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09.10.20

Malaysian Policy De-mystifies Tone Policing

Posted in Asia, Free/Libre Software at 11:45 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from the Free Software Fellowship

When the leaders of free software organizations want to avoid answering questions about money and conflicts of interest, one of their most popular fudges is to have some sidekick come in and complain about the tone of the question. These are the tone police. Beware.

What, then, is the correct tone for women and volunteers to use when asking husbands and leaders about money?

The Malaysian Government has provided an insight: try to sound like the cartoon character Doraemon. Doraemon is a robotic cat without ears.

The Malaysians have gone a lot further, creating a complete Code of Conduct for women to observe during the Coronavirus lockdown:

  • Put on your make-up
  • Wear a skirt and high heels (see the picture in the advertisement below)
  • Avoid nagging your husband when he is comfortable on the sofa

What happens if you have a Code of Conduct issue? Well, most Codes of Conduct have a reporting procedure. In many free software organizations, it involves sending a report to the leader or the event organizer. If you look around the real world, you’ll notice that in many cases the most serious Code of Conduct abuses are committed by people in positions of authority. Therefore, if free software organizations designate their leaders and close allies to handle CoC complaints, they make it impossible for the most serious complaints to be investigated.

The marital home provides an opportunity for us to understand this: if a Malaysian woman has a Code of Conduct problem, what is she going to do, put on her best Doraemon voice and ask permission to complain? Sadly, that is exactly what the brochure instructs.

In her infamous talk about enforcement at FOSDEM 2019, OSI president Molly de Blanc insists that it is necessary to follow through on community guidelines. She even gives a horrendous picture of a cat behind bars, how would Doraemon feel looking at that?

This is no laughing matter unfortunately. A recent survey found one in five women still believe husbands deserve to beat ‘disobedient’ wives as they enforce Codes of Conduct in the home.

As we read that, we couldn’t help wondering if the rate of domestic homicides will increase in 2020 and if so, is the Code of Conduct to blame for that?

While the wording of this Code of Conduct varies significantly from those used in free software organizations, the principle is the same: trying to justify a situation where some people are more equal than others.

Cat slides

Malaysia_CoC_1

Malaysia_CoC_2

Malaysia_CoC_3

Passing New Laws to Criminalise Those Looking to Hold Criminals Accountable (or Striving to Inform the Public)

Posted in Deception, Law at 11:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Pirate ShipSummary: Under the false assumption that the general public is a bunch of criminals/pirates and people in positions of power are ‘responsible adults’ who must never be criticised new laws are being passed and we’re being left defenseless in the face of gross abuse of power (like things that Wikileaks exposed and Julian Assange now stands trial for)

FIRST, in the name of protecting minorities or vulnerable groups, they passed “hate speech” laws.

In the name of protecting women they set up anti-harassment teams, which on the surface seems commendable.

Then came colourful CoCs (vaguely worded and exceedingly broad, applicable retroactively as well) and concepts such as "tone-policing" (can’t criticise sponsors/patrons, can’t even calm people down). Social movements are, as expected, being used to demonise the messengers, basically leveraged as indirections.

Last month we wrote about how Bill Gates wanted to ban secure communications because he worried about what people said about him.

Earlier this week? “French Government To Make Insulting Mayors A Criminal Offense” (not clickbait; this is also home of the controversial “right to be forgotten” — typically meaning one’s ‘right’ to censor evidence of one’s own crimes).

So Benoît Battistelli and his ilk would be able to arrest their critics? For exposing or talking about crimes?

Where does this end?

What’s the endgame?

Social control media already polices speech by muting, throttling, de-platforming, shadowbanning etc. Is that not enough (yet)? When computer systems, including social control networks and PCs with back doors, offer no power to the user, cui bono?

[Meme] Microsoft-Google Foundation Europe

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Google, Microsoft at 11:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Whose Europe? Not European companies… (or people for that matter)

FSFE payment
Your bank data passed over E-mail

Summary: The ‘real owners’ of public interest groups don’t always work for the public interest and often work against the public interest

The FSFE Explained Diagrammatically

Posted in Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software at 10:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reprinted with permission from the Free Software Fellowship

AS FSFE’s community begins exploring our future, I thought it would be helpful to start with a visual guide to the current structure.

All the information I’ve gathered here is publicly available but people rarely see it in one place, hence the heading. There is no suggestion that anything has been deliberately hidden.

The drawing at the bottom includes Venn diagrams to show the overlapping relationships clearly and visually. For example, in the circle for the General Assembly, all the numbers add up to 29, the total number of people listed on the “People” page of the web site. In the circle for Council, there are 4 people in total and in the circle for Staff, there are 6 people, 2 of them also in Council and 4 of them in the GA but not council.

