Still stabbing FOSS in the back
Summary: Black Duck, a company that came from a Microsoft guy, continues to generate negative publicity for Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in order to attract business
YESTERDAY afternoon I was sent this bizarre article with a rather bizarre headline. Upon closer inspection it was from IDG and I immediately suspected (based on the headline alone) that Black Duck had something to do with it. It turned out that I was right.
IDG’s Maria Korolov apparently got used by Black Duck for shameless self-promotion, weeks after all that ‘future’ of Open Source PR/publicity stunt [1, 2, 3] (all the articles about it were listed in our daily links without further comment) or the ‘rookies’ stunt [1, 2, 3]. We tried hard to ignore Black Duck, but Black Duck sure isn’t ignoring FOSS. It’s acting like a parasite feeding off FOSS news, in order to sell its proprietary software of course!
“IDG’s Maria Korolov apparently got used by Black Duck for shameless self-promotion…”As usual, Black Duck, a proprietary software company and false prophet for FOSS, interjected itself into articles about FOSS; this yielded FOSS-hostile headlines in IDG, for example “Public concerned about security flaws in government open source code.” (in CSO)
This article contains Black Duck talking points: “In addition, open source code poses two additional security problems, said Mike Pittenger, vice president of security strategy at Black Duck Software. “Open source projects are often ubiquitous, so if there’s a vulnerability it creates a target-rich environment for attackers,” he said.”
“They are trying to sell proprietary software by piggybacking FOSS.”There is also pure marketing there: “Black Duck is currently tracking more than 1.5 million different open source projects, he added.”
Remember the time Black Duck told the media that it can cost $25,000 to fix a bug in FOSS? That was just months ago. Why does the media keep entertaining these propagandists at all? They are trying to sell proprietary software by piggybacking FOSS. █
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Microsoft is now pretending that proprietary SQL Server on GNU/Linux is “open” and reportedly sells it to governments as such
Summary: Microsoft is pulling off a chameleon’s strategy by pretending that its proprietary software stacks are “open” and therefore eligible for integration in public services
PUTTING aside EPO affairs and patents for a moment, we wish to point out some of the latest subversive moves from Microsoft. We cannot just ignore Microsoft when Microsoft isn’t ignoring us, and is constantly attacking us (FOSS) with patents.
“It’s a good way to distract the public and suppress criticism with some corny images of red hearts.”For those who missed it, Microsoft is trying to EEE GNU/Linux servers amid Microsoft layoffs; selfish interests of profit, as noted by some writers [1,2] this morning, nothing whatsoever to do with FOSS (there’s no FOSS aspect to it at all!) are driving these moves. It’s about proprietary software lock-in that won’t be available for another year anyway. It’s a good way to distract the public and suppress criticism with some corny images of red hearts.
Mary Branscombe, a longtime Microsoft booster who occasionally attacks FOSS (see her "free puppy" insults for instance), has just published an article with a loaded headline, “The reasons behind Microsoft’s drive for open source”  (there is no such drive, so why explore the “reasons”?). It’s a full load of nonsense, starting with the summary: “Striking the balance between open source and commercial business” (Branscombe again shows us a false dichotomy, where FOSS is antithetical to “commercial business” — whatever that is — probably just proprietary software)
“The problem with Wallen’s article is that it’s based on a false supposition that Microsoft cares about FOSS.”The latest Red Hat profits [4,5,6,7] help disprove the nonsense from Branscombe, but it’s not just Branscombe that’s doing that. Days ago we found literally dozens of puff pieces that openwash Microsoft. These all came from India, where Microsoft is lobbying government against FOSS (remember the EDGI dumping about a decade ago). Microsoft is now planning an Indian FOSS event (see two daily links roundups under “Openwashing” in [1, 2]) and it’s clear that Microsoft tries to fool/lull the Indian government into the notion that Microsoft is a FOSS company, hence eligible for any government contract (lucrative procurement). We need to battle this propaganda or simply be infiltrated by the enemy, which is hurting us the EEE way, not just with patents.
“This is protectionism by deception from Microsoft and those who play along with the PR campaign (or lobbying) are hurting genuine/legitimate FOSS.”A new article from Jack Wallen  notes that Microsoft’s “consumer licensing revenue has declined by 34 percent” and goes with the headline “It’s time for Microsoft to open source Windows” (some readers sent it to us after we had found it). The problem with Wallen’s article is that it’s based on a false supposition that Microsoft cares about FOSS. Besides, it wouldn’t work. They turned Windows into spyware (see what Vista 10 became). FOSS licensing would remove all that. If it’s FOSS, people would remove these undesirable features and redistribute without them (true FOSS means they can do exactly that). Microsoft cannot afford to let this happen.
In summary, reject the idea that Microsoft is somehow “open” now. The European Union, the Indian government and even the White House now warm up to FOSS, so Microsoft is pretending to be FOSS. This is protectionism by deception from Microsoft and those who play along with the PR campaign (or lobbying) are hurting genuine/legitimate FOSS. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Given the long wait, the SQL Server 2016 support for Linux servers seems to reflect a business tactic more than any actual love on Microsoft’s part for the open source community.
It is widely thought that SQL Server on Linux is CEO Satya Nadella’s brainchild, as the company focuses on providing top class service. Furthermore, some have even gone as far as to say that the company’s strategy regarding SQL on Linux exhibits the finest example of going where the money is, if it doesn’t come to you.
In other words, SQL Server will come to Linux, but it’s not likely to be a free, open source version.
Red Hat, which promised a few months ago to hit $2 billion in annual revenue, has done so and now claims to be the world’s first open-source company to reach that milestone. It crossed the $1 billion-a-year line four years ago.
Just think: Some people still don’t believe that you can make money from Linux and open-source software. Fools! Red Hat just became the first open-source company to make a cool 2 billion bucks.
Imagine a world in which Windows was open source. Jack Wallen believes it is now time for such a reality.
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Article by a reader of ours, who prefers to remain anonymous
Summary: The European Union Parliament has recommended Free and Open Source Software for several goals
A January 2016 resolution by the European Union Parliament, “European Parliament resolution of 19 January 2016 on Towards a Digital Single Market Act (2015/2147(INI))“, has points relevant to the adoption and promotion of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Specifically, points #89, #110, and #125 mention FOSS by name. The first two mention it in the context of security and interoperability, respectively. The third, #125, calls for a general increase in its use. Here they are quoted below with emphasis in yellow added.
89. Considers that software providers should better promote the security advantages of open source software and security-related software upgrades to users; calls on the Commission to explore an EU-wide coordinated vulnerability disclosure programme, including the repair of known software vulnerabilities, as a remedy against the abuse of software vulnerabilities and security and personal data breaches;
110. Urges the Commission and the Council to increase the share of free and open source software and its reuse in and between public administrations as a solution to increase interoperability;
125. Calls on the Commission and Member States to renew their commitment to the EU 2020 strategy’s research and innovation targets as building blocks of a competitive Digital Single Market, economic growth and job creation, with a comprehensive approach to Open Science, Open innovation, Open data and knowledge transfer; considers that this should include a revised legal framework for text and data mining for scientific research purposes, the increased use of free and open source software, particularly in educational establishments and public administrations, and easier access for SMEs and start-ups to Horizon 2020 funding adapted to the short innovation cycles of the ICT sector; stresses in this respect the importance of all relevant initiatives, from public-private partnerships and innovation clusters to European technology and science parks, notably in less industrialised European regions, and accelerator programmes for start-ups and joint technology platforms, as well as the ability to license standard-essential patents effectively, within the restraints of EU competition law, under FRAND licensing terms, in order to preserve R&D and standardisation incentives and foster innovation;
It is interesting to note that #125 calls for the increased use of Free and Open Source Software to facilitate science, innovation, and knowledge transfer. The mention of “Open data and knowledge transfer” can be interpreted to mean Open Access, related to FOSS but in publishing. In regards to FOSS itself, a stumbling block is the explicit mention of FRAND-licensing for patents as included in standards, as it has traditionally been used as a means to block use of FOSS. But given the context of promoting FOSS elsewhere in the document and, especially in the same paragraph, that would include royalty-free licensing of standards as a pre-requisite for anything to be considered even remotely reasonable.
Another resolution is from this last autumn and is entitled, “Follow-up to the European Parliament resolution of 12 March 2014 on the electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens”
Item #47 states even more specifically that open source must be a mandatory criterion in procurement.
47. Welcomes the steps taken so far to strengthen Parliament’s IT security, as outlined in the action plan on EP ICT Security prepared by DG ITEC; asks for these efforts to be continued and the recommendations made in the resolution fully and swiftly carried out; calls for fresh thinking and, if necessary, legislative change in the field of procurement to enhance the IT security of the EU institutions; calls for the systematic replacement of proprietary software by auditable and verifiable open-source software in all the EU institutions, for the introduction of a mandatory ‘open-source’ selection criterion in all future ICT procurement procedures, and for efficient availability of encryption tools;
Going back even further, to 2001, there is a resolution warning of actions needed to be taken to protect e-mail privacy.
European Parliament resolution on the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system) (2001/2098(INI))
As the Snowden revelations have shown, these measures have proven to be sound and to work in regards to protecting the content of messages. Indeed, in that resolution, it is most clearly stated that only FOSS can fulfil security requirements at all.
29. Urges the Commission and Member States to devise appropriate measures to promote, develop and manufacture European encryption technology and software and above all to support projects aimed at developing user-friendly open-source encryption software;
30. Calls on the Commission and Member States to promote software projects whose source text is made public (open-source software), as this is the only way of guaranteeing that no backdoors are built into programmes;
31. Calls on the Commission to lay down a standard for the level of security of e-mail software packages, placing those packages whose source code has not been made public in the “least reliable” category;
32. Calls on the European institutions and the public administrations of the Member States systematically to encrypt e-mails, so that ultimately encryption becomes the norm;
33. Calls on the Community institutions and the public administrations of the Member States to provide training for their staff and make their staff familiar with new encryption technologies and techniques by means of the necessary practical training and courses;
In summary, the European Union Parliament has recommended Free and Open Source Software for several goals. These goals are privacy, security, innovation, and interoperability. █
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Worth recalling history:
“Where are we on this Jihad?”
Summary: Whilst extracting money by extorting the competition, which Microsoft claims to “love”, the company is also hijacking the competition and trying to tilt it Microsoft’s way, using software patents not only as a cash cow but also means of leverage (by pressure)
THIS MONDAY morning Microsoft already googlebombs or ‘spams’/litters “Linux” news feeds with promotion of its proprietary software (there’s no news, just rehash), led by Microsoft boosters who write their headlines accordingly (links omitted, not inadvertently), mirroring what we saw last Monday (also in the morning). We don’t think that’s sheer coincidence; it looks like a media strategy. Nice to see, on the other hand, is that so many Linux sites are now speaking about Microsoft's patent war on Linux/Android — a long war with software patents as a weapon and cash cow (lawyers typically win when there is litigation, but in the case of Microsoft there is no litigation, just blackmail/extortion). There are even high-profile videos on the subject — surely something Microsoft would wish to distract from while Horacio Gutierrez walks away. We have warned about this for many years.
“Look what Microsoft is doing to Android right now (other than the patent extortion). See what Cyanogen is doing for Microsoft. Classic EEE.”Anyone who still honestly believes that Microsoft “loves Linux” must be rather gullible or poorly informed. Remember how Microsoft infiltrated Docker events in 2015 in order to spread the "love" propaganda (even pins, like there’s a voodoo doll somewhere). It’s all nonsense. Now, having infiltrated Docker sufficiently, there is an embrace, extend, extinguish (EEE) strategy with the NSA-friendly Azure (see articles such as “Microsoft continues open-source support with Docker storage plugin for Azure cloud platform”, “Microsoft continues open source push with Docker storage plugin for Azure”, or “Microsoft offers persistent Docker volumes with Azure File Storage”). Shipping people’s data to a proprietary server with NSA surveillance is not an “open source push” as IDG put it in its headline; it’s self-serving EEE. So much for Docker “security” (unless it’s “national security”). Is a proprietary software move evidence of “love” from Microsoft? The EEE strategy always goes like this. First they need to embrace (with “love”), then they’ll take over (“extend”, e.g. Azure or SQL Server), and later they can extinguish (e.g. move SQL Server/Linux setups to Windows, with lower/promotional cost/rate and more features/incentives). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to ‘get’ it. Look what Microsoft is doing to Android right now (other than the patent extortion). See what Cyanogen is doing for Microsoft. Classic EEE.
“Mr Elop, 52, will have responsibility for leading Telstra’s strategy to become a world class technology company.”
–TelstraSpeaking of EEE, Telstra revealed last week that “Stephen Elop joins Telstra senior leadership team”. To quote its press release: “Mr Elop, 52, will have responsibility for leading Telstra’s strategy to become a world class technology company. He will report directly to Chief Executive Officer Andrew Penn and be based jointly in the United States and Australia.”
Never forget how Microsoft’s Elop killed Nokia while it was exploring a lot of Linux, shortly after it had become one of the top contributors to Linux (the kernel and beyond). Microsoft also used moles to kill Yahoo. Notice how Nokia is being deprecated/taken out of existence, to this date. To quote this new page from HERE, “HERE apps will no longer work on devices running Windows 10 mobile” (so it’s effectively dead, even for Windows).
We previously wrote about Microsoft and Telstra [1, 2, 3, 4]. They’re not far apart, but Elop can mark the beginning of something even worse. There are already many Microsoft executives/influence in Telstra, but that does not mean that it needs another mole. Microsoft’s “love” has always been love for itself; there is no community spirit there, just narcissism. █
“I think he [Bill Gates] has a Napoleonic concept of himself and his company, an arrogance that derives from power and unalloyed success, with no leavening hard experience, no reverses [...] They don’t act like grown-ups!”
–Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson
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Summary: Microsoft started the week (last Monday) with openwashing of the proprietary Minecraft and misuse of the AIX brand; journalists played along
ALMOST exactly one week ago (on Monday) Microsoft did something rather horrible, but were we too busy to write about that, as it wasn’t so urgent to respond to (coinciding with EPO milestones and an Administrative Council meeting).
“That’s just the same old Microsoft.”Belatedly, we now wish to respond to a pattern of misleading coverage by corporate media. A lot of it started with an article from IDG (several of its many sites, e.g. ). IDG apparently does not know what Open Source means and it even uses a dash in it, as in “open-source”. Microsoft money well spent on IDC ‘studies’ (IDG owns IDC)? It this just shoddy journalism or intentional deception? Well, soon thereafter the Microsoft UK-dominated BBC also issued some puff piece about it . Why are journalists who don’t really know what “Open Source” is covering such things? At the direction of Microsoft perhaps? Are they simply being fooled by Microsoft? Also, why has “The Official Microsoft Blog – Microsoft” entered Google News  as though it is a news source? What’s next? The EPO’s own ‘news’ section already gets treated as news at Google News, even though this section — along with the Official Microsoft Blog — are not news sites; these are sources of deception and PR. It is ‘news’ about oneself. This is what the stories appear to have been based on. It is utterly disgusting to see journalists falling for it. Microsoft has many moves and strategies against GNU/Linux at the moment, but corporate media does absolutely nothing to highlight these. As can be seen in [4-11] (a partial list), some silly PR stunt about Minecraft got a lot more coverage than any of the recent attacks on Linux (combined). Only a few blogs cover the attacks, none of which in the corporate/mainstream media.
A noteworthy thing here is that Microsoft labeled its latest openwashing campaign “AIX”. This is Microsoft hijacking names/brands of competitors again. It couldn’t have done this by accident. Calling it “open source” in media even when Minecraft is proprietary?! And when AIX is quite clearly an operating system of another company? This is googlebombing and it’s bound to confuse a lot of people, probably by intention. How long before Microsoft releases some tiny component of its proprietary stuff as “open” and calls it “GNU”, then bombards the media with puff pieces about it?
With headlines such as “Microsoft to open up Minecraft world for AI developers through open-source AIX program” what will be the fate of the real AIX, which has existed for a very long time? How about the headline “Microsoft Project AIX is an open source Minecraft-based artificial intelligence solution”? Or Slashdot with “Microsoft to Open Source Minecraft-Based Project AIX”? “Microsoft Open Sources its AI Development Platform” says the headline from a Microsoft apologist. That seems like very old news, re-announced. A week ago, on Monday morning, I found no less than a dozen Microsoft openwashing pieces (see some of them at the bottom). There must have been many more since. What happened to journalism and why is this openwashing campaign not subjected to any proper fact-checking? Increasingly, over the years, we have come to the conclusion that “fixing” or correcting the corporate media is an exercise in futility. Making alternatives works better. For those who believe that Microsoft is now an “Open Source” company we can only deliver criticism and insults, but we are not trying to gag them. “Balanced” is often a byword for “conforming to widely-held beliefs”. Microsoft is trying to make it a widely-held belief that it’s ethical and “Open Source”. It’s a massive lie. An old Microsoft modus operandi should be worth noting here, as the company habitually hijacks names of the competition (many examples have been covered here over the years). AIX in this case is the latest of many and it’s not going to be the last.
MinceR jokingly wrote, “IBM sold AIX already?”
No, but Microsoft did a hostile takeover of the acronym, regardless of IBM’s need for consent. That’s just the same old Microsoft. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
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Publicado en Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 12:01 pm por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz
“Abraza, extiende, y extingue” (EEE) es como lo llaman…
Tramp de Azure: EEEclipse?
Sumario: Microsoft esta extendiendo el software proprietario y la vigilancia, EXTORSIONÁNDO a linux con patentes de software y tambiéncontaminando el marco FOSS, todo en menos de un dia.
MENOS de un dia despues del último chiste ¨amo a Linux¨ comenzamos a ver piezas de hojaldre, e.g. [1, 2, 3], que parecen propaganda de Microsoft en vez de periodismo. No pensamiento crítico, ninguna investigación, no chequeo de los hechos. NADA. Simplemente repitiendo como loros la propagandoa de Microsoft (¿Cuánto paga Microsoft por esto?)
¨Microsoft anunció hoy que se une a la Fundación Eclipse,¨ un ¨periodista¨ escribió, ¨el grupo open source más conocido por su Eclipse IDE, pero que también ofrece otro numero de herramientas para desarrolladores.¨ -SE JODIÓ ECLIPSE:w
Esto es “abraza, extiende, y extingue,” por razones que ya hemos explicano en los siguientes articulos pasados:
Eclipse es actualmente contra las patentes de software, las que Microsoft usa contra Linux incluso esta semana. ¿Qué estuvieron pensando los líderes de Eclipse aquí? ¿Qué Microsoft ha cambiado? El hay un ‘nuevo’ Microsoft? No existe, it’s all marketing/reputation laundering. █
“Me gustaría ver a toda la innovación de código abierto suceda sobre Windows.”
–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO
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“Embrace, extend, extinguish” (EEE) is what they call it…
Summary: Microsoft is spreading proprietary software and surveillance, extorting Linux with software patents and also contaminating FOSS frameworks, all in less than a single day
LESS than a day after the latest "loves Linux" nonsense we begin to see puff pieces, e.g. [1, 2, 3], which seem more like Microsoft advertisements than actual journalism. No critical thinking, no background/research, no fact-checking. Nothing. Just parroting Microsoft’s marketing/propaganda.
“Microsoft today announced that it is joining the Eclipse Foundation,” one ‘journalist’ wrote, “the open source group that’s probably best known for its Eclipse IDE, but which also offers a number of other developer tools.”
This is “embrace, extend, extinguish,” for reasons we already explained in the following past articles:
Eclipse is actually against software patents, which Microsoft uses against Linux even this week. What was the leadership of Eclipse thinking here? That Microsoft has changed? That there’s a ‘new’ Microsoft? No such thing, it’s all marketing/reputation laundering. █
“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”
–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO
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Publicado en Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:45 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz
Una nueva clase del caballo de Troya
Sumario: Abraza, extiende y extingue (E.E.E.) tácticas que todavía siguen siendo usadas en un esfuerzo de poner el código proprietario de Microsoft (con puertas tráseras) y sus formatos propietarios (candado de Microsoft) dentro de la competencia.
Hace un año escribimos acerca de la adqusición de Revolution Analytics por parte de Microsoft. Microsoft está comprando partes de la academia (recuerdén Moodle), trayéndoles al campo proprietario. R estará MUERTO pronto. No será lo que solía ser. ABRAZA, EXTIENDE y EXTINGUE (E.E.E.) trabaja de esta manera, así que más tarde removerán los bits que no son de Microsot, incluyendo formatos/estándares neutrales.
Muchos del las redes amigables a Microsoft escribierón acerca E.E.E [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. ¿Qué bueno es ¨LIBRE y ABIERTO¨ (para citar a IDG cuando trabaja en un stack proprietari con puertas traseras? Esto es E.E.E. en acción realmente (ahora en fase uno, el ¨ABRAZA¨). Simplemente mira quien está escribiendo acerca de esto [1, 2, 3, 4]. Muchos FANS de Microsoft. El vociferoso fan de Microsoft Tim Anderson trató de añadirle un ángulo de Linux:
Microsoft a puesto al público el Sérvidor R – para análisis estadísticos usando el lenguaje R – basado en software de Revolution Analytics, una compañía comprada por el gigante en Abril de 2015
Lo que solía ser una distribucion de R ahora llamada ¨Microsoft R Abierta¨, que es destinada para Windows, SUSE Linux, y Red Hat Linux.
“Microsoft está jugando con nuestras percepciones.”Microfot no esta jugando amablemente aquí y el CODIGO NO ES SEGURO. Todavía otro serio hueco ha sido encontrado  en Vista 10, el que es promovido como ¨ABIERTO¨ (si ABIERTO a la NSA y cualquier agencia gubernamental que se los pida) usando a Chakra (no la GNU/Linux distribución, Microsft sólo está SECUESTRANDO nombres de otros projectos FOSS de nuevo, simplemente como VistA or OpenOffice). Microsoft Emil  y otros ahora están tratando de presionar al pueblo de adoptar el SYSTEMA OPERATIVO FAVORITO DE LA NSA (Vista 10) usando el alarmismo de ¨seguridad¨, así como Microsoft está abandonando sus propios browsers EXCEPTO el último y más HÓSTIL PARA LA PRIVACIDAD (propietario con disfraz de open por medio de ´Chakra´). █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Microsoft reckons no one is actively exploiting the security vulnerabilities addressed in this month’s patch bundle, but it’s only a matter of time before criminals reverse-engineer the updates and target them.
Microsoft today ended support for old versions of Internet Explorer, including IE8, IE9, and IE10, as well as Windows 8. For the browsers, the company has also released a final patch (KB3123303) that includes the latest cumulative security updates and an “End of Life” upgrade notification.
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