Links 17/6/2011: Linux Reputation in Security, Firefox 5 Previews

Posted in News Roundup at 8:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux-ready keyboard PC’s under an inch thick

    Cybernet announced a “zero footprint” computer built into a keyboard, featuring a dual-core Atom processor and a multi-touch trackpad. The Linux-ready ZPC-D45 is under one inch thick, but it provides features such as a CD/DVD drive, both VGA and HDMI outputs, stereo speakers, and dual Mini PCI Express slots, the company says.

  • Post-MacDefender, Linux Looks Better Than Ever

    Until recently, it was a commonly held belief in the mainstream computing world that Macs are more secure than Windows PCs are.

  • Alternate and Harmless Ways of Trying out Linux

    Whether you are a fanatic Windows user or another Apple fan boy hypnotized by Uncle Steve’s charm, there is no excuse for you to not try Linux. Contrary to what you may believe, you don’t have to go through all those complex command-line acrobatics in order to get a glimpse of the penguin. In fact, you don’t even have to install that blasted thing on your computer. In this article, we’ll show you how you can get a taste of the most-talked about operating system in town (yeah, we fanboys do tend to exaggerate sometimes), without the fear of crashing your computer.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • KDEMU with Volker Krauseinator

      On this release of KDEMU! Pawly and I chat with Volker Krause and many other KDABians. Enjoy this beer filled episode.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • 10 best Linux distros for 2011

      Hardware compatibility, ease of use, the size of a software repository. These three attributes are unique to each Linux distribution. But at the same time, each Linux distribution is at liberty to take and mix whatever it wants from any other.

      This creates a rather unique situation, where good ideas quickly spread, and bad ones fail. And as a result, there are dozens of distribution updates each month, hundreds each year, in a race to leap-frog each other in the race to the top of the DistroWatch.com charts.

    • New Releases

      • Minimalist Linux distro gains easier installation, NTFS compatibility

        Team Tiny Core announced a new version of its small-footprint, in-memory Linux desktop distro. Tiny Core 3.7 now allows read access to NTFS partititions, includes new icons for Editor and Run, and introduces “starter packs” that simplify downloading tools, among other enhancements.

        Tiny Core Linux is designed to reside in RAM, and can fit into just over 10MB, according to the project. Components that are said to reside entirely in memory include: the Linux kernel, the BusyBox tool collection, as well as minimal graphics based on Tiny X.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat, Inc. First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

        The consensus estimate is the same as three months ago. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of 71 cents per share, a rise of 18.3% from last year.

      • Fedora

        • The Many Faces of Fedora

          Plus you can load your KDE desktop up with useful and fun widgets to enhance its functionality.

        • Opinion: On Canonical, Red Hat, and their communities

          When I can, I try to participate in The Linux Link Tech Show when it is streaming LIVE… but even when I can’t I often listen to the archived recordings. When I find something interesting I’ll sometimes shoot Dann Washko an email with my thoughts. This morning I found myself writing a long email to him on a subject they covered on their June 15 episode (#407). I thought I’d post it here too.

          It just so happens that several of TLLTS regulars had attended the Southeast Linuxfest the weekend prior and one of the conversations that Dann encountered there was about Canonical and Ubuntu. Dann spoke about the questions and opinions he heard raised and asked for everyone else’s opinions but he didn’t get a whole lot of feedback so I thought I’d provide him with some.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Why Gnome, Ubuntu and the like don’t understand “usability”

            Lately there has been some uproar about the ‘dumbing down of interfaces’..KDE4 didn’t offer the settings 3 did, Gnome dumbs everything down, and maybe Apple did the same the last decade. I couldn’t tell because I never touch anything Apple, and the only time I did the software crashed and all this dumbing down for the sake of usability! However in my opinion, they are wrong. They confuse ‘usability’ with ‘approachability’. Which leads to software which many times is not user friendly.

          • Ubuntu ISOs To Finally Double As USB Images

            A small but useful feature for the CD ISOs of Fedora, openSUSE, MeeGo, and many other Linux distributions is that they are spun as hybrid ISOs. Hybrid ISOs allow the same CD ISO to be copied directly to a USB storage device (i.e. flash drive) without needing to rely upon any external utilities. Ubuntu ISOs have not supported this feature, but they do have their easy-to-use start-up disk creator to take care of this task. However, the daily ISOs for the Ubuntu Oneiric development cycle and all official Ubuntu CD releases going forward for i386 and x86_64 platforms will be now spun as hybrid ISOs.

          • Ubuntu Gets Some Love

            Raising Linux’s visibility, generating excitement and creating name recognition are all among the ways Schroder believes Ubuntu has benefited Linux.

