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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.

Anti-Trolls Aren’t Trolls and Were Never Trolls (It’s Entirely Reactionary)

Posted in Deception, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 4:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Moral objectivity does not matter when there’s money to be made from false characterisations

Some credit cards
They also told us Mr. Elop came to Nokia to ‘save’ it rather than liquidate it and hand over what’s left to Microsoft for a bonus (same as Novell and Yahoo!)

Summary: A disturbing pattern emerges wherein people who oppose bad behaviour (like monopolists doing illegal things) are themselves being framed as “unruly” and “rude”; this kind of reversal of narratives is not unique and it’s prevalent even outside the domain of technology; we know whose side the media takes because money typically comes from affluent advertisers, not universal objectivity

THE people who are said to “hate” Microsoft (strong words, implies emotion without logic) have a lot of legitimate grievances, many reasons to feel the way they feel. They’re rightly suspicious of Microsoft.

Likewise, people who dislike patent trolls (so-called “NPEs”) and former Microsoft employees who say for over a decade that "Linux sucks" (classic concern-trolling tactics) aren’t trolling or abusing those whom they merely defend themselves from. Don’t fall for the inventive/’invertive’ spin. It’s like white supremacists claiming that black people whom they want to hang from a tree are “racist” for distrusting whites like themselves whilst they’re inflaming the online debates (if not black churches; it’s no longer ‘fashionable’ to set these ablaze and arson is a crime, even if the state’s authorities are thoroughly racist).

“It’s like white supremacists claiming that black people whom they want to hang from a tree are “racist” for distrusting whites like themselves…”I’ve been noticing some of the push-back from the likes of IBM, not only Microsoft spinners. They want to make the ludicrous claim that their critics or sceptics are just some lousy ‘trolls’ — people whose facts-based argument and evidence-supported assessments are nothing but ‘spin’.

Remember the time when we called for a boycott of Novell (well, Novell has not really been around for a decade now)? Oh, how much of that nonsensical spin we got, trying to label us “trolls” for airing legitimate and factual arguments. Last year Novell’s last CEO also asked me to remove my articles simply because they were old, not because they were wrong. Need we add that this CEO originally came from IBM?

“Last year Novell’s last CEO also asked me to remove my articles simply because they were old, not because they were wrong. Need we add that this CEO originally came from IBM?”GNU/Linux is still under attack. Don’t be in denial about it because Microsoft says it “loves Linux” and IBM supports kernel coders (it also supports systemd coders, who code on Microsoft servers). Recently, while researching the ‘cancel culture’ aspects in particular, we saw several examples where systemd critics were conflated with something else altogether (totally irrelevant stuff too, including transphobia). We suppose that the ultimate goal is to stigmatise critics as losers with no credibility and no understanding of the technical issue, only “hatred” based on nothing of substance. Team UPC has used similar tactics to convince themselves that UPC critics don’t exist and don’t count. The European Patent Office (EPO) will never mention any issue whatsoever with the UPC. Nothing. To them, we suppose, UPC critics are just some “trolls” — people who don’t know better and look for a fight. Ironically of course it’s Team UPC that supports patent trolls, always looking for a fight, foaming at the mouth at the prospect of blackmailing people everywhere in the EU.

“People who oppose oppressive behaviour are not trolls. And if you treat them as such, watch out. This will only make more of them and they’ll get angrier.”The bottom line is very simple: be very fast to identity these patterns, which typically involves shaming if not dehumanising critics of some corporate agenda. They’re just “irrational” little “haters” who “misunderstand” the topic and “have an agenda”… “don’t listen to them,” they assure the media. “Look at us, we’re far richer and thus we’re more credible…”

“Don’t listen to these poor peasants, these trolls…”

It’s funny how many parallels exist or can be drawn between the litigation ‘industry’ and proprietary software giants like Microsoft and IBM (whose legal teams are massive and the basis for these companies’ very existence, e.g. shaking down OEMs to not stock the competition’s products, blackmailing companies using patents in bulk, ‘perfuming’ bribes, crafting user-hostile EULAs that neutralise litigation prospects when things go awry).

People who oppose oppressive behaviour are not trolls. And if you treat them as such, watch out. This will only make more of them and they’ll get angrier.


Examples of Forced Apologies (or Compelled Ones)

Posted in Debian, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell at 5:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When a refusal to apologise can have severe consequences or lost business

Novell apology

Debian apology

Torvalds apology

Microsoft apology

Summary: Apologies are nice; but they need to be sincere and not come out of sheer pressure (or threats, or blackmail from media)


Embrace, Embrace, and Run Over

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 4:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dumb punks
A Mark Zuckerberg reference

Satya Nadella, Novell, WSL

Summary: Microsoft’s ‘embrace’ of Novell (and of Nokia among many other examples) seems to have taught nobody in the media what those Microsoft ‘embraces’ always lead to

A COUPLE of hours ago we saw H2S Media publishing yet more of that WSL nonsense. That site keeps pushing WSL advocacy, serving over 30 MB (yes, MEGABYTES) per page… for just a few poorly-written paragraphs. Do they realise WSL is an attack on GNU/Linux? They probably know that. Just watch who's behind WSL. See the warnings and the advocates.

“They want to get closer, sure, in order to ‘move in’… for ‘the kill’.”There’s no practical reason to use WSL. Those who were fooled into it would vastly better off (much better experience) with something like VirtualBox running any GNU/Linux distro of one’s choice. We all know that, right? Better yet — either install VirtualBox under GNU/Linux (for Windows to run in it) or install WINE for Windows-only applications. WSL serves no purpose at all, just like Novell’s SUSE or decade or more in the past. Microsoft keeps setting up traps in which to drive us into extinction — or so they hope. Stop giving Microsoft this leverage; it doesn’t love GNU/Linux at all. These people love nothing but themselves and their cult. They want to get closer, sure, in order to 'move in'… for ‘the kill’.


The Linux Foundation’s Linux Kernel Code of Conduct (CoC) Committee is Now Officially Corporate

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell at 3:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Corporate crimes? OK. Personal Opinions? No.

Summary: The Linux kernel’s Code of Conduct Committee now includes Intel, so a company of multi-continental antitrust violations and endless criminality nowadays gets to decide who to banish from Linux and various events

Greg K-H sent out the following message a few weeks ago: “Side-note, yes, the website at https://www.kernel.org/code-of-conduct.html is not up to date with the list of the current members of the kernel code of conduct committee, nor does it contain this or the prior report yet. I’ll get that working soon…”

Greg is Torvalds’ so-called ‘right-hand man’ (as the old term goes), so that kind of matters, irrespective of our opinions about him and his past at Novell (when Novell acted like a de facto department of Microsoft).

The Linux CoC Committee is now available for all to see.

Kernel.org has just updated its CoC page (this page was updated yesterday, based on the RSS feed). We could not flag the differences and the Wayback Machine has only a year-old copy of this same page (maybe it just hadn’t been modified since, until this week).

The Code of Conduct Committee is shown as follows:

The Linux kernel Code of Conduct Committee is currently made up of the following people:

Kristen Accardi <kristen.c.accardi@intel.com>
Mishi Choudhary <mishi@linux.com>
Shuah Khan <skhan@linuxfoundation.org>
Greg Kroah-Hartman <gregkh@linuxfoundation.org>
Committee members can be reached all at once by writing to <conduct@kernel.org>.

Choudhary is OK. I get along pretty well with her. I regret that she recently did a panel discussion of the SFLC with Microsoft on the panel, though it’s probably not her choice/fault. But the first person in that list comes from the same employer as a notorious drama maker, who picked on all sorts of kernel hackers, including Greg Kroah-Hartman. These people all have a lot of power; they can oust people from Linux, even based on selective enforcement hinged upon broad rules (maybe something which was tweeted a very long time ago). They’re like bosses in a sense. We saw weakly-backed accusations used for targeted witch-hunts before. Its sets precedents and deterrents.

But let’s also put things in perspective; the committee now has in it employees of a company that assaulted a charity which had promoted GNU/Linux in Africa (for kids’ education). The company committed many other actual crimes (we have ample documentation of those). Who are they to police ethics?

Here’s an example of policing:

Linux Kernel Code of Conduct Committee: September 2018 to July 2019 report

In the period of September 15, 2018 through July 31, 2019, the Committee
received the following reports:
  - Inappropriate language in the kernel source: 1
  - Insulting behavior in email: 3

The result of the investigations:
  - Education and coaching: 4

We would like to thank the Linux kernel community members who have supported
the adoption of the Code of Conduct and who continue to uphold the professional
standards of our community.  If you have questions about this report,
please write to <conduct@kernel.org>.


Side-note, yes, the website at
https://www.kernel.org/code-of-conduct.html is not up to date with the
list of the current members of the kernel code of conduct committee, nor
does it contain this report yet, but that will be resolved next week
when I have a chance to fix it up.  Sometimes web site changes are hard
for kernel programmers :)

To let everyone know, the current members of the Kernel Code of Conduct
Committe [sic] are:
	Mishi Choudhary
	Shuah Khan
	Greg Kroah-Hartman
One other person has been nominated, but due to travel issues has not
formally accepted.  Their name will be added to the above web site when
that happens in a few weeks.


greg k-h

Notice that list at the end. Intel is the new addition. Shuah Khan is Linux Fellow at the Linux Foundation, so Accardi is the first corporate member of the Committee. Does paying the Foundation help get your staff in that Committee? The Foundation has already banished all community participation in its board, so…

The person per se is not a problem. We are not personifying the issue. According to the Linux Plumbers Conference, she’s technical (“Kristen is a Linux kernel engineer working on power management for Intel’s Open Source Technology”), but we know where salaries come from and that’s who the person is loyal to.

The Foundation became just a company or a front for several. This is how they fire people (even those not on the payroll). Earlier today we mentioned this in relation to Debian. Ultimately, this lets the world’s richest people be in charge of everything, even Free software.

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