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

04.12.11

What Techrights Really is and How to Help Techrights

Posted in Site News at 3:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Happy birthday

Summary: Truths about Techrights and how to get involved (preferably IRC)

A longtime reader has repeatedly suggested that we introduce Techtrights properly, at the very least to those who do not know it or have heard about it from people who defame us/incite against us and sometimes retaliate against those who mention us. Yes, we are being defamed by those whom we criticise, usually those whose interests are directly and squarely against those of Free software. Groklaw was subjected to the same type of treatment for almost 8 years (especially when touching controversial subjects like Mono), but those who spent time around the site would know that its detractors simply lie. So, here are a bunch of myths we wish to address:

Myth: Techrights hasn’t many people participating.

Reality: In Techrights, communication used to rely on blog comments and E-mail, but ever since the middle of 2008, Freenode-hosted IRC has been the favoured means of communication (real-time, groupthink in the positive sense, etc.), which also goes public in the form of daily logs (conversations in IRC are less formal, so they get separated). In addition we use a wiki component, many of those who are involved use identi.ca for coordination, and in 2009 we decided to restrict blog comments to registered readers only. This lowered the amount of comments by almost 90%.

Myth: Techrights is a rebrand of Boycott Novell

Reality: A long time ago the site expanded in terms of scope (like SCO in the case of Groklaw) and we needed to organise the site in a way which divides the causes a little more effectively. So Boycott Novell became just part of a bigger domain, called Techrights. The transition was long overdue and it took years due to technical reasons which we resolved only to an extent (using the wiki, URL redirects, and so on).

Myth: Techrights is edited by some crazy person

Reality: People who know my qualifications and know me in person would beg to differ. I never hid my identity, either. I am working as a post-doctoral researcher specialising in image analysis and statistical modeling and I won some awards for my technical achievements, in addition to many trophies for achievements in physical, competitive sports. I also have an affinity for UNIX/Linux servers administration, with particular interest in the use of clusters to improve performance (necessary for the aforementioned job as I work with many gigabytes of 3-D datasets). People who defame the messenger’s character based on personal as opposed to technical arguments (cheap smears) are only stooping as low as one can get. The ruder defamatory comments doubt my doctorate degree or claim that I went to some obscure college when in fact I earned my degree at a 5*-rated department (highest in the UK), having been supervised by its Head of Department who received an OBE from the Queen of England. My software engineering credentials are ranked First Class with Honours. I still code on a daily basis and my software is free/libre. I do not interject my personality into this Web site because the site is not about me, it is about issues that more and more people care about. I’ve sacrificed a lot to grow its community and scale of content (body of diverse work) despite the many threats and attacks against me, so those with vengeance must remember that I too am a person with feelings and being lied about can be unpleasant, not just unethical. I am very approachable, I am not angry or dangerous, and those who still believe the stereotypes are encouraged to contact me as I always respond.

Myth: Techrights breeds hatred

Reality: The site could be interpreted in this way when it comes to a push called “Boycott Novell”, but the person who chose the name “Boycott Novell” no longer writes here, due to lack of time and other personal reasons. The reality is, the history of people who write here shows a track record of GNU/Linux advocacy (yes, mostly the GPL camp), not criticism of companies. Many of us are developers who actively contribute to the community. As the daily links in this site ought to show, this is still a focus of ours. Good news need not generate responses, whereas bad news tends to require discussion centered around rebuttals. This is why the subjects we cover in standalone posts are typically of negative nature. Many site are like that and it’s called “progressive”.

Myth: Techrights is editorially dependent on other sites

Reality: With the exception of the many external links we provide (some opponents of ours rant that these are not enough because we also cross-reference extensively), we are editorially independent. I used to write for news sites, but owing to my dependence on an editor’s judgment and de facto censorship I decided to concentrate my efforts on Techrights. People who contribute to Techrights do not have their sentences minced or their views discouraged to the point of self-censorship.

Myth: Techrights censors

Reality: In almost 5 years of running this site, we have never deleted any blog comments, not even vulgar ones which bear X-rated words and maybe threats. Over time this led us to requiring that users at the very least register, which leads to some certain liability/responsibility for what is said. “Anonymous cowards” tend to be reckless and IP addresses from Novell headquarters used to comment here anonymously as well (they are reportedly doing so from outside this site now, sometimes anonymously).

Myth: Techrights got cracked

Reality: Techrights was never cracked. This is part of the mythology spread by Internet trolls and stalkers, who try to defame the site by all means available, even libel which they themselves ‘plant’ on the Web and then cite as ‘proof’. When we came under DDOS attacks which downed us for days some clowns dared to suggest that we had DDOSed ourselves. Right, because that’s the most logical explanation…

Myth: Techrights gets paid to ‘shill’ for freedom

Reality: Neither I nor anyone else who is associated with this site ever received any incentive — money of otherwise — to run this site. This Web site is a form of grassroots activism and it is a hobby.

With all that in mind, please consider making us stronger by rebutting the lies which get repeated around the Web and also by making first contact in the IRC channels. That’s where a lot of our activity takes place and it is very amicable.

Today’s Groklaw News

  • Linux defender Groklaw shuts down – in victory

    “Groklaw,” the website created and maintained by paralegal Pamela Jones to fight on behalf of Linux in court battles filed by software firm SCO, is shutting down.

    Jones, also known as PJ, waged a fierce battle against SCO, a company that threatened the Linux world with its suits against IBM and Novell [for Unix]. SCO ended up losing in court, and Jones wrote on at Groklaw on Saturday that she was shutting it down.

    “I know a lot of you will be unhappy to hear it, so let me briefly explain, because my decision is made and it’s firm. In a simple sentence, the reason is this: the crisis SCO initiated over Linux is over, and Linux won. SCO as we knew it is no more,” she said.

  • Groklaw to cease publishing new articles
  • Leadership Change

    Pamela declares victory, resists the temptation to diversify and announces Groklaw will no longer publish original articles. Personally I think this is a great loss for the wider software freedom community; an investigative community venue is definitely needed to counter the mesh of conspiracies I know are the daily work of industry lobbyists and standards professionals.

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

2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    April 13, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Gravatar

    Ok. That covers the myths and what TechRights is not.

    What is Techrights in favor of and here to promote?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    That may be the subject of a future post.

What Else is New


  1. Vista 10 Inherently Criminal: Vandalising the Competition (Dual Boot, Rival Web Browsers, Online Services)

    Vista 10, the latest incarnation of Windows, takes its anticompetitive aspects to a whole new level, betraying even so-called 'partners' in the process



  2. As Microsoft AstroTurfing/PR Budget Runs Dry, Vista 10 Truths Come Out

    The media manipulation by Microsoft (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars spent on 'marketing') grows thin as a growing number of growingly angry early adopters of Vista 10 publicly rant



  3. Links 31/7/2015: Lennart Poettering as 'Linux Hero' and systemd Conference Coming

    Links for the day



  4. Links 30/7/2015: Apache Spark on Z System, Elive 2.6.8 Beta

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft's Mouthpiece Mary Branscombe Tries to Shoot Down Free Software, But Fails Miserably

    At the CBS-owned ZDNet, which is Free/Open Source software-hostile, new FUD surfaces, but the FUD is so flawed that a full rebuttal is easy and almost imperative



  6. People of New Zealand Must Rise Up to Defend Sovereignty and Stop Software Patents

    The TPPA serves to override (launder) the law of New Zealand, allegedly legalising patents on software in the process



  7. Microsoft Illegally Evades Billions of Dollars in Tax, Says IRS

    The criminal enterprise known as Microsoft finds itself embarrassingly exposed in the courtroom, for the IRS belatedly (decades too late) targets the company in an effort to tackle massive tax evasions



  8. Vista 10 Very Buggy Upon Release, Just as We Have Repeatedly Warned for Weeks

    Vista 10 is prematurely pushed out the door (to meet a deadline) way ahead of it being stable, even remotely polished, and supported by hardware companies (there is a serious drivers issue)



  9. Surveillance Machine With a Keylogger: Vista 10 Will Spy on the User (Over the Internet) Even While Playing Games

    Microsoft is making it clear that even playing a simple game like Solitaire on Vista 10 will make one subjected to spying (for targeted ads); other serious violations of privacy revealed upon release



  10. Links 29/7/2015: Akademy 2015 Ends, NetBSD 7.0 RC

    Links for the day



  11. MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

    A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH



  12. New Zealand's Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

    Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand



  13. Not Only Vista 10 Crashes a Lot, Any .NET Application Does Too (Updated)

    Microsoft software is quickly becoming synonymous with crashes as any piece of software developed with Microsoft's tools, not just the underlying platform, crashes chronically



  14. The Government of Bulgaria Sells Out to Microsoft, Again

    Despite some promises and reassurances that Bulgaria will consider Free/libre software, the Bulgarian government hands out a lot more of taxpayers' money to the Mafia



  15. Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

    Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters



  16. Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD

    Links for the day



  17. Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

    A look at some of last week's patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)



  18. Corporate Lobbyists Including Koch-Connected Front Groups Attack Real and Perceived Patent Reform in the United States

    Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system



  19. Patents in the Android World Further Complicate Freedom in This Linux-Powered Platform

    A survey of last week's news with special focus on Google and Android, which are trying to coexist and thrive in a world full of patent maximalists



  20. The 'Unitary' Patent Trojan Horse Rammed Down the Throat of Europe

    Under the guise of 'unification' or 'unity', existing patent systems are being abandoned and more power gets passed to corrupt EPO officials



  21. HEVC Cartel is Not News, Only the Names of Backers and the Costs Are New

    A few remarks on and a roundup of recent articles about HEVC, which we first wrote about in spring



  22. IRC Proceedings: July 12th, 2015 – July 25th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  23. Links 26/7/2015: Purism Librem and Freedom, Akademy Updates

    Links for the day



  24. Vista 10 (Windows 10) Has NSA Back Doors and Front Doors

    Vista 10 to bring new ways for spies (and other crackers) to remotely access people's computers and remotely modify the binary files on them (via Windows Update, which for most people cannot be disabled)



  25. Vista 10 Not Ready, But Released Anyway

    Despite severe technical issues in the rushed-out-the-door Vista 10, Microsoft decides to stick with the deadline, only days after reporting billions of dollars in losses



  26. Links 25/7/2015: Plasma Mobile, Linux Mint 17.2 OEM

    Links for the day



  27. Links 24/7/2015: openSUSE Leap 42.1, Intel With Rackspace for OpenStack

    Links for the day



  28. Links 24/7/2015: GNOME 3.17.4, Mozilla Developer Network Turns 10

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft Has Run Out of Attempts and Vista 10 Will Definitely Fail

    As Microsoft admits billions of dollars in losses just days before Vista 10 is pushed as a 'free' upgrade, there is no concrete sign that financial recovery is imminent, for the bigger cash cow (Office) suffers a similar fate



  30. GNU/Linux Circles Ought to Stop Promoting Visual Studio, Which is Neither Cross-Platform Nor Free Software

    Media carries on openwashing Visual Studio and perpetuating the illusion that it is not tied to Microsoft Windows


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts