Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Monday, November 7, 2011

  • Nov 07 / 2011
  • 6

Fight! Fight! and M$ is not Even Invited

Barnes and Noble’s Nook eReaders and Amazon’s Kindles are scrapping in the schoolyard and the bully, M$, is not involved.

Barnes and Noble Nook – Android/Linux and all kinds of features and models and prices for readers.

Amazon Kindle – Android/Linux and all kinds of features and models and prices for readers.

They have their own private price/feature/performance war and M$ is absolutely irrelevant. I love it. This is the way IT should be, full-on competition on price/performance. How many units do you expect they will sell by Christmas? Are they maxed out in production? We will have that in every aspect of IT sooner or later in spite of the monopoly.

  • Nov 07 / 2011
  • 17

M$ Tried to Sabotage DebConf 11

DebConf is the periodic meeting of people interested in contributing to Debian GNU/Linux.

This year DebConf was in Banja Luka, Bosnia/Herzegovina. The head organizer, Adnan Hodzic, had some very interesting comments in the aftermath, among them, this:
“I could write a whole novel about this, but to keep it as short as possible, for last two years as a side project I was working on an idea of Government or some of its institutions migrating to Linux. At first I was somewhat loud about it, then after Microsoft heard about it and after they tried stopping the idea by trying to scare me by trying to interfere with my private life; as that didn’t work its lobbyist came even near of obstructing the whole conference within the Government. For the sake of the conference, I convinced the Government that by supporting DebConf it doesn’t mean they need to move to Linux and publicly stopped talking about it. I also convinced them that our only goal was to have successful conference and promote alternative options and open ideas. I wasn’t lying as I saw this as new opportunity of them concluding on their own why they should or shouldn’t not move, the better conference was the more chances of success we had.

That’s why I tried pushing as many representatives from various companies as in this case we would use reverse psychology where basically no one or few know what Linux or Debian for that matter is, but everybody knows who Google is, so if you have participants from i.e: Google or Austrian E-Health care system talking about how they are using your technology is better way to explain what’s it all about really. Eventually Microsoft even had their first ever conference in Bosnia/Herzegovina and you wanna take a wild guess where it was held? :-)”

So, how scared is M$ that they bother to hold a conference to distract from a conference by a bunch of developers for Debian GNU/Linux, one of the least “commercial” distros you will ever find? Maybe it was the grandiose announcement put out by the government:
“Republika Srpska hosts Linux World Conference
Banja Luka, capital of the Republika Srpska, will host the Linux World Conference “DebConf11″ from 24 to 30 July. The most eminent experts from all over the world who develop open source Linux operating system for personal computers will take part in the Conference. Mr. Mark Shuttleworth, a Linux titan, one of the developers of the Debian operating system and the founder of Ubuntu along with the other famous people from the global companies such as Google, HP and Intel will be present. Banja Luka will certainly be the center of the world in this field during these days.”

Well, it’s all good. Adnan Hpdzic and Mark Shuttleworth went to chat with the President anyway.

  • Nov 07 / 2011
  • 34

Netherlands Education Abjectly Submits to M$

In 1944/1945 my father risked his life to liberate The Netherlands from tyranny and now the Ministry of Education has submitted the school system to another tyranny, M$’s lock-in, without a fight. The Netherlands has been very friendly to FLOSS. Why this turnabout? Has EDGI been at work?

Here’s the problem on the front lines:
” When a school deploys Magister students are required to go online and use Magister via their browser. For them the tool is web-based. Till 2008 there where no issues, but in 2008 Schoolmaster, the company behind Magister, partnered with Microsoft and Siverlight was chosen as the tool of choice. Since Magister 5.x problems have been mounting for students using other browsers than Internet Explorer or another operating system than Windows. Microsoft and Schoolmaster state that Magister is truly multiplatform because Silverlight is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Well, as most Linux fans and users know, there is an open source implementation for Silverlight. It’s called Moonlight and to call it a crappy implementation would be giving it too much credit. Students using Moonlight can’t get Silverlight to work.”

Let’s hope the politicians get a good kick in their rear ends and change the status quo. The Netherlands does not owe M$ a living and should not submit its students to indoctrination by M$ through the back door of a service provider. We have seen this tactic before. Some higher-up negotiates lock-in with some supplier, pays huge amounts of taxpayers’ money and the service is provided to schools for $0. Essentially government is subsidizing M$ and non-free software. They should make Free Software the default, save the taxpayers’ money and invest in something productive for society.

  • Nov 07 / 2011
  • 9

Android/Linux 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich Misses Christmas

It looks like ICS will miss Christmas and arrive early in 2012 according to HTC. I am a bit disappointed but these things take time. What’s Samsung doing? M$ takes years to release something new, FLOSS does it in one and manufacturers take some time to customize it. HTC will be updating some smart phones in the wild. It’s all good. It’s probably a year ahead of “8″ and much of the world ignores Christmas.

UPDATE Some ICS may be out for Christmas. ASUS has delayed one model to make the change. Google’s Schmidt is also going to visit Taiwan to reassure nervous manufacturers about Android.

  • Nov 07 / 2011
  • 0

Apple Banned in Germany!

I took literary licence on the title, but it is about time Apple had its knuckles rapped in court. Apple has had a free ride on the issue of patents so far, IMHO. Now, Motorola laid a complaint against Apple and Apple failed to show in court, resulting in a default judgment in favour of Motorola. Amazing. Steve Jobs would be spinning in his grave…

Nothing has been decided on the merits but it is light at the end of the dark tunnel of Apple’s victories. This is Mutual Assured Destruction as a Mexican standoff. Surely the courts will impose some sanity eventually. Do patents, which are supposed to encourage innovation, now mean the end to international trade in technology? We have seen the effects of monopoly but do we even have a word for this paralysis? It’s so childish. We don’t want to play with each other so we all go home…