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04.25.14

Firm of Microsoft’s ‘Former’ Manager Explains Its Marketing of a Bug That Created Unreasonable Scare and FUD Against Free Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Security at 2:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: “We’ve obviously got a lot more name recognition than we did before,” explains the firm of Mr. Schmidt

BRITIAN’S The ‘Guardian’ has a new article which finally asks the right question: “why did a computer bug have a name and a logo?”

We already know, based on a post-mortem and a timeline, that the firm behind the branding had nothing to do with originally finding the bug. It just exploited and capitalised on it to spread FUD against Free software, never really noting the Microsoft connection and the mysterious timing. It was a huge marketing campaign of some kind. Months ago we wrote about some openssl flaws, but none made the press as much as this whole “Heartbleed” thing, which many journalists are finally saying was overblown. We are generally trying not to waste time by promoting distracting articles about this bug which had already been patched (by all major GNU/Linux distributors) before it was made public knowledge.

Watch what the opportunists at Codenomicon are saying (the CEO): “I really believe that the name and the logo and the website helped fuel the community interest in this” (and spread lots of security FUD against GNU/Linux on the very same date that Window XP support ended).

Down at the bottom the article states: “It’s not all altruism. Chartier foresees a boost in Codenomicon’s prospects in the future. “We’ve obviously got a lot more name recognition than we did before,” he says.”

So as we said before, this was self-promotion for a firm that works with Microsoft and has Microsoft connections. It is also timely FUD for Microsoft and its media moles to capitalise on, as they demonstrably did.

Apple Gets Closer to Microsoft While Both Companies Are Rotting

Posted in Apple, Microsoft at 2:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Evil assimilated to evil

Summary: Dwindling sales and financial concerns (in addition to buybacks) lead Apple to pretty much the same horrible policies as Microsoft, including enormous aggression and back doors

“Cook [is] promoting Microsoft,” iophk wrote. “He did not need Microsoft before for Apple to grow to what it has become.”

Indeed, based on this article, Apple is following Microsoft’s financial ‘crookery’ [sic] by buying its own shares to create an illusion of stability. Microsoft seems to be relying on government help (being a surveillance mole) for its existence and Apple too joined PRISM right after Steve Jobs had died. Given the patent strategy, it has become hard to distinguish between Apple and Microsoft. Like Microsoft, Apple is now a giant in decline [1] and there is no sign of turnaround. Apple is now focused on just ‘innovating’ more “Rounded Corners” and “Curved Display”, based on a pro-Apple site [2] (Apple uses such patents in litigation against Android/Linux) and back doors are consciously left open in both iOS and OS X, confirming what we learned from last year’s NSA leaks (claiming that Apple was providing back doors and making its software easy to infiltrate).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Q1 Apple Results: iPhone market share down to 15% – plus some other bloodbath news
  2. New iPhone 6 Renderings Highlight Curved Display, Rounded Corners

    Following a report from Mac Otakara yesterday claiming the iPhone 6 will feature a curved glass display and an all-aluminum rear shell, French website Nowhereelse.fr [Google Translate] and designer Martin Hajek have partnered up to showcase renders visualizing such a device based off of the recent information.

  3. Apple Leaves Users Vulnerable By Not Fixing iOS and OS X Security Issues Simultaneously

    Notable computer security researcher Kristin Paget, who worked on Apple’s security team before leaving for Tesla in early 2014, has taken to her blog (via Ars Technica) to criticize Apple for fixing more than a dozen security flaws in iOS weeks after patching them in OS X.

FCC’s Tom Wheeler Attacks Net Neutrality, Showing His Previous Promises to be a Bunch of Worthless Garbage

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

Welcome ‘soft’ censorship

Thomas Wheeler

Thomas Wheeler; photo by Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg / December 12, 2013

Summary: The vision of ‘soft’ censorship, long sought after by corporate media, is finally here in the form of slow lanes for 99% of us

NOTHING surprises us when it comes to the FCC’s betrayal, at least not anymore. We wrote a great deal about Net Neutrality (dozens of times before) not because it relates to software but because as a site that drives around 100 GB of traffic per month we are very much affected by the issue and we should probably throw yet another opinion out there, despite the issue being covered very widely (which is good) to shed light on the seriousness of the matter.

One of our readers sent us this link which helps show the role of corporate lobbying in all this. As Mike Masnick put it: “We’ve talked plenty about the big revolving door between government and big business lately, but there are still some moments that are purely insane that show just how broken the system is. On Wednesday, news broke that former FCC commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker has been named the new CEO of CTIA, the main lobbying organization for mobile phone operators. Baker is no stranger to questionable revolving door moves, seeing as just months after she voted to approve Comcast’s merger with NBC Universal, she took a top lobbying job with Comcast. Funny how that works.

“But, in this case, it’s even more ridiculous because, as Jon Brodkin points out, the current head of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, previously was CEO of CTIA as well. And prior to that he was CEO of NCTA (the cable industry’s main lobbying group). And, to top it off, the current head of CTIA is none other than former FCC chair Michael Powell.”