The financial figures on this diagram are taken from the 2016 financial summary. The summary published by FSFE is very basic so the exact amount paid in salaries is not clear, the number in the Staff circle probably pays a lot more than just salaries and I feel FSFE gets good value for this money.

Some observations about the numbers:

  • The volunteers don’t elect any representatives to the GA, although some GA members are also volunteers
  • From 1,700 fellowship members, only 2 are elected in 2 of the 29 GA seats yet they provide over thirty percent of the funding through recurring payments
  • Out of 6 staff, all 6 are members of the GA (6 out of 29) since a decision to accept them at the last GA meeting
  • Only the 29 people in the General Assembly are full (legal) members of the FSFE e.V. association with the right to vote on things like constitutional changes. Those people are all above the dotted line on the page. All the people below the line have been referred to by other names, like fellow, supporter, community, donor and volunteer.

If you ever clicked the “Join the FSFE” button or filled out the “Join the FSFE” form on the FSFE web site and made a payment, did you believe you were becoming a member with an equal vote? If so, one procedure you can follow is to contact the president as described here and ask to be recognized as a full member. I feel it is important for everybody who filled out the “Join” form to clarify their rights and their status before the constitutional change is made.

join_fsfe_button

I have not presented these figures to create conflict between staff and volunteers. Both have an important role to play. Many people who contribute time or money to FSFE are very satisfied with the concept that “somebody else” (the staff) can do difficult and sometimes tedious work for the organization’s mission and software freedom in general. As I’ve been elected as a fellowship representative, I feel a responsibility to ensure the people I represent are adequately informed about the organization and their relationship with it and I hope these notes and the diagram helps to fulfil that responsibility.

Therefore, this diagram is presented to the community not for the purpose of criticizing anybody but for the purpose of helping make sure everybody is on the same page about our current structure before it changes.

If anybody has time to make a better diagram it would be very welcome.

fsfe_structure_2

join_fsfe

Guest Post: Do Not Want (Thoughts on “Free Software 9/11”, One Year Later)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 10:26 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Post by figosdev

I don’t want Debian — I supported it, all it did was shit on people, lie and WONTFIX.

I don’t want the FSF — I supported it, all it did (since whenever) was shit on people, lie and WONTFIX and betray people. But it didn’t always.

I don’t want Guix — I supported it, all it did was shit on people, lie and betray people.

I don’t want Trisquel — I supported it, everything it does is COMPLETE and absolute bullshit. (It was really good in 2007 — maybe even the best distro that year).

I don’t want Firefox — it’s absolutely horrible shit. It shits directly on the user, all the time. Then it says how great it is.

I don’t really want IceCat — at least it’s (a tiny bit) better than Firefox.

I DON’T want the Linux kernel — not anymore. It’s the Firefox of kernels.

“I want the user (including myself) to be able to control their computing.”I NEVER wanted Wayland or systemd — some people are tenaciously dedicated to the idea of me having these things I don’t want. That’s not freedom though. If you think it is, there’s something fucking wrong with you.

I don’t want GNOME — they’re nothing but traitors, liars and scum. GNOME isn’t software, it’s stalkerware. It hangs out around all sorts of things you use, and there’s no way to get it to fuck right off. Everybody knows you can’t get rid of GNOME. Someday, someday though, we will. If it wasn’t for web browsing, video and graphics editors — I wouldn’t need x11, let alone GNOME.

I don’t want your shit.

I don’t want anything to do with you, or your software — or your corruption and your lies.

Open Source is really just gaslighting, thought-policing and other cult-like abuse. Too much “Free Software” is really just Open Source in disguise. That’s what it’s become — a constant source of betrayal.

I don’t want HarfBuzz. Just go work for Microsoft already! They’re hiring. GNOME is probably all you need on your resume to get hired at Microsoft. Try it!

I want Free Software to actually mean something again.

I don’t want to support all this corruption and lying and bullshit. Why would anybody?

I want the user (including myself) to be able to control their computing.

“The SFC does not care about you or your freedom. They do not care about truth or about people.”I don’t want to support projects that lie about that mattering to them — most do! It doesn’t matter to Trisquel — they don’t give a shit about that!

A year ago, SO MANY projects proved they don’t care about us at all — or about truth. Or about corruption. They don’t care!

The SFC does not care about you or your freedom. They do not care about truth or about people.

Guix does not care about you or your freedom. They do not care about truth or about people.

GNOME does not care. Debian does NOT care. OSI does not care, OSI did not ever care.

I don’t want anything to do with these corporate cult assholes.

But most of the free software movement continues to lap up their bullshit.

Do I still want free software?

“You’ll say it’s just me, while you keep replacing the people leaving with people who have pockets that are deeper and intentions that are shallow.”Yeah, sort of.

But not like this. What these people are offering isn’t free-as-in-freedom — it’s really just bullshit. Bullshit-as-a-Service.

Who does lying to us serve? Not us!

So thanks, but no thanks.

You’ll say it’s just me, while you keep replacing the people leaving with people who have pockets that are deeper and intentions that are shallow.

Is that free software?

“Having control of my computing may not matter to you, even if you lie about it ALL THE TIME — but it still matters to me.”Sort of, I guess. But if that’s free software, have it back–

You can keep it. I’m just going to keep trying to find alternatives.

Because Fuck This, really.

Seriously. Having control of my computing may not matter to you, even if you lie about it ALL THE TIME — but it still matters to me.

Nobody needs FAKE free software.

Licence: Public Domain

Video: Richard Stallman at TEDxGeneva

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Videos at 9:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Free software, free society: Richard Stallman at TEDxGeneva 2014

Summary: An old video where the founder (and still chief) of GNU explains what software freedom is about

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution licence (reuse allowed)

The Corporate Bull Machine

Posted in Deception at 9:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not bullseye but bull****

Dart Arrow

Summary: Reality and perceived reality aren’t the same thing; sadly, a lot of the media (including tech media) is in the business of creating alternative realities for corporate agenda

THE media in 2020 is so frustrating. A decade ago there were still some insightful articles every now and then, delving deep down and exploring/investigating issues rather than parroting/repeating press releases from corporations. The GNOME Foundation case that we've just mentioned is a good example of that; each time ZDNet wrote about the case it was little but a megaphone/loudspeakers for corporate giants that lobby for software patents. when it doesn’t just copy-paste claims from the Linux Foundation it echoes the same message as this foundation’s sponsors (IBM, Microsoft etc.) and bringing attention to pro-software patents groups such as OIN whilst also constantly defaming the FSF. Corporate lies become ‘norm’ and realists are “extreme”…

“The parent company of ZDNet became defunct 9 months ago, but ZDNet is still online, still pushing loads of lies, disguised very thinly as ‘news’.”A lot of the media is sadly an echo chamber of large corporations — the sponsors of such media. This corruption of journalism cuts deep, but some people gradually catch on. The parent company of ZDNet became defunct 9 months ago, but ZDNet is still online, still pushing loads of lies, disguised very thinly as ‘news’. We urge readers of ours to shun ZDNet and several other sites like it*, which mostly exist to lie for the sole purpose of narrative distortion and perception management.
____
* Only yesterday, another CBS site — a sister site of ZDNet — spread FUD against Linux under the guise of ‘security advice’, in effect doing shallow marketing for Kaspersky’s proprietary software, which contains back doors. We’re omitting the link by intention.

The GNOME Foundation Arguably Gave a Patent Troll Even More Legitimacy by Settling and Failing to Dismantle Shoddy Software Patents

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 9:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They’ve legally endorsed software patents

Summary: The IBM-connected GNOME Foundation wants us to think that letting a troll out on the loose is good news or “victory”; but actually, the patents of the troll are still in tact, posing a threat to many and setting no useful precedent (they technically settled over software patents)

THE other day I saw the post — a belated but very detailed post — about the GNOME Foundation’s patent lawsuit (and counter-suit). It’s from an IBMer and we know that IBM is a HUGE fan of software patents. It lobbies for them constantly, not only in the US but everywhere in the world. I was tempted to respond but did not do so until I saw the above video segment. It’s a video that I do not fully agree with and mostly disagree with for reasons specified several times before in relation to this particular lawsuit. Basically, the GNOME Foundation amassed a lot of money for a pro bono fight; there’s no disclosure/explanation what happened to all that money.

“It may seem like a win for Shotwell, but it’s a loss for the overall battle against software patents and arguably, at least by extension, a loss for programming, including Free software.”More importantly, however, the patent troll was left with the shoddy patents (not a single one was thrown out), free to sue lots of companies provided their products aren’t licensed as Free software or ‘open source’ (as per the OSI’s definition). What’s more, the troll got a zero-cost settlement, which can be used as a sort of ‘ammo’ proving the supposed ‘value’ of the patent/s at hand. So the GNOME Foundation did not actually complete the job; as IBM or OIN would have liked, they did not challenge software patents and in fact left the troll on the loose. It may seem like a win for Shotwell, but it’s a loss for the overall battle against software patents and arguably, at least by extension, a loss for programming, including Free software. That troll is still out there with all those patents. Since GNOME is mostly controlled by IBM (or formerly Red Hat), this whole thing shows how IBM policies supersede Red Hat’s. Bruce Perens recently highlighted those problems with OIN, which basically guards software patents from/against Free software-led reforms.

In this particular case the patent could be squashed using prior art, obviousness, and/or abstractness (Sections 101-103), but no such effort was followed through. Microsoft too was reportedly involved. Moreover, the troll in question received these patents from Microsoft’s troll, as we noted several times in the past.

The media never bothered covering this properly. Shallow journalism has become the norm, appeasing big sponsors.

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