09.02.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

Why I Disagree with Jack Wallen Regarding “FUD”

Posted in FSF, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 5:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Peacekeeping soldiers
Good luck deterring armed men using cookies

Summary: In defense of the practice of highlighting problems with Microsoft’s business practices and shoddy output

THE FSF’s “Windows 7 Sins” campaign has garnered plenty of attention and coverage, some of which we assembled in:

Jack Wallen, an advocate of GNU/Linux, disagrees with the approach taken by the FSF and he is not one to be ignored. Among the things he wrote:

And whether the public knows it or not, this FUD that the FSF is spouting is actually true. Look at the list. You can take that list one-by-one and realize that the FSF is, at least, being honest. But I do think the FSF is missing a big opportunity here.

[...]

I personally think the FSF can (and should) do better than muckraking and FUD.

I would like to address Wallen’s point of view. Microsoft may not make this visible, but it is attacking GNU/Linux in the harshest of ways behind the scenes (even bribing against it, just watch this antitrust exhibit) and as we showed in the previous post, Microsoft constantly lies about the market share of GNU/Linux. It tries to discourage software vendors who support Linux and also demoralise GNU/Linux developers, not to mention the effect on prospective users of GNU/Linux, who are led to the false belief that GNU/Linux is very scarcely used. In many people’s perception, majority opinion infers “correct opinion” (even when a particular platform is not being chosen but gets imposed rather).

When dealing with bullies it is hard to be gentle. One can try, but it does not go very far. It is reasonable to debunk FUD using evidence (e.g. repeated observations), but sometimes a counter-action is also necessary. For instance, if Microsoft throws FUD at Linux and Apache for allegedly being “not secure”, one can provide evidence to the contrary. How? Well, it’s all comparative. The only way to refute such FUD is then to show that Windows and IIS are less secure. Security — like uptime — is gauged by negative measures like vulnerabilities, compromises, and downtime.

How about this chain of new reports about a very severe flaw in Microsoft IIS 5 and 6?

Unpatched flaw could take down Microsoft’s IIS server

A hacker has posted code that could be used to install unauthorized software on older versions of the server

[...]

Other versions of IIS are also at risk, according to Thierry Zoller, an independent researcher who has studied the issue. However, newer versions of Microsoft’s operating systems have features that make it less serious, he added via instant message.

Does the above quality as “FUD”? Does it make me a bad person when I post this informative observation that serves to defend the contention that Apache and Linux are “more secure”? Is there a better way going about proving it? If not comparatively, how else? Being shy to criticise can often be unproductive.

“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”

Microsoft's chief evangelist

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

A Single Comment

  1. twitter said,

    September 3, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Gravatar

    Sometimes, you have to call a spade a spade. The free software foundation has always told us why free software is better than non free software and that includes condeming restrictions and other practices that harm everyone. Here is a 1994 essay that sums up the sins of non free software and it’s owners. Here’s another one from 1992. Richard Stallman saw this all coming in 1983 when someone asked him to sign an NDA. The recent campaign against Vista 7 contains only a subset of what’s wrong with non free software. If anything, it’s toned down to factual observations about the software itself and ignores most of M$’s other criminal behavior. This portion of the newer essay is worth quoting:

    What does society need? It needs information that is truly available to its citizens—for example, programs that people can read, fix, adapt, and improve, not just operate. But what software owners typically deliver is a black box that we can’t study or change. Society also needs freedom. When a program has an owner, the users lose freedom to control part of their own lives.
    And above all society needs to encourage the spirit of voluntary cooperation in its citizens. When software owners tell us that helping our neighbors in a natural way is “piracy”, they pollute our society’s civic spirit.

    The biggest difference between now and 1992 is that people realize that the above is true but they need to be told clearly what they can do about it. Big publishers and software owners have shown their intentions too boldly and the public now understands where non free software will take them. The Bad Vista Campaign was a success and Windows 7 Sins will be an even bigger success because people are finally catching up to Richard Stallman. M$’s control is still firm, so people need strong words to make clear what they already know is wrong with the computer industry. Without that clarity, people might let themselves be lead along by M$’s billion dollar a month advertising and OEM grip into buying Windows or doing nothing.

    Another big difference between now and 1992 is that the free software economy is making billions of dollars for companies and people all around the world. As RMS recently said, claiming that free is software economically unsound is like claiming heavier than air flight is impossible when anyone can go to the airport and watch the industry for themselves. It’s time for industry to liberate itself too. They can do that a lot better with a public that values freedom.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 08/02/2023: Transmission 4.0.0 Released and Mass Layoffs at Zoom

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 07, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 07, 2023



  3. When the Pension Vanishes

    Today we commenced a multi-part mini-series about pensions and what happens when they suddenly vanish and nobody is willing to explain where all the money went



  4. Sirius 'Open Source' Pensiongate: An Introduction

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series continues in the form of a mini-series about pensions; it’s part of an ongoing investigation of a deep mystery that impacts people who left the company quite a long time ago and some of the lessons herein are applicable to any worker with a pension (at times of financial uncertainties)



  5. Links 07/02/2023: Endless OS 5.0 and Voice.AI GPL Violations

    Links for the day



  6. No Doubt Microsoft Unleashed Another 'Tay', Spreading Bigotry Under the Guise of Hey Hi (AI)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  7. Links 07/02/2023: Fedora 39 Development Plans Outlines

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 06, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, February 06, 2023



  9. Links 06/02/2023: Escuelas Linux 8.0 and Many Political Issues

    Links for the day



  10. Links 06/02/2023: Sparky 6.6 and IPFire 2.27 – Core Update 173

    Links for the day



  11. Taking Back Control or Seizing Autonomy Over the News Cycle (Informing People, Culling the Marketing)





  12. Reality Versus Fiction: EPO Insiders Versus EPO Web Site and UPC 'Churnalists'

    The "official" sources of the European Patent Office (EPO), as well as the sedated "media" that the EPO is bribing for further bias, cannot tell the truth about this very large institution; for proper examination of Europe's largest patent office one must pursue the interpretation by longtime veterans and insiders, who are increasingly upset and abused (they're being pressured to grant patents in violation of the charter of the EPO)



  13. Links 06/02/2023: Linux 6.2 RC7 and Fatal Earthquake

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 05, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 05, 2023



  15. Links 05/02/2023: Wayland in Bookworm and xvidtune 1.0.4

    Links for the day



  16. Links 05/02/2023: Pakistan Blocks Wikipedia, Musharraf Dies

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 04, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 04, 2023



  18. Links 04/02/2023: FOSDEM Happening and Ken Thompson in SoCal Linux Expo

    Links for the day



  19. 2023 is the Year Taxpayers' Money Goes to War and Energy Subsidies, Not Tech

    Now that a lot of powerful and omnipresent ‘tech’ (spying and policing) companies are rotting away we have golden opportunities to bring about positive change and maybe even recruit technical people for good causes



  20. Getting Back to Productive Computer Systems Would Benefit Public Health and Not Just Boost Productivity

    “Smartphoneshame” (shaming an unhealthy culture of obsession with “apps”) would potentially bring about a better, more sociable society with fewer mental health crises and higher productivity levels



  21. Links 04/02/2023: This Week in KDE and Many More Tech Layoffs

    Links for the day



  22. Dotcom Boom and Bust, Round 2

    The age of technology giants/monopolies devouring everything or military-funded (i.e. taxpayers-subsidised) surveillance/censorship tentacles, in effect privatised eyes of the state, may be ending; the United States can barely sustain that anymore and raising the debt ceiling won't solve that (buying time isn't the solution)



  23. Society Would Benefit From a Smartphoneshame Movement

    In a society plagued by blackmail, surveillance and frivolous lawsuits it is important to reconsider the notion of “smart” phone ownership; these devices give potentially authoritarian companies and governments far too much power over people (in the EU they want to introduce new legislation that would, in effect, ban Free software if it enables true privacy)



  24. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 03, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, February 03, 2023



  25. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 02, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 02, 2023



  26. Links 03/02/2023: Proton 7.0-6 Released, ScummVM 2.7 Testing

    Links for the day



  27. Links 03/02/2023: OpenSSH 9.2 and OBS Studio 29.0.1

    Links for the day



  28. Links 03/02/2023: GNU C Library 2.37

    Links for the day



  29. Sirius Finished

    Yesterday I was sent a letter approving my resignation from Sirius ‘Open Source’, two months after I had already announced that I was resigning with immediate effect; they sent an identical letter to my wife (this time, unlike before, they remembered to also change the names!!)



  30. The Collapse of Sirius in a Nutshell: How to Identify the Symptoms and Decide When to Leave

    Sirius is finished, but it's important to share the lessons learned with other people; there might be other "pretenders" out there and they need to be abandoned


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts