11.14.20

Intel Worked to Eradicate Supposedly ‘Offensive’ Words From Linux While Inserting More and More Technically Offensive DRM Into Linux (Back Doors as Well)

Posted in Deception, DRM, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 5:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wait until they find out the meaning of the word “git” (worse than these words)

Christmas horse

Summary: Companies that do technically abhorrent things want us to look away and get angry over the supposedly ‘racist’ connotation of words (which they themselves have long used if not coined)

TODAY in IRC we had a very, very long discussion about DRM and GNU/Linux. The upcoming IRC logs will contain the debate on the matter. We aren’t going to explain why DRM is bad for GNU/Linux. We assume our readers already understand why it’s a negative thing (and not just for GNU/Linux in case that matters).

“…we’re dealing with a growing threat from the likes of Intel and its engineers, who put back doors and DRM in just about everything, not just multimedia stacks.”We already wrote a number of articles about Google’s role in Linux DRM (on the software side) and Intel/AMD likewise (on the hardware side). Microsoft and Google are now liaising to remove/censor projects in GitHub to protect DRM from simple tools, leveraging DMCA as usual. YouTube-DL was just the beginning. See “Google Takes Down Repositories That Circumvent its Widevine DRM” (we’ve talked a lot about Widevine in IRC). If that does not convince developers to abandon GitHub, maybe nothing can/will. Either way, we’re dealing with a growing threat from the likes of Intel and its engineers, who put back doors and DRM in just about everything, not just multimedia stacks. The chipsets thus become rather difficult if not impossible for users to trust. As Michael Larabel has just put it (using Intel’s euphemisms, e.g. “Protected”): “Intel PXP is about providing a hardware-protected session for clients running Intel Xe Graphics. The Intel Protected Xe Path is backed by encrypted video memory and leverages a TEE (Trusted Execution Environment) for protecting PXP sessions from other clients.”

WiseAMD isn’t without its problems, either. As Mr. Larabel noted further down (alluding to AMD’s equivalences, which go beyond ME/PSP): “Given the timing of the PXP patches and the launch this week of the first Intel Server GPU that is focused on Android cloud gaming and other video purposes, PXP is presumably more about security where as AMDGPU TMZ at least to date is focused just on DRM’ed playback and other encrypted content as opposed to possible protected multi-user scenarios.”

“About half a dozen new comments on Phoronix currently point out that it’s ridiculous to expect universities to also rename their degrees. How much confusion would be caused and for little/no benefit.”The worrying thing about it all is that few are speaking out against it. Much of the outrage/attention has been diverted into the “master” conundrum. Just look at all these new comments (pretty much all of them, almost 40 as of this moment). As one person put it: “By your definition then Git is offensive too because it is an insult.”

We wrote several dozens of articles about this attack on words, even where they’re perfectly innocuous (non-racist contexts, not even by remote connotations). More importantly, we wrote several articles about Intel’s unique role in this push. Yes, Intel often sat at the very forefront of these campaigns, even in prior years when the F word became “hugs” and “hugging”. IBM and Microsoft have also played a leading role (and still do), contrary to their own track record on racial matters [1, 2].

Look over there! “Censorship”. But forget about DRM. Nothing to see here, folks, please move along. Just let is be merged into master main branch and move on. Go somewhere else while we add another million lines of obscure code to already-bloated Linux.

Maybe I’m lucky not to have a “Masters” degree (they let me leap past it… right into a Ph.D. just because of my grades). About half a dozen new comments on Phoronix currently point out that it’s ridiculous to expect universities to also rename their degrees. How much confusion would be caused and for little/no benefit.

11.01.20

Ashtrays of Human Rights and Tech Rights

Posted in BSD, Debian, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 10:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Travellers

Summary: The way things are going, especially so far this year, we’re going to have to become a lot more active (in the activism sense) and campaign for better society; repression has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic and further exacerbated due to Donald Trump’s fear of losing the election, only to be held belatedly accountable for his crimes (he already jokes aloud about having to escape the US in case he loses the impending election)

THIS coming week chaos and violence are predicted in — and for — the United States (we’ll spare the links; there’s no lack of them). We’ve already taken note of which corporate candidate is less harmful and which one is less harmless (double negation because we’re excited about neither candidate).

“2020 was an extraordinarily scary year for the “tech rights” of people; privacy is increasingly being framed as a health hazard…”The world is going in a very negative direction, putting aside the health crisis. People tend to focus on human rights aspects, such as asylum-seeking and race-baiting. We try to remain focused on technology because it’s a subject we understand better and are suitably equipped to comment on.

2020 was an extraordinarily scary year for the “tech rights” of people; privacy is increasingly being framed as a health hazard (some places go as far as banning cash payments as if coins or banknotes are the most potent infection vector, not people speaking to each other’s face in some pub with uncovered beverages/drink glasses). It was Halloween yesterday and not a single family/child knocked on our door (eerily unusual) because we’re going into lock-down in a few days and people don’t trust each others’ palms (or even objects that touched those palms). This sort of “new normal” makes organising for change a lot harder, except digitally.

Linus PaulingSome readers might choose to feel or actually be “offended” by the view that next week (or later this week, if Sunday is judged to be a week’s first day) we still won’t know who becomes/remains president in the US. No inauguration date until January and maybe no decision on the matter until then, either…

These are dark times, both politically and technologically. There’s a correlation between those two things (e.g. misuse/abuse of technology to enable human rights violations, as IBM did ~85 years ago in Germany and a century ago in America). Companies that wish to be seen as racially “woke” are anything but… it’s just smoke and mirrors.

To the best of our understanding, our server maintainer is applying to leave the US (for Europe). She’s not the first. To some, the last straw was Bush with his illegal wars; to others, Trump is more than they can chew.

Linus Torvalds, a Finnish citizen, was naturalised in the US more than a decade ago (to the best of our knowledge he’s still a dual-national). He moved pretty much all of Linux to the US-based fake ‘nonprofit’ (called after his main project, which is in turn named after him).

The other day an associate reminded us of what OpenBSD received for opposing illegal wars (OpenBSD is the other famous OS founded by a South African, originally). To quote Australian press:

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has stopped providing funding for a project which involves OpenBSD, apparently because OpenBSD lead developer Theo de Raadt made statements which could be considered anti-war to a Canadian newspaper.

OpenBSD is one of a number of free Unices which are increasingly being used on servers due to their reputation for security. NetBSD and FreeBSD are two others; they all have a common base in a project which began at the University of California in Berkeley and had the name Berkeley Sofwtare Distribution.

A good part of the $US2.3 million grant from DARPA, the research and development arm of the US military who in 1970 set up what evolved into the internet, has already been used by de Raadt even though he was not very happy about the source.

Canada’s Globe and Mail quoted him as saying: “I actually am fairly uncomfortable about it, even if our firm stipulation was that they cannot tell us what to do. We are simply doing what we do anyways – securing software – and they have no say in the matter. I try to convince myself that our grant means a half of a cruise missile doesn’t get built.”

The money was provided to the Portable Open-Source Security Enhancements project run at the University of Pennsylvania.

It’s no secret that today’s Pentagon, which drops bombs as frequently as British people nowadays check their so-called ‘phone’, favours Linux. Linus Torvalds is no Linus Pauling (whose mugshot is shown above).

'Trump’s Military Drops a Bomb Every 12 Minutes, and No One Is Talking About It' and 'Brits Now Check Their Mobile Phones Every 12 Minutes'

10.29.20

Moving to Phones Won’t Liberate Users

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 6:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A matter of objective/s

Taking pictureSummary: A so-called ‘phone’ (or ‘smart’ phone) with Linux under the bonnet isn’t freedom; it’s a branding war being won, but principles are being abandoned

THE concept of phone ‘ownership’ does not appeal to me personally because many so-called ‘phones’ do more against their users (so-called ‘owners’) than they do for them, albeit it’s thinly disguised as “national security” or “in case of an emergency…”

“I still use a PDA and it’s never connected to the Internet (it has no support for that, it was made 18 years ago).”We’ve recently seen a large bunch of PDAs or handheld consoles with GNU/Linux on them, sometimes with a keyboard too. Those are very nice. I still use a PDA and it’s never connected to the Internet (it has no support for that, it was made 18 years ago). But we also see a bunch of GNU/Linux-powered ‘phones’ being promoted heavily (the latest is “Pro1 X” with a scientific-sounding brand) although they inherently harm privacy, no matter how one uses them (unless the battery is removed at all times).

“If we want real freedom and if we value “tech rights” (rights like privacy), we should strive for GNU/Linux (or BSD) everywhere… but do we want just loads of so-called ‘phones’?”Landlines still work in general. There may be places where those aren’t possible to have anymore, but in the Western world they’re quite a universal feature of every home because that’s integrated with wired connectivity (including Wi-Fi from the router/hub outwards).

If we want real freedom and if we value “tech rights” (rights like privacy), we should strive for GNU/Linux (or BSD) everywhere… but do we want just loads of so-called ‘phones’? Android already runs Linux (GPL), but it’s a surveillance machine. Little is known about how Google processes every piece of data extracted from Android (it was learned some years ago that Google pulls plenty of data from Android devices overnight).

“Aim high, get something meaningful… maybe.”Wanting “Linux to win” is understandable because us activists-advocates have been dreaming about it for decades. But a world dominated by “Linux” alone isn’t guaranteed to usher in freedom, as we’ve been warning for years. The Linux Foundation (LF) became little but a front group of monopolies — that much is very easy to see — but taking note of this new interview (“Torvalds says no need to name successor as that will take care of itself”), as an associate of ours just did, we should remember that GAFAM took over Linux in the same way it took over Python. “It looks like LF is making Linus [Torvalds] do the career equivalent of dig his own grave, read a prepared statement of support for the current regime, and then stand in it while they shoot him,” our associate wrote. They almost literally kill the “community” element of GNU/Linux; Red Hat (IBM) does that to GNU and it’s no secret that LF basically killed/kicked out anything resembling “community” years ago (we wrote a number of articles about that last year).

We need to think “bigger” (or further) than “let’s get rid of Microsoft” because even when Microsoft goes away — as every company eventually does — we still won’t have freedom (for that matter, moving from GitHub to GitLab is often like swapping prison cells as few self-host). We’re not really accomplishing the goals as set/put forth in the GNU Manifesto. Not the way things are going at the moment…

Aim high, get something meaningful… maybe.

Aim low, get something meaningless… like “Open Source has won” meaning “Microsoft has subsumed everything in GitHub.” (Including the OSI itself)

“The Internet? We are not interested in it.”

The ‘visionary’ Bill Gates in 1993

10.26.20

The Downfall of Free Software Leaders (and Their Projects or Missions)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Kernel, OSI at 3:44 am by Guest Editorial Team

By figosdev

Hijack, Cancel

Summary: “Cancel George Orwell, and happy hacking.”

Normally when someone says that a leader has failed, the aim is to put someone else in charge. But that’s a moot point when a leader hasn’t committed any crimes, and no one better is around to take their place.

If someone has done something so horrible for the project that they have disqualified themselves, we don’t have to pretend that’s impossible. The point of this article is the many coups taking place (or in some instances, a similar failure) and of course, in a coup the rising parties insist that the leader is no longer fit. They will launch countless ad hominem attacks that have nothing to do with the person as a leader, insisting that it is a real cost to the project — even that it is more cost to the project than it can withstand. RMS withstood two decades of such attacks, which alone should cause people to question their ultimate success.

“RMS withstood two decades of such attacks, which alone should cause people to question their ultimate success.”But we can still say that it’s possible for a leader to be that much of a problem, even if attacks for the purpose of taking over a project are more commonplace (and they are extremely commonplace).

Presumably, at one point Mozilla was an organisation that cared about your freedom. They used to offer a good browser, although they were on the “Open Source” side of Free Software, and that side really is about co-opting a movement for corporations.

Mozilla really didn’t have a “leader” in exactly the sense that GNU or Linux did; it was sort of an escape pod for Netscape, the latter being eventually taken over by AOL. Netscape had two founders, neither of which were really leadership figures for Mozilla in the way that rms or Linus Torvalds were. The closest thing Mozilla had to a leadership figure in this sense was Brendan Eich, and even then this was more apparent after the fact than during his tenure.

“For better or worse (I’d say both) Eich is the author of JavaScript. He wrote it for Netscape, and with Mozilla (which he co-founded) he rose to the level of CEO.”I never really liked Eich personally, though his importance to Mozilla is undeniable. Not every leader is a hero, and I don’t think of every leader as a hero (just look at American leadership today) though with or without the status, some of the leaders we’ve lost were nearly as vital as heroes would be. For better or worse (I’d say both) Eich is the author of JavaScript. He wrote it for Netscape, and with Mozilla (which he co-founded) he rose to the level of CEO. As the author of JavaScript at least, we can put Eich in a similar category as Python’s Guido van Rossum.

What’s happened to both JavaScript and Python is a partial but significant takeover by Microsoft and Github. However, we’re getting ahead of the story.

Eich gave money to a political (lobbyist) group that operates legally in the United States. Please note that I joined the many people condemning this and calling for his resignation. Eich did not publicly advocate his position against gay rights, nor did he mistreat his LGBT coworkers. The only reason we knew about his actions at all was due to a California law requiring such personal funding to be disclosed.

We were right at least, to condemn his actions. Whether we were right or wise to call for his resignation from Mozilla is a more difficult question now, at least for me. I’m not sure I can prove it was the wrong thing to do, but I feel that it almost certainly was.

“It is possible to support a project without liking its leader, but obviously this is a side point.”Either way, in light of the broader pattern of this sort of political tactic, the bigger picture makes this a very real and serious problem. Complicated ethical questions aside, I think we did ourselves a disservice at the behest of people who were much worse than Eich. That was clearly the goal. Complicated ethical questions aside, we owe it to ourselves to examine whether we want our values to be hijacked and used for dishonest schemes and purposes, the way they were hijacked and used to unseat Eich. If it were a single example, and didn’t lead to similar and even more frivolous instances of the same sort of issue, perhaps we could model the way we do things after that lesson. But we should definitely look at the broader context which has followed that event over the years.

Linus Torvalds of course, is an asshole. He’s also in many ways a hypocrite. I find him opportunistic and dishonest, at least politically as well as in a corporate setting. I do not like Eich personally, but my personal feelings about him are closer to neutral. I don’t like him, I don’t particularly loathe him (as a person or as a developer) either. I find Torvalds despicable at least.

Some people can separate the artist from the art — when it comes to appreciating music, I am rarely capable of doing so. Bono is an exception to this, I really think he’s a terrible human being, but when he writes he goes somewhere incredible and comes back with lyrics that (in my opinion) transcend his humanity. I can’t say I’m a fan, but I love his writing and even his performance. I certainly appreciate U2 more than Casey Kasem did.

“I don’t think it would be fair to say Torvalds led the coup against Free Software. We know who really lead that coup.”Besides, U2 isn’t just Bono, right? I mean I have nothing bad to say about the Edge or Adam Clayton (or anybody else associated with them, other than the record labels). It is possible to support a project without liking its leader, but obviously this is a side point.

I haven’t liked Torvalds for a long time, but we always knew he would eventually hand the project off to someone else if we could stand the wait. It’s worth looking at what happened with that, but even if I loathed Torvalds and thought his kernel was important to our movement (indeed I did both for quite a while) it was possible to hope for a day when someone better took over for him.

Torvalds has, since pretty much the beginning, enthusiastically supported the coup against Free Software known as Open Source. It’s possible to support it without understanding this as its real purpose, and Open Source encourages people to assume good faith — Open Source may not deserve that, but it certainly encourages it. So you can (in my opinion) support Open Source without knowing better. But I really think Torvalds was being selfish and opportunistic, and for many years he was nearly at the centre of that coup.

I don’t think it would be fair to say Torvalds led the coup against Free Software. We know who really lead that coup. I’ve spent literally years trying to get to the bottom line of what happened with Open Source, and I think it’s more fair to say that both Torvalds and ESR were led around by the ego, than to say they truly led the charge themselves. I think it’s a lesser crime to be exploited for your opportunistic selfishness than to be the true engineer of an attack on something really good — but if you think it’s less insulting to their intelligence to say Torvalds and ESR led a coup against freedom, please be my guest. It’s simply not the conclusion I’ve found the most evidence for.

“It was like that with the crusades, it is still like that with the War on Drugs. Humanity keeps falling for cures that are worse than the disease, because they make bigger promises than saner options can.”ESR was perhaps, a high ranking General in the coup — but we know (because the leadership discloses where its leaders come from) where Open Source gets its orders from today. And to anybody who has defected from the FSF to the even more nakedly corporate and ultimately fake OSI — you should be ashamed.

Perhaps the greatest sucker punch in the history of the human race, is the hijacking of morality. It’s an ingenious (and of course, dirty) maneuver; not only do people fail to see it coming, but after the fact they are convinced it was from an ally.

History has too many examples of this, from the fascism of the earlier-to-mid 1900s to crusades and holy wars:

“Hello, we’d like to go around torturing and killing thousands of random people, please.”

“You can’t do that! It’s illegal and it’s really mean!”

“No, this is different! It’s for MORAL reasons, you see…”

“Oh, why didn’t you say so? Go on, then!”

“Thanks very much!”

“In this contemporary example, the disease is intolerance. And we fall for it, and let fascists (not for the first time) hijack our morality in the name of morality itself.”We seem to fall for this again and again, which means there is clearly some deficiency (nobody’s perfect, right?) or vulnerability in the human psyche that leads us to think that if someone’s approach to morality is extreme enough, they must themselves be a moral example. Looking back from a safe distance of hundreds of years, this kind of endemic stupidity is Hilarious (just watch Mel Brooks lampoon the Inquisition).

The most cynical way to twist this is that I’m advocating lesser-evilism. In fact there are people advocating lesser-evilism right now, proposing that if we are given a choice between two fascists who support treason, we should actually work to replace one with a lesser one. In fact we should entirely reject both, and demand someone who is NOT an abject traitor to the people. Failing to do so is the worst sort of lesser-evilism. Though it’s fair if you note the parallels between that and what I am saying.

Instead, what I am saying is that if the lesser evil is already in charge, (please note that this is in the context of Free Software politics, of people like Torvalds and Eich; I only mention other ongoing pageants in contemporary politics because I realise someone will make the comparison anyway) then it’s very silly to replace them with someone who is actually worse because they make bigger, bolder promises.

“So we let immoral, dishonest, fascist and bigoted people become the thought police.”That’s the sucker punch — “We know you’re tired of all this immorality and injustice, so won’t you please let us raise the devil’s own personal army to come in and clean this up for you?” But we can’t talk about all of history’s examples of this, because Mike Godwin is a dumb fucking shit. (Just kidding Mike, but I’ll probably always say you are. Your “law” is about as useful to politics as luminiferous aether to CERN).

It was like that with the crusades, it is still like that with the War on Drugs. Humanity keeps falling for cures that are worse than the disease, because they make bigger promises than saner options can.

In this contemporary example, the disease is intolerance. And we fall for it, and let fascists (not for the first time) hijack our morality in the name of morality itself.

“Hello, we’d like to subject everyone involved in Free Software — erm, I mean Open Source to stacked moral tribunals, please.”

“What do you mean by ‘stacked’?”

“We intend to favour corporations as a rule; we will attack individuals for moral shortcomings, but give multinationals like NaziBM a pass.”

“Isn’t this a bit like the House Un-American Activities Committee?”

“Not at all! That existed to oust COMMUNISTS — we’re doing this to get rid of Bigots!”

“Hmm, that does sound entirely different. Go on, then!”

“Thanks very much!”

What could go wrong?

“Out with Eich, in with spying on users and DRM. That sounds a lot like justice and progress, be it social or otherwise.”So we let immoral, dishonest, fascist and bigoted people become the thought police. But since it’s all for a good cause, of course we let them. Isn’t that really our moral duty?

Out with Eich, in with spying on users and DRM. That sounds a lot like justice and progress, be it social or otherwise.

But it wasn’t just Eich. As I was saying, we did the same thing to Torvalds. Sure, he’s an asshole. More than Eich, he’s an asshole who attacks software freedom. But unless you can fork it into something different, it’s his kernel — I mean he’s the author. And the people who are coming closest to forking it (that is, the very foundation that Torvalds indirectly or nearly lends his own first name and certainly his registered trademark to) are not at all better than Torvalds. They’re bigger assholes and worse hypocrites.

And although both Torvalds and ESR participated in leader cancellation tactics, that alliance with the dark side did not prevent them from being disposed of in the very same fashion. Open Source even co-opts its own posterboys.

“Open Source even co-opts its own posterboys.”Getting back to waiting for someone better to take over, they attacked that person the same way they attacked Eich and Torvalds, so they could move the future of development towards someone who is far worse and far more corporate than Torvalds or Ts’o. I don’t even know one bad thing about Ts’o, incidentally. But that won’t stop us from making something up and seeing if it sticks!

So we aren’t just using this to oust assholes in leadership positions to replace them with people who are worse — we are using this to prevent perfectly decent successors (lxo?) from having the reins handed to them instead. We are doing this to fight bigotry, yes — but also we need corporate-friendly people in charge, that’s just as important. Every single time.

Fortunately Mozilla has seen the error of its ways, the FSF is no longer in any position to stand against a Microsoft GitHub hegemony, JavaScript and Python have been duly assimilated, and we are all better people.

Though somehow, for some reason — all of this “progress” screams to the very heavens of pure bullshit.

Now that we are finally liberated from backwards-thinking schmucks like Brendan Eich, who is left standing to save us from these fascist corporations?

“It’s really not a problem to have multinational corporate masters in charge of all our activism, in fact it’s for a very good cause; it’s only a problem to refer to a repository as “master”. Clearly, that’s where we need to draw the line if we want humanity to improve.”Guido von Rossum wasn’t so bad. He actually went along with all the nonsense he was supposed to, but at one point he stopped toeing the line, and really that’s the same as bigotry.

It’s really not a problem to have multinational corporate masters in charge of all our activism, in fact it’s for a very good cause; it’s only a problem to refer to a repository as “master”. Clearly, that’s where we need to draw the line if we want humanity to improve.

But as to actually having new masters? We can’t draw the line there, because they promised to cure bigotry. And if you’re against the cure, you support the disease.

“Cancel George Orwell, and happy hacking.”The article makes more than one reference to the violent act of “sucker punching”, and contains several unplusgood violations of the Code of Conduct of the LibreParty of Cambridge, Oceania.

The article you describe DOES NOT EXIST, and for the betterment of humanity we insist that you stop trying to suggest that it does.

Cancel George Orwell, and happy hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

10.24.20

Look How Many Tux I Give!

Posted in BSD, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 2:41 am by Guest Editorial Team

By figosdev

Hyperbola GNU/Linux
By Márcio Alexandra Silva Delgado (coadde), CC BY-SA 4.0

Summary: “Long live rms, long live (Hyperbola) GNU/BSD, and happy hacking.”

In 2007, I removed my last copy of Windows.

Now, 13 years later, I will remove my last copy of GNU/Linux. Why the hell not?

For the full context of this decision, let’s travel magically to the:

Early 1990s: I’m using a 9600 bps modem in Windows 3.x to go on bulletin boards (BBS). Someone tells me I should get an “Internet” account with a university, using “telnet”. Within 10 years or so I’ll watch a friend telnet into her uni to get her homework, but at the time I don’t know what a telnet client is.

Mid 90s: I read about “Linux” in the newspaper. (Newspapers were big, grey, cheaply printed stacks of paper folded into plastic bags, which teenagers would throw at your home from cars or bicycles). I also read about Internet cafes. I go around looking for an Internet cafe that doesn’t run on Macs, because I want my first time online to be on a PC. I don’t use an Internet cafe until 2004, but my first time on the Web is on a PC, some time before 1998.

Late 90s: I have a tomsrtbt floppy, which technically allows me to run Busybox (or something similar) with the Linux kernel. I learn how to mount DOS partitions, copy files, write text to a file, and do very little else with it. I want to copy my tomsrtbt disk, but it’s > 2 mb which for a DOS user, is extremely confusing. I knew there were specially formatted floppies that allowed that sort of thing, but I was not familiar with the process for creating one. I don’t have abundant Internet access.

“The only way to really remove Internet Explorer (rather than just removing it from the list of installed programs) is to not install it in the first place.”2000-2002: I purchase Red Hat for about $30, though perhaps unsurprisingly it does not boot after trying to install it on my 486. Someone gives me my first Windows 95 machine. I tell them I can fix it, they say “keep it, I have a new one.” It’s a mini tower, which I either carry home or take on the bus.

I’ve learned how to install 95 and 98 from the compressed files on the install CD. This means I can install from a hard drive and floppy, without worrying about booting from CD or whether the CD/drive is working. Not everything has a good CD drive these days, so this is useful. It’s possible all the installations are legit, as I’ve collected enough (valid) licenses and keys and I still like DOS and Windows 3.x a lot.

The only way to really remove Internet Explorer (rather than just removing it from the list of installed programs) is to not install it in the first place. I make custom install files for Windows 95 without Internet Explorer. You have to alter checksums to do this, but it’s easier than it sounds. Also, pretty tedious.

I purchase Mandrake for $5 and it installs, but I don’t know how to become root (ha) and I can’t seem to write to any files (I never created users for tomsrtbt, so I was used to being root like in DOS).

“The 2.x kernel is SO MUCH faster than 3.x, but the 3.x kernel supports more hardware.”I get Windows (95) down to 10mb, 5 compressed. That’s right. Control Panel doesn’t work, the GUI barely loads, but until it does there is no ATAPI support for my DOS-based CD writing program. I’m running Caldera OpenDOS and getting online with Arachne, but I boot (from a floppy) into 95 (yes, with the GUI — You have to edit MSDOS.SYS) to write CDs.

My girlfriend is amazed by what can be done without Windows, and tells me “You should make this available on more computers!” I explain that the license doesn’t make that possible, and I’m eager for a day when I can run “Linux” with a GUI (with a Web browser).

2003: I get a Windows 98 machine. I start working on what is probably my first programming language.

2004: Instead of tomsrtbt I now have Pygmy Linux, which chainloads from 32-bit DOS. I don’t use it for anything at all, I’m just trying it.

2005: I get Ubuntu, but it’s too slow for practical use, taking minutes to boot on the low-end Pentium I’m using. I try removing packages, but they’re all tied to other packages (Not too familiar with APT yet). I start trying various distros on CD, on a friend’s desktop which is more powerful than mine. I still use dial-up, they have high-speed connection.

I keep looking for a distro that can use my external 56k modem to connect to my ISP, I even look for an ISP that this will work with. No luck. I can get online with Windows or even DOS, but nothing else. As I’m trying to figure this out, about 800 people ask me if I’m trying to do this with a “winmodem” (I know what it is).

“With a faster, portable, wifi-capable machine with a like-new CD writer, I am trying more distros.”2006: DSL starts on my Pentium II. Due to some weird issue with the CD drive, it takes 7-15 minutes to boot (then it’s alright). I look for a graphical upgrade to Pygmy Linux that chainloads from 32-bit DOS. I read about (but never find) Monkey Linux.

While searching for that I learn of Puppy Linux, including a version designed to chainload from DOS. Puppy runs graphically on my equipment, though it doesn’t like most of my hardware. The 2.x kernel is SO MUCH faster than 3.x, but the 3.x kernel supports more hardware. I stick with 2.x, and don’t even have SATA support (but I don’t have SATA hardware either).

I invest in a wireless cardbus adapter and a wired Ethernet cardbus adapter, neither of which are supported, but I hold onto them — thinking I might find support for them eventually.

I get a used P4 laptop running XP. For the first time, I’m going to places where I can use wifi. I customise the heck out of XP, replacing standard Windows features with freely licensed software, as I did with Windows 98. I replace the Windows shell with something like BB4Win.

With a faster, portable, wifi-capable machine with a like-new CD writer, I am trying more distros.

2007-2008: DSL replaces Windows 98 on my Pentium II, Xubuntu replaces Windows XP, letting me use my cardbus wifi adapter (but not the built-in adapter). I start using high-speed Internet all the time. I try countless distros. I get a USB-based wifi adapter (“How neat, it can add wifi to either a laptop or a desktop”). But nothing I run supports it. I throw it in a drawer.

2007 is the year I finally go Windows-free, using GNU/Linux with high-speed Internet.

2009: Curious about OLPC, I am eager to try out Sugar. I try Sugar-on-a-Stick, I go to a Linux user group where I happen to play with an XO-1 in person, I see one other XO-1 in a museum, and because they have Sugar included, I try out Trisquel with Sugar. Pippy, a tool designed to help Year 4 students and later get introduced to Python, reminds me of QB and I start learning Python.

Trisquel is the first FSF-approved distro I try. It’s also the first distro I try that supports my (Atheros) USB wifi adapter. Of course several of the other distros I’ve used only fail to support it because of release cycles and my own upgrade timeline, but an impression is made: you really don’t need non-free drivers for consumer hardware. Trisquel works!

2009-2011: I start having drive trouble due to power management issues, and when I read about it I find that you can mitigate the thing killing my hardware by changing hdparm settings. But it’s not announced to much fanfare, and as I read about the various responses to the issue for various distros, I get pretty pissed off.

Ubuntu doesn’t care, Debian releases an immediate fix — not just a command-line workaround, they make the fix the default from that point onward. Other distros make excuses about how the fix might not work on everything.

“Although I’ve given money to Devuan, and money and equipment to related projects, I am increasingly unhappy with the cult-like abuse from some community leaders and at least one official team member.”On top of this, Debian is getting the non-free crap out of their kernel as of 6.0. I start favouring Debian for the level of quality and responsibility they demonstrate. I still favour a blob-free kernel.

2012-2014: I’m running Debian and giving away free machines with Debian pre-installed, with sources. I’m writing a curriculum for a night class on refurbishing machines with Debian. My girlfriend and I make Debian logo Christmas ornaments with a laminator. My monitor has a Debian logo sticker over its own logo. I raise well over 100 dollars for SPI, Inc. and I’m happy, even thrilled to be promoting GNU/Linux with real free software and real hardware. I don’t tend to use non-free repos or non-free drivers, I also discourage others from running either.

I notice systemd coming in when rc.local stops running after an upgrade. I mostly run stable but I have one machine running testing, because testing is notoriously stable for what it is, and I want a heads up on what Debian has coming down the line.

I start reading about systemd, and exploring my options. I try Debian GNU/Kfreebsd and read about Devuan. I stop giving away Debian machines, not wanting to saddle anybody with that. The most reliable and responsible operating system, which based on its history really had me thinking I’d never need to find another distro, has jumped the shark and said “FUCK YOU” to everybody. Alright then, fuck you too.

“The idea of automated remasters (OLPC also uses that idea for creating their own distro) is that instead of distributing a new ISO every time you make a few changes, you just distribute a custom remaster script instead.”2015: In February or March, my Debian testing machine (also the one I use the most) now runs the pre-alpha of Devuan. While I wait for Devuan to mature and gain a sources ISO/single download like Debian has so I can start giving Devuan machines away (with sources, like I did for Debian) I start working on an alternative to my PC refurbishing curriculum. Without a distro I can recommend to everybody, I start working on a cross-platform programming language — trying to make a language that is more practical than Logo and easier to learn than BASIC. It’s just an experiment, I don’t worry about how outlandish the goal is. I know the actual thing is going to be modest, and that’s the idea.

I start introducing it to people in person, and within a year it is what I wanted — a language that lets me explain and introduce coding basics to people who had trouble with BASIC or Python. People I’d talked to about coding for years who tended to glaze over and not be able to explain anything I had told them, could now point to code and tell me what it did. I consider that a victory.

The language is called fig, and it was included in the best Devuan derivative I knew. Devuan did not yet have a Live CD, but there was a live Devuan derivative (I tried two of those) and the maintainer went to go work on Devuan Live officially. It was one of the better decisions Devuan made; he was the best person for that role.

2016-2017: Although I’ve given money to Devuan, and money and equipment to related projects, I am increasingly unhappy with the cult-like abuse from some community leaders and at least one official team member. I distance myself from Devuan, using fig to make automated remasters of Puppy Linux, Refracta, Tiny Core, Trisquel 8 and Debian 9 — among others.

“But although I still have nice things to say about Dyne and its founder, I do not believe in or recommend Devuan.”Originally this is not called Fig OS, but I am encouraged by some Puppy fans to move from the Puppy name (because it’s a turn off to people who think “Puppy” sounds less serious) and from the Refracta dev who is concerned it might confuse people further (Refracta already refers to remastering tools and a distro that is made with them). So I actually settle on “Fig OS”, and then “Distro-libre” as I add more source distros.

The idea of automated remasters (OLPC also uses that idea for creating their own distro) is that instead of distributing a new ISO every time you make a few changes, you just distribute a custom remaster script instead. The download is measured in kb instead of gb, plus it’s 100% source code and you get a line-by-line “receipt” of every change made to the base system.

I design it not just for one distro family, but try to keep it as flexible as possible. Originally it can mix Devuan-based Refracta with Ubuntu/Puppy-based Tahr — if you use Puppy, you know it’s more accurate to say this is like mixing Devuan with Puppy than Devuan with Ubuntu. Devuan is multi-user. Puppy Tahr has so much of Ubuntu stripped out.

The automated remaster of Trisquel 8 replaces systemd with upstart, creating a bootable Live ISO that boots Trisquel without systemd. I’m very proud of that. This was at a time when Trisquel had pretty much abandoned the idea of users having a choice about subservience to corporations. That’s a shame, when they were once the flagship distro of the FSF, and the one that convinced me that fully-free distros were possible and even practical. It’s not just that they don’t fix this — they don’t even care!

The automated remaster of Debian 9.5 also creates a bootable Live ISO that boots with sysvinit. While Devuan certainly does more, and there was a time (when it looked like Devuan might gain more volunteers) that I agreed with their level of overkill, at one point later on I was starting to think MX was a better thing to support than Devuan. I have had positive experiences with the leader of Dyne and I still this Dyne is a good organisation — that’s a pretty big deal these days, when this timeline is coming up on 2019.

But although I still have nice things to say about Dyne and its founder, I do not believe in or recommend Devuan. That team ought to split up (Dyne should abandon it for better things) and go their separate ways. Whatever “Devuan” is will be better without it being Devuan. The maintainers may disagree, but they’re also wrong. The biggest problem with Devuan is Devuan. It’s largely the same problem that Debian had, minus enough volunteers.

“If you’re calling yourself a “hacker” because you’re allegedly out to playfully subvert a corrupt authoritarian tech industry, but you conflate a couple of minor interruptions by the person who created the movement you belong to with a safety threat of some kind, maybe you’re NOT a hacker.”Then in 2018: Microsoft purchases GitHub.

MOTHER. FUCKER.

Also, a bunch of traitors stab rms in the back by pretending a question or two asked out of turn by the president of the organisation makes LibrePlanet “unsafe”. Holy George Fucking Orwell! If you’re calling yourself a “hacker” because you’re allegedly out to playfully subvert a corrupt authoritarian tech industry, but you conflate a couple of minor interruptions by the person who created the movement you belong to with a safety threat of some kind, maybe you’re NOT a hacker. Maybe the word “shill” or simply “tool” is better. Perhaps you’re really a fascist, disguised with the trappings of the left.

What a great year. But 2019 gets even better!

2019: Free Software projects, not interested in tech industry hegemony, start leaving GitHub in droves.

But NO! They actually gravitate TOWARDS the incredible suckage, coinciding with bribes from their new masters. Oh, we can’t say “masters” anymore. MASTERS, MASTERS, MASTERS! What the actual fuck, people?

RMS, who in fact called Epstein a “serial rapist”, defends a deceased colleague on a mailing list that both individuals used to contribute to (and rms still did) but it’s not the attacks on the deceased colleague that are considered inappropriate for the list (obviously that’s fine) it’s the defence that draws the wrath of the shill industry, who then make money assassinating rms and saying he “defended Epstein.” The tech press is full of liars and scumbags that might as well have worked for Joseph fucking Goebbels. (Oh, fuck you too, Mike).

“I started installing FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD on various machines.”GNOME, MIT, SFC and FSFE and even traitors inside the FSF all dogpile rms, who then steps down from the FSF. Some of these same individuals also attacked him at LibrePlanet, over NOTHING — you can watch the actual non-incident. They were simply waiting for the best opportunity to make a fuss. Seriously, that’s all it ever was.

Shortly after, someone hacks his personal website (which by the way, was not hosted by the FSF) to make it look like he was no longer the leader of the GNU Project either.

This reminds me (on a lesser scale, obviously) of when Faux News faked the Bush Jr. victory by running a clip saying he won the election before he won.

At some point in the past two years, I talked to rms about the possibility of a fully-free distro based on BSD. By sheer coincidence (but I’m very pleased) in 2019, Hyperbola announced the first FSF-approved distro to switch from the Linux kernel to a Fully-free distribution based on OpenBSD.

2020: Eager to get away from as much of this crap as possible, away from the shills, from init systems that Microsoft controls the contributions to (with their Code of Conduct and their bans of accounts from several entire countries, and their absolutely monopoly-level power that comes with owning GitHub, which we were warned against creating for years) I decided not to wait for Hyperbola, even though I love what they’re doing (and you should, too).

“I mean they tried to have a coup in the GNU Project in 2019, and that hasn’t even stopped in 2020.”I started installing FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD on various machines. I am still running GNU/Linux on ONE machine; I didn’t plan for BSD to take over my workflow as quickly (or as smoothly) as it eventually did. You can see the kind of stuff I went through getting rid of Windows.

OpenBSD 6.8 is out, and since I’ve just upgraded all my other machines (along with other work, etc.) from GNU/Linux to OpenBSD 6.7 (I have one machine running NetBSD, and I don’t recommend FreeBSD because it’s doing far too much with GitHub compared to the other two) I am looking for what I should install 6.8 on. I am talking about this week, not next year. Of course I also want to run HyperbolaBSD, but I’m getting familiar with what’s upstream right now, before HyperbolaBSD is even ready.

What’s the appeal/common sense justification of BSD? Among some other notable advantages, when people want to fork BSD, they just do. They don’t spend years begging someone else to or keeping fingers crossed — they just do it. It’s been done several times by small teams of people. Just based on that, you’d think it was easier than forking OpenOffice!

“Hyperbola wants you to be free, they didn’t fork Linux — instead they’re making BSD free, because that’s easier.”When Free Software has as many threats as it does today, threats the FSF basically ignores, leaving us to fend for ourselves (and even challenge their overly, obsessively conservative bullshit — don’t get me wrong, Open Source is still MUCH worse, but the FSFE and SFC have already fallen to Open Source; SFC is now a gateway to OSI and basically to hell, NOT to freedom) we need more autonomy or we are simply going to be taken over, the way GNU is gradually being taken over.

I mean they tried to have a coup in the GNU Project in 2019, and that hasn’t even stopped in 2020. GNU needs to be salvaged. Fortunately, Hyperbola is setting good examples on how to do just that. The FSF is just getting closer and closer to GitHub, doing big-budget-style videos promoting things like Jitsi (Guess who controls Jitsi? Not the FSF!) Free Cloud Foundation? That’s going to make IBM very happy! You’ll be able to talk to at least 150 people about it on the GitHubiverse!

If it isn’t even forkable, it’s debatable that it’s really free. Linux is demonstrably non-forkable — nobody is forking it, nobody is going to fork it, people fork BSD instead, repeatedly. The whole thing, kernel and all. Hyperbola wants you to be free, they didn’t fork Linux — instead they’re making BSD free, because that’s easier. BSD-libre! GNU/BSD, even. And fuck you again Debian, for trying to kill exactly that.

This is the thing that the FSF doesn’t seem to understand. For purposes of freedom, GNU/Linux is no longer viable. It is a corporate shitshow of DRM, sellouts and mountains of Big Tech fuckery. Yes, there are some (VERY) nice things about the kernel, but they’re not making us free, they’re making us subservient to GIAFAM and especially to Microsoft — the biggest corporate enemy of Free Software in both history and the world. An enemy that spends years lying about “love” — about LOVE!

So it can spy on people and help literally kill for profit — not simply by letting people use their code as some Open Source fakes whinge about (your dumb license won’t stop the DOD anyway, as they don’t have to honour copyright or patents) but actually getting contracts worth billions to make war (not “Love”). That’s why “fake” is the right thing to call these shills who pretend to give a shit who lives and dies in other countries (along with what it does to the environment).

“So now we are using “ethics” to reinforce a monopoly.”United Nations: “You know, we think these are war crimes that you’re committing.”

Various Countries: “But?”

United Nations: “But also we are concerned that your actions are destroying the sustainability of the human race itself.”

Various Countries: “Is that all?”

United Nations: “No. What we want to talk about right now is the license for the software running your drone systems…”

Various Countries: “Oh, NO! Don’t worry, we’re switching right back to Windows for that! War tribunals and the end of sustainability are bad enough, without VIOLATING SOFTWARE LICENSES!”

Great plan! People often talk about how munitions are even more dangerous because they’re not as “precision” as people say they are, occasionally taking out wedding parties when they want to get “just one!” terrorist, but that’ll all be “Better with Windows!” Mayyyyybe Coraline just thought JEDI would be more “ethical” if we could use licenses to ensure only Microsoft had a product they were legally allowed to sell for such purposes (Put that in your intake and smoke it, Bezos!)

So now we are using “ethics” to reinforce a monopoly. Or were we using “love” to create weapons systems? All this marketing gets confusing! I guess that’s why Windows is Linux is Winning! Now pay up, Android, you think all this “love” comes for free?

The FSF sits idly by while Microsoft and GitHub (and their own GNU contributors) and GNOME (as usual?) lie to you about the viability of this dystopian future we are already living in. Some of these people are not “mistaken” — they are actually lying to you. Two-legged Zoom spying bad, Four-legged GitHub spying good? Doubleplus WTF? The FSF just sits there, like nobody knows better. Well one guy, but OMG, He Said…

“For a minute it looked like rms was done; but he’s still fighting, we can be thankful for that. He’s not going to win against the FSF though — it will still be years still before the FSF does a course correction, away from this mess that started TWO YEARS ago.”“Free Software is bigger than Jesus!”

No, that was John Lennon. Remember folks, what rms said! Burn all your copies of the GPL! (This sort of bullshit is SO old and SO STUPID…)

Hyperbola GNU/Linux logoFor a minute it looked like rms was done; but he’s still fighting, we can be thankful for that. He’s not going to win against the FSF though — it will still be years still before the FSF does a course correction, away from this mess that started TWO YEARS ago. FIVE years if you count the systemd power grab — and you should. Corporate hegemony is always a problem, even GPL-(2 only!)-licensed corporate hegemony.

So anyway, bye bye, Linux. I’ll see you on underpowered trinkets and tablets, I’m sure.

Now get the fuck off my PC. We’re done here, penguinshit.

Long live rms, long live (Hyperbola) GNU/BSD, and happy hacking.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

10.20.20

People With God Complex Must Never be Allowed in Positions of Power

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft at 5:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Get me into that and goddam, we’ll make so much money!”

Bill Gates, Microsoft

Related: 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’? | Bill Gates: “Where Are We on This Jihad?” (Against Linux at Intel) | Reminder: Bill Gates Called for “Jihad” (His Word) Both Before and After Being Grilled for Crimes | Bill Gates Deposition: Gates Keeps Referring to His Attacks on Competitors (Linux Included) as “Jihad” and Still Lies About Illegal Contracts | The Supposedly ‘Soft’ Bill Gates Interrogated About What Was Called His “Jihad” | Bill Gates Refers to His Business as “Jihad” and Accuses Java of Being a “Religion” With “Rabid” Supporters

Jimmy Neutron meme: It's mine, mine, mine. Bill, not everything must be controlled by you.

Summary: The attack on Linus Torvalds — an attack which at his own expense/peril he fails to recognise/acknowledge — seeks to put both projects that he founded right in Microsoft’s palm

“WHAT’S mine is mine and what’s yours is mine, too…”

So goes the motto at Microsoft, shows the Bill Gates deposition. They cannot grasp the concept of competition, let alone fair competition. Independent media is also an anathema, which is why both Gates and Microsoft bribe publishers (sometimes to oust their critics and delete articles critical of them… as if they’re “blasphemous”). They increasingly control Linux through the Linux Foundation and increasingly control Git through GitHub (which is where they want Linux to go).

“They cannot grasp the concept of competition, let alone fair competition.”Unfortunately, Mr. Torvalds is unable or unwilling to wake up and smell the coffee. Companies that want him powerless or retired (same effect) are taking over his projects and all they have in mind is proprietary software with surveillance, not Free software and not even Open Source — a term that increasingly means nothing to these people. Torvalds couldn’t have lost sight of what Microsoft did to Nokia, once the pride of his home country (and city). If someone can do anything at this point, regarding Git and Linux at least, it’s their creator, not his so-called ‘boss’ who thinks Microsoft is like a "puppy". One can imagine what he thinks of Bill Gates…

“He [Bill Gates] acted like a spoiled kid, which is what he was.”

Ed Roberts, Gates’ employer at MITS in the 1970′s (Atlanta Journal-Costitution, 04-27-97)

10.18.20

What the Linux Foundation Teaches People About GNU/Linux in LinuxFoundationX (edX) LFS101x “Introduction to Linux” [sic]

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 8:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Last night: LinuxFoundationX (edX) LFS101x “Introduction to Linux” is More Linux Foundation Marketing and ‘Linux’ Revisionism Than Actual Training/Teaching

Professional like GNU

GCC and Linux

Linux history

Linux and GNU

Linux no 1980s

Linux philosophy

LF on religion

LF community

Summary: Some annotated screenshots of preliminary sections of LFS101x, a ‘course’ designed to indoctrinate people for the Linux Foundation and the project is borrows its name from (but whose trademark it does not control)

LinuxFoundationX (edX) LFS101x “Introduction to Linux” is More Linux Foundation Marketing and ‘Linux’ Revisionism Than Actual Training/Teaching

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 1:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Forget GNU ever existed… because patently dishonest people work to reinforce the falsehoods or the false history/role of Linux

edX marketing: Is this course about Linux? Or about about Linux Foundation?

Summary: The Linux Foundation makes a course about “Linux” partly about itself (the Linux Foundation, with top members like Microsoft and Oracle) and distorts the record with terms like “Open Source” and the pretense everything is “Linux” (even work that predates Linux itself)

AS noted the other day (in passing), I recently went through the whole of LFS101x (maybe 400 pages in total) to assess what they’re teaching. Many people are enrolling to this, basically to be lectured by the Linux Foundation (via edX) about this thing called “Linux”. What are they taught? What are they told? Are they being educated or programmed (part of the course actually teaches programming, not Linux, especially the late sections that deal with Bash).

“In future parts we may take a closer look at the distortion of history and gross mis-attribution.”The beginning of the course is the most blatant example of shameless self-promotion disguised as “course” or “studying”. What are people being told? Let’s take a few examples, other than the one above (it’s an actual section of a course on “Linux”!), and humbly examine the accuracy.

edX marketing 0

edX marketing 1

edX marketing 2

edX marketing 3

edX marketing 4

edX marketing 5

Seeing the pattern? Teaching people to revere the Linux Foundation, which can easily be conflated with Linux itself (although the Linux Foundation pays less than 1% of the developers of Linux and doesn’t even have the Linux trademark, still assigned to Linus Torvalds). In future parts we may take a closer look at the distortion of history and gross mis-attribution. Linux Foundation is just a $100,000,000 gorilla (hence the clip below) that milks the word “Linux” to raise money and pay outrageous salaries to non-geeks who don’t even use “Linux” (they don’t understand it, either).

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