Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Boycott Novell: Champion of freedom or den of paranoia?

Filed under
Linux
Web

Few sites about free software attract more controversy than Boycott Novell. Founded in 2006 in response to the first Microsoft-Novell deal, as its name suggests, the site has evolved more recently into a site for commentary and investigation of any subject that might be a threat to free software. To its regular readers, this subject matter makes Boycott Novell -- like Groklaw, its apparent inspiration -- a defender of the community. But to others, especially those who have been the subject of its articles, the site is full of illogical arguments and undeserved attacks, and an embarrassment that only brings the community into disrepute.

Although founded by Shane Coyle, Boycott Novell is best known for the writings of Roy Schestowitz, a seemingly tireless poster who frequently writes half a dozen or more articles a day for the site, and posts numerous comments elsewhere across the Internet. For many people, Schestowitz is the public face of the site, and the criticisms -- ranging from the reasoned to the obscenely vicious -- are as likely to be directed at him as the site itself.

Boycott Novell, Schestowitz says, "is an accumulation of resources, many of which are external, that together explain the [Microsoft-Novell] deal in what we consider a more realistic light" than what was being said in the media. "It was immediately evident that the press favoured the words of a pair of companies which colluded against a non-commercial entity [the free software movement]. Their wealth alone established trust, so backlash came from isolated voices, but rarely from the mainstream press."

Describing himself as "an avid SUSE user for years," Schestowitz says he and Coyle are two of the community developers "hurt" by the deal. At first, Schestowitz says, he argued his view of the deal in openSUSE mailing lists, but finding his perspective was not being accepted, "I decided to share my understanding of the deal and shed light on the things which the press simply ignored." With this decision, Boycott Novell soon skyrocketed in popularity, and began its evolution into the center of controversy that it has become today.

more here




More in Tux Machines

Programming

Security News

  • Security advisories for Thursday
  • Please save GMane!
  • The End of Gmane?
    In 2002, I grew annoyed with not finding the obscure technical information I was looking for, so I started Gmane, the mailing list archive. All technical discussion took place on mailing lists those days, and archiving those were, at best, spotty and with horrible web interfaces. The past few weeks, the Gmane machines (and more importantly, the company I work for, who are graciously hosting the servers) have been the target of a number of distributed denial of service attacks. Our upstream have been good about helping us filter out the DDoS traffic, but it’s meant serious downtime where we’ve been completely off the Internet.
  • Pwnie Express makes IoT, Android security arsenal open source
    Pwnie Express has given the keys to software used to secure the Internet of Things (IoT) and Android software to the open-source community. The Internet of Things (IoT), the emergence of devices ranging from lighting to fridges and embedded systems which are connected to the web, has paved an avenue for cyberattackers to exploit.
  • The Software Supply Chain Is Bedeviled by Bad Open-Source Code [Ed: again, trace this back to FUD firms like Sonatype in this case]
    Open-source components play a key role in the software supply chain. By reducing the amount of code that development organizations need to write, open source enables companies to deliver software more efficiently — but not without significant risks, including defective and outdated components and security vulnerabilities.
  • Securing a Virtual World [Ed: paywall, undated (no year but reposted)]
  • Google tells Android's Linux kernel to toughen up and fight off those horrible hacker bullies
    In a blog post, Jeff Vander Stoep of the mobile operating system's security team said that in the next build of the OS, named Nougat, Google is going to be addressing two key areas of the Linux kernel that reside at the heart of most of the world's smartphones: memory protection and reducing areas available for attack by hackers.

today's howtos

Chew on this: Ubuntu Core Linux comes to the uCRobotics Bubblegum-96 board

Linux and other open source software have been in the news quite a bit lately. As more and more people are seeing, closed source is not the only way to make money. A company like Red Hat, for instance, is able to be profitable while focusing its business on open source. Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux-based operating systems, and it is not hard to see why. Not only is it easy to use and adaptable to much hardware (such as SoC boards), but there is a ton of free support online from the Ubuntu user community too. Today, Canonical announces a special Ubuntu Core image for the uCRobotics Bubblegum-96 board. Read more