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03.24.19

Jim Zemlin’s Linux Foundation Still Does Not Care About Linux Desktops

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 12:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Almost as though there’s an implicit agreement to leave that space to Microsoft

Zemlin loves Microsoft
Zemlin loves Microsoft
Zemlin loves Microsoft. Photo sources [1, 2].

Summary: We are saddened to see that the largest body associated with Linux (the kernel and more) is not really eager to see GNU/Linux success; it’s mostly concerned about its bottom line (about $100,000,000 per annum)

SEVERAL months ago I was persuaded by my wife to break the silence on the Linux Foundation (LF), seeing that they had sold out (it irritated even her, a full-time GNU/Linux user for over half a decade). The people who run the Linux Foundation do not themselves use GNU/Linux* and the Linux Foundation is hardly about Linux anymore. It hardly even defends Linux from patent attacks, such as those of Microsoft; to make matters worse, the Linux Foundation takes money from Microsoft (as it last did only weeks ago) and then praises Microsoft.

“…to make matters worse, the Linux Foundation takes money from Microsoft (as it last did only weeks ago) and then praises Microsoft.”I don’t want to name anyone (for privacy reasons), but various prominent people wrote to me regarding these articles. They agree. Some are relieved that someone is finally willing to air these matters and tackle them. So perhaps we shall persist.

One reader told us about the lack of support for actual advocates of GNU/Linux who spread GNU/Linux, e.g. on desktops. Ken Starks wrote about it nearly a decade ago, bemoaning Jim Zemlin’s lack of interest in “Linux desktop” (Zemlin actually told him that directly after he had been invited to an otherwise-exclusive conference). “I got the skinny on the Linux Foundation claims to “support” these orgs for ‘years’,” the reader noted. “It may be years,” the reader added, “haven’t confirmed that but get this: I actually volunteer for [a charity that brings GNU/Linux to children] and they need $ and volunteers. So I asked how LF “supports” them and got this answer: No, not financial just advertising in its network. As I understand. And with nice discounts in courses and certifications. Meanwhile, every volunteer goes on their own dime, and [name redacted] is eating table scraps to survive when he brought the content server – Internet in a box… which we should have paid. At least his foooooood!”

The reader took note of “Diversity Programs” from the Linux Foundation, potentially a cynical corporate attempt to appear ethical while not doing anything/much to these ends.

“I reached out to another 10 organizations the Linux Foundation “supports”,” the reader said.

Stay tuned. This is research in progress.

In the meantime we invite anyone with similar experiences to get in contact with us. We’ll protect people’s identities while doing the best we can to shed light on the LF’s underlying agenda, which seems to overlap the collective agenda of the LF’s sponsors rather than of GNU/Linux (many sponsors have nothing to do with Linux).
____
* There’s a tendency to focus on Zemlin’s use of Mac OS X [1, 2], but I know many of the colleagues use Microsoft Windows — arguably worse. “Apparently, Jim Zemlin isn’t who he says he is. I think he should be impeached,” one person argued a couple of years ago. “Essentially, he’s the Terry Colby (from Mr. Robot) of The Linux Foundation. He’s the head of a company that seems to know little about what they do. Remember, in order to become the best possible employee or user of something, you have to be using that product to fully understand it. Otherwise, you’ll be left behind when someone needs your help, or when it comes to truly understanding Linux.” Or as Christine Hall put it minutes ago, “I agree that Zemlin is a traitor to all the early adopters who made Linux what it is today. However, Zemlin has never uttered “the year of the Linux desktop.” He’s never supported desktop Linux at all.”

03.18.19

Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Continue Their Patent War, Including the War on Linux

Posted in Asia, Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 2:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There’s “truce” as long as Microsoft receives billions of dollars from its rivals for its “Linux patents”

A happy piranha

Summary: Microsoft is still preying on GNU/Linux using patents, notably software patents; it wants billions of dollars served on a silver platter in spite of claims that it reached a “truce” by joining the Open Invention Network and joining the LOT Network

THE parasites and predators are still at it. They’re exploiting software patents wrongly granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and they go after Microsoft’s rivals.

“Microsoft and Bill Gates are culpable as Intellectual Ventures effectively came from them and was bankrolled by them.”Days ago we saw the Intellectual Ventures-armed Dominion Harbor losing yet again. As it turned out, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) helped squash fake patents of this Microsoft-connected patent troll, owing to an inter partes review (IPR) which came from Unified Patents. In their own words (from Friday):

On March 13, 2019, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a final written decision in Unified Patents Inc. v. First Class Monitoring, LLC IPR2017-01932 invalidating claims 1-5, 7, 9, 10 and 16-22 of U.S. Patent 6,014,089 owned and asserted by First Class Monitoring, LLC, a Dominion Harbor subsidiary and a well-known NPE. The ’089 patent, directed to transmitting data via conventional SMS messages over a control channel of a personal communications system transmission protocol, has been asserted against various financial services companies such as Citigroup, Bank of America, USAA, JP Morgan, and PNC.

Microsoft’s patent troll Intellectual Ventures, as it turns out yet again, is still engaging in blackmail in Eastern Texas. Even directly (not the likes of Dominion Harbor). As per the media (also Friday):

A jury in a federal district court in Texas has awarded a patent firm $1.5 million in a dispute with an Old Republic International Corp. unit in a patent infringement case.

The Tyler, Texas, jury on Wednesday decided in favor of Bellevue, Washington-based Intellectual Ventures II LLC, which buys, licenses and develops patents, in its dispute with Old Republic unit Sioux City, Nebraska-based Great West Casualty Co. in Intellectual Ventures II LLC v. Great West Casualty Co.

According to the January 2015 complaint in the case, Great West infringed one of Intellectual Ventures’ patents in connection with its online services and other systems.

Microsoft and Bill Gates are culpable as Intellectual Ventures effectively came from them and was bankrolled by them. To whose benefit?

“It seems clear that Microsoft has not changed. It was all PR, just smoke and mirrors for the cameras.”The Eastern District of Texas is also leveraged yet again against Taiwanese companies. Also from Texas: “Taiwanese Manufacturer of Smartphones Subject to Personal Jurisdiction in Texas in Patent Infringement Case Because of its Allegedly Purposeful Efforts to Serve the US Market Even Though all US Distribution was Orchestrated Independently…”

We already noted the other day that Microsoft goes after another Taiwanese company and it’s about a deal they signed 6 years ago, involving patents Microsoft claims Android and Chrome OS (GNU/Linux) to have infringed. It is starting to seem rather clear that Microsoft joined OIN only after extorting the lion’s share of OEMs that ship Linux-powered products. If they stop paying, Microsoft will sue them. Some “truce”, eh? Here is what Bloomberg wrote about this Microsoft patent extortion as recently as yesterday:

A lot has changed at Microsoft Corp. in the five years since Satya Nadella took over as chief executive officer. But sometimes the past comes roaring back, this time in the form of a patent suit that has gotten nasty.

Microsoft last week sued Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. for failing to pay royalties on intellectual property owned by Microsoft as part of a 2013 deal. Microsoft says Hon Hai, which is also known as Foxconn Technology Group, owes it missed payments and interest. In its filing with a California court, Microsoft alleges that for the past three years, Hon Hai hasn’t submitted the royalty reports required by the 2013 agreement and has refused to submit to an independent audit, which the agreement stipulated in the event of a dispute.

Foxconn’s billionaire chairman Terry Gou earlier this week accused Microsoft of a personal attack on him and his company, terming it a “wrongful” attempt to extract royalties on Android mobile operating software. While Hon Hai is the party named in the lawsuit, Hon Hai only makes iOS devices, and it is Foxconn’s Hong Kong-listed unit FIH Mobile Ltd. that makes Android phones for Huawei Technologies Co., Xiaomi Corp. and other vendors, according to Gou and FIH CEO Calvin Chih.

The amount in question is not significant, according to a person familiar with the dispute who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public. But neither side wants to back down. Gou doesn’t want to pay and Microsoft wants to make a point that a deal is a deal.

So Satya Nadella is just another Steve Ballmer. His mask keeps falling off. There have been a lot more articles about this (we mentioned only a few of the earlier ones), including “Foxconn CEO: Microsoft’s real target is Huawei” (from the patent trolls’ lobby), “Foxconn lashes out at Microsoft over royalties” (Asian media), “Foxconn rejects Microsoft patent lawsuit” (British media) and “Foxconn rejected patent infringement lawsuit by Microsoft”. Here’s the side of the story which Western media does not like to tell, preceded by Microsoft’s usual nonsense:

Microsoft, in its statement, said that it had signed a contract with the Foxconn’s parent company Hon Hai in 2013 and the lawsuit is relevant to the audit and royalty reporting terms of that contract.

As Microsoft take serious approach towards fulfillment of its contractual obligations, so it also expects other companies to be following their contractual commitments seriously too; and Microsoft is working to resolve the disagreement with Hon Hai because of the importance of relationship with the company, Microsoft said in a statement.

Foxconn was previously operating as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, and got the global attention after starting assembling iPhones for Apple.

[...]

At the news conference Gou said that Software companies not to bully the manufacturers, and questioned in a Facebook post earlier on Tuesday, why they would not claim from software using vendors to pay for patent royalties.

This is about software patents and about Linux-based operating systems. It seems clear that Microsoft has not changed. It was all PR, just smoke and mirrors for the cameras.

03.14.19

The Linux Foundation Needs to Speak Out Against Microsoft’s Ongoing (Continued) Patent Shakedown of OEMs That Ship Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 10:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

An influence group, not a Linux advocacy group

Payment

Summary: Zemlin actively thanks Microsoft while taking Microsoft money; he meanwhile ignores how Microsoft viciously attacks Linux using patents, revealing the degree to which his foundation, the “Linux Foundation” (not about Linux anymore, better described as Zemlin’s PAC), has been compromised

WE HAVE, by now, seen about a dozen articles about Microsoft’s patent lawsuit/complaint against Foxconn. A lot of these articles are similar, some are behind paywall, but the message is clear. Microsoft not only shows that it doesn’t “love Linux”; it shows its hatred and intolerance.

A decade ago Jim Zemlin wrote a strongly-worded blog post about Microsoft’s lawsuit against TomTom, but where is he now? Microsoft continues Linux extortion, but the Microsoft-bribed Linux Foundation isn't saying a thing, it is just taking yet more Microsoft hush money.

See the second item here (press from Taipei, Taiwan):

Acer Inc (宏碁) chairman and CEO Jason Chen (陳俊聖) on Tuesday said that the PC maker’s royalty payments to Microsoft Inc are governed by contracts with the US software giant and are not paid by partner original design manufacturers and electronics manufacturing services providers. Chen’s comments came amid a patent dispute between Microsoft and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海) that prompted personal rebukes by Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) earlier that day. Acer pays Microsoft directly to fulfill the conditions of the licensing contracts, Chen said.

So the extortion racket carries on and maybe Microsoft joined OIN only after it had secured such cash flow with all the major OEMs that ship Android and other systems with Linux in them. Either way, the Linux Foundation linked to this article last night. It says: “Following up on those announcements, Microsoft-owned GitHub said it would donate $100,000 to CommunityBridge and invited maintainers of CommunityBridge projects to take part in GitHub’s maintainer program. “We greatly appreciate GitHub’s donation and support of CommunityBridge and are happy to match it—all in the name of the maintainers we both aim to serve,” said Zemlin, in a prepared statement. “We invite other organizations to engage in our grant program, and help us solve critical challenges to better support long-term sustainability for open source projects.””

So Zemlin actively thanks Microsoft. Yes, he thanks them while they do the above. What a difference some “campaign contributions” can make… the Zemlin PAC knows where the money comes from. In fact, one might joke that his salary comes (in part) from patent extortion of Linux. Later he signals to regulators that it’s absolutely OK for Microsoft to take over GitHub and the Linux Foundation puts code and projects in this Microsoft/NSA (PRISM) platform.

CommunityBridge is a Cynical Microsoft-Funded Effort to Show Zemlin Works for ‘Community’, Not Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 8:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Maintaining salaries this high requires “Big Tech”

Jim Zemlin's PAC

Summary: After disbanding community participation in the Board (but there are Microsoft staff on the Board now) the “Linux Foundation” (or Zemlin PAC) continues to take Microsoft money and polishes or launders that as “community”

TTHERE has been not a single word from the Microsoft-funded Zemlin PAC since it turned out that Microsoft continues to blackmail Linux (using software patents). We have, by now, seen nearly a dozen news reports about it. Shouldn’t an organisation that goes by the name “Linux Foundation” say something?

Well, Zemlin has been netting Microsoft money from more and more sources (membership, sponsorship of events, sibling/offspring companies and so on). When we started covering EPO matters we sadly lacked the time to cover examples of this, but the latest (context below) shows another example of it. There has been one blog post and two press releases (see [2] below, “Linux Foundation Announces Funding with GitHub”), saying it will operate “to Help Sustain Open Source Communities [...] to advance sustainability, security, and diversity in open source technology.”

“But hey, Microsoft is an Open Source company now (finally!) because GitHub has calculator code with spying in it.”Who gets to decide who receives the money and based on what criteria? This can become very political — one thing that that the PAC of Jim Zemlin has always been (he even told people how to vote in the 2016 Presidential election and issued purely political statement in the Foundation’s — not his personal — site).

The FS Conservancy — a real non-profit which believes it was defunded by the Zemlin PAC because a serial GPL violator and a Zemlin funding source, VMware, asked to curtail GPL enforcement efforts — has been cited [4] for its response to it [5], which was later posted also in the personal blog of Mr. Kuhn. He notes that “LF’s Community Bridge is a proprietary software system.” Just like GitHub. But hey, Microsoft is an Open Source company now (finally!) because GitHub has calculator code with spying in it.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Announcing The Linux Kernel Mentorship project on CommunityBridge, a new Linux Foundation platform

    When Jim Zemlin asked me to come to the Linux Foundation as a Linux Fellow to work on mentoring programs and initiatives to make Linux secure I didn’t have to think twice. I am very excited to be working at the Linux Foundation alongside talented and dedicated individuals on initiatives near and dear to my heart. It is a unique and special opportunity to share my knowledge and passion by helping aspiring developers discover the joy of being a part of the largest open source project in the world.

    Contributing to the Linux kernel and working in open source is my passion. It is an honor to be a contributor to the software that influences and touches everybody in the world whether they know it or not. Being a part of something that has changed the way we communicate, conduct business, learn, and interact with each other is something that myself and thousands of developers worldwide share with pride as part of the Linux community.

    My journey as a Linux Kernel contributor started as a fun experiment to help take Android code and make it part of the core Linux project. I loved the experience of being part of the community and started looking for more opportunities to engage with it. When Greg Kroah-Hartman was looking for volunteers to help him with the stable release maintenance activities, I signed up.

  2. Linux Foundation Announces Funding with GitHub for New CommunityBridge Platform for Developers

    The Linux Foundation today announced Community Bridge™, a new platform created to empower open source developers — and the individuals and organizations who support them — to advance sustainability, security, and diversity in open source technology. On stage, Jim Zemlin, the Executive Director, announced that the Linux Foundation will match funding for any organization that donates funds to CommunityBridge projects to help provide developers resources to solve critical security, mentoring, and diversity challenges in open source ecosystems.

  3. The Linux Foundation Launches New CommunityBridge Platform to Help Sustain Open Source Communities

    The Linux Foundation today announced CommunityBridge – a new platform created to empower open source developers – and the individuals and organizations who support them – to advance sustainability, security, and diversity in open source technology.

  4. The Linux Foundation’s CommunityBridge platform

    The Linux Foundation has announced a new initiative called CommunityBridge; its purpose is to help with funding and support for open-source developers. It includes some security-related services and a means for connecting developers with mentors. The program is in an “early access” mode for now.

  5. Understanding LF’s New ‘Community Bridge’

    Yesterday, the Linux Foundation (LF) launched a new service, called ‘Community Bridge’ — an ambitious platform that promises a self-service system to handle finances, address security issues, manage CLAs and license compliance, and also bring mentorship to projects. These tasks are difficult work that typically require human intervention, so we understand the allure of automating them; we and our peer organizations have long welcomed newcomers to this field and have together sought collaborative assistance for these issues. Indeed, Community Bridge’s offerings bear some similarity to the work of organizations like Apache Software Foundation, the Free Software Foundation (FSF), the GNOME Foundation (GF), Open Source Initiative (OSI), Software in the Public Interest (SPI) and Conservancy. People have already begun to ask us to compare this initiative to our work and the work of our peer organizations. This blog post hopefully answers those questions and anticipated similar questions.

    The first huge difference (and the biggest disappointment for the entire FOSS community) is that LF’s Community Bridge is a proprietary software system. Section 4.2 of their Platform Use Agreement requires those who sign up for this platform to agree to a proprietary software license, and LF has remained silent about the proprietary nature of the platform in its explanatory materials. The LF, as an organization dedicated to Open Source, should release the source for Community Bridge. At Conservancy, we’ve worked since 2012 on a Non-Profit Accounting Software system, including creating a tagging system for transparently documenting ledger transactions, and various support software around that. We and SPI both now use these methods daily. We also funded the creation of a system to manage mentorship programs, which we now runs the Outreachy mentorship program. We believe fundamentally that the infrastructure we provide for FOSS fiscal sponsorship (including accounting, mentorship and license compliance) must
    itself be FOSS, and developed in public as a FOSS project. LF’s own research already shows that transparency is impossible for systems that are not FOSS. More importantly, LF’s new software could directly benefit so many organizations in our community, including not only Conservancy but also the many others (listed above) who do some form of fiscal sponsorship. LF shouldn’t behave like a proprietary software company like Patreon or Kickstarter, but instead support FOSS development. Generally speaking, all Conservancy’s peer organizations (listed above) have been fully dedicated to the idea that any infrastructure developed for fiscal sponsorship should itself be FOSS. LF has deviated here from this community norm by unnecessarily requiring FOSS developers to use proprietary software to receive these services, and also failing to collaborate over a FOSS codebase with the existing community of organizations. LF Executive Director Jim Zemlin has said that ?wants more participation in open source – to advance its sustainability and — wants organizations to share their code for the benefit of their fellow [hu]mankind?; we ask him to apply these principles to his own organization now.

03.12.19

Microsoft is Complaining About Android and Chrome OS (GNU/Linux) Vendor Not Paying for Microsoft Patents (Updated)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 8:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft Loves Linux” is a joke

Xiaomi patent settlement

Summary: Microsoft, which nowadays does the patent shakedown against GNU/Linux by proxy, is still moaning about companies that don’t pay ‘protection’ money (grounds for antitrust action or racketeering investigation)

“Foxconn failed to report Android dues for years, Microsoft tells court” (so says the Microsoft-connected IAM behind an aggressive/stubborn paywall).

So apparently, months after the OIN charm offensive (OIN has former patent trolls in charge), Microsoft still engages in the sort of patent blackmail it reportedly made like 10 billion dollars from. Those are patents leveraged against Linux. “Deal was hailed as a coup for Microsoft’s Android efforts in 2013, but a lawsuit filed Friday suggests the Redmond-based business has made little to nothing on it since 2015,” says the text we’re able to see (tweet adds more). “A lawsuit filed by Microsoft reveals years-long royalty dispute with Foxconn, adding context to its recent move out of Android licensing space…”

RacketWhen Microsoft says it “loves Linux” it means to say Microsoft loves Windows, but nowadays Microsoft calls Windows "Linux". See this report from yesterday; it’s all about leveraging Linux (or Android) to spread Windows. How is that love of Linux? Microsoft is so madly in love with Linux that it makes it easier to replace it and then delete it. Is that love?

SJVN responded as though he’s a lawyer for Microsoft, calling the blackmailed company “toxic” and providing no further details: “The MSFT Foxconn lawsuit has little to do with Linux and a lot to do with a toxic company and it’s not MSFT for once. Google “Foxconn legal issues” and “Foxconn Wisconsin” to start down the rabbit hole.”

But this isn’t what the lawsuit is about. Wisconsin is a political stunt that happened years later. It’s a Trump stunt. So basically SJVN’s logic goes something along the lines of, Foxconn is bad, therefore Microsoft is OK.

This is about the “”Android and Chrome Devices” 2013 deal,” as Benjamin Henrion called it, adding that “Microsoft spinners will probably tell it is not about “Android and Chromebooks”.”

Update: There’s now this news report from Reuters (and no paywall this time around). To quote some confirmatory details:

Microsoft filed the complaint against Foxconn subsidiary FIH Mobile Ltd in the Northern District of California on Friday. It is claiming unpaid royalties for patents used in devices for clients including a top Chinese smartphone vendor.

Foxconn founder and Chief Executive Terry Gou told an impromptu news conference in Taipei that “patent infringement” is not an issue for his company, which “will suffer almost no any loss” as a result of the lawsuit.

Foxconn “has never paid any patent fees to Microsoft,” Gou said.

FIH could not immediately be reached for comment. In a statement, Microsoft said the legal action was related to the royalty reporting and audit terms of a contract it signed with Foxconn parent Hon Hai in 2013.

So Microsoft’s blackmail carries on, but IAM won’t call it that because Microsoft sponsors IAM. IAM is connected to Microsoft in so many ways that we have lost track and count (we wrote about it over the years). Their Web site runs Windows, some articles are from former Microsoft executives, Microsoft gives IAM money and so on. Money buys patent-centric media.

Henrion has just added: “The evil Microsoft taxing Linux with Android and Chromebooks over Foxconn lititation [sic] is back https://www.cnet.com/news/microsoft-sues-manufacturing-giant-foxconn-over-patents/ … The royalties are over this 2013 deal covering “Android and Chrome Devices”…”

This links to another new article that says “Microsoft on Friday sued the Taiwan-based manufacturing behemoth Hon Hai Precision Industry, also known as Foxconn Technology Group, for unpaid patent royalties and failing to file appropriate paperwork.”

IAM wrote about it again: “Foxconn confirms it has never paid Microsoft patent royalties under 2013 licence.”

Why should it if Microsoft now “loves Linux” and has joined OIN? Maybe because nothing has really changed. Microsoft just wants buckets of money for other people’s work.

03.04.19

With IBM’s Absorption of Red Hat Now Confirmed, at Least by Stockholders, IBM Has Shown No Intent/Plan to Stop Lobbying for Software Patents and Blackmailing With These

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Red Hat at 3:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Freedom will be deemphasised unless assurances are given

Red Hat puke

Summary: Perhaps it is a taboo subject, but IBM’s corporate attitude generally threatens the status quo and just because the acquisition isn’t as scary as it could be (Red Hat considered selling to Microsoft) doesn’t mean it is benign

SOMETIMES it feels like GNU/Linux is being assimilated rather than winning the battle. It’s being turned into a proprietary software driver/carrier, e.g. at the "Linux Foundation", and as we’ve just noted, the Open Invention Network (OIN) makes a shotgun wedding of patents and patent trolls with Linux. In a sense, GNU/Linux gradually becomes what its opponents and competitors want it to become. Containers, Snaps, Flatpaks etc. are ramps for proprietary software and systemd greatly limits freedom and compartmentalisation. It gives Red Hat and soon (by extension) IBM a lot of power. Not POWER® but actual power.

“In a sense, GNU/Linux gradually becomes what its opponents and competitors want it to become.”Red Hat has long been the leader in GNU/Linux development and thus policy. Will IBM inherit that position? That might be dangerous and counterproductive. The main issue, to us at least, is IBM’s stance on software patents, putting aside IBM’s love of proprietary software.

There have been many headlines about Blackberry suing Twitter like it did Facebook (even in Europe!), never mind if IBM did the same to Twitter using utterly ridiculous software patents that are valid neither at American nor European courts (no matter what the USPTO and EPO claim because patent maximalists run them both).

“Red Hat’s legal team must pursue legally-binding assurances from IBM that it will quit doing that; otherwise, our flag-bearer might actually be in several ways antithetical to the goals and philosophy we strive for.”We didn’t write about these Blackberry lawsuits last week (or any time lately) because we reduced focus on the US patent system, which is what this Canadian company-turned-troll typically exploits. It recently fed some more trolls.

These lawsuits and trolling bring us back to IBM.

Even after the takeover (now confirmed) IBM had the audacity to promote software patents in Europe. Red Hat’s legal team must pursue legally-binding assurances from IBM that it will quit doing that; otherwise, our flag-bearer might actually be in several ways antithetical to the goals and philosophy we strive for. Do we want GNU and Linux to become just another UNIX?

Today’s Open Invention Network is Run by Former Patent Trolls, Connected to and Backed by Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 1:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It is even disclosed upfront

Jaime Siegel

Summary: Turns out that the Open Invention Network (OIN) is nowadays about “Linux” as much (or as little) as the "Linux Foundation" is; it’s all about money and power

IT IS no secret that OIN has origins in a patent bully, IBM, which also gave it its first CEO. It is also no secret that OIN does not oppose software patents. We wrote about it some months ago. It is not, however, noticed by many that the current CEO (Tim Geithner’s tennis partner) used to work in roles that resemble those OIN is supposed to shield against. As Wikipedia notes, “Bergelt was then brought into Motorola Corporation in Schaumburg, IL to establish and serve as General Manager of its Strategic Intellectual Asset Management business unit focused on distilling value from Motorola’s intellectual property. In addition, he served as Director of Technology Strategy during his tenure at Motorola.

“Following his experience at Motorola and coincident with the departure of Bob Galvin from the Motorola Board of Directors, he was recruited by Kelso & Company, the New York-based private equity firm, to manage IP strategy, business development and licensing for its IP-based portfolio company – Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) – in Cambridge, England.

“So the OIN’s main licensing person is a former patent troll basically.”“After establishing the strategy and licensing program at CDT for Kelso, Bergelt was then engaged by Texas Pacific Group (TPG) as a full-time advisor to its Technology Investment Group, until he was recruited by Principal Financial Group to establish and run the first-of-its-kind IP Fund and financial services advisory firm, focused on transforming IP into a viable source of collateral and a fourth lending vertical to complement asset-based lending backed by property/plant/equipment, accounts receivable and inventory.

“During his tenure as the CEO of Paradox Capital, Bergelt worked with professionals from banking and IP law to raise over $350MM in capital that enabled Paradox to pioneer the emergence of IP as a viable asset class in asset-based lending and, in so doing, obviate the necessity for second lien lending into IP-rich companies.”

It was only then that he was recruited by OIN, after he had done some of the very things OIN was supposed to be against. But it gets worse. Having checked who they have added since, I can’t help seeing an MPEG-LA* veteran acting as “Global Director of Licensing”. He also worked for a Microsoft-connected, anti-Linux troll called Acacia. So the OIN’s main licensing person is a former patent troll basically. Wonderful! An OIN so debased that even Microsoft can join it.
____
* MPEG-LA is legally and technically a patent troll (also its CEO), which is working closely with Microsoft and is nowadays using software patents (even in Europe last month) to blackmail companies that ship GNU/Linux/Android.

03.02.19

The World Wide Web is a Dangerous Place — GNU/Linux Sites Included — Because of Misuse of JavaScript and Other Bloat

Posted in GNU/Linux, Site News at 5:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

PIA hypocrisy

Summary: Too many Web sites have turned themselves into computer programs (with a lot of proprietary and sometimes malicious JavaScript) rather than pages to be rendered

Google Analytics is not new. I remember the day Google bought Urchin and turned it into a centralised, over-the-Web spying monster. I wrote quite a lot about it in USENET, as did others (at the time). USENET is now known to many as “Google Groups” (after Google bought yet another company) and the decentralised nature of the original Web is largely gone by now. Platforms like Pleroma, Mastodon, Diaspora and so on have attempted to tackle it, but is it too late? Maybe.

Nowadays when we visit a Web site we rarely end up accessing just one single site (or domain). It’s a bloated mess that is being justified poorly, owing to devices getting more powerful, browsers adding more features, and Webmasters forgetting to K.I.S.S. Techrights has behaved and has looked almost identical since 2006. We didn’t get seduced into sending special fonts for visitors to download and render at their end. Sites aren’t posters and it’s the substance that counts, not looks.

I am sad to say that nowadays I literally dread and thus hesitate to even enter (click a link to) certain GNU/Linux sites. Phoronix recently added spyware to all the pages (Michael told me that the parent company pressed for it), causing it to slow down and do all sorts of mysterious things to the browser of the visitors (it’s proprietary code, thus impossible to tell what’s going on). To Phoronix’s credit, unlike some other GNU/Linux sites it did not go over the top with various other scripts (sometimes connecting the visitors to dozens of different sites/spies).

Disappointingly enough, Linux Journal keeps bragging about privacy (to help its parent company, a VPN company) make more sales or add subscribers when both site — Linux Journal and the parent company (PIA) — put Google Analytics in all pages. How can they pretend to value privacy and preach to that effect when sending all the log data (and beyond) to Google?

Our main drawback here is that we don’t support encryption in page-serving (that would slow things down), but that mostly means that one’s ISP will be able to tell what pages, not just what site, get visited. Some time in the future we might adopt containers and with the migration we might also add HTTPS protocol. One sure thing is, such adoption can limit reach/compatibility, raise requirements at the user’s side, increase maintenance overhead, and even cause ‘downtime’ (expired certificates). In the interests of keeping the site light and easily accessible we will, for now, avoid JavaScript.

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