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03.25.14

Upcoming SCOTUS Case is About Software Patents, Microsoft et al. Prefer to Deny It; Microsoft’s Illegal Tax Evasion Revisited

Posted in Asia, Microsoft, Patents at 8:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

US judges under observation by the patents Mafia, Microsoft

Security camera

Summary: Extortion and racketeering giant Microsoft prefers cognitive dissonance as software patents are at risk in the US; Microsoft’s patent arsenal Nokia is in trouble in India for the same reasons as Microsoft, namely tax evasion

WHILE we no longer focus on patents, we do continue our focus on FUD. Sites that call themselves “Patent Progress” continue to focus only on trolls (small trolls, not big trolls) and citing controversial boosters of software patents as arguing that “the numbers [of troll cases] are in for 2013, and it seems that patent trolling shows no signs of slowing down. According to RPX, trolls sued over 4,800 companies last year, up from the 4,282 they sued in 2012.” This is another distraction from the real issue, which is patent scope (e.g. software patents).

Last night Geza from the FFII’s mailing list said that “Forbes has an article highlighting the upcoming SCOTUS case Alice Corp. vs. CLS Bank” (we have covered this a couple of times before).

“Here we have a dying company which is busy trying to assault the winners (Linux-based) with troll proxies like MOSAID (armed with Nokia patents which Microsoft arranged for MOSAID to receive).”This case, according to Geza, “(at least the EFF thinks) concerns software patents” and he cites this new article which says: “Microsoft and its allies in the tech industry urge the court to avoid any pronouncements on software patents, because that could endanger one of the most vigorous segments of the economy.”

“Big SW-patent shops (like MSFT) instead argue thet the present case is only on business-methods patents,” notes Geza.

Well, isn’t it unsurprising that Microsoft would say that? Here we have a dying company which is busy trying to assault the winners (Linux-based) with troll proxies like MOSAID (armed with Nokia patents which Microsoft arranged for MOSAID to receive). Nokia’s software patents promotion is no secret and it predates Microsoft’s hijacking of Nokia (“Microsoft Nokia Takeover Is Delayed Until April,” according to this new report), which also commits some of the same offences Microsoft is committing (namely tax evasion, with conviction in India). According to ZDNet, “Indian taxes are proving to be a sticky problem for Nokia as it attempts to transfer its devices business to Microsoft.” ZDNet should mention that Microsoft does the same thing and was found guilty in India, too. Microsoft’s influence in the Indian government did not exempt the company and also has not yet assured software patents in India.

02.17.14

Linux Deepin/Ubuntu in the Future of China, Showing the Great Power of Debian

Posted in Asia, Debian, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Debian 7
Debian 7 supports numerous Chinese languages

Summary: The Far East is gradually moving to Debian-derived distributions of GNU/Linux, creating its own localised versions

ACCORDING TO numerous reports, China is moving to GNU/Linux and its home-bred GNU/Linux distribution, Linux Deepin (recently reviewed in [1,2]), is sort of replacing an old one which was based on Red Hat. Linux Deepin is based on Ubuntu and it represents Canonical’s special partnership and new major source of income (as Canonical recently reported it). Linux Deepin may one day outpace the growth of Ubuntu because China has a vast population and it is the largest base of Internet surfers.

One report says [3] that “China switches on to Ubuntu in hunt for Windows XP successor”, but a lot of media focuses on the demise of Red Flag Linux [4-7], which is basically a loss to Red Hat. It seems like the Debian camp is starting to gain more ground in China (same in North Korea and South Korea) — a promising trend which will probably be debated in the media for a long time to come. China also has COS in he making (Linux-based but focused on mobile).

Debian 7.4 was recently released [8] and despite some hostilities [9,10] (nothing new to Debian) related to the Systemd debate [11,12] there are signs of strength and leadership in the GNU/Linux world. As for Ubuntu, it is following Debian for the most part [13] (although Debian follows Red Hat in this case) and with reduced interest from developers [14] due to controversies [15] such as Canonical’s demand for licence-signing by derivatives (noted the other day and covered here months ago) it will have to work hard on restoring confidence [16], not just by letting the “community” use an SDK [17] or vote on wallpapers [18] but also by opening up the development process, as Debian does. When Ubuntu turned to mobile it notoriously shunned community participation, not just when it comes to development but also voting/steering.

Ubuntu is gaining elsewhere in east Asia [19], so let’s hope it will improve privacy policies. In some Asian countries surveillance by the government can lead to imprisonment and even death.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Linux Deepin is a fringe Linux distribution that could steal your heart

    Jack Wallen digs into Linux Deepin and comes out impressed. See what this fringe Linux distribution has to offer, and discover if its your next platform.

  2. Linux Deepin, Ubuntu systemd and Licensing, and Red Flag Scuttled
  3. China switches on to Ubuntu in hunt for Windows XP successor
  4. Chinese software pioneer Red Flag bites the dust
  5. Chinese Linux Distributor Red Flag Software Disappears Overnight
  6. China shutters Windows ‘rival’ Red Flag Linux
  7. Linux distributor Red Flag Software disappears overnight
  8. Debian 7.4 Rounds Up Stable Updates
  9. Debian Tech Committee Falling Further Into Disarray

    While it was clear that systemd overtook Upstart in this weekend’s Debian init system voting by the Debian technical committee, some fits are still being had over the results. Some committee members are now calling for resignations.

  10. Fake Debian Developers Try To Get Free Linux Games
  11. Debian inches towards new init system decision amid fallout
  12. An Exploit In GNOME Shell With Systemd?

    It looks like there might be a big bug in systemd-using GNOME Shell Linux systems.

  13. Shuttleworth says Ubuntu will switch to systemd

    The head of Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution and the creator of the upstart init system, has announced that it will switch its init system to the Red Hat-developed systemd.

  14. Ubuntu Is Short On Developer Membership Board Nominations
  15. Ubuntu and Privacy and how it really works now.

    Firstly the Amazon lens is nothing special, and it is perhaps the internet connected lens I am least worried about. I trust Amazon to do what I expect them to do, I am a customer so they know what I bought, sending them random strings like “calcul” and “gedi” and “eclip” does not give them valuable data. It is junk. I am much more concerned about stuff like the Europeana, jstor, grooveshark lenses which do exactly the same thing but I have no idea who those organisations are or what they do. Even things like openweathermap, sounds good, but are they really a trusted organisation?

  16. Why do you need license from Canonical to create derivatives?
  17. Ubuntu Planning For HTML5, SDK Improvements

    Jono Bacon of Canonical has shared some new details after a developer sprint was held last week in Florida for the platform, SDK, and security teams along with desktop and design stakeholders. Those developers focusing upon Ubuntu’s next-generation platform can find all of the details in full via Jono’s blog post but some of the key takeaways include:

  18. Everybody Can Submit Wallpapers For The Trusty Tahr Wallpaper Submision Contest

    The wallpaper contest for Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr is taking part right now, everybody being able to submit their photos until the 5th of March 2014.

  19. After Vodafone, Smart Communications Has Also Joined The Ubuntu’s Carrier Advisory Group (CAG)

    Recently, Smart Communications, a mobile carrier from Philippines, has joined Ubuntu’s Carrier Advisory Group (CAG), in order to support Ubuntu Touch, the mobile version and Ubuntu, and sell phones with Ubuntu for phones pre-installed.

02.06.14

Sure, GNU/Linux is Used Extensively by North Korea, But Why the Hate?

Posted in Asia, GNU/Linux at 6:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: New types of smears against GNU/Linux come from an unexpected angle which needs tackling

HATRED towards North Korea is cleverly being projected onto hatred against GNU/Linux. Nobody has done this as shamefully as the insidious BBC, which uses the news to insinuate that GNU/Linux is crazy, communist [1], or something like that (the BBC rarely covers GNU/Linux at all, perhaps because many managers in there came from Microsoft UK). It often seems like the BBC only ever covers GNU/Linux when it has something negative to say (we gave examples of this pattern before), or only when it’s “rogue” or associated with something rogue like a virus.

Interestingly enough, more hate towards GNU/Linux in North Korea comes from Apple fan sites [2-4] (not necessarily tied to Apple itself). Never mind the fact that North Korea in many ways resembles Apple and Android's founder/former chief seemingly compared Steve Jobs to North Korea's dead leader (Kim Il-sung). If something has got “North Korea” in it, then it’s automatically malicious. Generally speaking, if one wants to make peace with a country, then one should start by showing respect. To ridicule is to breed more tensions. The BBC’s smears are smears of hypocrisy. For instance, saying that North Korea counts years since the death of a leader neglects the fact that we in the West count the years since the death of Christ. Here is some North Korean coverage [5] and articles from IDG [6,7], the latter of which asking: “Should Linux look like Windows?”

It should probably look like neither Windows nor OS X for reasons we mentioned before. Users’ familiarity is probably outweighed by the need for unique and distinct identity. There are also associated risks, reinforced by Apple’s litigation over GUIs. Having seen North Korea’s operating system, I can’t say that it really resembles Apple’s. Apple did not invent the dock (it copied it), it was not the first with Brushed Metal and Aqua (I had those in GNU/Linux before OS X even existed), and North Korea’s operating system hardly even imitates those. When Apple accuses Android or Samsung (South Korean) of copying iOS it often turns out (in the courtroom) that it was actually Apple doing the imitation (of predecessors in Asia, for example LG in South Korea).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Apple’s Mac OSX imitated in latest North Korea system

    North Korea has upgraded the operating system used in the country – and it bears a striking resemblance to Apple’s Mac OSX platform.

    [...]

    The Red Star OS is peppered with North Korean propaganda, and its calendar tells users it is not 2014, but 103 – the number of years since the birth of former North Korean leader Kim Il-sung.

    An earlier version of Red Star OS was made available worldwide in 2010 after a Russian student posted it online.

  2. North Korea’s Official ‘Red Star’ Operating System Borrows Heavily From OS X
  3. North Korea’s Home-Grown Operating System Mimics OS X
  4. North Korea Laughably Copies Apple With New Linux Distro

    Red Star Linux, a Linux distribution used in North Korea, has been upgraded to version 3.0. With it comes an entire UI revamp, one that looks extremely similar to that of OS X. The menu buttons are placed on the lefthand corner of each window and many UI buttons have an “aqua” effect as seen in previous versions of OS X. Most notably however, is the addition of a dock on the bottom of the desktop that is almost identical to the dock seen in OS X.

  5. North Korea’s Red Star OS goes Mac
  6. North Korea’s home-grown OS looks a lot like Apple’s OS X
  7. Should Linux look like Windows?

    The real question here though is: Should Linux look more like Windows? My initial thought is no, it certainly should not look like Windows. After all, one of the big attractions of using Linux is to get away from Windows. Who wants to be reminded of an operating system that they just dumped because they didn’t want to use it any more?

01.26.14

IBM Shows That Collaborations With the NSA Are a Company’s Death Knell

Posted in Asia, IBM, Servers at 5:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: China refuses to buy from IBM because of its “special relationship” with the NSA and shortly thereafter China takes over IBM’s server business

IBM recently reported a sharp decline in sales, blaming this on a slump/collapse of contracts with China after the NSA leaks. Perhaps realising that trust is impossible to regain now, IBM, which does not exactly support software freedom on its servers [1], is selling its server business — just like the desktop business — to China [2-4]. It shows the ongoing decline of IBM, which added NSA-oriented extensions such as TPM to Linux-centric agenda. IBM claims to be “hardening the Linux server” these days [5], but historically its agenda inside Linux has been even more dubious than Red Hat's or Intel's because it pushed into Linux (the kernel) software patents agenda and artificial limitations, as we have demonstrated here for years. Linux is used extensively for server security [6], but when Linux itself becomes less secure, then we have a real issue in our hands. Air France now turns to HP [7] — not IBM — for its private server farm needs. Knowing that Boeing is the benefactor of industrial espionage (aided by US diplomats and the NSA), Air France would be wise to dodge IBM. HP has back doors too, but suffice to say, this is less obvious than IBM’s publicly-advertised NSA collusion.

“For many years now IBM has been outsourcing its workforce to India and China and now it’s actually selling parts of its business to the East.”Techrights has historically been friendly towards IBM but also highly critical of the company's patent agenda (lobbying for software patents), marketing tactics, and promotion of freedom- and privacy-infringing technology. The impact of the NSA on IBM is not at doubt [8], and it’s far from negligible [9,10]. For many years now IBM has been outsourcing its workforce to India and China and now it’s actually selling parts of its business to the East. Can clever people in the West (perhaps former IBM workers) outdo IBM by providing a freedom-respecting stack and consulting services around GNU/Linux and Free software? The term FUD comes from IBM, as IBM used these tactics to demonise a former employee who had gone independent with IBM expertise.

At this stage, despite deceiving marketing, IBM needs GNU/Linux and Free software more than GNU/Linux and FOSS need IBM. Recently, the President of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) called IBM a patent troll. IBM can carry on openwashing its business with OpenStack [11,12], Hadoop [13] and so on (even OpenOffice.org), but until it stops serving the NSA, the software patents agenda and various other conflicting interests (causes that harm software freedom and GNU/Linux) we are better off nurturing “true” (as in completely) Free software companies.

Going a few months back (as we mentioned at the time), we have reports such as:

IBM found black budget from the military/surveillance industrial complex too intoxicating to refuse. It sure it alluring to many companies and IBM is no exception; in the 1930 IBM famously did business with the Nazis, helping Hitler’s party profile people (before the data was used for imprisonment and genocide).

For those who did not know about the IBM/NSA relationship, here is a quick wakeup call. It’s not news. It was made known even in the NSA’s Web site. IBM boasted about it. To quote the page about TAPO:

What the Trusted Foundries have to offer:

Accreditation of Trusted Suppliers, with the list available at the DMEA website http://www.dmea.osd.mil/trustedic.html. Potential customers should engage directly with the listed suppliers (except IBM) for all services.
Through TAPO, a contractual relationship with IBM to produce leading-edge microelectronics parts in a trusted environment. IBM maintains world-class facilities in both Vermont and New York, providing a broad range of capabilities to the government in support of the Trusted Foundry contract.

Who can use TAPO services?
Any government-sponsored program can use TAPO to access the IBM Trusted Foundry:

DoD Sponsored Programs may qualify for subsidized pricing on specific MPW runs, provided funding is available.
Other government agencies will need to provide full funding for access.
Contractors working on IR&D projects may access the foundry provided they have a government sponsor.

What services are available?
Through industry partnership at IBM, TAPO offers:

Foundry Services including Multi Project Wafer runs, dedicated prototypes, and production in both high- and low-volume models.
Intellectual Property (IP) development, including standard prepurchased IP.
Packaging and test services.
Custom Logic Service: Cu-08, Cu-65HP, Cu-45HP, and Cu-32.

Foundry Services:
TAPO offers several production options in the foundry business area depending on the schedule and the quantity desired. Designs up to the secret level are accepted.

Multi Project Wafer (MPW) Prototyping – MPW prototype runs have multiple designs on a single reticle and are targeted to customers in need of low volume with no production quantities.
Dedicated Prototype is a dedicated single design prototype run that includes the mask build. IBM guarantees a minimum of two wafers will be delivered to the customer.
Production phase produces unlimited chip quantities, following a successful prototype phase.

Custom Logic Services:
TAPO now has a contract in place for IBM’s commercial Custom Logic flow on digital chips. The customer provides a netlist of RTL hand off and IBM will do the physical layout, package, design, and GDSII generation, and provides tested packaged parts. Design submissions are accepted in Cu-08 Cu-65HP, Cu-45HP, and Cu-32. IBM’s Custom Logic methodology is also available for classified designs.

Intellectual Property:
TAPO has bought pre-paid access to certain roadmap IP that it makes available to customers on an as-needed basis. A complete list of available IP can be obtained from TAPO. IP orders can also be placed for existing IBM IP, custom IP, and certain non-IBM IP.

No company should brag about working with above-the-law spies who engage in industrial espionage, lists for assassination, political coups, etc. IBM’s affairs with the NSA are not new; what’s news is public disapproval (even inside the US) of the NSA and its actions.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. IBM Stays Committed to the Cloud, But What of OpenStack?

    While there have been questions about IBM’s true commitment to the OpenStack cloud computing platform, the company definitely remains focused on cloud computing. Today IBM announced plans to commit more than $1.2 billion to significantly expand its global cloud footprint. The investment includes a network of cloud centers that clients can apparently leverage, including allowing businesses to run their IT operations in the cloud.

  2. Lenovo Confirms Purchase Of IBM x86 Server Business For £1.4 billion
  3. Lenovo Agrees to Buy IBM Server Business for $2.3 Billion
  4. IBM Sells Server Business to Lenovo for $2.3 Billion
  5. Hardening the Linux server
  6. A10 Networks Debuts Thunder DDoS Hardware

    ACOS is a Linux-based networking operating system.

  7. Air France builds private cloud with HP for Linux server farm

    Air France says it has automated and increased the reliability of its 1,500 Linux servers by deploying a private cloud solution.

    The deployment is based on HP’s Cloud Service Automation (CSA) software to accelerate deployment times for physical and virtual infrastructures.

  8. IBM’s Full Year Revenues Hit by NSA Scandal
  9. IBM Earnings – Don’t Expect Big Blue to Get Out of Its Slump
  10. IBM: At Least 10% Downside To Fair Value
  11. IBM Explains Its Participation on the OpenStack Foundation Board of Directors

    Todd Moore, director, IBM Standards and Partnerships, discusses his participation as a member of the OpenStack board of directors.

  12. IBM Optimizes OpenStack Cloud Performance with Scheduler

    In a nod to the need for more efficient resource management for public and private cloud computing, IBM (IBM) has unveiled a new product for its OpenStack platforms. Called the Platform Resource Scheduler, the resource provides a virtualized programmable interface for automating the allocation of cloud resources.

  13. IBM’s Watson Fails To Compute In A World Of Open-Source Hadoop

    IBM has big plans for Watson, but its proprietary, developer-free approach is under-delivering.

01.16.14

Interventions Watch: January 2014

Posted in Action, Africa, Asia at 10:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Stories about military interventions (analysis of the present)

Syria and Libya (Weapons)

  • Whose sarin?

    The absence of immediate alarm inside the American intelligence community demonstrates that there was no intelligence about Syrian intentions in the days before the attack. And there are at least two ways the US could have known about it in advance: both were touched on in one of the top secret American intelligence documents that have been made public in recent months by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor.

    On 29 August, the Washington Post published excerpts from the annual budget for all national intelligence programmes, agency by agency, provided by Snowden. In consultation with the Obama administration, the newspaper chose to publish only a slim portion of the 178-page document, which has a classification higher than top secret, but it summarised and published a section dealing with problem areas. One problem area was the gap in coverage targeting Assad’s office. The document said that the NSA’s worldwide electronic eavesdropping facilities had been ‘able to monitor unencrypted communications among senior military officials at the outset of the civil war there’. But it was ‘a vulnerability that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces apparently later recognised’. In other words, the NSA no longer had access to the conversations of the top military leadership in Syria, which would have included crucial communications from Assad, such as orders for a nerve gas attack. (In its public statements since 21 August, the Obama administration has never claimed to have specific information connecting Assad himself to the attack.)

  • Pentagon labeled Benghazi a terrorist attack as Obama administration wavered: newly declassified testimony
  • New York Times Report: CIA-Backed Militias Linked to Benghazi, Libya Attack

    The Times article, based on dozens of interviews in Benghazi, asserts that the attack that killed four Americans, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, was carried out by Libyans who had previously been allied with the US government in the 2011 war that overthrew and murdered Gaddafi. Times correspondent David D. Kirkpatrick writes that the attack was not organized by Al Qaeda or any other group from outside Libya, but “by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi.”

Ed: Reports from last year, which are based on leaks, indicated that Benghazi had been used to funnel weapons to Syria. The leak’s coverage started in CNN and as the British press put it, “The television network said that a CIA team was working in an annex near the consulate on a project to supply missiles from Libyan armouries to Syrian rebels.”

PJ Harvey Brings Guests to BBC

  • Julian Assange rails against surveillance on Today programme
  • John Pilger: ‘We Have Been Misled’

    January 05, 2014 “Information Clearing House – When I travelled in Iraq in the 1990s, the two principal Moslem groups, the Shia and Sunni, had their differences but they lived side by side, even intermarried and regarded themselves with pride as Iraqis. There was no Al Qaida, there were no jihadists. We blew all that to bits in 2003 with ‘shock and awe’. And today Sunni and Shia are fighting each other right across the Middle East.

Iraq

Africa

Eastern Tensions

  • China and Philippines: The reasons why a battle for Zhongye (Pag-asa) Island seems unavoidable

    Zhongye (Pag-asa) Island, the second largest in the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands, has an area of 0.33 square km, and is of great strategic significance for China if it wants to control a vast part of the South China Sea that it claims to be its territorial waters.

    As the Island is located roughly in the middle of the area, if China builds an air force and naval base there, it will more easily control the sky and sea in the claimed area.

The “Nazi” Smears and WW2 Recalled

  • Russian Human Rights Report Casts Europe as Land of Nazis and Gay Propaganda
  • Schools Have Become A Playground For Food And Beverage Marketing

    The vast majority of students are exposed to marketing campaigns by food and beverage companies at their schools, usually for unhealthy products, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics.

  • ‘Hitler furious’ at Swedish minister’s satire mishap

    Sweden’s Justice Minister Beatrice Ask has been criticized for sharing a satirical article about legalized marijuana killing scores of people in the US and tying it to her anti-narcotics stand as a youth politician. Her critics did not hold back.

  • From Hollywood to the Headlines: Art Looted by the Nazis Comes to Light

    It is a story with deep roots: The chaos and destruction of World War II left a horribly fragmented cultural world: art lost forever in the confusion or destroyed in battle; art declared “degenerate” and destroyed by Hitler (whose opinions on racial purity were mirrored in his opinions on purity in art); art seized throughout the continent and carted back to Germany; and art stolen from or sold under duress by Jewish collectors. It’s now almost 70 years since the war’s end, but European authorities and the descendants of the original owners of looted art are still attempting to put the pieces back where they belong.

    Close to 1,400 of these missing pieces were found in the home of 80-year-old Cornelius Gurlitt, a recluse who has been painted by the media as tragic, bizarre and potentially culpable. He inherited the art from his father, one of only four art dealers licensed by Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, to purchase and sell “degenerate” art during the war.

  • Digging for their lives: Russia’s volunteer body hunters

    “There are so many unburied soldiers, it will take decades to find them. There will definitely be work for our grandchildren,” says Marina. “But nature is working against us. The remains are decomposing and it is getting harder to find the bones, ID tags and army kit.” The more years that go by. The less information there is.

  • Unseen Alfred Hitchcock Holocaust documentary ‘Memory of the Camps’ to be released

    An Alfred Hitchcock documentary about the Holocaust which was suppressed for political reasons is to be screened for the first time in the form its director intended after being restored by the Imperial War Museum, reports the Independent.

01.05.14

Asia Should Strongly Reject GMO and Other Food Monopolisation Efforts

Posted in Asia, Patents at 6:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Monsanto is targeting parts of Asia (and Hawaii) with its business of toxins and patents

SEVERAL decades ago Monsanto played a role in the Vietnam war. It killed a huge number of people (as [1] reminds us, in light of some news) by disseminating poison across the ground, doing irreversible damage to this very date, affecting also newborns and wildlife.

Recently, a report from the British government’s press said that China discards or rejects half a million tons of genetically-monopolised corn [2], perhaps realising it is a Trojan horse of illness and dependence (on the West). Around the same time it was Hawaii [3], which is marginally a part of Asia (still disputed territories), fought against Monsanto’s genetically-monopolised crops. According to today’s article from the US government’s press [4], Hawaii was successful. No Agent Orange in Hawaii then…

On the other hand, the Philippines, which is arguably still colonised by the United States, fell for the Monsanto-led ploy [5] and eschewed genetically-monopolised crops. No lessons learned perhaps; never mind the health implications of genetic manipulation, the monopolisation, the toxins, etc.

“GMO Trees Threaten Global Forests” [6] according to a new and suppressed report. Why can’t every country, regardless of political distortion, simply reject GMO on scientific and trade-related grounds? This is a ploy that has been mostly successful in poor countries like India and exploited continents like Africa, with much involvement and participation by opportunists like Rockefeller and Gates, who almost literally bought the politicians there because they invest in Monsanto.

GMO is not about increasing yield; it is distorting the natural selection (going back to plants) that made up existing DNA of plants [7,8] and current equilibrium in flora, not just fauna. It is about monopolisation, but it is marketed as feeding those who are hungry. By distorting peer-reviewed publications and bribing politicians (especially in poor countries) this marketing campaign has been vastly successful, judging by the growing profits derived through patents (patenting foods).

We mostly covered Monsanto about half a decade ago, but it is still the same criminal company which it was back then. We need to stop it.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. USDA-Approved Agent Orange: It’s Coming to a Farm Near You

    Agent Orange, you may recall, was brought to wartime Vietnam by the evil masterminds at Dow and Monsanto.

  2. China rejects US corn on fears over genetic modification

    China has rejected 545,000 tons of imported US corn found to contain an unapproved genetically modified strain.

  3. Hawaii Protest Declares Anti-GMO ‘Tsunami’ is Here

    Following legislative successes, North Shore protest calls on land trust to ‘evict Monsanto’

  4. A Lonely Quest for Facts on Genetically Modified Crops

    From the moment the bill to ban genetically engineered crops on the island of Hawaii was introduced in May 2013, it garnered more vocal support than any the County Council here had ever considered, even the perennially popular bids to decriminalize marijuana.

  5. Golden Rice ignores the risks, the people and the real solutions
  6. GMO Trees Threaten Global Forests

    Genetically engineered trees are being planted in the southeast United States to produce paper and the wood pellets used in power plants. Created by ArborGen, a biotechnology company, these GMO trees threaten the environment in multiple different ways. GMO trees require twice as much water as regular trees and spread their pollen and seeds long distances, resulting in a decrease in tree diversity.

  7. DNA Of Oldest Flowering Plant Addresses Darwin’s ‘Abominable Mystery:’ Study
  8. Driving Force Behind Mitochondrial ‘Sex’ in Ancient Flowering Plant

12.18.13

The Positive Power of Ubuntu GNU/Linux Seen in South Korea

Posted in Asia, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 7:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Taegukgi

Summary: South Korea is seriously considering Ubuntu GNU/Linux as a nationally-approved option now that Windows XP gets back doors (not accessible only to the NSA and its affiliates)

UBUNTU has come under a lot of fire and persistent criticism this year. It has, however, made some unprecedented strides in making GNU/Linux more widely used (something which not only Ubuntu contributes to, as the Linux Foundation points out [1,2]_. Ubuntu, based on some reports, challenges not just Windows but also Wintel, which means x86 as well. This is a good thing and it has been something that Google has done with Android and Chromebooks. The “Google”-branded gear can run Ubuntu GNU/Linux well enough [3] and some derivatives of Ubuntu [4] come preinstalled on machines [5]. Some groups work on turning Android devices into a full GNU/Linux desktop computers [6], so efforts here are mutually beneficial.

In desperate attempts to dodge security issues and the ActiveX nightmare in South Korea [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], it is now reportedly the case that the South Korean government explores migration to Ubuntu. Gives South Korea’s reliance on Linux in Android [7,8], it should not be too shocking. the only reason South Korea hasn’t done so years ago was Microsoft’s ActiveX lock-in (already pointed out in the comments beneath the article “Ubuntu Emerges as Free Alternative Operating System to Windows” — an article that got some attention). According to this report, the government has a lot to do with it. “South Koreans are fully prepared to make a surprising move for all government workers,” Bogdan Popa reports. Microsoft has used ActiveX to suppress adoption of GNU/Linux, but the “government is working to change these laws” that make trade nearly impossible without ActiveX.

In a new analysis from Katherine Noyes it is argued that Ubuntu’s self segregation is not helping the overall cause. While this point is quite valid, this does not make Ubuntu “Evil”. Someone called Gonzalo Velasco C. is quotes as saying: “After using more than 15 distros for real, I can tell Ubuntu is good, and I would humbly say that a lot of derivative distros should be more respectful and thankful [...] FOSS people should not attack other distros! [...] I am not using Ubuntu now, but I don’t spit on the plate I have eaten from.”

This remark echoes the views of many people, to whom attacking Ubuntu seems like a distraction and a fight not worth fighting. Perhaps South Korea will be another nation among more (e.g. France) that fall for the brand/trademark and in the process find Free/libre software. Munich used Debian and it has worked exceptionally well, resulting in a successful migration of many computers [9-13].

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. 2013: The Year of Linux on the…Everything

    In the Linux community we love predicting that this is the year of Linux in cars, or in gaming, or yes, even the desktop.

  2. Win Free Linux Loot: Who Said This?

    It was a phenomenal year of growth for Linux. It is the fastest-growing operating system in the enterprise where it’s supporting the latest advancements in cloud computing, big data, storage, power and more. Linux is also being used to bring new technologies to consumers on their phones, tablets and even into their living room and kitchens (TVs, refrigerators and more). And, some of the greatest advancements in high performance computing this year can be, at least partially, attributed to the help of Linux.

  3. Acer C720 Chromebook Delivers Fast Ubuntu Performance

    The Acer C720 was recently released as the latest Google Chromebook selling for just $199 USD. I have been running the Acer C720 Chromebook recently but not with Chrome OS and instead Ubuntu 13.10 Linux. This Chromebook with a Haswell-based dual-core Celeron CPU runs Ubuntu Linux rather nicely. Here are the first thorough benchmarks from this low-cost laptop.

  4. Linux Mint 16 Petra, hands-on: Installing the Cinnamon, MATE, KDE and Xfce versions

    You can get the ISO Live images from the Mint 16 Download page but please remember, at the time of this writing, the KDE and Xfce versions are still ‘release candidates’, the final versions will appear sometime in the next few days or weeks.

    The images are fairly large, ranging from just over 1.2GB to just under 1.5GB, so they will certainly not fit on a CD, they require either a DVD or a 2GB or larger USB stick. These are hybrid images, so if you already have a Linux system you can simply dd them to a USB stick; otherwise you can use the windows Image Writer to accomplish the same task. For details on this, Clem has written a very concise How to install Linux Mint via USB tutorial.

  5. MintBox 2 review: Linux Mint in a compact, powerful computer
  6. New indiegogo project to turn your Android device into a full Linux desktop computer

    The new Linux on Android indiegogo project aims to further the convergence between desktop and mobile by improving the Complete Linux Installer to support the Linux desktop over HDMI or on the device screen as well as allowing both operating systems to access the storage of the other. Other integration features will be the ability to play audio from Linux via the device’s speakers and view the Android notifications from within Linux. Further Zac wants to make it possible to send emails and text messages from within Linux via accounts setup in Android.

  7. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 joins Tocco Lite in 10 million club
  8. Samsung merges camera and mobile divisions in a bid to differentiate its smartphones
  9. Switch to open source successfully completed, city of Munich says
  10. Munich signs off on Open Source project
  11. Munich declares switch to open source successfully completed

    Munich’s switch to open-source software has been successfully completed, with the vast majority of the public administration’s users now running its own version of Linux, city officials said Thursday.

    In one of the premier open-source software deployments in Europe, the city migrated from Windows NT to LiMux, its own Linux distribution. LiMux incorporates a fully open-source desktop infrastructure. The city also decided to use the Open Document Format (ODF) as a standard, instead of proprietary options.

  12. Munich tries to quit Microsoft, The Weather Channel goes open source, and more

    oday’s weather brought to you by open source

    We always love to hear about big companies making the switch to open source technologies, and this week we found out about another one. The Weather Company, which oversees oversees brands such as The Weather Channel and weather.com, is now using an open source big data analytics system to run its operations, reports cio.com. Weather forecasters rely on big data for everything from satellites, radars, and forecast models to users and weather stations around the globe, so it’s nice to know they’ll also now be relying on an open source system.

  13. Munich’s push to Linux complete

    Munich’s long running switch to open source software has been successfully completed, with the vast majority of the public administration’s users now running its own version of Linux. The move is one of the largest open source software deployments in Europe, the city migrated from Windows NT to LiMux, its own Linux distribution.

    LiMux incorporates a fully open source desktop infrastructure. The city also decided to use the Open Document Format (ODF) as a standard, instead of proprietary options. It has taken nearly a decade to make the switch but as the project roled out there were more savings announced.

11.01.13

Apple: Cheap Labour From China, Now Helping China Digitally ‘Conquer’ Taiwan

Posted in Apple, Asia at 8:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Taiwan

Summary: More backlash against Apple, which helps a rising oppressor change facts and conceptually take over a very large island that prides itself on high quality industries

Taiwan’s political system is mystifying. I spent a lot of time reading about the history and the current relation to PRC (essentially like ‘Greater China’ or ‘United China’). My wife worked in Taipei (electronics), so I can always hear from someone who knows this better. China has been turning into the ‘new Japan’ in the sense that it’s silently occupying and crushing dissent in neighbouring countries and islands. It expands its empire by force and by oppression. By restricting journalism it limits what the outside world knows about it. One might as well call it the Great PR Wall of China (the ‘people’s'). Taiwan has its own government and on the Internet/Web it has its own suffix, .tw.

“For Apple to simply label the Taiwanese people “Chinese” would be like calling Cypriots “Turks” or “Greek”.”For Apple, a vicious and ruthless company that detests even its own customers if they don't toe the party line (we often compare it to North Korea for this reason), using the near equivalent or prison labour makes perfect sense. Apple uses factories in areas that have weak worker/employer regulations and where pay/working hours are incredibly inhumane. Apple got bad publicity over this and it’s not too selective (different countries and provinces in Asia have different rules and practices). A country which pretends to be communist (for the ‘people’) while actually serving few billionaires (capitalism) — both domestic and foreign — is a good match for Apple, so it should make nobody wonder that Apple tries to appease and even appeal to China (Microsoft does the same thing, but that’s another story).

I was horrified when I read that Apple is now showing Taiwan as though it’s just a “province of China” [1] because it’s like China has just silently taken over (people in Taiwan are mostly prepared to fight for their lives to defend from Chinese takeover). This is insensitive and one might wonder if it’s intentional rather than an accident. It’s hard to get this type of stuff ‘wrong’. There is a known controversy here, similar to that of the Palestinian territories (among several other feuding nations/ethnic groups). Fictitious maps are the best kind of propaganda [2] because they help distort facts and misrepresent history [2]. Here in Europe there is great demonisation of immigrants (especially in Greece [3]) amid ethnic tensions and growing clannish tendencies (it’s hardly better in north America [4]). For Apple to simply label the Taiwanese people “Chinese” would be like calling Cypriots “Turks” or “Greek”. It’s beyond tactless and it is insulting to many.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Taiwan protests Apple maps that show island as province of China
  2. We Have Been Misled By An Erroneous Map Of The World For 500 Years

    It was featured in “The West Wing,” but map dishonesty is anything but fictional. Check out this clip to get an accurate look at the size of Africa.

  3. Tell EU Member States: Save Greek “undesirables” from internment camps!

    First migrants and recent immigrants were rounded up from Greece’s streets and forced into internment camps

  4. North Dakota town to halt construction in bid to stop white supremacist influx

    A hate-crimes fugitive from Canada bought several lots in Leith and is encouraging other white supremacists to move there

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