Links 11/6/2012: Wine 1.5.6, Project Magenta Uses Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 11:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Banking on open-source software

    COMPUTER engineer Musa Ngog has high hopes of winning funding from KTS Group’s inaugural Sarawak Youth Talent Discovery (SYTD) project with his plans to create public awareness of computer software piracy and educating users on better alternatives to getting much-needed software — for free.

  • “Evaluating the harm from closed source”

    For those of you with a more philosophical best, Eric S. Raymond has posted an interesting essay, “Evaluating the harm from closed source”.

  • Evaluating the harm from closed source
  • Web Browsers

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Free as in Bach: Open Goldberg Variations released
    • Open Access/Content

      • Kahn to MIT graduates: Open content is the future

        Open education innovator Sal Khan, MIT alumnus and founder of Khan Academy, gave the commencement address at MIT graduation ceremony on June 8, a speech that included both a nod to the power of open education as exemplified by MIT’s OpenCourseWare program and Khan’s own web site, and an homage to the importance of the unique academic community that is MIT.

        Khan spoke eloquently of the inspiration he drew from MIT’s 2001 announcement to make all of its courseware openly available on the web. “MIT announced … that it was going to take knowledge and resources that used to be behind the wall of elite institutions and not charge for them but give them away for free to the world … When I read that press release, I had never been so inspired. I had never been more proud to come from this community.”

  • Programming

    • Open Source Languages – Pros and Cons

      Many developers love to use open source software for the variety of benefits that come along with it. Some of the most popular open source languages used include C, PHP, Javascript, and C++. Although many people code using these languages, are there any major reasons not to use them? Let’s take a look and find out.


Microsoft Wants MLAMP Stacks

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Controlling the opposition

EDGI slide
Microsoft’s clever (but secret) attacks on Linux expansion

Summary: How Microsoft is making both Linux and Free software in general more dependent on Microsoft, the convicted monopolist

MICROSOFT wants MLAMP stacks to become more common. The “M” stands for “Microsoft” and it sits beneath or underneath the “L”, which is Linux. One example of this is the deal with Canonical and another is OpenStack [1, 2, 3]. Microsoft really wants to use Linux (with Novell) to push its proprietary layer underneath Linux (hence dependence) and persistence might eventually pay off. This is a world where Microsoft can literally switch Linux off, or hold it hostage (ransom payments for patents or so-called “subscription”). Here is bad news:

Microsoft is attempting to reintegrate support for Hyper-V back into OpenStack, months after the open source cloud-building project dropped support for the hypervisor in its latest release.

If it is “Open” stack, then there should be no question about it. Proprietary software should be rejected. How naive can people be here? Microsoft has also worked to make Linux dependent on Microsoft for 'permission' to boot. Those who aid criminals are doing us FOSS developers no favours. They merely help the criminal do reputation laundering while at the same time gaining more control in exchange for slush funds.

Groklaw‘s new coverage of the antitrust Novell case helps remind us of Microsoft’s abusive behaviour. This is not over yet:

PACER is showing that, without any notice to the public, the hearing on Microsoft’s renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law in the Novell v. Microsoft antitrust case happened behind our backs on June 7. It was scheduled for June 22.

Because it’s the weekend, I can’t find out what’s what until Monday. This judge tried to dump this case once before, if you recall, then was overturned on appeal, and then seemed to have a bit of an attitude about it, so that is what is giving me hives. But let’s not jump to conclusions, I keep telling myself, and wait for the explanation. There could be one. But it was a hearing on whether the judge should grant Microsoft’s request to declare it the winner of the entire dispute, without going to a second jury. The first, if you recall, was deadlocked. Microsoft is asking to avoid a second trial. In other words, they held a hearing without public notice on the entire enchilada, not some minor hearing on scheduling or about some administrative issue. I’m stunned.

Why can’t more people learn from the past? Microsoft is an anti-social and anti-competitive company; it’s a mistake to depend on it in any way at all.

“Distrust everyone in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!”

Friedrich Nietzsche

Linux World Domination

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 9:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

World background

Summary: Owing to Android and a few other Linux-based operating systems (e.g. RHEL, Debian) Linux has attained world domination and now attracts patent lawsuits

APPLE continues to worry about Android, which is now reportedly activated around 900,000 times per day. Rubin came out with this number very recently and estimates suggest that around a third of a billion Android (Linux) devices are already out there. Now, this is world domination.

Linux is not an underdog anymore, so led by the ghost of Steve Jobs Apple is attacking and making mistakes:

Samsung banks on Apple patent mistake

Samsung is seeking to invalidate several patents held by US tech giant Apple in Australia, taking the Australian Commissioner of Patents to court.

Apple is still trying to altogether ban the competition, whereas Microsoft is trying to tax the competition, turning it into a Microsoft cash cow and making it less appealing to the market. Right now Microsoft uses a patent terrorist called MOSAID; it’s not a troll but a terrorist because Microsoft gives it ammunition to go out there and terrorise Google by aggressive means (force of the courtroom), accomplishing Microsoft’s political goal of spreading the Microsoft cult. If this is not an antitrust violation (Google has formally complained), what is?

Unlike Linux, Apple and Microsoft did not emerge out of good engineering. They’re taking other people’s ideas and their leaders are hardly technical.

“Kildall took me aside once, about ’83. [He started] talking about Apple. He opened this door, and I saw the bitterness: ‘Steve Jobs is nothing. Steve Wozniak did it all, the hardware and the software. All Jobs did was hang around and take the credit.’” Cooper was not blind to the implications of this. Kildall resented that Gates, this dropout, this businessman, was getting credit for things that Kildall had invented. “All of a sudden there was this cauldron of resentment. It must have tortured Gary that Bill Gates [got all the credit].”

Gaby’s Homepage for CP/M and Computer History

Linus Torvalds Disputes Security of UEFI

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft at 9:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linus Torvalds

Summary: PR/spin and a game of words is all UEFI is really about

“Torvalds doesn’t think Microsoft’s spin on Windows 8 UEFI secure boot is really going to do for security,” writes Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols about the subject we last covered over the weekend (as did others). The “security” that matters here is the financial security of some shareholders who back a criminal company. Nobody really asked for this antifeature to be added to PCs; it won’t add anything of value.

In a similar vein, writes a prominent blogger, Vista 8 is also a “design disaster” with changes that nobody really asked for. Quoting the summary:

The biggest problem with Windows 8 is that it wasn’t born out of a need or demand. Its design failures, particularly with ‘Metro UI’ will likely be its downfall

These radical changes have no need other than to give people the illusion that they need to buy something new to replace the “old” (like the fashion industry is always doing). It’s like rebranding, which Microsoft applies to other parts of their business right now. Quoting my co-host from TechBytes:

Every so often when the moon is full and perspiring Ballmer is in its third phase, Microsoft takes one of it’s products and changes its name re-brands it.

Microsoft relies on vocabulary selling rather than service or quality selling. So much for “secure” boot, too…

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