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

09.05.20

[Meme] Teaching Kids That Coding Means ‘Put Something on GitHub’ is (Mis)Using Schools to Sell ‘Clients’ to Microsoft (Vendor Lock-in, Monopoly and Indoctrination)

Posted in Deception, Microsoft at 11:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Training (towards becoming dependent on a corporation) is not education

If those kids could read, they'd be very upset: Git is NOT GitHub; Stop interfering with my computer class where I tell pupils Git is just Microsoft GitHub

Summary: GitHub is proprietary software and a sort of E.E.E. (against Git itself); people who mindlessly teach (train) pupils to use GitHub interfaces (or urge Summer of Code interns to use GitHub) are helping nobody but a proprietary empire that’s actively assaulting software freedom

Big Money Can Do Big Damage to Membership-Dependent Organisations (Which Should Remain Accountable to Members, Not Big Sponsors)

Posted in Deception, Finance, FSF, GNU/Linux at 11:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SFC funds
More than enough to cover all salaries for the entire year

SFC IRS
A breakdown of the finances

Summary: How $250,000 for the Software Freedom Conservancy and a million bucks for Stallman’s FSF may have changed the obligation to supporters (in favour of high-profile sponsors, instead; even Microsoft in the former case)

ACCORDING TO Wikipedia, Pineapple Fund “was announced with a post on Reddit on December 14, 2017. The individual used the pseudonym “Pine”, and explained that “My aims, goals, and motivations in life have nothing to do with … being the mega rich. So I’m doing something else: donating the majority of my bitcoins to charitable causes”. The individual behind the fund has remained pseudonymous.”

“Stallman was pressured by the SFC (and SFC people inside the FSF) to resign the following year, apparently based on deception and misrepresentation of the situation.”We alluded to that earlier on in relation to the “$1 million donation from Pineapple Fund,” to quote the FSF. The same year SFC took money from Microsoft (for the first time) it also received $250,000 from Pineapple Fund, a quarter of what the FSF received and 5 times as much as OpenBSD. “Shortly after the fund’s announcement earlier this month,” SFC said, “volunteers and Conservancy staff members applied for its support. That application was granted this week.”

Months later Pineapple Fund vanished. Months beforehand there was this interview, which focused on mental health. These mysterious and anonymous donations apparently came with no strings attached to them; based on our research, nobody really knows the identity of the donor (except hearsay) and it would be misguided (and perhaps unfair) to make guesses. But there’s lingering suspicion that when the FSF bagged this money (maybe SFC alike) priorities changed somewhat. Supporters who were individuals (members) mattered less and sponsors with 7-figure sums became more attractive. Bitcoin, as Stallman likes to say, does not protect anonymity; it’s good at all sorts of things, but not at privacy. As we noted hours ago, Stallman does not believe there was anything fishy about that payment; he told that to his confidants at the FSF. If a payment is made anonymously (to all, not just to some), it won’t have a corrosive effect, except perhaps making an organisation less dependent on its pertinent members. Stallman was pressured by the SFC (and SFC people inside the FSF) to resign the following year, apparently based on deception and misrepresentation of the situation. It was an intense siege by those looking to overthrow the founder. Based on the financial disclosures from the SFC (we published their latest IRS form last month; direct link [PDF]), $250,000 was enough to cover all the salaries that year. The money given to the SFC was in turn bolstering those who undermined the FSF, the bigger recipient of Pineapple Fund’s jackpot. Funny how those things work…

Proprietary Software Giants Telling Us That “Open Source Has Won” Means That “Open Source” is Just Proprietary Software Giants

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, OSI at 10:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What they try to tell us is, monopolists have taken over “Open Source” (and hence “won”)

OSI won

Summary: Don’t fall for the deceitful illusion that monopolies hijacking what they’ve dubbed the “Open Source” ‘movement’ is somehow a ‘win’ or an accomplishment for society at large; the corporate media loves to perpetuate this script, at the expense of actual software freedom

LOOK no further than the Linux Foundation (the real foundation) to understand what a growing number of people have begrudgingly come to accept; we’re not really “winning” but we’re told that we’ve “won” in the same way Hippies were told they had won the antiwar cause. Yeah, like endless wars have stopped since…

“To a lot of people “Open Source” now means GitHub, which is actually proprietary and Microsoft-controlled.”As we put it recently, we’re being thrown a bone. Companies that bomb dark-skinned people tell us they're making progress by banning words that allude to dark-skinned people (if we’re to assume that slavery is limited to one set of ethnicities). Anyway, we mean no disrespect to the cause of diversity and we welcome good conduct or even a Code of Conduct provided it's properly enforced, not just by companies that bomb and attack charities. In reality, as we've repeatedly witnessed, projects are being separated from their founders… by companies that literally profit from separating parents from their babies (yes, we're looking at you, Microsoft!) and they tell us it’s for the better good… or something. They ‘protect’ us… from ‘unruly’ leaders.

“Let’s talk about Free software and software freedom; nothing would piss them off more than the realisation that they blew countless billions trying to squash the ‘wrong’ thing…”Right now, as 2020 approaches winter (and the end of the year) we must come to realise that “Open Source” means nothing; if it means anything — or if it ever meant anything to begin with — it’s an attack on or a distracting prop (diversion away from) software freedom. To a lot of people “Open Source” now means GitHub, which is actually proprietary and Microsoft-controlled. As if gifting Microsoft (outsourcing everything to Microsoft) is ‘opening’ or ‘liberation’ or ‘goodwill’…

If we wish to make progress — real progress — we need to abandon this mirage of “Open Source” and let OSI die with it (look who controls the OSI this year).

For many years we used the term “Open Source” (since inception of this site), but that doesn’t mean we should perpetually refuse to let it go. Even Bruce Perens, who came up with its definition, thinks it's time to move on. To Microsoft, with GitHub, the next phase is proprietary software spun as “open” ("Inner Source") — in effect the “extinguish” phase. Let’s abandon what Microsoft has in effect hijacked before the “extinguish” is completed. Let’s talk about Free software and software freedom; nothing would piss them off more than the realisation that they blew countless billions trying to squash the ‘wrong’ thing…

Bug Squashing and Diversity

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 9:38 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock

Over the weekend, I was fortunate enough to visit Tirana again for their first Debian Bug Squashing Party.

Every time I go there, female developers (this is a hotspot of diversity) ask me if they can host the next Mini DebConf for Women. There have already been two of these very successful events, in Barcelona and Bucharest. It is not my decision to make though: anybody can host a MiniDebConf of any kind, anywhere, at any time. I’ve encouraged the women in Tirana to reach out to some of the previous speakers personally to scope potential dates and contact the DPL directly about funding for necessary expenses like travel.

The confession

If you have read Elena’s blog post today, you might have seen my name and picture and assumed that I did a lot of the work. As it is International Women’s Day, it seems like an opportune time to admit that isn’t true and that as in many of the events in the Balkans, the bulk of the work was done by women. In fact, I only bought my ticket to go there at the last minute.

When I arrived, Izabela Bakollari and Anisa Kuci where already at the venue getting everything ready. They looked busy, so I asked them if they would like a bonus responsibility, presenting some slides about bug squashing that they had never seen before while translating them into Albanian in real-time. They delivered the presentation superbly, it was more entertaining than any TED talk I’ve ever seen.

Izabela, Anisa

The bugs that won’t let you sleep

The event was boosted by a large contingent of Kosovans, including 15 more women. They had all pried themselves out of bed at 03:00 am to take the first bus to Tirana. It’s rare to see such enthusiasm for bugs amongst developers anywhere but it was no surprise to me: most of them had been at the hackathon for girls in Prizren last year, where many of them encountered free software development processes for the first time, working long hours throughout the weekend in the summer heat.

and a celebrity guest

Jonatoni

A major highlight of the event was the presence of Jona Azizaj, a Fedora contributor who is very proactive in supporting all the communities who engage with people in the Balkans, including all the recent Debian events there. Jona is one of the finalists for Red Hat’s Women in Open Source Award. Jona was a virtual speaker at DebConf17 last year, helping me demonstrate a call from the Fedora community WebRTC service fedrtc.org to the Debian equivalent, rtc.debian.org. At Mini DebConf Prishtina, where fifty percent of talks were delivered by women, I invited Jona on stage and challenged her to contemplate being a speaker at Red Hat Summit. Giving a talk there seemed like little more than a pipe dream just a few months ago in Prishtina: as a finalist for this prestigious award, her odds have shortened dramatically. It is so inspiring that a collaboration between free software communities helps build such fantastic leaders.

With results like this in the Balkans, you may think the diversity problem has been solved there. In reality, while the ratio of female participants may be more natural, they still face problems that are familiar to women anywhere.

One of the greatest highlights of my own visits to the region has been listening to some of the challenges these women have faced, things that I never encountered or even imagined as the stereotypical privileged white male. Yet despite enormous social, cultural and economic differences, while I was sitting in the heat of the summer in Prizren last year, it was not unlike my own time as a student in Australia and the enthusiasm and motivation of these young women discovering new technologies was just as familiar to me as the climate.

Hopefully more people will be able to listen to what they have to say if Jona wins the Red Hat award or if a Mini DebConf for Women goes ahead in the Balkans (subscribe before posting).

[Meme] Microsoft’s GitHub as Assassination Cradle

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The bone hurting juice meme: What happened to gnu? It's Microsoft's baby now

Summary: The migration of some GNU projects to Microsoft’s proprietary territories is disturbing enough on its own; that some GNU developers try to 'disown' their father is even worse

[Meme] Is Open Source a Lot More Polite and ‘Professional’ Than Free Software?

Posted in Debian, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, OSI at 9:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not only Linus Torvalds and RMS lose their temper at times

Babadook Scream: OSI... More professional...

Summary: The notorious “hearty fuck you” E-mail (which led to apology) shows that temper tantrums happen everywhere (this is the OSI’s co-founder; the other OSI co-founder is arguably a lot worse)

Bribing Free Software Institutions: A Primer

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, FSF, Microsoft at 9:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Blood-sucking sponsors rarely do any good to public interest groups

Flat mosquito

Summary: The corrupting influence of money (changing priorities inside public interest groups) cannot be discounted and ignored; as it turns out, some people are still studying what inside the FSF led to the expulsion (forced resignation) of its very own founder, who in effect lost his voice over some bogus ‘scandal’ one year ago

WE may not be among the most ‘mainstream’ of sites (a rather meaningless criterion in its own right). But at least we can say that: 1) we never ever compromised a source; 2) we never took corporate money; 3) we have a fantastic track record of accuracy (almost never had to amend/correct an article). We focus on issues we understand very well, e.g. EPO affairs, and we have clear goals. We revise the goals if the goalposts move (e.g. software patents in Europe being spun as “Hey Hi” for buzzwords’ sake) and we never try to appease powerful corporations. If they’re happy with what we write, then we might in fact be on the wrong route.

“…we never try to appease powerful corporations. If they’re happy with what we write, then we might in fact be on the wrong route.”The battle for credibility isn’t easy. It took years for Richard Stallman to earn respect, attract many developers (to join the GNU Project), and then ‘give birth’ to his second ‘baby’, the FSF. His first-born (GNU) is still under his control, officially at least but maybe not technically (some GNU developers keep trying to silence and marginalise him).

We recently became aware of a discussion about the FSF’s money supply. Redacted are all the names of those involved, as it does not really seem to matter who said what. It’s the substance that matters. We only care about the underlying facts.

“I know nothing about bribery within the FSF,” said one person. That basically alludes to allegations of corporate money (“sponsorship”) changing priorities at the FSF.

“We recently became aware of a discussion about the FSF’s money supply.”“Your concept of bribery is probably a bit narrow,” said the response. “This is not an insult, your concept of bribery is probably more or less what/how most people think. First of all, it probably doesn’t consider favors as bribery. Nobody who talks about bribery really cares about the money itself, they care about the effects of bribery. If Microsoft accidentally dropped a million on the sidewalk, and the FSF found it and couldn’t find anybody to claim it, and they were legally allowed to keep it — and nothing changed, nobody would care. I wouldn’t.”

Please note that nobody is claiming that Microsoft gave money to the FSF. To the FSFE, however, Microsoft did give money and the FSFE spoke about that in public. Remember that FSFE is not FSF; they’re not connected, albeit the names are similar.

“If company A pays organization B and organization B continues to bend further and further towards the well-established goals of company A and farther from the goals of organization B, that’s the problem,” said the person. “So the questions that lead people to pursue these concerns are: 1. Has the organization changed? 2. Has it changed in a way that does harm to the organization? 3. Does this harm also benefit any corporations/parties who stand against the organization? 4. Have those corporations/parties also given money to the organization? BONUS: 5. Does the corporation/party have a well-established history of making 1-4 happen via bribes?”

“Please note that nobody is claiming that Microsoft gave money to the FSF.”Remember that this is a discussion about the FSF itself. There’s a growing concern that a bunch of large donations have, in recent years, engineered the present outcome.

“It’s sort of like looking at a smoking gun,” said the person, along with “a body on the ground, and the person holding the gun while it still points at the body — and trying to figure out if the person with the gun shot the person on the ground. Maybe it’s a wild coincidence, but it makes a lot of sense to ask. This is a vast oversimplification, not only of the issues and concerns, but of the things we already know. But we have more than enough reason to ask. As to what to look for, we have the stuff that is already public.”

Remember when the FSF received a very large and anonymous donation? “I’ve had suspicions as to the origin and the motives behind the huge donations a couple of years ago,” said a person close to Richard Stallman (RMS), “but RMS assures me there’s nothing fishy about them.”

“Remember when the FSF received a very large and anonymous donation?”This is interesting. People who follow the FSF closely will know what donation (or donations) this is about. “Which means that someone assured him,” said the reply to that. “It’s a fallacy to assume he can’t be manipulated. He’s neither as smart or as dumb as he looks — some people think he’s a genius and they’re right. Some people think he’s an idiot and they’re wrong. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be manipulated — I don’t think he could be corrupted, only fooled. If you want to understand what happened inside the organization, you will learn more looking at things that happened outside it (which are similar). That’s not the only way, it’s the easy way.”

“All I know about corporate patrons is what’s on the public web pages,” said the person close to Richard Stallman.

At the moment is looks like this:

FSF

Notice that very large corporations are no longer listed, unlike previous years. Maybe the FSF no longer accepts their money or maybe they no longer wish to sponsor the FSF.

“That may be all that is necessary,” said the sceptic about the money’s source, as “Marcia Wilbur’s infographic is relevant. It doesn’t reveal much, as much as it summarizes and illustrates what we know.”

Here’s her infographic, which we reproduced here last month:

Where's My Refund?!

“My advice,” said the sceptic, or “the best I can possibly give you — is to pay more attention to what’s happening in the world of free software and even “open source”. Watching open source is like watching piranhas or lions attacking. It’s not pretty, but you learn something. To be specific, you learn what sorts of tactics they’re leaning on “right now”.”

“Next week marks exactly one year since the Seattle Police Department (initially King County Sheriff’s Office) was asked for records on the arrest at Bill Gates’ home (for pedophilia). That interestingly enough coincided (one day apart) with the media’s attack on RMS.”It then goes on a bit of a tangent: “On that note, in 2020 a lot of orgs seem to have pulled back. I doubt it’s just because of pressure from activists, but it’s possible. I think it’s got more to do with the pattern of troop withdrawal in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. That pattern happens over and over again — because of pressure from peace activists? No, it usually happens for P.R. and because the troops (resources) have done what they came to do, and now it’s time to move to other things. So the best time to “watch” the money is from 2017-2019. Not that you should ignore the present, just that the present is less likely to yield the clues you’re looking for.”

There’s a lot more in there. But the bottom line is, some people inside the FSF are eager to better understand the forces leveraged against software freedom and the role money may have played in that. No doubt, in our mind at least, what happened a year ago to RMS was part of a broader strategy which continues to this day. Owing to more and more leaks that we receive we’re able to piece together pertinent bits that are factual, drawing conclusions and making comparisons that are defensible. Some people still say that the events of September 2019 were “free software 9/11″. So in a sense we’re now in the first anniversary of those events. Next week marks exactly one year since the Seattle Police Department (initially King County Sheriff’s Office) was asked for records on the arrest at Bill Gates’ home (for pedophilia). That interestingly enough coincided (one day apart) with the media's attack on RMS. In other words, one day after Gates’ MIT scandal (bribes trafficked via Epstein) led to demand for police records the media started attacking RMS, twisting his words to manufacture a false ‘pedophilia’ scandal at MIT (diverting the heat to RMS).

The Tragic Stories of Microsoft Mishandling People With Special Needs (to the Point Where Some Needlessly Die)

Posted in Microsoft at 7:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: Microsoft Grossly Exaggerates the Value of its Hiring Program for People with Autism, by Yuval Levental | For Autism Awareness Month, Microsoft Spreads More Delusional Views About Autism, Claiming “Disability is a Strength” (Which Really Reflects Themselves)

The cemetary love

Summary: The story of Paul Hobson, an overworked Microsoft employee whose problems were systematically ignored until his death (“crashed head-on into a tree”)

TECHRIGHTS intends to reproduce articles some time soon, focusing on what goes on inside Microsoft, including some really tragic stories. Believe it or not, Microsoft insiders oftentimes turn to this site in order to better understand the bosses’ lies; the same is true for staff of the European Patent Office (EPO).

“Believe it or not, Microsoft insiders oftentimes turn to this site in order to better understand the bosses’ lies…”As readers are aware, we’ve been posting and reposting a number of pieces from a former Microsoft employee. He really spills the beans, based on things he saw and heard (and has hard evidence of) inside the company. “I included my correspondence with HR execs and my management,” he told us, “including but not limited to them thanking for me “removing their blinders and giving them a kick in the ass they needed.””

Balloon going to die“Three tweets to Satya [Nadella] circumvented both his plausible deniability and his chain of command while I was employed there,” he said, and that “extended my employment at Microsoft by like 6 months… which I used to play Counter Strike with superior bandwidth and talk shit (hard truths) to MS management, execs, and HR.”

We’ve been speaking to him for a while now. He’s definitely no friend of the company and he wrote about his experiences years ago [1, 2, 3]. “I actually had to remove all screenshots from the article above because Microsoft bitched at Medium and accused me of doxxing them,” he told me. We consider reproducing it here with all those missing screenshots. Microsoft cannot censor us like it censors Medium. In fact, we may soon be moving everything to hosting in the Netherlands, where the site will be even harder to censor. There’s already a physical server, but no migration timeline (yet).

“I don’t think I’ve withheld anything that I haven’t already published,” he told us. He then highlighted to us the story of a colleague, noting: “Here is email proof of them ignoring a coworker with mental health issues who ultimately drove off the road after being sent home early for mental health issues…”

Here’s a record of what was published (in case it ever gets removed):


Story time: My friend Paul was having trouble in his job at Microsoft. He was getting overworked on an understaffed team and wasn’t getting the respect he was due. This would stress/upset him so much that he wouldn’t eat/sleep for days at a time but would still come into work. Although he should have stayed home, he didn’t feel like he could because his team was understaffed and this would create a burden on his teammates despite how they mistreated him because he was a mensch in every sense of the word. This caused him to hallucinate at work. The first time that this happened. We had his wife come in and take him home. His managers’ response to this wasn’t to hire more people or get to the root of this problem, but instead to place the blame on Paul because he was bipolar and send him home for a few days.

Paul Hobson e-mail #1

Red Flags:

1. Someone that is hallucinating due to sleep deprivation shouldn’t be driving for obvious reasons.

2. Bipolar people can be incredibly high-functioning if they’re put in the right environment.

3. Many of his concerns about the team and his environment were spot on.

Paul wasn’t the type to ask for accommodations, so I reached out to the head of our org, HR, and ERIT (employee relations lawyers in the company) the second time that this happened and they did nothing just like his manager.

Paul Hobson e-mail #2

Fast forward a few months to February 26, 2016, Paul was having issues again. Other people in the office noticed that Paul just hadn’t been himself for a few days and he was written off again as bipolar had to be sent home again for a cool-off period. This time he drove himself. Although I would have driven him myself, I didn’t know that this was going on at the time because I was being retaliated against by my management/HR department and was placed on admin leave pending an independent medical evaluation. On his way home, Paul, who was an accomplished autocrosser and driver, called his wife, drove his truck off on embankment, went airborne, and crashed head-on into a tree. He died instantly, 4 years ago today.

Paul Hobson e-mail #3

Some say it was an accident, but plenty of others believe that it was intentional as he had been suicidal in the past. Not to mention the fact that the circumstances of his accident just being off, he was on a familiar road in the afternoon and calling his wife beforehand. My fears were founded and my leadership and the people in HR that treated me like I was crazy or out of line for taking issue with his treatment changed their tune. My badge access was restored almost immediately upon his death and I was given a new role in the same org. This then opened the door for me to meet with inept HR execs who were adamant on pleading ignorance to my treatment and Paul’s issues despite being on the To: line. Apologies were made by the VP and nothing changed but I put my feet on their table and made sure they felt me. The moral of this story is simple. It’s not OK to dismiss the problems of people because they’re bipolar nor is it OK to wait for people to ask for accommodation in order to better accommodate them; especially when you have a social science degree and “Human” in your title

Paul was a brilliant and passionate engineer working at his dream job. He left behind a wife and a daughter. I can’t blame anyone for his death, but I am forced to wonder what could have been if more people had listened to him instead of writing him off as crazy. RIP Paul Hobson.

Paul Hobson


Notice this comment where one “sure hope[s] they use this as a case study in what not to do to avoid getting sued in the future…”

The reply? “Think Microsoft is afraid of a lawsuit? Good luck finding a lawyer within 300 miles of Redmond that will represent you against them. It’s like… this company was founded by the son of one of the most prominent attorneys in the country, representing the likes of Goldman Sachs, and Halliburton. They’re a law firm with a software problem… You’re much better off avoiding courts and keeping the fish out of water. [...] They’re a law firm with a software problem. They love lawsuits. Lawsuits usually mean that they get to settle out of court, sign an NDA, and go away. It’s expensive, but minuscule compared to the revenue generated by said behavior, hence why they persist unabashedly.”

People die, but Bill Gates keeps getting richer (and remains completely unaccountable).

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

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