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06.24.14

Distortion of Facts in Microsoft-Friendly News Sites

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The press is awash with Microsoft propaganda that negates truths, such as Microsoft as having “warmth towards open source” (like lawsuits), Microsoft having big share in virtualisation (based on revenue/sales alone), and Microsoft “continu[ing] Android push” (actually, extorting and derailing Android)

EVERY now and then we see some Microsoft openwashing that we are urged to respond to. There are some propaganda agents out there (some working directly for Microsoft) whose aim is to portray Microsoft as privacy-respecting, Open Source-friendly, law-obeying/abiding, and competition-respecting. Earlier today we saw a pro-Microsoft site saying that “Microsoft Refuses To Open Source VB6″, then issuing the following revisionist nonesense: “With Microsoft’s new warmth towards open source it seems a small thing to ask for VB6 to be open sourced.”

There is no “new warmth towards open source”, there is openwashing and propaganda, that’s all. Microsoft pretended to have open-sourced some very old software a few months ago, but that was a sheer lie, promoted for the most part by Microsoft-friendly sites that disregard facts. We need to keep track of such lies, which usually come from sites that have historically been linked to Microsoft (sometimes their writers come from Microsoft).

Here is the MSN-connected (Microsoft, and Microsoft Windows-run) Fool.com belittling Red Hat by warping the way one counts share in virtualisation (they count sales, but Free software is rarely actually sold). It’s the same propaganda line that Gartner and IDC use when it comes to servers share. They give the illusion that proprietary software dominates virtualisation, but that’s nonsense. VMware is linked to the NSA through RSA, and it is run by people from Microsoft (the NSA’s #1 PRISM partner and more). Like Hyper-V, VMware is proprietary and it probably facilitates back door access like Hyper-V does (Hyper-V runs on Windows, which has back doors, hence Hyper-V and every guest VM under it has an NSA back door). We need to find back against disinformation that belittles the share of GNU/Linux and Free software by framing it as a purely financial question.

The third example for today comes from an Android-hostile site. It now gives the illusion (again) that Microsoft supports Android rather than what it actually does. Microsoft extorts Android and derails it by trying to turn a portion of it into a Microsoft surveillance platform.

All the examples above show us not journalism but agenda disguised as reporting. Please report such coverage to us so that we can counter it.

Microsoft’s OOXML Crimes Prevent Companies, Governments, and People From Exploring Alternatives to Microsoft

Posted in Fraud, Microsoft, Open XML at 11:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OOXML: When crime pays off

Drug deal

Summary: Reports from the European Commission’s Web site reveal the degree to which OOXML is successfully derailing migrations to Free/libre software in the public sector

SOME of the criminals involved in the OOXML festival of corruption have already left Microsoft (e.g. Oliver Bell, who joined a Gates-funded Gates grooming operation) or joined Microsoft (e.g. Peter O’Kelly), so holding them accountable would be hard, especially now that years have passed and conditions have changed. Microsoft got away with a lot of crime, including bribery. Nobody was sent to jail or even put on trial. Microsoft is above the law, no doubt. It’s an international problem that we find also in the case of large banks, not just software companies with strong ties to the NSA for example.

According to this new report from the European Commission’s Web site, “Open source [is] hindered by OOXML incompatibilities” (as intended and planned by Microsoft). To qoute: “The mixing of outdated and incompatible versions of OOXML, an XML document format, is hindering implementation in open source office alternatives, according to a study published on the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR) today. The different OOXML versions also pose difficulties for public administrations that use different proprietary office suite versions, and the inconsistencies are causing problems with older documents. The OOXML document format is hindering the interoperability of suites of office productivity tools.”

There is also this accompanying report titled “Complex singularity versus openness”.

“Does not even mention ODF,” pointed out one of our readers about this article. “When M$ forced it’s XML file-format on the world for office suites it deliberately created lock-in,” wrote Pogson.

This once again reminds us why Microsoft went as far as criminal activities. It sought to prevent people all around the world from taking their data to better platforms or even create new data in formats that would continue to make the data accessible. To us at Techrights is has always been somewhat of an outrageous mystery that nobody was sent to jail for it. It shows that the system which purports to uphold justice is very arbitrary and unjust, with Microsoft positioned on the side of immunity while it helps secret agencies illegally violate rights of citizens.

For Gamers, Not Only ‘Xbox’ Franchise is Dying But Also Windows

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 10:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Drop

Summary: “Games for Windows Live” may be dead; Steam Machines run GNU/Linux and Microsoft’s attempt to make hardware still fail very badly, and it extends beyond Xbox

THE other day I was approached by someone who had abandoned Windows for games. With Steam OS (and Steam for various other GNU/Linux distributions), one does not need Windows. Historically, many gamers said they kept Windows around just for games, but now the situation is being reversed. There are Windows users who turn to GNU/Linux just for the games. It’s a real problem for Windows and rumours say that Microsoft is officially shutting down “Games for Windows Live”. The ‘damage control’ from Microsoft, or the issuance of face-saving PR, really speaks volumes. “Reports of GFWL’s death have been greatly exaggerated,” says the subheader, but we already know, based on previous dead Microsoft products (many of them games-related), that this is just an attempt to play a linguistic game (semantics) to deny the inevitable. According to this other new review of Microsoft hardware (which has historically been a disaster like Xbox 360), “Microsoft’s latest tablet, the Surface Pro 3 [...] one of the hardest of its kind to repair, giving it a laughably low score of just one out of 10.”

The only thing that keeps Microsoft paid for the time being (and some people locked in) is Microsoft Office, owing to Microsoft crimes that the next post will recall.

Links 24/6/2014: KDE Plasma Media Center 1.3, Linux Mint 17 KDE

Posted in News Roundup at 10:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • To Get Developer Adoption Today You Have To Build a Community

    Michael Williams, BIRT Product Evangelist & Forums Manager at Actuate, outlines some key points to keep in mind for building your own open source community.

  • Cisco developing open-source block ciphers

    Cisco says it is experimenting with ciphers it claims can better protect traffic privacy in cloud systems and result in bandwidth and storage savings.

  • Cisco Releases Open Source FNR Cipher

    Cisco has released a new open-source block cipher called FNR that is designed for encrypting small chunks of data, such as MAC addresses or IP addresses. The cipher is still in the experimental stage, but Cisco has released the source code and a demo application.

  • 12 challenges for open source projects

    Open source is the combined contributions of millions of independent volunteers. This single concept brings with it a few inherent realities. In this article let’s look at a few potentially concerning points about the nature of open source contributions.

    One of the major, oft-touted benefits of open source software is the diverse, large, and ever ready army of developers contributing to the project. This can be an incredibly powerful argument when demonstrating the value of open source to a corporation. However, the larger the community and the bigger the pool of contributors the more opportunity there exists for problems or potential security risks.

  • Events

    • Where’s the money in open source?’ – limited places for exclusive event

      Open source is a growing and arguably successful strategy for making our corner of the world a better place. While altruism motivates many individuals and some companies to make things open source, others are in it for the money. On the other hand, many companies use or are forced to use open source for its perceived cost-saving value, often disregarding its risks. So what’s the business case for open source?

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • ownCloud Conf coming… And REWE offers a cheap way to get there!

      ownCloud is organizing an ownCloud conference/hackathon at the Technische Universität Berlin this August. And as Steffen Lindner shared on twitter, the German REWE supermarket is offering cheap tickets to go to Berlin from all over Germany during the event!

    • OpenStack speaking opportunities, design guide book sprint, and more
    • Cloud trends point to PaaS, open source as the future

      As the cloud market matures, customer behavior is changing and questions remain about where the true value of the technology will lie in the future.

      A group of industry professionals tackled a variety of topics as part of a panel discussion on the future of the cloud last week at a Cloud Standards Customer Council symposium. They discussed the impact of savvy customers and looked ahead at trends around burgeoning cloud services, vendor lock-in issues and the role of open source.

    • Debate: How Many Open Source Platforms Are Enough?

      “When it gets there, we will support the OpenStack API,” Mikos relented.

      Dholakia noted that CloudStack, like Eucalyptus and OpenStack, has long maintained a “compatibility layer for the Amazon API precisely because, as business folk, we follow the dollars.”

    • GoGrid CEO John Keagy Building Coalition For Open Source Cloud Orchestration Engine

      Over the last several months, GoGrid CEO John Keagy has been quietly holding meetings with partners and rivals alike to share an ambitious plan.

      His brainchild has the potential to shake up the entire cloud services industry by uniting some of its largest players around an open source project: a universal cloud orchestration engine called OpenOrchestration.org.

  • Databases

  • CMS

    • 5 Factors to Help You Choose an Open-Source CMS

      Being able to present that content effectively depends on having the right foundation for your site, and that means choosing a content management system (CMS) that will best match up with your site’s intended purpose.

  • Healthcare

    • What’s behind the success of free and open source healthcare?

      I ask more questions in this survey of free and open source healthcare developers for my thesis project: “The state of open source electronic medical records: An anthropology study.” My goal is to better understand the characteristics, motivations, and knowledge background of healthcare developers in order to determine what is behind the success of free/open source software in healthcare.

  • BSD

    • Clang Is Already Working On “Highly Experimental” C++1z Support

      With LLVM developers already having lots of C++1y / C++14 support implemented, they have begun working on “highly experimental” support for C++1z — the next major revision to the C++ programming language anticipated for release in 2017.

      C++14/C++1y should be officially released this year as a small update over C++11, for which LLVM/Clang (and GCC) already have decent support. In fact, with the current Clang 3.4 stable release all of the key C++11 functionality should be in place.

  • Public Services/Government

  • Licensing

    • Red Hat, Joyent, and others break down licensing barriers

      Open source is an environment where no permission is required to use the source code; the flexibility to do as you wish is already provided. The open source license creates this permissionless environment, and developers are able to gather around a source code commons to meet their individual needs without having to seek approval from anywhere. Requiring a CLA to contribute immediately obstructs this goal.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Should Everyone Learn to Code?

      “I do think that everybody should learn to code, at least on a basic level,” said Linux Rants blogger Mike Stone. “It would teach them to break down a problem into small, manageable portions and solve each of those parts logically.” It’s actually “less about the code itself than solving a problem logically,” he said. “That’s a skill that I think everybody should have.”

Leftovers

  • Hardware

    • Intel Expresses Interest In AMD’s Mantle API

      Intel has asked AMD about access to their Mantle technology for experimenting with this graphics API alternative to Direct3D and OpenGL.

      Intel and AMD confirmed to PCWorld that the two companies were communicating about Mantle cooperation but “[Intel] remains committed to what it calls open standards like Microsoft’s DirectX API.”

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Transparency Reporting

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Journalism Without Information

      I thought of that when I saw the new issue of Time magazine (6/30/14), which featured a short item on Kevin McCarthy, the new majority leader in Congress. As such, he is someone who certainly will be wielding enormous political power.

    • Scott Walker Says the Dark Money Probe Is ‘Over,’ but He’s Wrong

      The federal judge who halted the state investigation, Rudolph Randa, wrote an opinion so detached from First Amendment precedent, Wisconsin law, and the facts of the case that many legal experts believe that it will be reversed by the Seventh Circuit appellate court reviewing it. (Plus, Randa’s May 6 ruling was a preliminary ruling, not a final decision.) Other legal experts think Randa should not even be involved in the case, given that he is a regular attendee at “judicial junkets” funded by the Bradley and Koch foundations, which are closely tied to Walker and the group that filed the federal lawsuit, Wisconsin Club for Growth.

    • This Is the New Stat Facebook Should Be Worrying About

      “A solid majority of American adults say that social media have no influence at all on their purchasing decisions — suggesting that the advertising may be reaching smaller segments of the market, or that the influence on consumers is indirect or goes unnoticed,” Gallup concluded. The company said people are more likely to consult in-store displays, television commercials, mail catalogs and magazines than a brand’s Facebook or Twitter account when making a purchasing decision.

  • Censorship

    • Russia asks Twitter to block a dozen accounts

      Russia has asked Twitter to block access to a dozen accounts it deems “extremist”, the head of the country’s telecoms watchdog said, as Moscow seeks greater control over internet sites based beyond its borders.

  • Privacy

  • Rights

    • Lord Byron, Terrorist

      The dreadful violence and destruction the West has inflicted and promoted in recent years in its efforts to gain control of the mineral resources of the Middle East continues to play out. Those who see communities with which they identify abroad engaged in military conflict will always produce a small number of people going to join the fight. This is in no sense unusual, and in no sense a threat to ordinary citizens in the UK. The link to terrorism here is entirely a fiction. The unfortunate thing is that the mainstream media allows no outlet for people to mock its false assertions and point out its sinister agenda.

    • CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou Advocates for Prison Sentencing Reform in New ‘Letter from Loretto’

      Reflecting on mass incarceration in the United States, which he has experienced firsthand during his time in prison at the Federal Correctional Institution of Loretto, Pennsylvania, CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou advocates for prison sentencing reform in his latest letter from jail.

      Firedoglake has been publishing “Letters from Loretto” by Kiriakou, who was the first member of the CIA to publicly acknowledge that torture was official US policy under the George W. Bush administration. He was convicted in October 2012 after he pled guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) when he confirmed the name of an officer involved in the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) program to a reporter. He was sentenced in January 2013, and reported to prison on February 28, 2013.

    • Back to Black: Interrogation Sites on the High Seas
    • Senate’s CIA Torture Report Awaiting Final White House Approval

      The release of a long-delayed, $40 million Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s “rendition, detention and interrogation” program during the George W. Bush administration is pending final approval from the Obama White House, Politico reported.

    • CIA report now on to White House

      The Obama administration is inching toward declassification of the Senate’s report on the CIA’s controversial interrogation techniques.

      The Central Intelligence Agency has finished redacting sensitive information from a 500-page summary of the 6,800-page report that the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to make public in April, Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in an interview Monday night.

    • The growing Police State in America
    • Police violence and law enforcement militarization in the greater borderlands

      Slightly more than three months after the police shooting of homeless camper James Boyd catapulted Albuquerque into the international spotlight, activists returned to the streets to advance their movement against police brutality.

      On a blistering Summer Solstice Day, whose blazing mid-day sky was oddly crested by a half-moon, more than 200 people marched up Central Avenue near the University of New Mexico chanting “Justice Now” and “They say justified, we say homicide!”

    • Opinion: It’s Time for Civilian Oversight of OPD

      Based on the most recent report issued by federal monitor Robert Warshaw, the Oakland Police Department will most likely require months of additional monitoring by the court — after eleven years of failure to comply with the Negotiated Settlement Agreement (NSA). No other city in the United States has required this length of time to bring its police department into compliance with a federal consent decree.

    • BRUCE: America’s expanding police state

      We all know about the scope of National Security Agency (NSA) spying. It’s fair to say at this point in our lives that the notion of privacy is all but dead and gone. However, it didn’t start there. In her book, Mrs. Chumley takes us on a ride through history, reminding us of the original intentions of the Founding Fathers versus the assault on the original design by “21st century realities.”

    • For The Last Time, Freedom Isn’t Free
    • 2014 Pioneer Award Nominations Are Now Open

      Nominations are now open for EFF’s 23rd Annual Pioneer Awards, to be presented this fall in San Francisco. EFF established the Pioneer Awards in 1992 to recognize leaders on the electronic frontier who are extending freedom and innovation in the realm of information technology. Nominations are open until midnight on Wednesday, July 2. Nominate the next Pioneer Award winner today!

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • New Open Source Firmware Encourages Wi-Fi Sharing

      The “Open Wireless Movement” was devised years ago by the EFF, Free Press, Mozilla and others to advocate for the sharing of broadband via publicly-accessible Wi-Fi hotspots. At the upcoming Hackers on Planet Earth conference, the group says they’re going to unveil new “Open Wireless Router” firmware that simplifies the process of safely and securely offering free Wi-Fi without hindering your own network.

    • What Everyone Gets Wrong in the Debate Over Net Neutrality

      The only trouble is that, here in the year 2014, complaints about a fast-lane don’t make much sense. Today, privileged companies—including Google, Facebook, and Netflix—already benefit from what are essentially internet fast lanes, and this has been the case for years. Such web giants—and others—now have direct connections to big ISPs like Comcast and Verizon, and they run dedicated computer servers deep inside these ISPs. In technical lingo, these are known as “peering connections” and “content delivery servers,” and they’re a vital part of the way the internet works.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • TTIP Update XXX

      As well as all the varied developments I discussed in the previous TTIP update, plenty has been happening recently in the hotly-contested area of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published another of its informative reviews of developments in the ISDS field [.pdf]. This edition is particularly welcome since it focuses on the interaction between the EU and US.

    • Copyrights

      • UK ISPs Quietly Block More Torrent Site Proxies

        Several UK Internet providers have quietly added a list of new domains to their secretive anti-piracy blocklists. TorrentFreak was able to confirm that several popular torrent site proxies were added over the past weekend. However, the blocked domains have been quickly replaced by new ones, continuing the cat-and-mouse game that never seems to end.

      • The rules for using images from the internet

        Think it’s fine use downloaded images in your own website, poster or publication? You could be breaking copyright law… We show you how to use images legally and find free images that are available for commercial use.

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