Tit for tat

Note: this article is the writers personal opinion. It is based upon almost 40 years of experience in small computers and communications, but it is still an opinion.It is presented AS IS. All use is at your own risk.

Microsoft was unsuccessful at introducing their Phone 7 product a month or two ago, with reviewers saying everything from “Well, at least the UI looks functional” to listing long lists of features promised two years ago, and expected by consumers in all smart phones today, that still are not in the Phone 7. Most intelligent manufacturers would look at this and fix the product, but that is not the path of Microsoft Hubris.

A month or so ago, Microsoft decided that instead of fixing its own product to realistically compete with market leading smart phone platform Android and #2 phone iPhone, that instead they would try to scare Motorola away from manufacturing the Droid by suing them for supposed patent infringement. Motorola has now turned the tables on Microsoft and is instead suing them for patent infringement. The details are discussed by Nicholas Kolakowski in an E-Week article you can read here.

Don’t get me started on how stupid it is to allow massive obsolete dying dinosaur corporations to patent every mathematical algorithm and scientific principal they would like to call their own. Microsoft has once again demonstrated that it is still Business as Usual in 1986. Drive all competition out of business, kill those you cannot buy — Microsoft is ‘too big to fail’!

Microsoft is not ‘too big to fail’: Microsoft could fire their obsolete 1980’s thinkers and hire people with vision to bring the company into the 21st century and compete. This same hubris is why Microsoft has lost customer after customer over the last decade to Apple and Linux — it is a big part of why their market share (as measured by statistics on which OS is in use on every computer which visits our web sites) has dropped from 90% a decade ago to maybe 60% now. It is likely also one reason Linux has grown so much from a trivial presence a decade ago to 27% today.

This maneuverer is the same failed approach used by SCO just a few years ago to try to intimidate IBM, and it cannot but fail just as badly and for the same reasons: Microsoft does not dare show one line of code that is allegedly stolen by Linux (Android) because as soon as they do there will be a global paper chase to identify the true origin and revision history of that code, and it is very very likely that any code Microsoft would claim was stolen from them by the open source community was actually in open source some years prior to Microsoft appropriating it from Linux and inserting it into their for profit product without honoring the legal obligations that attend the GPL. In other words, Microsoft does not merely live in a glass house: they live in a glass house where most of the glass has huge cracks due to their foundation settling.

Once any supposed stolen code segment is shown to have actually been stolen from the global Open Source Community by Microsoft, Windows would likely fall under the GPL and Microsoft would collapse under its final act of supreme unfathomable Hubris and stupidity. What would be truly delicious in this situation would be if Google and IBM would like to join in the fray and deliver a serious spanking. Maybe there would follow some serious cleaning at Microsoft and the company could quit living in the past and begin innovating again.

Fool Born Every Minute

If you get this, DON’T CLICK.

Socio-engineered malware attempt using "Virus Warning" on Skype message

Picture of Socio-engineered malware attempt using "Virus Warning" on Skype message

This seemingly helpful warning is designed to scare you into clicking the link, and thus downloading viruses into your computer. Don’t do it. The real tip off is that I am not using ANY version of Microsoft Windows — I use Linux. It is a Skype message intended to trick you into downloading malware by claiming that it has found malware and your computer needs immediate (read that — “without thinking’) attention.

Fort Wayne trying to move forward on recycling

(note: one update in comments)

The city of Fort Wayne, Indiana has had a recycling program for some years, as have most cities. They are currently switching to another vendor who will distribute new containers. The prior containers were plastic boxes in which we were required to sort all our recyclables, then carry to the street. Two weeks worth of Fort Wayne Newspapers (Journal and Gazette) has been difficult for an old guy such as myself to carry out. These containers were then all dumped into the same bin in the truck — mixed all together — even though the route personnel would sometimes refuse to pick up if we had not carefully sorted everything into separate bins.

City of Fort Wayne Recycling Registration web site

Click to see graphic: City of Fort Wayne Recycling Registration web site

The new containers will be in the “tote” format with wheels and no fuss will be made about sorting anything. There is a new website (in pre-release testing at this time) from which you may eventually register for the cities tote — you must eventually use this site or telephone the number provided thereon, so it is unavoidable. The site is at http://www.cityoffortwayne.org/recycle-cart-request.html, and if you have a new Microsoft computer that has the Microsoft Only browser enhancement “SilverLight” you will be able to use the site. If you do not use Microsoft (because of privacy, corporate data mining, government tracking and snooping, or virus concerns, or because you object to their policies for socially-aware reasons) you are out of luck and relegated to spending your working day on the telephone trying to reach the number to register instead. Since about 40% of people are not using Microsoft OS, that will inconvenience a bunch of people.

Microsoft is apparently planning to move away from supporting SilverLight, but not publicly announcing it as such yet. I saw comments to this effect several places last week, including the Wall Street Journal blogs. Some related articles are at http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/microsoft-our-strategy-with-silverlight-has-shifted/7834?tag=mantle_skin;content

But when it comes to touting Silverlight as Microsoft’s vehicle for delivering a cross-platform runtime, “our strategy has shifted,” Muglia told me.

Silverlight will continue to be a cross-platform solution, working on a variety of operating system/browser platforms, going forward, he said. “But HTML is the only true cross platform solution for everything, including (Apple’s) iOS platform,” Muglia said.

And another at http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Windows/Kinect-Windows-Phone-7-Silverlight-Controversy-Marked-Microsofts-Week-263275/.

Muglia felt compelled to write the post after an interview with ZDNet at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference, which ran Oct. 28-29 in Redmond, Wash. Speaking to Mary Jo Foley, he reportedly said, “Our strategy has shifted,” and that, while Silverlight would remain a sort of cross-platform glue for developers, “HTML is the only true cross-platform solution for everything, including [Apple’s] iOS platform.” Although that interview’s next paragraph featured Muglia assuring readers that the next version of Silverlight is indeed in the works, his words nonetheless set off debate over whether Microsoft would curtail the platform

But the City of Fort Wayne Recycling registration site is only an advance trial, so maybe the city will decide to comply with International Standards in web design and allow their site to be accessible by all using HTML v5 instead of requiring the newest Microsoft browser and possibly ‘fading’ SilverLight to access this public information. And there is a grammatical error in the second line of the first paragraph, which we hope they have fixed by the time you read this. Yes, it is in the graphic above (click to see).

October 2010 OS & Browser Use Stats

Note: this article is the writers personal opinion. It is based upon almost 40 years of experience in small computers and communications, but it is still an opinion.It is presented AS IS. All use is at your own risk.

We ran web stats tonight, using access logs from April through October 2010. They are self explanatory and follow. The trend — rising or falling market share — is more important than calculated percentage. The year to year trend will be accurate even if the accuracy of the market share assessment is approximate.

IF we ASSUME that all “unknown” OSes are in fact Microsoft (for example Vista or Windows 7) then Microsoft is still level at 60% of market share (compared to our Operating System use check October 2009). They are down 30% from their 90% market share eight years ago, which explains their more aggressive pricing (they cut the price of Windows 7 in half compared to Vista and Windows XP). Linux is at 27.34% down 1.81% from last year’s 29.15%. MAC is at 4.46% down 3.48% from last year’s 7.94%. In all the Windows 7 platform may have attracted a few people, but it must have drastically disappointed shareholders. Apparently businesses who were driven away over eight years of Microsoft hubris are less than willing to jump back into the frying pan after biting the bullet and switching to MAC or Linux.

Comparing to Web Browser use stats from October 2009, the most significant change in Web Browser use goes to the Safari camp, which won market share up 17.58% at 26.88% over use of 9.3% reported last October. Safari numbers may actually include users adopting the Google Chrome (or Chromium) platform for web browsing — GoDaddy.com‘s statistics service does not distinguish. Since use of MAC OS has actually dropped, and Safari is primarily used in conjunction with MacOS, the most logical conclusion is that Google Chrome now has taken roughly 20% market share, possibly fueled by consumer privacy and business security concerns which discourage adoption of IE, promotion of Chrome by Industry giant Google.com, and the overwhelmingly extreme acceptance of the Android (Linux) powered ‘Droid series of Smart Phones, which are the established mobile phone market leader.

Microsoft IE is off (down) exactly 8% at 28.72% from last October’s 36.72%. FireFox is off 25.03% at 15.00% down from last year’s 40.03%. Opera, the intensely standards compliant browser used mostly by those who value such things is off 0.36% at 0.86% of market share, down from 1.22% last year.

Graph of Operating System use April through October 2010

Click for chart: Operating System use April through October 2010

Operating System used to access Nash group of web sites
Sites are unpromoted: that is no significant advertising or link sharing is allowed so that the site can only be accidentally (randomly) discovered and does not attract people interested in any particular specialty, such as people who like a particular browser or operating system. Last full month is October 2010.
Operating System Number of requests Number of page requests Percent of OS Percent of use
1 Windows

94,770 29,840 39.93% 37.02%
Windows XP 54,481 21,660 57.49% 72.59%
Unknown Windows 35,367 6,375 37.32% 21.36%
Windows Server 2003 2,076 612 2.19% 2.05%
Windows 2000 1,324 528 1.40% 1.77%
Windows NT 678 259 0.72% 0.87%
Windows ME 259 164 0.27% 0.55%
Windows 98 200 112 0.21% 0.38%
Windows 95 287 92 0.30% 0.31%
Windows CE 74 26 0.08% 0.09%
Windows 3.1 24 12 0.03% 0.04%
2 OS unknown

47,692 29,582 20.10% 36.70%
3 Known robots

19,373 10,703 8.16% 13.28%
4 Unix

64,895 8,809 27.34% 10.93%
Linux 64,893 8,808 99.9969% 99.9886%
BSD 2 1 0.0031% 0.0015%
5 Macintosh

10,587 1,665 4.46% 2.07%
6 Symbian OS

13 2 0.01% 0.00%

Total Use

237,332 80,603 100.00% 100.00%
Graphic of Web Browser use April through October 2010

Click for chart: Web Browser use April through October 2010

Browser used to access Nash group of web sites
Sites are unpromoted: that is no significant advertising or link sharing is allowed so that the site can only be accidentally (randomly) discovered and does not attract people interested in any particular specialty, such as people who like a particular browser or operating system. Last full month is October 2010.

Browser Type Number of requests Percent of use

1 MSIE 68,158 28.72%
2 Safari 63,797 26.88%
3 Firefox 35,609 15.00%
4 Netscape (compatible) 32,261 13.59%
5 msnbot 6,265 2.64%
6 Mozilla 3,652 1.54%
7 Yandex 2,893 1.22%
8 Googlebot-Image 2,777 1.17%
9 WordPress 2,713 1.14%
10 Baiduspider+(+http: 2,160 0.91%
11 Java 2,048 0.86%
12 Opera 2,037 0.86%
13 Sogou web spider 1,336 0.56%
14 panscient.com 1,166 0.49%
15 LinkedInBot 1,012 0.43%
16 NextGenSearchBot 771 0.32%
17 Sosospider+(+http: 725 0.31%
18 http: 595 0.25%
19 TwengaBot-Discover (http: 497 0.21%
20 AdsBot-Google (+http: 496 0.21%
[not listed: 189] 6,362 2.68%

Total Use 237,330 100.00%

Note: this article is the writers personal opinion. It is based upon almost 40 years of experience in small computers and communications, but it is still an opinion.It is presented AS IS. All use is at your own risk.

Ubuntu 10.10 for Netbook and Smart Phone

In their article today “Ubuntu 10.10 (“Maverick Meerkat”) Review” ExtremeTech.com discussed their testing of the new Ubuntu 10.10 for netbook and smart phone, including their new cloud which provides 2GB storage free, with more for a low price. I recommend the read.

It has multi-touch (assuming your hardware does a minimum of four-finger multi-touch)

Free 2GB cloud storage

A client for Microsoft windows so you can use your free cloud on older Microsoft PCs

They have a mobile plan for $3.99/month so you can access your cloud from your iPhone or Droid phone, for example to stream your music. No limitations to usage.

It has “Unity”, a feature that lists icons for your most used apps down the left side of your screen, like a phone. They expect if netbooks are going anywhere they will need to include touch screens. Thus they are a little ahead of the game: you touch the app to launch instead of browsing through menus. The menus are still there: you don’t need them most of the time.

Of course the workspace switcher is still there so you can not only have multiple windows open at a time, you can have multiple desktops each with multiple windows open. I use this a lot when I am being interrupted — just click on the workspace switcher to pick a currently unused workspace, deal with the interruption, then click back on the workspace you were using before to return to exactly where you left off. Also good for quickly switching from reading the comics to reading email when someone walks up to chat.

I can not say how the cloud stuff works from my own experience, although I can tell you it simply appears like any other network disk in your Computer window. I guess I just don’t trust putting my files out on the Internet, no matter who promises me nothing will happen. Still, the inherent ability for Linux (for years) to simply connect to any other *ix type computer  tells me it should be no problem — it just opens in your file manager / navigator like everything else.

I did upgrade my Ubuntu desktop 10.04 automagically to 10.10 some time ago — it took a while but it was painless and automatic, AND I could continue to use the PC even while it was being upgraded. I also like the GWibber feature which lets me watch my FaceBook and Twitter unobtrusively while I work — if something new comes in the launcher will blink to tell me so. The only downside I experienced was on my desktop at work I heavily rely on VMware, and VMWare did not compile in the latest release — a common problem with VMWare — so I was forced to fall back to the prior version. VMWare will eventually catch up, it is just irritating that I pay these people money and then must wait a few months before I can use the product again.

Hope this Helps!


Another article you may enjoy is the “8 Reasons to Build Your Own PC”. You can find it here.