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11.09.13

The Linux Foundation Emphasises Technical Aspects, Not Freedom

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 3:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux alone is not enough for freedom

Freedo

Summary: Analysis of some of the latest news about Linux, the world’s most widely used kernel

OWING TO (or due to) increasing corporate control over Linux, user-hostile mechanisms and “Trusted Computing” are being phased in, requiring user intervention [1]. This isn’t a new problem, just a continuation thereof. See, now that Linux development [2] takes centre stage [3,4] and a bug-free Linux is foreseen [5,6,7] (part of Torvalds’ vision [8,9] as of late, having moved from technical issues [10,11] to more strategic and managerial issues), there is more emphasis on quality (often referred to as pragmatism) and not much on freedom. Some more blobs are being added to Linux, making it less freedom-respecting than ever before. Linux-libre, whose mascot is Freedo (shown above), is trying to fight back against those blobs.

The Linux Foundation, run by corporations which make proprietary software for the most part, has an enormous influence over Linux [12,13,14] and unlike the FSF it has not much interest in freedom, just in practical benefits of the kernel (file systems and such [15,16,17,18,19]). Lennart Poettering keeps changing Linux in controversial ways [20] which make it to the core [21] and groups which include Microsoft are now entering the Linux Foundation’s sphere of influence [22,23]. Leaping ahead to Linux 4.x, development of 3.0 is already being neglected somewhat [24].

When talking about Linux always remember that technical merit — not freedom — is the top priority. It probably doesn’t bother so many people, but the fact remains that those who wish to maximise computing freedom should follow the FSF, not the Linux Foundation.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Disable “Trusted Computing” Chip in Linux!
  2. Tales from Linux Kernel 3.11 Development – The Kernel Column

    Jon Masters summarises the happenings in the Linux kernel community around the release of the 3.11-rc1 kernel

  3. September 2013 Linux Kernel News

    Linus Torvalds closed the 3.12 merge window when he released 3.12-rc1. tty layer and scalability improvements received a special mention in the release announcement. The tty layer cleanups lead to per-tty locking which will result in better performance on some work-loads.

  4. Linux Kernel News – October 2013
  5. Linux 4.0 may have only bug fixes, no new features

    Linux operating system creator Linus Torvalds has proposed that Linux 4.0, an upcoming release of the open-source software, should be dedicated to stability and bug fixing.

  6. Bug-Free Linux 4.0?

    Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, but Linux founder and “keeper of the flame”, Linus Torvalds, has put developers and the rest of the world on notice that a Linux 4.0 is coming sooner rather than later, “I don’t want us to get to the kinds of crazy numbers we had in the 2.x series, so at some point we’re going to cut over from 3.x to 4.x, just to keep the numbers small and easy to remember. We’re not there yet, but I would actually prefer to not go into the twenties, so I can see it happening in a year or so, and we’ll have 4.0 follow 3.19 or something like that,” said Linus Torvalds in the Linux kernel 3.12 announcement.

  7. Linus Torvalds seeks REDEMPTION for every coded SIN

    Linus Torvalds is going away this week. He’s not saying where he’s going, or why, but “the fact that I’ll be traveling with very bad internet connection next week” was enough for the lord of Linux to push version 3.12 of the kernel out the door on Sunday.

    Torvalds made the announcement that 3.12 is now with us on the Linux mailing list , saying “I didn’t really want to delay the release” despite “a number of driver reverts, and … an annoying auto-NUMA memory corruption fix series, but none of it was really worth delaying 3.12 for.”

  8. Video: Linus Torvalds, Where is Linux Going

    LinuxCon 2013 Europe was this week… and videos from it have started being published. Here’s a video with our favorite Linux leader about the future of the Linux kernel. Enjoy!

  9. 10 Best Quotes from Linus Torvalds’ Keynote at LinuxCon Europe

    Linux creator Linus Torvalds took the stage today at LinuxCon Europe in Edinburgh with Intel’s Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist Dirk Hohndel to discuss the present and future of Linux and answer questions from the community. They covered a range of topics including the upcoming 3.12 kernel release, the ideal characteristics of a kernel maintainer, the issues that keep Linus up at night, gaming on the Linux desktop, and more.

  10. How to run program or process on specific CPU cores on Linux
  11. How to set up web-based network traffic monitoring system on Linux
  12. Linux Foundation To Support The Development Of KVM Hypervisor

    The Linux Foundation has adopted Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA) as one of its ‘Collaborative Projects’, to promote the development of the open source hypervisor KVM (kernel-based virtual machine).

  13. How the Linux Foundation is helping the auto industry shift to open source infotainment systems

    If you’re a Linux fan and a car enthusiast, then you might be a little jealous of Rudolf Streif’s job. As the director of embedded solutions for The Linux Foundation, Streif is in charge of helping to foster the adoption of Linux and open source in the automotive industry.

  14. Outreach Program for Women Seeks New Linux Kernel Interns
  15. Trying the “btrfs” file system

    There has been some urging for beta testers to try out “btrfs”. So I did. I tried it on one of my 13.1Beta1 installs. I would have tried it on two installs, except that the UEFI install had already given problems before I got to that point.

  16. Linux Default File-Caching Tune-up
  17. Linux 3.12 Kernel To Bring Faster File-Systems

    With the Linux 3.12 kernel due for release in several weeks time but all major changes behind us now, here are some file-system tests from this forthcoming kernel update. Tested Linux file-systems for this Phoronix article include EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, and F2FS. From these results, there are multiple instances of these file-systems running measurably faster than Linux 3.11.

  18. Linux 3.12 Kernel To Bring Faster File-Systems

    With the Linux 3.12 kernel due for release in several weeks time but all major changes behind us now, here are some file-system tests from this forthcoming kernel update. Tested Linux file-systems for this Phoronix article include EXT4, Btrfs, XFS, and F2FS. From these results, there are multiple instances of these file-systems running measurably faster than Linux 3.11.

  19. Btrfs Gets Performance Improvements In Linux 3.12

    We’re late into the Linux 3.12 merge window and other prominent file-systems were already updated but on Thursday evening the Btrfs updates for the 3.12 kernel were finally published. With the new Btrfs pull does come some notable changes for this next-generation Linux file-system.

    With the Btrfs pull request for the Linux 3.12 kernel merge window are a large number of fixes, performance improvements, and clean-ups.

  20. The Poetterisation of GNU/Linux

    I’ve found a disturbing trend in GNU/Linux, where largely unaccountable cliques of developers unilaterally decide to make fundamental changes to the way it works, based on highly subjective and arrogant assumptions, then forge ahead with little regard to those who actually use the software, much less the well-established principles upon which that OS was originally built. The long litany of examples includes Ubuntu Unity, Gnome Shell, KDE 4, the /usr partition, SELinux, PolicyKit, Systemd, udev and PulseAudio, to name a few.

  21. Systemd 207 Gets Many Bug-Fixes, Minor Additions

    Lennart Poettering has announced the release of systemd 207 and with it comes many changes.

  22. OpenDaylight SDN opens the curtains on its initial release

    The open-source, Software-Defined Networking project, OpenDaylight, is starting to reveal features in its first release.

  23. Linux Foundation announces Open Virtualization Alliance to push KVM

    Linux has become the 800 pound gorilla of the technology world. It is domination every single space it enters (including desktop where Chrome OS is gaining momentum).

  24. After 100 Point Releases, Linux 3.0 Is Being EOL’ed

    Greg Kroah-Hartman announced the release of Linux 3.0.100 on Sunday and with that he intends to end-of-life this long-term kernel series in the coming days.

Surveillance on Customers of US-based Companies: the CIA (US Taxpayers) Pay for This

Posted in Microsoft at 3:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

National Security Agency

Summary: New revelations about the surveillance infrastructure laid out by the United States and those who bankroll it

WHENEVER we speak about Microsoft and the NSA we should remember that Microsoft pretty much kick-started PRISM — the programme under which everything which resides on a company’s pool of data becomes available to secretive spies, including the murderous NSA.

According to a new report from the New York Times [1], US taxpayers essentially pay to be spied on whether they like it or not. The CIA is doing this. iophk wondered: “Isn’t this also just the same data they are getting from social media and e-mail logging?”

We already know, based on plenty of evidence, that black (hidden) budgets are still where trillions of dollars come to disappear, with no public oversight whatsoever. What the CIA does here is simple; it provides corporate subsidies at taxpayers’ expense (or growing national debt), essentially paying private entities like Microsoft to help incriminate customers, based on private data and communications. We already know about misuses of the NSA powers, e.g. the handing over of data to the DEA. It’s not about terrorism. For the sake of national ‘interests’ (the interests of those in power), companies which may be running at a loss are getting subsidised. And at whose expense? At the expense of national debt, which the public as a whole is required to pay back.

Speaking of Microsoft and the NSA, there is a new Microsoft back door which the NSA can now exploit. As iophk put it, given some NSA background information, those back doors should be called what they are because ‘”zero day” is just a marketing term for holes that the vendor can’t be bothered to fix.’

The Internet seems to have become just another way for spies to raid homes (or digital equipment at homes) without a warrant and without being noticed. This is a serious problem. The Internet as a whole has devolved into a militarised surveillance apparatus — a fact that even the founder of the World Wide Web (and DRM apologist) seems to have finally accepted [2]. We need an alternative to the Internet because it is probably too late to fix the Internet. The Internet came from the US military and it is still serving the US military for the most part; it’s a control mechanism — control through total oversight and assassination/marginalisation of opposition. Even the CIA turns out to be deeply involved.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. C.I.A. Is Said to Pay AT&T for Call Data

    The C.I.A. is paying AT&T more than $10 million a year to assist with overseas counterterrorism investigations by exploiting the company’s vast database of phone records, which includes Americans’ international calls, according to government officials.

  2. Tim Berners-Lee calls for international protections for whistleblowers

    Having already made his feelings perfectly clear about the revelations of NSA and GCHQ internet surveillance, inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee is calling for an international protection system for whistleblowers.

Explosive New Revelations About Elop’s Role Inside Nokia

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 2:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The last CEO of Nokia, preceding a Microsoft mole pretending to be CEO

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo

Summary: New evidence helps show that Stephen Elop was a Microsoft mole all along and that he is being rewarded for turning Nokia from Linux ally to Linux foe

“Stephen Elop,” explains Sosumi in IRC, “after crashing Nokia to the ground (baby!) is now positioned as one of the candidates for Microsoft CEO” (which wouldn’t be too shocking). Elop helped Microsoft amass a large number of Nokia patents, to be used offensively and sometimes get passed to patent trolls (for an assault on Android/Linux). Nokia, due to Elop’s intervention, turned from one of the leading developers of Linux into one of its biggest enemies. His first order as CEO was pretty much to dismantle all Linux efforts inside Linux. It became known as the “Burning Platforms Memo” and it is being referred to in this new analysis from Finland. Here are some fragments of interest:

“I came across this interesting article in Finland’s largest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat (published more than a month ago on 29 Sept 2013) about Elop’s tenure while Nokia CEO (the article is in Finnish of course). It is mostly a biographical story of the departing Nokia CEO but it includes an interesting passage about the Burning Platforms memo, which may ring particular bells to our readers who were here in 2011 and lived throught its aftemath. Plus it sheds some light on the negotiations with Microsoft.”

Further down it says: “Also, no surprise from what we’ve seen of Elop’s style, but yeah, he clearly was doing his thing without bothering to tell the Board and the Board had to chase him afterwards about what he had been up to… So even more proof that yes, the actual damaging decisions and especially those damaging communications (Memo, timing of Windows announcement, sudden MeeGo death announcement etc) came before Elop had ‘remembered’ to inform the Board. Why was he doing this? He had his cool bonus that he was working towards.. Nice to ‘forget’ to inform your boss, eh?

“Lastly, we now know Elop was personally involved in the Microsoft sale – WOW what a conflict of interest and even Helsingin Sanomat speculates that Elop may have had private meetings on his regular trips to Redmond (because contrary to his original promise, he did not bring his family from Redmond to Finland.. the family was a convenient excuse to go meet up with his pal Ballmer, especially now that we learned that his marriage was so much a wreck, that the divorce proceedings were started already in 2012…)”

When people say something like “don’t pick on Microsoft employees” we should all think about Elop and the likes of him. Microsoft moles are a common problem in the industry and if we can’t recognise and speak about this problem, then we oughtn’t expect this problem to go away. Here in the UK, members of parliament are being named and shamed [1], which sure limits their ability to operate mischievously.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. MPs’ ’200k energy bill expenses’

    MPs have come under attack for claiming £200,000 of taxpayers’ money to cover the cost of their energy bills. Some 340 MPs used the expenses system to pay for heating their second homes, according to the Sunday Mirror.

The Decline of Civility

Posted in Action at 2:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Aaron Swartz and Lawrence Lessig

Summary: Activism is being marginalised in the West (meaning Europe and north America for the most part), which makes it hardly any safer than it is for activists in third-world countries (meaning poorer countries, not ones which are neither with the US nor the USSR)

PESSIMISM is not a virtue, but sometimes it is important to be able to spot where — if anywhere — society becomes blind or apathetic towards its own regressions. Activism is a good indicator of where in the world the people are being oppressed and actions against activists help show where authorities are more oppressive. In so-called “developed countries” it sure seems like activism is increasingly being viewed and also treated as a crime or even terrorism. Watch the story in [1]; the US appeals court is basically treating activists like pirates (as in criminals at seas). There are some cases which are similar to it and Wikileaks likes to casually cite this important case. It demonstrates the extremely low level of tolerance that Western nations now have for activists. Russia is not much different and the whipping boy which is “Pussy Riot” helps show this [2,3,4]. Activists who use performance and stunts as a form of protest receive the same treatment as serious criminals and arguably ‘disappear’ in jail. Over in the United States, such people (minor offences if any at all) may even die in jail [5], or get anally raped by so-called law enforcement [6]. People are generally assumed guilty before any guilt is established and then they’re punished for it. This is like the CIA/Gitmo approach [7] being applied to the domestic population, including white people in Western nations [8]. Remember Aaron Swartz, the activist against copyright monopoly? It turns out now that secret services in the US knew they were driving him into depression before he committed suicide [9].

The bottom line is this: never assume your innocence just because injustice has been stereotyped the art of people in power in so-called ‘rogue’ nations or because people in power in Western nations only abuse people from so-called ‘rogue’ nations; if you are an activists, you are a target, no matter where you are. Rather than civilise the so-called ‘third world’, we in the West are inheriting the negative attributes of those whom we label “rogue”. A pile of evidence shows this every day.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Sea Shepherd activist Paul watson faces US court after year on the run

    A FUGITIVE activist known for attacking Japanese whaling vessels off Antarctica insisted “we’re not pirates” as he addressed a US appeals court considering whether he and the organisation he founded should be held in contempt.

  2. Pussy Riot Member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova Goes Missing During Prison Colony Transfer

    Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has disappeared into the gulag transit system between Russia’s penal colonies, and her family is worried that authorities are trying to crush her spirit.

  3. Pussy Riot: Tolokonnikova ‘out of sight’ since jail move

    One of the jailed members of the Pussy Riot protest band has vanished from sight since she was moved to a new prison 10 days ago, reports from Russia say.

    The husband of Nadezhda Tolokonnikova told a US news website he had not received any news about her and her current location was being kept secret.

    She had been on hunger strike at a penal colony in Mordovia.

    She and another band member were jailed over a protest in a Moscow cathedral.

    They were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment after performing a crude protest song in February 2012. A third band member was released on appeal.

  4. Pussy Riot band member sent to new prison

    Russian prison service says Nadezhda Tolokonnikova has been moved, after her husband expressed fears she had disappeared

  5. Today’s Drug War Outrage: Man Dies In Jail Cell After Misdemeanor Pot Offense
  6. Terrifying Drug War Story Of The Day: Man Receives Multiple Anal Probes After Traffic Stop

    The first doctor the police asked to perform the procedure refused. But the police then took Eckert to Gila Regional Medical Center, where, according to his lawsuit, he was first subjected to abdominal x-rays (no drugs), two anal penetrations with fingers (no drugs), three enemas (no drugs), another round of x-rays (no drugs), and, finally, sedation, followed by a colonoscopy of his “anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines.” No drugs. All of this was of course done without Eckert’s consent.

  7. CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds

    Doctors were asked to torture detainees for intelligence gathering, and unethical practices continue, review concludes

  8. David Hicks seeks to overturn Guantánamo “terrorism” conviction

    Former Guantánamo Bay prisoner David Hicks, an Australian citizen, has lodged an appeal with the US Court of Military Commission Review to overturn the bogus “providing material support for terrorism” conviction imposed on him in 2007.

  9. Secret Service Report Noted Aaron Swartz’s ‘Depression Problems’

    The U.S. government noted in passing that Aaron Swartz suffered “depression problems” nearly two years before his suicide last January, according to a newly released Secret Service report.

Dice.com-Run SourceForge and Slashdot Are a Dangerous Trap

Posted in GNU/Linux at 6:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Slashdot

Summary: Dubious strategic direction at SourceForge and Slashdot, which are becoming more like Windows malware and Microsoft PR sites, respectively

LINKEDIN, a crowdsourced spying and surveillance network, tells me that Slashdot staff has been looking for information about me. Apparently they are curious to know who exposes their scams, including the propaganda they are beaming to longtime readers of the site. According to one of our contributors, Dice.com claims to have made a lot more money from Slashdot, but it doesn’t explain how. Does it get paid for PR? Is it selling users’ data? Nobody knows. But based on the following disturbing story, Dice.com treats visitors like merchandise.

To quote IDG, which quotes the GIMP project, the increasingly-Microsoft-friendly SourceForge is up to no good:

In the past few months, we have received some complaints about the site where the GIMP installers for the Microsoft Windows platforms are hosted.

SourceForge, once a useful and trustworthy place to develop and host FLOSS applications, has faced a problem with the ads they allow on their sites – the green “Download here” buttons that appear on many, many adds leading to all kinds of unwanted utilities have been spotted there as well.

The tipping point was the introduction of their own SourceForge Installer software, which bundles third-party offers with Free Software packages. We do not want to support this kind of behavior, and have thus decided to abandon SourceForge.

So there you have it.

As lirodon put it in IRC, have “you heard about how the evil Dice.com is violating the trust of SourceForge users?”

He called the above “stupid “wrapped” installers with borderline malware,” then cited “their support of those stupid “guess the download button” ads.”

To clarify the obvious, Techrights never sold any data about visitors. It doesn’t even keep such data. The data gets deleted periodically, unlike troll comments (there will always be zero censorship). The same policy will apply at Tux Machines, which we officially take under our wing today. Susan takes time to prepare for her wedding while I take over as main site maintainer. The first and only change to the site is removal of the Slashdot feed (DistroWatch Latest Releases feed replaces it).

Remember that Dice.com is just a business. It is trying to ‘monetise’ the sites above, it doesn’t really care about truth, freedom, sharing, etc.

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