Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Friday, August 12, 2011

  • Aug 12 / 2011
  • 17

Netscape Must Be Spinning In Its Grave

Remember the browser wars when M$ crushed Netscape by all means fair and foul because the Netscape web browser brought us Javascript which M$ saw as a threat to the monopoly?

Google is beta-testing a native client that can run C in Chrome. This means web applications will be able to run on the client natively, several times faster than Javascript…

This changes everything:

  • better-performing web applications,
  • a new API, totally familiar to millions of developers,
  • less need for native applications on the client,
  • less need for that other OS if applications essentially can be ported to whatever OS is under the browser as long as the C-code will run on the hardware, and
  • possible new ways for malware to operate…

If the ghost of Netscape is not disturbed the decaying carcass of M$ certainly will be. This eliminates one of the last lock-ins by M$, the applications barrier to entry. The Chrome web browser on any x86 version of any OS will be able to run native C-coded web applications.

Imagine a business flush with C-developers. They may be able to carve up their native client applications and move them to the web server much more quickly than they could do a complete rewrite. They can then run the browser on terminal severs or thin clients and not be held back from saving much of the cost of acquiring and operating an IT system. This approach will potentially save the performance hit of running Java, Javascript or PHP on the servers. As much as I hate C, that language is very popular and could be more important than Android/Linux in breaking the desktop monopoly.

  • Aug 12 / 2011
  • 4

Tightening the Noose Around Tripoli

Rebels are on the outskirts of Az Zawiya and residents of Tripoli are getting out as best they can. Food and fuel are short in Tripoli.

View Larger Map

In the blog entry below one sees families fleeing Tripoli and a police car captured at Az Zawiya. If the rebels can capture Az Zawiya, they can close down supply-routes from Tunisia to the west. Az Zawiya does not support Gaddafi and was in open revolt for months early on. Now, its relief is in sight. That should put a chill on Gaddafi’s supporters. Rebels have advanced in a week more than they advanced in months previously. Let us hope the end is near to save lives.
see Aljazeera

  • Aug 12 / 2011
  • 36

Laugh or Cry – There’s Something for Everyone in IT in This One

Sometimes true stories are stranger than fiction. Sometimes they make you laugh and sometimes they make you cry. This one is too strange to make up. It would hurt your head.

Recent themes on these pages have been about migrating hordes of users of XP to something better whether GNU/Linux, Android/Linux or that other OS. There are all kinds of views, data and attitudes.

Here’s the strange one. The city of Munich, which has migrated all of its desktop applications to FLOSS and which is in the process of migrating 80% of its desktop operating systems to GNU/Linux, has decided to migrate all of its PCs in education to … XP!

I am not making this up. They use so many “educational” apps that they feel are must-have that they cannot escape that other OS and they are running a horror-movie of apps from earlier versions of that other OS… that they feel they have no choice. In my last decade of work in education I have only seen one place stuck with NT and a few with Lose 2000. To find in 2011 a place “upgrading” to XP is unbelievable.

I expect they will have a ton of trouble and expense migrating that lot to XP let alone “7″ and that GNU/Linux would have been simpler.

Lovers of that other OS must be horrified that more users will be locked into XP. Lovers of FLOSS must be in tears that such colossal ignorance exists in an educational system, in Germany, a country wallowing in FLOSS.

Additionally I am flabbergasted that the expense of migration to XP will likely be repeated in 2014 with even larger expenses and sacrifice of applications or expenses to buy new versions.

Read it and weep/laugh: Munich school network to be migrated to Windows XP. It’s not out of the cache or wayback machine. This is real. It’s happening this year and the migration will be completed in 2012.

UPDATE After digging (in German) via Google, I was able to find little about what is going on. It seems education is the responsibility of the State of Bavaria in the German federation. The State of Bavaria has just discovered the joys of centralized procurement of software and M$ is their sole supplier…
Press release 271/2011
Pschierer: trial by fire for procurement and sourcing software existed!

“Launched in February of this year for the productive use of shared procurement and purchasing software at the National Tax Office its test has completed successfully!” Enthused Financial Secretary Franz Josef Pschierer, IT representative of the Bavarian State Government, on Thursday (28.7.) In Munich. After invitation of the central ICT procurement of desktop systems has now also the tender to one trading partner Microsoft realized through the award application. The entire tender procedure was adopted by the 10th publication of the notice June 2011 up to the award at the 25th June 2011 exclusively handled electronically. Because of the bidders only electronic bids were submitted, could also be the evaluation of tenders via the module conducted paperless. “We can already two weeks after the end of the offer period to award the contract – after the previous procedure, we had to plan for up to six weeks.” Enthused Pschierer The framework agreement has been signed a contract worth an estimated approximately 12 million €. With that identified in the tender, a trading partner agreement with a term until 30 September 2013 closed. On the basis of a renewal option of the contract may be renewed twice, each for one year”

see lock-in defined.

So, the little project for education may cost next to nothing but it is part of a sweet deal with M$ for 12 million €. That can explain any strangeness.

  • Aug 12 / 2011
  • 36


When I read the title, Top 10 Things Linux Users Don’t Understand, I was thinking it was another attack-piece putting down GNU/Linux, users, etc. You know, the “technological evangelism” of that other OS. I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a piece about things users of GNU/Linux really don’t understand. My favourite is “Why everybody isn’t running Linux.” I really don’t understand that. Given the choice of GNU/Linux over re-re-reboots, the Wintel treadmill, malware, etc., why isn’t everybody running GNU/Linux?

Thank you, Christing Hall.

see Top 10 Things Linux Users Don’t Understand

  • Aug 12 / 2011
  • 5


Google is a great company. They developed a product with high demand and a model of doing business that was original and ridiculed by many and succeeded. They were one of the few .com businesses that used the web and FLOSS and grew a huge business. Genius.

Along comes Andrew Orlowski, whose chief claim to fame is ridiculing others’ good works, and accuses:

  • “Google’s singular innovation has been its business model for paid search advertising”
  • “Android has turned out to be a barren ground for OEMs.”
  • “It can’t get innovation from its brilliant engineers out to the market, and so copies, and copies, and copies. Companies that copy, and copy, and copy tend to run into IP issues.”

Hasn’t this idiot heard of Android/Linux knocking off iPhone and soon displacing iPad? Where has he been, living under a rock? Hasn’t he heard that OEMs love getting $billions worth of software for nothing? Google has vision that this guy seriously lacks.

The IP problems he sees Google have are vapours:

  • Oracle has lost a bunch of its “patents” already over this (720, etc.) and has no copyright play whatsover. Dalvik is not a Java VM and even if it were, SUN agreed to it. Because Oracle would not, Google went with Dalvik and made it work beautifully. Oracle has only 11% of its patent claims not subject to review by USPTO. USPTO has already rejected 27% of the claims (90% of those already re-examined)
  • Apple has sued OEMs and Google is helping out. Apple is losing seriously in this case. People love their gadgets and Apple will be hated passionately if Android/Linux is restrained for long.
  • Apple’s latest gambit is very weak, claiming the design of the clay tablet which the Greeks invented millenia ago. Samsung was not even notified of the application for injunction let alone invited to make a presentation. They will blow that fluffy “design patent” out of court and if Apple is not careful, Apple will pay huge money as a result.

The “IP trouble” is all Orlowski’s delusion. People who innovate and take risks are always criticized by do-nothings.