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

12.04.19

We Never Accepted and Will Never Accept Corporate Money

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, IBM, Red Hat at 4:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The new “campaign contributions”

Patrons of FSF

Summary: Corporate money is a unique problem because of its magnitude and the fact that it’s impersonal; shareholders can only ever accept its supposed justifications if they’re receiving something in return (of proportional worth to the payment/transaction)

THE FSF is a fine organisation in a lot of ways; there are limits to it — sure! — and we’ve named some of them earlier this year. Those who are upset at the FSF because it says nothing about systemd may not have paid attention to the potential impact of money (or the risk of losing that money). It is not a new problem. A decade ago it was openly discussed.

In 2017 (latest tax year published by ProPublica) “contributions” amounted to 94.3% of total revenue at the FSF (“FREE SOFTWARE FOUNDATION INC”). Membership dues were at $658,988, and “other contributions, gifts, grants, and similar amounts not included above” were at $635,709, i.e. about half of the whole. So that’s a lot of financial impact for the latter; the total revenue was at $1,373,574 that year and expenses at $1,233,394, so that latter component is very much essential (to avert very considerable downsizing). Here’s a snapshot of the summary:

FSF finances

We’re not trying to bash the FSF; we’re just pointing out that financial dependence on anything other than FSF staff (or members without vested interests or disproportionate contributions) may inevitably lead to self-censorship. Many people still remember the millions of dollars Microsoft paid the Linux Foundation, but how many people can recall similar payments to the BSDs? If they don’t speak out against Microsoft abuses (much/anymore), think about potential causes/motivations. Also remember Red Hat's stance on Stallman.

12.02.19

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.

11.28.19

Diversity Comes in Many Forms

Posted in Deception, FSF, GNU/Linux, IBM, Red Hat at 1:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Which ones are the corporations deliberately ignoring and why?

IBM for diversity... of countries controlled by this man

Summary: Diversity is about much more than visible (to the eye) attributes

  • Diversity of nationality/race
  • Diversity of languages/tongues/cultures
  • Diversity of gender (or gender neutrality)
  • Diversity of opinions/political worldviews
  • Diversity of abilities (e.g. disabilities, accessibility aspects)
  • Diversity of age/maturity level
  • Diversity of technology (is your competition supported?)

Bad things can happen when the concept of “diversity” gets oversimplified and distorted for corporate gain/leverage:

Open letter to the Free Software Foundation Board of Directors
Source: IBM (Red Hat) “Open letter to the Free Software Foundation Board of Directors”


IBM during World War II
Source: Wikipedia


RMS bio


North Carolina aims to bring more women into computer science
4 days ago in IBM-run site: “North Carolina aims to bring more women into computer science”


IBM recently published a dataset for facial recognition AI made up of images...
The present


Just forget how IBM profited and still profits from war on diversity.

22 September 2019: “My father was IBM’s first black software engineer. The racism he fought persists in the high-tech world today”

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

11.10.19

The Linux Foundation Brought as Keynote Speakers People Vastly Worse Than Those Whom It Now ‘Cancels’ for Purely Political Reasons

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux at 1:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Selective outrage, especially when that suits one’s political agenda

SJVN on Dan Lyons

Summary: A lot of people are very upset about the Linux Foundation’s alleged ‘witch-hunt’ and even press coverage has caught up with the outrage; but our position is that it distracts from vastly bigger Linux Foundation scandals

THE Jim Zemlin-led PAC has been under heavy fire for about four days. People didn’t seem to mind all the very major scandals of 'Jim the Great' (at selling out); but suddenly they found an ‘epic’ scandal (far less of a scandal than things we’ve covered throughout the year).

“This whole “Cancel Culture” thing has been mentioned a lot in relation to Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman. It’s a mixture of sanctions and public shaming.”I’ve had to think twice or thrice before writing about this for two main reasons: 1) any attempt to criticise the Linux Foundation (in this particular context) can be spun as ‘supporting’ Donald Trump and 2) we don’t know the full story/facts because it’s lost in a trail of ‘social control media’ noise and apparent witch-hunts, maybe bi-directional (accusations of racism have flown in both directions). Let’s be clear about something: This post is not political. My views on Donald Trump and those stupid “MAGA” hats are well documented online (a matter of public record). I’ve sort of decided to patiently wait until a journalist (or several) sorts out the chronology and underlying facts that can be derived from this ‘social control media’ mess (we try not to rely on "tweets" as "sources" as they often turn out to be false or 'semi-truths' due to concision or one-person bias emitted emotionally, in a hurry).

We think that this new article (published a few hours ago) highlights the key points, unless the author is intentionally dishonest and we have no reasons to doubt her motivations. Included in the article are key photos and screenshots as well. Here’s some context (who’s who):

If you were asked to name two things that make Linux different from any closed-source, proprietary solution out in the world today, those two surely would have to be: for one, Linux has won – as the internet’s and therefore, the world’s tech infrastructure, used by operating systems based on this free and open-source kernel.

And, two – however carefully the custodians of the Linux kernel, the Linux Foundation – that has some of the biggest tech companies among its platinum sponsors, anything from Google, Microsoft, Huawei, to Cisco and IMB – might work to “moderate” the Linux development space – it’s still a system by and large developed by free people expressing their thoughts and opinions freely.

There are, from time to time, controversies and soul-searching issues, but thankfully, they always take place not in some obscure conference room or secret internal communication channel. Free and open source is not only used, but also developed, and discussed, out in the open, for anyone to see.

However, should that hold true even when real-world politics wade in, and when the issue concerns the organization’s own code of conduct? That’s an exceedingly interesting dilemma for anyone invested in the Linux ecosystem, and one now posed by programmer Robert Martin, one of the Agile Manifesto authors, who published a letter on his blog addressed to Linux Foundation’s figurehead Jim Zemlin, and other high-ranking representatives of the organization.

In it, Martin asks why the Foundation decided to act on a tweet denouncing KubeCon – a conference dedicated to a leading open-source containers system – for allowing programmer Charles Max Wood (@cmaxw) to participate. The complaint had not to do with Wood’s professional history, but with his political persuasion.

[...]

Could this possibly be enough to exclude a software engineer from an industry event? According to the Linux Foundation, the answer is yes. A tweet confirming this mentions such things as “code of conduct” and “safe spaces.”

This whole “Cancel Culture” thing has been mentioned a lot in relation to Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman. It’s a mixture of sanctions and public shaming. The Foundation did both because it tweeted about it. Was that tweet necessary? Is the Foundation a ‘speech tribunal’ now? Who made the judgment? Do appeal rights exist? That mere tweet took a minute to type, but it’s not so innocent or harmless. It can be very ruinous. A lot of people are upset about this. But the Foundation is rogue for a lot of reasons more important than the above. It’s a shame that media does not explore those reasons as much as we have.

There’s another lesser-explored issue with the above incident. Jim Zemlin/Foundation invited anti-Linux provocateurs like Dan Lyons, who supported SCO‘s libel against Linux. It invited him to give a keynote speech. Understandably, at the time, this caused some controversy if not uproar. Why would the Foundation reward anti-Linux people if this foundation uses “Linux” as its name? SJVN was among the ‘targets’ of Lyons; He told me (as I recall it) that Zemlin had apologised to him, but only when it was too late (Lyons giving his talk, distorting his record; here’s a piece from Linux.com, akin to “Microsoft loves Linux”).

“Thought-policing is a dangerous concept for a lot of reasons. It’s often not necessary either.”There were non-political reasons — possibly even technical — to shun Lyons.

There’s another profound issue with what the Foundation did. Neutrality is likely more important unless someone’s physical (not emotional) wellbeing is at risk. Thought-policing is a dangerous concept for a lot of reasons. It’s often not necessary either. The Foundation’s staff did not have to get involve in any of this feud; they could let accusations and public shaming (consequences for one’s speech) go on in the ‘noise machine’ which is ‘social control media’ without having to get involved or be ‘blackmailed’ into getting involved. And if they honestly cared about “safe spaces”, they wouldn’t have become a Microsoft 'proxy' (considering what Microsoft does with ICE, Pentagon and so on). To some people a “safe space” means literally a safe space, e.g. hospital where you don’t get bombed.

“Dear Linux Foundation,” I wrote to them some hours ago, “what other ‘wrong’ political opinions would the Foundation ban people for? Views on Kashmir? Palestine? Crimea? China? Hong Kong? Taiwan? What next? Who decides? A slippery slope. Will the Linux Foundation ban people for wearing a MODI hat like it does MAGA hats?”

“People who are upset at the Foundation for what it did some days ago ought to explore the much bigger scandals. There’s no lack of them.”Kashmir politics are also very divisive after all. Remember that Microsoft propagandists wanted Stallman 'cancelled' for not liking Netanyahu/Likkud policies in Israel. Do they want to forbid political speech altogether? Even if such speech or such views are expressed well outside the context or platforms of technical projects?

This “Cancel Culture” scandal (Stallman used this term) is just the edge of a much, much bigger iceberg. People who are upset at the Foundation for what it did some days ago ought to explore the much bigger scandals. There’s no lack of them. By the way, the Foundation continues to violate the terms of service of Twitter; it's selling "tweets".

11.09.19

An Open Letter to Richard Stallman

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux at 11:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figosdev

Gear on neutral

Summary: “It’s past the time for the official cornerstones of the Free software movement to return to their full operational capacity, and to take the gear out of neutral.”

Hello again, we spoke a few weeks ago.

This is just a letter about the people willing to stand up for you, and for your inclusion in the very movement you started. We already know that you were treated unfairly. Some of us were actually warning people this could happen even before it did — the LibrePlanet letter was a pretty big hint to a few of us.

I’ve told people that you want them to stay with the FSF, and why you don’t want them to leave but that it’s better to make certain they continue to promote the core ideals of Free software. That’s what the FSF should be doing. Unfortunately, the FSF is not very good at listening to its members. The way it is structured, (according to someone who used to work for the FSF) an associate membership does not give anybody much influence or ability to hold the FSF accountable. I know this first hand, I was a member years ago.

For what it’s worth, I agree with you on people staying. I don’t believe the FSF is likely to get better if all the pro-Free software, pro-Stallman people leave. And if the FSF were ever to let members influence it more, it would be important for it to do that much differently than OSI did.

“We already know that you were treated unfairly. Some of us were actually warning people this could happen even before it did — the LibrePlanet letter was a pretty big hint to a few of us.”In the past 10 years, OSI became even more subservient to monopolies than it was to begin with. There was an effort to make OSI more open to members — I don’t think that’s a terrible idea, but I think there are a greater number of problematic ways to accomplish that task than beneficial ways. For the FSF to care what members think, to the point where they ever had the ability to change anything, would be perilous to Free software if it were done the wrong way.

More organisations are forming now, most of them with smaller missions than the FSF’s mission. There are things the FSF can’t afford to focus on, such as education, that other organisations can. There is one organisation, Free Software Force, whose primary mission appears to be defending you. I applaud this, but I will be pushing them to do more than just talk about you. I think they are most interested in promoting Free software along the lines that you did — I think that’s a good idea for an organisation.

I’m personally concerned about how many mainstream free projects are currently hosted on Github. Getting these projects away from the clutches of the most Free software-antagonistic company there is, seems like a good idea. This is a company that puts backdoors in its own software. Given their penchant for spyware (telemetry) and the precedent of SourceForge adding spyware to their repos, I don’t like thinking about the future of Github unless there are more people willing to move away from it. Along with the Linux Foundation, Github is bringing all sorts of projects closer to the Microsoft mothership. This doesn’t bode well.

“Along with the Linux Foundation, Github is bringing all sorts of projects closer to the Microsoft mothership. This doesn’t bode well.”The main reason I have for writing you however, is to tell you that in many different ways an unofficial Free software organisation is developing. I don’t mean any of the new organisations, I don’t necessarily even mean the “Free Software Federation” but there is a very broad community with supporters everywhere. I don’t expect you to find them all and talk to everyone, but I recommend you try talking to them. To some degree you do already.

With or without the FSF, and preferably with of course, I recommend you start talking with more of these people as soon as it’s possible to do so. Some of them can act as liaisons, or ambassadors, to help get things between you and everybody else.

This is an unofficial way of doing things, but the fact that this sort of meta-community welcomes you just as much now as before is relevant. Instead of one leader there are several, but what these people have in common is recognition of the fact that you founded the Free software movement, and thus are a key figure — one extremely important to what they do. I’ve spoken with several of these people and some of them are more supportive of you than I realised. Dyne.org for example, is one organisation that has put out an official statement in support of you.

“Dyne.org for example, is one organisation that has put out an official statement in support of you.”My feeling is that you do not wish to retire. If you do, you’re certainly entitled to it. But if you don’t, these are people who will help keep you informed and who you can help keep informed, and who you can rely on to carry your ideas even further. I realise you can do a lot of this on your own, and I realise (and I’m grateful) that you still have supporters in your own organisation. By no means is any of this exclusive or intended to stand in place of that.

I guess what I’m saying is, we won’t let you retire until you’re ready to do so. Most of us can’t afford to fly you around the world, but we do live around the world, and we are eager to continue helping Free software succeed.

Whatever you choose to do next, I hope you will consider this. And I hope we will all hear much more from you in the future.

The reasons for the silence from the FSF are publicly known, but it has stretched out too long. There is no benefit left to this ongoing silence, it is just as pointless for the FSF to keep the lights out like this as it is for them to have an Internet outage. It’s past the time for the official cornerstones of the Free software movement to return to their full operational capacity, and to take the gear out of neutral.

Long Live Stallman, and Happy Hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

11.07.19

MIT Suggestions

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, FSF, GNU/Linux, Humour at 11:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previously: The Only Person Punished for the Gates-Epstein Connection/Affairs Seems to be Richard Stallman and Now the Libel Resumes

How do we deflect blame away from MIT and Bill Gates paying MIT through Epstein? Blame Stallman. Lie about Stallman. Admit the truth.

Summary: Sometimes things are too ugly to talk oneself out of; so a distraction is urgently needed

11.06.19

The Only Person Punished for the Gates-Epstein Connection/Affairs Seems to be Richard Stallman and Now the Libel Resumes

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, FSF at 12:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Close friends of Bill Gates have partial ownership of the media outlet that started this whole thing and continues to defame Richard Stallman (even several times so far this week)

James Murdoch Buys a Stake in Vice Media
Last month: James Murdoch Buys a Stake in Vice Media

Rupert Murdoch firm dips into hipsters' bible with $70m stake in Vice
Six years ago: Rupert Murdoch firm dips into hipsters’ bible with $70m stake in Vice

Summary: The media that caused Dr. Stallman to lose his place at MIT and also at the FSF (which he had founded) still libels him, having just — yet again — wrongly asserted that Stallman “defended” the person whom he actually called “serial rapist”

THE Bill Gates-Epstein scandal is nowadays treated by media like “old news”. As if there’s “nothing to see here, people, move along…”

Neither Gates nor Epstein are ‘friends’ with Stallman (or anyone in the Free software movement), yet guess who the media was so eager to connect to paedophilia. Is this fair? Is this real journalism?

We’ve become accustomed to ‘conspiracies of silence’ (instructions not to cover, akin to DSMA-Notice) in mainstream media; we’ve seen that in European Patent Office (EPO) coverage, more so in the António Campinos days (under Battistelli the media did occasionally cover the scandals).

“Neither Gates nor Epstein are ‘friends’ with Stallman (or anyone in the Free software movement), yet guess who the media was so eager to connect to paedophilia.”We have plenty of things we can write about, but it would be morally wrong to leave the injustices behind. “Until then,” as one reader put it, “it would be good to focus on the Gates Epstein connection. I think you hit it when you said Gates shuffled money to Epstein to ruin the MIT Media Lab and FSF. You should get some details and get in touch with other journalists who are wondering why Gates had anything to do with Epstein. A pretty good explanation is that Gates wanted to destroy his most effective idealogical competitor and eliminate the home of the One Laptop Per Child project, both of which would send a strong signal to the academic community that resistance is futile.”

We decided to have a chat with Richard Stallman. It’s a sensitive subject, but we were eager to bring up the subject, seeing that the media was doing so anyway.

This thing was published less than 2 days ago. VICE (Murdoch) continues to help distract from what Bill Gates did with Epstein — not just in prison but also in MIT. Hours ago the same slander reached “VICE UK” and it’s already spreading to other sites. “Now, Motherboard reports…” (it’s another ‘branch’ of VICE). And VICE’s defamation of Stallman continues (never mind calling him “open source” something — which in itself is like an insult): “The fallout was swift. MIT Media Lab leader Joichi Ito resigned after it came out that he’d helped hide the donations, and famed open source advocate Richard Stallman left as well after defending Epstein’s sex trafficking on an MIT listserv.”

He did NOT defend that! He NEVER did. One might add that the article shows or reveals a degree of double standards as well. It does, after all, seem like a “race to the bottom” (how to associate with Epstein a lot of people, except Gates). As one person put it:

this really isnt entirely reasonable.

they keep going after smaller and smaller offenses, this isnt zero tolerance policy it is -1, -2, -3 policy.

i can understand a few people not wanting to take this class. but why is everything (EVERYTHING) a fire-able offense? a bunch of people decide to hold signs, and now theyre in charge of everybody else? why dont more people think thats a bit nuts? (i realise theyre afraid to say anything.)

“im unhappy, fire this guy.”

“why?”

“he dealt with a bad man. then he had the nerve to say so.”

he sounded like he was being apologetic for it, like a disclaimer.

maybe it was a stupid move. why does every conversation start with “im going to disrupt the campus until you fire someone?”

why the fuck do we pretend an enlightened society is one where we have to have run such a question through a series of fucking political experts just to ask a simple fucking question without having your entire life ruined out of spite?

if this was only happening to bad people– hey, whatever. but its very clear this can happen over so many misunderstandings and mischaracterisations, it becomes nearly arbitrary.

thats injustice, but also its stupid. this is just people pushing people around. thats got to stop sooner or later, because sooner or later people are going to realise this is either bullshit, or close enough. please, stop the insanity while there are still people with jobs left to do them.

when do people decide theres been enough mob justice and one-sided conversations demanding hasty responses and no deliberation? we arent there yet? really? nope, i guess not. the solution to everything is “youre fired.” really, thats the only option, the only tool available. its that or everybody holds signs forever and bother everybody who disagrees.

well, fuck. i guess theres no society left then. good job, everybody. pat yourselves on the back for ending the entire concept of society itself. supposedly there is only mobs and mob justice, this is how we do everything now.


As Tom Grz put it: “Can we fire Bill Gates? No more interviews perhaps?”

One reader from Germany, citing the FSFE’s controversial statement (“Richard Stallman resigns as president of the Free Software Foundation”), wrote to us to say:

one wrong tweet… Elon Musk needs to go as CEO of Tesla…

one wrong Mail… Stallman needs to go

who’s next?

what do you think? (maybe the NSA knows already but would like to know as well X-D)

In the case of Stallman, his mail was distorted and he was slandered in the media. We still have this almost-complete list of blog posts and press ‘reports’ about it (mostly perpetuating the lie, but there are some rebuttals among those too). For quite some time we said that Techrights would do a detailed dissection of this slander campaign (once it has reached a halt, including that dissent from a couple dozen GNU people). One IRC regular of ours looked closely at these and examined further what had happened. Yesterday he reported “no new findings” and said he “just searched a little from the MIT angle.”

“There were protesters against MIT president, there are videos in twitterland, so in that context Selam’s timely article really paints itself as a smokescreen that HAD to be done hastily [and] that explains even why she can’t answer to the simple argument why she didn’t try to civilly discuss it with RMS but hastily jumped or should I say stepped forward… that’s also why the last few days seeing Selam’s article from that general (MIT damage control angle) I [was] getting suspicious even for the hot lady photo and in that context the Selam’s really provocative article makes perfect sense… a diversion was needed fast… that’s why I think that essentially RMS was fired from MIT in a pretext that MIT’s board could leverage a little its really bad position… so basically the Selam initiative helped both in damage control and also helped change the weboshphere agenda… and you know what’s more serious than discussing about Epstein MIT laundry…. discussing about a pedophile that was exposed and MIT pushed him out.”

Was Stallman more of a scapegoat than anything? Why did Selam choose VICE to leak E-mails to (to be distorted)? It’s partly owned by a very close friend of Bill Gates, whose MIT scandal had unfolded days if not weeks prior.

We’ve been chatting with Stallman about this and may elaborate with his input in a future part/sequel.

« 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