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01.07.14

Microsoft is Still Dreaming of Crushing Android by Doing What It Accuses Google of Doing

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 10:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Joaquin Almunia, who is closely observed by the NSA (under the pretext of “terrorism”), won’t buy Microsoft’s complaints

Joaquin Almunia
Photo by Agência Brasil

Summary: Android, which incorporates Linux, is truly unstoppable, so Microsoft resorts to desperate measures that it previously used to suppress GNU/Linux adoption

TO MICROSOFT, Android is no joking matter and not a platform to be ridiculed (Microsoft is well past the stage of ridicule). Microsoft now uses proxies such as Nokia (via additional proxies) for patent assaults and even antitrust assaults against Android (it’s not going to work in Europe because of obviousness and hypocrisy).

Why should Microsoft be so terrified and nervous about Android?

Well, Android is now moving up to the desktop, Microsoft’s main area of illegally-obtained domination. “HP takes Android PCs commercial,” said one ZDNet journalist [1] (journalists are rare at ZDNet, as most are trolls, moles, and even existing Microsoft staff), adding to what his colleague said about Lenovo [2]. Another article asked: “Could an Android desktop replace your Windows PC?” [3]

In addition, Android is getting huge traction inside cars [4-7] (Western companies), not to mention tablets [8], cameras [9], and smartwatches [10] (mostly east Asian companies). All that Microsoft can do is try to tax those companies (as it does especially in east Asia) and try dropping the price of Windows to zero [11], essentially rendering its bogus antitrust complaints against Android hypocritical.

It has been quite gratifying to see Microsoft resorting to desperate measures like these. When German cars run Linux (Android) [12-13], Acer turns to Android desktops [14], longtime Linux foes like NVIDIA shift attention to Linux (Android) [15] and “fragmentation” FUD becomes too weak to be used [16] (CyanogenMod is an alternative option for Android devices, not a fork [17]) it is clear that Android is only growing. There’s no turning back now. It even starts occupying desktops, cars, kitchens, living rooms, etc. It is already dominant in phones (new example in [18-20]) and in tablets (examples in [21-24]). Muktware covers a good range of new products [25-28] and on the applications side too there is a lot to be found [29]. The wide range of cutting-edge applications which are designed for Android would be probably the reasons that some companies now seriously consider Android a desktop-ready platform. There’s not much Microsoft can do now; it lost its inertia.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. HP takes Android PCs commercial

    The move, outlined at the Consumer Electronics Show 2014, comes just a few hours after Lenovo launched an Android all-in-one designed for the living room. HP’s Slate Pro AiO will run Android 4.3 with an Nvidia Tegra 4 quad-core processor. For good measure, HP is including Kingsoft Office Suite, Box storage and Citrix Receiver for Windows application support.

  2. Android desktops arrive as Lenovo eyes your living room

    Lenovo on Sunday rolled out an Android all-in-one home computer designed to be a living room multimedia PC. Should Android-powered PCs do well it would further disrupt the PC market and splinter the operating system selection a bit more.

  3. Could an Android desktop replace your Windows PC?

    Android as a PC operating system isn’t a new idea. Samsung announced a dual-boot Windows 8.x/Android convertible tablet, the Ativ Q, in June 2013. There are also rumors that Intel and its partners will be announcing “PC Plus” devices that will run Android apps on top of Windows 8.1, ala Bluestacks, at CES. HP and Lenovo have a more radical idea: Replace Windows entirely with Android on the desktop.

  4. Google launches Android automotive consortium
  5. Google creates Open Automobile Alliance to put Linux (Android) in cars
  6. Google wants an Android in every Audi and Honda

    The search giant has created a new organisation, with the backing of several of the world’s largest car makers, to promote the Android operating system as a common standard for in-car computers

  7. Google launches the Android-based Open Automotive Alliance with Audi, Honda, GM, and more

    Google and a number of automakers are planning to bring Android to cars with the launch of a new group called the Open Automotive Alliance. The alliance consists of Google, GM, Honda, Audi, Hyundai, and chipmaker Nvidia, and will focus on bringing the successful mobile operating system to in-car entertainment systems “in a way that is purpose built for cars.” The first cars with Android integration are planned for launch by the end of 2014.

