11.16.21

Brave Browser is Not a Platform for Extremists. The Southern Poverty Law Center is Way Off Base.

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD at 3:23 am by Guest Editorial Team

Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission from the original

Southern Poverty Law Center propaganda

Brave Browser is not a platform for extremists. The Southern Poverty Law Center is way off base.

When the SPLC listed the Brave Browser on its list of “applications that are used by extremists”, I nearly spit out my coffee.

It’s just a Web browser. It’s open source. (MPL 2 license, like Firefox, along with various others.) It does not promote a political ideology.

If anything, I think most of the people I’ve seen using it have a strong Libertarian bent.

Libertarians are not extremists, unless you mean extreme case of non-aggression.

Libertarians tend to view the world in a lens of non-interference and not manipulating others to go along with things by way of threats and perverse incentives.

Since the Republican and Democrat parties in the United States prefer to launch drone strikes all over the world and kill people, including our own citizens, and haven’t met a threat or free market manipulation/perversion they don’t like, it seems like they have to hurl accusations of “extremism” at Libertarians.

Nobody knows what the price of milk really is.

It’s subsidized, by you, no matter how much you actually consume.

Nobody knows what a Pfizer COVID shot really costs because the government negotiated to give several times as much of your money away to Pfizer as you would have paid if it was optional.

If you don’t take it, Biden wants you to lose your job. That’s a manipulation.

Few people know what the wars we enter into are about or how much it really costs their family, or how many Americans die pointlessly. The news is censored, and essentially an organ of state propaganda.

Libertarians don’t want the wars. Libertarians are “extreme”.

Libertarians generally don’t want there to be no government at all. We would like the government to have a low and flat rate of taxation that is fair, and less than what the average person pays now. We would like a system of policing, laws, and courts that protect people from violent crimes, rape, property damage, and uphold contracts. “Extreme!”

The whole point of big media and GAFAM/Big Tech is to spy on people and to mentally corrupt them and dumb them down so much that they are governable by the shitheads we have in DC and our state capitals and city halls. They operate by buying you off or clunking you over the head. That’s a “great” system. Anyone who opposes it must be “extreme”.

Libertarians don’t have to be “Climate Deniers”. There are market solutions to lower emissions. Quit subsidizing oil and stop making millions of people around Chicago get in their cars and drive for 20-30 minutes with the engine running to get their emissions sticker being just a couple. “Extreme!”

The far-left paints Libertarians as “far-right” to try to lump it in with the Republicans, who are also vicious psychopaths like the far-left, but Libertarians were the first party to support marriage equality in the United States, said all along that the drug war was ridiculous and the government was paying massive incarceration fees and losing tax revenue and destroying lives with little impact on crime, and says that people should be able to get all of the abortions they want with their own money. And we like immigrants who obey our laws and want to reduce the barriers to legal immigration, and protect them from violence. Clearly racist and horrible and extreme. In fact, I married one.

If people with an agenda want to attack Libertarians as extreme, don’t buy it! There’s nothing “extreme” about being a rational person. Well, I guess you could be extremely rational.

Anyway, I think that they get the idea that people who want to be left alone, and who say “to each their own” (the horrors), are very interested in Free and Open Source Software, encrypted messengers, Tor, and VPNs. They’re probably right.

The reason the fascist left and SJWs twitch so much about the idea of personal freedom is because it’s the last thing they want. To not be able to push you around and steal from you anymore. As such, anything that gives you personal freedom must be wiped off the face of the earth, like Free and Open Source Software and strong encryption.

Encryption is cheap (computationally).

I use several layers of it routinely (VPN, Tor, HTTPS, tox, E2E in Matrix, Secure IRC, etc…) on my Internet traffic just because I can. If it can confound even just some creepy ISP like Comcast or T-Mobile that wants to sell my browsing history, it’s worth something to me. If it prevents a security breach, it’s nice.

Who I talk to or what I talk about is only the business of me and my audience who I am speaking to.

I also think that SPLC may have an ax to grind with Brendan Eich personally over some money he donated to Prop 8 in California, which ultimately got struck down. That happened 13 years ago. People who live in the past and support Cancel Culture don’t impress me. Also, I’m gay. Not “extremely” gay. Just gay.

Let us also pay no mind to the fact that there are gay people working at Brave Software.

There may be some technical reasons to criticize Brave, but that’s outside the scope of this post.

And for the most part, I agree with what they’re trying to do. They’re taking a very bad platform, Chromium, and trying to defang it of APIs dumped in by Big Tech companies in order to spy on you, and they’re trying to put in features that protect you from surveillance capitalism.

Mozilla, on the other hand, is a party styling itself as “Social Justice Warriors” who have done nothing for your freedoms and online safety lately. They fell so hard, so far, and so fast in the last 7 years, that they’re all but unrecognizable at this point in those terms.

Free and Open Source Software should appeal to Libertarians. It’s not Communism, as Microsoft tried to frame it.

If anything, Microsoft is a Communist company. They get state bailouts and Five Year Government Plans to buy failed products like HoloLens. They bribe elected officials, and then Microsoft gets government contracts. The FBI got “hacked” the other day, and their email system was used to send scam emails out.

The US government is incompetent with cybersecurity, yet issues directives, even as the FBI can’t even protect its own networks because the government buys Microsoft products.

Free and Open Source Software is something that people are paid what they think is a fair amount of money to work on, and so they do it. Or they might be a hobbyist. Most are paid though.

Their employer makes money selling products or services based on it, and then we can benefit from it too. Debian is an organization that people voluntarily fund which produces a coherent GNU/Linux operating system based on FOSS.

Proprietary software tends to be unloved software. People who produce it keep it proprietary to avoid having to compete with others. They have a right to attempt this, it’s not illegal, but people should know that it almost always does something wrong to them.

Being proprietary by itself hides how the program works, and that helps obscure the further wrongs and harm it commits. For example, Windows Telemetry only gives you a vague idea of what it transmits to Microsoft. They use strong encryption to prevent you from seeing what’s really in those compressed archives. What’s in there?

Without even being able to know, people jump in and defend it. Think it’s sketchy? “EXTREMIST!” “PARANOID!”

What Microsoft _admits_ their Edge browser sends back to them is enough reason not to use it. What people have found it doing by digging a little deeper is even worse, but it too can hide the true extent of the snooping.

Aside from backdoors that proprietary software hides, the software also tends to be incredibly bloated. Windows has dozens of GB of crap in it that is mostly legacy junk, where security holes can lurk. The US government (among others) finds them and hoards them and then weaponizes them.

The Flame and Stuxnet malware were pieces of art. They evaded all antivirus solutions on the market for years, infested lots of systems, and then when Iran chose to run Windows in their uranium enrichment center, President Obama ordered a strike.

The United States didn’t need to send bombers. It just needed to push a button, and state malware for Windows, laying dormant, sleeping, for years, woke up, and spun the centrifuges too fast, and broke 94% of them beyond repair.

Many faults in the underlying OS end up propagating into the programs that run on it. Web browsers deal with Web sites. Web sites can run anything you’re not blocking. Almost every release of Firefox mentions some CVEs that only affect Windows. These are inherited from the OS, and since nobody but Microsoft can fix the OS, or sometimes it was designed wrong and can’t be fixed, the solution is usually a hack to hopefully block the exploit, but it only protects the program that was patched to avoid triggering the OS bug.

Content Blocking lists have to be updated frequently to keep up with new threats. It turns out that the US Intelligence Agencies run ad blockers to lower attack surface. Not just “malvertising”. Companies can gather data just by placing bids.

During the COVID lockdown, various government agencies in the United States monitored whether people were complying with it or not by bidding on and/or buying data collected by advertisers through Web sites and mobile ad networks.

I use Tracker Control on my Android phone. I went through disabling or uninstalling most of the crap I found from Samsung. They even include a Facebook “Service” you can’t remove which monitors the apps you sign into, even if you don’t have Facebook on your phone, and associates it with your Facebook profile. I deleted the data and disabled that. But that’s what lurks in your Android phone. Not all of the crapware can be turned off, but Tracker Control can block tracker libraries from phoning home, and I pulled the plug on Internet access from all apps I don’t use, and most apps I use are also from the F-Droid store.

The situation on iPhones is worse, because you can’t run Free and Open Source Software, and very nearly all apps in the App Store have Apple and Google trackers in them.

On top of this, Apple plans to add a scanner that goes looking through your phone and reporting in. They claim anyone who objects is probably a “pedophile”. Such a system can and will be used for other things. China will use it to hunt people down for having pro-democracy protests. Muslim states will behead gay people who Apple turned over for the right to keep selling products there.

The government also paid Facebook to help them locate undocumented immigrants. It has geolocation data. They collect it every time they damned well please if you have it on your phone. You’re walking around telling Facebook everywhere you are, even when it’s not open.

The government may or may not have legal grounds to get a warrant, but it hardly needs to. It’s spending your money to buy your data so you can help get yourself arrested, deported, ratted out for being outside during COVID “emergency” powers that Illinois Governor Pritzker keeps giving to himself.

