IRC Proceedings: July 29th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


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Illinois to the Unemployed: Buy Microsoft Windows

Posted in America, Microsoft, Windows at 5:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Applicants must buy Windows with Internet Explorer from a convicted monopoly abuser, says a government site which is intended to help people without a source of income

The Web site Linux Today has just pointed out that “Filing for Unemployment in Illinois requires Windows/IE” and here is the source of the screenshot above. The submitter wrote:

This is the error message I get when attempting to file an Unemployment Claim with the State of Illinois using Ubuntu/Chrome. Just another example of organizations building web apps locked to a specific browser. In this case, they only support IE 6+ on WinXP/2000/ME. The “Caution” statement at the top of the page made me laugh!

The state is acting as an agent of monopolisation. Be sure to see the comments regarding the original. It’s the same in Oklahoma and who knows where else.

Links 29/7/2010: Android 3.0 Preview, Mint KDE

Posted in News Roundup at 5:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Has Dell’s Marketing Team Lost Their Marbles?

      Now, I don’t want this to sound as though it’s a rant against Dell. I’m actually a fan of their products. But when idiotic PR like this comes out, you really have to wonder who in their right mind gave this stuff a stamp of approval. The bottom line is simple. Use what you want and works best for you. Don’t be afraid to try new things. There’s a reason why there are several operating systems out there, variety. Hopefully Dell’s marketing team gets their head out of the sand sometime soon.

  • Server

    • Systems Administrators Changing Roles

      Systems administration is not going to go away completly, but I do see a future where there are less of these positions available. Consolidation of equipment isn’t just something that’s happening in your data center, it’s happening across the entire spectrum of IT related fields. The sysadmin of tomorrow will most likely have to handle hundreds or thousands of nodes (as many do today) that provide services to thousands of customers. As hardware becomes more reliable, and virtualization technology also becomes more reliable, the need for dedicated systems administrators for managing the operating system and physical servers decreases. As more and more software vendors start packaging their applications as virtual appliances, the skills needed to adequately manage these packages shifts from the operating system to the application.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Basket – A Multi-Purpose Note Pad For KDE

        Basket Note Pads is a multipurpose note-taking application for KDE. Business people can use it to keep track of important tasks and notes. Writers can use it to organize their thoughts. Students can use it for note taking. And generally anyone can use it as a virtual paste bin or clip drawer.

      • Linux Mint 9 KDE released
      • Linux Mint 9 KDE Review and Screenshots

        As I stated in the introduction, I think Linux Mint is a top 3 distribution for desktop users. A beautiful interface, powerful tools for beginners, and a decent application selection set it apart from most other Linux distributions. Please comment on your favorite KDE distribution, I think I’ve found mine.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Android

      • Android 3.0: what you need to know

        Even though most Android users are still waiting for Android 2.2, details about the next version – Android 3.0, or Gingerbread – are starting to emerge.

        Android 3.0 release date is looking like Q4 of this year, possibly around October. And Gingerbread may already be in some testers’ hands – Phandroid has shown an unverified photo of a test build of Android 3.0 running in the wild.

  • Sub-notebooks

    • Toshiba NB300 review

      The netbook market has moved beyond its infancy and most manufacturers have now found their feet. Like the well-entrenched notebook scene, the market’s biggest netbook makers have hit upon their preferred technology combination and standardised designs have been cropping up over the last couple of generations. Since Intel’s N450 Atom processor boasts such excellent power-saving capabilities over previous chips (courtesy of its integrated graphics processor and improved manufacturing process), it has powered almost all netbooks released in the same period – Toshiba’s mini NB300 was no exception.

  • Tablets

    • Apple iPad’s rivals are coming

      Guess what? They’re finally starting to show up. The Dell Streak, a cross between a smartphone and a tablet, will be out later this summer. It will first show up with Android 1.6 under the hood, but it will be user upgradeable to the latest release Android 2.2, Froyo.

      At the same time, Kmart, of all places, is advertising the Augen 7-in. tablet, the GENTOUCH78, on sale for just $150 through July 31. Don’t rush out to your local Kmart, though. The demand has already been so high for this tablet, even sight unseen, that most Kmart retail stores are handing out rain checks.

Free Software/Open Source

  • The U.S. Government and Its Partners Open Up To FOSS

    Free and open source software often makes a great deal of sense from a financial and logistics perspective. The product is generally free, and the source code is available for editing if the product does not met the technical needs specified by the user. In a rapidly evolving world, people at high levels in the government have come to the realization that FOSS may offer higher levels of software development flexibility than the traditional proprietary models. The fact that FOSS helps to alleviate some of the pressure created by tight budgets and other fiscal constraints doesn’t hurt. In this article, I will take a hard look at the great inroads being made by FOSS into the processes and programs of the U.S. government and its partners.

  • SaaS

    • OpenStack: Open Standards Meet The Cloud

      But there is more to OpenStack: it also gets the power of open standards and how this relates to the cloud. Cloud Computing is the wild west of computing right now with competing strategies and technologies fighting for dominance. The Linux Foundation is pleased to see this new entry that is based on open, collaborative development as well as open standards. Without open standards in cloud computing, we could be headed to the same vendor lock that once gripped the industry. Based on what I can see from the Open Stack project, Rackspace’s aim seems to be to eliminate vendor lock in. If so, I think we will see a huge acceleration in cloud uptake by companies small and large who have been hesitant to enter.

  • BSD

    • OpenBSD — I’m back (and I’d like to think you care … but I know you don’t)

      And as far as Flash goes, you can still run Flash 7 in the Opera Web browser, but the near future for the Web should mean that HTML 5 will make video a much easier proposition in non-Windows/Mac environments.

      If you do have a spare machine in your stable — and who doesn’t, do a little distro-hopping. And a few BSD experiments couldn’t hurt. You’ll learn something. That I guarantee.


  • Security/Aggression

  • Environment

    • More Evidence That BPA Laces Store Receipts

      People interested in limiting exposure to bisphenol A — a hormone-mimicking environmental contaminant — might want to consider wearing gloves the next time a store clerk hands over a cash-register receipt. A July 27 report by a public-interest research group has now confirmed many of these receipts have a BPA-rich powdery residue on their surface. But you can’t tell which ones on the basis of a visual inspection.

    • Fight Over Fracking

      The state of New York has some of the cleanest drinking water in the country, but natural gas drilling is threatening water resources there. At issue is whether drilling companies know enough about how to protect groundwater sources from contamination by a drilling procedure called “fracking,” the term used for the hydraulic fracturing of rock formations to make them produce more gas. Citizens also doubt whether existing rules and regulations can assure drilling companies will do enough to protect water sources, and whether there are enough qualified staff people to enforce current and future drilling regulations.

    • Chez Sludge: How the Sewage Sludge Industry Bedded Alice Waters

      The celebrity chef Alice Waters is probably the world’s most famous advocate of growing and eating local, Organic food. In February 2010 her Chez Panisse Foundation chose as its new Executive Director the wealthy “green socialite” and liberal political activist Francesca Vietor. Vietor’s hiring created a serious conflict of interest that has married Waters and her Foundation to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and its scam of disposing of toxic sewage sludge waste as free “organic Biosolids compost” for gardens.

  • Finance

    • Get Serious About The Deficit and Cut Military Spending

      The United States is far and away the world’s leader in military spending. In 2009, America spent over $663 billion on defense. That massive amount equals 4.3% of our 2008 Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That number is sure to grow next year.

    • Tell the President to Put Warren to Work!

      One of the strongest parts of the Wall Street reform bill that just passed Congress is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). But whether the new bureau delivers on its promise to protect consumers depends in large part on who runs it. The agency was the brain-child of Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren who has championed consumers and taxpayers for decades.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Big Falsehoods: An updated guide to Andrew Breitbart’s lies, smears, and distortions

      Following the dissolution of Andrew Breitbart’s smear of former Obama administration official Shirley Sherrod, Media Matters provides an updated look at how his sensationalist stories have been based on speculation, gross distortions, and outright falsehoods.

    • Enough right-wing propaganda

      The smearing of Shirley Sherrod ought to be a turning point in American politics. This is not, as the now-trivialized phrase has it, a “teachable moment.” It is a time for action.
      This Story

      Enough right-wing propaganda
      Ruth Marcus: Time for the slow-blogging movement
      Standing up to the Breitbarts

      The mainstream media and the Obama administration must stop cowering before a right wing that has persistently forced its propaganda to be accepted as news by convincing traditional journalists that “fairness” requires treating extremist rants as “one side of the story.” And there can be no more shilly-shallying about the fact that racial backlash politics is becoming an important component of the campaign against President Obama and against progressives in this year’s election.

    • Health Insurers Leaning on State Insurance Commissioners to “Reform” Reform

      The nation’s biggest insurers — not happy with provisions of the four-month-old health care reform law that would force many of them to spend more of the money they collect in premiums for their policyholders’ medical care — are pressuring regulators to disregard what members of Congress intended when they wrote the law, so that they can keep raking in huge profits for their Wall Street owners. If they are successful, many policyholders will soon be shelling out even more than they do today to enrich insurance company shareholders and CEOs. Billions of dollars are at stake, which is why the insurers and their symbiotic allies are pulling out all the stops to gut a key part of the law that would require them to spend at least 80 cents of every premium dollar they take in for medical care.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The first million seller e-book is….

        I knew e-books would be big. What I didn’t know would be that they would get so big, so fast. On July 28th, Amazon announced that Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoohas become the first e-book to sell a million copies.

        It won’t be the last. Stephenie Meyer and James Patterson are quickly closing in on what Amazon is calling the “Kindle Million Club” for authors who have sold over a million Amazon Kindle e-books. Charlaine Harris and Nora Roberts with more than 500,000 Kindle book sales each, will soon join them.

      • Digital Copywrongs

        New DMCA exemptions are an improvement, but the basic paradox of telling consumers how they may use electronics remains unaddressed.

      • ACTA

        • Statement on ACTA in Plenary

          It appears Commissioner De Gucht found out recently what technical difficulties are inside the ACTA package.

          In response to a few requests let me add the following talking points:

          * Moving ACTA to WIPO or WTO: In our jargon we call such a demand a “poison pill”. An innocent reasonable demand which demonstrates a problem underlying the process and is unacceptable for its proponents. ACTA is about forum shopping on purpose. ACTA emerged because WTO and WIPO are blocked. Yet, an international treaty of that kind needs to be administered.


Clip of the Day

Mozilla Thunderbird – Quick Filter

Grameen Foundation and Microsoft Misuse the Term ‘Open Source’

Posted in Deception, Finance, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 4:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Grameen Foundation, which has Microsoft ties, apparently promotes predatory loaners and uses terms like “open source” to get attention

THE Grameen Foundation is an interesting subject which we previously explored in (everything except the first post just mentions it briefly):

This so-called ‘foundation’ which is close to Microsoft (many such foundations — including Gates’ — are pro-Westernisation and sometimes for-profit) dresses itself up as ‘open source’, but based on its new press release it’s mostly about loans to poor populations. It’s a shady area because the poor people need to pay back, so they become slaves of the banker or hedge fund in question. We gave examples of this practice before (and below we put a good video from Pilger).

The use of the term “open source” in press releases of the Grameen Foundation seems to be for marketing purposes. In everything we have seen in those press releases (so fat at least) there is no evidence of proper “Open Source” being involved. And speaking of fake open source, since we mentioned Jean Paoli's appearance a few hours ago, here is an expansion on that. Microsoft now promotes all sorts of notions like “Open Cloud”, which is like saying that giving someone else one’s data makes it transparent or more accessible. It is the very opposite, so watch out for the spin machine.

Novell-Funded IDC Sees ‘Studies’ Used by Novell to Deny Loss of Market Impact

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, SLES/SLED, Ubuntu at 3:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Analysts sell out – that’s their business model…”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Summary: Novell is worried about an article which claims loss of interest in SUSE, so it goes to IDC’s bundle of lies (“statistics” gathered the wrong way)

YESTERDAY we mentioned an article where Freelock Computing was quoted as saying that interest in Novell's SUSE seemingly decreased. The argument was mostly anecdotal, but it concurred with and corroborated other stories that we had accumulated and Novell can only attempt to rebut based on IDC numbers, which Novell is sometimes paying for [1, 2]. Novell’s PR team is throwing some numbers out there — numbers which can be interpreted in different ways depending on intent. As the SUSE saying goes, “Have a lot of fud!”

On the other hand, Ballnux has just been selected by NCR for point of sale devices. This is one area where SUSE or SLERT [1, 2], for instance, is not doing too badly.

NCR announced two compact POS (point of sale) devices that run SUSE Linux for Point of Service, as well as a number of Windows operating systems. The RealPOS 40 and RealPOS 60 use Intel Atom and Celeron processors, respectively, offer enhanced energy efficiency, and provide both four powered serial ports and up to eight powered USB ports, the company says.

These POS devices come with Microsoft tax, paid so kindly by Novell for invisible patents that are not even known. Many of Microsoft’s patents are utter junk, such as these absurd patents:

One of the great invention is done by Microsoft is patent on PageUp and PageDown System. http://www.itwire.com/it-industry-news/strategy/20193-microsoft-granted-page-up-page-down-patent Even they have patent on StartButton, AddressBar and many Other stuff.

A loss for SUSE when it is a gain for another GNU/Linux distribution is always good news (Red Hat has a real-time operating system, a desktop one, and a server one too, just like Novell). The fact that Novell felt compelled to address an article about SUSE’s share speaks volumes about Novell’s paranoia (if they did not worry, they would simply ignore this new report and abstain from giving it more attention).

Links 29/7/2010: Linux Foundation Members, New GNOME Shell Mockups

Posted in News Roundup at 3:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux is dough, windows is glass.

    The thing with operating systems, any operating system, is that they have logic errors. In other words they have bugs. Bugs are simply mis-calculations that a programmer has made in designing logic structures or the programmer fumble fingered when typing in a variable and missed an “i” or something (those are the hardest bugs to find :(). For what ever the reason an operating system or its user based programs can, do and will crash. The most important thing is how does the operating system handle this crash.

    Now lets simulate an operating system crash using analogy’s. If you have children, or are a big child yourself (I am fat, grey and balding yet still a child :) then you most probably know about play-doh ™. If you can grab a hold of some then take a handful and throw it at the floor as hard as you can. What happens? It goes splat, and flattens out but is still in one piece. That is what happens when Linux crashes.

    Next find a piece of glass, it could be an old window pain, a bottle (preferably empty from the beer you just finished) or a regular glass that you won’t miss. Take that glass and throw it as hard as you can against the floor. What happens? Of course it smashes into a million pieces. OK, not a million pieces but I am claiming artistic license here :) This is what happens when windows crashes.

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • New Benefits for Linux Foundation Members

      We are extremely lucky to have the support of so many who are individual members of the Linux Foundation. Their $99/year membership helps ensure we can continue protecting, promoting and advancing Linux and support the work of Linus Torvalds himself.

    • Kernel Log: Coming in 2.6.35 (Part 5) – Drivers

      Expanded support for USB 3.0, a new subsystem for the use of infra-red remote controls, and an EDAC driver for Nehalem processors are just a few of the many new or improved drivers.

      In the release email on the sixth beta version of Linux 2.6.35, Torvalds indicated that it could be the last beta for this kernel version, so it’s probable that the final of 2.6.35 will be released in the next few days.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Going fast with DWM

      Likewise, installing DWM couldn’t be easier. Simply download the tarball from dwm.suckless.org and extract the contents. Then run make in the resulting directory. The result is a single executable, dwm. If you then run make install, make will install a man page and install the dwm executable in /usr/local. For testing, I simply ran dwm from my home directory.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat Family

      • Cloud Foundations: Edition One

        Red Hat Cloud Foundations Edition One provides everything needed to help you plan, build, and manage a private cloud today. Red Hat delivers the most complete and comprehensive cloud solutions in the market, with the flexibility that comes only from the open source leader. Red Hat’s cloud vision is unlike that of any other IT vendor. We recognize that IT infrastructure is – and will continue to be – composed of pieces from many different hardware and software vendors that must work together. We recognize that customers want to grow and improve their IT systems and operations gradually and not through wrenching change.

      • Vyatta Takes Open Networking to Japanese Market

        Vyatta, the leader in open networking and network virtualization, today announced it has signed Japanese systems integrator Entertainment Imaginers Inc. (Emaginers) as the first Authorized Vyatta Reseller in Japan and is supporting the newly formed Vyatta Japan User Group. These announcements reflect growing interest in Vyatta’s open networking solutions in Asia.

      • Red Hat Deepens Commitment in Asia-Pacific Region

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced six senior management appointments to boost its Asia Pacific management team and position the company for growth in the region. The appointments include two newly created roles focused on expanding the Red Hat partner ecosystem in Asia Pacific and accelerating the use of open source technology in enterprises in Asia

      • Fedora

        • Criteria and documentation.

          Ideally, anyone in Fedora ought to be able to be absent at any point in our release cycle without unduly affecting any of our release processes. The more we make it possible for any contributor to follow a process like judging against criteria, producing media and art, spinning release candidates, and so forth, the closer we get to that goal. The result is a more sustainable Fedora Project.

    • Debian Family

      • Spotlight on Linux: SimplyMEPIS 8.5.x

        With rock solid stability, a pretty interface, handy applications, original tools, multimedia support, proprietary driver installation, and APT — SimplyMEPIS has it all. The only two characteristics one might see as disadvantages are packages that may be a version or so behind some other cutting-edge distros and repositories are not as fully populated as some of the other larger projects. But SimplyMEPIS is compatible with Debian, so one could use packages from that project if needed. In fact, Debian repositories are already setup in APT/Synaptic. Add to that a one-CD download and easy installer one finds SimplyMEPIS is just simply wonderful.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • UbuntuWeeklyNewsletter/Issue203

          In This Issue

          * Last call for Maverick server papercuts
          * Ubuntu Maverick open for translation
          * Native readers: extending the Beta
          * MOTU Interview: Maia Kozheva (sikon / LucidFox)
          * An Interview With Silver Fox
          * Ubuntu Developer Week Re-Cap
          * Ubuntu Stats
          * Approval and Re Approval Process
          * LoCo Council July Meeting minutes
          * Delivering the Ubuntu Colombia Contact
          * Stepping Down from Ubuntu Bangladesh
          * Dun Laoghaire July Geeknic
          * Ubuntu-fr at Les Vieilles Charrues
          * Launchpad News
          * Ubuntu at Non-Technical Events
          * More cleansweep.
          * Discussion request: multilingual posts on Planet Ubuntu or not?
          * The Official Ubuntu Book – 5th Edition
          * This week in design – 23 July 2010
          * Getting Started with Ubuntu 10.04 is now available in Greek!
          * How to Ask Smart Questions by Martin Owens
          * Ubuntu One iphone client, source code released
          * Ubuntu Translation Teams Healthcheck
          * An invitation to join Ubuntu’s Q&A group on Shapado.com
          * Akademy 30 second interviews, Eben Moglen, Helsinki, Prague
          * “Blog about what you’re doing”
          * Bugs vs Blueprints
          * In The Press
          * In The Blogosphere
          * Windows or Ubuntu?
          * Linux Box To Market Ubuntu
          * Dell drops Ubuntu PCs from website… for now
          * Is Linux Too Much for One Mere Mortal to Handle?
          * Rackspace’s Risky Open Cloud Bet
          * Featured Podcasts
          * Weekly Ubuntu Development Team Meetings
          * Upcoming Meetings and Events
          * Updates and Security
          * and much much more!

        • Flavours and Variants

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Reality Check: The future of smart phones is open

        The future of smartphones is coming, and it is wide open … as in open source.

        The signs are clear that mobile app developers, and by default, designers of smart phones, are marching inexorably toward an open source world. Consider these recent developments…

      • Android

        • How to Choose the Right Android ROM for You

          There are tons of great reasons to root your Android phone, but once you do, you’ll likely be overwhelmed with all the custom ROM options out there. Here’s how to go about finding—and installing—the one that fits your needs.

        • Motorola Droid X Pre-order Backlog Continues

          Motorola Droid X is on its way to become season’s most popular smartphone, as all the Verizon stores have exhausted the stocks till August 4 or even later and the pre-order backlog continues. Motorola needs to be careful here as the backlog might turn into a lost opportunity for the smartphone maker. According to reports, the customers who visited stores since last week have been asked to place pre-orders or order via phone delivery.

