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03.21.15

Microsoft Hates Linux – Part VI – Propaganda Wars Against Free Software Facilitated While Media Control is Secured and Abused

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 2:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Summary: How Microsoft systematically lies to the public, including decision-makers and officials who can be tricked into choosing proprietary software, thinking it is in fact “open”

TODAY’S series of articles presents a reminder of where Microsoft really stands when it comes to GNU/Linux. One of Microsoft’s favourite (and paid by Microsoft for almost a decade) propaganda networks, GigaOM, is down due to lack of funds. This is one of those places where the “Microsoft loves Linux” nonsense was often shored up, but Microsoft cannot keep it up. They’re running out of channels and out of influence too. Moreover, given some very recent Linux-hostile moves, Microsoft will struggle to convince people that it loves Linux.

Owing to pointers and tips from readers, we now see IDG turning into a 24/7 Microsoft propaganda network as well. When IDG hired J. Peter Bruzzese for InfoWorld it helped show what a joke of a ‘news’ site it is (Microsoft ads almost every day [1, 2], including openwashing of Microsoft, republished in sister sites of IDG). Microsoft’s great strength is media control and it’s no secret. These IDG advertisement for Microsoft, more or less disguised as ‘news’, are a frequent occurrence now (almost as bad as CBS) and notice the blog’s name too. They encourage people to upload their personal data to Microsoft, the NSA’s top partner.

Meanwhile, as revealed to us by a tip, Microsoft’s booster Julie Bort writes “LEAKED” to mean “press release” or “public relations”. It is yet another puff piece/ad framed as “leak” for some extra attention or allure. Again, this is typical for Microsoft. Watch this other article titled “Microsoft leak shows plans for cloud-first Nano Server”.

It is a “”leak” as in press release,” tells us a reader, which is “also vaporware version n+1″. The reader alludes to Microsoft’s internal document [PDF] that states: “In the face of strong competition, Evangelism’s focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X.”

Microsoft already hypes up Vista 10 as well.

In other news, there has been plenty of openwashing in Microsoft sites. They try desperately to paint Microsoft as an open source company [1, 2] (truth be damned, they have an agenda). Referring to this publicity stunt from Microsoft, Martin in our IRC channels says that the “word “open” is just raped enough”.

No company has damaged the term “Open Source” like Microsoft has. The proprietary Visual Studio continues to be openwashed [1, 2] as the Microsoft-friendly writers keep saying the same thing over and over again (even if the news is from last year). Microsoft wants us to believe — wrongly — that almost everything from Microsoft is now ‘free’ and ‘open’ (OOXML, Windows, Visual Studio), but this could not be further from the truth. The spread of these Microsoft lies, even if with help from its boosters, is truly damaging to the Open Source brand. It devalues Open Source and confuses people who are not so technical but make big decisions.

Despite the fact that the Microsoft-paid (for propaganda) site GigaOM is down, its sibling site continues to be Microsoft’s megaphone, joining Microsoft boosters like Tim Anderson (bribed by Microsoft) and Microsoft boosting sites (sadly, Phoronix too did lip service to Microsoft, citing Microsoft PR and amplifying Microsoft PR sites like this one).

Microsoft embrace, extend, extinguish (EEE) strategy has expanded to more GNU/Linux-oriented projects (promoted, as usual, by Microsoft’s Mouth) and another puff piece from Sam Dean celebrates this while propping up the ‘new Microsoft’ myth/PR stunt. It’s all proprietary. To quote: “Microsoft has extended its cloud-focused support for Docker, adding Docker Machine to Azure and Hyper-V, and supporting Docker Swarm.” So Microsoft is basically trying to make something FOSS and GNU/Linux-oriented increasinglu dependent on proprietary software from Microsoft. Some great achievement, eh? Sam Dean has been doing other favours to Microsoft’s moles in FOSS as of late, which shows that the GigaOM network is down but not out (Ostatic is part of GigaOM).

Microsoft, which is still suing Free software using software patents, needs to pretend to be a FOSS company even if by lying. In India, for example, the government increasingly excludes proprietary software and this reportedly worries Microsoft a great deal. To quote some of the numerous articles about this, “most of them have been making an advance towards adopting open source technology. While Microsoft recently moved parts of its dot Net platform in open source, Oracle has also purchased open source databases like MySQL, and IBM has a huge line of business in their open source Eclipse platform product. “They are buying their insurance,” added Prof De.”

It’s only for show. They are all proprietary software companies, but they are openwashing themselves so as to not be left out of lucrative contracts. They want the government of India (and by extension this very large population) to remain dependent on proprietary software such as Windows. It’s a disturbing trend. EdX, which promotes itself on being an open source of knowledge is now Microsoft’s butler for lockin and indoctrination, serving a criminal company under the guise of ‘education’.

“RIP EdX” was the quick remark of a reader of ours, who gave this pointer to us last week.

In summary, Microsoft has nothing at all to do with Open Source, but thanks to some press presence which it is bribing for or is closely connected to, Microsoft has been able to push out some headlines that portray Microsoft as open and allow Microsoft to intrude nations which procure “open” (or Free/libre) technology.

