Important Issues Not Entertained in the Community, Especially Critics of the Status Quo

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Google, Novell at 12:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Can we discuss rejecting monopolists’ money?

Biden-Trump call: Don't worry, I won't reintroduce tax for rich people; Very well then; I will also carry on bombing lots of nations

Summary: There’s corporate infiltration inside communities (for oligarchy hunts volunteer, unpaid labour) and those who speak about that as a threat to our cause and objectives are painted as misguided outcasts who must be ignored

THE political analogies we’ve recently used or borrowed aren’t “off-topic” because they can certainly help demonstrate inherent similarities. The way to tackle such issues may also be similar. For instance, in American politics the concept of ending the corporate empire (imperialism for profit, at taxpayers’ expense) is almost never entertained by corporate media, owned by those standing to gain from passage of wealth from the general public (growing national debt) into the offshore bank accounts of oligarchs. Wall Street regulation is also restricted — the permissible “spectrum of debate” sense at least — to something rather petty.

“Military-grade corporate propaganda (from companies that literally serve the military in exchange for billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money) is something to keep abreast of and always bear in mind.”Departing from politics, let’s examine what we have in the Free software community. Some people are berated or painted as “Extremists”, “Zealots”, and “Radicals” (even capitalised) for insisting we ought not embrace any proprietary software. Someone tried this on me a couple of days ago after I had responded to Fedora's use of Adobe stuff (proprietary, obviously). This agenda is often shoehorned using the “moderate” and “sensible” and “reasonable” and “in the real world” Open Source pseudo ‘community’ (corporations disguised as a grassroots effort). Think of Microsoft, Google, IBM…

What exactly are the taboo subjects or impermissible positions in the Free software world (under siege from “Open Source”)? Well, an obvious one is rejection of payments (bribes, so-called ‘patronships’, usually “sponsorships”) from proprietary software companies. Mr. Pocock has just mentioned something to that effect (in relation to Google and Debian, FSFE etc.) and we can think of many other examples, including FOSDEM (coming soon). That money always comes with strings attached to it, whether those strings are visible or not (they can lead to subconscious self-censorship for instance).

Google, for example, paid a lot of money to the FSF and the FSFE. Not because Google supports Freedom Software and not because its agenda is to liberate users; its principal agenda is to spy and then oppress users. For evidence of this look no further than what Google will do to Chromium this coming March. Don’t let some “Summer of Code” or "Outreachy" PR stunt blind the community (it’s leverage for censorship of Google’s critics). “Regarding Google and the FSF,” Ryan told us moments ago, “Google buys your credit card purchase data from Visa, Mastercard, and Discover, and uses it to figure out how to target ads to you. To say nothing about their cooperation with the NSA…”

Ryan asked: “Is this the sort of company that the FSF should want to associate with?”

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris: Two genders mean we represent everyone, especially the rich peopleRemember that in the early days of this site, way back in 2006, in an act of self-defence we called for a complete boycott of Novell, a proprietary software company that sought software patents (eventually handed over to a Microsoft consortium). Of course we received some scorn for it, mostly from SUSE and Novell insiders, who sought to persuade people outside the company itself that I was some horrible person who must be ignored and shunned. Several people even set up entire sites just to mock us and call for a boycott of our site. What was that all for? Well, we sought to tackle the risk of the Novell/Microsoft patent collusion, designed unequivocally to facilitate a patent war on GNU/Linux at large. Ryan reminds us that “around 2006, Microsoft was openly seeding patents to troll firms and tried to put OpenGL under attack. That was thwarted by someone buying them at auction and giving them to OIN.”

“It’s impossible to build a general-purpose OS that doesn’t contain some sort of advanced graphics API like OpenGL (or the newer Vulkan), and that was the point. Every “Linux” company needed to ship OpenGL or they would lose compatibility with everything from CAD and advanced graphics rendering software to video games, and even hardware-accelerated compositing window managers. The entire OS would effectively be ruined.”

That’s Microsoft. Not too long ago. It is still doing this (2019 example).

This ludicrous notion that when one speaks out against a large corporation he or she is “toxic” is obviously entertained by the “Open Source” camp, itself besieged if not directly managed by those corporations. Novell, by the way, ‘only’ had about 10,000 employees at the time. Some of them ‘camped’ in sites such as Reddit trying to bury links to my articles, in effect starving the work of any traffic/visibility.

Way, way back… or long before we even had this concept of “Cancel Culture” and before “social control media” was even a thing (“social media” and “social networks” were coined and popularised later) people tried hard to malign and slur me, making false claims about me cutting off my genitals, being beaten up by police, and all sorts of other baseless nonsense. There was a large and coordinated attempt to induce shame, guilt, and drive us all off the Web. I’ve lost track of the number of attacks and methods used. Recently we learned that people responsible for the coup inside the FSF (and GNU, where many IBM employees still do this) falsely claimed that we spread “conspiracy theories” and other junk. They told this to Richard Stallman himself in an effort to incite him against us and prevent him from speaking to me. Ever so classy, right?

This post wasn’t supposed to be so personal, but it ended up shedding light on 15 years of a “Cancel Culture”; whether we’re aware of it or not, it is a real problem. Since well before “Cancel Culture” was a ‘thing’ (as a concept and term) the “Open Source” people did exactly what corporations paid (or “sponsored”) them to do. As Stallman put it 20 years ago, those people “treated [him] like shit” and they still do. “Stallman mentioned that it’s dangerous to depend on things that you can’t design around (in a post about MP3 20 years ago),” Ryan recalls, “but often by the time you need support for those things, they’re already widely adopted, and it becomes a catch-22. I used to be terribly aggravated by PDFs because, before open source form-filling became possible, I’d have to treat them as static documents, print them out, and then fill out everything by hand. My handwriting is slow, awful, and frequently I would screw something up and have to print it out and start over.”

Biden-Trump Town Halls: Corporate left; Corporate rightMilitary-grade corporate propaganda (from companies that literally serve the military in exchange for billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money) is something to keep abreast of and always bear in mind. People who support software freedom, just like pro-equality (in the financial sense, not gender or ethnic identity politics) and antiwar politicians, will perpetually be painted as “anti-corporate” “Communists” (or even worse labels, such as “terror sympathisers” or “traitors”). If we’re prepared for such propaganda, we’ll be more resistant to deception and incitation efforts.


GitHub’s Nat Friedman Defended Proprietary Software at Novell, So Why Not at Microsoft?

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Novell at 6:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“So there’s no one point that Microsoft can attack…” except GitHub (centralisation and lock-in followed by absorption)

Summary: GitHub’s modus operandi explained by Nat Friedman one and a half decades ago; Microsoft’s occupation (in the siege sense) against Free software has come a long way since

THIS part of the interview from Novell’s Nat Friedman (now the chief saboteur of Microsoft at GitHub’s helm) says “there are some areas where proprietary software makes sense” (he names some things where Free software should be rejected, saying that back end stuff “seems like a good place for proprietary software”). Like GitHub?

“This is like straight out of the Halloween Documents or the playbook we keep seeing in Bill Gates deposition tapes.”He keeps referring to Free software as “commodity” (or ‘free’ stuff to build proprietary systems with) and this is the sort of guiding vision of Microsoft at GitHub. They try to capture and control all the ‘free’ stuff (gratis) while GitHub itself remains proprietary software and almost everything at Microsoft is still proprietary software (even the browser, but it uses ‘free’ stuff like the rendering engine). This is antithetical to the objectives of Free software. It’s reduced to one-way (not reciprocal) exploitation, which is why Microsoft discourages copyleft licences such as the GPL.

Over a decade ago we kept condemning Novell for pushing lots of proprietary systems while pretending that Novell was “open source” and we still see the same thing at Microsoft. It’s just blatant openwashing. Was this what the Open Source ‘movement’ (an attack on the actual movement, Free software) destined to achieve? Is this what Open Source was all about all along? At the time of this interview he was still aggressively pushing Microsoft stuff like Mono and later Moonlight (proprietary blobs for Web browsers, akin to DRM/EME).

Tow away - no parking signThese people are not allies of Free software but of Microsoft. Friedman had worked for Microsoft before this interview and Miguel de Icaza also attempted to work for Microsoft around the time he began pushing GNOME. They both work directly for Microsoft now, receiving massive salaries to help Microsoft absorb the competition. This is like straight out of the Halloween Documents or the playbook we keep seeing in Bill Gates deposition tapes. Those are the holy warriors who fight Bill's "Jihad" for him.

Gates started Microsoft by stealing other people’s work. That’s what Microsoft still does.


Exploring the Relationship Between Red Hat and Microsoft: They’re Barely Even Rivals Anymore

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat at 12:13 am by Guest Editorial Team

We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger. ~Jim Allchin, Microsoft's Platform Group Vice President

Summary: The ‘older Microsoft’ (serial monopolist IBM) bought Red Hat, but evidence shows that one would be wrong to assume Red Hat really competes against Microsoft (any more than Novell did; there’s a strong relationship)

IT may seem painful to say this, but Red Hat does not quite act as a flag bearer to many GNU/Linux users these days. To many of us, with few exceptions, replacing Windows is the goal. Red Hat seems to be more interested in some kind of hegemony. It boils down to money, not principles.

“It boils down to money, not principles.”IBM never truly cared about replacing Windows since the OS/2 days; it’s just not in the market anymore. And for those who believe that Red Hat can be seen as a case apart, bear in mind they’re becoming inseparable quite rapidly. The most recent insider comment from TheLayoff Web site (spotted yesterday):

Screenshot: Red Hat theLayoff

One need not even look far back to see the strength of the relationship, which probably strengthened even further under IBM.

Nadella and Red Hat
Microsoft withdrew due to antitrust fears

In the clip below (2019), notice the gestures upon the entrance of Nadella (body language).

Red Hat Microsoft handshake

Shades of Novell and Hovsepian/Ballmer, right?

Red Hat Microsoft handshake closer

Then the handshakes and the sit-down with “Microsoft” on top of Jim’s head. Did they get the labels the wrong way around?

Red Hat Microsoft labels

Stay classy, Jim from Microsoft.

Here’s the full clip (locally stored):

We’ve been there before, sort of…

It’s about proprietary software. Where does Red Hat go?


People Who Truly Love GNU/Linux Don’t Brush Setbacks and Problems Under the Carpet

Posted in Boycott Novell, Debian, Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 12:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘Happy stories’ are for PR (fantasy) departments

#DeleteGithub instead

Summary: We need to talk about threats to Free software and constantly remind ourselves of the attacks on software freedom (otherwise we cannot confront the attackers)

FREE SOFTWARE is not about price; it’s more about justice or addressing injustices (that needn’t have happened in the first place — but happened anyway). We don’t need to emulate what we’re trying to replace. We don’t want PR (lies) departments to sweep issues and legitimate concerns under a rug. Here in this site we started with a boycott of Novell and lots of protests against software patents, including software patents in Europe (still being illegally granted by the Campinos- and Battistelli-led EPO). We’ve never just relayed mindless PR, not even for so-called ‘Linux’ companies. We just don’t do that. We want truth, not marketing. When the USPTO grants millions of patents that patent trolls then use to bully programmers we speak out, uncensored. That’s just what we do.

At the moment it may seem easy to accuse us of being ‘against’ Debian even though it’s what everyone here uses and many in the Debian community are rightly concerned about secrecy at the top. There’s a two-tiered (class-like) system where some people exploit worker bees (known as DDs) and some of these people never even wrote a single line of code. People join Debian in order to replace a corporate culture. They’re volunteers. They want to know what happens around them and it’s important to understand who exploits the free labour.

“5 years of “Microsoft loves Linux” lies are going down the PR drain (lost budget, trying in vain to mislead the general public) and we see more projects moving to self-host their SCM, e.g. GitLab.”So again, like we said at the start (and the title), by no means conflate criticism of something with disdain of the whole. When we called for a boycott of Novell we sought to save GNU/Linux from a collective and widespread patent attack by Steve Ballmer/Horacio Gutierrez/Microsoft. It mostly worked. Years later Novell went the way of the dodo and it was rendered a pile of patents (mostly expired by now). GNU/Linux is still around and it is doing very well. On Web servers, for instance, Microsoft was reduced to just 4% of the market. In supercomputers and phones? Microsoft is at around 0%. It’s being ‘slaughtered’, so now it’s trying to steal ‘Linux’ using bribery and vendor capture. We must respond to that. Seeing that Debian now rejects Microsoft money (or Microsoft no longer bothers bribing Debian), we have reasons for hope. 5 years of “Microsoft loves Linux” lies are going down the PR drain (lost budget, trying in vain to mislead the general public) and we see more projects moving to self-host their SCM, e.g. GitLab. Nowadays version control is done by a more extensive suite of tools with advanced features, which include bug tracking.

Don’t be afraid to become critical of what’s happening. The worst thing we can do is stay silent, allowing Microsoft (and media it corrupts to serve as loudspeakers) to change the narrative to promote ruinous falsehoods.


SUSE is Still Pushing Microsoft Proprietary Software and Bragging About the Novell Patent Collusion With Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE at 12:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

SUSE and Microsoft

Summary: SUSE seems to have learned no lessons after the aftermath of its (or Novell’s) Microsoft patent scam, which had been negotiated partly by Miguel de Icaza (now working directly for Microsoft) before causing Novell to collapse and offload its patents to Microsoft (‘TikTok operandi’ or asset stripping); the past cannot be left behind if SUSE — like Novell — celebrates and perpetuates that past

THE demise of Novell did not mean the demise of the relationship with Microsoft. SUSE still works closely with Microsoft and it constantly promotes SAP's proprietary software (twice so far this week).

In a lot of ways, we’re left with no choice but to assume that the deal prevails to this date, making SUSE somewhat of a ‘favourite kid’ of Microsoft.

“Putting “Microsoft loves Linux” banners in this blog post from SUSE isn’t helping…”Yesterday we saw Carolina Pereira (SUSE) promoting Microsoft’s proprietary software. “First date” was in the headline (there’s more to come) as if this is a love story. “As you may remember,” it says, “Microsoft has been supporting [sic] Linux for SQL Server since September 2017 in the spirit of giving customers more choices of platform and we were quick to jump on the “Microsoft LOVES Linux” wagon.”

Actually it doesn’t really support GNU/Linux. DrawBridge makes that less than a native (real) port. Putting “Microsoft loves Linux” banners in this blog post from SUSE isn’t helping, nor does this opening paragraph:

The relationship between SUSE and Microsoft is not so new. It is exciting to think that back in 2006 (almost 15 years ago!), both companies entered into a partner agreement to collaborate on interoperability, providing greater choice to customers in developing comprehensive environments. And today, it is amazing to see that SQL Server on Linux is only one of the many areas where we collaborate.

Let’s wait and see what “Part 2″ says…

SUSE isn’t helping itself; it won’t redeem its name if it acts like Novell’s management and celebrates a patent collusion which was an attack on the GPL and on GNU/Linux as a whole (an attack which failed by the way, partly because boycotts worked).

It’s hard to put behind the harm done to the “SUSE” brand, especially if the official blog of SUSE publishes stuff like the above. Only some hours ago Linux Magazine released this new interview about the “openSUSE/SUSE relationship” and Gerald Pfeifer (behind paywall) is said (by the author/interviewer) to believe it’s a “win-win for both the company and the project.”

Well, actually, the association with SUSE has long been somewhat of a liability, mostly because of the Novell relationship with Microsoft, which is perpetuated by the SAP and Microsoft cordiality of today. From the introduction:

It’s been a rough couple of years laced with uncertainty for the German-based SUSE and its flagship open source project, openSUSE. Linux Magazine talks to Dr. Gerald Pfeifer about where openSUSE is going and its relationship to SUSE.

OpenSUSE [1] was once one of the leading open source RPM-based distributions and one of the handful of distributions that operated under the auspices of a for-profit corporation. While SUSE had been marketing Linux for the enterprise since the ’90s, the openSUSE project began in 2005, a couple of years after the company’s acquisition by Novell. The last decade, however, has been very turbulent for SUSE, which has changed ownership several times.

At the Open Source Summit in Lyon, France, in 2019, I caught up with Dr. Gerald Pfeifer [2], who is the CTO at SUSE and chair of the openSUSE board. Despite the multiple changes of ownership and the resulting apprehensions from the community, Pfeifer assures that the openSUSE project continues unabated. Pfeifer has been actively involved in the open source community for several years, contributing to various open source projects, including GCC, Wine, and FreeBSD. In our conversation, he explains the current status of the openSUSE project and how its relationship with SUSE’s Enterprise offering is a win-win for both the company and the project.

At one point the project considered a name change (removing “SUSE” from it). At this moment, SUSE the company does a fine job tainting the brand even further, associating it with patent blackmail and “Microsoft loves Linux” (a lie designed to help Microsoft besiege and attack GNU/Linux!).


[Humour] Nat and Miguel Come to Daddy

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 4:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Context: The Story About Microsoft’s Plan for GitHub Says a Lot About the Motivations and the Lies Told to Us for Over Half a Decade

We tried Ximian, we tried Novell, we tried Xamarin, but they just won't swallow Mono. Alright then. I'll lie for 4 years about 'loving' Linux and then buy GitHub to hijack everything.

Summary: After many attempts to subvert GNU/Linux from the inside Nat and Miguel came to work directly for Microsoft; Nat now manages GitHub and Miguel is still publicly bashing Java and GNU/Linux


[Humour] SUSE is Becoming Novell Again

Posted in Microsoft, Novell at 8:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

LOTR - Side by Side with a Friend: Never thought I'd die Side by Side with SAP... How about you die Side by Side with Microsoft?

Summary: Based on this week’s news, SUSE is hardly independent and to make matters worse it is still helping Microsoft


Appeasing Critics of Critics of Criminal Behaviour Isn’t Possible and Should Not be a Goal (Objective Impossible)

Posted in Europe, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Red Hat at 9:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Some people’s salaries depend on rejecting uncomfortable facts


Summary: Abusers hope to cage and shackle people who speak about their abuses (not only whistleblowers but also publishers); failing that, they smear those people (ad hominem attacks) and dismiss the message/s based on distractions and innuendo

THE EPO series (if “series” is the right word; it has become more like a multi-volume book after 6 years of daily coverage) exposes more corruption that I can recall and keep abreast of. It’s effective enough that for almost 5 years the management of the EPO — both António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli — completely blocked Techrights (their staff cannot access the site even though their staff supports Techrights!).

“And here we are in 2020; companies we criticise, including IBM, resort to familiar tricks.”When this site started in 2006 it focused on Novell and on Microsoft after they had colluded to use software patents against GNU/Linux. And here we are in 2020; companies we criticise, including IBM, resort to familiar tricks. They want to muzzle not only us but also people who support, read or link to our work. How very grown-up… like a child singing “lalalala” with one finger in each ear.

“Motives are hard to prove,” an associate told me this morning. It was said in reference to the latest nonsense in Twitter, which was the last straw to me. “Thus they end up being mostly dismissed as speculation, despite circumstantial evidence especially when a income is based on spreading Microsoft lies. In that way many people would not be satisfied even with a signed and witnessed affidavit from the offending parties. Instead, stay focused on facts of what is possible and from that what is happening and linking them to documented offences.”

“They want to muzzle not only us but also people who support, read or link to our work.”Techrights has over 30,000 pages. Techrights also has very confidential material from inside companies and organisations. Some of that material we must keep close to our chest (for safety reasons) and some gets published, often in redacted form (for source protection).

But there’s another form of distraction from facts, as our associate explains. In his own words: “So, is all the yammering about “ethical” licensing, a) strawman distraction to neutralize discussion of Software Freedom? b) reductio ad absurdum to neutralize discussion of Software Freedom? c) some other distraction to neutralize discussion of Software Freedom?”

“Richard Stallman has been quiet as of late; as for Linus Torvalds, the media only cares about what PC he’s using, not his work.”We didn’t miss the irony of people using the “ethical” label to do something that strikes at the very core of Software Freedom (which was inherently ethical in the sense it encourages sharing and nondiscrimination). It actively seeks to limit (in a discriminating fashion) distribution and use of software. A person who promotes this nearly made it into the Board of the OSI, which we generally regard as a lost cause regardless (too much GAFAM in charge of it, except perhaps the two “A”, Apple and Amazon). It really shows not so infrequently.

Maybe one day we’ll look back and recall in a way we can’t quite grasp now when exactly “Open Source” went rogue, in what fashion, using which modus operandi and what was done — if anything at all — to salvage Software Freedom. Richard Stallman has been quiet as of late; as for Linus Torvalds, the media only cares about what PC he's using, not his work.

“…the latest method seems to be misusing and misapplying the “conspiracy theory” label.”Techrights has long been rather different; for many years, even prior to Techrights‘ existence, I’ve had a loathing for corporate crimes. To me, Novell and Microsoft’s collusion with patents was more than an injustice; it was like an ethical crime against all the developers whose work Novell leveraged to sell SLE*. Novell, with many software patents under its belt, decided to leverage a sort of monopoly by exclusion with threats. Rarely did I receive a “thank-you” for standing up against that, but it was the right thing to do. It needed to be done.

Red Hat (IBM) isn’t doing the same thing and I’d probably never call for a boycott against Red Hat (no reason to). The same is true for Canonical, which is just totally misguided (sometimes it promotes Windows instead of Ubuntu). What’s curious is the response one gets from their employees; the latest method seems to be misusing and misapplying the “conspiracy theory” label. By the time this thing they dismiss as “conspiracy theory” is proven to be a potent threat it’ll be too late to do something about it. And it was never “conspiracy theory” either way; it’s factual. There’s evidence to show it.

Techrights hopes that “conspiracy theory” isn’t the latest ploy or the broad brush with which to paint those who call out abusers. Because they would certainly distract from truly damaging (and false) conspiracy theories — like those which associate viruses with radio transmissions.

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