Obama is an iPod user and someone lent him a Zune. Shame, that was not was not spotted before Slashdot was used as another Wintel advertisement vehicle for the very failed Zune players. Knowing M$, they had W.E. slip him one so they could splash the story around for Christmas. Sorry, Steve, it won't work.
People looking for a music player should buy a used iPod and install Rockbox. You keep good quality hardware out of a landfill and get software freedom for a better price than a Zune that way.
Groklaw Says Microsoft Patent Portfolio Now Worthless
M$ dies both ways, by devaluation and loss of extortion threat. You think M$'s patent portfolio is "chump change"? It could be, after all their research costs are primarily advertising and product acquisition. Just the same, it's good for freedom and competition that M$'s attempt to threaten commercial users of free software have aborted. Non free software can't compete in a competitive market and M$ just lost tens of thousands of patents, not chump change even if you are M$. 10E4x10E4=10E8, if you are right but the FUD removal factor is priceless.
Does Your Boss Have to Pay You While You Wait?
Unfucking believable. I thought the 10 or 15 minutes W2K took sucked. It takes a health insurance company to be so asinine. An employee's day starts with the first official and required action, when they show their ID to the person or robot at the door that let's them in. Of course turning on a computer is work. If it's not, the boss would not mind doing it for everyone else.
30 minutes a day, just another cost of Vista and other OS that you can't just log out of and walk away from or put to sleep if you are energy conscious. Yes, GNU/Linux and it's multiple month uptime is a cure for this problem.
AMD Banks On Flood of Stream Apps
What? Is it Windows 7?
That's both deadly and vaporware at the same time.
I hope they make this free software. That's where the supercomputer market is, so non free releases don't make sense.
The Trap Set By the FBI For Half Life 2 Hacker
it's an issue of punishing the guy for the computer tresspass [sic] etc..
We all know what a big issue that is to both the German and American public. I'm sure that everyone will sleep better at night knowing that game companies are being protected from evil trespass. Money well spent, bravo FBI.
This joke would be funny if it had not cost so much already.
Project Turns GPS Phones Into Traffic Reporters
It's true that sharing is good but the non free nature of cell phones today contradicts the stated goal. This information is already collected without user consent or knowledge. The purpose of the project is really to make people comfortable with that kind of control and monitoring. If cell phones ran free software and their users were really their owners, voluntary programs with high moral incentives would make sense.
Can the US Stop the Illegal Export of Its Technology?
We import bright people from around the world to do it for us. At least we used to. Many of them have gone back home to compete on fair terms. Others work at research centers funded by US multinationals like GE, Microsoft and IBM. Why the US seeks to restrict what foreign people make in foreign countries is as much a mystery as the IP Empire that claims ownership to the fundamental ideas involved. Less and less of this stuff is home grown and made.
Microsoft To Buy Back $40bn of Its Shares
You would have done better with Google. This little pump and dump exercise is going to be a good time to make that conversion. Advertising will sruvive a recession/depression, the non free desktop and office suit business model from the 1980s won't. No, they won't be saved by Xbox or Zune. Greedy restrictions systems are going to bite the dust sooner than later.
ISO Recommends Denying OOXML Appeals
The corruption is so obvious that the ISO's reputation has been harmed. This is a bigger win for M$ than the coo-coo standard they never intended to follow. It is as if RJR got the AMA to approve a cigarette through bribery and a truncated "fast track" process. OOXML is against everything the ISO stood for and that contradiction is the forest that should be seen through all the clear cut trees. Commercial standards are now obviously compromised.
Here's the blowback, that M$ may not have anticipated. It is now up to GNU, Debian and other community efforts to define reasonable standards. People who have "respect" for convicted monopolists will no longer be trusted. The more M$ abuses their power, the more people want to escape.
Chinese Government Accused of Hacking Congress
How do you know it was not a Mac, like Al Gore walks around with?
Line Forms At Apple's Always-Open Manhattan Cube
Apple reps tell us they're crowd-controlling iPhone buyers because otherwise they would be "screaming" at employees and clogging up the store."
It's funny but when Twitter visited an Apple store, he was the one who got screamed at. So yes, this stuff does happen in real live too.
In corporate America, staff screams at you!
Oh well, good for Apple - they can't make computers fast enough for demand. That's really what this is about and they deserve the marketshare. If only they would be more like Sun about free software.
Line Forms At Apple's Always-Open Manhattan Cube
Debate, social prank? Is that what you call market dominance?
Microsoft Office 2007 to Support ODF - But Not OOXML
They have admitted they need ODF and that will kill OOXML, Office and them. That's because everyone knows OOXML is not ready and will never be good enough. The usual trick of making ODF difficult will not work because people can simply download Open Office. People might do that anyway because Office is not worth the money [look a twitter reference]. If they don't really become an honest company, and they won't, things will get worse. Despite drastic measures they already have a hard time moving their new software. When they lose the document franchise, they lose the OS monopoly. The curtian is falling fast on their heads.
RMS to Developers: Rescue OLPC from Windows.
Richard Stallman is urging OLPC developers to reject Windows and others to help out with Sugar. Noting that they must feel betrayed, he explains why Windows on OLPC is a very bad idea.
Those who have supported the OLPC project with their effort or their money may well feel betrayed. However, those concerns are dwarfed by what is at stake here: whether the XO is an influence for freedom or an influence for subjection.
Proprietary software keeps users divided and helpless. Its functioning is secret, so it is incompatible with the spirit of learning. Teaching children to use a proprietary (non-free) system such as Windows does not make the world a better place, because it puts them under the power of the system's developer -- perhaps permanently.
It is also superfluous. The OLPC has already inspired other cheap computers; if the goal is only to make cheap computers available, the OLPC project has succeeded whether or not more XOs are built. So why build more XOs? Delivering freedom would be a good reason.
The project's decision is not final; the free software community must do everything possible to convince OLPC to continue being ... a force for freedom.
Part of what we can do is offer to help with the project's own free software. ... helpful contributions are those that make Sugar better on free operating systems. Porting to Windows is permitted by the license, but it isn't a good thing to do.
I am typing these words on the XO. As I travel and speak in the coming weeks, I will point to it in my speeches to raise this issue.
Windows under the hood will harm device performance and market perception. If OLPC runs Windows, it will be just what Bill Gates said it was - an underpowered box with a small screen and poor battery life. If you can get Sugar on any cheap laptop with Windows, people will be fooled into thinking Sugar is redundant and performance robbing while they buy into the next wave of cheaper and more powerful alternatives that Intel will be happy to dump on the market. It would be better for them to exploit their first mover advantage before other hardware catches up. They can do this now and promote freedom or they can commit Windows suicide. Not one developer hour should be wasted porting Sugar to Windows. The plans Mr. Gates has for the market were well stated in this interview last January:
OLPC hasn't done that well. Emerging markets are growing for PCs, people are doing cheap PCs. We've always believed in cheap PCs. If the hardware were free, we'd be happy. We're about the software. We're in literally over 100 countries with special versions of Windows, including Starter Edition. OLPC is nowhere compared to where we are on this thing. If that form factor, some people want to use that, we'll make sure Windows is available on that.
That's called Phone Plus. Our lab in China is doing some very interesting work. That general idea is that as you could walk around with the phone that it could use any big screen that shows up, that's going to be just standard stuff. The phone will be the entry PCs for a lot of people. The biggest thing in developing markets is the shared PC where you go into the library or the school and you share it. There you want a decent keyboard and a decent machine.
Ina Freid forgot to include the Evil Cackle noise that must have followed. Big publishers would rather cram 20th century broadcast and telco equipment onto the world than have free networks and computers take their place. They want to continue and expand their roll as a gatekeeper of all information which they will keep in their little "cloud". Free computers with free information and community based networks have no place in their world and so OLPC must be subjugated and destroyed.
This is more than a developing world issue. The more control big publishers gain over information, the more difficult it will be to demand freedom for ourselves. The structures we develop to enslave others will be used against us.
Someone was nice enough to give me a gift subscription. If you would like to take credit for this, do so below. Thanks.
Russian Schools On Track to Full Linux Use by 2009.
You may remember the ugly trial of a Russian teacher over non free software and how the school system promissed to purge itself of such problems. A year later, the plan to replace Windows with Armada Linux is moving smoothly. Five versions have been created for a range of tasks and hardware. More than 10,000 coppies have been distributed. In some urban areas, more than half of all machines will have been coverted before the end of this year.
Microsoft pounded and ignored on YouTube.
Microsoft is trying to promote Vista on YouTube. The videos have been up for a week and all but one has less than 300 views. The comments have not been kind, as you might expect from all the Vista Sucks videos that millions of people have viewed.
Major EU US Trade Fight Erupts Over EU Anti-Trust Verdict.
A major international anti-trust fight is brewing over Microsoft and Vista is in the crosshairs. Neelie Kroes, the competition commissioner, said she would like Windows market share to fall from more than 90 per cent to nearer 50 per cent. The US DOJ and EU officials have exchanged some ugly words about all of this (also here):
"It is totally unacceptable that a representative of the U.S. administration criticized an independent court of law outside its jurisdiction," the commissioner, Neelie Kroes, said. "The European Commission does not pass judgment on rulings by U.S. courts, and we expect the same degree of respect."