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Posts tagged as “groklaw”

Old FOSS Friend & Foe Represents Sony in Hack

Folks who follow news about FOSS, OSS and Linux who also watch the “talking heads” shows the TV networks serve up on Sunday mornings might be excused for not noting that David Boies, the lawyer speaking for Sony on this week’s “Meet the Press,” has on several occasions been involved in news stories affecting Linux. Over the years, he’s played the role of both friend and foe, but it’s been a while since his and the FOSS world’s paths have crossed.

David Boies
David Boies speaking at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
Photograph by Doc Searls
Back in the days of the Clinton Administration, Boies became something of a hero to FOSS and Linux supporters when he represented the Justice Department in “United States vs. Microsoft,” which went to trial in May of 1998. This antitrust suit by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Attorneys General of twenty U.S. states, found Microsoft being accused of illegal and unfair competition. In October of the same year, the U.S. Department of Justice also sued Microsoft additionally for violating a 1994 consent decree by including Internet Explorer as part of Windows.

SCO & NSA: The Great Digital Whack-A-Mole Game

Other than PJ, there’s not a character from the SCO saga that I would like to meet face to face.

Not Blake Stowell, even though he knows what went down behind closed doors at SCO and is the most likely candidate to tell what really went on inside the company. In those days he was SCO’s Director of Corporate Communications, the person who had to put a palatable spin on his boss’s actions. These days he’s working as PR Director for Omniture, a data mining company with questionable practices that’s owned by Adobe. Before his tenure at SCO he spent time working for Novell (no surprise) and Microsoft.

I especially have no interest in meeting SCO’s old CEO Darl McBride, the thug who now spends his time being President and CEO of Me, Inc., a renaming of SCO Mobility which he purchased for $100,000 in 2010.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

2013 — That Was the Year That Was

Now that the celebrating is out of the way, I thought it might be time to take a look at some of the stories we covered on FOSS Force this year.

1. The NSA. The biggest story to come down the wire this year undoubtedly had to do with Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s bag of dirty tricks. Even those of us who have long understood that the Internet isn’t necessarily a place to expect privacy were surprised at how deeply the NSA has managed to reach into the Internet. Odds are, if you’ve been using social networks, everything you’ve posted is now on file with the NSA. What’s worse, every email you’ve sent probably has a copy resting on a NSA server somewhere.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Microsoft Nemesis Dies, SCO Lives & More…

Friday FOSS Week in Review

We may be paranoid but they are out to get us

In week three (or is it week four?) of the Spy vs. Spy scandal, the Obama folks keep saying things like “what’s the big deal?” while trying to convince us that the secret oversight court called FISA (we prefer “the Star Chamber”) has nothing but our constitutional rights in mind when it rubber stamps requests to secretly steal our privacy. Obama likes to talk about transparency. Indeed, he becomes more transparent by the moment; we’re beginning to see right through him. The 22nd amendment should now be seen as a face saver for Mr. Obama–as we would think no self respecting liberal or progressive would vote again for this man who once represented our best hope. Pity.

FOSS Talks UEFI, Shuttleworth On M$ & More…

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Google drops open Talk for closed Hangouts

There’s been a lot of back-and-forth going on now that Google has announced intentions to replace Talk, the open standards supporting instant messaging service, with proprietary Hangouts. While Talk works with the XMPP industry standard which allows cross-platform use, Hangouts will be completely closed and proprietary. In other words, if you want to talk to someone on Hangouts, that person must be using Hangouts as well.

Swartz’s Last Gift, the Invasion of the Androids & More…

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Will appeals court ruling mean death to software patents?

Absolutely no one knows what a ruling handed down last week by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals will ultimately mean–but it might be very good for those of us who’ve been arguing against software patents. Indeed, the ruling had PJ at Groklaw throwing out three separate “OMG”s in her article with the announcement. In other words, she was euphoric:

“Old” Novell Board Faces Shareholder Lawsuit

Novell is back in the news.

Not the downsized “new and improved” Novell owned by Attachmate, though they have briefly been a part of this story. We’re talking about the old, basically inept Novell–the company that once practically owned enterprise networking back in the day when Bill Gates was shortsighted enough to believe that the future of computing was in stand alone and unconnected boxes. You know, the Novell that was second cousin, by way of Raymond Noorda and the Canopy Group, to SCO. The same Novell that decided to save their proprietary business by embracing open source and buying the SUSE Linux distribution in an attempt to reposition themselves as a poor man’s IBM sans hardware.

In case you’ve forgotten–a couple of years can seem like several lifetimes in the tech world–this is the company that managed to sell the rights to UNIX to SCO without selling the copyrights. The company that, although mistrusted by many of us in the FOSS world, stepped up to the plate and spent a pocketful of cash defending these copyrights, thereby directly defending IBM and indirectly defending Linux.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

SCO Never Can Say Goodbye

I’d almost forgotten that SCO was still around until PJ at Groklaw reported the company was in the process of switching from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7. In bankruptcy talk that means the company’s stance has changed from we’re-going-to-come-out-of-this-alive to it’s-call-the-priest-for-last-rites-time. The trouble is, this is SCO, so you know it’s not going to be that simple. They’ll come up with some stupid request for the court that confounds logic, which they’ve done.

If I’m reading PJ right, SCO wants to both eat and have cake, which is pretty much what they’ve always wanted. This time they want to go bankrupt and leave their creditors without a dime but still stick around to continue litagation against IBM for alledgedly giving Linux all sorts of code. Here’s how PJ intreprets what SCO is telling the court:

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Grocklaw: Schwartz Publicly Praised Android as Java Platform

Yesterday’s column on Android’s Patent Wars was written on Friday and scheduled for publication on Monday. Over the weekend, the folks at Groklaw dug-up an old page from the Wayback Machine that would seem to bode well for Google in their patent fight with Oracle concerning Android and Java.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Groklaw to Continue Without PJ

Yesterday we got some good news and bad news on the Groklaw front. First the good news: Pamela Jones has changed her mind about her plans to quit publishing new content on Groklaw and announced that the site will be continuing it’s coverage of legal issues that challenge FOSS projects. The bad news is that, for the most part, Groklaw will be going on without Ms. Jones.

The new person at the helm is Mark Webbink, a lawyer who certainly has the credentials for the job. His history with Groklaw goes back to 2003, when he allowed Jones to use a previously published article on open source software. At the time he was the first general council for Red Hat, a position he held until 2004 when he became the company’s deputy general counsel for intellectual property. He’s currently a visiting professor of law at New York Law School, where he’s the Executive Director of the Center for Patent Innovations, and is also a senior lecturing fellow at Duke University law school. Since 2007, he been a board member of Software Freedom Law Center.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

SCO’s Unix Sells for $600K

Evidently, SCO Unix is no more. Now all that SCO has left is continuing dreams of taking IBM down in a lawsuit that’s all but over, unless SCO’s bankruptcy attorney Edward Cahn exhibits the good sense not to continue to pursue a case that’s already six feet under.

The buyer, UnXis Inc., is based in Nevada. However, the company’s press release on Monday announcing the purchase came out of Dubai and described the company thusly:

“UnXis, Inc is owned jointly by Stephen Norris, previous co-founder of the Carlyle Group and MerchantBridge, a leading international private equity group with diverse interests operating from offices in the United Kingdom, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. MerchantBridge has completed nine private equity transactions in the past five years, with an enterprise value of $4.5 billion.”

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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