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Links 4/10/2015: Linux 4.2.3 , 4.1.10; MPlayer 1.2 released

Posted in News Roundup at 8:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Curious about Linux? Try Linux Desktop on the Cloud

      Linux maintains a very small market share as a desktop operating system. Current surveys estimate its share to be a mere 2%; contrast that with the various strains (no pun intended) of Windows which total nearly 90% of the desktop market. For Linux to challenge Microsoft’s monopoly on the desktop, there needs to be a simple way of learning about this different operating system. And it would be naive to believe a typical Windows user is going to buy a second machine, tinker with partitioning a hard disk to set up a multi-boot system, or just jump ship to Linux without an easy way back.

  • Server

    • A gentle introduction to microservices

      What are microservices? Have you heard the phrase “microservices” used in a discussion of modern application development and wondered what it’s all about?

  • Kernel Space

    • The Art of Communicating with LKML

      For most users of distros, the distro bug system is the first line of interaction when something kernel related breaks on their system. This makes sense: the kernel most users are using is packaged by a distro so the maintainers should be the first ones to take a look at the problem. Inevitably though, something will arise such that the solution cannot come from the distro maintainers and must come from the greater kernel community. Sometimes the distro maintainers can do the follow up but there may be a request for the bug reporter or reproducer to contact the kernel mailing list directly. Now everything depends on how successful the person is in communicating with LKML.

    • Linux 4.2.3
    • Linux 4.1.10
    • There’s A Lot Of Exciting AMDGPU DRM Code Brewing For Eventual Catalyst Support

      One of the big items still in the works as part of AMD’s unified Linux driver strategy is that the Catalyst proprietary driver will be isolated to user-space and make use of the AMDGPU kernel DRM driver. Being publicly now in development in a few code branches are changes to the AMD DRM code for beginning to suit more of it to Catalyst’s driver design.

    • Linux Kernel 4.2.3 Is Out with Open vSwitch and IPv6 Fixes, Updated Networking Drivers

      After only 4 days from the release of the second maintenance version of the Linux 4.2 kernel series, Greg Kroah-Hartman comes today, October 3, with news about the release of Linux kernel 4.2.3.

    • Linux Foundation Says Open Source Code Worth $5 Billion
    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Ships Plasma 5.4.2, bugfix Release for October

        Tuesday, 06 October 2015. Today KDE releases a bugfix update to Plasma 5, versioned 5.4.2. Plasma 5.4 was released in August with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

      • KDE Plasma 5.4.2, bugfix Release for October, is already landing in Kubuntu Wily
      • Kubuntu 15.10 Will Have KDE Plasma 5.4.2

        Kubuntu 15.10 “Wily Werewolf” is being released later this month and it will feature the very latest KDE Plasma 5.4 point release.

        Plasma 5.4.2 isn’t being released until next week but the Kubuntu crew is pushing it early into 15.10 Wily now to ensure it arrives with the 15.10 debut.

      • Randa Meetings update

        I am really not a person who blogs much and its bit late, please bare with me in case if anyone does not like the way article is written or how it is formatted. I really feel good being KDE user since 2005. Officially I started coding / contributing to minor stuff in KDE in 2010. Switzerland is an awesome place and I really liked Randa. Speaking of Switzerland, for me those trains are art of engineering. I would like to thank KDE e.v. and other sponsors for making this event happen.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GNOME’s 2014 Annual Report Published

        For those wondering about the state of GNOME, their annual report is now available.

        The GNOME Foundation 2014 annual report covers their financial situation, their trademark battle with GroupOn, their temporary financial shortfall due to the OPW project, the hack/developer events engaged in, and much more.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Nest Labs advances its Weave home automation ecosystem

      Google’s Nest Labs subsidiary announced more details about the Weave peer-to-peer networking protocol for home automation devices. Nest, which sells the popular Nest Learning Thermostat and other Linux-based home automation products, says it has added Weave to its Works with Nest connected ecosystem program. It also announced the vendors that will support Weave when it is released in 2016, starting with Yale and its “Linus” smart lock (see farther below).

    • Headless box-PC has six GbE ports, runs Linux on G-Series

      Acrosser’s “AND-G420N1” compact headless networking appliance runs Linux on a quad-core 2GHz AMD G-Series SoC, and offers SATA-II storage and six GbE ports.

      Acrosser refers to the AND-G420N1 as a desktop networking microbox, as well as a “cost-effective niche solution.” The networking appliance runs Ubuntu or Fedora Linux on an AMD G-Series GX-420MC SoC

    • OpenDerby Update

      Last year I built a new derby track for my son’s royal rangers group. I used a RaspberryPi with Pidora on it to run the timing system.

    • Phones

      • Five things that doomed the big and brilliant BlackBerry 10

        And being late matters. In a globalised technology industry, hundreds of smaller industries, and their own supply chains, all line themselves up alongside the winners. Being late and going it alone is suicidal. Ask Nokia: it envisaged a ‘computer first, phone second world’ as far back as 2002, when it started Linux development, and devoted billions to being sure it would be competitive when this world came about. But consumers and industry had already anointed a second platform.

      • Tizen

        • [Wallpapers] Tizen Themed Samsung Gear S2 Backgrounds – Vol 1

          Following the release of the Samsung Gear S2 in the US, Korea, Singapore and Germany makets, Tizen Experts present you with custom Gear S2 wallpapers / backgrounds. To celebrate the Smartwatches history, these first batch of wallpapers will have a Tizen theme to them, after all the Gear S2 runs the Tizen Operating System. You can download them directly from our site either using your computer or your mobile device, and then easily transfer them to your Gear S2 Smartwatch.

      • Android

        • Blackphone: privacy-obsessed smartphone aims to broaden its appeal

          Can you hear me now? Not if you’re eavesdropping on a Blackphone. Privacy company Silent Circle has released a second version of its signature handheld, a smartphone designed to quell the data scraping and web tracking that’s become such an integral part of the digital economy in the last few years (and whose results might well end up with the NSA, if the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act passes).

        • Blackphone 2: NSA-thwarting Android smartphone goes on sale

          The handset runs a new version of the firm’s Android-based SilentOS, and comes with features including Silent Circle’s Silent Phone app, which offers encrypted voice calls, messaging and file transfers.

        • Android fans have yet another reason to cheer Motorola

          Android fans have a lot of good reasons to root for Motorola these days and the company gave them a brand-new one on Friday. Motorola not only announced which of its phones would be getting upgraded to Android but it also announced that it would actually be deleting two pieces of its own software from those devices to make the upgrade process go even faster.

        • Data indicates that Android picked up global market share from iOS last month

          Tracking mobile web traffic, NetMarketShare computes the market share for mobile operating systems. Based on the data from last month, Android was able to widen its gap over iOS globally. Considering that the Apple iPhone 6s and Apple iPhone 6s Plus weren’t launched until September 25th, the recently released phones accounted for a miniscule part of the data. The new models won’t have a major effect on the results until the figures for this month are released.

        • Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 review: One of the best Android tablets available out there

          Reasonably priced in comparison to its rivals, the Tab S2 with its powerful display and fast processor could be the best Android tablet available in the market today.

        • Nvidia Shield Android TV review

          Overall, Nvidia, Apple and Amazon have a clear strategy here. They want to revolutionise the way we interact with television, and they want to provide ‘capable enough’ games machines that appeal to the mainstream too. Nvidia is going one step further – it’s looking to attract core gamers on top of that with its Shield platform and GeForce functionality. But without all of the required media options properly in place and completely integrated into the highly promising interface, what we’re left with is an enthusiasts’ machine where only the core can really put the excellent hardware through its paces.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Three students jump into open source with OpenMRS and Sahana Eden

    We are three students in the Bachelor of Computer Science second degree program at the University of British Columbia (UBC). As we each have cooperative education experience, our technical ability and contributions have increasingly become a point of focus as we approach graduation. Our past couple of years at UBC have allowed us to produce some great technical content, but we all found ourselves with one component noticeably absent from our resumes: an open source contribution. While the reasons for this are varied, they all stem from the fact that making a contribution involves a set of skills that goes far beyond anything taught in the classroom or even learned during an internship. It requires a person to be outgoing with complete strangers, to be proactive in seeking out problems to solve, and to have effective written communication.

  • Your field’s talent is expecting openness

    Open source social and cultural history is the antithesis of traditional organizational management structures, and, unfortunately, it’s younger. Emotion is influenced by surroundings and norms, and what we learned about hierarchy when we were growing up influences how we participate in business today.

  • Events

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • BSD

    • Call for Testing: tame userland diff

      The full diff follows in the original mail, but it’s probably simpler to just use a snapshot. For those of you who’ve been looking forward to seeing how it handles, now’s the time to find out.


    • Pipe dream – Debian GNU/Hurd 8 Review

      GNU Hurd – microkernel and part of GNU Project. Hurd means “Hird of Unix-Replacing Daemons”, Hird – “Hurd of Interfaces Representing Depth. Total recursion! Development started in 1990 (before Linux kernel) as part of plans to create fully free and open source operation system. Unlike the Linux kernel Hurd have a lot of system daemons (you can see it on video) run by GNU Mach microkernel and some specific system protocols. Popularity of Linux lowered Hurd’s priority, but project progress all this 25+ years.

    • Software that liberates people: feels about FSF@30 and OSFeels@1

      tl;dr: I want to liberate people; software is a (critical) tool to that end. There is a conference this weekend that understands that, but I worry it isn’t FSF’s.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Teach, Don’t Tell

      This post is about writing technical documentation. More specifically: it’s about writing documentation for programming languages and libraries.


      Let’s get started. The first thing to nail down is why we’re documenting a programming language or library in the first place.

    • Remote-First vs. Remote-Friendly

      A lot of companies are using tools like Slack, Hangouts, and GitLab…



Links 2/10/2015: Qubes 3.0, Linux.Wifatch

Posted in News Roundup at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Desktop

    • Why your Linux PC isn’t vulnerable to the devastating XOR DDoS malware

      Linux isn’t perfectly secure, but there’s no big Linux exploit story here. The real problem is how many poorly configured Linux systems exist in the real world. Linux isn’t a magic bullet that will make a system secure—it has to be locked down properly, too.

    • Google Chromebooks: The most popular classroom computing device

      In Apple’s place, Google with its Chromebooks have stepped in. Chromebooks are cheaper, easier to manage, and easy to share between students. The low upfront price is a big factor, but there’s far more.

      For example, Google offers programs just for schools, Google Apps for Education Suite; class-specific ChromeOS and Android apps, and Google Play for Education. Chromebooks that come with Google Play for Education range at prices from $199 to $227.

    • Kali Linux: Why Aren’t We Arguing More about Mr Robot?

      In episode 0 of Mr Robot, we’re introduced to our hiro protagonist [Elliot], played by [Rami Malek], a tech at the security firm AllSafe. We are also introduced to the show’s Macbeth, [Tyrell Wellick], played by Martin Wallström]. When these characters are introduced to each other, [Tyrell] notices [Elliot] is using the Gnome desktop on his work computer while [Tyrell] says he’s, “actually on KDE myself. I know [Gnome] is supposed to be better, but you know what they say, old habits, they die hard.”

  • Server

    • Google and NASA are getting a new quantum computer

      The famous Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab is getting some powerful new hardware. A joint project between Google, NASA, and the Universities Space Research Association, the Quantum AI Lab today announced a multiyear agreement to install a D-Wave 2X, a state-of-the-art quantum processor released earlier this year. With over 1,000 qubits, the machine is the most powerful computer of its kind, and will be put to work tackling difficult optimization problems for both Google and NASA.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Kubuntu: Plasma 5.4.2 Ready testing! Come join the fun.

        Today we have the latest Plasma 5.4.2 ready for Wily (backports will not be made until this one has been tested and released)

      • The Future of Kontact

        Supplemental to what we reported previously about the work in Randa [1, 2] there was a session on the future of Kontact, KDE’s personal information manager (PIM). Over the years this tool has evolved into a monster making both development as well as usage sometimes tricky. It’s time to cut hydra’s arms.

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Compact, low power IoT gateway runs Linux on i.MX6

      VIA’s 30mm tall “Artigo A820” IoT gateway runs Linux on an i.MX6 DualLite, and offers optional WiFi and 3G in addition to Fast and GbE Ethernet ports.

      Like last year’s Artigo A900 mini-PC, the Artigo A820 runs Linux on a dual-core, 1GHz Cortex-A9 SoC. This time, however, VIA Technologies has turned to Freescale’s i.MX6 DualLite SoC instead of its own Via Elite E1000.

    • Phones

      • Fairphone launches v2 of it conflict-free, upgradeable smartphone

        There’s a company offering a repairable and upgradable smartphone out there and Jack Wallen believe it is just what the world needs. Read on to see if you agree.

      • Android

        • Facebook gives Android a kick in the byte code

          To improve the mobile performance of its social network, Facebook is enhancing Java bytecode on the Android platform with its Redex project, providing a pipeline for optimizing Android DEX (Dalvik Executable) files.

        • 13 of the best Android apps from September

          Coming off the back of the summer holidays always make September a busy month and this year it was no different.

          From useful spam fighting options arriving for Gmail to movie tracking and the launch of a huge repository of online tutorials across a range of subjects.

          We’ve sorted the wheat from the chaff and what follows is the best new and updated apps from September.

          All you need to do is clear a few minutes in your schedule and click your way through the list.

        • Google reveals new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio devices

          Google’s Chromecast streaming media player has proven to be a popular item on Amazon, getting four star ratings and lots of positive comments from Amazon customers. Now Google has announced a brand new Chromecast, and also the new Chromecast Audio device.

