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01.22.20

Linux Foundation (LF) Now Dominated by Lots of Microsoft People and LF Chiefs Join Microsoft in Smearing GPL/Copyleft

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Law, Microsoft at 9:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Against the licence of Linux itself? They treat Free software like some ‘hippie’ thing, leaving the original developers institutionally homeless and without representation of any kind (except theoretic/symbolic).

A licence

Summary: We continue to see additional evidence which serves towards reinforcing our view that the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation is actually hostile towards many things that are associated with Linux (unlike those looking to exploit/hijack Linux for proprietary ends)

THE freedom of all software is under attack. So-called ‘permissive’ licences are advocated by proprietary software giants, looking mostly to exploit and control projects. That much should not be surprising. It’s a widely known fact. Our debates with Microsoft managers have made it abundantly clear that Microsoft still isn’t tolerating the GPL and it has this ‘offshoot’ called Black Duck (there have been several more since it was acquired), whose management came from Microsoft and admitted that its original goal was to discourage GPL adoption. Black Duck is so toxic that Simon Phipps kicked these people out; he ejected them from OSI and rejected their money, whereas Jim Zemlin welcomed them. What does that say about him?

“Black Duck is so toxic that Simon Phipps kicked these people out; he ejected them from OSI and rejected their money, whereas Jim Zemlin welcomed them.”About a week ago we learned there was an article on the way that related to things we had published (not about Black Duck; FOSS Force really ought to write something about Black Duck’s history). Earlier this week it finally came out; it was Bruce Byfield’s thought-provoking piece about the Linux Foundation. Byfield notes that the “Linux Foundation has not only accepted Microsoft as a Platinium member, but awarded it two seats on the board of directors: one representing Microsoft directly, and the other representing the Microsoft-owned GitHub.”

That’s not indirectly, that is Microsoft directly. The new PR trick is for companies to pretend to be smaller than they are (Alphabet Google does this too, e.g. YouTube).

Notice how they get more seats over time. It’s all about money.

“So the chief technical person of the LF, which has Microsoft et al in key positions, publicly spreads GPL FUD, citing Microsoft proxies as his source.”Also, remember that the the Vice Chair (of the Board) worked for Microsoft and there are Microsoft developers in key positions, cushioned by Greg K-H, who himself worked indirectly for Microsoft (or on Microsoft projects) while on Novell/Microsoft payroll.

The interesting part — to me at least — is in the comments/discussion. For those who don’t know, Chris Aniszczyk is “currently a CTO at the Linux Foundation” (according to him). Notice what he wrote.

So the chief technical person of the LF, which has Microsoft et al in key positions, publicly spreads GPL FUD, citing Microsoft proxies as his source. LF staff is now joining Microsoft in attacking the GPL, even in public. Not just any staff but chief staff of the LF, echoing Microsoft-connected (WhiteSource/Black Duck) FUD against the GPL. It’s consistent with some stuff we saw in the past and commenters such as “Mike” respond:

> “Does the FSF or SFC have corporate member or developer seats or just individual seats only? It seems you are only hearing one side fo the story that’s inaccurate.”

That’s pretty ironic considering what the Linux Foundation did to its community representation. The Linux Foundation tells only the corporate side of the story. Like any corporation, trusting them with your well-being is a stupid thing to do.

“Mike” responds to Bruce Byfield as well:

The *relative* decline of GPL and copyleft is only natural when viewed in terms of volume of code being produced.

There is far more corporate funded code than ever before – and that code is almost universally stamped with ‘permissive’ licenses. Lots more open-washing today than ever.

There are plenty of new copyleft projects out there, but that doesn’t fit the corporate driven narrative.

Licence popularity-wise, Microsoft proxies (WhiteSource/Black Duck) are mostly measuring things based on Microsoft GitHub (it is a proprietary trap for corporate exploitation). We’ve complained about this for half a decade or longer. But even other Microsoft-sponsored ‘analysts’ do the same thing, treating anything that Microsoft does not control as though it does not exist and ought not be counted. Should it be surprising that copyleft-leaning projects (e.g. GNU) aren’t interested in the proprietary trap which is GitHub? That’s like measuring collective societal wealth based only on who shops at Hugo Boss stores/outlets. The picture one sees is distorted by the narrowness of the target audience/client base.

“Licence popularity-wise, Microsoft proxies (WhiteSource/Black Duck) are mostly measuring things based on Microsoft GitHub (it is a proprietary trap for corporate exploitation).”Mike’s replies make sense. And Chris then responds to Chris, more or less nailing it, arguing that the LF “treats desktop Linux users, as well as users of open source software on Linux and other operating systems, as orphans…”

We’ve said something similar several times in the past.

Here’s the full comment:

To me the point is that the Linux Foundation is doing nothing whatsoever to advance desktop Linux, and treats desktop Linux users, as well as users of open source software on Linux and other operating systems, as orphans, even though they were the first boosters of Linux development. At LF, if it’s not software being developed for commercial and enterprise users, or if it’s designed to be used on a desktop or laptop instead of in a data center or industrial device, it doesn’t exist.

Bruce Byfield did note: “A more cynical interpretation is that, from its very start, the Linux Foundation has been a slow coup, gradually usurping an authority to which it has no right. Ask me on alternate days which one I believe.”

“This may not be a deliberate thing, but unwittingly the LF let entryism be ‘welcomed’ or ‘tolerated’ in the Board, not foreseeing the negative effects on the ‘pragmatic’ and PR front.”Byfield also mentioned how he had lost his job at Linux.com. Less than a year ago the same thing happened all over again (the LF fired all staff and editors without as much as a prior notice). The site has not been the same since. It’s an embarrassment and it is pretty dormant.

What Byfield says about the “slow coup” makes sense. This may not be a deliberate thing, but unwittingly the LF let entryism be ‘welcomed’ or ‘tolerated’ in the Board, not foreseeing the negative effects on the ‘pragmatic’ and PR front. What good is an institution which does not guard its mission statement and spirit and only counts money, even from its biggest opponents?

01.02.20

Google is Not Your Friend and It Was Never Your Friend

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Google, GPL, Microsoft, Patents at 3:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Google is also working for the government, right?

Google is working for the good of humanity

Summary: Just because Google is not Microsoft and it often (in many different areas) competes against Microsoft does not mean that we should tolerate or actively support Google

GOOGLE is probably — at least as far as GNU/Linux is concerned — the least harmful among GAFAM and Microsoft by far the worst. Why? Because Google spreads Linux through Android and GNU/Linux through Chrome OS. Of course it also spreads DRM to the Linux kernel, but that’s just one of very many bad things Google does.

“When it comes to listening devices or bugs (often referred to as “smart” “assistants”) people are given ample ‘choice’ between brands. Which of GAFAM is your ‘favourite’?”The cult of personalities or of brands is very dangerous. Association with brands, personal pride in branding, personification and idol-like worship of muchly-groomed [sic] individuals can become hardly any different or distinguishable from religion. In the arena of government it’s sometimes referred to as “identity politics”…

When it comes to listening devices or bugs (often referred to as “smart” “assistants”) people are given ample ‘choice’ between brands. Which of GAFAM is your ‘favourite’? Pick your poison, the US government will receive and perpetually keep copies of all the audio. Maybe even your local police department will receive it all, without as much as a warrant.

“It’s disappointing to see Debian receiving money from Google (not only through event sponsorships), then covering the whole thing up.”The way I’ve long seen it, Google was evil but a convenient ally against Microsoft monopoly (Windows, Office). It’s hard to imagine a Google that actually promotes software freedom — neglecting GSoC ‘guilt money’ or ‘silence money’ (appeasing people and/or quelling dissent) — and the company’s patent stance is hardly any better. It actively helps the European Patent Office (EPO) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) with patent maximalism.

If you care about software freedom (or privacy, peace etc.), then Google is not your friend. Its founders are long gone (the actual geeks).

It’s disappointing to see Debian receiving money from Google (not only through event sponsorships), then covering the whole thing up. As for the FSF? It apparently received some perks from Microsoft and Google in a GPL event despite the fact that both Microsoft and Google antagonise the GPL and discourage copyleft adoption. We complained when Google money landed on the EFF's lap and even some EFF board members cited our complaint; they too were unhappy.

09.29.19

Large Corporations Can Definitely Work With Free/Libre Software But Total Domination Over Free/Libre Software is the Problem

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, GPL, IBM, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 7:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

If they cannot control it, they will try to destroy it (and the people who made it)

Stallman needs new home

Summary: Typical and lousy corporate screed, along with corporate media, incites the public against Stallman (based on deliberate misrepresentation), potentially forcing him into temporary ‘homelessness’ (the above is a new Web page from Stallman) while corporations that incorporate GNU into their products rake in billions of dollars each month

HALF A DOZEN of us are still trying to figure out, mostly in IRC, who’s responsible for defacing Stallman’s site (it’s definitely a defacement based on a video link, as we noted in our previous post). It’s definitely not a joke and the goal is to make Stallman look bad. The goal is to embarrass him and cause maximal damage to his image.

We’ve seen a bunch of names mentioned. Generally speaking, it’s just the latest of a long series of events, which already caused Stallman to be removed from MIT (his ‘home’), then removed from FSF. He’s now looking for a place to live and it’s starting to resemble that long voyage of Julian Assange, who was demonised and defamed in the media for nearly a decade. He lived a frugal, repressed life in an embassy’s room.

“Generally speaking, it’s just the latest of a long series of events, which already caused Stallman to be removed from MIT (his ‘home’), then removed from FSF.”There seem to be powerful forces looking to ruin Stallman’s life, not just his work and his reputation. Some people blame Microsoft, others blame Red Hat/IBM (typically citing its short and controversial press release about diversity in the wake of Stallman’s resignation). It’s not pretty and many accusations are largely hypothetical and based on conjectures.

An associate of ours has meanwhile relayed this seemingly new (albeit undated) post from Steve Litt, who recently wrote some long rants about systemd (because it’s expanding to yet more corners if not centres of Linux). “Write a Letter to Redhat About systemd” is the title and it says this:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) incorporated systemd as their default and only init system in 2014. Soon after, perhaps with some persuasion from Red Hat and its allies, Debian adopted systemd as its default init system, and many Debian Derived distros, including all the Ubuntus, followed suit. Starting in 2014, this caused extensive protest from many in the Linux community, for reasons such as: [...]

I’ll be glad to serve as a central information point for this letter writing campaign. If you find other contacts, please feel free to write to them and please email me with those contacts and contact information.

