Summary: Once again, an overview of some gross PR which is intended to portray as open the company which is the biggest enemy of Open Source and libre software
The Microsoft ally/partner Black Duck has been using something called Future Of Open Source Survey to increase its influence over the collective voice of FOSS. This is still going on. Recently, Black Duck was openwashing Microsoft in a very gross way and years ago it brought in Ohloh, which is former Microsoft staff. “Ohloh Reveals Unique Insight into Organizations’ Commitments to Open Source Projects,” says a new headline, which is another stunt by Black Duck to promote its voice. Here is an example. The founder of the company is a Microsoft marketing man/Microsoft campaigner and his strategy sure pays off. Here is another new example of openwashing, this time with code samples for proprietary platform (C# and Visual Basic).
Paul Krill plays along with the Microsoft PR:
The company is expanding its participation in open source endeavors, no longer believes Linux is a ‘cancer’
Not true. Just look at what Microsoft is doing to Linux while it is also misusing the term “open” to mean nonsense. Here is some openwashing of proprietary Azure through something called “Open Data Center Alliance”, another nonsense entity.
It is important to bear in mind that there is a marketing or PR campaign going on to blur the difference between libre software and Microsoft. This is intentional. This needs to be stopped. █
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Armchair reseachers fall right into the trap
Summary: Microsoft’s “patch Tuesday” is being rebranded and studies that are based on it continue to make GNU/Linux look bad
The game of counting vulnerabilities is a dirty game which Microsoft knows how to cheat in.
“Microsoft renames “patch Tuesday”,” said a reader of this site, pointing to this article. “What those updates would contain remained a mystery to the experts,” says the article. Yes, because when you patch proprietary software nobody really knows what is going on.
This comes amid some security PR from Microsoft partners like Trustwave [1, 2] (it got to LWN) and Sourcefire, which seems to think that Linux has existed since 1988 in its so-called analysis which neglects to take account of Microsoft's hidden patches. Be wary and sceptical of so-called ‘security’ reports that compare platforms on particular criteria that they score based on public knowledge alone. Microsoft has already admitted hiding security-related patches.█
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Summary: Continuing the tradition of Vista 7/8 as a whole category among non-brands
AS WE STATED a couple of years ago, ZDNet is strongly suspected of having received money from Microsoft in exchange for editorial control that favours Vista 7, essentially corrupting ZDNet as a source of news (not that it ever published more than bias, flames, etc.) and we never received confirmation of this from ZDNet; they dodge the issue. I did ask them.
Notice how, for instance in the above image, the site promotes a product’s trademark, not a company, and also a version for that product. It makes no sense. It’s like having catagory called “Android Jelly Bean” in the top-level menu. Vista 8 marketing is reportedly enjoying a budget of over one billion dollars. Some of that money may be in ZDNet‘s pocket, in exchange for editorial control over sections. Fortunately, Vista 8 has failed despite the astroturf; Will Hill made the following two images on Vista Hate (H8).█
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Summary: IDC counts just money (benefiting expensive offerings), not actual share
Techrights wrote a great deal about IDC, which Microsoft routinely pays for propaganda. Here is a new rebuttal to the methods IDC adheres to so as to make Microsoft look like a leader (for being too expensive) while in fact it’s a follower:
On a base of $869 that other OS adds $1K to $4K to the price. Even assuming the base model is pumped up a little, it’s easy to see a typical server for schools or small businesses to cost twice as much with that other OS as compared to GNU/Linux. That suggests server unit shipments with GNU/Linux could be close to unit shipments with M$’s OS. I like that and GNU/Linux’ share is growing much faster than M$’s. Then there are the damned CALs…
Further, IDC states $51billion in servers amounted to 8million units, about $6K per server on average, so the average server hardware cost $6K with no GNU/Linux OS or $2K to $5K with no OS from M$. The GNU/Linux user gets a lot more hardware for the money, 200% to 20% more. That’s a lot.
Come on, IDC. You know the units shipped. How many units shipped with GNU/Linux and how many shipped with that other OS?
Matt Oostveen needs to be named for his role in the following article, where IDG is pushing IDC (part of IDG) line, showing certain collusion between publication and analysis or advertisers (sponsors). The article’s headline may seem pro-Linux, but the body is not. It is not unusual for IDC to state something like, “Linux grows to X” where X is some unrealistically pathetic and misleading figure. █
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Summary: IDC and Trustwave two of the latest spinmeisters whose ties to Microsoft are well documented
THE DAYS of mobile FUD from the Gartner Group may be behind us, but IDG publishes something for its offspring entity, IDC, and it sounds like the familiar spin from Gartner, which denies that Android uses Linux.
More interesting, however, is this bit about Red Hat patches. It comes from Trustwave, which is not naming its partners in the site but invites companies to join. The analysis of patching from Microsoft is typically flawed because Microsoft famously cheats and admits it. Many sources are complicit as they do not talk about it. It ought to be noted that Trustwave is a Microsoft friend. In recent months alone we see press releases like this and that. Recently, a former Microsoft employee also used the "malware"-themed smear against Android. We need to watch out for this kind of stuff. On many occasions before that we have highlighted cases of former Microsoft staff developing firms whose sole purpose is to produce Microsoft spin (through seemingly “independent” sources). Here is just one memorable example. █
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Summary: Recent examples from the news show disparity between what patent lawyers are saying and what others have to say
Jon Potter believes that “Software patent trolls can be stopped by U.S. Patent Office and Congress” as he writes about mobile app developers (small businesses or even indie) who fall prey to software patents and trolls (which are seemingly a rising phenomenon). He says that “[w]hile app developers are angry with the trolls, they are also frustrated, rightly, with their government. The patent system was created to promote innovation and protect entrepreneurs. But in the trenches of the app development industry, people are intimidated and angered. App developers and entrepreneurs, the very people whom the patent system should protect, now consider software patents as inhibiting — rather than promoting — innovation.”
Another writer from the same area writes about expansion of USPTO regime to another place:
As the US Patent and Trademark Office prepares to open a Silicon Valley office, intellectual property stakeholders gathered at Stanford to tackle a big reason for USPTO’s enhanced regional presence: Software patents.
For shame. Google has been working against software patents recently. Over at Wired, yet another lawyer, Christal Sheppard, keeps the rigged ‘debate’ going. Those rigged debates almost always exclude the most important component: developers.
Patents are often misunderstood and badly explained by propagandists. In an article by Mike Masnick he says: “Despite plenty of research showing that patents do not, in fact, lead to increased innovation (but rather increased patenting), many still assume that there’s a direct linkage. Of course, it is true that many successful industries see high rates of patents, but there is evidence that patents tend to lag the actual innovation, rather than predate it. That is, once an area or industry is innovative and successful then everyone rushes in to get patents and try to extract their piece of the pie, often slowing down the pace of innovation.
“So it’s fairly disappointing that the Brookings Institution, which normally does pretty good work on these kinds of things has put out a study about patents and innovation, and appears to be confusing correlation and causation in saying that patents lead to innovation and even (more ridiculously) that areas that aren’t doing enough patenting need to beef up their patents to increase innovation:”
Dennis Crouch gives his 50 cents, but he too is a law person, who in his post “Of Smart Phone Wars and Software Patents” helps justify the spread of software patents:
Stuart Graham (USPTO’s Chief Economist) and Saurabh Vishnubhakat recently published an interesting short paper entitled Of Smart Phone Wars and Software Patents. The paper largely defends the USPTO’s examination of software patenting by showing that its approach in the software arts is essentially the same as in other fields.
The two charts below come from the article. The first shows the percentage of first office actions that are first-action allowances. This is calculated for each fiscal year as the (# of first action allowances) / (# of first actions). The second chart looks at the first “final” action in a case. For their study, a final action is either (1) a final rejection or (2) an allowance. And, the first final is whichever one of those came first.
So basically, for lawyers and by extension the legal sphere it is okay to have mobile patent wars. Apple is meanwhile retrying a ban of leading Android devices:
Apple has now filed a normal appeal, after being turned down for en banc review by the entire Federal Circuit, regarding Judge Lucy Koh’s refusal to order an injunction against Samsung in the first Apple v. Samsung case, no. 11-CV-1846. That’s the one where Apple got a jury to order a billion plus in damages. Although I doubt that figure will stand. Anyway, Apple wants an injunction too, and here’s the brief [PDF] asking for it. The order [PDF] it’s appealing is found here as text. And I’ll work on a text version for you of this appeal brief next.
A lawyers-run blog speaks of a mobile patents thicket and CAFC, another lawyers-run institute, may soon get to legitmise software patents again. Reuters articles about it [1, 2] say:
Lawyers squared off on Friday over U.S. rules for granting patents for software, or if software should be patented at all, in arguments in a case closely watched by Google Inc, Facebook Inc and other technology companies.
The lawyers’ sites, unlike some news site, have a bias which is expected. Even the press in New Zealand covered it as follows:
Lawyers have squared off over US rules for granting patents for software, or if software should be patented at all, in arguments in a case closely watched by Google, Facebook and other technology companies.
The full US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit heard arguments in the case, which involves whether patents for a computerised system for exchanging financial obligations are valid. The case has drawn wide interest because it could help determine parameters for software patent protection.
Disagreement was apparent among the 10 judges on the panel, and experts said they expected a divided decision, which could land the case before the US Supreme Court.
The lawyers, as expected, try to interject themselves into analysis of this news, vying to marginalise more proper news sites. Developers, sadly, are quiet, which leaves them vulnerable. █
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Summary: How Bill Gates really started his career of monopoly abuse, lobbying, and PR
Bill Gates runs a massive PR campaign which we no longer cover as much as we used to. The tricks he uses are repeatedly pulled, so we covered most of them already (in one context or another). Gates found ways to help people forget the crimes he committed and distract from the fact that he keeps getting richer, in part thanks to his lobbying (he got $7 billion richer last year alone). Unlike Aaron Swartz, Gates was never at risk of going to jail. When he got arrested his rich parents bailed him out. But little is ever said about how he was breaking expensive systems for personal gain. Here is another reminder from the news:
In 1970, a 14-year-old boy dialed into a nationwide computer network, uploaded a virus he had written and caused the entire network to crash.
That boy was Bill Gates. Five years later, he founded Microsoft.
A few years later, two young men went around college dorms in California selling boxes of wires that let students bypass telephone-company restrictions and make long-distance calls for free.
Anyway, these are hardly role models. And they did none of this in the interest of civil rights.
It is worth mentioning that Gates’ jobs destroyer, Microsoft, killed the mobile world leader while trying to exploit it and that, as Pogson puts it, the Wintel era is ending. “Now,” he says, “that doesn’t mean 15% of users rely solely on smartphones for Internet access but surveys report that a good number do operate that way. As Wintel PCs age or die and are not replaced, that share will increase. I expect all that is holding back that growth is the high cost of Internet access over wifi. In countries where ISPs are often wifi only, the share is much higher. In Kenya, for instance where wired access is largely skipped to save cost, 34% of Internet access is via smart thingies.” This trend shows lack of foresight from Microsoft and Gates. They are used to destroying or buying (at times stealing) stuff, not creating stuff. █
“The best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems.”
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Felons buy a “hero” status
Summary: Bill Gates just got $7,000,000,000 richer (in 2012) while the press he had paid portrayed him as a generous giver
I generally still cover the Gates Foundation, but I do so mostly in Identi.ca due to lack of time (dents are short). This news report merits special attention because it helps keep track of future mouthpieces for Bill Gates:
The BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION has given a two-year, $1.6 million grant to PUBLIC RADIO INTERNATIONAL. The funding is intended for a “major initiative to raise awareness, understanding and engagement around critical issues of health and development worldwide,” according to a press release from PRI, which is including the reporting from the project on its syndicated public radio show “PRI’S THE WORLD.” The GATES FOUNDATION has been supporting initiatives at PRI since 2004.
Just like The Guardian, BBC [1, 2, 3], PBS and many others, the bribe or sellout is described euphemistically. Smart people can see through it. It is estimated that Gates spends a million dollars a day just buying the press, i.e. assuring favourable coverage of his agenda. In other news, Gates got seven billion dollars richer last year. So much for “giving away” his wealth. He has a tax-exempt investment company because he paints it “charity”. Buying the press to manufacture consent? That’s just slush funds to him. It’s part of the business model of the Rockefellers, too. █
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