A Glimpse at Executives Who Left the Sinking Novell Ship

Posted in Novell at 6:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell suicide

Summary: A roundup of news about former Novell staff and where that staff is moving these days

NOVELL is a relic, but one that has become almost synonymous with old networks. Novell is no longer a company, let alone one that boasts having about 12,000 members of full-time staff.

Mr. Taylor, a former Novell senior, becomes CFO at Adaptive Computing and the respective press release says:

Mr. Taylor also served as the Director of Finance and Group Controller for the Product Development Organization at Novell, where he worked extensively in the product planning process.

Here is the story of a man who served/advised companies sold to Novell:

Syed, managing principal at PredictSoft LLC, moved to Shrewsbury in early 2005 and has since been driving new initiatives, including funding high-tech companies to drive entrepreneurs to come up with better software products that enhance business productivity. Over the last two years, he has been an investor and adviser to companies that were sold to Novell, Cisco Systems, McAfee and Intel. These companies created jobs in Massachusetts and California.

Another new hire:

Butterfield is the founder and managing partner of SageCreek Partners, where he helps companies with their go-to market, recruiting, finance and business development initiatives. Before SageCreek, he guided Altiris to eight consecutive years of profitability, overseeing growth in revenue from $3 million to more than $300 million. He had similar results at Vinca Corporation, Legato, Novell and WordPerfect. Butterfield is the winner of the 2002 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

More Novell connections here:

Masie worked for 8 years in the USA at Novells head office in Utah as a Global Corporate Technology Strategist. On his return to South Africa he assumed the role of country manager of Novell and thereafter developed, established and launched Google South Africa.

Masie is mentioned here as well:

Masie worked for eight years in the USA at Novell’s head office in Utah as a Global Corporate Technology Strategist.

Here is Semel, another familiar person who left, finding his place at a new company:

Mr. Semel joins IntraLinks after serving as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of Novell, Inc. Previously, Mr. Semel served as chief legal officer and corporate secretary at Tele Atlas N.V., a Dutch Euronext company providing digital mapping and navigation solutions. Mr. Semel also served as vice president, general counsel and secretary of Ascential Software Corporation, a provider of enterprise data integration, and vice president, general counsel and secretary of NaviSite, Inc.

Corey becomes Chief Revenue Officer and the press release says:

Prior to USWeb, he served as vice president at Novell’s $1.2 billion NetWare systems business. More recently,

More information can be found here.

More former Novell staff is mentioned in other articles, but these people are not as prominent. For instance:

A seasoned executive, he has held various senior management positions in both start-up and large enterprise companies including Novell Inc., the pioneer in local area networking. At Novell he led marketing, product management, developer and strategic relations organizations.

One who moved to McAfee is already leaving:

She joined the vendor in summer 2009, arriving from an equivalent position at Novell. According to McAfee, she has moved on “to pursue new opportunities”. She is replaced as UK and Ireland vice president by Ross Allen.

Job hopping already?

Other former Novell employees ended up in this company. For example, to quote this new report from Canada:

The move to the worldwide role at McAfee puts Struthers on what he calls his “fourth continental hop.” After starting out in South Africa, he moved to Dubai for Novell about ten years ago, reporting into EMEA. Then it was off to Asia Pacific, based in Australia, for McAfee. And now, onto North America.

The bottom line is, a lot of people whom we know from Novell (where they were managers) are no longer with Novell or even with Attachmate. Novell is where people stay to sink with a ship.

Novell Makes New Software for Microsoft Windows and Office

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Novell, Windows at 6:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Back to being an addons company


Summary: PR spin from Novell and money-grabbing moves that promote proprietary software rather than Free/Open Source software

OVER in YouTube, Novell keeps advertising Vibe [1, 2, 3], but how long might it take to see the Windows bias of this product? Well, here we have it right from Novell’s own mouth:

Novell Vibe Add-in for Microsoft Office lets you create or update a document in Vibe directly from MS Office. The new Vibe Add-in feature is integrated into the MS Office environment so users can seamlessly edit and save files directly into Vibe in near real time without leaving the comfort of their MS Office environment.

We previously showed how other Novell communication products got integrated with Microsoft Skype, a reminder of which is here.

Novell’s other products now target Macs, but still, not a word about GNU/Linux. To quote a press release about GroupWise 2012 and something else about Mac support, GroupWise now boasts “iPad support”. More of that Mac hype can be found here, in one among few Novell announcements that we can find. The point we are trying to make is, Novell does nothing to advance GNU/Linux or even Open/LibreOffice in the enterprise. This was very different before the deal with Microsoft. In fact, Novell gave its patents to Microsoft and Apple.

As we find in the news, more GroupWise customers are ditching the platform. Here is one new example:

Utah will be moving off Novell GroupWise, which currently is being used by the state’s executive branch. Novell is based in Provo, Utah.

Even Utah rejects Novell. What a blow. Considering the roots of Novell, this is symbolic too. This other new article states that:

When Macomb County officials a year ago began researching the best method to replace its existing Novell GroupWise technology, the Sheriff’s Office expressed concerns over security.

“I’m all for saving money and doing what’s right on the taxpayer side, but until we have assurances that information is going to be sent securely, we’re going to stay on the GroupWise platform,” said Sheriff Anthony Wickersham, who is concerned about emailing criminal information, driver’s license records and addresses.

GroupWise is not secure either. It’s all very perceptual and Novell used FUD in this case.

