EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.23.15

Bribes and Extortion Help Turn Android (Linux-powered) Into ‘Microsoft Android’

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Samsung at 9:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft loves [to hijack and repurpose] Linux

Gun
Defections at gunpoint

Summary: A strategy involving harassment and bribes drives large Android players into Microsoft’s arms (PRISM and lock-in), much to Google’s (and users’) detriment and beyond regulators’ range of visibility

LAST month we said that Microsoft was reportedly using patent blackmail to pressure Samsung into becoming a Microsoft peon. We were later proven right and Microsoft’s booster (one of very many who now work for CBS) Mary Jo Foley put a positive spin on it, as if it was all kisses and roses. She continues doing that in her latest puff piece (framing that as nothing nefarious) where she says that “Samsung announced last month it would preinstall OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on the Glaxy S6 and S6 Edge. In the coming months — some time in the first half of calendar 2015, Samsung also will preinstall Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on “select” Samsung Android tablets, Samsung announced today.”

Mary Jo Foley does not mention the patent case and settlement, does she? That would upset Microsoft, which is too busy portraying itself as a friend of Linux while it is suing Linux (using software patents).

Following Microsoft’s support for Cyanogen (again, do not be misled by retractions after getting caught) Microsoft’s booster writes that “[i]f the rumor mill is right, Android distribution startup Cyanogen might be next up to forge a similar bundling relationship with Microsoft. A recent Forbes report claims Cyanogen is “close to finalizing a wide-ranging partnership to incorporate several of Microsoft’s mobile services, including Bing, the voice-powered Cortana digital assistant, the OneDrive cloud-storage system, Skype and Outlook, into Cyanogen’s devices.”

Microsoft’s booster also mentions Dell. How convenient. Our Dell wiki pages would help remind readers what Microsoft has done to Dell not only on the Android front but on other fronts too. Dell is nothing but a vassal of Microsoft right now.

We expect the next step to be use of patent extortion to force more Android backers into Microsoft's bed. Don’t expect Mary Jo Foley and fellow Microsoft spinners to tell the whole story. Lies by omission may be the strategy.

Microsoft loves Linux like a shark loves fish.

Microsoft-connected Black Duck Software Created by Microsoft Marketing Man as an Anti-GPL Operation, Admits the Management

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GPL, Microsoft at 8:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Doug Levin

Summary: Black Duck “was founded [on] the idea … to keep GPL-licensed code out of corporate codebases entirely,” according to a new report

TECHRIGHTS has spent nearly a decade battling Black Duck. This schizophrenic-looking firm (trying to come across as pro-FOSS), Black Duck, is the very prominent (and well-funded) entity which has been a source of endless GPL FUD, claiming that the GPL is declining, that it is dangerous, and that it oughtn’t be embraced by businesses.

This new article from Jon Gold of the FOSS-hostile NetworkWorld happens to provide us with wonderful evidence of the roots and the original goals/raison d’être of “Black Duck” (black agent would be a more suitable name). The article is titled “Open-source’s former ‘police’ now helping businesses adopt” (the latter is pure marketing and acceptance of Black Duck’s claims at face value).

Black Duck, founded by a marketing guy from Microsoft (see the image above for highlights from LinkedIn), is mostly a marketing company. It was never ‘police’ and it was never an authority; it was a parasite pretending to be about FOSS while harvesting software patents, badmouthing Free software, and even ripping off companies like Palamida, which had done work — very time-consuming work — collecting usage figures regarding GPLv3.

Gold’s article is useful to us because of the very revealing part which says: “Executive Vice President and CTO Bill Ledingham said that when the company was founded the idea was to keep GPL-licensed code out of corporate codebases entirely.”

Right.

So Black Duck, which was founded by a guy from Microsoft, was acting more like a mole, nothing else. It was fighting copyleft adoption. No need for speculations or hypotheses anymore.

In a similar vein, Microsoft’s support for Cyanogen (do not be misled by retractions after getting caught) serves to show another mole-like strategy. This new article by Miguel Helft (to appear next month in Forbes magazine) reminds us of the real goal of Cyanogen. To quote the headline: “Meet Cyanogen, The Startup That Wants To Steal Android From Google”

This sounds exactly like what Microsoft itself has been trying to do to Android (often via or with help from proxies like Facebook, Nokia, or Amazon). Do not think for a moment that Microsoft never tried to derail and topple Free software from the inside. There is a long history to that effect and we covered many examples over the years.

