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08.26.15

Microsoft-connected Mesosphere Threatens to Eliminate Free Software in the Datacentre

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 8:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Data Center Operating System (DCOS) is a proprietary trap

“I’d be glad to help tilt lotus into into the death spiral. I could do it Friday afternoon but not Saturday. I could do it pretty much any time the following week.”

Brad Silverberg, Microsoft

Summary: Hiding behind a misleading ‘open’ label while actually backed by Microsoft (and based on new rumours may join Microsoft), Mesosphere wishes to eradicate Free and back doors-free software in large datacentres hosting a lot of physical and virtual servers

WE have patiently been watching with great concern a company called Mesosphere. We have been watching it for quite some time, but have not yet properly covered it in Techrights (except incidentally). I personally complained about it many times in social media sites, not just because it’s backed by Silverberg (some Microsoft-centric publications call him “Mr. Windows” these days) but because it’s basically proprietary yet pretends to be ‘open’. It’s a big deception. Mesosphere is a parasite that has been often (and mostly) promoted by friends of Microsoft over the past year. Mesosphere is one of those companies that only people bribed by Microsoft (like Om Malik and his increasingly-defunct ‘news’ network) would actually openwash, excepting perhaps some gullible journalists who truly believe that there is genuine openness at Mesosphere or merely repeat what others are writing (the corrupting effect of manufactured hype).

Thankfully, Mesosphere is now showing its true colours, so we need not merely speculate or accuse Mesosphere with relatively weak evidence. Mesosphere has nothing to do with FOSS, except the fact that it wants to replace it with its own proprietary operating system. It can be viewed as a Microsoft Trojan horse with Microsoft veterans backing it — the same sorts of people who would distribute “Microsoft loves Linux” buttons (spreading a Big Lie) to help themselves devour the GNU/Linux market.

“Avoid Mesosphere, Mesos, and the Data Center Operating System (DCOS). Treat them as a creation of Microsoft, emanated silently to entrap the competition.”A Microsoft propaganda site (and by extension a network) recently showed Microsoft’s anti-Linux plan of entryism [1, 2], trying to make GNU/Linux just subservient to Windows, essentially demoting it. Other Microsoft propaganda sites did the same thing at the same time. Then we saw rumours that Microsoft was essentially ‘buying’ its own moles, just as it had done with Xamarin (now bankrolled by Microsoft veterans). All one has to do now is watch headlines from the financial press, for instance:

There are many more like the above, but we omit them for the sake of brevity.

I personally feel somewhat vindicated, having repeatedly accused Mesosphere of serving Microsoft’s agenda. I said the same about Mono about a decade ago, well before it officially became a sort of Microsoft adjunct in the form of Xamarin. These are more like moles. They serve as Microsoft’s bridge into the heart of the competition.

Mesosphere ought to be treated as a Trojan horse or a proprietary software company with Microsoft roots (intending to replace GNU/Linux at datacentres). It shows true colours with articles such as “Why Microsoft Could Reportedly Want To Buy Cloud Startup Mesosphere Even At $1 Billion”.

Watch what Microsoft boosters are writing right now [1, 2, 3]. Headlines such as “Windows Server Getting Open Source Mesos Container Technology for Scaled Operations” or “Mesosphere And Microsoft Bring Mesos To Windows Server” speak volumes.

Microsoft’s many attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software can only be as effective as GNU/Linux users can be dumb, gullible, defeatist, or lenient. Scott M. Fulton III, a Microsoft expert, wrote the other day that:

Developers outside of Microsoft will be able to experiment for the first time with new classes of applications that run partly on Windows, partly on Linux.

As one response to this framed the key message: “It’s hard to imagine anyone actually wanting to build an application that is part-Linux, part-Windows. Or, to go one step further, to intentionally engineer a server-based program that straddles two very, very different flavors of operating system.

“Why on Earth would anyone build or use an application that needs two operating systems to function?”

Why would anyone need a platform from Mesosphere to manage GNU/Linux? It’s not even Free software, so back doors are to be expected (voluntary or not), compromising the security of everything down the hierarchy/stack.

Avoid Mesosphere, Mesos, and the Data Center Operating System (DCOS). Treat them as a creation of Microsoft, emanated silently to entrap the competition. Time will tell what Mesosphere really is and where it’s heading.

Microsoft Aggression Against GNU/Linux Amid Vista 10′s Failure

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

McCarthyism

Summary: A look at the recent assault on GNU/Linux in Munich and the likely cause for this assault (in such a timely fashion, too)

Over the past couple of days we have been writing about what Microsoft does in Munich, basically trying to stereotype/stigmatise this city’s GNU/Linux migration (also on the desktops) as a failure, doing so repeatedly, each time just quoting a person or two at most. There is now a good article on the subject, noting: “This “story” surfaces every several months and, for some reason I always fail to fathom, everybody starts parroting it. It goes thus: Munich is sick and tired of how inadequate Linux is for everyday use and is ready to ditch years of work and millions of euros to return to Windows.

“As usual, the facts say something different: all that has happened this time around is that two (count ’em: 2) councillors have sent a letter to the mayor requesting that some new devices that have had Limux (Munich’s tailored Linux flavour) installed on them, be equipped with Windows because the Linux distro comes with “no programs (text editing programs, Skype, Office, etc.)” that the councilors can use.”

This “story” has once again been amplified by Microsoft propaganda sites and then some blogs, perpetuating old myths and factual inaccuracies (some more gross than others). Microsoft AstroTurfing is quite possible here. As one person, Michael Matthew, put it this morning, “Microsoft Germany has their own dedicated team to wrest Munich away from Linux” (and Free software at large).

“They are trying to scare those who wish to move governments to GNU/Linux, especially in light of Vista 10′s serious failings.”It is not hard to see why Microsoft is nervous about Munich. The city’s success story with GNU/Linux can lead to the spread of a new trend, so McCarthyism (like witch-hunt against Communism) is what Microsoft now resorts to. Vista 10′s overt privacy violations combined or conjoined with NSA leaks that show Microsoft collusion in espionage can potentially destroy the Windows monopoly everywhere in the world, including parts of the US. There are “Lots of Reasons to Avoid Windows 10″, as the Goodbye Microsoft Web site put it earlier today, and “Meanwhile, Linux is getting easier to install and more capable every year. And it doesn’t snoop. Some applications issue crash reports that ask me if I want to send them to the developers; “no” is always presented as an option.”

Ken Starks, in the mean time, says it’s time to target (and boycott) Lenovo for spyware that it adds to Windows. Lenovo merely piggybacks Microsoft when it comes to surveillance, so it would make sense to target everything that runs Windows, not just Lenovo. It’s a tool of espionage. It is also not secure (by design), so even Five Eyes oughtn’t use it in governments. It’s a bait or a trap.

Microsoft is understandably nervous right now because Vista 10 is failing in a very big way, as we last showed last night.

The large army of Microsoft boosters at IDG (some are existing Microsoft employees, not just former ones) continues to belittle Vista 10 issues. Remember that IDG receives a lot of money from Microsoft in order to promote Vista 10 (advertisements in IDG sites), so IDG appointing many Microsoft people as “writers” simply makes business sense. Preston Gralla is the latest among the boosters of Vista 10, doing his usual Microsoft propaganda (he has been doing this for over a decade) which iophk calls “spin and lies” because it’s hardly hinged on facts at all. It’s jaw-dropping drivel which might only fool the most gullible among readers.

Having already made a beautiful Spanish word, “Vista”, get a bad connotation (Like Isis), Microsoft now does the same thing to a special decimal number, “10″. Attacking Munich’s story of successful migration to GNU/Linux is a priority at the moment. They are trying to scare those who wish to move governments to GNU/Linux, especially in light of Vista 10′s serious failings. In many countries and in many occupations the EULA of Vista 10 is not even compatible with the law.

08.25.15

Message to LinuxCon Regarding Microsoft: “It is Necessary to Get Behind Someone in Order to Stab Them in the Back.” -Sir Humphrey Appleby

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”

Microsoft's chief evangelist

Summary: Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, helps Microsoft gain influence in the Foundation after payments are received

SEVERAL days ago LinuxCon ended. It was probably the biggest Linux-centric conference not only in the US but in the whole world. Microsoft, as usual, infiltrated and “injected Microsoft content into the conference,” to use the company’s own words. There’s a reason for this.

“This once again shows us an inherent weakness in the operations of the Linux Foundation. Microsoft moles or provocateurs managed to get in and change the agenda after they had paid.”We give some credit to Sean Kerner for writing about this as almost nobody else did. The first article from Kerner reminded us that the Linux Foundation is selling out again. It lets an anti-Linux company speak at Linuxcon because this company paid the Linux Foundation. Would the Linux Foundation also let SCO give some talks if SCO paid (hypothetical question as SCO is a defunct company now)? Remember that Intel (key funder of the Linux Foundation and OSDL before it) helped fund a SCO conference.

Kerner wrote repeatedly about this, noting that “Microsoft was a sponsor of the event and also had a booth in the vendor area [...] When Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, held up a Microsoft Tux penguin during a keynote session on Aug. 18, he was actually heckled.”

It is reported that these 'Microsoft loves Linux' buttons (see below) emerged at this event at well.

People who paid a lot of money to attend this event are reportedly upset, to use an understatement. And rightly so. See the quote at the top again. Microsoft succeeds at discrediting the event. Microsoft sure delivered its entryism first thing in the morning as “LinuxCon [was] infiltrated by Microsoft,” to quote one of our readers who sent us mail about it, as several other have done since then (many are furious as the Linux Foundation serves to legitimise Microsoft, in exchange for generous, self-serving payments).

This once again shows us an inherent weakness in the operations of the Linux Foundation. Microsoft moles or provocateurs managed to get in and change the agenda after they had paid. Microsoft entryism needs to be recognised as a potent threat and tackled accordingly. Such entryism and marketing not only reduces the popularity of GNU/Linux but also removes freedom because anything that Microsoft does around Linux merely promotes proprietary software like Hyper-V, Windows, and so on.

A third and final such article from Sean Kerner (not that it’s an issue, as he clearly helped raise awareness of what Microsoft had sneakily done again) got titled “LinuxCon Highlights: From Linus Torvalds to Microsoft”, demonstrating quite well that Microsoft interjected itself into the competition and it worked; it served to distract almost everybody and that’s how people may remember this event.

For those who believe that Microsoft actually likes GNU/Linux, recall the 6-part series below and see what Microsoft is distributing in FOSS conferences as though it is trying to deliberately provoke and upset attendees.

Microsoft loves Linux
Photo credit: Neil McAllister

Market Share Estimates Confirm That Vista 10 Failed in a Major Way

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 3:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Manchester park

Summary: Confirmatory evidence that Vista 10 is failing in the market about a month after its much-hyped (paid coverage) release

MUCH as we expected even well before Vista 10 came out, the market is overwhelmingly apathetic, regardless of the price. It’s just not interested in Vista 10.

“Microsoft has been on a tear with Windows 10 updates,” Ryan wrote in our #techrights IRC channel (he used to be a Microsoft MVP and he follows Microsoft very closely). “It hasn’t even been a month and they’ve apparently already patched so many bugs it’s like an entire service pack has happened.”

“Vista 10 adoption is pathetic, especially when one considers the cost of an ‘upgrade’.”Vista 10 is clearly a failure (technically speaking and also in terms of sales), so Microsoft now wants to attract GNU/Linux users into its arms (to suffocate them with lock-in). It has gotten so bad that Microsoft (through Yahoo) is entering old versions of Ubuntu for surveillance purposes. If Canonical is pressured by Mozilla to make Firefox link to Microsoft (through Yahoo as a proxy/middleman), then users should move to IceWeasel or IceCat, if not drop Ubuntu altogether. There have also been several articles recently about how Microsoft was trying to sneak its surveillance and propaganda engine into Android.

At IDG, a Microsoft booster (strong professional ties to Microsoft) comes out with “False dichotomy,” to quote iopkh. “The real answer is move to GNU/Linux.”

“One common concern right now is privacy, not just the heap of serious bugs.”Vista 10 adoption is pathetic, especially when one considers the cost of an ‘upgrade’. This week it’s said that “Windows 10 now has 5.95 per cent of the desktop operating systems market, according to the folks at StatCounter.”

That’s hardly a gain since a week ago. “Windows 10′s growth has slowed, according to StatCounter Global Stats,” which means that it will possibly plateau at around 10%, despite so many people being ‘eligible’ for a ‘free’ ‘upgrade’.

One common concern right now is privacy, not just the heap of serious bugs. One has to wonder if Microsoft’s secret (proprietary) code in Vista 10 implements any callback functions for option buttons that relate to privacy. It is worth pursuing these questions. Did Microsoft add privacy ‘controls’ for a false sense of control or is this a bug? Is this just being disguised as a bug but is actually intentional? A lot of people were surprised that Microsoft does not obey privacy preferences from users; maybe they forgot it’s a company of cheaters and liars, not to mention bribes. Watch what Microsoft is still up to in Munich.

Letter Signed by Two German Officials Becomes a Microsoft Weapon of Propaganda

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 2:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft and its minions refuse to leave Munich alone, even though the vast majority in Munich are perfectly happy with Free/libre software

A story that we covered here on Monday has received quite some attention, far more than we anticipated. It’s basically about a letter composed by two technically-incompetent people, which means it’s full of factual errors and serves more as Microsoft endorsement and scare tactics against GNU/Linux, ODF, and Free software. It’s about Munich, where two officials got a lot more press than they deserved (even in English-speaking media [1, 2, 3]). As one article put it, “proprietary software companies are known for their public affairs (lobby) large budgets.” The article recalls “90 percent discount from then Microsoft CEO Steve ‘I’ve had the time of my life’ Ballmer to keep Windows” (a form of bribery in a sense).

“The article recalls “90 percent discount from then Microsoft CEO Steve ‘I’ve had the time of my life’ Ballmer to keep Windows” (a form of bribery in a sense).”Continuing the trend and the line which we went along the other day, in this article from the Monday Glyn Moody said that Russian “Members of parliament [are] worried about personal and classified data being sent to the US.”

The British media covered this as well, saying that “Russian lawyers have filed a complaint calling for an outright ban – or at least tight restrictions – over the sale of Windows 10 in Russia.”

Well, they’re right and Munich would be ever so dumb to abandon software Freedom, having already paid a lot to escape the lock-in/exit barrier, whereupon it chooses to be spied on by a hostile country which targets Germany (political espionage). Moving to Windows would mean Vista 10 or later (our contacts at Microsoft says that future version will have even more spying).

Munich is going to stay with Free software, as before, but the Microsoft camp keeps trying to maintain the mythology of failure there. The negative press gives many officials the wrong impressions and scares them, discouraging any other nation-wide moves to GNU/Linux. That’s what it’s all about.

08.24.15

Microsoft Windows Leads to Espionage and Blackmail: Latest Examples

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 6:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”

Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive

Summary: Another news overview, detailing high-profile examples of high-cost Windows deployments (including the cost of litigation and settlement)

THE “IRS hack [is] far larger than first thought,” according to this new report. It’s no secret that the IRS is a Microsoft Windows shop (which was warned about security breaches as far back as 6 years ago), so it makes one wonder if Windows was to blame here, as in the OPM breach, the Sony breach, and most recently the Ashley Madison breach (not to mention Stuxnet in Iran). Based on our information, all these high-profile breaches one way or another involve Microsoft reliance. The corporate media failed to call out Windows, but a little bit of research often helps boil it down to Microsoft’s NSA-accessible (through back doors) platforms.

