Summary: Forking of Linux is misleadingly reported in the media because of a couple of very loud people, who are not even quitting their jobs
THIS post is not a personal attack, so we shall refrain from naming names (no direct reference to individuals). This post isn’t about news either, just some rants that infiltrated so-called ‘news’ sites because drama ‘sells’.
It all started with the original rant  from one among many thousands of Linux developers (she didn’t even leave her employer, just changed projects to focus on). This was picked up by few sites the following day and became a topic of discussion in LWN , which is close to LKML (people/subscribers overlap). Linux media then picked it up [3-7], followed by the corporate media [8-12]. Some Microsoft boosters were all over it as this was a rare opportunity to characterise Linux as rude and condescending (as if this never happens in proprietary software, they just hide it better in their culture of infamous secrecy, no public mailing lists either).
This in itself was bad enough in the publicity sense and then a longtime vocal supporter of feminism added more fuel to the fire , causing some stir in Linux media , having done this against Intel before. Intel is the former person’s employer by the way; the company whom he decided to effectively boycott over chauvinism — a problem that the former person seems to not even want to address at all because that’s where her large salary comes from. Double standard much?
This outburst against Linux has nothing to do with women’s rights or manners. There is no threat of violence (as once alleged) and there is no language directly offensive to women (no more than it can be offensive to men). Some people have too thin a skin, especially where free speech is highly valued.
The latter person is a Microsoft apologist (based on his own words) and the fact that he technically supports UEFI (i.e. attacking computing freedom) is why Torvalds famously lashed out and used sexual connotations.
The latter person is provocative, confrontational (even against former employers like Canonical), and foul-mouthed (look how he behaves on sites like Twitter), so who is he to use ‘brutal’ culture as a pretext for forking Linux? Yes, large news sites now frame this as Linux being forked [15,16], as if this will ever truly fly. It’s just a cycle of provocation, resulting in little more than harmful publicity, e.g. stereotyping and reinforced stigma for Linux. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Today marks 24 years since Linux Torvalds released version 0.01 of the Linux kernel to the benefit of humanity. The day was marred by the resignation of Sarah Sharp saying, “I am no longer a part of the Linux kernel community” due to “blunt, rude, or brutal” communication. The Linux Foundation today announced a new video series titled World Without Linux that will highlight the vast ecosystem spawned from that original 10,239 lines of code.
A day after Sarah Sharp formally announced she’s stepping away from Linux kernel development due to the arguably toxic community, well known kernel developer Matthew Garrett announced he too is planning to cease his personal contributions to the upstream Linux kernel.
Just like Sarah Sharp, Linux developer Matthew Garrett has gotten fed up with the unprofessional development culture surrounding the kernel. “I remember having to deal with interminable arguments over the naming of an interface because Linus has an undying hatred of BSD securelevel, or having my name forever associated with the deepthroating of Microsoft because Linus couldn’t be bothered asking questions about the reasoning behind a design before trashing it,” Garrett writes. He has chosen to go his own way, and has forked the Linux kernel and added patches that implement a BSD-style securelevel interface. Over time it is expected to pick up some of the power management code that Garrett is working on, and we shall see where it goes from there.
Now, another Linux kernel developer has decided to move away from the project. Matthew Garrett has been in the news a lot this past year, but surprisingly, not for the Linux kernel. He’s been a constant critic of Canonical IP policy, and he has criticized the company more than once. In fact, he’s a rather well-known kernel developer, and he had his fair share of disputes with Linus Torvalds. Unlike Sarah, he made his reasons a lot more clear.
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Credit: unknown (Twitter)
Summary: Reports and patent applications serve to show that Microsoft not only tries to infiltrate (“embrace”) Android to put its apps there (“extend”) but ultimately to delete (“extinguish”) Android
MICROSOFT LOVES LINUX…
Like rabbits love snakes.
Microsoft is open…
Like a bear trap.
Microsoft is still trying to delete Android from Android phones, based on speculations such as this new one, citing a patent application from Microsoft, a company with financial troubles whose last remaining chance may be playing dirty, even blackmailing companies (using patents) into pre-installing Microsoft software. To quote the report:
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a seemingly strange partnership with Xiaomi for beta testing Windows 10 mobile. The company proved that it can easily install a Windows ROM on an Android device, suggesting in the future it might decide to compete against Google this way. Rather than launch new Windows hardware, Microsoft might one day provide just the software that would make possible installing Windows on any Android handset.
Titled User Selectable Operating Systems, a new patent application published a few days ago describes smartphones and tablets that would let users select what operating system to boot.
Microsoft’s technology would let phone makers preinstall multiple operating systems on a device in a compressed form, with the user able to select which operating system he or she would like to boot. For example, a phone could have Windows 10 and Android ROMs – though the patent doesn’t explicitly mention any of them – and users would be able to select which OS they prefer and perform a full install for one of them. There would also be the option of deleting the others.
Microsoft is also using patents against Android, still. CBS continues to spread the sanitised take from Microsoft’s Mouth on the latest example of Microsoft racketeering. Is nobody paying attention to what Microsoft does to Android these days, other than "embrace, extend, extinguish"? ASUS is just the latest victim among several (after Samsung, Kyocera, and Dell).
Microsoft hates Linux, Android, and Free software (especially copyrleft). It feels this way and it shows it every week. It takes a blind man’s wishful thinking to pretend otherwise. █
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The United Kingdom — and by extension Europe — now a platform of choice for some major patent trolls
Summary: Worst-case scenarios are becoming a reality as Android backers officially attacked by patent trolls using standard-essential patents in London, England
SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS across Europe hate software patents. Ask them. Seriously, just ask them. Programmers in general (with rare exceptions) don’t want software patents; they already have copyright law (or copyleft for Free software). It helps protect them and assert that their own work cannot be exploited/ripped off. That’s just the nature of software, which is a lot like poetry or musical compositions.
The Danish creator of Ruby on Rails (RoR), David Heinemeier Hansson, wrote the other day: “Software patents are a racket used by trolls/BigCos to shake down/stifle competition. If you file for patents, you’re arming the racketeers.”
“Programmers in general (with rare exceptions) don’t want software patents; they already have copyright law (or copyleft for Free software).”As we have shown here before, no software patents are “good”, hence there is no such thing as “bad patents” or “bad software patents” (a term often used by apologists of them, such as IBM). Patents in the hands of “good” companies are not secure either; they can be sold and fall into hostile hands. See Sun and Oracle for example (Sun patents are now being used against Linux/Android). See Novell’s patents, which fell into Microsoft’s hands through CPTN. There are many more examples like that.
“Software patents are a racket used by trolls/BigCos to shake down/stifle competition. If you file for patents, you’re arming the racketeers.”
–David Heinemeier HanssonRoR’s creator, a hugely popular developer (not just in Europe), said a couple of days ago: “Shame on Ericsson for arming a patent troll with a large stockpile of outdated yet weaponized patents for a cut” (he spoke about Unwired Planet).
For those who are not familiar with Ericsson and Unwired Planet, here is an article from 3 days ago. It makes everything quite easy to follow: “Unwired Planet Inc. has 16 employees and no products. What it does have is a portfolio of more than 2,000 patents, mostly acquired from Ericsson AB, which it says on its website are “considered foundational to mobile communications.” The Nevada-based firm wants more than just recognition.”
So a European company, Ericsson, is now the motor of patent trolls, much like Nokia after Microsoft took over. How did this happen? Well, we covered this over the past few years and we warned that this was going to happen, despite software not (officially) being patentable in Europe.
London is now serving as the venue for patent trolls, attracting the litigation ‘business’ just like Eastern Texas. Huge damages are at stake and the target is Free software, not some proprietary software, hence free distribution itself is being threatened. Believe it or not, this may have the same impact on Free software on phones in Europe as the FCC on Free software on routers/hubs in the US. The Ericsson-backed troll is now attacking Android (Free software and Linux-powered). Making it impossible to dodge the lawsuit, we are dealing with standard-essential patents (SEP) here, meaning that in order to conform with standards one must infringe. The patents boosters say that Huawei, Google and Samsung are the target of the lawsuit. To quote: “Tomorrow Unwired Planet is scheduled to begin a series of face-offs against Huawei, Samsung and Google at the Patents Court in London. At issue are alleged infringements of five standard essential patents (SEPs) owned by the NPE that were transferred to it as the result of a deal done with Ericsson back in 2013.
“London is now serving as the venue for patent trolls, attracting the litigation ‘business’ just like Eastern Texas.”“Over on the ARS Technica website, Joe Mullin talks about coming to a UK court being “a high-cost, high-risk scenario that’s unappealing to trolls”. He’s right. And that’s why trolls – whose business model is based on asserting poor-quality patents to leverage the high cost of US patent litigation to extract relatively low-cost, pre-trial, licensing-based settlements from alleged infringers – would never take a case as far as a courtroom in the UK (or anywhere else for that matter).
“Unwired Planet, though, is not a troll. It is a patent licensing business looking to secure a global agreement from entities it believes are infringing high-quality SEPs. It may not like trials (who does?), but it is not afraid of them because it feels it has a good chance of winning and is willing to pay to find out if it is right, especially as the ultimate prize is potentially a collection of eight or even nine figure global licensing deals. Seen in such a light, its choice of the Patents Court in London makes a fair bit of sense.”
The proponents of software patents, people such as IAM's biased (for their own financial gain) writers, helped patent trolls come to Europe. IAM said that “Unwired Planet patent suit in London against Huawei, Google & Samsung again shows Europe is now NPE venue of choice”. Patent Buddy, a more moderate voice, noted the importance of this: “Unwired Planet Will Fight SEP Suit Against Huawei, Google and Samsung in London, Not a US Court” (where this typically takes place).
It’s easy to see what patent lawyers find desirable here. They can make money from the legal aftermath and the proceedings themselves, irrespective of the outcome (who wins). Now that there are some software patents in Europe, authorised by the corrupt EPO, large companies are using loopholes and cheats to get more of them and then sue. As Patently German clarified the other day, “the German court essentially follows the EPO, the language even being a bit more generous” (but it’s the EPO that led to it, even back in Brimelow’s days).
“It’s easy to see what patent lawyers find desirable here. They can make money from the legal aftermath and the proceedings themselves, irrespective of the outcome (who wins).”Germany’s exceptional lenience on software patents granting was mentioned here this morning and it is likely to be a topic we will revisit in the near future. Jonas Bosson (FFII Sweden) wrote that “#TPPA is “all fields of technology” a trick force patents on abstract matters, such as math and data processing? http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Trans-Pacific_Partnership_Agreement …”
These terrible ‘treaties’ play a growing role in corporate takeover of Europe and based on this latest update, “The UK has joined the Unified Patent Court (UPC) protocol agreement, representing a ‘milestone’ for the country.”
Yes, a ‘milestone’ for corporations taking over the country and most of the continent it’s technically a part of.
The FFII’s President expressed his concerns earlier today by stating: “FSF, despite its 30 years, still spending too few of its resources on fighting software patents and the unitary patent court #FSF30″
Australia Dubs It “Innovation Patent System”
This whole software patents and ‘treaties’ chaos (laws rewritten in bulk) is becoming a growing problem not just in Europe but also in Australia, where activists like Sturmfels (mentioned before in [1, 2, 3]) oppose a push for software patents. The patent maximalists ridicule the likes of him with insulting weasel phrases and belittling words. To quote a new blog post titled “‘Free Software’ Advocates Aside, Submissions to IP Australia Overwhelmingly Support Innovation Patent System”:
Needless to say, such comments lack anything resembling either evidence or detailed reasoning. They also fail to address the fact that abolition of innovation patents would affect all industries, and not just the ‘software industry’ (whatever that may be), including those represented by other submissions in support of innovation patents. In any event, these near-identical submissions are so clearly the result of an orchestrated campaign that they can hardly be regarded as constituting independent contributions to the consultation process. Furthermore, they are at odds with the submission made by BSA | The Software Alliance as noted above.
Other parties making submissions in favour of abolition of the innovation system include Melbourne-based free-software advocate Ben Sturmfels, on behalf of a group of nine like-minded individuals, and Open Source Industry Australia Ltd, which argues that ‘abolition of the innovation patent system will be an important first step towards delivering a more efficient, effective and equitable patent regime for Australia’.
Even Microsoft front groups like the Business Software Alliance (BSA) play a role in the lobbying. To quote:
“BSA | The Software Alliance, which represents the global commercial software industry (counting among its members Adobe, Altium, ANSYS, Apple, ARM, Autodesk, AVEVA, Bentley Systems, CA Technologies, Cisco, CNC/Mastercam, DataStax, Dell, Intel, Intuit, Minitab, Oracle, PTC, salesforce.com, Siemens PLM Software, Symantec, Tekla, The MathWorks, and Trend Micro), and which argues that the innovation patent system should be retained, and improved in line with a number of the recommendations in ACIP’s original report”
The above are all proprietary software giants, hardly small businesses. It’s clear whose interests are served by monopolies on algorithms.
IAM Not Speaking for India
IAM is meanwhile returning to the situation in India, claiming that India’s small businesses want software patents (citing this article which doesn’t really focus on patents) and saying in Twitter: “Limited scope of patent protection, rather than cost, is what is driving high-tech Indian SMEs out of the country” (total nonsense).
“Microsoft reportedly lobbies regarding the UPC in Europe, despite being a foreign company with no personal affection for Europe.”The patent lawyers (like the people who operate IAM) want patent trolls and large corporations that hire them to just carry on with patent chaos because patent lawyers profit from it. This is true not only in Europe but also in the US. Watch how IBM is lobbying for software patents in just about every country, India included. The same goes for Microsoft and other patent aggressors. Microsoft reportedly lobbies regarding the UPC in Europe, despite being a foreign company with no personal affection for Europe. Microsoft is not a person. It is also treated like a V.I.P. by the increasingly corruptible (up for sale to corporations) EPO. █
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Summary: The abusive monopolist is trying very hard to hide its growing difficulties, especially in an effort to bamboozle non-technical shareholders who cannot understand how Linux has essentially taken over
Microsoft is cooking the books (see our reports about Microsoft’s financial manipulations and abuses) and is changing the way it reports financial results to its investors yet again, making year-to-year (or quarter-to-quarter) analyses virtually impossible. Well, after reporting billions in losses in the last quarter one can understand the effort to dodge bad publicity for the second time in a row. The company has just been downgraded by Citigroup.
“As Microsoft continues to fall into the abyss expect it to try to drag the competition down too.”Android and Linux are selling a lot more than Windows, or put another way, newly-sold devices running Linux easily outnumber devices running Windows. Microsoft, which is nowhere outside of the aging x86/Wintel empire, was hoping to disrupt ARM but failed miserably (its products got cancelled). ARM is where Free software tends to thrive (it’s a Linux turf), but Microsoft pretends people need it to certify ARM with Microsoft. What a bizarre infiltration and an effort to enter the “IoT” hype (billions of devices) from the back door…
Speaking of infiltrations, Mesos and Microsoft get even closer right now [1, 2, 3]. Readers may recall that Microsoft is likely to take over Mesos/Mesosphere, based on recent reports. It’s about proprietary software, but it’s being falsely advertised as “open” (openwashing).
As Microsoft continues to fall into the abyss expect it to try to drag the competition down too. It means that Linux in particular ought to watch out. Microsoft is not an ally, not even an ally of convenience. █
“I’m not one of those who think Bill Gates is the devil. I simply suspect that if Microsoft ever met up with the devil, it wouldn’t need an interpreter.”
–InfoWorld Editor Nicholas Petreley
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Credit: unknown (Twitter)
Summary: A roundup of news illustrating that Microsoft is still very much in a total war against Android, (mis)using federal regulators and even software patents to get its way
MICROSOFT’S attacks on Linux never stopped. Anyone thinking otherwise must not have paid attention. To make matters worse, Microsoft is manipulating the media into pretending that “Microsoft loves Linux” and that there is “peace”. In this post we are going to share some stories of interest to assure readers that nothing has changed except Microsoft’s rhetoric and some of the attacks have become more discreet.
“The FTC is wrong about antitrust fears over Android,” writes Microsoft's booster Bill Snyder in IDG, summarising it as follows: “Microsoft can’t develop a successful mobile operating system, so it’s making a crybaby case against Google”
If Android (Free software) is an antitrust violation, what does that make proprietary software? Microsoft and its proxies, as we have shown over the years, were behind these complaints. Remember that back in the SCO days, i.e. around 2003-2005, the Microsoft minions (and few others) tried to frame the GPL itself as anti-competitive. They failed, but it took time and cost money. One of the first questions that the FTC must tackle here is, who is behind the complaints? They may find that it’s little more than a Turf War. (Mis)Using Feds as pawns in the battle (a Turf War), as in using the government to derail one’s competition (even Free software), should be a crime. It is a waste of resources. When the media claims that Microsoft and Google now have “peace” (on patents) be sure to reminder the reporters of what Microsoft has done to cause Google (and Android) antitrust trouble. It is very well documented and we wrote over a dozen articles touching on this subject alone.
“Tell Mary Jo Foley that this is not a “deal” but an extortion.”As we noted the other day (and many people read this article, some news sites even linked to our analysis), Microsoft under Nadella is no different from Microsoft under Ballmer, at least when it comes to patents. The monopolist, under Nadella specifically, has already attacked Samsung, Kyocera, and Dell (over Linux/Android). Where is the love? Does Microsoft have patent peace with Android now? No, of course not. There is no peace even with Google, there is just a settlement in the Motorola case. Microsoft is leaving Motorola aside and is just attacking the OEMs instead, continuing with this latest assault on ASUS. Microsoft is still blackmailing companies, using patents, into bundling Microsoft spyware with non-standards (lock-in). This is extortion. Tell Mary Jo Foley that this is not a “deal” but an extortion. Tell this to others who believed that we have a ‘peace’ for our time after Google and Microsoft reached one settlement (regarding Motorola).
Android is being infiltrated by Microsoft now. It wouldn’t have worked without patent extortion. As Microsoft’s Mouth (Mary Jo Foley) put it: “As nearly two-dozen Android, Chrome OS and Linux vendors are doing, ASUS seemingly is licensing Microsoft’s patents to cover anything that is in those operating systems which potentially infringes on Microsoft’s intellectual property.
“But ASUS also is agreeing, as part of the deal announced today, to pre-install unspecified Microsoft “productivity services” on Android smartphones and tablets. When I asked, a Microsoft spokesperson said the services included the Microsoft Office suite.”
“Patents are being used for leverage.”So Microsoft is embracing and taking over Android inside ASUS. Remember the ASUS EEE? It used to run GNU/Linux before Microsoft intervened. Microsoft calls it EEE, which also stands for “embrace, extend, extinguish” — Microsoft's currently principal strategy against Android. Mark Hachman chose the headline “Microsoft strikes a deal with Asus: We won’t sue if you put Office on your Android devices” (we fought for years against it, starting with the Microsoft/Novell deal). Untimately what we are seeing it is a strategy that first became publicly known after Microsoft had done this to Samsung (earlier this year). Threatening to sue companies if they don’t serve Microsoft’s agenda is not a new strategy even when it comes to GNU/Linux as a whole, Android set aside. See the Microsoft/Novell deal (2006). Patents are being used for leverage.
The media has hardly covered this scandal. Reuters is busy writing about the Microsoft/Google settlement and Microsoft propagandists are everywhere to be seen. Why does ECT, for example, keep quoting its occasional writer Rob Enderle as an ‘expert’ regarding Microsoft, which paid him for Linux FUD? It’s gross. ETC talks about “Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.” It’s a one-man group and he gets paid by ECT and Microsoft. Why is he approached for his views on Android and Google? Do they think the readers are this dumb? Here is some promotional Microsoft messaging found therein: “There’s strong, scientifically verifiable evidence indicating Microsoft’s move to join the rest of the tech world in open source and collaboration was propelled by a compelling force: the Nadella effect. While tech analysts and reporters had fun with CEO Satya Nadella’s odd “cloud first, mobile first” mantra last summer, his much less concise — yet more encouraging — message has been one of collaboration, and meeting consumers on their terms. For example, Microsoft pushed Office 365 to all major platforms.”
ECT quoted Enderle not just once but at least twice last week, in both cases regarding Linux matters, e.g. in this article titled “Microsoft Pushes Deeper Into Linux, Containers, IoT”. In it, ECT asks Hilwa, who used to work for Microsoft, about Microsoft and Linux (no disclosure in the article about his Microsoft background). Rob Enderle, who also worked for ECT and is notoriously close to Microsoft, is simply described by ECT as “Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.”
“Rob Enderle, who also worked for ECT and is notoriously close to Microsoft, is simply described by ECT as “Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.””What a sham. Richard Adhikari basically interviews Microsoft moles regarding Linux when he’s not busy writing his lots of anti-Android articles (usually regarding security). Al Hilwa and Rob Enderle being his “sources” tells us a lot more about him, perhaps his agenda too. Well, to be fair and to give him the benefit of the doubt here, quite often when it comes to so-called ‘analysts’, everywhere you look it’s proprietary software (e.g. Microsoft) and its minions. Even Dana Blankenhorn, who used to cover Open Source for ZDNet (sometimes being an apologist for Microsoft), has just said in the financial press that “Microsoft has stopped fighting with open source” .
Well, that is complete and utter nonsense. It didn’t stop, Microsoft still does all sorts of things to both Linux and Android. Other financial press says that Microsoft “has finally succumbed to the free OS Linux” because Microsoft copies Linux code, raising all sorts of GPL-related questions and potential issues [1, 2].
the bottom line is, don’t believe for even a second that Microsoft is some gentle aging giant. It’s a vicious abusive monopolist, as its actions against Android (in particular Android because of the platform’s market share) continue to demonstrate. █
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Summary: A big story about the EPO and Microsoft working in a sort of collusion-type setup so as to serve Microsoft’s patent agenda, which involves aggression, even against European software that is Free (as in freedom)
AS ANYONE who has read this blog for a while ought to know (even based on yesterday's post, which is very hot in Reddit right now), Microsoft viciously attacks its competition — including Free/libre software such as GNU/Linux — using software patents, even in Europe (recall the Dutch company TomTom for instance) where software patents are in principle not legal. Now we know why the EPO lets that be. It very much affects Free software and Linux, which Techrights is principally about. It also helps show how Microsoft’s dirty tricks continue, carrying on behind closed doors; Microsoft — like the EPO — thinks it is above the law.
Days ago we learned about Microsoft’s ‘special’ relationship with the EPO under Battistelli’s lead. We kept quiet about it because the security of our sources is paramount. It reminded us of Microsoft’s ‘special’ relationship with Sarkozy et al. Well, now that it’s out (Merpel posted fragments from it at 4AM this morning), we are ready to show what several sources have independently leaked to us. Comparing the material from different sources helps verify authenticity. It is largely (but not only) based on the latest SUEPO publication. There is an article about the investigation of Control Risks in there, but we’ll leave that for another article as it deals with a separate subject.
As we noted last week and also yesterday (noting that Microsoft had begun lobbying regarding the UPC, trying to shape European law despite being a US company), there is serious corruption here and it helps remind everyone in Europe who the EPO really serves. It’s all about multinational/foreign giants, not European companies (let alone European people). The EPO is grossly discriminating against small companies. It’s truly an abomination. Corruption seems to be rampant across Europe — contrary to common belief outside the EU.
Rather than bore readers with repetition of arguments and a story, we are going to highlight parts of the article from Merpel and remind readers that Microsoft exploits software patents to launch legal battles against Linux and Free software-friendly companies, despite software patents being illegal in Europe.
From the first part of Merpel’s article:
EPO queue jumping part 1 – Don’t be an SME”
“Here’s an interesting thought experiment about how patent offices should operate. Two patent applications are pending at the European Patent Office (EPO). Imagine that one was filed several years ago by Microsoft, and the other was filed at the same time by (say) an Italian SME which files “only” 10 patent applications per annum.”
“However, this pilot programme seems different, both in terms of purpose and in terms of execution. There is something imbalanced in having high-ranking EPO officials make a pilgrimage to the premises of large applicants “to ensure that we do not lose workload market share”. There is an element of bending the knee involved that makes Merpel uncomfortable.”
“The implications of this are astounding. Smaller applicants are being discriminated against because they don’t have the clout of threatening to pull their business from the EPO. But if you’re a major contributor to the EPO’s coffers, your cases will get priority at the expense of smaller applicants.
“Merpel hopes this is all untrue, but it has the “stranger than fiction” quality that is characteristic of many EPO stories that have proved accurate. Anyone who knows more and who can comply with the normal rules of comment etiquette, please do tell!”
Here are the relevant original bits:
Changing priorities in DG1 Earlier this year the Office issued two internal memos entitled “Closer Contacts with Major Applicants”. The reason given was to
“foster a better esprit de service, not least to ensure that we do not lose workload market share to other major Offices”.
We cite further:
“The ICT cluster has had close contact with both Canon and Microsoft recently and their experience prompted this pilot… The pilot started on 1.4 for ten major applicants…. For the 10 applicants, there will be one DG1 director in direct contact with one person in the company… The idea is that the DG1 director will be in regular contact … with his counterpart from the applicant and that at least once in the pilot year there will be a high level visit (PD, directors, DG2 and DG5 representatives where necessary) to the company.”
One of the early off-shoots was that directors and examiners were gently reminded that the Office had entered in a closer cooperation project with Microsoft, so could the examiners please take care of a list of [overdue] Microsoft files for which the deadline [for the examiner to issue a communication] had expired? We obviously have no problems with reminders to examiners to prioritise files that are overdue. But such reminders should cover all files that are similarly overdue, not just those of a specific applicant.
Merpel did a fine job explaining what’s wrong with the above and went on to commenting on the EPO's corruption of French media, publishing part two just 3 minutes later (at 4AM her time). To quote the outset: “Part 1 of this guide to getting your application examined earlier started with a thought experiment: should a multinational’s application get examiner more quickly than an SMEs. The answer is no, but the EPO may be subtly reminding examiners to prioritise such files nonetheless at the expense of smaller applicants. Now for an even easier thought experiment. You can do this one with your eyes closed, which of course is the recommended approach for all thought experiments anyway. Two applicants (Señor Lopez from Barcelona and Monsieur Durand from Marseille) file their patent applications at the EPO on the same day. Both applications are in the same technical area. Also, both are first filings for which the EPO is committed to providing a search report and written opinion at an early stage.”
We recommend Merpel’s original article about this. As always, with the pseudo-anonymity offered by Google’s Blogspot (in the NSA PRISM programme, which isn’t too far from Control Risks staff), there are also many comments there, sometimes from EPO staff.
IP Kat beat Techrights to it regarding this scandal not just due to lack of time (we have returned from vacation) but because we are careful not to compromise sources. IP Kat thankfully reported this corruption before we did, so if anyone gets caught, it won’t be our fault. We thought twice before publishing anything at all about this. If any of our readers can share information of value with us, please ensure anonymity (a lot more important than encryption in this case), then message
firstname.lastname@example.org. Provided the information does not put anyone at risk, we promise to give it the attention it deserves. █
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What the media wants us to believe it can make many actually believe, by sheer force of repetition
Summary: Despite Microsoft’s continued assault on Linux and on Android (using software patents, which it still discreetly lobbies for), some figures in the media are perpetually peddling the Microsoft-serving lie that ‘Microsoft loves Linux’
THE land of the insane would have us believe that free thinkers are the enemy and indoctrinated peons are model citizens. The corporate media would have us believe that Microsoft, which attacks Linux, actually “loves Linux” (because Microsoft’s CEO said so). We very much doubt that our existing readers believe the nonsense from Microsoft, but just in case, here is a refutation of some of the latest media propaganda. Microsoft is not the only one attacking Linux with software patents; its own patent trolls do too, so it’s not always so visible on the surface.
Let’s start with this new report about Intellectual Ventures. Remember who created and runs Intellectual Ventures.
“A shell company with a patent linked to Intellectual Ventures,” explains a trolls expert, “the world’s biggest patent-holding company, has quietly filed a new lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas against a vast range of computer peripheral makers and sellers.”
They are specifically trying to tax all USB hubs, which run BSD or Linux (usually Linux). Earlier this year we showed that Intellectual Ventures was also attacking Android, which uses Linux and parts of GNU. We wrote several articles about it. Again, remember who created and runs Intellectual Ventures. Remember who subsidises this.
“Remember who created and runs Intellectual Ventures.”Several months ago we reminded readers that there was no "new Microsoft" because despite the change of CEO the company was still extorting Linux using patents (it was Kyocera at the time, not the first under Nadella's lead).
“It turns out that Microsoft’s newly found love for Linux, under the leadership of Satya Nadella, is more than infatuation.”
–Swapnil BhartiyaSwapnil Bhartiya, who is of Indian descent, proudly shows two CEOs who are also of Indian descent, in an effort to paint Google and Microsoft as making peace (the misleading headline, maybe chosen by the IDG-appointed editor, says “Microsoft ends patent disputes with Google”). Swapnil is wrong though and he is not alone (LXer’s very top news item at this moment says “Google, Microsoft kiss and make up in patent fight truce”, linking to The Register). He seems to have been successfully brainwashed based on his recent articles, e.g. . Microsoft is still suing Android (and by extension Google) using patents. Microsoft is doing this from many different fronts, its private patent trolls included. There is no peace here or even an end to the disputes. It’s just about the Motorola case (predating Google’s takeover of parts of Motorola). This whole Google-Microsoft news is about the Motorola case, but some try to frame it as something that it’s not (they hardly even mention Motorola). Microsoft is clearly still attacking Linux (including ChromeOS and Android) and patents are its weapon.
To quote the erroneous opening paragraph of Swapnil (not the editor’s): “It turns out that Microsoft’s newly found love for Linux, under the leadership of Satya Nadella, is more than infatuation.”
Complete nonsense. Swapnil must not have paid close enough attention to all the patent battles Microsoft waged and continues to wage, even under Nadella’s management and after the “Microsoft loves Linux” lie.
Microsoft still launches new patent assaults on Linux, via patent trolls. If that’s not enough, there are also direct attacks. As Microsoft’s Mouth, Mary Jo Foley, put it the other day, “Microsoft and peripheral and tablet maker I-O Data Device have renewed and extended their patent agreement to cover various I-O Data Linux and Android devices.”
These are Microsoft’s words, putting lipstick on a pig because we are dealing with racketeering here (see the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act).
Racketeering by Microsoft is described so gently by Microsoft social media accounts and this press release. Microsoft just loves Linux like the Mafia likes the people whom it extorts because they shell out money. Microsoft ‘loves’ Linux so much that it continues to extort it using patents, but some people are continuing to pretend there is a ‘new’ Microsoft that supposedly ‘loves’ Linux. It beggars belief.
Microsoft, a supporter and booster of patent trolls like MPEG-LA, has caused so much damage to GNU/Linux. Among the famous problems is the inability to play some media files, even in places where software patents are not valid at all. See this new article about an imminent reprieve:
MP3 Decoding Patent Is Expiring, Linux Distro Could Integrate It by Default
The MP3 decoding patent is one those things that seems pretty harmless and present in pretty much any device around us, but it’s actually something that generates tons of money per unit for Fraunhofer and Thompson. Linux distributions need to offer this feature and it means integrating a proprietary solution, although there is some hope now that the patent seems to have expired.
The problem here isn’t just Fraunhofer and Thompson but the cartels that encapsulate the patents — cartels that Apple and Microsoft support. According to some new reports, Microsoft wants tracking devices on people’s hands and then patents the terrible ‘idea’ (probably to be used to sue Android companies later, or demand money to settle out of court). Microsoft embraces “openness” and “choice” like superpowers (e.g. Red Army or US Army) embrace “freedom” and “democracy”. Microsoft calls it “embrace, extend, extinguish” and expects us to view Microsoft as an ally of convenience.
Cade Metz, a Microsoft and Bill Gates booster, seems to want people to forget that Microsoft is still attacking Linux using patents (see quote below in ). It was crossposted in other sites when a lot of sites, including Microsoft’s own sites, tried to paint Microsoft as ‘embracing’ Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. Even some Linux-centric writers fell for it ([2-3] below).
For those who wonder why we have been covering the EPO so heavily as of late, stay tuned. The corruption at the EPO nicely connects to Microsoft, as we shall show in the coming few days. The criminal gang known as Microsoft views itself as above the law, much like the EPO operates outside the rule of law and works closely with Microsoft behind the scenes. According to this tweet from last night, “Microsoft [...] will work together on UPC” and to quote the relevant bit from the article: “They will also lobby for specific rules on a unified patent system throughout Europe.”
Yes, Microsoft still lobbies for software patents in Europe and for US patent reign over Europe (corporations from outside Europe to ban/embargo products in Europe). It’s just that Microsoft is more discreet about it. The monopolist prefers to undemocratically write new laws, undetected by the public. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
After revealing Azure Cloud Switch, a Linux kernel-based operating system for developing software products for network devices, Microsoft just announced that they decided to choose Ubuntu for their first Linux-based Azure offering.
For years, Microsoft actively worked to suppress Linux, a computer operating system whose underlying code is freely available to the world at large. It once threatened legal action against businesses that used the open source OS, insisting that Linux infringed on patents underpinning its flagship Windows operating system.
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“Mission-critical” and “Windows” are not possible to mention in the same sentence
Summary: The terrible security (by design) of Microsoft Windows is causing all sorts of very serious and collectively expensive issues
NOW that Rianne and I are back from vacation (Manchester Airport is shown above) we are amused to see even Dan Goodin, a selective basher of Free software, covering this latest blunder from Microsoft (affecting Vista 7). Sosumi dropped this pointer last night in the
#techrights IRC channel and since then the word has been spreading rather quickly. Dan Goodin finally writes about the Microsoft Windows botnet (Windows Update, for a change) and Microsoft rushes to do ‘damage control’ by going after journalists. To quote Goodin:
“Microsoft said a highly suspicious Windows update that was delivered to customers around the world was the result of a test that wasn’t correctly implemented.
“We incorrectly published a test update and are in the process of removing it,” a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to Ars. The message included no other information.”
Yeah, whatever. It’s hard to refute something like that, but it may as well be a lie. It would be hard to prove what actually happened unless someone from the inside (like a whistleblower) got contacted. It’s all secretive and proprietary. Here is what the British media (Goodin’s former employer) wrote: “The Register poked Microsoft about the issue, and a spokesman told us: “We incorrectly published a test update and are in the process of removing it.”
“How that sort of thing happens, though, we’re not totally clear on. The bizarre update has certainly confused a load of Windows users, who hit the support forums in search of answers.
“Beginning with Windows 10, Microsoft has begun touting a new strategy of “Windows as a service,” where updates are continuous and automatic, and only enterprise customers are given the option of refusing them.”
When the Microsoft botnet (commandeered by the NSA and not just Microsoft, which grants the NSA access) goes awry we should all be reminded of the importance of software freedom. Windows Update, with automatic invocation in particular, is a truly terrible thing (even in Free software). Not only state-sanction spies but crackers too can exploit it, through back doors for example.
The monopolist knows that people are increasingly worried about all this remote control-like functionality. Microsoft Peter now comments  on mass surveillance (even on keystrokes) in Vista 10 after Microsoft admitted that mass surveillance is very much intentional, not a glitch. People inside Microsoft told me that it’s only getting worse (at development stages) and bound to get worse by the next release of Windows.
In other news, proprietary Windows and proprietary RAR now facilitate remote access by secret agencies (see this discussion). To quote Net Security: “A critical vulnerability has been found in the latest version of WinRAR, the popular file archiver and compressor utility for Windows, and can be exploited by remote attackers to compromise a machine on which the software is installed.”
The press hardly covered this. Instead it got obsessed with “XOR DDOS”. Weak passwords are to blame, not GNU/Linux, but all the headlines name “Linux”. There are finally some decent articles about it, not FUD from Microsoft boosters and insecurity firms (looking to sell their services).
Another bit of FUD came from The Inquirer last week (mentioned in our daily links). The Inquirer changed the headline after falsely accusing/blaming Linux, merely because the acronym XFS was mentioned (purely Windows in this case, not related to the Linux file system). Here are some articles about it [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14]. In short, lots of ATMs are being exploited not because of Linux but because they don’t use Linux. This is because of Windows. What kind of company STILL uses Windows in ATMs and banking in general? This is a platform of botnets and back doors, it’s simply unfit for purpose. Guess who pays the price for clueless technologists who put Windows in banks (which can receive bailout from taxpayers)? Just imagine where we would be if airplanes ran Windows… █
Related/contextual items from the news:
The second category is personalization data, the things Windows—and especially Cortana—knows regarding what your handwriting looks like, what your voice sounds like, which sports teams you follow, and so on. Nothing is changing here. Microsoft says that users are in control, but our own testing suggests that the situation is murkier. Even when set to use the most private settings, there is unexpected communication between Windows 10 and Microsoft. We continue to advocate settings that are both clearer and stricter in their effect.
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