IRC Proceedings: December 8th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 8/12/2010: GNU/Linux Hits 5% Market Share in W3schools, Tour of Diaspora

Posted in News Roundup at 6:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • W3schools: Linux hits 5% OS market share in November

    According to their visitor stats Linux now commands 5% of the Operating System market – the first time it has ever reached this milestone since w3schools records began seven years ago.

    This figure compounds the previous three months which saw Linux got from a market-share high of 4.9% in August only to fall back to 4.6% in September.

  • Linux and Windows Integration

    Some good advantages that I found in Virtual Box are the following:

    VirtualBox 3 is a desktop virtual machine application using a “Type 2″ hypervisor that requires a compatible host operating system (Linux, Windows, Macintosh, or OpenSolaris) and computer hardware based on x86 or AMD64/Intel64 to function
    The installation of Virtual Box is pretty straightforward, but there are a few issues that I will describe later.
    You can easily install many different Operating systems and the performance is pretty good. You can read a list of the supported Operating Systems at virtualbox.org/
    Creating a VM is fast and easy, thanks to a VM creation wizard that takes you step-by-step through creating your guest VM.

  • Userful Corporation: Introducing the $59 Linux Desktop Computer — Userful MultiSeat

    Userful Corporation, the global leader in Linux desktop virtualization, has released Userful MultiSeat 4.0, software which turns one Linux computer into 11 high performance independent computer stations using standard USB devices such as the HP t100, Wyse E01, MCT MWS 8820, and DisplayLink devices. Userful MultiSeat enables schools and businesses to deploy more than twice as many computers for the same cost, while enabling up to 11 users to use different applications at the same time from one host computer, each with their own monitor, keyboard, and mouse. At just $59 per seat (education pricing), Userful MultiSeat is the lowest cost computing solution available with the features and performance of a full desktop computer.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

  • Google

    • An update on Chrome, the Web Store and Chrome OS

      On the Chrome team, we’re constantly amazed by the speed of innovation on the web. We designed Chrome to make the web shine, and we hope our upcoming efforts will help support this vibrant ecosystem even more. By making the web faster, helping people discover great apps, and making computers more fun to use, the next year of computing should be even more exciting than the last one.

    • A New Crankshaft for V8
    • Google unveils Cr-48, the first Chrome OS laptop

      We’ve had plenty of pre-knowledge on this, but surprisingly this is our first actual glimpse of Google’s new unbranded “Cr-48,” the very first Chrome OS laptop. Google will distribute the laptop through its Chrome OS Pilot Program, in a sort of public beta.

    • Hands on with Google’s Chrome Web Store

      Google launched the Chrome Web Store yesterday during a press briefing, during which the search giant also demonstrated its upcoming Chrome OS platform. The Web Store allows users to “install” Web applications, making them easily accessible from Chrome’s new tab page.

    • 10 Things We Want to See in Chrome OS

      If the target is netbooks, as Google execs have implied, then good luck to Google: The market unanimously rejected a non-market-leading OS when Linux netbooks were offered a couple years ago and quickly updated to run Windows XP. And Chrome OS is basically the Chrome browser running atop a Google-customized version of Linux. For those who simply want to browse the Web, watch online videos, and perhaps do a bit of work on documents, there’s no reason why a lightweight Web-centric OS shouldn’t be welcomed.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation Announces Certifications to Linux Standard Base 4.0 and Public Beta 4.1

      The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that all the leading commercial Linux companies are certified to Linux Standard Base 4.0 (LSB 4.0), including Canonical, Kylin, Linpus, Mandriva, Neoshine, Novell, Oracle, Red Flag and Red Hat.

      The Linux Foundation has also released a beta of the LSB 4.1 and is soliciting feedback from the public. The official release of LSB 4.1 is expected in January. For more details, please visit: https://www.linuxfoundation.org/en/LSB_4.1_Beta.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Amarok 2.4 Beta 1 Brings A Basket Of Features

        Highlights of Amarok 2.4 include trans-coding support, a brand-new (completely rewritten) music collection scanner, support for writing back tags to music files (such as the album art covers, number of play counts, etc), a mass-tagging user-interface provided by Musicbrainz, Apple iPod Touch 3G support, compatibility with other newer media players / music devices, a new applet for guitar and bass tab information, and other new applets and improvements.

      • Amarok 2.4 Beta 1 “Closer” Released
      • A week in the life of a KDE e.V. board member

        Diplomacy. The board of KDE e.V. is one of the few groups of people in KDE, which is formally elected. Thanks to German association law, which is the governing law for our organization, this is a very solid, well-founded, democratic process. So the board is well legitimated to represent KDE. This comes with responsibility, as sometimes the board is asked for official decisions and guidance. Today we had to deal with one of these requests. These issues are not always easy to handle. While they certainly are one of the more challenging parts of the board work, I think they are also one of the more important parts. Having the board to handle these issues allows the community to get things moving, where it would be much harder without officially legitimated people.

      • digiKam Tricks 1.3 Released

        Readers who already purchased the book will receive the new version free of charge.

      • a rose by any other name

        I’m going to share my thoughts on Calligra in this blog entry, but I am not a member of the Calligra team. I do follow the mailing lists, and have spoken to several of the people involved over the last year about the various situations. This affords me a somewhat special viewpoint: I’m fairly aware of what’s been going on, but not directly involved.

      • Calligra, past, present, future, a few answers
      • calligra
      • K* == bad

        KDE must have grown so big and old that it became unpopular to be associated with it. At least I cannot help having this sentiment after observing a couple of sub-projects trying hard to not be tied to KDE too closely.

      • KDE — and proud of it!

        I think Harri somehow made a mistake in his recent blog on K* == Bad. The Calligra community isn’t moving away from KDE at all. We’re also not pre-empting the KDE move to git — we’re using the excellent KDE infrastructure for hosting git projects. Not only that, but KO GmbH, the company founded by some KOffice community members, actually sponsored the conversion of KOffice from subversion to git. And we’re sponsoring the conversion of the KDE kdelibs and kdebase module as well. And Marijn, the Calligra Tables maintainer, he is also maintaining the KDE kdelibs packages for MeeGo.

    • GNOME Desktop

      • Getting Things GNOME – Useful Tool to Get Things Done!

        Getting Things Gnome(GTG) is a nice and simple tool to organize and manage your tasks and time efficiently. GTG uses a very handy text edition system for task creation and edition. The task editor can automatically recognize metadata such as tags and subtasks only by the use of a very simple syntax.

      • GNOME 3 T-shirt Contest

        Could you translate your love/excitement/anticipation for GNOME 3.0 into a kick-ass T-shirt design? Want to win money in the process?

    • Xfce

      • Xfce 4.8.0 on Track for January Release

        Xfce, the little desktop that could, is steadily progressing toward its January release with several developmental builds. Xfce 4.6.2 was released last May and since the project has been working hard on its next release branch which will incorporate major changes to the core as well as several new features. The latest snapshot was recently released featuring a long list of improvements.

  • Distributions

    • Interview with Vilhelm von Ehrenheim

      Picked Gentoo to play for and won Robot Fight Night, so $400 US was donated to the Gentoo Foundation to pay for Gentoo Development and Services, etc.

    • Three middleweights

      Truth is, for every distro I find or that is suggested, I get two more suggestions for distros I wouldn’t put on a Pentium III, let alone on a lowly 120Mhz Pentium.

    • TurnKey Linux—High On Steroids

      What happens when your online team asks for a Drupal or WordPress server, or you require a file server for your branch office really quickly? The answer is that you rush to your Web browser, and start doing Google searches for how-tos, or juggle your ISO collection of distros, spins and remixes.

    • Red Hat Family

      • New Scientific Linux 6 Alpha Is Out

        Whatever the one I downloaded and installed dated 15th October 2010 was, apparently Alpha 1 was just released to the SL servers a few days ago on 03 December. Here’s a link to a short README for release notes. It also says that an improved SL 6 Alpha 2 is to be expected exactly a week later on Friday 10 December.

      • How Red Hat democratized our corporate citizenship program

        Community contribution has long been an important topic at Red Hat.

      • ‘Tis the Season to Celebrate the Open Source Way

        We’re in the holiday spirit at Red Hat and celebrating the best way we know how – the open source way! Open source is not only a superior model for software development which has helped Red Hat grow its business, it’s also a great way to leverage the power of collective philanthropy. Red Hat associates in the United States have put this power of collective philanthropy to work in selecting a charity for the company’s annual holiday donation.

      • Red Hat: more reliable than Microsoft, apparently…

        With Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 now cutting its way into the enterprise-calibre open source operating systems space, there is much to talk about as the terms security and virtualisation are increasingly used to highlight its key new features.

        It has been almost eight years since the first release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat says it has experienced no major changes to the ABI (application binary interface) or API (application programming interface) that might otherwise affect application compatibility since the Release Candidate stage was announced a few months back.

      • Red Hat Enhances Active Decision Management with Launch of Next Generation Business Rules Management System
      • Red Hat: Morgan Stanley Says Buy On Improving Cash Flow

        Shares of Linux distributor Red Hat (RHT) are up 72 cents, or 1.5%, at $47.64 after Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Holt this morning raised his rating on the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight following a meeting with the company’s CFO, Charlie Peters.

      • Street upgrade sends Red Hat to 52-week high

        Shares in Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) jumped to a 52-week high of $49 Tuesday after Wall Street analyst firm Morgan Stanley upgraded its stock.

        Red Hat closed Monday at $46.92 but opened Tuesday at $47.52.

      • And Then There Was One: Red Hat

        There are only days left until 2010 is done, and this year is one that anyone interested in open source should remember for a long time, because it was the year that every single U.S. public company focused on open source lost its independence, except one: Red Hat. With the news of Novell’s sale still fresh, and with Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems fading in the rear view mirror, it’s easy to forget that Novell and Sun were both once-mighty commercial open source-focused companies that are only shells of themselves now. Meanwhile, Red hat marches on to quarter after quarter of financial success with its own open source strategy. What has Red Hat done right?

      • Fedora

        • Goodbye Fedora 12

          The Fedora 12 (Constantine) operating system reached end of life on December 2nd, 2010. This means that, starting four days ago, users of Fedora 12 no longer receive security/critical fixes and software updates. Therefore, all Fedora 12 users are urged to upgrade to the most recent version, Fedora 14, as soon as possible.

    • Debian Family

      • State of the Debian-Ubuntu relationship

        In Lucas’s eyes, the success of Ubuntu creates new problems.

      • Inappropriate use of the Debian logo?

        The point here is the swirl is not trademark…

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Unity Applications View Mockups
        • Official Ubuntu Advertising Team is Now Alive and Kicking, Needs Your Support!

          Official Ubuntu Advertising Team is now alive and kicking. The team is focused on advertising and sharing the love of Ubuntu with others through various mediums. The project strives to produce professional quality advertisements and promotions and deliver them to the general public. And the support of awesome Ubuntu user community is the inevitable part.

        • Unity Linux 2010.02 Includes an Updated Branching Tool

          Unity Linux 2010.02 has been released. It’s the second snapshot of the 2010 build and comes with a number of updated packages from the previous two releases as well as improvements to the “mklivecd” and “unity-installer” tools.

        • Flavours and Variants

          • Linux Mint 10 review

            Verdict: 5/5
            All in all, Linux Mint 10 is a very likeable release. It doesn’t introduce any new features, but a slew of tiny yet important tweaks improve the overall usability of the system, making it the best alternative to Ubuntu. While Linux Mint 10 doesn’t introduce any new features, it sports a few refinements and improvements that make this distro a real pleasure to use.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Smart 3G router runs Linux

      Opengear has begun shipping a line of “smart” Linux-based cellular routers. The ACM5004-G routers support remote management via 3G, offering console server functionality and control of devices with serial, USB, Ethernet and digital I/O interfaces.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Big Buck Bunny Trailer Sighting on Google Nexus S Page!

          Big Buck Bunny is one among the three Blender Foundation produced open movies, others being Elephant’s Dream and Sintel[watch them all]. And the webpage for Google’s very own Android 2.3 powered Nexus S Phone shows the Big Buck Bunny trailer to illustrate the ‘Entertainment on the Go’ section!

Free Software/Open Source

  • McNealy to Ellison: How to duck death by open source

    Having sold Sun to billionaire yacht-racer Ellison, McNealy is now doing unpaid work. He advises startups for no salary or retainer, he sits on the board of Curriki [5] — a project he created to deliver free, open source educational materials for kids in the US up to college age — and he speaks at the odd event, such as last month’s PostgreSQL West 2010, where I caught up with him.

  • maddog the catalyst

    I am proud that a few words of mine helped to start an open source development center in Soweto, Africa (one year later I found out about this), and I am proud that a talk I gave in 1999 inspired Mark Spencer to make Asterisk a FOSS project (discovered this in 2001). I am proud that I helped get Linus an Alpha processor and encouraged him to make Linux a 64-bit operating system (three-year payback on this one), and I am proud of the many students and FOSS developers and advocates that I have helped along the way. I still receive letters from students I have not seen for thirty years, as well as newer students.

  • Web Browsers

    • If Web Browsers Were Celebrities..

      Now, here is something interesting for you all. The following infographic lists your favorite browsers with interesting ‘character’ description.

    • Mozilla

      • Open This Story in a New Tab

        Considering the virtual reams of data we generate for companies like Facebook every day, they give us awful little in return. While they sell the information to third parties or use it to display targeted advertisements, we’re left with a largely anecdotal understanding of Internet habits. We can install programs to track our personal Internet usage, but it’s difficult to place these individual habits in a broader context. I may spend two hours a day surfing around, but how does that compare to my peers? Enter Firefox, the open-source project that happens to be the world’s second-most-popular browser.*

      • Firefox 4 offers silent add-on updates

        Firefox 4 will automatically update the browser’s extensions, a Mozilla interface designer said Sunday.

  • Oracle

    • Apache loses Java showdown vote to Oracle

      The Reg has learned that with 75 per cent of qualifying Java Community Process (JCP) members having voted on whether to ratify Oracle’s proposed roadmap for Java 7 and 8, Oracle’s plan has been accepted.

  • CMS

    • Screenshot Tour of Diaspora, the Open-Source Social Network

      With all the bad press surrounding Facebook this past year, a lot of us are looking for a good alternative. That’s the need the new, open-source, user-controled social network Diaspora aims to fill. Here’s what it looks like so far.


    • €189m European Commission sofware deal

      The European Commission’s (EC) largest ever software contract is in “direct contradiction” of EU guidelines, according to campaign group Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).

      The EC signed the €189m SACHA II software framework deal last week, as revealed by Computerweekly.com.

      But the deal contravenes numerous EU rules and guidelines calling persistently to implement non-proprietary computer systems, said the FSFE

      FSFE president Karsten Gerloff said in a statement that by striking such deals “the Commission is digging itself deeper into the vendor lock-in hole,” when it should be seeking to be more independent of vendors and making great use of open software and open standards.

      The FSFE said SACHA II contradicted European competition rules by discriminating in favour of proprietary software vendors.

      The contract also ignored the EC’s Digital Agenda, which called in May for IT systems to be “open and interoperable”, said the FSFE.

  • Project Releases

    • Bye-Bye Test Profiles & Suites; Hi OpenBenchmarking.org

      For those not tracking the Phorogit code of the Phoronix Test Suite, all of the test profiles and test suites living within our open-source benchmarking software have been removed. All 130+ test profiles and ~50 test suites have been dropped, as they’re no longer living within the benchmarking package.

  • Government

    • [Richard Stallman to] Dear President Elect Rousseff and the Citizens of Brazil

      Then, after establishing a levy for the sake “compensation”, establish a second additional levy (equal or greater in amount) for supporting authors and artists. The wasteful, misdirected plan for “compensation” should not be a replacement for the useful, efficient plan. So implement the useful, efficient plan that supports artists directly, because that is good for society, and implement the “compensation” required by the WTO but only so long as the WTO retains the power to impose it.

    • Federal Government Adopting Open Source for Data Center Consolidation

      Open-source software is growing in popularity as government IT managers are selecting open-source stacks as part of their data center consolidation strategy.


  • Silicon Valley’s Talent War

    As soon as top employees exit the doors of their high profile company, you can bet that other Silicon Valley tech companies are already clamoring to snatch up these valued industry professionals. Here is how they are taking the talent from one another, who’s winning and who’s losing.

  • Is Facebook the new Apple?

    This brings me to the question, is Facebook the new Apple? With unrelenting press coverage and a desire by some bloggers to see everything get killed by Facebook, are we witnessing a new ‘cult of Facebook’ in the making?

  • Google eBooks 404 page tips spear to Twitter, would make Ahab proud
  • Oracle talks up Solaris 11 Unix release
  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • A victory for common sense

      The Commissioner this morning has issued a statement confirming that parents ought to be free to photograph their children in nativity plays without the fear of being told to desist by school staff worried about violating the Data Protection Act.

    • WikiLeaks’ Revelations that Bush and Obama Put Pressure on Germany and Spain Not to Investigate US Torture

      In the relatively small number of US diplomatic cables released to date by WikiLeaks, from its cache of 251,287 documents, the most disturbing revelations concerning the “War on Terror” deal with the pressure that the Bush administration exerted on Germany in 2007, regarding the planned prosecution of thirteen CIA agents involved in the rendition and torture of Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen seized as a result of mistaken identity, and the pressure that the Obama administration exerted on the Spanish government in 2009, to derail a criminal investigation into the role played by six senior Bush administration lawyers in establishing the policies that governed the interrogation — and torture — of prisoners seized in the “War on Terror.”

      Neither of these developments had been reported prior to the release of the cables by WikiLeaks, and they are therefore extremely significant in establishing how long Bush administration officials were involved in fending off torture investigations overseas, and how eagerly Obama administration officials took up this role.

    • Targeted Killing: “A Unique and Extraordinary Case”

      “A unique and extraordinary case” is how a federal judge described our lawsuit, with the Center for Constitutional Rights, challenging the Obama administration’s targeted killing policy.

      We brought the case on behalf of Nasser Al-Aulaqi, whose U.S. citizen son, Anwar Al-Aulaqi, has been put on a secret hit list by the government. In a decision issued today, the judge emphasized that the case raises critically important questions, including whether “the Executive [can] order the assassination of a U.S. citizen without first affording him any form of judicial process whatsoever, based on the mere assertion that he is a dangerous member of a terrorist organization.” The court nevertheless dismissed the case on the basis of “standing” — ruling that our client does not have the right to represent the interests of his son — and on the grounds that the case raises “political questions” that are not subject to judicial review. He did not rule on the merits of the case.

      The ramifications of the court’s decision are breathtaking.

    • As The Feds Seize Domains, More Attention Paid To How Law Enforcement Regularly Abuses Asset Seizures

      Given our serious concerns over the legality of Homeland Security’s domain name seizures, one thing we keep hearing from supporters of the effort is that asset seizures are “nothing new” and happen all of the time. We’ve already discussed how that’s not exactly true — and how pre-trial seizures are supposed to be focused on situations where evidence might get destroyed. But it’s even worse than that. It appears that law enforcement has a long, and rather dubious, history of greatly abusing the ability to seize property for their own benefit.

    • Tony Blair summoned back to Iraq inquiry to be quizzed over new evidence

      Tony Blair is to be summoned back to the official inquiry into the Iraq invasion in light of damaging and conflicting evidence revealed since he appeared as a witness earlier this year.

      Blair will give evidence between 18 January and 4 February next year along with Admiral Lord Boyce, the former chief of the defence staff, and Jack Straw, the former foreign secretary. Three successive cabinet secretaries who operated at the heart of Whitehall will also be called.

    • How the Oligarchs Took Over America

      There is a war underway. I’m not talking about Washington’s bloody misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, but a war within our own borders. It’s a war fought on the airwaves, on television and radio and over the Internet, a war of words and images, of half-truth, innuendo, and raging lies. I’m talking about a political war, pitting liberals against conservatives, Democrats against Republicans. I’m talking about a spending war, fueled by stealthy front groups and deep-pocketed anonymous donors. It’s a war that’s poised to topple what’s left of American democracy.

    • Someone Should Tell The State Dept That The State Dept Is Hosting World Press Freedom Day

      Apparently all of the folks with an ounce of PR sense in the State Department were busy responding to Wikileaks issues. That’s about the only explanation I can come up with for why the State Department still decided to push forward with its announcement that it will be hosting UNESCO’s ‘World Press Freedom Day’ next May, right as it’s been attacking Wikileaks left and right for showing how a free press really works.

  • Cablegate

    • Julian Assange has made us all safer

      Every one of us owes a debt to Julian Assange. Thanks to him, we now know that our governments are pursuing policies that place you and your family in considerably greater danger. It’s only because of his leaks that we know the US government has secretly launched war on yet another Muslim country, sanctioned torture, kidnapped innocent people from the streets of free countries and intimidated the police into hushing it up, and covered up the killing of 15,000 civilians – five times the number killed on 9/11. Each one of these acts has increased the number of jihadis. We can only change these policies if we know about them – and Assange has given us the black-and-white proof.

      Each of the wikileaks revelations has been carefully weighed to ensure there is a public interest in disclosing it. Of the more than 250,000 documents they hold, they have released fewer than 1000 – and each of those has had the names of informants, or any information that could place anyone at risk, removed. The information they have released covers areas where our governments are defying the will of their own citizens, and hiding the proof from them.

    • WikiLeaks cables: US ‘lobbied Russia on behalf of Visa and MasterCard’

      A state department cable released this afternoon by WikiLeaks reveals that US diplomats intervened to try to amend a draft law going through Russia’s Duma. Their explicit aim was to ensure the new law did not “disadvantage” the two US firms, the cable states.

      The revelation comes a day after Visa – apparently acting under intense pressure from Washington – announced it was suspending all payments to WikiLeaks, the whistle-blowing website. Visa was following MasterCard, PayPal and Amazon, all of which have severed ties with the site and its founder Julian Assange in the last few days.

      The companies have justified their decision to stop donations on the grounds that WikiLeaks is acting “illegally”. Each has quickly become the target of sustained online revenge attacks by disgruntled hackers, with mastercard.com paralysed today.

    • Trans: My day with Internet War pt. 1/?

      More mirrors were being created, and in the evening we could count up to something like 84 of them in the mirror list, it was quite a lot to keep track of. To do this they, just as I would have, started a pad where you could help to list and sort all mirrors. It started in ietherpad but they only allow 16 people in a pad at the time, normally that’s a lot. In this case it was peanuts. It was moved over to Mozillas open pad, and from what I’ve read even they got a taste of the DDoS to kill Wikileaks. The list was moved over to Tumblr, and from what I’ve seen they have not had any problems with attacks yet.

    • Australia says U.S, not WikiLeaks founder, responsible for leaks

      “Mr Assange is not himself responsible for the unauthorized release of 250,000 documents from the U.S. diplomatic communications network,” Rudd told Reuters in an interview.

    • Ex-Intelligence Officers, Others See Plusses in WikiLeaks Disclosures

      The following statement was released today, signed by Daniel Ellsberg, Frank Grevil, Katharine Gun, David MacMichael, Ray McGovern, Craig Murray, Coleen Rowley and Larry Wilkerson; all are associated with Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.

      WikiLeaks has teased the genie of transparency out of a very opaque bottle, and powerful forces in America, who thrive on secrecy, are trying desperately to stuff the genie back in. The people listed below this release would be pleased to shed light on these exciting new developments.

    • How the U.S. can now extradite Assange

      Now that Julian Assange is in custody of British authorities on a warrant for alleged sex crimes in Sweden, Obama administration officials may well be working behind the scenes to secure his extradition to the United States, an international criminal law expert tells Salon.

      Assange has not been charged with a crime in the United States — though it’s possible that there is an arrest warrant or indictment under seal. The Obama Justice Department has repeatedly suggested that it is going after Assange, though officials have not said what law they believe Assange has broken (and experts say that making any case against him could prove difficult).

    • Wikileaks under attack: the definitive timeline

      On Sunday 28 November Wikileaks began releasing the first of its 250,000 leaked US embassy cables. Almost immediately, a hacking attack known as a “DDOS” – distributed denial of service – attack tried to knock it off the net. These are the attacks that have followed in the succeeding days.

    • Discernement

      In fact there’s two ways to understand what the Wikileaks cables’disclosure reveal. One is the factual disclosure of actions, affairs, skeletons in the closet, various projects and information that enlightens the perception of the US Government on worldwide topics. You can feed anti-Western sentiment or anti-american feelings with this material, but frankly it’s not like these two memes would be fading away anytime soon without the leaks. Another one is the notion that all of a sudden transparency will fix the state of the world, starting with America. Transparency helps, but some things have to remain buried for a long time, some things are not meant to be disclosed. And talking about transparency, we should not be anymore naive and demand that the same kind of information be disclosed from countries like Iran or North Korea: I’m sure it would highlight another well-known reality: that US or democratic countries are not just no worse, but are in fact much better than these countries (some people are ready to absolve them from their wrongdoings on various grounds).

    • Don’t shoot messenger for revealing uncomfortable truths
    • Lieberman: New York Times may be investigated for espionage
    • Ellsberg: “EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”

      The following statement was released today, signed by Daniel Ellsberg, Frank Grevil, Katharine Gun, David MacMichael, Ray McGovern, Craig Murray, Coleen Rowley and Larry Wilkerson; all are associated with Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.

      WikiLeaks has teased the genie of transparency out of a very opaque bottle, and powerful forces in America, who thrive on secrecy, are trying desperately to stuff the genie back in. The people listed below this release would be pleased to shed light on these exciting new developments.

    • War on Wikileaks: Narratives that distract from the truth

      The ongoing story related to the release of over a quarter of a million US diplomatic cables is a good example of the workings of the global media, an industry tasked with the formation of public opinion in the world.

      The picture emerging is consistent – an industry whose primary task is truth is instead dominated by bias, distortion, misinformation and propaganda. But Wikileaks is a movement that is difficult to suppress.

      The pattern of misinformation was, of course, put into perspective by the handful of media reporting accurately on the story. Newspapers like the Guardian in the UK and Der Spiegel in Germany are doing a tremendous job of laying out the facts, as is the community-based US broadcast network Democracy Now by providing historical and social context to the information contained in the leaks.

      Yet, these are not the media with the largest audiences.

      Those audiences are commanded by the TV networks, and it is there that the misinformation is at its greatest. Instead of informed debate, audiences are getting distracting narratives. The result is a public misinformed on the purpose and impact of Wikileaks and its efforts.

      The consolidation of global media, its ownership in the hands of a few multinational conglomerates, has been well documented. The dominance of government and corporate interests on the public agenda is not a surprise. The ongoing media coverage in the West on the release of US diplomatic cables offers a glimpse into media complicity in the unfettered advancement of the neoliberal agenda around the world and its impact on environmental degradation, human rights and social justice.

      From demonising Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange to linking Wikileaks with terrorism, networks such as CNN are doing a very good job of towing the US government line. By consistently attacking the credibility of Wikileaks, they attempt to marginalise and cast doubt on the facts of the story.

    • Why Wikileaks is Labeled a “Terrorist Organization,” and the Mainstream Press is Not

      Wikileaks is a threat. We’ve heard it incessantly, from Democrats and Republicans, the State Department and Paypal. Some have gone so far as to call the open-publishing project a “terrorist organization.”

      It’s true. Wikileaks is a threat. But it is not for any of the flimsy reasons we’ve been hearing.

      The true threat of Wikileaks, and the reason it is being labeled a terrorist organization by both politicians and, disturbingly, some journalists, is not the content of its documents but the premise of its work.

      Wikileaks is a “threat” because it challenges the secrecy, control and power upon which all mainstream media outlets and authoritarian regimes depend.

    • Exposed [IMG]
    • PayPal admits US pressure over WikiLeaks account freeze

      PayPal today admitted it suspended payments to WikiLeaks after an intervention from the US State Department.

      The site’s vice-president of platform, Osama Bedier, told an internet conference the site had decided to freeze WikiLeaks’s account on 4 December after government representatives said it was engaged in illegal activity.

      “State Dept told us these were illegal activities. It was straightforward,” he told the LeWeb conference in Paris, adding: “We … comply with regulations around the world, making sure that we protect our brand.”

    • News in respect to Wikileaks

      Since yesterday around 22:30 CET Visa and Mastercard payments are being rejected on our donation system. We have received a suspension notice stating that Visa Europe has ordered our payment processor to suspend payments and undertake due diligence investigation in order to pretect the Visa brand ensure neither the payment processor nor Visa Europe is running legal risks by facilitating payments for the funding of the Wikileaks website. For the same reasons the payment processor has suspended the payments of Mastercard.

      The suspension period will be one week with effect from 8 December 2010 Danish local time. The suspension period may be prolonged.

      DataCell ehf who facilitates those payments towards Wikileaks has decided to take up immediate legal actions to make donations possible again. We can not believe Wikileaks would even create scratch at the brand name of Visa. The suspension of payments towards Wikileaks is a violation of the agreements with their customers. Visa users have explicitly expressed their will to send their donations to Wikileaks and Visa is not fulfilling this wish. It will probably hurt their brand much much more to block payments towards Wikileaks than to have them occur. Visa customers are contacting us in masses to confirm that they really donate and they are not happy about Visa rejecting them. It is obvious that Visa is under political pressure to close us down. We strongly believe a world class company such as Visa should not get involved by politics and just simply do their business where they are good at. Transferring money. They have no problem transferring money for other businesses such as gambling sites, pornography services and the like so why a donation to a Website which is holding up for human rights should be morally any worse than that is outside of my understanding.

    • The Reaction of Governments to Wikileaks Should Scare the Hell Out of You

      The contents of the leaks are not the main issue; in fact, they are at most an interesting bonus and occasionally a dangerous distraction. No less a personage than Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, no admirer of Wikileaks, has stated that the practical impact of the leaks in terms of security and compromised diplomacy is negligible. He goes on to make the point that countries don’t do business with the US on the basis of ideals but rather as a result of self interest. Your mileage may vary, but I believe it’s safe to take his word as an intelligence veteran charged directly with national defense over the flatulent posturing of elected leaders whose need for a good target to harangue often takes precedence over the facts of the matter.

    • WikiLeaks cables: Saudis proposed Arab force to invade Lebanon

      Saudi Arabia proposed creating an Arab force backed by US and Nato air and sea power to intervene in Lebanon two years ago and destroy Iranian-backed Hezbollah, according to a US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

    • No Bail

      I’m pleased to report that Tom Flanagan has been charged for calling for the assassination of Julian Assange on CBC. All manner of threats have been leveled at Julian Assange, including a threat to kidnap his son.

    • ‘Anonymous’ sets sights on WikiLeaks opponents

      Organizers of “Anonymous,” the group behind cyber attacks on Mastercard.com and other websites, vowed Wednesday to extend their campaign to anyone with an “anti-WikiLeaks agenda.”

      In an online chat with Agence France-Presse, organizers of “Anonymous” said thousands of volunteers were taking part in their defense of WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, whom they described as a “free-speech martyr.”

    • Did Assange’s Accusers Want STD Testing?

      The two Swedish women who accuse WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of sexual misconduct were at first not seeking to bring charges against him. They just wanted to track him down and persuade him to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases, according to several people in contact with his entourage at the time.

      So, several unnamed people who were “in contact” with “Assange’s entourage” told Mark Hosenball that they knew the true motives of Julian Assange’s accusers. Who are these people and how do they claim to know what was going on in the minds of these women?

      But let’s assume that these women didn’t initially want to press charges. That doesn’t necessarily damage their credibility.

      According to the story, the two women only went to the police for help after they tried and failed to get Assange to submit to STI tests. The cops passed their stories along to a prosecutor, who decided that the women were describing sexual assaults and issued a warrant to arrest Assange on rape charges. The warrant was dropped the next day, but the case was later resurrected.

    • Second as Farce

      The furor over Wikileaks has become Theatre of the Absurd.

    • Rape claims, WikiLeaks and internet freedom
    • Is Twitter Censoring Wikileaks?
    • Exclusive: Sarah Palin Under Cyber-Attack from Wikileaks Supporters in ‘Operation Payback’

      The website and personal credit card information of former Gov. Sarah Palin were cyber-attacked today by Wikileaks supporters, the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate tells ABC News in an email.

      Hackers in London apparently affiliated with “Operation Payback” – a group of supporters of Julian Assange and Wikileaks – have tried to shut down SarahPac and have disrupted Sarah and Todd Palin’s personal credit card accounts.

    • STATEMENT: “We will not be gagged”

      “We will not be gagged, either by judicial action or corporate censorship. Today Visa joined Mastercard, Paypal, Amazon, EveryDNS and others in cutting off their links.

      “Wikileaks is still online. The full site is duplicated in more than 500 locations. Every day, the cables are loaded more than 50 million times.

    • PayPal says it stopped Wikileaks payments on US letter

      PayPal has said that its decision to stop people from using its service to make donations to Wikileaks was made after a letter from the US government.

    • Twitter Appears to Censor Wikileaks-Related Trends
    • Wikileaks: Stop the crackdown
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Mountain gorilla numbers soar

      The number of mountain gorillas living in the Virunga Massif in central Africa has soared by 26.3% since 2003, according to a new census. The increase in numbers from 380 to 480 individuals is thanks to “immense” efforts to reduce poaching and disease, scientists said – but should not be read as a sign that the fight to save the highly endangered species is over.

      The 450-square-kilometre Virunga Massif is composed of three national parks: the Volcanoes national park in Rwanda – made famous by the film about the conservationist Dian Fossey, Gorillas in the Mist – the Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda and Parc National des Virunga in the Democratic Republic of Congo. According to the census, which was conducted in March and April this year, its gorilla population is growing at a rate of 3.7% a year.

    • WikiLeaks cables: Shell’s grip on Nigerian state revealed

      The oil giant Shell claimed it had inserted staff into all the main ministries of the Nigerian government, giving it access to politicians’ every move in the oil-rich Niger Delta, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable.

      The company’s top executive in Nigeria told US diplomats that Shell had seconded employees to every relevant department and so knew “everything that was being done in those ministries”. She boasted that the Nigerian government had “forgotten” about the extent of Shell’s infiltration and were unaware of how much the company knew about its deliberations.

      The cache of secret dispatches from Washington’s embassies in Africa also revealed that the Anglo-Dutch oil firm swapped intelligence with the US, in one case providing US diplomats with the names of Nigerian politicians it suspected of supporting militant activity, and requesting information from the US on whether the militants had acquired anti-aircraft missiles.

  • Finance

    • 10 reasons to shun stocks till banks crash

      Do not buy stocks. Not for retirement. Not in the coming decade. Don’t. Huge risks.

    • Goldman Sachs Lures Big New York Prosecutor In House

      The path from prosecutor to private sector is well-trodden.

      But David Markowitz, of the New York Attorney General’s office, is making the leap in rather spectacular fashion. The 40-year-old lawyer is leaving the NYAG’s team, where he presided over some of the most high-profile cases against financial firms, to work as an associate general counsel at Goldman Sachs, one of the most maligned on Wall Street in recent years.

      At Goldman he will be a senior member of the litigation and regulatory proceedings group, which works on a broad variety of matters, said a spokesman for Goldman. “We are pleased that Mr. Markowitz is joining the company,” he said.

    • Obama struggles to keep Dems from killing tax cuts

      Obama went on national TV to give a ringing defense of his compromise, declaring it the necessary price for heading off a tax increase that neither taxpayers nor the weak economy could stand and for gaining more months of unemployment payments for millions of jobless workers.

    • BofA unit agrees to pay $137M in muni bond case

      The SEC said the division paid “kickbacks” to bidding agents who collect proposals for government business. In exchange, the bank received information about what other firms were bidding.

    • Just How Stimulating Is the New Tax Cut-Jobless Benefit Deal?
    • Facing frustration from Democrats, Obama defends tax cuts deal

      A defensive President Obama cast himself Tuesday as the guardian of middle-class Americans and the unemployed, saying sharply that he had to strike a deal with Senate Republicans over the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy in order to protect the fragile economic recovery.

    • What the Tax Deal Means for You

      The political posturing may not be entirely over, but President Obama and Congress have reached a tentative agreement to temporarily extend the Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans, including the wealthiest taxpayers.

      Besides extending the tax cuts, President Obama made several other concessions to the Republicans, including raising the estate tax exemption to $5 million. Republicans, meanwhile, agreed to extend jobless aid to the long-term unemployed.

    • What the Fed Is Still Owed by Wall Street

      The Federal Reserve has a story and is sticking to it: We didn’t lose taxpayer money, and we won’t.

      But several emergency programs and credit lines still exist, and the path to profitability on them remains uncertain.

      Hedge funds, pension funds and other investors have some $25 billion in outstanding loans from the Fed, some backed by subprime consumer debt. The central bank’s books are stocked with $66 billion of securities related to Bear Stearns and the American International Group, and the troubled insurer also owes $20 billion on a Fed credit line.

    • How the White House cut its deal and lost its base

      If you look at the numbers alone, the tax cut deal looks to have robbed Republicans blind. The GOP got around $95 billion in tax cuts for wealthy Americans and $30 billion in estate tax cuts. Democrats got $120 billion in payroll-tax cuts, $40 billion in refundable tax credits (Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and education tax credits), $56 billion in unemployment insurance, and, depending on how you count it, about $180 billion (two-year cost) or $30 billion (10-year cost) in new tax incentives for businesses to invest.

    • A Hint of Good Job Market News

      Last Friday’s jobs report was disappointing, but a new data released today suggest that all hope is not lost.

      American job openings increased to 3.4 million in October from 3 million in September, according to the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. That is the fastest increase in six months.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM

    • Apple, Google Asked to Pay Up for Network Upgrades as Data Clog Bandwidth

      Google Inc., Apple Inc., and Facebook Inc. need to pitch in to help pay for the billions of dollars of network investments needed for their bandwidth-hogging services, European phone operators say.

      As mobile and Web companies add videos, music and games, operators including France Telecom SA, Telecom Italia SpA and Vodafone Group Plc want a new deal that would require content providers like Apple and Google to pay fees linked to usage.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Leaked State Department Cable Shows ‘Behind The Scenes’ US Embassy Involvement In Swedish Copyright Issues

        It’s long been common knowledge that US diplomats have had a heavy hand in other country’s copyright laws but, with the Wikileaks release of State Department cables, we’re finally seeing some actually confirmation of that. We’ve already covered the US’s involvement in Spain’s proposed copyright changes and now a Swedish television station claims to have a cable (not yet released by Wikileaks) that shows heavy “behind the scenes” involvement by the US Embassy in Swedish copyright law.

      • Why WikiLeaks Is Good for America

        A truly free press — one unfettered by concerns of nationalism — is apparently a terrifying problem for elected governments and tyrannies alike.

      • Associated Press Chairman Signs Up For Righthaven, Begins Suing Bloggers

        Well, well, well. Remember back when the Associated Press threatened bloggers for quoting snippets of AP articles? Is the organization considering dipping its toes in the Righthaven waters? The Las Vegas Sun reports that Righthaven has signed up Media News as a client and has sued a blogger on behalf of the Denver Post, after the blogger apparently reposted a Denver Post column by Mike Rosen (with a link and credit). This is interesting for a few different reasons. First, it was just a few weeks ago that the Denver Post published a cryptic “reminder” about copyright that had a bunch of people scratching their heads. I had thought about mentioning it at the time, but it seemed so utterly lacking in context, that there wasn’t much to say. I guess the Righthaven lawsuit provides context.

Clip of the Day

Blender 2.5: Animation

Credit: TinyOgg

Links 8/12/2010: Google Linux Announcement, Linux 2.6.37 RC5, PlayStation Phone to Use Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 8:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Myth Busted #5: Ubuntu is linux, linux is all white text on a black screen, don’t give me that!

    Heck, even installing it is just a few clicks of the mouse. Easier then Windows, in fact ( no serial keys! ).

    I’m calling this false, but I’d like to qualify that, saying that learning the terminal is objectively a great thing to do.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Episode 152: Meditations about too much Light

      Then I get a bit into setting up the toolbox in GIMP 2.7 and show how to manage the docks after the “landing zones” have become invisible. And of course there is the challenge!

  • Google

    • The Chrome Web Store Is Now Live

      You’ve read about it many times, you’ve seen lots of screenshots but it was just a product of the future. Well, this time I’m not going to tell you anything except: Chrome Web Store is now live, so check it out for yourself.

    • Acer And Samsung To Launch Chrome OS Notebooks In Mid 2011

      Google held a conference today in which they’ve demoed Chrome OS which is said to be extremely speedy, have ultra-fast setup, built-in Verizon connectivity, multiple users support, easy security and application updates as well as Citrix Receiver applications (Citrix Receiver allows businesses to deploy desktop applications, such as Microsoft Excel).

      But that’s not all! Google also announced that Acer and Samsung will launch Chrome OS netbooks in mid 2011, with other manufacturers to closely follow. Further more, Google launched the Chrome OS Pilot Program in which a Chrome OS netbook (“CR-48″) will be used for testing. A limited number of these CR-48 netbooks are available right away – you can apply for one already by either submitting a video on YouTube or by filling out THIS form.

    • Linux Desktop and Google in 2011

      When was the last time we stood back and just marveled at how far Linux has come in the server, desktop and embedded spaces? Might seem a bit cliché to some, yet no one can argue that Linux’s progress has been truly remarkable.

      Sparing you the “this is the year of the Linux desktop” type statement once again, I’d like to turn your attention to where I believe Linux is headed in 2011 and beyond. Considering some of the amazing milestones that have already been met, it’ll be interesting to see if Linux can maintain its forward momentum.

      Linux in 2010 held its own in the world of embedded systems, saw some successes in the server space in the enterprise world, and gained significant achievements in the desktop space as well.

      So what could 2011 and beyond possibly hold in store for Linux enthusiasts?

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 2.6.37-rc5

      And even if it does turn out that I could do the release early, as you say, I don’t really think anybody wants the merge window over the holidays. So practically speaking I think we’ll end up with a quiet holiday, with the 2.6.37 release happening early January.

    • Linux kernel with long-term support

      Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced plans to provide minor patches and bug fixes only for the current Stable Series of the Linux kernel. Selected older kernel versions will, in future, be maintained as “Long-term” releases. The kernel developer said he hopes that this approach will help the community and developers focus on the current versions rather than waste their time with old kernel versions. The Long-term kernels are to follow the same rules as the Stable Series kernels.

    • Kernel Log: An analysis of Linux kernel development

      A new edition of a study by the Linux Foundation explains the Linux kernel development process and includes various statistics that demonstrate the kernel’s growth rate. It also analyses how much is contributed to the kernel’s development by which developers and companies.

    • Graphics Stack

      • X.Org Server 1.9.3 May Come Next Week

        Assuming no regressions are to be found in this xorg-server 1.9.3 release candidate (tagged as v1.9.2.902), Jeremy intends to issue the official 1.9.3 point release in one week’s time.

      • An Open ATI Driver Developer Brings 802.11n To B43

        Rafał Miłecki, the Polish free software developer who previously spearheaded bringing power management to the ATI KMS Linux driver via a number of patches late last year and into this year, has been working on another project. No, it’s not with regard to the open-source Linux graphics stack (unfortunately), but it’s on the B43 Linux wireless driver. Rafał has brought support for Broadcom’s 802.11n hardware to the B43 driver.

      • working t410s intel/nvidia basic switching

        So I have a T410s with an LVDS panel and switchable graphics between intel and nvidia. I’ve gotten the basic switching support just like we have on the intel/amd combination.

        The code is a start towards generic nvidia/nvidia and intel/nvidia switching but its missing some bits. The MUX switch on some GPUs relies on passing a parameter to the WMI function that we aren’t passing, luckily the lenovo doesn’t need this parameter at the moment so it works fine. Other laptops in this range may require the parameter.

      • The First X.Org Server 1.10 Snapshot Brings Some Fun

        Following the hiatus last week with the X.Org Server 1.10 merge window being kept open to allow time for finishing up RandR 1.4 with per-CRTC pixmaps and then NVIDIA pushing for fence sync support in this release, the work has now settled and the merge window has closed. Keith Packard has also announced the first development snapshot of X.Org Server 1.10.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Advanced calculator runner

        since this is my first post on the Planet, I’ll shortly introduce myself and my activities in KDE. My name is Matteo and I am the maintainer of the Qalculate plasmoid and runner since SC 4.5. I am also the founder and maintainer of Cirkuit, a KDE app to produce publication-ready graphics using different backends (TikZ, Circuit Macros, Gnuplot).

      • The end of KOffice, the end of KDE? (headline trolling)
    • GNOME Desktop

    • Xfce

      • Xfce 4.8pre2 Released

        We are pleased to announce the second preview release of Xfce 4.8. This release marks the beginning of the string freeze. From today on until the final release, strings may no longer be changed in the master branch of Xfce core components. This will help translators to prepare their translations for the final release scheduled on January 16th, 2011.

  • Distributions

    • Two Cents for Distributions

      Every Linux enthusiast has their own take on choosing the right Linux distribution (or Linux “flavor”). Discussions regarding the distributions can be as heated as the classic Linux-Mac-Windows argument. However, everyone has their own right to put forward their opinions whether it’s the new guy who still believes Windows 7 rules or a Linux veteran of unsurpassed Terminal command skills.

    • Choosing the right Linux distribution is key to success

      This past week, I had a frustrating reminder of a lesson I learned long ago…but let slip away out of either arrogance or stubbornness. That lesson is that choosing the right distribution is the first (and most important) key to success when deploying the Linux operating system.

      Yes, we all have our favorite distribution, but sometimes that favorite distribution simply will not do the trick and a different flavor must be used.

    • New Releases

    • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu

        • Moving from Gentoo to Ubuntu for a while

          With much teasing or coaxing from Ax, I’ve installed Ubuntu Linux on my Toshiba P20, replacing the installation of Gentoo Linux on it. Have I stopped being a Gentoo User? No. I’m just on hold for the moment.

        • Ubuntu Unity launcher won’t be ‘moveable’

          There’s no need to panic though. The launcher already supports an auto-hide function (although one would also love to see an intellihide option too) and users will be free, of course, to use Docky, AWN, aDesk Bar or an other form of dock alongisde the Unity launcher.

        • Ubuntu One now supports iOS-based AirPlay music streaming
        • Flavours and Variants

          • Quick Look: Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamers

            Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamers is a nice way of slicing UE up into a gaming-friendly version. The developers have done a pretty good job putting the emphasis on gaming while not really short-changing the user too much on non-gaming applications. I found it quite possible to use UE 2.8 Gamers as a regular distro when not playing games.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Google demos Chrome OS, launches pilot program

          Google says that the number of Chrome users has climbed to 120 million, growing significantly over the past year. Chrome’s emphasis on speed was cited as one of the most significant factors driving its popularity. Performance will continue to be one of the defining priorities of Chrome development as Google works to make the browser a compelling application platform.

        • First look: Android 2.3 Gingerbread tour in screenshots

          Android 2.3, codenamed Gingerbread, was revealed by Google this morning. It will ship first on the upcoming Nexus S smartphone, which was built by Google in collaboration with Samsung. According to an Android developer, we will likely see it rolled out as an update for Nexus One handsets in the next few weeks. We look forward to doing a full review when it arrives on devices, but we decided to get an early look via the SDK.

        • PlayStation Phone video surfaces running Android Gingerbread

          The new video shows a device that looks much like the one from the previous images: a Sony Ericsson phone with a sliding keyboard much like the PSPGo and a touchscreen interface. Based on the phone’s display, the video was taken on Thursday, December 2 and the model has been codenamed “zeus.” It also features the Android OS, as rumored, running the upcoming “Gingerbread” version of the software. And while the video doesn’t show any actual games playing, the device does has a PlayStation icon, which leads to a very XMB-style interface.

        • Video And Screenshots Of Android 3.0′s Surprise Appearance

          The video of Andy Rubin’s talk at the Dive Into Mobile event is up, and you can watch the juicy bit above, where he takes out the prototype Motorola tablet and toys with it for all to see, demonstrating the new Google Maps and “accidentally” teasing video chat capability and some other things.

          The pad looks bigger than 7″, the size we heard about, but I can’t swear to it. If I had to take a guess at the screen resolution, I’d go with 8-9″ at 1024×600. It looks thin and rather unadorned right now, but this likely isn’t the final industrial design, so let’s just not worry too much about that. He seemed proud that it had no buttons on it, though, so I’m guessing that’s final.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • 5 netbook-optimized desktop interfaces for Linux and BSD distributions

        They are presented here in alphabetical order.

      • Netbook Operating Systems

        KDE’s Plasma netbook packs the power of KDE applications. The interface is sleek, simple and attractive. There’s a wealth of KDE add-ons available and ‘live’ applications can be pinned to ‘Page One’. Personally, I may not use any of the add-ons, but I am likely to use the KDE netbook interface as the default. I find that the full-screen mode for applications minimises distractions, especially when reading or viewing media. I have always liked the full-screen interface of Sugar (OLPC).

        Switching between application windows was the hardest with KDE. It would be nice if it was as easy as on Sugar—at the press of a function key.

        Currently, I expect to keep each of the three installed, and keep them updated. Maybe, after a year, one will become my definite favourite.

Free Software/Open Source

  • 4 Reasons to Try LibreOffice

    The Document Foundation on Sunday announced the availability of the first release candidate of LibreOffice, marking the approach of the first stable version of the brand-new open source productivity suite.

  • Oracle

    • VirtualBox 4.0 Beta 1 Brings Major Changes

      It was more than six months ago that Oracle released Oracle VM VirtualBox 3.2, formerly known as Sun’s VirtualBox, as their most recent major update. Oracle now, however, is readying a very major VM VirtualBox 4.0 update. Today they have released the first public beta of Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0 and it brings many new features along with some changes that may prove to be another disappointing step by Oracle in alienating the open-source community.


    • European Commission’s software contract is a rough deal for Europe

      The European Commission will spend EUR 189 million on proprietary software over the next six years, in direct contradiction to its own decisions and guidelines. The Commission last week announced a six-year framework contract to acquire a wide range of mostly proprietary software and related services1.

      “This is a rough deal for Europe”, says Karsten Gerloff, President of Free Software Foundation Europe. “Instead of coming up with a strategy to take advantage of Free Software and become independent from vendors, the Commission is digging itself deeper into the vendor lock-in hole.”

  • Project Releases

    • [ANNOUNCE] Git

      In addition to the usual fixes, this release also includes support for the new “add.ignoreErrors” name given to the existing “add.ignore-errors” configuration variable.

  • Licensing

    • Copyleft, copyright, copywhat?

      Copleft is a property of some licenses that uses the right to authorize derivative works as a tool to control the license(s) under which such a derivative must be relicensed. For instance, the GNU GPL only permits larger works to be redistributed under the GNU GPL. No exceptions. One can argue how far this limitation can legally go and what is the border between “derivative work” and “collection of independent works”. While this distinction is clear for literary works, in software there are a lot of variants — one of which is “dynamic linking” — that make things far more complex and less cleancut. Because of this, I prefer to leave the matter unresolved and proceed under the assumption that “derivative” here is really a derivative, whatever that means.

  • Openness/Sharing


  • China urges gov’ts to support emergency six-party talks

    China on Tuesday reiterated the importance and urgency of resuming the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, urging the parties to support China’s proposal for emergency consultations among chief negotiators.

    “The development of the situation on the Korean Peninsula has proven the importance and urgency of resuming the six-party talks,” said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu at a regular press briefing.

  • Groupon’s Rise and eBay’s Decline
  • Alarm for Microsoft, Google bags govt deals

    Google Inc has won a share of a federal government contract that the company hopes will give it a boost over Microsoft Corp as they race to convert government agencies to cloud computing.

    The US General Services Administration awarded a five-year, $6.7 million contract last week to Unisys Corp, with Google as a subcontractor — a relatively small dollar amount but an important initial foothold.

  • The Vatican is a software pirate

    HIS HOLINESS Pope Benedictus XVI, Pontifex Maximus and Dominus Apostolicus can now at the words “P2P Pirate” to his list of official titles.

    The Pope was one of 774,651 people caught by the insecurity outfit Avast’s sweep of illegal use of its software.

  • China Beats Out Finland for Top Marks in Education

    The rise of China as an economic and political juggernaut has become a familiar refrain, but now there’s another area in which the Chinese are suddenly emerging as a world power: education.

    In the latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) comparative survey of the academic performance of 15-year-olds around the world — an authoritative study released every three years — Chinese teenagers from Shanghai far outscored their international peers in all three subject matters that were tested last year: reading, math and science.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • “Going commando” on the TSA

      On November 11, the relentlessly upbeat Transportation Security Administration (TSA) blog discussed the newly “enhanced” airport security pat-downs that would soon be coming to a groin near you. “It just makes good security sense,” said TSA’s “Blogger Bob.” His commenters did not concur.

      “The next time I fly, I’m wearing my trusty kilt,” said one—and we’re assuming that he’s a true Scotsman.

      This was an idea too good not to receive wider exposure (no pun intended), and it was naturally soon paired with the idea of a “National Opt-Out Day” to take place this week on November 24, the day before Thanksgiving. The idea is for a mass opt-out of the new AIT body scanners that can see through clothes, with participants choosing instead to have the more invasive pat-down.

  • Cablegate

    • WikiLeaks: US Senator Joe Lieberman suggests New York Times could be investigated

      A leading US senator suggested tonight that the New York Times and other news organisations publishing the US embassy cables being released by WikiLeaks could be investigated for breaking American espionage laws.

      Joe Lieberman, the chair of the Senate homeland security committee, told Fox News: “To me the New York Times has committed at least an act of, at best, bad citizenship, but whether they have committed a crime is a matter of discussion for the justice department.”

    • WikiLeaks climate change cables: what do you think?

      It was like watching a vast army advance. As I read the WikiLeaks cables, the strategy became clear. The US decides what is in its interests, then sets its massed ranks of diplomats around the globe to work.

      Demarchés, statements of what the US wants, are delivered in person and pledges of support gathered. Only the strongest resist: a major developing power like Brazil or a rich and secure nation like Norway might bridle, but I saw dozens of cables from tiny nations immediately acceding to US demands.

    • Assange: WikiLeaks ‘fearlessly publishing facts’

      WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange defends the publication of secret U.S. documents in an editorial published online early Wednesday by The Australian newspaper.

      WikiLeaks is serving a vital purpose, Assange wrote, “fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.”

    • Twitter Not Blocking Wikileaks As A Trending Topic… But Won’t Comment On Possibility Of Shutting Down Account

      There was a rumor going around that perhaps Twitter was censoring “wikileaks” as a trending topic. In response, Twitter has denied this, saying that it’s simply untrue — but at the same time the company has refused to comment on whether or not it will allow Wikileaks to keep its Twitter account.

    • Open your post boxes – the next step for Wikileaks submission/publication?

      Ah, is this reason enough to cancel my Maestro card subscription? And start living life with cash only? Or should I just get another debit/credit card? Hm, I wonder what VISA’s opinion is regarding Wikileaks.

    • Defend WikiLeaks – Boycott Amazon

      A spontaneous movement to boycott Amazon.com, the online retailer, has taken off in response to the company’s decision to kick WikiLeaks off its servers. We at Antiwar.com unequivocally endorse this effort. In spite of attempts by some to claim the company was subjected to a threat “at gunpoint,” in reality, no one put a gun to Amazon’s head. They were more than happy to join the attack on WikiLeaks, as their statement made all too clear:

      “There have been reports that a government inquiry prompted us not to serve WikiLeaks any longer. That is inaccurate.

      “There have also been reports that it was prompted by massive DDOS attacks. That too is inaccurate. There were indeed large-scale DDOS attacks, but they were successfully defended against.

      “Amazon Web Services (AWS) rents computer infrastructure on a self-service basis. AWS does not pre-screen its customers, but it does have terms of service that must be followed. WikiLeaks was not following them. There were several parts they were violating. … It’s clear that WikiLeaks doesn’t own or otherwise control all the rights to this classified content. Further, it is not credible that the extraordinary volume of 250,000 classified documents that WikiLeaks is publishing could have been carefully redacted in such a way as to ensure that they weren’t putting innocent people in jeopardy. Human rights organizations have in fact written to WikiLeaks asking them to exercise caution and not release the names or identities of human rights defenders who might be persecuted by their governments.”

      “We’ve been running AWS for over four years and have hundreds of thousands of customers storing all kinds of data on AWS. Some of this data is controversial, and that’s perfectly fine. But, when companies or people go about securing and storing large quantities of data that isn’t rightfully theirs, and publishing this data without ensuring it won’t injure others, it’s a violation of our terms of service, and folks need to go operate elsewhere.”

    • WikiLeaks Defector Plans Tell-All Book

      Julian Assange and WikiLeaks may soon learn what it feels like to have their secrets put on public display. In January of 2011, German former WikiLeaks staffer Daniel Domscheit-Berg plans to publish a book detailing multiple years inside the controversial whistle-blower organization.

    • WikiLeaks defector Daniel Domscheit-Berg reveals Julian Assange’s siege mentality

      In an interview with The Times the German defector gave a blistering insider’s insight into the workings of WikiLeaks, which appears to operate as secretly as the institutions that it infiltrates.

    • 2010-12-10: WikiLeaks support rally in Sydney this Friday [Update 1]

      Supporters of the website Wikileaks will mobilise on Friday (10/12/10) to protest against the backlash it has faced for its release of more than 250,000 US government cables.

    • WikiLeaks Comic [IMG]
    • WikiLeaks censorship in France [IMG]
    • Aussie web hosts shy away from Wikileaks

      Wikileaks has been dumped by Amazon and mirrored across the globe as it attempts to spread its whistleblowing message to the masses. But would any web-hosting company in Australia consent to play host to Wikileaks? The answer, so far, appears to be “probably not”.

      Several large Australian web-hosting companies said today they would be unlikely to host the Wikileaks repository if asked to by a customer, for a number of reasons.

    • `The truth will always win’ – Julian Assange writes

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange wrote this Op-Ed for The Australian today:

      Key lines:

      * WikiLeaks is fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.

      * The dark days of corruption in the Queensland government before the Fitzgerald inquiry are testimony to what happens when the politicians gag the media from reporting the truth.

      * (My idea is) to use internet technologies in new ways to report the truth.

      * People have said I am anti-war: for the record, I am not. Sometimes nations need to go to war, and there are just wars.

      * The Gillard government (Australia) is trying to shoot the messenger because it doesn’t want the truth revealed.

    • The arrest of Julian Assange: as it happened
    • Assange Arrested Because Of “Radical Feminist” Bitches
    • Russia’s ‘one-man Wikileaks’ uncovers massive gas company fraud

      In Russia, the findings of a young whistleblower lawyer concerning the rampant corruption of major state-affiliated companies have made much bigger waves than the recent tsunami of Wikileaks revelations.

      34-year-old Moscow lawyer Alexey Navalny could be nicknamed the “one-man Wikileaks”. His website is dedicated to uncovering and publishing incidents of high-level corporate corruption, with revelations concerning Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom, leading Russian oil company Rosneft and Russian bank VTP, among others.

    • Julian Assange refused bail over rape allegations

      Assange appeared in court in blue suit with a white shirt. Asked to give an address he replied: “PO Box 4080.” When the question was asked again, he said: “Do you want it for correspondence or for some other reason?” Later, the WikiLeaks founder, who was accompanied by officials from the Australian high commission, gave an address in his native Australia.

  • Finance

    • Obama facing tough sell in own party on tax deal

      President Barack Obama still has work to do to sell the tax package he negotiated with Republicans to Democrats in Congress.

      House Democratic leaders say the package is tilted too much in favor of the wealthy, putting Obama on the defensive for striking a deal that is picking up support among GOP lawmakers and business groups.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • “The most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history.”

      —André Marin, Ontario’s Ombudsman, speaking at a press conference today about the G20—specifically, the provincial government’s introduction and mishandling of Regulation 233/10 under the Public Works Protection Act, and what it led to. In his report [PDF], Caught in the Act, Marin writes that the regulation and Act gave “extravagant police authority….to arbitrarily arrest and detain people and to engage in unreasonable searches and seizures.”

    • Facebook: We won’t block WikiLeaks, for now

      The biggest social-networking site in the world broke with many of its online brethren today when it issued a statement saying that it will not ban content from a “fan page” associated with WikiLeaks, the controversial repository of leaked confidential documents whose founder, Julian Assange, is currently on the run.

    • Censoring @WikiLeaks Over #CableGate: First EveryDNS, Then Amazon, PayPal and Now Twitter
    • Tunisia Blocks Wikileaks & Everyone Referencing it Tunisia Blocks Any Leaks – Wikileaks

      Just as the stories are starting to get interesting, the Tunisian authorities block Wikileaks and every other form of leaks that mention Tunisia based on cables from the whistleblower site.

      Soon after the cables surfaced activists around the world started creating websites to tackle specific topics and countries drawing from the plethora of information the cables provide. Tunisian activists didn’t waste time, Tunileaks was born.

      Tunileaks was created by Nawaat to offer a central place for Tunisians and everyone one else interested in discussing and unraveling information related to the Tunisian government found in the US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality/DRM (or Vuvuzelas)

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • US Copyright Group Drops Cases Against Thousands of BitTorrent Users

        The US Copyright Group (USCG) campaign to turn piracy into profit is starting to fall apart. Today, the anti-piracy lawyers dropped 97% of the alleged BitTorrent file-sharers from the Far Cry case because of a lack of jurisdiction. This setback seriously limits the profitability of the law firm’s business model, and is a clear victory for thousands of people who were pressured to pay expensive settlements.

      • Newsday Drops Its Paywall For ‘At Least One Month’

        Remember how excited Cablevision was about putting up that paywall for Newsday, the newspaper that it owned? While the company claimed that the purpose of the paywall was really all about keeping Cablevision customers from deserting in favor of Verizon, it was still rather stunning to find out after three months, the company had secured a grand total of 35 paywall subscribers who weren’t just grandfathered in as Cablevision TV subscribers.

      • ISPs Free To Continue Deleting Evidence Against File-Sharers

        Sweden’s highest court has rejected an application by an anti-piracy group which would force an ISP to hand over the identity of a file-sharing site operator. Antipiratbyrån wants TeliaSonera to reveal who is behind the SweTorrents BitTorrent tracker but the ISP has refused and taken its case all the way to the Supreme Court. That Court has now decided that the final decision lies with the European Court.

      • Q&A: Why money doesn’t motivate file-sharers

        Piracy is so difficult to battle because file-sharers are motivated by altruism and not financial gain, according to one academic.

Clip of the Day

XGL Debian GNU/Linux

Credit: TinyOgg

Using Financial Blackmail to Convince Spain to Allow Software Patents to Enter Europe

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Patents at 4:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Spanish keyboard

Summary: The copyright fiasco may be followed by patent blackmail in Spain. “Shocked to hear one MEP optimistic that if Spain needs a bail-out it might pull it’s objection to EU patent,” reports the Secretary General of FICPI and a patent lawyer

SPAIN made the copyright news recently owing to leaks which came from Bradley/Wikileaks. These leaks showed that the conglomerates in the United States (US) helped write Spain’s ‘new’ copyright law, which was intended to serve US-based corporations rather than the people of Spain. This was not particularly shocking, but now there is proof.

The FFII’s president points out that Julian Crump, a “European Patent Attorney, Secretary General of FICPI” (by his own description), says the following after Spain and Italy helped derail the “EU patent” [1, 2, 3], which would have potentially facilitated software patents in Europe:

back from Brussels IP Summit. Shocked to hear one MEP optimistic that if Spain needs a bail-out it might pull it’s objection to EU patent.

In a subsequent tweet Julian says:

pleased to hear Italian delegates explain at Brussels IP Summit why they favour English-only Community patent, ditching German & French.

As the FFII tells him:

@JulianRCrump But #German is spoken in South Tirol! #compat #patents

There are other responses to him and they basically help show just what damage patent lawyers are causing to Europe. They would seemingly support blackmail on financial terms just so that countries would not object to objectionable changes to their law. It’s insulting.

The FFII adds:

@jamie_love Propaganda of #ficpi, #Spain has a case, no one trusts the #EPO to manage the #eupat as it lacks political oversight

In other patent news (this time from the US), the FFII’s president found this press release from a company called WordLogic, which he considers to be “yet another patent troll”. How about this new press release which says:

Trader Panel – the patent pending software is conceptualized by the company to protect the investors’ interests and fill the huge void in the investment community.

Patent trolls love to hang out in the Eastern District of Texas where the courts are friendly towards them and as Glyn Moody points out, there is this use case which may be “useful [as a precedence] in moving to less patent-friendly courts”:

In re Acer: Transfer Out of the Eastern District of Texas


On appeal, the Federal Circuit agreed with the Petitioners, concluding in a precedential opinion that the district court abused its discretion in denying the request to transfer venue. Particularly important in the panel’s analysis was the fact that a substantial number of party witnesses reside in or near the Northern District of California, and requiring them to travel to the Eastern District of Texas would result in substantial expenses for airfare, meals, lodging, and the loss of productivity from time spent away from work, as well as the personal costs imposed on the witnesses. While it was possible that more than one Dell employee might testify, that number was likely to be insignificant in contrast with the substantial number of party witnesses that would be required to travel to Texas.

That just refers to the system in the United States, where software patents are legal and — statistically speaking — many of the patent trolls thrive in software patents (Europe hardly has any patent trolls because the laws are different). In SFLC’s news section we now find out that there is an amicus brief referring to SCOTUS:

The United States Supreme Court will decide a case this term that could determine whether free software developers are liable for patent infringement by users of their software. In the case, Global-Tech Appliances v. SEB, the Court will decide whether a person can be liable for inducing another’s infringement of a patent by being “deliberately indifferent” to the likelihood that the patent exists. The Software Freedom Law Center, in the “friend of the court” brief it filed today, argued that this new standard would create uncertainty and discourage free software development.

SCOTUS can potentially change patent law to exclude all or some software patents (although it’s too optimistic a projection, as Microsoft would not permit it).

Vista 7 is Still Scarcely Adopted and Reportedly Broken

Posted in Asia, Microsoft, Security, Vista 7, Windows at 3:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7 starts now

Summary: Over a year after its official release Vista 7 is still used by just a small proportion of computer users worldwide

DUE to a great deal of activity defending Wikileaks we have not posted many articles recently, but we did not skip any new important news, either. In the daily links one can find several new examples where people are complaining about Vista 7 and then moving to GNU/Linux. In other words, Vista 7 has done almost nothing to suppress Free software on the desktop. Despite rampant copyright infringement in China, even the Chinese are not adopting Vista 7:

How about leaks of a different kind? “45.2% of China’s Internet users still rely on IE6….China’s XP share, however, was a staggering 81.8%…Windows 7′s share in China was 10.3%“. That looks like a huge share in China for that other OS but notice most of it is XP. The Chinese are not buying “7″. Those statistics also come from external sites mostly in English. Internal use may favour GNU/Linux more. The Chinese are not locked into the Wintel treadmill. They can easily go to GNU/Linux because “7″ does not run on their machines.

Do not be confused by US-biased ‘market share’ surveys that use improper metrics. Some of them would have you believe that China, the world’s largest Internet population, only amounts to 2% of the Internet's usage. What a load of bunk claims.

A couple of days ago we went through China-related cables (thanks, Wikileaks and Bradley) and showed that Microsoft puts Windows source code in the hands of TOPSEC, which trains and employs Chinese cyberspies, according to US intelligence. Here is the latest small example of Vista 7 being broken, technically. This is a security problem and Vista 7 fails where GNU/Linux does not. “The sad case of the ISP and the supersecret password” says the headline of this blog post: [via]

The key on the CPE worked fine for my Linux netbook and an iPhone, but not a Windows 7 laptop.

Vista 7 is hardly in the news anymore. It’s not at all as successful and revolutionary as Microsoft wanted people to believe, so it’s not surprising that Microsoft cheats in its reports and arguably shows fake numbers about Windows sales (the real numbers decline over the years).

“One strategy that Microsoft has employed in the past is paying for the silence of people and companies. Charles Pancerzewski, formerly Microsoft’s chief auditor, became aware of Microsoft’s practice of carrying earnings from one accounting period into another, known as “managing earnings”. This practice smoothes reported revenue streams, increases share value, and misleads employees and shareholders. In addition to being unethical, it’s also illegal under U.S. Securities Law and violates Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (Fink).

2002 story about Charles Pancerzewski, Microsoft

Microsoft Creates Confusion Around Freedom and Price

Posted in Asia, Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 2:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Freedom and price are not interchangeable


Summary: Microsoft fights Free software adoption in Russia using gratis proprietary software which criminalises the user and to make matters worse, Microsoft also pays companies to abandon Microsoft’s competition

Microsoft assisted the Russian authorities when they started suppressing dissent and when people found out about it, Microsoft Russia NGO spin started to flood the press. It was all PR [1, 2, 3] and a classic case of damage control. CNET’s Microsoft spin blog adds to it with a report which paints Microsoft positively after the bad thing it did and it also neglects to say that gratis is not libre (dumping is not freedom, it’s a suppressor of freedom, which is why Microsoft tolerates and sometimes encourages counterfeiting). From CNET:

A Russian court has dropped piracy charges against environmental group Baikal Wave due to drastic changes made to Microsoft’s licensing program for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) back in October, according to The New York Times.

These NGOs that include the environmental group should learn their lesson and move to GNU/Linux, which puts them in control of their own destiny. Microsoft wants people to view this only as a matter of price, as usual. Carlo Daffara has responded to the latest PR piece with Microsoft's Rajagopalan. “No, Microsoft, you still don’t get it,” the headline says and Carlo explains why:

The question is: is MS interested in an OSS business model? The answer: we already give out things for free. Well, we can probably thank Richard Stallman for his insistence in the use of the word “free”, but the answer miss the mark substantially. OSS is not about having something for free, and it never was (at least, from the point of view of the researcher). OSS is about collaborative development; as evidenced in a recent post by Henrik Ingo, “The state of MySQL forks: co-operating without co-operating”, being open source allowed the creation of an ecosystem of companies that cooperate (while being more or less competitors) and not only this fact increases the viability of a product even as its main developer (in this case, Oracle) changes its plans, but allows for the integration of features that are coming from outside the company – as Henrik wrote, “HandlerSocket is in my opinion the greatest MySQL innovation since the addition of InnoDB – both developed outside of MySQL”.

Microsoft still uses the idea of “free” as a purely economic competition, while I see OSS as a way to allow for far faster development and improvement of a product. And, at least, I have some academic results that point out that, actually, a live and active project do improve faster than comparable proprietary projects. That’s the difference: not price, that may be lower or not, as RedHat demonstrates; it is competition on value and speed of change.

“There’s free software and then there’s open source… there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with,” said Bill Gates in April 2008. He insists on making “free software” just cheap software.

Here is another highlight of an old trick being used again by Microsoft. “Microsoft Offers Cash to Drop Salesforce, Seibel & Deploy Dynamics CRM Online” says the headline of this article:

Microsoft’s (news, site) made an interesting offer this week that promises organizations currently using Salesforce.com CRM or Oracle’s Seibel (CRM) US$ 200 per license to make the jump to Dynamics CRM Online. The question is, is $200 enough?

This is not the first time (even recently) that Microsoft does this and we gave some examples before. It tries to use its pockets to promote lock-in at the expense of smaller rivals (these companies are smaller as a whole).

ICOMP is Another Microsoft Drone Like TurboHercules

Posted in Antitrust, Google, IBM, Microsoft at 2:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pigeon hawk

Summary: Microsoft is harassing Google through yet another proxy and IBM responds to the news shortly after realising that TurboHercules is indeed partly owned by Microsoft

Microsoft is not interested in improving or creating a reputation. It does not seem to mind being viewed as a malicious and corrupt company which engages never in fair competition. A few days ago we wrote about 'Consumer' 'Watchdog' right after we had shown that Microsoft was funding and then using many parties to cause antitrust trouble for Google in Europe. Microsoft has been doing to same to IBM and Oracle, as we covered here just recently (there are many examples).

“Microsoft has been funding an organisation seemingly set up to make trouble for the search giant” says the summary of this new article which explains what ICOMP is about:

But a key player in all of this that you might not have heard of is the Brussels-based “Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace”, or ICOMP, which has been lobbying for an antitrust investigation. ICOMP is a organisation whose sole purpose appears to be to attack Google: it was set up to protest against Google’s DoubleClick acquisition and has spent the last few years churning out blog posts slamming the search giant and approaching journalists out of the blue with carefully primed stories. Why does this matter? Because ICOMP is almost entirely funded – and not always wholly transparently – by Microsoft, one of Google’s main competitors in search.


That last message arrived after I had spoken at length to Jack Evans, Microsoft’s Director of Public Relations (Legal and Policy) on the telephone about ICOMP. Although ICOMP’s reports and website do state that the initiative is “funded by member contributions as well as sponsorship from Microsoft”, until last week it was frequently omitting that information from its emails to journalists. Nor does the statement make clear that Microsoft is responsible for the majority of ICOMP’s money: Microsoft is ICOMP’s sole trustee and underwrites its funding – a fact confirmed by this PDF residing on ICOMP’s own website. The document states that Microsoft, as trustee, both selects ICOMP’s directors and guarantees its debts.

IBM’s Bob Sutor wrote about it: “More about Microsoft pulling the strings from behind the scenes to fight Google” (and this got repeated by a lot of people, obviously).

“So MSFT is behind Google’s, is behind IBM’s, is behind Oracle’s troubles in EU, what can go wrong?”
      –Carlo Piana
Yes obviously, IBM suffers from the very same dirty tricks from Microsoft, which more recently involved TurboHercules and T3. Microsoft now owns a stake in both companies, but it wasn’t quite so obvious when they filed complaints against IBM (these too led to an antitrust investigation in the EU). Over in Identica, Carlo Piana wrote in response to Sutor’s tweet: “So MSFT is behind Google’s, is behind IBM’s, is behind Oracle’s troubles in EU, what can go wrong?”

Here is another new article about Microsoft’s payment to TurboHercules. Those who believe that Microsoft has changed must also look at what Microsoft is doing with software patents right now.

IRC Proceedings: December 7th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 1:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




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