Links 2/6/2012: SolusOS 1.1 Released, Fedora 17 Reviews

Posted in News Roundup at 11:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source


  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • New Zealand judge orders US to hand over Megaupload documents

        Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and his co-defendants scored a significant victory on Tuesday when a New Zealand judge ordered the United States government to hand over evidence the defense will need to prepare for an upcoming extradition hearing. He rejected the government’s argument that the defendants should make do with the information about its case the government itself chose to introduce in court.

Death of Moonlight Celebrated by Linux Bloggers

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 8:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Moonlight

Summary: Good riddance to bad rubbish, agree several bloggers amid the death of Microsoft (and Novell’s) Moonlight

THE official death of Moonlie did not escape the attention of bloggers, some of whom celebrated with headlines such as “Moonlight Is Dead, So Is Silverlight” (source) while others put it differently, e.g. “Moonlight, the open source Silverlight project for Linux, is dead” (source). To quote the former:

Miguel de Icaza, the creator of Mono, and Moonlight has announced that Moonlight will no longer be maintained.

Quoting the latter:

When critics have pointed out that the Microsoft Silverlight plugin lacks Linux support, fans have pointed to Moonlight, an independent open source Linux / Unix version designed by Miguel de Icaza’s Mono project. But while Microsoft has merely backed away from Silverlight development, de Icaza now says that Mono is done with Moonlight altogether. “We have abandoned Moonlight,” he says in a recent interview. “These days we no longer believe that Silverlight is a suitable platform for write-once-run-anywhere technology, there are just too many limitations for it to be useful.”

Here is the better coverage which we found of the important (to us) event:

Just today I saw an article that mentions Moonlight (open source Silverlight) is being abandoned. The reasons were that Silverlight is not being adopted as originally intended. In the article, Miguel de Icaza states that with Silverlight, “there are just too many limitations for it to be useful.”, and that “Microsoft added artificial restrictions to Silverlight that made it useless for desktop programming.”. Here you are getting feedback at the core of development for Microsoft’s supposed “love” for open source, where restrictions are doing more harm for the technology than good. The article also draws conclusions that Microsoft may be looking away from the .NET platform altogether, mainly for Silverlight. Silverlight maybe, but I doubt for the entire .NET platform.

Personally, this adds to my conclusions that .NET on non-Microsoft platforms was a half-hearted attempt right from the beginning. I think Microsoft is still learning that to be a true contributor to open source, it must dive in with good intentions. And from my perspective based on past and present actions, I don’t see this happening anytime soon. There are too few products that Microsoft fully supports for non-Windows, that don’t contain some sort of restrictions. Microsoft obviously dislikes the GNU GPL. But I have a feeling that if they were to release more products under the GPL as true free and open products, they might have a chance at being successful with them. Now the question is, where is the entire Mono project headed, is it doomed as well? Only time will give us the real answer.

The original coverage, from Microsoft MVP Miguel de icaza, was not so noteworthy. A few months ago he inquired in the mailing lists to see if Moonlight was dead yet. If even the Microsoft fan declares it dead, then it’s dead. What a total waste of developers’ time.

Microsoft Takes Up a Notch Effort to Tax and Control Linux

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tax forms

Summary: Policing and regulating Linux no longer a distant dream for the convicted monopolist, having essentially bought SUSE (hundreds of millions of dollars to give the car keys)

THERE IS no denying that the propaganda campaign that came with the Novell/Microsoft deal was hard to counter; many people tried. It was a massive PR campaign, which few dedicated people are simply unable to counter while several full-time staff flood journalists with high advertising budgets (there was a lot at stake for Microsoft). Boycott Novell has fought against those well-funded lies for almost 6 years now (we tackled the talking points time after time). It is clear that today’s SUSE is against Red Hat, not Microsoft. Just watch this new bit of PR:

That’s a critically important goal for SUSE and Attachmate. Sure, SUSE has made some noise in recent months — especially in the areas of ISV relations and a Dell cloud partnership. But overall, it still “feels” like Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) commands more respect among channel partners in North America.

Truth be told, Novell/SUSE got some market in Germany, but on an international scale/scope it’s probably a distant fourth or something like that (behind Debian, CentOS, maybe even Ubuntu, not just RHEL). Foley's recent PR sought to use the role of Microsoft Linux (SUSE) to portray Microsoft as a friend of Linux and IDG’s Microsoft booster helps the hijacking of Microsoft’s main competition with nonsense like “Microsoft’s new tune: We love Linux”. To quote the nonsense:

And a little more than a month ago, Microsoft created Microsoft Open Technologies, headed by Paoli, with a staff of between 50 and 75, with the goal of better working with the open source community and open source in general.

They are merely taxing Linux and trying to own the competition. There is nothing new about it, but the spin continues to flood some sites, so it’s worrisome to a degree. Cade Metz does it again, this time with the title “Microsoft Preps for Public Embrace of Linux”. Wired is not a source that can be just ignored. The spin has spread wings that it grew after Microsoft had recruited PR people to hammer on journalists, as we showed recently.

The reality is, Microsoft is as malicious as ever. To give the latest example:

Red Hat Will Pay Microsoft To Get Past UEFI Restrictions

“Fedora is going to pay Microsoft to let them distribute a PC operating system. Microsoft is about to move from effectively owning the PC hardware platform to literally owning it. Once Windows 8 is released, hardware manufacturers will be forced to ship machines that refuse to run any software that is not explicitly approved by Microsoft — and that includes competing operating systems like Linux. Technically Fedora didn’t have to go down this path. But, as this article explains, they are between a rock and a hard place: if they didn’t pay Microsoft to let them onto the PC platform, they would have to explain to their potential users how to mess with firmware settings just to install the OS. How long before circumventing the secure boot mechanism is considered a DMCA violation and a felony?”

Here is a response to it which says:

Fedora is considering getting M$ to sign a bootloader for them so they can boot Fedora GNU/Linux on UEFI hardware. This is a dangerous precedent.

Here is Matthias Kirschner from the FSFE addressing the subject with a new long statement and Cory Doctorow responding with:

Lockdown: free/open OS maker pays Microsoft ransom for the right to boot on users’ computers

A quiet announcement from the Fedora Linux community signals a titanic shift in the way that the computer market will work from now on, and a major threat to free/open operating systems. Microsoft and several PC vendors have teamed up to ensure that only operating systems bearing Microsoft’s cryptographic signature will be able to boot on their hardware, meaning that unless Microsoft has blessed your favorite flavor of GNU/Linux or BSD, you won’t be able to just install it on your machine, or boot to it from a USB stick or CD to try it out. There is a work-around for some systems involving a finicky and highly technical override process, but all that means is that installing proprietary software is easy and installing free/open software is hard.

For more background on UEFI, see [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Those who pretend that Microsoft has changed its way are simply misinformed or delusional (or are Microsoft employees/boosters).

Collusion, Conspiracy and Patent Crimes From Microsoft Against Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 8:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Warning: this is a rant

“I’m going to f—ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I’m going to f—ing kill Google.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Summary: The patent attacks on Android are coordinated and are a legal violation, alleges Google

ORACLE’S case is getting crushed “like a bug”, leaving CPTN allies Microsoft and Apple with no choice but to fight against Android directly, almost void of any weapon such as copyrights applying to or covering Java. They are trying to use patents, but unless they bribe, use NDAs, extort or use proxy entities, they do not quite succeed. Apple fake 'evidence', Microsoft fabricated claims, and the whole strategy seems borderline illegal, if not simply grey.

In Europe, the copyrights on Java would be useless in this context and now in the US too it turns out that APIs cannot be copyrighted, so Google wins big time in one of the most important cases it is fighting. Here is press coverage about it:

Oracle’s high-profile lawsuit against Google, in which it claimed that the search giant’s Android mobile software infringed both copyrights and patents obtained from Sun Microsystems, is in tatters after the judge in the case ruled that key elements of Sun’s software cannot be copyrighted, and so were not infringed.

Too bad for Ellison and his best friend Jobs.

Jobs image licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License (version 1.2 or any later versions); Ellison patch By Thomas Hawk

Microsoft, being Microsoft, must be concerned about this. A source of FUD against Android has run dry, so the convicted monopolist resorts to more white-collar crime, waged between rich people to whom the notion of justice and jail never applies (it’s only for poor people — those who do not control society). Well, who knew the criminals from Redmond would use the pride of Finland to attack Linux? Linux was, after all, created in Finland. One Finnish reader said: “They got their mole in, that was the surprise. From then on out its standard practice for them.”

What’s it all about? It is about this news, which the reader let us know about:

Reuters reports that Google just filed a formal complaint with the European Commission stating that Microsoft and Nokia have conspired to use their patents against smartphone industry rivals.

According to Google’s complaint, Microsoft and Nokia are using proxy companies to brandish patents and hurt the future of Android. Currently Google’s mobile OS commands the smartphone sector, as it’s provided free to manufacturers. The OS can also be used on tablets and other form factors.

Among other headlines we have “Google accuses Microsoft, Nokia of mobile collusion” and “Google blasts Microsoft, Nokia for hiding behind patent trolls”. To quote another source:

In documents sent to regulators in the United States and Europe, Google accuses the companies of funding patent wars through proxy companies.

It’s not just about MOSAID. Microsoft makes the conspiracy more obscure by spreading the patents among several proxies. This proxy strategy ought to be familiar because of IV and some Microsoft attacks against IBM, e.g. TurboHercules. The state of operation in the industry has truly become sickening when criminals are rewarded and portrayed as “successful” while victims simply vanish or perish. Here ends the rant.

Net Applications: The Mathematics Failing

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux at 7:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Net Applications

Summary: Criticism and scepticism of data from a firm most often cited to belittle GNU/Linux

THE question of GNU/Linux market share occupied more of our time a few years ago. The bottom line is, by adhering to biased data (which cannot be extrapolated to international trends) some Apple- and Microsoft-funded firms like to tell us that Linux market share (they intentionally do not say “GNU/Linux”) is at around 1%, never mind the numbers released by Linux vendors, never mind Android, etc. It’s almost libellous, but the lie has been repeated so many times so as be normalised and accepted by many as a permissible stance. Mr. Pogson likes to look deeper at the raw data and then highlight contradictions or other flaws. The latest:

How do they shift the data for a whole country with a few thousand users in California? They count business-use more than anything. Google happens to be a business. All those schools, government offices and individuals count for nothing with NetApplications. Google no more doubles usage of GNU/Linux in USA than they cut usage of that other OS by 5%.

We wrote about Net Applications before, e.g. in

Lack of scepticism is a sure win for PR. Deception thrives in complacency and passiveness.

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