Here we have another company that tells us about Novell getting quite rusty in the enterprise:

Much interest in Resara Server has come from Netware users, who are under pressure to modernize their networks. With Novell’s future uncertain, and the prospect of a costly investment in Suse Linux Enterprise or Microsoft Active Directory, Resara Server offers an attractive and cost-effective exit strategy. “The direction of Novell’s products in recent years required us to look at other options”, says Daniel Hedblom, System Administrator for the Sollefteå school district in Sweden. “We moved to Suse from Netware, but the resource needs for mono and .net made Zenworks unusable for us. Resara Server and Samba4 is a much cleaner solution, and we are glad to have found it”.

Novell’s future is indeed “uncertain”; the company itself was sold and the buyer is grappling with debt while GroupWise, for instance, keeps losing customers and the spin department says that there is momentum even where there is none (GroupWise is being ditched in large deployments). To quote:

It’s a new day for Novell and GroupWise, and the future is bright.

It’s nonsense. It’s Novell’s “PR blog” and it shows. Over at YouTube too it’s just a lot of promotional/marketing videos for GroupWise [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] spread artificially by marketers rather than users. A look at Novell news summaries [1, 2] reveals more of a rotting company which is now clinging onto proprietary software (even Microsoft and Mac promotion) for cash. Novell deserves no sympathy from the FOSS world. It had its good days but in 2006 it defected.

Links 3/2/2012: BT Vision Goes for Linux, Linux 3.3 With Android

Posted in News Roundup at 4:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Linux Format 155 On Sale Today – Discover Linux!
  • Desktop

    • 2012 Linux Computer Buyer’s Guide
    • The Rise of GNU/Linux on the Desktop

      don’t know what has changed in NetApplications’ world but in the real world, a rate of growth like that would make GNU/Linux the dominant desktop OS in 3.5 years. Android/Linux is on a more modest pace and will take over the world in 4 years.

    • Soon You Will Be Running Android On Your PCs

      In an exclusive interview with Muktware, Greg-KH one of the leading figures of the Linux world, told us “The 3.3 kernel release will let you boot an Android userspace with no modifications, but not very good power management. The 3.4 kernel release will hopefully have the power management hooks that Android needs in it, along with a few other minor missing infrastructure pieces that didn’t make it into the 3.3 kernel release.”

      Google will finally wash the last remaining stain from their linen as they bring back the Android kernel to the mainline Linux kernel.

    • Coreboot Is Set To Start Booting Laptops

      This weekend in Brussels at FOSDEM along with many interesting X.Org discussions and laying out the plans for Wayland 1.0, the Coreboot project has an exciting announcement: showing off the first mainstream laptop with Coreboot support.

  • Server

    • Cray cuts the cost of its midrange supercomputers

      Supercomputer outfit Cray has announced that it is trying to make its mid-range efforts cheaper.

    • Oracle Drags Microsoft, Red Hat Into Itanium Lawsuit Swamp

      As Oracle and HP’s lawsuit over the doomed Itanium chip drags on like some Dickensian subplot, it’s time to introduce two new characters: Microsoft and Red Hat.

      Both companies were served with subpoenas last Thursday by Oracle, which seems hell-bent on unearthing every embarrassing detail on Itanium and then flushing them into the public record.

      On Monday, thanks to Oracle’s lawyers, we learned that HP is paying close to $700 million to keep Intel cranking out its unpopular Unix superprocessor until 2017. Oracle is trying to make the case that HP’s public act of pretending that people liked Itanium was not marketing but fraud. We’ll leave that one for the courts to decide.

    • How Web savvy are Romney, Gingrich and Obama?

      President Barack Obama recently held a Google+ video Hangout; Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich promised to have a permanent U.S. moon-base by 2020; and fellow Republican Mitt Romney, along with Gingrich and Obama, are against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA). So, as politicians go, these guys are all pretty tech-savvy right? Well, yes and no. If you look at their Web sites, which is what Strangeloop, a Web site optimization company, did, you’ll find that neither Republicans nor Democrats are as up to speed as you might like.

    • [Case Study] Lessons in High Performance Computing with Open Source
    • BT Vision throws Microsoft Mediaroom under a bus for Linux

      UK hybrid TV service BT Vision plans to be the first customer to discard Microsoft’s Mediaroom software, almost imminently, after at least a year-long effort to put in completely new software building blocks to rejuvenate the service.

  • Kernel Space

    • Hauppauge USB Receiver Tested Under Linux 3.2

      Support for the Hauppauge Aero-M USB receiver under Linux has improved with the release of the 3.2 kernel earlier this month. After some initial testing I’m happy to report its performance operating under Linux is as good as it is in a Windows environment. The Linux drivers also come with a unique feature that isn’t easily available in Windows.

      I tested the Aero-M using Arch Linux with the latest kernel, 3.2.2-1 and the Kaffeine media player, which I find superior to WinTV under Windows in that it supports the ATSC program guide and scheduling recordings using the program guide.

    • Linux 3.3 Will Let You Boot Into Android: Greg-KH

      Greg KH has quit SUSE and joined The Linux Foundation as a fellow. We interviewed Greg to understand if there will be any change in his role and responsibilities and engagement with the Linux community. We also asked about the status of Android kernel in the mainline Linux kernel.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The First Shots Of “Limare” Running On Linux

        Limare is the open-source program (the code will be dropped by early next week) that was designed to assist in reverse-engineering the ARM Mali 200/400 graphics processors. It’s a simple program, similar to reNouveau or the r600demo back in the day, for drawing simple objects to the screen.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • KDE Tablet Sparks Starts Shipping In May

        Slowly but steadily KDE project has positioned itself at the right spot when tablets are becoming mainstream. You can pick KDE Desktop for your main PC, KDE netbook for your netbook and now Plasma Active 2 for touch based devices such as tablets. Aaron Seigo, the lead of the KDE team, has revealed more information about the KDE powered tablet.

      • Spark answers

        I’m going to attempt to answer as many questions about the Spark tablet as possible here. The questions I’ll be answering are ones found in comments in my blog, on discussion sites around the Internet and that came in by email or irc. Let the fun begin!

      • Spark, free-software Linux tablet, to ship in May
      • The Hunt for Unobtrusive Chat

        Once apon a time, Instant messaging or ‘Online Chat’ was a primary task on it’s own. That is, I remember the days when I would switch on my computer, sign in to ‘MSN Messenger’ (as it was called back then), have a voice conversation with my father (who was working in England at the time), and then be done with it. However, over the last few years, not only have we started to rely more on it, but it’s also become more of a secondary (or even tertiary) task. For example, these days I keep in contact with the rest of the telepathy-kde (or is it kde-telepathy now, or just ‘ktp’ yet?) team on IRC while I’m developing; talk to my friends (with a steam voice call) while playing a game and so on.

        The thing is that, things like that need to be able to be done simultaneously while still maintaining maximum efficiency. Which becomes painfully impossible when you have to switch windows, or the way most IM clients are implemented these days.

        So, shortly before joining the Telepathy-KDE team, I set out to figure out what would allow me to talk to someone while doing my work with the minimum overhang (interruptions).

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Video Review: DreamLinuix 5.0 Really Dreamy?
    • Parabola GNU/Linux: Freedom Packaged
    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • PCLinuxOS 2012.2 Released

        oday, February 2, is Bill “Texstar” Reynolds’ birthday, but it’s the community who received the present. PCLinuxOS 2012.2 KDE was released today in a full sized version as well as a mini.

        This release ships with Kernel 2.6.38 and KDE 4.6.5. It comes packed with lots of your favorite apps like LibreOffice (installer), Firefox, TvTime, VLC, and the GIMP. The appearance hasn’t changed since the last release, but some additional goodies have been added. One of which is the PCLinuxOS Documentation Portal which will take users to the various features of the PCLOS Website or service.

      • PCLinuxOS KDE 2012.02 Has Been Released

        The PCLinuxOS KDE and KDE MiniME 2012.02 operating systems have been released today, February 2nd, and are now available for download.

        PCLinuxOS KDE 2012.02 is powered by Linux kernel, optimized for maximum desktop performance, and the KDE SC 4.6.5 environment.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Fedora

        • About Fedora 16

          Before Fedora 16 was released, I was quite excited about all the features that were being planned for Verne. I was looking forward to installing both the GNOME and KDE versions on the same computer and test each back to back, under the same hardware and OS. Unfortunately, I had my share of ISSUES, and that kind of put me off a bit. After a while testing other distros, I had some spare time and decided to go for Fedora 16. Like I said, I tested GNOME and KDE back to back, but before I go on about that comparison (which will be an article in itself), I wanted to share some of my impressions on Verne, both from KDE and GNOME perspectives.

        • Review: Installation and first Look: Fuduntu 2012.1

          Fuduntu started off as a customized Fedora install, but recently forked Fedora to create their own special distro that borrowed a bit from Ubuntu and a bit from Fedora. It has a very nice look when it first starts up and I almost forget that it’s Gnome 2.x:

        • Anaconda to the Rescue
        • Compiz Is Likely To Get The Boot From Fedora 17

          While Fedora 17 has a massive amount of features to look forward to, updates to Compiz is likely not on the agenda. In the coming days, Compiz and its related packages for this compositing window manager are likely to be removed from the Fedora 17 package-list.

          Compiz is on the list of packages that are set to be “retired” from Fedora. There’s a whole list of the packages set to be retired from Fedora 17 in this mailing list message.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Precise Pangolin Alpha 2 Released!

            The Ubuntu team has announced the release of Precise Pangolin Alpha 2, which will in time become Ubuntu 12.04.

            Kate Steward writes on a mailing list, “Alpha 2 is the second in a series of milestone images that will be released throughout the Precise development cycle. This is the first Ubuntu milestone release to include images for the armhf architecture, for the ARM CPUs using the hard-float ABI.”

          • Precise Pangolin Alpha 2 Released!

            Pre-releases of Precise Pangolin are *not* encouraged for anyone needing a stable system or anyone who is not comfortable running into occasional, even frequent breakage. They are, however, recommended for Ubuntu developers and those who want to help in testing, reporting, and fixing bugs.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 Development update
          • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Alpha 2 arrives for testing

            As expected, the Ubuntu release team has published the second alpha of version 12.04 of its Ubuntu Linux distribution, code-named “Precise Pangolin”. Aimed at developers and testers, the development milestone release uses the 3.2.0-12.21 Ubuntu kernel which is based on the recent 3.2.2 Linux kernel.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin Alpha 2 Released
          • How Much Gnome 3.4 Will Be There In Ubuntu 12.04?

            Ubuntu 12.04 is an LTS version so the team has to be very careful about what they pick or drop as this is the version which is used by enterprise customers or by those who want a stable system well supported for a longer period of time. They have to be careful about the individual applications as well, so they are picking different versions of applications from the Gnome stack.

          • Ubuntu 12.04 ARM Performance Becomes Very Compelling
          • Unity: Very Intrusive & A Nightmare To Maintain

            Along with the discussion around a rolling-release version of Fedora Linux, having been discussed recently has been the possibility of providing Ubuntu’s Unity desktop as an alternative desktop environment for Fedora. This is obviously a topic that gets some riled up.

            The discussion about Unity desktop packages as a possibility for Fedora has basically died since there’s no Fedora package maintainers interested in doing the legwork at this point and most importantly is that Unity doesn’t take advantage of many of the upstream GNOME APIs. With incompatible API implementations for some packages, this makes working with Unity a pain if wishing to still fully support the GNOME 3.x desktop in a streamlined manner.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Make Switching From Windows To Linux Easier With Zorin OS

              Despite the many reasons why people preach the use of Linux, actually going through with the switch is a completely different story. I know this only too well as I went through the exact same process before everything came together and I fell in love with Linux. However, I have to admit that it took a while with numerous attempts at using Linux for more than a week.

              It’s not that Linux is hard to use or understand, but it simply doesn’t fit the Windows mindset that most people have. Expecting to do everything in Linux exactly like in Windows is where problems start appearing, which can easily deter a good number of users. Thankfully, there is now a Linux distribution that could make the process a whole lot easier.

            • Linux Mint 12 KDE released!
            • Linux Mint 12 KDE released
            • Can Lubuntu Lure Windows 8 Users?

              One of the biggest challenges that Windows users will soon face is the transition to an unknown territory called Metro which will be introduced with Windows 8. The PC interface has remained same ever since Apple took the concept from Xerox and made it popular through Lisa. It has improved and evolved over ages, but just like the front seat of a car has remained same for some good reason, just the way QWERTY keyboard has been around for ever.

              Given the monopoly that Microsoft has in the desktop market, Windows 8 will come pre-installed on new PCs and users will be forced to use it. I don’t know how the market will react to this massive change. Windows 8 could be yet another Vista in the making. Yes, it will be an incredible OS for touch based devices which is in the league of GNU/Linux’s Gnome 3 Shell or KDE Plasma Active which is optimized for touch-based devices.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • FTDI adds touch capability to its open source platform

    Future Technology Devices International (FTDI) has added a touch control input/output application boards for its Vinco development module.

    The Vinco Touch Key applications board, which the supplier calls a shield mates with the Vinco motherboard, and incorporates a STMicroelectronics STMPE821 8-channel general purpose input/output (GPIO) capacitive touch key controller IC.

  • Open source software should be used to secure public sector systems, IT bosses are told
  • Free Software Is Just Fine

    FOSS is supported in many ways:

    * Open source – Make the source openly available.
    * Open standards – Use or create common available specifications.
    * Open development – Accept development contributions (source, review, test) from outside contributors.
    * Data ownership – Allow users to maintain ownership of their data by being able to move their data between their choice of solutions or remove their data entirely.

  • Events

    • SambaXP 2012 conference call for papers

      The Samba eXPerience organisers have announced that the eleventh international Samba conference will take place from 8 to 11 May 2012 in Göttingen, Germany at the Hotel Freizeit. The event is open to both users and developers of the open source Windows interoperability suite for Linux and Unix.

      The conference will include tutorials on 8 May, with the main conference taking place on 9 and 10 May. For the first time, there will also be a BarCamp on Friday 11 May at which attendees can speak to members of the Samba Team about conference topics and Samba in general.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla developing Web push notification system for Firefox

        Mozilla is developing a push notification system for the Firefox Web browser. It will allow users to receive notifications from websites without having to keep those sites open in their browser. The system will also be able to relay push notifications to mobile devices.

        The project is part of Mozilla’s broader effort to ensure that the Web is a competitive platform that can match the capabilities of native applications. Introducing support for push notifications will help to close the gap, because the feature is one of the major advantages that native mobile clients have historically offered over the browser for accessing Web services.

      • Seamonkey review: Firefox’s Lightweight Hyper-Functional Cousin

        Seamonkey has an interesting history, in that it is both older and younger than Firefox. Older, because originally it was built from Mozilla Suite code (for those of you that don’t know, Mozilla Application Suite is the parent of Firefox, and was originally built from the code of Netscape Navigator which was open-sourced in 1998). Seamonkey is also younger than Firefox in that Seamonkey’s first version, 1.0, was not released until 2006, 2 years after Firefox 1.0. Quite a few people are not even aware of the existence of Seamonkey or the Mozilla Suite, thinking that Firefox was the successor to Netscape Navigator, created deliberately to enact their vendetta against Microsoft for their monopolistic practices that killed Netscape. But glorious fantasies aside, Mozilla Application Suite was the real successor.

  • SaaS

    • 2 Ways To Ease Hadoop Growing Pains

      Interest in Hadoop is booming, so it should be no surprise that commercial vendors are piling on with products that promise to make the open source big data platform more reliable, more versatile, less expensive (by reducing required hardware investments) or faster.

      Enter EMC Isilon and RainStor, both of which say they’re plugging gaps in Hadoop to meet enterprise-grade needs. Each vendor brings a new twist to HDFS, Hadoop’s distributed file system. EMC Isilon has tied its network-attached storage to HDFS, while RainStor has added a database on top of the file system that promises high compression as well as support for SQL analysis.

  • CMS

  • Business

  • BSD

    • GhostBSD 2.5 review

      GhostBSD is a desktop distribution based on FreeBSD. It comes as an installable Live DVD image and is developed by Eric Turgeon and Nahuel Sanchez. The latest edition, GhostBSD 2.5, based on FreeBSD 9, is the project’s fourth release, and was made available for public download on January 24 (2012).

      This article provides the first review of this distribution on this website, and it is based on test installations of the 32-bit version. The boot menu is shown below.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Understanding Open Source Licensing

      In works licensed under an open source license, anyone is permitted to modify and redistribute, as long as a given set of criterion are met. But, that’s the simple definition. Life in the open source licensing world is much more complex than that. Before going any further, let us catch a glimpse of what an open source license means and what are its associated caveats. Strictly speaking, an open source license must comply with the definition specified by Open Source Initiative, as laid out at http://opensource.org/ docs/definition.php:

    • GPL enforcement sparks community flames

      The debate over enforcement of the GPL took an interesting turn this week, after one developer’s call for more projects to begin enforcement proceedings against alleged GPL violators of the Linux kernel.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age – By Philippe Aigrain

      Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age is out! Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, in collaboration with Suzanne Aigrain, describes the creative contribution, a financial model designed to sustain an expanding creative economy in a context where sharing is recognized as a right.

    • Open thread: An open House of Representatives?

      Today, the US House of Representatives is hosting a 2-day conference about how they can be more open and transparent about what they do under the dome. They are exploring ideas and recommendations on how to create transparency on how legislative information is created and made available for public access. You might be following the conversation on Twitter (#LDTC) or watching the live webcast.

    • Open Data

  • Programming

    • Join the M revolution
    • Programming is the new High School Diploma
    • Zarafa launches git.zarafa.com

      Messaging and collaboration specialist Zarafa has announced the launch of git.zarafa.com, its own Gitorious distributed version control system. The company says git.zarafa.com is intended to enable developers to “innovate, contribute and get real time updates from the Zarafa software development team”.

    • Komodo IDE 7.0 adds Node.js, LESS and CoffeeScript support

      ActiveState has announced the release of version 7.0.0 of its Komodo integrated development environment (IDE) for Python, PHP, Ruby, JavaScript, Perl and web development. The new version includes a code collaboration tool for sharing changes to selected users in real time and a sync feature for synchronising key bindings and preferences across multiple machines. Komodo 7.0 language support has been extended with editing and syntax checking for Node.js, CoffeeScript, LESS, CSS, EJS and Mojolicious. New code profiling features have also been added, but currently only support PHP and Python.


  • Confused about iPads in Education

    Maybe I’m just not “hip” enough to see the need for them, but it seems to me if we want to revolutionize how our students learn using technology they would be better served if that technology came in the form of something other than an “iPad” or capacitive tablet of any sort. Whats your take on it?

  • VeriSign, maintainer of net’s DNS, warns it was repeatedly hacked

    VeriSign, the company that manages a key internet database for routing traffic to websites and email addresses, exposed private information after being hacked on multiple occasions in 2010, the company quietly disclosed late last year.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Whistle-blowing Scientists (Trying To Prevent Dangerous Products From Reaching The Market) Sue FDA For Snooping On Their Personal Email Accounts

      Last year, we wrote about the federal whistle-blowing act, which was designed to give protections to federal employees who blow the whistle on federal fraud and abuse. For reasons that still aren’t clear, that bill was killed by a secret hold by either Senators Jon Kyl or Jeff Sessions. That fact only came out due to an amazing effort by the folks at On The Media, who kept hounding all 100 Senators to find out who would possibly kill such a bill. Recently, On The Media revisited the topic, noting that there was a new version of the bill. The report also talks about just how vindictive the government has been against whistleblowers. Even as President Obama has insisted that whistleblowers are important and should be protected, that’s not what’s happening in real life, with many getting stripped of their responsibility and demoted — all for daring to point out waste, fraud and abuse. The worst example to date, remains the horrifying story of Thomas Drake, who was threatened with 35 years in jail in a bogus vindictive lawsuit against him, due to his blowing the whistle on a bogus NSA project.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

    • One Nation, Under Guard

      Bad news about the impending police state here in America: it’s already here. From the indefinite detention (without trial) of terrorism suspects both foreign and American to the escalating militarization of our nation’s police forces, there’s little to indicate that any level of government is willing to “walk back” the overreach of law enforcement, much of which stems from the Patriot Act’s anti-terrorism aims.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • ‘Gasland’ Journalists Arrested At Hearing By Order Of House Republicans (UPDATES)

      In a stunning break with First Amendment policy, House Republicans directed Capitol Hill police to detain a highly regarded documentary crew that was attempting to film a Wednesday hearing on a controversial natural gas procurement practice. Initial reports from sources suggested that an ABC News camera was also prevented from taping the hearing; ABC has since denied that they sent a crew to the hearing.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • ALEC Education “Academy” Launches on Island Resort

      Today, hundreds of state legislators from across the nation will head out to an “island” resort on the coast of Florida to a unique “education academy” sponsored by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). There will be no students or teachers. Instead, legislators, representatives from right-wing think tanks and for-profit education corporations will meet behind closed doors to channel their inner Milton Friedman and promote the radical transformation of the American education system into a private, for-profit enterprise.

    • ALEC Exposed, for 24 Hours
  • Censorship

    • This Week in Censorship: Arrested Bloggers in Vietnam, Google’s New Censorship Policy, and China Blocks Tibetan-Language Blogs

      As we have previously covered, the Vietnamese government continues to crack down on bloggers and writers who have spoken out against the Communist regime. Alternative news site, Vietnam Redemptorist News, has been targeted by the state and several of their active contributors have been arrested. Paulus Le Son, 26, is one of the most active bloggers who was arrested without a warrant.
      Vietnam is increasingly applying vague national security laws to silence free speech and political opposition. He is one of 17 bloggers who have been arrested since August 2011. Charged with “subversion” and “activities aimed at overthrowing the people’s administration”, there is a campaign to release him and the others who have been detained

    • When Judges Are Determining Whether Or Not Art Should Exist… We Have A Problem

      We’ve written about the somewhat horrifying ruling in the Richard Prince appropriation art case before. If you haven’t been following the details, Prince is an appropriation artist, who takes works he finds elsewhere, and modifies and transforms them into different pieces of artwork. The law around this kind of artwork is tragically murky — with some cases ruling that appropriation art is fair use, and some ruling otherwise. The Prince case got extra attention for a few reasons. One is that Prince is considered one of the biggest name artists around, and his works can sell for millions of dollars. The second is that this case also implicated the gallery that showed Prince’s work, raising some serious questions about secondary liability for galleries, and whether or not galleries themselves must become copyright experts. Finally, the ruling suggested that Prince’s artwork — valued at a few million dollars — might need to be destroyed..

  • Civil Rights

    • Do You Like Online Privacy? You May Be a Terrorist
    • WikiLeaks aside, Assange case strikes core of civil liberty

      JULIAN Assange’s current court appearance in Britain has nothing to do with sex or United States diplomatic cables or even with WikiLeaks. But it may make an important contribution to European law.
      The United Kingdom Supreme Court will be considering the point I raised on his behalf when a Swedish prosecutor claimed to be a ”judicial authority” empowered to issue a warrant to have him extradited to prison in Stockholm. My written argument began quite bluntly: ”The notion that a prosecutor is a ‘judicial authority’ is a contradiction in terms.”
      Judges must, as their defining quality, be independent of government. Police and prosecutors employed and promoted by the state obviously cannot be perceived as impartial if they are permitted to decide issues on the liberty of individuals.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Jenzabar Continues To Try To Censor Criticism Via Trademark Bullying

        Some people continue to insist that intellectual property and censorship are two totally separate issues, but that’s ridiculous. Yet another example is in the ongoing case concerning software company Jenzabar, which we’ve covered before. If you’re just picking this up now, one of Jenzabar’s founders, Chai Ling, many years ago, was one of the student leaders of the Tiananmen Square uprising — a point that the company regularly used in its PR efforts. A documentary film from Long Bow Productions showed Ling making some comments years ago about how she hoped the uprising would lead to bloodshed, in order to incentivize a wider uprising. Most people might write off such comments as extreme comments in the heat of the moment from a young, immature activist, and let it go. If Ling had just said that she regretted the comments, the whole thing would have probably blown over.

    • Copyrights

      • The Supreme Court’s Golan decision gives short shrift to the public domain

        In a decision that favored the 1% (copyright owners) over the 99% (consumers and the public domain), the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that neither the Patent and Copyright Clause of the U.S. Constitution nor the First Amendment prohibits the removal of works from the public domain. Golan v. Holder, No. 10-545. Prior blog coverage of the case: certiorari granted and the 10th Circuit opinion.

        The majority opinion was written by Justice Ginsburg for herself and five other justices. Justice Breyer, joined by Justice Alito, dissented. (Justice Kagan recused herself, as she had participated in the case as Solicitor General before being named to the Court.) The line-up of justices was therefore essentially the same as the 7-2 opinion in Eldred v. Ashcroft, 537 U.S. 186 (2003), which upheld the Constitutionality of copyright term extension, with Justice Alito replacing Justice Stevens in dissent, and Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Sotomayor replacing Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice O’Connor, respectively, in the majority.

      • Book Review: Bounce, Tumble, and Splash! by Tony Mullen

        YouTube is good, but not ideal, and the lack of a download link is somewhat annoying. So I spent some time researching good free media hosting sites for large files and ISOs. Torrent sites are particularly good for hosting the high-definition versions.

        These days I get a little paranoid doing this, and indeed, if so-called “anti-piracy” laws are passed (like SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, or others as-yet-unnamed), there really might come a time when I suddenly start running into walls because these sites have been cut off, blocked, and people like me who are looking for them are profiled as “potential copyright offenders” to be prosecuted or otherwise harassed. Because a list of what the MPAA and RIAA’s think of as “rogue sites” looks an awful lot like a list of “free distributor sites for free culture media”. Many of them have a mixture of legal free content and illegal pirated content. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which is which.

      • The Death of File Sharing

        Last week’s violent government attack on the hugely popular site Megaupload — the U.S. government arresting Belgian citizens in New Zealand, of all places, and stealing at gunpoint servers bank accounts and property — has sent shock waves through the entire digital world.

        The first shock was the realization that the gigantic protest against legislative moves (SOPA and PIPA) that would smash the Internet turned out to be superfluous. The thing everyone wanted to prevent is already here. SOPA turns out not to be the unwelcome snake in the garden of free information. The snakes have already taken over the garden and are hanging from every tree.

      • Shoe on the other foot: RIAA wants to scrap anti-piracy OPEN Act

        The Recording Industry Association of America found itself in an unusual position this week: opposing an anti-piracy bill that’s gaining momentum in Congress.

        “The OPEN Act does nothing” to stop online infringement and “may even make the problem worse,” the industry group says in a statement it is circulating on Capitol Hill this week. “It does not establish a workable framework, standards, or remedies. It is not supported by those it purports to protect.”

      • Book Review: No Safe Harbor by the US Pirate Party

        When I first heard the expression “Pirate Party”, I was sure it was some kind of a joke. When I found out they were actually getting elected to representative seats in Europe, though, I certainly started taking the idea seriously. But could a political party in the USA actually get somewhere with a name like the “United States Pirate Party”. Certainly not without a good platform introduction — and that’s what this book of essays is all about.

      • Rather Than Bitching About The Failure Of SOPA/PIPA, Rupert Murdoch Should Take A Closer Look At His Own Policies

        Danny Sullivan recently put forth an open letter to Murdoch, talking about the difficulty of getting The Simpsons legally, despite paying for it…

      • Neil Young on music and Steve Jobs: ‘piracy is the new radio’
      • Why History Needs Software Piracy

        Amid the debate surrounding controversial anti-piracy legislation such as SOPA and PIPA, our public discourse on piracy tends to focus on the present or the near future. When jobs and revenues are potentially at stake, we become understandably concerned about who is (or isn’t) harmed by piracy today.

      • Red Box To Warner Bros: Shove That 56-Day Rental Delay Up Your Ass!

        Perhaps no one was more excited by the long-awaited release of the Beach Boys’ unfinished 1966 album Smile than Erik den Breejen. Even before Smile came out late last year, the young painter (and lifelong Beach Boys fan) had set to work on a series of paintings that transformed the lyrics into brightly colored text-blocks, assembled into shapes of ocean waves and smiling lips.

      • ICE Seizes 300 More Sites; Can’t Have People Watching Super Bowl Ads Without Permission

        Despite the massive failures of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) program to seize domains on questionable legal theories, it’s right back at it. ICE has just seized over 300 domains apparently all related to the Super Bowl (of course). They did this last year too… and now the US government is in court over it with the Rojadirecta sites. Many of the sites were selling counterfeit merchandise, which is a more reasonable target, but still seems to be overblown. I’m still at a loss as to how this is any of the government’s concern, rather than a civil issue that could be taken up by the NFL itself. Do we really want law enforcement officials spending time working for the NFL?

      • The SOPA/PIPA Protest Shows Why There Needs To Be Complete Transparency With TPP
      • Before the Movie Begins

        Please note that the use of any recording equipment to capture this film is strictly forbidden, including: camcorders, cameras, cell phones, charcoal, ink, paint (oil or water-based), and the human brain. On leaving the theatre, you will be assaulted by baseball-bat-wielding ushers, who will pummel your skull until you forget what you have seen.

        Any remaining memories are yours to keep and enjoy, provided you do not discuss them with others or make them available via mankind’s collective unconscious. In addition, your experience of this film may not be remixed in any form; dreams involving any of its characters must adhere strictly to the film’s actual plotline and running time, and must also comply with copyright laws in your state or territory. Any sexual fantasies based on it may not exceed the film’s M.P.A.A. rating.

      • Steele files an opposition to EFF’s brief: nothing but insults
      • If Politicians Pushing SOPA/PIPA Want To Create Jobs, They Should Support The Internet — And Stop Treating Copyright Companies As Special

        A key element of the political rhetoric around SOPA/PIPA was the idea that it was about jobs, and that jobs are so critical in the current economic climate that safeguarding them overrides any other concern the Net world might have about the means being proposed to do that. But then the key question becomes: who are really more important in terms of those jobs – the copyright industries, or companies exploiting the potential of the Internet that would be harmed if the Net were hobbled by new legislation?

      • ACTA

Debt in Attachmate

Posted in Finance, Novell at 11:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lost in the market

Lost kid

Summary: The company that bought Novell has a poor outlook, financial issues, and little signs of expansion/renaissance

THE CIRCUMSTANCES under which Novell got sold were mysterious to say the least. Nowadays, Novell products are still traded and marketed under the Novell brand, but the owner is not Novell. To quote a new example:

NetIQ’s partner ecosystem includes more than 600 MSPs and resellers that serve over 12,000 business customers in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The release arrives roughly one year after NetIQ gained identity and security management solutions from Novell, which Attachmate acquired.

We do not hear much from NetIQ. Then again, there is hardly any news from Novell and Attachmate, either. When there is news it is often bad news (like departures), but how about this from the business press? Attachmate wants loans:

Attachmate Corp. (ATTM), a systems infrastructure software provider, is seeking $400 million in loans to fund a dividend to sponsors, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction.

A $300 million incremental first-lien term loan due in April 2017 will pay 5.75 percentage points more than the London interbank bank offered rate, said the person, who declined to be identified because the terms are private. Libor, the rate banks say they can borrow in dollar from each other, will have a 1.5 percent floor.

Attachmate also needed to borrow money to buy Novell. Moody’s, a corrupt analysts firm, downgrades Attachmate to negative outlook:

Moody’s revises Attachmate’s outlook to negative after dividend announcement, affirms B2 rating

Might Attachmate just die in a matter of years, just like Novell? Here is another news report about those loans. We are going to keep track of that in months to come. Later today we’ll write more about Novell.

Longtime SUSE Executive Holger Dyroff Moves on, SUSE in a Bad State

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE at 11:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell being emptied, then SUSE


Summary: Key people continue to leave SUSE and the distribution is left without a compelling sales pitch

THE brain drain at SUSE continues as many of the familiar names, not just Greg K-H, are leaving the Microsoft-funded SUSE. It’s funny that some of them will be serving SUSE’s competition, e.g. by maintaining a kernel from RHEL for 10 years.

None of this exodus should be surprising to people who have followed SUSE in recent years (as we have). The project lost momentum, it has become quiet, and Attachmate seems reluctant to invest much in it (more on Attachmate’s financial problems later). One of the executives of SUSE moves on to join other former SUSE executives:

ownCloud Inc., the commercial entity behind the popular open source file sync and share project, announced today that former SUSE executive and ownCloud co-founder Holger Dyroff, has joined the company as vice president, sales and marketing.

There are other SUSE people in there, as we showed in the past. And to quote a very recent article from CMS Wire:

ownCloud was formally founded last year, and in December the project announced that former SUSE and Novell executive, Markus Rex, would be joining the company as CEO and CTO.

Basically, SUSE has lost a lot of its leadership. Those who deny this would struggle to put together a counter-argument. Here at Techrights we faced the facts when Microsoft and Novell lied to the world about their patent deal and we still adhere to realism in this age of excessive PR and spin.

As Sean Michael Kerner put it the other day, one of the people behind OpenSUSE “Gives SUSE the Boot” and:

The move means that he’s leaving SUSE – that’s right kaput, no more SUSE for him.

He is one of the key people behind OpenSUSE’s formation, so all that’s left of the project is some tiny community and under-funded SUSE (partly funded by Microsoft). Here is an example of volunteer work:

I’ve been playing around a bit with SUSE Studio and I’ve created ‘moniz’, a openSUSE 12.1 based image with Cinnamon as default Desktop Environment. Currently it’s in a very Alpha state and it’s mainly the result of a series of tests to the functionality of SUSE Studio. I’m going to work more on this but locally using Kiwi.

OpenSUSE hopes to emulate the success of a two-men project, Linux Mint (maybe more than two people in practice). This is a sad testament to the weakness of OpenSUSE/SUSE, which was a leading distribution because Novell signed that treasonous deal with Microsoft. Not so long ago OpenSUSE suffered repeated downtimes and now it is getting new certificates, presumably for unrelated reasons.

“SUSE has become a mess that GNU/Linux does not need.”The other day we found in YouTube this new video which says: “Not all Open Source Software is free, and not all free software is open source. Open Sourcing Software can be done not just for community, but for security or integration. A sure way to make your software well documented is to provide the source code so that those integrating with your system can see the limitations in the code itself. SUSE Linux from Novell is one such product.”

Like we said before, SUSE is weird when it comes to access to code. Novell hides it or makes it hard to access. If one wants to fork “Microsoft Linux”, e.g. to make a taxless SUSE, there are technical barriers to it, imposed by Novell for years.

SUSE has become a mess that GNU/Linux does not need. Its main purpose now it to replace RHEL with Microsoft tax and more Microsoft APIs.

Groklaw Update on Android Patent Cases and Response to FUD From Microsoft Lobbyists

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Groklaw and SCO ship
Image credited to Groklaw.net

Summary: A few updates of greater importance where the Linux situation is discussed in the context of Android and Novell

THE patent assault on Android is one that we cover here several times per week because Android is perhaps the best example of Linux in the mainstream (criticisms aside) and it helps show the lengths to which Microsoft and Apple would go to derail Linux, even with software patents as we predicted for more than half a decade.

Professor Webbink from Groklaw is perhaps the best source of news about the Oracle vs. Google case, which he claims to be moving along as follows:

Just because the Oracle v. Google case has not been set for trial (and won’t be until at least the time at which Oracle provides its third attempt at a damages report) does not mean the court can’t move the case along, and that is what Judge Alsup has done with his latest order. In an attempt to narrow the issues to be argued at trial, Judge Alsup’s latest order (708 [PDF; Text]) focuses on the copyright issues and directs the parties to provide opening briefs in which they identify each remaining claim of copyright liability and the affirmative defenses to each such claim. In addition, the parties are to identify those issues that should be resolved by the court and those underlying facts that first need to be decided by the jury.

Groklaw continues to face a barrage of FUD from Microsoft boosters who continue to spin/modify the news (in this case about OpenStack wanting to toss Microsoft out) and Microsoft lobbyists who are distorting the story about the ITC and then seeding disinformation in the corporate press along with pro-Microsoft blogs. Pamela Jones from Groklaw debunks the nonsense and explains:

I’m seeing a couple of articles about an initial determination by the ITC against Barnes & Noble on its patent misuse defense, and there’s quite a lot of spin on the ball, thanks to the usual suspects. They are reading a lot into a title of a sealed document. I see many misstatements.

So I’ll explain a little about the process, so you can understand it. For one thing, the title of the sealed ITC initial determination is called an *initial* determination for a reason. It means it isn’t final. The final one comes later. Initial determinations can be reviewed by the full ITC if the defendant petitions for review and even one Commissioner says yes.

Litigation isn’t like football. It is rarely suddenly over.

Most importantly, the materials and depositions Barnes & Noble is seeking in discovery from Nokia and MOSAID have not yet arrived, although the ITC did grant Barnes & Noble’s motion to ask Finland and Canada to provide them, and that’s still ongoing, so there is likely more to go, even at the ITC. So with those materials not yet in hand, Microsoft’s statement today that this means the defense is meritless is… well… to put it kindly premature. I mean, if a determination is made without the complete record being available, what does it mean?

The case is important because it’s about Microsoft’s patent abuses against Android, as well as some of the patent trolls Microsoft is using. Last year we wrote a great deal about Novell’s patents, which went to CPTN, i.e. to Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, and EMC (3 of these are Android foes). Here is a new article about the Department of Justice. Part of it says:

Another example of international cooperation was the Antitrust Division’s close cooperation “with the German Federal Cartel Office on the acquisition of certain patents and patent applications from Novell Inc. by CPTN Holdings (a holding company owned by Microsoft Inc., Oracle Corp., Apple Inc. and EMC Corp.). This was the first merger enforcement cooperation the Division had had with Germany in 20 years.”

Novell became just a pile of patents, which gave Microsoft ammunition with which to threaten UNIX/Linux. The authorities needed to step in after the OSI and FSF had filed a formal complaint. Here is the story of another company which rapidly becomes just a pile of patents. It says: “Remember, back in August, shortly after Google’s purchase of Motorola, Kodak looked like the next company in line for an IP-driven payday. Analysts looking at the high valuations of the Novell, Nortel and Motorola portfolios estimated Kodak had $3 billion in IP assets alone: with a market capitalization of just $700 million, it seemed like easy money. Kodak’s stock rose accordingly in anticipation of a white knight around the corner.”

This is of course not innovation. It’s a case of virtual “goods” being used to make lawyers richer and interfere with fair competition.

Novell, by the way, has just been assigned another patent, according to this roundup from January 22nd. Any new patents in Novell’s hands might eventually be passed to Linux foes, not the OIN.

IRC Proceedings: February 2nd, 2012

Posted in IRC Logs at 11:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz



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