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03.22.20

Linux.com as Marketing Web Site of Its Sole Editor (After All Genuine Writers and Editors Laid Off)

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Marketing at 8:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What has the Linux Foundation become?

linux.com pays

linux.com and tfir.io

PR services tfir.io

Summary: With many links to the editor’s personal site, which sells PR services (usually proprietary software and ‘cloud’), one wonders how Linux.com can call itself a news site

02.15.20

Former Microsoft Employee: ZDNet is Owned by Microsoft (and Others) in Some Senses

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft at 11:53 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Response to yesterday's post

Did Microsoft 'Buy' ZDNet?

Summary: A noteworthy message we’ve received from someone who knows Microsoft from the inside

Microsoft’s marketing and sales budget is bigger than their R&D. Ad revenue fueled media outlets actively seek out entities with budgets such as this and will naturally shill for such entities while tending to avoid their ire by adhering to embargoes, letting them slip in sponsored content, not publishing negative press, and such. If they play ball, then they get privileged access and such. So yes, ZDNet is owned by Microsoft (and others) in some senses.

Media outlet gets a shit ton of ad-revenue. Company makes a fortune with an image bolstered by biased news that plays to the favor of companies with huge ad budgets in return. People and companies stand to make so much money off of an inflated and unrealistic image that there are 6 PR people for every journalist. And the disparity is probably 20:1 when you separate the real journalists from the shill journalists.

Did Microsoft ‘Buy’ ZDNet?

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft at 10:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Snapshot from this morning (not out of the ordinary)

Did Microsoft 'Buy' ZDNet?

Summary: A look at what ZDNet tells its readers (screenshot from this morning) and a rare look at how its writers are censored/suppressed

Microsoft's PR censorship
How Microsoft’s chief PR person (from the army) talks to other Microsoft staff for merely being honest

Old mail from Mary, who covers Microsoft for ZDNet
Old mail from Mary, who covers Microsoft for ZDNet

Old mail from Mary, who covers Microsoft for ZDNet
Some things never change

“The author of the email, posted on ZDNet in a Talkback forum on the Microsoft antitrust trial, claimed her name was Michelle Bradley and that she had “retired” from Microsoft last week.

“”A verbal memo [no email allowed] was passed around the MS campus encouraging MS employee’s to post to ZDNet articles like this one,” the email said.

“”The theme is ‘Microsoft is responsible for all good things in computerdom.’ The government has no right to prevent MS from doing anything. Period. The ‘memo’ suggests we use fictional names and state and to identify ourselves as students,” the author claimed.”

Wired Magazine

01.29.20

Why Does Microsoft Even Want to Associate With Satanic Ritual Cults and Marina Abramović?

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft at 2:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Does Microsoft wish to actively associate with occult?

Marina Abramović in MSN (Microsoft) News
Reality? Really? This was on MSN (Microsoft) News yesterday…

Summary: Microsoft’s ‘news’ sites fail to heed the warning or the toxicity (bad publicity) associated with Marina Abramović and they promote Microsoft’s proprietary software using not only militarism (goggles for the Army) but borderline cannibalism

THIS may sound truly ridiculous (because it is). What does Microsoft have in common with Satanic ‘spirit cooking’ rituals? Watch what has just been promoted as a “World Tour” in MSN? It’s promoted shamelessly in a Microsoft site (MSN is fully controlled by Microsoft), which does marketing and propaganda for the company rather than objective news.

One reader asked us: “Ever hear of “spirit cooking”?”

“If not, read up on what came of the Podesta Emails via Wikileaks and then check this out.”

“I wrote a lot about this as soon as Podesta E-mails came out,” I responded, though “I didn’t take that to be or to mean what some people claim it to be… but it showed how debased, irrational and bloodthirsty some people are. They think these cults are entertainment…

“Maybe they just got bored of their yachts and stuff…”

“The only surprising thing is that Microsoft is willing to associate itself with that occult lunacy to promote its proprietary software products.”For those who don’t know, these silly rituals, which involve blood and breast milk (from humans) — sometimes even parts of carcasses like animal skulls — are beyond bizarre. They’re described as performances, but any members of the public who are amused by sticking pins and consuming blood (or milk intended for babies) or whatever the hell they do probably need to visit a psychiatrist to have their heads examined.

The only surprising thing is that Microsoft is willing to associate itself with that occult lunacy to promote its proprietary software products*. Unreal! Maybe they’ll name a successor to Vista 10 “Windows Epstein Edition” as an homage to a close friend of Bill Gates.
____
* These products have failed in the market, so Microsoft will settle for anything to create the false perception of widespread use.

01.10.20

Microsoft’s Proprietary Software That Spies on Everyone ‘Does an AWS’ on Free Software

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft at 2:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The media plays along (more like advertising than journalism and Microsoft’s advertising budget for magazine space certainly plays a role)

An EDGE ad
Does this look like a Microsoft ad or an actual article? They also promote listening devices down at the bottom.

Summary: Microsoft keeps buying ad space in magazines, compromising their integrity and tarnishing brands such as “Linux” (making it look like merely a component available with Vista 10)

“Microsoft EDGE, the browser that’s better and safer than Chrome,” a reader of ours joked, having sent us the above photograph. “Or else, steal the Chrome rendering engine, add-in hooks to the underlying OS then rename it Microsoft EDGE. Have these people no shame?”

“What kind of “Admin” uses that toy? That’s like selling a rickshaw to truck drivers…”Remember that it has KHTML roots (KDE) — a topic we covered here about a decade back.

“Computer mags at the local WHSmith,” as our reader noted, show more of the same pattern. “See image,” he wrote. “See also the front page of ‘Admin’ magazine: “Windows Subsystem for Linux”. If you can’t steal Linux then at least you can steal mindshare :]”

In Microsoft’s very own words [PDF]: “Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Here’s the latest pile:

Paper magazines

Nowadays, with WSL, they use that “Linux” thing to offer more Windows ‘features’ while tying them to the underlying spying machine. Shades of AWS in the server space…

Look closely at the top pick:

Admin magazine

Yes, WSL. What kind of “Admin” uses that toy? That’s like selling a rickshaw to truck drivers…

11.12.19

Microsoft ‘Borrows’ the Linux Brand

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

So Microsoft ports some proprietary thing to GNU/Linux. And then you realise it doesn't even run natively on GNU/Linux. But the media will advertise this proprietary thing using the 'Linux' brand.

Summary: With help from the likes of the Linux Foundation Microsoft continues to misuse and ‘dilute’ the Linux brand (and registered trademark)

10.16.19

Startpage and System1 Abuse Your Privacy Under the Guise of ‘Privacy One Group’

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Search at 11:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

STARE-page, staring right at you

Startpage and Privacy One Group

Summary: Startpage has sold out and may have also sold data it retained about its users to a privacy-hostile company whose entire business model is surveillance

FOR MANY years I had advocated ixquick (later redirected to Startpage); then it introduced some JavaScript mess and I stopped using it (went to Wikipedia and SearX instead). That mess was partly addressed recently, so I temporarily returned to using it. But then I was extremely disappointed to discover what had happened. I must share my findings and strongly insist that people stop using Startpage (or ixquick). They’re not what they seem. Not anymore.

About 3 weeks ago “Who are the owners of Startpage?” was published in the support pages of Startpage. It’s a bit vague and went under the radar. To quote: “Startpage, the world’s most private search engine, is owned by Surfboard Holding BV. Surfboard Holding is a privately held Dutch company registered in Zeist, The Netherlands. In its early years, Surfboard Holding had numerous shareholders. However, during its significant formative years, Surfboard Holding shareholders were substantially reduced to its core founders, who acquired a majority stake in 2006. We most recently welcomed Privacy One Group Ltd, a privacy-focused division of System1 LLC, as a significant new shareholder. Surfboard Holding’s founders and management continue to own an important stake in the company and lead its privacy focused-mission. You can find the press article here.”

“They’re not what they seem. Not anymore.”This linked to “Building a more private internet experience with Privacy One Group,” which gives the impression this is about privacy.

But this is System1. It’s a pay-per-click behavioral ad company. Startpage was sold to a pay-per-click behavioral ad company!

The Web site of the company says “System1 offers a new approach to attracting users and expanding audiences” and “We have buying strength across multiple networks and have unique search and ad partnerships with Google, Bing and Yahoo.”

“But this is System1. It’s a pay-per-click behavioral ad company. Startpage was sold to a pay-per-click behavioral ad company!”If Startpage becomes just another Spying Engine, what benefits are left to it? Nothing. But it’s even worse as it’s falsely being marketed as “privacy” (or “Privacy One Group” — a deliberate misnomer). Those who need privacy and private search can be physically harmed!

We’ve actually researched this for a while and spoke to people who might know more. But this is mostly shrouded in secrecy. Startpage prefers it that way and it issued vaguely-worded statements with words like “privacy” thrown in. “I have not been able to find anything on Privacy One Group at all,” one person told us. “I’ve checked the EU, US etc. Let me know if you find anything. Maybe it’s just a name that sounds good?”

Having done some further searching (not using Startpage, obviously!), we’ve found this Reddit conversation with about 100 comments.

“For the time being we can recommend SearX…”In summary, Privacy One Group is the very opposite of privacy, judging by the ‘upstream’ owner. It’s a mass surveillance operation, presumably for commercial reasons. Who the data gets shared with (e.g. search strings, what’s clicked and so on) we don’t know, but we must assume the worst. Oh, and just to be sure… everyone knows that DuckDuckGo (DDG) is also surveillance (and false marketing of privacy). Right? Everyone is aware, we hope. We covered this several times more than half a decade ago.

For the time being we can recommend SearX (when its pertinent instances are online, e.g. https://srx.sx/ which works at the moment but had uptime issues in recent weeks). It’s Free software as well, not just better at privacy (GNU Affero General Public License)

09.28.19

LF Kool-Aid is Unhealthy to Linux

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Kernel, Marketing, Microsoft, OSDL, Red Hat at 3:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Linux Foundation (LF) business model, which revolves around marketing and openwashing, is draining the life out of Linux

LF Kool-Aid

Summary: Lack of devotion to Linux, the very thing that the LF is named after, is putting the project at peril; Linux is meanwhile, under the auspices of the LF and Microsoft GitHub, becoming IBM™ systemd®

HESITATION to publish this article can be attributed solely to largely speculative remarks about how Linus Torvalds thinks and feels. He has not spoken to me for a long time, though I don’t choose to interpret that as snobbery. I just don’t think he’s free to say as much as he did in the past (we corresponded even before the Linux Foundation existed).

Some time earlier this month (depending on one’s subscription/paywall status) I saw a photograph of Torvalds at LWN. I don’t see many photographs of him anymore even though I read Linux news all day long; he keeps a relatively low profile and he doesn’t make many public appearances any longer. The ‘face of Linux’ has changed. So anyway, earlier this month LWN published an article with the following photograph of Torvalds, who is only in his forties. I don’t want to ‘creep up’ and talk about his personal life, but this made me wonder if Torvalds even leaves the house much (he says he works in a bathrobe; he apparently exercises at home only, or so I’m led to assume because there’s a treadmill there); he looks older than he is in this photo. He looks/seems to have aged faster in recent years. Readers can judge for themselves. This is 2019:

Linus Torvalds 2019

5 years ago (famous picture, mirrored for comparative purposes):

Linus Torvalds 2014

Read the comments in LWN. “Is that really a photo of Torvalds on the left? Jesus, he looks like he has aged like, 20 years since 2012,” says the first comment.

“He’s not wearing glasses, looks like a very different person without them” was the unconvincing first reply. I saw him without eyeglasses many times before.

The next comment said, “bad photograph, perhaps, i saw him in 2018, he looked much younger” and immediately after that: “Was that before he took the politeness training break?”

This refers to the famous incident we’ll come to in a moment.

Out of 8 comments in total only a single comment (the one by Paul McKenney) isn’t about that photograph of Torvalds (and what it says about aging). So people were certainly taken aback.

I personally have a lot of respect for Torvalds. He’s a geek and he’s a hard-working person. Very hard-working. He typically releases Linux and its release candidates on a Sunday, sometimes even late at night or whilst on holiday. That’s dedication. It’s a 30-year (nearly 30) devotion.

Torvalds is in it for Linux.

Zemlin is in it for the money.

Microsoft is in it for sabotage.

“Zemlin is in it for the money.”The Linux Foundation is a facilitator of corporations’ power (including Microsoft’s). It may have outlived its usefulness (long ago). There’s also the IBM factor, which can give room for concern. In the 1980s we had RMS, FSF and his GNU project/manifesto. The 1990s saw media shifting all attention to Torvalds, the ‘new wunderkind’ (child prodigy) on the scene. IBM was happy to boost him as a poster child after he had made a kernel that went well with GNU (he said Linux was nothing professional like GNU). In the 2000s GNU was already ignored; “What’s that,” people might respond. “Oh….. You mean Linux!”

In the 2010s Red Hat was propping up systemd after the ‘Pulseaudio experiment’. It was introduced initially as just an init system (process number one or zero); from “nothing professional like Linux” it’s quickly turning into a replacement to most of Linux. The 2020s, in IBM’s vision (now that it owns Red Hat), might be an IBM-controlled system with very frequent releases of systemd to keep the competition always behind, always chasing IBM.

The LF has had virtually nothing to say about technical aspects and competitive aspects of the above. Nothing. It’s too busy doing what it does best: outsourcing projects to Microsoft (GitHub, where systemd too is hosted).

“Torvalds might not be in real control of the project he started almost 3 decades ago. Maybe he should consider picking his trademark and relocating elsewhere, as he did back in 2007.”Maybe it’s time to begrudgingly reach the conclusion that LF became another OSDL. A lot of people don’t know or don’t remember it, but OSDL was disbanded after it had been mostly abandoned by key Linux people. This is a matter of suppressed public record. They hated the OSDL and thought it went all wrong. It used terms like “IP” to sell services (article by John Oates), it wanted its own ‘GitHub’ (article by Ingrid Marson), it wanted Microsoft Office, and it was generally getting close to Microsoft. Sounds familiar? To quote Slashdot: “Martin Taylor, Microsoft’s general manager of platform strategy, declined to comment on the specifics of what was discussed when he met with OSDL’s CEO Stuart Cohen, only to say that they met.”

Readers have long told us that Torvalds went sort of silent or at least quiet after serving some time in the ‘penalty box’ one year ago (due to a media lynch akin to that which ousted Richard Stallman; he’s being pressured to be more 'corporate' (a 'socially-engineered' Torvalds), never use strong words, or else risk ousting). Judging by the photo above (it’s public), he might not be all that happy either. Torvalds might not be in real control of the project he started almost 3 decades ago. Maybe he should consider picking his trademark and relocating elsewhere, as he did back in 2007. Jim Zemlin and his corporate friends can carry on running their PR agency under a different name. Maybe they’ll even be asked, belatedly, to pay their taxes (if the IRS reassesses their status). “Not under my name…”

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