Microsoft is reportedly paying billions of dollars (negative pricing) for unfair competition against Free (as in freedom) software that it is extorting using patents to induce fees
At that time, the last thing we worried about was spending a couple of hundred dollars on software. I probably had $200 in the spare change jar in the library. We lived in a big house, with a comfortable six figure income. Life was good. A purchase like this wasn’t anything to worry about. It wasn’t the cash outlay that bothered me. It was the fact that a public school was requesting we purchase a specific brand of software.
Having been a Linux user for a number of years, I knew there were other options and I made it a point to talk with someone at the school. How many people with minimal incomes were being asked to shell out this kind of money when other options were available? How many of our tax dollars were being spent on software that was completely unnecessary?
I am no stranger to the Austin Independent School District. Unfortunately, my claim to fame and the events that led to said infamy are well known. It’s a shame that it had to happen the way it did but again…split second decisions and all that…
Earlier this week, Microsoft revealed that it had been going into users computers and removing outdated Tor clients. At first glance, this might seem like a crazed, misplaced attack on the Tor network, not unlike a campaign by a certain Irish politician, but the issue runs deeper than first thought.
1984 is Here: Microsoft Remotely Deletes Free/Open Source Software From Windows, Sells Malware Under Pretense of ‘Openness’ (Newspeak)Submitted by Roy Schestowitz on Sat, 18/01/2014 - 4:50pm Filed under
Microsoft is not about openness. It makes and maintained (with new back doors) insecure-by-design software for the NSA. This includes Skype. Watch the new article titled “Skype ready to share users’ data with Russian police” .
It's also another data point that suggests 2014 could be a big year for virtual reality. Developers have put out games and demos that operate in virtual reality since the release of the Oculus Rift development kit, but there are few tools available to launch each game without taking off the headset and interacting with a standard screen. User interface, the place you spend your time between games, is an unsolved problem.
In late December, rumors were going around to the effect that PCs running both Android and Windows would debut at the Consumer Electronics Show, as I covered in a post. Actually, OStatic covered the basic concept of Android being married with other platforms at the very beginning of last year, in a post called "Should Microsoft Embrace Both Android and Firefox OS?"
Once upon a time there was a browser called Netscape…
Back in the days before the release of Windows 95, just as the public was discovering the Internet as an alternative to private networks such as Prodigy and CompuServe, Netscape was the bomb. In those days, Microsoft didn’t supply any method for surfing the Internet, so people visited their local Egghead store, or other software outlets, to buy a shrink wrapped version of Netscape on floppy disks, which opened up a whole new world to computer users.
Linux's open source price tag may be attractive, and there are other benefits besides cost. For a start, Linux is less of a resource hog than other platforms, and it works well on older hardware, especially compared to Windows.
Linux is also highly customizable, and users can choose from a multitude of desktop environments, such as KDE and GNOME. Going down the Linux route is however likely to involve a steep learning curve for non-techie users, who'll also have to sort out apps and drivers for legacy peripherals (or replace them with Linux-compatible equivalents).
Then there's support. It may be a non-issue if you manage to find replacement apps and drivers for peripherals. This said, almost that everything you're ever likely to need to know about whatever flavour of Linux you decide on can be found online, but once again isn't a terribly user friendly experience for Linux novices.
Another alternative is Chrome OS. Developed by Google, Chrome OS is web-centric operating system, which means that the browser becomes the operating system. Because of this there's far fewer security issues than with Windows as Chrome OS doesn't run locally installed software so there's little to exploit.
Early sales figures were far more than disappointing for the folks at Redmond. So disappointing in fact, that the company made public at least some intentions of making amends to their customers.
Despite being strong advocates of competition, European institutions are bound to the US software giant through murky contracts. Any transition to "open source" software, which in theory they encourage, would be too complicated and too expensive, they claim. Excerpts.
This is the main reason why Windows barely gets a look-in in today's cloud world. When I ask FOSS devops-type colleagues about it, their responses range from incredulity to hilarity. Why on Earth would they want to deploy on Windows? What possible advantage would it give them? These guys wield Puppet and Chef to deploy vast swarms of headless virtual Linux systems. Microsoft and proprietary software doesn't feature in their world; some weirdos run Mac laptops but that's about it.
While Microsoft is expected to appeal this decision, it will be months before it appears in front of the next court. In the meantime, one of Microsoft main Android patent weapons has been rendered harmless for now in the EU.
The Free Software Foundation on Thursday attacked Microsoft for "meaningless" public statements on privacy and security, claiming that Windows is "fundamentally insecure."
If this is true at all (and evidence is still absent), then this is extortion and we need to bring it to light in order for legal procedures to follow. Some company needs to leak out information, potentially breaking an NDA. That’s how Edward Snowden helped hold the NSA and GCHQ accountable.
Microsoft’s offensive and facts-free campaigns still target products which run GNU/Linux, even if the “G” and “L” words are not mentioned (Chromebooks/Google are the target now)
The dirty secret IBM, Microsoft, and other self-proclaimed advocates of patent reform don't want you to know is that they are trolls, too. They have large and highly profitable business units using exactly the same tactics as the patent trolls they hate. The reason they hate the trolls is not because of what they do -- after all, IBM and Microsoft were the pioneers of treating patent portfolios as profit centers rather than cost centers. No, the reason they hate the trolls is because the trolls attack them with the weapons they themselves perfected.
Also from Phipps (OSI President): 4 ways open source protects you against software patents
K. Y. Srinivasan: From Serving Microsoft’s Agenda Inside Novell to Helping Microsoft Infiltrate and Control LinuxSubmitted by Roy Schestowitz on Sat, 23/11/2013 - 8:15pm Filed under
So in other words, it is about taxing and controlling (and spying on) GNU/Linux by making Microsoft its seller. It is also about running GNU/Linux merely as a guest on Windows hosts, using proprietary software of course.
As previously reported, AOL plans to shut down Winamp after serving music lovers for around 16 years. The company didn’t state why the long-time service and app will be discontinued, only reporting that Winamp will no longer be available past December 20, 2013. We can’t even use it through the holidays.
Now there’s a petition to keep Winamp alive by making the client open source. "Winamp is the best media player ever built. If there were other alternatives that would be fine. But there is nothing that can do what Winamp can do. It is the most versatile media player on earth," the petition reads.