  8. Samsung said to unveil Galaxy Pro tablets in early 2014

    Based on a tidbit from an unnamed insider, SamMobile said on Friday that Samsung is prepping three Pro tablets as well as a lite version of the Galaxy Tab 3. The pro lineup would include the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1, and the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2.

  9. Samsung’s Galaxy Camera 2 starts to refine the Android point-and-shoot

    Samsung is unveiling the Galaxy Camera 2 today, its second take on the idea of a truly smart point-and-shoot. Like its predecessor, the Galaxy Camera 2 runs Android, has wireless connectivity, and is operated primarily through controls on a large, 4.8-inch touchscreen. It’s still designed around making photos easy to share and edit using Android apps, but this time around, Samsung is promising a camera that can take even better photos in the first place — potentially making up for one of its predecessor’s weakest points.

  10. ZTE to showcase its smartwatch among other devices in CES
  11. Will Microsoft make Windows free to defeat Android?

    This can only be viewed as a seriously desperate attempt by Microsoft to grasp at any straw left within reach. Google and Apple have both hit Microsoft hard by providing free operating systems, and Microsoft is flailing around trying to figure out how to become relevant again.

  12. Google and Audi plot new front in Android vs. iOS war
  13. Android will power Audi cars

    Android is everywhere, it is currently powering lot of other electronic devices. The OS that started with mobile devices, is now slowly making it’s way into automobiles. Google has joined hands with german automaker, Audi to develop in car entertainment and information system based on Android for their cars.

  14. Why Acer’s new Android desktops are a game-changer

    This year at CES, Acer is introducing two new desktops – yes, you read that correctly, desktops – running the wildly successful variant of Linux known as Android. They’re cleverly positioning these exactly as I’ve been predicting for a long time: as monitors. They’re monitors with video inputs that the luddites can connect to a computer running Windows 8, complete with touchscreen input. But they also have a full Android stack available, which will operate independently with no external computer attached.

  15. Nvidia’s Tegra K1 tablet shows a beautiful future for Android gaming

    Nvidia’s big announcement for CES 2014 was, as expected, the fifth generation of its Tegra mobile processor. It’s such a momentous step forward for the company, however, that it’s getting a whole new designation in being called the Tegra K1. That’s because it implements the Kepler architecture, which underpins Nvidia’s desktop graphics card lineup, meaning you’re literally getting desktop-class graphics technology in your mobile processor.

  16. Balky carriers and slow OEMs step aside: Google is defragging Android

    Android 4.3 was released to Nexus devices a little over a month ago, but, as is usual with Android updates, it’s taking much longer to roll out the general public. Right now, a little over six percent of Android users have the latest version. And if you pay attention to the various Android forums out there, you may have noticed something: no one cares.

  17. CyanogenMod Source Code for Samsung Galaxy Note 3 now available

    CyanogenMod is going strong, the team has brought support to all major flagship devices of 2013 from different manufacturers. Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, LG G2, Moto X and Nexus 5 makes the list of supported devices. You might have noticed Samsung Galaxy Note 3 missing from the list; well, not anymore, a recent post on the official Google+ page of CyanogenMod says that CyanogenMod source code for Note 3 is now available for download, nightlies are coming soon.

  18. Rugged Android phone surprisingly thin, light

    The Handheld Group launched the Nautiz X1, a rugged, 4-inch smartphone with Android 4.0, a 15mm profile, 180-gram weight, and IP67 water- and dustproofing.

  19. Gift Guide: Our Favorite Android Phone
  20. Top 10 Android phones (January 2014 edition)
  21. DreamWorks will release its own ‘Dreamtab’ Android tablet this spring

    DreamWorks has partnered with Fuhu, the company responsible for the Nabi line of tablets, to produce an Android tablet for kids. The 8-inch Dreamtab will cost “under $300,” according to the New York Times, and will feature regularly updated original content based on DreamWorks characters. The content will be tailored for tablets, and will automatically arrive on Dreamtabs ready for consumption. Unlike many mobile games based on movies and TV, the content isn’t being created by a third party, but instead is being produced in-house.

  22. 27-inch Android all-in-one sports 2560 x 1440 pixels

    The Android computer within the TA272 HUL runs on an Nvidia Tegra 4 quad-core processor, which is still one of the fastest ARM SoCs around. The Tegra 4 features four Cortex-A15 cores and a 72-core GeForce GPU (graphics processing unit). Other TA272 HUL features include 16GB of internal storage, dual-mode WiFi, HDMI and DisplayPorts, and a USB 3.0 port for game controllers and other peripherals.

  23. Intel’s 2014 Android ambitions embrace 64-bit, more tablets

    Intel has big Android ambitions for 2014. The chipmaker’s points of focus for the year ahead include 64-bit processing power and more tablets.

  24. The bumpy road ahead for Android tablets in 2014

    When you look at existing Android tablets, they are all basically the same with the exception of Lenovo’s Yoga 8 and 10. They are thin, light slates with roughly equivalent processors and memory. They have memory slots to augment system storage, and the typical audio/video ports.

  25. You can boost the speed of your Nexus devices, thanks to Moto X
  26. Motorola now selling Moto X for $399
  27. $100 Moto G launched on Verizon Wiresless
  28. Samsung’s Galaxy Camera 2
  29. 50 best Android apps of 2013

01.02.14

As GNU and Linux Become Dominant Platforms They Need Not Follow Microsoft With UEFI

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 10:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Positive outlook for GNU and Linux is overshadowed somewhat by tactless embrace of UEFI by the likes of Canonical

2013, as we’ve pointed out throughout that year, was an excellent year for GNU/Linux (others agree [1]). Even Microsoft boosters realise that the world is leaving Windows behind, mostly because Google (with Chrome OS and Android) is occupying more and more segments, enjoying huge market share (by some criteria higher than Windows’). As an example of one Microsoft booster in a stage of acceptance, see “Facing the Biggest Problem with Windows in 2014″ (written by a famous Windows booster).

The last thing we need right now is technology that helps keep Windows around. It is baffling to see Ubuntu, which is now managed by former Microsoft staff, wasting everyone’s time with UEFI (this is counter-productive). Here is the latest: “An Ubuntu developer has proposed 32-bit UEFI support within new Ubuntu Linux install images to support the new “Bay Trail” laptops and other hardware that requires 32-bit UEFI support.”

Ubuntu’s Mark Shuttleworth says that Ubuntu Linux on track for full convergence before Microsoft [2], but why is he following Microsoft’s ‘lead’ (in antifeatures)? This is not necessary. He would be better off joining antitrust complaints. Shuttleworth is correct in pointing out that we’re moving towards mobile and servers (pundits agree with him [3] and so do sales numbers [3-6], which demonstrate Linux domination [7]).

GNU/Linux is doing just fine without following Microsoft’s footsteps. Canonical should rethink its UEFI strategy at this stage. It’s never too late.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. 2013 REVIEWED – FROM A LINUX USER’S POINT OF VIEW

    2013 was one of the most dramatic years of my life-time. The Edward Snowden revelations made this year the most remarkable year in the history. As a Gnu/Linux user (where privacy and control of data is prime objective) this year was quite promising as Gnu/Linux rose as the dominant player in the consumer space.

  2. Shuttleworth: Ubuntu Linux on track for full convergence before Microsoft

    Microsoft is widely expected to converge its operating systems across desktops, mobile phones and tablets. However, according to Mark Shuttleworth, Ubuntu Linux is on track to achieve full convergence first.

  3. What Happened In Desktop Linux In 2013? Not Much

    Much like the overall IT industry, the Linux community shifted its focus to mobile and cloud computing.

  4. Amazon Delivers Quick 9 Second Kindle Fire HDX Mayday Response
  5. Amazon’s Kindle Fire blazed new trails over the holidays
  6. Amazon Kindle Smartphone to launch in 2014?
  7. Linux dominates Amazon’s Christmas tablet sales

    While I’m happy to see Android doing so well, I’d really like to see other Linux-based products topping the charts too. Perhaps an Ubuntu based tablet or phone might also be a good option for consumers. I’d very much prefer that customers had another choice besides just Android, iOS or Microsoft Windows based products.

12.26.13

Urge Hardware Companies to Stop Using UEFI (or Boycott Them), Don’t Work on UEFI

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Kernel, Microsoft at 6:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UEFI logo

Summary: Gummiboot developers continue to weaken the case for abolishing UEFI, which we now know is a serious security risk, not a feature

EARLIER this year I advised the managers of UEFI to withdraw ‘secure’ boot support — an unnecessary addition which is basically an antifeature that can remotely brick hardware (rendering it unbootable, as has been attempted before based on an NSA programme).

There is some project called Gummiboot (inflatable dingy in German) which acts as a boot manager for UEFI. This package is developed by Red Hat, but “Red Hat’s Fedora Project does not use gummiboot for booting UEFI systems,” according to Wikipedia and other sources. This package, unlike GRUB, is not GPLv3-licensed. Gummiboot 42 was released some days ago and as Nathan Willis put it a year and a half ago “the biggest question that remains is whether it is wise to tacitly endorse secure boot by playing its games in first place.”

The answer is no and as we approach 2014 (the article above is from June 2012) it is clear that Microsoft got away with this Intel-backed antifeature, which has not been widely abolished as we hoped. Vista 8 was a massive failure (exceptionally poor adoption), so it will be more constructive to urge OEMs to shun UEFI (saying it proved to be Linux- and GNU-hostile), not adopt it. This is not a goal that’s unachievable and it is too late to work on in. Any effort, such as the above, simply weakens the antitrust complaint over Microsoft and UEFI. It has been very disappointing to see Red Hat joining NSA allies like Intel, IBM, and Microsoft, first tacitly promoting TPM and now treacherous/restricted boot.

12.17.13

‘Retired’ Microsoft Staff and the Takeover of the Government

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, Europe at 4:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The DelBene couple (Microsoft executives) continues to take positions of power inside the US government while Bill Gates, a convicted monopolist, befriends key people in the Europe-wide government

CORRUPTION can be achieved in subtle ways by ensuring those who make decisions are your friends, are funded (bribed) by you, or are simply former employees of yours (i.e. on your payroll with potentially millions of dollars in salaries). Bill Gates, the world’s biggest bandit, is a master of those three types of corruption. As this new article points out, it almost seems like the EU married Bill Gates (see photo from 2013) and is now buying from Microsoft (at taxpayers’ expense) without even giving any competition a fair chance. To quote: “Despite being strong advocates of competition, European institutions are bound to the US software giant through murky contracts. Any transition to “open source” software, which in theory they encourage, would be too complicated and too expensive, they claim.”

This in itself is a form of corruption. But never mind this. Let’s look at some new example.

The Obamacare front end used GNU/Linux for quite some time and guess who infiltrates it? As iophk points out, it’s “more entryism” as we have already explained what this man and his wife are doing, having been paid a fortune by Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.

Remember how Mr. Hunter, a former Microsoft manager, was enabling billions of dollars in tax dodging by Microsoft? This is corruption. It’s revolving doors.

There is another old tactic in use here. NSA’s special partner Microsoft is taking over something very sensitive. The Seattle press is boosting this (it is bribed by Bill Gates) and it is very obvious why. Whoever let this Microsoft mole enter is letting Microsoft hold hostage people’s medical data. It is assurance of bailout as this becomes a matter of life and death, as we pointed out years ago when Microsoft tried hard to make healthcare dependent on Microsoft.

This is removing any remaining illusion of privacy in healthcare, let alone justice.

Wait and watch how Microsoft moles turn Obamacare into Microsoft’s toy. Will Obamacare be any better than Microsoft OneCare, which famously quarantined people’s entire mail archive?

The above is not mere lobbying, it is entryism and abuse by supposedly ‘retired’ people. They seek to occupy positions of power beyond Microsoft, assisting their previous employer and colleagues. We saw this many times before. Nokia is a relatively recent and famous example.

12.12.13

Microsoft’s Antitrust/Taxation Attempts Against Linux/Android in Europe Are Rapidly Falling Apart

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 11:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Regulator to Microsoft: I see what you did there…

Joaquin Almunia
Photo by Agência Brasil

Summary: Microsoft’s patent and antitrust strategy against Android/Linux (through Nokia) is not working out too well because of hypocrisy and obviousness

MICROSOFT, an abusive monopolist, had the audacity to accuse Android/Linux of the same [1, 2, 3]. Nokia, a former monopolist by some people’s standards, was the notable Microsoft proxy at the time.

Well, based on this new report from The Verge and interpretations of it, “[i]n April this year, a Microsoft-sponsored antitrust complaint about Android had this to say: “Google’s predatory distribution of Android at below-cost makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google’s dominant mobile platform.””

Now Microsoft drops to zero cost, as well, according to the report. As the author then points out: “And we have the whole Scroogled campaign (I felt dirty just for visiting that site).”

“And now they’re considering doing the exact same things they claim Google is doing unfairly? Does this company have any internal consistency whatsoever? ”

Never mind the inconsistency on privacy in “Scroogled” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9].

The only thing uglier than all this is the racketeering, which is illegal by internationally-acceptable (universal) law. We recently wrote about European regulators catching up with this abuse by proxy. “Handset business will sell to Microsoft, but keep its patents. Regulators noticed,” said one report while others noticed how Microsoft's own (direct) racketeering fell apart because Microsoft's patents are bogus and invalid (Microsoft is patenting bras now). This put at risk Microsoft’s attempts to make Android more expensive.

According to another new report from The Verge, Nokia now working on an Android phone as part of a push into the low-end smartphone market. “Several sources close to Nokia suggested the company is working on the project under the code name “Normandy,”” said ECT. So Nokia complains about Android while using it? Who controls the whole of Nokia’s policy now?

This isn’t the only case where Microsoft tries to use intellectual monopolies to undermine Linux/Android. As this new report puts it, Microsoft continues to use crooked licensing in virtualisation — a subject we have covered for over a half a decade (since the Novell days). “This is the main reason why Windows barely gets a look-in in today’s cloud world,” wrote the author. “When I ask FOSS devops-type colleagues about it, their responses range from incredulity to hilarity. Why on Earth would they want to deploy on Windows? What possible advantage would it give them? These guys wield Puppet and Chef to deploy vast swarms of headless virtual Linux systems. Microsoft and proprietary software doesn’t feature in their world; some weirdos run Mac laptops but that’s about it.”

The age of Microsoft’s abuses against Linux may be over, but only if regulators take a closer look (with our help) at what Microsoft is doing and then warn it/threaten with antitrust action. Don’t believe for a second that Microsoft will just ignore the words from Joaquin Almunia; it wasn’t empty rhetoric and it has become a business risk (loss of revenue if not embargo).

10.07.13

Convicted Monopolists Call Software You Develop and Give for Free ‘Anti-competitive’

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, Microsoft at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Freely sharing is evil, apparently

Bill and Nathan

“[T]here is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.”

Bill Gates, April 2008

Summary: Bill Gates risks ejection from Microsoft, but the lobbying against sharing what’s freedom-respecting carries on

THE company of bribes, technical sabotage, extortion, etc. (with immunity to jail terms) is in the headlines again (celebrity criminal) because there is apparently an initiative to remove the most criminal elements, especially now that there are probes over alleged bribes all around the world (some high-level Microsoft executives risk going to prison). Some pundits think that Microsoft’s #1 criminal, Bill Gates, should be fired to be left working on his fake ‘charity. As IDG put it:

Steve Ballmer has been booted as CEO at Microsoft. Now should Bill Gates be removed from Microsoft’s board of directors? Datamation thinks he should be given his walking papers and sent on his way.

Many people prefer to forget Gates’ role in Microsoft’s competition crimes — crimes that he mostly dodged without a jail sentence, just as he escaped a jail term several decades earlier because his parents were very wealthy. But here is what’s most disgusting about it all; Using a lobbying front, Microsoft is now trying to call Linux/Android anti-competitive — a bogus allegation which KDE is the latest party to respond to. To quote the KDE Web site:

Open Letter to the European Commission: Free Software is competitive

The KDE community is deeply concerned by the wrong notion contained in a recent complaint to the European Commission. The Fairsearch initiative claims that “distribution of Android at below-cost” could constitute anti-competitive behaviour or predatory pricing. Mirko Böhm produced a response (PDF) for the KDE Community.

In part, the Fairsearch complaint is an attempt to reduce the strong competition of Free Software platforms with proprietary offerings. KDE and other free software projects would be adversely affected by a misinformed decision about Android. The Internet itself (a basis for the Fairsearch complaint) is largely a product of Free Software. The KDE Community in one of the largest Free Software communities in the world, a global collaboration of companies and individuals building a free platform and creating programs in an openly governed development process.

In a world where crime is “business” or “success”, it is not too shocking to see sharing and freedom characterised as some kind of a crime. Coming from the fiend who daemonised respecting one’s neighbour (see Letter to Hobbyists), it is not shocking to see those lobbyists. Whether Gates stays in Microsoft or not, he will continue to promote selfishness while pretending to do the very opposite. That’s how effective his PR campaign — just like the above “Fairsearch” (it’s the very opposite of fair) — has been.

08.11.13

UEFI Sucks, Suggests a Growing Consensus

Posted in Antitrust, Hardware, Microsoft at 2:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EFI

Summary: Resistance to bogus (to most users) novelty which gives corporations rather than users power over computers all around the world

Some prominent operating system developers already complain about what they perceive to be an anticompetitive measure. Intel, which spearheads UEFI advocacy, needs Windows right now, especially because the best-selling devices, which run Linux, are based on non-x86 chipsets. We oughtn’t let Intel, a criminal company with a long track record at that, get its way.

Richard WM Jones mentioned UEFI/EFI the other day, alluding to problems it was causing him. He wants to bring back the BIOS and concludes as follows:

Anyhow, this explains how I’ve gone from 3 working Fedora ARM systems to 0 in the space of two days. This is also the reason I think EFI is a terrible mistake.

Now that we know of back doors for the NSA we know that with UEFI some motherboards can be bricked remotely (the US was concerned that the Chinese would do such things). UEFI is also a patent trap and a facilitator of antitrust abuses that merit it a boycott, Why again does an ordinary user need UEFI? Benefits do not outweigh the dangers, so we need to shun UEFI for now.

08.03.13

UEFI a Complication That Almost Nobody Needs

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft at 7:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Adding a monopoly layer that nobody asked for

EFI

Summary: Another reason to boycott UEFI, which is a headache to many and benefit to almost nobody except Intel and Microsoft

As regular critics of UEFI, especially for its ‘secure’ boot enablement of Microsoft antitrust abuses, it seemed reasonable for us to point out this rant from a UEFI proponent, Dr. Garrett.

“Enable freedom, not lockdown.”“32-bit UEFI,” he rants “Just say what on earth were you thinking, please, no, can’t you find a solution that doesn’t involve me getting tetanus jabs.”

The rant is about shipping of inadequate UEFI implementations, which cause unnecessary problems. Why use UEFI anyway? What are the benefits to most users? Remote network booting? No. It’s just unwanted complications marketed as progress. To most users, less is more. Use Coreboot. Enable freedom, not lockdown. When I pointed this out to the President of the UEFI Forum he did not really have a counterpoint.

Given Microsoft’s strong relationship with the NSA we now know that the NSA can brick hardware with UEFI. Remotely even, provided it also runs Windows. That is a massive risk to tolerate. Boycott UEFI.

PRISM Edition
Found circulating in JoinDiaspora

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