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


Links 17/3/2014: Games

Posted in News Roundup at 4:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 17/3/2014: Applications

Posted in News Roundup at 4:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 17/3/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 4:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Barnes and Noble Latest Example of Company That Took Microsoft to Court Over Crimes, Got Bribed by Microsoft, Then Died Quietly

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 4:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Barnes and Noble

Summary: A lesson about Microsoft deals, this time courtesy of Barnes and Noble, the hero which turned into zero after a manipulative Microsoft bribe

Barnes and Noble (B & N) provided a fascinating example which reminded us of Novell. Back in the days Novell took Microsoft to court, but many years later, as Novell had more things to sue over (e.g. Samba, not just WordPerfect) Microsoft passed a large bribe to Novell and said goodbye to litigation, undermining Samba’s case in Europe. Similarly, Microsoft basically bribed B & N to drop the legal case that was challenging extortion of Android. Barnes & Noble is now in trouble. Like, who didn’t see that coming? See some of the details in [1]. Making Windows pledges is a very bad strategy these days.

For some background and context see our posts as follows (chronological):

So, just as a recap, Microsoft extorts B & N, B & N takes Microsoft to court, B & N nearly ends Microsoft’s patent shakedown against Linux/Android, and then Microsoft pays a lot of money to B & N, the case gets dropped, B & N is pushed into using Windows and then has financial problems. Classic Microsoft routine!

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Barnes & Noble’s Nook freed from Windows, WinPhone apps pledge

    Redmond pumped $300m into Nook back in 2012, in a deal that gave it a 17.5 per cent stake in B&N’s underperforming e-book subsidiary. In exchange, Nook agreed to develop a branded reader app for Windows 8 – which it did – and another for Windows Phone, although the latter has yet to appear.

Microsoft and Bill Gates Are Still Defending What’s Criminal (Warrantless Mass Surveillance)

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft, Windows at 3:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft leadership professes its love for the NSA

National Security Agency

Summary: Bill Gates acknowledges that he likes the NSA, Windows can now be hijacked through a JPEG flaw, XP stops receiving security patches, and Snowden leaks confirm NSA plan to hijack millions of “Microsoft Windows” PCs

Microsoft is a unique company that grew out of and sustained itself using crime. It then took over crime enforcement, reducing the potential/likelihood that it will be held accountable and people among its ranks be sent to prison (or resent in Bill Gates’ case). Microsoft is not an ordinary company; it’s a political animal which has a lot of power over the media and tries to make criminal activities look not only acceptable but commendable.

Out disappointment with the Linux Foundation for hiring into management (of OpenDaylight) a former Microsoft manager is not to be misunderstood by those who know Microsoft’s history. Right now, for example, as more proprietary and NSA-friendly companies join OpenDaylight, the former Microsoft manager, Neela Jacques (also from VMware, which is linked to EMC/RSA and hence NSA), serves the Microsoft-esque agenda by promoting a mix with proprietary, where proprietary, especially in virtualisation, means the embodiment of back doors into Free software (the host can take over the guest). Jacques says: “Customers of the IT industry have long said that being locked into proprietary platforms has real drawbacks – you are stuck with one vendor’s vision, one product roadmap, and the costs of switching can be high. Not a situation most customers enjoy. More, we have a huge systems integration industry in p​art because of the challenges of getting components from different companies to work with each other. Finally, a lot of technologies that customers love get left to fade away or are made obsolete when a vendor’s priority changes.”

It is clear, based on speakers from OpenDaylight itself [1,2,3], that software freedom is essential in virtualisation. Memset explained this very recently [4,5,6], alluding especially to costs. Why would anyone even tolerate Hyper-V, which we already know (since it runs under Windows) to be a back door for the NSA? And why does Microsoft try to shift privacy critics (focus of attention) to Google? How dare Microsoft do this and then promote the people behind this ugly privacy spin? Watch this new satire [7] (cited by [8]).

Well, you see? Here’s the thing…

Microsoft loves the NSA, and Microsoft folks actively defend what the NSA is doing. Microsoft is the NSA’s most special software partner. It goes beyond software. Kinect and Xbox, for instance, are surveillance devices at the centre of people's homes (Microsoft now “Seeks Patent for New Spy Cam”). Microsoft receives protection from the government (as well as bribes and subsidies) despite its crimes because it’s cooperating with this government’s crimes.

