EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.05.19

Microsoft Staff Repeatedly Refuses to Tell How Many People Use WSL, Defends Patent Extortion and Blackmail of Linux Instead

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 8:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”

Bill Gates, Microsoft

Summary: The people who develop WSL (mostly Microsoft employees) get easily irritated when asked how many people actually use this thing; but more interestingly, however, they reveal their disdain for GNU/Linux and support for Microsoft blackmail (for ‘Linux patent tax’)

THE introduction of “Windows Slaughtering Linux” (WSL or WeaSeL for short) happened at an inconvenient time (for us at least) because we were super-busy covering EPO corruption and weren’t able to pay much attention — except in Daily Links — to Microsoft’s ongoing attacks on GNU/Linux. EPO coverage was highly essential at that point.

WSL was a (non) ‘solution’ in search of a problem, except Microsoft’s problem, which is GNU/Linux dominating everything (even laptops now that Chromebooks dominate schools). It happened not far apart from the bribery of the Linux Foundation, which was then happy to promote various WeaSeLs (WSL ‘flavours’).

“Microsoft isn’t the sort of company that keeps quiet when it has something to brag about. Heck, it even distorts and sometimes makes up numbers.”Has anyone noticed how we never hear anything about WSL usage figures (even any blog posts about such usage are rather rare)?

Microsoft isn’t the sort of company that keeps quiet when it has something to brag about. Heck, it even distorts and sometimes makes up numbers. We saw and covered many examples over the years.

Over the past few days I mentioned WeaSeL a few times. The main thread (most interactions) can be found here, but there are a couple dozen or so in total, as they’re sort of fragmented. Yes, that’s how Twitter works (or doesn’t work). Just pasting loads of "tweets" would not make it "journalism", so we’ve prepared a summary/outline, which can be defended by the tweets we’ve seen and collected (copies posted in IRC as well for longterm preservation).

“I never saw or met (or even heard of) anyone who uses WSL. That’s a fact.”My ‘rudest’ tweet wasn’t even particularly rude; it didn’t name anyone and was objective (based on my personal experience and observation). “From what I can gather,” I said, “Microsoft WSL has been an utter failure as hardly anyone uses it, we hardly hear about it anymore. But if the goal was to Googlebomb “Linux” with Vista 10 spam, then it was a success.”

That’s it.

It struck a nerve; I never saw or met (or even heard of) anyone who uses WSL. That’s a fact. And I work in the domain every day, so one might/could think that I at least saw it ‘in the wild’ at some point (or heard about someone who uses it). WSL has been around for years. It’s nothing unprecedented (VMs are better). It’s not something new awaiting adoption. If the WSL team wants to prevent further defections from Vista 10, there’s no evidence that they succeeded. The few people who touched it are likely already attached to Windows. They’re ‘hardcore’ Windows users.

“Current Microsoft employees are attacking former ones for daring to question the alleged ‘success’ of WSL!”People with spare time can read this long thread in Twitter (with context and everything); the gist of it is, Microsoft is failing to provide proof of WSL adoption. Then, it starts calling former Microsoft staff who inquires about these numbers “rude”. Current Microsoft employees are attacking former ones for daring to question the alleged ‘success’ of WSL!

After much insistent querying they ended up asking for more than a month to come up with a way to create spin (they already know the numbers!) and in the process they reveal something even darker. I’ve mentioned patents Microsoft uses for blackmail against GNU/Linux OEMs (companies that distribute Linux devices) — patents which are not publicly listed/disclosed. I cited an example as recent as months ago (a lawsuit by Microsoft — an instance from this year).

“If someone violates a patent,” a Microsoft manager responded, “the patent owner has recourse. If you have issues with patents, then take it up with the PTO and Congress.”

“They’re this hostile towards GNU/Linux and insist it’s OK for Microsoft to blackmail it using patents!”Microsoft lobbies both the PTO and Congress for this blackmail to carry on. Way to shoot oneself in the foot with that reply!

This is nothing amusing! This is like the program manager in charge of EEE against Linux, the WSL team. They’re this hostile towards GNU/Linux and insist it’s OK for Microsoft to blackmail it using patents! And they then pretend to be the victims.

Remember that, at least to them, GNU/Linux is just a nuisance for Microsoft to attempt to ‘tame’ (if not undermine, which is hard, then at least control). Everything these guys said has merely confirmed what we knew all along about WSL’s intentions (and its team’s attitude towards GNU/Linux).

We made copies of over 50 tweets about this. There’s no way to delete such tweets (we would notice and have made local copies in IRC channels).

Notice how almost all of the people in the thread/s are Microsoft employees, both past and present, and one (Hayden Barnes) is employed by Canonical to help Microsoft put Ubuntu in the belly of Vista 10 and send out press releases to promote this spyware.

“It’s worth noting that several former Microsoft employees took my side, insisting it’s actually an attack on GNU/Linux and Microsoft likely lies about it, won’t share numbers (always a bad sign) and so on.”Mitchel Lewis, who does guest posts here (gladly allowing us to syndicate his articles), asked : “Since when is it unprofessional to be shrewd and ask for supporting facts?”

“They are using psychological tricks to paint themselves, who attack GNU/Linux, as the victims,” I responded to him. “I covered dozens examples of these tricks over the years.” Many dozens.

It’s worth noting that several former Microsoft employees took my side, insisting it’s actually an attack on GNU/Linux and Microsoft likely lies about it, won’t share numbers (always a bad sign) and so on.

The only ones trying to battle my claim are full-time WSL folks, i.e. Microsoft people.

“IMO,” Mr. Lewis continued, “this seems more of a situation where people without formal training in logic, rhetoric, and debate resort to deflection, projection, ad hominem and other basic logical fallacies in error when they can’t advance their argument. It’s a central theme of the Platonic dialogues…”

Basically, it’s like a politician saying, “I built a road!”

But none was built.

“Microsoft has long used that “polite criminal” narrative; sure, we committed a crime, but at least we’re polite about it, whereas the law enforcers are “aggressive” and “rude”.”So the politician starts panicking when asked about it repeatedly, only failing to deliver an answer and then attacking the journalists who keep asking about it.

“Stop bullying me!”

People are familiar with brutal cops saying (or shouting) “stop resisting” when they assault people who pose no actual threat.

“Microsoft alumni here,” he added later, “built Exchange Online with a few friends and later dabbled in predictive analytics/defect density to better anticipate failures within Exchange Online. Plz tell me moar aboot statistics.”

“Reversal of narratives is an art form. Bad people have long attempted to portray good people (activists, whistleblowing champions, public interest groups) as malicious, self-serving, arrogant and so on.”Microsoft has long used that “polite criminal” narrative; sure, we committed a crime, but at least we’re polite about it, whereas the law enforcers are “aggressive” and “rude”. “They’re out to get us!”

“Poor Trump…”

The subject of a “witch-hunt”…

His wife claims to be the most bullied person, for… well, supporting the biggest bully in the world.

“…”Mopping Up” GNU/Linux won’t be easy, but if WSL fails, then they will try WSL2, then WSL3… or maybe then leap to WSL10 just for hype’s sake. 10 is a special decimal number.”Reversal of narratives is an art form. Bad people have long attempted to portray good people (activists, whistleblowing champions, public interest groups) as malicious, self-serving, arrogant and so on.

When you choose to work for Microsoft you choose to basically work on attacking companies Microsoft considers to be rivals. Because this has historically been the company’s modus operandi. It’s shameless about it, show internal documents. As James Plamondon, Microsoft’s chief evangelist, once put it (in a written presentation): “Mopping Up can be a lot of fun. In the Mopping Up phase, Evangelism’s goal is to put the final nail into the competing technology’s coffin, and bury it in the burning depths of the earth.”

With GNU/Linux it’s tricker because it’s not a company; bribing groups associated with it takes time and longterm deception (like “Microsoft loves Linux”). It cannot be defeated by takeovers, or even investor ‘activists’ (corporate raiders).

“Mopping Up” GNU/Linux won’t be easy, but if WSL fails, then they will try WSL2, then WSL3… or maybe then leap to WSL10 just for hype’s sake. 10 is a special decimal number. What ever happened to Vista 9?

Harder than fighting an actual company -- Windows Slaughtering Linux (WSL)

12.02.19

Free/Libre Software Will Eventually Become the Norm, ‘Open Source’ is Just Proprietary Software Trying to ‘Buy Time’

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, OSI at 3:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They’re chocking on their own blood and complaints are being filed by former insiders (for financial fraud)

Azure complaint

Summary: More people are starting to ask questions about Free software while “Open Source” languishes (people can see it’s just a mask for proprietary software); it was a two-decade delaying tactic that’s wearing off (people see GitHub and the OSI/Linux Foundation for what they really are)

MICROSOFT threw lots of money at GitHub, as it had done previously at Skype. By trying to buy a monopoly or near-monopoly Microsoft soon lost that monopoly. People fled. In the case of Skype it was competitors such as WhatsApp (Facebook), not to mention Google, Apple and smaller players like Viber (Rakuten). What’s replacing GitHub? We’re not entirely sure as not many statistics are available, but earlier this year we heard (possibly from the inside, albeit indirectly) that GitHub was losing users and projects. Never mind the likely decrease in new users and projects (entrants).

“That so-called ‘Arctic vault’ won’t go to waste. Microsoft can be buried in it.”We’ve written a great deal about openwashing and GitHub (any project on GitHub ought to be well aware that it is being managed by proprietary software that spies on and censors not only developers but also users/downloaders). Azure is apparently still losing money.

We predict that in the coming years this attempt of Microsoft to hijack GNU/Linux and ‘FOSS’ (they pretend only what’s inside GitHub counts or exists) will fail spectacularly. That so-called ‘Arctic vault’ won’t go to waste. Microsoft can be buried in it.

Richard Stallman is Active and Doing Well

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 2:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Sometimes attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

RMS on fighting

Summary: The rumour mill may still be humming along; but against all odds — as Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project — Stallman keeps fighting the good fight (in the face of growing resistance)

LAST week I exchanged some messages with Stallman after few people online had claimed him to be less responsive than before.

Don’t let rumours cloud judgment. As head of the GNU project (still) he remains busy and very active. Maybe he hasn’t given public talks since that one in Microsoft; but from what we can see, week after week, GNU releases are still frequent (pertinent projects), the media has left him alone and the FSF lost 3 Board members without anyone new being appointed. Lack of new appointments isn’t the problem; a problem would arise if someone improper was (improperly) appointed. Wouldn’t IBM love that?

“Lack of new appointments isn’t the problem; a problem would arise if someone improper was (improperly) appointed.”The relatively few people who signed a letter striving to remove Stallman from GNU have not given up. One of them occasionally shows up in our IRC channels. But 2.5 months down the line Stallman faces no real controversy. The dust has settled. Let’s hope that the FSF will rise as champion of Software Freedom, seeing that Debian now (belatedly) tackles the problems with systemd (second post this weekend from DPL Sam Hartman).

Attempts to ‘cancel’ Stallman have not been thoroughly successful, only partially. And that’s a big problem for the “cancellation lobby” (they wanted him to vanish) because among more and more people Stallman is now seen as a victim, a martyr. There’s sympathy. Like we said months ago, considering who’s in this lobby (and why), their whole effort may prove counter-productive.

11.30.19

Guest Article: It All Began With Stallman

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 12:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Another guest post by Jagadees.S.

Free Water

Summary: How “Free Water” and “Free/Libre Software” (nowadays rebranded “OSS” or “FOSS”) relate to one another

THIS is a guest post by Jagadees. He focuses on Free/Libre software, as usual.

Free water

The water we drink was once upon a time free. It was a free gift from nature. Gradually that changed. Even 20 years back people in my village could not believe that in cities they sell water. But now it’s a reality everywhere and soon enough water became a political issue. So lot of movements began to free water from private hands (back to the Commons). Wherever water gets privatised there are people in newly-formed organisations and parties that fight against it. Even though we don’t have a single global movement to free water, we do not say to those who are fighting against water privatisation that “your work is good. But water was free before you began your movement. That’s why others have got chance to fight against privatisation.”

“You have to remember that a lot of people lost their lives fighting against water privatisation.”Is that what you say to people who put their lives at risk in the name of fighting against corporate greed? No sensible person would tell you that. You have to remember that a lot of people lost their lives fighting against water privatisation. We have to respect their effort.

Political movements will come about and changes occur when there is a political issue

Like water, once upon a time software programs were also free. Everybody enjoyed software, code, and its freedom. But unlike water when it was privatised the issues were not visible. Nobody understood what would happen if software became private. Nobody could (fore)see that the software would change badly, becoming a chain on its user’s body.

“Nobody could (fore)see that the software would change badly, becoming a chain on its user’s body.”But in 1983 Richard Stallman began a movement to free the computer users from the chains of proprietary software. Since he is a computer programmer he doesn’t have to wait for anything.

He began his work on freeing users from the proprietary software chains. But one person cannot complete this colossal piece of work or task. So what Stallman did was, after completing his first program he shared the source code and the rights to its users and said writing proprietary software would be unethical. He asked other programmers to not write/code proprietary software, since it does not respect users’ freedom. Lots of people joined forces with him. Even young Linus Torvalds was motivated by the GPL licence of GCC, so he released his code under a Free software licence.

Anyway, it all began with Stallman. And it’s still with Stallman. Till now nobody on this planet has ever had any idea, or a sentence or a word other than what he said. All of them are just repeating whatever he said — that software should respect its users. It is not a greatly complicated thing. It’s a very simple idea — like saying water must be free.

Hiding politics

But you may know that a whole range of groups are saying a lot of things about software around us — things like OSS, FOSS etc. Somebody said things about now we have anything from open source space craft to open source ice creams. It came to such a point/level that the word has no meaning at all. Really — think about it — they are all impostors who have just bolstered ‘diluted propitiatory software’ to hijack the revolutionary movement that Stallman began. And for the profit of corporates. Because they see the Free software movement as a threat to their profits.

“All of them are just repeating whatever he said — that software should respect its users. It is not a greatly complicated thing. It’s a very simple idea — like saying water must be free.”But if you see the technical aspect of Stallman’s work, you may think that his software is not fast or fancy or special or there may be delays. Actually, it’s stupid to think like that. Or a tactic leveraged by propitiatory software companies, intended to hide his real contribution. Stallman’s real contribution to humanity is his politics of Software Freedom. That idea influenced a whole lot of discourses. The sad thing is that the impostors reframed it in their terms. The common progressive people too use their own terms, thinking that it is them who are the revolutionary user freedom movement. A few days back I heard an independent media person talking about the impostors’ software helping them at the time of WTO protests in Seattle 20 years back.

“The sad thing is that the impostors reframed it in their terms.”We have to end that takeover. We need more people like Stallman who defend users’ freedom and Free software politics in the Free software movement, rather the dumb software workers just obeying money power. For that to materialise we have to build a committed users’ community that supports software projects without taking corporate money — a community that demands, “We want Free software!”

Note: this doesn’t mean that he is unquestionable a leader or a god. On lot of issues I disagree with him.

“Once GNU is written, everyone will be able to obtain good system software free, just like air.”

Richard Stallman

11.25.19

Four More Freedoms? Free Software Force Ponders Those and More

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 9:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figosdev

Four

Summary: “I would be willing to contribute to a project that creates a second tier, or “Four More Freedoms” but I have to ask: what freedoms do we need that we don’t have?”

Today’s article is NOT from the Free Software Force, but it is partly about them. Created in September to defend Richard Stallman and advocate Stallman-inspired software freedom, The Free Software Force has an active and growing mailing list. Topics include debate over articles written by Jagadees, Free software education and strategically “bloated” software. (Strategic to those who want to control our projects.)

“…I have spent years trying to think of a way to address modern threats to Free software without amendments to the FSD that would nullify existing freedoms.”Today the topic of the Free Software Definition came up. I think the FSD is extremely important, as much a cornerstone of the Free software movement as its author, Richard Stallman. The FSD is something we want to continue, even when Stallman retires, and I don’t think editing it should be considered lightly.

In fact, I have spent years trying to think of a way to address modern threats to Free software without amendments to the FSD that would nullify existing freedoms. So let’s have a look at the list we are talking about here:

  • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help others (freedom 2).
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

From What is free software?

The freedom to run the program for any purpose; the freedom to study and change the program; the freedom to distribute modified and unmodified copies — these are very broad freedoms. Almost anything we could add to these, might also take away from them.

For this reason, I propose two key ideas — one, that we only consider amending this list with the greatest possible care. Free Software organisations may come and go. The Free Software Definition is our cultural touchstone; it is a guide to both our licences and our organisations. Editing the FSD is not just like editing a license; it is like editing the very reality of the Free software movement. This is as vital to our cause as a constitution is to a nation.

“People often assume that the four freedoms were originally numbered 0 to 3. They originally started with 1, but the freedom to run the program for any purpose was considered so fundamental, that it was added as “Freedom 0″ to underscore its importance.”Second, I have thought about this for years now, and I don’t know if it’s possible to add to this list without taking something away unintentionally. And I propose we create a second(-tier) list, instead of amending the first one.

People often assume that the four freedoms were originally numbered 0 to 3. They originally started with 1, but the freedom to run the program for any purpose was considered so fundamental, that it was added as “Freedom 0″ to underscore its importance. So it is possible to add Freedoms — very carefully.

I’ve long considered a second tier as a way to protect the user, without putting undue limits on the same user. In software freedom, there is no necessary dichotomy between user and developer. All developers are users, while all users have the potential to become developers.

The reality of course, is that most users are not also developers. But by protecting the rights of users, we protect the rights of all developers — we simply don’t create any “special rights” or privileges for those developers — we demand that every user have the same rights whether they are developers or not.

“We want every person who obtains that source code to have all 4 freedoms along with that code. If we enable more users to make useful changes to it, so much the better.”Whether everyone has the opportunity to be a developer is sometimes contested. I’m in favour of creating more opportunities for everyone to not only learn more about software development, but to make it easier for people with a range of skills to collaborate on improving software.

I consider this a positive, even though it is an aside. A great deal of software that we can all benefit from is in fact developed by very few volunteers. One person can create a useful software project without a community sometimes. We want every person who obtains that source code to have all 4 freedoms along with that code. If we enable more users to make useful changes to it, so much the better.

“Having written a substantial amount of the Librethreat database, I feel qualified to make an effort to summarise its most important points.”To figure out what “new freedoms” we want in our second tier, we might consider the modern threats to Free software. I’ve spent a lot of time doing just that.

Having written a substantial amount of the Librethreat database, I feel qualified to make an effort to summarise its most important points. Doing so is a useful if we want to address as many threats as possible in amendments to the Free Software Definition. We can start by grouping together threats with significant overlap.

Tivoisation, Appliance-like Distributions and the Cloud are all ways in which Free software can be abused in freedom-limiting technical applications:

Tivoisation “Exploits DMCA law and vulnerabilities in GPL2 so owners cant change software in their devices”

“This is sometimes called “OSPS” or “Open Source Proprietary Software” which I admit is both catchy and amusing, though personally I hate giving any more credence to the term “Open Source” even as a joke.”Cloud “Violates privacy, freedom… control”

Appliance-like Distributions use Free software to “simulate or act as a non-free platform”

The mitigations for these threats are better licensing (GPL3 over 2) Scepticism of and avoiding “Cloud”-based computing, unless it is “Cloud” that you control yourself, and avoiding platforms that are more locked down than traditional GNU/Linux, including Android.

The next group of threats that go together involve software being co-opted and changed so as to limit the freedom of all or most users:

Punix/Redix are the creeping takeover/disruption of POSIX, projects and organisations. This is sometimes called “OSPS” or “Open Source Proprietary Software” which I admit is both catchy and amusing, though personally I hate giving any more credence to the term “Open Source” even as a joke.

“There is nothing wrong with coming up with ways to enable people to chase fads, provided that the stability and freedom GNU/Linux is known for is a priority.”Gratuitous interdependency attacks modularity, user control, Free software development / packaging / vital software many people rely on.

Framework attack replaces mature and stable frameworks with less stable ones, and can disrupt a project from the inside. For example, if your distro switches from GTK2 to GTK3, guess what just happened to loads of existing packages? Possibly nothing — but that depends on how the distro is maintained.

Framework / dependency hijacking is similar to a framework attack, except this is when upstream decides to ax things that loads of downstream developers rely on (CPython is an example of this, and PyPy is one example of mitigation.)

“As much as Debian is a “Universal” operating system, its quality control policies (welcome in many contexts) tend to be brutally unhelpful to anybody working to maintain compatibility amidst great changes in the distro.”Mitigation for these threats includes PONIX, which is an ideal, perfect distro that makes everyone happy — yes, that one is tongue in cheek, but also a sort of Holy Grail to aim for in design… It includes forking / replacing / documenting examples of Punix in software, assisting anti-Redix distros like Hyperbola and Guix, and avoiding software that is based on Gratuitous interdependency and dragging users through too many unmitigated software fads.

Leaning significantly more towards compatibility on the compatibility/fad scale tends to make the people who complain about these things happier. There is nothing wrong with coming up with ways to enable people to chase fads, provided that the stability and freedom GNU/Linux is known for is a priority.

As much as Debian is a “Universal” operating system, its quality control policies (welcome in many contexts) tend to be brutally unhelpful to anybody working to maintain compatibility amidst great changes in the distro. Creating smarter compatibility policies with their own rules and maintenance, to keep Debian development running smoothly without treading on the toes of projects like Mate, PyPy, Calibre, Devuan and Pale Moon could have prevented half a decade of strife, if they knew how.

“Both the Code of Conduct, as well as Bigotry, can stifle, intimidate and silence contributors.”Instead, when Debian makes a major change, anybody working to maintain compatibility is treated more like a troll than a valuable contributor.

Both the Code of Conduct, as well as Bigotry, can stifle, intimidate and silence contributors. In the past, the Code of Conduct was put forth as a solution and not a problem, though we are seeing it now used as a weapon against participation rather than a solution to encourage it. Some of us knew it could be abused that way before it was use to push Stallman out of his own organisation.

Mitigation of Codes of Conduct, or the Malleus Hackerum (Nerds Hammer) as well as mitigation of Bigotry includes adopting a more reasonable version, avoiding altogether, addressing same problems that CoC aims to, but with more allowance for free speech and diversity of opinion, and working together to help prevent and counteract discrimination.

“Mitigation of Codes of Conduct, or the Malleus Hackerum (Nerds Hammer) as well as mitigation of Bigotry includes adopting a more reasonable version, avoiding altogether, addressing same problems that CoC aims to, but with more allowance for free speech and diversity of opinion, and working together to help prevent and counteract discrimination.”An increasing number of people believe that rather than leaping to exclude people in the name of “inclusion,” as has happened lately in mob form rather than with constructive resolution as a primary goal — we can do far better to resolve issues that were hijacked to kick important people out of Free software. A Free software federation is one effort to make the movement more resilient against such attacks.

“Co-opting charities” is a problem that is likely too broad and political to solve with the Free Software Definition, indeed these may all be. That doesn’t mean we should give up on solving them, rather we should consider what the best solution for these problems would look like.

“Apathy” is indeed a threat of sorts, but also an effect of other threats as much as it is a cause. When people are frustrated, co-opted, infiltrated, taken over, and cut off from reliable solutions, apathy is what things look like after long-term frustrations have given way to cynicism and long-suffering. Perhaps the best way to deal with apathy is to actually work to fix the other problems that are endemic.

“While the FSF remains the original (and very arguably, the most important) authority on Free software, they are not doing much to address or counter many of these threats.”For a long time, Free software has run up against new threats. Many Free software supporters have looked to the FSF for guidance. While the FSF remains the original (and very arguably, the most important) authority on Free software, they are not doing much to address or counter many of these threats.

In fact, it is a common theme in non-profit organisations that they will spend years focused on the same solutions, even as new problems arise. The FSF has indeed expanded its mission and addressed some new threats. But complaints of being dismissive have gone on for years, and instead of Stallman stepping down and someone rolling up their sleeves and getting to work ushering in a new era of fighting for freedom, Zoe Kooyman is writing classic, recycled corporate boilerplate on Join Us for blah blah blah blah…

Sorry Zoe, this isn’t your fault. If you had a far better idea, I bet the FSF would have asked you to go with the boilerplate anyway. I’m only using your name because it’s there at the top of it.

“A lot of us would be just as happy to ignore the FSF and take “orders” directly from Stallman.”The FSF doesn’t have many new ideas, new plans, or have much to say about what has happened in September. It would not be outlandish to assume that we will never hear anything satisfactory to resolve what happened, and I would be alright with that if someone stepped up to renew and reinvigorate the battle that Stallman has led for so long.

But nobody believes that will happen. Nobody I know is excited about the state of the FSF — everyone that has an ounce of hope is clinging to A. an alternative or B. something to tide us over until the FSF stops tiptoeing around. A lot of us would be just as happy to ignore the FSF and take “orders” directly from Stallman.

But you know, no matter how this sounds, there is a lot of love for both Stallman as well as the FSF, and nothing would make us happier to find both back on track. It’s just, all we are being asked for is “Money” and “Support.” Not ideas. Not solutions. And “Support” ought to include Stallman, but the FSF is still censoring the mailing lists — so, whatever.

“Not ideas. Not solutions. And “Support” ought to include Stallman, but the FSF is still censoring the mailing lists — so, whatever.”When the REAL Free Software Foundation starts acting like the real Free Software Foundation again, nobody will be happier than we are. And when Richard Stallman goes back to making a Gnuisance of himself, whether as the head of GNU or whatever he does this year, many of us will be very glad he hasn’t quit.

In the meantime, we still have these threats to deal with. We have software and devices that prevent changes, violate privacy, reduce control by the user, and kind of simulate non-free platforms with Free software.

We have platforms that are increasingly locked-down, development that is increasingly disrupted, stifled and co-opted, not to mention that the less free we get, the more corporate we seem to be… As I routinely tell people, I’m not an anti-capitalist and I certainly don’t have a problem with people making money.

“In the meantime, we still have these threats to deal with. We have software and devices that prevent changes, violate privacy, reduce control by the user, and kind of simulate non-free platforms with Free software.”I have a problem with monopolies. I have a problem with corporate dishonesty and corporate bullies. I have a problem with Free software being increasingly taken over by large companies that don’t care about us and even try to stop us from having our own solutions. First they lend a hand, then they take what’s ours with both hands. Then they say they’re the ones who really made it anyway.

Well, that’s theft. Maybe we should have told them “just get out and stay out,” but “Open Source” kept saying that’s not really Open.

Well honestly, who cares about that? Open isn’t really Free.

What we need are ways to say that you should be free to fork, even while a company tries to glue all your free projects together into a giant corporate-designed mess.

“Open isn’t really Free.”We need ways to make people free to participate, even when people think the best way to be inclusive is to let mobs kick out people that are loved by the community.

We need ways to get the FSF’s attention, even though they speak to us more and more in Public Relationspeak and empty Marketing nonsense.

We need to find a way to make Gnuisances of more of ourselves, and still find a way to work together amidst all this turmoil.

I would be willing to contribute to a project that creates a second tier, or “Four More Freedoms” but I have to ask: what freedoms do we need that we don’t have?

We are trying to protect the first four, but that’s the problem. There are so many attacks on those from so many angles.

“I would be willing to contribute to a project that creates a second tier, or “Four More Freedoms” but I have to ask: what freedoms do we need that we don’t have?”I agree strongly with the Free Software Force that we need to reassess many things. But I sort of think the Free Software Definition is just the tip of the iceberg, and I think we need to be very careful and very thoughtful what we do with that one.

