05.03.22

Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) is Universally Bad, in All Contexts, Even War With Russia

Posted in Deception, DRM at 3:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum fbeac656a04b41f75a20a4ff1bce4a66
Russia and John Deere
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Vehicles with remote kill switches are being ‘normalised’ if not celebrated by the mainstream media, as if DRM is now something to be lauded in the context of war

THE DRM giants of the world — like the surveillance sleazeballs — love using Ukraine for PR stunts. Some profit a great deal from the war, even Musk's Twitter (he also profits from the war through satellite communication systems).

It truly bothers us and troubles us to see how the media was spinning DRM in tractors, portraying the whole thing as benign if not benevolent just because in one particular case — involving a stock of tractors (not even so many of them!) — it harmed Russia. As if Russia will turn back and end the war (a surrender by Putin is highly improbable because of his ego) — all this because of some bricked tractors… one might argue that bricking them would generally contribute to more hunger if not famine, seeing the already-diminishing supplies of wheat and cooking oils (amongst other basic commodities).

“Had John Deere burned several fields with crops in them, would the media act all jubilant? Like Agent Orange in Vietnam?”The video above goes though many links that we’ve published in the latest Daily Links. They’re shown one by one in the video above, which starts with a spontaneous explanation of what DRM means or does (to an ordinary person). In plain English (or layman’s terms), DRM can only ever make things worse because it limits or destroys things. In this particular case, machines capable of helping to produce more food got destroyed. Had John Deere burned several fields with crops in them, would the media act all jubilant? Like Agent Orange in Vietnam?

Many more comments can be found here. It’s a hot topic, and rightly so! Many issues at stake, the politics aside…

To quote: “Are there other examples like this justifying some sort of limited DRM? How prominent do you think this will be held up as an example in lobbying efforts to justify not passing “Right To Repair” laws?”

“It’s a hot topic, and rightly so!”What has just happened is good for DRM proponents and lobbyists, never mind if it’s bad for Russia. It is a slippery slope.

“DRM is unfortunately a perennial topic,” an associate noted today, and “that’s a recent example but care has to be taken so that [John Deere] cannot spin this as a good thing; two wrongs don’t make a right [1, 2] … CNN seems to have the first coverage of the [John Deere] DRM incidents [and] the takeaway is that DRM is no longer a theoretical threat it is now a matter of who is the target, and there can be multiple targets…”

04.02.22

Kyle Wiens on Right to Repair or Fight to Repair

Posted in DRM, Hardware at 4:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: This Kyle Wiens talk, “repair is not a crime”, is an excellent talk about how warranty-voiding stickers are basically illegal and it “is about Right to Repair, which now has support from the Biden administration and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and progress is being made in Europe, Australia, and Canada.”

Licence: CC BY SA 4.0

03.31.22

Profiting From Inefficiency With DRM

Posted in DRM, Free/Libre Software at 1:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: This talk was uploaded two days ago. “Adrian is programmer who has worked on visualizing shared vocabularies with SKOS, privacy-conscious blogging Web sites, and various contract work. This talk is about the excellent alternative entertainment you can enjoy without resorting to DRM or piracy.”

Licence: CC BY SA 4.0

03.12.22

Circle of YouTube “Influencers”

Posted in Deception, DRM, FUD, Marketing at 10:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Some background: It Smells Like Marketing — Not Journalism — When Almost 100% of the ‘Articles’ From Jason Evangelho, Senior Contributor at Forbes, Are About the Same Topic | ‘Influencers’ Gaming the Web of Videos (GulagTube) | YouTube is Becoming Mostly SPAM

YouTube “Influencers”

Formerly known as 'The Linux Gamer'

The Linux Experiment

RMS hate letter

The Linux Experiment on RMS hate letter

The Linux Gamer on RMS

Video download link | md5sum e6881adf158390b4ef966e7e4952a595
Gamers of the Algorithms
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The images above, explained in the video below them, hopefully sum up the state of the Web, the state of ‘You’Tube (GulagTube), and the state of journalism; online cabals — and sometimes corporate mobs — are running ads as “content” and it’s getting hard to distinguish fiction (advertising) from reality; the problem is not limited to videos or to videogames

03.10.22

It Smells Like Marketing — Not Journalism — When Almost 100% of the ‘Articles’ From Jason Evangelho, Senior Contributor at Forbes, Are About the Same Topic

Posted in Deception, DRM, Marketing at 9:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Same with "The Linux Gamer" (they’re even doing videos together)

Jason Evangelho, Senior Contributor at Forbes

Summary: Jason Evangelho, who used to cover GNU/Linux at Forbes and then vanished, has made a comeback. But pay attention to this publication pattern (above).

03.09.22

‘Influencers’ Gaming the Web of Videos (GulagTube)

Posted in Deception, DRM, GNU/Linux, Videos at 3:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 74edc4f1f314192a30dd535a8be1b086
Gaming YouTube for Fun and Profit
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Charlatans with channels in GulagTube (YouTube) are selling their audiences and discarding their principles in the process; the net effect is misinformation, usually with no disclosure added anywhere inside videos or near videos

LAST month we showed that "YouTube is Becoming Mostly SPAM" and we recently mentioned ways to bypass Google's ads/spying. That does not compensate for the underlying videos however. Many of them are spammy (like webspam with video as medium of choice), typically without any disclosure/s, and they’re gaming the video-centric search results (akin to SEO).

It is very important if not crucial to properly understand what the Web has become and is still becoming (it only gets worse over time).

I have a million subscribers, according to GoogleIt gets even worse when it comes to the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation, e.g. Spamnil claiming to have 20,000 subscribers in YouTube while he can barely get 20 views on his videos [1, 2] (too difficult to overlook this anomaly).

Fake “social” “media” like Twitter lets people literally purchase fake “followers” and in YouTube companies buy ads disguised as news, or marketing spam disguised as honest information from “dormitory bros”. Fakes are also OK with them. They just need to make themselves seem popular. The “unlike” button was removed, so gaming of reviews is far too easy. It’s like AstroTurfing.

It’s not entirely unknown that many of the so-called self-labeled ‘influencers’ are corporate spam, shilling products and selling audiences to them. In the video above I focus on one particular example, to which I devoted about 15 minutes. There are many more examples like it, sometimes resulting in bans. The self-labeled ‘influencers’ jump to each other’s defence, trying to protect the practice. At whose expense do they do their ‘influencing’?

As one person has just put it in our IRC network, “they’re pawns for the highest bidders, ready to shill at command. GulagTube turned from a hobby to a “job” where you strive to earn the most money even if it means selling out.”

02.26.22

CAUTIONARY TALE: Ukraine’s Story Shows Proprietary Software Ought to be Avoided

Posted in DRM, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum deec0aa1969f60b26c30d6f5fe4573e8
Invasion of Ukraine: The Tech Side
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: There’s a lot to be seen and to be said about what goes on in Ukraine from a purely technological perspective; at times of war nations are, in general, vastly better off with Free software, not “licensed” proprietary software from some other nation

THE other day (two days ago) Russia invaded Ukraine and we said we would refrain from making political comments, not because we lack an opinion but because it would distract from our focus. We’re a technology site and we don’t want to be derailed by politics like Mozilla or the EFF.

LinuxSecurityHaving said that, the video above covers apolitical aspects of what we’ve been seeing on the “tech” front. I’ve decided not to link to the FUD articles alluded to, instead just explaining what’s wrong with them. The screenshot on the right is only minutes old (this latest news pick isn’t an isolated incident but part of a longstanding trend, basically amplification of anti-Linux ‘stories’ without even the most fundamental fact-checking or smell test).

Basically, one or two media outlets mentioned “Linux” in relation to the cyberattacks; this is disingenuous because Windows is what cripples Ukraine (sometimes DDOS attacks), as noted deeper inside the text of articles is somewhere between the lines (names of things). We’ve added some links to that effect over the past few weeks (in Daily Links). Secondly, there has been a mention of NSA back doors in relation to “Linux” (and APT), but this is a distortion of the term, unlike what Microsoft does with (and for) the NSA.

“It’s a reminder that paying with cash, anonymously, has some advantages, sometimes unseen or underappreciated until it’s too late.”Next, as noted above, there’s the issue of electronic payments making one subjected to discrimination and sanctions. It’s a reminder that paying with cash, anonymously, has some advantages, sometimes unseen or underappreciated until it’s too late.

At the moment there’s a lobby for sanctions through “app stores”, impacting people whose devices are remotely controlled by some companies, which also control the software one “purchased” or downloaded. DRM “licence servers”, as shown below, have already kicked into gear.

DRM Ukraine
Welcome to DRM-like “licence” servers

Weaponisation of tech monopolies and centralisation in general present a lot of moral and practical dilemmas. At the moment there are many “Stallman Was Right” moments.

An associate has added this morning: “The “phones” [which Stallman dubbed "Stalin's Dream"] are even more dangerous than Windows, for many reasons, including lack of security but also through how the towers track the signals. Probably many troops on both sides have smuggled such tracking devices into the field. Then there is the mysterious baseband processor which only the bad actors and a few manufacturers have access to.”

“Even though both types of “smart” phone have subsumed a lot of FOSS technology they are effectively closed, proprietary systems, especially Apple’s.’

Before readers jump to (wrongly) conclude that we’re making excuses for Putin, may we remind readers that it was Microsoft, Apple, and Gulag jumping to ban Putin’s critics? All for financial reasons…

02.13.22

Latest Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) Patterns Against “Linux” (the Real Issue is Proprietary Software)

Posted in Deception, DRM, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, VMware at 9:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 39cf4b2e4c48595eba70964bdba9dc34
FUD Attacks Which Mostly Distract
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Fear-mongering/dramatisation (or FUD) tactics have been used a lot so far this month, mostly in an effort to associate Linux with illegal activity, unethical users, untold risk, and great liability/ies

THE video above covers a subject I’ve been wanting to comment on all week long but lacked time to (until the weekend). Now that the dust has mostly settled and the fear campaigns run out of Steam (pun intended) I want to comment on VMware’s attacks on “Linux”, as noted in passing 4 days ago.

“Generally speaking, VMware and Microsoft are close and they’re both prolific GPL violators that hate Linux.”It all started about a fortnight ago (and about Fortnite) when Epic Games Store among other things indicated a shift towards GNU/Linux for gamers. At the same time there were quite a few headlines about VMware security blunders, so VMware probably wanted to shift blame/culpability to “Linux”. Generally speaking, VMware and Microsoft are close and they’re both prolific GPL violators that hate Linux. It’s not unthinkable that there’s some degree of coordination between them in these latest FUD attacks. We leave readers/viewers to decide based on the available evidence.

To those who dispute our assertion that this is FUD, please pay careful attention to editorial comments in Daily Links and in the links above. The short rebuttal is, malware that targets VMware is mostly the fault of negligible administrators or administrators that actively install malware (not “Linux”), which can in turn curtail VMware/ESXi (that in itself is a security risk and huge attack surface). As for ransomware, that’s mostly a Windows issue, barely a Linux issue, according to statistics. Regarding Steam and Epic, DRM never belonged in Linux and demanding rootkits (“anti-cheat”) is a whole new level of compromise; then again, Epic competes against Steam, mostly ignores Steam Store (where it mostly shuns Windows users, not GNU/Linux users), and a bunch of random “tweets” — or tweet-mining — doesn’t make good journalism. It looks like Microsoft is trying to ‘crash’ the launch of Steam Deck, seeing that it threatens the last remaining reason often given for staying with Windows.

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