far, soy good’ for Argentine importers (Glyn Moody adds that “Monsanto [is] slapped down by EU on GM soya”; also see [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8])

It’s available in various official European Union languages, including Latvian, but not in English. Still, with the help of his friends, the IPKat has been able to piece together the deeper inner meaning of Advocate General Mengozzi’s Opinion in Case C-428/08 Monsanto Technology LLC v Cefetra BV and others, a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union for a preliminary ruling from the Dutch Rechtbank ‘s‑Gravenhage.

Right: Monsanto’s latest genetically modified bean?

From the talented Stephanie Bodoni (Bloomberg) the IPKat learns that the Advocate General is advising the Court of Justice to rule that Monsanto, the world’s biggest seed company, can’t rely on a European patent for its Roundup Ready soybeans as it seeks to block imports of soy meal from Argentina. This is because the European patent for the trait that makes soybeans resistant to some herbicides doesn’t extend to soy meal made from the patented seeds.

Argentina, the world’s third-biggest soybean exporter after Brazil and the US, is one of the few countries where Monsanto does not hold a patent on the herbicide-resistant seeds. However, a ruling that Monsanto’s European patent is enforceable would let it block those imports.

The USPTO-Pfizer collaboration to change India’s laws on patents and test data (this is essentially murder with patents)

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has a joint program with Pfizer to fund and manage seminars in India on “misconceptions of evergreening” and “the importance of regulatory data protection and patent linkage.” KEI has submitted a FOIA request to USPTO on this topic, and received a small installment of documents on Friday. Attached to this blog are 4 pages of documents that we received from two meetings held in Mumbai, India on September 9, 2009. Ten journalists and 15 NGOs attended the meetings. The USPTO and Pfizer each paid $3,190 for the days events ($6,380 total).

USTR pressures Taiwan on pricing and reimbursement of pharmaceuticals and medical devices

US Government Working With Pharma Companies To Raise Drug Prices In Other Countries

Then, over in India, it appears that the USPTO is putting on co-branded events with Pfizer about drugs, health care and patents. Along with this, Love points to growing concerns from folks in India about a project between George Washington University and various pharmaceutical companies to “train” Indian politicians and judges on the importance of patents in pharma. Except, of course, that’s very much in dispute. Many studies have shown that patents on pharma do more harm than good — especially in countries with big healthcare issues.

If You’re Going To Sue For Patent Infringement, It Helps To Say What Actually Infringes

Last year, we wrote about a guy, Greg Bender, who holds a patent (5,103,188) on a “buffered transconductance amplifier,” that he’s decided is infringed upon by pretty much any electronics device.

Vaguely Identified Devices in Patent Complaint Fails Twombly

Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that a complaint contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” If a complaint fails to satisfy Rule 8, it “must be dismissed” under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). To survive a motion to dismiss, the plaintiff must allege “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”

KEI looks at USTR letter to Wyden, and conflicts between ACTA and patent reform (thus the great relevance of ACTA to Free software)

On January 6, 2010, Senator Ron Wyden sent a letter to the USTR asking a number of questions about the U.S. negotiating objectives in ACTA. On February 28, 2010, USTR responded. The USTR response focused mostly on the official U.S. “asks,” rather than the state of the negotiating text, which also reflects also the views of other parties. For this reason, the USTR letter to Wyden only tells part of the story about what ACTA may do.

On March 1, 2010, a European Union document leaked discloses several key sections of the ACTA text, including those relating to damages, injunctions, provisional measures and the Internet. This note highlights a few issues in the USTR letter to Wyden, in the context of what is known so far about the ACTA negotiating text.
Patents included in ACTA

USTR is now acknowledging, for the first time, that the U.S. has asked that patents be included in ACTA. In briefings in 2009, USTR said the US only wanted ACTA to cover trademarks and copyrights, and that it was the position of the European Union to include patents and other types of intellectual property. The leaked EU analysis reported the US had supported including “all intellectual property” in the civil enforcement sections of ACTA, and this is now finally acknowledged by USTR. It is unclear why the USTR had said the opposite in several briefings to Congress and the NGOs in 2009.

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