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

09.26.20

‘Appeal to Novelty’ as a Lever for Proprietary Software Monopolies, Bloat (Planned Obsolescence) and More Surveillance

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 3:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Appeal to Novelty Fallacy: Why New Isn’t Necessarily Better
From “The Appeal to Novelty Fallacy: Why New Isn’t Necessarily Better” (pattern now used by Microsoft to push Linux into GitHub, i.e. Microsoft)

Summary: Novelty is generally fine, but in many cases products are developed iteratively (not cumulatively) not to advance society or to objectively improve services, only to increase control over people (because emergent ‘freemium’-like business models nowadays revolve around addiction and subjugation, e.g. ‘brain-farming’ and manipulation of minds)

THE general population typically seeks popularity (how it’s measured depends on a person’s environment, but to many the yardstick is nowadays “number of Facebook ‘friends’ and ‘likes’ etc.”); nobody wants to “stay behind” and advertising constantly attempts to compel people to get rid of “old things”, then buy “new things” (the “smart” stuff, the cutting-edge nonsense with all the latest patents). We see this in “5G” and increasingly in listening+tracking devices often referred to as ‘smartphones’ (because they’re largely for intelligence and sometimes they can also be used as phones).

Shaming tactics are incredibly effective, especially within large and indoctrinated groups (peer pressure), when the target is a career-climbing insecure person with social aspirations (class).

“We see this in “5G” and increasingly in listening+tracking devices often referred to as ‘smartphones’ (because they’re largely for intelligence and sometimes they can also be used as phones).”More people need to learn to say “no!”

“No” to whatever corporations trot out the door and are unable to actually justify (more e-waste, more expenditures and newer patents that artificially inflate prices — not to be conflated with worth).

This extends well beyond software freedom; environmentalists too, for instance, ought to talk about it. There are people out there who replace their “old” car with something brand new every now and then (even if the functional aspect of the “old” car is totally fine) because many people in workplaces or extended families judge one’s “success” by the vehicles that get one around. Yes, vehicles. Plural. Because to ‘prove’ one’s high status the garage may turn into somewhat of a wardrobe, with different kinds of “rides” for all sorts of “occasions”.

“Shaming tactics are incredibly effective, especially within large and indoctrinated groups (peer pressure), when the target is a career-climbing insecure person with social aspirations (class).”At the moment, accelerated a great deal by COVID-19, the “war on cash” goes up a notch. People who use “dumb” payments are stigmatised as dirty and primitive (or not “smart”, hence “dumb”). They’re presumed to be incapable of opening a bank account or having an “app” and they’re ridiculed as “conspiracy theorists” if they speak about their privacy. Last month we were turned away for demanding or insisting on payments using cash (for merely ordering a meal) on at least 3 occasions; they’re all smug about it, treating customers like lepers if those customers do not wish to be identified.

Digital 'smart' payments... Because the above is always the alternative?

The story regarding “war on cash” is a bit of a cautionary tale; it’s part of a broader trend and the goal is to get everybody “in line” (whose line? Sheep line up for the slaughter, too). In the case of software, we’ve come across conceited corporate players who refer to systemd-rejecting geeks as “neckbeards” (it’s a vulgar slur and a gross generalisation); as if a simple system that can be studied comprehensively (and isn’t developed on Microsoft servers) is for hairy hermits who refuse to shave (or cannot afford a razor) and likely live in the distant past… maybe in their ageing mother’s basement. Actually, UNIX was a more modern alternative to monolithic and hard-to-maintain systems which came before it. Those older systems became dying systems (never used anywhere anymore). We recently published a video about that. So as it turns out, according to more recent history, this sort of ‘novel’ system like Windows/NT, basically a ripoff of other systems, is nowadays becoming obsolete itself. We’re going back to UNIX, except this time it’s free (as in freedom) and it’s GNU/POSIX.

“People who choose to reject so-called ‘novelty’ aren’t backwards or foolish; it’s perfectly possible that they have legitimate concerns about the direction in which things go, mainly to benefit authoritarian governments and corporations (giving them vast powers) at the expense of the general population.”It’s perfectly possible that systemd — like Windows/NT — will be deprecated (Google still rejects it, but we don’t call Google “neckbeards”, do we?) and when people realise tyrannical ‘benefits’ of digital payments (surveillance of all transactions/interactions) they will reintroduce physical bartering systems (digital currencies/payments can be made anonymous, e.g. GNU Taler). Newer is not always better; bloat is never better; obsolescence of the old has all the burden on those looking to rationalise it. People who choose to reject so-called ‘novelty’ aren’t backwards or foolish; it’s perfectly possible that they have legitimate concerns about the direction in which things go, mainly to benefit authoritarian governments and corporations (giving them vast powers) at the expense of the general population. Such people should expect to be mocked by corporate media, controlled if not wholly owned by those same governments and corporations looking to increase their breadth of control.

Don’t always be shamed into being “novel” or easily become “smart”.

Are you being pressured to put a “smart” meter inside the home (one’s house, private space)? Things to say to energy suppliers/representatives who push those “smart” meters: 1) you only need 30 seconds in my house a few times a year, not 24/7. Send a person to get a reading. 2) what’s so smart about those anyway? Who controls them? 3) sign my contract, as I will not sign yours. $1000 fine for each privacy violation, $10,000 fine for a security breach.

09.25.20

Losing the Battle for Rights/Justice, Freedom/Liberty, and Emancipation Potential

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 11:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not even free speech is honoured any longer (because it might ‘offend’ abusive corporations and rich sponsors with limitless avarice)

Tribunal de Justi'ca Building

Summary: We’re losing our most basic rights amid transition to “digital”; too little is being done to push back against this worrisome trend, which necessarily means reduction in both our freedom and our fundamental human rights

THE name “Techrights” was chosen more than a decade ago (thanks, Tracy). As I recall it, RMS initially opposed it, thinking that it was missing the point of freedom, focusing instead on rights. The term “rights” typically alludes to law (something enforceable), which in turn can be connected to a system of justice. Tribunals apply law (in principle at least). The concept of freedom is broad and the word can be misused to mean deregulation (corporations taking people’s freedom away) or even bombing countries in the name of “liberating” them from alleged tyrants. Emancipation is an act of turning the oppressed into lesser oppressed or “free”, sometimes offering some “rights” in the process (to guard against future oppression).

“We have far too few rights protecting us from robotics and programmatic nihilism (the principles of human rights in relation to machines are grossly underdeveloped).”The semantics don’t matter as much as the underlying concept/s. It’s hard to find anyone who disagrees about technology becoming as harmful as it is beneficial (one frequently-explored aspect is the impact on people’s privacy, however narrow a focal point). We have far too few rights protecting us from robotics and programmatic nihilism (the principles of human rights in relation to machines are grossly underdeveloped). The media keeps using or misusing buzzwords like “hey hi” (AI) and “clown computing” (outsourcing of our data and computation to surveillance giants, usually overseas). So it’s not really helping. The media is a tool of oppression (big publishers, in the pockets of those very same surveillance giants). The word “smart” is nowadays being used to lure people into dumb practices (or shame those who refuse to play along). Hours ago I saw a puff piece promoting a wall clock which is actually an Amazon bug (listening device) and about 10 days ago I became aware of the most notorious former NSA chief joining the board of Amazon. This is the same guy who started PRISM with Microsoft almost a decade ago.

Computing won’t be improved thanks to the ‘goodwill’ of corporations, masters of openwashing and greenwashing (we have the Linux Foundation to ‘thank’ for that). The popular struggle must come from below, it will never come from above. All we can expect “from above” are orders and crushing boots. People who wrongly assume that a corporations-led OSI or corporations-funded FSF/FSFE will save us (EFF as well for that matter, albeit EFF never cared about software freedom) haven’t been paying attention to the corrupting influence of money — including Google and Microsoft money — inside key institutions. They gag critics (self-censorship and expulsions) while assuring us that they’re all becoming “open” (whilst in fact pushing lots of proprietary software) and dropping laughable soundbites like “Open Source has won” (they mean to say it was taken over, not adopted).

Times may seem depressing at some level; on the one hand, Free software (including GNU and Linux) is everywhere, but on the other hand, this isn’t how many of us envisioned it. Having a wall clock running Linux only to record us and send the recordings to Amazon (with NSA inside its Board of Directors) isn’t freedom; it’s pure, vulgar tyranny. Several years ago we already warned about the threat of Linux becoming a “cheap” (cost-free) option for some of the very worst elements of technology. Nothing in the GPL prevents that (free-as-in-deregulation), so people need to prevent that by rejecting such things and calling out the culprits. Not enough people are doing it. In an interview published less than 24 hours ago, RMS spoke about it to RT. Funnily enough, that RT interview with RMS (made public yesterday morning) asks him the very same questions we was planning to ask him next. It’s like RT ‘stole’ questions we was planning to ask RMS (questions that he answered very well). We’re joking of course. Nobody ‘stole’ anything. Whether or not he does an interview with us as well may depend on what he perceives to be the outcome, knowing that some fussy petitioners are still scheming from inside GNU to oust him. Many of them work for IBM and most of them (at least two thirds of the whole lot) develop on Microsoft servers (GitHub) — a practice long condemned and discouraged by RMS.

We’re up against powerful and well-funded forces. They’re subversive. They shoot messengers. Days ago one of these petitioners (Garrett) entered our IRC channels, obviously digging for 'dirt' on us.

Response to Eric Raymond (ESR) on “Last Phase of the Desktop Wars”

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers, Vista 10, Windows at 10:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Liberty matters; to Microsoft it's all about control/coercion

Statue of Liberty

Summary: Eric Raymond (ESR) talks about Microsoft’s “embrace”; but there are many misunderstandings and misconceptions in his blog post, as we’ll explain patiently, based on known facts

THE co-founder of the OSI (an anti-Free software organisation), ESR, has just published Last phase of the desktop wars?

“ESR is thick-skinned, so he can certainly take the criticism.”The article is full of some strange slant/take on positivism; as if we should be happy about Microsoft, or as if Microsoft is “embracing” this thing called ‘Linux’ (GNU) with good intentions. I found myself shaking my head a lot (side to side, not top to bottom) while reading it; there are many factual errors there, which makes it hard to read without face-palming a bit. “ESR forgot to take the pink glasses off,” MinceR said in IRC and XRevan86 “stopped reading at the mention of MS Edge being ported,” he has just said. We’ve decided to respond. Of course chromium-browser already supported GNU/Linux since the very beginning, so the ‘port’ from Microsoft is a joke. It’s a PR stunt from which we have nothing to gain (GNU/Linux users won’t touch it); Microsoft used it to bombard the media with proprietary software (spyware) marketing on the same day Firefox 81 was released; guess what media paid attention to (vapourware, not an actual release of an actual FOSS browser). But we’ll get to that in a moment…

ESR is thick-skinned, so he can certainly take the criticism. Constructive hopefully…

I spoke to him before (online) and he’s responsive, albeit abrasive at times. We won’t remark on his professional or his political views (he tried to ‘cancel’ RMS more than 2 decades ago and nowadays he promotes militia nonsense); we’ll focus 100% on the substance (or lack of it). Reply in full, in-line, just like the Halloween Documents that he published with editorial interpretations. A lot of the reply below is based on an IRC debate, which is still ongoing.

Without further ado (and quite frankly with respect):

The two most intriguing developments in the recent evolution of the Microsoft Windows operating system are Windows System for Linux (WSL) and the porting of their Microsoft Edge browser to Ubuntu.

As noted above (prematurely perhaps, as that part was particularly off-putting), the core of this browser has long supported GNU/Linux (not just “Ubuntu”) and mostly because of Google and code that it had repurposed; that had nothing to do with Microsoft, which merely ‘borrowed’ other people’s work, initially removing GNU/Linux support (similar to what Microsoft did to Skype).

Regarding “Windows System for Linux” [sic], it’s a deliberate misnomer. There’s no Linux in WSL. WSL2 does have Linux, but hardly anyone uses that. It has been a devastating failure for Microsoft (their Project Manager got really stressed when we spoke about it and presented evidence) and last night we finally saw reports about Microsoft ‘fixing’ it after breaking it almost a fortnight ago. Only a crazy fool would do any serious work on WSL/WSL2.

These Microsoft ‘toys’ are widely seen as experimental laughing stocks among actual users of GNU/Linux. They’d never touch that stuff; at best, they’d run virtual machines with GNU/Linux in them (using something like VirtualBox). WSL/2 is like 2 decades behind (Cygwin).

ESR calls these “intriguing developments” (Microsoft giving up on MSIE and Edge, redoing the whole thing using someone else’s product, just like with WSL/2). The word “intriguing” can be (mis)interpreted in all sorts of ways; if by “intriguing” he meant something negative, then fine. But let’s press on with the next paragraph:

For those of you not keeping up, WSL allows unmodified Linux binaries to run under Windows 10. No emulation, no shim layer, they just load and go.

Wow. Welcome back, 2001. Cygwin. Sort of…

I experimented with Cygwin when I was still a teenager.

Microsoft… bringing you the distant past… today.

Aside from that, today’s PCs come with so much RAM that one can just run these “unmodified Linux binaries” in a virtual machine (with no noticeable performance toll).

Microsoft developers are now landing features in the Linux kernel to improve WSL.

Read as: Microsoft is taking control of the competition. It even bribed the Linux Foundation several times to keep it off-guard. It hired some kernel hackers to make sure it has key positions in development and inside the Technical Advisory Board of the Linux Foundation.

Some accomplishment, eh?

And that points in a fascinating technical direction. To understand why, we need to notice how Microsoft’s revenue stream has changed since the launch of its cloud service in 2010.

He then goes along with a likely bogus narrative. Many companies do “clown computing” these days; few are actually profitable (AWS is, as the network effect helps, along with brand recognition and lock-in). Many shut down for financial reasons. I’d know; I’ve seen that at my nighttime work (datacentre and service/product closures, forcing migration/relocation with little prior notice).

Ten years later, Azure makes Microsoft most of its money.

Stop right there!

This is what Microsoft claims. While refusing to disclose underlying figures. Microsoft whistleblowers say it operates at a loss and likely constitutes fraud (defrauding the shareholders and more).

So the same ESR who published the Halloween Documents suddenly believes what Microsoft is saying? Come on, Eric, turn back on your critical skills and assess counter-arguments with corresponding evidence.

The Windows monopoly has become a sideshow, with sales of conventional desktop PCs (the only market it dominates) declining. Accordingly, the return on investment of spending on Windows development is falling. As PC volume sales continue to fall off , it’s inevitably going to stop being a profit center and turn into a drag on the business.

Ariadne responded to this in IRC, saying that “the thought that PC sales are declining is a fallacy…”

She said “people are still using PCs…”

“Remind him of Minecraft Bedrock,” XRevan86 noted.

“I’m starting to suspect Teams is an experiment in which they’re trying to find out how long can they delay messages before people give up on Teams,” MinceR added.

Microsoft’s products and services are still rather shoddy.

Ariadne then noted that “NT is a problem though [as] writing drivers and subsystems for NT is a huge pain in the ass. It is possible that NT could be replaced down the road with a Linux kernel. That much I would believe. But POSIX? Yeah right :) [...] if you are going to make developers transition to new APIs, you would get them to transition to whatever the present state of the art is, not POSIX… I guess what I’m saying is that we could see a windows OS based on Linux kernel, in the same way that android is based on Linux kernel, but otherwise unrelated to UNIX environment… the shortcomings of NT are becoming more and more visible.”

“If something like that would occur,” XRevan86 responded, “it would definitely happen in such a way it wouldn’t make anyone happier than Microsoft.”

I agreed with MinceR when he said: “maybe they don’t care anymore, they’re just looking to do damage [...] they’ll just tell gkh [Greg K-H] to declare a stable ABI and if it stops Linux development, they don’t care…”

“Free kernel,” as XRevan86 called it, “completely useless to everyone else.”

“I suspect that is the plan anyway,” Ariadne responded.

XRevan86 recalled the “extend/extinguish” going months back: “It was funny hearing about the DirectX 12 shim for WSL as “Microsoft ported DX12 to Linux, they care!” [...] If Microsoft will port their calculator to GNU/Linux, everyone will lose it. Albeit that’s very unlikely.”

oiaohm said “it’s more interesting [to talk about] the DX12 userspace libraries from Windows being brought on top of Linux [as] there has been some talk [regarding whether] Microsoft is pondering DX12 work on the Linux DRI layer. (Mind you this could be evil profit)”

More on that in a moment (or in raw IRC logs, to be published tomorrow).

“Anyway,” XRevan86 concluded, “I think we can all agree MS Edge coming to GNU/Linux is not the Sign of Microsoft moving Windows to Linux.”

Ariadne responded with “absolutely not [as] even if Windows were to use a Linux kernel in future, they would still use their own APIs just like Android…”

“MS Edge has been available on Android all this time,” XRevan86 said.

“DX12 coming it Linux would not surprise me,” oiaohm said. “Of course it most likely will come with you have to pay fee to Microsoft.”

“That would make them less appealing than FOSS,” XRevan86 replied. “Probably not a fee. Not at first anyway.”

More in IRC logs. Let’s move to the next on to the next paragraph.

Looked at from the point of view of cold-blooded profit maximization, this means continuing Windows development is a thing Microsoft would prefer not to be doing. Instead, they’d do better putting more capital investment into Azure – which is widely rumored to be running more Linux instances than Windows these days.

At a loss. Say former insiders. There’s even a formal complaint filed with the SEC.

We’ll soon be able to publish some Microsoft leaks.

Our third ingredient is Proton. Proton is the emulation layer that allows Windows games distributed on Steam to run over Linux. It’s not perfect yet, but it’s getting close. I myself use it to play World of Warships on the Great Beast.

Nothing new. WINE has long been able to make this DRM mess run (more or less), not that it’s a favourable thing for GNU/Linux or software freedom.

The thing about games is that they are the most demanding possible stress test for a Windows emulation layer, much more so than business software. We may already be at the point where Proton-like technology is entirely good enough to run Windows business software over Linux. If not, we will be soon.

Computers get more powerful over time and old computers are discarded. The performance aspects don’t matter today (like emulation layers’ penalties or compatibility layer in WINE’s case) like they did 10 or 15 years ago. The translation toll is lessened relative to other parts of the rendering pipeline. Also, graphics cards with their drivers for Linux are rapidly improving (workloads on GPUs) and they offload all that stuff onto proprietary silicon chips. Not an ‘OS thing’…

So, you’re a Microsoft corporate strategist. What’s the profit-maximizing path forward given all these factors?

Patent blackmail. An hour ago MinceR recalled that “manufacturers already bundle a ton of Microsoft crap with their android devices…”

I told him that this is “as part of patent settlements,” recalling that as recently as last year Microsoft still sued a large OEM/manufacturer (Foxconn) over patents in relation to ChromeOS and Android (Linux). “Microsoft blackmails them into bundling,” I reminded him, “because they’re still a bunch of gangsters and if you say this, you’re racist, as Ballmer is out…”

He agreed.

How many billions of dollars per year does Microsoft make by blackmailing companies using ridiculous software patents, or settling with them by means of Microsoft bundling (and/or other business favours)?

It’s this: Microsoft Windows becomes a Proton-like emulation layer over a Linux kernel, with the layer getting thinner over time as more of the support lands in the mainline kernel sources. The economic motive is that Microsoft sheds an ever-larger fraction of its development costs as less and less has to be done in-house.

The simple reality is, Windows is becoming obsolete as more people now use Android (than Windows). But that does not mean that WSL/2 somehow becomes a basis for Windows itself. It’s just a failed experiment. Nobody uses WSL2. Almost nobody (about 150,000 people worldwide last we checked). Remember that WSL is not Linux and it doesn’t even have Linux in it. It’s Windows.

If you think this is fantasy, think again. The best evidence that it’s already the plan is that Microsoft has already ported Edge to run under Linux. There is only one way that makes any sense, and that is as a trial run for freeing the rest of the Windows utility suite from depending on any emulation layer.

Once again he goes back to this Microsoft “ported Edge to run under Linux…”

No, Edge was thrown out (except as a brand) and Microsoft took a codebase that already supported GNU/Linux.

Not much done there. ESR perpetuates Microsoft propaganda here. Or PR ploys/stunts.

“If you think this is fantasy, think again,” ESR said. XRevan86 responded with: “*thinks* nope, still pure fantasy…”

Similar to the one SJVN was spreading in the Microsoft propaganda site, ZDNet.

“What the hay is he smoking,” XRevan86 added.

MinceR thinks “he failed to recognize what happened to Linux, which is extra weird because I thought he’d at least notice the CoC issue…”

“So now Microsoft will have two consumer-oriented projects for GNU/Linux: Edge and Skype (client), both are based on Google’s cross-platform code,” XRevan86 said. “Big flipping deal.”

“You missed Teams,” oiaohm wrote. XRevan86 agreed and MinceR said it “doesn’t work properly anywhere…” (they’re mostly rebranding and pretending to ‘add’ GNU/Linux support — for the illusion of ‘growth’ or ‘market share’).

So, the end state this all points at is: New Windows is mostly a Linux kernel, there’s an old-Windows emulation over it, but Edge and the rest of the Windows user-land utilities don’t use the emulation. The emulation layer is there for games and other legacy third-party software.

Pure nonsense. WSL/2 isn’t at the core of Windows. It’s just some toy added on the side — a ‘side dish’ like Cygwin.

Economic pressure will be on Microsoft to deprecate the emulation layer. Partly because it’s entirely a cost center. Partly because they want to reduce the complexity cost of running Azure. Every increment of Windows/Linux convergence helps with that – reduces administration and the expected volume of support traffic.

Azure is a failure. We need to stop helping Microsoft’s propaganda. They keep googlebombing “Linux”, so perhaps some people are led to absorb lies. Even people who should know better.

Eventually, Microsoft announces upcoming end-of-life on the Windows emulation. The OS itself , and its userland tools, has for some time already been Linux underneath a carefully preserved old-Windows UI. Third-party software providers stop shipping Windows binaries in favor of ELF binaries with a pure Linux API…

No, they can just target proper GNU/Linux instead. Many already do.

…and Linux finally wins the desktop wars, not by displacing Windows but by co-opting it. Perhaps this is always how it had to be.

You got it the other way around, ESR. Who is co-opting who?

Ariadne said, “I do believe Microsoft are shopping for a new kernel [...] that much seems plausible [as] you have to keep in mind that Linux provides, even for Microsoft, lower capex and opex [...] than redesigning NT to scale properly to these hundreds of cores systems being sold today…”

Just because Microsoft can take advantage of the Linux kernel doesn’t mean that GNU/Linux somehow ‘wins’; unless we’re led to think that the Free software movement boils down to some kernel made in 1991 (8 years after the GNU Project) and running Office/Skype on Windows is “winning”…

Faking ‘Progress’ to Distract From True Justice or From a Full, Meaningful Reform

Posted in Deception, Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 2:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Days ago: We Let Them Get Away With Murder, But They Make up for It by Banning Words

Yanis Varoufakis explains corporations- and oligarchs-led ‘progress’, which sometimes boils down to mere slogans and symbolism, not substantial and meaningful reform/s. We’ve set aside parts that are less crucial to focus on what he says about symbolic change versus real change (like the cull of allegedly 'offensive' words whilst ignoring Microsoft's work with ICE and endless bombing campaigns that kill many civilians, usually "people of colour").

Summary: Activism for truly meaningful change doesn’t stop at superficialities and cosmetic changes (which merely give a false sense/impression of accomplishment, resulting in inaction); we need to regularly consider how to dismantle injustice, not based on the criteria set by oligarchs-owned media, rallying gullible mobs to appease only big egos

TIMES are increasingly tough and very much rough (as they have been for about half a year in most places). Coronavirus is eating away, devouring the economy. Many people unemployed or barely employed, children stranded at home shortly after schools reopen (where lock-downs are being reinstated — that’s more countries over time). Discontent is everywhere, sometimes resulting in riots and manifesting domestic violence.

“Where was the mass media (corporate/mainstream media) when trillions of dollars were passed mostly to rich shareholders of companies (rather than those in dire need of money)?”There are societal, economic and structural issues. With more and more people at risk of losing the roof over their head or quite literally starving (some families are going hungry already) the threshold for tolerating the status quo is reached and exceeded. There’s no sign of an imminent solution to all (or any) of this. A lot of people demand change, ranging from better access to health/food… to nutty ideas like “herd immunity” (whose advocates barely understand what it involves). Of course the virus (COVID-19 and maybe — seeing that it’s a moving target — some time soon COVID-20 or -21 etc. because it keeps mutating) won’t stop attacking, even attacking the same people over and over again, until they’re dead or until there’s mass vaccination (or until the virus is eradicated by quarantine, but it seems too late for that).

A sculptureSocial justice is fine. Public health is very important. Good conduct is necessary. But at the moment we’re seeing all sorts of misguided ‘movements’, whose underlying goals and motives overlook the much greater problems or misinterpret (distort, misframe, oversimplify) existing problems. Some years ago at Penn, Richard Stallman was confronted by an animal rights activist (video here) and he explained to her that there were many problems in the world and he needed to focus on particular ones he was better equipped to tackle (as a software developer). Activism is very important, but one’s goal should depend on one’s capacity and area of knowledge. It is totally understandable. Environmental preservation, for instance, is often led by biologists, veterinarians, nutritionists (looking to prevent mass extinction of species at risk) and so on. We support them financially, knowing that they understand how to accomplish their goals. To give another example, race struggle or the fight for racial equality is typically fought by the victims. When people who are themselves privileged and entitled lead this battle it understandably lead to suspicion. Can a white millionaire from Connecticut speak ‘on behalf’ of black people? Can a spoiled brat from Washington, who never in his entire lifetime experienced being anything less than super-rich (since birth), speak ‘for’ the starving children of Africa?

“If one convinces oneself that changing names of things is a high-priority goal, one aims very, very low.”As an activist myself (since my late teenage years), I more or less understand the need to focus on areas more familiar/comfortable to myself. Otherwise, there’s risk that the wrong solutions will be sought, based on the wrong assumptions and a deep misunderstanding of root causes.

Over the past few years we’ve seen more and more hypocrites, exploited/leveraged as ‘useful idiots’ by corporations and oligarchs (also propped up by their media apparatuses), looking for “social justice” by misguided methods, including trolling and dethroning powerful people whom they perceive to be the root of all evil. In practice, what they mostly accomplish is a sort of “chilling effect” (censorious society) by ‘making an example’ of high-profile people. Are we better off for this? Are hungry families better fed now? Are opportunities opening up for misfortunate people on the verge of homelessness? Have race tensions been reduced or increased (suspicion among races is rarely helped by combative elements)?

Holding handsWhere was the mass media (corporate/mainstream media) when trillions of dollars were passed mostly to rich shareholders of companies (rather than those in dire need of money)? Or as soon as social security programs/safety nets were cut or completely gutted (when needed the most)? Why doesn’t the media write about civilian casualties of war each and every day? Because they’re not wealthy people and therefore they’re unworthy of sympathy and aren’t of general interest? Empathetic media would pay more attention to the grief of common people all around the world, not the ‘pains’ of a break-up experienced in Beverly Hill (probably by some Hollywood celebrity whose job is choreographed fiction).

“Microsoft keeps telling us that it “loves Linux”, so we’re asked to assume the “war is over” (stop resisting!) and “Open Source has won” (in practice, taken over).”Campaigning for justice necessitates constant or at least periodic assessment (introspection perhaps) of one’s goals and means. If one convinces oneself that changing names of things is a high-priority goal, one aims very, very low. That helps appease those who gain the most from the status quo. There don’t want to see any major change, so they’ll settle on small and symbolic compromises. We’re led to think that we’re accomplishing so much while in practice we accomplish so little. In the realm of technology, for instance, we’re meant to think that having the option to share data between Facebook and Google is “progress” and having “secure” Clown Computing (where the host can still access all the data or deny access to it) is a “win” for privacy. Microsoft keeps telling us that it “loves Linux”, so we’re asked to assume the “war is over” (stop resisting!) and “Open Source has won” (in practice, taken over).

Iraq war protestPeople who still (in 2020) think that co-existence with mass surveillance companies (an extension of regimes) is a step forward clearly underestimate the problem we’re in. This week, for example, PIA published Web sites shared over 100 trillion pieces of our personal data last year” (they do this to manipulate people, not to better serve them). If we refuse to take these issues seriously and instead celebrate a change of name (default Git branch), then congratulations! We’ve been collectively fooled and we’re doomed to lose all meaningful battles.

09.24.20

Linux Foundation: “Transformation Through Open Source” is Proprietary Software That Rejects Linux

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 4:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Foundation of Contradictions

LF report

Summary: The Linux Foundation, run by proprietary software companies that don’t really care about Linux, is still a lot more about openwashing (perception management techniques) than about “Open Source” or even Linux (which most of the Foundation rejects)

THE Linux Foundation works very well… for the few people who run it and bag/net massive salaries (without even using Linux!).

What does this foundation even stand for? Apparently nothing but words or lip service.

“So they keep telling us how Open Source is all awesome while consistently rejecting it themselves (rejecting both Linux and Free software).”Case of point?

This new report was published some hours ago and promoted in Linux.com (a spam site). Not too shockingly, for the third in a row (that I examine this closely enough), it’s a slap in the face of the messenger; those reports are always produced with proprietary software on a Mac, including statements such as: “They’re all dependent on open source software.”

So they keep telling us how Open Source is all awesome while consistently rejecting it themselves (rejecting both Linux and Free software).

LF report made on Mac

Linux Foundation report… a report made on… a Mac.

LF report made on Mac

Using software that does not even run on GNU/Linux. What is one to conclude?

“Linux Foundation report… a report made on… a Mac.”They are not improving, are they?

Are they even listening at all?

To make matters worse, they’ve added a sort of ‘paywall’ that requires something in exchange for reading/downloading this report. Now they’re harvesting E-mails (for marketing) and personal details from people who wish to read their reports. As noted earlier today in relation to Red Hat/IBM, those things tend to be misused.

Here’s the direct link to the report (to bypass their data harvesting).

At ZDNet, in 2020, “Linux” Means Microsoft and Windows

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 10:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Marketing site. We can easily see whose. Microsoft is the only brand in the top bar.

Linux at ZDNet

Summary: The incredible charade of ZDNet carries on; the site whose parent company went bust last December isn’t even trying to hide its true agenda

The Second Wave (of Free/Libre Software)

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 1:41 am by Guest Editorial Team

Looking from afar at the more distant future, we need to recognise newer perils (not fully foreseen when GNU’s manifesto was published 3.5 decades ago)

Wave and kids

Summary: Despite some major setbacks and new threats to digital freedom (autonomy is perhaps a more suitable term), progress is being made and activism must adapt to tackle newer trends

THE somewhat belated ascent of Free/Libre/Livre software is real. Many would say “we” have “won” the battle. Who is “we”? What does “winning” mean? Leave that aside; it’s all in the details. It’s both a technical and a philosophical inquiry…

“We ought not ask Microsoft for ‘permission’ and be spied on by Microsoft while developing and retrieving software.”GNU is everywhere, yet freedom is almost nowhere to be found ‘out there’ (clown computing means surveillance and oppression). Linux is by far the most widely used and deployed operating system kernel — so ubiquitous in small devices that there may already be tens of billions of “Linux computers” out there (about 10 times as much/many as Windows instances). Mission accomplished? Maybe. Depends whose…

The fight for software freedom will likely never end (and no, don’t think that a Microsoft bankruptcy or something similar means “the end”). No “fin” just because some certain Finn put his kernel in almost every computer, from large (HPC) to small/tiny (“edge” computing, increasingly a surveillance beacon of some sort).

Techrights is about software freedom, sure, but it’s also about human rights (e.g. privacy) and programmers’ rights, which means no software patents (these patents harm proprietary software development as much as Free software craftsmanship and distribution).

Wave at seaThe “Second Wave” nowadays commonly alludes to the return of a certain problem many have naively (ignorantly too strong a term?) chosen to dismiss as “revolved” or a “thing of the past”; it won’t be resolved until COVID-19 is eradicated, likely by mass vaccination. Vaccines can take 5-15 years to develop, test and make then make prevalent. If it’s fast-tracked, maybe 5 years. Maybe. Don’t fall for promises and hype from pharmaceutical giants and vaccine profiteers including but not limited to Bill Gates. It’s revealing when the corporate media treats this college drop-out like a vaccine expert; he’s meanwhile pushing his "war on cash" (India is his fertile ground for such experimentation, as he did with GMO and other vaccines — to the point where people died in his 'clinical/criminal trials'). At the moment we’re put on the highway towards something very grim; oligarchs have fast-tracked their “war on cash” (associating physical currency with “dirty” people and criminals*) and mass surveillance (as if people who don’t carry around with them a so-called ‘phone’ are a public health hazard).

This whole “Second Wave” thing — namely the implication for personal freedoms (not only software) — is a subject we hope to discuss with Richard Stallman some time soon. We also have some Microsoft leaks on the way.

Free software may have “won” (already) in some sense, but activism must carry on. Having lots of projects in proprietary Microsoft GitHub isn’t freedom but the opposite of that. We ought not ask Microsoft for ‘permission’ and be spied on by Microsoft while developing and retrieving software.

“Copying all or parts of a program is as natural to a programmer as breathing, and as productive. It ought to be as free.”

Richard Stallman

_____
* Lately there has been a British media-led smear campaign against people who insist on paying with cash, associating them with theft, COVID denial, and various conspiracy theories. It has gotten rather bad during summer. The stigma is a growing problem.

Exploring the Relationship Between Red Hat and Microsoft: They’re Barely Even Rivals Anymore

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat at 12:13 am by Guest Editorial Team

We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger. ~Jim Allchin, Microsoft's Platform Group Vice President

Summary: The ‘older Microsoft’ (serial monopolist IBM) bought Red Hat, but evidence shows that one would be wrong to assume Red Hat really competes against Microsoft (any more than Novell did; there’s a strong relationship)

IT may seem painful to say this, but Red Hat does not quite act as a flag bearer to many GNU/Linux users these days. To many of us, with few exceptions, replacing Windows is the goal. Red Hat seems to be more interested in some kind of hegemony. It boils down to money, not principles.

“It boils down to money, not principles.”IBM never truly cared about replacing Windows since the OS/2 days; it’s just not in the market anymore. And for those who believe that Red Hat can be seen as a case apart, bear in mind they’re becoming inseparable quite rapidly. The most recent insider comment from TheLayoff Web site (spotted yesterday):

Screenshot: Red Hat theLayoff

One need not even look far back to see the strength of the relationship, which probably strengthened even further under IBM.

Nadella and Red Hat
Microsoft withdrew due to antitrust fears

In the clip below (2019), notice the gestures upon the entrance of Nadella (body language).

Red Hat Microsoft handshake

Shades of Novell and Hovsepian/Ballmer, right?

Red Hat Microsoft handshake closer

Then the handshakes and the sit-down with “Microsoft” on top of Jim’s head. Did they get the labels the wrong way around?

Red Hat Microsoft labels

Stay classy, Jim from Microsoft.

Here’s the full clip (locally stored):

We’ve been there before, sort of…

It’s about proprietary software. Where does Red Hat go?

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts