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Friday, June 11th, 2010 @ 06:02 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 15,413

Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?

  “ORDERED that SCO's Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law or, in the Alternative, for a New Trial is DENIED.” So ends the ruling of District Judge Ted Stewart. And so also, perhaps, ends the seemingly endless quest of SCO to tax or kill Linux.   Given SCO’s well-demonstrated tenacity and unwillingness to face reality, it may seem unwise to assume we have indeed seen the end of the road. But, as with the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, once someone who has lost touch with reality loses their last limb, it’s easy to just walk away and leave them alone with their delusions. Presumably, that’s what SCO’s trustee in bankruptcy will now do, forbidding any funds to be spent pursuing SCO’s suit against IBM, or anyone else.   Assuming that’s the case, this isn’t a bad time to ask the question, “What did it all mean?” 
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 @ 06:50 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 14,516

 

Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?   When news of Oracle's intended acquisition of Sun Microsystems broke long ago, many people wondered what that would mean for OpenOffice, the most widely adopted full desktop implementation of ODF. But Oracle immediately imposed a company-wide "no comment" policy on that topic, so everyone has been wondering what the answer might be ever since.   So like many others, I expect, I’m trying to get my brain around Oracle’s reasoning in deciding to charge $90 for a formerly free ODF conversion plug-in developed by Sun Microsystems.  That downloadable plug-in was intended for Microsoft Office users who wanted to import ODF-compliant documents created, most obviously, by users of the free, open source OpenOffice.org (OOo) version, or of Sun’s StarOffice, the for-sale, supported productivity suite based on the free OOo code.    Moreover, it’s not just $90 you’ll need to fork over – the plug-in is only available in packages of 100.

 

Thursday, April 1st, 2010 @ 12:01 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 20,664

Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?

In reviewing my RSS feed this morning, I found this interesting blog entry by Alex Brown, titled Microsoft Fails the Standards Test.  In it, Alex makes a number of statements, and reaches a number of conclusions, that are likely to startle those that followed the ODF-OOXML saga. The bottom line? Alex thinks that Microsoft has failed to fulfill crucial promises upon which the approval of OOXML was based. He concludes that unless Microsoft reverses course promptly, “the entire OOXML project is now surely heading for failure.”

Wow.

Thursday, March 4th, 2010 @ 12:01 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 29,406

Have you discovered the Alexandria Project?

By now you've probably read endless takes on the news that Elliott Associates, one of the oldest hedge funds, with over US $16 billion under management, has made an unsolicited offer for Novell.  Almost all of these articles have focused on whether Elliott means business, what they'll do to Novell if they are successful, and whether another (and perhaps ultimately successful) bidder will enter the scene. 

I haven't seen any article yet, though,  that describes in detail how the high stakes game of tender offers is played, and how the usual process maps (and doesn't) to a high tech company like Novell.  So I thought I'd provide an overview for those that haven't had occasion to follow a tender offer in the past, and also my thoughts on what may happen over the next several months in this particular game of cat and mouse.

So here goes.

Friday, February 19th, 2010 @ 09:45 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 37,260

Have you discovered the Alexandria Project?

A long running case of great significance to the legal underpinnings of free and open source/open source software (F/OSS) has just settled on terms favorable to the F/OSS developer.  The settlement follows a recent ruling by a U.S. Federal District Court judge that affirmed several key rights of F/OSS developers under existing law.

That case is Jacobsen v. Katzer, and the settlement documents were filed in court just after 9:00 AM this morning.  Links to each of them can be found later in this blog entry.  The brief background of the case, the legal issues at stake, and the settlement details are as follows.

Monday, February 15th, 2010 @ 12:01 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 7,726

Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?

I don't usually post twice a day, but today was opening day in Barcelona of the Mobile World Congress, the biggest mobile show of the year, and the announcements were popping thick and fast.  One of those announcements unveiled a new mobile platform called MeeGo - a new open source contender in the race to power the broad array of devices that are rapidly proliferating in the mobile marketplace.  And, I'm happy to say, MeeGo will be hosted by The Linux Foundation. 

We've been working for some time on this,  and we're very pleased that the project has now gone public. The LF press release can be found here, and the Intel version of the joint Intel-Nokia release is here.  As usual, both are also pasted in below for archival  purposes.  I think you'd also find LF Executive Director Jim Zemlin's blog entry worth a read, and I'll quote from it below.

Friday, February 5th, 2010 @ 01:16 PM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 5,111

As you may recall, the Linux Foundation last year ran a video contest that drew a lot of entries, many of which were not only entertaining, but had surprisingly high production values as well.  Last year's invitation was to use the popular "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" ad series as an inspiration, and you can see the winning videos here (all of last year's entries can be found here).

Well, it's that time again, and LF has just annnounced this year's contest theme, rules and deadline.  The announcement is here, and also pasted in at the end of this blog entry.  This year, the invitation is to submit what a Super Bowl ad for Linux might be like, if there was ever to be such a thing.

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 @ 10:53 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 20

Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?

United LinuxAs you may recall, the CodePlex Foundation indicated in January that it expected to name a permanent Executive Director within a few weeks' time.  That has now happened, and in the "small world" department, the new ED happens to be Paula Hunter - someone I've known for years, and worked with several times in the past.  The full press release is below.  Paula is someone I like and respect a lot, and a great choice for CodePlex.

As you'll see from the announcement, one of Paula's prior jobs was as the Executive Director of UnitedLinux.  UL was a client of mine, and that's where I first met Paula.  And if you've never heard the saga of UL, it's a rather fascinating story.

Thursday, January 28th, 2010 @ 07:01 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 5,354

The last issue of Standards Today focused on XML - the underpinning of ODF and hundreds of other standards - and one of the most important standards ever developed.  Here is the editorial from that issue.

One of the many intriguing concepts mooted by Pierre Tielhard de Chardin, a French philosopher and Jesuit priest with polymathic insights (his academic explorations range from paleontology to the meaning of the Cosmos) is the "noosphere." In de Chardin's vision, the reality of the world encompassed not just the geosphere (inanimate matter) and biosphere (all forms of life), but an ever expanding nimbus of knowledge representing the fusion of the minds and knowledge of all humans.

Sunday, January 10th, 2010 @ 01:54 AM
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Views: 45,208

Think of the words "standards war," and unless you're a standards wonk like m...oh, never mind...you're likely to think of the battle between the Betamax and VHS video tape formats.  That's because videos are consumer products that just about everyone uses, and therefore the bloodshed in that standards war was not only shed in public view, but the some of the blood that was shed was shed by the public (i.e., those that bought video players supporting Betamax, the losing, but arguably superior, format).  Fast forward (pun intended) to the present, and the trademarks "HD DVD and "Blu-ray" may ring a bell - and that's no coincidence.

Why?  Because different industries have different business models and strategies that involve standards, and these often perpetuate over time - decades, in this case.  In the case of the consumer electronics sector, that culture has too often been one of a patent-based, winner take all effort to cash in big time while your competitors take it on the chin.  And it's not just media formats, either.  As I noted in a blog entry a few weeks ago, we're seeing the same type of behavior in eBook readers.  Since there's only one market, and the market demands one format to win in the end, that means that the camp that owns the bundle of patents underlying the winning format standard wins a bonanza. 

Why? because the losers must pay through the nose for the license rights to build the players that implement the format standard that wins.  The winners, on the other time win twice: once, by receiving the royalties, and again, because their own players have a lower cost to produce, because they don't have to pay royalties to themselves.

So guess what?  Here we go again, but with a bit of a twist this time.