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01.12.19

Linspire ‘Reborn’ is Still Working for Microsoft and Facilitating Surveillance on GNU/Linux Users

Posted in GNU/Linux, Linspire, Microsoft at 4:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Avoid, avoid, avoid…

Linspire
Linspire in Google Trends

Summary: GNU/Linux spyware scandals may be back (and it’s not about Canonical and Amazon but Linspire and Microsoft); Microsoft is meanwhile exposing innocent kids to pedophiles and it refuses to explain or defend this

TECHRIGHTS barely covered Microsoft for more than half a decade, due for the most to patent focus, notably EPO scandals (since 2014) and the demise of software patents after Alice (also since 2014). Later tonight we’ll explain why the USPTO cannot bring such patents back; only courts can.

Written by Michael Larabel earlier this weekend was this article about a new plan:

The resurrected Linspire Linux distribution formerly known as Lindows is planning to enter the Linux server market as well as an upcoming “Office 365″ edition.

More than a decade ago we wrote many articles about Linspire after it had signed a patent deal with Microsoft, causing us to inevitably suggest a boycott. Why is Linspire still in Microsoft’s pockets? And perhaps worse — why does it help the spy agencies spy on GNU/Linux users? Have these people lost their minds again? For a moment I believed that the new efforts were motivated by a morally reformed team, but it doesn’t seem so anymore.

Thanks to Edward Snowden we now have pretty undeniable evidence that it is linked to the NSA. In the name of “combating child abuse” Microsoft engages in surveillance — even GDPR-violating (i.e. illegal in the EU) surveillance — on everything one does online. Even Office. This was widely publicised in the media some years ago. It said that in the name of “protecting kids” Microsoft would scan every single picture a user has. Does it help? Does it work?

“In the name of “combating child abuse” Microsoft engages in surveillance — even GDPR-violating (i.e. illegal in the EU) surveillance — on everything one does online.”No, it’s nonsense.

Microsoft “loves children” a little bit too much (naked even). It’s probably not deliberate, but as some journalists are putting it (to quote a new headline), “Microsoft Refuses to Answer Key Questions About Child Porn in Bing’s Search Results” (stay classy!).

Some have reported that Microsoft not only presents such results, but also recommends them (leading errand searchers to child pornography by means of refined search terms).

“Microsoft’s Bing search engine is facing heat for reportedly including images of child pornography in its search results,” it says in the summary and there are many similar articles. So Microsoft is finally good at something; It’s good when you’re a pedophile…

“Microsoft has clearly not changed…”Microsoft’s connection to child porn is rather irksome and it’s definitely not about neutrality or free speech because, as TechDirt put it three days ago, Microsoft “LinkedIn Is Helping The Chinese Government Silence Critics” and Microsoft has already been censoring search results for China (somehow the media only blasts Google for merely thinking about doing the same).

Microsoft has clearly not changed; as we pointed out in our latest daily links, for example, “Microsoft Deactivated Some Windows 7 PCs With an Update” (as many had feared and repeatedly warned). There is no ‘new’ Microsoft.

01.10.19

The Emptiness of the Linux Foundation’s Commitment to Linux and Its True Openness… to Corporate Cash (in Exchange for Influence)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Red Hat at 10:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The banality of entryism

Pence and Moreno

Summary: Like Pence and Moreno (shown above), who exchange a political refugee for loans, the Linux Foundation abandons its commitment to GNU/Linux in exchange for maximisation of financial contributions

MANY articles nowadays describe Microsoft’s takeover of GitHub as a “success story” for “Open Source”; but what kind of success is it when a proprietary software giant that passes private data (soon private repositories) to the NSA hijacks the competition?

“Many “LF” events are being funded by Microsoft in exchange for Microsoft playing a key role (e.g. keynote speeches).”At the end of last year I decided that I wish to return to GNU/Linux coverage (not just in social control media); threats have evolved and we’re hardly covering them, having focused on software patents for half a decade, almost exclusively. Free software has meanwhile become very mainstream and even an industry standard. This is why Microsoft is pretending (while all of its biggest products are still proprietary).

Readers have urged us not to shy away from ‘politics’ and criticism of companies/organisations that would naturally seem like allies. Take the Linux Foundation for instance. Many “LF” events are being funded by Microsoft in exchange for Microsoft playing a key role (e.g. keynote speeches). The Linux Foundation even promotes Microsoft courses now. It shouldn’t seem so outrageous to Jim Zemlin, who himself isn’t using GNU/Linux, he just uses the “Linux” brand to make a massive annual salary for himself (over half a million dollars per year, tax exempted because of the pretense of “charity”). Red Hat is also disappointing. Microsoft staff is actively participating in the operations of Red Hat (we remark on this in our daily links sometimes), as it does inside the Linux Foundation. This is entryism like the strategy that doomed Nokia.

“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”

Microsoft's chief evangelist

01.06.19

Driven by Freedom or Just by Linux?

Posted in GNU/Linux at 8:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tractor

Summary: Much focus or attention is being given to the role of Linux inside cars; almost nobody is willing to talk about what that means for the rights (civil/human rights) of drivers

“It’s a Linux-powered car world,” SJVN wrote last week, alluding to the press release [1] which was then noted by Slashdot [2] and again by Slashdot in relation to SJVN’s article [3] (that was last night). This hasn’t received much press attention; media focused on Hyundai [4,5].

“People no longer own their vehicles (which they paid for) and drivers aren’t in control of the cars they drive.”There’s much to be said about the role of GNU and Linux inside cars, including the AGL’s Zemlin-centric approach, which seems to help companies like Amazon put listening devices inside cars (Alexa).

Cars in general suffer from freedom deficit, especially computerised cars. It only gets worse over time. People no longer own their vehicles (which they paid for) and drivers aren’t in control of the cars they drive. Some vehicles, notably tractors, cannot be legally repaired by their owners (it’s akin to DRM and it’s helping the maker/seller monopolise maintenance). Some can be taken over remotely or take control away from the drivers (this aspect received more media attention after truck attacks). Nowadays a lot of cars are used for constantly tracking (surveillance) of one’s location, not just by scanning licence plates but also by tracking devices on the panel (or near the panel, e.g. a mobile phone). The Linux Foundation seems happy enough to help sneak listening devices (which constantly record everyone in the car and send that to surveillance companies that sell the data and hand it over to the authorities). Insurance companies could not be happier and marketing firms would gladly ‘monetise’ conversations inside cars. This is one among many aspects which has us concerned about the Linux Foundation taking corporate cash from truly unethical companies. GNU/Linux domination in automobiles is definitely good news, but will that usher in freedom or instead be accompanied by Trojan horses?

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Hyundai Advances Connected Car Technologies and Open Source Collaboration by Joining Automotive Grade Linux and the Linux Foundation

    Automotive Grade Linux, a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open platform for the connected car, has announced that Hyundai has joined Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) and the Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source.

    “Hyundai has been active in open source for years, and their experience will benefit the entire AGL community,” said Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux at the Linux Foundation. “This is a significant milestone for us, as the rapid growth of AGL proves that automakers are realizing the business value that open source and shared software development can provide. We look forward to working with Hyundai as we continue on our path to develop open source solutions for all in-vehicle technology.”

    AGL is an open source project at the Linux Foundation that is changing the way automotive manufacturers build software. More than 140 members are working together to develop a common platform that can serve as the de facto industry standard. Adopting an open platform across the industry enables automakers and suppliers to share and reuse the same code base, which reduces development costs, decreases time-to-market for new products and reduces fragmentation across the industry.

  2. Hyundai Joins the Linux Foundation To Embrace AGL’s Open Source Connected Car Tech

    According to a case study published by AGL, a connected car uses some 100 million lines of code, which is about 11 times more than the number that went into the F-35 fighter jet. Getting on AGL’s bandwagon would also help Hyundai speed up development of its in-car technologies.

  3. Linux For Cars: Tesla Isn’t The Only Automaker Running Linux Under the Hood

    While some companies, like Tesla, run their own homebrew Linux distros, most rely on Automotive Grade Linux (AGL). AGL is a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open platform for connected cars with over 140 members… Its membership includes Audi, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Mercedes, Suzuki, and the world’s biggest automobile company: Toyota. Why? “Automakers are becoming software companies, and just like in the tech industry, they are realizing that open source is the way forward,” said Dan Cauchy, AGL’s executive director, in a statement.

  4. Hyundai joins the Linux Foundation to embrace AGL’s open source connected car technologies

    Hyundai has become the latest car company to explore serious open source alternatives for developing its in-car services. Ahead of CES 2019, the South Korean automotive giant today announced that it has joined the Linux Foundation and the nonprofit’s seven-year-old Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) effort as it looks to contribute to — and reap benefit from — software developed by over 140 companies.

    The announcement underscores the growing popularity of AGL, which has attracted dozens of car manufacturers and other companies in recent years. Members of AGL, which include Toyota, Ford, Honda, Suzuki, Intel, Nvidia, ARM, and LG, work in tandem to develop open source software for infotainment, telematics, and instrument cluster applications.

  5. Hyundai Joins Automotive Grade Linux and the Linux Foundation

    According to a recent announcement, Hyundai has joined Automotive Grade Linux, a collaborative cross-industry effort developing an open platform for the connected car, and the Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source.

    “Hyundai has been active in open source for years, and their experience will benefit the entire AGL community,” said Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux at the Linux Foundation. “This is a significant milestone for us, as the rapid growth of AGL proves that automakers are realizing the business value that open source and shared software development can provide. We look forward to working with Hyundai as we continue on our path to develop open source solutions for all in-vehicle technology.”

    AGL is an open source project at the Linux Foundation that is changing the way automotive manufacturers build software. More than 140 members are working together to develop a common platform that can serve as the de facto industry standard. Adopting an open platform across the industry enables automakers and suppliers to share and reuse the same code base, which reduces development costs, decreases time-to-market for new products and reduces fragmentation across the industry.

Fighting ‘True Enemies’, Not One Another

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 6:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Infighting isn’t helpful and it helps the foremost detractors/adversaries

A spider

Summary: Lesser threats and greater threats to Free/Open Source software or why we aren’t entertaining particular stories/drama

THE WORLD of GNU/Linux has changed profoundly. Back in 2006 when this site was born GNU/Linux had already come under legal attacks from SCO; then came the Novell/Microsoft patent collusion and later came lawsuits such as Microsoft v TomTom. Microsoft wasn’t the sole threat, but it often co-opted other companies (like SCO and Novell in the aforementioned examples) in an effort to help Microsoft derail software freedom, promote software patents etc.

“Civility within the community and across/among communities generally makes us stronger in the face of proprietary software giants.”We have a great deal to say about what happened to the Linux Foundation, what systemd may do, the threats posed by centralisation (e.g. GitHub), what IBM’s takeover of Red Hat may mean, and all sorts of cultural wars against the Freedom of Free software communities, including free speech. Those are divisive issues, however, so we might limit what we say on those topics. Last year we explained that the CoC of the Linux Foundation, for instance, didn’t harm Linux as much as the wars/arguments over it. Mutual reconciliation is often a lot better than confrontation as long as those whom you do not agree with are more or less on the same channel technically speaking. To use an example, if one random person is in favour of GNU/Linux and the GPL but disagrees about women’s rights, is that really the person worth picking a fight with? Rather than people who are pushing Windows, smearing copyleft, and sometimes even bribing officials for GNU/Linux to be abandoned? For similar reasons we barely bring up politics (there are political news picks in our daily links, but we don’t comment on those).

A reader once asked us why we never write articles about systemd. It is not a priority. The assumption was that we would say negative things about it, but that would be counterproductive. At the moment there are many threats to Free/Open Source software (back doors, surveillance, the ‘cloud’ trap, openwashing and entryism to name just a few) — threats much greater than one another. Civility within the community and across/among communities generally makes us stronger in the face of proprietary software giants.

Microsoft Lost the Server Wars to GNU/Linux, But That Doesn’t Mean Microsoft is Now Benign/Ignorable

Posted in Deception, Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 1:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lisa

Summary: In spite of Microsoft’s PR campaigns, it is not doing well and contrary to the lies, it is not a friend of GNU/Linux but a wolf in sheep’s clothing

IN 2019 we shall return to covering GNU/Linux affairs at the expense of more legal (legalese) matters pertaining to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) but not the European Patent Office (EPO). As we explained at the end of last year, US courts seem to be striking down and overruling decisions of the Office. We’ll say more about it in our next post.

Techrights used to write a lot more about Microsoft. That changed more than half a decade ago, seeing that Microsoft was stagnant and several new threats/risks emerged (some refer to these as “GAFA” or “GAFAM”). Our intention isn’t to focus a lot more on Microsoft again; we’ll instead focus on GNU/Linux.

“Those are obfuscation and dissociation tactics, or contrariwise assimilation tactics whose underlying goal is to make Microsoft look like the sole alternative to itself.”Microsoft is a dying brand, desperate to secure a future for itself by buying (at great expense) all sorts of companies. When Microsoft bought Skype it was still dominant in the VOIP space, but that is no longer the case. LinkedIn too has sunk into irrelevancy and obscurity. GitHub is next.

Then there’s the “Azure” hype; instead of selling server software for companies to provide hosting services (or self-host), Microsoft now attempts to take away their business, seeing that relative usage of Windows on servers is diminishing anyway. So now it’s trying to become a GNU/Linux hosting provider. At what cost? What is the impact on Windows sales? Nobody knows for sure; Microsoft’s fiscal claims have always been questionable at best and the company reported quarterly losses several times in recent years. It could no longer hide deficits. Remember XBox losses? Microsoft always attempts to hide the losses and nowadays it’s rebranding everything “cloud” (even the biggest cash cow, Office). It keeps dishing this buzzword as if servers are something new; even Office is being classified as “server” now…

A reader told us that “considering the lengths that Microsoft goes though in order to suppress the individual merits of Azure, I am forced to question just how profitable Azure truly is.” His new blog post, “Is Azure Profitable?” (it’s cannibalising other areas of business), is worth a look.

No one wants to buy into faltering products that are here today and gone tomorrow and the same is true of businesses with regard to their IT infrastructure. Given the productivity dependencies, a traditionally slow rate of return, and steep financial burden of IT infrastructure, CTOs and the like around the world often look to key performance indicators (KPI) including revenue, profitability, customer counts, and so forth, much like a prospective shareholder, in order to anticipate the viability of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platforms such as AWS and Azure prior to making long-term investments in them.

For example, if a service provider is breaking close to even or operating at a loss after 8 years, this could be indicative of operational inefficiencies, architectural oversights, and looming changes which increase the likelihood of costly outages. All of which may also highlight the possibility of rate hikes down the road or that the platform in question may not be standing up to the test of time. But if revenue and profit are on point, this is indicative of long-term stability and much less risk. Comparatively, it is like being given the choice of paddle boarding on a calm summer morning or in the middle of a winter snow storm.

Needless to say, you can tell a lot about a solution by measuring its profitability. This is why common frontrunners such as Amazon, Apple, and Google are not bashful about disclosing individual revenue, profit, and user counts of their products. But this is also why the competition behind them tends to get creative rather than simply reporting on the same metrics. And when considering the lengths that Microsoft goes though in order to suppress the individual merits of Azure, I am forced to question just how profitable Azure truly is.

We don’t want to dwell too much on Microsoft’s demise (Apple’s demise notwithstanding; it’s being exploited by Microsoft to make it seem as though Microsoft is rising). Later on we’ll show that Microsoft’s patent trolls are still a problem. The company has not changed, except it’s trying to associate itself with the competition that got it defeated. Those are obfuscation and dissociation tactics, or contrariwise assimilation tactics whose underlying goal is to make Microsoft look like the sole alternative to itself.

11.25.18

Self-Professed Linux ‘Lover’ Microsoft Passes Questionable Patents to DJI as Part of “Microsoft-DJI Collaboration on Azure”

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 4:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Still scattering patents to trolls and other entities which help Microsoft promote its protection racket, “Azure IP Advantage” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21]

LOT Network: A WHOLE LOT OF SOFTWARE PATENTS

Summary: Microsoft is again scattering patents around (for profit and lawsuits), having long done that with patent trolls which attack GNU/Linux

Microsoft is reportedly selling USPTO-granted patents, potentially software patents, for patent litigation purposes. So much of a “truce” and “peace” with Linux, eh?

Microsoft recently joined the software patents apologists at OIN and LOT Network. We didn’t expect that to end Microsoft’s bad behaviour, especially because Microsoft publicly exploited the membership to ‘sell’ “Azure IP Advantage”, which is basically a protection racket.

“The report itself is paywalled, but the tweets gave away the gist of it.”A site sponsored by Microsoft and its trolls (several of them) has repeatedly noted in recent days that “DJI acquired US patents from Microsoft amid litigation fight with competitor” and this “deal follows Microsoft-DJI collaboration on Azure and AI for drones,” according to a later note. The report itself is paywalled, but the tweets gave away the gist of it.

DJI acquired US patents from Microsoft amid litigation fight with competitor

[paywall]

That same site has meanwhile spoken about and as usual glorified patent trolls in China (article by Bob Stembridge). To these people, having been literally sponsored by trolls, trolling is a good thing. They even use the term “NPE”. IAM is a really nasty propaganda site of trolls; the malicious agenda is one they’re not ashamed of, presumably because they’re greedy. The paywall is their way to hide from critics.

“To these people, having been literally sponsored by trolls, trolling is a good thing. They even use the term “NPE”. IAM is a really nasty propaganda site of trolls; the malicious agenda is one they’re not ashamed of, presumably because they’re greedy.”One piece that isn’t paywalled is promotional propaganda from Kent Richardson (Richardson Oliver Law Group), who sells the illusion of growing demand for low-quality patents; Microsoft now sells some of these, showing that Microsoft is still a dangerous company. “The full ROL Group report on the current state of play in the brokered patent market will be published in issue 93 of IAM, available online to subscribers at the end of this month,” it says. Further up it almost refutes the headline itself when it says: “Two years ago, the cover of IAM Magazine showed a beaten boxer stumbling to his feet, representing a patent market struggling to recover from the brink of disaster. With asking prices down 30%, each punch is no longer as strong as it was. But the boxer is nimbler and with 53% more transactions than two years ago, he is landing a lot more punches.”

“It’s just the Microsoft-Novell strategy rebranded a bit.”That ‘market’ is still diminishing, in terms of overall value. Many companies just distribute worthless patents to trolls, many of which simply go out of ‘business’.

Either way, it could be argued that Microsoft no longer saw value in the above patents; by passing these patents to DJI as part of “Microsoft-DJI collaboration on Azure” it basically allows DJI to sue (back) a competitor. Microsoft is trying to market Azure by fueling unnecessary patent litigation. So much for a ‘new’ Microsoft, eh? It’s just the Microsoft-Novell strategy rebranded a bit.

10.30.18

IBM- and Microsoft-Backed Patent Troll Strikes Again and IBM’s Lobbyist for Software Patents Has Just Defended Patent Trolls (Again)

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, OIN, Patents, Red Hat at 9:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related: IBM, IPO, AIPLA, ABA and Other Lobbying/Front Groups of the Patent Microcosm Are Trying to Change US Law for Software Patents

David Kappos as lobbyist

Summary: With IBM and Microsoft having lots of commonalities when it comes to patent policy and exploitation of the law (both employed similar people too, notably Marshall Phelps and David Kappos, former Director of the USPTO), concerns should be raised in light of the latest lawsuit from the patent troll they support

FORGET the nonsense about OIN and LOT Network; OIN does nothing to shield anyone from trolls or proxies, which Microsoft is leveraging to sell “Azure IP Advantage” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21]. It’s also difficult to forget Microsoft’s role in the SCO lawsuit, which is still ongoing (more than a decade and a half now) and primarily targets IBM.

“It is quite worrying to see IBM- and Microsoft-employed lobbyists publicly defending patent trolls on the very same day an IBM-armed and Microsoft-funded patent troll uses software patents for blackmail.”According to patent boosters, who took note of it pretty fast and linked to reports, patent troll Finjan, fueled by the new owner of Red Hat, backed and financed by Microsoft, filed another lawsuit. We had spotted the original press release within hours upon publication and it said this:

Finjan Holdings, Inc., (NASDAQ:FNJN), a cybersecurity company, today announced that — after nearly two years of good faith efforts to resolve a patent dispute with Fortinet, Inc. ( “Fortinet”) — its subsidiary Finjan, Inc. (“Finjan”) has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Fortinet, Inc., a Delaware corporation with headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Finjan filed the Complaint (Case No. 3:18-cv-06555), on October 26, 2018, and alleges that Fortinet’s products and services infringed or are infringing at least nine of Finjan’s U.S. patents. Specifically, Finjan asserts that Fortinet’s FortiGate, FortiManager, FortiAnalyzer, FortiSiem, FortiSandbox, FortiMail, FortiWeb, FortiCache and FortiClient technologies, including Fortinet Security Fabric Platform products infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 6,154,844; 6,965,968; 7,058,822; 7,418,731; 7,647,633; 7,975,305; 8,079,086; 8,225,408; and 8,677,494 (collectively “the Asserted Patents”). Finjan is seeking, among other things, a jury trial, past damages not less than a reasonable royalty, enhanced damages for willful, wanton and deliberate infringement, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs for infringement of each of the Asserted Patents. Additionally, Finjan is seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against Fortinet and those in privity with them, from infringing and inducing the infringement of the ‘968, ‘822, ‘731, ‘633, ‘305, and ‘408 Patents.

These are software patents. So the same month that Microsoft said it had reached patent “truce” with GNU/Linux its patent troll Finjan is filing yet another lawsuit against Microsoft’s rivals. It’s as if nothing at all has changed except Microsoft’s lies embedded all over the media (something about “protecting Linux” and “open-sourcing patents).

Meanwhile, the lobbyist David Kappos (sponsored by Microsoft and IBM after he had run the USPTO) is promoting software patents and patent trolls (like Microsoft’s and arguably IBM). He uses the euphemism non-practicing entities (NPEs) and published this article yesterday in what’s likely the largest site on the topic, saying:

The recipe for swinging the pendulum of patent law towards weaker patent rights is simple: Start with a generous warning about the scourge of low quality patents, stir in a skosh of fear mongering regarding non-practicing entities (NPEs) asserting those patents, then apply heat with predictions of lost jobs and threats to innovation, publicize in a blog, speech or article, and there you have it!

Just like the Trump-appointed Director Iancu he seems to be denying there’s a problem. Earlier this month Iancu came under a lot of fire, especially from front groups of technology firms large and small, after he had insinuated that patent trolls aren’t a problem or don’t even exist (they’re a ‘fiction’ or ‘fake news’). It is quite worrying to see IBM- and Microsoft-employed lobbyists publicly defending patent trolls on the very same day an IBM-armed and Microsoft-funded patent troll uses software patents for blackmail. Need we add that on the same day IBM also announced that it bought or agreed to buy all of Red Hat’s ‘defensive’ patents, which include software patents? The Federal Circuit typically finds that those patents are invalid (if the case reaches that far, at great expense to the defendant).

10.23.18

Microsoft’s Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures Still Suing Microsoft’s Rivals, Microsoft Gags Its Staff Regarding Patent Matters

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 11:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

While Microsoft is trying to sell “Azure IP Advantage” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21], its ‘protection’ racket (defense from Microsoft’s trolls) and strategy for getting everyone — even GNU/Linux workloads — on Azure

Bill and Nathan

Summary: Microsoft says it’s pursuing “truce”; the patent trolls it has created and backed (Bill Gates still backs them at a personal capacity) feel differently

Microsoft loves Microsoft. Microsoft loves Windows. Microsoft loves its patents. It also loves the patent trolls it created and invested in. Microsoft’s biggest patent troll Intellectual Ventures passes patents to another shell (distancing itself from it) and then attacks rivals of Microsoft (again, as usual).

“Large companies, and especially Microsoft, are arming and financing patent trolls to attack their competition.”“An IP Valuation Partners affiliate is asserting patents recently acquired from Intellectual Ventures against Facebook, Instagram, Snap and Foursquare Labs,” Scott Graham (The Recorder) wrote.

This happened while Microsoft wiped the media with its lies, e.g. “protecting Linux”, “open-sourcing patents”, knowing that anyone from Microsoft talking about it would only refute these lies. As it turns out, based on a new video from a former Microsoft employee, “Microsoft had told internally not to talk to the press about the OIN deal, and Microsoft is refraining to talk to journalists about this,” as Benjamin Henrion put it.

As a reminder, the situation is far more complicated than Microsoft put it (e.g. when telling lies to the press). Large companies, and especially Microsoft, are arming and financing patent trolls to attack their competition. It is a SCO-like tactic. Microsoft’s patent trolls do this constantly while Microsoft sells ‘protection’ from these trolls. It’s a classic protection racket and Microsoft euphemistically calls it “Advantage” (the same word it used to compel companies to only use Novell’s SUSE).

“Microsoft has not changed; only its outward strategy (PR) has changed.”“14 of the 25 patent suits filed Thursday were filed by patent trolls,” we learned yesterday, “according to RPX Corp. That’s 56%.”

Companies don’t sue directlya fact that OIN would rather not be asked about (as it’s useless whenever that happens). The chief of OIN was himself working in the patent ‘monetisation’ business before he came to OIN. Need we remind readers that Microsoft has put Team Mono in charge of GitHub? Before Microsoft absorbed Team Mono in company form (Xamarin) Team Mono had strategically killed Free software projects that posed a threat to Microsoft/Windows. Microsoft has not changed; only its outward strategy (PR) has changed. It wants to get in.

“I saw that internally inside Microsoft many times when I was told to stay away from supporting Mono in public. They reserve the right to sue”

Robert Scoble, former Microsoft evangelist

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