Here is more about it. It’s simply white collar corruption and we should treat it accordingly. Here is an oldish quote regarding Net Neutrality and beyond, from President Obama himself: “I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists — and won. They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president.”

Nonsense. False promises and no hope.

As one article put it, we now have “Net Discrimination” and it is being stamped into law. As another article put it, “FCC guts net neutrality to pave way to tiered internet” and there is similar analysis elsewhere. Well, as usual we have a deceiving headline from the Murdoch propaganda press (we highlighted this pattern before) and as one blog put it, “FCC Plots Murder of Blogs on Behalf of Billionaire Media Lords” (like Murdoch).

The cable and media giants are not really liking it when other points of view are being sent across, especially some in video and audio (which is where traffic gets very expensive). It is clear that for financial reasons some shows will have to shut down as a result of the FCC’s (lobbyists’) latest moves, which were driven in part (as precursor) by Comcast and Netflix. They are banning competition by passing new laws, or at least suppressing competition. There is now a White House petition for Net Neutrality, but these petitions usually prove to be a waste of time; they might generate some press, but the White House is not genuinely interested in serving people, only corporations. There are still some weeks left for things to change, just like in Europe (where Net Neutrality is being defended and finalisation of such a decision is imminent).

What big businesses and lobbyists seek here is protectionism. They are making sure that the Internet becomes useful only for surveillance and propaganda, as much of the rest is censored, made expensive, slowed down, and suppressed behind protocols that make the Web “Hollyweb”.

As we pointed out before, Tom Wheeler is more like a mole, never really committing to Net Neutrality. Some sites provided proof of it while continuing their coverage of the latest developments.

This is not about videos. Like many other policies, “congestion” is an excuse, like “terrorism” and “think of the children!”

They are starting with videos and later, once the presence is already there, expand to more areas and media types, driving small sites out of the Web. What we deal with here is erosion of Internet freedom and rights, promoting the big corporations and subverting equality of speech.

Net neutrality is not just some Utopia. Subscribers who pay for the Internet connection typically bear the costs and if there is a capacity issue, then expansion can be taken care of. People pay for it already. Watch the article many sites have been citing, spinning the news as a discussion about a “Fast Lane”. This is nonsense. As one person put it, “NYT framing is also slavish. It’s not a “fast lane” it’s the ability to throttle and extort everyone that is being allowed. Wheeler’s assertion that this kind of behavior won’t be tolerated ignores prior and ongoing throttling. Shame on Wheeler and the NYT.”

So the rich and powerful will have their traffic and packets treated specially, at the expense of others’. They are also putting DRM in HTML and incorporating other abuses against the Web, including DPI and other forms of surveillance. According to the NYT: “The Federal Communications Commission will propose new rules that allow Internet service providers to offer a faster lane through which to send video and other content to consumers, as long as a content company is willing to pay for it, according to people briefed on the proposals.”

That’s deceiving. They use the same propaganda language that the cable oligopoly has been using all along. It continues by saying: “The proposed rules are a complete turnaround for the F.C.C. on the subject of so-called net neutrality, the principle that Internet users should have equal ability to see any content they choose, and that no content providers should be discriminated against in providing their offerings to consumers.”

It’s not much of a turnaround for those who have watched the FCC being taken over by lobbyists (and revolving doors actions, including from Microsoft). The FCC should be disbanded and a new body put in charge of these issues. The FCC is no longer what it’s supposed to be; it has been hijacked.

It is a turning point in the fight against censorship and the fight for information on the Web. Costs are being used in this type of warfare; So shows like TechBytes will be disciminated against and sent more slowly (if at all) to listeners, unless the host pays additional, prohibitive costs.

Watch another example of corporate press spin: “Internet service providers could strike special deals with Internet companies like Netflix or Skype for preferential treatment, under proposals by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler, violating the ideal of equal access for all consumers”

This is not about fast lanes for large corporations and mass media’s corporate masters; it is about SLOW lanes for those who are not in a list of “approved” media or whatever. It’s ‘soft’ censorship.

Links 25/4/2014: Steam Desktop Client Updated, GNU/Linux in Swiss Schools

Posted in News Roundup at 1:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Intel NUC sports 5W Atom, offered as kit or SBC

      Intel announced a fanless mini-tower “NUC” mini-PC for thin clients, equipped with a 5-Watt Atom E3815 SoC and a new custom expansion interface.

      The Linux-compatible Intel NUC Kit DE3815TYKHE is Intel’s first fanless member of its NUC (Next Unit of Computing) family of mini-PCs. The computer is also available as a single board computer (SBC) called the NUC Board DE3815TYBE.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Netanyahu Continues Vicious

      But even with all that, the appalling smug reaction of Netanyahu is sickening. Israel at no stage had the slightest intention of entering any meaningful peace process, stopping settlement building, or reducing the dispossession and discrimination suffered by Arabs of all sorts within Israel itself. The World’s most vicious and unrelenting theological and racist state continues to be just that. The United States was not in any sense genuinely involved in abetting a peace process; it was managing the process of genocide of the Palestinians, drawn out over decades, just conducted with enough disguise to allow the mainstream media to pretend it is not happening.

    • Gerhard Schroeder Buys Holiday Home in Crimea

      Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has purchased a 1250 square meter holiday home in Crimea.

      According to a report in the Sepastabol Times, Schroeder bought the beachfront property in Crimea’s Yalta district last Tuesday for €1.2 million in an all-cash deal. The posh mansion reportedly has 7 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, and an indoor olympic-sized swimming pool

      Sources close to Schroeder say he intends to spend his summers in Yalta and is unconcerned about the international controversy surrounding Russia’s annexation of the territory from Ukraine last month.

    • Drones cannot replace politics

      The overriding fact, however, is that drone warfare by the U.S. is achieving the opposite of what it was meant to do. Under the 2001 Authorisation for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), the U.S. government can engage in targeted killings, including attacks on U.S. citizens (three of whom have been killed by drones), without further warrant; even the targets, namely “associated forces” of al-Qaeda, are loosely defined.

    • An Artist’s Attempt to Plot Out All Drones Using Satellite Images

      Drones — known for their stealthiness and secret operations — are becoming exposed photo by photo by one artist.

      James Bridle, 33, is using open-source satellite imagery to show the location of drones around the world to increase overall visibility. He consults news articles, Wikipedia pages, Google Maps, Google Earth and other publicly available satellite maps to locate the drones and snap photos.

    • FOIA win against government on drones
  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • The French Sensation: Income Inequality in 700 Pages and a Hundred Graphs

      The hottest book everybody is talking about, that no one has read and no can get their hands on, is a giant, data-packed tome on income inequality covering three hundred years of history by the French economist Thomas Piketty. Is there a reason he’s getting the rock star treatment? Is it the symptoms that resonate (our drift into oligarchy), or is it the cure (a progressive tax on wealth)?

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • New leak exposes how the FBI directed Anonymous’ hacks

      Dozens of pages of previously unreleased documents pertaining to the prosecution of hacktivist Jeremy Hammond have been released, further linking the United States government to a gamut of cyberattacks waged against foreign nations.

      Hammond, 29, made waves last November when he defied a US federal judge’s order and told a packed New York City courtroom on the day of his sentencing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had relied on an undercover informant to direct members of the amorphous hacking collective Anonymous to target the websites of adversarial nations.

      The latest releases now lend credence to Hammond’s claims that the FBI guided Anonymous into conducting cyberattacks at their behest, regardless of the sheer illegality involved. The documents — a previously unpublished statement purported to be authored by Hammond and never-before-seen court files —now corroborate the role of the feds in these proxy cyberwars of sorts.

      Using the internet alias “Sabu,” the turncoat — Hector Xavier Monsegur of New York — supplied Hammond with lists of vulnerable targets that were then compromised, Hammond said in his courtroom testimony on Nov. 15. Data and details were pillaged and exploited, Hammond said, and then shared with the informant and, ergo, the FBI.

    • Muslim Americans Who Claim FBI Used No-Fly List to Coerce Them Into Becoming Informants File Lawsuit

      Naveed Shinwari is one of four American Muslims who filed suit against the government this week for placing them on the U.S. “no-fly list” in order to coerce them into becoming FBI informants. The plaintiffs say the government refuses to explain why they were named on the no-fly list. They also believe that their names continue to be listed because they would not agree to become FBI informants and spy on their local communities. “It’s very frustrating, you feel helpless,” Shinwari says. “No one will tell you how you can get off of it, how you got on it. It has a profound impact on people’s lives.” We are also joined by Shayana Kadidal, senior managing attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is seeking to remove the men from the no-fly list and establish a new legal mechanism to challenge placement on it.

    • Jackson: Gun owner unarmed, unwelcome in Maryland
    • Man Claims Police Searched Vehicle For Licensed Handgun Kept At Home

      A Florida man and his family were returning home from a wedding and Christmas celebrations in New Jersey when they were allegedly pulled over, forced out of their vehicle and searched by several Maryland police – all because John Filippidis is licensed to carry a firearm.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Our Internet Needs More Than “Internet Governance”

      Under the influence by governments and corporations, the final outcome document of the NETmundial forum became a weak, toothless and disappointing text. Despite the Brazilian president’s courageous speeches, NETmundial illustrates just how farcical and pointless efforts for a “global multistakeholder Internet Governance” are. If anything, the Net should be “governed” by citizens directly, independently of these circles and without waiting for the “global consensus”. Our shared communications infrastructure must be considered a common good, politically defined as such and defended.

    • IPv4 Space Almost Completely Allocated

      In February of 2011, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) allocated its final two /8 IPv4 address blocks of address space. That event marked the end of the so called “free pool” availability of IPv4 address space available to Regional Internet Registries (RIR), but it didn’t mean that IPv4 had become unavailable.

    • NETmundial puts us on the right track
  • Intellectual Monopolies

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