Tonnerre Lombard

Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

US Aid offering cheap monopolist products to the third world

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

The U.S. Agency for International Development (US Aid) is offering cheap access to hardware and training curriculae for Microsoft operating systems.

The project in question is a US$236’000.- project to unbind the Ā«Unlimited PotentialĀ» of the industries of Sri Lanka which could be enhanced with information technology. It will be executed by Info Share, an NGO which develops IT solutions for NGOs, and Unlimited Potential, a Microsoft welfare organization, whose main purpose is to spread Microsoft in the developing world.

German Police says Good Bye to Microsoft Products

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

After the German Bundesrechnungshof has released a paper critizising the extensive and expensive use of Windows in public services, the German Police Trade Union has demanded that the failed police software project POLIKS shall be discontinued and all installations of the Windows operating system of Microsoft be replaced with Linux.

Issues with the new system had been raised for a long time already. It takes half an hour and longer to record a single case, which had been done within a couple of minutes using the paper based approach. This half hour is of course time that the person reporting the incident will have to wait. Also, the system has experienced 50 hours of downtime for the year, which is a rather low availability rate as opposed to services normally offered by Open Source systems.

The Police Union representatives suggest that the saved license fees could be used for the christmas gratifications for the police officers.

Big crash in the financial market in 2008 due to patents?

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

Some experts are expecting a major financial crash in the world due to a breakdown of three main pillars of the world financial system: consumer debts, mortgages, and patents.

According to an article by Pieter Hintjens (President of FFII), a lot of banks have given out moneys for patent portfolios based on the assumption that there is a value associated with these patents. These values however are not based on any facts but on pure marketing: something that could be done with the patent. Experts have never liked this idea, which is also the reason why we don’t have the often-called-for patent insurance yet: because insurance agencies rejected patents as uninsurable.

Nevertheless, banks tended and still tend to give out their money freely to companies and other entities that have nothing else to offer as collateral than a patent portfolio. However, starting from January 1st, 2008, banks have to report their risks imposed by intangibles due to the new Basel II regulations which come into force. At this point, fear coming up is to be expected, and the crisis of the financial market, which is already fueled by the burst of the housing bubble, is going to rise even further.