IBM Upsets the Open-Source World | TurboHercules and IBM Mudslinging Each Other

We had earlier covered the news of TurboHercules filing antitrust charges against IBM. That incident was in response to IBM when it laid charges against TurboHercules. IBM says, TurboHercules violates 173 of IBM’s patents.

Now, IBM has clearly denied those charges.  This attitude of IBM has upset the whole of the Open-Source community. Back in 2005, IBM assured them with promises of not using its patents to trouble Open-Source. But now, it is acting otherwise.

In a letter dated 11th March, 2010, IBM’s Mark Anzani, vice president and CTO for System z technology wrote,

Your suggestion that TurboHercules was unaware that IBM has intellectual property rights in this area is surprising. Your product emulates significant portions of IBM’s proprietary instruction set architecture and IBM has many patents that would, therefore, be infringed.

According to this statement, TurboHercules which is a ten year old company is stealing. That is partly outrageous on part of IBM but it can be justified to some extent.

Firstly, IBM has made wide monetary contributions to the growth and promotion of Open-Source and expects at least some trust from the community.

Secondly, the multiple statements released by IBM are contradictory and are prone to critical attack. Though, this does not definitely make them guilty.

Another statement from IBM makes them look like the good guys when they say,

Since TurboHercules is a member of organizations founded and funded by IBM competitors such as Microsoft to attack the mainframe, we have doubts about TurboHercules’ motivations and qualifications, and we will be interested to learn if that company will comply with the rules of the Open Source community.

However, IBM is acting in its own interest largely and this action is a clear attempt to save all the investment it had made into the mainframe business. Though, IBM surely does not get to call who is not fit to be a part of the Open-Source world.

[ Via: eWeek and linuxinsider ]

Ubuntu Claims 12 Million Users Even Before Lucid Lynx, But on What Basis?

Canonical is gearing up for the release of its latest OS, the Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx. This release of Ubuntu will mark a major overhaul in design, features and boot time.

At a strategic time just before the release of its Lucid Lynx, Canonical has released data relating to the number of Ubuntu users worldwide. This report estimates Ubuntu users at 12 million. That is a major 50% increase over the last 18 months.

Chris Kenyon, vice president for OEM at Canonical said,

We have no phone home or registration process, so it’s always a guesstimate. But based on the same methodology that we came up with for the 2008 number, our present belief is that it’s somewhere north of 12 million users at the moment.

This is not even close to Fedora’s claims of its desktop installation user base of 24 million. The new Ubuntu marks a milestone with its LTS release. This release will be supported for the next three years.

Though, there are two worries here.

Firstly, how exactly are those estimates made? How does Canonical calculate its Ubuntu user? Which specific service in Ubuntu is used to do this? This will help us estimate the error margin in the calculation.

Secondly,  isn’t Ubuntu the most popular Linux distro? How comes Fedora has not even a close number, but exactly double of Ubuntu Linux users?

You must see an interesting discussion topic at Slashdot and a post at Linuxplanet giving more info on this.

RSA Security 1024 V3: The Unclaimed Root Certificate Mayhem in Firefox

Mozilla security saw a new bug-report filed at bugzilla reporting an unclaimed RSA root certificate. The certificate goes by the name of RSA Security 1024 V3. Both Verisign and RSA have declined ownership of this certificate.

Kathleen Wilson, an active Consultant at Mozilla Corporation has been actively digging through Mozilla security issues. He writes at this Mozilla security Google group saying,

I propose that the “RSA Security 1024 V3″ root certificate authority be
removed from NSS.

OU = RSA Security 1024 V3
O = RSA Security Inc
Valid From: 2/22/01
Valid To: 2/22/26
SHA1 Fingerprint:
3C:BB:5D:E0:FC:D6:39:7C:05:88:E5:66:97:BD:46:2A:BD:F9:5C:76

I have not been able to find the current owner of this root. Both RSA
and VeriSign have stated in email that they do not own this root.

This issue got everyone worried about this being a rouge certificate. However, later Wilson assured the certificate’s origin by saying,

I have received email from official representatives of RSA confirming
that RSA did indeed create the “RSA Security 1024 V3″ root certificate
that is currently included in NSS (Netscape/Mozilla) and also in Apple’s
root cert store.

He also added that that RSA has since, dropped the root certificate and so should Mozilla. In another mail from RSA, it was told that the private key for this root was safe with RSA. This assures that this flaw was not exploited and now the certificate will be removed from NSS (Network Security Services).

[ Via: LinuxToday ]

Record Last.fm Songs with Last Recorder – But is it Legal?

icon-last-fm [Windows Only] The other day, I ran into a new listing for a freeware application named Last Recorder. Here’s what the author says about this little tool.

Last Recorder is a small program that can save tracks from Last.fm audio streams into separate tagged mp3 files.

While I can’t confirm that I actually used this program to download music, I can confirm that this program does work. It does download full length mp3 songs from Last.fm while preserving the song titles. Here’s what Last Recorder looks like:

lastrecorder-interface

Last Recorder is a single executable file and no installation is needed. When it first launches, it will prompt you to enter your user ID and password. Then you can select a choice of radio stations by using the drop down on the left and these are the options:

Tag
Artist
My Tag
My Radio
My Loved Tracks
My Neighbors
My Recommendations
Custom URL

You will also have to select a download location on the right side drop down box.

Given the fact that this download tool seems to work, the question that many people will have is, Is this legal?. I did find an FAQ on the site regarding this question and the answer was I don’t know for sure.In my opinion, downloading these songs is about the same as recording music from the radio stations or television. Do I think it’s legal? It may be legal to download the information (music), but you are definitely breaking your agreement with Last.fm’s Terms of Use. Whether or not that agreement is actually binding on you may depend on where you live and which way the courts are swinging that day.

So, I’ll leave it up to you.

Last Recorder Home Page

Techie Buzz Verdict:

This application does what it says and it also portable. While those are both good features, the question of it’s legality leaves me doubting that I will use it.

Techie Buzz Rating: 2.5/5 (Average)

Apple iPad having Overheating and Wi-Fi Related Problems

The Apple iPad has joined the list of Apple products which have some hardware issues. Engadget recently took a poll on how many users are facing Wi-Fi related issues with their brand new iPad and a lot of people reported Wi-Fi related issues. Apple today acknowledged that the iPad does have Wi-Fi connectivity issues but they also mentioned that its not a problem with their device. Apple said that these issues are common with some 3rd party dual-band WiFi routers.

apple-ipad-tablet-pc

Apple says that the iPad drops the Wi-Fi connectivity if multiple networks use the same name or different security settings. Apple suggested that users should use different names for different Wi-Fi networks and same security settings. Many users reported success after trying the remedy suggested by Apple. Aside from the Wi-Fi connectivity problem, some users are even reporting that their iPad heats up and gives a warning message iPad needs to cool down before you can use it.This problem was even faced by PC World Editor, Zach Honig. Apple has not yet commented about this issue.

On a serious note, Apple seriously needs to improve the testing standard and quality of its devices. All of Apple’s product that have been released in the last couple of years has had some sort of issues. The newer iMacs launched by Apple had an issue of display flickering, the refreshed line-up of Mac book Pro had poor hard disk drive performance issue etcetera.

GNOME Shell System Status Area Mockup

The next incarnation of GNOME Desktop Environment, GNOME 3, is creating a lot of buzz everywhere. Many are already counting on GNOME Shell, that will come with GNOME 3, to revloutionize their desktop experience.

Currently, GNOME Shell is at an active development stage and is not considered stable for normal use. The GNOME developers have come up with a amazing mockup for the System Status Area. The mockup is based on the color black, which is going to be the default color of GNOME Shell. The borders have been made grey and the icon design are simplified to make them easier to recognize.

So, here is the mockup:

[via rm -rf/]

Watch iPhone OS 4.0 Apple Event Online And Live Blogging on April 8th

The iPhone OS 4.0 Apple event is going to be held at the Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. The event is scheduled to start from 10:00AM PT (-8 UTC) on April 8th 2010. Though we don’t have an invitation for the event, we will be covering the event live here at Techie Buzz.

iPhone OS 4.0 Apple Event

Readers can get the live coverage of the Apple event from the following sites:

  • Engadget Live
  • GDGT Live
  • Boy Genius Report

Techie Buzz will also be covering the event live, so visit us to keep tabs on all the latest happenings from the Apple iPhone OS 4.0 Event. The expectations are, as usual, high from an Apple Event. We would definitely like to see a newer version of the iPhone OS being launched with multi-tasking support.

In addition to that, Apple might also release a newer version of the , which could either be the iPhone 4G or iPhone HD, however, nothing has been confirmed as of yet.

We will update this post with videos and live streaming links for the iPhone OS 4.0 event as soon as they become available.

UpdateHere is a live streaming link of the event.

Zynga Could Be Worth $5 Billion Now

ZyngaPeople often think what 237 Million monthly active users mean for the popular social gaming company Zynga. Well, according to some equity analysts, the traffic, monthly revenue and some other metrics mean Zynga is worth around $5 Billion right now. The report was recently released by analysts at SecondaryShares.com and   claims that each Zynga share would fetch $15 if it were to go IPO right now.

Currently, Zynga is a privately-held company and the shares are traded by accredited investors at places like the SecondaryMarket at $9 per share. Analysts think that with projected $500 Million revenue for the current year and cross-marketing opportunities Zynga has, the revenues might go as up as $1.6 Billion in next few years. These assumptions are based on an estimated $2.25 revenue per Monthly Active User. If Zynga continues at the projected growth rate, it may very well be worth up to $15 Billion by 2015.

The assumptions are also , quite heavily. based on the numbers that Chinese social gaming company Tencent brings in. It is also interesting to note that Zynga was the #2 merchant for PayPal in 2009 and owns 6 of the top 7 games on Facebook. However, with Facebook as well as Farmville about to reach the peak of their popularity soon, it would be quite difficult for Zynga to maintain the same growth rate in coming years. Still, Zynga is one of the best examples of how something as casual as social games can turn into a very serious business.

The complete report can be downloaded here.

Is Yahoo! Really Buying FourSqaure?

FourSquareFourSquare, the popular location-based social network, is probably only rivaled by Twitter when it comes to growth in early years. With millions of users checking-in daily, it is the hottest property around. BusinessInsider reports that Yahoo! deal-makers are talking about buying FourSqaure for $100 Million. The story which is quite vague on details reads

“Yahoo’s M&A deal-makers are deciding right now whether or not to buy super-hot location-based startup Foursquare for ~$100 million, says a source close to bankers involved in Foursquare’s current fund-raising efforts.”

But with some of the biggest VCs (Khosla and Accel) fighting to invest in FourSqaure at a valuation of $80 Million, the sale price of $100 Million doesn’t sound a really good deal. Moreover, with no comments from Dennis Crowley, FourSqaure founder, or Yahoo!, it seems more probable that the whole deal is just an effort by the investment bankers to sweeten the $80 Million valuation.

Dennis Crowley’s first project was Dodgeball, a Twitter-like service that was bought by Google in 2005. Dennis claims he only sold it because of the lack of funding. This, however, isn’t the case with FourSqaure and with the current growth and popularity FourSqaure enjoys, the deal would be a very cheap bargain for Yahoo! but a very unfortunate one for Dennis.

3 Animated Waterfall Screensavers You Will Love

[Windows only] What is it about moving water with a clear blue sky that soothes and fascinates us? I think it’s built into us like the need to breathe. Today I’ll show you three free and fantastic screensavers that will feel like a breathe of fresh clean air.

blue-rule

1. NFS HD Waterfall 01 This screensaver shows animated water in the falls and in the pools. There are also some birds flying around. Sounds of nature and music can be controlled in the settings.

Download from Softpedia

nfshdwaterfall01

blue-rule

2. NFS HD Waterfall 03 This screensaver shows animated water in the falls and in the pools. Sounds of nature and music can be controlled in the settings. (no birds in this one)

Download from Softpedia

nfshdwaterfall03

blue-rule

3. NFS Waterfall 01 This screensaver shows animated water in the waterfalls and in the pools. There are also some birds flying around. Sounds of nature and music can be controlled in the settings.

Download from Softpedia

nfswaterfall01

blue-rule

Kudos to NewFreeScreensavers, the developer of these and many more screensavers. Check them out when you have the time.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

These screensavers are completely free, and there are no nag screens, ads or big trade marks on them. The settings aren’t very complicated but do offer some great options. I found nothing to complain about and I highly recommend them.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Techie Buzz Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)

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