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11.15.14

Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD at 6:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business

WHEN we see people so utterly desperate for a job they often hold banners that say something like “will [do something] for food”. That’s how we often feel about FOSS FUD firms, some of which come from Microsoft (created by people from Microsoft). The business model is simple; find people/companies (clients) who want to belittle or smear FOSS and then issue some glorified ‘research’ to ‘prove’ the clients’ allegations.

Sonatype has been using FOSS for a number of years in order to make money. It does not actually produce any FOSS but it sure likes to market itself (new example in IDG right now) by talking about FOSS, usually negatively. We have spent years collecting and giving to readers such examples from Sonatype and a lot more examples from Black Duck, which has strong links to Microsoft and has become a de facto FUD source against FOSS, especially copyleft. Here we have Redmonk propping up the copyleft-hostile agenda again and over at ITWire we found an article which indicates that Weinberg, formerly of LiPS Forum, is now among those who will “write for FUD”. As the author puts it, “Weinberg did not advocate for OSS in any way. But he pointed out that from a pragmatic point of view, one had to get used to seeing its use in the enterprise. It was therefore better to know the nature of the beast, he said. As an example he pointed to a statement made by Carl-Eric Mols, the head of OSS at Sony Mobile Communications, wherein Mols said that more than 80 per cent of the software used in Sony’s handsets was open source.”

This is where Black Duck comes in with its proprietary (and patent-’protected’) software to make scary claims about the risk of FOSS. The problem with this business model is that it is generally detrimental to FOSS and it monetises fear of FOSS — a fear which is being exaggerated by the likes of Black Duck.

11.05.14

Microsoft Coup D’état: After Paying the Apache Software Foundation and Paying Apache Man to Become Microsoft Employee He Immediately Becomes President

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy’s, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. “Independent” analyst’s report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). “Independent” consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). “Independent” academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). “Independent” courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Summary: Microsoft staff installed as head of the Apache Software Foundation just half a decade after the Apache Software Foundation sold out

ABOUT six years ago, Apache (or ASF) made itself vulnerable to a Microsoft coup d’état by becoming financially dependent on Microsoft. Apache has, in some sense, sold out. Our previous posts about this include (to list just a subset):

  1. Embrace, Extend, and Apache
  2. Yesterday’s Microsoft Slashvertisement and Apache’s Trip to Redmond
  3. Microsoft Starts the Media Charade Ahead of Apache Conference
  4. Microsoft Pays for a More Microsoft-Obedient Apache
  5. Microsoft Now Tries to Invade Eclipse, Apache (Updated)
  6. Glyn Moody, Pam Jones: Apache Sponsorship Likely an Anti-GNU/Linux Move
  7. Does Apache Show That Money Talks?
  8. Haters of Software Freedom Inside Planet Apache
  9. Microsoft’s Path of LAMP Destruction: From Novell to Apache (the L to the A)
  10. Microsoft Hates Apache, Wanted to Sue It, Now Wants to Ruin It

Apache has since then been trying to pretend it Microsoft would not corrupt the foundation, but readers have sent us links to this new press release asking for money (making the foundation inherently vulnerable), signed by Microsoft’s Ross Gardler, acting as “President”. The word “President” in the press release could just as well be substituted with the word “Microsoft”, as if the press release actually comes from Microsoft. To put it in Gardler’s own words, “I work at Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.”

He also represents Microsoft at events and “Microsoft Open Technologies” is basically a Trojan horse inside FOSS, dedicated to derailing Free software and injecting Microsoft influence. It’s a shrewd proxy strategy.

This appointment is apparently not quite so new, it’s just that the media didn’t cover it. Based on Wikipedia:

Shortly after joining Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc. the Apache Software Foundation board elected Gardler to act as President…

Wow, what a timing! Reverse Elop?

It apparently dates back to last year. We have heard from some prominent FOSS luminaries that Microsoft tried to buy them off (bribe) too, either with bizarre job offers or some funding (which some may often accept wi,th or without disclosure). Sadly, not all of them are principled and disciplined enough to decline. Microsoft uses its money to crush its competition from the inside (divide and rule) and it’s proving rather effective so far.

11.04.14

Claiming That Free Software is Not Secure is Microsoft’s Last Resort

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, Security at 2:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”

Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive

Summary: Following the familiar pattern of FOSS FUD, wherein we see Microsoft partners badmouthing FOSS over “security” (ignoring much worse problems in proprietary software), FOSS gets widely bashed in the British media

MICROSOFT has made many back doors available for the FBI and for the NSA. We have covered this for over half a decade and given concrete examples. Our next post will give yet another new example.

So, how does Microsoft have the audacity to tell us — usually by proxy — that Free software is not secure? Yes, Free software has some bugs (not many are critical), but Microsoft software is insecure by design. There are lots of back doors in Windows XP, for example, but the British NHS, which holds medical records (highly sensitive) of tens of millions of people (including my family), continues using it based on this new report:

Many UK NHS Trusts are at risk of missing the extended cut-off deadline for Windows XP support in April 2015, according to the results of several Freedom of Information requests by software firm Citrix.

Although the government acquired a support extension, the FOI request found that the trusts have been slow to make the transition, or are simply unsure when their transition would be complete.

Why on Earth are they not migrating to GNU/Linux yet? I have been part of British migrations to GNU/Linux, both in the private sector and government, and all I can say is that it always works. Not only does it save money but it also produces more secure and more stable systems.

“Entertaining more of that nonsense about FOSS being less secure than platforms with back doors or about Microsoft loving the competition that hurts it the most is probably a waste of time.”Trend Micro littering the British press at the moment with anti-FOSS messages that promote Microsoft, not mentioning back doors. We need not link to any examples because there are many of them this afternoon, but we have confronted Trend Micro UK and publications that gave it a platform today. So has the President of the OSI. Trend Micro has a FOSS-hostile track record, so it hasn’t been too surprising.

Speaking of poor journalism that’s actually PR in disguise, watch what IDG is doing right now. A new article by Eric Knorr of InfoWorld (editor), perhaps infatuated/in love with his sponsor (ads), repeats Microsoft's lie that it loves Linux

Entertaining more of that nonsense about FOSS being less secure than platforms with back doors or about Microsoft loving the competition that hurts it the most is probably a waste of time. The next post will show another back door that Microsoft deliberately put it its common carrier.

11.01.14

Microsoft Openwashing and Hatred of GNU/Linux

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 5:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s outrageous claim that it really “loves” that which it is constantly attacking gets rejected by Free/Open Source software (FOSS) luminaries; the Microsoft-friendly media continues the charm offensive nonetheless

THE CONTAGIOUS NEWS HEADLINES may still repeat and endlessly tell us all about Microsoft's lies -- something along the lines of Microsoft 'loving' Linux when it is perfectly clear that Microsoft as a whole is not 'loving' Linux but hating is with a great passion.

Here in Techrights we are not gullible enough to repeat these lies, unlike Microsoft propaganda sites, e.g. this nonsense from Microsoft MVP Rob Trent, pretending that Microsoft supports Linux. Simon Phipps, the OSI’s President, is not gullible enough either. After debating with him in Twitter he came up with this article titled “Microsoft ‘loves’ Linux? Then stop attacking open source”. It states:

According to Satya Nadella, Microsoft loves Linux. He said as much, complete with pictures — and his team backs him up. In itself, it’s a remarkable statement.

Nadella’s predecessor, Steve Ballmer, described open source in the darkest terms, characterizing it (with the GNU GPL) as a commercial cancer and never retracting the slur. In many ways, that dark prophecy has come true for Microsoft, which has seen its rent-seeking business model steadily eroded by open source. Though it still has a cash cow to milk, Microsoft’s monopolies no longer frighten anyone.

[...]

Microsoft carries a much greater burden of mistrust, arising from two decades of attacks on open source in general and Linux in particular, which makes its challenge even more formidable. Seasonally appropriate, the Halloween Documents show Microsoft’s former internal thinking. It planned both business strategies and tactical dirty tricks to destroy the reputation of open source. While their public statements made no secret of the contempt with which it held open source, the Halloween Documents disclosed a depth of treachery that few suspected prior to their publication.

Today Microsoft has a major business unit asking its new CEO to declare love for Linux. That public stance is extremely welcome. But how can we know the current internal thinking? I asked Microsoft for an interview to discuss its love for Linux, as well as the potential of joining OIN. The response: “Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate your request at this time.”

Phipps uses a similar analogy to the one I used last month (and the one he used in Twitter). He says: “The evidence suggests Microsoft “loves” Linux the same way abusive partners “love” their spouses — a deep need in one area of the relationship that changes nothing elsewhere.”

“OK,” says our reader iophk about the above, “but ESR’s home of the Halloween Documents is better than Wikipedia any day.”

Sam Dean, who typically helps the Nadella-washing and openwashing of Microsoft, correctly asks
http://ostatic.com/blog/does-microsofts-new-love-for-open-source-extend-beyond-the-cloud-team” title=”Does Microsoft’s New Love for Open Source Extend Beyond the Cloud Team?”>”Does Microsoft’s New Love for Open Source Extend Beyond the Cloud Team?” (love of extortion, profit and control over GNU/Linux)

He refers to Phipps article and says: “Simon Phipps, who is one of the world’s leading experts on all things open source, has examined Microsoft’s purported change of heart in a new column for InfoWorld. And, on a timely note, Phipps even reminds us of “The Halloween Documents”–a series of confidential Microsoft memoranda on potential strategies relating to open source and Linux that got leaked in 1998.

“It’s worth remembering The Halloween Documents and the far reaching impact that the leaking of them had. As just one example of their influence, one of the memos was reportedly sent to the attention of senior vice-president Paul Maritz, and the memo characterized Linux as a giant threat to Microsoft’s operating system dominance. Maritz, of course, went on to run VMware for several years, so Microsoft’s historical opposition to open source likely didn’t stay confined to its own walls.”

Finally he ends this post about Microsoft with a sceptical, cautious view: “But the cloud computing division doesn’t define Microsoft. The company needs to change its stance on open source from the top down, and while Satya Nadella appears to have respect for open source, his vision statement never mentions open source or Linux, which Phipps says is “slightly strange considering their centrality to his future, but a good sign in as much as nothing bad is said.”

“In a response to my recent post asking whether Microsoft’s stance has truly changed, one reader sent the following succinct response: “Yeah, no. This is the ‘embrace’ stage of Microsoft’s classic strategy.” That, too, could be true.”

Susan Linton, who works with Sam Dean, asked, “didn’t we hear all this changing of heart stuff before?”

Microsoft clearly does not love GNU/Linux. Anyone who believes it for a second says a lot about oneself. Here, for example, is a new example from a current Microsoft employee, Mr. Perlow. Ridiculously enough, he works for the CBS-owned ZDNet at the same time that he works for Microsoft] (not the only such example that makes ZDNet an utter joke which also takes money from the backdoors provider Cisco to post a pure ad as an ‘article’). As one can see in Perlow’s latest article, there is bashing of WordPress & Drupal, using ‘security’, even though Perlow’s employer, Microsoft, releases widely-used software with perpetual back doors. That’s just one new example of hypocritical FOSS bashing from Microsoft staff, so who can possibly pretend that Microsoft has changed?

To say that Microsoft likes FOSS one would usually have to simply lie. Here is an ugly example of a lie from fedscoop.com. It is appalling openwashing by a site that claims to be ‘news’, trying to pretend that Microsoft proprietary spyware is “open source”. Complete nonsense in this article (part of a Microsoft propaganda campaign) says: “Microsoft is quickly emerging as a major leader for open source.”

Really?! What is this, a joke? The headline says “Microsoft helping government embrace open source programming”. So yes, it’s a joke. fedscoop.com is scooping up Microsoft’s propaganda and some fools may actually swallow it. This is completely disconnected from the truth; it’s when white means black and vice verse. Any complete nonsense that says Microsoft is “a major leader for open source” must be part of a propaganda campaign. Or maybe written by Microsoft partners/proxies.

The Microsoft-funded The Register has another disturbing news piece that goes along the lines of “Open XML”, trying to pretend Office is “open” and that proprietary Office formats are “open”. Richard Chirgwin from The Register is now openwashing Office 365 (surveillance plus proprietary software) using the classic APIs spin that we wrote about in 2009 and again in 2010. O’Reilly used this openwashing strategy, assisting Microsoft’s propaganda after getting paid by Microsoft.

Here is a new example which follows the openwashing strategy of Facebook. A Microsoft-friendly site ended up openwashing a surveillance platform of Microsoft, resorting to gross misuse of the brand “Open Source” as it relates to putting together hardware.

“In the City of Love, Microsoft Courts Open Source,” says one final example, but perhaps by “courts” it means “embraces” to extend and then extinguish. The article contains the famous new lie: “Last week, at a Microsoft event promoting its cloud business and future, Ballmer’s successor, Satya Nadella, came out and said it: “Microsoft loves Linux.” He followed this up with an interview in Wired magazine, where he said now is the time to put old battles behind.”

Yes, that is the same Microsoft which uses racketing, extortion and blackmail against GNU/Linux and FOSS. It is bribing its way into pretence of friendship, e.g. by paying conference organisers and media/sites. While the lies continue to saturate the media those who are not influenced by money or partnerships can fortunately still discern truth from fiction. Some actors out there are in the business of reality distortion.

10.21.14

Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Security at 1:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Windows is a weapon of (cyber) war

Land mine

Summary: Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web

So Microsoft spreads its lies in the media again and one of the lies we hear too often is that Microsoft obeys the law and Free software is “hacking” (they mean cracking) and a tool of “pirates” or whatever the bogeyman du jour may be. Well, actually, the very opposite is true. Criminals use Microsoft Windows to bombard sites (as they have been doing against several of my Web sites — including Techrights — for well over a month now) and if justice was to be upheld, Microsoft Windows would be banned by ISPs. Microsoft is claiming that it is upholding the law but actually, in reality, it breaks the law; it is not even a veiled action. It’s very blatant and a serious violation of several laws. This is a valid claim at many levels and today we’ll assemble some relevant new evidence and patiently connect it. This post is relatively long, but it covers a lot of ground, so please bear with us and keep reading.

“With its bogus takedown requests, Microsoft has turned DMCA into more of a joke. It also shows how hostile Microsoft has become towards FOSS.”Chris Pirillo, a longtime proponent of Microsoft with deep links to the company (not just his MVP title), has just had a video censored by Microsoft. Yes, Microsoft has once again issued a bogus takedown request against Google, as it did before (repeatedly). Microsoft is a criminal company because here too there is illegal action being taken by Microsoft. These bogus takedown requests, as per DMCA, are clearly a violation of the law. Microsoft does not want to obey the law (it sees itself as above the law or exempt from the law), so law itself probably isn’t much of a deterrent. Here is a new report from Wired. It is titled “Microsoft Serves Takedown Notices to Videos Not Infringing on Anything” and it says:

Microsoft’s never-ending war on software piracy caused some collateral damage this week. The victims? A handful of prominent YouTube video bloggers.

The bloggers—including LockerGnome founder Chris Pirillo and FrugalTech host Bruce Naylor—took to Twitter on Tuesday, with the hashtag #Microstopped, to complain that they had received erroneous copyright infringement notices for videos that were often several years old. The notices were filed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the U.S. law that seeks to control access to copyrighted material on the net.

The funny thing here here is that Pirillo is the target. How many people without the ability to protest publicly and loudly had the same thing done to them by Microsoft? We may never know. Censorship of evidence of censorship (e.g. channel bans) and other circular scenarios often kick in and become cynically applicable.

Pirillo would not sue Microsoft for breaking the law in this case because he is in Microsoft’s pocket, but will Google finally use the law against Microsoft? Enough is enough. Microsoft has done this to Google for years!

Microsoft’s censorship does not quite stop here. There is another new story which speaks about how Github will deal with takedown requests from now on. Remember that Microsoft censors GitHub this way, essentially damaging FOSS projects by altogether purging them.

GitHub explains its policy change as follows: “The first change is that from now on we will give you an opportunity, whenever possible, to modify your code before we take it down. Previously, when we blocked access to a Git repository, we had to disable the entire repository. This doesn’t make sense when the complaint is only directed at one file (or a few lines of code) in the repository, and the repository owner is perfectly happy to fix the problem.”

Mike Masnick said, “kudos to Github and its lawyers for recognizing that sometimes you have to let in a little legal risk for the good of the overall community.”

With its bogus takedown requests, Microsoft has turned DMCA into more of a joke. It also shows how hostile Microsoft has become towards FOSS.

Another new report from Wired says that “Conficker remains, six years later, the most widespread infection on the internet.” This report is titled “How Microsoft Appointed Itself Sheriff of the Internet” and it explains how in the midst of Internet chaos, caused by Microsoft Windows having back doors, Microsoft just decided to hijack a huge portion of the Internet, breaking it altogether (a lot of UNIX/Linux-based systems affected, including millions of services being down for days). This was an unbelievable and probably unprecedented abuse by Microsoft. A judge got bamboozled and Microsoft fooled the press into distracting from its serious abuses against No-IP. There ought to have been a massive lawsuit. As the author Robert McMillan explains: “For the past 15 years, Durrer has worked as the CEO of a small internet service provider called No-IP. Based on Reno, Nevada, the 16-person company offers a special kind of Domain Name System service, or DNS, for consumers and small businesses, letting them reliably connect to computers whose IP addresses happen to change from time to time. It’s used by geeks obsessed with online security, fretful parents monitoring nanny cams in their toddler’s bedrooms, and retailers who want remote access to their cash registers. But it’s also used by criminals as a way of maintaining malicious networks of hacked computers across the internet, even if the cops try to bring them down.”

It was actually Microsoft that took them down. Microsoft is a criminal company and it used its own abuses as an excuse to break other people’s network. Here we are talking about the company that cannot even patch its systems to stop zombie PCs (with back doors that enabled them becoming zombies). Here again we have Microsoft failing to patch Windows and instead breaking it:

Microsoft has withdrawn an update released this past Tuesday due to user reports of system reboots after installation.

The update released as described in Microsoft Security Advisory 2949927 added SHA-2 hash algorithm signing and verification for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. It was one of three proactive security feature updates released on Tuesday in addition to the eight patches of Windows and Office.

Microsoft makes it impossible to close the latest back door which it already told the NSA about, so people with Windows on their PC will be unable to boot or simply stay ‘infected’ with the latest back door. It’s all binary, so there is nothing they can do; they can’t even apply their own patch. As another source put it: “Microsoft has pulled one of the updates from its most recent Patch Tuesday release and recommends anyone who downloaded the fix should uninstall it.

“The update added support for the SHA-2 signing and verification functionality to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 machines with the intent of improving security over the more vulnerable SHA-1 hashing algorithm.”

Microsoft Windows is simply unfit for use. Techrights, for example, has been under DDOS attack for over a month now. We know the offending machines. They all are Microsoft Windows PCs that got hijacked (from many different countries). The total number of IP addresses banned in the latest DDOS purge (so far today) is nearly 2,000. That’s a lot of Microsoft Windows zombies (with over 1200 IPs banned in just half a day). When will this operating system be banned by ISPs for facilitating DDOS attacks? How many Web sites can withstand attacks from so many zombies PCs and for how long? This is indirectly Microsoft’s fault, not just the attacker’s (the botmaster’s) fault because Windows does what it was designed to do; it has back doors. It can be commandeered remotely. This is clearly incompatible with the Internet.

Free software does not have such issues, but distributions that make their source code freely available to anyone can at least be checked for back doors, perhaps with the exception of binary Red Hat distributions like RHEL, which may have some back doors since around the start of the millennium, i.e. the same time Microsoft Windows got them (reportedly 1999), based on an IDG report and one from Beta News that said at the time: “It appears that Microsoft Windows is not the only operating system on the market that has a backdoor for those users who know the magic words. While Red Hat officials downplayed its seriousness, a team at Internet Security Systems, Inc. reports the security hole allows an intruder to access and modify files on systems running the most recent version of Red Hat Linux.”

Speaking of Red Hat, we are saddened to see it taking a stance of silence on the whole systemd issue. Red Hat is very much complicit in it, but it refuses to say anything. In fact, criticism of systemd is now being treated almost as taboo in Debian mailing lists because systemd‘s creator has shrewdly personified the issue and made it political, eliminating any chance to have truly technical debates about systemd. Personally, I worry the most about the number of bugs it would introduce, opening the door for exploitation. It replaces too many mature components. Microsoft’s propaganda network 1105 Media keeps spreading negative articles about FOSS because of such feuds (the systemd fued), so we don’t wish to feed this fire right here. Well, at least not right now.

Incidentally, also on the subject of security, here is a good new article titled “Enough! Stop hyping every new security threat” (especially against FOSS).

The author explains that “now it has reached a fever pitch, with proactive marketing of individual exploits with supercool names — Shellshock, Heartbleed, Sandworm — some of which even have logos.”

“Logos for malware,” he asks, “Really?” Microsoft partners did the logo work to help demonise FOSS and stir up a debate about FOSS security as a whole (because of one single bug!). There have hardly been any stories (i.e. evidence) that the Bash bug and OpenSSL bug resulted in some disaster or meltdown.

The bottom line is, proprietary software such as Windows has back doors and causes stormy weather on the Web (DDOS attacks). It’s Microsoft Windows that should be taken down as part of takedown requests, not innocent videos, whole networks (like No-IP) and FOSS code (GitHub) that Microsoft maliciously and deceivingly (against the law) calls offending and tries to take down.

Microsoft ‘Loving’ GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 12:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

True quotes from Microsoft below, click to read in full.

Microsoft dirty tactics

Summary: Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also “loves Linux”

THE CORPORATE media is not in the business of informing the public. To the mainstream media the public is not the client; corporate partners are the clients whereas audience (the public) is the product on sale. It was just so easy to be reminded of this trivial observation because Microsoft is a good example. It was so easy to see it since Monday morning when the media decided to herald all sorts of utterly absurd claims. But let’s go a little further back than 2 days and see just how Microsoft games the media and tries to fool the whole world, or merely to aggravate/rile up the opposition, which in itself can work magic, as long as journalists are willing to play along at risk to their reputation.

Earlier this month we wrote about the latest FOSS event that Microsoft had infiltrated, essentially stealing the show. The media only spoke about Microsoft; the event was supposed to be about something else. Days ago we also learned about Microsoft infiltrating All Things Open again, as it had done in previous years (we covered that at the time). Watch an eyewitness account from FOSS Force:

Actually, I enjoyed watching Microsoft’s spokesperson squirm while trying to make the case that “Microsoft is an open source company” before an audience that was politely not buying it. I also found it somewhat enlightening to watch an open core company show its true colors, revealing itself to be a proprietary firm merely riding the open source bandwagon. As for Oracle, developer level technical discussions on Java and MySQL can only be beneficial.

Microsoft will never get tired of lying; it probably aims for/targets low-hanging fruit, i.e. people who “want to believe” or Microsoft partners who really wish to think that Microsoft is now ethical. It’s a PR charade and it is utterly shameless. It’s a disservice to everyone except Microsoft; it’s an insult to truth.

Watch how Information Week, a Microsoft-friendly media site, smears FOSS these days and helps Microsoft’s EEE (Embrace, Extent, Distinguish) of Docker. This is utterly preposterous, but if repeated often enough it may end up fooling the gullible. This is perhaps the ultimate goal.

Around the same time we noticed Maria Deutscher writing this pro-Microsoft puff piece titled “Microsoft continues open source love affair with Apache Storm endorsement”. Here is the opening part:

Colorful Sonoran Desert StormMicrosoft Corp., the poster child of proprietary software, has developed a sudden appetite for open-source technologies. Barely three days after revealing plans to make future versions of Windows Server compatible with the Docker container engine, which currently only runs on Linux, the Redmond giant is rolling out support for Apache Storm for its Azure infrastructure-as-a-service platform.

No, Microsoft is trying to close down (or “contain”, to use the terminology of Docker) what’s open inside a closed/locked-down, proprietary environment with surveillance and back doors. That’s what’s happening. Non-technical journalists are easier to fool and they just blindly print whatever Microsoft says. Deutscher later wrote another pro-Microsoft puff piece. It is titled “Microsoft expands open source reach”, but lest we forget Steve Ballmer stating: “I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Windows is proprietary. Microsoft just loves power and money, it does not love FOSS and it never will. It’s an anathema to Microsoft. But one can always count on Microsoft boosters to support the narrative that Microsoft now “loves” FOSS and “loves” GNU/Linux, which Microsoft merely wants contained (to contain Linux, like a farmer contains sheep for the imminent slaughter).

Several shallow reports, including some from Microsoft boosters like Microsoft Peter and Jordan Novet in Redmond, actually stated that Microsoft “loves Linux”, presumably quoting the liar in chief, Mr. Nadella (more of his lies we will cover in a separate post another day). IDG went as far as posting the click bait “Microsoft (hearts) Linux” and “Microsoft now loves Linux.” This is not journalism; it’s entertainment. Some of these entertainment-type headlines came from Microsoft-friendly news sites which were previously paid by Microsoft. The corporate media has seemingly turned to fiction, satire, clickbait etc. and much of it is known to be tied to Microsoft itself.

“Microsoft has been steadily making adjustments to its processes and preferences to become more open,” wrote one person from Redmond, “and to move more quickly to support technologies that could be of interest to its many customers, even when they’re not Microsoft-built.”

That’s done in order to bring them to Microsoft and make them locked in and spied on, by Microsoft and its special partner the NSA. Here we have the corporate media distorting reality, portraying the company that is threatening, blackmailing, suing and slinging mud at Linux as “loving” Linux. There is not even much of a potent attempt to challenge these claims. It’s like an abusive husband explaining to a court that he beats up his wife because he loves her. Any decent person would interrupt such nonsense and wouldn’t just let it go unchallenged.

Speaking of massive failure by the corporate press, see this new garbage from Kate Bevan at the British bankers’ media (Financial Times), suggesting that Microsoft should hijack Android:

Here’s a blue-sky suggestion for Mr Nadella: sit down with Jeff Bezos at Amazon to develop a good fork of Android. Microsoft has a compelling services offering but an almost non-existent platform for these services, despite the quality of the Lumia handsets. Amazon has compelling content with its Prime video but seems unable to get consumers to buy its Fire devices.

For smaller providers, a Microsoft-Amazon-style joint venture would be a great way to become part of an ecosystem out of Google’s reach. I suspect consumers would find that attractive. How about it, Satya and Jeff?

How low can the Financial Times stoop? This is not journalism, it’s Microsoft jingoism disguised as analysis. Sadly, today’s corporate media is full of such nonsense and in the next post we will show how the press likes to demonise FOSS over security matters while totally ignoring the issues with proprietary software having back doors ‘baked in’.

10.16.14

How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 1:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

News

Summary: Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from

THE corporate press (or mass media) continues to disappoint in a very major way. It looks like the more one reads it, the less well-informed one becomes. Why? Because the corporate press has clients. These clients are not readers; they are companies to which the readers’ brains are being sold. The business model is selling of agenda. Although counterintuitive at first sight, this observation is not novel; many people have pointed out the same thing in areas other than technology. Today we’ll present some examples from this week alone.

Florian Müller an Expert… Lobbyist

Slashdot was once a grassroots-type Web site. It promoted FOSS. But it grew into something else. Now it’s the very opposite. It seems to be more interested in repeatedly quoting a mass-mailing Microsoft lobbyist (Florian Müller) and even Slashdot‘s front page (plus original content), which is now owned and run by the Microsoft-friendly Dice, gives him a platform. This seems like a joke, but it’s not. Slashdot now offers the platform for people whose role is spreading Microsoft propaganda and bashing FOSS. The only amazing thing is that some people still trust Slashdot just because back in the days it had some credibility (before hiring prolific Microsoft boosters).

Free Software is Pedophilia?

“Slashdot now offers the platform for people whose role is spreading Microsoft propaganda.”Speaking of propaganda, Matt Lee, Free software ideals, and even the FSF were the other day slandered by the Telegraph, which engaged in defamation by associating Free software with pedophilia (the article was corrected only after numerous complaints that I had initiated in social media after a headsup from our reader). The Telegraph was perhaps worrying that Free software people can sue for libel. What the heck is wrong with the press? How low can one stoop?

Microsoft is an Open Source ‘Cloud’ Company?

Then there is the tabloid called ZDNet (owned by CBS, known in part for the Gamergate scandal as of late). It is now offering Microsoft a marketing service, helping an Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish move against Docker (other corporate media did the same thing). Microsoft-friendly sites like these generally try to help Microsoft (the author, Matt Asay, once tried working for Microsoft) and this is clearly part of a scheme to control servers. According to this article by an Australian Microsoft booster, Salesforce, an opponent of Microsoft, has just liaised with this special NSA partner, ensuring that Salesforce offers no security or privacy at all.

Microsoft is Dominant in Servers, According to Microsoft-funded Firms

Watch the latest Forrester propaganda, trying to cast Microsoft as having “three-quarters of the mass-market servers”; complete nonsense. Here is a quote from the aforementioned article from News Corp. (aiding Microsoft’s plot): “Linux is the dominant tech underpinning at giant Web companies, but the server version of Microsoft’s Windows runs about three-quarters of the mass-market servers in use at big companies in the U.S. and Western Europe, according to Forrester Research.”

Complete nonsense. Selective reporting reveals not only bias but also a desire to lie. GNU/Linux has the lion’s share of this market. It is the job of Microsoft-bribed firms like Forrester to distort reality and the Gartner Group, according to Robert Pogson, is also doing that right now by casting GNU/Linux as “others”.

As Pogson puts it: ““Others” is a convenient category to put things in when stuff you don’t care about happens. GNU/Linux is something I care about but not Gartner. They lump GNU/Linux in with all that other stuff that’s not from M$, Apple, or Google but, hey, I can subtract.”

Nokia Dead Not Because of Microsoft or Its Mole Elop?

Finally, revisionism too can be found in the media. Here is AOL rewriting the history of Nokia. As our reader put it: “He’s got to distract from Jolla and from the Nokia board’s involvement in covering up Elop’s contract where Elop was granted tens of millions as a condition for selling Nokia to Microsoft. The paper industry is in decline due to a combination of union busting and actively closing *profitable* paper mills, in addition to competition from questionable logging in Brazil.”

Not the Exception

The above are the types of examples that we see every week, but it’s only now that we decided to gather and give to our readers some examples of these, collected in just the past few days. The problem is systemic.

The corporate press is just too damn hard to trust when it comes to technology because it operates on bribes these days; advertising deals, talking points from firms that are paid by companies, agenda for sale (press releases), and media ownership that comes with all kinds of strings attached. All in all — and not to sound too cynical — this means that one should be cautious, never blindly trusting the corporate media on such matters. Informing readers is not the goal; it may sometimes be a side effect, but only if it aligns with the goal (which is increasing revenue).

When selecting articles for circulation in sites like tuxmachines.org we give equal weighting to blogs and mailing lists because these tend to be more reliable and accurate than some printed papers, authored by people who are clueless on the subjects they cover for a publication whose goal is to serve some hidden interests.

Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft, Vista 10 at 12:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“In the face of strong competition, Evangelism’s focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Summary: The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software

After the vapourware tactics of Vista (for 5 years!) as well as the terrible (worse than Vista) Vista 8 and Vista 7 we already know Microsoft’s dirty tactics too well. Microsoft admitted to using these tactics when it falls behind the competition. Now that Microsoft faces embarrassment from the majority of the population, which is women, it sure needs a good distraction from negative publicity that started with infiltration.

Vista 9, vapourware for a year and a half now, already looks like garbage and at this stage it remains vapourware. Microsoft already jumps ahead to the next imaginary generation of vapourware, which will go further in providing the NSA with back doors and remote surveillance features. China was right to ban present generations of Microsoft Windows because it becomes more spyware-filled all the time and it is also known that the NSA engages in espionage against China. Here is a new article about how Windows servers and other Windows devices got hijacked in Hong Kong. It is suicidal to use Windows unless one is a partner of Microsoft and South Korea too has just suffered severely for depending on Windows. Pogson says: “I expect Korea will have to redo everything and get it right this time. Let’s hope they demand GNU/Linux be used for on-line/financial transactions and to protect data but failing that let’s hope they make GNU/Linux optional and the people can decide. There’s something refreshing about a whole country aroused about insecurity with that other OS on the check-list of things to fix.”

Korea and China are both planning to move away from Microsoft. This is well overdue.

According to several new reports, despite the NSA leaks that embarrassed Microsoft (and caused some nations to abandon Microsoft), Microsoft will increase spying in future versions of Windows and even previews spy on the users. As one author put it: “Back in 2012 with the release of Ubuntu 12.10 the EFF, Richard Stallman and countless other privacy advocates led vocal campaigns against Canonical for including Amazon results in the dash, the issue was that Amazon would know everything you were typing into the dash. Now however Microsoft are targeting early users of their Windows 10 Operating System in a much more egregious way.”

Here is more about Windows: “For the more liberal minded regarding privacy who are reading, thinking this is just for the purposes of improving the product then you should also know that Microsoft state they will share this data with third parties and also that they will use your data to send your advertisements about their new products and updates. The third parties that Microsoft mention also include law enforcement. They say “we may access, disclose and preserve information about you when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to: 1. comply with applicable law or respond to a valid legal process from competent authorities, including from law enforcement or other government agencies; 2. protect our customers, for example to prevent spam or attempts to defraud Microsoft’s customers, or to help prevent the loss of life or serious injury of anyone; 3. operate and maintain the security of out products and services, including to prevent or stop and attack on our computer systems or networks; or 4. protect the rights or property of Microsoft, including enforcing the terms governing the use of the services – however, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our products or services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property of Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer’s private content ourselves, but we may refer the matter to law enforcement…”

Windows is a massive security risk and one that no nation should take. Not even the US; all back doors are bound to be used by cyber criminals who are not associated with any government (or with a friendly government) at one point or another.

We are still seeing Microsoft-affiliated media calling for more severe criticism of GNU Bash, but how about Windows shell vulnerabilities like this new one?

A class of coding vulnerabilities could allow attackers to fool Windows system administrators into running malicious code because of a simple omission: quotation marks.

The attack relies on scripts or batch files that use the command-line interface, or “shell,” on a Windows system but contain a simple coding error—allowing untrusted input to be run as a command. In the current incarnation of the exploit, an attacker appends a valid command onto the end of the name of a directory using the ampersand character. A script with the coding error then reads the input and executes the command with administrator rights.

Microsoft booster Andrew Binstock continues to trash-talk FOSS security ,but why is he not commenting on back doors in Microsoft software? Lies by omission. Bloomberg also publishes poorly-researched articles while it misuses the word “hacker” to confuse readers. How about back doors in proprietary software? Will Coverity ever cover this, or will it keep its focus on flaws in FOSS for writers like Richard Adhikari to single out FOSS as the problem? To quote Adhikari’s new article:

Open source developers apparently don’t adhere to best practices such as using static analysis and conducting regular security audits, found Coverity’s Spotlight report, released Wednesday.

The Coverity Scan service, which is available at no charge to open source projects, helped devs find and fix about 50,000 quality and security defects in code last year.

Microsoft’s circle of partners would rather debate and hype up FOSS bugs using codenames/brands that are all of a sudden being assigned for bugs (for increased press coverage), but discussions about back doors are out of scope.

Here we have Europol advocating back doors. The Europol boss says: “I hate to talk about backdoors but there has to be a possibility for law enforcement” (i.e. back doors).

Once upon a time (even 1.5 years ago) people who spoke about back doors were called paranoid and nutty. It is Free software advocates who have the last laugh now because they were right all along.

It should be known by now that back doors are being used for ransom and blackmail, even murder. Even Europol recognises this.

Windows should generally be avoided by everyone. No server should ever run Windows because it’s dangerous for everyone. Only fools would host a site using a back-doored operating system, which in turn puts its visitors at risk.

“Only fools would host a site using a back-doored operating system, which in turn puts its visitors at risk.”It is now being reported that NATO was silly enough to use Windows and it paid the price, potentially resulting in loss of life. The article “Microsoft Windows Zero-Day Vulnerability “CVE-2014-4114″ Used to Hack NATO” should note that NSA is told about this before Microsoft even issues a patch.

In summary, do not use Windows. It is not secure and this is part of the design. Microsoft has no intention of correcting this. In terms of security and privacy, Windows continues to get only worse over time.

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