30 October 2007

Negroponte: Windows key to OLPC philosophy

Negroponte: Windows key to OLPC philosophy | Tech News on ZDNet

"The OLPC's philosophy of openness is behind its decision to allow Microsoft software on the machines, according to Negroponte.

'It would be hard for OLPC to say it was 'open' and then be closed to Microsoft. Open means open,' Negroponte said.

Excuse me? Say what you will, Mr. Negroponte, about excluding Microsoft -- their operating system, Windows, is NOT open. How are you going to remain loyal to the ideals of the OLPC project if you violate the most important one (allowing users to change and customize anything on the device)?

"Open means open?" What definition of "open" are you using?

I'm beginning to think it means "open pockets" -- yeah, great big gaping pockets for Microsoft to throw money into! :P

In all seriousness -- Microsoft is willing to do anything at all possible to prevent the developing world from getting its first taste of computers via Linux.

I've been following this project for more than a year now, watching it mostly go down the tubes. Either it's the production prices doubling, or big greedy companies like Intel and Microsoft finally getting their fingers in the pot -- either way, I'm almost to the point where I no longer care what happens to that little green laptop that I was so enamored with (both its ideals and its design).

29 October 2007

How do you say "Microsoft IIS server sucks" in Chinese?

Look familiar?

I'm sure this error message is even more cryptic in English.

26 October 2007

Microsoft sees progress in getting Windows on XO

Microsoft sees progress in getting Windows on XO - Yahoo/Reuters

"The laptops were designed specifically to run Linux
programs. If the machines run only Linux, Microsoft will lose
an opportunity to expose tens of millions of children worldwide
to its Windows system.

Thank you, Reuters/Yahoo, for what possibly is the biggest understatement of the freaking year. Though, if this version of Windows is slim and trim enough, I'll snag a copy of my own to use on my gaming PC.

Blogged with Flock

EU forces Microsoft to cage open source patent dogs

EU forces Microsoft to cage open source patent dogs - Business - www.itnews.com.au

"Under terms of the ruling, Microsoft will publish an irrevocable pledge not to assert any patents it may have over the interoperability information against non-commercial open source software development projects.

Commercial projects will be able to safeguard themselves against interoperability patent claims at a reduced royalty fee of 0.4 percent of revenues. Microsoft had initially demanded a 5.95 percent royalty rate.

Okay, that's kinda sorta good. So, under the EU ruling, Microsoft agrees not to sue open source projects (in the EU, at least).

But all this hubbub was never about suing just open source projects -- it was about suing commercial sellers of open source products (at least, that's how I saw it).

In that, the EU has kind of befuddled me -- the new ruling "allows" commerical projects to "safeguard themselves against interoperability patent claims at a reduced royalty fee of 0.4 percent of revenues." Eh?

How in the hell is Microsoft going to collect this royalty if the EU doesn't recognized software patents? Like the rest of the world, the EU doesn't allow patents on software, which is considered just a set of algorithms in a computer. The US, along with Japan, is pretty much alone in the world in allowing software patents. (Remember folks -- patents are different from copyrights. The latter allows use with acknowledgment -- the former stifles innovation by disallowing use by others.)

So, what court will they prove their case in whose ruling will be valid in the EU? The Galactic Court?

24 October 2007

Getting Flash to work with the Flock 1.0 Beta on Ubuntu 7.10

Well, I was messing around with the Flock 1.0 Beta today, and noticed that the automatic install for Flash didn't work -- whether or not this is just a symptom of it being a beta or of some problem with just the Linux client, I don't know. Either way, here's I got Flash working:

1) Download the Flash tarball from Adobe: http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/get/flashplayer/current/install_flash_player_9_linux.tar.gz

2) Unpack it and copy the file "libflashplayer.so" to /home/<your user name>/.flock/plugins/

3) Enjoy!

Maybe there's an easier way, but all I know is that the Flash installer shell script that comes with the download only lets you install it to either Firefox or Netscape (there's no option for Flock).

23 October 2007

Fun with Bromotrifluoromethane

To all you server admins and DBA's and "Big Iron" workers out there -- ever been present in the server room when the Halon system accidentally went off?

No -- stop laughing. It's not fun at all, trust me.

19 October 2007

Comcast blocks some Internet traffic

Comcast blocks some Internet traffic - Online World - MSNBC.com

"Comcast's technology kicks in, though not consistently, when one BitTorrent user attempts to share a complete file with another user.

Each PC gets a message invisible to the user that looks like it comes from the other computer, telling it to stop communicating. But neither message originated from the other computer — it comes from Comcast. If it were a telephone conversation, it would be like the operator breaking into the conversation, telling each talker in the voice of the other: 'Sorry, I have to hang up. Good bye.'

Hmm, Net Neutrality opponents? Still think we can trust ISP's to regulate themselves?

Comcast apparently doesn't like users of Lotus Domino, either. So, now it's personal.

17 October 2007

Two IBM Articles About Recent Technologies

Solid Ajax applications: Part 1: Building the front end

I must admit, a lot of stuff I've seen from IBM shows that they are quite supportive of Ajax -- Notes/Domino seems to be ideally suited for it.

An introduction to XML User Interface Language (XUL) development

I wish I could start programming in XUL -- having an encapsulated language like it to work in (and make intranet apps in) would be a breath of fresh air after having to deal with getting "regular" web applications working cross-browser all these years.

RIAA shifts legal battle to a new front, sues Usenet access provider

RIAA shifts legal battle to a new front, sues Usenet access provider - Ars Technica

Okay, who talked?

The first rule of Usenet is: Do not talk about Usenet.

The second rule of Usenet is: Do not talk about Usenet.

You get the drift.

16 October 2007

Custom VMWare Virtual Machines

Well, I just figured out how to make my own custom virtual machines with the VMWare Player yesterday, so I've been taking some time every now and then to take a look at the Release Candidate version of the Ubuntu 7.10, Parallel Knoppix 2.7, Fedora 7, etc.

It takes a little bit of work, seeing as how you've got to create all the text files manually, yourself (I'm guessing that the full version of VMWare Workstation does all that for you), but it's still easy as hell -- took me only 5 minutes to get an Ubuntu virtual machine up and running.

That's another thing... I don't know if it's just the newest version of Ubuntu, or if it's because I've custom-made this virtual machine on my computer (in lieu of downloading a pre-made one from somewhere), but my Ubuntu 7.10 virtual machine is fast. I mean really fast. So fast I thought I was doing something wrong. It starts up in about 20 seconds, and that's in a virtual machine.

But, hey -- I'm not arguing.

12 October 2007

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted

Groklaw - Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted

Wow -- imagine that. Three days after Ballmer threatens the Linux world again, a company that's a known patent troll with two former Microsoft suits (one of them a former "Intellectual Property Manager") sues one of the biggest corporate vendors of Linux, Red Hat. (Novell was named in the lawsuit too, but who the hell cares about them anymore?)

Remember -- it's not a conspiracy if there's money to be made by somebody. Then, it's just business.

11 October 2007

Techdirt: Patent Reform Battle Descending Into Farce

Techdirt: Patent Reform Battle Descending Into Farce

I haven't been following the attempts to reform the patent system currently going through Congress in America right now, but I know the general gist of things.

I also know how people who don't like it (certain monopolies in all walks of life), like to spew utter garbage because they know the audience reading their tripe probably knows no better:

A recent ad put out in the New York Times by a medical equipment monopoly tried to do this (this is from the article on Techdirt.com about the ad):

"It's absolutely laughable that the ad includes the airplane industry, when the Wright Brothers' patents almost destroyed the US airplane industry by holding back innovation and keeping other more innovative firms out of the market. It took the pressure of World War I and the US gov't to finally get around the stranglehold on airplane innovation."

It's right and proper that the ad makes comparisons to the turn of the last century like it does -- the Trusts of the late 1800's and early 1900's are coming back full force in today's time, but who will be our Teddy Roosevelt today?

09 October 2007

Groklaw - Microsoft's Ballmer Reportedly Threatens Red Hat (Again)

Groklaw - Microsoft's Ballmer Reportedly Threatens Red Hat - Updated 2Xs

"That's why we've done the deal we have with Novell, where not only are we working on technical interoperability between Linux and Windows but we've also made sure that we could provide the appropriate, for the appropriate fee Novell customers also get essentially the right to use our patented intellectual property. And I think it's great the way Novell stepped up to kind of say intellectual property matters. People use Red hat, at least with respect to *our* intellectual property in a sense have an obligation to eventually compensate us."

What "patented intellectual property?" Like Groklaw says, that statement means nothing if Microsoft refuses to state exactly what is their "patented intellectual property" -- and that's exactly what they're refusing to do.

As far as I know, "intellectual property" laws require an intellectual property owner (who Microsoft says it is) to notify infringers (who Microsoft claims Linux users are) as to the exact nature of the infringement, so that they may have a chance to remove the infringement in question (which the Linux community would do in days, if not hours). Failure to notify (which Microsoft is definitely failing at, even thought they've been giving plenty of chances) is supposed to render any damage claims moot.

The balls on this man are like basketballs -- it's unfortunate for him that his are filled with a similiar substance.

05 October 2007

Seeking market share, Microsoft removes WGA anti-piracy check from IE7

Seeking market share, Microsoft removes WGA anti-piracy check from IE7

Aww.... wittle baby's market share wasn't incweasing fast ennuf, so wittle baby had to wemove DRM? Aww....

Apparently -- and I've blogged about this before -- there's a much bigger community of pirated copies of Windows running out there than anyone thought. So much so, in fact, that Microsoft actually had to change software specifications to suit them.

De facto acceptance of piracy? Feel-good measure designed to protect as many people as possible? Simple desire to have as big a market share as possible? You be the judge.

To me, it's just another reminder that a business has absolutely no qualms whatsoever about doing whatever is possible to please shareholders -- if Microsoft thinks it can show off an increased market share to shareholders by cooperating with software pirates, they'll do so. Don't you doubt it for a minute.

04 October 2007

RIAA Rips Defendant in Nation's First Filesharing Jury Trial on Threat Level

RIAA Rips Defendant in Nation's First Filesharing Jury Trial on Threat Level

On cross examination, Thomas' attorney, Toder, suggested that perhaps Thomas owned a wireless router, which a third party might have hijacked from "right outside her window."

"A neighbor could do it too, right?" he asked Edgar.

"Yes," Edgar replied.

But testimony from another RIAA witness sought to counter that defense. Iowa State University computer forensics specialist Doug Jacobson claimed that speculation over a wireless internet connection used by roving marauders was unfounded.

"There was no wireless router used in this case," he testified.

The Charter IP address identified the night of the downloading was, according to testimony from Edgar and Weaver. Had a wireless router been used, the internal private IP address assigned by the router would also have been detected by investigators, he claimed -- likely beginning with 192.168.

Excuse me? In what universe? Does "Iowa State University computer forensics specialist Doug Jacobson" not know how NAT works? Unless they were hacking her computer (which, for the RIAA's sake, I hope they weren't), there's no way they could've told whether or not a wireless router (or any other router, for that matter) was being used.

They would've seen nothing but "," no matter who was getting on with this woman's internet connection -- be it her or some hacker, through a wireless router or not.

Folks, someone observing your internet usage from the outside (like the RIAA tries to) will NEVER see your internal router address (the one beginning with "192.168" if you're using a router) -- it's simply not the way things work. That address isn't even broadcast outside the router's network.

Why the hell was this point not objected?

03 October 2007

Viacom: Wrong On Almost Every Thing

Techdirt: Viacom: Wrong On Almost Every Thing

I just read a very good article over at Techdirt about a speech given by Viacom's CEO, Philippe Dauman. I don't know how he felt after giving this speech, but, personally, I'd feel quite sick after seeing the same amount of crap spew out of my mouth.

Seriously, just look at his comment about how DRM will usher in an "unprecedented period of creative output across the globe" -- isn't that exactly what DRM prevents? How is anyone supposed to be creative when all media is locked down in proprietary formats on specific hardware?

It boggles the fucking mind, I tell you.

01 October 2007

Best Free Software to Unlock Your Favorite Hardware - Lifehacker

Gadgets: Best Free Software to Unlock Your Favorite Hardware - Lifehacker

"It sucks that your favorite gadgets have more functionality than their default software exposes, but it rules that several software applications are built to unlock that potential for free. Whether it's your iPod, Xbox, router or iPhone, we've covered some incredibly ambitious free software projects that unlock features and enable unauthorized but oh-so-useful applications to run on them. Get our top 5 favorite pieces of software to unlock your hardware and chime in with your own in the comments."

Ext JS 2.0 Alpha 1 Released!

Ext JS 2.0 Alpha 1 Released!

Seriously, how do they do it? Even the documentation is pretty as can be.