        • Hands on: Google Pixel C convertible tablet

          It’s difficult to tell if the new Google Pixel C is a great idea, or an awful one. It feels like a greatest hits list of Windows 8 convertible failures. It’s a clamshell, and the tablet is connected to the keyboard via magnets. But to open it or close it, you have to pull it apart and reconnect it. You can also flip the tablet upright and stick the keyboard to the back of it, though it makes the tablet thicker and heavier than you may like. The entire converting process is messy. Google tries to cover it all up with a beautiful aluminum design and smooth hinges that adjust angle easily. But will it be fun to use every day? I’m not so sure.

        • Google announces the LG Nexus 5X and Huawei Nexus 6P; pre-orders start today

          Google has officially taken the wraps off its new flagship smartphone lineup. In keeping with the current smartphone release trends, Google is announcing two devices today: the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. The 5X is made by LG, and the 6P is made by Huawei. The Nexus 5X starts at $379, and the 6P starts at $499, and both phones will ship later this month. Pricing for other territories is starting to dribble in—the Nexus 5X and 6P will begin at £339 and £449 respectively in the UK—but we’ll update the article with more complete information as it’s made available.

        • Google announces the new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio

          The new Chromecast has a disk-like design, a departure from the original’s dongle construction. Its improved internals should also make streaming easier and faster. Now featuring three antennas, it supports 5GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi for faster connectivity and heavier formats like 1080p. While the new Chromecast handles video and game streaming, the Chromecast Audio device will handle streaming music or podcasts. The new Chromecast plugs into a device with HDMI; Audio uses both optical and headphone jacks to plug into speakers.

        • Huawei’s first Android Wear watch is a beautiful yet basic timepiece

          Huawei isn’t exactly the first company that comes to mind when you think of stylish connected devices. The Chinese manufacturer has delved into wearables with its TalkBand series, but those were slow to come to the US and their fitness tracker-meets-Bluetooth-headset capabilities were peculiar. Now Huawei wants to test the waters of Google’s wearable OS with its new smartwatch, simply dubbed the Huawei Watch, and it’s a solid first attempt at Android Wear.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Apache Foundation retains informal vibe to manage $1m of open-source projects

    The Apache open-source community gathered at its annual conference in Europe this week to collaborate on new projects to drive the future of the web and cloud ecosystems, with a handful of new projects under incubation.

  • Seize the opportunity to explain open source

    Kids have an insatiable appetite for knowledge. I would estimate that all of us with children have had them go through a phase of asking “Why?” constantly. In truth, it often comes at the most inconvenient moment for a parent; like when the world is literally going to explode unless your child puts down the green marker pen, and instead of doing it, they just look up at you and ask “Why?” I was no different. I went through the “Why?” phase. My daughter has been through it and my nephew is going through it right now.

  • AWS launches a managed Elasticsearch service
  • Amazon launches managed Elasticsearch service
  • AWS debuts Elasticsearch Search, its distributed search and analytics engine
  • Amazon flings open source Elasticsearch at Big Data’s cloud
  • New Amazon Elasticsearch service eases setup, with exceptions
  • Amazon Adds Open Source Elasticsearch Platform to AWS Cloud

    Elasticsearch is a Java-based open source framework for searching textual documents on a massive scale. It is designed to be highly scalable and compatible with cluster-based distributed-computing infrastructure.

  • IBM and EMC team up: There’s no “I” in open source

    Sometimes when you are distracting the signal from the noise, you get an exclusive. Today theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, got the full story on the EMC and IBM partnership to work in an open-source environment to make Hadoop more accessible to the enterprise.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox Is Much Better than Any Other Browser and Here’s Why

        We often read about comparative tests between browsers and we see that Google Chrome or Opera are extremely fast, or that some other browser gets really good scores in rendering, and so on. The truth is that none of that really matters when you are using browsers in the real world, and in the real world Firefox shines and it’s head and shoulders above everything else.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • The return of TryStack, life as a PTL, and more OpenStack news

      Interested in keeping track of what’s happening in the open source cloud?

    • A Brief Comparison of Mesos and Kubernetes

      The recent announcement of Mesos on Windows means developers and organizations that work between Linux and Windows platforms may use their own tools without requiring heavy resource management. Those working with the Google Cloud Engine may prefer working with Kubernetes, while people accustomed to Microsoft Azure may enjoy the Mesosphere workflow pipeline. Each has their own strengths and shortcomings, though the gap between stack management services lessens as more technology is brought to other platforms.

    • MapR Technologies Unveils In-Hadoop Document Database

      MapR integrates Web-scale enterprise storage and real-time database management and adds native JSON support to MapR-DB, its NoSQL database.

  • Databases

    • Pivotal Aims at Oracle Database Business with Open Source Tech

      Software company Pivotal is taking on Oracle’s traditional database business with its latest effort to advance open source. The company is contributing both HAWQ advanced SQL on Hortonworks’ Hadoop analytics and MADlib machine learning technologies to The Apache Software Foundation (ASF).

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • If Drupal were a band it would be Rush

      Getting my clients’ developers and sysadmins to stick to all of the documented processes I’ve set up for them.

      I have years of experience implementing Drupal-based solutions, so I have a rather solid understanding of what works and what doesn’t. But some folks without any experience with Drupal try to shoehorn it into incompatible environments. I do my best to explain all of this and why to ensure that, when I’m gone, folks can take all of my wiki documentation and run with it (use it and update it as necessary).

  • Business

    • Semi-Open Source

  • BSD


    • What do you have to say? Share it at LibrePlanet 2016

      LibrePlanet 2016 is coming! Next year’s conference will be held **March 19-20, 2016 in the Boston area**. The call for proposals is open now, until November 16th. General registration and exhibitor registration will open later in October.

    • Chicago GNU/Linux talk on Guix retrospective

      Friends… friends! I gave a talk on Guix last night in Chicago, and it went amazingly well. That feels like an undersell actually; it went remarkably well. There were 25 people, and apparently there was quite the waitlist, but I was really happy with the set of people who were in the room. I haven’t talked about Guix in front of an audience before and I was afraid it would be a dud, but it’s hard to explain the reaction I got. It felt like there was a general consensus in the room: Guix is taking the right approach to things.

  • Public Services/Government

    • EC to increase open source for software development

      The European Commission aims to primarily use open source tools for developing software that is distributed publicly, shows an overview on open source adoption that was presented last week by the EC’s Directorate General of Informatics (DIGIT) at a conference in Tampere (Finland). Already much of the EC’s own software is developed using open source. However, over the next 3 years, DIGIT will push to make ‘open source first’ the target for all the new EC software development projects.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Most Popular Programming Languages In The IT industry

      Programmers are always in high demand these days for jobs, especially if they have fluency in coding language. Learning programming in various languages for engineers is a no-brainer, but some basic understanding of the languages can be invaluable to anyone, even if you’re not looking forward to becoming a master coder.

    • PHPUnit 5.0
    • PHP version 5.5.30 and 5.6.14

      RPM of PHP version 5.6.14 are available in remi repository for Fedora ≥ 21 and remi-php56 repository for Fedora ≤ 20 and Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).


Microsoft-Connected Firm Net Applications Used to Mislead About Vista 10 Share and Mock GNU/Linux

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 5:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Net Applications

Summary: People who are connected to Microsoft (some being former staff) link to a firm that is connected to Microsoft in order to create the illusion that Vista 10 market share grew to 6.63%

Developers from Microsoft privately told me that Microsoft wants to keep Vista 10 figures secret. Why? Because it’s embarrassing. If people knew the truth, it would be damaging to Microsoft’s business and stock. Our Vista 10 Wiki page has been accessed more than 10,000 times since the release of the operating system, so there is clearly a thirst for real facts, not marketing, regarding Vista 10.

Boosters of Microsoft are now working quite hard (maybe overtime) to change perceptions about Vista 10 adoption rates. Microsoft Emil (Emil Protalinski) uses data from Microsoft’s partner in order to make Vista 10 look bigger than it is whilst also making fun of GNU/Linux, with the snide remark “Linux finally passes Windows Vista” (right there in the headline!).

“I’ve read the article,” told me this one person, “and the guy belittles Linux, saying now it surpassed Vista… What a moron.” Well, he is a longtime Microsoft booster, a predecessor of Microsoft Peter at the increasingly Microsoft-leaning Condé Nast (Microsoft literally pays them for this). Microsoft Emil isn’t being honest; he may be trying reinforce the myth of Linux as a failure, despite Android, Red Hat, etc. Recall what Microsoft said in internal evangelism documents [PDF]: “Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry. We want to place selection pressure on those companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for competitors’ technologies, to make the industry increasingly resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time.”

There is generally a lot of Vista 10 propaganda right now, always citing Microsoft-linked data and usually coming from Microsoft-linked people, e.g. from Lance Whitney, who used to work for a Microsoft publisher before joining CNET, i.e. CBS. Well, he does the same as Emil, using the same disgraced firm with its biased data.

Gregg Keizer too cites Net Applications, despite his history being somewhat sceptical of Microsoft. Does he know that Net Applications is not a reliable source of web statistics? It’s biased by selection (e.g. of sites to sample from) and linked closely to Microsoft (with Microsoft's money on the table), even in the staff sense. Watch their list of clients and list of staff. A familiar ploy?

A sort of ‘broken telephone’ effect passed this message to a lot of sites yesterday [1, 2, 3, 4], leaving people with the false impression that Vista 10 experienced decent growth/adoption.

Microsoft boosters like Bogdan Popa, Microsoft affiliates like Wayne Williams, and Microsoft advocacy sites like WinBeta are doing what is effectively marketing, not journalism, always citing data from the same Microsoft-connected firm. That’s like asking a Red Hat partner and citing it regarding server share of RHEL (worldwide). It’s a mockery of the very notion of journalism.

Vista 10 market share is vastly smaller than reported right now by many sites, all of which link to a Microsoft-connected firm, except perhaps Gregg Keizer’s colleague from IDG. He wrote that “Windows 10 uptake is falling back to earth after an explosive first month.”

Well, it wasn’t explosive at all, it was virtually force-fed with a zero-cost claim and despite that, it still has shown little progress. Judging by our logs at Techrights, Vista 10 now has a market share of 1.01%. Judging by our logs at Tux Machines, Vista 10 now has a market share of 0.201%. These logs of course aren’t being shared with villaneous companies like Net Applications, which probably sample lots of sites that attract Windows users. GNU/Linux is a privacy-respecting niche and sites that welcome many GNU/Linux users probably hardly spy on their visitors (log sharing practices), or have the GNU/Linux clients masked at the visitors’ request (think of DoNotTrack for instance).

Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) and EPO Vice-President of DG3 Suspiciously on Unlimited Sick Leave After Benoît Battistelli’s Unprecedented Attacks on Other EBoA Staff

Posted in Europe, Patents, Rumour at 4:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wim Van der Eijk

Photo from EPO.org

Summary: Rumours suggest that Benoît Battistelli’s affairs at the EPO may have something to do with Wim Van der Eijk’s longterm absence

IT IS widely known by now that, due to (probably legitimate) criticism of Željko Topić, Battistelli (arguably) illegally suspended a judge and attacked the EBoA (among other boards).

“The present VP3,” says this comment, “Mr Van der Eijk, is on unlimited sick leave and thus out of function.”

Well, “unlimited sick leave” at the notorious office which treats sick staff like liars and cheats must really mean something. Remember how the EPO framed the suspension of a judge in order to overcome serious legal issues, or create uncertainty and doubt. It’s like assassinating someone, then calling it an “unfortunate accident”.

To quote some sarcastic comments about this: “Sounds like a bloody malingerer to me. He should be immediately summoned to a medical examination by one of the President’s doctors. And of course subject to strict “house arrest” …”

Another one says: “The President has an interest in keeping VP3 at home as at work he does only damages, i.e. he’s unable to control the chairs and the members who are too independent and do not obey orders.”

Another goes like this: “VP3 has always been a silent subordinate of the President and never had the guts to show disagreement with the mad line imposed upon the staff. Now, under house arrest, he has the time to meditate and understand the true nature if [sic] the President. Too late for coming out!”

Here is an important new comment: “VP3 has been appointed by the Administrative Council under Article 11 EPC and thus subject to the disciplinary authority of the Council – not that of the President. It is not clear whether the President can actually impose “house arrest” on him.

“Apart from that he can only be removed from office as the Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal on a proposal of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (Article 23(1) EPC).”

“Given how Battistelli historically dealt with boards like these, one shouldn’t be hastily accused of making a mountain out of a molehill.”The latest mystery, to put it politely or even just prudently, is why he’s away for so long.

“For your information,” told us a source, “the Vice-President in charge of the EPO Boards of Appeal (known internally as DG3) is on extended sick leave [...] Mr van der Eijk is the Vice-President of DG3 (VP3) and also the Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal.” [Wikipedia says "Wim van der Eijk (born ca. 1957) is a Dutch civil servant, currently Vice-President of the European Patent Office (EPO), head of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO, known as DG3 (Directorate-General, 3, Appeals), and Chairman of the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal."]

Given how Battistelli historically dealt with boards like these, one shouldn’t be hastily accused of making a mountain out of a molehill. Also remember the gag orders that Control Risks and the I.U. use against staff like Elizabeth Hardon whilst under investigation/interrogation [1, 2]. “The Enlarged Board of Appeal,” as someone explained to us, “is one of the few instances which – at least on paper – enjoys some independence from the EPO President although he seems to have been doing his best to interfere in its workings over the last year or so.

“Internal rumour at the EPO has it that some recent decisions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal have not been to Battistelli’s liking.”

We covered this before. The Enlarged Board of Appeal and other boards have been under bombardment (at times silent) by Battistelli and his ilk.

Our source “can’t say at this point whether there is any connection between these events and the sudden mysterious “indisposition” of VP3. But it definitely looks like there is something fishy going on behind the scenes.”

As we explained about a year ago, the Administrative Council is now in Battistelli’s pocket and largely subservient to him.

“If the Administrative Council was doing its job properly,” told us another source, “they should investigate what exactly is going on. But if past performance is any indicator, they are more likely to stick their heads in the sand at the upcoming quarterly meeting on 14th/15th October.”

Microsoft’s Secret Special Relationship With EPO Illustrates Serious Corruption at Microsoft and the EPO

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 4:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO and Microsoft

Summary: A big story about the EPO and Microsoft working in a sort of collusion-type setup so as to serve Microsoft’s patent agenda, which involves aggression, even against European software that is Free (as in freedom)

AS ANYONE who has read this blog for a while ought to know (even based on yesterday's post, which is very hot in Reddit right now), Microsoft viciously attacks its competition — including Free/libre software such as GNU/Linux — using software patents, even in Europe (recall the Dutch company TomTom for instance) where software patents are in principle not legal. Now we know why the EPO lets that be. It very much affects Free software and Linux, which Techrights is principally about. It also helps show how Microsoft’s dirty tricks continue, carrying on behind closed doors; Microsoft — like the EPO — thinks it is above the law.

Days ago we learned about Microsoft’s ‘special’ relationship with the EPO under Battistelli’s lead. We kept quiet about it because the security of our sources is paramount. It reminded us of Microsoft’s ‘special’ relationship with Sarkozy et al. Well, now that it’s out (Merpel posted fragments from it at 4AM this morning), we are ready to show what several sources have independently leaked to us. Comparing the material from different sources helps verify authenticity. It is largely (but not only) based on the latest SUEPO publication. There is an article about the investigation of Control Risks in there, but we’ll leave that for another article as it deals with a separate subject.

As we noted last week and also yesterday (noting that Microsoft had begun lobbying regarding the UPC, trying to shape European law despite being a US company), there is serious corruption here and it helps remind everyone in Europe who the EPO really serves. It’s all about multinational/foreign giants, not European companies (let alone European people). The EPO is grossly discriminating against small companies. It’s truly an abomination. Corruption seems to be rampant across Europe — contrary to common belief outside the EU.

Rather than bore readers with repetition of arguments and a story, we are going to highlight parts of the article from Merpel and remind readers that Microsoft exploits software patents to launch legal battles against Linux and Free software-friendly companies, despite software patents being illegal in Europe.

From the first part of Merpel’s article:

EPO queue jumping part 1 – Don’t be an SME”

“Here’s an interesting thought experiment about how patent offices should operate. Two patent applications are pending at the European Patent Office (EPO). Imagine that one was filed several years ago by Microsoft, and the other was filed at the same time by (say) an Italian SME which files “only” 10 patent applications per annum.”


“However, this pilot programme seems different, both in terms of purpose and in terms of execution. There is something imbalanced in having high-ranking EPO officials make a pilgrimage to the premises of large applicants “to ensure that we do not lose workload market share”. There is an element of bending the knee involved that makes Merpel uncomfortable.”


“The implications of this are astounding. Smaller applicants are being discriminated against because they don’t have the clout of threatening to pull their business from the EPO. But if you’re a major contributor to the EPO’s coffers, your cases will get priority at the expense of smaller applicants.

“Merpel hopes this is all untrue, but it has the “stranger than fiction” quality that is characteristic of many EPO stories that have proved accurate. Anyone who knows more and who can comply with the normal rules of comment etiquette, please do tell!”

Here are the relevant original bits:

Changing priorities in DG1 Earlier this year the Office issued two internal memos entitled “Closer Contacts with Major Applicants”. The reason given was to

“foster a better esprit de service, not least to ensure that we do not lose workload market share to other major Offices”.

We cite further:

“The ICT cluster has had close contact with both Canon and Microsoft recently and their experience prompted this pilot… The pilot started on 1.4 for ten major applicants…. For the 10 applicants, there will be one DG1 director in direct contact with one person in the company… The idea is that the DG1 director will be in regular contact … with his counterpart from the applicant and that at least once in the pilot year there will be a high level visit (PD, directors, DG2 and DG5 representatives where necessary) to the company.”

And also:

One of the early off-shoots was that directors and examiners were gently reminded that the Office had entered in a closer cooperation project with Microsoft, so could the examiners please take care of a list of [overdue] Microsoft files for which the deadline [for the examiner to issue a communication] had expired? We obviously have no problems with reminders to examiners to prioritise files that are overdue. But such reminders should cover all files that are similarly overdue, not just those of a specific applicant.

Merpel did a fine job explaining what’s wrong with the above and went on to commenting on the EPO's corruption of French media, publishing part two just 3 minutes later (at 4AM her time). To quote the outset: “Part 1 of this guide to getting your application examined earlier started with a thought experiment: should a multinational’s application get examiner more quickly than an SMEs. The answer is no, but the EPO may be subtly reminding examiners to prioritise such files nonetheless at the expense of smaller applicants. Now for an even easier thought experiment. You can do this one with your eyes closed, which of course is the recommended approach for all thought experiments anyway. Two applicants (Señor Lopez from Barcelona and Monsieur Durand from Marseille) file their patent applications at the EPO on the same day. Both applications are in the same technical area. Also, both are first filings for which the EPO is committed to providing a search report and written opinion at an early stage.”

We recommend Merpel’s original article about this. As always, with the pseudo-anonymity offered by Google’s Blogspot (in the NSA PRISM programme, which isn’t too far from Control Risks staff), there are also many comments there, sometimes from EPO staff.

IP Kat beat Techrights to it regarding this scandal not just due to lack of time (we have returned from vacation) but because we are careful not to compromise sources. IP Kat thankfully reported this corruption before we did, so if anyone gets caught, it won’t be our fault. We thought twice before publishing anything at all about this. If any of our readers can share information of value with us, please ensure anonymity (a lot more important than encryption in this case), then message roy@schestowitz.com. Provided the information does not put anyone at risk, we promise to give it the attention it deserves.


Links 1/10/2015: LFS 7.8, Calculate Linux 15 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • The Type of Documentation Open Source Needs

    I used to write manuals, so no doubt I consider documentation more important than most users. But whatever the reason, I am increasingly convinced that if desktop Linux applications are ever going to receive the attention they deserve, they need not only to have documentation, but to have the right sort as well.

  • Transparency with Open Source

    In a recent survey I conducted of government departments’ use and understanding of FOSS, I found that most officers are aware of open source. However, I also found that officers have a limited appreciation of the principles of transparency that open source software is based on. They are aware that FOSS is a low-cost, basically free, alternative to proprietary software, but are unaware of the strong intangible benefits it provides, such as those of process transparency.

  • How open source found me

    So open source chose me. It was the right fit for science and discovery, and so it just happened. I can’t take credit for any of that. But it’s not the reason why I decided to work in open source.

  • Yahoo’s Open Source Omid Project Brings Scalable Transaction Processing To HBase

    For Yahoo, the main benefit of open sourcing a project like Omid is that many of the community’s improvements will directly help it improve its own service. That’s something that held true for Hadoop, and the company hopes to replicate this success with projects like Omid.

  • Teradata Accelerates Roadmap for Open Source Presto
  • Teradata’s open source connect
  • Facebook and Teradata on Apache Presto and the disruption of open source

    In the nearly two years since going open source, Presto has grown from an internal Facebook project into a platform that’s used by likes of Airbnb, Dropbox and Netflix to process data more rapidly.

  • Should research on vehicle software be hidden from the public?

    The US Department of Transportation (DOT) says security researchers tinkering with vehicle software shouldn’t be allowed to go public with their findings. The agency “is concerned that there may be circumstances in which security researchers may not fully appreciate the potential safety ramifications” if their findings are released in the wild.

  • DHS Funds Project For Open Source ‘Invisible Clouds’

    Cloud Security Alliance and Waverley Labs to build software-defined perimeter (SDP) to protect cloud and critical infrastructure from DDoS attacks.

  • Web Browsers

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • Mirantis 7 Fuels OpenStack Kilo With Liberty

      Mirantis has emerged in recent years as one of the leading vendors and contributors to the open-source OpenStack cloud platform. Today Mirantis is releasing its OpenStack 7.0 distribution, which bundles its Fuel toolkit for cloud deployment and management alongside common OpenStack components.

    • Transwarp Technologies uses open source and non-proprietary Hadoop core

      Transwarp offers several proprietary products that are built upon a Hadoop core. What’s unique about this Hadoop core is that it is open source and non-proprietary. Transwarp Data Hub is the number one Hadoop distribution available in China; it’s specific to customer demands. This distribution makes it easy for the company’s customers to transition their legacy applications from old infrastructure to new infrastructure. This is done by a single engine layer on top of a Hadoop core.

    • One-click installs: Moving to simplicity with Hadoop

      EMC Cloud Solutions always seems to be on the horizon of producing easy solutions. In a smart partnership with BlueData, Inc., it has been able to combine its abilities to deliver customers one-click solutions to Hadoop.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Brno will host LibreOffice Conference 2016!

      So I can finally share publicly that Brno will host LibreOffice Conference 2016. After GUADEC 2013 and Akademy 2014, it’s the third major desktop conference that will take place in Brno. The venue will be the campus of Faculty of Information Technologies of Brno University of Technology which is one of the major computer science universities in the country with a lot of open source participation. That’s also where GUADEC 2013 and DevConf.cz 2015 took place.

    • LibreOffice Conference 2015
    • LibreOffice Online – LibreOffice Conference 2015
    • Apache OpenOffice: Not Dead Yet

      It’s taken a year, but Apache OpenOffice finally seems to be moving forward. However, whether the progress will be enough to make the project a success remains impossible to predict.

    • OpenOffice 4.1.2 Teased, LibO Conference Wrap-up

      Apache OpenOffice has been practically declared dead by many while others suggest folding back into LibreOffice. It’s true the last release was a year ago, but release manager Andrea Pescetti recently blogged OpenOffice 4.1.2 is right around the corner. The LibreOffice Conference wrapped up Monday and a couple of attendees blogged of their experiences. Elsewhere, Jesse Smith summarized the current state of Linux touch desktops and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols said there will never be a year of the Linux desktop.


    • FSF, Conservancy publish principles for community-oriented GPL enforcement

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced publication of “The Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement,” co-authored with the Software Freedom Conservancy. The document lays out the principles that both organizations follow when they receive reports that a company is violating copyleft terms like the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL).

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Open Data

      • Open data initiatives: create your own success

        Open data initiatives should actively create their own successes. Instead of publishing everything they can, Cities should investigate which data can actually be used to solve a problem, Albert Meijer, Professor of Public Innovation at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, said in an interview with the Dutch centre of expertise Open Overheid.

  • Programming

    • Dennis M.Ritchie – The father of the “C” programming language

      Dennis is a key developer of the UNIX operating system, and co-author of the book “The C Programming Language”. He worked along with Ken Thompson (A scientist who wrote the original UNIX). Later he developed a collaboration on the C programming language with Brian Kernighan and they were known together as K&R (Kernighan & Ritchie). Dennis Ritchie had an important contribution to UNIX which was that UNIX ported to different machines and platforms. His ideas still live on, at the center of modern operating systems design, in almost all new programming languages, and in every bit of open systems.


  • Science

    • The Global Innovation Index 2015

      The report, which looks like it was a lot of work (over 450 pages and 79 variables), is a comprehensive indexing exercise. The UK ranks second, having risen from tenth in 2011; Switzerland again is number one.

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • MSNBC’s Chris Hayes And Al Gore Debunk Latest Defeatist Arguments Against Climate Action

      AL GORE: Of course, there are at least two big flaws in that argument. First of all, we can create jobs by taking on this challenge. And we can create jobs that cannot be outsourced, jobs like refurbishing buildings to make them energy efficient, installing solar panels on rooftops so individuals can have lower electricity bills. There are tens of millions of jobs in this, and it’s one of the few areas in our economy where the jobs are growing in number fairly rapidly. Eighty-eight percent growth in green jobs year over year over the past year. And secondly, since when did the United States abandon its traditional world leadership role? Especially at a time when just this past week the president of China says “Okay, we’re going to adopt a cap and trade program and we’re reducing our CO2 emissions and we want to create jobs in solar and wind and efficiency.” So the rest of the world still does look to the United States for leadership. This is the most serious global challenge we’ve ever faced. No other country can play the role that the U.S. can play.

  • Finance

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Rifkind and Straw: Guilty as Hell but Broke No Rules

      It is evidence of what a sewer Westminster is, that the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has ruled that Straw and Rifkind broke no rules. The BBC and Sky are full of smug reporters telling us the two are “vindicated”.

      They are not vindicated, they are disgusting.

      What is revealed is that it is absolutely the norm for Tory and Blairite MPs to be firmly in the pockets of corporations, looking after corporate interests and receiving huge slabs of cash. Straw and Rifkind were just behaving like greedy grasping unprincipled bastards within the rules. How is that a vindication?

    • How SPN “Think Tanks” Will Spin ALEC’s 2016 Agenda

      This week, a shadowy network of state-based, right-wing think tanks and advocacy groups will convene with Koch operatives and other big donors in Grand Rapids, Michigan to coordinate their 2016 agenda for all 50 states.

      The State Policy Network (SPN) is a network of state-branded groups, like the Civitas Institute in North Carolina and the Goldwater Institute in Arizona, which appear to be independent yet actually are operating from the same national playbook. SPN plays a key role in driving the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) agenda, particularly by providing academic-like cover for ALEC’s corporate-friendly policies.

    • Marginalizing the Momentum of the BDS Movement

      …New York Times virtually ignores the movement’s momentum.

    • Corbyn Kneeling Story A Media Invention

      If Jeremy Corbyn sticks to his guns, and just goes along and shows normal respect, I have no doubt at all the Queen will carry on completely unfazed. She is not stupid, is very well aware that a significant number of British people are republicans, and is not interested in making people uncomfortable. She will expect so long as she is monarch, Jeremy Corbyn to work as prescribed within the forms of government – just as I organised State Visits to the very best of my ability. But personal displays of obsequiousness are not of importance to the Queen; they are rather the obsession of the pathetically servile Guardian and other media.

  • Privacy

    • Update for VeraCrypt, new flaws in TrueCrypt

      Recently TrueCrypt has been in the news again, because of a couple of new critical security issues that were found for its Windows version. You can read more in these articles at Engadget, Threatpost and Extremetech. Windows computers with TrueCrypt installed can be taken over completely by a non-privileged user, and the computer does not even have to have mounted any TrueCrypt container.

  • Civil Rights

    • More Truth About British Torture

      We cannot undo the physical and mental damage of all the torture.


      The reason Shaker has been detained longer than any other British resident is that he was tortured with MI6 personnel directly in the room, as opposed to waiting outside. If the British establishment were not totally corrupt, his return to the UK would finally make it impossible to avoid prosecutions over torture, up to and including Dearlove, Straw and Blair.

    • Dadri: Mob kills man, injures son over ‘rumours’ that they ate beef

      A 50-year-old man, Mohammad Akhlaq, was beaten to death and his 22-year-old son severely injured on Monday night in UP’s Dadri, allegedly by residents of Bisara village, after rumours spread in the area about the family storing and consuming beef, police said.

    • The revolutionary act of telling the truth

      George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

      These are dark times, in which the propaganda of deceit touches all our lives. It is as if political reality has been privatised and illusion legitimised. The information age is a media age. We have politics by media; censorship by media; war by media; retribution by media; diversion by media – a surreal assembly line of clichés and false assumptions.

      Wondrous technology has become both our friend and our enemy. Every time we turn on a computer or pick up a digital device – our secular rosary beads – we are subjected to control: to surveillance of our habits and routines, and to lies and manipulation.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Can the State automatically acquire ownership of your copyright? In South Africa this may become the case

        Have you ever come across a copyright law that provides that the State automatically acquires ownership of copyright in a certain work upon death of the relevant owner?

      • It could only happen in America: PETA litigates over macaque selfie

        Conferring legal personality to animals gives rise to a number of problematic issues. For example, should animals also have criminal responsibility? As regards ownership of property, there are obvious problems with how that ownership can be balanced with third party interests; how to decide which charity or other body would manage the animal’s ownership on its behalf and in what way? Perhaps these problems can be overcome if one considers how common interests can be represented before the Courts by unincorporated associations, how children’s property can be managed by trusts or how a concept of guardianship might be deployed.

The ‘Microsoft Loves Linux’ Baloney is Still Being Floated in the Media While Microsoft Attacks Linux With Patents, New Lawsuits Reported

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents at 6:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What the media wants us to believe it can make many actually believe, by sheer force of repetition

Bridgewater Hall

Summary: Despite Microsoft’s continued assault on Linux and on Android (using software patents, which it still discreetly lobbies for), some figures in the media are perpetually peddling the Microsoft-serving lie that ‘Microsoft loves Linux’

THE land of the insane would have us believe that free thinkers are the enemy and indoctrinated peons are model citizens. The corporate media would have us believe that Microsoft, which attacks Linux, actually “loves Linux” (because Microsoft’s CEO said so). We very much doubt that our existing readers believe the nonsense from Microsoft, but just in case, here is a refutation of some of the latest media propaganda. Microsoft is not the only one attacking Linux with software patents; its own patent trolls do too, so it’s not always so visible on the surface.

Let’s start with this new report about Intellectual Ventures. Remember who created and runs Intellectual Ventures.

“A shell company with a patent linked to Intellectual Ventures,” explains a trolls expert, “the world’s biggest patent-holding company, has quietly filed a new lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas against a vast range of computer peripheral makers and sellers.”

They are specifically trying to tax all USB hubs, which run BSD or Linux (usually Linux). Earlier this year we showed that Intellectual Ventures was also attacking Android, which uses Linux and parts of GNU. We wrote several articles about it. Again, remember who created and runs Intellectual Ventures. Remember who subsidises this.

“Remember who created and runs Intellectual Ventures.”Several months ago we reminded readers that there was no "new Microsoft" because despite the change of CEO the company was still extorting Linux using patents (it was Kyocera at the time, not the first under Nadella's lead).

“It turns out that Microsoft’s newly found love for Linux, under the leadership of Satya Nadella, is more than infatuation.”
      –Swapnil Bhartiya
Swapnil Bhartiya, who is of Indian descent, proudly shows two CEOs who are also of Indian descent, in an effort to paint Google and Microsoft as making peace (the misleading headline, maybe chosen by the IDG-appointed editor, says “Microsoft ends patent disputes with Google”). Swapnil is wrong though and he is not alone (LXer’s very top news item at this moment says “Google, Microsoft kiss and make up in patent fight truce”, linking to The Register). He seems to have been successfully brainwashed based on his recent articles, e.g. [1]. Microsoft is still suing Android (and by extension Google) using patents. Microsoft is doing this from many different fronts, its private patent trolls included. There is no peace here or even an end to the disputes. It’s just about the Motorola case (predating Google’s takeover of parts of Motorola). This whole Google-Microsoft news is about the Motorola case, but some try to frame it as something that it’s not (they hardly even mention Motorola). Microsoft is clearly still attacking Linux (including ChromeOS and Android) and patents are its weapon.

To quote the erroneous opening paragraph of Swapnil (not the editor’s): “It turns out that Microsoft’s newly found love for Linux, under the leadership of Satya Nadella, is more than infatuation.”

Complete nonsense. Swapnil must not have paid close enough attention to all the patent battles Microsoft waged and continues to wage, even under Nadella’s management and after the “Microsoft loves Linux” lie.

Microsoft still launches new patent assaults on Linux, via patent trolls. If that’s not enough, there are also direct attacks. As Microsoft’s Mouth, Mary Jo Foley, put it the other day, “Microsoft and peripheral and tablet maker I-O Data Device have renewed and extended their patent agreement to cover various I-O Data Linux and Android devices.”

These are Microsoft’s words, putting lipstick on a pig because we are dealing with racketeering here (see the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act).

Racketeering by Microsoft is described so gently by Microsoft social media accounts and this press release. Microsoft just loves Linux like the Mafia likes the people whom it extorts because they shell out money. Microsoft ‘loves’ Linux so much that it continues to extort it using patents, but some people are continuing to pretend there is a ‘new’ Microsoft that supposedly ‘loves’ Linux. It beggars belief.

Microsoft, a supporter and booster of patent trolls like MPEG-LA, has caused so much damage to GNU/Linux. Among the famous problems is the inability to play some media files, even in places where software patents are not valid at all. See this new article about an imminent reprieve:

MP3 Decoding Patent Is Expiring, Linux Distro Could Integrate It by Default

The MP3 decoding patent is one those things that seems pretty harmless and present in pretty much any device around us, but it’s actually something that generates tons of money per unit for Fraunhofer and Thompson. Linux distributions need to offer this feature and it means integrating a proprietary solution, although there is some hope now that the patent seems to have expired.

The problem here isn’t just Fraunhofer and Thompson but the cartels that encapsulate the patents — cartels that Apple and Microsoft support. According to some new reports, Microsoft wants tracking devices on people’s hands and then patents the terrible ‘idea’ (probably to be used to sue Android companies later, or demand money to settle out of court). Microsoft embraces “openness” and “choice” like superpowers (e.g. Red Army or US Army) embrace “freedom” and “democracy”. Microsoft calls it “embrace, extend, extinguish” and expects us to view Microsoft as an ally of convenience.

Cade Metz, a Microsoft and Bill Gates booster, seems to want people to forget that Microsoft is still attacking Linux using patents (see quote below in [4]). It was crossposted in other sites when a lot of sites, including Microsoft’s own sites, tried to paint Microsoft as ‘embracing’ Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. Even some Linux-centric writers fell for it ([2-3] below).

For those who wonder why we have been covering the EPO so heavily as of late, stay tuned. The corruption at the EPO nicely connects to Microsoft, as we shall show in the coming few days. The criminal gang known as Microsoft views itself as above the law, much like the EPO operates outside the rule of law and works closely with Microsoft behind the scenes. According to this tweet from last night, “Microsoft [...] will work together on UPC” and to quote the relevant bit from the article: “They will also lobby for specific rules on a unified patent system throughout Europe.”

Yes, Microsoft still lobbies for software patents in Europe and for US patent reign over Europe (corporations from outside Europe to ban/embargo products in Europe). It’s just that Microsoft is more discreet about it. The monopolist prefers to undemocratically write new laws, undetected by the public.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft launches its big data service running on Linux
  2. ​Microsoft deploys first major server application on Ubuntu Linux
  3. Microsoft Chooses Ubuntu for Their Linux-Based Azure HDInsight Offering

    After revealing Azure Cloud Switch, a Linux kernel-based operating system for developing software products for network devices, Microsoft just announced that they decided to choose Ubuntu for their first Linux-based Azure offering.

  4. Microsoft Built Its Own Linux Because Everyone Else Did

    For years, Microsoft actively worked to suppress Linux, a computer operating system whose underlying code is freely available to the world at large. It once threatened legal action against businesses that used the open source OS, insisting that Linux infringed on patents underpinning its flagship Windows operating system.

The Microsoft Botnet Goes Bonkers and ATMs Running Windows Spew Out Cash

Posted in GNU/Linux, Security, Vista 10, Vista 7, Windows at 5:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Mission-critical” and “Windows” are not possible to mention in the same sentence

Manchester Airport

Summary: The terrible security (by design) of Microsoft Windows is causing all sorts of very serious and collectively expensive issues

NOW that Rianne and I are back from vacation (Manchester Airport is shown above) we are amused to see even Dan Goodin, a selective basher of Free software, covering this latest blunder from Microsoft (affecting Vista 7). Sosumi dropped this pointer last night in the #techrights IRC channel and since then the word has been spreading rather quickly. Dan Goodin finally writes about the Microsoft Windows botnet (Windows Update, for a change) and Microsoft rushes to do ‘damage control’ by going after journalists. To quote Goodin:

“Microsoft said a highly suspicious Windows update that was delivered to customers around the world was the result of a test that wasn’t correctly implemented.

“We incorrectly published a test update and are in the process of removing it,” a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to Ars. The message included no other information.”

Yeah, whatever. It’s hard to refute something like that, but it may as well be a lie. It would be hard to prove what actually happened unless someone from the inside (like a whistleblower) got contacted. It’s all secretive and proprietary. Here is what the British media (Goodin’s former employer) wrote: “The Register poked Microsoft about the issue, and a spokesman told us: “We incorrectly published a test update and are in the process of removing it.”

“How that sort of thing happens, though, we’re not totally clear on. The bizarre update has certainly confused a load of Windows users, who hit the support forums in search of answers.

“Beginning with Windows 10, Microsoft has begun touting a new strategy of “Windows as a service,” where updates are continuous and automatic, and only enterprise customers are given the option of refusing them.”

When the Microsoft botnet (commandeered by the NSA and not just Microsoft, which grants the NSA access) goes awry we should all be reminded of the importance of software freedom. Windows Update, with automatic invocation in particular, is a truly terrible thing (even in Free software). Not only state-sanction spies but crackers too can exploit it, through back doors for example.

The monopolist knows that people are increasingly worried about all this remote control-like functionality. Microsoft Peter now comments [1] on mass surveillance (even on keystrokes) in Vista 10 after Microsoft admitted that mass surveillance is very much intentional, not a glitch. People inside Microsoft told me that it’s only getting worse (at development stages) and bound to get worse by the next release of Windows.

In other news, proprietary Windows and proprietary RAR now facilitate remote access by secret agencies (see this discussion). To quote Net Security: “A critical vulnerability has been found in the latest version of WinRAR, the popular file archiver and compressor utility for Windows, and can be exploited by remote attackers to compromise a machine on which the software is installed.”

The press hardly covered this. Instead it got obsessed with “XOR DDOS”. Weak passwords are to blame, not GNU/Linux, but all the headlines name “Linux”. There are finally some decent articles about it, not FUD from Microsoft boosters and insecurity firms (looking to sell their services).

Another bit of FUD came from The Inquirer last week (mentioned in our daily links). The Inquirer changed the headline after falsely accusing/blaming Linux, merely because the acronym XFS was mentioned (purely Windows in this case, not related to the Linux file system). Here are some articles about it [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14]. In short, lots of ATMs are being exploited not because of Linux but because they don’t use Linux. This is because of Windows. What kind of company STILL uses Windows in ATMs and banking in general? This is a platform of botnets and back doors, it’s simply unfit for purpose. Guess who pays the price for clueless technologists who put Windows in banks (which can receive bailout from taxpayers)? Just imagine where we would be if airplanes ran Windows…

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft reaffirms privacy commitment, but Windows will keep collecting data

    The second category is personalization data, the things Windows—and especially Cortana—knows regarding what your handwriting looks like, what your voice sounds like, which sports teams you follow, and so on. Nothing is changing here. Microsoft says that users are in control, but our own testing suggests that the situation is murkier. Even when set to use the most private settings, there is unexpected communication between Windows 10 and Microsoft. We continue to advocate settings that are both clearer and stricter in their effect.

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