        • Motorola Droid X Sold Out Through Aug. 4

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open vSwitch: Can you use an open source distributed virtual switch?

    The Open vSwitch Project – which is backed by network control software startup Nicira Networks – provides downloadable coding for the open source virtual switch, which is licensed under Apache 2. It currently supports Xen, XenServer, KVM and VirtualBox but can be ported to other virtualization environments.

  • Sourcefire Rolls Out Open-Source ‘Razorback’

    The makers of the popular open-source Snort intrusion detection platform today unveiled a new open-source platform — a detection framework that unites existing security tools, including IDS/IPSes.

  • Sony Pictures Imageworks and Industrial Light & Magic Join Forces on ‘ALEMBIC’

    At the ACM SIGGRAPH conference today visual effects houses Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Sony Pictures Imageworks announced a co-developed open source project titled Alembic.

  • Open source Razorback project targets malware, zero-day exploits

    Sourcefire, best known for its Snort intrusion-prevention technology, Tuesday is unveiling a new open source project called Razorback that’s designed to spot malware and especially zero-day exploits.

  • What Happens

    I wanted to play with brush lines and I was thinking back to a chat I had with my good friend David about Free Software and lack of User attachment to sticking with Free products when their only desire is practicality. This of course can make a very transient user base who will leave at the first sign of trouble.

  • Events

    • Update from OSCON: The Open Source Movement Tackles Health Care

      Many people argue that because open source involves a community of developers always working to improve the code, open source actually encourages more rapid innovation and improvement than does a closed, proprietary system. And while it’s taken several years to make this case, open source has seen widespread adoption in enterprise. Companies no longer balk (as much) at the thought of using tools like Apache, Linux, or Mozilla Firefox, all open source software. And while enterprise application remains much of the focus of open source development and of the OSCON conference, the event introduced a health care track, pointing to the myriad of ways in which open source technologies, along with open data, can enhance health care delivery.

  • SaaS

    • Twitter to Open Data Center in Salt Lake City Area

      Twitter said the new facility will provide it with “a much larger footprint in a building designed specifically around [its] unique power and cooling needs,” while housing “a mixed-vendor environment for servers running open source OS and applications”.

  • CMS

  • Business

    • Adobe buying Day – Quick Analysis

      Others have hit up the content management angle (there important here-and-now) and the open source angle (which is definitely interesting given Day’s involvement with Apache). I’ll go over one longer term idea of of how the commendation of existing Adobe assets (including, most importantly Omniture) and Day gets close to a new category of IT use.

    • Openbravo achieves 1.7 million downloads, records demand for Professional Edition, and 160 new add-on modules

      Openbravo web-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for small and mid-sized businesses has now been downloaded more than 1.7 million times, making Openbravo the leading provider in its market space.

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Hybrid licensing strategies for open source monetization

        Open core and open foundation have different evolutionary lineages: open core is a variation on dual licensing as practiced by the likes of MySQL and Sleepycat that also borrows heavily on the value-added subscription model as practiced by Red Hat and JBoss. Meanwhile open foundation has its roots in the commercialization of BSD, which pre-dates the concepts of open source and free software, as well as Apache.

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD Foundation Newsletter, July 27, 2010

      In this Edition:

      * Letter From the President
      * Fundraising Update
      * Flattened Device Tree Project
      * Userland DTrace Project
      * FreeBSD Jail Based Virtualization Project
      * Resource Containers Project
      * HA Storage Project
      * BSNMP Improvements
      * DAHDI FreeBSD driver port
      * FreeBSD Lectures Captioning Project
      * Upgrades to the Ports Building Cluster
      * AsiaBSDCon 2010
      * BSDCan 2010
      * BSD Toolchain Summit
      * MeetBSD Poland 2010
      * 2010 Grant and Travel Grant Recipients
      * Testimonial – Building a Business on FreeBSD
      * Financials

  • Licensing

    • What’s in a License?

      The GPL ensures that any developer who works on a piece of software is given copyright to the portion they worked on and gives users and other developers the right to copy, distribute, and/or modify it. So, if I find a piece of open source software that I find useful, I can legally send copies of that program to all my friends and colleagues who can use it and pass it along as well. Just try this with Microsoft Vista which has strict requirements in the EULA with the number of installations allowed.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • OGC and OSGeo collaborate on documentation

      According to Cameron Shorter, coordinator of the OSGeo-Live project, “OGC standards underpin our geospatial Open Source applications, and hence OGC this support from the OGC will greatly enhance the Open Source documentation being developed.”

    • Open Data

      • The Public Access Crusade of Carl Malamud

        Despite being public property, government documents are not necessarily free or easy to obtain. Carl Malamud of Public.Resource.Org details his decades-long quest for open access to “America’s Operating System.”

  • Standards/Consortia


  • Google’s Mobile Search Market Share: An Estimated, Whopping 98.29%

    Google currently boasts a mobile search market share of 98.29%, with it closest competitor Yahoo taking up just over 0.8% of market share and Microsoft’s Bing barely touching even half that, according to recent data from StatCounter as relayed by Pingdom.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Britain to launch Afghan war inquiry

      The performance of the US-led foreign troops in the Afghan war was further undermined this week after whistleblower site Wikileaks published thousands of secret military documents unveiling that foreign armies fighting in Afghanistan indiscriminately killed civilians and tried to cover up civilian casualties.

      The British parliament’s defense committee is an influential panel whose inquiries are aimed at scrutinizing the government’s performance.

    • The Inevitability of Wikileaks

      In a world that already hosts 4chan, Pirate Bay, and a whole host of spammers, crackers, and other malefactors, it’s crazy to think that a host would not be found for secrets governments don’t want revealed.

    • Stratfor.com: WikiLeaks and the Afghan War

      At first glance, it is difficult to imagine a single database in which such a diverse range of intelligence was stored, or the existence of a single individual cleared to see such diverse intelligence stored across multiple databases and able to collect, collate and transmit the intelligence without detection. Intriguingly, all of what has been released so far has been not-so-sensitive material rated secret or below. The Times reports that Gul’s name appears all over the documents, yet very few documents have been released in the current batch, and it is very hard to imagine intelligence on Gul and his organization, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate, being classified as only secret. So, this was either low-grade material hyped by the media, or there is material reviewed by the selected newspapers but not yet made public. Still, what was released and what the Times discussed is consistent with what most thought was happening in Afghanistan.

  • Environment

    • US food waste worth more than offshore drilling

      MORE energy is wasted in the perfectly edible food discarded by people in the US each year than is available in oil and gas reserves off the nation’s coastlines.

      Recent estimates suggest that 16 per cent of the energy consumed in the US is used to produce food. Yet at least 25 per cent of food is wasted each year. Michael Webber and Amanda Cuellar at the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Texas at Austin calculate that this is the equivalent of about 2150 trillion kilojoules lost each year.

  • Finance

    • Initial jobless claims drop to 457,000

      New jobless claims fell last week for the third time in four weeks but remain elevated. The decline is a sign that the economy likely added jobs in July, although not enough to lower the nation’s high unemployment rate.

    • AP survey: A bleaker outlook for economy into 2011

      The latest quarterly AP Economy Survey shows economists have turned gloomier in the past three months. They foresee weaker growth and higher unemployment than they did before. As a result, the economists think the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates near zero until at least next spring.

    • With Squeeze on Credit, Microlending Blossoms

      Amanda Keppert is convinced that she would have lost Mandy’s Korner, her hot dog stand in San Jose, Calif., if she had not received a type of loan that is more common in the third world than in the United States.

    • Fed’s Report Shows Slowing Growth

      While the economy has continued to pick up, growth has become uneven in recent weeks, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday in its latest regional report. In some regions, the Fed said, economic activity had started to slow.

    • Republicans block small business lending bill

      The bill would create a $30 billion government fund to help community banks increase lending to small businesses, combining it with about $12 billion in tax breaks aimed at small businesses. Democrats say banks should be able to use the lending fund to leverage up to $300 billion in loans to small businesses, helping to loosen tight credit markets.

    • Job Subsidies Also Provide Help to Private Sector

      States are putting hundreds of thousands of people directly into jobs through programs reminiscent of the more ambitious work projects of the Great Depression.

    • Foreclosure activity up across most US metro areas

      Households across a majority of large U.S. cities received more foreclosure warnings in the first six months of this year than in the first half of 2009, new data shows.

      The trend is the latest sign that the nation’s foreclosure crisis is worsening as homeowners battling high unemployment, slow job growth and an uneven rebound in home prices continue to fall behind on their mortgage payments.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Fans lend their voices to Fairouz, the silenced diva

      Fans of Fairouz, the Arab world’s most famous singer, are up in arms about a bitter legal row that has stopped her performing live. From Beirut to the Gulf – and as far away as Australia – the diva’s supporters are making their voices heard to complain that she is being cruelly silenced.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • $17M for Legal Fees Is Money Well Spent, RIAA Says

        The Recording Industry Association of America is defending more than $17 million spent on legal fees in 2008 after bloggers claimed the organization’s aggressive pursuit of damages for illegal downloading was yielding little legal in the way of legal recoveries.

Clip of the Day

Climate Denial Crock of the Week – Heatwave Edition Part 2

Giving Your Data to Microsoft, Now Available as ‘Open Source’ (for Windows Only)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 12:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Industrial mist

Summary: Another fresh look at what Microsoft means when it talks about Open Source inside the company (Fog Computing and lock-in)

ONE of Microsoft’s top boosters, Marius Oiaga, occasionally plays along with the Microsoft deception about “Open Source” and the likes of that. Many boosters of the company do not do this, but Oiaga does indeed. He did this again some days ago and Microsoft is seen pretending to be open with the word “Interoperability” and other buzzwords. We saw this before and last week we posted a long rebuttal. They essentially reuse the same talking points, so this rebuttal possibly applies to many public talks where Microsoft deceives the audience.

Jean Paoli, known to us for his role in the corruption-filled pursuit for a rubber stamp for OOXML, says things like “We have produced several useful open source tools and SDKs for developers, including the Windows Azure Command-line Tools for PHP,” but guess what? It’s Windows-only software that only serves Microsoft in the sense that it helps put people’s data inside Microsoft’s datacentres (Fog Computing). Watch out for Microsoft’s (mis)use of the term “Open Source”, or at least the general principles.

Fedora’s Wildeboer Says Microsoft Uses Intel-Like Illegal Tactics to Marginalise Competition

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 12:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Acer Aspire

Summary: “Acer has a contract with MSFT that only gives them deep discount when they pit Win on *all* machines,” alleges a Red Hat employee

Jan Wildeboer, who works for Red Hat, responded to Glyn Moody’s rant that Acer netbooks will dual-boot the Linux-based Android and Windows XP (instead of just Android as originally planned). The Windows part seems like the ‘freebie’, not Android, so Moody asks “and why, exactly?”

It sure seems like a form of dumping and the use of XP as opposed to Vista 7 matches what we already know about Windows that’s sold for $5 apiece, given away for free, or reportedly involves Microsoft paying the OEM to saddle all machines with Windows. There are different ways of “compensating” OEMs, or passing kickbacks.

Wildeboer says that Acer has a contract with Microsoft and that it “only gives them deep discount when they pit Win on *all* machines, so even when user only uses Android, it is still a +1 on MSFT license sales”

“Acer has a contract with MSFT that only gives them deep discount when they pit Win on *all* machines.”
      –Jan Wildeboer
That’s probably illegal because Microsoft is a monopoly. The recent Dell-Intel scandal helps defend such an accusation [1, 2].

Red Hat or Google can hopefully challenge such tactics in court. Wildeboer does not seem to believe it would be productive. He also claims that it “has been like that for 20 years now. DoJ ignores.”

Well, just over a decade ago Microsoft had cronies put inside the US Department of ‘Justice’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] . Some say this can explain why no government lawsuit against Microsoft has been filed since then. The monopoly abuse carried on.

“A lot of people make that analogy that competing with Bill Gates is like playing hardball. I’d say it’s more like a knife fight.”

Gary Clow, famous Microsoft victim

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