If you want to avoid this, or even limit the harm, you’re an “extremist”.

So, really, the Southern Poverty Law Center needs to shut the hell up. They aren’t helping. There’s really not much of a way that “software” and platforms usually have an extremist agenda. Extremists might _use_ software and platforms. But extremists/terrorists, whatever those are, use Windows, Macs, Android Phones, iPhones….

Almost all of the government’s criminal cases involving January 6th rioters involved Facebook and Twitter somehow. We know that now. But at the time, they told us it was Parler’s fault for not taking the posts down, when actually it was almost all being coordinated on Facebook, which left the posts up.

The far-left pushed to have Parler taken down. They got it booted out of Big Tech app stores, Amazon Web Services deplatformed it… They had to end up being hosted by some company that hardly takes anything down, and then the agitators made hay about that!

And Parler was actually not even close to being the source of the problem, of course narratives get changed around and people are easy to mislead with Big Media on the side of the state and the billionaires.

To clarify, I am not on Parler and I am not planning to be. I don’t accept their Terms of Use. But this example shows what Big Tech and their state allies will go through to maintain hegemony for PRISM companies.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is very obviously some sort of Democrat think tank that would love for you to police your kids for them, unwittingly.

I’m not against parents trying to protect their children, but there are other dangers out there than Internet perverts. Proprietary software is an injustice and Social Control Media platforms that turn people into the product are big problems, indeed.

If you want to block something at the firewall level, block Facebook because FACEBOOK the company is evil.

Quit using Google search. Quit using Skype and Zoom. Replace applications and operating system software with Free and Open Source software.

Use social platforms that are really social, not open sewers.

Encryption, VPNs, and Tor are your friend. They’re tools to block surveillance.

There’s a saying that it’s a poor craftsman who blames his tools. I would go further and say it’s probably a poor parent who blames Brave, the Web browser.

Children are human beings too, and I think that what horrifies parents is that they won’t turn out carbon copies of themselves if their kids are exposed to a marketplace of ideas.

Most parents unfortunately succeed, and turn out children who are narcissistic, self-centered, one-dimensional, and materialistic mindless consumers. That serves….the state. It really does. They’re happy with things exactly like they are right now.

I think it’s pretty extreme to destroy the human experience to create more wards of the state, who keep toiling away in the fields, and get to enjoy very little in the way of reward for their own labors.

Paying taxes to a central government that’s thousands of miles away and does almost nothing to help them.

Most people under 50 barely know it, but those taxes include a Social Security program that’s got about 10 years left, maybe, before everyone on it gets a 23% benefit cut, and the folks who draw it in retirement now can’t even live off of it.

I think that they should be allowed to save and invest for themselves. They could even leave it to someone if they pass away. My Aunt paid into it for decades, died in a car accident, and they paid nothing.

The program’s “trust funds” which are actually imaginary promissory notes, earn 2-3% interest on “special” government bonds.

The stock market’s average return is over 10% per year.

Am I an “extremist”?

Maybe to some. I mean, the state, the rich, they want people broke all the time. They want people distracted with porn, booze, drugs, and fights with the neighbors. We live in a country that entertains itself by watching the police invade the wrong house and attack people.

I think that’s extreme.

And again, all the fault of the Brave Web browser. After all, the Southern Poverty Law Center produced a white-paper and briefed a bunch of Congress Critters who are all rich and don’t have to live in the world they create for us. Very compelling.

11.15.21

Guest Article: Michael Larabel at Phoronix is Getting Desperate With the Daily Spam

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:55 am by Guest Editorial Team

Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission from the original

Summary: Today, Ryan takes a look at Phoronix benchmarks that served to embolden many Microsoft-connected sites which proudly herald Vista 11 is a lot better/faster than “Linux” (we saw many such articles, citing Phoronix); the problem is, Phoronix is comparing apples to oranges (or crude code/misconfigured kernel to a final release), as people already point out in the comments, so this is misleading to say the least and it is part of a pattern which worries us

Phoronix has been a joyless cash grab for a while, but is getting worse.

Not only has Michael Larabel been posting many articles about Windows or Microsoft which aren’t GNU/Linux-related in the slightest and are not of interest to people who want genuine news, but now he resorts to just plain old shitposting.

Moments ago, he declared that Intel’s Alder Lake CPUs have a major performance issue on Linux 5.16.

What’s the problem? There is no Linux 5.16!

Linux 5.15 was released today, and in the article he mentions he tested 5.16-rc1, which no distribution is pushing to their users, and few people other than kernel developers would ever try to compile and run.

In the headline, which I won’t link to, he doesn’t mention that it’s an rc (release candidate) kernel at all. He makes it sound like the sky is falling in on a stable kernel that someone is using in production.

It’s not uncommon, or anything to be alarmed about, that a kernel at this very early stage, might have a bug like this. There’s usually 6-8 release candidates before a stable kernel series goes out, and a week or so passes between them.

Look, I hate Intel as much as anyone, but AMD got caught up in this as well, and it will be fixed before you ever see the 5.16 kernel.

In #techrights we’re starting to call him MicroLarabel because of all of the Microsoft posts.

He has no credibility anymore.

Years ago, I used to read Phoronix because it was always mildly interesting, but now I barely skim over it. This is one example of why.

Another is the Microsoft shitposting.

Another, is if you go in without an ad blocker for whatever reason, you’ll have about 1×1 of screen left and won’t be able to read it anyway.

We live in a world where the US CDC has to warn people not to put condoms in a dishwasher, so even though it goes without saying, don’t put too much faith in Phoronix.

Some people, in the comments, act like this guy is contributing to Linux with his self-serving articles that are just vehicles for ads and Microsoft puff pieces.

09.30.21

Elise Thomas Has a Straw Man Argument (and FUD Against Software Freedom, Conflating It With Violent Extremism)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD at 7:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 007489baa0c80015a7a63400b13f9c66

Summary: Old FUD tactics use fringe groups to demonise the whole (e.g. using about a hundred Web sites to badmouth or generalise to tens of millions of Web sites). That’s like ZDNet looking to blame Go Language (golang) for malware just because few malicious people write their malicious code in it.

THE article discussed above reaffirms our stance that the "ethical" source provocateurs are a threat to Software Freedom. It’s not that they look for a different slant; they just sabotage or vandalise more than free software — to the point of looking to restrict the right to run and distribute copies of programs.

“In fact, what powers the Web — not just server software (transmission etc.) — is predominantly Free software these days.”ESR foresaw this kind of FUD, e.g. Microsoft insinuating that Free software (he says “Open Source”) was some sort of terrorism enabler. OSI banned him from the mailing list a couple of years ago, despite him being the co-founder of OSI. Corporations which now dominate the OSI never cared for free speech anyway; all they want is control and they wish to muzzle critics of theirs (the CoC helps with that) when those critics condemn them for bombing people or for naked racism.

As noted in the video, as well as in our Daily Links from yesterday, Free software is what powers the Web, so singling it out for “extremists” is a pretty extreme viewpoint. As a matter of fact, yesterday’s “Web Server Survey” from Netcraft still chronicles Microsoft’s collapse in the Web servers space (it became irrelevant), noting that in the past month “Microsoft lost both in absolute numbers and market share.” Almost all the rest are Free software. In fact, what powers the Web — not just server software (transmission etc.) — is predominantly Free software these days.

“This seems not so much like concern-trolling but something even worse.”This appalling FUD piece is signed by “Elise Thomas is an OSINT Analyst at ISD. She has previously worked for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, and has written for Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast, Wired and others.”

We don’t comment much on ‘pure’ politics, but those sites are known for their support of US exceptionalism, imperialism, and corporatism. And the logic suggested by the article stands on no feet at all. The concluding part says: “The goal of this analysis is not to prescribe how open source communities ought to respond, but rather shed some light on the issue and spark a conversation [read: TROLL] within open source communities. Ultimately, it rests in the hands of those creators to decide whether the use of their tools to promote extreme and hateful ideologies is a problem they want to tackle – and if it is, what they are prepared to do about it.”

“As for solutions, in the video I’ve noted repeatedly that hosts or “platforms” are the more suitable channel.”This seems not so much like concern-trolling but something even worse. It’s a bit like saying, Nazis go to eat at some restaurants sometimes, so cooks are helping Nazis and we should hold them accountable or call them “Nazi enablers”…

What the nonsensical piece suggests is almost an impossibility unless we modify/misuse the software or add remote controls to the software (in order to subjugate/muzzle the user/s). And if it’s still Free software, then anybody can modify it to remove those antifeatures, then distribute copies of the same.

As for solutions, in the video I’ve noted repeatedly that hosts or “platforms” are the more suitable channel. As one person put it a couple of years ago, it doesn’t take complex mathematics to arrive at the conclusion that the more such pages get served, the more violence will follow.

Let’s hope that ISD holds a fringe viewpoint, just like the Web sites it wants us to think are a significant chunk of the Web (they’re not; they’re a fringe). Radical suggestions that break the Web and destory Free software can be just as “extreme” as the extremism ISD is looking to tackle. Free software and free speech can help expose corruption and prevent violence. ISD ignores that.

08.26.21

The Media Tells Us That ‘Linux’ is the Danger While Many Patients Die From Microsoft Windows

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security at 11:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 062bffc6feba5db9031fc34e87192ab9

Summary: Reading the media so far this week, one might be left with the impression that Linux (which turns 30 as a proprietary kernel) is somehow the least secure thing on the planet; but that seems to mostly distract from the latest epic disaster of Microsoft

Last year we published a very long story or a series of 16 detailed posts about Windows incidents in hospitals, berating the media for participating in cover-up and a misdirection instead of actual investigation, journalism, demand for answers (which can beget accountability for the culprits who put Windows inside hospitals).

Here we are one year later and Microsoft has massive security incidents every couple of months — ones which impact millions of businesses and billions of people, costing them billion if not trillions in damages in the long run. Then we see articles which incredibly enough present Microsoft as some security leader while it lectures GNU/Linux users and claims to be some ransomware expert. They’re mostly back doors experts; they have lots of experience putting back doors in things

In the video above I go through very recent stories about “Linux” being a security issue/risk/threat (by gross misrepresentation of the brand) and today’s links about hospitals becoming disaster zones because of their use of Windows.

As we put it several times last year, how many people need to die before Windows is ripped out of health-related systems and replaced by vastly more reliable and secure Free software? Windows has already killed far more people than COVID-19 and its variants killed. They’re just not being counted as such.

Microsoft’s mediocre and insecure-by-design computing has taken its toll in many other domains, not just health, but rarely does that generate any headlines. We just hear about how “Linux” is going to space. And there’s a reason for that…

If Windows is not good enough for space missions, why should it ever be put on (or near) medical devices? Unmanned space missions put budget — not lives — at risk. About a decade ago IIS dumped Windows and moved to GNU/Linux after the space station got overwhelmingly infected with and overrun by Windows viruses. Out of this world

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

Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive

07.28.21

Microsoft ‘Loves’ Linux So Much That It’s Spreading FUD About It All Over the Media for 3 Days in a Row (So Far)

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Patents, Security at 5:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 9970fa71cb2d3e14bd46feb717c52919

Summary: The stubborn cult at Microsoft likes telling us all — especially officials and decision-makers — a bunch lies like, “we invest [some amount of money] in security” and “security is our goal”, but in reality the money is sunk into hiring (‘buying’) firms with “security” in their name, bribing publishers for mindless PR/platitudes that cast critics of Microsoft insecurity/ies as “fanatics”, “bashers”, “jealous”, “irrational” et cetera; finally, actual money goes into collaborations with the NSA on back doors, i.e. the exact opposite of security. The video above is a follow-up or sequel for something we meme-ified two days ago; we’ve since then included more examples (with editorial comments added to the links) in our News Roundups/Daily Links; Western media follows the same script we saw in Indian Web sites on Sunday and the objective is to paint Linux as “equally insecure” if not less secure than Windows. As already noted on Sunday, in a much longer video, the ‘Linux’ malware (it has nothing to do with Linux itself!) needs user intervention, neglect, or even sabotage to even get on the compromised systems in the first place. One can guess what situation or which incidents Microsoft is ever so eager to distract/deflect from…

07.19.21

Is Microsoft a National Security Threat?

Posted in FUD, Microsoft, Security at 5:09 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Mitchel Lewis

Ransom infection vector

Despite entire industries and trade disciplines existing solely to manage Microsoft architecture and mitigate attacks against it, including a partner network consisting of 17 million+ IT professionals, 99% of all ransomware attacks still occur on Windows. Meanwhile, Microsoft architecture, including its cloud services, maintains a monopoly on botnet, brute-force, malware, phishing, virus, and zero-day attacks just the same. From individuals and small businesses to enterprises and government entities with unlimited IT budgets, everyone standardized on seemingly unsecurable Microsoft architecture are being phished, breached, exploited, and ransomed daily with no end to this in sight. Not even Microsoft is safe from this digital blitzkrieg, hence why they tell us to “assume breach”.

This isn’t to say that Linux OSs and macOS don’t see these attacks on their platforms though; they have and will again. Long-term savings and productivity advantages aside, they just don’t garner the same level of attack that Windows does, nor are they as likely to get exploited at the same rate as Windows when they are attacked. Put simply, Mac and Linux have a smaller attack surface and get to treat Windows like an umbrella against attacks due to its prominence in the OS space. Both of which are the two primary reasons why I maintain that the best thing that organizations can do to mitigate these attacks, for now at least, is to migrate away to macOS or a Linux-based operating system such as RedHat, CentOS, Ubuntu, etc.

With the above in mind though and when also accepting that there is no aspect of cyber, economic, environmental, homeland, human, and political security along with the security of our infrastructure and natural resources, national security if you will, that isn’t intricately dependent on Microsoft architecture, this reality alone is more than enough to warrant a discussion on whether or not Microsoft architecture is a consequent threat to national security. So, is Microsoft a threat to national security?


In order to answer this question, we first have to address why Windows and other Microsoft services are being breached so often in the first place. We have to see if they can be faulted for this present state, if there is another causal problem that’s beyond their control, or if anyone with their market share is destined to be a victim of their own success and dominance. And to be fair, not everyone will agree with my assessment above or below.

MalwareTech

For one and in response to a previous article where I suggested migrating to macOS and Linux to mitigate these aforementioned attacks, Michael Gillespie, and Marcus Hutchins (MalwareTech) seem to think that Microsoft architecture is exploited most frequently simply because it is the most prominent architecture and that migrating wouldn’t render you any less vulnerable. Put simply, they seem to think that differing attack surfaces are irrelevant to rates of exploitation and that macOS would be exploited at the same rate as Windows if the tables were turned with respect to market share.

Meanwhile, I’m not denying that that prominence is a factor, at all, I’m just saying that attack surface is on the same footing as prominence and that other solutions with smaller attack surfaces will be attacked and exploited at a lesser rate with the same market share which they disagreed with. However, it is also my stance that Microsoft’s anti-competitive practices aimed at obtaining and maintaining their dominant market share with low-quality products has further exacerbated this issue into what we have before us today; more on this later.

Why this matters to the question of whether or not Microsoft is a national security threat is simple. By suggesting that Microsoft is merely a victim of its own success and that anyone with their market share would see the same rate of exploitation, they’re also absolving Microsoft of responsibility for the present state of threat. But by suggesting that Microsoft’s galactic attack surface is equally responsible with their dominance for their security woes and that Microsoft wouldn’t be in the position they are in now if they had quality products that didn’t have to rely on anti-competitive practices to maintain market share, I’m naturally shouldering Microsoft with their share of the blame in the threat posed to America’s IT infrastructure at present.

One immediate problem with the prominence argument though is that those relying on it seem to resort to it in response to the suggestion of migrating to macOS or RedHat in an effort to mitigate attacks. If you really think about it though, this is irrational and shouldn’t discourage anyone from making the switch. Based on their own logic, Mac and RedHat users would still be much better off than Windows users so long as Windows remains dominant and continues to take all of the flak and function as an attack umbrella.

That said, I’m failing to see how this argument is relevant to their stance, how it invalidates my suggestion, or how it could discourage anyone from migrating to Mac or Linux so long as Windows maintains a dominant market share. If anything, those leveraging this argument seem to be unwittingly reinforcing my suggestion of treating Windows like an umbrella; all of which I’m totally fine with.

Another odd aspect of the prominence argument is that I have yet to see an actual post-mortem or a root cause analysis faulting the dominant market share of Windows as a causal reason for <insert any breach/exploit/ransomware attack here>. In fact, Microsoft doesn’t even take the prominence stance. Instead, their root cause analyses focus on the attack surface, mistakes/oversights, mitigation steps, etc. The anatomy of a breach is never reduced to “They hate us because they ain’t us.” by people who are actually paid to do RCAs for a living as Hutchins and Gillespie suggest; if only it were that simple.

Another major flaw in the prominence fallacy is that those invoking it are unwittingly implying that attack surface has no bearing on rates of exploitation or that the attack surface of each of these platforms is equal; which is bold to say the least. For one and given that attack surface is a function of the overall complexity of their infrastructure, no differently than ownership costs and instability, they might as well be suggesting that all platforms are equally stable with no variance in ownership costs; none of which could be further from the truth.

IBM chart

With Windows generating 3x+ the TCO that MacOS/Linux does, analysts can and do infer this is a reflection of disparity in relative complexity, attack surfaces, and stability because they all come hand in hand. Put simply, if one architecture generates significantly more ownership costs more to maintain over its lifespan than another, it’s rational to assume this is due to it being poorly engineered, consequently overly complex, and unstable; attack surface or otherwise. This is what software engineers refer to as software entropy.

And if they’re going to imply that attack surface doesn’t influence rates of exploitation then the onus is on them to support this stance with data and research. Just as complexity driving cost, instability, and attack surface is fundamental to engineers, so is a ballooning attack surface driving rates of exploitation. This is why engineers treat simplicity like their North Star. That said, great claims that run contrary to fundamentals and conventional wisdom tend to require great amounts of evidence; none of which has been furnished.

On top of lacking a fundamental precedent, yet another oddity of the prominence fallacy is that it lacks historical precedent. It’s important to remember that we’ve only lived in an Information Age with Microsoft at the top. We’ve never lived in a connected world with another OS dominating the market, it’s always been Windows. As such, to say that this would be the case for anyone at the top is a conjecture on its best day.

It’s almost scraping the barrel at this point, but yet another problem with the prominence fallacy is that it ignores how Microsoft obtained its dominant share of the market and why they had to resort to these tactics in the first place. Not only is it Microsoft’s modus operandi to rely on anti-competitive tactics to obtain and maintain a dominant market share, a monopoly if you will, they only have to rely on said tactics because their products couldn’t garner this market share on merit alone.

Natural selection applies to free markets in that the fittest products will naturally dominate a free market. That said, the best architecture would dominate a market naturally and wouldn’t need to resort to anti-competitive practices. And if Microsoft were the best in class, then they wouldn’t need to be optimizing their architecture for lock-in while bullying or buying out their competition at every avenue as they are today. They wouldn’t need to implore their partners to “create stickiness” by entrenching their products to further inflate switching costs.


All said, it’s safe to say that Microsoft is by no means a victim of their own success here so much as they’re a karmatic victim of their own anti-competitive practices and low-rent approach to software engineering; a digital Icarus complex if you will. There is much that Microsoft can do but doesn’t to simplify their products, shrink their attack surface, reduce ownership costs, reduce their rate of infection, and reduce the consequent threat that they present to America and the world. And to say that they aren’t complicit in the security threat that their architecture poses to America borders on the insane. But does the current level of threat that Microsoft poses constitute them as being a national security threat?

Although I’m not an expert in this regard, those that are have a few qualifying questions in order to really answer this question. IE, in order to classify Microsoft as a threat to national security, threat analysts would have to ask if Microsoft’s undue vulnerability and inorganic prominence mentioned above is a critical threat to our cyber, economic, environmental, homeland, human, and political security along with our infrastructure and natural resources.

Even Microsoft would claim that their architecture is detrimental to all of the aforementioned aspects of national security though. And given the extent of Microsoft architecture throughout personal, industrial, and governmental sectors and its rate of exploitation, it’s hard to see how Microsoft doesn’t expose all of these aforementioned categories to undue risk; a threat if you will.

Further, there is nothing to suggest that a platform with a smaller attack surface won’t have a lower rate of exploitation with the same market share while fundamentals and conventional wisdom suggest smaller attack surfaces lead to lower rates of exploitation. And as a consequence of this, it’s probably safe to say that Microsoft and its architecture is indeed a national security threat in comparison to less prominent Linux and Mac alternatives.

And given that ransomware and anti-trust has already been deemed a threat to national security, it’s not much of a stretch, at least in my opinion, to extend this classification to Microsoft when considering their history with anti-trust and monopoly on exploitation. Nor is it a stretch to suggest migrating onto modern platforms rather than crying about it to the competition exploiting weaknesses; no differently than we do with other critical infrastructure. This is why we rely on nuclear subs now instead of wooden ships.

It’s not a coincidence that the same countries exploiting the US as a whole, China and Russia, are the same countries moving to Linux as I’m typing this. It’s not just about cost-savings and productivity for justifying this move though. And mitigating the risk that Microsoft architecture poses to their national security also happens to be a primary motivating force behind their migrations. Maybe they understand something about Microsoft architecture that America is still slow to realize?

I digress, but even if my assessment above is wrong, prominence is all that matters, and Microsoft isn’t a national security threat, individuals and organizations alike are still better off abandoning the Microsoft ecosystem on any scale in favor of more modern alternatives for the foreseeable future. Although Microsoft gets a lot of criticism for the low quality of their products, hence the persistent updates (552 in 2021 thus far) and a revolving door of CVEs, few seem to see the genius behind them. Microsoft doesn’t need to maximize quality or even compete on that field of play when they can render entire organizations dependent on products of less quality.

Because of this, organizations relying on Windows will have a hell of a time migrating away from Windows and the rest of the Microsoft ecosystem which means that they’re naturally going to drag their toes in doing so; the bigger they are, the slower any attempt at a migration will go. In turn, this means that there is plenty of time for those that can easily migrate away from the madness and insecurity of the Microsoft ecosystem as a means of sheltering themselves from a barrage of attacks safely in the shadow of Microsoft for the time being.

06.29.21

[Meme] The FUD Tactics Have Remained the Same

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 12:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista will be most secure OS ever... I'm totally not paid to tell you that

Oh, it's 11 now? They didn't mean 11PM

Linux is just hard to use. But i never even tried it...

Summary: In an effort to prevent people exploring other operating systems Microsoft has hijacked media worldwide, in effect flooding it with vapourware

06.28.21

The Media is Trolling Linus Torvalds Again… But Torvalds Responds

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 4:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Linux kernel 5.13 is now officially released, but hostile media is trying to brew unnecessary panic or scandals, spicing up with drama an otherwise banal and mundane situation

ALTHOUGH we have been critical of him for a number of years if not decades, Mr. Linus Torvalds is nowhere as problematic as the Linux Foundation, which is abusing his trademark and handing over control to corporations which dislike the GPL, don’t really care about Linux, and basically view that kernel of his as a zero-cost commodity to be exploited.

“Official messages about the release of Linux 5.13 are totally innocuous, technical, and one might say not interesting.”The way the media treats “Linux” remains very frustrating, aside from the lack of attribution to GNU. It seems to be thinking that Microsoft (e.g. GitHub/NPM) sending malware to GNU/Linux servers is in fault of “Linux”, it pretends that Microsoft loves Linux, and it misuses the term “Linux” to promote Vista 10, WSL, and Vista 11. It’s grotesque. But the video above deals with another kind of negative slant.

Last night, just before midnight, Torvalds released Linux 5.13, as expected. We kept track of media coverage in [1, 2] — pages we’ll keep updated as more media coverage arrives.

The release of Linux 5.13 was very calm and normal, but once again, just like years ago, a certain writer from 'El Reg' (whom I confronted over his sensationalist coverage of kernel releases just a few years ago), decided to publish a provocative headline. It’s also worth noting that around the time of the release, maybe just minutes apart, an anti-Torvalds article was republished (yes, just minutes apart, yet again). It’s obviously timed to cause damage to Torvalds, who was likely ‘entrapped’ by a hostile interviewer, a journalist who slants a technical project as some sort of political endeavour where gender diversity is more important than technical excellence (gender diversity in Linux kernel development is actually a lot better already… compared to the average Free software project).

All those straw man arguments and personal attacks need to be pointed out if they’re ever to stop. In my personal take, the video focuses on the ITwire article. Sam doesn’t write there so much anymore (not this month anyway), but this article is appreciated. It’s very much needed. Last night’s 81-minute video response to the a new article about Mr. Torvalds and about Linux isn’t related to the latest from a British tech ‘tabloid’, but in days to come we might see loose connections. These people have long been trying to cause instability and maybe weaken the leadership of Linux (making ways for corporations to fill up a vacuum of ‘cancel culture’ and/or fatigue).

Official messages about the release of Linux 5.13 are totally innocuous, technical, and one might say not interesting. What’s a lot more interesting is how a certain large publisher has published with the headline “Profile of Linus Torvalds, Creator of Linux Operating System” an actual ATTACK on Linus Torvalds. Then they REPUBLISHED it, only minutes apart from the Linux release (to coincide with the Linux 5.13 release! No way the timing was a coincidence; it’s a Sunday and a holiday!). As noted or alluded to in the video, the same person who is attacking Torvalds right about now (behind paywall; maybe the intention is to sell subscriptions) also boosts the illusion of Microsoft Azure ‘success’ (even amid Azure layoffs that Microsoft is trying hard to hide). With promotional Microsoft tweets and headlines such as “Microsoft is closing the gap with Amazon’s cloud” (basing it on “a survey of 750 professionals,” which isn’t scientific at all!) one might as well assume that Rosalie Chan’s objective is sinister. She waited until the day of the Linux release (this happens only once in 2-3 months), and then hours beforehand she published the ‘hit piece’ (and again minutes after the actual release!). They pushed out a misleading headline, “Profile of Linus Torvalds, Creator of Linux Operating System” though it is not a profile at all but an ATTACK on the guy, starting with a list of vulgarities from Torvalds (to cast him in a negative light on a Sunday and a holiday).

The corporate media (whose real owners are known; it’s in the public record) won’t be happy until Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman (RMS) are dead or at least retired, leaving their projects at the hands of corporations like Microsoft and Google (that's what happened to Python). Torvalds is only 51. By the time he’s flirting with retirement (a decade and a half from now) the age threshold for pensions might be 70. RMS is already in his retirement age and he still works tirelessly. But Chan has decided to write Torvalds off as a dead or dying horse! At 51. How very nice and polite…

Young Linus Torvalds

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