“The parent company can now be sued into bankruptcy. It’s the (hidden) high cost of Windows.”Below is a new story which shows how Argentina targets [1] a large number of dissidents for surveillance using a fake “confidential document [that] was intended to infect a Windows computer.” GNU/Linux users needn’t worry about such things. Then of course there is the latest high-profile breach, the one affecting tens of millions of members of Ashley Madison (including almost ten thousand members of the military, including high-ranked ones), some of whom are suing [2] (what’s the price of a failed marriage or blackmail?). The parent company can now be sued into bankruptcy. It’s the (hidden) high cost of Windows. According to [3], “Security Was An Afterthought” at Ashley Madison. Well, that’s quite evident. Ashley Madison is hardly even hiding it (DMCA rampage is not a substitute) and it has been made ever more obvious by the fact that they were using Microsoft Windows.

Microsoft and security are mutually exclusive, unlike Microsoft and insecurity. No secure application can be mounted on top of a base with back doors. It ought to be crystal clear after Snowden’s many revelations.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Inside the Spyware Campaign Against Argentine Troublemakers

    Alberto Nisman, the Argentine prosecutor known for doggedly investigating a 1994 Buenos Aires bombing, was targeted by invasive spy software downloaded onto his cellular phone shortly before his mysterious death. The software masqueraded as a confidential document and was intended to infect a Windows computer.

  2. Canadians are suing Ashley Madison because a lack of prophylactic protection

    A BRACE OF LAW FIRMS ARE BEHIND A class action lawsuit against Ashley Madison because it did not do enough to protect personal and private information.

    The class action case, from two Canadian law firms, argues that the hookup stations failed users by not protecting their information and for not deleting it after a fee had been paid to ensure its deletion. It seeks $578m.

    According to the New York Post the lawyers want some satisfaction for a cluster of punters who are currently wearing outraged expressions and regretting joining a site that does what it does in the way that it does it.

  3. ‘Security Was An Afterthought,’ Hacked Ashley Madison Emails Show

    It’s already clear that, despite handling very sensitive data, Ashley Madison did not have the best security. Hackers managed to obtain everything from source code to customer data to internal documents, and the attackers behind the breach, who call themselves the Impact Team, made a mockery of the company’s defenses in an interview.

08.20.15

Vista 10 Turns PCs Into Zombies: Microsoft to Remotely Delete Software From Windows, Like Amazon Deleted Books From Kindle

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 7:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Without consent, with no warnings whatsoever, without any exceptions

Alleyway in Manchester

Summary: Microsoft allows itself to remotely delete software from Vista 10 (not just Microsoft’s software), as revealed by the mainstream media not too long after the failed launch (poor adoption so far)

TECHRIGHTS is a lot more worried about the precedences set by Vista 10 than about Vista 10 itself, in part because it has been an epic failure so far, despite it being a supposedly ‘free’ upgrade (converting one’s PC into Microsoft’s property). Vista 10 proves people like Richard Stallman correct. It combines everything that can possibly go wrong with proprietary software, intentionally, to serve the proprietor’s sick agenda. Complicity with the state makes it far worse, especially given rogue elements such as espionage (political, not just industrial/competitive).

Based on this article, Microsoft is not even hiding universal back doors in Windows and it reminds users that they just rent their PC if they install Vista 10. To quote the Indian Express, “Microsoft can disable any counterfeit software or hardware running Windows 10, at least this is what is being interpreted based on the updated End User License Agreement (EULA). The new terms and conditions allow Microsoft to change or update software on your computer and changes to the EULA were first spotted by PC Authority.”

That’s rather unprecedented, unless one considers how Amazon deals with Kindle. Ryan, a former Microsoft MVP, told us that “Microsoft can apparently reach in and disable software that they think is pirated. Not just theirs.” Remember that Microsoft also denies the option not to have Windows ‘updated’, i.e. modified remotely. Microsoft is now neglecting to even say what it is changing and why. To quote this new report from the British media:

Windows 10 is keeping its new owners busy, as Microsoft has released the second “cumulative update” for the operating system in three days.

The update dated August 11th was billed as a “security update for Windows 10” and promised “improvements to improve the functionality of Windows 10” plus resolution for half a dozen bugs.

The August 14th update is described as replacing the August 11th update, but with what or why isn’t explained. All that Microsoft will say is that the new download “includes improvements to enhance the functionality of Windows 10.”

Why might a three-day old update need a replacement? Microsoft’s patching process hasn’t gone well, of late, with multiple patches causing unintended consequences necessitating further patches.

But wait, it’s much worse and it’s going to get even worse next year.

“Vista 10 proves people like Richard Stallman correct.”Under the pretext of “emergency”, forced updates now become more than a weekly thing. “There’s mega patch #4,” wrote Ryan. “My system says Cumulative Update for Windows 10 for x64-based Systems. (KB3081444)

“It looks like they copied Compressed RAM from Linux.” Ryan quotes this article which says: “In Windows 10, we have added a new concept in the Memory Manager called a compression store, which is an in-memory collection of compressed pages. This means that when Memory Manager feels memory pressure, it will compress unused pages instead of writing them to disk. This reduces the amount of memory used per process, allowing Windows 10 to maintain more applications in physical memory at a time. This also helps provide better responsiveness across Windows 10.”

So it’s not even a security update, it’s just a ripoff of Linux, and Microsoft forces people to accept it. “That’s in build 10525,” Ryan wrote. “Not much news about this latest mega patch though. They don’t list what’s in them anymore, so why bother covering them?”

For all one knows, there can be ,pre back doors in there.

“The only thing Microsoft will tell you is that it patches a Critical security hole in IE 11,” Ryan added, “but it goes much further. It’s on Reddit.”

So basically, once again we are reminded that installing Vista 10 is becoming part of a Microsoft botnet (the network too, by extension), commandeered by people who modify and delete binaries without the option to opt out and without even explaining what is done (toggling off surveillance antifeatures has no effect, either). What kind of person would install such a thing? It’s a surveillance monster, remotely controlled by Microsoft and its spy buddies. There is already a free (and freedom-respecting) upgrade and it’s called GNU/Linux.

Black Duck Still Destroying, Lying, Rewriting History

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft at 7:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Manchester crane

Summary: Black Duck is still carrying water for Microsoft and pretends to be working for ‘Open Source’, despite doing it much harm and doing nothing that is actually Open Source

AN ARTICLE titled “The channel’s role in improving open source security” cites a FUD ‘study’ from Black Duck, the firm which, by its very own admission (high level), was created to spread FUD against GPL and discourage its use/adoption.

“Don’t forget that Ohloh, just like Black Duck, was created by people from Microsoft. “The day beforehand we saw gross revisionism that said the firm “set up in 2002 not as an anti-malware tool or a security outfit, but as a ‘curator’” (that’s a lie). All that Black Duck has become is a parasite and a back stabber, wielding software patents and proprietary software.

Another thing that Black Duck turns out to have killed, based on this new post, is Open HUB. It’s said to be “dead” now, maybe because it doesn’t serve the agenda of Black Duck anymore. To quote:

Some may recall it as Ohloh, then it was taken over by Black Duck Software and now runs under the name of Open HUB, the open source network to “Discover, Track and Compare Open Source”. What a laugh. Since Black Duck took over things continuously have gotten worse, spinning repository updates became infrequent, and now OpenHUB simply can’t catch up with all projects, their engine for months was months behind with updating source code, and now completely fails on big repositories.

Don’t forget that Ohloh, just like Black Duck, was created by people from Microsoft. They both should be treated as such.

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