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09.22.20

Post-Coronavirus Linux.com Became Nothing But a SPAM Site

Posted in Deception, Marketing at 12:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

2019-2020 (after all the staff was laid off): Linux.com acting as a SPAM site or a PR dumping ground for sponsors. This means that proprietary software is routinely being promoted under the cherished “Linux” brand (without approval from the venerable trademark holder).

Linux Foundation evil

From their very own marketing material (this is what they’ve reduced Linux.com to):

linux.com interview

linux.com interview - embedded

linux.com interview - ons

linux.com interview - ons europe

linux.com interview - embedded europe

linux.com interview - oss europe

Last night (it’s still going on):

linux.com spam

Summary: As per the Linux Foundation‘s very own brochure, scripted and fake ‘interviews’ are to be produced and then edited/negotiated (before publication) with the sponsor… in Linux.com as the platform. This is corruption (or marketing, one might call them de facto ads presented as fake ‘articles’).

09.12.20

Chris Titus on Judging Engineers as If They Are Marketing/PR People (or Why We Are Appreciating Brilliance on Technical Merit/Grounds)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Marketing, Videos at 4:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A response to Torvalds- and Stallman-shaming videos from one year ago, this one by Chris Titus (Mr. Titus is a person who is quite new to GNU/Linux and cites Techrights sometimes)

09.07.20

[Meme] Words Can Hurt Feelings. But So Can Eugenics and Wars (Not Mere Words) of Conquest.

Posted in IBM, Marketing, Microsoft at 10:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reference to IBM’s past, which it is still trying very hard to bury or distract from

Bans words, proceeds to ethnic cleansing

Summary: The corporate media no longer speaks about a corporate-led (or oligarchs-oriented) PR push to ban “bad” or “offensive” words such as “whitelist” and “master” (mostly a zero-cost publicity stunt); what we really need is media that boldly speaks about bombings and the ethical concerns associated with corporate complicity in them (e.g. Microsoft with its notorious “JEDI” contract, subjected to injunction because of Trump intervention and nepotism/collusion/retaliation)

09.02.20

Linux Foundation Works for Microsoft

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft at 1:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux Foundation greenwashing and openwashing for Microsoft

Summary: Today’s Linux Foundation works for the purposes of proprietary software marketing, including Microsoft’s PR department and its lobbyists, who try to portray the Big Oil allies (proudly helping pollution and multi-million gallon leaks) as green, environmentalist and “open” (greenwashing and openwashing, ‘two in one’)

08.22.20

No, Hundreds of Viewers Don’t Make It ‘Most Popular’

Posted in Deception, Marketing at 6:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Overselling oneself to sell bias and openwashing (typically proprietary software companies trying to pass themselves off as “open”)

TFIR lies
“TFiR” is just a rebranded “Muktware” (same site), a.k.a. “The Mukt” albeit optimised for marketing instead of journalism

Summary: Except when Linux.com is misused to pump traffic into paid-for marketing of TFiR the site is actually not what the “extremely well-connected” “journalist” (marketer) and “filmmaker” claims it to be; this is actually an insult to everything Linux.com used to stand for (the Linux Foundation turned it into an utter ‘dumpster fire’)

08.06.20

Social Justice is Fine… When It is Not Just a Shallow Marketing Ploy

Posted in Deception, IBM, Marketing, Microsoft at 11:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The corporate media loves extolling the virtues of corporations that own/fund it, irrespective of the full picture

Hot sauce in my bag meme

Summary: Don’t let well-meaning concepts such as “Social Justice” become mere buzzwords or tools of corporate propaganda (greedy people’s objectives disguised as populism)

EVERY SINGLE day I check the IBM blogs, which exploit or at least leverage COVID-19 all the time (for marketing, often shameless promotion of IBM’s proprietary software, hardware, and services). Lately IBM has turned to opportunistic justice causes — which of course it hijacks — to paint itself as some kind of community fighting for equality, justice, tolerance and so on. While on the surface it looks commendable, the truth needs a closer look. Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook make similar claims. It’s shallow, mindless marketing. Microsoft even tells us that it “loves Linux” while it is in fact attacking Linux.

“They know they’re lying. There’s PR budget for spreading their lies.”Nobody out there is against justice (well, maybe except criminals, including particular national leaders) and nobody is antisocial by choice. But in the age of corporate PR and military-grade propaganda we must be able to discern/distinguish marketing from grassroots efforts. Donald Trump insists he is “the least racist person there is anywhere in the world” (he’s also emboldening racism against Mexicans while pretending to love their food, culture etc.), Microsoft says it is a force for good and that it “loves Linux”, and Facebook claims that it values your privacy. They know they’re lying. There’s PR budget for spreading their lies.

We as a community of honest and awakened people ought not fall for these traps; name a single company that openly says, “yes, we’re racist” or even “no, we don’t have time to bother with all that justice baloney…” (name even one!)

Corporations lie. Corporations are not people. Corporations are instruments designed and refined for one single purpose: increase their clout (or “cloud”) and their profits. That’s it. And unlike actual people, they lack empathy and principles. They’re not ‘wired’ that way. It’s emulated by their PR/marketing/lobbying departments. It’s part of “product lifecycle”.

Computing vs. Marketing

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Marketing at 9:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

2020 figosdev

Index

17th 1/2 and Market
Chapter 4: Computing vs. Marketing

Summary: “The important lesson here is that Windows is NOT a computer — it is actually a horrible thing that people DO to a computer, and to themselves.”

Imagine you go to a car dealership, and after buying a car, the dealer says “and when you run low on petrol, just bring it to a dealer and they’ll sell you more!”

Fuel may not be the best metaphor for software, but it is worth noting that you buy it from a petrol station, not from the car manufacturer. You decide what brand of fuel to put in your car, and the idea of having to use specific brands for specific cars is more or less ridiculous. Even small planes tend to use the same fuel truck, regardless of who makes them.

“In this fiction created to sell software, you don’t have a computer, you have a Windows computer or an Apple (Mac) computer.”Computers were designed originally for tasks (numeric and data processing) followed by programs with rudimentary instructions, and eventually operating systems were created. While computers can do jobs without operating systems, software has become a consumer industry — the makers of software would rather you think of your computer as being tied to the OS, or better yet think of it as the OS itself.

In this fiction created to sell software, you don’t have a computer, you have a Windows computer or an Apple (Mac) computer. So what are Dell and Lenovo in this imaginary world? Types of Windows computers, also known as a “PC” — and that is a PC? Its a computer that runs Windows!

As mentioned in the previous chapter, Microsoft has reinforced this illusion by making deals with manufacturers that made it difficult for them to offer choices in terms of what OS a computer came with.

Apple has simply tied their OS directly to their own hardware products. It’s possible, though difficult — to run Apple’s operating system on a computer that Apple didn’t sell. Its also possible to run a different OS on a computer that Apple sold. But these companies would prefer to tie your hardware to their software, as if they’re the same thing.

It’s true that your computer won’t do much without an operating system. Since the 1960s, various institutions and companies have worked to create software platforms that allow the computer to handle more than one program — even more than one user — at the same time. While the modest computing power of early 8-bit consumer devices were put to better use running a single program at once, by the time IBM came out with the AT with enough RAM for more tasks, it was possible and increasingly desirable to manage more than one task simultaneously.

“If you detach the two cables going to that box, (or slide it out of the laptop) your computer will be OS-free. It won’t have any files or operating system when you turn it on.”It is helpful to disrupt this illusion of the OS as the computer. If you have a decent quality laptop, and it isn’t one of the almost hermetically sealed aluminum capsules that Apple makes, you may find a panel on the back of your laptop (one some older models its even on the side) that allows you to remove the drive from your computer.

This is mostly a thought experiment, so don’t feel the need to get out your screwdrivers unless you’ve done this before — or have a laptop you don’t care about. The danger to your laptop could be small, but we don’t want to presume anything without other details.

After turning off and unplugging your computer, its possible to remove the drive. I had one very inexpensive laptop without a drive — instead it had a small module that contained the equivalent of a USB stick on it which served as the drive. If you have a desktop, there is usually an entire side of the case you can remove — the drive will probably be larger.

“Oftentimes, installing an operating system is nearly as simple as putting the right USB into the computer, turning it on and hitting enter several times.”Laptops and desktops have a variety of components inside, but in a laptop and especially the desktop, the ones most relevant at the moment are typically in black or silver boxes, ranging from the size of your hand to the size of your palm. The box with the most wires is the power supply — that’s the most dangerous part of the computer, and you can figure out where it is very easily, because on the outside of the case is the power cable that goes to it. Usually its located near the top and towards the back, but sometimes it is placed on the bottom of the case.

Immediately on the other side of where you put DVDs into the computer, you’ll find the optical drive. On desktops they are larger than hard drives, and on laptops they are typically larger than laptop hard drives.

A few models of laptop will make drive access difficult, but most are better than that. You usually don’t need to remove the drive to change the OS — normally you won’t have to open the computer at all. But inside your computer is a little silver and/or black metal box, which holds all your files, software and the OS. Some desktops even have more than one.

If you detach the two cables going to that box, (or slide it out of the laptop) your computer will be OS-free. It won’t have any files or operating system when you turn it on. You can erase everything on that little box and have no operating system (or files) when you put it back, and the computer will still be a computer. What happens then if you turn it on?

“The important lesson here is that Windows is NOT a computer — it is actually a horrible thing that people DO to a computer, and to themselves.”The first thing you’ll notice is that it still puts something on the screen. Typically this will be the OEM logo — Dell if you have a Dell, Lenovo if you have Lenovo, Acer if you have that, etc. This is not part of the OS, rather like the BASIC interpreter that starts when you switch on the C64, this logo is stored on a chip on the computer.

You should also be able to get to the BIOS settings. Technically it isn’t called BIOS anymore, the new term is UEFI — but lots of people still call it BIOS (for one because its only two syllables, and BI-OHS doesn’t sound as stupid as YOOFEE).

The BIOS lets you configure certain hardware settings, including which device to look on first for an operating system. This is something they should teach in computer classes, and they do if you take a repair class. But this isn’t just a repair task, it’s a fairly basic computer skill. At any rate, the rule for BIOS settings is write down anything you change (ESPECIALLY what you changed it FROM — what you change it to is slightly less important) and don’t change BIOS settings you don’t understand. That will help save you an expensive trip to a technician.

To get to these settings, you normally have to press a key on startup. These keys vary from machine to machine, but are usually one of the F1-F10 keys, with F1, F2 and F10 being popular — or Ins or Del. Often it will say on the screen.

“All kinds of things that put Microsoft more in control of your computer than you are, are right there, on that little silver and/or black box inside your machine.”If you press nothing, the computer will most likely proceed to look for an operating system on the hard drive. If you removed it, or erased the drive, now it will say something like “Operating System Not Found” and stop. This also may happen if your bootloader (on the hard drive) is not installed.

Oftentimes, installing an operating system is nearly as simple as putting the right USB into the computer, turning it on and hitting enter several times. Don’t know what a bootloader is? Doesn’t matter, one will be installed by default. Of course that depends on having the right USB stick and BIOS settings (you may well have the right BIOS settings already) and the right bootable USB stick is something you can learn to make yourself.

The important lesson here is that Windows is NOT a computer — it is actually a horrible thing that people DO to a computer, and to themselves.

If you have Windows installed, it is ultimately going to run updates when Microsoft wants it to — it is ultimately going to install what Microsoft wants. It will talk to Microsoft when they want it to. All kinds of things that put Microsoft more in control of your computer than you are, are right there, on that little silver and/or black box inside your machine. Don’t throw that box away though, it can be put to much nicer purposes after it is erased.

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

07.27.20

Calling ‘Bullshit’ on the ‘Hey Hi’ (AI) Marketing Hype

Posted in IBM, Marketing, Red Hat, Servers at 12:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Watson logo

AI mentions

Summary: IBM and Microsoft both rely on mindless hype to market poorly-performing products and services; when will they set aside buzzwords and focus on substance instead?

I have worked on so-called ‘Hey Hi’ (AI) code since I was a teenager. At first I developed a game engine. Later I develop computer vision classifiers, mostly for medical applications. We called it “machine vision” or “machine learning” at the time, not “Hey Hi” (AI being a much older term with very broad scope). I understand the technical limitations and all the superficial/artificial hype. I peer-reviewed academic papers at the highest level, assessing the application of the methods in a practical context. I’m not clueless about this. EPO President António Campinos loves talking about “AI”, but what does he know about it anyway? Nothing. The term “AI” is so vague and broad that nontechnical managers name-drop it all the time.

“The term “AI” is so vague and broad that nontechnical managers name-drop it all the time.”The new CEO of IBM (Arvind Krishna), in recent interviews that I saw of him, props up “clown computing” (servers/clusters) and “Hey Hi” (AI) quite a lot; there’s not sufficient substance. Remember which part of IBM he came from. Here’s one video where they speak to Mr. “cloud and cognitive software” (“cloud everywhere, AI anywhere”). Have a look, as it predates by months the appointment/promotion of Krishna to CEO role:

He mentions “Watson” in the context of “Cloud Private” and containers. “Watson everywhere” is their motto. Watson to “sell cloud”…

“IBM will need to do more than rebrand systems administration “DevOps” and various algorithms “AI”; the CEO is probably a lot more technical than the new President (Whitehurst), which is better known for institutional openwashing (“open org”).”Red Hat is mentioned a lot (this was after they announced they’d buy Red Hat, reportedly because Krishna had pushed in that direction).

They mention Microsoft and Azure a lot (even if Azure is an overhyped failure with ongoing layoffs). Seeing all this “cloud everywhere” and “Watson everywhere” buzzwords salad, I’m not particularly encouraged about the future direction, which may lack technical substance and put emphasis on soundbites, instead. At around 7:20 he mentions doctors and access to knowledge; well, perhaps he hasn’t caught up with reports such as these:

Watson hype

IBM will need a lot more than brands like “Watson” to succeed. “You gotta bring cloud technologies, you gotta bring AI technologies” (Krishna’s words at 10:40) isn’t enough. IBM will need to do more than rebrand systems administration “DevOps” and various algorithms “AI”; the CEO is probably a lot more technical than the new President (Whitehurst), which is better known for institutional openwashing (“open org”).

I generally hope that IBM will bring GNU/Linux to the mainstream not only at the back end but also the client side. IBM, irrespective of our views about it, is by far the biggest influencer in this space. It’ll have a lot to do with the future direction of both Linux and GNU, not to mention a bunch of other stuff that goes on top (e.g. containers, databases, and Web frameworks).

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