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01.30.15

Apple- and Microsoft-Friendly Media Continues Attacking Android/Linux

Posted in Apple, Deception, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 6:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Je Suis Wintel

Owl speaks

Summary: Some of the latest examples where corporate media (funded and run by large corporations) distorts facts, selectively covers facts, and generally serves to protect the Apple-Microsoft duopolist world view

TECHRIGHTS is troubled to see a lot of anti-Android rhetoric in the press as of late. Putting aside the smearing of Lollipop (we have upgraded to it and it works well), there is a lot of rhetoric that comes from Android foes. Some of the rhetoric relies on Apple results which mostly embody business other than mobile devices (Apple operates in many areas) and other kinds of rhetoric rely on a gross distortion of statistics, along with misleading headlines.

HTC (Taiwan), Sony (Japan), Huawei, ZTE (China), LG, and Samsung (Korea) make Android phones that are popular among the people of the world, including big markets like China, but Apple, the sole US company in this market (Nokia is the sole big player — albeit shrinking — in Europe) only counts on the US market to give the illusion of might. Here is the latest example of the US-only FUD (counting only US sales). “In the U.S. market,” says one parts of the article, but the headline is misleading and does nothing to clarify the scope. There are many headlines just like that and after reading English-speaking media one might be left with the impression that Android is losing even though it’s gaining. It is always gaining; rapidly too.

Apple Insider, a pro-Apple propaganda site, published an article titled “Apple Inc’s thermonuclear assault on Samsung vaporizes Android…” (article later deleted on the face of it, or renamed)

Microsoft, in the mean time, is still trying to hijack Android and make a “Microsoft Android” as they have failed to do (despite trying) using Nokia as the hijacked proxy (Yahoo was also hijacked by Microsoft and Facebook was hijacked by investment). Ahonen, a Nokia guru, has just noted that “Microsoft-Nokia is such an irrelevant spec in the market now as they’ve fallen out of the Top 10 smartphone manufacturers, its not worth its own entry.”

Yes, look how much of a ‘success’ this has been. Nokia used to be hugely dominant in this market. Microsoft reduced it to a laughing stock and borderline patent troll. The News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal suggests that Microsoft might be trying to use CyanogenMod as the next anti-Android proxy, following rumours of a buyout last year. The partly Microsoft-owned Facebook already tried that and failed. So has Nokia. They could not hijack Android from Google. Thom Holwerda has a good article that explains why CyanogenMod cannot be trusted and the Wall Street Journal says that “Microsoft is investing in a hot startup that’s trying to weaken Google ’s hold over Android.

“People familiar with the matter say Microsoft is putting money into Cyanogen, which is building a version of the Android mobile-operating system outside of Google’s auspices.

“Microsoft would be a minority investor in a roughly $70 million round of equity financing that values Cyanogen in the high hundreds of millions, one of the people said. The person said the financing round could grow with other strategic investors that have expressed interest in Cyanogen because they’re also eager to diminish Google’s control over Android. The identity of the other potential investors couldn’t be learned.”

So Microsoft is still playing a dirty game while reportedly pushing Outlook and Office (i.e. Microsoft lock-in) into the platform, helped by a mindless media propaganda blitz [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13] where OOXML lock-in is disguised as “open” even though it’s purely proprietary and preys on the platform which Microsoft is actively suing using software patents.

Wintel media outlets hardly covered it when Android was getting LibreOffice but enthusiastically market OOXML/Exchange traps for it. Journalists are shamelessly distracting from much more important news like the new LibreOffice release (4.4) and Free software LibreOffice coming to Android while Google is making its game-changing move to embrace ODF. Therein lies the ‘magic’ of Microsoft PR agencies, which basically drive the media and bamboozle the world. Will Hill told us yesterday that:

SVJN’s conversation on G+ is a hoot. Bruce Byfield adds insult to injury by saying,

You know, of course, that some people will never believe Microsoft can change, even if it releases the source code for Windows and MS Office. To them, such actions would be proof of a clever plot.

Simon Phips, shamefully, perpetuates the lie with a backhanded compliment,

The work these parts of their company is doing seem genuine. My objection remains that they are still sociopathic in the legacy parts of their business. When they stop shaking down embedded Linux companies they deserve the name; until then, they are just aspiring to good marketing karma that they don’t deserve.

SVJN is also promoting the latest FUD, Ghost, which is mostly nonsense, and Windows 10.

The thing about Microsoft’s criminal behaviour (such as racketeering), it goes well beyond patent abuse. It also goes well beyond faking “Open Source”. We spent many years coverage examples to show this. Don’t believe for a second that Microsoft has changed. The news about CyanogenMod merely serves to reinforce our suspicion that Microsoft is still attempting an “embrace, extend and extinguish” (destroy/fragment) strategy against Android. Look what Microsoft puppets like Facebook and Nokia tried beforehand (without success) against Android.

Qualys Admits That Its Scare Campaign (So-called ‘GHOST’) Somewhat Baseless

Posted in FUD, Security at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Giving names to bugs to make them sound scary

Scare campaign

Summary: Even the company that bombarded the media with its “GHOST” nonsense admits that this bug, which was fixed two years ago, does not pose much of a threat

TWO days ago we wrote about the self-promotional FUD campaign from Qualys, noting that it had been blown out of proportion, as intended all along by Qualys (which even gave it the name “GHOST” and paid for expensive press releases in corporate news). A Red Hat employee reveals that even Qualys itself realised that its pet PR/marketing charade, “GHOST”, is not much of a risk.

He said that “the people at Qualys that worked hard to hype GHOST into a doomsday bug had to admit that most software calling the gethostbyname function couldn’t be forced to exploit the bug. As they say themselves (from “the Qualys Security Advisory team”):

“Here is a list of potential targets that we investigated (they all call gethostbyname, one way or another), but to the best of our knowledge, the buffer overflow cannot be triggered in any of them:

apache, cups, dovecot, gnupg, isc-dhcp, lighttpd, mariadb/mysql, nfs-utils, nginx, nodejs, openldap, openssh, postfix, proftpd, pure-ftpd, rsyslog, samba, sendmail, sysklogd, syslog-ng, tcp_wrappers, vsftpd, xinetd.”

“To put things in perspective see this [discussion],” he added. It’s LWN refuting Dan Goodin, the anti-GNU/Linux ‘security’ rhetoric person from Condé Nast (we took note of his coverage the other day).

“But as always,” added the guy from Red Hat, “the truth isn’t that clickbaiting…

“It was a bug. It has been fixed. But it wasn’t that simple to exploit. Patches are available and as it seems no one got hurt.”

European Unitary Patent and Court System in Trouble

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Patents at 5:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EU flag

Summary: New resistance to the Unitary Patent amid allegations of misconduct in the European patent authorities

OUR recent coverage of EPO abuses plays a role in derailing the Unitary Patent and 'harminised' court system (bypassing national laws in many nations), which is basically an open door to a lot of software patents and patent trolls. Our sources occasionally remind us that they can feel the impact and see the effect of reporting on the subject. Over at IPCopy we learn about the Unitary Patent’s latest and also take note of Spain’s challenge, which we first covered several years ago, back in 2011 and in 2010. “The Advocate General,” explains IPCopy, “released his opinions on the two Spanish challenges to the unitary patent system in November last year and in December there was much discussion online about the independence of the Boards of Appeal at the EPO.

“Anyone curious about whether the developments at the EPO might be relevant to the Spanish challenges to the unitary patent are encouraged to head over to Dr Ingve Stjerna’s website (link below) and read his latest paper ” Unitary patent and court system – Advocate General’s Statements of Position: Superseded by reality”.”

We are glad to see nations standing up to the EPO, which has corruption at the top. It goes well beyond authorisation of software patenting, which includes FRAND in Europe. OSI President Simon Phipps, writing that “FRAND Is Always Discriminatory”, says that he “participated in a study asking about the fairness, reasonableness and non-discriminatory nature of FRAND licensing in the context of licensing of patents in standards. I was surprised to find people there asserting there was no conflict between FRAND licensing and open source software. Here’s a simple explanation why that’s wrong.”

“Why patent licensing as a precondition of implementation of a standard cannot be non-discriminatory, on any terms,” he wrote in Twitter about his article, which also made it into corporate media.

It sure looks like the insidious side of the EPO, mostly attributed to managers in suits at the top floors (not scientists such as patent examiners), is being exposed for all to see. There is still chance for European democracy to be saved and sovereign laws (intended to preserve some level of justice) to be taken into account, not foolishly (and arrogantly) overridden.

Text of Ruling/Decision Against Željko Topić (Regarding Audi as a Bribe)

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Patents at 5:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Judge Marijan Bertalanič
Judge Marijan Bertalanič, photo from vecernji.hr

Summary: The legal loss of Željko Topić laid bear for the public to see even outside Croatia

THE DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY we learned that Željko Topić had lost his case in his home country, Croatia (where he is facing many criminal charges). Surely he hopes that nobody outside Croatia will find out, let alone have access to the text in a language like French, German, or English. But thanks to our sources we now have precisely that. It’s a ruling from Judge Bertalanič (pictured above).

Here is the relevant (original) document [PDF], which is a summary judgement (in Croatian). As promised a couple of days ago we now have this recent judgment of the Municipal Criminal Court of Zagreb relating to the defamation complaint which Mr. Topić filed against Ms. Vesna Stilin (classic gag attempt in our humble assessment because that would be a classic manoeuvre where one sues the messenger to intimidate and create an illusion of equality).

“The full judgement,” says our source, “including a detailed statement of the grounds is expected to become available in February.

“The summary judgment basically states that the accused (i.e. Ms. Stilin) has been “acquitted of the charges” ["OSLOBADJA SE OPTUZBE" in Croatian]. It then goes on to list the charges under items 1. and 2.

“The charges were based on the contents of two letters sent in 2010 by Ms. Stilin to the then Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor (with copies to various Ministries).

“The paragraphs in italics are passages from the letters which were alleged to be defamatory.

“Of particular interest is the accusation that Mr. Topić literally “purchased” his second term of office in 2008 by providing an Audi to the Minister at an estimated cost of 500.000 HRK (ca. EUR 66.000).”

Here is the relevant part:

“Topić Željko kupio je svoj drugi mandat ravnatelja DZIV-a, plativši cca 500.000,00 kuna MZOŠ u razdoblju od preko 2 godine (od svibnja 2007., kada je potpisan navedeni Ugovor, do srpnja 2009., kada je Primorac otišao iz Ministarstva), što spominjem, uz ostalo i u Ustavnoj tužbi br.: U-III 5023/08 koja je još u rješavanju, gdje osporavam Topićevo imenovanje za ravnatelja… …..Naime, podnijela sam kandidaturu za ravnateljicu Zavoda nakon što je isti krajem 2007. potajno… ukinuo moj sector …”

“The court found that the assertions which Ms. Stilin made about Mr. Topić were not defamatory,” said our source for this. “The summary judgment concludes by stating that the plaintiff (i.e. Mr. Topić) is to bear all costs.

“It would be interesting to know whether EPO funds are going to be used for this purpose.”

This last remark alludes to the fact that when Topić travels to Croatia to face justice he labels it business trips or something along those lines. The last thing he wants is informed colleagues who know where he is coming from. Sooner or later we might see this man in prison, not just outside the top floors of the EPO. Battistelli has got quite a liability in his hands.

Media Coverage of Demonstration Against Jesper Kongstad of the Administrative Council (EPO)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO demonstration
Photo credit: “Finans”

Summary: Last week’s EPO demonstration has been covered by Danish media, raising awareness of the “banana republic” state of the EPO

Yesterday we wrote about Jesper Kongstad’s protection of Benoît Battistelli, recalling one of the earliest type of abuses which we covered here last year. The Techrights article about EPO protest in front of the Danish Consulate in Munich has had an effect (widely cited on the Internet).

“In case you are interested,” wrote a source to us, “a good photograph of the protest march to the Danish Consulate in Munich was published by the Danish newspaper “Finans”.

“The article is in Danish and is “subscription-only” but the photo is openly accessible.”

We are still hoping to receive a scan/full Danish text/English version/human translation of the article. It would be good to have it for our record too, so if any of our Danish-speaking readers can help us, that would be beyond helpful.

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