Boycott Nikon

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 6:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Buy Olympus or Canon instead


Summary: Nikon to pay Microsoft for unspecified patents that relate to Android

According to this report we’ve just been sent, Microsoft’s racket has expanded somewhat:

Remember Nikon Corp.’s (TYO:7731) Android-powered smart cameras like the Coolpix S800c? Well it appears that adding Google Inc.’s (GOOG) free operating system isn’t going to be quite so free — Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has successfully shaken down the Japanese camera maker for a licensing fee.

Most of the top Android phonemakers — including HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) and Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) — pay licensing fees ranging from $10 to $15 per unit to Microsoft. Now it appears that the camera makers will be following in suit. (Samsung presumably pays Microsoft a licensing fee on its “Galaxy” Android smartcameras).

Yes, and Samsung is another one to avoid, so for cameras use Canon or Olympus. to name two of the big brands. Don’t buy Nikon as it helps legitimise Microsoft’s ‘Linux tax’. We don’t know if it’s just FAT-related because Nikon refuses to tell us, which makes Nikon part of the problem, unlike TomTom for instance.

Microsoft Office Cannot Evolve, Monoculture Eroded

Posted in Microsoft, Office Suites at 6:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cash cow

Summary: Office cannot sustain its dominance in a Web-dominated era when devices mostly run Android/Linux

THERE was some amazing news just before this weekend. Microsoft did not handle something as basic as renewing certificates, so “secure Azure Storage goes down WORLDWIDE,” as The Register put it:

The problems were first reported by Microsoft on Friday at 12:44pm Pacific Time on the Windows Azure Service Dashboard. An update at 1:30pm identified a problem with SSL transactions.

And Microsoft actually tries to convince businesses to rely on Microsoft for Fog Computing. Even Windows users — not just GNU/Linux users — won’t want to to rely on that. Services depend on Azure Storage as a sort of file system.

Michael Larabel spread a seemingly false rumour about Microsoft Office (native, not online) coming to GNU/Linux. I have been chatting with him over the years and I consider him a highly reliable and well-informed guy, so his source was deceitful or badly informed. Either way, irrespective of whether or not he was misinformed by someone, here is an article which covers it: ‘Case in point? Oh, it’s a juicy one: “Microsoft is having a ‘meaningful look’ at a full Linux port of Office thanks to Linux showing signs of commercial viability on the desktop,” in the words of Phoronix writer Michael Larabel, who claimed to have it on good (but unnamed) authority.’

The matter of fact is, the Office cash cow is having problems and Microsoft struggles to adapt and keep the format lock-in/monoculture [1, 2, 3, 4]. The following is definitely not the way to rescue Office:

When quizzed as to whether a Microsoft Office 2013 licence can be transferred to another machine, Microsoft told The INQUIRER, “[Microsoft] Office 2013 is a single device license”, adding that those wanting to use Microsoft Office across multiple devices will “have to purchase [Microsoft] Office 365 Home Premium” as well, which allows users to share Microsoft Office with up to five PCs, Macs or mobile devices.

We probed further and asked what will happen in the event that the original PC carrying the single Microsoft Office 2013 licence is destroyed, lost or stolen. Will Microsoft allow the original licence to be transferred then?

This won’t go down so well and already we discover that Microsoft is rapidly being dumped by the Australian government, potentially costing hundreds of millions:

Australia has reduced the amount of money it pays for Microsoft products by AU$100m (£66m, $103m), according to the nation’s Chief Technology Officer John Sheridan.

Speaking yesterday at the Kickstart conference, Sheridan explained that consolidating contracts from 42 to one and working through a single reseller has enabled the savings. One contract now covers 300,000 devices and 260,000 people across 126 entities. Work has begun on negotiations for the successor contract with Redmond.

Microsoft is demoted by Australia owing to some prudent people who seek to decrease reliance, so we are quite sure that Microsoft is sending moles over there as we speak, based on past experience.

Linux FUD From Microsoft Proxies Takes ‘Security’ Flavour

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Red Hat at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: ‘Security’-themed FUD against Red Hat is back, despite the fact that Microsoft admits gaming the numbers it uses to make its case

LAST WEEK we saw Trustwave, a Microsoft partner [1, 2], spreading some Linux FUD and there is still dissemination of this Linux FUD in Web sites which seem not to know the background and instead go by press releases (lazy ‘journalism’). To quote this one example which was found yesterday:

According to a recent report by the security firm Trustwave: Vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel fixed in 2012 went unpatched for more than two years on average, more than twice as long as it took to fix unpatched flaws in current Windows Operating Systems.

No, Microsoft uses the strategy of hidden patches to game the numbers, which is possible because Windows is proprietary (hidden source code). Those claims should be dismissed and the Microsoft partner treated with extreme suspicion. When Microsoft talks about “security” it does not mean real security (see what Torvalds said) but about financial security for Microsoft. UEFI is a good example of the misuse of the word security, which is more about making it inconvenient to use GNU/Linux (Dedoimedo is the latest to address the subject).

Xamarin is a Microsoft Extension

Posted in Microsoft, Mono at 5:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft gets its money’s worth after Microsoft’s proprietary tools get mentioned in FOSS sites, owing primarily to the openwashing by Xamarin

THE company which former Microsofters are funding, Xamarin, is still openwashing and enhancing Microsoft products. Open Source-centric Web sites fall into the trap of covering proprietary as though it is “open” and to quote this one example:

Xamarin has announced an across-the-board update to its range of products and pricing models designed to establish the company as the de facto bridge between Microsoft C# developers and Android and iOS mobile platforms. Xamarin’s speciality has been working with the Mono toolchain for C# and for mobile development; rather than abstract away platform differences, the company implements a close-as-possible version of the platform’s native APIs in C#.

The news was covered by the Microsoft booster, not a FOSS blogger, at Ars Technica. And that says a lot.

Since 2009, it’s been possible to develop iOS applications using C# and .NET, courtesy of MonoTouch. But one important detail has always been missing. If you wanted to use Visual Studio—the premier C# and .NET development environment, the one that almost every C# developer calls home—you were out of luck.

Xamarin should be treated as a Microsoft ally, extension, and booster, not a FOSS company. It does not even pretend to be about FOSS anymore.

Microsoft Colludes With Police Just Like Apple, The ‘Computer Crime Squad’ Goes After Joker

Posted in Apple, Microsoft at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not what you’d expect from the West

Vladimir Putin with Muammar Gaddafi
Credit: www.kremlin.ru

Summary: The Computer Crime Squad goes after a gag and mistreats citizens at the behest of Microsoft et al.

NOT TOO LONG ago we criticised Apple for using the already-widely-maligned police forces in California to harass people [1, 2, 3]. Microsoft has a real phobia of hackers, so even a joker is being harassed:

An Aussie hacker found out that Microsoft has no sense of humour when he leaked details of Microsoft’s new Xbox and listed a prototype on eBay as a gag.

Now, watch this prior report:

The Tech Game was provided with a copy of the search warrant served on SuperDaE by the Australian Computer Crime Squad, alleging “unlwaful use of a computer.” The warrant specifically names Microsoft, PayPal and eBay as injured parties, but SuperDaE also claims that Epic, Blizzard, Valve and Sony have joined in on the case due to case of unauthorized server access. “Yo, everyone at this point just wants a piece of me,” he told The Tech Game, adding that old computers and a cell phone were confiscated under the warrant, and a freeze was placed on his bank accounts.

Here, like in Wikileaks, we find that the police is just an extension of force for private corporations. Nothing wories the police more than threat to corpoorate intersts; it’s not about people anymore.

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