Links 23/3/2015: Linux 4.0 RC5, Kubuntu Celebrates Ten Years

Posted in News Roundup at 12:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Is This Open-Source Siri Smarter Than Apple’s Version?

    While tech industry giants like Apple and Microsoft have popularized the personal digital assistant by enabling smartphone users to ask Siri or Cortana to set alarms or find answers to their questions, now other developers and smaller companies can implement their own version of such assistants with new open-source software called Sirius.

  • Telco sector OPNFV project champions open network services

    This group is a community-led industry-supported open source reference platform for Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV).

    TechTarget defines NFV as an initiative to virtualise the network services that are (or were previously) being carried out by proprietary, dedicated hardware — NFV is part of the wider industry shift towards network and application virtualisation.

  • An introduction to software defined networking

    Software defined networking (SDN) is becoming a major driver for a number of next generation technologies to power the communications systems and networks of tomorow. Many of these projects are being developed as open source collaborations between the companies creating and using networking solutions.

  • Events

    • FOSSAsia 2015, Singapore

      FOSSAsia is the largest open source conference in Asia. This year, it was hosted in Singapore and I had a chance to speak there about Project Atomic. Singapore is a beautiful place but unfortunately I had a bad throat as soon as I reached there. That killed most of the fun but nonetheless the conference was great. I met up with a lot of new and old faces. The conference was kick started by Hong Phuc and Mario. Day 1 had a lot of interesting talks by Harish, Lennart, Brian and a lot of other interesting people. Novena project had an interesting talk by Bunny who showed why failure of Moore’s Law is actually a good news for open hardware hackers. I heard about Novena during Flock and I must say that it has come long way since. Most of all I enjoyed the talk given by Dr Vivian Balakrishnan on open data. The efforts of his team to bring data to public is really commendable. I wish more politicians think the way he is thinking. The day concluded and there was a barbeque in the evening but I had to skip it due to bad health.

    • February, one hell of a month packed with knowledge!

      Wow, finally I have time to write about February. This one was a packed month! First we had FOSDEM, then DevConf.CZ and then finally SCALE 13x.

    • Leveraging the power of academia in your open source project

      When academia and open source collaborate, everybody wins. Open source projects get new contributors, professors get students with more knowledge and perspective about real-world software development, and—most importantly—students can get extra mentorship while gaining hands-on experience in their chosen fields.

  • Web Browsers

  • BSD

    • DragonFly 4.0.5 out

      I’ve tagged version 4.0.5 of DragonFly, and it’s available at your nearest mirror. This revision is mostly to incorporate the newest OpenSSL security bump.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Sébastien Jodogne, ReGlue are Free Software Award winners

      Free Software Foundation executive director John Sullivan announced the winners of the FSF’s annual Free Software Awards at a ceremony on Saturday, March 21st, held during the LibrePlanet 2015 conference at MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Two awards were given: the Award for the Advancement of Free Software and the Award for Projects of Social Benefit.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Source Model In Computers Should Be Applied To Genomic Data, Paper Says

      Genomic data should be made publicly available for the promotion of science as a global public good, a new paper argues. Two researchers suggest that a model inspired by the open-source computer software movement should be developed for plant breeding, animal breeding, and biomedicine.

    • Getting started guide, making your first OpenStack commit, and more
    • Open Access/Content

      • How one professor saves students millions with his shared textbooks

        I learned about David Lippman from an article on TeamOpen and realized I needed to talk to him more about his work in open education and open source. David is a professor at Pierce College and has saved students a million dollars with his shared textbooks. He also built IMathAS, a free, open source math assessment and course platform.

    • Open Hardware

      • Sub $300 exiii handiii 3D Printed Open Source Bionic Hand is Controlled by a Smartphone

        As time goes by and technology improves, we are constantly seeing prices for previously groundbreaking technology fall to levels which allow for the adoption of this technology by the masses. 3D printing is one of these technologies, in that now, virtually anyone in the developed world can afford a desktop 3D printer. At the same time though, other technologies are following in this same path. For example smartphones, tablets and mini computers can now perform tasks that a machine 20 years ago, at 100 times the price, couldn’t even have come close to achieving.

  • Programming

    • 101 Open Source Tools for Developers

      These days, nearly every developer is familiar with the benefits of open source code and coding tools. Open source repositories like GitHub and SourceForge provide invaluable resources for those searching for assistance in creating their own applications.

      In addition, many of the most popular development tools are available under open source licenses. The last few years have seen an explosion of new tools, particularly in categories like mobile development and JavaScript frameworks. This month we’re updating our previous list of open source development tools and highlighting 101 of the very best open source bugtrackers, programming languages, version control systems, frameworks, IDEs, text editors and other tools.

    • The Demise of Open Source Hosting Providers Codehaus and Google Code

      At the turn of the millenium, a new breed of open-source hosting platforms was created to provide free hosting for open-source projects. The inaugral hosting service was SourceForge, created by VA Linux as a means to host open-source projects in 1999, to support their VA Linux product created in 1993. The repository provided a location for developers to host code (with CVS), have an issue tracking system, mailing lists and hosting for download purposes. By the end of 2001, over 30,000 projects were hosted on SourceForge. By 2006 the number of projects had grown to 100k, and adding Google Ads provided a means of income to support the hosting site. 2006 also saw Subversion being added to the platform.

Leftovers

  • The FTC’s internal memo on Google teaches companies a terrible lesson

    Many in Washington this week have been questioning whether the Federal Trade Commission made the right call when it rebuffed its own staff recommendation in 2013 to take Google to court over alleged anti-competitive practices. The debate was sparked by a Wall Street Journal story describing the FTC’s internal staff memo on Google, which the agency inadvertently sent to the publication.

  • Cash for access: Fake donor pays way to heart of big parties

    David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have been drawn into the cash for access debate after it emerged that all three met an undercover businessman posing as a potential donor.

  • Security

    • Stealing Data From Computers Using Heat

      The method would allow attackers to surreptitiously siphon passwords or security keys from a protected system and transmit the data to an internet-connected system that’s in close proximity and that the attackers control. They could also use the internet-connected system to send malicious commands to the air-gapped system using the same heat and sensor technique.

    • At Pwn2Own Hacker Competition, All Major Browsers Get Punk’d

      Slowly but surely, the Pwn2Own hacker contest has become an important fixture in the world of testing the security of software applications, operating systems and hardware devices. In fact, it’s now widely followed by major technology companies and technologists of all stripes.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Mexican Wikileaks Launched: Will Mexicoleaks Unearth Corruption?

      A consortium of Mexican media organizations have launched Méxicoleaks, an unedited online whistleblower tool similar to Wikileaks. The site uses the Tor browser to anonymize users and encryption to guarantee the safety of those that submit information, according to Processo, one of the organizations supporting the website.

    • Mexico’s version of WikiLeaks causes controversy before its first story

      There have been no classified diplomatic cables. No top-secret intelligence reports. No fugitive whistleblowers.

      And yet Mexico’s latest experiment in free speech, the new Web site MexicoLeaks, has already generated its own media mini-tempest.

    • Mexico Launches Own Wikileaks to Fight Corruption
    • Mexico’s own ‘WikiLeaks’ already making waves

      Mexico’s WikiLeaks-inspired whistleblower website is already making waves just days after its launch, even though it has yet to expose any government scandals.

      MexicoLeaks was announced by star journalist Carmen Aristegui last week when she told her audience that her MVS radio team was part of the initiative.

    • Spy cables: SA’s WikiLeaks moment

      South Africa is experiencing its own WikiLeaks moment as leaked classified documents from the State Security Agency and some foreign spy agencies are to be published by News24, Al Jazeera and the British Guardian, starting on Monday night.

    • Tweets of the Day: WikiLeaks vs WikiLeaksForum
    • ‘I’m Condemned to Death’ – WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

      Julian Assange still remains holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London. The WikiLeaks founder told RTS the US government would never let him off the hook for publishing top secret US military documents leaked in 2010.

      [...]

      “Phones and hard drives worldwide are now under surveillance. This makes the world a very vulnerable place and poses a threat to everyone,” Assange said, adding that he will keep working to make sure people have access to censored data, because this information is essential in order to have a better understanding of the world we live in.

    • Whistleblowers Have a Human Right to a Public Interest Defense, And Hacktivists Do, Too

      Not a single one of those prosecuted has been allowed to argue that their actions served the public good. Chelsea Manning, the alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower, exposed human rights abuses worldwide and opened an unprecedented window into global politics. Her disclosures are to this day cited regularly by the media and courts. Thomas Drake exposed massive NSA waste, while John Kiriakou exposed waterboarding later admitted to be torture in the recent Senate CIA Torture Report. The story of Edward Snowden’s disclosures of widespread NSA surveillance recently won an Oscar.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Shell oil driling in Arctic set to get US government permission

      The US government is expected this week to give the go-ahead to a controversial plan by Shell to restart drilling for oil in the Arctic.

      The green light from Sally Jewell, the interior secretary, will spark protests from environmentalists who have campaigned against proposed exploration by the Anglo-Dutch group in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska.

    • Climate Change Advocate Bill Gates’ Foundation has Over $1 Billion Invested in Fossil Fuel Industry

      Bill and Melinda Gates are some of the most vocal advocates for reversing the effects of climate change, but The Guardian revealed yesterday that their foundation held at least $1.4 billion worth of investments in fossil fuel companies, according to the charity’s 2013 tax filings.

    • Can the Gates Foundation be convinced to dump fossil fuels?
    • Gates’ foundation has invested $1.4 billion in fossil fuel cos
    • Guardian Newspaper Targets Gates Foundation Over Oil Assets

      The London-based Guardian newspaper has taken aim at two leading charities—the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK’s Wellcome Trust—pressuring them to divest from fossil fuel-related assets.

    • Gates Fund Held $1.4 Billion in Fossil-Fuel Stock in 2013

      The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had at least $1.4 billion invested in large oil, gas, and coal companies in 2013, The Guardian writes, citing an analysis of the charity’s most recent available tax return. The $43 billion fund had stakes in 35 of the 200 firms with the biggest fossil-fuel reserves, according to the newspaper, which launched a petition drive Monday calling on the foundation to divest from the industry.

    • Florida and the Science Who Must Not Be Named

      The oceans are slowly overtaking Florida. Ancient reefs of mollusk and coral off the present-day coasts are dying. Annual extremes in hot and cold, wet and dry, are becoming more pronounced. Women and men of science have investigated, and a great majority agree upon a culprit. In the outside world, this culprit has a name, but within the borders of Florida, it does not. According to a Miami Herald investigation, the state Department of Environmental Protection has since 2010 had an unwritten policy prohibiting the use of some well-understood phrases for the meteorological phenomena slowly drowning America’s weirdest-shaped state. It’s … that thing where burning too much fossil fuel puts certain molecules into a certain atmosphere, disrupting a certain planetary ecosystem. You know what we’re talking about. We know you know. They know we know you know. But are we allowed to talk about … you know? No. Not in Florida. It must not be spoken of. Ever.

  • Censorship

    • Hate speech social media bans may not be the answer

      Parliamentary report on antisemitism calls for protection orders used to ban sex offenders from using the internet to be extended to hate crime. But these should be used to prevent serious harm, not as punishment for hate speech in general.

    • A Test of Free Speech and Bias, Served on a Plate From Texas

      The next great First Amendment battleground is just six inches high. It is a license plate bearing the Confederate flag.

      Nine states let drivers choose specialty license plates featuring the flag and honoring the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which says it seeks to celebrate Southern heritage. But Texas refused to allow the group’s plates, saying the flag was offensive.

  • Privacy

    • GCHQ and Mass Surveillance

      The consequences of GCHQ’s activities have the potential to harm society, the economy and our foreign standing. These have not been fully explored by Parliament. We hope that this report helps MPs to understand the range of GCHQ’s activities and the fact that they affect ordinary people not just those suspected of threatening national security.

    • The real impact of surveillance

      For many people surveillance makes them less safe.

    • New Zealand Spied on WTO Director Candidates

      New Zealand launched a covert surveillance operation targeting candidates vying to be director general of the World Trade Organization, a top-secret document reveals.

    • New Zealand used NSA’s XKeyscore to spy on trade candidates

      New Zealand’s spy agency GCSB used the US NSA’s XKeyscore mass surveillance tool to spy on candidates from around the world vying to lead the World Trade Organisation.

      GCSB used XKeyscore to set up searches for communications about candidates from Brazil, South Korea, Indonesia. Mexico, Ghana, Jordan, Kenya and Costa Rica, according to a document released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    • How spy agency homed in on Groser’s rivals

      GCSB used United States’ XKeyscore surveillance system to intercept emails mentioning other candidates for WTO job and paid close attention to Indonesian contender.

    • GCSB spies monitored diplomats in line for World Trade Organisation job

      Exclusive – Secret document reveals Five Eyes software used for surveillance on candidates for WTO job.

    • Government accused of spying on WTO top job candidates

      The Green Party has slammed the Government’s claimed use of its spy agency to snoop on rival candidates for a top World Trade Organisation Job.

      Documents obtained by the US-based Intercept website purport to show the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) snooped on candidates for the WTO job for which Trade Minister Tim Groser was in the running.

      Groser ultimately missed out on the job to Brazil’s Roberto Azevedo.

    • Spy agencies used for personal gain, again – Greens

      Documents released today, by the Herald, show the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) was spying on Tim Groser’s rivals for the position of the director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

    • GCSB: Groser’s Competition Scuttling Bureau

      Tim Groser’s personal use of the GCSB to try and get himself a job at the WTO is a highly dubious use of an agency that is meant to combat security threats, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.

    • Spy agencies used for personal gain, again

      New Zealand’s spy agencies are once again being used to further the personal ambitions of Cabinet Ministers, the Green Party said today.

    • How far does GCSB ‘trade team’ spying go?

      How far does GCSB ‘trade team’ spying go?

      “Revelations this morning that the GCSB was spying on Trade Minister Groser’s opponents for the top job at the world Trade Organization raise the question about other activities of the GCSB’s ‘trade team’.

    • GCSB spies monitored diplomats in line for World Trade Organisation job

      Our spies monitored email and internet traffic about international diplomats vying for the job of director-general of the World Trade Organisation – a job for which National Government Trade Minister Tim Groser was competing.

      The spying operation was active in 2013 and called the “WTO Project” by New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), according to a top secret document obtained by the Herald and United States news site The Intercept.

    • GCSB snooped on Trade Minister’s rivals

      The Government Communications Security Bureau used the Five Eyes spying network to trawl through the communications of candidates from Brazil, South Korea, Kenya, Indonesia and others, according to documents obtained by journalists Glenn Greenwald and Nicky Hager.

    • Govt downplays WTO spying claims

      The government is playing down allegations New Zealand’s spy agency snooped on foreigners competing with Trade Minister Tim Groser for the top job at the World Trade Organisation.

    • NZ spied on WTO candidates – Hager

      Journalist Nicky Hager says New Zealand spied on candidates vying to lead the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in a bid to help the New Zealand contender Tim Groser.

    • Don’t want NSA to spy on your email? 5 things you can do

      Encryption programs such as Pretty Good Privacy, or PGP, can make your email appear indecipherable to anyone without the digital key to translate the gibberish. This can help prevent highly sensitive financial and business information from getting swept up by hackers, as well as a government dragnet. Yet only 2 percent of the people surveyed by Pew used PGP or other email encryption programs. Part of the problem: Encryption isn’t easy to use, as email recipients also need to use encryption or leave their regular inboxes to read messages.

  • Civil Rights

    • Athens marches against racism and fascism

      In Athens thousands joined the Greek leg of the international day of action against racism and fascism. Kevin Ovenden reports

    • Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Blasts Canada For Denying Asylum To Alleged Anonymous Hacker Matt Dehart

      DeHart fled to Canada in 2014 ahead of a criminal trial on child pornography charges. But such were only false accusations, he claimed, meant to be used as leverage to push a probe into espionage and national security focused on his alleged involvement with the Anonymous and WikiLeaks hacker groups. He had likewise been alleged as to have leaked a number of classified U.S. government documents. While in custody in the United States, the former American serviceman in the Air National Guard claimed he was subjected to torture. “The abuse of the law in DeHart’s case is obvious, shocking and wrong,” Assange said in a statement.

    • Georgia anti-NDAA Bill Receives First Subcommittee Hearing

      On Tuesday, a Georgia House Subcommittee held a hearing about a bill that would take a first step against NDAA indefinite detention in the state.

