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05.30.14

Microsoft-backed Mono is Still Trying to Spread to More Linux-Based Platforms

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono at 11:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

API trap and dependency

Summary: Amid openwashing of .NET there are yet more attempts to make mobile Linux dependent on Microsoft’s APIs

The peripheral Microsoft Corporation (allies/staff at companies such as
Xamarin) continues to push Mono into all sorts of Linux-centric projects such as MeeGo (we covered this in prior years) and now its successor Tizen is at risk. “Kitsilano Software are bringing C# to Tizen, in the form of the MonoTizen project,” says this article. This is part of the openwashing of .NET and also the intrusion of patented/copyrighted Microsoft APIs, not to mention code (Mono is partly written by Microsoft, with Microsoft copyrights and Microsoft licences). Serdar Yegulalp continues to contribute to this issue (lots of .NET openwashing this month [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]). Several expected sites aid a perception management campaign of Microsoft by painting .NET as “open”, including folks over at IDG, whose bias is now further revealed because the ‘former Computerworld editor” (top IDG site) calls FOSS vendors “losers”.

Watch this other Microsoft-friendly (.NET-boosting) site openwashing .NET from another angle:

JetBrains recently open sourced Nitra, a set of tooling for working with programming languages on the CLR.

The CLR is proprietary; hence, this Nitra thing is incompatible with the promise of FOSS. But that is the type of nonsense promotes by CodePlex and other Microsoft openwashing proxies. It is not about FOSS; rather, it is about looking kind of like FOSS, deceiving people and luring them into lock-in or spyware.

.NET APIs are a dangerous threat especially after the CAFC's decision in Oracle vs. Google.

One story that we have ignored in recent days (it’s not in daily links) is about Mono. There has been a lot of media coverage of Unity3D because of a new release (days ago). Almost nobody who reported on bother to say it was Mono-plagued. Some FOSS sites gave it positive coverage, making the risk more alluring.

Software Patents Are Still a Threat to Europe Due to ‘Unitary’ Patent

Posted in Patents at 11:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Large corporations unite to occupy Europe

Unitary Patent
Picture from FFII

Summary: New report about the unitary patent and its progress in Europe which worries European software proponents because it can bring software patents (and patent trolls) to the whole of the EU

Glyn Moody has read a PDF-formatted document which circulated among the likes of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (whose Web site has been almost dead for several years, just like its vocal members’ sites). This document deals with the state of the Unitary Patent and it says that things are not looking good. “That’s particularly the case for software patents,” writes Moody, “where the US experiences shows us how much damage trolls can cause. The UPC will open up Europe for software patent trolling on a massive scale.”

It has been a while since we last wrote about software patents in Europe. It does not look like things are improving. Perhaps we will return to covering these issues soon (time permitting).

WhiteSource is a Trojan Horse

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD at 11:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

White horse

Summary: Behind the negative marketing of WhiteSource, which seeks to portray FOSS as a risk and WhiteSource as the solution

Last year we wrote about FUD from WhiteSource, which sounds like something 'open source' but is actually against it. An article by Microsoft proponent (for decades) Scott M. Fulton helps amplify the signal of WhiteSource, stating: “Software development teams continue to implement open source components as boilerplate, cut-and-paste code. Now, one repository service may have a way of estimating the costs.”

Like Black Duck‘s ‘software’, this effort continues to create fear and not too surprisingly some companies blacklist sites where FOSS code is available. A lot of new sites that target IT managers help spread the message from the likes of Black Duck. It’s all business.

You know who rips off stuff? Black Duck. Just ask Palamida. It’s not developers who rip off others. It’s the one hypocritical exploiter of the fear created by oneself. Black Duck is not alone in this meta ‘industry’; there are other such firms, led by ‘former’ Microsoft managers. Their business model is beneficial not only to themselves but also to Microsoft.

Some companies try to make money out of fear, specifically the phobia against FOSS. We need to learn to reject such companies. They are not trying to help. The more afraid people are of FOSS, the more money they make.

When NSA/PRISM/Microsoft Skype Turns Voice Conversations Into Text in Real Time

Posted in Microsoft at 11:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Clapper must be unwittingly impressed

Microphone

Summary: Microsoft reveals that the NSA-friendly Skype is already capable of turning voice into text in real time, adding to existing concerns over Microsoft ‘reading’ people’s IM sessions in real time (and following links)

Thanks to some good reporting from Germany we already know that Microsoft is reading people’s text chats in Skype (almost certainly saving them all with no retention policy to limit this secret collection). Microsoft is now using Skype for bribes in Brazil, as we already noted the other day, but we should importantly remember that Microsoft is a PRISM company, the first one in fact (Microsoft is how PRISM started). Skype is a spying operation, so when Slashdot says Microsoft processes speech at its end we know there is no node-to-node communication. Microsoft intercepts the sound and processes it. Microsoft shows it has capability of saving as text people’s voice conversations as text as well (easier to process and later to search or assign triggers to).

Welcome to 2014. With strong NSA connections Microsoft sure became Stalin’s dream (Stallman’s phrase). Careful what you say.

Desperate Microsoft Too Busy Attacking the Competition (Primarily GNU/Linux), Not Creating Products

Posted in Microsoft at 10:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The sinking ship tries to pull FOSS down with it

Rodrigues island

Summary: Some of the latest examples of Microsoft disruption (interfering with the competition) rather than Microsoft production

Earlier this week we showed how Microsoft (through CIS) was recruiting moles to help fight FOSS by confusion and infiltration. It is typical and very routine an exercise for Microsoft. Nokia is one recent example. Microsoft is actively recruiting moles who would come across to the public as pro-FOSS while also pro-Microsoft (while on Microsoft’s payroll), contributing — covertly — to a false perception that Microsoft is now accepted by FOSS and is a FOSS player. It is a bit like the strategy of undercover spies; it’s how the CIA infiltrates humanitarian groups (such as HRW) and pushes its agenda as pro-human rights, or commending the CIA (from supposedly humanitarian groups) for its aggressive action under the guise of “pro-rights” (women’s rights, democracy, freedom and so on).

Microsoft is not genuinely changing. It hardly changes anything at all. It is definitely not honest about changing its attitude towards FOSS. All it does is send AstroTurfers to critical sites like Techrights (as Microsoft did with horrible insults) while running attack ads against FOSS projects. All that Microsoft is trying to change (and barely succeeds at doing) is the public’s perception. Microsoft’s ads that seek to recruit moles state this explicitly. Under the supposed leadership of Satya N. Microsoft continues to extort FOSS using patents. Ballmer seems to be moving further away from Microsoft, but Gates who is the bigger bully (always has been) recrntly increased his role at Microsoft. Wired (Condé Nast) helps openwash Gates these days, but this is clearly part of the marketing charade. People like Mozilla’s CEO get pushed out with much help from Microsoft-linked press (never mind the bizarre nature of these tactics [1]), but a longtime criminal like Gates gets portrayed as a Saint. He buys media companies and pays many off, including a lot of blogs.

Speaking of marketing, watch Samsung‘s actions and this news about what Microsoft does to Android and Linux:

Microsoft sends astronauts to troll Samsung’s “Terminal Galaxy 5”

[•••]

With that said, Microsoft, you could’ve done better, though this is still a class above your ill-fated Scroogled campaign against Google.

Microsoft won’t get far with this strategy, but it sure can cause a lot of damage.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Bill Maher rails against political correctness

    A few weeks ago, the CEO of Mozilla was forced to resign because it was revealed that in 2008, he supported Prop. 8, California’s ban on gay marriage. A bad law, yes, but 52% of Californians voted for it. Do they all have to resign? Obama was against gay marriage in 2008! Does he have to resign? Hillary came around just last year. Can she be President?

Links 30/5/2014: GOG GNU/Linux Expansion, LGP Down, Valve Delays

Posted in News Roundup at 3:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Oregon’s GMO Sellout

      Even though the state of Oregon enacted a law to override the ability of localities to regulate their own food systems, local ballot measures to ban GMO crops passed overwhelmingly in Jackson and Josephine Counties on May 20, according to news reports. “We fought the most powerful and influential chemical companies in the world and we won,” Elise Higley, a local farmer with the anti-GMO group Our Family Farms Coalition, told The Oregonian. The Progressive magazine tells the backstory below and reveals that the preemption measure shares language with an ALEC model bill.

    • Cynical? – It’s bad for your health……apparently.

      That’s right. If you don’t buy into everything told you, it’s bad for your health. This is the stuff of dreams for anyone who wants you to buy into everything they say. I’m currently writing about the City of London Police so I’ll pass this link onto them, I’m sure they can use it. The researchers, who amongst the many things they fail to grasp (from the report I read) go on to say:

    • Britain does so much cocaine it’s now in the drinking water
  • Security

    • WordPress Gets Flagged for Insecure Cookie Risk
    • Exim 4.82.1 security release
    • Wednesday’s security advisories
    • Write secure code using Open Web Application Security Project guidelines

      The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is a not-for-profit charitable organization focused on improving software security. OWASP works on the principles of open source software, particularly the idea that the community is the force of creation and contribution. The unique aspect here is that OWASP is not software, rather a set of guidelines created by the community to help developers plug security holes in their code.

      Security has become a very important aspect of software development lately, but not everyone is aware of ways to write secure code. You may think, “my team of developers is very experienced/skilled/efficient, they can write 100% secure code,” but if you follow the news you are aware that even bigshot websites are regularly brought down or have their user data compromised. Your website should be well-prepared to avoid such attacks by following these guidelines by OWASP.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • After Safety Concerns Over Its Southern Leg, Keystone XL Is Getting New Regulations

      TransCanada will have to meet two extra safety conditions if it gets the go-ahead to build the northern portion of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, due to concerns from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that defects could occur during construction.

      PHMSA slipped in the two conditions towards the end of the appendices of the State Department’s Environmental Impact Statement, released this January. They dictate that TransCanada hires a third-party contractor chosen by PHMSA to monitor Keystone XL’s construction and report any faulty construction techniques back to the agency. In addition, TransCanada will be required to adopt a quality management program to make sure that Keystone XL is “built to the highest standards by both Keystone personnel and its many contractors.”

  • Finance

    • Exceptionalism – The Mind Killer

      It is so deeply embedded, so seamlessly rooted and integrated into what we think of as ‘our self’, that when expressed oftentimes it is (intentionally) mistaken for something else entirely. Our indoctrination begins at birth in tiny little ways, mostly personal in nature, with our parents and care givers the initial delivery system. From day one out of the womb we are conditioned via adoring smiles and Coochie Coochie Coo’s that we are exceptional, one of a kind and King of the house. A few minutes of screaming has everyone running to stem the tears and change the pee pants. And it is all downhill from here.

    • Death of money’: Author Rickards predicts collapse of global monetary system

      The collapse of the monetary system awaits the world in the near future, says financial expert James Rickards. Russia and China’s desire to rid the US dollar of its global reserve currency status is an early sign of the “increasingly inevitable” crisis.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

  • Privacy

    • Do you know what information your smart device collects?

      Are you aware that smart devices can collect information about your personal activities? If not, you are one of the 53% of British internet users that were unaware that smart devices such as smart TVs, fitness devices and in car-navigation systems can collect data.

    • Actual Former Government Official Makes Totally Ridiculous Argument That Snowden’s ‘Harms’ Are That Other Countries Are Angry

      Sometimes you have to wonder about people who hold government positions and the absolutely ludicrous statements they make. Following Ed Snowden’s big NBC interview, NBC apparently asked former US ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, to respond to Snowden’s pretty convincing claims that all the hand-wringing about “harms” he caused have no basis in fact. In the interview, Snowden points out, accurately, that no one has yet been able to show a single individual harmed by the revelations. McFaul then makes what may be the single dumbest statement we’ve heard to date on this whole debate, arguing that the “harm” is that other countries now trust us less — and that this is somehow Snowden’s fault, rather than, you know, the fault of the NSA which is doing the surveillance…

    • Kerry Tells Snowden to “Man Up” and Come Home

      A near-complete failure as Secretary of State (if you are not sure, read this), Kerry is apparently relegated within the Obama administration to the role of mumbling bully-boy statements, faux-machismo rantings whose intended audience and purpose are very, very unclear. Did Kerry think he might persuade Snowden to take up the challenge and fly back to the U.S.? Maybe meet Kerry in the Octagon mano-a-mano? No, Kerry sounded much more like Grandpa Simpson than America’s Senior Diplomat. – See more at: http://wemeantwell.com/blog/2014/05/29/kerry-tells-snowden-to-man-up-and-come-home/#sthash.PUdzNxZj.dpuf

    • How will government share your data?

      The Cabinet Office has started an early pre-consultation process looking at removing barriers to sharing or linking different databases across government departments. The rationale is that this can help Government “design and implement evidence based policy, for example to tackle social mobility, assist economic growth and prevent crime”.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • City of London Police – Getting results or using weasel words?

        iracy is wrong, piracy is theft. That’s that we are told. I personally refuse to watch the trash from Hollywood or your mainstream music et al, mainly because I think its manufactured nonsense aimed at markets either too lazy or too slow witted to find entertainment in more engaging mediums (such as reading, listening to the radio…you heard of those?)

        Now despite Piracy NOT being theft (if applied to Sec 1 of the Theft Act in the UK, which for me clearly defines what theft is), today we are looking at some claims made by the City of London police and finding out exactly what they are doing to combat the threat they claim of “piracy”.

        This is not an article on if you agree with infringement of copyright or not. I support CC and FOSS – I have no care or interest in the industries which make these multi-million pound movies, nor the movies themselves.

        [...]

        City of London Police – Why won’t you name the sites you claim to have closed down? – I believe I know the answer and its because they are not closed at all and just some word play by people who either don’t understand the concepts they are talking about or are intentionally looking to mislead. – Is there any other reason? Are my opinions incorrect? Please by all means give your reasons.

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