f



LONG [News Digest] Linux News Digest for the 24hrs preceeding 09-12-06

In today's digest, we have:
  *  Spying on PC's Could Increase
  *  LinuxBIOS Ready to Go
  *  Another Network Appliance Supports Linux
  *  Microsoft Locks in French Viewers
  *  Tivoization of Office Files and Novell's Help
  *  South Africa Gets Linux Distribution for Education
  *  (Yet Another) PC Maker Preloads SUSE Linux
  *  Korea Fosters Open Source Projects
  *  Applying Linux Priciples to Car Proudction
  *  (Yes Another) Zero-day Exploit in Microsoft Windows Media Player
  *  Open XML a One-Way 'Standard'
  *  Is Microsoft Still Taking Over the Media?
  *  Linux Tablet (PepperPad) Gets 2 Great Reviews
  *  Taiwanese Company Introduces Linux-based Hendheld E-Book Reader
  *  Linux Everywhere
  *  OSDL's Mission was Accomplished
  *  IBM Encourages Open Source in Research, IP Royalty-free
  *  Aladdin 4D Approaches Open-sourcing
  *  MySQL Becomes a Partner for Collaboration Server
  *  Germany's Move to Linux and Open Source
  *  Battery Drain in Windows Vista
  *  Vista Gain Killer Commercial App - for hard-drive Defragmentation
  *  Scot Finnie Criticises Microsoft Software, Ditches Windows
  *  20 Patches Next Patch Tuesday, Windows Computers Exposed to Hijackers
     Since October
  *  XBox 360 Class Action Lawsuit Against Microsoft
  *  Microsoft Books Search - Where Are All the Linux Books?
  *  Novell: Freedom to Slavery
  *  More Vista Uptake Predictions -- Gloomy Picture
  *  Vista Activation Server Cracked
  *  Videos of Opensuse 10.2 Installation
  *  Earthlink May Lose up to 90% of E-mail, Microspam Windows to Blame?
  *  Microsoft Cannot Really Defend OpenXML
  *  IBM Excludes Microsoft from IM Software
  *  Microsoft Outlook - Looking Beyond the Marketing Hype
  *  Survey: 40% Growth for Open Source in Asia, 70% of Devs Use It
  *  Commercial Taker for Greenphone Linux Mobile
  *  Open Source Buzz in India
  *  The Complete Layman's Guide to Cyber Safety

This is a digest of the previous 24 hours (GMT day) of [News] postings
in comp.os.linux.advocacy.  If you have any comments, suggestions or
remarks, please reply to this message and I will take account of all
that I can. The digest is created from my leafnode news spool, which is
pre-filtered, so some poster's articles might not appear.


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message-ID: <2248613.FKv7nKZ1qI@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Spying on PC's Could Increase
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 04:29:15 +0000

Prosecuting and security authorities to be allowed to search PCs online

,----[ Quote ]
| In August of this year Mr. Wolf had already presented the draft bill
| of a new Protection of the Constitution Act, which, once adopted, will
| among other things give the Office for the Protection of the
| Constitution undercover access to "hard disks" and other
| "information technology systems" on the Internet.
`----

http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/82181/from/rss09

Another reason to use operating systems without hidden (binary) back doors.
Linux does not permit this.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <7272182.KWqkZrEeSD@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] LinuxBIOS Ready to Go
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 04:30:44 +0000

LinuxBIOS ready to go mainstream

,----[ Quote ]
| LinuxBIOS is intended to provide a philosophically free replacement
| for proprietary firmware in chipsets. 
`----

http://enterprise.linux.com/article.pl?sid=06/11/30/199208&from=rss

The vision of an entirely open PC is not far away.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <2821136.ZrQ9T3JSuF@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Another Network Appliance Supports Linux
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 04:33:21 +0000

Entry-level network appliance platform runs Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| Taiwanese systems integrator AR Infotek has built an "entry-level"
| 1U rackmount server appliance platform around an AMD x86-compatible
| embedded processor.
`----

http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS5032801313.html

------------------------------

Message-ID: <2640233.W9u7dnlYSQ@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Microsoft Locks in French Viewers
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 04:47:45 +0000

French Broadcaster Chooses Windows Media

,----[ Quote ]
| The initial, broadcast site delivers beautiful Windows Media Video
| streaming--and not in some little box. France24 shows how
| companies can innovate around Windows Media formats. I'm rather
| surprised there is no Microsoft press release trumpeting the
| Windows Media broadcasts.
`----

http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/web_services_browser/french_broadcaster_chooses_windows_media.html?kc=MWRSS02129TX1K0000535

Does the parliament know about this?

------------------------------

Message-ID: <31534105.0Mfo8dgYHE@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Tivoization of Office Files and Novell's Help
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 04:49:26 +0000

Microsoft Office lock-in and the deal with Novell

,----[ Quote ]
| It details how Microsoft has built into Vista the "trusted
| computing" ability to lock down Office files via DRM such that
| no unauthorized document reader will be able to decrypt and
| read them. This is perhaps one of the biggest hidden weapons
| Microsoft has in its arsenal that could sabotage Linux and
| OpenOffice.org if Microsoft succeeds in its attempt to plug
| SUSE and all Novell's "interoperability" bonuses.
`----

http://www.linuxjournal.com/node/1000142

It is illegal to even make it work with Linux.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1254489.KF5XW3FAdo@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] South Africa Gets Linux Distribution for Education
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 04:51:48 +0000

tuXlab Linux release targets education

,----[ Quote ]
| Inkululeko Technologies will this week release the first public
| release of tuXlab, a GNU/Linux operating system for schools basedo
| n the popular distribution used by the Shuttleworth Foundation to
| provide low-cost Linux computer laboratories around South Africa.
`----

http://www.tectonic.co.za/view.php?src=rss&id=1305

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1235576.4hI9DX319x@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] (Yet Another) PC Maker Preloads SUSE Linux
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 04:54:01 +0000

White-Box PC Maker Delivers Multiplied SLED 10 Hardware Bundle

,----[ Quote ]
| The PCs will come pre-loaded with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop and
| the Linux Desktop Multiplier, powered by Userful. 
`----

http://linux.sys-con.com/read/310958_p.htm

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1724393.INALvrgatg@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Korea Fosters Open Source Projects
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 05:10:48 +0000

An open source development project 'Winter of Code' just got launched!

,----[ Quote ]
| Soonseon Kwon, who runs KLDP (Korean Linux Documentation Project)
| said, "This is the first ever open source event in Korea and I hope
| it will serve as a good opportunity to promote the open source to
| Korean students. I also hope that both the students and resulting
| projects can put a positive effect on the open source community."
`----

http://www.zdnet.co.kr/etc/eyeon/enterprise/0,39036961,39153660,00.htm

------------------------------

Message-ID: <3866786.XaDb0mXuQe@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Applying Linux Priciples to Car Proudction
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 05:13:10 +0000

Open Source at 90 MPH

,----[ Quote ]
| But Linux and Firefox are made of bits. They are immaterial.
| Bits can be shared and sent around easily, so that distant people
| can work on them concurrently; bugs can be corrected almost
| instantly; new versions containing updates, improvements, or
| fixes can be released virtually for free.
| 
| So here's a question: Can open-source practices and approaches be
| applied to make hardware, to create tangible and physical objects,
| including complex ones? Say, to build a car? 
`----

http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/dec2006/id20061208_509041.htm?chan=innovation_innovation+%2B+design_euroscan
http://tinyurl.com/y8wvyf

This validates the approach taken by Linux.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1635971.boGcpaqdzZ@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] (Yes Another) Zero-day Exploit in Microsoft Windows Media Player
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 05:20:59 +0000

Zero day flaw reported in Windows Media Player

,----[ Quote ]
| Right after the zero day exploit for Word was announced. We have this
| from eEye Digital security
`----

http://www.intelliadmin.com/blog/2006/12/zero-day-flaw-reported-in-windows.html

Unpatched, already exploited. No word from Microsoft as yet, I suspect.


Related:

New site offers zero-day tracker

,----[ Quote ]
| The new eEye Zero-Day Tracker Web site on Tuesday listed seven
| zero-day vulnerabilities, six of which affect Microsoft software
| and one related to Adobe Systems' Acrobat.
`----

http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-6141157.html

------------------------------

Message-ID: <2445886.hDS2DTtkIu@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Open XML a One-Way 'Standard'
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 05:28:16 +0000

Is Office Open XML A One-Way Standard? Ask Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| Way back in October, Bob Sutor, IBM's open standards guru, wrote
| a piece on his blog where he described the Office Open XML
| standard as a one way standard, because the format is so complex
| and so geared towards compatibility with legacy Office compatibility
| that it could never be implemented as a fully functional file format
| by any competing personal productivity applications (PPAs) like
| WordPerfect and OpenOffice. I agree with a lot of his points but
| didn't feel compelled to write about it since the issue had been
| covered pretty comprehensively in the blogosphere.
`----

http://blogs.adobe.com/shebanation/2006/12/open_xml_one-way.html

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1729318.IvH4sbVHjF@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Is Microsoft Still Taking Over the Media?
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 05:40:28 +0000

Microsoft's Xbox 360 US sales-NPD story withdrawn

,----[  ]
| The Los Angeles story headlined "Microsoft's Xbox 360 US sales
| top first Xbox--NPD" is withdrawn because the data supporting the
| story may be inaccurate. Reuters is waiting for an update from the
| company. A new story may be issued.
`----

http://yahoo.reuters.com/news/articlehybrid.aspx?storyID=urn:newsml:reuters.com:20061208:MTFH45656_2006-12-08_01-12-52_N07221320&type=comktNews&rpc=44

I suppose you have heard about _Microsoft_ promising (predicting) 10 million
sales of XBox 360 by Christmas (won't happen despite the marketing
onslaught) and 1 million sales of Zune by the summer. Earlier I noticed
articles that quote these figures _WITHOUT_ saying that these are
Microsoft's own shamelessly self-promoting predictions. Need anybody get
more proof that Microsoft owns the media?

I have also just spotted _YET ANOTHER_ (one in a long series) article that
provides a Linux-Microsoft perspective. It was written by a consultant
(Enderle) to whom Microsoft is a client, again (not the same one found
below).


Related:

Microsoft Xbox to Join the Battle for Video Downloading

,----[ Quote ]
| Editors' Note: November 10, 2006, Friday An article in Business Day
| on Tuesday described a decision by Microsoft to offer movies and
| episodes of television shows for downloading through its Xbox Live
| online service in the United States.
| 
| The article quoted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle
| Group, discussing the features that set Xbox Live service apart
| and its position in the market.
| 
| But the article did not note that Mr. Enderle had Microsoft as a client,
| a fact later pointed out by a reader. Mr. Enderle does consulting work
| for several of Microsoft's product groups, though not for the one
| developing the Xbox; still, had The Times known of Mr. Enderle's work
| for Microsoft, it would not have sought out his opinion on the product. 
`----

http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F50713F83A5B0C748CDDA80994DE404482
http://tinyurl.com/y3avsv


Corporate Propaganda Still On the News: Study Finds Local Stations
Overwhelmingly Fail to Disclose VNRs

,----[ Quote ]
| A new study by the Center for Media and Democracy says Americans are
| still being shown corporate public relations videos disguised as news
| reports on newscasts across the country.
`----

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/11/14/1518200


Wrong Yesterday Wrong Today Wrong Tomorrow

,----[ Quote ]
| I just got through watching a segment on the Today Show on NBC
| highlighting the launch of the Microsoft Zune.
| 
| First of all, I thought journalists were suppose to reveal their
| affiliations with any product if such an affiliation exists.
| Microsoft owns a stake in NBC ie MSNBC News Network.
| 
| [...]
| 
| Second, all the side by side product comparisons showed 4th Gen iPods
| with monochrome screens with no song selected or playing, while the
| Zune was playing a video.
| 
| [...]
| 
| This isn't the first time NBC has misled its morning viewers with
| puff pieces about the Zune.
`----

http://fixyourthinking.com/2006/11/wrong-yesterday-wrong-today-wrong.html


Bill Gates lends cash to buy newspapers

$350 million to MediaNews

,----[ Quote ]
| Gates involvement has been very behind the scenes. In fact many of
| those involved in the deal didn'teven know he was one of the investors.
| It was carried out through the Gates Foundation, the world's largest
| philanthropy outfit.
`----

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=33849


Should MSNBC really be "reviewing" (Microsoft's) Gears of War?

,----[ Quote ]
| MSNBC recently reviewed Gears of War, calling it the Xbox 360's first
| killer app.... Nowhere on the page is any indication of the possible
| ethical issue MSNBC is "Microsoft-NBC", and the site is hosted as a 
| subdomain of msn.com (a major Microsoft portal). Is this really balanced 
| journalism?
`----

http://www.thisisby.us/index.php/content/should_msnbc_really_be__quot_reviewing_quot__gears_of_war_


Has Demetri Martin Jumped the Shark by Getting Into Bed with Microsoft?
Clarification on "Clearification" Marketing Campaign

,----[ Quote ]
| When I first saw the Clearification website, I just thought it was
| Demetri's new project. But I did wonder why the videos were of such
| high production value. Turns out that Microsoft is footing the bill
| to not only this site, but are also underwritting his current tour.
`----

http://www.themodernage.org/2006/11/12/demetri-martin-bring-clearification-to-the-web/


http://worldcadaccess.typepad.com/gizmos/2005/11/2_grassroots_an.html

,----[ Quote ]
|     "Some years back, Microsoft practiced a lot of dirty tricks using
| online mavens to go into forums and create Web sites extolling the virtues
| of Windows over OS/2. They were dubbed the Microsoft Munchkins, and it
| was obvious who they were and what they were up to. But their numbers
| and energy (and they way they joined forces with nonaligned dummies who
| liked to pile on) proved too much for IBM marketers, and Windows wont
| he operating-system war through fifth-column tactics"
| 
|     Mr Dvorak wonders if Microsoft is today using reverse-dirty-tricks
| to promote the Xbox 360: pay people to create Web sites that slam the
| gaming computer in order to provoke a barrage of defenders. 
`----


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing


Recent examples

,----[ Quote ]
| In 2001, the Los Angeles Times accused Microsoft of astroturfing
| when hundreds of similar letters were sent to newspapers voicing
| disagreement with the United States Department of Justice and its
| antitrust suit against Microsoft. The letters, prepared by Americans
| for Technology Leadership, had in some cases been mailed from
| deceased citizens or nonexistent addresses.
`----


A new Microsoft-commissioned anti-Linux study debuts

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft seemingly has backed off from trumpeting its "Get the
| Facts" studies, as of late. But that doesn't mean the company has
| ceased commissioning research outfits to perform its anti-Linux dirty
| work. 
| 
| On September 25, Mercer Management Consulting released a new
| Microsoft-backed study. The study is entitled "Driving Lower TCO and
| Rapid ROI through UNIX Migrations." The synopsis: "Microsoft Windows
| the preferred choice for UNIX migration when IT organizations migrate
| servers as part of a focused effort to improve business processes,
| deploy critical applications or restructure their IT architecture." 
`----

http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/index.php?p=12


IDC pronounces Linux unimportant to European economy 

,----[ Quote ]
| A recent IDC white paper on the economic impact of Microsoft's super
| soaraway new Vista operating system seems to be lacking one crucial
| ingredient -- other operating systems.
`----

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=34542


ToorCon ("Firefox security is a mess") sponsored by Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| Lately, I read the headline: "Open Source browser Firefox is so
| critically flawed that it is impossible to fix, according to two
| hackers." Further on, in the ZDNet article I read: "The hackers claim
| they know of about 30 unpatched Firefox flaws. They don't plan to
| disclose them, instead holding onto the bugs."
|
| Since that sounds suspicious, I decided to start searching for
| connections with MS. Easy enough, here it is...
`----

http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/70873/index.html


Getting Paid To Write A Blog Post - Is This The Future?

,----[ Quote ]
| I just saw over on TechCrunch that PayPerPost has raised $3 million
| in venture funding. What PayPerPost does is allow advertisers to buy
| a blog post ? often referred to as a paid plug. Instead of buying
| normal banner advertising, the advertiser would pay the blogger to
| write about their product or service. This of course raises manye
| thics and credibility issues.
`----

http://www.johnchow.com/index.php/getting-pay-to-write-a-blog-post-is-this-the-future/


Microsoft Traps and Hunts for Bloggers in India !!

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft has announced the "Microsoft BlogStars" contest, to Hunts
| for Developer Bloggers in India. After feeling the power and increase of
| the Bloggers community in India, Microsoft tries to trap and hunt Bloggers
| in India to buildup the blogging community, for writing blog posts
| supporting towards Microsoft Technologies.
`----

http://i5bala.blogspot.com/2006/10/microsoft-traps-and-hunts-for-bloggers.html


10 iPod vs. Zune Myths

,----[ Quote ]
| Could there be more bad news? Of course! Even Paul Thurrott isn't
| impressed with the Zune, calling its pricing strategy the "makings of
| a disaster." Misery! Not only has the Zune suffered a horrific wreck of
| a product introduction, but Annie Wilkes is at the foot of the bed saying
| she doesn't approve of how things are going.
|  
| If your number one fan is sending you hate mail, you have a problem.
| So what's with all the Zune related web sites carefully repeating the
| same talking points? It's called astroturfing.
|  
| Instead of inspiring actual interest in a grassroots fashion, Microsoft
| has resorted to spreading fake grass, crafting each site to suggestt
| he appearance of something other than the advertisement it is.
|  
| This is similar to the scam Microsoft pulled with its own imitation of
| Apple's Switchers ad campaign. Titled "Confessions of a Mac to PC
| Convert," the ad portrayed a professionally dressed woman complaining
| about her Mac, but ended up being a canned picture pulled from stock
| photography and voiced by a professional writer.
|  
| Similarly, Greenpeace staffers have assigned to post astroturf comments
| on websites saying "I'm a Mac user and gosh darn it I think that
| Greenpeace is alright with all their concern about the ecology!" More
| on that scam later!
|  
| One would expect a certain level of interest and excitement out of
| Microsoft's own users, but that isn't really happening. Nearly every
| Zune site on the web is carefully stepping around the piles of problems
| to spend a lot of time on Microsoft supplied bullet points, including
| the "celebration of music," the slightly larger or at least
| stretched display, and how wireless DRM sharing is such a
| brilliant idea. 
`----

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Home/9F60D74A-0E27-4F5F-B88D-835974628809.html


Don't mess with Google's astroturf squad

,----[ Quote ]
| Long before it employed bloggers to do the job for it, Microsoft hired
| sympathetic members of the public to make its case in online forums,
| posing as disinterested citizens. Things got much more professional as
| the antitrust trial unfurled. After hiring DCI in the late 1990s,
| Microsoft created two new trade groups, the Association for Competitive
| Technology (ACT), and the Americans for Technology Leadership (ALT),
| and marshaled campaigns such as "Freedom to Innovate" - encouraging
| Windows users the chance to make spontaneous gestures of support for
| Chairman Bill.
| 
| These weren't always too successful. A campaign in 2001 to petition 17
| state's Attorney Generals - who had pooled resources to bring their
| own antitrust action against Microsoft - resulted in supportive letters
| being written by dead people.
| 
| And the astroturf taint continues today.
| 
| Most recently, a spoof video portraying Al Gore as a Penguin was reported
| to have originated from a computer registered to the DCI Group, although
| the lobby group said it did not fund or approve the video.
`----

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/14/google_lobby/


MSN Is Spamming The Blogosphere

,----[ Quote ]
| Mr. Youth LLC is a marketing firm and lists MSN as a customer.  Their
| website is here: http://www.mryouth.com/  Their phone number is
| (212) 779-8700.
| 
| I've talked to a couple of other bloggers who said they are receiving
| similar comments on their blogs.  This pisses me off because MSN/Mr.
| Youth should 1) be more upfront about their true identity, and 2)
| provide a real e-mail address so that I can request they take my
| blog off their marketing campaign.
`----

http://www.scott-o-rama.com/2006/12/06/msn-is-spamming-the-blogosphere/

------------------------------

Message-ID: <5300427.XYR13hqzHS@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Linux Tablet (PepperPad) Gets 2 Great Reviews
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 06:19:15 +0000

PepperPad pleases pair of publishers

,----[ Quote ]
| Pepper Computing's Linux-powered, x86-compatible PepperPad 3
| continues to rack up rave reviews. CarryPad.com publisher Steve
| Paine calls the device a "hackable gem of a mobile PC," while
| Pocketables.net publisher Jenn K. Lee devotes nearly 3,000 words
| to "delightful stuff" about the product. 
`----

http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS2619103097.html

------------------------------

Message-ID: <4858928.3DW0E34ppv@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Taiwanese Company Introduces Linux-based Hendheld E-Book Reader
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 06:21:19 +0000

Linux-powered e-paper e-book offers 60 books per charge

,----[ Quote ]
| Taiwan-based e-book specialist eRead is shipping a Linux-based
| electronic book reader featuring an electrophoretic (aka electronic
| paper) display (EPD).
`----

http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS9913276931.html

------------------------------

Message-ID: <2845263.qoMfHjNzAm@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Linux Everywhere
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 06:24:30 +0000

GNU/Linux: anywhere and everywhere

,----[ Quote ]
| Ron Fabre, product and service manager of the company, says that,
| given the nature of the facility, there is no internet access needed 
| on any of the machines. The machines all boot off a server and there
| are different images called up depending on the nature of the user
| - juveniles get a different set of applications compared to
| adults.
`----

http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/7867/1000/

------------------------------

Message-ID: <2248216.Tm5eeQ9bsA@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] OSDL's Mission was Accomplished
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 07:13:03 +0000

Mission Accomplished: Do We Need the New OSDL?

,----[ Quote ]
| The OSDL's initial mandate -- "To accelerate the deployment of
| Linux for enterprise computing..." -- created a situation where
| their success would invalidate their mission. That situation
| has come to pass and we now find the OSDL in the position not
| of creating something new but rather reacting to what currently
| amounts to legal boogeymen.
`----

http://www.linux-mag.com/content/view/2830/

In a previous statement it was said that the move was motivated by 
"Unprecedented market validation" (for Linux). OSDL is not a company per se,
so you can't talk of staff cuts. OSDL is more of a panel serving a purpose.
Evidently, Linux is accepted in the enterprise. Most of OSDL no longer
serves a purpose because /industry/ will accelerate Linux, /without/ funded
intervention. The tipping point is /well/ behind us.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1301837.lsWEUvlMtP@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] IBM Encourages Open Source in Research, IP Royalty-free
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 06:38:41 +0000

IBM, GT Continue Intellectual Property Reform

,----[ Quote ]
| Under IBM's new Open Collaborative Research program, project
| results developed between IBM Research and top university faculty
| and their students will be made available as open source software
| code and all additional intellectual property developed will be
| openly published or made available royalty-free.
`----

http://www.gatech.edu/news-room/release.php?id=1210

------------------------------

Message-ID: <3323116.qZ0SmPhyxS@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Aladdin 4D Approaches Open-sourcing
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 06:26:27 +0000

Aladdin 4D Nears Open Source Goal

,----[ Quote ]
| What is Aladdin 4D? It's a powerful, but extremely easy-to-use, 3D
| modeling, rendering and animation package that includes the 3D tools
| that you'd expect as well as many unique features like relative
| time-based animation, an amazingly powerful particle system, and
| one of the fastest rendering systems on the desktop.
`----

http://trends.newsforge.com/article.pl?sid=06/12/07/225234

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1492924.eFWNzlRLUX@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] MySQL Becomes a Partner for Collaboration Server
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 06:30:57 +0000

Open-Xchange and MySQL forge partnership

,----[ Quote ]
| Open-Xchange Inc. announced on Dec. 7 that it has signed a partnership and 
| support agreement with MySQL AB. With this partnership Open-Xchange can 
| embed the MySQL database into its open source collaboration server. 
`----

http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS8203033134.html

------------------------------

Message-ID: <4520103.AyK5c1tsyD@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Germany's Move to Linux and Open Source
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 06:35:12 +0000

Firefox, Linux, Mac OSX gaining further momentum, Microsoft losing
marketshare in Germany

,----[ Quote ]
| In Germany, the move away from Microsoft products is gathering more and
| more steam.
| 
| The latest browser and OS statistics for SpiegelOnline, one of or maybe
| THE most visited German news website (and one of the major websites
| worldwide according to the Netcraft statistics) is showing the huge
| impact of Firefox on the browser market, and the continuing,
| undamped crumbling of the Internet Explorer dominance.
`----

http://vale.homelinux.net/wordpress/?p=110

The change will probably be the slowest in the US and the UK. While some
people here complain that Linux is infrequenbtly sighted, it's actually
growing /very/ quickly in certain countries (and not only in devices and
server, but also on the desktop). 

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1885409.pBWLUmMgSy@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Battery Drain in Windows Vista
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 07:00:02 +0000

Microsoft: Vista Wireless Access Could Cause Laptop Battery Drain

,----[ Quote ]
| Users running Windows Vista on laptops may see batteries draining
| faster than they expect, Microsoft said in a warning on a company
| blog, because some wireless access points aren't configured to
| take advantage of the new operating system's Wi-Fi
| power-saving mode. 
`----

http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=196602417&cid=RSSfeed_IWK_All

Embrace and extend. Illegally-obtained and retained monopoly enables that.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1202810.s7FNUenhlI@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Vista Gain Killer Commercial App - for hard-drive Defragmentation
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 07:06:40 +0000

Raxco Software Releases PerfectDisk Defragmenter for Windows Vista

,----[ Quote ]
| Raxco Software, the worldwide leader in disk defragmentation
| software, announced today its award-winning PerfectDisk now
| supports Microsoft's new Windows Vista? operating system. 
| PerfectDisk is the first third-party defragger to support Vista.
`----

http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release_html_b1?release_id=192692

Linux has this software built in, free of charge. It doesn't even consume
memory or steals CPU cycles.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1290350.9COn05JIQo@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Scot Finnie Criticises Microsoft Software, Ditches Windows
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 07:58:34 +0000

A Windows expert opts for a Mac life

,----[ Quote ]
| ...I've found myself increasingly disturbed by the many ways Microsoft
| is willing to erode the overall user experience, in most cases in the
| name of boosting its bottom line.
| 
| I'm talking about aspects like the new upgrade to Microsoft's
| antipiracy measures, known as Software Protection Platform (which
| includes a "reduced functionality mode"); the little-detailed
| digital rights management features -- if any -- that some people
| believe will surface in Vista; and the repetitious frustration of
| User Account Control, a security feature that takes an extreme
| approach to protecting you from potential threats that probably
| 98.44% of the time aren't actually there.
`----

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9004803

Some prominent people have moved from Mac OS X to Linux for similar reasons
(DRM and lockins, among other things).


Related:

How Vista lets Microsoft lock users in

,----[ Quote ]
| The Trusted Computing Module has sat silently on the motherboard for
| years now. Adding Vista and IRM to it is takes it from egg to larva,
| and turning on remote attestation in a year or two, once everyonei
| s on next-generation Office, will bring the larva to adulthood,
| complete with venomous stinger.
`----

http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=196602058

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1569051.F4HrXgtVuq@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] 20 Patches Next Patch Tuesday, Windows Computers Exposed to Hijackers Since October
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 08:03:31 +0000

The advosory includes this one...

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/advisory/927709.mspx

"Vulnerability in Visual Studio 2005 Could Allow Remote Code Execution"

Why has Microsoft left businesses and servers vulnerable to hijackers since
October 31st??? Clearly, Microsoft cannot even protect its own data.

The breaking news /du jour/:

Microsoft hacked! Code stolen?

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft Corp. and U.S. authorities are investigating an extraordinary
| computer break-in at Microsoft's headquarters by hackers believed to
| have stolen the blueprints to its most valuable software, including
| the latest versions of Windows and Office, people familiar with the
| situation said.
`----

http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9595_22-525083.html

------------------------------

Message-ID: <4451131.v8Mv0HW074@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] XBox 360 Class Action Lawsuit Against Microsoft
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 08:16:04 +0000

Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against MS For Bricked 360s

,----[ Quote ]
| According to Gamespot, the suit seeks a minimum of $10 million in
| damages, depending on how MS decides to defend itself. 
`----

http://www.kotaku.com/gaming/law/class-action-lawsuit-filed-against-ms-for-bricked-360s-220250.php

That companysure gets sued, but it's well overdue. What about all those
broken XBoxes (see below)? Could this be generalised? Can Microsoft be held
liable for Windows patches that break the system and require a
reinstallation from scratch?

An article in Groklaw once suggested that Microsoft can legally also be held
liable to the damage that results from poor and insecure software (I'm
appending links to support this claim).


Related:

Numerous Reports, November 30 Xbox 360 Update Is Bricking Consoles

,----[ Quote ]
| Some consoles are being bricked by Thursday's dashboard update.
| Issues range from freezing, red ring of death and VGA adapterm
| alfunction. Microsoft isn't acknowledging the issue and billing
| $140 for repairs.
`----

http://digg.com/gaming_news/Numerous_Reports_November_30_Xbox_360_Update_Is_Bricking_Consoles


Update brick your 360? Speak up

,----[ Quote ]
| Since yesterday's update, there are numerous reports about 360s
| being bricked. Some people suspect that this is being done by
| Microsoft intentionally to stop modders and hackers. Xbox Scene
| thinks it has more to do with certain combinations of hardware
| and firmware.
`----

http://www.xbox360fanboy.com/2006/11/01/update-brick-your-360-speak-up/ 


Autoupdate killed my 360!

,----[ Quote ]
| I was fine yesterday gaming with the VGA cable but after getting
| the autoupdate today, I get a black screen. Does Microsoft test
| these things? My connection to the TV didn't change yet its
| screwed. Thanks for nothing Microsoft.
`----

http://forum.teamxbox.com/showthread.php?t=489979

The Secret Failures of Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| There is no choice involved; even most Linux users are forced to pay for a
| Microsoft license in order to obtain a brand name PC.
|
| [...]
|
| They are bound to an oath to swear allegiance to Windows XP Professional,
| and must never mention Linux and Windows in the same breath. If they step
| out of line in any way, Microsoft dramatically raises their OEM licensing
| fees and sends them to indoctrination camp, where they face chairs being
| hurled at them by angry monkeys.
|
| [...]
|
| Why do Windows enthusiasts exibit much hostility to an obvious fact?
| Because if they admit that 80% of the company's revenues come entirely
| from an OEM tax, and not from any choice on the part of consumers...
|
| [...]
|
| Microsoft's decade of investments in WinCE and Windows Mobile
| Smartphones have only barely matched the market share of Palm, which
| itself is a run down company out of ideas. Microsoft couldn't
| out-maneuver the incompetent Palm within a decade of trying; now both
| are ineffectually fighting over the dying PDA industry while Linux and
| Symbian slaughter them in the smartphone arena:
|  
| Symbian 75%; Linux 14%; Microsoft 5%; Palm 5%.
|
| [...]
|
| (many more failures listed)
`----

http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/Q4.06/2E6D9BB2-FE1B-4556-8389-67BD581FBCCC.html


Insurance firm sues Microsoft over Xbox house fire

,----[ Quote ]
| Allstate alleges Microsoft is responsible for all loss, damage and injury
| and was negligent in proving an Xbox with defects.
| 
| Allstate is demanding Microsoft shell out $250,000 to cover the
| insurance costs on the house. The case was filed in a circuit court
| for Prince George's County. An earlier case, linked below, was
| settled between the Weatherfords and Microsoft last year.
`----

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=34902


Gamers Say Microsoft Understates Xbox Problems

,----[ Quote ]
| An insider from Electronic Arts, Inc. is saying that the failure rate
| of Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming console is actually ten times higher than
| what Microsoft spokespeople have admitted.
| 
| Game Daily BIZ, a gaming industry publication, reported that the
| anonymous source tallied that of the 300 consoles EA has received,
| 30-50 percent of them have failed.
`----

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/08/xbox_gamers02.html


Lawsuit blames Xbox for house fire

,----[ Quote ]
| "We feel positive it came from the Xbox," said Doug Allison of
| Corpus Christi, a lawyer who filed the suit against Microsoft and
| two other defendants.
`----

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA112506.01B.xboxsuit.30e0b7a.html


So my cousin from Microsoft called

,----[ Quote ]
| Erhmm... My cousin just called who works for Microsoft and was on the
| xbox 360 team. He said first generation xbox 360's are having a SERIOUS
| over heating issue and they might be recalled sometime next week. The
| recall is being considered because the overheating can cause a short,
| resulting in a fire.
`----

http://chris.instantspot.com/blog/index.cfm/2006/11/24/So-my-cousin-from-Microsoft-called


Gamers Say Microsoft Understates Xbox Problems

,----[ Quote ]
| An insider from Electronic Arts, Inc. is saying that the failure rate
| of Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming console is actually ten times higher than
| what Microsoft spokespeople have admitted.
| 
| Game Daily BIZ, a gaming industry publication, reported that the
| anonymous source tallied that of the 300 consoles EA has received,
| 30-50 percent of them have failed.
`----

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/08/xbox_gamers02.html


How Much is Too Much?

,----[ Summary ]
| Microsoft says it will stick with Xbox. But with years of heavy losses
| behind it, the pressure's on for the gaming division to make good
`----

http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/oct2006/id20061013_283856.htm?campaign_id=rss_topStories
http://tinyurl.com/yxdr4j


Microsoft stoic despite massive losses

,----[ Quote ]
| If you were to judge by the PR rhetoric, you'd think the 360 was
| an unstoppable commercial juggernaut. As usual though, PR lies.
`----

http://www.gamerscan.com/articles/06/10/09/microsofts.massive.losses/


Xbox Live Outages All Over US?

,----[ Quote ]
| In any case the outages do not seem to affect everyone although I can
| say 2old2play has already received 6 emails, 5 PMs, and several blog
| posts about the outages. One such blogger was told by a service rep that
| he was "experiencing a temporary service outage bubble in his area."
| Apparently the rep had received several similar Xbox Live error codes
| that day, but could not say why. 2old2play is currently trying to contact
| Microsoft for a comment and we'll update this page as we receive word.
`----

http://www.2old2play.com/News/Xbox_Live_Outages_All_Over_US_


Problems with the VOD Marketplace:

http://forums.xbox.com/8344527/ShowPost.aspx
http://irsonic.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!A8B5EFD3F889BC00!116.entry


Xbox 360: The One Year Retrospective

,----[ Quote ]
| How has Microsoft's early bird console performed? Where have we come
| in one year's time? IGN takes a look back.
`----

http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/747/747459p1.html


XBox 360 cracked

,----[ Quote ]
| ...the new patch is said to boot 'Xtreme' XBox 1 and 360 backups, works
| with originals, and will boot 'all' XBox 1 discs on the 360. If it works
| as advertised, it is quite the coup, but it may turn out to be a near
| miss like the last few...
`----

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=31703 


Microsoft Hides Its Mobile and Business Apps Divisions

,----[ Quote ]
| The company is folding its two worst-performing divisions -- Microsoft
| Business Solutions (its business applications unit) and its Mobile and
| Embedded units -- into the Microsoft Business Division and Microsoft Home
| and Entertainment units, respectively.
`---- 

http://www.microsoft-watch.com/article2/0,1995,1990243,00.asp?kc=MWRSS02129TX1K0000535



        On liability for security issues:


Malware wars: Are hackers on top?

,----[ Quote ]
| The money made from malware is eclipsing the revenue of anti-virus
| vendors, a leading net security vendor claims. Raimund Genes, CTO of
| anti-malware at Trend Micro, cites FBI figures that IT security
| problems cost the economy $62bn last year against IDC estimates
| that the anti-malware market was worth $26bn in 2005.
`----

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/12/05/malware_trends/


Study: Billions of dollars spent on security

,----[ Quote ]
| Large U.S. businesses will spend $61 billion on security by the end
| of this year, representing 7.3 percent of total IT budgets in the
| country, according to a new report from Info-Tech Research Group.
`----

http://news.com.com/2110-7350_3-6135989.html?part=rss&tag=2547-1_3-0-20&subj=news


US lost $8 billion to computer crime

,----[ Quote ]
| Consumer reports' latest "State of the Net" survey has revealed that
| US punters lost more than $8 billion over the last two years to
| viruses, spyware and con tricks.
` ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=33554


If Only We Knew Then What We Know Now About Windows XP

,----[ Quote ]
| You can think of Windows XP as a house with a second floor built of
| spackle, wood filler and duct tape.
`----

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/23/AR2006092300510.html?nav=rss_technology


Microsoft Windows: Insecure by Design

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A34978-2003Aug23?language=printer


Why Windows is a security nightmare.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/05/21/1085120110704.html


The Structural Failures of Windows

http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=15305


Security Report: Windows vs Linux

,----[Executive summary ]
| Finally, we also include a brief overview of relevant conceptual
| differences between Windows and Linux, to offer an insight into why
| Windows tends to be more vulnerable to attacks at both server and desktop,
| and why Linux is inherently more secure
`----

http://www.theregister.co.uk/security/security_report_windows_vs_linux/


The Gotcha on that MS License on the Office 2007 "Giveaway"

=== Begin quote ==

    "The cost of these steps could reduce our operating margins. Despite 
    these efforts, actual or perceived security vulnerabilities in our
    products could lead some customers to seek to return products, to reduce
    or delay future purchases, or to use competing products. Customers may 
    also increase their expenditures on protecting their existing computer 
    systems from attack, which could delay adoption of new technologies. Any 
    of these actions by customers could adversely affect our revenue. In 
    addition, actual or perceived vulnerabilities may lead to claims against 
    us. While our license agreements typically contain provisions that 
    eliminate or limit our exposure to such liability, there is no assurance 
    these provisions will be held effective under applicable laws and 
    judicial decisions."

Ah, from the horse's mouth: Microsoft just might be held legally responsible
for selling software that is insecure. 

== End quote ==

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20061122235224396

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1991447.aXZkiQhSmb@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Microsoft Books Search - Where Are All the Linux Books?
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 08:28:00 +0000

Search results for "Linux" on Microsoft's Live Book Search

,----[ Quote ]
| Searching Live Books for "Linux" returns only one result: "History of
| Latin Christianity" (1872) by Henry Hart Milman.
`----

http://digg.com/linux_unix/Search_results_for_Linux_on_Microsoft_s_Live_Book_Search#c4171875

Digitisation as means of 'book burning', Mr. Gates? Is that why Microsoft
wants to dominate Web searches as well? Censoring results and selectively
delivering biased information?

------------------------------

Message-ID: <2738491.cUM6palQXA@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Novell: Freedom to Slavery
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 09:08:41 +0000

From freedom to slavery; a week of two distros

,----[ Quote ]
| It is interesting that Novell chooses to say they negotiated this
| agreement on "behalf" of all software contributors to (and
| customers) of Novell. Some of my packages are included in SuSE,
| though, strangely, I do not recall them ever asking me to negotiate
| this agreement on my behalf. That it claims to only protect "non
| commercially involved? contributors, it?s clear it is about limiting
| what I can do and to whom I can safely distribute my code through.
| It's meant to threaten and intimidate those who develop software
| in freedom, and to control what they will be allowed to do. I do
| not remember requesting to become Novell?s slave, or of desiring
| to pay a Microsoft slug for the right to practice freedom. As such
| it is an insult to everyone who has ever contributed code that they
| now use.
`----

http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/node/1851

------------------------------

Message-ID: <2251847.Ce4xGPN11F@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] More Vista Uptake Predictions -- Gloomy Picture
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 15:29:27 +0000

Today's Vista uptake prediction: slow again

,----[ Quote ]
| In an executive email sent to customers Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
| said: < some egoistic drivel, Vist^H, Vist^H, Vist#0x00A >
|
| An Altiris analyst as well as Gartner have poured icy water on such claims.
|
| The Softchoice research provides a solid base for agreeing with them. Vista 
| shipments will crawl along as companies wait until a hardware refresh cycle 
| takes place before upgrading to an operating system that, for many,
| delivers little extra value. 
`----

http://www.techworld.com/opsys/news/index.cfm?RSS&NewsID=7531


In other news, the desktop platform may be changing its role; pehaps too
quickly for Windows to evolve.

World only needs seven computers

,----[ Quote ]
| IBM founder Thomas J. Watson couldn't add up: it was seven
| computers the world would need, not five. That's the contrarian
| view of Sun chief technology officer Greg Papadopoulos. He thinks
| there will just seven hyperscale, pan-global broadband computing
| services giants.
`----

http://www.techworld.com/opsys/news/index.cfm?RSS&NewsID=7529

Oh, no! But Microsoft has ~0% market share among powerful computers. And the
last thing the world needs are 6 mega-zombies and 1 benevolent
supercomputer.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1285590.ePfFMPClEE@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Vista Activation Server Cracked
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 15:42:18 +0000

Pirates crack Vista Activation Server

,----[ Quote ]
| Pirates have released another ingenious workaround to Vista's
| copy protection: a hacked copy of Microsoft's yet-to-be-released
| volume licencing activation server, running in VMware.
`----

http://apcmag.com/node/4769


Related:

Microsoft seals its Windows and opens the door to Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| Now comes the really interesting question. With Vista's activation
| technology, Microsoft has the power to stamp out piracy everywhere. But
| will it choose to do so everywhere? After all, if folks in China or
| Thailand or Ethiopia have to pay for Vista, they won't be able to run
| it because they won't be able to afford the licence fee. In which case
| they may finally wake up to the attractions of free software such as
| Linux - and it's easy to imagine what that will do to Microsoft's
| plans for world domination.
| 
| It's a delicious prospect: Microsoft impaling itself on the horns 
| of a dilemma it has created for itself. Roll on Thursday.
`----

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,,1956941,00.html

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1435254.15uRTxSz1V@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Videos of Opensuse 10.2 Installation
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 16:09:37 +0000

Video: openSUSE 10.2 Installation

,----[ Quote ]
| After trying out openSUSE 10.2 last night @home on a separate
| partition and spending some time, around couple of hours, I decided
| to take a bold decision - to install it as my primary OS, replacing 
| good old SUSE 10.1.
`----

http://linux.wordpress.com/2006/12/08/video-opensuse-102-installation/

Opinion: I guess this may be relatively harmless as long as the commericial
verion ($LED 10) is avoided...

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1739690.XzsNbOrPfB@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Earthlink May Lose up to 90% of E-mail, Microspam Windows to Blame?
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 16:18:01 +0000

(Cringely on Earthlink E-mail)

,----[ Quote ]
| Here is something I wish I were making up. A good friend of mine noticed
| last June a sudden and precipitous decline in his volume of incoming
| e-mail with the numbers dropping by 80-90 percent. Was he less popular,
| less interesting than before? Or maybe some Bayesian filter had been
| imposed by his ISP (Earthlink) to suddenly spare him completely from
| spam. No such luck.
`----

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2006/pulpit_20061201_001274.html

Looking at some comment in Slashdot, it seems evident that SPAM (Windows
zombies laregely responsible) is killing E-mail as a communication tool. I
personally use password-protected Wikis as means of replacing E-mail because
the volume keeps growing and growing.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <3359725.AgKtZ3eHuO@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Microsoft Cannot Really Defend OpenXML
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 16:28:27 +0000

Microsoft Hits Back at Its OpenXML Critics

,----[ Quote ]
| "ODF is what the world needs today to drive competition,
| innovation, and lower costs for customers. It is an example
| of a real open standard versus a vendor-dictated spec that
| documents proprietary products via XML. ODF is about the
| future, OpenXML is about the past. We voted for the future,"
| Sutor said.
|
| [...]
|
| The OpenXML specification is very detailed, running to some 6,000 pages...
|
| [...]
|
| Asked about the claim that OpenXML is not universally interoperable as it 
| has ties to Windows, which prevents full interoperability with other
| platforms, Yates said OpenXML has no ties to Windows.
`----

http://news.yahoo.com/s/zd/20061208/tc_zd/195869

The rebuttal is a no-argument. Yates makes some very weak points. It's clear
that Microsoft has no case, but it has allies like Intel whose vote it buys.
Nobody wants Microsoft to retaliate, right? Lotus Notes will use ODF.


Related:

Is Open XML a one way specification for most people?

,----[ Quote ]
| Who will implement Open XML correctly and fully? Maybe Microsoft.
| Why? Since it is essentially a dump into XML of all the data
| needed for all the functionality of their Office products and
| since those products are proprietary, only they will understand
| any nuances that go beyond the spec. The spec may illuminate
| some of the mistakes that have been made and are now being
| written into a so called standard for all to have to implement,
| but I'm guessing there might be a few other shades of meaning
| that will not be clear. Fully and correctly implementing Open
| XML will require the cloning of a large portion of Microsoft's
| product. Best of luck doing that, especially since they have
| over a decade head start. Also, since they have avoided using
| industry standards like SVG and MathML, you'll have to
| reimplement Microsoft's flavor of many things. You had
| better start now. So therefore I conclude that while Microsoft
| may end up supporting most of Open XML (and we'll have to
| see the final products to see how much and how correctly),
| other products will likely only end up supporting a subset. 
`----

http://sutor.com/newsite/blog-open/?p=1145


Is Office Open XML A One-Way Standard? Ask Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| Way back in October, Bob Sutor, IBM's open standards guru, wrote
| a piece on his blog where he described the Office Open XML
| standard as a one way standard, because the format is so complex
| and so geared towards compatibility with legacy Office compatibility
| that it could never be implemented as a fully functional file format
| by any competing personal productivity applications (PPAs) like
| WordPerfect and OpenOffice. I agree with a lot of his points but
| didn't feel compelled to write about it since the issue had been
| covered pretty comprehensively in the blogosphere.
`----

http://blogs.adobe.com/shebanation/2006/12/open_xml_one-way.html


Signs That Your "Open Standard" May Not Be Open Enough

,----[ Quote ]
| If OOXML is an open standard, why must Mac MS Office users wait so
| long for OOXML support? Correct me if I am wrong, but MS Office on
| the Mac is developed by Microsoft themselves, how is it that the
| Windows Office development team had access to the OOXML specification
| but the Mac Office team did not?
| 
| [...]
| 
| Microsoft's ECMA submission comprised more than 6,000 pages. The
| challenge of plowing through so much could drag out
| approval by ISO. (ODF's submission was less than 700 pages.)
| 
| [...]
| 
| So, while Microsoft's own developers struggle to comprehend and
| implement their own proposed "standard" file format, perhaps Mac
| MS Office customers can use Novell OpenOffice for their Windows MS
| Office compatibility needs.
`----

http://boycottnovell.com/2006/12/07/signs-that-your-open-standard-may-not-be-open-enough/

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1388093.06PnHDYFsL@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] IBM Excludes Microsoft from IM Software
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 16:35:48 +0000

IBM snubs MSN with Sametime gateway

,----[ Quote ]
| Conspicuously missing from the compatibility list are MSN Messenger
| and Microsoft's Live Communication Server. The snub to Microsoft
| appears to be a business decision by IBM, not a technical or political
| issue - IBM obviously reckons it can reach all the business IM users
| it needs, without involving Redmond.
`----

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/12/08/sametime_gateway/

Microsoft prebundles its IM client. It is conspicuously a case of monopoly
abuse, which led to exclusion in Korea, IIRC.


Related:

http://www.sutor.com/newsite/blog-open/?p=1264

Is IBM open source's little friend?

,----[ Quote ]
| ...That is because one of the big post-Linuxworld features is all about
| IBM, and how IBM is going to use open source to beat big, bad Microsoft.
|
| [...]
|
| The story, from Motley Fool, says IBM is going to get Linux running faster
| on its proprietary chips, go after smaller customers using the cost
| benefits of open source, and push an "open health care framework" to
| push computers into smaller medical offices.
`----

http://blogs.zdnet.com/open-source/?p=758 


Ballmer rattles intellectual property saber at Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| Besides, does Microsoft think IBM will stay on the litigation sidelines,
| if it decides to play the patent card? IBM makes a lot of its billions
| from Linux, and I can't see Big Blue paying Microsoft off to continue
| using its favorite operating system.
`----

http://www.linux-watch.com/news/NS7228555922.html

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1487628.C0RpGH7Am5@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Microsoft Outlook - Looking Beyond the Marketing Hype
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 16:48:39 +0000

Outlook Web Access Suffers from security issues.

http://www.webwereld.nl/articles/44011 (in Dutch)

Also of interest:

"I've installed Outlook 2007 with great expectations. Unfortunately,
there are performance issues that are pretty much rendering it useless
to me.

Just to note, I'm on a brand new Core 2 Duo T7400, XP sp2 install, so
it's not hardware or legacy XP junk slowing me down.

When I start Outlook, it takes ~30 seconds before I am able to perform
any action.

When email is being received, Outlook freezes. If I'm composing an
email at the time, I can no longer type. If I'm trying to view or
delete other email, no luck. I have 5 email accounts, so the freezing
is around 12-15 seconds every 2 minutes. If I'm receiving a file, the
freezing lasts longer.

Deleting more than a few items from my inbox often freezes things too.

Not to mention it's using 100MB of memory."

http://groups-beta.google.com/group/microsoft.public.outlook.general/browse_thread/thread/b9e0778c699015c4/ffe97dfb452e8062?hl=en&
http://tinyurl.com/ymgy6a

------------------------------

Message-ID: <1392996.MfL4kqWzXz@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Survey: 40% Growth for Open Source in Asia, 70% of Devs Use It
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 17:24:02 +0000

Open source booming in Asia

,----[ Quote ]
| Open source code is now used by over 70 per cent of software
| developers in Asia, according to a new report.
`----

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2170549/open-source-grows-asia


Related:

Study: Developers Favor Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| "Regardless of what kind of developer you are, you're still trying to
| make a living, and target the operating system that?s controlling the
| market."
| 
| However, in the most recent survey, the developers' forecast of their
| target platform has changed. For the first time, these developers said
| that in the next 12 to 18 months they expect to be developing more Linux
| apps than Windows apps. 
`----

http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/osrc/article.php/3645766


Developers Embrace Java, Drop Visual Basic 

,----[ Quote ]
| Use of Visual Basic has dropped 35% since the spring, says a
| poll of more than 430 North American developers done by research
| company Evans Data.
| 
| [...]
| 
| Developers have abandoned Microsoft's Visual Basic in droves
| during the last six months, and they're using Java more than any
| other development language, according to a recently published
| survey. 
`----

http://www.informationweek.com/software/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=196600515

------------------------------

Message-ID: <2733669.A57c4NFQIU@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Commercial Taker for Greenphone Linux Mobile
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 17:26:34 +0000

Zi Corporation Announces Integration with Qtopia Greenphone

,----[ Quote ]
| The Greenphone is the first Linux mobile device tool for
| application developers. Zi software has been pre-integrated
| on Qtopia to enable faster handset development and
| commercial deployment.
`----

http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release_html_b1?release_id=192953

------------------------------

Message-ID: <5809285.gXbkbSP0Fr@schestowitz.com>
From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@schestowitz.com>
Subject: [News] Open Source Buzz in India
Date: Fri, 08 Dec 2006 17:38:11 +0000

Open Source to pervade enterprise users

,----[ Quote ]
| Specialized stacks for business applications like- the LAMP (Linux,
| Apache, MySQL, PHP, Python/Perl) are expected to emerge according
| to Unisys experts.
`----

http://www.siliconindia.com/shownews/34228

------------------------------

Message-ID: <e7uo44-9p4.ln1@sirius.tg00suus7038.net>
From: The Ghost In The Machine <ewill@sirius.tg00suus7038.net>
Subject: [News] The Complete Layman's Guide to Cyber Safety
Date: Fri, 8 Dec 2006 12:23:42 -0800


http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/cybersecurity/index.html?cnn=yes

* Defend your computer
Recommendations:

   - Keep your computer up to date.  (ITYM *software*)
   - Use security software...
   - ...but don't depend on it.
   - Take away your PC's superpowers.
   - Get a router and lock it down.
   - Be careful at the coffee shop.
   - Get smart - and get real - about passwords.
   - Know how your computer watches you.
   - Shred or smash.
   - Don't assume you are anonymous online.

   (All of these are good, but some are more relevant to Linux than
   others.  But one can already see that the suggestion "Get a
   router" will fix many if not most of the identity problems,
   without dealing with the inherent insecurity of such offerings
   as Windows.)

* Thwart ID thieves
Recommendations:

   - Get three free credit reports a year (one per bureau).
   - Monitor online banking and brokerage accounts a few times
     a week.
   - Use cash or a credit card, not a debit card, when practical.
   - Opt out (don't share financial info/credit status).
   - Don't share.
   - Don't fall for phishers.
   - Use complicated passwords.

   (All good ideas AFAICT.)

* Guard your privacy at work
Recommendations:

   - Respond to inappropriate emails immediately.
   - Don't do, say, or write anything at work that you don't want your
     employer to know about.
   - Disconnect from company technology.
   - Guard against the office busybody.
   - Avoid faxing or copying personal documentes.
   - Use your cell phone for personal matters.

   (All good ideas AFAICT.)

* Keep your kids safe.
Recommendations:
   - Teach your kids to valud privacy.
   - Set firm family web rules.
     * Permission
     * Don't answer emails or IMs from strangers.
     * No lying about one's age.
     * Don't share too much information on a social networking site.
     * Be careful with your photo.
   - Check in with your kid.
   - Treat your PC like a TV.
   - Spy on them if you need to.

   (All good ideas AFAICT.)
 

------------------------------


 End of Cola Digest 

--
| Mark Kent   --   mark at ellandroad dot demon dot co dot uk  |
| News Digester                                                |
0
mark.kent (15323)
12/9/2006 10:54:30 AM
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