LXer Features

Microsoft Pushing the Platform
By Gary Edwards, Open Document Foundation - Jan 14, 2006



In response to The Boston Globe In Agony Over Peter Quinn?, Gary writes: Big media is corrupt and long ago lost the trust of their readership... Where's the Department of Justice? Or how about Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly? Talk about being asleep at the switch! And it's not just the reprehensible array of intimidation, FUD, and outrageous corruption of democratic processes to further their own business needs that should cause us all to shout loudly that Microsoft be immediately hauled back in the docket.
The Butterfly Effect Part II: Inside the Chinese Firewall
By Charles Spencer - Jan 14, 2006
This is the second part of my series on the Internet in China. I recently returned from a year teaching at a Chinese University. During my time in China, I had the pleasure of getting to know the state of the Internet in China, both directly and indirectly, through my own use of the Internet and the classes. In my last article, The Butterfly Effect: Microsoft, Security, and the Developing World, I dealt with the effect of pirated software and security and its impact on development. In this article, I would like to cover my experience of the Chinese Firewall from the inside and the way we contribute to censorship in China.
It's Microsoft Tax time again.
By Sal Paradise - Jan 14, 2006
It's nearly time folks, are you excited? That's right, the "new" version of Windows is almost upon us and down at Redmond the coffers are being readied. Microsoft are getting ready to collect another pile of money from your children, your governments, your hospitals and your paycheck.
Microsoft Getting Closer to the Fire
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006
A dispute that has kept the House Ethics Committee from considering Majority Leader Tom DeLay's activities may have ramifications for Microsoft. When one begins to untangle the remarkable political organization created by Microsoft and lobbyists Preston, Gates Ellis et al, you find some uncanny coincidences.
Does the DoJ Use Microsoft as a Shill Against Linux?
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006


Have fears of a resurgence of communism led the DoJ to suspect GNU/Linux communities of having anti-capitalistic agendas? If so, have they allowed Microsoft to engage in anti-trust to stop Free Software?


Is Microsoft Buying Anti-Virus Companies to Undermine Linux? You Decide
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006
By Quashing Linux Anti-Virus Software Support, has Microsoft Taken to Tactics in Restraint of Trade?
Did Bill Gates Invent Linux and Has He Erased the Evidence?
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006
Someone has started rearranging content on the Internet to suit their own purposes and the culprit might be a convicted monopolist. This article examines some compelling evidence and asks Congress to investigate.
A Year Without (MS) Windows: Completing the Conversion of a Windows User
By DC Parris - Jan 12, 2006
  Many people aspire to run a pure GNU/Linux environment, but often complain that some device or program is stopping them. LXer's Don Parris shares his transition from a pure Windows environment to a pure GNU/Linux environment, and how he has fared over the past year. Does he see a need to go back to dual-booting?
Following Bill Gates' Linux Attack Money
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006
Recently, we witnessed the power of Microsoft's political machine when one of the champions of free and open source software, Peter Quinn resigned as CIO of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In my opinion, Microsoft just blinked and everything went south. Other writers have also commented on the chain of events in Massachusetts. For example, Andy Undegrove writes a farewell piece in his blog to the maligned public servant. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols also writes an article about this issue in Microsoft Wins, Open Standards Lose. Steven writes: "CIO Peter Quinn's story tells us that if you go up against Microsoft, you can expect everything and the kitchen sink to be thrown at you."

Well Steven, as much respect and admiration as I have for you, Microsoft didn't even breathe hard. They looked in the direction of bean town and people started doing their bidding. That's what happens when you own a country.

One of the top stories of the year at LXer warned mightily of Microsoft's capabilities. So, I brought it back out and rewrote it. It you don't get it this time, you never will.

Anyone doubting the power of Microsoft, should consider what we said at the end of June 2005. We've also added the preceding article to this text - and made some changes. But the documents we uncovered are still in place. The people within Microsoft's grasp politically are still listed. This isn't a story you scan. This is one you read.

The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That in its essence, is Fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any controlling private power.
What if the Microsoft trial was rigged?
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006


We're reviewing evidence, which with collaboration could demonstrate that Microsoft went around the legal system to influence the courts, that Linux was used as a straw man and our esteemed leadership not only knows it but fixed it. Keep in mind, all of this exists in theory. No proof exists and people who subscribe to the belief that these situations are true have nothing on which to rest but a conspiracy theory. In fact, no collaboration has ever come forth.
Microsoft and Abramoff: Influence in an Anti-Trust Outcome?
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 12, 2006


[Ed note: This article went into embargo right after publication. We brought it back after finding new evidentary material on which we will report soon.]

As a news organization, we first reported back in June that we had suspicions that ties existed between Jack Abramoff and Microsoft. Our initial report tied together research when the Washington Post disclosed that Preston Gates had paid an invoice for a trip made by Tom DeLay to play gold in Scotland. (Sorry that's a Freudian slip. I meant golf.)


Abramoff's guilty plea of last week helps us make our case and allows us to demonstrate our suspicions regarding Microsoft's ties to the Bush administration. The guilty plea also allows us to question whether Microsoft received favorable treatment by the Bush Justice department by paying Abramoff and his aides and partners, starting with Ralph Reed.

Our main concern deals with whether or not our government can use Microsoft's status as a monopoly and possible ties to a slew of politicians to stop its global attack on Linux.
Leaked memo from Intel shows Major Linux Effort
By Tom Adelstein, Carla Schroder - Jan 11, 2006
LXer received a document from a source with the message "I read your article on linuxJournel about countries growing use of Linux. The attached article was posted in Intel's intranet site." It reveals that Intel expects to sell hundreds of millions of Linux-based computers in rural China. If Intel can sell a Linux computer in rural China, why can't they do the same thing in the United States?

Is it such a risk? Look at IBM in the US, they have committed to Linux with facilities, staff, sponsorships of projects. Was the risk so great for IBM? Obviously not. So, Intel, put up!

[Ed: Original published in November and updated in light of new reports. -tadelste]
Time to Cull Proprietary Software from Open Source Branding
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 08, 2006


For all the good the Open Source concept has done, perhaps we need to start thinking about more restrictive terms. I just rejected an article from IT Week that demonstrated the depths to which people will go to get on the train. The writer seemed to praise Microsoft's UNIX Services as a step toward killing Linux by bridging the gap.

That's why I believe it's time for a culling as GNU/Linux and the Open Source Craze draws proprietary companies to take on the brand.
Time to Bar Windows From the Enterprise
By DC Parris - Jan 07, 2006
  LXer Feature: 5-Jan-06

LXer editor, Don Parris, responds to Scott Bekker's article, Seven Reasons Not To Bar Windows From the Enterprise". Bekker's article considers a general mistrust of Microsoft, along with more "practical" (read technical) reasons why Microsoft has not earned a spot in the enterprise workplace. If you're an enterprise customer, there is one solid reason to bar Windows, Office, and Microsoft in general from your business.


Digg Story
Comment of the Day - January 5, 2006 - Fundamental Mistake in Article About Ubuntu
By SNF - Jan 07, 2006
SNF comments on Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols article: "First, the good news: although they go by different names, there's really no fundamental difference between the Ubuntu brothers. "

[ed: While Steven is one of our readers most popular newswire authors, he writes alot. In this case, I agree with SFN's comment. -tadelste]

Related to:
Reviewer finds Ubuntu good, but not good enough
Comment of the Day - January 3, 2006 -
By Fritz - Jan 07, 2006

Fritz writes: Here's my conspiracy theory of the day.

Microsoft writes insecure buggy code on purpose.

Related to:
Don't wait for Microsoft to fix WMF flaw
Basic Autotools
By Jason (Jay) R Fink - Jan 07, 2006
Setting up software for distribution can be a daunting task. Most of the the time, a well written makefile does the trick. Sometimes a little more is needed - or even expected. The GNU autotools for setting up a software distribution can help iron out some of the problems a programmer might run into.
Password-less Encrypted Connections with OpenSSH
By Jason (Jay) R Fink - Jan 07, 2006
Believe it or not a lot of users out there do not know how to set up password-less encrypted connections with OpenSSH.
Comment of the Day - January 4, 2006 - Why SCOX got another $10M
By number6x - Jan 07, 2006
number6x writes: Am I certain they are criminals? I believe so, and stated that it is my opinion. I believe that Ralph Yarro and others involved in the Canopy companies engaged in activities that will not stand up to investigation by authorities. But I guess that they are not technically criminals, until they are convicted. By law they are innocent until proven guilty.

Related to:
SCO out to kill SuSE
Slush Funds, Litigation for Linux Advocates
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 07, 2006


Opinion: Microsoft cannot afford to lose in their Office Productivity Suite and their influence in Government. Microsoft executives have always referred to Office as their cash cow. They cannot let the OpenDocument Format kill the goose laying the golden eggs.

Secondly, if any governments switch away from Microsoft products, Redmond would lose the lynch pin of its upgrade revenue. So, they just cannot allow someone else to become entrenched where they hold all the keys. They're playing an interesting game in these two areas which few understand.
iAudio Follow-Up: Using GNU/Linux to Make Video For iAudio
By DC Parris - Jan 07, 2006
  LXer Review: 28-Dec-05

Need to know how to make your video clips work on your iAudio? Check out iAudiophile!
Is The Boston Globe In Agony Over Peter Quinn?
By DC Parris - Jan 07, 2006
  LXer Feature: 2-Jan-06

LXer editor, Don Parris, responds to an article by Kathleen Parker regarding her editorial, "The Brutal Blogosphere".

Digg Story
Linux News Model Letter to People of Influence Supporting ODF
By Herschel Cohen - Jan 01, 2006
It is time to get the "True facts out, in contrast to the imagery and illusions that are dispensed ubiquitously by the behemoth of Redmond. If you can identify individuals open to rational argument that are not already bought off by the latter, please feel free to employ any part of the model letter: ideas, text, citations to make your points. This has now become a necessity to get some sort of rational balance between citizen rights and currently overwhelming corporate power.
Are You Replacing Windows with GNU/Linux?
By DC Parris - Jan 01, 2006
  LXer Encore Feature: 1-1-2006

LXer editor Don Parris takes a straw poll that he believes points to the fact that Windows is becoming more and more irrelevant. Read and weigh in!


Preventing DVD Playback on Linux Like Prohibition in the 1920's
By Tom Adelstein - Jan 01, 2006
LXer Day Desk: 11-27-2005

Prohibition of alcohol (1920-33) in the US failed. People thought it would reduce crime and corruption, solve social problems, reduce the tax burden created by prisons and ghettos, improve health and hygiene. It was a miserable failure on all counts. It affirms the economic theory, which predicts that prevention of mutually beneficial exchanges fails.


An Interview with Lawrence Rosen Open Source Lawyer - Part II
By Herschel Cohen - Jan 01, 2006
Lawrence Rosen publicly backed Microsoft's Open Office XML as sufficiently open to all parties to warrant its use as an open data format. It was because of this stance, I thought LXer readers would be interested to learn upon what basis he came to this decision and to learn if he has any doubts. This is the second part of the interview where he is pursued by a gang of three. It was an interesting battle, see the aftermath and let us know who won. Our hope it will be freedom for all.
LXer Feature: An Interview with Lawrence Rosen, Open Source Lawyer
By Herschel Cohen - Jan 01, 2006
Lawrence Rosen publicly backed Microsoft's Open Office XML as sufficiently open to all parties to warrant its use as an open data format. It was because of this stance, I thought LXer readers would be interested to learn upon what basis he came to this decision and to learn if he has any doubts. To say more would be unfair to the interviewee, hence, please read his responses. While the interview is short there is much to consider.
LXer Feature: Early results of the (Dutch) Windows refund survey
By Hans Kwint - Jan 01, 2006
 LXer feature

Sometimes as a Linux user, you wish you could buy any computer with Linux preinstalled, or if that's not possible, just without an operating system, but that's not the reality. If that isn't possible, is it possible to buy any computer with Windows pre-installed, and then, return the unused Windows, and ask a refund for it? That's a question many non-Windows users ask themselves. The answer however, isn't clear to consumers. There's only one way to find out: ask your hardware manufacturer. Or do they neither know the answer? Time to find out.


LXer Feature: Interview with Marten Mickos CEO of MySQL AB
By TxtEdMacs - Jan 01, 2006
In this interesting interview with Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL AB, TxtEdMacs finds the kind of information many people want to have but simply don't know how to ask.

For example, Marten says: "We are not competing with Oracle, because they are the kings of existing database applications. But when it comes to new development and new paradigms, that's where MySQL fits in".
Comic Book Hero? Busy Executive by Day and Linux Developer by Night
By H. Kwint - Dec 31, 2005
  LXer feature

Fabio Marzocca represents a new class of innovators in the twenty-first century. He's living proof that talented people can make a contribution to global technology even when the corporate maw would eat them up and spit them out. In what other era of human endeavor would such an individual be allowed to make a difference?

Fabio: Ubuntu developer, but also member of the Italian Ubuntu LoCoTeam, father of two children, and for his employment, dealing with company management and reorganizations.

LXer interviewed him, and asked him questions about his personal life, his view on Linux and Ubuntu in particular, and about two applications of which he is the developer and maintainer: the BUM graphical Boot-Up Manager, and the Baobab graphical disk-space viewer.

We invite you into his life to see what the future may bring.
LXer Feature: Welcoming Newcomers to Linux and FOSS, or, the Least You Can Do is Not Chase Noobs Away
By Carla Schroder - Dec 31, 2005
What is the future of Linux and Free Software? A rigid little cult that accept only the Right People? Or a community that truly practices "Free as in Freedom"?


Installing BibleTime on SUSE 10.0
By DC Parris - Dec 31, 2005
  LXer Tutorial

People of faith need a way to study the scriptures. BibleTime is a KDE-based application that is both mature and popular. Don Parris shepherds users through installing Sword and BibleTime from RPMs and source on SUSE Linux 10.0. If you think compiling a program from source code is akin to walking on water, just start walking and you'll see Don calm the geeky waters.
How Microsoft distorted the facts in the Vienna conclusions
By H. Kwint - Dec 31, 2005
  LXer Day Desk: 12-07-2005

Lately, many signs exist showing how Microsoft's monopoly power extends to government and media. We can add a new example to this list: The “Vienna conclusions”. It seems, their power even extends to distorting findings in official UN documents. The story contains all usual elements: Sponsorship, not willing to participate in public discussions, a conflict of interest of one of the members of the committee, and a Microsoft PR worker making a ridiculous statement. After that, of course, Microsoft denied most of it and ignored the rest.
LXer Feature: Christmas Linux-Style: Giving the Gift of Time
By Carla Schroder - Dec 31, 2005


Penguin values can turn the Christmas season into something worthwhile, instead of a stressful greed-fest that leaves you broke and exhausted.
Is MS Windows ready for the desktop?
By H. Kwint - Dec 29, 2005

  The last few years, there's been a lot of talk about this new Windows XP thing (to quote Bono at a 1984 concert: very, very too much talk!). What's all the buzz about, and how can you turn Windows XP to your advantage, if this is possible at all? Is MS Windows really that hard to install and manage, or is that story just the usual Red-Hat FUD? Your editor, though new to the whole Windows-movement, will try to figure this out for you today!


The RIAA - Hollywood - DRM - Linux Suicide Pact
By Carla Schroder - Dec 29, 2005
The entertainment industry has put itself on the fast-track to destruction, using well-proven tactics as explained in Preventing DVD Playback on Linux Like Prohibition in the 1920's. Are their heavy-handed tactics to lock up and control everything we touch signs of plain old human stubborness? Stupidity? Insanity? A bit of each? How else do you explain their inexplicable actions?
The iAudio U3 and GNU/Linux
By DC Parris - Dec 29, 2005
  LXer Review: 29-Dec-05

LXer editor, Don Parris, reviews the iAudio U3 he got for Christmas. If you've never heard of iAudio, it's about time you did.


Diggable
Buying a New Computer? Buyer be Aware.
By helios - Dec 29, 2005
All that glitters is not gold. Those way cheap prices you see on new computers are cheap for a reason. If you are considering a new computer in the near future, you might want to take a look at this.
Linux System Administration: The Next Step for Power Users
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Dec 28, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 12-28-2005

Personal growth occurs in many ways. Pushing yourself into a new endeavor is one of the most constructive ways to achieve such growth. So, why don't we see more of it? It's often easier to stay with what's comfortable. When you step out on the skinny branches, you put yourself at-risk and that's uncomfortable. Those who can handle the discomfort will find the experience rewarding.
Is Microsoft's XML Format About Openness or Control?
By DC Parris - Dec 28, 2005
  LXer Feature: 28-Dec-05

Is Microsoft's fight over XML document formats really about Microsoft becoming more "open"? Or is Microsoft really trying to control users? How will you respond?


Is Linux an Alternative or Does It Stand Alone?
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Dec 27, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 12-26-2005

Linux represents a computer technology designed from the bottom up rather than a copy cat. As long as people compare it to Windows, they cannot grasp its power and uniqueness. Simply put, Linux isn't Windows.
The Open Standards Monopoly Challenging Innovation in Redmond
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Dec 22, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 12-22-2005

In trying to portray the dirty tricks in which Microsoft seems engaged with regard to the Open Document Standard, I encountered difficulties articulating the problem. Each draft I wrote seemed like ranting. Even Gary Edwards of OASIS confessed that he had trouble writing about it because he felt he needed to lampoon Microsoft to get the point across. So, this article takes the point of view of a Redmond fanatic and praises Mr. Gates and his techniques for fighting in an open environment. The major points seem to emerge when you consider RFCs and IEEE standards the monopoly. I hope you enjoy it.
Microsoft Needs to Get The Facts Straight on OpenDocument
By DC Parris - Dec 19, 2005
  LXer Feature: encore January 1, 2006

LXer editor Don Parris says it's one thing for Microsoft to promote their own format in favor of OpenDocument, yet quite another to misrepresent the facts regarding OpenDocument's development.




Running Linux - Fifth Edition
By Tom Adelstein - Dec 17, 2005
O'Reilly & Associates greatly expanded the fifth edition of Running Linux. It reflects the maturity of the operating system and the wealth of software available for it. The book now covers consumer topics such as audio and video playback applications, groupware functionality, and spam filtering, along with the basics in configuration and management that always made this perhaps the most popular book for Linux.
Congress: Clear the Air and Stop Preloads
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Dec 17, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 12-16-2005

American consumers do not like living in the dark when it comes to products we buy. In that respect, we don't believe citizens of other countries do either. So, with consideration to the people who drive the US economy, we would like some straight answers to questions which should shine some light on an area of darkness with which we lived far too long.



1. Does the US Administration lobby on behalf of Microsoft and if so should it cease and desist from such activity?

2. We ask Congress to evaluate the administration's role with regard to Microsoft's monopoly.

3. We ask Congress and the President to prohibit Microsoft preloading agreements.

4. We ask for Congress to perform a comprehensive review of Microsoft's political activities including and starting with the House Ethics committee's failure to investigate the links between Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff, Preston Gates &Ellis and the BSA.

5. We request Congress to enact laws requiring Original Equipment Manufacturers to disclose their policies with regard to selling Microsoft products.

6. We ask for schedules of payments to and from Microsoft and OEMs be disclosed immediately to the public so we can ascertain the influence exerted on consumers buying computers and computer related products.

Comment of the Day - December 15, 2005 - Response to Possible Industry Regulation
By pendraco - Dec 15, 2005
pendraco writes: Read the article more closely -- for that matter, try staying abreast of what the media as a whole continues to say about Microsoft and their good buddies, the [U.S. Federal] government.

Related to:
Linux Technology not Stopping Microsoft

Digg Story
Superior Linux Technology not Stopping Microsoft - Time to Call Uncle Sam
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Dec 14, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 12-14-2005

Back when the Communists ran the Soviet Union, truth never reached the outside world. Within the big computer manufacturers, media relations people have gestapo like power. Want to keep your job? Never let them find you quoted in the newspaper, especially about Microsoft.

But today, the time has come for you to find out what lurks behind the corporate veil, particularly when it comes to the subject of Microsoft and Linux. President Bush open this gate! Mr. Bush, tear down this wall!

Related Article:
Congress: Clear the Air about Microsoft, Apple and Linux
How Tech Education Can Help Your Congregation
By DC Parris - Dec 14, 2005
  LXer TechMinistry: 13-Dec-05

LXer editor Don Parris considers how ministries of all faiths can help computer users and others through the use of technology.



Digg Story
Linux News says Netscape's Browser Regaining Market Share
By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief - Dec 10, 2005
LXer Day Desk: 12-09-2005

So, everyone one forgot that Mozilla got its code from Netscape. A Press Release back in January 1998 said, "The company plans to post the source code beginning with the first Netscape Communicator 5.0 developer release, expected by the end of the first quarter of 1998. This aggressive move will enable Netscape to harness the creative power of thousands of programmers on the Internet by incorporating their best enhancements into future versions of Netscape's software".

So, maybe those folks who say the code endures while companies come and go - have a point. Whatever, Netscape's browser is back.
Add LXer to new Gmail RSS feed
By Bjorn Stadil - Dec 09, 2005
Gmail just added a nifty RSS feed directly into your Gmail account. It is easy to do but LXer is not yet one of the default tech sites so you need to do it manually.

Go to Settings in your Gmail account and click on the new Web Clips tab. Then take this URL http://lxer.com/module/newswire/headlines.rss

and paste it into the search box. Google will acknowledge this as a valid feed and the add button will appear. Hit it and presto your are done

You probably need to edit the initial feeds. I had all kind of gunk suggested by Google.

Digg

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