KWin Adds Support for QML Decorations
I am twitter and I agree with this post.
Microsoft Makes 5x from Android as Windows Phone
The Seattle Times wrote up the story of this extoriton. Of particular note is Microsoft lawyer Gutierez's response to Microsoft extoring HTC on April 27th:
HTC and Microsoft have a long history of technical and commercial collaboration, and today’s agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercial arrangements that address intellectual property,
They had nothng to say about the news that Microsoft is officially a patent troll.
DHS Chief: What We Learned From Stuxnet
I wonder why Slashdot does not tag stories about Windows malware with "Windows". I know why ComputerWorld and other publishers that deal with WE and take Microsoft advertising money are cowed and don't Call Out Windows. Slashdot should be better than that.
DHS Chief: What We Learned From Stuxnet
I wonder why Slashdot does not tag stories about Windows malware with "Windows". I know why ComputerWorld and other publishers that deal with WE and take Microsoft advertising money are cowed and don't Call Out Windows. Slashdot should be better than that.
What is Florian Mueller telling Slashdot?
Thanks, Joe, for such amazing display of hypocrisy. Readers can tell for themselves what I wrote above and what they think about me if they care to make that an issue. People interested in the astroturf account jwilcox154 should visit my troll zoo. It is interesting that this account and the AC still follow me so closely though I have only posted in Slashdot a few times over the last two years.
Florian is not a normal Slashdot user. I have put together this time line of Microsoft patent extortion against free software and this analysis of Florian Mueller's defense of the same. Florian tries to portray Microsoft's use of patents as "cooperative" rather than exclusive. To do this he uses the term "livable" and spins any case where Microsoft cooperates with a rival as a case of common cause and beliefs. The above 16 stories in less than a year and Florian's defense of software patents speak for themselves.
Why are mobile plans so expensive in the US?
US spectrum auctions are inherently corrupt and are a bad idea even if they were not. Google made one attempt to buy spectrum but was quickly out done by incumbents that conspired to keep them out by running up any bids made. Even if it were possible to prevent collusion, a highest bidder wins system will always lead to unreasonable prices.
The solution is an immediate deregulation of all spectrum because licensing is not necessary. See David Reed's Open Spectrum notes for more information.
Keys Leaking Through the Air At RSA
It's also an article that fails to call out Windows. Directors Desk is run on Windows, so the violation is not so much a case of NASDAQ not being able to "secure their network" as it is a case of no one being able to secure Windows. Most people know by now that sane stock exchanges use GNU/Linux, so they might think this was a GNU/Linux problem.
NASDAQ, being very Microsoft/Madoff/crook friendly, did not mention the OS of the failed application either. Perhaps they were belatedly ashamed of being dumb enough to use IIS.
Hacked and now vandalized, HBGary pulls out of RSA
What silme. Anonymous published their smear campaign in full already, including their little charts of who they think Anonymous is. Backing out of conferences will save them the embarrassment of having to answer questions and gives them a chance to smear Anonymous. Given that their primary smear technique was harassment, planting things to discredit and other agent provocateur slime, HGBary's claims of death threats carry no credibility.
We should look to the perspective of the victims to gauge things instead. Try this one on for size:
the revelation of terror tools used so brazenly against political opponents in the private corporate sector is disturbing, to say the least. While the notion of paid political operatives subversively using social media to discredit opponents has long been suspected by many, here we have evidence that these tactics are, in truth, fairly common among those who can afford to deploy them. That commenter who always shows up to hijack a comment thread on a specific topic may very well be working for $250/hour
What a bunch of unAmerican trashbags.
Chevron Got North Sea Contract Despite IT Safety Crashes
BP got the rewards but everyone else is stuck with the cost of their screw up. BP is paying pennies on the dollar to gulf coast residents for loss of business. They will pay nothing in long term health costs.
As a gulf coast resident and free software advocate who's worked for Fortune 100 companies, the role of Microsoft in Deepwater Horizon was not that surprising. I helped write this report about the problems BP had with Microsoft and other non free software and this follow up report when more details were revealed. I'll be looking closely at NOV. Their lack of cooperation is probably concealing more trouble with the system that's largely responsible for the disaster. Industry needs to dump Microsoft to avoid future calamities. BP technicians thought they were doing as much as they can to fix the problems but they were clearly taking risks they should not have been taking and their solution clearly would have lead to more of the same.
FCC Approving Pay-As-You-Go Internet Plans
No thanks to yet another way to drive up the cost of free software. How else can Microsoft make distribution on shiny disks competitive again? Patent extortions? That's a whole other issue that strangely has help from ATT in Texas.
Thank you, hairyfeet, for pointing out the obvious anti-competitive nature of pay by the minute internet service. You might want to mention that cable companies already have all the bandwith anyone could want but they use 99% for pay per view movies and other rip off services.
Now, let's look at some possible solutions. Municiple networks and Open Spectrum are winners that make entertainment and telcos very nervous.
Municiple wires work well in Tacoma, Washington which only has 250,000 people, so it should work just about anywhere and it should. Almost all US cable networks were built with monopoly protection and have that obligation to the public.
Open Specturm and free software are really the only way to insure free speech in the future. If you haven't figured it out yet, non free software and network control are two sides of the same coin. It's about the power to shove adverts in your face and control public opinion about issues, just like the good old days of broadcast and switched networks. Only free software gives you control of your computer and only free networks let you share news and opinions with your neighbors. The rest resembles the old USSR more than anything else, the publisher's paradise. We already own what we need to stay free, all we lack is the collective knowledge and will to take it.
Net Pioneers Say Open Internet Should Be Separate
The authors of this work may believe that an open Internet will succeed on its merits alone. I don't. However we arrive at it, Network Neutrality is simply not negotiable.
Thank you for your partial quote of the document and your insightful commentary. If anything, "specialized services" are the things that might be granted an exception to rule by a liberal government. Neutral networks are what should be mandated but, as pointed out above, only a tiny fraction of available bandwith is given to customers as "open internet" if the likes of Comcast can be described that way. The rest of it is utilized as wasteful push services. Media companies simply won't give up their lucrative and powerful position as information gatekeepers unless forced by real competition in physical media (hint - giving a movie company ownership of a monopoly cable service is the opposite of a free market) or we are finally granted open spectrum. The FCC should keep itself busy busting spammers rather than upholding 110 year old spectrum laws that no longer make sense.
Now, would someone be kind enough to paste the actual text of the article, "On Advancing the Open Internet by Distinguishing it from Specialized Services"? Scribd wants me to have a Facebook page to download the document and I can't read it through whatever nasty software they serve it with.
Geocities To Be Made Available As a 900GB Torrent
Geocities may have proved online collaboration of a sort, the torrent proves the glaring inadequacy of US networks. Anyone could author a website and that many of those were worth reading. Wikipedia, Facebook and others follow naturally from Geocities and much better things are on the horizon. With tiny copper lines, nasty bandwith caps and even nastier download caps, the average user will take about 15 years to download the collection. That's assuming Time Warner's 5GB/month plan. At the average download speed of half a MB/s, you might see it in a month.
The collection is very much worth archiving and indexing. Real knowledge and social history like this should be preserved for anyone who'd like to look. Let's hope libraries make archives and independent indexes to help people research.
Inside Google's Anti-Malware Operation
From the article:
To find malware-distribution sites, Google uses a huge number of virtual machines running completely unpatched versions of Windows and Internet Explorer that they point at potentially malicious URLs. The company then ties this in with the data that it gathers from its automated crawlers that are tasked with looking for malicious code on legitimate Web sites.
It would be nice if people would call this stuff Windows malware if it does not do anything to normal computers. Please Call out Windows, people.
Microsoft Eyes PC Isolation Ward to Thwart Botnets
Botnets are a Microsoft only problem, so the solution should preclude Microsoft and Windows. The only criteria that should be used to cut people off of the web is evidence of bot control. The rest of that snake oil, AV, software firewalls etc, has proven inadequate for more than a decade.
Security Lessons Learned From the Diaspora Launch
Replacing the correct words in the original statement makes the idea probably false. Try:
"If free software is dependent on the OSS community, users are screwed."
The OSS community includes OpenBSD, for example.
More important than that, comments on the developer's page indicate the security minded developer is not familiar with Rails and that many of the attacks are handled by Rails itself. I am not familiar enough with Rails to judge the merits of these claims but can say that the developer in question is an ass.
Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04
Ubuntu and several other distributions are commercial successes, despite all of the FUD, hardware, retail and legal sabotage the once mighty Microsoft could muster. That's good, but it's not what free software is about.
Free software is about freedom and it has been successful for a long time. Today, as many people are pointing out below, you can get just about any hardware to work with nothing but free software. There are some lingering problems in ACPI bios land, where hardware makers can mess with you but those are going away as fast as Microsoft acquires debt. All of us are better off socially and economically because of this success.
Best Way To Archive Emails For Later Searching?
Kmail has an excellent .pst converter that will pull out your old Outlook mail. Once you have it in Kmail, you can drag and drop it into any of the supported formats, mbox, mdir etc. If you have already established filters, you can let them sort things out. If not you can use a manual search for to, from, mail list, subject, etc. From there you can run your imap.
I carry everything around on my laptop and use kmail instead of using imap. With full drive encryption and xscreensaver, I don't have any worry about losing private information and know that my ISPs have better collections of my email anyway, despite what they say about size limits. I could use Gmail's imap instead of my own but prefer to suck my gmail out with kmail's imap support. Until US networks get more reasonable, I want my mail with me instead of on my own server and I would not advise anyone to leave their mail on someone else's server without having a copy yourself.
Because your question is all about search, I have to plug Kmail again. With proper organization of your mail into subfolders for friends, family, lists, companies and projects, mail searches are quick, even on modest hardware like my ancient PIII laptop. Searching everything takes a little longer, but it is not such a burden. Evolution may do as well but something about Gnome turns me off. The only downside is that the 3.5 branch does not seem to be able to search through encrypted mail but I imagine there's some gpg-agent fix for that I'm not aware of.
Proof that UNIX code was copied into Linux
We are supposed to believe this now, and so what? SCO had every opportunity to publish this years ago but made people sign NDAs to look at their supposed proof. The only people who bothered with the NDAs were Microsoft friendly press people like MoG who made sure everyone believed there was a REAL CASE. Of course there was not, it was all FUD and nonsense. Had there ever been any code in Linux that could not be distributed under the GPL it would have been rewritten. SCO lost this trial three times, please let it die.
The Fresca Rebellion
Making people "responsible for the costs of their actions" is not always the best way to fix a problem. Sometimes society has to protect itself by outlawing otherwise profitable behaviors such as fraud or armed robbery.
Perhaps it would be better to simply ban or regulate things like high fructose corn syrup, phosphoric acid and other garbage that soda makers find cheaper than real food. It can be argued that these ingredients are responsible for the obesity epidemic. Fat people get cancer more frequently than "normal" people and we now see even children with acquired diabetes. Real foods like sugar are not that much more expensive but without laws to protect food makers, economics forces them to all use crap. If you think food bans violate your liberty, remember that lead oxides were once as a cheap sweetener before people really understood heavy metal poisoning.
Finally, "sin taxes" make the state a partner in crime. Tobacco taxes, for example, have not come close to eliminating smoking or paying for the medical costs. I doubt it is possible to strip the hundreds of thousands of dollars cancer treatment alone costs from the average slob who smoke even if you assume the smoker survives forty years of their addiction. Prevention programs, the tobacco companies know, often backfire by normalizing smoking in a way that direct advertising has a hard time conveying. It would be a lot easier and cheaper to just ban the sale of tobacco. Taxing sodas is much the same. In the 20 year war between Iran and Iraq a causeway was literally built out of the bodies of dead soldiers. Do we want to pave our streets with the blood of smokers and soda drinkers, or do we want to outlaw profit from the sale of addictive, factory made poisons?
Google Wants To Ease News Browsing With Fast Flip
I'm not sold. Your browser and set up might be painful but mine are not.
Sort of like this Google News and decent clients do very nicely for me. Keyword search, maybe an image or two. You don't need a lot of fancy graphics to make that work, just a browser and OS that can handle the load. Three or four browsers with 40 or 50 tabs is a sweet spot of good research. Each browser has a topic or two that interest me. I don't have to read it all at once because my OS has months worth of uptime.
We'll see what comes of all this but the last thing I want to do is go back to a newspaper format. Perhaps Google can make something cool, but I like minimal with good search.
Microsoft Makes 5x from Android as Windows Phone
twitter writes "Given Citi numbers, Microsoft is making more from licensing Android to makers than it is from their own phone. It is easy to understand that no one wants a Windows phone but why is Microsoft being paid for Android? Because Microsoft is allowed to threaten competitors with patent lawsuits.
A rough estimate of the number of HTC Android devices shipped is 30 million. If HTC paid $5 per unit to Microsoft, that adds up to $150 million Android revenues for Microsoft. Microsoft has admitted selling 2 million Windows Phone licenses (though not devices.) Estimating that the license fee is $15/WP phone, that makes Windows Phone revenues to date $30 million.
Link to Original Source
Apple Valued $100 Billion More than Microsoft
twitter (104583) writes "Congratulations to MG Siegler who predicted a year ago that Apple's valuation would pass Microsoft's. It did without looking back and today Apple is worth $100 billion more than Microsoft.
Microsoft will not be re-taking the crown as the most-valuable tech company any time soon, but they’re flirting with being knocked down to the number three — or even number four spot. In the past year, while Microsoft’s stock is down slightly... Google is much closer to Microsoft in terms of market cap than Apple was when I wrote that post last year. ... IBM is a little bit closer at $202 billion. ... They have a shot of passing Microsoft too.
The author points out HP is worth $108 billion and that Apple is now worth an entire company more than Microsoft."
Link to Original Source
Conflicted Microsoft Financials Indicate Fraud?
twitter (104583) writes "Microsoft has published self contradictory financial results, found early by a sharp reporter.
not all the numbers in the 10-Q filed with the SEC and the earnings press release were the same. The revenue and operating income (loss) breakout by division were completely different. And not only were the numbers for last quarter different, but the numbers from the same quarter last year were different.
Techrights suspect the company is again juggle their books to make things look better for investors. Microsoft is hurting after the failure of Vista and Windows 7 is not doing much better. Is Microsoft finally imploding?"
Link to Original Source
GNU/Linux is fastest growing OS at Big Companies.
twitter (104583) writes "A survey of 1,900 people at companies with more than 500 employees shows that GNU/Linux is growing faster than other OS at the expense of Windows and Unix. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has some insightful commentary on it.
These businesses are moving to Linux far faster than they are to Windows or Unix. ... conventional wisdom is that Unix users are the most likely to switch to Linux. ... it turns out that, by a few percentage points, Windows users at 36.6% are more likely to be heading to Linux than Unix, 31.4% ... 36.4% of businesses reported some Linux desktop use in their company. ... while total cost of ownership (TCO) remains a strong number two, the first reason these days for people to switch to Linux is its perceived technical superiority and features. ... 58.6%, said the recession hadn't played a role.
One thing that SJVN missed is that, "and 66% of users surveyed say that their Linux deployments are brand new (“greenfield”) deployments. This greenfield market share grab is a good indicator of a platform’s future performance." Hurry up, already, I want my GNU!"
Link to Original Source
ACT Caught Subverting EU Pannels for M$
twitter (104583) writes "Wikileaks has published a document that exposes Microsoft efforts to harm free software in the EU through front groups. RAND is promoted, free software advocacy is removed and other changes are made on Microsoft's behalf. Anti-trust regulators should be alarmed.
The file is a draft for an expert panel formed by the European Commission. This panel is divided into workgroup (IPR, Open Source, digital life, etc.). ACT and Comptia have been infiltrating every workgroup, even the one on Open Source (WG 7). They are doing the best they can to drown any initiative that would not only promote OSS in Europe but also that could help Europe create a sucessful European software sector. ... [the document has] original and modified text (in glorious colour, so it's really worth downloading it and taking a look), which means that we can see what exactly an organisation sympathetic to Microsoft –and partly funded by them– is worried about
it is important to have the public know how actual policy making is being influenced by lobbies that are precisely under the legal scrutiny of the European Commission. The urgency of the publication of this document is real in the sense that outside pressure would force the Commission to "clean the committees"
This is an issue that Boycott Novell, aka Techrights has been tracking for some time."
Link to Original Source
Lawsuit Claims WGA is Spyware.
twitter writes "Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), Microsoft's euphemistically named digital restrictions scheme, is the target of another spyware and false advertising lawsuit.
Microsoft this week was sued in a Washington district court for allegedly violating privacy laws through Windows XP's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) copy protection scheme. Similar to cases filed in 2006, the new class action case accuses Microsoft of falsely representing what information WGA would send to verify the authenticity of Windows and that it would send back information [daily ip address and other details that could be used to trace information back to a home or user].
The complaint further argued that Microsoft portrayed WGA as a necessary security update rather than acknowledge its copy protection nature in the update. WGA's implementation also prevented users from purging the protection from their PCs without completely reformatting a computer's system drive.
There were at least two other lawsuits launched in 2006 over WGA. According to the Wikipedia article, none of them have been resolved. The system is built into Vista and Windows 7. It is something that should be avoided by people who value their privacy and any business that has to follow laws such as HIPPA."
Link to Original Source
Beyond Trust Warns that UAC is Still Broken.
twitter writes "Enterprise users looking for a reason to upgrade from XP will be disappointed with Windows 7 security issues. BeyondTrust, a Least Privilege Management provider for Windows, warns that UAC changes are ineffective and not up to Federal regulations.
Despite growing CSO and CISO recognition of the need to deploy end-users as standard users, and requirements by the Federal Government for the removal of administrator rights under the Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) mandate, Windows 7 includes no significant changes to UAC for standard users.
"For enterprises, there is little benefit to the changes to User Account Control in Windows," said John Moyer, CEO of BeyondTrust. "Windows 7 introduces cosmetic changes to reduce the prompts that plagued Vista, but it does nothing to fix the underlying productivity and usability problems for standard users... Windows 7`s UAC slider puts end-users in charge of the security decision of what to run with administrative privileges, which is essentially an invitation for malicious users, hackers and malware."
It is amazing that Microsoft can not do what Unix and every gnu/linux distribution has done for decades, provide real user privilege separation. Where these are provided, it is easy to add GUI front ends like kdesu, so that authentication is simple and painless for the few times it is needed."
Link to Original Source
M$'s Anti-Linux Training at Best Buy.
twitter writes "Best Buy is one of the few national computer retailers that has survived Vista and the recession. Here's how Microsoft is training their employees. It's like a throwback from the badly discredited "Get the Facts" campaign.
I work at Best Buy (insert boos and hisses) and I was doing some Microsoft ExpertZone training. ... during my training modules, a "Linux vs Windows 7" module appeared. Here are screenshots of the lies Microsoft is portraying.
Okay so here's where it starts getting bad. [bogus claims that gnu/linux won't work your ipod, do video chat, play World of Warcraft and so on]
If you have been paying attention, you know that the first slide is a lie. Windows 7 won't provide familiarity, choice, compatibility, or peace of mind, really. Windows 7 is a service pack for Vista that comes at a cost to your freedom and privacy. Best Buy is in for a world of hurt if they believe what Microsoft is telling them."
Link to Original Source
Ubuntu is Quickest and Easiest Upgrade.
twitter writes "It should come as no surprise to long time Debian users that Ubuntu is the quickest and easiest modern OS to upgrade. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols took a stab at upgrading Windows, OSX and Ubuntu. OSX and Ubuntu tied for ease but Ubuntu was faster. He ran into the same problems with Windows as others have.
With Windows XP, I found, as I expected, that there is no easy way to upgrade. ...I had to reinstall every, last application, fonts and drivers. ... The only version of Windows that can be upgraded without jumping through hoops is Vista. Even Vista, however, can only be upgraded easily from the same version to another or to Windows 7 Ultimate. [Mossberg had to reinstall all of his programs with Vista, so the few who suffered through that may not really have it easier.]
In stark contrast, Ubuntu was easy to upgrade. There's simply no comparison. Mac OS X Snow Leopard is also an easy upgrade. Just like Ubuntu Linux, all you really need to do is put in the DVD, make a few mouse clicks, and go have lunch while it runs. Once installed, both Snow Leopard and Ubuntu ran perfectly. That's more than I can about Windows 7. [typical Windows networking problems follow]
Unix just works and the more freedom you have the easier it is. With more vendor free software support on the way, the difference will grow."
Link to Original Source
Internet Driving Literacy Revolution
twitter writes "From the why Johnny can read and write dept.
A growing body of evidence supports the common sense conclusion that the internet is driving a historic literacy revolution. Andrea Lunsford, a professor of writing and rhetoric at Stanford University, organized the Stanford Study of Writing and collected 14,672 student writing samples between 2001 and 2006. What she found was an outpouring of purposeful, varied and technically good writing.
"I think we're in the midst of a literacy revolution the likes of which we haven't seen since Greek civilization," she says. Young people today write far more than any generation before them. Students were remarkably adept at what rhetoricians call kairos, assessing their audience and adapting their tone and technique to best get their point across. ... In interviews, they defined good prose as something that had an effect on the world. ... The brevity of texting and status updating teaches young people to deploy haiku-like concision. ... new forms of online pop-cultural exegesis, from sprawling TV-show recaps to 15,000-word videogame walkthroughs, has given them a chance to write enormously long and complex pieces of prose, often while working collaboratively with others.
The revolution, it seems, was not televised. Established media has repeatedly and wrongly hammered the internet as the worst thing for literacy ever, as if more communications could be bad for communication skills. Video editing will broaden and complement the revolution that the read write internet has brought."
Link to Original Source
5 Netbooks M$ has Killed.
twitter writes "PC World has a list of Netbooks that M$ has killed because they might hurt Windows 7 sales. The list includes some nice hardware and options that include gnu/linux.
Think most netbooks have single-core processors, 1GB of RAM, and a 160GB hard drive because their manufacturers like conformity? Right. The reality — never officially acknowledged — is that Microsoft doesn't cheaply license its operating systems to netbooks with specs that are too good (see the limitations at TechARP)
Actually, the details have leaked in the past and manufacturers have complained in public. It's time for the anti-trust cops to do their job."
Link to Original Source
For Battery Life, is Windows 7 the Worst OS Yet?
twitter writes "Major Windows fan George Ou, admits that Windows 7 battery life is not as good as XPs. Is Windows 7 the most power hungry Windows yet?
According to Ou, "What I have found is that Windows 7 battery life is (very slightly) better than Windows Vista. However, it's not quite as good as Windows XP" ... Personally, I've found the battery life on my laptop dipped noticeably after installing Windows 7 RC on my Windows Vista laptop. What's the mileage for you early adopters out there, who have tried out Windows 7 already?
No one really knows what Windows 7 will be yet because it's not on the market, but XP's power management failures are well documented. It is amusing XP is held up as a gold standard and a shame that M$ designed ACPI specifically to harm free software but have been unable to deliver for their own customers. I get good power management with Debian on older hardware and Macs have always done better than PCs."
Link to Original Source
Yahoo Joins M$ in the Slog Against Google.
twitter writes "Yahoo's new management has not taken long to get behind M$'s war against Google. Boycott Novell remembers the details and puts the story together:
Microsoft used its might inside the government to break apart those two willing partners ... one year later, Yahoo! is headed by a former Microsoft ally (Autodesk CEO) and a poisoned board of directors.
in contrast to Yahoo!'s recommendation of Firefox 3.0 last year (under Jerry Yang's leadership), Yahoo! now promotes IE8. Yahoo, and Amazon have decided to join together in the soon to be formed Open Book Alliance. Microsoft supported more aggressive actions, including lawsuits, against Google's book scanning [after giving up their own failed book scanning effort].
So Yahoo has joined the likes of Citrix, Corel and Novell and become a M$ vassal. Good bye, Yahoo, it was fun while it lasted. How sad it will be sad to see you look like Hotmail."
Link to Original Source
Early Windows 7 Trouble Report.
twitter writes "Here we go again. Vista 7 is RTM and people have started to use it. With real use comes real problems. Here's what happened.
I was humming along with Windows 7 for most of this past week. And then something happened. My browser crawled to a stop yesterday. Im not sure what changed if anything but it was like someone had secretly snuck into my netbook and swapped the 2GB stick with a 256MB module. The CPU kept hitting 100 percent, so browser tabs were taking 15 seconds or more to render content. Thats a productivity killer for what I do, and after a few hours of torture yesterday, I went back to Windows XP.
It's like Vista all over again."
Link to Original Source
People Want Freedom and Ownership in Music.
twitter writes "A survey by Music and Entertainment Industry Management research group at the University of Hertfordshire, for UK Music, found that young people continue to shun streaming and DRM music.
among 1,808 respondents aged 18 to 24 that three-fifths of them used p2p services, and four-fifths of those did so at least once a week. ... The average size of CD collections was 70 (for 14-17 year olds) and 98 (for 18-24 year olds), ... 77% of respondents said that they would still buy original albums even if they subscribed to a music download service. ... [for] sleeve notes, the sound quality and the desire to own a physical object. 44% of respondents said that one reason for wanting a CD was that it "cannot be deleted"
These results are clear and consistent. P2P performance and variety will never be matched so it will be a preferred method of discovery. People avoid artificial restrictions, advertising and other annoyances. If they were happy with the limited selection vanishing music the recording industry provides, they would all still be listening to advertisements on radio. The more you give people, the more they buy. Most changes since the same thing was shown in 2006 have only made the situation more obvious. Music fans buy music but want freedom and an honest deal."
Link to Original Source
Windows 7 Security Woes and the M$ RTM Lie.
twitter writes "People paying close attention to the Windows 7 build process noticed a subtle trick used to make Windows 7 appear more secure than Vista or XP.
They applied all the patches, called that build the RTM, then said the RTM was unaffected. Then [they] released a press release patting Windows 7 on the back for being more secure, even though at least half those bugs affected it too. You wouldn't notice this unless you had been following the Windows 7 build process pretty closely.
Nothing changes in Windows Land."
Link to Original Source
Is Vista 7 the Least Compatible Windows of All?
twitter writes "Recent GNU/Linux user John Dvorak noticed something funny about Vista 7, besides a lot of negative marketing.
Users will have to erase their entire hard disk and re-install everything to switch to Windows 7. This video was weird because Mossberg was a huge booster of Windows 7 in January. Now [WSJ Mossberg] guy is providing a reality check. ... Apparently Windows 7 has changed enough so that you cannot drop it in as a new OS and expect it to run anything that has been previously installed. In the past, this upgrade-in-place was always feasible, although it was never as good as a clean install.
So we have a new upgrade low from M$. Having used Debian for nearly a decade, I'm sure I don't miss that part of the Windows experience. As the saying goes, "Some compatibility is more backward than others.""
Link to Original Source
M$ Colludes to Limit Netbooks Again.
twitter writes "M$ is using it's OS monopoly to make hardware suck, again.
Microsoft and Intel have reached an agreement that the next generation of Netbooks will not have displays larger than 10.2 inches. Vendors that insist on making minilaptops with larger LCDs will not be eligible for the lower Windows 7 volume licensing rates for these machines.
Groklaw recently covered an manufacturer complaints that should be investigated for anti-trust violations. They did this with XP too, limiting processors, screen size and other important details. This probably explains Dell's cancellation of their 12" netbook.
The market may be impossible for them to control. Previously crushed ASUS is thinking about brining back GNU/Linux to their netbook line. Will they use Xandros as well as Moblin and Chrome? ARM Netbooks like CrunchPad threaten to steal the show too. Let's hope so. It's about time people had real software and hardware choices."
Link to Original Source
Computer World: It's Time to Get Rid of Windows.
twitter writes "Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols of Computer World has had enough of the high cost of Windows insecurity.
Hundreds of millions of Internet users were annoyed because of Windows botnet-based DDoS aimed at one (1) person. ... Some people out there used no fewer than six Windows botnets to go after this one guy. And, in the process, they knocked out, for hours at a time, most of the major social networks.
It happened because Windows is an insecure piece of junk. Anyone who knows anything about security knows that this kind of disaster was only a matter of time. Windows botnets are responsible for DDoS attacks and most of e-mail spam. You cannot secure Windows. Microsoft keeps saying that they will, and they always fail. Period.
Reasonable people have been saying the same thing for years. Botnets have taken down more important things, like hospital networks, and have been fingered in power outages. What kind of real harm will it take for people to give up Windows and move on to sane platforms like GNU/Linux?"
Windows 7 Still Slower than XP and Ubuntu.
twitter writes "Not long ago, benchmarks showed Ubuntu was much better than Windows 7. Another benchmark showed that Ubuntu is also faster than XP. Now comes the final, killer benchmark. Windows 7 is RTM and it's still slower than XP in everything but shut down.
the results were mixed. Boot times, despite dedicated tweaking from Microsoft were slightly worse than in Vista SP2 or XP SP3 (by over a second). Shutdown times, though, showed much improvement over the slow XP, and even some improvement over Vista. Since the 7100 build, Windows 7's performance in Microsoft Office and iTunes has improved significantly. In the Office benchmark, though it still gets beat by both Vista and XP.
The numbers themselves are less than impressive, as you might imagine from their inability to best their nine year old OS. Modern GNU/Linux, of course, spanks them all."
Link to Original Source
Vista/Windows 8 Hype Log.
All the usual hype is flowing about Vista 8. This mostly means that Vista 7 was a failure, but I decided to log it for laughs. Vista 7 did not sell as well as Vista did and Vista 8 won't sell any better than Vista 7. Vista failure has really killed Microsoft. The upgrade inevitability myth is six feet underground, traditional desktops are becoming a thing of the past and everyone looks to Google, Apple even IBM for cool and reliable computing. Despite that, Microsoft brings out the same old lines and strategies.
- 05/29 - Steve Ballmer tries to freeze the market by announcing an early release date, only to have Micrsoft quietly rebuff him. In reality, OEM outrage at Microsoft's limitations and power grab pushes Vista 8 release out of 2012.
- 06/02 - A fawning article from business insider. We get all the usual BS, "riskiest OS ever," "biggest step forward in more than 20 years, when it pushed Windows as the replacement for DOS", "underneath that layer is the old Windows that users are accustomed to. It will run old Windows apps", Linux and Apple are too jarring, expensive and suck, and so on and so forth.
Windows in Decline, as More than 1 in 3 PCs Ship Without 7
As the Linux Foundation wins new friends and influences people, sharp reporters at PCWorld notice that Windows sales as a fraction of PCs shipped are in a steep and accelerating decline. Woody Leonhard of Infoworld does the math on Microsoft's numbers,
Between launch and June 30, 2010 -- a period of 251 days -- Microsoft sold 0.78 Windows 7 licenses for each PC sold. Between July 1, 2010, and April 22, 2011 -- a period of 275 days -- Microsoft sold 0.67 Windows 7 licenses for each PC sold: 175 million Windows 7 licenses, and 260 million new PCs. To turn the numbers the other way around, in the past nine months, more than one-third of all new PCs sold didn't have Windows 7. ... it's entirely possible that 40 percent of all new PCs in the past nine months shipped without Windows 7. Maybe more.
So, the Windows 7 PC sales "refresh" is over. Business adoption rates are still under 10%. Kanthryn Noyles of Computer World interprets that as a Win for gnu/linux
I think it's fair to assume that a good number of them are running Linux instead. Preloaded options, after all, are increasingly common, and the reasons to switch are more compelling with each passing Patch Tuesday.
Android/Linux, is another reason for the decline. Why sit around mom's basement with a big, noisy PC when you can drop the net in your pocket? PCs are less important and Windows is downright archaic.
Microsoft's bottom line sags with its cash cow. There was good evidence in 2010 and January of this year that Windows 7 was not driving sales. Roughly Drafted now looks at Microsoft's quarterly report and shows that Windows profits are down since 2008 back when they were trying to sell Vista which many people dumped in less than six months.
What is Florian Mueller telling Slashdot?
Florian Mueller has thrust himself into the news a lot over the last couple of years, mostly to the detriment of Microsoft competitors, and has been particularly successful at getting Slashdot to copy his message. Roy Schestowitz, of Techrights, noticed him early because Boycott Novell was on Florian's journalist mass mailing list. So was Groklaw. Both rejected Florian's message and both are now smeared by him. Techrights has this index and PJ has this about bad behavior in 2005, this, this and more. Florian waged a Twitter/Social Media FUD campaign against both "Groklie" and Techrights in retaliation. Even Slashdot submitters have called Florian a "gadfly" and noticed he's behind anti-Google FUD. All of Florian's media manipulation has earned him special mention by actual lawyers who advise those threatened by lawsuits to ignore him and people like him.
The best way to understand what Florian has been doing is to make a list of it. Here then, is a list of what he's been telling Slashdot readers over the last year or so, with context and links to refutations as time allows.
- Google violated Java patents on purpose (See source article for source of silly opinion. ITWorld should be ashamed.)
- Speculation about why Apple replaced their chief patent lawyer. While Apple is quiet about the change, Florian pretends to be an Apple spokesman and tells us it's all about plans to block Android features.
- Sensationalized Oracle's obnoxious demands for money as something that would "far exceed any money Google has ever earned with Android", Google's no cost, free OS. Groklaw puts things in perspective and lawyers advise people to ignore Florian and people like him.
- Google Loses Bedrock Suit, All Linux May Infringe Florian put his anti-linux spin into CNet, the article source. See refutations, [2 SJVN], [3 PJ].
- A refutation that points to Florian as the source of Android copyright FUD.
- Huffington Post and Florian level copyright charges against Android, call it a "serious problem". Techrights and Groklaw answer these charges and take a careful look at Florian. 
- Google and Microsoft are working to make sofware patents livable
- Backs Google's request to invalidate Oracle VM patents.
- Florian charges Google of copyright violation against Oracle, blames ASF.
- Florian claims Android is doomed by Google's small patent portfolio, so Google had better pay fees to Apple, Microsoft and Oracle.
- Android and iPhone charged with violating media patents
- Counts patents involved in Apple's attack on Android.
- Pumps up Paul Allen's sue everyone lawsuit as trouble for Android.
Red Hat FUD
Novell's Patent Hoard.
Reframes Microsoft's attempt to tax Motorola's use of GNU/Linux and Android.
This issue should not be separated from general anti-Google FUD but Florian does this.
That's 16 articles in less than a year and each represents dozens of Microsoft press echos. All of it says something bad about Google, Red Hat, IBM and other free software users. When he's not busy smearing Microsoft competitors, he's telling us that they Love Microsoft and are working with them towards some noble goal.
People speculate that Muelller is fed inside information as part of Microsoft's coordinated campaigns against free software and Microsoft competitors. PJ of Groklaw thinks that Microsoft hoped that a community of deluded coders would form around Florian, but only Novell employees and Mono boosters pal around, while the larger free software community ignores him. His recent praise of the SCO Gang and smears of PJ places him among the most disgusting of Microsoft company.
ZDNet Author Dumps Vista for GNU/Linux
I simply can't believe how awful Windows is, and (unfortunately) how gullible I am. [my laptop] came loaded with Vista Business, and a "fallback" DVD for XP Professional. I tried running Vista on it. I really tried, I really wanted it to work, and I said exactly that in my blog here. But it didn't. Every time I tried it, things started out looking promising, and after a month or two it would go belly-up. Three or four times I reloaded Vista from scratch and tried again, hoping that the latest Microsoft Updates would fix it. Eventually I gave up, reloaded one last time with XP Professional, and ran that with no problem for two years.
A month or so ago, through my own carelessness, I wiped the disk on this laptop. I had to reload everything from scratch, so (like a fool) I thought well, Vista SP2 is out, everyone says that it is "all fixed up now and works great, and reliably", so I'll try that again. I loaded Vista from scratch, added all the updates to SP2 and beyond, and I've been running it that way since. Until today. ... Windows is unreliable garbage, it always has been, it always will be, and if you use it you should be willing to accept that risk. I am no longer willing to accept that risk, even part-time as a secondary operating system on this laptop. Windows is gone, it has puked all over its disk for the last time here, and I will not reload it. I am in the process of transferring the data to one of the Linux partitions - yes, Linux is quite happy to read the partition that Windows says is hopelessly corrupted.
Please, PLEASE, unless you want to hear a very long string of words that I learned during my military service, do NOT tell me that the "solution" to this problem is to give Microsoft even more money and "upgrade" to Windows 7. ... if Vista is not stable, or reliable, then Microsoft should withdraw it and either offer a free "upgrade" to Windows 7 or offer a refund of the purchase cost. ... I absolutely don't believe the Windows 7 is any better, any more stable or any more reliable than Vista. They come from Microsoft, they are utter garbage...
This is a sign of things to come for Windows. Windows 7 was predictably just as bad as Vista was. People no longer are falling for Microsoft's promises of "this version fixes everything."
Digitimes: Windows 7 Won't Drive PC Sales.
Digitimes has another reason for Windows 7 sales to be low.
PC replacement demand is not driven significantly by the consumer market, but rather enterprise and government purchases ... most enterprises in Europe and North America are expected to start planning annual purchasing budgets for the year in March and April of 2010, actual replacement demand is not expected to spur until the second half of the year.
Companies and government might buy computers next year, but they should already be buying orders placed in March and April of this year. There are already accounts of corporate rejection of Windows 7, so that OS is not likely to have anything to do with corporate buying and government won't be a big market because UAC still does not meet government security standards . Back in January, retailers at CES remembered being "burnt by Vista" and saw nothing to change their minds about the contracting PC market. Perhaps OEMs and retailers could deliver the gnu/linux netbooks and desktops that people actually want to buy.
email not shown publicly
Who decided that all story submissions would be tagged with user email addresses? You might as well demand and publish people's real names.
This is a breach of trust that will drive away long standing users such as myself. Email addresses were collected under the promise of never being published. Now I have the choice of submitting things as AC, publishing my email address or just giving up. I'm leaning towards giving up. Boycott Novell has been more fun anyway.
Vista 7 Fail Videos
Despite all the hype, it is easy to predict that Windows 7 will go the same way Vista did. Vista was a failure in every way, so a pretty new face was made to sell the same buggy and customer hostile core and the Microsoft hype machine was turned on full blast. Now that Vista 7 is RTM, we no longer have to make predictions, we can simply watch the results. Here is a collection of Vista 7 failures found on YouTube. Enjoy what I found in a few minutes:
Update 1/2/2011 Real users have been forced to buy Vista 7 with their new computers for more than a year and it's Vista all over again. They tell the story better than I can.
Here are videos that have collected at YouTube over the last year. Windows 7 is no less a pig and no more secure than Vista was, everything the Microsoft boosters say is a lie. All of these videos were made after the RTM date and most after the October 22nd, 2009 shelf date. The best have bold dates.
Amazingly Bad Defense of M$ Monopoly Practices.
This ZDNet opinion piece has got to be the worst defense of unethical business practices I've see to date. Basically, the author admits M$ bribes and punishes OEMs and that's AOK with him. Let's preserve this gem:
a company gets twice as much from a PC with their brand on it as one they make for someone else. MSI needs this money to survive in a world where its Chinese partners can undercut them. The margin justifies MSIs existence.
It is also true that Linux cannot afford a presence in the channel. Its not how we roll. You cant invest in retailing if your product costs nothing. There is nothing to invest. Thats why Linux and open source depend on the Internet.
A monopolistic practice occurs when two sides are offering the same deal and one side gets all the business. But in this case both sides were not offering the same deal. Microsoft offered channel support, Linux a hearty handshake and rhetoric about freedom.
... What Linux needs to succeed is a way to offer more than was offered MSI.
The question is, how would you structure a deal?
Well, that's a good question. What besides an OS that works and costs zero dollars does free software offer? OK, it can cost up to half what Windows costs if you get it customized and maintained by a company like Xandros. "Channel Support" is just a code word for exclusion of competition by bribes and threats, the very definition of anti-trust conspiracy. Lately, "Channel Support" has come at a terrible cost to companies like Asus. Retail partners like CompUSA, Circuit City and others who got themselves channel stuffed with Vista. This is what Li Chang, vice president of the Taipei Computer Association, was complaining about and it's worth a DOJ investigation. People don't want Windows, they want computers that work. Retailers and OEMs that don't deliver are going the way of other M$ partners and M$ themselves.
Ordinarily, I don't pick on language and style but the phrase, "how we roll," references to his parents' national origin bring special disgrace on ZDNet and the Wintel press. It's hard to tell if he's being cynical or if M$'s culture has really degenerated so far. This single article earns Dana a place in my Poison Pen Collection.
M$ Employee Admits M$'s Poor Security Reputation.
Roger Grimes makes this startling admission of public perception:
Youll often read similar recommendations to dump Microsofts Internet Explorer (I work full-time for Microsoft) and use any other browser instead. To completely protect yourself, theyll advise moving off of Microsoft Windows all together.
He goes on to make some long winded excuses and insult users in a way that's completely torn apart in the comments. His readers sanely point out that Window's endless problems have been well demonstrated. What's interesting about this article is not the same old blame the user and "popularity" excuses, it's that M$ is no longer able to pretend to the general public that "computer experts" still trust Windows. They don't and neither does anyone else any more.
Mini Microsoft Bemones a Moribund M$
I enjoy gloating, so a pair of articles, 1 and 2, from the M$ employee known as Mini Microsoft were quite enjoyable. It sucks to work for a big dumb company that's being raped by greedy and stupid people at the top of the org chart. It must suck even more at a company like M$, which long ago became a parasitic cult, loathed when people have the inclination to care. Mini's observations come through rose colored glasses, but there's no mistaking the lack of motivation and useful leadership.
He's got mood swings the size of Steve Ballmer's ego. He swings from wishing everyone well to wanting people fired, now - damn it! Desperately, he seeks a simple solution for his broken company but realizes none is can be found. This is typical of the emotional rollercoaster employees of a failing company ride.
Do you think that the concept of shared sacrifice would work at Microsoft? If it still felt like a company driven by the employees, probably so. ... if we still felt like the drive and ambition of the front-line employees shaped the company and defined it, then helping one another would make sense. But the huge growth shattered that sense of employee ownership, abetted by the abysmal Microsoft stock performance we've had since, yes, Mr. Ballmer became CEO.
Microsoft gorged itself at the buffet bar of mediocre hires. And now we're bursting at the seams and deadlocked. We are stagnant right when we have two major product releases coming in for landing ... Zero attrition. Stagnation. Organizational constipation. Nothing good comes out of that but corporate sepsis.
He proposes a crazy plan where people can move freely in the company but crashes hard the very same day. He celebrates the fifth birthday of his blog by basically saying, "I was right, M$ is stupid and hopeless. All of my efforts have been wasted."
Soon to be five years ago, I started this blog up because I felt Microsoft was a train not only off-track but also heading straight for a cliff. We were massively expanding and incapable of dealing with the exponential complexity that a fast growing Microsoft required of us. It appeared as though we were growing for growth's sake and without a particular elegant plan in mind. [twitter note: most people think they were just buying revenue to keep their stock price from collapsing.] ...
... Early 2009, we publically reached that cliff and went flying off. ... all the publicity this blog has garnered and the awkward questions it forced to be asked, none of it helped to avoid that cliff we've been steaming towards the last five years. My reality check has been cashed.
Yes Mini, you were right. Non free software quit making sense about a decade ago. Everything M$ has done since then has been to perpetuate a lie to enrich top leadership at M$, broadcast media and other fraudulent companies. Vista is non free software's crowning achievement in treacherous and disfunctional computing. Re arranging the org chart won't make Windows 7 any better. The non free software development model will never be able to provide enough resources to code production to make it competitive. This is true even if M$ were to quit wasting billions on Zune, Xbox, advertising and executive toys like the world's larges private yacht and failed private resort towns. But they won't do that any more than they will divest NBC, CNBC or any of the rest of the news organizations bought by M$, the Gates Foundation or funded by M$'s massive budget. The lies will go on till the company falls over like Enron did. M$ has entered the same death spiral it created for so many more worthy companies over the years. M$'s demise alone won't bring the owners of those other companies justice. That will take many protracted lawsuits to strip the ill gotten wealth from those who think they have gotten away with it. A country of ruined worker bees will be more than happy to see it happen.
Ever Wondered What M$ did about Linux at Walmart?
To: Microsoft Internal
From: Walmart/Linux Taskforce: Robin Bradshaw, Christine Briggs, Mark Croft David Hoffman & Tom Perrier
CC: Rogers Weed
Date: May 16, 2006
Microtel PCs without an operating system ("naked") first started appearing on Walmart.com in CY 01. We responded by workding with Walmart.com on the language that was used to market those PCs. The focus was on "anti-piracy" messages.
The first Microtel Lindows PCs appeared on Walmart.com in June 2002. We are responding with a taskforce and coordinated efforts to understand the situation and intentions of all parties involved.
To date, there has been a lot of press about the Linux PCs selling on Walmart.com (See attached list of articles.) The media has been mixed, some telling a positive story about the Linux efforts and some pointing out the flaws in the offerings. One consisten message is that these are "substandard" PCs based on todays technology advances.
There is one critical data point we are missing: volume. Walmart will not disclose the volume of Microtel PCs they are selling, and Microtell has told us they are under a "non-disclosure agreement with Walmart." We have been working on some tactics so attempt to obtain volume estimates, but at this time, we can't confirm any numbers.
- We understand that Microtel is shipping approximately 100 units per week on Walmart.com orders.
- We understand that most of the volume is at the $199 price point.
- We understand that most of those systems are shipping with NO OS. (Naked Systems)
- We understand that there has not been a customer satisfaction issue. Walmart sets fairly strict standards for customer return rates and service calls.
The PR activity and focus from Walmart has definitely increased out efforts to understand the Linux threat on the desktop. Several Linux PCs were purchased and evaluated. See the summary of those findings below.
Linux on the Desktop
Microtel is a small system builder in the City of Industry California. A couple of principles in the company came from a previous OEM Mitsuba. Microsoft filed suit against them in _____ for piracy and they went out of business. They haven't been proponents of Microsoft, their volumes haven't warrented direct account management, and we just began to engage and build a relationship with them in 2002.
We started to engage with Microtel in the beginning of FY02, but the AM was met with a closed door and had little if no success. When the Lindows issue broke, Tom Perrier (tperrier), Microsoft System Builder RSM, discovered that Rich Hindman was their VP of Sales/Marketing (from Mitsuba). Tom had worked with Rich prior at AST Computer. Tat got us in the door and Rich is open to work on the relationship with Microsoft and Tom, but isn't sharing any information regarding their plans of volume. This is a summary of his progress with Rich:
1.) Continue the engagement with Rich Hindman to focus on strategies to differentiate the offerings as Microtel introduces a new wave of SKU's. This will seperate the offerngs and focus on the added value of the Windows based systems. (Avoid the current situtation where the $299 Windows Home SKU is the same config as Lindows model but $100 more for the same model with XP Home, with no other differentiation). This can be accomplished with scenarios like the Office XP 20-Day trial (in place today).
2.) They are still very "non-disclosure" oriented. I tried and tried, but could not get Rich to divulge any shipment data. I continue to think that the shipments out of their facility in City of Industry are small. In addition, Rich would not give me any real data for the current PRM Account Profilling that we are doing.
3.) All of the conversations with Microtel are centered on growing their Microsoft business, and improving the relationship between Microtel and Microsoft. We avoid any direct conversations on Linsows.
4.) Rich realizes and states that Microtel is getting increased focus and attention based upon their offerings on the Wal-Mart.com site. He will continue to take advantage of these opportunities as they arise.
5.) In developing the relationship with the local VIA Sales Rep, Roger Goh (rogergoh), System Builder AM was able to determine that the systems built for Walmart.com are build somewhere on the east coast, and the volume is approx 1000 a week. He was not able to get the mix.
Tom has been working closely with the taskforce team and David Hoffman on driving a longer term strategy with Walmart.com. Microtel seems willing to do the implementation.
Retail relationship efforts have been historically focused on Walmart corporate and not walmart.com. There is a high level of autonomy at walmart.com. They are not managed under the same guidelines and processes as Walmart corporate. They are making their own decisions about product offerings. Luke Ellison is the Technology Manager at Walmart.com. David Hofman, Microsoft HRD Account Manager, has developed a relationship with Luke. He is eager to work on some additional Microsoft programs with David, but isn't sharing too much regarding their Linux plans. This a summary of his meetings with Luke:
1.) Luke is concerned that Microsoft is mad at them for selling Linux PCs.
a. He wanted to make sure that we knew that www.wal-mart.com is very "pro-Microsoft"
b. They feel that customers that purchase Linux PCs were never a "Microsoft" customer anyway, and that by offering Linux PCs, they were broadening their customer base
c. Their goal with Lindows was to hit a very low price point - if it sold, they would keep it, if it didn't they would dump it after 90-120 days. It's selling.
2.) "Naked PCs" (no O/S) are still outselling Linux PCs (but not by much)
a. They plan to start selling Windows XP OEM (bundled with mouse) as a standalone product (technically this is legit)
3.) All the machines are build-to-order and that www.wal-mart.com carries no inventory.
4.) They are currently working on a way to offer additional software bundles with all of their PCs (like Office, Anti-Virus, etc.)
5.) He mentioned that Microtel was upset about the E-machines deal with Wal-Mart retail, but that Wal-Mart didn't think Microtel could handle being a retail partner - it was just too big of a job for them.
David is working with Walmart.com to help them promote the Windows XP PCs that are listed on walmart.com today. In an effort to differentiate the Windows XP PC from the Linux PC, we are working on a consumer software title bundle to promote as part of the purchase of the Windows XP machine.
1.) Continue the relationship efforts with Microtel and Walmart.com. (Tom Perrier & David Hoffman)
2.) Develop a deeper understanding of the Linux efforts at other System Builders and OEMs in the US. (Datel, ZT Group, MEI etc) (Tom Perrier & Ken Goetsch)
3.) Work with Windows Team to understand options for a Windows XP eval solution. (Mark Croft)
4.) Stay close to HP and eMachines (tow OEMs selling PCs at Walmart) to understnd their efforts and position in the account.
http://biz.yahoo.com/fo/020821/doesn t do windows 3.html
Wal-Mart Sells Windows-Less Computers
USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/tech/review/2002-07-17-walmart-computers x.htm
Linux finds fans at Wal-Mart
Sun, Lindows.com Strike Deal
Mandrake on Lindows
TechCrunch and Wired Lead Anti-PR Revolt
Ever wondered how the tech press all ends up talking about the same stuff at the same time and why so many stories look like dupes that make Slashdot look original? There was an editorial revolt against PR practices by TechCrunch and Wired spills all the beans. TechCrunch is tired of "Embargos", a practice where talking points are issued to everyone who's willing to wait till a specified date to publish. Both TechCrunch and Wired are fed up with spams by people too lazy to build propper relationships. Both report ugly details of abusive manipulation by the PR firms and their masters. Though TechCrunch apparently fears Waggener Edstrom, they were happy to show off an ugly letter from someone from a weaker firm. The arrogance displayed is breathtaking.
Lois is one of the most obnoxious PR people you'll ever meet, and the poster child for everything that is wrong with the industry. ... Lois takes pleasure in making people miserable, and her specialty is spamming. ... [here's what she wrote someone who asked to be removed from a list] "CES publishes a list of press. You are one of a few thousand. ... I have seen nasty people like you melt away faster than a snowball going up hill in the rain. I am waiting for an apology. Maybe we can meet at CES for a hug or a slug. P.S. I just visited your web site. I would hardly call your blog a publication, However, you do have very interesting content ...."
Translation: eat my spam or die. TechCrunch thinks the PR firm's days are over,
As the economy turns south, PR firms are under increasing pressure to perform and justify their monthly retainers which range from $10,000 to $30,000 or more. In short, they have to spam the tech world to get coverage, or lose their jobs.
It's good to revolt against these practices but they only scrape the surface of what's wrong with tech writing. Neither deals with OEM manipulation that always backs up the worst of hack writing. PR firms are also engaged in a whole other world of abuse, astroturf and heckling designed to stifle academic and professional conversations which fall outside of market force control. The sooner these games end, the better informed all of us will be. Traditional news has long failed to inform, now much of it also fails to make money.
Story also submitted to firehose.
Vista Still Not Out of the Box Ready, Breaks DHCP.
Yet another reviewer is tempted to Vista's annoyances and finds it still lacking.
Yes, I finally slowed down enough to let the Microsoft Vista steamroller catch me. ...
Although this PC is aimed at home and small business users, the Out Of Box Experience would make many of the people I know in those categories uncomfortable. First, the network connection didn't work. ... Second, the HP TotalCare and other setup crap gets really annoying. I'm almost certain I will delete most of these helper programs, but I'm going through all the standard steps just so I can feel the pain of all the users getting new Vista PCs this holiday. ... I had to download four big update files. I don't think these were for Microsoft, but for HP's software. Even more aggravating, while the main download popup windows sat in the middle of the screen, the task bar popups alerted me to start the exact updates that were already in progress. Speaking of progress, there doesn't seem to be much in this installation sequence over XP, at least not so far. ... Remember when nag screens were what you got from trial software, not purchased products? ... No sound from the speakers during installation, even though HP put a volume setting on the display like there should be sound. [he had to download drivers to make it work]
Elswhere, he describes his frustration with Vista networking.
Now that my sound function works, and I vented about the User Access Control, let's get to a serious problem: networking. ... Microsoft's bizarre configuration change turned DHPC into a source of incredible frustration. I've been fighting networks for over two decades and never, ever had to worry about DHCP before, but that was before Microsoft's incompetence with Vista.
Too bad he did not buy an HP system with GNU/Linux instead.
This one is worth preserving.
I hate Vista so much I want to cry. Bought a Vaio. The most useless $4k ever spent. It just will not join a sec-enabled network. ... I have nine macs!!!!!! I don't need another fucking mac. I just want ONE ARSING PC that isn't complete SHIT. ... Too late. It's going out the window. I can't put up with this sort of arse. Listemn I have parallels, I have fusion, I have 2 distros of Linux. I need jsut one, just 1 of cunting Vista so that I can review things. Forgive intemperate language, but every time I buy a PC they're worse, not better than they were before and it make me so angry I could kill. ... I've calmed down now. Vista and PCs are so crap it's funny
Nothing is so sad as the tears of a clown. Give up Steve, Vista's not worth your efforts.
Michael Lewis Bloggs the Financial Crisis.
If you want an inside understanding of the current financial bust, you could ask the man who wrote Liar's Poker. Or you could read his great essay on it.
Update March 23, 2009
Despite the extended looting and accompanying sucker's rally on Wall Street today, the current predatory lending and investment fraud crisis is showing it's true magnitude. Small wars have cost less than what this crisis has already cost and we are looking at the start of losses, not their end. Other interesting summaries come from Rolling Stone and alternet . The people who described 12 deregulatory steps bought with $5 billion in lobby money can rightly say, "we told you so," have some interesting regulatory remedies. Here are a few interesting links that chronicle the details of the mess:
- March 14 - Greg Pallast says the removal of Elliot Spitzer on private prostitution charges was done to make "bailouts," bank mergers and nationalization possible. He also gives a nice summary of the working of the predatory lending and "sub prime" mortgage scams. Stats: $250 Billion to bankers, 2 million homeowners on brink of forclosure.
- October 13 - Naomi Klein notices the "bailout" is little more than public looting. There has been no "nationalization" of banks because they are under no obligations. She further predicts that bankers will be back for more. Stats: $700 Billion spent.
- October 23 - U.S. Security and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox repudiates deregulation policies, "The last six months have made it abundantly clear that voluntary regulation does not work." He's talking about the "Enron loophole" where energy futures were and still are traded on the unregulated Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) where rampant speculation blew the price of oil and fattened oil company proffits. The price of oil doubled normally between 1988 to 2000 but the the market was deregulated in 1998 and 2002, shooting the price from $36 in 2000 to $60 in 2005 then a staggering $110 per barrel in 2008. This resulted in high gasoline prices that precipitated the housing collapse.
- November 27 - Alan Greenspan admits he was wrong about deregulating derivatives markets.
- January 19 - Truthout jeers the second round of public looting that does little for homeowners and proposes two reasonable alternatives. The second alternative to TARP 2 is to give homeowners the difference between bubble price and current fair value instead of the banks. That would give people the ability to make their payments and rescue the banks. As things are proposed, homeowners end up with a lower priced mortgage but no equity or way to make payments and banks will end up blighted property owners anyway.
Evidence of Firehose Gaming.
The Twitter Firehose Gaming Index
The ratio of twitter items to items by others in a given user's personal firehose.
My submissions are buried almost immediately but a good 14% of them are published anyway, so I'm sure that the system is being gamed and the firehose supports this. My submissions get more than their fair share of attention from usual suspects. No experiment is complete without verification, so I have to admit I've done some of this myself but efforts were quickly overwhelmed by the pros who use botnets. Slashdot editors are in a better position to spot this kind of activity and should take action to protect the site.
So, what should normal firehose numbers look like? Slashdot runs about 25 stories a day. That stacks up to about 750 a month and 9,000 each year. For each story there are hundreds of submissions. I average about 10 front page stories per year, around 0.1% of Slashdot. My submissions make an even smaller proportion of the overall firehose because I'm nowhere near a hall of famer and of the constant bombardment by ACs and troll accounts. Different people have different interests, so I'd expect those who's interest match mine to represent me a little better but order of magnitude differences are suspicious. That sets a rather low barrier of 1%. While that's not hard to find in the small samples easily available, hit ratios of 2, 5 or 20% are obvious gaming.
Different people also have different ways of using the firehose. Some ignore it and their personal firehose contains nothing but their own comments. Others only have front page stories in their personal firehose. Because I was only interested in submission gaming, I ignored comment posts and concentrated on submissions, journals and mainpage stories.
Here's what I found:
- Keith Russell 84 checked 12/09/2008 to 12/2005, 36 his own posts (mostly sports), 40 others (mostly M$ stuff), 8 twitter 8/48= 17%
- JWilcox154 has 6 twitter and 125 others. in 2008, 8 and 192 total to 7/21/2007. almost all others nod/nixed are front page stories. 6/131 = 5%
- Macthrope has 2 of 48 back to 3/12/2007 almost all are his own comments. 2/50 = 4%
- Dedazo 134 total, almost all of his own stuff. 5 twitter and 19 others, 5/24 = 21%
- Renegadesx 49 total, 1 twitter, 19 others. 1/20=5%
The sum of these accounts is more damning than each individual because the statistics add up. It is good evidence of general gaming.
It is stunning that people doing this kind of thing would leave such obvious traces. They should know that Slashdot's editors could check for this kind of activity even if ordinary users could not and could have easily hidden the activity with their multiple accounts. For instance, a person with 100 accounts can separate the few accounts used to heckle from those used to bury. Bury activity can be partially disguised with rotations and time shifting. Other M$ promotion can be distributed through all of the accounts to statistically disguise specific activity like this. That kind of thoroughness must be too much work for the hacks sent to ruin Slashdot.
I see that three trolls have come to comment. I've exposed these people's behavior before, Keith Russel, Macthorpe and dedazo , [3, self exposure]. These three accounts are probably the work of a single person, they all have the same things to say in the same way and the same place.
Rob Enderle's Bitter Vista Experience.
Letters from the Vista Capable lawsuit show just how out of touch with reality M$ was about Vista. Ron Enderle confronted them about the problem of versioning and was abused and punished for his efforts. Enderle is a long time M$ booster and the emails show that he's willing to turn away news business and lie for M$'s sake. In hindsight, we know that Vista was a dissaster that tainted everyone who tried to push it and did indeed freeze the entire market. The released email tells this small part of the story best. Here are a few excepts Todd Bishop thought captured the moment.
"Anyway, you'll do what you do," [Enderle] wrote to Microsoft's Barry Goffe. "Dell will go along; they are just trying to miss a bullet that they, and I, know you can't even see. Let's hope we can mitigate the damage otherwise the industry is really screwed."
"Honestly, in all my years of dealing with analysts, I have never been quite so flummoxed. He is just dug in and is not willing to acknowledge reality." [Microsoft's Barry Goffe wrote to others at M$].
[the next day Enderle wrote Steve Ballmer], "We had an advisory meeting with Dell where they (made) a huge stink about your plan for Vista SKUs and asked the analysts and reporters to intervene (we were under NDA so the information was contained). So I attempted to do so and spoke with Barry Goffe who was very nice but seemed surprised that Dell had a problem (I've since spoken with the CEO of another OEM who concurred with Dell) and so went back to Dell and got the attached response. Sitting on the OEM typically is not effective at making a problem like this go away. Dell was never going to publicly roll against you they were just trying to prevent a mistake ... "
At some point I'd love to learn how to help you folks without either getting shot myself or getting someone who also depends on me shot. I figure that would be a great survival skill.
Dell left him hanging and threatened him, saying "Any assessments you make are best supported/couched in terms of your own analysis and opinion rather than communicated on Dell's behalf," and threatened, "Any conversation outside the spirit of this forum [Dell GAC discussions] are in violation of the NDA. (page 29)"
Looking again at the email, you can see why people at M$ would be angry, especially now that it's leaked out to the public. It starts on page 17 and is worth quoting because he correctly predicted the whole Vista Capable fiasco. Parts where he promises to sell out his readers are emphasized.
From: Barry Goffe
Sent: August 29, 2005 11:14 PM
To: Neil hamey; Shanen Boettcher; Brad Goldberg; Debbie Anderson
CC: Lisa Worthington (Waggener Edstrom)
Subject: FW: glass vr. non-glass
I really need your help. Lisa and I did a call this morning with Rob Enderle to go through the SKU plan. Apparently Dell leaked our SKU plan (while under NDA of course) to Rob and a bunch of other analysts and press - under the guise of an 'Advisory Council' In the process Dell did its damndest to poison Rob's thinking - and they were rather successful.
Rob's Logic is:
a.) we have been showing off this great thing called Vista
b.) it has all kind of great stuff in it, like Glass.
c.) since we have not yet talked about SKUs, all customers are expecting that all the features that we have discussed will be in the mainstream SKUs - the equivalent of XP Home today on the consumer side
d.) We are going to ship this thing called Home Basic which we are going to price the same as XP Home
e.) some of the features that we have been showing, namely glass (because I can't get Rob to come up with any other feature) will not be in the Home Basic SKU
f.) customers will perceive that we are taking stuff away from Home Basic andthat it will be looked upon as a price increase
g.) this perceived price increase will freeze the entire market.
.... Rob is quite passionate as you can see from the string below. Honestly, in all my years of dealing with analysts, I have never been quite so flummoxed. He is dug in and not willing to acknowledge reality.
From: Rob Enderle
Sent: Monday August 29, 2005 11:06 PM
To: Barry Goffe
CC: Lisa Worthington (Waggener Edstrom)
Subject: RE: glass vs. non-glass
Well this is what happens when you set expectation high then pull features out. .... Microsoft is already being lambasted for crippled Vista. If you don't know what a glass looks like full anything in it looks good, but if you know what you are missing you tent to focus on what is missing, unfortunately that is where we are now. I get to do a lot of columns these days, could guarantee each of these titles [that Vista is a rip off] not only would get published they would make the front page or pull amazing numbers. ... you are convinced the customer is getting a great deal, you are the vendor, vendors always think that ... the customer often votes their feelings with their pocketbook. One thing has changed since '85 we have blogs now. .... The press was taken through the product and every time a feature is dropped the calls come in with the take that Vista is just smoke and mirrors now, I can turn some of these but there are limitations to what I can do. ...
Anyway, you'll do what you'll do. Dell will go along, they are just trying to miss a bullet that they, and I, know you can't even see. Let's hope we can mitigate the damage otherwise the industry is really screwed.
From: Barry Goffe
Sent Monday August 29, 2005 8:29 PM
To: Rob Enderle
CC: Lisa Worthington (Waggener Edstrom)
Subject RE: glass vs. non-glass
Thanks for taking the time to think this through some more. I really appreciate your feedback.
Please see detailed comments in line below ...
From: Rob Enderle
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2005 3:56 PM
To: Barry Goffe
CC: Lisa Worthington
There will be a lot of attention spent on the UI because that is the visual change and this is often where the Apple vs. Microsoft pieces focus. I expect we'll have a number of Linux vs. Windows pieces as well but still think most of those will focus on what you get and how much you pay ... but UI is possible.
Microsoft Charges More for Less: Text focuses on what fell out of Longhorn and the price increases for the premium offering.
Buy Tablet and Media Center or Else: Text focuses on the fact that to get the good stuff you have to take other things.
If You Doubted Microsoft was a Monopoly: Rant on perceived price increases.
Microsoft Raises Tax: Avoidance Advice: Price increases with recommendation you buy either Linux or Apple (or simply not buy)
Windows Consumers get 4 Choices Business gets Screwed: Focus on disparity between consumer and business lines
Windows Vista - 7 Reasons to Switch: Focuses on complexity of offering and perceived price increases.
... What I heard was there was 4 SKUs ....
Timeline of M$'s GNU/Linux Patent Extortion.
Here's a brief timeline of M$'s GNU/Linux patent extortion, mostly reported in their own words. It should be seen as part of a much larger attack on GNU/Linux that continues to this day. The picture that emerges is a constant drizzle of FUD, behind the scenes strong arming and finally direct and proxy lawsuits. I'll point to major refutations in this list, but the US Supreme Court has declared business method patents invalid and all but invalidated software patents, and victims having their day in court accuse Microsoft of judicial extortion that amounts to anti-trust. Laws have yet to deter Microsoft so their patent, copyright and marketing attacks on software freedom will continue until the company collapses. M$ is forced to this because no one wants their second rate tech[2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and they fail in free markets. Details from the Barns and Noble case prove that the intent was to clearly exclusionary - to saddle free software with higher costs and cripple the feature set relative to Microsoft's own software. Academic studies have shown that software patents are mostly granted to large companies who then extort the majority of people in the industry who neither want nor can afford them.
Microsoft understands that software patents themselves are fraud but has used them against competition since the late 90s and is now an innovator in fraud. Bill Gates ordered the company to start stockpiling patents in 1991 and clearly viewed them as a judicial extortion tool:
If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today. I feel certain that some large company will patent some obvious thing related to interface, object orientation, algorithm, application extension or other crucial technique. If we assume this company has no need of any of our patents then the have a 17-year right to take as much of our profits as they want. The solution to this is patent exchanges with large companies and patenting as much as we can.
M$ considered patents an anti-competitive weapon against Open Office since 1998 and tried to tax Sun. In 2003 Bill Gates planned to lace metadata and device discovery with patents to exclude Apple. Now, M$ has taken patent fraud a step further by never telling people what patents they violate and threatening end users, much like they paid SCO to do with bogus copyrights. Yes, M$ was responsible for the SCO attack too. Microsoft has launched a loud publicity campaign to shake down companies that have nothing to do with anything owned by M$ as if they were able to charge rent on free software.
The Barns and Noble case is delivering details that prove Microsoft's strategy is to exclude free software from the market by judicial extortion. B&N accuses Microsoft of threatening all Android makers with huge costs to defend against bogus patents if they don't pay licensing fees in excess of those paid for Microsoft's software and also reduce Android's feature set to a point where Microsoft's software is competitive. The feature set reduction goes beyond the scope of the patents used to extort payment. The goal is the same as we've seen in Microsoft's OEM and retail strong arming, to make Microsoft the cheapest and best option in all cases by putting costs and restrictions onto competitors.
Here's nine years of them claiming ownership of all free software and demanding protection money to keep unspecified things from breaking.
2002 - high level planning.
- 9/25 - Jim Alchin at a vendor meeting, "IT WILL be simply, 'Hey, these guys took intellectual property.' And whether the lawsuit comes from Wind River or in X, Y, Z, there's going to be one. Guaranteed"
- 9/27 - Jim Alchin writes, "We need someone to tear down the indemnification offered from RedHat and IBM to customers. We need to understand exactly the risk a customer is under if a patent lawsuit happens and Linux is challenged. ... There MUST be risks to customers that are being passed on. " This email is probably what lead to the whole scam. See also the pdf from Comes vs Microsoft.
Wind River's CEO stated before the US Congress in January of 1994, "My perspective on software patents is simple: stop issuing software patents. Software patents should not exist."
2003 - M$ bankrolls the SCO copyright attack.
2004 - A fraud from day 1, the patent attack is launched.
- 03/12 - Microsoft SCO middleman, Mike Anderer lays out Microsoft's free software patent exclusion strategy, "Microsoft may have 50 or more of these lawsuits in the queue. All of them are not asking for hundreds of millions, but most would be large enough to ruin anything but the largest companies. Red Hat did recently raise several hundred million which certainly gives them more staying power. Ultimately, I do not think any company except a few of the largest companies can offer any reasonable insulation to their customers from these types of judgments. You would need a market cap of more than a couple billion to just survive in the OS space." PJ declares it extortion, using the courts as an aggressive competitive weapon, is a misuse of the legal system. It's a form of blackmail, a leftover artifact from the dot.com bubble days. It can only work for so long before everybody gets sick of it and them and changes the patent laws.
- 04/10 - Microsoft funded bullshitters, Alexis de Toqueville Institution, forecast a patent attack.
- 8/2 - The Public Lie is launched by Dan Lyons on the day OSRI publishes Ravicher's study of patent threats to all software. He boosts patent claims and attacks "Linux zealots" along with Ravicher's reputation. "A report to be released today says Linux may violate nearly 300 patents, including 27 held by Microsoft, and warns that companies using Linux could become targets of multi-million-dollar lawsuits. ... the 12-employee OSRM wants to charge companies $150,000 a year for $5 million in legal coverage that kicks in if they get sued for using open-source programs like Linux. ... [this could scare] customers into dumping Linux and going back to Unix or Microsoft's Windows--products that you don't usually get sued for using. ... The OSRM report represents a new chapter in [the SCO story]." Fellow poison pen author Robert Enderle is quoted saying the same things, making OSRM and the whole story look like a M$ set up from the get go. There are so many lies in this article that it's impossible to tell who's innocent, everyone involved is smeared.
- 11/18 - Threatens government GNU/Linux users, Ballmer told Microsoft's Asian Government Leaders Forum that Linux violates more than 228 patents. ... "Some day," he continued, "for all countries that are entering the WTO [World Trade Organization], somebody will come and look for money owing to the rights for that intellectual property."
- 11/19 - Author repudiates Ballmer's use of his study, "Microsoft is up to its usual FUD [fear, uncertainty and doubt]," said Dan Ravicher, author of the study Microsoft cites. "Open source faces no more, if not less, legal risk than proprietary software. The market needs to understand that the study Microsoft is citing actually proves the opposite of what they claim it does."
- unknown - Long after the fact, Microsoft general counsel Smith revealed customer shakedowns. Since the GPL covered only distributors of Linux, nothing stopped Smith from seeking royalties directly from end users - many of which are Fortune 500 companies [and major Microsoft customers]. [he got deals with] "major brand-name companies" in financial services, health care, insurance and information technology. (He says they don't want to be identified, presumably because they fear angering the FOSS community.) 
2005 More of the same, tired FUD.
- 7/10 - Ballmer FUDs Microsoft's Worldwide partners, Ballmer - again inaccurately - cited an Open Source Risk Management (OSRM) survey from last summer that highlighted the existence of 287 patents in the Linux kernel. "Rumor is Linux violates 286 patents." Microsoft sees the wider implementation of corporation-friendly IP law that is part of the entry ticket to the WTO as being a weapon that can be used against software rivals.
2006 Novell sells out for $400 million. FUDsters rejoice.
- 3/26 - Steve Ballmer threatens all GNU/Linux in Forbes, there are experts who claim Linux violates our intellectual property. I'm not going to comment. But to the degree that that's the case, of course we owe it to our shareholders to have a strategy
- 11/2 - the M$ Novell Patent deal.
- 11/3 - Dan Lyons casts Novell deal as free software failure and claims the deal dooms both Novell and competitors like Red Hat. On Thursday night, I asked Jeff Jaffe, Novell's chief technology officer, if he could think of a company that had partnered with Microsoft and done really well as a result. ... His response: "I think this partnership is breaking new ground." ... the new ground they're breaking is probably Novell's gravesite. Red Hat grew, Novell shrank.
- 11/3 - More FUD from Steve Ballmer, "If a customer says, Look, do we have liability for the use of your patented work? Essentially, If you're using non-SUSE Linux, then I'd say the answer is yes. They'll think twice about [about downloading GNU/Linux]. There are a lot of Linux distributors now [considering a Novell like deal]. All of the sudden you have got Oracle in the game; you've got Red Hat in the game." Red Hat never caved, nothing happened. Both Ballmer and Novell's Ron Hoverspan both stressed OOXML converters for Open Office, but they admit these translators would never work 100%. I don't think they have gotten 10% "interoperability" yet.
- 11/12 - SAMBA team begs Novell to reconsider their M$ patent deal. Many are upset the FSF was not consulted, "The Samba Team disapproves strongly of the actions taken by Novell on November 2nd. One of the fundamental differences between the proprietary software world and the free software world is that the proprietary software world divides users by forcing them to agree to coercive licensing agreements which restrict their rights to share with each other, whereas the free software world encourages users to unite and share the benefits of the software. The patent agreement struck between Novell and Microsoft is a divisive agreement. ... Using patents as competitive tools in the free software world is not acceptable." - From the Samba team letter. FSF lawyer, , explains, "if [M$] succeeds in getting one distribution to pay royalties for the distribution of free software, other distributions will do so. ... That will then succeed in marching the commercial sector away from the non-commercial sector, and Microsoft then will be able to use its patents to sue to block the development of software in the non-commercial sector without the fear of suing its own customers, which is the force that now constrains them from misbehavior with their patent portfolio." It is a good thing that Red Hat and others did not take the bait and that GPL3 thwarted the deal.
- 11/16 - Steve Ballmer explains Novell/M$ deal where M$ gave Novell $400 million, Microsoft signed the deal because Linux "uses our intellectual property" and it wanted to "get the appropriate economic return for our shareholders from our innovation. Novell pays us some money for the right to tell customers that anybody who uses SUSE Linux is appropriately covered. This is important to us, because we believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance sheet liability. Only customers that use SUSE have paid properly for intellectual property from Microsoft."
- 11/20 - Roger Levy, vice-president of open platform solutions at Novell, told a Paris press conference, "Customers were afraid they'd get sued if they crossed platforms and this meant that they were hesitating on buying decisions. As part of the deal Microsoft will agree not to sue our customers and we agreed not to sue their customers."
- 11/27 - Dan Lyons reports the M$/Novell deal as failure of free software that dooms Novell and all other GNU/Linux vendors. the move is also tried-and-true Microsoft strategy: embrace, extend--and exterminate. It works like this: Partner with a weak, desperate player. ... Develop new features that help you but hurt others (in this case, Red Hat). Weaken everyone in the market, then move on. Yes, he said the same thing on 11/3.
- 12/21 - SAMBA developer, Jeremy Allison,Resigns from Novell over M$ deal.
2007 - "Respecting IP" means paying M$ for things they don't own. Proxy attacks launched which prove that selling out to M$ provides no peace of mind at all.
- 4/14 - Samsung caves to Microsoft extortion and pays for the use of free software. They will later pay fees for Android.
- 5/7 - Dell Sells Out and promisses to promote SLED. Customers overwhelmingly object to the purchase of M$ SLED coupons. This will cost Dell sales and market share.
- 5/14 - Another Forbes attack. The quotes are amazing but Forbes manages to outdo all of the M$ critters he interviews. "We live in a world where we honor, and support the honoring of, intellectual property," says Ballmer in an interview. FOSS patrons are going to have to "play by the same rules as the rest of the business," he insists. "What's fair is fair." Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith and licensing chief Horacio Gutierrez is quoted. Revealing the precise figure for the first time, they state that FOSS infringes on no fewer than 235 Microsoft patents. [Linux kernel 42, 65 GUI, Open Office 45, E-mail programs 15, 68 unspecified and no patent listed. It turns out these numbers came from a study, which concludes that free software infringes less than non free does and the author repudiates Ballmer's assertions, source.] ... "This is not a case of some accidental, unknowing infringement," Gutierrez asserts. "There is an overwhelming number of patents being infringed." To top things off, all GNU/Linux users are threatened again, would Microsoft sue its customers for royalties, the way the record industry has? "That's not a bridge we've crossed," says CEO Ballmer, "and not a bridge I want to cross today on the phone with you." [2, shilled by Ina Fried before Fortune published it, "Last modified: May 13, 2007"]
- 5/17 - Bill Hilf, general manager of platform strategy, "So we have no plans to litigate. You can never say we'll never do anything in the future, but that's not our strategy. ... This isn't like a trivial invention. There are a couple hundred significant patents here."
- 5/24 - M$ refuses to list patents violated for paperwork reasons and threatens Red Hat, Microsoft patents attorney Jim Markwith told OSBC, "The response of that would be administratively impossible to keep up with." ... Microsoft's director of platform strategy Sam Ramji [said], "As a company that puts $7bn a year into R&D, we have a fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders. We have no desire to litigate - we spend $100m a year defending ourselves against patent lawsuits. We continue to offer licensing agreements to distributors of specific pieces of software called out in the [Forbes] article. Red Hat is welcome to come to the table, as is any other distributor."
- 6/4 - Brian Caulfield of Forbes covers the Xandros deal. Microsoft executives are hinting that trouble could be brewing--claiming last month that open-source products are violating 235 of the company's patents. ... Aside from having to endure getting flamed on a few geek-friendly message boards, however, it's hard to see a downside for the 80-employee Xandros. For one downside, read about the destruction of the Ausus EEPC and ponder what the projected $25 million worth of licensing would have done Xandros ($5 x 25 million units, a lowball price estimate).
- 10/4 - Steve Ballmer says Red Hat users owe him money, "I think it's great the way Novell stepped up to kinda say intellectual property matters. When people use Red Hat [shrug], at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense, have an obligation to eventually to compensate us."
- 10/21 - M$ proxy Acacia Research launches a patent lawsuit against Red Hat and Novel over a multi-monitor patent. According to Groklaw, this is the first patent lawsuit filed against gnu/linux. Three years later, Acacia loses. Acacia will file more.
- 11/15 - Bill Hilf, general manager of platform strategy, "We would like to strike similar patent deals with all the Linux vendors, but we had to start somewhere."
2008 - lawsuits are good for business
- 02/27 - Garner Group warns the world about the M$ "patent trap.", "Do not use Microsoft's documentation unless you have rigorous processes to keep track of applicable patents. " [quote source]
- 07/31 - Microsoft sues Primax Electronics.
- 10/17 - Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's top imaginary property lawyer threatens Red Hat, "If every effort to license proves not to be fruitful, ultimately we have a responsibility to customers that have licenses and to our shareholders to ensure our intellectual property is respected." Same old stuff, but he has the nerve to point to the Novell deal as a example of how working with a rival can ultimately benefit both companies, "It is truly a business mechanism to start discussions that weren't possible before." Unbelievable cynicism. [damage control], [perspective 1, 2, 3, 4]
- 11/08 - Phone maker LG is forced to pay the Microsoft tax for free software.
- 11/24 - Most people think Biski ruling is the end of software patents.
2009 Unable to compete in mobile devices and mass storage, M$ launches their own lawsuits and more proxy attacks on free software. Biski ruling has ended the game but M$ and other patent holders pretends otherwise.
2010 Software Patent Armagedon and Meltdown. All sorts of Microsoft trolls launch attacks on Google's Android and everyone sues everyone, proving that arsenals of "defensive" patents were only good for ruining the industry.
2011 - Microsoft Launches More Direct and Proxy Lawsuits Against Free Software. Microsoft becomes more of a patent troll than a software company and other tech "Brands" continue down the path dictated by outsourcing of manufacture and design.
- 01/24 - Microsoft files suit against Tivo and seeks to block import of their set top boxes. Techrights has history and details.
- 02/11 - Microsoft takes over Nokia with a hostile CEO. GNU/Linux is stalled, if not killed, Windows is to be the new platform of choice and both will use patents as a weapon. Elop says, "Microsoft plus Nokia has a remarkably strong IP portfolio, and we will use that appropriately with the context of our ecosystem. ... Ensuring that the value we create with our patents, we can defend from those who may take advantage." It is sad and strange that he thinks that patents are more worth using than Symbian or MeGo and that Nokia is better off as a patent troll and Microsoft supplicant. About a thousand workers disagreed and walked off the job in protest.
- 03/21 - Another direct lawsuit, this time against Android. Microsoft sues Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec over Android use. Separately, Biski is upheld the way PJ thought it would be.
- 03/25 - Microsoft takes litigation and extortion to a whole new level with a series of vague and insane US State laws against "piracy". The details vary from state to state but the The laws allow Microsoft to block the US company from selling the finished product in the state and compel them to pay damages for what Microsoft says the overseas supplier did.
- 03/30 - Microsoft files anti-trust charges against Google, claiming technical exclusion from Google services. The company has used several proxies, such as TurboHurcules, in the past against free software users and busted Google's rescue of Yahoo and another ad company, but this is the first time they have accused a free software company of Microsoft type API hiding. This is not a patent issue but is mentioned here as a part of Microsoft's long term effort to kill Google and other free software users by regulatory corruption .
- 04/02 - Research in Motion pays toll to Nathan Myhrvold. Intellectual Ventures is a Microsoft proxy. RIM money will be used to exclude free software from the market, so the extortion is more than an injustice to a non free software and device maker.
- 04/19 - Microsoft begs New Zealand for software patents and looks for ways to force them on a government that rejected them. Generally, Microsoft uses flunkies for this kind of work.
- 04/26 - Victim Barnes and Noble describes Microsoft patent licensing as anti-competitive extortion. The company presents outrageous details from Microsoft's attempt to quash Android by making it more expensive and less functional that Microsoft's own software. They also point to the Nokia cooperation as evidence of anti-trust violations in support of a coercive monopoly. Perhaps Microsoft's scheme will collapse faster than I expected.
- 05/27 - Microsoft is officially a patent troll. Just one month after "settling" with HTC, it is revealed that Microsoft earns roughly 5x from HTC Android sales as they do from their own OS. Google charges nothing for Android.
- 05/27 - IV affiliate goes after Android developers after making a feint at Apple developers.
- 06/29 - General Dynamics pays the Microsoft extortion. This won't protect them from Microsoft's affiliated trolls, so the money provides no protection at all.
Loose ends and other resources.
After years of warning people, Roy Schestowitz and Boycott Novell can say, "I told you so".
A list of extorted companies.
7/2 - Xandros devoured by M$ .
8/9 - Linspire destroyed and sued anyway. more
- Corel destroyed by M$ but their Windows platform use gave M$ a much larger handle than patents.
- The constant litigation that reveals their actual respect for imaginary property and belies public statements about never litigating. They violate other people's patents at will and refuse to pay when they lose in court, but they are quick to make threats against free software, demand money from other companies and to use the courts to get it.
- New patent troll companies, such as Intellectual Ventures, being set up by M$ and M$ employees.
Groklaw's Microsoft Novell deal resource page
Boycott Novell's description of the Microsoft Novell deal
Ed Avis, a Sneaky Troll.
Ed is a subtle troll. He often says vague things in support of software freedom but what's below shows that he could care less. Often software freedom arguments are turned against M$ competitors like Google and Apple. This is paradoxical when he's busy supporting things like OOXML, Silverlight and so on. There's no mistaking his smart ass attitude and smug hatred of Slashdot users. With a little bit of digging, the general patern emerges, Love for M$, hate for Slashdot, other M$ enemies and a well hidden hatred of software freedom.
Love for M$
Hate for Slashdot and Other General Hate.
His homepage on 11/23/2008 has has him and other old people beating each other up in cheasy martial arts class. Thanks for sharing, Ed.
Here are some of the stories I submitted that Slashdot thought were worth sharing. I collected them to see how my interests and worries held up over the years.
I put most of my effort into helping Techrights in 2010. I still read Slashdot but don't bother to submit news anymore. The policy of sharing email addresses was a turn off here at Slashdot. I'm keeping the following logs reasonably up to date:
Techrights has been more enjoyable and productive. The link sections are what Slashdot once was and Roy's investigative journalism is first rate reporting.
2008 - There's a brief break here, where I did not realize that journal submission was broken and then due to system gaming.
- January 1, Dvorak Looks Back At 'Another Crappy Tech Year'
- January 3, UK Moves to Outlaw 'Hacker Tools'
- January 13, Malware Distribution Through Physical Media a Growing Concern
- January 25, Motley Fool Writes Off Microsoft
- March 03, Dell Documents Reveal Microsoft's Pre-launch Vista Errors
- March 23, University of Penn. Recommends Against Vista SP1
- April 6, UK Banking Law Blames Customers For Insecure OS
- August 18, Grokking SCO's Demise - tag credited to me, officially attributed to another AC story.
- October 16, E17, Slimmed Down For Cell Phones
- October 17, Ballmer Admits Google Apps Are Biting Into MS Office
- November 8, Netbooks Take a Bite Out of Windows Profits
- November 24, Groklaw Says Microsoft Patent Portfolio Now Worthless
- December 1, The Myth of Upgrade Inevitability Is Dead (compare)
- December 26, Technocrat.net Shut Down
- March 23, White House Specifies And Mandates Secure Windows
- June 24, CA Bill Limits Skin Implantation of RFID Chips about insane industry opposition to RFID limits.
- August 8 Federal Journalist Shield Law Advances
- August 14, Increased Linux Use With SCO's Defeat Predicted
- August 18, PC Magazine Editor Slams Vista and Steps Down.
- October 11, Microsoft Flip-Flops On URI Protocol Handing Flaw
- October 12, Airlines Have to Ask Permission to Fly 72 Hours Early
- October 28,
Vista Sales Rate Fell Last Quarter
- November 9, AntiPiracy Macrovision Bug is Actually Six Years Old
- December 30, PCWorld Says Firefox is Strong, Vista is Weak
- January 12, Computers Top BBC List of Stress Producers
- January 28, Standby TVs Waste Electricity, How About ACPI?
- March 15, PA Seizes Newspaper's Computers
- April 18, New Blow for Microsoft in EU Row
- June 6, Students Skip College Music Services
- July 29, Microsoft Locking Out Anti-Virus Makers?
- October 16, iPod Users Buy CDs, Shun iTunes
- December 10 The Future of Journalism Online
- December 13, NY Times Tries to Untangle Analysts and Shills