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05.19.19

South Korea’s Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

Posted in Asia, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 8:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Linux infestations are being uncovered in many of our large accounts as part of the escalation engagements.”

Microsoft Confidential

Summary: Microsoft’s hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone ‘dares’ use it outside Microsoft’s control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say “no” to Microsoft?

THIS MONTH’S news from Kerala (India) was very encouraging. Microsoft has long attempted to impose Windows on all children; Bill Gates himself lobbied endlessly to also take schools under his control (Charter Schools), fearing that future generations would not be enlisted into his cult. But that’s a subject for another day (recall EDGI and how it was used in India).

The latest news, which first emerged on Friday, comes from South Korea. It’s about a government and a rich nation long known to be imprisoned by Windows because of ActiveX. The original report [1], followed by more coverage citing it [2-6], sounded good. And then came Microsoft boosters, who even earlier today caught up with the news and did some damage-limiting doubt-shedding [7-8].

“Bill Gates has bribed so many publishers (where Microsoft is also a leading advertiser, i.e. client of the publisher), so they love deflecting all public uproar to companies like Google.”Will the migration happen? We sure hope so. But we’re also certain that Microsoft works hard to undermine this already (e.g. with typical tactics, such as ousting people). We already saw that in Munich, even after the migration. Microsoft would do anything to ‘demonstrate’ that GNU/Linux is a ‘failure’ on the desktop. It used the services of Gartner Group, HP and Accenture among others. A little marketing disguised as ‘studies’ can help morph perception and make success stories seem like failures. Not a word is being said by the rather useless Linux Foundation, which acts as though it signed a non-disparagement deal with Microsoft. Its own chief doesn’t even use GNU/Linux himself.

We shall be watching closely what happens next in South Korea. We expect mischief to follow. We covered many such examples in the past, including Microsoft bribery whose sole purpose was to undermine GNU/Linux.

According to the main article, “the ministry said it would test if the system could be run on private networked devices without security risks and if compatibility could be achieved with existing websites and software which have been built to run on Windows.”

Korea Herald makes “no mention of freedom, and does include some security FUD,” said one of our readers about the seminal report in English. And “therefore: probably just trying to talk Microsoft down on the price…”

Microsoft boosters have begun smearing or belittling this plan, so we shall be watching them too. Longtime Microsoft propagandists such as Bogdan Popa still try to maintain the lie/perception of “Microsoft loves Linux” while at the time time viciously attacking GNU/Linux (which Microsoft bribes governments to reject or — failing that — dump). Microsoft is still a highly abusive and corrupt monopoly. It just got too many officials in its pockets, so rarely if ever does it get punished. Bill Gates has bribed so many publishers (where Microsoft is also a leading advertiser, i.e. client of the publisher), so they love deflecting all public uproar to companies like Google.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. S. Korean government to switch to Linux: ministry

    The government will switch the operating system of its computers from Windows to Linux, the Ministry of the Interior and Safety said Thursday.

    The Interior Ministry said the ministry will be test-running Linux on its PCs, and if no security issues arise, Linux systems will be introduced more widely within the government.

  2. South Korea will ditch Microsoft Windows for Linux

    Windows 7 support will end in January of next year, and that is a huge problem for both business and home users that are still running the aging operating system. Can’t these people just upgrade to Windows 10? Well, yeah, but many just don’t want to. Windows 10 has extreme telemetry that many people consider to be spying. As a result, they simply don’t trust Microsoft’s latest operating system. Not to mention, for businesses and organizations with many computers, the upgrade to Windows 10 could prove to be a costly affair.

    And now, as a result of the upcoming death of Windows 7 support, the South Korean government has reportedly decided to ditch Microsoft Windows entirely. According to The Korea Herald, the Asian country’s government will switch from Windows 7 to a Linux-based operating system.

  3. South Korean government planning Linux migration as Windows 7 support ends

    With just seven more months of support left for Windows 7, the South Korean government is planning to migrate to Linux, according to the Korea Herald, which notes that the Interior Ministry will begin “test-running Linux on its PCs, and if no security issues arise, Linux systems will be introduced more widely within the government.”

    The Herald quotes the Interior Ministry as indicating that the transition to Linux, and the purchase of new PCs, would cost about 780 billion won ($655 million), but also anticipates long-term cost reductions with the adoption of Linux. The report doesn’t mention a specific distro, instead “hopes to avoid building reliance on a single operating system.”

    “Before the government-wide adoption, the ministry said it would test if the system could be run on private networked devices without security risks and if compatibility could be achieved with existing websites and software which have been built to run on Windows,” the report stated.

  4. South Korean Government Planning Linux Migration as Windows 7 Support Ends

    With just seven more months of support left for Windows 7, the South Korean government is planning to migrate to Linux, according to the Korea Herald, which notes that the Interior Ministry will begin “test-running Linux on its PCs, and if no security issues arise, Linux systems will be introduced more widely within the government.

  5. South Korea Plans To Shift To Linux From Windows

    Until now, Windows 7 was being used on government machines but the government wants to be future-proofed. That’s because Microsoft will pull the plug on the free technical support for the popular OS in January 2020.

    For reference, Windows 7 was released back in 2009 and its mainstream support ended in 2015.

    According to the Ministry of Interior and Safety, the switch won’t be made right away. First, the Linux-based OS will be tested for thorough compatibility with the existing software that’s meant for Windows. After successful testing, it will be implemented across the entire system.

  6. South Korea Thinks Of Switching From Windows To Linux Platform

    The government has opted for Linux instead of Windows 10 to save a significant amount of money Windows is a paid OS whereas Linux is a free, open-source operating system. It would cost around 780 billion won or 655 million dollars for switching to Linus platform and buying new PCs.

    Another reason for this change is that the Linux platform has lesser security risks compared to Windows. This is the main factor that most of the enterprise networks around the world uses Linux based OS to run their machines.

  7. South Korea Government prefer Linux to Windows 10

    A report from the Korean Herald stated, “Before the government-wide adoption, the ministry said it would test if the system could be run on private networked devices without security risks and if compatibility could be achieved with existing websites and software which have been built to run on Windows.”

    It is not exactly clear which Linux distribution the South Korean Government are eyeing.

  8. Government Planning to Replace Windows 7 with Linux, Not Windows 10

    While specifics on what Linux distro they want to embrace are not available, it looks like the first step towards this migration to the open-source world is a security audit that should help the government determine if their data is protected or not.

05.12.19

The Microsoft Guide to the Open Source Galaxy

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 11:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft B0rg

  1. Thou shalt not host a FOSS project outside GitHub (otherwise it won’t ‘count’)
  2. Thou shalt not edit code without Visual Studio (which now has an “open” — albeit spying and malicious — component for openwashing purposes)
  3. Thou shalt not code without .NET (or Mono)
  4. Thou shalt not use a voting machine without Windows (we have just announced some openwashing component to make up for the NSA back doors that compromise elections worldwide)
  5. Thou shalt not boot GNU/Linux as a standalone operating system (UEFI might not permit this anyway, unless we sign for approval)
  6. Thou shalt not get get a GNU/Linux distribution outside our Store
  7. Thou shalt not buy a computer without Windows preinstalled; those are “naked PCs” and everyone who buys such PCs is a “pirate”
  8. Thou shalt not disparage or even publicly criticise our staff (that would be in violation of GitHub rules, a Code of Conduct, T&C and so on)
  9. Thou shalt not report back doors in our software or leak NSA tools that take advantage of these (there’s a prison sentence for doing so)
  10. Thou shalt not write in mass media things that refute our narrative (proving that we are chronic liars); we would bribe the publication using advertising money and have you sacked
  11. Thou shalt not use open formats such as OpenDocument except inside Microsoft Office, which is incompatible with all other software (by design)
  12. Thou shalt not distribute Linux without paying Microsoft for patents; we’re still suing companies (in 2019) for having the audacity to do so
  13. Thou shalt not host a site or a service outside Azure; we'd sic patent trolls at you
  14. Thou shalt not oppose Microsoft’s lock-in and proprietary software shims inside Linux; we’d send our media partners (Condé Nast) to oust you, at least for a month if not permanently
  15. Thou shalt not report our crimes to the authorities; doing so would make you a “toxic”, “intolerant” person
  16. Thou shalt not use the GPL unless all other options have been exhausted
  17. Thou shalt not adopt a Web browser other than MSIE or our rebranded Chrome, also known as Edge; we’d occasionally tinker with your computer’s settings to remind you to quit using other browsers or refuse the download of such “malware”

05.07.19

Microsoft Will Have You Sued for Not Hosting GNU/Linux on Azure (Paying Rents)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 4:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Air Soft Gun

Summary: Microsoft’s anti-Linux strategy is a hybrid of “embrace” and “tax” (if not amicably then by force); critics are being neutralised by giving them suitcases of cash

BACK a decade (or more) ago we wrote about Novell and Microsoft most of the time. Around 2009 we turned more of our attention to patent trolls and dubious patents that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had granted. It wasn’t before 2014 that many of these patents started to collapse in courts, owing to SCOTUS and 35 U.S.C. § 101.

In recent years Microsoft recognised that its patents lacked ‘teeth’ (most of those it is ‘lending’ to OIN), but it threatens Linux OEMs nonetheless, even this year. The Linux Foundation is paid to shut up about it, but that’s another topic for another day*.

“As we explained before, in order for “Azure IP Advantage” to be sell-able (or become a selling point) Microsoft must ensure that many FOSS users get attacked by patent trolls.”“Azure IP Advantage” isn’t even mentioned by the Linux Foundation. Funny, isn’t it? It’s part of Microsoft’s plan to hijack all of GNU/Linux, offering “IP peace of mind” (same stunt it has used since 2006 with Novell). We’ve been writing a lot about this since two years ago [1, 2], but not a single person in the corporate media even touches the subject. Instead they play along with Microsoft PR, such as the loads of nonsense coming out of Microsoft Build this week. We’re putting rebuttals in our daily links (with many editorial comments under the “Openwashing” section or in Tux Machines [1, 2]). We’ve found only one single good article about this.

As we explained before, in order for “Azure IP Advantage” to be sell-able (or become a selling point) Microsoft must ensure that many FOSS users get attacked by patent trolls. Remember the lawsuits filed by Acacia (with former Microsoft chiefs) against Red Hat and others? We have extensive documentation and this timeline. In the article “A Deeper Look at Acacia” by Troll Tracker (Rick the unmasked Cisco patent expert) there was a report of “2 cases filed by Acacia subsidiary Soundview Technologies Inc., 1 in Chicago and 1 in Las Vegas, both by Niro Scavone.” Another old article says: “In 2000, Soundview, an Acacia affiliate, sued Sony, Phillips and 17 other television manufacturers for violating its patent for V-chip technology best known for allowing parents to block certain programming from their home sets. More than a dozen major companies signed licenses for the technology before a federal court in Connecticut ruled in 2002 that TV makers didn’t violate Soundview’s patent. Acacia lost its appeal of the verdict in 2004.”

We don’t know if these lawsuits from Sound View Innovations are the same (or whether “Sound View Innovations, LLC” is a troll offshoot of “Soundview Technologies Inc.”), but a few days ago Bart Eppenauer (ex-Microsoft) of Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P. (yes, Microsoft again, check its chief and founder) was happy to see this patent troll attacking FOSS, perhaps because it helps Microsoft sell Azure (it’s their new business model, Azure IP Advantage) and helps bring more business (litigation) to his firm. The title of his new article is “Sound View Escalates Patent Assault on Open Source Software with New Wave of Lawsuits” and to quote this Microsoft veteran (he was very high level at Microsoft):

Sound View Innovations, an IP licensing company that is quickly becoming a prolific Non-Practicing Entity (NPE), has ramped up its litigation campaign by filing seven more lawsuits in 2019. Similar to the patent lawsuits that it initiated in 2017 against major players like Facebook, Hulu, Twitter and Fidelity, Sound View is again targeting widely used open source software including jQuery and Apache Hadoop. Sound View is also accusing ubiquitous streaming media protocols of patent infringement such as HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) and MPEG-DASH. In January 2019 Sound View filed lawsuits against several media companies such as AMC Networks, CBS Interactive and The CW Network. And in April 2019, Sound View diversified its industry targets by filing patent lawsuits against Walmart and Delta Airlines. With this latest round, Sound View has now filed 13 patent infringement lawsuits since starting its campaign against Facebook in February 2016.

Maybe if these companies had use Azure, Microsoft would indemnify them or tell this troll (apparently connected to Microsoft) not to sue. Microsoft has got ideas; they aren’t pretty. The media is unwilling to write about this strategy, instead showing us with banners that say “Microsoft loves Linux” (remember Steve Ballmer’s own words: “Advertisers, Advertisers, Advertisers”). Perfectly describes today’s Linux Foundation (see footnote below).
____
* Consider the tale of three individuals. Person #1: in the 1980s he created a system which would be used by billions of people every minute of the day. Person #2: in the 1990s he created a kernel for the above person’s system (1). Person #3: created a front group for the person above (2), selling access and branding rights to massive corporations. Question: Who’s poorest and who’s richest (~1,000,000 dollars/annum, tax exempted like the above corporations)?

04.26.19

Research Into Who’s Putting DRM Inside Linux

Posted in DRM, GNU/Linux at 1:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Along with other malicious ‘features’, such as UEFI ‘secure boot’

HDCP

Summary: Back doors may be hard to detect (requires understanding a lot of underlying code), but how about malicious ‘features’ or antifeatures that are put in the kernel to serve Hollywood at the expense of the kernel’s users?

OVER the past week or so Techrights has been ‘data-mining’ Linux. Many of the details about it will become public (in the form of IRC logs), but the gist of this exploratory effort will occasionally be published with key findings. Several software tools for exploring the kernel’s source and patchset were considered and tested, in conjunction with some GNU tools that help gather statistics. There are also known caveats and these can be tackled over time.

“I would look for sudden changes in what’s worked on or who is working on it,” our member explained, “or maybe even changes in the rates of changes. It will require a lot of manual tweaking to get the author affiliations accurate.”

This member prefers to remain anonymous.

“Gource was interesting in other ways though. You could see clearly when interest in ARM increased, same for documentation, and some other components. But by the turn of the century already it was too big to get anything useful out of it.”

“Gource also has a custom format which might be of use.”

As a first run, how about who puts Intel’s HDCP (DRM) in Linux? We already know Google’s role and we’ve seen Google promoting DRM on the World Wide Web (EME). Here’s an example query:

git log --name-status -i --grep='hdcp' | \

grep -iE 'commit |Date:|Author:|Signed-Off-By:|Reviewed-By:'| \

sed -r 's/^[[:space:]]+//; s/^commit/\n&/;'

Then map those committing as well as those reviewing and signing off on the code.

“Taking into account all HDCP commits,” our member explains, “there were 132 by my count. Of those, Intel and Chromium seem the big committers. I think any serious investigation would need to standardize the names first, since many use more than one e-mail address, and I have looked only for Intel.com and chromium.org domains.” This yields the following:

54      Ramalingam C <ramalingam.c@intel.com>
39      Sean Paul <seanpaul@chromium.org>
17      Uma Shankar <uma.shankar@intel.com>
8       Rodrigo Vivi <rodrigo.vivi@intel.com>
3       Ville Syrjälä <ville.syrjala@linux.intel.com>
3       Tomas Winkler <tomas.winkler@intel.com>
3       Jani Nikula <jani.nikula@intel.com>
2       Imre Deak <imre.deak@intel.com>
2       Ramalingam C <ramalingm.c@intel.com>
2       Cooper Chiou <cooper.chiou@intel.com>
2       Joonas Lahtinen <joonas.lahtinen@linux.intel.com>
2       Gary Wang <gary.c.wang@intel.com>
1       Radhakrishna Sripada <radhakrishna.sripada@intel.com>
1       Daniel Kurtz <djkurtz@chromium.org>
1       Sonika Jindal <sonika.jindal@intel.com>
1       Daniel Vetter <daniel.vetter@intel.com>
1       Guenter Roeck <groeck@chromium.org>
1       Rafael J. Wysocki <rafael.j.wysocki@intel.com>
1       Anusha Srivatsa <anusha.srivatsa@intel.com>
1       Shashank Sharma <shashank.sharma@intel.com>

“Just to be clear,” the member said, “the above includes reviewers and signers too.”

We are going to use the tools (not just Gource but others under consideration and use) to further analyse this. We don’t want to jump to any conclusions just yet, but it is widely known that Intel employees are sanitising Linux source code (with “hugs”), citing the new CoC, and there are attacks on prominent Linux developers who reject their patches. Readers probably know which Intel employees did this. We don’t want to amplify their smears. We mentioned that in passing four years ago.

We have more analysis on the way; “that will do as a start,” as one might put it. As our member put it, “some of the one-time commits might be more dangerous. What does this one unlock, beyond what is shown at the surface?”

commit f699f9f9ac87f0c774cbf3b9d4b8f336221f3a88
Author: Greg Kroah-Hartman <gregkh@linuxfoundation.org>
Date:   Thu Feb 28 12:55:40 2019 +0100

The Linux Foundation does not oppose DRM; look at the Board members and who funds this foundation. It does not oppose software patents either. Does it oppose anything at all? Apparently only people who are critical of it (or its collective agenda).

04.24.19

Any ‘Linux’ Foundation Needs to Be Managed by Geeks, Not Politicians and PR People

Posted in GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft at 12:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Open Source Development Labs (OSDL), which precedes the Foundation, was also led by a former Marketing VP

LF, Microsoft and Github
LF, Microsoft and GitHub years before the takeover (Source: Microsoft, via)

Summary: Linux bureaucracy has put profits way ahead of technical merits and this poses a growing threat or constitutes risk to the direction of the project, not to mention its ownership

LINUX, the world’s most widely used kernel, is a technical project. It has always been a technical project. It’s also professional and commercial, which the GNU GPL is not incompatible with (au contraire). In fact, about 8 or 9 out of 10 Linux developers are employed (i.e. salaried) to do so, based on the most recent statistics. “90% is kind of [a] guessed number but it’s above 80 percent,” oiaohm explained yesterday in our IRC channels.

If so many geeks (or programmers) make up the project, why aren’t geeks also managing it?

“We don’t mean political in the philosophical sense (like GNU) but rather commercial politics (like corporate political parties). It isn’t even hard to see it. “As we explained much earlier in this series, Linux had become political. We don’t mean political in the philosophical sense (like GNU) but rather commercial politics (like corporate political parties). It isn’t even hard to see it.

“At the recent 2016 Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, we introduced a new open source project called moja global, supported by the Clinton Foundation,” said the Linux Foundation in its site a few years ago. One can see the Clintons alongside Mr. Zemlin on many occasions, e.g. [1, 2, 3] (we could see several more) and people told us that Mr. Zemlin kept promoting the Clintons, even pushing for a particular side in the US election in his capacity as Linux Foundation (LF) chief, whose supposed role — or so says Mr. Zemlin himself — was to pay Torvalds’ salary. This potentially alienates some people who support Linux, yet do not fully support his political viewpoints. The LF also hired political figures from a particular political party. This is why we call it a “PAC”.

“This isn’t about whether you support software freedom or not. It’s not about technical matters but aspects like diversity — which LF management lies about.”The political aspects of the LF are divisive and partisan. This isn’t about whether you support software freedom or not. It’s not about technical matters but aspects like diversity — which LF management lies about. These are sometimes used to wedge out actors based on parallel pretexts; it helps tilt development in favour of particular agenda or particular corporations, which may be pursuing lockdown, back doors and various malicious (anti)features.

We are currently waiting for some results to come from members and readers. One of them is assessing, statistically, the impact of the CoC on actual code. Another is investigating a new draft CoC (which is being circulated but cannot be made public just yet). We wrote about it yesterday in relation to coercion — a form of social engineering (wresting/acquiring greater corporate control over the project, which used to be a lot more community-centric).

“I can’t really share that CoC outline right now,” a source told us, “but I wish they would get done and publish already. I’m waiting. I have the first draft, if nothing comes out soon – for historical purposes.”

“Isn’t it time for the LF to consider leadership with technical literacy?”The shaping of these rules can greatly impact the way Linux is developed, who is allowed to participate and what code gets accepted/rejected. It will likely be motivated by corporate sponsors, not geeks. Or shareholders rather than developers.

It’s no secret that Mr. Zemlin does not understand code. He never wrote any. He has a career track record which is all about branding and PR, not technical matters. That makes it easier for shrewd — in the malicious sense — companies to manipulate the LF. He can speak Japanese, just like Darl McBride from SCO (also not from a technical background), but computer languages aren’t his thing. Isn’t it time for the LF to consider leadership with technical literacy?

04.23.19

Code of Coercion

Posted in Deception, FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OSI at 12:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Real screenshot, taken days ago

Zemlin and Microsoft

Summary: Entryism is visible for all to see, but pointing it out is becoming a risky gambit because of the “be nice!” (or “be polite!”) crowd, which shields the perpetrators of a slow and gradual corporate takeover

A COUPLE of days ago we published a reader’s suggestion for the site. It’s a longtime reader, who has been rather sceptical of the Linux Foundation (LF), the OSI, and even the FSF. We too have had our rare disagreements with the FSF (in this particular case awarding a Microsoft apologist other than Miguel de Icaza, now a senior Microsoft employee).

One subject we continue to explore is the LF because we recognise the obscene lack of understanding. The name, for one thing, is misleading because it is neither a foundation (nonprofit) nor about Linux. It is morphing into a giant narrative-shaping monster that helps OSI ‘tame’ Free software (as envisioned by the FSF), making it more corporations-leaning if not led. Today’s OSI blog posts are sometimes composed by Microsoft staff.

“It is morphing into a giant narrative-shaping monster that helps OSI ‘tame’ Free software (as envisioned by FSF), making it more corporations-leaning if not led.”We’ve already issued a call for help in researching various LF matters. Some people look into it. We need answers regarding Linux Foundation insiders in the media* (coverage for sale) and more information about their “training” business model (corporate sponsorships play a role). It’s not what it seems; there’s more to it than one can see on the surface. The LF is contracting journalists, selling coverage (sponsorships in exchange for puff pieces), and engaging in what the PR conglomerates call “perception management” (this is where the LF’s chief comes from). In recent years the LF chaps have helped market obvious lies and falsehoods such as “Microsoft loves Linux”. Microsoft loves Windows, which it now calls "Linux". The trademark is being misused, but that doesn’t seem to bother the LF. Microsoft has a long and very extensive history trying to make its products sound like the competition or hijack the competition’s identity (e.g. “Office Open XML”).

I recently chatted with Richard Stallman about the LF’s CoC after I had heard that a similar thing was likely imposed on Stallman. We exchanged many messages on this subject and wondered whether Torvalds’ criticism of companies like Microsoft would be curtailed by the new CoC. It is a difficult thing to prove. Self-censorship is sometimes unknown to those who are subconsciously subjected to it because, for instance, speaking out against corporate overloads who pay one’s salary (or a portion of it) is politically unwise. In politics it’s known as “campaign contributions” — a form of ‘soft’ bribe which at the very least buys silence or passiveness.

“In recent years the LF chaps have helped market obvious lies and falsehoods such as “Microsoft loves Linux”. Microsoft loves Windows, which it now calls “Linux”.”We are meanwhile hearing of a new CoC “draft outline”.

“No one really wants a CoC,” told us a source, “but that one adopted by the LF and projects is horrible.” We will probably write about it in a future article (when this is no longer a draft).

A Techrights member has meanwhile taken a look at Gource LF. “Linux is a huge kernel,” he explained, “really enormous, and the amount of work being done is mind-boggling. Gource provides way too much information and visual analysis won’t provide much. Nor will any other kind of manual analysis. But here’s how it’s done:

 	git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git;
 
 	cd linux-stable;
 
 	$(gource --log-command git) > ../linux-project.log
 
 	gource --start-date 2017-09-01 --time-scale 4 \
 		--fullscreen ../linux-project.log

As many people are aware, swear words and other (even less controversial) things are being removed en masse by people from companies like Intel, citing the new CoC as justification/motivation. Intel is the same company whose employees smear the most prominent Linux developers (calling them “rape apologists” and such). As for Microsoft? Remember that it put ‘BIG BOOBS’ inside Linux. Sexism at Microsoft is rampant, yet it has been trying to project this stigma onto Linux.

“It seems to be getting worse. “Morality” and “ethics” are being leveraged by large corporations that are hostile to Linux in order to gain a tighter grip on it.”“It takes a long time to build up to autumn 2018 even at high speed,” our member wrote about Gource. “Maybe that will give someone some ideas on what kind of analysis can be done easily to identify what kind of damage, if any, is visible from the CoC.”

Back when Torvalds was pressured to take a break (willful but due to shaming) we said we would refrain from commenting, but seeing some recent developments at the LF we feel like it’s important to research the matter. It seems to be getting worse. “Morality” and “ethics” are being leveraged by large corporations that are hostile to Linux in order to gain a tighter grip on it.
_____
* Take for instance The New Stack, which the LF last linked to just hours ago. It has various LF projects, including the LF itself, as sponsors. This page reveals that the editorial team includes Libby Clark, who was at the LF for a long time and is still based in Portland.

04.20.19

The Linux Foundation Needs to Change Course Before GNU/Linux (as a Free Operating System) is Dead

Posted in GNU/Linux at 4:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Freedom is eroding while Linux is “winning” (by being assimilated to everything it was meant to replace, e.g. DRM, back doors and a monolithic nature a la systemd)

An angel in cemetery

Summary: The issues associated with the Linux Foundation are not entirely new; but Linux now incorporates so many restrictions and contains so many binary blobs that one begins to wonder what “Linux” even means

THE monotonicity at which Linux gets “worse” is a subject we touched earlier this year. Are we striving for freedom or mere branding? GNU is not Linux and over time it seems like the projects diverge because one pursues digital freedom, whereas the latter seeks to maximise profits.

We want to move the site in another direction, seeing that software patents are partly resolved in the US (the EPO is sadly just granting these while its reputation is rotting).

In the coming weeks if not months we will be peeling off layers of an onion.

“If the LF stands up for nothing (but money), it will fall for anything.”Jim Zemlin “served as Vice President of Marketing,” says this biography of his (about his time at Covalent Technologies*), but not much has changed since then because the Linux Foundation (LF) is mostly PR/marketing. It pays fewer developers than it pays marketing people. These are the people who actually run the Linux Foundation (not just him): Nontechnical marketing people who pay themselves more than they pay Torvalds. They started this job by justifying it poorly, e.g. by stating they would be in charge of paying Torvalds’ salary. What has the LF become? A money-making operation, willing to sacrifice just about anything for a quick buck. If the LF stands up for nothing (but money), it will fall for anything.

* Covalent Technologies too was at times a Microsoft bridge, with press releases such as this one from OSCON: “Today at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention, Covalent Technologies announced Apache 2.0, as available in Covalent Enterprise Ready Server, is now compatible with Microsoft ASP.NET. Using Covalent Enterprise Ready Server (ERS), customers will now be able to use the world’s most widely deployed Web server — Apache — with Microsoft .NET technologies. Apache 2.0′s increased performance on Microsoft Windows 2000 along with the compatibility with Microsoft .NET combine to create a best-of-breed development and deployment solution for Web services.”

