Summary: Serial harasser of Free software luminaries may be put on their blacklists, but the verbal abuse continues
I was provided an e-mail from a source that has been dealing with David “Lefty” Schlesinger, aka Stonemirror, Aka Lefty, Aka Aqualung93. First I told Lefty to stop harassing me and then I was included in his unrelated criminal complaints against Mr Nath/Mr Hughes. It appears that since nobody takes Lefty seriously, he now attempts to bring Richard Stallman and Bruce Perens into his exaggerated and highly defamatory claims.
It is understandable that some people wish to defend a pro-software patents strategy, GPL disdain, and companies like Apple and Novell. This is not an excuse for making defamatory claims and saying things like “Richard “My holy duty is to rape women who’ve never used EMACS” Stallman“. There is no rape, virgins can also be male, and it was so obviously a joke. This perp who cried in front of Open Source visionary Bruce Perens because he didn't join his anti-Stallman crusade is just trying to tarnish the GNU brand which is almost synonymous with Richard Stallman and this is just another example of the FSF smears that we wrote about last week. Novell employees sometimes do that too.
“Novell employees sometimes do that too.”Anyway, in more important news, some months ago we saw Novell experiencing trouble with Microsoft code inside Linux. It “looks like they’re flushing some pretty heinous bugs out of the Linux 2.6.32 branch,” says our reader Ryan, whose claims one can find in the latest IRC log. Is Novell still struggling to convince Microsoft to actually maintain its own code that benefits Microsoft? The same code whose inclusion Microsoft was spinning after a GPL violation was found [1, 2, 3]? █
“Well, it’s in the brand. The image you create around the brand. That’s why I need you in this company. Because nobody in this company, or in this industry, really understands that. And if we can have the perception, I can create the reality. With the combination of the reality and the perception, nobody will ever beat us.”
To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.
THIS is another quick summary of news about patents, which are harming the field of software.
What is IP?
Slaveware companies go even further and use the word IP to confuse users. IP is a stupid bundle of Trademark, Copyright, Patent and much more. You can’t put patents and Trademark in the same basket, especially in the case of software or products which are in the software format. In a lot of countries software patents are not valid, but with the usage of the word IP these companies try to bring software under that umbrella of protection.
This is partly inspired by the FSF/GNU explanation. “IP” is considered a term to avoid because it’s a perception changer that gets embedded in our language.
Is embargo the new innovation? Sometimes it seems so:
THE US International Trade Commission (ITC) will launch an investigation into technology from Apple and Research In Motion (RIM) that seems to bear close resemblance to an invention claimed by Kodak.
The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has said it will investigate the makers of the iPhone and Blackberry, over technology used in their handsets.
Pretty much all smartphones are made outside of the US, so they can all be barred by the ITC, and with the technology in your average smartphone being covered by hundreds of patents, it’s almost certain that every smartphone infringes on a slew of patents.
Also from Masnick:
Firefox Guys Admit That Competition Is What Drives Innovation
Imagine if instead of thinking that way, the concept of a browser had been patented way back when? Does anyone honestly think that we’d have as innovative a web world as we do today?
Patents are a fence. Fences do not drive progress; it would be counter intuitive to grasp, too. So who benefits other than huge corporations and their lawyers? As this new document
[PDF] exemplifies it, “ADC is a patent holding company founded by a patent attorney”
So the patent system serves lawyers pretty well, at the expense of scientists of course. It’s the “solicitor tax” applied to areas of science and those who exploit loopholes benefit the most.
Software patents might end up in Europe if lobbyists of companies like Microsoft get their way. The president of the FFII points to this comment which says: “The creation by CreditSuisse and Deutsche Bank of “patent funds” to purchase unused patents also indicates that money is entering the European market to finance litigation.”
He also links to this new analysis of the United Patent Litigation System (UPLS), stating that it’s about “European Patent Law [getting] outsourced outside of the EU.”
The idea of creating a single patent court for Europe in order to improve legal certainty as well as to reduce costs is inextricably intertwined with the idea of creating a unitary trans-national patent which has the same legal effect all over Europe and which goes well beyond the European bundle patent of our days. Without such new substantive patent law, any attempt to bundle the procedural aspects of litigation and nullity matters will surely be futile. When assessing the chances for a unification of patent courts in Europe we will have to look at the history and prospects of both ideas. If there is no unitary substantial patent law in Europe there will also be no European patent court.
And who would that be good for? Lawyers seeking maximal damages? This is similar to the notion of extradition, which means that people receive no protection from unjust or corrupt jurisdictions. How are increased penalties and punishments improving society/science in general? They aren’t, they don’t.
In India too there are attempts to formally legalise software patents and patent lawyers in the country already lick their lips.
He explained that he also expected changes in regulations that would soon permit software patent filing without independent of hardware patents, which would be a large growth area.
Software patents are a travesty. They are wanted by patent trolls/lawyers and software monopolies that want to shield their dominant position (i.e. prevent free market competition). Stallman explained the problem one year ago in Germany. █
Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures Could be Biggest Racketeering Operation in the United States and Beyond
Summary: Patent thug Nathan Myhrvold turns out to have over 1,000 patent proxies with which to potentially attack and extort those who do not pay “protection money”; he also spent over $1 million lobbying his government
THE New York Times has published this report about Microsoft's patent troll Nathan Myhrvold, who is backed by his colleague Bill Gates, his former employer Microsoft, and even Apple. He already terrorises the industry using patents that it spent literally billions of dollars acquiring (not actually working to invent anything of substance).
“Yes, Intellectual Ventures uses “attack dogs” to fight its battles and this way it gets to pretend that it is not a patent aggressor.”According to the new report, “Intellectual Ventures spent more than $1 million on lobbying last year,” says the president of the FFII. That’s a lot of money to be spent changing the law in favour of a patent troll. Moreover, says the same person, “Up to 1,110 shell companies (ProxyTrolls) and affiliated entities appear to be linked to Intellectual Ventures.”
Yes, Intellectual Ventures uses “attack dogs” to fight its battles and this way it gets to pretend that it is not a patent aggressor. Microsoft uses similar strategies when it sues Google and even GNU/Linux vendors.
Here is what TechDirt had to say about the report from the New York Times:
Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures Using Over 1,000 Shell Companies To Hide Patent Shakedown
It’s no secret that we think Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures is a dangerous, innovation harming monstrosity. The company used a bait and switch scheme to get a bunch of big tech companies to fund it, not realizing that they were then going to be targets of his shakedown system. Basically, IV buys up (or in some cases, applies for) tons of patents, and then demands huge cash outlays from those same companies (often hundreds of millions of dollars) for a combined promise not to sue over those patents and (here’s the sneaky bit) a bit of a pyramid scheme, where those in early supposedly get a cut of later deals. Of course, to just talk to IV requires strict NDAs, so the details of these deals are kept under wraps and only leaked out anonymously. But the hundreds of millions of dollars going towards this sort of trolling behavior, rather than any actual innovation in the marketplace can be seen on various financial filings (you can’t hide hundreds of millions of dollars in payments that easily).
As a reader of ours pointed out some days ago, people like Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold are exploiting the press for self glorification. They are what’s sometimes known as “attention whores” (Myhrvold talks about cooking/cuisine and Gates pretends to save the world that he loots). BoingBoing is falling for the PR charade just as before, so it is essentially joining national propaganda. It defends people who in reality deserve to be sent to prison, just like Rick Berman with his fake charities routine. Those who do not know Berman ought to read that post before they read anything about the Gates Foundation, which is a classic example akin to those pseudo-charities that Berman sets up. Here is Berman’s latest attack on society, which he disguises under an Orwellian name like HumaneWatch.org.
Front group man extraordinaire Rick Berman and his attack group, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), have launched a new Web site, HumaneWatch.org, to harass the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the country’s largest animal welfare organization. In pursuing its mission of stopping animal cruelty, HSUS has apparently run afoul of some large, wealthy business interests, and now it is getting some major pushback.
Microsoft uses the same strategy by urging its front groups to create fake movements and Web sites that claim to represent small businesses or citizens’ interests. It’s all about creating proxies, just like Intellectual Ventures which has many ‘satellites’ (like the mafia).
Intel is diving into a patent pool in hopes of avoiding future troll attacks.
The chip maker has signed on with RPX, a patent aggregation startup whose members pay steep annual fees to help shield themselves from royalty demands and litigation costs of patent trolls.
That’s nonsense. Patent trolls have no products, so RPX offers no defense against them. It’s just another pool of huge companies which create a sort of cartel or coalition that transitions patent law into multi-player protectionism. Why is it again that the mainstream media is casting the biggest and most treasonous patent trolls as national heroes? █
“In the fall of 1982, Pam Edstrom [of Waggener Edstrom], a diminutive woman with piercing blue eyes, was recruited by Microsoft. [...] In modern-day business, flacks were responsible not only for avoiding bad press, but for spinning the good. [...] Hanson and Edstrom would spin a whole new image for Gates himself. They would tap the best and worst of Chairman Bill, changing his clothes, his voice, and his allegiances, driving him to become not just the boss, but, essentially, the company mascot—a sort of high-technology Colonel Sanders.”
Summary: Microsoft is looking into serious problems with Hotmail and adding some GNU/Linux-hostile elements to phones
HOTMAIL is up to no good again. A new Hotmail issue that we mentioned the other day is still being “investigated” by Microsoft rather than denied. It involved a breach into people’s account details.
Microsoft investigates Hotmail privacy breach
In its statement, the software giant said, “Microsoft takes customers’ privacy seriously, and immediately upon learning of these reports, we started an investigation. We will take appropriate action once we have completed the investigation.”
For other important reasons, Hotmail is worth a special mention. It is not only responsible for a lot of the world's SPAM but it was also blocking GNU/Linux users after Microsoft had overhauled it. It was not an isolated incident and other services from Microsoft took the same route [1, 2, 3].
“So once again, Microsoft is ‘competing’ through exclusion and ‘punishment’ of competitors.”Microsoft takes this attitude even further with its rather disastrous mobile phones push. Well, it is not exactly shocking as we saw this coming and then cited hints of it (at least twice before this year, namely from CRN and from a longtime Microsoft booster). Yesterday at The Register, Microsoft booster Gavin Clarke confirmed that Microsoft would spread its anti-web standards weapon (Silver Lie) to boost its already-disappointing Windows Phone 7. So once again, Microsoft is ‘competing’ through exclusion and ‘punishment’ of competitors. Inoculation with proprietary software is never the solution, unless you are Microsoft. █
“The entire ambition for the Windows team was to create something “cool” that was also visually stimulating to the eye. Their goal was to create a virtual software layer that would unite the hardware and software marketplace on a single standard—a standard, once again, controlled by Microsoft.”
–Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by the daughter of Microsoft’s PR mogul
Summary: Dell suffers a drop in profits despite the glamorous hype and promises from Microsoft (upon releasing Vista 7)
Microsoft’s financial decline carries on [1, 2, 3, 4] as Vista 7 fails to take a recessional rebound. There are numbers that Microsoft does not want the public to see, Acer says that Windows sales were flat despite Vista 7, and a couple of weeks ago, right after Microsoft’s latest results that are dubious (Microsoft has debt), the Wall Street Journal published a report to say that business was stagnant or down for OEMs/computer makers despite the release of Vista 7.
Our reader Chips B. Malroy told us last night that there is more new evidence that Vista 7 could not have sold much. “The Dell article,” he explains, “shows that people are buying cheaper computers now. That cannot be good for MS. At some point the OEM pain of companies like Dell, will start finding ways to cut the MS profit.”
Dell profit drops despite Windows 7 PC rush
Its gross margin dropped to a relatively slim 16.6 percent as the holiday-related sales spike pushed it to sell 2 million more computers without as much profit as in the past.
Microsoft got its sums wrong on the price tag for the boxed version of Office Professional 2010, forcing it to hike the product by £30.
“Bill [Gates] would go to a very senior person at these other OEMs whether it was DEC or Tandy or Compaq or whoever and yell at them or tell them it had to be this way, or if you don’t do this we’ll make sure our software doesn’t run on your box. What do you do if you’re one of these OEM guys? You’re screwed. You can’t have Microsoft not support your hardware so you better do what they say.”
–McGregor, Bill Gates’ colleague
Summary: Windows users like their antivirus software, but there are accompanying risks
I received the following E-mail an hour ago:
Please be aware of the latest security outbreak on campus.
Fake Antivirus which is actual a malware infection!
To all Hornet users there has been a sudden increase across the campus of virus infections by rouge antivirus software application called Antivirus Soft and Paladin Antivirus which display warning pop messages warning your machine has been infection.
Antivirus soft is a rogue anti-spyware and ransomware program from the same family as Antivirus Live. These infections are installed on to your computer through the use of malware that installs the program onto your computer without your permission or knowledge.
Antivirus Soft will be configured to start automatically when Windows starts. Once running it will scan your computer and display numerous infections, but will state it will not remove them until you purchase the program. In reality, the infected files it detects are all fake and do not actually exist on your computer.
This program also uses aggressive techniques to protect itself from being removed by anti-malware programs. When the Antivirus Soft process is running it will close almost any running program while falsely stating that they are infected. Antivirus Soft will also change the Proxy settings in Internet Explorer so that you cannot browse to any web site other than the site for Antivirus Soft so that you can purchase the program. It does this so that you cannot browse the web to find removal guides or download software that will help you remove the infection. Using these two methods, the program essentially ransoms the normal use of your computer until you purchase the program or use this guide to remove the infection.
Paladin Antivirus is a rogue anti-spyware program from the same family as Malware Defense. This rogue is installed and promoted through the use of Trojans that will install it on to your computer without your permission.
Once installed, it will scan through the list of programs installed on your computer, and if it finds certain legitimate anti-malware programs, will prompt you to uninstall them. Some of the programs that it will attempt to remove are:
Agnitum Outpost Security Suite
Norton Internet Security
When installed, Paladin Antivirus will be configured to start automatically when your computer loads. Once started, it will scan your computer and detect numerous infections. These infections, though, are all fake or legitimate programs that should not be deleted.
Therefore, please do not act upon any of the scan results that this program may show and follow the guide for removing the software as per the Hornet official website.
Please remember antivirus software is available to download from the Hornet site please only use these approved and tested software
A month ago there was a "Virus Outbreak". No wonder network administrators dislike Windows. I worked in this area for 6 years. An online friend who is still working in that field has just published “Does Open Source really hate windows?”
While on the face of that previous statement it seems that microsoft is no different than any other business it is they way they operate which Open Source people find detestable. I always say that people are defined by their actions and not by what they say. The actions shown by microsoft are that they are ruthless, without business and personal ethics and treat their customers with less trust and respect than you would treat the homeless person on the street corner.
Truth be told, there is no hatred (there are some borderline lies and fabrications being spread about me today). There is yearning for the days when computers just worked. █