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04.27.15

Microsoft is Attacking Android Like Never Before, Qisda the Latest to Sign Patent Extortion Deal

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 7:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft says it wants peace, but actions suggest otherwise

War chair

Summary: More blackmail and propaganda against Android, courtesy of the gentler, kinder, ‘new’ Microsoft

DESPITE recent Outlook scandals, Microsoft is trying hard to inject it into Android devices, either by blackmail or by bribing (as we correctly foresaw). Microsoft’s Mouth wrote about it and so did other embedded ‘journalists’ of Microsoft or friendly media. They help the "embrace, extend, extinguish" efforts of Microsoft (targeting Android). One site called it “crapware [...] for Android” (crapware being Microsoft spyware). Some say that Microsoft is developing software to wipe Android from Android devices and install Windows instead. Here is the next potential step towards it [1, 2] (Microsoft can delete Android from the Windows partition).

These attacks on Android sure are serious and Microsoft lobbied (usually through proxies) European regulators to help with the attacks. Quoting Microsoft proxies, the Microsoft-friendly Cade Metz continues his anti-Linux blitz in Condé Nast (toxic agenda). The headline is equally toxic, as should expected from Metz. It says “Google Faces Huge Forces in Fight Over Android’s Future” and it’s full of anti-Android talking points from Microsoft front groups. There is some kind of deliberate attack on Android in the media; Microsoft’s booster Julie Bort helps an anti-Android company right now and all that Microsoft boosters can do at the moment is promote Microsoft spyware for Android, unless they just trash Android. Mark Hachman, a Senior Editor at IDG, promotes Microsoft’s overpriced and underpowered product by framing it as a Google ‘killer’ or whatever. His byline says “Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats.” Well, enough said…

In other news, Microsoft continues with the effort to extort Android/Linux. As Fagioli, an occasional troll against GNU/Linux, put it the other day: “Microsoft continues earning money from Linux — increases patent licensing agreements”. While we know these deals are patent deals, we do not know if anything at all is being paid to Microsoft, so Fagioli lacks evidence. Fagioli wrote: “If you choose to laugh at Microsoft over its mobile presence, feel free, but please know that Microsoft is laughing too; all the way to the bank. What you may not know is, Microsoft makes money from Android handset sales thanks to its patent portfolio. In fact, it also collects money from Chromebooks too. In other words, Microsoft is profiting from Linux, since both operating systems are based on the kernel. Today, Microsoft increases its number of patent licensing agreements, by making a deal with Qisda Corp.”

“Microsoft attacks Android using entryism, lobbying, media distortion, extortion, misguided regulators, etc.”Qisda is not widely known to the public (Wikipedia has some details) and whether it pays anything at all to Microsoft we do not know. Google, in reaction to such offensive deals, pursues and gets granted thousands of patents per year. It is now trying to buy some more. As IDG has just put it: “Looking to offload some patents and make some extra cash? Google may be an interested buyer.

“The Web giant on Monday launched a Patent Purchase Promotion, an “experiment to remove friction from the patent market and improve the landscape.” On May 8, Google plans to open a portal where you’ll be able to tell the company about the patents you’re willing to sell, and how much you’re looking to make.”

Vista 10 (merely a brand, or "marketing" as Microsoft puts it) for mobile phones is a total joke and a dead end without any signs of gains, only massive financial losses. Microsoft is reportedly bricking phones with Vista 10 Preview. The report is inherently flawed, however, because as iophk put it: “The shill can’t even make an honest comparison there, he has to restrict it to within Microsoft world. Most “popular” Windoes(r) phone…”

We too spotted this article the other day. We found it when looking for articles of the same author, after he had attacked GNU/Linux or something along those lines.

In summary, there is no ‘new’ Microsoft. Microsoft attacks Android using entryism, lobbying, media distortion, extortion, misguided regulators, etc. Extortion apparently does not bother regulators, even if it’s against the law. To say that Microsoft loves Linux is like calling Stalin a man of peace.

Caution Needed When Microsoft Copywriters Flood the Media With Microsoft Propaganda

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lying to the public for salaries

Pondering

Summary: Media actively subverted by Microsoft-sponsored agents of deception, whose goal is to change what people think of Microsoft and its software, even if by lying (they call it ‘marketing’)

ALL around the world there have been many misleading reports about Microsoft being “open”. These reports are not always in English, so it may not be easy to spot and rebut them. Writers of such reports are either extremely gullible, pressured (e.g. by assertive editor/publisher/advertiser), or bribed.

Someone, a long-term reader of Techrights, came to our IRC channels claiming that “one of my ex classmates is now a paid Microsoft copywriter… I got furious yesterday when I found out” (the company in question is VISIBILITY, one of Microsoft’s many PR agencies/proxies that include Visible Technologies). We already explained how such firms operate and it’s absolutely appalling. Microsoft already got caught (several times) sending out people to conduct AstroTurfing campaigns in sites like Reddit and YouTube. Now we know that Microsoft may also be paying agencies (at least in east Europe) to push into the media pro-Microsoft stories. And they wonder why they’re hated. Well, given the prevalence of agencies that push ‘stories’ for Microsoft it’s not crazy to debunk these ‘stories’, it’s just crazy to believe them. Lies in repetition can become compelling nonetheless. We already explored how Microsoft was pushing fake (prepared) ‘articles’, often to be ghostwritten or ghost-published by fake/lazy ‘journalists’. With enough bribed ‘reporters’ no wonder Microsoft can rewrite history and lie so routinely and effectively. If Microsoft pays agents in east Europe to ‘plant’ articles, then it’s not even expensive because salaries there are significantly lower and perhaps regulations of the press are relatively lax. It’s like outsourcing of AstroTurfing. Clever move.

“Business as usual then,” wrote Paolo Vecchi about it, reminding us of very recent examples like damn lies about Vista 10 being 'free'. It went on for many weeks before Microsoft finally admitted that it had lied (‘marketed’). The media pushed this lie into every corner of the Web for weeks. It was published in many languages in some very widely-read sites. The correction from Microsoft (weeks later) hardly received any coverage at all.

A new report by Gregg Keizer says that “Free Windows 10 is not an upgrade … it’s marketing,” according to Microsoft. Vista 10 is not free and was never going to be free. It’s a big lie and Microsoft’s 10-Q filing shows that Microsoft knowingly lied (‘marketed’). To quote Keizer: “Windows 10 is not a free upgrade, Microsoft said last week. It’s a “marketing and promotional activity.”

“The odd nomenclature appeared in Microsoft’s 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that highlighted the company’s first quarter financial numbers.

“In the 10-Q segment devoted to revenue recognition — typically several paragraphs of static boilerplate — Microsoft brought up Windows 10, specifically the free upgrade it plans to hand out to users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 after Windows 10′s summer debut.”

So remember that Microsoft wilfully lies and just calls it ‘marketing’. Truths and lies have no meaning to Microsoft; it’s all ‘marketing’. It’s manipulation of the media.

Bear that in mind when seeing the openwashing of Microsoft, such as the latest (and seemingly obligatory) Nadella grooming by Sam Dean, whose parent company was paid by Microsoft to embed pro-Microsoft messages inside articles. It’s more of the ‘new Microsoft’ nonsense, which means that Dean is either gullible or acting as a salesman. “It’s becoming more and more clear that we aren’t witnessing the old Microsoft anymore,” he says. Actually, Microsoft is getting worse but also more secretive. Do we really need to perpetuate all those lies (‘marketing’) from Microsoft?

Watch this new headline that says “Microsoft may love Linux now, but can Hadoop vendors ever kiss and make up?”

Very loaded headline they got there. Microsoft hates Linux, as its actions serve to show. We wrote about this just over a month ago in:

Journalists should stop repeating Microsoft’s slogans and PR. Microsoft does not “love Linux”, it hates it with a passion and actively tries to destroy it. Phoronix shows how the BSD world is increasingly being used as a wedge through which to harm or change GNU/Linux, as Microsoft tries to spread .NET through it (.NET and associated tools such as Visual Studio are totally Microsoft-controlled and proprietary).

Gartner Staff That Worked for Microsoft and the Latest Nonsense from Gartner or ‘Former’ Staff

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 5:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The ‘special’ relationship between Microsoft and Gartner is simply impossible to overlook

Michael Silver

Summary: Gartner waited until 2015 to declare FOSS fit for databases; another example spotted where Gartner staff comes from Microsoft or vice versa

OVER half a decade ago we showed how Microsoft-friendly ‘analysts’ were using totally bogus yardsticks to measure the market share of databases. They love to keep track of revenue, not actual usage or installed base. Well, based on this new report, Gartner is still stuck 10+ years in the past, pretending that “Relational open source databases,” as the headline at IDG (parent of IDC) puts it, “come of age” (oh, really?). So how come the Internet and many other servers at the back end (server room) of businesses have been running postgres, mysql, etc. for ages? Gartner prefers to pretend that it’s a new thing, but then again, Gartner is so corrupt (paid by Microsoft and Oracle) that one should expect bias. They have been in denial about Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and GNU/Linux for as long as they could get away with it. Surely they’ve spread FUD for years, so why the sudden change?

To quote the report from IDG, “Open source relational databases have come of age, according to a new report from Gartner. The analyst firm recommends folding an open source database into your application portfolio.

“In its report, The State of Open-Source RDBMSs, 2015, the company found that open source relatoinal database management systems (OSRDBMSs) have matured to the point where they can replace commercial databases. CIOs can now consider them as a standard infrastructure choice, the company advised.”

Only now? Gartner has got to be kidding, not just lying.

What we have here is a bunch of Microsoft propagandists pretending to support FOSS, but all they really do is mischaracterise it and belittle it. They put it under negative light. They make it seem immature and borderline amateur.

Speaking of Gartner, the other day we saw a Microsoft boosting site presenting some column called “Analyst Watch” in which a former Gartner (and IDC) guy said that FOSS would “eat the world” (not a very friendly way to put it). To clarify who wrote this, see the byline: “Al Hilwa is an industry analyst at research firm IDC, specializing in application development research. He has written columns for tech publications and is widely quoted in the media, including the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and National Public Radio. Prior to IDC, he spent seven years at Microsoft in the Server & Tools division, and five years as an industry analyst at Gartner specializing in database systems. Before Gartner, he worked in IT in various industries. ”

Yes, so he spent seven years at Microsoft in the Server & Tools division and also Gartner. People can work for Microsoft and Gartner. No conflict of interest. None at all! This isn’t an exceptional case. Gartner is totally corrupt. See the recent Gartner spin from Mr. Silver, the firm’s lead booster of Microsoft. He went as far as lying for Microsoft.

Al Hilwa also works for IDC (by extension IDG), which is a frequent booster of Microsoft that in the above example amplified Gartner’s ‘findings’.

When we have Gartner/IDC/Microsoft staff commenting on FOSS in a Microsoft-friendly ‘news’ site we need to be very careful. Apart from openwashing of Facebook surveillance, e.g. sticking/shoving its proprietary surveillance software (call records hoarder) into Free/libre Android right now, the article is associating FOSS with anti-FOSS concepts. Al Hilwa from Gartner/IDC/Microsoft says “IP” and “IP back into the community.” He speaks of “Creating IP in open source”, “proprietary IP”, and “Open-source IP-based businesses”. Yes, sounds like real ‘advocacy’ of FOSS, eh?

And here comes the Microsoft apologist Adrian Bridgwater. He follows Al Hilwa’s lead with an article titled “If Software Is Eating The World, Then Open Source Will Chew It Up (And Swallow)”.

“In a world where ‘even’ Microsoft embraces open source,” he writes, “surely we need to know what kind of software is eating the world.”

Microsoft does not embrace open source, it "embraces, extends, extinguishes" open source. It’s a destruction strategy, but Microsoft has not yet extinguished it (the third phase). It keeps trying though.

Links 27/4/2015: Debian 9 Named, Linux 4.1 Reaches RC

Posted in News Roundup at 7:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • What is open source? Licensing, history, and more

    Another example of open source: You wouldn’t buy a car with the hood welded shut, so why do we buy proprietary software? If you can’t see what’s going on and see what’s happening under the hood then you’re stuck with the car exactly the way it is and that might not be so great. While some people are fine with that, computer geeks shouldn’t be. We should want to get in there and tinker with it.

  • AMD FP3 Motherboard Ported To Coreboot

    Another AMD motherboard has been ported to work under Coreboot.

    Sage Electronic Engineering, a company that does a lot of Coreboot work for AMD and other firms, has ported the AMD Lamar reference board for Coreboot. AMD Lamar is a consumer reference board used for AMD Kaveri APUs of the FP3 socket.

  • Events

    • A Rousing Start for LinuxFest Northwest

      With around 2,000 registrants, this year’s LFNW seems to be the largest in its history. This not only bodes well for the widespread popularity and acceptance of FOSS in general, but it also bodes well for one of the longest-running FOSS shows here in the Pacific Northwest.

  • CMS

    • An open source, e-commerce friendly CMS

      Developers Peter Ivanov, Alex Raikov, and I came up with the idea for Microweber about five years ago, when we were all having problems building sites with the existing solutions.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

Leftovers

  • Poll: SNP increase lead over Labour
  • Security

    • Google Provides Detailed Analysis of GitHub Attack Traffic

      It wasn’t until March 26 that the attackers actually began targeting two separate resources on GitHub, one of which housed content from GreatFire.org, a censorship monitoring organization in China. The other resource was Chinese language content from the New York Times. The attack on those resources lasted until April 7 and Provos said that the attack wouldn’t have been possible if all of the Web’s links were encrypted.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • University offering free online course to demolish climate denial

      The course coordinator is John Cook, University of Queensland Global Change Institute climate communication fellow, and founder of the climate science myth debunking website Skeptical Science. Cook’s research has primarily focused on the psychology of climate science denial.

  • Finance

    • Charles Gladden: Homeless man employed at US Senate building earns just $360 a week

      Like many of the people who work in menial jobs in the US Senate, Charles Gladden works long, hard hours for very modest pay. Unlike probably everyone else, Mr Gladden is homeless.

      The 63-year-old sweeps and mops, cleans dishes and carries laundry, for take-home pay of around $360 a week. He says he gives most to his children and grandchildren and spends most of his nights at the McPherson Square Metro Station, less than half-a-mile from the White House.

  • Privacy

    • Here’s how you can see and delete your entire Google search history

      The list does not stop at Google’s search engine function. It also includes documentation of searches within users’ email accounts and addresses that may have been typed into Google Maps. The range of personal information available has given rise to concerns over the databases’ potential vulnerability.

      Google has said the company is aware of the dangers associated with storing an extensive amount of personal information on home computers and warns users with a message before they download their entire search archive, asking users to “please read this carefully, it’s not the usual yada yada,” normally seen in warning messages.

      [...]

      But just because a user deletes his or her search history, that does not mean that it disappears completely.

  • Civil Rights

    • The Gordon and Dougie Show

      Douglas Alexander not only facilitated the use of Diego Garcia for torture and extraordinary rendition, in an act of extreme hypocrisy the evil little shit also declared a “marine conservation area” around it. In the 1960’s Britain forcibly deported the entire population of the islands to make way for the US Air Base. Faced with a continual political and legal fight for them to return, Alexander sought to make it impossible with his “marine conservation area”. There is nobody who better represents Scottish Labour’s loss of its soul than Alexander. If Mhairi beats him I shall be extremely happy.

    • 7 whistle-blowers facing more jail time than David Petraeus

      The administration of President Barack Obama once promised to be “the most transparent administration” of all time. Instead, Obama’s Department of Justice has led the most targeted campaign against whistleblowers of any president ever, charging more government employees under the Espionage Act than all previous presidents combined—almost all of whom sit in prison serving sentences up to 30 years.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

Microsoft is Interjecting Itself Into GNU/Linux and Free Software News, Even Events and Foundations

Posted in Debian, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”

Microsoft's chief evangelist

Summary: Microsoft’s entryism strategy is proving effective as Microsoft successfully embeds itself inside the idealogical competition, subverting the competition’s overall message and diluting the competition’s focus on Free software

Debian is out and “PCWorld manages to make the event about Microsoft,” iopkh says. IDG’s aggravation in this case is due to Microsoft spin and PR. The headline says “Debian 8.0 ‘Jessie’ is out and even Microsoft is celebrating”; it was preceded by a number of days by Softpedia, which wrote “Microsoft’s Open Source Team Invites You to Celebrate the Release of Debian 8 Jessie”. It turns out that Microsoft is now trying to aggravate the Debian community from within. Articles with concerns about it were too few, let alone anyone who resorted to rebutting Microsoft’s shameless charm offensive. Our interpretation of this is that by interjecting itself into the Debian announcement Microsoft itself became the ‘news’, even though Debian, which runs on many millions of machines (mostly servers), should be huge news in its own right. The only press coverage about this Debian release (a rare occasion) in corporate media is very limited (embarrassingly so). Given just how many servers out there are running Debian and this scarce (very low amount) of press it received, it is clear that corporate media remains disproportionately brand-oriented and unless there’s profit in coverage of some brand, it simply won’t do it. The most ‘mainstream’ article is now simply titled “Debian 8.0 ‘Jessie’ is out and even Microsoft is celebrating”. Well, of course “Microsoft is celebrating” because “Microsoft loves Linux”, according to Microsoft, which is attacking GNU/Linux all the time. Non-’mainstream’ news sites published decent articles, but who is going to notice them? This is a great example of IDG works; it can claim to have covered important GNU/Linux news, but it has spun it as Microsoft news.

“That’s like the US celebrating Russia’s Victory Day,” Cronos wrote.

“I thought they just fired their “open source” team,” Will Hill responded. Microsoft recently shut down its "open" proxy, but the abusive entyrism is not necessarily over.

In our assessment, this is designed to annoy the developers and further alienate critics of Microsoft. It’s a provocative strategy. It’s effective.

Seeing that Microsoft’s previous mole in FOSS, Mr. Sam Ramji, is now appearing in the Linux Foundation site (a bit like is like seeing Ballmer performance or interview in gnu.org) is equally disgusting and it serves nobody except Microsoft. It sells the impression of acceptance by the GNU/Linux community. Ramji is pro-Linux like that Microsoft mole Elop was pro-Linux. Elop received a $20m reward for destroying Nokia and then returned to Microsoft. Ramji too might one day return to Microsoft. We have mentioned him before along with other Microsoft people who entered the Linux Foundation.

“I got a call from Jim Zemlin,” says Ramji. If he got a phonecall from Zemlin, then it means that Zemlin himself is now wilfully allowing people from Microsoft to lead his foundation — an error which we wrote about before.

Zemlin uses the term “right side of history”, as if working for Microsoft and annoying FOSS communities is nothing to be learned about from history.

Let’s face it; Ramji is no stranger. In fact, everyone in FOSS knows him, but not for the reasons he would hope. People who remember what he did would hate him with a true passion, not baselessly. He did a lot of damage and he has a lot of making up to do, more so than Neela (another former Microsoft guy who now leads a group at the Linux Foundation). Neela also worked for VMware, the GPL violator, which is currently openwashing nasty lock-in to seduce developers into proprietary software with back doors. Ramji will help VMware. Unsurprisingly enough, VMware pays the Linux Foundation, which helps it acquire influence. The Linux Foundation used to promote Free software; now it just promotes proprietary software and given the sources of funding, nobody should be so shocked. The focus of the Linux Foundation is long gone, probably ruined from the inside through staff transitions.

Microsoft’s infiltration into its competition shows that no lessons have been learned from the likes of Nokia or Yahoo! If the “right side of history” is Microsoft demolishing rivals from the inside, then Zemlin is correct.

The Unethical Business of Selling Fear of Free/Libre Software Bugs (Black Duck, Sonatype, and Symantec)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, Google, Marketing at 4:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Snake oil

Summary: The spreading of fear of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is now a growth industry, so proprietary opportunists are eager to capitalise on it, even if by distorting the truth

EARLIER THIS month some Black Duck publicity stunt fooled some journalists into promotion of Black Duck FUD. We saw that persisting until April 20th (one week ago), even in pro-FOSS sites (blogs) that did this days later. IDG made a slideshow out of it. Well, sadly, it cites Black Duck, which tries to sell proprietary software under the guise of Free software promotion.

In reality, Black Duck is not just selling fear of GPL violations — the original 'product' which was 'sold' by this firm. It’s a two-faced firm masquerading as pro-FOSS whilst attacking FOSS. Black Duck and Duck Duck Go both give a bad name to ducks. They pretend to be FOSS or at least openwash themselves (a lie) and they pretend to defend users (also a lie, they merely exploit or monetise users).

In other news, Sonatype reportedly compared FOSS to “Public Health Hazard”. To quote one report: “That’s the assessment of Joshua Corman, CTO at Sonatype, who took to the stage at RSA 2015 to characterize insecure software as a kind of “cyber-asbestos,” widely deployed, inherently dangerous, and eventually carrying an astronomical cost in terms of human suffering and cost to clean up because …we just didn’t know how dangerous it was at the time when we embraced it.”

So Sonatype is again on an anti-Free software binge. It is not the first time (see examples in [1, 2, 3, 4]) and it is easy to see why it is doing this. It’s trying to sell its products, which are nothing to do with Free software. Sonatype’s track record of FOSS FUD is expanding and may one day rival the Microsoft-connected Symantec, which continues its FUD campaign against Android, generating misleading headlines such as “One in Five Android Apps Is Malware” in this case. When people install software from Google Play, then there is virtually no risk, but don’t expect Symantec to properly analyse this. Symantec sells insecurity. To quote the misleading article: “According to Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report, “17 percent of all Android apps (nearly one million total) were actually malware in disguise.” In 2013, Symantec uncovered roughly 700,000 virus-laden apps.”

But where are they found? Are any accessible to most Android users? No, so Symantec is defining it wrongly and framing the issue by saying that many applications’ “primary purpose is to bombard you with ads.” That’s not malware, but they made up a new word.

Google has already responded mostly by removing apps with too many ads (that’s not malware) and saying that Android “antivirus” is snake oil, as Google said before (responding to the likes of Symantec several years ago).

Android now has an industry of snake oil around it because there is a lot of market share there. The same can be said about FOSS, which is why Black Duck and Sonatype are busy badmouthing security aspects of it. They’re all just looking for a quick buck; FUD and reputation damage to FOSS are “collateral damage”.

Patients’ Data at Risk as NHS Reinforces Its Microsoft/Accenture Stockholm Syndrome

Posted in Europe, Mail, Microsoft at 3:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Privatising the NHS and compromising privacy of every Brit with foreign entities

Accenture
CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia

Summary: The worst privacy violator in the world and the firm behind LSE failures are pocketing as much as £0.35 billion of British taxpayers’ money to acquire access to very sensitive data of British people

IT IS being reported in the British media that the NHS, which is gradually moving to adopt more and more Free/libre software, has just given a contract to Microsoft minion Accenture (article by IDG). £0.35 billion are to be spent on mail alone; that’s just crazy! That’s a big — even colossal! — mistake for the NHS to make when budget is tight and the Conservatives try to kill or privatise it. A lot of money for Microsoft/Accenture means that a degree of privatisation is happening here. “The same crew that did in the stock exchange,” iophk notes regarding the role played by Accenture. The article says “NHSmail has almost a million registered accounts and 730,000 active users. It has been running on Microsoft’s Exchange platform since 2009. Accenture is yet to confirm which IT systems it will use.” What a ripoff. £0.35 billion for less than a million users? What a heist! They should have gone with Free software and a British Free software consultancy. But since Conservatives like Cameron insist that encryption is such a nasty thing, no wonder an insecure proprietary alternative might be sought. Need PRISM (and by extension the NSA) be mentioned here?

Several days ago an article was published titled “The NHS must embrace open source to improve”. No doubt that’s true. The article says: “This is according to CIO at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust Rachel Dunscombe, who we recently caught up with to learn more about the transformation facing the UK healthcare system.

“Dunscombe told us that she is a strong supporter of open source in the NHS because it removes many of the risks presented by using proprietary products.”

The risks presented by proprietary products are not just to budget (disproportionately high cost) but also to patients. There have been stories about unencrypted data leaks and this new report from the British press [via Slashdot, which amended the post], calling out Windows, recalls Stuxnet and shows how using Microsoft Windows yourself helps your enemies (espionage): “Malware probers Tillmann Werner, of Crowdstrike, and Felix Leder, of BlueCoat, say the clever cyber-spy tool – said to have put back Iran’s nuclear program by two years – was on the brink of failure thanks to buggy code.

“Stuxnet had to remain undetected to the Iranians or else it would have blown the operation. Unfortunately, a programming blunder would have allowed it to spread to PCs running older and unsupported versions of Windows, and probably causing them to crash as a result. Those blue screens of death would have raised suspicions at the Natanz nuclear lab.”

And Windows continues to be used in British healthcare. This is insane. Another report from IDG in the UK helps Microsoft pretend to care about privacy (see “Microsoft moves to address customers’ concerns about cloud control and transparency”) while it’s actively providing the NSA with back doors, such as those which enabled sabotage in Iran.

If the NHS is serious about money savings and about privacy of patients, then it must immediately drop Windows and other Microsoft traps. As this British report from the other day serves to remind us, Windows ‘sales’ still are falling, largely due to GNU/Linux. It says that “Microsoft has weathered a tough three months, and despite signs of growth in cloud computing, Redmond saw its sales dragged down by dwindling demand from consumers.” Now recall the article above, “Microsoft moves to address customers’ concerns about cloud control and transparency”. Microsoft now wants the NHS to give Microsoft its data, using buzzwords like the ‘cloud’ nonsense. It is clear that the NHS should reject all that and just self-host using Free/libre Open Source software instead. It would cost far less than £0.35 billion and be more reliable, secure, etc.

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