Zemlin and Microsoft

04.18.19

Freedom is Not a Business and Those Who Make ‘Business’ by Giving it Away Deserve Naming

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 7:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There’s more money to be made by taking people’s freedom away rather than by giving it to them

Glass Conference
Fancy cages are still cages

Summary: Free software is being parceled and sold to private monopolisers; those who facilitate the process enrich themselves and pose a growing threat to freedom in general — a subject we intend to tackle in the near future

WE are closing a little chapter by finishing this series about sponsors-led events (see part 1, part 2, and part 3) that erode software freedom; we shall soon take a closer look at the analogous/accompanying press/media business, namely media coverage in exchange for payments. We already know that the Linux Foundation (LF) has strong ties with particular news sites and LF staff is even in the board of some of these. Puff pieces “as a service”? A disservice to the trade of journalism.

The LF staff/people/associates keep boasting about it in their “events” brochures, which we published in full earlier this month; they say that a bunch of media coverage will follow. They also sell “thank yous”, E-mail “blasts” (their word) and so on. What next? Telemarketing?

We urge readers to help us research that area (it may seem time consuming and difficult, but the truth is out there). The LF won’t be cooperative if we ask it about it directly. PR people are evasive and I know from personal experience that the PR staff of the LF are Windows users who use a lot of Microsoft software at the back end and the front end. They have no connection whatsoever to GNU/Linux.

In our previous post we also mentioned LF training, including “training” for Microsoft (Azure). It would be useful to know how these programmes come about and who pays for them (other than the enrolled). It seems like a big business associated with branding professionals, making them “Azure-certified” or whatever (i.e. people who help spread dependence on Microsoft and the NSA). We would like to explore these areas in greater depth, but we depend on help from members/readers. It takes a long time to prepare (i.e. fact-check) articles about that.

Richard Stallman himself recently asked me: “What does “Zemlin’s PAC” mean?”

“About a year ago,” I told him, “seeing that LF was no ordinary foundation and was hardly about Linux anymore — a sentiment shared among journalists whom I spoke to — I decided to refer to it as “Zemlin PAC”, just like “Vista 10″ or similar wordplays. When I came up with the name I was thinking of substitution for SuperPAC with the person who they portray as superman, and who uses this position — and trademark — to promote his political agenda too (as he does at LF events).”

We’re not done writing about LF or “Zemlin PAC”, but we truly depend on sources at this moment. We need more. In the meantime we shall cover related topics.

“I’ll think about topics,” said the member about the next issues for us to cover. “One is that in most areas there are no longer any IT departments, the staff have been replaced long ago by Microsoft resellers. So businesses and universities and governments are paralyzed and slowly falling down. Entryism is also a huge threat, as we see even in the LF and OSI lately. There are other targets, some already crippled, but no need naming them.

“GNU/Linux and the other Linuxes are exceedingly popular but only in so far as the software has spread. The Microsoft way of thinking about software is still something to contend with and causing planes to drop out of the sky. What needs to happen is that the ideas behind Linux should spread also, and not just the Four Freedoms but also the idea of doing one thing and doing it well. What other ideas?

“I would hope there are new books to look at. There are three old ones that I’m not sure if I have time to skim through them but I would recommend revisiting at least in part:

  • “Free Software, Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman” (2002) Richard M Stallman.
  • “Rebel Code: Linux and the Open Source Revolution” (2001) Glyn Moody.
  • “The Hacker Ethic and the Spirit of the Information Age” (2001) Pekka Himanen.

“Things were looking up 20 years ago. Some of that can be carried forward, but for most people who have never even heard of a functional computer, the will be difficult to reach both because of aforementioned resellers, UEFI, and lack of prominent examples.”

“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is in for one hell of a hard time.”

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