    • May defense bill vote seen in U.S. House, acquisition reform in works

      The U.S. House of Representatives is moving toward a vote in mid-May on the annual half-billion-dollar defense policy bill, U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said on Monday.

      Thornberry also said he plans to introduce next week legislation to reform the U.S. defense acquisition process. There is no schedule yet for a vote on that bill in the House, he told a news briefing, saying he first wanted to open up the process for comments.

    • Lee Kuan Yew inspired hopeful autocrats near and far

      Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev suggested that Singapore was a model on how a country should run, making it clear that he intended to follow Lee’s and not the West’s advice.

    • After Singapore patriarch Lee Kuan Yew, challenges for the Lion City

      A famously unsentimental man, he would laugh off complaints that the Singapore he’d built was “sterile” or “boring” or “charmless.” After all, the Singapore it replaced – a colonial British port – was squalid and poor. Yes the old kampong and Chinese-style shop-houses had character, but the government’s utilitarian public housing, block after block, put apartment ownership within reach of almost every Singaporean family.

    • Singapore: Death of Lee Kuan Yew

      On the passing on Singapore’s former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, Rupert Abbott, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said:

      “Our thoughts and sympathies go out to the family of Lee Kuan Yew and others who mourn his passing.”

      “Lee Kuan Yew more than anyone else built modern Singapore, and his legacy will be unrivalled economic progress and development. There is, however, a dark side to what he leaves behind – too often, basic freedoms and human rights were sacrificed to ensure economic growth. Restrictions on freedom of expression and the silencing of criticism is still part of the daily reality for Singaporeans.”

      “Lee Kuan Yew’s passing, just a few months short of Singapore’s 50th anniversary of independence, happens just as the country enters a new era. We urge the next generation of leaders to ensure that this is marked by genuine respect for human rights.”

    • 5 Hallmarks of the New American Order

      A new kind of governance is being born right before our eyes. Stop pretending it’s not happening.

Microsoft Admits Lying (or Deceiving) About the Cost of Vista 10

Posted in GNU/Linux at 5:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

False marketing again

A billboard

Summary: After much hype in the press about Windows being ‘free’ it turns out that Microsoft just lied yet again, leaving that lingering perception that Windows is as inexpensive as GNU/Linux

Microsoft has been generating interest (from the press and the public) in Vista 10 using misleading statements if not utter lies (sometimes from peripheral marketing heads). It’s a clever PR ploy. Microsoft Peter put Vista 10 in headlines of GNU/Linux and BSD sites by alarming about UEFI policy changes (this too generated much press, and no publicity can be bad publicity). The other day Phoronix wrote: “Right now I’m cautiously optimistic though that most motherboard vendors will still offer the option to disable SecureBoot, so it’s not a nightmare scenario quite yet. At least these days more IHVs are concerning themselves with Linux thanks to SteamOS & Co. Windows 10 computers will start surfacing later this year.”

In the mean time, however, the alarmist reporting spreads “Vista 10″ (marketing) to more sites. One site wrote that “Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) may be letting hardware manufacturers have the option of locking a certain option with Windows 10 that would essentially result in machines running the newest operating system from the software giant be unable to boot other alternative operating systems.”

It also says that “Terry Myerson recently made headlines from after he announced that the company will upgrade Windows 7 and Windows 8 systems in China to Windows 10 regardless of genuine license or not (which the company later clarified to not be the case).”

So he basically lied. Microsoft’s mouthpiece Paul Thurrott debunked these lies about Vista 10 several days ago even though he used ugly language and misused of words to call people and installations of Windows something they’re not.

So the bottom line is, Microsoft is willing to go very far to stick Vista 10 in headlines everywhere. Vista 10 is expensive, it’s not free, and it is as proprietary as anything can be. Regarding claims that Windows is gratis, we debunked this utter nonsense earlier this year. Why do some journalists still fall for it? Microsoft has a track record of misleading and lying to change perceptions.

Politics of Blackmail at the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The image below circulates around the EPO these days

EPOnia

Summary: Comments serve to highlight the role of bribes (or contrariwise blackmail), as allegedly exercised by the current management of the European Patent Office

THE European Patent Office (EPO) has lured many powerful people, such as politicians, into probe of its scandalous behaviour. Don’t expect the managers of the EPO to stay there for much longer.

Interesting comments on IPKat help expose a high degree of corruption and one comment reveals something which is worth highlighting in a standalone article.

“The following comment,” said a source of ours about this comment, “recently posted on the IPKat site (purporting to be from a Director in the Directorate for patent examination i.e. DG1) appears to refer to how Battistelli “buys” support from the AC delegations.”

“DG1Director” (no way to confirm is this is indeed the DG1 Director) said: “What do you mean the control the president has over the members of the AC by whatever means ? The means are obvious: You don`t bite the hand that feeds you. The president controls the support to the national offices. No support for the president means no support for your office. Just ask the Polish delegate what she was told after the latest AC meeting….”

We asked for an interpretation of this and a source told us this: “We have no idea what exactly what was said to the Polish delegation but it would seem that they were given to understand that if they didn’t support the President they shouldn’t expect any “goodies” from the EPO’s treasure chest for “cooperation” projects.”

In the mean time, based on this recent article from IPKat, the Administrative Council is planning to chop off members of the Boards of Appeal. To quote Merpel: “Now, it seems clear that the discipline according to Article 11 must stop short of “removal” according to Article 23, but there is disagreement between Merpel, who believes that this “removal” means permanent removal (so that a wide range of sanctions including suspension would be envisaged under Article 11), and a commenter who thinks that “removal” under Article 23 includes suspension, so that the Article 11 disciplinary provisions (which can be proposed by the President and do not need a proposal from the Enlarged Board of Appeal) must be rather limited in application.”

Benoît Battistelli has been dying to have total authority to just toss out everyone who is not loyal to him, even if that’s against the rules. In the coming day, ahead of important Administrative Council meetings, we are planning to speed up publication of Battistelli’s scandals. These Napoleonic (as in Napoleonic complex) people are truly destroying the EPO and the sooner they are tossed out, the better off EPO staff will be.

Benoît Battistelli’s EPO Comes Under Attack From the British

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO “breaches human rights and claims immunity,” says MEP

British flag

Summary: A British MEP criticises Battistelli and the management of the European Patent Office (EPO) while Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, UK Minister for Intellectual Property, gets closer to Battistelli in a tactless effort to improve relations

THE EPO has finally tilted itself into a death spiral because not only did it break the rules but it also suppressed workers who protested over it. It’s a tyrant’s suicidal recipe. There was a protest targeting the British Consulate one month ago (derailed by threats from Battistelli) and a response from EPO’s management was published on Friday although it was also commented on (or annotated) by Merpel or her colleagues, in order to address lies and distortion of facts in the statement. We really appreciate all that the British blog IPKat has been doing to raise awareness of the situation inside the EPO.

“After the Dutch socialists,” wrote a source of ours, “now it’s the turn of the UKIP to have a go at Battistelli in the European Parliament.” (a lot more is coming from the Dutch, but we are still catching up with a lot of documents and reports)

James Carver, an MEP from the UKIP party (this is no endorsement from us), spoke out on these issues and there is a video in there which we embed below (no browser cookies):

British blog IPKat has meanwhile chosen a reference to Chamberlain when it published an article titled “‘Peace for our time’, or another wasted trip to Munich?” (implying/insinuating that Benoît Battistelli is like Adolf Hitler).

This article links to EPO public relations and states the following:

From the European Patent Office yesterday came the news item that is reproduced in its entirety below, both for the benefit of those readers who may not have seen it and for the benefit of those readers who, having seen it, have not yet emailed it to this moggy on the basis that it might have escaped her attention. The subject matter is Wednesday’s visit of the UK Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, to the EPO.

This moggy is aware that a lot of readers had pinned their hopes on the Baroness being able to use this visit as an opportunity for her to express her Government’s concern at the level of disquiet — a disquiet which is not rumoured to exist but which is clearly in evidence — at both the governance of the EPO and the anxieties of its staff members, many of whom are rumoured to be British. Failing that, some hoped that the Baroness would at least take the opportunity to speak with, or just listen to, some of the union and staff representatives who have no clear route to take in their long and arduous journey to seek redress for what they plainly perceive, with some reason, to be serious grievances.

Others have been less optimistic. With the UK Government’s five-year term hurtling towards its close and with Parliamentary business being speedily wound up ahead of the Easter break and the following General Election, this was not an opportunity for a visiting Minister to do anything more significant than pose for photographs, shake hands and, when called upon, to kiss the occasional baby. In any event, like most ministerial visits, this one would have been scheduled months if not years ahead of its taking place so there was no reason to suspect that it was in any way connected with the current turmoil — for that is what it appears to be — in the EPO.

Watch Neville-Rolfe posing for photos with the tyrant (under the caption “UK Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe and EPO President Benoît Battistelli”).

It is worth noting that IPKat, which is based in a country where libel law is pretty bad (often extending to liability for the content of comments), is changing the policy of comments, maybe due to the threats regarding the site being “biased”, as recent articles serve to suggest. To quote one of many reminders at the bottom of articles about the EPO:

REMINDER: in respect of all EPO-related blogposts, no comment will be posted if it is merely ascribed to “Anonymous”. Any reader wishing to conceal his or her identity must adopt a pseudonym (which should not be obscene and should not be the name, or the mis-spelling of the name, of a real person). The pseudonym need not be an actual login name, as long as it is stated clearly at the beginning and/or end of the comment itself. This way, it will be easier for people who post later comments to identify and remember the earlier comment-poster and to recall the discussion string. Where, as has already happened on occasion, a string carries over from one blogpost to a later one on the same or a related subject, readers will be encouraged to use the same pseudonym for the sake of continuity.

A couple of readers have forgotten this rule. The blog team have assigned pseudonyms for their posts rather than lose their comments completely — but it’s better to choose your own pseudonym, since the blog team risk ascribing two or more pseudonyms to the same reader.

We sure hope that IPKat won’t be intimidated into silencing sources, especially those who pass information through blog comments. The EPO’s management sure is upset at IPKat, so it will do whatever it can to suppress publication.

The Royal Norwegian Department of Labour on the Right of European Patent Office (EPO) Workers to Strike

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Norwegian flag

Summary: The role of bureaucrats from Norway in defending (or not) the rights of EPO workers — rights that the EPO’s management is actively trying to deny and punish for

TECHRIGHTS has received a pointer to an interesting comment which appeared on the IPKat blog a few weeks ago.

“The comment,” we were told, “includes a link to a copy of a letter from the Norwegian Department of Labour which gives the opinion of the Ministry about the proposed Strike Regulations (i.e. the ones which were declared to be in breach of fundamental principles of international law by the Dutch Appeal Court).” (we will cover the Dutch situation some other day)

“As can be seen from the letter,” said our source, “the opinion of the Department of Labour about the proposal was basically negative.

“We are currently trying to find out how the Norwegian delegation voted on that proposal.

“Similar information could probably be obtained from the Ministries of other EPO member states using freedom of information legislation.”

Here is the original document [PDF] and a translation. The text is copied below.


From The Royal Norwegian Department of Labour
To the Department of Industry and Commerce

Your ref 13/1395    Our ref 13/2220    Date 26.06.2013

Request for input concerning proposals to regulate the right to strike at the EPO – The European Patent Organisation

We refer to the inquiry of 24 June [2013] concerning the above.

The right to strike is regulated in several international instruments ratified by Norway, inter alia ILO Convention No. 87 and No. 98 on the right to self-organise and engage in collective bargaining, and the Council of Europe Social Charter. The right to strike is seen as a natural and necessary consequence of the right to organize and engage in collective bargaining. Strikes are however a powerful tool and the right is not absolute. The right to strike and limitations of the right to strike have evolved over time and are defined by the ILO and the Council of
Europe expert committees. The Department of Labour is not aware of whether international organizations have regulated the right to strike more in detail. From our starting point, we do not believe this is especially common because it intervenes in an area that naturally falls within the negotiation area of employers and workers organizations. The Department of Labour is therefore skeptical about a solution with an administrative regulation and about the content that, at a quick glance, seems extremely dubious in respect of its compliance with applicable international conventions.

Our suggestion would be that Norway request more info concerning how the right to strike is formulated in other organizations, and that the EPO takes no position on the proposal at the present time. A natural partner for the EPO
administration would be the ILO office in Geneva. With greetings,

Bodil Stueflaten                 Gundla Kvam
Acting Division Director       Technical Director


Room is being left here for interpretation.

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts