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Pass the coffee

June 14, 2010 3 comments

Monday mornings are not as toxic to me as to others, to hear them tell it. In fact, I have a healthy indifference to Mondays; on a work-week landscape where my first day of the work week at the newspaper is a Thursday, Mondays essentially are my “Fridays.” All of which is to say, that’s not so bad.

Still, coffee would be nice, and while sipping a Kona blend, we can review some of the recent past’s events and articles, like . . .

It’s dead, Jim . . . finally: Novell came up the winner in the SCO case, according to Groklaw, and it looks like this is the end of the line for a one-time tech company turned litigation machine. Judge Ted Stewart ruled that Novell’s claim for declaratory judgment is granted; SCO’s claims for specific performance and breach of the implied covenant of good fair and fair dealings are denied. Denied. Did I mention it was denied? Also SCO’s motion for judgment as a matter of law or for a new trial: denied. Deeee-nyed! So that’s game, set, match. Also, on a personal note, as a MoFo — as in a Morrison & Foerster alum, having worked for the firm in Tokyo — I have to say I’m proud of their work in this case.

Well, duh! Chapter One: Dell, which offers Ubuntu (if you want to wait for it — more on this in a minute), gives those thinking about ordering an Ubuntu machine some reasons for making the switch. While those ordering Ubuntu Dells wait — ask me about ordering one for a client and getting a shipment date in about a month, versus a few days for an identical Windows machine — they can take a look at Number 6 on this list: Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft Windows. You think? Sheesh.

Well, duh! Part Deux: What’s the weak link in the national security in relation to cyber war? Easy question, according to a recent ars technica article: Microsoft Windows. Richard A. Clarke’s new book, “Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It,” is still making quite a splash. A quote from the article: “While it may appear to give America some sort of advantage,” Cyber War warns, “in fact cyber war places this country at greater jeopardy than it does any other nation.” The enormous dependence of our financial and energy networks on the ‘Net open us up to potentially devastating online attacks. “It is the public, the civilian population of the United States and the publicly owned corporations that run our key national systems, that are likely to suffer in a cyber war.” Yep, that sounds like Microsoft Windows all right.

What’s that? The sky is falling? It figures that the likes of PC World would take a story involving a relatively obscure IRC server, give said IRC server undue credit for popularity, exaggerate the seriousness of the situation and exaggerate how long it went unnoticed all in one article. But that’s what happened when — HORRORS! — an announcement was made on the Unreal IRCd forum that the Linux version of the popular IRC server Unreal IRCd was contaminated with malware in November 2009, without anyone noticing it. Of course, what the article conveniently fails to mention is that unlike the infections automatically started by the mere presence of Windows, this one had to be downloaded, installed, and configured. That point was glossed over. Another glaring omission: How many in the wild security breaches have there been due to this? I’m not linking to the article — PC World is not getting hits from me — but you can go to LXer and see the article, with responses, if you wish.

I need a refill.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)
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Not exactly a confidence builder . . .

April 7, 2009 1 comment

Either it’s a textbook case of CYA or a lack of confidence in the product, but Microsoft and its PC partners are going to allow Windows 7 users to downgrade not just to Windows Vista, but also to Windows XP, (the latter — definitely go with the latter) if they so desire.

So says Mary Jo Foley’s blog on ZD Net yesterday.

Let me see if I understand this: I want to buy a computer with the latest Windows OS on it (when, of course, it’s out) and if it doesn’t, um, “work,” I can always go back to an earlier OS? Am I supposed to be confident in Microsoft’s ability to deliver when they have these provisions?

Isn’t this like being handed a parachute as you get on an airliner, just in case the plane doesn’t, um, “work”?

Fear not, according to the blog: TechARP — the site that broke the still-unconfirmed-but-likely-true report that Microsoft is planning to offer PC buyers a free upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 if they purchase new systems starting this summer — is now reporting that users who downgrade to XP also will be eligible for free Win 7 upgrades via the Windows 7 Upgrade Option program.

Oh, rapture!

Or another solution on your new machine is to run GNU/Linux, but that’s a whole different story.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West/Redwood Digital Research in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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Categories: Microsoft, Vista, Windows 7

I’m a PC . . . running GNU/Linux

September 25, 2008 1 comment

I don’t know if the same ad agency which made the obtuse Jerry and Bill ads is responsible for the current “I’m a PC” ad — frankly, I don’t really care — however the latter commercials are remarkably better than the former.

And, naturally because it’s advertising — and not only that, but advertising for Microsoft, which arguably can be considered redundant in the deception department) — it’s misleading. Shocking, I know, but still.

We could blame Apple for fostering the misconception that PCs equal Microsoft. After all they started this whole nonsense with their “I’m a Mac” ad pitting a cool guy, or so goes the perception, in comparison against a drone-like PC user. So the groundwork that PC equals Microsoft has been laid long ago.

However, the fact remains that PCs do NOT equal Microsoft. PC no longer really equals Intel, despite years of dominance by that processor.

Joe Panettieri reminds Microsoft that they are not necessarily “PC” with their PC ad in his blog at Works with U. Despite the fact I think Joe gives too much credit to Microsoft for making the personal computer available to all — items that are hashed out in the comments on his blog, so I won’t go into detail here — it makes the original point that — and I can’t stress this enough — (ahem) PCs DO NOT EQUAL WINDOWS!

Like Joe, I’m a PC. A GNU/Linux PC. I’m also a Mac, a GNU/Linux Mac if you must know.

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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