Microsoft “loves” Linux only for the cameras (it helps keep regulators away). Microsoft is “open” only when it talks to those who favour Free/Open Source software. These are big lies, albeit promotional and often quite effective.

Microsoft Hates Linux – Part V – Dumping and Surveillance to Counter GNU/Linux Insurgence

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft loves [to destroy] Linux

World Financial Centre in Shanghai

A view of the World Financial Centre in Shanghai

Summary: Microsoft makes false claims about future versions of Windows (with more surveillance) becoming ‘free’ in order to stop migrations to GNU/Linux

THE world’s most connected nation (the nation with the most Internet users) and also the world’s richest nation (depending on the criteria assessed, irrespective of population size) is China. China makes the lion’s share of the world’s PCs, phones, etc. It’s a huge powerhouse. It’s impossible to boycott China.

“Not only is Microsoft working for the NSA, which cracks Chinese giants (like Huawei), but it also fires Nokia staff that was based in China.”Well, now that China is adopting GNU/Linux and its government bans more and more Microsoft software (we covered numerous examples before) what can Microsoft possibly do? It decides to ‘forgive’ China, then dump more back doors onto its population. How ludicrous a move. No wonder Bill Gates, disguising himself as a ‘charity’ person while serving Microsoft’s management, went lobbying technical ministers in China last month, including the very top (chief) technical minister. It’s a form of corruption.

What does Microsoft mean to China? Nothing good, that’s for sure. Not only is Microsoft working for the NSA, which cracks Chinese giants (like Huawei), but it also fires Nokia staff that was based in China. Microsoft fired almost 10,000 such staff on new year’s day (more of less). It did this “during their New Year vacation to add insult to injury,” said one of our reader, citing Ahonen (Nokia expert) who said: “this is like firing someone for Christmas. How cruel are they at Microsoft. Sadists!!!”

The part of Nokia which was left outside Microsoft’s reach is meanwhile turning to Android. As AOL put it, “Nokia is showing off the Android tablet that’s part of its post-mobile phones strategy here at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. It’s only available in China right now but the company tells TechCrunch it’s “looking at European markets” to consider whether to bring the N1 here too.”

Another report said that “Nokia fan blog NPU has uncovered benchmark test results on the Geekbench website. The tests reveal a, entry-level or mid-range Nokia smartphone running Lollipop powered by a quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek MT-6582 processor. Little else is known at this point, but the MT-6582 supports 720p displays, an 8-megapixel camera and 1080p video recording, so this certainly won’t be the flagship Android phone from Nokia that we’ve been waiting for.”

So here we have a situation where Microsoft’s part of Nokia (acquired) is being destroyed, whereas the other part moves back to Linux, as Nokia had done before Microsoft attacked it with a bribed mole. How does China feel about it? This is a serious attack not only on Chinese workers but also on Chinese sovereignty since many Chinese companies rely on Android and/or Linux for their operating systems development (e.g. COS). Nokia was widely used (not just manufactured) in China, so it hits China where it hurts.

There was a lot of artificial hype (PR) about Vista 10 supposedly being ‘free’ (complete nonsense if not an utter lie that we refuted earlier this year, back in late January), especially in China. As IGN put it: “The process of acquiring customers is where the “free” part plays a major role: offering a free mobile version of Microsoft Office, or giving away Windows 10 as a free upgrade to certain users for a year after launch, for example.”

This is of course not free at all, not even gratis. It’s just a trap, or bait. A Techrights reader called it “fear o’linux” and he is of course right. It’s all just intended to stop GNU/Linux.

Here is a person from the Microsoft-linked IDC being dubbed “Microsoft Expert” while making the ludicrous claim that “Windows Will Become Free for All Sooner or Later” (this is the headline). Even if what he meant by free was gratis, we are far from it. Microsoft is just trying to eliminate all competition, whereupon it can raise the price of Windows. It’s a common trick; it’s Microsoft’s modus operandi. And in any case, Windows is not free; it’s not gratis, either.

The article “Chinese Pirates to Get Free Windows 10 Upgrade” is rather misleading. “Fear of Gnu/Linux gaining market share” is what it’s all about, a reader told us. Watch Microsoft-friendly sites coming up with even more misleading headlines, such as “Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for all users worldwide”. Again, this is complete nonsense. Don’t fall for it. Microsoft is just trying to stall migrations to GNU/Linux, that’s what it’s all about.

To say that Microsoft loves Linux is ludicrous at best. People who say such stuff deserve much ridicule.

Microsoft Hates Linux – Part IV – Deleting, Attacking Android/Linux From Within

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 6:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Devouring Linux by getting into bed with it

Guest room

Summary: Microsoft ‘loves’ Linux so much that it is trying to get on top of Linux and then delete Linux

MICROSOFT is trying hard to derail Android, which is the biggest disseminator of Linux. Now we have additional clues about Microsoft’s motivation in getting control over Cyanogen or getting into Android’s bed. It’s akin to someone trying to stab someone in his/her sleep, or shoot him/her in the back whilst pretending to be a friend/lover.

According to some sources, competing in terms of quality or price (or hijacking another company like Nokia) is not enough for Microsoft. Embrace, extend, and extinguish is the plan. See the articles “Microsoft Is Developing Software That Converts Android Phones To Windows 10″, “Microsoft is building a Windows 10 ROM that wipes Android off phones” and “Microsoft’s new scheme could become Google’s worst Android nightmare”. These are self-explanatory, so no further comment from us is needed.

It is stuff like this which one ought to alert Canonical/Ubuntu about, since they are willing to go into Azure (trap/Trojan horse), as we shall explain some time next week. Wait until some fools like Canonical’s managers find Microsoft offering conversion tools on Azure (from Ubuntu to Windows’ latest version), reminding us how Microsoft treats so-called ‘partners’. Ubuntu just refuses to learn from experience or observation of Kyocera's fate. Microsoft has no friends, only partners to be used and then eliminated (when there’s no use left in them).

Over at CBS, the Microsoft booster wrote that “Microsoft cooks up way to run Windows 10 on Android devices”. Now, Microsoft, tell us again how you “love” Linux. Enough love to delete Linux?

Microsoft Hates Linux – Part III – Abducting the Competition (Android)

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 6:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Android under numerous attacks (from Microsoft), which are conveniently but erroneously disguised as niceties

MS-CM
Image credit: Linux Veda

Summary: How Microsoft tried to destroy Android using a coup d’état approach, just shortly before getting caught, then retreating and rewriting the public record

FOR a company whose CEO publicly claims to have “love” for Linux, this has got to be stand-up comedy. Microsoft hates GNU/Linux like no other company, yet we are supposed to believe that the very opposite is true. Perhaps Microsoft really does think that the world is chronically stupid — in fact stupid enough to pay for rented operating systems that spy on everything and put law-abiding people in prison.

Microsoft is working hard to promote proprietary spyware with OOXML lock-in even on Android. This too Microsoft does poorly. x86 is not supported amid the death of Wintel (x86 is on the demise and Intel is losing big). Microsoft targets Android only because Windows is dying as a common carrier and for Office/OOXML (office suite lock-in/monopoly) to survive it must continue to spread. My in-laws, who recently moved to Android/Linux, had already used LibreOffice, Firefox and Chrome (by personal choice/preference); they did this migration before I even introduced them to GNU/Linux, demonstrating that these things are quietly spreading and are now widely used. Hearsay and friendly neighbours disseminate Free software. Microsoft spies on Windows users and collects data on what applications are installed, so no doubt Microsoft realises the severity of this ‘issue’ (called fair competition). Spreading Office to Android is far from goodwill; it’s more like an intrusion, even in the formats sense (Android is poised to promote ODF, not OOXML).

There is an article this month which is titled “Microsoft’s quiet Android coup”. Well, Microsoft’s Android coup was covered here many times before and it often uses or relies on blackmail, extortion, bribes, etc. It’s an aggressive coup. It’s also covert. There are even attempts at identity change, with the Microsoft-backed Cyanogen changing its logo and now trying to distance itself (in the public eye) from Microsoft. It’s ‘damage control’ as some choose to call that.

From what we can gather regarding Cyanogen, based on numerous news articles, Cyanogen sought Microsoft money, Microsoft agreed, but then the press revealed it, so Microsoft retreated. It was a failed coup attempt. Here is how Microsoft-connected sites put it: “The idea of Redmond investing in Android mod-maker Cyanogen may be too good to be true. Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reports that Microsoft is not, in fact, a part of Cyanogen’s upcoming funding round, which is now said to be in the ballpark of $110 million. Nonetheless, Microsoft may ultimately end up partnering with Cyanogen in the form of a deal that gets Microsoft’s apps into future Cyanogen software builds, Bloomberg says.”

Actually, the original report from the Wall Street Journal was most likely correct. It’s just that things have changed since then, possible because of the Wall Street Journal report. Here is some more Microsoft-friendly media helping rewrite history: “Although Microsoft has reportedly been in talks with the firmware startup about a possible investment, however, Bloomberg’s sources say Redmond won’t be participating in this funding round.”

It should be noted that Bloomberg itself is a longtime booster of Microsoft, not just those citing it. Public pressure on Cyanogen apparently drove Microsoft away from plans to use this particular proxy, or maybe Cyanogen just freaked out because of publicly-accessible backlash. Articles like this one rewrite history. It’s as though the coup never happened because decisions were consequently changed. How else can a 2-week delay between original report and so-called ‘refutation’ (however poor) be explained? The original ‘refutation’ also fails to deny that Microsoft and Cyanogen got in touch regarding financial transactions. Here is a Microsoft-linked site rewriting history in a very blatant way, stating: “Last month, Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft was planning to take part in this round as a minority investor, but Bloomberg noted today that the Redmond giant ultimately decided to not invest.”

Well, no wonder, given the resultant negative publicity.

In other news, many sites (not just Microsoft-linked sites) said that Microsoft brings software to iOS and Android, namely Cortana, which is a surveillance app (recording the user and transmitting the audio to Microsoft) [1, 2, 3]. As with Office, anyone who characterises this as Microsoft being nice to Android has got to be a fool. Microsoft Peter comments on Microsoft’s motivation, another writer says that Google should worry, and according to this article, [Cortana] “serves as ‘connective tissue’ that ties and binds Redmond’s services, says analyst” (it’s about surveillance and lock-in, it is not added value to Android users).

There are similarly poor PR pieces, such as this one from CBS (ZDNet), titled “Microsoft’s iPhone and Android-friendly Band arrives in the UK”.

Microsoft seeks not to help Android but to destroy or abduct Android (so as to ultimately destroy it, as will be described in the next post, Part IV). Anyone failing to see it needs a closer look at Microsoft’s track record against Android. Do not become Microsoft’s Useful Idiot.

Microsoft Hates Linux – Part II – Patent Lawsuits Against Android/Linux Still Going On, New Ones Filed

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 5:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘Loving’ Linux a little too much?

Compassion

Summary: Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures are suing Android companies using software patents while some Android vendors settle by becoming slaves of Microsoft

MICROSOFT hates GNU/Linux with a very great passion. Its actions speak volumes and it’s easy to see the motivation given that no operating system threatens Microsoft’s very existence like GNU/Linux does. Microsoft needs a ubiquitous Windows as the common carrier, so it responds to the threat of GNU/Linux not by making better products but by undermining GNU/Linux by means of bullying, extortion, bribes, spurious litigation etc. Therein lies the issue.

Weeks ago we wrote that Microsoft was reportedly using patent blackmail to pressure Samsung into becoming a Microsoft peon and later we updated our article to state that Mary Jo Foley had been distorting or making up ‘facts’ about Microsoft’s patent attacks on Android/Linux. Well, Mary Jo Foley (Microsoft’s mouth) now reveals that it’s true that Microsoft blackmailed Samsung into a “Microsoft Android” sort of programme (Android base which runs Microsoft apps and gives users’ data to Microsoft). Mary Jo Foley’s headline, however, is marketing nonsense (for Microsoft). Her headline should say “Samsung Galaxy S6 offers more proof Microsoft is a blackmail and extortion company”. There are other Microsoft-friendly sources (like Mary Jo Foley) confirming this. But wait, it gets worse!

As the Microsoft-paid lobbyist and patent propagandist shows in his latest Android-hostile posts, Microsoft is now suing yet another company for using Android. Microsoft even pursues a ban on Android devices:

Microsoft has asked a court in Seattle to ban Kyocera’s DuraForce, Hydro and Brigadier lines of cellular phones in the U.S., alleging that they infringed seven Microsoft patents.

The software giant has in its complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington charged that some Kyocera phone features that come from its use of the Android operating system infringe its patents.

Wow. Microsoft sure loves Linux, eh?

Those two companies made a patent deal several years ago (with impact on Android), so this is how Microsoft treats its ‘partners’.

One article stated that “Microsoft may be taking some steps to make nice with the Android world, but the company is still willing to pick fights when its royalty payments are at stake. The Windows maker has sued Kyocera in the US over claims that Android phones like the Brigadier and Hydro series violate seven patents on features like location tracking and messaging.”

Only Microsoft boosters would foolishly state that Microsoft is being “nice” towards Android. Trying to abduct and derail it is bad; there’s nothing nice about it. In the Microsoft lawsuit against Kyocera notice that these are software patents, not hardware patents. Hence, Microsoft is still a corrupt bullies’ den, where Horacio and fellow patent aggressors get promoted while others get demoted or ousted. This is where Microsoft is heading strategically! Will settle if Kyocera notice convert to “Microsoft Android” as Samsung did? Well, one sure thing is that Microsoft is still an extortion company. It sues Linux users through vendors, passing liabilities to users. Will it settle if the users are forcibly converted to “Microsoft Android”? How is that not extortion?

The Kyocera news (lawsuit and effort to ban) ought to wake up all the fools (but not corruptible 'journalists') who say that Microsoft loves Linux.

An additional report by Joe Mullin, who tends to focus on patent trolls (for more than half a decade now), says that “Microsoft claims Kyocera infringes its patents with three of Kyocera’s lower-cost Android phones. The accused models include the Duraforce, Hydro, and Brigadier.”

Microsoft is still operating more or less like a patent troll. Watch how it behaves. Watch the strategy. No difference, except the size/scale of the troll.

Turning back again to the Microsoft booster from The Register (Microsoft Gavin, formerly a colleague of Mary Jo Foley), we sure see that Microsoft continues blackmail and extortion against GNU/Linux using software patents. This is based on a conversation with the OIN’s CEO, dated March third (shortly before the Kyocera news). The article titled “Microsoft to Android OEMs: ‘Show me the money’” says:

Microsoft has reserved the right to nail firms making Android devices running its Office suit for possible Windows patent infringements.

The giant has decided against signing a licence with Open Invention Network (OIN), a group of 1,300 companies dedicated to defending Linux against patent suits.

Signing an OIN licence could have stopped the practice of Microsoft accusing Android and other Linux makers of infringing on its Windows patents and signing them up to IP licensing deals.

The decision followed a meeting with OIN in December, where the subject of Microsoft signing an OIN licence was apparently discussed.

OIN veteran chief executive Keith Bergelt met Microsoft’s then-new chief of patent licensing and intellectual property, Eric Andersen.

Bergelt told The Reg Monday his meeting had been a courtesy call to discuss differences and that he’d also held such a meeting with Andersen’s predecessor, Horacio Gutierrez.

Proceedings were “constructive”, Bergelt said, but any hopes that Andersen’s appointment heralded a shift in the giant’s shakedown of Linux device makers and software firms were dashed shortly after, when the OIN chief followed up.

This ought to remind us how Microsoft views Linux and Android. There is no love there at all. Here is how Microsoft’s longtime mouthpiece Todd Bishop framed extortion against Linux. Very shallow. Other popular sites offered equally shallow commentary. It’s virtually useless. They just parrot two PR departments and call that “journalism”.

Perhaps Microsoft loves Linux too much. That’s why Microsoft is suing Linux so often. Perhaps. Make believe!

Making matters even worse, Microsoft can be seen as suing Android also by proxy. Joe Mullin reveals that the Bill Gates- and Microsoft-funded troll, the world’s biggest patent troll, is now attacking Android/Linux at the core (Motorola/Google) with software patents, yet again (it’s not the first time).

As Mullin put it: “Patent-holding giant Intellectual Ventures (IV) began enforcing some of its massive stash of patents with lawsuits in 2010. But its first case, against Motorola Mobility, ended in a mistrial last year when a jury couldn’t agree on the outcome.”

Patent Troll Tracker mentioned this troll a week and a half ago, asking: “Do you mean to tell me that the life sciences industry sees Intellectual Ventures and IPNav as patent trolls? Will wonders never cease.”

Intellectual Ventures is not just another patent troll, it is tool of Microsoft and Bill Gates. They are almost inseparable and they are all exceptionally abusive.

Perhaps we’re just wrong though. Perhaps Microsoft just can’t help ‘loving’ Linux — so much that this month alone it attacks it with software from multiple angles. Or perhaps Microsoft’s Mr. “loves Linux” Nadella is a PR fraud whose role is to play dumb while Bill, Steve, Horacio and their patent trolls attack Linux (he pretends to have nothing to do with it, that’s the likely arrangement).

Microsoft Hates Linux – Part I – The UEFI Attack on GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Closing down hardware, blocking GNU/Linux at hardware level

PC

Summary: Microsoft’s highly abusive tactics against GNU/Linux live on in UEFI form, dispelling any myths that someone may still cling onto regarding a ‘reformed’ Microsoft

THIS past month’s stories have yielded plenty of very broad evidence that Microsoft hates GNU/Linux. In this multi-part series we are going to summarise strands of Microsoft’s attacks on GNU/Linux and then conclude with some thoughts.

Our series starts with this new reminder that Microsoft loves Linux like BP loves wind power. It was published yesterday and it says: “Hardware can be Designed for Windows 10 and can offer no way to opt out of the Secure Boot lock down.”

The article, “Windows 10 to make the Secure Boot alt-OS lock out a reality”, was composed by Microsoft’s mouthpiece Peter Bright, so it’s not some alarmed (or alarmist) GNU/Linux user who overstates Microsoft’s abuses. See our previous articles about UEFI ‘secure’ boot. We foresaw these dangers, which are now further amplified even by Microsoft’s own boosters. Here is a newer article titled “Linux’s worst-case scenario: Windows 10 makes Secure Boot mandatory, locks out other operating systems”.

Incidentally, days ago Jamie Watson published [1] a long rant about UEFI, showing how it was making it a nightmare to install GNU/Linux and how Microsoft continues to sabotage dual-boot systems. In 2015 Microsoft cannot keep making excuses about it!

Mr. Nadella is a liar and a fraud. Microsoft does not love GNU/Linux as it evidently continues to attack it. People who still believe that Microsoft loves Linux (because Nadella says so) are either corrupted (e.g. by money) or foolish and some who were corrupted in exchange for saying such stuff will be named in future posts. It has been more like a PR campaign than actual journalism/reporting.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Building a pre-release Linux testbed with openSuSE, Fedora, Ubuntu, and more

    Panic was starting to creep in, and was pushing the anger level even higher. ‘OK, run gparted and see exactly what Windows has done to me,’ I thought. And…nothing. Empty. The entire hard drive was unallocated space.

    Time to rant. Microsoft, I hate you! I hope that each and every one of you is condemned to an endless purgatory of trying to recover corrupted Windows systems!

    OK, with that rant out of the way, what to do? The prospect of installing Windows from scratch was unappealing beyond description.

    On top of that, even if I got it installed and running again, I would have to go through the fight to get UEFI boot configured to dual-boot Windows and Linux, and that in itself is a basically never-ending struggle because Windows keeps trying to ‘reclaim’ first boot.

Links 21/3/2015: Alpine Linux 3.1.3, Tizen TV SDK 1.4

Posted in News Roundup at 3:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Can’t even throw code across the wall – on open sourcing existing code

    Starting a new project as open source feels like the simplest thing in the world. You just take the minimally working thing you wrote, slap on a license file, and push the repo to Github. The difficult bit is creating and maintaining a community that ensures long term continuity of the project, especially as some contributors leave and new ones enter. But getting the code out in a way that could be useful to others is easy.

  • Open Networking Acronym Soup

    During the past few years, software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) have emerged as the next big thing in networking. As a result, we’ve seen established networking standards development organizations (SDOs) such as the ITU, IETF, TMF, among others, leap on the bandwagon to address SDN and NFV.

  • Will Open Source Groups Keep Windows Open?

    The full blog can be viewed here and it includes a link to a recording of the panel discussion on Open Platform for NFV Project Inc. featuring five of its board members, including AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) ‘s Margaret Chiosi, and Hui Deng, principal staff at China Mobile Ltd. (NYSE: CHL)’s Research Institute.

  • OPNFV Bridging Open Source Communities and Telcos

    It has been a whirlwind two months since I joined OPNFV in January. I recently spent three weeks on the road getting to know our community and seeing OPNFV in a broader market context, and it’s been a great experience. Our technical committee chair Chris Price wrote about our recent Meet-up and Hackfest and the only thing I’ll add to his great summary is that I was highly impressed by the passion and collaborative attitude I witnessed during those events. It’s not always an easy thing for a diverse group of people all working for different companies to come together and form a coherent community, but we are definitely on our way.

  • California Association of Voting Officials, Latest to Join Open Source Initiative

    CAVO and OSI recognize that advances in open source development can provide citizens and governments the opportunity to ensure that everyone’s vote is counted accurately and securely without being held hostage to private vendors nor aging, outdated infrastructure. Innovation through open source development will provide communities the capacity and certainty to administer elections for this century and keep the promise of democracy, namely that your vote will always count.

  • Sirius: An Open-Source Alternative To Apple’s Siri & Google Now
  • Sirius, the open-source intelligent personal assistant set to take on Siri

    The new personal voice-activated assistant was created by developers at the university’s Clarity Labs. Unlike its commercial lock-in counterparts, Sirius is free and can be easily customised. Anyone can contribute to the open-source project via GitHub, with the code released under the BSD license making the software free both to use and to distribute. The project is supported by Google, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Science Foundation.

  • Tutanota: open source encrypted email

    Tutanota is a German open source encrypted email startup lauded as a direct alternative to Google Gmail

  • Even faster: Data at the speed of Presto ORC
  • Facebook Open Sources New Tool That Can Speed Queries

    Now, with an eye toward optimizing the performance of open source distributed SQL query engine Presto, Facebook has designed a new Optimized Row Columnar (OCR) file format reader for Presto, and it is open sourced.

  • Events

    • ApacheCon Apache Open Source Conference Will Be in Austin April 13-17

      ApacheCon North America brings developers and users together to explore issues and provide educational experiences for building open source solutions. The Apache community is among the most robust in open source with hundreds of thousands of applications deploying Apache Software Foundation (ASF) products and code contributions by more than 3,500 committers from around the world.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Juniper Adds More OpenStack Distro Support with Mirantis

      At its core, the open-source OpenStack cloud platform is a pluggable framework that enables multiple products and services to be plugged in. The OpenStack Neutron (formerly known as Quantum) project is the leading-edge networking project within OpenStack, providing a framework into which multiple SDN vendors can plug to enable agile networking services.

  • Databases

    • Transticket signs open source contract with MariaDB

      Nordic ticket giant to develop open source on chips, tickets and beer.

      Open source database technology company MariaDB has announced Nordic Transticket as its latest costumer.

      Previously with Oracle-owned MySQL, the ticketing company, a rising rival to European Ticketmaster, reached a peak in user data with 150 Gigabytes.

  • Funding

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Licensing

    • Did VMware Flout Open Source License Terms?

      A long-standing dispute over proprietary software developers’ use of licensed open source software code ultimately could be settled in a case against VMware. “[Developer Christoph] Hellwig sees his creation being used commercially,” noted tech attorney Ray Van Dyke. “VMware feels persecuted for using a bit of free code. Now, a German jurist will make a decision sometime in the future.”

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

Leftovers

  • Security

    • ​You need to apply the OpenSSL patches today, not tomorrow

      True, some operating systems, such as Red Hat Linux Enterprise (RHEL), aren’t greatly impacted by these latest problems. But if you’re using any operating system that uses OpenSSL 1.0.2 or OpenSSL versions: 1.0.1, 1.0.0 and 0.9.8, it’s another story.

    • New BIOS Implant, Vulnerability Discovery Tool to Debut at CanSecWest

      When the National Security Agency’s ANT division catalog of surveillance tools was disclosed among the myriad of Snowden revelations, its desire to implant malware into the BIOS of targeted machines was unquestionable.

    • Friday’s security updates
    • ‘Notorious’ felon was cleared for faster boarding at airports

      The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved a convicted felon who is a former member of a domestic terrorist organization for expedited airport security last year, according to a report released this week by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.

      The report alleges that the TSA cleared the June 2014 passenger, whose name was not revealed, despite the fact that the traveler had not submitted paperwork for its PreCheck trusted passenger program. The traveler was recognized by security agents at the airport.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • This Declassified CIA Report Shows the Shaky Case for the Iraq War

      The United States began its invasion of Iraq 12 years ago. Yesterday, a previously classified Central Intelligence Agency report containing supposed proof of the country’s weapons of mass destruction was published by Jason Leopold of Vice News. Put together nine months before the start of the war, the National Intelligence Estimate spells out what the CIA knew about Iraq’s ability to produce biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons. It would become the backbone of the Bush administration’s mistaken assertions that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs and posed a direct threat to the post-9/11 world.

    • Former House Intelligence Chair Mike Rogers’ Quiet Trip Through the Revolving Door

      In Congress, Rogers led efforts to pass broad new legislation to expand government and private sector surveillance. He also maintained friendly ties to the business and K Street community — relationships that may have influenced his quiet move through the revolving door.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Ecuador: Why Did It Take Sweden 1,000 Days to Agree to Question Julian Assange in Our U.K. Embassy?

      Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño responds to recent reports Swedish prosecutors will seek to question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. Assange has never been charged over allegations of sexual assault, yet he has been holed up in the embassy since 2012, fearing that if he steps outside, he will be arrested and extradited to Sweden, which could lead to his extradition to the United States — which is investigating Assange over WikiLeaks publishing classified documents. “We are pleased to see the Swedish prosecutors say that they now want to take the statements from Julian Assange at our embassy,” Patiño says. “But at the same time, we are concerned that 1,000 days have gone by, 1,000 days with Julian Assange confined in our embassy, before they say that they are going to do what they should have done from day one.”

    • UK Police Deem Snowden Leak Investigation a State Secret

      British police claim a criminal investigation they launched into journalists who have reported on leaked documents from Edward Snowden has to be kept a secret due to a “possibility of increased threat of terrorist activity.”

    • Let’s Give Edward Snowden the Same Deal General Petraeus Got for Leaking Info

      General David Petraeus has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified material and will serve no jail time for his actions. Let’s give the same deal to Edward Snowden.

      True, their crimes are different: Petraeus gave classified info to his biographer and girlfriend, Paula Broadwell. Snowden gave classified info to the American people.

    • Assange To Stay in London Embassy as Long as US Pursues WikiLeaks Probe

      An attorney for Julian Assange said the WikiLeaks founder is likely to remain at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London as long as the United States pursues a criminal investigation of his organization.

    • “I Might Have Some Sensitive Files”

      On the evening of April 3, 2013, a battered blue pickup truck slowly crossed a bridge from International Falls, Minnesota, to the border station at Fort Frances, Ontario. The family inside — a clean-cut middle-aged couple and their dark-haired 28-year-old son — looked like any other vacationers heading north. The father handed over their IDs to the border guards. “We need the protection of the Canadian government under the U.N. convention against torture,” he said. “Because our son was tortured by the FBI.”

      [...]

      But she believes that what she saw was true: the agrochemical company’s culpability in 13,000 deaths, the CIA’s role in the anthrax attacks. She tells more than Matt had recalled, stories that sound too incredible to be true: a report that says the CIA explored plans to put anthrax in a New Jersey bay in order to drum up support for the war. “That’s what they were going to do,” she recalls, “And I remember reading that and saying [to Matt], ‘OK, all right, I know you’re not crazy.’”

    • Clinton’s e-mail is on a hosted Exchange 2010 server, not in Chappaqua

      There’s been a lot of controversy over how Hillary Clinton apparently used a mail server running in her Chappaqua, New York, home when she started her tenure as secretary of state. But if you want to know what she’s using now, all you have to do is point your browser at it—you’ll get a login page for Outlook Web access from a Microsoft Exchange 2010 server. And so will anyone who wants to brute-force guess her e-mail password or simply take the server down with a denial-of-service attack. (This is not a suggestion that you should.)

    • Using Open Data to Fight Corruption in Greece

      Greece has been much in the news recently as the Syriza government tries to deal with the country’s massive economic problems. We hear plenty about its high-level negotiations with the EU; what we don’t hear about is the Greek government’s innovative use of openness to tackle key issues in everyday life.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

  • Censorship

    • Stanford Law School Covers Up SEC’s Andrew Bowden’s Embarrassing Remarks by Deep-Sixing Conference Video

      Two days ago, we wrote about a remarkable example of regulatory capture and potential corruption. SEC enforcement chief Andrew Bowden, before an industry audience at Stanford Law School, on a panel moderated by KKR board member, Stanford Law professor and former SEC commissioner Joseph Grundfest, made fawning remarks about the private equity industry. Bowden repeatedly called PE “the greatest,” and made clear that he was so awestruck by its profits and seemingly attractive investor returns that he was urging his teenaged son to seek his fortunes there. This was troubling not simply because Bowden, as the SEC’s exam chief, looked to be soliciting, on a plausibly deniable basis, employment for his child from the firms he supervises. Bowden had described widespread lawbreaking in private equity in an unusually blunt and detailed speech last May. But almost immediately, he began walking his remarks back at conferences with the industry and in interviews with private equity publications. We’d charitably assumed the change in posture was due to outside pressure, but it may actually be due in large measure to Bowden’s unduly high regard for the industry, which appears to have tarnished his judgment, badly.

    • What’s Scarier: Terrorism, or Governments Blocking Websites in its Name?

      The French Interior Ministry on Monday ordered that five websites be blocked on the grounds that they promote or advocate terrorism. “I do not want to see sites that could lead people to take up arms on the Internet,” proclaimed Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

    • “I don’t even pretend I can stop it”: 8chan’s founder talks doxing, Internet freedom

      In early January, Ars Technica reported on a swatting attempt on an Oregon home—notable in particular because the intended target no longer lived at the address in question. In the 24 hours after publication of that piece, an Ars staffer became the target of an online harassment campaign which began with the posting of private, personal information, a practice known as doxing. That doxing, just like the failed swatting attempt, originated with posts on the imageboard known as 8chan. (Users disagreed with use of “8chan” rather than spelling out “8chan users” in the headline.)

  • Privacy

    • The CIA and Signals Intelligence

      Additional Declassified Documents Describe CIA Domestic and Foreign SIGINT Activity

    • Why the Idea That a Big Cyber Attack Could Create a Huge Tech Armageddon Is Pure BS

      Over the past several years, mainstream news outlets have conveyed a litany of cyber doomsday scenarios on behalf of ostensibly credible public officials. Breathless intimations of the End Times. The stuff of Hollywood screenplays. However a recent statement by the U.S. intelligence community pours a bucket of cold water over all of this.

      It turns out that all the talk of cyber Armageddon was a load of bunkum. An elaborate propaganda campaign which only serves as a pretext to sacrifice our civil liberties and channel an ocean of cash to the defense industry.

    • UK spies target women for recruitment
    • US/UK intelligence agencies threaten Germany

      Accord­ing to journ­al­ist Glenn Gre­en­wald, Ger­man Vice Chan­cel­lor Sig­mar Gab­riel has stated that the US and UK spy agen­cies threatened to cut Ger­many out of the intelligence-sharing loop if it gave safe haven to NSA whis­tle­bower, Edward Snowden.

    • The U.S. can legally access your old emails and it wants to keep it that way

      Many people around the globe might assume these days that the U.S. government can enact some shady magic called the NSA to access any email it wants, even if that shady magic is considered by some to be illegal.

      But how many people—particularly U.S. residents—know that the American government technically has perfectly legal access to everyone’s emails, so long as it says those digital notes might be useful for an investigation and the emails are more than 180 days old?

    • Leaked Document Reveals Upcoming Biometric Experiments at US Customs

      The ​facial recognition pilot program launched last week by US Customs and Border Protection, which civil liberties advocates say could lead to new potentially privacy-invading programs, is just the first of three biometric experiments that the feds are getting ready to launch.

      The three experiments involve new controversial technologies like iris and face scanner kiosks, which CBP plans to deploy at the Mexican border, and facial recognition software, according to a leaked document obtained by Motherboard.

    • Cisco Shipping Equipment to Fake Addresses to Foil NSA Interception

      Now Cisco is taking matters into its own hands, offering to ship equipment to fake addresses in an effort to avoid NSA interception.

      I don’t think we have even begun to understand the long-term damage the NSA has done to the US tech industry.

    • Digital Rights Are For Everyone, Including Young People.

      During our four sessions, we spoke to teenage girls about how people lose control of information about themselves online. Within five minutes of the opening workshop we were getting questions about whether Facebook could read their messages, and it only got more interesting.

  • Civil Rights

    • Chicago police commander resigns in wake of Homan Square revelations

      A senior Chicago police commander in charge of a major unit operating out of the controversial Homan Square police warehouse has resigned, the Guardian has confirmed.

      The news came as attorneys for three Homan Square victims announced that they would file the first civil rights lawsuit over the facility with the aim of shutting down the complex likened by attorneys and activists to the domestic law enforcement equivalent of a CIA “black site.”

    • Petraeus Deal Cited in Sterling Leak Defense

      Attorneys for former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, who was found guilty on nine felony counts involving unauthorized disclosure of classified information, argued yesterday that the Sterling verdict should be set aside in view of the misdemeanor plea agreement that was recently offered to former CIA director Gen. David Petraeus for mishandling classified information.

      Sterling’s attorneys suggested that the disparate treatment of the two cases was attributable to improper considerations of rank and race.

    • Chelsea Manning Warned of Nuri al-Maliki’s Corruption in 2010. David Petraeus’ Subordinates Silenced Her.

      Manning would go on to leak more documents showing US complicity in Iraqi abuses, going back to 2004. None of those documents were classified more than Secret. Her efforts (in part) to alert Americans to the abuse the military chain of command in Iraq was ignoring won her a 35-year sentence in Leavenworth.

      Compare that to David Petraeus who pretends, to this day, Maliki’s corruption was not known and not knowable before the US withdrew troops in 2011, who pretends the US troops under his command did not ignore, even facilitate, Maliki’s corruption.

    • Autopsy suggests suicide in hanging of black man in Mississippi

      Preliminary results from an autopsy on the body of Otis Byrd, whose body was found hanging from a tree in rural Mississippi, strongly suggest the death was a suicide rather than foul play, a federal law enforcement official said Friday.

      “It looks like that,” said the official, who asked not to be identified because authorities are planning to make an announcement at a later news conference. But he said, “that’s where they are headed” — with a finding of suicide.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Questions, Reactions Mount for the FCC’s Net Neutrality Provisions

      The FCC’s pubication of the new Net Neutrality rules is continuing to draw a lot of analysis. Some Republicans in the House of Representatives and Senate have sharply criticized the FCC order, and want Congress to pass a bill that would enact some Net Neutrality protections.

    • Does net neutrality really mean ‘net regulation?

      One of the most contentious disagreements in the net neutrality debate in the U.S. over the past year has been over whether the new rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission amount to regulation of the Internet.

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