            Its most significant contribution of all, however, has been “building a true community infrastructure that provides a clear path for users to become contributors, and for newbies to get mentoring and support,” wrote Schroder. “The lack of this is one of the biggest shortcomings of FOSS.”

            Regardless of one’s views about Ubuntu’s latest particulars, “fostering a community and providing a space for noobs to learn and grow is a special skill set and a lot of work,” she concluded. “But for Linux and FOSS to continue to grow it’s the most important job of all, and Ubuntu and Canonical deserve credit for giving this a high priority.”

          • Interview with Alan Bell

            1. Tell as much as you’re willing about your “real life” like name, age, gender, location, family, religion, profession, education, hobbies, etc.

            Hi, I am Alan Bell, a 36 year old geek from Surrey in the UK, where I live with my family and pet chickens. My day job is helping organisations to use and get value from Free Software. As for education, I pursued a degree in Computer Science at Nottingham University, but never quite caught the thing.

            2. When and how did you become interested in computers? in Linux? in Ubuntu?

            My first home computer was a ZX Spectrum +2 (the one with the built in tape drive) which I loved, especially the manual which taught me programming and trigonometry and calculus and electronic logic circuits. I was quite disappointed when I got a Commodore Amiga and there were no circuit diagrams in the manual. Now computers just come with an EULA which doesn’t teach you anything useful. Kids these days don’t know what they are missing! When I first encountered Linux it didn’t have a GUI and I wasn’t that impressed (but I did like the GPL from the moment I read that). It was some years later when X worked on Linux and graphical toolkits became available that it started looking interesting to me, but it took quite a lot of additional years before I started using Ubuntu full time.

          • Ubuntu 11.10 Development Update

            This week has been busy. Lots of bits and pieces are coming together in Oneiric and the status overview might give you an idea how each feature is progressing.

            If you look at the release schedule for Ubuntu 11.10 you can see that Oneiric is still in the development phase, where most of the heavy lifting is being done and where things are still broken.

          • Ubuntu…why are you so newsworthy this week….

            There are a bunch of different stories around one of our favorite Linux Distros this week. In the podcast we talked about Shuttleworth saying he is thinking about dropping Firefox for Chrome. As with most things like this we don’t think it’s a big deal because you can always just install Firefox after you have installed the machine.

          • Ubuntu…why are you so newsworthy this week….

            Ubuntu ISO images used to require the USB startup disk creator utility to be able to write the ISO image to USB (flash) sticks.

          • New requirements for Ubuntu Certification
          • 2 Reasons Why Google Should Buy Ubuntu

            In its apocalyptic battle with both Microsoft and Apple, there is one thing that both companies have that Google does not: a desktop OS. Chrome OS at best, is just a bridge OS. No matter how one looks at things today, there are hundreds of millions of machines out there powered by Windows or Mac OSX.

          • Review—Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

            The latest and greatest version of Ubuntu, 11.04 Natty Narwhal, was released on 28th April 2011. Ubuntu is now the most popular desktop operating system, and with this release, Canonical has made some major changes—both up front, and under the hood. Read on to learn more.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Linux Mint Debian Edition Updates

              Since the release of the Linux Mint Debian Edition distribution last December, and then the Linux Mint Xfce distribution which is also based on Debian rather than Ubuntu, I have found myself moving more and more toward using these Debian-based distributions rather than the Ubuntu-based Mint 11. In a lot of ways these Mint distributions seem to offer a good combination of a solid Debian base, with a choice between the standard 2.6.32 kernel (which is in the current Debian stable distribution) and the latest 2.6.38 kernel (which is in the current Mint 11 distribution), plus all of the excellent Mint utilities (such as MintMenu and MintUpdate), and the excellent software, application and utility selection that are included on all of the Mint distributions. I can’t put my finger on any specific thing that makes me prefer these Debian based distributions to the standard Mint 11, but it is a sort of general feel, consistency and reliability.

            • Bodhi Linux 1.1.0 : Ubuntu and Enlightenment based Promising Linux distribution

              Bodhi Linux is a relatively new GNU/Linux distribution being developed by Jeff Hoogland. I had read couple of reviews of Bodhi Linux earlier, but comment from the maintainer of Bodhi Linux in the review of MacPup 520 Linux ( you can read this review here ) , made me take notice of Bodhi Linux, and I decided to give Bodhi Linux a try.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android phones get Starbucks payment app

          Starbucks has introduced an application that lets users pay for coffee and other treats from the java chain via their Android smartphones. Available free, the software works at nearly 9,000 locations, according to the company.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Of Open Source and Open Innovation

    I don’t think Linus gets enough credit for helping to define (albeit unintentionally) the ideas behind open innovation a decade before books started appearing about it. In terms of achievement, it’s arguably up there with the Linux kernel and Git.

  • Freedom DOES Matter

    The idea that FLOSS is irrelevant in licensing collapses under its own weight when the complexity of IT systems makes the valuation of licences impossible. VDI does that. It expands the problem that already existed with virtual machines on servers and compounds it. One does not need a licensing regime as complex as one’s IT system. FLOSS rationalizes the problem of accounting for licences by trumping complexity with four simple freedoms: use, openness, modification and copying. Use FLOSS.

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • And so the duplication of efforts begins

      Except over at LibreOffice, where one of our new contributors, Pierre-André Jacquod, worked on this earlier this year. This work is present already in our 3.4.

    • LibreOffice 3.3.3 Released for the Cautious

      Speaking of The Document Foundation, Italo Vignoli of the steering committee, today announced the release of LibreOffice 3.3.3. This latest release “fixes several bugs and improves the security of the suite, to specifically address the needs of corporate deployments, where stability is more important than new features.”

    • Fork history does not favor OpenOffice.org

      The conversations about OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice these past few weeks have put forks on my mind lately.

      There are two long-standing opinions about forks in the FLOSS community: they weaken projects or they strengthen projects. There are interesting arguments on either side of the debate, but if history is any judge, there is a strong trend: the project that forked away from the mainline project tends to be the ultimate survivor.


    • Evergreen Joins the Software Freedom Conservancy

      Today, the Software Freedom Conservancy welcomes the Evergreen project as its newest member. Evergreen joins twenty-six other Conservancy members, who receive the benefit of aggregated non-profit status available to all Conservancy member projects.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • ActiveState Expands Platform-as-a-Service Cloud Tech for Perl

      Tools vendor ActiveState is acquiring cloud startup Phenora which develops a Perl cloud platform. The Phenora platform will complement ActiveState’s Stackato Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) effort which was announced in May.

      Among the many things that make Phenora an interesting company is the fact that is it run by its 15-year-old founder, Daniil Kulchenko, who is still in high school.

    • 11 Things I’ve Learned about Git


  • Science

    • China building world’s biggest radio telescope

      Using FAST’s unparalleled sensitivity and high surveying speed, the project is expected to enable the surveying of neutral hydrogen in the Milky Way and other galaxies, the detection of new pulsars (both galactic and extragalactic), the search for the first shining stars, and of perhaps most interest to many people, the search for extraterrestrial life. It is expected to be able to detect transmissions from over 1,000 light years away.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Sip, Spit, Grade: Coffee Experts Crown Colombia’s Best Beans

      It’s springtime in Colombia, and coffee experts from every part of the globe have convened in Santa Marta, a small city on the Caribbean coast. It is time to award the coffee industry’s most prestigious prize. The taste mavens make ready: Alberto Trujillo is deep into his pre-sip calisthenics, which consist of knee bends and alternating leg shakes. The Tijuanan has to prime his body, nose, and mouth for the so-called cupping that’s about to commence. As any java snob can tell you, to cup is to scrutinize the tastes and aromas of freshly brewed coffee. But Trujillo is no ordinary java snob, and what he’s girding for is no ordinary cupping. He has been certified by the Coffee Quality Institute as a licensed Q Grader, a person who can boast experience in everything from roast identification to sensory triangulation. And he’s about to serve as a judge in the annual Cup of Excellence competition.

  • Security

    • Does The Recent Rash of Cyber Attacks on High-Profile Institutions Tell Anybody ANYTHING???

      Let’s take some inventory. The latest attack is against the IMF, the International Monetary Fund which acts as kind of an overseer of the industrial world’s economic activity. They just got hit.

      As the article goes on to list, that’s only the latest breech. There’s Sony Playstation accounts (which I just mocked here), aerospace defense contractor Lockheed Martin’s network, North American Citibank, an email database (Epsilon, an email marketing firm) related to BestBuy and Target, and an attack perpetrated through Gmail.

  • Cablegate

    • 40 Years After Leak, The Pentagon Papers Are Out

      In this Jan. 17 1973 file picture, Daniel Ellsberg speaks to reporters outside the Federal Building in Los Angeles. Ellsberg’s co-defendant, Anthony Russo is at center right. Forty years after the explosive leak of the Pentagon Papers, a secret government study chronicling deception and misadventure in U.S. conduct of the Vietnam War, the report is coming out in its entirety on Monday, June 13, 2011. The 7,000-page report was the WikiLeaks disclosure of its time, a sensational breach of government confidentiality that shook Richard Nixon’s presidency and prompted a Supreme Court fight that advanced press freedom.

    • Why the Pentagon Papers matter now

      The declassification and online release Monday of the full original version of the Pentagon Papers – the 7,000-page top secret Pentagon study of US decision-making in Vietnam 1945-67 – comes 40 years after I gave it to 19 newspapers and to Senator Mike Gravel (minus volumes on negotiations, which I had given only to the Senate foreign relations committee). Gravel entered what I had given him in the congressional record and later published nearly all of it with Beacon Press. Together with the newspaper coverage and a government printing office (GPO) edition that was heavily redacted but overlapped the Senator Gravel edition, most of the material has been available to the public and scholars since 1971. (The negotiation volumes were declassified some years ago; the Senate, if not the Pentagon, should have released them no later than the end of the war in 1975.)

      In other words, today’s declassification of the whole study comes 36 to 40 years overdue. Yet, unfortunately, it happens to be peculiarly timely that this study gets attention and goes online just now. That’s because we’re mired again in wars – especially in Afghanistan – remarkably similar to the 30-year conflict in Vietnam, and we don’t have comparable documentation and insider analysis to enlighten us on how we got here and where it’s likely to go.

    • WikiLeaks spokesman: Guardian, NYT wanted to rush war logs

      Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson has savaged The Guardian and New York Times for attempting to rush the publication of WikiLeaks material, suggesting the issue contributed to the falling-out between the online whistleblower site and the doyens of the progressive mainstream media.

      The Guardian and The New York Times were the key English-language vehicles for the release of both the Iraq and Afghanistan “war logs” and the initial tranche of diplomatic cables WikiLeaks continues to release via over 50 outlets around the world. However, relations between the newspapers and WikiLeaks soured and both outlets and their senior staff have since launched stories highly critical of Julian Assange. The New York Times has also been revealed to have allowed the State Department to veto and censor WikiLeaks material.

      Hrafnsson told Crikey the relationship between WikiLeaks and the newspapers had been going sour from before the release of the Iraq War logs in October 2010. “[The Guardian] said they’d been promised exclusivity; Julian said, ‘no — that was only for the print media.’”

    • Return of the plumbers

      HENRY KISSINGER said he “must be stopped at all costs”. Richard Nixon was more blunt: “We got to get this son of a bitch.” And oh, how they tried, creating a team of operatives whose dirty tricks would eventually sink the president himself. But Daniel Ellsberg proved an elusive target, and anyway his work was already done. Forty years ago this week the New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, the largest leak of classified documents in American history until WikiLeaks came along.

      Julian Assange’s outfit is Barack Obama’s problem, and though the current administration lacks the vindictiveness and criminality of the Nixon White House, it has pursued leakers with just as much vigour. After promising the most transparent administration in history, Mr Obama and his Justice Department have pressed criminal charges against five suspected leakers under the Espionage Act, more than all other administrations combined, including Nixon’s.

    • EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW! The “Wikileaks Truck Driver” Clark Stoeckley – Creator of “Wikileaks Top Secret Mobile Collection Unit” – Artist, Activist, Entertainer and Wiki-Prankster

      Wikileaks-Movie.com is pleased to introduce Clark Stoeckley, driver of the world’s first Wikileaks Truck called the “WikiLeaks Top Secret Mobile Information Collection Unit” and member of the Anonymous Theater Art Group. As many have remarked, when it comes to the Wikileaks story, ”You just can’t make this s__t up!” The issues are serious but there is plenty of room and an important role for levity, art and theatrics.

      And now, just as we are watching new episodes of “The Lulz Boat” and taking in our daily dose of “JuiceMedia RapNews”, here comes Clark driving along in his thought provoking “WikiLeaks Top Secret Mobile Information Collection Unit” making the White House and U.S. Secret Service a little nervous.

  • Finance

Reader’s Picks

Clip of the Day

Stuxnet: Anatomy of a Computer Virus (see Stuxnet context)

Credit: TinyOgg

G8 Leaders and Microsoft Chiefs Not Interested in Real Patent Reform

Posted in America, Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents at 6:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

G8 summit members

Summary: Monopolies that are protected by controversial laws are mostly supported by super-rich businessmen and the leaders they help appoint

THANKS to Benjamin Henrion (FFII) we learn that the “EPO granted patent on the progress bar to Apple, now claims it is granting high quality patents” (he links to this EPO page which says “G8 leaders support a quality patent system”).

As we explained earlier this week, to refer to the patent problem as a problem of “quality” rather than scope is to distract from the real issue that the EPO too has been having. This is why we do not consider the Wilcox move [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] to be a shrewd one. It can only help validate some software patent including some of Microsoft’s, such as FAT.

“Except for desktop GNU/Linux companies such as Novell/SUSE/Attachmate and Xandros, those who pay Microsoft for Linux are Turbolinux LG, Fuji Xerox, Brother, Melco, Samsung, Kyocera Mita, I-O Data, and HTC.”Using extortion with software patents Microsoft has been mostly successful in Asia. Except for desktop GNU/Linux companies such as Novell/SUSE/Attachmate and Xandros, those who pay Microsoft for Linux are Turbolinux LG, Fuji Xerox, Brother, Melco, Samsung, Kyocera Mita, I-O Data, and HTC. There is also Amazon (server and embedded in Kindle), which decided to pay its state neighbour Microsoft after many of its new managers got appointed from Microsoft Corp.

Whatever goes on in Washington (both the state and DC) matters a lot at the moment because Bill Gates and his buddy Nathan go from the state to DC to lobby a lot in favour of patents (Gates, for his part, rallies G8 leaders to give taxpayers' money to patent holders he invests in, as we explained before). Do not be distracted by the America Invents Act. This whole thing is a bogus ‘reform’ which resembles what we see in Europe — one whose focus is all wrong:

The America Invents Act encourages innovation and promotes job creation. It switches the standard of patent approval from a “first to invent” to a “first inventor to file” system.

Sounds like it’s good for businesspeople, not for scientists. So, of course politicians might support that. They know where campaign contributions come from.

The patent from Nathan (world’s biggest patent troll and former Microsoft CTO) continues to bug Microsoft competitors and Groklaw is striving to shoot down this patent by cooperation within the community:

As we noted in the article yesterday, one of the more effective ways developers (and anyone else who believes Lodsys is overreaching) can respond is by identifying prior art that is relevant to Lodsys’s claimed inventions. Lodsys has taken the position that its patent claims are very broad, and the problem with that position, as they will learn, is that it opens the floodgates wide for prior art that chips away at those broad claims. And that’s where you come in.

More of the latest news about it can be found in the corporate media, which unlike coverage in TechEye and other contrarian sources, does not go far enough. It claims to inform rather than promote, but it ends up choosing cowardice, not just conformism.

What we find encouraging is that regulators have at least begun stepping up to address anticompetitive aspects of patents, even though they miss the real targets and Microsoft pushes them towards fake ones. To quote recently news [1, 2] where CPTN got mentioned:

Patents have become an increasingly potent tool in technology, as small companies sue larger ones for infringement, and large companies pay dearly to accumulate patents to protect themselves from future litigation. In April, the Justice Department forced a group of companies buying patents from Novell, including Apple and Microsoft, to license rather than buy some of the 882 patents and patent applications over worries about the impact on open-source software.

Microsoft has also been crushing companies for patents like those it put in CPTN. We wrote about Microsoft's use of Nokia the other day. “These companies have all essentially become Novell,” writes Sarah Lacy in relation to this sort of sweep-up of smaller companies (not necessarily their patents). Who on Erath would support such patents other than multinationals and politicians who serve their interests? People must stand up and speak out.

Microsoft Partner Attachmate Keeps Monopoly Over Mono ‘IP’ After Microsoft Aided Sale

Posted in Finance, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 5:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Attachmate bites Novell where it hurts and more information is revealed about the financing of Attachmate and the takeover

A few weeks ago we wrote about the mysterious entity called Wizard, which was behind the financing of Novell’s demolition that left Microsoft with the patents of Novell (the ones Microsoft previously signed a patent deal with Novell to cover). According to this new report from a reputable source, there are yet more entities to watch out for:

Examples of recent deals have included Novell’s sale to Attachmate Corp, owned by an investment group led by Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Bravo, and more recently Lawson Software Inc’s (LWSN.O) deal — spearheaded by Katz — with GGC Software Holdings Inc.

Then there is the involvement of Singer’s vulture fund, which we wrote about many times before. It was rather curious for many reasons. Was someone bigger behind it all? Microsoft helped the sale of Novell, which leaves Mono in a limbo as Xamarin has not got trademarks for all we know. A Microsoft MVP (Miguel) funds this startup which no longer makes it into the news at all, not even blogs. It would be quite reasonable to allege that Mono is at the point of no return (from the grave).

An article from Andrew Binstock says various interesting things this week, such as:

De Icaza and the developers he worked with persisted, and in a remarkably short time had running examples of the.NET equivalent and VS counterparts. His team polished the software, so it was a first-class alternative to the Microsoft products. During this time, his group of iconoclasts was hired by Novell.

With Novell’s financial support, Mono became the premier platform for developing .NET applications for Linux, Mac OS, and mobile devices. Since Novell owned the SUSE Linux distribution and had close ties to Microsoft, Mono appeared to be a natural investment. Contrary to popular belief, Novell’s ties to Microsoft didn’t hurt Mono. “Microsoft was supportive of our work,” de Icaza says, “not in an official way, but they answered questions, and my contacts there were always friendly.”

Late last year, everything changed when Novell was unexpectedly acquired by Attachmate, a company that purveys terminal emulation tools. Curiously, some of the funds for that acquisition came from Microsoft itself.

While Attachmate hasn’t revealed its strategy for other products, it has determined its path with regard to Mono: In May, it fired all the developers. Attachmate retains the intellectual property for Mono, much of which is copyrighted by Novell and available under an open source license.

Yes, someone has finally said it in a major Web site, unlike those who echo the PR while Ximian products are going to Windows (pet project) and the primary targets of Mono at Xamarin becomes proprietary platforms. A lot of those who cover Xamarin or Mono are pro-Microsoft publications.

“Xamarin is more beneficial to Microsoft than it is beneficial to GNU/Linux.”After the SD Times removing criticism of Mono we could only expect the editors of this publication to jump to Mono’s rescue. Several weeks ago it mentioned Mono being buried and now in a little letter “from the editors” they say that “Microsoft should rescue Mono”. Why bother? And does it not matter that this publication advertises with Microsoft? Anyway, one of their arguments quotes “Microsoft Regional Director Patrick Hynds,” who “pointed out in an e-mail to SD Times, “If the world builds their apps for mobile devices using .NET languages and tools, then I think that gives Microsoft a huge advantage. And if they don’t, then maybe someone will build an Objective C converter that makes it super easy to write your Objective C iPhone app and port it with a click to Android and Windows/Windows Phone. If that happens, then Microsoft will have missed the boat and its tools division will suffer.””

Why are they trying so hard to rescue Mono? Well, that’s right, because it’s good for Microsoft. Just watch (or read) who is typically quoted as favouring Mono. Xamarin is more beneficial to Microsoft than it is beneficial to GNU/Linux. It’s better off dead.

Mitch Lemons and Other Novellers Leave the Company

Posted in Novell at 5:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Attachmate squeezes the life out of Novell

Lemon glass

Summary: Novell is suffering a second death as following its delisting from the S&P 500 index almost all the managers are leaving too

AT THE END of April the “Boycott Novell” community saw the end of Novell and then began tracking whoever was leaving (and where for). So far we have not found Novell staff (of a senior level at least) moving to Microsoft or to Apple for example. It sure seems like some of them have not found another company to work for yet. It seems like a lot of the PR staff got laid off and with the exception of ‘fluff’ about Vibe in some blogs, “Novelldemo” videos on Vibe are just about the only form of Novell marketing in YouTube. There are new exceptions, but they are few (just one in this case). Novell’s presence as a brand and as a company is very scarce. Here is another article about a Novell chief who left. He is being introduced by an old friend of sorts. The notable departure which we are seeing this month is of Mr. Lemons. To quote: “Formerly of Novell Corporation, Mr. Lemons has a strong reputation building, managing, and growing successful sales and business development teams that ultimately benefit customers and partners. “

More here. It does not add much, but it says that “Consonus has named Mitch Lemons, the founder of Piedmont Technology Group, to head its Sales division as vice president of Sales.”

“So far we have not found Novell staff (of a senior level at least) moving to Microsoft or to Apple for example.”Someone from Managed Objects (which Novell had acquired) also moved away and landed in Xirrus. We wrote about this before just as we wrote about other departures that continue to make the news (this one is about a Novell “Vice President of Engineering”).

Blueprint takes another executive from Novell and there is a connection to PlateSpin which Novell bought several years ago.

“Rich joins a seasoned management team with significant technical depth and breadth at Active Endpoints,” says this press release which also names “Chris Keller, Founder and Vice President, Product Development, has founded three technology companies, and held executive level development positions at Novell, GemLogic, Inc. (acquired Novell/SilverStream) and LexiBridge (acquired by Level3 Communications).”

Another new announcement reveals a CTO who “[p]rior to Del Monte [...] included time at IBM Global Services, Novell and as the interim CIO for the NHL”

Novell is like an historical company whose legacy in today’s news has something to do with people who once worked there. There is someone who seems to think that Novell (NOVL) is still listed [1, 2] but as mentioned in here, Novell is basically history as far as the stock market is concerned, not just the people who managed it. Techrights will continue to keep an eye on Novell for a while. Even the bankrupt SCO is still being tracked by Groklaw as the dodge from a heating continues. Will Attachmate confront SCO in court or be loyal to Microsoft?.

OpenSUSE is Drying Up in Attachmate’s Hands

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 4:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Drying up but not dying

Monumet of the flag

Summary: The OpenSUSE project lacks the level of activity it had back when Novell was in charge; the deemphasis occurs following the separation imposed by Microsoft’s partner, Attachmate

In order for the OpenSUSE conference to materialise, Jos Poortvliet has already begun looking for sponsors [1, 2]. A few years back OpenSUSE also sought sponsors for a server, as if Novell was being too cheap to buy its own project the necessary means to operate. What exactly is going on there? Despite the fact that activity remains in the project (however minor as it’s hard to find much of it), Attachmate left the project somewhat orphaned and development therefore relies on the likes of Google for funding [1, 2, 3] of key projects like YaST, For the rest, OpenSUSE relies on many packages from other companies/distributions.

Following the separation between SUSE and Novell there is hardly anything to see in OpenSUSE. Did Attachmate, a Microsoft partner, help/agree to keep OpenSUSE dry? Novell’s sale to Attachmate was financially assisted by Microsoft. What were the conditions?

Microsoft is Using the Excuse of ‘Security’ Against Support of Web Standards

Posted in FUD, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Security, Windows at 4:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: The company which made viruses so abundant (and whose operating system is insecure by design) is using excuses and tricks to daemonise WebGL

WE HAVE seen it all before. Whether it was the case of not supporting ODF or even something like Ogg, Microsoft never blamed competitive reasons; it’s just not good for PR and the whole antitrust karma too would be impacted. See how Microsoft used security FUD to promote OOXML [1, 2]. It sure is amusing when Microsoft spinner Mr. Bright excuses Microsoft for avoiding WebGL by citing its talking points (headline says “Microsoft: no way to support WebGL and meet our security needs”). Truth be told, there is clearly more to it considering what’s done with Silverlight (hardware acceleration and Web integration, even with proprietary software).

For Microsoft it is not unusual to snub new standards and create its own proprietary extensions that require Windows with IE. It is no secret that even Microsoft’s Web developers write hacks especially for IE6 (and they detest IE for this reason, based on comments found in page source). Watch Microsoft’s booster Bott spotting a new “Microsoft security versus Microsoft Web” gaffe. Of course he is spinning this. It’s his job.

Microsoft makes shoddy Web products because it wants to turn the Web into a sandbox of lock-in, not interoperability. Instructions for this come from the top.

“In one piece of mail people were suggesting that Office had to work equally well with all browsers and that we shouldn’t force Office users to use our browser. This Is wrong and I wanted to correct this.

“Another suggestion In this mail was that we can’t make our own unilateral extensions to HTML I was going to say this was wrong and correct this also.”

Bill Gates [PDF]

What Novell Founder Drew Major is Up to

Posted in Novell at 4:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Photo inside train

Summary: Following the sale of Novell and the failure of Move Networks we look at Drew Major’s legacy

THE THING about Move Networks is that it is hardly around anymore. Drew's latest 'baby', Move, died last year (around the same time as his previous ‘baby’, Novell, which many still view of Noorda’s company), but this article suggests that the company is “rebounding with new business”. To quote:

Move’s founder and chairman Drew Major, a local man and BYU alumnus, was one of the founders of Novell and the lead architect of NetWare, the killer app of its time. In 1995, BYTE magazine named him one of the 20 Most Influential People for the previous 20 years of the computer industry. He was inducted into the National Computer Industry Hall of Fame in 1999 and into the Utah Technology Hall of Fame in 2005.

He founded Move Networks 10 years ago after Novell rebuffed his vision of broadcast-quality TV on the Internet. The upstart initially enjoyed huge backings from Microsoft, Comcast and Walt Disney, and big-ticket clients like ABC, HBO, Fox, ESPN, Discovery, CBS, WB and Televisa, the largest publisher of Spanish content in the world.

Novell, as everyone recognises by now, is dead. Its glory days are long gone and its legacy brand still keeps for its products some of their old inertia. From CRN India:

Shah started by selling Banyan VINES products. “There were two prominent names in networking products—Novell and Banyan VINES. Novell was known more for its LAN software and there were also piracy issues. I chose Banyan VINES.”

Novell will probably be remembered for its legacy in the network, not for its later products. There is some new PR piece titled “Novell Positioned in Leaders Quadrant for Security Information and Event” and he was explained before, Magic Quadrant is a matter of nepotism or bribes sometimes. Those who bet on Novell put their cards/bets on a ticking time bomb. A few weeks ago we explained that Groupwise was a dying product, but “Sonian(TM), the pioneer in cloud-powered archiving, today announced its partnership with HostedEM to deliver the first ever Cloud-Based Managed Service for Novell(R) GroupWise(R) in the enterprise collaboration market.” When was the last time that Novell/Attachmate gained a major new client of Groupwise? Will it new owner even try? As we shall show later, SUSE is already being neglected.

ES: La Supuesta Alianza Para la Innovación de las PYMEs Están Contra los Intereses de las PYMES

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 4:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SME Innovation Alliance

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: Los grupos de presión de la mal llamada “PYMEs Alianza Innovativa (PYME representa la Pequeña y Mediana Empresa y PYMN Pequeños y Medianos Negocios) no están en realidad promoviendo la causa de las PYMEs y, además, los argumentos de este lobby distorsionan los hechos sobre el EOP (Oficina Europea de Patentes) con el fin de salirse con la suya.

Recientemente hemos visto algunos pasos en el Reino Unido que pueden ayudar a legitimar las patentes de software [1[http://techrights.org/2011/05/31/patent-monopolies-in-the-eu/], 2[http://techrights.org/2011/06/01/wilcox-should-learn-from-eu/], 3[http://techrights.org/2011/06/10/transporting-software-patents-to-eu/], 4[http://techrights.org/2011/06/13/software-monopolies-in-fr-and-uk/]]. Todavía hay algo cocinadose por los abogados de patentes quienes piden más monopolios para que ellos puedan tener más clientes. A pesar de los inconvenientes conocidos de las patentes de software[http://techrights.org/2011/06/14/smashing-progress-with-swpats_es/], la propaganda de aquellos con intereses creados se propaga a través de algunas vías alternativas [1[http://www.suaju.com/software-news/software-patents-could-be-the-answer-to-protect-the-economy-and-the-software-industry/1543], 2[http://www.womenintechnology.co.uk/news/uk-software-industry-restricted-by-patent-rules--news-800579361]]. David Meyer de ZDNet ha hecho un trabajo decente cubriendo[http://www.zdnet.co.uk/news/intellectual-property/2011/06/14/uk-tech-lobbyists-call-for-software-patents-40093101/] algunas de las últimas tonterías de los grupos de presión (cuya oscura página de inicio es http://www.smeia.org/, que puede oler a Bristol-basado AstroTurf sin actividad sustancial[http://www.smeia.org/member-forum/]). Algo que se llama “Alianza para la Innovación de las PYMEs” está presionando para que las patentes de software con presunciones falsas. En principio, no existen las patentes de software en Europa, sin embargo, John Mitchell pretende que “no tenemos una industria de software debido a que la Oficina de Propiedad Intelectual del Reino Unido está fuera de línea con el resto de Europa”. Espera, ¿qué? Para citar a:

El Reino Unido sólo se otorgará patentes de software si estas resuelven un problema técnico en particular, al tiempo que niega a los que tienen un uso de propósito general, como una aplicación de procesador de textos. En comparación, la Oficina Europea de Patentes (EPO) es un poco más relajada, ya que permite las patentes de los programas de ordenador.

Eso es una tontería. ¿Son estas supuestas distorsiones que le ayudara a presión? De todos modos, un comentario que nos gustó especialmente, dice: “PERO CON LAS PATENTES DE SOFTWARE, TAMBIEN PODRIAMOS TENER UNA PROSPERA INDUSTRIA DE “TROLL DE PATENTES”! ¿No sería bonito? (Si usted es un abogado de patentes, por supuesto que sí …)

Sí, bueno, tal vez esas empresas pequeñas y medianas empresas que el nefasto Mitchell pretende representar, de hecho son, firmas no tan pequeñas y/o no tan medianas empresas de los TROLLS DE PATENTES, que en muchos casos son más o menos lo mismo. Como astroturfing expertos como CMD probablemente sabe (ver PR Watch[http://www.prwatch.org/] y SourceWatch[http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=SourceWatch]), para convertirse en un cabildero eficaz hay que pretender hablar por el lado opuesto (que él o ella es o en realidad son/están). El petroleo, el tabaco, y otras industrias notorias, entre las que se incluye Microsoft utilizan esas tácticas ampliamente. Ver la Asociación para la Tecnología “Competitiva” ACT[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Association_for_Competitive_Technology], por ejemplo, ya que pretende ser un lobby PYMN/PYME con sede en Bélgica, pero en realidad es un grupo frontal de Microsoft promoviendo las patentes sofwtare en Europa.

Translation produced by Eduardo Landaveri, the esteemed administrator of the Spanish portal of Techrights.

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