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11.14.19

Microsoft is Not an Open Source Company But Microsoft Bribed and Took Over Many Open Source Authorities (Rivals’ Voice Hijacked)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hostile takeovers, scuttling the opposition from within

Promoting Microsoft and/or taking over GNU/Linux. Mission accomplished.

Summary: Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and GNU/Linux are being taken over by Microsoft moles, bought by Microsoft Corporation, and the collective voice of the alternative to Microsoft and Windows is being muzzled (they tell us they “love” us while they’re attacking us and sometimes suing us)

TECHRIGHTS has spent this horrible year (for FOSS) refocusing on Microsoft’s attacks. Readers tell us that 2019 was a terrible year for FOSS for a number of reasons and we agree. This is why we’re revisiting many of these issues, notably the infiltrations facilitated by the likes of Jim Zemlin, who turned Linux.com into a Microsoft propaganda site. A site called Linux.com nowadays helps the corporate media spread Microsoft’s lies. It’s really that bad.

David told us (in IRC), “here is one of those stories that maybe needs a little more attention…”

“Basically,” he summarised, it explains “that Microsoft is developing AI for Chinese government use for facial recognition etc. and openwashing it through OpenAI…

“A site called Linux.com nowadays helps the corporate media spread Microsoft’s lies.”“We all know what media would have said had Google done this in China,” I responded, “but much less has been said about what Microsoft is doing there,” he added, pretty much finishing my thought. “So I thought it was an interesting article about the “new” Microsoft…”

There’s another disturbing new piece; dated yesterday, some readers sent it to us and mentioned it in IRC. It’s written by former The Register staff, Ashlee Vance, who left a long time ago to work for more mainstream media; it certainly seems like he has become a Microsoft propagandist for the same publisher as that of Dina Bass (doing Microsoft puff pieces for well over decade). Benjamin Henrion joked, “Github is now ICE resistant!”

So some piece of proprietary software from Microsoft now paints itself as champion and guardian of FOSS?

THIS. IS. INSANE!

“So some piece of proprietary software from Microsoft now paints itself as champion and guardian of FOSS?”The piece is classic Microsoft propaganda (“GitHub is preparing for a different kind of the end of the world.”) which glorifies GitHub. Nat Friedman is pronounced “NOT a friend, MAN!” He has long been a turncoat, a mole, a proprietary software infiltrator. These people are no FOSS allies. He had come from Microsoft, came to FOSS, did a lot of damage, and then came back to Microsoft.

Now they talk about safety vaults? After attacking FOSS?

Remember that Microsoft is working for the Pentagon and ICE.

Another reader has noticed and alerted us about this new article in which Mac Asay is citing Microsoft as a source… regarding security of its very opposition!!

Who does Microsoft think it is? So now it’s lecturing us on security of FOSS? The company that puts back doors in everything?

“It’s like Microsoft controls every meaningful group that’s associated with FOSS now. Mission accomplished?”Where are defenders against this malicious entryism? Have they all been bribed and co-opted? It certainly seems so sometimes.

When Sonatype doesn’t badmouth FOSS it works for Microsoft more directly to then (yesterday) find itself boosted by the Linux Foundation. So yet more GitHub/Microsoft propaganda from the Linux Foundation. It’s like Microsoft controls every meaningful group that’s associated with FOSS now. Mission accomplished?

Microsoft has not changed; the PR strategy has.

“This is WAR, and in that regard, I believe we should design Janus such that if this multiboot partition (has a unique partition number (11)) is found, we should warn the user a foreign OS has been detected, give them a chance to exit and read the docs and possibly make a backup, and then repartition the disk, removing the multiboot partition. This way, we disable OS/2 2.0 in *all* cases.”

Microsoft [PDF]

11.13.19

Rebranding Malware and Spyware as ‘Linux’ to Dilute the Brand (and the News)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No, Nappa, it's a trap! I know, it's just more Microsoft proprietary software marketed as 'for Linux'

Summary: Signal-to-noise ratio continues to be reduced, as a lot of “Linux” news has nothing to do with GNU/Linux or even with Free software

11.12.19

Linux Foundation Picking Money

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Picking up membership fees

Do you use Linux? No, I work for Microsoft. I don't use Linux, either. Just pay me to join, let's dance.

Summary: The dating standards of the Linux Foundation

Microsoft ‘Borrows’ the Linux Brand

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

So Microsoft ports some proprietary thing to GNU/Linux. And then you realise it doesn't even run natively on GNU/Linux. But the media will advertise this proprietary thing using the 'Linux' brand.

Summary: With help from the likes of the Linux Foundation Microsoft continues to misuse and ‘dilute’ the Linux brand (and registered trademark)

11.10.19

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

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

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

SJVN on Dan Lyons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[...]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11.09.19

An Open Letter to Richard Stallman

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

By figosdev

Gear on neutral

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

Hello again, we spoke a few weeks ago.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Long Live Stallman, and Happy Hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

Former Mayor of Munich Explains How Microsoft Hates Linux

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 1:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

He should know. He saw that.

Christian Ude

Summary: Christian Ude (above) speaks in a new interview about what Microsoft did in Munich and elsewhere in Europe in order to undermine GNU/Linux and impose Microsoft Windows on everybody, together with all the spyware Microsoft provides for it (likely violation of privacy laws)

THE ENGLISH-speaking media has said nothing about this (not even meta news sites like Slashdot), but the German sphere discussed Münchens Ex-OB Christian Ude im Interview (the title is likely self-explaining, at least the name).

“We assume our readers are wise enough to understand that Microsoft is the same old corrupt company, with new lies and PR.”One person from Germany wrote to tell us the gist of it. It’s important for Techrights, having covered the Microsoft affairs there for almost a decade (and EPO affairs in Munich even more closely for half a decade). It is widely known — to all who are sober at least (not sucking in the corporate media’s revisionism) — that Microsoft attacks all GNU/Linux deployments across governments in Europe as means of defunding (stopping public money or cash flow to) projects such as LibreOffice. We produced evidence of this — sometimes in the form of documents from inside Microsoft, obtained by leaks and subpoenas.

We assume our readers are wise enough to understand that Microsoft is the same old corrupt company, with new lies and PR. The work with the Pentagon and ICE should be eye-opening reminders of it. Opposing Microsoft is “fighting yesterday’s fight” say people who often turn out to be receiving Microsoft money (sometimes through affiliates). Microsoft is attacking GNU/Linux on several fronts still. Microsoft is very unique in that regard. In internal documents Microsoft calls GNU/Linux use/users “infestations” as if we’re cockroaches; that’s how they view us. Regarding what happens in Munich, one person has just told me: “even in early 2000s Microsoft were that deeply embedded in Munich that they got free advertising on the public service broadcaster BR as part of the “Laptop und Lederhosen” culture Bayern was trying to promote since the late 1990s…”

BR threatened us once; legal letter for hosting translation of a show.

The above person explained: “Last night at some strange hour I decided to watch youtubes of the closedown sequence of Bayerischer Rundfunk from (I think) the early 2000s.

“They play the Bayernhymne, das Deutsches Lied and “Ode an die Freude” (EU-anthem)

“During the Bayernhymne they show a young man in a suit using a PDA. This is whats on the screen.

“Given what happened with Limux, its interesting to see this turn up there (although maybe not against the rules as German public TV can have advertising?)”

See the screen: “Director Channel Sales bei Microsoft”

What on Earth…? We’re reproducing it here:

BR Director Channel Sales bei Microsoft

Watch the name closely. Yes, this person:

Director Channel Sales bei Microsoft

Sometimes it seems like Microsoft is all about marketing and dirty tricks, yet it is disguised as a “software company”; it has been the case for decades and nothing has changed.

What does the former mayor of Munich have to say? We’ll try to stick to the facts.

“Hey Roy schestowitz,” one person told me, “did you take notice of former chief editor Jan Kleinert interviewing former mayor of Munich Christian Ude regarding Limux and Microsoft lobbying? Great article, unluckily German language only.”

So I responded: “Can you send the gist of it/best part?”

“I’ll try,” he said. “Despite Microsoft’s various attempts of persuasiveness, including personal talks with Ballmer and Gates, Ude stuck to the idea of less dependence using FOSS. After Munich administration [was] left with the choice of forced upgrade (= $$$) or no further support from Microsoft Ude mentions having watched a documentary in the last year of similar Microsoft lobbying attempts allegedly regarding the city of Vienna and the defense ministry of Italy, to curb any development of an alternative, to keep Europe dependent.

“Ude cites a “Bayernspiegel” article about Wilhelm Hoegner (deceased) with the words “Main focus of attention used to be US software calling home. Unluckily nowadays noncompliant minds like him have disappeared from politics and administration. [...]”

“The decision to convert (14.000 PC clients) back to Microsoft from Limux [some time] until 2020 was a purely political one. Christian Ude: “There wasn’t a single unsolvable technical problem.”

“Ude states his belief that the political calculus of changing direction [away from FOSS] probably will not bear fruit and closes:

“Sooner or later one will ask again:

“Why did the independence once fought for got given up?

“Why wasn’t the potential of higher data security held in higher regards?

“What’s the cost of all of this?

“Not a word-by-word translation of that four page interview. Yet I hope not to have put anything wrong into anybody’s mouth.”

There’s also this additional quote: “[...] what followed is a youth mindlessly prostituting itself on the Internet, passively accepting to get their data robbed from by tax evading megacorps whilst the fate of a rising share of younger people boils down close to poverty.”

Longtime readers of ours saw us covering many angles of this since around 2007. The subject has not been explored by the media for at least half a year, which makes one wonder; is media in general dying or is media discouraged from revisiting this matter?

Linux Journal is Offline, But the Articles Will Come Back

Posted in GNU/Linux at 1:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The work(ers) will rise up again

The dead walking

Summary: Linux Journal may be offline (since just before the weekend), but the articles will come back one way or another

THE tragic end of Linux Journal (LJ) was covered here before, e.g. in:

This subject habitually came up again and we got in contact with writers of LJ. Each time a GNU/Linux site (25 years in the case of LJ!) falls over that leaves more room/space in search results for Microsoft lies such as “Microsoft loves Linux”; it’s dangerous because corporate PR comes to replace actual facts and journalism.

“So one way or another all the articles will come back.”The sad news is, all links to past LJ articles are now broken and will likely remain broken forever. What is this Pantheon site/page they serve now? We don’t know, but we’ve asked.

One of us crafted a script to download the entire site before it went offline (in case we can get the site back or at least a copy of it online… as we did with Quinstreet half a decade back). Linux Gizmos managed to save about a decade’s work that way; old articles came back online under another domain.

In the case of LJ, there might also be some reprieve; “I and a couple others from LJ already have full backups of the site,” one person told us. “If we cannot get the domain back from its current owners, my intent is to get it up under a new LJ archive domain.”

So one way or another all the articles will come back. Long live GNU/Linux, long live LJ and long live journalism.

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