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

04.06.15

Links 6/4/2015: Krita 3.0 Plans, Intel’s PC-on-a-stick With Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 6:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Getting an inside track on open source

    Michael Bryzek saw open source playing a big role in his company’s IT infrastructure, right from the start.

    The CTO and co-founder of online retailer Gilt Groupe, Bryzek built the eight-year-old members-only shopping site using the Web framework Ruby on Rails, the Linux operating system and the object-relational database system PostgreSQL — all open-source tools.

    He says open source doesn’t have the “friction” — that is, sticking points like contractual limits — that typically come with commercial products. He also says his engineers can be more creative and innovative with open source.

  • Jay: A Decentralized and Open-Source Web Wallet for NXT

    Jay, a javascript wallet framework developed for NXT, has just released their open-source, trustless web wallet, which may be the easiest way to make NXT transactions yet.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Piston Unveils Piston CloudOS 4.0, focused on “the Modern Data Center”

      Piston Cloud Computing, Inc. has announced the availability of Piston CloudOS 4.0, which is billed as “an operating system for the modern data center that transforms clusters of commodity servers into a single unified environment.” The platform can purportedly deploy OpenStack in minutes, and CloudOS 4.0 also lets users deploy Hadoop and Spark on bare metal, with forthcoming support for container orchestration tools such as Kubernetes, Mesos and Docker Swarm.

    • Piston Cloud’s Smart Move to Build a Fungible Platform

      Piston Cloud Computing has announced a move beyond OpenStack for its Piston CloudOS 4.0, an operating system for the data center that transforms clusters of commodity servers into a single unified environment.

    • Nebula, OpenStack cloud vendor, just shut down with no notice

      The company was founded in 2011 by Chris Kemp, who had been chief technology officer for IT at NASA where he helped create OpenStack. Kemp left NASA to push OpenStack forward. As Kemp explained to Tech Republic in the fall of 2014, “I wanted the project to live on beyond the work we were doing … I knew that if we could open-source this work under a very flexible open-source framework, and really get a community gathered around contributing to it, the project could live on.”

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

      • Open Source Human Transformation: Hinduism’s gift to mankind

        At the outset, one needs to appreciate that the word “Religion” is related to the Abrahamic faiths more. Eastern spiritual traditions, which find their beginnings in Hinduism, are neither faiths nor religions. Hinduism is an amalgam of various spiritual traditions. The ways are different, the goals are different and the very way of looking at man, divine and life is different. Open Source, personal, subjective, experiential and not fixed in history via a person or event. Now, let us look at what is on offer from Hinduism. Something that is fundamental to human well being.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU remotecontrol

      Whatever you do…..don’t get beat up over your Energy Management strategy. GNU remotecontrol is here to help simplify your life, not make it more complicated. Talk to us if you are stuck or cannot figure out the best option for your GNU remotecontrol framework. The chances are the answer you need is something we have already worked through. We would be happy to help you by discussing your situation with you.

    • GCC 5 Is Coming This Month With OpenMP 4.0, Offloading, Cilk Plus & More

      GCC 5 is expected to be formally released later this month and it by far is looking to be the most exciting GNU Compiler Collection update yet! GCC 5 has amassed a ton of exciting open-source compiler features over the past year.

    • XKCD’s Comic About OSes Is Hilarious, Predicts Launch Date of GNU Hurd 1.0

      The XKCD webcomics are funny because they are usually right on the money, with just a side dish of ridiculousness. The latest one is called Operating Systems and encompasses everything that is done wrong in this world, with just a single drawing and small, smart text about Richard Stallman.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Govt makes a pitch for open source software in IT tenders

      With an aim to reduce project costs, the government has decided to give preference to open source software (OSS) over proprietary in e-governance procurements.

    • India backs open source software for e-governance projects

      Federal and state agencies must make it mandatory for suppliers to give OSS a preference over proprietary or closed source software while responding to requests for proposals. “Suppliers shall provide justification for exclusion of OSS in their response,” according to the policy statement posted to the website of the Ministry for Communication & Information Technology.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Students compete for a chance to have their Raspberry Pi code run in space

      As part of the mission’s education outreach program, children in UK schools will get the chance to write code to run their own applications in space. The Pis will each have a specially made sensor board attached in order to access data on the space station’s atmosphere. Schools will get the chance to run experiments in their own classroom and compare the results from space, or just make interesting applications to run on the space station. We’re really excited to see what the young minds of Britain come up with, and what they can learn from turning their ideas to a reality by programming the boards.

Leftovers

  • On Armenia centennial, US rockers hope music raises pressure

    One hundred years after the mass killings of Armenians, US band System of a Down is taking the fight for remembrance beyond politicians to the world’s music fans.

    The Los Angeles-area hard rockers, who have sold more than 40 million albums since the mid-1990s, are of Armenian descent and are preparing a European tour to culminate in a public concert on April 23 in Yerevan, the band’s first performance in Armenia.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • The Pentagon’s $10-billion bet gone bad

      Leaders of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency were effusive about the new technology.

      It was the most powerful radar of its kind in the world, they told Congress. So powerful it could detect a baseball over San Francisco from the other side of the country.

      If North Korea launched a sneak attack, the Sea-Based X-Band Radar — SBX for short — would spot the incoming missiles, track them through space and guide U.S. rocket-interceptors to destroy them.

    • Apparent Saudi Strike Kills at Least Nine in Yemeni Family

      At least nine people from a single family were killed when what appeared to be an airstrike by the Saudi-led military coalition struck a home in a village outside Sana, Yemen’s capital, officials said Saturday.

      Village residents gave a higher toll, saying that as many as 11 members of the Okaish family, including five children, were killed in the bombing on Friday. The airstrike may have been intended for an air defense base about a mile and half away, a Yemen Interior Ministry official said.

      Bombings attributed to the coalition have killed dozens of civilians since the start of the Saudi-led air offensive intended to cripple the Houthis, a Yemeni militia that has gained control of Sana and other parts of Yemen in the past eight months.

    • Manufacturing a ‘Good Adversary’ in Tehran

      The real story behind America’s 30-year Cold War with Iran

      [...]

      The real reason the Bush White House had abandoned the opening to Iran was that the CIA and the Pentagon desperately needed to replace the Soviet threat as justification for continuing Cold War levels of appropriations.

      To head off deep cuts in the CIA budget, the agency’s new director, Robert M. Gates, had identified Iran and the proliferation of nuclear weapons as a new threat. Just two weeks after Gates became director in November 1991, a “senior administration official” was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as saying that relations with Iran would remain in the “deep freeze,” because of Iran’s “continued support for international terrorism” and its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.

      That comment dovetailed with the argument Gates made in pubic testimony to fend off deep budget cuts. Testifying before the Defense Policy Panel in early December, just two days after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Gates said the “accelerating proliferation” of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems were “probably the gravest concern” among post-Cold War threats.

  • Transparency Reporting

    • Judge Shoots Down ‘FOIA Terrorist’ Jason Leopold; Says ‘Panetta Review’ Documents Can Be Withheld In Full

      The CIA’s internal document designations seem to bear some resemblance to the NYPD’s use of its “SECRET” stamp — which is deployed arbitrarily and without oversight to declare certain documents out of the reach of Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests. If the CIA feels exemption b(5) gives it the best chance to keep documents out of the hands of journalists like Jason Leopold. it can slap these designations on as many papers as possible and mention its predetermination in FOIA lawsuit declarations.

      Second, Boasberg’s refusal to challenge even a single exemption assertion by the CIA isn’t particularly good news, considering his recent appointment to the FISA court. While he has pushed back on government secrecy in the past, he’s also been just as likely to grant its wishes. Considering he’s replacing FISA Judge Reggie Walton — one of the few FISA judges to openly question surveillance tactics and hold the NSA accountable for its abuses — this latest decision seems to indicate his appointment is a downgrade in terms of government accountability.

  • Finance

    • George Will Revives Tired Canard That Reagan Created One Million Jobs In One Month

      But Will’s claim about Reagan’s job creation record is disingenuous. As Business Insider pointed out, Reagan’s so-called million job month in September 1983 was simply an outlier inflated due to nearly 675,000 striking communication workers returning to work…

    • The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much

      ONCE upon a time in America, baby boomers paid for college with the money they made from their summer jobs. Then, over the course of the next few decades, public funding for higher education was slashed. These radical cuts forced universities to raise tuition year after year, which in turn forced the millennial generation to take on crushing educational debt loads, and everyone lived unhappily ever after.

  • Censorship

    • Turkey reportedly blocks Twitter and YouTube

      Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is calling for a ban on social media once again.

      A spokesperson for this office said on Monday that a prosecutor has ordered Internet providers to block sites that include YouTube and Twitter, which is extremely popular in the country.

      The request comes after photos spread online showing militants holding a prosecutor hostage at gunpoint last week during a takeover of this courthouse office. Prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz, who investigated the death of a teenager who was hit by a police gas canister fired during nationwide anti-government protests in 2013, died last week in a shootout between police and the Marxist militants.

    • Turkish Censorship Order Targets Single Blog Post, Ends Up Blocking Access To 60 Million WordPress Sites

      A lawyer and Turkish Pirate Party member tracked down the root of the sudden ban on all of WordPress: a court order seeking to block a single blog post written by a professor accusing another professor of plagiarism. This post apparently led to several defamation lawsuits and the lawsuits led to a court order basically saying that if blocking the single post proved too difficult, fuck it, block the entire domain.

    • Turkey Blocks Twitter, YouTube, Scores of Websites After Prosecutor’s Killing

      Twitter and YouTube are blocked once again in Turkey as of today, April 6, following the mass circulation of photos of a hostage crisis that ended with the death of a government prosecutor. According to Hurriyet Daily News, authorities have also blocked 166 websites that posted the photos.

      Although Facebook was initially blocked for the same reason, the block was lifted after the company complied with Turkish officials’ orders to remove the offending images.

  • Privacy

    • Blocking The Fields

      You now need an army of spies, analysts and police to watch the security cameras, check on the spies and watch for people jumping fences. This is not about the bad thing you first objected to any more. It’s now about jumping fences to get to places that have been made unreachable by them, checking on spies for telling lies, dealing with corruption among your informers, suppressing all the “SJW”s who whine about the loss of freedom and undermining your political opposition who are equally clueless about blocking fields but can see that what you are doing is hugely unpopular.

      Congratulations! Your attempt to stop something your supporters disapprove of by mandating the impossible has created a police state. It doesn’t matter how bad the thing you were trying to stop is; people probably agree that it’s a bad thing.

      By mandating the impossible, you caused collateral damage that outweighed any benefits, and by associating it with a thing no-one dares defend in public you were able to accidentally destroy society without opposition. And you didn’t notice because you never do for walks in the fields.

    • Why John Oliver Can’t Find Americans Who Know Edward Snowden’s Name (It’s Not About Snowden)

      On his HBO program last night, John Oliver devoted 30 minutes to a discussion of U.S. surveillance programs, advocating a much more substantive debate as the June 1 deadline for renewing the Patriot Act approaches (the full segment can be seen here). As part of that segment, Oliver broadcast an interview he conducted with Edward Snowden in Moscow, and to illustrate the point that an insufficient surveillance debate has been conducted, showed video of numerous people in Times Square saying they had no idea who Snowden is (or giving inaccurate answers about him). Oliver assured Snowden off-camera that they did not cherry-pick those “on the street” interviews but showed a representative sample.

    • Microsoft drops ‘do not track’ browser default to reflect ‘evolving industry standards’

      Microsoft has updated its ‘Do Not Track’ policy, which will no longer be a default setting in its browser, thus giving third parties like advertisers a free hand in deciding whether to track the user or not, unless the option has been turned on manually.

      The ‘Do Not Track’ (DNT) setting in browsers specifies whether the user wants his or her browsing information to be available to third parties such as content providers and advertisers, who gather it so they can learn about a person’s interests and habits.

    • Exclusive: TSA ‘Behavior Detection’ Program Targeting Undocumented Immigrants, Not Terrorists

      A controversial Transportation Security Administration program that uses “behavior indicators” to identify potential terrorists is instead primarily targeting undocumented immigrants, according to a document obtained by The Intercept and interviews with current and former government officials.

      The $900 million program, Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT, employs behavior detection officers trained to identify passengers who exhibit behaviors that TSA believes could be linked to would-be terrorists. But in one five-week period at a major international airport in the United States in 2007, the year the program started, only about 4 percent of the passengers who were referred to secondary screening or law enforcement by behavior detection officers were arrested, and nearly 90 percent of those arrests were for being in the country illegally, according to a TSA document obtained by The Intercept.

    • Artists secretly install Edward Snowden statue in Brooklyn park

      Dressed in reflective yellow construction gear while working under the cover of darkness early Monday, a small group of artists installed a tribute to NSA-leaker Edward Snowden in a Brooklyn park.

      The Snowden bust stands atop a column at the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park, a site built to honor more than 11,000 American prisoners of war who died aboard British ships during the American Revolutionary War.

    • Artists secretly install Snowden monument

      A group of artists secretly installed a 100-pound sculpture of government leaker Edward Snowden in a New York City park early on Monday morning, though it was taken down by city officials later in the day.

      The handful of people wearing yellow reflector vests and hard hats snuck into the park and, in the predawn hours, attached the massive bust of a neatly coiffed Snowden wearing his trademark square-rimmed glassed onto the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument in Brooklyn, which honors soldiers imprisoned in the Revolutionary War.
      In a statement provided to city blog Animal, which also produced a short video about the installation, the activists said that the effort was meant to reinvigorate the focus on the leaker and the massive government surveillance that he exposed.

      “We have updated this monument to highlight those who sacrifice their safety in the fight against modern-day tyrannies,” they told the website.

    • Edward Snowden statue appears in Brooklyn overnight

      A trio of anonymous artists and helpers installed a bust of Edward Snowden in Brooklyn Monday morning.

      The 100-pound statue was hauled into Fort Greene Park just before dawn, according to ANIMALNewYork, which originally reported the story.

      The idea for the statue came from two artists and was made by a West Coast sculptor. Snowden leaked classified information from the National Security Agency to mainstream media in June 2013. He was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with two counts of violating the Espionage Act and theft of government property and currently lives in Russia.

    • New York City Takes Down Edward Snowden Statue Erected By Guerilla Artists

      NYPD says the art prank is under investigation

      New York City has removed a statue of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden erected by a group of artists in a Brooklyn park.

    • John Oliver Asks Edward Snowden If The American Government Is Spying On Your Naked Photos

      “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” viewers got a surprise during Sunday’s show when the British satirist interviewed a man he described as “the most famous hero and/or traitor in recent American history:” NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

  • Civil Rights

    • Eight San Francisco police officers expected to be fired over racist, homophobic texts

      Eight San Francisco police officers implicated in sending and receiving racist and homophobic text messages have been suspended and are expected to be fired, according to news reports.

    • Barrett Brown, John Kiriakou & the Bureau of Prisons’ Deep Contempt for First Amendment

      The Bureau of Prisons’ contempt for the First Amendment has been on full display this week.

      Journalist and activist Barrett Brown pled guilty to offenses stemming from YouTube videos he uploaded containing a threat directed at the FBI, emails from hackers he redacted and laptops found in a kitchen cabinet that he hid from authorities. He was sentenced to five years and three months in jail on January 22.

    • Barrett Brown’s account of the arbitrary suspension of his e-mail

      On Tuesday March 31, I used the inmate computer system to send an email to a journalist of my acquaintance in which I inquired about getting him in touch with another inmate who was interested in talking to the press about potentially illegal conduct by BOP officials. When I tried to log in to the system one hour afterwards, I received a message reading: “Denied: You do not have access to this service.” I asked our Counselor Towchik about this and he called another office, from which he apparently received a vague explanation to the effect that they were “working on it”, which we took to understand that this was a system maintenance issue; he told me to return to his office later that afternoon. I did so, and he told me that several people were having issues with the system and that he would make further inquiries, and that if necessary he would bring the technical staff over to our unit the next day to discuss it with us, assuming the problem had still not been fixed. The next morning I reached my mother by phone and learned that apparently everyone on my message contact list had received an automatic email to the effect that my messaging privileges had been temporarily suspended, but I reassured her that it was merely a mistake. When I met again with Towchik, however, he conceded that the problem didn’t seem to be technical after all and that I should ask Trust Fund Manager Coleman about it at lunch. Failing to find Mr. Coleman, I met that afternoon with Unit Manger Ivory, who checked my files but could find no reason why my access should have suddenly been suspended and also advised me to meet with Mr. Coleman. At some point that day, my attempts to log in started to prompt a different message stating: “This account is on suspension until 4/1/2016 11:59:59 pm (from portal 16)”. At the next lunch period on Thursday, April 2nd, I was unable to locate Mr. Coleman, but laid out my problem to the associate warden who told me to return in five minutes, when Mr. Coleman would be present.

    • The Persian Paradox: Iran Is Much More Modern Than You Think

      People in the West tend to have a monolithic view of Iran. But there’s a lot more to the country than the mullah-led theocracy, and it often gets ignored. And national pride is alive and well.

    • Petition Against Obama Decree on Venezuela Tops 8m Signatures

      A petition launched in Venezuela opposing President Barack Obama’s latest sanctions and the labelling of Venezuela as a national security threat has topped 8 million signatures, it was announced Sunday.

      President Obama issued an executive order March 9 declaring a “national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by the situation in Venezuela.”

      Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro thanked the supporters who backed the call for Obama to “repeal the decree” through his Twitter account.

      The signatures will be handed in during the Summit of the Americas which starts later this week in Panama and will be attended by all the nations in the hemishphere.

    • Two Court Rulings Completely Disagree With Each Other Over Whether Websites Need To Comply With Americans With Disabilities Act

      On March 19th, there was a ruling [pdf] in a case in a federal district court in Vermont, brought by the National Federation for the Blind against Scribd, saying that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applied to the internet, and thus Scribd had to comply with the ADA. The specific concern is whether or not a website is a “place of public accommodation.” Three years ago there was a similar ruling against Netflix (also brought by the National Federation for the Blind), which we noted had some troubling aspects to it. Since then, there have been a number of cases that have gone the other way. And, indeed, just this week the 9th Circuit appeals court upheld a lower court ruling [pdf] saying that Netflix does not need to comply with the ADA.

    • Willie McRae

      The Scotsman claims that the police had first removed the vehicle and then replaced it, and this explains the mystery of why the gun was so far from the car after McRae’s remarkable two shot “suicide”. For me, that adds just another level of improbability to so very many. How, inside a car, you shoot yourself in the head in such a way that the gun falls out of the window, seems problematic. The car was crashed over a burn; how you order that with the suicide is peculiar.

    • A Non-Conspiracy of Douthat’s

      The “difficult and personal” decision of whether folks like these can decide if you can shop at a store or not.

    • School Teachers With Valid Work Authorization Labeled As “Illegals” By Fox News

      Fox News misleadingly slurred immigrants with legal permission to work in the United States as “illegals” during a segment highlighting attempts by disadvantaged school districts around the country to boost bilingual education initiatives.

Microsoft Does Not Act Like a US-based Company (Espionage Against US Citizens, Tax Evasion, Among Other Symptoms)

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 10:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Debunking the myth of Microsoft as a US company or even an international company, as opposed to globalist (lacking loyalty to anything but its own bottom line)

Microsoft is not a US company but a globalist company when it comes to taxes. It just doesn’t want to pay taxes and this new article calls out Microsoft for hiding money in offshore account so as to avoid tax. The headline names Microsoft although Microsoft is no longer unique in the area of technology. It’s just the worst. To quote the opening part: “So it is with companies that keep massive stockpiles of cash in foreign countries in order to avoid paying US corporate tax rates. In fact, the only thing that prevents this issue from being relentlessly bleak is the absurdity of what some of these companies get away with. For example,according to the advocacy and lobbying group Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ), American corporations claim to have earned so much profit selling goods in tax-free zones like the Cayman Islands and Bermuda that the figure amounts to 16 times these countries’ total GDPs — which defies reality.”

Microsoft basically evades not only US tax. It evades tax everywhere. It’s globalism; it’s the plutocrats’ sovereignty (broderless and above international regulations).

Apple and Microsoft, as the article above goes to show, have more offshore cash and pay lower foreign tax rates than most any other Fortune 500 companies. Microsoft and taxes are two words that only go hand in hand when it pertains to taxation of users of Windows, Office, etc.

Considering how Microsoft helps the US government (among other governments) spy on US citizens, one cannot consider it a US company. It helps espionage against US citizens, which is inherently against US law. This is done not just because Microsoft loves and embraces surveillance but because it wants lucrative government contracts all around the world and it is willing to betray users of its software for these contracts, even in Russia, as we showed half a decade ago. Microsoft even works for Putin when it suits its agenda, helping to imprison Russian dissents by framing (through surveillance) and misuse of law enforcement privileges, however unjustified. Microsoft is loyal to nobody except Microsoft and lobbying operations such as the Gates Foundation, which helps Bill Gates evade tax and rapidly increase his personal wealth.

Microsoft has just dumped ‘Do Not Track’, showing that Microsoft has perhaps grown tired of pretending to care about privacy. Only a fool would ever choose a ‘cloud’ for government, especially a proprietary software ‘cloud’ from a foreign company that engages in espionage activities or at least facilitates them. Using a Web browser from Microsoft is worse than reckless.

Microsoft likes to pretend to be a national company in every nation by creating subsidiaries like “Microsoft UK”, but it’s a lie and a sham. There is an ODF debate in the UK at the moment. Microsoft pretends to be an ODF company and a British company after attacking it through British proxies (like partners), though we’ll soon see how that worked out. Microsoft once tried to frame ODF as anti-American, as if Microsoft itself was pro-American (it’s pro-whoever-pays-Microsoft). As Glyn Moody pointed out the other day, the latest moves seem to make it likely that Microsoft will get altogether dropped, at least Microsoft Office. “Back in July last year,” says Moody’s article, “I wrote about an incredible opportunity for the open source world. After years of disappointments, and despite the usual lobbying/threats by a certain large US software company [Microsoft] against the move, the Cabinet Office announced that it was officially adopting the Open Document Format (ODF) for sharing or collaborating on government documents. At the time I exhorted everyone involved to do their utmost to make this work, since it was the biggest chance to show that open standards and open source were not just viable as a government solution, but actually better than the alternatives.”

Moody just calls or alludes to Microsoft as “a certain large US software company”, but not naming it is playing into Microsoft’s hands and Microsoft should not really be described as a US company, it’s just a pariah that views itself — much like Gates himself — as Napoleonic and thus above every international law.

As Moody put it at the very end, “there’s no timetable for this development, which means it might be a while before we can actually use this software. Still, it’s further testimony to the fact that the ODF ecosystem is one of the most exciting places in free software at the moment. Much of that can be attributed to the boost given by the UK government’s high-profile decision to adopt the format last year, for which it deserves recognition and our thanks.”

The sooner the world recognises how Microsoft views the world, the more swiftly it will unburden itself from abuse, including systemic looting (tax evasion, taxes on citizens), extortion (e.g. with patents), and bribery.

Microsoft is Trying to Patent Software in India While Microsoft’s Proxy Troll Intellectual Ventures Extorts Motorola (Android)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 5:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A more covert, more ruthless ‘new Microsoft’

American Psycho (film)
Nothing demonstrates Microsoft’s ‘love’ of Linux better than control freaks

Summary: The ‘new Microsoft’ not only seeks to gain more software patents (which it uses to sue Linux/Android backers) but also increasingly relies on its long-established proxies to do the litigation

WE ARE gratified to see another report from India today [1] (latest of very many) or from yesterday [2] about policy in the Indian government that favours Free software. Microsoft, suffice to say, is not gratified to see it; nor is it gratified to see that India does not permit software patents. Based on this news report from India, the proprietary software giant needs not only to pretend to be FOSS now but also to obey the rules on patenting. To quote this important article, “The Indian Patent Office has refused a patent to Microsoft Technology Licensing, LLC for its ‘invention’ related to evaluating an electronic document retrieved by a search engine, citing that the claimed invention was not patentable under various sections of the Indian Patent Act.

Note how Microsoft is hiding behind yet another proxy/subsidiary, this one called “Microsoft Technology Licensing” (there is another similarly-named one which pretends that Microsoft is FOSS).

Continuing the quotes from the article, this “matter relates to a method for evaluating an electronic document using external data to prevent a deliberate manipulation by the creator of an electronic document to mislead a search engine into giving an undeservedly high rank to the electronic document.”

So Microsoft is still trying to patent software in India, despite the fact that it’s against the law.

Law? Well, Microsoft never cared about the law. It just makes up the rules and calls “law” whatever it uses to legitimise its blackmail and extortion operations, e.g. with software patents.

“Well, Microsoft never cared about the law. It just makes up the rules and calls “law” whatever it uses to legitimise its blackmail and extortion operations, e.g. with software patents.”In other interesting news, the Microsoft-connected troll Intellectual Ventures, which already earned notoriety in India and elsewhere for its warpath of extortion (we have covered this for nearly a decade, with India aspects included), is extorting Motorola Mobility, a cornerstone of Android. For Intellectual Ventures it would not be the first time to attack Android — the main target of Microsoft’s blackmail and extortion these days. As noted here last month, there is a lot of alignment in agenda here (Intellectual Ventures and Microsoft, whose executive Bill Gates is a very close friend of Intellectual Ventures’ founder, himself a former executive from Microsoft).

To quote one report on this: “Motorola has been found guilty of infringing a patent related to MMS technology by a jury in Delaware. The technology is used for multimedia texting on mobile products and the patent in question was owned by Intellectual Ventures, a company that is unsurprisingly known for patents it holds on intellectual properties.

“Motorola has tangled with Intellectual Ventures before, clashing with the company in February 2014, although that time the jury could not reach a verdict so a mistrial was called. While the Moto company was found guilty of patent infringement, it was cleared of illegally using another patent regarding wireless bandwidth. Intellectual Ventures is known as the “Patent Troll” and owns some 70,000 patents that is licenses out, although recently it has focused on suing companies for infringing patents.”

Android giant Motorola is under constant patent attacks from Microsoft and its proxies, so a patent ‘peace’ with Microsoft is not enough. It’s only a mirage because Microsoft can send out its bullies to sue by proxy and harass the competition. Here is what British press had to say, citing this judgment: “Motorola Mobility has suffered another defeat at the hands of patent hoarder Intellectual Ventures, with a Delaware jury finding that Moto infringed a patent describing a way for handheld devices to connect to docking stations.

“Law360 reports that the jury only deliberated for about an hour before deciding in Intellectual Ventures’ favor on Monday, in the latest chapter in litigation the two firms have been battling out since 2011.”

Incidentally, Intellectual Ventures is cited in this analysis from Hasan Rashid and Nathan Smith (McDermott Will & Emery). As we noted before, Intellectual Ventures does a great deal of damage when it comes to patent policy in the US, working to authorise not only trolling but also software patents and other kinds of crazy patents. Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates both support a massive (well-funded) lobbying apparatus on patent policy. Their goal is rather self-explanatory (explained by their actions).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Government makes a pitch for open source software in IT tenders
  2. Govt makes a pitch for open source software in IT tenders

    With an aim to reduce project costs, the government has decided to give preference to open source software (OSS) over proprietary in e-governance procurements.

    “The government of India shall endeavour to adopt open source software in all e-governance systems implemented by various government organisations as a preferred option in comparison to closed source software (CSS),” states the policy titled ‘Adoption of Open Source Software for Government of India’.

Microsoft is Still Openwashing Perfect Apparatuses for Back Doors: Common Carrier (Windows), ‘Cloud’, and Compiler

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Windows at 5:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Open gates for Trojan horses

Trojan horse

Summary: Propaganda campaigns from Microsoft deceive news sites into portraying Microsoft’s proprietary (and exceptionally privacy-infringing) software as “open”

MANY people seem to be upset — albeit not terribly surprised or shocked — that Microsoft tries to portray itself as an “Open Source” company while it continues to attack Open Source companies like no other technology company does. It is a provocative charm offensive that is very offensive and is perhaps designed to alienate by annoyance the strongest elements in the Free/Open Source software community, marginalising them by aggravation.

The other day we saw Mono in the news again. As we have shown before, it’s a Microsoft Trojan which is increasingly Microsoft-led (in the staff, investors and code sense) and this article says that it will adopt more Microsoft code and “Mono is no longer a popular project on the open-source community.”

Microsoft is trying to convince us that it is turning Open Source (only where it benefits the lock-in system, e.g. .NET); perhaps it is so ‘open’ that once again it censors (i.e. removes) code of other people from Github. See the new article titled “Microsoft Hits Halo Online Modders With Copyright Complaint”. They killed source code of other people. To quote, “Halo Online is an upcoming free-to-play version of Halo that will launch exclusively for players in Russia. However, following the leak of the game files a modding team developed its own ideas about who can access the game and when. Fighting back, Microsoft has just hit their Github project with a copyright complaint.”

Yes, Microsoft surely is a ‘champion’ of Open Source.

Phoronix, in the mean time, is going disappointingly soft on Microsoft again. Some proprietary software from Microsoft, which is only used to advance .NET, is promoted by Phoronix, amplifying the ‘open source’ lies in the process (Visual Studio is as proprietary as ever, as we last noted the other day). Microsoft is still trying to openwash this nasty piece of software, pretending that if developers carry water for Microsoft, then they are “open source” developers. Martin in our IRC channels called it what it is: “compiler built in backdoor strikes again” (citing Phoronix and taking into account Microsoft’s affinity for mass surveillance). Worth noting, as we only found out last night, is that Microsoft got off the hook in the antitrust days after an apparent bargain that had Judge Jackson replaced by one who would become a FISA judge (the NSA’s rubber-stamping pseudo-court), concurrent with Microsoft’s alleged introduction of back doors in Windows around 1999.

MinceR replies, “I thought that VS article was April Fool’s” (not given Phoronix record of being soft on Microsoft).

XFaCE quotes: “While many Phoronix readers likely want nothing to do with closed-source Microsoft software, there’s many Windows game developers and others out there who prefer the Visual Studio environment to most anything Linux has to offer in terms of a complete integrated development environment. Having VS on Linux would further lower the barrier for developers to port their software/games to Linux.”

“DRINK THE KOOLAID,” added XFaCE. MinceR explained: “I’ve used two versions of Visual Studio [VS] already, I don’t miss either of them and apparently since then they’ve even added ribbon to VS [so] I guess it was too usable. Who needs that vertical screen space? That’s the Microsoft way.”

“When widescreen monitors provide more horizontal space for controls, you naturally consume more vertical space,” XFaCE joked.

So what we have here is Microsoft trying to ‘sell’ to developers the idea of using a proprietary software IDE and proprietary compiler. They try to openwash it, pretending that it’s anything but proprietary.

There is an even more disturbing bit of propaganda in the news right now. By this point, several readers wrote to us about it. It fits a pattern. Maybe if “Windows” and “open source” land in enough headlines, then there will be enough dumb readers to be left with the impression that Windows — like GNU/Linux or BSD — is now “equally open” or something along these lines.

“Here’s [an] article that might interest you,” said one reader, linking to the first puff piece we saw (it started at the end of last week). The myth of “open source Windows” has since been floated by Microsoft-linked sites such as TechFlash and then went mainstream.

There are many provocative headlines like, “Microsoft plans to Open Source Windows Azure?”

Others basically falsely associated Windows as a whole with “Open Source”. We still see some of this brainwash today (in news feeds). When will the utter nonsense headlines about “Windows” and “Open Source” stop? One low-level exec (not C*O) speaks, then Microsoft’s PR machine goes wild and journalists swallow it quite so blindly.

Some people who have passed us links about this Windows “Open Source” bunk and “new Microsoft” are rightly upset. It started with a Condé Nast/Metz PR effort (there’s history there) and articles just keep coming as though there was actually news there. There’s none. It’s gossip, speculation, whitewashing, and lies.

Bobby Moss ‏explained that “it’s a pretty transparent effort by MSFT to ‘de-toxify’ the brand with developers who increasingly prefer cross-platform” and Cade Metz, a Microsoft and Bill Gates fan and booster, already groomed the messenger last year, so it seems more like a staged PR stunt about the person leading the Windows Azure team. This is more openwashing, trying to make something nasty look ‘open’ and the corporate media loves it, especially press that’s aligned with Microsoft (as an advertisers, partner, and so on). The amount of Vista 10 propaganda (PR disguised as news, e.g. ‘free’ Vista 10 00 an often repeated lie) isn’t as crude as these later attempt to openwash Windows as a whole.

The latest from Cade Metz can be found here for those who wish to see how propaganda starts. As our reader iophk put it: “I’m thinking that may be one of the goals of the propaganda. Microsoft wants the public not to think about other systems at all but if they must think about other systems then they want them to think that they are equivalent. Then they can push (falsely or not) the familiarity argument.”

Large networks — including some as big as CBS — can be seen citing Wired’s Microsoft booster to mislead their audience.

“Better to go with ReactOS, better still GNU/Linux,” iopkh wrote to us

Metz’s colleague (both receive paychecks from Condé Nast), who is another Microsoft booster, amplified the false signal (noise). Peter Bright, Microsoft’s top booster at Condé Nast, would of course be playing along with this openwashing of Windows. He never misses an opportunity. It pollutes the news with endless Microsoft propaganda.

“A good touchstone,” said a reader of sours, is “Microsoft providing a full NTFS driver for Linux.

“Anything less – people are just kidding themselves.”

If we are to believe the hype, “Mark Russinovich tells conference audience that it’s a “new Microsoft.”” Yes, a more vicious Microsoft, the one that wants to block Linux from booting on computers (or make it incredibly difficult). Let’s remind ourselves of UEFI‘s most recent scandals. Jack Wallen writes for Linux.com this month, stating: “This is where it all gets a bit frustrating. Microsoft has announced that, with Windows 10, they will no longer require manufacturers to include the ability to toggle off Secure Boot. This means PC vendors will have the power to further raise the hurdles for alternative operating systems to be installed. The official decision has not been handed down yet. Even if it does take effect, this will not cause problems with older systems. And even if it does become a reality, distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat, and SUSE won’t have any issues as they are already using official digital keys to meet the UEFI requirements. For smaller distributions (created by developers who cannot afford to purchase the keys), this could be a big issue.”

Wallen concludes by saying that “UEFI proved to not be nearly the impossibility we thought it would present. But with Windows 10, impossibility could become a reality. How will you deal with purchasing new hardware should manufacturers start removing the ability to disable Secure Boot?”

Over at FOSS Force, Larry Cafiero writes: “Most recently, we have a report from PC World saying that as of the latest offering from Microsoft, Windows 10, hardware makers now have the green light to enable UEFI Secure Boot without giving you a manual kill switch, as they are required to do with Windows 8 systems.

“If that happens, forget about booting anything other than Microsoft-approved operating systems on these locked-down PCs. And while it remains to be seen whether hardware manufacturers lock down their hardware, history shows that manufacturers are generally at the beck and call of Redmond when shipping out their products. So with the exception of Canonical and Red Hat — both Ubuntu and Fedora have signed keys from Microsoft for their boot loaders — the rest of you who aren’t Ubunteros or Fedoristas could very well be out in the cold.”

That’s not so surprising when we accept that Microsoft just really hates Linux. See this series of article we published a fortnight ago:

The “open source” Windows nonsense was refuted here many times before . Microsoft wishes to confuse the public, especially decision-makers in suits. They’re usually not technical. As Bobby Moss wrote, “apparently Microsoft doesn’t mind open source, so long as it runs on their largely closed platform” (.NET, Windows, Azure, and so on).

What was disappointing to see is Phoronix (again) playing along with it. It paid lip service to a lot of Microsoft PR as of late and the Linux Foundation’s news site did so too, not just Microsoft-connected sites. Katherine Noyes mentioned it, but said that “Steve Ballmer called Linux “a cancer,” and Bill Gates shared similar views about the open-source philosophy in general.”

This is not really newsworthy, so it’s hard to see why it received so much coverage, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

Some dude from Microsoft said “open source” and “Microsoft” in same sentence after being asked (possibly staged), so the Microsoft media (PR) goes wild, openwashes Windows as a whole. We suspect it may have been a well-coordinated PR stunt, putting Windows and Open Source in the same headlines so as to pretend it’s already happening (as if it ever will). Microsoft has such a massive PR operation that merely having some high-level engineer say “open source” floods news feeds.

See how Microsoft propagandists like Todd Bishop and Mary Jo Foley helped spread more nonsense. Both have been making a career just sucking up to Microsoft. There’s is history there when it comes to Metz and Russinovich, who is being framed as some kind of a hero. Metz groomed him in the media last year.

The PR has gone further than claiming that Windows is “open source” and returned to the lie about gratis (free of charge) Windows. See for example this puff piece from Forbes, oddly titled “Microsoft To Give Away Windows? Madness Actually Makes Sense” [Ed Daniel’s pointer].

They are once trying to make Windows look gratis — an old lie we wrote about before. Here is what it’s based on: ““It’s definitely possible,” he said on a ChefCon panel hosted by Wired business editor Cade Metz. Following huge applause from the crowd Russinovich reiterated: “Like I said, it’s a new Microsoft.””

Cade Metz gave the platform to Microsoft PR, just as he did for Bill Gates in the recent past. The infamous “new Microsoft” myth is floated once again

In conclusion, we suspect what’s happening here is part of a broader campaign from Microsoft’s PR agencies to saturate the press with misleading claims, using so-called ‘journalists’ as tools of propaganda and hoping that some other people, such as bloggers, will be fooled into repeating the PR. It works. It oughtn’t work, but it does. And we need to put an end to it.

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