EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.19.09

The Quest to Daemonise Critics of Microsoft

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft at 8:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Daemon

Summary: Mischaracterisation and demeaning sensationalism as tools of making sticklers of law and ethics look bad

LAST WEEK we pointed out that critics of criminal activity tend to be portrayed as 'bad guys'. This is very sad. In essence, it leads us to a state where criminals are glorified and they also set an example for others to follow, having shown what felons can get away with. Nice guys need not finish last and good people need not be excluded from deciding on world policy. It takes a lot of talent to take people whose intentions are good and moral value is high and then totally reverse this, casting them as “irrational haters”. Richard Stallman is a good example of victims of this tactic. He is a big target to many.

It is almost understandable that some people view Microsoft’s GPL violation [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and the company’s response to it as something worthy of credit. Even proponents of GNU/Linux are led into feeling this way.

To its credit, rather than damning the tool to program hell, Microsoft released the tool’s source code under the GPLv2 licence.

Microsoft’s PR people are trying to portray this latest GPL violation as something positive instead. But why “credit”? Microsoft had no choice. As we put it back in July when Microsoft was caught violating the GPL, "Microsoft's Goodwill is to Obey the Law" (having broken it and gotten caught). This is a repeating pattern wherein Microsoft is trying to inverse truisms and add exaggeration with strong words like “evil” or “hate” to provoke or stigmatise critics.

“This is a repeating pattern wherein Microsoft is trying to inverse truisms and add exaggeration with strong words like “evil” or “hate” to provoke or stigmatise critics.”Yesterday we gave an example of this in relation to Matt Asay’s “The convenient fiction that Microsoft is evil.” We deliberately link to the Linux Today page which contains a lot of comments. The response from Linux Today is largely negative, and rightly so.

What a terrible, almost trollish, headline to use. Maybe this is why Microsoft employees (or former Microsoft employees who now serve Microsoft from the outside, e.g. Mono) pretend that he is the second most influential person in “open source” (never mind those developers, lawyers and marketing people are much more important!), expecting that he’ll reciprocate.

It is rather insulting when people who work with Microsoft preach to people who strictly stick to the law about how irrational and intolerant they are. As if to say, “follow my lead for peace and harmony along with peace-loving and harmony-loving Steve Ballmer. We should forgive Microsoft every year for any crime that’s committed again and again. What’s a bribe between two tolerant people? What’s a recurrence of hundreds of times to a behavioural pattern? Let us have compassion.”

It’s a patronising attitude and it is not fair.

The facts speak for themselves. Microsoft is still attacking GNU/Linux in very disgusting ways [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

Here is one new response to Asay’s piece. It’s titled “Convenient Fictions” and it is sarcastic.

It’s a convenient fiction that a vocal minority within the open-source community believes Microsoft is the source of all evil in the technology world.

For “such people“, it is far easier to denounce an imaginary one-dimensional straw man directing irrational “hate” towards a single entity than a principled stand against anti-freedom activities, no matter the source.

The fact of the matter, as a moment of honest research will show, is that the “vocal minority” has something to say about Microsoft, Apple, Intel, the MPAA, the RIAA, and many other entities – large and small – that engage in anti-user, anti-Freedom activites.

[...]

However, it makes no more sense to take this single incident and use it as exculpatory evidence than it would to use this single incident as damming evidence. Yet, by connecting this single “error” to the hateful straw man, that is exactly what “such people” are attempting – avoiding any mention of over a decade of history of clearly-not-mistake hostile and illegal actions.

Such dishonest apologetics do no one a favor. They do not cast Microsoft in a more favorable light. They do not strengthen the credibility of the apologist. And they do not convert the critic.

Asay was not alone with this line of argument. A decades-long writer of books about Microsoft development is sort of trivialising criminal activities and describing critics as though they are kids or “Star Wars” enthusiasts by exaggerating. It’s titled “IT Needs Its Darth Vaders” and the response to it is negative. Rainer Weikusat calls it “babble”.

Does the psychiatrist know about the existence of control freaks?

Well, does the psychiatrist know about the existence of (still kicking and very much alive) control freaks? For example, what’s going on with the secret ACTA negotiations — the looming threats of global DMCA, three strikes laws, etc.
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/index.php?option=com_ta gs&task=view&tag=acta
Or does the author believe that we should all sit down and relax and trust our future to the the benevolent senator Palpatine?

A few days ago we wrote about Microsoft’s latest PR move for “open source”. Well, “open source spin” is what it ought to be called when Microsoft does useless things to confuse people and characterise something whose core is all proprietary as “open”. Moreover:

[T]he TCP/IP stack will not be open-sourced – because, as Peter Galli, who runs Port 25, Microsoft’s means of communicating with open source, says , “the TCP/IP stack is third party software that Microsoft licenses from EBSNet, so we do not have the rights to distribute that source code.

“If someone needs to access the source code for the TCP/IP stack, they can contact EBSNet directly.”

What use is a framework that caters to internet-connected devices without a TCP/IP stack?

Watch “FOSS” mentioned in relation to Word documents in this new press release. It was a long time ago that we warned about "Open Source" losing its meaning because of Microsoft (OOXML described as “open source” in the Times of India right after massive corruption).

“Microsoft is, I think, fundamentally an evil company.”

Former Netscape Chairman James H. Clark

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    November 19, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Gravatar

    Interesting catch there with the fake tcpip stack. Recall the quotes

    “The Internet? We are not interested in it”

    “The Internet is just a passing fad”

    Of course he is not interested in an open network. Bill has been angling for a proprietary M$-only network since the beginning.
    Scrutinizing the stack would make the risk to users visible. During the last two years, M$ operatives (yeah that’s what they act like, so that’s what we’ll call them) working on site inside businesses and institutions have been taking out various and sundry Internet protocols and replacing them with non-standard versions. DNS is one of the most vital protocols getting attacked.

    Most of these operatives aren’t even letting either their user base or their management know about the changes. Just let things stop working.

    If M$ replacement stack were opened up under GPLv3, then anyone could implement it, and that would defeat the purpose of it, as laid out in the documents known as “Halloween I” If the M$ replacement stack were opened up under any FOSS license then it could be scrutinized and two things would probably be found: 1. that it is as insecure and unreliable as bing cash, sharepoint, ms passport and anything else to squeeze out of Redmond with a grunt. 2. that it is a trojan horse for a proprietary network

What Else is New


  1. GitHub is All About Control

    GitHub is not a platform for sharing and collaboration but social control and manipulation of the Free software community



  2. 2019 in Review: Worst Year Ever for Software Freedom

    A look back (and ahead) as the year's end fast approaches, marking the end of a mostly bad year



  3. Links 15/12/2019: Hacker-Friendly Hardware Success Stories and Mozilla Woes

    Links for the day



  4. European Patents Losing Their Appeal, Lustre and Glamour

    Years of assaults on EPO staff — including EPO judges — have taken their toll and the quality of patents is nothing like it used to be



  5. Software Freedom and The U.S. Constitution

    “We need to stand for the freedom to not use the software — we need to enjoy that freedom without giving up the rest of the existing Free software ecosystem.”



  6. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 14, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 14, 2019



  7. Links 15/12/2019: Wine 5.0 RC1 Released, KDE Frameworks 5.65.0, Qubes OS 4.0.2 RC3

    Links for the day



  8. It Matters a Lot What You Call the System

    Why the best name for the best operating system would be "GNU", not "Linux" (media has twisted the words so as to marginalise GNU and its politics/philosophy)



  9. Only the EPO Goes as Far as Bribing Publishers (the Media) to Promote Software Patents and Publish Fictional Stories

    The world’s patent offices are growing tired of granting software patents which courts later toss out (because these patents are not valid); not only does the EPO advocate such patents — typically using a bundle of buzzwords — it’s also bribing the media to help



  10. EU Needs to Show That It Cares About SMEs and Not 'European Champions' That Are Actually Foreign Monopolies

    Judging by the EU’s nearly blind and unconditional support for the management of the EPO — no matter how abusive and corrupt it has gotten — one has to wonder if the ex-EU official in charge of the EPO reveals a profound democracy deficit as well as growing dangers to Europe’s businesses — the productive firms to which patent maximalism often represents far more risk than opportunity



  11. Guest Article: The Free Software Movement Should Come Out From the Box

    "From now onwards we have to think from a user’s rights perspective and mobilise users of Free software. They should know what rights they ought to get."



  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, December 13, 2019



  13. Links 13/12/2019: QEMU 4.2.0, GNU Guile 2.9.7

    Links for the day



  14. Links 13/12/2019: Zorin OS 15.1, Vim 8.2

    Links for the day



  15. Linux Foundation Has Outsourced All the Licence Compliance Stuff to Microsoft, a Serial GPL Violator

    OpenChain Specification/OpenChain Project and Automated Compliance Tooling (ACT) are yet more examples -- the latest of many -- of the Linux Foundation being outsourced to Microsoft, not only for code but also documentation and hosting



  16. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 12, 2019



  17. Copyleft: Keeping Code Free

    Now that news about "Linux" is dominated by promotion of proprietary software we ought to remember what perpetrators of such a strategy seek to eliminate



  18. Plans That Worked, Plans That Failed

    "I am still looking for good news, but the more good I try to find, the more nastiness I uncover. This is by far, Free software's worst year ever. 2019 Sucks!"



  19. Links 12/12/2019: KDE Applications 19.12, Qt Creator 4.11, New VirtualBox

    Links for the day



  20. Brand Dilution in Action

    Microsoft's proprietary software which spies on people and businesses is getting a "free ride" on the "Linux" brand; and nobody seems to care, nobody seems to notice how perverse that it



  21. At the EPO Money -- Not Quality -- is King

    Financiers are ruining quality



  22. The EPO's Strategic Failure 2023

    Potemkin social dialogue



  23. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 11, 2019



  24. EPO Promoting Software Patents in Countries Where These Are Illegal

    The EPO's vision of 'unitary' software patents (patents on algorithms in countries that disallow such patents, as per their national laws) won't materialise, but in the meantime a lot of Invalid Patents (IPs) are granted in the form of European Patents (EPs) and this is wrong



  25. We Support GNU and the FSF But Remain Sceptical and Occasionally Worry About an RMS-less FSF

    Richard Stallman (RMS) is not in charge of the FSF anymore (it's Stallman who created the FSF) and there's risk the decisions will be made by people who don't share Stallman's ethics or the FSF's spirit



  26. Links 11/12/2019: Huawei Lobbied by Microsoft (Because of GNU/Linux) and Microsoft Still Googlebombs Linux to Promote 'Teams'

    Links for the day



  27. Links 11/12/2019: Edge Native Working Group, CrossOver 19.0 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Instead of Fixing Bug #1 Canonical/Ubuntu Contributes to Making the Bug Even More Severe (WSL/EEE)

    Following one seminal report about Canonical financially contributing to Microsoft's EEE efforts — celebrated openly by GNU/Linux opponentsclosing bug #1 Ubuntu basically decided not that it was fixed but that it would no longer attempt to fix it (“wontfix”)



  29. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 10, 2019



  30. Today's Example of Microsoft's Faked 'Love'

    “On 7 September 2017, users began noticing a message that stated “Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams”. This was confirmed on 25 September 2017, at Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference,” according to Wikipedia


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