05.20.15

Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

Posted in Asia, Deception, Microsoft at 6:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Public display of hatred

Narendra Modi

Summary: Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public

E

ARLIER this year we repeatedly wrote that upon India's adoption of a Free/Open Source software-leaning policy Microsoft would attempt to paint itself "Open Source", or misleadingly associate Windows with "Open Source" (Microsoft is now openwashing Windows by throwing some Windows Communication Foundation code out there). We were only partly right because Microsoft is now making the decision to actually attack the judgment of India’s government.

Big mistake. It’s offensive and potentially offending.

Microsoft pretends to be “Open Source”-friendly but at the same time it lobbies India government’s against rational, pro-India policy — a policy that would create many jobs in India and improve national security. India, being a software-producing giant, needs Microsoft as much as Norway needs lumber imports from the Sahara. It is worth reminding readers that several months ago Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to the US and met Microsoft’s CEO in person. See our past articles about Microsoft’s influence in the Indian government, where officials are notoriously corruptible.

Corporate Media to Microsoft’s Rescue

Here is the Business Standard (corporate press of India) helping Microsoft to get its message (lobbying) out. To quote: “The technology-savvy Narendra Modi government may have upset large software firms, especially Microsoft, in its bid to be more efficient and transparent. In March, the government announced an open-source policy that makes it mandatory for all future applications and services to be designed using the open-source software (OSS). In case of an exception, where proprietary or closed-source software (CSS) is deployed, officials have to justify their decision.

“Microsoft pretends to be a victim merely because governments want Free/libre software code and open standards.”“Microsoft India chairman Bhaskar Pramanik told Business Standard the government’s preference for open source is not an issue. However, putting a clause where use of anything other than open source has to be justified is an area of concern.”

How so?

This is a reminder of Microsoft’s unique stance (no other company is named here) and feeling/sense of entitlement. When the British government chose to go with open standards for document formats (ODF) Microsoft attacked the government’s decision rather than comply by properly supporting the standard. Microsoft is upset not about the policy but about rivals of Microsoft getting more of an opportunity. Microsoft pretends to be a victim merely because governments want Free/libre software code and open standards. What’s good for taxpayers is very seldom good for Microsoft.

Calling Proprietary “Open Source”

Speaking of India and its submissive corporate media, the Indian press is wrong yet again (just earlier today). Cyanogen, a proxy of Microsoft (classic embrace extend and extinguish manoeuvre by Microsoft), is not “open source” as this headline from the Economic Times (corporate media) foolishly claims. “US-based Cyanogen,” says the article, “the developer of an open-source mobile operating system, will open an office in India within the next three months, and plans to acquire startups, according to a senior company executive.”

“Microsoft is unable to bring Android apps to Windows, so it is trying to steal Android itself.”It is not an “open-source mobile operating system” because the company, Cyanogen (not to be confused with CyanogenMod), plans to put Microsoft proprietary software in the operating system of another company (Google), exploiting Google’s FOSS-friendly nature. Here is a new reminder (from yesterday) regarding what Microsoft wants/hopes to turn Android into: “Today, they’ve added phone support for beta testers – those who’ve joined the Microsoft Office Preview community on Google+ and sign up for the apps you want to try. You’ll then be able to find them on the Google Play Store, where the apps have dropped “for tablet” from their name.”

So Microsoft is now using Google+ to screw Google and take away Android from Google, turning the platform into just a carrier of Microsoft’s proprietary software, with extra spying of course. Based on [1] (below), there is a grand plan. Microsoft is unable to bring Android apps to Windows, so it is trying to steal Android itself. It takes something which is Free software and turns it into proprietary software that spies on users (turning them into products to be sold to spies, advertisers, and so on).

Microsoft Wants Everyone’s Data

Based on this new article, StackStorm is now playing along with this kind of agenda, giving Microsoft data to spy on. To quote: “StackStorm CEO Evan Powell says StackStorm can be used to not only automate that management of application workloads on the Microsoft Azure cloud, but also other cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services or an OpenStack-compatible cloud.”

“Indian officials would have to be out of their minds (or corrupt) to continue procurement of Microsoft software after the NSA leaks, among other revelations about Microsoft’s crude business practices.”How foolish. Microsoft is increasingly trying to exploit users for their data and based on this new article from PopSci, Microsoft is now trying to lure children into proprietary software that spies on children. As the article puts it: “This grim declaration is a part of [Microsoft's] De Cicco Remu’s push for pencil-less classrooms. She believes pencils, paper, and chalkboards are all outdated methods of teaching. If De Cicco Remu has her way, “inking”, or using a stylus and a tablet, will be the new handwriting. Also, kids need to have the appropriate products–all Microsoft, of course. (She plugs Office 365 and OneNote as being helpful for classroom settings.)”

These are surveillance products and it is worth recalling Microsoft’s special relationship with the NSA. Indian officials would have to be out of their minds (or corrupt) to continue procurement of Microsoft software after the NSA leaks, among other revelations about Microsoft’s crude business practices.

Modi is renowned as somewhat of a nationalist (as in, looking after his nation’s interests) and he holds a Master of Arts degree in political science. He should be wise enough to know that Microsoft is no friend of India.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Developers ‘uninterested’ in tweaking iOS and Android apps for Windows

    Developers are said to be reluctant to modify iPhone and Android apps for Windows Phone over doubts over app quality and how easy the process will be

Links 20/5/2015: Containers, OpenStack, and EXT4 Corruption

Posted in News Roundup at 3:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Lee Schlesinger: No one nowadays objects to FOSS

    I’m Lee Schlesinger, currently managing editor for the Spiceworks Community. Spiceworks provides a free downloadable help desk and network inventory application, and hosts a community for IT pros to discuss both work and off-topic issues. Though we have a pretty popular Linux group in the community, many of the community members, who we call SpiceHeads, work in Microsoft-centric shops.

  • Huawei launches 10KB LiteOS to power the internet of things

    Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is preparing to launch an operating system for the internet of things that’s just 10 kilobytes in size. The company says that its “LiteOS” is the “lightest” software of its kind and can be used to power a range of smart devices — from wearables to cars. Huawei predicts that by 2025 there will be roughly 100 billion internet-connected devices in the world, with 2 million new sensors deployed every hour. The company also said that the OS would be “opened to all developers” to allow them to quickly create their own smart products — although it’s unclear whether this means that LiteOS will be fully open-source. Huawei says LiteOS also supports “zero configuration, auto-discovery, and auto-networking.”

  • Electronic IDs need open source tools

    In Sweden there is a service called BankID, it’s an electronic identity service. Banks issue the electronic ID which can be used by companies, banks and government agencies to authenticate and conclude agreements with individuals over the internet. A few months ago however it was decided that BankID software on Linux would no longer be supported. Finding an alternative can be difficult for Linux users.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • OpenStack: Ready for more enterprise adoption?

      OpenStack is ready for enterprise deployment, but there are rough spots that is likely to relegate it to new workloads and self-service developer use, according to Forrester Research.

    • ​Red Hat brings Gluster to OpenStack shared file service

      At OpenStack Summit, Red Hat announced it was releasing a technology preview of Red Hat Gluster Storage with integration into OpenStack’s new Manila shared file system project.

    • The OpenStack Foundation Rolls Out a Community App Catalog

      A foundation can do a lot to unite a community–just look at the example set by The Linux Foundation. This week, the OpenStack Foundation has rolled out a community application catalog built to facilitate collaboration and sharing on the OpenStack scene, where many IT administrators are wrestling with deploying the open cloud platform. The concept is to encourage administrators and others to leverage the work that has already been produced in OpenStack deployments.

    • MapR Reacts to Gartner Findings on Hadoop Implementation

      Researchers at Gartner have been in the news for throwing some shade on Hadoop with the results of a new study that found that Hadoop is, well, hard. There are just not enough skilled professionals that can claim mastery of the platform, among other issues. Gartner, Inc.’s 2015 Hadoop Adoption Study, involving 284 Gartner Research Circle members, found that only 125 respondents who completed the whole survey had already invested in Hadoop or had plans to do so within the next two years.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 5.0 Open-Source Office Suite Has Been Branched

      Branching LibreOffice 5.0 now puts it under a hard feature freeze while the beta one release is to follow quite soon followed by a second LO 5.0 beta in early June. Four release candidates for LibreOffice 5.0 will come during June and July while the official release of LibreOffice 5 is still slated for the end of July or early August.

  • CMS

    • Free, Open Source & Feature Rich: An Overview of DotCMS

      dotCMS has claimed a desirable chunk of the enterprise market by landing and working alongside large clients such as Standard & Poor’s, Wiley Publishing, Thomson Reuters Foundation and Hospital Corporation of America. As such, it’s reputation as an enterprise solution is growing fast.

  • Healthcare

    • The future of open source in health IT

      I’ve known Fred for about 15 years or so, first as a contributor to OpenEMR and later we accidentally met in person at the University of Texas. It’s pretty cool to come face-to-face with folks you’ve only know online and, mostly, from working with their contributed code! Over the years, Fred has hosted a couple of open source healthcare IT conferences and done some great work in the field for ClearHealth/MirrorMed with Dave Ulhman and now focusing on open data.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Node.js and io.js to merge under Node.js Foundation

      The merger was put to a vote on GitHub by io.js developer Mikeal Rogers, who initially proposed the merger in February, and the io.js technical committee voted to approve the merger yesterday. According to Rogers, the team will continue releasing io.js versions while the convergence takes place, but after the merger is complete, the io.js working groups and technical committee will join the Node.js Foundation under renamed titles.

    • Code.org and College Board Team Reach Out for Talented High School Coders

      The goals of the program are to provide high-quality computer science instruction at the high school level and to identify potentially talented computer students who are in demographics underserved by the IT industry, such as women and ethnic minorities.

Leftovers

  • IT Workers Report Significant Decrease in Stress Levels

    Good news for stressed out IT professionals—a TEKsystems survey of more than 1,000 IT workers indicates a vast positive change in the stability of IT staffing environments as compared to a year ago.

  • Hackathons 101: How to Hack Your Way to the Top
  • Security

    • Oracle Patches the Venom Security Issue in All Supported VirtualBox Branches
    • Is SELinux good anti-venom?

      Dan Berrange, creator of libvirt, sums it up nicely on the Fedora Devel list:

      “While you might be able to crash the QEMU process associated with your own guest, you should not be able to escalate from there to take over the host, nor be able to compromise other guests on the same host. The attacker would need to find a second independent security flaw to let them escape SELinux in some manner, or some way to trick libvirt via its QEMU monitor connection. Nothing is guaranteed 100% foolproof, but in absence of other known bugs, sVirt provides good anti-venom for this flaw IMHO.”

    • Tuesday’s security updates
    • DDoS reflection attacks are back – and this time, it’s personal

      At the start of 2014, attackers’ favorite distributed denial of service attack strategy was to send messages to misconfigured servers with a spoofed return address – the servers would keep trying to reply to those messages, allowing the attackers to magnify the impact of their traffic.

    • Another HTTPS Vulnerability Rattles The Internet

      Another HTTPS vulnerability has started to make its rounds earlier this morning. Dubbed Logjam by its researchers, the vulnerability stems from the US’s encryption export mandate back in the 1990s. This particular vulnerability, in the transport-layer security layer protocol, breaks the Diffie-Hellman perfect forward-secrecy. Susceptibility to the vulnerability is depended on servers and clients supporting the DHE_EXPORT encryption scheme, or using a key less-than-or-equal to 1024 bits.

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Europe faces second revolt as Portugal’s ascendant Socialists spurn austerity

      Europe faces the risk of a second revolt by Left-wing forces in the South after Portugal’s Socialist Party vowed to defy austerity demands from the country’s creditors and block any further sackings of public officials.

    • Fox News Omits Mention Of Dangerous Consequences Of Arizona GOP Welfare Restrictions

      But the measure will not only hurt those who need such programs most, it may also increase costs to the state in the long run. As Liz Schott, a welfare policy analyst, explained to the AP: “Long-term welfare recipients are often the most vulnerable, suffering from mental and physical disabilities, poor job histories and little education … But without welfare, they’ll likely show up in other ways that will cost taxpayers, from emergency rooms to shelters to the criminal justice system.”

    • Accountability? How Overseers Let Charters off the Hook; $3.3 Billion Spent (Part 4)

      Earlier in this special report series, CMD revealed how states that do not hold their charter schools and authorizers accountable have the upper hand when the U.S. Department of Education (ED) evaluates applications to the quarter-billion-dollar-a-year charter schools program. But if the review process is deeply flawed, the oversight of the $3.3 billion disbursed within the charter schools program is not much better.

    • Austerity and Neoliberalism in Greece

      Austerity is about shifting the burden of an economic crisis from one part of the population to another.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • President Obama Rolls Back Some Police Militarization… Police Flip Out

      We’ve had a bunch of stories lately about the increase in militarized police and what a ridiculous and dangerous idea it is. As we’ve discussed in the past, much of this came from the Defense Department and its 1033 program, which takes decommissioned military equipment and gives it to police. This results in bizarre situations like the LA School District police having a bunch of grenade launchers. The program is somewhat infamous for its lack of rules, transparency and oversight.

    • The 85-Year-Old Nun Who Went to Prison for Embarrassing the Feds Is Finally Free

      Sister Megan Rice, the 85-year-old activist nun who two years ago humiliated government officials by penetrating and vandalizing a supposedly ultra-high-security uranium storage facility, has finally been released from prison. A federal appeals court on Friday overturned the 2013 sabotage convictions of Rice and two fellow anti-nuclear activists, Michael Walli, 66, and Greg Boertje-Obed, 59, ruling that that their actions—breaking into Tennessee’s Y-12 National Security Complex and spreading blood on a uranium storage bunker—did not harm national security.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • EU’s ongoing attempt to kill Net Neutrality forever

      For more than two years hard negotiations have been conducted within European institutions regarding the regulation proposal on telecommunications, which now contains two main chapters, one on roaming and the other on Net Neutrality. In 2014, a lot of work was done by citizen organisations to ensure that the European Parliament would protect Net Neutrality and uphold the rights of citizens to access a non-discriminatory, guaranteed access to a neutral and transparent Internet networks.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Popcorn Time Now Streams Movies To A Browser

        Popcorn Time has been called the Netflix for pirated movies, but it requires the installation of a desktop application. Not anymore. Now thanks to a site called Popcorn Time In Your Browser you’re just a couple of clicks away from watching a pirated movie stream.

        The in-browser app works much like the desktop version, remotely streaming torrent files from YTS through Coinado. Users do not need to install anything, and from what I can tell, the torrent files are never stored locally on the user’s machine. Just click on a title, wait a few seconds and bam, a pirated movie starts playing.

      • Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood Insists His Emails With The MPAA Are Super Secret

        Last we had checked in on the ongoing legal wrangling between Google and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, a court had ruled pretty strongly against Hood, accusing him of acting in “bad faith,” for “the purpose of harassing” Google in violation of its First Amendment rights. Checking back in on the case to see what’s been going on, it appears that things have continued to get more and more heated. A little while after that ruling slamming Hood, Wingate ordered Hood to provide a bunch of information to Google as part of the discovery process for the case — including, bizarrely, responses to Techdirt’s FOIA request, which we had declined to continue after Hood’s office demanded over $2,000 and made it clear that they still likely wouldn’t give us anything.

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