Summary: Ubuntu — unlike Debian — trusts not the FSF and instead plays along with the UEFI plot, gets chastised for it
THE FSF has spoken out against UEFI right from the start (when Microsoft had made it public information); it ran a petition that got signed by over 30,000 people and organisations.
“Restricted boots” is the cartoon above, which came out through competing against other artists. It is something that Debian really seems to ‘get’ because it signed the FSF’s petition and its leader is working with the FSF to earn endorsement. Here is the message and a report from The H. It says: “Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli has announced a plan that aims to get the project included in the FSF’s list of free software distributions. To that end, Zacchiroli wants to set up a team within Debian that is actively working to resolve the remaining issues which prevent Debian’s inclusion in the list.”
Debian signed the petition as part of its strategy or philosophy which seeks to distinguish the project based on values. The FSF says: “With over 30,000 signatures to our statement and over a dozen high-quality submissions to our contest, I’m confident our message that Restricted Boot is a mistake has the attention of Microsoft and computer-makers alike. Now we need take the next step of turning this support into tangible results.”
“Debian signed the petition as part of its strategy or philosophy which seeks to distinguish the project based on values.”UEFI is not inevitable because Microsoft is falling (it will soon report losses), so it is very disappointing to see Canonical, which forked or branched off Debian, choosing to lean on Microsoft’s scheme. One columnist wonders if OEM pressure had something to do with it. He writes: “As the Linux community continues to debate the best way to deal with Microsoft Windows 8-certified machines that will have Secure Boot on UEFI, some nagging questions still remain as to why Canonical opted to take the solution it did.
“Both the Fedora Project and Canonical has publicly announced their proposed solutions to how users will be able to boot Secure Boot-enabled machines to Linux. Secure Boot requires that “all firmware and software in the boot process must be signed by a trusted Certificate Authority.” Microsoft is requiring that hardware makers of all Windows 8-certified machines be configured to meet these strict requirements.”
A Microsoft booster spoke to Canonical’s founder about it. Shuttleworth replied: “The SFLC advice to us was that the FSF could require key disclosure if some OEM screwed up. As nice as it is that someone at the FSF says they would not, we have to plan for a world where leaders change and institutional priorities change. The FSF wrote a licence that would give them the rights to take specific actions, and it’s hard for them to argue they never would!”
Swapnil Bhartiya, who runs a Ubuntu site, chastised Shuttleworth for it in his article “Is Microsoft More Trusted Than FSF: Ubuntu Chief Defends Grub 2 Drop”. To quote: “Free Software Foundation, FSF, recently published a white paper criticizing Ubuntu’s move to drop Grub 2 in order to support Microsoft’s UEFI Secure Boot. FSF also recommend that Ubuntu should reconsider their decision. Ubuntu’s charismatic chief, Mark Shuttleworth, has finally responded stating the reason why they won’t change their stand on dropping Grub 2 from Ubuntu.”
“The bottom line is, FSF and FSFE refuse to accept Microsoft’s UEFI plans and Debian does the right thing.”This is debated in Slashdot, which summarises as follows: “The Free Software Foundation recently published a whitepaper criticizing Ubuntu’s move to drop Grub 2 in order to support Microsoft’s UEFI Secure Boot. The FSF also recommended that Ubuntu should reconsider their decision. Ubuntu’s charismatic chief, Mark Shuttleworth, has responded to the situation during an interview, and explained the reason they won’t change their stand on dropping Grub 2 from Ubuntu. Shuttleworth said, ‘The SFLC advice to us was that the FSF could require key disclosure if some OEM screwed up. As nice as it is that someone at the FSF says they would not, we have to plan for a world where leaders change and institutional priorities change.”
To quote the top comment: “So in other words they’re anticipating not only that OEMs are going to accidentally or intentionally ship machines running Ubuntu that are locked down so that you cannot boot your own kernels on them but also that they won’t be able to convince the OEMs to fix their broken BIOSes to allow users to run their own code. By not using GRUB2 they ensure that said OEMs would have no legal obligations to allow you to run the code you wanted on the PC you’d just bought.”
It is worth adding that the FSFE made its opinion known by writing: “We demand that before purchasing a device, buyers must be informed concisely about the technical measures implemented in this device, as well as the specific usage restrictions and their consequences for the owner.”
The bottom line is, FSF and FSFE refuse to accept Microsoft’s UEFI plans and Debian does the right thing. My most recently installed distro is Debian and I have no regrets. █
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Summary: Nokia tiptoes around its allegations that Android products infringe on its patents, choosing instead to spread its standard-essential patents to patent trolls
TECHRIGHTS’ WIKI has just added this page about Nokia with the intention of providing a timeline of Nokia’s abduction (by Microsoft) and transformation into a patent troll.
Nokia is now leaving MeeGo for good — a move that would please Microsoft a great deal. There are still new calls for the sacking of Elop, but it is realised that the board too should be sacked. It’s like an army of moles after entryism. To quote Jean-Louis who is famous in the computing industry (he is not just some pundit):
“I think that Elop will have to go, but I also think that the board also needs to be renewed with people who have an understanding and working knowledge of the mobile industry,” Gassée told Computing in an exclusive interview.
Gassée built up HP in Europe during the 1970s before joining Apple in 1981, where he served as a senior executive from 1981 to 1990. He also founded operating system company Be Inc, and is now a partner at venture capital company Allegis Capital.
Nokia is already playing a game of innuendo against Android while it is feeding patent trolls. Here is Nokia’s damage control: “While Nokia hasn’t accused Google of violating any of its patents with its Nexus 7 tablet, it has noted that neither Google nor Asus, the tablet’s manufacturer, is under any license agreement with the handset maker. It could mean Google will opt to buy into Nokia’s good graces — or face yet another front in the ever-expanding worldwide patent war.”
“Nokia is already playing a game of innuendo against Android while it is feeding patent trolls.”Nokia will pass the portfolio to a proxy (or several) first and pray that antitrust regulators won’t cause issues.
Over at OSNews, the mobile patent wars lead to the realisation that this patent system is broken. “First,” says the author, “let’s identify the problems of the current patent system. Most of us here are aware of the problems inherent in the system, so I don’t want to go into too many details; we’ve covered it a million times before, as has the rest of the web.”
“On a point-by-point basis,” he notes, we have (to quote verbatim):
- Patents are granted too easily, even on trivial and obvious stuff.
- Patents are granted on ideas instead of actual implementations.
- The system allows for software patents to exist. Software patents are patents on math and language, which ought not to be patentable. Software already enjoys copyright protection.
- Patents are transferable, which leads to patent hoarding and patent trolls.
- Patent protection lasts too long, putting a huge damper on innovation and creating a truly massive collection of still-valid patents you have to take into account.
- Invalidation is too expensive, making it virtually impossible for small companies or individuals to do anything about aggressive large corporations. The result is that large corporations can easily crush small companies and start-ups.
That last one is important and it shows what the real purpose of patents became. It paralyses the industry, preventing change. Nokia is trying to use past glory to justify impeding Android. This is why Microsoft latched onto Nokia. █
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Summary: Apple is hit harshly for its aggressive behaviour that targets Android
MR. Karsten Gerloff from the FSFE writes that “Posner’s common sense slices through the #swpat [software patents] foolishness like a knife through butter. Fun indeed.” He refers to this article titled “Judge who shelved Apple trial says patent system out of sync”. To quote: “The U.S. judge who tossed out one of the biggest court cases in Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) smartphone technology battle is questioning whether patents should cover software or most other industries at all.”
Carlo Piana, who worked with the FSFE in the antitrust case against Microsoft, writes that “Judge Posner says same things as anti #swpats, now that’s fun ”
He also wrote to me that “pissing off a 70_something appellate court judge, must be a record. The situation is contemptuous.” (source)
Apple has already banned some Android products, sometimes using fake 'evidence' to make its bogus case. There is going to be evasion from the ban, but not just yet. The customers suffer, not just companies. The Berkeley LUG says that “if you care about innovation, you shouldn’t” buy Apple products. It is essentially a boycott then. A Microsoft booster notes that the aforemented judge calls Apple (and the likes of it) “animals”. To quote the context:
Judge Richard Posner, who recently threw out an entire patent lawsuit involving Apple and Motorola, has been nothing if not outspoken on the wildly busy US patent litigation system. In an interview published today by Reuters, he calls patent litigants animals struggling for survival and suggests that some industries—perhaps including software—shouldn’t have patent protection at all.
This comparison is an insult to animals; they are not so arrogant and self righteous. Here in the UK Apple is laughed out of the court for obvious reasons:
HTC has won an important case against Apple in UK. The court ruled that HTC did not infringe four Apple patents including the infamous ‘slide to unlock’.
Four Apple claims that the court threw out of window include:
* Unlocking a device by performing gestures on an unlock image
* Portable radio communication apparatus using different alphabets
* Portable electronic device for photo management (related to multi and single touch gestures)
* Portable electronic device for photo management (involves the animation when you stretch the image and it bounces back)
Apple’s patents are so ridiculous that cartoons have been made about them (one is shown at the bottom). █
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Summary: The anti-social nature of Bill Gates and his front group as outlined by those who are professionally close to them
ONE of our followers drew our attention to some articles about Bill Gates. Others highlighted articles that provide glorification and whitewashing of an unethical patent troll and arguably the world’s biggest criminal who privatises the public sector for monopoly and profit. It does, however, show that he was a sociopath raised in a family of snobby sociopaths. As put by the poster, “The history about it and what kind of a person he always has been. Even in the beginning always trying to grab as much money as he could even from someone that was kinda like a friend.”
“Gates is privatising public policy, controlling the press, selling people’s lives away, indoctrinating children, and so on.”Proceeding to more interesting coverage about the Gates Foundation, we are rather happy to see that people sooner or later defeat the PR machine and then expose crooks, even in publications that these crooks pay to help glorify themselves/gag critics. Slashdot writes: “The common perception among Slashdotters is that while Bill Gates may cause us some professional difficulties, he makes up for it with an exemplary philanthropic record. His philanthropic efforts may turn out to be not as altruistic as one may think. Edweek, not ordinarily an unfriendly venue for Gates, is running a series of blog post/investigative journalism pieces into what the Gates’ foundation is doing, and how it is not always well received by stakeholders.”
Gates is privatising public policy, controlling the press, selling people’s lives away, indoctrinating children, and so on. Here is a good new article about it. We advise our readers to take a look because it’s a well written (yet incomplete) summary:
Philanthropy wonk Lucy Bernholz defines the buzzword leverage
as “the idea that you can use a little money to access a lot of money.”
It’s hard to think of the Gates Foundation’s $26 billion leverage effort
as “a little money”, especially since it’s been spread over the globe to gain access to vastly more resources than it contributes, including U.S. tax dollars, the foreign exchange of emerging African nations, and United Nations funds for international development and world health.
Gates’ leveraged philanthropy model is a public-private partnership
to improve the world, partly through targeted research support but principally through public advocacy and tax-free lobbying to influence government policy. The goal of these policies is often to explicitly support profitability for corporate investors, whose enterprises are seen by the Gates Foundation as advancing human good. However, maximum corporate profit and public good often clash when its projects are implemented.
For example, chemical giant Monsanto has partnered with the Gates Foundation, which reportedly works to suppress local seed exchanges and environmentally sustainable agricultural practices through its global agricultural charity work. Fraud-prone drug giant GlaxoSmithKline
is a partner in the Foundation’s work to leverage its own relatively fractional contribution to vaccination efforts, so that it centrally controls enormous world funds for purchase, pricing, and delivery of vaccines for world public health. And in its U.S. education reform charity work, the Gates Foundation has increasingly shifted its funding to promote market domination by its British corporate education services partner, Pearson Education.
The Gates Foundation, and Gates personally, also own stock and reap profits from many of these same partner corporations. In addition, the Foundation owns a profit-generating portfolio of stocks which would seem to work against the Foundation’s declared missions, such as the Latin American Coca-Cola FEMSA distributorship and five multinational oil giants operating in Nigeria. These corporate investments, now moved to a blind trust whose trustees are Bill and Melinda Gates, are collaterally supported by the Foundation’s tax-free lobbying and advocacy activities.
Criticism of the profit-driven philanthropy agenda is muted by the fact that many of the Foundation’s “advocacy” gifts are positioned to leverage control of policy analysis and news outlets. The Gates Foundation recently undertook sponsorship of the Guardian’s Global Development coverage, for instance, which now maintains a weary-but-compliant stance toward corporate domination of development aid. The Gates Foundation also literally dominates news coverage of Global Health issues.
On the U.S. Education Reform front, the Gates Foundation maintains long-time charitable support of Media Bullpen, as well as Education Week itself (see disclaimer).
Tom Paulson of Humanosphere reviewed some critical stories that reporters did get published in major news outlets last November.
If time permits, in a few weeks we will catch up with the Gates Foundation. It has been months since we last properly did so. I ought to have more free time now that some personal matters are mostly taken care of. Bill Gates spends over a million dollars per day just advertising his brand, portraying him as a saint. It’s up to the rest of us to educate our peers, explaining to them the real stories, rightly contradicting the paid-for spin. This is class warfare and Gates is the upper class colonel, whitewashing by extrapolation along the lines of “job creator” propaganda. █
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Talking to the mirror
Summary: Microsoft is trying to divert attention to Google while Windows machines continue to generate the lion’s share of SPAM
TECHRIGHTS wrote a great deal about Microsoft’s contribution to SPAM [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] (it kills E-mail as a reliable medium) several years ago. We try not to repeat old news, so let us leave that aside. In the corporate press, spam-spewing Windows boxes are often just called “botnets” rather than “Microsoft Windows botnets”. Well, based on this report, Microsoft staff is busy coining terms like “Android botnet” and to quote one resultant article: “An international botnet could be using infected Android handsets to send out massive amounts of spam, Microsoft antispam engineer Terry Zink said in a Thursday blog posts on MSDN.”
“It should not be too shocking that spammers intrude Windows too; it’s just not coded for security.”It takes some nerve for Microsoft of all companies to point the finger at others in such a fashion. Does it not want a monopoly (on SPAM)? People who accused Windows of having government backdoors used to be called paranoid; after Stuxnet revelations they deserve apologies because now we know that Microsoft is even letting governments intrude Windows. It should not be too shocking that spammers intrude Windows too; it’s just not coded for security.
Here is more Android security FUD from Windows insecurity firm, Trend Micro. It is part of a trend of FUD that we wrote about before. Here is a rebuttal to the FUD that came directly from Microsoft. It says: “Terry Zink, a Microsoft ‘researcher’ who earlier claimed that Android devices were used to send spam, has now admitted that he ‘guessed’ the source of the spam. Guessed!
“This change in stand came after Google did its own investigation and found that was not the case. In a statement Google said, “Our analysis suggests that spammers are using infected computers and a fake mobile signature to bypass anti-spam mechanisms in the email platform they’re using.”
“Google’s response turned Terry’s ‘claims’ into a wild guess. But Terry did not miss the opportunity to take a dig at Google’s Android when reporting the botnet, “I’ve written in the past that Android has the most malware compared to other smartphone platforms, but your odds of downloading and installing a malicious Android app is pretty low if you get it from the Android Marketplace.”"
Watch out for claims that Android is not secure. If people knowingly install untrusted applications, then it’s social engineering, not an innate security problem like in Windows. The reality distortion field is showing. Microsoft tries to accuse others of its own offences (the “equally evil” pattern of defence). █
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Summary: Microsoft puts proprietary end points/hooks in Moodle
THE OTHER day we wrote about Blackboard, noting that this Microsoft ally was submitting code to Moodle, its competitor. The Microsoft booster tells us that Microsoft is now making — by proxy — the Moodle FOSS project increasingly tied up (with respect to Microsoft).
“It should not qualify as FOSS as all it does is link FOSS to proprietary, just like the Hyper-V driver that Microsoft gives Linux — a counter-productive ‘gift’ for sure.”To quote: “Microsoft is working on adding new education-focused capabilities to its coming SharePoint 2013 release, which could make the product more of a head-to-head Moodle competitor, according to some of my contacts. A public beta of SharePoint 2013 is expected before the end of July by many of us Microsoft watchers.”
It should not qualify as FOSS as all it does is link FOSS to proprietary, just like the Hyper-V driver that Microsoft gives Linux — a counter-productive ‘gift’ for sure. It’s worse to have it included in the sense that it leads to embrace of blobs. That’s all it’s there for. █
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