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01.13.14

Links 13/1/2014: Games

Posted in News Roundup at 2:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 13/1/2014: Applications

Posted in News Roundup at 1:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 13/1/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 1:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

President Obama, Max Baucus, Orrin Hatch, and Dave Camp Engage in Criminal Coverup of Trans-Pacific Partnership

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly at 1:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.’

Edmund Burke

TPP treaty

Summary: Call for action against TPP, which the US government is trying to fast-track (to avoid public scrutiny)

SIX to seven years ago Microsoft was trying to fast-track a corruption-filled specification that it had labeled “Open XML”. It was not open and Microsoft bribed a lot of people to get this pile of corruption fast-tracked. We later leaked the whole of “Open XML” (an anonymous whistleblower had handed it over to us) and then received threats from those whose corruption it exposed. Right now Wikileaks is doing the same with TPP because those in power in the US try to fast-track it. They hide it from the public, knowing darn well that the vast majority of the public would oppose it [1].

Some say that leaks break the law, but when leaks are needed to expose those who break the law, then those leaks are an act of whistleblowing. Remember that laws are typically being passed by those in power to criminalise acts that expose crimes of those in power. Civil disobedience is needed here; without it, nothing is going to improve. See what happened after NAFTA [2], the North American Free Trade Agreement. It’s all about corporations and plutocrats; it doesn’t do a single good thing for the majority of the population. It was all a big lie [3] and since it’s in law now, it is almost irreversible. At the wave of a pen billions or perhaps trillions of dollars got looted, passed from the public to very few individuals who were already super-affluent.

Obama — like Clinton — is a big part of the problem here [4] and he has been sued over it [5]. Corporations themselves refute this propaganda [6] which is used to take away from everyone and impose further censorship [7], just like ACTA and SOPA. Sadly, those same lies are being spread by those in power in Europe [8] and in Australia [9]. This requires international action of scale previously unimaginable, beating even ACTA protests and NSA backlash.

There are trillions of dollars (or euros) at stake. This determines whether trillions will flow to super-affluent people at everyone else’s expense or not. It’s probably the simplest way to explain this to the common person.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Fast-Track is bad for congress

    I’m not going to write here on the basis of stopping the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I am drastically opposed to the TPP; as it is not yet being voted on though I will discuss what was newly introduced to Congress, on Thursday January 9th, 2014.

    The bill for Fast-Track and how it affects congress.

    Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) have introduced the bill in an attempt to create the veneer that Fast-Track is bi-partisan in nature.

  2. NAFTA: 20 Years of Regret for Mexico

    It was 20 years ago that the North American Free Trade Agreement between the US, Canada, and Mexico was implemented. In Washington, the date coincided with an outbreak of the bacteria cryptosporidium in the city’s water supply, with residents having to boil their water before drinking it. The joke in town was, “See what happens, NAFTA takes effect and you can’t drink the water here.”

  3. 20 Years on, Mexico is NAFTA’s Biggest Lie
  4. Obama Faces Backlash Over New Corporate Powers In Secret Trade Deal
  5. Obama administration sued over its secretive trade negotiations

    For the last few years, the Obama administration has been negotiating a treaty known as the Trans Pacific Partnership. While the treaty is officially focused on promoting international trade, it also includes language on a number of other issues. One of them is the “intellectual property” section, which critics have warned could force the United States to adopt legal changes favorable to copyright holders.

  6. Vast Majority Of US Businesses Say Intellectual Property Is Not Important
  7. Copyright vs free speech: TPP will take away basic rights if ratified

    Through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), US corporatists are aiming to exert their legal control globally, by backing a move to extend intellectual property (IP) laws. But according to Snowden leaks, the move will come at the cost of free speech.

  8. TAFTA/TTIP: European Commission Tells Us to “Get the Facts”; Here They Are

    Readers with long memories may recall in the dim and distant past that at one time “Get the Facts” was a favourite war-cry of Microsoft when attacking GNU/Linux and free software. Of course the “facts” were anything but, and I spent quite some time debunking them. Significantly, once the claims had been debunked often enough, and by enough people, the campaign went away, and was never heard of again.

    Rather interestingly, the European Commission now seems intent on recapitulating that saga and its fate. I’ve noticed several times recently it has invoked the “facts”, and I’ve tried to show why its idea of facts leaves much to be desired. So far, most of my columns about TAFTA/TTIP have been over on Computerworld UK, under the rubric “TTIP Update.” There also a fair few on Techdirt. Here I’d like to address a rather interesting addition to the “Get the Facts” collection that doesn’t really sit well in either publication, since it’s in German.

  9. Abbott Government caves in to US demands in TPP talks

    Abbott Government caves in to US demands on stronger patents and higher prices for medicines in TPP talks

    A report from the Singapore TPP talks today in the specialized US trade journal, The Washington Trade Daily, claims that Australia, New Zealand and Canada have agreed to drop their objections to US proposals on medicines in the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks due to finish in Singapore today,” Dr Patricia Ranald, Convenor of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network said today.

Patents Roundup: Bogus Solution to the Problem FOSS Faces and More Litigation via Proxies

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 1:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rockstar Consortium

Summary: A quick look at some recent patent news and what we can lean from it

THE truth of the matter is that we have, for the most part, neglected patent news for quite a while. It’s not because this matters less now. Patents have become a hot topic in FOSS . Entire sessions in FOSS events are dedicated to this topic [1] and it seems like not only trolls are an issue; patents continue to be devoured by large companies [2]. There is no simple solution to it. OIN can defend from large companies with patents, but not from their troll proxies. DPL is another rather pointless ‘solution’, or a distraction even.

We previously criticised the DPL, which was favoured by people on Microsoft’s payroll. And although this new milestone is celebrated Glyn Moody says it is not of much use and he explains why: “few entities in the club to start with mean that few patents are made available on an royalty-free basis, and so there’s little incentive for more entities to join. Still, it’s nice to see people thinking innovatively in this space as we work towards the ultimate goal of full abolition of software patents everywhere.”

Patents on software are increasingly becoming a problem in standards too. Intel uses UEFI to advance its patent monopolies, Microsoft has been bribing people to vote for OOXML, which is also a patent trap, and both Apple and Microsoft prop up MPEG-LA, which uses standards bodies as a Trojan horse. There is a new article about this practice [3] of using standards as traps. IBM’s Rob Weir, the main force behind ODF over there, has some strong words also [4]. Some standards seem to be more useful for surveillance [5] than for anything else. Standards on their own are not enough; we need software freedom and annulment of software patents.

Last but not least, recall how Microsoft, Blackberry (close to Microsoft) and Apple created a bogus ‘consortium’ to attack Android/Linux. As Christine Hall put it the other day: “In light of their association with the Rockstar Consortium, we already knew that Blackberry was trolling by proxy. Now it appears as if they’re doing a little patent trolling on their own. On January 3 the Canadian firm announced they had filed a patent infringement suite against Typo Products LLC, a company co-founded by “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest. Typo has been taking pre-orders for a keyboard that can be attached to some iPhone models.

“Blackberry, which ruled the smartphone market as recently as five years ago, has fallen on hard times. By most accounts, their phones now lag behind even Microsoft in sales. However, they retain a core customer base of users who prefer a physical keyboard. Evidently the device being marketed by Typo utilizes angled keys that are similar to those found on Blackberry devices.

“The suit was filed in the United States District Court for the northern district of California.”

Android too is one of the targets, meaning that Apple uses a proxy to distort the market along with Microsoft. Over at ZDNet, the Apple boosters pretend Apple is peaceful when it comes to patents — a ludicrous claim which could not be further from the truth (Jobs wanted to go “thermonuclear”). Apple is just unable to get its way, so it’s bailing out.

The bottom line is, patents continues to be a major headache and potentially the sole barrier to FOSS adoption everywhere. Microsoft’s and Apple’s advocacy (and lobbying for) of FRAND proves it.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Legal and policy issues devroom
  2. Nintendo picks up patent portfolio from defunct ‘exergaming’ company IA Labs
  3. Open Standards in Computing: Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

    How companies undermine open standards to advance their own agendas, obscure information, and enforce their patents.

  4. The New Technology Consumers

    I see open source and open standards activists in a similar way. Many consumers care not only in the direct good they receive from technology, but also in how that good was generated, whether from exploitative sweat labor, whether from environmentally invasive methods, and yes, whether by perpetuating software monopolies or damaging the ecosystem of open source and open standards.

  5. Semantic Web Business: Going Nowhere Slowly

    I’ve been a semantic web skeptic for years. SemWeb is a narrowly purposed replica of a subset of the World Wide Web. It’s useful for information enrichment in certain domains, via a circumscribed set of tools. However, the SemWeb offers a vanishingly small benefit to the vast majority of businesses. The vision persists but is unachievable; the business reality of SemWeb is going pretty much nowhere.

The Age When Press Organisations Are Run by — Not Just Funded by — Plutocrats

Posted in Bill Gates at 1:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Today’s news sources are increasingly being centralised and put in the hands of fewer individuals who can afford the luxury of controlling information

Pierre Omidyar is not the only super-rich person who pretends to be the voice of the people (to the point of sort of monopolising Edward Snowden’s leaks). Bill Gates is not the only big source (just biggest) of bribes to press outlets and blogs, either. A lot of today’s biggest media bodies (AP, Reuters, CBS etc.) are managed or funded by firms in New York City or Canary Wharf in London. The mainstream media is literally run/owned by corporations which are financial (like Bloomberg) and some are run by CIA partners (like Washington Post, now formally owned by Bezos of Amazon). Those very same people and organisations are behind the banking embargo/blockade against real new organisations (in the public’s interests) like Wikileaks, not to mention the censorship and Web shutdown (also induced by Amazon). Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t know it. Even the BBC, which British citizens are forced to subsidise/fund, is officially run like a company with its own agenda. Real journalism in the UK is now equated with terrorism [1, 2, 3].

Back in the days before the pseudo spokesman for the poor became even richer by selling the work of her exploited volunteer writers to the Microsoft-friendly AOL [1, 2, 3] she was meeting with and grooming another pseudo spokesman for the poor, the world’s richest thief (hiding behind his tax exemption instrument, the Gates Foundation). Like-minded people, no doubt…

Well, Arianna, whose special relationship with Bill Gates we wrote about before [1, 2, 3], is having another go exploiting writers and selling agenda. The Guardian, which was bribed by Gates (see articles about it in The Guardian Wiki page), says she will use a war criminal and the world’s biggest thief to attract writers. As Glyn Moody put it, “Gates?? Blair??? speaking power to truth, clearly…”

The other day we wrote about Microsoft's special relationship with power through surveillance, citing the ties with Ford. Someone from there was rumoured to be considered for CEO position at Microsoft (succeeding Gates and another criminal, Stage Ballmer). As Ryan put it, this man, Alan Mulaly, “did his job for them already. He got their software into Ford cars.”

In order to understand how those in power get served we need to see how they are connected, who they meet, and who at the end of the day owns or manages sources of information (or disinformation). There are two sides (or more) in every story, but sides can be ‘vanished’ when one has an agenda. It’s censorship and bias by omission.

Happy GNU Year: Richard Stallman on How Many People Contributed to GNU in the 1980s

Posted in TechBytes Video at 6:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TechBytes with Stallman

Direct download as Ogg

Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation’s founder, explains how code was managed and contributed in the early days of GNU


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