Links 19/7/2011: Ubuntu 12.04 Event Planned, GParted 0.9.0 Out

Posted in News Roundup at 7:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • 8 Places to Find Help for Your Linux Server
  • Toyota’s open road

    Now why would a car company want to join a nonprofit consortium made up of mostly technology companies dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux? The answer is, it makes business sense.

  • Loosing work because I use Linux

    Their online application was three pages long. Even though I saw the above block on the first page I had a small hope it wasn’t a strict requirement because after I checked “no” to having Windows I was able to select that I used “Linux” from a drop down menu. Tutor.com then proceeded to waste another ten minutes of my time while I filled out the next two pages. Immediately after hitting the “submit” button I was informed that my application had failed.

    I understand they have certain system requirements, but why they felt it was necessary to waste my time filling out the last two pages after I already marked that I did not use Windows is beyond me. What is also beyond me is why they choose to develop their browser based software for the Windows only Internet Explorer instead of any of the cross platform browsers that exist. Oh and did I mention that they opted to support iOS before they added support for non-Windows desktop operating systems?

  • Desktop

    • Wolverton: A look at the new Samsung Series 5 Chromebook

      Chrome OS is also theoretically much more secure than standard laptops. Because Chromebooks are designed to be connected to the Internet, little data is stored on the machine itself. And because everything is focused on the browser — which Google updates frequently — there’s less chance of a malicious program running in the background.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linus Torvalds delays Linux 3.0 launch due to a subtle bug

      Torvalds announced back in May that the Linux 2.6.40 kernel will be rebadged as the Linux 3.0 kernel. The projected release date of Linux 3.0 was supposed to be today, but in a post on Google+, Torvalds explained that the discovery of a “subtle pathname lookup bug” has delayed the release.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • 5 Absolutely Useless Compiz Plugins

      Compiz is no doubt the best compositing manager for Linux. It has been a part of Ubuntu for a long time and is actively maintained as well. Since the addition of the contentious Unity plugin, Compiz has become the most popular and reliable compositing manager easily surpassing GNOME 3′s Mutter.

      Being a part of a big project like Ubuntu, developers are coming up with amazing new plugins like Modal dialogs. This, of course, doesn’t mean that there aren’t any useless plugins for Compiz. Here are 5 such plugins that find no practical applications whatsoever:

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE 4.7: Long-Term Vision, Ongoing Myopia

        hree years ago, KDE was the innovative desktop, and GNOME the conservative one. Today, KDE is the conservative desktop, doing incremental releases, while GNOME is divided between GNOME 3 and Unity, each as innovative and as controversial as the other.

  • Distributions

    • ArchBang: A small review

      ArchBang is a simple GNU/Linux distribution, which provides you with a lightweight Arch Linux system combined with the Openbox Window Manager. Suitable for both desktop and portable systems – It is fast, stable, and always up to date. (Source: ArchBang front page)

      I like fast, stable and up to date distros. But of course most of them say that.

    • New Releases

      • Zorin OS Lite Release Candidate
      • Announcement: RapidDisk (rxdsk) 1.0b Stable release

        I am writing to announce the release of my Linux RAM disk kernel module. Yes, the Linux kernel has the brd module already integrated into it, and also the zram module it the staging tree. And yes, you can instead utilize ramfs or tmpfs for RAM based file systems. But RapidDisk or rxdsk is a bit different.

      • 18 July 2011: GParted 0.9.0

        The most significant change in this release is the ability to compile and link with libparted 3.0.

        GParted retains full functionality when compiled and linked with libparted versions prior to 3.0, for example libparted-2.4.

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • I owe you an apology, PCLinuxOS

        Two years ago, when I first entered this vast world that Linux is, I came to realize that there was a distribution that was mentioned over and over: PCLinuxOS. I became curious and followed some old posts in multiple threads. To be honest, being a total newbie, I felt sort of intimidated by the vocal followers of this distro and my aversion grew stronger when I visited the forum and was greeted by the rules. Boy, did I ever read something harsh!


        From all of this, my biggest conclusion is that I, because of my lack of experience with Linux, acted unfairly. However, as Ezra Pound said of Walt Whitman, “I am old enough now to make friends”. Yes, PCLinuxOS… I owe you an apology.

      • Another day, Another PCLOS – Xfce Edition 2011-07

        Following the releases of PCLinuxOS 2011.6 and PCLinuxOS 2011.07 MiniMe KDE comes PCLinuxOS Phoenix XFCE Edition 2011-07 Final. As you can probably gather, it features the low-weight high-performance Xfce desktop which makes it perfect for machines a few years old. It also can be quite pretty and configurable.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Review: Scientific Linux 6.0 “Carbon”

        Overall, I was pretty pleased with Scientific Linux 6.0 “Carbon”. It recognized all my hardware correctly, software worked well on it, and it was fast, recognizable, and easy to use.

      • Fedora

        • Newly-expanded Fedora Logo Guidelines

          Due in major part to Ian Weller’s extensive work on expanding Fedora’s logo usage guidelines, we now have updated logo usage guidelines that cover the usage of the Fedora logo in more detail, including:

    • Debian Family

      • Debian invites you to Debian Day
      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • How to Freshly install Ubuntu Linux 10.10
          • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Developer Summit Event Announced

            As expected, the second Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) event for 2011 has been officially announced a couple of minutes ago by Jono Bacon in an email. The Ubuntu 12.04 Developer Summit event will take place in Orlando, Florida, USA from 31st October to 4th November.

          • Wireless dominoes
          • Canonical to simplify Ubuntu certification

            Canonical has announced that it will be changing its commercial certification programme in order to make it simpler for consumers to understand. The certification programme allows original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs) to apply for their systems to be validated and endorsed to work with the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution.

          • Ubuntu Certification Is Changing
          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 224
          • [Oneiric Updates] Some Upcoming Changes in Unity
          • Flavours and Variants

            • UbuBox “SalentOS” 11.04

              The idea to make a personal operating system, flashed in my head for quite some time, but for one reason or another I never managed to get to work seriously on such a project. In these days I decided to commit myself “full time” to it and I did it, also pushed by the wave of news that are coming in the world of the penguin! I did not, initially, planned to make UbuBox “SalentOS” public. Then, along the way, thanks to the advice of some friends and the realization that the system satisfy me, I said “Who knows … maybe this could satisfy someone else too. Why not make it public?”.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Meraki Slims Down Cloud Routers

      The underlying operating system in the MX50, MX60 and MX70 router is a customized Linux base that Meraki has enhanced.

    • Tiny Wi-Fi device server ships with Linux SDK

      Lantronix is now shipping a wireless device server module with a Timesys LinuxLink software development kit (SDK). The PremierWave EN includes a 400MHz Atmel ARM9 processor, an Ethernet port, and a dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n modem, and ships with Linux-based Lantronix firmware — offering secure tunneling, configuration, diagnostics, LAN bridging, and remote access applications.

    • Plustek announces upgrades to its MultiManager video management software

      Plustek Inc., the leading manufacturer of the innovative Linux-based standalone Network Video Recorder (NVR), announces today a notable upgraded to its Centralized Management Software “MultiManager.” This version introduces powerful enhancements and new features to further improve monitoring effectiveness and efficiency. The new “Smart Cycling Control” tool brings added convenience to multiple-channel monitoring. Additionally, alert notification functionalities are improved to assist users in staying on top of alarms and to better respond to emergencies. User permissions also are better refined, providing more control and flexibility to the system. Last but not least, several other developments to image and video output file types, video recording performance, and user operations are made.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Business reporting group promotes XBRL tools

    Non-profit consortium in the US offering cash prize to encourage development of new software resources

  • Events

    • Blender Conference 2011 registration opens

      The Blender Foundation has announced that registration for 2011 Blender Conference is now open. The 10th annual event will take place from 28 to 30 October at the De Balie in Amsterdam.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla lays out multi-process Firefox engineering goals

        Mozilla’s Chris Blizzard has detailed the non-profit organisation’s plans for the engineering behind Firefox, as it looks to make the browser spread even more of its workload between multiple processes. Blizzard notes that, although the multiple process model for Firefox is not a panacea, “it does gives us a leg up on some of the more systemic problems”.

      • Mozilla outlines goals for multiprocess browsing implementation

        Mozilla’s Chris Blizzard has published a blog entry that outlines the goals of Mozilla’s renewed effort to bring multiprocess browsing to the Firefox Web browser. The post highlights the key advantages that deeper process isolation will bring to Firefox and addresses some of the underlying requirements for Mozilla’s implementation.

      • Mozilla: We don’t hate enterprise users!
      • Announcing Mozilla Enterprise User Working Group

        Recently there’s been a lot of discussion about enterprises and rapid releases. Online life is evolving faster than ever and it’s imperative that Mozilla deliver improvements to the Web and to Firefox more quickly to reflect this. This has created challenges for IT departments that have to deliver lots of mission-critical applications through Firefox. Mozilla is fundamentally about people and we care about our users wherever they are. To this end, we are re-establishing a Mozilla Enterprise User Working Group as a place for enterprise developers, IT staff and Firefox developers to discuss the challenges, ideas and best practices for deploying Firefox in the enterprise. It will be a place to ask questions and get information about Mozilla plans.

      • Firefox development team lays out efforts to improve speed, stability and performance.
  • SaaS

    • Hadoop & Startups: Where Open Source Meets Business Data
    • OpenStack turns 1. What’s next?

      OpenStack, the open-source, cloud-computing software project founded by Rackspace and NASA, celebrates its first birthday tomorrow. It has been a busy year for the project, which appears to have grown much faster than even its founders expected it would. A year in, OpenStack is still picking up steam and looks not only like an open source alternative to Amazon Web Services and VMware vCloud in the public Infrastructure as a Service space, but also a democratizing force in the private-cloud software space.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Oracle admits Sun work needed in Aussie market

      According to Oracle, it is not stepping away from the SPARC server line. MacDonald said that the company would not favour x86 over SPARC. “We will continue to treat x86 and Sparc equally, the same as Solaris and Oracle Enterprise Linux,” MacDonald said. “We are a two chip/operating system [company] and we will continue to foster those [offerings],” MacDonald said.

    • IBM donates open source code

      Hoping to further sharpen OpenOffice’s competitive viability against Microsoft Office, IBM is donating the code of its Symphony open source office suite to the non-profit Apache Software Foundation, says ComputerWorld.

  • CMS

  • Semi-Open Source

  • Funding

  • Public Services/Government

    • CISL and communities strengthen FLOSS office suites

      On Friday, July 1, at the International Free Software Forum (FISL) in Porto Alegre – Brazil, the Brazilian Government’s Free Software Implementation Committee has signed, along with the communities of the LibreOffice and OpenOffice projects, maintained respectively by the The Document Foundation and Apache Foundation, a Letter of Intent which signals the mutual interest of cooperation with the FLOSS office suites.

  • Licensing

    • CFP: Legal and Licensing Aspects of Open Source at OWF 2011

      Licensing is an important component of every free software and open source project. This is especially true as an increasing number of corporations are adopting and distributing open source applications and code. This track considers various legal and licensing aspects of open source, both from a community and a corporate perspective.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Migrate Git Project from GitHub to Google Code
    • Google Code gains native Git support

      Google has added native support for Git, the distributed revision control system developed by Linus Torvalds, to its Google Code project hosting site. Now, when developers create a new project, they can choose between Git, Mercurial and Subversion as their project’s version control system – support for Mercurial was added in April 2009. The long awaited change also applies to Eclipse Labs, a Google-hosted portal launched in May 2010 for open source projects based on the Eclipse platform.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • ODF Plugfest: “ODF still needs to establish itself”

      Five years after being adopted as an official ISO standard, the Open Document Format (ODF) still appears to have a long way to go, despite the support it has received from politicians and administrative agencies. Andreas Kawohl from the civic centre and IT processing department at Freiburg City Council told Friday’s session of the ODF Plugfest in Berlin: “ODF is a long way from being able to function as a standard format for exchanging documents”. According to Kawohl, 2000 administrative staff in Freiburg are now using both Microsoft Office and OpenOffice, with 70,000 OpenOffice documents generated over a six month period, but hardly anyone outside of the organisation is able to use them.


  • The Unix revolution—thank you, Uncle Sam?
  • Security

    • Passwords are made obsolete with Mozilla’s BrowserID
    • Mozilla pushes simplified Browser ID login system
    • Skype Holes

      If you really know how Skype works, you know it’s about as safe as juggling firecrackers. Skype, the popular VoIP program, relies on every PC running Skype between you and who you’re calling to serve as stepping stones for your conversation. That’s bad. What’s worse is when Skype doesn’t check to see if Skype calls are actually sent, or received, by the right people.

      Or, to quote Levent “Noptrix” Kayan, the security researcher that uncovered this hole, “Skype suffers from a persistent Cross-Site Scripting [XSS] vulnerability due to a lack of input validation and output sanitization of the ‘mobile phone’ profile entry. Other input fields may also be affected.”

  • Finance

    • Wall Street’s Euthanasia of Industry

      Michael, I read the in the newspapers that the great recession, so-called, has long since ended, but unemployment remains stubbornly high with only a measly 18,000 jobs created in June. I believe the term that was coined some time ago is a jobless recovery. What is a jobless recovery?

      We call that a depression – in this case, caused mainly by debt deflation. Just because the stock market is being inflated by the Federal Reserve doesn’t mean that the economy itself is growing. It’s shrinking – from a combination of families and businesses having to pay off debts rather than spend their income on goods and services, and the government’s shift of taxes off finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) onto labor and industry.

  • Censorship

    • CFP: Legal and Licensing Aspects of Open Source at OWF 2011

      I’m pleased to announce a research result that Eric Wustrow, Scott Wolchok, Ian Goldberg, and I have been working on for the past 18 months: Telex, a new approach to circumventing state-level Internet censorship. Telex is markedly different from past anticensorship efforts, and we believe it has the potential to shift the balance of power in the censorship arms race.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Shaw Places Spotlight on Net Neutrality Rules With Online Video Service Plans

      Two of the leading issues before the CRTC – over-the-top video and usage based billing – have come together as Shaw has announced plans to launch a new online movie service designed to compete with Netflix. Subscribers to the service, which will cost $12 per month, will be able to watch on their TV and computer. Most notably, Shaw says that the service will not count against subscriber data caps. Given the problems users of over-the-top video services have encountered with the caps, the Shaw approach places the spotlight on the CRTC net neutrality guidelines and undue preference rules. [Update: Shaw now says that watching movies via the Internet will count against user caps]

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Lawyer Trying To Trademark Bitcoin Threatens Techdirt With Bogus DMCA Takedown

        And what are these “offending works?” Well, looking at the DMCA notice (full notice embedded below), he appears to be claiming that both the header and the footer from his law firm’s legal correspondence, as well as the header of Magellan Capital Advisors LLC, are copyrights held by him. If you don’t recall, Magellan Capital Advisors was supposedly Pascazi’s “client,” in the attempt to trademark Bitcoin, and a letter sent from Magellan with the header in question was available on the USPTO website as Pascazi’s “evidence” for Magellan’s use of “Bitcoin” in commerce. You can see this part of the DMCA notice identifying “the works” here…

    • Copyrights

      • ACTA

        • Notes on ACTA and Access to Medicines

          The analysis is based on the December 2010 text, the “Final ACTA text following legal verification”. The later 2011 version does not contain substantial changes other than: “This Agreement shall remain open for signature by participants in its negotiation,17 and by any other WTO Members the participants may agree to by consensus, from 1 May 2011 until 1 May 2013.”

Bait Headlines Cause Harm to GNU/Linux, Help Microsoft

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft at 4:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steven J. Vaughan-NicholsSummary: Commentary on journalists who trick people into reading articles that say the opposite of what their headlines say

THERE IS a new pattern of Linux FUD this week. Well, actually, it is not so new and we addressed it a couple of years ago. It’s to do with Microsoft’s proprietary-boosting patches for Linux, which Microsoft managed to sneak into Linux through Novell (which was paid hundreds of millions of dollars by Microsoft). Rather than delve into the FUD with some sources and links to the bait headlines from The H, a few others that followed, and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, aka SJVN (who admitted to me he was link-baiting), we will just link to the following older posts [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] and advise against feeding those who bait (it typically goes something along the lines of, “Microsoft a top Linux contributor”).

What we prefer to deal with in Techrights is not PR spin but Microsoft’s patent attacks on Linux, especially in light of older Linux FUD that Jun Auza summarises in this timely new post which opens as follows:

rom the buggy-yet-popular Windows 95 to the god-knows-what-it-is and upcoming Windows 8, Microsoft has come a long way. Unlike the 90’s, they aren’t just making computer software, today they manufacture almost anything your tech-savvy mind can dream of. But after all these years, what hasn’t changed is the fact that Microsoft is still a company full of uptight nerds who think that attacking their competitors is what makes them no 1.

Microsoft’s long war against Linux, Android and all things related to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is something that can’t be ignored anymore.

It cannot be ignored, so Microsoft is actively attacking, along with Apple (more on that in imminent posts that are longer). Speaking of bait headlines, we sometimes write about articles whose headline says the opposite of the body of the article says. We gave numerous examples over the years and SJVN himself yields many new examples these days, especially when he writes for ZDNet (we truly hope he will stop doing this). Over at IDG there is also a new piece titled “Why enterprises will skip Windows 8″ (we have a wiki page about the vapourware). This is supposed to sound like bad news for Microsoft, but it starts with “Enterprise IT had a good business case for moving off the nearly decade old Windows XP operating system and onto the more modern Windows 7.”

A little promotional, no? We’ve seen that before. Here is how “Homer” addressed this in USENET several hours ago:

> Why enterprises will skip Windows 8
> http://blogs.computerworld.com/18634/why_enterprises_will_skip_windows_8

Enterprise IT had a good business case for moving off the nearly decade old Windows XP operating system and onto the more modern Windows 7.


That statement will come as a surprise to the ~74% of businesses still using XP.

Make of this what you will, but according to Microsoft, some 74 percent of businesses are still running Windows XP, an operating system now two generations old.

That number comes from Tammi Reller, CVP of Microsoft Windows, who stated as much during the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference this week. What Reller didn’t do, however, is view this negatively.

According to Reller, this statistic just means that Microsoft is in a great position to capitalize on would-be converts to Windows 7.


“Great position to capitalize” … LOL!

Back to the original article:

Vista introduced moderate changes to the UI that forced a jarring adjustment upon some enterprise users.


My, my. The spin doctors are out in full force, aren’t they?

Vista was a freakish alien from another planet compared to XP. It looked totally different, it behaved totally different and it was largely incompatible with existing Windows software. /That/ was why it was universally slated and ignored by consumers, and why Vole central had to rush a new release out the door in a panic. About the only thing Vista had in common with XP was its bugs and malware. And Vista 7 is just a scam to hide the fact it’s just Vista with a new name.

“Moderate” my ass.

Windows 8 will be far more challenging.

No shit Sherlock. It’s a bloody phone OS, for goat’s sake. I can justsee server admins trying to keep their servers going by shuffling tiles around on a touchscreen. Yeah, that’ll work.

No doubt IT will be asking why enterprise desktops and laptops need touch right now.


Is this guy on prozac, or what?

Yes, well… this is probably an example of articles we wrote about — those that try to attract Microsoft sceptics while in fact doing some pro-Microsoft whitewash. Thanks, IDG, but no thanks.

Xamarin Gets Permission From Novell But Not From Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED at 3:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Closed-source risk

Xamarin site

Summary: A new PR offensive portrays an endorsement from SUSE as an elixir to Mono’s problems

WE ALREADY know that Mono is a patent risk. Nothing has changed since 2009 when Microsoft provided clarifications that only reinforced our scepticism. Well, it seems like SUSE, now a subsidiary of a Microsoft Gold-Certified Partner, decided to show love for Mono again [1, 2]. “In addition to the intellectual property license, SUSE is also partnering with Xamarin to provide customer support,” says this article. Just as someone people started to hope (perhaps wishfully) that SUSE had cut ties with Microsoft deals, the sad realisation dawns upon Fred Williams, who writes, “so much for trying SUSE”

He clarifies in the body of his comment:

After Attachmate’s purchase of SUSE I was going to try it. But not if their going to push this Mono rubbish.
If Microsoft wants there language (C#, their version of Java) and .Net IDE to be available, let them license it so every one can use it. Why are intelligent developers chasing a moving target that contains portions of code that contain patent issues?

Rainer Weikusat responds by saying that this happens “[f]or the same reason Mono opponents are apparently incapable of understanding that the US patent systems is fubarred enough that ‘code without patent issues’ does not exist in ths USA: They are not really intelligent. That’s why they seek to imitate the not exactly glorious Microsoft designed technology to begin with.

Another reply says:

They may be intelligent in regard to software, but not in other areas, such as law, or English.

In our Xamarin wiki page we provide a lot more background. Some Mono boosters entered our IRC channels recently, playing ball for Microsoft’s interests. Well, “how is that good news,” asked our contributor Oiaohm. “Nowhere is Xamarin getting funding out of that.”

“Also you are forgetting what Miguel de Icaza has systematically done to mono. [...] Basically wherever he can see profit [he] ends up closed.”
The operation is still funded by Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza and it is a company which de Icaza admits is an "open core" (i.e. proprietary software) company. So what’s to celebrate here? Here is the press release from Nuremberg (also in Novell’s site, which is mostly inactive these days). “SUSE today announced it is partnering with Xamarin,” says the press release, “to bring products to market faster and to more effectively support customers using Mono®-based products. The agreement grants Xamarin a broad, perpetual license to all intellectual property covering Mono, MonoTouch, Mono for Android and Mono Tools for Visual Studio. Xamarin will also provide technical support to SUSE customers using Mono-based products, and assume stewardship of the Mono open source community project.”

They use the vague term intellectual property without saying if it’s copyrights or trademarks (or both). This does not actually cover the area of patents, which are mostly held by Microsoft, so how much of a reassurance is the above? Phoronix says “Xamarin gains rights to the IP surrounding Mono.” What is “IP”? What is it then? Patents, copyrights, or trademarks? These are all very different. In our latest IRC log there is a longer discussion of these points. It was initially a Microsoft booster who brought to our attention the news right from the horse’s mouth, only to face dismissal from Oiaohm who wrote: “Xamarin does not get Novell license with MS by that. So Xamarin only has the bless[ing] of 1 party when it needs 2 [the Novell PR, by the way, does not change much]. Also you are forgetting what Miguel de Icaza has systematically done to mono. People forget the visual studio plugin started as open source. Migual de Icaza systematically convert that from GPL to MIT… Then from MIT to closed source. [...] MIT license allows you to change to closed source without approval. So as long as you are silver tongued enough to convince people that converting from gpl to mit will give more freedom you can pull it off. Monotouch also started open source as well. Basically wherever he can see profit [he] ends up closed.”

Former Microsoft Staff Shows That Microsoft is a Ripoff Artist (and Proud of It)

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 3:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Collaborators left high and dry

Fishing boats

Summary: The untold story about origins of the Kinect and how it relates to patents

THE i4i case is a classic story where Microsoft approaches someone with a good idea, pretends to be a partner, copies this someone's idea, and then throws this 'partner' to the dogs. Over the years we have covered several stories like this (sometimes the goal is to hoard patents) and there is a new one in last week’s news, alleging that Microsoft probably ‘stole’ the Kinect:

After hearing of the HiE-D, Microsoft courted [Carlos] and requested a prototype. He gave Microsoft a prototype of the HiE-D, and according to [Carlos], it was taken to Redmond in February of 2007 – more than two years before the announcement of Project Natal. After meeting with Microsoft two more times that year, he was told by Microsoft that a patent on his invention wouldn’t be a bad idea.

While any action on Microsoft’s part would be speculation, we will say that the Kinect is remarkably similar to the HiE-D. Both use a ‘constellation’ of infrared dots projected on the user, and both can are able to detect the ‘skeleton’ of a user for motion control. The image below, from the HiE-D patent, shows how the movement of a face can be tracked.

Keep this in mind when Microsoft screams “innovation” in relation to Kinect (which we sometimes call “KINect” because of KIN).

DuckDuckGo: Another Front End to Microsoft for Some Queries

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Search at 2:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft eliminates choice and controls its opposition

MICROSOFT LOVES to kill competition because it’s a lot easier than to actually create competing/compelling products. History has many examples like this and the Yahoo hijack is one of the more recent ones. In the case of Yahoo, Microsoft resorted to proxy fights and other questionable tactics which include AstroTurfing. Well, after a history of systematic crime Microsoft realises that it has a well-deserved reputation problem, so it hides behind brands of other companies and keeps re-badging its search, trying to somehow trick people into using Microsoft thinking that they are fighting “bad”, “evil” Google. As we experimented with some alternative search engines today (or meta-search) we came to discover the above in DuckDuckGo (from screenshot), taking the user to this FAQ page. Does DuckDuckGo really want to market itself as a substitute to Google by sporting Microsoft? Suffice to say, this is very disappointing.

“Do not let Microsoft pretend to be of both sides, both open source and proprietary, both Windows and Linux, both Microsoft and the “anti-Microsoft”.”In similar news of interest, amid a lot of Microsoft “open source” PR this week (e.g. trying to portray the company as open and as a contributor to a kernel it attacks with lawsuits, among other things) we discovered that Microsoft is top sponsor (i.e. passing money for placement) in an open source “Think Tank”, as before. The sponsorship is for Microsoft and friends to shape opinion and position of its competition. Do not let Microsoft pretend to be of both sides, both open source and proprietary, both Windows and Linux, both Microsoft and the “anti-Microsoft”. It’s a known technique for removing choice. Coca Cola uses similar tactics to ensure it gets paid even by those who hate Coke.

ES: Inevitablemente, las Patentes de Software Podrían Morir Cuando Su Impacto Económico es Dado a Conocer

Posted in America, Patents at 8:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: La reacción en contra de las patentes de software llega a niveles sin precedentes, ya que incluso algunas empresas preparan sus maletas y dejan a los países que permiten las patentes de software.

La toma de conciencia acerca del problema con las patentes de software es cada vez mayor. Personas en todo el Internet parecen haber formado un consenso en torno al desdén por las patentes de software y hoy en día en el gimnasio me di cuenta de que incluso las personas que no están en la tecnología han tomado conciencia del problema de las patentes de software (que en general, escribo el 80% del blog Mensajes – este incluido – en el gimnasio en estos días, debido a la falta de tiempo). El aumento de la cobertura de la materia debe ser el catalizador, aunque la sátira de esta pieza titulada[http://www.muckwatch.com/news/7] “USPTO tendrá que pagar 3 billones en daños sobre patentes no válidas”.

Asatya, una empresa de Silicon Valley base con sede en la India se ha ganado una demanda en contra de la USPTO (Oficina de Patentes y Marcas de los Estados Unidos). El tribunal ha impuesto una multa USPTO 3 billones de dólares EE.UU. por patentes de software no válidas pasadas por el cuerpo controversial sin un examen adecuado.

Las patentes fueron considerados para un nuevo examen cuando un fabricante de pequeño adminículo brillante demandó Asatya, el principal jugador de Android, pidiendo a la corte un embargo judicial de sus dispositivos. La USTPO encontrado todas las 7 patentes reclamadas por el fabricante de dispositivo no válidas o habiendo previas técnicas. El brillante fabricante de dispositivos fue la búsqueda de un daño de $ 3 billones.

Esto es por supuesto una broma sobre como el sistema que está costando mucho a los Estados Unidos, todo para el beneficio de unos pocos muy ricos las personas y sus abogados. John Perry Barlow, cofundador de la EFF (Fundación Electrónica de la Frontera), escribe: [a través de Pranesh Prakash]

Es “demasiado peligroso para hacer negocios” en los EE.UU. debido al riesgo de demandas por patentes de software.

Prakash escribe [http://twitter.com/pranesh_prakash/status/92446728535547905]:

Me encanta el troll de patentes de software Kootol de Mumbai.

Michuk dice que “la abolición de las patentes de software probablemente haran aumentar el crecimiento económico (mientras que matarán a unos pocas empresas buitre en el camino)” y Henrik Ingo [http://openlife.cc/] afirma que [http://twitter.com/h_ingo/status/92465845372076032]:

Pocas #swpats llegarán a su conclusión lógica: No se permite la importación de teléfonos inteligentes en EE.UU., y nadie venderá aplicaciones allí. #Telodije

Esto fue enviado por alrededor de un montón de gente, todos ellos más o menos se basan en un informe o un conjunto de informes sobre empresas que se mudan fuera de los EE.UU. (o al menos los desarrolladores), debido a la ley de patentes EE.UU.. Se escribió acerca de esto últimamente [http://techrights.org/2011/06/21/empire-strikes-back-vs-nz/] y lo mismo hizo The Guardian [http://techrights.org/2011/07/16/uspto-crushes-economy/] (pieza muy citada).

Claudio, un estadounidense diatriba [http://twitter.com/claudiom72/status/92222936194359296] de la siguiente manera:

Este es el resultado de la emisión de patentes de software en la actualidad. Espero que los políticos y las corporaciones codiciosas sean felices.

Bueno, cuando las grandes empresas comienzan desertar a otros países y una gran cantidad de trabajadores estadounidenses pierden su empleo, tal vez entonces la reacción contra la USPTO se convertirá en un tremendo lo suficiente como para dar resultados. Como un nuevo informe [http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/a/News/Kootol-joins-Lodsys-as-a-patent-troll/?kc=rss] dijo, “los trolls de patentes desalojan a los desarrolladores de aplicaciones fuera de los EE.UU.”

Kootol Software Ltd. ha enviado un “aviso” a Apple, Faccebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Twitter, y varias docenas de otras compañías de tecnología con respecto a un pronto-a-ser-concedió la patente sobre una “tecnología básica”, al parecer, la participación de redes sociales. Mientras tanto, los ataques legales por “patente troll” Lodsys están causando los pequeños desarrolladores de aplicaciones a retirarse de los EE.UU. por completo, de acuerdo con un rodeo 15 de julio por The Guardian de Londres.

Con sede en Mumbai Kootol emitió un comunicado de prensa 15 de julio, diciendo que “ha enviado una notificación a las empresas en el [sic] para llamar su atención acerca de la tecnología de base que están utilizando para sus diferentes servicios y productos, para lo cual la empresa tiene en exclusiva derechos de patente.”

Esto es lo que un desarrollador notable que tenía que decir sobre el tema [http://furbo.org/2011/07/13/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-independent-developer/]. La gente está harta y también lo están las empresas en la cara de ella.

Cualquier nación que rechaza las patentes de software ofrece un lugar especial para los desarrolladores y pone en sí en una posición de ventaja frente a los Estados Unidos. No es de extrañar que países, como Nueva Zelanda, por ejemplo, esten corruptamente (“lobby”) cabildeado muy fuertemente por las multinacionales de los EE.UU.. Ellos quieren las bombas de tiempo de patentes de software en todo el mundo.

Traducción hecha por Eduardo Landaveri, Administrator of the Spanish portal of Techrights.

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

ES: Kappos Está Concediendo Más Monopolios

Posted in Patents at 8:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: El jefe de la USPTO celebra la noticia de los retrasos del retroceso y Peer to Patent está aparentemente igualmente júbiloso.

EN EL mundo extraño de los abogados de patentes, las patentes buenas son patentes amplias que pueden hacer que todos los demás sean demandados. En el mundo de la OIN (Open Invention Network) una “buena” patente es una que sería muy difícil de anular. En la USPTO (Oficina de Patentes y Marcas de los Estados Unidos), las patentes son “buenas” porque son una fuente de ingresos. En principio, la USPTO bajo la dirección de Kapos es una causa perdida[http://techrights.org/2011/07/10/david-kappos-disappoints/] y de acuerdo con este nuevo post de Kappos[http://www.uspto.gov/blog/director/entry/first_office_action_backlog_dips], a pesar de la recesión/depresión, ellos están acelerando la tramitación de las solicitudes de monopolio. Esto es lo último que Estados Unidos necesita en estos momentos, sobre todo teniendo en cuenta lo duro que los trolls de patentes y los carteles de las patentes están golpeando. La reacción de los Peer to Patent es un disparate por decir lo menos. La persona que maneja su cuenta de Twitter dice[http://twitter.com/peertopatent/status/91168647116107777]:

Parece que hay signos de progreso en la USPTO! Cartera de retroceso!

A menos que sea sarcasmo, esto es malo, porque por lo general, vemos que el número de patentes aumenta con el tiempo. Así que la noticia de arriba puede ser indicativa de la situación está cada vez peor, no mejor, a excepción en el punto de vista de la USPTO, ya que las patentes son sólo negocios para estas personas. El presidente de la FFII (Fundación para una Infraestructura de Información Libre) respondió por escrito [http://twitter.com/zoobab/statuses/91171077337788417] “Más patentes!”

Sí, esto es probablemente lo que la USPTO considera como “éxito”. Si el Departamento de Justicia quiere limpiar el desorden anti-competitivo, un buen lugar para empezar sería un replanteamiento de la USPTO. Como una persona señaló hace unas horas[http://twitter.com/integgroll/status/91849928506216449]:

La USPTO sólo aprueba las patentes hoy en día, son un agujero enorme de dinero. Dejan al litigio probar la validez de las patentes.

Claudio desde el Linux Basement respondió [http://twitter.com/claudiom72/statuses/91852565653889024] con:

Hable de una pérdida de dinero en el pago de esos salarios si no van a hacer su trabajo de manera adecuada aprobando patentes.

!Qué pérdida de productividad¡ y lo que es un peaje en todo el mundo. Los ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos se levantarían en armas si entendieran las ramificaciones que se mantienen ocultas de los mismos (como los costos artificialmente elevados en todo el mercado). Los retrasos solían ser un síntoma y un argumento para el reacondicionamiento de la USPTO, lanzando a más personas en el problema, la USPTO ayuda a asegurarse de que sigue haciendo sus cosas rancias, otorgando aún más monopolios en muchas cosas más sin embargo. La gente tiene que levantarse y protestar.


Traducción hecha por Eduardo Landaveri, Administrator of the Spanish portal of Techrights.

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

ES: El Auge y la Caída del Desarrollador Independiente

Posted in Patents at 7:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Por Craig Hockenberry

Original en: http://furbo.org/


Soy lo suficientemente viejo para recordar la vida antes de Internet. Yo sé lo que es el desarrollo de software con y sin una red en todo el mundo.

Poco ha cambiado con el proceso de desarrollo de software desde la década de 1980. Por supuesto que ha habido mejoras en nuestras herramientas y técnicas, pero el acto de básico de la creación de productos de software es muy similar. Lo qué ha cambiado dramáticamente en los últimos 30 años es la forma en que distribuimos nuestras creaciones.

En los días en que el software era distribuido en medios magnéticos, como los rollos de cintas, casetes o discos, costaba MUCHO dinero hacer llegar el producto a un cliente. Como resultado, las grandes empresas y fabricantes de software fueron los únicos con los recursos financieros para conseguir estas aplicaciones en un canal de distribución. Había muy pocos desarrolladores independientes de software, y los que sí existian tenían operaciones muy pequeñas.

Entonces llegó Internet y lo cambió todo. La distribución fue de repente barata.

Recuerdo una conversación con mi buen amigo Cabel Sasser [http://panic.com/] hace unos años. Él y yo estábamos recordando nuestra primera incursión en la distribución en línea y se sorprendieron de que hemos tenido la misma reacción inicial: “!Ay Carajo! !Podemos poner nuestro software en el Internet y la gente realmente va a comprarlo!”

Muchos otros desarrolladores tenido esta misma experiencia y comenzaron a salir de las grandes empresas para trabajar por su cuenta. Hacían una buena vida, mientras que contaban con la libertad de trabajar en su pasión fue una gran vida[http://daringfireball.net/2005/10/the_life].

Ahora va la corriente principal de distribución es con la App Store. Y ya está empezado a cambiar las vidas y los negocios de los desarrolladores de software independientes. En la superficie, todo se ve bien. Hay más clientes, mayores ingresos, y muchos grandes productos nuevos.

Sin embargo, esta mayor distribución también está poniendo en riesgo nuestro negocio: hay gente en este nuevo mercado que afirman el derecho a una parte de nuestro trabajo. Ya sea por una patente [http://www.rfcexpress.com/lawsuits/patent-lawsuits/texas-eastern-district-court/76009/lodsys-llc-v-combay-inc/summary/] o una infracción de los derechos de autor [http://www.rfcexpress.com/lawsuits/copyright-lawsuits/new-york-southern-district-court/69655/kevin-harper-v-iconfactory-inc/summary/], los desarrolladores están descubriendo que este nuevo costo de los litigios llega a ser oneroso.

Lo peor es que estas infracciones puede suceder con cualquier parte de nuestros productos o sitios web: cosas que usted nunca [http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=100387] se imaginaría [http://www.widgetpress.com/defense] ser una violación de la propiedad intelectual de otra persona. Se siente que la codificación es un campo minado.

Desde nuestra experiencia, es muy posible que TODOS los ingresos de un producto puede ser consumido por los gastos legales. Después de años de verter su corazón y alma en este producto, es devastador. Te hace preguntarte ¿por qué diablos estás en este negocio: cuando no pueden pagar los salarios con las ventas de tus productos, no tiene sentido su construcción en el primer lugar.

Por lo tanto, al igual que en los días de los medios magnéticos, el desarrollador independiente ahora se encuentra consigo mismo en un punto donde se vuelve a convertirse en muy caro para distribuir sus productos a un mercado masivo. Esta vez, el canal de distribución en sí es muy barato, pero los gastos accesorios, tanto económica como emocionalmente, son MUY altos.

Y, por supuesto, sólo las grandes empresas y los editores pueden correr con estos gastos. Mi temor es que es sólo cuestión de tiempo antes de que los desarrolladores encuentren los riesgos y gastos prohibitivos y van a refugiarse en la seguridad de una organización mayor. Vamos a comenzar de nuevo en el cuadrado uno.

Con los años muchas de las aplicaciones más vendidos han sido creados por desarrolladores independientes, a partir de Steve Demeter y Trism [http://articles.cnn.com/2008-11-18/tech/iphone.game.developer_1_trism-iphone-app-store] en el lanzamiento de la App Store, y continuando hasta nuestros días con títulos como Tiny Wings (Alitas) [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiny_wings] de Andreas Illiger.

La pérdida de ese tipo de talento e innovación a un sistema jurídico es un verdadero crimen.

Traducción hecha por Eduardo Landaveri, Administrator of the Spanish portal of Techrights.

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

Please let’s thank Craig Hockenberry & Gedeon Maheux of the IconFactory, for allowing us to translate & publish Craig’s post (“The Rise and Fall of The Independent Developer”)

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