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Archive for December, 2007

A Conspiracy Theory: The Real US Government

Interesting video.

My Interview with Richard Stallman

In Datamation

Miscellaneous Sunday Rants

Intel Against Our Children

Intel sabotaged and even strove to ‘kill’ the OLPC charity by derailing it off a mass-production route. It’s disgraceful. Then they made a deal with Nick (project head) to shut him up. If you want proof, I’ve collected articles from the press here and here. Criminal-minded companies like Intel ought to be punished already. They are already an abusive, convicted monopoly in some nations, but the Bush administration turns a blind eye.

Analysts Are Often Shills in Suits

Analysts are paid by companies to dig their dirt. Red Hat seems to be a recent victim of their wrath. One analyst, for example, has already got one damaging prediction on Red Hat totally wrong and then disappeared into a distant cave (not to admit the ‘mistake’).

See this podcast from last week. In many cases analysts are little more than shills in suits. Gartner and IDC, for example, are funded by Bill Gates. Steve Ballmer shouts at the analysts on the phone and there are records in antitrust memos about hiding disclosures (a misconduct)

Google’s ‘Innovations’ That Weren’t

Innovating Lock-in

Google acquired the company which used the ‘wrong’ (platform-dependent) tools to build Picasa, which isn’t innovative at all. They would probably need to rewrite the whole application just to make it properly run in platforms other than Windows.

It’s better to just buy companies whose software is build not for just one platform. Wine patches are a nice gift though. At least Google’s work on the Windows-centric Picasa continues to bring good patches to Wine, which benefits other applications too.

Innovating Buyouts

Let’s use a better example. Take into account another acquisition (KeyHole) and be aware that ‘Google Earth’ has always been OpenGL+QT, making a native port trivial for most platforms to enjoy. One thing to point out here is that Google takes pride in Google Earth, claiming it is its own innovation (they even suggested that in an interview with me).

Google is like Microsoft in that respect. It buys more ‘innovation’ than it creates. And these acquisitions are typically proprietary.

Environment Concerns

The British government’s study on servers revealed that Linux can be 50% greener than Windows. The study says a lot about aging, but little about utility where GNU/Linux enjoys even more advantages (fewer Linux servers are needed to handle the same loads).

Intel’s Abuses Explained by Henri Richard

Henri Richard on Intel’s illegal kickbacks.

Also see this previous post about Microsoft/Intel’s abuses, as well as the PR stunt and this good summary of Intel’s monopolistic abuses.

This may be one of the biggest and least covered stories in this decade. Intel’s abuses don’t match the lies of some governments, but they harm everyone equally severely.

Here some older posts:

Say Goodbye to Seagate?

Exposed hard-drive

I truly hate to be the one who complains about companies rather than praise some. Seagate’s Windows-centric mind and biases, however, have gone a little too far. It was only months ago that Seagate joined something that appeared like Windows Vista promotion. But now come the articles which speak about Mac and GNU/Linux discrimination.

Seagate has many more issues. They preformat their external drives with a Windows filesystem. This leads to interoperability issues with a local drives that use a Linux filesystem and the drive sometimes ‘hangs up’ on Linux (this aligns with the experiences mentioned in the new article, which is cited above). I bought my way into this Seagate mess 2 years ago (300GB), but the Maxtor one I bought this year is much better (not preformatted either).

GNU/Linux users ought to just skip Seagate and move on to another shelf, so to speak. The salesman told me that Seagate had higher error rates as well (honest assessment based on what he had read, not just on-the-spot FUD). Things have changes; so should Seagate.

On a World of Exploitation, Corruption and Briberies

LEARN how and why the poor suffers from corruption, even in the world which we consider developed.

Bribery: A tax on poor families everywhere

The TI Global Corruption Barometer 2007 finds that it is the poor who are most often confronted with requests for bribes, in wealthy and poor countries alike. Extortion hits low-income households with a regressive tax that saps scarce household resources.

[...]

Corrupt police and judiciary mean rights denied

“The Barometer reveals that the police and the judiciary in many countries around the world are part of a cycle of corruption, demanding bribes from citizens,” said Transparency International Managing Director, Cobus de Swardt. “This troubling finding means that corruption is interfering with the basic right to equal treatment before the law.”

Here is a nice video that reminds us how much abuse (almost slavery) goes on underneath people’s noses.

This one is worth a mention as well.

Microsoft and the OLPC/XO: Get the Facts

The press is humming about Microsoft’s effort to conquer a project that it used to ridicule, essentially by stripping down an old and insecure version of its software. Here is some things you ought to know in case you believe that Microsoft’s prospects are bright.

It is important to note that this initiative focuses on Microsoft’s Windows
XP, rather than Microsoft’s latest OS, Windows Vista. For companies like
Asus, Linux appears to be a more future-proof option and is much easier to
modify to fit within the constraints of devices with low hardware overhead.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071205-microsoft-feeling-heat-from-linux-in-budget-flash-pc-market.html

Do the math. Vista doesn’t work for today’s laptop market. XP and Linux do.
It’s really that simple.

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2222308,00.asp

Then Microsoft corrupted Nigerian officials with 400 thousand dollars to
install Windows XP on those instead of Mandriva Linux.

http://www.p2pnet.net/story/14124

If they really believed that Windows was superior to Linux, they wouldn’t
have to bribe people with “marketing help” to get them to choose Windows.

http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2007-11-09-030-26-OP-MD-MS

Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates earlier this year told the Microsoft Government
Leaders Forum, “Geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the
text and you’re not sitting there cranking the thing while you’re trying to
type” (see Bill Gates Mocks $100 Laptop).

http://www.redherring.com/article.aspx?a=17302

For-profit companies threatened by the projected $100 price tag set off at a
sprint to develop their own dirt-cheap machines, plunging Negroponte into
unexpected competition against well-known brands such as Intel and
Microsoft’s Windows operating system. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN
Money.)

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Extra/Wny$100LaptopProjectIsUnderSiege.aspx?GT1=10718

Enough said. The same goes for Intel, but it’s part of a much broader scale of abuses.

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