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10.22.20

Living Humbly (With Older Technology or None) is More Compatible With Privacy- and Freedom-Respecting Technological Lifestyle

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Hardware at 1:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tungsten T, introduced in November 2002 and still works in 2020
I still rely on unconnected Palm PDAs for note-taking (or voice memos) and it serves as well as it did 2 decades ago. That becomes problematic when they stop working and cannot be repaired/replaced.

Summary: Simplicity sometimes trumps so-called 'novelty', especially when it comes to human rights and users’ freedom

THERE is an important correlation infrequently spoken about. It is a correlation between adoption of expensive or “latest” technology… with abuse of oneself. Whether it’s “digital” (a.k.a. “smart”) payments or something seemingly innocent and harmless like group chats, there’s a hidden cost often completely unaccounted for. The reason group chats — especially real-time video — are difficult in a non-centralised (or decentralised fashion) is limit on bandwidth/throughput in any given network, not to mention computational barriers of home computers. It’s different from peer-to-peer or end-to-end chats. It does not scale linearly. Similarly, digital payments may seem possible in theory but as scale grows (big growth), so do storage requirements (sometimes quadratically, not O(n)). The constraints imposed make so-called ‘clown computing’ alluring (a fluid allocation of resources, which can scale to meet growing needs).

“The “War on Cash” — as we’ve repeatedly noted — relies a great deal on demonisation and mischaracterisation.”But where are we heading with all that?

Putting aside truly ridiculous metaphors such as "serverless", let’s consider the topological ends. At the top we have rich ‘suppliers’ of computing resources, who increasingly refer to us “mere peons” as just “edges”. They want us to broadcast data upwards (to their ‘clowns’) and pay the electric bill for surveillance, or (pre)processing of data to be transmitted upsteam.

Where are we now?

Well, many homes do not yet have lots of wiring (or even wireless) for spying. They’re supposedly ‘dumb’ for not “getting on with the programme…”

Simple text editors are still better than word processors in many casesPutting aside the presence of several so-called ‘phones’ in many homes (even supposedly ‘smart’ ones with back doors), there’s an effort underway to put permanent, always-on devices that are mostly immovable. Those are already being used to disseminate data not just to states but also to marketers. They make money that way, at the expense of tenants, but of course they keep jacking up the prices/rates again and again, regardless. Germany is apparently ‘leading’ in that regard; the push to install a bug in every home is in full swing. Here in the UK it can certainly not be imposed on anybody, certainly no sooner than 2024. Our energy supplier keeps robocalling people, repeatedly, to push them to abuse fellow tenants with mass surveillance (by misinforming and threatening them). They’re also wasting company budgets on letters with fake “appointments” in them (to get installed those so-called ‘smart’ meters). The media likes to portray as “paranoid” those who resist it and sometimes it distorts, deliberately perhaps, the nature of the criticism (similar to the way 5G antagonists are branded as “COVIDiots”… as if the real argument against 5G is something about radio waves passing a virus around).

The “War on Cash” — as we’ve repeatedly noted — relies a great deal on demonisation and mischaracterisation. They paint so-called ‘cashless’ people as “Smart”, whereas everyone else is a criminal (looking to hide crimes), dumb/backwards, dirty (sanitary aspects of demonisation have a dark, dark history), and uncaring about society (think of the children! Install contract-tracing!).

The narrative wars are potentially very effective. The antiwar movement being conflated with Hippies probably did not help, as if to oppose wars is to oppose capitalism itself. Some go as far as to compare people who pursue nationalised healthcare to socialists and bloodthirsty Marxists, as if to save poor people’s lives (even when the financial incentive isn’t there) is “bloodthirsty”.

A lot of the videos I’ve watched lately portray activists for software freedom as relics and Luddites. The general premise it, people who reject the latest of something are borderline insane. In the GNU/Linux world we’re often told that systemd antagonists are just “neckbeards” and people who prefer the command line (not choosing GUI over CLI) don’t do so for expressive interfaces, which they can master and leverage for greater efficiency, but for anti-Establishment ‘spite’ or rebel-like mindset.

10.20.20

Bill Gates: “I’m Not a Lawyer” (He Dropped Out of College, Where He Studied Law Before and After Breaking the Law Chronically)

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, Deception, Hardware, Law, Microsoft at 8:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wikipedia on IANAL

Summary: How Microsoft blackmailed other companies into supporting nothing but Microsoft and Windows; Bill Gates repeatedly lied to the interrogators about it, then said “I’m not a lawyer” (IANAL) even though he went to college to become one, just like his father who died last month

THE Bill Gates deposition contained the following bit, which in retrospect sheds a lot of light on current affairs.

How so? Read on: (we’ve also highlighted the “I’m not a lawyer” part and it’s mostly about Intel)


1 Q Did you ask Intel to keep you apprised
2 of what software work Intel was doing?
3 A I think I made that request in vein on
4 several occasions, nothing ever came of it.
5 Q Is it your testimony that they refused
6 to keep you apprised of the software work they were
7 doing?
8 A No. I just said to them that if they
9 would -- whatever software work they were doing that
10 was intended to help Windows, they should talk to us
11 about it early on if they wanted to have the highest
12 probability that it would, in fact, achieve that
13 goal.
14 And unfortunately, we never achieved
15 that result; that is, they would do things related to
16 Windows that without talking to us in advance, and
17 then once they had done the work, there would be some
18 incompatibilities between what they had done and
19 Windows itself.
20 Q When is the last time that you asked
21 Intel to keep you apprised of what software work they
22 were doing?
23 A I'm not sure.
24 Q Approximately when?
25 A I don't know.
485





1 Q Was it within the last year?
2 A I don't know.
3 Q Was it within the last two years?
4 A I honestly don't know.
5 Q Was it within the last three years?
6 A There's probably one instance where I
7 asked them to tell us about things they were doing
8 related to Windows.
9 Q Did you or others, to your knowledge,
10 from Microsoft tell Intel that if Intel began to
11 compete with Microsoft, Microsoft would be forced to
12 begin to compete with Intel?
13 A No.
14 Q Not at all, sir; never said that in
15 words or in substance?
16 A No.
17 Q To your knowledge did anyone else from
18 Microsoft ever say that?
19 A I'm not aware of anybody saying that.
20 Q If anybody had said that, would you
21 consider that to be inconsistent with company policy?
22 MR. HEINER: Objection.
23 THE WITNESS: I'm confused. Intel and
24 Microsoft are not in the same businesses, so there's
25 no policy about one of our people suggesting that
486





1 we're going to go into the chip business.
2 Q BY MR. BOIES: Was it part of what you
3 wanted to accomplish, Mr. Gates, to be to keep Intel
4 and Microsoft in separate businesses?
5 A No.
6 Q Did you ever take any action intended
7 to accomplish that?
8 A No.
9 Q Did you or, to your knowledge, anyone
10 from Microsoft ever tell people at Intel that
11 Microsoft would hold up support for Intel's
12 microprocessors if Intel didn't cooperate with
13 Microsoft in areas that Microsoft wanted Intel's
14 cooperation in?
15 A When we saw Intel doing the low quality
16 work that was creating incompatibilities in Windows
17 that served absolutely no Intel goal, we suggested to
18 Intel that that should change. And it became
19 frustrating to us because it was a long period of
20 time where they kept doing work that we thought,
21 although it was intended to be positive in the
22 Windows environment, it was actually negative. And
23 we did point out the irony of how while we seemed to
24 communicate with them on microprocessor issues and
25 yet they seemed on the areas where they were trying
487





1 to enhance Windows that the communication worked very
2 poorly.
3 Q Did you or others on behalf of
4 Microsoft tell Intel that Microsoft would hold up
5 support for Intel's microprocessors if Intel did not
6 cooperate with Microsoft?
7 A No.
8 Q No one ever told Intel that, to your
9 knowledge?
10 A That's right.
11 Q Let me see if I can refresh your
12 recollection.
13 Did you or anyone from Microsoft ever
14 tell Intel representatives that Microsoft would hold
15 up support for Intel's microprocessors if Intel
16 didn't cooperate with Microsoft on the Internet?
17 A No.
18 Q Did you or anyone from Microsoft ever
19 tell representatives of Intel that Intel would not
20 cooperate -- that if Intel would not cooperate with
21 Microsoft on communications programs, Microsoft would
22 hold up support for Intel's microprocessors?
23 A No.
24 Q Did you or to your knowledge anyone
25 from Microsoft ever tell Intel that you wanted Intel
488





1 to reduce its support of Netscape?
2 MR. HEINER: Objection.
3 THE WITNESS: It's very likely that our
4 sales force that calls on Intel as a software
5 customer talked to them about their web site and
6 their browsers. And they may have tried to convince
7 them to use our browser in terms of their internal
8 efforts. It's kind of a knit, but I think it's
9 possible.
10 Q Did you, Mr. Gates, ever yourself try
11 to get Intel to reduce its support of Netscape?
12 A I'm not aware of any work that Intel
13 did in supporting Netscape. They may have used their
14 browser internally or one of their server things, but
15 that's -- that's not really support. So I'm not sure
16 of any support they were giving to Netscape.
17 Q You may mean that to answer my
18 question, but I want to be clear.
19 It is your testimony that you're not
20 aware of any instance where you asked anybody at
21 Intel to reduce the support that Intel was providing
22 to Netscape; is that your testimony?
23 A No. I may have asked -- I may -- and I
24 don't remember it -- but I may have talked to them
25 about their internal browser use. I don't think so,
489





1 but I may have. And I may have talked to them about
2 their web servers and what they were using, but I
3 don't think so.
4 MR. HEINER: We would like to take one
5 last break here at some point, and we'll go through
6 until 4:00.
7 MR. BOIES: Okay.
8 MR. HEINER: Okay.
9 THE VIDEOGRAPHER: The time is 3:26.
10 We're going off the record.
11 (Recess.)
12 THE VIDEOGRAPHER: The time is 3:36.
13 We're going back on the record.
14 Q BY MR. BOIES: Mr. Gates, you're
15 familiar with a company called RealNetworks, are you
16 not?
17 A Yes.
18 Q Did you ever have any discussions with
19 any representative of RealNetworks concerning what
20 products RealNetworks should or should not offer or
21 distribute?
22 A No.
23 Q Microsoft signed two contracts with
24 RealNetworks, did it not, sir?
25 A I have no idea. I thought it was one.
490





1 Q RealNetworks was previously called
2 Progressive Networks; correct, sir?
3 A Right.
4 Q In the contract or contracts, if there
5 was more than one, between Microsoft and
6 RealNetworks, was there any restriction on what
7 services RealNetworks could provide to competitors of
8 Microsoft?
9 A I've never looked at those contracts.
10 Q Did you participate at all in those
11 contracts either the negotiation of those contracts
12 or discussions concerning those contracts prior to
13 the time they were entered into?
14 A I knew that Muglia and Maritz were
15 talking with Progressive about some kind of deal, but
16 I didn't know what was in the deal.
17 Q Did you know anything about what was in
18 the deal?
19 A I knew there was an investment piece.
20 I knew there was some code licensing in it. That's
21 about all.
22 Q At the time that Microsoft was
23 negotiating the contract or contracts with
24 RealNetworks -- and I'll refer to it as RealNetworks
25 even though at the time it was referred to as
491





1 Progressive Networks -- did you consider that company
2 to be a competitor of Microsoft?
3 A Not -- I think I was confused about
4 what RealNetworks -- what their plans were, and I
5 wasn't sure if they were a competitor or not.
6 Q Was there a time when you did become
7 convinced that they were a competitor?
8 A Yes.
9 Q When was that?
10 A When Rob Glaser appeared in Washington,
11 D.C.
12 Q To testify before a Congressional
13 committee?
14 A Senate, yes.
15 Q What led you to conclude from
16 Mr. Glaser's testimony that RealNetworks was a
17 competitor of Microsoft?
18 A It was nothing in his testimony.
19 Q Why did you become convinced at the
20 time of his testimony that RealNetworks was a
21 competitor of Microsoft?
22 A Well, because he went out of his way to
23 lie about us, I sort of thought, "Hum, he must be a
24 competitor."
25 Q When you say he went out of his way to
492





1 lie about you, when was that?
2 A That was at the press interview
3 surrounding the testimony -- maybe the testimony
4 itself, I'm not sure. I've never seen a transcript.
5 Q Did you ever personally have a
6 conversation with Mr. Glaser about his business?
7 A A long, long time ago when Rob was just
8 getting started I think there was one meeting that I
9 had with Rob. I haven't met with him since then.
10 Q Was that meeting before or after the
11 contract between RealNetworks and Microsoft that you
12 say that you know about?
13 A If you mean the contract where we
14 invested in Progressive, it was years before it and
15 not at all related to it.
16 Q When was the contract in which you
17 invested in Progressive Networks or RealNetworks?
18 A I'm not sure. I'd guess it's about a
19 year ago.
20 Q Did you have a conversation with
21 Mr. Glaser a few days after that agreement was
22 signed?
23 A Now that you ask me that, maybe I did.
24 Maybe I did. I think we may have had a short
25 meeting.
493





1 Q And did you in that meeting tell
2 Mr. Glaser in words or in substance how you thought
3 he should limit his business?
4 A Absolutely not.
5 Q Not in any way, sir?
6 A Not in any way.
7 Q Did you tell him he ought to get out of
8 the base streaming media platform business?
9 A No.
10 Q Did anyone ever tell you that
11 Mr. Glaser had said he would get out of the base
12 streaming media platform business?
13 A No.
14 Q Did Mr. Maritz ever tell you that
15 Mr. Glaser's stated plan was that he would get out of
16 the base streaming media platform business?
17 A As far as I know, we didn't know what
18 Rob's plans were.
19 Q Did you ever try to find out what those
20 plans were, sir?
21 A No.
22 Q Were those plans important to you?
23 A To me personally? No.
24 Q Were they important to Microsoft?
25 A On a relative basis, I'd say no.
494





1 Q Well, I suppose on a relative basis a
2 business as big as Microsoft, I don't know what would
3 be important, but --
4 A I can tell you.
5 Q -- but on a non-relative basis?
6 A I can tell --
7 Q Yes. Tell me what would be important
8 to Microsoft on a relative basis.
9 A Improvements in Windows, improvements
10 in Office, breakthroughs in research, breakthroughs
11 in Back Office.
12 Q How about browsers? On a relative
13 basis would that be important -- was that important
14 to Microsoft?
15 A To the degree it relates to Windows,
16 yes.
17 Q What about Java or Java runtime? Was
18 that on a relative basis important to Microsoft?
19 A To the degree it related to Windows,
20 yes.
21 Q Let me ask you to look at a document
22 that we have marked Government Exhibit 379. This
23 purports to be an e-mail from Paul Maritz. You are
24 not shown on this as receiving a copy. The portion
25 I'm particularly interested in is the last full
495





1 paragraph that says, quote,
2 "Rob's stated plan is that
3 he will get out of the base streaming
4 media platform business, and focus on
5 higher level solutions, hosting, and
6 content aggregation, and says that
7 his goal is now to get us to get his
8 base technology as widespread as
9 possible," close quote.
10 Do you see that?
11 A Uh-huh.
12 (The document referred to was marked as
13 Government Exhibit 379 for identification and is
14 attached hereto.)
15 Q BY MR. BOIES: Did anyone ever tell
16 you, as Mr. Maritz writes here, that Mr. Glaser had
17 said that his stated plan was that he would get out
18 of the base streaming media platform business?
19 A No.
20 Q Did you or, to your knowledge, anyone
21 from Microsoft ever tell Mr. Glaser that he should
22 get out of the base streaming media platform
23 business?
24 A No.
25 Q Okay.
496





1 You are aware, are you not, sir, that
2 one of the issues in this case is the extent to which
3 operating systems and browsers are or are not
4 separate products?
5 MR. HEINER: Objection.
6 Mischaracterizes the allegations of the complaint, I
7 believe.
8 MR. BOIES: Well, if the witness tells
9 me that he doesn't think that's an issue in the case,
10 he can so tell me.
11 THE WITNESS: I'm not a lawyer, so I
12 think it's very strange for me to opine on what's an
13 issue in the case. As far as I know, the issues in
14 the case are not -- are something that you decide,
15 and I don't claim to have any expertise at all.
16 Q BY MR. BOIES: And if you don't know,
17 that's okay. But one of the things that I want to
18 understand from you is whether your understanding,
19 which is important to my next line of questions, is
20 that the issue of whether or not browsers are or are
21 not a separate product from the operating system is
22 in this case.
23 MR. HEINER: Objection. What operating
24 system? What browsers? You referred to "the
25 operating system."
497





1 MR. BOIES: You want me to stop. All
2 right. I --
3 MR. HEINER: No. I want you to ask the
4 question but with specific specificity.
5 MR. BOIES: I've asked the question.
6 If he says he doesn't understand this question,
7 again, we put it down and then it's there for people
8 to look at later.
9 MR. HEINER: That's fine. You can do
10 that. And I, as his counsel, can pose an objection.
11 MR. BOIES: Yeah. But you can't pose
12 questions to me particularly when you're trying to
13 get the witness out at 4:00.
14 MR. HEINER: I can.
15 MR. BOIES: Not questions to me.
16 Q Mr. Gates -- you can put in an
17 objection, I'm not trying to keep you from putting in
18 an objection.
19 Mr. Gates, do you understand that the
20 issue of whether or not browsers are a separate
21 product or are not a separate product from the
22 operating system is an issue in this case?
23 A I don't consider myself someone who
24 could say if that's an issue in this case or not.
25 Q Have you participated in any way in
498





1 trying to get Microsoft personnel to use language
2 that would suggest that browsers and operating
3 systems are not separate products?
4 A I have no idea what you mean by that.
5 Q Well, have you seen e-mails that urge
6 people within Microsoft not to talk about browsers as
7 if they were separate from the operating system?
8 A I don't recall seeing any such e-mail.
9 Q Are you aware of any anybody within
10 Microsoft who has asserted, either in an e-mail or
11 otherwise, that people ought to not talk about
12 browsers as if they were separate from the operating
13 system?
14 A I don't remember any such e-mail.
15 Q Has Microsoft tried to get companies to
16 agree to statements that Internet Explorer comprises
17 part of the operating system of Windows 95 and
18 Windows 98?
19 A I know it's a true statement, but I'm
20 not aware of us doing anything to try to get anyone
21 else to endorse the statement.
22 Q You're not aware of any effort by
23 Microsoft to get non-Microsoft companies to endorse
24 the statement that Internet Explorer comprises part
25 of the operating system of Windows; is that what
499





1 you're saying?
2 A I'm not aware of such efforts.
3 Q Do you know whether Microsoft has made
4 any efforts to include language like that in any of
5 its license agreements?
6 A No, I don't.
7 Q Do you know why Microsoft might do
8 that?
9 MR. HEINER: Objection.
10 THE WITNESS: I'm not sure.
11 Q BY MR. BOIES: Do you recognize that
12 OEMs have a need to acquire the Windows operating
13 system that Microsoft licenses?
14 A What do you mean by OEM? Is it a
15 tautology because of the way you're defining it?
16 Q Well, if you take IBM and Compaq and
17 Dell, Gateway and some other companies, those are
18 commonly referred to as OEMs or PC manufacturers;
19 correct, sir?
20 A No. The term "OEM" would be quite a
21 bit broader than that. OEMs used means original
22 equipment manufacturer.
23 Q I see.
24 And does OEM have a specialized meaning
25 in your business to refer to people that supply
500





1 personal computers?
2 A No. It usually means our licensees.
3 Q And do your licensees, in part, supply
4 personal computers, sir?
5 A Some of our licensees.
6 Q The licensees to whom you license
7 Windows are suppliers of personal computers, are they
8 not, sir?
9 A If you exclude Windows CE and depending
10 on how you talk about workstations and servers.
11 Q So that if we can get on common ground,
12 the licensees for Windows 95 and Windows 98 would be
13 companies that you would recognize as personal
14 computer manufacturers; is that correct?
15 A Yeah. Almost all the licensees of
16 Windows 95 and Windows 98 are personal computer
17 manufacturers. Some are not, but the overwhelming
18 majority are.

Years later Gates said he was on a "Jihad" against Intel's support for Linux (apparently it's perfectly OK for a self-described "philanthropist" to speak like that). How little has changed since…

10.10.20

The Mentality of Cameras (and Sometimes Microphones) Everywhere, as Explained More Than 2 Years Before the Snowden NSA Leaks

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, Hardware at 1:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

University of Regina Grad Student’s conference. April 2nd, 2011.

Summary: Dr. Richard Stallman explains the nature of ‘smart’ phones/’cellphones’ (or mobile ‘phones’ as we call them in the UK), which nowadays — more than 9 years later — typically come with multiple cameras and a microphone sensitive enough to eavesdrop on entire rooms (we’ve extracted 2:41 until the end of the original clip)

Sign

10.06.20

Translation of Bill Gates Deposition With Reference to Today’s Strategy, or Microsoft’s Abusive Tactics Against the Competition (Including Linux)

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft at 11:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previously in this series:

Start me up
Crimes from the “start me up” Microsoft era (imposing inferior computer software on people)

Summary: We examine some transcript of the Bill Gates testimony, which was taped and served to reveal a nervous Gates telling a lot of lies

THE FOLLOWING testimony is two decades old. But a lot of the said tactics (which Gates is being grilled for) are still applicable and are often leveraged against GNU/Linux companies (like Canonical) and against hardware companies that generally support GNU and Linux. Here we go:

Question by Justice Department attorney David Boies: Did Microsoft make any effort to convince Intel not to help Sun and Java?

Or Linux?

Answer by Bill Gates: Not that I know of.

Not answering the question directly, instead changing it.

Q: Did you or anyone at Microsoft attempt to convince Intel not to engage in any software activity?

They did it to Linux at Intel. See reference above. Gates himself asked: “Where are we on this Jihad?” (Referring to discouraging Linux support at Intel)

We last mentioned it a year ago.

A: No.

Wrong answer. A lie.

Q: Did you or, to your knowledge, anyone at Microsoft try to convince Intel that it should not engage in any software activity unless Microsoft was involved in that activity?

A: I’m sure we pointed out sometimes how sometimes a lack of communications between the two companies on various subjects including software development led to unfortunate unreliability and mismatch, which led to bad customer experiences.

This is untrue. It’s all about control. If Microsoft controls it, good. Otherwise, bad. Microsoft never cared about customers, who are — or were — OEMs anyway (users are/were forced to get Windows with a new PC).

Q: And what did that lead you to ask Intel to do?

A: Oh, in general, to see if we couldn’t do a better job communicating with each other so that people would have better experiences using the PC.

Notice the still-ongoing lie that it’s about “people” rather than Microsoft (or Gates).


Q: Did you or, insofar as you’re aware, anyone else at Microsoft tell people at Intel that they should leave the software side of the PC business entirely to Microsoft?

The interrogator knows this to be true and has evidence at hand.

A: We were having a hard time coordinating our work with Intel, and we thought the quality of some of their work was very low as well as not working with any of our new Windows work. We may have suggested at some point that the net contribution of their software activities could even be viewed to be negative.

As The Register recalls it: “Presumably. Gates shows little sign of having been well-briefed for the deposition by Microsoft lawyers. It is quite likely that Gates refused advice – this is of constant concern to his PR handlers. It may well turn out, if the performance he produced on Monday is typical, that the greatest single factor causing Microsoft to lose the case will be Gates’ performance. Gates’ had a mantra for the part of the deposition about Intel: the words were “low quality” and “incompatible” for Intel software. His vehemence, and other evidence, suggests that the opposite may be true: Intel’s software was a considerable threat to Microsoft, as we shall detail in due course.
Outside the courtroom, Boies said that Microsoft deliberately tried to stop Intel from competing because its software quality was good, not poor. In many of the exchanges which follow, Gates paused for up to 25 seconds, staring down at the table…”

Q: Did you, or insofar as you are aware, anyone else at Microsoft tell representatives of Intel that their software activities were inconsistent with cooperation between Intel and Microsoft?

A: The specific work they did that completely broke our work I’m sure I indicated I didn’t think that was a good idea for either company.

Another falsehood. He is also contradicting what he said earlier. When asked “Did you or anyone at Microsoft attempt to convince Intel not to engage in any software activity?” he said “No.”

Q: Other than the specific software that would not work on Windows 95 that Intel was working on, did you or, insofar as you are aware, anyone else at Microsoft tell Intel representatives that the software work that Intel was doing was inconsistent with cooperation between Intel and Microsoft?

A: Well, there’s some other things that they did that created incompatibilities.

The answer “no” suddenly revealed to be a lie. Again.

Q: Incompatibilities between what and what?

A: Between their software and Windows, that was intended to run on Windows, that created incompatibilities.

Q: And did you tell them that that software also was not consistent with cooperation between Microsoft and Intel?

A: I doubt I used those words. I suggested that it wasn’t helpful to any of their goals or our goals to have software that had incompatibilities and was low quality and broke.

Gates comes from a lawyer family. The only “incompatibility” was… with some dodgy contract that is likely illegitimate anyway.


Q: Did you, Mr. Gates, personally ever express concern to (Intel Chairman Andy) Mr. Grove that Intel’s software work was beginning to overlap with Microsoft’s software work?

A: Only in the sense that the low quality and incompatibilities were inconsistent with any goals that Intel might have had in doing that work.

He keeps mentioning that word, “incompatibilities,” without giving any concrete example.

Q: Why was that a concern?

A: Because Intel was wasting its money by writing low quality software that created incompatibilities for users, and those negative experiences weren’t helpful for any goal that Intel had.

Q: Were they harmful to any goal that Microsoft had?

A: Only in the sense of hurting PC popularity by creating negative user experiences.

Q: Is it your testimony that your only concern with what Intel was doing in the software area was a concern to avoid negative user experiences?

A: That’s right. Low quality and incompatibilities.

Again, no examples given.

Q: Which, according to you, would lead to negative user experiences, correct?

A: That’s right.

Q: Did you or, insofar as you are aware, anybody at Microsoft ever tell Intel representatives in words or in substance that they should stick to hardware and leave the software to Microsoft?

Market sharing is illegal.

Gates: I’m sure there were times when we were frustrated about the quality and incompatibility problems created about their software where someone might have expressed that sentiment in an extreme feeling about how tough it had been for Intel to do quality work that would have advanced any Intel goal.

Q: Were you aware of any work that Intel was doing relating to Internet software development?

A: I can’t think of any.

Q: Did you ever express any concern to anyone at Intel, or to your knowledge, did anyone at Microsoft ever express any concern to anyone at Intel concerning Intel’s Internet software work, if any?

A: I don’t think Intel ever did any Internet software work.

Q: And if they did, I take it it’s your testimony no one ever told you about it?

A: That’s right.

The interrogator knows he has evidence to the contrary. He lets Gates lie on the record in this testimony… and gives him ample opportunity to correct himself.


Q: Did you ask Intel to keep you apprised of what software work Intel was doing?

A: I think I made that request in vain on several occasions, nothing ever came of it.

Not answering the actual question, though it seems like “yes” is the reply. Plus some excuses. Answering questions that were never even asked.

Q: Is it your testimony that they refused to keep you apprised of the software work they were doing?

A: No. I just said to them that if they would — whatever software work they were doing that was intended to help Windows, they should talk to us about it early on if they wanted to have the highest probability that it would, in fact, achieve that goal. And unfortunately, we never achieved that result; that is, they would do things related to Windows without talking to us in advance, and then once they had done the work, there would be some incompatibilities between what they had done and Windows itself.

Gates contradicts himself again. Because he acknowledged a harmful allegation that Microsoft has been trying to control Intel and its work (akin to hardware-software collusion and market sharing).

Q: Did you or, to your knowledge, anyone from Microsoft ever tell people at Intel that Microsoft would hold up support for Intel’s microprocessors if Intel didn’t cooperate with Microsoft in areas that Microsoft wanted Intel’s cooperation in?

A form of blackmail.

A: When we saw Intel doing the low quality work that was creating incompatibilities in Windows that served absolutely no Intel goal, we suggested to Intel that that should change. And it became frustrating to us because it was a long period of time where they kept doing work that we thought, although it was intended to be positive in the Windows environment, it was actually negative. And we did point out the irony of how while we seemed to communicate with them on microprocessor issues and yet they seemed on the areas where they were trying to enhance Windows that the communication worked very poorly.

Intel didn’t play ball with Bill’s “Jihad” (his word). But Microsoft had threatened Intel.


Q: Did you or others on behalf of Microsoft tell Intel that Microsoft would hold up support for Intel’s microprocessors if Intel did not cooperate with Microsoft?

Asking again to overcome the evasion (evasive long answer and subject change).

A: No.

Q: No one ever told Intel that, to your knowledge?

A: That’s right.

Another lie on the record.


Q: Did you, Mr. Gates, ever yourself try to get Intel to reduce its support of Netscape?

A: I’m not aware of any work that Intel did in supporting Netscape. They may have used their browser internally or one of their server things, but that’s — that’s not really support. So I’m not sure of any support they were giving to Netscape.

Not answering the actual question. And also lying.

Q: You may mean that to answer my question, but I want to be clear. It is your testimony that you’re not aware of any instance where you asked anybody at Intel to reduce the support that Intel was providing to Netscape; is that your testimony?

A: No. I may have asked I may — and I don’t remember it — but I may have talked to them about their internal browser use. I don’t think so, but I may have. And I may have talked to them about their web servers and what they were using, but I don’t think so.

Gates admits lying. So he now resorts to some more face-saving waffle.

09.20.20

[Meme] How to Hijack Linux and Free Software to Make Them Proprietary and Microsoft-Controlled

Posted in Deception, Hardware, Microsoft at 9:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shrewd E.E.E. tactics (pro-Microsoft gerrymandering) at work? Targeting the core and the host?

Kanye Loves Trump, Kanye runs against Trump, Satya loves Linux clickbait

In blue: Microsoft-imprisoned (GitHub); in red: proprietary. Never trust chronic liars whose sole goal is to confuse and bait/provoke the media.

Intel/GitHub

Summary: Intel keeps outsourcing almost everything (that’s not proprietary with back doors, e.g. ME) to Microsoft’s proprietary software prison, known as GitHub; to make matters worse, Intel now uses the Microsoft-hosted Rust to develop in Microsoft servers, along with Microsoft, code that promotes Microsoft proprietary software (e.g. Hyper-V) and non-standard ‘extensions’.

09.12.20

Richard Stallman Still Works to Improve the Freedom of the Widely-Used RasPi (Produced in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Interview at 11:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New video from/with Mr. RasPi, Eben Upton

Summary: “As of December 2019, more than thirty million [Raspberry Pi] boards have been sold,” according to Wikipedia and Richard Stallman (RMS) is working to make them more freedom-respecting; Eben Upton takes his advice to heart, making the vision of FSF hardware endorsements (RYF) seem increasingly fruitful and promising

THE “RMS RULES”, as Mr. Raspberry Pi has put it, are being taken seriously as blobs are gradually being removed from new generations of Raspberry Pi (the original was released 8 years ago). A Raspberry Pi computer is currently being used to monitor Techrights and issue visual alerts (with lights and sounds) in case of critical issues/downtimes.

“A Raspberry Pi computer is currently being used to monitor Techrights and issue visual alerts (with lights and sounds) in case of issues/downtimes.”RMS might not be publicly visible anymore (there are very few videos of him from 2020, COVID partly to blame), but he’s still active by E-mail and other means. I speak to him on occasions. Word on the street is (to borrow slang/idiom), he’s waiting for the right moment to make a comeback. He’ll be back (not just as GNU’s head but also public speaker and so on). Don’t strike him out as “retired”, as some have, as he’s extremely active — albeit not in the public eye — for a person in so-called ‘retirement’. His ‘cancellation’ last year failed to complete (he’s in charge of GNU) and it was based on distortions, lies and deception (even internally, inside the FSF).

When I last met RMS in person (a long time ago) I suggested to him that hardware vendors should add a physical switch to laptops’ microphones. He took my suggestion seriously. He’s definitely picky or extremely selective in whose advice he accepts, but people whom he trusts he can be exceptionally amicable and attentive to. The world around him is generally hostile towards him because he thinks for himself and disagrees with many aspects of the status quo. Like Linus Torvalds (awful to compare those two men, I’m well aware) he’s not shy or reluctant to say outrageous things provided they’re factually accurate. That’s what typically gets both of them in trouble. We ought to protect both persons’ freedom of speech. Otherwise the 'speech police' will work to oppress all of us — by extrapolation so to speak — by targeting perceived leaders or influencers, even if just to “set an example…” (deterrence)

The Free software movement (extension of the ‘hacker culture’) was established not to obey authority but to disobey corporate power, question abuse (or misuse) of power, and liberate geeks from financial rulers.

08.09.20

Understanding Users and the Three Kinds of Computers: New, Slow and Broken

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware at 7:26 pm by Guest Editorial Team

2020 figosdev

Broken disk
Chapter 18: Understanding Users and the Three Kinds of Computers: New, Slow and Broken; Originally here (slightly different)

Summary: “Understanding the user is the first step towards a practical response to misconceptions.”

There’s no accurate generalisation for every computer user. Some are savvy, many others aren’t. Most are conditioned by marketing.

Getting past that conditioning is not usually possible with mere debate or logic. Conditioning is emotional and experiential, and if you disagree you’re just missing the point. At least, that’s how it goes trying to explain things.

Understanding the user is the first step towards a practical response to misconceptions. Many of us know that the difference between a “New” and “Broken” machine, is that something needs to be fixed (and that thing is often just the software installation or configuration.) The difference between a New machine and a slow one, is often also a matter of software installation or configuration.

The user has plenty of reasons to be paranoid — instead of being granted access to their computer, they have companies like Microsoft and Apple as intermediaries. The big name tech brands are like the Church in the dark ages, obscuring their teachings in Latin and offering a proprietary (priest-driven) service to make things accessible to the congregation.

When people begin to learn how to do things for themselves, everything familiar is moved around and the cycle begins again. When you’re being led, but you don’t know how or why, a paranoid feeling is bound to result.

Proprietary software is a system of collective punishment — people are taught not to mess with anything, because then it will “break” and have to be “repaired”. Messing with things is generally alright — it’s your computer — but since you’re conditioned not to worry about any of that as long as it’s “working”, tampering with the sacred relics will bring down wrath and harsh consequence.

Don’t install anything, or else — don’t remove anything, or else — Its like it isn’t your computer, it belongs to the software vendors. If it were yours, advice would centre around means of practical management, not “leaving it alone” so it won’t “break”.

There are two reasons that it matters not to break anything — one is time. You shouldn’t fiddle with production machines, that’s true for any platform. But the other reason, is that proprietary software (and software that takes too many pages from proprietary design books) limits what can be fixed. And the constant dragging of people from one set of features to the next limits the effectiveness of education and familiarity. Users are the hostages of developers, and they panic like hostages and experience signs of Stockholm Syndrome like hostages:

“Don’t touch that! You don’t know what it’ll do!”

“But it just-”

“NO! Please! Last time someone did that it never worked right again.”

“Okay, okay. I’m closing the Run window, it’s alright.”

“It’s probably too late, just don’t touch it, okay?”

If schools were actually teaching technology instead of having corporations spoon-feed it to them, users would not be this hysterical over the use of standard features. There is a serious lack of computer literacy, even among college graduates of working age and accomplished careers.

But until we solve the computer literacy problem (and I recommend we try) it is still a good thing to get people to use free software. That’s the only way they will become familiar with it.

Lots of people have their own ideas about what friendly is. I’ve never required anything fancier or simpler than LXDE — I mean required for other people. This is not an endorsement of LXDE, so much as a reality check for people that think you must have something that is more or less elaborate for the “average user.” LXDE isn’t the nicest desktop you can possibly find, nor is it the lightest or the simplest. What it is, is just fine. It’s average. I’ve found it to be pretty reliable — but it’s just an example.

In homeless shelters, homes of people who are retired or on disability, on computers given to nieces and used in education, Debian Wheezy worked very well indeed. The secret to getting people to use it (in my experience) isn’t about what you do after the computer is given to someone — though I did offer free support — it’s about the psychological conditions under which the computer is donated.

Your experience may differ, and I’d like to hear from you about that. But I spent years looking for ideal ways to share free software, and this is my experience:

There are three kinds of computers — New, Slow and Broken.

With notable exceptions, if someone has a Slow computer and you put GNU/Linux on it, it’s now Broken. It doesn’t matter if you changed a single option — Breaking a computer is like dropping a teacup. You can glue it back together, but it will never be the same.

If you pick something up off the kitchen table and move it somewhere else in the room, you’ve now broken it — and it will have to be replaced or repaired. But who trusts a repair? Time to get a new house… This is how good the marketing people are.

Yes, we know better. Yes, we can explain. It doesn’t matter — once you break it, the user themselves know for certain the computer will never be the same again. It’s not bad enough to replace it with a New computer, but even if it’s just an option you put right back afterwards — now it’s irreparably changed in some annoying way. Thank you, and get out.

Most people don’t want an operating system installed on their computer. And to some of us this is obvious. But even if you take a Slow computer someone doesn’t use anymore and doesn’t care about, “Sure kid, have fun — but if you break it, don’t bother me with it. I’ve got no use for a broken computer. Just leave it there, thank you, and get out — Darned kids, no respect for the work that goes into buying these things, they just want to break things and get new stuff.”

Of course there are exceptions. I found an office machine that seemed to be on its last legs, showed them what it would be like after “fixing it” with a live CD, and walked them through the things it wouldn’t be able to do after being “fixed.” It had a wired network connection, it was mostly used for online tasks, It wasn’t used for writing documents or printing. All they cared about was that it “worked” again. I installed Debian Wheezy and after using it they ran out and hugged me — “It’s SO MUCH FASTER!” So that won’t usually happen, though it does sometimes.

Things aren’t just Broken when you mess with them. The rule applies to machines that were already broken when you found them. If you mess with a computer that is already broken, “you’ll only make it worse.” Messing with a computer is how it breaks, broken computers and broken teacups are never the same again, if you mess with it further then you’ll only make it worse — why bother? Just “leave it alone” and buy a new one when you can.

The summary of this mindset is that doing almost anything with a computer will break it — and fixing it will break it more. This is the mindset of a hostage, not an owner, and it is the result of years of conditioning that is unmitigated by a proper computer education. Teachers have problems like these, so it should be no surprise that their students also feel helpless. They are prime candidates for service contracts, insurance plans and extended warranties, and that’s basically the idea.

Reality aside, in the psychology of the average computer user, even if they are really a lot smarter than this — this mindset is as much about emotional manipulation as the intelligence of the average user (quite a few average users are really a lot smarter than this, and they deserve credit where credit is due) a reasonable conclusion is that you can’t do much of anything to get past the mentality of the user. Not with their computers, that is.

The way I found to make “Slow” and “Broken” computers into New ones, simply involves a machine that is “New” (or like New) to the person receiving it.

Go to the person with a “Slow” or “Broken” computer, and find out if they have already replaced it with a New one. If they have, they are still trying to figure out what to do with it. After all, it will never be the same, so let it sit there. But it’s too expensive to throw away!

You won’t change their mind about whether it’s fixable, but just for the sake of honesty, tell them that you fix Slow and Broken computers, and that you give them away to people who need one.

Fighting E-waste is good for the environment as well as people in conflict-mineral-related regions like the Congo — so if they seem like the kind of person who cares about that, be sure to mention that this is likely to keep more toxins out of landfills for longer. Either way, you’re helping people.

Some will have concerns about data — you should learn how to securely wipe a drive so that you can tell them not to worry. In other situations, be ready to remove the drive on-site so that you can offer to leave that part with them “just to be sure.” You will find other drives, and the computer you get without one might have nicer specs than the other one you take a drive from.

Tell them “There’s a good chance I can fix this — if I do, do you want it back?” If they say yes, and you make it clear what you’re going to do — you can give it back to them with GNU/Linux installed. More often, they prefer to get rid of it and never get it back. It’s always going to be broken, they have a new one, etc.

Now with your New computer (by no means is anyone suggesting you say it’s newer than it is– it is now refurbished and offered as a “like new”, but used machine) wait until you meet a person who has a Slow or Broken computer.

Offer to LOAN them your “Like New” machine.

“I have a perfectly good laptop/desktop, would you like to borrow or own it free of charge?”

“What?”

“I can loan it to you, and if you like it you can keep it.”

“Why?”

“That’s something I do — I refurbish computers that I get for free, and give them away to people who need one. But you can just borrow it, if you want to try it. You can keep it if you like it.”

Some of them will get a free, Like New computer. If they don’t like it, you get it back and can refurbish it again.

Having tried the other ways, this is what I’ve found to be the most reliable way to spread GNU/Linux to everyday people. I’m not the first person to do it, but I tried sharing CDs and DVDs and USBs and offered to install, run Live, Dual boot, all of those.

The best media for distributing GNU/Linux is the computer itself. That’s how people expect to get computers — and anything else is “broken” and will never be the same — too often, anyway.

Be sure that if you do this, you are able to provide a reasonable (for them, for you) level of support to the people you give machines to. If they take that thing into an office store, they’re probably just going to tell them “it needs Windows installed. It’s old, you probably want to buy a New one.”

One option is to tell them that if they have serious problems with it, you’ll let them know when a new one is available. Then they can “trade” it for another “Like new” one.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

07.12.20

Linus Torvalds Checks If It’s Still Inclusive Enough to ‘Bash’ Bad Technology (of the Company Whose TPM Pusher Has Just Successfully Pushed to Remove Many Words)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Kernel at 3:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

One year ago: Bill Gates Said He Was on a “Jihad” Against GNU/Linux, But GNU/Linux Users/Developers Engaged in Self-Defense Are Foul-Mouthed ‘Microsoft Haters’?

Linus Torvalds words

Summary: In the age of endless control of language (e.g. large corporations pushing for "inclusive" language whilst earning billions from bombing of 'inferior' countries) we see that it is still possible to condemn corporations on technical grounds (at least if you’re Linus Torvalds)

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