Archive for the ‘microsoft’ Category

does Microsoft support “viral” CC licenses?

November 27, 2010

I’ve supported Creative Commons several years now and continue (happily) to do so. I’m also glad to see continued support from Microsoft, a company the Free and Open Source software world often criticizes. It’s interesting to note however, that prominent Free software advocates historically refused to support CC until the license offerings met a meaningful standard. Microsoft too, has harshly criticized free licensing. But their target has been the GPL – to the extent that they’ve insulted the license as “viral”, a “threat” and “cancerous”. It’s well known (at least, to Microsoft surely) that CC implements the Share-alike obligation as a choice for their licenses – the copyleft equivalent for works other than software.

So is it that Microsoft has no desire to take a “principled” stand against copyleft, or do they simply support CC to portray themselves as a socially responsible corporation? If their animosity toward copyleft was based on old, ignorant, 2001 remarks and their feelings have changed, it’d be nice for them to state so. Or perhaps they’d like to offer an argument as to why copyleft isn’t economically viable in the world of software while for other works it deserves their respect.

And no, fixing a situation after getting caught with your pants down doesn’t count as a change of heart.

free speech, not free пиво

September 12, 2010

Russian authorities are using the pretext of copyright enforcement to suppress dissent. Unfortunately, the dissenters are often using Microsoft’s proprietary software for their activity, giving the police an excuse to hassle them. To solve this problem, the activists should use Free software like the GNU/Linux operating system. While Free software can’t ensure the Russian police won’t forcibly stop acts of free speech, it would serve well to defeat this ostensible reason.

developers, developers, developers…

June 16, 2010

A user survey (PDF) for Eclipse software notes a 16.5% drop in three years.

Software like Android isn’t helping Microsoft either.

two words…

December 9, 2009

negative externality

Microsoft-Murdoch: what am I missing?

November 23, 2009

So let me get this straight. Microsoft might fork over millions of dollars (that could otherwise be spent marketing/improving Windows and other proprietary offerings) to Murdoch’s News Corp. And the end result is that when I search Google, these mainstream “news” sites won’t appear in the results? Have I died and gone to heaven?

Question: When a popular news story breaks under the Microdoch/Bing umbrella, how will they block Google’s hits of bloggers linking to the story?

What the Dell?

October 29, 2009

At a euro.dell site the first two points are fine, no bias at all. But…

choose

And on the right, they imply that the benefits of Free software are primarily for programmers. Educational institutions should also compare and contrast two opposing statements here…on the left, “do not want to learn” and on the right, “want to learn”.

windows: GNU/Linux’s latest app?

October 16, 2009

Check out this new Acer netbook that “dual-boots” Windows and Google’s GNU/Linux variant “Android”:

(No, this post is not to point out the video cutting at 1:33 because Windows is taking a lifetime to boot – that laugh is bonus)

At the 1:16 mark we see Android ask, “Switch to OS: Would you like boot (sic) to Windows?”. After confirmation, we see Windows begin to boot…or is it launch? I’m curious – has the Windows operating system been turned into a proprietary GNU/Linux application? It appears this Acer isn’t hard booting when the command is given to start Windows (where’s the BIOS’s output?). So is this a warm boot or has Windows been virtualized?

I’d be grateful to anyone with more information willing to pass it on. When Windows is shut down, are we back to GNU/Linux? Or do we need to boot the machine again?

get sort of addicted to sharing

September 25, 2009

Richard Stallman was recently asked his thoughts on hardware manufacturers’ violations of Free software licensing, in particular the GPL. While he voiced some concern he spoke candidly of his long-term plan:

Someday they will though, and as long as they’re going to horde it, we want them to horde ours. They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to share sometime in the next decade.

OK, OK. RMS never said that. I jest on years past.

an alternative windows 7 release party

September 24, 2009

Here’s a SO-painfully-lame-it’s-funny promotional advertisement from Microsoft.

If you really feel a need to have a Windows 7 release party, here’s an alternative plan:

1. Wait until October 29th

2. Download and install Ubuntu 9.10

3. Fire up a torrent of an unauthorized copy of Windows 7

4. Install VirtualBox and Windows 7 on that

Note that steps 3 & 4 are entirely detrimental optional.

proprietary software needs “piracy”

September 22, 2009

Let’s say the Wal-Mart Corporation could wave a magic wand, putting an end to all shoplifting from their stores. Would they? Let’s say the Microsoft Corporation could wave a magic wand, putting an end to all unauthorized distribution of their software. Would they? Perhaps surprisingly to some, the answers to these two questions are polar opposites. It would seem there’s not much difference between the two suggestions, right? After all, unauthorized distribution of software is “stealing” – just like shoplifting. It is to commit “theft”, so they say. It would be absurd not to stop people stealing from your business.

Organizations like the BSA claim that “piracy” does “harm” to the proprietary software industry. However, it’s “piracy” that keeps their ship from sinking quickly. Without “piracy”, one of the biggest obstacles to Free software adoption would be removed. To claim that “economic viability is threatened” with billions in losses is to twist the truth by ignoring the bigger picture. Without “piracy”, the actual losses would put those numbers to shame. The more Free software gains traction, the more “piracy” becomes proprietary software’s life jacket.