Microsoft now enables hijacking of Windows PCs through a JPEG flaw [9]. Yes, that’s right. JPEG! The scary thing is, many banks-connected machines still use this Swiss cheese OS [10], even though it will no longer receive any security patches next month. What is the world coming to? The latest leak from Snowden reveals that “NSA used ‘Microsoft Windows’ to infect millions of computers” [11]. Will the world wake up and smell the coffee? This is very serious stuff [12] and anyone who still uses Windows should drop it. We already know the NSA’s espionage leanings. Suffice to say, Bill Gates does not like Edward Snowden (he says so now [13-16]) whereas he likes the NSA. It’s all about crushing dissent. It’s class war. No wonder Microsoft extended olive branches to the NSA. This policy goes all the way to the top, sheltering criminal enterprises.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Why your virtualization should be open-source

    Open-source products are highly customizable, and aren’t locked in to specific providers. Developers can freely make additions, modifications and alterations to the structure or the code in an open-source setup. The merging of these two technologies has given birth to the open-source virtualization phenomenon, which has key benefits over branded, locked-in solutions. According to a recent study, consumers have saved in the region of $60 billion per year by going open source.

  2. Open Networking Summit Chair Guru Parulkar Defines SDN

    The Open Networking Summit (ONS) gets underway today as a conference discussing the Software Defined Networking (SDN) movement. But what is SDN anyway, and does it have a uniform definition?

  3. What Comes After Traditional Server Virtualization?

    Pop quiz: What technologies will potentially succeed operating system virtualization? Most pundits will tell you cloud computing or perhaps software defined data center or software-defined networking (SDN). But another potential answer involves so-called container technology like Docker. Here’s why.

  4. Open source enables government to slash IT bills: Memset
  5. Memset demonstrate the cost savings of open source G-Cloud
  6. Memset Urges Public Sector To Ditch VMware For Open Source
  7. Microsoft to cut on software development, focus on ads

    Under the leadership of Satya Nadella, Microsoft has done a major reshuffle at the company. Nadella will be tightening the focus that the sharp and most celebrated CEO of the world, Steve Ballmer, gave to the company with attack campaigns against Google. Nadella is appointing Mark Penn as C-level executive promoting him to the role of chief strategy officer.

  8. M$: We Can’t Beat ‘Em, So We’re Going To Snow
  9. It’s 2014 and Microsoft Windows PCs can still be owned by a JPEG

    Microsoft has fixed security bugs in Internet Explorer and Windows that allow hackers to remotely execute code on victims’ vulnerable machines – one bug a result of poor JPEG handling.

  10. Banks pay Microsoft big for securing Windows XP ATMs
  11. NSA used ‘Microsoft Windows’ to infect millions of computers

    The documents leaked by Edward Snowden have yielded what may be their most shocking revelation yet: plans to infect millions of computers with malware to prevent them from working properly. This was devised by the NSA in consultation with a shady billionaire, unofficially named as ‘Bill Gates’, who had close links to many different arms of the US government.

    Because Microsoft Windows causes intermittent crashing and losing people’s work, it is claimed in the documents, terrorists will be unable to make videos of their impending martyrdom. By refusing to print reliably, they will not even be able to print out flyers calling on people to ‘rise up against the Western oppressors’.

    ‘This project has already been successfully used to bring the Iranian nuclear enrichment programme to its knees, along with most Western businesses,’ said a government source, who asked not to be named. ‘There is literally no corner of the world that has not been infected. We believe it is the most successful computer malware of all time.’

  12. Malware “Industrialises Spying”: The NSA has “Automated its Spying Operations”

    The report from Glenn Greenwald and Ryan Gallagher, based on the Edward Snowden leaks reveals that the NSA – surprise, surprise – has automated its spying operations, so that malware once used to target the odd terror suspect can now be used routinely. The programme is called “Owning the net”. (Israel also gets a special shout-out in the report for its work with the NSA in developing malware.)So it’s no longer – and, of course, never was – only about tracking metadata from our phone calls and Google searches. This is industrialised spying, including on domestic populations, using our interactions with the net (which means most of our activities) to know what is going on in our minds.

  13. Snowden is no hero, says Bill Gates
  14. Bill Gates Rejects Snowden While Pulitzer Board Debates His Actions
  15. Bill Gates Thinks Snowden is no Hero for Leaking NSA Documents
  16. Bill Gates makes his conservative biases clear in a Rolling Stone interview on the ongoing NSA controversy

    As the dangers of NSA spying slowly come to light, with issues ranging from potential CIA spying on US political leaders and stealing documents from the US Senate to a precipitous drop in worldwide confidence in U.S.-based technology platforms, Bill Gates, founder of the core operating system in over 90% of the world’s computers, deftly made the case for NSA spying in a recent Rolling Stone interview. Notable in the interview is not so much what Gates said, but what he didn’t say.

Wikipedia Got Ruined by the Likes of Microsoft Who Pay People to Edit Articles About Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft, Wikipedia at 3:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s manipulation of Wikipedia, where articles about Microsoft products look more like advertisements, reminds us of the need for critical thinking in today’s Wikipedia

MICROSOFT is going down. It is no longer controversial or laughable a claim. It is supported by evidence. The company to gain from it is not Apple (not anymore anyway [1]), it is a variety of companies that build products on top of GNU/Linux and Free software — companies such as Google, Red Hat, and Jolla.

The market share FUD against GNU/Linux has not stopped, not even with Android being so dominant. As Pogson points out, the FUD can even be seen in Wikipedia, where there were OOXML advertisements (disguised as articles) after Microosft had been paying people to distort Wikipedia. Microsoft has entirelt unaccountable large PR agencies editing Wikipedia. That’s how bad it is. They’ll get paid to vandalise pages (as in, add promotional spin), whereas volunteers who fix/add balance to pages will get nothing but a headache (the former group, the shills, has patience and persistence).

Regarding GNU/Linux adoption rates, which based on our sites are very positive (Tux Machines traffic almost doubles in two months), Wikipedia still cites Microsoft-connected entities like the now-disgraced
Net Applications (the Net Applications article in Wikipedia links to Techrights‘ criticisms though). This ought to say how reliable Wikipedia has really become on matters such as GNU/Linux. Several years ago the articles about GNU/Linux cited articles of mine (I had not edited such pages), but over time these citations were removed. Pogson says “Wikipedia seems more a campground for paid shills and such. No interest without enough finances to hired dedicated campers to squat on pages are going to get past those that have. Some areas are without corporate interest or political controversy but on the pages that are, OCD wins. And M$ can make any technology or related technology issue into a political fight. I usually shoot down Wikipedia’s credibility by refering individuals to specific pages where they themselves have domain expertise. Then I ask them to extrapolate to the pages where they know little.”

Not many people can defend against claims that Wikipedia is being distorted by PR agencies and out-of-control employees who won’t disclose conflicts of interest. I myself had found and reported many incidents as such, but I just can’t be bothered anymore. Be cautious of Wikipedia. I only fix the occasional typos I come across; for divisive issues or products (monetary interests) I don’t even visit Wikipedia.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. ‘Haunted Empire’ Profiles Apple After Steve Jobs as a Company on the Decline

Yahoo’s PR Makeover Might Be Precursor of Real Change

Posted in Security at 2:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Yahoo! makes some moves which suggest a possible departure from Microsoft, the NSA, and other rogue entities which view society as an enemy

THERE were recently some news reports suggesting that Yahoo! might quit the relationship with Microsoft (we covered this weeks ago), which was more like a rape than a relationship. It was a forced marriage, worse than a shutgun wedding. Among the ‘rapists’ there were Microsoft proxies like Icahn, who seems to be up to other evil “raids” [1] (he takes pride in being a corporate “raider”).

We would like to remind readers, as this is very important, that Yahoo fought (in court) against the NSA until Microsoft took over Yahoo! (and thereafter Yahoo joined PRISM, of which Microsoft was member #1).

Yahoo has just made this strategic step which suggests that Yahoo, which let the NSA and GCHQ (perhaps involuntarily) infiltrate video chats, wants some real change. Now that NSA is competing with SCO [2] over the title of most hated entity (in the eyes of the FOSS community) Yahoo would be wise to distance itself from the NSA and its special partner Microsoft. It’s never too late for redemption and encryption.

Icahn should have really been put in prison a long time ago, but in a corrupt economy where greed and fiancial aggression are glorified don’t expect much to that effect.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Icahn, Andreessen Battle for eBay, PayPal

    “Corporate raider Carl Icahn has turned his attention to eBay, announcing a proxy fight for board seats via open letters to shareholders. Icahn thinks the company should spin off its PayPal division and distribute the proceeds to the shareholders. The current board thinks differently, but Icahn says that’s partly because of massive conflicts of interest held by board members (Netscape founder, now venture capitalist) Marc Andreessen and (Intuit CEO) Scott Cook. For Exhibit A and B, Icahn mentions the large profits Andressen Horowitz made from eBay’s earlier spinoff of Skype, and its subsequent sale to Microsoft; and the fact that Intuit and PayPal are competitors in the payment processing space.

  2. SCO & NSA: The Great Digital Whack-A-Mole Game

    Since leaving SCO, McBride’s life has continued with the sort of gangsteresque intrigue that defined him in the days when he was Linux’s public-enemy-number-one. Last May he made news when The Salt Lake Tribune reported that he had turned over a four year old audio recording of a conversation he had with Mark Shurtleff, who had been Utah’s Attorney General when the recording was made.

    The conversation turned around a bad debt McBride was trying to collect.

    It seems that McBride invested $286,000 with businessman Mark Robbins, who had promised a $5 million return which McBride had hoped to use to cover legal expenses in the SCO vs. IBM case. Unfortunately for McBride, Robbins skipped town to avoid being served a bench warrant in an unrelated civil case and was nowhere to be found. In an attempt to collect the debt, McBride established a website, Skyline Cowboy, which the Tribune described as “a sort of virtual bounty-hunting operation aimed at flushing out Robbins.”

Man With Plenty of UEFI Experience Struggles to Disable Restricted Boot to Install and Run GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux at 2:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Another story about the pains of restricted boot and why it matters a lot right now

TECHRIGHTS is actively and ferociously against UEFI for various reasons including security (bad security), patents, and anti-competitive aspects. The technical merits (positives) of UEFI are outweighed by the negatives and for most people there are no positives at all because they don’t access servers directly. They don’t need to worry about remote booting and other such advanced features, which are commonly needed when one runs Windows (it gets sort of jammed or refuses to shut down).

There is this new article from Jamie, the UEFI explorer (whom UEFI Forum approached to appease). “My UEFI experience so far has been limited to only two laptop OEMs,” he explains, “HP/Compaq and Acer. I found the former to be relatively difficult to work with (see the recent Compaq and earlier HP Pavilion posts), but the latter to be reasonably easy (see Aspire One 725 post), especially after installing the latest BIOS updates.”

When it comes to ASUS, see just what he is having to go through: “I tried a variety of them, including Esc, F9, F10 and F12, all to no avail. I checked the BIOS configuration (at least that was on F2) to see if there was something I needed to enable there to get Boot Select, ala the Acer Aspire One, but I didn’t find anything like that.

“However, in the process of getting into the BIOS setup I did notice that the ASUS POST sequence seems very quick, so there is really a very small time slot in which you can press F2 before it is too late, and you are doomed to boot Windows and then shut down and try again.

“Armed with this knowledge, I tried again to get into Boot Select and this time found that if I was fast enough, Esc would get me there.

“Also while blundering around in the BIOS setup I saw that there is an option to Enable/Disable Secure Boot, but I did not see anything about Legacy Boot there: I wonder if this system doesn’t support Legacy Boot.”

This would be enough to discourage the majority of people from even exploring GNU/Linux. They would essentially give up on it without really trying it. They would blame “Linux”.

Now that some large companies migrate their computers from Windows XP to GNU/Linux (I know of a few who don’t publicly announce it) the issue is very sensitive. It is bad enough that some media monopolies and oligopolies make life miserable for GNU/Linux users (see new examples in [1]), we don’t need hardware and software companies doing the same (Intel and Microsoft for the most part). People want to move away from Windows (many options exist [2]) and if we don’t pursue this at antitrust level, then computing will enter a dark age, like that of DRM. It’s wasteful and unfair.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Time Warner’s Live Chat Doesn’t Speak Linux

    I know for an absolute fact that Time Warner’s backbone is made up of Linux and Unix servers. And they want to tell me that I need a Windows system to access their online chat support?

  2. Lubuntu might be the best Linux distro for Windows XP users

    Microsoft will soon end official support for Windows XP, and OMG! Ubuntu! thinks that Lubuntu could be the perfect replacement. Lubuntu is a lightweight spin of Ubuntu that provides a more traditional desktop environment and might work well for Windows XP users.

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

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 Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts