03.01.11

Miguel de Icaza is at Microsoft, Attacking Ubuntu GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 3:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Miguel de Icaza
Wikipedia image modified for humourous purposes (this Wikipedia article about Miguel de Icaza says that “[i]“n summer of 1997, he was interviewed by Microsoft for a job in the Internet Explorer Unix team”)

Summary: Miguel de Icaza, who is at Microsoft right now (Microsoft MVP Summit), is attacking Ubuntu/Canonical along with his Microsoft-funded colleagues

Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza keeps focusing only on Mono. It is hard to argue that the person splits his time between Microsoft and non-Microsoft projects because the other project he is associated with right now is Moonlight, not GNOME. The Microsoft/Novell crossover can also be seen in his very recent post which says:

Next week I will be in Bellevue, WA from Sunday to Wednesday to participate in the 2011 Microsoft MVP Summit.

That’s why we said he should be ostracised. He is no better than a Microsoft employee steering for certain directions to be taken in the FOSS world. A fellow Microsoft MVP (in the site of another Microsoft MVP, Chris Pirillo) says that Vista 7 SP1 will harm dual-boot Linux, as always [1, 2]. And this is the sort of company de Icaza wants us to trust and collaborate with? This morning’s post about Micromoles ought to serve as a warning because de Icaza went to Microsoft for a job interview. He works for de Icaza, not for software freedom; Microsoft is where he finds dividends (while publicly saying/implying in Microsoft-organised events that there is no money in FOSS).

“Novell’s interest is in spreading Mono, the product it co-develops with Microsoft and has exclusive protection for use (until next year).”At Novell, de Icaza is more than just this one man. He manages a team of like-minded people to whom Microsoft is a partner and also a source of revenue/paychecks (Microsoft funnels a lot of money into Novell for the company to behave the way Microsoft wants it to). There are many articles regarding the Ubuntu/Banshee argument which we covered at its earliest stages. Almost none of the articles dares to say that the Banshee developers are Novell employees (possibly bossed by de Icaza). “I’d refine that good advice in one respect,” wrote Groklaw about this Banshee controversy. “Canonical has lawyers, after all. It’s the community that needs to realize they need lawyers too. Lawyers of their own. Not lawyers they share with a company whose interests are not identical with their own.”

Novell’s interest is in spreading Mono, the product it co-develops with Microsoft and has exclusive protection for use (until next year). Novell is paid by Microsoft to be this sort of parasite and Canonical is now allowing a Microsoft patent liability to enter millions of GNU/Linux desktops. That’s a very foolish decision and it works in Microsoft’s (and Novell’s) favour.

“Canonical has lawyers [...] Not lawyers they share with a company whose interests are not identical with their own.”
      –Pamela Jones, Groklaw
Miguel de Icaza is already exploiting the controversy by making Ubuntu look bad (in Twitter). He links to derogatory Mark Shuttleworth cartoons that make Shuttleworth look greedy, whereas de Icaza will never say a word about the bad behaviour of Bill Gates. Welcome again to the world of spin, where “Linux people” are greedy, zealous, and evil, whereas Microsoft is all fair, professional, and pro-choice (that’s what they would have us believe).

This whole maneuver from Novell’s Micromoles has harmed Ubuntu’s reputation and led to articles such as this one. Canonical is now victimised by Novell/Microsoft Micromoles like de Icaza who conveniently mock it; Canonical is not the problem, it is the victim. The problem is those who want to harm Ubuntu, e.g. by pushing Microsoft patents into it. Edward Wyatt says that a Patent Bill was debated yesterday. To quote: “The Senate on Monday will begin debating a bill that critics say will undermine American strength abroad, plunder the United States economy and exceed the government’s constitutional authority.” Patrick Leahy, Orrin Hatch, and Chuck Grassley pushed for the Patent Reform Act of 2011, as we have been noting recently.

As long as software patents are valid in the United States, the likes of de Icaza are knowingly polluting GNU/Linux, priming it for lawsuits and extortion from their beloved Microsoft. Why is this allowed to carry on?

Microsoft Still Uses the Word “Choice” to Lie to the Public

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Google, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 2:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Signage

Summary: Microsoft uses dirty old tactics of spin, characterising itself as pro-choice and software freedom as against choice

Luke Hopewell from ZDNet.com.au helps Microsoft spread lots more propaganda this week (pushed through ZDNet, as usual). Microsoft Australia’s CTO is just given the platform to spout out a whole lot of nonsense such as:

“We believe in choice, and things should stand or fall by their own merits. Locking something in through denying interoperability is something that doesn’t promote that and that’s something we don’t support,” Stone said.

To lie with a straight face takes great courage. Suddenly they try to paint software freedom as “denying” “choice”. The hypocrisy knows no bounds and the ‘choice’ lie is a subject we explained here before [1, 2]. Using gymnastics in logic, Microsoft tries to make it seem like policies that favour free/open source software are impeding ‘choice’, just like Microsoft tried to cast the proprietary (Microsoft-only) OOXML as ‘choice’, where basically it relied on the confusion between standards and applications (it is desirable to have one standard with many applications implementing it, otherwise people cannot collaborate).

Over at IDG, the pro-Microsoft Nancy Gohring helps Microsoft spread ODF FUD [1, 2] right now:

Microsoft is also complaining about what it calls a lack of full support for the OpenDocument Format in Google Docs, which is used at least informally by some government agencies. When Google Docs renders documents created in ODF, it alters them by, for example, changing page numbers, said Curt Kolcun, vice president of Microsoft’s U.S. Public Sector group. Microsoft was subjected to intense pressure around the globe by government agencies that insisted it support the open document standards.

Watch how history is softened over time. When Gohring says “subjected to intense pressure” she actually refers to Microsoft corrupting (e.g. bribing), deceiving, buying votes, and bullying critics. And what for? To call its proprietary, monopolistic application “a standard” and then force governments (at taxpayers’ expense) to keep buying it, which in turn forces citizens to buy it (network effect). How malicious.

As for Google Docs, it’s not an example of good ODF support; as Carlo Piana recently put it, it turned his spreadsheet into spread s***. It’s a proprietary application, so it does not matter much and articles that paint it as “Google vs Microsoft” (rather than FOSS versus Office) are no better than those who talk about Mac vs PC/Apple vs Microsoft. It is a bogus, diversionary dilemma which excludes real contenders.

Anti-competitive Apple Removes Java

Posted in Apple, Java at 2:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Siberian tiger

Summary: Apple takes further baby steps towards inappropriate conduct by removing Java runtime

Apple keeps removing software that competes with Apple and can help advance Android at the expense of hypeOS (Objective-C). The Register explains why it’s reasonable to say that Apple removed Java after initial clues and the Java founder’s claims that Steve Jobs is a liar. To quote: “Apple has removed the Java runtime from its upcoming Mac OS X Lion, according to a report based on firsthand experience with a preview release of the OS.

“Appleinsider reports that the latest developer release of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion removes both Java and Rosetta, the package used to run PowerPC code on Intel-based Macs. But according to the fanboi news site, Lion includes a mechanism for automatically downloading the latest version of Java for the Mac.”

“So I no longer hate Apple products,” says this other new article. “In fact I use them every day. But I never feel like I own them. More like I’m renting them from Skynet.”

Apple is not about user choice and user control. It merely turns customers into consumers and repeatedly it bans its competitors using platform control.

Why Do Microsoft Employees Serve Microsoft Even After Leaving? It’s Part of the Contract.

Posted in Microsoft, Mono at 2:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pen and book

Summary: Microsoft moles (or “Micromoles”) can finally be explained more properly, using hard evidence which is a typical Microsoft employment contract

IN LIGHT of Microsoft’s lawsuit against its own manager (Miszewski) [1, 2, 3, 4] we get a rare chance to look at Microsoft employment contracts:

itting in court this week for a hearing in Microsoft’s lawsuit against a former general manager hired by Salesforce.com, I listened to lawyers and the judge quoting from a standard Microsoft employment agreement. And suddenly it dawned on me that, in all my years covering the company, I had never actually seen one.

“This is serious stuff,” explains gnufreex. “That is how MSFT does entryism. Any exec that goes to other company in a year, must work for MSFT agenda, or he gets sued. That is non-compete clause. If he doesn’t do what MSFT says, that is competition [...] If Microsoft exec goes to competing company without pausing whole year… He either gets sued rr must align company with MSFT interest. What’s the alternative? Go to company that doesn’t compete with Microsoft? Good luck with that. Execs go where they have expertise.”

“Any exec that goes to other company in a year, must work for MSFT agenda, or he gets sued.”
      –gnufreex
I recently had a very long exchange of opinions with a former Microsoft employee who now pretends to love Linux and he even wrote an entire book about it. The reason for concern is, this person is promoting Mono and bashing the FSF, just like other former Microsoft employees who now describe themselves as pro-FOSS. Who does Mono advocacy serve really? Their former employer, of course.

That could also help explain why Elop, a Microsoft president and shareholder, had Nokia commit suicide [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and chose what Eric Raymond now calls a hack of Windows CE:

I learned this morning that Windows Phone 7 – the smartphone OS that bricks your phone! – is a skin over a bunch of core components from Windows CE. Which if you came in late, is widely regarded as the second most wretched hive of bugs and villainy Microsoft ever shipped.

(Yes, I said “second most”. Even WinCE could not come near matching the epic failitude of Microsoft Bob, which can only be explained by the justified supposition that its product manager was doing the mattress mambo with Bill Gates. She later married him, and Microsoft Bob disappeared down the event horizon of a black hole created by its own suckiness.)

My initial reaction to this news was “Doomed! What on Earth were they thinking?“. On reflection, however, there is an angle from which this way of slapping WP7 together makes a horrifying kind of sense. Not that I now think it’s any less doomed, mind you…but there are perhaps some useful lessons to be learned if we examine this fiasco from the Microsoft point of view.

It’s 2008. Microsoft’s previous attempt at a new mobile-phone OS, codename “Photon”, has just crashed and burned. Suppose you are the loyal Microsoftie told that Microsoft needs to produce a new smartphone operating system on a deadline of less than three years. You can’t use anything with open-source ick all over it because der Ballmer would have an apeshit freakout and fire your ass the second he found out; there go all your best options. The weenies over in R&D have things they call operating systems, but after listening to a couple of presentations about stuff like fine-grained parallelism and persistent objects you realize they really are research vehicles and adapting one would be as much work as building from scratch.

Vista Phony 7 (WP7) is a joke, it’s not a platform. Even Microsoft does not really take it seriously, which is why it has proceeded to suing companies (mostly Android vendors) with patents and it probably plans to use Nokia’s patents portfolio too. This problem of “Micromoles” (or “magamoles”) is not going to go away, so it’s important HR professionals understand it.

“Where are we on this Jihad?”

Bill Gates

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