CyberTech Rambler

July 28, 2011

GMail man

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 7:29 pm

Rarely, I mean rarely you get good ads from Microsoft. Most of the time, you get notorious advert, like this one which makes you wonder whether at times Microsoft’s PR resort to ‘any news (even bad one) is good news’

However, I really like GMail Man ad.

It’s a good education piece. It serves good purpose of reminding everyone that your email can be read easily by everyone, including Google. That’s the price you pay for using email, everyone in the chain, including Microsoft, can read your mail if  they choose to.

My point-of-view is at least Google is clear that they have machines that can and will read your email.

If Microsoft sees not reading emails as one of their important selling point, then they are correct. As always I do believe that the only way to reduce your exposure to snooping is to run your own email server. Your email can still be read in transit, but most of the damage at present is done by snooping stored emails on server, or your destination email server.


July 26, 2011

Microsoft renew SUSE partnership

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 2:17 pm

Well, the news is that Microsoft renewed SUSE partnership. I don’t think anyone is surprised by that.

As Brian Proffitt pointed out, even after stripping away the PR, i.e., nonsense part, of the partnership, the deal makes business sense for Microsoft. From Attachment (i.e., SUSE) point of view the financial injection from Microsoft is probably more important than ever. Here and there one or two enterprise IT shop might benefit from the partnership mainly on financial front. Sounds like a win-win for all? Perhaps.

Is there any more meat on the PR that Microsoft provide SUSE with Patent indemnity? So far, we see nothing but noise. No lawsuit. Nada. All the patent arrow and extortion attempt by Microsoft is aimed at Android. Even then, it dare not (or could not) aim straight at Linux, or Google for that matter. If I am extremely unfriendly I would say the Lodsys lawsuits is probably inspired by Microsoft shooting at smaller animals while at the same time taking care not to wake the giant elephant in the middle of the room.

When we talk about this renewal, our attention quickly turned to what this means for RedHat. The original deal did not make a big enough wave to cause RedHat to be sea sick. It is unlikely the renewal would. RedHat is still the king in enterprise Linux market. SuSE has yet to be promoted to be the king maker and probably will never be.

As for the Linux community at large, a strong SuSE is not a bad idea, if only to counter the power of RedHat. Provided both SuSE and Microsoft get off the Patent indemnity nonsense, it is actually good for the Linux community.

July 15, 2011

IBM contributing to Apache OpenOffice

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 7:08 pm

It’s good news for Apache OpenOffice. IBM contributed code from Lotus Symphony to it. It’s not so much about new stuff, but it can go a long way to replace existing GPL/LGPLed components which are incompatible with Apache License.

The not-so-good news is, what did IBM actually contribute when they say ‘standalone’ version of Lotus Symphony? First reaction is it is the one you and I can download for free and definitely not the one where you can integrate with other, IBM and partners’ application. It is partly out of necessity: IBM is not going to give Apache it’s crown jewel, i.e., the part that integrate with other IBM or partners’ application.

From a source code point of view, and presumably IBM gave everything it has and not holding anything back, one can say the contribution is huge. I think it will save Apache OpenOffice a lot of rewriting and allow it to start competing with other offerings, including LibreOffice, earlier.

The confusing part is Lotus Symphony is partly built on Eclipse Technology. Is it included or excluded in the code donation? If it is, where is the place to house it? That part is expected to be under Eclipse Public License which is incompatible with Apache License. The eclipse part of Lotus Symphony has  a lot of value and if donated, can form part of the advantage OpenOffice has over other offerings. I got the feeling that part is not included in the donation.

What does this means to the relation of OpenOffice with LibreOffice? They are both going their separate ways. If Eclipse-based technology was included in the donation, it means they are both going even more further apart. Reconciliation will be more difficult.

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