02.14.21

Selling Ourselves Out to Proprietary Software Monopolies

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Google at 7:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: People who don’t code (and never coded) are being put in charge of people who do; this is a recipe for disaster for the same reason putting politicians in charge of patent offices with scientists means profound disconnect and deviation from the real objectives

LESS than a week ago we warned about attempts to redefine "Open Source" at OSI and probably the GNOME Foundation too, basically asserting that proprietary software can be ‘kinda open’. That’s the sort of openwashing that the Linux Foundation was dragged into doing. In the video above I discuss this new blog post without going into the pertinent details of the post itself.

“Watch out as this is fast becoming a real threat to our freedom and it’s not some accidental mishap; this is the plan.”We will likely be facing similar issues in the Free software world as people who aren’t suitable for particular leadership roles are being sort of ‘installed’ there by rich sponsors, who themselves pose a danger unless we learn to say “no” (rejection of money can be tough).

I came to help... Google!I point out that we’ve seen similar situations at the EPO, where non-scientists (e.g. Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos) are being put in charge of people who are a lot more qualified than them, which in turn leads to conflict, notably bullying by management as means of deterrence. They make an example of people, harassing staff and then accusing that staff of being unruly. Managers often do this to compensate for their own insecurities (no suitability for the job) and they turn ‘their’ institutions into temporary money-making operations by compromising or selling out, in effect selling decades’ worth of reputation or code, e.g. by granting lots of fake patents (for fee collection purposes alone) or handing over lots of volunteers’ code to monopolies.

Watch out as this is fast becoming a real threat to our freedom and it’s not some accidental mishap; this is the plan.

02.09.21

GNOME Foundation and OSI Move on to ‘Extend’ Phase Against the Free Software Definition (or Against Software Freedom)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNOME, GPL, OSI at 4:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Today, February 9th, the anti-RMS lobby seems to have shifted gear by redefining proprietary software as ‘kinda open’ (openwashing)

The video above, which is in no way scripted or edited, is an urgent call for action because the war on software freedom is gradually progressing to the next phase, which is “extend” (the “embrace” goes quite some time back). The flailing OSI is changing its “Mission Statement”, just as both OSI co-founders warned last year (one thought "ethical" licences would be the vector and the other said that licences not compliant w.r.t. OSD were being approved regardless). The GNOME Foundation, which still works against the founder of GNU (the “G” in GNOME) while on IBM payroll and with two former leaders who now work full-time for Microsoft, redefines proprietary software (Four Freedoms be gone!), apparently one hour apart from the OSI post. The video discusses the importance of this and who stands to benefit. Moving the goalposts in whose favour? In favour of proprietary software.

02.08.21

FOSDEM and Free Speech: Will It Blend?

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Google, IBM, Red Hat at 8:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Some more censorship in FOSDEM “legal” (supremacy of corporate voices over community voices)

Video download link

Summary: IBM — like Google and Microsoft — spreads its money to institutions which in turn suppress critics of monopolies, even in the Free software community (which seeks to combat such monopolies and liberate users)

THE legal track at FOSDEM, a European event (well, at least on paper), has long been the subject of much controversy. Of course this controversy is never entertained by the “tech” media, which is hardly media anymore (producing puff pieces isn’t journalism but paid-for fluff). It ought to be called FOSDEM US or something along those lines. This year there’s some FSFE presence, for a change, but top sponsors of the FSFE are American corporations. That may become a problem for the “E” in FSFE. Expect some potential branching quite soon (due to growing dissatisfaction with the work done by FSFE).

“This year there’s some FSFE presence, for a change, but top sponsors of the FSFE are American corporations.”What happens when people who are closely involved in this whole “legal” angle aren’t just American but also work with (or for) American monopolies? Someone has shared with us the following screenshot which shows IBM defended from criticism amid allegations that GNOME is mostly developed by Red Hat or developed by no other company more than Red Hat (IBM). It’s a top contributor, it adds a lot of IBM dependencies (systemd is the most notorious among them), it has much clout in the questionable GNOME Foundation (whose former chiefs move to Microsoft, current chief refuses to fight software patents, and RMS bashing is all too common, even this year). The following seems a bit like censorship and there are potential conflicts (of interest):

Some censorship in FOSDEM legal

Click to view the whole thing or instead zoom in (the chat highlights reveal where it came from, of that we’re aware). That’s like their official channel of communication now that conferences cannot be done “in person”. Censorship arguably becomes even simpler that way.

What the image shows is SFC (US) stepping in to defend IBM (US) from scrutiny. As if they must censor criticism of a money source and suppress the critics themselves; now they have additional tools like a “Code of Conduct” (doing to volunteers and activists what corporations typically do to employees). The above is definitely on-topic a subject, as well as a growing issue amid ‘CentOSgate’ and IBM’s patent bullying (this never ended; not even the Red Hat takeover put an end to it). According to IAM, an IBM megaphone, IBM’s patent agenda may be slowing down somewhat [1, 2], but they still lobby for software patents and against patent quality (e.g. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs)). “Data analysis conducted by IAM indicates that IBM is now abandoning US patents due for renewal at the rate of more than 50% a year,” IAM has just said. But they still go chasing companies for ‘protection money’, just like Microsoft does.

It’s rather astounding that a European conference would be so thoroughly stacked by American companies (just like last week's IBM-stacked event in Europe) and European entities sponsored mostly by American companies. “Karen and Bradley are quite harmful,” an associate told us, alluding to two Americans who worked to oust RMS.

01.29.21

Corporate Exploitation by Racist and Sexist Corporations Looking to Muzzle Their Critics

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 2:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Reversal of narratives has become far too rampant; some of the most oppressive companies out there go out of their way, directly or by proxy, to paint themselves as champions of justice, whereas their loudest critics are somehow “bigots”

THE above video touches some sensitive subjects, but it remains factual, backed by hard evidence, such as the E-mail published earlier today about improper romance between a diversity delegate (Google-funded) and a Canonical employee; we’ve mentioned quotes about Mark Shuttleworth (from an early employee of his; you can find the original here as audio), the two-faced PR of the Linux Foundation, and past writings about Outreachy [1, 2, 3].

“As if it’s inherently wrong or “blasphemous” to ‘insult’ rich people who hijack popular movements and even Free software projects founded and built by volunteers.”Things aren’t always as they seem on the surface. Some of the worst offenders out there, companies such as IBM (notice how only hours ago IBM was promoting Microsoft monopoly, lock-in, and an outright attack on software freedom under the guise of “manners”, clearly trying to disguise or obscure its racist roots), are looking to oust or “cancel” their critics, usually in the name of “safety” (from offence, albeit not physical offence). As if it’s inherently wrong or “blasphemous” to ‘insult’ rich people who hijack popular movements and even Free software projects founded and built by volunteers.

The video is long, unscripted, and done without editing. Please don’t take anything there out of context (as some might attempt to do, especially as Google employees habitually do).

01.12.21

GNOME Foundation is Still Participating in the Attack on Richard Stallman

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNOME, GNU/Linux at 5:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: GNOME’s supposed ‘representatives’ (close-knit friends with Microsoft connections) continue to attack RMS (Richard Stallman), the founder of GNU (the G in GNOME) and the Free Software Movement

THE GNOME FOUNDATION has never been much of an ally of Free software, at least not over the past decade and a half. Richard Stallman had called Miguel de Icaza a “traitor| well before he officially joined Microsoft and seeing how his successor too joined him at Microsoft and how the author of this new post got the job from McGovern (an old friend of the boyfriend) does not inspire confidence. Something is deeply rotten at this “foundation” (not the same as the GNOME Project with its pertinent developers), which is bossed by a successor of Microsoft moles, who have since then joined the anti-GNU movement. They went on to working directly for Microsoft. Similarly, the Linux Foundation is run by somebody who rejects Linux.

“Something is deeply rotten at this “foundation” (not the same as the GNOME Project with its pertinent developers), which is bossed by a successor of Microsoft moles, who have since then joined the anti-GNU movement.”It’s not clear if the number in this post, 1028, is just coincidentally similar to 1024 (2 to the power of 10). Either way, there’s nothing geeky about it. As psydroid said in IRC some moments ago, “from all the things that threaten free software she could only pick those points, which looks like not wanting to tackle more pertinent issues out of a fear of angering some sponsors and other invested parties… free software is all about CoCs now.”

“Only a few days ago Alex Oliva stepped down from the FSF’s Board, apparently after increased pressure on him.”There are the types who try to come across as geeks but whose arguments are not technical, not even remotely. It boils down to personal attacks, personifying an issue, then attacking the person*, piggybacking ‘Trumpgate’ to attack Stallman, who strongly opposes Trump.

In the video I speak out my views — however sincere — based on 14 years of writing about the GNOME Foundation. My thoughts after reading this post (connected directly to the GNOME Foundation) include concerns about the coup against Stallman still being an “ongoing thing” (2 years after “9/11″ of 2019). Only a few days ago Alex Oliva stepped down from the FSF’s Board, apparently after increased pressure on him.

___
* As a non-software example, pay close attention to how media refuses to talk about what Wikileaks has taught the public, instead shifting attention to the personality of the founder.

12.03.20

Nobody Needs to Write a Text Editor (or Use Geany)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux at 3:03 pm by Guest Editorial Team

By figosdev

Executive

Summary: “If free software really benefits from education, then telling people not to learn more about creating software by working on a simple text editor project makes no sense at all.”

No need to bullshit: Geany is a nice text editor. If you’re happy with gtk (I’m not) and you want a tabbed editor, Geany is probably about as nice as it gets. I know developers who love it, who tell me about its cool features. I also know artists who love Geany.

Pity then, that Geany is developed on GitHub. Though I didn’t want a tabbed editor — when I was still using Windows 16 years ago, and looking for a replacement for Notepad, I didn’t want Notepad++. I wanted a simple Notepad replacement. I like my editors small, stable, one process and one window per file.

“I generally only use heavier software when it’s justified or there is no alternative.”This means my window manager is in charge of which file I’m working on, not my editor. It means each process I have open doesn’t load a larger program than is needed. I use dwm, you know? I use a variety of older, sometimes newer hardware — I like the stuff I use to accommodate that and to be lightweight. I generally only use heavier software when it’s justified or there is no alternative.

When I used Leafpad (alas, GitHub) my favourite feature was that I could pipe text to it from the command line. Most editors won’t let you do this, though the one I use now does. Plus I don’t want to depend on gtk, Qt or KDE if I can help it. For me, this puts Geany out of the race — though the real message here is there are lots of text editors, right? Nobody needs to write a new one. There’s a text editor for everybody already. Just stop writing them!

It’s funny how people talk about Free Software, but when you want to write something for your very own purposes under a free license, people act like you should either choose an existing editor (or whatever sort of tool we are talking about) or work on someone else’s project that may never go in a direction that suits you. That’s freedom, is it?

“I would say that it comes from Open Source, because that’s a bait-and-switch scam that treats all free software programs more like a corporate product than community-based project.”“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.” — from the Free Software Definition

“…change it so it does your computing as you wish”. But if it’s easier or simpler to write it yourself so it does as you wish, don’t — because that won’t help any EXISTING projects, right?

In a world where software is a product, I would get this attitude. I would say that it comes from Open Source, because that’s a bait-and-switch scam that treats all free software programs more like a corporate product than community-based project.

I would blame Open Source for this attitude, except I’ve seen it from the GNU Project itself (even from Stallman). Yes, I love blaming Open Source for things when it fits — and it often does — but not when I know better. Not when I’ve read Stallman on the GNU mailing lists saying similar things (albeit a very long time ago).

If computing is really about our freedom, then telling people not to make another text editor makes no sense at all. If free software really benefits from education, then telling people not to learn more about creating software by working on a simple text editor project makes no sense at all.

“If free software really benefits from education, then telling people not to learn more about creating software by working on a simple text editor project makes no sense at all.”Sure, there are projects you could be helping, though creating a text editor really doesn’t hurt them unless you’re contributing your new software to some hostile cause, like Open Source or Microsoft GitHub.

Besides, if the GNU Project is going to do self destructive things like have an (ongoing!) coup around Codes of Censorship, or introduce Microsoft HarfBuzz into Emacs as it did very recently, then you are only helping by creating projects that avoid such problems.

ExecutiveYou may want an editor for example, that uses Tk instead of gtk or Qt — no HarfBuzz! Of course some jerk will probably make Tk require HarfBuzz in the future, just like the jerk who added it to Emacs, which is why sooner or later we will probably need a new GNU-like Project — one that actually respects your freedom, instead of selling it out to Microsoft and people like the GNOME Guix traitors.  (Since the GNOME leadership and Guix leaders have worked together to take over GNU for corporations, we might as well call it GNOME Guix as it’s the same evil force).

“…if the GNU Project is going to do self destructive things like have an (ongoing!) coup around Codes of Censorship, or introduce Microsoft HarfBuzz into Emacs as it did very recently, then you are only helping by creating projects that avoid such problems.”This isn’t really about Geany and it isn’t really about text editors — but they are perfectly good examples — real examples that demonstrate the issue being talked about.

This is about freedom, and what it really means. Yes, of course you should be free to change the software. But when did that start being interpreted as don’t bother writing your own when you want to? I know from the dated resources I’ve looked at, it started a long time ago. I really can’t imagine why.

Long live rms, and Happy Hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

10.30.20

Free Software is Still Under Attack From Software Patents (GNOME Getting Patent Trolls to Settle Isn’t the Real Solution)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 5:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They used to be called “patent sharks”

On patent sharks

Summary: We’re asked to believe that a sort of “patch” (suggested by companies or monopolies with endless patent portfolios) means that Free software and software patents can co-exist; behind the scenes, however, “community distros” (not developed and controlled by monopolies) are coming under patent attacks which they cannot publicly speak about

THERE is a real and growing need to abolish software patents for good. As we noted quite recently, GNU/Linux distros are under attack. We hope to be able to make more public the pertinent details (that partly depends on OIN).

“The Free software community (the real community, not fake ones like IBM’s “Fedora”) is under attack.”In our latest Daily Links we included this new post about an ongoing Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes review (IPR). “On October 28, 2020,” it says, “the Central Reexamination Unit of the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted Unified Patents’ request for ex parte reexamination, finding substantial questions of patentability for all claims of U.S. Patent 7,594,168, owned and asserted by Express Mobile, Inc., a well-known NPE. The ’168 patent generally relates to website building software. Express Mobile has asserted this patent over 90 times in district court against companies employing both proprietary website-building platforms and open-source platforms like WordPress and Magento.”

A wave attackYes, WordPress and Magento, which are used by millions (us included). The Federal Circuit has repeatedly rejected those sorts of patents, citing 35 U.S.C. § 101 (SCOTUS on Alice), but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) keeps granting those bogus patents, which are being leveraged (as above) by patent trolls who make nothing at all, let alone a CMS or “website building software.” The existing GNOME Foundation (with deep ties to IBM and Microsoft, responsible in part for settling with trolls) wants us to think that this is a new problem even though nothing could be further from the truth. While OIN is working overtime to reinforce the status quo — reaffirming software patents — the rest of us who don’t have like 100,000 US patents need to get work done and write code without fear of litigation.

The Free software community (the real community, not fake ones like IBM’s “Fedora”) is under attack. OIN is not helping, it’s only pretending to. We’ll say a lot more about that some time soon. OIN has an opportunity to prove us wrong, but it’s never doing that…

We need to carry on working towards the end of all software patents, not just here in Europe (incidentally, the distros under attacks are European and they’re targeted using already-expired software patents in a fashion reminiscent of the YouTube-DL takedown in GitHub).

3Com CEO Eric Benhamou once said:

“Anyone who doesn’t fear Microsoft is a fool.”

Remember that the troll which attacked GNOME had been working closely and getting patents from Microsoft’s ‘proxy’ Intellectual Ventures. GNOME Foundation, an anti-RMS outpost, doesn’t like to talk about this fact. Last week its head even praised Microsoft. His predecessors work for Microsoft. Infiltration has gone much further than the Linux Foundation and recently the OSI as well.

10.25.20

[Meme] Captain Zemlin and Neil McGovern’s Ugly Legacy in GNOME (His Predecessors Work for Microsoft Directly Now)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNOME, Microsoft, OSI at 5:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Will Deb Icaza (OSI’s GM) follow the footsteps of de Icaza? Will McGovern follow Peters and de Icaza on their path to Microsoft? Will Zemlin go work for these "puppies"? McGovern’s friend (OSI) set his girlfiend (OSI) up for a job at GNOME, so many of these things are connected.

Welcome to OSI, Welcome to Linux foundation

OSI board

Microsoft Tim's interview with Neil McGovern

Summary: The Linux Foundation is already ‘sold’ and Microsoft Tim‘s interview with Neil McGovern, published a few days ago, was rather revealing (comments on the article/interview were also harsh)

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