Racketeering — like bank bailouts — increasingly seen like “business as usual”
Summary: GNU/Linux is said to be among the targets for illegal extortion, but even self-professed backers of GNU/Linux aren’t interested in addressing this problem
Apple and Microsoft are only alleged to be making money from Linux; nobody knows for sure, but analysts who are close to Microsoft (or Microsoft lobbyists) try to tell us that somehow they know what's behind NDAs, almost as if they relay the official party line on behalf of Microsoft. What’s probably most disturbing about it is lack of an effective response from the likes of Google and Red Hat. IBM is a lost cause because when it comes to patents IBM is more or less in the same camp as Microsoft (they cross-license and they lobby for software patents around the world, not just in the US).
Mr. Pogson, who tends to find interesting stuff every now and then, picked up this link from sec.gov and as iophk points out, “”commenter “IGnatius T Foobar” picked up on the fact that M$ is including income from Android patent extortion as Windows Phone revenue.
“Follow the link and scroll down to “Windows Phone, including related patent licensing; and certain other patent licensing revenue;” The only way I can think to interpret that is that it is income from extorting Android. Because that is a lot of money it can be hiding a really bad situation for Windows Phone, up to and including losses.”
According to this new report, “Apple’s secret deals with mobile operators are squeezing smaller companies out of the market and driving up costs even for those who don’t use their products, according to Register sources across the industry.
“”In my opinion Apple are in a grey area,” one legal expert with first hand experience of the contracts told us.”
If this is true at all (and evidence is still absent), then this is extortion and we need to bring it to light in order for legal procedures to follow. Some company needs to leak out information, potentially breaking an NDA. That’s how Edward Snowden helped hold the NSA and GCHQ accountable.
One would expect companies like Red Hat and Google (most affected by such extortion) to do something about it, but Google hired patent lawyers and is now accumulating software patents. Red Hat follows a similar trajectory and its lawyer Mr. Tiller keeps on talking about trolls rather than about giants like Microsoft and software patents in general. The other day he wrote: “With patent reform legislation moving forward, an impressive group of law professors weighed in last week in favor of reform. The group submitted a letter to Congress that effectively demonstrates the seriousness of the problem of patent assertion entities (PAEs) and supports pending legislation.
“This issue is timely, because the Innovation Act (HR 3309) was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on November 20 with a strong majority (33-5) in favor. There is a good chance that the full House will take up the bill this week.”
As iophk points out, Tiller is doing “[e]verything except removing the actual problem: software and business method patents. All those that write but dodge the question of software patents themselves just feed the problem. I’m disappointed that some choose not to look for the base cause and buy into the PR from the lawyers.”
We find more or less the same in FOSS Force, which writes: “We find it very heartening that some firms are now fighting back rather than rolling over when the patent trolls come knocking. We especially like the hardball route being taken by FindTheBest. After all, when we were growing up we were taught that the best defense is a good offense.”
Personally, I more or less gave up (for the time being at least) on the cause against software patents because the scene got abducted by large corporations and billionaires who fund laywers (even EFF lawyers) to tell us that the problem is “bad” patents or “trolls’. That’s not the problem, it’s just a decoy and the real debates are being crushed by this corporate hijack of grassroots movements against software patents. The real problems here are patents on algorithms (reducible to mathematics) and extortion/racketeering, which is of course against the law. Here we are dealing with very high levels of criminality, where companies are engaging in racketeering and nobody goes to prison, just as those same companies illegally spy on people in exchange for government contracts/favours. Back doors seem to become more common (home routers now have back doors), showing the high degree of collusion between government and business . Never count on corporations to serve people’s interests; they serve particular people’s interests: shareholders and government officials (with a huge budget and an open door to favouritism). Red Hat too helps the NSA. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Famous computer programmer and President of Free Software Foundation Stallman says it’s so many years now that Microsoft and recently Facebook have been gathering the personal information of users in violation of the US constitution.
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Summary: Reporting on scare-mongering from Symantec mostly off target
A PHP worm is widely described in the press as a Linux problem, even though PHP runs on many platforms and flaws in PHP are not uncommon. The FUD comes from an insecurity firm, Symantec, which has history of hostility against GNU/Linux. This FUD has occupied the press in recent days. Here is an example from IDG. Somehow a PHP issue gets described as a “Linux worm” (usually in headlines, too) for many other writers to repeat without researching any further. If there is any issue associated with embedded devices (which cannot be patched easily, if at all), then don’t blame Linux; embedded systems just happen to be an area reined by Linux and GNU. Windows would not have coped any better.
As Mr. Schneier helps remind us these days , proprietary software is a helluva lot worse than GNU/Linux, even if there were some security issues in particular combinations like Linux+PHP. Well, proprietary software is often designed with back doors, as Stuxnet helps remind us (Microsoft works closely with the NSA).
So, before bashing Linux over software that also runs on Windows (PHP) be sure to check which platform has vulnerabilities by design. The most disturbing fact is, nowadays it is common to call out “Linux” when there is some Linux-associated weakness but never call out Windows when only Windows is at fault (as in Stuxnet and NSA back doors).
PHP is rarely used on Windows because performance- and cost-wise Windows is a pile garbage; especially developers should realise this (some develop on Windows/Mac OS X but only ever deploy on GNU/Linux). Why pick on the operating system when the flaw is to some degree platform-agnostic? Maybe it was Symantec’s malicious intention again. Symantec makes money from offering remedies to users of a back-doored operating system (like selling insurance for a soon-to-be-broken product). So ignore Symantec’s sensationalism and those whom it bamboozled into parroting. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
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Summary: Microsoft’s history of bribing government officials teaches us that a chain of accountability is needed if Europe really wishes to emancipate itself from Microsoft/NSA trespassing
A Polish watchdog has just come out in favour of monitored IT procurement . Having watched what happened in France, Quebec [1, 2, 3], and Switzerland, it is easy to see why. To use just Switzerland’s case, recall posts such as the following:
- Microsoft Sued Over Its Corruption in Switzerland, Microsoft Debt Revisited
- Can the United Kingdom and Hungary Still be Sued for Excluding Free Software?
- 3 New Counts of Antitrust Violation by Microsoft?
- Is Microsoft Breaking the Law in Switzerland Too?
- Microsoft Uses Lobbyists to Attack Holland’s Migration to Free Software and Sort of Bribes South African Teachers Who Use Windows
- ZDNet/eWeek Ruins Peter Judge’s Good Article by Attacking Red Hat When Microsoft Does the Crime
- Week of Microsoft Government Affairs: a Look Back, a Look Ahead
- Lawsuit Against Microsoft/Switzerland Succeeds So Far, More Countries/Companies Should Follow Suit
- Latest Reports on Microsoft Bulk Deals Being Blocked in Switzerland, New Zealand
- Swiss Government and Federal Computer Weekly: Why the Hostility Towards Free Software?
- Switzerland and the UK Under Fire for Perpetual Microsoft Engagements
- Lawsuit Over Alleged Microsoft Corruption in Switzerland Escalates to Federal Court
- When Microsoft-Only/Lock-in is Defined as “Technology”
Europe is moving towards Free software [2,3,4], which makes perfect sense amid the NSA scandals. Let’s just hope that the IT procurement steps are totally transparent; without transparency, Microsoft will just carry on bribing government officials in exchange for lucrative deals. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Public procurement of IT solutions must be monitored for violations, the Polish Free and Open Source Software Foundation (FWiOO) concludes in its final report on its public IT procurement project PPPIT, published this summer. After having studied hundreds of procurement procedures by Polish public administrations, the organisation infers that requests and specifications can be formulated seemingly without breaking the rules.
Isn’t that refreshing? Instead of pouring more $billions into M$’s coffers for permission to run IT, European governments are actually switching to FLOSS and GNU/Linux because of open standards, lower costs and higher flexibility. Good for them! Now, about Canada…
Neelie Kroes, VP of the European Commission (EC), has a website called Comment Neelie to initiate and maintain a two-way conversation between herself, as a politician, and the public, as citizens. Kroes says that it’s “a channel to communicate, not just broadcast.”
Germany’s upcoming government coalition of CDU, CSU and SPD is to encourage the use of open source software in public administrations. In its coalition treaty, leaked last Monday evening, the government describes open source is an alternative to ‘closed digital ecosystems’ and says it will commit itself to open source at a European level.
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Summary: How the General Public License can help fight the likes of Microsoft, whose only answer to GNU/Linux domination is now taxation of GNU/Linux (through patent extortion)
THE TABLET on which I’ll record Richard Stallman tomorrow dons a GPLv3 sticker. We wrote about the GPLv3 quite a lot back in 2007 when it was new. We needed the GPLv3 because of patent deals such as Novell’s. Microsoft was rapidly signing (or looking to sign) more extortion deals against Linux and in the middle of 2007 it announced a large-scale campaign to shake down all GNU/Linux vendors.
Towards the end of 2013 we have this moderate view from Dr. Glyn Moody. He explains today: “A theme that has re-appeared on this blog many times over the years is that of software patents. As I’ve noted before, they are perhaps the biggest single threat to free software, especially since the decline of Microsoft. Indeed, it’s not hard to see software patent lawsuits being filed by Microsoft in the last, desperate stage of that decline in order to inflict the maximum damage on open source.
“That’s already manifest in its Android licensing strategy. Note, in particular, that it refuses to discuss what exactly Android allegedly infringes upon. This means that it can sign secret deals with companies willing to go along with this ploy, giving the impression that there is a problem, without offering the slightest proof to that effect…”
“Indeed, it’s not hard to see software patent lawsuits being filed by Microsoft in the last, desperate stage of that decline in order to inflict the maximum damage on open source.”
–Glyn MoodyMoody’s analysis then proceeds to explaining how the GPLv3 relates to all this. Now that Microsoft’s super-trolls and other trolls such as Erich Spangenberg [1, 2, 3, 4] are going after legitimate companies we must recognise that fighting patents with patents (like OIN does) is not a solution. Trolls cannot be confronted by a reactionary lawsuit and here we have a story of a patent troll winning again. To quote TechDirt, where Moody is a writer: “There’s a reason why patent trolls love east Texas — and big part of that is that the juries there have a long history of favoring patent holders, no matter how ridiculous or how trollish. That was on display last night, when the jury in Marshall, Texas sided with patent troll Erich Spangenberg and his TQP shell company over Newegg. As we’ve been describing, Newegg brought out the big guns to prove pretty damn thoroughly that this guy Mike Jones and his encryption patent were both not new at the time the patent was granted and, more importantly, totally unrelated to the encryption that Newegg and other ecommerce providers rely on. Having Whit Diffie (who invented public key cryptography) and Ron Rivest (who basically made it practical in real life) present on your behalf, showing that they did everything prior to Jones’ patent, while further showing that what Newegg was doing relied on their work, not Jones’, should have ended the case.”
Recently, when big trolls like Microsoft were risking a loss to their patent leverage, lobbying/AstroTurfing from Microsoft paid off. So we are left in a situation where Microsoft’s extortion — not just patent trolls — is a real issue. The GPLv3 is a partial solution to that, if only more projects (like Linux) adopted it… █
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Summary: Useful analysis from Simon Phipps, who has turned more vocal in his opposition to software patents and those who promote them
Simon Phipps is a terrific leader. He is not self-censoring and over the years he has thrown some punches at companies which are hostile towards FOSS. He also built (or rebuilt) a relationship with the FSF, which helps reduce if not eliminate wasteful efforts such infighting and competitive advocacy; the OSI and FSF are now jointly submitting formal complaints against patent trolls. Phipps also spoke out repeatedly against patent trolls and patent aggressors — something which many in the FOSS groups don’t bother with. Here in Techrights, due to lack of time and resources, we have not focused so much on patents recently; so, here is something to make up for it.
Newegg is currently in the headlines because it gets sued a lot by trolls and it fights back. 30 infringement claims were made against Newegg in the past 8 years alone, based on Newegg’s claims. To quote: “Newegg was founded “in the ashes of the Internet trough” in 2001, said Cheng. The first 10 employees worked in a warehouse about 20 miles outside Los Angeles. Newegg still owns the facility, called Warehouse 1, though the company’s headquarters now resides in another warehouse in City of Industry.”"
Newegg is not a massive giant like IBM, Apple, or Microsoft. It does not hoard patents and it is really suffering from patents, which are originally the game invented and played by the rich and the powerful. Also from Phipps (OSI President) there is this coverage of OIN, which was created by massive multi-nationals, including IBM. Phipps explains: “While many open source advocates remain rightly concerned about the chilling effect of software patents on both innovation and collaboration, open source software has additional defenses against patent aggression that aren’t available to proprietary software. The Open Invention Network (OIN), a novel patent pool fighting for rather than against open source, plays an important role in these defenses.”
But OIN is still not fighting to eliminate software patents. It’s more of an interest group. As Phipps put it, “make sure the software you use is under one of these modern licenses; older licenses like BSD and MIT don’t mention patents. Second, comply with the terms of the license — easy enough for almost all open source licenses, especially compared with the labyrinthine complexity of commercial licenses and EULAs. As long as you comply with the terms of the license, you benefit from the protection it offers. Third, work in the open rather than making last-minute contributions. This is good practice anyway, but it adds protection too.”
So in other words, OSI may be benign to Free/Open Source software players; for everyone else it’s not of much use. Newegg gets nothing out of it.
In another new post from Phipps it is claims that Microsoft and IBM are just “big trolls” — something he has said even back when he worked for Sun. “Rogue software patent trolls are the scourge of the tech industry. But the larger, better-dressed trolls don’t get a pass either.” Phipps writes.
To quote Phipps further: “The dirty secret IBM, Microsoft, and other self-proclaimed advocates of patent reform don’t want you to know is that they are trolls, too. They have large and highly profitable business units using exactly the same tactics as the patent trolls they hate. The reason they hate the trolls is not because of what they do — after all, IBM and Microsoft were the pioneers of treating patent portfolios as profit centers rather than cost centers. No, the reason they hate the trolls is because the trolls attack them with the weapons they themselves perfected.”
We already explained how IBM and Microsoft helped abolish patent reform attempts. This ought to make people who think of IBM as a friend of FOSS reassess their position; it is definitely not the first time IBM does this. IBM’s and Microsoft’s friends at SUSE have this new release (funded in part by Microsoft and IBM), but we should remember to regard it as nothing but an attempt to tax GNU/Linux with patents. We hardly cover anything SUSE-related anymore (we ignore rather than fight), but the fact remains that people should boycott SUSE. It’s about patents. █
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We need Freedo
Summary: Involvement in Linux development from the NSA and close corporate partners means that in order to restore real trust some code may need washing away (Linux-libre style)
THE news last week claimed that the US Defense Department was embracing FOSS [1,2]. We already know that it uses RHEL extensively and this may actually have strings attached to it. See, there is always aspiration to put control of the software at the hands of US corporations (and by extension bureaucrats who can compel those corporations to comply with surveillance desires); for others, there are back doors.
The other day we saw how a leading GNU/Linux vendor worked to promote and to spread UEFI ‘secure boot’, which is all about remote control (unless the signatures are maintained by the physical owner of the computer). UEFI ‘secure boot’ — like TPM — is about control by remote entities like Microsoft. Never forget that man from Microsoft (who still lives around there) manages Ubuntu now. Another man from Microsoft is now speaking on behalf of a Linux Foundation project (there are other people, but he is their manager). This really is a cause for concern because even “Linux” technologies are turning somewhat hostile towards users. When companies like Intel and IBM call the shots and when companies like Red Hat try to appease the Pentagon we just simply cannot assume that Linux will remain user-serving (as a matter of priority).
There are some news these days about Italy [3,4], Switzerland  and several other European nations moving to Free/Open Source software (this may include GNU/Linux) for control and autonomy, but they should keep a close eye on those who steer Linux development (and the government they lobby to oversee them amicably in particular). Yesterday when I had a discussion about this subject someone suggested embracing Hurd, but I on the other hand thought that perhaps Linux-libre should start removing NSA-sourced components (if they can be traced back to the NSA, as it is not just SELinux and some was submitted by
@redhat.com addresses) and other suspicious or user-hostile code.
Even as Linux advocates we should recognise that there is a diversity of interests and the agenda of the NSA is to spy on everything and everyone, not to protect our privacy and security. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
As far as technology trends in the federal government go, the use of open source is on a multi-year hot streak. Alongside movements such as the cloud, open source is one of those agency options like an oasis – or perhaps a mirage — in a funding desert, promising savings and efficiencies.
The Defense Department, looking for ways to cut costs and share information, is slowly but surely embracing open source software, sister publication FCW’s Amber Corrin reports.
“The problem with proprietary solutions is the limited set of folks who can use them, rather than opening the core components to the community to drive…and just be the experts and the integrators,” Andy Goodson, program manager for Lockheed Martin’s Distributed Data Framework, told FCW. DDF is a newly open source software search engine for intelligence.
It’s no hidden fact that the European Union has a special love for free and open source software for all the merits these have to offer and for the huge cost savings EU’s various organizations get to make from these. In the past, several member countries have made the switch from Windows to Linux in a drive to make their systems more secure and save costs. Their governments and educational institutions have also moved on from using proprietary and expensive day-to-day software such as Microsoft Office to using OpenOffice and LibreOffice, software that get the same work done and are absolutely free. Now it is Italy’s turn to follow on the same path.
We take a first reading of the recent modification to the fundamental law that governs the digital aspects of the Public Administration in Italy. These modifications require Public Administrations to prefer internally made solutions and FOSS solutions over proprietary ones, mandate an increased degree of interoperability and strengthen the push for open data.
Lausanne, Switzerland’s fourth-largest city, is considering a switch to open source desktop PCs. “The time has come to evaluate a migration, by launching a pilot project on 5 workstations”, the city announced on 14 November. “Free and open source software is becoming more mature, user-friendly and compatible with other environments.”
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Even Red Hat’s logo does not inspire confidence
Summary: Why companies which are based on the United States cannot be trusted as US law requires them to provide access to personal information (or even back doors) without ever disclosing this
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.5 has just come out [1,2,3]. Red Hat targets the so-called 'cloud' (surveillance-friendly) market with it, quite frankly as usual . Cutting-edge RHEL prototypes like Fedora 20 are to be released soon, and Scientific Linux (not just CentOS) will need to catch up by rebranding RHEL (they are being compared in terms of performance in ). Some people are remixing  Red Hat’s distributions, not rebranding them. But few people actually audit RHEL code line by line. Disassembling RHEL binaries is an even greater challenge, so nobody knows for sure what RHEL does. It’s a vast body of software and it is deployed in many mission-critical operations, not just in the United States.
“Trusting Trust” is an old concept, coined by some of the earlier UNIX folks. This subject happened to have been raised during business lunch earlier this week and it speaks on the degree of trust we must place on compiler developers, chipmakers, high-level software companies, and even Free software developers whose code we never personally audited (or continue to audit every time a new release is made available). Verifying the security of a small piece of software like a CMS (as Germany currently does) is feasible, but for entire operating systems it is virtually impossible and then there’s the peril of checking chip designs, their fabrication process, and the same for software (compilers). IBM et al., those who infect computers with TPM (NSA connections) only lead to mistrust. We are talking about a “special surveillance chip” here. And yes, there is history to it. Slashdot published this bit of analysis a few months ago. Read the comments too. One says: “I work for Red Hat…. The NSA asks me to put code in the Linux kernel and I pass it to Linus.” (see the context for more interesting information of this kind).
There is currently a discussion in Diaspora about this. It is argued that Red Hat will need to appease the government — especially the Pentagon/DOD — in order to keep winning major contracts that are derived from black budgets sometimes. There are stories I am aware of (but cannot share) about the role spies play in procurement for government. They can veto and influence decisions. This is a very ugly side of procurement which many people are simply not aware of. It only makes sense for Red Hat to try to appease the NSA and perhaps attach code from the NSA, with or without sufficient scrutiny (it goes well beyond involvement in SELinux, which is not the NSA’s only role in Linux). Well, some in Twitter wanted more information about this, so I reminded them that several years ago I wrote about how RHEL goes through the NSA before release; the same is true for SUSE. Now we know for sure that Linux was the target of NSA back doors [1, 2, 3, 4]; more new reporting on this [7-10] is starting to appear (people are catching up) and a new report tells us that “NSA infected 50,000 computer networks with malicious software” .
“he law in the US has become somewhat incompatible with freedom-respecting software.”We already know that the NSA worked closely with Microsoft and got a widely-used platform (internationally) with back doors it has exclusive access to, which basically means that Microsoft Windows is a Trojan horse for the NSA. Just remember where Linux is being developed. It’s the same country as Microsoft and Apple. Projects like Debian inherit some code from Red Hat, which complicates things further. The chain of trust is undone.
After the new report from the New York Times [12,13] (published to make huge impact this weekend) perhaps it’s time for Torvalds to withdraw his newly-acquired US citizenship and move back Linux development to Finland. With all sorts of National Security Letters, gag orders, oppressive laws like PATRIOT Act etc. we just know that those based in the US can be forced to facilitate surveillance (without ever speaking about it publicly). This may sound like a radical solution, but when companies like Red Hat and the Linux Foundation need to comply with US laws we just simply cannot have any trust. Torvalds pretty much lied to us (in a clever way) about NSA request for back doors in Linux, but his father, who is a European politician based in Europe, told us the truth.
In the past we argued that Red Hat should move to Europe because of software patents (I asked Red Hat’s CEO about it and he dismissed the possibility). Now we have another reason to suggest relocation. The law in the US has become somewhat incompatible with freedom-respecting software. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Red Hat Inc. and eNovance, an emerging European leader in the open source cloud computing market, are collaborating to deliver OpenStack implementation and integration services to joint customers. The companies made the announcement at the OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong.
The collaboration between Red Hat and eNovance is aimed at accelerating enterprise adoption of OpenStack globally. According to a new report from 451 Research, OpenStack-related business revenue is expected to exceed $1 billion by 2015 as the enterprise market for OpenStack evolves.
I’ve been playing with / using x2go more lately and I sure do like it. I originally learned about it by reading the Fedora 20 ChangeSet and saw that it will be a new feature in the upcoming Fedora 20. I started using Fedora 20 shortly before the alpha release came out. Fedora 20 Beta was released on 2013-11-12… and I’ve been building my MontanaLinux remix about once a week.
In a February 2012 paper laying out the four-year strategy for the N.S.A.’s signals intelligence operations, which include the agency’s eavesdropping and communications data collection around the world, agency officials set an objective to “aggressively pursue legal authorities and a policy framework mapped more fully to the information age.”
Written as an agency mission statement with broad goals, the five-page document said that existing American laws were not adequate to meet the needs of the N.S.A. to conduct broad surveillance in what it cited as “the golden age of Sigint,” or signals intelligence. “The interpretation and guidelines for applying our authorities, and in some cases the authorities themselves, have not kept pace with the complexity of the technology and target environments, or the operational expectations levied on N.S.A.’s mission,” the document concluded.
Using sweeping language, the paper also outlined some of the agency’s other ambitions. They included defeating the cybersecurity practices of adversaries in order to acquire the data the agency needs from “anyone, anytime, anywhere.” The agency also said it would try to decrypt or bypass codes that keep communications secret by influencing “the global commercial encryption market through commercial relationships,” human spies and intelligence partners in other countries. It also talked of the need to “revolutionize” analysis of its vast collections of data to “radically increase operational impact.”
In a mission statement last year the US National Security Agency described how it would continue to expand its power and assert itself as the global leader in clandestine surveillance, according to a new report based on the Edward Snowden leaks.
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Summary: Why K. Y. Srinivasan has become somewhat of a Microsoft mole inside the Linux world
Microsoft loves to abduct companies, fire ‘disobedient’ staff, and bring in its own moles. VMware and Yahoo are good examples of this. The strategy is used a lot by Microsoft, quite consciously too.
“Microsoft never needs to be allowed to join, it just needs to abduct companies which are already in.”Right now we learn that a “Winamp Petition Emerges as Microsoft Considers Purchase”. Win is short for Windows, so it would not be too shocking if Microsoft took over to exploit (and ruin) the brand. But there are problems close to home, involving Linux in particular. There are more Elop-type threats — ones which turn Linux leaders (like Nokia) into Linux foes that go as far as patent litigation against Linux. Now that people from Microsoft are becoming managers in the Linux Foundation (and managers of distributions like Ubuntu) we must pay attention. Nokia is a Linux Foundation member too, so with its surrender to Microsoft (like Novell) there are more Trojan horses (steering power) for the monopolist inside the foundation. Microsoft never needs to be allowed to join, it just needs to abduct companies which are already in.
There is another longtime mole which deserves to be named now that there is this new puff piece and shameless PR for the company that attacks Linux. The puff piece comes from EFY Times and it’s basically a softball monologue for Microsoft, courtesy of K. Y. Srinivasan from Novell (his online profiles are still out of date). He now receives his salary directly from Microsoft and he is always whitewashing Microsoft and trying to match-make Linux with it (his focus is proprietary Hyper-V, which he and Novell helped Microsoft interject into Linux). Watch how Microsoft is grooming him in an attempt to make Microsoft seem Linux-friendly (article by Kerry Godes from Microsoft’s marketing team). To quote K. Y. Srinivasan: “It’s all part of our larger vision, which is to ensure that anything our customers want to run, they can run on Windows Server Hyper-V and in Windows Azure. This is what customers tell us they want.”
So in other words, it is about taxing and controlling (and spying on) GNU/Linux by making Microsoft its seller. It is also about running GNU/Linux merely as a guest on Windows hosts, using proprietary software of course. So much for friendship with Linux… █
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