Hopefully this article will inspire several people (just a small handful would do) to think seriously about what key changes will put Free software back on track.

I’ll be honest — YOU are more likely to do that than the FSF, for now at least. I’m not saying they’re useless, I think they’re vital. But don’t put too much stock in the “new” FSF based on the promises they make — they haven’t really even kept the ones we know them for.

“Hopefully this article will inspire several people (just a small handful would do) to think seriously about what key changes will put Free software back on track.”Rather, recognise the value of the FSF based on their history, potential and most importantly — their actions. When the FSF does something right, applaud it. When they screw up, don’t look surprised. Their “Board” of Directors is looking more and more like a Stick. They haven’t even got a President.

…Still!

But let’s hope they have some VERY good ideas. Not that I expect them to listen to any of ours. Seriously — why would they? Do we look like Platinum Sponsors to you?

Long Live Stallman, and Happy Hacking.

You can visit the Free Software Force website at https://fsforce.noblogs.org

Licence: Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported

11.19.19

Guest Post: Open Source is Not Free Software

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Article by Jagadees.S: “You cannot support both Free software and Open Source software at the same time”

Very different

Summary: “If you look at human history, you can see lots of similar ideas, movements, intellectuals who are affected by the power of the ruling class like this.”

IN 1983 the Free software movement began to free users from the chains of propitiatory software. At that time nobody gave or ascribed much importance to it. Companies and developers thought it was some Utopian idea and one that’s never going to fulfill its goals. So none cared about ‘the ethics’ at that time. Only the leader, Richard Stallman, was there. Later on lots of people got motivated by Stallman’s reason, commitment, and with their own political values they joined the movement. To everyone’s surprise, against the odds, a fully functional and complete “freedom software” stack appeared in the early 1990s.

Attack from inside

As usual, for-profit entities realised its value and jumped onto new opportunities. But they didn’t like the idea of users’ freedom. They only wanted their own profit. So they created a decoy for this great movement, mostly as a distraction. It was called the Open Source movement. Stallman called them freedom subtracted software. (Actually he is wrong. We should not relate to OSS with respect to Free software.)

“Companies and developers thought it was some Utopian idea and one that’s never going to fulfill its goals.”They joined in with the Free software movement and started collaborating with Free software activists. New collaborations of this kind may be called Free and Open Source software (FOSS). Since they had support from businesses, further development became faster and more people joined the movement. They also had support from the media and re-branded the entire Free software movement to their name.

Because of these tricks Free software politics vanished from the public discourse and even Free software activists don’t like to talk about Free software politics. This happened not as a natural thing. It was created for the corporations by this apolitical Trojan horse called OSS.

There is no conspiracy. It is the way the system works.

Nothing new

If you look at human history, you can see lots of similar ideas, movements, intellectuals who are affected by the power of the ruling class like this. A very good example is democracy. 60 years ago people died to get elections or to earn voting rights. But now, who cares enough to go out and vote? What is the voting percentage in the US? Even if they go, will they get a chance to vote? Whether their votes actually get counted is another issue.

Think about the media. It has a very important role in society. But now, what does it do? It’s just a stenographer for the ruling class.

OSS, FOSS are diluted propitiatory software

You can either be with Free software or with propitiatory software. This is clear. No confusion. But when an amorphous group appears this gets messy. Messy for the Free software movement. Because the propitiatory for-profit software idea is clear; they have money, media and political power.

“They also had support from the media and re-branded the entire Free software movement to their name.”The idea of Free software is new and complicated for the ordinary person. So this diluted Free software group is actually an attack on Free software itself. Their vicious attack had grown into such a level that they forced the founder out of the movement.

But a lot of Free software activists are working with this so-called FOSS without knowing the damage it is causing to the Free software movement. Please consider OSS as on the propitiatory software side. If they produce anything which is compatible with the GPL, then they take it and leave everything else behind. Never saying the words OSS or FOSS…

The purpose of Open Source is to move the frame away from users’ freedom and destroy the Free software movement. OSS, FOSS and all other kinds of these PR phrases work similarly; they are the same. So why are you still saying FOSS? Please end that relationship.

We have to understand that anything other than Free software is propitiatory software. There is no middle ground. There is no friendship. There is no cooperation. Just take whatever is under GPL from wherever possible. That’s all.

Be with users’ freedom

You can’t keep your legs in 2 different boats. You have to choose. There is nothing wrong about being with propitiatory software. If you want to make a profit, then do it that way. No problem. With Free software, if you cannot find a way to make a living, then join a proprietary company. Then, in your free time, contribute to Free software. Nothing wrong with that. That is far better than the OSS kind of half ethics. Half ethics end up with no ethics. You have to be either a person supporting users’ freedom or you’re with for-profits. (Remember you are not going to end capitalism with few lines of code. Profit is a reality. And these companies are not evil. The system is evil.)

“So be with the movement that respects users’ freedom. After all, that was the initial purpose of the movement.”If you are not mixing the issues, then there will be more clarity in the public sphere. More discussion in terms of users’ freedom will happen. More people will support Free software. Sure, it’s a hard path. But that is the right path. So be with the movement that respects users’ freedom. After all, that was the initial purpose of the movement.

Note: For this to happen you have to be economically independent as I’ve mentioned in the post “Do not make Free software your source of income; it will make you weak, politically”. It’s not a Free software movement issue. All the social movements have this problem.

11.18.19

What GitHub is to Open Source

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 3:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lots of prisoners inside GitHub

Summary: Lots of prisoners inside GitHub

11.17.19

The Open Invention Network Has Become a Guard Dog of (Some) Patent Trolls and It Misrepresents Us Under the Guise of ‘Open Source’

Posted in Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Law, News Roundup, OIN, Patents, Standard at 2:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Defending software patents and trolls. Calling them “charities” was likely the last straw.

2 dogs

Summary: The Open Invention Network (OIN), in collaboration with Fraunhöfer, is promoting software patents and all sorts of other nonsense as part of ‘open’ standards in a new paper sponsored by the EU and edited by the former EPO Chief Economist Nikolaus Thumm (not Battistelli's choice); this is another reminder of the fact that OIN misrepresents Free/Open Source software (FOSS) developers and their interests

The Open Invention Network (OIN) is somewhat of a scam. It wasn’t always like this. Ignore their use (or misuse) of the Tux logo and the brand “Linux”; then, check the pertinent members instead. Check the leadership. OIN will truly serve Linux only when it finally combats software patents, i.e. when pigs fly (“OIN OIN!”). As we showed earlier this year, “Today’s Open Invention Network is Run by Former Patent Trolls, Connected to and Backed by Microsoft”

Today’s OIN already calls some patent trolls “charities”, works with them, even hires from them. OIN does not speak for FOSS. It speaks for patent bullies like IBM that also happen to rely on FOSS for some things. OIN is convenient for the likes of IBM. Right now OIN even promotes patents and software patents as part of standards. What are they thinking? Who on Earth thought it would work out well? With the likes of Microsoft as celebrated OIN members, the brain might ‘have gone somewhere else…’ (to put it in more subtle terms)

OIN does not oppose software patents (it never did, since its very inception); its members, especially the big ones, oppose 35 U.S.C. § 101 and are big “customers” of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Yes, the word “customers” is used by them. They are, in a lot of ways, part of the problem, not the solution to it.

“OIN does not oppose software patents (it never did, since its very inception)…”You know something has gone wrong when you see OIN acting as more of a front group for proponents of software patents, manned by patent trolls instead of FOSS proponents. These are people who actually sued Linux (in the previous employer). Unfortunately, many people lost sight of how OIN changed over the years. Therefore, they can’t quite see the changes.

As Henrion noted the other day: “OIN and Fraunhöfer, the foxes in the henhouse, behind the an awful study on how patents in standards are ‘compatible’ with FLOSS…”

With ‘representatives’ like these…

Knut Blind

EU paper

He added that “[t]hey should have read the GPL” and citing the GPL he quoted: “Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, IN EFFECT MAKING THE PROGRAM PROPRIETARY. [...] To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone’s free use or not licensed at all.”

“…many people lost sight of how OIN changed over the years.”“OIN is in the same ‘club’ that opposes and badmouths copyleft,” I told him (check what IBM et al use for licensing of choice). They only adopt GPL when “there’s no choice” (e.g. Linux kernel). “Software patents ought not even exist and after Alice (which Microsoft and IBM attack via their front groups and corrupt lobbyists like Kappos selling ‘connections’) such patents are likely bunk, invalid anyway.”

I was reminded of this again some hours ago because of this new blog post. It’s by Mirko Boehm from OIN, who blocked me in Twitter so we know he has much to hide… (some of his tweets are appalling)

“Their paper uses propaganda terms such as “Intellectual Property Right (IPR)” and I’ve circulated this for discussion in IRC.”“I already tweeted about it,” Henrion told me, “as the fox in the henhouse. We cannot tolerate lobbyists of OIN and Franhofer to write such papers with public money, as they have an interest. This has basic conflict of interests problems.”

Their paper uses propaganda terms such as “Intellectual Property Right (IPR)” and I’ve circulated this for discussion in IRC. For obvious reasons we’d rather not quote the paper or link to it directly (there’s an indirect link above). Instead, we shall leave readers with this OIN tweet:

Mirko Boehm on Fraunhofer as charity

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts