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02.06.14

Note to the Press: Nvidia News is About Linux, Not Linus

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel at 7:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Photo by Alex Dawson, 2002

Linus

Summary: Cult of Personalities takes over the news again — news which, if anything, proves Stallman’s points to be valid

EARLIER this week Nvidia made an important announcement [1] that was picked up by the press [2-8]. Nvidia shows some signs of changing, conceding its purely proprietary culture. Finally there is a response with actions, not just words. Interestingly enough, a little message from Torvalds in Google+ almost generated more headlines than the original news [9-11] (a lot of the aforementioned links overemphasise Torvalds), especially because he previously gave Nvidia the finger (as in, “up your rectum”). Imagine what the reaction would be if Stallman had done that. When Torvalds does provocative stuff in order to attract attention then it’s portrayed as “cool” or “funny”, whereas the father of GNU gets smacked down if he even dares to try. The person who all along preached in favour of source code freedom is Stallman, not Torvalds, who had also created Linux as a proprietary kernel at first (so basically the same as Nvidia).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. [RFC 00/16] drm/nouveau: initial support for GK20A (Tegra K1)
  2. drm/nouveau: initial support for GK20A (Tegra K1) Directly Rendered From Nvidia
  3. Nvidia gets even more open saucy

    This Tegra K1 Nouveau support is still proof-of-concept but it is a sign that Nvidia is getting more open saucy having committed to better open source graphics support in September.

  4. Nvidia deepens Linux Nouveau support for upcoming Tegra chips
  5. Nvidia Seeks Glasnost With Linux, Contributes Open Source Code
  6. Nvidia slips love letter to open source driver devs
  7. Nvidia startles Linux world with driver contribution
  8. NVIDIA offers initial open source support for K1 graphics

    Chip maker NVIDIA has a long history of making sure there are Linux drivers for its graphics cards. But they’re usually closed-source drivers which means they’re not easy for OS developers and open source enthusiasts to work with. Linux founder Linus Torvalds was not amused by this approach.

  9. Torvalds gives Nvidia software thumbs up, not middle finger

    “This time I’m raising a thumb for Nvidia. Good times,”Torvalds said Sunday night on Google+, a strong contrast to a June 2012 speech in which Torvalds instead offered Nvidia a middle finger for its non-cooperation. Nvidia has preferred to offer proprietary binary drivers to let operating systems use its graphics chips, not open-source software that others can adapt, modify, and debug.

  10. Linus Torvalds Applauds NVIDIA For Posting Early Tegra K1 Open Source Drivers To The Nouveau Project
  11. Nvidia opens Tegra K1 driver, wins Torvalds thumbs-up

01.28.14

Tuxera GPL Violations Alleged

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Kernel, Patents, Samsung at 2:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Unable to cover up the deeds

A band-aid bandage

Summary: Microsoft’s partner Tuxera is claimed to be violating the GPL, adding insult to injury (helping Microsoft make money from Linux shakedowns, using code that was illegally copied)

LAST year we campaigned with great success for Samsung to obey (i.e. comply with) the GPL after it had gotten caught violating it [1, 2. 3], specifically when it served Microsoft with patent traps (exFAT). Samsung’s GPL violations go years back and they show that this company, which has just liaised with Google on patents (Google too is becoming patents-greedy), is no friend of FOSS. Samsung also commits crimes, but that’s beyond the scope of our coverage.

Another company which can easily be confused or mishandled as a FOSS company because it uses Linux (but mostly provides proprietary software with Microsoft patents) is Tuxera. Like Xamarin, all it really does is promote Linux dependence on Microsoft patent traps (the ones that allegedly have Samsung paying Microsoft for Linux). exFAT (promoted by Samsung and Tuxera) as well other forms/variants of FAT are not really needed, we need to abolish them.

The woman who told us about Samsung’s GPL violations contacted us earlier today to say that based on this file (forked to https://github.com/rxrz/asuswrt-merlin just in case), Tuxera is violating the GPL.

As the reporter of this violation put it, “download the blob, run `modinfo` on it:


filename:       thfsplus.ko
license:        GPL
description:    Extended Macintosh Filesystem
author:         Brad Boyer
depends:       
vermagic:       2.6.22.19 mod_unload MIPS32_R2 32BIT

“it’s MIPS32, so `strings` won’t give the function names, rather something like this:


`strings /tmp/thfsplus.ko | grep -i tux`:
<6>Tuxera HFS+ driver 3013.11.18
/opt/tuxera/rakesh/tuxera_delivery/output/asus-router/tuxera-file-systems-3013.11.15.1-bcm4706.build/hfsplus-kmod/fs/hfsplus/extents.c
/opt/tuxera/rakesh/tuxera_delivery/output/asus-router/tuxera-file-systems-3013.11.15.1-bcm4706.build/hfsplus-kmod/fs/hfsplus/bnode.c

“Seems like a GPL violation to me,” she concluded. “I’d like to have that source code now, since it’s been based on native code from Linux.”

01.26.14

Never Ever Use Coprocessors for Cryptology, Especially If Implemented in the United States

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Kernel, Security at 2:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Can you read the source code in this microchip?

AMD microchip

Summary: Why the hype about “accelerated” cryptology (like polygons rendering, but for cryptographic purposes) is a dangerous trap that should be shunned and perpetually avoided

THE QUICKEST and most convenient way to undermine all encryption is to weaken random number generation, e.g. lower the entropy, making keys more predictable and thus easily crackable by supercomputers (or even standard computers). This is effective against everything, including online financial transactions, simply because it cracks the very core components of today’s security: SSL, PGP, etc. My doctoral degree involved a great deal of work with entropy and my daytime job too sometimes involves it, so the subject is not foreign to me. I have been watching the NSA closely for a number of years, and always with great concern and suspicion. Now we know that the NSA compels (and even bribes) US companies to help undermine privacy, if not by direct handover of data (PRISM) then by making encryption too poor, setting up back doors, forcing companies to obey NSL/subpoenas, network wiretapping/DPI, or even a combination of all those things. No need for hypotheses anymore; there’s plenty of hard proof now.

Intel, a cleverly-named criminal company (serving the intelligence community), whose hardware-level random number generator (hidden in silicon) FreeBSD refuses to trust (OpenBSD too is historically very critical of Intel) is no longer the only x86 player seeking to manufacture consent (blind trust) for encryption with no source code, just minuscule circuits of semiconductors. AMD, another US company, is now following suit with ardware-level cryptology (i.e. cryptic algorithms for cryptology, which is a non-starter). This is bad just because AMD is a US company (FreeBSD did not single out the US); any company from any country should not be trusted with this type of task. It’s no better — and it is probably much worse — than proprietary software for one’s security. To quote Michael Larabel’s article about it: “Back in November was when patches first emerged for an AMD Cryptographic Coprocessor on Linux. This co-processor provides hardware encryption and other hashing functionality for the AES crypto API, AES CMAC, XTS-AES, and SHA cryptographic interfaces within the Linux kernel.

“Not much information is publicly known on this AMD Cryptographic Coprocessor but it’s believed to be part of AMD’s embedded ARM Cortex-A5 processor on upcoming server-class Opterons with TrustZone technology.”

“Have we learned nothing at all from Snowden’s explosive leaks?”So, Linux 3.14 will try to offload something so sensitive to proprietary code concealed in silicon. Bad idea. Very bad idea. Sure, it’s Linux, but it does open itself to some blobs (e.g. Microsoft’s hypervisor and more famously drivers for peripheral cards that handle graphics), firmware, and now peripheral, embedded-in-hardware proprietary algorithms. Have we learned nothing at all from Snowden’s explosive leaks? Just look what Microsoft has done (total complicity with the NSA). A new poll at FOSS Force asks: “Do you think Red Hat is cooperating with the NSA by building back doors into RHEL?”

The responses may surprise you. Only 42% say “No”. 28% say “I don’t know” and 30% say “Yes”. This relates to an article that alludes to Techrights. It was read by thousands and has been linked to by numerous news sites. I rarely ever comment in sites where identity cannot be verified (because of fakers), but this one challenged my claims and I had to respond. Here are my three replies:

It is not purely speculative. If you think that it is, then you must not have paid close enough attention.

I have been spending at least 2 hours per day since 2012 reading about the NSA. I knew what Snowden showed even before it was publicly known and I spoke about it with RMS on numerous occasions (he came to the UK to meet Assange and then myself, focusing on mass surveillance).

The truth of the matter just needs a little digging because the corporate press is not helping the general public find it out, just like it knowingly ‘buried’ a captured agent in Iran for several years (this leaked out in November).

Similarly, GNU/Linux sites did a very poor job covering (if at all) what happened in recent months regarding Linux. Let me summarise some facts (without links, as I don’t want to be put in the moderation queue again):

- Torvalds’ father said that the NSA had approached his son regarding back doors.

- Linux had a back door added to it about a decade ago. It got removed quickly afterwards and it wasn’t known who had added it. There was press coverage about it, but it was scarce.

- RSA received a bribe from the NSA to promote security standards with back doors.

- NIST and others had NSA moles and bogus (corrupt) peer review process to help usher in security standards with back doors.

- NSA is a large Red Hat client.

- The NSA sends patches to Red Hat, which in turn sends those for Linus Torvalds to put in Linux.

(the above two are now confirmed to me by Red Hat staff)

- BSD does not trust hardware-level random number generators, suspecting — quite rightly given the NSA’s track record — that it has too low an entropy.

- Several top-level Linux developers found vulnerabilities in Linux random number generation. They quietly (without much press coverage anywhere) addressed the issue (raising the entropy) a few months back. Only the latest kernel release has the fixes applied AFAIK (I don’t know if Greg K-H backported any of it because coverage is too scarce). To lay out the magnitude of this issue, it compromises SSL, PGP, etc. (pretty much everything with encryption, even passwords) not just at client side (desktop, tablet, smartphone) but also the server side (i.e. the Internet). This is huge! But the media hasn’t covered it.

Suffice to say, Red Hat has not done anything to convince me I was wrong. Instead, I notice that Red Hat staff is stalking me in LinkedIn and I see my article cited in several news sites which wrote about the issue in several languages (3 articles in Google News are in Spanish).

If you found holes in the above statements or if you want links attached, please request them and I will provide citations. I wrote about everything before, even years ago (NSA involvement in SLE* and RHEL I covered around 2007 or 2008).

I am frustrated to see people turning against the messenger rather than the message. I see a lot of the same done to Sam Varghese. We are making ourselves more vulnerable by refusing to listen to what seems uncomfortable.

Another reply:

I was thinking along the same lines — that Edward Snowden’s leaks (by the way, they’re not just his anymore, as anonymous people from the NSA reportedly leak more and more documents to be published under his name for their safety) can at some stage show encryption undermined at more levels (hardware level, or even kernel level). We already know that encryption was undermined at RSA and NIST by NSA moles, using bribes too. We also know that Linux (kernel) developers recently revised random number generators, after they had found a weakness.

Several state officials (in 6 state at the very least) now work to stop the NSA locally. Some call for a ban on companies that facilitate the NSA (that would include Red Hat), under the premise that they are complicit in crime. I am not kidding, watch the news this week (I don’t want to paste links here as the last time I did so my comment took half a day to appear).

Lastly, there are numerous E-mails sent from and to Red Hat. These further validated my suspicions.

I saw a lot of personal attacks (trying to discredit me or even remove links to my analyses). I even heard the usual personal attacks against Sam Varghese (which I expected from Red Hat because he dares to do real journalism, i.e. journalism that companies don’t like).

Trusting Red Hat should be based on its record, not emotional leanings and faith.

Don’t get me wrong. I was not offended by you and you oughtn’t be offended by my response. I am used to this type of divisive treatment (people trying to ostracise me) since the days I criticised Novell — only to be proven right throughout and at the very end (Novell gave its patents to Linux foes).

I hope you will wait patiently for more information and assess the facts based on their merit. Don’t rely purely/solely on what you read in OpenSource.com (Red Hat). I saw Novell doing its self-delusional spiel (IP “peace of mind”) and fortunately, at the end, Novell did not find enough fools to sell its lies to.

I have been frank in my analysis of Red Hat (on patents, build process, etc.) and if you want links for particular bits of my claims, just ask. I have a repository of tens of thousands of links I collect while researching. Sometimes people refuse to accept even a well-sourced claim because of cognitive dissonance — something I’ve had a lot of experience with when dealing with Microsoft spinners.

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”

― George Orwell

Here is my original reply, challenging the counter-arguments:

This article starts with an incorrect assertion that I accuse “Red Hat of being in cahoots with the NSA.”

No, NSA is a big client of Red Hat (this was not just revealed but also confirmed to me by Red Hat staff some days ago, by E-mail) and it was also confirmed that NSA submits patches to Linux through Red Hat (think of NIST and RSA; we don’t even have NSA E-mail address to keep track of). Back doors can also be added outside the scope of source code, during a build process. My job involves dealing with this risk. I don’t think you read an essential earlier post:

http://techrights.org/2013/11/24/tpm-back-doors-patriot-act-etc/

This, in turn, links to proof that the NSA did try to put back doors in Linux, as noted by Torvalds the father. See:

http://techrights.org/2013/11/17/nils-torvalds-on-back-doors/

http://techrights.org/2013/09/20/linux-backdoor-question/

http://techrights.org/2013/09/25/surveillance-lawlessness/

Defending Red Hat makes sense, but mischaractering my position is a little unfair. I note that trusting Red Hat is not easy and based on articles I read half a decade ago, NSA was involved in the build process of Windows, OS X, SUSE, and Red Hat (only those 4 were mentioned).

The bottom line is this. Do not have blind trust in Linux. Not even access to source code is enough because the build process needs to be carefully checked and validated; moreover, Linux is joined with some proprietary code and even hardware-level code, so trust is seriously harmed. Now that we know about Red Hat’s relationship with the NSA we should ask ourselves if the NSA is once again trying to put back doors in Linux, or worse, maybe it already did. Letting blobs enter the pipeline helps the NSA achieve (but hide) what it already said it wanted to achieve.

01.24.14

Kernel Roundup: Linux 3.14 Features Preview and Other News

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel at 8:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: New relating to Linux and graphics-related extensions

Kernel Space

Graphics Stack

  • Wayland reaches version 1.4 RC

    The first release candidate for Wayland 1.4 is out now. Designed by Kristian Høgsberg, Wayland is a protocol for a compositor to talk to its clients as well as a C library implementation of that protocol. It is intended as a simpler replacement for X, easier to develop and maintain. GNOME and KDE are expected to be ported to it. Part of the Wayland project is also the Weston reference implementation of a Wayland compositor.

  • NVIDIA Is Still Killing AMD Over Linux OpenGL Performance

    Back in November I published my review of the AMD Radeon R9 290 on Linux. This high-end AMD Radeon “Hawaii” graphics card ended up being a wreck on Linux: its performance was devastating. Radeon R9 290X owners have also reported their Linux performance with the Catalyst driver has been less than stellar. In new tests conducted last week with the latest AMD and NVIDIA binary graphics drivers, the high-end AMD GPUs still really aren’t proving much competition to NVIDIA’s Kepler graphics cards. Here’s a new 12 graphics card comparison on Ubuntu.

  • Khronos Releases SPIR 1.2 For OpenCL

    The SPIR 1.2 specification announced today provides non-source encoding and binary level portability for OpenCL 1.2 programs. Besides the new specification they’re putting otu today, the Khronos Group is also publishing code to a modified Clang 3.2 compiler that can generate SPIR from OpenCL C 1.2 programs, a SPIR module written as an LLVM pass, and a header file with all enumerated values of the SPIR 1.2 specification.

01.21.14

New Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel at 4:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Linux 3.13 released, Linux 3.14 planned, maintenance releases, and graphics news

Linux Kernel 3.13

  • Linux Kernel 3.13 Officially Released with Support for NFC Payments

    Today, January 19, Linus Torvalds has proudly announced the immediate availability for download of the highly anticipated Linux kernel 3.13, which brings major improvements, numerous new and updated drivers, as well as a dozen of new features.

  • The 3.13 kernel is out

    This release includes nftables, the successor of iptables, a revamp of the block layer designed for high-performance SSDs, a power capping framework to cap power consumption in Intel RAPL devices, improved squashfs performance, AMD Radeon power management enabled by default and automatic Radeon GPU switching, improved NUMA performance, improved performance with hugepage workloads, TCP Fast Open enabled by default, support for NFC payments, support for the High-availability Seamless Redundancy protocol, new drivers and many other small improvements.

Linux Kernel 3.14

  • SCHED_DEADLINE To Be Added To Linux 3.14 Kernel

    The first 3.14 pull request worth pointing out on Phoronix are the scheduler changes sent in by Ingo Molnar. The most notable change with this pull is the initial implementation of SCHED_DEADLINE. SCHED_DEADLINE is a new CPU scheduler for the Linux kernel that’s been in development for several years and has undergone numerous revisions. SCHED_DEADLINE implements the Earliest Deadline First (EDF) scheduling algorithm.

  • Intel Merrifield MID Support Landing In Linux 3.14

    The Intel MID (Mobile Internet Device) platform updates for the Linux 3.14 kernel include supporting Merrifield and Clovertrail platforms. Clovertrail has been around for a while but Merrifield is Intel’s new smart-phone architecture focused on Android. Merrifield has a 22nm Atom SoC and it’s expected to start appearing this quarter.

  • Linux 3.14 Officializes Broadwell, Deprecates Legacy UMS

    Daniel Vetter of Intel’s Open-Source Technology Center blogged on Wednesday about the major changes queued up for the Linux 3.14 kernel as it concerns their DRM kernel graphics driver. The main changes for Intel DRM in Linux 3.14 include runtime D3 support, wwatermark computation / frame-buffer compression fixes, a rewrite of the low-level backlight code, work on full PPGTT support, Bay Trail Atom improvements, and a kernel option to disable legacy fbdev support.

Old Linux Kernels

More Kernel

  • Kdbus Details
  • Intel vs. AMD Performance-Per-Watt On Ubuntu 14.04 Linux

    To complement the many Intel vs. AMD CPU/APU Linux benchmarks published earlier this week as part of our AMD A10-7850K “Kaveri” APU coverage, here’s some results mostly examining the performance-per-Watt and overall system power consumption of the many different Intel and AMD processors running Ubuntu Linux.

  • Linux Kernel’s Sysfs Logic Turns Into “Kernfs” For 3.14

    Kernfs is the sysfs logic that in turn can be taken advantage of by other subsystems in need of a virtual file-system with handling for device connect/disconnect, dynamic creation, and other attributes.

Graphics Stack

  • Wayland and Weston 1.3.93 (1.4 RC)

    We’re getting close to the 1.4.0 release date – well, actually that was supposed to be Jan 16, but we ended up slipping a week to get a more solid first beta (1.3.92) out. We tagged that Jan 10 and here’s 1.3.93, aka second beta or release candidate:

  • Linux Graphics News

    2013 has been a dramatic and controversial year for graphics in Linux, yet actual changes to the overall graphics stack have so far been more incremental than revolutionary. But with us closing in on several Linux distributions’ Long-Term Support releases this is to be expected, as stability weighs stronger than novelty among consumers of these products. This next summer may be a safer window for distros to undertake major transitions; we should expect to see major graphics system transitions in desktop distros at that point. The landing of XWayland support in the X server can be seen as an early indicator of a Wayland desktop future, since it’s a crucial prerequisite.

Intel

AMD

  • The Linux 3.13 Kernel Is A Must-Have For AMD RadeonSI Users

    The Linux 3.13 kernel that will be released in the very near future is very worth the upgrade if you are a RadeonSI user — in particular, the Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs and newer on the Gallium3D Linux graphics driver — but other open-source graphics driver users as well may also see nice improvements in the new kernel release. Here’s some benchmarks showing off the gains found with the Linux 3.13 kernel for Radeon HD and R9 graphics cards.

  • AMD A10-7850K Radeon R7 Graphics Comparison

    The latest benchmarks of the AMD A10-7850K APU to share on Phoronix and to complement yesterday’s Windows vs. Linux OpenGL comparison are benchmarks of the APU’s Radeon R7 Graphics compared to numerous AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce graphics cards.

  • RadeonSI GLAMOR 2D Performance vs. Catalyst

    While the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver continues making much headway as the modern open-source AMD Gallium3D Linux graphics driver along with the GLAMOR library it depends upon for 2D acceleration, the 2D performance of the Linux desktop is still quite poor compared to the proprietary Catalyst driver.

01.17.14

New Linux Releases and Proprietary Graphics Drivers

Posted in Kernel at 9:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Linux 3.12.8, 3.13 Release Candidate 8, and new NVIDIA/AMD drivers

Kernel Space

Graphics Stack

  • Intel Haswell Might Have Regressed Hard On Linux

    For your viewing pleasure this weekend are some extra benchmarks of various Intel Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, and Haswell HD Graphics when using an Ubuntu 14.04 Linux development snapshot with the Linux 3.13 kernel and Mesa 10.0.1. The processors tested included the Core i3 2120, Core i5 2500K, Core i5 3470, Core i7 3770K, Core i3 4130, and Core i7 4770K. These tests appear to represent a huge drawback in performance for Intel Haswell on Linux compared to earlier results.

  • NVIDIA Updates Its 319 Linux GPU Driver
  • Nvidia Graphics Display Driver for Linux 331.31
  • Another OpenGL 4.2 Extension Is Hitting Mesa
  • AMD’s Updated Catalyst Linux Driver Now Available

    The latest AMD Catalyst fglrx 13.30 RC3 driver is now available to all Linux users. The only changes officially mentioned by this first fglrx 13.30 series driver release is support for the AMD A10-7850K with Radeon R7 graphics and the AMD A10-770K APU with Radeon R5 graphics. Expect a 13.35 series driver release soon with crypto-currency mining improvements and other enhancements while further stabilizing their first-cut AMD Kaveri APU graphics support.

12.26.13

Urge Hardware Companies to Stop Using UEFI (or Boycott Them), Don’t Work on UEFI

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Kernel, Microsoft at 6:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UEFI logo

Summary: Gummiboot developers continue to weaken the case for abolishing UEFI, which we now know is a serious security risk, not a feature

EARLIER this year I advised the managers of UEFI to withdraw ‘secure’ boot support — an unnecessary addition which is basically an antifeature that can remotely brick hardware (rendering it unbootable, as has been attempted before based on an NSA programme).

There is some project called Gummiboot (inflatable dingy in German) which acts as a boot manager for UEFI. This package is developed by Red Hat, but “Red Hat’s Fedora Project does not use gummiboot for booting UEFI systems,” according to Wikipedia and other sources. This package, unlike GRUB, is not GPLv3-licensed. Gummiboot 42 was released some days ago and as Nathan Willis put it a year and a half ago “the biggest question that remains is whether it is wise to tacitly endorse secure boot by playing its games in first place.”

The answer is no and as we approach 2014 (the article above is from June 2012) it is clear that Microsoft got away with this Intel-backed antifeature, which has not been widely abolished as we hoped. Vista 8 was a massive failure (exceptionally poor adoption), so it will be more constructive to urge OEMs to shun UEFI (saying it proved to be Linux- and GNU-hostile), not adopt it. This is not a goal that’s unachievable and it is too late to work on in. Any effort, such as the above, simply weakens the antitrust complaint over Microsoft and UEFI. It has been very disappointing to see Red Hat joining NSA allies like Intel, IBM, and Microsoft, first tacitly promoting TPM and now treacherous/restricted boot.

12.12.13

The Linux Foundation’s Unusual Branding Failure

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Marketing at 10:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Eye of Sauron

Summary: A group called the “AllSeen Alliance” is the last thing which the Linux Foundation should want to be associated with

Branding is the main expertise of the Linux Foundation’s head (Linux Foundations CEO). That’s the field he comes from (his professional biography reveals this) and this is the purpose he serves, especially by ignoring if not altogether deleting GNU's role. It is all about the “Linux” brand, trying to label everything that uses the popular kernel “Linux” but never GNU or something similarly (or even more) important. Just remember who is the guardian is the “Linux” trademark and who seized control of the domain Linux.com. That in itself is not a major issue or a big deal, but the point is, the “Linux” brand is a relatively huge success story, perhaps bigger than Apple and the “i” things (or even the “Obama” brand, which exceeded in value any single corporation in the world, as empirically measured some years back).

“Perhaps the name of this so-called alliance can still be amended.”The Linux Foundation has been very good at advancing the Linux brand, so why was it so tactless in labeling its new initiative “AllSeen”, especially amid the NSA scandals? LXer commenters have rightly pointed out that this was a mistake. We can expect what they promote to be a potential cause for issues (see [1] from October 2013), but alas, the announcement [2] received a lot of press [3-13], not just from Linux Foundation staff [14].

The name “AllSeen” is not benign; it’s similar to All-Seeing and in practice it involves sensory signals being passed over a surveillance-dominated Internet. This can be used against people (espionage), as information about ‘smart’ meters shows. Perhaps the name of this so-called alliance can still be amended. Android, by the way, is no brilliant brand either, no matter if it refers to the devices, the users, or the creator (Andy Rubin).

Branding matters. The Linux Foundation can still dodge the “AllSeen” nonsense before it’s truly irreversible due to brand recognition.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Russia: Hidden chips ‘launch spam attacks from irons’
  2. Open Source Tears Down Walled Gardens to Connect Internet of Everything
  3. Linux starts foundation for ‘talking’ home appliances
  4. Tech Titans Form Alliance for Internet of Things
  5. Qualcomm Leads Linux-Backed Internet of Everything Consortium
  6. Linux Foundation Aims to Secure Internet of Things
  7. AllSeen Alliance to Standardize Internet of Things
  8. The Linux Foundation Rallies Tech Heavyweights Behind “Internet of Everything”
  9. Linux Foundation forms AllSeen Alliance to advance the Internet of Everything

    The Linux Foundation, together with industry heavyweights, has announced the formation of the AllSeen Alliance.

  10. Linux Foundation Builds Internet of Things Effort
  11. Open source IoT alliance taps Qualcomm AllJoyn

    The Linux Foundation announced an “AllSeen Alliance” for the Internet of Things built upon Qualcomm’s open source “AllJoyn” IoT interoperability framework.

  12. AllSeen Alliance adopts open-source framework for the Internet of Things
  13. Linux Foundation, Panasonic, Qualcomm Form AllSeen Alliance

    open source project, which was originally developed by and is contributed to the Alliance by Qualcomm.
    The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux and collaborative development, announced the formation of the AllSeen Alliance, a consortium dedicated to advancing adoption and innovation in the “Internet of Everything” in homes and industry.

  14. The Launch of AllSeen Alliance (and the Next Generation of Open Collaboration)

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