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Neelie Kroes (EU Commissioner): 'Openness at the heart of the EU Digital Agenda'

  • European Union portal website; By Neelie Kroes (Posted by hkwint on Jun 16, 2010 9:56 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story

Exactly two years ago I spoke about interoperability and standards here in Brussels.
Here is a brief overview:

  • Interoperability boosts competition and we need more of that.
  • For devices or applications to be interoperable - to work together - all concerned parties must agree to a common way of "doing things".
  • Formal standards are one way to get there.
  • More transparency in formal standard-setting can lead to more efficient outcomes.
  • Public and private procurers of technology should be smart and build their systems as much as possible on standards that everybody can use and implement without constraints: this is good for the bottom-line because it promotes competition between suppliers and prevents vendor lock-in.

In other words, as I said on that occasion: choosing open standards is a very smart business decision. That speech brought a general perspective to my work on competition policy.
Today I must apply that thinking in a more direct way, as the person who has proposed the Digital Agenda for Europe. Even though the whole Commission is responsible for its implementation I expect interested parties to mostly turn to me to demand progress – and rightly so.
Therefore let me explain what I have in mind when it comes to the topics of interoperability and standards.

FOSS-tablet Business Report: "Tear down this stair!"

LXer Feature: 08-Jun-2010

Even though all ingredients for a successful Linux tablet were ready, and the distributed software development used by FOSS is normally much quicker in replying to demands than a closed environment, Apple is already satisfying the tablet-PC market with their iPad. A viable FOSS-solution is not yet available, though Computex will ameliorate the situation.

This 'report' - provided for free to you by LXer Linux News - will show how Apple became the leader and what the competition needs to do to have a shot at all consumers who didn't buy a tablet yet. As an extra, at the end of the article, there's an explanation of why 'competition of standards' fails, harms society and screws customers.

Microsoft Cancels Innovative Courier Tablet Project

According to sources familiar with the matter, Microsoft has cancelled Courier, the folding, two-screen prototype tablet that was first uncovered by Gizmodo.

[ I'm wetting my pants ROFLing, this is the second Microsoft tablet cancelled in one day! - hkwint ]

Hewlett-Packard To Kill Windows 7 Tablet Project

The device was first unveiled by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at CES 2010 in January and was supposed to hit the market in mid 2010. But our source tells us that HP is not satisfied with Windows 7 as a tablet operating system and has terminated the project.

[ Interesting: I've been preaching desktop-Windows and Intel x86 are not suited for tablets, smartbooks and smartphones for some months now. I've even called the JooJoo, WePad and Slate 'the Epic Fail of the decade'. Would I qualify as a TechAnalyst now? - hkwint ]

Install Multiple 'Bleeding Edge' Firefox Versions in Linux

LXer Feature: 24-Mar-2010

Whether you want to run the newest and safest version of Firefox or you want to test a new Alpha, it might happen the package manager of your Linux distribution doesn't include the version you want. In this article we'll look at ways to install the newest version beyond the package manager, and even better: Running multiple Firefox versions on the same system - even at the same time!

Eric Schmidt confirms Android (Marketplace?) for Tablets

  •; By Nicholas Charbonnier (Posted by hkwint on Mar 20, 2010 11:04 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: Linux
Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, recently spoke about large screen Android Tablets at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit keynote (at timecode 10 minutes and 39 seconds). It’s a nice way of Eric Schmidt to indirectly confirm that Google is definitely going to support the development of Android based Tablets as alternatives on the market to the upcoming iPad.

Introducing the enTourage eDGe™ (hybrid Android eBook / Tablet)

The enTourage eDGe™ is the world’s first dualbook, combining the functions of an e-reader, netbook, notepad, and audio/video recorder and player in one. It’s a comprehensive device that lets you read e-books, surf the Internet, take digital notes, send emails and instant messages, watch movies and listen to music anywhere, at any time. This is nothing you've ever seen before! Get books wirelessly, move files onto your enTourage eDGe™ using an SD card or a USB flash drive. Use the mini-USB port to move files back and forth from a Windows, Mac, or Linux-based PC. And with a netbook built in, you can forget the limitations of other e-readers, the enTourage eDGe™ does it all!

Marvell announces $99 Moby Tablet to Revolutionize Education

  •; By Nicholas Charbonnier (Posted by hkwint on Mar 20, 2010 1:09 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: Linux
According to this press release, Marvell is announcing the $99 Moby Tablet for Education. You’ve seen my video of Marvell’s 4.3? Tablet prototype shown at CES based on the Marvell Armada 600 processor. The Moby tablet is based on the same Armada 600 platform but comes with a larger screen (probably 10?). Marvell’s Moby Tablet may be the first prototype of the OLPC XO 3.0.

Linux alternatives for the iPad - and the future of netbooks, tablets and smartbooks

LXer Feature: 19-Mar-2010

Apart from Apple, some other companies are bringing some interesting tablets. In contrary to the iTab, those other tablets do run Linux. Some are already available, such as the TouchBook from Always Innovating (AI), and some have supposedly better screens, like the Notion Ink Adam tablet. From the info available from Sola's blog on the Notion Ink tablet, from the Wikipedia-info on the iPad and AI Touchbook and from the website of the AI touchbook I made a feature table so you can compare features. Apart from that, let's take a look at the future: What technologies are coming to this market?

LXer@FOSDEM 2010: Anyone else going?

LXer Feature: 05-Feb-2010

Tonight FOSDEM 2010 starts with the beer event, and tomorrow the main conference starts. It's held again at the University 'ULB' in Brussels south-east (near the embassies) in Belgium.

Just like last year, LXer will be there. I will try to go both days to cover some talks for you. The schedule promises some interesting talks like that of Greg Koah Hartman, another talk about the RepRap 'cheap' 3D printer that prints its own parts. There's also a Mozilla-room, a distro-room, an embedded room. a KDE and a Gnome room, the Drupal room, the 20-minute Lightning talks which could be about anything and many more.

Thoughts on Youtube 'abandoning' Firefox and Opera

LXer Feature: 23-Jan-2010

A new test version of Youtube offers HTML 5 video support, meaning watching videos without Adobe Flash, but only when browsing with Chrome or Safari. While this might seem strange at first, and might sound like Google is abandoning its Firefox users, things are a little bit more complicated.

YouTube, Vimeo Ditching Flash for HTML5

  • Tom's Guide; By Kevin Parrish (Posted by hkwint on Jan 23, 2010 6:34 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
YouTube and Vimeo is kicking Adobe's Flash to the curb in favor of the sharp new HTML5. Both YouTube and Vimeo have announced that they are launching HTML5-based players on their video streaming sites, thus booting out the long-standing champ of multimedia delivery, Adobe Flash. With recent security issues plaguing Adobe products, it's no surprise that media giants such as YouTube are jumping ship. What makes HTML5 special is that the new Web standard doesn't require Adobe's software to stream content to viewers.

(FR) IE market share drops below 60% in EU, Chrome gains

(English summary by hkwint:)

Quick stats for period between July / Dec '09:
IE loses the most in Ireland (7%), Greece, UK and the Czech Republic.
FF still around 30%, Chrome from 2 to 4%, Opera stable at ~2%, Safari from 4 to 5%.
Follow the link 'Full story' to see the full report.

English translation of the entire article will probably follow later.

iPhone & HTML5 bring "streaming Silverlight content" to Linux

LXer Feature: 26-Nov-2009

Here's a quick blog, because I'm really in hurry, so please forgive any mistakes.

Microsoft worked together with Apple to bring Silverlight video to the iPhone. What this solution basically does is take a video at the server side, cut it in parts and convert the parts to separate H.264 streams. Then stream those files to end users with IIS Media services. These have .ts extensions, a format mplayer understands.

DK: Rødovre municipality: OpenOffice will be cheaper to maintain

"OpenOffice will be cheaper to maintain and will run better than Microsoft's proprietary alternative", expects Lars Roark, IT manager at the Danish municipality of Rødovre, according to reports in Danish media.

According to Business DK, the Rødovre municipality has kept its move to OpenOffice under wraps, fearing criticism from Microsoft. According to the news site, the company is trying to get fired a colleague of Roark in the municipality Lyngby-Taarbaek, Jens Kjellerup.

FR: Internet Explorer sérieusement bousculé par ses concurrents en Europe

Malgré la sortie de sa version 8 en mars dernier, Internet Explorer n’a pas renversé la tendance du marché des navigateurs en Europe, bien au contraire. Le navigateur leader continue de céder du terrain à ses concurrents et se fait même devancer par Mozilla dans certains pays…

[Quick & dirty translation: IE8 didn't reverse the tendency of the decrease of Market Share of IE in the EU. In the contrary, the market leader is still losing ground, and is even surpassed by Firefox in certain countries (SK/HU that would be - hk). - Translation ends. If you don't read French, just look at the tables, they speak for themselves. An English translation is normally released about one month after the French article - hkwint]

Ubuntu "Stick" Blues - or USB for short


LXer Feature: 29-Oct-2009

There could be several reasons why your PC doesn't have a CD-ROM. For example, the next scenario:

  • 1) You damaged the mobo fan while hoovering dust,
  • 2) The new fan you bought featured adhesive tape which didn't last at 60 degrees (C), and an iron cord didn't fix it, causing the fan to fall of,
  • 3) The northbridge burned,
  • 4) The new 'green' AMD780G mobo you bought could not facilitate both your CD-ROM and IDE drives,
  • 5) Given your IDE drives were part of a RAID array, you decided not to connect your CD-ROM drives.

OK, your reasons will probably be different, but these are mine. "Not a problem" I thought. "After all, it's 2009. Who needs CD-ROMs anyway?" The answer is: Mandriva, Gentoo, Tinycore and even Windows 7 don't, but Debian derived stuff does. It makes your life really hard, while Ubuntu is meant to make your life as a human being simple.

FR: 130,000 PCs at tax authority to get open source email client

All 130,000 desktop PCs at the Directorate General of Public Finance (DGPF) in Paris are to be switched to using the open source Mozilla Thunderbird email client, its Lightning calendar and the open source groupware application OBM, the French IT news site reports, citing a source familiar with the project.

Autodesk cannot stop you re-selling your copy

  • iTWire - Information Technology News; By David Heath (Posted by hkwint on Oct 4, 2009 11:02 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
In the past few days, a US Judge has agreed that the First Sale Doctrine applies (specifically) to Autodesk’s software...

[ Note: The article is not about FOSS, but about DMCA abuse by AD - hkwint ]

Enabling Open Core

For VA VistA we have a conundrum, the originator of the code, the US government, has left the code basically licenseless. I believe this means that the choice if preferred license should be up to the most substantial third-party developers. I believe that the most substantial way to make VistA better is to make contributions that make further development easier. MUMPS is a great language but it makes VA VistA inaccessible to most programmers.

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