For a number of years I personally chose not to comment/say much about systemd because I don’t understand it as well as some core developers. But seeing how large it has gotten, the fact it’s Microsoft-hosted and the fact it’s IBM-owned (proprietary software company that adores lock-in), I am increasingly worried about it. Corporations do not have feelings or ideology. They don’t care about UNIX principles, either. Corporations are run by very few people seeking to maximise short-term profits and Red Hat is no exception to the rule (only slightly different because of public image), more so under IBM. Frequent releases of systemd help leave rivals of Red Hat perpetually behind, always chasing Red Hat for bug fixes and never capable of offering the same levels of support and customisation. systemd is gradually devouring much of the system or codebase that’s not stale. I am also growingly suspicious of Red Hat because of the IBM agenda that’s inherited by ownership (I’ve been critical of IBM for about 5-7 years); it’s like they have an alliance of convenience with Microsoft and there's ample evidence. I’ve been watching these things closely for a very long time. Red Hat even considered/entertained Microsoft as a buyer. IBM betrayed “Linux” about a decade ago after it had done some good work, including ODF advocacy. Many of us will always remember their back room agreement with Microsoft around 2008 (it was about OOXML). We were all furious. They sold us out. Soon enough they also stopped contributing to OpenOffice and related projects.

“IBM betrayed “Linux” about a decade ago after it had done some good work, including ODF advocacy. Many of us will always remember their back room agreement with Microsoft around 2008 (it was about OOXML).”That’s not to say IBM is evil; we never said such a thing. Our main issue with IBM is its patent policy, which includes lobbying aggressively for software patents.

IBM is somehow left out from GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft). The same goes for Intel, Oracle and several other companies. Are they all foes of GNU/Linux? No. In our view, for reasons we explained before, Microsoft is the only company that stands to gain a lot from the destruction/failure of GNU/Linux, both in servers and desktops/appliances (the same cannot be said about Apple as its range of products/services is a lot more limited).

Amazon, for instance, isn’t a big concern to us, albeit it’s dangerous to Software Freedom, mostly because of ‘cloud’ loopholes, centralisation, surveillance and licensing matters that impact FOSS economics. Be wary of Mac Asay. “Asay [is] back,” one reader said this morning about this article. “However based on past posts, I haven’t read his full post this time.”

“…Microsoft is the only company that stands to gain a lot from the destruction/failure of GNU/Linux, both in servers and desktops/appliances (the same cannot be said about Apple as its range of products/services is a lot more limited).”Mac Asay has been against copyleft for quite some time now (he’s an Amazon AWS employee now, serving Bezos and by extension the CIA/US Army); opposition to ethics is very much expected from him. He has worked for a number of proprietary software companies in recent years and he had also applied for a job at Microsoft. He’s one of those people who attack Software Freedom while pretending to care about it. Writing about “open source” while promoting pure exploitation/abuse of it…

Going back to Red Hat, it habitually promotes .NET, sometimes Azure too. It took former Microsoft employees even into management ranks and OpenSource.com often posts pro-Microsoft nonsense. How about this latest post, “Microsoft open sourcing its C++ library, Cloudera’s open source data platform, new tools to remove leaked passwords on GitHub and combat ransomware, and more open source news”?

As we put it in our last Daily Links bundle, “”Microsoft open sourcing its C++ library” means proprietary software MSVS is “open” and “new tools to remove leaked passwords on GitHub and combat ransomware” means NSA PRISM is “security”…”

“Writing about “open source” while promoting pure exploitation/abuse of it…”We also included this new article, calling it “more Microsoft openwashing whose net goal is to sell Microsoft proprietary software for developers to become ‘serfs’ of Windows, Azure etc.”

This morning we saw “Chromium-based Microsoft Edge could hit Linux” and days ago we explained that nobody wants it or asked for it.

GNU/Linux is being changed. It’s being made more proprietary. One might say it’s being hijacked with help from the likes of the Linux Foundation.

09.28.19

The GNU/Linux Community Feels Increasingly Isolated, Homeless and Orphaned in a New Age of Corporate Takeovers

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, GPL, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat at 3:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft loves Linux, I don't think so

Summary: The corporate slogans and lies that are tossed about by corporate media remain as unconvincing as ever (no matter their repetition’s frequency); GNU/Linux is being raided

I HAVE BEEN USING GNU/Linux since I was a teenager. The last Windows version I had was Windows 98. When I ‘joined’ the ‘Linux’ community and developed software with GTK it was a job to me. The software was GPL-licensed. It was made available to all on my Web site and on SourceForge. 18 years later there’s hardly a SourceForge (it’s a shadow of its former self), a lot of Free software is controlled by Microsoft because it bought the largest Git repository, and as we noted in the previous post about the Linux Foundation (LF), Microsoft and IBM “Linux” is gradually becoming something else. The FSF is no longer RMS (albeit RMS insists he’s still in charge of the GNU project) and Torvalds doesn’t seem to be in charge of Linux.

“To put it simply if not bluntly, Linux is now owned and controlled by few large corporations.”What on Earth is going on? My job is still technical and some clients compel us to put code under a Microsoft site (GitHub). All their systems use systemd, which from a technical point of view appears to offer little or no advantage (except Red Hat IBM control over copyrights and development).

To put it simply if not bluntly, Linux is now owned and controlled by few large corporations. The fight to do the same to GNU is still ongoing. So what have we all worked and campaigned for? Is our work being ‘stolen’ by billionaires, who try to strip off or weaken the GPL?

We sure live in confusing times.

09.24.19

The Corporate Linux Foundation as Agent of Microsoft and Other Serial GPL Violators

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Red Hat, VMware at 1:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As if the principal goal of this foundation or its entire purpose is to embellish and improve the image of those who attack Linux the most

Summary: The Linux Foundation does a disservice to those whom it claims to speak for and represent; unless of course the Linux Foundation is the trade group whose goal is to outsource Linux to the foes of Linux

IT’S NO SECRET that we do not trust the person who last year said (see video above) that “Open Source loves Microsoft,” which is an intentional lie (on par with “Microsoft loves Linux”). He, Jim Zemlin, had also said we need to “respect Microsoft” and he compared Microsoft to “a puppy” (the context being, Microsoft critics being the moral equivalent of people who violently assault baby dogs). Wow, you really aced it, Jim! You don’t even use Linux and you didn't really know about it until almost a decade after it had come out (and approximately 17 years after GNU!), so revisionist and highly distorted history can be understood, albeit not tolerated. You claim to represent Linux, but your actions conform to something else. The people who generally manage the brand (or trademark) “Linux” barely use Linux. Some never used it at all! The person who tells us “Linux” is so great (Zemlin) actually rejects it himself. This is the person who we’re led to assume will ‘guard’ Linux. A sobering reality check makes one wonder if he does exactly the opposite. The people entrusted to run Linux.com are also not full-time Linux users. What on Earth is going on?!

“The people entrusted to run Linux.com are also not full-time Linux users.”For 12 years we kept mostly quiet about it; we worried that speaking negatively about Zemlin et al would hurt Linux as a whole. But earlier this year we broke the silence, motivated in part by two ladies who had grown fed up with what they had seen. We were shown examples and started our research last winter. The deeper we look, the worse it gets. Then, back in April, all staff of Linux.com got fired. All except one, Swapnil, who typically wrote the paid-for (by sponsors) staged ‘interviews’. Commercials in article form…

“We sat down with Heather Kirksey VP, Community at LF Networking to deep dive into the advancement of networking technologies.”

“LF Networking (LFN) and the Corporate Linux Foundation have once again outsourced everything to Microsoft (GitHub).”So said Swapnil yesterday in his blog post. It’s an ad for LF Networking (LFN). Swapnil is now — as before — openwashing 5G with help from the Corporate Linux Foundation (of course 5G is very proprietary and also a patent trap). This is just their business model; as a marketing front…

LF Networking (LFN) and the Corporate Linux Foundation have once again outsourced everything to Microsoft (GitHub). In their own words from the official statement:

LF Networking (LFN) and the GSMA today announced that the Common NFVi Telco Taskforce (CNTT) has reached its first major milestone with the publication of its initial common Reference Model and first Reference Architecture. Jointly hosted by the GSMA and the Linux Foundation, CNTT operates as an open committee responsible for creating and documenting an industry-aligned Common NFVI Framework.

“This initial release represents the first tangible output of CNTT,” said Heather Kirksey, vice president, Community and Ecosystem Development, the Linux Foundation. “In the short time since ONS North America, the community has already reached milestones around creation of the Reference Model and first Reference Architecture. We have also initiated significant discussion around Reference Implementation along with commencement of enhancements to OVP within OPNFV. I am very pleased to see the focused delivery of this group and our ability to align the industry and accelerate innovation, especially in the advance of 5G. It’s incredible to witness such deep collaboration and integration among operators and vendors from across the globe.”

“The speed with which this group has been established and produced its first tangible results are testament to the close cooperation and collaboration of its industry members,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “A common framework and approach will accelerate adoption and deployment in the 5G era and we look forward to aligning further with our partners on this important project.”

It is a GitHub repository. So Microsoft controls it. Swapnil didn’t stop there. He then used Linux.com to prop up Dan Meyer from partner publishers of the same employer. Marketing as ‘news’ (their business model is just that). To quote: “The Linux Foundation’s LF Networking group and industry trade association GSMA unveiled the first data release for their Common NFVi Telco Taskforce (CNTT). This initial tranche includes a common reference model and the first reference architecture.”

“It is a GitHub repository. So Microsoft controls it.”And this project is — you’ve guessed it — controlled by Microsoft now. The Corporate Linux Foundation has meanwhile formed another surveillance group (awful members with spying agenda) and outsourced everything to Microsoft, as usual. In their own words: “Presto was developed at Facebook in 2012 as a high-performance distributed SQL query engine for large scale data analytics. Presto’s architecture allows users to query a variety of data sources such as Hadoop, S3, Alluxio, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Kafka, MongoDB and move at scale and speed. It solves the problem of having to choose between having fast analytics that use an expensive commercial solution or using a slow but “free” solution that require excessive hardware.”

What bothers us a great deal is that the Corporate Linux Foundation has outsourced everything to Microsoft yet again. It’s doing this all the time. As another site put it: “An SQL query engine developed by Facebook and moved earlier this year to a non-profit development group is now being hosted by the Linux Foundation.”

“What bothers us a great deal is that the Corporate Linux Foundation has outsourced everything to Microsoft yet again. It’s doing this all the time.”It is being used for surveillance. Here’s another one: “The open source Structured Query Language engine Presto is getting its own project within the Linux Foundation. [...] Presto was designed as an SQL query engine for performing interactive queries on data from sources such as Hadoop, S3, Alluxio, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Kafka and MongoDB. It’s capable of querying multiple data formats, no matter if it’s in a relational, NoSQL, proprietary or unstructured format. Data is queried where it’s stored, without needing to move it to a separate system first.”

And yes, of course Swapnil just had to promote that in his own site as well.

But wait, it get worse

Swapnil from the Corporate Linux Foundation does openwashing for Microsoft… yet again (he did this many times before). He literally refuses to see Microsoft as a rival. They pay him to attack GNU/Linux, so why worry?

“Go work for Microsoft,” I told him. “So at least more people know whose agenda you really serve…”

His Microsoft openwashing came in multiple parts on Monday [1, 2] and he then sucked up to Microsoft, which reciprocates with links to his site.

“Swapnil from the Corporate Linux Foundation does openwashing for Microsoft… yet again (he did this many times before).”There was some more openwashing for VMware on the same day, in multiple parts (sponsored by the Corporate Linux Foundation, which is paid by VMware to do this PR stunt); he just can’t help himself, as if the only way to make a living is by lying for these corporations. GPL violators; serial violators…

Quite frankly, this isn’t even the exception in Swapnil’s site, which is nowadays promoting Amazon’s listening devices (not for the first time). Earlier today it wrote about surveillance coming to nature/parks too. Microphones, listening devices and tracking by wireless signals. Marketed to us as “smart cities” and marketed to us by Swapnil’s site (Corporate Linux Foundation). We’ve seen similar openwashing and surveillance propaganda — some of it for listening devices — from Zemlin or the Corporate Linux Foundation. This is their vision of our future. These people of the Corporate Linux Foundation are toxic. This is the kind of vision of the world the sole Linux.com editor has. Listening devices, openwashing and surveillance; lots of propaganda towards those ends. Mass conditioning and indoctrination help weaken resistance.

“Listening devices, openwashing and surveillance; lots of propaganda towards those ends.”The Corporate Linux Foundation is drowning itself (and us) in a swamp of buzzwords and other nonsense. Connor Jones and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols ‘report’ (puff pieces) on LF Edge this week [1, 2]. “According to Arpit Joshipura,” one article says, “edge computing will overtake cloud computing by 2025.”

Buzzwords’ battles.

As one person put it: “Is the Linux Foundation where failing projects go to die? That’s sad.”

And one reply said, “yeah indeed linux foundation has gone downhill.”

“It’s also killing Linux,” I responded, “feeding it as lunch to hostile corporations…”

“The Corporate Linux Foundation is drowning itself (and us) in a swamp of buzzwords and other nonsense.”Check out today’s article from Decrypt. To quote: “The internet-of-things cryptocurrency IOTA, and the Linux Foundation, the team behind the developer-friendly operating system, have joined forces, according to a blog post. Combined, they will work to integrate IOTA into LF Edge, Linux’s platform for edge computing. Edge computing is tech’s latest buzzword. The sales pitch is that cloud computing relies on centralized storage in big data warehouses, owned by Amazon, IBM and other blue chip giants. The issue, apparently, is that these data warehouses are often far away from the customers who use them. Edge computing however, promises to use computing power at the ‘edges’ of the network—physically much closer to customers—offering a host of benefits including reduced latency time and less bandwidth.”

In this particular case the Corporate Linux Foundation is acting/serving as little but a marketing agency. Not only in this case (it’s licensing the “Linux” brand for PR); they’re just outsourcing things to Microsoft via GitHub…

Notice how all/most of the above announcements come from KubeCon. Who runs it?

Let’s see…

It turns out that the Linux Foundation isn’t liked even by Microsoft (which ‘bought’ it). As one of them put it: “Wow didn’t realize sponsoring Kubecon Shanghai was the amount of sending a kid to an ivy league… Those pay-for-play keynotes sure don’t come cheap [] I’d much rather sponsor the open source firmware conference, no pay-for-play. All community. All people helping one another. And a hackathon. The Linux foundation events, on the other hand, just scream disingenuous. [] “my kid couldn’t get into college based off their own merit so I paid for them to be accepted” “my project couldn’t get a keynote on it’s own merit, so I paid for one”…”

There’s a screenshot there too, from the brochure.

“In this particular case the Corporate Linux Foundation is acting/serving as little but a marketing agency.”More people now realise that this thing called “Linux Foundation” is a scam that sells keynotes, tweets, "thank yous" and so on.

“Got feeling that kubecon is hijacked by big sponsors to move their agenda,” one person has just remarked. Jim Zemlin and his ‘nonprofit’ are profiting big time (about $100,000,000 per annum) from this attack on Free software (which they help companies raid and privatise). As one senior Red Hat employee has just put it: “So the #OpenCore summit, where Open Core companies complain about Cloud providers using their code but not paying or giving back enough, has AWS as platinum sponsor.”

There’s a screenshot there as well.

People are at least beginning to pay closer attention to these things. Red Hat would be rather hypocritical to say the above given its practices with trademarks, systemd etc.

We’ve noticed a sharp increase in site traffic lately, marking perhaps growing interest in these issues we’ve been covering for many years. The departure of Stallman is another wake-up call.

As one reader put it in an E-mail message, “I want to give them a chance to do us right, but after the farce that took him down, of course — and before we even get to the “diversity” angle, because this statement still holds true if we only talk about the white males that apply…”

“People are at least beginning to pay closer attention to these things.”“The biggest tragedy of the Stallman replacement process is going to be that its going to come down to a decision between someone who would devote their entire life to the role, and someone who would just treat it like a job. And there are too many people who would choose, even prefer, the person who would just treat it like a job. That’s what we are most likely to lose, apart from Stallman himself. And it’s a triumph of corporate cynicism if we do – a triumph of weak devotion over lifelong dedication.”

That’s a correct way to put it, too…

Several people from Red Hat and even Red Hat’s Web site played the “diversity” card against Stallman this past week. It’s like they don’t want someone to replace him based on devotion to Software Freedom but based on other criteria.

Microsoft, suffice to say, couldn’t be happier. Stallman’s last speech as FSF President was ironically enough at Microsoft.

Microsoft is already surging ahead with the E.E.E. offensive; earlier today we saw under the “Linux” RSS feed of the CBS tech tabloid, ZDNet, this article; yes, ZDNet has just shelved Visual Studio, which is proprietary software that doesn’t run on GNU/Linux, under the Linux feed. “Loves Linux” lies let them get away with it…

“Corporate takeover of Linux has entered ‘warp speed’ (or drive).”Phoronix has also just helped Microsoft’s openwashing of .NET (Open Core). It’s those same stunts again. Earlier today and earlier this week (for the second day in a row) Red Hat was pushing Microsoft .NET, only about a week after issuing a rather disturbing press release about Stallman.

Corporate takeover of Linux has entered ‘warp speed’ (or drive).

09.10.19

What the Linux Foundation’s Jim Zemlin Really Thinks of Desktop/Laptop GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft at 10:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Linux Foundation never cared about GNU/Linux; even a year after its formation it expressed disdain for the desktop/laptop as target platform (or form factor)

Winux Foundation logo

Summary: Interesting words from Ken Starks resonate well with what we nowadays see in the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation, whose dedication to Linux is like that of a circus to a monkeys’ sideshow

“We are dreck in the eyes of the Linux Foundation…”

Sums it up really well. Or as Christine Hall put it, “I get the impression Zemlin enjoys hobnobbing with the rich and powerful.”

“…the pay grade is high when you fight against Software Freedom.”We wrote about it last month.

Readers may wish to recall the good work of Ken Starks, whom I befriended over a decade ago when he poured out all of his energy into advocacy of GNU/Linux (despite lingering health issues). Here is what he wrote two years ago:

In 2008, I was asked to attend the (by invitation only), Linux Collaboration Summit in Austin Texas. Since I am local to Austin and my head swelled X 10 by receiving this invite, I rounded up one of our non profit Directors and we pushed our way through the front door, into Mecca, as far as I was concerned.

I was still a bit naive and star-struck when I attended that summit. Between presentations, Tom King and I collared Jim Zemlin and I made mention to him that there was little to catch the Desktop user’s attention or interest within the gathering’s program and scheduling for the duration of the summit. Zemlin stood in front of Tom and I and looked down his nose while explaining that there was no real market for the Desktop application For linux and The Linux Foundation had no real use for the desktop or its users.

Tom and I stood, completely gobsmacked; for the next minute, both of us trying to process what we had just heard and from whom we had heard it. That was an eye-opening experience, and I could not have cared less if I was ever invited again, which I have not. We are dreck in the eyes of the Linux Foundation, us Desktop folks…and it’s a shame that the LF profits from the hard work from those that contribute reams of code for the Linux Desktop.

It’s a wonder that Desktop linux has made as much progress as it had, given that “The linux Foundation” would just as soon see the whole “desktop thing” sucked into a black hole.

All the remaining comments (bar few) are also worth reading, including those which point out Mac Asay shooting the messenger, as one can expect. Asay is no friend of Software Freedom; he’s a sworn enemy of it; been the case for about a decade now (he had promoted the GPL until he suddenly started slamming it, whereupon he also promoted proprietary software companies under the guise of “Open Source”). These are the people with the biggest paychecks; the pay grade is high when you fight against Software Freedom. Ask multi-millionaires such as Miguel de Icaza, unlike Federico Mena (GNOME co-founder). One works for Microsoft, having defected more than a decade ago, whereas the latter is still hacking for freedom, mostly with Rust nowadays.

The article to which all the comments are strung or clustered around speaks of the Linux Foundation’s despicable attitude towards the GPL — the subject of this morning's post.

Jim Zimlin, the foundation’s head honcho since before the beginning (he was also top dog at FSG), decided to go for the big bucks the corporate world was offering and pretty much sold the folks who’d been using Linux since before there was a Red Hat down the river. As far as I can tell, Zimlin & Company hasn’t spent more than 50 cents and ten minutes of effort on desktop Linux in the 10 years the foundation has been around. No money in a co-op advertising kitty to incentivise OEMs to push desktops with Linux preinstalled. No money to help distro developers create a better product. As far as the Linux Foundation is concerned, desktop Linux users and developers are on their own.

[...]

The organization has also shown a preference for “permissive” licenses, such as Apache, over “copyleft” licenses like the GPL, under which both GNU and Linux — the two major components of a Linux desktop distro — are licensed. This is understandable, as most corporate users and developers of open source prefer licenses that keep the door open for them to employ the code into proprietary projects.

What isn’t understandable, or acceptable, is referring to the GPL in terms reminicent of those used by Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer in the first decade of the 21st century.

On March 23, the Linux Foundation posted an article on its website, Linux.com, by Greg Olson, the foundation’s senior director open source consulting services. In the article, “Five Legal Risks For Companies Involved in Open Source Software Development,” he wrote that “permissive licenses present little risk,” while referring to the GPL and other copyleft licenses as “Restrictive Licenses” and “viral.”

[...]

FOSS Advocate and writer Simon Phipps also took exception to the article, posting an annotated version by way of the Genius website, and tweeting for people to add their own annotations. In a reply to a retweet of Brian Proffitt he said, “Seems Black Duck FUD against copyleft has found a new home at @linuxfoundation.”

The Linux Foundation’s handling of the situation after-the-fact was perhaps more telling than the article itself. Instead of admitting something like “an unfortunate choice of words” and opening up a dialog around the article — which would have been “the open source way” — the foundation took an action that seems akin to something the Ballmer era Microsoft would’ve done. They quietly and without comment removed public access to the article.

Nothing to see here. Move on.

So much for transparency.

We already mentioned this at the time (two years ago), but now is a good time for recollection and reconsideration. The attitude towards the GPL has since then worsened and pretty much all the code is being outsourced by Microsoft (especially newer stuff, which means that the Microsoft takeover wasn’t a deterrent). The site in question (Linux.com, which published the above) has since then seen all of its staff fired — both writers and editors — and to maintain impression of ‘life’ it’s being stuffed with links that promote GPL infringers.

“A great deal of dishonesty and revisionism is only to be expected from those who delete GNU from history and pretend everything began in 1991 in Finland.”It’s worth noting that the Linux Foundation’s Web site no longer mentions "community"*, its VP of “Communications” was removed and was seemingly replaced by a “CMO” (as if it’s a private for-profit company with a marketing department). It also explains very clearly, in the Web site itself, that it’s not about Linux anymore. The name was just used for promotion; they rode the hype wave, which over time they killed. The site is terrible in a lot of other ways. It also says that the Foundation was founded in 2000 (this lie keeps spreading), but actually it came into being in 2007 with a similar management to a group that had existed since Zemlin pretty much ‘discovered’ Linux in 2000, not as a user but as a nontechnical person aided by the likes of Ian Murdock. A great deal of dishonesty and revisionism is only to be expected from those who delete GNU from history and pretend everything began in 1991 in Finland. It’s worth noting that Torvalds is presented as a pretty ‘low level’ employee in the Web site; and yes, he can be fired (from something called after himself; just like Gaël Duval, Steve Jobs and Solomon Hykes). Long live the ‘king’…

Jim Zemlin in tuxedo
Photo credit: The Linux Foundation

____
* As our own MinceR put it this afternoon (in IRC), “it would be strange to mention community since they kicked out all the non-corporate members; it’s a pretty good warning example, though [as] if you want some technology to survive and remain usable, don’t let the suits touch it, ever…”

The Sad Truth That Linux Foundation Staff is Against GPL/Copyleft and Sometimes Against Linux (Unless It’s Run Under Vista 10)

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, GPL at 12:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Linux Foundation is no friend of GNU/Linux (not in 2019 anyway)

Summary: The Linux Foundation works for whoever pays the Linux Foundation and sadly that usually means companies that aren’t dedicated to Linux, to Software Freedom or even to simple truths and to the Rule of Law

THE integrity of the community (or what used to be community) is under attack by a corporate bunch and their facilitators/enablers, who are PR people paid to write texts for them. Sometimes they even get paid thousands of dollars for a mere "tweet" (fake endorsement).

Yesterday we noticed a Linux Foundation staffer doing openwashing of Facebook‘s surveillance and spying operations with the word “Democratize” (so as to paint an enemy of democracy as the opposite of what it is). This very much resembles their new press release entitled “Mirantis to Democratize Connectivity with Magma, a Converged Access Gateway Developed by Facebook” (notice the resemblance; it’s unlikely to be a coincidence).

“Sometimes they even get paid thousands of dollars for a mere “tweet” (fake endorsement).”The Web site of this sole editor of Linux.com (who days ago said he had installed Windows) has also just promoted the Microsoft PR campaign “Microsoft Loves Linux” (see image). Seems fitting as we've seen similar lies.

“The two-day conference will have hands-on workshops, hackathons, presentations, and networking events for developers on WSL,” it says. Microsoft loves WSL, i.e. Vista 10. Not Linux. Microsoft would love for “Linux” to only ever run as a ‘client’ under Windows.

“Microsoft loves WSL, i.e. Vista 10. Not Linux. Microsoft would love for “Linux” to only ever run as a ‘client’ under Windows.”We’ve meanwhile learned of a plot against the GPL; or “the fight against GPL in IoT market,” as a source of ours calls it, knowing it as a professional in that area. This is the subject of ongoing research. “There are more than one group of people involved in this discussion across Europe,” our source explains. Linux people are well aware because they see that at work. We know some names (people and projects). “There is an attack against copyleft again,” we’re told, “we have to react by explaining to people why adopting permissive open-source licenses is harmful for small businesses, software artisans and the public sector.

“The Linux Foundation comes out with new projects every few months, but chronologically the last GPL’ed projects seems to be Xen. The LF keeps promoting permissive licenses in their projects under the pressure of big corporations.”

“To us, the LF’s attitude towards the GPL seems similar to GitHub’s, i.e to Microsoft’s, and this is a known problem.”The LF is, moreover, becoming an unofficial spokesperson and advocate for GPL infingers, including serial ones. It lies for them. They pay the LF for it. This is how morally corrupt the LF has become. It is actively removing freedom from Linux, stripping copyleft from Free software little by little…

To us, the LF’s attitude towards the GPL seems similar to GitHub’s, i.e to Microsoft’s, and this is a known problem. In fact, they still use Microsoft as a code hosting platform for all the new projects.

“The GPL is a great licence. But if companies with billions of dollars to spend on lobbying (promoting their interests) are eager to crush it, e.g. by means of bribery and misinformation, will they succeed?”There are additional concerns that the FSF may one day follow suit. “I appreciate you understand my doubts about FSF recent involvement with Microsoft, and the reason why I have to ‘tacitly imply’ such allegations,” the person quoted above insists. “First the ‘code of kindness’ out of the blue, then the copyleftConf co-sponsorship, then the talk at Microsoft. We have seen this happening with LF year after year, and FSF seems to be (allegedly) taking little steps in the same direction although it does not publish partnership programs with Microsoft yet.”

The ‘code of kindness’ was (apparently) imposed on the FSF, however, and we wrote about it before, e.g. in [1, 2]. Based on Richard Stallman, there’s an article on its way (he wishes to clarify and remove the above-mentioned doubts). We wrote about it last week [1, 2, 3, 4].

The GPL is a great licence. But if companies with billions of dollars to spend on lobbying (promoting their interests) are eager to crush it, e.g. by means of bribery and misinformation, will they succeed? To put it another way, is there anything in this world that money cannot buy/corrupt?

09.09.19

Richard Stallman Will Likely Clarify the Role of That Visit to Microsoft (in Which He Promoted Copyleft/GPL)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GPL, Microsoft at 12:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I need to see who exactly is saying what exactly. If necessary, I will complain.”

Stallman at Microsoft

Summary: Stallman is not too happy about the way his visit to Microsoft may have been (mis)interpreted; the attacks on copyleft/GPL are meanwhile intensifying

Over the past few days we’ve published at least four [1, 2, 3, 4] articles about Richard Stallman’s (RMS) talk at Microsoft. While waiting for a reply from RMS. It took about half a week. As the saying goes, however, better late than never.

RMS has just gotten back to me (after I queried about the Microsoft visit). It seems as though he will have more to say soon. RMS himself is preparing an article, so no need for us to speculate any further. We’ll just wait.

“Microsoft is only one of the actors in this context. I’ve been following ARM’s attempts of acquisition of GPL projects in embedded for many years. For some reason they push to remove copyleft from the projects they want to acquire.”
      –Anonymous
As expected, many folks have dubbed that a “mistake” (the talk), possibly due to the way it was presented by Microsoft PR people; they monopolised the narrative. RMS needs to tackle misunderstandings.

In IRC (#techrights) one person pointed out the CopyleftConf from earlier this year, showing sponsorship from Microsoft and the FSF and therefore insinuating, tacitly, there was a compromise if not ‘sellout’. He did not share my view that Stallman wasn’t corruptible and was likely misunderstood instead.

“The old method of hiring the project manager to remove copyleft from the project — see also FreeRTOS becoming Amazon FreeRTOS (this time GPL->MIT).”
      –Anonymous
That person’t isn’t a troll. That person knows a thing or two about Microsoft’s tactics. Last night he showed me these two pages [1, 2] from microsoft.com in response to what I had published earlier in the day. To put it very succinctly, these are technical documents about Azure IoT Device Management and Windows 10 IoT Core Services. “I’m following Microsoft strategy entering IoT/Embedded market,” he explained, “since it’s the area I’m more involved in right now, and they are doing a lot of promotion of these around, I’ve seen the same people from Microsoft Germany demoing at embedded trade shows around Europe.”

I decided to joke: “Microsoft loves data… I mean, Linux…”

Well, “indeed,” he responded, “and cloud lock-in. And stomping on standards. So I see the market fit there, where standards for cloud communication and firmware upgrades are thin and just taking off. I saw a nice panel at RIOT-OS summit in Helsinki this week. Video will be out soon. It contains a call for action to not trust third parties for key management in IoT devices. Microsoft is only one of the actors in this context. I’ve been following ARM’s attempts of acquisition of GPL projects in embedded for many years. For some reason they push to remove copyleft from the projects they want to acquire. That’s how PolarSSL became mbedTLS at the time and lost its GPL; looks like they re-instated a GPL for mbedTLS recently (probably due to compatibility problems with Apache2 in GPL2 projects)…

“Amazon’s strategy has moreover pushed some Free software projects to become borderline proprietary.”“The old method of hiring the project manager to remove copyleft from the project — see also FreeRTOS becoming Amazon FreeRTOS (this time GPL->MIT).”

In recent months we also saw Apple (and to a lesser degree Google) joining the anti-copyleft/GPL ’cause’. This is problematic and it shows that G.A.F.A.M. are no good to Free software. Amazon’s strategy has moreover pushed some Free software projects to become borderline proprietary. They recently hired the person who had advocated this (Mac Asay). It’s the same person who opened the gates to Microsoft at the OSI over a decade ago — certainly a ‘village fool’s move’. He did that after he had sought to be hired by Microsoft. Know your friends….

As for Microsoft? In the next post we’ll show that it is still attacking the GPL, but usually not directly (so as to hide its role through the likes of Black Duck).

At the end of last month Microsoft pushed its proprietary and patented file system into Linux — something that sites in Microsoft’s pockets celebrate until now. Just published by one such site:

Among the benefits of having exFAT available as a Linux kernel driver are its availability out-of-the-box, and better performance. According to Greg Kroah-Hartman, who submitted a patch to the Linux kernel adding support for exFAT, a kernel exFAT driver is much faster than its FUSE equivalent module. Specifically, FUSE modules have higher latency and worse IOPs, which is usually not a big issue on desktop-systems that have plenty of computing power and energy available but it is on embedded and IoT systems.

This is the same Greg Kroah-Hartman who rejects ZFS (even over FUSE) over licensing concerns. But he’s totally OK with a Microsoft Trojan horse
[1, 2] (long history to that). How very typical. Last week in an interview with a Linux Foundation puff piece generator (Swapnil) he sought to clarify that he doesn’t agree with Stallman. As if that surprises anyone…

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