EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

12.02.19

Free/Libre Software Will Eventually Become the Norm, ‘Open Source’ is Just Proprietary Software Trying to ‘Buy Time’

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, OSI at 3:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They’re chocking on their own blood and complaints are being filed by former insiders (for financial fraud)

Azure complaint

Summary: More people are starting to ask questions about Free software while “Open Source” languishes (people can see it’s just a mask for proprietary software); it was a two-decade delaying tactic that’s wearing off (people see GitHub and the OSI/Linux Foundation for what they really are)

MICROSOFT threw lots of money at GitHub, as it had done previously at Skype. By trying to buy a monopoly or near-monopoly Microsoft soon lost that monopoly. People fled. In the case of Skype it was competitors such as WhatsApp (Facebook), not to mention Google, Apple and smaller players like Viber (Rakuten). What’s replacing GitHub? We’re not entirely sure as not many statistics are available, but earlier this year we heard (possibly from the inside, albeit indirectly) that GitHub was losing users and projects. Never mind the likely decrease in new users and projects (entrants).

“That so-called ‘Arctic vault’ won’t go to waste. Microsoft can be buried in it.”We’ve written a great deal about openwashing and GitHub (any project on GitHub ought to be well aware that it is being managed by proprietary software that spies on and censors not only developers but also users/downloaders). Azure is apparently still losing money.

We predict that in the coming years this attempt of Microsoft to hijack GNU/Linux and ‘FOSS’ (they pretend only what’s inside GitHub counts or exists) will fail spectacularly. That so-called ‘Arctic vault’ won’t go to waste. Microsoft can be buried in it.

11.03.19

Openwashing Reports Made Obsolete When Openwashing and ‘Open Source’ Become Almost the Same (De Facto Indistinguishable)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, OSI at 7:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Software Freedom won’t be accomplished with proprietary things like Chrome, GitHub, Linux-powered surveillance ‘clouds’ and Linux-based listening devices

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: Openwashing and similar tactics have helped malicious software portray itself as the very opposite of what it really is (and confuse the public to the detriment of Software Freedom); even the concept of "Ethics" has been hijacked

“Open Source has won!”

How many headlines like these have we seen in recent years?

What they mean to say is, the openwashing of proprietary software is “mission accomplished!”

“This phenomenon is like a “Cancer” or “Disease” or “Disaster” and over the past month about 80-90% of news articles I’ve seen about “Open Source” aren’t about Free/libre software but some phony ‘open’ thing that’s actually proprietary software (or gateway towards it).”“Microsoft is an Open Source company…”

How many articles and sometimes headlines tell us that ludicrous lie?

Seriously. How many? Loads. We responded to a wave of these articles last month. It wasn’t the first such wave. Think of it as the journalistic equivalent of articles/headlines that tell us Facebook values privacy (usually parroting what some lying executives from Facebook publicly said).

We get the same feeling any time European Patent Office (EPO) presidents like Campinos or Battistelli tell us they value “Quality”, “Transparency”, “Respect” and so on.

“To me, personally, the whole Open Source ‘movement’ (more of a corporate campaign) is dead.”Over a month ago we ended our Openwashing Reports altogether — just a week or two (fortnight) after we spoke of the need to make these daily rather than weekly because the “openwashing” phenomenon had spread spectacularly. This phenomenon is like a “Cancer” or “Disease” or “Disaster” and over the past month about 80-90% of news articles I’ve seen about “Open Source” aren’t about Free/libre software but some phony ‘open’ thing that’s actually proprietary software (or gateway towards it).

To me, personally, the whole Open Source ‘movement’ (more of a corporate campaign) is dead. Unless its goal all along was just to hijack the FSF’s work and then ‘defuse’ it. If that was the goal, then well done, you’re succeeding. The FSF lost almost half of its Board members in a month.

“Open Source is dead. Long live (or be resurrected) Free software.”So later today we will, as usual for Sundays, have an extensive section on “openwashing” in our Daily Links; there’s too much of it all to break down and explain individually. That used to take many hours every weekend when we did the “Openwashing Report”; how many hours? All in all, nearly 7 hours per week. That’s too much. Let’s instead put it like this. Open Source is dead. Long live (or be resurrected) Free software.

So-called ‘journalists’ who write stuff like “Open Source has won!” wouldn’t know Software Freedom if it hit them right in the face. They’re more like corporate writers going by the official ‘script’ — like the people who nowadays run Linux.com while promoting proprietary software in their personal sites (‘on the side’; also promoting non-Linux stuff and bashing Linux). Two examples of this yesterday (SAP), but we won’t link to either of these…

As for the official “Open Source” site (OSI), look under “Sponsors”. Microsoft is listed there three times — more than any other company! It figures. From publishing the Halloween Documents (exposing Microsoft’s attack on “Open Source”) to be sponsored by Microsoft, which lies about “Open Source” and attacks in all sorts of ways (still). Whose mission was accomplished?

10.26.19

The “I’ll Just Use a Mac” Mentality

Posted in Free/Libre Software, OSI at 11:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Running Away Balloon meme

Software Freedom, Computer User, and OSI/Open Source

Summary: What’s holding Software Freedom back?

10.23.19

Why GNU Is Better Staying Top-Down, Even If Free Software Isn’t

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, OSI at 12:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figosdev

Eiffel Tower from the top
Eiffel Tower from the top

Summary: “Open Source is like a broken record, and it is a broken promise. If you want to fail, follow them — they will show you the way.”

I used to hate centrists because I thought they were simply lukewarm. It took many years for me to learn that I was an issues person, not a party person — and that I don’t agree with “either side” on everything. Now that’s going to be a theme that illustrates the current situation with Free software.

Lots of people disagree on what the terms “Conservative” and “Liberal” mean. Rather than discussing the true meaning or original nature that these terms describe, they more often get caught up in the contemporary culture of whatever parties lay claim to these terms. I encourage you to put that aside while you read this article.

“Now that the top of the FSF hierarchy is (systematically) toppled, the same (larger, more powerful) hierarchies of IBM and Microsoft are borrowing and exploiting the image of liberation (of fighting hierarchy) to suggest that we should “let more people in” to Open Source and Free software.”But I’m going to say that I think of “Conservative” as defending hierarchies and traditions, and “Liberal” as fighting them as deemed necessary. This makes for interesting politics, when some hierarchies and traditions are worth defending.

I was recently told, by someone who has plenty of reason to be correct, that the Free Software Foundation has always been “Conservative” in its approach. For me this is a surprising thing to read when the FSF exists to stand against monopolies. However, its approach does create a hierarchy, with the founder of the movement as the head.

Now that the top of the FSF hierarchy is (systematically) toppled, the same (larger, more powerful) hierarchies of IBM and Microsoft are borrowing and exploiting the image of liberation (of fighting hierarchy) to suggest that we should “let more people in” to Open Source and Free software.

This should be a familiar ploy to any person on the Left with a shred of integrity, because it is exactly the sort of thing the pseudo-left does all the time to justify war crimes, corporate influence of politics and other forms of self-serving corruption.

“The Open Source Initiative already did this more than half a decade ago, and now monopolies have more control over Open Source than ever.”First you say that a truly progressive organisation is too hierarchical, too conservative, and then once it “opens up” to a more decentralised structure you let in all the bigger hierarchies. The Open Source Initiative already did this more than half a decade ago, and now monopolies have more control over Open Source than ever.

As the title implies, I’m going to continue to support the decentralisation of Free software, (it actually started with other FSF chapters, but you can still think of them as branches of the original FSF in many ways — and continued with other organisations like Dyne and SFLC) but it’s very important to decentralise differently than OSI did. If Free software decentralises the same way that Open Source did, it will bring the same failure to Free software that monopolies have already brought to Open Source.

“If Free software decentralises the same way that Open Source did, it will bring the same failure to Free software that monopolies have already brought to Open Source. “I will also get to why the GNU project is already as decentralised as we want it to be.

People have let the Left do too much to smear the concept of being conservative. As an agnostic, I have always leaned toward the idea of religious reform and the option of being unorthodox. I am against theocracy in all forms, because freedom is more important than religion. However, the one purpose that orthodoxy excels at, is preserving a culture and tradition.

Librarians in this regard, can be thought of as the ultimate conservative heroes. When people want to fight against the ways libraries work for the common good, librarians fight those changes like they have a sacred duty. In other ways, libraries do change. But it’s fair to say that librarians have a sort of constitution — and that they defend aspects of library culture (resistance to censorship, for one thing; as well as resistance to limitations on access and privacy) in a way that they do not intend to allow those to change.

“We have seen the historical tragedies that take place when revolutions go wrong and remove one bad regime only to replace it with something worse.”The Constitution of the United States has been used to create changes, such as the (eventual) liberation of a people that were born unfree. A conservative approach is far from perfect, and some of the liberation that came later was proposed in the 1700s when the Constitution was written, but there were too many states against abolition at the time. Once a right is established however, the very concept of the Constitution is to represent and enshrine such liberties. That privacy and liberty is just as important in the 21st century as the 18th century is a politically (“small c”) conservative value.

It is possible to be too conservative. While a hierarchy can do a good job maintaining a culture’s consistency, it can also fail to support the evolution of those living within that hierarchy. An overly hierarchical system leads to stifling bureaucracy, lack of autonomy and being “out of touch” with the way everyday people live their lives. People with a (“small l”) liberal disposition are right to stand up to such problems, though if we hand them the reins they may pull down the entire thing without anything to replace it with. We have seen the historical tragedies that take place when revolutions go wrong and remove one bad regime only to replace it with something worse.

“So if we continue to decentralise, it is completely vital to support organisations that stand for Free software, rather than monopolies that support compromising your freedom or organisations that sell out to those monopolies.”While decentralisation (which again, isn’t completely new) gives us the autonomy to fight against more problems ourselves, with or without an increasingly troubled Free Software Foundation, it is important to know that Free software is a tradition of standing up to powerful corporate monopolies. If decentralisation means that we abandon the principles that make Free software what it is — we will be left with nothing but the same problems that existed prior to creating Free software… And no solutions.

So if we continue to decentralise, it is completely vital to support organisations that stand for Free software, rather than monopolies that support compromising your freedom or organisations that sell out to those monopolies. Don’t let them tell you it’s about money — it’s about control. If you stand against corporate control over the user, that’s what Free software is about. If you cede the mission of Free software to the same groups that oppose freedom, you lose — plain and simple.

It is not necessary for everyone to operate under exactly the same constitution. But it is necessary for people to operate under very similar principles. Just as it was always advisable to support the real thing, “Free software” — by choosing the FSF over the Open Source Initiative, it is advisable to support organisations that care about your freedom and actually stand for it, rather than those who cede to power.

When you decentralise, it is more important than ever to pay attention to the Freedom-respecting values of the groups and individuals you support, because anything else is handing things over to the groups who would try (and already do try) to end what you do. The cost of freedom is eternal vigilance.

“When you decentralise, it is more important than ever to pay attention to the Freedom-respecting values of the groups and individuals you support, because anything else is handing things over to the groups who would try (and already do try) to end what you do. The cost of freedom is eternal vigilance.”When organisations (even the FSF, if it does not get its act together and start defending freedom again) fail in their mission you can turn away from them. We should not turn away from the FSF if we can help it, because they still have something to offer. We should work to preserve, as librarians would, everything good about the FSF.

The easy way to do that is to support the FSF. To pick up (everything) where they left off is the hard way. I would prefer that we only have to supplement the FSF by doing what they fail to. That is a far better strategy than conquering them and laying the FSF to waste — which I believe some people are interested in doing, and they should be ashamed.

“Open Source is like a broken record, and it is a broken promise. If you want to fail, follow them — they will show you the way.”There are a few people in the FSF who have failed us so spectacularly, that it would be a gain for everyone to lose them as part of that organisation. Richard Stallman is not one of those people. Most of the people at the FSF are not those people. The rest of us should fight for, fight with, the FSF. As Free software becomes decentralised, it must recognise and live up to the fact that the mission is the same as it was before. The FSF created that mission, and our goal is to sustain it even as others try to change it.

As with the left and right hemispheres of the brain, “small-c” conservatives an “small-l” liberals work together to keep political endeavours functional. They address different aspects of politics — one is somewhat focused on keeping the good things, the other is largely focused on removing the bad things. If we let conservatives run everything, we will keep too much of the bad along with the good. If we let liberals run everything, we will lose too much of the good along with the bad. History provides endless examples.

We need a Constitution more than ever, and we must maintain our constitution as Free software advocates. Open source says we should cede — they have always said that. Open Source is like a broken record, and it is a broken promise. If you want to fail, follow them — they will show you the way.

The key to success in Open Source is to redefine failure and fatal compromise as “progress” — they’ve done a completely incredible job and I’m sure they will cry all the way to the bank. But although most of us are not against commerce and trade, Free software by definition is against monopoly. We cannot afford to lose that; we can’t trade that for cash, power and fame and say we care about the user.

Because it contains the software we run on our computer, the GNU project is something we want to be conservative. In fact the GNU operating system, in the hands of Debian circa 2014, became more liberal in a way that removed power from the GNU project and handed it off to Red Hat, then IBM (via acquisition of Red Hat) and Microsoft (via acquisition of Github.) These are not old friends — IBM and Microsoft are old enemies.

“In fact the GNU operating system, in the hands of Debian circa 2014, became more liberal in a way that removed power from the GNU project and handed it off to Red Hat, then IBM (via acquisition of Red Hat) and Microsoft (via acquisition of Github.) These are not old friends — IBM and Microsoft are old enemies.”Pax Big Tech is when the war ends because you surrender to your oppressors. IBM and Microsoft do not extend peace, but serfdom in exchange for a return to life under their rule. This includes all the problems that it included in the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s, plus additional control via the “Cloud” and increasing digital surveillance, while other new regimes like Google and Amazon literally turn cameras and microphones on you 24/7 in your own home.

To be vigilant against monopolies is a long-term goal that will involve more compromise and experimentation than we can afford to have in our operating system platform. Of course you can fork the GNU project, or parts of the GNU project, because it is not a monopoly anyway. But there are already plenty of alternatives to the GNU tools and the GNU system, and we use them all the time. Guix-SD is not required to work the same way as GnewSense. If GnewSense fails, we have alternatives. But if the GNU project fails, we lose far too much.

“This includes all the problems that it included in the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s, plus additional control via the “Cloud” and increasing digital surveillance, while other new regimes like Google and Amazon literally turn cameras and microphones on you 24/7 in your own home.”We can afford to lose a couple organisations, like SFC, to the monopolies. We may even get to the point where losing the Free Software Foundation is something we could survive (I don’t think we are ready now, and I really don’t want to find out.) We don’t have replacements for the things the FSF does. People who want us to fail pretend to be more optimistic, but people who care know we are badly hurt right now.

Even if decentralising GNU was a good idea, it is the worst time for it. There is a theme of regime toppling when the regime is literally the Foundation (and founder) of our movement. Stallman should have never lost so much power at once, and we have not gained anything — his loss is our problem.

It really has to be said though, that decentralising GNU is not only less than beneficial, it is completely unnecessary. The real reason they’re trying to dismantle it is to push Stallman out further, and allow more takeover by larger monopolies. If that is not the actual goal, it will nonetheless be the result.

This is a war — the FSF is extremely vulnerable, and its opponents are using the breach to get into everything they possibly can. We should be protecting GNU, or it could become our last great stand (not the end of the war, but the beginning of the end.)

“This is a war — the FSF is extremely vulnerable, and its opponents are using the breach to get into everything they possibly can. We should be protecting GNU, or it could become our last great stand (not the end of the war, but the beginning of the end.)”But decentralising GNU further is completely unnecessary because people create GNU projects outside of GNU all the time. If they reach a point where it becomes beneficial, they can join the GNU umbrella — and the conservative GNU project can let only the most beneficial, most freedom-respecting tools and contributions into the project.

If that doesn’t work for you, there are already countless other places you can prove the value of your contribution. There are literally hundreds of distros. You can already campaign to be part of many of them. You don’t need the permission of the GNU project to do that.

I suspect, very strongly, that people want the ability to overthrow the GNU project entirely. But what’s in it for us? What’s in it for the user? Nothing but trouble and broken promises, if we look at the “accomplishments” of the people arguing against the integrity of the GNU project.

“One of the people on the petition wants to turn the FSF into another Linux Foundation — and as for Ian Jackson: as someone who has spent years dressing the systemd wounds at Debian, you really should know better!”Decentralising Free software was necessary, and not redundant — as recent events have arguably shown. But decentralising GNU is unnecessary, as well as redundant. One of the people on the petition wants to turn the FSF into another Linux Foundation — and as for Ian Jackson: as someone who has spent years dressing the systemd wounds at Debian, you really should know better!

To all the petition signers: Stop attacking Free software. If you want to fork GNU, go ahead — but don’t support its destruction. Stop gutting things that we need and replacing them with nothing, or worse. Who do you think you are — IBM?

Licence: Creative Commons CC0 1.0 (public domain)

09.23.19

OSI Did Not Guard the Open Source Brand; Now Its Own Name, Open Source Initiative, is Being ‘Diluted’ and “Open Source” is Almost Meaningless

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, OSI at 1:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Openwashing Report part IV

Part I: Openwashing Report: ‘Open Source’ Without Any or Most of the Benefits
Part II: Summits of Open Bear Traps: The Open Core Summit and Other ‘Open’ Events That Actually Attack Software Freedom
Part III: Microsoft is Not an Open Source Authority But an Opponent of Open Source

Weekly openwashing report

Summary: The term or the brand “Open Source” is becoming worthless because those who use it typically engage in production of proprietary software falsely marketed as “Open Source” (that’s what openwashing is inherently about)

THIS is the closing part of this weekend’s series, the Openwashing Report. Like we said at the start (part I), at one point we shall classify and likely catalogue some of the openwashing patterns in order to highlight the threats they pose to Software Freedom. It is a growing danger. It needs to be deconstructed and explained. Examples from the news help.

“…the corporations take almost complete control of the narrative.”Several days ago “Open Source Insider” did its usual thing; it covers proprietary software again. We think we know who’s behind it. “Open Source Insider” used to be published with a person’s name, but after spreading lies like “Microsoft loves Linux” and facing scrutiny for it that author threatened us and then “Open Source Insider” became nameless. It’s nowadays published anonymously and it’s a source of openwashing. It almost never covers actual Free software. It’s a corporate blog of Computer Weekly (like Linux.com under the new editorship).

But anyway, this has sadly become the norm; the corporations take almost complete control of the narrative.

“Roughly a week ago we wrote about Microsoft buying more seats, i.e. more influence/control, in Zemlin PAC.”Take for example Linux.com. It’s being managed by the corrupt Corporate Linux Foundation (Zemlin PAC). Zemlin PAC is just “influence for sale”, including articles for sale at Linux.com (puff pieces for corporations are up for sale!); “give us money, then tell us what to write/do” is the business model. Corrupt. Yes, for sure…

Roughly a week ago we wrote about Microsoft buying more seats, i.e. more influence/control, in Zemlin PAC. Days ago this was still mentioned in the media, e.g. in Tech stars on the Academy’s open source red carpet” and Microsoft, Apple Join Open-Source Efforts at Academy Software Foundation” (they don’t frame this correctly; this is classic influence-buying).

Does OSI speak for Open Source? Or does the money speak?

Does Stallman speak for FSF (and GNU)? Not anymore.

Does Torvalds speak for Linux? Or does Zemlin PAC (Corporate Linux Foundation)?

Those are serious questions. They’re only partly rhetorical, but they oughtn’t be.

The OSI is losing its identity. Out-shimmered? See this new article entitled “Open-source initiative paving way for wearable sensor standards” (OSI name collision?)

“Does Torvalds speak for Linux? Or does Zemlin PAC (Corporate Linux Foundation)?”Here’s another one, “Shimmer launches ‘Open Source Initiative for Healthcare Wearable Sensor Algorithms’”

From Bio-IT World we have a similar (almost identical) headline because it’s a press release, “Shimmer Announces Launch of Healthcare Industry Open Source Initiative for Wearable Sensor Algorithms”

This one looks like a call for things that might turn out to be Free/Open Source later,” one person told us. “Of interest? They’re calling it “Healthcare Industry Open Source Initiative” so there is potential brand dilution going on. That’s a pretty interesting inclusion of OSI’s name.”

The press release in question says the “[i]nitiative will enable the development of industry standards for wearable sensor data” and towards the middle it says the “new initiative seeks to develop a curated set of open source algorithms and software tools for analyzing wearable sensor data that will be available to all medical device and pharmaceutical companies in a pre-competitive environment as a service to the industry. It will allow the work conducted by thousands of researchers during the past decade to be leveraged to create commonly-accepted de facto industry standards.”

“They’re calling it “Healthcare Industry Open Source Initiative” so there is potential brand dilution going on. That’s a pretty interesting inclusion of OSI’s name.”
      –Anonymous
We mentioned that at one point. From their original page: “Shimmer is collaborating with Nextbridge Exchange and Dr. Vincent van Hees, author of the GGIR software, in an initiative to drive the development of industry standards for wearable sensor data.

“The primary goal of this collaboration is to address the lack of accepted clinical endpoints that is proving to be a major obstruction to the widespread deployment of wearable sensors in clinical trials.”

There’s also this: “Shimmer is collaborating with Nextbridge Exchange and Dr. Vincent van Hees, author of the GGIR software, in an initiative to drive the development of industry standards for wearable sensor data. The primary goal of this collaboration is to address the lack of accepted clinical endpoints that is proving to be a major obstruction to the widespread deployment of wearable sensors in Clinical Trials. [...] Shimmer is reaching out to Clinical Trials sponsors and wearable sensor developers to join us in this initiative.”

It’s like another OSI, but this one managed by a corporation.

Going back to Zemlin PAC (Corporate Linux Foundation), is there any community role in it? No, none. The Board is nothing but corporate sponsors.

“Did you know the Linux foundation has their own operating system?”
      –Anonymous
Our reader asked: “Did you know the Linux foundation has their own operating system?

“Neither did I…

From this article: “Best known for its stellar work in open source software, most notably its operating system, the Linux Foundation…”

“Open source has taken nearly every sector IT by storm, but it took networking a comparably large amount of time to embrace it,” it says. “But, with the fast adoption of software-defined networking (SDN) and network management products like SD-WAN, open source finally found a place in IP routing and networkers appear to love it as much as everyone else.”

Last week we wrote about the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), which isn’t too far from the Open Networking Summit (ONS) — the subject of the above article.

“This is what they call a cabal of large corporations. Ecosystem…”The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) does openwashing for malicious telecoms such as Comcast (still). Surveillance DCs and routing get spun as “open” because of partial code releases or rather code sharing among the large telecoms. How about these new articles [1, 2] entitled “Comcast rolling out open source network software in multiple markets” and “Comcast Rolls Out ONF’s Trellis Open Source Networking Fabric”?

Now come the Zemlin PAC openwashing services for these spying telecoms: Open Source LF Networking Projects Enter the Commercialization Phase, Supported by a Growing Global Ecosystem

“Ecosystem” is a term that Stallman strongly opposes and has long warned about. This is what they call a cabal of large corporations. Ecosystem…

Conflating standards (or code-sharing or “interoperability”) with “Open Source” isn’t a new thing. But this is what happens here, as this new article makes more apparent. “Worse,” it says, “most vendors are not following the guidelines and specifications developed by the ETSI Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) Industry Specification Group (ISG), or any other standards, she noted.”

So they don’t even stick to the most basic and fundamental baseline!

Here come the networking openwashers (“More Than Just Code: Open Networking Early Adopters Share Lessons Learned”); let’s make “Open Source” not about code; it’s about talking.

“We think that the term “Open Source” is nowadays misapplied and misused (or overused) to the point where it has nothing to do with Software Freedom.”When you cannot even tell the difference (anymore) between standards and actual Software Freedom a situation such as this comes about: “The era of software-defined, cloudified networks has begun and promises a higher degree of automation, more flexibility and time to market improvements. This brings together two traditionally separated worlds – CSPs, who are used to technology alignment within standardisation bodies, and the software business, which is often driven by de-facto vendor standards or open source communities.”

So it’s about standardisation mostly.

We think that the term “Open Source” is nowadays misapplied and misused (or overused) to the point where it has nothing to do with Software Freedom. Nothing. The marketing industry is taking over the term for openwashing (here are examples from last week [1, 2, 3]). To make matters worse, the biggest proprietary software companies nowadays call themselves “open”; here’s a new example of openwashing and cloudwashing of Sage. It’s proprietary software, but the company wants to be seen differently, helped by buzzwords (“Sage gets cloudy, moves towards open source and microservices”). Here’s another new example of a company trying get some openwashing PR value out of proprietary software of SAP. “The operator is taking baby steps,” it says, “using open source to complement rather than replace its existing OSS/BSS.”

“Times aren’t good for Software Freedom; not good for Open Source either unless we start counting fakes.”So it stays proprietary. They all do. They just use the term “Open Source” in headlines as that helps confuse people (the title above is “RJio Takes Baby Steps With Open Source for OSS/BSS”).

OSI failed to enforce and protect the brand. The PAC of Jim Zemlin, a marketing person, has no interest in protecting this brand; instead it’s being sold down the river. All the code is being handed over to Microsoft in its proprietary software platform, GitHub.

Times aren’t good for Software Freedom; not good for Open Source either unless we start counting fakes.

07.28.19

Either Microsoft Left the Open Source Initiative’s Board or Microsoft Was Kicked Out (Like Black Duck Was)

Posted in Microsoft, OSI at 7:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Now:

osi-current-board

Then:

osi-past-board

Now:

osi-current-board-outline

Then:

osi-past-board-outline

Summary: No more Microsoft in the Open Source Initiative‘s Board. Based on the Wayback Machine, the change happened some time around May.

Update: We have just been told by another Board member that “She resigned. Her work situation had changed and she no longer had the time to devote to OSI.”

06.05.19

Chapter 5: Open Source Judo — How to Bribe the Moderates to Your Side

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, OSI at 4:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Table of Contents

Introduction: Cover and quick Introduction [PDF]

Chapter 1: Know your enemies– Act like a friend [PDF]

Chapter 2: Work with the system– Use OEMs and your legal team [PDF]

Chapter 3: Playing the victim– Show the world that too much freedom hurts development [PDF]

Chapter 4: You get what you pay for– Getting skeptics to work for you [PDF]

You are here ☞ Chapter 5: Open Source Judo– How to bribe the moderates to your side [PDF]

Chapter 6: Damning with faint praise– Take the right examples of free software and exploit them for everything

Chapter 7: Patent War– Use low-quality patents to prove that all software rips off your company

Chapter 8: A foot in the door– how to train sympathetic developers and infiltrate other projects

Chapter 9: Ownership through Branding– Change the names, and change the world

Chapter 10: Moving forward– Getting the best results from Open source with your monopoly


IN 1999, Bruce Perens left the Open Source Initiative that he co-founded with Eric S. Raymond. In his letter to the community, he explained:

“Open Source has de-emphasized the importance of the freedoms involved in Free Software.”

He continued: “One of the unfortunate things about Open Source is that it overshadowed the Free Software Foundation’s efforts. This was never fair – although some disapprove of Richard Stallman’s rhetoric and disagree with his belief that _all_ software should be free, the Open Source Definition is entirely compatible with the Free Software Foundation’s goals, and a schism between the two groups should never have been allowed to develop.”

This schism is ripe for exploitation. As mentioned in the previous chapter: “we can stir contention between ‘open’ and ‘free’ and get open source to defend our model…” Getting fans and amateurs to first fight our battles for us, and then blame the very people they’re attacking for disagreeing with them– is an important step and makes open source an unlikely if valuable ally.

Since no one involved with open source is stupid enough to think they can change the minds of hardened free software zealots, it seems obvious they only use rhetoric to make themselves look like the more reasonable option and to gain the hearts and minds of people who are still on the fence. Those are the same people we want to bring to our side.

Nonetheless, this is an industry. The ideal would be to have industry people on our side. And just as crime glues people to the nightly news, the drama between open source and software idealists gets people reading about whatever open source has to say this week.

The tech press loves open source, because it has greater affinity for the industry the press represents. If you love this business as much as we do, you quickly get tired of all the self-righteous whining of nerds and long for the can-do, easygoing and corporate-positive attitude of open source geeks. They might not appreciate an irreparable, proprietary kernel as much as we do– but they understand that not all improvements are free or open. These are people we can work with. And if we can work with them, we can take advantage of them.

Proprietary software has to be marketable, and immediately this gives us an advantage with people who want to write about it– our titles are more fun to cover, lead to more interesting stories and more interesting headlines.

Moreover, when we send press releases or hire copywriters, we can throw our values into the conversation and remind people why everything is better when our tools are included– we can take anything and use our market research and our clout (and leverage) with other companies to create a product ten times better than free software can hope to compete with.

Even when this isn’t true, the tech press has taken our side again and again. We can even push journalists– just like Microsoft did to push OEMs to cooperate– to lean favorably or lose our participation and cooperation. Time is money; in journalism, doubly so. But without our help, the tech press often doesn’t get their story as fast. Just as we can do more favorable business with OEMs, forcing them to dance for us– the same game works with journalists.

If an author becomes too critical, we can drop them– stop handing them stories, and even use their employers against them (favoring another publisher entirely, until they learn from their mistake.) Apple has done this in the past, and their national-security-like commitment to security under Steve Jobs meant that journalists who wanted a story had little hope of getting it without staying loyal to Apple Inc.

But it can’t be said enough times, that just like with everything else (customers, competitors, partners, even open source itself) that our relationship with journalists should be friendly on the surface– and appear friendly as a rule. Even as we subtly threaten writers not to push too hard or they will fall out of favor, we need to smile and tell them “Look, we aren’t here to tell you what to do. You have a business– we have a business. We just want to be sure that what you write is good for both of us.” They’ll get the picture. The vast majority of them always do, and the people who pay them always do.

Open source provides us many new opportunities to make these exchanges and representation in the press look more organic and less staged. The endless, cloying premise of making everything “more open” is the perfect trojan horse for delivering more of our exclusive products to an audience that thinks that it is seriously changing the way we do business.

And they’re right, on the surface– we have changed to make full use of their model, their rhetoric, their vague pseudopolitical nonsense designed to market freedom from our monopolies, to our monopolies. Two decades or more into this dance, we still use the same playbook and we still do it with a smile and thinly-veiled displays of our power.

If they doubt our friendship, we can help them make money in the process. Why not? They help our business. We are in this for control, just as much as money– we pretend to share control through carefully meted partnerships, but the value we generate is sustained by our position staying on top. As long as we remain powerful, we have our budget for advertising, our budget for lobbying, our budget for bribing– not that we need to call it that.

Big business means going to lunch, hosting dinners, sending out promotional items, and so on. We bribe customers with special deals, we bribe journalists with meals and events and parties, we like to treat our friends well– even if later we make it clear what the terms of treating us well are in turn.

It’s not “bribery” if we don’t put the two together. The ultimate hallmark of discretion is that if we pay you to act the way we want you to– even you won’t notice. So we dance around the margins of what is ethically and legally acceptable, and just like we do with consumer rights– sometimes the dance gets a little wild and risky. Business is about taking chances, and if we go too far, we just pull back. Don’t forget that the entire point of this dance is to be treated favorably by the same people who would call us on our behavior. As long as we have enough of them, the rest wont matter.

And if our companies can actually purchase and literally own some of the corporations that talk about us– well, most people don’t care about that. After all, they keep telling themselves that writers write their own stories. Sure they do– from whatever they glean from our press releases, press events, and corporate evangelists.

We don’t just have the tech press treating us kindly– we have the organizations they interview where we want them, and even the other people the tech press gets their information from. No matter where you go, you’re going to hear how great we are.

That’s the power of the press– our press. All we ever really have to do, is figure out what we want people to hear.

Relevant quotes from the Halloween documents:

“It’s a handful of amateurs, most of us unpaid and almost all part-time, against an entrenched multimillion-dollar propaganda machine run by some of the top specialists in the technology-marketing business.”

From https://antitrust.slated.org/halloween/halloween1.html

“Shall I go to the town of Nottingham, Linus, and with smooth words recruit the gossips and trade press to our cause?”

“Why don’t we write software so complicated and protocols so obscure and undocumented that only we can figure them out?”

“Yes! Then we will use our superior marketing forces to cram them down everyone’s throat, and neither Linus’s outlaws nor any other competition will be able to get a toehold in any IT shop anywhere, ever again!”

“Exactly, master. I call it de-commoditizing.”

“Various press shills and Microsoft lackeys, alerted, begin pointing fingers at Linus and his little band.”

“those hippies will never build anything really complicated or difficult!”

From https://antitrust.slated.org/halloween/halloween4.html

“We also get some whining about ‘lack of fairness in media coverage,’ which appears to be Microsoft-speak for ‘the trade press isn’t behaving like our poodles anymore.’”

From https://antitrust.slated.org/halloween/halloween5.html

“Microsoft has never been famous for reluctance to tell lies when that suits corporate purposes.”

From https://antitrust.slated.org/halloween/halloween5.html

“Microsoft has been trying to sandbag Linux with supposedly ‘objective’ studies by third parties that turn out to have been bought and paid for by the boys in Redmond.”

“Microsoft got the benchmark results it wanted – only to be embarrassed when it came out that Mindcraft had apparently run them on Microsoft-supplied machines, at a Microsoft site, with the benevolent assistance of Microsoft technicians tuning both Windows and (even more helpfully) Linux – and then neglected to mention in its press release that Microsoft had paid for and hosted the whole exercise.”

“This time, its date for the dance was a respected name in IT forecasting, the Gartner Group.”

“Sometime before 6 October, the Gartner Group published on its central corporate website, www.gartner.com, a series of five reports slamming Linux and predicting that its appeal would fade once the inevitable Service Pack 1 for Windows 2000 came out. These reports quickly spawned Linux-is-doomed articles like this example from 15 Oct on the IDG Australia website, which promoted them as objective studies by independent Gartner.”

“On 19 October Gartner changed the copyright on the reports to no longer mention Microsoft, while publicly insisting that the research had not been funded by Microsoft.”

From https://antitrust.slated.org/halloween/halloween6.html

“Provide detail on the writer and their media who are writing the story, i.e. are they technical, political, sensational”

From https://antitrust.slated.org/halloween/halloween8.html

“since Microsoft hired Mindcraft to discredit Linux.”

From https://antitrust.slated.org/halloween/halloween9.html

“I also expect a serious effort, backed by several billion dollars in bribe money (oops, excuse me, campaign contributions), to get open-source software outlawed on some kind of theory that it aids terrorists.”

“We need to make the cost of suppressing us higher than the sixty billion dollars Microsoft can afford to pay.”

From https://antitrust.slated.org/halloween/halloween11.html

“For close on twenty years I have watched Microsoft peddle inferior technology with slick marketing, destroy competitors with dirty tricks, and buy its way out of trouble.”

From https://antitrust.slated.org/halloween/faq.html

“Sleazy behavior, covered by utterly brilliant marketing, has been a pattern in Microsoft’s business practices since they were a garage outfit”

From http://www.catb.org/~esr/not-the-osi/halloween-rant.html

04.23.19

Code of Coercion

Posted in Deception, FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OSI at 12:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Real screenshot, taken days ago

Zemlin and Microsoft

Summary: Entryism is visible for all to see, but pointing it out is becoming a risky gambit because of the “be nice!” (or “be polite!”) crowd, which shields the perpetrators of a slow and gradual corporate takeover

A COUPLE of days ago we published a reader’s suggestion for the site. It’s a longtime reader, who has been rather sceptical of the Linux Foundation (LF), the OSI, and even the FSF. We too have had our rare disagreements with the FSF (in this particular case awarding a Microsoft apologist other than Miguel de Icaza, now a senior Microsoft employee).

One subject we continue to explore is the LF because we recognise the obscene lack of understanding. The name, for one thing, is misleading because it is neither a foundation (nonprofit) nor about Linux. It is morphing into a giant narrative-shaping monster that helps OSI ‘tame’ Free software (as envisioned by the FSF), making it more corporations-leaning if not led. Today’s OSI blog posts are sometimes composed by Microsoft staff.

“It is morphing into a giant narrative-shaping monster that helps OSI ‘tame’ Free software (as envisioned by FSF), making it more corporations-leaning if not led.”We’ve already issued a call for help in researching various LF matters. Some people look into it. We need answers regarding Linux Foundation insiders in the media* (coverage for sale) and more information about their “training” business model (corporate sponsorships play a role). It’s not what it seems; there’s more to it than one can see on the surface. The LF is contracting journalists, selling coverage (sponsorships in exchange for puff pieces), and engaging in what the PR conglomerates call “perception management” (this is where the LF’s chief comes from). In recent years the LF chaps have helped market obvious lies and falsehoods such as “Microsoft loves Linux”. Microsoft loves Windows, which it now calls "Linux". The trademark is being misused, but that doesn’t seem to bother the LF. Microsoft has a long and very extensive history trying to make its products sound like the competition or hijack the competition’s identity (e.g. “Office Open XML”).

I recently chatted with Richard Stallman about the LF’s CoC after I had heard that a similar thing was likely imposed on Stallman. We exchanged many messages on this subject and wondered whether Torvalds’ criticism of companies like Microsoft would be curtailed by the new CoC. It is a difficult thing to prove. Self-censorship is sometimes unknown to those who are subconsciously subjected to it because, for instance, speaking out against corporate overloads who pay one’s salary (or a portion of it) is politically unwise. In politics it’s known as “campaign contributions” — a form of ‘soft’ bribe which at the very least buys silence or passiveness.

“In recent years the LF chaps have helped market obvious lies and falsehoods such as “Microsoft loves Linux”. Microsoft loves Windows, which it now calls “Linux”.”We are meanwhile hearing of a new CoC “draft outline”.

“No one really wants a CoC,” told us a source, “but that one adopted by the LF and projects is horrible.” We will probably write about it in a future article (when this is no longer a draft).

A Techrights member has meanwhile taken a look at Gource LF. “Linux is a huge kernel,” he explained, “really enormous, and the amount of work being done is mind-boggling. Gource provides way too much information and visual analysis won’t provide much. Nor will any other kind of manual analysis. But here’s how it’s done:

 	git clone git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git;
 
 	cd linux-stable;
 
 	$(gource --log-command git) > ../linux-project.log
 
 	gource --start-date 2017-09-01 --time-scale 4 \
 		--fullscreen ../linux-project.log

As many people are aware, swear words and other (even less controversial) things are being removed en masse by people from companies like Intel, citing the new CoC as justification/motivation. Intel is the same company whose employees smear the most prominent Linux developers (calling them “rape apologists” and such). As for Microsoft? Remember that it put ‘BIG BOOBS’ inside Linux. Sexism at Microsoft is rampant, yet it has been trying to project this stigma onto Linux.

“It seems to be getting worse. “Morality” and “ethics” are being leveraged by large corporations that are hostile to Linux in order to gain a tighter grip on it.”“It takes a long time to build up to autumn 2018 even at high speed,” our member wrote about Gource. “Maybe that will give someone some ideas on what kind of analysis can be done easily to identify what kind of damage, if any, is visible from the CoC.”

Back when Torvalds was pressured to take a break (willful but due to shaming) we said we would refrain from commenting, but seeing some recent developments at the LF we feel like it’s important to research the matter. It seems to be getting worse. “Morality” and “ethics” are being leveraged by large corporations that are hostile to Linux in order to gain a tighter grip on it.
_____
* Take for instance The New Stack, which the LF last linked to just hours ago. It has various LF projects, including the LF itself, as sponsors. This page reveals that the editorial team includes Libby Clark, who was at the LF for a long time and is still based in Portland.

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts