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04.18.19

Concluding the Linux Foundation (LF) “Putting the CON in Conference!” (Part 3)

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Back to “Con in Conference”… (part 1 here and part 2 here)

A conference room

Summary: Conferences constructed or put together based on payments rather than merit pose a risk to the freedom of free software; we conclude our series about events set up by the largest of culprits, which profits from this erosion of freedom

WHEN we started writing about the Linux Foundation (LF) earlier this year it wasn’t exactly unprecedented because we had written many articles about LF about a decade back. But this latest series deals with one particular aspect or a set of new aspects.

“Is the LF just a PR agency?”The LF staff pays itself humongous amounts of money while profiting from ‘services’ such as selling press coverage and tweets. Ideally, tweets would bear a disclosure, naming the sponsor and saying they’re sponsored. The LF, however, does not disclose that as far as we know. Which takes us into a grey/dark area…

We still try to closely and patiently study the matter and as we go along we come across even worse things. Identifying the pertinent tweets, for instance, would require going to dates of LF events and trying to see what was tweeted and when. An enormous task and guesswork. The brochure, however (shown in full in Techrights), makes it abundantly clear that LF gets paid by sponsors in exchange for tweets. Some are posted by so-called ‘influencers’ rather than official LF accounts. Is the LF just a PR agency? We’ve never heard of PR non-profits.

A reader of ours recently remarked on Jono Bacon, one of of those ‘influencers’ whom we mentioned quite recently because he works for the LF and posts pro-Microsoft stuff. To quote the reader:


Here’s what I have

ScaLE -

[Name omitted] and his wife seem nice enough. They are trying to keep afoot, by pushing hard on expo booth and sponsors.

[Name omitted] also is “buddies” with Jono – according to what I can see.

Every ScaLE, Jono and his band play, etc.

The ScaLE 15x I attended, included the following:

Adobe speaking about their software

A Windows user who speaks at Linux Foundation summits about “activism as open source”. She has no idea… and LF did sponsor that event (no doubt this is how this speaker got her slot)

der Hans – again … and again… and again… – He’s friends with ScaLE, SEAgl and had gotten a slot at LibrePlanet when [name omitted] was doing the evaluations.

There is nothing explicitly declared with ScaLE that states you get a presentation. However, after speaking with [name omitted] from LFNW, there has been, over the years an expectation by sponsors to have a presentation slot. JS.

There is explicit expectation by LF sponsors.

It’s a mess.

Final note today:

I don’t think people realize the money and “sponsor benefits” of these LF events, especially. The “training” is mostly bias, in my humble opinion.

See the sponsor prospectus for more insight. I think you will see, just from that, what is going on and what I believe needs to be reported.

These 3 musketeers — volunteering or running conferences and having an agenda — hard to really prove, but… needless to say they all have a hand in the pot and all 3 had spoken at Linux Foundation events.

I want to see if I can find [name omitted]‘s information about how he was blocked from holding a conference – and it was ugly. … that’s ancient history though.

Well, I can tell you something… The Contributor (or censorship) covenant was adopted by Intel recently because of [name omitted] pushing it and the excuse is the (I can get his name) adoption at Linux Foundation — right. So, just after that, the Open Source Community Manager Jeffro – Jeff Osier-Mixon, another FSF alumnus, interviewed Jono Bacon — right.

So Jono has been a longtime wingman for LF, as far as I can see. He posts swag from Microsoft and promotes for LF — even posts tweets sponsors pay for (we have proof of this). If you read on Advogato, Jono made some rude comments about RMS about… 2001-2002… (we have that too).

The blog post from 2001 where he made comments about RMS — like — “he needs a wakeup call,” is here (archived).

Anyway – after interviewing Jono (Jeff claims they go way back) and after adopting the contributor covenant at Intel — a few months later — Jeff… got a program manager job at Linux Foundation.

The timing… was interesting.

You reported on that Community Bridge [a Microsoft-led “Community Bridge”] about a week before Jono “advertised” it on his site. Notice he responded to Bradley M. Kuhn (this comment).

Jono, I was inspired that you wrote in your book, the Art of Community, that: “You should always ensure that the tools that you choose to use for your community are easy to access…and freely available.” I was therefore slightly surprised to see you endorse the Community Bridge platform so unequivocally — given that the entire platform appears to be proprietary software, secretly developed, not freely available, and not easy to access. Also, LF didn’t need to reinvent the wheel anyway, as there are many Open Source projects around working on platforms for this purpose that Linux Foundation could have collaborated with — and not just those at Software Freedom Conservancy [0] — but also at organizations like Commit Change, Open Collective, Tech Cultivation and Liberapay.
[0] Full disclosure (as some readers of Jono’s blog might not know): I am employed by Software Freedom Conservancy. We published a blog post about this topic here: https://sfconservancy.org/blog/2019/mar/13/lf-community-bridge/ I have no affiliation to Open Collective, Tech Cultivation, and Liberapay. I have no affiliation Commit Change either, but they’re a major contributor to the Conservancy member project, Houdini.

Later, Jono was also promoting the GitHub/Microsoft acquisition as a good thing. He’s a total LF/Microsoft “pimp”.

How I started to notice something odd about Jono was when there was some Ubuntu controversy. I recalled his role and his “efforts”. In addition, I recalled his Advogato post. How is this person a “leader”? It’s crazy.

More detailed tldr SFC comments about Community Bridge.


While we prefer to keep it impersonal (and almost all names were removed), some people’s identity can be inferred/guessed by those mentioned. We just don’t want the public as a whole to see the names and harass people who don’t deserve abuse.

One of our members, who has been watching these things for a number of decades, remarked: “Bacon was inside Canonical for a long time, too. I think his presence hurt the company and, especially, the Ubuntu project. At the time I objected to his top-down style as spinmeister which he used instead of interacting with the community with give-and-take. Then his Microsoft tendencies started to become apparent and Shuttleworth failed to fire him. Now Ubuntu is quite out of favor.”

Meanwhile, Canonical closed bug #1 and Mark Shuttleworth started working with Microsoft. Yesterday they released a new version of Ubuntu, but there was hardly any marketing associated with that.

Our member has been studying Jono’s tweets in an effort to identify sponsored ones. He “didn’t spot anything but other eyes might,” he said. “I guess the place to look would be about this part of his timeline, but I’m not finding anything incriminating.

“It may have taken time for any company to get going on taking up the offer of paid tweets. However, I think there are clues he went fully over earlier than that. There are some dodgy looking tweets lately.”

Former Ubuntu community chief, as it turns out, does not even use GNU/Linux. He uses a Mac, just like his friend Jim Zemlin. It’s right there in his tweets, alongside other problematic ones [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. If these are the people who steer the direction of the LF, then we’re in trouble. GNU/Linux is in trouble.

“He spends an awful lot of time defending and admiring Microsoft in many of his tweets,” our member concluded. “Shuttleworth picked a dud and that choice hurt Ubuntu badly as a result. PS: He’s becoming a politician.”

There are many signs, like the above, that software freedom isn’t a priority at all. We need to address that.

“Mention the War” (of Microsoft Against GNU/Linux)

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

“Where are we on this Jihad?”

Bill Gates about Linux

A war

Summary: The GNU/Linux desktop (or laptop) seems to be languishing or deteriorating, making way for proprietary takeover in the form of Vista 10 and Chrome OS and “web apps” (surveillance); nobody seems too bothered — certainly not the Linux Foundation — by the fact that GNU/Linux itself is being relegated or demoted to a mere “app” on these surveillance platforms (WSL, Croûton and so on)

TECHRIGHTS missed a lot of time that could be used to respond to attacks on GNU/Linux. We’ve been watching these for years and habitually mentioned these (or remarked on these in brief) in our daily links. Sometimes it was filed under “openwashing”. We don’t regret focusing on EPO scandals or working towards elimination of software patents (USPTO-granted software patents nowadays lack ‘teeth’) because these two are important and scarcely-explored topics. We’re one of the very few sites if not the last remaining site to cover EPO corruption.

“Red Hat considered Microsoft as a buyer. We must never forget that.”Our longtime readers (we turn 13 later this year) understandably ask us to maintain or return to GNU/Linux focus. Back in the days Groklaw did a lot of work in this area, but Groklaw stopped everything over half a decade ago. Yes, just over 5 years.

One reader, an experienced GNU/Linux developer, told us “please start calling it a war, it’s at least 5 years old now…”

He was referring to Microsoft’s war against GNU/Linux for the most part. In his own words, “you recall I said that Microsoft would buy Red Hat after GitHub, and three months later IBM did instead? I think that’s pretty close for a guess.”

Red Hat considered Microsoft as a buyer. We must never forget that. It says quite a lot.

“I know you’re too busy for email,” he added, “though I hope you’ll join me in talking about the war (“don’t mention the war!”) against free software. You talk about it all the time, but even as Microsoft knocks over more and more autonomy chess pieces and inserts their influence into Python (that’s Google territory as well and I’m no Google fan, but it shows how incredibly ballsy they are) we know that they are trying to take over all free software.

“Being controlled by Microsoft, or any company — including Red Hat — is the opposite of what free software is about. We are currently losing the war that Microsoft is waging on free software. But no one is calling it a war. I am calling it one, don’t make me the only person calling it this.

“The FSF should be calling it a war, [but] instead they’re talking about deals with the devil — by itself, I don’t disapprove of that, but I hope they follow up with more talking about how insidious the non-free devil really is. It’s in everything now — the firmware, the init system, the patent landscape. When there’s a war on, people should know what’s happening.

“You do a great job reporting the news — better than anybody. Do them a favour, paint the picture for what it is — a war. It’s nothing less than that. They are trying to assimilate everything — and look like friends while doing it. Please help.”

Asset stripping GNU/LinuxI told this reader that I would incorporate these words into a future article (this one), as I did the last one on the subject, with the image on the left. I never for a moment believed it was anything but a war. But I focused on battling on the patent front (more so than other aspects/angles).

The reader continued by dubbing it an “ongoing free software sabotage” — a description I agree with because a lot of things become less freedom-respecting over time (I wrote several articles about it earlier this year). “The quality and reliability of free software has truly been compromised since 2014,” he said. “There were always errors and fixes, but I’ve watched an increase in “workarounds” and magic (inexplicable) tinkering to fix stability problems, and I do think this is deliberate on someone’s part — but let’s stick to examples for now.

“LibreOffice 6. (also 5, from what I’m reading.) I’ve installed it, and it renders each window with the contents of the window shoved about 20-40 pixels up, which it crops. this is a MAJOR display error. every time you open a window (including dialog boxes) you have to move the window to be able to get the thing to render. I read about LibreOffice crashing the system a lot, about it working better if you run it as root. But the window display problem (which I can sort of tolerate, but I certainly cant recommend LibreOffice to anybody without a fix) I’m having personally. The fix, I’m told, is to go to settings -> view -> and turn OFF OpenGL rendering, which is on by default. Well, that’s brilliant because every time (root or user) that I go to settings and click view — LibreOffice crashes. this is not incompetence, LibreOffice didn’t get this useless without someone’s deliberate sabotage. This sort of thing is happening far too often to far too many aspects of free software.

“I’ve watched these trends for years, and basically from 2005-2014 software was getting better and better. from 2014 to the present, it has gone downhill. Obviously, I doubt all of this has a malicious explanation. But none of it? I doubt that even more. Make free software look bad, and “better with Windows.” And all of the wonderful Windows telemetry, too. Free software is losing, Microsoft is winning. People need to work to reverse this, or it’s all going to be garbage eventually. I stopped using Windows to get away from problems like this — I remember when free software meant 1. the prevention 2. the repair — of such problems. It’s not like that these days.” Many of our readers complain about similar issues in relation to systemd and express concern about the promotion of Steam (DRM) under GNU/Linux, not to mention DRM browser blobs (EME), the transition to Chrome (proprietary), and ‘Web apps’ where surveillance is paramount. Flatpak and Snap are also nowadays promoted as carriers of or ramps for proprietary software.

04.16.19

GNU/Linux is Being Eaten Alive by Large Corporations With Their Agenda

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, OSDL, OSI at 8:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Asset stripping GNU/LinuxAsset stripping the GNU

Summary: A sort of corporate takeover, or moneyed interests at the expense of our freedom, can be seen as a ‘soft coup’ whose eventual outcome would involve all or most servers in ‘the cloud’ (surveillance with patent tax as part of the rental fees) and almost no laptops/desktops which aren’t remotely controlled (and limit what’s run on them, using something like UEFI ‘secure boot’)

THE WEB is a noisy place. Many people have something to say and several people say that Microsoft “bought” the Linux Foundation (LF) 3 years ago. We keep seeing that claim. In many ways, today’s LF and Microsoft are “on the same page,” so to speak (“Microsoft Loves Linux”, WSL and so on).

“Jim Zemlin, who said his job was to pay Torvalds, pays himself and some colleagues more than he pays Torvalds, as the LF’s IRS filings reveal.”Weeks ago we saw Microsoft staff writing for the Open Source Initiative (OSI) after Microsoft had paid the Open Source Initiative a big bunch of money. Things change rapidly; neither the LF nor the OSI said anything at all about reports that Microsoft is still using patents against vendors that ship Linux. The President of the OSI has spoken on the subject (even as recently as two years ago), but that changed after Microsoft joined the OSI. We mentioned this a year and a half ago.

Going back to the LF, what exactly is it doing? Jim Zemlin, who said his job was to pay Torvalds, pays himself and some colleagues more than he pays Torvalds, as the LF’s IRS filings reveal. They might (by now) be paying themselves up to a million dollars each, tax-exempted, per year, in this ‘non-profit’. We think that the LF needs to improve, not be ended/disbanded. It started similarly to OSDL, but money and power appear to have corrupted it. The LF nowadays engages in a lot of political activities; it even brought in top officials from US politics. Its nature is largely political and it favours large corporations. About a year ago — seeing that LF was no ordinary foundation and was hardly about Linux anymore — a sentiment shared among journalists whom I spoke to — I decided to refer to it as “Zemlin PAC”, just like “Vista 10″ or similar wordplays.

“Months ago Torvalds ‘escorted’ himself out, came back weeks later (from that ‘penalty box’) and has said nothing particularly critical/negative since.”I think that at this moment in time the LF can do a lot better to restore trust. There are various timeline-related issues that led to people souring and distrusting LF, including removal of community members from the Board and adding Microsoft to it (because Microsoft paid). Then there’s the CoC controversy. It is formally called Code of Conduct and it applies to events, mailing lists etc. The LF’s site describes rules by which LF can remove (escort) people out of premises. Months ago Torvalds ‘escorted’ himself out, came back weeks later (from that ‘penalty box’) and has said nothing particularly critical/negative since. I was recently told that in FSF/LibrePlanet too someone was threatened with removal. I thus worry that this influence can continue to expand, reprimanding those who resist it using social means or social engineering.

Similarly, those who claimed to be protectors of Linux from patents turn out to be rather useless or even worse than useless since Microsoft joined them. The LOT Network, for instance, is just a patent pool, which claims to be defensive. If you check who’s behind it (foundations and management at present), you soon realise they are pro-software patents. Additionally, as Bruce Perens put it, OIN exists to protect software patents from us, not us from software patents. LOT is similar. Where does the LF stand on the subject? It never talks about it anymore. In the same message Perens called the LF a GPL infringers’ club (Microsoft is a serial GPL violator). Perens remains a key person in the OSI (he’s also OSD author), but nowadays he’s there among Microsoft staff.

“In the same message Perens called the LF a GPL infringers’ club (Microsoft is a serial GPL violator).”Our concerns are generally shared with many of our readers, one of whom wrote to say (all lowercase, formatting adapted a little but message contents preserved), “hey, red hat did get purchased shortly after github (though not by microsoft, they were purchased by ibm.) what is this, the 80s? “linux” is a lie lasting nearly 30 years. the lie is that linus torvalds created it, and there are multiple generations of people who make that mistake. he was given far too much credit — and people even attribute their “freedom” to his work. we will get back to that freedom in a minute. [...] simon phipps used to say that it’s simply a petty insignificant argument, like life of brian’s “peoples front of judea” vs. “judean peoples front.” the insignificant argument is that free software means anything apart from “open source.” that is an extremely disingenuous claim, given what open source has done for 22 years. no, it’s more like deliberately minimising the work and sacrifice from most of the world in world war ii, and giving all the credit to the americans for coming in later and winning it. the icing on the cake is that phipps conveniently ignores the fact that it is actually open source that started that petty argument themselves. (thanks eddie izzard) [...] “linus! where the fuck have you been?” [...] “having breakfast!” [...] “we are like free software, except better.” is a meme that has co-opted free software for more than 20 years. and it isn’t just co-opting, and rewriting history to paint themselves as more important — they take money for it as well! [..]. hating microsoft is “a disease”, according to torvalds. [...] in light of his recent comments that facebook is also “a disease”, (no argument there) one must ask about this blatant double standard– at what point exactly does a technology company go from being a company which the hatred of is ‘a disease’, to a company that is ‘a disease’ itself? how can torvalds tell the difference? because if he were consistent, he would say that “hating facebook is a disease”– but of course, it isn’t. [...] this is from you mentioning it on pirate.party: every time open source makes something free, something less free comes along for the ride. ubuntu tries to make universal packages — which require you to register for their apple-like app store, and which is now heavily promoting microsoft visual studio code, an ide which brings microsoft telemetry onto your “free” operating system. [..]. at worst, they can go back to the courts and present it as evidence that “yes, these developers (all free software developers) are stealing our property, and we wish to force them to stop.”– to end development of gnu and linux. at best, they can weasel out of any requirements to follow the license, which becomes void when issued by people who don’t “own” gnu and linux. and that seems like the most likely future — microsoft eventually not only rebranding linux (as azure) but relicensing it on their own terms, as “we clearly own it.” [...] important exception: and for the organisations that have met us halfway, and called it “gnu/linux” along with us? it would be unfair (or even dishonest) to pull the rug out from under them, and simply call it “gnu” in that context. insomuch as people only call the operating system “linux,” it is reasonable to call it gnu. recommended reading: benkler-complexity-and-humanity | zero-dollar-laptop | eff-statement-on-assange.”

04.14.19

‘Poor’ (Multi-Millionaire) Novell CEO, Who Colluded With Steve Ballmer Against GNU/Linux, is Trying to Censor Techrights

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Ron Hovsepian, Site News, Steve Ballmer at 6:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Attorneys/lawyers for millionaires, muzzling the ‘little people’

Seinberg Law

Summary: Novell’s last CEO, a former IBMer who just like IBM decided to leverage software patents against the competition (threatening loads of companies using "platoons of patent lawyers"), has decided that siccing lawyers at us would be a good idea

A FEW DAYS ago, almost on the very same day an award-winning online friend and journalist was arrested for committing the act of journalism in the UK, this letter[PDF]came out of the blue from unexpected persons. It hasn’t even been a year since I last received ludicrous SLAPP letters and here they go again, hoping to suppress the record and twist history by means of omission. Censors. They think money can buy them anything they want.

“It hasn’t even been a year since I last received ludicrous SLAPP letters and here they go again, hoping to suppress the record and twist history by means of omission.”We have lots to say to refute this letter, but why bother replying to it directly? Just look at this utterly ridiculous and legally-invalid letter. The picture in question, of Mr. Hovsepian, was posted in tandem (next to the original) to ensure people knew it was satirical, but more importantly age does not in any way invalidate the claims made, supported by a lot of media references. He is wrong. What I wrote at the time was correct. Workers were fired. They told me. So he’s basically lying about what he did. This man probably has tens of millions of dollars (salaries and bonuses), yet here he is hiring a law firm to keep pestering publishers (maybe not only me). Here’s the full text from one of his two E-mails (he kept sending it to several accounts):

Fwd: Removal Request re: Ronald Hovsepian

Dear Dr. Schestowitz:

I sent you the following correspondence earlier today at a different email address, and received an automated reply that advised sending it here for quicker response. The earlier message now follows:

I have been trying to reach you since March 7 regarding an article that you wrote about my client, Ronald Hovsepian. The article is now fairly advanced in age, but it does continue to cause difficulties for Mr. Hovsepian. With this being the case, we are requesting its removal at this time.

Please see the original letter (copied in below) that I initially tried to route to your attention via an email address that may not have been ideal for such purpose.

I look forward to your response. Thank you for your attention to this matter, and best wishes for now,

Steven Seinberg


———- Forwarded message ———
From: Steve Seinberg <steve@seinberglaw.com>
Date: Thu, Mar 7, 2019 at 4:20 PM
Subject: Removal Request re: Ronald Hovsepian

March 7, 2019

VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL

Techrights

Re: Request to Remove Damaging Content

Dear Techrights Editorial Staff:

My firm has been retained to represent Mr. Ronald Hovsepian to address his concerns regarding the confusion and damage to his reputation that have been caused due to the following article remaining available on your website:

http://techrights.org/2010/03/03/ron-hovsepian-and-novl-bid/

As of this writing, nine years have passed since this article was originally published. Mr. Hovsepian left Novell less than a year later. Unfortunately for him, his reputation continues to suffer due to the negative portrayal of who you perceived him to be nearly a decade ago.

The image that grafts the lower half of Steve Ballmer’s face onto Mr. Hovsepian’s head is not especially helpful, but in a more significant objection, my client also maintains that contrary to what your piece reports, no SUSE employees had been terminated at the time the article was posted online.

While Mr. Hovsepian has of course secured subsequent gainful employment, such as his tenure as President and CEO of Intralinks, your article continues to cause him difficulties in the professional arena.

Due to the possibility that potential future business associates, partners, investors, and clients will also see and become influenced by this article, we respectfully request that you remove it from your website.

Please feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss this matter. We look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,

/s/ Steven A. Seinberg
Steven A. Seinberg, Esq.
Attorney at Law

The image in question is shown next to the original too (Steve Ballmer next to the Ballmer/Hovsepian crossover). There would no doubt in anyone’s mind that it was doctored for satirical purpose and there’s absolutely no legal basis upon which to request this removal.

“In the above example, from Steven A. Seinberg, what we have is lawyers from another continent trying to gag a site based in Europe. And on what legal basis? Nothing. Nothing at all.”Remember that it was also the French who came up with the utterly ridiculous concept of RtbF (Right to be Forgotten), which is basically saying criminals or even child abusers have a “right” to hide their past, even by forcibly censoring search engines. Will the likes of Battistelli try to leverage similar legal stunts, having already sicced several law firms at me (all based in London)? At the moment CEIPI helps him hide. People like him who leave office and lose immunity, which he once upon a time enjoyed at the European Patent Office (EPO), prefer keeping a lower profile to avert/avoid prosecution.

Let’s also remember that almost a year after António Campinos joined the EPO as President Techrights is still blocked. The EPO has blocked my site for almost five years (it’s still blocked right now). Not for being wrong. Not for being vulgar. But for being correct, for being credible and effective. Censorship in Europe is alive and well and it helps protect crooks from their critics and exposers. In the above example, from Steven A. Seinberg, what we have is lawyers from another continent trying to gag a site based in Europe. And on what legal basis? Nothing. Nothing at all.

04.10.19

Guest Post: The Linux Foundation (LF) is “Putting the CON in Conference!” (Part 1)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I spoke recently with someone who has a lot of experience with boards and explained the LF situation. They said that kind of takeover was so common that it probably could have been foreseen and guarded against, but stopped short of actually saying it quite like that. As for how to fix the situation, no ideas yet.”

Longtime Techrights member

Lighted gift

Summary: Proprietary software giants with their sponsorships and gifts are more like Trojan horses or parasites striving to infect the host; how can the LF be protected from them?

THE three prior articles [1, 2, 3] on this particular topic, namely events of the Linux Foundation (LF), provided some essential background or introduction to this. The latest feedback we’ve received concerns Jono Bacon, the subject of the last post. Other people are being named (readers tell us about them), but we’re reluctant to bring shame to them without contacting them in advance (as we did Bacon, who did not respond).

“What next? What else is for sale? Who will be the next sellout?”Bacon used to work for Canonical. He now works with the LF (a client of his, by his own admission in a recent blog post), which is selling “tweets” from Bacon. Last week Canonical was advertising for Microsoft (paid press release for “free bait” of proprietary software). We are growingly worried that Microsoft will buy Canonical in the not-so-distant future, seeing how financial compromise is already threatening the community. Last year Microsoft paid a lot of money to OSI and 2 weeks ago the OSI’s blog posts were even composed by Microsoft staff (inside the OSI’s’ Board now). What next? What else is for sale? Who will be the next sellout? This is the subject of today’s guest post, which we’ve edited so as to protect identities and organise things a little better.


Volunteers — volunteers — across multiple conferences influencing decisions based on their biases and career goals — one who held IRC sessions on how to submit a winning CfP for LibrePlanet last year — within a few days of the event — published an article in Linux Journal — about how it’s not important — it’s OK — to be proprietary…

RMS took care of it. I was like, “I’m no one’s sweetheart but COME ON!”

How about a conference that charges sponsors and gives them keynotes, articles and even paid tweets by Jono Bacon? Charges sponsors and attendees for what? Hosting a venue and bringing a few names… and little cupcakes?

What about convincing corporate sponsors/partners that they are working on important projects — projects no one uses, really aren’t useful, but are busy at work?

You’re open source now… Faux open source.

“Time to rebrand to FOSS.”Paying other conferences by sponsorship to have their people speak — just so that the presenter looks legit.

Finally, censoring anyone who speaks out about them in — of course — Censorpedia.

Time to rebrand to FOSS.

Anyway, I had an idea of how to combat all this propaganda. I’ve been reaching out to colleges to try encourage the university LUGs (Linux Users Groups) to have their own yearly conferences/learning workshops. I don’t know if that will help, but then I was thinking of pulling some LUGs in. If you ask [name redacted], he can tell you the story about how he was organizing a Conference, started having issues with the venue and such… and was given an “offer” not to continue doing so.

Dirty business these conferences…

If you take a look at the LF prospectus, you can see that the sponsors get anything from:

  • Keynote slot at the conference
  • Article interview
  • Tweets for $3k by Jono Bacon from his account

Just what seemed like a terrible propaganda factory.

“Now, it’s up to $120k for an article and keynote.”Upon realization that Microsoft was a high-tier sponsor, I decided not participate in the Make event in Los Angeles sponsored by LF, even though I had a commitment.

No freaking way…

Check out this year’s prospectus. Kimberly Andrews is listed as contact.

I have some notes:

1. [name redacted] was working SCaLE, SeaGL and LibrePlanet
2. [name redacted] was also side by side with [name redacted] many times in the conference presentation evaluation circuit
3. [name redacted], upon receiving a letter of my concern, addressed this to me and not FSF Staff.
4. Linux Foundation receives payments from sponsors and offers keynotes, article interviews, tweets.

See current prospectus. They have been doing this for years. Now, it’s up to $120k for an article and keynote.

In addition to receiving funding from sponsors for Linux Foundation events, the LF charges attendees. So what are they doing, really? Is it just about the money, or is it something more? Is it a stronghold placement and branding — to move along the LF agenda and gain more members?

The credibility of all of the above parties is questionable, regardless of employment status.

When Microsoft became a sponsor for LF events, it was appalling.

“The sponsorship this year at LF — includes diamond level $120k — has again an article in Linux.com.”After speaking with [name redacted] at [event name redacted], at length, I discovered that many sponsors expect a slot.

Side Note: I have been an event coordinator. In 2001, at Pearson for 2 worldwide events – FL and CA.

2008 – Masters conference at Microchip. Of course, these are companies with internal presenters and such. That’s the difference, right. Still a million-dollar enterprise.

The sponsorship this year at LF — includes diamond level $120k — has again an article in Linux.com.

04.08.19

Jono Bacon Works for Microsoft

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 1:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

He has not responded to our request for comment, either

Jono Bacon tweet
From the sponsor prospectus (below). “Page 14 shows there are 3 tiers to get a tweet by Jono Bacon,” a reader has alerted us.

Jono Bacon for Microsoft
Love for sale. Image from October 27, 2018 of Jono Bacon bragging about Microsoft swag on LinkedIn. See the above (or below). One Tier – 2017: “3 Social Media Sponsor Mentions from Linux Foundation and 1 from Jono Bacon’s (OCC Chair) Twitter account”

Summary: Jono Bacon and the Linux Foundation’s work for Microsoft are a subject scarcely discussed as it’s shrouded in secrecy/mystery; but we continue to dig deeper and unearth the ugly business model at hand

TWO prior posts [1, 2] on this topic are essential reading. They explain the reality of Linux Foundation “events” and what they are well beyond “events”.

“Many people are hanging around the Zemlin PAC like fish that swim near the shark for some food scraps.”Many of our readers do not like and do not trust Jono Bacon. They sometimes ask me why I’m still being nice to him. They challenge me over it and question his motivations. A decade ago Bacon invited me to FLOSS Weekly only to attack me on the show (mostly for my criticism of Microsoft). He defended Mono and Miguel de Icaza, among other Microsoft things/people. He and Microsoft had connected beforehand; they tried to hire him at least once before, so why not just ‘rent’ him instead (helps hide the motivations better)?

His modus operandi became clearer to me in recent years. I saw him promoting Microsoft (not just the above). Prior to that he was preaching to people about “open respect” and “politeness” while rapidly and casually attacking people and defending companies that do criminal things. This is the classic case of shielding oneself behind the cloak of “ethics” while attacking those who are actually ethical, painting them as impolite, “toxic”, “racist”, “sexist” and so on.

Here is the full brochure (there’s lots more there other than the above, which mentions Bacon by name).

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Stay tuned for future parts. Bacon’s role at the Linux Foundation will become a lot clearer. Many people are hanging around the Zemlin PAC like fish that swim near the shark for some food scraps. Bacon isn’t alone in this; in future parts we may name a few more individuals who have compromised principles for a quick buck.

04.05.19

Zemlin PAC: Influence for Sale, Under the Banner of ‘Linux’, at the Cost of a House

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Picture contributed by a reader

Linux Foundation evil

Summary: Events are very “big business” for the Linux Foundation; the business model, however, is highly disturbing; this is the first installment of a series about Linux Foundation events

LIST OF ARTICLES to date (this year) was last published on Tuesday. The list is probably essential reading ahead of our next batch of articles, which examine the operations of the Linux Foundation. They call themselves “Linux Foundation”, but the Linux Foundation isn’t what it seems. It is also changing over time, certainly not for the better (unless betterment is judged on financial terms alone). Here is that list again:

“They call themselves “Linux Foundation”, but the Linux Foundation isn’t what it seems.”What we are about to show is the troubling role the Linux Foundation (LF from here onwards) plays; it’s almost like a corporate shim if not dagger inside the community. By filtering and censoring talks, for example (just like the CoC in the case of mailing lists and events), LF became a filter of what’s permissible for “Linux” (they own the trademark) to say. And remember that “Microsoft loves Linux”; Microsoft paid, so it must be true. Don’t dispute that!

We’re aware of GNU/Linux developers who actually write all the code (used by millions, even large corporations all around the world) while broke. Ideology is their driver. Some receive maybe (at most) $500 a month, sometimes through donations, to just pay for food and secure a roof over their heads. Meanwhile, LF management staff (people with degrees in PR or accounting) get over $500,000 a year. Tax-free! And they’re marketing people who help Microsoft; they don’t write a single line of code (never did, they lack the skills). We know where they get this money and the strings attached to this money. Future parts of this series will cover this subject.

We’ve decided to separate our findings so as to better present the facts about LF. We’ll publish something every couple of days. We will break it down into logical units as there are many different aspects and one very long article simply wouldn’t be effective.

A few weeks ago I received an E-mail message (from LinkedIn): “More people who want to connect with you: Kimberly Andrews, Event Partnership Manager at Linux Foundation”

Interesting. I never heard of that person before. Why would I connect? Why did that person attempt to connect? I no longer connect with anyone anyway (especially since Microsoft bought this platform, whereupon I stopped logging in).

So Kim tried to befriend me through Microsoft’s LinkedIn. Why? There can only be one explanation. It’s because I write about LF. Much could be said about the choice of Microsoft’s LinkedIn, but LF used that well before the takeover, as did I.

Readers of ours have longer been curious about these events. “So,” one reader told us a month ago, “as I wrote this I wondered, what are the tiers for membership and contract…. I think I’d like to research that next.”

So… LF people “want to connect with” their critic. Just like typical PR people. Like Novell’s PR people.

As one reader put it: “Oh. They do, do they? Is that a good thing? Or…? What do you suggest?”

There are words for these tactics. A decade ago when I covered or uncovered Microsoft’s suppressed documents (obtained through subpoena) I saw how they targeted their critics. It was more or less like that. Now it’s the LF people doing it.

LF is big money. Very big money. More and more money each year. Notice the figures in the following sponsorship brochure. Add these up and you soon reach tens of millions of dollars (for events alone).

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Companies that support GNU/Linux could (if not should) pay the development firms/developers, maybe the LUGs, not Zemlin PAC. It would do a lot to help actual development. What we see above is the ‘monopolisation’ of events.

Giving directly to developers would be equivalent of giving to the needy and not ‘charities’ that just belch out scraps to the actual people in need (while paying themselves astronomical salaries). But that analogy aside, let’s look at some findings we’ve had verified.

In the words of one of our readers: “Taking money and swag from Microsoft + Selling Magazine space + selling tweets + not even using Linux… When one organization has control of the media, training, and propaganda, we enter a very dangerous phase — where there is an organization representing Linux — that is actually… “Evil Empire”.”

“You would not believe my findings,” said this reader, whose research into this leads into our next part, a guest post titled: “Putting the CON in Conference!”

Stay tuned.

04.02.19

Microsoft Linux Entryism: A Roundup

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Entrance

Summary: Interlude and roundup of posts about Microsoft’s entryism-esque strategy, which involves it painting itself as its own competition while silently taking over parts of it (using money and a PR campaign)

THIS year, as planned, by putting aside some USPTO coverage (but not EPO coverage) we’ve freed up some time to cover GNU/Linux matters — more or less like we used to about a decade ago. We recently began a series which is not over yet (it’s work in progress) and we’ve already seen some responses in the form of articles, which themselves attracted comments such those citing us directly. “When Microsoft acquired The Linux Foundation in 2016, it ceased to be moral,” one comment said in recent days. There are dozens more.

“Nobody has yet complained about any inaccuracies.”In order to organise matters and put it in a chronological context we’ve decided that, rather than put it all in a Wiki (like we typically do) we’d link back to previous articles. Here are some articles of relevance to this:

We have several more pieces on the way, but we need to be patient until we can verify all the facts (pertinent claims ascertained to be true, for sure). Nobody has yet complained about any inaccuracies. We wish to keep it that way.

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