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06.14.14

Not Even Dumping Will Save Microsoft’s Business in China Amid Diversification With GNU/Linux

Posted in Asia, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: China’s move to GNU/Linux is now being extended to the private sector (not just public sector) and there is nothing Microsoft can do to stop it this time

CHINA is abandoning Microsoft not for financial reasons but for security-related reasons. Bill Gates already tried dumping ‘free’ (gratis) software on China whilst arrogantly accusing the Chinese of ‘piracy’. Gates and his fellow criminals also bribed Chinese officials. Well, these days of Microsoft crimes may be over. It won’t work.

Aspirations for Chinese independence and growth seem to make the Windows ban irreversible. It’s not just in government anymore; state TV encourages the public to follow suit and in corporate press like CNN it is now common to see the Chinese smeared over the decision to ban spyware with back doors. See this article in ECT, showing that the anti-China rhetoric (insulting their intelligence) reached even FOSS sites, quite oddly in fact.

From a purely economic perspective, never mind security and technical advantages of GNU/Linux over Windows, Microsoft is unable to compete. As Pogson pointed out the other day: “M$ charges as little as $15 in the low-end notebook space. This is only the second or third time in PC-history that M$ has had to compete on price with */Linux (and their own installed base).”

Still, Microsoft can no longer compete so well with Android and Chrome OS. All it is trying to do right now is extort companies that distribute devices with Linux on them, establishing a new form of control or Microsoft tax (through patent racketeering).

The press in Korea shows what it labels “A tablet running the China Operating System, based on Linux.” The press in China continues to explain how a Windows ban “encourages domestic developers” (which is true actually). To quote the article:

Instead, the Chinese government is calling for the increased purchase and development of domestically developed operating systems, specifically those created on Linux. Although the ban of Windows 8 does not directly affect the general public, Sina News reports that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is pushing for domestic users to gravitate from Windows XP to domestic operating systems too. It’s not too far fetched an idea, either–China has a long history of successfully developing domestic software. The messaging software QQ, for example, is more popular than the foreign-developed MSN, since it was specifically developed to cater to Chinese people’s sensibilities.

Here is another such article that says: “Windows 8 Business use has been banned from Chinese government computers. This leaves an open door policy for OS makers to come into a huge personal computing market. Since China has the world’s largest population, it is safe to assume it may have the biggest logistics, Government records and computers to keep track of this information.”

China has not one Linux-based operating system. It has several. It would be funny if China was to actively encourage diversity in operation systems, more so than in the West (where Windows dominates desktops) because we are commonly taught that ‘true’ capitalism encourages many players (competition) rather than monopoly and even state-imposed monopoly (which is exactly what China is moving away from). Perhaps Free software is going to bring China a lot of healthy competition among domestic players, instead of a monopoly maintained by a foreign player that facilitates espionage against companies like Huawei.

06.04.14

Media Bias Against GNU/Linux, Android, and FOSS

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google at 11:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Examples of dubious media coverage about GNU/Linux, Android, and FOSS matters

There is a disturbing new pattern in the corporate media other than Microsoft openwashing [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] (Microsoft actively recruits and pays for this perceptions-distorting campaign), as we last covered yesterday with an example from CNET (its chief editor became some kind of Microsoft propaganda front). Well, compare to this mirror of a new article to the original from CNET and notice how the editor deleted mentions of Linux.

The article used to say “The $130 Linux-based Crock-Pot”, but it sure looks it the editor has quietly deleted Linux (unless the author rewrote the article hours later to that effect, which is unlikely). Something fishy is going on at CNET. The CBS-steered openwashing of Microsoft seems to be more than just an editorial preference and one has to pay careful attention to what editors do when accepting sponsors (e.g. advertisers). It’s hard doing version control (other than mental, i.e. observations-based) without access to the back end/CMS, seeing exactly how censorship (like watering down of text) really works. This time my wife caught it and showed it to me. I saw it from the inside as a writer for Datamation over half a decade ago. Writers are not allowed to criticise certain companies or use ‘strong’ opinions. In CNET, Linux may have become a forbidden word, apparently with the goal of appeasing the sponsors, if not because of some warped ideas in the editor’s mind (one deserves the blame here).

Speaking of openwashing, Black Duck, which has openwashed Microsoft for years (it is connected to and partly funded by Microsoft), rears its ugly head again with the whole compliance FUD. The opening seems promising: “Open source software has become ubiquitous, which means CXOs need to understand its benefits and its challenges, says Black Duck Software execs. Find out which open source trends to follow.” From there onwards it is subtle FUD and the FOSS-hostike site is happy to give it a platform.

A platform is given to Microsoft mouthpieces also at ECT, which helps the seeding of negative spin about Android, using an article that is quoting extensively FOSS-hostile and Microsoft-linked people or groups, notably Yankee Group and Rob Enderle. There is also a Russia angle. Why is Richard Adhikari choosing known Microsoft moles to be quoted as experts on Linux matters? Well, with Enderle it’s complicated because ECT gave him a platform for years (even as author) and Yankee people have been quoted on occasions also. Have they learned no lessons? They are seeding FUD and they hide the conflicts of interest.

There is generally much of the same rhetoric in some other sites, including from Microsoft boosters like Reisinger, who chose the headline “Samsung’s Tizen-Based Z Handset Poses Future Challenge to Android”. His colleague Michelle Maisto published a more balanced article.

All in all, let’s hope that journalists will choose to write more objective articles or speak to people who are objective, rather than those who are paid by Microsoft to smear Microsoft’s competition.

06.03.14

GnuTLS Picked on by Firm of Microsoft’s ‘Former’ Security Chief, FUD Ensues Everywhere

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security at 11:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Telecommunication

Summary: Codenomicon (where the ‘former’ Chief Security Officer for Microsoft is now the Chairman of the Board) is back to smearing FOSS projects whilst ignoring back doors in proprietary software such as Apple and Microsoft operating systems

SO-CALLED ‘SECURITY’ firms should spend more time finding flaws in secret (and most likely broken-by-design) encryption, such as the nefarious NSA stuff in Microsoft software. If they cannot gain access to the code (never mind the build process), then they should assume it to be insecure, by default. NSA is all over proprietary software, but it hides behind secret deals and arrangements with a blanket of NDAs (PRISM for instance). There is a lot of stuff in secret code which is designed to subvert encryption; we already have evidence of it, thanks to Edward Snowden.

Earlier this year we saw some FUD thrown at GnuTLS [1, 2], despite the fact that — or because — flaws had already been patched. That’s what makes Free software so powerful; fixes are almost immediate.

Then there was the whole “Heartbleed” hype [1, 2, 3], which came from Codenomicon, a firm headed by Microsoft’s ‘former’ chief (who also has FBI history and probably knows how the FBI and Microsoft created their now-infamous back doors). The whole thing stinks very badly and we have already explained why.

Now there is this new attack on the reputation of GnuTLS. Guess who’s behind it? Here’s a quote: “Codenomicon, which found the Heartbleed flaw, discovered another SSL flaw, this time in the open-source GnuTLS library. GnuTLS is part of many Linux distros.

“Security firm Codenomicon has found a new Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) flaw in the GnuTLS open-source cryptographic library. Codenomicon rose to notoriety in April as the security firm that found and branded the Heartbleed flaw in the open-source OpenSSL cryptographic library.”

Codenomicon did not discover it. It was the opportunist. The flaw was discovered by another company (a person in Google), but Codenomicon marketed the flaw, hyped it all up (later bragging about the business it brought), and then disclosed it prematurely and irresponsibly, before all sorts of crucial sites had been patched. Codenomicon is a nasty Trojan horse in the security world and it has an agenda. As we showed before, Codenomicon is also a Microsoft partner, never mind the staff’s high-level connections to Microsoft.

The GnuTLS flaw which Codenomicon speaks about is already patched [1] and a Red Hat employee explains why — if anything (contrary to media reports [2]) — this demonstrates the advantage of Free software [3].

In other security news, the proprietary TrueCrypt is seemingly under some kind of fight from the outside (or infighting). Nobody seems to know for sure what’s going on there yet [4] (maybe a split among the developers or some coverup), but theories with supportive evidence get posted [5]. GNU/Linux distros drop TrueCrypt [6] as soon as possible. The Linux Foundation is still focused on OpenSSL [7,8] these days.

It should be noted that the likely cause for issues in TrueCrypt is US government overreach (back doors or request for back doors). These days, making encryption that works is seen like some kind of crime as if it directly facilitates crime [9]. It’s possible that a move to some place like Switzerland will help dodge these issues. Red Hat too should move to some place like Switzerland, for several reasons we wrote about before (security, not just software patents and trolls).

Finally, in some other security news, notice how Apple is deviating further away from standards [10,11] whilst attacking a Free/Open Source operating system (Android) over “security”, as if Apple with PRISM and back doors is somehow more secure than Android. How does Apple do all this? Well, citing some gossip bloggers from the CBS-owned tabloid ZDNet (CBS is paid by Apple), the CEO of Apple had this to say:

To illustrate his point, he quoted the title of a recent article by ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, a self-described “big fan of Android.”

The article’s title? “Android fragmentation turning devices into a toxic hellstew of vulnerabilities” – and Cook’s slide of that quote added animated flames to the word “hellstew.”

Wait a second, Mr. Cook. Your operating system (core) has back doors which Apple designed and bragged about, never mind the NSA and PRISM. These back doors are now misused by non-government crackers. How can Cook claim security advantage with a straight face? The British press (above) ought to have pointed out these issues.

Speaking of British press, watch the Microsoft-controlled BBC spreading some FUD without naming Microsoft, even though only Microsoft is the culprit. One has to read many paragraphs before reaching the part where it says: “If your computer does not run Windows, stop right here. This does not affect you – but other problems might, so always keep your antivirus up to date.”

GNU/Linux does not require antivirus, unless it’s a server that serves files to Windows clients. But never mind all that, the BBC supports the antivirus myth (some antivirus companies do the same to Android), pretending that all platforms are not secure. The fact that this is a Microsoft-only problem should have been stated in the headline, but it’s not. Therein lies the typical bias of the BBC and some other Bill Gates- and/or Microsoft-funded press (BBC is funded by both). Microsoft is simply not being mentioned when there are Microsoft-only security problems, only when there is good news (promotion).

Watch out for FUD; lots of it exists, but it’s well concealed. A lot of it is bias by omission or bias by emphasis/selectivity.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. GnuTLS Vulnerability Closed in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
  2. GnuTLS bug exposes Linux clients to server attacks

    The maintainers of GnuTLS, a secure communications library used in Red Hat, Ubuntu other Linux distributions, have released fixes for a critical bug affecting the client-side of the software.

  3. Just a thought

    I don’t fear the bugs that get fixed (in OpenSSL and now GnuTLS) in an open, transparent way we open source people do. I fear the bugs in proprietary stuff where I can never be sure if they get fixed and how. 

  4. TrueCrypt’s Mysterious Vanishing Act
  5. TrueCrypt warrant canary confirmed?

    Looking at the sudden new content on the TrueCrypt site, the most plausible explanation for me was that it was an attempt to tip people off that they had been tracked down and sent a National Security Letter, without actually breaking the law. Why else would they advocate using Apple’s disk encryption with no encryption selected? Why else would they advocate use of software from Microsoft, who we know cannot be trusted? It smelled like a warrant canary.

  6. Replace TrueCrypt

    Due to various concerns, TrueCrypt is about to be replaced in Tails, either by tcplay or cryptsetup.

  7. Announcing Rapid Progress on Core Infrastructure Initiative

    A month ago we announced the Core Infrastructure Initiative, a project to help fund critical open source projects that we all rely upon but that are in need of support. We moved quickly to organize the initiative and the industry reaction was swift and enthusiastic. I am proud to report on significant progress that I believe matches the quality of the reaction to the formation of the project.

  8. Linux Foundation will save OpenSSL with a little help from its friends
  9. US cybercrime laws being used to target security researchers

    Some of the world’s best-known security researchers claim to have been threatened with indictment over their efforts to find vulnerabilities in internet infrastructure, amid fears American computer hacking laws are perversely making the web less safe to surf.

    Many in the security industry have expressed grave concerns around the application of the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), complaining law enforcement and lawyers have wielded it aggressively at anyone looking for vulnerabilities in the internet, criminalising work that’s largely benign.

  10. Apple Announces A New 3D API, OpenGL Competitor: Metal

    At Apple’s WWDC conference today they have just unveiled Metal, a new 3D graphics API to compete with OpenGL.

  11. Apple’s new Swift coding language hopes to lock down errors

05.31.14

Manufacturing Propaganda in Microsoft-funded Circles to Belittle FOSS and Magnify Microsoft

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 3:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Some timely examples of facts being abandoned and an alternative reality being introduced by Microsoft-funded firms and lobbyists

FOR nearly 8 years we have focused on tackling FUD and showing where the FUD came from. Public perceptions and truths (objective facts) are an abyss apart when massive PR agencies do what they’re paid to do, which is to screw with public perceptions and drive the population further away from the truth (for a profit).

In Microsoft’s parallel universe, only the desktop counts and GNU/Linux is still somewhat of an underdog with 1% market share. Microsoft relies on corruptible voices to spread such myths and it is improperly counting share in other areas, not just on desktops/laptops.

Charlie Demerjian, whom Microsoft tried to corrupt with some freebies (he declined), has published this long article titled “Microsoft is now irrelevant to computing, and they want you to know it” (highly recommended read).

To quote one portion: “With two major cave-ins in the past few weeks, Microsoft is screaming at the top of its lungs about how irrelevant it is. If you didn’t understand the fall of Microsoft from powerful monopolist to computing afterthought, let SemiAccurate explain it to you.

“For the past few decades, Microsoft has been a monopoly with one game plan, leverage what they have to exclude competition. If someone had a good idea, Microsoft would come out with a barely functional copy, give it away, and shut out the income stream of the innovator. Novell, Netscape, Pen, and countless others were crushed by this one dirty trick, and the hardware world bowed to Redmond’s whims.”

Here is more: “Competition was likewise non-existent, anyone that tried was shut out of new PCs, shut out of interoperability, had revenues devastated by free offerings from Microsoft, and many other similar monopoly games. Microsoft was the proverbial fat and lazy behemoth that was quite content to count their money and turn screws on customers whenever they needed more. If you doubt the seriousness of this stagnation, ask yourself what the last innovation Microsoft came up with was, not evolution but true innovation. I can’t think of any either.”

Here is the part about GNU/Linux: “Similarly with Linux, Microsoft just made sure that no OEM could bundle it with PCs, any that tried paid a high price. It was shut out. On the datacenter side however, Microsoft couldn’t force bundle Windows Server, customers put their own software on. For some strange reason, most large datacenters balk at paying $2000+ per two sockets for something that is vastly inferior to manage, slower, more resource hungry, and completely insecure versus the free alternative.

“Microsoft’s server market share went from 66%+ of sockets to less than 30% in five years, mostly due to datacenters and consolidation. Please don’t look for this to be reflected in the numbers from the big consulting houses, they are too afraid of revenue loss to count sockets. Instead they use the metrics that their customers want them to use, and only count sales of servers from certain vendors and sold OSes, a small fraction of the market. Microsoft didn’t just lose the server market, they were blown out of the water and have no way to recover. Other than internal services, Microsoft is just not relevant in the cloud. If you doubt this, go price a server instance from Rackspace, keep hardware constant and only vary the OS. Game over.”

Demerjian is alluding right there at the start to Gartner and IDC, two firms that create an illusion that Microsoft is relevant on servers (in top Web servers Microsoft is at around 9% and in HPC Microsoft is hardly even at 1%).

Then come mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) which basically count as computers quite comparable to laptops. Demerjian writes: “That said most people didn’t grasp how badly Microsoft had fallen, they were totally irrelevant and had no more monopoly to leverage. This played out with the Windows 8 launch, Microsoft was desperately trying to stay relevant in mobile by forcing the entire computing ecosystem to adopt their new mobile OS. In theory this would lead to software being leveraged across platforms, and between Office and Exchange, they could force people to use Microsoft mobile products.

“A funny thing happened though, an entire generation of users didn’t want to give up their beloved iPhones or Android devices for an inferior, slower, more expensive, app-free Microsoft device. Microsoft repeated their threat loudly, “Use our mobile OS or you won’t get Office or Exchange on your phone!” To their abject horror the response was almost universally, “OK, bye”.”

Microsoft is now attempting to fight Linux domination in mobile devices by taxing them. Mike Masnick becomes an accidental victim of spin and deception from Microsoft lobbyist Florian Müller, spreading another myth by naming only potential costs and making it look like patents add up to $120 on a phone. It’s a shame that Masnick fell for it. Everyone knows that many phones cost far less than $120 and the nature of this warped analysis seeks to ‘normalise’ patent extortion against the likes of Android/Linux. There is agenda there. Hopefully Masnick will recognise this error because other than that he has done great work exposing Microsoft trolls like Intellectual Ventures that still do evil every month (usually via proxies). Masnick has also covered the sham of a ‘reform’ against patent trolls, which did not happen because trolls like Intellectual Ventures lobbied Congress for years and are still doing everything to keep this broken system of endless scope in place.

In order to artificially make Android more expensive Microsoft has been passing patents to patent trolls such as MOSAID. This is how Microsoft ‘competes’. Microsoft wants taxes on phones to be seen as ‘normal’, or a status quo.

05.30.14

Microsoft-backed Mono is Still Trying to Spread to More Linux-Based Platforms

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono at 11:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

API trap and dependency

Summary: Amid openwashing of .NET there are yet more attempts to make mobile Linux dependent on Microsoft’s APIs

The peripheral Microsoft Corporation (allies/staff at companies such as
Xamarin) continues to push Mono into all sorts of Linux-centric projects such as MeeGo (we covered this in prior years) and now its successor Tizen is at risk. “Kitsilano Software are bringing C# to Tizen, in the form of the MonoTizen project,” says this article. This is part of the openwashing of .NET and also the intrusion of patented/copyrighted Microsoft APIs, not to mention code (Mono is partly written by Microsoft, with Microsoft copyrights and Microsoft licences). Serdar Yegulalp continues to contribute to this issue (lots of .NET openwashing this month [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]). Several expected sites aid a perception management campaign of Microsoft by painting .NET as “open”, including folks over at IDG, whose bias is now further revealed because the ‘former Computerworld editor” (top IDG site) calls FOSS vendors “losers”.

Watch this other Microsoft-friendly (.NET-boosting) site openwashing .NET from another angle:

JetBrains recently open sourced Nitra, a set of tooling for working with programming languages on the CLR.

The CLR is proprietary; hence, this Nitra thing is incompatible with the promise of FOSS. But that is the type of nonsense promotes by CodePlex and other Microsoft openwashing proxies. It is not about FOSS; rather, it is about looking kind of like FOSS, deceiving people and luring them into lock-in or spyware.

.NET APIs are a dangerous threat especially after the CAFC's decision in Oracle vs. Google.

One story that we have ignored in recent days (it’s not in daily links) is about Mono. There has been a lot of media coverage of Unity3D because of a new release (days ago). Almost nobody who reported on bother to say it was Mono-plagued. Some FOSS sites gave it positive coverage, making the risk more alluring.

05.28.14

CAFC Historically a Facilitator of Software Patents and Other Abusive Means of Monopolisation

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Google, Intellectual Monopoly at 10:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

CAFC

Summary: The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s judgments on software historically based on dogma and misunderstanding/misrepresentation/misinterpretation of facts, not adherence to rules, logic, or even public interest

NOW THAT Ballnux giant Samsung hoards more patents we should take a moment to remember that not all companies that are using GNU/Linux are actually friends. Even Microsoft claims to be embracing Linux in Android (through Nokia), but its intents are malicious, as we have explained numerous times before. Then there is Oracle, which joined Apple and Microsoft in hoarding Novell patents for malicious purposes. It also sued Google over Android and did some damage to Red Hat with Unbreakable, never mind all the damage Oracle did to Sun projects.

Deb Nicholson (FSF), writing for an established Web site, explained “How The Changing Legal Landscape Impacts Free And Open Source Software Development”. She correctly pointed out the following: “A patent is a limited monopoly granted for certain amount of time (20 years in many places) in exchange for full disclosure. Based on the description in the patent application, a person who is knowledgeable in that field should be able to recreate the invention. Patents used to be reserved for physical processes, new devices and sometimes a limited monopoly on a particular business opportunity. The scope of patentability has expanded in the last few decades and can now include software, as well as business methods and even certain medical procedures. The intent of patents is purportedly to encourage inventors to make investments and create new inventions that might have otherwise been too financially risky to complete. As soon as a patent expires the idea can be freely implemented by anyone.”

Patents, however, are no longer the only risk factor. Consider what the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) recently did. The FSF has just come out with this formal statement:

FSF statement on Court of Appeals ruling in Oracle v Google

[...]

The situation then is substantially similar to the situation today. The key difference is that some of Google’s affirmative defenses to claim non-infringement have been eliminated by this new ruling. The FSF now sincerely hopes for the next best thing to Alsup’s original ruling: that Google is successful in its fair use defense.

Notwithstanding our support of Google’s fair use defense, the FSF urges caution to all prospective Android users. Even though the core of the Android system is free, every Android device sold comes pre-loaded with a variety of proprietary applications and proprietary hardware drivers. The FSF encourages users to support the development of Replicant, a distribution of Android that is 100% free software. The FSF also encourages users of any Android-based system to install F-Droid, a free replacement for the Google Play app that allows users to browse, install, and receive updates from a repository of free software Android apps. Replicant uses F-Droid as its default repository.

Generally speaking, CAFC has been a sham for many years as it was also responsible for making software patents legitimate in the United States, before this trend/precedent spread to other countries. In 2012 it was points out that the court stood in the way of stopping software patents and a week or so ago TechDirt cited this article, accusing the person who did this in the court. As TechDirt put it: “Tim Lee recently got to talk to Michel following a talk he gave, and what becomes clear is that Michel is completely out of touch with how much of a problem patents are in the tech world today. Lee knows this subject better than probably anyone else, and when he tried to dig in on key points, it was obvious that Michel’s knowledge of what actually is happening in the industry is based on myths and imagination, rather than reality. For example, when Michel pointed out that he’s “a facts and figures guy” rather than one who focuses on “anecdotes and assumptions,” Lee quickly points to James Bessen and Michael Meurer’s comprehensive book on why patents hurt the tech industry.”

Lawyers defy logic.

Here is the latest relevant article about this, an article from TechDirt about CAFC:

For many years we’ve written about the serious problems with CAFC, the court of appeals for the federal circuit, which is better known as the appeals court where all patent cases go. CAFC was created in the early 1980s under the belief that a more “specialized” court could better handle the more complicated technical issues related to patents. But what really happened is that it basically built a club of patent-friendly judges, who spent nearly all of their time with patent lawyers, and thus took an increasingly patent-friendly view of the world. That one of the key original judges on CAFC was also a long-time well known patent lawyer who almost single-handedly wrote the 1952 Patent Act, seemed to set the tone that has remained throughout the court’s existence.

It is not unusual for this disgraceful court to do this type of thing. TechDirt also gave this other new example one week ago:

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court smacked down the Federal Circuit (CAFC) for its made up rules that made it almost impossible to enable victims of patent trolls to get the courts to order the trolls to pay legal fees. As the Supreme Court noted, CAFC seemed to set up arbitrary rules for no reasons at all. And this is important, because courts almost never award legal fees, and with the untimely death of patent reform, hopefully this small change will at least help in the meantime.

Notice the tend. CAFC is a not a legitimate court, it has become a pack of software patents (and more broadly patents) boosters. Its latest judgment, as before, should be appealed and brought to SCOTUS, but this is expensive and can take years.

Bill Gates’ Plot to Enslave China With ‘Free’ Back Doors is Failing, But Microsoft Strikes Back With Openwashing

Posted in Asia, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 8:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates about the Chinese (1998)

National Security Agency

Summary: Microsoft is trying to portray itself and Windows as “open” because China is dumping the NSA Trojan horse that Bill Gates put there a couple of decades ago

BILL GATES is quite openly an NSA proponent and one thing that Gates and the NSA have in common is that they both use the Chinese as whipping boys. Gates likes to urge Chinese billionaires to give away (despite the fact that he himself is hoarding, not giving away) and the NSA pressures China to not do what the US has been doing for decades. Remember that Windows is an NSA Trojan horse, based on Edward Snowden’s invaluable leaks.

Bill Gates’ Microsoft has collaborated with the NSA like no other technology company (Microsoft is the #1 company in PRISM) and we recently wrote about China's ban on the latest Windows. This is a massive turning point — one that even Gates lobbying trips to China might not be able to tackle.

Glyn Moody, writing about China’s relationship with Linux, has just made some important points alluding to China’s relation to Android, some forks of mobile operating systems (e.g. COS), and various GNU/Linux distributions, managed and developed by the world’s largest population. Here is his opening paragraph (the article as a whole is worth a read):

The history of Linux in China is chequered. Android is doing extremely well there, even if it tends to be varieties that are more or less independent from Google (no bad thing.) But on the desktop, GNU/Linux has had a pretty disastrous showing. That’s strange, because you would think that the Chinese authorities would jump at the chance to adopt a free operating system that was independent of the US, and which could be inspected for NSA backdoors even before the current Snowden leaks showed why that would be a good idea.

Moody quotes Gates on China, hopefully reminding the Chinese how Gates is really viewing them. He uses an old trick for disguising colonialism/imperialism as “charity” — a trick that the CIA, USAID and various other covert operations have used for decades. Gates does this not only in China but especially in Africa and there are new articles about it [1] in the mass media [2] (finally it’s acceptable to say the truth about Gates in some circles of corporate press). Don’t forget how Bill Gates advances GMO in Africa through proxies like AGRA (new article about it in [3]) and has lobbied for it in India, apparently with success (new depressing article confirms some successes [4]). In the US, Gates is now seeking to monopolise and profit from schools, prisons, and police (people are complaining these days [5,6]). The ‘gift’ of private US monopolies is all that Gates seems to be offering, especially because he is a principal shareholder of these monopolies. Some call it profiteering. It’s all just a ploy.

Speaking of ploys, watch the Microsoft-funded IDG pushing some Microsoft propaganda in China. Someone called Sheila Lam is apparently trying to respond to China’s escape from Windows by openwashing Windows. She writes that “Microsoft is embracing open source in China.”

Utter nonsense. Marketing disguised as journalism.

Lam is referring to the malicious proxy known as "Microsoft Open Technologies" (we also wrote about it in [1, 2]). “Earlier this year,” writes Lam, “the software giant launched China Microsoft Open Technologies Shanghai to extend its existing open source development to the Middle Kingdom.”

This is nonsense marketing and everyone in the Free/Open Source world knows that “Microsoft Open Technologies” exists to whitewash and openwash proprietary software from Microsoft. But don’t let facts get in the way of so-called ‘journalists’ with agenda and bosses who receive payments from Microsoft.

“In 2012,” adds Lam, “Microsoft set up a subsidiary–Microsoft Open Technologies–to help bridge the gap between Redmond’s proprietary products and non-Microsoft technologies.”

Notice that term “non-Microsoft technologies”; it’s almost offensive. This is how Microsoft views competition. Microsoft uses the same tactics in the British government right now, as we shall show in the next post. Microsoft just keeps pretending to be the opposite of what it is in order to fit procurement criteria, not only in the UK but also in China.

“Gates has created a huge blood-buying operation that only cares about money, not about people.”

AIDS organisation manager, December 2009 (New York Times)

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Why Bill Gates gets it wrong

    Worse, Munk’s observations frequently seem to have been, at the very least, greatly exaggerated for narrative effect. Does Bill Gates really believe that I advocated specific crops without worrying about whether there was a market for them, or that I failed to consider national taxation in my ongoing advice to government leaders? Moreover, the agricultural strategies and choices in the MVP have been led by African agronomists, some of the very best in Africa — often working hand in hand with Bill’s own agricultural staff in the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

  2. Bill Gates is wrong on Africa

    These are just two of many current examples. Despite Gates being factually wrong, the worst part is that his message steers people and policy makers away from the most critical problem facing Africa: corruption. Not speaking up where such abuses occur and propagating a false message in his letter is dishonest.

  3. GMO Crops and Labeling: Barack Obama and the Monsanto Betrayal

    Nor is it coincidental that two of the Obama’s biggest supporters, Bill Gates and George Soros, purchased 900,000 and 500,000 shares of Monsanto, respectively, in 2010.

  4. Punjab shortlists Monsanto, two others to provide subsidised HYV maize seeds

    The Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday approved a proposal of the State agriculture department, which shortlisted Monsanto and two other companies to provide high yielding varieties (HYV) of maize seeds to farmers at subsidised rates during the current Kharif season.

  5. It’s Time for Bill Gates to Throw in the Education Towel

    Anthony Cody points out that for the past dozen years or so, Bill Gates has had his fun experimenting with education reform. Obsessed as he is with measurement and data, he imagined that he could impose his narrow ideas on American public schools and bring about a magical transformation.

    Does American education need reform and improvement? Absolutely. Stuck as it is in the paradigm of testing and punishment, it sorely needs a revival of humanism and attention to the needs of children, families, and communities. It needs teachers who are well-prepared. It needs a recommitment o the health and happiness of children and to a deeper love of learning.

    Yet Gates used HS vast wealth to steer national policy to the dry and loveless task of higher scores on tests of dubious value.

    He wanted charter schools, and Arne Duncan, his faithful liege, demanded more charter schools,even if it was central to the Republican agenda.

    He wanted national standards and quite willingly paid out over $2 billion to prove that one man could create the nation’s academic standards by buying off almost every group that mattered.

    He wanted teachers to be evaluated based on test scores, and Ducan gave that to him too.

    But says Cody, everything failed.

  6. Gates Foundation, divest from G4S

    The Stanford Class of 2014 Commencement speakers, Bill and Melinda Gates, are currently facing global scrutiny for their foundation’s $172 million investment in G4S, the world’s largest private military and security company. As graduating seniors, we would like to enumerate these concerns and discuss a new campaign, composed of a broad coalition of students that has formed to call upon the Gates Foundation to divest from G4S and other compromising industries and practices, such as privatized prisons, military contracting and labor exploitation.

    Because the Gates Foundation has been such a strong force in almost every area of philanthropy, it is very disturbing that it invests in a company like G4S, which is responsible for a litany of human rights abuses affecting many of the same communities that the Foundation targets for assistance. G4S operates private juvenile detention facilities in the United States as well as over 100 vehicles that bring captured undocumented immigrants to detention centers on the U.S./Mexico border. The company fails to properly house asylum seekers in UK detention centers, which resulted in the death of Jimmy Mubenga, who was killed while being deported to Angola, as well as the death of 15-year-old Gareth Myatt, who was killed while being restrained at a youth detention center.

05.24.14

Latest Back Door in Microsoft Windows Open For Over Half a Year, OEMs Increasingly Preload GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Internet Explorer facilitates remote search by spooks and non-government crackers

Internet Explorer

Summary: Another remotely-exploitable hole in Windows and more reasons for OEMs to choose GNU/Linux (e.g. Chrome OS) for new computers

ANTI-FOSS pundits like to distract. They are using OpenSSL to accuse FOSS as a whole of insecurity, based on just one bug. There are examples of this even in the past week’s news. It’s disproportional. Rarely do these pundits allude to Microsoft’s back doors for the NSA, which turn out to even include this remotely-accessible back door:

Microsoft has failed to address a remotely exploitable security flaw affecting the most widely used version of Internet Explorer.

This has been known about since last year. This is worse than negligent; it may actually be deliberate.

China recently banned Vista 8 in government. This is going to inspire other nations sooner rather than later. Some say that Microsoft is likely to not only alienate nations but also OEMs. One Microsoft booster, Gavin Clarke, believes that Microsoft has just distanced itself from PC makers “because Microsoft actually sees the Surface Pro 3 as a laptop killer.” To quote his piece:

It’s a marketing and a business decision that can only cause more damage to Microsoft’s relationships with PC and channel partners on Windows 8, and to its broader mission of encouraging uptake of its latest PC operating system.

One sure thing is, Microsoft is losing its dominance on the desktop, partly due to other form factors but also because of GNU/Linux (Chrome OS) on laptops. Many OEMs are now marketing and selling with great success so-called “Chromebooks”. It’s hard to ignore this trend at the local stores.

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